Friday, November 23, 2012



Saw this in an online publication called NuVooDoo ...
This week, we continue myth-busting, showing that people who are looking for particular music attributes listen to the radio longer than those who are not. The truth is that the more passionate a listener is about key attributes that have always defined Radio, the more likely she boasts a long Radio Time Spent Listening.
-- Carolyn Gilbert
We couldn't agree more ... and have been saying as much for YEARS now. But first you've got to give them a reason to listen ... and the ONLY way to do that is more variety and more personality. I don't care what radio format you're talking about ... no, I'm not going to continue listening if all I'm going to hear is the exact same songs and the exact same artists over and over again throughout the day ... or the entire week, if I'm able to "listen while you work." (Remember "no repeat work days"??? The only downside to that was you'd go eight hours without hearing the same song ... but then hear every single one of those songs again on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!!! Mix it up a little bit out there!!! Make listening FUN again!!!) kk    

From Chicagoland Radio and Media comes this piece of good news (Mike had told us recently that he'd soon be back on the air):
The long-running weekend oldies show, "Mike Baker & the Forgotten 45s," which aired for 17 years on WJJG-AM, but was canceled earlier this year, has a new home. It can be heard monthly on WLTL-FM 88.1, the Lyons Township High School radio station, which was just named as Best Radio Station at the 2012 John Drury High School Radio Awards. The show returned on October 28th, giving the students a chance to learn the production of a syndicated radio show. The show will return once again on Sunday, November 25th from Noon - 4:00 pm. Mike Baker has been a supervisor for the school's highly-regarded radio program since 1993.    

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Kent! Thanks for many years of enjoyment! How about featuring the Larry Lujack / Steve Dahl Thanksgiving segment THIS year?? Classic radio.
Clark Besch
Hmm ... I dunno ... hardly a shining moment for ANY of the parties concerned ... their broadcast careers are otherwise pretty legendary ... plus Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of good cheer ... and there was NONE of that present that day! (I know we've run it at least once before ... and I happened to be listening live when the whole thing went down ... pretty shocking radio from two guys who, at various times in their careers, were considered "shock jocks" for completely different reasons!) With all the bullshit currently going on at WLS right now (man, what are these guys THINKING?!?!?), I think I may hold off on this one for a little while! (kk)  

Hello Kent,
I am thankful on this Thanksgiving that I can listen to all the wonderful songs I grew up with on so many devices anywhere I go ... we are soooo lucky.
When you are making suggestions to DJ's about how to re-introduce some of our great 'Forgotten Hits' to a new generation of music fans, although I do not subscribe to Twitter or Facebook, those are the venues to use to monitor the 'Likeability' of songs played ... it's how today's kids share their likes and dislikes.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the FH subscribers !
Sweet Dreams from Boston
Charlie Fraser     

Hello Kent,
My name is Jamey and I'm a volunteer online host of a radio show on KX93.5 in Laguna Beach, CA. It is a low watt community radio station that just started up. I have a one hour show Wednesday nights from 10 to 11 pm. The name of my show is "The B-Side". I have a huge problem in that I have no B-side music. I didn't anticipate not being able to have access to "true" B-side music. The stations library is very limited in that area. VERY!! I'm at a crossroads of maybe having to change my show and format. In my online research I came across you and Dave and your top 200. If you would have any suggestions or could point me in the right direction, I'd be forever grateful. I really love the old tunes and would love to share the history and songs of the old B-sides.
Jamey Peterson
Without access to the music, I don't know what to tell you. Our FH Buddy Mr. C does a program out of Nashville called "The Flip Side Show", typically featuring BOTH sides of the records we all bought growing up, often playing records from his own collection.  
Click here: The Flip Side Radio Show - HOME PAGE
You can certainly use our lists as a guide ... in addition to The Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides, we have also built a list of The Top 200 Biggest Two-Sided Hits of All-Time ... between those two lists you should be able to program your program for years to come ... but you gotta have the music, or what's the point?
A great percentage of this stuff is available online for downloading (or via YouTube clips, I guess, if you're hooked up to a computer and can play those on the air.) Short of that, I don't really know what other advice or suggestions I can offer. Try to plan your shows accordingly, based on the music you have access to the week(s) before. Good Luck! And, once you're up and running, send us a "Listen Live" link and we'll pass it along so our readers can tune in and listen, too! (kk)     

