Thursday, September 13, 2012


>>>I continue to seek just one more song from what began as a list of around ten songs I was looking for. I remember a lot of the song, which is what makes it so frustrating, because you would think any song that memorable would also be recalled by others, but no such luck so far.
The words I recall are as follows:
" ... no time for tears my darling, no time to cry for the moon,
don't you know the good story of old? Most lovers dreams end too soon.
Take my hand and be glad to walk in the sun. We'll walk, we'll talk and our walk will be one.
Don't look back on the streets of tears. In time we'll learn to forget.
There is no time for tears, my darling. Take my hand and you'll never regret."
This could have been a regional hit to the DC Metro area around 1957, because I believe it was played on the Milt Grant Show, DC's answer to American Bandstand. It sounds so much like the Five Satins' "To The Aisle" that if I begin singing one of them, I end up segueing into the other one.
As you can see, I REALLY want to find this song. It is the ONLY one left of my list of ten and it would be so satisfying to find it. Please ... ANYBODY ... if you even have an inkling ... take a little time and give me a hand with this one. (Pttibg)

One of your readers wanted to know who did a song with the lyrics he remembered that started out "no time for tears" The name of the song is NO TIME FOR TEARS and the version played here in OKC was by Sam Hawkins. It was on Decca Records co-written by a Jimmy Williams and Dorothy Goodman. The flip was LET ME BE.
That record by Sam Hawkins, NO TIME FOR TEARS, peaked at #22 here in OKC in May of 1960 out of a playlist of 50 songs. 
Larry Neal
And, thanks to Tom Diehl, we've got a copy to share today! It must have been a local hit ... 'cause I don't show it ever charting. Amazing to think that it left that strong an impression on you! (Ah, the power of music!) kk

I asked Pttibg if we found her long-lost gem ... and here's what I got back ...

You sure did find it! I'm just shocked ... and grateful. I didn't really ever expect to hear that song again in my lifetime ... it is thrilling to hear it once again. Did I have the year right, 1957? Do you know anything about the artist? I looked on Wikipedia and just didn't see anything. The song is on a "best of" collection I found on Amazon. I found the flip side you mentioned on there also, "Let Me Be."
Thank you ... thank you ...thank you!

Glad we could help out. Larry's note above says it charted in Oklahoma City in 1960 ... and I believe Tom's MP3 said 1958 or 1959 ... so I'm really not sure. As I said, I can't find it listed in any of the books I have regarding charting nationally, nor is it on YouTube ... so I think you've got a real collectors' item on your hands here! (kk)

One of your other readers knew this song that you sent. In my profuse thanx to you, I inquired if you knew what year it was released. One of my music friends located the Decca recording number and was able to plot out the Decca songs that came before (Dynamics ~ How Should I Feel?) and after (Brenda Lee ~ I'm Sorry) and therefore knew for sure it came out in 1960. Thanx again ... made my day to have finally found this song.

We've had a pretty high success rate with these challenges, all thanks to the AMAZING people on the Forgotten Hits list. Larry Neal knew what song it was and, once we knew that, Tom Diehl was able to come up with the MP3 ... strength in numbers to be sure! Glad we were able to make your day. (kk)

In a recorded interview he made promoting his album 33 1/3 and the single, This Song, George was asked about the My Sweet Lord / He's So Fine controversy. In it he says that if any song got ripped off it would be Oh Happy Day which was and is public domain and no royalties have to be paid off. While I'm a minority who thinks the Beatles are not the end all, however I think in this case George is absolutely right. The promo interview album was distributed to radio stations at the time. Some FH member must have it.
Jack Levin
Rock And Roll Never Forgets

I've heard him say this before, too ... and I think "Oh Happy Day" is most certainly the FEEL he was going for with "My Sweet Lord" ... but not necessarily a rip-off as much as a British White Guy trying to create something that sounded a little bit "gospel". (kk)

I saw the Hal David tribute and saw an item on “Liberty Valence” by Gene Pitney being his first Billboard #1 tune? I don’t believe Gene Pitney ever had a Billboard #1 record.

