Saturday, December 5, 2009

Forgotten Hits On The Radio!!!

We've just uploaded The Official Forgotten Hits Top 50 Favorite Instrumental Countdown to our brand new radio page ... if you missed Phil Nee playing back Your 50 Favorites last weekend ... or you simply want to hear it again ... it's ALL here for your listening enjoyment ...

Simply visit: ...

The special has been broken into 12 easy-to-listen-to segments, each approximately 20-30 minutes long ... listen to them in order or play back your favorites. (This system makes it REAL easy to come back often and pick up wherever you last left off!)

All of Your 50 Favorites are there ... along with LOTS of great extras ... and some INCREDIBLE interviews that Phil put together for this special program. Throughout the show, Phil Nee is joined by Burton Cummings of The Guess Who, Mitch Schecter of The Rip Chords, guitar virtuosos Duane Eddy, Dick Dale and Davie Allan (of the Arrows) ... you'll also hear classic commentary from Bob Spickard of The Chantays, Jim Pash of The Surfaris, Don Wilson of The Ventures. Chuck Rio of The Champs and even Frank Mills, who made the countdown with HIS 1979 Instrumental Recording "Music Box Dancer"!!! (Oh yeah ... and I stop by a couple of times, too!!!)

Phil did an OUTSTANDING job of putting this whole thing together ... MAJOR kudos to him and to WRCO - 100.9 FM in Richland Center, Wisconsin, for allowing us to post the ENTIRE program on our brand new Forgotten Hits Radio Page!

Also up on the page ... our appearance from last Christmas on Mr. C's Flip Side Show from Radio Free Nashville!!! Join us as Mr. C and I play down some of our all-time favorite B-Sides!!! (In fact, this Tuesday Night, December 8th, marks the two-year anniversary of Mr. C's Program ... be sure to tune in and listen ... Forgotten Hits Regular Contributor David Lewis will be Mr. C's guest that night ... and you can listen live here: Click here: WRFN - Radio Free Nashville

More great radio shows and appearances to come. (In fact, if any of the jocks would like to stream a special segment of THEIR program, contact me and we'll see what we can put together!)

When you get to the site (, simply type in the program(s) you're looking for. (Yes, we actually have our own channel!!! However, it doesn't seem to be able to display ALL of the titles available ... so simply type in either the "Instrumental Countdown" OR "The Flip Side Show" and then it'll give you about ten choices of what to listen to.)

Meanwhile ... in OTHER Radio News ...

This weekend Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel remembers the music of John Lennon on the anniversary of his death ... hear LOTS of great Beatle John tunes along with the very best of his solo work. You can Listen Live to The True Oldies Channel here: Click here: True Oldies Channel

This just in from John Rook of Hit Parade Radio ... from an article he read in The Wall Street Journal ...
Radio's online audience is growing at an impressive pace at a time when the beleaguered radio industry needs all the ears it can get. But radio companies, suffering their third straight year of revenue declines, are having trouble turning that audience into the cash they crave.
More than 42 million people each week listen to radio streamed over the Internet, more than double the rate from five years ago, according to market-research firms Edison Research Inc. and Arbitron Inc. Many of those are either new listeners or people tuning in at times when they never listened to regular broadcast radio.

No question about it, Internet Radio (along with WiFi listening capabilities) are revolutionizing the way we listen to music these days ... and don't forget to give John's Hit Parade Radio a listen, too ... he's currently programming over 3000 songs from the '50's, '60's and '70's ... you're liable to hear just about ANYTHING here: Click here: Hit Parade Radio

Also this weekend, spend some time with our Radio Buddy Citizen Bill ... here's the latest scoop on his "Remember Then" Program that airs on Sunday Night:
Hey Kent -
This weekend's "Remember Then" Show will feature "Songs of the Night" ... with a lost 45 in the same category as well as the Soul Patrol. Sunday night at 7:00 on We have a new streaming provider so your readers can tune in from anywhere in the world and hear the program. This weekend will be show #401 ... how the time flies (I just featured "How The Time Flies" a few weeks ago as the lost 45 by Jerry Wallace from 1958). Keep up the good work!
Citizen Bill
Fun 92.7

Friday, December 4, 2009


A days ago, we started a brief discussion in Forgotten Hits about the career of Country Superstar Marty Robbins. One of the folks who responded was Diane Diekman, who just happens to be writing Marty's biography right now. We asked if she'd be willing to share a few interesting facts about Marty's phenomenal career with our Forgotten Hits Readers ... and fortunately, for ALL of us, she complied ...

Before we give you just a brief "teaser" / overview in advance of her upcoming book, here's a recap of what got us here in the first place!

>>>I want to talk about Marty Robbins. I always liked his music. I just watched the DVD Marty Robbins Music Anthology. I now think he is vastly underrated. He plays guitar & piano. Writes music & books. He also did some acting. Lets concentrate on his music . Marty sings Country, Rock-n-Roll, R&B, Gospel. He even recorded 2 Albums of Hawaiian Music. He died at 57, during a Heart Operation. I'd like to know what you & your readers think of Marty Robbins. (Frank B.)

>>>In addition to placing nearly 100 songs on Billboard's Country Music Chart, Marty also had several cross-over hits in the late '50's and early '60's, most notably the chart-topping "El Paso" and The Top Three Hits "A White Sport Coat And A Pink Carnation" (1957) and "Don't Worry" (1961). Marty hit Billboard's Pop Top 40 a total of 13 times. Other hits included his version of the #1 Guy Mitchell Hit "Singing The Blues" (#26, 1956); "Big Iron" (also #26, 1960); "Ballad Of The Alamo" (from the John Wayne film, #34, 1960); "Devil Woman" (#16, 1962) and "Ruby Ann" (#18, 1962). His last pop hit just missed The Top 40 when "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife" peaked at #42. Personally, I'm just a "casual" fan ... but I'm guessing that some of our list members could rattle off some astounding facts on Marty Robbins. Let's see what comes back! Thanks, Frank! (kk)

Thanks for mentioning Marty Robbins. I've been a fan of his all my life and now I'm his biographer. His songwriting and singing talents were truly amazing, not to mention everything else he could do, such as compete in NASCAR races. I think he'd have many, many, many new fans today if they could hear his music. It's timeless and reaches far beyond country music. I've set a goal of publishing "Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins" in 2012. Just as a note, his version of "Singing The Blues" came before the cover by Guy Mitchell. And extremely unusual is the fact that 1960 arrived with "El Paso" in the number one spot on both country and pop Billboard charts. Yeah, Marty!
(Diane Diekman)
Author of "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story"

Thanks so much for taking the time to write to us, Diane! I'm sure our readers would enjoy a simple "overview" of Marty's career (if you'd be willing to share it with us!!!) Near as I can determine, Marty released "Singing The Blues" first, but it failed to make much of an impression on the pop charts. Then, when Guy Mitchell's version started its climb to #1, Columbia Records re-released Marty's version, which ultimately peaked at #26 on their Pop Chart. (Would love to hear more about THAT story, too!!!) Please keep us posted on your biography ... I'm sure that a number of our readers would enjoy reading it. (And, with all these music /movie bio-pics making their way to the big screen these days, who KNOWS where this might all end up ... ESPECIALLY with a story as fascinating ... and a career as varied ... as Marty Robbins' was!!!) kk

