Saturday, November 7, 2009

More Instrumental Madness

The votes ... AND the comments ... just keep on coming!!! Remember, the voting deadline is Friday, November 20th ... so keep voting for your favorites until then. Meanwhile, here are a few other comments and suggestions!

Great Memories! Thanks for the fun,
Danny Guilfoyle
We heard from DOZENS of FH Readers who've been digging out their instrumental favorites or making their own special "mix tapes" ... so this has been an enlightening experience. And, with over 8500 votes now tabulated ... and Scott Shannon running his True Oldies Channel "Instrumentally Yours" Weekend on the 13th - 15th, I'd say we're going to get a pretty accurate picture of what the oldies fans' all-time instrumental favorites really are!!! Meanwhile, keep the votes comin', folks ... we're tabulating until November 20th! (kk)

I don't remember if Scott Shannon played "Soul Coaxing" on WMAK, but it certainly got lots of airplay here in Nashville on the MOR stations. I honestly miss the MOR stations.
David Lewis

Although it was first released back in 1968 (and was only a modest hit at the time ... #36 in Cash Box, #37 in Billboard), it seems to have become more of a recent favorite, as indicated by its placement in Ron Smith's bi-annual Labor Day 500 Countdowns. Raymond LeFevre's EARLIER hit, "The Day The Rains Came", went all the way to #17 in Cash Box Magazine ten years earlier ... and was a #7 Hit here in Chicago. (kk)

I was disappointed to see that Stick Shift and Rev Up didn't make the cut. In that case, let me change my vote to Blues' Theme by Dave Allen and the Arrows. We can't have a instrumental list without at least one song featuring an internal combustion engine shifting gears.
Ed Erxleben
Unfortunately, outside of Chicago the other two choices simply weren't well known enough to make any kind of impression with our voters ... but Davie Allan's track is doing JUST fine!!! Thanks, Ed! (kk)

Thanks Kent, keep up the great work!
Tim Jensen

We're working out the final arrangements right now to bring you a radio countdown of Your Top 50 Instrumental Favorites ... stay tuned for more details ... this should make for some interesting listening over the Thanksgiving Weekend. (kk)
AND NOW IT'S OFFICIAL!!! - Phil Nee of WRCO in Wisconsin will be counting down The Top 50 Instrumental Favorites finalists on his program airing Saturday, November 28th, in the Wisconsin area. Although the station doesn't currently offer live streaming, we're trying to work out some type of an arrangement where Forgotten Hits Readers can listen back to the program on a podcast or archive basis ... or maybe even WIN a copy of the show for their private collection!!! We're even hoping to have a few surprise guests on the show! Again, we're still working out the final details ... but stay tuned for more information as it becomes available! (kk)

I cannot remember the name of my favorite instrumental, need some help. I think it is a steel guitar, maybe something to do with Hawaii, maybe two notes holding on to the second, very peaceful and reminds me of a summer day. Any help? I hear it on the radio every year or two.
Ed Mixon
A couple of thoughts come to mind ... let's see which ones the list suggests! (kk)

Is this one an instrumental? I've always wondered. There's a voice, but no words. (Wigwam by Bob Dylan ... from his Self Portrait Album)PS: My favorites list is coming soon.
David Lewis
It is as far as I'm concerned ... and Joel Whitburn seems to agree with me. It's also a personal favorite (and one that we've featured two or three times before in Forgotten Hits!) kk

I heard another long-time favorite while listening to Paul McCartney's "Unplugged" CD the other day ... "Singalong Junk" from the first McCartney solo album is one of the prettiest melodies I've ever heard! (kk)

You can put me down for another "favorite instrumental" ... I forgot all about "Breezin'" by George Benson ... I love that song!
Whoa ... that IS a great one ... and, incredibly, never even nominated!!! Actually, it's one of MY favorites, too! (kk)

Kent -
Regarding the instrumental hits you have been collecting, some have lyrics and some don't. We, as The Lettermen, have recorded some of them and, of course, "Theme From 'A Summer Place'" was a hit for us in '65. There are some that people don't even know have words! The Lettermen songs I am sending you are not known for their lyrics ... "And FINE lyrics they are" as you would say!!! (lol) You know, it might be fun to find out what other instrumental hits there are that have words other than the obvious.
Gary Pike
P.S. Not too many people know that Pat Boone co-penned the "Theme from 'Exodus'"!
Thanks, Gary ... had NOT heard these before ... and, since "Sleep Walk" and "Theme From 'A Summer Place" have such a COMMANDING lead right now (as instrumentals), we'll feature The Lettermen's vocal version of EACH of these popular hits. Thanks so much for sending ... and continuing to expand our musical horizons. (You should get a kick out of the old Lettermen newsclipping that Clark Besch sent us, coming up in tomorrow's Sunday Comments Page!) kk

Time to get off my duff and send you my favorite instrumentals. The list below is shown in order of preference with a few extras thrown in at the end.
For a few non-Top 40 type tunes, I'd also go with:
Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
Jeff Beck - Beck's Bolero
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
Santana - Europa
Fleetwood Mac - Albatross
Al Kooper & Shuggie Otis - 12:15 Slow Goonbash Blues
... Pete
I left off the "obvious" choices as most of those titles appeared on our list of 200 "eligibles" ... but some of THESE titles I've never even heard before!!! (I can't believe "Albatross" was never nominated ... that's a GREAT track!!!) And you know Al Kooper will LOVE seeing HIS name on the list!!! (lol) kk

... and, speaking of Al Kooper ...

