Monday, January 17, 2011


Here's the latest batch of inquiries from our readers ... if you can provide some answers or information on any of these topics, please drop us an email at

Anthony & The Sophomores - Play Those Oldies Mr. Dee Jay

Mercury Records #72103
Written by: "Madera", White, Finizio, Pirolo.
Could that be the Philadelphia song writing duo, John Madara and Dave White?
Know who Finizio is, but Pirolo is unknown. My guess, since this song was modified, credit was given to both the original writers and those who modified it.
This version possibly contains the original lyrics, Ex "Play Those Oldies Mr. Bassman". Not even sure when it charted, since Record and Music Historian, Paul Wolpow, didn't provide any dates.
Not a bad ditty of a song; assume to be recorded about 1963. Maybe Kent (or others) can obtain information on this particular recording, such as, where it was recorded (assume Philly); what is this version (maybe what was offered to Mercury Records before it was modified and re-recorded)?; what was the first major hit to contain the word "Oldies"?
As with many other Philadelphia artists, Anthony & The Sophomores ended up in Monophonic sound. Though this appears to be from tape, the recording quality is a bit crude, even after I enhanced it ...

Jersey John
I sent your letter to John Madara but hadn't heard anything back by press time ... maybe he'll respond once he sees this up on the website. (We covered this song briefly in our FH Interview but nothing was said that would shed any new light on your questions and comments.) Meanwhile, maybe some other Philly folk might like to chime in with THEIR thoughts and memories. (I still say "Play Those Oldies, Mr. Dee Jay" should have been a HUGE hit nationally ... EVERY Top 40 jock had the PERFECT lead in ... or exit song for their program with this one!) kk

Check this out!
Whatever became of the Silhouettes?
I love that song!
Wild Bill
Anybody out there care to put together a Silhouettes career retrospective for our readers?

I'd be happy to run it! (kk)

Does anybody ourt there have a copy of Only In America by the Drifters with the original protest lyrics?
I'd love to hear it.
I'm not familiar with that at all ... so now I'D love to hear it, too!!! Anybody have a copy? (kk)
re: YEH YEH:
>>>I think it was in one of your mailing where you stated that some of the best seldom heard songs can be heard in food stores. Well, I was in one and they played a song I hadn't heard in ages!!!I didn't know title or artist!!! I dropped everything and stood below the ceiling speaker listening closely! I later was told it was Georgie Fame's "Yeh, Yeh". What a fantastic song!!! (John)

>>>Yep, one of MY very favorites, too ... oldies jocks on the list should this one a spin, too! Another bona fide Top 20 Hit that gets virtually NO airplay these days. "Yeh, Yeh" ROCKS!!! (kk)
>>>The stereo version actually is the British single version (conveniently the youtube video shows the british single ... which was mono only, the stereo mix first showed up I believe around 2001). The sax solo was cut out of the US 45 (why?? it really makes the song better!). He also cut a version of the song in German with a different backing track, in an era when it was cheaper to use the original backing track (I guess the multitrack tape had already been lost by that point). tom
Hello Kent,
I REALLY love your site. I have the German version of Yeh! Yeh! by Georgie Fame, if you need it and will gladly send it to you.
Brad Howard
Sure, I'd love to hear it! This is a GREAT song in ANY language! (And notice that the German version contains the sax solo, too!) kk

I heard that there's a new lead singer for The Brooklyn Bridge.
Any idea who it might be?
It sounds like members Fred Ferrara and Les Cauchi have taken over the main vocal duties ... I double-checked the official Johnny Maestro / Brooklyn Bridge Website to see if any kind of an announcement had been posted regarding a "new hire" ... and didn't see anything there about it. I also emailed Lois Dixon, President of the Johnny Maestro Fan Club, to see if she was able to shed any new light on this subject ... and she had some VERY big news to share.

