Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

re:  FIRST 45's:
How cool is this??? "Entertainment Weekly" Magazine has a little sidebar this week featuring Ryan Murphy (co-creater of "Glee")'s FIRST 45!!!
My first record was Paul McCartney and Wings' "Live And Let Die".  I bought the 45 with my babysitting money for 99-cents.  I remember that Paul and Linda were both rocking these really cool shag haircuts on the cover.  I finally had long hair myself in college, but then I quickly grew this bald spot and it ruined my dream!
More First 45's here:
Have you sent YOURS in yet???  (kk)
And, speaking of Paul McCartney ...
Kent ...
Here is a review of Paul McCartney's amazing concert at Yankee Stadium ... along with the set list. B.
Paul McCartney has composed the score for his first-ever ballet, "Ocean's Kingdom." It is a love story through music and dance, and he will have its World Premiere at the New York City Ballet on Thursday night, September 22, 2011 at 7 pm.
This will be a black-tie gala event and Sir Paul himself WILL BE THERE, as he was for the world premiere of his classical "Liverpool Oratorio" 20 years ago.
Paul describes his first ballet as “basically a romantic story” involving two worlds: the ocean kingdom, representing purity, and the earth kingdom, “the sort of baddies.” The daughter of the ocean king falls in love with the brother of the earth king.
Tickets are not yet on sale and may not even be available to the general public for the World Premiere. It is a fund-raising gala for the NYC Ballet so it's likely that they may only be selling tables instead of individual seats for thousands of dollars. We were told that the next lowest admission donation will be $1500 per individual. Our package includes admission, deluxe hotel accommodations, a guided walking tour of Manhattan's Beatle sites during the day, a goodie gift bag, organized group lunch and any other surprises. We will get to the ballet early enough to experience the "red carpet" treatment (many celebrities are expected to attend) and be part of the hoopla. This will be a huge media event.
We have secured only 15 seats to this event.
If you are interested in joining us for this special very exclusive world premiere package, where you will be among the first in the world to see Paul's ballet and sit in the same room with him and his family, call us for a reservation form as soon as possible. This will sell out quickly and we won't be able to get more tickets once our limited allotment is gone.
Call us today (203) 795-4737.
Cheers, Charles F. Rosenay!!!
Liverpool Productions LLC and
International Tours and
And THIS has got to be the Paul McCartney story of the week!!!
Weird Al Yankovic revealed last week that Paul McCartney denied him the right to remake "Live And Let Die" as "Chicken Pot Pie" ... because McCartney is a vegetarian!!!  (kk)
re:  ELVIS:
Hi Kent,
Elvis Week is coming up next month in Memphis, Tennessee, to commemorate the 34th anniversary since music icon Elvis Presley passed away.
I wondered if you could post my information should any of your readers are doing any Elvis related radio shows or know of anyone that is and would like to have me on and chat about Elvis's life and the amazing entertainment he left for us and future generations to enjoy.
Thank you.
All The Best,
Cory Cooper
Elvis Historian, Consultant, Technical Advisor

Renowned Elvis Presley Historian Cory Cooper ...
A noted authority on the life and music of Elvis Presley, regularly contributes to books, radio, movies and television projects.  Cooper has appeared on countless nationally syndicated radio programs across the United States, Canada, England and Australia, including Coast to Coast with George Noory and MSNBC. Additionally, Cory has been a contributor to Internet and local radio, a variety of Elvis publications, print media and been a contributor to E! Entertainment Online.
As a sought out authority on Presley, Cooper draws from his vast knowledge and his deep ties to others in the Elvis world. Included among his contacts are authors, band members, performers and members of the "Memphis Mafia,"  the close group of bodyguards, friends and employees that worked with and protected Elvis Presley.
Happy to help spread the word, Cory.
And, in another Elvis-related note ...
I curious to know if anyone has reached out to you regarding the forthcoming Universal Music release  "ELVIS:  The Great Performances" (Street Date 8/2/11).  
