Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mid-Week Musings

Wow! It's been so fun to hear the WABC airchecks. Growing up in North Dakota, we did get to hear the Chicago stations, and I'm a huge WLS fan from those days. I loved WCFL as well. Also listened to KOMA lots, too. I never got to hear WABC out of New York though, but being a radio freak as a kid I knew about it for sure. I think I caught it a couple times visiting my Sister in either Wisconsin or Indiana but it didn't last but a few minutes.
I finally got to hear some WABC airchecks from the DJ's I haunted at our local stations when I was in high school. Some of them had copies of Programmer's Digest that they'd pass to me to listen to.
Boy, if any of the radio programmers out there today listened to any of the stuff on Rewound Radio and didn't figure out how crappy radio is these days, then they never will get it.
Man oh man, no wonder we are all as crazy about the music and DJ's we listened to as we are.
Some folks on the list downplay the impact these jocks and this music had ... but we evidenced another example just the other day. One of our readers wrote in about the minor hit "Water Boy" by The Don Shirley Trio. This record BARELY made The Top 40, peaking AT #40 in Billboard in 1961 ... and it has not made the cut in the way of "desirable" music to be kept alive by radio in the decades since. It's probably safe to say that MOST radio stations across the country haven't played it since it fell off the charts way back when. (And that's if they played it at all back in the day. As we saw during our discussion, the record fared a little better here in The Midwest ... but back then you were more likely to hear an instrumental heading into a newscast ... especially a low-charting one!)
Yet THREE readers wrote in to say that the version we featured wasn't the one they remembered hearing on the radio back then. The memory of this obscure semi-hit was SO strong that, even fifty years later, they knew it wasn't the right version.
In that same posting, one of our readers asked about a song that never even charted nationally ... a song he hadn't heard since 1959 called "Let Her Go". He was BEYOND thrilled when one of our readers tracked it down so that we could feature it again. Timeless, meaningful memories.
Radio doesn't create these anymore ... not when they're all playing the exact same music by the exact same artists ... and drilling it into our heads countless times a day. Radio has become "Groundhog Day" ... it's Groundhog Day Programming and nothing more. That's why a station like Rewound Radio is such a breath of fresh air. They haven't forgotten all of the OTHER songs that helped to fill out the dial back in the day. They understand that you can program in a mix of ALL of this music and play it side by side again, just like they did back then. Add a few personality-driven jocks to this station and you've got a winner.
SOMEBODY out there has to take a chance on this on the terrestrial dial. The audience is out there ... fact is, you just don't know how to market to it! Your mindset is that the ONLY sponsor who might be interested in advertising on a station like this is Depends (or some other "bodily function" company!!!) When in fact if you simply went after the oldies cruiselines and cities like Laughlin, NV and Branson, MO that cater to this audience you could probably create a win/win situation for everybody. The listeners are happy, hearing the music they really want to hear (instead of the same 200-300 force-fed tracks you're giving them now), the station is happy because it's making money with the right advertising, and the advertisers are happy because they're reaching an audience that will actually use and appreciate their facilities.
Instead of dumbing it down for the listeners, try dumbing it down on a programming and marketing level to the most basic equation ... go out and FIND and solicit the businesses that will appeal to these listeners ... and they will reward you with ratings, loyalty and appreciation. (kk)
Listen for a couple of hours today ... and see what radio COULD sound like: Click here: Rewound Radio
The set I heard at 6:10 this morning included "Hold The Line" by Toto, "Things I'd Like To Say" by The New Colony Six", "Bloody Well Right" by Supertramp and "Time Won't Let Me" by The Outsiders" ... followed by a mix of "South Street" by The Orlons, "Take It To The Limit" by The Eagles, "Walk Like A Man" by The Four Seasons, "Shilo" by Neil Diamond and by "That's All You Gotta Do" by Brenda Lee, followed by a plug for Gary Theroux's "History Of Rock And Roll" snippets, airing three times daily. "A Girl Like You" by The Young Rascals kicked off the next set, followed by "Let Me Serenade You" by Three Dog Night and "Runaway" by Del Shannon ... "Talk Talk" by Music Machine (tell me THIS guy isn't reading Forgotten Hits!!!  Lol), "Baby Love" by The Supremes ... and then it was time to post. Jocks ... wouldn't you LOVE playing this kind of variety on YOUR show?!?!? (kk)
>>>C'mon ... what would Monday Morning be like if I didn't complain about radio??? (kk)
Tuesday morning?
