Thursday, August 4, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers

Think you can help solve some of our musical mysteries?  
Drop us a line at ... and then check these pages often for your answers! 

Dear Kent,
Thank you, Kent. 
I checked back and was amazed how much work you did and the great extent of your research and help.  You inspired me to go checking further and to do the research that led to this outcome.  It was in reading your FORGOTTEN HITS that the item about Break Out Hits sparked my interest.  And lo and behold, the sky opened up ... and it's all thanks to you. 
Thanks to just that mention in your column, a history was able to be found to document the journey of "Play Me A Sad Song".  I've been telling everybody I know to check out FORGOTTENHITS.COM.
I heard from Dave the Rave that he will be playing my song again down the line.  We came up with more for me to research, this time, in connection with the song I wrote for New Orleans Blues / Gospel Diva, Marva Wright, BORN WITH THE BLUES.  Of course, this isn't a sixties oldie -- it's a 90's recording released in France, but it came up when Dave asked  about other songs I'd written.  I'll be looking later on to see if I can find the earlier work done in 1961 -- maybe,  on SWAMI RECORDS, the small Independent Brooklyn Label operated by William David, the Brother of Grammy Writer, the late Teddy Vann (Teddy Vann and Luther Vandross, etc.) whom I saw frequently at SWAMI. This is where I had been working when the comedy team, Steve Rossi and Marty Allen heard me and took me to Don Kirshner's.  Also, I made a mistake in telling about appearances in New Hampshire.  It was Manchester, New Hampshire, not Mansfield, where I appeared for Record Hops with the local DJ.  I also came across a copy of the photo Paul sent me when I wrote him some years ago.  Again, Kent, thanks for being such an inspiration and such a wonderful resource on Forgotten Hits.   I'll spend the rest of this year writing the book and will be sure it comes first to Forgotten Hits.  Thank you for your dedication to what you do for music in your Forgotten Hits column.Sincerely,

Hello Kent,

Thanks for putting my article up on your fantastic Forgotten Hits site!
I also read the articles on "The Two Barrys" ... very interesting pieces of info I might add!

(The Sadler story is kind of sad, too ... he obviously was a mixed up person later on in life.  Barry McGuire was very active and helpful with the Mamas and The Papas' recording career.)

As for the Today's Forgotten Hit part of the site looks like a lot or I should say MOST of your readers agree on keeping this part of your site going on for a while ... after all, your site is consisting of forgotten hits. So I say keep up the great work!

It's kind of ironic that many of the artists out there today or past have a hand in the mix of helping each other out somehow. It's like being part of the big picture and all us are on the same team going in the right direction, but looking for our own status in the music world or life for that matter.

Thanks again.

>>>A Chicago buddy of mine, 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. 
(Clark Besch)
>>>"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.   (Rick Kancilja)

I find that very fascinating since the stereo version on the Rhino best of cd runs at basically the exact same pitch and length as my mono Kapp 45 (the 45 is very minimally faster). Perhaps the person with his memory of Love Potion #9 had one of those record players that played discs too fast (I had one of these a few years ago when I was in college, which was a 1950's portable model that I picked up at the local antique market). Could it be that one's memory of playing records on a specific player has them sounding a certain way so that no matter what they hear later on in life (even if the 45 is playing at the proper speed), it would be incorrect?
Tom Diehl
We've talked about a similar scenario several times before in Forgotten Hits.  To this day, even some 40+ years later ... when I hear a song come on the radio that I had on a 45 when I was a kid growing up ... if that record skipped ... I STILL hear EXACTLY where the skip was on that record, even though they're playing a perfectly clean, pristine copy on the air.  This stuff really sticks with us ... amazing, in a way, because that means we've heard it played correctly for the past 40 something years WITHOUT the skip ... yet we still remember EXACTLY where that skip was when we played the record at home on our own record players!!!  (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.  (kk)
Morning Kent,
Regarding the blame game, David Lewis wondered who produced "Don't Blame Me" by the Everly Brothers ... he thought that it sounded an awful lot like Roy Orbison's style from the same era.
The reason was because they recorded in the same wonderful studio, RCA’s Studio B, in Nashville, TN. Also, in many instances, they used the same musicians, the Nashville A team. The only difference I can see is that Bob Moore, the bassist, never recorded anything with the Brothers, but was on ninety five percent of the hits Orby had.
Rockin’ Lord Geoff (in England).
Yes! Bill Porter engineered lots of Orbison and Everly material in the early 60s. It looks like Andrew Sandoval was producer on this LP, who also worked with Orbison.
And, recorded right there in Nashville apparently, too!  (kk)