>>>Another great edition, Kent, and my thanks for your ten years of dedication to our fabulous oldies music. I know it's a 'labor of love,' as are the comments, Q & A, tributes, and 'war stories' that the readers send it. I get behind from time to time and forget to check out your site, but when I do, there's always a few surprises, and some great memories from others many others who not only 'talk the talk,' but have also 'walked the walk.' :) That's one of the things that make "FH" so real. These are real stories from folks who actually witnessed them. 2010 marks my 53rd year in radio and records. Starting as radio station gopher at KRAK Radio, Sacramento, in 1957, I was just a twelve year old kid who lived 'music.'It was a 'singles' music industry then, and many of us got our musical education listening to the radio. The Top 40 stations introduced us to more than rock and roll, although that genre certainly dominated the airwaves. But we were also introduced to jazz, listening to a Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" or Dave Brubeck's "Take Five." We were introduced to Latin and Salsa music with huge hits like Perez Prado's two #1's, "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" and "Patricia." Calypso music was represented by Harry Belefante's "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)," The Weavers introduced us to traditional folk music, while Jimmie "Oh Oh" Rodgers introduced us to the more contemporary style. And who can forget the Kingston Trio's folksy "Tom Dooley." Red Foley introduced us to gospel music with "Peace In The Valley" and Bo Diddley introduced us to blues. And then there was 'country.' Johnny Cash, Don Gibson, and others had solid Top 40 hits that had crossed over from country radio. After all, in the 50's there were fewer than 80 full time country music radio stations in America. Frank's kind words this weekend regarding the great Marty Robbins hit a 'home run' with me. I was not a close friend of Marty, but I was certainly influenced by his music, enormous talent and great vocals. I saw him at the Ryman Auditorium in the late 60's, early 70's, when I was managing The Beach Boys -- and was fortunate to fly out to LA on the plane with him from Nashville. Marty was, in my opinion, the best overall 'entertainer' on the Grand Ole Opry ... and I've seen a lot of great entertainers on that stage. Had Columbia's legendary A & R chief, Mitch Miller, not covered Marty's version of "Singing The Blues" with another Columbia artist, Guy Mitchell, it would have been an even bigger hit, as would "Heartaches By The Number," by Ray Price, which Guy also covered.Few people know that Marty's 1957 #1, "The Story of My Life," pretty much launched the careers of songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I'm glad that Marty was fortunate to live long enough to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982. It was a close call. He died barely six weeks later. Unfortunately, that is not the case with another country superstar of the late 50's, early 60's, Johnny Horton. Just as "The Crickets" have been repeatedly overlooked by the Rock Hall, and Roger Maris has been overlooked by the Baseball HOF, Johnny has yet to receive country music's highest honor. His single, "The Battle of New Orleans," was not only one of the most requested records at radio in the entire decade of the 50's, but it was the first 'country' song, by a country artist, to win a Grammy Award as "Best Country and Western Performance" at the 1960 ceremony. It was not the first actual Country Grammy awarded. That distinction actually went to a 'folk' song, The Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" the year before. However, Johnny got the last laugh: In Billboard Magazine's ranking of the top songs for the first fifty years of the Billboard Top 100 chart, "The Battle of New Orleans" is ranked #28 and is the top 'country' song listed.Yes, listening to Top 40 radio in the 50's certainly gave us a well-rounded musical education. The kids of today are nowhere near as fortunate. (Fred Vail / Treasure Isle Recorders)

After Diane saw Fred's comments, she told me that, although the two had never met, she DID do a radio interview with him at one time, discussing Marty's incredible career.

Now, for your reading enjoyment, just a brief overview of Marty Robbin's amazing career ... in and outside the music business. VERY special thanks to Diane Diekman for sharing this with our Forgotten Hits Readers! (kk)

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, the famous western music album by Marty Robbins, has been on the market for fifty years now. The hit song, "El Paso," held the number one spot on both pop and country music charts as the nation moved from 1959 into 1960. Marty Robbins wrote, recorded and performed hundreds of songs during his three-decade career. His albums usually centered on a specific theme, frequently western songs or country ballads, but also jazz, rockabilly, Hawaiian, pop, gospel, Christmas, Mexican, and West Indian music.

Although Marty and his staff wrote most of his songs, he was willing to record any song he liked, regardless of who owned the publishing rights. His number one hits included Gordon Lightfoot's "Ribbon of Darkness," "The Story of My Life" by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, and an old Connie Francis hit, "Among My Souvenirs." He experimented with recording styles as well as with songs. "A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)" became a smash hit because he brought it to New York City to be shaped by Mitch Miller and Ray Coniff. Marty's "You Gave Me a Mountain" was a hit for Frankie Laine and Elvis Presley.

Marty loved performing and was in his element while singing onstage and encouraging audience adulation. The same man who would make silly faces, yell "Don't! Don't stop!" when a crowd applauded, and wave his arms for more applause, was a deeply insecure and private individual. When he played the piano and sang "I Walk Alone" in the recording studio, he thought the producer was ridiculing his piano playing by saying, "It's a hit!" Columbia Records released that first take, and it became a number one record.

As his biographer, I've had to really dig to find human flaws. He didn't drink or smoke or cheat on his wife, and he appeared to be universally loved and admired by fans, friends, and employees. His wonderful sense of humor and considerate treatment of others are the comments I usually hear. He was a perfectionist who could sometimes be difficult to work with, and he had a volatile temper that cooled over the years.

In addition to music, he was passionate about racing cars. Along with his fulltime performing and publishing careers, he improved his driving skills to move up from micro-midgets to late model sportsman stockcars to competing on the NASCAR circuit. He finished fifth and seventh in races against the Pettys and Allisons and other top drivers. This was after heart bypass surgery.

Marty Robbins was 57 years old when his third heart attack took his life on December 8, 1982, six weeks after induction into Country Music Hall of Fame. My publication goal for Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins is 2012, the thirtieth anniversary of his death. I welcome hearing from anyone who has information to contribute to the book. Meanwhile, out in the West Texas town of El Paso . . . Marty's music plays on.
Diane Diekman

"El Paso" is an absolute classic ... I can't think of ANY other song that ever evoked such a vivid musical landscape of the old west ... it's no wonder at all that this one reached the top spot on both the Pop and Country Charts.

GREAT stuff, Diane ... thank you again SO much for sharing this with our readers!

El Paso: #1 Pop, #1 Country, 1960

A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation): #2 Pop, #1 Country, 1957

I Walk Alone: #65 Pop, #1 Country, 1968

Thursday, December 3, 2009

ANGIE BABY - The Story Behind The Song

Thanks to our Forgotten Hits Buddy Alan O'Day ... who also just happens to be the composer of the #1 Hit "Angie Baby" ... today we get the OFFICIAL Story Behind The Song ... here's what Alan had in mind when he wrote the Helen Reddy Hit "Angie Baby", #1 in 1974. Three years later Alan would top the charts with his OWN Hit ... "Undercover Angel" ... a track we covered earlier in Forgotten Hits!

by Alan O'Day, © 2006

Back in 1974, I was trying to write a song loosely based on the character in the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna”. My “heroine” was initially a typical modern woman, dealing with the complexities of juggling family & work. Now when a writer is at the beginning stages of a project, gut-level feelings are sometimes all you have to go on. And my “gut” told me that the character I was creating had a major problem: she was boring!

This frustrating observation led me to explore some “what if?” scenarios. What if the woman in my song was abnormal in some way? My thoughts went back several years to a young next door neighbor girl who seemed “socially retarded”. Very quiet, kept to herself. Although I hardly knew her, I liked to imagine what she thought about. And I also remembered my own childhood: I was sick often as a kid, and being an only child, many of my days were spent in bed with a radio to keep me company.

