Monday, September 19, 2011

This And That

re:  WHAT A DEAL!!!:

Joel Whitburn's got a VERY special deal going on through Thursday, the 22nd ... for the next 48 hours, you can pick up a brand new soft-cover copy of his latest "Top Pop Sinlges" book for only $49.66 ... that's $20 off the regular cover price ... but it's a limited time offer so you need to order NOW!!!  (It's the GREATEST edition of this timeless classic yet ... and I use it every single day while compiling Forgotten Hits ... an absolute "Must Have" for anybody out there who love the oldies and the music charts.)  

Full details are below:

Dear Kent,
Thanks so much for letting your readers know about the latest edition of my Top Pop Singles book!  In appreciation, I'm giving your readers  $20 off the new softcover edition of Top Pop Singles 1955-2010!  Now through September 22, 2011, at the online checkout of, enter the case-sensitive promo code: TPS and you'll see your $20 savings!  This is the first softcover edition that I've published of the Top Pop Singles book since 1999.   For this week only, you can pick this one up for less than $50 - just $49.66! 
This is, by far, my favorite Record Research book yet!  So much is unveiled in this 13th edition that I'm not sure which is my top feature.The depth of the book has expanded greatly with my addition of the songs that made Billboard's Territorial and Breakout charts and their corresponding research.The new larger format of the book gives each page a much cleaner look than previous editions, even with the significant infusion of new, never-before-seen data. And, the number of pictures in the book has increased from 200 to 600! And that just skims the surface of the many new features! If you want to know more, click here!
Remember TPS, your special code, expires 9/22/11!
Joel Whitburn
Here's a photo of Joel's latest edition ... along with a picture of some of his favorite, rare picture sleeves, all drawn from his MASSIVE record collection!

You mentioned Charlie Gracie's new show on & WVLT FM Crusin' 92.1 on Sunday, 3 to 4 PM. I listen to a show on the same station on Friday, from 9 to 11 PM. Dennis Burgery, The Doo-Wop Cop. I just discovered this show. Check it out. Great Oldies. He'll play your request, if you write to him or call him.
And, speaking of radio, here's one of Big Jay Sorenson's best lines:
"Maggie May ... June Will".
Frank B.

I now host a LIVE Instant Request Show on the Oldies Your Way Internet station. It's on two nights a week: Monday and Thursday from 11 PM till 1 AM (or later!) Eastern Time. I play anything that is requested from just about any music genre from 1920 through 1972. I received a warm response to my first show. The requests that I played were sure varied! They included a mix of classic pre-rock, rock and roll, doowop, rockabilly, country, R&B, show tunes, comedy and even dixieland. (Some of these categories overlap of course). Possibly the most unusual request which I honored was for a 1929 recording by Bennie's Moten's Kansas City Orchestra entitled "South": notably on that record a very young Count Basic was tickling the ivories and sounding fantastic!
If anyone would like to make a request in advance for the next show (Thursday, September 22) please email it to me at . Please put "Request" in the subject line; that way it will immediately catch my attention.
You are also invited to join me during the broadcast in the Oldies Your Way chat room. It was very animated on Thursday. We really had a blast!
Ronnie Allen

Dear Kent,
I was hoping you could share this with your local readers.  As we all know, the changes at Y103.9 have left our favorite Jeff James off the air.  He is doing a fun internet segment now from his YouTube channel.  The link to his page is --
However, PLEASE, PLEASE, everybody, dial into 815 - 459 - 7000 and leave your feedback with the station's manager.  Show your displeasure in the station's current form.  Us Chicagoans almost had three good sources for our oldies (WLS, WJMK, and WWYW).  BUT we CANNOT survive on Tom Kent tapes day in and day out.  Please call 815 - 459 - 7000 and let's bring the station back to having some real local on air talent!!!!
AJK, The Youngest Oldies Freak Around
Y103.9 definitely is NOT the same ... and Forgotten Hits lost two good radio friends (and allies) with the departure of Jim Shea and Jeff James.  If this is a means to stay in touch with their fans, then so be it.  (While browsing around we also found a clip of Jeff saluting some of our OTHER Chicagoland buddies, The New Colony Six!!!) Click here: Y103.9 From the Vault - New Colony Six - YouTube
Here's hoping BOTH Jim and Jeff find their way back on to the airwaves REAL soon.  (Yeah, I'm having a REAL hard time listening to Tom Kent, too ... honestly, I think he sold them a real bill of goods!)  kk

