Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Sunday Comments (Take Two)

OK, we're trying this ONE last time!!! Photos and musical selections will be at the END of this piece ... Let's see if this'll go through with at least SOME semblance of order!!!


Exciting news in Chicago! Bob Stroud will be joining in as front-man for the Cryan' Shames at the Jimy Rogers Memorial Tribute Concert April 2, 8 p.m., at Reggies Rock Club, 2109 S. State St. Chicago. The line-up of musicians who are paying tribute to the late, great Jimy Rogers of the Mauds also includes the New Colony Six, Jimy Sohns (Shadows of Knight) former members of the Mauds, August, Cruise Machine, Ramblin' Rose, and more. Joan and Gary Gand, and the Blue Road band are hosting the show. Rogers performed with Blue Road for the last four years, and they also performed as the Mauds in the last two years before Jimy passed away. Rogers also performed as one of Chicago Gold, the show that featured famous front-man of the 60's (included JC Hooke, Dennis Tufano, Ronnie Rice, Jimy Sohns, etc.) The concert is being held as a fund-raiser for the Jimy Rogers Memorial Tribute Fund which is raising money for the Cholangiocarcinoma (bile-duct cancer) foundation. Put on your favorite 60's outfit and come down to remember the Chicago 60's scene and let's have a great party for Jimy! Tickets available at the door or online at Joan Gand

Great to see SO many of our legendary Chicagoland Local Heroes participating in this very special tribute event. I'm sure it'll be a full house so get there early! (kk)

By the way, the previous memorial concert held last December at Gabe's has been edited down to a 75-minute TV show and is currently being shown on Comcast Cable. You can catch it tonight (March 27th) on Comcast Cable Local Access, Channel 19, in Highland Park, Highwood, Deerfield, Riverwoods, Glencoe and Winnetka. It can also be seen anywhere in Illinios on U-Verse if you log into Deerfield or Highland Park. It is also posted as individual clips on YouTube ... search by "Jimy Rogers Memorial". We thank all of the wonderful musicians who participated! Video by Mark Tulloss, Audio by Mickey Barendt.



Please be sure to make your readers aware of the memorial concert being staged by Jimy’s former band-mates, the Gands, at Reggie’s Rock Club on 4/2. The New Colony Six, the Cryan’ Shames, Jimy Sohns of the Shadows with his band, and a number of additional musical contributors will all perform short sets, all focused on Jimy’s career and influence on the Chicago rock scene. Reggie’s is on south State street, and I believe it starts early, around 8:00.

Rick Barr

New Colony Six

Yep, we've been tellin' them! Hope to see you there! (kk)


With all the talk of late about the outstanding oldies / doo-wop show running on PBS, it was nice to receive this letter the other day from a brand new Forgotten Hits reader ...

Hi Kent,

A friend just put me up to your blog and I got to say its great. The main reason I am contacting you is that I'm a promoter with Canterbury Productions working with my father, Henry Farag. Our show, "The Ultimate Doo-Wop Show" has been touring across the country for about 8 years now. The show will be at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, IN, on May 14th. Attached is the graphic of the show. I hope to hear from you soon and keep up the great work.


Ryan Farag

Canterbury Productions

That looks like a stellar line-up, Ryan ... happy to help spread the word on this ... clearly, there is a genuine audience still out there for this great music as evidenced by not only the recent PBS program but your on-going success with promoting these shows all over the country! (kk)



The Rebels & Bandoleros Tour, starring ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, launches this May, joining two of the most iconic bands in the history of American rock. The two groups, whose respective histories have been intertwined since the early 1970s, are set for a string of tour dates together starting May 12 in Wichita, KS, and continuing for the next three weeks. The tour marks the first time in many years that these iconic standard-bearers of Southern Rock will have toured so extensively together.

Rebels & Bandoleros will hit markets in Texas, Oklahoma, Maine, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, offering concert goers a wealth of classic material including -- from ZZ Top -- “Tush,” “LaGrange,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Cheap Sunglasses” and -- from Lynyrd Skynyrd -- “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “What’s Your Name,” “Saturday Night Special,” “Free Bird” and many, many others.

The two bands first joined forces in 1974 when Houston-based ZZ Top invited Lynyrd Skynyrd, then an emerging new band from Jacksonville, to become part of The Outlaw Tour that year. Ultimately, ZZ Top, which had formed in 1969, would go on to become the major band with the longest running original personnel line-up -- Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard -– in music history. Tragedy struck Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1977 when a plane crash took the lives of band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines. Today’s Lynyrd Skynyrd includes founding member Gary Rossington along with Johnny Van Zant, brother of the late Ronnie Van Zant, as well as Rickey Medlocke, Michael Cartellone, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Robert Kearns, Peter Keys Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase.

Both bands are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees; ZZ was inducted by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones in 2004 and Skynyrd in 2006 by Kid Rock. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most recently released album is God & Guns while ZZ Top’s forthcoming, as yet untitled, album is expected later this year.

“Rebels and Bandolers is more of a coming together of friends more than a mere tour,” Billy Gibbons commented. “We’re delighted to be hitting the road with our Skynyrd brethren once more. It’s going to be a great ride.” Johnny Van Zant remarked, “Eleven years ago we toured together for eleven months straight. We love the guys in ZZ and their music, and can’t wait to get back out on the road with them. This show is an event that the fans are going to love. Two legendary bands in one night – what more can the fans ask for to kick off the summer of 2011!”

Rebels & Bandoleros Tour dates:

May 12 - Wichita, KS - Intrust Bank Arena

May 13 - Belton, TX - Bell County Expo Center

May 14 - Oklahoma City, OK - Zoo Amphitheatre

May 19 - Bangor, ME - Bangor Waterfront Pavilion

May 20 - Big Flats, NY - Tags Summer Stage

May 21 - Albany, NY - Times Union Center

May 22 - Youngstown, OH - Covelli Centre

May 26 - Peoria, IL - Peoria Civic Center Theatre

May 27 - Lampe, MO - Black Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

May 28 - Bossier City, LA - Centurytel Arena

May 29 - Orange Beach, AL - Amphitheater at the Wharf

Here's the latest on The Wrecking Crew Documentary ...

Hello Wrecking Crew Family and Friends -

Things are picking up very quickly. Over the last month or so, we've screened the film around the country including Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in Brooklyn where we were honored and thrilled to have a special musical guest introduce the film, Ronnie Spector. One of the highlights of making this film in the 15 years was Ronnie staying for the screening and then leading the audience into a wonderful verse of "Be My Baby" -- 200 people became Ronettes.

On Sunday, Los Angeles had one of the worst rain storms we've ever seen, but we still filled two rooms at Vitellos in Studio City. Bass legend Chuck Berghofer and Studio Saxophone master Gene Cipriano joined us for a great Q&A.

It looked as if we overbooked our S.I.R. Screening for today, Sunday, March 27th, but a special thanks to Ken Berry of S.I.R., who is opening their doors up for another screening that will start at 1 pm. The 4 pm is no longer available but we are now screening at 1 pm as well. Another special thanks to Jim Turner of A&S Cases, who has helped put this event together. Fanita James of the Blossoms will be my guest this Sunday.

Click here for more information:

Click here: The Wrecking Crew Movie Upcoming Screenings

Below are some other screenings that are coming in your direction:

March 25 - Carlsbad, CA - Museum of Making Music, 7 pm

March 27 - Los Angeles, CA - S.I.R. Sunset, 1 pm

April 2 - Meiner Oaks, CA - K'hilat Ha Aloneem, Jewish Community Center, 7:30 pm

April 3 - Long Beach, CA - Art Theatre, Long Beach - 12 noon

April 9 - Newington, CT - Connecticut Vintage and Custom Drum Show, 7:30 pm

April 13 - Las Vegas, NV - NAB Show, Las Vegas Convention Center, 6 pm

April 16 - Dallas, TX - 34th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival, 1 pm

April 17 - Dallas, TX - 34th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival, 3 pm

May 5 and 6 - Seattle, WA - details to be announced

May 7 - Portland, OR - details to be announced

May 27 - Big Sur, CA - Henry Miller Memorial Library, 8 pm

If ANY of these screenings are in your area, do yourself a favor and see this film!!! You'll be glad that you did. (kk)


Hey gang:

Boy, I have to tell you all, this man is one of the big reasons why I chose a career in radio broadcasting which has lasted more than 35 years and is still going. I grew up listening to Hal "Baby" Moore on KIMN in Denver as a kid. In fact he actually did some "sock hops" at Cathedral High School back in the 60's with another favorite of mine, Jay Mack. Then, later on, he teamed up with Charley Martin to form the "Hal & Charley" Show on KHOW, which was the #1 show for many, many years in Denver. He is now the Morning Show Host on KRWZ Cruisin' Oldies 950 in Denver, a station I hope to get hired on part time. It's a true 50's and 60's format that you won't find anywhere else in the nation! Hal "Baby" is 71 years young and kicks butt to this day! This "retrospective" will blow you away!

"Wild" Bill Cody


One of your readers said that Scott Shannon's show is all voice tracked. I have a feeling that a majority of his listeners in other markets, those associated with not working in radio, probably don't know what voice tracking is. During the past few months, I have had one or two people say to me that Scott Shannon must be the hardest working DJ in the world since he appears to be on the air all the time. I really don't say anything about whether his show is voice tracked or not.

Larry Neal

I always thought the concept of Shannon being on the air 24 / 7 was overly ambitious ... but he really pulled it off. (Lately he's been taking more and more time off and letting Blake handle some of the air shift time ... but quite honestly NOBODY does it better than Shannon when it comes to this stuff. And, just as honestly, I'd prefer Scott on 24 / 7 here in Chicago, too, over what we've got in the way of local programming.)

Speaking of which, lately Scott Shannon has been preparing a special "localized" edition of his True Oldies Show for the Chicagoland market ... and most of us HATE it!!! Shannon was FAR more entertaining with his "generic" show and regular features like "The Cheezy-Easy-Listening Song Of The Day" and less commentary TRYING to sound like the show originates in Chicago when the whole city KNOWS that it doesn't. They really should have left well enough alone ... and this seems to be the message coming across on most of the posting boards I've read. (Shannon simply giving the WLS call letters three times during every break ... and sometimes three times in a single sentence!!! ... DOESN'T make it a "local" show!!! And it's pretty damn annoying!) I (and apparently many others) wish they would just go back to the way it used to be ... Shannon knows radio better than ANYBODY and this "local spin" just ain't working. (kk)

Here are just a couple of other comments in that regard:

Please … Scott Shannon will NOT be doing the kind of “Chicago show” that a native broadcaster like Fred Winston would do. A reference to Lake Shore Drive over the intro of a Grassroots record is not the same as having a local personality sharing regional knowledge. I’d be very interested in seeing you (Robert Feder) follow-up on Shannon’s promise of customization and see what that content looks like. Anyone who has listened to Scott Shannon knows his “show” is nothing more than a collection of generic drop-ins. These are pre-recorded from his home outside New York City or from his Citadel studios in Manhattan. There could be some customization with the music but playing a Buckinghams record in place of an Archies oldie isn’t the essence of localization.


I am SO disappointed with the change in WLS 94.7 FM midday weekday format. I, for one do not care if the broadcast is local or syndicated. In fact, I loved Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel syndicated format and miss it greatly. It is the only time of day I listen to radio and that syndicated format was a bright spot in my day – I loved the format with all of the features Scott does, be they “generic” or not, that are now missing from the so-called “Chicago” broadcast. In fact the new “Chicago broadcast” that Scott is now doing sounds phony and unrealistic – Scott sounds disgruntled, like he’s doing something he doesn’t want to do – it sounds “forced”. WLS FM 94.7, you’re pretending Scott’s in Chicago, when, in reality he’s not and everybody knows it!!!! It doesn’t sound spontaneous, like a true local broadcast would sound. Believe me, the syndicated format worked and should have been left alone. If something is not broken, why try to fix it???? Also, the way WLS 94.7 FM “snuck in” the new Chicago broadcast is shameful – couldn’t the regular listeners of the syndicated midday weekday format been given a “heads up” that the “True Oldies Channel” midday format was going to change??? What’s up with that – didn’t they think we would notice???? They have the Chicago format at the time I would say it counts – evening and morning rush – why did WLS have to mess with midday??? I, for one, am one very disappointed listener. Bring back the syndicated format at midday, WLS 94.7 FM, and can the “Chicago” one – you’ve taken Scott Shannon out of his element and forced him into a format that certainly does not sound “Chicago” – no matter how much you, WLS 94.7 FM, pretend it is!!!! I’m sure I’m not the only Chicago area listener who feels this way!!!! Bring back Scott Shannon’s TOC @ midday weekdays!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!



This week I am posting the B sides of the 11-20-61 chart positions at the B side. If any one is interested in checking out these 50 year old songs, you are welcome to do so.

sixtiesoldiesguy Rich



MARCH 25, 1961 (Song Positions 11 - 20):


11 / 12 Steve Lawrence - Portrait Of My Love (6)

12 / 4 Jorgen Ingmann - Apache (9)

13 / 17 Mark Dinning - Top Forty (4)

14 / 16 Kathy Young - Happy Birthday Blues (4)

15 / 3 Buzz Clifford - Baby Sitting Boogie (7)

16 / 8 Johnny Tillotson - Jimmy's Girl (7)

17 / 26 Johnny Cymbal - The Water Was Red (3)

18 / 19 Bobby Vee - Staying In (4)

19 / -- Marcels - Blue Moon (1)

20 / -- Mina - This World We Love In (1)

Interesting to see the Buzz Clifford version of "Baby Sittin' Boogie" on the list ... although the Buzz Clifford record was a HUGE national hit, peaking at #6, (and going to #3 here in Chi-Town), we, instead, remember being treated to the version by Ralf Bendix, who sang the song in GERMAN!!!!! (Go figure?!?!?) A quick check of the charts shows that Bendix's version came out a year later and went right back into The Top Ten, ultimately peaking at #6 on The WLS Silver Dollar Survey. (It never made the national charts.)

"The Water Was Red" is an old Larry Lujack favorite ... he'd sneak that one in all the time, whenever the mood struck him, on the old Real Oldies 1690 station ... so we'll feature that today, too ... along with a recap of Chicago's Top Ten Tunes that week. (Please Note: Back in 1961, our local charts were being tabulated by both WLS, still fairly new to the Top 40 / Rock And Roll scene, as well as a service known simply as "Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago". As such, we've listed the positions for BOTH of these charts in this special Top Ten recap!) kk


1. WALK RIGHT BACK - The Everly Brothers (1)

2. WHERE THE BOYS ARE - Connie Francis (3)

3. SPANISH HARLEM - Ben E. King (6)

4. DON'T WORRY - Marty Robbins (11)

5. DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE - The Shirelles (7)

6. SURRENDER - Elvis Presley (5)

7. ASIA MINOR - Kokomo (12)

8. THE TOUCHABLES - Dickie Goodman (2)

9. LAZY RIVER - Bobby Darin (8)

10. PONY TIME - Chubby Checker (17)

APACHE - Jorgen Ingmann (12 / 4)

PORTRAIT OF MY LOVE - Steve Lawrence (11 / 9)

BABY SITTIN' BOOGIE - Buzz Clifford (15 / 10)

Now is that a KILLER Top Ten or what?!?!? And how many of these songs do you still hear on the radio today? About half, I'd have to say! (kk)

Tommy Edwards is back on the air in Chicago as CBS positions WJMK to challenge WLS-fm in the “oldies” race. Under Dan Mason’s leadership, CBS virtually owns this format nationally. I’m betting Tommy will be on the winning side of this battle. How long will it be before Chicago returns to hearing Larry Lujack? He is still Chicago’s best known radio personality. A magnet for the demo that grew up as Superjock Lujack first introduced the hits that became today's "oldies" to Chi-town.

John Rook

Gotta disagree with you on this one, John. Unless K-Hits revamps their entire formula (which right now sounds like oldies radio on speed ... it's virtually unlistenable!), they haven't got a chance. (They're trying WAY too hard to create the magic of the glory days of B96, which was a "Hot Hits" station ... this formula simply doesn't work with an oldies audience ... I've found it almost IMPOSSIBLE to listen to. Worse yet, the deejays don't seem to have any connection to (or affection for) this music ... seriously, unless a MAJOR overhaul is on the way, I think they're doomed.