These thoughts germinated into an imaginary retarded teenage girl named “Angie Baby” (probably named from the Rolling Stones’ song “Angie”), and I began a lyric story describing her situation:



During this time I was seeing a therapist, & I decided to take my early lyric draft to her for an opinion. She “stumbled” on the word SLOW, explaining that Angie’s reactions later in the song were not those of a retarded person. After recovering from this injury to my inner rhyme (SLOW YOU KNOW), I changed SLOW to TOUCHED. And that’s when Angie started to get crazy & fascinating!

Mentally, she lived in a dream world of lovers inspired by the songs on her radio. Thus she appeared to be completely vulnerable to the prurient interests of her male neighbor. But the chorus leaves her true capabilities up to the imagination of the listener, when it says:


As the lyric progresses, we assume that the evil-minded neighbor will have his way with her. But that’s where the twist comes in: as he enters her world, i.e. her bedroom, it becomes a reality for him as well, with weird & unexpected consequences.

Without quoting the lyric further here, let me say that in my mind, as the writer, I knew exactly what happened to this horny little pervert! Angie, it turns out, had more power than he or the listener expected; she literally shrank him down into her radio, where he remained as her slave whenever she desired him to come out.

But interestingly, those details did not seem to translate clearly to some listeners. And the lack of clarity led to wild & creative speculation on the part of the public. The song was compared to Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe” (something was thrown off the Tallahatchie Bridge, but we don’t know what). And when “Angie Baby” was a hit in Australia, I got an unexpected 3 a.m. phone call from a disc jockey there, saying he had figured out the riddle of what Angie Baby did with the boy. Sleepy but wanting to be polite, I asked, “OK, what?” Triumphantly he answered, “She turned him into a disc jockey!” Actually, I wish I’d thought of that!

I would also like to claim that I intended to create “the ultimate Women’s Lib song”, as it was called. But I was only being influenced by the times (including, of course “I Am Woman”), and savoring the triumph of David over Goliath, the insane over the sane, & taking my audience on a dramatic ride. I was not consciously making a political statement, although I’m pleased in retrospect that my heroine was seen as “empowered”.

Certainly the song’s success was helped immensely by Helen Reddy’s public persona, and by her singing style, which gave the performance the feel of a subtle “in joke” being shared with a few elite friends.

One of my happiest stories about the song came in the form of a grateful letter from a mental hospital counselor in Hawaii. Seems she had a traumatized patient named Angie, who had been unable to talk for some period of time. She decided to play the 45 rpm single of Angie Baby, daily, for this unfortunate girl, to see if it might somehow help. The counselor wrote that this girl began making dramatic progress, and if memory serves me, was ultimately released.

As a songwriter, if one percent of your product is successful, you are considered a success. I am so thankful that I followed my bliss & have been able to survive & prosper. Helen Reddy’s single was Billboard #1 for two weeks, & eventually sold approximately two million copies.

And whatever you might say about Angie Baby, she’s not boring!

Alan O’Day

For more on the music of Alan O'Day, be sure to visit his website:
(And be sure to check out his LATEST release, too ... we've featured several tracks now from "I Hear Voices", ALWAYS to great response. Check it out for yourself at Alan's website.)

ONE MORE THING: When Frannie first read Alan's explanation of the story behind "Angie Baby", she felt TOTALLY vindicated. "Be sure to tell Alan that I was one of the ones who got it," she told me, regarding the imagery of Angie capturing her lover and keeping him inside her radio, only to draw him out again for some "cuddling company" as the mood struck her. "All the kids told me I was crazy when I told them what I thought the song was about," Frannie says ... "Please let Alan know that he conveyed the imagery perfectly to this young teenager's mind. Plus there is GREAT satisfaction in knowing that I was right after all these years!!!" Amen! (kk)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Letting Our Hair Down With Another Forgotten Hits List Favorite

Although this song was never really much of a hit ... despite NUMEROUS recordings by artists who firmly believed that it SHOULD have been ... it CERTAINLY has proven to be popular with our Forgotten Hits Readers.

Over the past three or four years, we've featured at least ONE version of "She Lets Her Hair Down" (aka "Early In The Morning") at least three or four times, due to popular demand from our readers. And, just recently, it has come up again ...

So THIS time we scoured through the archives to put together the DEFINITIVE piece on this long-forgotten classic. Along the way, we'll revisit some of your comments ... and feature a few versions of the song that seem to be amongst your favorites.

Here's what prompted the resurgence THIS time around!!! (kk)

No need to publish this in your blog ... I was just looking for a little song help.
I wondered if you could tell me what issue of Forgotten Hits has the song either titled “She Let’s Her Hair Down When the Sun Comes Up” or “She Goes Walking…” I have been looking for it in old issues and cannot find it. Or, if it is easier just to send the DivShare that would be cool. I think it was within the last month?
Seriously – here’s a little song whose claim to fame was helped as the background for a hair color commercial, but I still liked it a lot. I am not even sure if I have it downstairs somewhere in a box!
Thank you!
Sue Patterson

Actually, Sue, these are EXACTLY the types of letters we like to publish in our HELPING OUT OUR READERS Segments!!! And, as stated above, this track has LONG been a Forgotten Hits Favorite. Here again, for ALL of your enjoyment, is the best of the recaps from years gone by:

Back in the earliest days of rock and roll, it was not at all unusual to see several artists record the same song and then share chart and airplay positions ... in fact, it was a pretty common practice. We've addressed this issue before in Forgotten Hits and, at the time when professional songwriters and recording artists were most often two different things, this is simply the way things were done. In fact, back then, the SONG was most often considered more important than the artist who recorded it. (As such, you had TV Shows like "Your Hit Parade" with a bunch of old fogies trying to sing the latest Elvis, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis hits of the day!!! And, worse yet, they were SERIOUS about it!!!)As the '60's developed, however, and more and more artists began recording their OWN songs ... songs that THEY had written ... and the Tin Pan Alley / Brill Building days began to pass. But every once in a while, you'd still get an instance where two artists would record the same song and then fight for chart position. (Two titles from the mid-'60's that immediately come to mind are the Bobby Vee / Kenny O'Dell versions of "Beautiful People" ... and the Glen Campbell / Wayne Newton versions of "Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife".) However, it could ALSO be argued that competing versions of the same song could, in fact, hamper the success of ALL of the versions ... and I believe this to be the case with today's featured tune, "She Lets Her Hair Down". This song was recorded by big name artists like The Tokens and Gene Pitney, who both scored minor chart hits with their respective versions. (The Tokens' version peaked at #59 in Cash Box and Gene Pitney's take stopped at #89 in Billboard.) NEITHER of these versions charted here in Chicago, however, where a guy named Don Young, a New York pop singer, took his version all the way to #17 on the WCFL Survey. (Locally, WLS ignored the record and, nationally, it "bubbled under" in Billboard at #104.) Versions of "She Lets Her Hair Down" were also recorded by The Cuff Links (featuring FH Member Ron Dante on lead vocals), Rupert Holmes, the guy who would ultimately take Dante's place in The Cuff Links ... and then score a #1 Hit of his own with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" ... and '70's teen heart-throb Bobby Sherman (who ALSO "bubbled under" on the Billboard charts with his version.)

"She Lets Her Hair Down" first saw life as a Breck Shampoo television commercial. Like "We've Only Just Begun" and "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" a few years later, it was expanded to "song length" to be released as a single. Unlike these other two examples, however, it pretty much tanked.

