Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 16 - 10 )

>>>The City of Chicago is FINALLY honoring Dick Biondi with a new segment of real estate called "Dick Biondi Way". Our buddy Jim "J.C. Hooke" Pilster of The Cryan' Shames should be VERY pleased ... he has been campaigning for this honor for YEARS now. Robert Feder's column this morning announces that thanks to the efforts of Chicagoan (and fellow broadcaster) Bob Sirott ... and a City Council vote ... the area adjacent to 360 N. Michigan Avenue, home to WLS Radio for SO many years ... will OFFICIALLY be renamed "Dick Biondi Way"! Hot on the heels of Biondi celebrating the 50th Anniversary of his first Chicagoland broadcast for the station, this just couldn't come at a more appropriate time. (kk)
This is indeed great news for Dick Biondi! I talked at length with Jim Pilster earlier this year about his hopes to have a huge Chicago veterans of rock show and the Biondi street dedication. Now we need Bob to try and push for the other Pilster dream of the connecting concert to the Biondi event. I was hoping Bob might feature Jim or another Chicago Gold person to plug for such an event. Bob's show with Ramsey Lewis was just superb. Who would know that Ramsey quit piano lessons after one try only to be pushed back to it right away by his parents? Anyway, the Biondi street dedication will be great and I loved the special -- especially listening to it on AM DXing from Lincoln! That's the WLS I want back!!
Speaking of 50 year anniversaries ... my longtime friend and broadcast legend, Dusty Rhodes, of Cincinnati will celebrate HIS 50th anniversary of starting in Cincy radio where he has been most of his career on 9/3/2011!! How time flies. Many of you might have heard him on WLW throughout the 80's and 70's on that "blowtorch" or the classic days on 1360 WSAI alongside the likes of the KingBee Ron Britain.

Hi Kent,
This is the web link to an upcoming book release by a friend of mine. He has researched this info for almost 20 years and I expect this will be a big hit. It's already got good support with advance sales on If you are interested and need more info or better contact info, let me know.
Chip Cogswell
First Choice PROductions
Burleson, Texas
Please keep us posted on this, Chip ... I know that there are a number of people on our list who would LOVE to read this in-depth bio. (kk)

Matt has always been seriously under-appreciated here in the States. His voice on this track is unmatched, and the overall production is equally top-notch.
David Lewis

Just read your article about Teenage Idols and how Rick Nelson was listed as #5 of all time. I know a lot of us grew up watching "Little" Ricky on the Ozzie & Harriet TV Show and that's what launched his career. He'd always perform one of his hit singles at the end of every show. One thing about Rick, he and Michael Landon (Bonanza) had to have the best hair of all time! (And NO I'm NOT gay)
Interesting thing about his tune "Garden Party" ... the song that was inspired by a flawed concert in the fabled Madison Square Garden in the early '70s. The place was sold out for an old time rock 'n roll show featuring many 50's and 60's artists. In attendance that night were John Lennon and Yoko Ono and even Bob Dylan dressed in disguise.
Among the artists appearing that night was Chuck Berry, who performed "Johnny B Goode and looked like the old Chuck Berry. In fact everyone looked the same ... that is ... except for Rick.
When Rick took the stage with his Stone Canyon Band, people didn't recognize him because he had looooong hair and looked nothing like the little Ricky that they remembered from the TV show. He got up and sang a few of his old hits, including "Hello Mary Lou" and then, thinking the audience was satisfied, went into some different material which included "Honky Tonk Women" (Rick Nelson style) and some country flavored tunes fueled by a pedal steel guitar. Well the audience only wanted to hear the old hits and pretty much booed him off the stage.
That night he sat down and thought about it and figured "If memories are all I sang, I'd rather drive a truck" .
A footnote here ... the Stone Canyon Band consisted of members of Denver's old Soul Survivors and Randy Meisner (original bassist for the Eagles). Together Allen Kemp (Soul Survivors) and Meisner stacked their vocals on top of Nelson's in angelic harmonies.
Bill Cody
Besides being an early rocker himself, Rick Nelson was a HUGE fan of early rock and roll music ... he made his first record to impress his girlfriend who was an avid Elvis fan. And, in the original hand-written lyrics to "Garden Party", Rick described the lick he played right at the end of the tune as his "Carl Perkins ending"!!! (lol) Years later, Nelson did a live television concert with Fats Domino, another artist he greatly admired. (Ricky covered a few of The Fat Man's tunes early in his career, including his very first single, "I'm Walkin'". Fats joked that "Ricky Nelson bought me this ring" as he flashed this HUGE diamond ring to the audience, crediting Rick's "cross-over" sales as being the big money-making factor back in those early days of rock and roll while a number of radio stations still weren't playing black artists on their programs. The two rock and roll legends then proceed to perform "I'm Walkin'" together ... an AMAZING piece of rock and roll history. We found THAT clip on YouTube, too! (kk)
Click here: YouTube - Fats Domino & Ricky Nelson - I'm Walking (Colour)

