Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Sunday Comments ( 03 - 11 - 12 )

Springing ahead today with another round of your comments from last week ...


I heard that The Monkees' "Greatest Hits" album made its way back to Billboard's Album Charts last week, debuting at #20 ... and Monkees music sales were up over 1250% overall!!!  (Nah, these guys don't belong in The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame!!!  And what a COMPLETE insulting injustice if they induct them now and cheat Davy out of his rightful moment on the stage.  Seriously, is THAT what the committee waits for ... a key member to pass away ... and THEN they recognize them?!?!?  Don't get me started!!!)

Meanwhile, the focus on Davy and The Monkees hasn't subsided at all since his unexpected passing on February 29th.  Here's more of your thoughts, memories and links.  (kk)
First up, a GREAT new link to a Monkees-centric website:
LOTS of really cool stuff here ... including those rare interviews that we told you about a few days ago ... and some vintage videos.

You'll find Davy Jones as the cover story in People Magazine this week, too.  (Wow!  Just like the old days ... when he photo was plastered on the cover of virtually EVERY teen magazine on the shelf!!!)

Following the death of the Monkees' Davy Jones on Feb. 29, the pop group returns to the Billboard 200 albums chart for the first time since 2003. The group's albums sold a combined 29,000 with "The Best of the Monkees" re-entering the album chart at No. 20; meanwhile their classic pop song "Daydream Believer" sold 39,000 copies and debuted at No. 49 on Hot Digital Songs chart.
The Monkees Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 Hits
February 29, 2012
By Keith Caulfield, Los Angeles 
The Monkees were one of the biggest acts on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the late 1960s, as proven by this recap of the pop quartet's biggest hits. Comprising Davy Jones - who passed away of a heart attack earlier today -- Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, the pop act notched a total of 20 singles on the Hot 100 in its career.
Billboard has compiled the Monkees' top 10 biggest Hot 100 hits, which includes all six of their top 10 singles and the group's three No. 1s: "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer" and "Daydream Believer."
All of the act's hits except two came between Sept. 10, 1966 and June 13, 1970. They staged a mini-comeback in 1986, with "That Was Then, This Is Now" (a No. 20 hit). It was followed the next year by their final Hot 100 entry, "Heart and Soul," which topped out at No. 87.
The Monkees' Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 Hits:
Rank - Title - (Year) - Hot 100 Peak Position (weeks spent at No. 1)
1. "I'm a Believer" - (1966) - No. 1 (seven weeks at No. 1)
2. "Daydream Believer" - (1967) - No. 1 (four weeks at No. 1)
3. "Last Train to Clarksville" - (1966) - No. 1
4. "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" - (1967) - No. 2
5. "Pleasant Valley Sunday" - (1967) - No. 3
6. "Valleri" - (1968) - No. 3
7. "That Was Then, This Is Now" - (1986) - No. 20
8. "Words" - (1967) - No. 11
9. "D.W. Washburn" - (1968) - No. 19
10. "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" - (1967) - No. 20
This ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years. 

My guess is that you'll hear every single one of these ... plus a whole lot more (including some great album tracks) as Bob Stroud salutes The Monkees on his Rock And Roll Roots Program, Sunday Morning from 7 - 10 am, Chicago time. You can LISTEN LIVE here:   

Kent ...
3/8 - I want to wish Micky Dolenz of the Monkees a Happy Birthday. Born in 1945.
Frank B.

An Evening of Monkees Memories coming to Milford in Memory of Davy Jones
Milford, CT: In the sixties, The Monkees captured the hearts of millions. They sold more records than The Beatles & The Rolling Stones in 1967. The Monkees had such hits as "(Theme From) The Monkees," "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Valleri" and "Daydream Believer." Their albums and singles have sold over 65 million copies worldwide, and the band was a pop-culture phenomenon, with songs that have stood the test of time.
They reunited through the years and toured occasionally from 1986 through 2011. On February 29, 2012, Davy Jones of The Monkees passed away. Up until Jones' death, the Monkees had been one of the few remaining major pop groups from the 1960s with all its members still alive. Their greatest hits CD, "The Best of The Monkees," just re-entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at number 20.  
On Friday night, March 30, in tribute to Davy Jones, Liverpool Productions will be presenting "An Evening of Monkees Memories" at Aldario's Restaurant, 240 Naugatuck Avenue in Milford, CT. The event is open to all ages and doors open at 7 pm. 
"An Evening of Monkees Memories" features the New Jersey pop-rock band "The Characters." The Characters were a backing band not only for Davy Jones, but also for Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, and they appeared in The Monkees' video for their song "Heart and Soul." They will be headlining the evening with a full set of the Monkees' hits, along with a second set of favorites from the Monkees' era. There will also be trivia, giveaways and DJ entertainment by Charles F. Rosenay!!!
Charles F. Rosenay!!!'s Liverpool Productions, organizers of the event, not only presented Beatles Conventions for four decades, but also produced Monkees Convention in the 80s. Peter Tork was a special guest at two conventions, and Davy Jones was the special guest of honor at one of the events. Charles considered Davy Jones a friend, and they were working on a project together just before the time of Jones' death.
The Friday night, March 30 "An Evening of Monkees Memories" tribute to Davy Jones at Aldario's Restaurant in Milford, CT is a dance party which will feature the live concerts by The Characters, DJ entertainment, special guests, a full all-you-can-eat dinner buffet plus open bar. For further info on the event, call Liverpool Productions at (203) 795-4737 or visit the following websites:

The Characters, live on stage with Davy Jones

The Characters, live on stage with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz

So sad bout Davy he will be missed!! Keep Rock-N !!!

Kent -
Monkees’ Album Sales Sky Rocket After Death of Davy Jones ... Once again Death proves to be a great career move.
Frank B.

And this just in ... (ya gotta love it!!!)  Rolling Stone Magazine (you know the magazine headed by Jann Wenner, kingpin over at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, who wouldn't DREAM of giving The Monkees even the SLIGHTEST amount of consideration for his personal rock star collection) is running an EXCLUSIVE interview with Michael Nesmith right now, talking about the glory days of the band and his memories of Davy.  (Can you say hypocritical?!?!?)  Anyway, it's STILL incredibly cool to hear from The Nez ... simply because he rarely says ANYTHING at all about his old bandmates.  Sad this this is what it took to make everybody stand up and take notice ... and remember just how much enjoyment these guys really brought into our lives.
We say, if you get a chance, read it ... a rare glimpse into The Monkees from the guy who didn't want to be one anymore ... presented by the guy who basically says The Monkees were a joke.  (Now how insightful is THAT?!?!?)

>>>‎The Who Sell Out. Name of a marvelous album by the Who.  And a headline used by a gazillion writers (now myself included) to report that Pete Townshend has sold the publishing rights to his amazing list of songs to the Spirit Music Group. That means you’ll be hearing more Who songs in movies, TV and on commercials.  Cha-CHING!
>>>How about Who songs on commercials? 'Bargain' for a Walmart spot? 'Magic Bus' for the CTA? 'I Can See for Miles' for Spex Optical?   (Terri Hemmert)
To me the interesting story is WHY would Pete sell his songs?  Is he broke? Drug habit? Just kidding ... maybe.  Seriously it seems very odd to me.
Probably a pretty lucrative deal. (We regularly hear "Who Are You" as the theme to "CSI" ... and "Emminence Front" seems to be standard fare on The Weather Channel lately.  I'd figure he'd just make his OWN deals (and at least control how and where his music was being used.)  But honestly, TV commercials and radio spots, TV and movie soundtracks, etc., seem to be one of the few ways to keep this music out there ... so why not leave it to an advertising expert ... and take the money and run!  (No wait, that's The Steve Miller Band!)  On the other hand, look how many kids are discovering "Mr. Sandman" thanks to that commercial that seems to be running non-stop lately!  (kk)