Here's all the latest information. (kk):
Johnny wanted The Brooklyn Bridge to keep his music alive, so he picked Joel Katz to fill in for him during the final weeks of his illness. Katz also sang lead for the group for several concerts after Johnny's death.
In August 2010, Roy Michaels announced on Facebook and on his official website that he was the new lead singer.
Les Cauchi made this announcement on Facebook:
The Brooklyn Bridge has several concerts scheduled, which should be posted on their website soon:
Two shows are already posted for February, and they are doing three shows in south Florida in early March. Original members Fred Ferrara and Les Cauchi continue to sing backup.
I should also mention that today, January 17, is the one-year anniversary of Johnny Maestro's final concert. It was at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. He closed the show with "You'll Never Walk Alone" ... the last song he would sing onstage with The Brooklyn Bridge.
Lois Dixon
Wow, then our timing on this is impeccable! Thanks for all the details, Lois! (kk)

I was watching a biography on Jimi Hendrix and thought of a guy I met in Viet Nam.
I was driving my five ton truck and a bunch of grunts hopped on for a ride. One guy rode with me in the cab. He was telling me about Woodstock and how he had been there with a group called New Colony Six. I was really into music there but couldn't place the name of group and didn't know much about Woodstock till I got back. We were having other pressing things to think about like getting our loads through the country without getting hit. I remembered the name of the group to this day and decided to look it up on Google and that's how I came across your site. I would have loved to have known the guy's name and how he's doing.
Does anyone have a contact for the group or know if any members went to VietNam in 1970 to March of 1971? He could have just worked with the band but I thought he said he played with them.
R. Carter
We're in contact with MOST of the members of The New Colony Six so I'm happy to pass your email around and see if it rings a bell with anyone. (I even checked with NC6 Historian Jerry Schollenberger and Chet Coppock, local sports personality who roadied for the band way back when!)
For starters, just to be clear, The New Colony Six did NOT perform at Woodstock (but I suppose one of them COULD have attended the concert ... or, perhaps he was simply reporting back about some of the music events going on back home to a fellow comrade in arms.) What will really narrow this down is determining if any of them then served in Viet Nam in 1970 / 1971. (The group continued performing and recording for a few years after that so it would have had to have been somebody that was with the band in '69 but then left either due to being drafted or enlisting I guess.)
Here's what we've found out so far:
I wonder if this is the same guy who once found me by phone – I have heard this before … Since I am unaware of any NC6ers, even those post my departure, who were in the military and went to Viet Nam, maybe it was one of the roadies. Besides Chet Coppock, I recall some of our other roadies’ names: Steve Thorpe; “Fat” Marty, whose last name escapes me but I think Bruce Gordon would know it because we talked about him in the past; Rick Sahnook (not positive about the spelling but Rick was Native American and that looks about right). However, I don’t know if any of them were drafted or involved in Viet Nam. Wait --- I might have it --- see if Bruce Sneath is the name. Bruce was to be our bass player and even did some 4 AM bar gigs with us that first summer as I recall. Gerry Van Kollenberg and I still cannot put the sequence together as Bruce being pre- or post- Wally but we both concluded it must have been pre- because he then went into the service at which point I think Walt filled his spot. When he was discharged, he spent time traveling with us as advisor, buddy, roadie, bill collector (collected checks from the promoters), etc., so that could be the connection, or it might be that Bruce was in the military way too early to meet the timeframe in R. Carter’s note. Chic may still have a means to get in touch with Bruce and by copy of this note, presuming they have not floated away from all the flooding in San Diego ... he may respond to you and might even be able to clear up the Sneath sequence of events for Gerry and me! Anyway, Kent, you and yours have a super Christmas.
Peace to all,
Ray Graffia, Jr.

I know for a fact that the New Colony Six NEVER appeared or performed at Woodstock ... I also know that none of the original band members were ever in Viet Nam. All of the guys were draft-deferred college students while being in the group at the same time.
After reading Ray's response, I would have to agree with his suggestion that it was either Bruce Sneath (a very early, non-recording band member) or one of the roadies that worked for the group at some point. The only other possibility would be that (very short-time) band member Ellery Temple (who only appeared on the "Treat Her groovy" 45), might have went into the military after his short stint with the band ... Ellery passed away a few years ago, so there's no way to find out from him.
It's also entirely possible that the person who posed this question to FH is confusing the New Colony Six with possibly another group from the same era who used the "New" word in their name (such as The New Hope, The New Wave, etc ... )
Sorry for not being able to offer a precise answer to this question, but one may not exist.
Jerry Schollenberger

Ray passed our email along to a couple of the other original New Colony Six members ... so we got THESE guesses, too!

Here's my story, and I'm stickin' to it ... (hmmm, could be a song??? ... whatever.) Right after graduation from St. Pat's, Gerry, Chic and myself were in different garage bands playing around the area. Chic's band was the Playboys and the bass player was Bruce Sneath. After the success at St Pats with the Beatles knock-off, the Patsmen was formed with Chic, Gerry, Ray, Pat and Bruce. I can't recall who was on keyboard (or accordian???) (Chris Wolski – whose mom made him quit since he was two years younger than C, G, P and me … Ray Graffia, Jr.). I was in another group, but we all hung together and I was going to work with them as their first Road Manager. Before anything really got off the ground, Bruce got the dreaded letter from the SS (that's Selective Service for anyone younger than us) and was headed off to 'Nam. That would be the summer of '64. It seemed to make sense for me to step in, so I quit my other group, sold my bright red Danelectro and amp, bought a Fender Jazz bass and dual Showman (to match Gerry's) and became the bass player for the Patsmen. Shortly afterwards (and that's another story), we became the New Colony Six. I can't recall if I introduced Craig to the guys before I was in the group (meaning someone else was already there) or afterwards. Any help there, guys??? And that's the whole truth, give or take a lie or two (hmmm, could be a good tag line from a movie??? ... whatever)
Walt Kemp

As I remember, I joined the band in the summer of 1964 and Bruce Sneath was the Bass Player when I joined. (We worked that Go-Go place on Rush Street then. It was not too long after that that Bruce told us he had been drafted and had to go into the army. I also remember we went to California in 1965, if I'm not mistaken, and after Bruce had left, Wally became the Bassist. Not sure how long Bruce was in the Army, but I remember hearing, from Chic I think, that he was back associated with the band as a road manager. By that time, Ronnie had replaced me, so it was after 1966 and might have been as late as 1970 or ‘71. (Could not have been that late, Kent, since Chic left before I did and I left in August of ’69 … Ray Graffia)
And yes, that is true, The New Colony Six did not perform at Woodstock; I think we would have remembered that. This is about all I recall on personnel. Hope this helps somewhat.

We're going to throw every name we can at this guy ... but timing-wise this all sounds WAY too early. Bruce Sneath would have been a Patsman perhaps ... but if he was called into military service in 1964 or 1965 (BEFORE the band became The New Colony Six), it's unlikely he'd have very many stories to tell ... they hadn't even made their first record yet at this point. It's also about five years too early to run into R. Carter in Viet Nam ... and, even if he HAD been in the service that long, how would he have known all about the Woodstock thing? I think we're either focusing on the wrong guy ... or, as Jerry Schollenberger suggested, R. Carter's got the wrong "New" band. (Or somebody could have just been blowing smoke ...
several years ago I received a few emails from a woman ... I wanna say down in Florida ... that was questioning whether or not the guy she was dating really was a former member of The New Colony Six, as he had claimed to be. She just found too many holes in the stories he told her and figured that since I was from Chicago, I would automatically know if the guy was for real or not. She even sent me several pictures to compare to old NC6 album covers and such. Turned out the guy was a complete fake ... and believe me, he's not the ONLY one we've run across over the past twelve years of doing this. (This is an even more likely scenario when you're talking about some of the "faceless" bands who performed back in the day ... if they weren't household names, it was unlikely very many folks could name ... or recognize ... most of them. And, with these bands changing their line-ups as often as they did, you sometimes had a case of trying to keep up with a revolving door of group members! As you can see above, even some of the band members who were THERE don't remember all the specifics after all this time!)
Over the years, we've run into people who have invented COMPLETELY new lives for themselves by claiming to be somebody they're not ... an even greater risk when the Internet is involved since you can tell anybody virtually ANYTHING and they have no way of proving or disproving it. (kk)

I even talked to Chet Coppock, former New Colony Six Roadie during the band's hey-day to see what HE remembered:
kent ...
the closest i got to woodstock was the regal theater ... damn, i miss those days ...
i only made about fifty buck a week but had the thrill of being at 2120 where the 6 turned out so many great songs ... plus i loved ray and ronnie rice ... i know "the vet" wasn't steve thorpe or fat marty ... frankly, i'm at a loss ...
i really would love to see ray ... lets go check out the colony next time they play ...
i'll buy dinner ... we can laugh about the bit i used to do with the band where i impersonated wayne cochrran ... ya, i miss those days when wayne was playing the old happy medium on rush street ...

the best,
chet coppock
I wish I could have seen the band during their original hey-day ... I hear they really tore it up in concert back then. You've got a date for dinner ... next gig I know about is Reggie's in April (but I'm sure Ray can fill us in on any other details we should know about!)
I remember going to see Woodstock (the movie) the weekend it opened ... I was TOTALLY blown away. So much so that even with close to a three hour running length, we still sat through it twice ... I just couldn't get enough of this great music ... and went out and bought the album the very next day (and have probably watched that film at least 25 times since, including most recently on the 40th Anniversary of the event!)
I remember trying to talk a friend of mine into going ... I wasn't even 16 yet ... there's absolutely NO way we EVER would have gotten away with it ... and, in hindsight, no way I could have handled that whole scene anyway. (I was a pretty sheltered, naive 16 year old!!! lol) My buddy said that they'd never pull it off ... no way that many big name acts were going to show up for the same festival! Who knew!
A couple of years later that same friend tried to talk me into heading out to New York to see George Harrison's "Concert For Bangla Desh" ... this time I was the one who said, "What the heck do I want to go to New York to see George Harrison perform with Ravi Shankar for?!?!?" Little did I EVER dream what an amazing night that would turn out to be!!! (kk)
Chet is one-of-a-kind and a great guy to boot; you’ll have a ball at dinner, especially since C.C.’s picking up the check! And he flat-out killed as Wayne Cochran – with Steve Thorpe (co-roadie at the time) on trumpet, and the band doing choreography in support ... we really looked forward to that part of the show as much as they did.
As things stand today regarding upcoming gigs, our first group appearance of any kind in 2011 is indeed the show at Reggie's to help out with Jimy’s medical expenses so, presuming nothing else comes up positively (such as another gig) or negatively (like another death-related benefit), we’ll hope to see you both there in April.

Stay warm and hope all this input helps out the reader with the inquiry; please send him my personal thanks and all NC6 band members’ (present and past) gratitude for his service, OK?

If any of the other late '60's / early '70's New Colony Sixers can shed any light on this, we would LOVE to hear from you! (kk)

Meanwhile, here's another local hit worth repeating ...

Hey Kent,
I wanted to ask if anybody has an mp3 of Jamestown Massacre - Summer Sun, that they could send me? I've looked on iTunes, Amazon, Deep Discounts and other sites but cannot find this song anywhere. There are a couple of postings on YouTube but the sound quality is not so good. Can anyone help me out? I'd really appreciate it. It's such a great song!! Sounds like it should have been on Chicago's III album, lol!!
Thanks for your help,
Eddie Burke,
Orange, CT
Well, I'm certainly happy to run it again. What a GREAT song! (And one of your Summer Favorites this past summer, too, based on the votes our readers cast from all over the country.) This is one of those that ABSOLUTELY should have been a HUGE hit ... but nationally it never climbed any higher thatn #78 in Cash Box Magazine. Here in Chicago it reached #20 ... but deserved to be a Top Ten Hit across the boards. Lead vocalist Dave Bickler later went on to front Survivor. (kk)

Hey Kent,
Thank You so very much for sending this song! I agree, it should have been a huge hit! I will share it with all my friends here in the east who may not have heard it!
Thanks Again!!
Eddie Burke,
Orange, CT

I was hoping this find would turn out positive, since a previous find just yielded Fox On The Run in its crudest demo form. I'm not sure what this (snippet) is as no information is provided. An early take? Recorded at? Date? Anything! Some others are stated as previously unreleased outtakes, but not this one. Same holds true for Fox On The Run, also included, similar to this. The sound was unfinished, so I touched it up. Maybe you have a Sweet expert at FH. Great group! Thank You!!
Little Willy UK: 1972, US: 1973
Jersey John
"Little Willy" is clearly a fan favorite here in Forgotten Hits ... this whole thing kicked off in the Ross On Radio Column a few weeks back and we're STILL getting responses! So I guess I'll fuel the fire a little bit further by saying ... "Hey, anybody else out there think 'Little Willy' sounds just a little bit like 'Quick Joey Small', an early bubblegum hit by The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus from 1968?" (And wouldn't THAT be a great one to feature in our new "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature???) It went all the way to #18 in Cash Box Magazine back in the Fall of 1968. Ah, what the heck ... we'll just feature it here today instead! (kk)

