Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday This And That

re:  It Just Keeps Getting Better:
Still no resolution in the Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert travesty ... as of this morning, NO money has yet to change hands.  Meanwhile, Bill Thompson, the guy who collected all the money, has closed up shop ... and somehow feels like the victim here because of the relentless press hounding him to turn over the payment to the Geraci family.   

“Until further notice,” Stringz & Wingz is closed, said Owner “Chef” Bill Thompson in an interview Jan. 14.  Thompson said bad publicity from the event moved him to part ways with Stringz & Wingz. 
“That way, [the new owners] can salvage the business,” he said. “I’ve just been dragged through the mud.” 
-- from the Streetsboro Gateway News follow up article written by Bob Gaetjens   

Hold on here just a minute ... so Thompson says he's been "dragged through the mud" by the media ... for STEALING nearly $30,000 raised in the Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert?!?!?  Why on earth would anybody think badly of him for THAT?!?!  They need to seize these funds, charge him with theft and then put him in a mental institution where he can have his head examined to see HOW in the world he can portray himself as the victim here!!!  Frickinunbelievable!!!!!  (kk)  

Hi Kent,  
My name is Christine Haylett.  My husband and I are the owners of Guitar Shack and Once Loved Threads in Streetsboro. I've been a volunteer with Family Days for eight years and they are like a second family to me. I was reading your blog and I have been completely disgusted with this whole fundraiser fiasco. Sonny is an awesome man and has brought so much to our community for family days.
I wanted to let you know the community has come together with planning a series of fundraisers so that Family Days can still take place this year. Guitar Shack is kicking off the series of fundraisers on January 24th. There will be music and a Chinese auction.   The fundraisers will continue thru June with area businesses.
What happened was a travesty but rest assured this town will not let it rest till all that was wrong is put right again.  Have a great night,

Good to hear ... and I will make mention of this.  I'm just appalled at how this guy is making himself out to be the victim here ... when it's quite clear what he's done.  The concert was put together with the best and noblest of intentions ... what a shame that one selfish jerk can put the whole town through such a negative publicity spin.  Please keep us posted.  Thanks, Christine.  (kk)  

Who is this cretin that is keeping the Geraci family's money? Somebody out there has to have a relative named Guido that is skilled with a Louisville Slugger and would love to tee off on some kneecaps ... fuhgetaboutit. 
A "C" note to some palooka is a whole lot cheaper than a gaggle of lawyers who would take a cut. There are so many pissed off people who could possibly be blamed. Just an unrealistic thought.  Frontier justice used to work ... wha hoppened.
Alex Valdez 
I just can't believe this guy has the gall to play the victim here ... when the ONLY person to blame is himself!  (kk)

Thank you, Kent for your resources. This is a travesty and needs to be made public.
This low life actually posted that he was being dragged through the mud because of this and left his partnership in the club to save the club's reputation. But, in my opinion, it sounds to me like his partners are dumping him so they won't be liable. 
Thank you again for supporting our efforts to make things right for Sonny and his family.
Be well -
Dennis Tufano
People all over the country are talking about this right now.  Fans who dipped into their pocketbooks to make a donation to a noble cause are outraged ... this money needs to be redirected to its proper source, the Geraci family.  It was our love for Sonny and all the joy that he has given us through the years that inspired these donations in the first place.  I can assure you that NONE of us intended OUR funds to go to Chef Bill Thompson!  (kk)  

re:  50th Anniversary:  
Last week we told you how David Letterman was trying to reunite Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to perform on his Late Night Program in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles' first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  (Letterman's show is broadcast from The Ed Sullivan Theater ... so it really would be quite a coup!)
I don't know if they never came to terms ... or if they'll still show up there to perform ... for that matter, Paul McCartney seems to be QUITE a fan of making surprise appearances on Saturday Night Live, too, so expect ANYTHING to happen between now and the second week of February.
Meanwhile, it HAS been announced that Paul and Ringo WILL perform at this year's Grammy Awards (where The Beatles will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.)  The Grammy people are being very careful NOT to use the word "together" ... although I've got to believe that they will join up for something, even if they each perform solo first.  The ceremony takes place later this month (on the 26th).  A special Grammy anniversary special called "The Night That Changed America", featuring an all-star line up of artists performing Beatles tunes ... and they just might show up there, too!  The show will tape on the 27th, the day after the Grammy Awards Ceremony and then air on February 9th, the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  (kk)

Hi Kent, 
Real good to read of Tommy Roe’s involvement with the 50 year Beatles’ celebrations. 
Tommy and Chris Montez had big UK hits in 1962 with “Sheila” and “Let’s Dance” respectively. They then toured the UK in March, 1963, on a bill that included the Beatles and another UK group, the Viscounts, whose line up once included Gordon Mills, later manager of Tom Jones and Engelbert. 
The timing landed Tommy and Chris right at the beginning of Beatlemania, as “Please Please Me’ was #1 in the UK and the “Please Please Me’ LP was released during the tour. Here’s a piece of memorabilia I found on the web:

Best wishes, 
Mike Edwards   

More on Tommy ...  