Whether you prefer watching them on TV or in Texas, Gary Pig Gold's report on the ROLLING STONES ED SULLIVAN and SOME GIRLS dvds has just now appeared at a new virtual address for your reading, reprinting, re-posting, quoting from and / or Linking to, everyone ... 
Click here: High Tide and Fazed Cookies - Go Metric

Got this from David Beard:
“Caroline, No” was released today (March 7, 1966) as a Brian Wilson solo single from the Pet Sounds album.  I spoke briefly with Brian and his Cousin Mike Love about the disc’s 46th year anniversary. 
More ...  
Click here: Brian Wilson's "Caroline, No" - National Beach Boys | 

Just in time for his Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, we'll be treated to a new Donovan "Essential Greatest Hits" CD.
>>>Kids born after the CD-age typically have NO concept of how we used to listen to music.  (kk)
Just like with radio today as opposed to radio in the 60's (or even 80's!), "listening" to music has been totally watered down.  Back when I was a kid, music and radio were everything.  I would sit for hours looking at the record player as one of my handful of 45s played and I would pretend to be Ron Riley at the Big 89 or doing a countdown ala Dex card of WLS.  I would play flip sides.  I would sing words to songs, knowing I could not tell what words they sang on the 45.  I would still "LISTEN" undistracted by TV's or Kindles or phones.
I would dutifully (as if I worked for a company) make sure I made my top 40 (often more) personal charts using my own fake call letters for over a decade.  I would save my money for buying trips of records that would happen when we took vacations and I could go to REAL record stores!  I would make weekly walks to the Dodge City downtown to get KOMA surveys, and even sit and read Billboard in the magazine store while the owner watched me.  Later, I would actually go to Woolworths and have a paper numbered 1-100 and quickly list last weeks positions for the new chart and then go home and decipher the new Hot 100 from last week's decipher. 
I would have the trusty reel to reel (as well as my brothers) to keep recording new songs off the seemingly 100's of great radio stations we listened to.  It was even a competition for awhile to see which brother could record a new exclusive first to surprise the others with. 
The funniest of these was when in mid-July, 1966, my brother Steve called me to come listen to what he taped off Art Roberts' Top 3 requested the night previous.  Fans always voted new songs high, so you knew it was the place to be at 10 PM.  He started the tape and said "listen to what was #1 last night."  I listened and was quickly surprised.  Here was the totally recognizable stomping opening I was familiar with for months.  I said "WHY is 'Rainy Day Women' #1?  It has been gone for a month (a month was ages in the 66 top 40 era, you know?)!"  Finally, the lyrics came in and I was amazed: "Remember when you ran away and I got on my knees and begged you not to leave because I'd go berserk?"
Lastly, that was the BIG thing.  Radio was just TOO cool back then.  Whether it be the talent-laden Big 89 jocks blasting a new Beatles exclusive or the local 1000 watt daytimer with novice voice clearing his throat on the air while playing a new group and song "8:05" by Moby Grape that would NOT be on WLS, it was exciting ALL of the time!  If you wanted it all, you could get it ALL between the big stations and the little.  I wanted it all.  I got it all!
Kids today get no chance to pick their fave tunes because they will likely have never HEARD their favorite tunes because radio has already picked their favorite tunes.  WLSClark
I was talking with another reader this past week who liked my turn-table story ... and he said the same thing ... he's got full-grown children today who have NEVER played a record.  A cassette maybe ... a CD for sure ... but they have NEVER played a record.  (He even joked that scolding them with "Ahh, you sound like a broken record" doesn't work ... because they don't know what a broken record sounds like!!!  lol) It was a different time, to be sure.  (Of course, we also spent a lot of our time driving around with the radio on, too ... pretty expensive to do that nowadays!!!)  But you bring up another good point ... and we've covered this before, too.  Media ... and by this I mean virtually ALL means of media ... has really "dumbed down" to cater to their multi-tasking audience.  When I watch TV, I watch TV.  But I'm the ONLY one in the family to do so.  As such, I find myself often having to explain what the others missed because they were on the computer Facebooking, or texting friends, or reading a book, or talking on the phone or any other number of distractions that take you away from the full experience of enjoying something the way it was intended to be watched.  MOST of the time it doesn't really matter ... 'cause there's only crap on TV anyway ... but every once in a while a show will come on that commands ... and DEMANDS ... your attention ... and you don't DARE look away for fear of missing something.  (Remember when radio was like that???)  kk

Speaking of "Lovin' This Music", we just walked in the door from this evening's High School Variety Show ... and what a surprise! 
First of all, ALL of the background music being featured tonight before the performance and during intermission was '60's classics ... tunes by The Mamas and the Papas, The Association, The Beach Boys ... and then they started to mix in some '70's stuff, too, like "Wake Up Sunshine" by Chicago!!!  (Who plays THAT at a public performance?!?!?  What a GREAT, pleasant surprise!!!)
Anyway, then the show started ... and it opened with some 16 year old kid and his guitar, playing his very best Jimi Henrix version of "The Star Spangled Banner"!!!  (Photos of Hendrix and Woodstock flashed on the screen during his solo).  Then, as he was wailing on the last note, the rest of the band came out to join in on stage and, without missing a beat, they launched right into "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin!!!  These are 16 year old kids embracing this music and playing it for their peers!!!  
Later that night, we saw a female rendition of the Johnny Cash classic "Folsom Prison Blues" ... and this chick could growl with the best of them.  Besides the obligatory Adele tunes (I counted FOUR!!!), the night also featured two performances from Green Day's "American Idiot" and wrapped up with an ensemble number choreographed to Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From"!!!
I'm telling you ... and have BEEN telling you! ... this music is FOR THE AGES!!!  Earlier in today's comments page we talked about the use of "Mr. Sandman" in the new Kia commercials ... they're playing non-stop ... and the kids are LOVING this "brand new" tune!!!
Give it a chance ... and they WILL respond ... JUST LIKE WE DID!!!
It's what Forgotten Hits is all about ... and it is SO rewarding and reassuring to see this happen time and time again.  We love it!  (kk)

Hi Kent ...
Just thought your readers would like to check out our weekly list of "Wax To Watch". We try to keep it interesting on the radio and YOU, Kent, are our inspiration!!
BTW, we're dropping copies off at all Chicagoland Marshall Fields stores!!  LOL
Glenn Sauter
Producer and Host of HITS OF YESTERYEAR Syndicated Oldies Radio Show

(click photos to enlarge)

Thank you so much, Glenn ... it means a lot to know that our work here is being appreciated (and in SO many cases lately, IMPLEMENTED!!!)  Helps to make it feel all that much more worthwhile.  Especially great to hear how much the listeners are appreciating hearing some of this great music again ... read on!  (kk)

>>>I've noticed some of your readers stating that "If I had the money / resources / materials, I would create a radio station of my own with a large playlist and that engages in plenty of listener interaction ... I wouldn't just play the same 300 songs over-and-over again like the corporate 'oldies' format stations do -- I'd play everything  (Mason Ramsey) 
Isn't this what Joe Donovan on WHAS (Louisville) as well as Larry Neal and Clay Crook on KOMA (Oklahoma City) were doing back in the 1980s and 1990s with the "all-night" / "Rock-and-Roll Revival", the "Wax Museum", and "Saturday Night Sock Hop"?  What seems to be needed is simply a revival of what-used-to-be-done-routinely over a two-decade period.
Tal Hartsfeld

>>>Let me help YOU put some shows on the air ... all you need to do is ask! 
Hey, I'll be there. You got the music, you got the format, let me be a personality! 
(Wild Bill Cody)
DAMN-IT!!!  I was there, too ... until the requirements included a personality!!!

