Fortunately, I was still able to pull together enough of your most recent comments to fill a Sunday Comments Page ... so here we go!!!
re: THE BRITISH INVASION DVDs:
Lots of buzz for this hot new series of DVDs ... we can't WAIT to get 'em!!!
Meanwhile here are some new YouTube clip postings that'll have YOU salivating for a copy, too!!!
Read the Gerry & The Pacemakers comment and your response about the series. Great stuff!
By the way, all the trailers are have been posted individually:
GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS - It's Gonna Be All Right 1963 – 1965
The first band ever to have their first three singles top the British charts, Gerry & The Pacemakers rivaled the Beatles in the early years of the British Invasion. Their first official anthology DVD features 17 classic complete performances including the smash hits “How Do You Do It?,” “I Like It” and “You’ll Never walk Alone” as well as the timeless classics "Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying” and “Ferry Cross The Mersey.” Also included is an interview with Gerry Marsden that was conducted exclusively for the DVD at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club. Bill Harry, founder/publisher of Mersey Beat, the music paper that originally chronicled the Liverpool scene, also tells the band's story both on screen and in his accompanying liner notes.
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD - Once Upon A Time 1964 - 1969
Features 20 definitive complete television performances by Britain's greatest pop diva including “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” “Son Of A Preacher Man,” “Wishin’ And Hopin’” and “I Only Want To Be With You.” Dusty's story is told through new interviews with Burt Bacharach, Madeline Bell (who sang back-up for Dusty in the ‘60s), Simon Bell (Dusty’s back-up singer from the ‘70s to the ‘90s), and a newly discovered interview from 1978 with Dusty herself. Bonus features include Dusty’s complete 1965 and 1966 New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert appearances as well as a duet with Burt Bacharach on “A House Is Not A Home.” Annie Randall, Dusty’s biographer, wrote the accompanying essay.
HERMAN'S HERMITS - Listen People 1964-1969
The DVD is their first official anthology chronicling their meteoric rise melding a traditional British music hall influence with good time rock ‘n roll. Among the 22 full-length performances are all of their biggest hits including “I’m Into Something Good,” “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” and their later evocative masterpieces “No Milk Today,” and “Listen People.” The Herman’s Hermits’ story is told by original members Peter Noone, Keith Hopwood, Karl Green and Barry Whitwam as well as in the accompanying essay by GRAMMY-winning music historian Rob Bowman. A complete concert filmed in 1966 for Australian television is included as a bonus feature.
SMALL FACES - All Or Nothing 1965 - 1968
In the mid-1960's the Small Faces challenged the Who, Kinks, Rolling Stones and even the Beatles for UK chart domination. This is the band’s first official anthology and features 27 complete performances capturing every aspect of their brief but brilliant run including early Mod/R&B classics such as “What’cha Gonna Do About It”, “Sha La La La Lee” and “All Or Nothing”, timeless rockers like “Tin Soldier” and later psychedelic treasures including “Itchycoo Park”, and “Green Circles.” Nine songs are included from the band’s masterwork Ogden's Nut Gone Flake including "Lazy Sunday", "Song Of A Baker", the title track and the six song “Happiness Stan” suite. Also included are interviews filmed exclusively for the DVD with original members Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones and Jimmy Winston as well as archival interviews with the late Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane. The 24-page booklet includes an informative essay by pop historian Ken Sharp as well as rare in-studio photographs by famed engineer Eddie Kramer.
... and all together (now):
Cover art/pix: http://reelinintheyears.com/britishinvasion/bi_pressphotos.html
and some info on bonus disc content (for those who purchase the box set of all four) that I didn't have earlier:
British Invasion Bonus Disc Tracklist:
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: Airport Interview AUSTRALIA (1967); You Don't Have To Say You Love Me AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); I Only Want To Be With You AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); My Colouring Book AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa Bandstand AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); Interview AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); In The Middle Of Nowhere AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); What’s It Gonna Be AUSTRALIA (21/10/67); Everybody Gets To Go To The Moon ENGLAND (31/3/70); I Wanna Be A Free Girl ENGLAND (31/3/70)
HERMAN’S HERMITS: Peter Noone Interview ENGLAND (1965); Man With The Cigar AuSTRALIA (3/2/66); Interview AUSTRALIA (1969); Dandy NORWAY (1967); I'm Into Something Good NORWAY (1967); Silhouettes NORWAY (1967); Bus Stop NORWAY (1967); A Must To Avoid NORWAY (1967); No Milk Today NORWAY (1967);
ENCORE: Cutting Room Floor (Additional Interviews): Over 90 minutes of interviews with: Peter Noone (HERMAN'S HERMITS), Gerry Marsden (GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS), Simon Bell, Madeline Bell & Burt Bacharach (DUSTY SPRINGFIELD) Kenney Jones & Ian McLagan (SMALL FACES)
All-in-all, some VERY cool stuff, most of it never seen here in The States before. If you grew up loving The British Invasion era of pop music (as much as I did), then this hot new series is for you!!! The British Are Coming ... Again ... beginning March 30th!!! (kk)
BTW ... VERY Special Thanks to Bob Merlis and Colin Rae, who sent me an advance copy of the Gerry and the Pacemakers disc ... autographed by Gerry Marsden himself, no less!!! You have NO idea what a treat that is for a British Invasion Fan like me!!! Thanks, Guys! (kk)
MINI REVIEW: Ever wonder why Gerry Marsden held his guitar so high, almost at neck-tie level, while performing? It's here! So is a GREAT comment about how a Pacemakers fan from Chicago once told Marsden that he made it cool for "ugly guys" to play rock and roll and become famous! (lol) You'll hear how Gerry's love and affection for Laurel and Hardy movies provided the inspiration for him to record one of his biggest U.K. #1 hits ... and how Gerry remained true to himself by remaining a Liverpudlian long after the glory days were over, echoing his heartfelt lyric from "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey": "And here I'll stay." Powerful stuff. We've all heard the story about how The Beatles turned down the song "How Do You Do It", preferring to record their OWN composition "Please Please Me" instead, ultimately paving the way for Gerry and the Pacemakers to take THEIR version of that same song to #1 on The British Charts ... but didja know that Gerry also turned down a Lennon - McCartney composition as the follow up single, chosing to record another Mickie Most original instead??? ALL kinds of VERY cool stuff on here, as Gerry looks back at The British Invasion, circa 1963 - 1965 ... and it all makes for some VERY enjoyable viewing ... and I can't wait to see the REST of the series. (Hey, maybe Peter Noone will sign and send me the Herman's Hermits edition!!! lol And you can bet that I'll be adding the Dusty Springfield edition to my collection real soon, too!) kk
re: I'LL BE THERE:
>>>Anybody out there remember "I'll Be There" by Gerry and the Pacemakers? This was their last song together and my personal favorite. (Carrie)
>>>Actually, no ... they had several singles come out after this one. (In fact, "I'll Be There" was the single that came out right before their Top Five Hit, "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey"! Their last charted hit here in The States was "Girl On A Swing", #28 in 1966.) "I'll Be There" is an old Bobby Darin tune (and one of MY favorites, too.) I actually got Scott Shannon to play this when we did our last True Oldies Channel / Forgotten Hits Weekend ... HE had forgotten all about it, too. GREAT track ... yet another over-looked gem! (kk)
>>>This is what I read on it. I personally like Gerry and the Pacemakers' version better than Bobby Darin's although Darin's version is played much more on the oldies stations than Gerry and the Pacemakers. (Carrie)
>>>"I'll Be There", was the quartet's final Top 20 entry and in 1967 Gerry embarked on a solo career.
>>>Looking at The British Charts, this is a true statement ... in The U.K. "I'll Be There" came out AFTER "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" and peaked at #15, making it their last Top 20 Hit. Here in The States, the order (and success rate) was somewhat reversed. Their first U.S. Chart Hit was "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" (#4, 1964), followed by "How Do You Do It" (#9, 1964); "I'm The One" (#82, 1964); "I Like It" (#17, 1964); "I'll Be There" (#14, 1965); "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" (#4, 1965); "It's Gonna Be All-Right" (#20, 1965); "You'll Never Walk Alone" (#48, 1965); "Give All Your Love To Me" (#68, 1965); "La-La-La" (#87, 1966) and "Girl On A Swing" (#28, 1966). "You're The Reason", "Walk Hand In Hand" and a reissue of "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" in 1970 all "Bubbled Under" on The Billboard Charts. Surprisingly, in hindsight, (despite all their success in The Mersey Beat Polls back in The U.K.), Gerry and the Pacemakers seem to have had a more successful recording career here in The United States! Oldies Jocks would do well to give a spin to tracks like "I'll Be There", "It's Gonna Be All-Right", "Girl On A Swing", "I Like It" and "How Do You Do It" once in a while, as their audience certainly WILL remember these tunes! (kk)
An interesting note about the song "I'll Be There" ... when Bobby Darin recorded it, it was produced by Tony Orlando. In the same session, they reversed rolls with Tony singing it and Bobby producing it. Bobby also played piano on Tony's track.
I'm not sure I can buy into that story. When Darin wrote and recorded "I'll Be There" (July of 1959), Tony Orlando would have been all of fifteen years old ... Tony wouldn't even have his own first chart hit until two years later when "Halfway To Paradise" and "Bless You" both made The National Top 20. While it's true that Darin would later take the young star under his wing and was, in effect, his mentor, helping Tony along during the early stages of his career, I don't think he would have let Tony produce one of his sessions at that point ... and doubt that they had even met yet back in 1959! The original Darin release shows Atlantic Records Founder Ahmet Ertegen as Bobby's producer on this track. On the other hand, it wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that Bobby later produced (or at least had a hand in making) Tony's version of the song, which was recorded two years later. In Tony's own words (from his biography "Halfway To Paradise"),
"The first time I met Bobby was, of course, through Don Kirshner. When I met him in 1961, Bobby already had hits with 'Splish Splash,' 'Queen of the Hop,' 'Dream Lover,' 'Mack The Knife' and 'Beyond the Sea.' He was one of the biggest stars in America, and married to another of the country's most famous celebrities, Sandra Dee. Bobby was in town, staying at the St. Moritz Hotel on Central Park South. I'd mentioned that I'd give anything to meet Bobby, so Don arranged for me to come to the St. Moritz. I walked into the suite, and there was Sandra De, making spaghetti. Don had told me to bring my guitar and right away he said, 'Play that song you wrote called 'Old Napoli.'' It was a kind of Dean Martin-style tune. I played it, scared to death. Bobby listened, turned to Don and said, 'Donnie, this kid has a lot of raw talent.' I spent hours trying to figure out whether the comment was a compliment or not. Later, when I was on a West Coast tour, Bobby invited me to his house in Beverly Hills. I arrived bty cab, just at dusk. this place was everything you figure a movie star's house should be: swank. A pool lit for the evening, a fancy dining room with china and silver, linen napkins. I was all of seventeen years old and stunned into silence. The funny part of it was that there didn't seem to be a cook or anything. Sandra Dee served the meal: steak, mashed potatoes and peas. I took my knife and fork, started cutting the meat, slipped the knife, and shot the contents of my plate onto Sandra Dee's lap. I was so embarrassed, so humiliated, that I covered my face. I actually had tears in my eyes. All of a sudden, Bobby grabbed my hand away, looked at me, and freaked out. 'What's the matter with you? If you're gonna cry over mashed potatoes, you're in a lotta trouble. Mashed potatoes ain't crap.' That put him in a more serious mode, and he started to philosophize. He talked on about learning to differentiate between important things and nonsense. Sandra went and changed her clothes. And while I've teared up many times since, it's never been about the mashed-potato problems of this world. That star essence is an elusive quality. I never had it. I was always too much the kid from down the street. But I was just getting ready to learn about stardom, because Kirshner had decided to take me to Epic Records."
These Epic sessions would have been the ones that gave Orlando his first crack at fame ... two years AFTER Darin had already recorded his own version of "I'll Be There." Another one of those "false legends" that makes for an interesting story ... but not a factual one. (kk)
BTW: Tony Orlando recorded Darin's "Dream Lover" for his first Epic LP in 1961 ... Tony's version of "I'll Be There" would not be released as a single until 1963 ... which now places it FOUR years after Bobby's original first hit the charts. A quick look at the label shows Jack Keller as the producer, not Darin. (kk)
re: BARRY McGUIRE:
Glad you gave Barry McGuire an opportunity to clear things up. He was gracious and did an interview for PrayForSurfBlog sometime back that may be of interest to some of your readers.
Good interview, Phil ... and it's GOT to be hard for some of these artists to answer the SAME questions over and over and over again for, in some cases, upwards of 40 years now!!! They've already TOLD these stories (or, in Barry's case, put his definitive memories down in his own words on his website) so I can truly appreciate their frustration sometimes in having to rehash this same material again and again. As such, we always try to find a "new spin" when we talk to these artists ... or, better yet, find out what THEY'D like to talk about. As we've seen in these pages time and time again, SO often the WRONG information is circulated as "fact" for SO long that it simply becomes accepted as the gospel ... hopefully, Forgotten Hits can continue to do its part to help dispel some of this erroneous rumor and innuendo and get the REAL facts out there ... fortunately, many of these artists have come to appreciate us for that and, as such, have given VERY "real" and honest interviews and shared intimate insight with our readers. You can't beat that!!! (kk)
re: CHUBBY CHECKER:
>>>The Chubby Checker new recording of "The Fly" is getting great air play and selling. It is in the top five on a lot of stations (and number one on this week's Indie Play List!)John Madara
Great things are continuing with Chubby Checker. Chubby is glad to let all of you know about the release of his new, updated version of The Fly. The original is considered one of the definitive, classic Chubby Checker songs. The new CD contains not only a new classic mix but karaoke versions as well. The CD is now available from Amazon.com or for downloading from Amazon.com as well as iTunes. (Chubby Checker – The Fly) And ... be sure to visit us at the Chubby Store at chubbychecker.com
re: AL MARTINO:
>>>I remember you published an interesting bit about Al Martino right after his sudden death. My mother's a big Al Martino fan, and I was going to send her a link to the blog entry that contains the story ... but I had trouble with the blog's "Search" feature, and couldn't find it. Could you please tell me, at the very least, what the date of the entry was? Thanks. (andrucharlz)
>>>We've covered Al Martino a number of times over the past year or two but the entries you're looking for are most likely the ones dated 10/16/09 and 10/25/09 ... probably anything else right around that timeframe might also contain a mention or two ... as this was right at the time of his passing. Al was a sweetheart of a man ... when I featured his latest recording in Forgotten Hits, he personally called me on the phone to THANK me for doing so ... after all these business, he still took the time to do that. A rare breed indeed! (kk)
By the way, Al Martino was one of the artists inducted into The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame this past week ... we have it on good authority that the day before he died, Al was doing what he loved best ... recording new tracks for an upcoming album. Ironically, the last vocal he ever recorded was for the Garth Brooks classic "If Tomorrow Never Comes" ... sadly, Al died the very next day. I am hopeful that we will be able to share this track with our readers in the near future ... what a fitting tribute to a great recording artist that will be. (kk)
And, speaking of The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame, we saw THIS interesting posting on The Buckinghams' website. They were ALSO inducted this year! (Congratulations to ALL of The Buckinghams, past, present and future, for all the great music you've given us over the years; in the process, you have CLEARLY become fan favorites all over the world. WTG, guys!!!)
re: THE BUCKINGHAMS:
Kent Kotal scooped the media today in announcing the latest news from John Rook, legendary national record program director and cofounder of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. The Buckinghams are among "the sixty-four recording stars who have been inducted into the 2009 Hit Parade Hall of Fame."
Click here: The Buckinghams Concerts: Carl Giammarese, Nick Fortuna, Tom Scheckel, Bob Abrams, Bruce Soboroff: The Buckinghams
re: MORE COOL CHARTS:
The Do's & The Don'ts recorded "I Wonder If She Loves Me" in 1966 on the Red Bird recording label. It was listed as a spotlight single in the July 2, 1966, issue of Billboard Magazine. Record World Magazine listed it among singles coming up, reaching #35 in the August 20 & 27 issues. KIOA Des Moines listed it at #14 on July 4, 1966; WAKX Duluth listed it at #6 on August 5, 1966; and WEBC Duluth listed it at #5 on August 6, 1966. See it listed at #9 on The Northland's Original and Only Fabulous Forty Survey from WEBC - Duluth.
This information is taken from http://www.escortsdosdonts.com/rock-music-history.html. Listen to "I Wonder If She Loves Me" at http://www.escortsdosdonts.com/.
-- Rick Sherman
I just love looking at these old regional charts ... amazing what you'll find there sometimes. Most amazing for me is to see The Robbs' single up in the Top 20 again. How these guys remained "The Kings of 'Bubbling Under'" is beyond me ... we've seen their singles in The Top Ten ... and even at #1 ... all over the country ... yet they never seemed to garner enough momentum AT THE SAME TIME to make the impression they SHOULD have on the national charts. Too bad ... these were some pretty good tunes! (kk)
re: THE MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET:
Oh shoot! I forgot to have Mitch write you a little review of Million Dollar Quartet. My mom took him to see it last week, and they both said it blew Jersey Boys out of the water. My mom said that for her, Jersey Boys was about a 6, and MDQ was an 11. Mitch could not stop smiling and gets really happy when you ask him about it. He loves Jerry Lee Lewis and was thrilled at the whole thing! So if you haven't seen it yet, go now!
We STILL haven't seen it yet ... although we've TALKED about going a number of times. (Everybody I know who HAS seen it has raved and raved about how good it is ... and can't believe that we haven't gone!!!) Guess we'll have to put this on our "To Do" List before IT leaves town, too!!! (kk)
I guess the verdict is RUN don't walk to get your tickets! Mitch got a CD autographed by "Jerry Lee Lewis" and could not have been more psyched! He's the one who suggested we write to you about it. How cute is that?
re: KEEP ROCKIN' MAGAZINE:
We've been talking quite a bit about "Keep Rockin'" Magazine lately ... a new publication dedicated to the music and memories of the '50's and '60's ...
Click here: Keep Rockin’ Magazine, the 50’s & 60’s nostalgia magazine, 1950's, 1960's, Rock and Roll
In facct, we mentioned to John Madara that the current issue features an interview with David White, John's former song-writing partner, regarding the evolution of their first big hit together "At The Hop" by Danny and the Juniors ... as well as their recent musical collaborations on some brand NEW music for a feature film of the same name. We talked to John about some of the "misconceptions" surrounding the song "At The Hop" in Forgotten Hits a year or so ago ... you can find it on The Forgotten Hits Web Page here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - John Madara's Greatest Hits
Over the years, John has been (shall we say) "less than thrilled" with the way Artie Singer remembered the events surrounding that tune ... well, he seems a little unhappy with David White's recounting as well ... here's a copy of the letter he shared with David over this ... it arrived with the banner headline "FICTION":
I just read your interview with Keep Rockin'. My memory of "Do The Bop" is very clear.
First, my ex-father-in law put up the money for the session. The session was never going to be a Danny & the Juniors record ... it was to be my follow up to "Be My Girl" and we never rehearsed "Do The Bop" with Danny singing lead ... and when we performed it for Artie, I was singing lead always. Your statement that Artie told you when you got to the studio that I was going to sing lead is totally false.
I believe you are thinking about after the lyric was changed to "At The Hop", not "Do The Bop". With regards to Prep Records, they had already picked a producer to do a new session with me, Sid Feller, who was producing Paul Anka. They did not like "Do The Bop" as my next record.
When we did "At The Hop", it was never intended for me to sing it because I was under contract to Prep and they already had plans for me to record with Sid Feller.
I remember so clearly being in Artie's office and coming up with the name Danny & The Juniors after we made "At The Hop".
I have done many interviews thru the years and I always make sure to point out that WE did things together and it was not all about me, it was Madara & White, and the story behind "Do The Bop" as always been the same, the way it really happened. Your story about "Do The Bop" and Danny & The Juniors is 100% wrong.
For the OTHER version of the story, be sure to check out The Forgotten Hits Website Link above! (kk)
And, speaking of the publishers of "Keep Rockin'" Magazine, I just heard that they'll be guests on Stu Weiss' Top Shelf Oldies Radio Program, "The Pop Shoppe", next Friday Night (February 5th), reminiscing about "The Day The Music Died" and the plane crash that took Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper from us 51 years ago. All the details are here:
The Pop Shoppe can be heard ever Friday night from 7 PM till 3:01 AM.
It all happens at www.topshelfoldies.com
I look forward to seeing you all this Friday night for a walk down memory lane.
Remember, you must be here, because I don't want to be alone.
Till Friday night, my best wishes,
Stuart Weiss / dj stu
re: ANOTHER SAD PASSING:
Robert 'Squirrel' Lester, 1942-2010: Original member of Chi-Lites -
Group had hits with 'Oh Girl' and 'Have You Seen Her'
By Trevor Jensen, Tribune reporter
January 24, 2010, Chicago Tribune
Robert "Squirrel" Lester teamed with singers from a rival South Side doo-wop group to form the Chi-Lites, which scored chart-topping hits in the 1970s with "Oh Girl" and "Have You Seen Her."
Mr. Lester, 67, died of cancer Thursday, Jan. 21, in Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago, said Marshall Thompson, a fellow original Chi-Lites member. He was a South Side resident.
Mr. Lester got his nickname for his propensity to clamber up trees as a small boy in Mississippi, Thompson said. His family moved to Chicago, and he met Thompson and other singers as a student at Hyde Park High School in the late 1950s.
Mr. Lester and Eugene Record were singing with the Chantours, while Thompson was with the Desideros. Both sang in the fashion of the day.
"They were modeled on the Flamingos, we were the Spaniels," Thompson said with a laugh, referring to doo-wop's big groups of the time.
The Chantours and the Desideros faced off at South Side talent shows but members from each group eventually combined forces in the Hi-Lites.
Mr. Thompson convinced an uncle to lend him money for a recording session at a studio on 47th Street. They later found there was another group called the Hi-Lites, so they added a "C" to reflect their hometown.
Mr. Record, who died in 2005, was the group's lead singer and songwriter, while Mr. Lester sang second tenor. The Chi-Lites took awhile to get going, but by the late 1960s were on a roll. They played Harlem's Apollo Theater in 1969 — Thompson remembered it as "crazy" — and recorded 11 top-20 R&B hits in the ensuing decade.
Members occasionally came and went, but Mr. Lester was a staple of the Chi-Lites throughout his life, playing concerts all over the world with stops in Japan, Germany, Korea and Greenland, Thompson said. His final performance with the group was last summer.
Mr. Lester is survived by his wife, Louise; his mother, Ann Hines; two sons, Robert Jr. and Carey; seven daughters, Kimberly Johnson, Tijwana, Robin, Latoia, Chrystal, Kimberly and Lynnette; three sisters, Jacqueline Wahl, Pamela Denson and Joanne Hines; and 19 grandchildren.
Services are planned for Feb. 4.
-- submitted by Ken Voss
re: AND MORE OF OUR FAVORITES WITH RECENT HEALTH ISSUES:
Ron Smith's excellent oldiesmusic.com website reports:
Austin Roberts ("Rocky," "Something's Wrong With Me") suffered the beginnings of a heart attack two weeks ago and underwent a triple bypass surgery. He is resting in Baptist Hospital in Nashville.
Cards can be sent to:
2000 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37236
Attn: George Robertson
SO sorry to hear this about our music buddy Austin Roberts ... Austin has been SO helpful in spreading the word about Forgotten Hits and what we're trying to do here ... and personally set up my interview with Bobby Hart for the piece posted on the OTHER Forgotten Hits website, www.forgottenhits.com. We wish you a healthy and speedy recovery, Austin ... from ALL your music friends out here who appreciate all that you've given us and all you have yet to give. Our prayers are with you. (kk)
Susan Jacks announced on her Facebook page Tuesday (January 26) that she will undergo a kidney transplant on February 17. The organ will come from her younger brother, Billy (whose name was immortalized in her 1970 Poppy Family hit, "Which Way You Goin' Billy?"). The 61 year-old is currently on dialysis while battling liver kidney failure.
Phoebe Snow underwent emergency brain surgery Tuesday (January 19) after suffering a hemorrhage at her home in New Jersey. Her manager said on Thursday she was in serious condition in intensive care at the undisclosed hospital. In a statement, her manager said, ""Phoebe is a very strong person and she is stable now. It is too early to assess any residual motor damage, and we are taking it day-by-day, but doctors are hopeful for a complete recovery."
Charlie Daniels suffered a mild stroke while snowmobiling near his home in Durango, Colorado Friday (January 15) and was released from a hospital in Denver Sunday. His publicist said the 73 year-old is resting at home and has no plans to delay any concert dates.
Clarence Clemons, sax player with Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, underwent successful back surgery Wednesday (January 13) in New York. He told the Associated Press he was "looking forward to a brighter future and playing more music."
Leon Russell underwent five hours of brain surgery Monday (January 11) in a California hospital to repair a "chronic condition." The 67 year-old's web site says he is in good condition, will be released in a "few days" and hopes to resume touring in March.
Doug Fieger, guitarist with the Knack and lead singer on "My Sharona," announced Monday (January 11) that he is battling brain and lung cancer. He had a piece of his lung removed two years ago but has suffered 22 brain tumors since. He has undergone three craniotomies and whole-brain radiation. Incidentally, the "real" Sharona was Doug's girlfriend at the time. But it's his ex-wife Mia who is helping to take care of him now.
Wishing speedy and healthy recoveries to all of our musical heroes!!! (kk)
re: HELPING OUT OUR READERS:
We just received this recent email from somebody who discovered our Jordan Brothers piece on the website pertaining to their recording of The Spencer Davis Group classic "Gimme Some Lovin'":
I just read your blog article on the Jordan Brothers' recording of Gimme Some Lovin' and I have to say after some 43 years I am delighted to see this getting some attention online. Fact is in late 1966 - early 1967 I was growing up near Boston. I was eight years old at the time and had just discovered rock and roll! And one of the very first songs I ever heard on the radio was the Jordan Brothers' Gimme Some Lovin'. Man, I was blown away. I absolutely loved that song and wasted no time in getting ahold of the record. As far as I know, the Boston station I used to listen to never played the Spencer Davis version because it wasn't until some years later when oldies stations came about that I realized there was any other version than the Jordans'. For this reason I have always considered the Jordan Brothers' recording to be the original and definitive version of the song. I love it today as much as ever. And I have had a very hard time convincing my friends that there was another band that had a hit with the song before Davis'. I don't know what chart position it hit in Boston, but it was the only version played there at the time. And one other thing I haven't seen mentioned here is that the Jordans' version contains a third verse not sung in the Davis' version. I wonder how that third verse came about if, in fact, the Jordans' based their take on a Spencer Davis' demo tape. Is it possible that Steve Winwood didn't write the third verse but the Jordans did? I'd love to know that. And I'd love to know how many other people consider the Jordan Bros' recording of Gimme Some Lovin' as the original hit.
I sent a copy of your email to Frank Jordan of The Jordan Brothers, hoping he could shed some light on that "additional verse" of "Gimme Some Lovin'". Here's what he had to say! (kk)
I have to say that I have talked about your site to a lot of my friends and told of our first conversation about the brothers' and my interrpretation of how the song Gimme Some Lovin' got first released in the US by our group instead of the Spencer Davis version. I sure hope that my answer has cleared up any misinformation that has been passed around. I am humbled by this particular reader since he regarded our version superior to the other version. This is not the first time that I have heard this kind of remark and it amazes me since our version was done without any additions. Just our group and our group alone with our version being raw without any technical help or recording tricks that were being used in so many recording at that time and even still today. Our version, the way I heard it, was #1 or #2 in WBZ Boston and was heard by many people as far as right here in Pennsylvania. Man, it caused a lot of commotion at that time. To the best of my knowledge, the Spencer Davis version has the same stanzas as ours. Three to be exact. It might be that on the third stanza the words were different because of confusion in trying to get it done in a hurry and a mistake was made in our trying to get the words down before we recorded it. As far as others thinking our version was and is the better version, I would have to say many, many Jordan Brother fans all over Pennsylvania and beyond have confirmed that to me. It proves how a radio station can influence the market just by playing the record first and, on another note, the first version heard can take the place of the second because of that early play. Wish radio stations would go back to the days when they could break records or Cd's without any help from trade magazines, etc. They took chances back in those days and WBZ, along with three other stations, had the courage to do so and break our record in those areas without being afraid of taking a chance. The record, our version, sold 80,000 records in that first week. We are proud of that accomplishment with a lot of thanks to those DJ's and Program Directors who were adventureous back then. Keep up the great work and I will keep talking Forgotten Hits up where ever I go.
Great to hear from you again, Frank! You are SO right ... I think for MOST of us it's the FIRST version of any given song that becomes the "definitive" version in our minds ... we've just seen this SO many times over the years. That's not to say that we don't like the OTHER versions ... it's just that "first impression" that seems to stick with us the longest ... kinda like that's the way this particular song is SUPPOSED to sound. Here's The Jordan Brothers' version of "Gimme Some Lovin'" once again for the benefit of anyone out there that might have missed it the first time around! (kk)
re: TOMMY JAMES:
Now that I think of it, you've probably already seen or heard of this, giving the very astute members of the Forgotten Hits list.Just in case you haven't, though, here's an interview I discovered at Songfacts.com with Tommy James:
Now I'm puzzled. All these years I thought Crystal Blue Persuasion was about a form of Acid?
Actually, yes, we ran a link for this a few weeks back ... but it's a GREAT interview so I'm happy to run it again for the benefit of anyone else on the list who may not have seen it yet. I cannot WAIT to read Tommy's new book ... and he shares some very interesting insight on the Songfacts Site, too! (kk)
re: HOLD ME, THRILL ME, KISS ME:
Hi Kent -
I'll bet everyone here knows "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" - a summertime 1965 hit for Mel Carter. Always good to hear this one.
And, it's got a lot of mileage; covered not too long ago by Clay Aiken.
Mel Carter's version is not the original - not even close. It was first played by radio stations back in the summer of 1961 by Lanny Duncan.
Perhaps this wasn't a bigger hit because of name confusion? Too bad his name was Lanny Duncan ... his name is SO close to Lonnie Donnegan, who was out with "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavour" at about the same time.
But here it is - thanks to someone on Youtube - the original "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" from the summer of 1961.
Gary West -
Actually this tune dates back even further than this ... Karen Chandler had a Top Ten Hit with it WAY back in 1953!!! (We covered this AGES ago in Forgotten Hits ... but this makes for a GREAT excuse to feature some of these versions again. Gloria Estefan did a pretty nice version, too!)
Mel Carter's version is one I've never grown tired of, no matter how many times I've heard it. In typical radio fashion, Carter has been written off as another One Hit Wonder because this is the ONLY song of his that anyone bothers to play anymore. The reality is that Mel Carter hit The Top 50 SIX TIMES between 1963 and 1966: When A Boy Falls In Love (#38, 1963); Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me (#8, 1965); All Of A Sudden My Heart Sings (#35, 1965); Love Is All We Need (#50, 1966); Band Of Gold (#32, 1966) and You You You (#49, 1966). "Band Of Gold" and "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" both topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart, too. (kk)
re: THE EVERLY BROTHERS:
Recently Mrs. C and I went on a Saturday trip up into Kentucky. On the road in Central City, there was a sign saying "Everly Brothers Monument, this exit." So after some searching around, and help from a nice local lady who made sure we found it, we found this monument. It's a nice granite structure, about 5 feet tall (picture attached). The inscription reads, "From Brownie, to Iowa, to Knoxville, to Nashville, to Hollywood, to England and around the world, Don & Phil have taken the music of Kentucky, as taught by their parents, and now they are bringing it back home to Central City. August 25, 1988."
I told that story on The Flip Side a couple of weeks ago, and then played an Everly Bros 45: Cathy's Clown / So Sad.
VERY cool indeed ... thanks for sharing this with our readers, most of whom probably didn't even know such a monument existed!!! (kk)
re: CALLING ALL JOCKS!:
Will one of the jocks on the list PLEASE give this one a spin?!?!? It's a guaranteed "Can't Miss" with your listeners ... and one I'm sure they haven't heard in a long, long time! Give it a spin and let us know what kind of reaction you get ... I'd be really curious to know! (kk)