Thursday, September 29, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers

I'd like to mention that "Helping Out Our Readers" is one of my favorite features in Forgotten Hits.  Rock On!
Thanks, Ed ... then I think you're going to REALLY enjoy today's edition!  (kk)

>>>My second 45 is one that I’ve been trying to figure out for years now.  I can remember a light-blue label, and the song had something to do with a soldier sitting under a tree reading a letter.  Or maybe it was a girl sitting under a tree reading a letter from her soldier boyfriend.  Not sure, but I’d love to know what it was.  (Kathy Reilly)
The song that Kathy Reilly is thinking about is somewhat familiar to me but I am like her in that I can't remember the name or artist. I want to say it was the song IF HE WERE IN HIS TEENS by Bill and Doree Post from 1959 on Crest records (blue label) but I am not sure without going in and playing it.

We've offered a couple of suggestions, too, but still haven't hit on a winner.  If somebody has a copy of this that we can post for Kathy to listen to, please let us know!  (kk)

No luck with this one right off the bat ... it seems it was once on youtube but the account got shut down by youtube ... however this time persistence pays off ... I noticed the name of the person who had posted the youtube video that got yanked and realized he's good friends with a buddy of mine, so I sent off a message on facebook and here's the end result ... so thanks to Cris Vanvalkenburg for sending me this one!
Tom Diehl

Well, thank you, Cris Vanvalenburg!  (Although listening to this and reading Kathy's original description, I can't imagine that this is the right tune ... but hey, we've been wrong before!)  kk

Kathy Reilly mentioning "Robot Man" made me think of a song with the same title from 1972 billed to Jay and the Techniques, a group long associated with my area, the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.
It came after most of the band was reportedly drafted into the military (we were still in Vietnam at the time) and Jay Proctor had been cut loose from Mercury / Smash and was attempting a comeback with Motown (who released this on Gordy). Its writers and producers also penned Wilson Pickett's 1971 hit "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You."
It had great harmony and lots of horns, but did not chart nationally; it did get decent mileage on local radio here and in Philly. Since Motown never continued its "Complete Motown Singles" compilations past the company's departure for Hollywood, it's not really been available on
anything save possibly some overseas collections of Jay's bigger hits.
Closest I've gotten to this lately's been a few vinyl merchants who sadly sold out of whatever copies they had. Anybody have this in their collections?
All we can do is ask ... but with all the Philly and Jersey readers we have on the list, my guess is that SOMEBODY will have it!  (kk)

Hey Kent!
I stumbled upon your lost hits website at:
while searching for a song from my childhood.
I've had zero luck searching for this song and wanted to see if it jogged a memory that might help me find more information about it.
When I was a kid in the early 70s, my brothers and I used to listen to my mom and dad's old record collection on a record player. They had stacks of 45s that we'd listen to. Most of them we'd never heard before on the radio but we had fun listening to them anyway. We each quickly found our favorites to play and one of mine was a song called "Achuay" or "Achuway (not sure of the spelling but they sang it as awe-choo-way). It seemed to be a late 50s or early 60s song maybe? I don't know the artist or the label it was on, I just know some of the lyrics. Of course all those records went away over the years so they are now lost to us.
Anyway, I thought if anyone would be able to find information about this song and who the group was, you would!  Any help you can give me would be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance for any advise you can give me for finding this song!
Jim Schick
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
We've got a pretty astute group of readers out there, Jim ... I'll betcha SOMEBODY turns this one up for ya!  Stay tuned.  (kk)

