Friday, April 1, 2011


We haven't done a "Helping Out Our Readers" feature for a while ... so here are some of your most recent inquiries ...

Hi Kent,

I found this on youtube and was very surprised to see the gals of Love Unlimited singing vocals to “Love’s Theme”, which is one of my all-time personal favorite instrumentals!! I don’t recall ever hearing ANY vocal version of this song! Was there an album cut or B-side with vocals that I wasn’t aware of? Does anybody know anything about this? I would greatly appreciate any info on this. Even better of course if someone has an MP3 to share.
Thanks for your help!
Eddie Burke

Orange, CT

Honestly, I've never heard a vocal arrangement of this song either ... (although I can't honestly say that I like it!!!) Sorry, but on THIS one, I think the instrumental version rules!!! (kk)

KK -

I have a question for you or FH regarding Neil Diamond.

I believe Solitary Man was reissued in 1970. Is that version that actually made Top 40 the same as the '66? release?

It's the same recording per se ... but enhanced with more orchestration and instrumentation.

When "Solitary Man" was first released back in 1966, it became Neil Diamond's first charting single, peaking at #55 on the Billboard Chart. Three months later, Diamond's career took off when "Cherry, Cherry" went to #6 ... and six more Top 40 Hits recorded for Bang Records followed.

Then, in 1968, Diamond signed with Uni Records. His first release for the label, "Brooklyn Roads", although one of my favorites, failed to make The Top 40. When follow-up releases "Two-Bit Manchild" and "Sunday Sun" ALSO missed The Top 40, Bang decided to start re-releasing some of their Neil Diamond back catalog, usually with some type of music enhancements and new mixes. Soon Neil was competing with himself on the charts.

Finally, in 1969, Neil scored three straight Top 20 Hits ("Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show", #13; "Sweet Caroline", #3 and "Holly Holy", #4.) Meanwhile, Bang Records was able to capitalize on Neil's new-found success and watched "Shilo", "Solitary Man", "Do It" and "I'm A Believer" all climb the charts alongside Neil's latest releases.

"Solitary Man" reached #20 in its re-released format. (It went to #2 here in Chicago!) But they are the same recording with different instrumentation. (Give a listen!) kk


Is there a possibility that there are two versions, single or album, of the Guess Who's Star Baby? This has been driving me crazy for years as the current versions you hear on the internet just don't sound right. I remember the version that WLS played to death was noticeably faster, more energetic. But then, wasn't one of the Chicago stations accused of speeding up the songs so they could have more room for commercials?

Hoffman Estates

"Star Baby" was a HUGE hit for The Guess Who here in Chicago, where it went all the way to #3. (Nationally, it peaked at #30 in Cash Box Magazine and #39 in Billboard.) MOST of their hits did better here in Chicago ... where the band often came to record in the late '60's and early '70's.

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that there are different album and single versions of this tune ... "punched-up singles" were pretty much the norm back then. (And you're right, at various times, WLS and WCFL were BOTH accused of speeding up their records to not only squeeze a little more music in but to all sound a little more "high intensity" on the air.)

For this one, I went to our resident Guess Who Expert, Dan Hudelson. Here's what he had to say:

Hi Kent,

As long I've been mingling with the Guess Who fans online, discussing all manner of minutiae, this subject has never come up. Although I never bought the 45 (did play it and its "Musicioné flip on the jukebox in various establishments), I certainly heard the song enough times on Chicago radio (was living in Bellwood at the time), as well as on the ROAD FOOD LP, and never noticed there to be a difference of tempo or pitch that would result from speeding it up (don't actually remember if we listened to WCFL or to WLS).

I certainly would have expected this subject, were it true, to have come up during the past ten years that I've been in contact with Guess Who fans online.