My mentor Chuck Blore, has finally done it ..."Okay, Okay, I wrote the book". The first words of the first chapter ... You can achieve the things you believe. Just keep on believing it’s true and keep on believe in you ... is a theme that permeates the pages of this fun to read and often amazing autobiography. Chuck creates the most successful radio station the nation has ever known and changes the course of modern radio programming. When he leaves to form his own creative services company he astounds the advertising world with creative thinking and innovative imagination. With a little help from several friends from his radio days including Roger Miller, Glen Campbell and Pearl Bailey, Chuck introduces an unheard of freshness to radio advertising and wins almost every major advertising award in his first year of business. It all started because Chuck wanted to talk on the radio. Now, he tells you of his remarkable journey and all of the wonderful, wacky, sometimes inspiring adventures that ‘happened’ along the way.
"Okay, Okay, I wrote the book" by Chuck Blore, Now at
John Rook
I've been hearing really good things about this one ... here's Ron Smith's comments from a couple of weeks ago ...
You'd like the Chuck Blore book. In it, he describes the "Ultimate Radio Station" he created briefly in Los Angeles that got great ratings but ran out of money. There's aso the story of his TV spots that were syndicated in Chicago, like the remarkable mouth, the late night janitor and lucious Deborah Shelton.
-- Ron Smith

Hi Kent -
I've been enjoying all the "ranting" about the death of pop radio. I completely agree that so-called programmers and consultants have completely destroyed the listening experience on mainstream radio.
But, I need to let you know about a few bright spots on the dial here in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area. WDGY, AM 740, is a dawn to dusk station broadcasting from Hudson / Stillwater (on the Minnesota / Wisconsin border) that reaches into our metro. They carry Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel, but feature a live local morning drive. They also feature a Saturday morning show called "Hot Rod Radio", featuring lots of car songs from the late 50's and early 60's, and then "Records" Ryan plays two hours of off-beat pop, including much local music from the big Twin Cities garage rock scene in the 60's (Castaways, Underbeats, Trashmen, Gestures, etc.) This is absolutely outstanding radio! WDGY, a big part of 60's radio here, disappeared for decades, and this new AM station reclaimed the call letters ... and all the old station ID jingles!
Then, there's KLBB, 1220 AM. They carry the "America's Best Music" feed, but also feature a live local morning show. They, too, broadcast from Hudson / Stillwater. In addition to Frank, Sammy, Dean, Nat, Doris, Peggy Lee, etc, you hear Beatles, adult contemporary from the 50's to the 80's, plus contemporary music from Michael Buble, Norah Jones, etc. A very enjoyable mix when you don't feel like rockin'! The small town local commercials also lend to a very cozy listening experience. Again, they are dawn to dusk.
We are EXTREMELY lucky to have these two wonderful AM stations, still delivering great radio. I wish all of your readers could experience this!
- Mike Lane
Thanks for the heads up, Mike ... we want to let our readers know where they can find these great stations on the dial ... and, if they're also streaming worldwide, all the better! (kk)    