Hey, Kent,
Going to see the Stones Monday ... it'll mark six different decades in which I've seen the group.
>>>Gary created a worldwide sporting event anthem ... which has since been totally eclipsed by Gary's fondness for little boys. (kk)
Not that it makes much difference, but in the interest of publishing "The Real Truth," Gary Glitter's fondness is for little girls, not little boys.
Ron Smith
No, I flubbed it ... people have a right to know just who Gary's been fondling! (kk)  
Years ago we ran a story about the true origins of the #1 Hit "Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips ... FH Reader David Lewis just sent us this new video clip, interviewing the song's writer Jim Weatherly, who retells the tale. (This has been a welcome addition to Scott Shannon's "Rock And Roll Remakes" Weekend ... we just LOVE finding these great stories and rare tracks.) kk
I happened across this again the other day and just had to share it again. So much fun ... and so much joy in Randy Bachman's voice when he stumbles across "the lost chord"!!! (kk)
>>>Is it true Robbie Krieger, the Doors guitar player wrote all their songs but the group agreed to have them credited to "The Doors"??? (Carolyn)
>>>I've not heard that but I don't believe it's true ... if for no other reason than the fact that Jim Morrison was a poet first ... and it was setting Jim's songs to music that launched the band in the first place. Alluding to what you mentioned earlier, the keyboard sound was an integral part of the make-up of The Doors ... I believe they all contributed to the end result. (kk)
UPDATE:  Interestingly enough, the day after I ran these comments I saw this blurb printed in Brian Forsythe's new book "Inside The Songs Of The Sixties":
The Doors song "Tell All The People", written by guitarist Robbie Krieger, and found on their "The Soft Parade" LP, prompted Jim Morrison to insist on individual writing credits so people could identify which band member wrote which song. He objected to the line "Tell all the people get your guns" and didn't want his fans to think that he wrote these lyrics.  
Sid Holmes tells us that they're making some headway in collecting the royalties due J. Frank Wilson's family ... I received this update the other day: 
Utilizing the contract I had with J. Frank Wilson (1-22-63 to 1-22-66) Rodney (J. Frank's son) and I are making some progress. Our goal is to take control of all recordings made between the above dates when he was under contract with me. Thanks to SoundScan, I will now be receiving 20% of all downloads internationally for the songs listed. Rodney's checks the past months have run between $300 to $900. From here he will be going head to head with Rhino Records (TimeWarner), Columbia, Cicadelic Records (Ron Newdoll) etc. If they can produce a contract prior to mine concerning making recordings with J. Frank Wilson, they are home free. If they can't, then Rodney will present them with a copy mine. After reading my book and the contract in the book he took action. He, his family, his sister and mom (Frank's ex) all agreed it was Frank's signature and he was of legal age when he signed it with a notary.
Basically, Rodney is doing the work as I just supply him with the facts on who did what and when. Rodney claims to have turned down an unofficial offer of $20,000 from one label. Last I heard he had been in contact with a music attorney in Nashville.
Sid Holmes 
Kent ...
Watching Yankees vs. Mets, on mute & listening to WCBS - FM.
Here's the top 20 of the Top 500.
1 - Hey Jude = Beatles
2 - Billie Jean = Michael Jackson
3 - December, 1963 ( Oh What A Night ) = Four Seasons
4 - Every Breath You Take = Police
5 - Night Fever = Bee Gees
6 - Don't Stop Believing = Journey
7 - American Pie = Don McLean
8 - Hotel California = Eagles
9 - Big Girls Don't Cry = Four Seasons
10 - Bette Davis Eyes = Kim Carnes
11 - I Want To Hold Your Hand = Beatles
12 - Call Me = Blonde
13 - I'm A Believer = Monkees
14 - Eye Of The Tiger = Survivor
15 - Joy To The World = Three Dog Night
16 - I Love Rock-n- Roll = Joan Jett
17 - Maggie May = Rod Stewart
18 - Le Freak = Chic
19 - Shadow Dancing = Andy Gibb
20 - I Heard It Through The Grapevine = Marvin Gaye
I long for the old WCBS-FM Countdowns. Year after year you could be sure that the top three were
1 - In The Still Of The Night = Five Satins
2 - Earth Angel = Penguins
3 - Tonite, Tonite = Mellow - Kings
Since all three songs are from the 1950's, they don't even qualify for this countdown (1960's, 1970's, 1980's).
