The PBS special on Rock and Doo-Wop will be shown here in OKC this coming Thursday evening, March 10 at 9 PM. Our PBS station always delays first time programs for some reason.
We finally got to see some of this last night, too ... they ran it back to back so between the two showings I think we got to see most of it ... VERY impressive how good some of these voices still sound after all these years ... TONS of highlights (with only a few bumps in the road) ... definitely worth watching again from start to finish. (And I've just GOT to see Jay Black before he hangs it up for good ... this guy is absolutely AMAZING ... and I hear he does a REAL lewd and bawdy show ... and that's after toning it down some. But man, this guy can sing!!! re: JAY BLACK: Not a lot of shows coming up ... but check out this line up for Jay's appearance in The Bahamas!!! Click here: Jay Black (kk)
Everybody is raving about Ronnie Spector's performance on the latest PBS Show. I agree.
She's great. Brought back a lot of memories for me. I can remember when Ronnie, Estelle and Nedra were Murray The K's dancing girls. Before they sang. I went to all the shows at The Brooklyn Fox and The New York Paramont. They would come out and dance between acts. I guess they must've been teenagers then. So was I. Seems like yesterday. Where does the time go?
Another funny bit from the show is when Jay Black looked at his watch and timed himself hitting the high note while singing "Cara Mia." During one of the breaks, Jay Black was interviewed.
He said people come up to him and tell him he has a great voice. That's always nice to hear.
He's gotten letters from people telling him that they were in a fox hole during the Viet Nam War, and his music helped them get through it. Or - a person who's very sick goes to his show and is entertained and gets a few laughs out of it. That's what's important to him.
Here's some more info on the PBS Doo-Wop Special ... I pay attention to detail ... that's why I make big bucks .LoL !
On tape: Hal Miller and The Rays sang "Silhouettes." They left this line out of the song - " Put his arms around your waist, held you tight." Songs were short enough, why did they do it?
The Marcels singing " Blue Moon " with an 8-man group. Why so many? Fred Johnson, bass, got a haircut ... last show he had long hair.
Kathy Young sang "A Thousand Stars" ... last time she had her group "The Innocents" with her. This time she didn't.
Jay Black sang "Cara Mia" with The Alley Cats. First time I saw this pairing.
Kenny Vance started with Jay & The Americans. Kenny & Jay ... another duet I would've liked to have seen.
Don't want to confuse the folks out there.
On tape: The Rays sang "Silhouettes" and The Silhouettes sang "Get A Job". First time I remember group and song with the same name.
>>>I enjoyed the original 'black and white' footage of a number of artists but wished that they'd included my dear friend -- and the 'golden voice of rock and roll' -- Ray Peterson, who passed away on January 25, 2005. He worked with many of those acts through the years and one of the last public performances he made was at another PBS taping, "At The Drive-in," filmed in Austin, TX. While that special has not become a staple like the Doo Woop shows, it's an exceptional show, hosted by Fabian, and featuring Jan & Dean (his last major television special), Bobby Vee and The Vees, The Orlons (also featured on this show), Merilee Rush, Dodie Stevens, The Surfaris, The Rip Chords, and The Nelsons, doing a tribute to their Dad. (Fred Vail)
I guess all major roads between here, nyc, and phila DO cross here, but I'm shocked that the real 'talent' chooses to perform in my city and for a 250 seat show! The John Doe / Jill Sobule looks real good to me, but with Dave Mason, Roger McGuinn, and Chad & Jeremy ... I might have to see more than the one show ... (the pic archive from previous years should be checked too)
I might have to vote for this mayor again !
If you look behind the open file drawer in the photo, you'll see the edges of the Hank Williams poster I had on one wall. Another wall held a copy of the Holly - Bopper - Valens Winter Tour of 1959 poster (among other things). The Billboard article did credit Bill Drake as my co-writer on "The History of Rock 'n' Roll," but that was really P.R. The truth was that his only contributions to the final script were minor tweaks he made to match his speaking cadence while in the recording booth cutting voice tracks. Once I got used to Bill's distinctive speech pattern, I was able to write to match his rhythm and the tweaks ceased. I did the same thing -- customizing my writing to match voice patterns -- when crafting scripts for Casey Kasem, Johnny Hayes, Phil Hendrie, Kris Erik Stevens and others -- including me!