Hi Kent,  
I've been following your recent exhortations for improved Oldies Radio programming in total intellectual accord, but in abject spiritual resignation -- it ain't never gonna happen!
As a long-time producer of syndicated and network programming, I suffered the smarmy fingerprints on my shows thanks to consultants whose memos to the corporate office eviscerated our playlists because they personally didn't like the music or it was rated as unfamiliar in a test offered to an auditorium of 19-year-olds. I frequently caved in just in an attempt to prolong my employment, but on two memorable occasions I responded with a big fat "F*** You." Once was when I was told that the Beatles' "Hello, Goodbye" was a tune-out! The other was when I was producing a country show and was told not to play the Desert Rose Band's "He's Back and I'm Blue" (great record; Chris Hillman of the Byrds, by the way) when it was Number One on Billboard's Country chart. I refused and threatened to quit and the incident blew over.
There are some decent consultants by the way. But if radio programmers were competent and doing their job, they wouldn't need to hire someone external to create their own playlists. It really is a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes." "If we're paying the consultant this much money, they must be right." Idiots!
Anyway, tirade over. I just wanted to alert you to the fact that your Utopian radio station does exist online. I just found this a few days ago and I have had it on ever since. This online station is the project of Rich Brother Robbin, a deejay who came to fame at San Diego's KGB in the early '70s. He was a discovery of legendary programmer Bill Drake, but when Drake lost him to competing station KCBQ, Robbin beat them at their own game. I met him once in the '80s. The outfit I worked for hired him to host one of the two or three-hour artist spotlights I'd written. Can't remember what the show was, but I do recall that Rich Bro was a nice guy and very bright, and he nailed most of the script in one or two takes, tops.
By the way, I found this site through Claude Hall's blog:
Claude was the Radio Editor at Billboard magazine starting in the mid-'60s 'til around 1980 or so. I suspect that most of the deejays reading Forgotten Hits are already familiar with Claude, but FH readers that have fond memories of favorite jocks of yore are encouraged to check out Claude's blog. His passion for good radio and its best practitioners is clearly very heartfelt and he's a great writer. He's like the department head at the Alumni Office of a great college, keeping old colleagues in touch, and sharing news with the same zeal he did when he actually got paid for it. In just a column or two, you're bound to read something about a jock you listened to over the years.
Back to Rich Brother Robbins' station: I'm loathe to mention too many songs I've heard the past three days 'cause I'd like you to be surprised as I have been, but I can assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised. It appears that anything that hit the Billboard Hot 100 is eligible, and I even heard a few "Bubbling Unders" and regional hits. It seems to span approximately 1955 - 1972. The two newest tracks I heard were Stevie Wonders' "Superwoman" and Carole King's "Been to Caanan." Those were exceptions. And while there is a healthy complement of '50s stuff, the real focus seems to be on Lost 45s of the '60s and lesser-played / lower charters from the name acts. Here are just a few examples: Jerry Wallace - "In the Misty Moonlight," Lesley Gore - "I Wish I Were a Boy," Kris Jensen - "Torture," Sonny & Cher - "What Now My Love," The Arbors - "Symphony For Susan," Petula Clark - "Don't Give Up," The Association - "Time For Livin'," Marvin Gaye - "You're a Wonderful One," Chubby Checker & DeeDee Sharp - "Slow Twistin'," Beach Boys - "I Can Hear Music, " The Forum - "The River is Wide," Fifth Dimension - "Save the Country," Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd - "Desifinado," Sweet Inspirations - "Sweet Inspiration," Al Hirt - "Java."  
The aforementioned examples only hint at the depth and eclectic nature of the playlist. I initially didn't think that there were any repeats whatsoever, but as I type this and continue listening, today's programming has started to be repeated. So it seems that Robbins is probably programming daily eight or 12-hour blocks and running them twice or thrice daily. He occasionally does a station ID, and there are vintage radio jingles and bumpers from legendary stations across the U.S. sprinkled in periodically which add a nice touch of period authenticity. But you must check this out and, perhaps, contact him for more info. This is, far and away, the best Internet Oldies station I have heard. In fact, I've been glued to it since stumbling upon it a little over a week ago. It's exactly what you and all of us readers pine for on Forgotten Hits. The playlist is deep and immense; I'm hearing things that I haven't heard since their original release, and a few that I had never heard before it all.
As a result of the email exchanges, I actually ended up having a terrific phone conversation with Rich Robbin earlier in the week. Although neither of us was able to determine what program we had collaborated on 30 years ago, he proved to be the great guy I had recalled from our brief couple of hours in the studio all those years ago. Like FH is for you, is simply a labor of love for him, and there is definitely some labor involved in the enterprise. The music stream is not a "random shuffle" affair. If you listen for more than a few minutes, it's very evident that a lot of effort is going into the programming and segues. And the periodic placements of classic jingles from around the country makes it feel period authentic.
I know that you'd thoroughly enjoy talking with Rich, as I'm sure he would, you. As we shared our mutual dismay that terrestrial radio just won't give this kind of programming a shot, Rich summed it up succinctly, "Advertisers simply don't care for the demographic that it would attract." Along with the radio megalopolies, Madison Ave. is just another one of those Don Quixote windmills we'd be challenging. Perhaps as the Boomer generation keeps greying there will be some expanded opportunities, but for now, the Internet is probably the best playground we can hope for, and maybe Rich's venture will help inspire others to take a crack at interesting online formats.
Just wanted to call this to your attention again 'cause it's so damn good and a nice act of fellowship, like FH and a few select other ventures on the Web.
As always, Kent, thanks for championing the cause.
All the best to you, Kent, and my fellow readers,
Scott Paton  