Why the Don Young version clicked here in Chicago is beyond me ... there doesn't seem to be any "Chicago Connection" regarding this artist. According to Forgotten Hits List Member Jeff Duntemann (who supplied today's copy of the Don Young version of "She Lets Her Hair Down"), his original single shows the title as "Early In The Morning", (obviously, a key lyric in the song) ... yet all the chart information I have shows the more common and familiar title "She Lets Her Hair Down" as being the correct name of this tune. Thanks again, Jeff, for sending us this rare track ... we looked EVERYWHERE for it!!! (kk)

Jeff says: The "official" name is "Early in the Morning." It was originally a shampoo commercial, (I found listings for both Breck and Clairol as the originators of this advertising campaign-kk) and many people have done covers, including Gene Pitney. Don's is my favorite.

Forgotten Hits List Member Sev / SNOREFEST picks up the story: "Early In The Morning" was the victim of a low-impact cover battle in the last few months of 1969 between the two 60's chart stalwarts: both The Tokens and Gene Pitney had recorded versions, which battled the half bottom of the Billboard Hot 100. In order to avoid confusion with the Vanity Fare hit of the same name and firmly identify the song with it's roots as a shampoo commercial jingle, the song was retitled "She Let's Her Hair Down (Early In The Morning)" for a single release. FYI ..... Speaking of "She Let's Her Hair Down" ..... another forgotten artist that recorded this tune was Rupert Holmes. (Could this be The Cuff Links version)? I know Rupert was involved with them. Sev

Besides The Tokens' version and the Gene Pitney version, we also featured the Don Young version of "She Lets Her Hair Down" (which made Chicago's Top 20 in 1970) during our original series spotlighting this song. At the time, I wasn't aware of the Rupert Holmes version, but The Cuff Links DID record a song called "Early In The Morning" on their debut LP, which featured Forgotten Hits Member Ron Dante on lead vocals ... odds are that THIS was the same song, too!!! (I later emailed Ron Dante to see if he could confirm this for us ... which he later did, thus enabling us to feature ALL of these versions in subsequent issues of Forgotten Hits!) We then found another "Bubbling Under" single version recorded by '70's teen heart-throb Bobby Sherman, making "She Lets Her Hair Down" one of the most covered failures of modern pop music!!! (lol) kk

Thanks for The Cuff Links' version of Early in the Morning. I had the album on an 8 track and that was one of my favorite tracks from it. I, of course, can't play the album any more, so I may have to go to the website you mentioned to find it again. I had not realized Gene Pitney had done this song, or if I knew it, I had forgotten. I knew Gene's music all my life, of course, and after his passing, I heard a wonderful tribute and special on Xm radio about him and his music and have such a great respect for him ... he had a fantastic vocal range.
Thanks again,
I was able to catch the XM Gene Pitney Anthology Tribute, too ... VERY well done ... and afterwards I had even more respect for Gene as an artist. Finding The Cuff Links' version of "Early In The Morning" was a REAL bonus ... I didn't even know it existed! (This is what I mean about the power of our musical connection ... and then to have Ron Dante himself comment on the track ... WOW!!!) I will ALWAYS be a music fan FIRST ... and a "spreader of memories and information" second ... so believe me when I tell you that I was every bit as excited as every OTHER Forgotten Hits Reader when this revelation came to pass!!! (kk)

I do have the Cuff Links album. And I find that that song was a hit for The Tokens in 1970 who called it "She Lets Her Hair Down (Early In The Morning)". I vaguely remember it being played on an old Clairol commercial. I think it was also done by several easy listening artists during the 70s. A same title song that came out about the same time the Cuff Links LP was released is "Early in the Morning" by Vanity Fare, a totally different and more popular song ... I'm sure you know that one. Another totally different song called "Early in the Morning" is on Harry Nilsson's' "Nilsson Schmillson" LP. Not a hit. But a land mark LP for Harry. Steve C

More and more information continued to come in on this song ...

Hey Kent - I have more on "She Lets Her Hair Down" ... I got this off of the Rupert Holmes web site:

Having arranged much of the Cuff Links first album, Rupert replaced vocalist Ron Dante as the "group's" lead voice while continuing to arrange most of the material, primarily written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss.

I have BOTH Cuff Links LPs on Vinyl. Looks like The Cuff Links' and Rupert Holmes' version of "She Let's Her Hair Down" were released at very much the same time, The Cuff Links' in September of 1969. Oddly enough The Cuff Links' version lists the composers as P. Vance / L. Pockriss & arranged by Rupert Holmes ... and Rupert's version (originally released by The Street People, featuring Rupert, in November of '69, and released on the same label as Gene Pitney, Musicor), lists the composers as P. Vance / R. Holmes & D Jordan. (Produced by Paul Vance). Meanwhile, on the Lyric Website, featuring the Gene Pitney version, it lists the composers as Vance / Carr ... which is correct? In the almighty words of Vinnie Barbarino, "I'M SO CONFUSED"
Hmmm ... did RUPERT maybe write some additional lyrics for The Street People version (and then take a co-writers credit???) I dunno ... but as we continue to let our hair down here in Forgotten Hits (we have now featured an incredible SIX different versions of "She Lets Her Hair Down"!!!) ... it sure would be nice to track this information down once and for all as to who first recorded it ... and who REALLY wrote it!!!

It's interesting, too, that Rupert used the "She Lets Her Hair Down" title on HIS recording but Ron Dante's Cuff Links' version (which Holmes produced) was released as "Early In The Morning"!!! If your release dates are correct, that throws ANOTHER interesting wrinkle into the mix ... the song title change was allegedly inspired by the hit single "Early In The Morning" by Vanity Fare ... but THAT single didn't even debut on the charts until the very end of November, by which time both The Cuff Links' version and The Street People's version would have already been recorded and released ... with different song titles!!! (Weird!!!) kk

I have no doubt that the song was written by just Vance and Pockriss. They are the real deal since their partnership produced many hits including "Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini", "Catch a Falling Star" and "Tracy", I think. This song sure got around and used quite a bit I see! Danny Jordan was Paul's nephew and was in my group, The Detergents, which Vance and Pockiss produced.

- Ron Dante

It'd be cool to talk to either Paul Vance or Lee Pockiss about this someday (if that could be arranged.) I'd also be curious to know if Ron Dante had the "inside track" on this one due to his jingle-singing connection. (kk)

Of the three versions of "She Lets Her Hair Down", I think Don Young's is the best. However with 35 years of retrospect behind us, I can easily see (hear) some of the aspects of the song that prevented it from going further up the charts. Actually, had the Tokens dumped the falsetto, it would have made for a better version and had Gene Pitney sung it without supporting vocals and the extraneous instrumentation, it, too, might have fared better. His voice never needed any help. So Don Young kinda wins by default.
and then ...
Actually, now that I've heard ALL of the versions presented so far of She Let's Her Hair Down, I think Rupert Holmes' version was the best.

>>>I have no doubt that the song was written just by Vance and Pockriss. (Ron Dante)

This is what I pulled from the ASCAP website:

SHE LETS HER HAIR DOWN - (Title Code: 490272881)






Publishers / Administrators: MUSIC SALES CORP; 257 PARK AVENUE SOUTH - 20TH FL; NEW YORK , NY, 10010; Tel. (212) 254-2100

I'd personally love to get in touch with Paul Vance or Danny Jordan, myself ... both of them were involved with Diamond Records early on (especially Paul ... I'm sure he could tell me loads of stories!) I don't even know if either of them is still around anymore ... but I'm hoping. Tom Diehl

Maybe after Ron Dante reads this, he'll send us some info that I can pass along to you. (kk)

I know a lot of people consider this a "lost" hit, and feel that it did not become a major hit due to several competing versions. In my opinion, it is a mediocre song, and not even that memorable as a commercial jingle. To me, the fact that several very talented artists were unable to get the song off the ground says something about the quality (or lack thereof) of the song itself. Compare the lack of chart success of "She Lets Her Hair Down" to the success of the Coca-Cola jingle "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" a couple of years later, where two artists, The Hillside Singers and The New Seekers, both had sizable hits with the same song. Not that I personally feel that "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" ever deserved to be more than a thirty second radio spot, the record buying public apparently felt otherwise. I guess more people enjoyed a song that reminded them of drinking a Coke than a song that reminded them of shampooing their hair. DJF0321

I still have 'She Lets Her Hair Down' in my regular personal rotation. This one should have been a much bigger hit for the group. It's the only record I know of that uses a Slinky as a musical instrument. Listen and hear for yourself. (Careful -- converting and compressing this one may make the slinky's sound too muddy) And we even played Cross Country's 'In The Midnight Hour' in late '73.
David Lewis
I think the Cross Country version of "In The Midnight Hour" is a GREAT version ... and, in fact, it was a Top 20 Hit here in Chicago! (We've featured it as a Forgotten Hits a couple of time before ... and I recently sent a copy to Bob Stroud for consideration on the next Rock And Roll Roots CD!!!) kk

Hey Kent --

Loved today's issue. I scanned the 45 of Don Young's "Early In The Morning" cover for your collection. I recorded the song off WCFL onto 8" reel-reel tape when I was a senior in high school in Chicago in 1969. I looked for the 45 for 35 years, and finally found it in a grubby used record shop in Phoenix. It was not in good shape, and then I broke it -- but managed to get a rip done and suppress most of the pops from the fracture line using GoldWave.
Another case that might be worth mentioning of the same song charting by two artists at the same time is "Concrete And Clay". According to Whitburn's books, two artists entered the charts with that song on the same day: 5/1/65. Both, furthermore, charted for 9 weeks. Unit Four Plus Two took it to Billboard #28, and Eddie Rambeau took it to #35. (I don't have the Chicago chart stats but would be interested to see how they did back home.) I love that song, especially the Rambeau cover. (The other guys were "rougher" and more rock'n'roll.) That would be something to talk about in a future issue. I have an MP3 of the Rambeau version but not Unit Four Plus Two. I'll ask around and see if I can find it anywhere. Eddie's still around and has a Web site:

He implies that Unit Four Plus Two wrote the song, tho I haven't confirmed that. Here's a Web site: another:

Thanks for all the hard work on this thing. I can't imagine that you've been doing this for YEARS!!!

-- Jeff Duntemann

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Thanks for the photo, Jeff! (See the Comment below regarding the title of the song.) I covered "Concrete And Clay" a couple of years ago and sent out BOTH versions. (For the record, the Unit 4+2 hit went to #12 in Cash Box, #28 in Billboard and #16 here in Chicago. The Eddie Rambeau version tied for the #12 Cash Box and #16 Chicagoland spots because, as I just mentioned earlier in this article, back then the song title determined the chart position, not the artist, and went to #35 in Billboard.) kk

ISN'T IT IRONIC #1: Ironically, these original comments surrounding "She Lets Her Hair Down" went out the Thanksgiving Weekend that Forgotten Hits turned Six Years Old!!! Incredibly, this past weekend we just celebrated our TENTH Anniversary!!!) kk

The name change for Early in the Morning was also due to a song that was currently a hit for Vanity Fare at that time. Don Young, the Cubs Outfielder, should be in the Cubs Hall of Shame for his outfield play, as his poor play in the field led to the collapse of the 1969 Cubs. Clay Pasternack

Ah ... "Early In The Morning" ... another one of our earliest Forgotten Hits features (and another one of my personal favorites!) We'll include THAT one again today, too ('cause you SURE ain't likely to hear this one on the radio!!!)

NOPE ... NOT HIM!!!!!

Don Young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, being a Cub fan, I remember him well!!!!!! His claim to fame was in a game where he made a bobbling catch of a fly ball to center field ... As a matter of fact ... I still have that same card in my collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He played with the Cubs in "69-70" and hit about .210! Mike

"Early In The Morning" was most memorably recorded by Buddy Holly / Bobby Darin & The Rinkydinks & Ding Dongs. I remember using it when I hosted Mystery Lyrics 08/15/99. Diana

Don't know if I can agree with that ... although we covered BOTH the Bobby Darin / Rinky-Dinks version AND the Buddy Holly cover in our month-long Bobby Darin series, these singles only went to #24 and #25 respectively. The Vanity Fare single actually hit #10 in Cash Box in early 1970. (I also remember a Nilsson album cut by that name and see that both The Gap Band and Robert Palmer charted higher with yet ANOTHER song of the same name in the '80's.) kk

I sent you an ebay link for this one some time ago which showed the title on the Don Young 45 as "She Lets Her Hair Down" ... I'm pretty sure of it ...

Tom Diehl

Yes, you did ... and yes, IT did ... which means this single (despite selling next to nothing) was pressed at least a couple of times ... showing, at one time or another, BOTH titles: "She Lets Her Hair Down" AND "Early In The Morning"!!! (kk)


I really liked the song "She Lets Her Hair Down" and have both the Pitney and Tokens versions. I had forgotten all about the version by Don Young but thanks for bringing it up. I don't recall if I ever heard the version back then but I was aware of it when it came out, as I was a subscriber of Billboard for nearly 10 years beginning in the mid-late sixties. It was expensive but I loved the charts, new releases and reviews, industry news and special industry / promo inserts. Anyhow, back to Don Young (I'm also a lifetime Cubs' fan) ... He was the center fielder for the disastrous 1969 Cubs. He missed a flyball in a key situation / key game toward the end of the season and was nearly crucified by Cub fans (think Bartman-like flak). Ron Santo, Cub third baseman at the time, was all over the poor guy and in some circles was credited / blamed for Young's abbreviated career. To this day Don Young cannot be located by Cub staff re: team reunions. As avid as Cub fans are, I gotta believe a combination of "fan" support and local radio execs (perhaps thinking the artist really WAS the Cubs' Don Young) helped get this version played. Bob Conway

After listening to all three versions of this tune, I guess it IS the Don Young version that I remember best. (The other two never charted here in Chicago ... and even Young's version was only played on WCFL.) I think I'm probably MORE familiar with it as the hair commercial, however! After all the flack that the OTHER Don Young took from Cubs fans and the local press, I doubt that ANYONE would have played ANYTHING that might have had something to do with this guy after The Great Fall of '69 and the Ron Santo tirade!!! (I wonder if Santo ever apologized?!?!?) kk

ISN'T IT IRONIC #2: Incredibly, we ALSO just covered the Cubs / Don Young debacle as part of our Tribute to 1969 earlier this year in Forgotten Hits!!! (kk)


I have to weigh in on the Tokens' "She Lets Her hair Down". I thought their version was a classic! I was so thinking that THIS would be the song to bring them back to the top of the Billboard charts. Instead it brought them back to the top of the Lincoln, Ne. (?) charts. It reached #5 on KLMS here and followup covers 45s "Don't Worry Baby" and "Both Sides Now" each reached the top 11 here also. I loved their "Don't Worry Baby" then,too. All 1970 charters here.