KK ...
I vaguely remember you saying you were going to re-run a series you did about Bobby Darin. Am I right about that ?
I missed it the first time around. Since Friday would've been his Birthday, it might be a good idea to do it now.
One of our most widely-read and acknowledged series was the month-long piece we did on Bobby Darin back in 2003 ... so much so that we even received the endorsement of Bobby's estate, the official commemorative Bobby Darin Website, and noted Darin Historian Jimmy Scalia, who we had the pleasure of meeting when we were invited to the official unveiling of Bobby's star on the Las Vegas Strip right in front of The Flamingo Hotel. I've been talking about revamping the series for the website for YEARS now ... it's just such a HUGE undertaking that I haven't had the time to devote to it. (I'd have to estimate it at close to 100 hours of work just to get it ready and lately I've been lucky to be able to devote 4-5 hours per week to Forgotten Hits.) That being said, it absolutely IS our intention to get this up there eventually. (The Bobby Darin Page has said "Coming Soon" for ages now!!! lol) And, quite honestly, at least once or twice a month we'll get an email from somebody who has heard about our series, wanting to know how they can get a copy ... so we truly do appreciate the response and reverence this series has generated. All I can ask is that you be patient ... we're working on it during every available "lull"!!! So stay tuned. (Naturally, we'll run an official announcement once things are posted and ready to go ... meanwhile, we've got a few OTHER new features we're trying to get up on the web page right now.) Thanks for asking, Frank. (kk)

... and, speaking of some of our favorite website series ...


Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides

When I click on the 'sixtiesoldiesguys songs' link, to go to Rich Grunke's web
site for the songs he posted, I get a Web page cannot be found.
Could you please email me a direct (http) link. It might work for me.
Thank you.

Larry G.
I believe that that link was only "live" for about six months or so ... to the best of my knowledge, these tracks are no longer accessible on the web. Sorry. However, Mr. C. WILL be playing selections from this list on his program again this Tuesday Night. Affectionately known as "The Flip Side Show", you can access it here:

Hey there KK;

For the next couple of Tuesdays I plan to play some cuts from your "Top 200 B-sides" list. So everyone is welcome to tune in to The Flip Side Radio Show on on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Central time. I'll be playing actual 45s on real turntables, as usual (scratches and all).

As I say on the show every week: I'll see you on the Flip Side!

Mr. C.

>>>I’ve always enjoyed collecting unusual novelty records, however, there is one that has eluded me for over 55 years. At the end of 1954 a record titled “Otto The Staggering Drunk” enjoyed a brief stay among the top selling records in Cleveland. I believe that the record was an import on the Polydor label and that the artist was “Crazy Otto”, “Happy Otto”, Der Schrage Otto” or simply “Otto”. (Joel Whitburn)
It appears to me that "Otto, The Staggering Drunk" is the artist credit, not the song, on the 45. I say this because he has had records issued as Crazy Otto, The Oblique Otto (Der schr├Ąge Otto), etc. ... and the song itself may just be called Otto. That said, I sadly don't own the 45 (it would be on Polydor, yes), nor do I know anyone who has even heard of it. Good luck finding it, Joel!
-- Tom Diehl
Please tell Tom Diehl thanks for his response.
Joel Whitburn
If this record was by OTIS, the staggering drunk, we could start by searching the Mayberry Jailhouse ... but I think this one's gonna be a little tougher to find ... especially if Joel Whitburn's already got 55 years invested in his search!!! If ANYBODY out there can help us with this quest, please drop me a line! (kk)

