Friday, June 26, 2009

Enjoy Forgotten Hits Today ... WITHOUT A Service Charge (or Any Hidden Fees!!!)

This recent comment / review of a Fleetwood Mac Concert sparked some interesting additional dialog on the subject! (My guess it'll get YOUR wheels turning, too, as Forgotten Hits takes on another controversial topic!!!)

>>>I also found out I could make a can of Budweiser last almost two hours when they charge you 8 bucks for it. A personal best for me. T-shirts were $40.00. Floor seats went for $150.00 a pop. Off to the side seats went for $80.00 and if you wanted to sit in the nose bleed seats back in a corner behind a pole, they went for about $50.00. I think the online "convenience fee" (<~bullshit fee) was about $30.00. After that I walked out of the show, back to my $20.00 parking space<~(no kidding). What's in your wallet? (The Steelworker)

Another stellar edition of "Leftovers," Kent. Hope you're doing well, ditto, Mark.
I loved the piece by "The Steelworker," particularly his remark about the TicketMaster "bullshit fee." Those folks should be ashamed of themselves, just as the mega-acts and large venues should also be. They're all in bed together, playing 'good cop, bad cop' at the expense of the die-hard fans.

The technology is there for ANY major artist with a web site (and half a brain) to offer their tickets DIRECTLY to THEIR FANS -- the very folks who buy their music -- be it vinyl, CD or 'paid' download. Of course some of those fans 'steal' their music -- but that's another issue in itself:)

To pay a corrupt company a 'convenience fee,' is, in my humble opinion, criminal. We use our paper, our computer, and they have the 'audacity' to charge an additional fee above and beyond an already exorbitant service fee.

I applauded Garth Brooks for doing the right thing for his fans -- keeping ticket prices as low as he did during the height of his career ('when you comin' back, Garth?'). It was not only a stroke of marketing genius (heck, it left his fans with more money to spend on merchandise), but it also endeared him to countless hundreds of thousands -- if not millions of fans -- who attended his shows.

Major acts simply aren't worth $150 to $200 or more to see 'live.' Not in this economy, not with labels tanking and radio stations refusing to pay a fair performance royalty to the artists who supply them with free entertainment, which -- in turn -- increases the radio station's ratings, which -- in turn -- increases their advertising revenue. The NAB would like us to believe it's a 'tax,' when, in reality, it's the right thing to do.

But the purpose of this e-mail was to address the inflated price of concert tickets, which falls directly on TicketMaster, and -- in many cases -- the very acts themselves. By the time you factor in dinner, parking, a pair of decent seats, perhaps a tee-shirt or a program, you're looking at $500. That's just plain crazy.

About four years ago I wrote a piece for -- an online trade magazine that publishes a daily country music newsletter. At the time, Bill Hennes, the editor / publisher, had asked me to comment on the closing of Tower Records. Growing up in Sacramento, I was all too eager to respond.

My life has truly been a blessing, be it The Beach Boys, Treasure Isle Recorders (the Nashville recording studio I've owned and operated since 1980), my wife and ten year old daughter, or the personal heroes I've had the rare honor to know and work with -- Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Denver, Buck Owens, Brian Wilson, Ray Peterson, Dolly Parton, Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris, among others.

Often, it was a bit of 'luck' and a bit of 'timing,' as was the case of my friendship with Russ Solomon and Tower Records. Russ had started out running a small record department in his parent's Tower Drug Store in downtown Sacramento. When Russ opened Tower North -- store #1 -- I lived a short fifteen minute bike ride away. It was just down El Camino Avenue at Watt Avenue, barely three minutes by car from my high school alma mater.

So, as a sixteen year old who was used to buying 45's at Walgreen's Drugs, or the record department of Brauner's Department Store or Consumer Buying Service (CBS), having a 'warehouse' full of singles and albums was like "Mecca" to us music junkies. Russ, or one of this managers, Dick or Carl, would often wait on me. Sometimes, on a Saturday afternoon or during Summer or Spring break, I'd spend several hours in the store just browsing through bin after bin of vinyl.

When I started doing my rock concerts in the spring of 1963, there was no TicketMaster or Ticketron. There was Coast Radio downtown, Southgate Records on Florin Road, and Tower Records North. I also used the Civic Theater Box Office and Jack's House of Music, a musical instrument and sheet music store near Tower Records.

For the first Beach Boys concert at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, May 24, 1963, I used several of these locations for my 'advance sale' ticket outlets. There was no fee -- not to the concert attendee -- nor a kickback or 'service charge' that would be returned to the store. The store owners were more than pleased to sell my tickets for the free advertising I would give them on our posters and in our radio spots. Needless to say, the ticket buyers meant additional traffic into their stores -- and, as good businessmen, they were thankful for the added promotion and marketing advantages.

This 'arrangement' went on for a half dozen concerts, dances and teen club shows I promoted in the Sacramento area, in addition to similar events in Reno, NV, Marysville / Yuba City, and Stockton, CA.

At some point in the late fall of '63 -- or early 1964 -- Russ approached me with this 'novel' idea: would I consider paying him a small fee or service charge for being a ticket outlet. It made perfect sense: he took a certain amount of risk for selling the tickets as he agreed to pay for any shortages.

I could only hope that he wouldn't demand a fee that would push the tickets into a higher price range, thus possibly pricing the tickets out of the reach of the average 'fan.' That was not the case. Russ politely asked me if I would consider giving him a nickel -- five cents -- as a handling fee for each ticket he sold. It would come out of my gross, we would not pass this fee on to the buyer. It was a no-brainer. I agreed to the terms.

Keep in mind the average ticket prices at the time were $1.75 to $2.50 -- most, if not all, were 'general admission.' No reserved seating. If you wanted the 'front row,' you'd show up two to three hours prior to show time! Not a bad price for a ticket to see The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, The Ventures, or a 'package' show featuring Freddy Cannon, Ray Peterson, Johnny Burnette, The Rivingtons and The Righteous Brothers. A meager five cent service fee amounting to about 2% of the face value of the ticket that was not even added to the price of the ticket ... it came out of my end!

Now, let's 'fast forward' to 2009 -- forty-six years. Would you be willing to pay 2% on top of a $50 ticket -- an amount equal to $1!! Or, how about paying a $5 fee on top of a $50 ticket purchased through the artist's fan club in exchange for a reserved seat toward the front of the main floor -- a slightly higher 10% service fee -- but still more than fair.

Right now, what can best be described as the greed of Ticketmaster (and, in some cases, the artists), the best seats are often 'held back' from the general ticket sales. Of course TicketMaster says it does not 'hold back' tickets -- it's the promoter, the record label, the artist's management or the act themselves. Regardless who is to blame, these preferred good seats are purposely held back but somehow manage to make their way into the marketplace through scalpers, or on the secondary market via eBay, through re-sellers like the Ticketmaster subsidiary TicketsNow, through Stub-Hub or through high end 'brokers.' The acts

-- and the promoters -- rarely, if ever, 'hold back' the bad seats -- only the top dollar ones.

Scalpers and high end 'ticket brokers' are an excepted way of life -- and that's a real tragedy for the die-hard fans. Fan club members should have a crack at those best seats, not see them go to the scalpers and re-sellers. Fans should not have to pay through the nose for the privilege of sitting close to their favorite star. They have earned that opportunity by a thing called 'loyalty.'

Software programs are available to the fan clubs, just as they are to the online outlets. The artists should sell their own tickets or the 'big box stores' should do for a modest 'service fee,' just as Russ Solomon did 46 years ago. They can surely use the extra traffic and business that such an arrangement would provide them with.

Fred Vail
Treasure Isle
Nashville, TN
"Music City, USA"

Without question, it has gotten COMPLETELY out of hand ... to the point that we very rarely pay to go to concerts anymore ... as if the ticket prices aren't already high enough, there are times that you can expect to pay another 30%-50% in additional fees and charges. When "Face Value Tickets" exceed $250, how on earth do you justify paying another $25-$30 per ticket in "convenience charges" and "service charges" and "handling fees" and "building restoration" charges, etc, etc, etc. Now add in the typical $20-$25 for parking and even a so-called "reasonably priced ticket" of $75-$90 ticket ends up costing you about $130 each! (Didn't it used to be a flat-rate service charge "per order" ... of something like $3.50 - $5.00 as sort of a "processing fee"??? This additional $15.00 per ticket on top of the face value PLUS service charges, processing fees and OTHER hidden charges in downright gouging ... isn't their profit already built into the actual ticket price BEFORE all these other charges are tacked on to your order???)

Here are a couple of recent cases in point from our own first hand experiences:

Last month, 1964, one of the premier and highest regarded Beatles Tribute Bands, was coming to play here locally. We had seen the group a few years back at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and they put on a heck of a show. (That concert happened quite by accident ... we were walking around downtown Fort Worth, saw the sign, popped into the box office and bought tickets on the spot for that evening's performance ... now that's one way to AVOID all the additional bullshit charges!) Anyway, I got three or four emails touting a "Very Special Price" of only $19.64 per ticket in honor of the band's namesake ... so I thought, "Why not??? We enjoyed them before, Paige is a little bit older now and really getting into The Beatles' music ... how can you go wrong for twenty bucks a ticket?" Yeah, right! By the time they added in the $16 service fee per ticket, the $4.50 per ticket in "convenience charges" and something like $3.50 per ticket for some building fee, the price of the tickets literally better than DOUBLED!!! And, this place typically charges $25 for parking. So we skipped the show completely. The whole "come on" of $20 tickets was exactly that ... and I doubt that the artists see a penny of these tacked-on charges.

Shortly after that, my daughter wanted Sox tickets for her birthday ... there was no time to find anything decent anywhere so I went to Stub Hub. I finally found AWESOME seats ... 2nd row right behind the Sox dugout for a Saturday Night Fireworks Night Game ... but ended up paying 3 1/2 times the face value of the ticket through their service ... and, as if that wasn't painful enough, they then had the nerve to charge me an additional $21 per ticket in service charges and fees AND $35 to mail them to me!!! (What, the 350% profit wasn't enough for you?!?!? You had to weasel out another $77 from me?!?!) In that this was my first experience with Stub Hub, I cancelled out my first go 'round, refusing to pay these exorbitant charges. The next day I was besieged with emails from them, wanting to know why I hadn't completed my purchase. So I told them ... I wrote back to state that I thought it was a COMPLETE rip-off to charge these kinds of prices and then STILL hit you up for service charges and mailing fees ... you CAN'T tell me that you didn't make enough profit on my 350% bumped purchase. (Strangely enough, THAT email they didn't answer!!! lol) But as time ran out ... and her birthday got closer ... I had no choice but to cave and bought the tickets anyway, selecting an option to print them at home myself for $15 rather than pay the $35 delivery fee.

