Tuesday, January 21, 2014

>>>Tommy Roe's connection to the Beatles in 1963 has resulted in his participation in the Fab Four anniversary celebrations -- but what about the other headliner on that tour: Chris Montez?   I went to Chris' website to see what he was doing in conjunction with the anniversary and was surprised to learn that the most recent entries in his performance schedule are from 2011.   Does anyone know what's going on with Chris?   
(Gary Theroux)     

Hi Kent,  
I'm just finishing up my latest column for "The Beat" ... and it's an interview with Chris Montez.   
First of all, what a genuinely nice fellow.  We first met several years ago when I was in the Rip Chords and we were both  doing a t.v. show for P.B.S. called "At The Drive-In," so it was good catching up with him.
Chris is heading off to England for an extensive tour with Chris Farlowe, Wayne Fontana and others and then he and Tommy Roe are headlining at the Cavern Club in Liverpool for two shows on August 26, at the International Beatles Week Celebration there.
As you know, Tommy is doing the 2/11 concert in Washington, D.C. I'm happy to say that "The Beatles" will be portrayed by my friend Scot Arch's group from the Philadelphia area, Beatlemania Now!  This ought to be terrific!
Save a Chicago Italian beef sandwich for me! 
All the best,
Bob Rush, D.C. 

"The U.S. Beat with Dr. Robert"  

Thanks to a nudge from Dr. Bob, I heard from Pam Dixon, who coordinates a lot of the publicity for Chris Montez these days, including posting new information on Chris' Facebook page.  She tells us:   

Chris’ Facebook page is his active “site” for all show dates and information. I am his administrator on that page but he gets photos to me from shows and I post right away. I am in the process of getting all of the dates on there for the Solid Silver 60s tour, which starts the end of March and ends mid May. I don’t have complete details for International Beatles week yet but Chris will be performing with Tommy Roe August 26th at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. 
You can link to the page here. https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMontez1
Yes! Chris will be at the Surf Ballroom Winter Dance Party on Saturday Feb 1!
This date is also listed on Chris’ “events tab” on his page: 
Spring Doo Wop Cavalcade - American Theatre - Lancaster, PA
Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 2:00 pm EST
I will update the events tab as concerts come in.
Pam Dixon  

re:  SURVEY SAYS ... :  
Kent - 
The chart that was featured on Saturday was from the WHK 1420 Cleveland top 40 station in 1964.  The stamp on the top that indicated Lorain, Ohio must have been stamped by a music retailer in the Lorain, Ohio area.  The WHK auditorium at 5500 Euclid Avenue is still standing and is part of the legendary location that has been the Cleveland Agora for many years, and also housed the later offices of Cleveland International Records, owned by the late Steve Popovich. The station operated out of that building for many years and I worked out of that building from 2000 to 2009 for Cleveland International.  The station was NOT located in Lorain - WHK was a legendary top 40 station here in Cleveland before WIXY took over and in 1964 had Johnny Holliday (see the LP Cruisin' 1964) 
Rocky River, Ohio   

Citizen Bill here (Joe Klein's friend). 
I was fascinated by the copy of the WHK January 16, 1965, survey for a number of reasons. 
First off, Lorain, Ohio??!! WHK, to my knowledge has always been a Cleveland station, licensed to Cleveland - 1420 AM. They gave up Top 40 within a couple of years of that survey being printed, but that's another story. 
Also interesting is THE RACE IS ON by (the now late) George Jones showing up on a Top 40 chart. That song was about as country as you could get. I wonder, just wonder if they meant to type Jack Jones (no relation) who did a non-country cover. You're a trivia guy, so you probably remember Dex Card playing it a few times. 
I know that Ron Britain worked at WHK, and I think he may have been there around the time of that survey. 
There's my two cents. 