>>>The Ed Sullivan clips on PBS and DVD are very nice. It is too bad they don't put some of the lesser groups on like The Remains, Thomas Group etc. who had some great songs & regional hits. That would be interesting as well. (Ken)>>>Did these artists actually appear on The Ed Sullivan Show? (kk)
Yes, occasionally there were some one hit wonders and lesser acts on Sullivan. I have seen The Remains clip. I would assume The Thomas Group would have a little leverage because of Danny Thomas.


Man, this just keeps getting better and better! Check out the latest list of music stars who will be hand!
Dear Friends,
The guest list for
"ROCK CON: Weekend of 100 Rock Stars" is growing. We are delighted by some of the wonderful artists who are joining us for the ROCK CON Fan Fest, and we wanted to share the current roster with you ...
Al Rappa (Bill Haley’s Comets); Alannah Myles ("Black Velvet"); Andy Pratt ("Avenging Annie"); The Angels ("My Boyfriend's Back") Note: Bernadette, Linda, Jiggs, Denise, Arleen & Peggy will all be appearing!; Barbara Harris (The Toys "A Lover's Concerto"); Beki Brindle Scala (Grace Pool, & lead guitarist: Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Danko, John Sebastian); Beverly Bremers ("Don't Say You Don't Remember"); Bryan Laye ("Tangerine Lane"); Bruce Kulick (KISS); Charlie Gracie ("Butterfly"); Clarence Collins (R & R Hall of Fame: original member of Little Anthony & The Imperials); Clay Cole (The Clay Cole Show, author "Sh-Boom"); Dan Lavoie (famed Harp Guiarist); The Delicates ("Black & White Thunderbird," "Submarine Race-Watcher's Theme"); Demon Boy (star of the new “Demon Boy” comic book series); Dennis Ferrante (John Lennon's Recording Engineer); Dinky Dawson (Rock's Most Famous Sound Man); The Dovells (“Bristol Stomp” “You Can’t Sit Down”); Earl Slick (legendary David Bowie guitarist, also played on Lennon albums); Eddy Kelly (American Bandstand dancer); Eerie Von (Danzig, Samhain); Eli Brown (The Vagrants); The Fifth Estate ("Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead"); Gary Van Scyoc (Elephants Memory, John Lennon's Live in NYC 70’s band); Gene Cornish (R & R Hall of Fame: The Rascals); Gerrit Graham ("Beef" in "Phantom of the Paradise" - composed with Bob Weir/Grateful Dead); Glen Burtnik (Styx, ELO); Greg Hawkes (The Cars); Harriet Schock ("Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady"); Hilton Valentine (R & R Hall of Fame: The Animals); The Human Beinz ("Nobody But Me"); Ian Lloyd (The Stories "Brother Louie"); Ian Mitchell (Bay City Rollers); J. Morrison (Tuff Darts); Jane Weidlin (The Go-Gos); Jay & The Americans ("She Cried”); Jim Carrick (Spanky & Our Gang); John DeSalvo (Tuff Darts); John Ford (Strawbs); John Ford Coley (of England Dan & John Ford Coley: "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight”); John Idan (R & R Hall of Fame band: The Yardbirds); John Hawken (Renaissance, Spooky Tooth, Strawbs, Nashville Teens); Johnny Winter (legendary Rock Blues guitarist); Jonathan Tiersten (Jonathan Tiersten & the Ten Tiers); Karina Bradley (“Dance Floor Diva”); Kat Gilbert (West Coast songtress); Kasim Sulton (Utopia/Meatloaf); Kristen Capolino (Heavy-metal Teen guitar phenomenon); Lezlie Deane (Scary Cherry & The Bang Bangs); Linda Jansen (former original lead singer of The Angels: "Til," "Cry Baby Cry"); Little Anthony (R & R Hall of Fame: Little Anthony & The Imperials); Livingston Taylor ("I Will Be In Love With You"); Marty Balin (R & R Hall of Fame: Jefferson Airplane, and Starship); Mary Weiss (The Shangri-Las “Leader of the Pack”); Michael "Mac" McNenney (Thunder Road Band); Mike Konopka (Nazz); Nelson Slater ("Wild Angel" album, produced by Lou Reed); The 1910 Fruitgum Company ("Simon Says," "1 2 3 Red Light”); Pat Dinizio (The Smithereens); Pat Horgan (Thunder Road & Garage Band Series); Paul Nelson (Johnny Winter Band guitarist); Paul Petersen (Donna Reed Show - "My Dad"); Peg Pearl (Aura); Peppy Castro (Blues Magoos); Pete Bremy (Vanilla Fudge/Cactus); Pete Fornatale (Rock historian/veteran DJ helped define progressive FM rock radio); Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros); Peter Sabatino (The Vagrants); P.J. Soles (from The Ramones' "Rock & Roll High School"); Randy Jones (Village People); Ralph Scala (Blues Magoos); The Rip Chords ("Hey Little Cobra"); Rick Mullen (Commander Cody/Don McLean/Van Morrison/Savoy Brown); Robert Gordon ("It’s Only Make Believe" "My Gal is Red Hot"); Robey ("One Night in Bangkok" – starred in TV's "Friday the 13th: The Series"); Ron Dante of The Archies ("Sugar Sugar" and The Cuff Links “Tracy”); Scott Cummings (Michael Jackson’s bodyguard for 15 years); Shaun Weiss (Beatles attorney Nat Weiss' son - the only person to have attended both Ed Sullivan shows, the Shea Stadium concerts + the Beatles' final Apple rooftop concert); Sid Bernstein (World-famous promoter who brought The Beatles to America); Silvio Ennella (Thunder Road Band); The Smithereens; The Soul Survivors ("Expressway to Your Heart"); Spanky McFarlane (Spanky & Our Gang, The Mamas & The Papas); Stewkey (Nazz); Terry Sylvester (R & R Hall of Fame: The Hollies); Tom T-Bone Stankus (Dr. Demento/ "Existential Blues"); Tommy Bia (Thunder Road Band); Tommy Frenzy (Tuff Darts); Tommy James ("Mony Mony"); Victoria Levy (The Hoosier Mamas); Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge); Walter Egan ("Magnet & Steel"); William Finley (Phantom in the rock musical "Phantom of the Paradise")
We hope to see you there.

"ROCK CON: Weekend of 100 Rock Stars"

And, speaking of New Jersey ...

Wildwood on the Travel Channel
Watch Samantha Brown 'Twist' with Chubby Checker at Cool Scoops on the "Jersey Shore Episode" of Great Weekends.Premieres Thursday May 13th at 10:30 pm on the Travel Channel.
Check your local listing for more info.(Filmed last June in the Wildwoods)
Chubby will be back to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Twist with a Commemorative First Day Issue Envelope in June at Cool Scoops.
Details to follow.
-- Paul Russo
Unfortunately, I didn't get this posted in time for the official premier (but fortunately The Travel Channel is planning on running this special several more times in the next few weeks ... so check your local listings for more details.) I was fortunate enough to see it and it's a lot of fun ... not only does host Samantha Brown twist with Chubby at Cool Scoops but by program's end she's up on stage singing with Styx and REO Speedwagon! A very enjoyable half hour ... with an up-close look at The Jersey Shore ... makes me wanna go back REAL soon!!! (kk)

Kent ...
Just heard that Elton John was offered $ 33 Million, to replace Simon Cowell - as a judge on American Idol. W o W ! All that money to sit there and tell people they have a lousy voice. I can do it for $ 1 Million. L o L.
Frank B.

Since the deal never materialized, I guess it's now safe for me to "officially" announce that I, too, was at one point up for consideration for American Idol Judgeship as Simon Cowell's replacement ... but, unfortunately, we just couldn't come to terms. (Actually, I approached THEM about the position ... bottom line is that we simply couldn't agree on what my services would have been worth. Producer Simon Fuller, the mastermind behind the whole Idol franchise, told me flat out that he didn't think that my throwing in my two-cents every week was worth more than the "face value" of that opinion ... and that was the end of THAT negotiation!!!) Coming off the most boring season in Idol history ... (I'd have to estimate my own viewership is down by at least 80%!!!) ... maybe it's just as well. (kk)

We just heard from Bob Rush, whose comments we recently ran regarding his friend Tony Marc of Danelectro Guitars ... guess he wanted to clarify a few things regarding his recent posting ... and we've always given our readers the chance to do so ... so here goes, direct from Bob Rush (with a quick reminder about this particular topic):
>>>Here's a nice story: my long-time friend, Tony Marc, who is in the vintage guitar business, had the foresight to procure the name "Danelectro" back in 1979 when the company was out of business. When they began manufacturing again in 2000, Tony cashed in. Always a good friend and a very generous person, Tony gave me a re-issue Danelectro bass, as well as a Fender Telecaster (!)I was on the phone with Al Jardine and I told him about my new guitars, and about Tony. One thing led to another, then a 3-way call. Al told us about a green Dano baritone guitar of Glen Cambell's that Al used to mess with. So, Tony sent him one (!) Heck of a guy, huh? Al's delighted, and sent me a photo of his new guitar (which I'll send you as soon as I can figure out how to transfer it from my Blackberry!), of which I guess I am the godfather. (By the way - he / we sent friend Billy J. Kramer a Dano, too. He was speechless.)

Keep up the good stuff, Kent. (you're a helluva a lot more interesting than Lefsetz!)
Dr. Robert (Bob Rush)
