Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 02 - 03 - 13 )

Without question, a sad but important day in music history ... thanks to Don McLean, forever remembered as "The Day The Music Died".  Hy Lit Radio has put together a very nice tribute to Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in commemoration of that sad, sad day ... too large to publish here ... but something that I am happy to email to you if you'd like a copy.
Just drop me a line at and I'll forward it along.
Meanwhile, you can also view our 50th Anniversary Tribute here: Click here: Forgotten Hits - Remembering "The Day The Music Died" ... 50 Years Later    

Kent --   
There were two other charted covers of the Percolator melody that I know of: Hot Butter did one in 1971 and Spyro Gyra did another in 1980, both simply called "Percolator." (No "twist.") Neither song did well. Hot Butter's peaked at #106 on Bubbling Under, and Spyro Gyra's did only a hair better at Bubbling Under #105.  
Now, the original coffee commercial may still have been running in 1971 (I don't remember, as I wasn't allowed to drink coffee while I lived at home and didn't pay the commercials much attention) but almost certainly wasn't running in 1980. So it's yet another case where the jingle far outlasted the commercials it was originally in, as with Sun-In and whatever shampoo they were pushing with "Early in the Morning."
-- Jeff Duntemann
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Maxwell House Coffee (1960s)
Ah-h-h-h, smell it!
Even coffee haters wanted to rush out and buy Maxwell House after listening to this one.
Yes, coffee used to be percolated over an open flame or electric pot, filling the entire house (or trailer, apartment, or office) with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. 
Pepsi with The Turtles, 196?
Taste that beats the others cold, Pepsi pours it on.
This was likely a radio
ad that was filmed while the group was in the recording studio. Back in the '60s, all the popular soft drinks had catchy ads / jingles on "pop" music stations.
The Turtles were a very popular group back then whose success was quite a surprise to even them. The group was together for a few years, but after six or seven different (and horrible) managers and an unending string of lawsuits involving those managers, the group split up.
Carpenters: Don't Drink and Drive
In the late '70s, Karen and Richard Carpenter made a public service announcement for the California Highway Patrol.
Oh go thru the rest yourself:

re: ROCK DOCS:  
I have been sick all week so I watched a lot of TV. While flipping through some of the movies I happened to catch this one on ShowTime Documentaries. I was rather stunned to see Paul Williams as I thought he was dead. I watched the documentary and I thought it was a little strange but good. Sad to see him go down that road of drugs and have nothing to really show for all of his good songwriting.
The movie kicks off on this note ... film-maker Steve Kessler ALSO thought Paul Williams was dead! ... but grew up loving his music in the '70's ... and, when he found out that Paul was making an appearance, he just had to go and meet one of his musical idols. Williams spent a good chunk of his career on the losing side of his battle with drugs and alcohol ... but has since cleaned up his act and can now proudly brag that he's been clean and sober for over twenty years ... which, in one of the best lines of the movie, Paul tells the director, "This is really going to fuck up the end of your movie"!!! (lol) Another classic scene is when Paul cracks up while filming a spot with Dick Clark and Clark, always the consummate professional, says "You asshole!"
I really enjoyed this one ... and I'm sure I'll watch it many times again. (kk)  

By the way, that Eagles documentary we told you about last week debuts on Showtime February 15th (Part One) and 16th (Part Two) ... I truly can't wait to see this one! Check your listings ... I believe it starts at 7 PM Chicago Time, 8 PM Eastern and West Coast. (kk)  

Here's another title mentioned at the recent Sundance Film Festival ... 
A new film by David Grohl of The Foo Fighters / Nirvana ...
Thought your Chicagoland readers may be interested, more info on this film if you google it.SOUND CITY
PG-13 : 107 minutes
Friday 2/8/13 - Saturday 2/9/13
Feb 8th: 10:00 pm
Feb 9th: 10:00 pm
Feb 11th: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $7
Patio Theater and the Chicago Cinema Society are collaborating to bring you this brand new rock and roll documentary SOUND CITY! A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California.
Featuring: Dave Grohl, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Mick Fleetwood, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Lars Ulrich and many more rock legends!
Mike DeMartino  

And, despite all of our griping, Robert Lamm of Chicago says that their glaring omission from The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame really doesn't bother him that much. (Well, at least it doesn't keep him up at night!!!) He told Really, in the scheme of things, it’s not a very important thing. It’s just a bust of somebody in a museum … and either it’s there or it’s not there. The really important thing is that we’re still making music, we’re still as vital now as we ever were. We’re actually better than we used to be.
-- Robert Lamm
The brand new DVD of Chicago's World Tour 2011 is available now through the band's website:  
Click here: Chicago World Tour 2011: Backstage Pass DVD (message from band) - Chicago The Band Music Community
... and will also be showing on PBS (so check your local listings for that!) kk  

Got this from FH Reader Tom Cuddy, who tells us that Michael Nesmith WILL be doing a solo tour now that The Monkees Reunion Tour is over. (We had always speculated that he would ... but now it's official. Sounds like he "warmed up" for this with The Monkees' audience.)

Monday, January 28, 2013  

Michael Nesmith Announces New Solo Tour   

Hot off the road from a rare reunion with the Monkees, Michael Nesmith has announced that he will, once again, be touring his solo material during March and April. Mike and his band, Joe Chemay on Bass, Paul Leim on Drums and Boh Cooper on Keys, will be "break[ing] in the show, see if you like it, earn the promoters confidence, and see if anybody comes."
On his Facebook page, Nesmith said that "If it goes well we will keep going later in the summer/fall and hit the states we missed on this half-lap of the US. If it goes poorly we will stare blankly into the future and post pictures of cute animals and food." 

The dates (venues are yet to be announced):   

03/21 - Nashville, TN   

03/24 - Los Angeles, CA  

03/26 - Santa Cruz, CA  

03/27 - San Francisco, CA  

03/29 - Portland, OR  

03/30 - Seattle, WA  

04/03 - Boulder, CO  

04/05 - Minneapolis, MN  

04/06 - Chicago, IL  

04/07 - Detroit, MI  

04/09 - Munhall, PA  

04/11 - Northampton, MA  

04/12 - Rahway, NJ  

04/13 - Boston, MA  

04/15 - Philadelphia, PA  

04/16 - New York, NY   

04/17 - Alexandria, VA   


And, speaking of The Monkees, here is the latest info on the upcoming Monkees Convention / Davy Jones Memorial, courtesy of FH Reader Charles Rosenay:    



Fans from all over the world will commemorate the one-year anniversary of Davy Jones' passing with a celebration of the former teen idol's life, and his band, at the The David T. Jones Memorial Monkees Convention, March 1-3, 2013, at The Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, 2 Meadowlands Plaza, East Rutherford, New Jersey.

There will be live concert performances, special guest interviews, autograph and photo opportunities, question and answer sessions; a mammoth Monkees music and memorabilia marketplace and rock & roll flea market, art exhibits, film and video showings, the "David T. Jones Message of Hope" book project, auctions and so much more.

Headlining the memorial convention are Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork. Other Special Guests of Honor include Davy's daughters Talia and Sarah; Davy's friend David Cassidy; most of the Brady Bunch cast (on which Davy Jones appeared): Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen and Geri Reischl; actress/singer Deana Martin (Dean Martin's daughter) who appeared in a Monkees episode and dated Davy;TV personality Butch Patrick ("Eddie Munster") who appeared in one of the Monkees' TV episodes; The Archies' lead singer Ron Dante, who was one of Davy Jones' record producers; singer Gary DeCarlo who was the lead singer in the band Steam ("Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye") and appeared with Davy Jones on Davy's last PBS TV concert appearance; actresses Donna Loren and Arlene Martel, who both appeared in Monkees episodes; actor/radio personality Jerry Blavet ("The Geater with The Heater"), who appeared in a Monkee episode; Monkees historians Gary Strobl, Brad Waddel l and Fred Velez; Monkee s friend and famed rock photographer Henry Diltz; authors Eric Lefkowitz , Rob Sheffield and Seth Swirsky; Hullabaloo dancer Lada Edmund, who was friends with Davy even though The Monkees TV show replaced "Hullabaloo" on the network's schedule; and world famous rock & roll artist Shannon, known for her "7 Faces of Beatles" collection will be introducing her "7 Faces of Davy" collection specifically for this event. Other guests are being added.

