Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Sunday Comments ( 12 - 20 - 09 )

Another round of Sunday Comments ...

>>>As for "Dark Side Of The Moon", I don't think it's really fair to reduce its chart-life to just 14 years when it's been selling enough copies to consistently make the list for all 36 years that it's been available ... honestly, how is THIS not the biggest selling album of all-time? We keep hearing how Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and The Eagles' original "Greatest Hits" LPs were the ones constantly changing places at the top of the All-Time Best Sellers List ... but these two haven't sold enough copies on a consist enough basis to stay on the catalog chart for that duration, have they? They may have sold bigger numbers INITIALLY ... and certainly "Thriller" sold millions more after Michael Jackson's passing ... but I cannot help but wonder where "Dark Side Of The Moon" stands in the total scheme of things ... anybody know for sure??? (kk)
The RIAA Web site has a page listing the all-time top selling albums in the U.S., based on its gold and platinum certifications:
The numbers in the left-hand column are the millions in shipments the RIAA has certified for each album. (Note that most double albums are credited with two sales for each unit sold.) Dark Side Of The Moon is currently No. 22 on the list, certified for 15 million units shipped (compared to 29 million for Thriller and The Eagles / Their Greatest Hits).
– Randy Price
Doesn't it strike you as just a little bit odd that "Dark Side Of The Moon" has sold enough copies each and every week for 36 years to stay on the best sellers chart yet only ranks 22nd overall? I would have certainly expected it to be in The Top Five! Like I said, I understand that these other LPs sold more initially but most of these have had a comeback or two at best ... NOT a consistent run on the charts the way DSOTM has. Forgetting whatever "Dark Side Of The Moon"'s initial sales are for a minute ... and just calculating say 20,000 copies a week for the past 36 years (enough to keep it on the charts that entire duration) would put this at about 37 1/2 Million Copies PLUS the millions it sold when it was first released. For those of you who have not seen this before, this is a very interesting link ... Page One shows LPs with 10,000,000 in sales or better ... a pretty darn impressive list to say the least. FH Reader Dwight Rounds mentioned the other day that The Beatles' White Album ranks as their biggest seller because it achieved DOUBLE sales status as a two-record set (which also puts Pink Floyd's "The Wall" ahead of "Dark Side Of The Moon".) This, too, doesn't seem quite fair ... I mean you couldn't really buy one album without the other, could you??? It might be time to officially re-evaluate the way these sales are calculated, don'tcha think??? (kk)
Don't forget that the RIAA certifications are done only periodically at the request of the record companies, so they may or may not correspond to actual retail sales. Also, in the case of Dark Side Of The Moon, it was No. 1 on the Billboard album chart for only one week, while Thriller was No. 1 for 37 weeks, so Dark Side's steady sales over time might not have been enough to overcome that initial difference. Furthermore, the Jackson and Eagles albums have sold consistently over the years, perhaps not always at the same level as Pink Floyd, but the difference between being in the lower regions of the Top 200 (or the Catalog Album chart) and being just below the radar was probably not that significant.
– Randy
And I agree that overall "Thriller" and "The Eagles' Greatest Hits" have sold more total copies if only because the initial volume was so much greater than Pink Floyd's album ... but it seems to me that "Dark Side Of The Moon" should have been slowly chipping away at all these LPs ranked above it simply by being a consistent seller for the past 36 years. Joel Whitburn's latest "Billboard Albums" book shows "Dark Side Of The Moon" at 15 times Platinum ... doesn't that translate to around 30 Million Copies sold??? (kk)
No, 15 time platinum for a single album / CD translates to 15 million copies SHIPPED (including those that are on record store shelves or in warehouses and haven't yet been sold over the counter or online).Also, don't forget that the album charts did not reflect actual unit sales until 1991... before that, they were based on reports submitted by record stores or one stops, which may or may not have been accurate representations of actual units sold.
– Randy
That's right ... GOLD status signifies half a million copies sold, Platinum is the benchmark for a million sales. (Remember a few weeks ago when we ran the quote about Soupy Sales claiming that HIS single, "The Mouse", sold a million copies?!?! When the disbelieving interviewer questioned him on this, Soupy admitted that he still had 990,000 copies in his basement, should anybody need a copy!!!) kk

