Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 02 - 10 )

No, I'm not talking about Rod Stewart here ... although with all the big names that'll be calling in this evening to congratulate legendary Disc Jockey Dick Biondi on his 50 year anniversary since first signing on the air here in Chicago, I can't say that I would be totally surprised if the Rod-man gave a jingle, too!!! (Of course YOU guys can call in, too ... assuming you can even get through the phone lines!!! They've been recording congratulations and well-wishes for a couple of weeks now ... here's the latest update from Rob Feder):
An array of rock ’n’ roll royalty will join the immortal Dick Biondi from 7 p.m. to midnight Sunday when he celebrates the 50th anniversary of his debut on Chicago radio. Luminaries on the lineup include Brenda Lee, Carl Giamarese, Frankie Avalon, Gene Chandler, Gary Puckett, Tommy James, Tony Orlando, Lou Christie, Bobby Vinton, Freddy Cannon, Jim “Hook” Pilster and Ronnie Rice. Also expected to stop by is Gov. Pat Quinn. The live special will be simulcast on Citadel Broadcasting news / talk WLS-AM (890) and oldies WLS-FM (94.7).
It’s not too late to leave your own message of congratulations to Biondi at
(312) 984-5350.
-- Robert Feder
Out-of-Towners can "Listen Live" here:

This is hilarious! It recounts Ken Levine's Chicago Radio Experience.
David Lewis

Hi Kent!
I'd like to tell you about my new website.
It's located at
I'd like to thank Ramtown Mike for putting together a site for me to archive my interviews. Many more will be added both old and new.
Mike is one of our Dee jays at topshelfoldies. We have shows every night and topshelf now streams 24/7. Tune in and hear something different each night.
As I write this on Wednesday, Ramtown Mike is returning to topshelf after being on hiatus for a month. Mike moved from New Jersey to Tennessee. But Mike couldn't drive a car or fly to his new home, he had to hire a stagecoach. We all wish Mike and Barb good wishes in their new home. Sadly Mike now has a legal problem. The Mayor of Ramtown, New Jersey wants Mike to give them the name back since he no longer lives in Ramtown. It's always something.

DJ Stu Weiss

By the way ... next Friday night (May 5th) I'll be interviewing Dodie Stevens.
Another great phone interview!!!!!!!


Earthworks Entertainment Signs LOI For The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame
Addison, TX – April 30, 2010 (Market Wire)
Earthworks Entertainment, Inc. today announced that the Company has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire an interest in John Rook’s Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
The Hit Parade Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 by legendary radio programmer John Rook to recognize the highly popular recording artists that have been virtually ignored by the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”. According to Rook “there are so many stars that have made major contributions from the 50’s through the 80’s that have never received the recognition they deserve, artists such as Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Pat Boone, Chubby Checker, Petula Clark, Nat “King” Cole, Perry Como, Tom Jones, Frankie Laine, Barry Manilow, Dean Martin, Al Martino, Johnny Mathis, McGuire Sisters, Patti Page, Neil Diamond, Connie Francis, Frank Sinatra, Kay Starr, Barbra Streisand, Bobby Vinton and Andy Williams have been inducted along with more than 100 others into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
Every January the Hit Parade Hall of Fame nominating committee (which is made up of a who’s who of the radio and record industry) aided by the vote of fans at the website decides the latest inductees and considers additional nominees that will be made public in February. Worldwide nearly one million fans have voted in the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
Earthworks Entertainment, Inc. CEO Steven Humphries commented “the Hit Parade Hall of Fame was the idea that sparked the Hit Parade Radio format which we partnered with John in last year. Hit Parade Radio will play a major force in the promotion of the Hall Of Fame, and vice versa. We expect to finalize our agreement over the next several days”.
John Rook will remain the operator and serve as President of The Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

