Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 01 - 11)

OMG ... is it REALLY May already?!?!?

Here's our latest batch of reader comments ...

(In reverse!!!  lol  kk)
Enjoyed the segment on 'speeding up the music,' but how about 'slowing down the music?  :)
If you were a teenager growing up in Sacramento in 1958, you never would have known that the The Jamies' hit single (Epic Records), "Summertime, Summertime," only made it to #26 on the national Billboard chart. In Sacto, it was a huge single -- played as if it were a #1 hit by today's standards.
And the one thing I remember most about "Summertime" was that deejays actually began playing it at 33 RPM, as opposed to it's normal 45 speed. They turned into a rhythm and blues type of sound ... and every time I remember the song, I end up humming it at the slower, 'groovier' beat. 
Try it, you'll like it!
Fred Vail
Funnily enough, this isn't the first time this has come up!  Now we've just got to figure out a way to burn a copy that way!!!  (kk)
And, thanks to Tom Diehl, we've got one!  (Another song I remember playing at the wrong speed way back when was "Who Do You Love" by The Sapphires.  It was really quite unintentional.  I just forgot to switch the lever back to 45, played it at 33 and thought it sounded GREAT!  (Talk about your forgotten hits!  Watch for this one coming up soon as part of our Monday thru Friday "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature!)  kk

This weekend by e-mail I talked to a retired top 40 DJ who used to work here in OKC back in the late fifties-early sixties, then later went on to work for stations in Dallas as well as NYC. He said he never worked for a station that gave the time out on the air wrong intentionally or even worked for a station that sped up the records. He did say though that it was done primarily in the 70's, 80's, and 90's.  He said the average length of a record was 2:30 though probably of course higher than that for the decades indicated. He said that stations could get in more commercials by speeding up records as well as maybe getting to play an extra record. If it were done, as a kid, I never really noticed it.


Warren Cosford wrote: 
Jana D'Ora Side B "King Bee"
Jana D'Ora Side A 1 "Dream On"
Recorded At: RCA Studio B - Nashville August 1960
Musicians: Floyd Cramer (Piano), Hank Garland (Lead Guitar), Kelso Herston (Guitar / Band Leader), Bob Moore (Upright Bass), Buddy Harman (Drums) & The Nashville Strings).
Back-Up vocals: The Jordanaires (Gordon Stoker, Ray Walker, Hoyt Hawkins & Neil Mathews).

Nancy Tillotson wrote: "It Keeps Right On a Hurtin" was recorded in Nashville's RCA Studio B with great musicians.
Floyd Cramer on Piano, Buddy Harmon on Drums, Ray Eddington on Rhythm guitar, Harrold Bradley played electric, Bob Moore on Bass, The Anita Kerr Singers on Background Vocals, the string section was from the Nashville symphony. Back then everyone was in the room together.  Johnny can't remember if there was another guitarist.
Looks like this RCA Studio B was a happening place at one time!!!
Studio A is where they made a A sides! :-D
Jersey John

I wasn't familiar at all with "I'm Afraid To Go Home." A great song about something lots of folks here in the south are still fighting about.
In Canada, Brian's cover of Leonard Cohen's "So Long, Marianne" still gets regular airplay.  Some people prefer his upbeat treatment over the original.
David Lewis

I usually don't care for Beatles covers, but this one is exceptional.
Dwight Rounds
It really IS quite good ... check it out!  (kk)

>>>Have you heard this Bellamy Brothers song yet?  (Frank B.)
I haven't, but, man-oh-man, the bikini intro was worth a look ... err, listen!!!! :)

If you haven't seen this, you have to - or, if you have, you'll want to see it again!
Pretty powerful indeed ... we've watched it a few times now.  There's isn't another American Idol in the past ten seasons that could pull this off ... when it comes to pure talent, Carrie Underwood is in a league of her own.  (They can hype it all they want about this being the best season of Idol ever ... nobody on there could even come CLOSE to turning in a performance like this oneAnd perhaps the most amazing thing of all is watching the faces of the superstars in the audience who are blown away by Carrie's performance.  Thanks for sending.  (kk)

Charlie Fach has died.
John Rook
For all of you asking "Who?" ... click the link above and read the article attached!  (kk)

Kent ...
How ya'doin?
I first met Charlie Fach in 1962 when I was 19, hanging out in songwriter Paul Vance’s office. While waiting for Paul to return from lunch, Charlie played me his new release on SMASH, “Hey Baby”, by Bruce Channel and made me feel like I was really part of the music business!
From then on, whenever I had a hot master, Charlie was always the first one I’d show it to. Even when a couple of records I sold him bombed, he would encourage me to come back and say, “Don’t worry, your next production could be your first hit!”
Over the years Charlie signed me as an artist to Smash a couple of times, and when he started his label Intrepid records, I produced a few acts for him. Although we never had any hits together, I consider myself lucky to have learned so much from him, and most of all to have been his friend.
When promotion man Herb Rosen told me of his passing he said, “I have known Charlie Fach for over 50 years and have never met a better record man or a truer friend. Charlie lived the record business day and night. I will miss him.”
I included some pictures from Charlie's career along with comments other friends have made.
Artie Wayne    

