Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 04 - 03 - 11 )

Well, Happy Anniversary, Freddy!!! (Ironically I heard Scott Shannon play "Palisades Park" yesterday!) kk


Wow! I just found a fantastic site!

Talk about nostalgia!
DJ Stu Weiss

Last comment on the word "Oldies": 
The way I see it, there is no precise definition; an "Oldie" can be 100+ years old, but it can also be song released yesterday. I only say this because of what content is offered as "Classic Rock". Some of it is now defined as such, but was Pop music yesterday. That's why I object to name tagging music. Just like in Joel Whitburn's books, the phrase "Adult Contemporary" is used. However, those radio stations, if there were ones, no longer exist. Times change. Take for example, Herb Albert (& The Tijuana Brass). Some of his / their hits that scored better as Adult Contemporary are well known to most of us who never listened to such radio stations. On a last note, we have "White R&B" and just "R&B", besides "Soul". Maybe it'd be best just to call it White and Black music. It gets ridiculous after a while and will get worse with time.
Jersey John
One of the reasons I've held off with any more commentary on this subject is because I, myself, have mixed emotions about the right way to handle it. On the one hand, I feel like segregating music the way radio has for the past 30 years has completely destroyed any chance of listeners developing their own "likes" and tastes ... the mentality seems to be instead that if you listen to this station, you're only going to get THIS specific kind of music and ONLY this specific type of music ... and as far as I'm concerned, that's just wrong.  For me to spend a bunch of time dividing which songs SHOULD be considered "oldies" and which ones SHOULDN'T, all I'm doing is helping to promote this backward way of thinking. Most will argue that you can't be all things to all people ... but I think there are avenues out there that have NEVER been properly explored ... so we may take more of THAT approach once we're ready to comment on this again. (kk)

I have many many 45s that I figure are rare ... two piles about one foot tall each, I grab the top handful and get "I Love You More and More Everyday by Al Martino and "Doncha Think It's Time / Wear My Ring Around Your Neck by Elvis ... this is a British pressing and an original issue, because it is a different take than the one on "50,000,000 Million Elvis Fans CANT Be Wrong"; "Wild In The Country" (sung over the movie's opening credits); Pipeline by the Chantay's (would be 20+ years before finding out WHAT the term pipeline meant) -- surfing wave ... that encircle ... the surfer; World Without Love by Peter and Gordon; Saturday Night (at the Movies) by The Drifters; RARE ONE: Popcorn by Hot Butter; Tennessee Bird Walk by Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan; RARE AGAIN: Groovy Grubworm - Harlow Wilcox; Do You Love Me - The Contours (A ROLLER SKATING prize); RARE: Put a Light in the Window - the Four Lads; Up Town Girl - Billy Joel; My Dad - Paul Peterson; Scotch on the Rocks- The Band of the Black Watch; The AMERICANS by Gordon Sinclair (Gord was a newscaster and radio commentator with radio CFRB 1010 Toronto when he did this narration which he wrote himself for a five minute pre-newscast he did at 11:55 AM, Mon - Fri called LET'S BE PERSONNEL); Locomotion by Grand Funk; Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You - THE BEATLES; Everybody - Tommy Roe (Usually sand about a girl); Me and Bobby McGee/ If You Could Read My Mind - Canada's Gordon Lightfoot (one of the few songs he did that HE DIDNT WRITE HIS OWN SELF); RARE: Let's Go - The Routers (would become a chant at many local sporting events back then); RARE: Silence is Golden by The Tremeloes (if silence IZ golden, X must be on the SILVER standard); Could You Ever Love Me Again - Gary and Dave, Canadians; Waterloo - Ol' Stonewall Jackson; South Street - The Orlons; El Silenzio - Roy Etzel and Orchestra; What Will Mary Say - Johnny Mathis; White on White - Danny Williams backed with Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow - The Rivingtons on the SAME 45!
How much really good music and songs NEVER, for varied reason, got AIRPLAY at ALL???
Plus Two 45s by Elvis that I don't think were pressed IN the US: Shopping Around / Wooden Heart from G.I.Blues and Mean Woman Blues / Have I Told You Lately. Mean Woman Blues is from Loving You, but that is NOT printed on the label. Wonder if there aint more. These two were issued on regular RCA labels, so they cant be bootlegs.
One thing about lisening to the various radio stations I was able to get over there on Lake Huron: CKLW Windor, WBZ, WCFL. WLS, EEEEEEEEEEEEE T C ... In the early 60s you heard a cross section of STYLES OF music. Folk, C/W RnR, Bert Kaempfert, Perry Como, Al Hirt ... WE ALL LEARNED to appreciate many styles back then.
IZ it the same today?????????????