Performing live over the three-day extravaganza will be members of Davy Jones' touring band along with popular Monkees tribute bands including "The Characters," who played many of the Monkees Conventions through the years and also backed up Micky, Davy and Peter on numerous occasions; "The Blue Meanies," who performed at a Davy Jones tribute at NY's BB Kings club; bubblegum legends "The 1910 Fruitgum Company," Freddy Monday, with his song "I Wanna Be Your Davy Jones," "Loose Salute" who specialize in Mike Nesmith songs, and Pat Horgan & Thunder Road, with their Garage Band Monkees show, featuring Mitch Scheector's The Rip Chords, Ian Lloyd, John Ford and other very special guests. Members of The Monkees' and Davy's touring band on hand include Dave Alexander, Aviva Maloney, Felipe Torres and Rich Dart. There will also be a very special choral tribute to Davy Jones' Broadway career. The MonkeeMobile will be on display, and a collection of sixties and "hippie" clothing & accessories will also be available. A limited number of vendor/dealer/exhibitor spaces are still available.

The David T. Jones Memorial Monkees Convention is being presented with the blessings of Davy's family, and funds will be raised to support the former Monkees' favorite charity, The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund. Jones was an avid horseman and this charity ensures the continuing care of the horses he so loved.

The David T. Jones Memorial Monkees Convention is produced by Phyllis Paganucci of Then & Now Events in association with Charles F. Rosenay!!!'s Liverpool Productions and Jodi Blau Ritzen/Real 2 Reel. Davy, Micky and Peter were all the special guests at the very last national Monkees Convention produced on the East Coast in 1987, and this production team has reunited after twenty-five years to bring fans the ultimate celebration possible in memory of Davy Jones.

Tickets on sale at:

For additional information, email, visit or call toll-free (866) M-O-N-K-E-E-S.



The KFWB aircheck that Jeff March shared is well worth a listen. It includes lots of rarely heard hits from major artists. Perhaps the most interesting track is the super-rare "Smashed Blocked" by the band John's Children. Has this band or this song been discussed on FH?
No, I don't recall this one (or these guys) at all! This is one of the things I used to like about that television show "American Dreams" ... they would feature an artist that Dick Clark had on American Bandstand doing some completely obscure "never hit" as part of the backdrop for the series ... a great chance to hear some things that nobody else remembered. (kk) 

The aircheck David is referring to was one featuring the late Jimmy O'Neill and can be listened to here: /Jeff/KFWB_Jimmy_O%27Neill_12-30-66.mp3  

Our FH Buddy Big Jay Sorensen has a new weekly column posted on the WCBS-FM Website, looking back at this week in rock and roll history in the '60's, the '70's and the '80's. Some good stuff up here ... so be sure to check it out! (kk) Click here: This Week In History: The Beatles, Ringo & Billy Vera « WCBS-FM 101.1  
Click here: This Week In History: Neil Diamond’s Monkee Business, “Love Rollercoaster” & Karma Karma Karma… « WCBS-FM 101.1   
Even better ... check out the full-length, unedited version (that also includes the '50's ... heaven forbid an oldies radio station should even MENTION the '50's!!!) on Jay's website right here: Click here: Big Jay's Big Week In Pop Music History  
Updated weekly, you'll want to bookmark this page so you can come back and check it out regularly! (kk)  

By the way, John "Records" Landecker now spins "The '70's at 7" and "The '80's at 8" on WLS-FM, Monday thru Friday evenings.  (Hmmm ... wonder where they got THAT idea?!?!?)  Unfortunately, no '50's at 5 or '60's at 6 ... but it's a start.  (kk)  

Greetings, Kent ... and Happy New Year, 2013! 
I wanted to share with you that we had the pleasure of tracking and overdubbing two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame giants, Donovan and John Sebastian, this past month. We'd recorded some tracks on Donovan this past summer and he called us in December to book additional time in January. He's scheduled to return in either late February or early March ... I'll give you an update. He's a super guy and an absolutely phenomenal guitar player. Legend has it that he taught his famous 'claw hammer' style to none other than Lennon and McCartney. 
As you know, his first semi-hit, "Catch The Wind," was released on Nashville's Hickory Records in the early 60's, prior to his major success on Epic. His additional 'tie' to Nashville is that he is published by Peer Music -- and they have a major presence here. Michael Knox (son of the legendary Buddy Knox) who produces a number of artists at our studio, the most prominent being Jason Aldean, put us together with Donovan, as Michael is also the VP at Peer Music here. 
I was not aware that John Sebastian would be joining Donovan until the day before he arrived. I'd not seen John -- other than a quick 'hello' when he attended the annual NAMM summer trade show here at least five years ago -- since the mid-60's when The Lovin' Spoonful were opening for The Beach Boys. We had a great visit -- remembering the good old days in LA when I was with The Beach Boys, touring, his former band mate and lead guitarist, Zal Yanovsky, and the fact that he and Denny had introduced me to the 'joys' of marijuana -- yes, unfortunately, I did inhale, but promptly gave it up as all forms of smoking did not go well with my frequent asthma attacks. 
John played guitar on Donovan's sessions here -- he's an incredible player -- along with harp, and his signature autoharp. He also did a few vocals, including demo'ing one of his own tunes. 
Fred Vail 
Treasure Isle Recorders
Music City, USA  

Check out this video from Mark Volman on Mike Curb's YouTube Channel:
David Lewis
Wouldn't you have LOVED to have been able to take this class back in the day?!?!? Amazing. Very Cool. Thanks, David. (kk) 
FH Reader Bob Merlis sent us this on behalf of Eric Burdon, who takes us through track-by-track on his brand new album "''Til Your River Runs Dry". (Looks like this ran in Rolling Stone, too!) 
Eric Burdon Gets Personal on ''Til Your River Runs Dry' - Album Premiere -Former Animals, War singer breaks down new album track-by-track  
January 26, 2013 9:00 AM ET 
It's been 50 years since Eric Burdon joined the Animals. However, even after fronting War and the Eric Burdon Band, not to mention enjoying a long solo career, Burdon has made what might be his most personal album yet. One of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers breaks down his new album, 'Til Your River Runs Dry, track by track, revealing how he channeled such diverse inspirations as water conservation, Fats Domino and President Barack Obama.
1)"Water" – "Having lived in the arid deserts of Southern California since the 1970s, my interest in water conservation is a very personal concern. Water! The source of life! Some people are squandering the world's most precious resource while others have too little clean water to drink. I sing this song in the hope that I can bring some balance to the issue of water, to bring some attention to the importance of water to our future on the planet."
2)"Memorial Day" – "It is a very important day in the U.S. and the U.K. When I was a child in England, it was observed as a very solemn day. Everyone would wear a red poppy in their lapel. It represented the blood of the fallen. But on Memorial Day, I don't want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live. So it's the hippies, the poets and the spartans that I will remember on this Memorial Day."
Video: Eric Burdon Urges Conservation in 'Water'
3)"Devil and Jesus" – "This song is about the internal struggle within ourselves. Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It's a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other."
4)"Wait" – "I wrote this song for my wife. I waited for a long time and finally she came along. I had this Latin love melody in my head and I let the words breathe, like I'm whispering to her, the one I love. This song is for everyone out there who is alone and thinks they'll never find the perfect match. I'm here to tell you that it can happen to you as it happened to me. It is like learning meditation; in this crazy world, everything moves so fast. Stop and wait. Wait for your soul to catch up to you and love will find you"
5)"Old Habits Die Hard" – "The hero emerges from the gas clouds with a red bandana wrapped around his neck and a molotov cocktail in his hand. It's the spirit of youth that has to be acknowledged. It's the need for change that drives us to join forces with our brothers and sisters all around the world – but change is slow. This song is dedicated to the people in Egypt and Libya trying to throw off the shackles of all those centuries of brutality. It reminds me of Paris in 1968 when I saw the kids going up against the brutal police force or the L.A. uprising. I went through these experiences and they're still with me today. The struggle carries on. I wrote this song so I won't forget and to say, even though I'm older now, I am still out there with you."
6)"Bo Diddley Special" – "I use any excuse I can to utilize the Bo Diddley 'bilongo beat.' I just like to be at that particular place that Bo Diddley created, which has its roots in Africa. I was invited to his funeral ceremony and after hero-worshipping the guy for years, I never had the chance to meet him face-to-face, until he was lying in his coffin. As my wife and I stood looking down at Bo, in his state of grace, I was thinking to myself, 'I'll bet he's lying there listening to everything that people are saying about him.' He was so alive. I promised him then and there that I would write a farewell song to him. Bo Diddley was so important but he's been underrated in the world of modern music. Goodbye, Bo Diddley."
7)"In the Ground" – "It has a great gospel feeling to it. It reminds me of images I've seen in places like Jamaica and New Orleans, of funerals conducted by black people for black people, lifting the spirit up to the sky."
8) "27 Forever" – "I wanted to write this song in order to give a warning to all the young artists approaching the age of 27; the song is an observation, it's a warning and it's a very definite phenomena that I was almost a part of. What are we doing in our lives that makes the age of 27 so important? Is it that we realize that there is no more youth and we're now in the world of being responsible adults? Or it's just an astrological event that has to do with Saturn's return. Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson, Kurt Cobain and, recently, Amy Winehouse, to name a few. They all died at the age of 27. But every time I hear their voices, they are alive and well in my heart."
9)"River Is Raising" – "This song is inspired by the story of Fats Domino during Katrina. They were saying that he was missing. Then he rose up from the flood. It was such a great relief to see that he was still alive, the guy that I had hero-worshipped all my life, the sound of New Orleans. I was singing the chorus of this song before thousands of people in Europe and everybody started singing the refrain along with me. I realized that the rivers are rising all over the world. It's a global phenomenon. That's why everybody was singing with me. They all thought I was singing about their own territory. Then, returning to the US, I was pleased to record this song in New Orleans at John Cleary’s studio with some of Fats Domino's band members. We did it in two takes. One rehearsal, one take. To me, it's the greatest piece of music I've been involved with, since the musicians in New Orleans understood where I was going with this song."
10)"Medicine Man" – "I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard it. It's penned by Mark Cohn. I never met the gentleman but this song is more than brilliant. It's a great story, a novel wrapped up in the form of a song."
11)"Invitation to the White House" – "When Obama first came to the White House, like everyone else of 'our way of thinking,' it was a time of joy, a great step forward in American history, to see a black man becoming president of the most powerful country in the world. This was a phenomenon in itself – and the way Obama sold himself and projected himself to his audiences, to me was a kind of an invitation to the White House, to knock on the door, to stop by and see how he's doing and to have a conversation about current state. I thought he was different from any other President – and of course, he is, he's black, he's a brother. My visit with him was just a dream but maybe someday my dream could become a reality."
12)"Before You Accuse Me" – "This song is the wild card of this album. We were in the studio at the end of the recording session and I wanted to leave on a positive note. The message, 'Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself,' is something that everyone should live by. I wanted to pay homage to the wonderful guy who wrote this, to fulfill my promise to him to sing 'more Bo Diddley songs.'"
'Til Your River Runs Dry will be released on January 29th. 
100 Greatest Singers: Eric Burdon
Here's a piece Billboard ran on the new LP ... sounds like everybody who's heard it has come away quite impressed!
Former Soviet Union chief Mikhail Gorbachev helped give "'Til Your River Runs Dry," Eric Burdon's first solo album in six years a lift-off. 
Burdon tells Billboard that he met Gorbachev in Germany a few years ago, when the former Animals singer was there to perform on a TV show. The two got into a conversation during a private reception that Burdon says led directly to "Water," which opens the 12-song set, as well as the album's title. 
"I was wondering, 'What can I ask this guy that he would know more than I ever know? What can you tell me about? What's the world in for?' " Burdon remembers. "And he said to me, 'Water,' and I went, 'Wow.' The interpreter he was with told me that (Gorbachev's) whole political being is now to promote water awareness and how important it is,' and I would've told him right there and then, 'Well, look, can I join you? Can I help you? Is there anything we can do?'

"And then the lyrics to 'Water' came to my head. I thought, 'This is the best way ... to join the program of making people aware of how important water is in today's world.' So that was a long time ago, but the song was just recorded in the last few months."

Burdon worked on " 'Til Your Water Runs Dry" in the Los Angeles area with co-producer Tony Braunagel. The set also includes a number of autobiographically tinged songs, a tribute to one of his musical heroes ("Bo Diddley Special") and a cover of Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me." "The basis of everything that I plugged into when I was younger was blues, and it always stayed with me," Burdon notes.

He'll be promoting " 'Til Your River Runs Dry" with a short tour beginning Jan. 31 in Milwaukee, and Burdon is also planning a return to the South By Southwest Music + Media Conference this year after joining Bruce Springsteen on stage at last year's edition -- and being name-checked in Springsteen's keynote address. The Animals 50th anniversary will be celebrated in Austin as well, with artists such as Brendon Benson, the Hush Sound, members of Wilco and Calexico lined up to record Animals covers and video tributes for Daytrotter, but Burdon says it's unlikely he'll be a part of those festivities.

"From my personal point of view, the Animals are dead," he explains. "They killed themselves. I kept using the name for strictly promotional purposes so that young kids would associate the Animals with the Beatles and the (Rolling) Stones and that period ... but I got sued for using the name by former members of the band. So for me it's the past. I'm all for allowing other people to do and say what they want to say, but for me it's over, and I'm on my own."

In addition to the new album, meanwhile, Burdon is also working on his third memoir, a follow-up to "I Used to Be an Animal, but I'm All Right Now" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood: A Memoir." This book, he says, will explore different aspects of his life.

"It's just about my world and people that I've met and people I love and respect," Burdon notes. "I made a conscious decision to stay away from music and musicians because that's what I've written about before. This time I'll find people in-between the gaps and the people standing the shadows and, y'know, the fellow travelers -- the fans, the promoters, the managers, the crooked cracks beneath the pavement in London and New York and Los Angeles. And the creative accountants!~ (laughs) I'm concerned a lot with my childhood and how World War II had an ongoing effect on me, things like that. At the moment I'm writing about how and when I met my missus, the woman I'm married to at the moment. That was an adventure in itself. So I have to go on a trip of discovery on that level."
We'd be happy to run YOUR review, too, if you've heard the new CD! (kk) 

>>>Boy, talk about your rare, "one of a kind" recordings! "Rolling Stone Magazine" is reporting that renown record producer Peter Asher (and once half of the hit '60's duo Peter and Gordon) has come across a homemade tape that was recorded in his bedroom featuring Paul McCartney (who was dating Peter's sister, actress Jane Asher, at the time) going over a brand new song that The Beatles (or, more precisely John Lennon) had rejected. That tune, which "wasn't good enough" for The Beatles to record, became the break-through hit for the duo, going all the way to #1 during The Summer of 1964. 
On this particular recording, Paul played him a rough run-through of the song, accompanying himself only on his acoustic guitar. In fact, at this point in time, the song's bridge hadn't even been written yet! (Asher says he had to hound McCartney to "finish up the song" as Peter and Gordon had a recording session coming up.) While there are no plans to officially (or commercially) release this track (boy, this would have been interesting addition to The Beatles' "Anthology" series!), Asher IS featuring them as part of his stage show. (kk)

My brother found an article linking the 1964 unreleased Peter Asher demo to a youtube video!
Attached is an MP3, as I downloaded the audio.
The clip is only 22 seconds long and the article claims that's all there is, which is contrary to what the Rolling Stone article says ... clearly there is more on this tape (why would Paul bring a 22-second demo???), especially if an early working of "I'll Follow The Sun" is also on this recording. This may be all that Peter Asher is sharing with his audience during his appearances ... but I have to believe there's more to it than this.  
Years ago we featured the John Lennon demo of "Bad To Me", a song The Beatles later gave away to Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. That never made it to the Anthology Series either. Too bad ... as these are bits of Beatles history that the REAL fans would love to hear in a "cleaned-up" form. (kk)

Our daughter Paige landed one of the leads in a suburban production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie", a musical I was not at all familiar with (but have now seen three times these past two weekends!!!)  She played the part of Muzzy Van Hossmer, an almost Mae West-like character in this production ... and got the chance to belt out a couple of show tunes.  (I guess Carol Channing played the part in the movie, which I've never seen ... I can only imagine a totally different take.)  

In any event, I was unfamiliar with the music from this production ... there was never really a "hit song" taken from the soundtrack ... but was quite pleasantly surprised to hear THIS song featured (albeit in Chinese!!!) on the stage.


The Happenings scored eight straight hits between 1966 and 1968, with Four Season-esque remakes of classic oldies like "See You In September" (#3, 1966); "Go Away Little Girl" (#12, 1966); "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" (#41, 1967); "Music Music Music" (#84, 1968) and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" (#46, 1968) ... but they REALLY hit the Way Back Machine when they released two of their biggest hits in 1967 ... "I Got Rhythm" (which topped the Cash Box Pop Singles Chart) and TODAY'S FORGOTTEN HIT, "My Mammy", a record that went to #13.  While their other hits may have been more familiar to the teenage audience buying records during this era (dating back to the recent '50's and early '60's), these two went all the way back to 1930 and 1920 respectively.  ("My Mammy" is probably most associated with Al Jolson ... it was, for all intents and purposes, his theme song ... but I also remember Jerry Lewis cutting a version and performing it on television a few times.)  "I Got Rhythm" is a George and Ira Gershwin tune, first featured in the 1930 musical "Girl Crazy", starring Ginger Rogers.  It became a staple for Ethel Merman, too.  (George and Ira Gershwin are bit characters in "Thoroughly Modern Millie".  When Muzzy asks them if they've written anything interesting lately, they say that they've run out of ideas.  Muzzy then greets Miss Dorothy Parker at a party and compliments her dress, telling her that she's just "a rhapsody in blue" ... at which point the Gershwin Brothers are inspired again.  Funny scene.)  kk