Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This And That

They didn't come much bigger than The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean ... here are two links monitored by our FH Buddy David Beard, Editor and Publisher of "Endless Summer Quarterly", the ULTIMATE Beach Boys fanzine ... David now regular posts about BOTH of these great artists in his "Examiner" columns. (kk)

Beach Boys Examiner 

Jan & Dean Examiner
David Beard

David Beard also ran a list of his Top 20 Favorite Beach Boys tunes as they relate to The 4th of July.  Here's his list:
In celebration of The Beach Boys and the Fourth of July I compiled my "Top 20" Beach Boys songs to listen to in honor of this momentous occasion: 
California Calling [from 1985's self-titled LP] 
Do It Again [from 1969's 20/20 LP] 
Friends [from 1968's Friends LP] 
Surfin' USA [from 1963's LP of the same name]
Rock And Roll Music [from 1976's 15 Big Ones LP] 
Catch A Wave [from 1963's Surfer Girl LP] 
Wouldn't Be Nice [from 1966's Pet Sounds LP]
This Whole World [from 1970's Sunflower LP] 
I Get Around [from 1964's All Summer Long LP] 
Keep An Eye on Summer [from 1964's Shut Down Vol. 2 LP] 
Keepin' the Summer Alive [from 1980's LP of the same name]
Let Him Run Wild [from 1965's Summer Days LP] 
It's A Beautiful Day [from 1981's 10 Years of Harmony LP]  
Cabin Essence [from 1969's 20/20 LP] 
Spirit of America [from 1963's Little Deuce Coupe LP]
Good Vibrations [1966 single] 
Lady Liberty [B-side to 1986's "California Dreaming"] 
Fourth of July [from 1993's Good Vibrations box set] 
California Dreaming [from 1986's Made in The USA LP] 
Summer In Paradise [from 1992's CD of the same name]
You can read ALL of David's Beach Boys, Brian Wilson and Jan and Dean-related postings via his Examiner links above.  In fact, click on the link and ask for your own free subscription!  (kk)

And another quick reminder that Brian Wilson will be performing The Beach Boys' Greatest Hits at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL, on Saturday, July 30th.  Details on the website:

I wanted to mention to you a book that Diana had gotten me called 'When We Get To Surf City' by Bob Greene.  I'm sure you have it and wouldn't be surprised if Bob was on your FH list.  Anyway, I got it a week ago and can't put it down.  I'm not a big Jan and Dean fan but they were fun and certainly have their place in music history (we have a handful of their hits on comp discs and I'm glad we've got them in our library, including "Jennie Lee" by Jan and Arnie from '58), but the book is such a fun, down-to-earth read.  Highly enjoyable! 
I'd love to write to Bob and let him know how much I'm enjoying his book - I especially enjoy the story about Dean being asked to sign a girl's ass!

As a matter of fact, Bob Greene IS on our list ... and we have given PRIMO coverage to this book over the past couple of years.  (Type it into our website search engine and you'll probably find a dozen entries!)  GREAT book by a GREAT writer ... what an AMAZING experience this all had to be.
And Bob's a fan of ours, too.  In fact, he recently plugged Forgotten Hits in his CNN column.  We got something like 1800 "first time visitor" hits to the website that day!!!  (So thank you, Bob!!!  lol) 
By all means, please DO drop him a note and let him know how much you enjoyed it ... talk about your experiences of a lifetime!!!  (kk)

Hey Kent -
One the other end of Glen Campbell's singles career was Glen's "Guess I'm Dumb, a Brian Wilson production, a "long-lost classic."
Yes, a surprisingly sophisticated track for this stage of Brian Wilson's songwriting career ... The Beach Boys themselves weren't even recording songs of this nature yet!  (We've featured it a few times before in FH)  This was Brian's way of thanking Glen for playing on SO many Beach Boys tracks ... and filling in for him on stage until Bruce Johnston could be recruited to take Brian's spot for the live shows.  Great track ... and rare indeed! 
By the way, that's a GREAT clip on YouTube referenced on the Songfacts site.

I didn't realize that there was actual footage of Campbell performing this song!  (And from "Shindig" no less!!!) 

