Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Of Your Recent Comments

Enough comments last week to fill a whole 'nother page!!!
So here goes ... 

Merry Christmas Kent!
I wanted to pass on some sad news.  Sean Bonniwell (of The Music Machine) passed away. I got the word  this morning.  He was a friend of mine. Mickey
Saw this on Ron Smith's Oldies Music website, too ...  

Sean Bonniwell, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the Los Angeles-based garage band, Music Machine, died Saturday (December 24) at the age of 71 after being admitted to the hospital with heart trouble. Born Thomas Harvey Bonniwell, Sean joined the Wayfarers, who recorded for RCA beginning in 1963, as a guitarist. When the folk era began to ebb, Sean formed a group called the Ragamuffins in 1965. By the next year, though, the group -- known for dressing in black with single gloves -- had changed their name to the Music Machine. "Talk Talk," released late that year, reached #15 on the national charts, but two subsequent singles -- "The People in Me" and "Double Yellow Line" in 1967 -- failed to make the top 60. Internal conflicts led to the group's breakup and Sean continued as the Bonniwell Music Machine, but after one LP and some unreleased recordings, he gave up the name himself. A 1969 solo album saw him recording under the name T.S. Bonniwell. Its failure led Sean to give up the music business for the next 25 years. He published his autobiography, entitled "Talk Talk" (later retitled "Beyond The Garage") in 1996.  
-- Ron Smith
Ralph MacDonald  (March 15th, 1944 ~ December 18th, 2011)
Grammy Award-winning percussion virtuoso and pioneer Ralph MacDonald, whose understated Afro-Caribbean rhythms were known as “the ghost” behind a multitude of hit records of '70s and ’80s pop stars has sadly died battling cancer at the age of 67. He leaves behind a loving family including his wife, Grace; their children Atiba and Nefra-Ann; two children Anthony and Jovonni from a previous marriage; and three grandchildren.
Afro-Trinbago-American percussionist, song-writer, musical arranger, record producer, pioneer, plus conga drums and steelpan virtuoso was born in Harlem, USA. Calypso and the steelpan were his roots and in his creations he never strayed too far from them. Ralph began showing his musical talent, particularly with the steelpan, even before his teens, learning his craft at an early age from his father and five uncles, immigrants from Trinidad, who all played professionally in calypso bands. When he was 17, he landed a job playing pan for the Harry Belafonte show; He wrote many songs for Harry, most of which are showcased on Mr. Belafonte’s 1966 album “Calypso Carnival". Ralph remained with the Belafonte outfit for 10 years before going on his own. His versatility made him a much sought-after session player on records by jazz and jazz-soul fusion artists like Bobbi Humphrey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Herbie Mann, David Sanborn, Ron Carter, Tom Scott, Maynard Ferguson and Grover Washington Jr. for whom he co- wrote the 1975 hit “Mr. Magic”. He is also featured on on George Benson's 1976 album, Breezin'; on percussion on Carole King's 1975 album, Thoroughbred, and on Looking Glass's 1973 album Subway Serenade among many, many others. In 1967, together with Bill Eaton and William Salter, he formed the Antisia Music Incorporated, where Ralph convinced Roberta Flack to record "Where is The Love", which he and William had earlier written. Roberta did the song with Donnie Hathaway, the song sold 10 million copies and generated two Grammies. Another of his noted compositions is "Just the Two of Us" a mega-hit sung by Bill Withers and covered my many other artists. His recording credits number in the hundreds and include Burt Bacharach, George Benson, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Miriam Makeba, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Amy Winehouse, Bob James, Ashford and Simpson, Nana Mouskouri, The Average White Band, Hall and Oates, The Brothers Johnson, and Jimmy Buffett.
-- Submitted by Ken Voss 

Kent ...
Last year one of my Christmas presents was an "Elvis Mr. Potato Head". This year one of my Christmas presents was an "Elvis Mr. Potato Head", 1969 special version.  
I'm trying to figure out what I did to deserve such great presents.  
Was I a good boy last year or a bad boy?  
Can you help me out ? LoL!!  
Frank B.  
Hey, you're on your way to the collectors' set!!!  I've got several Elvis Dolls ... and Teddy Bears ... that have come out over the years ... and, once you start, you've just GOT to put together the COMPLETE collection!!!  No Elvis Mr. Potato Heads 'though ... hint, hint!!!  (kk) 