It's good to hear Scott Shannon playing more Forgotten Hits on a regular basis. Yesterday I heard him play "Talk Talk" and "Sideshow" in the same half hour - and later in the same hour he explained the saga of Mark Dinning's second (almost) hit record "Top 40 News, Weather, and Sports". This kind of stuff makes me listen longer and keeps my finger away from the button.
David Lewis
I've talked to Scott about this several times in the past ... within the context of his show, he's pretty much got free reign to play some of these "forgotten hits" as requests, forgotten 45's and "Cheezy Easy Listening Songs" ... at least it gets some of these long-forgotten hits some long overdue occassional airplay. But what seems to get lost in translation sometimes is the very fact that the listeners WANT to hear some of this stuff more often rather than the same 200-300 songs over and over and over again ... THAT'S what makes the requests so much more interesting than the "norm". There must be SOME type of "compromise" that can be reached to satisfy everybody ... why not take those same 300 songs and spread 'em out over the five-day work week where you feature 60 a day ... but 60 DIFFERENT ones each day ... even a one week break for some of these titles would make us appreciate them more. All-in-all I think Scott does a GREAT job of programming his station ... but you know we're ALWAYS going to ask him to push the envelope just a little bit further!!! (In fact, we've got some GREAT suggestions for a few more weekend specials that we've been working on ... we'll keep you posted as these develop!) kk

re: AND ON TV:
one of the pbs channels having a begathon is doing ed sullivan the rock and roll classics or something like that ... if there's a time difference between here and the ny stations maybe you can catch it ... glorious upgrade to the video ... vibrant colors, crystal clear ... even the black and white looks like it was made yesterday ... wasn't like that the first time thru ... back then
The airtimes will vary across the country for this one but it's actually been on quite a bit lately here in Chicago. We've got the complete Ed Sullivan Box Set that came out a few years ago with these edited pieces ... a long-standing VH1 feature, too. Always nice to see the artists present these songs ... definitely worth catching! A couple more recent dvd releases will be making their way to PBS in the very new future ... including a performance from the on-going Carole King / James Taylor Troubadour Tour! Check your local listings. (kk)

Olivia guest stars on this week's episode of "Glee", one of our family favorites. She'll be performing her #1 Hit "Physical" with Cheerleading Coach Sue Sylvester (the incomparable Jane Lynch). The episode also introduces a new character portrayed by Saturday Night Live vet Molly Shannon who proves to be Sue's new nemisis. Should be a fun episode to watch!

And, speaking of Olivia Newton-John ... I just received this email from Artie Wayne about Jeff Barry, who cowrote another one of Olivia's biggest hits, "I Honestly Love You":
Here’s an article on my pal from the past, songwriter / producer Jeff Barry (“Tell Laura I Love Her”, “Sugar, Sugar”, “I Honestly Love You”)
Artie Wayne

Very sad to hear that the Smothers Brothers are hanging it up (at their age a sabbatical certainly means permanent retirement) --- guess I should say I'm very glad I got to see them live one time ... in fact, it was in March of this year at the American Music Theater in Lancaster, PA. ... their appearance was one day after my friend George and I got into what could've been a very serious car accident on the New Jersey turnpike driving down from New York (during a heavy rainstorm we hydroplaned and spun out from the left hand lane into a ditch on the righthand side -- without getting hit by any other vehicles, during very heavy traffic). Aside from losing all of my 2009 Beatles remastered cds to flooding on the passenger side (the ditch we were in was full of water and only my door could be opened, and when it was, the flood came in ...) both we and the car escaped with relatively little damage (my friend's wallet, however did not -- he needed four new tires and had to pay towing expenses). Needless to say nothing was going to stop me from seeing the Smothers Brothers, I would've walked the rest of the way if I had to. My favorite comment from the night came from Tommy, who, after a short ramble on God knows what, said to the audience "you know, it's really hard to know when to stop when you have no idea what you're talking about". My only disappointment is that the two were not out selling merchandise, signing autographs, talking with fans, etc. ... I brought along several Smothers albums I would've loved to have had signed, would've loved to have spoken with them and would've loved to have gotten a picture with them, but it was not meant to be ... however I'm still glad I got to see them while I could. I got hooked on them a number of years ago when my father asked me to find their "My Old Man" skit for him. I did, on a "Best Of Volume 2 (There Is No Volume 1)" album. My dad loved it, I loved the whole album, and was hooked. Several years and many records later I'm still a huge fan.
By the way, ever hear the Smothers Brothers play it straight?:
YouTube - The Smothers Brothers - You Go Thisaway
Tom Diehl

I was a Smothers Brothers fan even before their hit television series ... I always thought they were hysterical ... and then the weekly Sunday Night Program just pushed them over the top for me ... and many other brand new fans as well.
I believe I have a complete collection of ALL of their LPs ... some classic stuff to be sure. Honestly, after touring for fifty years, I totally get "calling it a career" ... but I also have to agree with Jim Shea that SOME sort of proper send-off is in order. Here's hoping that some of the "movers and shakers" on our list can help to get this going. (We've already had some positive response to this ... but it's premature to speculate on anything just yet.) Thanks, Tom!
By the way, I actually own "The Best Of The Smothers Brothers" which WOULD have been Volume One had it been commercially released. It's a Dee-Jay only pressing (Mercury MGD-20!!!) and features four tracks from "It Must Have Been Something I Said", three tracks from "Curb Your Tongue, Knave", five from "Think Ethnic", three from "The Two Sides Of" and their version of "They Call The Wind Maria" from "The Smothers Brothers At The Purple Onion" ... a real rarity I guess! The LP is titled simply "The Best of The Smothers Brothers."
The LP you're referring to, I believe is "Golden Hits Of The Smothers Brothers, Volume II", on which the liner notes read: "With their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks, Tom and Dick Smothers have called this album 'The Smothers Brothers Golden Hits, Volume II'. Of course there is no Volume I, and it may be a while before one is available." (Hmmm ... maybe THAT'S why they're releasing their television series DVDs in reverse order!!! lol) It also refers to the tracks as "newly recorded, fresh versions of The Smothers Brothers' classic routines" and they are, in fact, different versions from the previously released tracks on their earlier LPs. (The Brothers would do the same thing on their weekly television series ... recycling classic routines to open each show.)
I have heard The Smothers Brothers "play it straight" and, although they're certainly competent singers, it just isn't as entertaining for me unless they're having fun with the songs ... I used to look forward to every single one of Tommy's interruptions!!!
And here's something ELSE I'm betting most Forgotten Hits readers aren't aware of. On their album "The Smothers Brothers Play It Straight", released in 1966, the boys leave the comedy behind and perform a number of songs in the folk tradition that first launched their career. (Musically, their first inspiration was the success of The Kingston Trio, who they tried to emulate in their early act, performing old folk songs along with a bunch of then VERY popular Harry Belafonte calypso tunes!) On this LP, they cover "Yesterday" by The Beatles (the new biography cites The Smothers Brothers as one of the first acts to recognize this track as a classic), "Little Sacka Sugar" by Woody Guthrie, the country classic "Silver Threads And Golden Needles", the folk standard "Down In The Valley" and a then unknown folk song called "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a song that would top the pop charts six years later when covered by Roberta Flack. (Actually, Flack first recorded the song in 1969 for her "First Take" album ... it made no noise at all until Clint Eastwood decided to feature it in a love-making scene from his film "Play Misty For Me", at which time Atlantic Records rush-released a remixed, edited version of the song to radio where it caught on immediately!) Although The Smothers Brothers weren't the first artists to record this song (that distinction belongs to Peggy Seeger ... it was written way back in 1957 by Ewan MacColl, who would later marry Seeger) ... it became a bit of a folk club "standard" for fifteen years before it ever became a hit. Songwriter Ewan MacColl would later go on record stating that he hated EVERY version of the song ever recorded other than Peggy's original. (I tend to agree ... this one'll put me to sleep virtually every time I hear it ... although quite honestly I'm not all that fond of Peggy's rendering either!!!) This would include readings by Elvis Presley, American Idol David Cook, the aforementioned Harry Belafonte and The Kingston Trio, Gordon Lightfoot, Shirley Bassey, We Five, Peter, Paul and Mary, Johnny Cash, Isaac Hayes, Bobby Vinton, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Simon Cowell protege' Leona Lewis and a host of others. Here is the VERY rare Smothers Brothers version from 1966. (kk)

Here's an act that knows a thing or two about appearing on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour!!!

Kent and Forgotten Hits Readers,
As you know, our friend Tom Scheckel has been The Buckinghams’ drummer as we’ve traveled the country, performing for hundreds of thousands of fans for the past 27 years. His talents have meant a lot to us, and we have built a close friendship of great memories together.
We want our fans and friends to be the first to know that Tom is now the newest addition to the 60s band, Paul Revere and the Raiders. In the past, many Buckinghams’ fans have seen us perform on the same bill, and know and love Raiders’ music as much as The Buckinghams.
Tom is a dynamic drummer, who has performed with Jonathan Brandmeier (Johnny and the Leisure Suits) and Scott Wilk and the Walls, plus has been a substitute in many great bands, including The Turtles. Tom’s fans can look forward to seeing him in concert with The Raiders, who will perform with Bill Haley’s Original Comets, at Branson’s popular Andy Williams Theatre, May through December. Although our longtime friend moves to perform for Branson audiences, we enjoyed many great years of association together. Buckinghams’ fans can also order a copy of our recent live concert video, “Up Close” at, which includes Tom’s drum work as well as the CD “Terra Firma”, on Nation Records.
On Saturday, May 1, The Buckinghams will play in Hershey, PA, at the Hersheypark Amphitheatre. On Thursday, May 20th, we start The 25th Anniversary Happy Together tour in Santa Ynez, CA. All the latest Buckinghams’ tour dates can be found at, Facebook and MySpace. Our best wishes to Tom in his new association with Paul Revere and the Raiders. Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna The Buckinghams

Congratulations, Tommy!
And this from the official Paul Revere and the Raiders website:
Click here:
He's spent the last 27 years with The Buckinghams (famous for "Kind of a Drag", "Susan", "Don't You Care" and other hits), he's been a fellow road warrior and a friend for just as long, we're happy to welcome Tommy into the Raider family! — The following review is provided by and courtesy of Pat Murphy (Entertainment Writer, Urban Media):
"Powerful and passionate only begin to describe the performance of drummer Tom Scheckel, and even that falls far short because it reached me on such an emotional level. When he wasn’t making love to the drum set he was beating it into submission with a warm smile that radiated into the audience and lifted the spirits of everyone who had a sight line to the drum riser. In the business of show it’s rare to find someone who exudes such a genuine in-the-moment joy, who’s showy without showing off and who thoroughly enjoys what they do. I believe that the core purpose of live entertainment is to heighten your senses, make you feel more alive, and perhaps, even optimistic. Tom Scheckel’s performance made me happy — a happiness that returns whenever I think about the blur of spinning sticks around the drums, and through the blur, that smile. Worth the price of admission? Every penny."

(You'll find more on Paul Revere ... including a picture from last weekend's '60's Weekend in Wildwood ... below!) kk

my first 45's memory was "i will always think about you" by the new colony six ... i still have the same 45 as well. mark eskin will never be forgotten and will always live in our hearts ... god bless you, mark.
darlene bobczyk

Services are later today and we're hoping to be able to attend (or at least stop by for a little bit.) So sad to hear of Mark's passing last week. (kk)

I just discovered your excellent site, and thought it seemed like a good fit for my Santana site:
Ultimate Santana, including songs, albums, gear, history, and more. Thanks,
Happy to pass your links along, Michael. We just recently heard from Billy James of Glass Onyon PR, who represents Gregg Rolie, one of the original members (and vocalists) of Santana ... Gregg has a new "live" CD out, featuring quite a few of the early Santana tracks. (After his stint with Santana, Rolie and Neal Schon formed another little band you may have heard of called Journey!!!) I believe the live CD is available through the Glass Onyon website:
Click here: to the Web-Bizarre

The 9th Edition of Joel Whitburn's "Billboard Top 40" Book is FINALLY coming out on October 5th!!! (These books are designed to appeal to the more "casual" music fan than some of the "hardcore" editions that us obsessed fanatics shell out big bucks for!!!)

You'll typically find Joel's Top 40 Books in all good bookstores, reasonably priced at right around $30-$35 ... less than HALF the price of the full Top 100 Editions. (The Top 40 Book hasn't been updated since 2003 so we've really been looking forward to this one.)

Pre-Orders are currently being accepted at ... and (naturally) it's also available through The Record Research Website:
Click here:
Click here: Joel Whitburn's Record Research Music & Billboard Charts Data

Record Research is currently celebrating its 40th year of bringing us the most complete Billboard Chart Information ever available. Congratulations to Joel Whitburn ... and his on-going committment to continue to find new and inventive ways to update this information every step of the way! (kk)

Hey Kent,
Thanks for all your support.
Here are a few pictures from this weekends event.
1- Gary Puckett receiving the Wildwoods Music Award at cool Scoops Sat. April 24th.
2- A couple of Pauls ... PR and PR ... that's Paul Russo and Paul Revere minus the Raiders
A great time was had by all!

I forgot to tell you about a special guest who visited us over this past 60's celebration weekend.
Does everyone from New York remember Clay Cole from the Clay Cole Show ('59-late 60's)
Clay was nice enough to stop by and visit Cool Scoops and reminisce about the great artists who visited his show.
Stay tuned for the Special Event featuring Chubby Checker at Cool Scoops celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the TWIST!
And here's a program reminder as well ... Chubby and the Cool Scoops gang will be featured on Samantha Browns Great Weekend Show on May 13th @ 10pm.
Don't miss this Jersey Shore addition of the Samantha Brown Show.
Be Cool,

A couple of weeks ago Preston Ritter, original drummer for The Electric Prunes, was telling us about his new band Reboot and we asked him to send a a short clip of what the band sounds like. (They specialize in playing some of the oldies you just don't hear that much anymore.) He just sent us this short little clip of the Dion classic "Ruby Baby":
Here is our "Ruby Baby" Reboot demo ... this is only part of the song, since it's on our demo CD.

A couple of goodies this week ... featuring TWO "Fab Fours" ... (well one Fab Four and one Fab Faux) ... a vintage Rat Pack clip (wait'll you see who THEIR fourth is!) and an INCREDIBLE live presentation of "Most of Side Two" of "Abbey Road" by The Fab Faux, as presented on Howard Stern's Sirius Radio Program. Unbelieveable!!!
click here ... AWESOME!!
YouTube - Birth of The Blues

Click here: The Fab Faux - Abbey Road Side 2 (mostly) on Vimeo

submitted by Fred Glickstein

And here are a couple of nice little collectibles by that OTHER "Fab Four" ... Kent ... Let's go partners. I can come up with $5000. You put up the rest.

Paul Fraser Collectibles John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for A Day in the Life go under the hammer

Kent ... We really can afford this one.

Paul Fraser Collectibles Sir Paul McCartney (1942–)

Frank B.


Man, what a fabulous batch of info and comments the past few days!! Great job, Kent.

RE: "Get Yourself A College Girl" ...
Mike wrote:>>> Saturday AM I woke up at 3 am and was channel surfing ...
Isn't that one of the fun things about getting older? Waking up at 3 AM and being wide awake for no good reason ... RE: Clip of the Week (American Idiot - 21 Guns):Hadn't seen this yet. It's excellent ... and compelling. Thanks!
David Lewis

About time the author's name was incorporated into publication?
Hey Kent,
I'm sure people send you a lot of Forgotten Hits images (I've forgotten what you call them). I saw the most recent post with the black square and peace signs ... but your name?
Attached is FH 'logo' with the author's name appropriately attached
Thanks just one more time ...
Ron Kolman
Thanks, Ron ... VERY cool!!! (kk)