Somehow I've got a feeling there's a "Dumb Angel" tie-in here somewhere, too!  (kk)

Aye-aye on 'Can You Fool'; two weeks at #38 after one at #42, then
plummeted to #94.  It got to AT40 in December '78, after the show expanded to four hours; very rarely does the current syndicated replay of Casey's 70s shows do any from that late in the decade.
Like I said, it's the ONLY place I ever heard it ... but I loved it enough on first listen to go out and pick-up a copy.  (Never charted here in Chicago so it took me a little while to find one!)  It went to #16 on Billboard's Country Singles Chart, too.  (kk) 

First let me say that I clicked on the you tube of Glen Campbell doing the William Tell Overture. I thought it was awesome. I will look at it again I promise you.
Larry Neal
If you liked that one, then you've just got to check out THIS one ... a "countrified" version of the Green Day classic, "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)", recorded live by Glen Campbell a few years ago.  (The mandolin makes this one for me ... and he sounds GREAT!)  kk

And, as a special treat, we're featuring Glen's 1976 medley "Don't Pull Your Love / Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" as TODAY'S FORGOTTEN HIT!!!  (kk)

Kent ...
You talked about "Rave On", the new Buddy Holly tribute album.  I love Buddy Holly. He's one of my all time favorites. I can never understand why anybody would buy this album instead of buying the real thing. Why not buy Buddy singing Buddy's songs?  It always amazes me that they sell even one of them.  The only thing I can think of is younger people buying it because some of their favorite artists are singing on it.
What do you think ?
Frank B.
These types of tribute albums have been going on for decades now ... and I will admit to owning DOZENS of them. Yes, a big part of it is a new generation interpreting the music of a great artist ... which, at the very best, seems to be an "interesting" interpretation (as none of these are going to surpass our memories of the original.)  But it's also a GREAT way to help keep this music alive and introduce it to a whole new generation of music fans who, hopefully, will be curious enough to seek out the originals, too ... and that's something we're 100% in favor of.  We're ALL about keeping this great music alive ... through ANY means that makes that happen.
We've mentioned before that we would have typically bought this album simply because of Paul McCartney's involvement with it.  McCartney, of course, owns the publishing rights to all of Buddy Holly's music (so he'll make a few bucks off of this new release, too!)  And he has (and former partner Denny Laine has) recorded a Holly tune here and there over the years, too.  But back in 1971 Macca wrote what can best be described as his OWN Buddy Holly tune.  Give a listen to one of my favorites ... "Eat At Home" from "Ram" ... this is Paul paying tribute to one of HIS teenage idols ... at his very best!  (kk)

I'm not a fan either of Buddy Holly covers but there are always exceptions and I think the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's long-ago cover of Rave On is as good, if not better, than the original. When I first heard it, I wondered what Buddy Holly would have thought of doing his music with a decade of technological advances of 1970. This cover stayed true to the original but with amped up energy added. I never understood why this wasn't a big hit for them after "Mr. Bojangles"
Steve Davidson
Holly is one of those (and I've made this comparison before ... to slightly less than enthusiastic response) kinda like Bob Dylan ... GREAT songs that usually sound better when performed by somebody else.  I've never considered Buddy the consummate recording artist ... but his songs have stood the test of time ... almost invariably bigger hits as remakes and cover versions than in their original state.  I mentioned Paul McCartney above ... but The Beatles did (for MY money) the best version of "Words Of Love" ever recorded.  Ditto for the Peter and Gordon version of "True Love Ways" (although I'd place Rick Nelson's stripped down remake a close second.)  When you consider that artists as diverse as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Rick Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Peter and Gordon and Blind Faith all successfully recorded songs written by Buddy Holly, you start to appreciate the full scope of his songwriting prowess.  (kk)

And, speaking of Buddy Holly ...

Kent ...
I'm reading Dion's book "The Wanderer Talks The Truth".
Dion tells the story of the 1959 Winter  Dance  Party and the plane crash. Here's what he said:
Buddy Holly and the pilot were going for sure, leaving two seats. Dion and the Big Bopper won the coin toss. When Dion found out it was $36 for the trip, he changed his mind and gave his seat to Ritchie Valens. First time I ever heard this story.  I've always heard that Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings won the coin toss and gave up their seats to the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.
I'd like to hear what some of the experts on your list think about this story.
Frank B.
First time I've heard anything about Dion being involved in the coin toss ... is this what he means by "talking the truth"??? I dunno ... let's see what the fans say about this.  (I seem to remember something about The Big Bopper being under the weather and wanting to take the plane ... real bad cold ... does that ring a bell with anybody?  And Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup are the names that typically come up during this discussion.  The bus kept breaking down, the heater didn't work and the temperatures were well below zero ... Ritchie Valens had a known fear of flying but it sounds like the headliners got the seats ... these are ALL stories that have been circulating for years ... but this is the FIRST time I've heard a version placing Dion slated to be on that plane.)  kk
Here's what happened, according to the book 'Buddy Holly: A Biography' by Ellis Amburn.  This story was also recounted in the VH-1 special shown in 1999, the 40th anniversary of the crash: 
The flight was to be for Buddy's band - Tommy Allsup on guitar and Waylon Jennings on bass - but the Big Bopper had a cold, and asked Waylon for his seat on the plane.  Waylon said, "It's all right with me if it's all right with Buddy.  You go ask him."  Obviously the Bopper was accepted on the plane since we all know what happened on that fateful day.  At this point it was now the Bopper, Allsup, and Buddy scheduled to fly, with Ritchie pestering Tommy for his seat on the plane.  Tommy flatly refused.  The manager of the Surf Ballroom - the last place Buddy, Ritchie, and the Bopper performed - was a man named Carroll Anderson.  He drove the Bopper, Allsup, and Buddy to the airport, but on the way, Allsup asked Anderson to drive back to the Surf to make sure they picked up all of their gear.  When they did, Allsup went in and found Valens signing autographs.  Valens, despite his fear of flying, also had a cold and again begged Allsup for a spot on the plane.  Allsup finally relented, and it was Allsup and Valens who flipped a coin at the Surf, and we all know how that ended up.
Let's say for the sake of argument that it was Allsup and Jennings who won the coin toss.  They would've been on the plane, since the key word there - winning - indicates something positive.  In their situation, the positivity would have been for them to get out of the frigid Midwest and to Fargo, ND, which was across the river from their next gig in Moorhead, Minnesota, quicker than the rest of those on the tour.  To indicate that they "won" the coin toss only to be left behind doesn't make any sense.
Notice how, in 'La Bamba,' the film showed Buddy flipping the coin - outside.  It's nonsense, and if Diana ever does get Marshall Crenshaw to play a gig for us, one of the things I'll ask him is how he felt about that scene, since it's completely wrong.
Ed Parker / JacoFan
I've also heard it said that after Jennings gave up his seat on the plane in favor of the bus, The Big Bopper told him that he hoped he didn't freeze his ass off on the bus ride ... to which Jennings reportedly replied, "Yeah, well I hope your plane crashes" ... words that haunted him for DECADES afterwards ... but there have been SO many twists and turns to the story since then who really knows anymore.  Ritchie Valen's known fear of flying makes it sound unlikely that he would have fought Allsup for his seat ... but clearly he ended up on the plane.  I guess the part that bothers me about all of this is Dion writing himself into the story ... not quite sure what that's all about!  (kk)

Saturday, July 9 – Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • Gene Chandler
  • Shirley Alston Reeves (The Shirelles)
  • Jay Siegel and The Tokens
  • Jay and the Americans
  • Tommy Mara (The Crests)
Saturday, August 13 – Meadowlands Racetrack (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
  • Bill Haley’s Comets
  • The Rip Chords

September 4 – Cannery Casino (Las Vegas, Nevade)
  • The Rip Chords
  • The Cowsills
  • The Tokens
Once again, I'm reminding my Florida friends and fans -- and friends and fans who may be passing through Florida this coming weekend -- that I'll be in concert at THE CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL LIVING on Saturday July 9th.  (I always send out two reminders about my shows ... one goes out early for the long-term planners; the other one is sent closer to the time for you last- minute types.)
Here are the specifics:
Saturday, July 9, 2011, 8 pm
Center for Spiritual Living
2 SW 12th Ave.
Boca Raton, FL 33486
Tix & Info: (561) 368 - 8248

Tickets are a measly 15 bucks. Can you believe it?!
If there's a diametric opposite of Highway Robbery, this is it.
See you there.
Bob Lind

One more reminder ...

Next Tuesday (July 12th) you can catch the "Chicago Gold" Show in Elk Grove Village featuring The Cryan' Shames plus special guest vocalists Dennis Tufano (former lead singer of The Buckinghams), Ronnie Rice (former lead singer of The New Colony Six) and Jimy Sohns (former lead singer of The Shadows Of Knight) ... and it's ALL for free!!!  A GREAT way to spend a summer evening listening to the artists who put Chicago on the music map back in the '60's!  (kk)