Tommy Roe will recreate his set from February 11, 1964 at the Washington Coliseum as part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles invasion of America.
February 11 was the date of the first ever show by the Fab Four on U.S. soil, two nights after their American television debut on the Ed Sulliven show. Roe opened for them that night at the group's invitation after he played with them during a 1963 British tour.
On February 11, 2014, the Washington Coliseum will once again be the site of Roe (and the Beatles) music with a full recreation of the event featuring Tommy and the Beatles tribute band Beatlemania Now. The event is being produced by the DC Preservation League and the Douglas Development Corporation who have also assembled an exhibit of photographs from the night.
For the record, the Crystals were also scheduled to perform that night but were not able to make it due to a snowstorm.  Jay & the Americans and the Righteous Brothers joined Roe as opening acts. 8,092 people attended the original show with ticket prices between $2 and $4. 

The Beatles with Tommy Roe and Chris Montez

The 50th Anniversary Celebration is in full swing!  Watch for our little tribute kicking off tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... and then following the timeline throughout the year as first The Beatles ... and then the rest of The British Invasion ... made their way to the top of the charts here in America!  (kk)  

Just got this from NYCFAB50, who are sponsoring and hosting much of the celebration in New York City on The Beatles' anniversary of their first trip here to The States. 
If anybody on the list is planning to attend some of the festivities, please drop us a line.  Meanwhile, here's some info about some discount room pricing ...   

Thousands of fans from around the globe will “Come Together” in  to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles next month with all the numerous events in the City. 
There will be the gala star-studded concert event "Twist & Shout: NY Celebrates The Beatles" at the world-famous Apollo Theater on Thursday, February 6; the "Across The Universe" Beatles Music Festival at the historic Hudson Theatre Friday night and all-day & night Saturday, February 7-8, the All-Star "America Celebrates The Beatles" Celebrity Tribute Concert at the Town Hall Saturday night February 8, a Sunday February 9 ceremony & live show at the Hard Rock Cafe and the Grammy Museum will be bringing a very special exhibit and symposium to Lincoln Center at the same time.  
Two Broadway hotels are offering very special discounted rates for fans coming to the Big Apple to enjoy all the great Beatles happenings: The MILFORD HOTEL NYC on 700 8th Avenue (212) 869-3600 in the heart of Times Square and the Broadway Theater district, and the MILLENNIUM BROADWAY HOTEL on 14 West 44th Street (212) 768-4400. 
The Millennium Broadway Hotel in Times Square is the home of the Hudson Theatre and the "Across The Universe" Music Festival. Rooms are only $179 for Singles or Doubles using the code "BEATLES50" for a limited time. 
Rates at the Milford Hotel, also centrally in Times Square, are only $159 for doubles using the same code "BEATLES50" for a limited time.  
These are amazingly low rates in Manhattan, and may not be available for long, so if you're planning a Beatles vacation in New York during the 50th anniversary celebration and you haven't booked your accommodations - or if you've booked a hotel at a higher rate and want to save money to spend on admissions or souvenirs - you may want to book these hotels now.

The Smithereens are once again returning to one of their biggest influences, The Beatles, in a recreation of their first U.S. concert. 
On February 11, 1964, the Beatles played at the Washington Colloseum in Washington, DC. They ran through a quick twelve song set that included such early hits as Please Please Me, She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand to throngs of screaming fans.
The Smithereens play those twelve songs, in the original order, "only louder than the screams, and with less jelly bean throwing!"
The band previously saluted the Fab Four with 2007's Meet the Smithereens!, a track-by-track recreation of Meet the Beatles and 2008's B Sides The Beatles.
Track List: 
Roll Over Beethoven / From Me To You / I Saw Her Standing There / This Boy / All My Loving / I Wanna Be Your Man / Please Please Me / Till There Was You / She Loves You / I Want To Hold Your Hand / Twist and Shout / Long Tall Sally 

re:  This And That:
I also read that Maureen Gray passed away. Only record I have of hers is DANCING THE STRAND, a less than minor hit here in the OKC area.
Apparently much bigger in the Philadelphia area ... our FH Buddy John Madara wrote and produced a couple of her earlier records ... and it sounds like she went on to sing with some pretty big names several years later.  "Dancing The Strand" peaked at #91 in Billboard in 1962, when Maureen was all of 13 years old!!!  (kk)

"Melanie sold 80 million records" ...
Is this correct ... very doubtful ... :-) 
Mike S.
Huh?  I'm sorry ... where did you see this???  (kk)
In your January 11 version of the Saturday Survey, the following caught my eye:
"Melanie was one of the stars of Woodstock, appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Dick Cavett shows, and has sold over 80 million records."
Seems very high, right?
Really enjoy Forgotten Hits ...
Thanks for keeping the music and memories alive, and for all the hard work involved!
Wow, I must be REALLY missing something here!!!  I've scoured that page and STILL can't find anything there that says this ... what the heck am I missing?!?!?  That being said, yes, I would agree that those statistics seem slightly exaggerated!  (kk)

We told you earlier that Johnny Rivers was coming to The Arcada Theatre later this year.  (I can't wait to see him ... I've never had the pleasure!)  Well, it seems that Johnny is celebrating a 50th Anniversary of his own this year ... that's when he first started performing at The Whisky-A-Go-Go (and those "live" recordings first started hitting the charts.)
Here's the whole scoop, courtesy of Tom Cuddy and Vintage Vinyl News:

It's official ... Mick Fleetwood confirmed this week that Christine McVie is rejoining her bandmates ... live shows (and hopefully a brand new album) to follow!  (kk)

Meanwhile it looks like The Rascals have once again scattered ... Felix Cavaliere will be performing here in Chicago as a solo artist (billed as Felix Cavaliere's Rascals) in September at The Arcada Theatre ... and guitarist Gene Cornish is participating in New York's 50th Anniversary Beatles celebration.  No word yet as to whether the four original members may be scheduling any new shows together.  (kk)

And, speaking of The Rascals ...

Just started listening to a new internet radio oldies station, RichBroRadio. Pretty good, playing more than the usual 100 songs over and over. Just heard a song I hadn't heard in years. 'Baby Let's Wait' by the Royal Guardsman. A favorite and not a 'Snoopy' song. Remember that one?
Bill P
Woodstock IL
Oh yeah, one of my favorite Forgotten Hits ... we've featured it several times before, most recently after seeing The Rascals "Once Upon A Dream" show here in Chicago.  The Rascals recorded this one first but never released it as a single.  (The Royal Guardsmen reached #33 on the national charts with their cover version ... and #15 here in Chicago.)
We've linked to RichBroRadio before ... yes, they're definitely playing a wider selection music ... and this seems to be the case with virtually ALL of the Internet stations that are programming oldies music today. (It's kind of what cable television did to the major networks ... they air more in-depth series with far less censorship ... and we all know how the conventional networks have fallen behind.  Network TV Execs will tell you that they can't cover some of the subject matter that seems to have free reign on cable.  Apparently terrestrial radio finds itself in the same boat.  However they COULD do something about it ... if only SOMEBODY out there had the balls to take a stand!  (kk)

I'd never heard Albert Hammond's original recording of "The Air That I Breathe". Love the surprise break in the middle. What a neat find! Thanks, Kent.
David Lewis
We sent this one along to Scott Shannon, too, so he can feature it on his next Rock And Roll Remakes Weekend.  (When is that going to air, Scott?  It's always been one of our favorite True Oldies Channel weekend salutes.)  kk

It is interesting to point out that the Elliott, Walter & Bennett song, "The 12 Days of The Cleveland Browns Christmas" was one of several that the trio did in late 1980 for many of the NFL teams.  A quick check of the internet shows that at the very least, Elliott, Walter & Bennett did "localized" versions of the songs for not only the Cleveland Browns, but the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams.  The Cleveland Browns version seemed to be remembered the most, even though the other 4 teams -- less Pittsburgh -- also would make it to the playoffs that season.
I don't believe that EW&B made it even close to the number of "localized" versions that Tommy Facenda had with his song, "High School USA" in 1959 -- I believe he had 28 different versions.
Uncle T. Jay

Yeah, what a great marketing ploy THAT was!!!  I have a CD that features all 28 versions ... Billboard charted the record showing the record label as "Atlantic 51 to 78"!!!  Unreal! 
I've heard from a few others that "The 12 Days Of Christmas" was "customized for different NFL markets but didn't know the specifics as to how many versions actually existed.  Thanks, Jay!  (Plus I obviously got their name wrong!!!  I thought it was Walter and Bennett Elliott, a DUO, not realizing that Elliott was one third of the trio.  Honestly, until a reader wrote in asking about the flipside of this record, I didn't even know it existed!)  kk

