Friday, August 20, 2010

King For A Day

Thanks to Micky's publicist David Salidor, we received an early pressing of the brand new Micky Dolenz / Carole King Tribute CD called "King For A Day". (It's being released to the public later this month.)

With so many GREAT songs to choose from, I couldn't help but wonder what the song selection process was like ... Micky covers some of the obvious Carole King classics ... but also digs out a few of the obscure ones that Carole sometimes doesn't always get the credit and recognition for.

The CD kicks off in GREAT fashion with an absolutely KILLER version of the old Animals hit "Don't Bring Me Down". Dolenz and the band REALLY rock out on this one ... and I wish there were a few more tracks recorded in this spirit on the CD ... Micky literally GROWLS the lyrics and sounds as good as I've ever heard him ... the track is SO strong that it makes a few of the other cuts sound tepid in comparison.

Next up is a remake of one of MY all-time favorite Monkees songs, "Sometime In The Morning". In what I can only describe as an arrangement that successfully blends country, bluegrass and jug-band music,
it brings a whole new feel to what I believe to be an otherwise much under-rated song ... and it works PERFECTLY! (Perhaps Micky's stint on "Gone Country" a couple of years ago helped to fuel this new arrangement ... the song manages to retain all of its original beauty yet still makes one wonder if Ernest T. Bass and The Darlings will eventually be coming in on the background vocals!)

"Hey Girl" is one of the more interesting selections on the album. Already covered by Freddie Scott, Bobby Vee, Donny Osmond and Billy Joel (amongst others), Dolenz doesn't really bring anything new to the track ... but here is where producer Jeffrey Foskett shines. The opening takes on an almost "Pet Sounds" / "Smile" feel ... in fact, I cannot help but wonder if maybe some of The Wondermints (Brian Wilson's back-up band and Foskett's bandmates) were in some way involved ... but then sadly it just drops off to more of the standard, traditional arrangement. I couldn't help but wonder where this song might have gone had they kept this "feel" going a while longer. Had Foskett carried his vision throughout the track ... and the tempo been sped up by even half a beat ... I believe this could have been one of the stand-out tracks on the CD ... instead, it's just kinda "average" ... and, by my fourth play-through of the CD, I found that I was skipping this track all-together. Too bad ... I believe there is some unrealized potential here to make this one a stand-out track.

Speaking of Jeff Foskett, I wondered how he was selected to produce Micky's new CD. Quite honestly, I was expecting a few more vocal gymnastics, knowing Jeff's background. This isn't to say that the background vocals aren't strong throughout ... they certainly are ... in fact, the musicianship is stellar throughout the entire CD. Credit that to fine players like Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on guitar and pedal steel, Bobby Gothar, Probyn Gregory and Nicki Walusko on "all sorts of cool lead and rhythm guitars", Robby Scharf and Dave Stone on bass (and double bass), Jason Brewer and Gary Griffin on keyboards and Dennis Diken and Rolo Sandoval on drums and percussion.
I just figured that with Foskett behind the board we'd be treated to a few more vocal surprises.

The arrangement of "Up On The Roof" is especially intriguing ... kicking off with a bit of an homage to "Spanish Harlem" (another song tied to The Drifters' legacy, thanks to Ben E. King's solo recording ... but a track NOT written by Carole King), I couldn't help but wonder what a full-blown medley might have sounded like. Don't get me wrong ... Micky does a KILLER job with "Up On The Roof" just as it is ... but once I was teased by the intro, I was curious as to what might have been had they chosen to proceed down that path. Which leads me to another point ... with SO many great Carole King tunes to choose from in her catalog, it would seem that a couple of "medleys" might have worked out well in a tribute package like this ... and it also would have provided the means to cover a bit more material. (In all fairness, the best "medley" of all appears later on the CD when Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers duets with Dolenz on a remake of Bill's earlier hit "Just Once In My Life"!!! Medley is in OUTSTANDING vocal form here, sounding JUST like he did on the original recording ... and Micky plays it smart by NOT trying to imitate Bobby Hatfield on this track, instead, bringing his OWN vocal chops to the session and filling in some GREAT harmonies and background ad-libs ... while "Just Once In My Life" has never been one of my favorite Righteous Brothers tunes, it sounds GREAT in the context of this CD ... and we've never really been treated to any Micky Dolenz "celebrity duets" before ... this one works just fine.)

The world really doesn't need another remake of the Carole King classic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" ... but Dolenz does such a good job with this track, we can't help but forgive him. (Hmmm ... speaking of potential medleys, I wonder what a medley of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "It's Too Late" might have sounded like ... talk about bringing the whole "love thing" full cycle!!! lol)

I especially like the "Sweet Seasons" piano intro that kicks off this track. Unfortunately, it leads into the REAL version of "Sweet Seasons", one of the weakest tracks on the album. (For whatever reason, after borrowing the piano intro for the previous track, this one starts off with what sounds like the opening guitar chords of The Bee Gees' hit "Edge Of The Universe"!!!)

While the album is far from perfect, three tracks in particular stand out as "dogs" ... the aforementioned "Sweet Seasons", the totally unnecessary "It Might As Well Rain Until September" (it just wasn't that great a song the first time around!) and an out-and-out boring rendition of "Take Good Care Of My Baby". (I kept wondering who would fall asleep first during that song ... me while listening to it or Micky while singing it!)

That being said, the REST of the CD is flat-out fantastic. Dueting with his sister Coco on "Crying In The Rain", ANOTHER great track not often associated with Carole King, the siblings do a great job on this Everly Brothers classic. (I played this one again and again ... and then even dug out the ORIGINAL version!!!) There's also a hidden musical treat for long-time Monkees fans ... listen closely near the end of the song and you'll notice what I can only describe as a little bit of Micky's "Shades Of Gray" vocal dynamic ... it comes right near the end of the song ... and trust me ... if you're a Monkees fan like me, you'll recognize it IMMEDIATELY on first listen ... and it works just as well now as it did back then. My only criticisms of this track is that I wish they would have built that ending into a little more of a powerful crescendo ... it would have COMPLETELY pushed this track over the top ... and that Micky had done less of his "staccato" phrasing in favor of a smooth, silky vocal that would have better complimented Coco's take on this track. (And, of course, in my dream world, it would have been REALLY cool to hear Micky duet with Carole King herself on this track, especially since it's not one of the songs that typically springs to mind when listing Carole's song-writing credits. Imagine Carole coming on board and handling the harmony vocal, thus giving the tribute her blessing ... not to mention the added "street cred" in doing so. With King back on the road performing again herself, this would have been the ULTIMATE touch to this track.)

A couple of songs that COULD have come off as "creepy" ... (the thought of a 65 year old Micky Dolenz singing "Go Away Little Girl" ... and a duet with Disney Teen Princess Emily Osment from the "Hannah Montana" television series singing "I Feel The Earth Move" ... especially when he sings "I've just got to have you baby"!!!) ... DON'T, thanks to the beauty and the sincerity of the vocals and the arrangements. Dolenz's slowed down, stripped down acoustic take on "Go Away Little Girl" is one of his best vocal performances on the CD ... and one of the best arrangements of this song that I've ever heard. And the "I Feel The Earth Move" duet is the album's lead-off single ... and it really works. Osment and Dolenz play off each other vocally and it's a totally believable, fun track to listen to ... and apparently is already climbing the charts in Great Britain (where their love for anything to do with The Monkees has never waned!)

Finally, one of my favorite tracks on the LP is Micky's version of the long-forgotten Gene McDaniel hit "Point Of No Return". (I'm skipping over the album-ending reprise of "Sometime In The Morning" as it's TOTALLY unnecessary ... and it doesn't hold a candle to the arrangement previously covered above. I would have much preferred a brand new reworking of "Pleasant Valley Sunday", another great Carole King track long associated with Micky Dolenz and The Monkees, to a retread of this one, especially since the previous version completely blows this arrangement away.)

Micky's new arrangement on "Point Of No Return" is one the CD's highlights ... even the growl is back in Micky's voice! And the "teenage Stevie Wonder" harmonica riff that carries the song from start to finish is nothing short of pure genius! (Credit Jim "Hoke" Hocanadle for the excellent mouth-harp work ... it's outstanding!) I've already listened to this one about ten times ... and it just keeps getting better and better!

All-in-all, a pretty good CD ... VERY listenable ... very enjoyable ... and the high points FAR outweigh the low points. (Honestly, I much prefer Micky's tribute to Carole King over Brian Wilson's tribute to The Gershwin Brothers ... this CD is MUCH more accessible to the general public and while it may not have the meticulous orchestral flair of Brian's CD, it has the FEEL of a fun, pop album ... and you can sense that they all had fun making it.)

You can pick it up on Micky's website: ...
or at ...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Helping Out Our Readers

Hey KK,
One of my listeners on The FLip Side sent me an email to ask if I recognized a song. It's not the normal "cheek to cheek" song by Fred Astaire. I don't have the record, so I'm hoping one of your forgotten hits members will recognize it. See below, and thanks!
Mr. C
I have been searching desperately for a song that was a flip-side of a 45 back in the early 60's (around 1962 or 63). The name of the song is "Cheek to Cheek" and the lyrics I remember are:
Cheek to cheek, I want to dance with you.

Arm in arm (or could be "hand in hand") Just like we used to do.
Day by day, (day for day?) There's no reason for this broken heart.
It was done by a girl group. I thought perhaps it was the flip side of "Tell Him" by The Exciters, but that's "Hard Way to Go" ... so now I'm stumped.
Can you help?
Have at it, readers ... let's see what you can come up with! (kk)

Thanks to our FH Buddy Tom Diehl, we've got a number of Mystery Songs to share with you today from our last "Helping Out Our Readers" Page ...
>>>I have a long lost song I am searching for. It was in the Boston area in the late 50's early 60's. It was called 'The Montreal Express', about the cold weather blowing down from Canada to New England. It was used in commercials for the Boston Gas Company and / or local Oil Dealers to promote their heating solutions. (Charlie)

>>>I couldn't find a national chart listing for this one ... not even in my CHUM Chart Book. Anybody out there "North of the Border" able to shed some light on this one??? (kk)
I am sending Montreal Express by Dick Curless, which I believe is what you are looking for ... it was just a commercial, not an actual released single.

>>>There was a group from my N.E. PA area in the mid - to late 60's called Mel Wynn and the Rhythm Aces and later they called themselves The Mel Wynn Trend. They had a pretty big R & B hit with Stop Sign on Wand records, but the later Mercury releases never get heard. If you can dig up any 45's by them and play them, it would be great! (Len)

>>>We've got a heavy concentration of Philly Readers, so let's see what comes back on this one! (kk)
I don't have much by Mel Wynn but I'll send what I do have. I heard from his fiancee a few years ago when I tried to find Mel to cut a promo for me but she informed me Mel had recently had a stroke and was unable to speak ... I hope he's at least doing a little better by now.

>>>I recall a few issues back the mention of "The Jordan Brothers". I had forgotten to ask you about another Jordan Brothers band from out in the southwest back in the late 60's. They were fronted by a cat named Little Stevie Jordan who was a monster player. The Jordan Brothers had a big hit called "Aint No Big Thing" which I can't find anywhere. Maybe your master collector would have it in his archives. It was a real good record and can only be found on some of the compilations dedicated to the Latino cruising scene. Those versions are done by others and not the Original Jordan Brothers. (Alex Valdez)
>>>Let's run it up the Forgotten Hits Flagpole and see what comes back! (kk)
Wow! I found the Jordan Brothers tune, not great fidelity but it's available, at least.

A copy of this one was also submitted by SixtiesOldiesGuy Rich Grunke ... thanks, guys, for putting an end to Alex's long search. (kk)

I have been trying to find an email of Dick Dodd of The Standells. I have been having people search for me and I am unable to find anything on him either. I wanted to talk to him about my new book. (Hoss)
As for Dick Dodd, he is on Facebook (when YOU gonna join??) however he hasn't accepted my friend request yet ... you can pass this on to the person looking to make contact with him:

We've had an awful lot of mail lately regarding the song "Here Am I Broken-Hearted" ... particularly the Four J's version ... and we just received the original Johnnie Ray version from our FH Buddy John Madara:
Hi Kent ...
I hope things are good with you. I've always enjoyed the Four Js version of "Here Am I Brokenhearted" ... and the great version by Johnnie Ray with The Four Lads. Warm regards,

I have been trying to find info about the Hai Karate Sounds of Self Defense record. I have one in perfect condition and just don't know what to do with it. It always would make me laugh, and I know some of it by heart. Thing is, I have a Mad 'She Got a Nose Job' record, and two Archies cereal box records ... all on cardboard. Any suggestions on what would be a good way to put them to use or what to do with them? Thanks for any info ... even donating would be okay. AH
I still have a complete set of Monkees cereal box singles, too ... and we've featured a couple of the Archies' cardboard record photos in Forgotten Hits in the past. (By the way, I played the heck out of my Mad Magazine "It's A Gas" cardboard single, too as a kid ... and have even featured THAT one from time to time.)

I would think these would be considered quite collectible ... I doubt that too many kids held on to these over the years ... or that they didn't get damaged or torn, thrown out or left behind. Honestly, if you're looking to get rid of them, I think I'd list them on eBay and see what kind of offers you get. (You might want to check eBay first and see what similar items have been going for.) If not, I'm sure MANY of the collectors on our list would be interested ... including ME!!! (kk)

>>>Hey, here's one that digs deep ... Do you remember when Bob Hale opened his East of Midnight Show every night with a Ray Conniff piece? Any idea what the name of that song was? (Bill)
>>>A little before my time ... and WAY past my bedtime!!! (kk)
>>>Ray Conniff did have a minor hit called Midnight Lace back in 1960, but that would be too easy. (Jack)
I never heard back from Bill to see if this was the song he was looking for or not ... but I DID hear from Bob Hale!!! Sounds like we got it wrong ... here's the scoop ... and the tune! (kk)

I used at KRIB ... WMAY and WIRL ... for brief periods ... until Program Directors said Top 40 stations "don't use theme songs!"
I got by one week at WLS before PD, Sam Holman said at one staff meeting, "Hale ... we don't use theme songs ... can it!" So I canned it!
Bob Hale
PS: What a memory you have!!! I'll bet not one in a thiousand would recall that!

We got some pretty amazing readers here, Bob! And Bill, here's your long-forgotten tune! (kk)

That's the one! If you pick it up from the 1:25 mark to the end, that's what was heard every weeknight at Midnight on WLS to kick off East of Midnight with Bob Hale.
I don't know if Ray Conniff planned it that way, but that closing segment comes in at just a hair under a minute.
It always amazed me how WLS used such MOR and Easy Listening type themes, what with Ray Conniff, the Anita Kerr Singers, etc., to present music by the Isley Brothers, Ray Charles and Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford. I think it amazes me now more than it did at the time.
Thanks for sending. I'm sure you know about the live version on You Tube. Maybe I was the one that mentioned it.

Click here: YouTube - Ray Conniff: 's Wonderful!
"S' Wonderful" was Conniff's first chart hit back in 1957. (It reached #73 in Billboard that year.) Ironically, Brian Wilson also covers this "Gershwin Tune" on his brand new "Reimagining Gershwin" CD, just released this week. Conniff's BIGGEST pop hit came nearly ten years later when "Somewhere My Love" (from "Dr. Zhivago") cracked The Top Ten. Chalk up one more mystery solved by The Forgotten Hits Team ... with special thanks to Bob Hale himself for providing the answer! (kk)

QUICKIE REVIEW: Speaking of Brian Wilson's new CD, I picked up a copy this week. One Sentence Review: For Die-Hard Fans Only. There's not much here that'll appeal to anybody else. That being said, the production and arranging of this material is quite outstanding ... and these are the kind of albums that seem to do well come Grammy time. I'm grateful that Brian is still recording ... and glad to see that he's gotten this tribute to The Gershwin Brothers off his chest. Now it's time to go back to crafting your OWN classic pop album. Clearly, the talent and the passion are still there ... channel that and see where it takes you. You've redone "Pet Sounds" ... you've completed "Smile" ... your homage to "Gershwin Tunes" is complete ... now treat us to something new and TOTALLY Brian.
BEST TRACKS: "I Got Plenty Of Nothin'", an killer instrumental that has Brian Wilson's stamp all over it. Sounding as though it could have been a "Pet Sounds" out-take, this one SCREAMS of Brian's influence. (A couple of other tracks incorporate a sort of Beach Boys feel to them in their arrangement, more so in the song openings than as an actual spirit ... some work, some don't. Hard to believe that the best track on the album is the one WITHOUT any singing ... Brian's whole legacy has been his amazing use and arrangement of vocals over the years!) A strong second would have to be "It Ain't Necessarily So", which follows this one on the album. You'll also find some fun bossa-nova tracks on here ... there just isn't ANYTHING that'll turn your head or appeal to a mass audience. For die-hards only??? Yeah, but most of 'em will love it! (kk)

SPEAKING OF REVIEWS ... Be sure to join us TOMORROW IN FORGOTTEN HITS ... for a review of the brand new Micky Dolenz CD, "King For A Day", his tribute to the music of Carole King!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Bobby

Here are a couple of responses ... and CORRECTIONS ... we received after our Bobby Darin piece ran the other day:

>>>Terry Melcher would write two Top 40 Hits for The Rip Chords in 1964 ("Hey Little Cobra", #4, and "Three Window Coupe, #28) while under Darin's publishing umbrella. (kk)
Hey Kent ...
A slight correction on a line printed in your fine piece on the great Bobby Darin ... Although Terry Melcher may have had a hand in contributing to the writing of these songs, he is not credited with writing them.
"Hey Little Cobra" is credited to Carol Connors and her brother Marshall ... and "Three Window Coupe" is credited to Jan Berry and Roger Christian. Jan & Dean also recorded "Three Window Coupe".
Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnston were the amazing producers of these records and also sang most of the parts heard ... with Terry singing lead on both tracks. My info comes from Richie Rotkin ... but also, in the process of re-recording these songs for our new CD on Spectra Records ("The Best Of The Rip Chords ... Today"), that's also the info given by the Harry Fox Agency for the licensing of these songs for the new CD.
Have a rockin' week everyone!
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords
My bad! You are correct ... Melcher did NOT write these songs ... he PRODUCED the tracks for Trinity Music (and handled the lead vocals on both of these cuts as well.) Under the Trinity Music publishing umbrella, Darin also started "TM Music", which took production credit for a number of big hits between 1963 and 1966, including all of the ones we mentioned in our original posting ("Under The Boardwalk", "I've Got Sand In My Shoes", "The Shoop Shoop Song", "Good Lovin'" and Bobby's hits "18 Yellow Roses" and "You're The Reason I'm Living") as well as Wayne Newton's signature tune "Danke Schoen", a song that was SUPPOSED to be recorded by Bobby Darin ... but Darin gave the track away to his young protege' in the hopes of coming up with Wayne's first big hit.

(I got to meet Wayne a few years ago when they unveiled Bobby Darin's Star on the Walk Of Fame in front of The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas ... to this day, he thanks Bobby Darin every single day of his life for providing the break that launched his decades-long career.)

I found a couple of other errors in my 2005 piece ... "Under The Boardwalk" and "I've Got Sand In My Shoes" were actually written by Kenny Young and Artie Resnick, NOT by Rudy Clark. Clark wrote "The Shoop Shoop Song" for Betty Everett and then co-wrote "Good Lovin'" with Resnick, a #1 Hit for The Young Rascals.

Going back to Terry Melcher for a minute, Terry would go on to co-write a surfin' / hot rod tune with Bobby Darin himself called "Hot Rod USA" (which was also recorded by The Rip Chords) ... and then (with his Bruce And Terry partner Bruce Johnston) wrote (and sang background vocals on) "Comin' On Too Strong" for Wayne Newton and "Beach Girl" for Darin's fellow '50's teen idol (and "State Fair" co-star) Pat Boone!

Another interesting "beach" track from this era is the highly collectible "Beach Ball", written by new signee Roger McGuinn and Trinity Music staff writer Frank Gari. When Darin heard the song for the first time, he immediately booked studio time to cut a demo ... recruiting McGuinn, Gari, Kenny Young to cut the track with him. After the session, Bobby decided that this was too good to be "just a demo" ... so he released it as a single, dubbing the band The City Surfers. While it was never a hit, it has become a surfin' cult classic over the years ... and is extremely rare.

