Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

A couple of weeks ago we told you about former Outsiders and Climax lead singer Sonny Geraci going through two brain surgeries.  Well, we are happy to report today that Sonny seems to be on the mend.  Certainly it's a slow process ... but here's the latest word from his daughter Bri ...
My dad is just now starting to open both of his eyes and move them together!! And he is trying to talk in syllables with his throat! It is unbelievable! He actually answers back to what we are saying. It is amazing that he is comprehending! Still, we have to take it day by day. But it is very amazing that he is finally tracking us with his eyes! I will let you know anything more.  Thanks for your message. 

We just heard that Burton Cummings' mother passed away this past weekend.  Naturally, we've been anxiously awaiting his appearance here at the Arlington Heights Frontier Days Festival on The 4th of July ... so it's especially sad to know that he's grieving right now.   

From the Winnipeg Free Press:
The beloved mother of former Guess Who frontman Burton Cummings has died. 
In a post on his Facebook page, Cummings said his mother Rhoda died Friday night shortly after 10 p.m. following a stroke earlier in the week. 
Cummings, who has been by his mother's side in recent days, credited her with fostering his music career. She started him in piano lessons at a very early age and encouraged his passion for music even when he dropped out of high school. 
"She was a wonderful, strong woman," wrote Cummings. "My father was abusive to her, and yet way back in the 1940s she had the strength to grab me and leave him."  Cummings said there will be no funeral service and asked that no flowers or donations be made in her memory.   

>>>Just saw in Chicagoland Radio and Media that last Saturday was the last show of Mike Baker's Forgotten 45's, after broadcasting it on WJJG for 17 years.  How is it even REMOTELY possible that this is the FIRST TIME I've EVER heard about this program?!?!?  (kk)
I just wanted to say I, too, have never heard of the "Forgotten 45's Show" on WJJG.  Wonder what we were missing???  In an effort to fix my oldies cravings I have been listening to lots of Herb Kent on V103.  He'll pull on some real rare ones that don't ever get played.  Also, looking forward to the Jeff James collaboration!!!!
AJK (The Youngest Oldies Freak Around)
I tried to listen to Mike's last program on Saturday ... but had all kinds of difficulties doing so.  First of all, neither the Chicagoland Radio and Media article OR the station's own website told what time Mike's show was on the air.  Then, after giving it a shot every hour from noon until three, it finally came on ... but the online stream for WJJG is absolutely HORRENDOUS!!!  It kept cutting out repeatedly ... and then back-tracking and overlapping with the same material on top of itself ... making it nearly impossible to listen to.  So I figured I'd just drive around for an hour and listen to it in the car ... but the radio couldn't pick up the signal for AM1530 either.  VERY annoying!!!  Mike kicked off his show with some real local flavor ... "Lake Shore Drive" (including a little bit of a "custom version" like Skip Haynes made for us a couple of years ago), "Sugar And Spice", "Vehicle" ... but then he played a couple of things that I wouldn't really consider Forgotten 45's at all. ("Best Of My Love" by The Emotions???  I probably hear that one three or four times a week!)  Anyway, I sent Mike an email and told  him about what WE do here in Forgotten Hits ... and invited him to join in on the fun.  Haven't heard anything back yet, but hopefully he'll check us out and maybe even provide a few tidbits in the issues to come.
I'm excited about the Jeff James broadcast, too.  I blew my first chance to do this when my work schedule got RIDICULOUSLY out of hand again ... 12-14 hour days and weekends ... made it impossible to get anything together in time to do Jeff's program ... but we're going to give it another shot in a couple of weeks and hopefully I'll soon be able to report when and where you can check these out.  Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and visit Jeff's YouTube Page, where he has TONS of old episodes of "From The Vault" available for your perusal!!!  (kk)

The Disco Nights circa late 70’s / early 80’s consisted of the gang heading to a Gin Mill for 2 or 3 hours of pounding pitchers of beer & shots. Sufficiently plastered, onward to the dance joints to find pretty ladies. Women in the 70’s looked nice in their dresses at the Discos, but the Guys! What a hideous sight that was! Yeesh! Leisure Suits, Polyester suits, Ugly shirts, Platform Shoes, Bad Flares, Ugly Chains, Permed hair! Christ, What a Mess! It was cooler hanging out with Punks!
As for The Bee Gees, they had great stuff in the 60’s, especially 67 & earlier. Great Beatles influenced Pop Rock. Their early 70’s music is pretty decent, but the stuff from Jive Talkin forward was almost all an unlistenable falsetto hell.  Some of that era of music had an impact, but mostly a bad impact. I would have put them in to the RR HOF for their 60’s music, but I probably would have penalized them 10 more years for the later stuff! Getting extremely drunk to listen to the Disco hits of the day was the only way you could stand it. LOL  
I just never got into the whole disco scene ... I never played "dress up" in order to fit in ... and, simply put, I didn't dance ... so the whole era was lost on me.  It all looked so fake and superficial ... but, at the time, if you were out to meet women, that's where you had to go.  I hung out with a couple of guys who were truly into the scene ... as such, I found myself bored, hanging out at the table, most often alone ... it didn't really bother me ... but I couldn't help thinking how we used to PLAY at this joint (or something along those lines).  As such, I, too, drifted more toward real rock and roll ... and there was a TON of great stuff coming out in the late '70's and early '80's of that genre ... the stuff we all call "classic rock" today.
As for The Bee Gees, I will admit to overdosing on the over-usage of falsetto by the time of the "Spirits Having Flown" album ... I always felt that they should have used it more as a special "novelty treat", pulled out of the hat now and again to liven things up, rather than define their whole new sound around it ... but up until then I had the utmost respect for the way they re-invented themselves with this whole new sound.  (Points taken off for their foray into "Sgt. Pepper" ... which kinda killed any early Beatles-comparisons I might have had for the band back in the "New York Mining Disaster" days!  I mean, they were singing with Alice Cooper and Steve Martin for Christ's sake!!!)
All-in-all, I still have to consider myself to be a MAJOR Bee Gees fan.  Their consistent catalog of material for the past 40-some years is virtually unmatched ... and throws them into a VERY exclusive, elite club that includes The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones ... and virtually no one else.  For that alone, I give them MAJOR kudos.  (kk)   

I was rocking along nicely in the 70's and as a non-clubbing, non-dancing, long-hair, who wouldn't wear the club 'clown suits' but mostly I wasn't happy at all with the 'sound' ... (that ONE pounding beat behind every song drove me nuts)!
A musician friend told me of the 'cycle' ... ie ... when rock is needing a 'rest' (not the best material coming out) ... music turns to dance ... and then back again, re-discovered ... (like yo-yo's being popular every other generation) ... original rockers taken over by the dance crazes of the early 60's ... then the folk and rock (with The Beatles leading the way) driving dance out ... and then back again with disco ... and now we have hip-hop.
With the information overload these days, you might be able to have multi-formats at the same time (both dancing and listening music) ... but time will tell if they 'split' and we go to less-dancing-listening-rock again.
THE BEE GEES???  I consider their career pre-Saturday Night Fever.  They DID put out a fantastic GREATEST HITS pre-1980 that it still one of my favorite albums.  I thought THEIR disco was a step-down and out-right silly (but profitable).  I can listen to disco as oldies ... (Donna Summer had some that 'overcome' disco, as did others, and I listen to them fondly) ... but I never warmed up to the disco, falsetto, white-suited, Bee Gee brothers.  I'm sorry their legacy isn't the pre-disco greats they had ... I'm just sayin' ...
Gary Renfield
I hated the exceptionally long dance mixes the discos played, too ... take a three or four minute song and stretch it out for 20 minutes of the same, repetitive beat which ultimately just morphed into another song that offered more of the same ... a lot of today's music reminds me of that ... where you can't really distinguish one song from another because they're all made to sound so similar so as to "blend" into this whole listening mix.  I guess I've always been more of one for "originality" ... and songs that can stand alone on their own merit.   
Most of the '60's and early '70's Bee Gees music has been overlooked by radio of late ... you might hear "I've Gotta Get A Message To You" once in a while ... or maybe "To Love Somebody" ... but that's about it.  ALL of the focus seems to be on the 1975 - 1979 era of "Main Course" and "Saturday Night Fever" ... and, as such, in many people's minds, that's all they've become ... when, in fact, The Bee Gees contributed SO much more.
Seriously ... scroll back and look at our Bee Gees Hit List from a month or so back ... their catalog is nothing short of INCREDIBLE!  (kk)  
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Search results for bee gees hit list 

Do you have occasional flashbacks that are so clear and precise that they could have happened yesterday ... or this morning? I experienced one of those while reading today's FH. I'm certain I haven't heard the song "Mr. Natural " since the spring of '74, but Clark's mention of it transported me to the day we received it and decided to add it to our playlist. I was thinking it was March of '74, so I looked it up to see if I was close. I found that it was indeed March, 1974, and was only on the Hot 100 chart for three weeks, peaking at number 93. We played it for a good six - to - eight weeks. As I type this, I am "seeing" the 45 spinning on the turntable, thinking this should be a big hit. But it wasn't. It's a major IRS, to use Rich Appel's term.
David Lewis

By this point The Bee Gees had fallen off the radar a couple of times already ... their last really big '60's hit was "First Of May", which reached #18 in the Spring of 1969.  We wouldn't hear from them again in Chicago until late 1970 when "Lonely Days" shot up to the top of the charts.  It was a WHOLE new sound ... and I LOVED it.  A few more Top 20 Hits followed ... "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" (#1, 1971); "My World" (#15, 1972) and "Run To Me" (#11, 1972) ... and then they were gone again until "Jive Talkin'" took them back to the top of the charts in 1975.
Being COMPLETELY bowled over by the "Main Course" album ... (it remains to this day one of my all-time favorite LPs) ... I was naturally curious to see what took them there ... what had I missed between the lushly produced and heavily orchestrated "Run To Me" to the unmistakable beat of "Jive Talkin'" ... so I picked up a copy of "Mr. Natural" to see just what kind of stepping stone it really was.  Try as I might, I could NOT get into this album ... it was COMPLETELY lost on me ... and I found no appeal whatsoever between the grooves ... making the brilliance of "Main Course" even that much more dramatic to my ears.  And they kept it going ... from "Children Of The World" to "Saturday Night Fever" to "Spirits Having Flown", The Bee Gees stepped into a zone of non-stop success ... pretty amazing for a band that had already been around our consciousness for a decade!  But my how they had changed.
I've tried listening to tracks from "Mr. Natural" since ... and they still don't work for me ... although I will admit that the title track sounded pretty good when I played it today!    That's OK ... to each his own.  For me "Main Course" is pure magic ... and the caliber of that album stands the test of time ... and that's good enough for me!  (kk)

With Eagle bandmates Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh both putting together solo tours this spring and summer, bassist Timothy B. Schmit has lined up some solo dates as well.  (We hear that Walsh ... who'll be performing here at Naperville's Rib Fest ... has reunited The James Gang for this tour!) 

Here's a look at Timothy's itinerary ...
May 28th - The Hamilton (Washington, DC)
May 29th - B.B. King's Blues Clube  (New York, NY)
May 31st - Keswick Theatre (Glenside, PA)
June 2nd - Ridgefield Playhouse  (Ridgefield, CT)
June 4th - Rama Head On Stage  (Annapolis, MD)
June 6th - Three Rivers Arts Festival  (Pittsburgh, PA)
June 8th - The Paramount  (Huntington, NY)
June 9th - The Newton Theatre  (Newton, NJ)  

After a successful run of winter shows, groundbreaking vocalist, songwriter and bass player TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT -- well-known for his work as a member of the EAGLES and Poco -- is gearing up for a Spring U.S. Tour with his band starting May 19. For the three-week trek, TIMOTHY and his full band will perform songs from his fifth solo album EXPANDO as well as gems by the EAGLES and Poco.
TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT explains the impetus for the spring run of dates:
"What I like best about doing solo shows is it gives me a chance to interact with the audience in a smaller, more intimate setting. But, don't get me wrong. I very much enjoy being a part of the Eagles and all it implies. For instance, as of this writing, I find myself in a hotel in the exotic city of Dubai where we (the Eagles) will end a short tour that started in South Africa. After a few more scattered shows in the U.S., I look forward to taking my own band out on the road and having a completely different experience. I'm a fortune man. I get the best of both worlds."
The spring trek will take TIMOTHY and his bandmates to clubs offering an intimate vibe. 
See above for a full list of dates and details.  

It looks like Glenn Frey's scheduled solo dates may have already passed ... but here's the lastest from Joe Walsh ...  

May 27th - Riverfront Park  (Little Rock, AR)
May 31st - Toledo Zoo Amphitheater (Toledo, OH)
June 2nd - Stage AE  (Pittsburgh, PA)
June 30th - Ribfest  (Naperville, IL)
July 3rd - Summerfest  (Milwaukee, WI)
July 4th - Dublin Coffman High School  (Dublin, OH)
July 10th - Common Ground Music Festival  (Lansing, MI)
July 13th - Stiefel Theatre For The Performing Arts  (Salina, KS)
July 14th - Riverside Casino and Golf Resort (Riverside, IA)
July 28th - Sioux Falls Jazz Fest  (Sioux Falls, SD)
August 1st - Cape Cod Melody Tent  (Hyannis, MA)
August 3rd - South Shore Music Circus  (Cohasset, MA)
August 7th - Mayo PAC  (Morristown, NJ)
August 10th - Hampton Beach Casino  (Hampton, NH)
August 11th - Seneca Allegany Casino And Hotel  (Salamanca, NY)
August 13th - The Filene Center At Wolf Trap  (Vienna, VA)
August 18th - Belly Up  (Aspen, CO)
August 19th - The Hudson Gardens Events Center  (Littleton, CO)
August 21st - Gallivan Center  (Salt Lake City, UT)
August 24th - Little Creek Casino Resort (Shelton, WA)
August 25th - Oregon State Fair  (Salem, OR)
August 30th - Tuslip Resort Casino Amphitheatre  (Tulsip, WA)
September 1st - River Rock Casino Resort  (Richmond, BC, Canada)
September 2nd - Mill Bay Casino  (Manson, WA)
September 30th - Montalvo Arts Center  (Saratoga, CA)   

Hi Kent,
Hope you're having a pleasant holiday weekend.
I just wanted to let you know that I was recently asked to join the Dovells
(Bristol Stomp, You Can't Sit Down, Bristol Twistin' Annie, Hully Gully) on bass and vocals.  I've know them since I mc'd the opening act for their / our 1975 Steel Pier (Atlantic City) show when I led the Jill Babylove (disco) band.  The Rip Chords, which I also led, were / are in the same management office so our friendship grew.  It's nice to be out there playing once again in this arena.  I played my first show with them on May 20th and I'm looking forward to a good summer.
All the best to you and all your readers,
Bob Rush (Dr. Robert, American Correspondent for "The Beat" Magazine, U.K.)   

I think your daughter did a great job on Beach Boys review.
You should give her a raise in pay . LoL !!
I'll get you in trouble if I keep writing.
Frank B.
Actually I wasn't going to disclose this ... but since she did such a great job, I gave her 100% of EVERYTHING I made doing Forgotten Hits this past week ... now how's THAT for a big-hearted Dad?!?!?  (Of course 100% of zero is still zero ... but it's the thought that counts, right???)  kk   

You just gained a ton of additional credibility for shooting straight with us on Irene's "book".
David Lewis
I had to ... uncomfortable as it was, people have to know that they're going to get the real lowdown in Forgotten Hits ... good, bad or otherwise.  And I seriously hope that Irene keeps an open and objective mind, reviews her work to date and then kicks it up a notch before she releases her Jonathan Frid book.  (Don't know that that'll happen ... but it was worth a shot!)  kk
Here's something for Motown fans to rejoice about -- Diana Ross' legendary Central Park concert from 1983 has finally made it to DVD.  The disc is produced by Shout Factory and includes both days from the event.  Day 1 of her free concert was rained out, and she promised to return the next day to finish the show.  Indeed she did, causing herself to foot the bill for most of the unplanned second day.  At last, both days can be seen on the DVD set.
And now fans of Diana, Mary, and Florence have something more to add to their lists ...   The Supremes At the Copa is finally released by Hippo-Select as an expanded 2-disc set.  The legendary appearance by America's top group of the 1960's marks the only live album from the group's "classic" line-up.
Add to these the recently released compilation of The Supremes' performances on The Ed Sullivan Show and you've got three VERY supreme additions to your collection!  (kk)
Just listened to the new Eric Burdon track. It sounds like "Take The Long Way Home" to me.  No? 
John Harrold 
Kent ... 
Just listened to Eric Burdon's "Memorial Day" again.  
"A rich man's war, but the poor will pay."   Reminds me of "Sky Pilot." 
I like it.  
Frank B.  
For some reason, I cannot get this track to play!!! I've tried it over a dozen times now and each and every time, nothing!!!  I even wrote to Bob Merlis (who provided us with a link to the site) but he says he's not aware of any problems.  Meanwhile, I got emails from six other Forgotten Hits Readers who were having the same problem I was ... so who knows!!!  Obviously some of you got to hear it ... and the counter kept increasing once we ran the link ... so I'm not quite sure what's up here!  If I can sang an MP3, I'll rerun it on the site later this week so that others can enjoy it, too.  (kk)