Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Final Comments Page Of 2009


As 2009 draws to a close, I'd like to throw out one more round of thanks to all of you out there who kept Forgotten Hits going for another year ... our TENTH!!! ... along with a New Year's greeting from one of our readers:

Kent ... I think there are a lot of great Christmas Songs. Not too many great New Years Songs. Here's my favorite New Years Song.
Frank B.

YouTube - Orioles - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (original version)

And, as 2009 draws to a close, we look back at some of those that we've lost these past 365 days ... all of whom touched our lives in some way:

Kent ...

The R.I.P. / Rock in Perpetuity Archives have been updated and now include our musical heroes who passed away in 2009.
Wishing you Peace, Love, and Happiness in 2010!

Artie Wayne



CHARLIE GRACIE and the birth of the "Philly Sound" are synonymous!
Signed to the newly formed Cameo Record Label, Charlie entered the Reco-Art studio in downtown Philadelphia on DECEMBER 3OTH, 1956 to record the Lowe / Mann compositions, "Butterfly" and "Ninety-Nine Ways." By March of 1957, "Butterfly" went straight to the national Number 1 position, while "Ninety-Nine Ways" reached Number 11.
CHARLIE became the first native born Philly artist of the Rock 'n' Roll Era to become an international success. Other hits followed for him in the U.S. and U.K: "Fabulous," "I Love You So Much It Hurts, "Wanderin' Eyes" and "Cool Baby." THE PATH WAS NOW CUT FOR SO MANY OTHER GREAT PHILLY ARTISTS WHO FOLLOWED -- a list that boggles the mind!
Says Charlie: "I was happy to be there at the beginning and grateful to God that I'm still active today. Where the years have gone ... I just don't know! When I was 10 years old, my dad encouraged me to pick a guitar out of a storefront window on SOUTH STREET (Hey Orlons!). Who knew it would lead to a 59-year career that would take me around the world many times? What foresight that man had!
Charlie's new CD with Graham Nash, Al Kooper, Peter Noone, Keb Mo and more will be out by the Spring of 2010! His 2010 Schedule will soon be posted --including a Five Week Tour of the UNITED KINGDOM and FRANCE!

Charlie, Jr.

And, speaking of Charlie Gracie and the Philly Sound ...


Check out the new mummers benefit song online:"

Watch "The Mummers Strut (More Than A Tradition)"

Performed by: Tony Luke Jr. & The Tacony Funk Machine

with Charlie Gracie (R&R pioneer), Rocco Notte (The A's, Clutch Cargo), Barry Warhoftig (Hot Club of Philly), Su Teears (of Clutch Cargo), Chip Roberts (Lives in Crises productions), Winkle (American Dream), Dave Humphreys, George Manney (Clutch Cargo), Skip Denenberg

Written by: Skip Denenberg

Produced, engineered & mixed by: George Manney

Asst. engineer: Tommy Stinson (Guns N' Roses-Replacements)

Chip's guitars Recorded at: Geo Sound

A Clutch Cargo Production

Mastered by: Peter Humphreys - Masterwork Recording

Have a Great New Year!!!

George Manney


>>>Was there a jingle or commercial used for the song 'Happiness Is" by The Association??? (Jerry)
Hmm. Happiness is the taste of Kent, and I do mean the cigarette so don't think I'm losing it here. I don''t know who sang the commercial. I remember a Ray Conniff singers version of the song. Wikipedia notes: A special version of the song "Happiness Is" was recorded for use in a TV commercial for
Kent cigarettes, prior to the ban on TV advertising of tobacco products.
Mister Hil
I suppose for some of us non-smokers out there "Happiness" COULD be Kent ... and his Forgotten Hits Newsletter!!! (lol) kk

Hey Kent,

Pepsi made a whole bunch of great commercials back when, thank you Joanie Sommers, Del Shannon, et al. However, one that remains in my head, but I'm not sure who it was for, was Billy Joe Royal letting go and really bringing life to some telephone operators, and some other folks. I think it showed BJR singing on top of a hill. Anyway, I can still see it vividly in my memory banks.
Jim Southern (aka chuckwroste)

Anybody out there able to help out with this one??? (kk)

I don't know if this is useable for Forgotten Hits ... but, if you have the time, take a look, and let me know what you think. You were doing commercial songs ... I recently got the dvd's of THE PAPER CHASE (tv series) ... and during the theme song (Seals and Crofts), I kept wanting to sing the lyrics to the FOLGERS COFFEE commercial. They both Youtube ... but the Folgers version in my head doesn't seem to be there ... it almost sounds in my head that one of the incarnations of Folgers could have been done by Seals & Crofts ... although I'm sure they didn't. ARE THE SONGS SIMILAR? Maybe one inspired the other?



I didn't watch "The Paper Chase" on television ... didn't quite get the movie either (despite a fair amount of critical acclaim) ... so I'm not familiar with this theme ... however, I DO seem to remember Seals and Crofts doing a Folgers commercial. Does this ring a bell with anyone else out there??? (kk)


Note the attached ad from Billboard in early 1965. "Leroy" (adapted from the Ken-L-Ration commercial, which in turn was adapted from a Tom Paxton song) was sung by a 9-year-old girl. And she got her picture in Billboard! I'm wondering if Norma was the youngest artist ever to chart on Billboard (including the Bubblers).

-- Jeff Duntemann

Colorado Springs, Colorado

We featured this track back on December 26th ... scroll back to give it a listen! As for your question regarding the youngest artist ever to chart in Billboard, we deferred to Joel Whitburn on this one! (kk)

Hi Kent,
As far as the youngest artist to ever make the Billboard “Hot 100”, I believe it would be “Jordy”. He is a French boy that was 5 years old when he hit with “Dur Dur D’Etre Bebe! (It’s Tough To Be A Baby!)” in 1993. There were younger artists to appear on recordings such as “Baby Sittin’ Boogie”, however, as the sole artist, he would be the youngest. A 6-year-old girl from Texas hit the charts with “Dear Mr. Jesus” in 1987, however, the artist is listed as “Powersource”.
Happy New Year, Kent!

>>>F.Y.I. The name "YOUNG" was first used by AM-CAN records in 1963 on my recording TWELVE TO SEVEN (Don Young)
How cool is that ... I never would've guessed that Don Young and Donny Young were the same person ... in fact, all of the info I had found on the internet had led me to believe that Donny Young was a pseudonym for Johnny Paycheck (and it was, but apparently not in this case ... and what a nice surprise to discover that, too). From Twelve To Seven is one of my favorite records of all time ... and one I'm still looking for on 45 rpm, too.
My question for Don is, "Was there ever a B side to the single? Everyone I know with a copy of the record has a one sided promotional copy." Tom Diehl

Hi Kent,

Happy New Year!

"12 to 7" was released as a one sided record for air play promo only. The B side was called "Please Tell Her For Me". I have the master of that side but never got a 2 sided record. Since we did make some local charts with "12 to 7", it is possible that they exist. Please pass this on to Tom Diehl.

All the best

Don Albano (Young)

>>>I have a very good friend looking for "Somebody New" by the Riverias. He has searched all over and went thru each GoldMine publication and still no luck. Please let me know if you ever hear of one of the listeners finding this song. I tried I-Tunes with no luck. (Vic Morrow)
>>>Let's just post it here, Vic, and see what comes back from our readers. (kk)
This one's also on the WLS ONLY CD's!
Ed Erxleben

I checked my Rivieras' Greatest Hits CD and didn't see it listed there so my first thought was that it might be by the R&B '50's Group The Rivieras ... never thought to check our local charts ... but I see now that "Somebody New" went to #32 on WLS in 1965. Thanks, Ed! (Those WLS Only CDs have come into good use here lately!!!) kk

Tom Diehl sent us a copy as well:

Here's the Rivieras song (a very nice tune, indeed!)


More on the local charts ... and the local guys below ...

I guess there will be times when we have to agree to disagree. Total respect for you Kent , BUT to say that "Gloria" by The Shadows of Knight creamed the version by "Them" is the epitome of Chi-town bias. We are all entitled to our opinions, and I'll probably inspire some hatred from your demographic, but I've got to speak up. Van Morrison and Them put some grittiness in their version that no group can reproduce. The Shadows of Knight obviously thought so, and not to take away from their effort, did a very good and close cover, but the sandpaper is missing from it. Their version is more commercial, but the "Them" version is the real Sho Nuff. All of this writing is of course my humble opinion.
Alex Valdez
Yellow Balloon
When I say that The Shadows Of Knight's version of "Gloria" creamed the Them version, it's more than stating my opinion ... the fact that the original version peaked at #71 while The Shadows' remake soared all the way to #7 nationally would indicate that this was the feeling of MOST of America back in 1966. That's taking nothing away from Them's "gritty" version ... it's simply stating a fact that the MAJORITY of record buyers out there found The Shadows Of Knight's version to be more "commercially acceptable" ... and rewarded it as such with its considerably higher chart showing. (That being said, the whole reason The Shadows Of Knight tackled the song in the first place is because WLS disc jockey Clark Weber HEARD the appeal in the Them version but just didn't think the majority of the listening audience would accept this cruder version ... he told The Shadows Of Knight's manager that if HIS group cut the record in a cleaner, more listener-friendly manner, he would put it on the air. They did ... HE did ... and "Gloria" soon topped the charts here in Chi-Town (as well as several other radio markets.) Safe to say mainstream America just wasn't ready of Them at the time ... as Van Morrison went on to enjoy quite a successful career here in The States. (By the way, we steered clear of any "Gloria" discussions LAST week thinking that ANYTHING Gloria-related would have to be followed by "in Excelsis Deo"!!!) kk

And, speaking of our local guys ...

One of the publications we print at work is The Saint Viator Alumni Newsletter ... and this new Winter 2009 / 2010 Edition features a short article on The New Colony Six's appearance at a recent fund-raiser held at the school. It's always neat to see something about The NC6 in a publication other than ours!!! (lol) Of course they ALSO erroneously referred to Ray Graffia, Jr. and Bruce Mattey as the only two "original members" of the band ... which isn't EXACTLY the case ... but these guys have been together so long now that the CURRENT version of The New Colony Six FAR outlasted ANY of the "hit-making" versions back in the day ... speaking of which ...
With regards to "The New Colony Six", I recall them being on some of the shows we were on when touring the midwest. At the time I guess I paid them no real attention as we were intoxicated with what we were about and the business at hand. As of late I've been Youtubing listening to their songs, and I have to say
that they had some kickass songs. Whoever wrote them had real skills, and the harmonies are spot on. So you can chalk up some sales of their CD's to me. All of this writing is of course my humble opinion.
Keep up the good work Kent, and have a great New Year
Alex Valdez
Yellow Balloon
For some reason, the impact of The New Colony Six seems to have been diminished in hindsight over the years ... but during the '60's, they scored more Top 40 Chicagoland Hits than ANY other local act ... an incredible 17 in all ... and they STILL sound great today. We did a month-long spotlight feature on the band a few years back and introduced music fans all over the country to some GREAT music that many of them had missed the first time around. (Nationally, only three of their hits made The Top 40: "I Will Always Think About You", #22, 1968, "Things I'd Like To Say", #13, 1969 and "I Could Never Lie To You", #40, 1969, meaning that most music fans never had the chance to enjoy many of our local favorites like "I Confess", "Love You So Much", "Can't You See Me Cry", "Roll On", "Long Time To Be Alone", "I'm Just Waitin', Anticipatin' For Her To Show Up", "You're Gonna Be Mine", "I Want You To Know" and "Treat Her Groovy", all of which made ... or JUST missed ... our Local Top Ten.) And, addressing one of your other comments, these guys wrote ALL their own songs ... pretty impressive indeed! (kk)

Here's one of MY personal favorites ... and one that ABSOLUTELY shoulda been a bigger hit, circa 1967!!! (kk)


Forgotten Hits has made me acutely aware of the problems facing oldies stations today and I’ve been working on a several ideas to help revitalize the genre and expand the current playlists.

Artie Wayne

Kent -

You did an excellent job of capturing the current state of radio in your recent "Moron Radio" piece.

Far too many of us have experienced the logic of these so-called "know-it-all" programmers and consultants first hand -- and watched 30+ years of on-the-air experience evaporate into thin air.

I'm with you -- kudos to anyone out there trying to make radio interesting again!

Jack Ross

I thoroughly enjoy 'sharing' my memories with the "FH" readers -- and reading about their contributions and memories in return. You've assembled a great group of folks ... and their regular contributions only confirm the great job you're doing.
May 2010 be healthy, prosperous and blessed for you and the family. I'm looking forward to the opportunity of meeting you 'live and in-person' one of these days:) Fred Vail

Hi to my friends in the Oldies community!
“Santa’s Stuck Up In The Chimney”ended the holidays with over130,000 You Tube Views!
A big “Thank you” to all of you who played “Santa’s Stuck” during the holidays. There’s no doubt that you helped move the numbers.
Thanks again, and I wish you all a peaceful, healthy, and a successful 2010.
Paul Evans

Click here to see the video one mo' time!

Click here: YouTube - Santa's Stuck up in the Chimney

Kent …

How ya’ doin’?

Once again I want to thank you and your Forgotten Hits readers for making 2009 one of the best years I’ve ever had. Not only did the hits on my blog, Artie Wayne on the Web, exceed 1,380,000, but the views on YouTube last week of my Michael Jackson song “Little Christmas Tree” (Clinton / Wayne) topped 100,000!
Looking forward to more of your stimulating excursions into our collective musical past and wishing you all the best for 2010!
Regards, Artie Wayne

Hi Kent!
Now, during the 12 Days of Christmas, I want to wish you the very best of everything in the New Year! -- And to thank you for the wonderful FORGOTTEN HITS site! It's so informative and SUCH FUN -- and yes, there was a long ago day when I once wore "Windsong" perfume (may still have it in some old drawer somewhere).
Remembering the past just makes the present so much richer. That's what FORGOTTEN HITS does for so many of us. Thank you for all you do!
Connie Szerszen,
"Top Rock Girly Jock"

Thanks, Gang ... what makes Forgotten Hits work is the participation of SO many music fans around the globe ... we can all come here for a few minutes each day, if only as a brief diversion from the real world, and share our memories and love of this music together in an atmosphere where you know we're all here for the same reason and purpose. Thank you all again for the past ten years! (kk)