Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Deadline Dash ...

We lost entertainer Andy Williams to cancer on Tuesday.  I say "entertainer" rather than simply "singer" because for years he entertained us through his television series and Christmas television specials that annually united his family with ours. Amongst all of the middle-of-the-road / adult contemporary / soft-rock artists of that era, Andy possessed one of the smoothest sounding voices of what should have been our parents' generation ... but easily crossed over to ours thanks to the power of television, an incredible "likability" factor and, quite simply, a damn good voice that could sing just about anything and everything. His show stayed "hip" by bringing us the hottest talent of the day like The Beach Boys and Herman's Hermits, who were presented weekly right along side classic entertainers like Bob Hope and Jack Benny, creating "must see" viewing for the whole, entire family. (He even made me a life-time Ray Stevens fan when he asked Ray to host his summer replacement series!)
Andy is the one who first gave us The Osmonds, who he discovered singing as a barbershop quartet at Disneyland ... and, over the years, we watched and were charmed by both Donny and Marie as they joined their older brothers as part of the act. Family was a big part of Andy's make-up and we fell in love with his wife Claudine Longet, too, a beautiful French actress / singer (who later was charged with "criminal negligence" for shooting her boyfriend Spider Sabich, an Olympian skier, in Aspen, Colorado.) Although divorced at the time, Andy stood by his ex-wife through this difficult and turbulent period. (They met in 1960 when Andy pulled over to offer some roadside assistance for Claudine's stalled car. This was just prior to Andy becoming a break-out television star.)
Andy Williams sang a very powerful version of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at his close friend Bobby Kennedy's funeral in 1968 ... and hosted The Grammy Awards for seven consecutive years in the 1970's. In fact, Williams kept entertaining right up till the end by way of his Moon River Theater in Brandon, Missouri, and (as we've covered so many times before in Forgotten Hits) one of our regrets is that we never got to see him live. Several times we talked about catching his annual Christmas Show but just never made the trip to do so.
I've read a lot of musical artist biographies over the years and one of the best is Andy Williams' "Moon River and Me". Incredibly although it is considered his signature song, "Moon River" never charted by Andy Williams ... but he was no stranger to the pop charts. Between 1956 and 1972, Williams placed an incredible 27 songs in The National Top 40. These include Top Ten Hits like "Canadian Sunset", "Butterfly" (which hit #1), "I Like Your Kind Of Love", "Are You Sincere", "The Hawaiian Wedding Song", "Lonely Street", "The Village of St. Bernadette", "Stranger On THe Shore", "Can't Get Used To Losing You" (another #1 record), and "(Where Do I Begin) Love Story". It's a sad day. He will be missed. (kk)

Andy Williams, the sweet-voiced singer who starred in his own television variety show on NBC from 1962 to 1967 (plus yearly Christmas specials) and amassed 27 top 40 hits (with many more on the adult contemporary charts) succumbed to bladder cancer Tuesday (September 25) at his home in Branson, Missouri. He was 84. Born Howard Andrew Williams in 1928 in Wall Lake, Iowa, he formed a singing group with three of his brothers and made a name for themselves on radio stations in Des Moines, Chicago and Cincinnati. They first appeared on record backing Bing Crosby on 1944’s “Swinging On A Star” and appeared in four motion pictures. In 1953, Andy became a solo act and was a regular on Steve’s Allen’s “Tonight Show.” His vocal version of “Canadian Sunset” was a #7 hit in 1956 and was one of 47 chart appearances, most notably “Butterfly” (#1 - 1957), “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” (#2 - 1963), “Are You Sincere” (#3 - 1958), “Lonely Street” (#5 - 1959), “The Village Of St. Bernadette” (#7 - 1960), “I Like Your Kind Of Love” (#8 - 1957) and “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story” (#9 - 1971). Ironically, the song he is most associated with and he named his Branson theatre after — “Moon River” — was never released by Andy as a single. He sang it on the 1962 Academy Awards the night it won an Oscar. Andy was married to actress / singer Claudine Longet from 1961 to 1975 and stood by his ex-wife as she went on trial for shooting her boyfriend the next year. Andy sang the national anthem at Superbowl VII in 1973. He hosted the Grammy Awards for seven years in the ‘70s. The family is asking that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.
-- Ron Smith

Here are two of my favorite Andy Williams tracks ... 

First, my personal favorite of his, "The Hawaiian Wedding Song", a #6 Hit in 1959 ...

Followed by another long over-looked gem (this is, after all, FORGOTTEN HITS!!!) ...
Andy's 1964 #13 Hit "A Fool Never Learns", released right at the onset of Beatlemania!