At the time of the HRR release in 1978, many listeners wrote in asking for show souvenirs. I came up with a bunch of ideas, including a coffee table book containing the entire script with pictures. It was never published, though, because I was unable to convince the company's clueless GM, Jim Kefford, of the potential of ancillary merchandising. It was simply a concept beyond his comprehension. Among other things, I proposed a series of official "History of Rock 'n' Roll" albums -- an idea he rejected outright, claiming that releasing such items "would be like giving the show away." Into that void stepped the Pickwick label, which then issued a series of completely unauthorized "History of Rock 'n" Roll" LPs! They contained music only -- no narration or interview tracks -- and in fact had no connection to the 52 hour broadcast special other than copping the name (see second attachment). Not surprisingly, ol' Jim never got around to suing Pickwick for infringement.
re: SOUND-ALIKE RECORDS:
We used to have sound-alike records here in the UK too but they were always much cheaper than the originals and the musicians always remained anonymous, though it was later revealed both Elton John and David Bowie performed on many of these before they became international stars in their own right. I bought several of these sound-alikes at the time because records were expensive here, and to a 12 year old kid having six top hits on an e.p. for less than the price of a single was too good to miss. As with the example of Kind Of A Drag, most of the songs were just that, but now and then some would crop up which in my opinion were as good if not better than their counterparts on the chart. What really annoyed me came in the late 70s when many 50s and 60s singles started appearing in stores again. I used to run a mobile disco back then and seeing this as an opportunity to introduce the younger generation to some of the classics I grew up with, bought them by the bucket load. They were by the original artists and cost the same as a standard single, but the record companies neglected to mention that they were all re-recordings. I was conned big time and to me was a bigger deception than anything Hit Records appear to have done.
I was actually going to use one of the Elton John "sound-alikes" as an example but never got around to it ... but, since you mentioned it, this is the PERFECT place to do so. Here in America, several of these early recordings were gathered together and issued as a "Reg Dwight" album under Elton's real name. One that actually got some radio airplay at the time ... and is every bit as good as the original ... is Elton's early take on "My Baby Loves Lovin'", a track we recently featured by White Plaines. (He also cut a version of our recently-featured "Yellow River", another FH favorite!) An import CD I bought several years ago also includes sound-alike versions of "United We Stand", "Spirit In The Sky", CCR's "Travelin' Band" and "Up Around The Bend", "In The Summertime", Badfinger's "Come And Get It" and "Neanderthal Man" ... ironically, MOST of these became huge U.S. Hits right before Elton hit the charts here in The States for the first time with his break-through hit "Your Song". (In no time at all, these "copy artists" were probably recording their best Elton John impressions for the label!!!) kk
"My Baby Loves Lovin'" got the most commercial airplay at the time ... but Elton's version of "United We Stand" is my personal favorite. (Even at this early age there are hints of what was to come during Elton's booming voice ballads period of the '80's and '90's. And frankly, ANY deejay who hasn't added "Yellow River" by Christie to their regular oldies playlist simply isn't paying attention ... this is the most positive reaction we've had to a single song in a long, long time! (kk)
>>>Hit Records not only made sound-alike records ... they even made "look-alike" records, trying to trick shoppers into thinking they were getting the big hit record they heard on the radio. On this Hit Records sound-alike, they even used a band name that would make people think they were getting the original. Take a look at "Kind of a Drag" by "The Buchanans!" (David Lewis)
>>>Now that's just downright dirty!!! And an unsuspecting listener hearing "Kind of a Drag" the first few times but not really settled in yet as to the name of the group (especially since this was the band's first national hit) could EASILY be misled to pick up the wrong version here. And listening to it is even WORSE ... Kind Of A Drag INDEED ... QUITE a drag, in fact ... as there is absolutely NO "ooomph" to this tepid recording ... I feel bad for ANY music fan out there who got duped into buying this pale comparison to the jumping original. Still hard to believe that this is how these guys conducted business back in the day. Worse yet, they got away with it ... and people bought 'em!!! (kk)KK -
AMAZING!!! Someone trying to make dirty money off a rock band, unheard of!