That accounting was submitted by someone else ... "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" peaked at #4 on the Billboard Chart. (You are also correct in stating that Pitney never had a #1 Record on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart ... the closest he ever came was his #2 showing with "Only Love Can Break A Heart" in 1962.
Pitney put together a pretty impressive string of hits in the '60's, yet you rarely hear ANY of them on the radio anymore. That means radio is ignoring bonafide Top 20 Hits like "Town Without Pity" (#11, 1962); "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (#4, 1962); "Only Love Can Break A Heart" (#2, 1962); "Half Heaven, Half Heartache" (#12, 1963); "Mecca" (#12, 1963); "Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa" (another Hal David - Burt Bacharach song that peaked at #17 in 1963); "It Hurts To Be In Love" (#7, 1964); "I'm Gonna Be Strong" (#9, 1964); "Last Chance To Turn Around" (#13, 1965) and "She's A Heartbreaker" (#16, 1968). 
In addition to his own hits, Pitney also wrote the '60's classics "Hello Mary Lou", "He's A Rebel" and "Rubber Ball", all HUGE hits for Rick Nelson, The Crystals and Bobby Vee respectively. (kk)

How does radio ignore a musical library like this???

One of your readers recently wrote:  
>>>Who sang a song called "Chickawa Chickawa wa wa"? Not sure the spelling is correct.  (Veeors)
The first thing that popped into my head was Daddy Dewdrop's "Chick-a-Boom," though it's a stretch. He does have a line that goes "Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom boom boom."  Beyond that, I'm clueless.
-- Jeff Duntemann
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sounds to me like the one he's looking for dates back a good 20 years earlier than the Daddy Dewdrop hit. When all was said and done, we featured THREE possible contenders for the mystery song ... but never heard back from Veeors to tell us if any of them were the one he's been searching for.  Maybe he'll see this and drop us a line.  (kk)

You ran a question earlier about novelty songs about British groups other than The Beatles.  There was one by the Barron Knights, who were also from England. Although it didn't chart on Billboard. "Call Up The Groups" was a cool parody that CHUM radio here in Toronto certainly played in 1964. In Canada, as I recall, they were on the Capitol label. 
Incidentally, the only Barron Knights song to make Billboard was "The Topical Song" in 1979. It was a parody of Supertramps' "Logical Song" on the Epic label and only made it as far as # 70.
"Call Up The Groups" was a parody of various British groups, including The Beatles, Stones, Dave Clark 5, Searchers, Freddie & The Dreamers, Kinks, etc., and was similar to the Four Preps hit "More Money For You And Me" (# 17 in Billboard in 1961) and their follow up "The Big Draft" (# 61 on Billboard in 1962), in which the Preps wanted other competative singing groups drafted and shipped all over the world.
In 1963, The Barron Knights were invited by Brian Epstein himself to be one of the groups on the bill at The Beatles Christmas show at the Finsbury Park Astoria in London. Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman has said that the Barron Knights was the first group he saw live with an electric bass in 1961, which inspired him to take up the bass.
"Call Up The Groups" made it to # 3 on the British charts in 1964 and sold a quarter of a million copies in the U.K that year. "Pop Go The Workers" went to 
# 5 in 1965 and "Merry Gentle Pops" (a Christmas parody) went to # 9 in '65. They actually had a few other British chart hits which did nothing here in North America (except for the aforementioned "The Tropical Song" in '79). They were released on Columbia and Epic in the U.K. (which were part of EMI).
I've attached the 1964 version of "Call Up The Groups", along with the two 1965 follow ups, "Pop Go The Workers" and "Merry Gentle Pops". "Pop Go The Workers" had a similar premise to "Call Up The Groups" (the bands had to get real jobs). The Barron Knights did record an updated version of "Call Up The Groups" in 1992, but it didn't chart (or receive airplay) anywhere in North America as far as I can tell. This time out, they parodied Status Quo, Herman's Hermits, etc., but it wasn't nearly as good.
They do have an official website:

Doug Thompson
(still reading in Canada)

