Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 21 - 13 )

Got a nice letter from Bobby Goldsboro regarding the upcoming Sonny Geraci benefit / birthday concert:  
Dear Kent,   
Thanks so much for the invitation to join in Sonny's birthday celebration. Unfortunately, I won't be available to be there. I would appreciate it if you would pass on this message to Sonny:  
"Sonny, I have some fantastic memories of our touring days together. We had some great times! Take care and know that my love and prayers are with you."  
Bobby Goldsboro  
The concert he's referring to is an upcoming birthday / benefit concert, scheduled to be held November 15th and 16th at the Z Plex in Streetsboro, OH.  We're trying to get the word out to as many artists as possible to see if they might be available to participate in this worthy cause.  As you know, Sonny has been battling some health issues and has had several brain surgeries over the past couple of years.  We're hoping to help cover some of these enormous medical expenses.  So please help us to spread the word.  (kk)      

Hey Kent, 
Just heard this morning, 7/15/13, that Ray contacted Phlash Phelps on Sirius and made a correction on Sonny's status.  Apparently Phlash had gotten a phone call that gave him the incorrect info.  (hmmmm ... check your sources).  They also announced the benefit concert.  How great that we can be connected tight enough to hear things, check them out, and make needed corrections to get the true info out.  Thanks.   
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano  
I love Phlash Phelps ... one of the more entertaining guys on the air ... and we've stayed in touch from time to time over the FH years.  I can honestly say it's been tough getting updates on Sonny's condition ... but the good news is that he really does seem to be doing better.  Glad he was able to help get the word out about the concert, too ... we've been reaching out to all the jocks on the list to help spread the word and apparently several have already mentioned this on the air to help get the word out.  (kk) 

I have since heard from one of the promoters of this benefit concert asking acts unable to perform to donate something for their auction. Again money raised will be used to help pay for Sonny's enormous medical bills ... so here's another plea to artists to ask them to pitch in on another level if they are unable to clear their schedules to perform at the concert.  Thanks to EVERYBODY out there for helping us to spread the word.  (kk) 

And, speaking of charitable events ...  

Beatles Music Festival specifies benefitting charity  
Dear Friends, 
Surrounding the most unfortunate event that transpired in Newtown, Connecticut, the question, while harboring compassion and concern, was what might be an effective way for the "Danbury Fields Forever" Music Festival to provide a contribution in connecting with the community and its victims.  "Danbury Fields Forever" is a day-long Music, Arts & Food festival taking place at Ives Concert Park, 43 Lake Avenue Ext. on the campus of Western CT State University in Danbury, CT on Saturday, August 3rd, from noon - 8 pm. Danbury is minutes from Newtown, CT.   
 While considering a range of options that will help memorialize the victims along with embracing the victims' families and community, it was decided that the restoration of Newtown's 300-acre Dickinson Memorial Park Wetlands & Playground will create a sanctuary for wildlife and plant habitat, but moreover, a healthy environment for its visitors while enabling the occasion to immerse in the beauty and healing components of nature where greater control of thoughts and feelings are gained. The final project will spread over roughly 1.5 acres with natural elements, climbing stones, built in musical instruments and a water area with sand; an environment that provides a great way to help restore confidence and safety in the community and its children. Coming up with a charity recipient for this family-friendly music festival was spawned from a recommendation from area radio station WRKI (i95fm).  
100% of net proceeds from ticket sales from "Danbury Fields Forever" go to Newton Parks & Recreation's “Dickinson Memorial Playground Fund.” The first $2 from each ticket sold will benefit the "Newspapers in Education" program. Tickets start at only $20.00 and are available from:
Open to all ages, this returning family-friendly festival will feature 10 bands, each representing different eras or presentations of Beatles music. Another feature of the festival will be music & memorabilia booths and exhibits for fans & collectors, plus family features such as face-painting & inflatables for kids. There will be a variety of food and beverages vendors. Further information on the event can be found at website
For those who cannot attend the event but would like to contribute, make checks payable to:  "Newton Parks & Recreation Gift Fund" (with memo reference specifically noting: “Dickinson Memorial Playground Fund”) and address to: Newtown Parks & Recreation, 3 Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470.  
As The Beatles sang ... "We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends."

