Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 31 - 11 )

Here comes another round of weekly comments ...

re:  DAN PEEK:

Unknown to many, he had "the first Contemporary Christian Hit to reach the Billboard charts, reaching the Top 10 in the A/C Billboard chart".
And despite a reported serious falling out when Peek decided to leave America and pursue a different lifestyle (both musically and spiritually), both Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell helped him out with background vocals on his first solo LP!  (kk)

When "Lonely People" was released on 45, Warner Bros shipped a "silver cup" to dozens of programmers and music directors at stations all across the country. A friend told me this morning he still has his sitting on his desk more than 36 years after the fact.
David Lewis
I loved "Lonely People", a #5 hit in early 1975.  (I always felt that this one should have gone to #1!)  
I clearly remember performing this song at Rosary College along with three current Forgotten Hits list members:  Bob Mielcarski (on drums), Mike Mertes (on lead vocal, guitar, and harmonica) and Greg Favata (on guitar.)  I actually did a pretty cool little piano part on this one, along with some background vocals.  It was EXCEPTIONALLY cool because the song was brand new ... so we were performing it as the rest of the audience was just first discovering it for themselves.  (Being a big America fan, I already had the "Holiday" album from which this track was pulled as a single.  The lead off track, "Tin Man" was making its way down the charts so we jumped on "Lonely People" immediately ... and did a pretty credible version of it, too, I might add!!!)  kk

Sorry to hear about Dan Peeks' death.  America's music was just SO good.  They had some great ballads, but also some psychedelic stuff and novelty stuff and I loved most all of it.  Dan's "Lonely People' is a top fave as well as the psychedelic ending "Only in Your Heart" and the novelty "Mad Dog".  "God of the Sun" was played often at the Colorado Sunday concert in '78 before the groups took the stage and was a great start even tho the band did not play at the concert.  They just had a unique sound and the three changing lead vocals from song to song helped keep them fresh and new.  Here's one psychedelic rocker you might not have heard by them, but considering they were all sons of US airmen, this PSA might have been fun for them to do.
Clark Besch

re:  DION:
Unlike George Barnes' guitar solo that fits "Lipstick On Your Collar" like a glove, this improvised (non hit) saxophone solo could stand a bit of improving! No doubt, Dion had an odd, sour look on his face!
While I can't state this with 100% certainty, I've heard that this version ALMOST made the single release ... it was between this early take and the final version.  When producers couldn't decide which track to release, Dion himself personally oversaw the coin toss to determine the song's future.  (See, I can make stuff up as well as ANYBODY!!!)  kk

Kent ...
So I'm outside trimming the hedges. I hear a few Bobby Darin tunes through my ear phones. That reminds me about your promise to re-run the Bobby Darin Series. I make a note to myself, self - don't forget to bug Kent about Bobby Darin. I want you to consider this my official " bugging e-mail . " What's the statute of limitations?  How long do I have to wait, before I can take legal action against you?  Breaking a promise is a serious offense . LoL !!
Frank B.
Maybe if I can pull together a few days off I can FINALLY find some time to do this.  There are several OTHER pieces I've been wanting to permanently post on the other FH Website, too ... just NEVER enough time to get it all done!  (kk)

I did not think about it at the time, but when Tony Hatch mentioned producing all the Searchers songs, I had forgotten that!  For some reason, their 45s seldom (or never) mentioned the producer on the Kapp 45s here in the US.  When I was sending the Downtown from WLS' Silver Dollar Survey the other day, I did not think to send BOTH Hatchlings as they sat 1-2 on WLS for the week of January, 15, 1965! 
For the record, the Rhino Searchers CD was the first CD I bought in the 80's and to this day, it is my favorite CD to listen to all the way through!  Not a clunker in the bunch!!  Thanks to Tony and his great production on this GREAT group! 
Here's a copy of the WLS survey from 1/15/65 with Tony Hatch's productions at #1 and #2. 

Since we are talking about the SOUND of Downtown in mono being different than the stereo, a Chicago buddy, Rick Kancilja, who was in a Chicago 60's band, claims the 45 version of "Love Potion #9" is faster than all of the CD versions he hates to hear nowadays.  I guess the WLS version I recorded might be off speed, as tapes vary in speed over 45 years, but I think I have the speed close on this.  Anyone else notice speed variances between the 45 and CD versions?  Rick claimed the 45 had more of a "kick" to it than the CD versions he's found. 
Here are Rick's comments:
"Love Potion #9" is wrong on the CD version. It's slower and totally different. I just played it in the car this afternoon. There was a 45 version like the Shames have differences between album and 45 versions. The Searchers had a 45 version that I can't seem to sort through on Cds available on ebay. The sellers don't know (and don't care either). The version that used to play in the old JukeBoxes in ice cream shops.


Once again, I’ve fallen behind on my reading.  This book has been on my shelf for over 2 years now and it was published in 2008.  Hopefully, I’ll eventually catch up with all the Beatles books in my collection.
I’m not sure why I waited so long to read this book.  
We’re Going to See the Beatles! by Garry Berman was a very enjoyable read and is written in a format that makes it easy to pick up, read  a couple pages and put it back down until you have another moment or two (I’m refraining to from calling it a bathroom book, but truth be known, it’s perfect for the ‘library’ in the throne room!).
As someone who was born in the summer of ’64, I missed Beatlemania.  I admit to not really giving them the time of day until I was in my late teens.  Yeah, we sang the songs in elementary school … and yeah, ‘Live and Let Die’ was my first Bond movie … but becoming a hardcore fan didn’t happen until I was in my senior year of high school.  But that’s another story for another day.
It was delightful to read what happened during Beatlemania from the fans perspective.  Reading about being crazed by the sight of the Beatles in concert or on the Ed Sullivan show, along with the feelings of anticipation of all their albums is something that I’ve never witnessed in my lifetime.  And believe me … I attended a Jonas Brothers concert 2 years ago at a stadium in Utah and they are NO Beatles!
This book is a must read for anyone like myself who missed the sixties due to being born too late or any Beatles fan that had parents that forbade them to listen to ‘that noise’ or attend their concerts.  We’re Going to See the Beatles! will bring the story to you in a way that no other book or documentary can.  It will take you inside the minds of fellow Beatles-freaks who were actually there.
You can read a great interview with Garry about the writing of this book at: Forgotten Hits.
We’re Going to See the Beatles! is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles
Jennifer Vanderslice
Thanks for the plug, Jennifer!  We had a whole lot of fun interviewing Garry Berman ... which ran along with this companion piece on the FH website a few years ago:
I just had a chance to read your interview with Garry Berman. I liked it very much. Please keep up the good work.
Shaun Weiss, ESQ

And Monday is the 40th Anniversary of George's Concert For Bangla Desh ... so, to celebrate, iTunes is offering a FREE SHOWING of the legendary concert film TODAY AND TOMORROW ONLY!  Hop on over to the iTunes store if you'd like to check it out.  (You know, I've probably seen this concert 50 or 60 times already ... and it's STILL impressive as can be to watch.  Who would have EVER thought at the time that "The Quiet Beatle" could pull off such and AMAZING extravaganza!!!  What a line-up!!!  (kk)
It's streaming non-stop, 24-hours a day, on George Harrison's website, too! 

Kent ...
I know you've been waiting for the # 1 song.
#2 - Ballroom Blitz by Sweet = 220 Beats Per Minute.
#1 - Walking On Sunshine by Katrina & The Wave = 220 Beats Per Minute.
I can't argue with this one, cause I don't know what they're talking about.
I'm thinking that, coming next, will be the Slow 400 Countdown.
I think that This Guys In Love With you by Herb Alpert will be near the top of this list. 
Maybe we can ask your readers to give us some slow songs.
Frank B.

For all that's been said about the outrageous theatrics (and hi jinks) of Lady Ga Ga, it's AMAZING to see the pure, raw talent of this young lady ... she doesn't need ANY of the other stuff that first got her notice ... if you haven't already seen it (and nearly a million of you have!!!), check out her solo performance on The Howard Stern Show a couple of weeks ago ... just Ga Ga ... alone ... stripped down at the piano with no audience, no other players ... just pouring her heart out into her "Edge Of Glory" song ... it's as real as it gets ... and proves just what a GREAT talent she really is.  It just doesn't get much better than this.  Love her or hate her, this video NEEDS to be seen.  You can check it out here:

re:  WAZZUP?:
Whatever happened to the list of those pre-rock era songs that had the greatest influence on rock and roll? 
Jim B
It just kinda fell by the wayside.  Quite honestly, the response to this was SO minimal that I figured the MAJORITY of our readers simply weren't interested in this particular era of music.  I'm sure I've still got most of this stuff on the computer somewhere ... but as newer stuff comes up (that is a bit more "universally appealing"), we've just let this series slide.  If more than a few of you would like to see the results of our little poll, drop me a line and I'll see if I can pull something together in the next couple of weeks.  (kk)

"Blame It On The Bossa-Nova" was a total kid reminder song for me. You are right ... people young and old all seemed to know that one and sing it with the radio.
That being said I remember the older kids always singing Blame it on the Bouncin' Sofa!
Click here: ?*The Everly Brothers*- Don't Blame Me?? - YouTube
-- submitted by Frank B.
Two GREAT clips of a GREAT track.  Thanks, Frank!  (kk)

I wonder who produced "Don't Blame Me" by The Everly Brothers.
Sounds an awful lot like Roy Orbison's style from the same era.
David Lewis
Credit goes to Bill Porter on this one ... does that help???  It comes from their "Both Sides Of An Evening" LP, which they said they designed to play like a Frank Sinatra album of that era ... a "thematic" approach with dance songs on one side and slow, dreamy ballads on the other.  Although "Don't Blame Me" reached #20 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart, it was actually one of the tracks from a special, promotion EP ... the "flip side" "Muskrat" also charted but the rest of the "single" featured short snippets of "Walk Right Back" and "Lucille", both tracks previously released as Warner Brothers singles.  Regardless, the public bought it for "Don't Blame Me", which became the duo's 15th Top 20 Hit.  As I said, I didn't discover this tune until MUCH later when it was included on a Warner Brothers compilation release ... despite its Top 20 Status, it NEVER got played on oldies radio ... nor does it receive any airplay today, which is a REAL shame because it's a pretty perfect track!  (kk)

You could branch out with your current subject and feature songs that pass the blame. 
How about She Did It by Eric Carmen.
Phil - WRCO
Followed by "Guilty" by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb???  (kk)

Kent ...
From Ron Smith's Oldies Music Website:  The story of the MTA.
Frank B.
>>>Here's one that falls into that "Forgotten And Shoulda Been A Big Hit" category ... The Foundations and "In The Bad, Bad Old Days".  (David Lewis)
>>>Never heard this one before ... but coming off of two HUGE Top Ten Hits ("Baby, Now That I've Found You" and "Build Me Up Buttercup"), this one CERTAINLY should have fared better than #51.  (By the way, it actually DID reach #26 in Cash Box ... so clearly SOMEBODY was playing it ... and BUYING it!!!)  kk

Must've been regional - lots of airplay here. I was surprised it only made 51 on Billboard, due to the heavy local exposure.
Like I said, we never heard it here in Chicago.  The Foundations have always been considered one of the biggest Two Hit Wonder Bands in recording history.  "Baby, Now That I've Found You" went to #8 and "Build Me Up Buttercup" went all the way to #1 in Cash Box Magazine.  Their release in between these two hits, "Back On My Feet Again", reached #26 here in Chicago but failed to crack The National Top 40.  Meanwhile, your suggested "In The Bad, Bad Old Days" never charted here at all, but had a #26 showing in Cash Box.  (kk)

Here's our weekly Byrds recommendation from Wild Bill Cody!  (lol)
Just a great one hour special with Chris Hillman at the UCSD Writer's Symposium complete with a great performance, this is a MUST SEE for anyone that wants to get into the music biz! And a great music history lesson for us all!
Wild Bill
About today's FH with Giorgio, I don't know if you remember it or if it even charted in Chicago,
but in 1969 on Atco Records Giorgio had a song called LOOKY LOOKY which got considerable
airplay here in OKC. I have got to get my copy out tonight and  play it. Always did like it.
I forgot to mention one thing about today's FH featuring both versions by Chicory and Giorgio. The song in question I was not familiar with offhand. My first impression was that I did not have either record. I checked and sure enough, I didn't have a copy of either. If I didn't have a copy meant one thing. I checked the local top 40 radio survey here for OKC and it was not listed as being played or on the survey.  Hence, the reason I didn't have a copy of either. Hence, the FH for today was also non FH for OKC.
Joel Whitburn's new book shows "Looky Looky" as a break-out hit in Seattle ... but I don't really recall it doing much here.  (Although I do seem to remember hearing it once or twice, I can't find any record of it ever charting here.)  Curious, I asked Tom Diehl to send me a copy, just to see if it rang any bells.  (kk)
One of my favorites.
Nope, I don't remember this one ... while this certainly sounds like Giorgio (based on his bigger hit record), I love the Rivingtons tie-in, too ... and, believe it or not, I even hear a hint of Electric Light Orchestra here ... except they wouldn't even exist for at least four more years!!!  (lol)  kk

Thanks for featuring SON OF MY FATHER ... I LOVE this song.  I love both versions, but I like Giorgio's better because it has the phasing that is so cool.  At the same time, Chicory's version is cleaner, clearer and better stereo.  So, choose which is more important, I guess.  One of the VERY best songs out of 1972. 

RE:"Son of My Father":  
Hi Kent,
I do remember the dueling versions of the song. There are subtle differences that I can distinguish, the biggest one is that Chicory's version is a bit more intelligible. I also remember a competing version of "Whole Lotta Love" competing with the Led Zeppelin song as it was descending the charts and sounded quite the same but I can't recall the name of the other group. It seems the name had something to do with sailing ships. 
Hmmm ... I don't remember that one ... but I absolutely remember buying BOTH versions of "Son Of My Father" ... I don't think I ever officially decided which one I liked better ... I just loved them both!  (kk)

Here's a Forgotten Hit for you ...
#48 in 1973
David Lewis
Albert Hammond is another artist who has been reduced to One Hit Wonder status, thanks to his #2 Smash "It Never Rains In Southern California" ... but Albert just missed the Cash Box Top 40 with "The Free Electric Band" (#41, 1973) ... and reached #31 on BOTH national charts with "I'm A Train" in 1974.  (I always liked his version of "99 Miles From L.A.", too!)  kk

Excellent choice for a blame song on Friday.  (Don't Blame The Children by Sammy Davis, Jr.)  Even though I have the record, I haven't played it or heard it in years. Of course I always liked Sammy Davis' CANDY MAN. Speaking of CANDY MAN, don't forget Roy Orbison from 1961. One final thing if I may. You mentioned the Broadway play with Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme which they were in called "Golden Rainbow". I will never forget in September of 1968 I was
visiting one of my aunts who lived in New York City. NEW YORK CITY!!! One night we went to see the play but Steve and Eydie were not there that particular evening.  Their roles were done by some understudies. Fond memories of NYC.
Larry Neal

From the amount of applause of 50's and '60's music I see here, I gather a LOT of FH participants prefer music from those decades. Same here. But, I feel there is a lot of music, even beyond the '70's, where the artist(s) and songs deserve some recognition on a "forgotten" status. Even today, I hear current songs that fit well into the music "we" remember! Actually, I wouldn't mind an, ahem, Oldies radio show featuring a bit of current music ... that way I'd know the name of the artist and song title, rather than hear it piped in at a department store! But we need to get Kent to change, since it is ONLY a "60s" blog!  And think of it this way ... if we expand FH to include more current (forgotten) songs, we won't have to publish an obituary each day, if you know what I mean!!!!
Oh yeah??? Well, I wonder how many other "'60s Blogs" featured a song by Milli Vanilli this past week!!!  Or Howard Jones, too, for that matter!!!  And all of this along side tracks by The Everly Brothers, The Bee Gees, The Jacksons, Eydie Gorme (!!!), Sammy Davis, Jr. (!!!) and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles!  Sounds like we're musically pretty open-minded around here to me!!!  (kk)