>>>The leader of The Movies was Michael Morgan of the Messengers.  (Phil)
Some or all of The Movies were the backup band for wild vaudevillian rocker Uncle Vinty in the '70s. I saw them at the Blue Moon Ballroom in Elgin, and at the "new" Amazingrace in Evanston. What a wild show, complete with props and costumes.
Guy Arnston in Algonquin
Michael and the Messengers had a couple of big hits here in Chicago with "In The Midnight Hour" (#5, 1967) and "Just Like Romeo And Juliet" (#12, 1967).
Phil Nee also sent me a later recording by Michael Morgan which is pretty darn catchy, too.  Check it out below.  (kk)

"That's The Way A Woman Is" was played a lot in Milwaukee and Madison in 1971.  It was on Rare Earth records.  It always has reminded me of the Greg Kihn song The Breakup Song.
It looks like this one charted in Billboard, where it reached #62 (as by The Messengers).  It scored even higher in Cash Box, just missing The Top 40 when it peaked at #42. 
Oddly enough, Joel Whitburn's book doesn't mention Michael Morgan at all ... instead he gives two completely different group line-ups.  Perhaps Gary Meyer can fill us in on a few more details ... I'm sure these guys got extensive coverage in his Wisconsin Music Book!  (kk)

FH Reader Tom Cuddy (a MAJOR Chicago fan!) sent us this link to an article about the upcoming tour featuring Chicago and REO Speedwagon.  Incredibly, these two super-star acts have never toured together before.  Chicago's got a couple of local appearances coming up later this month where they'll perform with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra ... THAT should be pretty cool to see, too!  (kk)

A record player that only plays 45's?  (Didn't they used to call that a jukebox???)
FH Reader Dave Barry just sent us this link about a new, limited edition product on the market designed ONLY to play your old 45's.  (And it ain't cheap ... if I'm doing my math correctly, those $2500 Euros equals about $3400 in U.S. funds ... plus shipping and handling.  Damn!  I can download a WHOLE lot of music for $3400!!!  And I'll bet they sound a WHOLE lot cleaner than most of my old, scratchy 45's!)  I just can't believe there's a market for this ... maybe that's why they're only making 100!  (kk)

re:  Survey Says ... :
Please add my name to your readers that noticed the date was wrong by a year on the WKLO radio survey. When I read it the first time, I said to myself that the year is wrong by one year. Didn't really think anything more about it until your other readers wrote in today and caught the mistake as well.
One more thing about the weekly surveys. Through the years I have noticed occasionally a "typo" of some kind on a survey, sometimes a little humorous.  I'll get mine out and try to locate some, and send them to you.
I don't know if you have ever bought and or subscribed to various periodicals like GOLDMINE and / or DISCoveries. I used to buy them off and on years ago.
What I'm getting at is that I just have one here at my home. It is a DISCoveries issue dated July, 1991, Volume 4, Number 7. The main feature or articles has to do with collecting radio station surveys from the time period of 1955 - 1990.
It shows dozens and dozens of radio station surveys from many of the top forty radio stations here in the country. You might look it up if you have a copy.
We had any number of misspelled song titles and artists over the years here in Chicago, too.  I guess it was inevitable (although I'd think it would have been something relatively easy to catch and prevent had anybody been looking at them!!!)
Sometimes it was clearly intentional ... we'll show you some of those in the weeks to come ... clever plays on words and such ... or maybe a specific theme running throughout the survey.  It showed that the radio station was having fun with the whole idea, and I really like that!
I don't have any of my old Goldmine or Discoveries magazines anymore ... but I know somebody who might.  That'd be a fun one to check out ... sending a copy of your email to Jack Levin who has spent a WHOLE lot of time collecting and selling rock-related magazines over the years at record shows and on eBay and such ... (kk)
That issue brings back some memories. I sent them ad copy for that issue and they screwed it up! As a result, my ad did not run. They did run it next issue ... of course a fat lot of good it was gonna do me then!  As luck would have it, a survey collector from Peoria contacted me. Over 20 years later, he's still buying charts from me. It was a cool issue. I no longer have it, as I donated all my back issues of DISCoveries and Goldmine to the ALS Mammoth Music Mart years ago. But in case you didn't know, Kent, not only do I have a gazillion Chicagoland surveys, but plenty from other places, too.Clark has been a good customer over the years, too. If anybody in the Chicago area is interested, ALL my surveys will be with me at the Chicagoland Record Show on January 19.
Might have to try and make it out to that one ... Hillside?  And maybe you've got some cool collectibles you can scan and send me to run in our hot new Saturday feature!  Thanks, Jack!  (kk)
Our new Saturday Survey feature has REALLY taken off ... I'll bet Forgotten Hits readers sent in close to 500 surveys for consideration to be used in future installments.  (It's going to take me a long, long time to sort through all of these!!!  But it's encouraging to know that we may be able to keep this feature going for years to come if we have enough to run without repeats.)  Be sure to check it out this Saturday in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)