WOW! Never heard that one before! Dirty and Scary!!!
Thanks for the mp3, I think?
"Hit Records", I wonder where it was done?
Thanks, again my friend.
Hope to see you this summer!
re: AND WHITTLING DOWN YOUR IPOD:
>>>WANT TO PLAY WITH YOUR MUSIC? I keep about 50 songs on my mp3 player. Seems that even though I'm the 'dj', pick the songs, and they are favorites ... I GET SICK OF MOST OF THEM PRETTY QUICKLY! (I think it's mostly a mood thing) Although there are a few that stay forever. Here's an experiment ... Make a 50 song playlist of favorites on your own mp3 player
... MAKE THE PLAYLIST THE ONE YOU LISTEN TO DAILY. Then as you get sick of a song ... (no matter how much you think you love it) ... and in two weeks, see what you have left. I'd be curious to see what makes YOUR final 10 or 5 Songs that you just can't get enough of! MAYBE THE RESULTS COULD BE COMBINED TO MAKE A 'MASTER' MUST HEAR LIST (or start eliminating from that 'master' for the ultimate) ANY TAKERS? (renfield)
I love where you're going on this, but for me to limit a play list to 40 or 50 songs, let alone 5, is equal to "Mission Impossible." We're talking nearly 60 years of music here -- and even if I limit it to the period 1954 to 1964 - probably my favorite years with a few exceptions (Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Paul Simon and a handful of others)
-- it's still impossible to limit it to just five.
However, the top five+ would absolutely have to include:
"Don't Be Cruel" (tied with "Loving You" and "Love Me Tender")
"Love Letters In The Sand" (tied with "The Great Pretender")
"That'll Be The Day" (tied with "Everyday" and "Oh, Boy")
"Travelin' Man" (tied with "Poor Little Fool")
"Don't Worry Baby" (tied with "Let It Be Me")
I just realized I must be a male chauvinist pig for not including any 'chick' singers. How about a separate Top 5+ for them:
"Who's Sorry Now" -- tied with "Lipstick On Your Collar"
"Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" tied with "Secret Love"
"Be My Baby"
"Sincerely" (tied with "Sugartime" and "Mr. Sandman")
Okay, I still can't believe I just consolidated seven decades of music down to only 20 songs. It needs to be at least 50, Kent! Shame on you! :) Or, should I say "Ain't That A Shame!" :) Now I'm at 21!
Fred / "Music City, USA"
lol ... it's not OUR poll this time ... this idea came from R.I.P. Renfield ... and I guess he's already had a few frustrated takers on his challenge. (Of course, as Gary points out, in order for this to really work right, the REAL results won't come in for another week or two ... or more!) It's a catchy idea (not unlike the "Desert Island Discs" thing that went around a few year back ... only this time you can still go about your regular business!) I, for one, couldn't do it ... I've NEVER been able to narrow down even a Top Five by a given artist, much less five all-time favorites from the past fifty years!!! (But then again I don't own an iPod either!!! All my music is always available at my fingertips and, although I've thought many times about consolidating it down to an iPod, I'm not sure I could narrow that playlist down to less than 20,000 songs ... much less five!!!) kk
re: HOW'D YOU LIKE THE CHANCE TO CONTRIBUTE
AN IDEA TO A BRAND NEW CD RELEASE?:
Hey, my friends, if you have not checked out a fairly new release I was associated with called "Book a Trip," you might be interested in these obscure tracks from the Capitol Records vaults from 66-69. I hope you find some cool sides to want to buy in here. There's some great tunes that deserve to be heard -- and from MASTER TAPES!!
