Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Weekend Comments (Part 1)

More comments than we can fit into a Sunday Comments Page ... even as a KING-SIZED Edition ... so here a little something to whet your appetite for tomorrow's regular Comments posting!

>>>The first 45 I bought was "My True Story" by the Jive Five, in 1961. It's still one of my favorite records. My dad made a deal with me - "You don't play that record again tonight and I won't fashion your teeth into flying Chicklets!" I must've played it a hundred times in a row. The sound of those voices mesmerized me. (Henry Gross)
My Jive Five favorite was "I'm A Happy Man" (record label switch), but, yes, "My True Story" is a great song as well as "Hully Gully Callin' Time", "Never, Never"!!Ah, now it makes sense [smile], Henry is from NY! No wonder why he likes The Jive Five! Hi Henry!!!

Jersey John

2011 Will Bring Lots Of 50th Bashes! – WCBS-FM 101.1
Kent ...
Alan Freed's last show.
The Beach Boys' first show.
Frank B.
Lots of big anniversaries coming up this year. I saw a similar list naming celebrities turning 50 this year ... some pretty big names on THAT list, too! (kk)

The article / YouTube link we featured earlier this week about the homeless man with the "golden radio voice" drew MILLIONS of viewers these past few days ... seems like EVERYBODY jumped on this "human interest" story ... and all of a sudden Ted Williams is besieged with dozens and dozens of offers ... hopefully, a "fairytale" ending to an otherwise pretty sad story. (America has become nothing short of FASCINATED with this guy ... he's literally everywhere you turn these past few days!!!)

As we mentioned in our piece, this all comes as a bit of a shock ... especially since there are SO many talented, experienced jocks out there who are currently out of work due to the shrinking radio market and more and more syndication and automation. Here's a little different take on this whole scenario from Tom Taylor in his "Taylor On Radio" column (kk):
So what does the amazing saga of homeless jock Ted Williams tell us?
The narrative of an obviously gifted homeless man who finally catches a break and gets on YouTube and then a bunch of TV shows and then on his hometown WNCI, Columbus is little like Jimmy Stewart’s character in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Except that it’s happening after Christmas, not before, and it’s four years too late for Ted Williams, who’s been homeless that long. There are many other broadcasters who are down and out for various reasons like unemployment from a shrinking radio business and loss of medical insurance. So it’s fabulous for onetime WVKO and WXMG jock Ted Williams that his prodigious voice may be heard at the Cleveland Cavaliers arena, or maybe on an MTV reality show or possibly on ESPN or perhaps even on WNCI. But for others, that’s why there’s a Broadcasters Foundation of America. Its president Jim Thompson tells TRI "I hope Williams' story and radio's response will inspire people to help broadcasters in similar dire circumstances, by supporting our mission." Thompson says "the requests for aid to the Foundation have increased significantly in the past year." Do what you can to help,
You no doubt have seen the people begging for $$$ on the interstate exits ... well this guy will blow you away. This guy looks like and sounds exactly like he could be the twin brother of my friend "Super Mark Stephens" ... if you know Mark, you will die laughing! Apparently just after one day the guy not only got a job but a home to boot! Talk about a GREAT radio voice! And an incredible human interest story!
God indeed works miracles in strange ways!
Wild Bill
If you've already heard about this guy, here's how the story has unfolded in the last 24 hours ... simply INCREDIBLE!
Homeless man Golden Voice
It's amazing what a little publicity can do to change the life of someone down on their luck ...
CNN: Homeless man, Ted Williams with a golden voice?
CBS Early Show with Ted Williams (This will bring a tear to your eye)
Drugs and alcohol can be a hard demon to defeat. Many of us went to the edge and not everyone made it back safely. It will be incredibly interesting to see how this totally plays out.
I take my hat off to this man ... God has surrounded him with love and hope ... it's something to think about for the New Year, especially if YOU'RE down and out.
WOW! This is now officially the BIGGEST feel-good story in America.
Here is Ted Williams on the Today Show this Morning.
This really is nothing short of a miracle!
Wild Bill
Well, he certainly seems to have captured the hearts of the nation. (Although 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!!!) But hey, I don't want to be cynical here ... more power to this guy and let's all hope that he can maintain the strength to keep his life turned around ... with a little money in his pocket, let's all pray that it's put to good use toward a new life and NOT toward old, bad habits. (Ooops ... that still sounds cynical, doesn't it?!?!?) Well, you get the idea! Seriously, Ted Williams has been given a VERY rare gift ... a second chance. VERY few of us ever get that opportunity. But Ted's got a shot at a "do-over". MY prayer is that he can hold it together and focus on where he can go from here rather than fall into ANY old bad habits that brought him down in the first place. May his God give him the strength to do so. (And THAT part I'm sincere about!!!)
Of course Ted Williams has been on just about EVERYTHING these past few days ... Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, Wake Up With Al (Roker), the announcement that he'll be announcing the Cleveland Cavaliers Games ... the list goes on and on. (This guy REALLY fell into something here!!! Good for him!) But we ALSO can't help thinking about all the jocks out of work today, replaced by automation and syndication. And yes, a great radio voice is the cherry on top ... but PERSONALITY is still the key to it all in my book. Jocks have to be able to think quickly on their feet, react instinctively to what's going on around them at any unexpected moment in time, remain topical (and maybe just a bit controversial) ... they have to know what they're talking about, know when to shut up and listen ... and be somewhat knowledgeable about whatever it is they're "selling" ... and this takes years and years to develop this sort of talent. So again, while we certainly wish Ted Williams well, there's a part of me that feels just a little bit sadder today that SO much great radio talent has been silenced by these on-going cutbacks ... yet there are suddenly ALL kinds of openings and opportunities for this YouTube hero. (Then again, I'm still a little more than upset that radio feels they can pay Ryan Seacrest SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS when they EASILY could have put a couple hundred jocks back to work for far less than that amount of money ... and they would have been happy to jump at it!!! But that's just me.) kk

