Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 12 - 04 - 11 )

re:  THE #1's ... FROM A to Z:

Kent ...

Here's the complete list.  From "ABC" to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'".
This weekend, WCBS-FM, New York's # 1 Station, is offering a Double-Play Weekend. 
Once an hour they play a big hit by a singer, followed by a Christmas Hit by the same singer.
Frank B.
We've discussed that very formula few times now in Forgotten Hits ... why is it that an artist like Brenda Lee or Johnny Mathis or Andy Williams is OK to play during Christmas time but is completely shut out the rest of the year?  How come all of a sudden this mix of music "fits the format" and plays well together side-by-side with the other oldies artists when it comes to their Christmas music ... while dozens and dozens and dozens of LEGITIMATE hit records are continually ignored?  Glad to see somebody doing SOMETHING about this.  Hopefully some other stations across the country will follow salute and do THEIR part to help music fans remember some of these great, long-ignored artists.  (kk) 

And, speaking of WCBS-FM being #1, Scott Shannon topped the list here in Chicago for his five hour program on WLS-FM, too.  Read on ... GREAT news for the long-considered-dead oldies format, isn't it?!?!?  (kk)

WCBS-FM takes over top ratings spot from Lite-FM
Wednesday, November 30 2011
WCBS-FM (101.1) played all No. 1 songs last weekend. On Wednesday it learned the whole station is No. 1. 
The November Arbitron ratings show WCBS-FM edging ahead of WLTW (Lite-FM, 106.7 FM), which has been the leader virtually every month for 15 years.
Among all radio listeners, WCBS-FM averaged 5.8% of the audience during the average quarter hour. Lite-FM averaged 5.7%.
WCBS-FM program director Brian Thomas said the station’s biggest gains came from afternoon host Broadway Bill Lee and evening host Ron Parker.
WCBS-FM was also No. 1, for the first time, among listeners 35-64. It tied Lite-FM for third place among listeners 25-54, an advertiser-coveted group where WKTU (103.5 FM) remained a comfortable No. 1 and WHTZ (100.3 FM) moved up to second.
WHTZ was No. 1 among listeners 18 to 34. Elsewhere, WINS (1010 AM) moved ahead of sister all-news WCBS-AM (880), which slips back when the Yankees end. All-news WEMP (101.9 FM) inched up slightly from 0.4% to 0.6%, a tie for 34th place.
It is likely that WLTW will regain the No. 1 spot in Arbitron’s December and holiday season ratings, since it has already started its hugely popular Christmas music. 
Big Jay Sorensen  
Congratulations, Big Jay!  Thanks to #1 Super Fan (and FH Reader) Frank B, we plug the station almost every week ... and we always get good feedback on your shows, too!  (kk)


Evidently you haven't been keeping up ...
I've apologized for and retracted those statements many times over ... and PRAISED the station for the new mix in music ... it's really working and I can only hope that Cumulus doesn't come in now and mess with the formula just for the sake of jacking with something!  I love hearing songs from the '50's thru the '80's played side by side with at least two or three surprises thrown in every hour ... what a concept ... it's only EXACTLY what I've been preaching for the past twelve years!!!  The real music fans out there remember ALL of these songs ... I've always felt it was disrespectful (and a real disservice) to feed them the same three or four hundred again and again and again.  The music mix on WLS is the most entertaining it's been in YEARS!!!  In fact, if anything, I feel a bit "vindicated" by the fact that the station's ratings are up ... and that includes many of OUR on-going discussions / arguments about what will and won't work on radio today!!!  Consultants and research teams be damned!!!  This format is WORKING!!!!!  (Let me know when I can expect the commission check for all my consulting fees!!!  lol) 
Now if they'd only do something with the on-air talent!!!  I can listen to you, Danny Lake and Tom O'Toole, but that's about it.  I don't even put the station on in the morning anymore on the way to work ... Dave Fogel may be the LEAST entertaining guy on morning drive anywhere
... or at least in a major market big city.  (Why isn't somebody talking to Fred Winston?!?!)    And Greg Brown and Dick Biondi (despite being the local favorites they clearly are) have both grown tired and tiring.  Pump up the talent meter with some "personality radio" (which was once WLS's trademark!) and you've got the #1 station in town!  (kk)

Other big radio news this past week was the return of Jonathan Brandmeier to the Chicagoland airwaves.  Johnny B will now be holding court on WGN-AM from 5:30 - 9:00 am, Monday - Friday.  Brandmeier made QUITE a name for himself here in the early '80's and I will confess to being a dedicated and devoted listener ... never missed a show.  (He's dabbled in television quite a bit since then and even has a cable show on now that the critics are raving about that, quite honestly, I just don't get.  I've tuned in ... and out ... a few times now ... it just hasn't grabbed me.  I can only figure that I had a TOTALLY different sense of humor back in the '80's!!! lol)
In any event, it's neat to see guys like Brandmeier and Steve Dahl back in the news so much here lately.  Ironically, BOTH jocks spent a good part of their on-air time making fun of the radio talent and listeners of WGN-AM back then ... kind of ironic to see them recently competing for spots on the station now, all these years later.  (I guess maybe we ALL have grown up after all!!!)  kk



A number of people, including Scott Shannon of the True Oldies Channel, mentioned to me that they went on-line in search of the Rolling Stones version of Freddy Cannon’s “Tallahassee Lassie,” and were disappointed.  The version they found had Mick’s lead vocals buried.  What they found was a bootleg that has been circulating for a couple of years.  

The new version, re-mixed in the past year under Mick Jagger’s supervision, is available on this You Tube link.  It’s an extra bonus cut that has been added to the re-release this month of the Stones “Some Girls” album.  

