Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Hi Kent, 
You've probably written about this somewhere on the Forgotten Hits site, but without an index, it's not possible to check. 
Have you heard anything about why the Shindig shows aren't packaged up on DVD? 
A number of Shindig! episodes were available back in the day of VHS tapes but I don't see much listed anymore today.  However, you can find used copies all over Amazon and eBay.  I know that Video Beat has the COMPLETE collection (in varying quality) available as an "unauthorized" DVD set ... several readers on our list have purchased copies and been very happy with the collection.  You can check it out here:  
Click here: SHINDIG! DVD – The Complete Series – ALL 86 EPISODES! on DVD! - SHINDIG TV SHOW on DVD!   
(It ain't cheap ... but it's all there!) 
As for navigating our site, I'll agree that it's a little bit tougher than it should be ... but you WILL find things eventually. 
Use the search engine at the top of the page (upper left hand corner) ... 
If you simply type in "Shindig", you'll find TONS of listings. (The first one that pops up is the death notice of Jimmy O'Neill).  Then, at the bottom (lower right hand corner) click on "More Posts" and it will take you through everything else it sorted on this topic.  (kk) 

I'm thinking you covered this before. The story goes that Billy Joel played piano on the opening chords to the Shangra-Las' hit (Remember) Walking In the Sand. I'm also thinking that you pretty much were able to prove that it's a figment of Billy's imagination.  Wiki said he was 16 at that time, but an examination of when the record came out and Billy's birthday suggest that he couldn't have been more than 15 and more likely 14. Now if I didn't read that here, I have no idea where I saw it. The topic came up today in a Facebook group I'm in. Hopefully some FH reader can shed some light on this. Thanks.
It seems to me that we disproved this one some time back as well.  Do you have a source where Billy Joel himself is making this claim?  Because as I recall, it was Billy who put the kabosh on the whole thing, saying the rumor needed to stop.  Anybody else know (or remember) for sure???  (kk) 

Hi Kent -
Enjoyed your info on all the upcoming winter concerts! 
This is thinking far ahead, but I hope the Summer Concerts are just as good. I am hoping that Brian Wilson tours in the Chicago area so I can see him.
Received some old 45s recently to put in my juke box and I came across a record called: I've Had It by the Bellnotes.
I loved hearing it again! I think it came out in the late, late fifties or the early sixties???
I am curious if you have any information on them. They were one hit wonders! When in doubt ask the master ...
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,
Hey, that spring concert line-up in Elk Grove Village looks pretty darn good, too ... I'm really looking forward to going to some of those!
The Bell Notes released three chart singles between January of 1959 and August of 1960 ... but it's not surprising that "I've Had It" is the only one you'd know or remember.  That's because the other two ("Old Spanish Town" and "Shortnin' Bread") peaked at #76 and #96 respectively on the Billboard chart ... while "I've Had It" made it all the up to #6.  (It did even better here in Chicago, peaking at #3.)
According to Joel Whitburn's book "Top Pop Singles, The Bell Notes consisted of Carl Bonura on vocals and sax, Ray Ceroni on vocals and guitar, Lenny Giamblavo on bass, Peter Kane on piano and John Casey on drums.  The group hailed from Long Island, New York, and were discovered by WADO disc jockey Alan Fredericks.
According to Wayne Jancik's book "The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders", Fredericks met the band at a record hop, liked their sound and brought them into Manhattan to record "I've Had It", which he also produced.  The Top Ten success of that record landed them on Alan Freed's television show as well as a spot on the bill touring with both Frankie Avalon and Bobby Darin.  But follow-up success eluded them so the group split up in 1962.  (A fourth single, "That's Right", charted here in Chicago in 1959, peaking at #31.) 
Doing a quick online search to see if there was any additional material available, I found a source claiming that Steven Tyler and Ray Tabano of Aerosmith used to check out The Bell Notes' act when they performed at a club owned by Tabano's father.  In fact, the two would also go up on stage between sets and perform as an "intermission" act, sometimes even performing the group's biggest hit "I've Had It" live on stage! 
In his biography "Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?", Tyler says:
"When I was about fourteen, I hung out with Ray at his dad's bar on Morris Park Avenue in the Bronx.  Not bad for a hangout.  He would let us drink beer.  A local Bronx R&B group, The Bell Notes, used to perform there and, between their sets, Ray and I would sing their 1959 hit 'I've Had It'.  We'd also do the old Leadbelly song 'Cotton Fields', but in the collegiate folk song style of The Highwaymen, who had a hit with it in 1962."  Now THAT's pretty cool, isn't it???  (kk) 

