re: FORGOTTEN HITS REMEMBERS ... :
Our wonderful friend, Sergio Rodriguez (AKA "Boopkid") has created a fantastic video slideshow to honor our beloved Clay Cole, who passed away on December 18 last year.
RIP, Estelle. You deserve a good rest. It's sad that "Be My Baby" was the biggest triumph of the group's -- and Estelle's -- life. Follow-up singles never did anywhere near as well as that first hit from the fall of '63. Estelle suffered with mental illness, cancer, and was even homeless for a time. But we are all blessed by the legacy of her music -- her flair for fashion -- and her determination to fight on.
It was a 10:00 am appointment, which was uncharacteristically early for any rock star, but Dennis was at the top of his game then. He looked like he had just come from an early morning workout -- bright-eyed, fit -- now clean-shaven -- and bristling with energy. He was still riding a wave of critical acclaim for his lone solo album, "Pacific Ocean Blue," which had been released a few months earlier. And he was eager to continue work on a follow-up, the aborted "Bambu," and to make a "really good Beach Boys" album. He was especially high on some tunes that Carl had been writing. Our interview took place behind the board in the control room of the studio.
Counting myself among the most ardent of Beach Boys fans, left to my own purposes that day, I would have gone really deep into the band's history and the nooks and crannies of their rich catalog. But the show for which this interview was intended was targeting a general audience, and Dennis, to his great credit, addressed all the standard topics with great candor and enthusiasm. DW was far away the best interview subject in the band. No filters, no B.S., always truthful and emotionally unguarded.
Ultimately, we got around to the 10,000-pound gorilla that appeared in any Beach Boys story -- the aborted "Smile" project. Remember, up until this point, Brian Wilson always claimed in the rare interviews he submitted to that he had destroyed most of the "Smile" session tapes, particularly the mythic "Fire" tapes from the LP's intended "Elements Suite". When I mentioned to Dennis how tragic this was, he stopped the conversation and hollered, "Earl!," summoning Brother Studio's staff engineer, Earl Mankey into the studio. "Hey, Earl, cue up that tape we were listening to last night." Mankey went into an adjacent closet and grabbed a 10" reel of tape and slapped it on one of the two-tracks in the room. When he assured Dennis that it was good-to-go, Dennis hit play, sat back in his chair, and waited for my reaction.
What emerged from the control monitors was what would best be described as an "orchestrated cacophony." A conundrum to be sure, but such was the magic in the arrangement skills of Brian Wilson. Percussion and strings merged to conjure up images of a crackling, searing inferno -- as vivid as any film-maker could convey. The siren of an imaginary fire truck only punctuated what was already a fully-realized aural portrait. I knew that I was listening to the stuff of legend, and no doubt, my jaw was on the floor. I looked to Dennis for his reaction, and I could see that he was struggling to maintain a poker face, clearly reveling in my stupefied amazement.
When the music concluded and, after a moment to compose myself, I asked how this could be? Brian had destroyed the tapes. Dennis laughed and said, "You know Brian. He just says that so people drop the subject. He's never destroyed anything." Dennis went on to tell me that the "Smile" tapes had not been touched at all since 1971 when "Surf's Up" had been exhumed for the album of the same name. But the "Fire" tape had probably not been played since 1967 until the previous evening, and that we were the first to hear it in more than a decade.
You can imagine how desperately I wanted to hear more from this cache of unearthed tapes, but time was limited, so we concluded the interview and I headed to the office, stlil a bit in shock.
Several years later, when bootlegs of this legendary material started appearing, I was finally able to re-experience these sounds that had literally been seared into my brain. But nothing could ever top that morning in January '78 -- that very first listen with Dennis Wilson seated in front of me.
I'm thrilled at the prospect of the original "Smile" sessions finally being granted a legitimate release. But this is a promise that has been made countless times since 1967 -- the aborted original release; once again, as a condition of their Warner-Reprise deal, and when their catalog reverted to Capitol. This is definitely a "believe it when I see it" scenario, but fingers crossed. I'd love for the general public to hear one of Brian's masterworks in its original iteration.
Just pretend you're the drummer!!
Just pretend you're a Capitol Records engineer and didn't like The Beach Boys, after dealing with The Beatles, so you purposely mixed their vocals weird!! ...
Here's a rare take of my favorite song by them (Sail On Sailor, 2nd)! Always wanted to hear it in Stereo! Similar recording technique as used by Jan & Dean! Seems they
quit early and took Darlin' out to lunch during this recording, as the band played on!
Remember to tell your friends you heard it first ... here at KKFH!!!
A few days ago, I started to think ... what person or persons have the final say-so as to what songs are played on the TOC? Does Scott Shannon have any input? I don't know. Anyway I always look forward to your website's comments.
Well, this is the way I see and hear things. There is no attack against your Oldies!!! The commercial radio stations treat them just like they do with '80's and beyond tunes - limited. Personally, the '80's became somewhat a bore for me; music began to sound faker and faker. However, there were some great songs (in my opinion) from the '80's and beyond! And you claim no one is playing your Oldies, eh? Well, it was a nice experience to hear two young girls at a Borders Books store in Mt. Laurel, NJ, and they not only sang and played Tonight You Belong To Me by Patience & Prudence, but also Sweet Pea by Tommy Roe. And, listen here, I was in a grocery store once and heard a young teen girl telling her little sister that she liked the song "Dizzy"! You just need to get out more often, K'! LOL!
Here's my weekly report on Oldies radio:
Friday evening, I tune to WVLT-FM (Vineland, NJ).
Sunday afternoon, I tune to WVLT-FM again, to find hours of Frank Sinatra.
Right after, I tune to WRDV-FM (Warminster, PA) and hear a lot of Doo-Wop I don't recognize. I tune in later, about 11:30PM, I hear Soul tunes I don't recognize. Some of which could stand a good DiscWasher.
Now I can see why those commercial stations that play the same 200 songs continue to excel!
There you go, Kent.
Just letting you know the first show went really well today, and if the re-runs are just as successful I'll be looking to make similar shows in the future
Glad we could help! Additional details (and airings) can be found in the info below:
My pitch for the show is as follows:
Between them Bristol born Songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway have written more hits than anyone other than Paul McCartney. They have also produced, performed and released many more yet remain largely unknown to those outside the music industry. So for the uninitiated, I'll be showcasing some of their work in a new three hour special, 'IN THE SPOTLIGHT'. Next weekend on Nicky's Oldies. See broadcast schedule for more details.
I appreciate your help in getting the word out Kent, and will place a link back to Forgotten Hits on my station
Many thanks -
And, if you hurry, you can probably still catch part of this:
re: TODAY'S FORGOTTEN HIT:
Really enjoyed today's FH. Haven't heard OKC's Henson Cargill's SKIP A ROPE in ages. As far as I know and can remember, he just had two records which made the local top 40 radio survey here, SKIP A ROPE and his followup, ROW, ROW, ROW, both, of course, on Monument. Here in OKC he opened up a restaurant, oddly enough called Henson's. It closed years ago.
Now then, and I don't know why I thought of this record when I saw the FH for today, but OKC's own Hoyt Axton in 1962 - 1963 wrote and recorded the original GREENBACK DOLLAR, which did quite well here in OKC. As you know also recorded and a national hit for the Kingston Trio.
I absolutely LOVED "Skip A Rope" when it came out back in late 1967 / early 1968. In fact, it went all the way to #7 here in Chi-Town (and topped Billboard's Country Singles Chart for five weeks, too!) kk