Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday This And That

re:  APRIL 12th:

Forgotten Hits Readers felt we were remiss in not mentioning a couple of key anniversaries that took place last Saturday on April 12th.  (It's hard when things are pre-planned and written to squeeze in everything in a timely fashion.  Saturdays in 2014 are dedicated to our new Saturday Surveys feature ... but both are well-worth mentioning ... so here we go!)

Kent ...
In 1964 they recorded this song.  On 4/12/1966 Jan Berry crashed on "Dead Man's Curve."

Frank B.
I cannot believe that you didn’t mention this on Saturday, the 12th!!!   
1954 - Not that he or anybody else knew what would happen within a year, but today at the Pythian Temple at 135 West 70th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues in Manhattan -- this big, barn-like building with great echo in New York City, home to one of the most famous -- and certainly most significant -- recording sessions of all time, Bill Haley and his Comets (even if he did show up two hours late because his ferry got caught on a sandbar) arrived for their first session with Decca Records and nothing would ever be the same again.
They came to record a couple of tunes that had been out recently by other artists -- Thirteen Women, a revamped version of number that had flopped for Dickie Thompson on Herald -- and an obscure song that had also bombed for an even more obscure act, Sonny Dae and his Knights -- Rock Around The Clock, which had been written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers.  Released on US Decca 29124, the Rock Around The Clock side was anything but an overnight sensation, gaining only limited success on initial release in 1954 -- but it refused to go away -- and a year later, after getting exposure as the theme for the MGM movie hit Blackboard Jungle, the song exploded on to the US charts reaching Number 1 -- and, more importantly, became THE vehicle by which rock 'n' roll is finally successfully exported to the rest of the world, thus transforming from a purely American phenomenon to a near global one.
Rock Around The Clock becomes the very FIRST rock 'n' roll record to do so when it appears in the UK and reaches Number 1. Now the WHOLE WORLD clamours for the music that until now has only been known in the US.  The success of this song is considered by many to mark the beginning of the rock “n” roll era. It topped the Billboard singles chart on June 29th, 1955, for eight weeks and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1982. Rock Around The Clock was formally released a month later and featured in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle, which ushered in the rock “n” roll era.  At last count, the record had sold over 25,000,000 copies. In the UK it fist appeared on January the 8th , 1955 at number seventeen, slipping to number eighteen the following week before leaving the charts until October the 15th when it would become the monster hit having been seen in the film Blackboard Jungle. 
The musicians involved were Bill Haley on vocals and rhythm guitar; Marshall Lytle on upright bass; Joey Ambrose (aka Joey D'Ambrosio) on tenor saxophone; Billy Williamson on steel guitar; Johnny Grande on piano; Billy Gussak on drums and Danny Cedrone on electric guitar. 
There is a tragic sideline to this great number in that the guitarist used for the guitar rift was one Danny Cedrone, a studio musician and not a member of the Comets. The four hour season had been set up by Milt Gabler (Billy Crystal's uncle) and the A side was to be Thirteen Women "because he owned a piece of the song so he forced it on us," according to Marshall Lytle.  Lytle says they did two takes on it, and one of them had a little problem [the levels were not good in the first take, and the vocals were drowned out] so they spliced the two takes together. Milt Gabler had thrown them the song called Thirteen Women but none of them had ever heard it or knew what it was. "It had no arrangement on it or anything, so it took us two and a half hours to get that song completed and recorded."  After it was recorded, Milt Gabler said "OK, record your rock song.”
"We had a four hour session that day, and we had been on a ferry stuck on a sandbar for an hour ... then spent two and a half hours recording Thirteen Women, which left us only thirty five minutes to record Rock Around The Clock. Danny Cidrone was not at the rehearsal last night when we rehearsed it in Bill’s basement prior to leaving for New York. Bill had always wanted a guitar solo on the recordings, so Danny was looking for a solo to play. And because the clock was just ticking away, I said, 'Hey, Danny – why don’t you use the solo you used on Rock This Joint?'  He said, 'Do you think that’ll fit?' So we tried it and it worked out absolutely perfect and that solo has become world famous with guitar players. The tragic story behind the song is that two weeks after we recorded “Rock …” Danny got drunk and fell down some very steep steps and broke his neck and died.  
Radio airplay favoured Rock Around The Clock following its May, 1954 release (in both 78 and 45 rpm formats), and while the song did get a place on the Billboard Hot 100, its peak success occurred in the spring of 1955, when it was featured in the film the Blackboard Jungle. That exposure shot Rock Around The Clock to Number 1 for eight consecutive weeks. Although Rock Around The Clock wasn't the first rock and roll record, it thrust rock and roll into the main stream of pop music and nothing would ever be the same again.   
Take care,
Rockin’ Lord Geoff    