I just found out that Julian Dawson, author of the new Nicky Hopkins book, will be in Chicago next week doing book signings!  (For some reason I thought he wasn't coming until June!!!)  Anyway, this is an opportunity to meet the author AND walk away with an autographed copy of his new book.  Here are the details:
Hi Kent!
I'm forwarding this short list of some activities during my upcoming Chicago visit.  Hoping that we can get together to talk about Nicky Hopkins while I'm there ... and please feel free to mention these dates on the website.
I'd appreciate anything you can do to pass the word around - specially about the Old Town School event.
Hope to talk soon,
Best wishes,
Julian Dawson
I'll be doing a book signing at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Lincoln Square at 2 pm and at Transistor, 5045 N. Clark Street, Chicago, at 6 pm, both on Sunday, May 8.  I'll be at Fitzgerald's Side Bar in Berwyn as well, on Thursday, May 5, at 8:30 pm.
Hope to see you soon.

James Holvay, and his legendary band that helped to start Chicago horn rock back in 66, THE MOB, will be regrouping and playing for the first time since the 70's!  They are being inducted into the South Dakota Rock n Roll Hall of Fame later this year and will be playing with nearly all of the original members with the exception of his co-writer Gary Beisber (health problems) and their keyboard player who has passed away.  Kent, it's time to give The Mob its' props too!  Here's the South Dakota site:
Here's the Mob's Facebook site:
WLS Clark

With the talk recently about the Monkees, the Turtles, etc., I thought I'd pass these along. 
I have a few more Chicago related things if you'd like them as attachments.
BTW, who the heck were The Chicago Loop?
We love looking at (and listening to) this vintage local stuff.  (It be cool of Chicago radio played some of these clips on the air now and then ... think about what WLS must have in their archives!!!)
The Chicago Loop were a One Hit Wonder group that came out of Chicago back in 1966.  Their "hit", "(When She Needs Good Lovin') She Comes To Me" (also listed as "(When She Wants Good Lovin') My Baby Comes To Me" on some pressings), went to #37 on the Billboard at the end of 1966.  (Here in Chicago it fared a LITTLE better, peaking at #30.) 
Joel Whitburn's book "Top Pop Singles" describes the line-up as Bob Slawson and Judy Navy on vocals, John Savanna on guitar, Barry Goldberg on piano, Carmen Riole on bass and Jack Siomoms on drums.  I asked Guy Arnston (who's still putting together the ultimate History Of Chicago Rock coffee table book) if he might have anything in his Illinois Entertainer archives that shed a little more light on the group ... but unfortunately we came up empty  (kk) ...

Hey Kent,
Jeff Lind never covered the Chicago Loop in the HistChiRock. All I have is some of their records, and Whitburn's entry info, all of which you probably have. Sorry.
By the way, any word on the Ray Herr tribute yet?
I haven't heard any more about it ... but perhaps somebody on the list can fill us in??? (kk)
Meanwhile, I did find a listing in Vernon Joynson's book "Fuzz, Acid And Flowers Revisited".  He lists the principle band members as Barry Golberg (Goldberg?), Judy Novy (Navy?), Carmine Riale (Riole?), John Siomos (Simoms?), John Savanno (Savanna?) and, apparently, Mike Bloomfield on their very first recordings.  (Unfortunately, we're batting about 50/50 in the accuracy department when we quote from this book ... but here's Vernon's listing):
Originally known as Time, this band were formed by Barry Golberg and cut a six-track demo in 1966, on which Mike Bloomfield appears to have helped out. Apart from Golberg, Judy Novy had previously recorded an album with her older brother as Len and Judy.  Bob Slawson had been in a couple of folk bands, like the Almanac Singers.
The first two 45s (When She Wants Good Lovin' My Baby Comes To Me / This Must Be The Place, released as Dynovoice 226 and Richard Corey / Cloudy, released as Dynovoice 230) were produced by Bob Crewe and Al Kasha on Crewe's label and the first hit the Billboard charts at Number 37.
Barry Golberg was soon recruited by Mike Bloomfield for Electric Flag but Bob Slawson put together a new Chicago Loop and signed a new deal with Mercury.
The band also did a Macleans Commercial, released on the Macleans Is What's Happening album (Macleans MR-6555) in 1966. This features tracks by Jeannie Brittan, Tommy Roe, Peter and Gordon, The Four Coins, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Marilyn Maye, The Tokens and Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto.  They are all doing a 30-second song about the wonder of Macleans toothpaste.  It sounds like Mike Bloomfield is playing the guitar on the Loop's version of the commercial.  In later years, John Siomos and Carmine Riale also played with Mitch Ryder.
-- Vernon Joynson
Listening back to the song today, there's really nothing memorable about it ... I can see how this one has fallen between the cracks ... but it certainly fits our "Forgotten Hits" billing, so let's see if anyone else out there remembers it!  (kk)

Scroll down for another great (and EXTREMELY rare) Monkees clip!!!

I assume by now that someone else has probably told you that Tom O'Toole did in fact say he was sitting in for the vacationing Scott Shannon and that Scott would be back this week. I think they actually want us to believe that Scott works out of Chicago.
By the way, I did exchange some e-mail with Scott about this. He stated that he cannot comment on this, which told me more than what he could've said. My opinion is that he took vacation because he was so stressed. Although, his sidekick Todd on the Big Show is also on vacation, so possibly this was planned.
If Scott does return, it will be to save the station from sagging ratings. I was told that because Scott works for ABC, he would have to be picked up by another ABC affiliate here in Chicago.
Scott Shannon ... oh yeah, I remember him ... he used to do a GREAT oldies radio show here in Chicago!!!
Unfortunately, as far as True Oldies goes, it sounds like Scott Shannon IS committed to do his show only on an ABC affiliate station.  My hope is that something can be worked out here locally with another affiliate so that he continue to do so ... because the program as it currently exists is NOT what we want to hear. (kk)
By the way, I tried to listen to Shannon's show Saturday Morning on the way to work ... stuck in the car for 90 minutes because of an accident on the expressway, I switched over a total of SEVEN times and never once heard the man utter a single word!  EVERY time I clicked on WLS-FM, it was a series of at least 3 minutes of commercials.  Meanwhile, The Drive (WDRV-FM) is doing another one of their INCREDIBLE A-Z Weeks again, playing over 2000 SONGS in alphabetical order over the next 7-8 days.  That means not a SINGLE repeat during this time ... and a GREAT selection of music that you don't hear every day (again and again!)  On the PLUS side, I will give WLS-FM props for REALLY mixing up the music these past few weeks.  I have heard more "Wow" Factor songs in the last two weeks than I've heard the station play in the past three years combined!!!  And honestly, this is what we've been pushing for ... a format that would allow ALL of this great music to coexist alongside each other.  So now I've REALLY got mixed emotions ... on the one hand, I want the ratings to fail so that they'll reinstate Scott Shannon's True Oldies Format ... but, on the OTHER hand, I want it to succeed, which will give ALL of my preaching for the past twelve years some validation!  (What to do ... what to do ... this is why we REALLY need BOTH formats here in Chicago!!!)  kk

>>> but I DO know that each ANNOUNCER, be they a disc jockey or just announcer of info, had a LOG BOOK, before them with what was to be played or said along with any commercial. As each speaking and record playing was done, its id was crossed out. (Robert Black)
Nope - only the spots. Music only when it was sampling time for the licensing folks.
David Lewis

The Sunday Night Sock Hop is all about the Eighties ...

not the same old yada yada tired out 80's songs ... 

but the songs you forgot you remembered you liked so much!

So put on your leg warmers, dig out those Madonna head bands, torn T-shirts and shoulder pads -- we are rocking the Veranda with my favorites from 30 years ago ...

back when MTV played music ...

The strobe light hits the dance floor at 7 pm ET LIVE on

DJ Scarlett Hayze

Kent ...
Do you know this guy ?
Frank B.

Not personally ... but obviously I grew up watching him on TV for about 30 years!
His kid is now one of the morning guys on our new K-Hits Station ...
He regularly gives listener updates regarding HIS kid's recent drug bust in Arizona ...
Now THAT's oldies radio entertainment at its finest.
From what I hear, Harry's in GREAT shape.  He has a VERY loyal following here in Chicago and was part of most of our lives growing up.  Too bad his kid ... and, apparently, his GRAND-kid ... are a pair of duffuses!!!  (kk)

Back in the 1980s and 1990s I had opportunities to catch Joe Donovan's "all-night" show on WHAS out of Louisville, KY.  From what I understand, he played from his own private collection of 17,000+ records (at least that's what I've read).  And he would play not only the familiar "chestnuts", but also the "seldom-heard" and what he called the "oddities-and-obscurities" -- songs that have long been "forsaken" by Top-40 stations years earlier -- some which were either less-than-minor hits ... or, maybe just "bumped" a year or two after "making the charts" to "make room for 'incoming single releases'".  There were ALWAYS "surprise" songs on his show -- either a song I haven't heard for decades ... or one which "predated" my "radio-listening days" that I was hearing for the first time (those which got "bumped" prior to 1964 I guess).  Great show!!!  If one could listen to it on a regular basis, they'd eventually "hear just about everything" in due time.
Now, one thing -- Joe played the first four decades of the "Rock n'Roll Era": the 50s, 60s, 70s -- and 80s.   And yet was STILL able to feature an enormous variety from EACH decade -- AND "dig deep" into the "obscure" as well.   His "extension" into the "latter" period (late-70s and 80s) didn't seem to impede his ability to still "stay loyal to" the early / "formative" years of the "Rock n'Roll Era" -- that being the 1950s / early-1960s.  In fact, he was quite BIG on the "early years" (I believe he DID, actually, grow up during the 1950s).
This is in response to "What is a REAL 'Oldies' format?" 
Tal Hartsfeld
Why NOT '50's, '60's, '70's and '80's?!?!?  That's exactly what we've been preaching here for the past twelve years.  And, to help prove a point, we'll soon be launching our "Ultimate Play List" ... now THAT ought to turn a few heads!!!  (kk)

And I cannot help but wonder what THIS is going to mean!!!
For the past few months (since Oldies Wars broke out here in Chicago), we've been raving about the EXCELLENT job they're doing at Y103.9 ... playing a WIDE selection of popular tunes from the '50's, '60's, '70's and '80's ... with "Wow!" Factor songs figuring into the line-up all day long.  Now comes news that NextMedia (the parent company that owns Y103.9) has hired a brand new general manager. 
PLEASE tell us this isn't a case of FINALLY getting it right and then messing with success.  We've said it time and time again ... Don't Fix What Isn't Broken.  The BEST thing the station could do is strengthen their signal and become a REAL player on the Chicago Radio Scene. 
(A stronger mid-day jock wouldn't hurt either!!!  Poor Jeff James has handled virtually every shift at the station over the past few years, trying to fill any other weakness in the line-up.  Meanwhile, they let Morning Man Jim Shea go a while back and THIS was a guy who had a real feel for the music and the station.  With the wide variety of music (and personality) they're currently programming, he'd be the BEST fit they could bring on board ... and he'd bring with him a built-in, loyal audience!)  

Anyway, here's the scoop according to Robert Feder's column:
April 25th, 2011 (Robert Feder)
A national radio management and programming consultant who twice programmed Chicago’s leading adult contemporary station is the new man at the top of NextMedia Group’s northwest suburban operations — at least for the time being.
Jack Taddeo has been named interim general manager of NextMedia’s northwest suburban adult contemporary WZSR-FM (105.5) and oldies WWYW-FM (103.9). Earlier in his career, he was program director of Clear Channel Radio WLIT-FM (93.9) and its predecessor, WLAK.
At NextMedia, he’s filling the spot previously held by Floyd Evans, who’s out as regional vice president and general manager. Evans had held the position since 2006 after serving as manager of the company’s cluster in Saginaw, Mich. Efforts to reach Evans for comment Monday were not successful.
In addition to heading Jack Taddeo Communications and Radio K-T Inc., Taddeo most recently served as interim general manager for Entercom Communications in Norfolk, Virginia.
Earlier this year, NextMedia hired Tim Dukes as director of operations for its eight stations in the Chicago area. Dukes previously was vice president of marketing for Tribune Interactive and program director of Emmis Communications’ classic rock WLUP-FM (97.9).

I asked our Y103.9 buddy Jeff James how he felt this would affect HIS program:

yo baby -- - nice to hear from ya !
Means nothing - biz as usual - as a matter of fact, I met the guy today for a little chit chat - super nice and super professional!
no changes to y103.9!
Hope ya had a chance to swing by the shows lately - - especially SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE @ the 70's - - last sat night played:
Man, we were funky - - management is awesome as they give me freedom to have fun with the audience and play my records - oh yeah records on the air -- and lots of stuff NOBODY OUT THERE plays - period !!
later gator
jeff james

>>>The DJs at WCFL would on occasion deliberately give the wrong time. I'm guessing this was done to try to influence anyone who might be filling out a survey to show the wrong time and enter a time that might show more favorably for advertising purposes. But I'm only guessing as to the reason.  The first time I heard the wrong time given, I figured the DJ just made a mistake. Because the time he gave wasn't just off by a few minutes or by an hour, it was WAY off, by hours. But when I noticed it on multiple occasions, and on different days, I figured it was not a mistake, but was being done deliberately. At the time I was still in my teens and had no idea why they were doing this. I got verification of this in later years upon reading a column by Gary Deeb. But this is something I heard with my own ears and on several different days. Another low point for a great radio station. This was probably in the 1974 or 1975 timeframe, but I'm only guessing.  (Ken)
>>>If it was off by hours, then it was the air talent making a mistake.  It happens.  But there was some time-check skulduggery going on at 'CFL in 1974.  During the same period when the records were sped up, we were told to add a few minutes to the time whenever the actual time fell short of :20, :35 or :50 minutes past the hour in order to get credit for an extra quarter-hour from ratings diary-keepers.  Once a listener was at least five minutes into the next quarter, you got credit for them being tuned in during that quarter.  Therefore, if it was really 4:19, we were instructed to say it was at least 4:20.  If it was really 4:32 or 4:33, we had to say it was at least 4:35.  It was a deception, all right, but one that amounted to a few minutes, never more than four minutes, and never hours.  (Bob Dearborn)

I will take Bob Dearborn's word for it that I was wrong in my remembering the false time checks at WCFL being off by hours, as I thought I had remembered, but off by odd minutes. I do remember it happening, but it was a long time ago, and as stated, one hates to remember those things at the expense of all the entertainment the station provided. Bob Dearborn was always one of my favorite jocks, super smooth, and could "hit the post" like nobody's business. I think later he was at WJJD for awhile and I listened to him there.
One question, unrelated, and forgive me if it's been covered in these pages before. I remember the themed weekends. One in particular, from time to time, was the "Battle of the Bands". A song would be played, followed by another. After a period of time during which the listeners could call in and vote on their favorite, the winning song would be replayed, followed by another challenger. Sometimes, for a twist, it may have even been an American band, followed by a British band challenger, but I can't quite remember.
As long as a paticular song kept winning, it would continued being played until another song knocked it out. Sometimes one song could be played a good number of times before it was voted out. My question, what station had those "Battle of the Bands' weekends? Was it WLS or WCFL? I would guess WCFL simply because they seemed to take more chances, but I honestly can't remember. Maybe 'LS and "CFL both did it. This probably was in the late 1960s, but my memory is hazy.
They also would have the "All American Weekend', or the "British Invasion Weekend" around the Fourth of July. Again, I picture WCFL doing those types of things more than WLS, though they may have both done them. I have never come across airchecks of those themed weekends at either station.
Sounds like we've narrowed the speeding-up and time-warping issues down to the early '70's (most likely 1973 and 1974 based on the feedback we've received) ... at one point I was going to try to find some of Gary Deeb's old articles about this issue online but just haven't had the time to do so ... however, I have to agree with Bob Dearborn that we should instead remember all the GREAT times the station gave us instead, rather than dwell on what clearly is a rather "dark" period.  (I kind of like his "Fat Elvis" analogy ... yes, Elvis loomed large those last few years ... but what made him "The King" was his earlier material ... it built lifelong bonds that still exist today.  That's why I can't understand how oldies radio ... and now even Billboard Magazine ... seems hell-bent on ignoring it!)
As for your "Battle of the Bands" scenario, that was WCFL as well.  (I don't think Bob Dearborn was there yet, as I recall this being more in the 1967 - 1968 period ... although I don't think that they were specifically called "Battle Of The Bands".)
And they didn't just do this one the weekends ... I remember staying up WAY later than I should have to see if The Monkees could hold off the competition for one more round.  (But you're right ... we talk about radio overkill now ... they'd take a song by an artist and play that SAME song sometimes three or four times an hour, pitting it up against a new competitor each time until SOMETHING finally knocked it out of the most-requested spot.  Heck, by the fourth play you were willing to hear just about ANYTHING rather than THAT song again!!!  As such, I'd hardly call these "winners" accurate ... but it DID keep you glued to the radio ... and that, of course, was the REAL point of these little on-air competitions!)
One thing that I specifically remember was "Valleri" by The Monkees winning the vote four consecutive times ... about nine months BEFORE it was officially released commercially!  That's because WCFL used to play the tape they recorded off The Monkees' TV show for MONTHS, only to find that Colgems released "Words" / "Pleasant Valley Sunday" instead as The Monkees' new single.  (You can a whole lot more about this in our Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart article here ... Click here: Forgotten Hits - THE MUSIC OF TOMMY BOYCE AND BOBBY HART ... you'll find the complete story behind this song in Chapter Six.  (kk)

Kent ...
WCBS-FM is doing what they're calling their "Roots Weekend". 
(You see, sometimes WCBS-FM does go back to the 50's.)
I'll be honest with you ... I listened for awhile, before sending you this e-mail.
I wanted to be sure they weren't talking about Jimmy Fallon's Band.
I don't trust them like I used to.
Frank B.
And see, the very first thing that I thought of was that they must be having LaVar Burton as a Guest DJ this weekend or something!!!  (kk)

The special which was on Public Television a few weeks ago, MY MUSIC, ROCK, POP, AND DOOWOP, is a show which I did order and send off for.  It arrived in the mail a few days ago. I am glad now that I went ahead and spent the $150 for the DVD of the entire show.  For your information and maybe some of your readers which did not order it, it came in 3 discs.  The first disc is one hour in length and has everything one saw on the television when it aired, minus commercial breaks of course. The second disc is one and a half hours in length and consists of songs by those  artists and groups which did perform some of their songs on disc one as well songs by artists and groups which were not included on disc one.  The 3rd disc was 30 minutes in length and consisted of black and white footage of groups singing their songs when they were on Dick Clark's Saturday Night show on television, which, if I remember right, came on at 6:30 our time on ABC. I am glad I ordered it now. I originally was going to order the CD's also of the songs but decided not to since I have all of them anyway here at home. So if you and / or any of your readers have an additional $150 hanging around that they want to spend somehow, and of course like this music, then I would suggest they send off for it. It takes about 5 weeks to get to your place of residence. Incidentally, I have watched it 3 times already. Some of the artists on disc 2 are Cathy Jean and the Roommates  PLEASE LOVE ME FOREVER, the Quotations doing IMAGINATION, etc,
Sounds like quite a few of our readers took advantage of this PBS Television offer and ordered copies.  Cool to have some of that vintage Dick Clark stuff, too.  (kk)

If you've got PBS, there's a special on tonight called THE RAT PACK: ALIVE AND SWINGIN'
with Johnny Carson as the host, Frank, Sammy and Dean perform for Father's Day, 1965.
It just started here, so if you're on the West Coast, it will be coming up. Apparently these tapes were lost for many. many years. If you miss it, follow PBS and I'm sure it will resurface. I'm watching now and Johnny and Dino are INCREDIBLE!
This is MUST SEE TV, don't miss it if you can ... how great!
Wild Bill

Saw this today in FH and wanted to respond:
>>>A comment about The Happy Together Tour that goes along with the agents and promoters running the show(s).  The nearest venue to us has decided to charge VERY high ticket prices for most of the performances they produce, so we have been priced out for this one.  I saw the show last year at the same venue and this year's prices have tripled.  Good news / Bad news.  I love the fact that promoters feel these shows warrant the high prices ... says much positive for my taste.  BUT, I would also like to be able to go!  (Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano)
>>>Again, probably something beyond the artists' control (unless they're sharing in TRIPLE the bounty this time around!)  Somehow, I kinda doubt it.  (kk)
Looking through your archives, it appears Shelley saw last year’s HTT 2010 at the “Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre” in Wallingford, CT. From the Toyota ticket / Live Nation site: 
This year the price range is: $24.50, $39.25, and $61.60.  So, not sure that her estimate of last year’s prices tripling is accurate as I don’t think their tickets were $8, $13, and $20. Could be wrong.
Also checked the Paramount Theatre at Asbury Park, NJ, and saw ticket prices ranging: $29, $39, $49, $55, $69, $79, and $99; Effingham Performing Arts Center, IL, they were $39, $44, and $55, and the Genesee Theatre (Chicagoland) is $50 and $70.
Considering the opportunity to enjoy five tremendous acts (The Buckinghams, The Turtles, Mark Lindsay, The Association ... they did the first HTT in 1984 with The Turtles and Spanky and Our Gang ... and the Grass Roots ... Mark Dawson and Dusty Hanvey have been great in keeping favorite music alive), these ticket prices are affordable. 
In fact, Live Nation events have become very affordable, particularly with $25 lawn seats at my favorite Houston, TX venue — last Friday James Taylor welcomed those of us among the “Lawn Nation” with gusto, as we heard the same fabulous show as those who paid for the “shake his hand and hand him a bottle of water” seats. 
Live Nation is one company that has responded to audiences wanting to see and hear everyone on their "favorites" lists. Of course, promoters and artists don’t set the ticket prices; it’s up to the venues, but given the 13,000+ people I saw in Houston last Friday, most of whom were on the lawn, it’s affordable.
Thanks for running the list of the Top 50 hits among the Happy Together Artists ... I think the complete total number of their combined hits is 53 or 54, and now I’m scrambling to figure out what the other ones are! Back to my Google search.
Dawn Lee Wakefield

The Legends of Surf Music
Mayfest On Main 2011
Saturday May 7
Main Street
North Myrtles Beach, SC
In 2007, 2008 and 2009 the Legends of Surf Music backed by the Surf City Allstars performed for standing room only audiences. The reported attendance in 2009 was 40,000 people. The group returns to North Myrtle Beach once again. 
Every song is immediately recognizable from the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean catalogue. The combination of Al Jardine, David Marks and Dean Torrence together on stage creates a fresh harmonic blend to the well-known chestnuts. Two hours of classic hits followed by an autograph session.  Be there or be square!
A fan get together is planned for Friday, May 6 from 7 - 10 p.m. at The Pirate's Cove Lounge (click on the link for address, phone number and menu); it is within walking distance from the Avista Resort, and located just beyond the stage. Band members will be stopping in to say hello while we listen to our favorite music over dinner and drinks. Hope to see you there!
David Beard / Endless Summer Quarterly
Ironically, I was just telling some folks last weekend about how entertaining The Surf City All-Stars are in concert.  (We were at a Bee Gees - sound-alike show featuring a band called Stayin' Alive ... very good, by the way!)  And then just the other day I asked FH Reader Bob Greene if he knew of any upcoming local dates where we might catch The Surf City All-Stars again.  If you have a chance to see these guys, don't miss it ... especially with Al Jardine, Dean Torrence and David Marks onboard!  GREAT show ... and nothing but the music that you love!  (kk)

We received a couple of notices last week a brand new venue that has opened here in Chicago called The Montrose Room.  It's located in the InterContinental O'Hare Hotel ... and it sounds like a couple of our local favorites will soon be featured there.  Read on ...
Blue Road and Cypress Groove Project
Friday, May 6, Doors open at 8:30
The Montrose Room
Intercontinental Hotel Rosemont
5300 N. River Rd. 
Rosemont IL
Unwind, order your favorite drink and uncover the best kept secret for live music just outside of the city. Located in the stylish InterContinental Chicago O'Hare hotel, the Montrose Room is your ticket to an electrifying night of entertainment. Cutting-edge bands and music lovers converge here once a week for the acclaimed music showcase, Friday Nights Live. Boasting a state-of-the-art acoustic design and ringside cabaret seating, The Montrose Room is an authentic Chicago club experience - in the suburbs.Blue Road kicks off the show at about 9:00, followed by Cypress Groove Project

and ...