Jim Peterik's Lifeforce is playing the Genesee Theater this Friday, September 28th at 7:30 pm.
Joining me is Lisa McClowry, Casey Abrams of American Idol, my son Sijay, Mindi Abair (just off Aerosmith tour) and more. Ticket info: Click here: Genesee Theatre :: Jim Peterik's Lifeforce
Thanx Kent!
Several readers have already written in willing to share memorabilia for Jim's new autobiography. Here's a cool shot of The Ides Of March, circa early '70's ... that also plays into the Peterik / Chase connection:

Attached is a photo my wife has had since the early 70's of the Ides. Her father (known to the band members as Dirty Dan) was a pilot who flew both the Ides & Chase. Unfortunately, he was the pilot of the plane that crashed with Chase aboard.

Barry Gibb, the only surviving member of the Bee Gees, has announced that he will begin his Mythology World Tour this coming February in Australia.
The Mythology tour will source the entire era of the Bee Gees to pay tribute to the music Barry created with his late brothers Maurice and Robin.
Gibb said he chose Australia to start the tour because “As the place where we started so many years ago, we have always viewed Australia as our home so it is only fitting that we will be kicking off our Mythology tour there.” The Bee Gees started in the Brisbane suburb of Redcliffe.
Barry’s band will include his son Stephen, Maurice’s daughter Samantha and Beth Cohen.
The Mythology tour salutes the four-CD set that was released in November 2010 with one disc dedicated to each of the Bee Gees and their brother Andy Gibb. Warner Music will release the Mythology box set in Australia on October 5. Tickets for the tour will go on sale that same day.
Dates are:
2/08 - Sydney - Entertainment Centre
02/12 - Melbourne - Rod Laver Arena
2/16 - Brisbane - Entertainment Centre

Paul McCartney - Live Kisses
Relive The Magic Of One Of Paul’s Most Intimate Concerts Ever As He Performs Standards From His Critically Acclaimed Album Kisses On The Bottom
Your Chance To Own on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Video November 13th 2012
Package includes spectacular concert footage with a cast of top-flight musicians, exclusive promo videos directed by Paul himself, behind the scenes interviews and a 40 page hardback book featuring an extensive collection of photographs from the event and rehearsals.

 New York, NY (September 24, 2012) — November 13th will see the release of Live Kisses – a stunning 13-song film, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, that captures the magic of an extraordinary evening in February of this year. In the intimate surroundings of Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where Paul recorded much of his Kisses On The Bottom album, he was reunited with the all-star musicians who joined him on the record to bring the songs to life for a once in a lifetime performance. [Pre-book Order Date October 19, MSRP $29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $12.99 Digital Video]
This was a concert unlike any Paul had given before. Without his famous Höfner bass in hand or in fact any musical instruments, Paul took his place behind the same microphone that has captured some of the most iconic voices in history to focus on his vocal delivery as he led the assembled A-list group of musicians through a collection of the standards he grew up listening to in his childhood, as well as his own original composition “My Valentine.”
Streamed live to the world online, Live Kisses marked the launch of Paul’s Kisses On The Bottom album. The film tells the story of how, with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma, Diana Krall and her band, Paul created a critically acclaimed album, which featured guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. The record represents a deeply personal journey through classic American compositions that a young Paul first heard his father perform on piano at home. Upon its release Kisses… topped the US Billboard Jazz album chart at number 1, as well as charting top 5 all around the world.
On the night the all-star line up were reunited to include musical director Diana Krall (piano), John Clayton (bass), Karriem Riggins (drums), John Pizzarelli (guitar), Anthony Wilson (guitar), Mike Mainieri (vibraphone) and conductor Alan Broadbent. Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt resumed their roles in the studio and special guest musicians on the evening included Abe Laboriel Jr. (from Paul’s touring band) on backing vocals and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh. Walsh performed the “My Valentine” guitar solo originally recorded by Eric Clapton on the studio album.
The concert was performed just hours after Paul brought Vine Street in LA to a standstill as he was presented with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Records Building. The night of the concert (February 9th) was also the 48th anniversary of The Beatles' U.S. TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Bonus Live Kisses material includes six versions of the “My Valentine” music video, directed by Paul and starring Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman as well as a “Making My Valentine” film. There are also two short films with behind the scenes footage filmed at the Mary McCartney album photoshoot for Kisses On The Bottom. The final extra is an interview with Paul and producer Tommy LiPuma talking about the story of the album, its conception and creation.
Live Kisses is an intimate and charming concert film which offers an insight into the music and songwriters that inspired Paul to go on to become the most successful songwriter and performer in modern history. Beautifully presented, Live Kisses comes with a 40-page hardback book containing photographs from the day itself, including the rehearsals.
· In the same week as recording Live Kisses, Paul was also honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year at a gala featuring a stellar line up including Coldplay, Neil Young, Katy Perry and Foo Fighters, who all paid tribute to Paul by performing versions of their favorite McCartney compositions.
· To top off an incredibly special week Paul performed twice at the Grammys as well as winning an award himself. He brought the show to a close with a superstar jam, having invited Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen to join him on stage.
Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, Audio and Digital Media in the world. Eagle works directly alongside talent to produce top quality, High Definition and 3D programs, both concerts and documentaries, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, The Doors, Jeff Beck, U2, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 30 multi-platinum, over 50 platinum and over 90 gold discs, worldwide. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices in London, New York, Toronto, Paris and Hamburg.
1) I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
2) Home (When Shadows Fall)
3) It’s Only A Paper Moon
4) The Glory Of Love
5) More I Cannot Wish You
6) We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)
7) Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
8) My Valentine
9) Always
10) My Very Good Friend The Milkman
11) Bye Bye Blackbird
12) Get Yourself Another Fool
13) My One And Only Love
Recorded and filmed at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, February 2012
Executive Producer: Paul McCartney
Directed by Jonas Åkerlund
1) My Valentine Video
i) My Valentine Music Video
ii) My Valentine Music Video – Natalie Portman One Take
iii) My Valentine Music Video – Johnny Depp One Take
iv) My Valentine Music Video – Split Screen
v) My Valentine Music Video – Natalie Portman Edit
vi) My Valentine Music Video – Johnny Depp Edit
vii) Making My Valentine
Videos directed by Paul McCartney
Featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp
2) Kisses On The Bottom Album Photo Shoot – Version One
3) Kisses On The Bottom Album Photo Shoot – Version Two
4) Kisses On The Bottom Album Interview
Paul McCartney and Tommy LiPuma interviewed by Robert Hilburn
Well, there certainly seems to be a big push on for this release. We caught the "live" show the night he first performed it ... and it's already been making the rounds on PBS ... but this "deluxe edition" with the bonus video footage should be a nice addition. (kk)

Here are a couple more books our readers might be interested in, courtesy of FH Reader Ken Voss: 
The Ghosts of a Whiter Shade of Pale
by Henry Scott-Irvine
ISBN 10: 1780382332
ISBN 13: 978-1780382333
Foreword by Martin Scorsese
Introduction by Sir Alan Parker
Henry Scott-Irvine first saw Procol Harum in 1973 and has known the band since 1979 and been tracing the band's history since that time. He co-ordinated 'Procol Harum Live In Concert with The LSO' at London's Barbican Theatre in 1996, and co-hosted the band's 30th Anniversary concert at The Redhill Theatre in 1997. He has been writing, researching, and developing TV programming for over 25 years. The author was producer/director of "The Procol Harum DVD Anthology" released by Boum Productions in 2005. This is his first book.

(Chicago Review Press)
Edited by Steve Roby
ISBN: 161374322X
ISBN13: 9781613743225
Hendrix on Hendrix includes the most important interviews from the peak of Jimi Hendrix’s career, 1966 to 1970, carefully selected by one of the world’s leading Jimi Hendrix historians. In this book Hendrix recalls for reporters his heartbreaking childhood and his grueling nights on the Chitlin’ Circuit. He jokes with the judge and the jury on the witness stand, telling them that the incense in his bag was for hiding bad kitchen odors. He explains to an American TV audience that his concept of “Electric Church Music” is intended to wash their souls and give them a new direction. And in his final interview, just days before his death, he discloses that he wants to be remembered as not just another guitar player. In addition to interviews from major mainstream publications, Hendrix on Hendrix includes new transcriptions from European papers, the African-American press, and counterculture newspapers; radio and television interviews; and previously unpublished court transcripts—including one of the drug bust that nearly sent him to prison.Though many respected books have been written about Hendrix, none have completely focused on his own words. This book is as close to a Hendrix autobiography as we will ever see.
Steven Roby is a respected Jimi Hendrix historian/archivist and author of Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix (2002), Becoming Jimi Hendrix (2010), and Hendrix on Hendrix (2012). Steven was editor and publisher of Straight Ahead: The International Jimi Hendrix Fanzine (1989-1996), and editor of the Hendrix family's authorized fanzine Experience Hendrix.

But the big news THIS week has been the announcement of an official reunion of The Rascals ... here's a bit more of the lowdown on this one!


Kent ...
News Flash: Last night (9/22/12 ) at the San Gennaro Feast in New York City, Cousin Brucie announced that the four original Rascals are getting back together. Shows already planned for later in the year.
Frank B.
We've heard this one quite a few times over the past few years (and they actually DID reunite for a special cancer benefit show a short while back) ... but if this IS true this time around, I hope they take their show on the road, as we would LOVE to see them here in Chicago. Felix Cavaliere participates with Forgotten Hits from time to time but has stayed mum on this subject in the past. Maybe now if there's something "official" to announce, he'll give us the good word. (kk)

UPDATE: It's TRUE!!! I heard from Felix Cavaliere the very next day, wanting to fill me in on some of the details (many of which are still in the process of being worked out right now.) The GOOD News is that all four original Rascals ... Felix Cavaliere, Dino Danelli, Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish ... are getting back together for a series of shows for the first time in decades!
Three shows are already booked ... December 13, 14 and 15, at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York ... and more shows are planned, as is a reunion album. Other reports state that Steven Van Zandt (Little Steven of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band) is acting as their manager and has enlisted Kickstarter to try and raise funds for a full multi-media show. Billing it as the "Once Upon A Dream" Show, plans include live performances "augmented with narration, pre-filmed acted scenes and old footage of the band." Van Zandt and lighting veteran Marc Brickman will produce and direct the performances.
"The show will be an uplifting inspiration for you fans that have been waiting all these years, praying for a Rascals comeback, and those of you who are younger will get a real taste of the Sixties you missed the first time around. Me and Marc have invested our time, money and blood these last few years for this idea and now we need you to bring it home. Not one dollar that is contributed will go into anyone's pocket or be commissioned in any way. Every dollar will go into the production, making it as good as it can be, as great as the Rascals deserve ... so that's it. The Rascals are coming back ... the production will be as big as you make it."
For more information, visit the "Once Upon A Dream" Kickstarter Page.:

I can't wait!!! We've seen Felix solo before ... but a full-blown Rascals reunion is something we've dreamed about for YEARS!!! After their initial reunion concert in 2010, Van Zandt told The New York Daily News "The Rascals were one of the great bands. This is where black and white music came together. Blue-Eyed Soul. So it's important that people today get to hear them, to know how great they were and still are. They sound terrific."

And, speaking of great Blue-Eyed Soul ...

I'm way on board with the Mayer Hawthorne song which reminded me of songs like In A Moment by the Intrigues. In my opinion, the best song of 2012.
We're catching on late here but loving what we're hearing. In addition to the David Letterman clip I ran the other day (filmed almost exactly a year ago), Hawthorne has also appeared on Daryl Hall's "From Daryl's House" series, too, doing a fine job of singing some Hall and Oates classics. (You'll find some excellent clips here ... since we mentioned him in the same breath last time, too, check out Cee Lo Green's reading of "I Can't Go For That" while you're here):
Click here: I Can't Go For That ----- Cee Lo Green Live From Daryl's House - YouTube

Hi Kent,
Ya know I always meant to mention that tune (The Walk) to you and the readers but would always forget. My Son, who just turned 20, showed it to me when it came out. He's 20 but has grown up with a big chunk of his Dad's favorites and loves 60's soul. Glad you finally got to hear it. His albums aren't bad either. Not as good as the music he's emulating maybe, but still good stuff. You might also check out Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Some of her tunes are also pretty good. Another Soul throwback.
I think that's what first caught me with the mega Cee Lo single "Fuck You" last year ... yeah, it's got the expected shock value when you first hear it ... but strip that away and you've got some VINTAGE soul underneath. If it bugs you, listen to the "Forget You" version ... either way, it's a winner! Another track that really captures this groove is "The Way You Move" by Big Boi / Outkast from a few years ago. These guys obviously grew up listening to the soulful sounds of the '70's ... and have let that influence shine through in their own music. (kk)
Really enjoyed "The Walk" by Mayer Hawthorne! It's hard to believe it wasn't recorded in 1964 by Major Lance!!!
Definitely my new favorite track ... and figured it was "old school" enough that the readers would enjoy it. Seems to all be some pretty positive response so far. (kk)

The two things I thought of immediately today after reading your comments both involved the videos you posted. First, I was reminded of Jimmy McCracklin's 1958 song THE WALK on Checker (different song than the one posted on your website), but still when I saw the title THE WALK, it reminded me of that 1958
Second, in the video where the kids are doing SING SING SING, I immediately thought of Bernie Lowe's version out of 1958 on Cameo Records.
Ah yes ... but what did you think of this NEW version of "The Walk" done by Mayer Hawthorne??? (kk)
I did enjoy the song. And I kind of agree with your reader that it did sound a little like it might come
out of 1964 and recorded by someone like Major Lance.

OMG ... I totally fell in love with "The Walk"!
I hadn't heard of the song or the artist before ... I love the lyrics and youtube has a really awesome video besides the David Letterman appearance. I bought the song on Amazon ... thanks for the tip.
Isn't it GREAT?!?!? The "official" video plays like a Mr. and Mrs. Smith music video ... truthfully, I had a different image in my mind when I first heard this tune ... but I'm just glad to help spread the word. I think we've got a hit on our hands!!! (kk)