Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Story Behind "LAKE SHORE DRIVE" (Part One)

We recently had the chance to speak with Skip Haynes of Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah.  (Sadly, it was after the untimely death of keyboardist John Jeremiah ... but during this conversation, I also had the opportunity to ask Skip about the origins of the band ... I was concerned after seeing information posted on some other websites promoting the fact that their roots hailed from West Allis, Wisconsin ... and that just didn't sound right to me.  As far as I've always known, the guys called Chicago home ... and their best-known hit, "Lake Shore Drive", told the tale of a night's journey up the coast of Lake Michigan ... literally "from rats on up to riches", starting from some of the poorest neighborhoods of Chicago and traveling right on up and past The Gold Coast.)

A bit of that discussion follows ... but during our conversation Skip also offered to give our readers the COMPLETE scoop behind the writing of "Lake Shore Drive" ... The Story Behind The Song, if you will ... so naturally we took him up on it ... and now present it here for all of our readers to enjoy.  (Some of you may remember Christmas of 2010 when Skip sent us a "custom" version of "LSD", mentioning Forgotten Hits by name in the lyrics.  Interested readers, jocks, collectors and fans can get their OWN "personalized" copy of "Lake Shore Drive" simply by visiting Skip's website.  CNN Columnist Bob Greene even picked up the story last year and I can personally attest to the fact that both Skip's and my websites BOTH saw a substantial increase in action immediately thereafter!)

Hi Kent,

The band formed in Old Town in Chicago above the Earl of Old Town at North and Wells in 1970, which is where we first met. None of us are from Wisconsin.  I am from Chicago.  Mitch Aliotta is from Berwyn.  John Jeremiah was from Percy, Illinois.

The original band was called Aliotta Haynes Music and was comprised of myself, Mitch Aliotta and his brother Ted Aliotta. Ted was asked to leave the group at the end of 1970 and was replaced by John Jeremiah who had been a bandmate of Mitch Aliotta in the Rotary Connection.

"Rats on up to riches" refers to driving from the poorer sections on the southside to the more affluent northside. The song is about a Friday night  cruise from the clubs on State street (Beaver's to be exact) shooting the loop at Foster and returning to Beaver's just in time for the second show to begin. I can give you a more detailed description of the meaning of the lyrics if you'd like but that is the gist of it. Drugs (not LSD) were involved.
If there is anything else please let me know.

Thanks and all the best

Skip Haynes

Skip also told us about an upcoming fund raiser that we wanted to let you know about ...

FYI, we are putting on an Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah reunion benefit concert in April to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository called (strangely enough re your question) the "Rats On Up To Riches Greater Chicago Food Depository Benefit Tour". It will be comprised of three concerts beginning on the south side and ending on the northside. Jeremiah will be a part of the shows.

We are also donating $2.00 to $5.00 from the sales of albums and personalized versions of Lake Shore Drive to the Greater Chicago Food Depository in Jeremiah's name at our website
Sounds like a great cause, Skip!  Here's hoping some of our readers can help out.

The True Story Behind "Lake Shore Drive" 

Friday, January 6, 2012


Once again (for the third consecutive year), Forgotten Hits is pleased to be the very first to announce this year's inductees into The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame!  (Very special thanks to John Rook, President of The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame, for entrusting this responsibility to us again this year ... thank you, John ... it means a lot!) 

Being inducted as part of The Class of 2011 are:  

Harry Belafonte, The Crew Cuts,
The Doobie Brothers, Duane Eddy,
Percy Faith, Ferrante and Teicher,
Al Green, Tony Orlando and Dawn,
The Osmonds (with Donny and Marie),
Dolly Parton, The Pointer Sisters
and Bruce Springsteen

Out of a Nominees List that also included Lionel Richie and the Commodores, Earth, Wind And Fire, Daryl Hall and John Oates, The Isley Brothers, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Billy Preston, Sly and the Family Stone and The Spinners, only The Doobie Brothers, Ferrante and Teicher, The Osmonds and Bruce Springsteen made the cut this year.  (John Rook confided to me that, with nearly 300,000 worldwide votes, The Osmonds with Donny and Marie were far and away this year's top vote-getting artists!) 

Many of this year's other inductees were voted in thanks to an accumulation of votes from prior ballots.  These include Harry Belafonte, The Crew Cuts, Duane Eddy, Percy Faith, Al Green, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Dolly Parton and The Pointer Sisters.
(Once nominated, the vote of the fans can propel an artist to be inducted into The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame following any one of three years of eligibility.) 

The list of 2012 Nominees will be released in February and fans are encouraged to visit The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame Website to cast their votes for their favorites and most deserving artists.
There you can also learn about the nominating committee and view all of the past inductees. 

Forgotten Hits congratulates ALL of this year's inductees ... thank you for the music!

Be sure to check out our brand new SOUND ADVICE Column as we join in on the Elvis Birthday Celebration ... by suggesting a few titles that might otherwise be overlooked by all of the radio stations remembering The King this weekend.

