Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 10 - 16 - 11 )


Okay we have to change the name of the site from a Blog to a Blur. Some of us fossils agree with the posts about the font size. Thank God in my infinite wisdom I bought a magnifying glass a few years back to enjoy life's simplest pleasures like my morning crossword. I sense the internet is #$%^& with you still and it is no fault of your own. Keep up the good work anyway and don't let it get you down.
Alex Valdez
It's frustrating, to be sure ... and we keep thinking about moving ... but that just seems like SO much work!!!  (kk)

Uhhh ... no, not yet ... but we're working on it!!!  I'll get back to you in a month or two!!! (kk)

Congratulations on reaching a million and a half visitors to your site.  I love it - and it certainly warrants return visits!  (I'm sure several hundred of those visits are mine!!!)  lol
There's no way to tell how many return visits there've been because it just records a total count, not a count of unique visitors. I guess that means that if you went to Forgotten Hits every single day, 365 days a year, for the three years the site has been in existence, you'd have about 1000 of the million and a half hits ... but that still leaves a WHOLE lotta other hits unaccounted for so I prefer to just go with the total tally.  (Helps me sleep better at night!  lol)  Now if each and every one of those visitors would simply send JUST ONE DOLLAR ... well, then we could keep Forgotten Hits coming to you for several more years ... from our new home in Hawaii!!! (kk)

Hi Kent,
Have a look at this website!
Ann is hanging out with Andy. The first time I remember seeing Ann-Margaret was also in the movie Bye Bye Birdie.
-- Stacee

Before I ran the last Ann-Margret piece, I checked her website to see what she had been up to ... and saw that she was performing at Andy Williams' "Moon River" Theatre in Branson.  Good for her ... heck, good for BOTH of them!!!  (Wouldn't you just LOVE to see Andy Williams' Christmas Show ... right from his own theater?!?!?)  Speaking of which, a Donny and Marie Christmas Show has just been added to the holiday line-up here in Chicagoland.  Now THAT would be a cool show to see, too.  (Several years ago we went to go see Amy Grant and Vince Gill for their Christmas concert ... it was awesome.)  This year we're hoping to catch both The Buckinghams, Paul Revere and the Raiders and America when they swing through town to perform their holiday concerts.  (kk)
Glen Campbell is coming, too!  He'll be performing at The Tri Lakes Center in Branson on December 2nd and 3rd. Details can be found on the website.  (There is a video of Glen singing on the site as well.) I might try and see this one since it will be one of his last.
No doubt about it, THIS would be the year to see Glen.  I hear his farewell concerts have been great thus far!  (I still love his classic line:  "Never give them a perfect show ... or they'll expect it every time!")  lol  (kk)

From Hal Blaine's site "We Called It R&R ...
"Reliability and Responsibility. We didn’t spend time rehearsing take after take, we just read the chart, played the tune and made gold records". Obviously, Hal stretches the truth a bit too far!  How many Takes does it take The Wrecking Crew to record one song? Count the Takes! :-)
>>>Bottom line is, it's not how many takes it took you to get there ... it's the end result that matters ... and these guys delivered the goods time after time after time, again and again, throughout this era ... placing literally HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of hit songs on the charts.  Producers and artists back then were only interested in putting the best possible product on the marketplace ... and The Wrecking Crew were the "go to" guys to make that happen.  If you've seen the film, you already KNOW what their credits are ... it's incredible to think that this same "core" batch of musicians played together on so many of these hits ... and in every style imaginable.  Like I've been saying for years now, it's a story that NEEDS to be told!  (kk)
Oh, I agree, but let's not glorify the group (as Hal seems to be doing). They didn't write the music (improvised, I'm sure), or arrangements, they just played their instruments. And even though they were fine musicians, the British Invasion sort of knocked them off the record chart map. And on a different subject - notice Phil Spector and The Beach Boys used their help. Sadly, a good portion of the songs was more or less forced to be in monophonic sound. If the Wrecking Crew was a good as Hal says they were, everything would been recorded live, real-time (making Stereo a piece of cake), but it seldom was, because the Wrecking Crew was separately recorded.
I think you're overestimating how much influence The Wrecking Crew may have had on a given session.  They were hired because of their uncanny ability to nail a brand new piece of work in a matter of just a few takes.  For the most part, they played off music charts provided to them ... but because they worked so well together, they were able to inject a certain "feel" that is often the difference between a hit record and a flop ... so in THAT regard, they were given some leeway.  Again ... whatever overall, total sound made the best record ... and they were incredibly successful at it.  As for having ANY input into whether a recording was mono or stereo at the time, that NEVER would have fallen into the hands of The Wrecking Crew decision-wise.  They were hired hands ... there to do a specific job in the shortest amount of time possible ... and then move on to the next session.  Some of these guys were so adept at what they did, they'd knock out a Frank Sinatra session in the afternoon, go and lay down some Beach Boys tracks in the evening and then the very next day play on brand new hit records by The Mamas and the Papas, The Monkees and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass!  And I TOTALLY disagree with your British Invasion comment ... records featuring these fine studio musicians charted regularly side by side with the music coming our way from over the pond.  Watch the film ... it's truly remarkable!  (kk)

First Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, now Roger Williams. Is Zsa Zsa Gabor next?
-- dB