Other milestones from April 12th:
David Cassidy was born in 1950 ... he'd have a string of hits ... and DUI's ... years later
John Kay of Steppenwolf was born in 1944
Novelty act Tiny Tim was born (as Herbert Khaury) in 1930
1988 - Sonny Bono is elected Mayor of Palm Springs, California  (Why did he ever take up skiing?)
1996 - The Hollywood Rock Walk inducts Jan and Dean, The Ventures, The Chantays and The Surfaris as the City of Los Angeles declares it "Ventures Day"
And, on the same day that Bill Haley and His Comets record "Rock Around The Clock" in 1954, Big Joe Turner's recording of "Shake, Rattle And Roll" is released, lending further credence to the fact that "Rock Around The Clock" was NOT the first rock and roll record ... it just became the benchmark by which the SUCCESS of rock and roll has been measured.

Never miss a date ... pick up a copy of Ron Smith's book "Eight Days A Week:  Births, Deaths And Events Each Day In Oldies History" (for whence ALL of the above anniversaries came).  You can order your own copy here:  Click here: Eight Days A Week by Ron Smith | 9780983373704 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
And, speaking of The Saturday Surveys ...

It's possible that today's chart selection is the best you've delivered since you began this feature. These are such fun!
David Lewis

Hi Kent,I enjoy looking at the surveys each Saturday.  While look at the Hitbound section of the WDUZ (Green Bay, WI) survey I noticed that Daybreak (by Nilsson) is followed by Sundown (by Gordon Lightfoot). 
Nice to see a sense of humor so far North. 

LOL ... missed that one!  But I just happen to LOVE Nilsson's "Daybreak" song ... so this is as good an excuse as any to feature it!  (kk)

Kent - 
Please let your fans know JAY PROCTOR of JAY & THE TECHNIQUES is in the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA, where he will be operated on next week for a tumor in his colon. 
It has not spread ... and the prognosis is good.  He will KEEP THE BALL ROLLIN'! 
Fans can email JAY at:  jpro984960@aol.com  
Rick Levy .. manager  
Thanks for the heads up, Rick.  Fans can email Jay (or send along small does of apples, peaches and pumpkin pie) at the address above.  (kk)   

At 7 this morning (Friday, April 11th), The Drive (WDRV in Chicago) played, in order, Billboard's top five songs from fifty years ago: Can't Buy Me Love, Twist and Shout, She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, and Please Please Me.  What a great way to start the day!   
Dan Crabtree 
Wheaton, IL   
Missed it ... not bad, though ... even if they are a full week off!!! (The Billboard Chart where The Beatles held down the top five spots was dated "Week Ending April 4, 1964).  kk   

Hey Kent,
Thanks for the info on Patti Drew. I am assuming that the version you shared was her with the group. The version in the movie and the one I found on youtube must be her single. I personally think it is much better. 
OK, here is Patti's solo version from 1967.  Maybe you'll find it more to your liking.  (kk)

Kent ...
Here's what Tommy James had to deal with.
Oh, I'm well aware of Morris Levy's "legacy" in the music biz ... Tommy James documents all of this quite well in his book "Me, The Mob and the Music" ... hopefully soon to be a motion picture playing near you!  (I'm really looking forward to that new James Brown bio-pic we told you about a few weeks ago, too!)  kk  

Paul McCartney has announced FOUR US Dates for his 2014 "Out There" tour ... with more to follow.  So far, the lucky cities include The New Orleans Arena (June 19th in New Orleans, LA); The Yum! Center in Louisville, KY (June 26th), Times Union Center in Albany, New York (July 5th) and The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA on July 7th.  Watch for new dates to be added soon.  (kk)

