Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Morning Mahem!

Here are a few comments that didn't make our Sunday Comments Page ...

Along with corrections to a couple of comments that did!!!

re:  A MAJOR "OOPS"!!!:
We heard from DOZENS of Forgotten Hits Readers yesterday (including one who said, "I'll bet you've heard from dozens of other readers!!!"  lol) stating that that was NOT Little Richard in that Van Johnson movie clip ... but rather a youngster by the name of Frank "Sugar Chile" Robinson.  Our apologies for the error ... we simply posted the link as we received it (and as it was circulating around the web).
Apparently this misidentification has been going on for quite some time.  It was, however, the first time this clip has passed by OUR desk so we just printed it verbatim as Frannie received it from another music fan. 
I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who once said that the problem with the Internet is being able to verify the proper sources of most of the quotations you read there ... as so many are invariably appropriated to someone else.  Looks like Honest Abe was right again!  Meanwhile, here's a little more information on the AMAZING Mr. Robinson!
I suppose I'm number 12 of a dozen who have sent this info already. It's Frank "Sugar Chile" Robinson.
Some think this is Young Little Richard Amazing Piano Playing.  It really is "Sugar Chile". Robinson was born Frank Robinson in 1938 in Detroit. A child prodigy at the age of two, he worked with Lionel Hampton and Frankie Carle (both master pianists themselves) and performed for President Truman at age seven. He appeared in the movie "No Leave, No Love" (the source of this clip) and scored two R&B hits in 1949: "Numbers Boogie"
(Capitol 70037) which reached #4 and "Caldonia" (Capitol 70056) which reached #14. He stopped recording in 1952 to concentrate on academics.

The only thing is, that's not Little Richard! It's Sugar Chile Robinson! And it's from 1946 so only 9 years before Tutti Frutti. Richard would've been 13 at the time, while Sugar Chile Robinson was only 7.
Tom Diehl
Hi Kent,
The piano playing child in that 1946 Van Johnson movie, No Leave, No Love, is Frank Isaac Robinson (born 28 December 1938), known as Sugar Chile Robinson.  Little Richard was born December 5, 1932, making him 14 at the time of this film’s release.
Duly noted.  (kk)
This clip has been debunked; it is not Little Richard (but I forget who it really is. Someone said Billy Preston that was also incorrect).
Gary Myers
OK, OK, we blew it!!!  (lol)  kk

Hi Ya Kent!
That was an amazing clip of LITTLE LITTLE Richard pounding the keys. He was an amazing piano player even as a child. Whatever happened to him?  Didn't do much after that movie, eh?   LOL 
Keep up the great work!
BTW, poor Carol Kaye ... ya think she's a ... little bitter?
My error, Pete ... apparently NOT Little Little Richard after all ... but still a GREAT clip nevertheless.  I've never been able to play the piano like that in my entire life, much less as a seven year old kid!!! 
You'll find more on the Carol Kaye sour grapes controversy below.  (kk)

I also found these listings for young Sugar Chile ...

"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem
OK, THIS one I simply misworded.  Gene Pitney (noted songwriter that he was) did NOT write "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" ... as Gary points out, it was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach.  (I knew that ... I simply meant to say that his recording was not included in the film because it actually came AFTER the movie ... and everything I've read thus far indicated that it was, in fact, INSPIRED by the movie ... but while looking for additional tidbits regarding this song this evening, I just found something that says that Bacharach and David were actually commissioned to write a song for the film and this is what they came up with.  The producer didn't like it ... and, in particular, Pitney's recording of it ... so it was not used in the film.  First time I've heard THAT version of this story ... but, as we continue to learn on nearly a daily basis here, NOBODY out there knows it all ... and history seems to be continually rewritten nearly every single day!)  kk

... and, speaking of Gene Pitney ...

