Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 26 - 12 )

What do Taylor Swift and Barry Manilow have to do with Forgotten Hits???
I dunno ... but if you guys want to talk about them, then we do, too ... and both artists make our MEGA-SIZED Sunday Comments Page this week!

We no sooner ran our report about Taylor Swift setting the brand new record for most downloads EVER for a female recording artist in one week before the word got out that those 623,000 download propelled her hot new single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" into the #1 spot ... a leap from #72 to #1!!! It's Swift's first #1 Single on Billboard's Pop Chart ... and it's got all the makings of a cross-over smash. According to Billboard Magazine, Swift has sold over 50 Million downloads in the past six years! (AMAZING!) Congratulations to Taylor Swift. (kk)

Hi Kent,
Not sure I'm at the party yet, but I do think she's got a lot on the ball for someone who's been in the biz for such a short time. She writes and sings her own stuff and I am most impressed by her writing.
Like you, she got me after that latest Grammy performance. After that, I watched a documentary on Netflix and was very impressed by her personability and her drive. The fact that she is selling gobs of downloads certainly says something for
her popularity.
All this brought me to this. How many records does one have to sell to actually have the number one hit in the country these days? Seems as though, on the album charts at least, it's much less than it used to be.
Am I crazy?
The game has certainly changed ... no doubt about it. In today's age, fans "cherry pick" their favorite songs and rarely buy (or download) an entire album anymore. That's why it's such big news when an LP by Adele or Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift sells upwards of a million copies ... because it simply doesn't happen very often anymore. Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart and Top 200 Album Chart used to show gold and platinum sales ... but either the online charts no longer do so or NOTHING is selling at those kind of numbers anymore. The days of taking in an artist's complete collection of work within the confines of one LP ... savoring each track ... capturing the whole spirit of what they were trying to say ... are gone. It's an immediate world today with a VERY short attention span. And sales don't seem to matter. Sure, downloads do ... they seem to be the only true measurement of popularity these days ... but the "need to own" this music isn't like it used to be.  Perhaps that's because nowadays virtually EVERY new track is available IMMEDIATELY (whether it be "authorized" or not) for free on YouTube ... you can see it whenever ... and as often ... as you want. Incredibly, it's many of the OLDER acts that are still selling substantial amounts of albums ... because WE'RE the generation that's still buying them. That's why you'll see a Bob Dylan or a Paul McCartney or a James Taylor or a Paul Simon pop up with a Grammy nomination every year ... the new stuff seems to be designed for your immediate disposal .. which is why it seems so crazy that much of this music then rides the chart for a year! Not enough competition? Not enough good material? Several brand new tracks from "Glee" debut on the charts almost weekly these days, stay there for a week or two and then disappear off the chart forever ... that's because anybody who wanted it, got it ... there is no "future" audience for this material (especially since 99% of it is just remakes of old material anyway.) Yet music from "Glee" has charted over 200 chart entries in the past three years. A check of Joel Whitburn's latest "Top Pop Singles" book lists 130 "Glee" chart entries for 2009 and 2010 alone.  (Other top recording artists don't chart that many entries in an entire career!)  Of those 130, exactly THREE tracks have stayed on the chart for more than three weeks ... "Don't Stop Believin'" (which peaked at #4 and spent 6 weeks on the chart); "Poker Face" (#20, 4 weeks on the chart); and Gwyenth Paltrow's version of the Cee-Lo hit "Forget You" (#11, five weeks on the chart.) That leaves 127 tracks that disappeared in three weeks or less ... and 109 of those charted for exactly one week. It's not that the stuff is bad ... I actually like the lion's share of it ... but it isn't "necessary" ... we already HAVE these songs by the original artists ... these new remakes are cute and clever arrangements, immaculately produced ... and completely disposable. That being said, I will ALSO confess to owning EVERY single "Glee" soundtrack CD released to date ... because they're fun to listen to ... but it's music like this that has COMPLETELY distorted the charts, which are the only measurement we have to gauge popular music. However to compare ANY of this music to the music we grew up with in the '60's ... when a MAJOR hit song rode the chart for maybe 7 or 8 weeks ... and artists were releasing three albums and five singles a year is COMPLETELY unfair. Which is kind of the point of Clark Besch's letter below regarding the new Taylor Swift hit.

