Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Still Catching Up (Part 1)

We've still got a LONG way to go before we're caught up on emails ... but here are a few things that I think you'll enjoy ... including a bunch of Beach Boys news!

Hey Kent,
I have a solution for all the politically correct radio stations that refuse to air The Beach Boys latest hit, "That's Why God Made The Radio". Simply, take out God, and re-title it, "That's Why Marconi Made The Radio".
- John LaPuzza
Endless Summer Quarterly Publisher David Beard tells us The Beach Boys have revamped their new "That's Why God Made The Radio" album for the vinyl pressing ... and states again that Brian REALLY wants to do another Beach Boys album ... which is REALLY cool news.
Just passing this along, but since we have dedicated Beach Boys reporters on the list, you may already know this.
I just CAN'T buy these again!!! (lol) Betcha some folks will 'tho! (kk)

I gave a listen to the Wilson Phillips version of Good Vibrations and I kind of laughed at the notion that an a cappella version of the song was a new idea ... almost 20 years ago (1993) the song was done a cappella by a group called the King's Singers, a very talented group of guys. I got to see them in concert a few years ago performing with absolutely zero instruments, it was amazing to hear what they could do with their voices. And there was no autotune used on their recording either.
Tom Diehl

Yep, a pretty impressive recording. Never heard this before. (kk)

Have I missed something, or has no one mentioned the fact that Ides of March stalwarts Jim Peterik and Larry Millas co-wrote both “That’s Why God Made the Radio” and “Isn’t It Time” on the new Beach Boys album ... and both play on the latter track?
You've missed something. We covered ALL of this before the album was even released. In fact, Jim Peterik first heard The Beach Boys' version of "That's Why God Made The Radio" right here in Forgotten Hits ... BEFORE The Beach Boys themselves had sent him a copy! (kk)
Ah! Could not imagine that slipped past the ever-watchful eye of FH!! Thanks for the info!

Just saw The Beach Boys 50 Year Tour at Summerfest in Milwaukee! You don’t want to miss this if like the Beach Boys at all. What a Classic! Like Watching a Part of Your Life. It was Fun, Fun, Fun!!

Hey Kent,
I've attached a picture of myself (in the blue shirt, and my buddy Ron in the orange) with the Beach Boys. We saw the show in Dallas on April 26. I've been a big fan since Surfin' Safari came out. Dating myself, huh :) I did not have high expectations, but it was a great show, and I'm so glad I went! Thrilled that they could all get it together once again!
Best wishes ... and again, thanks so much for Forgotten Hits!
We've seen nothing but rave reviews regarding the shows The Boys have been putting on. Brian has already said on several occasions now that he wants to do another new album ... and Capitol Records is quickly reissuing new compilations (including one called "50 Big Ones" .. yet another Greatest Hits Collection that even features a couple of tracks from the brand new "That's Why God Made The Radio" LP!) Exciting time ... who knows, maybe they'll add a few more appearances, too, since things are going so well. (Great shot, by the way ... how'd you finagle that?!?!?) kk

Thanks, Kent! Unfortunately it just takes the $$ to now make this happen, or in the case of Ron and I, $350 each! This for the 2nd tier of four packages from VIP Nation. For that we got the picture, soundcheck access and a goodie bag. Looks like lots of acts are going this route. Don't agree with it, but in the case of the Beach Boys I decided to go for it. It was worth it to me to see my favorite band in what may well (and probably should) be the last time together.

Here's more info on the upcoming compilation releases I mentioned earlier ...

Endless Summer Quarterly's David Beard talks a little more about these new releases ...
While fans eagerly await another album of new material from The Beach Boys, the group and Capitol / EMI have gone back to the well yet again with the planned release of two consecutive greatest hits packages. Billed as two new commemorative hits collections, and set for release on September 24th outside of North America and on October 9th in North America. The first compilation, simply titled Greatest Hits, features 20 of the group’s well-known chestnuts, including “That’s Why God Made The Radio.” Unique to the 50 Big Ones collection is the inclusion of the reworked version of “Isn’t It Time.” The latter will also be packaged in a lift top box including an extended booklet with newly written liner notes by Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild + seven collectible band postcards. Making 50 Big Ones a must-have for hardcore collectors.
-- David Beard

