Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Helping Out Our Readers

Off the wall question: The (lovely) girl who appeared on The Knack "My Sharona" 45 picture sleeve is actually the real Sharona Alperin, the song was written about?
John Yep, it sure is ... and I imagine that provocative sleeve helped to sell a few copies of this single all by itself, even if you hadn't already heard a catchy note of this monster hit record!
Knack leader Doug Fieger (who we just lost earlier this year) was dating Sharona and told Jeff Tamarkin of "Goldmine Magazine" that he "fell very deeply in love with her ... she was inspirational and moved me on a very basic level." He knocked the song out in one afternoon, putting his lyrics to a melody / guitar riff that bandmate Berton Averre had been playing around with for quite a while ... and the biggest song of 1979 was born. It's been a classic ever since. (By the way, according to one of Fieger's obituaries that we ran at the time, Sharona Alperin is now a high-end real estate agent in Los Angeles.) kk

Trade Martin put out several 45's while he was at COED. One of my favorites is "Hula Hula Dancing Doll", which got a fair amount of airplay on WBZ. Sadly, (to me anyway) the only TM song that shows up on CD is "That Stranger Used to Be My Girl". It's also a great song, one of the few Top 40 songs featuring a tuba, and does show up in stereo! Are there any Trade Martin collections avaliable, or planned?
Phil Beckman

I've always enjoyed Trade's song "Hula Hula Dancing Doll" ... have played this one before on Topshelf Oldies! Sending along a couple of others, as well ... Lucky Boy, Happy Girl, Lonely Me, and his version of Hot Diggity, which I have up on YouTube as well.
Tom Diehl
I asked Trade if a "career retrospective" might be something we could look forward to in the future ... here's what he had to say:
Please thank Phil for me. You know, I do plan on eventually releasing a collection down the road (maybe this Spring or Summer) ... and I'll include most and maybe even all of my Coed, RCA, Toot & Buddha releases. I've noticed the Hula Hula Dancin' Doll 45 on Ebay a number of times in case Phil is interested. I've got one somewhere in my files. It's always nice to be remembered in a positive way.
THANKS AGAIN Kent & Phil!!!
Please check my YOUTUBE audio-visuals.
Warmest regards,

And, speaking of Trade Martin ...
>>>A copy of Trade's version of "The Work Song" appears today, courtesy of the ever-reliable Tom Diehl ... this is a really good version of this song!!! (Darin did a bluesier take when he cut it ... and I really like that one, too ... but I kinda dig this rockin' version.) kk
Since nobody has mentioned the man who wrote those lyrics and recorded the first vocal version, I will. He is the late Oscar Brown Jr., long associated with jazz and adding lyrics to jazz instrumentals. Knowing you to be a completist, I am sending you his version.
There is more at that link than you could possibly use but you might find it interesting reading.

Thanks, Hil ... actually, I think quite a few folks on the list will enjoy hearing this ORIGINAL version ... thanks for sending! (kk)

What am I missing here? There is a DVD (finished or still in the works?) about The Wrecking Crew. I really can't wait to see it.
I see it is being screened here and there, but it is not yet for sale. Apparently they are trying to raise more money for it? Why don't they just sell it and get the funds back from sales?
I'm usually on top of these issues, but here I am at a loss to explain this plan. What am I missing?
All the best,
Dr. Robert (The Beat)

The film's been done for a couple of years now ... and it really IS outstanding. However, as you can imagine, the cost of licensing the rights to all this music is phenomenal ... these guys played on virtually EVERY hit of the '60's!!! Trying to get both a movie deal and a soundtrack CD has proven to be quite the struggle and, as such, the film has only been shown at various film festivals around the country thus far. It's a movie that DESERVES to be seen ... as such, we're willing to do anything we can do to help to help drum up interest, excitement and fund-raising. If you're able to catch one of these screenings, do it! You will not be disappointed. (kk)
Here's an update from "The Wrecking Crew" film producer, Denny Tedesco, whose father Tommy was one of THE key members of this studio artistry!
Hi Kent!
As always, thanks so much for your help and interest in this project ... here is the latest info:
Even though we've won awards all over the world in festivals and have garnished amazing reviews, the 'industry' doesn't take kindly to music documentaries. They feel there isn't a market for it. Obviously, we feel differently ... and audiences in 50+ festivals will also contest this point of view.
The record companies and publishers are not the 'bad guys' in this. There are no bad guys. They have made amazing deals but we have a $250K nut to crack with music and stock footage licensing.
Once the licensing is paid for we'll be able to release the film and DVD.
So now we are working through the International Documentary Association which helps documentary film makers as a 501C. We are able to receive donations through the IDA and donors are given a charity tax deduction. When the donations come in, we start knocking down the bills.
We created a whole donor section that shows how folks can donate any amount. Donors have donated from $5.00 to $5000.00 from all over the world.
If a person or business donates $1000.00, they're able to dedicate a song for the DVD / Web-site.
We are coming up with all kinds of ways of raising funds. We are now having concerts and private screenings as fund raisers. It's donations only. We have had it in a library, living rooms and museums. Even though we haven't released the film, I am still interviewing crew members and artists of the era for excerpts of the film.
We have shot Al Jardine, Peter Tork, Petula Clark, Richard Carpenter, Jackie DeShannon, and many more. Every few weeks, we keep releasing out-takes on the web-site. Our goal is to show a distributor or investor that we have the audience that is ready to buy as soon as it comes out.
The blogs and web-sites like Forgotten Hits have helped us tremendously. It keeps us going. Our biggest hurdle is to remind people that WE HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED!
Thanks again for your support over the years and hopefully something will happen very soon.
Take care,