Hi Kent,
I have actually saved this email for two years waiting for the right time to send it to you. 
As it turns out, the subject of "song intros" was discussed last week and so now I'm late. 
It was interesting to hear the WLS intros as well as the others, but did you know that WCFL had a few of these that never aired?  I asked my good friend Tom Konard who worked at CFL for many years to offer some history on how these came about.  His insight on this and a few other subjects I found very interesting.  
This is what he had to say:
The song intros, I recall. That was in 1971 and Ken Draper had been gone a few years, having been fired by William A. Lee, the head of the Chicago Federation of Labor. Lew Witz had complete control. He was program director and music director. He, not the music director, picked the music, for example. We had to wait when doing the survey, to see what songs Lew would tell us to add. What a great situation, just ripe for payola, and I recall the time I was told we HAD to move a song up at least 3 places on the survey even though sales had gone down. The reason, my boss, the music director told me, was that the particular Chicago singer, a female, was appearing at a club in Old Town in which Lew had a financial interest. It's what I was told ... so we did it. This illustrates the kind of control Lew exercised. So when Paul Christy was made music director and program director, he tried to act like one. He was an exciting person to have as a boss. I recall when he hired me to re-design the WCFL survey. I had returned home on a Saturday to find a phone message from Paul. THAT was nervous time for me. Why would the PD / MD be calling me at home on a Saturday?  Oh-oh, don't show up for work Monday? But, quite the opposite! It turned out Paul had seen a mock-up LP cover I made, as a gag, for DJ secretary, Connie Szerszen, who was proud of her Polish heritage. Connie had a 4 page flyer printed with photos, the way models and TV radio personalities do. I had asked Connie for an extra one. I used it to cut up for the photos and made up a "Connie Sings Beatle Hits -- in Polish" LP. Song titles like "I Want To Hold Your Piwo." (Sorry, you must know Polish to find out what "piwo" is) I still have the original flyer in my file.
Well, Connie loved it and obviously showed it around, as I later found out, and Paul's phone call to me was a result of that. He called to ask me to move into the music department and design a new WCFL survey. Naturally I accepted! Paul was a somewhat dynamic personality and I REALLY felt like I was part of a team under his direction. My first day there, Paul called me into his office and told his secretary that we were not to be disturbed. He shared with me his programming philosophy. He so wanted to "beat" WLS in the ratings. He had so many ideas. For someone so "into" radio like I was, from childhood, it was a head-spinning time. Paul was a motivator. Ironically the program director at WLS at the time was John Rook, and it was not until a few years later, when John was hired at WCFL and ALSO spent some time with me expounding his programming philosophies, that I had the same feeling of being part of a team. John, like Paul, was a motivator.
What does all this have to do with song titles? The problem is, in explaining the result of Paul Christy, not Ken Draper, having ordered those song intros, one has to realize it was Paul's motivation of making WCFL the top station in its target audience that prompted him. The problem, for him, was, he stepped on toes, undermining authority. He did not get permission.
I was coming back from lunch one day soon after and Dick Biondi called me into the DJ office, when he saw me walk by. Dick was preparing his show. He told me NOT to blow my cool. I always remember that term because I didn't realize I had any cool! I looked at him so puzzled he knew that I had not heard. Paul had been fired. It WAS a shock. His assistant took over as music director and was my new boss. A really nice person, too, but even the record promo guys knew that he was a figurehead. The real power lay with the general manager, or, put another way, my new boss knew how to keep his job!
So, truthfully, this has very little to do with song titles, but more to do with how they resulted in the firing of Paul. On a personal note, Paul, who went out to San Francisco to program KCBS-FM, apparently had plans for that station and he phoned both Kathy Agnew, his former secretary, and me asking if we would be willing to go to San Francisco to join his team. What an honor! Earlier I had mentioned John Rook. In an interview I got from John in preparing a never-produced WCFL audio documentary similar to the one I did for CKLW on its 50th anniversary, John related an interesting fact of how he was hired to program WCFL. John, perhaps, knowing the track record of programmers at WCFL, insisted that in his contract he be given total control with no interference. It was the only way he could operate, he said, and John DID bring WCFL into a winning position beating WLS as much as 3 to 1 in audience during Ron O'Brien's time slot and substantially in other time periods. John would make people feel like being part of a team, by posting the ratings for all to see. Of course, he had something to be proud of. Otherwise, before him, often it felt like WCFL operated on a "need to know" basis. That interview with John, amongst others, like former morning man Jerry G. Bishop, who I interviewed from San Diego and, in fact, the late Paul Christy,who was in Detroit when I got his interview, I hope to use in a book I will prepare, using the file drawer of WCFL photos, negatives,and slides. Having to take the DJ photo each week for the survey I built up an extensive collection of pix and many folks have urged me to share them before I join Paul again. There are photos of visiting celebrities and fun shots behind the scenes, some of which probably should NOT be seen! I'll copy down the exact text of each interview and use with reminiscences amongst the photos. Why not the audio documentary? Well, it would be fun but knowing how I see copies of CKLW one being sold on e-bay and how people just take things and put them up on the internet, the motivation is not there. I may make the audio interviews with the 10 people or so, of whom I have interviews, available on a CD with the book, at least. Then one could hear, for example, Big Ron O'Brien talking about the final days of WCFL when HE was program director!
That's a lot of reminiscing for just one topic: song titles! You can see, how once I get started, the mind rambles. I was mentioning the clever song intros once to Paul Kirby, who was PD immediately after John Rook and Paul, said something interesting. When he was at WRIT in Milwaukee, that station had done this gimmick and he said audience reaction was negative! Essentially, Paul told me, the audience was saying "Don't mess with the music." Unlike WRIT's, the ones made for WCFL never aired. The songs were one by The Carpenters, "Loves, Lines. Angles and Rhymes" by the Fifth Dimension, "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones and, I think one by then popular Bobby Sherman. I could be wrong. Dave Schuessler, the board operator for Dick Biondi and, later, Larry Lujack, made copies for me, luckily, so they were preserved. Ironically just days ago I heard from Pat Schuessler, Dave's sister, who was delighted to find I had saved her brother's birthday appearance on Larry Lujack's show. We reminisced a bit about Dave and I learned a few facts about one of the nicest guys I ever knew ... like when he died, the family buried him in a Super CFL T shirt with his beloved radio! This, in fact, is what prompted Pat to run across my yesterdial website. She was searching for a WCFL T shirt for her's and Dave's other brother, Fred, who is in a hospice. Fred is a radio fanatic and Pat hopes to do Fred the same honor as Dave. It is just so curious who one can find on the internet. Like, I have BBC Radio 2 on as I type this. Years ago, who would have thought one could just tune in radio all over the world this way ... so long, DX!
I had better quit before I ramble too much. It's already too late for that, though. See what happen when you hit me with a Gary Owens-like memory flogger!!!!
Tom Konard continues to sell airchecks at 
or and can be reached by email at .
I continue to twist his arm in hopes that he will produce an audio documentary on WCFL, but I'm failing miserably.  We just might have to wait on his book.
Bill T. in Fort Worth, Texas
Interesting email ... thanks, Bill ... be sure to tell Tom to check out what we've run so far (and let him know that HIS comments are now posted here as well.)  With several of the key players mentioned in Tom's email ALSO being regular Forgotten Hits Readers, it'll be interesting to see if we receive any future comments on this topic!  (kk)
Here are a couple of those early '70's WCFL promos:

And we just LOVE OUR WCFL T-Shirt, available through Radio Logo Land ...
Click here: WCFL Chicago (1971) :

And check out this Super 'CFL Concert Schedule ...
Man, what a time this was!!!


I tried to type in "Eagle Rock Entertainment" to find out more about the Monkees DVD releases, but nothing happened.  I'll try Google.  It sounds like the same contents as the Rhino ones, but the Rhino ones are almost $200 to buy used, each season.
I had NO idea that the Rhino DVD's were going for that kind of money.  (I've got the complete television series on both DVD and VHS Tapes, in their original "collectors" boxes from Rhino.  Meanwhile, you can pick up these brand new Eagle Rock Entertainment versions through for about $39 each.  Here's the link:  Click here: the monkees - Movies & TV

Kent ... 
In my newspaper Micky Dolenz was interviewed for the "In My Library" column. 
Here's what he had to say:
-- From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun = I'm a fan of world history, especially the period of the Renaissance.
-- On Human Nature by E.O. Wilson = Unbeknownst to many, I've been a science geek all my life.
-- Collins Complete Woodworker's Manual by David Day = I'm a carpenter. Have a shop at home.
-- American Assassin by Vince Flynn = I'm reading thrillers now because I'm developing a screenplay about a CIA terrorist kind of thing.
By the way,  The Monkees are also on the cover of the October issue of Goldmine.
Fank B.
Wow ... I'll have to look for that!  Thanks, Frank!  (kk)

And we told you about this one last week ... now comes the official press announcement ...


New York – MICKY DOLENZ lead-singer of The Monkees, donates an original Monkees script to Planet Hollywood today. The script, “The Monkees Blow Their Minds,” was originally broadcast on March 11, 1968.

For two seasons The Monkees series appeared on NBC – preceding The Man from UNCLE, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, and opposite Gunsmokse, on CBS.

For Monkees-historians, this particular script involved having the group swing to the rescue when a mentalist (Monte Landis) gains control of Peter's mind to use him in a nightclub act. This episode featured no laugh track; and had Mike Nesmith and guest Frank Zappa switch personalities in a teaser for the show. Also, actor Burgess Meredith (TV's Penguin in the camp-Batman show) made a cameo appearance. It was the third episode produced in Season 2 and the last one to feature the boys' original hairstyles and the original pre-psychedelic Monkees pad. It was directed by David Winters of West Side Story-fame. The show also featured the group's 1968 song “Valleri.”

Micky, with Peter and Davy, just completed a three-month tour which began in Europe. And rumors abound that they will indeed re-group in 2012. Ladies and gentleman …. MICKY DOLENZ!!!

Funny you mentioned Hayley Mills as your forgotten hit ... I don't remember Johnny Jingo, but I sure remember "The Parent Trap" and "Let's Get Together" from when I was a kid.  My sisters and girlfriends and I used to have "shows" when we were kids, and would pretend we were Hayley singing that song and playing guitar!  Our poor parents would have to sit through that!  A lifetime ago!   Thanks Kent.
Hayley wasn't really known for her singing ... but she was a pretty popular actress in the '60's.  Meanwhile, thanks to the songs mentioned above, she DID manage a couple of big hits in the early '60's on Disney's Buena Vista record label.  "Let's Get Together" went all the way to #1 here in Chicago (and peaked at #5 nationally.)  As we mentioned, the original record release showed the artist as "Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills", all thanks to the hit movie "The Parent Trap."  (Not the picture sleeve apparently, judging by the photo below!)  "Johnny Jingo" went to #21 in Billboard in early 1962 and was a #18 Hit here in Chi-Town.


Here's a little more information about those rare Portraits tracks some of you have been writing in about:
Hi Kent,
It turns out that I'm unable to put music samples on my own site - it's a free site and I'd have to upgrade to a paid site to include a player.
However, Tony Clarke, a friend in the UK who has the phunkyjunction youtube channel, has put up a sampler. I think he's done a great job:
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

Gordon Lightfoot hadn’t played a club sized venue in New York City in decades, but thankfully for a thousand fans he chose to do just that Monday night at BB Kings in Times Square.  Gordon, who will be 73 in November, played two 45 minute sets with his gifted quartet.  
He generously delivered all the hits and many favorite album cuts from his 40-plus year body of work:
If You Could Read My Mind — He calls this 1970 smash his most prized song and most valuable piece of publishing.  Lightfoot wrote it as his first marriage was falling apart.
Sundown — Gordo’s only # 1 song.
Carefree Highway — which took its name from an actual Arizona road, State Route 74.
The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald — The inspiration for this song came from a Newsweek article he read about a tragic event that happened  Nov. 10, 1975 in the middle of Lake Superior.
Beautiful — Although not one of his huge hits, it’s a Lightfoot evergreen.  He’s played it at every concert he’s ever done.  The haunting and romantic ballad received one of the biggest ovations of the night.
Rainy Day People — Lightfoot describes this song as being “about the person waiting in the wings for a relationship to subside so he can move in.”
Lightfoot survived a near fatal aneurysm in 2002 and a small stroke in 2006  that have impacted his once strong baritone.  His voice these days is without the upper reaches of the high notes and some of his bottom end.  But with your eyes closed, you still know it’s the distinctive voice of Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr.
Lightfoot is now even more slender than he was in the 70s and 80s with shoulder length hair.  Before he departed for an intermission, he told his fans “I’m leaving for a smoking break.  You can do what you want!”
Having recently begun an 18 city American tour, Gordo is clearly touched that so many greats in the music business have recorded compositions from his catalog, including Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Barbra Streisand.
- Tom Cuddy
 New York, NY

Here's a picture I took at the show:

Wow, GREAT review, Tom.  I didn't know about Gordon's recent health issues ... how impressive that he's still out there singing his hits to a receptive audience.  (kk)

Kent ...
Raiders & Buckinghams ... Could it be we're already talking about Christmas?
Frank B.
Yep!  With Christmas already less than a hundred days away, these are going to be two of the biggest holiday shows passing through Chicagoland this season.  And the two bands team up together for a January Cruise, too!  (That should be interesting ... Paul Revere and the Raiders' Drummer, Tommy Scheckel, was The Buckinghams' Drummer for over 20 years!  This should make for a pretty cool reunion!)  And, from one I'm told, there are still a few cabins are still available ... so, in Tommy's words, "Whip out the old checkbook and come join us!  Doesn't Aruba in January sound fabulous???"  (kk)

Just in case it hasn't come up yet at, The Zombies are now in the middle of their 2011 mini-tour of the U.S. and Canada.
Sez me:  Their shows are AWESOME.
E. Briggs

Bob Lefsetz attended a recent Don Henley SOLO performance ... you can find his review of that concert here:

Did you get a chance to listen to Part 1 of that Bobby Darin Radio Special you told us all about on Monday? They interviewed his manager Steve
Blauner.  He said that when Bobby Darin asked for his help, he didn't 
want to help him. He made outrageous demands ... $1Million, Bobby couldn't call him after Six or on weekends. Steve also didn't want to travel. This doesn't sound like a friend helping a friend. It sounds like a friend ripping off a friend. Am I wrong ?Connie Francis was also interviewed in Part 1.  She said she begged his manager to take Bobby to Texas to see Dr. Denton, a Heart Specialist. They didn't listen to her. She said if she was married to Bobby, he would've definitely gone to see this Doctor.
Imagine.  Things may have turned out differently.
Frank B.
The research I did shows that Bobby very much wanted to marry Connie Francis ... but that he would have also insisted that she give up her career ... Bobby wanted sole possession of the limelight (and, at the time, Connie was a far bigger recording artist than he was.)  Truth is, I believe Connie really was the love of his life.  I also believe that Steve Blauner cared more about Bobby than he did himself ... but Bobby was also a VERY demanding and difficult person.  If he made these demands, it was probably further down the line ... to STAY with Bobby after proving what he could do for him.  Again, I believe Blauner put Bobby's career ahead of every aspect of his own life ... and that they were quite good together and for each other.   (I know, I know ... run the WHOLE story so EVERYBODY can read it!!!  lol)  kk