Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

Congratulations are in order ... just got this notice from FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...

The double-disc compilation The Very Best Of Chicago, Only the Beginning is number-one this week on Billboard magazine's Catalog Chart and Digital Catalog chart. More impressively, it's number-20 overall, on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. That makes Chicago the first American band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades.   

Petula Clark has a brand new album coming out ... and on it she does a new, slowed down version of her biggest hit "Downtown". (She also does what Collectors' Choice Music describes as a pretty "creepy version" of the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy".) Great to see that she's still making music at the ripe old age of 80!!! You can check it out here: Click here: Petula Clark - Downtown (New Version) 2013 - YouTube (I wonder what Tony Hatch thinks of this version??? Good review on YouTube) kk  

A few months back we told you about B.J. Thomas' new album, "The Living Room Sessions", a series of duet remakes of his best known hits.
FH Reader Tom Cuddy just sent us this new interview with B.J. running in Billboard Magazine ... sounds like this one may be worth picking up ... some interesting pairings here! (kk)
It goes without saying that B.J. Thomas is one of music's most versatile voices of all time. He's had success with pop, gospel, A/C, and country over the years. So, it's no surprise that his influence has cut a wide path over each of those formats. His new disc, "The Living Room Sessions," features duet performances with artists from many different genres. Thomas told Billboard that the idea to re-record his hits was something that he has long resisted.
"We got involved with Sandy Knox and Katie Gillon, and this great company they have in Wrinkled Records," he said of his new musical partners. "We were so excited because they are such great music people that when they suggested we do the hits unplugged, e thought it's a great way to re-introduce ourselves. I've always been kind of a low-key guy. If I don't have a record out, I'm pretty quiet. There are also some plans to do some other music in the future. It was a very relaxed, stress free setting, and I hope people will feel good when they hear it."
One cut that brings those feel-good vibes is the classic "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song," a No. 1 hit for Thomas from 1975 on the country charts as well as the Hot 100. For the new version, Thomas was joined by Richard Marx.
"He brought so much to the track. I think it was a song that meant something to him back when it was a hit. We told him to pick what he wanted to do, and that was his choice."
Another treat for Thomas was pairing up with Lyle Lovett for his 1969 signature song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head." Thomas said the song really fit Lovett's style.
"I've known Lyle for years, and he's such an iconic figure in music, and also as a person. He's from Texas, and I am too. I think Sandy asked me if I would be interested in him singing on this project, and I said I would love for him to. I spoke to him on the phone, and he said he had done some music with Burt Bacharach, and I said ‘Why don't you do ‘Raindrops?' I think he brought a lot to it. He's a cool guy to work with. I hope we do some performances in the future."
The impact of "Raindrops" - originally from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is one that the singer still feels over four decades later – though it almost didn't happen.
"That was a life-changing record for me. I look it as a privilege to have been able to do it. We cut it in September 1969. There were a lot of problems surrounding the song, and some of the producers and actors in the movie didn't want a song in it. Robert Redford was one of them. They meant for it to be an Avant garde art film, which it was different for its' time. For whatever reasons – probably Burt Bacharach being such a great composer and Hal David being an equally great lyricist, it worked, and it became a very big record."
Each cut brought back a wave of memories for Thomas, especially 1970's "Most Of All," which features the vocal stylings of Keb' Mo'.
"I cut that with Buddy Buie and Steve Tyrell in Georgia. The studio group that was on the original was the Atlanta Rhythm Section, just a great band. They played it for me, and then they turned on the machines, and I got it on the first take. It was like a song I already knew. We had sense to stop after that. It's a song about a guy who is away from home, and he realizes who he loves the most. I identify with it very personally. Keb' Mo' must have been the same way. He came in the studio, and stayed about five hours. He invested so much time in internalizing the song, ad-libbed a few things, and did such a great job."
All in all, Thomas told Billboard it felt great going back in time, yet adding a new wrinkle to his past hits. "It's been unbelievable. I don't spend a lot of time thinking ‘Oh, these guys like my music,' but everyone that is on here, I so admire them as musicians and singers. It's very rewarding."
Now this sounds absolutely AWESOME!!! Check out this musical line-up!!!  


Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Kinks, Hollies and Iron Butterfly on The Red Skelton Hour

Reelin’ In The Years Productions (RITY), the world’s largest music footage library, has announced an agreement to exclusively represent for licensing all of the music footage from the classic television program The Red Skelton Hour, which aired on CBS from 1962 - 1971. This footage is unique in that the music performances haven’t been seen since the program was originally broadcast.
Red Skelton is widely considered to be one of the greatest entertainers of all time, and his television program, The Red Skelton Hour, is acknowledged as one of America’s finest TV variety shows. Throughout the program’s ten year history, many of the top musical artists of the day appeared, including the Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, The Animals, The Kinks, The Fifth Dimension, Jan & Dean and Dionne Warwick. Reelin’ In The Years Productions will be bringing its vast experience in the field of licensing to market the music footage from the show. The company has already begun the process of meticulously cataloging the library, and has started making footage available for clips to be used in various documentary productions.
The Red Skelton Hour archive contains a “who’s who" of notable guests including some of the greatest musical icons of the era. The Rolling Stones made one of their earliest national TV appearances on the program -- two months before their first time on The Ed Sullivan Show -- performing three songs including their first American single, “Tell Me.” The Beach Boys appeared twice on the show: once in 1963 (their second time ever on national TV, and with original member David Marks still in the band) and, again, in 1964 performing “In My Room” and “I Get Around.” Other gems in the archive include Three Dog Night performing their smash hit “Easy To Be Hard,” The Four Seasons singing their #1 hit “Sherry,” three appearances by Johnny Rivers including renditions of “Secret Agent Man,” “Memphis,” and his chart-topping hit “Poor Side Of Town” and The Association performing their #1 hit “Windy.” Possibly the rarest musical guest on the show was Iron Butterfly, who performed their classic “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”
One of the greatest strengths of The Red Skelton Hour archive is the exceptional collection of “British Invasion” performances; virtually every major UK act, save the Beatles, appeared on the program. In addition to The Rolling Stones, other artists include The Kinks, The Animals, The Hollies, Manfred Mann, The Searchers, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, Dusty Springfield, Peter & Gordon, The Honeycombs, Chad & Jeremy, and Freddie & The Dreamers. To view a sampling of the unique content from The Red Skelton Hour that is now represented by RITY please visit for a 9-minute trailer.
Commenting on the The Red Skelton Hour archive, Reelin’ In The Years founder and president David Peck stated, “Representing the performances and interviews from the musical guests on The Red Skelton Hour is truly a great honor. The holdings are incredible, featuring many unique and one-of-a-kind performances. In addition, since the music performances haven’t been utilized in any form since the early 1970’s, it’s the rediscovery of a great American treasure.”
More details as they become available ... man, it's about time somebody went into the vaults and started releasing some of this stuff again. Kudos to Reeling In The Years ... and may this just be the beginning of many more such releases to come. (kk)

UPDATE:  Just checked out the YouTube Link ...
These are GREAT clips ... and in pristine condition!!! But apparently I am mistaken ... these are NOT being released for home purchase, strictly for licensing purposes ... which is great ... except anybody who does that is going to chop these up into 10-20 second bits and pieces, meaning these beautiful, historic performances STILL won't be seen and enjoyed by the people to whom they would mean the most.
I would hope that Reeling In The Years would put together some type of compilation (or series of dvds) for home purchase ... get these into the hands of the fans who would enjoy them the most ... and NOT let them sit in a vault somewhere for another 50 years, by which time all of us will be dead and gone.
There is a market for this material ... Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Danny Kaye, The Hollywood Palace, The Kraft Music Hour ... ALL of these programs regularly featured the hit music and artists of the day. Throw in Mike Douglas, The Tonight Show and others and there is a goldmine full of classic videos waiting to be seen. The Lloyd Thaxton Show ... American Bandstand ... Shivaree ... Upbeat ... the Shindig and Hullabaloo stuff ... Ready Steady Go ... man, the list goes on and on. We were SO fortunate to grow up at a time when this music was presented regularly in our homes ... and these Red Skelton tapes look pristine. Give the fans what they want ... make this music available again for our enjoyment! (kk)  

This is to alert your readers about two great books. Shout Sister Shout is about Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Sister Rosetta is the subject of an American Masters episode that may be viewed on demand. Gayle Wald wrote the first biography of her and she had a lot of great sources still around to tell the details first hand. Sister Rosetta's story is fascinating! I am also crazy about the Aretha chapter in Anthony Heilbut's book The Fan Who Knew Too Much. It shines light on her personal history and her days at Columbia Records. Many people dismiss Aretha's Columbia years but this is when she was closest to her gospel roots and much that she did with that company is quite outstanding.
