Friday, January 21, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers

Hi Kent,
Gerri Bender filled me in on your newsletter ... it looks very interesting.
I never knew Del Shannon cut "Please Please Me".
Can I get on your list and have it sent to me?
Thank you,
Hi Howard ... and welcome aboard!

Actually it was "From Me To You" ... Del Shannon's record came out here in The States before The Beatles' OWN version did! (It peaked at #67 on The Cash Box Chart in July of 1963.)
As far as the newsletter goes, pretty much everything is posted right on the website these days ... all we do these days is send out "reminders" to check the site ... but please help us to spread the word to other oldies fans. And remember ... your thoughts, comments and memories are always welcome here! (kk)

>>>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)
Hi Kent.
I am writing in response to the person that was asking about the Grass Roots songs on the Midnight Special. Reed Kailing from Milwaukee is a friend of mine. He was in the group in the early 70s and recently filled me in about the groups TV appearances during that time.
The songs in question are from Don Kirshner's In Concert series and the song Rock and Roll was a band jam led by Reed after the crowd was giving a negative reaction to the songs the band was playing. According to Reed the harder edged 'Rock and Roll', that he led the band through, won the crowd over.
The group did appear on the Midnight Special during that era and sang Midnight Confessions and their current single at the time "Love Is What You Make It". I own the Midnight Special DVD collection. It does not appear that those songs are included yet on any of the home video releases.
I left Reed a message. Perhaps he can respond more in depth about the tv shows and the songs in question.
Phil Nee
Don'tcha just love tracking down all this stuff?!?!? Hope you hear from Reed ... and tell him about us, too!!! (He may be privy to some early "inside" Grass Roots details, too.) Thanks, Phil! (kk)
P.S. How WEIRD to get your email the day before Don Kirshner died!!! Unreal!

I'm not sure what CD I have, but here's an alternate to "Where Were You When I Needed You" ...

On the Grass Roots' hit Let's Live For Today, I thought there were two versions.
In the chorus "I need to feel you inside me" and "I need you to feel you beside me".
I think I have both versions.

Any thoughts? I could hook up my turntable and find them if you need.
Bill Hengels
No, we've got them, too ... and featured both takes a while back in what seems to be our never-ending coverage of The Grass Roots! (lol) I think this was more of a "censorship" issue than anything else. Keep in mind, this WAS 1967. (Today you can get away with saying just about ANYTHING!!!)
Hell, a few years ago, Chet Coppock told our worldwide audience that he lost his virginity to this tune, For God's Sake!!! (lol) kk

The Jay & The Americans version is the one I grew up with. I never knew The Drifters did a protest version. I wonder how it differs from their 'standard' one.
David Lewis

Hi Kent,
Reader Mark wanted to know of the availability of the Drifters’ version of “Only In America” on CD. It’s included on a CD from Kent (the soul arm of UK Ace) titled, “Change Is Gonna Come: The Voice Of Black America 1963-1973”, although I’m not sure about “the original protest lyrics”. Other tracks on this CD include Otis Redding’s version of “A Change Is Gonna Come” and the Impressions’ “We’re A Winner”. All relevant given that yesterday was Martin Luther King Day.
Mike Edwards
We received the "standard" Drifters version from a few readers ... but no leads on this "protest" version that Mark was referring to. Anybody got any ideas on this? (kk)

The lyrics as originally written, as a protest about sitting in the back of the bus, etc, were NEVER recorded by ANYONE. After the song was re-written, the protest was that you had this black group recording a song singing about growing up to be president, in an era when such a thing was not even thinkable (remember, in this era, african american artists couldn't even be pictured on the front of album covers because the record labels felt it would hurt their sales!!).
Read more about it here:
Tom Diehl
Great article ... and a great history lesson. (Makes you wonder what the original lyrics actually were!!!) This is probably why most people have never heard The Drifters' version of this tune ... meanwhile, Jay and the Americans scored a decent-sized hit with their nearly identical cover version. (kk)