For further details, press questions or any other information, please email or phone (203) 795-4737.

I went back to your piece on "Who Played the Very First Beatles Record in America?" ...
because I wanted to double check the info on this website ...
What a coincidence to find the shot of Doc Rock with Louise Harrison in today's FH and in your feature!

Hey Kent,    
A relative game me this artist's impression of a chamber orchestra. Isn't that John Lennon on second violin?
- John LaPuzza


I got this note from Gary Pike, formerly of The Lettermen, who was able to attend Alan O'Days Memorial Service over the weekend.  As he states below, this was more of a musical celebration of life than a wake service ... probably 
EXACTLY what Alan would have preferred.   
Hi Kent, 
Here is a copy of the program for Alan O’Day’s memorial service on Sunday.  There were around 150 or better in attendance and it was cool for this old MOR artist to be there with mostly old Rockers.  They put on a great show and, as expected, it was a celebration of life rather than a wake.  It was held at Village Recording Studios in West LA where they have a small auditorium and it was just right.  The studio has had artists from the Stones to Streisand record there.  It was a wonderful sendoff for Alan and some great stories were told by his best friends.  He loved to make people laugh as much as create music and he will surely be missed.  
As you already know, The Lettermen recorded a couple of his tunes in the early 70’s like “Easy Evil”, and “Spin Away”.
Gary Pike

Hi Kent -  
The Hollies have been studio guests and phoners several times. Graham Goulman of 10CC  wrote "Look Through Any Window".  
Geoff Dorsett  

I really don't have to tell you how much the song "Look Through Any Window" by the Hollies means to me. IT was what made me a solid fan of WLS radio.  IT was what solidified my Brit Invasion fetish.  IT was instantly (and probably still is) my fave song of the 60's ... at age 9 and still at age 57!  The Beatles and DC5 were already big faves of mine and despite the energy most DC5 songs had blown thru my ears to that point, the opening guitar licks and singing on "Window" just made me shocked.  On my personal charts, it rated #1 for 5 weeks, with only the Sunrays' "Andrea" displacing it for one week. 
Fast forward to all the Hollies videos I have collected thru the years and mostly grainy stuff, the new "Window" DVD was a HUGE surprise.  Not only was the quality awesome, but I had not SEEN many of these OTHER videos of songs I had in other video forms.  The "On a Carousel" footage was best of all, but SO many were amazing.  Definitely a "must have" for any Hollies fan!
Clark Besch  
It is, without question, one of the best rockumentaries ever made.  The footage is outstanding (and crystal clear ... like you said, stuff we never even knew existed!)  Making even more entertaining are the candid interviews sprinkled throughout.  While I have always liked The Hollies, I came away holding them in even higher regard.  This is a "must have" video, available here:  Click here: The Hollies: Look Through Any Window 1963-1975: The Hollies: Movies & TV  
In fact, some Amazon "partners" have this available for as little as seven bucks ... so you've really got no excuse not to buy, steal or rent this movie today!!!  (kk)  

I did see the Hollies reunion tour in Chicago.  Now, having said that, I'm sure that Kent will want me to give a review of the Hollies reunion show at Soldier Field, Chicago, approximately 30 years ago to the day. To be honest about it, all I remember is Graham Nash rambling on about how magical it was. I've always wondered who signed off on remaking Stop In The Name Of Love. I would have not selected that as a comeback single, not when you have Allan Clarke & Graham Nash in your band. I believe that year Chicagofest was not held at Navy Pier because they were rehabbing / (remodeling?) the area to where it's now a great tourist attraction. Soldier Field might be a great place to see a Chciago Bears football game, but not an outdoor concert. We've all been to outdoor arenas where we are hearing the fifth echo of what's being played. Sorta like the seven second delay they have on radio talk shows. For a band like the Hollies, that specialize in tight harmonies, it's almost painful. And I'd seen them about 10 years earlier, around the time of Long Cool Woman, in a real concert hall. (Chicago's Auditorium Theater). Even though Graham was not with them, it was still a great show and I had high hopes for the 1983 show. I was disappointed. Also around the same time, The Animals were doing a reunion tour. It's quite possible I saw both legendary acts the same week. So my main rememberences was that while the Hollies probably put on a great show, from my vantage point, it was hard to tell just what they were singing. Wish I could be more helpful and positive.  