I just discovered your website and found a picture there that I am curious about. 
Do you know if that is the Long Beach or the Rockaways boardwalk in your photograph of Joey Heatherton?
Also ... do you anything about the song "Forever Yours" by Debbie Meli?
That's a tough one ... because John Madara lived in both Philadelphia AND Los Angeles ... so I guess I'll have to ask him!  (lol) As for the Debbie Meli song, no, I'm not familiar with it ... but perhaps one of our readers is ... gang?  (kk)
Meanwhile, here is John's response  (and the photo in question):
Hi Kent ...
That picture was taken in Atlantic City, Summer of 1966. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Lots of love,
Here is a link for the old Debbie Meli song:
Pretty song ... but no, I'm not familiar with it.  Perhaps one of our astute readers can shed a little more light on this (?)  Thanks, Guys!  (kk)  

I found your site here today, great site! 
I was listening to XM 60’s on 6 and they had Tommy James on and he mentioned he got the either Mony Mony or Hanky Panky off the B side of “That Boy John” 45.  
Is that true?  
Tony Simone 
Midland, MI
It was "Hanky Panky" ... and it's absolutely true. "Hanky Panky" was the flipside of The Raindrops' single "That Boy John", released in late 1963.  James covered it with his local band from Niles, Michigan, and, other than selling a bunch of copies at his local appearances, watched it do absolutely nothing on the charts.
Then two years later a disc jockey in Pittsburg dug it out and started playing it and the phone lines lit up ... fans couldn't get enough.  Tommy had to head out to the east coast, put together a brand new band of Shondells and tour behind what would soon become his first #1 single.
(By the way, "Mony Mony" was inspired by the Mutual Of New York sign that kept flashing in Tommy's hotel room window one night ... get it?  M.O.N.Y. M.O.N.Y.
If you haven't read Tommy's autobiography, it's an EXCELLENT read ... a "must have" for any fan of '60's music.  (And soon to be a motion picture!)
Meanwhile, here's that rare "first edition" recording of "Hanky Panky" by The Raindrops from 1963.  (kk)

I am looking for some help.  I am trying to help my buddy Frank Merrill in his quest for elusive radio surveys of the 50's.  It MIGHT help you, too, to make some nice cash! 
Frank has probably amassed the largest collection of radio charts in the world.  He MOSTLY wants ORIGINAL-ONLY, locally published** charts before 1960, but sometimes needs obscure stations after 1959 (NO top 100 markets!).  Before 1960, nearly all markets are fair game.  His goal is to obtain only ONE survey per station (as early a date and year as possible) - he doesn't collect runs / sequences. 
** (in other words, not something like the charts that used to be published in places like R&R, Cash Box, Record World ... but LOCAL newspaper columns with radio charts are VERY highly sought!)
As long as they show songs in ranked sequence, numbered or obviously ranked, format doesn't matter at all.  Even religious, Spanish, easy listening, etc., charts are cool and sought by him.

Let me tell you up front that he thinks the chances of anyone having a 1963 and up chart he needs is 1 in 1000.  1960 - 62 are transitional for him.  BUT anything he needs before 1960 could be worth some good money for the seller, usually $100 or more, and he's ready to buy.  It just depends on IF he needs any you have, and he's far more likely to need pre-1960 stuff.However, a "music industry" source which may have amassed survey charts from stations all over is "fair game" for ANY era - even the 1970s or 1990s.  Such batches usually include many charts that never got to the public.  Offers for needed charts are lower than $50, but still considerable.
He's a friend who has sold ME many surveys and I have given him some he needed as well.  If YOU have anything or even if you REMEMBER someone who had some and can get an email or snail mail address, it could be worth their trouble to contact him.  If you can put word out on your blog, that'd be great, too! 
His email address is: fmerrilljr@yahoo.com  If you'd rather contact me first, that's ok too.  He's totally legit and I have dealt with him for 4 decades. 
Thanks for taking time to read this! 
Take care! 
Clark Besch
More info from Frank if you wish to know more:

"SOME EXAMPLES of the kinds of prices I'll pay for these, if I need them
ANYTHING before 1955, and most stuff from 1955:  at least $500.  Anything before 1950 at least $1,000.  1956 - 1957 tends to be $250 or more, if needed. 
Any FM STATION CHART earlier than 1960 - at least $500.  Any "carrier-current" college chart before 1960 - at least $500.  Anything in Mexico (except XEAK Tijuana) before 1960 at least $300; at least $500 anywhere else in Latin America. 
A short list of stations $500 or more, before 1960, include WDSU New Orleans (and most others from there), ANYTHING from Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota (KIHO Sioux Falls possibly $1,000).  WTMJ Milwaukee.  Also, from Michigan, WWJ Detroit, WMIC Monroe, WHRV (if from 1960's - or FOUR FIGURES if from 1950's) Ann Arbor.  At least $300 for any Fifties from Nevada, New Jersey, Saskatchewan, Canadian Maritimes.  $30 or more from almost any land-based BRITISH radio stations from 1970's and later.   4KQ Brisbane, Australia; WDEL-TV Wilmington DE; WMBD-TV Peoria (from THE SIXTIES!) all $1,000.  Some of these Fifties I've sought for FIFTY years, started collecting 8/26/1963!   (All the New Orleans AM radio stations had their Top Fives printed weekly in the New Orleans Item during 1957.  I may offer as much as $2,000 for an original newsprint page with these.) 
THE HISTORY OF EARLY CHARTS in so many cities is entirely unknown!   For example, nothing from Philadelphia has ever been found before 1958.   There were probably hundreds if not thousands of Station charts I would pay well over $100 for.   A complete want list is impossible because so much is unknown.   The most INCREDIBLE source of charts would be stuff "from all over" that got sent to a record industry source.  Besides myself, there is nobody else in the world (who I've found) who will routinely pay more than $10 for "needed" surveys from any era - so if you have anything like this, "strike while the iron is hot."   I don't really care about condition!
Wow ... GREAT opportunity for all our chart collectors out there to pick up a few extra bucks right before the holidays!  I've known Frank for over 35 years ... I used to buy from him all the time through Goldmine Magazine back in the day when I used to collect 45's (and sell them as well.) Good guy ... with an INCREDIBLE collection.
Interested parties can contact him direct through the email address above ... and tell him Forgotten Hits sent you!  (kk) 

And, speaking of survey wants, here's a short list from our FH Buddy Bill Hengels ... he's down to just a select few ORIGINAL WLS and WCFL charts that he's looking for to complete his collection:   

I need your help ... 
I am looking for several original WLS & WCFL (Chicago) surveys. I need these to replace B/W copys or bad originals. I do have a full set of both but need some originals. 
I have worked with some of you in the past but here is an updated list.



OCT 14 15 22? 29
NOV 5 12 19
DEC 3 10 17


JAN 7 21
FEB 11
MAR 18



FEB 17 24

I also have reproductions of the 1st two WLS Surveys that I made up to look like the original surveys.
I also have reproductions of the missing WLS surveys from 1972-1973.
I made up the surveys from lists that I got from Kent at Forgottenhits@aol.com if you are interested. Kent got the list from a friend who wrote down the lists from the foam boards each week.   
I also have WLS / WCFL surveys for sale / trade

And, speaking of the charts, here's the latest word from Chart Guru Randy Price, keeper of the online Cash Box Chart Archives ... 

I am in the process of adding the "Looking Ahead" charts to the Chart Archives at cashboxmagazine.com. These were Cash Box's equivalent to the "Bubbling Under" charts in Billboard. The first "Looking Ahead" chart was published in the Oct. 3, 1959, issue of Cash Box, listing 20 songs that were "showing signs of breaking into the Cash Box Top 100." The "Looking Ahead" chart increased to 25 positions the following week, and by the end of April 1961 had expanded to 50 positions. There is a link at the bottom of each weekly chart page in the online Archives for that week's "Looking Ahead" chart (currently provided through the end of 1965, with more in the works). I've counted over 1,000 records that appeared on the "Looking Ahead" charts, just  through 1964, that were never on the Billboard pop charts (Hot 100 or "Bubbling Under"). So this is a rare treat for those who would like to follow the national progress of records that might have been regional hits in their areas.
-- Randy Price
Great news, Randy.  (I'm wondering if Joel Whitburn will eventually release a supplement to his new Cash Box book coming out next year that will also encompass this chart data, much like he did with the Record World Charts a year ago ... hope so!)  Happy to spread the word.  (kk)