Here's a great read on Bobby Vee and his family. @StarTribune 52m   
Take good care of my baby: Bobby Vee and his wife celebrate 50 years http://strib.mn/1n2PTYe  
Don Effenberger

And congratulations to our FH Buddy Al Kooper who, at the ripe old age of 70, FINALLY made The Wall Street Journal!!!  (Seriously?!?!  Was that really always a dream of yours?!?!?  The Wall Street Journal?!?!?)  kk  
Click here: Al Kooper: Rocker of Ages - WSJ.com

My friend, Michael Thom, pointed out to me that "That's Rock 'n' Roll" is basically the same song as "Bring it on Home to Me" just sped up a lot!  He just realized it recently.  I NEVER realized it!  Very close indeed!!
Your timing is perfect ... I've been listening to Eric Carmen all week long in the car!  (kk)    

Here, courtesy of Vintage Vinyl News, is a recap of what you missed during this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.  (Highlights will be broadcast on HBO starting on May 31st)  kk

Vintage Vinyl also published Olivia Newton-John's set list as she launched her new residency at The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas ...
The L.A. Ticket Link is now up for multiple tickets ... 
This is an amazing story!
The Wages of Spin II "Bring Down That Wall" is the first sequel to The Wages of Spin, which has been running nationally on PBS affiliates (over a thousand affiliate airings) since June of 2013 and is in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archives.  The new film will have its Los Angeles Premiere on Wednesday, April 23rd, at The James Brooks Theater on the campus of UCLA.   Tickets: www.characterdrivenfilms.com 
The Wages of Spin II "Bring Down That Wall" covers the inner workings of the music industry circa 1979 thru the early 1990's and focuses on the relationships between:  The Record Labels, Promotion Men, Radio Programmers, Payola, Organized Crime and The Government. 
The film also explores a DOJ investigation into MCA that was shut down by The DOJ hierarchy and the relationship between MCA, Ronald Reagan, Edwin Meese, Howard Baker and several other prominent political and entertainment figures and organized crime.   
Three Trailer Links: 
Hoping some of our LA Readers can report back to us on this one.  I still haven't seen it ... but, judging by these trailers, it looks to REALLY be something!  Please let us know if you were able to make the screening! (kk)

Here's an early review of this hot new film that we just received this morning ...

And, speaking of screenings, don't forget about "The Wrecking Crew", which will be showing as a fund-raiser at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL on May 13th at 7 PM.  This is a one-time only event ... and Denny Tedesco will be on hand for some Q&A after the showing of the film.  It's a "Must See" for ANY fan of '60's music ... these guys were on EVERYTHING!!!  Hope to see you there. (kk)
Other cool shows coming up at the Arcada in April and May:
This Weekend:
Friday, April 18th - CTA - The Music of Chicago - featuring Danny Seraphine (Former Drummer and founding member of the rock group Chicago) along with long-time Chicago vocalist Bill Champlain ... with special guest Larry Braggs, lead singer of Tower Of Power

Saturday, April 19th - It's Foghat, with Cosmo, former lead singer of Boston

Then on Monday Night, April 21st, spend an evening with Kevin Costner and The Modern West!
Saturday, April 26th - be sure to catch Dean Torrence with The Surf City All-Stars, playing ALL the great surf hits of Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys and others
Then on Sunday, April 27th, it'll be Dave Mason's Traffic Jam.
Micky Dolenz of The Monkees ... along with The Cowsills ... hit The Arcada stage on Friday, May 2nd, followed by Echoes of Pompeii, an AMAZING Pink Floyd Tribute Show on Saturday, May 3rd.
On May 9th, it's Air Supply, followed by TWO shows by The Alan Parsons Project on May 10th.
Herman's Hermits with Peter Noone (and special guests Jay and the Americans) close out the month on May 30th.
ALWAYS a great show to be seen at The Arcada ... be sure to check the OShows website for more details and ticket information:   www.oshows.com
(By the way, we were there all weekend again ... saw two GREAT shows featuring Little Anthony and the Imperials and Paul Revere and the Raiders ... watch for reviews of BOTH concerts coming up later this week in Forgotten Hits!)  kk     

re:  ON THE RADIO:  
There is a new book chronicling the birth of Top 40 radio written by my friend, the late Richard Fatherley. Shortly after Top 40 wizard Todd Storz died suddenly in 1964, Richard began interviewing people related to the Storz radio empire and a few years ago began a book on the Top 40 radio format's birth.  This is a fascinating story for anyone who grew up on top 40 radio, especially if you grew up in the great plains area where most of the Storz stations were located in the 50's and 60's.  I thought I knew a lot about top 40 radio, but this book just blew me away.  I thank Chris Abercrombie for turning me on to this book.  The front cover features a picture of my long time friend Sandy Jackson, who was instrumental in the success of Storz broadcasting.  After the author's death, David MacFarland completed the book along with help from Storz legends Bud Connell and Deane Johnson.  Between the four of them, this book has done a masterful job of telling how it all began and developed thru KOWH, WTIX, KOMA, WHB, KXOK, WDGY and WQAM. This book is for anyone who ever grew up on top 40 or was a DJ in the time.  IT IS AWESOME!  Buy this one!  You will not regret it!   
Clark Besch   
Also, try out Deane Johnson's great website with airchecks, photos and memorabilia from the Storz stations that will blow you away. http://www.deanejohnson.net/

Larry Lujack's typewriter (up for auction on eBay) sold to Chicagoan Dave Plier this past weekend.  The winning bid was $755.  Dave plans on loaning this piece of Chicago Radio History to The Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications
where it will be on display for all to see.  (This isn't the first time Plier has helped to preserve a piece of Chicago broadcasting history ... check out this media coverage from both Robert Feder and Chicagoland Radio and Media): 
Kent ...
Here's a recap of Scott Shannon's 29th show on WCBS-FM ...
Scott talked to Peter Asher, half of the Peter & Gordon duo.  Peter told the story about how he got the song "A World Without Love" from Paul McCartney. Paul was dating Peter's sister. For awhile, when the Beatles weren't on the road, Paul was staying in the Asher's guest room. Peter & Paul became friends.
John Lennon didn't like "A World Without Love.  It starts with the lyric "Please lock me away." John says "Okay we will -- song is over." He also said there's no bridge in the song.
Since the Beatles weren't going to record it, Paul gave it to Peter & Gordon. May is the 50th anniversary of this song becoming a hit.
Peter & Gordon were on the last Hulabaloo TV show.  They toured with the Dick Clark Cavalcade Of Stars.  They also appeared on one of Murray The K's live shows here in New York.
Frank B.

Hi Kent -- 
Click on the Mike Kinosian analysis of the Classic Hits / Oldies formats. He put quite a bit of work with cross-referencing, etc. Sadly, Chicago (three stations listed) is on a downward trend.   
Click here: PPM Analysis: Classic Hits - Oldies - RadioInfo : RadioInfo    
Sadly, nothing we don't already know ... and haven't been preaching for the past fifteen years.  People are sick and tired of being force-fed the same selection of music over and over and over again ... yet radio continues to insult our intelligence by doing so.  As such, MOST of us have for greener pastures (and more variety) as programmed on the Internet.  As far as I'm concerned it's the #1 Reason why Radio is in the crapper today ... yet they're still too blind to see it.  SO discouraging!  (kk)  

Click here: Songs You Love vs. Songs You're Tired Of by Carolyn Gilbert & Leigh Jacobs | ... …
Ok, so explain something to me ... since we ALL seem to know about this ... and everybody agrees what a hassle it is ... why isn't anybody out there DOING anything about it?!?!?  I'll tell you what ... the general public will tell you BOATLOADS more than your highly-paid consultants ... if you'd only LISTEN to them ... since you're obviously blind to the fact that MILLIONS of listeners have already left you to find more variety on the Internet and Satellite Radio.  (Duh?!?!  Do you think that's really why???  Let's put it this way ... MILLIONS are now willing to PAY to hear the songs and variety they really want to hear ... if you haven't picked up on this by now then terrestrial radio truly IS dead!!!)  kk