I've thought of starting my own station, too. I have enough records, but not enough equipment. But there is a consolation. Check out It is a PBS station out of Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids, Michigan ... but unlike any PBS or oldies station you have ever heard. They play records that will make you say out loud "OH, YEAH!, I forgot about that one." For instance, I have heard lately:  "Charity Ball" by Fanny, "Cinnamon Cinder" by Pastel Six, "The Sound of Love" by the 5 Americans, "Out and About" by Boyce & Hart, "Help Me Girl" by the Outsiders and hundreds of local and area (read Chicago) bands. Plus you can click to see the playlist for song and artist. Give it an hour or two and you will be hooked. Yeah, they play some of the same 60 or 70 songs that the "oldies" stations have in their rotations, but the other two thirds of the time is delightful. 
ALL former "Forgotten Hits" ... I'm telling you guys, the movement is happening!!!  We're EVERYWHERE!!!  (Please send royalty and thank you checks promptly ... we're barely scraping by again this month!!!)  kk

Hi kk,
I've just been in the Forgotten Hits archives catching up on some of the reading there. If I've not said it before, thanks for all you've been doing in helping to preserve this music in the hearts of its fans.
Hi Kent,
I hope this has been a great year for you.
I'm really excited to let everyone know that the Jersey Girls (Denise Ferri and Bernadette Carroll) and myself have made major enhancements to the Video Page on our website.
It's been a part of my "Ronnie Allen Theater" and it's been called "Ronnie's Video Page" but actually it's really a collaborative effort of the three of us.
Up to now the visitor was limited to videos chosen by the computer. But, with the latest enhancements, the visitor can select his or her own videos (from the 246 presently available) and instantly create his or her own personal custom video page with as many as 10 embedded videos.
We've renamed it "Ronnie's Video Pages" (pluralized) because of the latest changes.
Our Home Page is Jersey Girls Sing  .
To access the new Video Pages, click the link that appears under "What's The Latest" on the right hand side of the page. Then Click "Video Pages" and you're there. You select the videos you want by clicking on checkboxes.
All of the 246 available ones are performance videos from the 50s and 60s or more recent performance videos by popular 50s and 60s acts.
The process is pretty much self-documenting but I did prepare a mini documentation manual. It's far too involved for listing here. But those who are interested can email me at and I'll be glad send a copy.
Thanks Kent, in advance, for sharing this news with your readers.
Ronnie Allen 

Hey Kent,
Hope you're doing well!! Wanted to let you know that on FRIDAY, MAY 18, Steve Richards will be doing a fundraiser for the VFW in Downers Grove.  The show will be four hours!!  Switching from Elvis to Neil Diamond!! It's going to be a great night!!!  And helping those who have served this country!! Donation is $10.00 ... love to see you out there!!
For tickets you can call 630-960-5898 .

