Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some Mid-Week Comments And News

Just a few late-breaking tidbits to share today ...

We'll have more for you tomorrow and over the weekend!

re: UP-COMING SHOWS (Including A Couple This Weekend!):
Here's a reminder to all the friends and fans on my inform-list that the California tour starts this Saturday, January 15 at the VORTEX in San Francisco. It's my only Northern California date. If you're in the area, come hear me and lug a mess of friends with you.
The Young Elders and Matthew Edwards & The Unfortunates are also on the bill.
The other shows will be in the L.A. area. Chief among them is THE COFFEE GALLERY BACKSTAGE on Tuesday the 18th. It's a wonderful, intimate venue and the great John Beland will also be appearing.
Here's their web site blurb:
BOB LIND with Special Guest JOHN BELAND ...

BOB LIND ... Four decades ago, singer / songwriter Bob Lind changed the face of American music with his stunning megahit "Elusive Butterfly of Love." Since then, his songs have been recorded by more than 200 artists including Cher, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Nancy Sinatra, Hoyt Axton, Glen Campbell and The Four Tops. His music continues to be covered today. But there's no experience quite like seeing this dynamic performer delivering his spellbinding songs in person. Singing alone, with just his acoustic guitar, Lind is edgy, fearless and passionate onstage. His songs hit the heart like a wrecking ball. He has the rare ability to make audiences laugh and cry – often at the same time. His obvious love of performing and rapport with his audiences create an atmosphere of rare intimacy.
JOHN BELAND ... After two decades as the musical force behind the FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS, JOHN BELAND has flown off on his own to embark on a solo career. JOHN's show is an intimate journey through 30 years of country and pop music. His experiences are unmatched and his songs are some of the most heartfelt tunes you will ever hear. This country / rock pioneer shares both his experiences and his soul in a delightful evening of acoustic music that captures his amazing songwriting talent. Over the past three decades JOHN BELAND's songs, vocals and guitar playing have graced the concert stages and recordings of such legendary names as DOLLY PARTON, GARTH BROOKS, RICKY NELSON, LINDA RONSTADT, THE BELLAMY BROTHERS, KIM CARNES, NICOLETTE LARSON, JOHNNY CASH, GLENN FREY, J.D. SOUTHER, GENE CLARK, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, WAYLON JENNINGS, R.B. GREAVES, DON EVERLY, RITA COOLIDGE, ROGER McGUINN, BUCK OWENS, ALISON KRAUSS, BOBBY BARE, DAVID ALLAN COE, PERCY SLEDGE, ODETTA, PETER YARROW, JOAN BAEZ, MEL TILLIS, THE OAKRIDGE BOYS, JOHNNY TILLOTSON, BILLY JOE ROYAL, FREDDY WELLER, CHARLIE RICH, ARLO GUTHRIE, RINGO STARR, MAC DAVIS, THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS and many more. The other details of the tour are here on my web site gigs page:
In my best, "Marley" voice, let me rattle my chains and warn you that if you're friends with me on FaceBook, you will be visited by this notice again in the form of an FB message. There's a lot of overlap, but I don't want to risk missing anyone.
See you there.

Bob Lind

Great news, Bob ... hoping some of our California readers will have a chance to stop by and check out the show. And please say hello to John Beland for us, too ... his name came up recently in Forgotten Hits and he was kind enough to drop us a note when he saw it there! (kk)

Meanwhile, it looks like Davie Allan has a gig coming up this Saturday, too!

In fact, Davie tells us he'll be opening the show with "Shape Of Things To Come"!!! (Now how cool is THAT?!?!?!)

And, speaking of "Shape Of Things To Come" ...

>>>We released an instrumental version of Nothing Can Change The Shape Of Things To Come with Davie Allan and The Arrows, but I think you indicated to me that Davie had said that he did not play on the Max Frost & The Troopers version. When I listen to the record it sure sounds like Davie Allan, but I will defer to Davie’s memory with respect to whether or not he played guitar on the record. I do remember that Larry Knechtel and Hal Blaine, along with other major studio musicians from California played on the record. (Mike Curb)
Curb must be mixing up my single with the vocal version. I know for a fact that we (the Hollywood Wrecking Crew and myself) played on the soundtrack of the film but we did not play on that track.
Did he tell you about the deal with Sundazed to re-release the 60's soundtracks on CD?!
By the way, we are opening our set with "Shape Of Things To Come" on Saturday.
Davie Allan
I didn't speak with Mike Curb directly ... his correspondence came through Joel Whitburn (who also related an interesting Davie Allan / Larry Knechtel story for our readers ... see below.) kk
Here's those WILD in the Street dudes playing Chicago in Oct of 68! Mike Dugo's buddies, the Outspoken Blues, also getting some PR.
Clark Besch