Robert Black
No, it sure isn't ... and that's been one of our biggest beefs here in Forgotten Hits for YEARS now. Back then, we were all exposed to ALL different kinds of music ... and we grew up loving all of it. There was NEVER a second thought given to the idea that "this music doesn't belong with that music" ... it was ALL good music ... and somehow it all fit and nobody ever questioned it ... which CONVINCES me that this format could still work today. (If nothing else, this "new" way of thinking would certainly stand apart as the ANTI-Programming of today's rampant music segregation!!!) I believe that if a radio station embraced this concept of programming, it would quickly develop the biggest audience possible. I've said it before and I'll say it again ... every single one of us grew up listening to, loving and / or being exposed to ALL of this music over the course of our lifetimes ... we had '50's rock and roll played side by side with the crooners and the hot instrumentals ... we had The British Invasion played with songs from the folk movement, the Motown Sound, The Beach Boys and the underground / psychedelic movement ... and then, as FM progressed, we all became accustomed to hearing more album rock ... we've seen each and every one of the trends come and go ... and while we may not have loved and embraced every single one of them, we grew up listening to it all. A station dedicated and devoted to playing ALL of this great music side by side would stand head and shoulders above every other radio station on the dial ... it would HAVE to succeed! But that means you've got to play it ALL ... you have to believe and dedicate yourself to showing ALL of the facets of popular music over the past 50-something years!!! Not just showcasing 200-300 of the same tunes over and over and over again ... but run the full gamut of musical styles and genres. I wish we could get just ONE struggling station to take us up on this agenda and give us the chance to prove to the rest of the world that we were right. (Watch how fast the others follow suit in this "copy cat" radio world we live in!!!) kk

Hi Kent!
I did not know about Leon Russell and the Playboys (that has a nice ring, don"tcha think); I'm bettin' a lot of these okies don't know that, and Leon is an Okie; but here's one you probably know, but people that ain't oldies nuts like us don't know, that Glen Campbell sat in as a drummer for Buddy Holly and the Crickets? (I heard that years ago from The Master, Casey Kasem!!!) P.S. When I was a kid, I used to stay up way past my bedtime so the "skip" would be right, and then I could tune in WLS, Chicago !! I was in Birmingham, Alabama!
Alabama Mike

re: I PITY THE FOOL ... :
>>>For the past few years Scott Shannon has been featuring songs on April Fool's Day with the word "Fool" in the title.  (kk)
Don't forget Brook Benton's song from 1961, FOOLS RUSH IN.
Rick Nelson's version of this songs is one of my all-time favorites! (kk)

I forgot to mention in my previous e-mail that years ago there was a debate on the radio station of whether Susan Christie was related to Lou Christie. I don't remember how that debate turned out. The song by her was big here in OKC. I guess you could ask the question, "What ever became of her?"
One final thing ...
Thank you for helping me decide what to have for dinner tonight.
I am going to have I LOVE ONIONS (fried of course) with a CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE through the courtesy of Jimmy Buffett and I am going to top it off with a large chocolate SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE! by Jackie Wilson.
Have a great weekend.
For years and years and years it was reported that Susan Christie was Lou Christie's sister. (In fact, Joel Whitburn's books said as much for quite some time!) But the truth is, Susan's REAL name was Beatrice Hill (and Lou's real name is Lugee Sacco), so I'd have to say no, NO relation at all! (I think Chicago and Oklahoma City must have had pretty similar hits ... "I Love Onions" went to #30 here in Chi-Town back in 1966.)
What, no "Mashed Potatoes" and "Gravy" with that dinner??? (kk)

"Fool If You Think It's Over" is one of my all time favorite songs, thanks for featuring it.