-- Tom Cuddy

The fact that Jagger himself has stated that performing "Tallahassee Lassie" inspired him to write "Brown Sugar" is quite remarkable ... listening to these two tracks back-to-back, I can almost see it!  This new version of Freddy's song should be one of the highlights on the new "Some Girls" re-release.  I love this one comment from the YouTube posting  (kk):

What the fuck does this say about modern music? The whole second disc is full on Class ... and they didn't even release it 'cause they didn't think it good enough. 


This is 1000 times better then 96% of the crap released today ... real musicians, real talent, best god damn rock 'n roll band ever!

>>>I’ve been told that the Rolling Stones DVD released from the Sullivan shows does NOT have their classic 1st appearance! Is that true? If so, that’s really pretty stupid! Leaving off their 1st with “Time Is On My Side” & “Around & Around”. Yikes!  (Ken)
>>>Simply not true ... I've watched these with my own two eyes!  Now you have to remember that these DVDs were released in two different configurations ... a 4-Show Set and a 6-Show Set ... but I can ASSURE you that ALL of The Stones' appearances ARE included in the 6-show version ... and they're SPECTACULAR, especially the second DVD when The Stones are fully confident of their place on the rock and roll landscape.  Beautifully filmed and restored ... and all in full color ... this is "can't miss" stuff if you're a Rolling Stones fan.  (The tracks you're referring to do NOT appear on the 4-show version ... spring for the DELUXE edition ... you will  NOT be disappointed!)  kk 
Hey Kent:  
He must have had the 4 show set of Sullivan Rolling Stones shows. Glad there is a complete set. That’s the only way it makes sense.
Gotta be ... 'cause they're DEFINITELY there on the 6 Show version.  (kk) 

Hi Kent!

I just submitted my latest column to The Beat - it's an interview with Andrew Loog Oldham.  What a charming and fascinating gentleman he is.  I hope your readers can find a copy of this English rock mag.   Maybe we can do another re-print for the Forgotten Hits gang.  I'll look into it.
All the best,
I would LOVE to run this in Forgotten Hits!  (I still have your Wrecking Crew article coming up, too ... just playing major catch-up right now after the Ed Sullivan Series ... and gearing up for our annual Twelve Days Of Christmas Feature, too ... but I give you my word, these ARE coming soon!)  Thanks, Bob!

I caught this one morning on a cable tv channel ... VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS 
Young Ron Howard (genius) creates a formula that makes animals giants ... cats, ducks, etc. ... the mean kids get some of it ... and hold the 'regulars' hostage, take over the town ... but check out the cast ... even our own Freddy Cannon is in it!  (along with Beau Bridges, Toni Basil, Tisha Sterling, & the Beau Brummels in case you get bored by reading the list.)
Tommy Kirk ... Mike Johnny Crawford ... Horsey Ron Howard ... Genius (as Ronny Howard) Joe Turkel ... Sheriff (as Joseph Turkel) Beau Bridges ... Fred Joy Harmon ... Merrie Robert Random ... Rick (as Bob Random) Gail Gilmore ... Elsa Tisha Sterling ... Jean Tim Rooney ... Pete Kevin O'Neil ... Harry Charla Doherty ... Nancy Toni Basil ... Red Hank Jones ... Chuck Jim Begg ... Fatso Debi Storm ... Cora Rance Howard ... Deputy Vicki London ... Georgette Beau Brummels ... Themselves / Singers (as The Beau Brummels) Ron Elliott ... Himself (as The Beau Brummels) Ron Meagher ... Himself (as The Beau Brummels) Declan Mulligan ... Himself (as The Beau Brummels) John Peterson ... Himself (as The Beau Brummels) Sal Valentino ... Himself (as The Beau Brummels) Freddy Cannon ... Singer Mike Clifford ... Singer 
Hmmm ... we'll have to ask Freddy about this one of these days!!! (Then again maybe it's something he'd rather forget!!!)  kk

re:  ELVIS:
Kent ...
Got this one from Ron Smith:
The Race To Make An Elvis Movie Heats Up (Hollywood Reporter) B.
FH List Member Cory Cooper ("The Elvis Expert") is one of the consultants on the "Fame And Fortune" film.  (That's the one that I want to see!!!)  kk   

Kent ...
I never heard this one before.  Have you?
Elvis' Long Lost Swedish Daughter Sues His Estate For $130Million
Frank B.
Elvis Costello is telling his fans NOT to buy his new box set.  Priced at $225, Costello has been fighting with his record company to reduce the price to a more affordable and reasonable amount ... but the record company has refused to budge.  So Elvis is telling his fans NOT to buy the set!  (Actually, he's encouraging them to invest their money in Louis Armstrong CD's instead, pointing out that you could probably buy a dozen of them for what they'd spend on his latest release!)
FH Reader Frank B weighs in on this one:
Kent ...
Another one of my helpful Holiday tips.  I might spend that much money on the other Elvis, - not you.
Frank B.
The singer says $225 is just too much to pay for "Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook," even if it does come with three CDs, a vinyl record, a concert DVD and a 40-page coffee table book. The music and DVD were recorded earlier this year at a two-night stand in Los Angeles, where Costello spun his game-show-like wheel to select songs that he and his band would play. 
"Unfortunately, we at find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire," Costello wrote on his website. 
Costello tried to get the record company to knock the price down, but was unsuccessful. So he is recommending buying the work of another legendary artist. 
"If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, 'Ambassador of Jazz' -- a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name 'Satchmo' but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong," Costello wrote. "The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior."

Another of our favorite artists, America, has been calling THEIR CD Box Set, "Highway", "Highway Robbery" for YEARS now, saying it's MUCH to expensive for long-time fans who have already invested in the group's catalog over the years to buy it all back again on one special collection.  Kudos to these artists for looking out for us ... we really do appreciate it!

