Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weekend Comments (The Saturday Edition)

Looks like we received enough comments this week to carry us through the three-day holiday weekend ... so let's feature some of the longer stuff here today:

I never have really paid that much attention to the name or names under titles on records in parentheses telling who wrote and or co-wrote a song.  However, on the Peggy Lee song, I AM A WOMAN, wasn't that written by Leiber-Stoller?
Yep, it sure was.  They also wrote Peggy's last Top Ten Hit, "Is That All There Is", considered to be one of their finest collaborations by many. (If you happened to read that American Songwriter Interview I sent along last Sunday, you'll see that Peggy changed one word in the lyrics ... which upset Leiber and Stoller quite a bit.  It's a rather unorthodox pop song ... as Mike Stoller points out, "There's only one rhyme in the entire piece. 'Let's break out the booze and have a ball ... if that's all ... there is."  That's the only rhyme in the piece."  Jerry Leiber goes on to say "In Peggy Lee's version, she sings 'If that's the way she feels about it, why doesn't she just end it all?  Oh no, not me ... I'm not READY for that final disappointment."  Which is WRONG!  It changes, to some degree, the meaning of the song which was intended ... by one word.  And that is "Oh no, not me ... I'm in no HURRY for that final disappointment", which is the joke.  "I'm not READY for that final disappointment" is not a joke.  But she INSISTED on singing 'ready' because I think she felt that it sounded more natural.  And she missed the point."  (kk)

Now where else are you going to segue from Peggy Lee to Jimi Hendrix?!?!? It could ONLY happen in Forgotten Hits!!!  (kk)
Thanks for running the draft version of Ken Voss' tale of the Monkees and Jimi Hendrix; it's quite interesting and has some nice details.  I would like to suggest two small alterations to the text, however. 
One is the statement that in 1967 the Monkees were "certainly as big as the Beatles."  As evidence, Ken notes the Monkees' dozen Top 10 hits and sales of at least 65 million records -- impressive numbers, to be sure, but nowhere near "as big as the Beatles."  By mid-1967, the Beatles had scored  22 Top 10 hits in the United States alone, and according to the Recording 
Industry Association of America, they ended up selling 1.6 billion records worldwide.   I think it is fair to say that by 1967, in the  U.S. the Monkees had "temporarily eclipsed even the Beatles in terms of  popularity."   
The second is a quotation attributed to Jackson Browne.  He says,  "We would catch a ride to Peter Tork's house on Willow Glen. Peter had been a dishwasher at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach and now he was a TV star, a Monkee. My friend Ned Doheny (The Mamas and The Papas) and I would say, ‘Let's go up to Peter's house ..."    I'm unsure who inserted the  explanatory "The Mamas and The Papas," but it's not right.  The person in  the M&P was
Denny Doherty, not Ned Doheny.  Ned is indeed a recording  artist, and may be a friend of Jackson Browne's, but he was not in the Mamas  & the Papas.  
Hope this helps. Keep up the good work!
Henry McNulty
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
I sent your comments to author Ken Voss so that he can comment accordingly.