Good day!
I was just intro'ed to your site by a search I did (yahoo) for The Cryan Shames. You guys were very helpful, thanks.
So I was half-right, there was a band by this name, but I cant remember what song it was that I heard of theirs in the 60's. (I was living in Alabama then)
I thought it was "Shame, Shame" but apparently not. Do you remember this song? I think the chorus went:
"Shame, shame, we had a good thing goin', shame, shame ..."
That's about all I remember of it ...
Could I trouble you for a few more questions?
Me and my buddy listen to the True Oldies Channel WZLS at work and have questions:
Fred and the Playboys (Judy In Disguise) ... is this the same Playboys that Gary Lewis (son of Jerry) had? (Sealed With A Kiss = one of my faves!)
Was Lindsay Buckingham in The Buckinghams, Buckingham Nicks and Fleetwood Mac?
And was the "Nicks" Stevie Nix? (still beautiful!)
Damn! I'm only 62 and my rock and roll memory is trying to elude me!
It sure helps to listen to the True Oldies Channel!!
Any help you could give would be appreciated.
The Cryan' Shames were HUGE here in Chicago in the mid-to-late '60's (and they still perform around the area today.) Their BIGGEST national hit was "Sugar And Spice", a cover of The Searchers' song ... but here in Chi-Town "It Could Be We're In Love" went to #1 and stayed there for four consecutive weeks, even holding The Beatles ("All You Need Is Love") and The Doors ("Light My Fire") out of the top spot at the time! (They were finally dethroned by Bobbie Gentry's monster hit "Ode To Billie Joe", which Jim "Hooke" Pilster tells me he STILL hates to this very day for that very reason!!! lol)
"Shame Shame" was by The Magic Lanterns ... and is one of MY favorite songs from this era, too. (It went to #17 nationally but was a Top Five Smash here in Chicago, too!)
As far as John Fred and his Playboy Band and Gary Lewis and the Playboys goes ... nope, different Playboys. (By the way, Didjaknow that Leon Russell was one of Gary Lewis' Playboys for a while?!?!?)
Lindsay Buckingham wasn't in The Buckinghams ... they were yet ANOTHER Chicago band that hit it big in the '60's. (They're still out there touring, too, and soon will be back out on the raod again as part of The Happy Together Again Tour, 2011, along with The Turtles, The Association, The Grass Roots and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders.) But as for Buckingham and Nicks, it sure was ... Lindsay and Stevie worked first as a duo and then joined Fleetwood Mac together several years later.
We work closely with Scott Shannon and The True Oldies Channel ... so don't be at all surprised to find that he may feature a couple of these tunes and dedicate them to you, too! (In fact, this weekend Scott is running the very popular Rock And Roll Remakes Weekend ... and you'll probably hear Forgotten Hits mentioned once or twice along the way!)
Thanks again for your letter ... and please feel free to ask your oldies questions at any time!

Didn't you do the top 50 or 100 instrumentals of all time? I looked on your website & can't find it ... HELP!!!
We actually have TWO sets of Instrumental Charts on our website ...
The first chart is a mathematical calculation based on these records' actual performance on the national charts.
Then, we polled our readers to vote for their all-time favorite instrumental hits ... we were curious to see which ones, after all this time, still made their lists.
You can find BOTH charts here (on the other Forgotten Hits Website);

Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 40 Instrumentals, 1955 - 1979

Just a few more tidbits we received this week ...
Hi Kent.
This Saturday I will be playing guitar for the Chantels and the Duprees in Jackson, New Jersey. I do not know who else is on this show, but I will give you an up-date.
Don "Young" Albano

Please do, Don ... we've got a TON of New Jersey readers who might like to catch this show! (kk)

I have another fantastic Friday planned for you in "The Pop Shoppe".
My show is on every Friday night from 7 pm till 3:01 am (Eastern) on
This week, from 9:00 - 10:00, I'll be doing a phone interview with Big Bopper, Junior. we will learn about his career plus that of his famous father. Some of my listeners have had the pleasure of seeing him in person as he performs some legendary material. Don't miss this one!!!!! (In fact, give us a call and say "Hello Baby!")
Then, from 10:00- 10:30, I'll be remembering Alan Freed ...
We go back to the 50's for one of Alan's shows. Some great memories here!!!!!
From 10:30 - 12:00 AM, let's doo wop!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have 90 minutes to sing along and dance to some of those classic doo wop melodies.
Last Friday when I did my Johnny Maestro tribute I played a Vito Picone show where he had the reunion of The Del-Satins. The response was so good that I will be featuring more of Vito's shows in the near future. Also, I'd like to thank Fred and Les for that fabulous interview we had about Johnny and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Looking ahead I am set for one week from this Friday when I will be talking on the phone with Peter Altschuler who is the son of Murray the K. That will be followed by a special remembrance of folk singer Phil Ochs.
If you missed last week's show (and the Johnny Maestro tribute), the entire four hours are on the site which includes Vito's show. I look forward to seeing everybody this Friday night so that I can play "The Greatest Songs That Ever Lived".
Stuart Weiss / DJ STU

I received this email from Ides Of March keyboardist Scott May earlier this week:
It's with regret that we announce the passing of a member of the extended Ides Family. Ray Herr, who played Rhythm Guitar, Bass, and Sang with the Ides during the late sixties and early seventies passed away yesterday after a long battle with Cancer.Ray played on the "Vehicle" album.
There will be no funeral. A Memorial service is planned for the spring in Arlington Heights. Please share our thoughts and prayers for Ray and his family in their time of grief.
-- Scott May

Several readers wrote in as well ... and provided a link to an article published in our local Daily Herald newspaper:
Ray Herr played his guitar at restaurants and clubs throughout the Northwest suburbs, but his claim to fame stretched back to 1970, when he played guitar with the Ides of March in their biggest hit, “Vehicle.” The single rose to No. 2 on the national charts and broke ground for its use of a brass section in a rock band.
Herr continued to record with the Ides, including their other major hit, “L.A. Goodbye,” which reached the top of Chicago charts, but he left the band after that and never looked back.
Herr died Tuesday from esophageal cancer. The Hainesville resident was 64.
“Ray had that certain star quality that just lit up the stage,” said Jim Peterik, lead singer of the Ides of March who now lives in Burr Ridge. “When he was part of the Ides' lineup, there was never a dull moment. We had to keep up with Ray.”
Herr grew up in Arlington Heights and was among the first four-year class to graduate from St. Viator High School, in 1965. During high school, Herr played in the bands Second Story and The Orphanage at the Cellar, a popular teen venue in Arlington Heights that showcased local rock bands.
He auditioned with the Ides of March in 1969, and was part of the band's rapid rise to national fame, when “Vehicle” became the fastest-selling single in Warner Bros. Record's history.
It wound up selling more than 1 million copies, and led to an album by the same name, as well as extensive national tours. The Ides recorded their second album, “Common Bond,” and one of its singles, “LA Goodbye,” stayed on top of Chicago's charts for five weeks.
Ray Graffia, lead singer and guitarist with New Colony Six, another popular rock band in the late 1960s, remembers his band vying with the Ides of March for radio time.
“At the time, there were six of us sharing the charts, the New Colony Six, the Cryan' Shames, the Ides of March, the Buckinghams, American Breed and the Shadows of Knights,” Graffia says. “It was friendly competition.”
When Herr broke away from the Ides of March in the early 1970s, he returned to play in the Northwest suburbs. Friends say he played regular solo gigs at the Banana Boat in Rolling Meadows, P's & Q's in Palatine and Mrs. P and Me in Mount Prospect.
By the 1980s, he joined with friends in a band called the Ron Showboat Show Band, that played at the VIP Lounge in Mount Prospect.
More recently, Herr was an active member of the Sons of the American Legion, based at the American Legion Post 208 in Arlington Heights. He joined members there in a band called the “208's,” and he helped to organize an open mic night, that gave a venue to up and coming musicians to perform.
Herr often played with them, providing backup guitar and bass, and lending his star power to young performers.
“He was something of a celebrity around here,” says John Jarosz Jr. of Rolling Meadows, commander of the Sons of the American Legion. “He was a real draw.”
Herr also played at many of the American Legion events, including its summer car shows, during Frontier Days ever summer, and on Thanksgiving, when the post hosted Navy recruits from Great Lakes Naval Base.
He even served one term as commander of the Sons of the American Legion and helped further its service project, which was raising money to ship musical instruments overseas to military troops.
Herr was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Elsie. He is survived by his wife Debbie.
A memorial service will take place at 6 p.m. April 9 at American Legion Post 208, 121 N. Douglas Ave. in Arlington Heights.

And this, from The Ides Of March Website:

To modern Ides fans, he is best known for his grainy black and white picture on the back of the "Vehicle" album, but back in the classic days, he was front and center, sharing the spotlight with Jim. We're very sorry to report that Ides Alum RAY HERR passed away on Tuesday. March 29th.

Ray came to the band in 1968, after playing with a very popular local band, The Second Story. Ray was the rhythm guitarist (Larry at the time, played keyboards) and played bass on the brass songs, when Bob went over to sax. Ray was there for the wild days when "Vehicle" was brand new, and toured extensively with the band, until he resigned in 1970. Ray continued to play in bands, and as a solo artist, enjoying wide popularity in the Northern Suburbs. Ray also very active in the American Legion. No Funeral will be held, but a memorial service is to be conducted April 9, 6 p.m.. at American Legion Post 208, 121 N. Douglas Ave. in Arlington Heights.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's Next

Now that our "What Is An Oldie?" Series is over, it's time to move on to something new. (I'm still digesting all of the commentary we received ... I just haven't decided quite what to DO with it all yet!!! lol) Meanwhile, here are a couple more late additions to your comments ... This series has been loads of fun, Kent. The variety of responses and the differing viewpoints - coupled with the same recurring themes - have been informative and well-organized. One thing you've touched on a few times is the fact that ultimately the listeners decide which "oldies" they like - and which they don't. The problem we face - as you and the other contributors repeat - is that the radio programmers practice the Stockholm Syndrome, or a variation of it. Feed me the same 100 songs over and over; then perform your "research" and ask me which songs are most familiar to me, or which songs I like best -- and voila! I respond with the songs you've been jamming down my throat. Anyone slightly familiar with psychology sees the flaw in that approach, but that's the way it continues to be done, and that's the way the "researchers" earn their pay. (I know - I recently got the phone call to come listen to bits of 400 songs and receive $60 for my 2 1/2 hours of time) This approach is the same approach all media outlets and all politicians use today. Feed us the same crap opinions or choices all the time ... give us only polar opposites to choose from ... and then force us to choose. Never, ever, offer us a larger variety of options which may require a little more thought, or which allow us to "meet in the middle" and resolve some pressing problems. Sux David Lewis Ain't it the truth?!?!? Amen! (kk)


First let me say you did an outstanding job of the way you presented your readers' responses to what is an "oldie".

Even the comments you made to some of them were exceptional.

(Gee thanks ... I think!!! lol) kk

I can see where one would want to say an "oldie" is from a certain year going up to a certain year, 1955 to 1975.

Here at home, and I don't know if you have ever discussed this before, I have my records categorized together alphabetically. For example, anything recorded in the fifties is grouped together, 1960-1963 grouped together, 1964-1969 grouped together, 1970's grouped together, 1980 through 1989 are grouped together individually by year. I quit buying and getting 45's during the year 1989. I think you know the reason why.

No matter what the musical form, (pop, rock, novelty, jazz, etc), they are grouped together and I can lay my hand on a particular record if I want.

Have a great weekend and am looking forward to Sunday's Comments.

Larry Neal

All my stuff is alphabetical by artist regardless of timeframe or musical genre ... with tens of thousands of material available, this is just the easiest way for me to find something. Plus (as I stated during the series), I'm a firm believer that this music can ... and SHOULD ... coexist alongside each other. Radio has spent the better part of the past 30 years segregating and categorizing and "labeling" music as far as what fits where ... and, in the process, has totally diluted the greatest thing music has to offer ... variety ... new sounds and new trends ... even most of the Internet services today and geared toward "If you like so-and-so, then you're SURE to like such-and-such." At first, this was an interesting proposal ... and actually did get you to isten to something you might otherwise not have bothered with. But now, after all this time, I feel confident enough to make up my OWN mind without someone else deciding what's good for me ... another reason I absolutely HATE this whole consulting mentality!!! (kk)

Morning Kent -

I had every US and UK top 20 hit from 1960 to 1975 on my playlist in 2009, as well as every US number 1 from 1955 to 1959. It didn't work

Exactly why it didn't work was unclear at the time, though I now believe this explains it. There are many things people can do on the internet these days but very few actually use it to listen to the radio, and of those who do, almost all are inclined to listen to the online stream of an AM / FM station they would normally listen to offline

With a few notable exceptions most independent online broadcasters average around 2000 listening hours a month, but compare this to the 6 million plus BBC Radio 2 in the UK had in January and you begin to see what we're up against. Furthermore, research shows that whether people have a choice of 3 or 30 stations to listen to, the average person will only listen to one or maybe two of them and stay loyal regardless of the output. Little wonder programmers stick to the same old same old

Well I've always tried to be different so here's my challenge to all FH readers

Help me build the ULTIMATE play list and let's give the listeners what they REALLY want



That just might be the next step, Nick. We're kicking around several ideas right now ... but honestly, I myself haven't decided yet which format I would most enjoy. If we truly limited the "oldies" to 1955 - 1975, I believe there certainly is an audience for that, as proven by the responses we received in our recent series. But, quite honestly, I'm not sure that would be enough for me ... it would be eliminating too much of the OTHER music that I truly love. More and more, I'm leaning toward the "Music For The Ages" format, as that really hasn't been tried yet on a wide-scale basis. I say let's try something TOTALLY new here that has appeal for EVERYBODY ... let them know what you're doing ... and then wait for feedback.

Stay tuned ... the wheels are turning! (kk)


So what's next?

Well, to understand where rock and roll came from, we've decided to poll our audience in an effort to find the most important songs of the Pre-Rock Era.

What songs and artists were the most influential in developing this hot new sound? What are the "must" songs of this era, 1940 - 1954 ... BEFORE "Rock Around The Clock" made the charts? (When "Rock Around The Clock" was first released in 1954, it failed to chart at all!!! Perhaps America wasn't ready yet for this new rebellious sound. But then, after it was featured as a focal point in the movie "Blackboard Jungle", a rock and roll revolution was born.)

Bill Haley didn't START rock and roll anymore than Elvis did ... but both of these artists were certainly "poster children" of this brand new sound. We want to know which songs YOU GUYS believe are the most IMPORTANT SONGS of this Pre-Rock Era ... not necessarily the biggest hits ... not necessarily R & B / R & R related ... just the Ultimate Play List of Pre-Rock Songs.

Depending on your votes, we'll count down the results. (I don't know if that means a Top Ten, a Top 50 or a Top 100 yet ... that's all up to you!!!) Who belongs and who doesn't? Hank Williams? Louis Jordan? Johnnie Ray? It's ALL up to you!

We need you to vote for the songs and artists that MOST exemplified where rock and roll was headed ... or just the most important "can't miss" music of this era. It's your assignment to put together the ULTIMATE 1940 - 1954 Play List ... what songs HAVE to be on there in order for people to understand where rock and roll music came from? (There's a famous quote that producer Sam Phillips once asked Elvis Presley who he sounded like to which Presley reportedly replied, "Well, sir, I don't sound like anybody" ... and it was that very fact that propelled him to the top of the charts ... yet early on in his career, Elvis admitted that one of his favorite singers was Dean Martin ... and that he tried to channel that sound when recording some of his early ballads.)

We don't know WHAT to expect in the way of results ... while I'm quite sure that some of these are "givens" ... "Sixty Minute Man" by The Dominoes ... "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Wynonie Harris ... Big Mama Thornton's version of "Hound Dog" ... what about an artist like Hank Williams? Does HE belong on this list? (I say yes ... absolutely ... but what do YOU say???) And how about some of the early crooners like Eddie Fisher, Nat "King" Cole, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby? They all inspired OTHER rock artists along the way ... should THEY be part of our "Roots Of Rock" ranking?

Honestly, we don't care HOW many you list ... or how you rank them ... whatever is easiest for you ... if you wanna list a hundred, then list a hundred ... if you want to keep it to ten or twenty, that's fine, too. You're welcome to list reasons for a particular song or artist's inclusion ... or not ... seriously, whatever you want to do is fine by me ... we just want to compile the most accurate list possible.

Give it some thought ... and then email your ballots to We need your help on this one ... and we want to compile the ULTIMATE List. This is an era that isn't typically recognized anymore ... yet paved the way for all that came after it ... so make your vote count!

Thanks for your support! kk

Kent Kotal

Forgotten Hits

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mid-Week Comments

It is TUESDAY and I'm STILL reading SUNDAY'S FH news!!!! With this repetition, maybe you should open a commercial radio station and play the same FH news blogs 200 times!!! LOL! Just jokin'! :-) Best, Jersey John
Hey ... I've been busy!!! (Hard to post something new every single day when you're working 12-14 hours a day and Blogger isn't cooperating ... (once again you can see this stuff is ALL over the place!!!) ... but we DID scrape together a few minutes this morning to keep the flow going.) And, don't forget, we ARE still posting our new TODAY'S FORGOTTEN HIT feature Monday - Friday! (kk)

Here's more:

re: THE I.R.S.:
You only have until March 31st to get your 'shoulda beens' to
Hz to help build the 2011
I.R.S. Top 104.Since 2008, Hs So Good's I.R.S. (as in, "It Really Shoulda" been a top 10 hit) has ranked the songs that shoulda been Top 10 hits in the U.S., based on your filed returns. THIS I.R.S. deadlines MARCH 31st, so we may prepare the Top 104 in time for the next Hz So Good, and for the radio countdown airing during tax deadline weekend (for that other I.R.S.).
If you haven't already, here's all you need do:
* Send an email with your choices to: *

* In rank order, best first, list up to 104 (or as few as you'd like) songs (title AND artist, please) that you feel shoulda been Top 10 in the U.S.
* Any song that never made Top 10 is fair game; songs don't have to have ever charted or been released as singles.
* Because this is a ranking of SONGS, do not list 2 versions of the same song by different artists together, or 2 sides of a single together.
* Hit "Send."
Need another reason to file?
How about, random returns will receive "refunds" in the form of either merch from, CDs, and for a select few, a CD set of this year's I.R.S. Top 104.
The countdown of the 4th annual I.R.S. Top 104 will begin Friday April 15th, 6 - 10 pm ET on Bob Radil's show on, with Part 2 the next morning on "The Rest of the Week with Rich Appel" on
Our preparers are standing by.
H&Z ROCK ... a division of Hz So Good


This weekend Scott Shannon will be rolling out the
VERY popular "Rock And Roll Remakes" again ... with some brand new additions courtesy of The Forgotten Hits Field Team, who regularly provide us with classic gems they've unearthed. Keep it tuned to The True Oldies Channel all weekend long to hear some great music you haven't heard in a while ... or maybe not at all! (kk)

*****Tommy Edwards is back on the air in Chicago as CBS positions WJMK to challenge WLS-fm in the “oldies” race. Under Dan Mason’s leadership, CBS virtually owns this format nationally. I’m betting Tommy will be on the winning side of this battle. (John Rook)

*****Gotta disagree with you on this one, John. Unless K-Hits revamps their entire formula (which right now sounds like oldies radio on speed ... it's virtually unlistenable!), they haven't got a chance. (They're trying WAY too hard to create the magic of the glory days of B96, which was a "Hot Hits" station ... this formula simply doesn't work with an oldies audience ... I've found it almost IMPOSSIBLE to listen to. Worse yet, the deejays don't seem to have any connection to (or affection for) this music ... seriously, unless a MAJOR overhaul is on the way, I think they're doomed.