>>>I'll sheepishly admit to owning SIX of the decades Top Ten Best Sellers! (kk)
Easy for you to say. I have two: Beatles and Norah Jones ... and I had a copy of Linkin Park that I found on my cul-de-sac, but it was recorded from someone's computer, and had laid in the street for a few days, and wouldn't play all the way through, so I threw it away. Long live CD stores.
Guy Arnston in Algonquin
Yeah, but good luck finding them!!! Everything seems to be online now ... although you still can't beat a visit to Rolling Stone Records in Norridge, Illinois, once or twice a year! I hadn't planned on divulging my six "owns" but (since I've been asked by at least six or seven other readers already), I, too, have The Beatles and Norah Jones in my collection ... along with BOTH Eminem LPs, Britney Spears and *NSync ... now how's THAT for a mixed collection of pop?!?!? (kk)

After looking at the Top 10 Albums of the current decade, except for the Beatles Album which is really 60’s Music, all I can say is the Human Race is in big trouble!!!! What a pile of

>>>1. Liechtensteiner Polka - Will Glahe (instrumental) or Lawrence Welk (vocal) Ed Erxleben
I never considered the Will Glahe version to be an instrumental ... my 45 of the song certainly has vocals all over it!
Tom Diehl

speaking of which ...
>>>I remember the 45 having a deep purple label ... maybe that was part of my fascination with it!!! (kk)

London records -- all of my copies (and I once had seven copies that I bought as part of a record store's liquidation many years ago, of some 25,000 45's) ... had a blue label ... though the Canadian pressings may have had a deep purple label.
Tom Diehl
I think you're right, Tom ... as soon as I read your email I vividly remembered a VERY deep, dark blue record label on this one. (kk)

Kent ...
I was thinking about compiling a list of songs recorded as instrumentals that were also recorded with words. For example: You Can't Sit Down, Theme From A Summer Place, Red Roses For A Blue Lady, Never On Sunday, Moon River. You get the idea. What do you think?
Frank B.
Go for it ... and there are TONS more ...
I never knew "Sleep Walk" even HAD lyrics until Gary Pike of The Lettermen sent it to me a few weeks back!!! In fact, I'll bet a good percentage of instrumental hits also had lyrics, whether we knew it or not. (Look how "Am I The Same Girl" surfaced all those years later for "Soulful Strut", even though Barbara Acklin had it out as a single at the time. "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy", "Music To Watch Girls By", "Love Is Blue", "Last Date", "Stranger On The Shore", "Grazing In The Grass", "Exodus", "A Taste Of Honey" ... and those are just a few off the top of my head that made our Top 50 Favorites Countdown ... ALL these songs had lyrics ... hokey lyrics, perhaps ... but lyrics none the less!!!) kk
Hey Kent ...
I thought it would be fun to start a list of songs, recorded as instrumentals plus recorded with words. I did it off the top of my head, without using the computer. I checked my Billboard Book a couple of times to verify my picks.
- Sleep Walk (Kent gets credit for this one)
- Theme From A Summer Place
- You Can't Sit Down
- Red Roses For A Blue Lady
- Moon River
- White Silver Sands
- Don't Be Cruel
- Hearts Of Stone
- Tonight
- Around The World In 80 Days
- Beyond The Sea
- Hang On Sloopy
- The Happening
- Exodus
- Melody Of Love
- Memphis
- Theme From Love Story
- Only You
- Ghost Riders In The Sky
- Mack The Knife
I'm sure your readers can add to my list.
Maybe we can get somebody to play the list, when it's finished.
Love to hear the instrumental back to back with the version with Lyrics.
Frank B.
And you know there are dozens and dozens and dozens more ... actually, that might make for an interesting special one night! (kk)

On the subject of polkas ...
In Heaven There Is No Beer by Clean Living actually made the Billboard charts in 1972 (a polka!!). It made it to number 49. Our local record shop always posted the chart from Radio Doctors out of Milwaukee and it was top 10 on that survey, (after all we are in Wisconsin).
Perhaps in the future we could countdown rock and roll songs with a polka tempo. For example ...
Mr. Spaceman - the Byrds
Yellow River - Christie
Phil Nee

This week's piece regarding the song "Roses Are Red" by Paul Evans reminded me of this interview clip from Bobby Vinton.
David Lewis

>>>According to Fred Bronson's book "The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits", Vinton was about to be dropped from the brand new Epic Record Label after his first two releases flopped. (These releases could best be described as "Big Band" music ... Vinton first fancied himself as a band leader, not a singer.) "When they came back, they said the band just wasn't making it. I said, 'I can sing a little, and there's a song you're throwing away that really sounds like something I would hear on the radio.'" Since they agreed that they did, in fact, owe Bobby another recording session, they let him cut two more songs, including "Roses Are Red". (kk)
The only thing wrong with this story is that "Roses Are Red" was actually Bobby's fourth 45 on Epic ... and the one released prior to it was also a vocal record that definitely does not sound like a big band record. I'm attaching a copy of his version of the song "Well I Ask Ya".
-- Tom Diehl
Well, it's HIS story, not mine!!! (lol) Again, sometimes the LEGEND is FAR more interesting than the truth!!! (kk)

Sorry to hear about the passing of Eric Woolfson. (Alan Parson Project) They did music after our own heart, and we were fans.
Jim and Gary Pike
I think he had a GREAT voice ... and Frannie and I were big fans of their music as well. (kk)

Another reminder from our friends at Endless Summer Quarterly ...
WINTER 2009 - Endless Summer Quarterly, Featuring : The TODAY! Session Outtakes
The Winter 2009 edition of ESQ is now available; it features Craig Slowinski's well-researched session outtakes from the Today! album to coincide with the re-release of Today! and Summer Days [And Summer Nights!!] on vinyl (from the Capitol Vaults); Phil Miglioratti's reflective article on the Beach Boys transitional recording years from 1968 to 1970; Pet Sounds Safari concert highlights, pictures and fan testimony!

A week or two ago we told you about a brand new DVD that Billy Hinsche was making about touring with The Beach Boys in 1974 ...
We kept pressing him for more details ... and he's FINALLY ready to spill!!! (lol)
Check out the link below ... and find out how YOU can obtain a copy of this hot new release. (There's even a "Sneak Peek" video link on the website.)
Billy Hinsche - 1974 DVD
Sounds, great, Billy! (kk)

I've heard about Billy's new DVD but not seen it yet ... I saw some links to "Little Honda" when I watched the preview of this DVD. Interesting ... I was not aware that a very YOUNG Terry Garr was in the Hondell's video of the song. Always loved her legs:) One Beach Boys version of the song (there were two), shows Carl Wilson on a bicycle in a short humorous skit about the song. The driveway he starts in is Dennis Wilson's old Benedict Canyon home where he lived with his first wife, Carol, and her son, Scotty, whom Dennis adopted and loved as his own. Those were fun, fun, fun days on Benedict Canyon ... Dennis Wilson lived next to, or right up the street, from Cary Grant and his wife, Dyan Cannon. I spent a lot of time in that home in the mid-60's. You never knew who would show up there. Steve Boone was also a guest. Dennis and Carol were always gracious hosts. Can't believe that Dennis Wilson would have been 65 on December 4th. Carl Wilson's birthday is Monday. He would have been 63. Two tragic loses cut down far, far too early in life. But the legacy, and the music, lives on!.
Fred Vail

