Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday This And That

I had tickets for one of the performances of the Rascals on Broadway scheduled for later this month, but I just received notification that those shows have been canceled. I haven't yet found out the reason why.
– Randy
Check out our Sunday Comments Page ...
We had exclusive quotes from both Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish.
Apparently a money issue ... the high costs of putting the show on leaves nothing left for anybody else to get paid.
Funny that no "official" statement was ever released ... so I feel kinda proud that we got an "exclusive" from two of the band members ... even though it was bad news. (kk)

I saw the Rascals concert in AlbaNY and loved it. I like breaking up the show with a story about the band and can’t understand why other legendary artists don’t do this. By the way,  the local newspaper critic hated the entire concept.   MARK
While scouring the Internet over Thanksgiving Weekend trying to find official reasons for the cancellation of all these shows, I ran across numerous reviews of their show, both positive and negative.  (No, we were NOT alone in our assessment.)  Likewise, an awful lot of fan commentary about the outrageous ticket prices. (Although clearly this was a VERY expensive show to put on.)  Perhaps there's a compromise to be found somewhere in between. If The Rascals truly did enjoy performing together again ... and can scale down the production in order to give more of an "in concert" approach ... who knows ... they may soon be back on the road again, playing to the fans who most want to see them.  I'm sure glad WE got the chance to go before they pulled the plug ... from day one I considered this to be a "once in a lifetime" chance to finally see them ... so I'm definitely glad I did.   (kk)  

SUGGESTIONS (?):  If the cost of putting on the show if prohibitive do one of two things ... strike a deal with a theater to "house" the show for an extended period of time to bring the costs down ... if fans knew that this was the one place to see the full show in all its glory ... and that it was going to be playing there for a good length of time ... they'll come see it ... in other words, let the fans come to you.  Heck, they do this in Vegas all the time ... lock up a two or three year "stay" and then let it be known as the ONLY place to catch the show.
Or ... if you like the touring aspect (which will get you to even more cities and fans), then tour as The Rascals without all the fanfare ... go on out and play the hits ... and sell the "Live DVD" of the BIG show in the lobby at all the concert dates so that people who missed it still have a chance to experience the full-blown production.  (In fact, sales of the DVD will help to offset some of the production costs of putting on the show each night!)  Plus it'll make for an EXCELLENT keepsake for the fans (as well as provide the PERFECT opportunity to edit that show to perfection.  Film half a dozen shows and then edit them together in such a way that every track meets unanimous approval.)  kk  

Hi Kent!
I'm Allan Sniffen and I run Rewound Radio.
I would like to thank you for the nice comments you made on your Forgotten Hits newsletter.  It's much appreciated.
I try to make Rewound Radio as interesting and fun as possible for fans of the music.  Ideally, I would have a staff of full time DJ's to present the music but I don't exactly have a budget for that.  But, even within the limitations of an automated format, I try to make the music fun.  It's nice to be recognized by an authority!
Thanks again.

-- Allan
We've been singing the praises of Rewound Radio for quite some time now ... you guys offer a more interesting variety of music in two hours than most radio stations program in an entire week.  SO great to hear some of these great, "forgotten hits" again ... because the REAL fans out there haven't forgotten.  Happy to help out in any way I can ... and hope you'll drop by our site from time to time, too, to let readers know what other types of special programming events you have coming up.  (kk)
Be sure to bookmark this one on your computer ... at home and at work!  
Click here: Rewound Radio Instant On!

Hey Kent,
OH MY GOSH!!!!!! Just finished reading the Sunday FH’s. Thought I would throw my two cents in about your Jan and Dean song comment about “The Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga Sewing Circle Book Review and Timing Association”. I’m thinking, maybe sorta, kinda, this might possibly not be (your) best day ever.  For me, whose favorite music genre of all time is the “CAR SONGS” of the 1960’s, this is an all time “KILLER” hit. Granted, trying to follow “Dead Mans Curve” and “Little Old Lady From Pasadena” is really hard to do (as both were in the TOP 10) I always loved this song. I’ll gladly finish behind those two Jan and Dean classics any time. Still remember the first time I heard it on KDWB-63 out of St. Paul, MN. DJ Bob Shannon announced, “That’s brand new from Jan and Dean”. He had to take a breath halfway thru the title.
Well, my times up. Got to go to work. Yes, Even on Sunday. Sooooooo ... this meeting has to break up with a thunderous roar and there’s a (not so) mad mad rush for the big oak door. Unfortunately, over time I no longer go screaming for my car like the start of LeMans and haven’t been spinning any “donuts” in my lawn in quite awhile. Still a member of the Double A-C-A-S-S-N.
P.S. Glad we can always have fun with the music we love so much.VRRRRRRRRRMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No doubt about it, amongst the beach / surf / hot rod crowd, "The Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga Sewing Circle Book Review And Timing Association" is held in high regard ... but amongst MOST oldies music fans, you're probably not going to remember this one ... a #77 B-Side Hit in 1964.  (It's probably better remembered for its lengthy title than for any long-lasting musical contribution ... but there certainly IS a cult-following for this type of track ... it's just not one that the "masses" are going to recognize.  Cool then that Lou Simon would give it a spin on his "Home For The Holidays" Thanksgiving Radio Special Countdown.
(Radio certainly hasn't done THEIR part to keep this track alive ... if you hear Jan and Dean at all anymore, it'll likely be "Surf City", "Drag City", Dead Man's Curve" and "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" ... and not much more ... and even those four Top Ten Hits are getting scarcer and scarcer on the dial.  (kk)

In your website today, you mentioned the passing of Dick Dodd and that he was a former Mouseketeer. I didn't really remember, off hand, what he looked like. So I got out my book in my library which tells the story of THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB.  It has pictures of them all and I located his picture when he was on the club.
In regards to some instrumentals titles that were mentioned again by you and one of your readers, Joey, he mentions SWINGIN' SWEETHEARTS by Frank Pourcel. Ron Goodwin's version out of 1957 on Capitol is the best in my opinion.
Speaking of Perez Prado's PATRICIA, does anyone remember who had a vocal version of that song? Here's a clue, he recorded for the same label.
MANHATTAN SPIRITUAL by Reg Owens has got to be one of my all time favorite instrumentals. In January of 1959, it made it to #1 here in OKC.
Always did like NATIONAL CITY, In June of 1960, it peaked at #5 here in OKC.  You probably won't believe me when I tell you what song came in at song position #4 that same week  eventually peaking at #2. As the late actor Don Adams would have said, "Would you believe Pete Fountain's gospel instrumental A CLOSER WALK" on Coral records?
I don't show a vocal version of "Patricia" charting on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart ... but I DO remember getting quite a kick out of it when they would feature it as background music on HBO's "Real Sex" program!!!  (lol)  I'm still not familiar with "National City" ... maybe if I heard it it would ring a bell???  Anybody got a copy to share?  (kk)

>>>Man oh man, with literally THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of Christmas songs to choose from I'll NEVER understand why we have to hear "Happy Xmas" by John and Yoko or "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey FOUR TIMES in an eight hour period.  The argument that radio will give you is because their "research" shows them that people don't listen for more than two hours at a time ... which begs the OBVIOUS reply: Maybe that's because you don't give them a REASON to!!! Stop playing the same crap over and over and give us a reason to stay tuned in ... we just might surprise you. (Unfortunately, radio has given up on their audience ... which is why their audience has given up on radio.)  kk
You're absolutely right, Kent, about radio "research" -- which tends to be conducted in such a way as to reinforce heavily flawed Conventional Thinking.  I have been involved in enough focus group, telephone and other kinds of testing to know how horribly skewed the results can be.  For example, a standard method of testing is to play short excepts from a handful of tracks in order to find out if the test subjects like, dislike or are neutral toward a particular recording.  The problem comes inherent in at least three ways: the limited number of tracks tested, the demographics of the test participants and how much stock you put into any individual participant's response. 
Generally speaking, only new or relatively new tracks are tested -- and if oldies are at all, they are that treasured handful of total burnouts.   Nothing else gets tested and the conclusion is drawn (by people too young to remember the oldies in the first place) that if no test results exist for a track, it therefore is utterly unworthy of airplay.  As far as demographics go, the assumption is made that only people in their 20s or 30s are worth programming to -- even though every ratings service underscores the fact that the average age of those tuned to radio and TV is way older than that.  (That older demo also controls the bulk of the wealth of the nation and are the most active consumers with the lion's share of disposable income -- which they most certainly spend). 
That's why most radio stations play bland Christmas standards as interpreted by contemporary stars -- as opposed to the original hit versions of those same songs -- which just happen to be the best-loved, best-selling and highest-charting Yuletide singles and albums ever made.  Hey!  Isn't a key part of Christmas tradition MEMORIES?  
"Oooh!  We can't play that -- even if it was a million-seller.  We don't have any test data on it -- and therefore we are terrified that it might sound slightly different from the sound-alike selections which clog our format 24/7.  OK, sure -- we never bothered to test the older track in the first place -- but because it wasn't recorded RECENTLY by one of today's flavor-of-the-month stars, why should we?"   I run into this kind of nonsense all the time.  If you're a programmer and you truly understand your target demographics, your EARS should be able to tell if a track will appeal to the audience you wish to attract, hold and satisfy.   All a lot of testing print-outs should do is underscore that your original gut feeling was accurate or not.
Over the years I have assembled a number of top-selling various artists Yuletide CD box sets for Reader's Digest and others.  In each case, I've begun the project with a target demo in mind -- just they way one would program a given radio station aimed at a certain audience base in a specific market.  I'd create a mini-format especially designed to attract, hold and satisfy THAT demographic.   Everything in the set was carefully chosen to please and delight that collection's intended audience. 
My most recent radio project is the current 10 hour countdown "The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time" -- which is exactly what the title implies.  Rather than ANY version of a Yuletide standard, I went for the biggest, best-loved and best-selling -- and then augmented each track with fun facts about the songs and the stars, often told by the very hitmakers who made the music famous.  (Over 160 contributed comments and Yuletide greetings.)   I then added to the mix a number of "bonus tracks": surprise selections by people you'd never guess cut first-rate Christmas material.   Some selections are funny, some romantic, some deeply moving but all convey the true spirit of the greatest season of them all -- and each one is packed with music, magic and memories.  Wink Martindale hosts "The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time" and if no station in your area is yet signed to run it, call them up and have them contact our syndicator, Envision Radio Networks.  
And believe me -- over the ten hours you won't hear the same track twice -- but you WILL hear a lot of Yuletide gems YOU remember but most of radio has forgotten.
Gary Theroux  

re:  14 YEARS!:

Belated happy anniversary, my friend.  I admire your perseverance in the name of a great cause.  14 years is nothing to sneeze at.  Quite the accomplishment.  Onward!
... Pete

Congratulations on your 15th year!  I know I have been there since the beginning when you and I were scouring the USA for trade magazines!  Keep up the good work!
Clay Pasternack
Rocky River, Ohio

One word ... congratulations. 
Two words ... rock on!
Three words ... Do be Colony!
Walt Kemp

The first song featured was "Shape of Things to Come" -- but will the last singer to join the discussion be "Max Frost" vocalist Paul Wibier? I hope not. Surely, one of these days, he'll break down and communicate with us. He knows we're out here.
David Lewis
I don't know if I'll ever understand his reluctance to participate ... he'll NEVER receive as open an arm invitation as this one!!!  I'm starting to think Paul just may be "the one who got away" as numerous attempts to contact him by several parties have still proven elusive.  Whitburn's book spells his last name "Wybier" which I think is also the spelling I was using when I tried to contact him.  Between you, me, Davie Allan and Mike Curb you'd think ONE of us would have nailed him down by now!  Meanwhile, we'll just have to continue to enjoy his great track ... here's the video clip we ran a few years ago ...

Any excuse to whip out the ol' cream picture!
Happy Birthday you old "Forgotten Hits" fart!

"Herb" WLSSurvey

Howdy Kent,
I just wanted to add my thanks to your amazing project and what it has evolved into over these past 14 years. I am a proud charter member of the "Music Oldies / Oldies Music" AOL chat room, I may even have been on the original distribution list, but with marriage, parental, and work demands have only for the past several years become a more dedicated reader an fan. You do great work.
A lot of what we love has been diminished / corrupted by corporate greed and political correctness, those 'Blue Meanies' that know what's best for us ... ha ha ... pity them for they can never compromise our memories as long as sites like FH flourish.  Thank you.
Hey, have you / we ever done a top ##? Christmas songs list?
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, Kent! And a super New Year.
And, most of all, Thanks For The Memories,
Sweet Dreams,
CharlieOFD (chascot59)
Thanks, Charlie.  We've never actually done a Christmas Favorites list ... over the years we've celebrated The Twelve of Christmas by playing new music by some of our favorite oldies artists ... but I think we'll be doing a low-key Christmas this year ... mentioning it where appropriate and featuring a song or two here or there as suggested ... rather than the over-kill of holiday programming.  (I was thinking about this yesterday ... Chicago's All Christmas Radio Station is going to play over 1000 hours of continuous Christmas Music before the actual holiday hits!!!  Do we REALLY need 1000 hours?!?!?  (Based on my recent listening experience, that means we'll hear many of these exact same songs upwards of 200-250 times each!!!)  Remember the old days when about two or three weeks before the big day your favorite station would start to slip in a holiday track or two ... maybe a couple during each DJ's shift ... then build (as the holiday got closer) to one an hour ... and maybe even one every HALF hour as we got closer to the big day?  And then, maybe go all Christmas for a ten or twelve hour shift on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day (or even both) so that the jocks could spend time with their families, too???  Wasn't it much more enjoyable then to hear the scattered sprinkling of holiday tunes?  No need for so many repeats.  A wider variety and a more pleasant "break in the action" to the current hits of the day.  That's why a radio special like the one Gary Theroux describes above is such a treat ... 100 Holiday Classics ... ten hours with NO repeats ... and only the biggest and most popular Christmas tunes of all.
Could we come up with our own Top 50 List?  I'm sure we could ... maybe next year we'll hang the stockings a little bit earlier and see what kind of treats you guys come up with.  Not a bad idea.  (kk)

In the attachment is a rather unique Christmas song done by Mel Blanc who was the many voices of all those Looney Tune Cartoons we all grew up with.
Now I will admit that I had been enjoying a bit of Holiday Cheer when I first heard this song, I nearly fell over as I listened to the lyrics.  Surely he isn't saying what "I THINK" he's saying.  I will let you be the judge.
Let me know what you think and ...
Merry Christmas!

Yikes!  I've gotta admit that about a minute and a half was all I could take of this one!!!  But I DO get what you're saying!  One of my favorite TV Quotes of all time comes from the first Christmas Episode of "The Office" ...
"Happy Birthday, Jesus ... sorry your party's so lame."  (kk)