More Sad News!
-- Danny Guilfoyle
By Andrew Dys / The Herald ROCK HILL --
The end came silently Thursday morning for Jimmy Ellis. But the life, before death at age 74, was never quiet. Jimmy Ellis burned that mother down.
James T. Ellis, "Jimmy," died Thursday, but the song "Disco Inferno" will live forever.
The silent killer, Alzheimer’s, with no regard for greatness that will never be quieted or a song that changed the world, needs no noise for its desperate deed. But in a lifetime that lasted 74 years until Thursday, there was always sound around Jimmy Ellis who grew up in a shotgun shack on Pond Street in Rock Hill’s Crawford Road neighborhood. Songs sung driving a school bus at age 16, winning talent shows and at roadhouses, songs to his kids and grandkids, in churches and arenas and on television and in movies.  And the sound above all sounds, words from deep in Ellis’s soul down there way below the diaphragm where the magic lives, that will last until the world ends.
“‘Burn that mother down!’” said Johnny Ellis, Jimmy Ellis’s younger brother. “ ‘Burn, baby burn.’ Doesn’t matter where you go, who they are, everybody knows when they hear the words ‘Burn that mother down’ and ‘burn, baby burn’ that the song is Disco Inferno. And the man with that voice who sang that song was Jimmy Ellis.”
That song, "Disco Inferno," turned The Trammps - the band Jimmy Ellis fronted, and its silver-voiced singer from entertainers into plain - out American cultural icons. The song was featured in the "Saturday Night Fever" movie in 1977, and the subsequent soundtrack that sold an astounding 15 million copies as it stayed atop the charts for half a year. In 1978, "Disco Inferno" as a single became for a while the Number One dance song in
America, and thus, the world.The refrain “Burn, baby burn” sung throughout that song, in the background and flowing like lava, hot and burning just like the words, is unforgettable and will surely last as long as there is music on the face of the earth. It is not so much a chorus as a demand, a magical spell, or just plain fated destiny. The song sung by Jimmy Ellis of Rock Hill, a voice that careens over mountains and screams through valleys with “Saaaatisfaction - (and in the background the Trammps singing ooh-ooh-ooh) came in a chain reaction,” remains, 35 years later, iconic in not just music, but popular culture and life. “The song Disco Inferno remains a big favorite in Europe to this day, and is played here and everywhere,” said Ellis’s wife of 46 years, Beverly. “Disco Inferno? The whole world knows the words.”The song was played at discos around the globe - and still is. Disco Inferno is in movies and on TV shows and commercials.  Jimmy Ellis, with that song, became plainly, immortal.“It does not matter where you go in the world and I been all over this world playing music, Disco Inferno is being played somewhere on a radio or in a mall or on a train or a plane,” said Johnnie “Boggie” King, another legendary musician who grew up with the Ellis brothers playing music together. “To lose Ellis is to lose a legend. The song and our Ellis - we call him Ellis, not Jimmy - is around somewhere. The cat just went to the mountaintop with that one song - and he never come back down.”Even though Ellis and the Trammps had been touring for years before 1978, and had other songs and a bunch of albums, it was Disco Inferno that turned Ellis into a household voice.“We had to move because when that song got huge, it was the biggest thing in the country,” said Erika Stinson, 42, the younger of Ellis’s two children.  “People just showed up at the house. It was unbelievable. All of a sudden here I am a little girl going to school and my father is leaving on tour and he is dropping me off at school in a limousine. I didn’t think it was strange that Stevie Wonder came over to see us. It was no biggie that my father was tight with the Bee Gees. The whole world knew the song. And it still does.” the biggest thing anybody from Rock Hill ever did. Ever. It is heard everywhere there are ears to hear it."Jimmy Ellis, the oldest of six children whose father died when he was just a kid, got his start singing where all black kids did in those days: In church. He and his brother Johnny and two other guys sang at dances at St. Mary Catholic Church and other places around Rock Hill and won every talent show in town as the “Four Knights.” Then Jimmy toured for a while with Bobby Plair and his group, but to make it in show business Jimmy Ellis had to escaped late 1950s segregation by heading for the northeast.  