Happy Holidays!
"BEATexpo 2009" was awesome -- thanks to all the fans, guests, exhibitors, bands & our great staff! It was great seeing so many old friends. Hope we can do it again next year!
Looking ahead:
January 15: "Twist & Shout Dinner / Dance Party" with "The Beatle Forever Band" at San Martino's Ristorante in Yonkers, NY. Reservations (914) 779-5300, Info (203) 795-4737. (our 1st one here!)
February 5: "Twist & Shout Dinner / Dance Party" with "The Beatle Forever Band" at Aldario's Restaurant in Milford, CT. Reservations (203) 874-6096, Info (203) 795-4737. (our 3rd time back!)
February 19-21: "Weekend of LOVE 4" - Las Vegas vacation for Beatles Fans to see the Cirque du Soliel LOVE show + other Beatles bands, attractions & activities. Reservations or Info (203) 795-4737.
February 28: "R-I-N-G-O ... it's B-I-N-G-O for Beatles Fans!" Downtown Stamford Holiday Inn. Reservations or Info (203) 795-4737. THIS WILL BE GREAT! RESERVE YOUR SPACE!
March 28: "The Beatles Tribute Cruise" with Beatle bands, guests, parties and great activities (it's like a convention on a cruise-ship!). Reservations or Info: (we're not involved with this cruise, but they're friends, so we're throwing them our support!) August 23-September 1: "Magical History Tour" - Liverpool & London. Info (203) 795-4737.
August 21-September 1: "Magical History Tour" - Liverpool, London and Hamburg. Info (203) 795-4737.
And don't miss the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's New York Annex / John Lennon exhibit ... it closes on January 3rd!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah, one and all!
I think this holiday edition of “Meet the Beatles Fans” will bring a smile to your face, no matter how busy and stressed you are these days! Why??? It’s about a Second Gen Fan who is cooler than cool!!!!
Meet Ann Bandolik!!!
Ann is a musician, student, writer, adventurer, and “George girl.” She is a Beatles fan, within and without … an ardent supporter of “Every Little Thing” Beatles.
I met Ann two years ago at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans, and ever since then, we’ve been e-mailing and chatting and comparing stories about Liddypool, John, George, music, English classes, and you name it! Ann is bright, witty, and supremely musically accomplished, and her Beatles story includes a face-to-face encounter with Dhani Harrison! (She held his beer for him.) You won’t believe the people she’s met and the musical feat she performed at The Beatles Story in Liverpool.
Read on, and enjoy! (And, as always, thanks to Tim Coulter at for making this and every feature groovy.)
Jude Southerland Kessler

Ever wonder how The Beatles will be remembered long after we're gone? (Ever wonder if the historians will even come close to getting it right???) Here's a GREAT clip, send in by FH Reader Ed Andrews:

Thought you guys might enjoy this spoof.

Hey Kent.
Our brand new Tommy James interview is up. I love this one. Be sure to check out the story (which I'm sure you've heard in various forms) about "Crimson and Clover" and WLS:
Be Well,
This is a good one, Carl! I've been waiting for Tommy's book for close to two years now (and have had it pre-ordered for quite some time) ... can't wait to read it. James was HUGE here in Chicago ... Hanky Panky, Say I Am, It's Only Love, I Think We're Alone Now, Mirage, Mony Mony, Crimson And Clover, Sweet Cherry Wine, Crystal Blue Persuasion, Ball Of Fire, Draggin' The Line, I'm Comin' Home and Nothin' To Hide ALL hit The Top Ten here ... and seven of those went all the way to #1!!! (Hanky Panky, I Think We're Alone Now, Mirage, Mony Mony, Crimson And Clover, Crystal Blue Persuasion and Draggin' The Line ... 'cause I knew some of you would ask!!! lol) kk

One of the sales guys at work handles the Hammond / Suzuki Organ Company account ... and was invited to their company Christmas Party last week ... where the entertainment was none other than Jim Peterik of The Ides Of March and Survivor fame. He was able to pose for a picture with Jim and one of the owners of our company and sent it along to share with our Forgotten Hits Readers. In "Where's Waldo" fashion, see if you at home can "Pick Out The Rock Star" in this photo!!! Thanks, Dean! (kk)

re: AIN'T THAT COOL?!?!?:
More and more people are discovering The Forgotten Hits Web Page!!! This week's visitors included Johnny Tillotson and Andy Kim! Hopefully, we'll soon have stories to share from both of these recording legends. Meanwhile, we're finding ourselves mentioned in some pretty stellar company lately, too ... check these links out!

CONGRATULATIONS! You made it into the list of The Best Websites of 2009!!!
Click here to pick up your reward!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and ENJOY TO THE WORLD!
Artie Wayne

And, after The Buckinghams found themselves featured on OUR web page, they put ME up on THEIR web page!!! (How totally cool is that?!?!?)
Click here: The Buckinghams Concerts: Carl Giammarese, Nick Fortuna, Tom Scheckel, Bob Abrams, Bruce Soboroff: Kent Kotal's Fo

More great stuff planned for next week (if I can pull it all together in time) ... including more new Christmas music ... and a piece that I hope you will all find "Commercially Appealing"!!! Stay tuned! HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!