I'm sure we all remember the recent press hub-bub about no Bruce Springsteen tickets being available for his New Jersey concerts ... and then Ticketmaster referring customers to the brokerage company that they ALSO own a piece of, TicketsNow ... so that interested fans could buy seats at four to five times their original face value. I don't think that there are EVER any "premium" seats available for online purchase ... the best blocks of tickets always seem to be "committed" somewhere else. Even these early "pre-sales" that lure you in ahead of time to buy tickets before they go on sale to the general public is a real scam ... you typically find that either there are only certain seats available (again, never the GOOD seats) ... or, in fact, you may find better seats when ALL the tickets are released the following day ... or you're already up in the third balcony on the pre-sale ... now how on earth could THAT many of tickets have already been sold to this show when I go on line at EXACTLY 10 am, the moment the pre-sale starts?!?!?

Clearly, the current method of securing tickets is COMPLETELY out of control ... and SOME sort of regulation is in order. I think Fred's got some good ideas here ... and I'm sure some of YOU out there will have some, too. Unfortunately, as things stand right now, Ticketmaster is pretty much the only game in town unless you just resign yourself in advance to pay three, four or five times the face value of a ticket to get a REALLY good seat to a show and deal with a ticket broker or agency. (At least in the old days we had Ticketron and Ticketmaster competing for our business ... now, quite honestly, where else are you gonna go?!?!?) Moving the control to the Fan Club Websites is an EXCELLENT idea ... yeah, there'll still be some behind the scenes bullshit going on, with some of the fan club organizers trying to make an extra buck for themselves by selling some of these tickets at a much greater profit margin to some of these agencies ... but why not reward the people who have been there to support you all these years first, BEFORE making seats available to those folks only interested in turning a quick buck???

I'm sure this topic will spark a number of opinions and revelations of your own bad experiences ... SOMEBODY needs to get involved with this at a higher level and put us all on an equal playing field. I spent many a night in my 20's camped out in line to get the very best seats possible for a show ... and, as a result of these efforts (and persistence) often scored second, third and fourth row seats to some of the biggest shows that came through town. (Of course, I've ALSO been there, fifth in line, only to find out that they're doing a lottery and my fifth place spot is now 111th in line to buy tickets ... again, not a very FAIR way of rewarding the faithful willing to do whatever it takes to get a good seat.) Even back then I considered it a pretty steep price to pay to see a show you wanted to see, having to practically sleep outside the box office the night before just to hold your spot in line. Surely SOMETHING in between can be worked out ... maybe some of the artists can negotiate clauses into their contracts limiting the amount the ticket agent can add to a ticket for helping them sell out an arena. Honestly, I don't know what the REAL solution is ... but we'd love to hear your ideas. We'll do a follow-up piece on this topic somewhere down the line. Let us know your thoughts ... and your suggestions. Who knows ... maybe we'll get somebody's attention with this whole campaign and change the way business is being conducted!!! (kk)

A Sad Day

We didn't just lose two popular celebrities yesterday ...

We lost two absolute pop icons ... in every sense of the word.

In their individual moments in the sun, there wasn't ANYBODY on the planet more famous than Farrah Fawcett (her 1976 poster launched her career into the stratosphere) or Michael Jackson ("Thriller" remains one of the biggest selling albums of all-time ... and will sell even MORE copies now after his passing.)

Since this is, after all, a MUSIC publication, we'll direct our attention to Michael this morning ... our regularly scheduled piece will bump into tomorrow followed by The Sunday Comments.

I never personally bought into the whole self-proclaimed "King of Pop" thing ... and my first reaction to hearing the news this afternoon was that it had to be some sort of a publicity scam ... Jackson had, after all, just sold out 50 European dates in a matter of hours for his comeback tour ... a tour that would have earned him MILLIONS (if not BILLIONS) ... and, let's face it, he's been having some financial problems lately. Jackson spent the bulk of his career taking great enjoyment in shocking and amazing us ... was this just another one of his "David Copperfield Moments", trying to drum up more publicity for the tour?

Quite honestly, SO many things flew through my head in those initial numb moments ... was this whole thing just a big "put on" so that he could finally enjoy a life of anonymity (although with that scary mask of a face of his I wasn't sure where or how) ... I mean, six months from now were there going to be Michael Jackson Burger King Sightings ala Elvis, the rock icon he admired and aspired to SO much that he had to christen himself "The King Of Pop" and marry "The King Of Rock and Roll"'s daughter??? Had he done another last minute plastic surgery in prep for the tour that went completely astray ... turned him hideous ... or maybe even wiped off what was left of his face all-together? Maybe this was a last minute panic attack, realizing that he really wasn't ready to go out and do a massive tour of this proportion just yet??? Or had he worked himself SO hard in preparation of making this the greatest comeback of all time that he simply overdid it and trained himself to death? (Until the coroner's report is released, we won't know for sure ... but this last consideration just may turn out to be a real possibility.)

The really CRAZY part about all of this is that NONE of the scenarios described above were beyond the lengths that Michael would go to fuel the publicity machine. The truth is he was both his own greatest promoter ... and his own worst enemy, often feeding the tabloids outrageous stories about himself and then paying the penalty when more and more of the public became turned off by his beyond-crazy antics.

Despite ALL of this, there is no denying the impact that the phenomenon of Michael Jackson has had on the entire world of music and its fans. His fanbase literally spans the globe ... he just may have been the most recognized man on the planet ... EVERYBODY knew who Michael Jackson was and was familiar with his music, his dance moves and his generosity when it came to stepping up to the plate for a good cause.

He has given us SO much great music over the years ... from his boyhood days fronting The Jackson Five to the thriller that was "Thriller" ... the moonwalk at Motown's 25th Anniversary Show when he performed "Billie Jean" ... the pure artistry of "Off The Wall", "Bad" and "Dangerous", his back-to-back-to-back-to-back assault on the pop album charts. But my ALL-TIME favorite Michael Jackson song ISN'T one of the ones that garnered so much attention for its disco / pop / rock cross-over appeal ... or for virtually single-handily reinventing MTV with his ground-breaking videos ... it was a heartfelt ballad from the "Off The Wall" album that quietly snuck into the top ten ... and literally bared the very essence of his soul. To this day, I cannot listen to this track without feeling emotionally overcome. Yes, he made better records ... and he certainly had bigger hits ... but once Michael Jackson's voice cracks at the end of "She's Out Of My Life", I'm done for. Always have been ... always will be.

Radio will be airing his music for the next several days ... interestingly, you haven't heard a whole lot of Michael Jackson music on the radio lately since all the controversy virtually derailed his career. And there will ALWAYS be stories of Michael's indiscretions throughout his legacy ... but I believe history will choose to view him as an artist first and foremost ... and what an artist he was.

Think of the money he raised through his "We Are The World" / USA For Africa campaign ... his "Heal The World" campaign ... and what about all the other money that Jackson raised and donated,including MILLIONS and MILLIONS of his OWN money to "make this world a better place".

As a solo artist, he placed nearly 50 songs on Billboard's Pop Chart, including 38 that made Billboard's Top 40. 28 of those made The Top Ten ... and 13 times he hit #1. Add in his 30 other hits with his brothers (including four more #1's and 11 more Top 10's) and you'll find that only a handful of artists have EVER achieved these kinds of statistics.

The Michael Jackson Hit List:
Here is a list of Michael Jackson's Top 20 Billboard Hits, both as a solo artist, as a member of The Jackson Five and as a duet partner:
(Titles shown in red were #1 Billboard Hits)
1970 - I Want You Back / ABC / The Love You Save / I'll Be There
1971 - Mama's Pearl / Never Can Say Goodbye / Maybe Tomorrow /
Got To Be There
1972 - Rockin' Robin / I Wanna Be Where You Are / Ben / Sugar Daddy /
Little Bitty Pretty One / Lookin' Through The Windows / Corner Of The Sky
1974 - Dancing Machine
1975 - I Am Love
1977 - Enjoy Yourself
1979 - Shake Your Body / Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
1980 - Rock With You / Off The Wall / She's Out Of My Life / Lovely One
1983 - The Girl Is Mine / Billie Jean / Beat It / Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' /
Human Nature / P.Y.T. / Say Say Say
1984 - Thriller / State Of Shock / Torture
1987 - I Just Can't Stop Loving You / Bad
1988 - The Way You Make Me Feel / Man In The Mirror / Dirty Diana /
Another Part Of Me
1989 - Smooth Criminal
1991 - Black or White
1992 - Remember The Time / In The Closet
1993 - Who Is It / Will You Be There
1995 - Scream / You Are Not Alone
2001 - You Rock My World
2002 - Butterflies

I will admit to ALWAYS being a fan of Michael Jackson's music ... I think he's one of the most creative and talented artists of this or any other generation. Yeah, the whole "Wacko Jacko" thing wore me down a bit ... but the music stands alone. (Sadly, those crazy antics cost him all kinds of credibility as an artist, and that's a real shame. In the big picture, there aren't too many people who could play in the same arena as Michael ... he was a true genious in every sense of the word ... but all the tabloid stuff greatly diminished his universal appeal and quite a few people dismissed him at this point and never came back. Honestly, this was their loss ... Jackson's music is amongst the best ever recorded.)

Many, many years ago I saw The Jacksons perform at a small "Theater In The Round" setting where they literally could not sell out one third of the venue. It was the early '70's, during their non-hit period and the show was average at best. (I took my little sister who was a BIG Michael Jackson fan at the time.) But I never got to see the glamour and the glory of something like the "Victory" tour (NOBODY would go with me to see it ... they all thought I was nuts for even CONSIDERING going!!!) I remember they were performing at Sox Park and I ended up at a family birthday party that night instead, resenting the fact all night long that I had missed what would most likely be Michael's last appearance with his brothers. Ditto a brief Simon And Garfunkel reunion a few months later ... but I digress!!! (lol)

Now is the time to remember the music ... you're going to hear a whole lot of it over the next several days ... just four hours after the news broke, ABC and NBC were already interrupting their regularly scheduled evening programs to air specials on Jackson's career ... how many times have you seen THAT done for someone other than a President or something?!?!? A fitting tribute to an artist whose worked affected so many of us. Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson ... maybe now you finally can.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More On The "Local Guys"

Here's an update on how some of our Chicagoland talent will be spending THEIR summer vacations!!!

I did not see the initial note from Democracy Fading but did see Craig's reply today and echo his sentiments. What was Democracy Fading's premise?
As for something else you wrote:
>>>One of their great, over-looked ballads was "Can't You See Me Cry" from 1968. This one rose to #52 on the national charts but made Chicago's Top Ten. It was released right in between the band's two biggest national hits, "I Will Always Think About You" and "Things I'd Like To Say". It certainly deserved a better fate ... and still sounds great today. When coupled with their early "Garage Band" hits, this offers a perfect example of the diversity offered by these Chicagoland Local Heroes. (kk)

First of all, thank you very much for including the tune and for the kudos. Don't know if you already have it but I attached the acoustic version that Bruce Mattey and I recorded a couple years ago. In correspondences with Bob Sirott, he told me that "Can't You See Me Cry" was perhaps his fave Colony tune, which, of course, made me blush. And speaking of blushing, since I know we'll never get invited to the "Storytellers" TV program, let me come clean and share how that song originated.
In my early teenage years, when still living with my folks, west of Harlem Avenue between Belmont and Addison and just south of Elmwood Park, a new family moved in down the block a bit and on the opposite side of the street. It was a Polish family and they had a daughter of similar age to my own; I never heard them speak a word of English and she had a definite accent. Well, I had a ridiculous crush on the girl but I was too shy to make a move and when I mustered up every ounce of courage, she never even wanted to engage in conversation let alone anything else, so I was crestfallen to say the least. Our neighborhood had alleys behind most of the houses and there was one on her side of the street. I admit to have spent many a summer evening huddled among the garbage cans waiting patiently to catch a glimpse of her through an upstairs window. Theresa (or might have been Teresa - never found that out) spent a lot of time upstairs in what I would presume must have been her bedroom and on occasion I could see her momentarily as she passed by or, on the best of nights, when she would seemingly be pacing so I saw her a second at a time, but frequently over a 10-15 minute timeframe. Sigh ... Unrequited teenage "love", which left me so heart-broken that entire summer but did lead to the lyrics to "Can't You See Me Cry" and did not result in my arrest on peeping-Ray charges! So, to borrow from the late, great Paul Harvey, "And now you know the rrrrrrrrrrrrrest of the story ..."

And when I spend my hours looking at your window
And when I see you pass by
I begin to feel you near me
Still I know that you won't hear me
Won't you love me?
Don't you need me?
Can't you see me cry?

And as I watch you draw your shade when night is falling
I want to call your name and
Blame you for my wasted days but
I can't see you through the haze
Won't you love me?
Don't you need me?
Can't you see me cry?

Would you remember me if I ask for the name of someone who loves you?
Or would you answer that you don't know, but I look familiar?
Who loves you?
Who loves you?

So if you see me standing here beneath your window
And if it's getting late
Remember that I'll wait for you
And watch until my life is through
Won't you love me?
Don't you need me?
Can't you see me cry?

I have often wondered if she ever knew of the band that this awkward, moon-eyed kid down the street started, but, most of all, wished that she could have known the song was based on her, so, if she is on the list and you decide to share this, Kent, Miss M__z_a, I wrote "Can't You See Me Cry" as a testament to my puppy love for you!
Ray Graffia, Jr.
We've featured the acoustic version a couple of times before ... but I have NO problem sharing it again as I think it's a really nice take on a very pretty song. Always cool to get the "back story" on some of this great music. Thanks, Ray! (kk)

As for Democracy Fading's views (which inspired original NC6 member Craig Kemp to write in ... scroll down the web page to read the whole thing ... it went out on June 19th) the jist of it was basically the same old animosities we run into all the time when it comes to many of the former members of our local bands. (Bands grow and personnel changes ... it's a fact of rock and roll life. Jim Pilster recently told me that before the very first Cryan' Shames album had been released, Dave Purple had already left the band!!! And YOU guys were actually The New Colony SEVEN there for a while, too!!! lol) We've been asking for peace, love and harmony ... and an appreciation for the music ... and the fans who have stuck with these artists for 40-something years now ... for as long as we've been doing Forgotten Hits. EMBRACE your past and remember what made you do all of this in the first place. (It was indeed a VERY special night that evening at your house when the ORIGINAL New Colony Six members reunited, save Pat McBride ... the look on each and every one of your faces told the joy that was in your hearts.) Sadly, some of these 40 year old wounds still haven't healed and, as I've said SO many times before, the music sparks magical memories for the fans because it was a happier, far more innocent time ... we tend to freeze our heroes in time because they were in some way magical and mystical to us ... they had the power to affect our every mood and we hate to see ANY of you guys (and by "You Guys" I don't mean specifically YOU guys ... but ALL of the '60's Chicagoland Artists) not getting along.

Enough preaching!!! You can catch The New Colony Six on Sunday, July 26th, at Alpine Fest in Lake Zurich, IL, and again on Saturday, August 29th, at The Saint Viators Sock Hop in Arlington Heights. (We'll let you know if more dates develop.)
Meanwhile, Ronnie Rice fans can see Ronnie perform July 4th at Lisle Fest (with The Cryan' Shames and Dennis Tufano); July 5th at The Mt. Prospect Lions Club; July 8th at the Glendale Heights Summerfest (with The Buckinghams); July 9th at Deerfield Square Mall and September 26th at The Immaculate Conception Church in Chicago, IL. (I heard he also made a surprise "Stop By" at Danny Lake's Saturday Night True Oldies Dance Party in River Grove last weekend!)

Click here:

Click here: Ronnie Rice, Oldies, New Colony Six, Rock and Roll, Chicago

One more quick beef ... (ok, so maybe we WEREN'T done preaching yet!!!) ...

and we've addressed THIS issue before, too ...

Ronnie: if you're going to DO these "Chicago Gold" Shows, sing a few of your hits!!! You were part of The New Colony Six during their most successful period ... sing a few of these songs that we all know and love ... don't just rush through a quick rendition of "I Will Always Think About You" during which you get the AUDIENCE to sing most of the song ... sing something like "You're Gonna Be Mine" or "Treat Her Groovy" or "I Could Never Lie To You" once in a while, too. (There's always time to throw in a Johnny B. Goode jam at the end of the night with ALL of the players on stage ... don't waste your brief but valuable stage-time doing the whole "Day-O" routine ... get out there and remind us of YOUR contribution to the Chicagoland music scene!!!

Wish I could be in Chicago for the June 27 Cryan’ Shames show! Any hope it will be videotaped for those of us who can’t make it?

It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that they're videotaping this show ... as to how to VIEW a copy is another matter, I'm sure. Let's see if any of the guys mention anything ... a clip or two (or ten) may show up on YouTube but I'm not sure how the average fan would be able to view the whole show without attending. (kk)

That being said, I talked to Jim Pilster the other night and he said that he's heard from Cryan' Shames fans who are coming in from all over the country to see this show. (However, he ALSO said that if you're coming to see faithful, note-for-note reproductions of the hits, you're probably in for a surprise. James Fairs has rearranged and reimagined some of The Shames' best known tracks ... Hooke promises a very entertaining, well-played and performed night of music ... but warns fans to keep an open mind if attending the show. The hits will be there ... you just may not immediately recognize them!!! lol) My take on this? Fairs is, without question, inventive, innovative, imaginative, inspirational and a whole bunch of other "i" words ... in fact, Hooke told me that working with him is the closest thing to "genius" he's ever seen ... but the fans want to hear the music the way they remember it ... that's what draws us to these shows in the first place. Sounds like they've spared no expense putting this thing together ... extensive rehearsals, flying in players from all over the country to perform ... Fairs has lined up the drummer from Blue Man Group, Artie Baldacci of Heartsfield, Gregg Voorhees, bass player of The Gregg Allman Band, Jeff Lantz, keyboardist for Jim Peterik's jazz project, Life Force ... along with three female back-up singers and a full horn section ... in addition original and former Cryan' Shames members like Tom Doody and Lenny Kerley have flown in from California and they've held extensive rehearsals with Hooke, the current members of the band and Chicago musical legends Gerry Stone and Dennis Conroy ... The Jamez Band sounds like they're locked, cocked and ready to rock. And let's face it ... it has ALWAYS been Jim Fairs' nature to experiment and reinvent, rather than simply rehash something he's already done ... especially something he did 40-some years ago. How will it go over? It'll be interesting to see. Personally, I think there'll be a good crowd coming out to see this show ... but I think the trade-off HAS to be giving the fans what they want alongside playing what YOU want ... even if that means doing a couple of songs TWICE that night in both their old and new arrangements. Without question, Jim (now James) Fairs was the driving force behind the original Cryan' Shames ... but sometimes "artistry" gets in the way of good-time, fun entertainment. (Guess I'm not really done preaching after all!!! lol) Yes, ALL artists should be allowed the space to grow and develop and change ... but us oldies fans are a pretty tough crowd. We know what we like and we know the memories that hearing this music again reignites. Part of the charm of this music WAS its innocence. Fans looking to see a more "faithful" Cryan' Shames show will have PLENTY of opportunities to do so this summer ... the band has over a dozen other dates already lined up, many featuring "Guest Vocalists" from the "Chicago Gold" years like Ronnie Rice, formerly of The New Colony Six, Dennis Tufano, former lead singer of The Buckinghams, Jimy Sohns of The Shadows Of Knight, Jimy Rogers, formerly of The Mauds ... heck, they've even got a few gigs backing up Sonny Geraci of The Outsiders (and I hear Hooke is trying to persuade Gary Loizzo of The American Breed to take the stage a time or two as well!) ALL these dates can be found on The Cryan' Shames' website:
Click here: The Cryan' Shames 2008 Events Schedule
Upcoming dates include:
Saturday, June 27th - Fishel Park Band Shell; Downers Grove, IL (with The Jamez Band, featuring all of the "special guests" mentioned above and original Cryan' Shames members James Fairs, Jim Pilster, Tom Doody, Gerry Stone and Dennis Conroy.)
Thursday, July 2nd - Taste Of Morton Grove
Saturday, July 4th - Lisle Fest (with Dennis Tufano and Ronnie Rice)
Thursday, July 16th - Sunday, July 19th - Four Nights at Festa Italiana in Milwaukee, WI, with special guests Sonny Geraci, Dennis Tufano and Jimy Sohns
Wednesday, July 22nd - Bensenville, IL, Music In The Park
Thursday, July 30th - Deerfield, IL
Sunday, August 16th - Bolingbrook, IL Jubilee
Saturday, September 19th - Peoria, IL (with Jimy Sohns and Dennis Tufano)

And for the smart asses who keep asking "So when did Ronnie Rice become the lead singer of The Cryan' Shames?" ... he DIDN'T. Kudos to Hooke for helping to keep this GREAT Chicagoland music alive by presenting the forum for some of our favorite artists like Ronnie Rice, Dennis Tufano, Jimy Rogers, Jimy Sohns and others to join them on stage and sing a few of their hits for a VERY appreciative audience. His whole "Chicago Gold" concept is EXACTLY what we've been pushing for for YEARS now ... a Soundstage Taping or A Taste Of Chicago Concert would be a GREAT way to show our appreciation for this great music that we all grew up with. (Hooke even suggested a concert dedicating the naming of a Chicagoland Street, "Dick Biondi Way" for ANOTHER Chicagoland Legend ... man, what a cool idea THAT would be!!!) There's plenty of room out there for ALL of our local heroes ... and NOTHING would please us more than to see ALL these artists unite together for some KILLER shows. Hats off to Jim Pilster for getting the ball rolling ... now we just need a few more of you to join in.


VERY special thanks to Jim Pilster, James Fairs and Tom Doody for sending us a recording of their new work up of the vintage Cryan' Shames hit "First Train To California" ... just a sneak preview of what The Jamez Band will sound like on Saturday Night. This is a GREAT rendition, by the way ... can't wait to see the show. (Man, I hope the weather breaks for you guys ... these 100+ degree heat-index days have been kicking EVERYBODY's butt here lately!!!) kk

Carl Giammarese was kind enough to share a couple of brand new Buckinghams tracks with us a few weeks ago for our "Brand New Music From Some Of Your Old Favorites" Series. The Bucks are STILL making great music ... and have several dates coming up:
Sunday, June 28th - Cicero Community Park
Friday, July 3rd - Elmwood Park Freedom Festival
Wednesday, July 8th - Glendale Heights Summerfest
Friday, July 17th - Green Acres Campground; Marinette, WI
Saturday, July 18th - Kane County Fair; St. Charles, IL
Saturday, July 25th - Watertown Arena; Watertown, NY
Thursday, July 30th - Leach Amphitheater; Oshkosh, WI
Wednesday, August 5th - Music in the Park; Bensenville, IL
Saturday, August 15th - Wood Dale, IL
Thursday, August 20th - Cooper River Park; Pennsauken, NJ
Saturday, August 29th - Highland Park, IL
Saturday, September 12th - Agri-Civic Center; Albemarle, NC
Friday, October 2nd - North Wildwood Amphitheater; North Wildwood, NJ

Meanwhile, former lead singer Dennis Tufano will be appearing on Saturday, July 4th, with Ronnie Rice and The Cryan' Shames at Lisle's "Eyes To The Skies" Fest; Thursday, July 16th - Sunday, July 19th at Festa Italiana in Milwaukee, WI (along with The Cryan' Shames, Sonny Geraci and Jimy Sohns, former lead singer of The Shadows Of Knight); Saturday, August 1st at Streetsboro Family Days in Streetsboro, Ohio (with Sonny Geraci); Saturday, August 8th, in Henderson, NV with (check out THIS line-up!!!) Ron Dante, Tony Burrows, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods and The Ohio Express and on Sunday, August 16th, at The Bolingbrook, IL Jubilee (with The Cryan' Shames)

Click here: The Buckinghams - Home Page

Click here: As Long As I’m Singing The Music of Bobby Darin

and, speaking of Jimy Sohns and The Shadows Of Knight, let's give a shout-out to HIS web page, too!

Click here: The Shadows of Knight Official Website

And let's not forget The Ides Of March ... these guys'll be kicking ass and taking prisoners all summer long. (Talk about keeping your original members intact, THESE Boys From Berwyn, friends and bandmates since High School, have become the eternal Boys Of Summer, getting back together for every outdoor concert season and wowing the crowds again with their dynamic performances. The cool thing about an Ides Of March show is that you don't only get the hits from THAT band, but you also get to hear music from Survivor and some of the hits that leader Jim Peterik wrote for .38 Special ... along with some other powerful covers that have delighted audiences for decades now.) It'll be one of the best shows you'll see all summer if you can catch The Ides Of March at any of these upcoming dates:
June 26th - Summer Concert Series; Erie, PA
June 27th - Summerfest; Cicero, IL
July 3rd - Elmwood Park Festival; Elmwood Park, IL (with The Buckinghams)
July 11th - City Fest; West Chicago, IL
July 12th - Summerfest; McHenry, IL
August 1st - Pig In The Pine Ribfest; St. Germain, WI
August 8th - Lemont, IL Block Party
August 9th - Northbrook, IL Summer City Series
August 13th - Fraze Pavillion; Kettering, Ohio (with The Edgar Winter Group)
August 15th - The Wood Dale Summer Street Fair; Wood Dale, IL
Click here: The Ides Of March Flash Intro

and Jimy Rogers, formerly of The Mauds, and now fronting Blue Truth ...
Saturday, June 27th - Gabe's Backstage Lounge; Highland, IL
Thursday, July 2nd - Deerfield, IL
Sunday, July 12th - Westmont Muddy Waters Blues Tribute; Westmont, IL
Saturday, August 1st - Aurora, IL; Rock The Fox
Thursday, August 6th - Evanston, IL
Friday, August 7th - Skokie, IL
Friday, August 21st - The Pavillion; Northbrook, IL
(More shows coming)
Click here: Blue Truth Chicago — Rock Soul & Blues — Tellin' Like It Is!

We're proud to promote ALL of our Chicagoland Artists and thank them from the bottom of our hearts for the GREAT music and memories they've given us over the years. Hope to see some of you out at some of these shows!!!


>>>A few weeks ago you mentioned how it would be so great to have all the 60's Chicago groups appearing on one stage. It did happened quite a few years ago (my memory is hazy but I would guess about 10-15 years) at Holiday Star Plaza. The show had the Ides of March, Shadows of Knight, Cryan' Shames, Ronnie Rice (but not the NC Six) but the real coup was getting Dennis Tufano (first time he appeared in ages!!! ... and I know he has recently surfaced last year back performing again) and, catch this ... the AMERICAN BREED (I BELIEVE IT WAS ALL THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS). It was a great show to say the least!! (Mike De Martino)

Mike, I am actually amazed that SO MANY Chicago heroes are performing for us all still! You should be ecstatic, for not many old locals perform regularly in most cities. I put the question to Gary Loizzo yesterday about any Breed reunion possibilities. We'll see if he answers. I mentioned to him that last week while listening to WGN's Nick Digilio show, i heard a jingle for "Terry's" and I knew it was him on lead singing. He responded that I had a good ear and that Terry had gotten a lot of mileage out of the jingle as he recorded it in 1977!!! WOW!! WLSClark

I put that show together at Star Plaza ... it was a great night of music. I've been talking to Gary Loizzo about joining us up on stage a few times this summer. I would love to get the lead singers from some of these other "Chicago Gold" Bands to come up on stage with us and sing a few of their hits. That's what it's all about ... and is why you'll see guys like Ronnie Rice and Dennis Tufano and Jimy Sohns and Jimy Rogers performing with The Shames this summer. It's all about keeping this music alive and these guys are great singers who should be up there doing their hits. Jim Pilster / J.C. Hooke / The Cryan' Shames

I couldn't agree with you more, Jimmy ... hope to be able to see ALL of our Local Heroes sometime this summer! (kk)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some Recent Blurbs And Spices ...

Here are just a few tidbits that have come through our mail box these past few days ... Enjoy!

The Alice Cooper concert scheduled for Saturday, June 20th in Novosibirsk (Siberia), Russia was cancelled due to the collapse of the roof and rigging trusses for the outdoor concert at Spartak Stadium. The collapse happened the night before the scheduled show making it impossible for the concert to take place. Fortunately, nobody was injured in the mishap.
Bob Merlis

re: CHAZ:
>>>OMG! We made it through an entire Comments Page without ONE single Chastity Boner Joke!!! (kk)
The chastity, i mean chaz, bono 'joke' i heard on RON & FEZ xm satellite radio that made me laugh? ... Fez was wondering if men's organs (cadavers?) were donated to the sex-change person ... or else how would you make a penis? Ron suggested that they were able to build one out of YOUR available material ... and wondered if the 'dick-size' chosen would be like when a stripper gets boob implants ... ENORMOUS BOOBS ... the penis? dragging on the ground ... lol

>>>The other day I was listening to Jim Shea's morning show on Y103.9 when he reached his "I Buried Paul" feature. It's a contest that runs every morning at 7:20 (and has for a couple of years now) where Jim plays a snippet of a popular song BACKWARDS and listeners have to try to identify the song and the artist to win some sort of prize. Well, the other day, something got screwed up in the studio and the tape of "Chick-A-Boom", the Daddy Dewdrop hit from 1971 played FORWARDS instead of backwards ... meaning simply that it played the actual record. It was a screw up of massive proportions but Jim decided to let it slide and said that since THIS is the way it was played, he'd let somebody win by simply identifying the song. (A Good Sport is Jim!!! lol) So the very first caller gets through and then Jim asks him, "Are you feelin' it?" ... to which he responds ... "Oh yeah, I'm feelin' it ... (long pause) ... is it 'Alley Oop'?!?!?" ... thus proving ALL of these narrow-minded programmers right when they state that the AVERAGE oldies listener doesn't WANT to expand their musical horizons ... they want to hear the music that they're most COMFORTABLE with, even if it DOES mean the same two or three hundred songs over and over and over again. (It's not at all uncommon to hear listeners playing this game not know the title of the songs Jim plays ... or misidentify the artist ... it happens all the time ... and thus my faith in the average oldies listener has hit a new all-time low.) (kk)Kent,
Perhaps you should draw the opposite conclusion from this... that radio stations following your advice to push the envelope a bit would result in more listeners becoming more familiar with the song titles and artists outside of their currently limited musical horizons. This, in turn, would result in more requests for such songs, which would result in more familiarity with those songs, higher ratings for those stations, etc. Always look on the bright side!
– Randy Price

I've observed the same thing with call-in contests on other stations; especially AM740 in Toronto, which has a fun oldies-oriented contest every morning at 7:40. (It's called "740 To Win" for some reason or other.) I've decided that the real oldies lovers are too busy with real life to care about calling in to win, while the contestants, on the other hand, have no life, don't know the music, but have plenty of time to dial the phone.