The Tokens did a nice version of "Don't Worry Baby". (It's a GREAT song ... honestly, I don't know if I've ever really heard a BAD version of this one!) It peaked at #71 in Cash Box in 1970. (These would be some good songs to feature in our next Local Hits / Show Me Your Hits Series ... why don't you write me up a little some on both of these!!! If you've got more gems like this to share regarding the Lincoln, Nebraska charts, drop me a line ... I don't know if you were on the list yet the first two times we went cross country and featured regional hits. In the meantime, I've included The Tokens' version of The Beach Boys' classic "Don't Worry Baby" for the rest of the list to enjoy, too. (kk)

My fave version is the Tokens ... always has been always will be :-) Cheryl


The only song that I recall having two versions appear on the charts at the same time was "Young Love." The battle was between Sonny James and Tab Hunter. This was in the late 50s. I don't know which version charted higher, but I always favored James' version.


There were TONS of them ... especially in the latter half of the '50's. (We could probably fill an entire month-long Forgotten Hits series on this topic one of these days!!!) For the record, BOTH versions of "Young Love" hit the #1 spot ... a rarity in itself. Tab Hunter's version spent six weeks on top of Billboard's Top 100 Chart. It SHARED the #1 position in Cash Box with the Sonny James version (again ... ranked by SONG TITLE rather than artist at the time.) Officially, Sonny James peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 100 (making "Young Love" the #1 AND the #2 song in the country at the time!) And, speaking of "country," it also topped Billboard's COUNTRY chart for nine weeks!!! A version by The Crew Cuts ALSO shared chart-space with these #1 hits ... THEIR version peaked at #24. Sixteen years later, it was a hit all over again for teen idol (and recent Dancing With The Stars Champion) Donny Osmond, whose remake went to #25 in 1973. (kk)

Hi Kent,

Hope you, and yours, are well. "Early In The Morning", from last send, tweaked my unconscious. (I recall that tune from radio, or perhaps even the shampoo commercial that was mentioned. Was GREAT to flash-back to.) Here's a loooong-shot. There was as a "fragrance", I assume aimed at the 12-18 female demographic, named "Heaven Sent" - possibly "Heaven Scent". This was circa 1966-1970?, Chicago market, heavy saturation. There was a rather catchy song they labeled that product with, and played it again, and again, and yet ... again. On those late night drives one takes with that new girl ... who makes one's heart beat faster than the rest, the ambient melodies create the sountrack ... smile. The lyrics go something like: "Suddenly, there's a heavenly fragrance that clings ... it's heaven scent. Suddenly you're an "imp" (imp?) wearing angel's wings ... in heaven scent ... Suddenly you are all of the things that you want to be, a little bit naughty but heavenly ... in heaven sent ... etc." Can you imagine the angst those lyrics would create in the 16 year-old female heart? Angel / naughty? I digress ... I have so many memories tied to that commercial, and people I've kept connected to. Years ago I tried calling radio stations, and even searched the net. I'd do anything to get my hands on that. Might anyone out there in FH-land has ANY clue If, and HOW, I might be able to get my hands on that commercial? Thought fishing in "FH" pool might get a lead? Thanks ever-so ... Ron

Hey, it's worth a shot ... we've come up with STRANGER requests! (LOL) I used to love the "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" / Donovan song / commercial, too ... don't know if ANY of this helped sell perfume or hair products but these were GREAT little songs! (kk)

DANG!!! We are just CHOCK Full of Musical Memories today in Forgotten Hits!!! ENJOY!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Some Of Your Instrumental Comments

I agree much more with your readers' list than his!!!

You've got to keep in mind that the READERS' list has the benefit of 20/20 hindsight ... Randy's list is the most accurate representation of how these songs really performed on the charts at the time. As usual, you can blame radio for a good part of this ... how many of these songs have remained in rotation for the past 40-50 years??? MOST of the titles on Your Favorites List are immediately recognizable ... because THESE songs have continued to receive airplay. When is the last time you heard "Autumn Leaves" by Roger Williams or "Canadian Sunset" by Hugo Winterhalter or anything by Les Baxter or Lawrence Welk or Billy Vaughn or Henry Mancini on the radio? Yet these songs were HUGE hits at the time, often occupying the top spot on the charts for weeks ... if not MONTHS ... on end! That's what makes THIS particular poll so interesting ... you get to see, side-by-side, the biggest all-time instrumental hits as well as your personal favorites. Consider that "Sleep Walk" (which just so happens to be MY all-time favorite instrumental, too!) only ranked #23 in the OFFICIAL Top 50 ... yet scored enough votes to leave ALL of the competition behind in our "Favorites" poll! (kk)

Kent ...
I like our list better than the Billboard List. Only two songs I'm not familiar with: #36 = Soul Coaxing and # 41 = Jessica.
Frank B.
"Jessica" by The Allman Brothers Band ends up being one of the most "current" songs on the countdown ... yet it is already 35 years old!!! While only reaching #33 in Cash Box Magazine in 1974 (it stopped at #65 in Billboard!), it has been an FM Classic Rock staple ever since. And "Soul Coaxing" (aka "Ame Caline") is the one that seems to have REALLY gained in stature since it first peaked at #36 back in 1968. We're featuring BOTH of these instrumental favorites today ... I'm guessing that you WILL recognize them once you put the melody with the title. (kk)

Well, the only thing that's missing is "Red River Rock" by Johnny and the Hurricanes, and it's my own fault for not sending my list in. Great choices! And, just in case I haven't said it lately ... thanks for all you do with Forgotten Hits - it's truly amazing!
Thank you for the nice compliment! Yep ... you forfeit your right to bitch if you didn't vote!!! (lol) Actually, "Red River Rock" did very well all on its own ... 83 votes ... just not enough to make the list. (EVERY song that made The Top 50 received at least 100 votes ... in fact, to include ALL of the songs that hit the 100 Vote Mark, we would have had to count down the Top 58!!! Again, this just helps to confirm how ACCURATE this list really is ... the REAL favorites rose head-and-shoulders above the rest to make the list.) kk

>>>Any Surprises??? Let us know what you think about the final results! (kk)
Yes, I found a couple of surprises ... the Ray Anthony version of "Peter Gunn" making the list instead of the Duane Eddy version ... and the Vince Guaraldi version of "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" making the list instead of the Sounds Orchestral version.

Only a few titles earned more than one nomination ... but you just hit on the two biggest. The "Peter Gunn Theme" earned votes for the Ray Anthony version, the Duane Eddy version AND the Art Of Noise version (which ALSO featured Duane Eddy on guitar, by the way!!!) When all was said and done, however, it was the Anthony version that earned the most votes ... 135 in all ... better than TWICE as many as Duane Eddy's take (57 votes) and TOTALLY eclipsing the Art Of Noise version (7 votes). As for "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", THIS is the title that came CLOSEST to making the list TWICE. The Vince Guaraldi original version scored 121 votes ... and the Sounds Orchestral remake earned 109 ... putting it just TWO VOTES SHY of making The Top 50!!! Amazing! (kk)

Also interesting to note that some of the biggest instrumental artists of the era ... people like Henry Mancini and Herb Alpert ... were barely noticed on the final countdown ... yet an act like The Allman Brothers Band, not particularly known for their instrumental recordings, MADE The Top 50. Perhaps again another reflection on how the absence of this music from the regular playlists have helped us all to forget just how significant some of these artists truly were at the time. (kk)