>>>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)
FYI, this song is on Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Vol 2.
Bill Hengels
As attested to by one of our readers (in the PREVIOUS "Helping Out Our Readers" column), you've probably got a better chance of inviting Jamestown Massacre over to your house and having them perform this song "live" in your living room than you do of tracking down a copy of "Rock And Roll Roots, Volume 2"!!! Actually, I sent Eddie an MP3 ('cause it's SUCH a great song!) and posted it again on our web page the other day (for the very same reason!) Speaking of which, I'll run reader Scott Sroka's request one more time trying to track down copies of the first three Bob Stroud "Rock And Roll Roots" CDs ...


I was doing a google search and came across your blog this evening. I saw that you, like myself, collect Bob Stroud's Rock 'N Roll Roots CD's. I grew up in Chicago and share this special CD set with my father. Ever year since Vol. 4 came out, he buys the newest one and sends it to me for Christmas. (He is still in Chicago and I have long since moved to Los Angeles.) Once I receive it, I burn him a copy and send it back to him. (He always tells me to keep the original as I'm the collector and he just wants the music) It's become a tradition between us for about 10 years now. Hard as I try, though, I can not hunt down copies of the first three volumes. It looks to be that you have copies of these three ... very cool!
I am usually quite savvy tracking down and buying rare and out of print CD's and LP's (I have over 6,500 CD's and about the equivalent in LP's along with 4 boxes of Cassettes and even some 8 tracks for good measure). Needless to say I have a music addiction and am quite a collector even today in the age of digital. What can I say, that's what I grew up with. I'm sure you can understand that.I am not foolish enough to ask you to sell me your copies ... I know better. Coming from a guy who just dropped $150 on a rare self released CD from a little to unknown band out of Champaign / Urbana on Ebay just yesterday. (Hum is their name, the CD Fillet Show ... it took me 17 years to find a copy!) ...I also hope to someday track down my very own (and I will if it takes me the rest of my life). However, in the mean time can I ask you the very special favor of seeing if ANYONE who reads your Forgotten Hits publication might have additional copies of these first three volumes available?Honestly, it is more for my old man than myself, as that was his era in the 60's. That being said, I too have a fine appreciation for that decade thanks to him as well. Truth be told I am into all different styles from 20's Jazz through today's Heavy Metal and all in between (well, I am not a rap fan or new school pop country but you understand my point). Please, it would mean a great deal to me to be able to share copies of these with my father. Please help out a fellow music lover and the one whom gave me the appreciation I hold for it (my father) that has in turn formatted my entire life. Literally, I was even named after a song (Watching Scotty Grow written by Mac Davis, made famous by Bobby Goldsboro). It would truly be a Christmas to treasure for both my dad and me (or at least late Christmas) if I had copies of Bob Stroud's Rock 'N Roll Roots Volumes 1, 2 and 3. Thanks for hearing me out and have a safe and blessed holiday and New Year!!

Peace Love Music
Scott Sroka
Again, if anybody out there has an extra copy of Volumes 1, 2 or 3, please drop me a note and we'll see if we can help this guy out. Thanks! (kk)

Bob Nasca sent a message to the members of Chicago rock bands 1960's.
Looking for James Bryant
Rob Maertz is looking for an old buddy. Here's what we know so far from Rob:I wonder if anyone recalls this band The Proper Strangers.
Bobby Sims, a member of Proper Strangers, was also a founding member of the band Rotary Connection. My main interest is I'm trying to find out whatever happened to James Bryant, who played organ with the Proper Strangers for a few years. I worked with James in Wisconsin bands for a few years.Jim's one major accomplishment was managing the Neighborhood when they recorded "Big Yellow Taxi", and I was told he had something to do with producing the song.He played / recorded under the names Jim Bartleme, Jamie Bryant, James Bryant and, according to Gary Myers' "On That Wisconsin Beat", Jim also used the name James O'Conner.
I know that this one has been circulating through a few sources here in town ... but if anyone out there can provide a lead or some contact information, please let me know. Thanks! (kk)