I believe you are right about the average oldies listener. Many have been conditioned to only hear those 200 songs to which you referred that are played on main stream oldies radio. Here and there you can find local stations that do a local show, like Allen Lee, in Baltimore, with his forgotten 45's radio show, (He is an absolute doo wop encyclopedia) but that is the exception. That is why I stopped listening to most oldies radio and listen instead to my own compilations of oldies on my CD or MP3 player, or to digital cable oldies radio, where the programmers actually program. I love Doo Wop, and it has all but vanished from the main stream airwaves. Thank God for the local DJ's and the internet. Internet radio can be amazing. However, as you point out, subscribers to Forgotten Hits, are not your average oldies listeners. They are way more knowledgeable and attentive to what they hear. I also contend that they are more active than the average senior citizen. I am a 67 year old musician who still plays local gigs at bars and restaurants. I just started a new gig on Sunday nights and the bar owner was completely shocked when over 100 of my fellow senior citizens followers showed up. Well the reason they followed me is my repertoire. I play over 2200 songs that you mostly won't hear on the oldies stations. From Ral Donner and Jack Scott to the Dreamlovers and the Dubs. Each gig I will usually throw in a "who recorded that" instrumental, like "Night Theme". Obviously I have managed to gain some followers who are also not your average oldies radio listeners, and they are very loyal. Many seniors fall into the trap of becoming couch potatoes. I also fear we are raising a whole generation of couch potatoes, but that's another story. Getting seniors to go out and attend an evening of music or dancing is not an easy thing. About four years ago, I got a call from the promotion department of Dover Downs, which is a casino at the NASCAR race track in Dover, DE. They were presenting an evening of oldies music that was going to be filmed by PBS, for their excellent oldies concert series. They offered me and my wife free tickets. Now we are not big money gamblers and rarely even go to Dover Downs for many reasons, but also because it is about an hour and a half away. So I certainly didn't merit comped tickets based on my gambling. Well, I didn't want to travel all the way there and attend a long concert and then drive back home in the wee hours of the morning. So I tried pushing my luck and asked if a room could be comped. I got a big "no" as my answer. Several weeks later I received another call and they said I would get the free room and the free tickets. The reason was they were having difficulty getting people to commit to attending, and they didn't want to film a PBS concert to a half empty house. Well, it turned out to be a great evening and concert. We arrived around 3:30 PM, checked in and decided on an early buffet before the 6:00 PM concert start. We went to the buffet and sat down. Seated next to us were two familiar looking ladies, who turned out to be Freda Payne and Candi Staton. As we were eating, lo and behold, in walked the Temptations review with Dennis Edwards. They sat down on the other side of us. I was greatly impressed with their holding hands and saying grace before eating, right there in the public eating area. They earned our respect. When we got to the show, the house was only three quarters full. As the evening wore on, people started to leave. The PBS director kept having the crowd move forward and fill the vacated seats. It wouldn't do to have it appear on TV as though the concert wasn't enthusiastically well attended. Ah, the magic of TV. The Temptation review started out the concert at 6:00 PM with a 30 minute show and ended it with another 30 minute show at 12:30 A.M. In between we saw, the afore mentioned Freda Payne and Candi Staton, as well as Isaac Hayes, Patti Labelle, The Whispers, The Moments, Al Wilson, Evelyn "Champagne" King, and more. It was a great show. For the last song, the Temptations requested that the TV folks stopped filming. They said they wanted to do a song just for the handful of folks who stayed to the end. It was December, and they sang, a cappella, "Silent Night". We were literally moved to tears. It turned out to be a very enjoyable and memorable evening that we never would have experienced if I stayed on my couch listening to main stream oldies radio.
Bob Hughes
Sounds like one heck of a show ... but you're right ... we think twice now before going out to see some of these acts ... honestly, I don't know how some of the "local guys" play in this summer heat sometimes ... let's face it, we're ALL getting older ... and these guys are up there moving around and giving it their all under even hotter lights ... I give them a lot of credit for what they do up on the stage. (kk)

>>>What is the origin of that term? Nowadays, very few people will admit to liking that music because it was not hip. I was enough of my own person not to be influenced by lyrics. (Dwight Rounds)
Not looking it up ... I had always thought it called 'bubblegum' because of the age of the fans, the target audience mostly young female ...
P.S. By the way, I was driving down the street and saw the 'old' FLOYD MARCUS ESTATE (1910 fruitgum co.) was on the market again (Iselin,NJ) ... available for sale ... my nephew is looking for a house ... the house's provenance didn't impress him ... but he was interested in the house anyway ...
I seem to recall Buddah Records RELISHING the prospect of having come up with a brand new sound that earned the "bubblegum" label ... and, as I said, business was booming back in 1968!!! Yes, it certainly did appeal to a much "younger" audience (although I wouldn't say specifically girls ... it typically had a VERY catchy beat and very simplistic lyrics ... you pretty much knew the song the first time you heard it ... but I'll admit to buying nearly every single one of those records. (In fact at one point I considered collecting the entire Buddah Record Label!) The music was good, harmless fun (although listening to it now as an adult I can certainly see some of the double entendres intended by these lyrics!!!) kk

Did the Ohio Express or 1910 ever perform live? I know the Archies never did.
Dwight Rounds
I believe all of the bubblegum bands had "touring acts" that went out on the road to help drum up record sales. These weren't typically the same folks on the record (although I believe The 1910 Fruitgum Company WAS a "self-contained" unit ... in fact, Floyd Marcus recently shared some of his early concert experiences with us.) This wasn't all that uncommon back then for some of these "ghost" studio groups and artists ... it generally helped beef up record sales and most of these guys were "faceless" entities in the first place. No, The Archies never toured ... but Ron Dante has been performing all over the place lately ... we recently shared some NEW Archies tracks along with a photo of Ron with his latest "Betty and Veronica" background singers. (kk)

I was disappointed that no one else commented on the difference between classic rock and oldies.
Dwight Rounds
Sad to report that I did not receive one single reply on this topic when we first mentioned it a week or two ago. I was surprised by this, too, as I thought the list might want to weigh in on this topic. If this changes, we'll be sure to let you know. (kk)

Paul McCartney has added FedExField in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 1 to his U.S. concert appearance list. (I'm guessing new dates will follow ... he's already added a third date to his CitiField performances ... and appears in Canada on July 11th.) Pre-sale tickets will be available beginning June 25th with regular tickets on sale to the public the following day. Here's a promo note I received from Paul's website (where you can find all the details):
This concert event at FedExField marks the latest in a series of landmark performances that link the beloved Beatle with Washington D.C., beginning with The Beatles' first concert on American soil in 1964 at the Washington Coliseum, and continuing with McCartney's critically acclaimed appearances in the District over the past forty-five years.

Speaking of Paul McCartney's birthday, my neighbor Jack Corn shot these in '74. Our local newspaper occasionally posts slide shows from years past, and posted these this week.

David Lewis

In this photo: Former Beatle Paul McCartney, left, and his family chat with Dolly Parton, second from right, and Porter Wagoner backstage during the third annual Grand Masters Fiddling contest at Opryland. McCartney's wife, Linda, and daughters Heather, 11, and Stella, 4, also enjoyed the music at the event. (Jack Corn / The Tennessean) 6/16/1974

Very cool ... Macca spent some time in Nashville and came away with brand new recordings of a couple of his Dad's songs (later released as The Country Hams) as well as his own countrified "Sally G" during this trip. (kk)

Hi Kent -
A friend of mine, Dick Knutson (oldtime concert promoter-Fargo ND), asked me if I knew where Bobby Keys was. Of course, I had no clue, but I told him I would find out, betting you or someone in your vast blog audience would know. Dick knew him way back when they both hung out with Bobby Vee. How about some help on this?
- JR
I'm happy to help put the word out ... but can't promise you any results. Bobby Keys has played with just about EVERYBODY over the years ... let's see if we get any nibbles on this one. (kk)

Thanks for the plug. I mentioned that I had just gotten in 48 surveys. I just had a chance to look at these surveys from WINW 1520 AM Canton, Ohio, all from 1967 / 1968. I gotta tell you that for a relatively small station, they played a lot of local artists as well as a lot of other stuff that never made it in Chicago. One week I counted 12 of 40 songs that were never played at WLS or WCFL, but it was this survey from 12/29/67 that grabbed my attention. I count 11 songs that were never heard in Chicago, but the one that I was curious about was #33, Midnight Confessions, by Evergreen Blues. I have confirmed that it is the same song as that the Grass Roots would hit with in the fall of 1968, so this pre-dates it by about nine months. Do any of your contributors have a copy? For that matter the #1 song, Psychedelic Soul, by the Chylds, featuring Joe Vitale, later of the James Gang. I wouldn't mind hearing what they sounded like. I tell you the more of these out of town surveys I get, the more it seems that WLS had absolutely no influence nationally. It just confirms your comment that the average listener has no clue about oldies music. They were force fed the same songs incessantly in 1967, and it's still the same oldies 42 years later. I also included a survey from 12/15/67. You notice that Bend Me Shape Me, by the American Breed is #1. It wouldn't be #1 in Chicago for another month. In fact it debuted two weeks earlier in Canton, Ohio, than it did at WLS and the American Breed was a Chicago band. The more I look at these surveys, the less sense they make. One last item I forgot to mention is that is I'm only open, for the time being, on Saturdays for your listening & dancing pleasure.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)

We featured the history of "Let's Live For Today" a while back on the website ... and, prior to that, featured the Evergreen Blues' version of "Midnight Confessions", too. (Included again for YOUR listening and dancing pleasure!!! lol)

You can read the "Story Behind The Song" right here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Let's Live For Today
Actually, this was one of SEVERAL attempts at making this song a hit before The Grass Roots finally got ahold of it. (I sent this to Scott Shannon, too, who featured it on one of his "Remakes" Weekends a few months back.) Wouldn't it be cool to get copies of ALL the major Top 40 surveys from say 1963 - 1972 and look for the obscure local hits ... The American Breed's record doing better in Ohio than it did in Chicago ... a whole month SOONER ... makes absolutely NO sense at all!!!
And, thanks to the INCREDIBLE Tom Diehl, we've got both the song AND a photo of the record to share with you today!!! (Not a bad song ... but hardly a #1-Sounding Song ... but this is EXACTLY the kind of stuff we're looking for for our next "Show Me Your Hits" Local Hits Feature. Anybody in Ohio feel like writing a little something up on The Chylds?!?!? (kk)

