Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Sunday Comments ( 11 - 18 - 12 )

Kicking things off this week with some GOOD news for a change!!!   

Just got this from Dennis Tufano a few hours ago ... a health news update on Sonny Geraci ... and wanted to share it with our readers right away ...
Kent -
Just got this new info so I wanted to write you right away -
Sonny is in physical therapy and working on getting his strength back. He's making good progress.
As can be expected, small set backs occur, but he is holding his own in recovery.
There is talk of a benefit fundraiser in early spring in Ohio to cover the high medical bills as he's been in hospital since last April!!!! Please alert your base of this event and I will keep you updated on details as they come in.
Thank you again, Kent, for Forgotten Hits! We are getting fragile, us Oldies guys, and it's comforting to know that you have a firm grip on keeping all of us in the hearts and minds and EARS of all our fans and beyond.
God Bless your hard work!
Be well - 

Kent ...
It's not too early to start hinting to Frannie about your Christmas present.
Frank B.
She got me the "Doin' It Again" video for my birthday ... and it's EXCELLENT, by the way ... new interviews, some live reunion tour footage, and some recently discovered, never-before-seen films of the band in the studio working on "Good Vibrations" ... highly recommended. But this one sounds pretty cool, too ... yep, I'm definitely adding this to my Christmas list! (kk)

Kent ...
I just read this in the newspaper. The event, dubbed the "12/12/12" concert to reflect it's date. Music Legends will play a benefit concert to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy at Madison Square Garden next month.
Here's the lineup so far: Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Roger Waters, Kayne West. More artists to be added.
Frank B.

Today when I was reading "Forgotten Hits" (which is a fantastic, free Internet magazine, by the way), one article really caught my eye (I mean ear). The Japanese girl that you shared with us is doing a fantastic imitation of Karen Carpenter. I've told my listeners about it and think you might all want to check out her web site:
The young lady does a fantastic job and has the blessing of Richard Carpenter.
At a time when the world seems to be turned upside down, it's refreshing to sit back and enjoy some beautiful musical moments. Take my word about this talented lady.
DJ Stu Weiss
You'll find more on Karen Carpenter below ... keep reading! (kk)

I was shocked to find out that Fats Domino never had a # 1 Hit.
Frank B.
Creedence Clearwater Revival has always been considered the "Kings of #2" ... "Proud Mary", "Bad Moon Rising", "Green River", "Travelin' Band" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door" all peaked at #2 in Billboard but never made it to #1. (Such is NOT the case in the recently published "Hit Records" book, recapping the Record World Charts, where CCR topped the chart THREE TIMES with "Proud Mary", "Bad Moon Rising" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door". "Back Door" also hit the top spot in Cash Box Magazine.  Both publications recorded another #2 peak by the band, "Up Around The Bend".  Here in Chicago, "Up Around The Bend" hit #1, as did "Bad Moon" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door."
It's an interesting list to be sure ... Foreigner and Missy Elliott tie for the most weeks at #2 on this Billboard recap ... TEN weeks at #2 without ever making it to the top spot.  (In some cases other songs leap-frogged over them ... man, how frustrating would THAT be?!?!?)  Three's also a book available called "The Billboard Book of #2 Singles" by Christopher G. Feldman that shows EVERY #2 Hit Single on Billboard's Chart from 1955 - 1999. Apparently it's now out of print ... but you can pick up a used copy for $35. (A "new" one will cost you nearly three times that much!)  Thankfully, I've already got this in my collection.  (kk)
Have you seen the latest episode of "Daryl's House"? This time Joe Walsh drops by to jam with Daryl Hall.
David Lewis

Here's a neat history / tribute to A&M Records, courtesy of FH Reader David Lewis: Click here: A&M Records: Independent, With Major Appeal : The Record : NPR       

Hendrix 70: Live At Woodstock - Legendary 1969 Woodstock Performance For Global Theatrical Release From November 26 2012

In Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's birth, for the first time ever, see Jimi Hendrix's unforgettable August 1969 Woodstock concert in select cinemas globally. This special edition theatrical presentation, under the auspices of Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. has been carefully reassembled from the extensive archive of film footage helmed by Academy Award winning director Michael Wadleigh and his hand picked team of skilled camera operators and support personnel under the auspices of Experience Hendrix, LLC, the Hendrix family owned company. What they captured was a Jimi Hendrix performance unlike any other. Jimi premiered a new band and his extraordinary performance on that August morning included unforgettable renditions of such signature Hendrix songs as "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," "Fire," "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady" as well as his dramatic interpretation of the "Star Spangled Banner".
Jimi's fascinating road to the Woodstock festival is revealed by way of never before seen footage and interviews with his band members such as Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell, engineer Eddie Kramer and Woodstock's promoter Michael Lang. Directed by Grammy Award winner Bob Smeaton [Beatles Anthology, Band Of Gypsys, Festival Express], the documentary, which precedes the performance footage, reveals the struggle to stage the legendary festival and secure Hendrix as its headline artist.
Jimi Hendrix Woodstock performance stands as one of the finest ever in rock music history. This presentation features the original 16mm footage digitally restored together with a new 5.1 audio surround mix by legendary engineer Eddie Kramer. Kramer originally recorded the Woodstock festival and also served Jimi Hendrix as his recording engineer throughout his entire career.
Songs performed in original sequence
Message To Love
Spanish Castle Magic
Red House
Lover Man
Foxy Lady
Jam Back At The House
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze
Woodstock Improvisation
Villanova Junction
Hey Joe

Hendrix 70: Live At Woodstock will see a worldwide theatrical release by Omniverse Vision with limited screenings from November 26. Tickets for the theatrical screenings will be available at
Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister and CEO of Experience Hendrix: "All of us at Experience Hendrix are thrilled with the fact that 'Live At Woodstock' will be shown in theaters. This film reflects a legendary event in our history as well as a true pinnacle of Jimi's career. We celebrate his 70th birthday as we continue to celebrate his legacy".
-- submitted by Bob Merlis

Kent ...
Check out "The First Lady Of Motown."
Frank B.
Click here: Book Review: Mary Wells -
I heard about this book but haven't had a chance to read it yet ... sounds like a pretty good review. (kk)

>>>Your Jim Holvay profile tells us who wrote The Buckinghams' biggest hits ... but I want to know who wrote Back In Love Again!!??Also, did the Bucks actually play instruments, or were studio musicians used? Anyone see them on tour?  And what is this, "Take #1" of USA Records hit? I'd like to think they were that good to record it in one Take! But, I'm guessing the Take # refers to the added horns, who the Bucks were not aware of! (John)

I forwarded the inquiries to the Buck's 45 Kind of a Drag to Jim Holvay. He was likely on the road with the Mob, as he was often during the year of successes with the Bucks hits, but he might know the
answers. I asked him if he might have some comments for your readers.
Altho I love "Back in Love Again", I felt it was kinda short and needed just something more to give it the hit status of the previous 45s. James did not particularly like the song, altho he felt Jimmy Wisner did a great production job with their first post-Holvay / Beisber written and non-Guercio produced 45. Here's the backing track I had from somewhere.
Clark Besch
P.S. I thought "Drag" was supposedly the last song recorded for the album and maybe it was done in one take as commented above, but the opening count-off sounds like maybe it was clipped on from somewhere else maybe. 1,2,3? Wouldn't you start on 4? And it seems like the song starts too quickly after 3. I assume the music track to be recorded before the vocals were added, with trumpets and all? So take one might not be a surprise if that was just the backing track with studio horn players?   

Kent, a reply from James Holvay:  
I wouldn’t know exactly because I wasn’t that involved, I can tell you that “Drag” was the last song released by USA, not recorded. I believe it was cut in the very first session, where they cut 4 songs in either a 3 or 4 hour time frame. That was the way it was done in those days. You booked a studio for 3 or 4 hours. Your goal was to record 3 or 4 songs if possible.  
Regarding the count off, who knows what it is referencing? The instrumental track was always recorded first, then the horns were added and vocal usually last.   
Any band that was self-contained in those days, did not record a song in 1 take. You were lucky if the studio musicians did it.  
Since the horn arrangement on “Drag” was so basic, it is possible that they did it in one take. The complexity of any arrangement and the players that you use on the session, is in direct relation to whether they’re going to cut it in 1 take.  “Yes” the Bucks did play on their sessions, except for the strings and the horns. I also was told that Jimmy Guercio played bass on all the tracks they did when at Columbia and not Nick. F.
-- Jim Holvay  