(10-08) 12:34 PDT LOS ANGELES, (AP) --
Roger Williams, the virtuoso pianist who topped the Billboard pop chart in the 1950s and played for nine U.S. presidents during a long career, died Saturday. He was 87.
Williams died at his home in Los Angeles of complications from pancreatic cancer, according to his former publicist Rob Wilcox.
Known as an electrifying stage performer and an adept improviser, Williams effortlessly switched between musical styles.
"Roger was one of the greatest pianists in the world and could play anything to classical music to jazz. He was one of the greatest personalities I've ever known," said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a longtime friend of Williams and himself a musician. "He could touch any audience, from teenagers to senior citizens."
Williams' 1955 hit "Autumn Leaves" was the only piano instrumental to reach number one on the Billboard pop charts. It remains the best-selling piano record of all time, with more than 2 million sold.
Nicknamed the "pianist to the presidents," Williams played for every commander in chief from Harry Truman to George H.W. Bush. His last trip to the White House was in 2008, when he performed at a luncheon for then-First Lady Laura Bush.
Williams was good friends with Jimmy Carter, with whom he shared a birthday. When the two men turned 80, Williams played a 12-hour marathon at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, with the former president in attendance.
Born Louis Wertz in Nebraska, he started playing piano at age 3. By age 9 he was prolific with several instruments and could play anything by ear.
"I had a piano teacher growing up who would never play a song for me, she would make me play it from sheet music so I could learn to read music," Williams said, according to biographical information of the musician provided by Wilcox.
As a teenager, he was given his own 15-minute radio show on KRNT-AM, which was broadcast live from a Des Moines, Iowa, department store. Later he hosted a program on WHO-AM, where he first met the station's young sports announcer, Ronald "Dutch" Reagan. The two men started a friendship which lasted over 60 years.
Williams moved to New York to study jazz at the Juilliard School of Music. He won performing contests on the popular radio shows "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" and Dennis James'"Chance of a Lifetime."
Soon after, Williams was signed to Kapp Records, where founder Dave Kapp was determined to find a hit for the young prodigy. Producers decided on a shortened arrangement of "Autumn Leaves," which Williams recalled first clocked in at three minutes and three seconds.
"In those days the disc jockeys would not play a record over three minutes long. So Kapp asked if I could play the thirds a little faster. I did and it came in at two minutes and 59 seconds," Williams said, according to Wilcox.
It was an instant hit and catapulted Williams to national renown. He followed it up with a string of hits including "Born Free,""The Impossible Dream,""Theme From Somewhere In Time," and "Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago."
Williams became a popular guest on the top television shows of the time including "The Ed Sullivan Show,""The Perry Como Show, and "The Steve Allen Show."
He is the first pianist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Steinway & Sons.
On his 75th birthday, Williams played a 12-hour marathon at Steinway Hall in New York City, a stunt he repeated several time in the following years.
In March, Williams announced on his website that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A few days later he played his last concert, in Palm Desert, California.
Williams is survived by his daughters, Laura Fisher and Alice Jung, and five grandchildren.
10-08) 12:05 PDT LOS ANGELES, (AP) --
Zsa Zsa Gabor has been hospitalized after slipping out of consciousness at her Los Angeles-area home.
Gabor's husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, said Saturday that the actress had a high fever and was bleeding from a tube in her stomach.
Paramedics rushed Gabor from her Bel Air mansion to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center.
The 94-year-old Gabor has been hospitalized repeatedly since July 2010, when she broke her hip falling from bed. Most of Gabor's right leg was amputated in January because of gangrene.
She appeared in films ranging from "Moulin Rouge" in 1952 to "Queen of Outer Space" in 1958. She also appeared on TV specials, game shows, and guest-starred on various TV series, often playing herself.

You can add Bee Gee Robin Gibb to the infirmary list, too ... saw this on Scott Shannon's True Oldies Website:

BANG Showbiz
Date: Friday Oct. 14, 2011 7:28 AM ET
Bee Gees star Robin Gibb was rushed to hospital on Wednesday with "severe" abdominal pains. 
The 'Stayin' Alive' singer was taken ill at his home in Thame, Oxfordshire, England, and his wife Dwina called an ambulance for him which then took him to the specialist stomach unit at a nearby hospital.
A source told the Daily Express newspaper: "An ambulance rushed over to pick him up. His wife was with him and she obviously looked very worried. He looked in severe pain." 
Robin - who is teetotal and a vegetarian - has suffered from crippling stomach pains for years and medical professionals have been unable to diagnose an exact cause for the ailment. 
A friend of the star said: "He would never go to hospital unless he really had to. He is a very brave man."
This is the second time this year the 61-year-old musician has been hospitalised with abdominal discomfort.
In April, he was taken in for tests and was in so much agony he had to cancel a series of Brazilian concerts, including performances in Sao Paolo and Brasilia, as doctors warned him not to travel. 
In 2010, Robin underwent surgery for a blocked intestine - the same condition which led to the death of his twin brother and Bee Gees bandmate Maurice in 2003.
Robin also has an elder sibling Barry, 65, who was part of The Bee Gees.

I know that wikipedia is a somewhat sketchy source, but I found this entry to be very accurate. When I read the comments about Lucinda Williams reading song lyrics while performing, I felt I had to comment. I personally don't mind if a singer uses whatever to help perform the song. I saw a video recently of Stevie Nicks singing with Maroon 5's Adam Levine, a pretty good version of Leather and Lace and there were lyrics right at the mike stand (probably for Adam), but that's ok by me.
I had the great pleasure of seeing Lucinda as the opening act for the Allman Bros. in '99 and was very much blown away by her performance of her own material (check out Drunken Angel ... I'd send an mp3 but, all my cds are in storage after recent basement flooding), as well as covers of well known country and rock songs (Hank Williams, etc.)  While her raspy
voice may have held her back from getting a lot of radio play, her passion and artistry in live shows is well known by the incredible number of musicians she has played with and also have covered her songs.
As you mentioned performers using tele-prompters, etc., I feel that people who have written and performed hundreds of songs over many years may indeed need a little reminder sometimes.  Not something that bothers me at all.
Lucinda is not a household name artist, but those that are familiar with her work enjoy her music very much. Including me!
Eddie Burke
Overall, the comments about her performance were overwhelming positive regarding content and deliverance ... but apparently this whole music stand thing (which she's evidently been doing for YEARS) turned some of Bob Lefsetz's readers off.  Like I said in my own commentary, "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" ... I personally have no problem with it either!  (kk)

-- courtesy of Stu Weiss

And The Seekers!

If you like The Seekers, you'll love this!
This is like a full-length, one hour TV special!!!  I haven't had time to watch the whole thing yet, but it's  kinda cool to see something like this on YouTube!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
First of all, sorry about the mistakes on Kenny Young.  I guess I just put two and two together too much with all the UK sound and the Family Dogg being from there and a little Wikipedia info and came up with some mistakes.  I will try to check my facts better when I don't know them!  Thanks for setting some records straight (as usual). 
On to my follow up comments on the great Bell pop sound that in the mid-70's gave way to Clive Davis and Arista.  As mentioned, Bell made some big successes with the pop sound in the early 70's like the Partridges, Barry Manilow, Terry Jacks, the Fifth Dimension, the Sweet, Edison Lighthouse and Climax.  For every HIT they had, they had some equally great misses that made getting a new Bell single pretty exciting just seeing what the sound would be.  Our own FH family was a part of this, too.  Peter Noone's UK (THIS one I am sure of!) smash cover of Bowie's "Oh You Pretty Things" should have been big here, too.  Artie Wayne's song "Flashback" was a GREAT last 5D 45 on Bell that I loved long before I knew Artie Wayne.  Best of all our FH Bell non-hits was Ron Dante's "Charmer" which was a song written by Tim Moore and was the 1974 winner of the first EVER American Song Festival Best Song Award.  This was proclaimed on the equally great original version by Moore released at the same time as Ron's.  It's pretty strange that this happened ... just like Moore releasing his original "Second Avenue" song at the same time Art Garfunkel released his cover version.  Sometimes, being a songwriter / singer can get in the way of a song's success. 
Even some of the 60's rockers got their last gasps at hits from Bell.  The Outsiders (pre-Climax) tried with "Changes."  Davy Jones hit with "Rainy Jane."  Dave Dee ("Zabadak: and many, many more GREAT UK hits) solo had "Annabella"  YES!  The same song we love by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds!!  Released summer of 1970 about a year before our US hit version hit in summer of 71 -- not unlike the "Arizona" situation.
Besides all of this, MY fave Bell non-hits of the era had to be "Summer Morning" by Vanity Fare, "Blockbuster" by Sweet (INCREDIBLY GREAT!), Edison Lighthouse "It's Up to You, Petula", "Rainmaker" by the Fifth Dimension (YES, the same Nilsson song that the Cryan' Shames covered in 1969) and "You Keep Tightening Up On Me" by the Box Tops.
Then, there's the incredible songwriting team of the Addrisi Brothers, also on Bell.  I think "Somebody Found Her (Before I Lost Her)" is just a great pop vocal that shoulda been a top 10 record for them released in January, 1974, some two years after "We've Got To Get It On Again" hit on Columbia.  The public might not have heard this great record, but the Addrisi sound had been in our ears for years.  From the Association songs we loved to TV themes like 1970-71's classic "Nanny & The Professor" theme that shows how loved the "Lost Her" 45 should have been.  Even back in 1969, they were lending those smooth vocal sounds to ABC's "Music Scene" TV promos, too. 
The Bell Sound was a great one in the 60's & the 70's too!! 
Clark Besch

And, speaking of The Addrisi Brothers ...

One of your readers jogged my memory when they commented on the Addrisi Brothers. Reminded me of one of their earlier efforts back in 1959, CHERRYSTONE.
Think I'll get it out tonight and play it.
Yep, this was their first chart hit ... it reached #62 that year.  Let me save you the trouble of digging out that old 45!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
This is Glenn Barton, long time New Invaders fan. I have been inactive posting for a couple years due to saving our house, jobs, etc. My 60s cover band, The Shreds Of Evidence, is now out and gigging. Did a block party in August and Murphy's in Arlington Heights last night. We got asked back at both places. We did The Monster Mash after midnight complete with my Boris and Drac impressions and played lots of classic 60s nuggets, Brit, garage, psych, pop and more. Here is what you hear when you come to see The Shreds Of Evidence ...
Kids Are Alright - Who
My Little Red Book - Love
Misty Lane - Chocolate Watchband
Runaway - Del Shannon
I Only Wanna' Be With You - Dusty Springfield
She's About A Mover - Sir Douglas Quintet
Journey To The Center Of The Mind - Amboy Dukes
Shakin' All Over - Guess Who
Laugh Laugh / Just A Little - Beau Brummels
Heart Full Of Soul/For Your Love- Yardbirds
I Fought The Law - Bobby Fuller Four
Pushin' Too Hard - Seeds
I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night - Electric Prunes
Shape Of Things To Come - Max Frost And The Troopers
Little Bit O' Soul - Music Explosion
Come On Down To My Boat - Every Mothers Son
I Can't Explain - Who
Glad All Over - DC5
Time Won't Let Me - Outsiders
Ride My See Saw - Moody Blues
No Matter What - Badfinger
Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers
It Ain't Me Babe - Turtles
Louie Louie - Kingsmen
Gloria - Shadows Of Knight
Mighty Quinn / Pretty Flamingo - Manfred Mann
Tendency To Be Free - Rabbit MacKay and The Somis Rhythm Boyz
Last Time / Hitch Hike / All Over Now / Heart Of Stone / Route 66 -- Stones
I'll Cry Instead / Hard Day's Night / Things We Said Today / Soldier Of Love - Beatles
Peggy Sue - Crickets
Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
Lots more where that came from. I've been inactive on Forgotten hits so I have to learn how to post again. If you think letting the readers know about us is a good idea, I'll work on that.
I've always enjoyed the rare mps's like the original version of Hanky Panky by The Raindrops, if I recall.
Thanks for your time,
That's a pretty good set list, Glenn.  (Actually, we saw The New Invaders last weekend in Bloomingdale at what turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL night for music ... their "Septemberfest in October" event was great!  They, too, perform some unexpected '60's gems ... including our very first Forgotten Hit EVER "Shape Of Things To Come" by Max Frost and the Troopers!  With so many oldies musicians on the list swapping set lists, it's encouraging to see more and more of the "forgotten hits" cropping up at these shows.  (kk)

I had Xlibris re-edit the book and enlarge some of the pictures.  It is back on line and can be purchased at the website subtitled On the Inside of the Evolution of Rock and Roll. 
If you already have the book, that edition may become a collectors item.  I will be doing an interview soon with Spin Magazine, an entertainment trade magazine, and will let you know when that comes out.  I hope you like the book. 
PS:  Did you get a chance to listen to my radio interview with Mark and Brian on KLOS L.A. Morning Show and their affiliates?  (It's about 12 minutes long).
Glad the book is doing well, Hoss ... I told you there'd be a market out there for these great stories!  (Still gotta get my hands on a copy ... but I'm hearing REALLY good things!)  kk

For those who fondly recall R ‘n R radio from the  mid-50s  to the ‘80s, and great music from the Golden Years of the business -- boy, do I have a book for you!
It’s “Dead Air - The Rise and Demise of Music Radio” by Bill Young. 
For those few not familiar with Bill, he was the enormously creative and successful PD for Gordon McLendon’s KILT from the mid-60’s to the early 80’s.  He’s also a terrific guy. 
The stories he relates, the visions he offers and the memories he stirs are wonderful.  I’ve only known Bill as a business associate so this endorsement is not ‘hawking a friend’s wares’  but purely about the book. He’s self-published, so you’re not likely to find “Dead Air” at your poor, beleaguered local bookseller but you can certainly find it on, where I got mine (full retail!). It’s also available on Kindle.   I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”
Bob Sherwood
Again, I've heard really good things about this book but have yet to pick up a copy.  If any of our other readers would care to post a review, just drop us a line.  (kk)

>>>Some of the "purists" out there will argue that the girls coming on board (along with pop tunesmith Lindsay Buckingham) is what RUINED the band, despite this change giving them their greatest success and notoriety.  THEY believe Fleetwood Mac's greatest gift was the "British Blues Years" ... but only a handful of people were listening at the time.  The addition of Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie put them on the musical map ... although there were indications along the way that they were headed in a more "pop" direction.  (kk)
Let's (also) take The Grateful Dead. Until they went "pop" sounding with (a first Top 40 hit),
"A Touch Of Gray", you'd only hear them on maybe Classic Rock radio stations. I was actually amazed they scored poorly on the charts. Very similar to Fleetwood Mac. Without the addition of Stevie Nicks, I doubt Fleetwood Mac would have been a large success. Sure, okay, they dropped their Blues sound as some like to remember them by, but they gained more attention with "Pop". And, Stevie was a fine looking addition. Look at the popular female singers of today - sex sells, as they are presented, more now than in the past. And, Heart, with Nancy Wilson (and/or Ann Wilson), was a pretty sight that gained the band success.
Rufus, like Fleetwood Mac, like Heart, like, well, you get the picture, was more or less a flop until they hired a female singer! I liked the group - snappy energetic tunes. Not sure who the horn players were, but, then again, who were they in American Breed!!!!?? :-)
Jersey John
In the annals of time, I doubt that what The Grateful Dead will be remembered for will be their one off pop hit "A Touch Of Gray."  I think even the band members themselves would most likely write this off as not much more than "a pleasant surprise".  Their notoriety is their long legacy of lengthy concert appearances, tours and millions of faithful "Dead Heads" who stood by to support them through it all.  In many ways, The Dead achieved FAR greater success than most contemporary pop artists ... their legions of fans have never left them and moved on to this week's "flavor of the month" artist.  Again, I'd venture to say that MOST artists, if being brutally honest, would pick the loyalty of the fans over any "flash in the pan" success they might have achieved for whatever brief period of time. Somehow ... WITHOUT a stable of hot hits ... The Grateful Dead have established a 50-year career supported by their very loyal followers.  I say more power to them!  (kk)

A couple of weeks ago we featured the Men At Work hit "It's A Mistake" as our "Today's Forgotten Hit" track.  Now comes word that THEY may have made a pretty serious mistake of their own!  Just got this from FH Reader Dave Barry:
Men at Work Lose In Court ... Latest Lawsuit News:
Australian rockers Men at Work lost their final court bid on Friday to prove they did not steal the distinctive flute riff of their 1980s hit "Down Under" from another of the country's most famous songs, the children's campfire staple "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree." The High Court of Australia denied the band's bid to appeal a federal court judge's earlier ruling that the group had copied the flute melody from "Kookaburra," a song about an Australian bird whose call sounds like laughter. But because the lawsuit was filed only two years ago, the band won't have to give up royalties from its heyday.

Wow! ... Not the Beatles ... different things sound differently to different people obviously, but geez ... the Rutles, the Bangles, the Spongetones, Scaffold, Shakers, Bonzo Dog, on and on ... here are some of my faves off the top of my head ...  
(1) Todd Rundgren & Utopia: whole LP "Deface the Music" ... especially, Take It Home, Hoi Polloi.
(2) Shindogs ... Who Do You Think You Are
(3) Squeeze ... Is That Love and Mumbo Jumbo
(4) Palace Guard ... Like Falling Sugar
(5) Al Stewart ... Terminal Eyes
(6) Asylum Choir ... Icicle Star Tree
(7) Raspberries ... I Saw the Light ... great McCartney "scream" near the end!
(8) Sly Fox ... Lets Go All the Way ... always thought of this as Beatles '86
(9) Steve Miller ... My Dark Hour ... well, with Paul so it doesn't count?
(10) and of course Klaatu ... despite the phony hype, still some great tunes ... like Everybody Took a Holiday, Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III, Anus of Uranus, California Jam.
-- stolf

>>>"Lies" is an EXCELLENT example ... they nailed the early Beatles sound PERFECTLY and The Knickerbockers soon had a Top 20 Hit of their own.  (kk)
Just another example of the talent in New Jersey! :-)))
BTW, thanks for the Friday FH by the REAL Jersey Boys, The Four Seasons and Beggin'!
I hope with all your allegiance to Jersey talent you've at least gone out to see this musical half a dozen times like I have.  All kidding aside, it truly is outstanding ... another MUST SEE when the opportunity presents itself!  (kk)

The Knickerbockers hailed from Bergenfield, New Jersey - I grew up in Dumont, which is the next town over.  In fact, a lot of my family still live in Bergenfield.   The Knickerbockers were named for Knickerbocker Road, which is only a few blocks from my Dumont home, and stretches through several towns, including Dumont and Bergenfield.  I used to deliver papers back in the '80's on Knickerbocker.  Since these towns are not nearly as famous as, say, Chicago, I thought I'd share.
PS: One of my favorite guitarists, jazz great Al Di Meola, hails from Bergenfield.  He graduated with my aunt in 1972 (they were also in the same homeroom).

Hi Kent,
Two of the seventies' biggest mistaken identities have got to be "A Horse With No Name" by America (but sounding just like Neil Young) and the Dire Straits hit "Sultans of Swing", which gave more than a subtle nod to Bob Dylan.  People initially requested those song by those artists, at the record stores that I was affiliated with (Sultans via my store, Uncle Albert's, in Arlington Heights).
John Olsen 
Yep .. I think those were universal mistaken identities at the time!  High praise, though, for these brand new artists!  (kk)

And here's a quick reminder about next weekend's Beatles tribute happening right here in Oak Park!  We've already heard from several Forgotten Hits Readers who are planning to attend!

Hello music fans!
This quick note is just to let you know that on Friday, October 21st, and Saturday, October 22nd, our good friends at WONDERWALL MUSIC in Oak Park will be holding their second installment of their monthly Beatles celebration.
As part of the Saturday, October 22 festivities, Joyce Heiser and I will be presenting a one-hour concert, "Six Degrees of Beatles," chock-full of harmony pop from the Fabs, those who influenced them, and those who followed ... and maybe an original song or two.
Joyce and I will be singing from 2:30 to 3:30 Saturday afternoon. Come early, stay late -- several entertainers are on the bill and there's an open mike as well! In addition, there are Beatles board game tournaments, vendors, plenty of good food nearby, etc., etc.
Any proceeds that musicians get from tips, etc. go to worthy charities -- this month, the American Red Cross, which is providing relief services related to the Japanese earthquakes and the Pacific Rim tsunami.
We'd love it if you came on out to say hello. This monthly party is a great way to share music, connect with other local fans, and -- oh yes -- check out Wonderwall's great inventory of musical instruments and Beatles memorabilia.
More information is available here:

There is NO COST to attend this fun day. We hope to see you there!
Stu Shea

The other day we ran a short piece regarding the infamous meeting between these two musical legends back in 1965.  Here's a short snippet from an interview that Jeremy Roberts (of Pop Culture Examiner) is doing with director John Scheinfeld, who's currently working on his new Elvis documentary "Fame And Fortune" about this incredible date in music history.  (Coincidently my 12th BIRTHDAY, by the way!!!)
Elvis Meets the Beatles (August 27, 1965)
Most rock historians pay little attention to this meeting. But I believe it is an extremely significant event in the life of Elvis, where if you will, the star of the past was meeting the stars of the future…where Elvis realized he was bordering on being irrelevant.
The movies weren’t doing as well, he had not had a hit record in a few years, and here he was meeting the biggest stars in pop music at the moment, the stars that knocked him off the top of the rock mountain.
I’ve read at least six separate accounts of what happened.  And they don’t all agree in many of the details.  Later I came across a detailed and enthusiastic account given by John Lennon in an interview.
My experience, as a result of having done The U.S. vs. John Lennon and getting to “know” Lennon as a person, is that he tended to “pooh-pooh” or downplay things.  That was just his nature. 
That Lennon would be so enthusiastic about that night and have such detailed memories – I believe his is a reliable account of what happened.  I went back and read Sonny’s account, and they’re very close. 
They’re not identical, but still very close, which made me feel Sonny truly has an eye for detail and a good memory of what happened, not only in this instance, but in so many others.
You can read the whole piece (well, at least part of an extended interview piece) right here:

Without a doubt, Janis Martin was called the Female Elvis.
Google it).  
No question she was BILLED that way ... the question is WHY?!?!?  She had nothing in the way of a remotely significant career or popularity ... most folks on the list had probably never even HEARD of her (and we're talking some serious music people here, Arnold!)  Wanda Jackson seems to have been a far more likely candidate for this title ... an Ann-Margret also bore this moniker, especially after filming "Viva Las Vegas" with the King.  (kk)

I want to correct an email that I sent out the other day about my upcoming old-time radio convention. I mentioned that it is two weeks away, but then I gave the date as June. Correction!!!!!   The correct dates are October 20th through the 23rd. My music panel is on Saturday the 22nd.  Please check the website for more details:
I sure hope that some of you can make it. Sadly this is our last one.  I've been on the committee since 1976.
DJ Stu Weiss

<<<Just gave a listen to WLNG in Suffolk County, L.I., N.Y.  Got to hear "Baby Oh Baby" by the Shells, speaking of great doo-wop.  Their station ID's are terrific!!!   They've been on since '63 and haven't changed, so I "liked" them on Facebook, said "You guys are fantastic and Suffolk County should be very, very proud."  I'll be back on there before too much longer!!!!  (Bobster)
From their site:
"As of August 1st 2011, “Live 365”s Stream Report finds that of the 460 oldies stations streaming on the web, WLNG has now become the #7 most listened oldies station in the world!"
That is impressive ... but can anyone point me to a site that "rates" streaming radio, regardless of the host? That statement above seems to be isolated to Live 365 only.
Jersey John

Tonight we will be rocking the Veranda with the very best mix of the tunes we rocked to in the mid to late 60's ... not the worn out ones you hear over and over, but the songs which make you stop and think - "geez, I haven't heard that one in forever!"  
That's my job, thank you very much ...
Hope to see you tonight at 7 pm EDT on 
Moochas smoochas ... 
DJ Scarlett Hayze
Revolution Radio

As you know the Jersey Girls Website -- owned and operated by Denise Ferri of the Delicates (Murray the K's Original Dancing Girls) and Bernadtte Carroll of "Party Girl" fame -- is dedicated to keeping the wonderful music of the 50s and 60s alive.
Here is the Home Page:  Jersey Girls Sing
With this objective in mind, the girls and I have created a personal sampling jukebox which is available on that Home Page. I believe that anyone who is a lover of national hits from the 50s and the 60s will appreciate this.
For the past few months, when you visited the Jersey Girls Sing Home Page, you heard a recording chosen randomly by the computer played in its entirety (if you chose to listen all the way through) by either the Delicates or Bernadette or Clay Cole or (gulp!) myself.
We've changed that so that now, when you visit the Home Page, you will instead hear a national hit recording chosen randomly by the computer which falls within the time period of 1950 through 1965.  
But, admittedly, it may or may not necessarily be one that will make you jump and and down and say "wow"!
With that in mind, we've created what we call a "you-select-it" sampling jukebox which enables you to sample -- from the Jersey Girls Sing Home Page -- the first 30 seconds of several thousand nationally charted hits from 1950 through 1965. Currently the available recordings are national top ten hits from 1950 through 1954 and national top-60 hits from 1955 through 1965.  
The sampling jukebox is extremely easy to use. I hope that you'll try this and please feel free to email me at with your comments about the existing process and suggestions for the future. Thanks in advance for trying out the process and for any feedback that you may provide.
Ronnie Allen
Complete instructions on how to use the jukebox can be found at the JerseyGirlsSing Website.  Check it out!  (kk)

Kent ...
I just found out that Bill Brown, DJ on the old WCBS-FM, has died., 69 years old. Bill was on noon to 3 PM. When Bill was on the air, I was working and I'd listen to his whole show everyday.
If you don't mind, I'd like to share some Bill Brownism's with your readers.
When he announced the Mamas & Papas, he'd do it like this: "Cass, Michelle, John & Denny."
Before playing this Beatles hit, he'd say " Let It  B --- E - A - T - L - E - S."
Van Morrison's hit came out like this: "Here's a song about a Bill Brown Eyed Girl".
RIP, Bill Brown.
Here's more from the WCBS-FM website:
I think it's a good idea to hear from some of the DJ's on your list about how they opened or closed their shows. For example, from WCBS-FM. Ron Lundy would open his show with this line: "Hello Love, I've got a song for you." 
Harry Harrison closed his show  "I wish you the best, that's exactly what you deserve."
Bob Shannon is still at WCBS-FM. Here's how he closes his show:  "Till tomorrow at 10 - Be seeing you".
I would like to hear from jocks like Clark Weber & Big Jay Sorensen and others.
Frank B.

By the way, Scott Shannon is doing another one of his Rock And Roll Remakes Weekends this weekend on The True Oldies Channel.  Listen carefully and you'll hear several songs suggested (and/or provided) by Forgotten Hits!!!  These are always fun weekends to listen to ... and are amongst his most popular features.  You can Listen Live here:
>>>Parsons would change lead vocalists all the time.  (kk)
One thing cool about the Parsons gang was that most of the GROUP music was produced by Pilot!!  One of my fave bands of the 70's.  David Paton even sang lead on the single "Let's Talk About me" for the APG.
Clark Besch

Thanks for posting Zazuiera, Kent!  A treat to hear it again, as my copy of the 45 is long gone.  I am one of those who remembers thinking "Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)" was by CCR.  What a pleasant shock when the DJ announced it as by the Hollies!!!  Their next US single "To Do With Love" (Fall '72) charted in LA but not in Chicago.  I don't even remember hearing it here.  The same neglect was afforded Nilsson's "Spaceman" at the time.  (I had gotten hold of a KHJ Hitbound survey -- don't ask me where or how as I wasn't in Southern Cal at all that year!!!)  One of my very favorite Hollies non-hits, which was a huge hit on the European continent, is "Sorry Suzanne" (late Spring of '69 again!).  Tremendous tune which should have been in the Top 10 or 20, but only crawled about halfway up the Billboard charts ... somebody PLEASE post it and I'll listen to it twice!!! 
"Sorry Suzanne" didn't do much here Stateside, peaking at #56 in 1969, right before The Hollies' version of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" returned them to The Top Ten.  It was, however, a #3 Record in Great Britain, where it's probably far better known and remembered today.  We can certainly feature this one ... it's a goodie!  (kk)

While I've always liked The Hollies, I never realized what an incredible voice Allan Clarke had until we watched that new Hollies DVD together.  He is truly under-rated as a singer and really helped define the Hollies' sound.  He has an absolutely awesome voice!  (OK, I'm ready to watch it again!)
Mrs. K.
Lol ... I'm ready to watch it again, too ... it's SO well done.  Glad to see that several FH Readers have gone out and picked up their own copies of this DVD ... and it's put together in such a way that you really CAN watch it again and again, if only because the music is so good ... and the stories behind the hits are so entertaining!  (kk)


>>>Through the years one always hears TEQUILA by the Champs, but how about TOO MUCH TEQUILA and REDEYE BY by the same group. Here in OKC one of the biggest records they had, which didn't chart nationally, was in 1964 with an instrumental called ONLY THE YOUNG (written by Jimmy Seals I believe).  Don't know if that record made your local surveys in Chicago since at the time with the British invasion of music, it was quite a CHALLENGE for
the group to have radio stations play the record  or any records by them.  (Larry)
>>>I don't show "Only The Young" charting here ... or anywhere else for that matter ... or "Redeye By" either.  (Is it "Redeye By" or simply "Redeye"???)  The Champs had their distinctive sound ... and they had three other Top 40 National Hits besides "Tequila" ... "El Rancho Rock" went to #21 in 1958, "Too Much Tequila" went to #21 in 1960 and "Limbo Rock" reached #33 in 1962 ... yet "Tequila" is the one tune you're likely to hear on the radio.  (You MIGHT hear "Limbo Rock" once in a while ... but does anybody even remember how "El Rancho Rock" or "Too Much Tequila" go???)  kk

Believe it or not, Only The Young was the first Champs 45 I ever owned. There were also vocal versions of the song by Chris Crosby and Rick Nelson!
Tom Diehl
VERY pretty song ... and not at all what you expect to hear by The Champs!  Looks like Jim Seals did, in fact, cowrite this song.  And it sounds like The Ventures cut an instrumental version, too!  (kk)

Kent ...
I had to borrow this from Ron Smith's Oldies, just to prove that you were wrong.
(Almost, not yet ).
Frank B.
Hey, I've said all along that I would LOVE to be wrong on this one ... 'cause that'd give ME a chance to see them, too!!!  But I wouldn't count on it happening next summer ... as leaked here a few weeks ago, Micky Dolenz will be one of the headliners on next year's Happy Together Again Tour.  (kk)

>>>The Kingston Trio indeed were a group that could really be in the RNR Hall of Fame just for THEIR groundbreaking sound for the folk era.  (Clark Besch)
Marti and I absolutely agree with Clark Besch's observation that The Trio is worthy of induction, if for no reason than the the group's tremendous sphere of influence. Performers as diverse as Bob Dylan, Lindsey Buckingham, the Beach Boys, Harry Chapin, John Denver, and members of the Eagles, Buffalo Springfield and Jefferson Airplane were all influenced by the Kingston Trio's performances and recordings, and, by extension, so were the Mamas and the Papas, the Byrds, Peter, Paul & Mary, and countless other folk groups -- despite the fact that the Kingston Trio members did not regard themselves as a folk act. The precedents that the Kingston Trio set are numerous and substantive (we acknowledged some, but not all, in "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1").
Consider the fact that Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members include Leonard Cohen, Floyd Cramer, Woody Guthrie, Tom Waits, Professor Longhair, Hank Williams and Joni Mitchell, In addition, Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys, Nat "King" Cole, Mahalia Jackson, Bill Monroe, the Ink Spots, Jimmy Yancey and Pete Seeger have been deservedly inducted in the "early influence" category. Exclusion of the Kingston Trio is a negligent omission that should be rectified during the 
lifetime of 77-year-old Bob Shane, the sole surviving member of the Trio.
Many thanks for your continued good work in preparing a lively, entertaining and incisive blog.
Best regards,
Jeff March