I really enjoyed today's post about "The Hollies". Always a favorite of mine. "On a Carousel" was the theme we used for our 8th grade graduation dance back in Milwaukee.   I loved the trailer for the DVD. I got a real chuckle when Tony Hicks mentioned that little Elton John played on several of their songs and that they paid him 12 pounds but if he played with them now he would want more ... too funny.  
Those kinds of moments run throughout this film ... it is entertaining as can be. (Graham Nash telling the story of him leaving the band, only to have them then have the biggest hit of their careers with "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" ... in Nash's words "How dare they?!?!?"  lol  The true stories behind "Stop Stop Stop" and "Carrie Anne" are VERY interesting ... in fact, once you know that "Stop Stop Stop" actually happened one night as a result of an attractive belly dancer, the song takes on a whole new meaning ... and actually tells the whole story of that fateful night.)  And the in-studio footage of the band creating "On A Carousel" is nothing short of mesmerizing ... something that would have never been captured on film had a crew not been there in the studio filming The Beatles next door!!! Seriously, ANYBODY out there who has ever had even the SLIGHTEST interest or appreciation for The Hollies' music should pick up a copy of this DVD ... you will not be disappointed.  (kk)  

>>>I just thought of something.  Enjoyed your recent series on "goosebump" moments for readers of your website. But, have you thought of anything like a "boosegump" moment?  Think about it!  What record in particular am I thinking of?  (Larry)   
>>>Any ideas out there?  (kk)     
Made ME think of this:  
 -- Ron Smith  

Hot Time Summah In The City Back Of My Neck Get Tired And Gritty!  Whew!
Well another ingenious method of garnering 'Hits' to the site! 
(The Site that's Outta Sight!) (Dyn-O-Mite!)
Is a Boosegump a song that turned you off as soon as you heard it ?   ha ha Honey perhaps ?
Keep 'em coming and stay Hydrated !!!

Last night I was channel surfing and heard your 'Goosebump' Bread song 'Baby I'm A Want You' playing in a Lays Potato chip commercial. 
Phil - WRCO  
What a great use of music!  (not!)  kk  
I would love to put together a goosebump show for my radio program ... I could get a few of my listeners to read theirs on the air ... and then we could record some of the favorite  'Goosebump' moments from your Forgotten Hits readers, too.  We could give them a number to call, 24/7, and they could read it into my voice mail.  That is saved directly to my computer and I can process them for air.  I think it would make for a great show. 
What say you, readers?  Wanna do a six hour radio special together?  By pre-recording some of these we can then edit in the music to play many of these goosebumps tracks on the air.  I'm game if you are ... let's open it up to the audience and see what THEY think.  Sounds like a fun show to me!  (kk)  

>>>According to Chicagoland Radio and Media, WLS-FM producer Tony Lossano found a classic television episode of "Donahue" from November 22, 1983. This particular episode talked about music on the radio and what Phil Donahue considered "dirty" songs by such "controversial" artists as Hall & Oates and John Mellencamp. The guest panelists were four radio mega-stars:  Howard Stern, Jonathon Brandmeier, Larry Lujack, and Dick Biondi. Lossano cleaned up the old VHS video and now has it posted up on YouTube for all to enjoy. This gem (with the 1983 Phoenix-area commercials, too) can be seen HERE It is VERY cool to see this now.  (Most amazing ... you'll be 29 minutes into before you hear Larry Lujack utter a single word!!!  Even then I'm not sure he says more than five complete sentences during the entire hour.)  kk
A very interesting hour.
I'm not so sure the jocks stayed interested for the whole hour!  Lujack looked like he'd have rather been ANYWHERE else ... or, like me, just found Phil's whole take on this totally ridiculous and self-serving.  (Criticize the jocks for playing the music they play ... over which they have absolutely NO control ... and say it's polluting the minds of our youth and far too promiscuous ... and then have hookers on your program the very next day.  Way to go, Phil!)  kk  