Click here: True Oldies Channel

Hmmmm, Kent, I disagree with you on this one.
I listened this morning / afternoon (Sunday) to George McFly (He was the night jock on B96 when I did mornings in the mid 90's), and I thought he sounded GREAT! This format was perfect for George. I haven't heard Eddie and Jobo yet, Gary Spears (who's a hell-of-a jock) or Tommy Edwards, but I'm betting money that PD Todd Cavanah is RIGHT ON with the fact that the people that grew up with B96 and the old B96 jocks and will accept them AND the nostalgic music BIG TIME, in fact, I'm predicting Chicago not only will accept this station but propel it to Top 5 status. I'm sure CBS spent a buttload of $$$ doing their due diligence on this, and they wouldn't have launched it if they thought it wouldn't work. Actually, I think Todd Cavanah is a freaking GENIUS for putting this on the air. The only thing he could do better would be to hire me on weekends to do a specialty 60's Show (which I'm talking to him about as we speak, and you KNOW I have a
passion for the music).
As a caveat, I only lived in Chicago for a few years while on B96, and you've lived there your entire life so you may have a better understanding of the city and the people than I, but I'm calling you out on this one brother, I think you're sadly mistaken in your way of thinking here!
"Wild" Bill Cody
Without question, there is a whole lotta love and affection for the old B96 jocks from the kids who grew up with that station (just like OUR generations for WLS and WCFL) ... but the music they're playing on K-Hits is NOT the music that these kids grew up with. If it were (which I guess would make it an 80's / 90's station), I would tend to agree with you ... but they're reaching back a little too far for what they believe will be their built-in audience ... and it just sounds phony. (I'd be willing to bet that most of the jocks on the air weren't even BORN in the '60's and/or early '70's!!! How can they possibly relate to this music???)

If WLS-FM concentrated ONLY on '50's, 60's and early-to-mid-70's ... and K-Hits picked it up from there, playing 1976 - 1999, there'd be an EXCELLENT mix of music going on where, at least when you tuned in, you'd know EXACTLY what you'd be getting. Unfortunately, EACH station is trying to cover too wide an area and is diluting everything it plays in the process. We say "COMMIT", dammit!!!

(Meanwhile, Y103.9 continues to play an EXCELLENT mix of 60's, 70's and 80's ... with an occasional 50's thrown into the mix, too ... and all without a lot of fanfare or attention ... they simply play it all as a matter of course of playing "The Greatest Hits Of All-Time".)
Click here: Listen Live To WWYW - Y103.9
Why K-Hits isn't working: they don't seem to know which audience they want to attract. Advertising itself as "Chicago's New Greatest Hits Station, playing songs of the '60's, '70's and '80's" ... but then trying to do it in a hip, contemporary show ... and bringing back the cream of the old B96 crop to do so ... doesn't mesh. As stated earlier, the B96 audience that grew up on their Hot Hits Format don't care at all about the music of the '60's and '70's ... and, quite honestly, neither does the station. I remember hearing exactly TWO '60's songs last week while button pushing ... "Twist And Shout" by The Beatles and "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel. Yesterday I heard "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" by The Temptations ... but that was then followed by a whole rap about Simon Cowell's new X-Factor Show auditions ... with the excited deejays telling their audience how THEY just might be the next "Pussycat Dolls". Trust me ... the audience tuning in to listen to music from the '60's and '70's couldn't care LESS about The Pussycat Dolls ... if they even know who they are. They simply can't relate. Meanwhile, I heard "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners FIVE TIMES in a 24 hour period!!! Maybe adding Tommy Edwards will add some credibility to the station ... and maybe a few more "vintage voices" from Chicago's radio past will stop by and play for a while, too ... but first the station needs to figure out who it is ... and who it wants to be.
What's wrong with radio: And, now that K-Hits has officially signed on the air, WLS-FM has taken to calling itself "Chicago's Greatest Hits Station" (as opposed to "NEW" Greatest Hits Station). Meanwhile, Y103.9 advertises that they're playing "The Greatest Hits of All-Time". Once again, NOTHING to distinguish one station from another. (And notice how they've ALL gotten away from using the word "oldies" ... even on The True Oldies Channel??? In fact, other than Scott Shannon, I don't really hear ANY of the other jocks referring to WLS-FM as "Chicago's True Oldies Channel" anymore ... now it's simply "94.7, WLS-FM".) Everyone seems much more content to jump on the same bandwagon rather than promote ANYTHING new and unique that might make your station stand apart. Seriously, if True Oldies concentrated ONLY on the music from 1955 - 1975, you'd have a WIDE variety of music to choose from as well as an opportunity to play some long-dormant songs that haven't received any radio airtime in a long, long while. Let the other guys fight over the 1976-1996 stuff! (kk)

Kent -

I never knew Mike Piazza, but he made me recall Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, when he played an old 1988 (?) Rhino LP, "The Federal Years" (?) and there was a crude sounding stereo version of one of Hank's hits!!! It was NICE to hear someone who knew (had) the source he was playing!!! While Mike admitted he was more into Classic Rock, it's sad to find he passed.
From an email I just received:
"Mike Piazza, as mentioned on your site,, has sadly passed on. He was both a beloved DJ at WTSR at Trenton State University and hosted oldies shows for Supreme Concerts. There will never be another like him. WTSR is planning a tribute on Sunday March 27 at noon ET "
Jersey John

And, without question the most annoying song ON the radio ... gee, I wonder how long it took to come up with the lyrics to this one. (Makes Paul McCartney's "Let 'em In" sound like a masterpiece!!!) kk
Kent ... Have you heard the biggest song in the world “Friday” by Rebecca Black or the cover of it by BOB DYLAN?
Artie Wayne


Stephen Bishop delighted his fans with a rare NYC concert date Monday in Times Square at BB Kings. Although he's written some incredible songs for himself and others over the years, he kicked off the night with a cover of Jonathan King's 1965 hit "Everybody's Gone to the Moon." Throughout a generous 100 minute set (with 3 encores) Stephen accompanied himself on guitar, while his close friend, Jim Wilson, impressed with some mighty fine keyboard work.
You'd never know he was fighting the remains of a cold, his voice (including his famous falsetto) sounded identical to his records. He delivered the hits . . . "Save It For A Rainy Day", (you might remember Eric Clapton played guitar on the original 1976 smash) . . . "On and On" . . . and the love theme from "Tootsie," "It Might Be You." The 59-year-old San Diego born songwriter also brought to life some of the movie themes he wrote, including "Separate Lives," which Phil Collins (who is a friend of Bishop and also played on his records) popularized, and the title song from the John Belushi comedy blockbuster "Animal House." Stephen was also in the movie. He plays the guy in the dorm playing the guitar on the stairs when Belushi's character grabs the guitar and smashes it.
His dry sense of humor was on display throughout the show, particularly when he told the story about going to the Academy Awards the year he was nominated and losing to Lionel Richie. At the after party Lionel introduced him to the late Elizabeth Taylor, a moment he said he'll never forget.
Among the celebrities at BB Kings who came out to cheer Stephen were legendary songwriter Jimmy "MacArthur Park" Webb and Art Garfunkel. Garfunkel is credited with giving Stephen his first big break by recording some of his early tunes.
Tom Cuddy
New York City, NY

(photos by Stuart Hersh)

Thanks, Tom ... sounds like a GREAT show.
I always liked Stephen Bishop ... had all of his LP's ... Garfunkel recorded a couple of his tunes before Stephen's first solo album came out ... obviously, he already had quite a following in order to get artists like Eric Clapton and Chaka Khan to make guest appearances on his rookie effort! (Funny thing is I always thought Bishop sounded a lot like Paul Simon back then ... and that if he and Garfunkel ever teamed up to do a couple of Simon and Garfunkel tunes, they'd pretty much sound spot on!) Thanks for the GREAT review and cool pics! (kk)

I apologize, but I used to love saying if Sammy Davis ever sang this song, he'd have to change the lyrics to "My EYE Adored You" ... my apologies to Sandy Dennis :-)
Wild Bill

Frankie Valli Joins Dan Taylor In Studio Tuesday

Kent ...
I know you won't have time to print this ... but I thought you might want to check it out for yourself. Call in sick from work.

Frank B.

Please send us a full report!!! (kk)

Kent ...
3/29/11: WCBS-FM Morning man, Dan Taylor, chatted with Frankie Valli.
--- When Frankie was 6 years old, his mother took him to see Frank Sinatra.
Right then, he knew he wanted to be a singer. I wanted to be a cowboy.
--- First 4 Seasons song he heard on the radio was "Sherry," while riding in his 1957 Olds.
--- 1966 - They went to see Frank Sinatra . One of the songs he sang was "I've Got You Under My Skin." Bob Guadio says "We've got to record this song." Frankie says "You're crazy!"
Bob was right.
--- 1976 - "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)" - Frankie said this was a Prohibition Era song. Bob Guadio rewrote the lyrics.
--- Right now putting together the cast for fifth road show of "Jersey Boys."
I didn't know there were that many people who could sing like Frankie Valli.
--- What's next? Frankie Valli is talking to major company about writing a cookbook and putting out a Frankie Valli brand sauce.
Do you remember when he was on "The Sopranos"? I think his name was Rusty.
Frank B.
Good review! If anyone out there hasn't seen "Jersey Boys" yet, it is an evening of MUST SEE entertainment ... one of the best shows we've EVER seen (and I think we've seen it four or five times now!!!) Yes, it is amazing to think that somebody can go out there are re-create that Frankie Valli sound night after night after night ... you've got to be SPOT ON for each performance in order to pull this off ... I think we saw two different "Frankies" when the show played here in Chicago and BOTH of them pulled it off tremendously. Great story, great music ... and it's playing all over the world right now!
(By the way, believe it or not I never saw a single episode of "The Sopranos" ... just wasn't my thing ... but yes, Frankie Valli was on the show for a couple of years.) kk



The 2011 edition of the Experience Hendrix concert tour, presented by Fender guitars, launches in May with the all-star lineup of musicians that have partnered in the previous couple of tours.

This year's lineup will include performances by Billy Cox, Steve Vai, Robert Randolph, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, David Hidalgo & Cesar Rosas [Los Lobos], Keb’ Mo, Eric Johnson, North Mississippi All Stars, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, Corey Glover and Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Ernie Isley, drummer Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble / Arc Angels) and Indigenous. Billy Cox is the last living member of Jimi's bands. He has recently released a self-produced CD Last Gypsy Standing. As always, special guests may show up at select performances. Initial 2011 Experience Hendrix tour dates include:

5/20 - Las Vegas, NV - Hilton Theater

5/22 - Dana Point, CA - Doheny Festival

5/23 - Mesa, AZ - Mesa Arts Center

5/24 - Tucson, Arizona - TBA

5/26 - Santa Rosa, CA - Wells Fargo Center for the Arts

5/27 - Reno, NV - Grand Sierra Resort

5/28 - Santa Cruz, CA - Santa Cruz Blues Festival

5/29 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Avila Beach Blues Festival


Just wanted you to know it was nice of you mentioning Johnny Nash's A VERY SPECIAL LOVE
along with the TEEN COMMANDMENTS in your written section of Tuesday's FH.
I always did like A VERY SPECIAL LOVE, which was covered, I believe, by Debbie Reynolds.
Of course nowadays you don't hear anymore of Paul Anka or even George Hamilton IV.
Debbie Reynolds and Johnny Nash shared the #30 position in Cash Box Magazine with "A Very Special Love", back in the day where the song was often considered more important than the recording artist. (Neither version did as well in Billboard).
Nash was first marketed as a teen idol but, unlike Paul Anka and (for a short time anyway) George Hamilton IV, he never seemed to catch on. Early on in his career, he appeared on Arthur Godfrey's radio AND TV programs ... according to Joel Whitburn's book, he kicked off his career at the age of 13!
Then, in the late '60's, he decided to chuck it all and moved to Jamaica, where he was reborn as one of rock's very first reggae stars. (You'll hear a hint of this early newfound style in the 1968 Hit that we featured, "Hold On Tight" ... and much more so in his hits "I Can See Clearly Now" and "Stir It Up".) kk

I was glad to see you feature a Johnny Nash song today -- and that you mentioned his first hit, "A Very Special Love." It's a great song from his "Johnny Mathis period."

Always wondered how long it would take for someone to solve it . . .

And I always thought it would make a great "Stump the Listeners" question for some DJ who'd play the song and ask: Name this singer who 14 years later would have a No. 1 hit.
Don Effenberger

Probably not too many ... "A Very Special Love" probably hasn't been played on the radio for over fifty years!!! lol (kk)
The Knickerbockers - Lies - 1966 Not sure where this group is from.
Oh, wait, they are from New Jersey!! Lots of talent in that State! :)

Recorded on 10/05/1965, somewhere in California.
The record company put the 45 RPM record A Side song as "The Coming Generation" and the B Side as "Lies".
Oh, no!
Anyway, let's join this fine, good looking group in the recording studio as they rehearse at Take #3, followed by the unedited (unknown Take(s)) of the "hit" ending!!!
Was the song really featured in the Universal movie, "Out Of Sight", Mr. Whitburn!?,

Jersey John

That recording of The Cryan' Shames is very heavy, because of the banter after the song. It was recorded after a Chicagofest performance, as you know, but I was blown away when I heard my late friend, Jeff Lind, start doing an interview. Jeff did the History of Chicago Rock articles in the Illinois Entertainer. I had not seen him for many years, when I found out that he had died ... but at one time, I saw him all of the time. I saw him socially, and he worked with me in my store once or twice a week, in the mid seventies. Hearing is voice was ... whoo ...
John Harrold (Olsen)
(ex Uncle Albert's Records & Tapes, Arlington Heights 1973-1983 RIP)

Kent baby -
Just wanted to stop by and say hell-0 - been super busy which is a good thing these days and just wanted to thank you for the hard work with the web site -
When I get a chance to stop by, I do -- and always find some interesting info --
Heck, I see people talking about a record or two - and then I go and pull it out of the collection and bring it in the following morning for some airplay -
Sometimes it takes an "Oh Wow, I forgot about that song" moment to shake my tree and have some fun on air with it
Keep rockin', buddy!
Jeff James
That's exactly what we do it for, Jeff ... and fortunately several OTHER jocks around the country are doing the exact same thing. (Especially with our brand new "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature!)
I've actually been giving Y103.9 some VERY positive "props" lately ... so, if you get a chance, scroll back and catch up over the past few weeks ...

It irritates the hell out of me that with all this talk of "Oldies Wars" going on here in Chicago, Y103.9 is consistently left off the list ... despite the fact that you guys are playing BY FAR the best assortment of oldies on the radio right now. Just trying to help get the word out there ... and have run the "Listen Live" link a few times recently. (Too bad the signal is so damn weak ... I honestly believe that if it was stronger the whole city would be switching over!!!) kk