Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Some Mid-Week Comments

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame announced this year's candidates yesterday ... and, as usual, there were a few surprises ... but mostly in a GOOD way for a change.
After being eligible for the past 20 years, Neil Diamond FINALLY made the ballot this year ... incredibly for the very first time!!!
We've been campaigning for Neil for YEARS now ... maybe The Hall will finally do the right thing and recognize him for his nearly 50 years of musical contributions.
Also making the ballot for the first time this year are Alice Cooper, Donovan (where did HE come from?!?!?), Bon Jovi (I can live with that ... they're really the only "new kids" on the list) and Dr. John (another "huh?" in light of some of the obvious snubs again this year, but certainly worthy of some recognition.)
Old "stand-bys" making the ballot again include Darlene Love, Chic, The J. Geils Band, The Beastie Boys, Joe Tex, Donna Summer, LL Cool J, Chuck Willis, Laura Nyro and Tom Waits.
Ignored again were long-standing favorites Chicago, The Moody Blues and The Guess Who ... sentimental '50's favorites like Connie Francis and Pat Boone ... Philly Rockers like Chubby Checker and Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon ... unlikely to ever make it (but certainly deserving) candidates like The Monkees, Tommy James and the Shondells, Herman's Hermits and Paul Revere and the Raiders ... and recent Forgotten Hits profile artists like Billy Preston and Jeff Lynne (of ELO). It sounds like Elton John was campaigning for Leon Russell this year, too, now that the duo have teamed up for a new album and tour. (Apparently after Billy Joel backed out of The Piano Men Tour, Elton got Leon Russell to step in and take his place ... and the two have been making beautiful music together ever since!)
The Donovan nomination came as a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. In all of our Forgotten Hits Polls to determine the Most Deserving and Denied, Over-Looked Artists held over the past several years, his name has NEVER even come up ... likewise, Dr. John ... so the fact that The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame even CONSIDERED putting them on the ballot is a real step forward. (Keep in mind that this is just the list of nominees ... most likely no more than SIX of these potential candidates will actually make it into induction status.) kk

Roger Friedman, ALWAYS outspoken regarding the ways and means of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee, filed THIS report online yesterday when this year's nominees were announced:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations are in.
Sir Elton John was totally snubbed in his quest to get Leon Russell into the Rock Hall. After they win some Grammys in February, Elton and Leon should schedule a show in New York the same day as the Rock Hall show. It will sell out in minutes. A handful of names haven’t been on the list before: Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, Donovan, Alice Cooper, and Dr. John are all new.
From ballots gone by: Tom Waits, Beastie Boys, Chic, J. Geils Band, Darlene Love, Lauro Nyro, Donna Summer, LL Cool J, Joe Tex and Chuck Willis.
Who really deserves it from these choices: Neil Diamond, Chuck Willis, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Donovan, Alice Cooper. Bon Jovi would make it a great night and a contemporary touch. They’re a great bar band, and survivors.
Not rock, and it’s getting ridiculous already: Donna Summer. LL Cool J, Beastie Boys.
Still missing: KISS, Chicago. the Moody Blues, Mary Wells, Billy Preston, etc.
PS As we know, Joel Peresman is paid just under $400,000 a year to organize this list for the Rock Hall Foundation. Also on the group’s 2009 federal tax filing: $25,000 spent on music scholarship, nothing listed for indigent or needy musicians, and between $10 mil-$13 mil in assets. Good job!

-- Roger Friedman
(submitted by Tom Cuddy)

Slowly but surely, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame HAS been whittling away at our Top 40 Most Deserving And Denied Artists List these past few years, having now inducted The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, ABBA, John "Cougar" Mellencamp, The Ventures and Genesis.
With Neil Diamond now nominated, The Top Ten Artists remaining on the Most Deserving List are:
#1 - Connie Francis
#2 - The Guess Who
#3 - Chicago
#4 - Pat Boone
#5 - Chubby Checker
#6 - The Moody Blues
#7 - The Monkees
#8 - Three Dog Night
#9 - Paul Anka
#10 - Linda Ronstadt
(List determined by nominations and votes from Forgotten Hits Readers worldwide over the past five years.)
Runners-Up include Tommy James and the Shondells, The Turtles, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Yes, Neil Sedaka, The Zombies, Heart, Pat Benatar, The Doobie Brothers, Johnny Rivers, Electric Light Orchestra, Styx, Joan Jett, Herman's Hermits, Peter, Paul and Mary and Grand Funk Railroad.