Gene Pitney had a terrific voice, and sadly, the only song he did that I really like is one that tends to take a back seat to what is often played on oldies stations.
Gene Pitney was also a songwriter renowned.  Wonder if he dits alone on a particular category!?
He WROTE many a song that varied groups and people made very famous, and sang several big  hits, but it seems the TWAIN never met ... ALL his biggies were written by SOMEONE ELSE!
Have a CD (because MECCA is on it) of his top 10 ... and he wrote none of them!
Weird how that went, but perhaps one of your readers know of another situation.
I'm talking about a songwriter, who had hit songs, but not of their OWN composition.
Leiber and Stoller had ????? hits, but, weren't the singers for the market. Wonder what either of them or individually they sounded like?
Leiber and Stoller wrote the original HOUND DOG and Willie Mae did a great job of it in
'53.  WHO originated the lyrics as Elvis would sing them, I have no idea, but his way was parody number 1.  A few years later, Homer and Jethro did a parody on the Elvis parody. Their lyrics tell a story.
Elvis is the onliest person who could do a song with the hic-ups, and sell it!
Robert Black
Hi Kent,
Love the Beach boys stuff you featured (Do It Again)!
We were invited to participate in a Beach Boys pre-sale for concert tickets ... incredibly, the show COMPLETELY sold out before tickets were ever even offered to the general public!!!  So they've already added a second show (for May 22nd at The Chicago Theater) ... and it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that a third show will also be added! Amazing the drawing power of "America's Band" after all these years!!!  Still hoping to snag tickets to this one!  (kk)
Here's a vintage shot of The Beach Boys backstage (actually in the showers!!!) with The New Colony Six, who shared the bill with the boys back in 1969.
Could The New Colony Six pull off their own 50th Anniversary Tour in 2015???  I don't see why not ... most of the guys are still around and in contact with one another (and they sounded GREAT a few years ago when they got together for a mini "Hall Of Fame" reunion!) And let's face it ... with as many personnel changes as this band had over the years, you could build the ULTIMATE New Colony Six line-up in the process.  Food for thought, guys???  (kk)

Thanks for posting my note to you.  The article in the Vintage Guitar Mag. is in the April issue, not the latest.  Sorry about that.
Reading the vitriol that seems to continually pour from Carol Kaye's mouth and fingers, in all my years in the studios I can only remember two female rhythm section musicians, and they appeared only briefly.  I wonder why?
Certainly, there is the continuous flow of sarcastic but good humored remarks as there is in any business, from the Board Room to the building site and everywhere in between. Maybe the fair sex has thinner skin than those terrible brutishly rude male musicians.  Only a theory!  As we used to say - 'Get with it or get out.'
Carol has a long, impressive list of credits, having LIVED the era of the studio musician at a time where these artists were recording literally HUNDREDS of hit records every year.  (In all fairness, I believe it was Hal Blaine who also said, "and thousands of FLOPS"!!!  lol)  But the BIG ones were amongst the biggest of an entire generation.  Why she would rather speak negatively of this era rather than rest on her laurels is beyond me.  Life's too short ... any one of us would have given their right arm to have experienced all that she experienced in her lifetime.  (Of course this would have also put us up there amongst the greatest left-handed bassists of all time, ala Paul McCartney ... but that's another story!)  kk

When following the recent Forgotten Hits link to research this book I found a review that contained a strange comment I do not understand. In the editorial reviews section, a review from Publishers Weekly had the following sentence " Eight years later, Campbell joined the Champs, whose “Limbo Rock” Chubby Checker would soon record as “The Twist." If anyone can explain this line regarding Chubby I would be very grateful.
It simply isn't true.  The Champs recorded an instrumental version of "Limbo Rock" in 1962 that climbed to #33 on the pop charts.  Chubby Checker simply recorded a VOCAL version of this tune ... it had absolutely NOTHING to do with "The Twist" ... but Checker's version ended up topping the charts that same year ... one of THREE Number One Records that Chubby Checker earned in Cash Box Magazine that year.  (The others were the reissued "The Twist" and "Slow Twistin'", a record that also featured labelmate Dee Dee Sharp.)  When you read little erroneous tidbits like that, you cannot help but wonder how accurate the rest of the book is.  Note Doug Thompson's similar comment below.  (kk)