Awesome!!! I didn't know these guys actually TOURED!!! (I wonder who the actual band was!!! Obviously Christopher Jones didn't go out on the road with them ... so was this actually Paul Wibier and Mom's Boys? Damn, I wish he'd answer our emails!!!)
And check out these other acts ... Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters, The Cryan' Shames, The Mauds, The Flock and The Grass Roots ... ALL appearing at The Wild Goose just days apart! Blue Cheer, Canned Heat and Iron Butterfly. And a virtual "Who's Who" of local bands that we ALWAYS heard about on the radio: Little Boy Blues, Four Days And A Night, Shady Dayz, The Nickel Bag ... unbelievable!!! (Of course I was too young to go clubbin' back then ... but MAN, what an exciting time this was on the streets of Chicago!!!) kk

Speaking of Soundtracks ... and Larry Knechtel ...

Just listen to the incomparable "London Bridge" by Bread, if you want to hear some great piano and keyboard work by Larry. What a great song!!
Clark Besch

This is a great track from their first LP ... but I don't think that's Knechtel on piano on this track. (While several session musicians are credited in the liner notes, Larry isn't one of them!) He would play on some tracks down the road and then officialy joined the band a couple of albums later. (Bread founders David Gates, James Griffin and Robb Royer had all been doing studio session work at the time, too, which is how they all met each other and came to know Larry ... ultimately, they decided to put a band of their own together and the rest, as they say, is history. Each of these guys had played in a variety of non-hit-making bands, placed songs with other artists as songwriters and done some production work and background vocals so when they finally joined forces, they clicked immediately. I LOVED their stuff ... some of the best Soft Rock of the '70's!) kk

And here's that Davie Allan / Larry Knechtel story again from the other day ...

>>>Here's something I remember about Davie Allan ... when I was visiting with Duane Eddy in Franklin, Tennessee, his neighbor, Larry Knechtel, came over and joined us for dinner. Duane had a copy of my Top Pop Singles book and he asked Larry to browse through it and tell us all the hits that he played on. We only got through about the middle of the “C’s” and he amazingly knocked off about 20-25 titles. I distinctly remember in the “A’s” that he did mention playing on some Davie Allan sessions. We never got to “Max Frost”, but I would bet that he was in that session also! (Joel Whitburn)

Well, according to Davie Allan, Knechtel and The Wrecking Crew were NOT part of these sessions, leading me to believe that Paul Wibier's band handled the whole thing. (Of course if we could ever get him to confirm this, we could put this all to bed once and for all!!!) kk

Whose voice is that?
He did tons of voice work in the sixties and I can't remember his name.
Well, it's a pretty safe bet that it's NOT Ted Williams ... who seems to be the ONLY voice-over guy getting any attention these days!!! I asked Clark Besch (who supplied the clip) and Davie Allan (who worked on so many of these soundtracks) if THEY could help identify the man behind the curtain ... and here's what I got back (kk):
Actually, I do not know. Most of these 12" movie promos never carry much info. It could possibly be Gary Owens, but does not sound exactly like him. I would guess it to be one of the major jocks of the LA 68 scene, as they are often used in national ads at that time. I have the Real Don Steele doing a 1:30 promo for Johnny Rivers' "Realization" LP and Casey Kasem was doing ads for "Three Easy Pieces" back in 70 on American Top 40. However, it could be any LA jock, IMO.
Clark Besch

It's one of my all time favorite voice over heroes: Paul Frees.
Davie Allan

And, speaking of Ted Williams ...

Ya think??? I was leaning more toward O.J.!!!
yeah ... like if obama and oj had a baby ... lol

>>>I don't want to sound cynical here but I'm not quite sure how a homeless guy is so up on pop culture and things like Susan Boyle ... kinda like the homeless kids we saw last year at the soup kitchen being notified via their cell phones. Hey, I know how much MY cell phone bill is each month ... and I ALSO know that it comes to my home address ... so I never quite got THAT one either!!! (kk)
You know cell phone companies can offer paperless billing. I know the one my family uses does.

(Shameless plug upon request)

OK, so now the homeless guy has a computer, right??? And where exactly does he plug it in?!?!? (kk)

Here's another take on Ted Williams ... from Dan Ingram ...
David Lewis
Click here: By Ken Levine: Dan Ingram speaks out on Ted Williams

Hi Kent,
Do you see the irony in this Ted Williams saga?
Working in radio is typically the CAUSE and not the REMEDY for homelessness.
I say send the guy to barber college, right?

Jim Shea

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Hey, no disrespect to Mr. Williams ... he was creative and smart enough to get himself noticed ... and now it's all turned into a media frenzy (although Frannie told me this morning that she heard he was checking himself in for rehab.) More power to him ... like I said, not many people get a second chance and I say he should go for it with everything he's got. I just cannot help but point out the OTHER side of things with so many GREAT jocks out of work these days. I don't fault Williams for his vices ... and if he rebounds from all of this successfully, he's stronger than most ... nor do I feel ANY of this should be held against him (no matter WHAT Dan Ingram says!!! lol) I just remember the "Pants On The Ground" Guy from last year and think that Williams' fifteen minutes of fame probably won't last much longer ... we tend to get bored too easily with "today's topic" and "the flavor of the week" ... but I wish him well. (kk)

A few weeks ago we told you about the poll that Ross On Radio was running trying to find the best oldies radio stations from coast to coast in all markets.
Over 5000 of you oldies radio fans out there responded with your votes ... and he's tallied them up.
Here are the (in most cases not-so-surprising) results:
The Oldies / Greatest Hits Readers’ Poll: And The Winners Are . . .
It seems appropriate that we should unveil the results of our first Ross On Radio Readers’ Poll for the Oldies / Greatest Hits format on 1-11-11. After all, these are the stations that you made Number One! One! One! One! One!
We began voting in early December, after inviting readers to nominate their favorite stations along with those featured in Ross On Radio last year. When voting closed last week, there were more than 5,000 ballots cast. Stations rallied listeners on-air and on their Websites, and those not nominated conducted write-in campaigns. It’s further proof of the vibrancy of a format that the industry was ready to walk away from not so many years ago. It also proves the durability of the format’s music, both familiar and forgotten.
Voters showed a lot of love for the Northeast, which probably benefited from not only market size, but also the musical heritage of New York and Philadelphia. Even without every-station-stream-in-the-world to choose from, it’s not hard to hear interesting, different oldies on the radio in this region. But the winners stretch from Los Angeles to London. And they range from the recently launched to the first full-time R&B station, launched 64 years ago.
Thanks to everybody who voted. Thanks to all the stations that participated. On Thursday, we’re back with our annual look at the “Intriguing Stations of the Year,” so if you’re not a Ross On Radio subscriber,
click here.

And now, your winners:
Large Market FM:
WCBS-FM New York
Even as the initial nominations came in, it was clear that WCBS-FM would be hard to beat. Since their return to the Oldies / Greatest Hits format in 2007, PD Brian Thomas and APD Lenny Bloch have pulled off a radio station that works both for music geeks and in a more conservative PPM environment. Even when Pat St. John isn’t throwing in unreleased collectors’ cuts on Sunday morning, you can generally count on 1-2 songs an hour that aren’t on the format’s “safe list.” That’s in keeping with the station’s history, but in 2007, CBS-FM defied the collective wisdom about the format. It also has an on-air staff with distinctive personalities — including Dan Taylor, Bob Shannon, Bill Lee, Ron Parker, Joe Causi, Sue O’Neal, and Jay Sorensen.
Here’s WCBS-FM at 1 p.m. on January 5. The station’s “Hall Of Fame” changes daily (and then segues into a special feature that lasts throughout the weekend). This was Beatles Wednesday:
Beatles, “Something”
Three Dog Night, “Shambala”
Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”
Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar”
Elton John, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”
Beatles, “I’ll Be Back”
Foreigner, “Hot Blooded”
Sister Sledge, “We Are Family”
Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”
Beach Boys, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”
Spinners, “It’s A Shame”
Edison Lighthouse, “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)”
John Mellencamp, “Hurts So Good”
Large Market Runners-Up:
2 –
WLS-FM Chicago;
3 –
WOGL Philadelphia

Jeez, Frank ... how many times did you vote?!?!? All kidding aside, these guys are doing an OUTSTANDING job and have really brought oldies music back in a big way to New York. They've ALWAYS got neat promotions running, have a VERY informative website and seem completely tuned in to the oldies market in term of music and artists. (And they're playing a couple of those "Wow!" songs we keep talking about throughout the day. Great job, guys! (By the way, special props to the station for bringing Big Jay Sorensen back on the air ... and to Ross On Radio for mentioning it!!!)

