Friday, August 23, 2013

The Friday Flash

Thank you Chuck Buell for taking us back in time with Reel Radio and the 3-19-70 aircheck from 89 WLS.  I was in 8th grade and the Top 40 on both WLS and Super CFL was probably my biggest hobby at the time.  I traveled to LA for the first time later that month, and grooved on KHJ - there were some differences in regional hits but generally the chart was similar.  Nothing like cruising (my dad behind the wheel, of course) Mulholland Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, etc. with "Love Or Let Me Be Lonely" by the Friends of Distinction blasting through the car radio!!!!  Gorgeous tune and gorgeous scenery. Thanks again Chuck Buell and Bobby Ocean!!!!! Bobster  
Chuck's Reel Radio airchecks came in as the #1 and #4 most-listened-to clips on Reel Radio last week ... so kudos and congrats all around!  (kk)  

I asked Chuck if he might be interested in doing an interview and this is what I got back:  
Holy McBuckets!!!
Two in the Top Four?!
Thank you for letting me know!
(Follow-Up on the Interview thing to come after I stop being "heady" about this Reel Radio Thing!)

Chuck later sent out a "thank you" note to those who made his aircheck #1 last week ...   
I must thank Uncle Ricky for this wonderful opportunity to be featured on the incomparable "Reel Radio" website  and to Bobby Ocean for his fantastic showcasing of my work on his "Bobby's Update Aircheck Channel" for without none of this would be possible. I am, indeed, humbled  . . . . ."  
(Fade in Overpowering "Time's Up" music here ...)  
The FAB 40 is determined by actual REEL RADIO listeners and ranked by SHARE of total listening time in the previous week. -- is the largest radio show aircheck archive in existence.  -  
Hmmm ... well, I'd like to think that maybe we helped just a LITTLE bit, too ... probably sending a couple hundred new listeners over to Reel Radio to check out these ... and some of their other amazing clips!!!  (kk)   

Clark Besch sent us a few more WLS / Chuck Buell goodies ... and another one of his hand-written charts.  Hard to believe WLS was playing some of this stuff this early ... but the proof is here that they were.  (Imagine that ... radio that was AHEAD of the times!!!) 
Anyway, some of this is probably more for the die-hards out there ... but I just love seeing this stuff!  (kk)
Chuck Buell basically pushed my fave Ron Riley to the later night shift in 1968, which I did not like, but Chuck was the new generation of DJs coming to WLS at the time.  I really enjoyed his upbeat presentation quickly on his show, using hip talk of the day as well.  In late October, 1968, I taped a bunch of songs off WLS and Chuck's show. 
This past Sunday night, I tuned across the Big 89 and there it was booming in like always, but instead of the greatness it once was, I found a sports talk show with the hosts barely able to get full sentences out of their mouths.  It was terrible. 
It's fun just to take a listen to what it was like on a souvenir weekend on WLS back in the great days!!  A few FH members in there, too!
Kent, can you pass this to Chuck if you do not want to post? 
Clark - I think I'll post and invite him to listen right here.  Thanks for sending!  (kk)

Here are a few items to go with the tape I sent.  The WLS Hit Parade from 10/21/68 when I recorded these items.  What a time!  Bubblegum vs. psychedelia.  Pop vs. Brit Invasion Pt 2.  The end basically of WLS playing locals on a normal basis with "Greenburg."  
Also, a clever wording of a Buell ad from a 1968 WLS chart.
Also, MY own hand written chart from two weeks later, listening in Dodge City, Kansas,  as Larry Lujack counted the survey down.  Lots of time to elaborate on my writing during listening, as you see.  It's interesting to see "Hair" written on the old teletype paper (our teletype was too old by 1968 to have speed used by Reuters then) rolls we used as scratch paper then.  Considering the song did not chart for months, did WLS actually play an acetate THIS soon before?  I know many have talked about this happening, but in November of 1968??  You'll note "Hey Bulldog" written in, too.  I still DO have Riley playing this advanced supposed new Beatles single in November, 1968, along with its supposed B side ""You're Too Much" (as Riley named it on the air).  They played it for a few days before they were stopped.  As it turned out, the songs did not appear on the White Album that was released shortly after, but instead came out in February of 1969 a lot like "Hair." 
Note that I must have been deciding what the Beatles tune was named from the lyrics "You Can't Talk To Me" before drawing a line thru it and writing in "Hey Bulldog."  Of course, Riley was wrong with the other "side" since the song was actually titled "It's All Too Much." 
WLS Clark Besch

Kent ...  
Here's a sample of what WCBS-FM is playing.
Frank B.