Right now Scott Shannon has the oldies game down to a science. On the other hand, if K-Hits SHOULD decide to bring back some of the most famous voices from Chicago Radio's past, then ANYTHING could happen. As you well know, (better than ANYBODY else), a little friendly "competition" can be a really good thing. The old WLS / WCFL wars made for some of the best radio this city has ever heard. Each station was constantly trying to "best" the other ... and it was a REAL treat for the listeners' ears. With these newly declared "Oldies Wars", ONE of these stations is going to have to push the envelope just a LITTLE bit further to get noticed and stay ahead of the pack ... because if they're BOTH simply playing the exact same songs from the '60's, '70's and '80's, what's the point? Then it'll all boil down to personality ... and giving the listeners a REASON to listen. And THAT could get VERY interesting. (If you've followed our "What Is An Oldie?" Series, you already know what we think about that!!! And, quite honestly, Chicago does NOT want '80's music played on our so-called oldies stations!!!) kk

P.S. The station left out in the lurch ... but with the MOST to gain here ... is Y103.9 ... they play ... without question ... the best variety of oldies music in our city ... but their weak signal is KILLING them. It should be THEIR name being featured in all these debates as a contendor to the oldies throne ... instead they're coming in as "also rans". Imagine what a strong signal ... a killer on-air line-up ... AND Y103.9's playlist ... could do for this city! (kk)


***Just a quick update on my iTunes library: 44,460 as of today. (Joel Whitburn)






That's nice that Joel Whitburn has all these songs on his ipod, BUT I figure that what I want on MY ipod is songs I WANT TO HEAR! I don't want 44000 songs and 43000 of them filler I would never play consistently. I am not sure how many I have right now, but they are mostly non-Top 40 songs that I would LOVE hearing every week. Unlike much of my collection, my ipod is for songs I love, not just cool stuff to collect.


Joel's iPod collection serves his purpose ... it WOULD be cool to have a database like that containing EVERY charted song EVER right at your fingertips that you can carry around with you. I've never owned an iPod so I can't say what I'd put on mine ... other than perhaps 20,000 of my all-time favorite songs! (lol) But I'd ALSO want it to serve its purpose as putting any OTHER song I might ever need right at my fingertips. (kk)


Much like the old "Is it live or is it Memorex" campaign, our readers want to know "Is it REAL or is it a Remake"?

I agree. I always am annoyed by hearing a station play a remake or having a friend say "hey, this sounds great!" and find it is a re-recording or not an original 45. Certainly, "Thinking of You" by Loggins & Messina is much brighter, upbeat and powerful on the 45 version. I find that true of their live 45 version of "Angry Eyes", too, over the studio Lp version.

Certainly, many songs have had odd original versions that are not the original 45 version. MANY hear "No Fair at All" by the Association and have no idea that the 45 version is much better than the LP version they have heard for a long time. My buddy Dick Bartley has had many Cds with original versions out, but even these Cds are not always the 45 version. For one thing, most 45s weren't stereo then, but he usually does his best to get the 45 version in stereo form. I think he's done about 6 of these overall.

Clark Besch

***See John, people notice!!! (kk)

That's ONE song out of thousands! Not a fair evaluation! Besides, Loggins got a face peel! See if you can recognize him as original!!! :-)

Come on, listen to Lighthouse's "One Fine Morning", the remixed / remastered version ... then fans of that (nice horn) song can question if it's a remake or otherwise!! Even I was confused!!! LOL!

You wait, Mr. K ... your day is coming!! :-)





I agree with you. I have been listening to top 40 rock and roll since 1958 as you said non-stop. When I hear a song on the radio, if it is an alternate or a redone version, I know it. One of my albums here at home is called THE BEST OF RAY STEVENS. I have marked on it do not play for AHAB THE ARAB because it is a remade version.


As a collector myself, I have always maintained that it should be a MANDATORY part of advertising to prominently display ON THE CD Case if what is packaged inside are original or remade recordings. I, too, have been ripped off SO many times thinking I had finally found something I needed only to find it to be a knock-off of some sort rather than the original. I think the record industry owes us that much, now that many of us have bought some of this SAME music for the sixth and seventh time!!! (kk)


***And what's up with "Boogie Shoes" by KC and the Sunshine Band? I don't think I heard that song more than three or four times when it was out ... now I hear it nearly every single day on nearly every single station! And it was one of KC's lowest charting singles! (kk)

***I think Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine was in someone's ad campaign a few years back, but I can't remember whose. It's also in Saturday Night Fever, darn it anyway. I wish it would go away. (Bill)

I also hardly remember hearing it when it was first out, though it's now on the air all the time. Perhaps one reason it gets more airplay now is because it's easy to dance to. Seriously! We got old and decided to learn dancing - and discovered this song is a mainstay as a line-dance tune.