Seems like EVERY time we feature The Grass Roots, we get more and more letters about The Grass Roots! (lol) Not that there's anything wrong with that ... we've got a couple of their tracks planned for our new "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature, too. Meanwhile, here's a few letters we received in the past week or so:
Since you brought up the Grass Roots, one of my all-time favorites, can this reader get some help?
(1) As a college student in the summer of 1971, I was visiting relatives in Ohio and was listening to a lot of radio ... and keeping notes! One thing I heard was a Pubic Service spot, probably 60 seconds, for Smokey the Bear & forest fire prevention ... sung by the Grass Roots! My notes read "first verse country style." Anybody got this?
(2) A reel of music taped off TV ... unfortunately, it's long gone, but the written contents remains. Based on the line up, the time period is 1973-1974. There are three Grass Roots cuts: Temptation Eyes and Midnight Confessions, and I remember one of these was interesting because it was a lot slower than the normal version, but I can't recall which. The 3rd cut was what I wrote down as "Rock 'n' Roll" and I believe this was a title, not a description. Nearest I can find is "Midnight Special" 3/23/73, hosted by Lou Rawls ... they performed "Midnight Confessions" but also "Love Is What You Make It", so that wouldn't be it. Any Grass Roots fans got a clue?
Thanx a ton!
--- stolf
Well, we have quite a few Grass Roots fans on the list apparently, so let's see if anybody comes back with anything. A lot of this "Midnight Special" stuff is coming out on DVD right now, so you may want to check their website, too.
I'll never forget a record convention I went to back in the '80's ... some guy was going table to table asking for ANYTHING by The Grass Roots, primarily looking for old photos and / or video of appearances. Seems he was a latter-day member of the band and was trying to build his own collection of memorabilia that he literally lived through. We've seen it SO many times ... these artists are so much a part of the moment that they don't think to set aside some collectibles and mementos of the day, often having to "buy back their past" at a premium at a later day, just leave something for their family to remember them by. Kinda sad, really. That's why it means so much to us when we rekindle a long forgotten memory ... both for the music fans AND the artists! It's really what Forgotten Hits is all about. (kk)

>Their first release (a cover of the Bob Dylan song ... again, in true Byrds / Turtles fashion) ... "Mr. Jones" failed to chart. (kk)

Failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100, true, but it did "Bubble Under" in Billboard at #121. It fared a bit better in Cash Box, hitting #105 on its "Looking Ahead" chart (the equivalent of "Bubbling Under"), and it actually spent three weeks in Record World's Top 100, peaking at #95.
-– Randy Price

Here's one of my favorite Grass Roots tracks again ... this being the special WMAK / Nashville Mix of their "Sooner Or Later" single ... sent into us by FH Reader David Lewis a couple of years back ...

And, speaking of David Lewis ...

It's really easy to get these two versions of "Where Were You When I Needed You" mixed up. The Fulton version and the Grill versions you posted the other day were reversed.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: They have since been reversed back ... I swear I listened to these three or four times each because I was SO sure I was going to mix them up ... then ended up doing so anyway!!! lol kk)
I kept the files you sent a couple of years ago, which were correct. To further verify, the Fulton / Sloan version is on the original Dunhill 45 (not a re-pressing) -- and that's the version you had labeled as Grill's today. And to triple verify, the version on the Golden Grass LP and the other Greatest Hits LP matches the one you had labeled as Fulton today, which of course is Grill.
Here's the surefire fail-safe way to keep these straight. In the original, at just past a minute into the track, Bill / Phil says "I've already decided" with just a slight break in the voice after the word "already". Listen a few times and you may detect some John Wayne effect in that line. In Rob's vocal, he says that phrase smoothly. Also, Rob's voice is a little higher and he has a little bit of a southern accent. Several of these releases and re-releases have the music eq'd slightly different, so don't let that fool you. Even on a scratchy original Dunhill 45, including the one posted on YouTube, you can hear what I describe above in Fulton / Sloan's voice.