Thanks for posting the link. I think Dick Biondi did the best job of talking about the DJ's position.  
Dick is on my list of people I'd most love to meet. He is the first Jock I remember listening to every night from the time I was 4 or 5 years old on WLS. He's a true Icon. 
They could do this show all over again. If anything it's gotten worse.  
I don't think it affected me when I was a kid, but kids are so much more bombarded with stuff that who knows if any of it has any affect on kids today.  
A big change in lyrics from the time I was a kid until I was in high school, though. 
Dick Biondi was, by far, the most well-spoken dj on the forum ... and the only one who seemed to take it seriously.  He made several good points along the way, none of which Phil Donahue wanted to hear because they did fit his preconceived agenda.  Biondi is a class act ... hard to believe that in the early '60's HE was considered to be as controversial as Lujack and Stern in their hey-day. Incredibly, he's still going strong today, handling overnights for WLS-FM and making countless local appearances.  (I wish I had this guy's energy!!!)  
Jonathan Brandmeier is simply a likeable, entertaining guy ... there was a time in the late '70's and early '80's where his program was "can't miss" entertainment ... and EVERY person you came in contact with had listened to his show earlier that day ... so we were all in on the same jokes and characters.  It was fun to see Stern so young, defending what he does on the air ... poor guy's been singing the same song for over 30 years now and the audience STILL doesn't get it.  Remember in "Private Parts" when they were trying to analyze his show and the big-wigs at the radio station couldn't understand how listeners hated him SO much ... enough to complain ... but kept tuning in ... and STAYING tuned in ... because they wanted to hear what he would say next.  Talk about a captive audience!  
I'm not sure what was wrong with Lujack that day ... normally his biting wit would have cut through all of Donahue's crap ... but I honestly think he felt like "What's the point?  This guy hasn't got a clue!!!"  Meanwhile, Biondi came away as the elder statesman of radio (and one heck of a classy guy), while Stern and Brandmeier just tried to outrageously outdo each other.  (Personally, I give it to Johnny B!)  kk

And congratulations to WCBS-FM in New York, proving once again that the oldies format is NOT dead.  This from FH Reader Frank B:
Kent ... 
Check out what David Hinckley wrote in today's Daily News.  When the Arbitron radio ratings this month showed WCBS-FM (101.1) tied with WLTW (106.7 FM) for the city's top spot, it marked another step in the remarkable comeback of a station whose format was declared dead in 2005.
WCBS-FM was the country's defining " Oldies " station from the 1980's to the early 2000's. But in 2005, declaring its audience too old, CBS switched to "Jack."  "Jack" tanked , and in 2007 CBS switched again, to an updated version of oldies called "Classic Hits."  
Ratings are also rising among 25 - 54 year olds, the group CBS feared it had lost in 2005. It feels good to be on top again.
Frank B.

Publicity Department

Hi Kent - 
Gotta share a few comments from today's FH log ... 

  • Re: "Good Vibrations never lived up to all the hype" - - Most of the hype came after it's release. It may not be everyone's favorite Beach Boys song but it rocked the rock world of its day and continues to sound fresh and even cutting edge.
  • Re: "Good Vibrations was a disappointment" - - Yikes! #6 on Rolling Stone magazines 500 Greatest Songs, and many consider it the greatest pop single ever.
  • Re: "They gave us crap like Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" - - Not even a Beach Boys fanatic like myself would call this great music. But that's the point. It wasn't music, it was humor. One of the unrecognized aspects of Brian's creativity was his take on humor. Our Favorite Recording Sessions is deemed a throw-away while the Beatle-zania of Hard Day's Night (the film) is lauded as an epic film for the ages. I'm Bugged At My Old Man uses a silly lead "vocal" to tell an all-too-true-story. The pre-historic Beach Boys videos, such as the pool scene in Sloop John B, are all attempts to inject humor into a musical context. 
  • Re: "The Beatles helped raise that standard by offering NO filler tracks" - - That sounds like a Beach Boys fan defending Cassius Love vs Sonny Wilson! I assume the "No filler tracks" fine print excludes a Ringo cut or two. Maybe one of their covers of a long-forgotten song?
  • Re: "Their early LPs were also filled with surf instrumental ... NOT something you pick up a Beach Boys album to hear ... not with those incredible voices." - - Yes and no. At the time those instrumentals were part of the Beach Boys live performance DNA. They began as a garage band and slowly matured into their signature sound. And, that Beach Boys sound is as much the instrumentation as it is the voices. Stack-O-Tracks (instruments only), which everyone thought was a total filler, revealed the sound behind those amazing vocals. I can still remember the excitement I felt when hearing the instrumental backing of Sloop John B and California Girls  blaring out of my stereo speakers for the first time. That was in 1968. The Beach Boys may have the only rock catalogue that could be a hit if there were no vocals!  
  • Re: My comments ... As you can tell, I am completely objective; no Beach Boys bias whatsoever. 

Point by point ... 
As I recall, even at the time of its initial release the big buzz was how much studio time (and how much MONEY) The Beach Boys spent in order to create this track.  I'm not saying it wasn't a revolutionary track ... it certainly was ... I just never felt like the end result justified the means.  (And I will admit ... maybe in a sense I was a little bit like the guys at Capitol Records who wondered why The Beach Boys were messing with their very successful sound.)  When I look at what other records were in The Top 40 when "Good Vibrations" climbed to #1 it was really quite a mixed bag ... for one thing, it displaced "Winchester Cathedral" at #1 for its lone week on top of Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles chart.  (Music didn't sound much stranger than this New Vaudeville Band offering that fall!)  Recent #1's included The Monkees' debut single "Last Train To Clarksville", as big a pop record as any, "You Keep Me Hanging' On" by The Supremes and "Reach Out, I'll Be There" by The Four Tops, keeping the sound of Motown at the top of the charts and "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterians, one of the all-time great Garage Band hits.  Also on the charts that week:  "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan, an early example of psychedelia, "Born Free" by Roger Williams, a M-O-R standard that still seemed to fit somehow ... ditto for "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra (actually one of my favorite records by him), "Sugar Town" by his daughter Nancy and "Hooray For Hazel", some early bubblegum pop from our FH Buddy Tommy Roe.  The Beatles were still six months away from releasing "Sgt. Pepper" (although "Penny Lane" would debut on the charts in a few short weeks, sort of the precursor for this new era of music to come.)  Without question, The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" album helped inspire and drive The Fab Four to new heights.  Both seemed to have the same philosophy ... Brian and The Beatles had quit the road to concentrate instead on more quality studio time ... and both have admitted to trying to outdo each other in some type of oneupence, all to the benefit of the listeners at home. 
As for album filler about the only time The Beatles actually did this was on their first LP ... Parlophone wanted to get something out into the marketplace right away to cash in on their most recent hit single so the boys went into the studio and recorded their entire first album in a day!!!  The easiest way to do that was to have them record many of the songs they were used to performing each night at The Cavern Club, some dating back to their early days in Hamburg.  As such, you got a LOT of cover tunes on this LP... pretty much the way things were done through their "Beatles For Sale" album in late 1964.  The boys were out on the road non-stop back then so even though they had progressed significantly as songwriters, most of these tracks were saved for their singles releases.  That being said, I'll put The Beatles' versions of "Roll Over Beethoven", "Kansas City", "Rock And Roll Music" and "Words Of Love" up against ANY others ever recorded.  They absolutely KILL on these tracks ... and (speaking strictly from personal experience) introduced a whole new world to music they may have missed due to being too young when these tracks were released by the original artists the first time around.  I know I investigated further the music of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Larry Williams and other specifically because I loved what The Beatles did with their tunes and wanted to know more about these artists, if only because The Beatles liked them ... let's find out what's here to like.
Very much like The Beach Boys, The Beatles were (in those early days) a band of brothers.  And they also knew how to please their fans.  Each individual Beatle had their own legion of fans ... so they made sure there was always a George track and a Ringo track on each LP to satisfy the demands of their loyal following.  Ringo was, by unanimous decision, NOT the greatest singer around ... but they found songs for him that he could sing well, even if that meant more covers like "Boys" (a GREAT vocal by the way), "Honey Don't" and "Matchbox" ... and guess what ... they all got played on the radio and people bought 'em.