Charlie Miller, aka Autumn King, 
KPOO fm and  
Speaking of new books, FH Reader Bob Merlis tells us that Eric Burdon has just signed a new book deal ... this in addition to releasing his brand new solo album "'Til Your River Runs Dry", reviewed here recently in Forgotten Hits.
The book is called "Breathless" and it's scheduled to be published later this year.
Burdon says:
I live my life, Breathless ... A life of constant motion and excitement. A life that many will envy and most would avoid! I'm extremely fortunate, at age 71, to look back on my life and write down some of the incredible things that have happened to me. In the day-to-day life of a traveling musician, it's easy to miss so many details. The world goes by at high-speed; it will take your breath away. People we've encountered at pivotal moments who profoundly influence our direction are not necessarily the people whose names everybody knows. More often, they are the people who say or do just the right thing, at the right time. I'm writing this book to help myself remember the past, acknowledge the present and help the new generation to discover their own truth ... I am writing this book for all of you who helped me discover who I am today.  
Paul Anka's got a new book out, too ... talk about "music, the mob and me"!!! (lol) Wait till you check out THIS report:  
And let's not forget that Howard Kaylan's new book "Shell Shocked" was Amazon's Best Seller last week in the music category! Be sure to pick up a copy of that one, too! (kk)
Kent ...
I just finished reading "Rick Nelson Rock 'N' Roll Pioneer" by Sheree Homer.
Really enjoyed this book.
Interesting facts that I leaned from this book --
Last song recorded by Rick Nelson = "True Love Ways," a Buddy Holly song.
Last song in live performance by Rick Nelson = "Rave On," a Buddy Holly song.
Buddy Holly died in 1959 plane crash.
Rick Nelson died in 1985 plane crash.
Don't know what it means. I think it's interesting.
Frank B.
I quite enjoyed Sheree's book, too ... and gave it a good review here:
And, speaking of Rick Nelson ...  
We're ridiculously busy these days so this is brief!
(a) We both have tracks on a brand new Rick(y) Nelson tribute album, which is very exciting as we're both big fans of his music. You can find out more or buy it at:
Love - 
Marjorie & DC
The track that DC cut ("Life") is one of my all-time favorite Rick Nelson tunes. And I would be remiss in not encouraging our readers to also check out the Popdudes' version of "Poor Little Fool". You can listen to ALL of the tracks via the link above. And download the whole CD for ten bucks! (kk)
This is fun! Several of our readers have now taken in "Forever Dusty", the Off-Broadway, Musical Tribute to singing sensation Dusty Springfield. Well now cowriter Jonathan Vankin tells us about a new, fun online Dusty "FotoComix Experience" that he's put together in conjunction with the show.
You can check it out here:
Greetings Friends!
Just wanted to call your attention to the latest project we've created for FOREVER DUSTY. It's a Photo Comic called "Dusty in Brooklyn." The comic was created by the extraordinarily talented photographer / visual artist Seth Kushner, from a script by me and layouts by Dean Haspiel. It stars Kirsten Holly Smith, Christina Sajous, Ashley Betton and Mike Murray.
Check out for more info on the show!
All the best,
Bobby Rydell has had his share of medical problems in the past year. Last July, he underwent a life saving double transplant of his liver and a kidney. Just a few hours ago, he posted on his Facebook page that he has now had to undergo a cardiac catheterization for two blockages in his heart.
Had a cardiac catherization showing two blockages - no heart damage but I needed bypass surgery to prevent a heart attack. Had a double by pass at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia where I came home to make a full recovery five days later. Will be back on the road shortly! Compared to the double transplant in July; this was a walk in the park. My amazing wife sure has her hands full with me!
-- BR
Bobby had been pretty much recovered from the earlier procedure with plans to appear on the Malt Shop Memories Cruise this coming November. While a slight setback, this procedure shouldn't slow down his comeback for too long.
-- Tom Cuddy  
Tom also sent us this article about Dionne Warwick ...
Dionne Warwick Files for Bankruptcy
Soul singer blames former business manager for $1 million tax debt
March 25, 2013 4:05 PM ET
Dionne Warwick's long and complicated relationship with the IRS is coming to a close. On March 21st, the soul singer filed for Chapter Seven bankruptcy over tax liens dating back to the 1990s. "Ms. Warwick had a business manager who mismanaged her affairs," her attorney Daniel Stolz tells Rolling Stone. "Before she knew it, she owed a gazillion dollars in taxes. She's actually paid more than the face amount of the taxes, but with all of the crazy interest and penalties that they add, the number kept mushrooming – even though she paid off the amount that she owed in terms of the actual taxes."
Warwick's tax issues originated 15 years ago and have resurfaced often over the years, Stolz explains, even after the business manager in question was fired several years ago. He maintains that Warwick, 72, filed her taxes annually and was unable to work out an agreement with the IRS despite several attempts over the years – and that at one point, the IRS lost her file for several years. Several outlets, including the Huffington Post, reported in 2009 that Warwick owed $2.2 million, but the IRS revoked that claim and corrected the amount to around $1 million. (Warwick also popped up along with actor Steven Seagal on a 2012 list of the Top 500 people and business owing the most in unpaid taxes in the State of California.) While the singer continued to pay, that money was only applied to penalties and interest, not the principle amount; Stolz argues that Warwick paid close to $1.3 million, more than her actual lien.
"The taxes are of an age where under the bankruptcy code, they're dischargeable taxes," Stolz says. "We've found that we had no other resort other than to file bankruptcy so that we could get this off her back finally."
Warwick just wrapped a string of tour dates in New York and New Jersey, including a benefit performance for the restoration of the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey. Warwick doesn't perform often enough to pay for her growing tax lien; per her bankruptcy petition, Warwick's average monthly income fell around $20,950.00 with $20,940.00 in expenses, leaving her with $10.00 net income (a figure that is not unusual for a celebrity after living costs and mortgages are factored in). Stolz says the IRS is not giving Warwick a break because the organization is looking at the singer as a celebrity and "not by her capacity to pay."
Warwick filed for bankruptcy with the State of New Jersey after completing the credit counseling that the bankruptcy court required. As a result of her bankruptcy filing, Warwick's credit score will take a large hit, but much of her assets will be protected, including a S.A.G. pension.
"Just because someone is a well-known, prominent celebrity doesn't mean they're conversant in their financial affairs," Stolz says. "They rely heavily on people and frequently wind up waking up someday saying, 'Geez how did I get in this mess and how do I get out of it?'" Stolz is confident that Warwick's debts will be discharged and this matter will be resolved. "She was an innocent victim of terrible mismanagement
Sadly April 1st marked the anniversary of the murder of Motown Great Marvin Gaye, shot to death by his father over an argument at the dinner table the day before his 45th birthday. Hard to believe, but Marvin's been gone nearly 30 years now, this after giving us an incredible string of hits spread out over 20 years. Gaye hit Billboard's Pop Top 40 an incredible 40 times between 1963 and 1983. The long-talked-about bio-pic apparently still isn't any closer to being made. Long time speculation was that Law And Order star Jesse Martin would play the lead role ... but several months ago it was announced that Lenny Kravitz was now the leading candidate. (Martin looks like Marvin's twin brother ... and has some Broadway singing skills ... it's going to take a bit of make-up and style-adjusting to make Kravitz believable in this role.) kk  
Hey Kent,
Today was Herb Alpert’s birthday and someone made me aware that Whipped Cream was written by the amazing Allen Toussaint, I never knew that, and posted this earlier version by The Stokes, which I had never heard. Both versions are very similar. I saw another post of the Whipped Cream album on a vinyl picture disc, never seen that before either. So, even at my age, there are still things to learn about this great music!
Also here’s a link to an article about a 1967 Easter show hosted by Murray the K. Get a load of the line-up!
Eddie Burke,
Orange, CT
I didn't realize that Allen Toussaint had written this song either ... pretty cool!