Click here: Playlist « WCBS-FM 101.1
Anybody interested can click on the link above ... but I can already tell you in advance that it is the EXACT SAME LIST that EVERY other radio station in America is also playing ... you won't find anything special or unique about it! (kk)   

Speaking of which, Frank B also sent us this piece by WCBS-FM Jock Dan Taylor, listing the ten songs he WISHES he could play on the radio.  People have to remember that it's not the disc jockey who selects the music ... it's the program director (and the "marketing research") that determines what gets played.  As such SO many GREAT songs are completely overlooked in favor of playing the same two or three hundred over and over and over again. The argument by radio is that listeners don't stay tuned in long enough to notice.  I have always maintained this to be programming with blinders on.  Give the listeners a REASON to stay tuned in longer and they will ... more variety, more personality ... something UNIQUE that every other station in town isn't already doing. THAT'S what will keep people listening to your station (and telling others about it.)  Anyway, here's Dan's list ... you'll find a couple of Forgotten Hits favorites on there.  (kk)
Kent ...
Maybe we can steal this idea from WCBS-FM & use it in Forgotten Hits. Ask readers to send in their 10 songs.
Frank B.
Actually, I think it's more like the other way around ... we've been making and playing these lists for almost 15 years now ... trying to get radio to expand its horizon ... sounds like HE stole the idea from us!!!  (lol)  kk 
(Now wouldn't it be nice if he could actually DO something about it?!?!?  ANYTHING!!!  Play one song per hour from your personal "overlooked" list ... ANYTHING to stand out as different.)  kk     

Hey Kent, 
Just got home from a car show in St. Cloud, MN. The “Pantowners” 40th annual Show and Swap Meet is billed as the biggest (one day) car show in Minnesota. I couldn’t help but think of “Forgotten Hits” on the ride home. As I got close to the entry gate, the first song I heard blastin’ out of the music system was, “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats. (Ike Turner). Talk about a wonderful afternoon! It occurred to me how well 50’s / 60’s music goes together with classic cars. Like Adam and Eve, or peanut butter and jelly, the music and cars are a perfect fit. After a lot of walking, I had a chance to just sit and listen to the music. What a great way to spend a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon. 
Yep, you'll usually find some great '50's and '60's music playing at these shows.  (kk)   

And "Be My Baby" is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, too ... the landmark song was the subject of a recent NY Times article:   

A radio reminder:
Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s presents "The Soundtrack Of The Eagles"  
Sunday, August 25th 12 - 4 pm (Central Time) on 88.1 WLTL  
The Soundtrack Of The Eagles is a radio companion to the DVD / cable documentary "History Of The Eagles".  
This radio special is a timeline of The Eagles music and solo careers from 1969's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" Bob Seger System through the 70s, 80s and beyond.  
Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s on TuneIn    

Our initial discussion with Chuck Buell started about some specific Coca Cola ads that he did the voice-overs on back in the late '60's and early '70's.  (Scroll back over the past couple of weeks to trace the history of this discussion).  FH Reader Clark Besch has sent in a few more examples, showing out sometimes different deejays recorded the same spots for their own markets.  Observe ...

>>>I have heard the SAME exact Coke commercial with a different jock doing the vocal overdubs, so in one city, you may get Ron Riley and in NY, you may have gotten Dan Ingram.  You may get the short 10 second version without overdub voice or the 1:30 version!  (Clark Besch)  
 >>>I can neither confirm nor dispute this, but I can't imagine why they would have more than one guy on a commercial.  It entailed flying the guy to New York, putting him up, studio time, and some pretty nice talent fees and residuals.  I don't care HOW big Coke was, they didn't get big by throwing unnecessary money around, but, hey, I dunno here!  I do know that sometimes they sent out a version with NO voice on it – in particular, and much to my chagrin, the Seekers "Teach" spot, at one time! Might have been after it became a hit or something.   (Chuck Buell)  
I'm guessing they may have used artist music and added big time large city jocks to the big markets as an added interest thing.  Maybe they sent stations the bed and stations added their own jock voice overs?  I know that the attached Coke commercials bear out what I spoke of earlier.  The Ron Riley cuts came from a 1967 Coke 7 inch reel to reel that was a Coke company labeled reel.  The other came off record.  Same music beds for both Gladys Knight and 5 Dimension with Riley and with another jock.Also, I have enclosed the Chuck Buell BJ Thomas spot and a Brooklyn Bridge one that must be him, but really doesn't sound a lot like him.  BJ's spot is unmistakably Buellistic.  Since both tracks came back to back on tape, I assume the Bridge one is indeed Chuck's voice over. 
I have the New Seekers' Coke 45 EP record.  Maybe that is Chuck's voice on it.  I have the New Seekers doing the Christmas jingle version too, but I'm pretty sure it's not Chuck on those voice overs.
I could dig up Clark Weber's Fontella Bass one, too, if you'd like me to.
Clark Besch  
Like I said before, I just think it's SO cool that people held on to this stuff for all this time ... true testament again as to just how important this music and this era were to us.  We have learned SO much over the years of doing Forgotten Hits, thanks to readers and collectors like this who have shared their treasures with our audience.  (kk)   

Definitely post more on the Coke commercials. I'm not a collector but I still downloaded about 25 of them back in the Napster era, just for nostalgia's sake. It makes me wonder how many more are kicking around out there. What did surprise me was the general quality of the original compositions, each of which was a 25 or 30 second song in its own right,
which then segued into the "Things go better..." jingle. I don't know if the Association ever did one, but I'd love to hear it if they did. All the bands / singers that I've seen were national. Did regional acts ever get to do them? A New Colony Six commercial would have been a very fine thing.
-- Jeff Duntemann
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
I don't think The New Colony Six ever recorded a Coke ad but I seem to remember them doing something for a couple of other product lines ... I just can't remember which ones.  Maybe one of the guys will see this and fill us in.  (kk)