I actually kinda like it ... it didn't chart here in Chicago at all and only went to #35 in Billboard when it was released as a single back in 1978 ... evidently to cash in on its inclusion in the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack. (It was first released as the B-Side to their "Shake Your Booty" single a couple of years earlier.) It's one of their catchiest tunes to my ears ... and I sometimes feel like radio slips it in because it's such a short song, it fills any "open time" on the air. KC and the Sunshine Band had a pretty incredible chart run there for about two years ... during that 24-month stretch, they hit #1 FOUR TIMES and #2 once! Then, when everybody thought the Disco Craze was over, KC came back as a solo artist and scored the #1 Song that ushered in the '80's, "Please Don't Go", the very first #1 Record of the brand new decade. I liked his follow-up single even more ... it was his duet remake (with Teri DeSario) of "Yes, I'm Ready". It's one of those rare remakes that I like every bit as much as the original! (kk)


The Gentrys' early 70's Sun 45s are among my faves of the period. "Why Should I Cry" is just a classic that graced our Kansas FM airwaves of KEYN-FM constantly. KEYN continued playing their 45s for the next year or so, making follow-ups like "Cinnamon Girl", "Goddess of Love" and "He'll Never Love You" continue on in their great pop rock vein. Their greatest hits Cd is worth buying. The original LP seemed to speed the songs up, so I go with the 45 version. I imagine that most already know that their big hit "Keep On Dancin'" was to be the B side when it was recorded. It was really short, so they started the 45 over at the break and faded it to make it a normal 60's length song.



A while back one of our readers sent in an extensive list of all of the artists who have recorded a version of the '60's classic "Tobacco Road". At the time, a few of our local readers mentioned that Chicago's own Cryan' Shames used to perform an extended version of this song at all of their shows. Now FH Reader Sue Patterson has sent us a vintage "live" clip of the band playing an extended version of this list favorite. Take it away, Sue! (kk)


Here is that copy of "Tobacco Road" by the Shames from the 1982 Chicagofest (now Taste of Chicago, of course) ... 14 or so minutes long with a short "interview" at the end. All shows in the 60's ended or started with this if my memory serves me right. If someone wants this music, here it is.

Sue Patterson


***Anyone remember when Bob Greene was so excited to hear Bob Stroud play “Gone, Gone, Gone” by the Everly Brothers that he wrote a column about it? DJs know good music! (Bob)

Bob Stroud certainly knows good music! Just check out his amazing volume of CD issues. As for "Gone, Gone, Gone", I could not believe it when it was featured in a Bandstand clip in "American Dreams" years ago and then again two more times! That was a cool TV show. Too bad it missed the Top 10, so to speak.

Clark Besch

I, too, was shocked to hear "Gone Gone Gone" featured on "American Dreams" ... shows you how into some of this music their staff was. (Great tune, btw!) I have been waiting for Season Two of "American Dreams" to come on on DVD for YEARS now!!! We've had Season One since the day it came out ... but, at the very least, they should release "The Complete Series" so fans of the show can enjoy it again and again. (Probably something to do with the music licensing again ... as this ALWAYS seems to be the case ... but this was absolutely one of our favorites ... and Forgotten Hits has dedicated MANY columns to this topic over the years. While not always historically accurate, we tuned in The Pryor Family every week just to see what they were going to feature next!) kk



Believe it or not, I kind of disagree with you a little about today's FH. Here in OKC, the song OH HOW HAPPY seemed to get played quite a lot. I also have heard it numerous times on the TOC. I think that song may have had a bigger IMPACT on "oldies" programmers than what a lot of people think.


Great tune 'tho, isn't it??? While I have probably known for quite some time that Edwin Starr wrote this song, I actually forgot that these guys were WHITE!!! Listen to it again next time with this thought in mind. As I mentioned the day we featured it, I most likened this song to something that Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions might have done. Sounds like one of the groups who may have inspired them was The Reflections, big a year earlier with their monster hit "(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet". (kk)


Kent ...

Elton John & Leon Russell together again.

They made an album together.

Elton inducted Leon into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.

Frank B.

Now THAT should be well worth watching! Thanks, Frank! (kk)



EARLY 60s ... I was 13 or 14 in Kincardine, Ontario, on Lake Huron.

Back then it was 25 cents to get into the theater on a Saturday afternoon.

The movie was in colour and kind of a travelogue on musical happenings, mainly England. DONT know how with-it the radio stations in Toronto were, but in small town Ontario, we didn't know zip about most of these acts.

Don't know if there was an intro to this scene or not, but suddenly there are a few guys dressed I forget how, and they began sings, SLOWLY, "My Bonnie lies over the ocean ..." ... and I can remember some SNICKERS in the theater. They did sound dull for the first few bars, then they went silent for a few seconds then RIPPED into the song.

We were watching the genesis of THE BEATLES! They land on our airwaves in a year or two and most of the teens a tad younger than I would OBVIOUSLY take them to heart.

Five or so years back, a DVD got released, all about this situation, and being a DVD I bought it with the idea that I would once again get to see what I'd seen back then. SADLY, none of the FOOTAGE is on the DVD ... poooooooor production. Ever have a song sound come into your head and you just cant forget IT, but, where in the tarnation, did you HEAR IT? I spent several YEARS with one tune. Could hear the tune, the guy's voice and the first few lines of the song ... something from the 30s. THAT problem got solved with the same DVD. I simply saw the song title on the sleeve but never connected it, but, when I played it, I knew ...

In the movie Tony Sheriden does two songs ... MY BONNIE and my problem was solved ... AIN'T SHE SWEET. As I say, SADLY the footage I saw back there in 60-61, is NOT on That DVD.

American or Canadian Idol ...

TOOOOOOOOOOOOOO produced and all coached.

In 1955, a guy goes to New York and auditions for the famous AUTHUR GODFREY talent scouts annnnnd is rejected. Seems that not even getting to be seen did not deter a 20 year old ELVIS PRESLEY!

Robert Black

Kent ...

Even though he's dead, Elvis is still giving to charity (via a T-shirt).

Frank B.

Actually, this is a pretty good article! Thanks, Frank! (kk)


Kent ...

Here's a cut from Paul's new album, "So Beautiful Or So What", out April 12th.

Frank B.

And have you seen the special 40th Anniversary Edition of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" LP? Comes as a special two-disk set with the original LP on CD plus a DVD featuring a never-since-aired 1969 CBS Television Special "Songs Of America". And isn't it cool to hear "The Only Living Boy In New York" come on during those television commercials? Even our kid is singing along with it now! (Always loved that song!) kk

Kent ...

He'll have to change the words to that old song.

Now it will sound like this --

"I take those NEW records off the shelf".

Frank B.


During my last e-mail to your I commented on what would be the odds of one hearing a song by Bob Seger (the same song) by clicking on three stations in a row which you had experienced. I believe the odds would be A MILLION TO ONE according to Jimmy Charles in 1960.


Sadly, the odds are MUCH lower than that these days, with the exact same tunes being programmed on virtually every radio station! (kk)


Here's an ultra-rare audio clip sent in by one of our FH Readers ... WOW! Is this REALLY the way things were done back then??? (Sadly, I think so ... and don'tcha just love the whole "gangster-tone" to his voice???) You've just GOT to listen to THIS one!!! (kk)

This was in a giant batch of Motown files I recently came across. Evidently it's a promo thing trying to get DJ's to play "Reach out and Touch Somebody's Hand" by Diana Ross. I thought you might get a kick out of it if you hadn't heard it. I wish I had more info about it.


Nothing like strong-arming your way up the charts, eh??? Nope, I've never heard this before ... but what a GREAT piece of audio memorabilia to share with our readers! (kk)

Glad to share something with you, the keeper of all.

Yeah it's totally amazing to me. I suspect that a lot of that went on in the 50's and 60's especially.

The tribute band I belong to has done some Motown shows and so I was going through all the singles released on Motown. We get so used to the great stuff that, at least I assume, that they did mostly great stuff. Boy oh boy, they released a lot of crap. I didn't know that Bobby Darin did some things on Motown along with Sammy Davis Jr. ... none of which were great.

Know of any good Motown books?


Actually, I've read SEVERAL good Motown books in the past ... will have to give this some thought and see if we can come up with a list for you. (kk)

And ... in a related note (sort of ... actually, this piece was originally scheduled to run as part of our next "Helping Out Our Readers" feature ... but it ties in SO nicely that I thought I'd feature it now.)

Signing Bobby Darin to Motown was quite a surprise at the time ... but how about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons?!?! Check THIS out! (kk)



***And how about this ... while doing some Four Seasons reseach I saw: "Frankie Valli initially tried to purchase the entire collection of master recordings the group made for Motown; upon hearing the amount needed to buy them all, he arranged to purchase one recording for $4000 (US): "My Eyes Adored You"." (Jersey John)

***Except Valli didn't record "My Eyes Adored You" for Motown ... he cut that track four or five years later for Private Stock Records. (kk)

True, Private Stock released it, but nothing says it wasn't recorded for / at Motown. Here's more ...

""My Eyes Adored You" (original working title, "Blue Eyes in Georgia") is a popular song written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan.[1] It was originally recorded by The Four Seasons in early 1974. After the MoWest label balked at the idea of releasing it, the recording was sold to lead singer Frankie Valli for $4000"

MoWest? Motown West? :-) John

I did a bit of research of my own on this as I'd never heard this story before ... but it appears that you are correct!

According to Fred Bronson's book "The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits", The Four Seasons signed with Motown in 1970. (He also points out that after spending some time with Vee Jay Records, another label primarily associated with black recording artists, this wasn't as unusual a pairing as one might first think.) In fact he says that "when the group went to Motown, they did so with the understanding that company founder Berry Gordy, Jr., would personally supervise their records. The reality turned out to be that Gordy was too involved with the motion picture "Lady Sings The Blues", starring Diana Ross, to supervise The Four Seasons' career."

The Four Seasons released an album called "Chameleon" which was released on the Motown subsidiary MoWest. Although it was critically acclaimed, it went nowhere ... but before leaving the label, Valli also recorded some solo material. According to Bronson's book, "'My Eyes Adored You' was a track recorded for Motown." As John points out in his (I'm guessing) Wikipedia entry, the song "was originally titled 'Blue Eyes In Georgia' when Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan first wrote it, but when they played it for Valli, it was altered to 'My Eyes Adored You.' Motown held onto the track for a year and a half without releasing it. When the group's contract with Motown expired in 1973, Crewe, Gaudio and Valli wanted the company to return just one track. They paid Motown four thousand dollars to buy back the rights to 'My Eyes Adored You.'"

The trio reportedly shopped the song to a number of labels, all of whom turned it down. (Valli, Crewe and Gaudio had a similarly hard time getting anybody to play Frankie Valli's first major solo hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" back in 1967, too ... radio just didn't know what to do with it! This now factors into a major scene in the incredible Broadway Musical "Jersey Boys".) Finally, Larry Uttal, who had just started his own record label, Private Stock, was played the song. Bronson quotes co-writer Kenny Nolan: "Larry sat down and listened to it, and rewound the tape in the middle of the song. He did that five times ... and on the fifth play he said 'I want that song.'" The record went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart for one week in March of 1975 ... and it's still one of the most popular songs in the Frankie Valli / Four Seasons catalog.

Thanks, John ... we stand corrected! (kk)


***The AOL Oldies Music Chat Room begat Forgotten Hits back in 1999. I was one of the regular visitors there (as The60sShop) and regularly participated and competed in the oldies trivia challenges you described. (Even met Mrs. K there ... "Cherricat"!!!) From day one, I always tried to promote the songs that radio was ignoring and finally one day sent an email to 35 of my closest "roomie" friends and asked, "If I put together an oldies newsletter, spotlighting some of the songs and artists that radio is ignoring today ... but were legitimate, big hits at the time ... would anybody bother to read it?" When all 35 said that they would, Forgotten Hits was born. I launched it Thanksgiving Weekend, 1999, and figured it'd be something I'd throw together once a month or so and feature a particular song or artist in some sort of a spotlight tribute. (Who knew how it would snowball from there ... and turn into literally THOUSANDS of daily postings!!!) kk

Just imagine ... FH would have only lasted a few weeks if the world had ended on 1/1/2000 like everyone warned us ...

instead, we're enjoying the best music resource online or in print. Thanks, Kent!

David Lewis