This 2 DVD set features a classic collection of The King's best film and TV footage - boasting over 2 hours of remastered video, new packaging, and never-before-seen interviews with legendary artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.  The performances included span more than 20 years, from his first televised appearance that shocked the nation to a concert which took place just weeks before his death.  In addition to the interviews with Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins are previously unreleased interviews with Sun Records head Sam Phillips, drummer D.J. Fontana, guitarist Scotty Moore, Jordanaires member and backing singer Gordon Stoker, and television host Milton Berle, on whose show Elvis appeared twice in 1956.  A complete track listing is included at the end of this e-mail.
One of the people responsible for putting together this new release is Jerry Schilling ...
A member of Elvis' private entourage, "The Memphis Mafia," Jerry first met Elvis at the age of 12, when he played football with the then 19 year old Elvis Presley just days after the singer's first record had been played on the radio in Memphis.  That began a 23 year friendship between the two, during which time Schilling worked with, traveled with, lived with - and became on of Elvis' most trusted confidantes.
Over the years Jerry has also guided the careers of The Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lisa Marie Presley and was a tour manager for Billy Joel.  His memoir, "Me And A Guy Named Elvis" took the unique perspective Elvis as a close friend rather than an icon.  In 2007, he received the 66th Brass Note on Beale Street's legendary Music Walk of Fame in Memphis - next to Elvis'.  Additional bio info pertaining to Jerry can be found at the end of this e-mail.
-- Alan Rommelfanger
Daybreak Entertainment

"ELVIS:  The Great Performances" - Track Listing:
Volume 1 - Center Stage 
Money Honey (Dorsey Bros. TV Show)
That’s All Right (Mama)(Studio Recording)
Hound Dog (Milton Berle TV Show)
I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Steve Allen TV Show)
Blue Suede Shoes (Studio Recording over Screen Test)
Love Me Tender (Love Me Tender Movie)
Heartbreak Hotel (Milton Berle TV Show)
Ready Teddy (Ed Sullivan TV Show)
Teddy Bear (Loving You Movie)
King Creole (King Creole Movie)
Jailhouse Rock (Jailhouse Rock Movie)
Guitar Man (Elvis – Comeback Special)
Suspicious Minds (Elvis – That’s The Way It Is)
Unchained Melody (Elvis In Concert)
All Shook Up (Elvis – Comeback Special)
Bonus Material: 
Working With Elvis - D.J. Fontana, Scotty Moore, Gordon Stoker, Milton Berle 
Volume 2 - The Man And The Music 
American Trilogy (Aloha From Hawaii)
My Happiness (Studio Recording)
Shake, Rattle, And Roll/Flip, Flop And Fly (Dorsey Bros. TV Show) 
Blue Suede Shoes (Milton Berle TV Show)
Don’t Be Cruel (Ed Sullivan TV Show)
Got A Lot O’ Livin To Do (Loving You Movie)
Trouble (King Creole Movie)
Mean Woman Blues (Loving You Movie)
Treat Me Nice (Jailhouse Rock Movie)
G.I. Blues (G.I. Blues Movie)
Fame And Fortune (Welcome Home, Elvis)
Return To Sender (Girls, Girls, Girls Movie)
Memories (Studio Recording over Home Movies)
You Gave Me A Mountain (Aloha From Hawaii)
Always On My Mind (Elvis On Tour Movie)
If I Can Dream (Elvis – Comeback Special)
Bonus Material:
Memories Of Elvis - Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Sam Phillips

A Short Jerry Schilling Biography:
On a hot Sunday in Memphis in July of 1954, 12-year-old Jerry Schilling played a game of pickup football that would dramatically change the direction of his life.  Schilling played receiver. His quarterback was a lanky, long-haired 19-year-old named Elvis.  The football game occurred the same week after “that guy named Elvis” recorded his first single, “That’s Alright.”  From that day, Schilling and Presley developed a close friendship that would span over 20 years, until Presley’s death in 1977.  During that time, Schilling became part of Elvis’ exclusive entourage “The Memphis Mafia,” traveling and living with Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest icon. 
Schilling was one of Elvis’ closest confidants, and knew him better than what the public perceived, which is partly why he is one of the most sought-after producers on not only Elvis’ career and life, but also for artists from that era of Rock n Roll.  Schilling’s long list of accomplishments within the entertainment industry spans decades and reflects his versatility as a producer.  He worked as a personal manager for hugely successful acts like the Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Wilson, Lisa Marie Presley and the Sweet Inspirations, and as a tour manager for Billy Joel.  He produced countless film and television specials on Elvis and Rock ‘n’ Roll, including the highly acclaimed ABC-TV series Elvis: The Early Years (1990), an A & E Biography: The Beach Boys (1998) and a two-hour documentary on Sun Records founder Sam Phillips in 2000.  
Schilling’s name can be found in the credits of numerous television series, films, radio specials, etc. He served as a talent executive for a diverse range of titles including the 10-hour, Time-Warner production History of Rock N Roll(1993-5), as well as Good Rockin’ Tonight (Radio Favorites 1956-1964); Britain Invades, America Fights Back (Early ‘60s); Plugging In (The Electric Sound of the Late ‘60s); The Sounds of Soul (Gospel, Rhythm & Blues); My Generation (The Woodstock Era and Early ‘70s); Guitar Heroes (Spanning the Years); The Seventies: Have a Nice Decade (Extreme Rock); Punk (a New Wave in the Late ‘70s); and Up From The Underground (the MTV Factor).  Schilling’s contributions documenting music’s cultural importance in the 20th century reflect his musical knowledge, attained from his many years working in the entertainment industry, and his passion for rock music.
Schilling has also added “author” to his résumé with his memoir Me And A Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship With Elvis Presley.” It’s a poignant reflection of Schilling’s time as a member of “The Memphis Mafia,” offering insight into Elvis beyond the pop-cultural spectacle.  The memoir received highly positive reviews from both critics and Presley fans.  When Schilling wasn’t busy polishing up chapters for the memoir, he spent his time conducting interviews for the 2005 CBS special Elvis, By The Presleys, and was the only non-family member to appear on camera. From 1990-2003, he served as president and CEO of the Memphis and Shelby counties music commission, proving that, although he resides in Los Angeles (in a house that Elvis bought for him!), he still feels a strong connection to his Memphis roots.
More recently, Schilling helped produce and oversee the set of the revamped 2-DVD set of Elvis: The Great Performances to be released on Hip-O/SOFA Entertainment on August 2, 2011.  The DVD will include never-before-seen interviews and over 2 hours of remastered footage.    
While Jerry’s name is associated with countless film, TV and radio specials, it became immortalized when he received a "Brass Music Note" award on Beale Street's legendary Music Walk of Fame in Memphis, TN, next to his dear friend's note, that of Elvis Presley.

re:  DION:
>>>Dion has always been a musical hero of mine ... and I met him when I played guitar on his single "The Heart of Saturday Night" ... all I can tell you is that he was a super guy. 
(Henry Gross)
Wow! The Heart Of Saturday Night is one of my favorite Dion records which I discovered when I bought a promo lp pressing of his Return Of The Wanderer album in an antique store several years ago.  Lucky me, I later found a promotional pressing of the 45 and put it on youtube, with the album version of the song as the audio, since I prefer it over the single edit.
Tom Diehl
Here's one that didn't make Ron Smith's book!!! (lol)
On 7/20/1965, Faron got hit on the head with a cue ball during a fight in a Nashville bar. The incident made the newspaper because Faron had to be hospitalized. On 7/15/1987 he told Ralph Emery, "It's like the ROPE thing they have here in Nashville. They voted me in the other day as the sergeant at arms. I figured, here I am, drunk, I'm gonna throw the rest of the damn drunks out." On 7/23/1995, he received his last DUI arrest and was finally sent to jail and rehab. He was on probation at the time of his death. 
Diane Diekman
Okay, I know some said “enough already,” but the reference to the booklet included in Gary Lewis’s “Complete Liberty Singles” is not correct.  According to the booklet, Gary sang the double-tracked lead vocal alone on “This Diamond Ring” with Ron Hicklin adding the harmony vocal.  Thereafter, according to Ron (not Gary), Gary and Ron sang the leads together, with Gary as the prominent voice but with Ron either doubling Gary, with both singing into the same microphone at the same time and with Ron matching Gary’s phrasing, and / or with Ron adding background vocals.  There is no quote from Gary about this.  The booklet also states that “The Loser” was the first single after “TDR” for which Gary did the lead vocal entirely on his own.
So, if what Ron said is correct, then Gary did sing on every one of his songs, but Hicklin ghosted with him and / or did harmonies on many of them after “TDR” until “The Loser.”  But it’s wrong to suggest Ron did all the lead vocals, implying Gary did not.  And how could anyone question that anyway, when it is so obviously Gary who is singing on every one of them?  Give Ron his due for contributing, but I believe Gary deserves a lot more credit.  And for the record, the booklet also states Gary alone played drums on “Everybody Loves a Clown.” 
Michael Thom
Although we've probably covered the Gary Lewis story at least a dozen times already, here is a link to a recent wrap-up piece that we did:
Before there was Band Aid or Live Aid, a We Are the World or Hands Across America, there was singer - songwriter Harry Chapin — lobbying for change in Congress, pestering an already convinced President Carter to establish a commission on world hunger, and passing the hat for donations at concerts large and small.
Chapin has been gone now nearly as long as he lived. He achieved artistic and commercial success with a string of hits in the 1970s, songs like "Cats in the Cradle," ''Taxi" and "Circle" that aging Baby Boomers — and their babies' babies — still cherish.
His work as an advocate for the hungry is a legacy that resonates 30 years after his death at age 38 when a tractor - trailer demolished his car on the Long Island Expressway. Chapin died only hours before he was to perform a free concert before an expected crowd of 25,000 at the island's Eisenhower Park.
Now another benefit concert is planned by members of the Chapin family, including daughter Jen and his brothers Tom and Steve — also recording artists — at a town park in Chapin's hometown of Huntington, on Long Island. Admission to the Saturday event is free, but fans are asked to bring donations of food and money to benefit the Long Island Cares food bank, another charity founded by Chapin.
"Just to call him an inspiration would minimize his real impact. Harry Chapin, his life and his efforts, did an awful lot not only to stimulate the success of We Are the World, but its longevity," said entertainer Harry Belafonte, a driving force behind the 1985 benefit that raised millions to fight starvation in Africa.
"It's hard to overestimate the amount of good he did," added Sen. Patrick Leahy, a close friend of Chapin's, who confessed he broke down in tears after he was summoned from the Senate floor on July 16, 1981, and told of the fatal crash. Speaking at Chapin's memorial service, Leahy said, was one of the most difficult things he's ever done.
"There are a huge number of people who probably have no idea who he is," Leahy told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "All they know is they got fed because of him and they wouldn't have otherwise, both in this country and abroad."
The Vermont Democrat recalls a meeting with Carter in the White House, when Carter agreed to form a commission focusing on world hunger. Chapin's tenacious spirit almost kyboshed the deal, Leahy said.
"We sat around the Cabinet room and he starts telling the president we should do this. And the president's trying to say 'I agree with you, Harry.' And he's just getting all wound up and excited. I finally said, 'Harry, Harry, don't talk him out of it.' Everybody laughed, but he pushed for it and pushed so hard."
Continuing his work three decades on is clearly a labor of love for the Chapin family, says Jen Chapin, a singer-songwriter who often performs with her father's guitar. She and other relatives have served on the board of directors of WhyHunger, a charity her father co-founded as "World Hunger Year" in the 1970s.