Funny to get two emails on this one ... my guess is that Clay (and his assessment above) is correct ... the local record store where this survey was distributed simply stamped THEIR address or location on the chart.
As for "The Race Is On", I have always LOVED the Jack Jones version ... and we've featured it a few times before in Forgotten Hits.  It is one of the earlier 45's that I added to my collection.  (Got it from my neighbor Sharon Kolar when she "outgrew" it and passed it over to me!)
Ironically BOTH "Jones" artists had chart hits with this song ... but NEITHER version makes logical sense to be on the Cleveland chart in the middle of January.  The George Jones version came out in September of 1964, and went all the way to #3 on Billboard's Country Singles Chart.  It would seem odd to be charting "pop"  nearly four months later (although it DID stay on Billboard's Country Singles Chart for nearly SEVEN MONTHS ... so I guess it's possible!)  Meanwhile, the Jack Jones "pop" version didn't debut in Billboard until the last week of February of 1965 ... so it's hard to imagine WHK playing THIS version five weeks earlier.  All this scientific research narrows it down to ... WHO KNOWS?!?!?  I guess it could have been EITHER version!  (lol ... but my BEST guess would put it on the George Jones version.)  kk

Just FYI, here in OKC our local top 40 radio station (WKY - AM 930) made the new music available on the survey on Thursday mornings at 9:30. So for the week of January 16 - 22, 1964, where the 18th was Saturday, here are some interesting tidbits of what was on the survey.
They had a record listed at the bottom as well which was the MAKE OF THE WEEK. This was the two sided hit by the Beatles I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND / I SAW HER STANDING THERE.  Three weeks later it would be at position #1.
SURFIN' BIRD by the Trashmen was number one that week with LONG TALL TEXAN by the late Murry Kellum as number two. LONG TALL TEXAN had been number one the week before.
Finally, another record on the survey which I always liked was Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs' DAISY PETAL PICKIN' (She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not).
Larry Neal

re:  To (RE)-Clarify:  
Because we know we're going to get called out on EVERY single detail we publish (yeah, makes for a REAL fun Sunday!!!), we've tried to PRE-clarify some of these points in the hopes of avoiding emails like these ...   

Hi Kent - 
Great Sunday comments as usual. 
Just one minor point - Please Please Me  did not make number one in UK.In January, 1963, it stalled at number 2. It was kept out of top spot by: 
Cliff Richard =The Next Time / Bachelor Boy 
The Shadows = Dance On  
and Diamonds = Jet Harris / Tony Meehan  
All Three of these tunes were number one in January of 1963. 
The Beatles had to wait until 2nd May, 1963, for their first UK number one single = From Me To You - it stayed seven weeks at the summit.  
Regards -  
Geoff Dorsett   

and this ...    

Regarding The Beatles, you said:  
>>> " ... no British act had ever really conquered here before."  (kk)  
Well, actually, at least three did.  Yes, The Tornadoes was one, hitting #1 stateside with "Telstar" in 1962.  But there was also Laurie London, a British boy who was was 14 in 1958 when he topped the Billboard charts with "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands."  And six years before that there was Vera Lynn, England's most popular singer during World War II, who remained at #1 for NINE WEEKS in 1952 with "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart."  The only Beatles single to ever match THAT accomplishment was "Hey Jude"!
Vera's record REALLY hit home for countless GIs who had met and fallen for women in countries other than their own during World War II -- or been separated from their hometown sweethearts by the war.  German composer Eberhard Storch wrote the song as a message to his wife while he was hospitalized and it was his version that Vera heard sung in beer halls in Switzerland.  She got John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons to write an English language translation and then recorded the song with a mass choir of British soldiers and airmen.  The resulting single became the first recorded by a foreign artist to reach #1 in America on the Billboard charts.  In fact, "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" is tied with "Hey Jude" as the third longest-running #1 hit by a foreign artist in Billboard history (behind Elton John's "Candle in The Wind" and the Celine Dion / Calvin Harris duet on "We Found Love"). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WsuLH4sulA  
Vera's other hits to score in the U.S. included "You Can't Be True, Dear," "Again," "Yours" and "We'll Meet Again."  The latter recording is the one heard at the tail end of the 1964 feature film "Dr. Strangelove." 
Gary Theroux  

One at a time ...  

As stated in my original piece, "Please Please Me" made #1 on MOST of the British Charts ... just not the "official" chart, which showed it at #2.  (Same thing happened here in America with "Twist And Shout" ... since it didn't make #1 in Billboard, it's not "officially" a #1 Hit, despite topping the chart in both Cash Box and Record World ... as well as the Top 40 chart in virtually EVERY major American city.) Perhaps one of the most famous Beatles-related quotations of all time is George Martin's comment after the "Please Please Me" recording session: "Congratulations, gentlemen ... you have have just recorded your first #1 Single."  

As for the other comment, I thought I had made it quite clear by using the word "conquered" ... neither The Tornadoes, Laurie London OR Vera Lynn caused the incredible pandemonium brought about by what was quickly coined "Beatlemania" ... in fact, none of these acts really had any lasting success at all to speak of ... and certainly not the type that anyone would still be celebrating and talking about some fifty years later. 

Here again are my original quotations copied and pasted from the Sunday posting:   

Before I get a TON of emails, yes, The Tornados hit #1 here in The States before The Beatles did ... but pandemonium did not then ensue ... nor did they ever have another hit to speak of here.  And "Please Please Me", while never OFFICIALLY #1 on the main chart in Great Britain DID reach #1 in virtually every other ancillary chart.  I consider "Twist And Shout" a #1 Hit here in America for the same reason ... the ONLY major U.S. Trade that didn't show it there was Billboard ... it was #1 across the land and in all the other major music publications.  

Jeez, I can't even pre-empt the comments from coming in by clarifying myself in advance!!!  (kk)   

Hi Kent - 
I think "Please Please Me" is their best ever single ... it's power pop at its very best from first to last.  
The boys sure did a fine job of turning this one around ... especially since it was originally written and conceived as a Roy Orbison-like, powerful, drawn-out version.  Speeding it up and adding the "harm" ... harmonies and harmonic ... certainly made all the difference!  (kk)

re:  This And That:   

ABKCO Records will digitally release The Rolling Stones Live 1965: Music From Charlie is my Darling on January 21st. The thirteen song set dates back to the breakthrough period of the Rolling Stones original lineup -- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman -- as chronicled in the critically acclaimed film Charlie is my Darling- Ireland 1965 -- and is in contention for Grammy recognition later this month.   
A Super Deluxe edition of the film was released in 2012 that included companion audio CDs which resulted in a Grammy® nomination in the Best Historical Album category for Teri Landi, Andrew Loog Oldham and Steve Rosenthal, the compilation producers, along with mastering engineer Bob Ludwig.  In honor of the nomination, ABKCO is offering a digital version of this limited CD release to fans everywhere.  
The performances, as captured on Live 1965, provide fierce, elemental testimony to the Rolling Stones coming into their own as interpreters of blues-rooted material as well as to the emerging songwriting acumen of the Jagger / Richards team.   
The thirteen tracks include “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love,” which Mick Jagger sang in tribute to the late Solomon Burke on the 2011 Grammy telecast, as well as Bobby Troup’s “Route 66,” Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster” and “Pain In My Heart” written by Allan Toussaint and covered by Otis Redding. Other tracks include Don Ray’s boogie-woogie classic “Down The Road Apiece,” “Time Is On My Side,” the Jerry Ragovoy-penned standard that Irma Franklin first recorded and Hank Snow’s country burner “I’m Moving On.”  Original material on The Rolling Stones: Live 1965 includes the rave up “I’m Alright,” collaboratively written by all five members of the band, Jagger / Richards’ “Off The Hook,” the studio version of which is on The Rolling Stones Now! and “The Last Time,” the band’s first British single to carry the Jagger / Richards credit line.  
Live 1965: Music From Charlie is my Darling track listing: 
1.     Show intro
2.     Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

3.     Pain In My Heart  
4.     Down The Road Apiece  
5.     Time Is On My Side  
6.     I’m Alright  
7.     Off The Hook  
8.     Charlie’s intro to Little Red Rooster  
9.     Little Red Rooster  
10.  Route 66  
11.  I’m Moving On  
12.  The Last Time  
13.  Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Finale)    

From Bill Hengels ...

Of course it all starts with the songwriter ... and check out these three artists from the '70's who are teaming up for a performance at B.B. King's in New York City! http://www.bbkingblues.com/bio.php?id=3499     

I noticed you included Sammy Johns ("Chevy Van") in artists that went into the eternal 2013.  
Sammy was the leader of The Devilles which were big dogs in Charlotte, NC back in the day.  
But most importantly Sammy Johns should be credited for more than anything as being one of the earliest pioneers of "Christian Americana" if there be such a title.
The LP "Sammy Johns" included these two original Christian tunes that are standouts and on the sessions were the very cream of the crop of musicians:  Larry Knechtel, Jim Gordon,James Burton, Buddy Emmons,Chuck Rainey, Dean Parks, Herb Pedersen Mylon Lefevre, The Blackberries and Buck Herring doing the engineering with LP illustration by J. Flournoy Holmes.
Sammy Johns - "Friends of Mine":
Sammy Johns - "Way Out Jesus":
The entire players on that LP do not get the recognition of this monumental achievement but someday they will.
I know and now some of you do, too.
I love his lyric "We'll get high recalling memories so fine" in "Friends of Mine". That was way out!
Sammy was an original Jesus Freak.

Live from Daryl's House is back from a year-long hiatus and kicks off a new season with ZZ Top's Billy F Gibbons guesting with Daryl Hall and the gang.  Billy brought along his Austin B3 buddy Mike Flanigan as well as Martin Guigui ("Martin G"), from Argentina by way of LA, to flesh out the sound in a groove-filled way.  Peformances include ZZ Top's "Thunderbird," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "LaGrange" and Sam & Dave's "I Thank You" as well as "Bank on Your Love" and "Love You Like A Brother" from the Hall & Oates songbook plus Jimmy McGriff's "Kiko."   
Added bonus:  Billy shows Daryl how to make his signature Renegade Guacamole ... pause the program a few seconds after the 26 minute mark to take down the Renegade Guacamole recipe -- it goes great with football!  
The episode, the 63rd, debuts in HD on the Palladia music channel on Thursday, February 6 at 11 PM / Eastern but you can watch it right now online if you click here http://ow.ly/sHOiU  
-- Bob Merlis

During your Thursday's Comments, you mentioned in passing Tommy Facenda's 1959 song HIGH SCHOOL U.S.A.. You were right about 28 versions being recorded.  I am fortunate to have all 28 versions, except mine are on vinyl, not CD. I also have a version which was national in nature.
I believe I read years ago in a record publication that the OKC version was the last one that he recorded. It was also brought to my attention years ago from a friend of mine that in the OKC version, one of the schools mentioned is really an elementary school and another one is really a Junior College.
I just got my version out and I believe I heard mention not one but two schools that were elementary in nature.
A WHOLE lotta research had to go into this, finding the names of all the area high schools for each locale that had its own version ... especially in the pre-Internet days!!!  (kk)    

FH Reader Bill Hengels sent us this awesome "Lost Chicago" Website ... boy, you don't realize how many of these are gone until you see them.  If you grew up here in The Windy City, these photos will definitely hit home.  (Check out some of the other tabs here, too ... it's a trip down memory lane!)  kk  
Click here: CraigsLostChicago

And then this from Ken Voss ...   
Remember the teen clubs from those years?

Kent - 
The 12 Days of A Cleveland Browns Christmas was a HUGE hit here in Cleveland the year it was released.  It was on a label called PAID (#COB 9) and it reportedly sold over 100,000 records during its run.  The label was based in Nashville.  They also had a record by Vince Vance and the Valiants, who later had a lot of success with Christmas records, with a single called "Bomb Iran"  This also came out in 1980 (PAD #109)   
Rocky River, Ohio

Hi Kent,  
Speaking of "The Air That I Breathe", ever heard this version before? I hadn’t.  
Rockin’ Lord Geoff (in England)    
Actually, YES ... in fact, this is the same clip I referenced that day ... pointing out that the background vocals on this are handled by The Beach Boys ... although I NEVER would have guessed so by the sound of it!  (kk) 

And, speaking of The Beach Boys, John Madara just sent me this clip ...  
Hi Kent ... 
Here is the version of At The Hop by The Beach Boys. I hope things are good with you my friend!  
Best Regards ... 

I definitely can relate to this Better Half comic in today's paper (Jan. 17) - I think your readers can, too.   Alice M., Michigan 

A belated Happy New Year Kent!
Lovin'  "Forgotten Hits" -- I still remember giving you a Forgotten Hits "Shout Out"  with " Take Me Back" by The Flock - 5 or 6 yrs back on "The Saturday Night Party"  show on 94-7 WLS.
Best in 2014!
Danny Lake --  Weekdays Mon - Fri ( 1 to 4 pm )
94-7 WLS - Chicago