We've featured quite a few variations of this cover over the years ... always one of my favorites!  Ironically, I'm listening to an A&M Records CD Compilation in the car right now ... a three-disc set that traces the label through their entire history ... and a GREAT piece for your collection.  Check it out on
Thanks, Eddie!

GREAT Story ... check this out!!!
British Rocker Spencer Davis (who now lives on Catalina Island) just won $250,000 by way of an Instant Lottery Ticket! Here's the story he told K-EARTH in Los Angeles:
FH Reader Frank B. just sent us WCBS-FM's list of The Top Ten Greatest Dance Songs Of All-Time ...  
Kent ...
No Twist. No Stroll. Number One Dance song wins by a wide margin.
Frank B.
Don't feel bad, Frank ... I didn't see the Chalypso or the Bunny Hop listed on there either. The way things have been going around here lately, I fully expected to see The Macarena at #1, followed by The Chicken Dance and The Electric Slide. (How do you leave off The Twist?!?! The biggest dance craze of all time?!?!? And they call themselves an oldies station!?!?!?) kk  
And from our "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime" Department, how about the Top 20 Richest Musicians of All Time"??? Tom Cuddy sent us this link:
Hello Everybody -
As we approach the anniversary of Dick Clark's passing, I wanted to let you know that the first trailer for the "Wages Of Spin" sequel will be released by the end of the month.
"The Wages of Spin" was added to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last Summer and has had over 600 PBS affiliate airings since last Summer. We have one sequel coming out by the end of the year and "WOS" III in early 2014.
"The Wages of Spin" purchase thru ShopPBS:>
"Wages of Spin" Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archive Link:>
Entertainment Tonight Feature "Wages of Spin":

From Paul Urbahns (after reading our piece about Jerry Lee Lewis being the first artist to record "Just Dropped In", later the debut smash for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition: According to the book series (5 Volumes) The Mercury Labels by Michael Ruppli and Ed Novitsky the song "Just Dropped In" was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis at the American Sound studio in Memphis, TN, on May 12, 1967. No musicians are listed.
Paul Urbahns
Radcliff, Ky  
They paid you for carrying those ads, right?
Uhh ... no. Just doing our part to keep the oldies nation informed, that's all.  (Wow ... that WOULD be pretty cool, wouldn't it?!?!  Getting paid for all that we do?!?!?)  kk
The past two postings on FH reminded me of three songs I haven't heard in a while, so again, thanks for jarring my memory. Without getting into the specifics on why I remembered, two of the songs were
TIJAUNA JAIL by the Kingston Trio and Tony Harris' 1957 song CHICKEN, BABY, CHICKEN.
Finally, you mentioned briefly that apparently last week you were on jury duty. I tried to come up with some songs that were jury or court related. Without really thinking about it, I did instantly remember HERE COMES THE JUDGE by the Magistrates out of 1968.
I don't really know if you were picked as a juror, but if you were, I hope the defendant wasn't the chief radio programmer for all the 'oldies' radio stations in the country. Because if he were, than there is not a doubt in my mind you found him guilty. His punishment? Life in prison listening to the same 150 songs over and over and over again.
Actually, that seems to be OUR punishment!!! (We watched "Zero Dark Thirty" this weekend and one of the torture tactics was playing loud, non-stop head-banging rock music, trying to get the victim to crack. Really all they had to do was tune into any Classic Hits Radio Station, circa 2013, and the guy who have told you ANYTHING you wanted to know in order to make it stop!
Never got on a case ... interviewed ... but no further than that. (Actually, they interviewed 30 of us, then picked 12 and two alternates.) If it HAD been a Radio Programmer on trial, we would have strung him up by his boot straps. (Of course this was TRAFFIC Court ... so we probably would have been found guilty of cruel and unusual punishment ... again, much like radio programming today.)
"Here Comes The Judge" was a hit for TWO artists here in Chicago ... Shorty Long and Pigmeat Markham. The Magistrates' version never charted here in Chi-Town. Shorty Long's version went to #11 (it peaked at #8 nationally) and Pigmeat Markham's (a completely different version but probably more in line with the running gag on Laugh-In) got airplay but never officially charted. (It went to #19 nationally.) The Magistrates version you're referring to got to #45 on The Cash Box Chart.) And ... DIDJAKNOW? ... that The Magistrates were made up of three of the former members of The Dovells??? They're ALL pretty awful recordings!!! (kk) 
Quite a bit of talk about The Moving Sidewalks lately, now that they've staged their official "regathering" ... they did a gig at B.B. King's in New York Saturday Night (March 30th) and now have another show lined up for April 28th at Austin Psyche Fest.