Brian, on the other hand, didn't even use his real band in the studio!  Granted, he was trying to make the best records possible and to that degree, he succeeded enormously.  But he, too, would often throw in a Denny track ("Do You Wanna Dance" being the most famous and successful one) to spotlight the entire group.  Heck, Dennis probably even drummed on a track or two! (lol)  Keep in mind, Brian and Carl had to be badgered by their parents to even let Dennis into the group!  That being said, I'll put the film "A Hard Day's Night" (which clearly pointed to Ringo as the "starr" of the group, at least on film ... he had a MUCH bigger following here in The States than he did back home, where several people still resented him for replacing Pete Best on drums!) against "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Liston" all day long.  (Keep in mind, The Beatles didn't WRITE the film "A Hard Day's Night" ... all they did was star in it!)
Capitol Records has done a GREAT job of showing the depth of The Beach Boys' recordings ... releasing both "Stack Of Tracks", the full backing instrumentals as well as vocals-only rendering of many of their best-known songs.  In both cases, they excel.  But again, I would point out that it isn't The Beach Boys  who are actually PLAYING on those "Stack Of Tracks" tracks ... they were created by The Wrecking Crew ... and they are immaculately constructed by the sheer genius of big brother Brian.  I have ALWAYS maintained that each new Beach Boys track (from about "California Girls" on) were little mini-symphonies ... NOBODY else was spending that much time and attention to detail as Brian was with the construction of these tracks.  They are nothing short of magnificent and, when coupled with the incredible harmonies of the band, the outshone ANYTHING else coming out at the time.
Keep in mind to that the focus of world was on The Beatles at all times.  They were the perceived leaders of the music revolution at the time ... no matter what happened, history has been rewritten to show that it happened because of The Beatles simply because they did it first.  Except this isn't really true.
The Beatles didn't invent (or even first experiment) with the psychedelic sound ... but once they were exposed to it, they took that concept and moved it to another level.  With the eyes and ears of the world on their every move, they then got credit for developing this new sound.  Simply not true.
Look at The Moody Blues' album "Days Of Future Passed", first released in 1968.  It was, in every sense of the word, a truly conceptional (and exceptional!) album, light years ahead of its time musically (fully orchestrated and thematic) ... so much so that it's biggest hit single, "Nights In White Satin" wouldn't become a hit until four years later when it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Chart.  (Now THAT's what I call "Ahead Of Your Time"!!!)
That's because all of the focus then was on The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" LP, also a revolutionary piece of work that captured the hearts of the world at large.  Yet The Beatles themselves admitted that "Sgt. Pepper" NEVER would have come to be had it not been for The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" album the year before.  That healthy bit of competition gave the listeners the best of both worlds ... and truly inspired both bands to greater heights than they ever would have achieved otherwise.
So, wrapping up yet another long-winded tirade, I, too, will allow certain prejudices toward The Beatles, as this was the music I grew up with.  I don't think I fully "got" The Beach Boys at the time ... certainly not from an LP-status anyway.  I grew to appreciate this work over time, after YEARS of listening and dissecting ... the music of The Beatles was far more "immediate" for me.  But to my mind, no two artists took music further during that magical decade.  So while I won't quite call it a "tie", I will acknowledge a respect for your point of view, as I find it well-founded.  (And who doesn't love a good debate?!?!?)  I'm sure we'll hear LOTS more on this topic now that we've aired our point / counterpoint discussion publicly ... so bring it on, readers!  (kk)

I like this one because ...
A)  It offers some GREAT commentary on the state of the music business today (a time where it sometimes seems like talent has very little, if anything, to do with things)
B) It pays spot-on tribute to some of our late '90's / early '00's boy bands (if you raised kids during this era, my guess is that you, too, have a special place in your heart for these guys) ... and
C) Because these guys can REALLY sing.
Check out the latest track from The Wanted ... 

... my new favorite song!  (kk)