Friday, June 14, 2013

Helping Out Our Readers

Quite by accident, I came across your post of Wednesday, October 27, 2010, regarding the captioned tune.   
I know I’ve heard the Homer and Jethro version of this song.  However, I wanted to tell you that my ex-wife’s father was a survivor (now gone on to his reward) of the D-Day invasion at Normandy.  He claimed that the lyrics of this song were allegedly inspired by a less humorous poem, written by another D-Day survivor, commemorating the mind-numbing horror of the invasion, shortly after the experience.  

That poem goes like this:  

‘Twas on the beach at midnight,  
Not a streetcar was in sight.   
The rain and snow fell gently,
For it rained all day that night.

‘Twas in that summer snow storm,
When the rain fell down like glass 
That a barefoot boy with boots on
Stood sitting on his ass.  
Knowing the context puts a different spin on the words.  

I have no way of knowing whether that story is true, but maybe someone else out there does.  It seems totally possible to me that someone put together the “Be kind to your web-footed friends” chorus from summer camp or Cub Scout sing-alongs with a sanitized version of the above poem and came up with one of those versatile, well-written tunes that no one ever forgets. 
Meanwhile, the heroes of D-Day are gone, but never forgotten. 
Wil Coté 
Buffalo, NY 
It wouldn't surprise me at all that somebody took this clever idea, expanded on it, added a catchy chorus and ... whalla ... invented a brand new tune.
I've told this story a couple of times before hoping SOMEBODY out there could corroborate it ... and to this day, nobody ever has ... but I saw and heard this with my own eyes and ears and it has never left me. 40+ years ago I was working with a guy at a small printing company in Oak Park when "American Pie" came on the radio for the very first time ... by that I mean the song was brand new ... they may have been playing it for a week or so ... but the guy I worked with (a guy named Earl whose last name escapes me now) didn't listen to Top 40 music ... he was a country guy all the way ... so HE was hearing the song for the very first time ... and halfway through the tune he said "I can't believe they did that ... made a song out of that." 
Because this song was so new (and all the in-depth discussions about all the song's hidden meanings and symbolism hadn't really come into focus yet) I knew he must have heard something ELSE that triggered this reaction.  I asked him what he meant. 
"We used to sing this up at the hunting lodge all the time" ... and he proceeded to sing along with the chorus verbatim ... "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie ... took my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry ..." the WHOLE deal! 
I have always wondered in Don McLean was also familiar with this sing-along chorus and built his whole song around it.  If so, I've never heard him reveal it ... but the reaction of my coworker was genuine ... there's got to be SOMETHING to it!  (kk)

Hey Kent, 
This past Saturday (6/1) I tuned in to the Rewound Radio air check from 1963 with Dick Clark. Who says you can never go back! Two and a half hours of radio paradise. The energy, the variety of music,  the jingles, the voice of a “Live” DJ. Unbelievable entertainment and all you had to do was turn your radio on. Remember this was Pre-British Invasion. Once the “Brits” landed, these bands took radio to a whole new level. As a nine year old, I couldn’t wait to hear another new song by another new band from across the pond. “Sorry”, got off track a little. Anyway, about one hour and thirty five minutes into the broadcast they played a song (with a female lead singer), unfortunately I missed the song title and name of the group. However Dick did say, “How’s that for arrogance”, referring to the song title. Hopefully one of the readers could help me out. “Thanks” so much for taking me and all your readers back to a wonderful time and place when radio and the music that was played actually mattered. 
I didn't hear that particular broadcast ... but I'm betting somebody else on the list did ... or maybe Allan Sniffen himself can answer this one!!!  Alan???  (kk) 
Wow! That was my first impression when I found your site. Finding you is like ... well, finding a Forgotten Oldie. I am compiling my list of the Top 200 Instrumentals of all time. I am using Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual, 8th Edition book. So far I have 162 songs which takes me through Instrumentals that Charted 16 or higher. I am using the same point system that Joel uses. Do you know if such a list already exists? I would like to do a comparison. 
Keep up the great work. 
(Mr. O.B.G.) Oldies But Goodies 
Randy Price put our list together based on chart information he collected while compiling the Super Charts, a consensus of all of the chart collecting information at the time ... but we didn't do 200.  (Hopefully you DID see our Top 50 List!)  
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 40 Instrumentals, 1955 - 1979  
(If you're using a larger target base than 1955 - 1979 ... a 25 year period ... I'm not sure how much this list will help you ... but it should be good for comparison's sake if nothing else.) 
Randy is also the genius behind the new series of CD's being released featuring EVERY charted Instrumental Hit of the '60's.  They're being released one year at a time and are as complete and comprehensive as can be.  If you're a fan, you'll definitely want to check these out.  (Visit for more information.) Meanwhile, if any other chartaholics out there have some lists to share, let us know and we'll connect you with Larry.  (kk)  

Here's one we never solved ... maybe somebody else out there knows???   
I came across your website when trying to find information about the Youngtones. I'm very impressed and added you to my favourites for a definite look back later in the week.
I have a track credited to the Youngtones entitled Come On Baby but can find no sign of it mentioned in any discography I have seen on the band. Do you have anything that you could help me with? I'm researching for my weekly radio programme and thank you for any assistance you may be able to offer.
Many thanks
Kind regards,
Ian Bell
We ran this inquiry about six months ago ... I even forwarded a copy to Jocco of The Youngtones, who has participated with Forgotten Hits in the past, but never heard anything back.  Maybe some of our astute readers can help us out with this one???  (kk)  

Hi Kent,  
I have just stumbled across your web site.  For thirty years I have been searching for a song from my childhood.  I thought it was from the very early 60s and I thought it was called "I've Got A Doggie Named Reno.  Now I think it must be called "A Doggie Called Leroy" by Tom Paxton. However, I still can't find the song. Can you help?  
I couldn't find anything on this one ... so let's put it out there.  My guess is that SOMEBODY will know it.  (kk)  
You know, googling around a bit, this song apparently has come up in Forgotten Hits, several, several, several times ... mostly in December of 2009. And, in one instance, you DID post the song (though the link is no longer active) ... as well as a promotional ad for the record. As far as I can determine, Tom Paxton never recorded the song in this variation ... however it was cut by Norma Tracey & The Cinderella Kids and was simply titled Leroy.
Strangely enough, the record label says the song was written by Billy Jackson (who did a lot of work with the Tymes and other Cameo Parkway artists) and Jimmy Wisner, and I'd bet if other versions of the song exist, Jimmy Wisner would know.
Tom Diehl
LOL ... I just LOVE it when I'm searching and googling for something and Forgotten Hits comes up as the source!  (lol)  I can't tell you how many times this has happened.  Over the years it seems like we've covered EVERYTHING at one time or another ... literally THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of topics ... no way I can possibly remember them all (especially something that wasn't all that familiar to me in the first place!)  Hopefully this is it ... I sent a copy of the track to Brent ... let's see what comes back.  Thanks, Tom!  (kk)  
Yes this is it!  Thank you so much.  
I will make a karaoke sing-along, once I have worked out all the lyrics.  
Thanks again -   

Here are a couple of rarities ...   
1) "It Was A Sad Day" -- R Stones  
2) "She Got A Nose Job" -- flexible 45 inside a Mad magazine!  
Rich Fairbrother    
Portsmouth NH  

The Mad Magazine Flexi-Disc I most remember is "It's A Gas"!  (We've featured that one quite a few times before!)  kk  

>>>Talking about bizarre, rare novelty songs, here's one I haven't featured in ages ... a #23 Hit here in Chicago in 1967 by Bent Bolt that never even charted nationally ... "The Mechanical Man"!  (By the way, although the WLS Silver Dollar Survey showed the artist for this song as "Ben Bolt" for a least a week or two ... and Ron Smith's book lists him as the same ... the ACTUAL 45 was released by BENT Bolt (and the Nuts) ... another clever "mechanical" tie-in.  Here's a copy of that rare picture sleeve, part of my collection for YEARS!!!)  I've read in a couple of places that the artist who recorded this song was actually Teddy Randazzo, who had already placed a few records on the WLS Chart under his own name ... perhaps helping his cause in getting this oddity aired at the station.  (The fact that this single was released on the MGM Record Label helps lend some credence to this supposition ... although it's still kinda hard to believe that the guy who wrote classics like "Goin' Out Of My Head" and "Hurt So Bad" for Little Anthony and the Imperials would also come up with this bit of dreck!  lol)  kk  
As far as I know, that Bent Bolt And The Nuts single is definitely Teddy Randazzo (and if it's not, he had a hand in its creation either writing or producing it).  There's a different Mechanical Man record I like by a guy named Jack Merlin, and the last time I played it on my show, I segued into Automated Man by Artie Wayne on the Smash record label ... two more great songs. 
Tom Diehl  
I was too lazy and pressed for time to pull the record out last weekend ... but now I had to see for myself if the label mentioned anything about Teddy Randazzo's involvement.  The A-Side ("The Mechanical Man" says "Produced by C.L.C.L. Productions for Teddy Randazzo Productions but does not credit Teddy in any way as the artist or songwriter.  (Songwriting credit goes to C. Astone, C. Mastren, L. Burgio and M. Gartman)  However the B-Side of the record is a song called "Sweet And Sour" and shows the artist as Teddy Randazzo, so I'd have o agree that Teddy had involvement in SOME fashion.  
As for your suggestions, I really like that Jack Merlin track ... it's got a fun, sorta rock-a-billy feel to it.  (Artie's song I already knew of course!)  But all this talk inspired me to dig out the Jerry Mathers' track "Wind-Up Toy".  (Jerry, of course, played Beaver Cleaver on the old "Leave It To Beaver" television series!)  kk

I've been trying to find "Sweet Mary" by Brewer & Shipley.  I can only find a couple of their disc online, and that song isn't on there.  I heard it in the movie "Grass".  Hope all is well- have a great day!  
Ed Pond  
I don't know "Sweet Mary" by Brewer and Shipley ... but right around that same time they were hitting the charts, there was a song with title that became a big hit for Wadsworth Mansion.  (I'm guessing that maybe it's the same song???  And maybe the reason you haven't had any luck tracking it down is because you're searching for it under the wrong artist!)  Give a listen to this and let me know.  (kk)  
Duh!  Now I remember.  Wadsworth Mansion.  Thanks!    

Wadsworth Mansion was a one hit wonder band out of Los Angeles, CA, consisting of brothers Mike (drums) and Steve (keyboards, guitar and lead vocals) Jablecki along with Wayne Gagnon (lead guitar) and John Poole (bass).  "Sweet Mary" climbed all the way to #7 in Billboard Magazine right as winter was turning into spring in 1971 ... and they pretty much disappeared after that.  (It performed even better in Cash Box and Record World, peaking at #5 in both publications ... yet, despite its Top Ten status, you rarely hear "Sweet Mary" anymore ... and that's a shame because this is a REAL catchy tune.)  Here in Chicago it went all the way to #2.  (Here's hoping we've inspired a jock or two on the list to feature this one today ... a GREAT Forgotten Hit!)   

I have a question regarding Sonny Geraci.  Is he still in coma or out of it or what?  I have not seen anything on the Internet and I was just wondering have you heard anything,
Stephanie Campbell, a fan
We haven't had an update in awhile now ... but last we heard, Sonny was doing great!  Making a REMARKABLE recovery after a couple of major brain surgeries.  His daughter shared the news with us by way of Dennis Tufano ... but you're right, we haven't heard any news in quite a while ... so I guess we'll have to ask for an update ourselves!  (kk)

We've got some traveling to do this weekend so we'll be out of pocket for a few days ... but will catch up with all of you next week. 


Remember, if you would like to sign up for periodic email reminders about recent postings to our web page, you MUST send me an email requesting this service.  We are COMPLETELY revamping our mailing list ... so if you'd like to be included, just shoot me an email at ... and we'll be happy to add you to the list.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday This And That

>>>Here's what I'm hoping happens here ... the mere mention (and featuring) of one of our favorite Turtles songs, "You Know What I Mean", a #12 hit yet largely overlooked by both radio and the band itself,  sparked at least a dozen responses, all singing the praises of this forgotten gem.  Who knows ... just MAYBE Howard and Mark will read some of these and think to themselves ... "Well, if the FANS love it, then maybe we should start doing it again" ... I mean it was, after all, a HUGE hit.  (kk)  
Just add it to the Woodstock Fair in CT and I will go home happy.  
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano  

Loved the Walter Brennan "Old Rivers" tune -- a song from the day when the lyrics and tunes were pleasant -- any chance of this being covered today by Lil Jon and calling it "Old Rivers, bitch"?
Tim Kiley
Probably not ... but The Lettermen placed their tongues firmly in their collective cheeks and had a little fun with this one back in the day ... here's a clip courtesy of Gary Pike, former Letterman.  The single was officially released by Tony, Bob and Jimmy ... check it out!  (kk)

These cool crooners played around in the studio and came up with a funny parody of the Walter Brennan hit "OLD RIVERS".  The other side was a spoof on "DUTCHMAN'S GOLD", too. Can't say they had no sense of humor! TONY BUTALA, BOB ENGEMANN and JIMMY PIKE ... otherwise known as "THE LETTERMEN".
Jim Pike and Bobby Engemann are the only ones on the record. Jim and Bob were messing around in the studio one day impersonating Walter Brennan and doing a parody of Old Rivers when Nick Venet, their producer, loved it and decided to record it. When the record was first pressed up it said Jim and Bob, but Capitol later included Tony for some reason. Jim starts off as the Brennan charactor and Bobby answers as the son. Bobby recently passed away from complication of heart surgery.

Kent ...
I watched the first showing of Beverly Hills Pawn.  I can understand the other Pawn shows (Detroit & Las Vegas). It seems odd to me that you can afford to live in Beverly Hills and still have to resort to pawning items that you own.
A guy brought in a Doors keyboard played by Ray Manzarek.  The guy wanted $300,000 for it. After the young lady who worked there explained to the owner who the Doors were, he offered $100,000. He pointed out that if it was played by Jim Morrison it would be worth more. The customer took the $100,000.
A young lady came in with some jewelry. She wanted $300 for it. The owner explained to her that it was worth $80,000 and gave her a check for that amount.
I can't help thinking that if she was talking to the Detroit or Las Vegas guy it would've turned out differently.
Frank B.
LOL ... yep, that'd be my guess, too.  First he'd talk her down to $150 ... and then turn around and sell the jewels for $150 Grand!  (kk) 

As far as Pat Boone goes:  his 'April Love' and 'Love Letters in the Sand' make me tremble.  And that's enough for me. 
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano

The Bowery Boys were mentioned in regards to the Beatles' 
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band  album. Kent, I know this has nothing to do directly with FH, but I don't know about you, but I always enjoyed the Bowery Boys' movies seeing them on television. Would you believe just last night I watched their 1943 Movie on DVD THE BOWERY BOYS MEETS THE MONSTERS.  I sure felt sorry for the Monsters.
Finally, concerning the records of Pat Boone, one of his bigger records here in OKC was his 1966 WISH YOU WERE HERE, BUDDY peaking at #5 in November of that year.
"Wish You Were Here, Buddy" isn't a bad Pat Boone tune ... it hit #18 here in Chicago ... but still wouldn't make my list of songs worth recycling to a new audience.  (kk)

Regarding artists and autographs, please, folks, bring in one or maybe two items to get signed and leave it at that. IMO, if there are a bunch of us waiting it's incredibly rude both to the artists and to all the fans if you bring in everything you own, expecting to get it signed. 
Of course if you are bringing it in, just so they can have a look, that's something else. Just don't slow up that line. 
In a band I was in back in the 70's, we had the pleasure of being an opening act for various folk. Gotta say B.J. Thomas was one of the nicest guys. We got done and he came in to our dressing room and told us what a great job we did and chatted for a few minutes before e went on stage. 
We also did a show with Frankie Valli. I have always been a Four Seasons fan, so was totally excited to do that show. He was the total opposite of BJ. I have just always chose to believe that maybe he was having an off night? Interestingly enough, When we did the show with Mr. Thomas, his band wasn't very friendly, and when we did the show with Mr. Valli, his band was incredibly friendly. 

Hiya Kent ...
I'm still here. And this SUNDAY, will be my 60th birthday (and Father's Day) and I'll be doing the "Big Jay Big Birthjay Bash" on the overnight show late Saturday Night / Sunday morning starting at 1 am ET.
I'll be taking greetings and playing the FATHERS of Rock & Roll all night. Just wanted you to know I'm still kickin' on WCBS-FM 101.1 in NYC and ... plus with the smartphone app at
Hey if you're up late and partying, be sure to tune in and catch Big Jay Sorensen Sunday Morning ... and Happy Birthday, big guy!  (60's right around the corner for me, too!)  kk

Just listened to the Paul Anka rant ... WOW! ... I do understand where he is coming from though. He says it several times ..."I'm the only one on that stage" ... It's his name, his reputation, his talent, his career, his life. He needs all of the people behind the scenes but ultimately it all begins and ends with him. His integrity dictates that he gives the paying public their money's worth and for him that is a flawless performance. 
Sounds to me like Joe may have been through one or two of these rants before, hence the no show. 
In summation, I have three words for Paul ... NO WIRE HANGERS!!!
Hey Kent, 
Listening to Paul Anka’s rant at the band makes me chuckle and reminds me of when we were doing a show with him and  others.  Each performer was given an hour before the show to rehearse with the house band.  About a half hour into our rehearsal in walks Anka, strutting up and crowing to us saying: Time to get out of here ... I need to rehearse with the band now!  Jim says: We have half an hour left and we need it.  Anka says (with a voice very much like on the tape):  DO YOU KNOW WHO THE @*#% I AM??? NOW GET OUT OF HERE!!!  Jim says, yeah, you're Napoleon ... and if you don’t leave now, I’m gonna plant my fist right in your face.  Anka left. 
I still don’t why Jim wanted to record “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” (1968), which was a modest hit for us.  Maybe Anka made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  NOT!  Later after the song was off the charts, Paul Anka called our manager and thanked us for doing it.  He said he really needed it at the time.  Now go figure.
Lettermen / Reunion, 
Gary Pike

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Couple More Mid-Week Comments

'You Know What I Mean' is a personal fave of mine too!
Hi Kent,  
You Know What I Mean is my Fav Turtles tune also. Elenore  is a great one as well, and I always thought it was done with a giant sense of humor. Sometimes the audience gets the joke.
Here's what I'm hoping happens here ... the mere mention (and featuring) of one of our favorite Turtles songs ... a #12 hit yet largely overlooked by both radio and the band itself ... sparked at least a dozen responses, all singing the praises of this forgotten gem.
MAYBE Howard and Mark will read some of these and think to themselves ... "Well, if the FANS love it, then maybe we should start doing it again" ... I mean it was, after all, a HUGE hit in 1967.
MAYBE (between the now 200+ disc jockeys we have on the list) some of the more ASTUTE ones will think "Wow, CLEARLY this is a fan favorite ... I need to dig that one out and play it again" ... and spark a whole NEW audience to respond in kind, after being treated to this long forgotten track.
Can we change the world?  No, probably not ... but we ARE doing our part to "Save The Oldies" ... even if it's only one song at a time!  (kk)

re:  FIRST 45's:
If you're scoring at home, the first 45 I ever bought - and still have - is Chuck Berry's phenomenal "Rock And Roll Music", purchased when Ike was in office. I still cringe whenever I hear The Beach Boys lame 1976 cover of that song.  But, I break out in hives when I hear the genius of Chuck Berry covering the God-awful "My Ding a Ling."  If someone can explain to me just how the hell that song was the St. Louis Tiger's only number one hit, please contact me on facebook or through Forgotten Hits.
Chet Coppock
>>>In today's FH as well in past FH, one discussed his first 45. Well, this got me to thinking.  Does anyone remember their last 45 they bought?  For example, I can't really remember the last 45 I bought, but it was the year 1989 that I ceased to buy 45 rpm records as we knew them.  I won't go into the reason or reasons why I quit, but to be honest with you, I really haven't missed all that much, in my opinion.  (Larry)
Considering the fact that I am STILL buying 45's at record shows and on ebay, as of right this very minute the last 45 I have bought was a copy of Light Bulb by the Five Kings on the Columbia label. The last "newly pressed" 45 I bought was the song 7 to 10 by a group called The Right Now. The last newly pressed LP I bought was the recently released album, Minute By Minute by the James Hunter Six.
Tom Diehl
I kinda thought the same thing ... I am STILL buying 45's as I need them (but naturally they're all older, original pressings.)  New 45's pretty much ceased to exist (in the mainstream market anyway) in the early '90's.  However, I have bought a couple of "limited edition" new vinyl pressings ... a couple that immediately come to mind were shipped by Rhino in conjunction with the purchase of one of those Monkees collectors CD box sets.  And brand new 45's are being pressed (by some pretty significant artists) each year for "Record Day", too. (kk)
First 45's is clearly one of our most popular features.  You could spend hours (if not DAYS) catching up on some of the postings on our website:
Scott Shannon brought our series to the airwaves a few years ago on The True Oldies Channel ... and we've recently been talking with Lou Simon of Sirius / XM about grabbing the baton and carrying it forward as a brand new feature on "'60's On 6" ... we'll let you know how things develop.  (We've also put together a Fourth of July Special for the station ... more details to come.)  Meanwhile, keep watching the website for news on how YOU can get a 30-Day Free Trial to Sirius / XM Satellite Radio.  More variety ... and no commercials ... and music dedicated to the decade WE love most (along with hundreds of OTHER channels to choose from, too!)  Stay tuned!  (kk)
I listened to Boss Radio a few different times throughout the day and really did enjoy it. It somewhat reminded me of when I lived in Milwaukee back in the sixties. Late at night if you turned the transistor radio just the right way you could pick up WLS.  We had WOKY in Milwaukee but we thought we were in the big time listening to WLS. Based on what you write about WLS now I guess it's greatness is a thing of the past ... good times.
Between Boss Radio and Rewound Radio, we've been in oldies heaven of late.  I had Rewound Radio on at work the other day and the whole office was jammin'!   And Boss Radio makes for an interesting substitute.  And of course I'm always switching over to Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel, too.  (Now if I can get XM60's back on my computer, life will almost be tolerable again!)  kk
Another great internet radio station is They play a lot of songs I haven't heard in years. KYA is one of the Top 40 stations I grew up with in the Bay Area back in the day.
Thanks for all your hard work, Kent!
Hi Kent,
I am so enjoying Rewound Radio.  Thank you so much for introducing me to that fabulous station.
The day I ask you to stop sending me your list is the day they put the wreath on the door
Take care,
Rockin' Lord Geoff