He landed in New Jersey, where he worked for a family doing maintenance, gardening, chauffeur,whatever, and sang at night and on weekends. He won talent shows in Atlantic City, sang on the pier, and was “discovered.”“He went to Philly - Philadelphia - and never looked back,” said his brother.Jimmy formed a band called The Exceptions, then The Trammps in the late 1960s, all based in Philadelphia.“They toured with James Brown, they were all over the place,” said Johnny Ellis.And all the while, when not on tour, Jimmy Ellis worked in a meat packing plant, or worked at a hospital or a Navy supply depot, to make extra money for his wife and two children, Erika and Jimmy II.“It was nothing for my father to finish a tour and to stay busy, work two jobs,” his daughter Erika said. “He was always humble. Just a country boy singing music. When the music finished, he went to work like anybody else. He had to stay busy, he just grew up working, so he worked.”In 1972 The Trammps had a hit with a cover of “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” and the band
became stalwarts in the rhythm and blues world because of the flashy clothes and the huge Afros and the dance steps during live and television performances.But then in an avalanche disco fell on America. Disco was panned by some, but loved by the masses. Discotheques sprang up around the country. The Trammps recorded Disco Inferno in 1976 and released it, but the big break came when the song was used in the Saturday Night Fever movie that was the biggest hit in America in 1977. The soundtrack album became
the soundtrack to the disco way of life.Then Disco Inferno, the single, in 1978 reached the top of the charts itself for U.S. dance music. The song won a Grammy and was a Gold Record - more than 500,000 copies sold.  The Trammps, Jimmy Ellis front and center belting out the burn, were on Soul Train and other shows.“People remember that song - it was the biggest song in the world at one time,” Johnny Ellis said. “He was in Germany when the song became such a hit and it was huge over there - and still is.”The Trammps never had another hit of Disco Inferno magnitude, but the group still toured the country and the world, even after Ellis moved back to Rock Hill in 2000. Ellis performed with the Trammps consistently through 2008 when the early stages of his disease started to manifest, but still pulled a few unforgettable performances. He performed one last time in Atlantic City in 2010, and live outside the Today Show on NBC.And one unforgettable
time at Beef O’Brady’s in Fort Mill, after his daughter sang karaoke.“I still get chill bumps when I hear the song or see it on a video,” said Erika Stinson, Ellis’ daughter. “I go into a Walmart and open up a birthday card and the song plays. I turn on the radio and it is on. There is a rap remix by 50-Cent, and another one with Rihanna. I see 'Saturday Night
Fever' on reruns and there is my father’s voice and I am thinking: Wow!” Through all the success, Jimmy Ellis remained humble. He would perform benefits and small gatherings for free. He would sing his favorite Gospel songs in church and anywhere else. A 2007 benefit in Rock Hill was so packed the fire marshal was called. But Ellis was still the same guy
anybody - I saw him a dozen times at stores and other places - and he would stop and talk and he was just a super guy who had time for anybody and sang to his grandchildren.Funeral arrangements are not yet final, but memorial services will be held both in Rock Hill and Philadelphia.“Before my father was so sick, he would say what a great life he had, how he knew that he had done something special in his life,” Erika Stinson said. The whole life was special, the long version of Disco Inferno at 10 minutes and 51 seconds is a marathon of disco funk and style. The short version of Disco Inferno,
with Ellis in the front in a white suit or a purple suit and an Afro that reached the ceiling and a voice that reached the heavens, that 3 minutes and 40 seconds played on the radio a million times, is more than special.  It is in the Dance Music Hall of Fame. But more. "Disco Inferno" is forever.“Disco Inferno is one of the songs that will never die, that is
part of the history of music and America,” said Johnny Ellis. “My brother from Rock Hill sang that song. And it is still around, and always will be.”