"It's part of the fabric of our everyday lives," said Chapin, who was 10 when her father died. Whenever she appears in concert, fans tell her of their affection for her father. "A lot of people remember him and make connections, share stories," she said. 
She doesn't doubt that her father may have drifted toward a career in politics had he not been killed, recalling talk that he was considering a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in New York before he died. If he were alive today? "He would have been all over the social media. He was a very fast-paced person living in a much slower world."
Since her father's passing, entertainers including Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Rogers and others have become forceful advocates on the hunger issue. Springsteen has for many years allowed local food banks to collect donations at his concerts.
"The fact of the matter is Harry was the greatest advocate for the homeless and malnourished in the entertainment business," says Ken Kragen, Chapin's manager for the last three years of his life. Kragen is credited with helping organize the We Are The World recording, and later was a founder of Hands Across America, another endeavor to fight hunger and homelessness.
"I think that he really inspired the events of the mid- and later 80s," Kragen said. "I would hope he would be very pleased at how much he has inspired."
Belafonte told The AP that he and Chapin were not intimate friends, but had met several times.
"We shared the platform on a number of occasions and I always responded favorably whenever he asked me to do anything, whether it was to write a letter or make a call," the 84-year-old singer said in a telephone interview.
"In that context, I grew to really admire him, not only for his commitment to the cause of hunger, but also the fact that he did it with such passion, such real commitment. As an artist, I certainly loved his work. Not only his music, but the content of his words. He spoke about the human condition with a sense of humor and as a lyricist he had his hand on the pulse of social needs."
Bill Ayres, a former Roman Catholic priest who has hosted a weekly radio talk show in New York since 1973, co-founded the organization now known as WhyHunger after first interviewing Chapin for his radio program.
When they started in 1975, there were only 28 emergency food providers throughout New York City. Today, he said, there are about 1,200. On a national level, he said WhyHunger works with approximately 8,400 community organizations, some of which deal with issues of hunger, while others help get jobs, health care and housing for those in need.
The organization conducts radio "hunger-thons" raising millions over the years, mostly in New York, but they have recently aired nationally over satellite radio. A WhyHunger spokeswoman said since its founding in 1975, the organization has raised more than $30 million to help more than 10 million families, children, veterans and others around the world gain access to nutritious food and vital services.
Ayres recalled: "Harry used to say 'when in doubt, do something,' and we have done a lot of things and it's still going on."
-- submitted by Tom Cuddy
Bruce Springsteen Plays a Surprise Show in Asbury Park; Pays Tribute to Clarence Clemons
Kent ...
At 9 PM the Boss jumped on the stage and joined the headlining act. B.

Kent ...
I was glad to hear about America's new CD.  They are one of my few favorites from the 1970's.
Don't like the title ... I would've went with "Songs We Wish We Wrote - Volumes One, Two & Three."
You said they had a list of 100 songs. I'm sure there will be more to come.
Frank B.
I guess that depends on how well THIS one does!!! (lol)  I like the fact that they mixed some rather obscure recent songs with some classic, immediately-recognizable favorites.  This gives some of the "new" stuff to still garner them some airplay.  And "A Road Song" is a GREAT lead-off single.  I just read that Fountains of Wayne are releasing their OWN version of this song (they wrote it) in August, giving America a one-month jump on creating some interest in this track.  It's a great tune ... and a great, VERY-America-sounding recording.  (kk)
Sorry for any confusion ... I was on Saturday the 16th on Ivan's show "THE RECORD DEN". I featured most of their hits, but also cuts from Rob's solo album on Mercury (1979) with involvement from Fleetwood Mac and the last Grassroots album on MCA (1982). Both albums are great and worthwhile for any collection.
Some stuff on the Grassroots:
Rob was an avid fisherman.
I last I heard of Warren Entner he was managing rock groups such as 'Faith No More".
As for as Dennis Provisor, he lives in Wisconsin and still gigs locally
My understanding is that Creed left the group when the musical direction of the band left the folk / rock vein into more of a mainstream sound.  I believe he has a new CD out.
I am surprised there are no statements from the above of Rob's passing and also Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan.
If I hear of anything, I will certainly let you know.
Mike De Martino
And then ... 
I found this from Rob's wife
Hi everyone,
I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support you’ve given to Rob and I. It is such a difficult time, but knowing how much people loved Rob and The Grass Roots gives me a calm feeling somehow. I’ve been busy with phone calls from radio stations, The New York Times, CNN and the Associated Press! They are all compassionate and wanting to know the truth.  Rob never thought of himself as a celebrity, (but as one lucky son of a gun who was able to have the same job and still love it for over 45 years.) He loved the songs (thanks Sloan and Berry) and I know he hoped the Grass Roots are able to continue pleasing fans for many more years to come. 
People are asking about a memorial service, etc.  I’m going to wait until things calm down and people who want to celebrate his life from out of town can plan and buy airline tickets. Airfares now are so expensive at short notice. I will let you know. August, perhaps.
As far as in lieu of flowers … Rob was a foster kid during periods of his life and he wanted to support local foster programs.
We also always supported:
Cornerstone Hospice of Lake County,
2445 Lane Park Road,
Tavares, FL 32778.
Any contributions to Melanoma / Cancer Society (as that's what took Christian’s life away too soon as well as many others was important to Rob as well.)
Thanks again, and much love to you, 
More later,
-- Mike De Martino
Thanks, Mike ... I know ALL our prayers go out to Nancy at this difficult time ... hopefully she finds SOME solace in knowing just how well-loved her husband was.  This music will live on for many, many more lifetimes.  (kk)

>>>‘Unchained Melody’ lyricist Zaret dead at 99 - Hy Zaret died at his home Monday, about a month shy of his 100th birthday, his son, Robert Zaret, said Tuesday.  (Shelley Sweet-Tufano)>>>How weird that this would happen now in the midst of so much discussion of this tune in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)
When I read this, I actually said "again?" -- I was thinking he had passed away several years ago, and a google search revealed that he passed away July 2, 2007, just shy of his 100th birthday.
Tom Diehl
Sorry about that, folks ... Shelley's email didn't indicate a date so I just assumed it was a current news item ... all the more timely because of all of our "Unchained Melody" dialog lately!  (kk)
"Unchained" is not your typical prison film. The thing the reviews generally omit is that the movie is more documentary than dramatic flick. It is based on Kenyon Scudder's experiment at building a minimum security facility with a farm and several other productive functions, teaching skills to prisoners who were selected to participate at Chino. Scudder's book "Prisoners Are People" is the basis around which "Unchained" is written - and that book is about as hard to come by as the movie. Used copies sell for $75.00 and up. Scudder was nearing retirement when the movie was made, so it's somewhat of a tribute to him. I have a friend whose uncle was at Chino prison when the film was made in 1955, and he says his uncle tells him all the prisoners were in awe of Dexter Gordon, and learned a lot from him.
David Lewis

From "Unchained" ... to Gum-Wrapper Chains!!! ...
At my High School ... when you broke up with the guy responsible for the chain ... you burned the chain ... anyone else do that???
And speaking of High School ... we just celebrated our reunion this weekend ... 40 years. I saw a few of those gum wrapper chain inducing boys ... it looks like they got what was coming to them ... LOL
We just went to MY 40th High School Reunion last month, too ... and the general consensus is that the girls CERTAINLY have aged better than the boys!!! (lol)  Of course very few of us boys wore make-up and had our hair done for the event ... and, without being TOO modest ... I have to say that I looked about 10-15 years younger than most of my other classmates that night ... so THAT was kinda cool!  (Several of them are probably reading this right now, muttering a collective "Bastard!!!"  Oh well, at least it made the night more enjoyable for ME!!!  lol)  kk