Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Helping Out Our Readers

Some answers to your questions ... along with some brand new queries!!! Read on!

Hi Kent -
I know I've asked this before but if there's a chance it may be seen by a new reader or may jog the memory of an old one, I'll ask it again.
There was a song played at least (I believe) in the Chicago area in the mid 60's called "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose". (This should not be confused with the Beach Boy song of the same title.) "Well, it's heads I win, tails you lose; you won my heart and broke it in two".
"All the boys told me when they saw you driving again and again in the car with my very best friend".
I've also thrown this out Ron Smith's way so any help would be appreciated. I have no clue who sang this and with all the experts I have access to, I'm starting to believe I may have just picked this 45 up in an S.S. Kresge 5 & 10 record bin many many years ago. That's how I came about Jerry Mather's "Wind Up Toy", as a matter of fact.
Enjoying your Forgotten Hit site more then ever. May you and yours have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.
Jerry Kamper
Thanks, Jerry. No problem running this one up the flagpole again ... we have new people discovering the site every day ... maybe somebody out there will recognize it! (kk)

>>>I am trying top identify a TV commercial ... 70s? 80s? ... that used Donovan's flute part from "First There Is A Mountain" ... not sure there's any singing, might be a re-recording of the flute music ... girls are dancing to it ... ring any bells? ... thanx a ton! (stolf)

>>>I absolutely remember the spot ... but can't think of the product for the life of me. Again, I'm sure one of our readers will know the answer to this one ... stay tuned! (kk)
You probably already have it, but in answer to the question this am: the Toyota Rav4 is where advertisers wisely placed Donovan’s “There is a Mountain”. Here’s a link:
When favorite, prolific songwriters pen songs from their souls, the last place they probably expect to hear them is in a TV commercial, but who cannot help but think of Bob Seger + Chevy Trucks (“Like a Rock”); the Beach Boys (“Little Honda”); Ronny and the Daytonas (“Little GTO”); Lyle Lovett (good ol’ Texas Aggie ’78) for Lexus LS430 (“Summer Wind”). Back in the day, when Lyle was performing at Mr. Gatti’s Pizza Emporium and a hamburger joint called Dead Solid Perfect on the streets of College Station 33 years ago, surely he never dreamed of his songs, one day recorded, and used for a national commercial spot. Funny how songs take on a brand new relevance. Same thing happened with Dinah Shore’s “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy” when Lexus used it for a spot — everything old is new again. Jingles and commercials are ever much a part of the soundtrack of our lives as all the 45s and 33s.
Gig ‘em Aggies,
Dawn Lee Wakefield
Thanks, Dawn ... you're right ... we did receive this from a few folks on the list ... but you were the first! As we have certainly seen in these pages, many of these musical commercial memories are still very near and dear to our hearts. No, not the original intent of the artist when these tracks were first written and recorded ... but a GREAT way to help keep this music alive for each new generation to come! (kk)

... and, speaking of commercials ...

Hi Kent,

I am trying to find the 1970s singing jingle for "Sun In" hair lightener. The lyric went something like, "Sun In and sunlight, and you'll be blonder tonight." I have a feeling you'll remember this one. Any leads on getting an aircheck or clip of it?

I enjoyed finding your blog.


Jim Thurman

(((AM Radio Forever)))

St. Petersburg, Florida

I absolutely remember it ... just did a quick scan of YouTube and couldn't find anything ... but I'll betcha one of our readers will come up with something! Stay tuned! (kk)

Hi Kent,
I really enjoy your Forgotten Hits website. You and your readers' insight into many of the 60's Artists are very interesting. I have added a little info a while back regarding novelty commercials.
I ran across a Picture Sleeve only, and for quite a while, couldn't find out what 45 record that it belonged to. After some research, I found that the record was by the Balladiers - "Kennedy Dollar" b/w "Gotta Quit Kicking My Dog Around".
The record was a political song of sorts from 1963 and was about The Kennedys.
I have never heard the record and would like to know if you or any of your readers know anything about the group.
A picture of the sleeve is attached.
Thanks very much.
Arnold Kirkbride

Happy to post your request, Arnie ... we've been pretty successful in this regard so far. Hopefully, somebody will know something about this record. Stay tuned! (kk)

Hi, guys ...

I'm on a quest collecting Gold Record awards from the 1955 - 1975 era. You know the kind. They were presented by artists and record companies to stations, PDs and DJs for being the "first" or helping to break a hit. Most are framed and under glass with an inscription to the PD or station. I'm interested in all music genres. Good condition preferred but will consider all. I'm willing to pay top dollar for selected items ... 45s and LPs as well.
If you have any or know of anyone with one or more, please please give them my name and address. I appreciate your help.

Ted Atkins
With so many collectors on the list, I'm sure someone can provide you with some pretty good sources for this very special type of collectible. (kk)

Does anyone know the back story to Coven's One Tin Soldier?

I have two different copies of the song, one on Warner Brothers, the other one is on MGM. There are only slight differences between the two recordings. The Warner Brothers version was used in the film Billy Jack.
Thanks for your help
Vinny B.
We've covered this track a couple of times before in Forgotten Hits. Coven's "One Tin Solider" was a BIG #1 Hit here in Chicago back in 1973 ... which was actually the SECOND time around for this track on Warner Brothers Records. (Since Coven hailed from right here in Chicago, this may have had a little bit to do with their success here ... but we still hear this song fairly often in Chi-Town.) Here's the scoop:
The song "One Tin Soldier" was first recorded by a group called The Original Caste in 1969. Their version climbed to #34 in Billboard Magazine and went to #36 here in Chicago. Despite their misleading name, this group did NOT record the song for the movie "Billy Jack".
Instead, Tom Laughlin (Billy Jack) hand-picked Coven to record a NEW version of this tune to be used in the movie and, when the film was first released in 1971, it was the Coven version on Warner Brothers Records that quickly began climbing the charts. (It ultimately peaked at #18 in Cash Box Magazine and #26 in Billboard. Surprisingly, despite the fact that Coven came from Chicago, it never charted here.)
Flash forward a couple of years and "Billy Jack" was back out in theatrical release, now a cult favorite and packing them in at the theaters ... including yours truly ... I probably saw this movie twenty times back in the day!!!
However, by now Coven had left Warner Brothers and were signed to MGM Records. Thinking that this was a quick way to cash in on a "sure thing", MGM had the band re-record "One Tin Solider" for their label and rush-released it. When THAT version began climbing the charts, Warner Brothers quickly released the ORIGINAL Coven movie version again ... and THIS is the one that ultimately topped the charts here in Chi-Town. (Incredibly, the re-release didn't fare as well on the national charts, petering out at #73. The MGM recording topped out at #68.)
That means that in all, the song "One Tin Soldier" hit the pop charts an incredible FOUR times between 1969 and 1974!

BTW: That great lead vocal is handled by Jinx Dawson, who caused quite a stir when she posed naked on the inside album cover spread in what looked like some sort of satanic witchcraft / Devil worship ceremony. (kk)

The Hit Single version by Coven

The now-rare ORIGINAL version by The Original Caste

>>>Do you remember the song "Mr Dieingly Sad" by the British group, The Critters??? It is one of my favorites from my favorite music period, The British Invasion, (along with our Chicago Group Invasion ...). What ever happened to The Critters? Were they one hit wonders? (Carolyn)
>>>For starters, The Critters were NOT a British band ... they actually hailed from Plainfield, New Jersey! The original lineup included Don Ciccone on vocals and guitar, Jimmy Ryan on guitar, Chris Darway on organ, Kenny Gorka on bass and Jack Decker on drums. "Mr. Dieingly Sad" was their biggest hit, reaching #14 on The Cash Box Chart in 1966. Everybody I know LOVES this song ... and, at #14, SHOULD be considered a major hit ... yet typically you only hear this one referred to as a "Forgotten 45" (and that's if you hear it featured at all!) The Critters had a couple of other minor hits you might remember. Their first chart record was their version of The Lovin' Spoonful track "Younger Girl", which peaked at #21 in Cash Box (but failed to make The Top 40 in Billboard, stopping at #42.) That's probably because it competed for airplay with a very similar-sounding recording by The Hondells, released at exactly the same time. (The Hondells' version went to #38 in Cash Box and hit #52 on the Billboard Chart.) The tune first came into our consciousness as a track off The Lovin' Spoonful's debut album and it, too, deserves an oldies spin now and again. After "Mr. Dieingly Sad", The Critters hit the charts a couple more times, first with "Bad Misunderstanding" (#55, 1966) and then they snuck into The National Top 40 one last time with "Don't Let The Rain Fall Down On Me" (#39, 1967). Singer Don Ciccone later joined The Four Seasons and, although for years the story has been circulated that it was Don who was singing the lead on The Four Seasons' #1 Hit "December, 1963", it was actually drummer Gerri Polci who handled that honor. (kk)
>>>Thank you so much for the info on The Critters. Since the tune came out during the years of the British Invasion, I assumed they were a British Group! Would never have guessed they were from New Jersey. Will have to find my 45 and put it in my juke box.Thank you again. (Carolyn)

I did not know that Don Ciccone was in the Critters. Great sound ... kinda like a John Phillips vibe ... nice chord changes And melody. I only knew of him via Lee Shapiro who was in the 4 Seasons also. Lee and I did many recording sessions together.
I am trying to find "Lie To Me" ... we wrote that with Ciccone. I know it is in the house some where.
Best Wishes
Don Albano

Would love to hear that one, Don. By the way, Don Albano is probably best known to OUR audience as Don Young, the guy who scored a big hit here in Chicago with "She Lets Her Hair Down", one of those tunes we featured in our Favorite Commercials Series. We're in the process of putting together a career retrospective showing some of the OTHER great music Don was involved in ... coming soon to a Forgotten Hits web page near you! (kk)

Not sure if you mentioned this, but ex-Critters bass player, Ken Gorka, now owns The Bitter End in New York's Greenwich Village. He's a very nice and affable guy, and The Bitter End remains, not only legendary, but contemporary.
Bob (Dr. Robert, The Beat)
I did not know that ... how cool is that?!?!? Thanks, Bob! (kk)

I never knew The Critters were from NJ either.
Does anyone know how to reach any of the members of The Critters?
We'd love to invite them to join ROCK CON, our "Weekend of 100 Rock Stars" July 30 - August 1 at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel Conference Center in East Rutherford, NJ.


Charles F. Rosenay!!!
Liverpool Productions
Happy to post your inquiry, Charles, and see if anybody responds ... yes, these guys would be a PERFECT addition to your upcoming event ... in fact, here's the latest press release on Rock-Con 2010:
"ROCK CON: Weekend of 100 Rock Stars"
(which one newspaper recently called "The Woodstock of Rock Conventions")

East Rutherford, NJ: The three-day fan fest, “Rock Con: Weekend Of 100 Rock Stars” is turning into one of summer 2010’s most anticipated music events. Tickets for the 3-day show (July 30 – Aug. 1st ) at the Meadowlands Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in E. Rutherford, NJ are now on sale, modestly priced on a daily basis.


Below is a partial list of confirmed “guest stars” attending this summer’s Rock Con: “Weekend Of 100 Rock Stars” in alphabetical order:
Mary Balin – vocals (along with Grace Slick) in Jefferson Airplane - Jefferson Starship; Sid Bernstein – legendary rock impresario, manager and promoter; Tommy Bia – The Thunder Road Band; Karina Bradley – “Dance Floor Diva” – pop star and model; Beverly Bremers – hit single “Don’t Say You Don’t Remember” 1972, starred in “Hair”; Pete Bremy – Vanilla Fudge – Cactus (bassist) – originally from Paterson, NJ; Lala Brooks – The Crystals, lead singer on “Da Doo Ron Ron”; Eli Brown – The bassist for the newly-reformed Vagrants; Glen Burtnik – Styx, member of LaBamba And The Hubcaps, The Orchestra (ELO); John Butcher – John Butcher Axis; Kristen Capolino – Tenn heavy metal guitarist / singer / songwriter – “All That I Am”; Jim Carrick – Spanky & Our Gang member; Peppy Castro – Blues Magoos vocals and guitar wiz; Clay Cole – The Clay Cole Show (1959-68) – the rock and roll studio dance TV show; John Ford Coley – hit single “I’d Really Like To See You Tonight” 1976; Clarence Collins – Little Anthony & The Imperials – 2009 Rock HOF inductee; Gene Cornish – The Rascals (guitarist) -1997 Rock HOF inductee; Paul Cotton – from Poco (need we say more); Scott Cummings – Michael Jackson’s bodyguard for 15 years; Ron Dante – The Archies lead singer - #1 hit in 1969 with “Sugar Sugar”; Dinky Dawson – rock’s most famous sound man – The Beatles, Led Zep, Pink Floyd; Lezlie Deanne – Scary Cherry And The Bang Bangs (she also starred in horror films); Pat Dinizio & The Smithereens – the NJ band posted “Rock Con” on their site recently; Demon Boy – have a ghoulish greeting with Long Island’s own metal shock rocker; Peter DiStefano – Porno For Pyros guitarist; Silvio Ennella – The Thunder Road Band; Charlie Farren – Joe Perry Project – Farrenheit singer; Dennis Ferrante – recording engineer extraordinaire, and Grammy winner 2000; William Finley – “Phantom Of The Paradise” – The Phantom in the rock musical; John Ford – The Strawbs – joined in 1970 adding his percussive style to the band; Pete Fornatale – WFMU – WNEW-FM radio personality – “Mixed Bag” radio specials; Kat Gilbert – West Coast songstress debut CD “It Keeps Changing” – single “Fallen”; Robert Gordon – hit singles “My Gal Is Red Hot” – “It’s Only Make Believe” 1976-78; “Little Anthony” Gourdine – Little Anthony & The Imperials – 2009 Rock HOF inductee; Charlie Gracie – Philadelphia’s first rock n’ roller “Butterfly” – ask Van Morrison; Gerrit Graham – “Beef” in “Phantom Of The Paradise” – composes with Bob Weir; Barbara Harris – hit single w/The Toys “A Lover’s Concerto” 1965 international hit; John Hawken – Renaissance – Spooky Tooth – Strawbs keyboardist; Greg Hawkes – The Cars (keyboards) was the backbone of the group from Boston; Pat Horgan – Thunder Road’s lead singer / guitarist – producer Garage Rock Band series; John Idan – The Yardbirds – 1992 Rock HOF inductee – joined in 1994 as lead vocalist; Tommy James & The Shondells – “Mony Mony” “Hanky Panky” 1966 (14 Top 10 hits!); Jay & The Americans – multiple hits including “She Cried” 1963 (12 Top 10 hits); Randy Jones – The Village People’s original “YMCA Cowboy”; Eddie Kelly – American Bandstand regular dancer everyone remembers – late ‘50s-‘60s; Bruce Kulick – Kiss guitarist 1984-96 – later Grand Funk Railroad; Linda Jansen – former original lead singer of The Angels “Til” and “Cru Baby Cry”; Dan Lavoie – Harp-guitarist virtuoso – “Harp Guitar Dreams”; Bryan Laye – “Tangerine Lane” 2009 LP – recently recorded with Dave Mason; Victoria Levy – The Hoosier Mamas; Ian Lloyd – Stories – “Brother Louie” 1971, also singer with Foreigner; Vince Martel – Vanilla Fudge’s lead guitarist – born in the Bronx, toured with Hendrix; Louiche Mayorga – Suicidal Tendencies bassist; Spanky McFarlane – Spanky & Our Gang - Mamas & Papas vocalist; Mike “Mac” McNenney – The Thunder Road Band; Ian Mitchell – Bay City Rollers – “Saturday Night” 1976; Rick Mullen – Commander Cody – Don McLean – Van Morrison – Savoy Brown; Peg Pearl – lead singer of the band Aura; Andy Pratt – hit single “Avenging Annie” 1973 and more than a one-hit wonder; Paul Peterson – hit single “My Dad” 