And, speaking of America ...

We were invited (by our gracious host Ron Onesti of Onesti Entertainment, owner of the Arcada Theatre) to check out America's Christmas Show last night ... and we had a BLAST!!!
The guys blended a perfect mixture of hits and selections from their "Holiday Harmony" Christmas CD and put on a top-notch two hour show that had the fans up on their feet for most of the evening.  (The Arcada Theatre is the PERFECT venue for a concert like this ... intimate and packed to the hilts with music fans who loved every minute of last night's extravaganza.)  They covered EVERY hit in their catalog (save their version of "Muskrat Love" ... which was fine with me!) and mixed in most of their Christmas album, too.  The band rocked all night long (and with key members guitarist Michael Woods, a 33-year America band member and drummer Willie Leacox, a 39 year America veteran, I guess they really OUGHT to know all of their parts by now, right?!?!?)
Nevertheless, the show ran smoothly albeit with a few glitches ... there were some volume problems with Gerry Beckley's microphone on the first couple of numbers ... and it seemed like at least three or four times there was some confusion as to what song came next in the obviously revamped holiday set list ... all the more surprising since BOTH acts last night used music stands on stage, a hot topic here several weeks ago when somebody wrote in about Lucinda Williams using one in her performance.  Honestly, we didn't find that the least bit objectionable, yet even with the aid, America seemed to find themselves "off point" on at least three or four occasions.  (Beckley even joked that all the extra rehearsal for this gig is why they sounded so tight.)  All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable performance.
And I would be remiss not to discuss Jim Messina's opening act.  I can honestly say that I came to this concert with absolutely NO prior  expectations ... I had NO idea what Jim Messina might perform on his own and, as such, hadn't formulated any preconceived notions, thoughts or opinions as to what that material might be or what it might sound like.  Suffice to say he COMPLETELY blew us away ... from start to finish ... with an absolutely top-notch set of material that covered his tenure with Loggins and Messina, The Buffalo Springfield and Poco.  (One forgets just how much great music this guy was involved with ... until you hear it played back to you to near perfection in a live setting.)  His small, stripped down band packed more wallop than I ever would have expected ... the vocals were incredible ... and Messina rocked the house for every second of his 45 minute set.  Major kudos for turning this little session into the highlight of the evening.
Again I have to single out some of Jimmy's key back-up players ... but despite an extensive online search this morning, I can't find their names ANYWHERE!!!  (And that's just WRONG ... 'cause these guys played their asses off last night)
The general consensus here is that Messina's violinist could absolutely beat The Devil, whether it be down in Georgia or right up here in St. Charles, IL.  This guy played some AMAZING licks that had the crowd awestruck in amazement.  The bassist is one of the most solid, driving bass players I've EVER seen ... and seems to be having the time of his life every minute that he's doing it ... totally in the groove, providing the whole bottom end.  And whoever that was on flute and saxophone brought yet another added dimension to the overall sound of the band ... long, extended jam highlights featured "saxman" and Messina playing off each other on sax and guitar.  (Jimmy ... you have GOT to give credit where credit is due ... get these guys' names up on your website and show them some respect!!!  Likewise to America ... you've got a couple of "team players" who have been with you now for over 30 years yet they're not so much as mentioned on your website.  Let's get this injustice corrected right away, ok???  And, in fall fairness, the same could be said to The Buckinghams, whose Christmas show we caught last weekend.  We ALL know who the "focal points" are in these bands ... and that's fine ... but your strong "supporting players" is what makes everything work in the real scheme of things ... so give these guys their proper recognition!)
For a better idea as to how to do it RIGHT, check out Paul Revere and the Raiders' website ... where they introduce EACH member of the band with a photo and brief bio:
Something as simple as this can only help to promote harmony and unity amongst the ranks.  Seriously ... take a moment to consider this!!!  (OK, done with my one rave-out of the week ... we now return you to the review already in progress!  By the way, Paul Revere and the Raiders are bringing THEIR special holiday show to Chicago on December 17th!!!  Details for that concert can also be found on their site.  And watch for a couple of Christmas Tunes featuring America up on the site next week, too, when our Annual Twelve Days Of Christmas Series kicks off once again!)

Between America and special guest Jim Messina, we were treated to an incredible three hours of music that can only be described as second to done.  If you get the chance to see this pairing when they're headed your way (Christmas show or not), do yourself a favor and check them out.  You will not be sorry!  (kk)

And America ... with special guest Jim Messina ... have several dates together coming up on their itinerary ...  for a complete list, please visit both artists' websites:

A couple of shots from last night, courtesy of Mrs. K:
  Jimmy Messina (in a rare hat-off moment!)

Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley of America
(photos by Frannie Kotal)

And, speaking of The Arcada Theatre ... 

Got this from Michele Abrams on behalf of Ron Onesti and The Arcada Theatre ... here's a chance to do something nice at Christmas time AND see a great show to boot!
The Arcada Offers Ticket Deals for Toy Drive
ST. CHARLES - Dec. 1, 2011 - Legends of Motown and Rock N Roll Hall of Famers The Temptations come to St. Charles Thursday, December 15. 
"With their hits 'My Girl,' 'Papa Was A Rollin' Stone,' 'Get Ready,' 'Ain't To Proud To Beg,' and a slew of other classics, the show is going to be 'off the charts' with excitement ... really, really fun," said Ron Onesti. 
He hopes their show will bring loads of toys to his historic Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles.
Onesti is sponsoring half-price tickets in exchange for new toys donated to Salvation Army's Toys for Kids collection. There is no limit to the amount of half-off tickets purchased by a customer, as long as one new toy is provided for each ticket.  Tickets start at $29 and every great seat in the theatre is eligible for the discount. 
With a couple of Temptations acts out there, this one is being touted as the  "Real Deal."  The last living original member, Otis Williams, leads the group and performs the hits and their signature dance steps with which the original group became famous.  
"This is going to be a great family night with music that is timeless.  These songs have memories attached for anyone who listens.  Really, who doesn't love Motown?  Couple it with an awesome charitable cause ... ya can't lose!." 
Those who wish to bring toys for the discount can buy tickets online with the promo code TEMPSTOYS. Those tickets will be scanned at the door, and toys will be accepted at that time.
More information is available at Onesti Entertainment's website, Tickets can be purchased online at the site, or by calling a ticketing representative at 888-695-0888.
The 900-seat Arcada Theatre is located at 105 E. Main Street in St. Charles. It offers free on-street parking, a premium bar and is a registered landmark where iconic stars including Mickey Rooney, Jerry Lewis and Martin Short have performed in Onesti Entertainment productions.

re:  SMiLE:
>>>David Beard (of Endless Summer Quarterly and Beach Boys Examiner) tells us there will be ALL kinds of special press surrounding this hot new release ... including a SMiLE Sessions television special airing on The Early Show on CBS November 1st (the official US release date), a 4.5 Star Review in Rolling Stone Magazine and a special ten-part web series running on YouTube.  And that's just the beginning ... promotion for this hot, new release is expected to be HUGE!!!  (kk)
David Beard also has the cover story in the current issue of Goldmine - he does an A+ job of explaining why the SMiLE Sessions are significant (to those new to the discussion) and uncovers a few back story facts that even aficionados will appreciate.

The "deluxe" edition is at the top of my Christmas Wish List ... hoping Santa will come thru in a big way this year!!!  (lol)  kk

Kent ...
I heard this on the radio on "Imus In The Morning".
If Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles played tennis together, here's the song you'd come up with.
Frank B.

This past week has been a big week as far as Beatles-related anniversaries go ...
On November 28th (1974), John Lennon made his last ever live appearance on stage when he came out as Elton John's guest at Madison Square Garden. Elton had made John promise that if his latest record, "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" went all the way to #1, he would have to come out and perform it live with Elton John's band.  (Elton sang back-up and harmony vocals on the track.)  It did ... and Lennon kept his word.  "John and John" performed their #1 Hit, "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" as well as "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" (a John Lennon / Beatles tune that had also recently gone to #1 for Elton ... in fact, John performed on Elton's single, too!) and "I Saw Her Standing There", a song introduced by Lennon as having been written by "an old, estranged fiance of mine."
November 29th (2001) was the tenth anniversary of the death of George Harrison. George has been all over our pages thanks to the Martin Scorsese film that aired on HBO recently.  There seems to be a renewed respect and fascination with some of Harrison's music of late, too.
December 2nd (1964) was the anniversary of Ringo Starr having his tonsils removed.  Rather than postpone any dates, the remaining Fab Three recruited Jimmy Nichol to sit in on drums for the missing Ringo for some pre-booked Australian dates.
On December 3rd, 1961, The Beatles (then including Pete Best on drums) met future manager Brian Epstein for the very first time at his Liverpool NEMS Record Store.
And last year on this date (December 4, 2010), Paul McCartney received his Kennedy Center Honors Award ... which gives all the guys their very own headline in this little anniversary tribute! 

Speaking of which ... ...
11/29/2011 = Tenth Anniversary of George's death.
58 Photos of George, one for each year of his life.
Frank B.

On the "Best of The Beatles #1 vote", Eleanor Rigby was not a number one song, as the B-Side to Yellow Submarine, and reached #11.  It is interesting that the top vote getter was Yesterday, which was not even released as a single in the UK.  Hey Jude sold over 4 million copies, while Yesterday was less than a million.  I guess tastes change over the years.
Dwight Rounds 
I've complained a number of times about the way the #1 Records were selected for The Beatles #1 Album ... officially (according to Billboard Magazine, the U.S. Music Bible), The Beatles had TWENTY #1 Records ... and you're right ... they did NOT include "Eleanor Rigby" ... or "Yellow Submarine" EITHER for that matter ... "Yellow Submarine" peaked at #2 in Billboard.  Accounting for their Cash Box #1 Records, you'd have to add "Yellow Submarine" (which DID reach #1 in Cash Box, but not "Eleanore Rigby") to the list as well as "Twist And Shout", which was also left off the release (I have always believed this was because it would have made it the only non-original composition to make the cut and they wanted to focus on The Beatles as SONGWRITERS, too.)  
Likewise, "Please Please Me" was #1 on a number of the British Charts (three out of four of Great Britain's major music charts had "Please Please Me" at #1 ... and it has always been considered The Beatles' FIRST #1 Records in Great Britain, going all the way back to George Martin's comment in the studio, "Gentlemen, you have just recorded your first #1 Record ... but their one noted "reference" chart showed the record peaking at #2) ... so THAT track is ALSO left off the CD in favor of some tracks that "stretch the truth" a little bit:  "Day Tripper" did NOT reach #1, nor did the aforementioned "Yellow Submarine" or "Eleanor Rigby" ... or "Lady Madonna" and "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" either for that matter ... and "Something", despite being the official A-Side of the record didn't really reach #1 either ... it peaked at #3 in Billboard and #2 in Cash Box ... but because Billboard then adopted a "tag-along" B-Side format, it was recorded as a #1 Record, riding on the coat-tails of its flipside, "Come Together".  (If this is the case, "For You Blue", the flipside of "The Long And Winding Road", should have made it, too ... but there's NO WAY that could EVER be considered a #1 Record.)
The #1 CD liner notes explain that "Day Tripper" / "We Can Work It Out" was a "Double A-Side" single and DID top the charts that way in Great Britain.  (This is also true of "Yellow Submarine" / "Eleanor Rigby", which is why both of THOSE tracks were included.)  "Lady Madonna" also reached #1 in the UK and, apparently, so did "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" (which was banned on enough stations here Stateside to keep it in the lower regions of The Top Ten.)  Incredibly the two-sided hit "Come Together" / "Something" did NOT reach #1 in England, peaking at #4 ... and another single LONG considered to be a "Double A-Side" missed the top of the charts there, too ... "Penny Lane" / "Strawberry Fields Forever" was famously held out of the #1 spot by Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me'!!!
In all fairness, I have always maintained that "Please Please Me" and "Twist And Shout" ABSOLUTELY belong on this CD ... and would say that if you're going to go as far as to include "Day Tripper", "Yellow Submarine", "Eleanor Rigby", "Lady Madonna", "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" and "Something", it would be only right to ALSO include "Strawberry Fields Forever", preferred by many as the better half of the "Penny Lane" single release.  With 27 tracks already on the CD, how much more difficult would it have been to expand to THIRTY and include these other legitimate hits.
(When you consider MAJOR Beatles single releases, this leaves only 
"Do You Want To Know A Secret" and "Nowhere Man" off the list ... both of these records peaked at #2 in the US.)  kk