Hi Kent,
Peter Noone just posted on his websites that he is hosting a new program on Sirius XM Sixties at Six beginning this Saturday, November 24th, from 5 pm to 8 pm eastern time. It is called Something Good with Peter Noone and sounds like a retrospective of music and stories from the sixties. Peter has tons of good stories, so I suspect an info-packed program with a few laughs and a great trip down memory lane.
Alice M.
Click here: Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone  

Hey Kent,
Last Saturday night, I went to a casino sports bar to hear some live music. The group was what I call a "generic" cover band. They played almost all danceable songs and were entertaining. They had a big variety of material, from the 50s through the 90s. The disappointing thing I witnessed was that the crowd only got up and danced to a few of the songs in each set, the same few songs that every other band plays around here. All of their covers were very danceable, and nobody cared about most of them, BUT, when songs like "Brick House", "Brown Eyed Girl", and my least favorite cover song of all-time, "Play That Funky Music", were played, EVERYBODY was on the dance floor. What I'm trying to do here is compare this with the state of today's "classic" radio stations, you and the readers have been talking about. Could it be that the general public has been "conditioned" to go with the flow? When it comes to what is aired, has the public taken on a conformist and apathetic attitude? Has a high percentage of listeners forgotten how many hits were out there ... or don't they even care? Have they become selective and reliant on other ways of listening to their favorite songs? Has radio just become background noise? I really do wish there was a "Forgotten Hits" radio network across the country, and the world, for that matter.
- John LaPuzza
Thirteen years ago we started promoting the idea of "Forgotten Hits Radio". The first artist onboard was Bobby Vee, who LOVED the idea. (Of course we had just featured his long-forgotten hit "Hickory, Dick And Doc" at the time! lol) Through the years we've been fortunate enough to help program some oldies radio specials and themed weekends. (My favorite concept has always been the twin-spin weekend featuring "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot", which Scott Shannon had a fun time doing a couple of years back. Hey Scott, isn't it time to run this one again?!?!? Maybe with a little updating?!?!?) We've done Two-Sided Hits Weekends, Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides Weekends, Favorite Songs of Summer, Top 20 Psychedelic Songs, The "Walk Don't Run" Weekend ... and we've got dozens of other ideas, too. Most recently, I've been talking with Bish Krywko, President of WRLR Radio and one of the organizers of next year's Route 66 Radio Tour. Bish would like me to take the jist of The Forgotten Hits Website and do it live on the air ... a regular weekly program spotlighting the songs and artists that come up regularly in our column ... maybe even interview a few of the jocks and artists on the air ... and put together some special programming that would suit this audience. (Plus he streams worldwide, too ... so Forgotten Hits Readers from all over the globe could tune in and listen and participate!) We're just in the beginning talking stages at this point (and honestly I don't know where I'd find the time to do it) ... but the concept is everything I ever dreamed of and a much larger level than I could ever achieve strictly through the website ... so who knows. Forgotten Hits Radio may not be that crazy of an idea after all!!! (kk)  

A couple of quick radio reminders ...   

Dick Biondi is hosting his 21st Annual Toy Drive today at Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale, IL.  (I wish I could say that he was BROADCASTING his 21st Annual Toy Drive  but, as we told you earlier, the program will NOT be carried live on the air this year. We're still hoping to stop by for a little while early this evening ... and hope to see some of you there.  (This very well could be Dick's last appearance in conjunction with WLS for this very special event.)   

And Scott Shannon is playing "Forgotten 45's" all weekend long on The True Oldies Channel ... and he's been playing some pretty good ones, too ... stuff you JUST don't hear on the radio anymore ... so tune in when you can!    

Hey Kent,
The Seekers is a band that you don't hear much about these days. They really were the first internationally known group to come out of Australia. I absolutely adore Judith Durham, their lead vocalist. What a huge sound from such a pint-sized lady! She still has a powerful voice, today. Take a look at some of her recent videos online. Their hit, "Georgy Girl", and my favorite, "I'll Never Find Another You", can be heard on some radio stations, here and there, but I NEVER hear "A World of Our Own" played anywhere.
- John LaPuzza
Great suggestion, John. (A few years ago we sent "Morningtown Ride" to Jim Shea to feature as his Forgotten 45 ... that's another one that's been long forgotten!) "A World Of Our Own" was a #19 Hit when it was released in 1965. In fact, all four of their Billboard chart entries made an impressive showing on the national charts ... "I'll Never Find Another You" hit #4 in 1965, "Georgy Girl" hit #1 in 1967 and "Morningtown Ride" just missed The Top 40, peaking at #41 in 1967. (kk)

Up The Ladder To the Roof is far and away better than any Diana & the Supremes single released after Diana had her named tacked in front of the group.

To be as ready as possible for Hurricane Sandy, I had three sets of batteries for my radio, just in case we lost power in the storm. I picked a station that was as close to me as possible so that I would be getting valid updates on weather. This station is a 'current pop' station, but used to play 'oldies' as well as sponsor / produce concerts in the area of 50's, 60's and 70's groups. Now they have some djs, some pre-recorded packaged programs, and script material. BUT on Monday, when they lost power, it was those djs - who were not scheduled to come in - who kept the generators going, a variety of songs playing and correct local storm updates that brought us safely through to the flip side of Sandy. Wouldn't it be nice if they could have selected their own music, given us witty / non-sensical / or serious banter without the need of emergency? Oh, I didn't need the batteries ... a block and a half from the beach with no power loss and no flooding. You think it was the radio djs?
And you know what, Kent? My day will be better now hearing 'I'm Gonna Make You Mine' and 'Tracy' as I am getting my day together. Day and night are still blending together as, after Hurricane Sandy, power is being restored at various times. We are keeping odd hours in the east. No school yet, but extra hours at Cracker Barrel trying to pull the store into a useful state (without deliveries) for those who are in need.

Hey Kent,
It was great to hear the Vince Guaraldi hit you provided, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind", again! Actually, it's great to hear ANY instrumental hit, these days, right? Did you know that he was not the first one thought of to provide the "Peanuts" cartoon soundtracks? The producers went after Dave Brubeck first. He and his wonderful quartet just had success with their jazz crossover hit, "Take Five", and were about to go on a long tour of Europe. Time in the studio was impossible, and it was Brubeck, who recommended Guaraldi for the job. The producers took his advice, and what a fun project it must have been, to lay down those tracks for the cartoons. I never get tired of any of it.
- John LaPuzza
I did not know that ... but it makes sense ... "Take Five" was a HUGE cross-over hit ... and worthy of a Forgotten Hits spin today. (kk) 

So good to hear "Beg, Borrow and Steal" by the "Ohio Express".
For the real story on the making of this great song, check out YouTube. Put in Beg, Borrow and Steal - Original Band Members - Ohio Express. The video clip not only explains the true origin of the recording but proves it with an amazingly accurate performance by two of the original performers.
Bob Verbos,
Loyal follower in New Berlin, WI.
I haven't checked out your link yet, but I know the record first came out by the Rare Breed and it was released on the Attack label. About a year later, Cameo / Parkway leased the master and re-released the same recording as by The Ohio Express and a year after that, Cameo / Parkway was gone ... and The Ohio Express found themselves signed to Buddah Records and helped launched The Bubblegum Revolution. Their hits "Yummy Yummy Yummy", "Down At Lulu's", "Chewy Chewy" and "Mercy" were all Top 40 Hits. Will have to check the clip for more info. Thanks, Bob! (kk)  

Hey Kent,
I remember the musician-songwriter, James Hendricks, very well. I first took notice of his music, when I heard Michael Parks sing "Long Lonesome Highway", as you featured on Tuesday's FH. I loved the TV series, "Then Came Bronson", and was sad that it lasted only one season. One episode I remember was titled, "A Pickin and a Singin". It featured several songs written by Hendricks. It was about a young songwriter, who befriends Bronson, and the two perform the songs at a local pub. Many of them are part of Parks' second LP. Towards the end of the episode, the songwriter leaves the area, because of pressure from a shady dj, trying to secure rights to the songs. Bronson is left to sing at the pub, with an unnamed guitarist, shown in the dark background of the stage. That musician was James Hendricks. I liked the songs so much that I ordered the only available solo LP by him, but was a little disappointed that it was mostly a country album. If you can find the series on video, check out that episode. It was my favorite!
- John LaPuzza  

Congratulations, Kent!
Impressive numbers and body of work these thirteen years.
How about new lyrics to the Beach Boys' "Ding Dang" to commemorate the probable passing of the Hostess Ding Dong?

Got these from FH Reader Bill Hengels ...

And my favorite ...

I feel the love, Kent! hahahahaha!

I remember you in Oldies Chat on AOL. You should compile a list of people still visiting your FH web site who 1st met you there. It'd be interesting to see how many of those s/n's we remember :) FYI: Oldies Chat room's pretty much just a memory now. Hardly anyone goes there anymore. I last visited it a year ago, saw someone's s/n I recognized, and asked them about others who used to frequent that room I was shocked to discover that half of them had died! So sad ...  Oh well,keep on keeping on kk ... and don't forget to boogie.
Yeah, when AOL's Oldies Chat was at its peak we sometimes had as many as eight rooms going at a time with something like 35 people per room ... total capacity! Long, long time ago ... but that's where Frannie and I met so those days hold some very special memories for me. Back then I was still The60sShop, which is how the Forgotten Hits Newsletters went out for about the first nine years. Then, as we started to gain more and more of a radio presence, I was told that it was just too confusing to operate under both names ... so we switched over to Forgotten Hits for good (even though that has always been the name of our service since we first kicked things off back in 1999.) No doubt about it, we've lost some friends (and subscribers!) over the years ... but we've also picked up thousands and thousands of new ones ... so SOMEBODY out there seems to be enjoying what we're doing. (Hey, sometimes I do, too!!!) lol Take care! (kk)   

Happy Anniversary!
You have been a valuable resource for those of us still trying to fight the good fight to keep radio interesting. Count me in for the Garage Band Countdown.
Phil - WRCO    

Hazy Shade of Winter is another forgotten Simon & Garfunkel tune ...
Actually, I went back and forth between "At The Zoo" and "Fakin' It" before settling in on "At The Zoo". Then, later that same day, I heard Bob Stroud play "Fakin' It" on The Drive ... so it was a win / win for me! (lol) kk     

Hi, Kent,
Congratulations on reaching the 13th anniversary of "Forgotten Hits." You certainly picked some fine songs that first time out. I agree that Tommy James' "Mirage" is a much-underrated, much overlooked song. Excellent choice.
I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, and keep producing "Forgotten Hits" for many more years.
Best regards,
Jeff March    

Thanks for all the work you put into your website. It is not to be missed, I am sorry I missed the first 10 years!!
Yours in music -
Mike De Martino
President of the Lovejoy Music Club

Kent ...
Happy Anniversary to you and Forgotten Hits ... It's something I look forward to every week!!!!!
As I told you before, I'm an old radio jock, retired, but I never cease to learn something new from FH. Your hard work and knowledge of how this crazy music biz works is incredible!!!!!! I hope, God willing, that we have MANY more FH anniversaries ahead! Congrats, and may you and the family have a safe, healthy, Blessed, and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!
Pete Garrison    

Congratulations on your anniversary! It is especially sweet since I was with you in the beginning. You deserve induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We just have to figure out which category you should be nominated in!