I'm telling you guys ... click back to June 15, 2011 - June 22, 2011 and read our interviews with Carl Giammarese, Dennis Tufano, Nick Fortuna and Marty Grebb ... a lot of this is addressed right there (including the fact that Guercio would often go back into the studio and replace Nick's bass playing with his own after The Bucks had gone home for the day!) One could argue that it was Guercio who developed the "hit" Buckinghams sound ... they were, after all, voted the most popular group of 1967 ... so clearly it was working ... but the other side of that story is that he was also a manipulating control freak, showcasing his own musicianship on their records and adding his name to songs he had nothing at all to do with writing. (Let's face it ... back then this was pretty common-place ... and the artists were just so happy to be caught up in the whirlwind of the moment, deals with the devil were made on a daily basis!) Check out the articles ... I think you'll enjoy them. (And please pass them on to Jim Holvay, too! Who knows ... he may have a tidbit or two to add as well!) kk
Speaking of which ... the story has ALWAYS been that early on Holvay gave The Buckinghams a tape with FOUR SONGS on it ... "Kind Of A Drag", "Don't You Care", "Hey, Baby, They're Playing Our Song" and "Susan" ... but obviously this was more "folklore" than fact or fiction, especially since we're now learning that Jim didn't even WRITE "Hey Baby" until he happened to catch the title of Art Roberts' popular radio program. So maybe now we can find out, once and for all ... what was really on that tape? And did he continue to feed The Buckinghams material for that first year ... or did they keep coming back for more since obviously the hit formula seemed to be working? (kk)  
I pretty much think James did not EVER do any tape of four songs or any tape at all in particular. If I sent you the story on Kind Of A Drag, Hey Baby and Susan, they pretty much HAD to be different times of the year that he wrote these things and then sent them to Guercio, not the Bucks. In the case of "Drag" it was Carl Bonafede asking for a song. As far as how he first decided to approach The Buckinghams with some song selections, I believe at first that it was Bonafede asking for songs, then later Guercio. I've passed your inquiries on to Jim ... we'll see if he answers.   
Clark Besch

I only recently discovered your website and I love it.
I'm not sure about the entire dialogue but I remember the talk at the time was that at one point Gary says, "open your legs up now baby".
Keep up the great work,

The post about the supposedly dirty lyrics in "Quarter To Three' reminds me of a time when I was doing an interview with the Isley Brothers and Ernie was trying to get Ronnie to admit he sang "zip my pants up" rather than "throw my hands up". There were so many rumors about dirty lyrics back in the day that my turntable got a good workout playing 45s at 331/3.
Ed Salamon
There has always been talk about sneaking in some dirty lyrics just to see if you could get away with it. The Beatles famously sang "tit, tit, tit, tit, tit" as the background for "Girl" as an "in-joke" between themselves, with a wink that they could get away with just about ANYTHING back then. One of my favorite lines is "You make a dead man come" from The Rolling Stones' hit "Start Me Up", never better executed than in the folk parody film "The Mighty Wind". Then there's all the misheard lyrics that have come up over the years ... Eric Carmen singing "how I love her screwin' me" (when he was ACTUALLY singing "before her love, I was cruel and mean" ... or Free's infamous "let's move before they raise the fucking rate" (when it was quite clearly the PARKING rate they were concerned with.) The Stones had fun with "I laid a divorcee in New York City" when they published the lyrics as "played" ... as did Paul McCartney when, on "Hi Hi Hi" he changed body gun to "polygon".
"Louie Louie" may be the most famous of all ... and to this day the band members themselves will admit to not knowing what they were singing! (Ask 100 oldies music fans and try to get any two to agree ... good luck!)
Then again, Gary Theroux may have had it right all along ... maybe instead of "zip my pants up", they were really singing "T'as une tête a faire sauter les plaques d'egouts!" ("You've got a face that would blow off manhole covers"). lol (kk)        

I experienced this one first hand the other morning ... how truly, truly sad!!!
Scott MacKay (at 95.9 The River) was doing his usual morning trivia contest where, based on three audio clues, the listener has to guess what year he's referring to. First up was a clip of the promo for the new James Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only", followed by Walter Cronkite announcing his retirement from CBS News. Then came a short musical clip from "Stars on 45". After a listener correctly guessed the year at 1981, MacKay then went on for several minutes RAVING about what a great song the "Stars on 45" Medley was ... how he had just gotten into radio when that came out and how much he LOVED the song ... and then, instead of playing it, he told his listeners "You should look to see if you can find it on YouTube" ... thus directing his followers (and fellow music lovers) AWAY from his program when he could have instead simply played the tune!!! Isn't that like giving up the one edge radio has over other media?!?!? This NEVER would have happened in the good old days. (Meanwhile, good luck trying to FIND that former #1 Hit. I've got the longer, extended mix on an import CD ... and the original 45 ... but it's pretty tough to come by. My guess is because in addition to the licensing fees involved with the Stars on 45 single, you probably ALSO have to pay licensing fees for all The Beatles music contained in the medley!!!) Even weirder still ... while this is essentially a Beatles mix that helped to kick off that whole short-lived medley craze (Capitol ultimately released their OWN Beatles Movie Medley!), the song kicks off with the #1 Hits "Venus" by Shocking Blue and "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies, before landing in Beatleland! (kk)

Speaking of Stars on 45 (and all this recent Karen Carpenter sound-alike stuff), I found (on one of those import CDs) a Carpenters medley done by Stars on 45.
First of all, it's NOT a very good medley ... not at all surprising that this one didn't take off ... and once again, although some of the tone of Karen's voice is captured, there are much stronger hints of what again appears to be a Japanese accent. (I thought Stars on 45 was a Dutch group!) There really aren't any liner notes on this CD but I don't think it's Keiko ... somebody named "Nathalie" is credited.   Anyway, since I found it, I figured I'd share it. (kk)

>>>This is beyond belief. I wrote just a little over a week ago and told about the local Clear Channel AM station that dumped their live morning guy and 60's / 70's format and went satellite country. We already have two FM country stations here. Just moments ago I'm looking at a Facebook posting that the station is 24/7 comedy. So I tuned it in and there it was ... comedy. Again, WTF?!?! Clear Channel actually thinks they can sell a comedy format in a small market easier than an oldies music format? Comedy that complies with FCC rules should be just hilarious ... imagine Louie Anderson 24/7. I'd ask what the heck is wrong with these people but everyone, including you, is trying to figure that out. (Steve)
>>>Hey, at least they're trying! And it's something new that isn't going to be found anywhere else on the dial. (Honestly, which was the bolder move ... going where nobody had gone before or simply becoming the third Country Station in town?!?!?) This is kind of what FH reader Leah Jordan suggested a couple of weeks ago ... and more in tune with what the satellite stations are doing with their diverse mixture of programming. I figure no radio station is ever going to capture 100% of the audience anyway ... but by having a station like this available, listeners now know that they can tune in at any time, day or night, and potentially be cheered up by a funny comedy routine. It's kind of like that station down in Texas that went All-Beatles a few years ago ... nobody's going to listen to that station exclusively ... but if there isn't ANYTHING else good on the radio, you now know that you've got a place to go where you're going to hear a familiar, feel-good song. (And you know it's going to be there waiting for you whenever you want ... which means you DON'T have to turn off Jack and Diane five times in order to find it!!! Whenever the mood strikes you for something different ... or something specific, it'll be there!) Honestly, I applaud them. Will it succeed? Probably not ... but I give them major kudos for giving it a shot! (kk)
You may change your mind on the comedy format after you realize they're going to repeat the same 500 jokes over and over and over and over and over. :-)
You're probably right ... which is why this station isn't designed to be listened to 24 hours a day ... they'll take their audience when they get it ... hopefully enough people will continue to stop by for a while to keep 'em going for a while. It'll be interesting to see if they're still around six months from now ... keep us posted. (kk)      

Hi, Kent.
I am Tom Hanley of Anderson, SC, and I just discovered your Forgotten Hits blog spot while surfing music sites. It is awesome!
I noticed on there that you had obtained some information from Mike Dugo of
I did an online interview with Mike back in 2006 - subject was the Penetrations band of Belton, SC, ca. 1964-1967. Mike has had that interview on his band bios page since then. Just recently I've been having problems logging on to his site. Could be a connectivity problem on my end, but I've been experiencing the same problems on home laptop and at work as well on my desktop (totally independent systems). Do you know if he is upgrading his website, or might there be another issue on that end? Just curious and when I found your spot, location in Chicago, and email address, just thought I would ask about that. For sure I will be checking out all the info you've put out there. Looks like a virtual music goldmine!
Thanks and have a wonderful day!
Tom Hanley
Your timing couldn't be better. I recently worked with Mike on our poll to determine the readers' Top 20 All-Time Favorite Garage Bands, the results of which SHOULD be coming to the website right after the long Thanksgiving Weekend ... so be sure to check back for that to see where some of YOUR favorites may have landed.
As far as I know, his site is still up and running fine. I sent Mike a copy of your email so that he can contact you directly. Meanwhile, thanks for the kind words about Forgotten Hits ... you could spend YEARS here catching up on all our postings!!! (lol) kk

If the Stars on 45 single isn't enough for you (c'mon ... a #1 Hit that NEVER gets played!!!), here's one more just for fun.


It's the first post-Diana Supremes single ... and (who'da EVER thought it!) a Top Ten Hit in its own right.

Tell me THIS one wouldn't sound good coming out of your radio once in a while!!!  (kk)