Kent ...
You wrote about this book. I bought it. I'm 3 / 4 through it. I can't wait till I finish the book to give you my review. I'm giving it to you now. Great book.
Writer Bob Greene becomes a member of the Jan & Dean Band. He writes about his experiences. Lots of good inside stories. For example ---
When Elvis was making movies, he had a house in California. He would play touch football with Jan & Dean. They say he was a great receiver.
After his accident on " Dead Man's Curve, " Jan Berry had to re - learn the words to the songs he wrote, everyday.
Great book for anybody who likes our music. I'm going to read " All Summer Long," next.
I have to say right now Bob Greene is my favorite author.
Frank B.
We've been telling you guys for a year now what a great book this is. (Ironically, I just finished "All Summer Long" on my nine hour round-trip flight to San Francisco ... another VERY enjoyable read. And, I've just started "Be True To Your School", Bob's 1964 Diary ... was there a more exciting year in music?!?!?) Yes, we're onboard for The Bob Greene Appreciation Society ... and don't forget that we'll be giving away TWO autographed copies of Bob's latest book, "When We Get To Surf City", over The Fourth Of July Weekend. Have you registered to win YOUR copy yet??? (Believe me there is nothing cooler than having Bob Greene on our Forgotten Hits Mailing List ... I grew up reading his Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune columns every day ... and now he reads MINE!!!!! Is there ANY heavier head-trip than that?!?!?) Thanks again to Bob for donating the signed copies ... stay tuned ... we'll be giving them away REAL soon!!! (kk)


>>>This one TOTALLY cracks me up ... look at the expression on this little girl's face as she checks out the male rider!!! (lol) Gee, I feel like Renfield here!!! lol That's OK ... if I ever decide to shut things down here at Forgotten Hits, I know I've got a bright future ahead of me at R.I.P. Renfield!!!) kk
Those 'bicycle' nude pics? Geez ... the look on the little girl's face? It looked to me like a crime was committed ... whether by the parents of the girl, or the guy exposed! And that's coming from a guy who uses nude ADULT pics pretty regularly on his site ...---- (gary) RENFIELD ...
ps ... Thanks for the mention ... YOU'RE HIRED (RIP can use a shameless writer) !!!

Hi Kent,
I am sort of new to your page and I have to say it's the BEST for a music freak like me. All I can say is Thank You, Thank You,Thank You. Please if you would be so kind to add me to your list that would be so great.
All the Best,
Vinny B.
Thanks for the kind words, Vinny, and welcome aboard! Remember, your thoughts, comments and memories are ALWAYS welcome here!!! (kk)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Sunday Comments ( 06 - 21 - 09 )

It's another KING-SIZED Edition of The Sunday Comments ...
Our Special "Happy Fathers' Day / First Day Of Summer" Edition ...
(although I don't think you'll find EITHER of these topics mentioned here!!! lol)
Somebody posted this at the Guess Whooligan Forum: The Bachman / Cummings band have a "TBA" date listed in Pollstar for Saturday, 09/05/09 in Schaumburg Ill - a western suburb of Chicago.
WTF?!?!? I invite these guys over for dinner and now they're going to sell TICKETS for it?!?!? Just kidding ... but this is WONDERFUL news!!! My guess is that they'll be part of our annual Schaumburg Festival that runs over Labor Day Weekend. They've had some GREAT entertainment there these last several years ... Richard Marx, Pat Benatar, Dennis DeYoung, Christopher Cross and several others immediately come to mind ... what a GREAT night of music it'll be listening to the Bachman - Cummings Music Catalog!!! (kk)

Bubblegum music became an alternative to the serious, political, sexual, drug music of the period. A certain part of the public was ready for music that was just fun, without thought provoking content. That's what Bubblegum music represented. A departure from that music.
What is the origin of that term? Nowadays, very few people will admit to liking that music because it was not hip. I, for one, did not pay much attention to lyrics, and a "song with a message" meant nothing to me. The messages always seemed to be the same, anyway. The only message I know of that was against big government was the Beatles' Taxman. I was enough of my own person not to be influenced by lyrics.
Dwight Rounds
I LOVED the "Bubblegum Explosion" of 1968 ... groups like The Lemon Pipers, The Ohio Express and The 1910 Fruitgum Company were ALL over the charts with their catchy tunes ... the Buddah Record Label (run by Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz and most often featuring the vocals of Joey Levine ... and Chicago's very own Shadows Of Knight as the backing band) devoted themselves to exploiting this music and it worked VERY well for them for most of the year. They even had a hit under their own name when "Quick Joey Small" went up to #18 on The Cash Box Chart. (When's the last time you heard THAT one on the radio?!?!?) Years later, artists like The Monkees, The Archies and, eventually, even more "serious" acts like The Turtles, The Lovin' Spoonful and Tommy James and the Shondells were lumped into the "bubblegum" category ... not really a very fair assessment of their music. Today, it seems as though virtually ANY "Feel Good" Music from the '60's is recalled as "Bubblegum Music" ... but this was NOT the case at the time. Buddah strove to develop a very specific sound and feel ... and achieved great success in doing so. Before they went "mainstream" signing artists like Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Brooklyn Bridge, Jim Weatherly, Melaniem The Edwin Hawkins Singers and The Charlie Daniels Band, Buddah racked up MONSTER Top Ten Bubblegum Hits like Green Tambourine, Simon Says, Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, Indian Giver, 1, 2, 3 Red Light, Chewy Chewy and Down At Lulu's. With several of these so-called "bubblegum acts" on our list, I'd be curious to hear THEIR take on this whole phenomenon. (kk)


40 years ago this weekend I had quite a Jimi Hendrix Experience! http://artiewayne.wordpress. com/2009/06/17/a-jimi-hendrix- experience/



http://artiewayne.wordpress/. com/about-artie-wayne/

Paris / Ottawa Live, historic ‘in concert’ recordings from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, never before offered at retail, together with a unique and exclusive collection of Hendrix memorabilia are bundled together in a special offering to be released August 11th from Dagger Records, the official ‘bootleg’ label created by Experience Hendrix through Geffen Records / UMe. This limited edition “fan pack” will be offered exclusively through and celebrates the fan / collector commitment of Experience Hendrix’s Dagger Records label, the producer of these master recordings. Created eleven years ago to release primarily live and extemporaneous archival performances, Dagger’s mission is to sketch in the detail of the Hendrix legacy and augment the mainstream titles that Experience Hendrix offers though UMe. None of the eleven titles previously released by Dagger have ever been sold in stores and have been available only at The participation of, where pre-orders are now underway, continues the tradition of Dagger’s online-only presence.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Live 1968 Paris / Ottawa features sterling live performances of such Hendrix classics as “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” and “Little Wing” recorded by RTE, the national French broadcasting company. The January 29, 1968 Paris concert was the band’s third foray to the fabled L ‘Olympia Theater where they had debuted as an opening act for the French pop star Johnny Halliday’s two years earlier. The Ottawa performances were taped by Hendrix himself during the group’s appearance at the Capitol Theater on March 19th of that same year and include a “Hendrixized” version of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.”
In a real nod to the bygone era, a similar, yet distinct, pack will have as its centerpiece a custom, swirled, colored vinyl album version of Jimi Hendrix Experience Paris ’67. These recordings document Hendrix’s wildly exuberant October 9, 1967 performance at L'Olympia originally recorded for French radio broadcast and never before released to the public. The album features performances of “Stone Free,” “Hey Joe,” “Wild Thing” as well as other notable Hendrix hits.
Materials specifically created for and exclusively included in both versions include a ‘Jimi’ poster, a postcard set replicating classic Hendrix concert posters, a set of badges reminiscent of the sixties era, a Hendrix iPod Skin and a “PikCARD” loaded, so to speak, with four guitar picks adorned with Hendrix artwork from the concert posters. The array of goodies is topped off with an “all access” laminated pass with an exclusive, secret code designed to unlock special Hendrix content online.
Janie Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, the family owned company entrusted with preserving and protecting the legacy of Jimi Hendrix, commented, “The concept behind this ‘Fan Pack’ is to throw a spotlight on Jimi as a live performer and give a glimmer of what it might have been like to encounter ‘The Experience’ when Jimi had the band at its peak. Jimi never failed to stun and leave audiences breathless with his performance and guitar virtuosity and we think fans today will be no less moved by the offerings included in these packs. This release highlights Dagger’s role in serving fans who want all Jimi had to offer and can’t get enough of his legacy and genius.”
While the package will be available on August 11th, fans will be able to queue up outside the auditorium, so to speak by pre-ordering, Fan Pack: the Jimi Hendrix Experience Live 1968 Paris / Ottawa in advance of Father’s Day, June 21st.
Link to pre-order at
Wow! We just went from Bubblegum Music to Jimi Hendrix!!! Remember when RADIO used to do that?!?!? (kk)

Hey Kent ...
When you were out in San Francisco did you do any Bike Riding?
Did you run into any of these Weirdos ?
Frank B.

(Gee, I feel like Renfield here!!! lol
That's OK ... if I ever decide to shut things down here at Forgotten Hits,
I know I've got a bright future ahead of me at R.I.P. Renfield!!!) kk
This one TOTALLY cracks me up ...
look at the expression on this little girl's face
as she checks out the male rider!!! (lol) kk

Believe it or not, we actually DID see these guys!!! (Unfortunately, I missed them ... we went down to Fisherman's Wharf and, after walking around a little while, my brother got tired ... so I went back to the rental car to get the wheelchair out of the trunk. The naked bikers came by while I was gone so I missed the whole show. I thought about trying to catch up with them later and join in on the fun ... but by the time I had painted my "unicorn horn", I had already decided that this probably wasn't such a great idea after all!!! lol) You would not believe the "street entertainment" down there at The Wharf ... this is all part of what amounts to the daily three-ring circus that defines this area!!! (To top things off, on my last night there some woman ran into my rental car ... hey, there really isn't a nice way to say "I got rear-ended in San Franciso", if you know what I mean!!!) It was a nice visit with my brother and I'm glad that I went ... and I think that he is, too. Got to spend some time with my niece, her fiance and even Mark's ex-wife so all in all, a very pleasant trip under the circumstances. (kk)
Speaking of The Wharf, here's a guy I met LAST time I was there:

(Just in case you weren't sure,
that's me on the RIGHT!!!)

Great to see the Jody Miller mention. I have always been a HUGE fan of Jody. Two of my very fav 60s songs were HOME OF THE BRAVE and HE WALKS LIKE A MAN! Her country stuff was pretty awesome also and if there is anyone who thought Tammy Wynette was the prototype female doormat, they need to check out Jody's THERE'S A PARTY GOING ON! Can you feature this one. Bet 98% of your readers have never heard it!
I asked Ronnie Allen if he would send us a copy to share since he's the guy who did the Jody Miller interview. And you're right ... I'd never heard it before either! While it never made Billboard's Pop Chart, "There's A Party Going On" was Jody's biggest Country Hit, peaking at #4 in 1972. (kk)

>>As we were driving around downtown San Francisco the other day "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" came on the radio. Warwick hit The National Top 40 33 times between 1962 and 1987 ... yet you rarely hear ANY of her hits on the radio anymore ... or Hal David / Burt Bacharach music either, for that matter! Two of the most prolific songwriters of this era ... and one of the country's FAVORITE singers ... all generally IGNORED by oldies radio. It just doesn't make sense!!! (kk)
You're right, Kent. No one plays any Dionne Warwick. Several months ago I realized I had very little of her stuff on my iPod or PC, so I loaded up a batch of the songs you listed and keep them in my personal rotation so I won't forget the hits.
David Lewis

Hey Kent ...
Haven't posted anything for a while ... Rest assured I'm still here :)
I'm pretty sure at about the same time that Cymarron had their hit with "Rings" that Lonnie Mack also recorded a version as well. I'm sure as a kid I heard it played on WROR (WRKO's automated sister) in Boston.
On a personal note, the song kind of parallels my wife and I. She was born in '71 (several months after "Rings" was a hit and when we got married 10 years ago, the ceremony was performed on the beach (Deerfield Beach near Ft. Lauderdale) in the morning. I remember as I said "I Do" the song was running in my head. Still does today when I look at our wedding pics :)
Scott Levison
Pinellas Park, FL
Tompall and the Glaser Brothers scored a Top Ten Country Hit with THEIR version of "Rings" back in 1971, too. (Of course THEY had Merle Haggard on the radio instead of James Taylor ... but it still worked!!! lol) kk

>>>When Bob Hamilton got engaged and announced his wedding plans, a number of us who were especially close to him attended his wedding, which was held on the beach at sunrise in Marina del Ray. About a dozen or so of us stayed up with him all night prior to the dawn wedding. That 'all-night' gathering inspired two guests, Alex Harvey and Eddie Reeves, to write the hit song, "Rings," by Cymarron -- "ring, ring, telephone ring, got James Taylor on the stereo." (Fred Vail)
I didn't know that! This should be posted on the songfacts website. David Lewis

I passed your suggestion along to Carl Wiser, who runs Songfacts. (kk)

Our buddy Mitch Schecter of The Rip Chords just sent us an updated ordering link for their brand new "Cobra Beach" CD ... you can check it out here:


After defending our position (again) regarding our coverage of some of the Local Bands who ruled our Chicagoland Charts back in the 1960's, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell you about THIS upcoming concert event:

Next Saturday (June 27th), The Cryan' Shames will be appearing in Downers Grove with original lead vocalist Tom Doody, original guitarist Jim Fairs and assorted OTHER Cryan' Shames alumni for a VERY special concert appearance. Full details can be found on The Cryan' Shames website:

Jim Fairs will also be performing with his new band, and has posted this message on The Cryan' Shames Website:

Hi All!

The Cryan' Shames were formed and played in a magical time and, for about 40 years, I've generally stayed away from reunions, perhaps feeling that one couldn't catch lightning in a bottle twice or, perhaps exercising a personal tendency to try new things.

Who knows ...

But this summer, Saturday, June 27th, at 9:00 P.M. at the Fishel Park Band Shell in Downers Grove will be a complete exception; I'll perform with original members of The Cryan' Shames and with my own band, The Jamez Band, for a full 90 minute free concert.

(Perhaps we should call this show the "Lightning In A Bottle Tour"!!!)

I've already been working with Gerry Stone and Dennis Conroy. Tom Doody and Lenny Kerley have graciously come in from California for rehearsals ... and, of course, I've been conferring regularly with the one and only J.C. Hooke.

We will perform updated versions of "Sugar And Spice", "It Could Be We're In Love" and many other pieces that I wrote at that time. The Jamez Band will include drummer Artie Baldacci (Heartsfield), keyboardist Jeff Lantz (of Jim Peterik's "Life Force"), bassist Gregg Voorhees (of The Gregg Allman Band), three female backup singers and a full horn section.

I invite each and every one of you to attend and I promise to stay after the show and speak to all and to sign any CD or other artifact that you may offer. It's music under the stars and BYOB (Bring your own Blanket ... or Chair)!

I promise you that we will play our hearts out.

(Next show: 2049)

All the best,


Sounds like a "Can't Miss" Chicagoland Event ... hope to see some of you there. And, for MORE upcoming appearances by The Cryan' Shames (including special appearances by guest vocalists like Dennis Tufano, Ronnie Rice and Jimy Sohns), be sure to check out the COMPLETE Cryan' Shames tour schedule!!!

Click here: The Cryan' Shames 2009 Events Schedule

Another one of our readers caught Fleetwood Mac in concert this past week ... here is HIS review of the show:
Fleetwood Mac finds the magic of old
For a few hours Wednesday night, the clock seemed like it had turned back 30 years, as the world's biggest rock band of the late 1970s provided fans with a memorable blast from the past. Four of the five members of the classic Fleetwood Mac lineup began touring together in early March, playing their biggest hits and some favorite studio tracks from their four-decade career in a show entitled "Unleashed". The entourage delighted about 7,000 fans during their stop Wednesday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist / vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood sizzled through a two-hour main set and an encore, encompassing 22 songs ranging from mega-hits like "Go Your Own Way" and the chart-topping "Dreams", to album favorites such as "Gold Dust Woman" and "The Chain".
Though McVie and Fleetwood have been with the group since its origin as a blues band in England in the late 1960s, and Nicks is the most well-known member due to her series of successful solo albums, the evening was clearly Buckingham's chance to shine.
Called by Fleetwood "the man with the magic fingers," Buckingham captivated the audience with a wide variety of guitar-playing styles, highlighted by a rapid flamenco-flavored rendition of "Big Love" and a searing extended jam during "I'm So Afraid". While the other three band members took short breaks during the night, Buckingham remained a constant presence the entire show. Nicks had several turns in the spotlight, telling the crowd about meeting Buckingham in 1967 and joining his San Francisco-area band, Fritz. "We opened for Jimi Hendrix, we opened for just about everybody for four years, and we lived like gypsies," she said before launching into the 1982 hit "Gypsy". She performed her trademark twirling routine during the middle section of her solo hit "Stand Back", and received the biggest ovation of the night at the conclusion of "Landslide".
Fleetwood, who will turn 62 next week, showed no signs of age, demonstrating particularly muscular drumming during the tribal-like "Tusk" and in a five-minute drum solo in the middle of "World Turning". McVie, "the quiet backbone of the band" according to Fleetwood, had his brief individual moment of glory during his famous bass solo in "The Chain".
Although the show was billed as being a "hits tour", Nicks said the group wanted to find a song that they had never performed live before. That tune was "Storms", from the 1979 Tusk album. "Fleetwood Mac has had a long, convoluted emotional history," understated Buckingham, referring to the turmoil in the members' personal lives during their heyday. During the making of 1977's Rumours, he and Nicks ended their personal relationship, McVie was divorced from his wife, pianist / vocalist Christine McVie, and Fleetwood was in the midst of a divorce from his wife Jenny. Despite the emotional hell the group was going through, Rumours went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time, spending 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard chart. Christine McVie left the band in 1998; consequently, she was not mentioned during the performance, and the majority of hit songs she penned were omitted from the show, including "You Make Loving Fun", "Over My Head" and "Hold Me". However, two of her songs found their way into the set list: "Say You Love Me", on which Nicks and Buckingham traded lead vocals, and the encore finale, "Don't Stop".
The set list for Fleetwood Mac's show Wednesday at the Mohegan Sun Arena was: Monday Morning, The Chain, Dreams, I Know I'm Not Wrong, Gypsy, Go Insane, Rhiannon, Second Hand News, Tusk, Sara, Big Love, Landslide, Never Going Back Again, Storms, Say You Love Me, Gold Dust Woman, Oh Well, I'm So Afraid, Stand Back, Go Your Own Way, (encore) World Turning, Don't Stop

Honestly, it sounds like a GREAT show ... now I'm wishing we would have bought tickets!!! (kk)

So, you've got Dwight Twilley on board now! How cool is that?! Twilley is one of the unsung, underappreciated genii (that's plural for geniuseseseses.) of Power Pop. I've worn out at least two copies of the debut album by The Dwight Twilley Band and its successor (Phil Seymour, R.I.P.) and I've featured at least two Twilley tunes so far on Marimba's Jukebox on my blawg thingie, As I've said since day one (yes, I'm an original Forgotten Hits list member), keep on keepin' on, Mr. K. It's good work that you do ...