I picked up "The Wrecking Crew" book over a week ago and started reading it immediately.  It is quite detailed and I'm enjoying some of the stories, having interviewed many of these amazing musicians over the years for various radio specials, including Carol Kaye (who was so very kind and generous to me.  I have the utmost respect for Carol); Glen Campbell; Nino Tempo (who was really more on Phil Spector sessions) and three separate interviews with Hal Blaine, who immediately after the first interview was finished, took me to a recording session he was playing drums on that night at Bell Sound in Hollywood with producer Joe Saraceno. 
I have, however, found a mistake on page 124.  I was friends with Denny Doherty of The Mamas and Papas the last few years of his life, and he always told me that "Harvey" was the name the group gave to the harmonic overtone that was created in the studio by their 4 part harmony.  He also says it was called "Harvey" in his wonderful play "Dream A Little Dream".  Kent Hartman, author of "The Wrecking Crew" book, says they called it 'harpy'. 
Personally, I believe Denny since he was there (even though he's no longer with us to speak for himself).  I do still have the tape somewhere in my archives.
Doug Thompson in Toronto
I will have to pick up a copy of this book.  Something as simple as this I can attribute to possibly mis-hearing the word, especially if some of these interviews were done over the telephone ... so that one doesn't bother me as much (although we ALL want the book to be as historically accurate as possible.)  Being unfamiliar with the term "Harvey" would ALSO contribute to some confusion.  The "Limbo Rock" comment above, however, is way off base ... but it sounds like it was attributed more to Publisher's Weekly than the author ... so this, too, might explain part of the problem. 
I don't know whether or not the film has been screened yet up your way in Canada but it's an absolute MUST SEE ... especially since you've had the opportunity to chat with so many of the principle players over the years.  If you ever get down Chicago-way, I'd love to order pizza and offer you a private screening!  Thanks, Doug!
Yes, I have seen it ... and absolutely love it.  Denny and I have corresponded and he's trying to arrange a Toronto screening sometime soon.  I'm sorry Carole Kaye feels the way she does about the documentary, but she is a wonderfully talented musician and was extremely accommodating to me when I interviewed her a few years ago.  Carol rightfully deserves her place in history and should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (I know, I know, let's not both of us get started on that).  If Hal Blaine's in there, then so should Carol ... and engineer Larry Levine (another modest guy who made history every day he went to work.  I spent an afternoon with Larry and his wife in LA and got several wonderful hours of stories on tape).
Despite the 'harpy' mistake, I am really enjoying "The Wrecking Crew" book.  These stories need to be out there for all to see and kudos to Kent Hartman and Denny Tedesco for gettin' it done, son.
I usually get into Chicago in August for Beatlefest (oops!  I mean, The Fest For Beatles Fans.  Don't want to piss off Apple Corps), so we could have that pizza then.
Consider it a date!  I wish Carol were more supportive of the film ... it recognizes ALL of the artists who made The Wrecking Crew the incredible team of musicians they were back in the day.  And who knows ... with a little bit of luck, maybe Denny's film will be widely available by August.  Nothing would please me more!  (kk) 


In the segment on the top 10 novelty records, I agree with you in that I never considered
Roger Miller's recording of KING OF THE ROAD a novelty record. I might also add in
that same website the recording of DOES YOUR CHEWING GUM LOSE IT'S FLAVOR
is not the original recording as put out by Dot from 1961.
I always did like that little person of rock and roll, Jimmy Dickens. That was a big record for him here in OKC, in fact the only record by him I have.
While "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" was Little Jimmy Dickens' only Pop Hit (#15, 165), he placed nearly twenty songs on Billboard's Country Music Chart between 1949 and 1972 ... and that one ("Bird of Paradise") spent two weeks at #1.
Several of the songs featured were re-recordings, including Ray Stevens' version of "The Streak" ... I still like what he did with it 'tho!  (kk)