>>>In the musical scheme of things, on a scale of 1-10 The Cryan' Shames probably rate about a 2 ... while Taylor Swift would be about a 27 ... there haven't been many artists hotter over the past several years. (kk)
I understand your comment, but not being mean or anything, I would rather be a 2012 "has been" than a 1967 "never was." In other words, the Cryan' Shames lived in the best musical period when you had to fight for airplay vs. THOUSANDS of great tunes, not one where just one song that "radio" decides to play can keep playing for a year on thousands more stations (AM / FM / Internet). I am sure you will hear this Swift song for the next year and soon be sick of it. Luckily, I don't listen to hit radio today, so I can just stick to my 60's MP3 player or pull out an ACTUAL "Red" album. Makes me wonder if she actually will have a physical album (CD?) or just one of those imaginary Internet albums?? It's funny, but "I first saw her in a magazine!"
Clark Besch
Taylor Swift's albums have continued to sell incredibly well ... as albums. Her last one, "Speak Now" was an absolute monster. And you DO know that my comments are tapered with a complete love and affection for The Cryan' Shames ... a band who, without question, was cheated out of well-deserved world-wide fame in the '60's when they, at the most creative and competitive time in music, turned out masterful track after track after track, only time find themselves designated to the lower region of the charts. But there's NO comparison between MEGA fame and Local Heroes ... and those are just the cold, hard facts of life.
Will I be sick of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" in a month? Probably ... my fear is that, as good as it is, it's just a little too "cutesy" and that will wear thin after a while. But for right now I've got to rank this one amongst the best pop songs on the radio today ... and it's a pretty narrow playing field! (kk)

Hi Kent,
Just thought I’d let you know that you made a good call about the catchy and hard to resist new Taylor Swift song.It jumps from #72 to #1 on next week’s 9/1/12 “Hot 100” chart!!!
Joel Whitburn
I saw that last night ... great pop tune and a well-deserved #1. (I think "You Belong With Me" deserved it, too ... incredibly when it first charted it spent a week at #12 and then dropped off the chart for six months, only to return with a vengeance, this time charting for 49 weeks and peaking at #2. That's one I never got tired of. (kk)

Did you see that Rihanna topped the British charts last week after selling 9,578 copies of her album "Talk That Talk"? This in a country of 60 million! It was the lowest sales number in history!
"Rihanna tops UK album with lowest weekly sales since 1994":
Bob Lefsetz

What gives?  You tell us that your favorite recording of "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter" is by Barry Manilow ... but then you give us the Billy Williams version instead?  I want to hear your favorite!
That's because I didn't have a digital copy of the Barry Manilow version at that time ... but thanks to the ever-reliable FH Reader Tom Diehl, I now do ... so I'm sharing it with you today.

Manilow released his remake as part of an EP in 1982.  It was a GREAT release that totally tanked, offering FOUR up-tempo Manilow recordings, something he rarely had success with during his career.  (His audience just wouldn't allow him to step outside his balladeer role ... which is too bad ... because these tracks are amongst the best he ever recorded ... yet they went absolutely nowhere!)
In addition to his bluesy reading of "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter", Manilow also cut the Shakin' Stevens rockabilly tune "Oh Julie" and a couple of disco-flavored up-tempo tunes called "Some Kind Of Friend" and "Heaven".  Today it remains completely out of print and none of these tracks are available digitally ... so special thanks again to Tom for gathering these up for us.
("Some Kind Of Friend" was re-released a year later and did enjoy some measure of chart success, eventually peaking at #26 on The Billboard Chart in 1983. It's certainly the stronger of the two disco cuts ... and not a bad record in its own right.)
I've got to feature "Oh Julie", too ... 'cause this one should have been a monster.  (I remember saying at the time that they should have pressed these up with a blank label and sent them to radio stations to play without any knowledge of who the artist really was ... then, when the audience embraced the tune, reveal that it was, in fact, Barry Manilow rockin' out on this track.  Instead, it died a slow and painful death at #38 ... and, other than the most faithful "fanilows", most people never even got the chance to hear it at all.


New York, NY (August 23, 2012) — Eagle Rock Entertainment is thrilled to present one of the greatest live bands in rock’n’roll history: The Who Live In Texas ’75 on DVD October 9 [Pre-book Order September 14, MSRP $14.98 for DVD, $12.99 Digital Video].
Pete Townshend. Roger Daltrey. Keith Moon. John Entwistle. Filmed in Houston, Texas 11/20/75, it was right at the start of a massive tour of the U.S. to promote The Who By Numbers, their seventh album in their 10th year of existence. With Dolby Digital Stereo sound, this 117-minute 25-song bomb blast — previously only available as a muddled bootleg — has been pridefully restored to its rightful visual and sonic superiority by longtime Who collaborator Jon Astley.
Filmed only five years after what arguably is the greatest live album in rock, Live At Leeds, The Who Live In Texas ’75, lives up to and in some ways actually surpasses its predecessor’s greatness. The Who, at that particular point in time, had achieved an unerring almost magical mystical chemistry. Between the windmilling antics of guitarist Townshend, the mic wire lasso of lead singer Daltrey, the crazed bombastic danger of drummer Moon (1946-1978) and, of course, their secret weapon, genius bassist John Entwistle (1944-2002), this was a truly revolutionary band who changed all the hard rock rules. Even the punks, in the anti-rock star era of the late ‘70s, loved The Who.
The extensive Tommy section … the savage recreations of early hits such as “My Generation” (with its iconic “hope I die before I get old” line delivered in all its lusty nihilistic truth) … the celebrated cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” … plus “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” make this a Who fan’s delight.
Track Listing
1) Substitute
2) I Can’t Explain
3) Squeeze Box
4) Baba O’Riley
5) Boris The Spider
6) Drowned
7) However Much I Booze
8) Dreaming From The Waist
9) Behind Blue Eyes
10) Amazing Journey
11) Sparks
12) Acid Queen
13) Fiddle About
14) Pinball Wizard
15) I’m Free
16) Tommy’s Holiday Camp
17) We’re Not Going To Take It / See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You
18) Summertime Blues
19) My Generation
20) Join Together
21) Naked Eye
22) Roadrunner
23) Won’t Get Fooled Again
24) Magic Bus
25) My Generation Blues