Dwight and his wife are what we call "occassional" members of the Forgotten Hits List ... they don't read every day but when we need them for something, it sounds like they'll be there ... which is really cool. Dwight's been in the studio virtually non-stop lately, recording cover versions of some of his all-time favorite songs. (Ironically, in my last band, I covered HIS tune, "I'm On Fire", his big hit from 1975 and another one of my '70's favorites.) You'll find ALL kinds of brand new Twilley music available for downloading at all the usual places ... but I'm especially fond of his take on this Beatles' tune, "You're Gonna Lose That Girl". (kk)

This is from Vic's and my friend, Wes Britton.
An icon of rock and roll history passed away last Sunday — Bob Bogle, long-time bass player for The Ventures died at the age of 75. He’d been suffering ill health for some time.
The Ventures were a 1958 co-creation of Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, two Tacoma, Washington construction workers who discovered they each played guitar. While Bob played lead guitar on the signature hit, “Walk, Don’t Run” and four other songs on the band’s debut album, he took over bass duties when Nokie Edwards was brought on board in 1959. The classic line-up jelled when session master Mel Taylor became their permanent drummer in 1962.
The catalogue of The Ventures recording career is astonishing. For decades, they recorded dance, twist, surf, and original instrumentals along with their versions of current chart hits. They also reworked film and TV themes, most notably their 1971 hit, “Hawaii 5-O.” Among their many interpretations of TV themes, perhaps their best original collection was the 1966 “Batman” album which included fast-paced versions of “Secret Agent” (a popular single), “Get Smart,” “The Green Hornet,” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
No musical group was more influential on fellow and would-be guitar and drum players than The Ventures. Beyond their general release LPs, they also put out the “Play Guitar with The Ventures” instructional albums — Vol. IV was Bob Bogle’s how to play bass.
It’s difficult to suggest which current releases to recommend — there are countless anthologies, compilations, and combinations of the original albums in a variety of packages. I’ll point out two:
(1992) The Ventures Play Telstar - The Lonely Bull And Others / (The) Ventures In Space.
The first album is a typical collection of then current hits and originals; “The Ventures in Space” is widely credited as setting the stage for much of the psychedelic sound that would become popular two years later. Very distinctive.
(1995) Ventures A Go-Go / Where the Action Is!
No Ventures collection is complete without “Slaughter on 10th Avenue”—both these records include some of the most energetic performances of the era.
Nokie Edwards talked about Bob Bogle and the other Ventures in a May 13, 2009 radio interview with Wes Britton for “Dave White Presents.” The interview can be found in the “Past Programs” button at
Rock and Roll heaven just gained another star.
-- Wes Britton

Doesn't he look just AWFUL without his hair. When I saw these pictures, I nearly threw up! If I saw someone like that walking on the street, I'd run like hell!
I have to admit it was pretty shocking when I first saw that photo!!! (kk)

It was great to hear this one again ... I truly had forgotten all about it! You really never know what you're going to rediscover in Forgotten Hits!

It was a pretty good parody ... but unless you experienced the movie magic of what was Marty Feldman, you're probably not going to "get" this song. (I seem to remember a music video, too, that kept showing close-ups from many of Marty's films over Bruce "Baby Man" Baum's musical background. Ironically, Bob Stroud featured "Bette Davis Eyes" last week, too, in tribute to the fact that it started its nine week run at the top of the charts this week in 1981. (He's probably the ONLY jock on The Drive who would even think about ... let alone get away with ... playing THAT tune on the station ... it doesn't exactly fit The Drive's "Classic Rock" format ... which is to say that I'm not expecting to see Kim Carnes turn up on The Drive's "Thursday Artist Portrait" any time soon!!!) kk

Passing this along for my long-time buddy Jack Levin, who's been operating his collectibles business through eBay for years now ...
ROCK AND ROLL NEVER FORGETS IS NOW A RETAIL STORE!A couple months ago I decided as long as I have two houses next to one another, I should use one as a store to sell my collection of music odds and ends. What will be available are LPs, 45s, CDs, 1000s of top 40 surveys, (got in 48 more today!), as well as more damn music magazines than you can read in a lifetime. Publications include Rolling Stone, dating back to 1970, Guitar Player, World, School, One and For the Practicing Musician, as well as Vintage Guitar magazine. Illinois Entertainer dating back to the mid 70s. Creem & Circus, both dating back to the early/mid 70s. Hit Parader & Song Hits. UK magazines Mojo, Q, Uncut, NME, Melody Maker & Kerrang. So if you're in the southern Illinois area, come visit Rock And Roll Never Forgets, The Retail Experience. 401 E. Section Line RD - Wayne City, Illinois. It's a bare bones operation, but I'm hoping with enough support, I can make it work.

And, if you've never been to Cool Scoops, here's your chance to check it out ... or, better yet, if you happen to be in the area, stop by for the taping!!!
Hello to all our friends and fans of Cool Scoops!
The Travel Channel will be filming a Doo Wop Episode of Samantha Brown's Great Vacation Show on June 29th @ 9 am here at Cool Scoops.
Mr. Chubby Checker will be here to help teach Ms. Brown how to Twist.
Please join us in your 50's attire to dance with Chubby!
This will be a great event for the Wildwoods.
Thanks again,
Paul / Cool Scoops

(click on photo to enlarge)

Side note to Jimmy Jay ... no twisting or limbo tonight, OK, buddy?!?!? (kk)

Welcome back, Kent ... it's great to see you posting again. Reading Forgotten Hits has become part of my daily routine.
Thanks, John. All I can promise to do is post WHAT I can, WHEN I can for right now. I don't have anything "in the can" waiting to go out at this point ... nor do I feel up to putting together a brand new series just yet ... but hopefully there'll be enough going on musically to visit with you guys from time to time. (kk)

Man, what a nice Leftovers Page! This has provided nearly a week's worth of reading for me! By the time you get through everything that you sent, check out some of the links to the other articles referenced in this issue, and watched all of the videos, I've been able to spread this one issue out over the whole week. Maybe you should consider doing Forgotten Hits as a "weekly" for the time being ... until you're ready to do more. Selfishly speaking, I'm sure most of us would love to see more ... but just know that we'll continue to read and enjoy everything you send, whatever format it is.
That WAS a pretty big Leftovers Page, wasn't it?!?!? Of course, "Leftovers" isn't for everybody. SOME folks on the list claim it's their favorite Forgotten Hits feature because we tend to cover some of the more "obscure" elements of oldies music in these issues. Others don't read it at all because they say it's TOO far off the beaten path. This particular issue was bigger because we lumped in pretty much ANYTHING that was still sitting around, having not been around much lately ... but I think the "once a month" format has been working out pretty well thus far. (Wow!!! Issue #53 already since we switched over to this schedule!!! Amazing!) As I promised John above, I'll continue to post what I can, when I can, without being tied to any sort of specific schedule. Honestly, I just haven't felt real motivated lately to take on another large topic ... so we'll see where it goes from here. Meanwhile, thanks to everyone out their for their patience and understanding. (kk)


I won't lie to you ... from time to time I get really discouraged wondering if we can REALLY make a difference with Forgotten Hits. Sure, every once in a while I can hear the results on the radio, givine me just some small spark of hope that things are slowly starting to improve ... but we've been pushing the jocks for almost TEN YEARS now to push the envelope just a LITTLE bit farther and play some of these tracks that were legitimate hits that have simply fallen off the radar after years of tunnel-vision radio programming ... and the truth is that only a few of these guys have it within their power to do so. Being equally as honest, I will admit that there is NO question in my mind that oldies radio TODAY is a WHOLE lot better than it was ten years ago when Forgotten Hits first started. Mega outlets like Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel are beaming nationwide these days, playing a better variety of music than we'd grown accustomed to and slipping in those "surprises" once in a while to keep things interesting ... and I have to believe that at least in SOME small way we've been a source of inspiration for this. Likewise the new Hit Parade Radio start-up, programming nearly 3500 songs from 1950-1980 ... it'd be nearly impossible NOT to come up with a surprise "Wow" song once in a while with THAT many titles to select from ... is programming exclusively to the "ignored demographic" that we preach about so often here in Forgotten Hits ... so this, too, is an encouraging sign. Whereas ten years ago it wasn't really much of a factor at all, Internet Radio now runs the full gammut of the obvious hits, the lesser known hits and B-Sides to the completely obscure ... stuff you're not even going to recognize it because you most likely never even knew it exists. With WI-FI Radio soon to be available in cars, along with satellite operations like XM / Sirius, radio HAS grown leaps and bounds over this past decade. All in all, I suppose I should be feeling pretty good about the progress we've made ... maybe even sharing in just a LITTLE bit of the credit along the way.

But then every once in a while a reality check comes along that makes me realize that maybe I'm wrong ... maybe the average oldies listener out there doesn't really WANT to be challenged or enticed. The other day I was listening to Jim Shea's morning show on Y103.9 when he reached his "I Buried Paul" feature. It's a contest that runs every morning at 7:20 (and has for a couple of years now) where Jim plays a snippet of a popular song BACKWARDS and listeners have to try to identify the song and the artist to win some sort of prize. Well, the other day, something got screwed up in the studio and the tape of "Chick-A-Boom", the Daddy Dewdrop hit from 1971 played FORWARDS instead of backwards ... meaning simply that it played the actual record. It was a screw up of massive proportions but Jim decided to let it slide and said that since THIS is the way it was played, he'd let somebody win by simply identifying the song. (A Good Sport is Jim!!! lol) So the very first caller gets through and then Jim asks him, "Are you feelin' it?" ... to which he responds ... "Oh yeah, I'm feelin' it ... (long pause) ... is it 'Alley Oop'?!?!?" ... thus proving ALL of these narrow-minded programmers right when they state that the AVERAGE oldies listener doesn't WANT to expand their musical horizons ... they want to hear the music that they're most COMFORTABLE with, even if it DOES mean the same two or three hundred songs over and over and over again. (It's not at all uncommon to hear listeners playing this game not know the title of the songs Jim plays ... or misidentify the artist ... it happens all the time ... and thus my faith in the average oldies listener has hit a new all-time low.) The tunnel-vision programming (or as I like to refer to it, the DE-Programming) of our radio audience is virtually complete. MOST listeners really don't CARE what songs are being played ... they just want them to make them feel "comfortable" when they come on the air. They've been fed the SAME songs for so long now that they can no longer think out side the box. Most truly don't remember that artists like The Turtles and The Association and Tommy James and the Shondells recorded more than one or two hits ... when quite the opposite would be true. Even Elvis, The King Of Rock And Roll, has been reduced to a One Hit Wonder ... when do you EVER hear anything OTHER than "Suspicious Minds" anymore ... and why do we have to hear THAT one three or four times a day?!?!? There are over a hundred legitimate Elvis hits to choose from ... if you played just three a day you wouldn't have to spin "Suspicious Minds" again for a whole month!!!

Now, in all fairness, Forgotten Hits was never designed to appeal to the AVERAGE oldies listener ... but I have ALWAYS believed that, if given the chance ... if presented the challenge and the variety ... the average oldies listener WOULD come around to appreciate a deeper selection of music coming out of his or her radio. Revitalize some of those memory brain cells that have been lying dormat for the past two decades and challenge yourself again. But I could be wrong. I could have just been blowing smoke for the past ten years trying to prove otherwise ... chasing my tail trying to convince OTHER music people to just "give it a shot" and see what happens. I dunno ... this has really humbled me today ... hopefully some of you out there will restore my faith in the oldies scene and get me out of this funk. Otherwise, I guess my work here is done!!! (kk)

re: OMG!:

OMG! We made it through an entire Comments Page without ONE single Castity Boner Joke!!!