Perhaps the most IMPORTANT connection Terry Melcher made while working for Bobby Darin was that of a young songwriter by the name of Roger McGuinn. Two years later, Melcher would leave Trinity Music to produce McGuinn's hot new folk / rock group, The Byrds ... so THAT connection can be attributed to Bobby Darin, too! (kk)

I just read what you put on your web page about the work you have done on Bobby Darin. What a talent he was.
You mentioned that his LOVIN' YOU peaked at number 37 nationally. Would you believe that the flip side, AMY, made it to number one here in OKC? LOVIN' YOU was hardly played, believe me.
Also, I don't know how well you remember this record by Darin, but in 1967, also on Atlantic, he had the song, TALK TO THE ANIMALS from the movie or play, would you believe my mind has gone blank now.
What else is new? I am checking your website daily.

Good Luck

Ironically, it was a request Scott Shannon received for "Amy" that made me dig out all of this Bobby Darin stuff again in the first place! For whatever reason, the REAL Darin fans out there rank "Amy" (pretty much a non-hit) amongst their Bobby Darin favorites. (When I did my month-long series, we got RAVE reviews for this one ... and a track called "The Sweetheart Tree" ... songs that received virtually NO mass radio airplay yet quickly became fan favorites.) I also mentioned one of MY all-time favorite Bobby Darin B-Sides ... "Rainin'", the flipside of "If I Were A Carpenter". I TRULY believe that had this song been promoted properly, it would rank today as one of Bobby's biggest hits, right alongside "Mack The Knife" and "Beyond The Sea". It's an OUTSTANDING track that we've featured a few times now in Forgotten Hits. (Ironically, despite all the love and affection shown for "Amy", it didn't even place on our Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides Poll ... yet "Rainin'" did!) kk

By the way, all did not end well for Bobby Darin in regards to Trinity Music. First, he nearly lost the company in his divorce from Sandra Dee ... and then, even when he DID decide to sell, he ended up getting burned. Darin purchased the publishing house for about $500,000 in 1963. Five years later, he turned around and sold it for $1,300,000 ... not a bad return on his investment ... but then Bobby blew it ... he asked for $300,000 of that amount in cash to pay off the lawyers and officers of the company and invested the remaining million in
Commonwealth United Corporation, the company who bought his company.
He lost it ALL a few months later when their stock crashed and burned. (kk)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bobby Darin

>>>Last night I watched the movie "Beyond The Sea" with Kevin Spacey. While watching this movie, I vaguely remembered that you said you were going to re-run a series you did about Bobby Darin. Am I right about that?
I missed it the first time around. Any ballpark time-frame for it ? Don't worry ... I won't hold you to it. Just curious.
Frank B.
Actually, what I REALLY said was that it would take me about 100 hours to edit this 2005 month-long series and get it up on the website ... something I still fully intend to do but now, at a time where I'm lucky to be able to devote five or six hours to keeping the CURRENT website up to date, it's just an impossibility. But I haven't forgotten about it ... as I've said before, I get two or three of these "reminders" and / or requests every month ... so the interest is certainly there to follow through on this "promise". Stay tuned! (kk)


Interestingly enough, I did have the opportunity to revisit our Bobby Darin Series this past week when I was putting together a little something for Scott Shannon. As such, we'll run a short "teaser" today to tell you about one little-known aspect of Bobby's career that you may not have been familiar with. And, with a little more "inspired nudging" like Frank's letter above, maybe I'll actually start the re-editing process necessary to get the WHOLE thing posted up on the website, too.
For now ... here's just a brief chapter:

Bobby Darin bought Trinity Music, a music publishing house, in 1963. In addition to producing his own hits "You're The Reason I'm Living" and "18 Yellow Roses", Trinity Music proved to be a lucrative business venture for Bobby Darin, who now, in addition to singer, songwriter, successful Vegas lounge act, movie actor and television star had added the titles of publisher and businessman to his resume! With over 700 titles already in its library, Trinity also boasted a song-writing staff that included Terry Melcher, Kenny Young, Frank Gari, Artie Resnick, Rudy Clark, Van McCoy, Bobby Scott and Debbie Stanley.

In addition to writing The Top Five Drifters' smash "Under The Boardwalk", Trinity staff writer Rudy Clark also wrote their follow-up hit "I've Got Sand In My Shoes" and, two years later, had a Number One Record when The Young Rascals recorded his composition "Good Lovin'". Betty Everett's recording of Clark's "The Shoop Shoop Song" has gone on to become a '60's classic. Terry Melcher would write two Top 40 Hits for The Rip Chords in 1964 ("Hey Little Cobra", #4, and "Three Window Coupe, #28) while under Darin's publishing umbrella and Bobby also brought young song-writing upstarts Jesse Colin Young and Roger McGuinn onboard as staff writers!

Yet despite his success rate at finding hits for his new company, Darin reportedly passed on the opportunity to record songs like "Do You Believe In Magic", "Daydream", "Younger Girl" and "Summer In The City" ... songs that today are considered '60's classics by one of the decade's master songwriters. Back before The Lovin' Spoonful ever had a hit record of their own, the music of their leader, John Sebastian, was first offered to Bobby Darin to record ... and he turned it all down, one by one, feeling that either the music simply wasn't right for him or that it didn't hold "hit" potential.

After watching hit after hit climb the charts for The Lovin' Spoonful, Darin finally took a stab at a couple of John Sebastian compositions himself. His first success came in 1967 when his version of "Lovin' You" went all the way to #32. (It would become his last Top 40 Hit, coming right on the heels of his Top Ten comeback success with "If I Were A Carpenter".)

In fact, it was John Sebastian's publishers, Charles Koppelman and Don Rubin, who first brought these songs to Bobby's attention. They had been working with The Lovin' Spoonful, The Turtles and Tim Hardin ... and Hardin's "If I Were A Carpenter" was the first song that they were able to convince Bobby to record.

After his rock and roll and then nightclub success, Bobby virtually re-invented himself with these folk - rock / protest tunes. In addition to "Lovin' You", he also eventually recorded John Sebastian's "Daydream" ... one of the first songs he turned down...and then released Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon" as a single later that year, where it stopped at #93.

When Bobby Darin was first offered the John Sebastian song "Younger Girl" (ultimately a hit for The Critters, The Hondells and The Lovin' Spoonful), he turned it down, too, feeling that at his age, it really didn't fit his image. Although he liked the song, he joked that he was afraid that he might be sent to jail for even having such thoughts!

In an interview that Bobby Darin did with David Frost in 1972, he tells the story of John Sebastian's publishers bringing some of his songs into Trinity Music looking for Bobby to record them, growing more and more confident as each tune Bobby rejected became a bigger and bigger hit for The Lovin' Spoonful. (This bit became a key part of the comedy portion of Darin's stage show in the later years...and it IS a pretty funny story!)

A pretty crude audio recording of this interview is attached ... meanwhile, here is the jist of what Bobby had to say:

BOBBY DARIN: Well, what actually happened was some fellas came to me with some songs. They were very fresh in the music publishing business and it was in 1966, and I was kinda looking for a hit ... they brought me a song, which went a little like this (singing) "Do you believe in magic ... in a young girls heart?" and I said "Fellas, that's a lovely song, it really is, but it'll never be a hit." I know what it feels to be an idiot. (Laughter from audience) It was a smash, as you all know, a million and a half seller, maybe a two million seller. A couple or three months went by and they were very solicitous, by the way. The first time they came into the office, they were all kinda dressed up to here, and they were trying to make a impression. So they had said to me "Mr. Darin, may we see you?" and once you call me "Mister", you know, I go crackers, I like that. "OK, great," I said, "Yeah," and then they played me that song ... I turned it down. Couple of months later, after having that success already, they walked back into my office and said "Hey Bobby!" ... (Laughter from audience) ... "We don't wanna bug you but we have a new song." They played me a song that went something like (singing) "Younger girl came rolling across my mind" and I said "Fellas, at my age I cannot be singing about no younger girl or they'll throw me in jail!" That's not exactly the way I said it, because we're not in a nightclub, I can't tell you the way I exactly said it ... in any event, that sold two and half million records. It was a big smash. They came back to me a third time and this time they said, "Hey Baby, wanna get behind this number before you catch yourself in slumber ... we came back to your shack, Jack, this time in a Cadillac ... so we hate to trouble you, because we know you can't make the payments on the VW, but if you do this song before long it'll be a smash, bigger cash than you made with 'Splash'," so I said, "Well play it, don't say it, play it", so they put it on the machine and it went like this ... "Summer in the City and the back of my neck gets tired and gritty" and I turned that one down too. (Laughter from the audience) 3 million copies, number one for 28 weeks, it was an incredible record ... the next time they came into the office I was laying and waiting for 'em ... I said, "I don't care what you got, I'm gonna record it" and they whipped out the sheet music ... I thought it was ... it wasn't, it was an eviction notice. It was a piece of paper that said "We have just bought this building with the royalties we made from you turnin' down our records!" (Laughter from the audience)
-- David Frost Interview with Bobby Darin

In our never-ending commitment to finding "the most accurate truth", it seems pretty unlikely, in hindsight, that ALL of these John Sebastian tunes were first offered to Bobby Darin to record. In fact, in Jeff Bleiel's interview with Koppelman and Rubin for his book "That's All: Bobby Darin On Record, Stage And Screen", the publishers confirm that "Do You Believe In Magic" was NOT offered to Bobby to record. It was, after all, The Lovin' Spoonful's first hit record and they were not about to give that song away ... in reality, it is most likely that BECAUSE of that song's success, they felt that they could approach Darin about recording some of John Sebastian's other material. Likewise, "Summer In The City", one of the biggest hit records of 1966, was never offered ... but this all made for a great little comedy routine that became a big part of Darin's nightclub act.

The REAL kicker in the deal was that had these guys not been persistent in pushing John Sebastian's work, Bobby may never have had the chance to hear Tim Hardin's song "If I Were A Carpenter" ... and THAT'S the song that turned his whole career around. The biggest plus that day was that publishers Koppelman and Rubin also brought Bobby "If I Were A Carpenter" ... and Bobby KNEW that this was a hit record the moment he heard it. In fact, it would go on to become his last Top Ten Hit.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 15 - 10 )

Take a week's worth of great comments from our readers ... add in a few of the best comments from our stock-piled "Leftovers" Page ... and you end up with yet another GIGANTIC Sunday Comments Page. (Some of the "Leftovers" bits are a little bit dated ... but still deserving of a mention or two ... so enjoy!!!)