I thought I would share my story of hearing Please Please Me on WHK in 1963.
I really enjoyed reading your article about the shit heals who rejected the Beatles in 1963 (Decca and Capitol execs).
I can not remember the exact day I heard Please Please Me, but I can tell you of surrounding events. I was reading a book I just purchased titled "The Beatles: The Days of Their Lives".  There are pictures and chronological details of their recordings, concerts and personal events. It was published in 2010 in England. It is written by Richard Havers. According to the book, Please Please Me / Ask Me Why was released by VJ on February 25, 1963.(they do not mention the misspelling of Beatles). I seem to remember it being January / February when I first heard it. Perhaps Cleveland Radio received a promo copy.
So here is the story. Cleveland Radio Station WHK played the top forty POP and rock music in the early 60's. Later a station called WIXY took over the top spot. KYW also later became a top 40 station. WHK had a guy named Johnny Holiday who played the top 40 songs every day as a count down in mid day. WHK also had a pick hit of the week. This was a song the DJs and General Manager chose to promote as a potential Hit. I had just moved to Independence from Cleveland.
Something different about living in Independence was we had to take the bus to school. Well, in early 1963 (January / February)  there was a huge snow storm. There were not enough plows to clear the roads back then. So, for at least 7 days, there was no school. This storm crippled the whole area so most schools were closed. WHK must have decided to try something different because all the kids were home listening to the radio. Instead of a pick hit of the week, they decided to have a Pick Hit of the Day. And they let the public vote for it.  They played five songs, and asked the public to vote for their favorite. At the end of the week, 5 out of the 25 songs played were pitted against each other ... then the pick hit of the week was the winner of Saturdays vote. I believe it was either Monday or Tuesday they played Please Please Me as a potential pick hit.  We voted for Please Please Me. I remember that harmonica intro. I thought they said Beagles though. The song was beaten by The Night Has 1000 Eyes by Bobby Vee. It also won the Saturday vote beating the daily winners of the other songs. It received a lot of airplay and later hit number 1 on the charts. If that song had not been played, perhaps the Beatles would have won, and Cleveland could have broken the Beatles in the States. The song was not heard again until after their Ed Sullivan appearance.
I wish I could find the exact dates of that snowstorm in 1963, but it seemed to be right after Christmas vacation. We were off ten days for that ,then again for the snowstorm. I remember the close proximity of the storm and Christmas. I have tried looking up weather record web sites, but I cannot verify the exact day WHK played it. They may have preceded the Chicago and New York stations that played it.  
If you know when Vee Jay issued promos, perhaps it would prove that Cleveland was the first.  Unfortunately, Cleveland area listeners chose Bobby Vee over the Beatles.  I hope you can add my information to your archives.
I also heard another interesting story. To make a long story short , BOZO the ClOWN signed the Beatles to Capitol. I know this sounds absurd, but I heard the man who played Bozo the Clown was the exec who made the decision to sign the Beatles. It seems paradoxical that the guys at Capitol and Decca did not see what a man who started his career as a clown did. HE signed the Fab Four. I do not know the man's name, but I heard the story on TV a  few years ago.
Larry M. Smiley
OK, we need our investigative team to kick into gear on this one. 
First of all, when was this week-long snow storm?  That in itself will at least narrow the date down to a specific week or two.
Secondly, since it wasn't picked as the "Pick Hit Of The Day", I'm guessing that it never officially charted in the Cleveland area.  However, if anyone has WHK Cleveland charts for January, February and March of 1963, we'd love for you to check them to see if this song is mentioned at all.  (Sometimes radio station surveys would list "extras" at the bottom of their Top 40 lists.)
And finally, if anybody knows if deejay Johnny Holiday is still with us, we'd LOVE to talk with him.  (That sure sounds like a "stage name" ... but maybe some of the jocks from this era can point us in the right direction on this one.)
I've ALWAYS said that if somebody out there can PROVE that another radio station played The Beatles in America BEFORE WLS did (in March of '63), we'd run the correction IMMEDIATELY.
No proof yet ... but you do present an interesting timeline.
Who's up to the challenge of helping us solve this mystery?  (kk)
TIMELINE:  According to Bruce Spizer's essential book "Songs, Pictures And Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records On Vee-Jay", "Please Please Me" was officially released in England (on the Parlophone label) on January 11, 1963.  In this book, Spizer states that Vee-Jay Records didn't release it here in The States until February 20th ... but new documentation was discovered after this book had already gone to press, showing an official release date of February 7th.  (The original edition also had "Please Please Me" being first pressed and mastered here in the States at the end of January.)  
As noted, Capitol Record had "first dibbs" and, after they passed on the record, Vee-Jay gobbled it up.  THIS is the pressing that misspelled the group's name as "The Beattles", making it one of the band's rarest and most pricey collectibles.  According to sales stats gathered in his research for the Vee-Jay book, Spizer says the initial pressing of "Please Please Me" sold about 5650 copies (so there aren't a whole lot of these around, also contributing to its collectibility!)
If this record was officially made available for the very first time on February 7th, that puts a slightly bigger gap from your Christmas holiday school break than you remember.  Again, SOME documentation from WHK would REALLY be helpful in this instance.  (Dick Biondi of WLS ... back in 1963 and, incredibly, STILL on WLS-FM in 2011!!! ... says he most likely played the song for the very first time on February 8th.)  As the station's #1 Disc Jockey, it would have been Biondi who first premiered the new release ... especially since he was tight with Vee-Jay PresidentEwart Abner, who most likely personally presented Biondi with a copy of his label's latest release.  It charted on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for two weeks, beginning March 8, 1963, ultimately peaking at #35.  And then it was gone ... for a year!  After Beatlemania hit (and Vee-Jay reissued the single), it came back on the charts, ultimately peaking at #2 here in Chicago.
By the way, the Bozo connection is a guy named Alan Livingston.  When he first began working for Capitol Records (back in 1946), his initial assignment was to develop a catalog of children's records.  According to Bruce Spizer's book "The Beatles' Story On Capitol Records", Livingston's first creation for the label was Bozo The Clown, "a character who would later become a television star and part of American culture."  Bozo made his debut in September of 1946 on the Capitol album "Bozo At The Circus", which was written and produced by Livingston.  Spizer says "The album was an immediate hit, selling over 100,000 copies in its first month ... and it quickly became a million seller."  I don't know that Livingston WAS Bozo The Clown ... but he apparently INVENTED him!!!
During his tenure with the label, Alan Livingston paired Frank Sinatra with Nelson Riddle and signed both The Beach Boys and The Beatles to the label.  After Dave Dexter infamously turned down the first several Beatles releases, it was Alan Livingston who stepped in and gave the green light for Capitol Records to press and release "I Want To Hold Your Hand" ... and the rest, as they say, is history!  (kk)