Hey Kent,
I thought I’d let you know that my venue, Montrose Room in Rosemont (a sort of Park West – West), is hosting The Buckinghams for a very special engagement.  
The Montrose Room does an “Up Close” concert series and we reached out to The Buckinghams (knowing their recent DVD / CD title is “Up Close”) to perform in a one-night only intimate venue for local fans to enjoy the debut of several new classic rock numbers in their already powerful show.
The Montrose Room is located at 5300 N River Rd inside the stylish InterContinental O’Hare.  Tickets are available through
Thanks,  Kent!
Jody Grimaldi

Last week we ran a great review of the new musical "Baby It's You", courtesy of Tom Cuddy.  But it sounds like Artie Wayne has some problems with the marketing strategy of this new production ...
Kent ...
How ya' doin'?
Tonight the show about Florence Greenberg and the Shirelles, “BABY IT’S YOU” opens on Broadway through flames of controversy! Are their publicists CRAZY?  Here’s the first story I did on my old boss Florence Greenberg and the gang up at Scepter Records.

... and, speaking of Artie Wayne ...

A while back on the website, we ran some discussion about the writing of the hit Righteous Brothers song "Rock And Roll Heaven".  New people are discovering Forgotten Hits all the time and, as they read through the archives, often come upon articles they'd like to comment on.  Here's one on this topic from a brand new FH reader:
Hi Kent,
Enjoy your site, its unique and very good.
Just wanted to pass along some information regarding "Rock 'n' Roll Heaven". 
Climax was the first band to record the song.  Johnny Stevenson was the keyboard player for Climax and he is the individual who introduced producer Larry Cox to the Climax project.  Larry would go on and produce Jefferson Starship.
You can read the story about the song in Larry's book "People I've Known (Famous and Should Be)."
Climax first recorded the song at Wally Heider's studio in Los Angeles in 1973.  Dave Roberts, who was Larry's associate, wrote all the horn arrangements in the song for Climax, which were later pirated by Artie Wayne.  Larry and Dave worked together and yes, Dave did the arranging on "Precious & Few" while Tom Bahler did the vocal arrangements.  Tom Bahler recently told me "Precious and Few" was one of his first efforts in the music business.
Johnny Stevenson first wrote the hook for "Rock 'n' Roll Heaven" and Alan O'Day was called in to help John sweeten the lyrics to match up with Sonny Geraci's vocal style.
Stevenson was indeed a member of Climax.  He has songs written on their album.  Larry passed away in December, 2009, and John has also passed on.  Larry and John were friends since their days in Texas when Larry owned a music studio prior to going to LA
and working for Bones Howe at Heider.
I can tell you for certain "Rock 'n' Roll Heaven" was a Climax project from the beginning and Artie Wayne grabbed the song and used Dave Robert's arrangements.  I believe much of the confusion centers around whether or not O'Day might have been involved with the initial lyrics and sweeting for Sonny Geraci and later collaborated with Johnny Stevenson
to update the song for the Rightgeous Brothers.   Needless to say, Larry and Dave were not to happy with Artie Wayne.
The real reason the song didn't work for Climax?  More than likely the lack of marketing muscle and resources from Marc Gordon and Rocky Road Records.  Gordon was really occupied as the manager of the Fifth Dimension.  The real evidence lies in the fact Climax's follow up to "Precious and Few", "Life & Breath", reached the Top 5 at KHJ in Los Angeles, made it to #15 on Billboard AC, but only to #52 on the Hot 100.  During the time the song was released, Gordon was away with the Fifth Dimension and the record just didn't receive the needed support to breakthrough.  Then the album Climax featuring Sonny Geraci was late being released and the group lost a bunch of momentum.  Sad part of the whole story, nobody other than Gordon got paid for "Precious and Few", per Larry Cox.
Finally, whether or not Sonny had a hand in writing the song, I don't know.
The book says Johnny Stevenson called Sonny up to his home in the Hollywood hills played the hook for Sonny and they immediately went into the studio to record it.
Hope this helps.
Mike Mucci
Just to clarify a few points:
If you read our article, you'll see that Alan O'Day himself discussed some of the timeline and his involvement with the writing of this tune. (He also notes that a couple of big name songwriters ALSO had a hand in its final "hit" development and never even took publishing credit on the tune!)  It seems that EVERYBODY involved from Day One fell in love with the "hook" ... but ALSO seemed to agree that the song needed further development.  Although Sonny and Geraci and Climax were the first to record it (no dispute there), it was NOT a hit ... in fact, it went absolutely nowhere. 
Once Alan O'Day added HIS two-bits to the song (along with the uncredited Brian Potter and Dennis Lambert), and updated the song, it became a HUGE hit for The Righteous Brothers.  In defense of Artie Wayne (and your accusation of "pirating" the horns and the arrangement), simply put the collective team took what worked in the original recording, changed what DIDN'T and were COMPLETELY proven right and vindicated for their actions when "Rock And Roll Heaven" soared up the charts in its reworked form, eventually peaking at #2.
This is not at ALL uncommon.  (Give a listen to Scott Shannon's "Rock And Roll Remakes" Weekend on The True Oldies Channel sometime ... you will not BELIEVE how many GREAT, hit songs that we all know and love started out as musical duds simply because the correct chemistry wasn't there the first time ... and, quite often, second and third times ... around.  Ultimately it takes the combination of the right song, the right artist and the right producer to make it all work.  I believe this to be the case with "Rock And Roll Heaven".
Honestly, it all sounds a bit like "sour grapes" to me after the fact ... yes, ALL of the people involved with the Climax recording KNEW they had a hit song on their hands ... but the fact of the matter is, plain and simple, they didn't execute it properly ... or it would have BEEN a hit ... instead of a complete flop (and now the answer to a trivia question)!  kk 
Click here: Forgotten Hits: More On The "Back To The '60's" Concert Event ... and The Story Behind "Rock And Roll Heaven"