Here's a new photo of the band, courtesy of Bob Merlis:

Left to Right: The original line-up of Dan Mitchell, Don Summers, Billy Gibbons and Tom Moore ...
The Moving Sidewalks
You'll also find a lot of videos posted on YouTube of their B.B. King's appearance.

Is it a guilty pleasure to admit that I've ALWAYS dug Huey Lewis? I don't think so ... 'cause clearly I was not alone. One of the most popular bands of the '80's (perhaps because they sounded more like a band from the '60's???), they were always one of my favorites, hitting the scene at a time where I wasn't particularly fond of much else on the radio.
Well, the band is back together, readying themselves for a 30th Anniversary Tour in support of the re-release of a deluxe edition of their hit LP "Sports".
FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us a lengthy interview with Huey Lewis, put together by USA Today, that's too good not to share.
I got to see these guys a couple of times ... and would LOVE to check 'em out again for this go 'round! (kk)  
Huey Lewis and the News rocketed to fame in 1983 with 'Sports,' whose hits included 'The Heart of Rock & Roll' and 'I Want a New Drug.' Now the band is back on tour. Huey Lewis and his band the News are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their 'Sports' album
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Thirty years ago, an album came out that seemed as if it had been recorded 30 years earlier. With its '50s harmonies, catchy pop hooks and clean-cut crooner, Sports was a retro bombshell during an '80s war for hair-band supremacy.
"We were sort of anachronistic even then," says Huey Lewis, 62, who with his band The News stormed radio in the fall of 1983, eventually taking second place behind Thriller on Billboard's year-end sales chart for 1984.
"Ironically, the songs we wrote in our 30s are more appropriate for people of our current age," Lewis tells USA TODAY. "Stuck With You almost resonates more now."
Expect to hear more of those Sports staples — including The Heart of Rock & Roll and I Want a New Drug — over the coming months. Sports (30th Anniversary Edition) arrives May 14, featuring remastered versions
of the nine original tunes, plus a second disc with mostly unreleased live versions of each song.
The band's publicity blitz includes a stop on Dancing With the Stars April 2 and a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 15. A U.S. tour also is taking shape; it begins May 10 at the State Theater in New Brunswick, N.J., and runs through late August, with more dates to follow.
"I do wonder sometimes if these days a simple concert of people on stage playing is enough, you know, without all the lasers and huge video screens. It's a little tough. It's changed," Lewis says. "We used to be a beer-and-hot-dog band, but now we're hanging out with the wine-and-cheese set."
Lewis lets out a big laugh. It's one of many during a two-hour conversation at the band's new studios in their longtime home base just north of San Francisco, where the band is rehearsing for the tour and tinkering with a few new songs.
The talk touches on everything from the surprising (who knew he got an 800 on his math SAT) to the even-more surprising (his push to become a frontman came from British punk rockers). But mostly the grin and the glow emanate from genuine pride at having crafted a pop classic with sales now pushing 10 million.
"We aimed every song on Sports to be a hit, so in that sense it's really a collection of singles," Lewis says. "They were for commercial radio, because that was the only way to success in those days, just before the real boom of MTV. We made no apologies about that mission, and we're very proud of it in retrospect."
An album providing an avalanche of hits stands out in today's singles-driven era, says Ian Drew, entertainment director at US Weekly.
"Having hit after hit is what you aspired to when you created a pop album, and in that way Sports is very much like the (1987) INXS album Kick," Drew says. "It was well-produced and well-written."
Drew says another key ingredient of the band's success was Lewis' rugged thirtysomething look, which contrasted with the then-ubiquitous twentysomething Motley Crue vibe.
"He was macho without being smug or smarmy," Drew says. "In an era of guys with makeup and teased hair, he was an everyman. Just look at the name of the album: Sports. You can't get more regular than that."
Lewis, a straight arrow with a passion for golf, fly-fishing and Bay Area sports teams, concedes that had MTV launched a bit earlier in his late-blossoming career, "I'd certainly have ended up with pieced ears and tattoos, and our songs might have been different."
In recalling the creation of Sports, Lewis says two things were key to its eventual triumph. The first was a hard-won autonomy on the production end. The second was Lewis' insistence that the band play with a then-revolutionary new tech toy, the Linn LM-1 Drum Computer.
"It wasn't the most popular thing in the world with the guys in the band," says Lewis of his 1983 musical compadres, Sean Hopper (keyboards), Bill Gibson (drums), Johnny Colla (sax), Mario Cipollina (bass) and Chris Hayes (guitar). Today's line-up includes original members Lewis, Colla, Gibson and Hopper, plus five others.
"But I kept at it with the machine," Lewis continues. "Finally, on Bad is Bad, it clicked. That thwack you hear at the beginning, that's the Linn. That was our production epiphany."
Although Huey Lewis and the News had built up a reputation as a hard-working let-it-all-hang-out bar band — an image reinforced by the album's pool-hall cover — Sports was meticulously crafted. "It was assembled piece by piece, we overdubbed everything on it," Lewis says.
The album struck gold, and then the band truly went into orbit with 1985's The Power of Love, the chart-topping theme song from Back to the Future. Life changed, fans swarmed.
"Instead of sharing three hotel rooms between the six of us, we each got our own room," Lewis cracks. "And you couldn't really go to a McDonald's without getting mobbed. But it was just autographs then, not the camera-phone thing today."
But one gets the sense that if smartphones pop out on this new Sports tour, Lewis won't mind all that much.
"You don't get into this line of work unless you like the attention," he says, relating the story of how — while living in England in the late '70s with his first band, Clover — the utter defiance of punk bands inspired him to front his own band doing the retro-cool music he loved.
"I'd be told that with my gruff baritone I was never going to make it as a singer," he says with a raised eyebrow.
And what about that 800 on the SAT? Instead of calling Marin County home, he could have shuffled on down to Silicon Valley at the dawn of the tech boom and made himself a mint with that mathematically focused brain of his, no?
"No," he says. "I'll never forget it: I was in eighth grade and a band came to our school to play at a dance. I thought, 'That's what I want to do.' And I'm still doing it.

re: OTHER NEWS (Get it???):
Most of my record collectors' stories are now up at this site:
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem
More Eagles Tour Dates ...
Here is the full schedule as it currently stands ... the band is touring behind their "History Of The Eagles" Showtime Documentary (which is being released on home video April 30th). And group dates are being scheduled behind solo shows already booked for Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Glenn Frey ... but here's the latest information as we have it:
APRIL 1st - Don Henley (solo) - The Casino Rama Entertainment Centre in Rama, ON, Canada
APRIL 2nd - Joe Walsh (with Bob Seger) - The Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
APRIL 3rd - Don Henley (solo) - The Paramount in Huntington, NY
APRIL 4th - Joe Walsh (with Bob Seger) - The Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO
APRIL 6th - Joe Walsh (with Bob Seger) - The United Center in Chicago, IL
APRIL 11th - Joe Walsh (with Bob Seger) - The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI
APRIL 13th - Joe Walsh (with Bob Seger) - The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI
APRIL 15th - Joe Walsh (solo) - The Paramount in Huntington, NY
APRIL 16th - Joe Walsh (with Bob Seger) - The Barclay Center in New York, NY
APRIL 18th - Joe Walsh (with Bob Seger) - The First Niagra Center in Buffalo, NY
MAY 4th - Glenn Frey (solo) - The Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, HI
JULY 6th - The Eagles - KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, KY
JULY 7th - The Eagles - Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI
JULY 9th - The Eagles - The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH
JULY 11th - The Eagles - The Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JULY 15th - The Eagles - Scotiaband Place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
JULY 16th - The Eagles - The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
JULY 18th - The Eagles - Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT
JULY 19th - The Eagles - The Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA
JULY 22nd - The Eagles - The Verizon Center in Washington, DC
JULY 23rd - The Eagles - The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA
JULY 25th - The Eagles - Bethel Woods Center For The Arts in Bethel, NY 
And check out THIS line-up!!! Glad to see The Wisconsin State Fair is on the list!
Despite the unexpected death of founder Larry Hoppen in July, 2012, the band Orleans (“Still the One”,” Dance With Me”, will be on the road this summer with what promises to be a great show. Led by brothers Lance and Lane Hoppen, Orleans will be performing their hits and serving as back-up band for an all-star cast including Gary Wright (“Dream Weaver”), Christopher Cross (“Sailing”), John Ford Coley (“I'd Really Love To See You Tonight”, “Love Is The Answer” and other hits), Robbie Dupree (“Steal Away”), Player (“Baby Come Back”), and Firefall (“Last I’ve Seen Of My Heart” and others). The tour starts July 3rd. in Hollywood, FL. and, I’m happy to report, includes a stop at the Wisconsin State Fair on August 5th.
Complete information is available at . I’ve seen this type of show under the name Rock and Pop Masters with Orleans as the back up as well as singing their own hits and they put on a great show.
Bob Verbos,
New Berlin, WI.  
Radio Legend John Records Landecker InterviewRound Lake Heights, IL - On Friday, April 5th at 8:30 AM the Lepek & Company morning show will be interviewing Chicago's lengendary radio DJ John Records Landecker. He once ruled the Top 40 evening hours on WLS in the late 70s and early 80s, continues entertain listeners today on a Chicago's WLS FM station. The 66 year-old Landecker will be talking with morning host Paul Lepek about his recently released book called, "Records Truly Is My Middle Name."
WRLR 98.3 is a public radio station that typically provides aspiring announcers from the Lake County community, including high school and college students, their first opportunity for getting on the air. As such, host Paul Lepek looks forward to talking with Landecker about when and how he got interested in radio (it was a book), and how his first break came about for him to get on the air.
The interview can be heard on WRLR's terrestrial broadcast in Lake County, and parts of eastern Mchenry and southwest Kenosha counties, and on it's audio or Studio A camera video streams at (click on the appropriate icon in the upper left part of the main page).
WRLR 98.3 FM, "The Voice of Lake County", is a community radio station based in Round Lake Heights that currently features more than 40 locally produced programs. It is operated and managed by more than 70 volunteers.
Bish Krywko   
Looks like the WXRT A to Z Promotion was just an April Fool's Gag after all ... they're already back to regular programming. Too bad ... because their library has got to be QUITE extensive. We love the whole A to Z idea ... in fact, my offer still stands to K-Hits: I'll put together six consecutive A to Z weekends for you and each and every one of them will be uniquely different than the one before. (kk)  
You know Kent, a friend of mine said I needed a FaceBook page, (not really, but ... ) so I opened one. I posted about WLNG radio on FB and sent the info to Forgotten Hits. I have received so much great feed-back from both on-line mechanisms that it warms my heart to think we just MIGHT be able to keep this station going for another 49 years. Hey, with a DJ named 'Rusty Pot(t)' as well???
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
I listened a little bit this weekend ... must have been some type of doo-wop show as that's all I heard. However, we've heard nothing but positive reviews from our readers so we're happy to spread the word. So nice to hear back from the program director, too ... who knew they'd already been around for 50 years! (kk) 
Congratulations to our FH Buddy Clark Weber, who just landed a new gig on WIND-AM Radio here in Chicago. Clark was a MAJOR radio celebrity here in town for decades. We first caught "wind" of him in the early '60's, where he had a top-rated morning show on WLS. Listeners tuned in regularly to hear his daily battles with night time jock Ron Riley (Ron loved The Beatles, Clark didn't) ... it was a gag that became so popular these two guys even recorded special programming to send to our soldiers overseas!!! Weber then moved on to WCFL and, over the years, hosted successful programs on WIND, WMAQ, WJJD and WAIT.
His return to WIND is centered around a brand new program of two-minute spots called "Aging Info Radio / A Look At Life With Clark Weber". (For the past ten years he has hosted a syndicated program called "A Senior Moment.")
I can only tell you that if anybody knows a thing or two about aging gracefully, this is the guy!!! We had dinner with Clark and his wife a short while back and I've seen him at several other local events these past few years and he appears to be in great shape ... and always in great humor ... sharp as a tack ... with a memory that will blow you away. (Meanwhile, does anybody out there remember where I parked the car?!?!?)