>>>We are just in the process of signing a deal as to our "old" material, with a re-release date of September 21st.
Fuel 2000 Records will be doing numerous releases of our material, much of which, and I feel some of the best of which, has never been heard before. (Ken / Furv - The Fifth Estate)
My best wishes to Furv and the Fifth Estate on Fuel 2000. I sure wish Furv would ask Len Fico to get back to doing the USA / Destination Records CD release we had planned way back in 2001 before the economy nixed my project with him. Fuel 2000 owns these tapes which were used for the Sundazed garage package of the labels that I also worked on. With Len, we had planned a POP ROCK version of the tapes. It was getting all set and then it was suddenly dropped. There's some great pop rock stuff that these labels did and "Face the Autumn" by the Family would sure be one of many that people might remember, even tho it has shown up on Bob Stroud's great series since those days. Ken and Furv, maybe you could help us Chicago teen music fans out and ask Len to give it a go again?
Clark Besch

Kent ...
Some musicians are getting together to stage a Levon Helm memorial concert. Profits will be used to continue the "Midnight Ramble Sessions."
Frank B.
Click here: Gregg Allman, Joe Walsh, John Mayer To Show ‘Love For Levon’ Helm With Concert « WCBS-FM 101.1
>>>Check out this brand new, 2012 recording by The Blues Magoos! (Mickey) 
The new song is OK, but the Jack Benny stuff is great!
Clark Besch
Pretty clever concept, isn't it? It's amazing to think that some of these great comedians ... most of whom came from or better-appealed to our PARENTS' generation ... that hosted popular television shows in the '60's and '70's ... guys like Jack Benny and Bob Hope and Danny Kaye and Dean Martin and Andy Williams, etc, etc, etc ... STILL managed to book popular rock and pop acts of the day to get the kids back then to tune in. Man, I'd love to have clips of all of this stuff! (kk)

Here are some upcoming screenings for The Wrecking Crew Documentary:
September 27th - South Pasadena Public Library - Pasadena, CA - 7 pm
October 13th - Paul and Daranne Folino Theater - Orange, CA - 7 pm

We caught the first set of Jimy Sohn's 66th Birthday Party Bash last night and the band sounded great.  Several surprise guests came up to sit in with Jimy and the band and we were treated to a wide array of music styles ... everything from the obvious (The Shadows Of Knight, The Cryan' Shames and The New Colony Six) ... to the somewhat expected ("I Can't Explain" by The Who and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by The Rolling Stones) ... to the completely UNexpected (a GREAT rendition of "Stealin'" by Uriah Heep ... and '60's classics like "Downtown", "Sunday Will Never Be The Same" and "I Fought The Law".)  Jimy was in top form (and great shape) and seemed to be having a ball ... and the crowd was definitely there to cheer him on.  All in all,  a fun night of musical entertainment.  (The legendary Dick Biondi was even on hand to introduce The Shadows Of Knight to kick off the program!) kk   


A-HA!!! I just KNEW It!!! I saw his article and wanted to share it with you and your readers.
We use musical therapy in our autistic program which is separate from the 'Music in the 20th Century' reading program. 
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
New Study Confirms It: Music is a Must for Your Good Health ... and Your Brain
A new study in the journal Heart has good news for music lovers: whether you are seeking arousal and vivaciousness or calm and relaxation, music is a must. What's more, the researchers found that such reactions are good for your heart.
Participants in the study listened to raga (Indian classical music), Beethoven's ninth symphony (classical), rap (the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Vivaldi (fast classical), techno and Anton Webern (slow "dodecaphonic music").
When listening to fast music with complex rhythms (classical, techno, etc.), participants' breathing and circulation sped up -- the faster the music, the greater the degree of physiological arousal. 
Meanwhile, slower music (raga, etc.) created a fall in heart rate and induced calm. The reactions occurred regardless of the individuals' musical preference.
During two-minute pauses in the musical sequences, all indicators of arousal fell below levels recorded before listening to any music. The researchers say these reactions could be helpful in heart disease and stroke.
Great Music for any Mood:
Calm, Relaxation, Arousal
"A Morning Raga / An Evening Raga" by Ravi Shankar: Ideal listening for a soothing night of relaxation, calm and meditation.
"Ode to Freedom: Bernstein Conducts Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Berlin:" Perfect for a soothing Sunday at home.
"One Hot Minute" by Red Hot Chili Peppers: Pop this in for an energy boost any time of day.
"Vivaldi: The Four Seasons:" Great music to get you going on your way to work.
"Techno Party, Volume 1" by The Happy Boys: This will wake you up for a night on the town.
"Webern: Passacaglia, Symphony, etc:" This is what you need while sitting in rush-hour traffic: instant calm. 
Music for Stress Reduction and Job Burnout
Music is, of course, also an excellent tool for stress relief, as anyone who's ever zoned out to their favorite CD after a hard day can attest to. A sense of calm can be achieved not only from listening to music, but also from making it.
A landmark study published in Advances in Mind-Body Medicine found that a Recreational Music-Making (RMM) program, in which employees use percussion instruments together to create a sense of camaraderie, drastically reduced employee burnout and mood disturbances among long-term care workers. Long-term care is one of the most stress-prone industries, and it suffers from a high rate of employee turnover, burnout and dissatisfaction.
So researchers were pleased to find that RMM reduced total mood disturbance by 46 percent among this group. Plus, during the program many experienced "a refreshing sense of group nurturing and support, coupled with heightened interpersonal awareness and respect, which prompted ongoing meaningful dialogues."
Like Sleep? Try Music
A study published in the February 2005 edition of The Journal of Advanced Nursing found that older adults with sleep problems who listened to soft music at bedtime reported a 35 percent improvement in their sleep. The participants slept longer and better, and had less daytime dysfunction, after listening to 45 minutes of music before bed.
"The difference between the music group and the control group was clinically significant," said Hui-Ling Lai, lead author of the study. "The music group reported a 26 percent overall improvement in the first week and this figure continued to rise as they mastered the technique of relaxing to the sedative music."
Music and Your Brain
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Sleep Easy CD
The Sleep Easy CD -- with music by a renowned meditation music composer with 20 years experience -- will help you find deep rest and sleep. Users have reported falling asleep faster, waking up less throughout the night, falling back to sleep faster when awakened during the night and feeling more rested the next morning.
Learn more about the Pure Relaxation and Sleep Easy CDs, and their special combo price and FREE SHIPPING, now!
There's no question that music has a beneficial effect on your mind. A 2004 study in the journal Heart & Lung even found proof. People who listened to music while they exercised, researchers said, performed more than twice as well on a verbal fluency test than people who listened to no music.
Said the study's lead author, Charles Emery, " ... Listening to music may influence cognitive function through different pathways in the brain. The combination of music and exercise may stimulate and increase cognitive arousal while helping to organize cognitive output."
Music Therapy on the Rise
Music therapy, the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship, is a growing field. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy can be used to help:
•Children, adolescents, adults and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities
•Alzheimer's disease and other age-related conditions
•Substance abuse problems
•Brain injuries
•Physical disabilities
•Acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor
As certified music therapists continue to pop up in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers and more all over the country, it's clear just how much impact music can have on our well-being.
You can find out what effects music has on you right from your own home -- just pop in your favorite CD, sit back and listen.
Recommended Reading
Dreamwork: The 5 Important Lessons of Dreams & How to Learn Them
The 9 Types of Romantic Love: Which Type Do You Believe In?
Science Daily October 5, 2005
American Music Conference
American Music Therapy Association
Health Orbit: Music Improves Sleep Quality in Older Adults
No doubt about it, music is a GREAT cure for whatever may be ailing you ... like most of you out there, there is music that simply ALWAYS makes me feel good ... you just need to find whatever works best for you. 
For example:
Happy music by The Turtles in the car to kill your road-rage ... 
Virtually ANYTHING by Barbra Streisand to put you to sleep ... 
Back-to-back Barry White tracks to help cure constipation ... 
It's nothing short of amazing what music can do for your system! 
(Of course sometimes we like it just 'cause it's got a great beat and you can dance to it!) kk

The EJ Korvette chart was cool. I have a few. I found three from 1968 and some show a bit of localized hit status in New York City, much like the Chicago Action Sales charts you have shown before. Let me know if you'd like a scan or two or three. For whatever it's worth, I hated the .98 stickers and rubber stamps too!
Clark Besch

Kent ...
Frank B.    

>>>Here's a guy we don't talk much about any more, but he's out doing gigs quite often these days ... I'm speaking of Gilbert O'Sullivan. (David Lewis)
>>>I always enjoyed Gilbert O'Sullivan's clever little ditties back in the day ... in fact, I had his first four albums. You don't hear much of his music on the radio anymore ... this despite the fact that he had six straight Top 40 Hits between 1972 and 1974. Nice to see that he's still out there performing. (kk)
I love Gilbert O'Sullivan's music too! His later 45s were often in the same vein as his early 70's stuff so maybe that hurt his sales, but I loved "Happiness is Me and You' and many others he had later on. There has been a good CD out of his stuff for decades, so I am happy with that. Good to see he is doing well!
Clark Besch
By the time "Happiness Is Me And You" came out in 1974, radio here in Chicago had pretty much stopped playing Gilbert O'Sullivan music. Despite this fact, "Happiness" still managed a #34 showing in Cash Box Magazine, earning him his sixth straight National Top 40 Hit. (It stalled at #62 in Billboard) "Alone Again, Naturally" is one of those records that burned itself out ... clever and catchy as it was when it topped the charts for six weeks in 1972, it later fell into "Honey" status and is rarely played on the radio anymore. (kk)

>>>Man, those were fun times. Think "The Cheetah", "The Kinetic Playground", Motown at its peak. The Ides, The Shames, The Buckinghams, Rush Up, Rush Over. Barnaby's on State Street. And kids today think they have fun? Time out. In our era we left no stone unturned. We danced and drank till we dropped.
(Chet Coppock)
Even tho I was in another area of the country, I lived that time as well. The Cheetah courtesy of Barney Pip's live broadcasts and the groups via (Chet, you forgot to mention what made the music accessible) WLS and WCFL!! Did you get the NC6 the gig on Mike Douglas? Wildman Carl Bonafede has resurfaced now, too, and talking about the old days as well. Any memories you wish to post? Unfortunately, those days are just GREAT memories today's kids can never know. As they used to say on the Notre Dame TV hour long Sunday morning game rebroadcasts of the early 70's: "We move to further action."
Clark Besch

>>>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 record that first won me over 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. 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. It was exciting, and I became a fan, from that point on.
(John LaPuzza)   
>>>I, too, am a huge Gino Vannelli fan. (Stacee) 
Gino gets a lot of crap, but I liked LOTS of his stuff as well. I played "Love Of My Life" at FULL volume tons when it was out. Had I been making my own popularity music charts still at the time (I stopped in 1976, unfortunately), that song would have been at #1 for a few weeks. "People Gotta Move" is also great, as are several others by him.
Clark Besch

Forgotten Hits Reader David Lewis sent us this clip of our FH Buddy Alan O'Day joining Helen Reddy on stage to perform the #1 Hit he wrote for her, "Angie Baby", at a recent concert. I didn't even realize that Helen Reddy was still performing ... and I gotta say, she sounds great on this track. (Alan, of course, released an album of brand new material a couple of years ago that we prominently featured here in Forgotten Hits ... he even signed a few copies for us to give away to our readers!)
It's a VERY eerie tune that I've always enjoyed (we featured Alan's version, too, way back when) .. and still catchy as hell all these years later. (And I've been hearing Alan's chart-topper "Undercover Angel" quite a bit on the radio lately, too!) kk
Here's Helen Reddy at her show last week singing with Alan O'Day - and she also plugs his own hit at the end. The guy who recorded it put it on Alan's Facebook page the other day, and the only way to view it was to be connected to Alan on Facebook. It's a 4-minute video of Helen singing Angie Baby at the Canyon, and half way through it she invites Alan to the stage to sing it with her. At the end she mentions Undercover Angel. It's on YouTube now, too.
I dunno ... it looks like Helen was completely thrown for a loop by Alan's presence to me! I'm not so sure this was pre-arranged ... almost like he crashed her party, leaving her no choice but to invite him up to join her on stage ... she almost seemed a bit disoriented by the whole thing! (lol) But in the end, it seems to have all been in good fun and, like I said, it's great to hear Helen in such fine voice all these years later! (kk)

>>>The 1967 version of “Casino Royale” went on to become the third most money-making movie of the year and even nabbed an Academy Award nomination for “Best Song.” Ironically, though, it wasn’t Herb Alpert’s catchy title theme. Instead it was “The Look Of Love,” as popularized by Dusty Springfield. (Gary Theroux)
Altho I love the title tune by Herbie, I gotta say that Dusty's "Look of Love" deserved the credit! Blows me away.
Clark Besch

More on Herb Alpert below ... read on!  (kk)

Kent ...
I know it's probably going to be "Hey Jude" ... 
I'm picking "My Girl" by the Temptations.
Who do you like?
Frank B.
Wow, THESE are the choices?!?!? I'm pretty much sick to death of all of these!!! They've been overplayed to the point that I can't really listen to ANY of them anymore!!! All of these are guaranteed button-pushers in my car ... but if I HAD to pick one ... it'd have to be the one that annoys me the least (and that's really saying something!) As such, I just cast my vote for "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees ... with "Sherry" by The Four Seasons coming in as a close second. You can keep the rest! (By the way, thanks for the warning ... if I somehow find myself listening to this countdown online, I now know EXACTLY where to turn it off!!!) kk

And, speaking of "On The Radio" ...

I haven't heard Fred Winston in ages. He was GREAT in the mid-70's to mid-80's before WLS went talk. Will he bring back "Choose Your News" with Lyle Dean or his chili or combine with Lujack for a new Animal Stories in which he will return to his "Just Plain Fred" moniker? :) It won't be WLS of those days when he returns, but Fred is an icon.
WLS Clark
I always enjoyed Fred Winston ... not so sure he'll team up with Lujack anytime soon. (Remember the lawsuit between those two from eons ago? Leave it to Larry to bring that up, live on the air, during one of the WLS Reunion Shows!) I hope it turns into a regular gig of some sort for him. With SO many really good, talented and experienced radio personalities out of work these days, it's REALLY disheartening to hear some of the crap that passes for broadcasting these days! (kk)

Hi Kent!
Great to read your newsletter!
Living in the UK and working with bands and on the radio then and now, I have inside knowledge to help some of your writers.
For example, Graham Gouldman who wrote "No Milk Today " and five other million sellers in 1965 was a guest on my radio show today!!! As was Gerry Marsden of Gerry And The Pacemakers.
Keep in touch.
(See my website ... ... for a list of 760 artists who have guested on my radio show in the past five years.)
Regards -
Geoff Dorsett
Oldies music fans will find HUNDREDS of hours of great listening on Geoff's site. Coincidently, you'll find some discussion about "No Milk Today" elsewhere in today's newsletter! BIG British Invasion Fan here ... this is the music that first won me over. Please mention our site to some of these artists when they're on your programme ... it's the artist participation that REALLY pushes Forgotten Hits over the top. (Check out OUR website for our Peter Noone interview ... you'll find THAT link below, too!) Glad you're enjoying FH ... please DO stay in touch and share your memories with our readers. (kk)

>>>I remember years ago running a story about Herman's Hermits' hit "There's A Kind Of Hush" ... the record label was concerned that another version by a teeny-bop boy band might steal some of The Hermits' thunder on this one ... so they released "No Milk Today", a previous Top Ten Hit in Great Britain, as the B-Side here in The States, just in case the other version of "Hush" eclipsed Herman's Hermits' version ... this way, radio could simply flip the record over and The Hermits would still be represented on radio. Of course, the concerns were completely unfounded ... nothing could have been further from reality ... Herman's Hermits scored yet another Top Five Smash with "There's A Kind of Hush" and the competing version was delegated to complete obscurity. Meanwhile, "No Milk Today", another sure-fire hit, was wasted as a B-Side. (kk)
You are talking of Gary and the Hornets' Smash 45 which was plugged in Chicago, as Smash was a Chicago label. Actually, "No Milk Today" was released in England in September, 1966, while "Hush" was released here in the States and UK as a single in January, 1967. "Milk" would have no doubt gone top 10 by itself if released here when it was in the UK. By the time the US 45 came out, number one, "Hush" was even better than "Milk" as a song and #2, "Milk" was already past much of its' airplay height. KIMN Denver charted it into the top 15 in 1966 as an "exclusive" without anyone being able to BUY it. I taped it off KIMN as an exclusive in November. The DJ talks in the middle just like stations did when they had an exclusive, even tho we now know in hindsight that they had just imported the UK single and were playing that as the new release. No doubt that "Milk" airplay must have hurt sales of "East-West" (which was a GREAT tune reaching only #27 during the "Milk" early airplay days) in some markets. Hermits songs were huge exclusives when stations got them in advance. In the summer of 65, many stations had "Wonderful World" and "Silhouettes" when airplay demanded "Henry VII" to become a massive release, causing 3 top hits at once on some stations. In early 66, the "When the Boys Meet the Girls" movie and soundtrack came out, "Listen People" became a huge airplay hit before an inferior version was recorded and released as a 45. I still believe that the changed recording made the song that charted week one at 41 stop at #3 only a few weeks later in Billboard. Yet, it was the early airplay that caused its release as a 45. This airplay hurt "A Must to Avoid" sales most likely at the time.
Yet, when the Hermits records (and their B sides were TERRIFIC, too) seemed to be instant successes into 1967 in the States, by 1968, it was all over, much like the Monkees' 45s from 1968 into 1969. I loved the later Hermits hits, but again, time had passed them by. I wonder if Mickie Most saw this and tried to change things a bit for the US market. I never thought about this before, but I taped the early 1968 hit "I Can Take or Leave Your Loving" off radio when it came out and the DJ announcing made the comment that it seemed to him that this was the first time he had heard Peter Noone's vocal not sounding of such an English accent. If you listen, it does kind of sound that way. However, the followup "Sleepy Joe" goes back to his normal voice again. Think so?? In the UK, the hits kept coming into the 70's.
Clark Besch
The Gary and the Hornets version (titled simply "Kind Of Hush" "bubbled under" on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart for three weeks, ultimately petering (get it?) out at #127. By then Herman's Hermits were well on their way to their 13th US Top Ten single.
When I interviewed Peter Noone a few years back for Forgotten Hits, we ran a Herman's Hermits Hits List ... and you're right ... the hits in Great Britain kept coming long after they stopped here in The States ... but Herman's Hermits had BIGGER hits here in America than they were having back at home. (In fact, THREE of their U.S. #1 Singles, "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat", "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry The VIII, I AM", were not even released as singles in the UK!)
If you haven't already seen it, it's a pretty entertaining read ... and has been picked up by numerous other publications over the years as well. Peter was quite forthcoming (and perhaps a little annoyed) throughout the interview process ... but we continue to hear comments about it all these years later! (kk)

Here's a short excerpt of Peter Noone talking about "No Milk Today" being delegated to a B-Side here in The States:
"No Milk Today" was released as a single in its own right back home in Jolly Ol' England back in October of 1966 ... four months before "There's A Kind Of Hush" hit the British Chart. It rose to #7 in the U.K. and, in Peter Noone's own words, is one of his favorite Hermits recordings. (He told me "No Milk Today is the PERFECT Hermits record.") Ironically, in concert, Noone most-often cites their version of "The End Of The World: as his favorite ... and he really DOES like their recording of this tune ... but he confided to me that, next to "I'm Into Something Good" for its pure pop genius, "No Milk Today" is his absolute FAVORITE Herman's Hermits recording. We also uncovered this little bit of Herman's Hermits / "No Milk Today" trivia during our talks:

FORGOTTEN HITS: The only "charted" Herman's Hermits B-Side here in America was No Milk Today", which was a BIG hit in its own right in Great Britain ... it's also one of my favorites. Would you have preferred that this was released as a single on its own here in the States?
PETER NOONE: "No Milk Today" was Herman's Hermits' best single and was put together by John Paul Jones, Mickie Most and me with Keith and Karl doing the backgrounds. It was our biggest selling record worldwide and was a B-side in the US because some boy band covered "There's A Kind Of Hush" and put it out in Ohio so we were afraid the radio wouldn't play "There's A Kind Of Hush" by us and we threw away No Milk in the US.

(EDITOR's NOTE: We later learned that the Ohio band Peter was referring to was a pre-teen trio of brothers called Gary and the Hornets. Ironically, THEIR version of "There's A Kind Of Hush" never even charted!!! As such, "No Milke Today" was wasted here in The States as a B-Side, ultimately peaking at #33 while "There's A Kind Of Hush" went all the way to #3.)

PETER NOONE: "No Milk Today" became a B-Side because Mick most didn't actually like the song that much. It had been turned down by The Hollies so he thought it had something missing. Personally I think it is Herman's Hermits best recording, and perfectly captures the moment and the feel of Manchester terraced houses and what was the end of a British era. I recall it was made at Lansdown Studios and that we recorded a few other songs that day ... probably "There's A Kind Of Hush", "Dandy" and "No Milk Today." This was in the period where we (Mick and I) had just stopped using The Hermits on the recordings and were using the best musicians available to us to try to keep up with what had suddenly become The British Invasion. We were supposed to deliver 48 tracks a year to MGM so we were always scrambling to catch up. I recall that John Paul Jones played bass guitars (an upright and a fender bass) on the tracks and was also responsible for the arrangements, which I dare say are brilliant on all three tracks but I know he liked "No Milk Today" and I would suggest that his arrangement turned this perfect Graham Gouldman song into a hit. I think that after we had the tracks down then I did the lead vocal and then Karl Green, Keith Hopwood and I did the backgrounds. The songs were mixed and that was it.

It's funny ... when I saw the grainy Super Charts from 50 years ago before expanding it, I thought it was a 70's chart with "Loco-Motion" and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" at number 1 and number 2!!
I wish Randy would make a book of his Super Charts Top 100s. I really enjoy those.
Clark Besch
We're hoping so, too! (And have been discussing it for years now.) And he's SO close now to completing all of the data that it'd be crazy NOT to come up with something that chart-collectors would scramble for. And they represent the most-accurate representation of any given record's popularity because they take into consideration ALL of the resources used to compile the individual national charts at that time and then consolidates it all into one list ... a "Super Chart" if you will! Over the years, we've encouraged Randy to keep working on these, all the while with the goal in mind of eventually publishing some sort of complete list of the results. Along the way, we've even had deejays approach us about utilizing these charts for their own on-air countdowns ... something that isn't so chart-specific like a Billboard Countdown or a local broadcast countdown. We'll keep you posted as things develop. (kk)

We're still getting mail regarding our recent Al Kooper Interview. Here are two more recent arrivals: 
LOVED your interview with Al Kooper. Sounds like you guys had a great conversation, covering any range of topics -- yet you were still able to hit on many of the things that long-term Kooper fans wanted to hear about. Keep up the good work.
Ted Williams
(not the famous one)
Thanks for clarifying that for us, Ted!  (lol)  kk

Kent -
Fine work on the Al Kooper interview.
I don't know if I missed it or what, but did Al Kooper also do the lead vocals on "I Can't Quit Her" and "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know"? If not, who did?
Funny thing is those two songs and "Sometimes In Winter" are probably my favorite Blood, Sweat and Tears songs - and David Clayton-Thomas didn't sing on them!
Bob Burns
Yes, those two tracks from BS&T's first album (pre-David Clayton-Thomas) were composed and sung by none other than Al Kooper. ("I Can't Quit Her" is probably my all-time favorite Blood, Sweat and Tears song, too ... followed by "Hi-De-Ho", which DID feature Clayton-Thomas.) 
You have GOT to read Al Kooper's book "Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards ... Memoirs Of A Rock 'n' Roll Survivor" ... SO many great stories (including the one about how he founded Blood, Sweat and Tears ... and then was ousted from his own band!!!) kk
Al Kooper recalls recording "I Can't Quit Her" ... and writing "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know":
I decided to ask John Simon, the guy who produced "Bookends" for Simon and Garfunkel, to produce our album. I had played "I Can't Quit Her" for John when I first wrote it, and he said if I ever recorded the song, he'd like to produce it. Well, I was ready.
John picked what songs went on the album. They weren't necessarily the ones I would have picked, but I needed to step outside of the situation anyway. I was not keen on "I Can't Quit Her", which turned out to be one of the most popular, as it was taxing to my limited vocal capabilities, but John got it on the record and coaxed the best vocals that were possible out of me.
"I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" was a split tribute to Otis Redding and James Brown. (They lyrics were a nod to Otis's song "I Love You More Than Words Can Say", and the melody was "reminiscent" of James Brown's "It's A Man's World".) On December 6, 1967, Otis died in a plane crash and it really fucked me up. The next night we began recording the album. I insisted we record "I Love You" first. We put down a blistering track and it looked like this was gonna be an easy album to make. We overdubbed Freddie's solo and Steve's fills, and then it was time to put a vocal on it. Everyone was really jumpy 'cause on the reference tape, where I sang live while the band played, my vocal performance had been a little shaky (to put it mildly.) Now everyone (including me) was concerned that the addition of my nickel throat might fuck up this hundred-dollar track. I was prepared for this tension, however; I had learned the first few lines of the song in French. So they lowered the lights and everyone was hanging out in the control room I was out in the studio with headphones on, ready to sing. They started recording and the room was all tensed up. It came time for my first line and I sang it in French: "Si je te quitterais".
Everyone was hysterical and they stopped the tape.
"Ohhh, you wanted me to sing it in ENGLISH??? Ohhh ... sorry ... okay then, take two."
That loosened everybody up and we started again. Now my eyes were screwed shut, and I was thinkin' about Otis and this sounds cliched as hell, but it's true. I was saying to mytself, "This is for you". And I was singing. One take.
-- Al Kooper
Definitely MY two favorite tracks on that first Blood, Sweat and Tears album, too. And "I Can't Quit Her" is just a flat-out GREAT song, any way you cut it. One of my all-time favorite Forgotten Hits is The Arbors' amazing ballad version of this tune. (They kind of gave it the same treatment that they gave The Box Tops' #1 Hit "The Letter" the year before. Unfortunately, the results weren't the same ... whereas "The Letter" hit The National Top 20, The Arbors' version of "I Can't Quit Her" only climbed to #67 ... which was STILL a better showing than the BS&T original version, which never charted at all! For its time, that's got to be one of the GREAT musical injustices of the '60's! (kk)

Shivers ran down my spine when I saw this ... and not good ones!

-- Ron Smith
OK, so maybe the cream has curdled a little bit over the years ... but I think that it's VERY cool that she's still being recognized. (She did, after all, pose for one of the most famous album covers of all time ... why, we've even been known to feature it a time or two here in Forgotten Hits!) Thanks for sending! (kk)