And apparently I'm not alone in this opinion ... this comment ran in the Taylor On Radio Column a day or two later:
The story about the homeless jock being celebrated for his “God-given voice” is “really bothering me. I’m glad to see a guy who is down on his luck get a break, but …” TRI got several emails like that yesterday. One’s from a voiceover pro who says there are a lot of hard-working people in the field who didn’t have drug problems or criminal records and are just plugging away every day. And then a broadcast journalist says “This was a feel-good story that I didn’t feel so good about covering.” He says “I’m happy for everyone who get a second chance in life, but this is more like a second chance to the tenth power. There are so many unemployed radio people every bit as talented as this guy who couldn’t even hope to get ESPN or an NBA franchise to return their calls.” What you’re hearing from some radio folks isn’t jealousy or resentment, exactly – but a reminder that life’s not fair. Especially in an industry that has tossed talented people out the door for much of the last decade.

Meanwhile, ALSO radio-related ...

Enjoy listening to WLS- FM Dick Biondi's Friday night request show and Danny Lake plays a lot of good oldies also.
Both are regular Forgotten Hits Readers and have put in a good word for us from time to time on the air. (But have you noticed how much more late '70's and '80's music WLS-FM has been playing lately? Honestly, it feels like about 70-75% of every hour, especially on the "local" side. These past few weeks I can't tell the difference between WLS-FM and Rewind 100.3 ... which is hardly what Scott Shannon had originally envisioned for his True Oldies Network ... especially at such a HUGE flagship station. With the legacy that WLS has under their belts, they don't NEED to follow the crowd ... this station should be carving its OWN path in the oldies market! Thankfully Shannon is acknowledging HIS True Oldies roots by celebrating the birthday of Elvis Presley all weekend long on The True Oldies Channel. (kk)

>>>One problem with DJ's today is that they don't always mention the name of the song or the singer -- a little bit of history would be nice, like the year it was popular and maybe what was going on at the time. (Claire Rivas)
Amen, Claire!! I observe what makes radio stations in the Philly area excel beyond the competition. This station, that's in the lead, announces the title and artist, not BEFORE the song, but AFTER! Although a small thing, it's Clever!! like a computer generated voice, but who cares!!

Jersey John
Nowadays with computer technology most car radios (or Internet Stations) scroll the name of the song and artist while it's playing ... or, at the very least, offer a "What's The Name Of That Song" feature on their website that'll give you this information (and sometimes a short song snippet or a link to purchase the track) ... so it really HAS gotten better. (This information typically that DOESN'T show up when they slip in some of the tracks that aren't in the database, which is the stuff WE'RE always asking them to play! lol) I'm also hearing more and more jocks trying to sneak in at least a one line piece of trivia information about a particular song or artist ... and it really DOES make a difference. Biggest problem is we're living in a "More Music" age now where the deejays are encouraged NOT to talk ... and, in some cases, are PROHIBITED from doing so ... so when they DO get a chance to sneak a neat little intro in for a song, it's usually so rushed, you don't quite get the full effect of what they're trying to do. Frustrating for the listener ... frustrating for the deejay ... but perfectly in keeping with what these know-it-all bean-counters think radio should sound like today. (That's why radio is bigger than ever, right??? 'Cause these guys are right on the mark???) Pretty sad. (That being said, one of Scott Shannon's most popular features on The True Oldies Channel is when he does the "Remakes Weekend" ... and plays the ORIGINAL version of the song, tells a brief history about the song and artist, and then plays the better-known hit remake ... the listeners LOVE hearing these stories ... and I've told Scott time and time again that with his INCREDIBLE background in radio, he should talk more from his OWN experiences. I'm telling you, the audience will EAT this up ... plus it puts you more in sync with them as a true fan of this music. (kk)

re: ELVIS:
Hello Everyone,
The True Oldies Station is celebrating ELVIS' birthday all week-end.
I highly recommend you listen to them if you want to hear lots of ELVIS.
To find if TOC broadcasts in your area, go to and click on the "Where To Find Us" link ... OR you may even listen on the website.
Jennie C.

And, speaking of Elvis, here's a little "Autograph Advice" from FH Reader Frank B. ... Elvis Presley tops 2010's most dangerous autographs Goldmine Magazine

Kent ...
If I remember correctly, you liked this guy when he was on Letterman.
Frank B.
Elvis’ Birthday: Chilean Miner Will Be Celebrating – WCBS-FM 101.1

Kent ...
I’m proud to present my tribute to Elvis Presley, on what would have been his 76th birthday. Here are 20 of his best videos plus personal remembrances from friends, fans, co-stars, and people who played his records.
A special thanks to my friend Scott Shannon at True Oldies Radio for helping me put this together.
Artie Wayne


-- submitted by Stu Weiss

The Bottom Line: A stimulating reflection on the American counter-cultural protest movement examined through the prism of one of its most impassioned and under-appreciated voices.

Kenneth Bowser's terrific documentary is a poignant portrait of an uncompromising artist who, despite a struggle with depression that eventually led to his suicide at age 35, believed in the power of music as a tool for social and political change.

While the singer-songwriters most associated with the 1960s folk movement tend to be names such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Bowser presents a persuasive case that Phil Ochs was a more hardcore political agitator than any of them. He charts the subject's life and career via an expertly assembled wealth of archival news and performance footage. Further insight comes from interviews with contemporaries including Baez, Seeger and Tom Hayden, and admirers such as Sean Penn, Billy Bragg and Christopher Hitchens.

But despite its personal focus, one of the broader strengths of the documentary is its probing analysis of the protest movement, from civil rights through Vietnam. The film is more illuminating in this overview than in its intimate details of the unraveling of Ochs' life through manic depression, schizophrenic tendencies and alcoholism. But that arguably is less a shortcoming than an inevitable reflection of the unknowable path of bipolar disorder.

Without pushing the thesis too hard, Bowser suggests that Ochs' downward spiral was part of his crushing sense of general disillusionment. That descent began with the Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy assassinations and the 1968 DNC riots in Chicago, and continued through the Kent State shootings and political rise of Richard Nixon. His brother and manager Michael Ochs (one of the film's producers) calls the Vietnam War "the last dragon to be slain," and Phil Ochs' dark mood during what should have been a celebratory "War is Over" concert in Central Park indicates his frustration with the movement's failings.

Whether or not it was the intention of Bowser's narrative, a parallel emerges between the '60s and present-day America in the painful transition during President Obama's term in office from hope and idealism to the current disenchantment and bitter divisiveness. While Dylan, whose approval Ochs sought and seemingly never got, achieved fame with poetic anthems like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They are a Changin'," Ochs' songs spoke forcefully and directly to racial injustice, political oppression and the horror of war, to the struggles of striking miners and beleaguered unions. He was equally vocal against right-wing rigidity and liberal complacency. The firebrand nature of much of his work perhaps explains its lack of mainstream recognition.

Ochs' songs provide a stirring soundtrack throughout the film, perhaps nowhere more so than in the closing section, as details of his final weeks are underscored by "Jim Dean of Indiana." It's fitting that such a haunting ode to one iconic American hero should serve to pay tribute to another.

Opens: Wednesday, Jan. 5 (First Run Features)

Production: 2 Lefts Don't Make a Right Prods., in association with Barking Dog Prods.

Director-writer: Kenneth Bowser

Producers: Michael Cohl, Kenneth Bowser, Michael Ochs

Co-producers: Lizzy McGlynn, Brian MacDonald

Camera: Jarred Alterman, Jacob Cohl, Zev Greenfield, Rob Humphreys, Tom Kaufman, Jefferson Miller, Nick August Perna, Trevor Smith

Editor: Pamela Scott Arnold

Music: Phil Ochs

Sound: Paul Rusnak, Bob Schuck, Jose Smith, Tammy Stepanek, Donny Tam

Not rated, 98 minutes

Can I submit a CD Review?
CD Title: Petula Clark - Kiss Me Goodbye

Manufactured By: Sonopress (Germany)

Distributed / Marketed By: TopMusic

Publication Date: 2009

Origin Of Purchase (new): Hong Kong

Mastering: Povee Chan

Tracks: 16 (all Stereo / Original)

I've provided a front and rear scan of the CD. You can see the song selection. Rather than elaborate on Petula or her songs, I've concentrated on the CD tracks, sound quality and general quality. For the moment, I'll assume my particular CD has a (File Allocation Table?) manufacturing defect:


1.) Nice sonically pleasing sound. Amplitude is good. Low noise floor (no tape hiss). Nice quality jewel case.


1.) Every song track is incomplete. In other words, a short segment of all song beginnings can found on the previous tracks. For example, here's Track #2 Ending (notice Track #3 beginning) ...

2.) There is a small amount of DC Offset. That typically can be detected when vinyl records are "ripped" (in MP3 format), because of an unbalance in electronic hardware. For a HQ (Ultra) DSD disc, I'd expect this to be perfect.

3.) Booklet (3 pg. fold out) contents is scarce, by William Hogeland. Used more for marketing Increcable (interconnecting HQ electronic cables) products.