And, on Saturday and Sunday, we've got ANOTHER FORGOTTEN HITS EXCLUSIVE!!!
Forgotten Hits talks with Skip Haynes of Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah ... as we all learn the complete, true story behind their classic hit "Lake Shore Drive" ... you won't want to miss it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Helping Out Our Readers

>>>Who's the deep-voiced male background singer on Patti's songs?  (BOB FRABLE)  
 >>>Anybody know for sure?  Joel Whitburn's book says that the bass voice in The Drew-Vels belonged to Carlton Black (who was married to Patti's sister Emma).  Maybe he stayed with her after she started her solo career???  (kk)  
Well, Patti was found singing with Carlton during an '80's event.  Logically, that tells me it's most likely Carlton has always been at Patti's side.
My best guess would also give the honor to Carlton Black ... was just looking for some sort of "official" confirmation.  (kk)
Kent ...
You mentioned the fact that Charlie Gracie was appearing at the World Cafe in Philadelphia on 12/30/2011.  I checked Ron Smith's fine book "Eight Days A Week" and found out that Charlie Gracie recorded "Butterfly" on 12/30/1956. Maybe in some future edition of Forgotten Hits you can ask Charlie to compare those two days. I'd be interested in knowing what happened on both days.
Frank B.
I passed your note along to Charlie Gracie ... hopefully we'll hear something back from him soon (and I can include his comments and memories in a future edition of Forgotten Hits.) 
Meanwhile, here are a few comments about that most recent December 30th performance ... and a picture or two, too!  (kk)
We had a capacity crowd for Philly's Original Rocker, CHARLIE GRACIE, yesterday at the WORLD CAFE THEATER in Philadelphia ... and it went out "live" all across the UNITED STATES on N.P.R. (National Public Radio) and was heard here locally on WXPN 88.5 FM.  We are grateful to ALL who came out for CHARLIE GRACIE'S noon concert.
CHARLIE performed two new songs from his new ABKCO CD, "For The Love of Charlie!" ... as well as his new SONY SINGLE, "Baby Doll" ... both now receiving lots of airplay around the country!  In fact, BABY DOLL is # 6 this week on WXPN 88.5 FM's TOP TEN! Richie Scarlet of KISS is a fan and guest player on this new single, which can now be purchased at ITUNES.
Charlie's NEW CD, FOR THE LOVE OF CHARLIE on ABKCO, is on the rise too -- heartfelt thanks to all of you!
The NEW CD (For The Love of Charlie ... with special guests Al Kooper, Quentin Jones, Peter Noone, Dennis Diken, Graham Nash and Jimmy Vivino ... will soon be available in music and book stores -- BUT can be obtained RIGHT NOW at AMAZON.COM or ABKCO.COM.  
A Blessed Happy New Year To All!
Charlie Gracie Jr.

Hey Kent,
I need help finding an Eydie Gorme song on CD.  It's called "I Want You To Meet My Baby".  I believe I've seen it only once on a CD, but it was EXPENSIVE!  It is so hard to find any info about it.  I know it came out in the Spring / Summer of '64 and stalled at #43 nationally.  
I believe Weil / Mann wrote this one.  
Here's a YouTube clip -- (It sounds VERY clear)
I heard somewhere that Eydie and Steve purchased her back-catalog and have kept it from re-releases.  Is this true???  The song is so catchy -- it's a real golden oldie that would sound great on the radio!  Why would they not want any recognition on much of her work?
I also managed to run into this -
The song appears to be track #25 (although it is the only artist not listed).  I would like a nice, clean copy and was unsure if this aircheck would sound distorted or have any talking over it -- although it does look like a neat Biondi CD.  However, I've never bought or heard one of these old airchecks.  Basically, I'm stuck.  I don't know where else to get the song or anything about it.  Do you have any thoughts?
AJK, The Youngest Oldies Freak Around
I seem to remember Collectors' Choice Music offering the complete Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme catalog a while back ... I just checked their site and found several titles still available:
Based on this, I'd say there are a number of selections still available to choose from (but I couldn't find the particular song you were looking for listed amongst them.)
As for "I Want You To Meet My Baby", I wasn't familiar with it before ... but it's not a bad tune.  (My guess is it was the intended B-Side since the flip is called "Can't Get Over The Bossa Nova", an obvious reference to Gorme's biggest chart record "Blame It On The Boss a Nova", a #6 Hit the year before.)  kk
Hi Kent,
Well I'm wondering if anyone out there in forgottenhitsland would have a copy of The Cowsills In Concert album?  I used to have it, but it has disappeared.
I wanted to show my band mates the version of Good Vibrations that they did on that album.
Hey, it might be cool for the Forgotten Hits freaks to hear it, too, since one of the Cowsills is going to play drums in the Beach Boys' reunion tour, if it happens.
Thanks for any help you or the rest of the fab folks out there can provide.
That would be John Cowsill, who's been touring as part of The Beach Boys band for a few years now as their drummer.  (Most of the upcoming reunion band will be Brian Wilson's back-up band but John made the cut from the old guard.)
I checked online to see if there was a digital download for The Cowsills' live album but didn't see one.  Maybe someone out there has a copy and can send us a copy of their version of The Beach Boys Classic "Good Vibrations"???  (kk)
Years back I purchased the LP 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong.
20 or so years later, I came upon a German pressing of same LP, but with six songs added.
Then along comes the CD and all but three Elvis LPs are issued in Canada.
A few years later, in order to entice purchasing, they issued the same LP, but added BONUS tracks.
Seems the songs on some soundtracks that were labeled BONUS are actually the issue edition of a song cut from the movie.
So what was originally issued on an LP is then issued on a CD (VARIED ARTISTS, I figure ) and then, a few more songs on there that weren't on, the LP.
And it's called a "Bonus."
I can DIG that.
Some varied labels issued a few 33 but mostly 45s with three tunes / songs per side.
NEVER did an LP contain only eight or nine songs.
But now they issue a CD with 8 to 10 songs ONLY ... or a CD with 8 songs numbered and THEN
2 or 3 more listed under "BONUS SONGS".
How are these songs issued as "BONUS" if the CD was never issued with less songs??
To me, the only PLUS in regards to the CD over the LP is that all the tunes / songs are on one side.
There were stories awhile back about RADIO djs, going out of their way to "MARK" up the
45 / LP, by scoring the recording ... by wearing the groove down, just before the sound started.
WHY??????????? would anyone do such a thing?
Also, it was less likely to mark a record at a radio station because the needles on those arms
were designed specifically for the CUEING act, being perpendicular whereas the needle on the
players for consumer use, the needle was angled.  
IF anyone had a player with a neutral spot on the player, they, too, could easily CUE a record for varied reasons, but this wasn't done as MUCH as at radio stations.
RAREST 78 I got?
Likely recorded in the early 1930s, as the guy speaking was killed in a plane crash in Burrow Alaska.  WILL ROGERS doing commentary.
Robert Black; 
Kincardine / Willowdale
The way record companies have taken advantage of the consumers for SO many years now is appalling. I personally have bought ... and rebought ... and rebought ... and bought again the EXACT same music in every new format that's become available, just to have the latest and greatest pressings and technology in my collection ... and then they go and make the old technology obsolete, giving you no choice BUT to re-buy your entire collection. (And some of this stuff STILL hasn't become available, either locked in vaults or having already been determined as being of no commercial value.)
It's a shame ... and really it breeds no loyalty for the fan or the artist.  (Seems to me that if I'm buying The Beatles White Album for the 15th time, I ought to get SOME sort of discount for doing so ... or, at the very least, be able to trade in my old copy toward my new, improved one!!!  But that ain't NEVER gonna happen!!!)  So much for "proven loyalty"!!!  (lol)
When they come out with these re-pressings, offering special "bonus tracks", that's the enticement to get you to buy it again.  Crazy thing is they'll sometimes do this AGAIN just a few months down the road ... after you've already upgraded to what you THOUGHT was the latest, new-and-improved edition ... only to find out that the brand new, DELUXE new-and-improved edition was released six months later with one or two more "goodies" not on the edition you just bought.  Or, they'll deliberately leave off a key track or two (especially on compilations) so that you have to buy Greatest Hits Volume 1, 2, 3 and 4 IN ADDITION TO the Deluxe Box Set in order to truly have ALL of an artist's hits.
Maybe that will all change now in the world of digital downloads.  Now you can pick and choose exactly what you want in your collection.  (Remember the old days of buying an LP, discovering the "bum" tracks and then having to get up out of your seat to lift the tone arm over the tracks you didn't care for?!?!?  Same way with cassette tapes ... you'd either have to fast-forward ... or listen!  At least with a CD you could program it to play ONLY the tracks you wanted to hear ... and even repeat a couple of them multiple times if you chose to do so.
Fact is, in the digital world, everyone becomes their own program director.  (Just another reason why radio is dying a slow, painful death.)  Now folks at home can listen to ANYTHING they want to, ANY TIME they want to, ANYWHERE they want to, and mix and match to whatever mood they happen to be in that particular day.  No more "duds" ... no more commercials (which sometimes nowadays go on for six or seven minutes, creating MAJOR breaks in the action ... long enough to check out what's playing on every other radio station on the dial.  I can remember a time when they didn't want you to turn away for 30 seconds for fear that you might not come back!!!)
Dylan was right ... the times, they are a-changin' ... and not necessarily for the better.  (kk)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

... And Now On With The Countdown ...

Did you follow along with our special Top 200 #1 Records Countdown on Monday? 
(I suppose I could have gotten REALLY clever and posted one title at a time every six minutes ... but just putting together these hourly updates already took up most of MY holiday weekend!!!)
We got some feedback ... and we'll share it with you (including the good, the bad and the ugly)!
I like the idea of including chart information from ALL of the trades in your countdown -- while Billboard has long been considered the Music Chart Bible, it shows again that it was not the be all / end all when it comes to this kind of information. 
Thanks for sharing your clever idea with your readers.
What I like about doing a chart like this is this:  EACH of these trade publications was a respected source of information during this era ... artists, record companies, promoters, radio stations, etc., spent heavy-duty money promoting their latest artists and releases in these trades ... and a good showing in each and every one counted as another feather in their collective caps.  Consider then that each publication had their own sources (and resources) for compiling this information, taking into consideration record sales, radio airplay, etc. ... but no one publication covered it ALL.  A consensus utilizing the COMPLETE RESOURCES of all of these publications paints a more accurate picture as to just what was really popular at the time.  (And we found a few things that, as I said, made you take pause and wonder "Hmmm???" along the way, too ... sometimes it's easier to reflect on the times with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight ... and it was nice to finally give some recognition to some deserving titles that were considered #1 Records by most of us ... in any number of regions ... and, in many cases, nationally, too, depending on which publication you happened to pick up that week.) 
There's an age old saying that states "It ain't #1 till it's #1 in Billboard" ... and, without question, this has proven to be the case in the years spent since compiling all relevant chart information ... and we certainly give them their due ... but, like I said, at the time there were THREE publications accurately reporting this information ... and these "conflicts" should also be considered and reported.  It was a fun (if not exhausting) exercise ... but the greatest joy came in recognizing ALL of the National #1 Hits.  (kk)
Great to see #189, Crystal Blue Persuasion, make your #1 list.  That's my favorite!
"Crystal Blue Persuasion" made it to #1 here in Chicago ... and topped the Record World Chart, too.  Great tune!  (By the way, Tommy James was HUGE here in Chicago ... he hit #1 here with "Hanky Panky", ""I Think We're Alone Now", "Mirage", "Mony Mony", "Crimson And Clover", "Crystal Blue Persuasion" and "Draggin' The Line".  "Say I Am" and "Nothing To Hide", two hits that didn't even crack the National Top Ten, reached #2 here in Chi-Town.  In all, Tommy James had 13 Top Ten Chicagoland Hits!)  kk
Thank you, Kent, for recognizing Barbara Ann as a #1 hit (even though it was released too quickly by Capitol and derailed the Beach Boys' single The Little Girl I Once Knew" as it was climbing into the top twenty; a great sound!). Some fun, fun, fun on the way to Pet Sounds!
Rumor has it that California Girls (peaked at #3) was surreptitiously held back from it's rightful #1 slot ... (:>)
Good commentary and insight.
I agree 100% on Valleri!
(So many groups had their best song after their big-time on the Top 40 - Try Too Hard, Opus 17, Him or Me, Darlin', Hazy Shade Winter ... )
I've always felt that "Barbara Ann" deserved its #1 berth ... "Valleri" (and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", too.)  The one that surprised me the most was that "Lady Madonna" never officially hit #1 on ANY of the national charts ... yet "Nowhere Man" and "Yellow Submarine" DID!!!  It was tougher than many remember hitting #1 during this era ... there was SO much competition ... new releases by big name artists were coming out every 4-6 weeks ... artists were releasing as many as three albums and four or five singles per year ... and a song only stayed on the charts for about 8-10 weeks, creating a constant rotation of new and exciting material.  And, because the times were so experimental, a group like The Beach Boys could put out the symphonic-sounding surf hit "California Girls", the progressively experimental "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and the party-sounding fun of "Barbara Ann" back-to-back-to-back, all within the span of just seven months!  The group literally sounded different on each new release ... and they hadn't even hit their "Pet Sounds" period yet!  1966 would go on to see "Caroline, No" (released as a Brian Wilson single so as not to compete with the simultaneously released "Sloop John B" Beach Boys single), "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations" all come out before the end of the year.  That's SIX charted sides in 1966 alone!  (kk)
Very cool concept you've come up with here! However, I'd be interested to know the thought process behind the judgement call. If George Harrison and Diana Ross were able to score number one records so soon after striking out as solo artists (albeit due to a record buying public with lousy taste, considering the two songs at hand), why "couldn't" they be included? What were the criteria that disqualified Ross as a solo artist but qualified Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations? 
Happy 2012!
MF Ping
It was simply a judgement call. "The Beatles Years", by very definition, defines the time they spent together as a group on our American Charts.  Likewise, The Supremes, who were clearly the runners-up in the #1 Department for this period of time.  Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptation were two forerunners of this era ... and were still an "intact" entity when they joined forces to record "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me".  Diana on her own, simply put, was "another era" ... just like solo George.  (Had the Ross-less Supremes hit #1 in 1970, I might have included them ... because it was still "The Supremes" ... then again, I might not ... thankfully, I didn't have to make that call!)
Honestly, it was difficult to consider an artist like The Partridge Family part of The Beatles Era ... "I Think I Love You" was on and off the list a few times before I finally conceded and allowed it to "tie" "Windy", which certainly IS of The Beatles Era.  The Beatles DEFINED the '60's ... The Partridge Family kicked off the '70's.  (Besides, we already had our TV / Record Hit group with The Monkees!!!)
No other way to explain it, really ... it's kind of like the way radio has been segregated over the past 25 years ... oldies / '50's music now encompasses 1955 - 1963 (or pretty much anything PRE-Beatles.)  The '60's have become the period of 1964 - 1970 while The Beatles were still together.  On the other hand, artists like The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons and a few others, who went on to even greater success during The Beatles Era now see their 1962 and 1963 output included in this period.  (If you want to get REALLY technical about it, "Love Me Do" and all The Beatles British Hits from 1963 are really from BEFORE The Beatles Era, too ... it just took America a little bit longer to catch up to the rest of the world!!!)
When divvying up what does and doesn't belong, I'd be inclined to include ALL of the Motown Hits, 1960 - 1970 as "of The Beatles Era" ... and, technically, in MY mind anyway, The Jackson Five would be part of the '70's, even though we ended up including FOUR of their hits in our countdown.
As you can see, a tough call to be sure ... but one we made and now have to stick to!  (kk)
Regarding The Top 200, specifically #'s 100 and 99 ... 
I think it's all about how BB compiled the chart vs. CB / RR.
CB always underrepresented R&B titles, RW I could never figure out but it looked as if station lists were most important given how much higher many songs peaked. WRKO Boston never played "Hair," so if other major or Drake stations did same, that may have kept it from hitting #1 in BB, since airplay and sales were fairly equal components.
Rich Appel / Hz So Good
Thanks, Rich!  By the way, I'll be a guest on Rich's "The Rest Of The Week" radio program next Sunday (January 8th) when he salutes some of the Instrumental Hits that made our list of Forgotten Hits Favorites.  You can view that list here:
Or tune in to "Listen Live" to Rich's program here:
It airs Sundays from 6 am - 1 PM (Eastern) on WRNJ 
That was actually quite fun!
Once it got down to 20, I started trying to figure all the 20 left without using a book. I did! Almost forgot about Herb Alpert but I remembered it about two minutes before 20 to 11 came up. I did think Hey Jude was going to be first though. I was hoping “Honey” wouldn’t be in the Top 10. Oh Well!
LOL ... yes, but how could it NOT be?!?!?  The record was HUGE ... and it still ought to get played a few times a year if only to remind us how sappy we were back then!  (lol)  Overall, I think folks were pleased with the countdown.  We've posted it (with a few minor adjustments) permanently on the OTHER Forgotten Hits website:
Clever way to use the website -- and get a few extra web hits to boot! Forgotten Hits always keeps the oldies interesting -- thank you for your insightful look back at the #1 Hits from my favorite era of music.
While we may have had some ulterior motives in trying to boost web hits for the day, it didn't work ... despite our best efforts, we still didn't pass our top three biggest viewing dates. 
(Honestly, I doubt that anybody out there REALLY came back every hour ... not even me!!!  lol)  kk
I loved the countdown!  Thanks for the dedication on a day when many were still on holiday. 
Phil - WRCO
I wanted to kick off 2012 with a bang ... and something completely new and different.  It took a bit of work but sounds like it was well worth it.  Thanks, Phil!  (kk)
Have you been following our new SOUND ADVICE column?  You'll find it in the Side Bar that runs down the right-hand portion of the web page.  Each day we make a couple of programming suggestions to liven up (and shake up the mix a little bit) on oldies radio.
We're trying to line up deejays to add this feature to their programs ... either daily or once a week ... or maybe even a weekend wrap-up, playing selections from the list.  (Unfortunately, we've already heard from a couple of jocks who told us that, much as they would LOVE to add a feature like this to their programs, they're monitored so tightly with more music and more commercials that they're lucky to get their own name out over the airwaves in the course of an hour, much less say anything else other than the station's call letters.)
Meanwhile, Mr. C's Flip Side Show (which runs on Radio Free Nashville ... again, check the side bar!) gave HIS listeners a sneak peek of our Elvis Birthday Weekend Plans when he featured Elvis' Two-Sided Hit "Separate Ways" / "Always On My Mind" on his program last night.  (His show runs on Tuesday Nights beginning at 7 PM Central Time).  Each week, Mr. C. is going to play a selection or suggestion from our brand new SOUND ADVICE column.  Please show your support by tuning into his programs ... and calling and/or emailing YOUR favorite oldies deejays, asking them to add our SOUND ADVICE feature to their programs.  (kk)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Few New Comments

Happy New Year again, everybody!  

Let's kick 2012 off with a few of your most recent comments ... 


Some upcoming Tommy Roe dates include:
April 7 - 8: Riverside Casino ... Riverside, IA

April 14:  Seneca Niagara Casino ... Niagara Falls, NY

May 25:  Century Casino ... Edmonton AB, Canada

June 16:  Fountain of Life Festival ... Gray, TN
(Tommy doesn't do many winter dates ... he spends his time golfing in Palm Springs!)  

Friends ... Have a marvelous , safe, and successful 2012!!  
Me ... I am livin' the life!  I live right at St. Augustine Beach ... still get to tour with TOMMY ROE ... play in my own local band ... make pottery, yoga, etc.  All said, that's what life's about.  
I really really hope we can bring a TOMMY ROE show to you for a weekend this year ... we will work with you.  After all, 2012 is the 50th ANNIVERSARY of SHEILA, his first number one.  THE SHOW IS GREAT!
Happy New Year  
We've mentioned a Tommy Roe show to a few of the promoters here locally on the list ... but if anyone else out there would like more information on booking Tommy for an appearance next year ... which I guess is now THIS year ... just drop me a note and I'll be happy to hook you up with Rick Levy, his manager and band leader.  (Rick mentioned that Tommy would SURE like to play Las Vegas in 2012!!!  In addition, he suggested something more along the lines of a "Performing Arts" venue as an idea concert location.  Would love to help make this  happen!)  kk  

Hi Kent,
A friend sent this to me. You may have seen all these photos already, but if not, enjoy :)
The good ol' days when Radio Stations played a little bit of all genres of music! We were
Debe Welch
Yep, some GREAT memories here ... scroll all the way down to find more links (including some vintage 'CFL airchecks). 
Here's a photo of my WCFL T-Shirt ... 

You can order your very own here: 
Click here: RadioLogoLand: Tshirts for vintage "W" radio stations in Illinois  

>>>Could this be the same Johnny Holliday who charted at #40 on the November 25, 1961 WLS Silver Dollar Survey with "One More Time" on Roulette?  (Ed)  
Happy New Year Kent;
A reader asked about Johnnie Holliday’s “One More Time” single that charted at #40 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for November 25, 1961. I was hosting the “East of Midnight” show on LS on that date and while I don’t recall that artist or the song.
Here’s how some of those songs charted.
Sam Holman was the PD and his office would actively survey record sales each week. The top 20 or 25 songs would indicate movement and interest from the public ... however beyond that number, it was simply a case of what caught Sam’s ear. After a week or three in the music rotation if a song such as “One More Time” didn’t indicate sales it was dropped.
Clark Weber  

Caught a couple young girls performing that '50's song, "Tonight You Belong To Me", live, in a Borders' book store.
We might be able to attribute this one to the hot new FX Television Series "American Horror Story" ... they've featured the tune twice now (on both the first and last episode of the first season) ... and even our 15 year old has been walking around the house singing it!
It's what I keep saying ... expose this new, younger generation to this great music ... and they'll fall in love with it just like WE did ... all over again!  The Patience and Prudence hit is about as unlikely a crowd-pleaser as any these days ... but clearly we've both witnessed evidence to the contray.  (DeeJays ... Programmers ... Consultant "Experts" ... are ANY of you paying attention?!?!?)  kk 

Speaking of great music coming at you out of nowhere, we rented the new remake movie "Straw Dogs" over the holidays ... and I was COMPLETELY blown away to find The Monkees belting out their GREAT B-Side "Goin' Down" after the opening credits ... only to find another Favorite, Forgotten B-Side ... "Summer Wine" by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood ... featured later in the movie.  Looks like SOMEBODY's been checking the Forgotten Hits website!!!  (kk)

It's ALWAYS cool to hear something TOTALLY unexpected completely out of the blue ... purely by coincidence, here's an email we received today from FH Reader Clark Besch: 

Here's a one in a million New Year's Eve tale for you Cryan' Shames fans. 
We went to the big city today (Omaha) and were shopping and stopped in to eat at the Nebraska old fashioned hamburger chain store "Don & Millie's" which have the best hamburgers in the state, IMO, reminiscent of the old 60's area chain "King's Food Host."  Anyway, they have great food and a jukebox with 45s and when it is not in use, they play 60's and 50's classic 45s. 
Anyway, we stopped in for lunch there about 12:15 this afternoon and immediately were humming along with the Hollies' "On a Carousel."  As we started to eat, my ears could not believe what I was hearing.  Those opening guitar bass lines were SOOOO familiar, but could it be?  IT WAS!!  Over the store speakers came "We Could be Happy" by the Cryan' Shames!!  Between Ricky Nelson's "Never Be Anyone Else but You" and Little Richard's "Tutti Fruitti" came Toad's sweet vocals of a B side classic!!  A one in a million to have it played there in those circumstances and even more amazing that I WAS THERE when it happened!!! 
I waited until the last day of the year to hear the most surprising and cool happening I had in music in 2011.  Gives me hope for the New Year!  Hope you all have a great one. 
Clark Besch  

Frannie and I were inspired to watch "Deliverance" over the long holiday weekend.  Truth be told, I had never seen that movie all the way through before ... so it was a new experience for me.
But the incredible use of "Dueling Banjos" in that film is quite inspired ... so I just HAD to play this one today.  Now THIS is a song that ought to get a radio spin once in a while.  (They sure played the heck out of it when it was out!!!)


Hi Kent:  

Another name missing from the list of people we lost last year was Hubert Sumlin who was Howlin’ Wolf’s great Guitar Player! I think he had a slightly bigger impact than Andrea True.  


Hmmm ... I dunno about that ... did Hubert ever do porn???

Actually, we found quite a few more deserving names missing from this list.  In 2011, we also said goodbye to:

January 4 - Grady Chapman - lead singer of The Robins ("Smokey Joe's Cafe")
January 10 - Margaret Whiting
February 6 - Gary Moore (blues guitarist and early member of Thin Lizzy)
February 22 - Jean Dinning (sister of Mark Dinning ... she wrote his #1 Hit "Teen Angel")
February 25 - Rick Coonce - drummer for The Grass Roots
February 26 - Mark Tulin - bass player for The Electric Prunes
March 4 - Johnny Preston ("Running Bear")
March 8 - St. Clair Lee (Baritone singer in The Hues Corporation)
March 12 - Joe Morello (Drummer for The Dave Brubeck Quintet)
March 18 - Jet Harris (Bassist of the British Instrumental Sensations, The Shadows)
March 21 - Pinetop Perkins (according to the piece I read, "one of the oldest living pianists ... his 'Pinetop's Boogie Woogie' was later redone by Ray Charles as 'Mess Around'")
March 26 - Carl Bunch - Buddy Holly's drummer on his ill-fated Winter Dance Party Tour.  (Says here that he wasn't on the doomed plane because he had frostbite!  Wonder if he ALSO lost the coin toss!)
April 5 - Gil Robbins (of The Highwaymen)
April 23 - Tom King (The Outsiders) and Producer Huey Meaux
April 29 - David Mason (the horn player who played the famous piccolo trumpet solo on The Beatles' #1 Hit "Penny Lane")
May 3 - Odell Brown (co-wrote Marin Gaye's hit "Sexual Healing")
May 7 - John Walker (The Walker Brothers)
May 10 - Norma Zimmer (the "Champagne Lady" on the old Lawrence Welk television show)
May 12 - Lloyd Knibb - drummer for The Skatalites
May 13 - Jack Richardson, producer of The Guess Who
May 18 - Bob Flanigan, one of The Four Freshmen
June 2 - Ray Bryant ("The Madison Time")
June 3 - Benny Spellman (bass vocal on the #1 Hit "Mother-In-Law")
June 8 - Alan Rubin - "Mr. Fabulous" in The Blues Brothers' band (and trumpet player on Saturday Night Live)
June 14 - Mack Self (early Sun Records rock-a-billy pioneer)
June 16 - Wild Man Fischer (a long-time Dr. Demento favorite)
July 5 - Fonce Mizell (co-wrote and co-produced the early Jackson Five hits "I Want You Back", "ABC" and "The Love You Save")
July 13 - Jerry Ragovoy (songwriter:  "Time Is On My Side" and "Piece Of My Heart")
July 17 - Alex Steinweiss - who, it says here, "was a graphic designer who, while working at Columbia Records, invented, developed and popularized the album cover".
July 29 - Gene McDaniels ("A Hundred Pounds Of Clay")  How was HIS name left off the original list?!?!?
August 7 - Marshall Grant - bass player for Johnny Cash's original back-up band, The Tennessee Two

August 15 - Betty Thatcher - Renaiisance
August 20 - Ross Barbour - another member of The Four Freshmen
August 29 - David "Honeyboy" Edwards - "last surviving witness to the death of Robert Johnson"
September 6 - Wardell Quezergue - known as The Creole Beethoven", he recorded King Floyd's "Groove Me" and Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff" with the same band, in the same studio, on the same afternoon!
September 16 - Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - played blues harp with Muddy Waters
September 21 - John Du Cann - Atomic Rooster
September 27 - Johnnie Wright - one half of the country duo Johnnie and Jack
October 9 - Bill Brown, one of the first oldies deejays (and a New York broadcasting legend for over 30 years)
October 12 - Joel DiGregorio (pianist, Charlie Daniels Band)
October 12 - Paul Leka (produced a number of bubblegum hits in the '60's including "Green Tambourine" and Steam's "Na Nah, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye")
October 14 - Chuck Ruff (Drummer, The Edgar Winter Group)
October 29 - Sir Jimmy Savile (British TV Host and oldies deejay)
November 14 - Lee Pockriss (songwriter; "Catch A Falling Star", "Johnny Angel" and MY First 45, "Itsy Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini")
November 15 - Moogy Klingman - Utopia
December 8 - Bob Burnett (another member of The Highwaymen) and Dick Sims (Eric Clapton's organist on many of his solo hits)
December 18 - Ralph MacDonald (songwriter: "Just The Two Of Us" and "Where Is The Love")  kk 

What, no mention of Gene McDaniels (July 29, 2011)? Is VintageVinyl trying to rival the Oscar telecast in terms of controversial inclusions and omissions? :)
MF Ping

We noticed it, too ... and rectified it above!  (kk)  

Here are more details regarding Sean Bonniwell's recent death ...

Sad to hear about Sean Bonniwell's death. I just played "The People In Me" the other day!  

Did anyone notice on Jay & The Techniques' Ed Sullivan appearance:  The recording (if that's what it was) is speeded up and Jay Proctor sings the 1st verse over again -- also, I don't like that false ending.  Keep The Ball Rollin' was one of the tunes that got me started with "Kiddie A-Go-Go" and Top 40 radio in Chicago. 

BTW Happy 2012 to one and all. 


Kent ... 
Somebody on Facebook is reporting that Fred Milano of the Belmonts has died.
Here's more information on Fred Milano's death:
Frank B.
Fred Milano (born August 22, 1939 in New York) is an American doo-wop singer. He is a member of The Belmonts who became successful in the late 1950s as Dion and the Belmonts[1] and in the early 1960s.  Fred passed away on January 1st, 2012.
Tom Cuddy 

Fred Milano, second tenor with the Belmonts, died Monday (January 1) of apparent lung cancer. He was 72. Formed in 1957 as the Tamerlanes, the group was soon paired with Dion DiMucci on Mohawk Records before joining Laurie Records as the Dion and the Belmonts (named after Belmont Avenue in the Bronx where Fred lived) the following year. Their first Laurie single, "I Wonder Why" that year, reached #22 on the charts. It was followed by such hits as "No One Knows" (#19-1958) and "Don't Pity Me" (#40-1958), which led to the groups's inclusion on the ill-fated Winter Dance Party tour that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in early 1959. Other hits included "Where Or When" (#3-1960), "A Teenager In Love" (#5-1959) and "When You Wish Upon A Star" (#30-1960). Dissatisfied with the musical direction they had headed down, Dion left the group in late 1960. The Belmonts, with Carlo Mastrangelo now on lead, charted eight more times, (mostly on Sabine Records) including "Tell Me Why" (#18-1961) and "Come On Little Angel" (@28-1962). They reunited with Dion for a Rock 'n' Roll Revival Show in New York in 1972 and continued performing and recording under various incarnations to this day. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000.
-- Ron Smith

Here's an official statement released by Dion regarding the passing of Fred Milano:
With everyone who loves the roots of rock 'n' roll, I'm mourning the loss of Freddie Milano. Fred played an important role in my younger life. He was a boyhood friend from the Bronx and one of the original members of Dion and the Belmonts. He was very savvy with harmonies. We had our ups and downs through the years but that's how things go in families, even rock 'n' roll families. I will always remain grateful for his contribution in 1958 and 59; may he rest in peace and rock on in heaven.
-- Dion Dimucci

re:  BYE BYE CD's:

Hey Kent, 

I thought you might want to read this after seeing the post from your reader about CD cut outs.  Or they making this up to justify getting rid of cd's?

We've been hearing this for at least six months now ... "hard copy" CD's will go by the wayside in favor of digital downloading.  Too bad ... 'cause there's just something about holding the box, cover and liner notes in your hand that has always held a great appeal for me.  (kk)

Here's a clip of a brand new CBS News Feature spotlighting Darlene Love.
Tom Cuddy

Kent ...
I'm sending New Year's greetings with Bobby Darin's old girlfriend, JoAnn Campbell, to remind you of your promise to re-play your Bobby Darin Series.
Frank B.

Actually, I just read that there's a Bobby Darin / Sandra Dee movie on TCM tonight for New Year's Day.  Still no immediate plans to rerun the series (actually what we'll do is permanently post it on the other Forgotten Hits Website ...
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Bobby Darin Story ... where we've been teasing it for YEARS now!!!)  But I have been giving some thought to another special excerpt from the series to tie into another piece that I'm currently working on ... so stay tuned!!!  (kk)  

Hi Kent
Here's a great New Years song featuring Joel Katz, Bobby Jay and Eugene Pitt. 
A perfect song for this time of year. 
Dave Judovin 
Cameo / Parkway 

More Doo-Wop New Years below ...
Happy New Year Kent & family.
Here's the perfect song for New Years Day.
Frank B.
Click here: The Heartbeats-After New Year's Eve (Is Over) - YouTube

Thanks for all your hard work compiling the Forgotten Hits newsletter.
What would we do without you!!
You and the wife have a Healthy and Happy New Year.
Mike De Martino
President of the Lovejoy Music Club (where vinyl still lives)
Thanks, Mike ... and the very best to you and yours as well!  (kk)

Kent ...
What to do?
Have to go to two stores that open at 7:00 AM ... but I don't want to miss song #101 on the WCBS-FM Party Songs Countdown that starts at 7:00 AM.
What to do?
Leave early and hope for the best.
Leave my house at 6:46 AM.  No ice on car windows. Good ... that saves time.
Stop 1 = Buy two newspapers, one racing program + Take Five Lottery Tickets.
Stop 2 = Dry Cleaners. Pick up Yankee blanket.
Back home and happy to report ---
101 = I Love New York - Sal Soul Orchestra
100 = On Broadway - George Benson
99 = Get Down Tonight - KC & Sunshine Band
98 = Working For The Weekend - Loverboy
97 = Nights On Broadway - Bee Gees
Elvis just checked in at #80 with A Little Less Conversation.  (I wasn't expecting to hear him on this countdown!)
Too much Disco for my taste. Guess I'll still listen.
Frank B.
And then later ...
Kent ...
Here's the # 1 song on the WCBS-FM Top 101 Party Songs.
#101 = I Love New York
#1 = New York, New York.

Here's the whole list, for anybody interested in checking it out.

Frank B.

For a GREAT Rockin' New Year's Eve Memory, be sure to check out David Beard's column on the 1974 celebration ... starring Chicago and The Beach Boys!!! (kk)
Click here: Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Chicago and The Beach Boys - National Beach Boys |

Thanks for featuring NEW YEAR'S CAROL again this year, Kent. 
Best wishes for 2012 and beyond.
Bob Lind
Happy to, Bob, it's a great song!  And best wishes to you and yours as well as we make our way thru 2012!  (kk)