>>>Since we are talking so much about Reprise Records, how about asking Al Kooper about HIS Reprise experiences? The Electric Prunes signed in 66 and DD&B in 65, but Al Kooper connected with Reprise in early 1964! A year before Nancy Sinatra had her first charter with "So Long, Babe" and almost 2 years before "Boots" started walking up the charts, Nancy recorded her first 45 for her dad's new label, Reprise. That cover of the Debbie Reynolds hit "Tammy" failed to garner much attention. Her followup was closer to the hits of the day. Listen to "Just Think About the Good Times" from the first weeks of US Beatlemania in 1964. Maybe that is why it did not hit, but to me, this song combines the piano of "Johnny Get Angry" sound with the "Johnny Angel" vocalization. A hit formula, one would think. It failed, but the song was written by "Levine-Levine-Brass-Kooper"!!! I am sure this must be the one and only Al Kooper writing well before "This Diamond Ring" hit the big times. Maybe Al can fill us in on this and if he ever met Nancy about the song? (WLSClark)
>>>I'm quite sure that IS the same Al Kooper based on his song-writing partners on this one. I dropped him a "Dat You?" note for confirmation but haven't heard anything back yet. Was curious how this one got into Nancy's hands! (kk)
I had many covers in this time period. In fact, this is the FIRST I knew of this Nancy cover and had pretty much almost forgot the song itself. Don Costa recorded quite a few of our songs (A Young Man's Fancy by Tommy Sands on ABC-Paramount / Going Through The Motions by Kelly Smith on Reprise as well) This Diamond Ring was not the beginning of my songwriting career. There were covers by The Surfer Girls, Freddie Cannon, Johnny Thunder (Loop De Loop album), Lulu, Lorraine Ellison, Henrietta & The Hairdooz, Pat Boone, The Essex, Eddie Hodges, about 5 Gene Pitney trax including I Must Be Seeing Things, Eddie Rambeau, The Modern Folk Quintet, The Rockin' Berries, Bobby Vee, The Arbors, The Staple Singers, Bruce Scott, and my personal favorites Johnny Hallyday and also George Chakiris !!!!! There's more but I just wanted to point out that it was what I did for a living at the time so I needed more than a Gary Lewis cover to put food on the table.
Al Kooper
I figured this HAD to be you ... would LOVE to hear some of those earlier tracks, too! Meanwhile, I've forwarded Al a copy of the Nancy Sinatra track ... and it's also included in today's posting for our other readers as well! (kk)

TOM "T-BONE" EDMONDS ... noted producer for currrent Rock / Soul / Funk superstar LENNY KRAVITZ ... will also collaborate in the mixing of CHARLIE GRACIE'S new cd -- due out in early 2010. T-Bone will mix at least 6 of Gracie's tunes at Kravitz's studio in the Bahamas -- starting in two weeks. Al Kooper will mix 8 tunes. Craig Ross, Kravitz's guitarist will also join a long list of artists, including Graham Nash, Peter Noone, Keb Mo, Dennis Diken and Al Kooper (playing and mixing), who have all added their talents to this project. Tom Edmonds has engineered for the Rolling Stones, Meatloaf, the Cult and many more!
Says Charlie: "We're greatly honored to have Tommy on board with our team ... including Al Kooper and the others ... all great talents! We hope to have news of a release date after the new year. I am grateful to all!"
-- Charlie Gracie, Jr.
Can't wait to hear this one, Charlie ... and we're STILL hoping to be able to "Sneak Peek" a track right here in Forgotten Hits ... so please stay tuned!!! (kk)

... and Bob Dylan ...

>>>Which bands (which includes so-called individuals) had their first top 20 hit written by Bob Dylan? No, Peter Paul and Mary is not one of them, with Lemon Tree. (Dwight Rounds)
>>>The first two Bob Dylan-penned Top 20 Hits that came to my mind were "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds and "It Ain't Me Babe" by The Turtles ... I'm sure there were more. (Readers???) kk
Yes, plus "All Along the Watchtower" by Hendrix (his only top 20 song) and "Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Dylan himself (surprisingly, no one has ever listed this one!) Also Olivia Newton-John and "If Not For You" .
Dwight Rounds
I especially like George Harrison's version of "If Not For You" ... we once did a week-long series of Dylan songs as covered by other artists ... I'll have to dig through the archives and see if I still have any of that stuff on file ... it might be fun to run again one of these days (like we did with our salute to "The Boss" a few months back!) kk

More of your musical memories are coming up tomorrow in The Forgotten Hits Sunday Comments Page ... hope to see you here!!! (kk)