CHARLIE GRACIE rocks ITALY as part of a month-long concert tour which takes him to several cities in throughout ENGLAND and WALES as well.  Enjoy a couple of pics here that just came in of Charlie on stage (and the excited crowd) in RAVENNA where he headlined the Moondog's International R&R Festival. CHARLIE'S NEW CD on ABKCO RECORDS: 'FOR THE LOVE of CHARLIE!" (produced by Al Kooper) has been released overseas to coincide with this tour!
Charlie's guests on the cd are Graham Nash, Peter Noone, Jimmy Vivino, Dennis Diken, Craig Ross, Eddie Angel and more!
U.S.A. release date: NOV. 8TH!
Getting through The Forgotten Hits blog page takes me time, as I am trying to "trap" the information for future use.  Maybe that is one reason I enjoy teaching ... I arm my students with "success" strategies so that information learned now can be called up later.  As I was reading about Charlie Gracie's new cd, I read a line that went "Graham Nash, Peter Noone, WHAH, WHAH, WHAH" in my brain recovery zone.  The "WHAH, WHAH, WHAH"  is a strategy that my autistic students use to tell me how much they recalled from a whole class setting.
 "I heard:  Roger Williams was kicked out of the Massachusetts WHAH, WHAH, WHAH because he believed WHAH WHAH WHAH.  Fortunately, the Native Americans really liked him and took him in." 
It gives me insight to their learning and ability to zone in on info.  So, I knew I needed to use a learning strategy myself to fill in my WHAH, WHAH, WHAH.  I yahoo'ed the names and found that not only do I know of the works of Jimmy Vivino, Dennis Diken, and Eddie Angel; but that at some time in my life, I have seen them perform.  All three are stellar, so Charlie ... I am now even more interested in the release of this cd.  AND I have trapped the info for further mind recovery.  The day I stop learning is the day I am done.  Forgotten Hits, there is so much to learn, so much to enjoy.  Keep it coming. 
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
See, I've always thought that Forgotten Hits served a meaningful and useful purpose ... but I'm a bit biased ... so it's really nice to hear it from the readers once in a while, too, to let us know that they still find us not only enjoyable, but informative and educational, too!  Thanks, Shelley!  (And believe me, Charlie will be VERY happy to know that we've already got at least ONE copy of his new CD presold to a member of our list!!!)  kk

10/15/1971 = Me & Rick were at Madison Square Garden.
One of us was singing on the stage and one of us was singing in the audience.
I'm sure you Music Experts can figure out who was where ... even though you never heard me sing.
Frank B.
I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who got to see Rick Nelson perform about a dozen times.  He's always been one of my favorites ... and he's in fine form in this video clip.  Thanks, Frank!  (kk)

You mentioned in today's comments you had an opportunity to buy the album BEATLES
VERSUS THE FOUR SEASONS but didn't and gave your reason. This reminded me of
something I did. Through the years I never kept the picture sleeves from 45's but threw them
away. Same for all the comic books I bought when I was younger. Hey! How did I know or
think that they would become collectibles in the future? At least I have the vinyls at home.
I used to LOVE picking up 45's with picture sleeves.  Back when I still had my mail order record business, I once did an all picture sleeves auction ... with over 2500 titles to choose from (including some REAL collectible gems from Elvis, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Rick Nelson and others.)  Too many people threw these away ... or wall-papered their bedrooms with them ... but I always thought it was a neat, free "bonus" to find a 45 with a picture sleeve ... and always bought that edition if given the choice or the opportunity.
Don't even get me started on comic books!!!  I had an AMAZING collection back in the '60's ... including Batman #2.  I've told the story before how, when I was about 11 years old, my Dad told me that if I couldn't swallow a pill, he was going to burn all my comic books as punishment.  Try as I might, I just couldn't get it down ... and the added pressure didn't help my situation any.  After four or five tries, he said, "That's It!" and hauled the whole stack out to the garbage and set them aflame.  Several years later, I saw that very same "Batman #2" issue at a collectibles show held at Navy Pier ... priced at $1200!!!  Who knew!
But you're right ... who ever DREAMED this stuff would become valuable or increase in value.  SO many people threw their collections away ... baseball cards ... Beatles collectibles ... comics and records ... or never took care of them in the first place.  When one of my daughters fell in love with The Spice Girls, we bought up everything we could find and packed it away, still sealed in the original boxes, waiting for the windfall.  It never came.  Anybody interested in some Spice Girls collectibles should contact me ... we've got boxes of this stuff stacked up in the garage!!!
I still have a pretty extensive picture sleeve collection but, for the most part, have narrowed it down to my favorite artists rather than trying to collect everything.  I've been giving serious thought lately to putting all of this stuff up for sale ... as I never even look at it anymore ... but no matter how tough things get for us financially, it still feels like I'd be selling my life back ... it took DECADES to collect all this stuff ... and it meant a great deal to me at one time.  On the other hand, this would be an opportunity for someone ELSE to enjoy and appreciate it.  Interested? Make me an offer I can't refuse!!! (kk)

(Courtesy of R.I.P. Renfield, by way of one of his readers named Sara!)
We had ...

IN  2011?
We have ...NO  JOBS

(Ain't it the truth?!?!?) 
Check out Gary's weekly (some would say "weakly") RIP Renfield newsletter here:
(Just kidding, Gary!!!)