Sunday, August 19, 2012

Good Old-Fashioned Forgotten Hits

Hey Kent,
Last month, Gino Vannelli celebrated his 60th birthday.
He has had a great career that spans pop, rock, jazz, art songs, you name it. He even was invited to sing for the Pope!
The first time I ever heard of him was when a promotional copy of his first album, "Crazy Love" arrived at the office of my college's radio station. It showed him with a French Poodle hairdo, and he was wearing a Harry Belefonte-type of open-collar shirt! The title song was the first track. I thought it had kind of a nouveau, bossa-nova sound that didn't appeal to me, so I quickly forgot about Vannelli and his album. A little over a year later, one of my musician friends told me that a new song, by my favorite drummer was being played on the radio. Dino Danelli, of The Rascals was (and still is) my all-time favorite pop / rock drummer, so I just had to hear his new solo hit. Well, DINO turned out to be GINO, (and Danelli, of course, was Vannelli!) and the hit was "People Gotta Move".
I loved it, and bought the 45 record.
Not long after that, another friend had the LP "Powerful People", that the song was part of, and said that the album was exciting. He loaned it to me, and I was absolutely floored by how good it was. It was a combination of rock, fusion jazz, and r&b. It was creative and ahead of its time. Two keyboards were a part of the band, instead of having a lead guitarist. It WAS exciting, and I became a fan, from that point on.
I recently made up a list of twenty artists that I feel should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but mistakenly included Aerosmith, who have already been inducted. I would like to replace that band with Gino Vannelli.
"Hurts To Be In Love" from the album, "Black Cars", may be my favorite song of his, and I have included a live performance of it here.
Happy 60th, Gino!
- John LaPuzza
I liked "People Gotta Move" the minute I heard it. (Despite the fact that it never actually charted here in Chicago, I remember the FM stations playing it quite a bit back in 1974, especially WBBM-FM, who were in their Top 40 mode at the time.) But then Gino disappeared for a few years, returning in 1978 with a powerful ballad called "I Just Wanna Stop", which went on to become a #2 smash in Cash Box Magazine. He had one more monster hit three years later when "Living Inside Myself" went to #6 in Billboard ... and then he disappeared for good.
Frannie was a BIG Gino Vannelli fan ... she saw him in concert a couple of times back in the day. Actually, I think his music holds up very well. (Talk about your Forgotten Hits ... "People Gotta Move" is certainly one of the best!) kk

Hey Kent,
I KNEW I forgot to include something I wrote to you on Gino Vannelli, a little while ago. Here is something I want to share. In the late 70s, the Electric Light Orchestra was on a national tour in the US, and stopped this city. The newspaper showed publicity photos of the group coming out of a spaceship, lowered onto the stage. I had no idea that the front act was Gino Vannelli's band. I really wanted to see ELO and their spaceship, but couldn't, as I had a musical commitment of my own, but several friends of mine were there and told me about what they experienced. When the show got started, Gino, his brother, and the rest of the band played a rockin', energetic set, that had people dancing in the aisles and cheering. The band played at least two encores. After intermission, ELO came down in the spaceship, but that was the only thing exciting about their concert. They acted like they didn't want to be there. By the third song, the audience was so fidgety that they started chanting "Gino, Gino, Gino!". Of course, Vannelli didn't come back on stage, but ELO said that they would never come back here again. True story. Hope you can include this!
- John LaPuzza
Better late than never ... as you know, we've been out of commission for a little while here ... but it's great to be back up and running ... so let's feature a Gino tune. I think folks out there will really dig hearing "People Gotta Move" again! (kk)

This suggestion came from Forgotten Hits Reader David Lewis ...
Happy by Blades Of Grass -- #64, 1967 (but a #39 Hit here in Chicago)

The interview (see link below) was done by our FH Buddy Mike Dugo (of ... our partner in selecting The Top 20 All-Time Favorite Garage Bands) ... you can check it all out here:

And, yes, we WILL eventually be announcing the winners of our Top 20 All-Time Favorite Garage Bands Poll ... that one's just taking a lot longer to recreate than some of the other things we've been able to send your way lately. (kk)

Hi Kent Kotal:
Wish to share info on Lawrence Reynolds, if not known by you.
Lawrence Reynolds was a successful songwriter from Alabama.
Go to YouTube, Search / Play Lawrence Reynolds and Jesus Is A Soul Man. As you listen, scan videos at right for Country songs by Lawrence Reynolds, posted by Australianfan. Click one of his videos, then click more information beneath the video. Australianfan shares a definitive history of Lawrence Reynolds, a talented, forgotten Country artist. (Forgotten, compared to our past finds on him.)
I've enjoyed your interviews and posts on Peter Noone / Herman's Hermits. I am a member of his fan club. I write The Music Muse Interview blog. While YouTube researching Jack Scott for a potential future post, I strayed from Jack to Jody Reynolds to Lawrence Reynolds; to make a long story short.
Lucky breaks leads, at times, to posts on little known or forgotten artists I discover, while searching on better known artists. Lawrence Reynolds is probably now on my list.
Hope I have helped you and your readers. Thanks for your great work. You are an inspiration to my own humble writing. I recall you are in Chicago. While living in Kentucky, later Florida, I was a WLS fan. Ron Riley, Art Roberts, and Larry Lujack were among my favorite WLS DJs. So, glad to see someone in the Chicago area keeping Oldies music alive. Thank you for the hours I have spent reading a few of your many posts.
Wyman Stewart
The Music Muse Interview
We've featured Lawrence Reynolds' 1969 Hit "Jesus Is A Soul Man" a couple of times now in Forgotten Hits ... and you're right, there isn't a lot of information to be found on Lawrence on the Internet ... so it's cool to have this new link to share. While "Jesus Is A Soul Man" only reached #28 on The Billboard Chart, it was a #11 Smash here in Chicago ... and his been one of my all-time favorite "forgotten hits" ever since. Check out Wyman's YouTube link to hear it for yourself. Meanwhile, I'm glad that you've been enjoying Forgotten Hits! (kk)

How about that song "Angel In Your Arms" by Hot -- that's got to be a forgotten hit.
I don't think I've heard it on the radio since it was out!
David Wollenberg
And it was a pretty decent-sized hit, too. Hot's biggest single WAS hot back in 1977 when "Angel In Your Arms" went all the way to #6 on the national charts ... ANOTHER legitimate Top Ten Record completely ignored by oldies radio today. (C'mon, jocks ... let's get SOMEBODY out there to play this one!) kk

Did Crabby Appleton's 1970 hit "Go Back" receive much airplay in Chicagoland? Someone mentioned it today, and it's a true forgotten hit for most people.
David Lewis

Yes, quite a bit ... in fact, we still hear it here from time to time. We featured this one a long time ago ... always liked this song. (#12 in Chi-Town ... #30 nationally) kk

And, as a special, extra treat, we've also posted Randy Price's SUPER CHART from this date in Rock And Roll History ...
Fifty years ago today!!!
According to the national trades, THESE were the biggest songs in the country at that time ...

And there's another GREAT Forgotten Hit right in The Top Ten. So let's ALSO feature "Things" by Bobby Darin today! (kk)