Wednesday, November 23, 2011


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all our Forgotten Hits Readers.
Some radio bits and pieces ... and a Thanksgiving Day classic.
(Now I gotta go watch "Planes And Trains And Automobiles"!!! lol)

Kent ...
Thanksgiving Weekend on WCBS-FM:  A to Z, #1 Countdown.
In previous years, they played their entire Music Library from A to Z.
This year, only the #1 Hits. Sounds good to me. I think I'll listen to this station for a change!  LoL!!
Actually, it starts tomorrow (Monday Morning) at 9 AM on the Dan Taylor Show.
This sounds more to me like a week long countdown instead of a weekend countdown.
Frank B.
We've been kicking around a couple of A to Z ideas of our own lately ... stay tuned!  (kk)
Morning,  Kent!
The countdown just started with "ABC" by the Jackson 5 followed by "Abracadabra" by the Steve Miller Band.  If you send me your phone number, I can check in with hourly updates. LoL!!
Frank B.
Leaving the "A's" with "Arthur's Theme."  
Entering the "B's" with  "Babe ."
By the way, they just played "Angie" by the Rolling Stones.  Next came "Angie Baby" by Helen Reddy.  DJ Bob Shannon said that "Angie" was the inspiration for Alan O'Day to write "Angie Baby" a year later. Do you know if that's true?  Maybe we can ask Alan.
Frank B.
I love it when deejays tell the stories behind the songs ... but sometimes they're not always quite accurate ... so I  DID ask Alan ... here's what he had to say:
Frank & Kent,
To be slightly anal, the song did not inspire me, but yes, the name felt perfect for my strange little heroine! 
Kent ... 
Day 2 - WCBS-FM A-Z #1 Countdown:
H = He's A Rebel, He's So Fine, Hey Baby, Hey Jude, Hey Paula, (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.
In addition to the countdown, they're also taking bids and donations for the Harry Chapin 
"Hungerthon."  Good music  +  Good Cause.
Now they're playing "Kansas City."
Entering the pucker-up portion of the WCBS-FM Countdown:
"Kiss And Say Goodbye" - "Kiss On My List" - "Kiss You All Over."
Here's a complete list of what's been played so far.
We start Day 3 with the P's = Photograph, Physical, Pick Up The Pieces, Play That Funky Music.
Hey Kent, I found a mistake. The WCBS-FM web site lists "At The Hop" as the last  "A"  song. I was listening - the last "A" song they played was "Arthur's Theme."  I feel they owe me a future play of "At The Hop."
Do you think I sometimes take these things too seriously ?
LOL !!
Frank B.

Heck no ... I'd make 'em play it, too!!!  "At The Hop" topped Billboard's Top 100 Singles Chart for seven weeks beginning back in January of 1958 ... how the heck do you overlook THAT one?!?!?  (kk)

And here's some VINTAGE Thanksgiving Radio, too ... courtesy of FH Reader Clark Besch:

Here's the first of two Thanksgiving Day aircheck blasts from Chicago radio past.  Both feature "fill in" Dj's (in a way), one from 80's WLS and one from 60's WCFL.  Neither have been on other sites, to my knowledge.
First, a Thanksgiving Day in probably 85 or 86, I believe (I have the info somewhere, but not with my tape, of course!), featuring Larry Lujack spending some extra airtime into Steve Dahl's (and Garry Meier) Thanksgiving Day program.  Do you remember the hostilities between Steve and Larry on WLS back then?  Grab a turkey leg and listen up and remember!
Clark Besch

Most definitely NOT radio's finest  hour, to be sure.  I was listening live when all this happened and it's something you never forget.  Historical ... shocking ... amazing ... all of the above ... but SO sad to see two of radio's greatest icons resort to this behavior.  (kk)

