Monday, February 21, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers

We've got another great batch of "Helping Out Our Readers" to share with you today ... so let's get right to it!!!

When I posted something by The Herd elsewhere, someone shouted Peter Frampton.
I checked Joel Whitburn's Top 40, 8th edition, and found no mention of Frampton being part of The Herd. However, his 5th edition does!!!
I don't think The Herd ever HAD a Top 40 Hit, did they?!?!? Whitburn's most recent Top Pop Singles Book says that Peter Frampton joined The Herd at the ripe old age of 16. A few years later, he formed Humble Pie, which is where he first made his mark on the FM-Rock stations. But his career REALLY "came alive" in 1976 when his live "Frampton Comes Alive" album jumped to the top of the Billboard Album Charts and stayed there for ten weeks, eventually selling over six million copies! (kk)

>>>There hasn't been a whole lot written about Aretha's health since she came home from the hospital just about a month ago. In an interview with Jet Magazine, she said she was fine and that her health issues had "been resolved." (In the same interview, she never admitted to having pancreatic cancer either ... and she's been pretty tight-lipped about it ever since.) You can read highlights from her Jet interview here (kk):
Click here: Aretha Franklin: Health problem 'has been resolved' one month after surgery

UPDATE: Since this piece ran, Aretha's been more in the spotlight again lately. First, there was the big show-opening tribute number at this year's Grammy Awards Ceremony, featuring a medley of Aretha's hits sung by Christina Aguilera, Miranda Lambert, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson and Florence Welch, a performance that "Entertainment Weekly" Magazine described as: "Five of music's biggest belters teamed up to honor Franklin with a greatest-hits medley that quickly devolved into a game of 'Any Note You Can Hit, I Can Hit Higher'. Five ear-splitting choruses later, we were roundly impressed ... and partially deaf." The tribute ended with Aretha herself up on the big screen (via a pre-taped "thank you" video) that promised she'd be back at the ceremony live next year.
Franklin has really down-played her hospital stay, never confirming anything at all to do with the much talked about pancreatic cancer report ... virtually EVERYTHING now refers to this as a hospital visit for "an undisclosed procedure" ... kinda weird in a way ... but Aretha has also made a point of talking about how much much-needed weight loss she experienced as a result of this.
"Rolling Stone" Magazine had a blurb this past week that revealed:
Aretha Franklin Will Return to the Stage and Release New Album
In May, singer to perform first concert since recovering from a mystery ailment
By Matthew Perpetua
February 17, 2011 10:15 AM ET
Aretha Franklin has announced her first show since canceling a run of concerts last year due to illness. The singer, who is still recovering from surgery she had in December, is set to perform at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Buffalo, New York on May 28th. (Gossip blogger Perez Hilton says that her actual first concert will be at Radio City Music Hall earlier in May, but that has yet to be confirmed.)
Franklin will also release a new album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love, on May 3rd through WalMart. The record, which has been in the works for many years and will be issued by her own label Aretha's Records, will include collaborations with R. Kelly and Billy Dee Williams.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Franklin said that one positive effect of her illness has been that she has lost weight. She said that she has been working hard to maintain the loss by regularly working out and eating a healthier diet.
Franklin's most recent public appearance was on the Grammy Awards on Sunday. In a pre-taped clip, she thanked fans for supporting her during her illness following an all-star tribute to her music featuring Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Florence Welch and Yolanda Adams.

>>>WHO was it did: "Moonshine Tenneessee wine, runnin' round my head ... friend of mine ..."? (Robert Black, Willowdale Ont)
>>>Robert Black posted a query about lyrics that go "moonshine, --- wine ... etc." This is just grasping at straws, but it sounds like Randy Newman's "Old Kentucky Home", also recorded by the Beau Brummels and who knows who else. I think the first verse is something like "Moonshine, dandelion wine / Sittin' with friends in the evening time" or similar to what Robert from Ontario heard. I don't think the Beau Brummels released it as a single from their Triangle LP but maybe (in Canada) they were giving Newman's record some airplay! (Bob Rashkow)
>>>I don't see anything about this in my ever-reliable CHUM Chart Book ... anybody else have any idea what this might be? (kk)

This is called Moonshine (Friend Of Mine) by John Kay (of Steppenwolf)Doug

This seems to nail the lyrics Robert sent in ... but only he can confirm it for sure. Meanwhile, I thought I heard this playing in my head when I first read his inquiry but what I heard most definitely was NOT the John Kay song ... so now I'm wondering if there's ANOTHER song out there with similar lyrics. (The one I'm hearing sounds like more of a country hit, probably also from the mid-to-late '70's, but I just can't put my finger on it.) Any other ideas? (Meanwhile, I've sent your suggestion on to Robert ... let's see if he comes back with a reply!) kk

Regarding the query about Moonshine from a fellow in Willowdale Ontario ...
The song he asks about is Moonshine by Ottawa's Five Man Electrical Band, otherwise better know for the original version of Signs. The song was also covered by another temporary Canadian, John Kay, on his first solo album on ABC / Dunhill and both versions charted in Canada.
Greg Simpson
Coquitlam BC

Hmmm ... agin, I don't see EITHER of these titles in my CHUM book ... but clearly a couple of Canadian Artists had fun recording it. I'm hoping Robert Black comes back to us with something like a "positive I.D." on these! (kk)

From Moonshine ... to Hot Chocolate!

>>>Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing - Released in the US on Big Tree Records.
It is written that it was an (unknown) American DJ who flipped the 45 RPM record over and spotted its potential. How he was able to persuade Producer Mickie Most abroad, to modify it and reissue it is also unknown. (John)
>>>Hard to tell ... this simply could be a case of the extended album mix vs. the punched-up hit single mix ... that sort of thing happened all the time, especially if the single was pulled from the album AFTER pressure to release it. That being said, I don't know that anyone from Big Tree Records (or American radio for that matter) had to convince anybody to release "You Sexy Thing" as a single ... it debuted on The British Singles Pop Chart a week after it premiered in Billboard here in The States. It peaked at #2 in its U.K. showing and reached #3 (for three weeks!) in Billboard in early '76. (It also peaked at #2 on the Cash Box Chart.) By 1976, Hot Chocolate had already racked up nine British Top 40 Hits, so they were no strangers on the charts. Here in the States, "Emma" (#6, 1975) and "Disco Queen" (#21, 1975) were already proven hits before "You Sexy Thing" first hit the charts. Again, an established chart track record would indicate that they knew EXACTLY what song to release as their next single. Once they signed with
Mickie Most's RAK Records label, they earned their first British Top Ten Hit with "Love Is Life" (#36, 1970). Early Hot Chocolate recordings of '70's hits like "You Could Have Been A Lady" and "Brother Louie" went on to become bigger hits for April Wine and Stories respectively, but they would earn a total of 13 Top Ten British Hits under their own name between 1970 and 1987 (including a remix of "You Sexy Thing" that went to #10 in 1987.) Having checked a number of reference sources, I can't find ANYTHING stating that it was an American deejay who prompted the success of "You Sexy Thing" (or its release as a single) ... as I said, Hot Chocolate had already scored two U.S. hits prior to its release on Big Tree Records. Honestly, I think by this point they were pretty well recognized as world-wide hit makers. (kk)
Hi Kent -
Just been reading the newsletter dated November 8, 2010, and would like to clarify things regarding Hot Chocolate.
Written by Phil Hendriks, the following comments come from the sleeve notes of their As, B's and Rarities cd released in 2004:
"The morose 'Blue Night' single issued in April 1975 was a fairly blatant attempt to re-create 'Emma' in a bid to revive the group's fortunes. It failed to catch the imagination of radio producers and with little airplay or promotion failed to chart. Once again it appeared that success was deserting the band, yet hidden on the B side of 'Blue Night' was a hint of glories to come, a song entitled 'You Sexy Thing'. Hindsight reveals that Mickie Most's decision to make 'You Sexy Thing' the B side could have been a major blunder, had it not been for an American DJ flipping the record over and spotting it's potential."
So you see Kent we do have an American DJ to thank for bringing us this classic, even though it was completely re-worked for release later in the year. It went on to reach number 2 then and number 10 when re-mixed in 1987. It then reached the top 10 for a third time in 1997 making it their most successful hit ever