We've given a fair amount of press consideration to Daddy Dewdrop here lately in FH ... but this is such a great piece, I just couldn't ignore it! (Especially in light of this week's new list of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees!)
No, Daddy Dewdrop's name isn't on the ballot ... but it IS prominently displayed in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's "One Hit Wonder" Exhibit in Cleveland (as evidenced by the photos included in the article below!)
How TOTALLY cool is this?!?!?
Read on and enjoy:
Kent ...
Here's one story about the Rock-n-Roll Hall Of Fame that I like.
Frank B.
One Hit Wonder’s Day « Daddy Dewdrop Says
P.S. By the way, I wasn't aware that there WAS such a thing as "One Hit Wonder Day" ... but now that I know there is, we'll have to take more care in celebrating this in the future! And, since Daddy Dewdrop and The Ides Of March have

been featured so prominently in our recent posts, today we'll salute both of them ... first with Daddy Dewdrop's One Hit to claim, "Chick-A-Boom" and then with The Ides Of March's tribute to One Hit Wonder artists everywhere, "One Hit Wonder"!!! (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. (Bob Rush)
Even though "Standing In The Shadows of Motown" is not yet available on home video, for anyone whose cable or satellite service includes The Sundance Channel On Demand, it is currently available for viewing there.

– Randy Price
"Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" has been available on home video for YEARS now ... in fact, it was the critical and commercial success of THAT documentary that should have made "The Wrecking Crew" a no-brainer!!! And I can only tell you, by having watched BOTH of these again and again and again, they are "MUST HAVES" for any fan of '60's Music. (kk)

I read the comment from your reader regarding Jim Croce's death 37 years ago. I was a real fan and saw him as the superstar he was destined to be.
Maybe two or three years after the plane crash , I answered the phone at my job in human resources (we quaintly called it "Personnel") and received a phone call from Rich Croce. I was a smart aleck even then and answered, "Jim's brother, I presume." He said, "Well, as a matter of fact, yes." ... "and you're applying for a job with us ... um hmm." I cracked up when he said, "Well, everybody has to be somewhere."
My groupie heart was thrilled, no matter that I was a very married and buttoned down admin-person (proudly a secretary before it was declasse.) He was hired and we were friendly.
Rich gave me an early, early, early cassette of Jim's Brickyard Blues album, which I still have. When he visited the office, I had my picture taken with him. (See below) He looked very much like Jim, only buttoned down and in a suit for the interview.
He told me that Jim and his wife and family were growing weary of his life on the rock circuit and he planned to stop touring when he died ... sad. I wish he'd have stopped a year earlier.
Rich had toured with Jim early in his career but decided that lifestyle wasn't for him either. What a nice man Rich was ... and a well respected employee.
If you're reading this, hello!

Over the years, we've run comments a couple of times from Jim's widow Ingrid (and I think once from Jim's son A.J.). Bill Hengels, a long-time FH Reader and contributor, put together some live tapes of a show Jim Croce did here at one of our local colleges, which was readied for commercial release (and I believe we ran an advance copy track or two from that as well.) It was ME who wrote in about my memories of seeing Jim in concert so many times and falling in love with his music. It was amazing what he could do in the way of musical story-telling with just himself, a guitar and long-time guitarist / side kick Maury Muehleisen on stage ... it truly felt like his music was speaking to you personally ... and I have missed him since the day he died, always wondering where else his career might have taken him. (In fact, now that I think of it, Maury's sister corresponded with us for a short while, too!) I can't speak for Rich Croce ... never met or heard from him! ... but here's hoping that ALL of them happen to see this posting and drop us a line again! Thanks for sending in this very rare and unique photo! (kk)
By the way, Jim Croce ALSO made our list of Top 40 Most Deserving And Denied Artists Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!


I wasn't criticizing the list or any particular song. I was merely trying to reason out why a song that starts in March was a Summer song qualifier, but a song that started in July was not. I guess I have more of an issue with the rules of qualification. Not going to September 21st seems odd since it is indeed Summer. Indeed the national charts also do not reflect what some of those songs do in certain markets, which I understand if that's what is used as the dating system. It's just odd to me in Milwaukee, that "I Will Follow Him" is a summer song and "Liar, Liar" or "Summer Song" are not. The latter 2 start in July here and Peggy March is gone before June. Just seems odd, but not a big deal.

To be honest with you, the tone DID seem a little bit confrontational ... and I simply felt that by better explaining the criteria and eligibility period, it might make better sense for you and any OTHER readers who might have been confused. Truthfully, you're right ... Summer typically runs from June 21st through September 21st (or there-abouts) ... but we opted for the more "traditional / generic" season of June, July and August being the Summer Months (keeping in line with September, October, November being Fall or Autumn; December, January and February being Winter and March, April and May being Spring.) By explaining the criteria upfront, I felt we had this area of topic for discussion covered. (I've always used this breakdown as the easiest way to define the seasons ... although most recently I've heard it said time and time again that Chicago is now down to just TWO seasons per year: Winter and Road Construction! lol I can attest to that ... what used to be a 25-35 minute commute to work now takes between 75 and 95 minutes on pretty much a daily basis ... often TRIPLE the amount of time it SHOULD take. But that ALSO means that I get a chance to listen to a lot more morning radio these days!)

Again, being totally fair and honest in defense of our statistics, all Randy Price and Jack Levin did was what I asked them to do ... which was to compile a list of The Summer's Biggest Hits for each year in question, using chart data for the months of June, July and August ONLY.
As we've seen time and time again, many regional hits didn't become bigger national hits simply because the song never built up enough momentum in enough markets at the same time to benefit from national chart action. Some non-hit songs back then rode the charts for up to five or six months, trying to gain an audience ... and, depending on where you lived and when they were added to your Top 40 Station's playlist, this allowed them a much longer "shelf-life" ... but the MAJORITY of the REAL hits (particularly in the '60's, which is where we concentrated our greatest efforts) charted for eight or nine weeks and then that was it. This is how groups like The Beatles and The Monkees and many of the other name acts of this era were able to place three, four and sometimes even five singles on the charts in the span of a year. (You have to remember that it was also much more of a "singles market" back then ... albums were given the back seat to an artists' "hot new single". We saw one instance in 1965 where Herman's Hermits placed FIVE songs in The Top 50 Songs of Summer in that same three month eligibility period. This is simply unheard of today, when many artists take up to four or five years just to deliver their next album!)
No harm, no foul ... and hopefully no hard feelings ... just wanted to THOROUGHLY explain the criteria for gathering this chart information. That being said, I believe our charts serve their purpose ... and truly DO reflect The Biggest Hits Of Summer for the 25 Year Rock Period that we traditionally cover here in Forgotten Hits, 1955 - 1980. (kk)

After we ran our little piece on Chicagoland Morning Radio on Sunday, I wondered how Jim Shea was doing. (Jim was let go by Y103.9 a few weeks back after five years on the air with the station.)
He asked me pass along this report:
Thanks so much for thinking of me, Kent ...
I continue to read you every day ... I'd just like to say hi and that I miss "coffee in the kitchen" every morning with all you guys! I never was given the chance to say goodbye on the air ... and to anyone in the Chicago radio market in a position of offer me a job, who might actually be thinking about giving me a call ... I just want to say ... seriously? ... are you drunk?

Keep a' Rockin', KK!!!

Kinda hard on Dave Fogel the other day, no?
Chicago has been a HUGE radio town for 50 years ... and WLS was ALWAYS at the forefront of this arena. We have come to expect nothing but the highest quality of entertainment from the channel that once led the pack in "Personality Radio" ... and we're just not getting it with Dave Fogel. Simple as that. We have always HAD better ... and we most certainly DESERVE better as listeners. The fact that listenership has dropped off again (it was already down during the Brant Miller reign ... and the Scott MacKay reign before that) ought to tell SOMEBODY over at Citadel that we need a "Superstar" handling mornings here in Chi-Town. And, as I said, with so much top name, quality air talent out of work these days, they really ought to have pick of the litter in this regard. (kk)

The Grand Ole Opry had their official Grand Re-Opening last night after massive flooding in Nashville six months ago with a concert scheduled to feature Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Little Jimmy Dickens (oldest living member of The Opry), Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Mel Tillis, Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, Charlie Daniels, Jason Aldean, Diamond Rio, Blake Shelton, The Del McCoury Band, Montgomery Gentry and others.
“There’s something about having a piece of the floor that Hank Williams stood on,” Paisley said. “Keeping physically and metaphorically this bond with the past is something that separates the Opry from almost all other musical institutions.”

Hi Kent!
Since, as far as I knew, Don't Stop Believing, was Journey's first hit, that was the first time I ever heard them. I still love the song, but, yes, it is definitely overplayed. Saturation isn't good for any record. We've learned that from just about everything by The Beatles, unfortunately. But, I still love their stuff.
Actually, Journey had SEVERAL hits before "Don't Stop Believin'" that are now considered Classic Rock Classics, such as "Wheel In The Sky", "Lights" and "Anytime" (none of which cracked The Top 40), followed by breakthrough hits like "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" (#15, 1979), "Any Way You Want It" (#21, 1980) and, just before "Don't Stop Believin'", the #3 Smash "Who's Crying Now" (1981).
"Don't Stop Believin'" was a #8 Hit when it was first released back in 1981, a fair-sized hit, but not the monster it would become 25 years later when it was used in everything from The Chicago White Sox's Pennant Run to "The Sopranos" to "Glee" to virtually EVERY Grade School / Junior High / High School / College Choir / Chorus performance since! Over-played to be sure ... and it really SHOULD be played out by now, waiting for the next new "rediscovery" to emerge.
Shows like "Glee" and "American Idol" have resurrected SO many songs from the '60's, '70's and '80's now that the number of artists recording "legitimate" remakes seem to truly be on the wane ... whereas before we could always count on somebody remaking some song from our past and introducing it to a whole new generation, it all seems passe now that we're being force-fed these remakes on a weekly basis thanks to programs like "Glee" and "American Idol". (And, as's Ron Smith recently told me, "Why bother remaking an old hit when you can simply SAMPLE those songs now and get credit for creating a whole new piece of music?")
How true, how true! I can't even begin to tell you how many times in the past 15 years one of my kids has come to me with this "great, new discovery" only to find out that the whole melody has been lifted from an old Stevie Wonder / Kenny Rogers / or Annie Lennox song and reworked into some obnoxious bleeped-out "new" rap anthem.
With one daughter graduating from Junior High and moving into High School these past few months, we witnessed first hand just how UN-entertaining it is to listen to the music of today being blasted through loud speakers at these parties and dances, uncensored with nothing but angry vulgarity and explicit sex being thrown in our faces. I know, I know ... spoken like a Real Old-Fogie ... but I still HAVE to believe this also has SOMETHING to do with all the 13, 14 and 15 year old pregnancies going on these days, too.
OK ... we're getting WAY off topic here ... so I'll stop ... (but sometimes I need to vent, too!!! lol) kk

Have you seen any of the new ads for NFL Apparel for Women?
TV heart-throb Alyssa Milano is the new female spokesperson for NFL sports jerseys form-fitted for women (because when women wear MEN'S jerseys, it looks like they're wearing a tent ... or so the ad campaign goes!!!)
John Madara's gotta be pretty happy 'tho ...
The song they've chosen to use to launch this whole new ad campaign is the one he wrote for Lesley Gore (and also one of MY personal favorites) "You Don't Own Me" ...
Here are a few links to read all about it ... and view a 30-second ad spot clip. VERY COOL!!! (kk)
NFL Alyssa Milano Commercial
April Smith and the Great Picture Show U.S. Open and NFL ::April Smith and the Great Picture Show News ::antiMusic.comSuiting Up with The New York Times! Alyssa Milano

Have you ever done a comparison between the My Sharona picture sleeve and the cover for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass' Whipped Cream And Other Delights to try to figure out which one was better?
Tom Diehl
Clearly BOTH of these sleeves have been put under the microscope (and taken into the bathroom) more than a few times over the years here in Forgotten Hits!!! It's one of those questions that just doesn't have a wrong answer ... like "Who's Hotter ... Ginger or Mary-Ann" ... "Jeannie or Samantha" ... or "Wilma or Betty"?!?! It's ALL in the eye (and imagination) of the beholder!!! (kk)


Thanks, Mike ... naturally, we hope that ALL of our readers will tell other oldies fans about what we do here ... and that goes for the jocks and artists on the list, too ... use our service to stay in touch with your fans ... let them know about upcoming appearances and releases ... and share some of your "war stories" with our readers so that we can experience the whole "fly on the wall" scenario. Let's keep this train a-rollin' for as long as we can! (kk)