A few weeks ago we told you about the upcoming Billy Joel biography, "The Book Of Joel" ... now it sounds like we're never going to get the chance to read it! (In fact, I heard Scott Shannon say that Joel has to give back the Three Million Dollar advance he got for agreeing to write the book!) kk
Forget reading the autobiography of the Piano Man this summer. Billy Joel announced Thursday (March 31) he has cancelled plans to publish his life story. "The Book of Joel" had been due to come out in June, but Billy says, "It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I'm not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music."
-- Ron Smith


One of our most popular features (and one of Rock and Roll's greatest mysteries) surrounds Texas-born '60's pop star Bobby Fuller. (The circumstances surrounding his death may never really be known for sure ... but that hasn't stopped the Hollywood Folks from trying to capture it on film. With a stand out cast that includes Dexter's Michael C. Hall and recent Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo, this should really be something to see! (kk)

James Marsden, Michael Shannon, Michael C. Hall & Melissa Leo Head Up A ‘Dead Circus’ > The Playlist
Filming will begin this summer on an adaptation of the book, "The Dead Circus," a fictionalized account of an investigation into the death of Bobby Fuller in 1966. James Marsden and Melissa Leo are among the announced cast with Adam Davenport directing.

Kent ...
Got this one from Ron Smith.
Maybe we can start that old suicide vs. murder debate again.

Frank B.
I don't think there was anything suicidal about it! Here's a piece we've got posted on our other Forgotten Hits website ...
But the idea that Charles Manson was involved?!?!? Where the heck are they going with this thing?!?!? (kk)

hey kk -
Thanks for the good words - - I try to KEEP MYSELF entertained mornings -- heck just played the YOUNG HOLD UNLIMITED 45 - - " Just Ain't No Love" from my Brunswick 45.
At least I play a better variety over anyone else - including the killer Saturday Night Live @ the 70's - - man that show just gets better and better - who else will play these 45's:
Movin' - Brass Connection
Birdland - Weather Report

Running Away - Roy Ayers

Rock of All Ages - Badfinger

A Nice Girl - Intruders

You Keep Me Dancing - Samantha Sang

Sally Goodin - Steve Martin

Show Biz Kids - Steely Dan

The Relay - Who

Down to the Station - BW Stevenson

I Ain't Never - Mel Tillis

Among many others -- for a suburban station, I keep it rockin!!!
And my pd is awesome also!!!
Let's see a big city station pull this off --
Later gator!

Jeff James / Y103.9

>>>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.  (John Rook)
Now if they can only get Lujack, Ron Riley, Dex Card and have Biondi move over, THEN it would be a great station. Maybe WCFL-FM?

I just heard Scott Shannon give you a special shout out during his Rock And Roll Remakes Weekend!
Yep, I heard one today, too! SO cool that we can help out with a feature like this ... and we have ALL of our readers to thank ... so keep unearthing these little-known gems so we can do this again real soon! (kk)