I have been asked for input on the 2nd "Book a Trip" volume of obscure Capitol releases. Here's YOUR chance to help me give some ideas. Feel free to send me your Capitol obscure psych - pop faves from 66 - 69. Now is the time. Maybe you were in such a band that sent tapes in to Capitol and never got released too! If it fits the bill, you never know! Shameless promotion, ain't it!? What do you expect from a guy whose fave band is the Cryan Shames? :) Clark Besch
Well ... since you asked ... do you think there's any chance we could FINALLY get them to release the DJ edit of People's "I Love You" that I've been dying to own for 40-something years?!?!? I'm sure you'll get some other great suggestions, too ... just send 'em along to:
re: RECENT TOPICS:
So many fascinating topics and artists and records and ... I'll just mention a couple or I'll be punching the keys all day.
I picked up the Wadsworth Mansion LP because I hadn't heard their follow-up tune "Michigan Harry Slaughter" since May, 1971, when 'CFL gave it some airplay and it didn't catch on. Apparently MHS dented the Cashbox charts at either #99 or #100 -- but it didn't even bubble under on Billboard. "Sweet Mary" fades out on the LP, or at least the pressing I found.
Cherry People's Heritage LP is really great for the sunshine-pop fans out there (I like Left Banke's version, too, which I hadn't heard before!! Left Banke was one of my favorite groups anyway!!!) with tunes such as "Girl On The Subway", "On To Something New" and "Light Of Love", which was also slated to be on the Music Explosion's debut LP and got replaced (confirm, anyone?). Cherry People's producers got penners like Larry Weiss, Linzer - Randell and Fischoff and his partner (the guys who gave us Keith's 98.6) for the LP.
Finally -- Evergreen Blues. Absolutely great group. Because the guys were halfway decent-looking, they were featured in one of those little books tailored for girls in the late sixties, talking about the Monkees, the Raiders and other supposedly "budding young rock and roll bands." That was where I first saw them. Never heard their take on "Midnight Confessions"
(though that would undoubtedly be intriguing) but they had a great 45 on ABC circa 1969, "The Moon Is High / Girl, I Got Wise." Downside: they'd gotten on the "brass wagon" by that time, but the tunes are both melodic, which IMO makes up for the overproduced jazziness!!! Anybody have their earlier sides to post?
We featured the Evergreen Blues Band's original version of "Midnight Confessions" a while back ... but I have no problem spinning it again today. (kk)
re: PHIL COLLINS:
Thank You!!! :)
offers that CD, not the K-Tel one. Maybe the group owns their material? Maybe a FH reader may be able to clarify who owns what?
Honorary Degree For George Martin
So I took the day off to play all their albums and remember his good natureness. He played drums in their hey-day from the mid 60's to the early 70's. In 1971, Rick left the band and immigrated to Canada. When he applied for citizenship, they told him that there was a point system. They asked him what his occupation was and he said musician. They immediately gave him the full ten points because they said they needed more musicians! He played in many groups since moving there. He loved the island that he lived on and had a farm and recording studio. He was approached by a friend to start working as a child protection social worker and did that important work in Canada for 27 years until his retirement. With his great sense of humor he was able to break the ice with many troubled children and families, helping them to find a road to a better life. Rick was a dedicated family man with a loving wife, two children and two grandchildren to fill his days. He loved spending time with his family and enjoyed the peaceful living at his home on Vancouver Island. He continued to write songs in his studio and had a great love for music, as always.
PRESIDENT LOVEJOY MUSIC CLUB
Rick Coonce: August 1, 1946 – February 26, 2011
Rick Coonce is perhaps best remembered as a long time drummer for the popular Los Angeles rock band, the Grass Roots. The Grass Roots sold millions of albums and charted several times on both sales and radio charts during the late ’60s and early ’70s. Records like “Let's Live For Today,” “Midnight Confessions,” and “Temptation Eyes” are considered staples from the era. Coonce provided the back beat for the band during their hit period of 1967 to 1971. After leaving the group in 1971, he moved to Canada where he continued to record and perform with other bands. Rick Coonce was 64 when he passed away on February 26, 2011. Cause of death was not immediately released.
re: BUDDY HOLLY:
Gary W. Moore got the title for his book from this John Mueller tribute song. Gary was doing his wife a favor - taking his Mother-in-Law to the Winter Dance Party Concert. He never heard of Buddy Holly or his music.