In addition, watch for a brand new video release commemorating this year's reunion tour. It'll show the guys back in the studio, rehearsing for the new album ... live concert footage ... and even some vintage, never-before-seen video of The Beach Boys recording "Good Vibrations", circa 1966. It hits stores August 28th ... and immediately went to the top of my birthday request list! (lol) kk
And check this out ...
You can pre-order the DVD right now for only $9.99!!!
Ron Bennington (RON & FEZ -sirius-xm-satellite radio) is a master interviewer ... doesn't ask questions ... more conversational ... and does his homework ... usually always comes across as 'expert' on his subject.
Here's a taste ... (I know from you about Carol Kaye's problems with him)
I think I have the actual interview ... I record them as played, but 'size-them-down' for my work player ... (small files) ... works well for talk radio.
Yep ... found it ... edited it out of the show ... just under 44 minutes ... but the small 'kps' rate makes the upload and download miniscule.
gary renfield
ps - I forwarded YOUR two columns to Bennington and suggested he use you on air as a go-to guy
like he has for movie reviews.
Thanks, Gary. We've been helping to support The Wrecking Crew Film ever since we first caught wind of it a few years ago. (Search the FH Website and you'll see numerous mentions and reviews.) At 44 minutes, this is really too long to post ... but I'll forward your attachment to anybody who wants to hear it ... just drop me a note. (kk)

Skip Haynes was on TV this week, talking about "Lake Shore Drive"
David Lewis
This may be the first time in the history of pop music that when an artist's career went to the dogs, it was actually a GOOD thing! (WTG, Skip!)
Skip tells a very brief history of the song here ... for the COMPLETE story, you've got to check out The Forgotten Hits Website. It's a classic! (kk)
Here's a great piece of trivia for you.
For decades, Paul Anka has told interviewers that he was asked to write a theme for Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” in 1962. Anka agreed to give Carson half the song’s publishing royalties and the tune remained Johnny’s theme until he retired.
What few people know is that Anka did not write the song with Carson’s show in mind. The song was actually a recycled melody from Anka’s songbook. Anka had written the song back in the late 50s and it was recorded, with lyrics, by Annette Funicello. The tune was then called “It’s Really Love.”
Here’s what the original sounded like before Anka thought of stripping the lyrics from it and giving it to Johnny Carson as an instrumental.
(The clip features Annette Funicello photos with Annette recording "It's Really Love" by Paul Anka in 1959)
-- Tom Cuddy

Tom Cuddy also sent in this EXCELLENT interview with Peter Asher that appeared in The Wall Street Journal back in June:

Life After Gordon
By JOANNE KAUFMAN. Wall Street Journal
NEW YORK: Almost half a century ago, when Peter Asher and Gordon Waller were touring the U.S. as the mop-topped pop duo Peter and Gordon, they were eyed curiously one day by a young boy in a hotel elevator.
"You a Beatle?" he demanded.
No, Mr. Asher answered, they weren't in the Beatles.
"But you're a Beatle, right?" the child persisted. "You're part of that?"
"It was because we had the haircut," said Mr. Asher, who with Waller had a No. 1 hit in 1964, courtesy of the John Lennon / Paul McCartney composition "A World Without Love." "'Beatle' was almost a generic term. I think he meant 'are you part of the British invasion thing?' So I told him, 'Well, in a general way maybe we are.'"

Ken Fallin

Mr. Asher's part in the "British invasion thing" forms the basis of "A Musical Memoir of the 60s and Beyond," a multimedia one-man show—think magical history tour—that the (still) red-haired and (still) pixieish 67-year-old recently performed in Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He opens a return engagement Tuesday at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency.
It will be readily apparent to audience members that the exuberant Mr. Asher knew anyone who rocked and everyone who mattered. In "A Musical Memoir," he tells of introducing John Lennon to Yoko Ono, and Mick Jagger to Marianne Faithfull. There are bits and pieces about the Beatles — his actress sister, Jane, dated Mr. McCartney, who for a time bunked at the Ashers' house on Wimpole Street. Young Peter first heard "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" when Lennon and Mr. McCartney banged it out in an early public airing on the Asher family piano. Wasn't that a time?
Still, Mr. Asher — who later headed up A & R at the Beatles' record company, Apple, then became a Grammy Award-winning producer—isn't one for taking a long soak in the past. "Part of the show is nostalgic, but it didn't grow out of nostalgia," he said.
The impetus was a 2005 reunion performance with Waller (the pair had amicably gone their separate ways 37 years earlier) as part of a benefit for Mike Smith, the injured lead singer of the Dave Clark Five. "We did six songs and we sounded OK. We still sounded like ourselves and people really liked it. They were crying and saying things like 'that's the song I proposed to my wife to,'" recalled Mr. Asher as he perched on a sofa in his midtown pied-à-terre.
"Having previously thought that two old fat guys getting together to sing their old songs was kind of pathetic, I thought it was respectable after all. So we decided to do more as the occasion arose. We did some full-length shows." These continued until Waller's death in 2009.
"What I discovered doing these gigs was that people were as interested in hearing the stories of those days as they were in hearing the songs," said Mr. Asher, who decided to assemble an act that would let him both sing old hits ("True Love Ways" and "Lady Godiva," among others) and schmooze about high old times with the Brit Pack: for instance, smoking weed with the Beatles in a theater's royal box — unaccountably, the queen was elsewhere — the first time he ever saw a Jimi Hendrix show.
"I remember looking around and thinking 'remember this!' I think I felt I was in the right place at the right time," he said. "Did I realize that the era as a whole was historically or culturally significant? No. I was just having fun and thinking that London was becoming central to something."
Mr. Asher, a boy soprano, met Waller at London's Westminster School. When the two were signed by the EMI label, there was front-office talk of perhaps making them Britain's answer to folkies like the Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul and Mary. "We would have been fine with that. But when 'A World Without Love' came our way, we were back to being pop singers," said Mr. Asher, who from the moment he first stepped into a studio was captivated by the process of creating a musical arrangement and playing with sound. "Once I figured out what a record producer was, I wanted to do it."
Even with all the names that get dropped, even with the climactic "A World Without Love" sing-a-long, Mr. Asher doesn't see "A Musical Memoir" as an easy sell. "If you just say it's the memoirs of a middle-level pop star from the '60s, it sounds deadly. It sounds really awful," he said.
"In terms of my name, the recognition is modest. The people who know about me from the '60s don't realize I went on to do a bunch of other stuff that had nothing to do with the Peter and Gordon era," continued Mr. Asher, who while at Apple signed and nurtured a then-unknown James Taylor and, at other labels, shepherded hugely successful albums for the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Bonnie Raitt and Cher. Similarly, he added, "some people who know me as the person who produced all the James Taylor records don't realize I was half of Peter and Gordon."
Mr. Asher will, undoubtedly, have even more stories to tell now that he has co-written the love theme for the just-released animated adventure "Madagascar 3" and sung lead on the recording, something that almost never happened during his pop-star tenure. Cue the screaming girls.
Mr. Asher's schedule includes producing a CD of banjo tunes written and performed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell; managing the Webb Sisters, an English folk-pop duo; and taking his show to Martha's Vineyard. "Write memoirs" appears nowhere on the calendar.
"I don't fancy a book," he said. "In terms of the Beatles era, everyone has written one. And they're all, you know, 'I was the fifth Beatle' kind of flavor. And they're all full of mistakes.
"I warn people before I start my show that it contains the usual degree of revisionism and self-aggrandizing and rewriting history that any self-respecting memoir would. But with a show I can keep adding and changing bits. And if somebody tells me that something I've said is wrong, I can say, 'Oh, sorry. I'll fix it.'"
Mr. McCartney has yet to turn up for a performance of "A Musical Memoir," but Ms. Ronstadt has seen it twice. Joan Collins showed up at Feinstein's last year and brought along Liza Minnelli. "That's when I thought, 'OK, this is really cabaret,' Mr. Asher said.
"I would find it weird if this show were all I were doing," he added. "It would be strange to have a career based only on what you were 50 years ago. I'm lucky enough that I'm still doing stuff."

(Ms. Kaufman writes about culture for the Journal.)