Hi Kent,
Just in case you haven't seen this I thought I'd pass it along.
It's from a company called Big Champagne who claims they have a better mouse trap.
They may be on to something.

Here's what noted Media Analyst Jerry Del Colliano had to say about this new way of measuring the charts ...
When I took over as program director at a major market top 40 station, the first record promotion man to visit me walked in, sat down (with the door open) and pulled out a checkbook.
He said, “how much do you want?”
It’s not like I was naive about payola, but his frankness was still disconcerting.
Maybe because I am an east coast guy I am not that always so trusting.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked (maybe even loved) those Runyonesque characters who pushed program directors to play music they were paid to work.
However, I didn’t always believe them.
When they sat in my office and pulled out Billboard to show me the “bullet” the record they were working "earned" this week, I would take the magazine and page through to see if their label bought any full page ads. Maybe the label bought the "bullet", I thought.
I told you I was not that trusting.
However, I, like a lot of program directors, lived and died by local research that our stations conducted.
Still, creative record promoters would bring free albums, gifts or God knows what to the various record stores in the listening area so that these stores would report hyped sales that exaggerated the record's real sales performance when the station called.
Listener input was important but I caught the labels paying people to call in and request their songs over and over again. All's fair in love and the record business. It was all part of the game.
I liked Radio & Records because I could track what other stations like mine were adding and how songs were moving up and down the charts. But at no time did I ever believe music charts like the ones in Billboard really mattered to anyone other than the labels and the artists.
Still true today.
Which is why I was so pleased to see my friend Eric Garland of Big Champagne debut The Ultimate Chart based on online streams and social networking services – not just sales and airplay.
Now this chart has the potential to mean something to everyone – after all what is a music chart in this day and age that doesn’t adequately factor in online and social networking? That’s right, Billboard.
Here’s how The Ultimate Chart does it.
They measure legitimate music services such as YouTube, MySpace, Twitter and Facebook. The strategy is sound because there are so many more things that are relevant to what makes music successful than primarily record sales and airplay. There is also television, ring tones and other ways to judge success.
If you study The Ultimate Chart you will see discrepancies between the results they report and Billboard – as it should be.
In a recent New York Times article on The Ultimate Chart, the writer said,
“For the week that ended July 11, Billboard’s Hot 100 had Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” at No. 1 and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” at No. 2. The Ultimate Chart, measuring the week to July 13, had those songs in reverse order. But No. 3 on the Ultimate Chart — Shakira’s World Cup song, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” — is a distant No. 39 on Billboard; the Ultimate’s No. 4, Eminem’s “Not Afraid,” is No. 11.
The most notable disparity is Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which is No. 5 on the Ultimate Chart; on the Hot 100, the song peaked at No. 5 in February, but fell off the chart entirely in June.
That would seem to indicate the continued popularity of the song — or at least of Mr. Bieber — on social-media networks even if downloads and radio play have cooled. For artists and record companies, that extra attention can mean the difference between a blip and a long-lasting hit”.
Being number one can also be a disadvantage – I’m speaking of Billboard now.
While they play with their methodology, Billboard has not seen fit to embrace the Ultimate Chart’s approach. Billboard several years ago relented a bit when it started factoring in AOL and Yahoo in their chart compilation but have been slow to reflect the radical swing to online and social networking influences.
The labels show a willingness to look at all type of data that on the surface would indicate that they, indeed, have open minds.
In reality, record labels only use the data that helps them sell an artist or product. So if it were delivered to them by Charles Manson and it showed upward growth of their artist(s) then the chart is good.
I’m kidding – I'm kidding.
What this Billboard challenge tells us is what we’ve been saying all along – that the music industry has changed even if the labels have not.
Consumers can like an artist, cherry pick a tune, go to a concert (or not as the concert industry is beginning to find out), buy merchandise and more without having to have a top ten song.
In the music industry, a song that has earned its “bullet” in Billboard shows the most growth.
Example: debuting on the charts at #39 with a "bullet" is euphoria.
Number one with a "bullet" means the song is so big it is not yet out of juice – something we see a lot less of these days.
With that in mind, Eric Garland’s Big Champagne if it successfully turns the focus on how real people consume music and not how the record industry wishes they did, then I would say it earned a number one with a "bullet" for The Ultimate Chart.
-- Jerry Del Colliano

Hi Kent,
I think your readers, in particular, will enjoy
The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac. It is information I started collecting years ago while working at Oldies radio stations and discovering that everything available in the marketplace was focused on newer music and younger celebrities. The scope of it has expanded in recent years but, at its heart, my database -- and now its online extension, the Almanac -- is a place for mature listeners and readers who appreciate that not all important and interesting music and events happened in the last ten years.
Continued success (and fun) with Forgotten Hits!
Bob Dearborn

It's a very cool site, Bob ... and I think with so many jocks on the list, they'll find your site a constant source of information! (kk)

re: KEITH:
George Fischoff, writer of Keith's big hit, has an unusual off-Broadway musical that's currently running in New York:
David Lewis

Hey Kent,
I never knew that The Hollies had originally written that song. I thought it was written by Fogelberg and it is one of my favorites of his. I've never heard the Hollies or Keith versions.
Thank You,
Eddie Burke,
Orange, CT
Keith's was the first version I ever heard of this ... it was a fair-sized hit here in Chicago back in 1967. I love the Dan Fogelberg / Tim Weisberg version, too ... I think they did an outstanding job with this one. The Hollies' original was the one I discovered last ... but I totally enjoy all three of these arrangements and interpretations. A good song is a good song is a good song ... so how come nobody plays this one?!?!? (See, that's what Forgotten Hits is all about!!!) kk

Veerrrry interestink ... especially the version by Keith.
I hadn't heard his or the Hollies' version before. I still prefer the one from the twin sons of different mothers.

It appears that the link you posted to sign a petition urging Jann Wenner to add the Raiders to the R&RHOF is both unconnected to the band and actually a device placed here by an outside entity to get people to sign up for junk e-mail. The Raiders, of course, should have been inducted years ago, but Jann Wenner, as we all know, will only allow the induction of people he happens to personally like. I'm not sure, but it appears that Jann still holds a decades-old grudge against the Raiders for having the audacity to release an anti-drug song ("Kicks," in 1965) and fool hipper-than-thou FM radio programmers (and Rolling Stone) in 1969 by releasing a Raiders album under the name Pink Puzz. The hipper than thou raved about the wonderful new LP by a hot new group until they discovered that Pink Puzz was actually The Raiders -- an AM radio supergroup FM had previously refused to play. Under any name, the LP commercially released as "Alias Pink Puzz" is still great and tracks like "Let Me" (from it) fully deserved all the heavy FM airplay they got -- before being yanked off the air as suddenly "uncool." The rest of us, of course, knew just how terrific "Let Me" was and is -- and it sold a million.
Gary Theroux
The Raiders link was provided by a reader ... I never personally went there ... but I'm surprised to hear it's not legit as this guy used to roadie for the band and his best intention is to have the group finally recognized for their musical contributions to The History Of Rock And Roll ... so I don't quite get that.

Meanwhile, "Let Me" is a GREAT, long-forgotten Paul Revere and the Raiders hit ... so many of their latter-day singles are completely ignored by oldies radio today ... but tracks like "I Had A Dream", "Too Much Talk", "Don't Take It So Hard", "Let Me" and "Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon" are all GREAT tracks worthy of a spin now and again ... and nearly ALL of these were Top 20 Hits in the first place! (kk)

With the recent passing of singer Bobby Hebb, I would like to know if anyone remembers an instrumental recording of his song by a group called THE NEW BREED. It came out one year later on the Jamie record label. It did fairly well here in OKC. I don't know how it did nationally without going to check it.

Although it was recorded by hundreds of artists, Bobby Hebb had the only charted version of "Sunny" ... evidently The New Breed edition was a regional hit down Oklahoma-way. Anybody got a copy of this to share? (kk)

Photograph: David Redfern / Redferns

I don't know if you caught this picture, obit and article from the UK ...


Bobby Hebb obituary: US singer-songwriter whose greatest hit -- much recorded by others -- was "Sunny" --Richard Williams UK

Bobby Hebb wrote Sunny as a reaction to the murder in 1963 of his brother, a day after President Kennedy’s assassination.

The summer of 1966 was full of new songs that seemed to radiate sunshine – among them Manfred Mann's Pretty Flamingo, the Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the City, the Beach Boys' God Only Knows, the Kinks' Sunny Afternoon, Chris Montez's The More I See You, Bob Lind's Elusive Butterfly and the Sandpipers' Guantanamera – but none has lasted better than Sunny, written and recorded by the singer Bobby Hebb, who has died of lung cancer, aged 72.
Hebb's recording sold 1m copies in the US and the song went on to become one of the most frequently played and performed of its era. The hundreds of artists who recorded their own versions include Marvin Gaye, Dusty Springfield, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra (with Duke Ellington), Cher, José Feliciano, Wes Montgomery, James Brown, the Ventures, the Four Seasons, Nancy Wilson, Jimmy Smith, the Four Tops, Booker T and the MGs and
Boney M.
The original, however, remains unquestionably the greatest: two minutes and 44 seconds of unrepeatable pop-soul alchemy, recorded almost as an afterthought at the end of a session in which greater attention had been paid to other songs. A two-second snare-drum roll, an irresistibly cool bass figure, the mentholated chimes of a vibraphone, and a guitar and a hi-hat italicising the backbeat introduced Hebb's light-toned but unmistakably ardent voice, soon buttressed by a purring horn section, kicking drums and cooing backup vocals. It was a gift to discotheques everywhere.
Hebb, a struggling songwriter, had written the song several years earlier, and its lyric provoked speculation. "Very few people know what I really meant when I said 'Sunny'," he told an interviewer from Nashville Scene. "Who I was talking to, or what I was talking about ... that still remains a mystery because it can be taken in quite a few ways." But the answer was, he continued, quite straightforward: "'Sunny' is your disposition. You either have a sunny disposition or you have a lousy disposition."
He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of blind musicians, and he and his brother Harold, who was six years older, performed on the street as part of the family's washboard band, Hebb's Kitchen Cabinet Orchestra, while they were still children. In his teens, Hebb became the only black member of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys, playing the spoons and other instruments, at a time when commercial country music was an exclusively white preserve.
It was in the jazz and R&B clubs of north Nashville, however, that he was spending most of his time, playing the guitar and trumpet, which he had learned during military service with the US navy. He is said to have appeared on a Bo Diddley recording, Diddley Daddy, during a trip to Chicago in 1955, singing back-up or playing spoons, but there is no aural evidence of the latter. He also sang with a doo-wop group, the Hi-Fis, played on sessions with Kid King's Combo for the Excello label, accompanying the singers Jimmy Church and Earl Gaines, and made his debut recordings under his own name for the disc jockey John Richbourg's Rich Records.
In 1961 he moved to New York, where he found a more congenial artistic climate. Sunny would be written there, partly as a reaction to the death of his brother, who was murdered outside a Nashville nightclub in November 1963, the day after John F Kennedy's assassination. "I needed to pick myself up," Hebb said. The song came to him one morning when he had just returned to his home in Harlem from an all-night music session and a bout of heavy drinking, the sight of a purple dawn being its immediate inspiration.
First recorded in 1965 by a Japanese singer, Mieko Hirota, it was also featured on an album by the vibraphonist Dave Pike that year before Hebb was finally persuaded to record it by his producer, Jerry Ross. "It was done as the last thing on the session, when we only had a few minutes left," Hebb told Goldmine magazine. The result went to No 2 in Billboard's top 40 pop charts and No 12 in the British hit parade, where it fought off competition from Georgie Fame's instant cover version. Later, in 1966, Hebb joined the Beatles' third tour of the US, their final live appearances, sharing the bill with the Ronettes, the Cyrkle and the Remains. Hebb never managed to repeat the magic of Sunny, although some of his subsequent singles, including A Satisfied Mind, Love Me and Love Love Love, became favourites with northern soul fans in the UK. One further hit came his way as a composer when A Natural Man won a Grammy for Lou Rawls in 1971. Alcoholism, later overcome, hindered his performing career, which petered out in the early 1970s. Later in that decade, there was an attempt to squeeze an extra ounce of juice out of his greatest hit when he released a disco version titled Sunny '76. In 2004, soon after moving back to his home town, he appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time in 49 years and was featured in a Country Music Hall of Fame exhibition titled Night Train to Memphis: Music City Rhythm and Blues 1945-1970. The following year he recorded his first album in 35 years, That's All I Wanna Know, and in 2008 he made a short tour of Japan. His last years were spent in Nashville.
He is survived by his daughter, Kitoto, and four sisters.
• Bobby (Robert Von) Hebb, singer and songwriter, born 26 July 1938; died 3 August 2010

Sam Cooke - Another Saturday Night - 1963 (recorded on / at ... later)
First off, I reported two different Sam Cooke, Remastered DSD CDs, by ABKCO, had the Stereo channels reversed with whatever songs they shared. Well, I was in ERROR!
Allow me to explain, because, you (and others, too) may have a similar problem.
I "ripped" one CD, then attempted to "rip" the other. However, the CD player had a problem reading the second CD, so I used the second CD player in a Dell computer. That's where the Stereo channels were reversed!! I later took the two CDs to work to verify my suspicion! They both (Stereo channels) were correct when played in a common, single CD player!
I asked myself, how long have I been swapping Stereo channels? Probably a long time, since I believe the CD player I usually use has the Stereo channels reversed!! I also asked myself, how are you able to know what is correct? The bottom line is, you can't!!! Okay, you can use the law of average and try various CD players, but since I'm a perfectionist, I bought a Test CD that defines Left and Right Stereo channels!!
This appears to be a common CD player problem, since, during my Internet investigation, I found instances of CD ripping software that allows you to swap CD Stereo channels!! To the best of my knowledge, there is no easy way to electrically swap the Stereo channels of an internal computer CD ( / DVD) Player!
For most people, this doesn't present a problem; who cares what content is in the Stereo channels, as long as it's different! However, I like to keep things technically correct, and since your hearing capabilities aren't exactly the same in both ears, it could present a problem!!
Anyway, as I previously mentioned, unlike other Sam Cooke songs, this particular song was actually remixed from the session tape. Sounds more detailed than other Sam Cooke CDs I have. When you find alternate versions, that's a sign the Session tapes were discovered. Unlike their pride and joy - Elvis, RCA (or BMG) seems to have discarded most of Sam's session recording tapes!
Notice - horns, sax solo and backing vocals are in the Left Stereo channel. Notice - Sam sometimes sings "chick" but backing vocals sing "someone". Notice - the lyric change in the opening of the song between the alternate and hit versions!

Edited Hit Version, unknown Take # ...

Alternate Version, Take #8 ...


Hi Kent ...
I ran across a story in the August 13th edition of Goldmine (music collector's magazine) that August 12th is Vinyl Record Day and thought you would be interested.
The date was apparently selected to coincide with the anniversary of Thomas Edison's invention in 1877 of the phonograph. Gary Frieberg of California came up with the celebration in 2002. The purpose is said to increase awareness of the importance of preserving our audio history
Do you remember your first vinyl music? Of course I had a few Beatles' 45's and LPs in the 60's that I would love to own now. Some of the first records I purchased go back to the late 50's including Laurie London's "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands," Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans" and "Sink the Bismark," and Connie Francis' "Lipstick On Your Collar."
Just thought this list would be interested.
Chris Jones
We're ALL about those "First 45's", Chris ... just check out the listings on our website!!! (Where we just posted YOUR list, too!!!) kk

Wow ... has it REALLY been a year since we did our 40 Year Anniversary Tribute to Woodstock?!?!? Man, where did the year go?!?!?
You can relive the whole experience right here:

>>>We heard Tony Peluso talking about his incredible guitar solo on "Goodbye To Love" ... while this is now a common practice on power ballads (and has been for YEARS), this was the FIRST time such a solo had been attempted. (kk)
And I venture to say that it's probably still the only one with such beautiful vocal harmony behind it.
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

I've always been a big fan of Jay & the Americans, but am a little torn over this story. The guy that actually sang all the songs - Jay Black, had a lot of gambling debts and was forced to sell the name of the group, which a backup singer bought. They immediately brought in "another Jay" that had been singing the songs in a tribute band and "Jay & the Americans" are back in business, but the original singer, Jay Black is out in the cold! Good for the new JAY ... but sucks for the REAL JAY ... you decide!
Wild Bill

This is a tough call ... Jay Black (the so-called "Real" Jay) was forced to sell out his connection to the band to pay off those gambling debts ... that was a court-mandated decision. (Black reportedly said at one point "But I don't have anything of value" to which the judge came up with THIS solution.) But Jay Black wasn't the ORIGINAL Jay in Jay and the Americans ... that distinction belongs to Jay Traynor, who still performs his only "Americans" hit "She Cried" when he sings with The Tokens. The lion's share of the Jay and the Americans hits came under the reign of Jay Black (real name David Blatt) ... and Black still performs these songs (in a voice that is absolutely INCREDIBLE for a man who is 72 years old!) ... so we DO have the choice as to which Jay we want to see in concert ... Traynor (with The Tokens), Black (doing the songs the way they sounded on the records as a solo act), or "New" Jay (Jon Reinke), who performs with the original Americans in concert today.
For the complete story on how he obtained the rights to do so (it really is fascinating!), check out "Chapter 3" of the Jay and the Americans Story here:
Click here: Jay and the Americans

Kent ...
Check out the prices on sale of some of these famous guitars.
Frank B.
Zager latest musician to sell famous strings -
If you have a quarter-million dollars, Denny Zager has a deal for you.
The Lincoln guitarist and singer is offering up his guitar for $252,500 on eBay.
Zager was half of Zager & Evans, a pop duo in the ’60s and ’70s, and helped write “In the Year 2525,” the No. 1 pop hit for six weeks in 1969 and one of the biggest one-hit wonders ever.
The guitar up for sale is the ’60s-era Yamaha FG 300 acoustic that Zager used to record and perform “In the Year 2525.” He also used it for years after that.
Zager’s far from the first famous guy to sell a guitar, either while living or posthumously. There’s Eric Clapton’s black Stratocaster, George Harrison’s Gibson from his Beatles days, the guitar Jimi Hendrix famously lit on fire in 1967 and more. See Page 2E for a list of some famous guitars, and what they sold for:
» Denny Zager’s Yamaha FG 300 — $252,500 (asking price, 2010)
» Eric Clapton’s black Fender Stratocaster nicknamed “Blackie” — $959,500 (2004) » Kurt Cobain of Nirvana’s smashed ’70s Fender Mustang — $100,000 (2008)
» Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster — $168,000 (2006)
» Jimi Hendrix’s scorched 1965 Fender Stratocaster — $493,638 (2008)
» Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple’s 1974 Fender Stratocaster — $17,925
» George Harrison of the Beatles’ 1964 Gibson SG — $567,500 (2004)
» Prince’s custom yellow electric Cloud — $7,993 (2005)
» Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones’ ’60s 12-string Harmony acoustic — $33,460 (2004)
» Pete Townshend of the Who’s 1967 Gibson SG Special — $64,219 (2008)
» John Lennon of the Beatles’ 1958 Hofner Senator Guitar — $337,226 (2009)
» Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead’s ’60s Gibson SG Special — $41,825 (2004)
» John Lennon and George Harrison’s custom 1996 Vox Kensington — $210,347 (2004)
A little steep for my budget, Frank, but thanks for sharing! (I'm still waiting for my FREE guitar to show up from Danelectro!!! lol) All kidding aside, Anthony Marc, owner of Danelectro, sent me some really cool pedals and a mini-amp, along with a VERY nice hand-written note:
"Hello, Brother Kent,
I thought you might enjoy this 'Mini Amp'.
I know it is not a guitar, but hopefully you will have fun with it!
Best Regards,
Brother Tony
P.S. Enjoy the pedals, too!"
What a VERY, very nice, sweet thing to do ... thank you, Brother Tony, I truly do appreciate it. (You DO know I was just kidding around, right?!?!? lol) Just didn't want to let this pass without at least letting the readers know and sending along a public Thank You. (kk)

Here's one of Forgotten Hits' favorites on youTube ...
I'm not sure, but is Charlene doing a toned-down Joe Cocker?
David Lewis

Here's Bill Haley on the David Frost Show from 1969!
DJ Stu
We were watching Haley in the film "Rock Around The Clock" the other night on TCM ... LOTS of vintage rock and roll flicks aired last week, including "Bye Bye Birdie", "Elvis On Tour", "Jailhouse Rock", "Don't Knock The Twist" and several others ... all showing in PRISTINE condition. Yeah, most of 'em are dated ... but they sure are fun to watch. (kk)
Check the website for upcoming showtimes:
Click here: Turner Classic Movie Monthly Schedule and Featured Movie Stars from our Classic Movie Program
And, with the anniversary of Elvis' death tomorrow ... (can you believe it's really been 33 years since Elvis died?!?!?) ... you'll find ALL kinds of Elvis movies and specials across the television dial. (kk)

Kent ...
Check out this 4 year old kid. I'm trying to remember what I was doing when I was 4.
Frank B.


Hey Kent,
I picked up a copy of Elvis On Tour this past week. It's the first time it has been released on dvd. It was one of the first video cassettes I bought back in the early 80s. I own a lot of the Elvis concert releases, and I have always thought this was one of the best because of the behind the scenes footage.
Phil - Wrco
There seems to be a really big push on for this one .. especially the BluRay Version. (I REFUSE to succumb to the BluRay phenomena ... I've re-bought all of this stuff three or four times already!!! lol) Ironically, this thing just comes out on DVD to all kinds of fanfare and then one of the cable channels runs it for FREE this past weekend!
We ALMOST tied in a trip to Graceland into one of our recent long road trips ... but decided to wait until we could better plan a proper trip to Memphis to see some of the OTHER cool sites along the way, too. (Drove around the area a little bit 'tho ... ya know, it doesn't just doesn't seem right to me to have a street named after Dr. Martin Luther King in the city in which he was shot and killed!!! I mean, I know that there are "Martin Luther King Drives" and "Ways" throughout the USA ... but having one in Memphis just seems wrong to me!!!) kk

With the passing of Bobby Hebb this week the last thing I should be doing is reviewing this series of DVDs, Final 24 … but being devoted to Janis Joplin, I had to give this one a spin.
There are a batch of these “Final 24″ discs focusing on major musicians with some questionable characters and their stories thrown in to boot: Anna Nicole Smith, David Koresh, Nicole Brown Simpson, Sid Vicious, Gianni Versace (the subject of a Marty Balin song from his new album Blue Highway; actually the first single), John Belushi and Keith Moon.
As these things go, I was surprised at how well it is put together, despite its morbid aspect. There are valid and credible people talking on-camera including Sam Andrew and John Till, the two guitarists who were with her (separately) from the beginning of her fame to the conclusion. Andrew was in Big Brother & The Holding Company and half of Kozmic Blues Band. John Till played one date with Andrew together onstage passing the mantle, so to speak, to Till who was the sole guitarist from the latter part of Kozmic Blues Band right up to Joplin’s passing. It should be noted that the stylistically different but equally brilliant James Gurley, who left us December 20, 2009, was part of the two guitar blast of Big Brother & The Holding Company (check out the book review published recently on TMR Zoo). Author of Buried Alive (and Joplin’s publicist) Myra Friedman and road manager John Cooke (who has written liner notes on the Sony CD re-releases) are also included on this viewable re-telling of the last day in Janis Joplin’s life. However … conspiracy theories do abound and what is on this disc is in direct conflict with two other possible scenarios that can be found in one of the books out there (“Scars of Sweet Paradise”, I believe) as well as the usual public investigations on the web.
Marty Balin has told me during interviews that he was with Janis during her last 24 hours … believable because they shared the same girlfriend, Peggy Caserta. Caserta wrote “Goin’ Down With Janis”, a sordid 1974 paperback. According to legend (or “the internets”) Caserta and Joplin’s male fiance’ – Seth Morgan – were not around on the fateful evening of October 3, 1970 and Joplin was depressed with both of them missing. Now other sources on the web claim that the Joplin family keeps some things from going public, keeping a tight lid on the public face of Janis Joplin. This, of course, adds to the intrigue. As Joplin’s 40th anniversary is coming up this October, and with a new perspective on the passing of Joplin on October 4, 1970, Blind Owl Al Wilson (September 3, 1970) and Jimi Hendrix (September 18, 1970). Hendrix and Canned Heat performed at The “Super Concert ’70″ at Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany on September 4, 1970 – the band put on a plane allegedly when Wilson couldn’t be found. The gig featured Jimi Hendrix, Procol Harum, Ten Years After, Cat Mother (a band Hendrix had produced which had a minor hit in America), Cold Blood, Murphy Blend and the Wilson-less Canned Heat.
I bring all this up because – though the narrator does his chilling Twilight Zone voice – there was a lot of territory that still goes uncovered. A big question for me is this: if Janis Joplin had already injected the smack when she went to talk to the clerk at the hotel desk, what if there was foul play? Wouldn’t she have been overcome by a so-called “hot shot” if she couldn’t tolerate it? I do have information from credible sources which might show up in a future story but the “Final 24″ here, though surprisingly informative and – because of that – important, is still not the full story.
by Steve Tomassetti
-- submitted by Ken Voss

It's not often you see an autobiography appear from someone who's been dead for eight years - especially when the work is as important to music fans as a first-hand account of the fatal accident that took the life of Eddie Cochran.
So when "Summertime Blues: A True Rock & Roll Adventure With Eddie Cochran" as written by Eddie's fiancé, songwriter Sharon Sheeley (Ravenhawk Books; ISBN: 978-1-893660-18-2) appeared, it was easy to be a little surprised - and excited.
The book is seeing the light of day now through the efforts of Sharon's son, Shannon Burg, who told me the accounts came from Sharon's journal, which she had intended to publish in book form before her death.
The main theme of the book is the love affair between Sharon and Eddie, whom she termed her "soulmate." The first time she met Eddie (in the Everly Brothers' hotel room), she said to herself, "One day, I'm going to marry that boy." Sadly, it was not to be. While traveling to the London airport on Easter Sunday, 1960 for a return to the States during a break in his British tour, Eddie was killed when their car blew a tire and crashed into a lamppost. Headliner Gene Vincent, Eddie's good friend, suffered a broken collarbone and ribs. Sharon's legs and back were broken and she credited her faith and a miracle that, despite doctor's opinions to the contrary, she ever walked again. In fact, she was clinically dead herself for three minutes and had what she said was an out-of-body experience. Her painful efforts to come to grips with her husband-to-be's death and her ultimate forgiveness of the driver responsible for the accident are poignantly expressed.
But while the two lovers set the tone for the book, there are countless other great tales in "Summertime Blues." We hear how Sharon wrote "Poor Little Fool" after dating Don Everly, then being warned by Phil that his brother was married. She then conned Ricky Nelson into recording the song by claiming Elvis was planning to do so upon his return from the Army.
Speaking of the King, Sharon recounts a date with Elvis to see the movie, "Pajama Game," that ended abruptly when he was spotted by the theatre-goers. The arrogant Paul Anka gets "tarred" (with cold cream) and feathered by LaVern Baker when "Little Miss Sharecropper" has enough of Paul's antics. There's also the story of how Eddie, Freddie Cannon and Jack Scott rescued Sharon from a lecherous hotel house detective. The book shows us the real Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, Buddy Holly and even a side of Chuck Berry most have never seen. Plus there are seventy pages of photographs and memorabilia.
Unfortunately, though there's a small epilogue, the book ends shortly after Eddie's death, leaving the reader craving more. For example, though disk jockey and "Shindig" TV host Jimmy O'Neill is a part of Sharon's story, their five year marriage in the sixties is absent from the book, as is her songwriting collaboration with Jackie DeShannon on hits like "Dum Dum" by Brenda Lee. Sharon's son tells me a sequel may yet see the light of day and, with the care he's shown in preserving Sharon and Eddie's story, I'm hopeful that will indeed happen.
-- Ron Smith /
Here's a recent posting from John Rook, Eddie's childhood friend. Rook credits Cochran with giving him the inspiration to get into radio, a challenge that provided an incredible career for him. Be sure to click on some of the links in John's tribute for even MORE of the story.
Eddie Cochran: Fifty Years and we still “Don’t Forget” him.
Unlike most of the world today, America is transfixed on youth. Those names of the past largely go unnoticed in our society. It’s a change from how it was during a time when some of us recall history was taught in schools and we appreciated learning about earlier times. Now America concentrates on little past last Saturday.
In foreign society, it’s a much different world where those names of the past continue to be recognized. So it was when the BBC paid tribute to my close friend of all those years ago, Eddie Cochran, an early inductee in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, who died fifty years ago this week in a terrible car crash in England.
During a moving hour long tribute to him, the BBC report told of how he influenced dozens of rock’s biggest names including , Paul McCartney, George Harrison, The Who and Rod Stewart, youthful fans of Eddie Cochran.
Largely because he and many rock recording stars of the 50's he introduced me to might benefit, Eddie encouraged me to enter a career in radio, giving up traveling with him that would have placed me in the same car in which he died at just 21 years of age.
Ironic that he would sign every autograph with “Don’t Forget Me” ... and how following the death of his friend Buddy Holly, Eddie instructed me what to do should the same fate be his.
Memories of my days with Eddie are here:
Click here: The Cochran Connection - Eddie Cochran Fanzine
Photo’s are here: Click here: Eddie
and the BBC tribute is here: Click here: Eddie Cochran- Something Else
and England's The Sun is here: Click here: Tribute to rock 'n' roll icon Eddie Cochran The Sun Showbiz Music
I miss you pal ...

And here's what John had to say about Sharon Sheeley ...
Sharon was my close friend and was so until the day she died.
In the years since Eddie Cochran's passing Sharon and I often relived the days we had with him. She suffered more than her share of heartbreak and pain.
I miss her.
John Rook
I had no idea that she had such a successful songwriting career ... there's just NO telling what kind of "beautiful music" these two might have made together had Eddie survived that car crash.
Here's a great page devoted to some of her accomplishments:

Click here: Sharon Sheeley

David Salidor, Micky Dolenz's publicist, sent me an advance pressing of Micky's new Carole King Tribute CD "King For A Day" last week. It won't be available to the public until August 24th ... but it's a CD that fans of Micky's and Carole's music will DEFINITELY want to pick up and add to their collections.
Watch for a complete review next week ... in fact, we might even be able to share a word or two from the Mick-ster himself! Stay Tuned!!! (kk)

The schedule for Schaumburg's Septemberfest has finally been announced ... headlining on the Main Stage on Saturday, September 4th, will be Jim Peterik and The Ides Of March (we gave you a couple of not-so-subtle hints on that one!) followed by The Buckinghams. On Sunday, September 5th, you can catch Foghat live in concert from 8:30 - 10 pm, followed by Schaumburg's Fireworks Display. Closing things out on Labor Day Monday, September 6th, will be The Gin Blossoms.

Speaking of The Buckinghams, a couple of the "formerly of"'s will be performing together in concert on Friday, August 27th (hey, that's my birthday!!!) at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles, IL. That's the night that Brock and Abrams (with special guest star Jimy Sohns of The Shadows Of Knight) are opening up for Paul Revere and the Raiders!!! Abrams (of Brock and Abrams) is Bobby Abrams, long-time guitarist for The Buckinghams ... and the new drummer for Paul Revere and the Raiders is the recently Bucks-departed Tommy Scheckel (Other Brock and Abrams appearances are listed on the website: ... and you'll find Paul Revere and the Raiders tour dates listed on THEIR website, Click here: Paul Revere & the Raiders) Both Tommy and Bobby spent close to 25 years as part of The Buckinghams band.

The Buckinghams were recently part of The Happy Together Again Reunion Show, which has played to RAVE reviews across the country. We were even fortunate enough to be able to post messages from Carl Giammarese of The Bucks and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles along the way to let fans know how things were going from the OTHER side of the stage ... ALL good news ... until we got THIS email the other day:

Hi Kent,
I'm a long time reader of the Forgotten Hits page and this is my first posting.
I just wanted to make a comment on the recent two shows I saw of the this year's "Happy Together" tour featuring The Turtles, etc. The shows I saw were at the Cape Cod Melody Tent and South Shore Music Circus.
One of the acts I went specifically to see, Rob Grill and The Grassroots. were listed in the ads, the handbill and in the marquee as one of the featured acts. Much to my chagrin, when the Grassroots were announced, there was no Rob Grill! There was a singer who was not named, who was slightly "plumper" than Rob and had a higher voice, who was for sure not Rob. Most people didn't realize that he wasn't an original or later member of the group. It was a total rip off that it wasn't even mentioned that Rob Grill wasn't appearing. The only "member" who was in any incarnation (a later one) of the group was the guitarist Dusty. It was decietful and dishonest for the people promoting the show not to announce Rob Grill was not there and just putting on the shill group, hoping that they would get away with it since most people wouldn't know the difference. The problem is some of us DID know the difference and were pretty upset that we had been taken advantage of.
We had heard later that Grill was on the first leg of the tour and had some throat problems. Had they simply announced that at the show, I'm sure folks would have understood. To just put the shill band on was just plain underhanded and has soured me from going to any more of those type shows.
On top of that I had read (on Forgotten Hits) that the artists were doing autograph signings after the shows on the first leg of the tour. At our two shows they announced they weren't going to be signing, even though they were hanging out at the backstage clubhouse area till fairly late after the show. They had pre-signed items at the merchandise table. I managed to get a few autographs from the Buckinghams right after their set and Mark Volman actually chatted with us for about ten minutes and signed.
On Saturday night, Mark Lindsay opened the door of the clubhouse to leave, saw the three people standing there with Raider items and then closed the door again. To his credit, the next night he accepted items to be brought to the backstage clubhouse to be signed. I just didn't understand how they could do the signings at the other shows and decide to not sign toward the end of the tour. I should have demanded my money back for them trying to fool us with a fake act but hiding from the fans who have been loyal to them for over 40 years just was not right either.
Of course, I'm never going to go to any shows featuring any of the groups / acts on the tour again since they were all complicit in the Grassroots lie. Someone should have said something from the stage. They should be thankful there's still fans that come out to see them and support them with our hard earned dollars. Spending a few minutes after a show signing for their fans is a pretty small way of showing their appreciation for the loyalty.
Lenny Scolletta
Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. Obviously, Rob Grill is having health problems again. (Several years ago after multiple hip replacement surgeries, Sonny Geraci of The Outsiders filled some of Grill's dates, singing the hits of both The Grass Roots and his own collection ... fans didn't really feel cheated as they were still treated to a great show by a bona fide oldies performer.) With enforcement like The Truth In Music Act in place, The Grass Roots certainly placed themselves in legal jeopardy by taking the low road. However, not knowing ANY of the circumstances (for all I know, Grill took ill hours before the show was scheduled to start and this was the ONLY way for the band to perform), it really isn't fair to comment. However, with as many bad reviews as I've heard about The Grass Roots recently, I can only say "Buyer Beware" when purchasing tickets for these shows.
From everything I've heard, Mark Lindsay, on the other hand, has been THRILLED doing these shows and is LOVING the fan reaction to his set. (I've also been told that he's been the highlight of many of these shows and is in FINE voice and spirit.) He also recently told Scott Shannon on The True Oldies Channel that for the first time in a VERY long time he is open to some sort of a Paul Revere and the Raiders Reunion, including as many original members as possible, should they be able to work something out. This is GREAT news as Paul and Mark have not been "the best of friends" for many, many years.
I am glad to hear that our buddies in The Buckinghams and The Turtles were cordial and cooperative ... again, these guys have personally told me how much fun they are having doing this concert series ... and already looking forward to doing it again next year! (kk)

And we just heard about a "Cruise Night and Rock And Roll Show" at The Willowbrook Ballroom and Route 66 Dance Club in Willow Springs, IL. They're calling it "Rockin' The Ballroom", Summer of 2010's HOTTEST Summer Event! More details are below:
Host: Willowbrook Ballroom & Route 66 Dance Club
Phone: 708-839-1000
When: Saturday, August 21 from 07:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Where: Willowbrook Ballroom - Grand Ballroom
8900 Archer Ave. Willow Springs, IL 60480
Summer of 2010's Hottest Event - "Rockin' The Ballroom"
Please try to come out and support this charity event.
The Willowbrook Ballroom & The Route 66 Dance Club is hosting a Cruise Night and Rock N' Roll Show
Hosted by: The Goodfellas Car Club - Cruise Night begins at 6:00 p.m. Sharp.
Classic Cars and Bikes shall have a designated area to park.
Dance Awards to best guy, gal and couple dancers
For more information about Ronald McDonald House please click on the following website link:

On Monday night I got to see a fantastic (free) outdoor concert in Merrick, Long Island.
This was brought to you by Lar Entertainment
Thrilling entertainment on stage with:
Emil Stuccio & The Classics
John Kuse & The Excellents
Joe Favale & The Emotions
Randy & The Rainbows
Jimmy Gallagher & The Passions
It's hard to pick just one great group, but my biggest thrill was seeing Jimmy Gallagher reunited with his group from Brooklyn, NY. The group has three original members.
How great they are.
Those of you who live in or near North Brunswick, New Jersey - Stuart Pushkin will be having his monthly doo wop club meeting.
DJ Stu Weiss

Hi Kent!
Wanted you to be one of the first to know that my dad has just signed with John A. Jackson (The Big Heat - Alan Freed Story ... made into a tv movie) and American Bandstand, Dick Clark and the Rise of a Rock 'N' Roll Empire to write his memoirs. Simon and Shuster wants the major part of the manuscript by the late fall. Greg Taylor -- Hollywood screenwriter -- has expressed interest in possibly doing a film:
"I see Charlie's story as rock n roll's answer to 'Its A Wonderful Life'", he said!
I'll send an offical announcement shortly so you can share it with the masses ... but wanted to give you an advance "heads up" on this major deal!
Thanks again for all that you do with Forgotten Hits to keep this great music alive ... and let the fans know about the latest events in the lives of their favorite stars.
Charlie Gracie, Jr.

I'd like to recommend an incredible a cappella group I saw the other night - Straight No Chaser. Friends of mine all over the country have been seeing them and they will be at Harrah's in Atlantic City all summer. Ten guys who met at University of Indiana, someone put them on a youtube clip - and now they are a phenomenon! They did a show of music through the decades, but my favorite was the 50's, when they went through all the best doowop songs ever!
Then last night I went to see a wonderful show in Ocean City, NJ - Ricky Nelson's sons Gunnar and Matthew and two former members of the Stone Canyon Band. Great flashbacks from their family videos,and they nailed just about every song. It's just that I don't know why I always feel like the youngest person in the audience at these oldies shows!
Click here: Ricky Nelson Remembered - 25th Anniversary Tour

Get ready for lots more of those oldies fundraising specials on PBS stations – the 50s / 60s Oldies Board of has news about producer T.J. Lubinsky, who will supply nine more specials for PBS member stations. The shows are based on T.J.’s Pittsburgh-produced concerts and here’s a preview of coming attractions – “Aretha Franklin Presents: Soul Rewind”, for August 2010. “John Sebastian Presents: Folk Rewind” for December, “My Music: Rock, Pop and Doo Wop (March 2011), and “The Last Doo Wop Show on Earth” (December 2012). The 50s / 60s Board is particularly excited about the news that Lubinsky’s TJL Productions now has a pipeline to the archives of Dick Clark Productions. Lubinsky himself says “On the surface, our programs are about music, but like the best PBS programs, they’re about connecting viewers with something important, something truly meaningful in their lives.” Talk about it on 50s / 60s Board.
Tom Taylor / Taylor On Radio
We recently told you about a KILLER PBS Show coming up in November, featuring many of our favorite '60's artists. (For a complete list, scroll or click back to our July 3rd posting.) Great to hear that they are doing so much to help keep this great music alive. That's what we're all about ... and we support ANYBODY else out there dedicated to preserving this musical era. (kk)

Got any RockCon photos or stories to share?
Due to our recent "road trips", we're running WAY behind on our follow-up feature to the big event ... which just means that you guys now have extra time to submit your photos and stories.
We'll try to put something together in about a week to ten days ... so get your stuff in NOW!!!
(We'd love to hear from some of you artists, too ... how was this whole experience? What would you like to see done differently in the future? Did this provide a good opportunity to meet with your fans?)
Who knows ... we just might try to put one of these together right here in Chicago. (In fact, I've already been talking to Charles Rosenay about it!) So let us know your thoughts ... what worked and what didn't ... what would you like to change ... and readers, which artists would YOU like to see at one of these events?
Keep the ideas comin', folks ... and we'll see what we can do! (kk)

I've really been enjoying the songs on your list of summer songs. I listen to a couple of them every day on YouTube. On the honorable mention list, one band is listed incorrectly. "There's No Surf In Cleveland" is by the Euclid Beach Band (not Euclid Street Band). The song is on YouTube:

Lois Dixon
Livonia, Michigan
(formerly of Cleveland, Ohio)
You are ABSOLUTELY right ... obviously, an error / oversight on my part. Consider it fixed. (We certainly should know better ... we've featured this song and this artist several times over the years in Forgotten Hits! Thanks for the correction!) kk


Greetings, Kent ...
Just a quick note to you and your esteemed readers / contributors.
I just created a new Facebook "Like" page: "Put Brian Wilson and Quincy Jones in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame." I've had great response in the first few hours. Not that it will do any good, but at least it gets the message out there.
A lot of the folks have already sent the link on to their Facebook friends. There's little we can do but we have to do our best to 'right the wrong.' Of course, Brian Wilson and Quincy Jones are just the tip of the iceberg but they stand out as blaring omissions of two creative geniuses who have delighted and inspired us spanning six (Brian) and seven (Quincy) decades.
Hope you're having a great summer of 'fun, fun, fun.'
Fred / Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc.
"Music City, USA"
Don't even get me started on The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame again!!! Brian (already inducted as a member of The Beach Boys) and Quincy both certainly deserve recognition for their efforts ... (note my mention of Marty Robbins below, too!) ... but the petitions mean NOTHING to the powers that be on the nominating committee ... they already know who REALLY belongs and who doesn't ... that's why guys like Leonard Cohen and Afrika Bambaataa have been recognized with nominations and inductions over "nobodies" like Brian Wilson and Quincy Jones ... I mean REALLY ... what did THESE guys ever do of note that could POSSIBLY compete with the musical contributions of Cohen and Bamba-Lamba Ding Dong?!?!? (kk)

... and, speaking of Brian Wilson ...

Brian Wilson is offering a VERY limited package for his biggest fans on his website today! Be one of only 300 people to purchase a limited and NUMBERED copy of the new album on vinyl!
Numbered vinyl album of Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
Instantly download "Can't Take That Away From Me" in high quality Mp3 or FLAC audio
Physical CD of Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
Full Digital download of Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin on Aug 17th

Go to to hear clips from the album and see his newly launched site. Thank you for all of your support!

-Team Brian Wilson


>>>Sixty years ago this week, Marty Robbins recorded "Don't Worry" and inadvertently created a new sound -- the fuzz tone (Diane)
>>>The engineer at that session was Glenn Snoddy, one of Nashville's most creative and well-known sound engineers since the late 1940s. Glenn designed a circuit that re-created that "accidental" fuzz, took it to Gibson, and Gibson used his design for their first commercially available fuzzboxes. (David)
>>>Amazing to think that the fuzztone, such an integral part of rock and roll recordings for DECADES, got its start quite by accident on a COUNTRY record!!! Amazing! (Of course, back then ... in the PRE-segregated days of rock and roll ... when country music still made an impression on The Top 40 Pop and Rock and Roll Charts ... Robbins had THREE Top Three Pop Hits ... "A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)" reached #3 on both Billboard's and Cash Box's Top 100 Chart, "El Paso" went all the way to #1 in Billboard, and "Don't Worry" peaked at #3 in both publications as well. It also went to #1 here in Chi-Town.) With the distinction of the introduction of the "fuzz bass", Robbins should be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... if only in the "Early Influences" category ... they are SORELY lacking in Country Artists on their roster, despite their claim to recognize ALL phases of the music that helped to create the "hybrid" known as Rock And Roll. (kk)

IIRC, Robbins also had the first hit penned by the team of Burt Bacharach & Hal David - "The Story Of Life", 1957; #30 on Hot 100, #1 c & w.
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem
Interesting ... I always think of the first Bacharach / David Hit as being "The Blob" by The Five Blobs!!! Now THAT'S a classic!!! (Who knew?!?!?) kk


I recently paid tribute to my long time pal Al Martino on my website.
Right below the "books" you find a link to what I think could become a giant
song for senior married couples. In the days of top 40, "Thank You" would have
been a top ten hit. But that was when artists like Al Martino actually got airplay.

Thanks for letting us feature this one here today ...

All of our Forgotten Hits Subscribers received an email this weekend announcing that we are discontinuing our email newsletter service ... the list has simply grown too large to maintain ... and, for the most part, all we end up sending out these days are reminders to check the website anyway. By now hopefully ALL of you have bookmarked our sites and are checking them frequently. (Although we're not posting every day anymore, we do typically post two or three new entries every week ... and sometimes more.) We still want your comments and memories so please continue to use our email addresses to correspond with us ... (otherwise we won't have anything to run in The Sunday Comments Pages!!! lol)Email us at: or ...
And visit us on the web at: (for all the latest postings)
or (for many of our archived articles, series and specialty countdowns and readerpolls)
Meanwhile, please help us by continuing to spread the word about what we do here ... and thank you, as always, for your on-going support. (kk)

Thank you for your many years of brightening my in-box with your e-mails.
I'll still be visiting the site regularly!
God Bless!
Lea Mea

It has been great reading your mails over the years. I met you and Frannie at a RocsBBq in Long Beach California years ago.
Just saved your website to my fav places.
Take care!
Donna (Fleetwoodgirl ) from the Music Oldies room years ago

Thank you for adding me to your mailing list. I am an avid record collector and I really enjoy your stuff. I've been collecting records since 1964. I have a lot that are older than that now. Thank you very much.
Rock on,

Thanks, Mark ... you'll just have to remember to check the websites from now on to see all the latest postings! (kk)

I plead guilty ... I rely on your reminder every week to check the site. I have too much going on to think about doing it on my own. I do, every week, read every single thing that has been posted, and I have gotten so much enjoyment all these years reading and listening to everything you send us. As long as you promise to keep posting, I promise to keep emailing you stuff to put in! You have been a trooper through all this, but I can imagine how aggravating it is to try to mail when things keep bouncing back. Please know I appreciate all the work and dedication you have been doing!
That's all we're asking you guys to do ... bookmark the site ... and check back regularly! Thanks! (kk)

The site will keep going ... we're just not going to be emailing updates anymore ... our hope is that everyone will continue to visit the web pages, which is where everything will be posted from now on.
Thanks for your continued support, Freddy ... it means a lot ... and please tell the OTHER artists you come in contact with that we would value THEIR participation as well. You've shared some GREAT stories with Forgotten Hits over the years and I hope you will continue to do so ...
When you see something of interest posted on the web page, feel free to email me and share your thoughts and memories ... THAT'S what makes this whole thing work so well!
Thanks again! (kk)

Hi Kent,
Thank you for all the work you have done with the website and information posting. It's great that you have so many people requesting the information but sad that it's too hard to maintain.
I will keep checking the great stuff you have!!
Thanks again!
Judi G.

I want you to know that I just got through book-marking your website and I will check it every day even though I know you won't have anything new posted on it. I really enjoy it. If you think that there is anything I might be able to help you with with any kind of song, let me know.
Good luck,

We'll still be posting several times a week ... so please check back often. We're just not going to be sending out email reminders anymore ... so all you folks out there will have to remember to go to the site from time to time to see what's new.
Thanks for all your support and participation so far ... I hope you'll continue to do so ... I really appreciate it! (kk)

Awwww, I get it, and I DO check your website, but I will miss that "red flag" in my email box. Always hanging in there, I will remain,
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano

Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication. It has not gone unnoticed!
I will continue to check the websites to be sure.
Linette :D

You've done a great job with this site. So much info. I will continue to check the site regularly. Once again, thanks for doing what you do by keeping us all in tune with this wonderful world of music.
Dave Zane
{the Buckinghams}

Mr. Kotal of Kent ~
Say it ain't so!!!!!
I guess it's the end of an era in some ways.
I kind of had a feeling that you might stop sending out stuff. You've had so many problems with AOL. At least the site itself will still be up. People will just have to take the initiative and look for it, instead of waiting for a prompt.
Take Care ~
Ed Pond
It IS the end of an era in many ways ... we started Forgotten Hits back in 1999 with an email that went out to 35 oldies music fans from the AOL Oldies Music Chat Room ... and it has grown and grown from that into what is now an unmanageable list. Up until two years ago we were still doing everything by email ... and, after numerous AOL problems ... all the crack-downs on spam ... etc, etc, etc ... we FINALLY started the websites ... and that's pretty much where everything has been posted ever since. This was just the next logical progression. Hopefully, you've all been going there anyway ... now you just need to remember to do so on your own.
On a related note ... thanks to everybody for being so understanding on this ... let's face it, Ed ... they coulda all gone Pond on me!!! (lol) kk

I can understand where the effort expended would overwhelm you. I’ll look for the postings.
Thanks for keeping us R&R folk fully informed, nice job!
Clark Weber

Dear Gentlemen;
We listen to KFRC 1550 AM with Scott Shannon (crazy guy!!!!!!!!)
Again, we will ALWAYS enjoy your emails!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please, don't ever wonder if we enjoyed your emails --- the answer will ALWAYS BE ... YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your favorite email clients,
Lynda & Bill

Thanks for the kind words ... and PLEASE continue to check the website for all the latest goings-on. (I know for most of you it was SO convenient to have Forgotten Hits delivered right to your mail box every day ... but it's just become unmanageable to do so anymore ... plus SO many new readers have discovered our service by having our work published on the web (where the whole world can see it!!! lol) Hey, we passed 400,000 visitors a week or two ago ... so this REALLY seems to be the way to go. Thanks to all who have helped support our efforts over the years ... and helped to spread the good word of mouth ... we REALLY do appreciate it. (kk)