Best of luck to you, Denny, and continued success ... this is a film that NEEDS to be seen! (kk)

Hi, KK,
This is Liz from New Jersey. I'm the person who was looking for "Cheek to Cheek" ... by The Percells, not Fred Astaire ... and I can't thank you enough for finding it for me! I literally searched for it for years and I hadn't actually heard it in well over 40 years. When Mr. C sent it to me, I listened to it over and over again, with an ear-to-ear grin on my face ... it brought back wonderful memories of youth, being relatively carefree and, of course, first love ... the worst case of puppy love the world has ever seen. I've slowed down just a bit on listening to it, but am still enjoying the heck out of it!
Thanks so much again ... and please pass my thanks on to Randy Price for identifying the song for me and Tom Diehl, who I believe was the person who provided it. How great that they shared their knowledge and the song ... and caused someone they will never meet to have a really great day spent grinning ear-to-ear while listening to an old-time favorite.
Liz Nilsen

Thank you for your sweet email ... I've passed copies on to both Randy Price and Tom Diehl. It's what we do here in Forgotten Hits ... I'll think you'll find this a GREAT place to share your memories! (kk)

>>>I'm trying to find out anything about a really obscure track that got minimal airplay out here in Melbourne, Australia, around 1965. I don't even know the title but its refrain went along the lines of - 'We're not movie stars, We're just the boys with the big guitars.' (Ka-Chang!!!) I always felt that it might have been a Boyce and Hart song ... does it ring any bells with you? Maybe I'm looking for something that's so obscure that its only in my memory banks, however I recall the song as being sung by a duo with a name reminiscent of Boyce and Hart. I do recall talking to other kids at school about the track and there was a general consensus that it would be a hit. Guess we were wrong about that. There also may have been a clip shown on local television in Melbourne Australia, and again my guess is around 1965. Any info would be great.
(Murray Walding)

>>>This was issued in Australia, on W&G WG-S-1948. It was also issued in America on the Ford record label. Chip Taylor and Ted Daryll were the Town and Country Brothers and the song is called The Boys With The Big Guitars.

(Tom Diehl)
Thanks Kent ... and thanks too, to Tom, for his help this has been a wonderful discovery. Once I found that out, I was able to discover that The Town and Country Brothers had a reasonable sized hit here with another track, Sandy, Sandy ... it's my guess that Boys with the Big Guitars was to be the follow up.
Once again fantastic help you've provided me, so please put me on the list.
I've attached a small image of some of my archive ... might be of interest?
Kindest Regards,
Glad we could help ... and you'll find those programs photos up on our other Forgotten Hits website ... in the SCRAPBOOK MEMORIES section. (kk)

I don't know if you will be able to help me but in about 1967 / 1968 my boyfriend (later to be come my husband but we divorced a long time ago), bought an imported record with a B side which just had 1969 in numbers on the back. As we did not speak and have not spoken in over 35 years I cannot ask him about the artist or the A side of the record but I know it was a girl singer and I think her name started with S but I cannot be sure. I know it was on a black record label and I think it was RCA Victor but not sure. I know this is a long shot but the song keeps going round in my head every now and again and I would like to get a copy if I could.Some of the lines are: "Hey I hate to picture 1969" if that helps. Thank for you help and if you cannot, thanks for trying. Grace
Anybody out there recognize this one? Being an import, it may be even tougher to track down ... but let's see what you come up with! (kk)

Here's one for "Helping Out Our Readers":

When I was 13 in the summer of 1965, my friend Art and I built a "wireless broadcaster" out of some radio parts we bought at the Six Corners Olson Electronics, all screwed to a piece of scrap 1 X 6. We hooked it up to his shortwave listening antenna (about 30 feet of wire strung from his house to his garage) connected it to his record player, and grabbed a 45 from the pile of records he had just sitting on a basement shelf. Then we took a transistor radio and ran around the neighborhood seeing how far away we could hear it. When the 45 ended, we went back to the basement and put it on again and then ran in the other direction. You could literally hear it a block away, west past Overhill and east past Oriole. The 45 was "Rocket Ride," but it was not (obviously) the 1978 Kiss song, nor the 1963 doo-wop piece by Johnny Greco. It was a pounding instrumental, all drums and guitars, and so up-tempo it was borderline manic. I have no recall of the artist, and think it may have been a B-side. I just don't know, but it was a fun stunt and I've always wondered if anyone else in the neighborhood swung past the frequency then and heard it too. I'd love to know the artist, and certainly hear the song again if anybody has it.

Jeff Duntemann

Colorado Springs, Colorado

(Chicago boy from birth to 1979)

OK, THIS should be an interesting one!!! (I thought you were going to ask if anyone on the list happened to be cruising through your neighborhood that afternoon and heard your "pirate" broadcast!!! lol) So I guess we're probably more likely to get an answer to the "mystery artist" than a positive response to the OTHER question! (lol) Have at it readers ... I'm betting that somebody out there knows EXACTLY what song Jeff is talking about! (kk)