Can the Brits throw a party or what?
I absolutely loved the Olympics closing ceremony.  
The Brits definitely played to their strengths ... music ... quirkiness ... fashion ... it was all there. I did not care much for the opening ceremony but they sure gave us a memorable send off.
I saw a good chunk of the closing ceremony and couldn't agree more. (I didn't watch ANY of the main events ... but it was cool to see everybody they had on hand to wrap things up.) I especially liked Annie Lennox and the reunion of The Spice Girls ... who I swear look better TODAY than they did back then!  Even Russell Brand doing "I Am The Walrus" wasn't half bad!  Very entertaining. (kk)

Really good job on the Al Kooper interview. What an interesting man he is and what an amazing life he has had so far. I am so very happy that Forgotten Hits is back. My Sundays especially are back to normal and all is right with the

Great piece on Al Kooper.
Man, with all your knowledge and all your contacts, you should have the biggest radio show in the country! Then you could do what you love ... and still entertain a nation of oldies music fans. I don't know about your "dee-jay voice" ... but lord knows you've got a face MADE for radio!
Gee, thanks, Dean ... I think! (kk)

Great job - thanks!
Loved it all

Great piece on the Monkees. Looks like you are back in business!

Jeez ... vent much?
I'll admit I was pretty strong in my convictions. But as a life-long fan, I feel cheated ... and worse than feeling cheated myself, I feel like the other three guys were GROSSLY cheated by Mike waiting so long to join them on stage again. Micky and Davy have helped keep the dream alive for the past 40+ plus years ... together ... alone ... and quite often with Peter at their side ... these three guys have kept an especially fond memory of my youth alive. Why couldn't Mike have done it for THEM then, if not for the fans? A full-blown, full tilt reunion could have spawned a worldwide tour with endless possibilities ... television appearances, another new album.  
Truth is, DVD sales and music sales of their past catalog has already done remarkably well on their own ... but think about what kind of boost effect THIS could have done! It's a shame.
But all of that being said, yes, I AM excited about the prospect of seeing Mike back up there again, doing a new assortment of catalog tunes we haven't seen in concert before ... and I recognize that this really is REALLY big news. (I've been at shows where Micky, Davy and Peter have pulled out a cardboard cut-out of Mike on stage when they sing some of his songs ... so this will certainly best THOSE efforts!)
The other thing that impresses me about Micky, Davy and Peter is that no matter what resentment they may have been feeling inside ... no matter how badly THEY felt cheated out of some incredible pay days ... I never once EVER heard them say a negative thing about Mike on stage. They addressed and praised his contribution to the hit making music and television Monkees machine, saluted him in song, and went on with the show.
And a very entertaining show it remained ... from 1986 until last year, The Monkees kept an era alive ... and I salute them for it.  When MTV began running their program, the won over a completely new generation of fans ... the old music started selling again ... and they even scored a Top 20 comeback hit in the process!
I just hope they can keep the spirit going this year ... and have some fun doing it. The tribute to Davy each night will be hard on all of them, I'm sure ... but they are doing this for their fans and, I've got to believe, to a certain extent, also for their own peace of mind and conscience. I accept it ... and wish I had a ticket to see them! (lol) kk

Because of the "Garage Band Tribute To The Monkees" CD that I'm on, The Rip Chords will be performing at the Monkees Convention at The Meadowlands in March.
We've already got a busy Fall / Winter planned (including a date with Ron Dante in Florida in February.)  I'll send you more info soon.
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords

Cool, Mitch ... I believe that Monkees Convention is going to be the bomb!  (For more information, scroll down to yesterday's Monkees post.)  kk

Here's the word from the horse's mouth ... almost. Andrew Sandoval wrote the Monkees Day by Day book and has been involved with all the recent Monkees reissues. I still agree with you that something is strange here ... but a copy of our correspondence is below.
Clark Besch
I'd like to know your "take" on the Nesmith Monkees reunion tour. Personally, I am disappointed that he waited until Davy has died to join the band again. All those decades without one decent four-man reunion tour -- NOT ONE!!
Granted, it would be GREAT to see Mike don his wool hat and hear the group play MIKE's songs more than Davy's for once, but the timing so soon and for a real first time, seem VERY strange. What say you?
I know first hand he was going to do a show with them last year and has reunited with them for shows in 1986, 1989 and 1997.
C'mon, it is not like he waited 45 years for Davy to die to reunite with the group; people are taking things way out of context.
He hasn't even played solo shows since 1995. Fans just want to create bad feelings and groundless rumors. If they knew the truth, they wouldn't be wagging their fingers. But the truth is the Monkees' personal business. And that's all I am going to say.
I don't think we're going to catch Mike donning his old wool hat during any of these shows ... I think that's a part of his past he'd just as soon leave there! In fact, I hope the shows aren't too serious ... The Monkees have always had fun on stage and brought the audience along for the ride. I hope this is more of a celebration than a downer or a serious presentation of the music ... you guys have waited this long to do this ... have fun with it!
I know there are ALL kinds of behind-the-scenes stories that have contributed to the falling in's and falling out's amongst the guys ... in fact, I was hoping Mike Bush (a close friend and noted Monkees associate and photographer) would chime in on this discussion ... and he still might. Like Andrew, I don't expect him to share any intimate details ... but I'm curious to hear his take on all of this as well. My guess is that it won't be too drastically different than what we've seen ... he genuinely loved these guys and I'm sure he feels, as I do, that Mike cheated them out of SO much more over the past 40 years ... yet I'm ALSO sure that he feels (like I do) that seeing Micky, Peter and Mike up on stage this November will be one of the most exciting shows ever. And I believe the whole world feels that, good as that show may be, it just won't be the same without Davy.
(OK Mike, I'm done speculating and speaking for you ... drop us a line and tell us how you REALLY feel! lol) kk

Hi Kent,
Sorry to hear about your awful loss ... but what fun you'll have trying to put it all back together again! Seriously ... and you might even come up with things you never dreamed of before ... this could in a way be a good thing.
I don't feel that any catastrophe could erase what you've done ... believe me, just keep the forgotten hits coming and it will be better than ever.
Jim Shea
Thanks, Jim. And, without a doubt, I am rediscovering things I had forgotten all about ... hopefully, there'll be time to get some of this up on the website for the folks that have never seen it before. (kk)

First, I would like to say it's good to see you back online again, especially Sunday's Comments.
If I may use the expression, it seems like a 'month of Sunday's' since I have seen or read it. Come to think of it, it has been a month or more. Anyway, the one thing I like about your website is that for one reason or another, some segment of it seems to remind me of a record or records that I haven't played or mentioned in years. For example, in today's column on the late Dick Clark's home entitled A REAL MAN CAVE, it reminded me of just the opposite, CAVE MAN. The following records came immediately to my mind (don't know why), but I had to get them out and play them. They were Tommy Roe's 1960 recording of CAVE MAN on Judd Records and Jim 'Mr. Magoo' Backus' 1959 recording of CAVE MAN on Jubilee Records, both songs as you know are different yet same title.
Again, good to have you back.

Kent -
I am so sorry for your recent computer problems. There a lot of people who love what you do in keeping the oldies alive and you are our voice in the rock and roll wilderness. Thank you for all you do.
Thanks, Mike. Thanks to readers like you, we're back up and running ... and going through the rebuilding process right now. As we've stated before, Forgotten Hits belongs to the fans ... and the fans have spoken ... they want their Forgotten Hits!!! (kk) 

Glad to see you got FH back up and running ... it has always been one of my relaxing moments of the week to peruse all the comments and great information passed along by you and the readers. Of course, I suppose that showed a little via all the back posts I had archived and forwarded back to you! LOL! I still have a ton of them I have NOT sent as it seems you were inundated by the amount you had received from everyone. When you finally get all of it in some semblance of order, perhaps you can send me a list of the holes that you may have and hopefully I can fill them out for you. Still aggravated that the Bobby Darin feature was not in that folder!
Keep the hits coming!

Yeah, my mailbox nearly shut down again this week so I had to ask people to hold off till after the weekend in order to give me a chance to catch up!  Missing an odd lot here and there ... there've been a few series where (for example) there were 35 chapters but Chapter 4 is missing ... stuff like that ... and there have been quite a few like that ... so I've started to jot some of them down (where it's an obvious gap)

NOBODY has come up with the Bobby Darin piece yet ... so I may end up retyping it (assuming I can find the "hard copy") ... but it's AMAZING how much stuff has shown up. (Lots of "dupes", too, so I'm having to double-check some of this stuff before I download it. That's OK ... I'm still AMAZED by how much of this stuff people saved and held on to for all these years!)

As always, I appreciate the effort and the support ... we should have some pretty darn good archives here again real soon.
Thanks, Doc!

And while I'm at it, thanks again to those of you who have sent in (and continue to send in) donations to keep Forgotten Hits going ... please know that it is truly and sincerely appreciated.  (kk)

And we've got a brand new goal ... we want to hit TWO MILLION WEBSITE VISITORS by the end of the year.  It'll be close ... right now we've got about 1,815,000 ... so we're still around 185,000 short of making our goal ... so please, tell a friend ... or two ... or twenty ... about all that we do here ... and let's push this sucker right over the top before the end of the year!  (kk)

Hi Kent
I am fascinated by your work and wanted to make contact with you.
I send out three radio shows each week to 63 stations in 11 countries. I've also interviewed 725 artists in the past five years.
Visit my website here: www.geoffandandy.co.uk
Hope to get a reply from you
I love your work!
Geoff Dorsett
Radio Presenter
Hi Geoff!
Glad to hear you're enjoying Forgotten Hits.
You must have some great artists stories to share with our readers ... so please stay in touch!

Hi Kent.
Very glad to hear that Forgotten Hits is on the way back. It is always an interesting read and the only place that really covers the in-depth elements of 60s music. Best of luck with the new site!

I found your Excellent Site four days ago ... Thank You! Looks like I'll be spending some time here!
I have been reading all the older posts and came across a discussion about "Smile a Little Smile For Me, Rose Marie."
Well, searching YouTube, I found the original mix with the bass intro ... that's how I originally heard it back on the radio in the '60s on KRLA and KHJ in Los Angeles. Then I found the mix that begins with the horn intro. Then to my surprise, I found a mix with the bass panned to the right side with the "pa pa pa pa pa pa" being vocalized instead of the horn near the end. I wouldn't have known about these different mixes if I hadn't a read your "back pages"
Thanx again.
Todd S
(Bend, Oregon)

IZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ great to have your weekly " furgettedhits " back.
Lookin forward to the reads again.
Robert Black

>>>The Sunday Comments have just been posted ... (kk)
...and I'm glad I stayed up late enough to read it tonight. What a great Sunday Comments Page, Kent. I feel as if all's well with the world again.

Kent ...
I truly am impressed as I found your forgotten hits website. As an avid music and radio historian myself, it's great to read. I just saw the piece on Ray Herr and the Ides of March - how interesting. And I thought I knew all about them. And to read that Mike Considine was their manager at one time. Wow! I never knew that and speak to Bob (his brother) from time to time.
Meanwhile, all the best and keep it up!
Al Kohout
Executive Producer
Alkaye Media Group

Congrats! And welcome back!
Rock n Roll: 1 – Technology: 0!
Rock on!
Walt Kemp
New Colony Six

Kent -
I just wanted to say 'Thanks' for all of the Hard Work that you do in 'putting together' the Forgotten Hits newsletter - it really does have a place in the FUTURE Cultural Mainstream.
If not for someone like you, it would definitely leave a 'Void' in the FUTURE … after all; you know as well as most of us --- It's 'Our' PAST that makes the FUTURE in what it becomes. You do inspire … if you haven't heard it … lately.
Mason Ramsey
Thank you, Mason ... as YOU know better than anybody, it's ALWAYS nice to hear!!! (kk)

Kent ...
Here's a little something I like to call: 
"Forgotten Hits - The Comeback":  
Once again it's good to get my mitts on Forgotten Hits.
My pal Kent was down for awhile. He wasn't out, of that I had no doubt.
What did he do while he was off- line? He took his wife out to dine.
Kent is a real trooper ... Some of his best work was his interview with Al Kooper.
Should I say Rick or Ricky? That was the best part for me.
By the time we get to New Years Eve, we'll forget about the crash, I do believe.
Frank B.
Thanks, Frank ... I appreciate it. (And, as you know, I couldn't have done it without your help ... and the help of a few other Forgotten Hits Readers who were determined to get me back online.)
So let me just say ... without further delay ...
I appreciate the prose ... 'cause everybody knows ... life without Forgotten Hits really blows!