Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It's another edition of our popular
feature today in Forgotten Hits!

>>>Reading the First Pressings book for 1951, I was surprised to see that Johnnie Ray did not have the first recording of Cry. The first was by Ruth Casey on Cadillac Records. I have been doing a retrospective of 1951 R&B on my show and would love to have this one! I'm a nut about original versions and covers. (Charlie Miller)
>>>Johnnie Ray broke through in a VERY big way with his 1951 #1 Hit "Cry" ... it topped Billboard's Best Sellers Chart for eleven weeks ... and even crossed over to their R&B Chart where it ranked at #1 for a week! Ruth Casey's version didn't chart on Billboard's Pop OR Rhythm and Blues Chart ... and I wasn't familiar with it until I received your email. Fortunately, the ever-reliable Tom Diehl was able to track down a copy for us to share ... and we've since received it from a couple other readers as well. (kk)
I'm amazed! I didn't have too much hope since this is so old. And three copies you got! Thank you all. Of great historic interest, at least to me, and it doen't take a thing away from Johnnie Ray's much more soulful emotional version.

>>>I know your stomping grounds are in Chicago, but maybe you can help me find out about an old TV show in Boston. My memory on this is somewhat fuzzy, since it was about 45 years ago, but as best as I can recall this would be circa 1965. Back in the 60's, my band, Bobby & the Galaxies, worked every Saturday night at a local amusement park dance hall, in Dartmouth , Ma., called the Lincoln Park Million Dollar Ball Room. It was an immense place for us. We packed in 3500 kids every Saturday night. We had a featured guest each week, which my band usually backed up, unless they were a guest band. We backed up Freddy Cannon, Lou Christie, Jerry Lee Lewis and Dion, to name a few. One week we were approached with an idea to do a weekly half hour TV show from this venue. They wanted to film it on Tuesday nights and charge the kids admission, to help fund it. It was to be an American Bandstand type show, but with all live music, showing the kids dancing to the music. My band would be featured opening and closing the show, playing the theme song, (Bill Dogget's "Hold It") and featured for one song during the show. The rest of the songs would be played live by guest stars. It was a big opportunity for us. We filmed four episodes which aired on a Boston TV station, but since we never drew as many kids as we did on Saturday nights, the producers said they ran out of funds, and asked me to tear up my contract, with promises of future ventures. Since we did get paid for each of the episodes we filmed, I did, and never heard from them again. This was not an uncommon experience back in those days. I believe the shows aired on WBZ TV, but I'm not sure. The show was called Jamboree. I do remember that one of the featured guests was the Beau Brummels. I believe others included Lou Christie, B.J. Thomas and The Sir Douglass Quintet, but again my memory is fuzzy on this. We did work with these acts, but it may have been at the regular Saturday night gig. Any chance you can find copies of these TV episodes, or steer me in the right direction? Any information from your readers, to fill in the blanks, would be a great help to tracking down the episodes, if they still exist. Thanks. (Bob Hughes)
>>>Well, we've got a ton of East Coast Readers so let's see what turns up. Unfortunately a program that only aired four episodes (and on a local station at that!) is going to be tough to find. A lot of these tapes were ultimately erased and used over and over again and, in the days before home video taping are now lost forever. If nothing else, we'll probably hear from a few readers who either remember the program ... or partying-down with Bobby and the Galaxies on Saturday Nights! (kk)
Hi Kent -
Bob Hughes was asking about Lincoln Park, an amusement park in North Dartmouth, MA, where he used to perform and a tv show that was filmed there. I grew up in Dartmouth and live in South Dartmouth now. I have great memories of the park but I was too young to go to the ballroom.There is a website dedicated to Lincoln Park and the old wooden roller coaster.
Maybe they can help Bob
Worth a shot, right? Perhaps in all their memorabilia, they have some old photos or contacts that might help steer Bob in the right direction ... or other patrons from this era who regularly check out their site. Thanks, Jana! (kk)

>>>I remember this song (L. David Sloane by Michelle Lee) being played on WIND in Chicago in the 60s when I was but a wee lad (like 7 or 8 years old). I seem to remember it being a different voice, though, more like Brenda Lee or Lulu, but the memory of a 7 year old can be a bit off, I guess. Always wondered who sang this song, and what the title was ... thanks for solving my mystery! Do you happen to know if there was another version of that song, perhaps an earlier one? (R. McPatrick)
>>>None that I'm aware of ... at least not as a "hit" single ... of course, that's not to say that some other artist didn't cover this as an LP track or something ... but this is the best KNOWN version. (kk)
Here's another spin on this one (which I've always considered to be a dreadful song), in another language ... Celly Campbell - Hey Ex-Amour!
Tom Diehl

>>>Actually, you'll find this to be the case with nearly ALL of the Three Dog Night singles ... RARELY was the LP mix the same as the single mix. (This was true of MOST singles released on Dunhill Records for that matter ... radio hasn't aired the correct version of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" in over 40 years!) With Three Dog Night, "An Old-Fashioned Love Song" was a COMPLETELY different mix ... not only is the ending different but that whole goofy ad-libbed bit didn't appear on the album version either. (This really freaked me out when I heard the single for the first time as I was already familiar with the album cut ... and thought this "goofiness" added NOTHING to the quality of the song! I've always kinda considered this the "carnival single mix"!!! lol) "One" never had a "cold" ending (which is the ONLY way you'll hear that song today) ... the original single faded out. "Eli's Coming" and "Mama Told Me Not To Come" BOTH have totally different endings than their single counterparts ... but perhaps the MOST glaring snafu is the missing guitar solo on the LP version of "Joy To The World" ... yet THAT is the one MOST oldies radio stations played until we pointed it out ten years ago that they were playing the WRONG version ... I can't even begin to tell you how many deejays I've sent the single mix to over the years! (kk)
Actually, I was told it was four singles that actually differed. As I feel, why buy the LP if it contains the same song version as the single? Same with Billy Swan's, I Can Help, as I feel the LP version ending was appended, but, at the time of it being a hit, both versions received airplay.
Thanks!!! :-)
Well, we've named FIVE Three Dog Night singles above already! You'll also find differences (subtle though some may be) between the LP and single mixes of "Try A Little Tenderness", "Celebrate", "Liar", "Family Of Man", "Black And White", "Let Me Serenade You", "The Show Must Go On", "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here" and "Play Something Sweet" ... and that's damn near ALL of 'em!!! (lol) kk

Three Dog Night was one of my favorite groups back in the 70's, but I'm going out on a limb here because they sounded very similar. I'm picking #1 as the hit. Just that little bitty bit different. That's my story and I'm st-st-st-stickin to it!
Sharon {TokeiTwo}
LOL ... I've already forgotten which was which!!! The one with the goofy carnival sound was the single ... the LP mix didn't have ANY of that! (kk)

I am very ignorant of the differences between the "single" and the "album" versions of songs. However, I do like to hear the songs as played on my AM radio in the 60s. I recently replaced my MP3 of Clapton's "After Midnight" with one with more guitar and less horns. I think I have the radio version now.
The two songs that I do recall with very different versions are these:
The Animals: "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (see my daddy in bed ... vs. ... watch my daddy in bed ... )
The Beach Boys: "Help Me Rhonda" (ruined our plans vs. shattered our plans)
Can you e-mail me the "single" version of "Joy to the World?" I downloaded mine from my Three Dog Night Box Set but I think I have the album version.
Mark H. Friedman
As you know, I'm a REAL stickler for the original 45 versions .. because those are the ones we grew up with and fell in love with ... it was THOSE mixes that made us run out to our local record store and pick up a copy for our own collections. "Joy To The World" just happens to be one of the REAL obvious ones, due to the guitar solo in the middle. We're featuring the hit single version today (and I have sent you a copy under separate cover.) If any of the deejays on the list are NOT playing the right version on their programs, please drop me a line and I'll make sure that YOU get the correct single mix, too! (kk)

Have you ever read the book "Three Dog Nightmare"? I heard that it's really supposed to be something!
Oh yeah ... we've recommended Chuck Negron's incredible biography for YEARS now in FH ... MUST reading (aka as "The Amazing Adventures Of Chuck's Exploding Penis"!!!) Check your local bookstores or libraries for this one! (kk)

>>>This was true of MOST singles released on Dunhill Records for that matter ... radio hasn't aired the correct version of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" in over 40 years! (kk)
Yeah, even told that to a CBS Manager at WOGL, when he claimed they play the "hit" versions, but, in reality, he's playing a stereo remake! :-)
There are a LOT of tracks like this ... a couple of Tommy James classics immediately come to mind ... several years ago radio legend Dick Bartley put out a series of CD's called "On The Radio: The Original Hit Singles", kind of MY concept about how THESE are the tracks we remember hearing growing up. (In fact, several of our Forgotten Hits "Regulars" helped contribute to this great collection of CD's!) Unfortunately, it was a pretty short-lived series (probably due to a fairly limited audience) ... but along the way he included some REAL gems, including the SINGLE mix of "Magic Carpet Ride". So here it is for all you dee-jays on the list that continue to air the WRONG version on a regular basis! (kk)

Let's Talk Instrumentals!
How about:
El Chicano - Vira Tirado - 1970
I listen to radio and hear a bunch of songs I never heard. Save those wonderful obscurities for others! But this is one of those songs you don't hear on radio, or even mentioned in music forums, probably because it didn't chart all that great. But when you hear it, you'll tell yourself, "I know that song!!!!". Some may even confuse it with a Santana tune! Luckily, for El Chicano, they just missed becoming a One Hit Wonder! A well engineered recording and a bit much for a mere 96k MP3, but I think you'll like it! ... http://www.angelfire.com/empire/abpsp/images/vira.mp3
Jersey John
Actually, we've given El Chicano The Forgotten Hits Spotlight Treatment a couple of times now ... including one fairly recent posting after the loss of group founder Bobby Espinosa:
Tying Up A Few More Loose Ends
(Scroll back to March 11th of this year if this link doesn't work ... we've been having problems again!!!)
Their music did fairly well here in Chicago ... all three nationally charted singles made The Top 30: "Viva Tirado" peaked at #19 in 1970, their rendition of the Van Morrison classic "Brown-Eyed Girl" reached #25 and my favorite, "Tell Her She's Lovely" went to #20. (I consider THAT one to be a GREAT Forgotten Hit ... so we'll feature it again today!) kk

Say, has anyone heard of the release of the second British Invasion series from Reelin' in the Years? It was reported that the Hollies, Manfred Mann, the Pretty Things and an unknown group would see a Fall 2010 release. Last time I looked it was Fall!
Dave Frey
I remember running a promo for these several months ago when the new series line-up was first announced ... but you're right, we haven't heard much about it since. Even a quick check of Amazon.com this morning didn't turn up anything ... so I went right to Bob Merlis, who is responsible for promoting these releases. Here's what he had to say:
There's no release date because they're trying to hammer out a distribution deal and that hasn't been consummated as yet.
-- Bob
Once we get the official word, you can count on an announcement right here in Forgotten Hits. (Hey, I wanna get MY copies of these, too!!! lol) kk

Hi Kent!
You recently ran YouTube links to "Song of the Dreamer" by Eddie Fisher and The Roomates. I'd like to play both of these on my show; any chance you've got MP3 copies you can share?
DJ Stu
Honestly, you can probably just play them right from YouTube ... there isn't a day that goes by where I don't hear at least half a dozen jocks and/or tv broadcasters playing a YouTube clip on the air ... but I asked our FH Buddy Tom Diehl if he could round up clean copies for you as MP3's ...and they're now in your possession! (Meanwhile, I'm running The Roomates' version again ... 'cause that's the one I like!) Thanks, Stu! (kk)

And, speaking of Tom Diehl ...
>>>Maybe Tom D. knows. Was this song ever published on CD?
I know "other" Tony Mason songs have been, but not this (Philly favorite) one ... http://www.angelfire.com/empire/abpsp/mason-45.gif
Just my style, uplifting, with a horn section! :-)
This thing barely charted nationally ... making it all the way to #125!
This one seems to have made it onto some Jerry Blavat related cd but most certainly not a legitimate reissue.
Tom Diehl

Hi Kent,

In all the info I've read about Austin Roberts at Forgotten Hits, I don't know that I ever read that he was the voice behind the pop group Arkade. What a surprise to run across this tidbit today. This song received a good bit of airplay here in Nashville, especially on the MOR stations. One of the commenters on this YT Video says this was his first 45! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqJQm7dm47M
David Lewis
This is a great sounding clip ... thanks for sharing, David! (I sent the link to Austin Roberts, too ... hopefully, he's been recovering nicely ... I'm still waiting to hear back from him.)
Actually, we've featured this one a couple of times now ... the song was also used in a number of wedding-related advertising campaigns (NOT a shampoo commercial as another commentator remembered) and was one of MY favorites back in the day, too.
A long-planned Austin Roberts Interview fell apart a couple of computer crashes ago ... as we learned while doing interviews and research for that series, this was NOT Austin's first recording (but WAS his first real chart success.)
I've hesitated running bits and pieces of what I could find in the hopes that I would eventually resurrect enough pieces of this piece to do the man justice ... there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get any of this stuff done. It WOULD be nice to run a much more fitting tribute to Austin on the website ... so I really need to work on that! (My other hope was that after suffering a heart attack last year, Austin might be open to a couple more interview sessions, allowing him the opportunity to reflect on some of these things from a whole new perspective. If you're reading this, Austin, that offer still stands ... I would LOVE to put something together with you!) kk

Kent ...
Got this off Ron Smith's Oldies Calendar:
On 11/19/57 - WCFL radio in Chicago bans all Elvis Presley records and is picketed by local Elvis Fan Club.
Sounds like an interesting story.
Is there anybody you can talk to at WCFL to get more details ?
Frank B.
Honestly, I've never heard this before ... and at first thought it must be an error of some sort ... WCFL wasn't playing rock and roll music in 1957 ... they didn't switch over to Top 40 until late 1965 ... but I did some Internet searching and found that WCFL WAS, in fact, broadcasting in 1957 ... just not (as I suspected) playing rock and roll. So honestly, banning Elvis seems like a moot point to me ... seeing as how they weren't even playing him in the first place!
(I mean, who would notice?!?!?)
I found a couple of other websites that state this same historical anniversary as fact ... one of which attributes the banning to the release of Elvis' new film "Jailhouse Rock" ... so who am I to argue? (I had just never heard this before!)
Being otherwise totally unclear and unknowledgeable in this area, I went straight to YOUR source ... and asked Ron Smith about it (kk):
Like most stations in those days, WCFL had individual shows. Guys like Art Hellyer, in fact, worked for several stations at one time.
You've certainly seen the "DJ Roundup Of Top Tunes" published in the Chicago Tribune each week in those days where individual DJs would list their own top five tunes.I always assumed that the station bosses told any music announcers working for them not to play Elvis. But no, there wouldn't have been an official station "playlist" with him on it.
The edict would have kept the jocks though, from playing Elvis' newly-released Christmas album, which many stations found blasphemous. (Bandleader Sammy Kaye said thatit, “borders on the sacrilegious. Presley has gone too far this time”).A DJ in Portland, Oregon, was fired for playing three cuts -- "White Christmas," "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" and "Silent Night"! Dick Whittinghill in Los Angeles wouldn't play the album because he said, it would be "like having [stripper] Tempest Storm give Christmas gifts to my children."Elvis had played the International Amphitheatre eight months earlier and it wouldn't surprise me if the Chicago Federal of Labor - Industrial Union Council -- owners of the station -- had decided to make hay by getting moralistic and banning the King altogether. Of course, if anyone had actually listened to the album they would have heard perfectlyrespectful versions of the gospel tunes "Peace In The Valley," "It Is No Secret What God Can Do" and "Take My Hand Precious Lord."Of all the stations in town who could have banned Elvis, it's true that WCFL doing so probably would have hurt him the least. I'm sure the Colonel laughed about it all the way to the bank. And when Elvis was drafted by the Army a few months later and served his country overseas, everything blew over.

And, just to show you how far we've come -- London's Daily Mail newspaper will include a freeCD of 15 of Elvis' Christmas tunes in next Sunday's paper: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1331231/Free-Elvis-Christmas-album-weeks-Mail-Sunday.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

-- Ron Smith