>>>Cool about the Danelectro Guitars ... my cousin has worked for Hamer Guitars for something like 30 years now ... amazing how many of these they give away to artists in the hopes of getting them to endorse their products. (I remember Paul McCartney saying one time how when you're just first starting out in the business, you scrimp to save every penny you can to buy a half-way decent guitar ... and then when you actually make it ... and can afford to buy the very best of everything ... they GIVE them to you!!! Peter Noone said, too, that because Herman's Hermits used to endorse certain brands of guitars, drums and microphones, they used to get free ones to use in their concerts ... but when they toured with The Who, The Who used to take all these "freebies" and smash them as part of their show-closing finale, often times before The Hermits ever even got to play them!!! lol) kk
Dear Kent,
Another great issue; your work is nothing if not honest and accurate, and it is in this spirit that I want to offer some insight into my recent contribution regarding my friend Tony Marc:
My original letter seems to have been possibly perceived as an act of commercialism, but I was simply relating a nice rock and roll story about some good people and friends, Al Jardine and Billy J. Kramer, who I introduced to a kind and generous man who is another dear friend - Tony Marc.
Having read your editorial commentary, Tony told me that Danelectro does not have any endorsers, nor does it actively seek them, because their name is already well established in rock and roll. In fact, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Rick Neilsen, Joe Perry, Eddie Van Halen and other artists have themselves contacted Danelectro and purchased up to ten guitars each. This is not something we hear about from Danelectro.
I thought Al, and Billy, would enjoy meeting Tony, and vice versa, and I was right. After long 3-way telephone conversations, and out of the goodness of his heart, Tony gave his new friends guitars from his personal collection, as he did me (and I assure you, my endorsement of a guitar would have little impact on a company's sales except, perhaps, by some of the kids in my neighborhood!)
I wrote and sent you the story because I thought it would be interesting to your readers to read of yet another humanistic side of rock, and because I felt my unsung rock and roller friend, Tony Marc, deserves to be recognized for his abiding kindness.
Thanks for running this correction. Keep up the good stuff, Kent!
All the best, as always.
Bob (Dr. Robert) Rush
Happy to print your comments, Bob ... and, for the record, in NO way did I mean to imply that Tony giving ANYONE a free guitar was a tactical business move ... I fully and completely appreciate the sentiment and unselfishness of his acts of kindness and didn't mean to in ANY fashion insinuate otherwise. (By the same token, as my gesture of a peace offering, I'd like to ALSO state for the record that if he'd like to give ME a free guitar, I'm not too proud to accept it!!! lol)
You are correct when you say that for the artists of the caliber you mention in your above email simply PLAYING this brand of guitar is endorsement enough ... and please know that I didn't intend to imply otherwise. (However, in all fairness, Paul McCartney's and Peter Noone's comments are REAL ... and we ALL know that this is often the way the game is played. That being said, despite all the "freebies" offered him, isn't it cool that Macca still plays his old Hofner Beatles Bass every chance he gets ... man, talk about your vintage guitars!!!) Apologies to ALL parties concerned to anyone who may have taken offense to my comments ... I can only say that if you DID, you simply misinterpretted my intentions. Meanwhile, my olive branch / peace offering acceptance of a free guitar still stands!!! (lol) Thanks, Bob! (kk)

Hello Kent,
My name is Jerry Bennett. Ray Graffia suggested that I get on your 'Forgotten Hits' mailing list. I host a weekly radio show in Everett Washington called 'From Here To Obscurity'. The show's focus is on 60's garage, psychedelic and other unheard or unplayed music of that period from all over the world. I am originally from Indianapolis so I am somewhat familiar with some of the Midwest music scene. Please visit my Myspace page for information about the show:
Jerry Bennett
From Here To Obscurity
KSER 90.7 FM
Everett, Wa
Welcome aboard, Jerry ... your thoughts, comments and memories are ALWAYS welcome here! And thanks for doing YOUR part to help keep all of this great music alive! (kk)

Here are some oldies-related links sent into us by our readers this past week:

The Teen Tones Sunday Kind Of Love Oldies Television Juke 25
Check out The Teen Tones "Sunday Kind Of Love" ... that's Robert Klein on bass!
Stu Weiss

I stumbled across this by accident:
Some fair photos and stories.
== Bill

Kent ...
Check out this group from Spain.
I don't write to you for a month, then I bombard you with E-Mails.
Frank B.

This week's video comes courtesy of our buddy Wild Bill Cody ... probably the biggest Roger McGuinn / Byrds fan I've ever known!!! A VERY intimate trip with Roger (and his wife Camilla) as they travel by train from Florida to New York ... thoroughly enjoyable!
Sit back, relax and enjoy ... and isn't Camilla a sweetie?
Wild Bill
Posted on April 17th, 2008 at 1:31 pm: What happens when you give a music legend a home video camera and ask him to record an intimate concert on a train from Florida to New York City? All aboard for a trip through rock history with the Byrds founder Roger McGuinn.
Bill Cody

I think I may have recently mentioned that Billy James of Glass Onyon Productions sent me a copy of Gregg Rolie's new CD, "Rain Dance". For those of you out there who may not know, Gregg was the original lead singer and keyboard player of Santana back in the early hit days. (He and guitarist Neal Schon eventually left to form Journey, where Rolie turned over the lead vocal duties to the amazing talents of Steve Perry!)
Anyway, Gregg Rolie has just released a brand new LIVE CD where he covers a number of these early Santana hits ... and I've got to tell you that it's absolutely FANTASTIC!!! (There's a lot to be said for having the original vocalist perform these tunes ... taking nothing away from Carlos Santana, as his style is unparalleled, I have to give major props to the rest of the band, too, as they faithfully recreate some of the best-known and loved music of the early '70's.) The band is rounded out by Kurt Griffey on Guitar, Alphonso Johnson on Bass, Wally Minko on Keyboards, Michael Carabello on Congas, Ron Wikso on Drums and Adrian Areas on Timbales ... and as stunning as the vocals are on this CD, the instrumental accompianment is every bit as steller. Tracks like "No One To Depend On", "Evil Ways", "Black Magic Woman", "Oye Como Va' and "Soul Sacrifice" sound just as good today as when they were recorded way back when ... especially when one considers that these are being recreated in a live enviornment. Gregg, if you guys are headed out Chicago-way at all this summer, please let me know ... we wanna be there to see you rock! (kk)
More information can be found at:
Click here: Gregg Rolie Band - Official Website - Home

Next week in Forgotten Hits ... a VERY special feature. We take a look at (and give a listen to) the brand new Tygers CD ... and even interview the guys about what it was like to FINALLY record their second LP ... just 40 short years after they released their FIRST album back in 1969! Don't miss it ... it all kicks off tomorrow right here on The Forgotten Hits Website! (kk)

Got a comment, question or an announcement that you'd like to share with our readers? Just drop me a note at ... and then check the website often to see if your letter appears!