Dear Kent -
Just came across your website and really enjoyed it.
In one of your Christmas posts I read Gary Theroux's very interesting description of his fight to get the "All-Time Greatest Hits Of Christmas" done right. (Congrats, by the way, Gary!)
I'm a major fan of Dickens' CHRISTMAS CAROL. I've produced my own radio / audio version, have played Scrooge several times, and, just this past season, had an article published on the very long history of the story in this medium.
In fact, I'm on a quest to get the best - condition - possible copy of Barrymore's 1947 recording and wondered:
- For this collection, did Gary have the actual masters to work from?
- And was it trimmed? The original clocks at 24:01
Look forward to hearing from you!
All best,
Craig Wichman

I passed your note (and your email address) along to Gary Theroux ... hopefully he'll contact you directly on this. Glad you're enjoying Forgotten Hits ... hope we can help you out with this! (kk)

And, speaking of Christmas, believe it or not we just got THIS video clip last week, too!
Kent ...
Another one of my helpful hints ... How to make a Snowman.
Frank B.
OK, I have to admit ... I'd like to have seen James Taylor build the whole thing ... plus then we could have heard the whole song, too ... but you get the general idea! (kk)

re: SURVEY SAYS ... :
I recently came into a number of WFOX Milwaukee surveys from 1957. Hopefully you can see the third column, between the song title and the artist's name. It says points. Apparently each title was given a point value and therefore ranked accordingly. However each position was not worth the same amount of points week after week, nor even the same song when it repeated at the same position. Nor is it a cumulative total. WFOX offers no explanation on how the system works. My question since Joel is from the Milwaukee area, does he know anything about this, and/or did he get the idea of a point system from WFOX. I have never seen this appear on any other top 40 chart.
I passed your question along to Joel Whitburn to see what (if any) influence these charts may have had on his own research. Here's what he had to say:
Hi Kent,
The only Milwaukee radio surveys that I collected and saved were those from WOKY. I have a complete set of those and some from WRIT. However, I never collected any from WFOX, so I can not comment on their point values. I would assume that it had something to do with the number of spins or requests for that title for that week.

Kent:I'm wondering if the documentary "Airplay" is available to purchase, without donating a large amount of money to PBS. There's nothing available on Amazon, so does anyone know where I can buy it?
Denny Foster
I don't believe that it's "commercially available" just yet ... so I asked Carolyn Travis, the producer of the film, what the game plan was beyond the PBS showings. Here's what she had to say:
Hi Kent,
I wish I could sell Airplay, but my PBS deal gives them exclusive rights for now. As soon as I'm allowed, I'll give you a few DVDs to give away to your readers ... probably not til after the June pledge period.
Here's what I have so far ...
KCET in LA is airing it on Saturday, February 26th, at 9:30 ... special guest: Raechel Donahue. Repeat showing Feb. 28th at 10:30
KVCR is LA is running it March 1st and 3rd.
WYIN is airing it Sunday the 27th, Thursday 3/3, and Friday 3/4. Apparently this station is based in Indiana but serves part of Chicago. Haven't heard about the other Chicago station yet. Some stations might use it in their June pledge.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: My understanding is that WTTW here in Chicago has committed to airing "Airplay" ... we just don't have a date for this showing yet. Renown broadcaster Clark Weber has even volunteered his services to host a Chicago area showing. Wouldn't it be cool to get a dozen or so jocks from "back in the day" to man the phone lines that night ... and share some of their vintage "AM Radio" memories??? kk)
Boston is airing it on WGBH 2/28 at midnight. WEKW and WENH (which are in New Hamphsire ... not sure why they were listed under Boston) on 3/4 at midnight.
KRCB in San Francisco is airing it 3/7
WEAO-TV in Cleveland - 3/6
WTVI in Charlotte, NC - 3/9
WCET in Cincinnati - 3/7
WCVE in Richmond - 3/2
WCVW in Richmond - 3/6
WETP & WKOP in Knoxville - 3/7
KUAS & KUAT in Tuscon - 3/5
Wi8BO - it's on my list as Portland / Auburn but I think it's based in New Hampshire
WEIU in Champaign, IL - 2/26
WILL in central IL - 3/10
WSEC in Springfield, IL - 3/2
KI6FC in Santa Barbara, CA (I think that's the UC / Santa Barbara station) 2/26 and 2/26
Other markets that already have it on the schedule are Jackson, MS, Burlington, VT, Ft. Wayne Indiana, Youngstown, OH, Fargo, ND, Corpus Christie and Amarillo, TX, Columbus / Tupelo, MS, Salisbury, MD, Minot / Bismarlk, ND, Biloxi / Gulfport, MS, WMEC, IL, Bowling Green, KY, Charlottesville, VA, Meridian, MS, Greenwood, MS and Lima, OH. Toledo wasn't on the list I got Friday, but somebody told me it was airing there.
Some of these cities have multiple stations, so it's best to check local listings.
These are mostly premiere air dates. I don't have repeat showings. Sorry I couldn't get this to you sooner ... I just got it on Friday.
Thanks again for all your help.
Thanks for the update, Carolyn. Again, please check your local listings as a back-up plan ... and remember that PBS typically airs these types of programs repeatedly during their pledge drives. (Is there really any time anymore when they're NOT doing a pledge drive?!?!?) Anyway, well worth an hour of your time to watch the abbreviated version on PBS ... and then make a donation in order to receive a DVD of the whole thing. (If and when we're able to give away a few copies, we'll be sure to let you know!) kk

Remember the Gentrys' hit Keep on Dancing? Well, I found a forgotten gem of theirs that in my eyes poses an unusual twist. The song is Why Should I Cry. I think it charted in 1970. Now here is what makes this song interesting. If you play the ending of the Grass Roots big hit Midnight Confessions, please notice when the last chorus of sha la las come in. Now play the introduction to Why Should I Cry and notice their sha la las. You would swear they are IDENTICAL! It seems to me that someone got away with this. Maybe you can post both songs and let you and your readers listen themselves to see if I really am nuts! What do you think?
Also, I came across a couple of FHs you might feature someday. One is Trust by the Peppermint Trolley Company. It was a good song but didn't receive much airplay around Chicago. Another California group who was a one hit wonder was The Cherry People with And Suddenly. After a slow intro it turns into a good little catchy tune! Again, it did much better on the West Coast. I'll throw one more in: To Put Up With You by The Flying Circus.
Thank you for the info on the PC Limited and the postings of Gypsy, Sunny Was a Fool, and People and Me. You truly will never be forgotten! I'm so glad I found your site! It was like a kid in a candy store for the first time! You have a friend for life!
Steve Homner
OK, a lot of ground to cover here ... so let's rolling!
"Why Should I Cry" by The Gentrys was a #50 Hit in early 1970. In that it was recorded for Sun Records (after a four year break without a hit at MGM, The Gentrys switched labels ... and probably NOT by their own choice!), it's simply nothing more than a coincidence that you hear a similarity between The Grass Roots' fade out on "Midnight Confessions" (recorded for Dunhill Records) and "Why Should I Cry", recorded by The Gentrys, for Sun Records ... the two recordings have absolutely nothing in common ... other than a great hook ... and, when played back-to-back, they are clearly different recordings.

Of your "forgotten hits" suggestions, only "And Suddenly" comes remotely close to qualifying as something most people would remember upon hearing it again ... the other two titles didn't chart at all. ("And Suddenly" ... which we actually DID feature a long time ago ... reached #43 in 1968 ... and you're right, it's not a bad song at all ... so we'll feature it as a FH "bonus track" here today.)
To truly qualify as a "forgotten hit", the song has to be something that you'll remember hearing on the radio way back when ... but has been absent from the airwaves for SO long now that you've all but forgotten it ... yet, upon hearing it again, you can IMMEDIATELY sing along with it, despite all the years that may have passed in between.
Meanwhile, I'm glad you're enjoying Forgotten Hits ... so keep the comments coming! (kk)