And here's a special treat.
We all know that George Harrison helped Ringo Starr write his 1971 #1 Hit Single "It Don't Come Easy" ... Harrison also produced and played on the track ... but what I didn't know was that George ALSO recorded a "demo-like" version of this tune.  (Even more surprising is that I've had this track in my collection for YEARS and didn't even know it!!!  It was on a God-Awful Beatles bootleg CD that I purchased and apparently never listened to all the way through!!!)
You'll see that the song is pretty well formed by this point ... in fact, much of the background instrumentation seems to be the same as that which made the final recording (minus the horns which were most likely added later to beef things up a little bit.)
As complete as it sounds, I cannot help but wonder if George ever considered releasing this song on his own ... it's not a bad take (and you can tell it's George thanks to the Hare Krishna's thrown in for good measure during the break!  lol)  All kidding aside, in that context, the song takes on a more spiritual sound and the lyrics spin a completely different picture.
With all the Harrison reissues that have come out since his death, I'm quite surprised that this track hasn't surfaced.  It certainly makes for an interesting collectible and conversation piece.
So give it a listen ... and enjoy!  (kk)

Just got through reading Sunday's Comments and three items immediately came to my mind.
First, when I saw Lee Pockress' name, it reminded me of a novelty record he put out in 1959 with Paul Vance under the duo of Lee and Paul with THE CHICK on Columbia. It was a 'bomb" nationally but made it into the top 10 locally here in OKC on our top 40 radio station.
Second, when I saw Neil Bogart's name mentioned, it reminded me of another top 10 record he had here in OKC back in 1961 with a song called BOBBY under the recorded name of Bobby Scott (Portrait).
Finally, today during the football games I saw a commercial I had never seen before. Can't
remember what the product was they were trying to sell, but the background music was
Sam Cooke's 1964 GOOD TIMES.
I'm diggin' the new "Happy Together" commercial with the dog that sells insurance!  (lol)  And, from what I understand, Howard Kaylan is pretty proud of this one, too.  (Like Frannie said, at least it's not being used to hawk Old Navy for Christmas!!!  By the way, "Good Vibrations" IS!!!)
The Neil Scott record (yes, the artist was "Neil" ... the TITLE was "Bobby") went all the way to #8 here in Chicago in 1961 ... we featured it ages ago.
The Lee and Paul single spent exactly one week at #100 in Billboard in 1959 ... but DID manage to climb to #84 in Cash Box Magazine.  I don't think I've ever heard it.  (kk)
Speaking of "Happy Together", it's been used in a number of ad campaigns over the years ...
This is one of the funnier ones:
Kent --
Monkee Business sounds like more fun than a "barrelful of people!!"  (That's from the old Monkees hand puppet, with about 6 or 8 different recorded slogans of course) 
Sad to hear about untimely passing of a guy who was with Glitterhouse ("Tinkerbell's Mind," a bit of the "Barbarella" soundtrack, etc.). 
Did the Association ever actually attempt to record "MacArthur Park"??  That certainly would have been interesting! 
Davie Allan -- lookin' great and still goin' strong!!!! 
I watched the Electric Prunes on Mike Douglas long enough to hear the tune and Barbara Feldon's joke, followed by the collective, "ohhhhh ... "  Great lip-synching by Jim Lowe and Mark Tulin's wonderful guitar.  I also laughed at the so-called "special effects" -- not quite the same thing as seeing them live in Seattle (or anyplace else they gigged), of which I'm sure at least a few folks on here have good memories! 
Hard to believe, but it's already been a year since Jimy Rogers, lead singer of The Mauds, passed away.  (December 4, 2010).  Former bandmates Gary and Joan Gand ask that we all just take a moment to remember Jimy this weekend and all the joy he brought us through his music.  You may even want to call up your favorite radio station and ask them to feature something by The Mauds.  R.I.P., Jimy.  (kk)
Meanwhile, here's a nice little tribute track put together by Joan Gand and The Gand Band:

What a GREAT story ... sounds like TJ Lubinsky has ANOTHER great '60's Special coming up on PBS.  Here's how he got his start in the "oldies" / fund-raising business!
(Thanks to FH Reader Tom Cuddy for sending us this article!)  kk
Speaking of T.J. Lubinsky, his latest PBS Music Special kicked off last night. 
Titled "'60s Pop, Rock And Soul: My Music", this latest musical adventure is hosted by Davy Jones and Peter Noone ... and features some of the biggest acts of the '60's performing many of their biggest hits.
Check it out to see:  The Vogues (Turn Around, Look At Me); Paul Revere and the Raiders (Kicks); Jefferson Starship (Somebody To Love and White Rabbit); Roger McGuinn (Mr. Tambourine Man); The Kingsmen (Louie Louie); The Ventures (Hawaii Five-0); Chad and Jeremy (A Summer Song); Gary Lewis and the Playboys (This Diamond Ring); Mitch Ryder (Devil With A Blue Dress); Percy Sledge (When A Man Loves A Woman); The Miracles (Ooh Baby Baby); ? and the Mysterians (96 Tears); Eddie Floyd (Knock On Wood); Eddie Holman (Hey There Lonely Girl); Gary DeCarlo of Steam (performing Na Na Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye) and Mason Williams (Classical Gas)
Davy Jones performs his #1 Hit Daydream Believer while Peter Noone gives us THREE of Herman's Hermits' biggest hits, I'm Into Something Good, I'm Henry the VIII, I Am and Check your local listings for future broadcasts ... or follow this link for a 
nationwide station list:
I couldn't find it on YOUTUBE ... but I was wondering if anyone else remembered Micky Dolenz (Circus Boy) on an episode of 'MY 3 SONS'?
Not one of his finer acting moments ... 
He gets to 'convince' Fred MacMurray that rock music wasn't just noise & them noise-makers, man ... but very technical ... 
Sitting in the producer's booth with Fred, Fred marvels at the technology and the musicianship of a song just played ... Mickey points out that the drummer hit (?) 3 bad notes and the recording needed to be redone, man!
I was embarassed for him then ... now? 
If I was him, I'd pay to keep it off YOUTUBE.
lol ... I don't think I've ever seen this episode.  (Hey, let's face it ... a lot of times an actor is only as good as the material he's given to work with.  Sounds like this was just another one of those stereotypical teenage sitcom plots!)  But I would like to see it!!! (kk)
Just did a little research ... the episode is called "Barbara Lost". rates it a "2.8" out of 10 ... "terrible"!!!  I didn't realize this was from 1972 ... I was thinking he must have done this BEFORE The Monkees.  Sounds God-Awful.  Now I want to see it even more!!!  (kk)
Thank you so much for taking the time to put together all of this info on Boyce and Hart. 
I first heard them on a record at a friend's house when I was in high school in the late 60's (they probably bought it out of a bargain bin) It was called "Test Patterns."  I first played it because it just looked interesting.  Every time I went over to their house, I got the record out and played it.  Eventually, I found a copy of my own and still own it. 
Of course, I had heard the Monkees but at that time, I was unaware that Boyce and Hart were the genius behind the great music of the Monkees.  I own a lot of the Monkees albums but I own all of the Boyce and Hart albums ... on pristine vinyl.
Thanks again
Jack Andreasen
Tillamook, Oregon
We got some great response for our Boyce and Hart Series ... great to see that people are still discovering it.  (If YOU haven't seen it yet, you can check out "The Music Of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart" here:

And our EXCLUSIVE interview with Bobby Hart here:

Hey Kent:  

I saw your recent listing for The Black Sheep. “It’s My Mind” is an excellent 60’s Folk Rock 45. One of Jerry Riopelle’s projects. He was from out west did some good 60’s things with The Parade (Sunshine Girl) and other stuff. He mutated in to 70’s Singer Songwriter stuff similar to Jesse Colin Young / James Taylor etc.   


Hey Kent,
I read Larry Neal's comments on The Black Sheep.  The group that recorded on Columbia, however, is a different combo than the guys that appeared on Sullivan. I'm happy to report that thanks to the info Andrew Solt provided, I've tracked down the correct band and hope to feature them shortly on  Thanks for your assistance in making it happen.
Well, that makes at least THREE bands calling themselves The Black Sheep that we've uncovered so far! (lol)
Let us know when the interview is up on your site.
Thanks, Mike!  (kk)
I've been talking about your Ed Sullivan Series on my radio show -- great job!
Phil Nee / WRCO
Your Ed Sullivan series was great!!!
I have just one little story about our Ed Sullivan show experience, or more properly, our lack of an Ed Sullivan show experience.
You see our managers offices were right upstairs over the Sullivan Theater stage in NYC. Although we had been on many if not most of the big pop / rock TV shows around the country, we had never been on the Sullivan show.  Well we were slightly younger and somewhat less experienced than a lot of the bands playing right then and we were kind of looked at as the new kids on the
block by a lot of the business people, so we just never got asked.  But a plan did develop!!??!!  Right after, (or was it during?), another one of our famously great parties (hard to remember actually for some reason), we come up with the idea of cutting a hole in the office floor, which was right over the stage, and lowering the band down on a platform right in the middle of a Topo Gigio act or something and playing until they dragged us off.  Maybe a little like when Ringo went through the floor in Help - except the entire band was to go this time. Well, as you can imagine we never got to do that.  Our management had no guts!!  Imagine if we had. 
Or maybe we will yet. We do have a movie script with this in it.  So you just never know.  We never expected to do another all out rock and roll record at this stage either!!??  But here it is!
Ken Evans / The Fifth Estate
Well, this would have at least gotten the band on the "Blooper Reel", right?!?!?  (kk)
One or two things to say about HIGH SCHOOL U.S.A. You are of course right about the number
of versions being recorded with Oklahoma being the last one. Like you, I have all versions but mine are on vinyl including the generic national version. One thing though about the Oklahoma version.  This was brought to my attention years ago by a friend of mine, something I had not even noticed.  In Oklahoma's version at least two of the schools mentioned are Jr. High, not High schools and I believe one of them mentioned is an elementary school. But you know something? Us kids didn't notice that when it came out in 1959 and the song being sung so fast.
It sounds like Warren Zevon was a member of The Everly Brothers' backing band at the time, too ... and, according to at least one source, it was The Everlys who asked Warren to write a song called "Werewolves Of London"!!!  (kk)
Good find about "Werewolves Of London"!!! Thanks! :-) 
I hadn't heard that before and sort of stumbled across while looking for that syndicated Phil Everly television series.  But I also just found this posted on Carl Wiser's website, who also credits Warren Zevon's own website for this information ... which tells me it's all pretty legit!  (kk):

Zevon wrote this with guitarist Robert "Waddy" Wachtel. When Zevon was working with The Everly Brothers, he hired Wachtel to play in their backing band. At one point, Phil Everly asked them to write a dance song for the Everly Brothers called "Werewolves Of London." Wachtel and Zevon were good friends and were strumming guitars together when someone asked what they were playing. Zevon replied, "Werewolves Of London," and Wachtel started howling. Zevon came up with the line "I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand," and they traded lyrics back and forth until they had their song. (thanks to the good people at for their help with this)

Hi Kent,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Forgotten Hits. Thank you for this amazing, fantastic and entertaining Website you do for all us music fans. Forgotten Hits has become just as legendary to us as the interviews and songs you play for us each week.
Heres to your continued success.
All The Best,
Cory Cooper
Hi Kent.
Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you and family had a splendid time. Been too long since I've written. Congratulations on ONE DOZEN years!

My wife arrived with a CD a friend passed along, saying she was loving the
music. Didn't pay much attention until I heard a familiar tune ... didn't know it well, but the dim memory gave way to appreciation of addictive sound of Miriam Makeba's Pata-Pata Song. My guess FH has covered Pata-Pata as a forgotten hit?  Made me curious if there was *anything* left you and FH hadn't resurrected from "forgotten", to be enjoyed all over again.  
"Hit" is the key. I've loved tunes, between the tracks stuff that many / most would not know, but thought I'd try finding a star that was still "forgotten".
Forgive me for throwing tunes here you may well have done justice to.
Donovan's "Riki Tiki Tavi", or Gordon Lightfoot's haunting, "I'm Not Supposed To Care"?  
I dug deep and found a Tom Jones "Coke" commercial, and The Moody Blues catching extra revenue singing virtues of Coke as well.  Tim Moore's "Second Avenue", or the Zombies, "You Really Got A Hold On Me"?
Just trying to serve the music and share an *"OMG ... haven't heard that one
since ..." 
kind of INDESCRIBABLE experience.
Hope everyone had a great T-day, and have a wonderful, healthy holiday season ahead!
Ron Kolman
I'm pretty sure we covered "Pata Pata" at some point in time in Forgotten Hits ... but it's actually on the "Today's Forgotten Hit" list, too, as a GREAT track that I feel quite confident the radio listening audience would enjoy hearing again.  We featured "Riki Tiki Tavi" at some point of time, too, but most likely as the answer to a question from a reader.  And "Second Avenue" ran recently as part of a two-fer along with the Art Garfunkel bigger hit version.  Great songs nonetheless!  (The Zombies' version of "You Really Got A Hold On Me" never charted so that one doesn't really qualify.)  And, as often as we still emails about popular commercials, I'm sure we can work these Coke ads in here somewhere!
Thanks for the suggestions ... this feature has gone over extremely well and we get TONS of suggestions each week ... neat to see that some of the deejays on the list are featuring these tracks, too, as "Today's Forgotten Hit"!  Best holiday wishes to you and yours as well!  Good to hear from you again!  (kk)
Happy Birthday.  12 years!  Know what that means?  Next year is Forgotten Hits' Bar Mitzvah, so let me be the first to wish you and early Mazel Tov!
All the best ~
The Twelve Days Of Christmas Countdown begins ...
Artists ... again ... WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!!
If you've got some new Christmas Tracks you'd like us to feature on the Forgotten Hits Web Page, NOW is the time to get these to me.  
Quite honestly, there is not a whole lot of new material floating around this year ... so this is your chance to have YOUR song stand out.  
But I need it quick!!!  We are already in the process of filling up all twelve days of this feature ... so PLEASE email me right away at to make sure YOUR selection is included!