Hi Kent-
I read the posting about Marmalade. I am a fan of the the groups mid 70's release, Falling Apart at the Seams. It is a great song that sounds like the Four Seasons or the Tremeloes from a decade earlier. It might be a good one for your featured track of the day.
Phil - WRCO
Good song ... but not one that most of our readers will recognize. (This one peaked at #49 here in The States, despite a #9 showing in The U.K.)
I've been thinking about putting together a series of songs that peaked somewhere between #41 and #50 on the Billboard Charts ... these would primarily consist of more of these "regional" hits that just never gained enough momentum on enough radio stations at the same time to climb any higher on the national charts ... yet still spark a memory or two depending on whether or not they were played in the area where you were growing up. (A recent example of this was your other suggestion, "It's A Cryin' Shame", by Gayle McCormick, which garnered quite a few positive comments ... yet we NEVER got to hear this song here in Chicago. Another goodie is "Pretty Lady" by Lighthouse, a song introduced to me several months ago by DeeJay Big Jay Sorensen ... but that one only reached #53, so it wouldn't even make our special list! But a great song nevertheless!) kk

You're always looking for non-Top 10 material, right?
Anyway, my own excitement began when I began (2006) to cheer-lead (internet / usenet) the song "Westbound #9" (1970), by the The Flaming Ember, and Jerry Plunk (their drummer) responded!!!! Who needs radio!? :-]  Thought a black group (only had the 45), but white (when I saw / had the LP cover) !!!! 
The Flaming Ember - Mind, Body And Soul (1969) Charted #26
Certainly recognizable from radio when it charted, but the one below was a greater regional hit. Bit of French here, I think ...

The Flaming Ember - Westbound #9 (1970) Charted #24
My favorite! I personally applauded this song elsewhere, that's when Jerry Plunk (drummer here) heard me and wrote on 09/13/2006, "Stumbled on this by accident. This is so cool. Will send you an email at home tonight".
That is certified genuine, Mr. K'!!!
The Flaming Ember (Westbound #9, Mind, Body And Soul). Not sure who is correct, Wiki or Whitburn, but it APPEARS Jerry Plunk is both lead singer and drummer of these two Top 30 hits!!! Joel never responds to me anymore. Sent an e-mail off to Jerry; hope he'll respond with definite information; it's been a while!!! Thanks, Kent, you're Wonderful!

And here's the response John received from Jerry's wife:

Hi John -
Jerry's wife, Julie here -
I've copied Jerry on this email so you can have his personal email address. I'm sure he will want to answer this himself, however, I am curious how this "rumor" started about Jerry not being the lead singer? If you get a chance, listen to "I Won't Hurt You Anymore" by Jerry Plunk on Youtube - a VERY old song before the Flaming Ember days. You'll see that it is indeed his voice on all the Flaming Ember songs (which I also can attest to since he STILL sings to me). This song has just been released in the UK on Sonic Wax records (which is pretty cool when you think about it). There was a guy on Youtube who wrote a few things about it being his dad who really sang on the songs, but this was either a terrible misunderstanding between father and son, or a lie ... and since his dad has passed away, we'll never know which. Jerry addressed this on Youtube and the guy went away. Also, Jerry is on facebook if you'd like to connect.
Julie Marinko Plunk

I always liked "Westbound #9, a #21 Hit here in Chicago back in 1970. Flaming Ember hit The National Top 40 a total of three times: "Mind, Body And Soul" went to #19 in 1969, "Westbound #9" hit #23 in 1970 and "I'm Not My Brothers Keeper" reached #22 in 1970. (All peaks are Cash Box chart positions.) kk

One more ...

Al Wilson - The Snake (1968) Charted #27 Never knew Al Wilson was a drummer! Wonder if he plays drums on this song?
Never heard it before; found it on a UK Soul compilation. Cool song.
The audio quality needed some attention. The song seemed to gain a fair amount of applause elsewhere. Don't think females would like it (snakes), but males would!
This one has been a favorite around our house for a LONG, long time ... we LOVE it!!! And it didn't do too badly on the charts ... #27 in Billboard and a #17 hit here in Chicago. Al Wilson, of course, went on to bigger success with his #1 Hit "Show And Tell" a few years later. Sadly, we just lost him a couple of years back. (kk)

It was sad to hear of Ray Herr's passing. He was quite a talent. You can hear just a bit of his greatness in this live track recorded several years ago. He was a "rock 'n' roll star."