We'll feature "Call Up The Groups" today ... I've never heard this one before (much less anything at all about it!)  I remember Ron Dante's Group The Detergents doing kind of a mock-up of the Herman's Hermits hit "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" back in the mid-'60's ... in fact, I think there were a couple of parodies done about this song ... but a straight-up tribute to the British Invasion Artists (other than The Beatles and The Stones) I wasn't aware of. 
I also wasn't aware that The Barron Knights dated back that far ... my first (and only) exposure to them was the aforementioned "Topical Song" ... but their chart hits began in 1964 with this one, "Call Up The Groups" ... and it looks like they had eight other British Top 40 Hits as well.  Thanks for sending .. all the British Invasion fans on the list are going to love this one!  (kk) 



>>>I saw a recent debate in Bob Lefsetz's newsletter regarding who played the lead guitar solos on Donovan's 1968 Hit "Hurdy Gurdy Man". The original poster had claimed that it was Jimmy Page ... but during the course of research for our Jimi Hendrix Series, we found completely different information ... so the following series of responses were posted (kk):
>>>For the record, it was SUPPOSED to be Jimi Hendrix playing lead guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" ... in the end, three-quarters of the future Led Zeppelin appeared on the track ... yet amazingly, even so, despite this line-up, Jimmy Page did NOT play lead guitar on this cut! Hendrix probably missed out on another Top 20 single in 1968. Donovan wrote his #3 smash "Hurdy Gurdy Man" for Jimi to record, but when Jimi failed to do so, he agreed to play guitar on Donovan's version instead. When those plans ALSO fell through, Donovan went ahead and recorded it on his own (with Allan Holdsworth on lead guitar.) Amazingly, also present in the studio that day were Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass and John Bonham on drums ... three-quarters of Led Zeppelin a full year before they joined with Robert Plant and launched their own hard-rock career! (kk)

>>>In the booklet notes of the 2005 EMI UK rerelease of Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man album, John Paul Jones is quoted as saying the guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" is Alan Parker, not Jimmy Page or Allan Holdsworth, who has also been credited for that part. As Jones played the session for sure, I think we can take his word on this. (Michael Tearson)

>>>It was Allan Parker on Hurdy Gurdy Man. I was there. (Peter Noone)

Jimi, Jimmy, Allan or Alan? I still listen to Donovan a lot, and it's a major thrill to have the likes of Peter Noone clarifying a rock and roll mystery. He was there! FH is the only place in cyberspace where this kind of thing happens.
David Lewis

Or, in THIS case, Bob Lefsetz's column ... where Peter commented on my comment! (lol) kk

By the way, the controversy continues ... in the liner notes for the Donovan retrospective CD "Donovan: Troubador - The Definitive Collection, 1964 - 1976), Brian Hogg writes of the "Hurdy Gurdy Man" session: "A Top 5 Hit in the U.S. and U.K., this ostensibly acoustic song, complete with the singer's highly distinctive, tremulous intonation, was then treated to layers of wailing guitar work, courtesy of Jimmy Page and Allan Holdsworth. Clem Clatini supplied the pounding drums, although John Bonham later claimed that he, too, contributed to the session. As the single was arranged by John Paul Jones, it provided an early focal pont for three future members of Led Zeppelin, who often used the same contrast between wooden and electric instruments."

Further, on the actual track listings, it shows the musical line-up for this track as follows:

Donovan: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar and Tambura
Allan Holdsworth and Jimmy Page - Electric Guitars
John Paul Jones - Bass
John Bonham and Clem Clatini - Drums
Produced by Mickie Most
Arrangement by John Paul Jones

You'll notice nary a mention of Alan Parker ... he is nowhere to be found in any of the above information. 

In fact, of the 44 tracks contained on this double CD, Alan Parker's name does not appear in the credits for a single one.  Rare that he would be invited to THIS  session ... for such an awesome guitar part ... and then never be called back again for any other session work.  (I actually tried to contact Donovan on this but was unsuccessful in doing so ... anybody else out there got an "in" to go right to the source???)

And, in another little bit of Donovan trivia, I guess it's fairly common knowledge that Paul McCartney supplied some of the "whispering" vocals, laughing and hand-claps on Donovan's #2 Smash "Mellow Yellow" ... but I have always heard that Paul did that session as a way of paying Donovan back for contributing a line to Paul's song "Yellow Submarine". They way I heard it, Donovan supplied the line "Sky of Blue, Sea of Green ... in a Yellow Submarine". Cool, huh?!?!? (kk)

>>>I grew up listening to Art Roberts on WLS. Just before he died, Art told me the story to set it straight regarding The First Beatles Record Played in America. Here are his own words, which I hope you will print in your article to finally make this official (Eliot Stein)

>>>Well, let me tell you the story of PLEASE PLEASE ME. The record was released on the V. J. label. It was a local Chicago recording company. The owner, Hewitt Abner, brought a copy of the record to W. L. S. I was the music director at the time and listened to his story about a group, and looked at pictures in teen magazines he brought back from England. I figured, what if this group would get as popular in the United States as they were in England and Europe. So I added the record to the list. I believe we had the first Beatles fan club in America. I called it Beatles Fan Club No. 1." (Art Roberts)

>>>I have every reason to believe that Art Roberts DID have the very first Beatles Fan Club (Fan Club #1) in America ... and stated as much in my WHO PLAYED THE FIRST BEATLES RECORD IN AMERICA article. (Clearly Chicago had a jump on the rest of the nation in this regard, thanks in large part, to Vee Jay Records being based here.) I would point out, however, that IF he the Program Director / Music Director at the time at WLS (as he claims in his letter to you ... although most of the evidence I've uncovered points to the contrary) and he decided to add "Please Please Me" to the station's playlist, that is most likely what got it played here in Chicago first ... but that doesn't mean the he personally played it ... that distinction most likely still goes to Dick Biondi, who was the top-rated jock at the station at the time ... and, as such, new premiers were featured on his show, not on Art Roberts' program. (I've also read that in February / March of 1963, the WLS Program Director was Clark Weber ... and/or Gene Taylor ... so we've got some discrepancies there as well.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this piece first ran, I have found THREE other sources that all state that in February, 1963, Gene Taylor was the Program Director / Music Director for WLS ... so I've got to believe that this was the case.)

In an interview that Art Roberts did with Stew Salowitz for his book "Chicago's Personality Radio: The WLS Disc Jockeys of the Early 1960's", he says that the Program Director at WLS at the time he was hired was Sam Holman ... and that he inherited the 9 PM to Midnight time slot after the departure of Dick Biondi (which would have been several months AFTER "Please Please Me" made the WLS Silver Dollar Survey). He goes on to say: "I had a chance to be a part of the beginning of The Beatles. I had the first Beatles fan club way before they ever came to this country. I would read in magazines how popular the group was in England and thought, 'What would happen if the became big here?' So I started Beatles Fan Club Number One ... and we had maybe a hundred and fifty members ... not a lot of kids responded to it. But then when they hit, it was kind of neat to know that those few were very proud of the fact that they belonged to the Chicago Beatles Fan Club Number One." I think you'll agree that that's a slightly different version of the story he told you ... although the essence regarding the fan club is the same ... so that's the part WE went with in our article.

Scott Childers' book "Chicago's WLS Radio" says Gene Taylor was named Program Director in 1961, and stayed in that position until he assumed the Station Manager's job in 1965. Clark Weber's book confirms this ... in fact, Clark took over the Program Director's job when Gene moved up the corporate ladder. 
In his book "Rock And Roll Radio: The Fun Years, 1955 - 1975", Clark Weber remembers WLS first airing The Beatles' record "Please Please Me" this way:
"It all started back when Vee-Jay Records released the Beatles' first record, "Please Please Me", and the flip side, "Ask Me Why". WLS had been"burned" a few months earlier by another British rock star named Cliff Richard, whose record went nowhere in the U.S., and we were very leery of promoting another British rock group. Yet, more as a favor to the owners of Vee-Jay, Vivian Carter and James Bracken, we took a shot at it. Dick Biondi was the first WLS DJ to get the go ahead to begin playing the Beatles record. We played it for two weeks, took it off the air, and then put it back on again for another two weeks, thanks to the pleading of Vee-Jay, along with the Beatles growing popularity in England. Finally, the song was killed." (Clark Weber)

I've since read Art Roberts' account of his career in his OWN book, "Thinkin' Out Loud", which states that he was first promoted to Music Director in 1967 when John Rook took over the station. (Not 1963 as stated above in his correspondence with Eliot Stein.) In fact, two years later, Art won the Program Director of the Year Award, as well as the Bill Gavin Award ... all HUGE career accomplishments ... but all six years AFTER WLS first aired the very first Beatles record in America ... on Dick Biondi's program. Without any other "concrete" evidence, this remains "The Most Accurate Truth" we can report in Forgotten Hits. (kk)

I worked with Art Roberts at WKQX when he did afternoons in the early '80s. I was his producer on his Sunday oldies show. Even when he left the station, we continued to work together on some projects and stayed in touch quite a bit when he moved to California and later, Nevada. Art is probably the closest thing I ever had to a mentor and I miss him still. (And no, he never claimed in all the time I knew him to have played the first Beatles song in the US. He was very proud, though, of starting the first American Beatles Fan Club.)
-- Ron Smith


>>>Just a minor correction to your mention of the New Colony Six 45 titled, "Roll On" ... you mentioned that the Sunlight label which the NC6 single "Roll On" was released on, was the groups own label ...
It was NOT their own label ... The Sunlight label was actually owned by Pete Wright, a well-known Chicago area record label owner, producer (Pete actually managed and produced The New Colony Six), record distributor and night club owner. The Sunlight label actually boasted a noteworthy roster of 45 releases by Ral Donner, Former Chicago-area D.J. Eric Stevens, Chuck & Mary Perrin, and numerous others. Sunlight Records was actually the sister label to Pete Wright's Twinight label, which was primarily his label for releasing his Soul singles by Syl Johnson and various other black artists. I have every single ever released on both of these two labels. Just wanted to set the record straight. (Jerry Schollenberger)

>>>For the record, that piece dates back to 2007 and was submitted by FH Reader Gary Theroux ... but you are correct. The New Colony Six's own record label, of course, was Centaur (later Sentar), funded by the parents of some of the guys in the original line-up of the band (and later run by Ray Graffia, Jr.'s father until the band signed with Mercury Records in 1968 and their biggest hits followed.) kk

>>>I enjoyed seeing Jerry Schollenberger’s post on Pete Wright’s Sunlight label. Most of the handful of singles issued on Sunlight, apart from the three New Colony Six 45s, are very tough to find. (The RalDonner release goes for around $200.) I tracked down most if not all of them some time ago. The 45 Jerry refers to by Chicago DJ Eric Stevens was actually issued under the name Jan Erik Stevens. The A-side, “Training Wheels,” was written by none other than Jim Peterik! (Michael Thom)

Kent (and Michael),
Interesting to see how Michael said the artist is listed on his copy. Mine is listed as Kris Erik Stevens (which is the name he went under while on air at WLS in the early 70's). I wonder if Jerry has both versions of the label? My 45 has the actual record NUMBER stamped on the Sunlight label, so I guess that WOULD constitute being a small label. The number is kinda crooked, so likely done by hand (#1008). The B side is the same song as the 1970 Carpenters B side to "Close to You", a Paul Williams tune "I Kept on Loving You" which is about the only real lead vocal by Richard that I remember and like. It would be interesting to hear what caused Jim Peterik to write "Training Wheels" for Kris. I will see if I can find out.
Clark Besch 

Kent - 
I just finished reading the Tuesday posting of Forgotten Hits, and I read Michael Thom's response to my comments on the Pete Wright's Sunlight Records label.
Due to a recent serious lack of sleep and just thinking off of the top of my head, I erroneously referred to one-time Chicago area D.J. as being "Eric Stevens" ... my recollection of his name without going into my record archives, was partially incorrect. However, Micheal Thom was quoted in Tuesday's Forgotten Hits as saying that his correct name was "Jan Erik Stevens" ... well, he, too, was partially incorrect as well. I went into my Sunlight Records collection, and according to the Erik Stevens 45 that I have,
his name is ACTUALLY listed on the label as "Kris Erik Stevens". So, for anybody that's genuinely interested, this sets the record straight.
By the way, besides The New Colony Six, Ral Donner, Chuck & Mary Perrin and Kris Erik Stevens, Sunlight also released other singles by The Lunartics, Wildflower, and even a solo 45 by Ronnie Rice. As Michael Thom mentioned, all of the "Non-New Colony Six Sunlight singles ARE indeed, extremely tough to find, but I luckily, have all of them.
Jerry Schollenberger 

And then, the VERY next email from Michael Thom, who also checked HIS record collection ... 

Ack! It is indeed KRIS Erik Stevens, not Jan. That’s what happens doing it from memory instead of pulling out the 45 and looking at it. Thanks for the correction!

And, of course, in Forgotten Hits, the conversation doesn't stop there!!! Because we have SINCE heard from both Jim Peterik (who wrote the tune, originally as an Ides Of March song) ... and Kris Erik Stevens himself, a VERY popular disc jockey on WLS back in the early '70's, who recorded it!!! Read on!

I love this song! Training Wheels ... I wrote it for the Ides originally. After I played it for Frank Rand and Bob Destocki (our management), they had me play it live for buddy WLS Disk Jockey Kris Erik Stevens at a dinner party held by my brand new wife Karen at our tiny apartment in Riverside. Kris brought his stunning stripper girlfriend! Kris Erik Stevens had an opportunity to make a record for some investors. The Ides cut the demo at CBS studios at the tail end of an Ides session. The managers gave me the instructions to sing it poorly cause Kris could barely sing. Well, I couldn't sing it bad enough. Little did I know that Kris passed it off as his own voice to the company! When it came time to cut it, the results were disastrous. He tried his best but ...
The record that came out is Kris's best attempt at copping my "bad" vocal. It's a cool tune out of the L.A. Goodbye / Landlady mold. I'd love to hear it as I have no record of it.
Funny story! I'm curious to know if Kris Erik Stevens would remember it the same way! (lol) kk

Hi Kent ...
Thanks for remembering ... 
Really takes me back to see and hear my record “Training Wheels” again.
You can obtain more about my career path from my web site ... ... but briefly following my radio career in Chicago WLS & WCFL ... I did a stint @ KODJ and KIIS-FM here in LA ... and then went on to open my own business ... KRIS STEVENS ENTERPRISES, INC. in Los Angeles ... which was a success story unto itself ... and I loved that aspect of my life as well. Today ... I continue to perform Voiceovers for clients worldwide ... as my voice remains my instrument ... and my talent lies in speaking rather than singing :)
I had a rock band prior to getting into radio --- so making a record was a must for me. I went on to do an album as well --- which never really saw the light of day ... but consisted of songs I’d written and recorded ... and Jimmy Peterik and the Ides of March performed most of the music trax for me on the album as well. It was entitled Kris Erik Stevens – “Feelings”. We recorded most of it in Chicago @ Universal and RCA recording Studios.
As I understand it Training Wheels went top 5 in Detroit --- and did well in Miami and various other large & medium market cities ... but either way ... the reality is ... I had fun recording it ... and was blessed to have the opportunity and some exposure with that single nationwide. I’ve attached a few pix from back in Chicago, when I recorded the song. Plus two photos taken in Italy a few weeks ago August, 2012. Life continues to be colorful!
Hope this gives you a bit of insight for your Forgotten Hits site ... which BTW I think is a great site!
My best ...
Kris Erik Stevens
Los Angeles, CA


Actually, I think it's a pretty good song ... and find nothing wrong with the vocal here!  It's also a brand new discovery for me, as I've never heard this record before.  (Pretty cool to think that The Ides Of March were the backing band on this track!) 

Look for a very special Ides Of March feature coming up this weekend in Forgotten Hits!!!  (I can only assure you that it won't be anything at all like what you might most be expecting!!!)  kk