I asked Artie Wayne and Alan O'Day (both regular Forgotten Hits Readers and contributors) if they could shed any more light on some of Mike's comments above ...
Hi Kent …
I don’t know who the new authority on “Rock and Roll Heaven” is or where he got his information from, but it’s good that he has joined Forgotten Hits to find out the real stories behind the hits.
I’m very proud of the part I played in the creation, development, and success of the song. I want to make it clear that I’m not a “horn pirate” (LOL), and my friends, the co-writer Alan O’Day, and Righteous Brother producer Dennis Lambert, have already told their stories on these pages. Now you can read the whole complex story in my new book, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” which just came out last week.
Keep up the good work!
Artie Wayne
It is always our goal to help spread "the most accurate truth" wherever possible ... often thanks to the detailed play-by-play given by the folks and artists who were actually there at the time.  Far too often legend and rumor are spread as truth ... and, once repeated enough, become accepted as the "facts".  SO many times in these pages over the years we have done our best to dispel these.  (In fact, this very topic came up because of allegations that Climax vocalist Sonny Geraci seemed to be taking credit for co-writing the song which, by all appearances, is a bit of an exaggeration ... or flat out myth ... as well.)  Meanwhile, I couldn't help but wonder if Artie would have been less offended had Mike Mucci called him a "horny pirate" instead of a "horn pirate"!!!  (lol)  kk
No ... that would have been flattering!
Meanwhile, Alan O'Day begged off commenting publicly, stating simply ...
I don't have enough details to dispute anything he said.  If I have a chance, at some point I'll compare the horn parts of the two cuts, but I never noticed any similarities.  And if Artie Wayne had a hand in producing the Righteous Brothers' version, it's news to me!
I do empathize with the disappointment on the part of Sonny's camp re: the fate of their version, however.

We received a couple of comments (and suggestions) after last week's Royal Wedding ...

Kent ...
I think this is the perfect "Royal Wedding" song.
Marilyn McCoo sings "Will You Marry Me Bill."
All we have to do is add one word:
"Will You Marry Me, Prince Bill." LoL!!!
Frank B.
There's a great clip of this from The Ed Sullivan Show ... more of a live act than a performance ... which has probably been pulled by The Ed Sullivan Police who watch YouTube with a magnifying glass to make sure none of the copyrighted stuff stays up on the site.  (It typically airs as part of all those PBS Ed Sullivan specials ... and is on the Sullivan DVD Box Set.)  A lot of fun to watch if you can find it!  (kk)

Have you thought of a royal couple salute on the Forgotten Hits website?
I thought of an old obscure 45 called Sweet William by Millie Small. 
Phil Nee

We've covered it many times before (the short-lived pairing of The Monkees with Jimi Hendrix for seven crazy shows in 1967!)  But this is the first time we've EVER heard an advertisement for it.  Special thanks to one of our FH Readers for sending this in ... 

It was the mid-forties.
There was a dive bar with a live combo.
(O.K. I was way too young to be there, but somehow, nobody seemed to get mad when my parents dropped in and brought me in with them.)
If you would "feed the  kitty," they'd play requests.  My dad helped keep the kitty nourished.  The band had no trouble remembering what I wanted to hear.  I would call the leader's name, "Bob Lee," I'd say, and before I said another word, they'd hit "Hey Baba-Rebop!"  (I'm not sure of the spelling)
Despite the "rebop" in the name, it wasn't anything as intellectual as bebop.  It was straight jump blues, and I think it was recorded by Louis Jordan.  It was enough of a hit to have its lyrics published in the song sheets that were popular in that day, along with "G.I Jive," and "A Slip of the Lip Might Sink a Ship!" 
I still remember two choruses:
"I'm standin on the mountain, lookin 'at the sea,
Tryin' to find the cat who stole my baby from me"
'Matilda Brown told Old King Tut
If you can't say 'Rebop' keep your big mouth shut!"
The title was also the refrain, with pattern and melody that Bill Haley's Comets picked up about a decade later in "Crazy Man Crazy"
"Hey Baba Rebop!'
Hey Baba Rebop!
Hey Baba Rebop!
Yes your Baby knows!"
Ed Cash
Nowhere near the response we had hoped for on this one ... but enough votes to keep tabulating this weekend.  Once we narrow down the clear-cut finalists, we'll start bringing them your way for a final round of voting.  (The way it looks right now, based on the votes that we've received, any song nominated with less than 12 votes to date will be eliminated ... then  we'll have you vote for your favorites amongst the remaining titles.)
It'll probably take us another week to pull it all together ... but keep watching these pages for more results.  Thanks again to everyone who took the time to cast their ballots.  (kk)