(Here's a picture of guitarist Ray Herr from The Ides Of March's "Vehicle" album, circa 1970) kk

FH Reader Eddie Burke sent us a few more pictures to share with our readers. (You'll find others on The Forgotten Hits Website in the "Scrapbook Memories" section!)
Got a photo of one of your close encounters with our musical heroes?Drop us a line and we'll put your picture up on our Scrapbook Page! (kk)
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Scrapbook Memories

Here's Eddie with former Beatles drummer Pete Best ... and then (below) with Young Rascals founder Felix Cavaliere!
Hi Kent,
As you know there is a pleasurable, plentiful and perspicacious plethora (whew!) of interesting books about the bands and music industry of the 60's. Finally, musicians, recording engineers, etc, are speaking out and giving us a taste of what it was like behind the scenes. I've read some amazing books, among them Bob Spitz's Beatles: A Biography, Vic Flick's Guitarman: From Bond to The Beatles and Beyond, Phill Brown's Are We Still Rolling?, Mick Brown's Tearing Down the Wall of Sound, Andrew Loog Oldham's Stoned and 2Stoned, and so, so much more. (I've recommended these to my readers at THE BEAT, and I learned about several of them from other THE BEAT columnists. I highly recommend all the ones I listed to readers of FORGOTTEN HITS.)
Here's why I'm writing: I only found one book about the American acts of the British Invasion Era, Childs and March's Echoes of the Sixties. In fact, it was the first rock book of this genre I read. It's very good, but I want more. Any suggestions from your readers for books about the 60's American acts?
I've been fortunate in my career as musical director / bassist for The Rip Chords, Billy J. Kramer and Ron Dante / Andy Kim, to have shared stages, limos, hotels, backstages and so on with so, so many of my then-idols, many of whom are now friends. I've heard a lot (I wish I could share some of the juicier stories with you, but I'm afraid the better parts of friendship and discretion don't allow me to) but I want more!
So, if anyone has any suggestions, they can reach me at .
And, I thank you!
As always, Kent - keep up the great work!
Your fan and friend,
Bob Rush, DC (a/k/a Dr. Robert of THE BEAT magazine)
(Note: Kent, attached are two photos your readers may [or may not!] enjoy: the first is my daughter, Devyn Rush, known on American Idol as "the singing waitress." Her career has taken off even more since her appearance on AI. Here she is this week in NYC at the American Theatre Wing for the Jonathan Larsen Foundation, where she performed.
Also attached is a photo of my dear friend Billy J. Kramer, moi and Liberty DeVitto at a show Billy did in New Jersey several months ago. (Liberty now plays drums for Billy. Do I have to get back in that band now, or what??!!! : )

One book I've been waiting to read was written by Hoss Amans, roadie to the stars back in the '60's. (Sounds like this guy worked with just about everybody, most notably Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Puckett, and many, many more.) His book is called "Where The Action Was" and is available online here:
There have certainly been others. (A failsafe is always Chuck Negron's book "Three Dog Nightmare" ... betcha can't put THAT one down ... and you'll be laughing ... and crying ... for days!!!) We've been recommending this one for as long as it's been out ... MUST reading for any fan of their music ... or music in general. (kk)

Thanks for your online photo album; nice to look through!

Oh, oh! ... Mr. K's been is missing in action!! Call the dogs out!!!
I need my fix of (fresh) FH! (Obama will redirect the troops to make sure
Mr. K' is OK!!!) From your front page: Johnny Nash: This remix made it to #54 in the UK in 1989!

No worries ... just needed some time off ...and since Blogger hasn't been cooperating anyway, I figured what the hell! We post what we can, when we can ... but nice to know we were missed! (kk)

Have you submitted your suggestions yet for our new "Best of the Pre-Rock Era" poll?
We're looking for the songs that YOU feel had the greatest impact on what came to be known as Rock And Roll ... and, once we tabulate your votes, we'll recap the list's favorites.
So drop us a line and cast a vote for YOUR nominees now! (kk)