There are only 6 1/2 songs out of the fifty that are in my golden era of 1964-71; 13% of the songs and 32% of the years. No wonder I don't like many instrumentals!
My favorite two "No Matter What Shape" and "Embryonic Journey" probably did not come close.
Dwight Rounds
"No Matter What Shape" (by The T-Bones) earned 62 votes ... I don't think "Embryonic Journey" was even nominated!!! (But that one wasn't really a "hit" either!!!) On the radio countdown, we DID draw attention to "No Matter What Shape", "Music To Watch Girls By" and "The Dis-Advantages Of You", as all three songs started life as a television commercial ... although I, too, would consider these '60's Classics, NONE of them earned enough votes from the "masses" to make the final list. (Speaking of the radio countdown, keep watching these pages for news as to where you can listen to the podcast re-broadcast of the ENTIRE Top 50, as played on the air by WRCO DeeJay Phil Nee last weekend!) kk

Hi Kent ...
I thank you for the top 50 instrumentals plus all the work you did to collaborate the votes. I noticed that the "Bonanza" theme song was not on the list and a little ditty called "Washington Square" by the Village Stompers also missed this list. I was surprised. I tend to agree with the survey though. Thanks again and I love Santo and Johnny's Sleep Walk too as my all time favorite instrumental.

"Bonanza" by Al Caiola earned 66 votes ... it's one of MY favorites, too. "Washington Square" by The Village Stompers is one of those that JUST missed ... 87 votes (and an early favorite when the poll was first announced) ... a flood of votes for OTHER titles right near the end of the balloting kept it from making the list. Sorry! (kk)

As a very young DJ, I once commented on the air that our station was playing "the greatest hits of all time." After the broadcast, the GM came up to me with a grin and said, "All time, eh? So tell me. How many hits of the '40s do we play?"
I felt like an idiot -- because of course there were none. We were NOT really playing "the greatest hits of all time." We weren't even playing the greatest hits of our OWN time (in all musical categories). We were playing a selection of the greatest pop and rock hits of the past 20 to 25 years. From that point on, I have always been very careful to not overstate but instead accurately billboard things with a precision which adds clarity and credibility. As an example, while programming oldies at KRLA, I came up with the station slogan "The Heart and Soul of Rock 'n' Roll." That accurately described our programming -- and was a phrase I later reused when titling a CD box set.
It is always so patently absurd when someone slaps "all-time" status on a group of anythings all pulled out of the very same narrow time frame. 1955-1979 is hardly "all time." By that criteria, one could make up a list of "The World's Largest Selling Albums Of All Time -- but quietly restrict it to only those issued between February and June of 1962 in Bulgaria. The fact is, "all time" is all time. It's not 1955 to 1979 -- no matter how myoptic one's view of history might be. We don't want our kids to be oblivious to the music of OUR time -- the rock era. So why should we turn a deaf ear to hits prior to 1955? Should our kids, in turn, turn a deaf ear to music prior to 2005?
What the posted lists really consist of are two things:

a) "The Top 40 Instrumental Hits of 1955-79" (as determined by Randy Price's Super Charts) and
b) "The Favorite Top 50 1955-79 Instrumentals of Forgotten Hits Readers" (as of November 2009).
Gary Theroux

One of the most over-used phrases on radio today (when it comes to the oldies market) IS "The Greatest Hits of All-Time", as NO radio station is currently playing THAT kind of variety these days ... despite the fact that this would make for a VERY interesting format. However, I DO believe you can categorize an era of music ... and the instrumental titles shown on our countdown clearly reflect the list's favorites, circa 1955 - 1979 which, as we've learned, was the most fruitful period for instrumentals during the rock era. (It also just happens to be the timeframe we've ALWAYS covered here in Forgotten Hits.)
I think the misunderstanding comes in the phrasing ... when I use the term "all-time" I'm not doing it to define a time period as much as the individual tastes of the audience. Certainly you can name your all-time top ten favorite songs, which is about as open-ended as you care to make it. If I asked the names of your all-time favorite restaurants or your all-time favorite movies, no such restriction would apply. Our use of "all time" means the choices of any given individual PERSONALLY, and by qualifying a specific time period, I think we've narrowed it down pretty specifically! Simply put, we've asked you to name your "all-time" favorites (personal ... think "absolute favorites" or YOUR "cream of the crop") ... NOT your favorites of all time (FAR too open-ended ... which is why we ALSO defined a very specific time period, namely 1955 - 1979.) And, just for curiosity's sake ... 'cause now you'll have me wondering about this ALL day long ... what exactly ARE your all-time favorite albums issued between February and June, 1962 in Bulgaria?!?!? (kk)

>>>What a fantastic Joey Powers story - many thanks to Artie and everyone else who makes the effort to write down these marvelous bit of history. But now you've got me wondering about the story behind these slightly different mixes to "Midnight Mary". The backing vocal arrangement is substantially different beginning at about 1:50. The "cleaner" version I sent you isn't the version we heard on the radio in 1964. The version you posted is the one I clearly remember hearing on the radio. Not that I remember the layering of Joey's voice at the beginning, but because of the strong difference in the backup arrangement. Interesting ...... (David Lewis)

>>>So many of these stars have gone back and re-recorded their hits for various compilation albums over the years ... perhaps this is one of those (but it sure sounds true to the original recording ... as if it is from the same session.) I asked Artie Wayne if HE could shed any light on this ... was it, in fact, an "alternate take" that somehow has made its way into the public's hands? Or is it a remake recorded well after the fact? (kk)

>>>The "Midnight Mary" mix you sent me is the one I did for the stereo mix of the album. (Artie Wayne)
What I find interesting is that Artie says the originally posted version posted was done for the stereo mix of the album ... if I recall correctly, the rest of the album is true stereo while Midnight Mary was rechanneled. The one you originally posted was mono and matches how my 45 sounds, so it's no wonder they'd use a rechanneled version of the single mix for the album while leaving the rest of the album fillers in true stereo (this was common in the 60's). The version David posted is definitely from the same session and may even be an undubbed take from the same take as the hit, but is still mono anyway. There's a person named Mark Mathews who takes undubbed mixes and sometimes alternate takes and can create stereo 45 versions of songs by syncing up tracks in separate channels and doing whatever he does to extract any audio that would make it not sound like a 45 version. One of the tracks he tackled was Midnight Mary and he took the undubbed take and had it coming through one channel and had the full mono single and had it coming through the other. I liked how it sounded but without being able to access my own computer at the moment, I can only go by memory that the vocal from the undubbed take didn't quite match up with the full mono version. Why the alternate version exists is that it is likely that Larry Uttal held on to the session tape after Artie turned the song over to him for Amy Records, or as Artie says, maybe it was meant to be used for the album but kept off in place of the actual hit version.
Here's a nice little piece of trivia for you ... because of Midnight Mary becoming an unexpected hit, Larry Uttal reactivated the Bell record label (which hadn't issued a single in a number of years at that point) and the label would go on to be the home of the Syndicate Of Sound, Tony Orlando & Dawn, The Partridge Family, Barry Manilow, and numerous others ... You can read more on the label's history here:
Tom Diehl

By the way, since a couple of people took the time to write in questioning Artie's timeline regarding the assassination of President Kennedy and the first playing of The Beatles' hit "I Want To Hold Your Hand" here in America, here is Artie's amended final word on the subject:

Kent ...

How ya' doin'?

After experiencing exhaustion and falling asleep often on late night cab trips from Manhattan to the Bronx, I obviously confused the trip I wrote about with one that happened at a later time.