Frank B.
Yeah, if you want the full gamut of music, you'll have to wait for Ron Smith's Labor Day Countdown (which now only tabulates your votes every other year ... but at least you get '50's, '60's and '70's!) kk
You're guaranteed to find a few surprises up near the top of this list! (kk) 
On the other hand, very FEW surprises on WCBS-FM's Top 500 Countdown ...
Pretty much everything you expect to hear ... and DO hear ... on a daily basis:
Kent ...
Here's the whole list for your readers who might be interested. You shouldn't look at it. I don't want to upset you.
Frank B.

Kent ...
Interesting project. I just made a pledge.
People like this need help. I don't mind helping.
When the Rascals ask for money, it bothers me.
Frank B.
A lot of people had a problem with The Rascals and Stevie VanZandt asking for money to launch their reunion project ... it's like if they didn't believe in it enough to invest their own money, why would others in a far lesser financial position be interested in investing? Sure, we ALL wanted to see them get back together and be successful ... but now we're going to spend additional money on merchandise, concert tickets (and in some cases airline tickets!), new recordings, etc.  
From Tom Cuddy:
My Music: Burt Bacharach's Best Debuts June 1, 2013 on PBS (check local listings) - Celebrating the Legendary Songwriter With Performances By The Artists Who Made His Music Famous -
-- For over half a century, the immensely popular and immediately identifiable melodies of composer Burt Bacharach have touched millions of music lovers around the world. Bacharach established himself in the 1960s as a topical successor to his Tin Pan Alley predecessors, creating some of the most beloved and successful pop music ever to grace radio, television and film. Hosted by Robert Wagner, this first-time ever archival PBS special includes all the original artists performing Bacharach's hits with rare footage and clips from the 1960s -1980s. 
MY MUSIC: BURT BACHARACH'S BEST premieres on PBS stations beginning June 1, 2013 (check local listings).  
Bacharach teamed with lyricist Hal David for a stunning run of classic songs, many in tandem with Dionne Warwick (Walk On By, I Say A Little Prayer, Alfie). British songbird Dusty Springfield introduced the seductive standard The Look Of Love while Tom Jones popularized the playful What's New Pussycat?, Her Alpert romanticized with This Guy's In Love With You and Jackie DeShannon touched hearts with the iconic What The World Needs Now Is Love. The smashes continued in the seventies when The Carpenters reached #1 with (They Long To Be) Close To You, following another number one evergreen, Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, the Oscar-winning tune sung by B.J. Thomas in the film Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. Soul-pop ensemble The Fifth Dimension presents the sultry ballad One Less Bell To Answer.
The 1980s witnessed more Bacharach chart-toppers such as Arthur's Theme by Christopher Cross and That's What Friends Are For by Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & Elton John. Burt Bacharach continues to perform concerts across the globe and his autobiography, Anyone Who Had A Heart, has just been published by HarperCollins.
Included in the special are clips of:
• Austin Powers Intro “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Burt Bacharach”• “Walk On By” – Dionne Warwick
• “I Say a Little Prayer” – Dionne Warwick
• “Any Day Now” – Chuck Jackson
• “What’s New Pussycat?” – Tom Jones
• “The Look of Love” – Dusty Springfield
• “This Guy’s in Love With You” – Herb Alpert
• “This Girl’s in Love With You” – Dionne Warwick
• “Alfie” – Dionne Warwick
• “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” – B.J. Thomas
• “One Less Bell to Answer” – The Fifth Dimension
• “What the World Needs Now Is Love” – Jackie DeShannon
• “(They Long to Be) Close to You” – The Carpenters
• “A House Is Not a Home” – Burt Bacharach and Dusty Springfield
• “Arthur’s Theme” – Christopher Cross and Burt Bacharach with Carole Bayer Sager
• “That’s What Friends Are For” – Elton John, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight