Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

Bobby Vee announced to his fans on Sunday, April 29th, that he is battling Alzheimer's Disease.  His wife Karen is also in poor health, awaiting a lung transplant.  The family recently picked up roots in Minnesota, hopped in an RV and took a road trip to Tucson, Arizona, both for relaxation and mind-clearing ... he described it as a means to explore their new reality ... and, while there, they recorded some random tunes that will soon find their way to a new CD release through Bobby's website.  You can read Bobby's self-written explanation regarding all that is going on in their lives right now on his official website, as well as view the first video made from these new recordings.
Some very sad news to share regarding one of our Forgotten Hits favorites ... Bobby has been a supporter of our efforts since the early days and we certainly wish him well in the days to come.  You'll find a spot to email Bobby right from his website to send along your own positive greetings and prayers.  You can check it all out here:
It's a heartfelt message to be sure.  In Bobby's own words:
Shortly after this all came down, I hopped into an RV with my family and we embarked on a little odyssey from Minnesota to Tucson, AZ.  Together we explored the depths of our reality ... the depths of my reality.  With very few words, no solutions and a lot of heart, we did what we do.  We shared time.  We shared laughter, tears, stories, meals and music.  We shared thousands of miles of hi-way as familiar to us as the pillows on our beds.  As if nothing had changed, as if everything had changed ... simultaneously.
-- Bobby Vee
I don't know if you heard the news, but there's a very sad but touching letter on Bobby Vee's website about his Alzheimer's diagnosis . . .
Great musician, class guy who's been living in Minnesota for many years..
Don Effenberger
Kent ...
First it was Glen Campbell, now Bobby Vee.
Frank B.
This just came across from A.P.   It is very sad news for me.  He has played several concerts for us over the years for various functions.  He is truly the nicest person in the entertainment business that I have ever met.  The last time he played a show for us was in 2006 with the Crickets and Tommy Roe.  It was a magical night with all three acts on stage at the end jamming and telling stories. 
Phil Nee - WRCO
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Musician Bobby Vee says he has Alzheimer's disease
The 69-year-old North Dakota native who lives in Minnesota made the announcement on his website, saying the news last year "stunned my family and myself."
Vee's career began the night Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash on their way to a show in Moorhead, Minn., the neighboring city to Vee's hometown of Fargo, N.D. Vee was 15 at the time, and volunteered with a band called The Shadows to fill in. Founding band members Dick Dunkirk and Bob Korum tell The Forum newspaper they're saddened to hear of Vee's condition.
Vee went on to a successful solo career. In June 1999 he was given North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state's highest honor.
Yes, I heard about this Sunday Morning after The Sunday Comments had already gone out so I wasn't able to include it until today's posting.  Although I never met him personally, Bobby Vee communicated with Forgotten Hits a number of times over the years.  In fact, he was SUPPOSED to be my very first big-name interview ... the fact that it never happened became a running gag in the newsletter for about three years.  (Bobby kept saying he wanted to do it ... and that these were the best questions he'd ever been asked ... then came up with excuse after excuse after excuse about why he didn't answer them.  It wasn't at all unusual for me to get an email from Vee at 1, 2 or 3:00 in the morning, after he'd finished up a show and finally settled down in his hotel room, telling me that he was going to tackle the questions now ... only to never send in the responses!)  Naturally, by now ALL those questions and emails are long gone ... but he has done a lot to help spread the word about Forgotten Hits over the years.  He's got millions of fans out there praying for him right now.  (kk)
I'm just perusing your extraordinary comments in this weeks "Forgotten Hits" and read everything about the late Dick Clark, and I must admit, I made a HUGE Programming faux pas when I was the P.D. of KARS-FM "Oldies 102.9, The Greatest Hits of All Time" in Ft Collins CO. As such, I'd like to issue a public apology.
I helped put the station on the air in 2004 (and programmed the station til it's demise in late 2008) and I was the one that decided on any weekend radio shows we would have on the air. I couldn't believe all the great shows that were available to Oldies Stations.  I was like a kid in a candy store. I was however keenly aware of Dick Clark's stroke and was approached by the good people from the United Stations Radio Network to run Dick's "Rock, Roll and Remember", which I had heard and was a super fan of for years, but was so STUPID to think that our listeners wouldn't tune it in because they were all aware of how Dick was physically (here and now in the status quo) and how he sounded. Even though the shows would be reruns of classics aired years ago and that classic velvety smooth Dick Clark voice would be all you'd hear along with his renditions of great music stories, I declined to air it.
One of the BIGGEST Programming Mistakes I ever made was telling United Stations, I thought it would be a mistake to air "Rock, Roll & Remember" on Sunday afternoons, because our audience was "too hip" and wouldn't accept it or listen to it. So I went with different programming on Sunday's including Breakfast with the Beatles and Joe Johnson's outstanding "Beatle Brunch", we also ran Mike Harvey's Weekend Shows.
Now, after the death of Dick Clark, giving a listen to Cruisin Oldies 950 (the old KIMN of Denver) blaring out "Dick Clark's Rock, Roll & Remember" on Sunday Afternoons ... I can truthfully say, I can't miss a minute of it because it was and IS incredible. Dick was sooooo good, and the stories and music are unforgettable. Damn, I should sell for United Stations ... if you own an Oldies Station, you'd be an IDIOT not to air this show in your market!
Nuff said!
"Wild" Bill Cody
As frequent readers to Forgotten Hits already know, when Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon was writing his autobiography last year with well known rock author Mark Bego, they asked Dick Clark to write the introduction to Freddy’s book, “Where the Action Is.”  
In tribute to his good friend Dick, other than those who have read the book, Freddy is now sharing Dick’s entire introduction with Forgotten Hit readers for the first time.
-- Tom Cuddy
New York, NY

by Dick Clark 
Throughout my years as the producer and host of American Bandstand, I had the opportunity to meet and to work with some of the most amazing performers in the world of rock & roll music.  Some of those talented people I merely worked with on the set, on a friendly-but-professional basis.  Other musicians and singers instantly became lifelong friends of mine.  One of the singers who falls into the later category is Freddy Cannon.
The first time I met Freddy, he was making a guest appearance on American Bandstand on May 1, 1959.  He was there to sing his first Top Ten hit, “Tallahassee Lassie.”  
I happily booked him on American Bandstand again that November, to perform his second Top Ten hit of the year, “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.”  Freddy was on a hot streak of hits that just continued.  The following year Freddy was a guest on my primetime television show The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show, along with Brenda Lee.  
Freddy was always a pleasure to work with.  In fact, it is Freddy Cannon who holds the record for the most appearances on American Bandstand.  
In the early 1960s, when I started my traveling road show, Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars, I made sure that Freddy was a part of that, too.  He has always had an upbeat and positive outlook on life, and he has always been a pleasure to be around.  If you are going to plan a city-to-city bus tour of rock & roll stars, these are good traits to have in your musical guests! 
In 1965 I started a new afternoon show on ABC-TV called Where the Action Is.  It was filmed on location and took us to the beach, or up to a snow-covered mountain.  I had booked all of the biggest rock, pop, and R&B stars on the charts as my guests on that show.  It showed all the signs of becoming a huge ratings success.  
However, only weeks before we were set to broadcast the first episode of Where the Action Is, we didn’t have a solid recording of the theme song for the show.  I first had Paul Revere & The Raiders record the song “Action,” but it just wasn’t as exciting as I had envisioned it.  Next, I pursued Del Shannon to have him record his version of it.  Again, it didn’t work out.  What was I going to do?  The demo recording of the song that Tommy Boyce and Steven Venet wrote sounded so much like it could be a Freddy Cannon kind of song.  Why not get Freddy to record his take on it?  He went into the recording studio, and he instantly nailed it.  A few weeks later Freddy’s version of the song “Action” was not only heard on every episode of the show, it went on to become his 21st chart hit!  
I will always remember that 19-year-old kid from Boston who came to the Philadelphia studios where American Bandstand was taped.  He was just so excited to have his first hit song pressed onto a 45 r.p.m. record.  And he has never lost that enthusiasm.  He has been a wonderful friend of mine ever since that very first day I met him in 1959.  After reading this book, I hope you will feel that Freddy Cannon is one of your dear friends, too.                                          
—Dick Clark, 2011