The tune performed on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" -- a variation on a theme by Haydn -- is actually titled "The Musicians."  It was originally a 1951 hit for the unusual combination of Dinah Shore, Betty Hutton, Tony Martin and Phil Harris (RCA Victor 4225).  The song's publisher kept after me for years to try to work it into a Reader's Digest box set but I couldn't find any concepts it would fit.  Finally, after a decade of his pleading, I threw it into one set as a kind of joke bonus track.  
Gary Theroux  
It's also one of my favorite childhood memories.  They performed it on the program twice (the clip I used was the original ... and a bit more "Christmasy" due to the large Christmas package off to the side.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the full-length clip on YouTube ... after taking their bows, a sleigh is rolled out on stage (with Alan Brady / Carl Reiner aboard), and the rest of the cast and crew come out (including Richard Deacon / Mel Cooley) and they all "sing" the "Dick Van Dyke Theme Song" together ... it's a GREAT ending to a very special holiday episode called "Alan Brady Presents ..."  (kk)

Merry Christmas and a Happy Chaka Khan!
Fred Glickstein 


Looking back with Jay Siegel, lead singer of THE TOKENS.

Artie Wayne
Kent --
Thank you SO MUCH for posting Roy Orbison's wonderful movie theme "Zig Zag" and thank you also to anyone who may have sent it on to you.  (Takes The Ohio Express' B-side of "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" into another dimension.) 
Regarding Olivia Newton-John, "If Not For You" will always be my favorite song of her prolific output, followed pretty closely by "Magic," "Make A Move On Me" and "Something Better To Do." 
Finally, somebody mentioned an Upper Midwest regional hit called "Pain" by Michael's Mystics.  Does anyone know the very obscure ABC recording circa 1967 by "Nova's 9" - "Pain" b/w "Why Listen" ?  Anyone know where these guys were from?  (Although California's probably an honest guess.) 

>>>My question to you is this:  What venue would be appropriate for America's greatest rock 'n roll band?  All State Arena? Rosemont Theatre? Or do you roll the dice -- aim big -- and go with the United Center?  I have a feeling there are 20,000 Chicago area people like me who'll pay top buck to see Brian and Mike together again.  
(Chet Coppock)  
>>>Man, I'd LOVE to see them at The Rosemont Theatre ... (but they'd have to play there for an entire week in order to meet the ticket demand!)  I'm thinking this tour is going to play to BIG audiences across the country ... you're probably right on the money with The United Center.  (We saw them there in 1976 when they toured with Chicago ... one of the best concerts I've ever seen!)  kk

Or ... perhaps ... an outdoor venue???  

How about the Beach Boys at Wrigley or Soldier Field? 
John Olsen 
I've read that they're trying to stay true to their "summer image" by doing more outdoor venues ... but if given the choice between the two you've mentioned, I'd have to go with Soldier Field if only because the parking situation will be a hell of a lot better!!!  Honestly, right now I don't care WHERE they perform ... I just hope they can hold it all together and bring us the INCREDIBLE show we all want to see!  (kk) 

re:  ON THE RADIO:  
Our "Airplay" buddy Carolyn Travis has been posting more and more interviews on her Airplay Website in the Dee Jay Lounge.  Some real goodies on here ... including brand new interviews our FH Buddy Scott Shannon, the legendary Dick Biondi and our newest deejay friend, Johnny Holliday!  You can check 'em all out here:  
Click here: Rock Deejays, Rock Radio Djs, Rock-n-Roll Radio Deejays and Stations  
You're going to find all kinds of goodies here including interviews, old air checks, old radio station Top 40 surveys and more ... with more being added all the time!  Be sure to give it a look ... but allow some time ... once you're there, you're going to BE there for a while!!! (lol)  kk  

Hi Kent,
I was reading Forgotten Hits this morning and saw Johnny Holliday mentioned. I just interviewed him for theairplaychannel.comHe's a great guy ... and he tells the story about Joe Eszterhas and "Telling Lies in America". Just wanted to pass that along.
Have a Happy Holiday!
I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Johnny last week ... he's a GREAT storyteller and a VERY entertaining guy.  (Trying to line him up for Dave The Rave's Show after the first of the year ... we'll keep you posted!)  Meanwhile, folks need to check out the Airplay Site ... it's really shaping up nicely, Carolyn ... I spent ALL kinds of time there the other day!!! (lol)  kk 

Cheers, Kent, and a very Happy Christmas to all of you. 
Love your website! 
I present an oldies programme on our local station Radio Verulam so your info and music is brilliant. I quite often interview stars, recently Rod Argent, Marty Wilde, Clem Cattini and John Leyton to mention just a few. If you could ever use any of my interviews let me know, I have more lined up for 2012. Once again all the best and keep up the good work. 
Dereck Staines  

I really like WLS-FM's new slogan:  "The radio station that grew up with you" ... as it has been a HUGE part of our lives since 1960 (when WLS-AM first signed on as a Top 40 Rock Station ... right on through  The Music Radio Years, The Rock of Chicago, and now the perfect blend of music that they're featuring, 1955 - 1989.  WLS has been, in some shape or form, the "constant" that's held it all together here locally.  We've praised their new "expanded" format several times recently ... and we can only hope that it continues long into the future.  It's fun listening to the radio again, never truly knowing just what you might hear next.  Lately, there've been a couple of surprises each hour ... and that has kept us tuned in.  (kk)  

Regarding the PBS special and the variety of the music of the 60's ...
Yes, interestingly a few years ago, as I was teaching, I realized the vast variety of types of songs in the 60's.  By that time I had expanded my course to more than the original book I used and initially confused myself with all the options.  Having grown up listening to the songs, I accepted this as fact, but considered it all "60's decade".  Now, it thrills and surprises me that I listened to such a diverse group of selections.  This helps with my connection of social events to music during this class. 
As a side note:  I will be starting the music / reading classes after we return to the classroom in January.  We have been delving into mysteries, practicing our writing skills, and setting the tone and pace for what I will expect in this upcoming unit.  I took a day off from school when I treated myself to NYC and concerts this month and when I told my students I would not be in on Monday there was an audible AWWWWW....  That is GREAT news as it means I have them engaged in the "you can learn and enjoy it" process.  Ready for musical lift-off!!
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano 
I think it is SO cool that you are helping to introduce this music to such a young audience.  I have long maintained that '60's music is "feel good", stick-in-your head music ... and a lot of that "tone" is missing from today's musical options.  Radio programmers are ignoring their potential future audience by not catering to this young demographic.  This is why I believe that the oldies will never die ... as soon as they hear it, they fall in love with it.  (kk)   

James Fairs (he of Cryan' Shames and The Jamez Band fame) has put together a brand new show that he's calling Nouveau Bluz ... and you can catch their world premier performance at The Montrose Room on Saturday, January 14th. More details are available at www.montroseroom.com and www.jamez-self-portrait.com.  (kk)

And, tickets for the long-rumored Van Halen reunion tour (with David Lee Roth back onboard!) officially go on sale January 10th!  More details (including news about a brand new album) are still to come ... watch the official Van Halen website for updates.  (kk)
>>>In November, 1990, Jonathan (Sunshine) Edwards and Henry (The Outlaws) Paul came to my house in Nashville to spend a few days singing, playing guitar and telling bad jokes! Singing together was so much fun we decided to spend the evenings recording what we rehearsed that day.  Taking the name of legendary entertainer Ben Vereen "The Vereens" were born ... and left in the drawer. Over the years we talked about going into the studio and finishing the project as we had no backing tracks other than our guitars and Jon's harmonica but never got around to it. 
After listening to the original rough mixes with fresh ears, we felt the best way to present them was to leave them unaltered, exactly as they were and let our voices and the spirit of the sessions carry the day.These raw, unpolished tapes have a warmth and charm whose time, in my opinion had finally come!  So here it is ... just in time for the holidays ... Edwards, Gross and Paul - "The Vereens"  (Henry Gross)
I like the sound of these "rough" mixes ... tend to like the sound of acoustic guitars over electric, just a nice, pure sound.  Always in favor of hearing actual instruments and singers, someone to admire, unlike the '80's when things went sour in sound; too much generated sounds and fake instruments.  Rosie's Garden - has especially nice harmony.
Jersey John

All my CD's are real instruments with the exception of a bass drum sample if it sounds better.

The Edwards, Gross and Paul CD was me quickly putting down two guitars and all of us getting around the mic and singing. Jon played some harmonica as well. It was recorded 21 years ago. The three of us were together last week, at my Nashville house, and sounded the same or better! We are great friends and hope to do some shows if the opportunity presents itself.  
If you haven't heard my last few CD's I have a deal at my website (www.henrygross.com) for four CD's- 72 songs for $25.00. The best musical holiday deal out there!   
Thanks for listening! 
Happy & healthy holidays, Henry
Listen to tracks at  henry@henrygross.com
The Vereens CD available at henry@henrygross.com
Download MP3's at Henry's Facebook MusicStore or CD Baby 

Hi, Kent,
What does a former progressive and pop radio MD, PD and DJ (WHCN, WDRC-FM, WCCC, WBRU, WPLR and more) do after radio? Voice-overs have served me well, but I’m back playing in an original music band with the same lead singer I last worked with 40 years ago! In Rhode Island in 1968, just before I joined the group, The American Dream had a local top 10 hit with a cover of The Rascals’ “Love Is a Beautiful Thing” (on Bovi Records). A second single and album failed to be released; the group went through changes, including their name, to Benefit Street; and I joined for the rest of our recordings. After three years of starving for a living, we broke up and I began my 29-year professional radio career. However, I always felt our music deserved to be heard, and two years ago I (re)issued it on CD (www.benefitstreetband.com; Presence PCD3301). This put me back in touch with lead singer / songwriter Rob Carlson, and led to playing keyboards with him to support his most recent solo album. This new group evolved into a new entity called (for old times’ sake) Rob Carlson & Benefit Street, and our new album of all-original songs is out now (www.robcarlsonmusic; What Cheer CD3345). We’ve played around New England and New York State, and we made our New Jersey debut at the regionally-famous Stanhope House on Friday, December 16th (www.stanhopehousenj.com).  One of the new band’s songs is a remake of what was to be the second single, “The Bells of St. Stephen’s,” which I still feel would have been a national top 20 hit had it been released back in ‘69. I’m attaching the original version as a holiday present for everyone; come out to one of our gigs and hear the new version!  
Thanks for letting folks know, Kent!
All the best,
“Country Paul” Payton
Hope you're enjoying the Holiday Season. 
The signed copies of our new Time Tunnel CD went out to all who ordered them plus some extras to those very early October orders. 
Maybe let me know what you think when you get yours.  I'd really respect your opinion - maybe - especially if it's good! 
Ken Evans
The Fifth Estate
Hi Furv!  Happy Holidays to you, too!  I've listened to the new CD a few times now (and have heard from a couple other list members who also received their copies.)  As we would hope (and expect), there's a vintage '60's / '70's sound to most of this, with some catchy tunes and memorable licks, too!  (We'll try to do a full review after the first of the year ... and let others on the list know where they can order a copy!) kk  

Merry Christmas Kent -
We really enjoyed doing it - we really became four rock and roller kids again - with real instruments, writing real songs (but with far more adult lyrics I do believe - not always though)!  AND it never, never hurts to hear some people may enjoy listening (and maybe even dancing a little too?)!!! 
Probably the best place to order is right from our website, either direct or from the CD Baby widget there: www.thefifthestateinfo.com/News_-_Recent_Releases.php
If people are into iPods and all, so that they are never without these songs - ever! - then I might recommend picking up the album Download from iTunes.  It looks truly cool in that iTune setup once it is in your computer.  Have to get used to all this stuff myself.  We're really just vinyl guys!

Hey Kent
I wanted to give a shout out to Rick, Bob, Doug and Ken of The Fifth Estate! Job well done on the new CD Time Tunnel ... it came in the mail yesterday. It was well worth the wait! Killer CD!
And Ken said they were putting something extra in for the ones who pre-ordered early. WOW!, did they ever!!!  It was like getting a big Christmas present from the band.
Thanks Guys!!!

re:  DION:  
Kent ...
Here's a Vimeo clip from a brand new documentary where Dion tells his side of the story. 
Frank B.  
Click here: The Winter Dance Party- Trailer on Vimeo  
Dion DOES bring up one good point here ... if everybody who ever claimed to be part of the coin toss was really on that plane, they would have needed a 747!  However, the story that has ALWAYS been told ... and most often by Dion himself ... is that he wouldn't spring for the $36 airfare because that was an entire month's rent for his parents back in the Bronx.  So at that point, why would a coin toss have been necessary?  Sorry, but it just doesn't make sense ... and it's REALLY hard to believe that the story's been told wrong for 52 years (and never questioned by any of the other participants throughout that time.)  This new claim just doesn't hold water for me.  (kk)

That being said, I want to tell you about Dion's new album, "Tank Full Of Blues."

FH Reader Bob Merlis just sent me an advance pressing copy ... and I've got to tell you, it's a DAMN good album!!!  Dion truly embraces the sound of the blues ... and does it convincingly in a way that makes you feel he's been secretly living this life for YEARS!!! 
Who knew?!?!? 
I mean Dion has ALWAYS been a great singer ... and let's face it, over the years he has explored just about every kind of music out there ... but he has a natural gift for the blues ... and he sounds GREAT on this new album. 
What's especially impressive is the fact that he's written the majority of these songs himself, again placing him right at home in this new genre.  (I haven't heard the first two albums that make up this trilogy but if they're as good as this one, I may have to pick up copies of "Bronx In Blue" and "Son Of Skip James" real soon!) 
The track "I Read It In The Rolling Stone" has been circulating for a few weeks now as a free download (thanks to "Rolling Stone" Magazine) ... but the track that really hits home for me is probably the LEAST bluesiest track of all. 
Dion wraps the album up with a recitation called "Bronx Poem" ... and it's really interesting to hear him rattle off the chapters of his own life ... and how they relate to the history of rock and roll ... and life itself.  (I love the line about his wife "driving him sane" ... the exact opposite of what pretty much every other married man on the planet might say!!!)

Other stand out tracks include the title track "Tank Full Of Blues", which really sets the tone for the rest of the set.  I also like his tribute to Robert Johson, "Ride's Blues" and "Holly Brown". 
The hot new CD is set for "official" release on January 24th ... but you can pre-order your copy now through all the usual sources. 
All in all, a very solid effort ... and this is a good spot for Dion at this stage of his career.  All of the reviews I've read thus far echo this sentiment ... he sounds very comfortable and right at home here ... and his top-notch styling makes the listener feel the same.  (kk)

>>>Only The Beatles would think to combine two totally separate, typically unrelated chords ... and augmented chords at that ... to create one of the most famous song-openings ever.  (No wonder I could never make it sound like that on my guitar!!!)  Thanks for the instant guitar lesson!  (Ed) 
Think THAT was a guitar lesson?!?!  Wait till you see what we just got from FH Reader Gary Meyers ... WAY over my head ... but this'll probably make sense to a few people out there!  (kk)  
This is to your contributor Ed, who commented about the "Hard Days Night" chord. I don't know what he's calling an augmented chord in there. The two different chords mentioned in that video are Fadd9 and Dsus, neither of which is augmented, nor do they create an augmented chord when combined. 
I'm sure this is way more than you want to know, but they aren't really that unrelated either: 
The sus4 of the D is the same note as the add9 on the F.  The D note is the 6th of F (and the actually the root of the overall chord), and the C note (in the F chord) would be the 7th of the Dsus.  The oddest note in the overall chord is actually the F note because the basic overall chord is D7sus4, which is D-G-A-C. The G-A-C are contained in the Fadd9, the D-G-A are contained in the Dsus, leaving the F note as the oddball, and technically making the overall chord a Dm7add4 (or add11).   
If it were any variation of G aug, it would have a D# note; if it were any variation of D aug, it would have an A# note; if it were any variation of F aug, it would have a C# note. 
Feel free to refer me to Ed if he'd like to email me directly. 
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem  
Did you guys all get that?!?!?  Personally, I like it because I just think it sounds really neat!!!  (kk) 
It occurred to me that Ed might be viewing the F note at the augmented 9th of the D7sus, so perhaps that's what he meant. Generally the term "augmented chord" refers to the basic structure and I think any musician I know would take it to mean an aug 5th. Whenever upper extensions are augmented (generally only occuring with 9th's or 11th's), they would be named specifically. So yeah, you could technically name the overall chord as D7sus4/aug9, but since that's a name I've never seen, I'm pretty sure that it will be much better understood as Dm7add4 (or as I also said previously add11, or even just "add G").  
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem  
Yes ... that's MUCH clearer now!!!  (lol)  Sorry ... but this is all WAY over MY head!!!  Like I said, I just think it's an amazing sound that they happened to hit upon.  Clearly, they were looking for an attention-getting, dynamic opening chord to kick off their new single (which, in turn, would ALSO open their very first film.)  In this case, I'd have to state that they succeeded in spades.  I can't think of ANY other opening chord that commanded ... and demanded your attention the way this one did back in 1964.  (kk)