Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 03 - 24 - 13 )

Tomorrow is the deadline for getting your answers in for our latest Forgotten Hits Give-Away. Consider this "Last Call" if you haven't already entered. Full details (and all of the questions) can be found here:  
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Another Great Forgotten Hits Give-Away!  
(By the way, as of this moment in time, we have EIGHT contestants who have earned enough points to vie for the prize ... but there's still time to add your name to that list! We will pick and announce the winner next week ... as well as run all of the correct answers to these questions.) kk 

And it looks like further congratulations are in order for Joel Whitburn. Not only did his brand new, completely revised Country Songs book come out last week ... but he's now got ANOTHER album sitting on top of the Billboard Album Charts! Check this out ...
Hi Kent -
I know it’s hard to believe, however, I have another #1 album on next week’s charts!
It’s “Joel Whitburn Presents: Billboard #1s Classic Country”. It’s a 2-disc set on Rhino. It’s #1 on “Top Country Catalog Albums” (3/30/2013) and #7 on “Top Pop Catalog Albums”.
Here we go again!!! Should we think about another contest with my new Country book and the CD as prizes???
LOL ... I'm game if YOU are!!! But let's wrap this one up first. Readers should be sure to check the website next week ... not only to find out the answers to all the trivia questions that stumped you ... but also to find out who wins a copy of Joel's #1 '70's CD as well as a copy of his Billboard '70's Chart Book! (kk)  

Hi Kent,  
That is a great photo of The Ides of March. Did you notice that there wasn’t a St. Patrick’s Day that year according to the calendar behind them?

Glad to see that Barry Richards video is out. I had some communications with the ones putting it together a long time back. Sugarloaf performed “Tongue In Cheek” on the show and I have a photo with a caption that pertains to their appearance. I checked a couple of times to see if it had been released and then kind of forgot about it. Thank you very much for reminding me. I am definitely going to buy a copy.
Too funny! I didn't even notice that the 17th was missing! I tried to reach Barry Richards to talk a little about his program but he never got back to me. You can order the DVD through his website. (kk)  
Click here: Barry Richards Shows

Hi Kent 
Good info on Jim Peterik and the Ides of March!  

Great idea about getting Jim Peterik on the David Letterman show -- I would love to see him up there jamming with Paul Shaffer and the band! Consider me on board!
What we need to do is get EVERYBODY on board ... post, tweet, email ... whatever it takes ... to your entire network ... and then ask them to do the same to their entire list ... and so on and so on and so on. I really believe that if we can stir up enough attention for this, we can make it happen. I mean why WOULDN'T Paul Shaffer want to have Jim sit in with the band? He's playing "Vehicle" and "Eye Of The Tiger" anyway! How much cooler would it be to go into a break and have the REAL GUY up there playing and singing with them?!?!? I'm telling you, we can make this happen people ... but everybody's got to do their part. And Dee Jays ... we could REALLY use your help with this. C'mon ... you're playing "Vehicle" and "Eye of the Tiger" every single day anyway ... how hard would it be to say something like "Ya know, I hear there's a campaign building to get Jim Peterik on to The David Letterman Show to perform that song with Paul Shaffer and the band." Play it up as a GREAT idea and let them know you're behind us on this ... ask them to show THEIR support for it, too ... and encourage your listeners to hit Paul's Facebook page ... or email their support to Forgotten Hits. Let's all get behind this and see if we can make it happen! (kk)

Kent -
Jim has a new record coming out - it is a smooth jazz release and the label that it is coming out on is distributed by CPI Dist. (Clay Pasternack, Inc.) and I am involved with the running of the label. I can put you in touch with David Chackler, who owns Nugroove Music LLC - the label Jim is to be on - if you're interested.
Clay Pasternack Inc.
Rocky River, Ohio
It's great to see Jim Peterik still so involved with music ... seems like every time you turn around he's got something new to offer, whether it be live shows or new recordings ... and we've now come to expect virtually ANY genre of music. Thanks, Clay! (kk)  


(Gee, why didn't I think of that?!?!? Teaming Tommy up with a couple of other headliners ... and then watch the folks line up to see them!) Now how about bringing THIS show to Chicago!!! (Calling Ron Onesti!!!) Tommy and Henry are both Forgotten Hits Readers ... and while I've never actually talked to Walter Egan, I DID perform his big hit song "Magnet And Steel" back in the day! In fact, FH Reader David Lewis even posted a snippet of me doing it up on YouTube a short while back!
Man, it'd be GREAT if we could get somebody to pick this act up for here in Chicago! (kk)    

Speaking of upcoming shows ... we just got this GREAT review about the new Teen Idols Tour, featuring Micky Dolenz, Peter Noone and David Cassidy ... and, thanks to Tom Cuddy, a short interview with Peter from last week's Mark Simone Show on WOR: 