>>>Back in the 70s, I religiously listened to Casey Kasem's "American Top 40" on Sunday nights. I used to intentionally wait until 7 pm, to head back to college, so I could listen to the show on my car's am radio. As a broadcasting major, I regarded Casey as the MAN!  Once in a great while, he would take a night off, and have a guest host fill in on his program. On March 25th, 1972, Dick Clark was that guest host. I must have been busy that night, because I completely missed it, but heard about it later.  Lately, a local radio station here has been playing reruns of "American Top 40" on Sunday mornings, and I thought maybe the show with Dick Clark filling in, would have been featured, because of his passing. Well, it wasn't, so I'm wondering if someone has a recording of the show, or at least some snippets for us to hear.
(John LaPuzza)
Actually, Premiere Networks IS offering (as an option) to its "Casey Kasem's American Top 40®: The 70's" affiliates this weekend (4/28-29) the Dick Clark show from March 25, 1972; some stations are choosing the other option, a regular Casey show from 1979, and I have heard of a few who will carry both, although when they are, of course, varies with the station.
Meanwhile, I did read where someone (briefly) posted a recording of the Clark show to F***book, but I imagine it didn't last long.
Easton, PA
Music Legend Tommy Roe Featured In 'The Beatles Lost Concert' Film
5/2/2012 – Hollywood, CA - International '60s music legend and pop pioneer Tommy Roe will be featured in a new film about The Beatles legendary 1964 concert in Washington, DC called 'The Beatles The Lost Concert'. This new documentary on the birth of Beatlemania in America will have its premiere at New York's world-famous Ziegfeld Theater on May 6, 2012 and will have a limited US theater engagement March 17 & 22, 2012. The Beatles opened for Tommy Roe on the famed UK tour of 1963.  In return, the Fab Four asked Tommy to be on the bill with them at their first ever US concert in Washington, DC. 

The whole story is related through new interviews with celebrities, historically important people, journalists and DJs, photographers, historians and original concert goers, along with plenty archival footage. Also, unseen on the big screen for over four decades, the original concert footage has been restored and remastered. On February 11, 1964, two days after their legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Beatles performed at the Washington Coliseum. After performances by The Caravelles, The Chiffons and Tommy Roe, The Beatles played a 12-song half hour show to an ecstatic audience. The concert was professionally filmed and mixed on location, and then one month later broadcast via closed-circuit to movie theaters across America. The concert has been hidden away in the vaults for over 45 years! For more information visit:

In celebration of the new Beatles documentary, Tommy Roe made a special guest appearance on the nationally syndicated SiriusXM radio show 'Breakfast With The Beatles' on April 29, 2012.
In other news, Tommy Roe will be releasing his first new album in many years in the Fall 2012!  In support of his new CD release, Tommy will be performing several select dates in the US and Canada. A bona fide international star, Tommy Roe wrote and recorded six "Top 10" hits between 1962 - 69, more than any other solo American artist. To his credits he has 11 US Top 40 hits, 6 Top 10's, 4 Certified Gold singles, and two #1 Hits. He is a member of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, The Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. On September 2, 2012, Tommy Roe will be inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association (IRRMA) Hall of Fame.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Tommy began writing songs at the age of fourteen, and his first recording effort yielded the international #1 hit "Sheila".
“I will most likely call the new CD 'Devils Soul Pile', after a song I have written and included in the line up,” explains Tommy. “The song is a departure from my normal and expected style, and one that tells the story of dysfunctional families, and the effect it has on our youth and our neighborhoods. Lyrically, this song is a bit serious, and was inspired by the everyday news of violence in our neighborhoods and cities. But a song that ends in hope.” Other new songs include “LA I Belong To You”, “It's For You I'm Me” and “Water Underneath My Burning Bridge” as well as a re-recorded version of “Kick Me Charlie” from Tommy's 1965's 'Sweet Pea' album.
“Get Ready to party ... Tommy Roe sounds better than ever!”
LARRY KLEIN - Executive Producer: Dick Clark Productions
AN EVENING WITH TOMMY ROE is a new show featuring all his hits, plus less familiar tunes, and new material as well. The show features a full band, along with unplugged and solo segments.  The band is led by veteran guitarist / music director Rick Levy (Herman's Hermits, Bo Diddley, Jay & the Techniques, Freddy Cannon, etc).  Rick plays Epiphone guitars exclusively on tour with Tommy Roe. “I am really excited about my new show,” says Tommy. “I will be featuring some of the new songs I have written, along with some obscure material I have recorded through the years, and get many requests to do. Of course I will highlight the hits, like 'Sheila', 'Everybody', 'Hooray For Hazel', 'Sweet Pea', 'Jam Up and Jelly Tight' and 'Dizzy', along with some of my favorite covers. I will also do a Q&A session in the middle of the show while the stage is being set for my acoustic set with band leader and lead guitarist Rick Levy. This is a new addition to our show, and something I really enjoy. It gives me a chance to get up close and intimate with our audience, kind of like I do at home with family and friends.”

Tommy Roe will be performing on these dates:
May 25 - Century Casino - Edmonton A, Canada
June 16 - Fountain of Life Festival - Gray, TN
June 17 - Ponte Vedra Concert Hall - Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
June 18 - Savannah Theatre - The Villages, FL
June 19 - LaGrange College - LaGrange, GA
Aug 31 - DiamondJo Casino - Dubuque, IA
Sept 1- Winnavegas Casino - Sloan, IA
Sept 2 - Iowa Rock Hall of Fame Induction - Arnolds Park, IA
Tommy Roe promo video:
For more information:
"Wages of Spin" Coming to National Public Television Television this month (May).
Chubby Checker, Paul Russo and Shawn Swords,
doing promo's at 60's weekend in Wildwood
Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen’s guitar collection I had meant to send this in long ago when it first aired.  Back in late January, Bob Sirrott's cool Sunday Night WGN radio show featured Rick and others live from Chess Records studio site!  Rick spoke a lot as well as others about Chess and Rick's dreams too.  You can catch the hour long show here:,0,3733798.mp3file
This from FH Reader Frank B (by way of WCBS-FM) ...
With a little help from his friend Dave Stewart (formerly of the Eurythmics), Ringo Starr is developing a movie musical for Paramount, reports entertainment industry website Titled Hole in the Fence, the film is described as a “coming-of-age drama is about a group of kids who form a band to escape their depressing mining town.” 
Starr and Stewart are behind the film’s original concept and music, but the script will be penned by David Harris, who is also working with Stewart on a film adaptation of their graphic novel, Zombie Broadway. The former Beatles drummer and one half of the Eurythmics will serve as executive producers on Hole in the Fence.
Tom Finn has just announced that Michael Brown has agreed to perform at tonight's show. Michael has been a holdout due to bad blood from 40 years ago, and this means three original band members will be onstage at this gig.
David Lewis
Kent ... 
Quite an honor, don't you think? 
Fifty years after the release of his debut, the folk-rock pioneer will receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor award by the United States, according to an official press release from the White House
The White House’s release deemed Dylan “one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century” and praised his “considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s.”
Frank B. 
Here's my last-call email about the upcoming May - June tour.  (I always send these reminders to everyone on my list. Regardless of where you live, there's always a chance you'll be somewhere near one of these venues.)
The tour will start on May 14th and run through June 2nd ...
Two shows in Wyoming, one in San Francisco, three in the greater L. A. area, one in San Diego, two in Arizona and one in Denver.
For the last seven of these ten concerts, I'll be sharing the bill with the incomparable Danny O'Keefe, whose music I've loved and admired since I first heard it back in 1972.
Check my web site Gigs Page for specifics:
They tell me there are still tickets available  for all the dates, but they're going fast. So if you plan on making one of the shows don't wait too long to reserve.
See you there.
Bob Lind
4OO-PLUS filled the Hammonton Regional Performing Arts Center this past Saturday (4/29) to see CHARLIE GRACIE and the DUPREES!   A fun evening filled with some great golden classics performed by both acts: THANK YOU!
CHARLIE will be honored by his Alma Mater: SOUTH PHILLY HIGH (school of the stars) this coming SUNDAY with a LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD -- formal ceremony and dinner at the SAVOY INN in Palmyra, NJ.
We just found out that Jim Peterik will be sitting in with The New Invaders when they play their pre-show lobby concert at The Drive's 11th Birthday Concert featuring Dave Mason and The Doobie Brothers!  Now we gotta get there EXTRA early!!!  (kk)

The New Invaders Appearing At Akoo Theatre - Rosemont, IL
Pre-Concert Performance for The Drive's 11th Birthday Celebration

On Friday, May 11, 2012, The New Invaders will be performing a pre-concert show in the Akoo Theatre's main lobby from 6:00pm to 7:30pm as part of The Drive radio station's 11th Birthday Celebration.  As a special addition to the show, The New Invaders are honored to be sharing the stage with one of Chicago's premier musicians, Jim Peterik, of the Ides of March and Survivor, as Jim sings "Vehicle," the signature song of the Ides of March.  "Vehicle" was released in 1970 by Warner Bros. Records and the song climbed to #1 in Cashbox and #2 in Billboard to become the fastest breaking single in Warner Bros. history!  Needless to say, the band has been working overtime learning the horn parts of "Vehicle" and more.  
Each year, The Drive, 97.1 FM, marks their birthday with a gift back to the listeners in the form of a free concert.  This year's bash will feature
The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason.  The free concert at the intimate Akoo Theatre (formerly Rosemont Theatre) in Rosemont, Illinois is The Drive's way of saying thanks for listening.  Tickets are not available for sale, but The Drive will be giving each and every ticket away daily until they are all gone. To find out how to win tickets (on air, online or in person), visit The Drive's website at:
I've used the BBC website for years now but only came across this link yesterday. It has some historical interviews with The Beatles and other 'Mersey' performers.  I'm sure some you guys will be knocked out listening to some of this stuff, some of it I've never heard before, and didn't know existed.
Happy listening
George Van Win (London, England)
Kent ...
Check this one out. I just found it.
Frank B.
A very impressive line-up ... and obviously somewhat dated ... to see world renown actor Will Smith still being referred to simply as "The Fresh Prince"!  (kk)
My dear friend, I would greatly appreciate your forwarding or using this video release of my  "DOO WOP DREAMER" recording in your newsletter or blog if possible. I hope you enjoy it and thanks very much.
Warmest regards,
Trade Martin  
Kent ...
Six year old boy impresses Billy Joel with his viral rendition of "Piano Man" ...6 years old, playing the piano. I think I was still sucking my thumb when I was 6!
Frank B.
Here are a couple of YouTube clips of Ron Dante performing at B.B. King's last weekend.
David Lewis
VERY cool ... not only Ron but also our FH buddies The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, too!  And "Tracy" has always been one of Frannie's all-time favorite songs!  (kk)

Lots more comments coming this weekend in The Sunday Comments Page ... and watch for another edition of "Helping Out Our Readers" tomorrow in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)