Here's a nice aircheck from Thanksgiving Day 1967 on Chicago's WCFL to make the Turkey day more festive for FH readers who remember the great days of Chicago WLS / WCFL radio war years. 
It's the Jim Stagg afternoon show, but with "King B" Ron Britain substituting and making way for more nighttime comedy antics than the suave and smooth afternoon Stagg presentation normally had.  You will hear NFL scores (MY fave Oakland Raiders beating up on KC while heading for the 2nd ever Superbowl), the usual November Chicago 40 degree weather, the ever exciting Blore jingles blasting out the action of a new show starting as Dick Williamson exits midday, music from FH faves Tony Hatch and Tommy James, all the King B drop-ins and craziness, the daily Stagg Line where listeners voted for their fave hits of that day (the final best five in votes to be played two hours later).  Ron's creativeness presents pictures of a backup staff of Stagg and Britain mixed crew that is fun to picture in the mind.  There's a fun commercial done by the Dick Orkin creative gang (Jim Runyon also) that would go on to great success long after CFL was gone with his Dick and Bert ad agency in LA.  CFL birthday contest and "The Great Debate" featuring fathers commenting on each side of two somewhat sappy serious spoken word 45s of the day: Victor Lundberg's hit "Open Letter To My Teenage Son" and the non-hit rebuttal from Buddah records' Every Father's Teenage Son's (that's the artist listed on the label) titled "A Letter to Dad."  Then, finally, a Chris Montez-like (seems like Montez music was on CFL ALL the time) Sony commercial that sounds like it could have been sang by Buckinghams' "Kind of a Drag" vocalist, Dennis Tufano! 
Hope you enjoy this slice of Pumpkin Pie from the Past!! 
Clark Besch

Robert Feder called it "Radio's Worst Week Ever" when reporting on all the lay-offs and dismissals of late.  What does it all mean?  Where does it all end?  As we've covered so many times in the past here in Forgotten Hits, radio as we knew it ... radio as we loved it ... just doesn't seem to exist anymore.  There is SO much great talent out of work and off the air these days ... yet terrestrial radio seems content to just ramble on with little regard for substance and / or entertainment value.  Here's how Robert Feder described it: 
A lot of good people lost their jobs at radio stations all over the country this week.
In most cases, it didn’t matter whether they were talented and capable or whether their stations were successful and profitable. They were fired because the huge companies they worked for didn’t want to pay their salaries anymore.
Dozens of program directors were among those who suddenly found themselves unemployed and unlikely to find new jobs commensurate with their skills and experience. I know two of them personally, and consider both to have been among the best in the business.
Michael LaCrosse, who until Tuesday was operations director of oldies WLS-FM (94.7), told me that he considered himself “really lucky” to have worked at a couple of great stations in his home town — even if his layoff by Cumulus Media means the end of his career here. “Most people aren’t that fortunate,” he said without bitterness.
Mark Edwards, another old friend from his days as vice president of programming at adult contemporary WLIT-FM (93.9), was forced out in a “cost restructuring” Thursday as program director of Entercom Communications’ KZPT-FM in Kansas City. “Everyone says it was not performance,” he told me. “I was just the only PD in the building not holding down an air shift or programming more than one station.”
Clear Channel Radio won’t say how many employees it laid off in small and medium markets Wednesday, but industry websites estimated they were in the hundreds. One of the sites, Joel Denver’s, carried running tallies of the victims’ names as waves of firings were carried out from coast to coast.
Even Inside Radio, the daily newsletter wholly owned by Clear Channel, couldn’t sugarcoat the facts: “The downsizing appears to be [Clear Channel’s] largest since it reduced the workforce by a combined 11 percent in 2009,” the publication reported Thursday. “The new dismissals hit program directors, assistant program directors, music directors, producers and air talent, including ones that were voicetracking shows for other stations. Some were even the top talent in their timeslot on a top-ranked station.”
Unlike the layoffs at Cumulus and Entercom, Clear Channel insisted that its actions this week were not about cutting costs. “We’re making these changes to improve the quality of what we provide to each of our local communities,” a company spokesperson told Inside Radio. “There will be more localization, not less.” Imagine that.
Amid the carnage, some inspiring stories of integrity emerged. John Laton, an 11-year veteran of Clear Channel who most recently had been vice president/market manager for the Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, quit rather than implement firings he believed to be undeserved and counterproductive. “I just said, ‘Enough already,’ ” Laton told Duane Dudek of the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.Within days, Laton was snatched up as Milwaukee market manager for Spanish-language Adelante Media Group. “I actually get to go to work every day and use my best judgment,” Laton said of his new job. “My input will not only be respected, but as importantly, expected in this company’s culture. For the first time in a very long time, I will be in control of my own destiny.”
We reported about the dismissal of Michael LaCrosse last week.  Sounds like he went out as a class act ... here's a report from Chicago Radio and Media:
Michael La Crosse wrote on his Facebook page a short while ago: "Thanks to everyone at 94.7 WLS. It was a great experience and I'm happy to have had the chance to work with you." He also sent out a classy, warm, and encouraging email to all of his now-former co-workers at the station today.
The email read:
"I wanted to take a quick moment to thank each of you for helping making the last five years at 94.7 WLS so meaningful.
When I arrived in late 2006, the station was in a much different state than it is today. Through a lot of hard work, tough choices, and dedication to the product that the listeners wanted to hear and that clients wanted to be a part of, we’ve taken the station to new levels from both a ratings and revenue standpoint. I have no doubt that the work you’ve all done in laying the strong foundation that 94.7 WLS now has will be used to see continued success in the future.
I can't thank you enough for all the effort and hard work you've put in. It has been a true privilege to work with you. We may not have always seen eye to eye on what to do or how to do it, but in the end we put together a station that I am beyond honored to have been a part of.
As I have now reached the end of the line at 94.7 WLS, I ask one thing from you: remind yourself every day of how much fun radio can be. You're a part of something that brings happiness to millions of listeners every week simply by playing songs that make people want to turn it up and feel good. No matter how bad someone's day is, when people are listening to the radio and they hear one of their favorite songs, it can make all the difference. You get to be a part of that every single day. Don't forget how lucky you are to be a part of something so significant.
I don't know what's next for me, but I know that my time and experiences with everyone at 94.7 WLS will benefit me wherever I go. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing co-workers and friends."

>>>I listen to Scott Shannon on the TOC and hear him speak of you frequently :-) .  
Thanks for all that you do to keep our Memories alive.  Always TCB'ing in Huntsville, AL
(Jennie Carpenter)
And suddenly TOC is gone from Huntsville. Enter John Tesh.
David Lewis

From Chicago Radio and Media:
NOVEMBER 7th:  A true Chicago radio legend, John Records Landecker, has returned to his roots, playing the hits of the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, it is not on a downtown Chicago radio station, but close -- and it can still be heard in Chicago.

Landecker has been doing an afternoon talk show format on WIMS-AM in nearby Michigan City, IN since the Fall of 2007 (with the exception of two weeks in 2009). As of today, his show has shifted to music, and the talk personality now is gracefully segueing back to being a fun DJ. By all accounts, this is not a one-time stunt, but is indeed the new format for the WIMS-AM afternoon show, with JRL having a blast playing music for fans.

In addition to playing a lot of rarely heard music on the air today, John Landecker joked about the "just like riding a bike" cliche and had fun with listeners on Facebook while on the air. On Facebook he said "It's WLS MusicRadio all over again!" and joking that he has "DJ DNA."
John Landecker can now be heard spinnin' the oldies from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm Monday - Friday on WIMS-AM 1420. The 5,000 watt radio station can be heard clearly in the southern sections of Chicago, the south suburbs and well into northwestern Indiana. Depending on radio antenna strength, weather and other factors, the station can sometimes be picked up into the northwestern suburbs. For those out of the radio range, the best way to hear the station is online on WIMS-AM? Well, one reason is that Landecker lives in Michigan City, IN, making his commute to work much more enjoyable than a commute to downtown Chicago.
Even though he began his career in his native Michigan (Ann Arbor & Lansing) and also worked at a station in Philadelphia, it was when John Records Landecker began at WLS-AM in Chicago in 1972 that his career took off to new heights. With WLS' powerful signal reaching over much of the United States and into Canada, Landecker -- using his anti-authority attitude, dry sense of humor and incredible interaction with callers -- made him one of the most popular and influential DJs of the 1970s. His "Boogie Check" bits, done near the end of shift at night, where he would rapidly take unscreened call after unscreened call, answering questions and playing around with the callers, became must-hear "appointment radio." To this day, "Boogie Check" is brought up constantly to Landecker. (There are no plans on bringing the bit back at this time.)
Outside of short times away on Toronto & Cleveland radio stations, Chicago radio has been his home for most of his stellar career.
In addition to his famous years at WLS-AM, John Records Landecker has also worked at

WLUP-FM, WAGO-FM, WCKG-FM, WJMK-FM, WZZN-FM, WGN-AM and a return stint on
WLS-AM, but this time as a talk show host.
While the return to being a weekday DJ is new as of today, John Landecker never truly left being a music DJ. He has been hosting a syndicated show entitled "Into the Seventies" for over four years for the TKO Radio Network. The show can currently be heard locally on WLS-FM on Sunday nights from 7:00pm-Midnight.
And yes, Records truly is his middle name.