Hi Kent,
I've always been fascinated by the whole things go better with Coke ad campaign that had all our favorite groups doing coke ads. I have many, many of them. I've wondered a couple things about them and thought the real place to find some info might be the forgotten hits folks.
There are varying lengths of these, including 90 second versions. Did some major market stations play 90 second versions occasionally? Also they really sound like they were produced by the studios and producers the bands and singers normally used. I was wondering if that might be true?
There seems to be not much information out there considering how many different acts did these ads that ran, in some cases, all over the world.
Well I guess that's it for this morning. (grin)

We've got a pretty extensive collection of these, too, and are always hearing about more that are out there from our readers ... but we've never really explored any of the details behind these recordings. Sounds like an interesting topic. Anybody got any info to share? (kk)

UPDATE: Ironically, just a few days after we received your inquiry, I also received a note for another Forgotten Hits Reader who has perhaps the most COMPLETE collection of these jingles around ... not only the radio spots that ran here in the U.S. ... but ALSO clips from around the country! Check this out! (kk)
The "Things Go Better With Coke" campaign started in 1963 and ended more or less in 1969 - 1970 when it was replaced by the equally popular "It's The Real Thing." Both jingles were composed by Bill Backer. Throughout the '60s, Coca-Cola signed endorsement deals with some of the biggest contemporary musical acts. Most of the time, the Coke jingle was intertwined with a slightly different version of a hit song sung by the original artist. This resulted in little 30, 60 or 90 second tunes that were very popular with the Coke-drinking young people.
My personal collection is the result of endless research, digging, and begging. I want to thank those special individuals who have contributed to this project, especially a certain radio producer and a few wonderful people who operate web-sites and / or participate in collector discussion groups - you know who you are. A few tracks have been culled from video sources - thanks to the original posters for making these available.
Track corrections, omissions or UNKNOWN identities would be greatly appreciated.
Some jingles or jingle variations are missing - hopefully, these can be identified and added to this collection.

I think amongst our reader base we could probably put together the most complete collection of Coke jingles possible ... with the CLEAR understanding that this would be done for "Collectors' Purposes" ONLY!!! Anybody else who might have something to add (or share) in this regard should drop a note to:

And, on a related note ...
Hi Kent,
I know that this is a long-shot, but I'm really hoping that someone can help or knows where to get help on this.
In 1968, Bill Cosby recorded 260 (maybe more) 5-minute radio "shows" for Coca-Cola (there may be shows from 1969, too). These comedy programs featured "Things Go Better With Coke" jingles made famous by the many rock stars of the day.
Does anyone have or know where to get these shows? Apparently, they were sent out to radio stations as records. Some have unique edits in the jingles.
Any help would be appreciated. I am already aware of the one web-site that has a lot of info and pictures of this show.
I have 16 complete shows and part of one other. I'm interested in the audio contents of the records or tapes or whatever - in some sort of file format, if possible.

Again, anyone with audio (or information) to share should contact Brad at the email address shown above. (kk)

re: PLAYTAPE 1200:
Kent ...
In your last edition, you spoke about an 8 Track Museum in Texas. Wild Wayne is now playing "Hillbilly Heaven," by Tex Ritter.
I was wondering if you or your readers ever heard of a 2-Track Tape.
In 1966, I was in the Marines and my parents bought it for me.
It's called a Playtape 1200. It runs on batteries. You slip a small cassette into its side. When Side 1 finishes, you have to manually switch it to Side 2.
I still have it and it still works. Except for the one that i have, I've never seen another one.
Frank B.

Well, Frank, over the years you've sent me ALL kinds of cool stuff ... and now I FINALLY have the chance to return the favor.
Here's a photo of the Playtape 1200 ... along with several links for this piece of merchandise. (Some of these folks even have sealed tapes for sale!!! UNREAL!!!) kk

Click here: Playtape
Click here: Vintage Playtape 1200 RESERVED by thelostfound on Etsy
I'd have to imagine that some of these Beatles Tapes must be pretty rare and highly collectible ... but if you read some of these posts, you'll see that most of the major artists of the day were represented in some fashion. It truly is unreal what people hang on to ... and that they'd actually still work!!! (kk)