>>>I have a 45 that has been in my possession over 35 years and I have never been able to find out who did it.  It is Point Me In The Direction of Albuquerque, but definitely not the Partridge Family version unless David sounded a bit like Wayne Newton.  The only number I can find on the disc is AQ-607AM engraved in the vinyl and the label just says test pressing. Any help or point me in the direction of help would be appreciated.  (Patrick Smiley)
But before we could even post this or come up with an answer, Patrick wrote back:
>>>I was doing some more searching last night and found a UK site that lists old records for sale and found a match after all these years.  It was done by Larry G. Hudson of Macon, GA.  I don’t know if it was ever released as a commercial single as the other one I found was also a demo.
I was hoping it would be an artist a bit more popular. Sometimes mysteries should stay that way, but it’s still neat to have found out who it is after all this time.
Patrick Smiley

Apparently, a few other artists cut this tune, too, besides The Partridge Family.  Here's a note from FH Reader Clark Besch:

"Believe it or Not", Joey Scarbury recorded "Albuquerque" (I think he wrote it too, but cannot remember) on Bell 113 in the early 70's.  It got some nice airplay in the midwest and I actually think it should have been a hit by him.  Excellent production work and enthusiastic singing much alike his big hit.  Might have been a big hit had Mark Lindsay released it instead at the time.  I have the 45, but no time to get it out.  If need be, I can maybe track it down next week.  Let me know. 
Clark Besch
Would LOVE to hear Joey's version (and I'm sure most of our readers would, too!)  By the way, all the sources I checked show Tony Romero as the song writer ... but it's SO cool to hear early efforts from artists BEFORE their big break-through hits ... and Joey's "Theme from 'The Greatest American Hero'" was a HUGE one back in 1981!  (kk)

Meanwhile, here's The Partridge Family version ... never a hit but quite popular due their inclusion of this track on their TV show!

I found my copy of the Joey Scarbury version and I must admit that this is just a terrific rendition, not unlike the Cassidy vocal, but much more enthusiastic and just better all the way around.  Shoulda been a hit for him.  How many great pop tunes were on Bell in the early 70's that never made it (and did).  Obviously, the Partridges and Manilow made it big, but there are countless other non-hits with that same great appeal, such as this, the Addrisi's "Somebody Found Her" and Sandalwood's "Lovin' Naturally" and even Family Dog's (before Lindsay) version of "Arizona"!!
You are right that Tony Romeo was the writer of this version.  I will send the label scan along showing Mike Post ("Rockford Files") as producer too!!  I am sending this to a buddy in New York, Bob, who is the nephew of the late Tony Romeo, writer of the Cowsills' "Poor Baby" and "Indian Lake" as well as "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" by Lou Christie and Partridge songs and was a member of the Epic Records group "Trout".  Maybe Bob will want to start reading "Forgotten Hits" and have some input, too! 
Clark Besch
That would be great!  Thanks, Clark!  (kk)

OMG ... and now we've even got the Larry G. Hudson version, too!!!  Cool to see that so many artists believed in this song ... yet it STILL never became a hit record!  (Thanks to Patrick Smiley for sending us this clip from his rare test pressing!) Seriously, where else are you going to find an Albuquerque triple play like THIS one!!!  (kk)

I was curious about the Family Dogg version of "Arizona" as I had never heard it (or anything about it) before.  (Especially since Scott Shannon is putting together his next True Oldies Channel "Rock And Roll Remakes" Weekend right now!!!)  It sounds like they had quite an impressive run of "guest artists" work on their first album ... check out Clark's notes below ... and give a listen to this early take of "Arizona", too!  (kk)
The Family Dogg 45 of "Arizona" was released around Christmas, 1969, here on Bell 848. 
The song was written by UK writer Kenny Young who also wrote "Under the Boardwalk" and other hits.  The Family Dogg formed in 1966 in England and released an album in 1969 that spawned a hit single, "Sympathy."  The single's follow-up was their flop version of "Arizona."  The Family Dogg featured Steve Rowland (produced all the great Dave Dee, Dozy, etc hits!!) and the great songwriting team of Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood (wrote Hammond's solo hits as well as "The Air That I Breathe," "Gimme Dat Ding," and "Little Arrows")! 
Their 1969 album featured Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Elton John as musicians playing on it!
You can certainly hear the British accents on the vocals and I think Rowland might have over modulated this song quite a bit.  A fair amount of distortion, unless my 45 is causing it?  It's not nearly as good as Lindsay's version, BUT it was first and has quite a history behind it.  

Clark Besch

After I passed this track and info along to Scott Shannon, I got this from Lou, part of the Research Team over at The True Oldies Channel, who offers a few corrections to Clark's assessment of Family Dogg ...

Hi Kent,
Scott passed the "Arizona" notes to me. For the sake of accuracy, in case you post the reader's letter on your site, Kenny Young, the songwriter, is certainly American, not British. He is a New Yorker, through and through.
Also, Steve Rowland, who sang most of the Family Dogg songs, was also American.
Mike and Albert were British, however. So, their vocals might be the ones he was referring to as having an accent, though I never noticed.
Anyway ... just want to keep it correct re: ol' Kenny.
I picked up on the bit about Kenny Young, too ... I believe he was part of the stable of songwriters signed to Bobby Darin's Trinity Music Publishing House at one time (and also wrote the Herman's Hermits Hit "Don't Go Out Into The Rain".)  Hadn't even HEARD of Family Dogg before ... but in further checking it looks like these two singles were released right around the same time ... November / December of 1969 ... so while it may have been the first, original release by a week or two, the song was certainly circulating trying to find a home with the right artist.  Without question, Mark Lindsay did a KILLER job on this track ... and was rewarded with a Top Ten Record in the process!  (kk)  

I have about 75 -- 45's and about 50 albums I want to sell -- but want to get the fair price for them -- any suggestions for finding out the real worth of my collection.  Thanks!
Jim DeVito
The key to the whole thing is going to be condition and rarity of what you have in your collection.  There are ALL kinds of record price guides around, showing you the value of records ... but it's going to come down to what kind of shape they're in to attract a real collector.  (75 singles may not attract much of an audience ... typically these guys are used to dealing with collections numbering into the tens of THOUSANDS of records!!!)  However, a good starting point would be to check out some of the online services like eBay or to see what your titles are currently going for.  (These are both two excellent sources to sell your wares, too, as they cater to music fans and record collectors ... and both charge a small service fee or commission for listing your titles.)  But FIRST determine what kind of shape they're in ... and then grade conservatively ... or an educated buyer will kick them back at you if they find them to be not "as advertised".  If you're looking to sell them to a dealer, expect to receive far less than market value, as they're most likely buying these from you to sell at a profit.  Not knowing exactly what you have in your collection ... or how rare these titles and artists may be ... I'd check out and eBay first to see what records like these are typically selling for.  That should give you a pretty good idea as to what they're worth.  (kk)

Dear Kent,
We've been listening to KFRC on 1550 AM for years ... and now they aren't there!!
What station did they move to??
Please write & tell us where to find them!!!!!!!!!!!
Lynda & Bill
I nosed around online but didn't really see anything pertaining to a format change.  I asked Scott Shannon, too, to see if this was one of his True Oldies affiliates ... but I don't see anything listed for California on The True Oldies Channel web page.  (One of the sites I found for KFRC called it a "True Oldies Station" so I'm not really sure what's up with that ... if anybody out there can help Lynda and Bill out to find their oldies, please let us know!!!)  Meanwhile, of course, you can always listen to The True Oldies Channel online:
>>>This comes across the A.P. Entertainment History DJ prep every year on September 15th.
In 1969, Ed Sullivan released "The Sulli-Gulli," his first and only rock record. He was hoping it would create a new dance.  I have never heard the record.  I am sure it is really bad.  Do you have a copy of it?  (Phil Nee - WRCO)

SOMEBODY does have a copy of that record, and recently paid $30.00 for the privilege:
-– Randy Price

It’s as bad as it mentioned. Released on Columbia Records.
It most certainly is!!!  (But isn't it also exactly everything you'd expect it to be?!?!?)  Thanks, Rich!  (kk)