Teen Idols, 2013

Micky, Peter and David performed a great show at the NYCB Theater at Westbury, NY on March 22nd. However, it was a different configuration of this grouping than fans are usually used to as this configuration consisted of Micky Dolenz, Peter Noone and David Cassidy on the first date of their Teen Idols 2013 Tour. The three former ‘Teen Idols’ (now all in their 60’s) gave a wonderful and entertaining show full of classic tunes and lots of laughs. All three came onstage together with Cassidy acting as the Master of Ceremonies, starting with a great version of the Stray Cats ‘Rock This Town’, then each presented their individual hits to a cheering audience.
Micky Dolenz was in amazing voice singing his Monkees hits which included ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’, ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’ (with the songs’ writer Vance Brescia on guitar as part of the band), ‘She’, ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’, and along with Noone and Cassidy, led the crowd in an emotional rendition of ‘Daydream Believer’, the Monkees song associated with the late Davy Jones and to which the performance was dedicated.

Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits was a ball of fire and in fantastic voice, working the Westbury stage like a pro and keeping everyone, including his fellow performers, in hysterics with his impersonations and ad libs, going into the audience and joining the crowd and making it a much more personable show. Besides his Hermit’s hits like ‘Silhouettes’, ‘End Of The World’, ‘Henry The 8th, ‘Listen People’, ‘I’m Into Something Good’ (in which he was joined by Cassidy who covered it during his Partridge Family period), Noone also did funny renditions of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ and the Rolling Stones ‘Start Me Up’, doing an imitation of Mick Jagger’s stage swagger better than Jagger. Peter Noone kept the evening hopping, heckling Micky and Cassidy and even going into the audience and sat with the crowd to watch David Cassidy perform, as he explained he never saw Cassidy in concert before. The crowd loved Peter Noone and he definitely stole the show.
The first half of the show was primarily Dolenz and Noone doing their hits, then after a short intermission, David Cassidy took over the second half of the show performing his Partridge Family hits. Cassidy is a fantastic guitar player and happily demonstrated his chops during the show, starting with a funky version of the Partridge Family theme ‘C’mon Get Happy’. Dolenz and Noone returned to the stage and Cassidy went into a set which included Partridge hits like ‘I Woke Up In Love This Morning’, ‘Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted’ (where Cassidy included the admittedly cheesy ‘spoken bit’ of the song), and ‘I’ll Meet You Halfway’. Throughout Cassidy’s set he was good naturedly heckled by Dolenz and especially Noone, which kept the audience and the performers in stitches. During the show, Micky made a request of David to sing a song which wasn’t on the set list, ‘Cherish’, which was Cassidy’s biggest solo hit, and David’s performance was heartfelt and emotional and was a major highlight of the show.

Cassidy was much more relaxed and outgoing than he’s been at previous solo shows as he was sharing the stage with two other performers, so he didn’t have to carry the show alone and was much more at ease and was clearly having a lot of fun. Before he started his performance of his first Partridge hit, ‘I Think I Love You’, Cassidy interacted with a female fan, asking the woman’s husband if it was ok, and the fellow joined in by taking photos of Cassidy and his wife together, with Peter Noone getting in on the act and Micky making comments from the side. The crowd were on their feet during the finale, with the three singers performing their biggest hits, ‘‘I Think I Love You’, ‘There’s A Kind Of Hush’, ‘I’m A Believer’.
The Teen Idols 2013 show at Westbury was a great tour starter, all three performers appeared comfortable sharing the stage together and all appeared relaxed and loose, especially Cassidy. The fun extended beyond the stage and into the audience, who expressed their pleasure and enjoyment loudly. During the intermission Peter Noone signed autographs and took photos with fans and after the show both Noone and Micky Dolenz signed autographs and took photos at their respective souvenir booths. (David Cassidy wasn’t selling his own individual tour merchandise at the show.) The show was fantastic with a lot of energy from all three performers and they were backed by a great band which included members from the bands of each of the main performers. For those who will be attending shows during this tour, you’re all in for a great time
-- Fred V.

Here's one from Clark Besch that manages to tie together The Ides Of March, St. Patrick's Day and Super 'CFL, circa 1970! He even included a nice response from King B, Ron Britain!!! Check it out! (kk) 
Every year, it's the same old thing. The Ides of March (March 15) creeps up on me as does St. Patrick's Day (March 17). I assume the Chicago River turned green again this year? I had nothing to do with it (hee hee). Being half Irish, I thought I'd share the attached photo I sent to Ron Britain of 60's WCFL from the good old days of the "Men from 10"!! This was Ron and his gang of 10'ers from 'CFL on a cold day in Chicago on a St. Patrick's Day, 1970 float. It actually ties in with the Ides of March day as the Ides' hit "Vehicle" would debut the day before on the CFL survey at #32 on its way to hit-dom.   

Here is my original message to Ron Britain and his response: 
Oh hallowed King B, how for art thou? I wish to bring you a warmer and sunny St. Patrick's Day upcoming unlike the attached photo from what I am guessing is the Chicago St. Patrick's Day in 1970 or maybe 71? It looks like quite a miserable day to be on a float in Chicago. It probably wasn't the first or last for you either, right? The voice of labor DID have some drawbacks?? Or did you by chance enjoy it? It does not look like it.
Can you help me ID the "Men (women too) from 10"??? Here's what I thought from left to right:
Larry O'Brien, Ron Britain (sitting down freezing?), Jim Stagg, Clark Weber (back to camera with Weber written on back of coat), (black woman and blond woman behind her), Paul Christie, (another woman in red--maybe it is CHI CHI??? Haha), Barney Pip (Land HO!! pose leading the CFL Charge!).
How'd I do? The bottom front of the float lists Biondi and Robert E Lee, but I don't see them unless I am wrong on above IDs.

Hi Clark:
It is always great hearing from you and your opening line made me laugh. That's quite a stretch.
Seeing that pix brought back so many parade memories and St. Patrick's Day was always unpredictable, either piecing, penetratingly cold or one year it was even warm enough that one Irishman jumped into the Chicago River from the State Street bridge. I think that might have happened in 1966.
As for the pix you sent, that was in 1970 and your line up is pretty close. The black woman is actually Wanda Wells, a newswoman and I'm not sure about the woman in red, maybe Mary Sweeney. Mary was the most creative promotion director I ever knew and she often not only arranged things but took part in them herself. She was pretty funny, doing things like riding a bicycle up and down the halls of WCFL dressed in a nun's habit and wearing huge black and white sun glasses.
You are probably right when you said that I didn't look like I was enjoying it ... I seldom did! But at least I was in a warm coat. Thx, Clark. Happy St. Patrick's day to you too. Take care and wella, wella.

More from Clark ...    
That picture from the Record Show was pretty blurry. You must have been too excited when you took the picture? Haha
BTW, I have the Riley aircheck you bought and truth be told, NO ONE then or today could interview Van Morrison without the guy being TOTALLY disinterested in anything you would have to say or ask. The guy just has no personality when it comes to being interviewed, so remember Ron was trying hard, but Van was working AGAINST him all the way, just as he does today.
I know they had TONS of commercials and news breaks all the time back then, but remember, too, that you could tune the dial 10 KC in Dodge City and get another top 40 station that easily!
890 WLS, 900 KEYN Wichita, 910 KLSI Salina, 930 WKY OKC, 940 KIXZ Amarillo, 950 KIMN Denver, 1000 WCFL Chicago, etc. A flick of the wrist and you were recording a new gem somewhere!
You may remember that while we had our radios under our heads (I still have ONE of the transistor radios I used then and it works fine today) at 10 PM for Art Roberts' top three requested (usually brand new songs), it took until about 10:20 for #1 to get done playing, even tho they played only three songs in that time. LOTS of cool info in that time, however.
Art would tell us the number 5 and 4 most requested of the night and then play #3. Then, Art would mention all the people calling in and fan clubs calling in and birthday messages. Then commercials (Cornhuskers Lotion, tackle skin cream, Household Finance, etc). Then on to #2 and more "hello's" to callers and then more commercials and upcoming concerts, then other songs we voted for (lots of local 45s mentioned here) and then the top 5 a year ago (I wish I had his lists he kept) and then "the moment we've all been waiting for! #1 by your vote ... " I taped more than a few of these moments and remember often hearing a GREAT song for the very first time. I recorded Donovan's "Universal Soldier" as it strolled in at #2 in 65 and what a song I thought. OR "They're Coming to Take Me Away Haha" when I thought the beginning was Dylan's "Rainy Day Women" and wondered why it was back months later in the top 3 requested until I heard the Napoleon vocal kick in. We knew we could hear the unavailable trumpet ending "Penny Lane" or the soundtrack only "Listen People" or all the new 45s we could not buy yet in stores. That WAS excitement and radio of the 60's!
Attached, you will find one of many feeble attempts to make regular listings of Art's nightly top 5 most requested songs. Considering WLS did not come in well in the summer months, this particular week I am judging was from mid-August, 1965 showed how BIG Herman's hermits were in Chi-town with the staying power of "Henry VII" while battling newcomers "Catch Us If You Can" and FH member "I'm a Fool" DDB! The fabs were, of course, the faves of the day with the great B side getting #1 most requested one night!!! And it never made the Hot 100! I started typing in April, 1965, when I was typing radio countdowns. I was an old man of nine years old.
I have some reels to still transcribe to disc someday in my basement. Some are from other collectors, some bought online, some my own tapes (I have transcribed most of those), and three I found in my brother's shed outside just three years ago! Three of the four Besch brothers recorded off top 40 radio in the 60's at one time or another. My neighbor even told me HE had some tapes from local KLMS Lincoln in his garage! Time to retire and remember!! Next month, I'll be an old man of 57! So Cds are going to go bad after 20 years? Some of these reel to reel tapes have already lasted 50+ years and I can still play em!
Luckily, today, kids can download the song before it hits radio and not have any fun tuning a dial. Yeah, lots of fun -- NOT!!! It's fun to see the MP3 player play a song -- almost just like I watched countless different cool record labels spin around while singing along or playing DJ over them -- NOT!! Yeah, it's so much more fun to NOT hear Henson Cargill, Otis Redding, 1910 Fruitgum Co., Cryan Shames, Donovan in a half hour, than the same 20 sound-alike songs over and over in 24 hours on a strict format station -- NOT!!!
Current Top 40 Radio still employs these tactics ... I remember driving my daughter home several times at night where we had to wait in the car because they hadn't quite finished the "9 at 9 Most Requested Songs" yet ... proving that there IS still an audience for this type of programming. And, much like what you described above Clark, quite often these songs are brand new releases or album tracks that don't necessarily fit into the "regular airplay" category yet ... and for today's 16 or 17 year old, it's just as exciting as it was for us way back then. (Carson Daly became a household name hosting TRL - Total Request Live - on MTV several years ago, honoring the same format in the digital age of emails, texts and tweets.) This still works. So why can't the rock-head programmers realize that format including  "personality radio", which would allow the jocks to make a deeper connection with their audience would work, too? Simply put, it's programming with blinders on ... and we've made this point time and time again for the past 13 years.
Why do you play the same songs and artists over and over again?
Because research tells us this is what the listeners want to hear.
But you're playing exactly the same music every other radio station in town is playing.
See that proves my point ... they wouldn't all be playing it if it wasn't working.
Wouldn't deviating from that mindset make YOUR radio station stand out ... as the guys who are playing something different? Something new and exciting?  Wouldn't that make YOUR station "unique"???
No ... we'd be out of business ... everyone wants to hear exactly what we're playing or every other radio station in town wouldn't be playing it, too.
Reminds me of the cartoon of the cannon salesman hidden behind the rock with the Indian chief trying to hold off his attackers with his bow and arrow.
But would you at least CONSIDER this new technology? You may find this upgrade can help you win the war!
Don't bother me now ... can't you see I'm in the middle of a war? 
At least in THIS case somebody on the OTHER side took the time to listen.
And guess what ... with a little open-minded thinking, they won the war.
Why is radio so stupid?!?!? 

Hi kk,
Next time you visit the Chicagoland Record Show, see if they've added to their collection!

We've run DOZENS of these parody covers over the years ... one of these days I'll have to put up an official "Whipped Cream" tribute page on the website! VERY cool to walk into the show and see these on display! (I was disappointed by how badly my pictures came out, too. For one thing, I totally SUCK with a cell phone camera ... which is a better excuse than saying I only had one free hand to snap these because my OTHER hand was busy "enjoying" all of the "Whipped Cream" art on display, I guess!!! (kk)

Thanks for the kind words. First of all while I knew there was an interview with Van Morrison on one of those shows, I had forgotten which one. I haven't listened to them in years. I'm not sure if you were aware of this or not, but Van Morrison is a notoriously difficult person to interview and doesn't mind telling you that he hates doing it, but he treats it as a necessary evil. Glad you had a good time at the show and it was good seeing you again. It's probably been close to 15 years. Too bad Chet didn't show up. There's always the show on May 19th. I need you to show up more often. In 35 years of doing these @#$%! shows, it's the best one I've ever done. By far. Hope you decide to get a table for next time, or soon. For all FH readers out there, record shows are a great place to pick up obscurities that you thought you'd never find. Moreover, you get to examine the product for possible defects, rather than assume some buyer's definition of VG on ebay is the same as yours. They have them all over the country and in Europe. I'll be in Louisville on the 24th, in case anyone in FH land lives in that area. It's a music junkie's version of a kid in a candy store. Even if you don't buy anything, you'll easily get your two or three dollar's worth of entertainment. You'll meet dozens of people who, like you, love music. A side benefit is that you may find your future partner there. I met Mrs. Rock And Roll Never Forgets in the very room that Kent, Ron and I were in. And if you're an unattached woman whose passion is music, this could be a place to meet new people. Also, may I say it's because of Kent that I found out about these shows over 35 years ago and before I met Kent, I thought I was the only weirdo who had an interest in top 40 surveys. (I still have well over 10,000 available, as well as the airchecks Kent was referring to). We tend to forget what radio was like back in the day, we just have such fond memories of the music. Hope to see you soon.

Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)   

In November, I went to the Hillside record show that you mentioned yesterday. After searching for a parking space I went inside and saw that the show is bigger than I ever remember. The two rooms for the show no longer held all the vendors. They spilled out into the surrounding hallways. I finally found Jack Levin's table and we did some trading. I saw Ron Smith, but the aisles were almost impassable with people on either side browsing through boxes of vinyl so I never made it over to say hello. You are right. The vinyl record show scene is alive and well.   
I have found out what happened to all the forgotten hits that radio no longer plays. They turn up on prime time TV commercials. The other day I heard Chris Montez' 1961 hit "Let's Dance" in a Designer Shoe Warehouse commercial. I was happy to see that they, at least, remember the sixties. It made me want to buy some shoes.
Ed Erxleben
You're right about some of the aisles being impassable ... I gave up a couple of times ... which is bad for sales if you happen to be a dealer stuck down at the end of one of those aisles. If the show is now this successful, they really ought to think about expanding the layout to three full rooms, space things out a bit more and let EVERYBODY (buyers and sellers) benefit from the increased traffic.
I actually heard the Chris Montez "Let's Dance" commercial the other day, too ... hey, ANYTHING to help keep this great music alive! (kk)   

Well, I remember radio being repetitive, but there were two differences.
1: The Jocks got to chat about music about personal appearances, etc., and we all wanted to know that stuff.
2: It was today's music -- our music -- and within a month or two it would be replaced by the newer batch.
When we listen to oldies radio, they've settled on the few songs that they think are oldies and that's all we'll get forever and ever. Amen.
Record shows!!!! Yum!!! I need to go to one, it's been a very long time.
My point exactly ... the "turnover" on radio back then was unparalleled ... it was, without question, the most creative and inventive time in music ... and new sounds were being fed to us on a daily basis. With all that there is to draw from, it blows me away that radio programmers are content to just isolate two or three hundred songs and then blanketly state that THIS defines and represents the era. I couldn't narrow it down to 200 artists, much less 200 songs!!!
The record shows have clearly changed. (Sounds like the next one here locally is May 19th). If I can get my act together in time, I may give it a shot as a dealer again, just to see what inspires sales these days. Stay tuned! (kk)

The only difference between these airchecks -- and I've found this from MANY stations around the nation -- and what radio has been doing more recently, is that the advertising WASN'T all bunched together -- you'd be lucky if two songs were played back to back, but ads, meanwhile, would be two, three, or four at a clip.
The pacing was extraordinary back then ... we still get four and five minute commercial breaks today ... and most of us switch the channel then to see what else is on. And I remember the repeativeness, too ... and it wasn't a problem for me then because I, like every other teenager listening, couldn't wait to hear our latest favorite song again. Heck, we were calling in requesting it or asking when it might come on again. Here in Chicago, if we just heard "Hanky Panky" for example on WLS, we might switch over to WCFL to see if they'd playing, figuring that WLS wouldn't play it again for at least another hour or so. And maybe Top 40 Radio is still like that today on the KISS-FM stations or stations like B-96 here in Chicago. (A reader recently wrote in that on a recent road trip with her daughter she had to endure "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jensen 16 times during the course of their travels. And yeah, OUR radio was like that, too.)
But back then The Top 40 changed so quickly ... even the biggest hits only got played for about 8-10 weeks before something new shoved it out of the way ... and new releases were hitting the stations constantly. Back then artists put out four or five singles per year ... some put out three ALBUMS per year!!! It wasn't until the '70's that albums started to take three or four years to make ... in the '60's, every time you walked into a record store you were treated to a new surprise!
My objection is more with oldies radio and classic hits radio ... back then, radio made it work (and kept things exciting) with a playlist of 40 tunes, a couple of tracks from the vault and maybe a new release or an album track now and then. (We also had the artists singing many of our favorite commercials, all perfectly aimed at the teenage audience who was tuning in to listen ... what better way to get a response!!!) Today ... with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (or, more accurately, 50+ years of play lists available) WHY on earth are they still playing the same 40 songs and/or artists so repetitively when they now have literally 10,000 songs to choose from!?!?!? Now they can REALLY break up the music and feature ALL of these great tracks that won us over way back when. There ARE no limits!!! (Not in a day where the average iPod holds 10,000 songs or more ... of EXACTLY what you want to hear!!!)
Get with the program, radio ... quite honestly today ... in THIS day and age ... EVERY listener out there now programs better than you do ... because they have the ability and the resources to do so. You will NEVER be able to compete with that until you get out of your narrow mind-set and offer something new, creative and different that might spark an audience to tune in to listen to you instead. Otherwise, it's over! (kk)    

How cool is this? All our vintage deejays will LOVE this clip! And listen to the pipes on this young kid! Top 40 Radio at its very best! Thanks, Mike, this is a GREAT clip! (kk)  
Hi Kent -
I found this YouTube video that I think you and your readers will enjoy. Don Schuster is on the mic at Detroit’s WWWW in 1970. He also demonstrates equipment, reads some ads, does the weather, and really digs the music that he’s playing! Looks like it may have been shot on Super 8 film. A great visual document of how radio was!
- Mike Lane / Minneapolis     

 Nobody but nobody ran a tighter "board" in Chicago in the 60's than Jimmy P. Stagg. But, the best pure jock - bar none - was Joel Sebastian. Ron Britain, the first mainstream jock, to really "dig" into album cuts, deep cuts, and just damn good music - stuff that wasn't gonna be top 40 material - finishes a close second.  
Chet Coppock

Over the years, I've heard such an outpouring of respect for the talents of Joel Sebastian ... but honestly, when I was a kid growing up tuning in to Super 'CFL here in Chicago, he always struck me as the jock that my MOM would most likely listen to. (Kinda like Bernie Allen at WLS) ... yeah, they were part of the "team" ... but the KIDS listened to Ron Riley and Art Roberts ... or Ron Britain and Barney Pip ... although I, too, TOTALLY dug the sounds of Jim Stagg, Larry Lujack and so many others. I loved the Clark Weber / Ron Riley feud although I think Clark, too, catered to an older listening audience ... but it was guys like Weber and Joel Sebastian that made WLS and WCFL tolerable for the whole family to listen to. Heck, I remember guys like Wally Phillips and Howard Miller playing cuts like "Winchester Cathedral", "King Of The Road", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "Somethin' Stupid" trying to hold on to ANY shred of the teenage audience! (kk)   

And, speaking of radio ...

Chicagoland Radio and Media reports the latest Arbitron Ratings for the month of February ... and I honestly can't say that I'm at all surprised.
In the most desirable listener demographic (folks aged 25 - 54), K-Hits (which offers a bit more variety in its programming, but also focuses on the '60's, '70's and '80's) has now jumped ahead of WLS-FM by a significant margin. While WLS-FM's ratings were admittedly up, their overall base has now fallen so far that the best they could muster for this ratings period was a tie for 20th place! 
Here's the scoop, courtesy Lars at CRM: 
In the Classic Hits format battle between WLS-FM and WJMK-FM, K-Hits continues to win in this demo. WJMK-FM/104.3 K-Hits increased its share by .2 in the February period, now sitting at a 2.9 share, good enough for a tie at #14. WLS-FM also increased by a .2 share, but only has a 2.2 share now and sits at a tie for #20. In comparison, for the February 2012 ratings period, WLS-FM had a 3.9 share and was tied at #9, while WJMK-FM was #21 with a 2.2 share. In 2013, these two stations seem to be on opposite paths for the Persons 25-54 demographic. 
One surprise I didn't expect to see was a dramatic drop in The Drive's ratings ... I would have expected their listenership to soar thanks to the battle between these other two stations. Instead they experienced a drop of 1.0, knocking them out of The Top Ten for the first time that I can remember. Hands down, The Drive still continues to offer the most unique and creative programming on the dial ... so this one completely baffles me. I would have expected an INCREASE of at least that much if only because of the boring, nauseating repetition being offered by everyone else in town! (kk)   

Hi, double k ...
I heard, no kidding, John Mellencamp 11 times yesterday on my car radio ... my shrink says it may take months to get over the damage! Meanwhile, it's been a wonderful today. I haven’t heard Steve Miller's "Fly Like An Eagle" at all. But there are still 17 hours left on the scoreboard.  
Chet  Coppock   

We saw John Landecker recently on The Morning Show (I think that's the name. I don't watch too much TV. Too busy listening to radio!) and I must say they gave him very little time. It almost seemed as if the time was all for them to build up to their own version of John's trademark "Boogie Check". Of course the caller John had to identify was none other than Super Jock himself, Larry Lujack. Listening to Lujack I thought John looked visibly uncomfortable as Uncle Lar playfully (or was it?) railed about people writing books and including things about him. Lujack even refers to Clark Weber's book. One thing that struck me as the segment came to an abrupt end was that Lujack is his era's version of Howard Stern ... he's a bitter old man, and whoever organized having Lujack on took away the focus of John's visit to The Morning Show, which was to promote his book.
- Bish
WRLR 98.3 FM
Lujack's VERY dry approach is an acquired taste ... I happen to have loved him from the beginning ... but there is no doubt that there is at least a little bit of truth in virtually every sarcastic comment he makes. (This guy has seen it all over the years ... and even wrote his OWN book at one time ... which he now tells people NOT to read or buy!!!) I love the guy ... and sincerely miss hearing him now more than ever after we got a little taste of Lujack and Tommy Edwards together again on Real Oldies / WRLL a few years ago. When Frannie first moved here, she used to listen to "The Beat", Lujack's previous comeback attempt on Chicago radio, playing primarily R&B Hits from the '60's, '70's and '80's. She HATED him! I said, "Give it a week ... two weeks tops ... and you'll be hooked" ... and sure enough, she fell in love with him just as I had growing up listening to Lujack in the '70's. We miss you Uncle Lar ... but you really SHOULD have some level of respect for your fellow jocks ... especially the ones (like Landecker and Sirott) who brought something extra to the medium. (kk)

Tom Cuddy sent us THIS article on Landecker's new book (which is essentially the same thing posted by Robert Feder a couple of weeks ago). Most of this information was tipped here in Forgotten Hits last week, too:

John Records Landecker (1977)
No radio star in America burned more brightly in the 1970s than John Records Landecker.
But after reading his stunningly candid new memoir, Records Truly Is My Middle Name, it’s a wonder the guy didn’t just burn out. If the alcohol, cocaine and other drugs didn’t kill him, then his four wives, all the other women in his life, or the maniacal managers he worked for probably could have.
Happily for all of us, Landecker is alive and well at 65, and still on the radio today — hosting evenings at WLS-FM (94.7), occupying the same air shift and uttering the same call letters he did when he first took Chicago by storm in 1972.
It’s a fitting time for Landecker to look back on his long and influential career, along with more than 30 friends and colleagues who contributed their insights and recollections to this splendid, thoroughly engaging memoir.
The story begins with his arrival in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents prophetically chose his mother’s maiden name — Records — as his middle name. “They had no way of knowing that their son would become a radio disc jockey, or that this name they had chosen would become my unlikely calling card,” he writes. But if that didn’t foretell his destiny, by the time young John set up a pretend radio station in his bedroom closet, this precocious baby boomer’s future was set.
Those early years at 50,000-watt WLS-AM (890) were a magical time for Landecker and for millions (yes, millions) of devoted listeners all over the country. While still in his 20s, he elevated Top 40 radio to performance art each night with his quick wit, high energy and rapid-fire style, honing such trademark bits as Boogie Check and Americana Panorama. (See for yourself: There’s an award-winning documentary on YouTube about Landecker, Studio A: A Profile of a Disc Jockey, produced in 1977 by James R. Martin.)
He also inspired a generation to follow, including a kid from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, named Jonathon Brandmeier, who not only emulated Landecker but went around impersonating him in bars to score free drinks. “He didn’t just talk,” Brandmeier recalls. “He had this rhythm in his voice. If Larry Lujack showed us all that it was OK to be yourself on the air, John Records showed us not to forget the showbiz. Records was showbiz. He worked the music. He talked in rhythm with the music, on the beats; he became a part of the song. There was no better radio guy, pure Top 40 energy, no one better.”
If Landecker sounded different than every other jock, it was by design: He insisted that his microphone be turned down and the music be turned up. “My mind started reeling,” engineer Al Rosen recalls. “For one thing, no DJ had ever told me to bring his voice down before, and second, it did sound amazing. When John did an introduction over the intro of a Chicago record, his voice was actually just a little lower than Peter Cetera’s! It did put him inside the music, and I think [that] was a subliminal part of the Landecker show sound.”
The ’70s were a golden age for talent at the Big 89, too. There were no rivalries because each personality was unique and respected, encouraged by great managers like John Gehron to let his or her creativity flourish. “I haven’t worked at a radio station before or since that had the kind of camaraderie we had at WLS in the 1970s,” Landecker writes. “It was like one big non-stop party.”
Especially in Bob Sirott, the afternoon star who preceded him, Landecker found a kindred spirit. “On the air we treated the radio station as a tool for our amusement,” recalls Landecker. “We would show up on each other’s shows unannounced. There was nothing phony about our on-air kidding around. Everyone genuinely liked each other.”
The toughest nut to crack among their colleagues was Larry Lujack, the morning legend. Soon after he arrived from WIBG in Philadelphia, Landecker made the mistake of declaring in a jock meeting that he didn’t think Elvis was that great. Lujack, a huge Elvis fan, glared at him: “You don’t know anything about music, you... Phil... a... del... phia... FUCK!”
Fast-forward five years later to the day Elvis died. Landecker, who was at the station when the news broke, was sure the Elvis-loving Lujack would want to know. So Landecker called him at home. “Who cares?” Lujack growled into the phone. “I’m taking a nap.”
While the mass quantities of alcohol and drugs Landecker ingested must have taken their toll, changes in the radio landscape were even bigger factors in his decision to leave WLS in 1981. By the time up-and-comer Steve Dahl signed to host afternoons on WLS-FM, Landecker already had an offer from CFTR in Toronto. “It wasn’t about Steve,” Landecker writes of his parting. “It was about a company that had spent years telling me things had to be done a certain way, suddenly doing a complete 180, with yours truly on the wrong end. I felt betrayed. I was hurt; extremely upset.”
Though he was out of the market less than three years, things were never the same for Landecker when he returned to Chicago at the end of 1983. Calling it his “descent into darkness,” his stints at WLUP, WAGO, WCKG and back at WLS were, for the most part, unhappy and unsuccessful. “While my ratings were descending, my personal life was too,” he writes. “By this time, I was really drinking heavily, and when I say heavily, that’s not an exaggeration. One day I showed up for work with a full bottle of vodka. I was drinking openly in the studio, right out of the bottle.”
After a detour at WPHR in Cleveland and a brief role as a talent agent working for notorious con man Saul Foos, Landecker landed a morning gig at WJMK in 1993. A lengthy part of the book covers his 10-year stint there, no doubt because his loyal and talented executive producer at the time, Rick Kaempfer, worked closely with him on the memoir and published it through his Eckhartz Press.
Kaempfer coaxes his former boss to tell just enough about the wild and reckless days (including the cocaine-fueled threesome that lasted a whole weekend) to be racy without being lurid. But the most revealing passages are those in which Landecker confesses his guilt as a less-than-ideal father of two daughters.
“My drugs and alcohol did heavy damage to my family and my relationship to my children,” he writes. “I put my children in many inappropriate situations. I exposed them to parts of life that are not for kids. . . . I can only try to be a better person today. I have an eight-year-old granddaughter who has never seen me drunk, and I love her to death. Whatever parental DNA I’ve got left will be passed on to her when needed.”
As forthright as he is about his sins, Landecker doesn’t go out of his way to call out others. I’m pretty sure I know the apoplectic program director who threatened to fire him if he played the Dixie Chicks, and the spineless general manager who forced him to call and apologize to every listener who complained about his show. But I wish he’d named names.
Records Truly Is My Middle Name includes a treasure trove of rare photos and personal mementos along with a 30-page addendum featuring transcripts of his best bits, parody songs and interviews. While official publication is set for March 28 — Landecker’s 66th birthday — it’s available for ordering online now at

OOOOOOOH! I am so jealous! You midwesterners will be remembering and rockin' in style this June on the Route 66 Radio Tour. Oh wait a minute! That's right! I will be teaching until H--- freezes over this year ... due to the fact that H--- already tried to do that this winter.
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano  

Don't forget Joey Levine, the lead singer on most of the Ohio Express hits and also the lead on chart singles by studio concoctions, the Third Rail, the Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus and Reunion. Where would K-K Productions have been without him?
Dann Isbell  

I LOVE that "Great Shakes" commercial we found featuring Dusty Springfield hawking this product ... so I immediately sent it to Jonathan Vankin and Kirsten Holly Smith, the two folks responsible for the "Forever Dusty" Musical now playing Off Broadway. THEY loved it, too, and immediately added it to their Facebook page. Here are a couple of comments that I saw:
That is hilarious, Kent! Thanks! I'm gonna post it on our Facebook page.

  1. DID YOU KNOW that Dusty did a number of commercial endorsements, including this one in 1967 for the home milkshake mix, "Great Shakes"? So, who wants a milkshake?
    You can't get a milkshake at
    New World Stages but you can get most any other drink and bring it into the theater! Try it at our TWO Forever Dusty the Musical shows tomorrow 2:30 & 7pm. Text "Dusty" to 63566 for a special discount code.

Hey Kent,
I enjoyed listening to the Dusty Springfield commercial on Great Shakes. I do remember it and loved making those shakes! Yes, there were lots of artists cutting commercials for Coke and Pepsi, but how many did it for 7up? Here are a couple by the Kingston Trio. When all the boys were still alive, they tried to put together a reunion tour, sponsored by 7up, but couldn't convince the company that it would be profitable.

- John LaPuzza
OK, this is a CLASSIC!!! And I love the way they're trying to sell THEMSELVES to 7-Up as being the perfect spokesmen ... and then trying to sell the product to their audience!  Excellent! (kk)  


In today's comments, you asked the question at the bottom if anyone had seen the show "Bates Motel?", a prequel to Alfred Hitch-Shocks PSYCHO. Haven't seen it personally, but the first song that came to my mind was not the one you posted, but the song PSYCHO which Bobby Hendricks recorded in 1960 on Sue Records. Here in the OKC area it peaked at number 6 in November of that year.
Yeah, that would have been the more obvious choice ... I took the subtle route with "Norman", a Top Three Smash for Sue Thompson in 1962.
I'm in a Hitchcock mood of late, I guess. We watched "The Girl" on HBO a couple of months ago, which we followed up by watching "Marnie" and "The Birds" ... then tonight we watched the Anthony Hopkins film "Hitchcock" followed by "Psycho" ... and now we're all hooked on "Bates Motel", the new A&E Series. Seems like Hitch is hot again! (And I always loved his television theme song, too!) kk

Hi Kent,
Really like what you did with Friday's top ten ...
It is really odd that you would have Edward Bear's song. This is the second time this week I heard "Last Song". I have been listening to my cassettes lately. I always listen to my Ipod or CDs or I break out my vinyl but I rarely listen to my cassettes. I have one entitled "Mystic Music presents Mellow Gold". Edward's song is the last song on the B side. When I heard it the other day I said ... wow ... I had forgotten all about that song ... and here it is again ... what are the odds?
I also totally agree with you about Andy Gibb's song. I really hated "Shadow Dancing". "Love is Thicker than Water" was a way better song.

I like what you did last week with the top ten songs from yesteryear -- all great songs that nobody plays anymore.
I was going to go all the way up thru ten years ago (2003) but it was pretty slim pickings for decent material after 1978!!! (lol) kk  

Hi Kent,
Great idea. I had not heard any of these songs in decades. Keep them coming. I will be heading to iTunes or Amazon to add to my library. Here’s hoping that some radio people are paying attention.
That's really all we can hope for, Tom! (kk)