Personally, I'm a little surprised by WLS-FM coming in at #2 ... I voted instead for the Scott Shannon 24 / 7 broadcast of The True Oldies Channel instead ... I think we've got some pretty weak links in our local talent area here (and more and more '80's music all the time) but hey, it's GREAT to see one of our stations make the list! (kk)

Medium / Small Market FM: WVLT (Cruisin’ 92.1) Vineland, N.J.
Between Philly and the Atlantic City / Cape May market there were four nominees in various categories and the top two stations in this one. Cruisin’ 92.1 turns back the clock on the format as it has existed on FM in most markets by at least 15 years – still playing pre-Beatles and a lot of the ‘60s depth that has disappeared elsewhere. It’s also the home of market veteran Jerry Blavat, on whose early evening show things really get deep. Here’s the station at 4:00 p.m. on January 5.
Beatles, “I Should Have Known Better” (the 4 o’clock Beatles break)
Beatles, “Good Day Sunshine”
Dr. John, “Right Place, Wrong Time”
Hank Ballard & Midnighters, “Finger Poppin’ Time”
Little Anthony & Imperials, “Goin’ Out Of My Head”
Three Dog Night, “Celebrate”
Frankie Lymon, “Little Bitty Pretty One”
Johnny Nash, “Stir It Up”
Bobby Day, “Over And Over”
Chicago, “Free”
Johnny Rivers, “Swayin’ To The Music (Slow Dancin’)”
Rolling Stones, “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)”
Dr. Hook, “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman”
Medium / Small -Market Runners-Up:
2 –
WIBG-FM (Wibbage 94.3) Cape May, N.J.;
3 –
WRLD (Boomer 95.3) Columbus, Ga.

AM: WMTR Morristown, N.J.
The “Real Oldies” revolution – made possible by the phasing out of pre-Beatles music on most FMs – didn’t endure for many of the AMs launched in 2003-04. And even Greater Media’s WMTR briefly traded the format for a more mainstream satellite version. Then it went live and local again. This WMTR is a little newer and more hit-driven than the first version, but it’s still reliably different from what’s on FM and there’s a Friday night doo-wop show. Here’s WMTR just before 2 p.m. on Jan. 6:
Donovan, “Mellow Yellow”
Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, “Don’t Pull Your Love”
Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can”
Dusty Springfield, “I Only Want To Be With You”
Turtles, “Elenore”
Bobby Vinton, “Blue Velvet”
Johnny Rivers, “Tracks Of My Tears”
Jimmy Buffett, “Margaritaville”
Tymes, “So Much In Love”
Stevie Wonder, “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”
Barry Mann, “Who Put The Bomp”
AM Runners-Up:
2 –
WKFB Pittsburgh;
3 –
CKWW (AM580) Detroit.
”Best AM” was also the category with the highest number of write-in votes for any one station, WYNE Erie, Pa.

New Platforms: WFMU’s Rock & Soul Ichiban
In most of our categories, voters went with stations that play the hits — albeit a wider mix of them. WFMU’s
Rock & Soul Ichiban, on the other hand, promises and delivers “obscuro hits from the ‘50s and ‘60s.” Think of the records that director John Waters used to invoke both the danger and kitsch of rock ‘n’ roll’s first decade or so. Then go several times deeper. It’s the radio extension of the eclectic New York-area non-comm’s annual Record Fair where, no matter how many records you have, there’s always somebody raving about a $300 record you haven’t heard of and will never own. It’s heavy on rockabilly, tough ‘60s soul, instrumentals, and jaw-dropping oddities.
Here’s WFMU around 10 p.m. on Jan. 6:
Lou Rawls, “A Natural Man”
O.V. Wright, “Drowning On Dry Land”
T-Birds, “Full House”
Rockin’ Rs, “Crazy Baby”
Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, “How Do You Catch A Girl?”
Riptides, “The Last Wave”
Wanda Jackson, “Let’s Have A Party”
Jerry & Reggie, “Shoo Shoo”
Jerms, “Bald-Headed Woman”
Lucky Carmichael, “Baby You Can Get Your Gun”
Keith Loren, “Born To Ramble”
New Platforms Runners-Up:
2 –
Sirius XM ‘60s On 6;
3 –
Great Big Radio
I LOVED the old "'60's On 6" Station when it was XM ... listened to it non-stop there for a while ... but after the merger it's really been watered down with more and more of the same stuff you hear EVERYWHERE else. XM was good for at least half a dozen surprises every work day. But I just heard Sirius XM just signed their 20 Millionth Subscriber ... so they must be doing SOMETHING right. (And they can't ALL be listening to Howard Stern, can they?!?!?) kk