David Lewis

>>>To answer your SPECIFIC question, it is MY understanding that P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri ultimately sang EVERY song as it was released on The Grass Roots' first album. (Also titled "Where Were You When I Needed You", it failed to chart.) However, Bill Fulton did receive credit on the LP ... (chalk the experience up as part of his fifteen minutes of fame) ... so who knows!!! (Quite honestly, I'm not sure ANYBODY knows for sure anymore. I once read an interview with P.F. Sloan where he admitted that even HE couldn't tell the difference between the tracks ... and had long since forgotten which version of which songs were ultimately used on the LP!!!) kk

Somehow this falls apart when Sloan says he really doesn't remember. It seems he'd know his own voice and could certainly clarify whether that's Fulton or himself on the original Dunhill release. Is he maintaining the mystery intentionally, just for fun? I've also read from another Bedouin guy that Sloan went back and replaced Fulton's vocal with his own just prior to the original being mastered and pressed, but that could of course be just more hearsay. Phil should let us know so I can sleep nights.
LOL ... for some reason I thought P.F. Sloan passed away a couple of years ago ... but apparently not. Checking several websites dedicated to his songwriting only adds more confusion to the mix. At this stage, I don't know that we'll EVER really know for sure who sang what! And everybody who DID sing his songs back then did so in a way that mimicked Sloan's style anyway, so EVERYTHING sounded like Sloan singing! (kk)

Confusing things even FURTHER (again!!!), David also sent me THIS article:
And here's a review of a 1994 CD that says it includes both the Sloan / Barri vocal and the Fulton vocal. Are you familiar with this particular CD? And did they really get a Sloan / Barri vocal along with the Fulton vocal on Where Were You When I Needed You?
David 'Where Were You When I Needed You' reviewed
Band: Grass Roots

Title: Where Were You When I Needed You
Released: 16. Aug. 1994
Media: cd
This first album with the Grass Roots name mostly features PF Sloan and Steve Barri who produced and wrote the songs and performed them under the Grass Roots name. Note: This is NOT the Rob Grill led Grass Roots who scored big with "Midnight Confessions", "Temptation Eyes", or "I'd Wait a Million Years". Not willing to hit the road, Sloan & Barri hired a new band twice, the first being a short lived stint by a group led by Bill Fulton and his version of the 'Roots has a couple of songs here. His vocal version (same track) of "Where Were You When I Needed You" was on the original LP version of this album, however, for the CD release, the original hit single version with Sloane and Barri gets the nod. Note: The lead vocal was re-recorded yet a 3rd time with Rob Grill and that is the superior version which still has not seen the light of digital day. It's only appearance was on the Golden Grass vinyl collection in 1968. There are other pleasant folk-rock songs here, especially "Only When You're Lonely",and a nice take on Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man (Mr Jones)", along with a shoulda been hit - "Tip Of My Tongue". The CD release adds a few extra tracks, including folky covers of "I Am a Rock", "You Baby", and "Eve Of Destruction" that are so so.

Anybody out there got a copy of this CD? Maybe you can check it out and get back to us ... or send us copies of the tracks in question.

And, in what may be the FINAL word on all of this ... we heard from P.F. Sloan himself (by way of David Lewis):
Here's an email I just received. I don't know how Phil could have obtained my email address, and I don't know which forum or discussion group he's replying to me from. I did some checking and it looks like this truly is his email address. Maybe he reads FH as a lurker.
A lot of these artists have "Google Alerts" that notify them when they are mentioned on the web ... we've heard from several over the years who found Forgotten Hits because we featured something about them on our site ... and a few have even stuck around to talk about OTHER music, too! (lol) I get three or four of these notices every single day and am AMAZED to see how many other websites are quoting from Forgotten Hits ... NEVER would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes.
If this really IS from P.F. Sloan, then this has got to be the final word on this topic ... but I sure would like to get my hands on that CD that you mentioned above just to be sure! (kk)
It's probably Rob Grill ... there aren't any recordings out there with my lead vocal ...
hope that helps ...
pf sloan