We covered this in our new "kk's corner" segment ... but felt that it bared repeating ... 
Congratulations to our radio buddy Dick Biondi ... and everyone else who made this exclusive list!  (kk) 

Dick Biondi Tops Your List of 60's DJ's 
The votes have been tallied and the results are in. Radio Ink readers - and perhaps a handful of Biondi listeners - believe Dick Biondi was the greatest DJ of the 1960's. Biondi was followed by Cousin Brucie, The Real Don Steele, Larry Lujack and Dan Ingram in the top five. Biondi had our poll listed on his website (he's still on the air in Chicago) and that generated some additional votes for our unscientific poll.
Our thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and post comments about their 1960's radio memories (HERE) and to Lee Abrams of putting together the list. he took a lot of heat for names readers believed were left off and we appreciate that we didn't have to take that heat. Here is how your votes landed the top ten jocks...
#1 Dick Biondi
#2 Cousin Brucie
#3 The Real Don Steele
#4 Larry Lujack
#5 Dan Ingram
#6 Art Roberts
#7 Rick Shaw
#8 Jack Gayle
#9 Jack Armstrong
#10 Dr. Don Rose

Sometimes you find something great while looking for something else.  I listen to Tom Diehl's Real Deal on Wednesdays when it's on.  Yesterday, to make sure I didn't miss it, I tuned in to Top Shelf Oldies early in the afternoon.  I was surprised to find that Top Shelf oldies apparently has music 24/7 now.  They have this DJ named Otto Mation.  He doesn't talk much, but he kept the music playing till the show started.  I found something else.  At 1 pm our time on Wednesday, they have a show called "Home Town Countdown" in which Rick Lewis plays the entire survey for this day in history from a local radio station.  This time the choice was Hartford, CT, 1962.  It was much like Real Oldies countdown, except that instead of try to cram 20 songs into an hour, he played the entire 60 song survey over four hours, including both sides of two sided hits, alternate versions of hits and extras from the day.  This is the type of thing WLS-FM or Y103.9 ought to do for Chicago.
Love those vintage countdown shows ... XM60's used to do a GREAT one with Terry "Motormouth" Young.  There IS a place for a show like this in Chicago ... the best Sunday line-up I can remember was listening to Bob Stroud's Rock And Roll Roots from 9 am till Noon ... and then switching over to Ron Smith's Chicagoland Countdown on Real Oldies.  Our Chicagoland Top 40 Charts have a built in audience for anyone who grew up here at the time.  And because stations like WLS and WCFL were 50,000 watt AM outlets, people across America could tune in and listen and, as such, heard many of the unique songs that made our charts.  (kk)

And, speaking of countdown shows, we just got this from Frank B. about some Dick Bartley countdowns that are airing on (where else?!) WCBS-FM!!!
Kent ...
Every Sunday, from 7 to 11 PM, tune in for TWO Countdowns. B.
Dick's been doing his radio thing as good as ANYBODY else for DECADES now.  (He had a local show right here in Chicago for YEARS ... and I understand he's a "sometime Forgotten Hits Reader", too ... so that's kinda cool!  LOVE these countdown shows!  (kk)

Kent ...

I was just in Chicago and flew home last night.  I came in for the Radio HOF at the new Museum.  Would have LOVED to meet you.  

Have you been to MY site?  It's and I've got a LOT of stuff.

My WLS goodies are classic.  Hope to hear from you!

Best ...
Novi, MI
(suburban Detroit ... aka "The D")

Kent -
I just wanted to say 'Thanks' for all of the Hard Work that you do in 'putting together' the Forgotten Hits newsletter - it really does have a place in the FUTURE Cultural Mainstream.
If not for someone like you, it would definitely leave a 'Void' in the FUTURE … after all;  you know as well as most of us --- It's 'Our' PAST that makes the FUTURE in what it becomes. You do inspire … if you haven't heard it … lately.

A few years back, we got Y103.9 on board featuring the Arlo Guthrie classic "Alice's Restaurant" on Thanksgiving Day.  (In fact, I think they featured it four times!!!) 
With all the changes going on over at that station, who KNOWS what they've got planned this year.
But we couldn't let a Thanksgiving slip by without featuring it once again.
Put this one when you sit down to your Thanksgiving Dinner ... and see if it doesn't spark some stimulating conversation!  (lol)