Hey KK,
I am currently working on the release of 'Save The Last Dance For Me', an album that features all the original hits from the hugely successful musical of the same name.
The 2-disc album features classics such as Elvis' 'His Last Flame', The Marvellettes' 'Please Mr Postman' as well as Booker T & The MG's' 'Green Onions'.
It will be released 27th February through Rhino.
PPR Digital
Various Artists:  Save The Last Dance For Me   (Cat no: 5310513402)
Format: 2 CD / Release date:  27th Feb 2012
Order HERE: 
'Save The Last Dance For Me' takes you back to the music and magic of the early 60's, a time when each passing week brought another Rock 'n' Roll classic.
Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the people behind Dreamboats & Petticoats, with musical direction from Brian Berg who invented the concept in the first place. The show is produced by theatre legend Bill Kenwright.
It's the story of two sisters on their holidays to a seaside town that also houses a US airforce base, the story of love and holiday romance forms the perfect backdrop for a series of classic hits from the time, including 'His Latest Flame', 'Another Saturday Night' and 'Please Mr Postman'.
The musical opened to sell out crowds in Bromley and it will be touring the country through to June when it will come to the West End.
Track listing:
CD 1
1.    Elvis - His Last Flame
2.    Sam Cooke - Another Saturday Night
3.    Gary US Bonds - Seven Day Weekend
4.    Helen Shapiro - Please Don't Treat Me Like A Child
5.    Cilla Black - Love Just A Broken Heart
6.    Hollies - Here I Go Again
7.    The Exciters - Tell Her
8.    Mystics - Hushabye
9.    Elvis - Little Sister
10.   The Crystals - Then He Kissed Me
11.   Bobby Rydell - Forget Him
12.   Andy Williams - Can't Get Used To Losing You
13.    Jimmy Clanton - Go Jimmy Go
14.    Elvis - Viva Las Vegas
15.    Ben E King - First Taste Of Love
16.    Coasters - Young Blood
CD  21.    The Marvellettes - Please Mr Postman
2.    Searchers - Sweets For My Sweet
3.    Marty Wilde - It's Been Nice
4.    Marty Wilde - Teenager in Love
5.    Cascades - Rhythm Of The Rain
6.    Drifters - This Magic Moment
7.    Fabian - Turn Me Loose
8.    Len Barry - 123
9.    Booker T & The MGs - Green Onions
10.    Drifters - I Count The Tears
11.    Drifters - Save The Last Dance For Me
12.    Ray Charles - Lonely Avenue
13.    Ben E King - Ecstasy
14.    Freddy Cannon - Way Down Under In New Orleans
15.    Del Shannon - His Latest Flame
16.    Terry Stafford - Suspicion
17.    Elvis - Surrender
Live Dates
9th Jan - 21st Jan:  Churchill Theatre, Bromley
23rd Jan - 28th Jan:  Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
30th Jan - 04th Feb:  Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh
6th Feb - 12th Feb:  The Hippodrome, Bristol
13th Feb - 18 Feb:  Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury
20th Feb - 25th Feb:  Civic Theatre, Darlington
5th Mar - 10th Mar:  Kings Theatre, Glasgow
12th Mar - 17th Mar:  Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
26th Mar - 31st Mar:  Empire Theatre, Liverpool
2nd April - 7th April:  New Victoria Theatre, Woking
9th April -14th April:  The Theatre, Milton Keynes
16th April - 21 April:  Nottingham Theatre Royal
23rd April -28th April:  New Theatre, Hull
28th April - 5th May:  Worthing Pavilion
7th May - 12th May:  Eastbourne Empire Theatre
14th May -19th May:  Sunderland Empire Theatre
28th May - 2nd June:  Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
11th June- - 16th June:  Truro Hall Cornwall
18th June - 23rd June:  Blackpool Grand Theatre
25th June - 30th June:  Northampton Dergate Theatre

My name is Professor Irene Brodsky.  I love music from the 1950's and early 1960's.
My new book is about Johnny Maestro ... "Sixteen Candles Shine Forever in Memory of Johnny Maestro" by Irene Brodsky.  (See attached image of book cover.)

The book is available at all booksites but the best site is:
I think your blog is wonderful and I am posting it on my Facebook page.
Thanks, Irene!  Happy to give your book another shout out ... we have LOTS of Johnny Maestro fans on our list!  (Hey, maybe we can even give away an autographed copy to one lucky winner!!!)  kk
Yes, I would love to give away a signed copy of my precious new book, "Sixteen Candles Shine Forever in Memory of Johnny Maestro". 
Maybe you should make it a contest?  The 1st person to get the right answer gets the book?  I did that on Facebook and it was a lot of fun.
Thank you for caring about my book
Professor Irene Brodsky

I'm up for that ... the only problem is that it doesn't always go to a fan when you do trivia ... nowadays, anybody can google anything and come up with the answer.  I'd rather have a contest where people write in with their favorite Johnny Maestro memory or something along those lines ... then have you pick a winner.  How does that sound?  (kk)
Yes, I would love to hear someone's favorite memory of Johnny Maestro. 
My favorite memory of him is when he sang at Kutscher's Hotel in Monticello NY.  He was MARVELLOUS!
I like your idea and a contest is always fun.  The world needs more fun!!!
I still remember when a bookstore in Massachusetts had a raffle for my poetry book. 
Thank you for caring so much about my new book.   It means very much to me.
Then it's a deal!  Interested readers can submit their favorite Johnny Maestro memories to ... and we'll forward them on to Irene to pick a winner.  (Maybe we'll even run the best ones in an upcoming issue of Forgotten Hits and throw in a Runner's Up Prize!)  Stay tuned ... but get your entries in soon!  (kk)

I've been reading Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon's new book "Where The Action Is" ... a real fun read.  Freddy shares some GREAT memories about the whole process of launching his career and keeping it going all these years.  From what we hear, he STILL puts on an AMAZING show.  (When are you going to head out Chicago-way, Freddy???)  kk
You can pick up a copy here:
And let's not forget the brand new Wrecking Crew book we told you about the other day ...

You'll find a couple of mini-reviews above! 

And, in other book news ...

Yes! Both of our books covering Wisconsin music of the 50's & 60's are still available.
In fact we just got another excellent review in roctober magazine:
1. "Do You Hear That Beat - Wisconsin Pop / Rock in the 50's & 60's" (DYHTB) (1994)
Originally $27.90. The price remains the same on separate orders, but it is
only 1/2 price ($13.95) when purchased along with "On That Wisconsin Beat".
2. "On That Wisconsin Beat - More Pop / Rock / Soul / Country in the 50's & 60's" (OTWB) (2006)  
Was $31.95, now only $26.95.
3. Sales tax is added to purchases by California residents.
4. Shipping is extra.
5. We take PayPal.
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

Kent ...
Have you ever heard this lady sing ?
Frank B.
Numerous times now ... our list seems completely infatuated with her ... but I'm just not feelin' the vibe.  I've watched several of these clips and while they're good, they're not knocking me out the way they seem to be knocking out our readers.  What am I missing here?!?!  (kk)