Jersey John / cc: TopMusic

Where the Action Was “On the Inside of the Evolution of Rock ’n’ Roll”
Mark "Hoss" Amans was born and raised in the state of Washington. He started in Rock n' Roll in 1962 with two Seattle groups, the Viceroys and the Wailers. "In those days I was called a "band boy", long before the term "roadie" was coined."
Mark became "Hoss" while working with Paul Revere and the Raiders. Working with the Raiders led to non-stop tours and many appearances on Dick Clark's "Where the Action Is" on ABC TV. The Raiders have done more TV appearances than any other band in the history of Rock n' Roll, over 750 shows. Hoss himself worked more TV appearances than any other road manager.
The litany of groups 'Hoss' staged and road managed is extensive; The Blues Magoos, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, The Grass Roots, The Who, Herman's Hermits and Cat Stevens to mention a few. "After being on the road for 18 years I became a road manager and tour manager then band manager." Following his wild and exciting career as a high profile road manager on the inside of the evolution of rock n' roll, a movie producer friend persuaded 'Hoss' to document the tumultuous life that most fans never get to experience. This is that book. No other road manager can even come close to telling this story with the revealing detail that 'Hoss' poured into "Where the Action Was"! 'Hoss' is already in discussion with a pending movie deal that will chronicle this revealing, chaotic and legendary life. Asking 'Hoss' to summarize the Rock n' Roll life in one sentence, he said: "my only regret is that the evolution of Rock n' Roll will never happen again..."( from Xlibris)
-- submitted by Michele Abrams

Trade Martin has just released a new single "Doo-Wop-Dreamer"
Available at

BG Productions

The Gray Lions Release Their Debut CD 'Run Wild'
Produced by The Legendary Mark Hudson
1/3/2011 - Gray, ME - Rock historians and music enthusiasts alike are ecstatic with the debut CD release by The Gray Lions, a new band filled with as much history as talent. Produced by Mark Hudson of the legendary Hudson Brothers and written and performed by Marc Rubinstein founder of the legendary Pig Light Show, the Gray Lions 'Run Wild' CD brings a special blend of rock, blues and boogie sure to please even the most skeptical of listeners.
Mark Hudson, well-known record producer, musician and songwriter, received notoriety as a performer, songwriter and TV personality in the 1970s. Starting out as a member of the Hudson Brothers trio, Mark achieved independent success as a record producer and songwriter working with an array of artists such as Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Harry Nilsson, Hanson and the Baha Men to name a few. Marc Rubinstein and his Pig Light Show thrilled and amazed concert goers of the Fillmore East in NY and the Capitol Theatre in NJ in the late '60s and early ‘70s. Behind legendary bands like the Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Santana, Yes, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, the Allman Brothers and many, many others. Pig Light Show's visuals were like nothing ever seen before and since
When history collides... The story behind the formation of the Gray Lions is a curious one: “When my mom died, I started to get back into my music,” Marc Rubinstien recalls. “My wife, Liana, saw a Sunday Morning CBS piece about Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp and suggested as a birthday present I go. In Las Vegas I played guitar with Joe Walsh, Roger Daltrey and Jack Bruce, all people I'd done light shows for, but had never jammed with. I was placed in a band with Mark Hudson as counselor. I didn't know who he was, having left the music world before The Hudson Brothers hit, so I was a bit nonplussed. Someone I trusted (Thank you, Rebecca), said I would really enjoy him. We didn’t hit it off immediately or well; by the third morning I reached my limit and at a morning band meeting we got into such a screaming, cursing argument the videographer was afraid it would come to blows. After each of us blew off steam, we became fast friends and Mark asked about my music. I gave him a demo CD of originals and one of covers from many years earlier.”
Over several e-mail exchanges, Mark Hudson encouraged Marc Rubinstein to call and, on New Year's Day, 2007, he did. Starting the conversation with, “You know I can be a real bastard,” Mark Hudson went on to rave, "I LOVED them! I've been listening to your originals on my iPod, in the car, on my stereo at home for a month and love them!" He told Marc to pick a few songs and he would shop them around, suggesting Marc go into the studio and come up with a demo of around four songs and send him a master. “I asked him to go over the list and suggest songs,” says Marc. “He said he’d get back to me in a few days,” during which time Marc arranged studio time and brought in longtime music collaborator John Leight as bassist, and a new friend, Jim Landry on drums.
John, a seasoned bassist, performed with numerous bands in NYC through the years with a great reputation. Hailing from Miami, drummer Jim Landry, who calls music his passion and salvation, is best known for his work with Fool Star, a band that produced two albums and three singles, one of which went to #1 on the regional Billboard charts and for logging over a quarter-million miles in touring ten years with them.
“Mark Hudson came back to me with his list,” recalled Marc. “He couldn't decide on just four so he asked us do his 'A' list as the 'real' songs and his 'B' list as his quirky favorites. One of these was a song I had just written, 'Years Of Gold', my first new song in 23 years ... and the first of 147 I would complete that year.”
The night before that recording session's rehearsal was a bit rough. Jim kept time on a tambourine. But the first song in the studio was magic! Every song was a once-through then recorded in one take. All seven songs were bagged, tagged and put to bed. A trio of loosely connected musicians walked into The Studio in Portland, ME. The Gray Lions walked out. Mark Hudson’s reaction was simply, “...this band ROCKS! BIG TIME!”
Nearly a year later Marc Rubinstein decided a complete CD was needed and Mark Hudson cleared his hectic schedule to focus on the Lions. “Mark was set to get a midnight train after attending a book signing party with friend Steven Tyler,” Marc Rubinstein related. “Steven got a call: Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford was in the emergency room in Boston with a brain aneurysm. That Summer's Aerosmith tour was due to start ten days after our recording, so both Mark and Steven ran up to Boston. Mark called with updates but knew he wouldn't make it till the next night, if at all. We went into the studio on that Friday morning to lay basic tracks without Mark. Mark showed up at two o'clock, Saturday morning, in Steven's black Mustang, lent to him so he wouldn't have to cancel on us.”
A week later, all of the basic tracks were complete. When Mark Hudson returned home for a couple of days before accompanying Steven Tyler on the first leg of the Aerosmith tour, his blog noted, “I went to Maine in June and worked with a band, The Gray Lions, and had a blast! Marc Rubinstein has a guitar sound that, once you hear it, you’ll always know it’s him.”
Steven's August fall from the stage and his request for Mark to stay with him during recovery so they could start on Steven's book delayed The Gray Lions CD completion. It wasn't till March that Mark was back in Portland with the Lions. Then May saw the last sessions to finish Hudson’s backing vocals, keyboard and backing guitar tracks, as well as the rough mixes. Then Mark's involvement in the VH-1 series of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp and other commitments kept him from returning in June to finish.”
“Mark's work to that point was very thorough, and his intent clear. We had little difficulty finishing, though I know he planned a number of tweaks and automated fades and effect transitions we couldn't do. His handiwork is firmly and indelibly imprinted on our sound, and I know he is very proud of his work with us.”
“Even though a lion can get older and gray, they still are the King of the Jungle!” exclaimed Mark Hudson.
On the new CD ... with influences that include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan and Santana ... The Gray Lions draw upon collective experience and broad influences to bring you rock 'n' roll music that is, strangely, both new and timeless. Their mission: to take rock music to a new level of “classic” - in all meanings of the word. The Gray Lions have experienced, studied and lived music, creating their own sound, offering a fresh blend of perpetuity and new unique style. Their music appeals to anyone who appreciates rock 'n' roll – period!
We had no particular concept when we first got together,” Marc explains. “Later The Gray Lions was an in-band joke: I live in the town of Gray where we first got together, we are getting gray, and at least two of us sport pretty gray manes. With this CD we sort of mark our piece of ground and roar, "We still ROCK! Watch out, we remain dangerous!”
“We are like Lions,” says Jim Landry, “in that as we've come of age (musically), we've not lost the energy of our youth.”
Individually, each member of The Gray Lions has toured extensively, playing for their living, and spent countless hours in recording sessions. Like the mightiest of lions, they continue to roar proudly despite years on the hunt, and the “pride” they've created intend to dominate the territory they now call home.
The Gray Lions 'Run Wild' CD is available as downloads from iTunes, Amazon and both downloads and CDs are available through the Nimbit store on their website.
Direct link to iTunes is:
Direct to the store at Nimbit for downloads and CDs
For more information

This sounds like a truly interesting mix of talent ... I can't wait to hear this CD! (kk)

One of the great Philadelphia bands from late 60s is back with the discovered long lost LIVE session ... "melted" from May 1971.
A band whose members and management went on to shape the American music scene in the 70s, 80s and beyond. See bio below. Download tracks for your station, mag, reviews etc.
Brought together to show support and love for dying bassist, BEAU JONES, WAX reunited to release this brilliant album. Sadly, Beau passed away Sept 3, 2010, one week before world wide release of WAX ... melted on Lightyear (dist by EMI). Check it out!


More at:
Here's the official press release:
WAX Is Back! Rediscovered Rare Live Recording Of Philadelphia's Hottest '60s Group WAX Gets The CD Treatment
12/3/2010 – Philadelphia, PA – One of the great lost rock n roll treasures of the early 1970's has resurfaced much to the elation of fans and music collectors across the globe. After 40 years, an amazing live recording of Philadelphia's hottest band of the late '60s WAX was discovered and recently released on CD by Lightyear Entertainment (distributed by EMI) titled 'Melted.'
There was once a rock band so loaded with talent that its members, and even its management, went on to help shape the American music scene in the '70s, '80s and beyond. For a time WAX was the hottest band in Philadelphia. They opened for huge artists coming to town, and headlined at concerts and festivals all over the area, often promoted by rock FM radio powerhouse WMMR. “Inside six or seven months after forming, we were playing with The Byrds, Chicago, John Mayall, Manfred Mann, The Nazz and The Flamin' Groovies,” recalled guitarist Rick Levy. With the help of their management team, the group signed with legendary producer Bob Crewe's Atlantic Records distributed CGC label for a then impressive amount of $50,000. WAX then ventured into New York's Record Plant to record their debut album. The band was in good company ... At the same time John Lennon was recording 'Imagine' and The Who were recording 'Who's Next' at the famed studio. Unfortunately Bob Crewe's label folded due to financial difficulties and WAX's debut album was never finished. The group eventually broke up and its members went their own individually successful ways. But before that happened, an incredible album's worth of material was recorded totally live in the studio. For nearly 40 years the tapes were lost until now!
WAX is:
Rob Hyman – keyboards, vocals – Rob went on to write the classic “Time After Time” and formed million selling band The Hooters.
Rick Chertoff – drums – Rick became a five time Grammy nominated producer (Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, Sophie B Hawkins, The Hooters, Billy Joel, Mick Jagger)
Rick Levy – guitars, vocals – Rick went on to manage and / or play with '60s legends Hermans Hermits, Bo Diddley, The Box Tops with Alex Chilton, Tommy Roe, Freddy Cannon, Jay & Techniques and many others.
David Kagan – lead vocals – Dave recorded with Rob in Baby Grand and ultimately pursued a successful career in magazine publishing.
Beau Jones – bass, vocals – Beau went on to play bass with many '60s classic pop groups before becoming ill. He sadly passed away in September 2010.
John Kalodner – co-manager – John became the legendary A&R man for Columbia / Sony known as the “rabbi”. He was influential in the careers of Aerosmith, AC / DC, Cher and many others.
Bill Sisca – co-manager – Bill went on to become one of the most successful infomercial directors in the country. He is now back as part of the WAX team.
When bassist Beau Jones was diagnosed with brain cancer in the summer of 2009, guitarist Rick Levy got everyone together to spend time and give support and love to Beau. Rob Hyman, Rick Chertoff, David Kagen, all reunited, and at that time, another friend Arnie Holland, CEO of Lightyear Entertainment, played this lost live recording of WAX. Everyone was amazed at the performance, songwriting, energy, timelessness and passion. They all decided the music should be heard, and Arnie said, “Let's put it out on Lightyear.”
Here's what the press have been raving about WAX's 'Melted':
“Listening to WAX's 'Melted' is all the more bittersweet, since WAX had a sound that would eventually be called progressive rock, a style that would enable bands like Yes and Kansas to become megastars. Songs like 'Things She Likes To Do' and 'Only Twenty' shift from balladry to ballsy rock with a seamless confidence. The baroque psychedelia of 'I'm Just A Banked Flame' finds company in other iconoclastic sounding acts of the day like Traffic or Vanilla Fudge. Perhaps what's most impressive about 'Melted' is that the entire album was recorded live in the studio, with no overdubs or studio trickery. It's a noble testament to a time when musicians were judged by the merits of their technical skills and originality. With an average age of 23, WAX comes across as stone equals to any rock band kicking out the jams in those heady days.” - Dan Brown, Folio Weekly
“The occasion was Beaufest, memorial honoring the late Beau Jones, WAX bassist who died Sept. 3. The band kicked off with the rollicking 'Elmira Lane,' danced through the art-house intricacies of 'Things She Likes To Do,' sailed through the steel-guitar drenched 'Nearer To God,' and finished off with a ripped, pulsing version of 'It Don't Matter At All.' If they looked a bit...More mature than they did back when WAX was hot, it's probably fair to say they never sounded better.” - Sam Hughes, editor in chief , Pennsylvania Gazette Magazine
“ 'Melted' is by a group that played with the early Flamin' Groovies, the '70s Byrds, Terry Kath era Chicago, and more ... broad stylistically, with bits of boogie jams akin to The Faces, The Band, and Stephen Stills country rock, and the progressive rock of the time. Note: This LIVE session was uncovered last year by surprised ex-teen co-manager, and recently retired Sony A&R powerhouse, John David Kalodner, who signed Peter Gabriel and AC / DC thereafter ... Some story!” - Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover
“Highly unique blend of rock, jazz, and blues from one of Philadelphia's great bands.” - Billy Ifantis, Skylight Magazine
“Taking us back is this newly restored album from WAX, 'Melted' ... this is florid, jazzed, and progressive rock nodding to the west coast scene.” - Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News
With the release of WAX's 'Melted' comes the prestigious news that the album is now in contention for nomination for 'historical album' category for the 2010 Grammys!
For more information on WAX visit the official website at

WAX – 'Melted' CD is available through Amazon at and CD and Downloads at Lightyear Entertainment

We got quite a few responses to this one a few weeks back ... now we've finally got the Don and the Donuts version that Clark Besch told us about to share with you ... this is the tune that Superjock Larry Lujack used to sing along to on his show. (kk)
"Get Your Tongue out of my Mouth" by Don & the Donuts from Chicago was the version used on WLS and performed on stage in 1982 (?) with Larry Lujack singing along at Chicago Fest or some such event. I heard it on his WLS show and HAD to have it!


NEW FOR 2011


TOMMY ROE wrote and recorded 6 TOP TENS ... more than any other American solo artist in the 60s! DIZZY, SHEILA, EVERYBODY, JAM UP AND JELLY TIGHT, SWEET PEA, HOORAY FOR HAZEL







GREAT to hear that Tommy Roe's back out on the road again ... would LOVE to talk with him for Forgotten Hits sometime. (You'll find more on Tommy and his breakthrough hit "Sheila" below ... guess that appearance at BeatExpo got his juices going again!!!) And we've been working on a couple of different pieces involving Jay Proctor and Jay and the Techniques ... so we may be talking with HIM shortly, too!!! And, don't forget, we're still taking your questions for Jack Scott for an upcoming Forgotten Hits Interview ... so get those in to us right away, too! (There's just ALWAYS something cool going on around here!!!) kk

Kent ...
When I moved to Hollywood in the early ‘70’s the Whiskey Au-Go-Go and the Troubadour were the sun and the moon in the Rock and Roll Universe. The upcoming TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION is already generating the same kind of buzz that Woodstock and Monterey Pop once did! It's an event that no one wants to miss!
There’s a new Kid on the Blog! My friend Photographer, Sally Stevens, at my urging has started writing about her experiences during the golden age of Rock and Roll. Her first story is about her legendary confrontation with Jim Morrison and how it got her fired!
Artie Wayne

"Alvin and Chipmunks" owner suing EMI for royalties - Yahoo! News
Kent ...
Got this one from Ron Smith.
Frank B.
I just HATE it when these Corporate Big-Wigs try to take advantage of our furry little rodent friends!!! The Chipmunks have turned into QUITE an empire over the past 50+ years ... and generation after generation has fallen in love with Alvin, Simon and Theodore ... just like WE all did way back when. (kk)

>>>Please add The Cryan' Shames to that "Tobacco Road" performer list. In the early days it always part of the set; even now it is performed on occasion when James Fairs is on hand. I even have the recording around here someplace!

(Sue Patterson)

>>>I don't see that The Shames ever "officially" recorded "Tobacco Road" ... but I asked Clark Besch, who scoured the archives while compiling the complete reissue series of Cryan' Shames tracks for CD release. Let's see what he has to say. (kk)

>>>The Cryan Shames performed "Tobacco Road" as one of their regular repertoire in the 60's and even in their 1982 reunion show. It was a long drawn out version. (If time permits during week, I will try to send along a Shames live version from the 82 reunion show. That'd probably shock a few, eh?) If you have the Shames liner notes to the CDs, I believe I mention "Tobacco Road" as one of the Shames staple songs in their sets also.(Clark)

And then ...

Finally, as requested, a Cryan' Shames track of "Tobacco Road" circa a 1968 gig they did in Wisconsin (thanks to Sue Patterson for this one). The song actually goes on much longer! The song was never recorded by the group, but was always a mainstay in their live shows!

>>>We used a primitive Ampex portable tape recorded with “sound on sound” and one microphone. I would lay down a track and then put on earphones and sing over the original track(s) to put another one on. This went well until a mistake was made, and then we would HAVE TO START ALL OVER! It took about one month to get it right with seven tracks. That is why Susie Darlin' sounds so “mushy” ... because each time a track was laid down on top of the others it took a great deal of high fidelity away. (Robin Luke)

>>>This does sound fair / poor ... that's a shame!!! (John)

>>>That's a pretty awful thing to say ... the quality of the recording adds to the charm of the song. Perhaps if it were done in a professional studio it might not have been a big hit. I can think of other songs that sound similar that became big hits that just would not sound right if done in a major studio. Another one that comes to mind is There Goes My Baby by the Drifters, which was done in a tiny studio that was primarily used for cheap songwriter demos, because the good studio they usually recorded at was booked for the day. If it sounded high fidelity I don't think it would've been as big of a hit. (Tom Diehl)

Ah, There Goes My Baby!!!
From what I was told, that song was released but then pulled (sort of) and then re-released, because someone wanted to add strings to it!
Get hunting! :)
I agree, great sound quality was not a necessity then ... most people listened to low fidelity AM radio, even 6 Transistor pocket radios with a 2" speaker! It was easy to chart just about anything, but small record companies soon started dropping like flies. It wasn't the charm of the music, it was just the music was different, for those teens who enjoyed it.

Jersey John
Interestingly enough, some of the artists who were most influenced by the rough, "raw" sound of '50's music then went on to "change the game" through all kinds of studio experimentation and wizardry. (I'm quite sure The Beatles, performing on stage at The Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, belting out Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley songs for eight hours a night, never even DREAMED at the time that they'd someday be spending six months in the studio, playing tapes backwards trying to properly conceptionalize "Sgt. Pepper" for their then stoned state of mind! Sometimes the BEST music exposes some of the cracks in the facade ... those little flubs here and there. (Four years earlier The Fabs were in such a hurry to get their next single out that they released "Please Please Me" with John and Paul singing different lyrics on one of the verses! By 1967, they were willing to spend HUNDREDS of hours trying to get the right sound on one of John Lennon's vocals, even if it meant lying on the floor or hanging upside down by his knees!!! lol (kk)

Dear Kent,

Just a short note saying Happy New Year even though it is one day late.
I have truly enjoyed your website these past few months after discovering it.
I do have a copy of Tommy Roe's SHEILA on Judd as well as another record he came out with that same year, 1960, CAVEMAN. (I know what some of your readers said, but I have always been under the impression it came out in 1960.) Another thing I do sometimes if I don't know what year a record came out, I interpolate. I get another record with the same label, year it came out, is the label number more or less thanthe one I want to know about. It seems to me, without checking my copy, that the song CAVEMAN says that Tommy Roe is backed by a singers known as the Satins and Flamingos.

Larry Neal
The Wax Museum
Hmmm ... first I've heard of that ... anybody know for sure what this might be about? (Hard to imagine The Satins and/or The Flamingos singing background on this unknown artist's record, especially for a regional label ... but we've heard stranger stories over the years!!!) kk


Someone mentioned that Sheila was recorded by Buddy Holly. I grew up in Lubbock, TX (Holley's hometown) and remember that song, but haven't heard it in years, and I'm not sure what year he recorded it. I would love to hear it. He and the Crickets used to perform sometimes at our junior high school assemblies. It seems that Buddy's Sheila was different that the version Tommy Roe did. Of course, the popular version by Tommy Roe, in 1960, was the most popular version.

As far as I know, Buddy Holly never recorded "Sheila" ... he was already gone by the time Tommy Roe released his version and it's an original composition. (If Buddy recorded a song called "Sheila", it's most definitely a different tune!) When Roe first released the record in 1960 (on the small Judd Records label) it failed to make an impact but was a popular "local hit" in the Atlanta area. He later re-recorded the tune (in much more of a Buddy Holly STYLE) in 1962 ... and THAT'S the version that went on to top the charts nationally. (Anybody know of a Buddy Holly tune called "Sheila"??? Would love to share a copy!) kk

Here's another rare, alternate version of a HUGE U.S. Hit ... featuring a lyric change when the record was released in

vs. THE RED BARON ... I MEAN BLACK KNIGHT!!! (Huh?!?!?):
The Royal Guardsmen had to change the song "Snoopy" due to its commercial possibilities, so in Canada, the Royal Guardsmen released this as the official release! (Courtesy of Clark Besch)

I saw this story on the BBC News Website and thought you might be able to use it:
Click here: BBC News - Minister tries to save Ringo Starr's former home
-- submitted by

Check Out The Abbey Road Webcam – WCBS-FM 101.1
Kent ...
Don't you want to know whose crossing the street?
Frank B.
Hmmm ... I don't know how much time I'll spend watching the live webcam shot of this famous crossing ... kinda like watching paint dry for me! (But I would ABSOLUTELY love to take the walk myself someday!) kk

>>>Is there a recording of the Beatles' first concert in America (New York I believe).If I remember correctly, Roy Orbison, The Righteous Brothers and Jay & the Americans opened for them. (Paul Rosenberg)

>>>Actually, The Beatles first official concert here in The States was held at the Washington D.C. Coliseum on February 11, 1964 ... they held the concert there as a way of saying thank you to the Washington, D.C. radio station who first broke their first U.S. #1 Hit "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on American radio. Their opening acts were the aforementioned Tommy Roe (who appeared on the same bill as The Beatles in England a year earlier, right about the time their record "Please Please Me" began climbing the charts in The U.K.), The Chiffons and The Caravelles, hot on the charts at the time with "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry". (kk)
It should be noted that the Righteous Brothers and Jay & The Americans were also on that same bill in Washington, D.C. The acts were a bit upset that the marquis said "The Beatles + others"

British Babies Not Rockin’ Like The 60's or 70's! – WCBS-FM 101.1
Kent ...
New Babies not being named after old Rock-n-Rollers.
Frank B.

>>>Just wanted to let you know if you don't already ... Dave Clark released 28 songs by the DC5 that were unreleased on iTunes ... and he has most of his stuff on iTunes now. (Joe)

I only found 14 songs and downloaded them all. Pretty lame basically. "Hold On" is at least the theme for their TV special "Hold On! It's the Dave Clark 5". Sounds like all from 1969 era pretty much.
Clark Besch
I just find it fascinating that ANY of this stuff is finally seeing the light of day after all this time. I'm hoping fans are downloading this stuff ... maybe it'll prompt Dave Clark to make ALL his stuff available again! (kk)

One of the more breath-taking videos we've run lately has got to be this one. Here's another look ... with some interesting commentary / remembrance from Andy Williams himself:
Hi Kent, Belated Happy New Year!
I'm just now catching up with last week's Forgotten His and saw your comments about Vance's interview. Although Vance may refer to being cyber-illiterate during the interview, his mention of the Andy Williams / Simon & Garfunkel YouTube video shows that he does venture into the unknown on occasion! Vance's commentary was "spot on" not only because he recently discovered the clip, but because the original broadcast likely made such a musical impression on him when he watched it as a child. There's another version of this performance on YouTube that might be interesting to share with readers. This one includes an intro by Andy Williams that sets the scene on stage prior to the actual performance:
Click here: YouTube - Andy Williams with Simon and Garfunkel

It's amazing what's out there on YouTube! This particular video was posted on Vance's Music Memoirs blog shortly after his interview and can also be found on the Music Memoirs YouTube channel: along with a growing collection of other videos used as music is mentioned on the blog. "Feeling grooVy" is guaranteed after viewing even a portion of this nostalgic entertainment. Enjoy!


More comments tomorrow in our regularly scheduled Sunday Comments Page ... so please check back when you can! (kk)