>>>Scott MacKay did a radio thing a couple weeks ago, having listeners call in with some of the oddest pairings they've ever seen in concert.  It was all centered around the recent concert here featuring headliners Van Halen ... and Kool and the Gang!!!  (kk)
Kent ...
Read about what they have in common and why they were picked to open the show.
Frank B.

Click here: Kool & The Gang: “Cool” With Van Halen 

>>>After reading the scathing review of the Beach Boys Grammy performance I realized just how far we've slid into hell when the story becomes not the revered music makers but the critics, who maybe can't even sing a note or play a tune. In the words of the Rolling Stones: "it's the singer, not the song". In other words, are we really expecting pitch perfection, or are we just glad to see that truly gifted musicians have stopped fighting and are doing what they were born to do: making music ... that we love ... together ... for us. This was an awards show, like a military parade for veterans of past wars. Do we make WW2 vets stand up and use weapons on Memorial Day, and complain that they are embarrassing themselves? Please.  At age 54 I'm in college taking Calculus, Organic Chemisty and General Genetics. Growing old is not a sport for wimps. My advice: suck it up and keep going. It's the only way to go if you want to stay in the game. And it's the only game in town. (Jim Shea)
Touché, Jim Shea, on that comment about livin' it all the way out.
Today's post was a great, great post there, Kent.
The Fifth Estate   

Thanks for including "Mendelssohn's Fourth" this week. It received a good amount of airplay here but I've only heard it a few times since.
David Lewis
I vaguely remember this record coming out ... but can honestly say that I don't think I've EVER heard it actually played on the radio.  (kk) 
Wow, Chi Coltrane!
Takes me back to the summer of my 14th year.  Based strictly on aural evidence, I assumed she was black.  And with that surname, maybe the daughter of the late John Coltrane.  Wrong, wrong.  When the album came out, I was stunned to see that she looked like a blond supermodel version of Mary Travers.  A gorgeous, blue-eyed soul singer and a topflight musician, too.  Superstardom seemed inevitable.  I seem to remember a sophomore album that was barely promoted, then she vanished.  I now see from her website and Wikipedia that she had some sporadic foreign success over the past 40 years, but there's got to be an interesting story behind her bright, but fleeting presence on the music scene here in the States.  And she was a Clive Davis signing, too, which makes it even odder.  Perhaps there was some friction there.  Any Columbia execs here from that era that could shed some light?
If we had done a third "Great Disappearing Acts of the Rock Era" while I was working at "American Top 40," Chi Coltrane surely would have been featured.
Regards, Kent,
Scott Paton
We last talked to Chi Coltrane a couple of years ago in Forgotten Hits.  She was touring regularly in Europe at the time (and even had a new CD out to push.)  Another one of those unexplainable One Hit Wonders ... seemed like she had everything going for her, hit the charts in a big way with a GREAT song that has been needlessly forgotten by radio ... and then poof!  She was gone.  (kk)
Here's a short exchange from a couple of years ago, again reinforcing her on-going popularity overseas:
Hi Kent,
It seems a little strange to me that you consider Chi Coltrane a one-hit wonder. In my part of the world (Germany-kk) she has an almost legendary status ... Could it be that she was more successful in Europe than in the US? I dunno ...
The good news about Chi is, however, that she is alive and kicking and has just re-signed (for a second spell) with Sony, which will give her the opportunity to release her first record for more than two decades ... exciting prospects!
Then she must have been bigger in Europe ... 'cause Stateside she had EXACTLY one Top 100 Hit. ("Thunder And Lightning" peaked at #15 in Cash Box Magazine ... and was a #4 Hit here in Chicago where, by 1972, Chi Coltrane was calling home.) While I don't have a reference source citing German Chart Statistics, I see that Coltrane never hit the charts at all in Great Britain!
Checking Chi's website, there's complete information to be found about the new release you mentioned ... and, apparently she's still doing very well in Europe ... there's even a Holland / Germany link showing her upcoming tour dates! (kk)
Click here: Chi Coltrane's Official Website
Dave featured some Chi Coltrane coverage on HIS website last week as well ... here's a link to his new "Music Movement" feature:
Click here: The Music Movement » Blog Archive » Chi Coltrane signs with Sony
I did a short feature on Chi Coltrane's comeback on my new blog "The Music Movement" only a couple of days ago, so the timing is great. The idea behind this venture is to make people aware of the state of the recording industry and the effects it has on artists that aren't young, beautiful and who shun commercialism. Especially our heroes from yesteryear are finding it difficult (as you well know of course)
The English version of the blog is still very new, so its maybe a little early to plug it, but for anyone who is interested (there are a couple of interesting features) here's the link: ... or, for the German speakers amongst us: