Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 29 - 10 )

We did it!!! With a little bit of scrambling, we WERE able to put together a Sunday Comments Page! (Short but sweet ... compared to our usual Sunday ramblings ... but hopefully enjoyable nonetheless!)

Morning Kent!
How's the Birthday hangover?
I hope you got your fair share of "Kicks" from last nights Paul Revere & the Raiders concert. LoL !
Was Mark Lindsay singing with them? I know he's been on the " Happy Together Tour."
Frank B.
A lesson I learned in my early 20's ... No drinking ... No hang-over!!! And I haven't had one since! (lol)
The concert was nothing short of FANTASTIC!

For the record, Mark Lindsay hasn't sung with The Raiders in DECADES ... they're each out doing their own thing ... but even without his vocals, it was a GREAT show. Paul Revere has put together an incredibly tight back-up unit and the musicianship is nothing short of outstanding. Guitarist Doug Heath and Bassist Ron Foos have been onboard as Raiders for over 35 years and keyboardist Danny Krause has been "filling in Paul's missing notes" for over 30 years now ... "newbies" Tommy Sheckel on drums (late of The Buckinghams) and lead vocalist / guitarist Darren Dowler (aka "Baby Raider" since he's the newest member of the band) have only been contributing to the chaos for about a month now but fit right in with the high-impact, "full-speed-ahead"-paced show. (I've never seen a band work so hard up on stage! I swear each one of these guys must lose ten pounds a night! lol) And Revere, at nearly 73 years of age, doesn't miss a beat ... he's still sharp as a tack and the entire performance is precision timed to perfect effect. Comedy and music are equally split during the evening and after years of perfecting his banter in Las Vegas show lounges and now at their permanent home in Branson, Missouri, at the Andy Williams / Moon River Theater, it really shows.
The guys have a lot of fun on stage and the audience is along for one hell of a ride. Dowler does an outstanding job handling the lead vocals (his resume is quite impressive ... after singing with The Lettermen for ten years ... and playing lead guitar for The Backstreet Boys!!! ... he's finally able to let out his inner demon performer and he absolutely excels at it ... honestly, I can't even imagine Mark Lindsay wanting to come back to the hectic pace of this show ... while Mark has been in EXCELLENT voice throughout the Happy Together Again Tour ... by all accounts I've seen, the highlight of the night at each stop ... this is a frantically paced show that NEVER lets up and is more about keeping the audience entertained through on-stage theatrics than simply the quality of the music.) The true bonus is the fact that the quality of the music is OUTSTANDING ... and Paul mixes up the set with a virtual non-stop hit list of Paul Revere and the Raiders
material, much of which you just don't hear on the radio anymore. (As such, it becomes a Forgotten Hits Concert Dream ... their in-concert song list included complete or partial versions of The Raiders' hits "Like Long Hair", "Steppin' Out", "Louie Louie", "Just Like Me", "Kicks", "Hungry", "The Great Airplane Strike", "Good Thing", "Ups And Downs", "Him Or Me, What's It Gonna Be", "Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon", "Let Me", "Birds Of A Feather" and, of course, "Indian Reservation". Even at that, legitimate Top 40 Hits like "I Had A Dream", "Too Much Talk", "Don't Take It So Hard", "Peace Of Mind" and "Country Wine" still had to be left off the list! Man, what a hit-making machine these guys truly were!)
They also did PERFECT cover versions of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and The Animals' "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" ... and, since they were playing here in Chicago, closed out the evening with a bonus encore of "Sweet Home Chicago". All-in-all, a PERFECT night of music.
By the way, at one point in the show Paul Revere remarked that some music critic once stated that "The five most perfect notes in rock and roll can be found at the beginning of the Paul Revere and the Raiders hit single 'Good Thing'" ... and, after hearing it live last night, I'd have to agree with him. Check it out below:

Complete Paul Revere and the Raiders touring information can be found on their website.
Click here: Paul Revere & the Raiders
After another long stretch in Branson, the band is off for a Rock And Roll Cruise in late January (featuring other acts such as Danny and the Juniors, Bill Haley's Original Comets, Chuck Negron (aka One Dog Night!!!) and Gary Puckett. Sounds like a blast! (And will be a blast from the past musically ... you'll find THIS information on their website as well. Talk about Cruisin' To The Oldies!!!)

They don't tour much anymore so if you get the chance to see these guys, by all means, check 'em out ... you won't be disappointed. (kk)

Paul Revere and the Raiders
(NOTE: All concert photos courtesy of Michele Abrams ... thanks Michele!!!)

Paul Revere (with our "Keep Rockin'" buddies, Liz and Lou) after the show!
Hi Kent:
I met you at the Paul Revere and the Raiders show last night ... wow, what a great concert! Talk about your high energy full body workouts!
Tommy the drummer was fantastic. I wonder how long it takes to wring himself out after each show. You'd swear he'd been with the band for YEARS, not just the past month. He never missed a beat and is an incredible showman -- very entertaining to watch.
Actually, the whole band was top notch -- I heard a couple of people say that this new vocalist is the best Paul has had since Mark Lindsay. I've never seen Paul Revere and the Raiders in concert before -- this was quite a show!
Brock and Abrams were an interesting choice as the opening act. Vocally, they were spot-on. I've seen Bobby Abrams perform with the Buckinghams several times over the years but he never really had a chance to show off his vocal chops within the context of that band -- this guy can fact, I think he sang The Buckinghams' hits as well as ANYBODY has since Dennis Tufano moved on to a solo career -- I'm sorry, but NOBODY will ever top Dennis' vocals. Personally, I could have lived without Jimy Sohn's "guest spot" -- I don't feel that he added anything to the show and Brock and Abrams sounded SO good without him that his inclusion seemed totally unnecessary. I can't wait to see them perform again in a longer set -- it didn't seem like they really knew how long they were supposed to perform -- in fact, it almost seemed awkward at times. I'd also love to see them do the audience requests they referred to during their show -- they sounded great! Any idea where else they'll be performing?
-- Sherry
I thought Brock and Abrams sounded great last night, too ... we got there early enough to hear part of their soundcheck and even in rehearsal they were "spot on" vocally. Ron Onesti mentioned that they'd be appearing at his restaurant in September ... and for a full schedule, you can always check their website:

Brock and Abrams ...

... and Jimy Sohns with Bobby Abrams (belting one out!)

Hi Kent,
A friend of mine forwarded me your web page regarding the "Forgotten B-Sides" list. I thought it was great! I am putting a book together on flip-sides. Some of the ones on your list are already included in my book, which I have been working on for a few months now. I have "Bus Rider", "The Boat That I Row" by Lulu, but also by Neil Diamond (they are both great versions!), "Rain" by The Beatles (which is my favorite of ALL time), "Makin' Good Time" by Tommy James and The Shondells (flip of "Ball of Fire"), "Let Him Run Wild " by The Beach Boys, to name just a few.
Feel free to respond, and keep up the good work!
Nick Arietano, Jr.
Rock and Roll Historian
Keep us posted as your book develops. You'll find some GREAT titles on this list ... and be sure to check out our All-Time Biggest Two-Sided Hits list, too ... these are the most successful singles ever released where BOTH sides of the record made the charts! (kk)
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Top 200 BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HITS of All-Time
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides

George David Weiss, of ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ Dies at 89 - Obituary (Obit) -
Kent ...
WOW! How do you go from "Lullaby Of Birdland" (1952) to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (1961)?
Frank B.
He did a whole lot more than that ... Weiss also had a hand in writing "Can't Help Falling In Love" for Elvis Presley, "What A Wonderful World" for Louis Armstrong and "Wheel Of Fortune" for Kay Starr. His work was prominently featured on Broadway and in films, too. (kk)

Glad to have you aboard the Darin Train!!!! Looking forward to the big Bobby Darin event next May!
Susan Schooley,
Cutler Bay, FL
Big fan here, too ... anxious to hear the details. (Man, I just GOTTA get that series up on the website!!!) kk

Hi there,
Thanks for the article ...
A Bobby Darin Fan from Sydney Australia.
Judy McRae

While we try to keep politics (and opinion in this regard) out of Forgotten Hits, I've received this link a couple of times now from Trade Martin and finally decided to share it with our readers. Obviously, we're all free to draw our own conclusions ... but with close to 150,000 hits already, it's clearly relevant to what's been all over the news of late. (kk)
“The President And Grammy winner Trade Martin Disagree On The Ground Zero Mosque" (Read the story, hear the song, see the video.)
The Trade Martin Story (Google search starter)!!!

We've run this one before, too, but it's just a fun way to spend six and a half minutes. (Sent in this time by Alan O'Day!) Having just added another birthday notch to the bedpost, I can relate! (kk)

This topic has come up a couple of times recently in Forgotten Hits ... so imagine my surprise when I heard from Wally Podrazik himself the other day, weighing in on this subject!
>>>I can't say that I've ever met ANYONE who would have preferred missing The Beatles' performance on Ed Sullivan to watching some Disney movie!!! In fact, if anything, quite the opposite is true. Meeting SO many younger readers who weren't around like we were when all this cool musical stuff was happening, they are genuinely jealous of having missed what just HAS to be the most innovative time in pop music history ... and they just LOVE hearing about these experiences through our eyes (and memories) or watching the old clips via youTube or DVDs or what have you. (kk)
>>>Regarding the Beatles versus The Scarecrow ... Well, obviously, in the wake of B-Day, the Beatles were to be a much biggest part of my life than the Scarecrow ... obviously. All's I'm saying is, for the shear nostalgic entertainment of it, today, in 2010, I would rather watch Dr. Syn, Curlew, and Hellspite than the Beatles on Sullivan. You must keep in mind that just as "everybody" was at Woodstock, "everybody" watched them on Feb 9, 1964? ... well, no, not really ... some kids weren't into pop music just yet ... most were, I guess, but certainly not all. At my house, we listened to Al Hirt, whom I love with a passion to this day! And not just the hits but the album cuts, everything. Hell, he did the theme to "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians"!
You might recall the book "All Together Now" the first definitive Beatles discography, published in 1975 by Harry Castleman and Walter J. Podrazik. In the third installment, "The End", in the bio section in the back, Walter came out of the closet and admitted he was watching the Scarecrow. Harry wasn't. Anyway, that gave me the "courage" to stand up and be counted as a true believer in Scarecrowmania ... and BTW I believe this airing was actually a repeat, but it was just as good the second time around. (Stolf)
I'd like to comment on the above thread ...
It was while researching the book Watching TV (also co-authored with Harry Castleman and newly issued this fall in an expanded second edition from Syracuse University Press) that I confirmed the 1-2-3 Beatles versus Scarecrow choice, especially for me in a faceoff that I had remembered taking place back then in the final week. Long before home video recording, it was a matter of controlling the dial. An older, female, teenage cousin wanted Sullivan. Her brother and I wanted The Scarecrow. One TV. Our compromise. We kept switching back and forth (no remote, by hand) and agreed that if we landed on Sullivan and The Beatles were performing, we’d stay there for the songs. Then as soon as they were finished, back to The Scarecrow. Not perfect, but that let us catch most of The Scarecrow. But then it was a long wait until the eventual reruns to see the missing Scarecrow minutes.
By the way, that February 1964 airing of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh was indeed the first U.S. presentation of the miniseries. (See Wikipedia for a summary of its late 1963 presentation in Great Britain.) Obviously, The Beatles ended up an important part of my pop culture experience as well.
Walter J. Podrazik
Thanks, Wally! BIG fan of your books here ... and great of you to weigh in on this one! (kk)
Thanks. Harry Castleman came across this thread yesterday and alerted me to it. He knew the Scarecrow / Sullivan tale was one of those defining moments for me.