Thanks and regards,

Artie Wayne

Like we said before, if you aren't 100% accurate on THIS list, you're going to get called on it!!! (lol) Something that's happened to pretty much ALL of us at one time or another over the past ten years!!! (kk)

Hi Kent!
Hope you and all the members of the class of Forgotten Hits had a great Thanksgiving weekend!
Congratulations on your tenth anniversary of providing news and information about the greatest era in pop music to your legions of loyal fans!
I am SO EXCITED to see the highly anticipated list of instrumental favorites! Many of my own fave raves were in the list, and I can't wait to download and listen to the podcast of Phil Nee's countdown show!
Speaking of instrumentals, part one of TRIALS AND TRUBULATIONS OF A SURF MUSIC LEGEND is now complete and ready to debut on the FORGOTTEN HITS blog, as soon as you have an opening to post it! It's written from the viewpoint of MERRELL FANKHAUSER, the writer of the original version of the surf instrumental classic WIPE OUT, released by THE IMPACTS in the fall of 1962. It really is a great story and I'm sure will be of interest to anyone in the FH class who are fans of the surf music scene of the early sixties!
In the meantime, I've already alerted you and the FH family about the stories I've posted about my friend of many years, RUSS TERRANA. He's the true "unsung hero" of Motown Records, who mixed NEARLY HALF of the label's #1 records and hundreds of other charted singles and album cuts during his decades-long career that lasted to the very end of Berry Gordy's reign on the label!
I had promised to post a comprehensive feature story documenting his storied career and, with the recent release of the new JACKSON 5 album I WANT YOU BACK! UNRELEASED MASTERS, I decided this was the time to release this previously untold story! PART ONE of BEHIND THE MOTOWN MIXING BOARD TIEH RUSS TERRANA is now online! It's a fresh, new read on the story behind the Motown hits of the sixties, seventies and eighties and loaded with lots of stuff that's never been published before!
Part One of this fascinating story is online now at my company blog, and can be accessed directly here!
Happy Holidays to all and, as usual, STAY TUNED!
Joe Klein
aka "New Media Joe"
Thanks, Joe ... LOTS of good reaction to the new Jackson Five reissue ... and Michael was ALL over the TV Screen this Thanksgiving Weekend, too ... "This Is It" is still doing big box office at the movie theaters ... and a couple of new Jacksons-related TV reality series are already in the works. PLENTY to keep our MJ Fans satisfied for weeks, if not MONTHS to come!!! As for Merrell's "Wipe Out" Story, THAT's coming up, too! (kk)

And, for MORE great reading, be sure to check out the Hy Lit web page newsletter here:
Read the HyLitRadio November 29th Newsletter
Sam Lit
President / CEO
Hy Lit Radio Technologies Inc.

Allison Martino has her own youtube channel ... and it includes a nice video photo collage to her father Al's song, "Daddy's Little Girl."
David Lewis
Thanks, David. I tried this one a couple of different times and couldn't get it to play ... but I DID find some awesome links to some live Paul McCartney videos there!!! Maybe some of our list members will have better luck than I did. (kk)

>>>In regards to your comments on long versions of late 60’s early 70’s tunes, I had to laugh. “Crimson and Clover” long version is my favorite ever. I admit the song sounds complete without it, but I love every extended section as the guitar takes on new sounds and attitudes. Fuzz, wah-wah – I love it! A good example of one I don’t like much is “And When I Die” by B, S &T. That rodeo-style solo breaks up the mood created in the song.Fun stuff to talk about. Keep up the great site. (Greg F. / Renditions)

Honestly, I like BOTH versions of "And When I Die" and "Spinning Wheel" ... it's always interesting when these songs start playing on the radio, trying to guess which version they're going to play ... kinda like watching the opening of The Dick Van Dyke Show and screaming out "Trip" or "No Trip"!!! (lol) I think both versions of these stand alone just fine as complete pieces. There are TONS of "shortened" single mixes from back in the pre-FM Radio days when record companies thought the listeners' attention span didn't go past three minutes ... as a result, we got "punched up" hit single mixes on many of our favorite tunes. (I remember being particularly disappointed when I'd buy the 45 in the store and hear a much LONGER version than what I was accustomed to hearing on the radio. "Reflections Of My Life" by Marmalade and "Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself" by The Bee Gees immediately come to mind.) We previously mentioned things like "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" by Elvin Bishop and "Crimson And Clover". I think the short version of "All Right Now" by Free has more "kick" to it than the longer, LP version ... but that doesn't necessarily mean I don't LIKE the LP version ... same with "Green Eyed Lady" by Sugarloaf or "Black Magic Woman" by Santana ... it's nice to hear BOTH of these mixes from time to time. We could certainly do a whole series on this topic as there were many, many others. Maybe we should start to build a list for a future piece??? What do you guys think? (kk)

I love it. I think Green Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf had a shortened single version. The long 6:51 version had only 1:36 of vocals. Other than that, and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, do you know any other songs which have such a low portion of vocals?
There were shortened singles versions, but it was a myth that singles had to be 2:30 or less, which lasted until at least 1969.
Did Susie Q have a shortened version?
Here are some 3+ pre-1969 minute singles:
House of the Rising Sun (was there a shortened single version?); The Last Time; Satisfaction; Ticket to Ride; Hey Jude; Like A Rolling Stone; McArthur Park; Good Vibrations; Sunshine Superman; Strawberry Fields Forever; Turn Turn Turn (was there a shortened version?); 19th Nervous Breakdown; Paint It Black; Jumpin' Jack Flash; Let's Spend The Night Together; Eight Miles High; Hello, Goodbye; Cherish; Monday Monday;
You've Got Your Troubles; Ruby Tuesday
I just found out recently that 45s cannot hold over about 7:00 of music on each side. That is why American Pie was on two sides.
Dwight Rounds
"Susie Q" most DEFINITELY had a shortened version released as a single (actually, I think the song was split on BOTH sides of the 45 as Part One / Part Two, if I remember correctly.) And I wish I could FIND the shorter version of "House Of The Rising Sun" ... it hasn't been played in so long, MOST people have forgotten that it even existed! Songs like "MacArthur Park" and "Hey Jude" are probably just as well known for their unconventional length at the time as their hit status, finally dispelling the theory that a song HAD to be under three minutes to be a hit. (Incredibly, there was some consideration at the time to split "Hey Jude" into both sides of a single, with the "Na Na Na" finale tacked on to the other side of the record!!! Can you even imagine?!?!? Thankfully, common sense ultimately prevailed ... this was, after all, THE BEATLES!!!)

Some of these other titles sure didn't beat the three minute mark by much! It was a different time, to be sure. Back then, artists were releasing as many as THREE albums a year and as many as four or five singles, too! Radio airplay competition was at an all-time high ... and songs only stayed on the charts for about 6-8 weeks! There was SO much new, innovative music coming out, you had to change with the times literally overnight ... all of this contributed to making this the most exciting time in music history EVER! (Nowadays, songs stay on the charts for over a YEAR on a regular basis!!! And there is far LESS innovation going on.) Hard to describe this particular era of music in words ... you kinda had to be there!!! (kk)

Kent ...
Maybe you can pass along my Happy Birthday wishes to Freddie " Boom - Boom " Cannon. His Birthday is Friday, December 4th. Thanks for all the great music. Keep rockin'.
Frank B.

Happy Birthday from ALL of us here at Forgotten Hits, Freddy!!! #70 ... and STILL rockin' like the old days!!! WTG, Freddy!!! (kk)