Next Gen (‘80s/’90s): KCBS-FM (93.1 Jack FM) Los Angeles
L.A.’s Jack was of the biggest success stories of the initial Bob - and Jack - FM boom in America and one of the Adult Hits outlets that endured best in the PPM era. At a time when any radio stream aggregator offers a dozen jockless Jack FMs, the Los Angeles version has always had some built-in uniqueness because of the legacy of Alternative sister KROQ. In fact, it’s sort of easy to construct a back story for the Jack/L.A. listener — growing up on KLOS and KMET in the ‘70s, then switching when KROQ took off.
Here’s Jack FM at 2:45 p.m. on January 5:
Don Henley, “Dirty Laundry”
Creed, “Higher”
Pat Benatar, “Heartbreaker”
Simple Minds, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”
Elton John, “Tiny Dancer”
Gin Blossoms, “Hey Jealousy”
Aerosmith, “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)”
U2, “With Or Without You”
Tom Petty & Heartbreakers, “I Need To Know”
Yazoo, “Don’t Go”
Next Gen Runners-Up:
2 –
WAMS Dover, Del.,
3 –
WREW (Rewind 94.9) Cincinnati
Classic R&B/Jammin’ Oldies: WDIA Memphis
Okay, technically, WDIA is Urban AC with some recent titles and some current Southern Soul / blues music. There are also talk blocks. But PD Bobby O’Jay has always kept the first full-time R&B radio station feeling like a classic ‘70s R&B outlet, and there are a lot of R&B Oldies of the sort that you won’t hear on Urban AC anymore. If you listen to WDIA these days, you’ll hear a lot about the station’s recent addition to the HD-2 multicast channel of sister KJMS, and if there’s any station that might actually have the loyalty to compel an HD radio purchase, it’s this one.
Here’s WDIA at 12:30 p.m. on January 5:
Aretha Franklin, “Baby, Baby, Baby”
Earth Wind & Fire, “Shining Star”
Whitney Houston, “I Look To You”
Charlie Wilson, “Without You”
Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, “Back Together Again”
Al Green, “Look What You Done For Me”
Lou Rawls, “Lady Love”
A Taste Of Honey, “Boogie Oogie Oogie”
Brian McKnight, “Still In Love”
Calvin Richardson, “You’re So Amazing”
George Benson, “This Masquerade”
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By”
Classic R&B / Jammin’ Oldies Runners-Up:
2 –
KISQ (98.1 Kiss FM) San Francisco,
3 –
WRBO (Soul Classics 103.5) Memphis

International: Absolute ‘80s
One of the first brand extensions of British Rock AC Absolute Radio*, Absolute ‘80s is a digital radio station that has since been joined by a ‘90s and a ‘00s channel. Unlike most U.S. side channels, it’s hosted. You’ll also hear a lot about what’s going on at Absolute. Here’s the station at 3:15 p.m. on January 6:
Police, “Da Doo Doo Doo, Da Da Da Da”
Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy”
Joan Jett & Blackhearts, “I Love Rock & Roll”
Duran Duran, “A View To A Kill”
Culture Club, “Victims”
Style Council, “Speak Like A Child”
Belinda Carlisle, “Circle In The Sand”
Rolling Stones, “Start Me Up”
Hue & Cry, “Labor Of Love”
Bananarama, “Shy Boy”
Bon Jovi, “Livin’ On A Prayer”
Madness, “One Step Beyond”
International Runners-Up:
2 –
CKRA (Capital 96.3) Edmonton, Alberta*;
3 –
Gold, United Kingdom