1962 - starred in the “Donna Reed Show” 1958-66; Tiffinni Saint Ranae – singer / songwriter / actress, was produced by the Sugar Hill Gang; Peter Sabatino – The Vagrants – one of the originals; Beki Brindle – Grace Pool, guitarist for Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Danko Band, many others; Ralph Scala – The Blues Magoos; Nelson Slater – “Wild Angel” LP produced by Lou Reed is a collaboration to note; Earl Slick – David Bowie’s legendary guitarist – John Lennon’s featured guitarist; Tom “T-Bone” Stankus – Dr. Demento – the comedic “Existential Blues” 1980; Stewkey – Nazz’ original lead singer; Kasim Sultan – Utopia & Meat Loaf’s bassist;
Terry Sylvester – The Hollies – 2010 Rock HOF inductee – replaced Graham Nash; Livingston Taylor – hit single “I Will Be In Love With You” 1970 – brother of James; The Angels – hit single “My Boyfriend’s Back” 1963 – they’re featured in “Jersey Boys”; The Delicates – “Submarine Race Watcher’s Theme” and grew up in Belleville, NJ; The Detergents – “Leader Of The Laundromat” one-hit wonder (Ron Dante vocalist); The Dovells – “Bristol Stomp” “You Can’t Sit Down”; The Fifth Estate – hit single “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” 1967 – an international hit; The 1910 Fruitgum Company – “Simon Says” 1968 #2 hit, also “1 2 3 Red Light”; The Human Beinz – hit single “Nobody But Me” 1967 - featured in 2004 “Kill Bill” film; The Rip Chords – hit single “Hey Little Cobra” 1964 - worked with Terry Melcher; The Soul Survivors – “Expressway To Your Heart” 1967 sold a million copies; Jonathan Tiersten – Jonathan Tiersten &The Ten Tiers – Queens-born and bred, Jonathan is a singer / musician / actor (hint: name “Ricky” mean anything? See “Sleepaway Camp”); Tuff Darts – Tommy Frenzy – John DeSalvo – J. Morrison are back; Hilton Valentine – The Animals (guitarist) – 1994 Rock HOF created a classic riff; Eerie Von – Danzig – Samhain bassist; Gary Von Scyoc – Elephants Memory – John Lennon’s 70’s band – featured on Lennon’s “Live in New York” and The Mike Douglas Show w/John and Yoko; Jane Weidlin – The Go-Go’s – “Our Lips Are Sealed” 1982 – she wrote the song, too; Shaun Weiss – son of Beatles’ attorney Nat Weiss was at Shea / Sullivans / Apple rooftop; Mary Weiss – The Shangri-Las “Leader of the Pack”; Johnny Winter w/guitarist Paul Nelson – two legendary guitarists – “Live/Johnny Winter And…” (1971) is Johnny’s best and Grammy nominated “I’m A Bluesman” which features Paul Nelson, is his best – meet them in person.
Due to conflicts, Freddie Cannon and Ronnie Spector and a few other expected guests cannot appear this year although they were previously listed in our initial news release.
Guests are continued to be added.
Jay Lustig of the Star Ledger calls Rock Con “the Woodstock of Rock Conventions”

And finally, perhaps the ULTIMATE "Helping Out Our Readers" story. I wanted to show you that every once in a while something magical happens here in Forgotten Hits. With so many new people discovering the website each and every day, you just never know who's going to come by:


My name Is Francis Ortiz ... I came across your website and found some info on the Youngtones and was wondering if you had any info on that guy named Jocco??

See, because my dad is the dark one from the Youngtones and he is always talking about the group and singing the songs ... and I would love to reunite my dad with some of his old buddies. My dad would be so happy ... so any info would be greatly appreciated.

I know with security and all it would be hard for you to give me his info but I'm sending you my email address so please give it to him and ask him to please contact me.

Hey, maybe we can have a Youngtones reunion!!!

Thanks for keeping my father's music alive ...

Francis Ortiz

The connection took all of about 30 minutes!!! Jocco send me a quick response and now, after who knows HOW many years, these folks have connected again.

What can I say? But thanks!

Please do give her my e-mail address.


Over the years, we've been part of about half a dozen of these types of reunions ... and it truly warms my heart that we could in some small way be the "connecting rod" that made it all happen. The power of music ... NEVER underestimate it! (kk)