Let Gary explain it in his own words:
"I walked into that theater dreading the performance and left feeling compelled to write a book. How do you explain that to anyone?"
Interesting interview with Don McLean at the end of the book.
As I stated in my last e-mail, I contacted DJ friend of mine here in OKC what he knew about Jon Abnor and whether he was still alive or not. He said that many years ago he had to testify in a trial Abnor was in. He knew about the shooting but was reluctant to talk about it. As far as I am concerned, the case is closed as to whether Jon Abnor is still alive or not. I know that some of your readers would be interested in knowing.
John Howard Abnor, Jr. (Jon of Jon and Robin and the In Crowd, and son of Abnak Records owner John Howard Abnor, Sr.) was found guilty of murder in October of 1981. He had been charged in the July, 1980 slaying of his one-time nurse and girlfriend, Janis Ballew in his North Dallas
apartment. She had been shot four times with his .30-30 rifle. The defense had argued during the six-week trial that John was mentally ill at the time of the shooting, which he admitted to police was during an argument over an abortion she had. But he was found fit to stand trial
and convicted. After only 2 ½ hours of deliberation, John was sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime, the maximum allowable by the state of Texas.
Janis met John while he was a patient in the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and she was a psychiatric nurse. Doctors there said he had been a "paranoid schizophrenic" and had "multiple stays" in institutions since 1966 and his father said he had spent $1.5 million on
psychiatric treatment for his son in the late '70s (the younger John almost never left his father's ranch from 1975 to 1978). John, Jr. and Janis dated for five months after his release from the facility, but the two argued frequently. After the shooting, John reportedly called his ex-wife, Sandy (with whom he has a son), and admitted the shooting, saying Janis had wanted him to marry her and got upset when she refused. John told two mental health experts he was high on drugs at the time, which the prosecution used to disputing the mental illness defense.
The 23 songs issued here, including the extremely rare "Time Is Now" previously only issued as the B side to Kentucky Woman", are the ones issued when Neil was with the label, on his albums and singles. The CD is mastered in clear, chrisp, loud and really jumps.
The two obvious omissions for fans are Crooked Street and Shot Down. Crooked Street is not included probably because it was done as a demo with only Neil and a guitar. But that provided an intimate few moments with a superstar just like if he was serenading you in your living room. This "unplugged" performance would have fit perfectly since Neil makes it clear in the liners he composed songs on a guitar, not a piano as most songwriters of the period did.
Shot Down a fine recording and the only explanation for it's omission, is because it was not initially released until several years after Diamond left the label.
But let's not dwell on it's short comings, the songs sound great and well worth purchasing.
You site is still cranking out the best reading and listening on the web. Keep up the good work.
You got it right, another fine New Jersey group!!
Big deal, so it didn't make US Top 40, but it was popular in New Jersey!!
Didn't that other group, The Lovin' Forkful, do this song, too!!???
I just wanted to thank you for the excellent article that was published yesterday in Forgotten Hits. I've been sending it all around to everyone I know and I believe it will prove very beneficial in terms of promoting the book. Anyway, I was raving to David Salidor about it and asked him for your email and just wanted to drop a quick note of thanks.
re: ON THE RADIO:
We would love to be added to your list of Oldies websites!
We are an All Oldies, All the time Internet Radio Station.
We pride ourselves on taking care of our listeners requests for all those golden oldies songs you never hear anymore.
We also offer a totally free unlimited webcam video chatroom for Oldies music fans to gather. Unlike the rest of the Internet's chatrooms , we have absolutley NO DRAMA there. It is a place where people can gather, relax, have fun, have good conversation, listen to great music, meet new people, and not have to deal with all the annoyances that you normally find in chats everywhere. It isn't tolerated on our site.
Please stop by visit and say hello ... and I hope that you will consider adding us as a link
All Oldies, All the time
"We used to say to each other, 'if we can't remember it tomorrow, it's no good.'"
So, if you can't remember those "oldies" ... without someone reminding you ... they probably weren't good!