Personally, I feel the paragraph about The Monkees' and The Beatles' popularity is clear as it stands ... in 1967, The Monkees actually DID eclipse The Beatles in popularity ... worldwide ... for a brief period of time.  As "unhip" as some of the critics and certain musicians may have felt The Monkees were, they were rock and roll royalty here in The States in 1967, rubbing shoulders with ALL of their big name music contemporaries ... and throwing some of the BIGGEST parties ever thrown in Hollywood.  It was poolside in Peter Tork's backyard, for example, that the concept of Crosby, Stills and Nash was first discussed (with a little nudging from Mama Cass).  And, despite rumors to the contrary, The Byrds did NOT write "So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star" about The Pre-Fab Four and they were actually quite friendly with The Monkees.  Anybody who was anybody was ... The Monkees were at the top of the heap ... and other musicians wanted to hang with them (including The Beatles, who invited them to party when they were in England ... as well as attend some of the recording sessions for what would ultimately become the "Sgt. Pepper" album.)  In fact, it was the release of "Pepper' that finally set the world correctly back on its axis, because prior to that, The Monkees had the #1 album in the country with "Headquarters", thus completing a run of 32 weeks on top of the Billboard album chart, shared between their first three LP releases. (They even knocked themselves out of the #1 Album spot!!!  In fact, The Monkees would enjoy another five weeks on top of the albums chart when "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd." was released in late November!)
I don't feel that Ken's paragraph as written suggests (in any way) that The Monkees would ultimately be found to be bigger or more popular than The Beatles (who, as we all know by now, were more popular than Jesus Christ, according to John Lennon at the time anyway!), but rather that for that brief moment in time, circa 1967, this certainly was the case.
In fact, here's I piece I wrote myself some seven years ago on this very topic:
For a brief moment in time, yes, they were! THE MONKEES' first album spent 13 weeks at #1 beginning in November of 1966. It was knocked out of the #1 spot by their SECOND album (MORE OF THE MONKEES) which spent 18 additional weeks at #1!!! That one-two punch accounted for 31 consecutive weeks of THE MONKEES topping Billboard's LP chart. In addition, THE MONKEES would place two more albums at the top of the chart during 1967: HEADQUARTERS (#1 for 1 week) and PISCES, AQUARIUS, CAPRICORN AND JONES, LTD. (#1 for 5 weeks). That's a total of 37 weeks at Number One out of a possible 60!!! (During that same timeframe, THE BEATLES topped the charts just once with what is considered to be their landmark album of all time, SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, which spent 15 weeks on top of Billboard's LP Chart.) In addition, THE MONKEES rang up eight Top 40 Hits during that 60 week period (vs. THE BEATLES' five.) It can be argued that THE BEATLES lost some of their younger fans who were not yet ready to follow their leaders down the much more sophisticated path of RUBBER SOUL, REVOLVER and SGT. PEPPER ... let alone their newly embraced drug culture ... some of us still wanted the fun, happy, carefree mop-tops and suddenly THE MONKEES better fit that bill. (THE BEATLES were growing mustaches for God's sake!!!) But the truth is that no other BEATLES album ever spent more time at #1 than SGT. PEPPER's 15 week run ... in fact, even when compared to their biggest year ever (1964, when they, too, knocked themselves out of the #1 spot on the album chart ... THE BEATLES' SECOND ALBUM replacing MEET THE BEATLES at the top of the heap for a combined consecutive total of 16 weeks ... along with a mass saturation of product hitting the marketplace never before seen in the music industry), THE MONKEES certainly gave THE BEATLES a run for the money in terms of overall short-term popularity.

As for the Ned Doheny / Denny Doherty statement, I would have to agree that this one's confusing ... because it was Denny Doherty who was in The Mamas and The Papas, not Ned Doheny.  (In fact, I'm really not familiar with who Ned Doheny is ... perhaps a friend of Jackson Browne as our reader suggests??? ... but this really needs some clarification because these two totally different individual seems to have been rolled into one.  On the other hand, by Ken's own description, this article is a "first draft", leaving plenty of room of corrections, enhancement, etc.  And, with our astute list of readers, I believe we can help to make this happen. (It certainly wouldn't be the first time!!!)  kk
UPDATE:  I asked Ken if he could clarify the Ned Doheny / Denny Doherty comment for our readers and this is what I got back ...
Since this is a quote pulled from another website, I have not been able to clarify.
If anybody out there CAN clarify this, please drop us a line!  (kk)
And, speaking of Jimi Hendrix ...
"Like A Rolling Stone" / "Spanish Castle Magic" CD Single 
Previously Unreleased Performances Recorded At The Storied San Francisco's Venue Winterland 
and "Johnny B. Goode" b/w "Purple Haze" 7" Vinyl Single
Available Over-The-Counter Tuesday, August 23
4th Wave of Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project Releases Coming Tuesday, September 13

Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings will preview the 4th wave of titles in the Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project with the release of two limited edition Jimi Hendrix singles exclusively available over-the-counter at independent retail record stores nationwide on Tuesday, August 23.  "Like A Rolling Stone" and "Spanish Castle Magic," both recorded in October 1968 during Hendrix's fabled, six performance stand at Winterland, have been paired for a limited edition CD single.  Hendrix's fiery interpretation of the classic Dylan song comes from the forthcoming Jimi Hendrix Experience: Winterland release while "Spanish Castle Magic" is available exclusively on this indie record store release.
An incandescent version of "Johnny B. Goode" (from Hendrix's Berkeley Community Center concert on May 30, 1970) is being released on a 7" vinyl single, backed with a previously unreleased version of "Purple Haze," recorded live at San Francisco's Winterland, October 10, 1968, exclusively available on this indie record store release.  "Johnny B. Goode" can also be heard on the upcoming, expanded re-issue of Hendrix - In The West, a definitive live collection featuring quintessential performances of such signature songs as "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," "Little Wing," and "I Don't Live Today" as performed by both editions of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1969 and 1970.  Hendrix In The West, one of the guitarist's most popular albums, has been unavailable in the US since 1974.
The limited edition "Johnny B. Goode" 7" single and "Like A Rolling Stone" CD single are being released for fans in support of more than 1,000 independently owned stores in the USA and another 600 stores internationally. 
The singles herald the arrival, on September 13, of the fourth wave of releases in the Experience Hendrix LLC / Legacy Recordings monumental Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project.  The latest round of titles from the artist Rolling Stone magazine called "the greatest guitarist of all time" focuses on Hendrix-as-concert-performer with releases underscoring the artist's electrifying on-stage prowess: Winterland (a 4 Disc Deluxe Box Set), Hendrix In The West (Expanded), Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live At The Isle Of Wight (on DVD), and Jimi Hendrix: The Dick Cavett Show (every Hendrix appearance on the celebrated talk show on DVD).
Legacy's first round of Jimi Hendrix releases opened with the release of Valleys of Neptune, a long-awaited album of previously unavailable Jimi Hendrix studio recordings, which debuted on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart at #4 while four additional Hendrix catalog titles -- Are You Experienced (#44),  Electric Ladyland (#60),  First Rays of the New Rising Sun (#63), and Axis: Bold As Love (#67) -- rocketed back into the Billboard 200 four decades after their original release dates.  A testimony to the enduring vitality and importance of the trailblazing artist-guitarist-performer, Jimi Hendrix had five albums in America's Top 100 in March 2010.
The second wave of 2010 Jimi Hendrix titles culminated in the long awaited release of West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology, a definitive career-spanning four CD box set tracking Hendrix’s remarkable journey from R&B sideman to international stardom.  The deluxe set is filled with previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings plus demos, alternate takes and more.  The newly curated and assembled Jimi Hendrix anthology includes a new Hendrix documentary directed by the Grammy award winning Bob Smeaton (Beatles Anthology, Festival Express, Beatles: The Studio Recordings).
The third wave of Legacy Hendrix reissues, released in April 2011, offered the definitive edition of the career-spanning posthumous album South Saturn Delta; a deluxe DVD edition of Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (Live at Fillmore East), winner of the 1999 Best Long Form Music Video Grammy; and "Fire" coupled with "Touch You" a limited edition single available on 7" vinyl and CD (with a third unreleased track "Cat Talking To Me"), struck in celebration of nationwide Record Store Day on Saturday, April 16.
More than 1,000,000 Jimi Hendrix albums were sold in 2010 alone.
About Legacy RecordingsThe multiple Grammy-winning Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment's catalog division, produces and maintains the world's foremost catalog of historic reissues, an unparalleled compendium of thousands of digitally re-mastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, ethnic, world music, classical, comedy and more.
About Experience Hendrix L.L.C.Founded by James 'Al' Hendrix, Jimi's father, in 1995, Experience Hendrix, has been managed since its inception by family members personally chosen by Al during his tenure as Chairman.   It is the official family company charged with managing the music, name, image and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. As a part of its daily operations, under President and CEO Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix oversee Jimi's timeless legacy on a worldwide basis.
-- submitted by Bob Merlis

More new Jimi Music coming your way ... 
Tuesday, September 13th marks the worldwide release of Jimi Hendrix Experience Winterland, a 4 CD box set that documents the band’s historic performances at the San Francisco’s legendary Winterland Ballroom through the course of six concerts over three nights in October of 1968.  Winterland is the latest authorized release from Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family owned company entrusted with preserving, nurturing and promoting the music, name and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. The set is the latest through its ongoing partnership with Sony Music’s Legacy division. 
In recognition of the release and of The City of San Francisco’s relationship with the life and legacy of Jimi Hendrix, September 13th has been proclaimed JIMI HENDRIX - WINTERLAND DAY by the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco through the good offices of District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener.  
The day will be capped off by a celebration at Amoeba Records, 1855 Haight Street, starting at 7 PM with Experience Hendrix CEO  (and Jimi’s sister), Janie Hendrix on hand as well as the one and only Bootsy Collins.  Bootsy’s affinity for Jimi Hendrix is well known, a fact underscored by the fact that he voiced the actual words of Hendrix on the documentary film Voodoo Child that is included in West Coast Seattle Boy, the Jimi Hendrix boxed set released last year. Bootsy’s current album release, The Funk Capital of the World, includes “Mirrors Tell Lies” a track that incorporates the speaking voice of Jimi Hendrix in cooperation with Experience Hendrix.  Bootsy will be signing copies of the album and will premiere the video for “He’s Still The Man,” his tribute to the late James Brown in whose band he played as a teenage prodigy.  Rare Jimi Hendrix video clips will also be shown in the store over the course of the evening.
Text of JIMI HENDRIX - WINTERLAND DAY proclamation: 
WHEREAS, Jimi Hendrix is renowned for his musical innovation, which revolutionized traditional thinking about rock and roll; and
WHEREAS, Jimi Hendrix appeared on the cover of an SFUSD educational guide, bag, and poster for teachers as a symbol of the ingenuity and experimentation that San Francisco prizes; and
WHEREAS, after the release of his genre-spanning album, Electric Ladyland, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played six shows over three days at San Francisco’s historic Winterland Ballroom; and
WHEREAS, the Winterland shows in the aftermath of the Summer of Love are significant events in the rich cultural history of San Francisco
WHEREAS, On September 13, 2011 Experience Hendrix will be releasing "Jimi Hendrix Experience – Winterland," drawn from the six shows Hendrix recorded at Winterland in October 1968; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco, hereby proclaims September 13, 2011 to be “Jimi Hendrix Winterland Day” in the City and County of San Francisco.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City and County of San Francisco to be affixed.
Scott Wiener Supervisor, District 8           

And, on a final Jimi Hendrix note ...

Frannie and I decided to watch the Howard Kaylan film "My Dinner With Jimi" one more time before heading out to The Happy Together Again Tour Concert Friday Night at The Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL.  This is a GREAT film ... and, if you haven't seen it yet, you owe it to yourself to pick up (or rent) a copy.  (Nah ... just go out and buy it ... that way you can watch it again and again!)  Full details are available at Howard's website:
or thru the usual sources like

Roger McGuinn has a brand new CD, DVD and Benefit coming up ... guess you can say he's been busy!  (Wild Bill)
And, speaking of Roger McGuinn ...
This is a good friend of mine, David Whitt, who's a school teacher out of Cali.  This guy does a spot on Roger McGuinn impersonation and has a McGuinn Limited Edition RIC 12, Give a listen to him.  Here's a song called "CALLING"  that will haunt you until you play it again and again.  There's even a few licks reminiscent of 8 Miles High I think you'll like!!!
David is mega talented, please enjoy his music! And feel free to email him!
Wild Bill
Hey Gang:
If you're a serious Byrds Collector or just enjoyed the band back in the day, this is a boxed set to have along with the original 4 CD boxed set. Just about every Byrds song you'd ever want to hear. Plus an incredible LIVE version of "Old Blue" and "Soldiers Joy" with Clarence White, not to mention an incredible DVD. Geez 4 CD's 99 cuts and a DVD for less than $6 bucks a disc!!! that's less than 27.5 cents a cut not to mention the incredible 100 page booklet with unreleased and rare photos and liner notes.
This is a Must Have!.
I'd grab one but I already have 5 unopened copies! And two opened, not to mention 7 copies of the Byrds original Boxed Set (they will only increase in value over time).
I'll tell you what, if you buy the boxed set and you don't like it for ANY reason, I'll buy it back from you ... so how's that for a guarantee?
Wild Bill
And here's one worth keeping ... Wild Bill in his "Byrds Hat"!!!  (kk)

Much has been said about the Grass Roots no longer having any original band members.
In the August 2011 issue of Classic Rock Magazine, bassist Chris Squire, of Yes who is the only original member of the band that still tours as Yes, touches upon the topic of a band with no original members. He brings up the point about symphony orchestras that have been around for generations. What about the Boston Pops? Arthur Fiedler has been dead for years, and I tend to doubt that there's anyone left since the orchestras inception. There's also big band ensembles. Glenn Miller has been dead longer than most of us have been alive. Count Basie is dead, so is Woody Herman, etc. So the same principle can be used for rock bands. Chris says he can see Yes being around for 100 more years. So why shouldn't the Grass Roots or any number of bands carry on. Of course there might be exceptions where the band members are so well known that it would be impossible to replace. Could there be another Beatles, Stones, Who, Zeppelin? Probably not. I don't know that I, along with other FH readers agree with Chris' theory, but I do see his point.
Way back in the late '70's Brian Wilson made a comment that he felt The Beach Boys should be a constantly evolving band, bringing in new, younger singers all the time to help keep the intended sound of The Beach Boys intact.  It was his way of presenting his music in the best possible light.  (Of course none of his brothers or cousin agreed!  lol)  While this was never really practical, I think the right spirit was there ... keep the music sounding fresh and energetic.)  Like I said before, I think somebody dedicated to keeping the great music of The Grass Roots out there for all the fans (and NEW fans) to enjoy is commendable ... and I understand the "legalities" of it if, for example, Rob Grill sold (or bestowed) the rights to this name to these new musicians ... ten or twenty years from now, nobody'll care anyway ... but for those of us who grew up on this music, it makes a difference.  I still think the "tribute" idea is the right way to go.  (kk)
Last December we ran a link to Skip Haynes' website where you can order a custom-made version of the Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah classic "Lake Shore Drive" custom-made with YOUR NAME inserted into the lyrics of the son!  (Skip even sent me a customized Forgotten Hits version, which we've run on the website a couple of times!)  In fact, CNN Columnist Bob Greene liked the story so much, HE ran a feature on this in his column as well!

Well, now Skip has come up with another great idea ... podcast recounting his glory days as a rock-and-roller.  All of the details are below ... so be sure to check it out! (kk)
Hi Kent,
I hope everything is well with you. I'm hosting a new weekly podcast called Road Stories with Skip Haynes. It's based on my book, Road Stories & Tales of the Tropicana or What's A Nice Guy Like Me Doing In A Band Like This?, inspired by 12 years on the road with with Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah.
The shows are a little bit of musical history from the 60's and 70's. I thought that you might enjoy them as much as we did, If you do, please pass this along to anyone you think might enjoy a bit of Rock N' Roll history that will make them smile.
If you enjoy the show you can subscribe to the RSS feed and you'll automatically receive shows as they are uploaded. You probably haven't heard Rock N' Roll stories and history quite like these before. The Enhanced version is for Apple products.  The episodes are rated "explicit" in iTunes.
You can find the show at  Click on the "New Podcast" link at the top of the opening page.
This weeks program is "A Day In The Life" - a bit of Chicago musical history involving  the band, New year's Eve at a club called Ratso's on Lincoln Avenue, an elephant, a pound of weed, magic markers, white shoe polish, Playboy Bunnies and kazoos.
A print version and an ePub version of the book are also available on the site along with personalized versions of Lake Shore Drive and music from AHJ.
Thanks and all the best
Skip Haynes
We're a little bit tardy getting this one out ... so there's already a new episode posted.  Here's the latest from our FH Buddy Skip Haynes:
This week's show ("Allo, Leetle Poosey-Catz") is from Tales of the Tropicana and takes place at Sandy Koufax's Tropicana Motor Hotel at 8585 Santa Monica Blvd. We were playing at the Troubadour at the and staying at the Tropicana which was the only place any self-respecting rock musician at that time would have stayed. This was when the railroad tracks still ran down the center of Santa Monica Blvd and Rock N' Roll ruled..
You can find the show at
The shows are a little bit of musical history that will make you laugh and are for anyone who might be interested in a slightly different take on the music scene in the 1970's - from New York to Los Angeles.
I have also included a show called Stories from the Canyon for anyone  who might like to know what life could sometimes be like in Laurel Canyon in it's heyday.
For a print version of the book please  visit :
For an eBook version please visit 
Thanks ... and I hope you enjoy the show.
Skip Haynes
They played "The Main Event / Fight" on the classic AT40 70's show the other week. It's OK in the context of other songs from that period in time, as it would be in the recycled Casey Kasem countdowns.

In Jerry Osborne's August 15th Mr. Music, he's quoted Dotty Daniels as saying:
"I don't know if Billboard ever mentioned my record, but Cash Box magazine did make it a Pick of the Week. They even sent someone to interview me, and that meeting was set up at a place right around the corner from the Brill Building. Because I was just a kid, Amy Records sent my friend and songwriter Paul Kaufman with me to the meeting."
The May 25, 1963, edition of Billboard gave Dotty's "Play Me A Sad Song" a 4-star rating and also gave the B side 3 stars. She was in good company in this issue, with The Surfaris being listed with Surfer Joe b/w Wipe Out (yes, in that order), and Rolf Harris with Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport was listed right above her record.
Tom Diehl
I'm hoping you've sent along a copy of that Billboard clipping to Dotty Daniels via the email address we published in our Sunday Comments Page ... I'm quite sure she'll be THRILLED to see it!  Thanks, Tom!  (kk)
re:  CD's:
>>>I need FH readers feedback. I recently bought 180 CDs, about 1/3 sealed and the rest light scuffs, if that. This collection spanned the letters A thru George Harrison and there's at least that many more I can buy from the rest of the alphabet, at about $2.00 each. These are mainly classic rock from the late 60s-early 70s, with some later ones by classic rock artists. The question is, should I make the rest of the buy?  (Jack)

UPDATE:  Well I stopped by this guy's antique shop again Saturday on a whim to see if he had brought out more CDs. (Silly me didn't bring enough $$ and he doesn't take checks of credit cards). Anyways I was able to buy 50 more. He seems to be a fan of SF bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, CCR, Airplane, Hot tuna etc. I had already bought 16 Beatles CDs and 13 George Harrison CDs. There also seems to be a quantity of British prog bands from the early 70s as well. Then he shows me a container of mainly Japanese imports, many of them sealed. Right now there's about 100 up for sale on ebay. For those of you who live near St. Louis or Chicago, ALL the CDs I have will be brought to shows in STL on 9/11 and Chicago on 9/18. Many of these CDs are titles that you just don't see at ANY record store. Maybe after the 18th I'll see if I can put a list together. Talk about Forgotten Hits, many of these bands are just completely forgotten. If you're interested in any of these, I can be reached at
Looking for something to do here in Chicagoland this long Labor Day Weekend?
Got this from the Chicagoland Radio and Media Column:
Written by Larz   
Friday, 02 September 2011 08:00
The City of Chicago will again be celebrating the iconic R&B and dance television program "Soul Train" with a sensational Labor Day concert at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion. "The 'Soul Train' 40th Anniversary Concert" will feature legendary R&B acts, a full orchestra, and a salute to the guest of honor ... the man who started it all, Chicago's very own Don Cornelius.
In July, the City of Chicago sponsored
a special exhibit of rare "Soul Train" photos, celebrating the local 1970 TV show on WCIU-TV that a year later became a national phenomenon in syndication. That exhibit comes to a close this weekend, but the "Soul Train" celebration continues on around town.
Monday's big concert in Millennium Park will feature performances by Jerry "The Iceman" Butler, The Impressions, the Chi-Lites, the Emotions, Otis Clay, and Gene "Duke of Earl" Chandler. These famous vocalists will be backed-up by an orchestra of 30 veteran musicians, who have worked in the past with all of the singers. The orchestra will be led by conductor / arranger / pianist / producer and Chicago native Tom Tom Washington.
Hosting and emceeing a concert event this huge can't be done by just anybody. For Chicago's "'Soul Train' 40th Anniversary Concert," the City brought out a pair class acts to introduce these classic artists. The hosts will be WBEZ-FM's Richard Steele and WVAZ-FM's Herb Kent. Of course, most of the people in attendance will be there to see & hear one man get behind the microphone. That man is the founder and longtime host of "Soul Train," Mr. Don Cornelius. He will also be taking to the stage that evening to say a few words to the artist and the crowd.
The concert is completely free and open to the public. It begins at 6:30 pm on Monday, September 5th, at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion (N. Michigan Ave. & E. Randolph St. in downtown Chicago).
"The 'Soul Train' 40th Anniversary Concert" is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture. The concert's principle sponsor Amtrak, who also happens to be celebrating its own 40th anniversary this year.
For this special concert, you will want to get to Millennium Park at least two and a half hours early. That is because there will be a "Soul Train" Pre-Concert Dance Party. It will be taking place right by the Cloud Gate sculpture (aka "The Bean") on Millennium Park's Chase Promenade from 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm. Chicago radio's "King of the Dusties," Herb Kent will be hosting the dance party. V103's "Cool Gent" will be spinning R&B and soul danceable records from the '60s-'80s. Like the big concert later that night, this "Soul Train" event is free and open to the public.
Also worth noting is that the day before the Millennium Park festivities, on Sunday, September 4th, the documentary entitled "Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America" will be screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (164 N. State St, Chicago). The film looks at 40 years of "Soul Train" and interviews some of the biggest names in music from the last 50 years about the impact this show has had on their careers and the nation in general. Directly after the documentary's screening, WBEZ-FM's Richard Steele will moderate a question and answer session with Don Cornelius and Kenard Gibbs, the CEO of Soul Train Holdings. The general admission price for tickets to this event is $11 ($7 for students and $6 for Film Center members).
More Soul Train news from FH Reader Ken Voss:
There’s room on the walls for far more than the fifty-some photographs on display from the golden age of Soul Train, at Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph, Chicago, 312-744-6630) through October 2. And the gallery floor is mostly empty — there are just two table cases. One displays dolls and merchandise, the other photos, press clippings and a letter on WCIU-TV letterhead from Soul Train creator Don Cornelius, dated January 25, 1971, informing Charles Bayliss of 1316 South Kolin Avenue that he and his dancing partner were invited to perform on the show, so long as neither was “over dressed.” (The letter, and other items in the case, are from the personal collection of music writer and TOC contributor Jake Austen. An article by Sun-Times critic Ron Powers for the newspaper’s television listings, calling the show “that soul-shaking, scintillating, ex-CRU-ciating, mighty, mighty vehicle of rhythm and blues,” is a must-read.)
Every Friday evening throughout the exhibit’s run,"Friday Night Groove" parties are scheduled from 6 - 8 p.m. during the exhibitions run with guest DJs spinning "dusty discs" for the dance party on a set in the style of the original Soul Train set.
The images themselves erupt with energy and are thoughtfully combined although, while some get detailed air-date and episode-number credits, others are tagged vaguely, such as “Soul Train dancers circa 1973 to 1976.” Kool and the Gang in ’74 is next to Cameo in ’85; Jeffrey Osborne’s bedazzled 1980 outfit is next to Elton John’s bedazzled 1975 outfit. The lone black-and-white image is of Chaka Khan, on episode 128, the day after Valentine’s Day, 1975.
Beverly native Kim Porter Fluellen, director of integrated marketing and development at Soul Train Holdings, LLC in Los Angeles, says that the exhibit is part of a “year of rebirth” for the brand on its 40th anniversary. “Last month, we opened a music-and-dance series at Lincoln Center, we did a large donation to the Smithsonian and events on the National Mall, and now we’re coming here and planting ourselves in Chicago, where it all started.” The photos come from a collection of more than 300,000 images and have never before been released.
Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, spoke with me outside of the gallery, still sounding a little bit disheartened that she wasn’t old enough to be on the show before it left Chicago. Her favorite memory of Soul Train happened during Joe Tex’s performance of his 1972 hit single "I Gotcha."