'Cause you just can't get enough Paul McCartney lately, right???  At nearly 70 years of age, Macca seems busier than ever, out promoting his new work, making live concert appearances ... and now (according to Ron Smith's website) even doing a walk-on role on the hit AMC Television Series "Mad Men"!  (Kinda weird, I think ... I mean Paul was OF that era ... doing a walk on 50 years later seems a bit daft ... but I'm sure I'll still watch it just to see how he's used!  WCBS-FM and The Daily Mail also reported that the popular TV Series will be using music from McCartney's newly released "Kisses On The Bottom" album, too!)
Meanwhile, Billboard has saluted McCartney this week, too, publishing a list of Sir Paul's 40 Biggest Billboard Hits.  (Whether he wrote it, sang it, produced it ... whether it was The Beatles, Wings or a duet with the likes of Stevie Wonder or Michael Jackson ... you'll find the very best of the best on this list.)  Thanks to FH Reader Frank B. for sending this one along.
Kent ...
Impressive Resume.
Frank B.
Paul McCartney also told "Rolling Stone" Magazine (on which he's the "Cover Boy" again!) that The Beatles did, at various times, consider reuniting ... but that, as expected, they didn't feel they could ever live up to the hype they had already created the first time around.  (How true, how true!)  A few selected excerpts are below (submitted by FH Reader BD Poe) ... but the current copy of "Rolling Stone" is also available at newsstands and book stores now.   (kk)
The Beatles had considered getting back together while all four members were still alive, says Paul McCartney. "There was talk of re-forming the Beatles a couple of times," he tells Rolling Stone, "but it didn't jell, there was not enough passion behind the idea."
According to McCartney, the band was very pleased with having come full circle creatively, and worried about tainting their legacy. "More importantly, it could have spoiled the whole idea of the Beatles, so wrong that they'd be like 'Oh, my God, they weren't any good,'" he says. "The re-formation suggestions were never convincing enough. They were kind of nice when they happened – 'That would be good, yeah' – but then one of us would always not fancy it. And that was enough, because we were the ultimate democracy."
Though the Fab Four never came back together, various combinations of the band's members have played together on various projects and special occasions in the decades since the group disbanded in 1970.
Ringo Starr appeared on solo recordings by John Lennon, George Harrison and McCartney, and both Starr and McCarney appeared together on "All These Years Ago," a Harrison song written in memory of Lennon. The three of them also finished a pair of Lennon demos, "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love," for the Beatles Anthology series.
The individual Beatles also reconnected for one-off live collaborations, including Starr and Harrison's performance together at the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 and the time when McCartney, Harrison and Starr played "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" at
Eric Clapton's wedding in 1979.
McCartney and Lennon reunited briefly for a studio jam session in 1974 that also featured
Stevie Wonder, Harry Nillson, Linda McCartney and Bobby Keys. "We were stoned," McCartney says of the session, which has been immortalized as the bootleg Toot and a Snore. "I don't think there was anyone in that room who wasn't stoned. For some ungodly reason, I decided to get on drums. It was just a party, you know. To use the word 'disorganized' is completely understating it. I might have made a feeble attempt to restore order – "guys, you know, let's think of a song, that would be a good idea' – but I can't remember if I did or not."
To read Brian Hiatt's cover story on Paul McCartney, pick up the March 1, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone, on stands and in Rolling Stone All Access February 17th.
Twenty years ago, when Paul McCartney turned 50, he remembers his then-manager pushing the idea of retirement. "It's only right," he was told. "You really don't want to go beyond 50, it's going to get embarrassing." In June, McCartney will be 70 ("I'm never going to believe I'm 70, I don't care what you say," he says. "There's a little cell in my brain that's never going to believe that"), and he still has no plans to stop touring or recording. "You get the argument 'Make way for the young kids,' " he says. "And you think, 'Fuck that, let them make way for themselves. If they're better than me, they'll beat me.' Foo Fighters don't have a problem, they're good. They'll do their thing. 
"If you're enjoying it, why do something else? And what would you do? Well, a good answer is 'Take more holidays,' which is definitely on the cards, but I don't seem to do that. I love what I do so much that I don't really want to stop. I'm just kind of casually keeping an eye on how I feel, and onstage, it feels like it's always felt. So for the time being, the band's hot, I'm really enjoying myself, still singing like I sang, not experiencing, touch wood, any sort of problems to speak of. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I remember back in the 1960's the group Fabulous Flippers being pushed and promoted
on KOMA in promotions and commercials on their appearances in other states. I assume
their recording of HARLEM SHUFFLE is the old Bob and Earl tune from 1964.
Yep, it's the same tune ... and FH Reader Tom Diehl sent us a copy to share!  (kk)
The Harlem Shuffle, of course, was a big hit for Bob and Earl, before the Rolling Stones got to it.
Tom Diehl
Bob and Earl's version went to #36 in early '64.  Didjaknow? that Earl (Earl Lee Nelson) recorded the 1966 hit record "The Duck" under the name of Jackie Lee?  Lee was his middle name ... and Jackie was his wife's middle name ... so he combined the two ... and then watched "The Duck" waddle up even higher, eventually peaking at #13!  (kk)
Hi Kent,
The midwest did very well indeed for The Fabulous Flippers. Their ads ran on KOMA and when they came to my part of the world, Grand Forks, North Dakota.  It was packed.
They were a huge draw all through this area -- North Dakota, Minnesota and the
surrounding states.


Hmm ... trying to decide ... noteworthy ... or NOT worthy!!!  (kk)