Not sure if it's the song the reader asked about today, but "I Wanna Be With You" was a big hit for the Raspberries -- Eric Carmen's outfit -- I believe in the early 80's.  I had the pleasure of playing that song a week ago with Jimy Sohns' Rock N Roll Sideshow at Tony Spavon's out in Bloomingdale.  Jimy has a rotating roster of players, and Billy Sullivan, who worked with the Raspberries and is now with Gary Lewis, sang it and did a fantastic job. The chorus is "Oh, I wanna be with you, oh yeah, I wanna be with you, and repeats. Then "'cause tonight's the night, I never knew it could feel so right, so come on, baby, I just wanna be with you." It's a great power pop tune, and I had a ball playing it behind Billy. Our reader should YouTube it and see if it's the song they had in mind, so to speak.
Rick Barr
New Colony Six
That's the one.  (Actually, we ran a clip on the site ... great tune ... and, believe it or not. from in 1972, not the '80's ... Eric Carmen was already solo by then!)  We saw Billy Sullivan with Jimy Sohns in Elk Grove a few weeks ago ... but never heard him sing a note.  Not an original member, I guess, but I'd love to hear him do it!  (kk)

The Brill Building, NY ... I don't know much about the place, other than a lot of hits were composed and recorded there! The odd thing though, during (a hit), with studio talk and ambient noise, I can hear a wooden chair dragged across the floor as well as a metal object hitting the floor. No doubt, the "studio" had a concrete floor!!! I envisioned the studio being in the basement!!!
After reading Vic Flick's fine book, he describes the studios that Decca had on their floors. Same thing, they had one studio (Studio #2?) in the basement; probably where the most "hits" were recorded! I guess that was the best place for the least amount of noise (and interruption). Maybe one of the FH readers can confirm my suspicion about the Brill Building basement studio!!
Thanks, K;
I have a DVD set that traces some of the history of The Brill Building ... will have to watch that to see what they have to say.  But with SO many artists on the list now who have passed through those magical halls, maybe we can get a first-hand report from somebody!  (kk)

I left The Rip Chords as musical director, singer, bassist (and co-re-founder) five years ago and have been involved in tons of recording and performing projects since, as well as writing my continuing monthly column for The Beat magazine out of England.  One of my new projects has me very excited and I'd like to ask your intrepid readers for their input:
We've formed a new band called the Way Back Machine.  The charter of the band is to focus on songs we all loved from the 60s and 70s, but rarely, if ever, hear on the radio any longer.  
I'll give you a list of the songs we've been working on:
Cool tunes, huh?! 
What I would appreciate from your readers are more songs.  What songs did they love that, somehow, the esteemed program directors (even on Sirius - XM) just can't seen to fit into their brief and repetitive playlists?  What songs do you love?  What songs rock you and what songs do you want to hear again?  Maybe we'll be booked in your part of the country next summer and we'll get to perform some of them for you!
Thanks so much, and as always, I so look forward to my weekly measure of Forgotten Hits!
Readers can write me directly with suggestions at  if they'd like.
All the very best,
Dr. Robert of The U.S. Beat
(Bob Rush, DC)
PS:  there's a cheese steak with your name on it.  When you coming back to Philly?
Great list, Bob ... some VERY cool tunes indeed!  If you guys ever make it out Chicago-way, please let us know 'cause that's a show we'd like to see.  Philly isn't in our immediate future unfortunately, much as we'd love to come back ... so just keep it warm for me, OK???  (kk)
>>>I have been following your Forgotten Hits site for about a month now and it is pretty cool to say the least. I  used to have the song My Boy Lollipop ... we had that one on a 78 record. I can't remember the artist but it was a catchy song.  (Kenny)

>>>The US Hit version of "My Boy Lollipop" was done by Millie Small, who took her record all the way to #2 back in 1964.  It stayed on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart for twelve weeks.  (kk)

If he had My Boy Lollipop on a 78 it must have been the original version by Barbie Gaye from 1957.
Tom Diehl

>>>Getting the definitive take is like a mass orgasm.  (Tony Hatch) 

Well put!!! Even at Take #21 of Gene McDaniel's "100 Pounds Of Clay", you can hear the musicians question "Is this the same thing?", meaning, should they play the same song again or move onto the next!!!!

Thank you, Tony, for your fine productions!
Jersey John
Great to have somebody like Tony Hatch onboard to share some of these memories.  And, purely by coincidence, we lost Gene McDaniels last week ... more details tomorrow's "Friday Flash" page! (kk)

>>>You mentioned 45's being mixed for a 2" car speaker ... I'd agree on a 2" transistor radio, but if you want to hear, say, "Needles and Pins" by the Searchers at it's finest, mount a 6" x 9" speaker in a solid metal box with about four inches of clearance. Crank it 'til it rattles!
(Woody Johnson)
>>>I must try Woody Johnson's 'Needles and Pins' experiment. We used to have quite an array of small speakers on the console for checking mixes, but although I made The Searchers hits, I never listened to them in a 6" x 9" speaker in a solid metal box!   (TONY HATCH)
That's quite a kick! I wonder if he realizes my tongue-in-cheek reference is to the dashboard of a '63 Chevy!  What a talented guy ... he should be proud.

>>>I remember several forgotten hits that are never played or they just can't find them. One in particular is "Can I Carry Your Balloon" by Mashmakhan.  (John Gehring / Waupaca, WI.)

Right song title, right record label (Epic) ... but wrong artist ... this one is by the Swampseeds. I love this record!
Tom Diehl

Never heard this one before ... a non-charter here in The States (although it did "bubble under" at #124 for a couple of weeks in 1968.)  Sounds like these guys are from New Jersey ... Mashmakhan hailed from Quebec, Canada ... more than a few tankfuls of gas away!  (kk)
I would like to just make two comments on today's Sunday's Comments.
First, in John Gehrings's list of FH, he has listed as song #5 CAN I CARRY YOUR BALLOON by Mashmakan. I don't remember this version offhand, but in 1968 on Epic records a group by the name of Swampseeds had a version that did quite well here in the OKC area. In fact, I played it a few weeks ago since something that day reminded me of it.\
Congratulations on going over 1,000,000 hits. What's next, 2,000,000?
LOL ... I hope so!!!  Looks like we're on track to pass a million and a half later this month!!!  (kk)

>>>I 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.  (Dube)
Hmmm ... I don't remember that one ... nor do I see any chart action on either of our local WLS or WCFL charts ... anybody?  (kk)

Are you possibly thinking of "Sailing Ship" by our Cryan Shames?  It's much slower than the Zep song, but certainly psychedelic!

Clark Besch

No, I think we narrowed this one down ... read on!  (kk)Whole Lotta Love was a 1971 minor hit for C.C.S.
Mark The Shark
Looks like this one made it to #58 in both Billboard and Cash Box in early 1971 ... but I have no recollection of it at all.  I don't know that I'd really consider it a "competing" version ... or that it "sounds quite the same" other than perhaps the guitar riff.  This is an instrumental jazz interpretation ... which ain't bad for jazz.  We've got it here to share today!  (kk)
Regarding the version of "Whole Lotta Love" which followed after the Led Zeppelin original left the charts, I imagine that reader is thinking of either the King Curtis version (Atco 6779), which reached #64 over an eight week chart run beginning January 23, 1971, or the CCS version (Rak 4501), which reached #58 over a four week run beginning February 6, 1971.  The CCS version was great and stayed a hot request item on our station for about two and half months.  CCS, which stood for the Collective Consciousness Society -- although almost no one knew that -- was a British studio band assembled by Alexis Korner, whose previous group, Korner's Blues Inc., featured Mick Jagger, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and others. 
Gary Theroux
I saw that, too, about Korner's Blues ... some pretty impressive company to be keeping there in the early '60's ... before ANY of these guys went on to superstardom!!!  (kk)


Yesterday I heard an old favorite song of mine, "Maybe Tomorrow I Will Love Again". When I glanced at the radio ID I was surprised to see the artist identified as The Iveys. I have the identical recording on a Badfinger's Greatest Hits CD. What gives? Were Badfinger originally called The Iveys? Maybe you or one of your subscribers knows.

Bob Verbos

New Berlin, WI.

They sure were!  When first signed to The Beatles' Apple Records Label, the band was still called The Iveys ... and their first release (one of Apple's EARLIEST releases, in fact!) was "Maybe Tomorrow".  It didn't do much here in The States (#51 in Cash Box and #67 in Billboard back in 1969) so their debut album wasn't even released here.  (The single charted briefly here in Chicago, reaching #37 ... us diehard fans bought the French Import!!!)  When The Beatles themselves got involved with their next single, things quickly began to change.  Paul McCartney picked The Iveys to record his brand new song which was going to be featured in the film "The Magic Christian", starring fellow Beatle Ringo Starr and comedian Peter Sellars.  He told the band to record it "exactly like this" and it would be a hit record.  It was, ultimately peaking at #6.  (You can hear McCartney's demo on the Anthology 3 CD).  They decided the band needed a name change for such an important release.  The oft-repeated story tells how Paul wanted to name the band "Home" ('cause that's where HIS head was at at the time, having recently married and adopted a step-daughter ... with another child on the way) ... but John Lennon wanted something a little bit "nastier" so HE suggested "Badfinger" ... which stuck.  The band quickly put together a string of hits that included not only "Come And Get It" but also "No Matter What" (#6, 1970); "Day After Day" (#3, 1972) and "Baby Blue" (#9, 1972).  George Harrison took over the production duties on a couple of these tracks (and played slide guitar on their biggest hit, "Day After Day") ... but then the band fell out of favor with Apple (which itself was in the process of shutting down) and they never enjoyed this type of chart success again.

I've always wanted to do a series on Badfinger, a group that I consider to be one of rock and roll's GREATEST tragedies.  (Both Pete Ham and Tom Evans committed suicide by hanging themselves due to financial problems caused by a manager embezzling all of their hard-earned money!)  Sooner or later I'll actually get around to putting all of this to paper as it is a very sad tale.  (kk)

Maybe Tomorrow by The Iveys (later known as Badfinger)

Come And Get It - Paul McCartney's Demo (from The Beatles Anthology 3) ...
Yeah, I'd say they pretty well nailed it!  (kk)