Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today Forgotten Hits Is Giving You Goosebumps!

We've all had them ... people like us who are THIS into the music have ALL had our "Goosebump" moments ... a certain song, a certain sound ... something that just grabbed you immediately ... made you take notice and listen ... something so uniquely different than anything you'd heard before that it immediately commanded your complete attention.  

It doesn't happen very often ... but when it does, it's a moment that stays with you forever.  

Hey, I loved The Beatles as much as anybody ... and bought everything they ever did ... as well as any number of OTHER 45's of the day that caught my fancy ... but the VERY FIRST TIME a song gave me goosebumps on first listen was "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas and the Papas.  

Now maybe it was just the right song at the right moment ... but something happened that very first time that affected me like no other song had before ... and, incredibly, after some 10,000+ listens since, I have never grown tired of this track.  

And it's not even my favorite Mamas and Papas song ... their version of "Dedicated To The One I Love" holds that distinction ... this is the one I can listen to and appreciate till the end of time ... but something magical happened the very first time I ever heard "California Dreamin'" ... and whatever it was, that feeling has never left me.  (To paraphrase producer Lou Adler, I couldn't believe my eyes and ears!!!)

It happened again in 1970 ... the very first time I ever heard Bread's "Make It With You".  I can't even put into words the electricity that went through me that very first time ... I just HAD to have it.  I went out and bought the single and then the album shortly thereafter ... man, what a disappointment!!!  About the ONLY song listenable (and memorable) about that LP was the hit single, soon to be the #1 song in all the land.  I was SO bummed ... was it just a fluke?  Had they hit the motherlode on their very first song and now the well was dry???   

Imagine my shock when a classmate of mine (Dennis Gilbert, thank you very much!) turned me on to the fact that "On The Waters" was actually Bread's SECOND album ... their first LP had disappeared without a trace, with nary a radio hit hidden in the grooves.  

As fate would have it, I found myself grounded for a week ... came home later than I was supposed to one night ... and Dennis loaned me his LP to pass the time while I served out my parental sentence.  I completely devoured it ... I loved each and every song.  (How could none of these tracks have been a hit?!?!  And, even more surprisingly, where had the magic gone on their second album?)  

I did my week's time locked away in the basement ... just me, my guitar and Dennis' Bread album, during which time I learned every single song on that first LP ... I especially loved "Family Doctor", a James Griffin song, that months later I was shocked to hear ANOTHER classmate play on a bus trip out to a school singing engagement.  (Ron Arturi, thank you very much!)  I think he, Dennis and I may have been the only three students in the entire school who knew this song!  Imagine my surprise when, after "Make It With You" had run its course on the charts, Elektra Records went back to the first LP and released "It Don't Matter To Me" as the follow-up single ... and it was a hit!  

For me, Bread just kept getting better and better.  "Manna" and "Baby I'm-a Want You" remain two of my all-time favorite LPs to this very day ... but nothing will EVER compare to the moment when I heard "Make It With You" for the very first time.  (Seems like everybody else that summer was fixated on the brand new Carpenters' hit "Close To You" ... but not me ... I was a "Bread-Head" all the way!)  

There've been other moments over the years ... other songs ... but these two in particular affected me in a way like no others.  (In fact, I was completely sucked into The Soft Rock '70's ... Carole King's "It's Too Late" remains a favorite some 40 years later ... I dug Sweet Baby James and America and Badfinger, too ... and was COMPLETELY blown away the very first time I heard Free's "All Right Now" ... I had never heard rock and roll played THAT way before!!!)  But Bread was the launch pad that took me into my next phase of musical appreciation, post-British Invasion ... and I just couldn't get enough.  

If you love the music the way I do, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  We've all had those moments ... the electricity that filled the room the first time I saw Paul McCartney ... and Elvis ... those were concert moments I'll never forget ... but if I had to pick TWO "Goosebumps Songs", these would be the two ... "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas and the Papas and "Make It With You" by Bread.  

And now it's YOUR turn.  Can you narrow it down to a specific moment in time ... where the music went straight to your soul upon the very first listen?   

We want to hear from you ... send us your "Goosebumps Tracks" ... and we'll run some of your musical memories on the web page.  (We only ask that you please keep it to just one or two moments so we can run a larger variety of respondents.)  

Like I said, we've ALL had 'em ... I told you mine ... now we'd like to share a couple of yours!!!

Drop us a line at ... and then check back to the web page to see if your memories have been posted.
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits