Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 06 - 15 - 14 )

>>>I've gotta tell you, I am REALLY concerned about the new "Jersey Boys" movie!!!  The vocals I've seen in the promos so far don't come even CLOSE to capturing the sound of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  As both a MAJOR fan ... and someone who saw the "Broadway In Chicago" stage version six times ... I couldn't be more disappointed with what I've seen so far, especially when it comes to "fake" Frankie Valli's vocals ... they're not even close!  Our Chicago Frankie BLEW this guy away!!!  (If they were going for the real sound, they would have been better served by hiring the best possible actors to play the parts and using the actual original recordings as part of the soundtrack ... but these are guys who had to go out and recreate these roles night after night after night ... they should be fully "seasoned" by now ... and I'm just not hearing it!!!)  Anybody can sing high ... but the whole essence of Frankie's voice was the fact that it had body and balls behind it ... when it hit you, you know you were hearing something that you had never heard before ... it captured you and sucked you in.  Check out the clips below ... NONE of that "magic" or sound is present in these vocals ... and, as such, I don't feel they do justice to this music.  (By comparison, go to YouTube and watch some of the clips for the brand new James Brown bio-pic ... they grab you by the guts and don't let go!)  We've been waiting for this film for YEARS now ... but I'm prepping myself for a major disappointment.  I hope I'm wrong ... but just listen to some of this and see if you agree!  (kk)      

Ok, I'm hoping that this was a joke or just a really terrible audio clip.  

That's not real, is it?  Why would they do that?  It sounds TERRIBLE!!!    
My wife Janine and I saw the show in Las Vegas a few years ago and we were knocked out. I was looking forward to the film until I saw the trailer. It only took a few seconds to realize this film is in trouble (unless people have tin ears!!!). I'm so disappointed.   

Hi Kent -   
I think you're on to something, buddy. Frankie & The 4 Seasons sound like they've been sucking helium. Maybe Clint Eastwood thought he was directing "The Lou Christie Story"! What a shame. 

Sorry, guys, but this is the real deal ... it's not a joke ... and it's not the least bit funny.  (That clip I ran last week was deemed good enough by the film makers to release as a promo to entice people to come see the film ... what were they thinking?!?!)  
I would think that if you were going to commit to this story as some type of a permanent record, you would go out of your way to select the absolute BEST sound and look possible ... and, from what I've seen anyway, they've failed miserably.  (In all fairness, John Lloyd Young won a Tony Award for playing Frankie Valli on Broadway ... and it's his voice you hear on the official "Jersey Boys" soundtrack / original cast CD, which I think sounds GREAT! ... but whatever magic he may have captured there is sorely missing here.)  
Like I said, we've been waiting for this film to be made for YEARS now ... and now there's a part of me that doesn't even want to see it ... I'd rather preserve the excellent memories I already have of this show than risk tarnishing those memories forever by a sub-standard performance.  Again ... what were they thinking?!?!?  (kk)

There will be a brand new movie soundtrack for the film.  (The movie opens June 20th and the soundtrack CD hits the streets on June 24th.)  Looking over the track list, it appears that Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons do, in fact, perform some of the songs themselves ... as well as along with John Lloyd Young ... so this should be interesting, hearing these two "dueling Frankie" voices side by side! 

Here's a VVN update:  Click here: Preview: Jersey Boys - Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons and the Film Cast ~ VVN Music  

And just to show you that Young CAN handle the role of Frankie Valli, here's an apples-to-apples comparison between the sound clip we ran last week ... and the same track included on the Original Cast Broadway Recording.  (So what I want to know is ... what happened?!?!  All the grit and gravel that defined his stage Frankie persona is missing.  And how was this allowed to go through without fixing it???)  kk

Meanwhile, want the real deal???  Check out this INCREDIBLE Four Seasons Box Set that Rhino is putting out ... covers everything you'd ever want to hear by the group ... plus there's even a supplemental box of Frankie Valli's solo stuff!!!  (We settle for a pale imitation?  Go for the real thing right here!!!)  kk  
Click here: Who Loves You: Rhino Celebrates “Jersey Boys” With Box Sets For Frankie Valli and Four Seasons, First Bob Gaudio A

Kent ...
This weekend is the "Jersey Boys Weekend" on WCBS-FM.  Why are they doing it this weekend when the movie opens next weekend?  I think I know the answer to my own question. Next weekend is also the first day of Summer. So I think next Saturday and Sunday will be a "Summer Song Weekend."
Frank B.  
Hmm ... wonder if Scott Shannon will be featuring songs from our "All-Time Summer Favorites" list again this year.  (He very well may be compiling his own list right now through The True Oldies Channel!)  kk  
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your All-Time Summer Favorites   

And this JUST in at the publishing deadline!  (I literally screamed out "Stop The Presses!" for this one ... something I've always wanted to do.)  
Reading between the lines here, maybe we're not the ONLY ones disappointed with the quality of the movie soundtrack.  (And THIS is from somebody who should know!!!)  Read on ...    

With “Jersey Boys,” the movie, being released on Friday, we had Frankie Valli as a guest on New York’s 710 WOR Radio yesterday on the Mark Simone Show.  
Believe it or not, Frankie Valli has not seen the movie yet.  He visited the set when it was being filmed, but he’s currently on the road and hasn’t been able to see it.   Surprisingly, the movie studio never offered to send him a DVD screener to view.  As of our interview, he was unsure when he would be seeing the movie.  
It’s incredible that Frankie is still touring and doing two hour shows at 80 years-old.  Some of his touring schedule is below.  
When Mark asked Frankie whether he would have preferred to have the movie actors lip synch to his recordings, rather than sing live, he was very respectful of the decision director Clint Eastwood made.   Clint had all the actors sing live to a band, but you could tell he would have preferred to have them use his tracks.  Sadly, he didn’t get a vote on how the movie handled his music.  It was completely Eastwood’s call.  
-- Tom Cuddy
New York, NY

Sunday, June 15 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
Saturday, June 21 - Chicago, IL - Private Function
Friday, July 4th - Appearing on "A Capitol Fourth", a television special broadcast from National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Monday, July 14; Tuesday, July 15; Thursday, July 17; Friday, July 18 - Port Chester, NY - The Capitol Theatre
Saturday, July 19 - Canandaigua, NY - Constellation Brands - Marvin Sands PAC  (CMAC) 
Friday, July 25; Saturday, July 26 - Hyannis, MA - Cape Cod Melody Tent
Sunday, July 27 - Cohasset, MA - South Shore Music Circus
Friday, August 8 - Greenville, SC - Peace Center Concert Hall
Saturday, August 9 - Durham, NC - DPAC Durham Performing Arts Center
Thursday, August 14 - Livemore, CA - The Concerts At Wente Vineyards
Friday, August 15 - Rohnert Park, CA - Weill Hall @ Sonoma State University
Saturday, August 16 - Costa Mesa, CA - Segerstrom Center For The Arts
Wednesday, September 10 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
Friday, September 12 - Woodinville, WA - Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
Saturday, September 13 - Coquitlam, BC - Hard Rock Casino, Vancouver, Canada
Thursday, October 9 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
Friday, October 10; Saturday, October 11; Sunday, October 12 - Atlantic City, NY - Borgata Hotel, Casiono & Spa - Music Box
Wednesday, October 15; Thursday, October 16 - North Bethesda, MD - Music Center at Strathmore
Wednesday, October 29 - Williamsport, PA - Community Arts Center
Thursday, October 30 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Casino
Saturday, November 1 - Bangor, ME - Cross Insurance Center
Sunday, November 2 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun
Wednesday, November 5 - Worcester, MA - TBA
Friday, November 7; Saturday, November 8 - Niagara Falls, Ontario - Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
Sunday, November 9 - Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square

re:  DON'T DISS LOU!:  
Hey, and don't diss Lou Christie ... I think he has one of the better falsettos we've ever heard over the years ... and, from what I understand, he STILL sounds great today.  (I'm starting a movement to bring Lou Christie to Chicago ... I still believe a double bill of Lou Christie and Tommy Roe would make for a KILLER line-up!)  I've never seen him ... and the one chance I had several years ago fell through when the concert was cancelled and we had to return our tickets.  (This would have been one hell of a show ... Lou Christie WITH Frankie Valli ... and, I believe one or two others known for their upper vocal range.  I was so inspired, in fact, that I wrote an entire series spotlighting some of the greatest falsettos in rock and roll history.  Naturally ... in typical Forgotten Hits fashion, I called it "Whippin' Out The Falsies"!!!)  

'60's FLASHBACK:  
LOU CHRISTIE hit The National Top 40 five times between 1963 and 1969 with '60's classics like LIGHTNING STRIKES (a #1 Single in early 1966), TWO FACES HAVE I (#3 in Cash Box and also #1 here in Chicago), the controversial RHAPSODY IN THE RAIN and I'M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE, an almost "Bubblegum"-sounding comeback hit in 1969. 
CHRISTIE (whose REAL name is LUGEE SACCO) was famous for his soaring falsetto, rivaling FRANKIE VALLI, who was also starting to hit the pop charts around the same time.  CHRISTIE first hit the charts in 1963 with his original composition THE GYPSY CRIED, a song co-written with TWYLA HERBERT, ironically a reputed clairvoyant (who just happened to be 30 years older than he was!)  They also cowrote several of his other hit singles:  TWO FACES HAVE I, LIGHTNING STRIKES and RHAPSODY IN THE RAIN, a song banned on numerous radio stations around the country.  (LOU eventually went in and cut new lyrics replacing the controversial "making out in the rain" line, which became quite a collectible over the years.)
In 1974, he cut my personal favorite track, a version of a song first featured in the 1930 movie MONTE CARLO called BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON.  Sung in the movie by star JEANETTE MacDONALD, CHRISTIE's version would peeter out at #72 on the Cash Box Chart.  (It didn't even get THAT high in Billboard, where it stalled at #80.)  This song has since been covered by everyone from JOHNNY MATHIS to MICHAEL NESMITH!  LOU's version would also get the "film-treatment" when it was featured prominently in the hit motion picture RAIN MAN.   
It's an interesting track in that, if you listen REAL closely, you can just barely hear CHRISTIE singing (almost off-mike) on the first verse before coming in strong for the big finish.  CHRISTIE sounds great on what would be his last chart hit.  


I guess we couldn't really mention RHAPSODY IN THE RAIN and then NOT feature the two versions that were circulating back in 1966.  
On the ORIGINAL version, LOU CHRISTIE sang the line "We were makin' out in the rain" ... HARDLY controversial by today's standards ... but in 1966, it got him banned from radio stations all over the country.  
In fact the ENTIRE ABC Radio Chain was prohibited from playing the tune!  (Amazingly, just one year later, VAN MORRISON was "making love in the green grass behind the stadium" with his BROWN EYED GIRL without any problems ... a #3 Chicago hit in the Summer of 1967!)  
CHRISTIE went back into the studio and recut the track with the substitute line "We fell in love in the rain" in time to still garner enough airplay to take his hit all the way to #16.  
Today, we feature BOTH versions of the single ... the "banned" version has become quite a collectible 45 in recent years ... I remember the Price Guides even listing the number etched in the wax so that the buyer could determine which pressing he was purchasing without actually having to listen to the record!

BTW:  ABC RADIO, led by a movement that started right here in Chicago on WLS, went so far as to tell TIME MAGAZINE that the suggestive lyrics about "makin' out in the rain" and "our love went much too far" along with the obvious rhythmic beat of the windshield wipers could ONLY mean that the couple was having sex in the car in time with the wipers.  When CHRISTIE re-recorded the lines as "we fell in love in the rain" and "our love came like a falling star," he ALSO slowed down the tempo a bit from the original pressing ... hopefully stopping once and for all the teen-lusting that was going on while listening to the other version!  (Yeah right ... I'm sure THAT fooled the teenagers during the charged-up sexual-revolution which was the '60's!)

>We're throwing our full support behind Ed Sullivan for a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nomination next year.  Seeing Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham inducted this year just points out again what a major oversight this is.  Ed Sullivan, more than any other individual in history, is most responsible for bringing rock and roll into our living rooms and fueling the mass appeal and pandemonium that then ensued.   If you grew up in the '50's or '60's, you have fond memories of watching The Ed Sullivan Show EVERY single Sunday Night to see who he was going to feature next.  You patiently (or NOT so patiently) waited through all the juggling and magic acts, the comedians, the Broadway (and even OPERA!!!) musical highlights, Topo Gigio, celebrities in the audience introductions and all kinds of other crap to see this week's pop or rock and roll star.  And, any star who was fortunate enough to appear on Ed's program Sunday night knew that their latest record was going to take a HUGE leap on the charts the following week because sales for that record were going to go through the roof after their appearance.  How on earth he has been overlooked this long is beyond me.  Again, it's time to start righting some of these wrongs.  For all his shortcomings in the personality department, Ed had an eye and an ear for talent ... and the next big thing.  Others have been inducted for their contribution to radio (Alan Freed) and television (Dick Clark) ... but Ed Sullivan was the first one to put this music in our face ... and we LOVED it!!!  (kk) 
Kent - 
Thanks for writing about this! I, too, have been thinking about this more often since the RnR HOF inductees of last year -- Epstein & Oldham. I am in total agreement. 
Please keep up forwarding this idea, and let's somehow see if we can get a list of the people who are either on the board or are voters as to who gets inducted. Wonder if we can get that info and begin a real campaign? Do you have any leads in that regard? 
With this year being the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles on Sullivan, I think this is the right time to give this a serious try / push. Maybe next year we can get Ed into the HOF which he thoroughly deserves, and I believe, is overdue. I am also on the case. Thanks!
Andrew Solt
To date, nobody has been able to exercise ANY kind of influence on these decisions or nominees ... but I say we plant the seed and see what grows.  A "grass roots" campaign, if you will ... especially starting this early ... just might draw some attention.  I'd sure love to hear their explanation as to why Ed wouldn't qualify for induction!!!  There is absolutely NO good reason on earth that he hasn't already been so enshrined!  (kk)  

The real genius of Ed Sullivan in the 1960s was that he could keep three generations (the sixtysomethings, the fortysomethings, and all of us teenysomethings) tuning in week after week. The jugglers, comics and Topo Gigio appealed to the older folks, who were the demographic that big national advertisers wanted. Boomers became a hot demographic starting in '66 or so. Before that, not so much. (Let's face it ... you can't buy an Oldsmobile on your allowance.)
-- Jeff Duntemann
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

... it sounds like Chubby Checker is now demanding his due!
After millions heard him mentioned in Daryl Hall's acceptance speech (not counting, of course, the six or seven of you who read about it right here in Forgotten Hits!),  it sounds like Chubby is FINALLY speaking up about this gross oversight by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  (Incredibly, way back in 2007 when I first ran my series naming The Top 40 Most Deserving And Denied Artists, I contacted Chubby and his fan club ... and was told in no uncertain terms to back off ... "leave Chubby alone" ... "The Rock Hall will do right by itself."  So, now that it's another seven years later, I've got to ask ... "How's that workin' out for you?!?!?"
Checker ABSOLUTELY belongs ... he set off a national dance craze sensation ... and remains the ONLY artist in the rock era to top the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart TWICE with the same record.  Denying him induction is contrary to the very foundation on which The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was built.  (I don't know that "demanding" induction is the right way to go ... but hey, despite every one else's best efforts, it's landed on deaf ears thus far ... so maybe we DO need to shake things up a little bit!)  kk
Did you read on the internet where Chubby Checker basically has told the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to shove it if they don't induct him into the Hall soon.
Yes, here's a more in-depth article sent in by FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...

This past week marked the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles tour of Australia and New Zealand with Jimmy Nichol on drums!!!  Yes, incredibly management and the band thought it best not to cancel any tour dates just because Ringo Starr was in the hospital with tonsillitis ... so they brought on session drummer Jimmy Nichol to perform with them instead.  (It seems almost impossible now to imagine that the biggest band in the WORLD would elect to do such a thing ... and it would never happened today ... but back then apparently the logic was not to do anything to break the momentum of the peak of Beatlemania ... so that's exactly what they did!)  Nichol has never really been heard from since and, INCREDIBLY, he has never sought to cash in on his moment in the spotlight.  (Talk about your fifteen minutes of fame!!!)  This is especially ironic in light of McCartney postponing and rescheduling the first seven dates of his upcoming U.S. tour as he continues to recover from whatever virus he contacted while in Japan.  (kk)

VVN has more of the story here:
Check out that set list ... only ten songs in all ... and five of those were McCartney lead vocals!  Amazing!  (kk)

Harold Bronson's piece on The Dave Clark Five was excellent: a 100% accurate assessment of Mr. Clark's unfortunate and inexplicable mishandling of the DC5's legacy over the decades.  Like Harold, I, too, tried to license DC5 tracks for reissue in compilation albums many times over the years and was always turned down.   Dave hasn't been the only rights holder with a grossly inflated idea of the value of his material who wound up minimizing the potential of such property and blowing a fortune on re-use opportunities over time.  Phil Spector did the same thing with his Philles catalogue; Allen Klein with the Cameo-Parkway masters and there have been others.  
Anyone remember Joni James?  Back in the '50s she scored 29 times (plus once in 1960) on MGM, including seven Top 10 hits (among them three million-sellers and one chart-topper, "Why Don't You Believe Me").  When Joni left the label, she and her husband, bandleader Tony Acquaviva, were able to take all her masters with them.   According to others who then tried licensing her stuff, Tony could demand advances of as much as a million dollars before anyone could reissue any of her tracks!   As a result, no one did -- and, just like with the DC5 material, radio eventually forgot about Joni James and so did everyone else except for an ever diminishing number of hardcore fans.   After Tony died in 1986, Joni's lawyer opened the opportunity to license her material a little bit and that's when I tried to clear ONE Joni James track for a CD box set I was putting together called "These Were Our Songs: The Early '50s."   I was told that I could not license less than six of her tracks for the collection, which was five more than would work within the context of the album's programming.  As Joni's lawyer stuck to his guns, so did I -- replacing Joni in the set with someone else.  Today Joni James is almost totally forgotten -- and some of the songs she made famous in the '50s are far better known now via the cover versions recorded later by other artists, such as The Duprees ("Why Don't You Believe Me" and "Have You Heard").
Gary Theroux 
Too bad ... these artists that have an over-inflated perception of what their material is worth just never seem to learn.  The audience who would have most-embraced The Dave Clark Five catalog has greatly diminished over time and all but their biggest hits have disappeared from the radio ... which is ALSO too bad because I liked nearly all of their singles.
Spector and Klein were similarly stubborn and blind to their quickly disappearing catalog.  And worse yet, many radio stations were programming bootleg copies that didn't earn either one of them a dime!  Between radio airplay, record sales and licensing for movies and film soundtracks, they probably left untold millions on the table holding off instead for the one big pay day that never came.
As for Joni James, I'm not sure too many people miss these tracks ... for most of us, it boils down to the old adage ... how do you miss what you never had?  We can't even get radio to play legitimate hit records from The Rock Era ... we have no hope at all of hearing her stuff that predated 1956!!!  (kk)  

Here's Joni's biggest Rock Era Hit ... "How Important Can It Be"  (#4, 1955).  Listening to it now I can say with all certainty that this track NEVER would have made the cut and stayed in any kind of rotation all these years, regardless of what her husband's position may have been regarding leasing her masters.  It sounds positively ancient by today's music standards and, as such, is understandably forgotten.  (kk)

I never realised until a couple of months ago just how much everyone loved Dave Clark!
Tony Hatch
More from Tony below ... read on!  (kk)  

re:  ON THE RADIO:  
I've really been disappointed with music channels on Sirius / XM Satellite radio.(60's, 70's, 80's channels for example) If you listen a lot, you'll find they don't go very deep and although their playlist is a big longer than terrestrial stations, they are VERY repetitive.
You can say, of course, they're oldies ... but I dug out some cassettes ... mix tapes ... that I put together years ago, and the years are right ... I'm playing the hits ... but very few of them are played on satellite radio.
WHAT'S UP?  Fewer and fewer reasons for satellite service (unless you're a truck driver on the road all day).  It's like cable tv ... lots of stations you'll never watch or listen to.  The 'powers', the only game in town, aren't programmers, they're bullies to the talent ...  SATELLITE IS DYING!!!  As soon as someone figures out income from the internet and makes a network out of it, SATELLITE IS GONE!!!   (Never pay full price ... I only kept it for a $77 a year offer ... they don't like to let you go ... they know you'll never miss them)!
Satellite WAS an interesting alternative ... no commercials ... bigger playlists ... more variety ... but if they've cut their playlists now, too, what's the point?  Plus you're PAYING for this service!  (FH Reader Larry Neal made a similar claim a few weeks ago after his two weeks of free Sirius / FM ran out ... sounds like he won't miss it at all ... same stuff you can get anywhere ... and everywhere ... else.  Why would anybody pay for THAT?!?!?)
I truly believe there is NOBODY in power anymore that gives a damn ... it's not about variety ... it's not about standing out in the crowd ... it's not about giving the listeners what they want or a reason to tune in ... it's just going with the flow and listeners be damned.  Too bad ... there is a valuable resource here that is just being wasted away.  (I'd rather go to and listen to old vintage programs than to most of what passes for radio entertainment today!)  kk  

Hi, Kent,  
I must be one of "the six" Forgotten Hits folks who remember Rita Pavone, the song -- and the lyrics. And believe it or not, I heard the song on the radio in the Twin Cities on Friday.
"Remember Me" always reminds me of another great "scorned lover" song, Trade Martin's 1962 hit "That Stranger Used To Be My Girl."
Don Effenberger

Hola Kent, 
Where on Earth did you find that Top 40 listing posted today for this week in '64 ? As you know, I had a particular interest in the song "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups and it isn't even on the list while it was nationally ranked #1 by the Billboard Charts? Talk about 'Bottom of the Dial Radio' ... CK80 ... ha ha ... what planet is this chart from?
I also think I found a goof on the WJJD Survey ... It Only Hurts For a Little While was actually by the Ames Brothers and it was RCA 47-6481. (Not Decca 47-6481.)  I was trying to find that song by the 4 Aces and it doesn't exist! 
I really like the varied Top 40 listings you gather from everywhere, and perhaps to add significance to them, you could lead with the Billboard National chart to compare and contrast the listening habits across the country.
Have a Super Flag Day !
As we've seen numerous times since this new Saturday Survey feature kicked off in January, the radio stations that published these charts were not particularly known for their accuracy ... or spelling skills!
CKLW was a Canadian radio station ... which might explain why "Can't You See That She's Mine" was already a Top Ten Record there the same week it was premiering on our U.S. Billboard Chart!  (They did tend to get the British Invasion hits there first for some reason!)
As for "It Only Hurts For A Little While", you're correct ... the BIG hit version was done by The Ames Brothers ... it looks like they got the catalog number right ... but not much else!  I checked the chart from the following week and the error had been corrected ... and it was listed properly for the rest of the record's chart run.  (By the way, the week it spent at #4, incorrectly identified as The Four Aces, was its peak on the chart.)  kk  
I didn't know that a group known as the 4 Jokers had a version of TRANSFUSION. I assume that's the old Nervous Norvus song. I couldn't find the 4 Jokers' version online.
And to answer your question, I may not be able to sing any of Rita Pavone's REMEMBER ME, but I do have the record and did remember it. 
Cool that we've heard from TWO of the six people that remember "Remember Me"!
As for "Transfusion" by The Four Jokers, that was a real record, released on Diamond Records.  Here's a photo of the label ... a promo copy no less!  (kk)

I find it amazing that Milwaukee had Top 40 charts/surveys before Chicago. That seems odd to me, but Milwaukee’s go back to at least September of 1955. 
I've found Top Ten Listings that used to appear in our newspapers dating back earlier than this WJJD Chart ... but as far as I know this was the first "official" Top 40 Chart published.  (Billboard also used to report the top records in Chicago in a weekly feature way back when, dating back to 1950 if I'm not mistaken ... but as far as an actual chart that we can show a photo of, this would be the earliest one I've ever seen.)  kk
It's at the printer now ... and copies will be shipping shortly.  It's Joel Whitburn's new book chronicling Cash Box's "Looking Ahead" chart ... and it sounds absolutely amazing!!!
The book details the nearly 6500 titles (by over 3000 artists) that failed to reach Cash Box's Top 100 Pop Singles Chart ... 3500 of which never made Joel's Billboard "Top Pop Singles" book either ... meaning ALL kinds of new entries for us crazed collectors to go after for our collections!
Early chart hits by established artists ... regional hits by garage bands that never caught on nationally.  Celebrity recordings ... they're all here packed between the covers of this 216-page encyclopedia of music history!  More details on the Record Research Website:

I just LOVE running a "feel good" story once in a while ... and this is a REAL feel good story, send in to us by The King Of Fuzz, Davie Allan ...

This is history but I wanted to tell you about it anyway. (I got dozens of comments in emails and on facebook about it and the kudos for my wife Janine are wonderful):
What a knock me out gift!! I just had to share this. I got up this morning and Janine, my wife, was nowhere to be found. She left a note saying she had to go pick up a special present and she couldn't have it delivered. So, a few hours later she gets home and says I need to come out to the garage and help her bring it in.  Standing there was my 60's bass player, Drew Bennett, and his lady Stephanie. Janine paid for their flights from Las Vegas and tomorrow we are going to Disneyland for two days (she is treating them to that also).  I was so stunned by this that I am still in shock! Davie Allan  

And THIS one's pretty special, too!!!  

>>>Don't know if you've been informed about this yet, but there's a new Tony Hatch Compilation. I believe Tony even wrote liner notes for it.  (Bill)
>>>Actually I saw this in the Collectors Choice catalog a couple of weeks ago and meant to mention it ... it looks like a very interesting compilation ... and I think Tony should send me an autographed copy!!!  (Are you reading this Tony?!?!?)  kk
Hi Kent,
I would have to be dead, very sick or very busy (extremely occupied sex?) to miss any item on Forgotten Hits. Every edition is an education. One learns so much! For example, I never realised until a couple of months ago just how much everyone loved Dave Clark!
I also appreciate that Forgotten Hits allows readers to promote their shows. I take this opportunity. This is a big one.
TONY HATCH in Concert at The Royal Festival Hall, London, Saturday July 5th, with a 40 - piece concert orchestra and fabulous guest singers with, especially, the amazing Petula Clark.
This is a double celebration. DOWNTOWN celebrates it's 50th Birthday this year.
Now THAT would be a show to see!!!  We have some readers over in the UK ... who knows, you just may get the chance to meet a couple of them at this gala event!!!  And PLEASE report back to us afterwards ... I'm sure you'd be the first to agree ... who would have EVER dreamed this possible fifty years ago?!?!  The music lives on ... some of the best music of our lives.  Congratulations, Tony!  (kk)

Very sad to hear that Bill Traut died.  Very important figure in Chicago late sixties pop and rock.

A couple of weeks ago WCBS-FM started a new feature ... The 1980's at Eight with Joe Causi ... once again moving away from the 50's & 60's and closer to the 70's & 80's.
I was going to send you a couple of $2 win tickets on California Chrome, if he won, advising you to hold on to them as collectors items. I was going to frame mine with the newspaper headlines. It didn't work out.
I did the same thing a few years ago when Big Brown won the Derby and Preakness. It didn't work out either.
One of these years it's going to work. Of course I might go broke before that happens.
Frank B.

Brian Wilson seems to be getting a lot of online shit about his new album project, which reportedly will feature duets with artists like Kacey Musgraves, Zooey Deschanel and Lana Del Rey.
Fans apparently hate the concept ... but Wilson defends his actions.  He recently posted the following on his Facebook page:
To my fans:   
It kind of bums me out to see some of the negativity here about the album I’ve been working so hard on. In my life in music, I’ve been told too many times not to fuck with the formula, but as an artist it’s my job to do that – and I think I’ve earned that right.I’m really proud of these new songs and to hear these great artists sing on them just blows me away. I love what we've done.I would think that after making music for more than fifty years, my fans would understand that I’ll always do what’s in my heart – and I think that’s why you are my fans. So let’s just wait until the album comes out because I think you just might dig it as much as I do.  
Love and Mercy,
I don't know about you but I LOVE the idea of hearing Brian's duets album.  (I'm a big Kacey Musgraves fan ... and watched her "Crossroads" performance with Katy Perry TWICE the other night!  I think she's one of the most creative and entertaining new talents out there!)  But then again I'm going to buy Brian's next CD no matter what ... so who knows.  (I was discouraged to read that Lana Del Rey seems to be hell-bent on a path of personal destruction.  She seems quite suicidal ... and lists her two greatest heroes and influences as Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse ... that alone ought to tell you something!)  kk  

>>>I've been trying to get Tommy Roe to Chicago, too.  (How's that for a GREAT double bill ... Tommy Roe and Lou Christie!!!)  Because of all of the artists that we're in touch with now, we know that there are SO many that would love to come here to perform ... but are never asked.  Maybe the feeling is they couldn't sustain enough of an audience to fill a theater ... which is why these "package deals" appeal so much to me ... more variety and entertainment packed into every ticket sale.  FH Regulars like The Rip Chords and Henry Gross ... Freddy Cannon ... Davie Allan ... Charlie Gracie ... The 1910 Fruitgum Company ... Ron Dante ... Bob Lind ... The Fleetwoods ... Billy J. Kramer ... most of these artists haven't played a gig in the Chicago area in AGES!!!  Dionne Warwick recently approached me about lining up some shows in Chi-Town ... I put feelers out to several venues and didn't get a single reply ... and I just know that she would PACK the place!!!  (I've also been pushing for a show featuring Herb Alpert and his wife Lani Hall ... but that, too, fell on deaf ears.  I did just hear last night, however, that the duo are coming to Skokie to do a show so we'll have to make it a point to get to that one!)  It'd be nice if some of the people with far more power than I could get involved.  We would love to help make some of these connections and bring this talent to Chicago.  (kk)   
Thanks for the thought, Kent (getting me out to Chi Town for a gig). You are right about one guy -- one NON-star guy -- not being able to fill a theatre. As you say, one needs to join a gang.
But the larger problem is that just one show isn't usually cost effective -- even if the pay is fabulous. One needs a tour. When you consider that an artist needs plane fare, transportation to the venue and usually at least one hotel night, I can't imagine any club, theatre or auditorium that can pay that kind of money. With a tour, it can often work out, but not for a single appearance. Plus, I can't speak for the other guys you mention, but some of us want to play our new things when we perform. "Oldies" audiences tend to resent that. Speaking for me, my new songs are better than the older ones and I want my fans to hear them. Some of the smaller venues (clubs as opposed to theatres) offer greater flexibility along those lines. As you know, two years ago, Danny O'keefe and I did a tour together and it worked out great. We did a mix of our old and new things and the audiences didn't demand that we stay in the past. There ARE venues like that and that's what I'm always looking for.
I appreciate your sentiments and your continued support of my career.
All the best to you,
Bob Lind   

Here's a GREAT review of Al Kooper's (@l k%per ) recent concert at the Swyer Theater in Albany, New York:
Kooper has another gig lined up at the end of this month (with a full band, The Funky Faculty) at The Bull Run, a great supper-club in Shirley, MA, not far from Boston.  It's a One Night Stand on June 28th and tickets are suggested in advance.  More information here:

And news about a DIFFERENT Al(ice) (C)ooper came across our desk this week, too!  

New York, NY (June 12, 2014) — Following the April premiere of Super Duper Alice Cooper at the Tribeca Film Festival, and the subsequent release of the documentary on DVD, Blu-Ray, Deluxe Editions, and digital formats this month via Eagle Rock Entertainment, rock's greatest showman, Alice Cooper, heads out on a lengthy North American tour.
The summer trek starts with three shows in Michigan June 26 - 28 before Cooper joins Motley Crue's final "All Bad Things Must Come To An End" tour as a Very Special Guest on July 2nd, running through late November.   
The tour marks the debut of Alice's new guitarist Nita Strauss, who was recently ranked #1 on Guitar World's list of "10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know."  She takes the place of Orianthi, who has toured with Alice for the past few years.  Nita, who has made her name in bands including the Iron Maidens, Femme Fatale, and LA Kiss, joins Alice's band's three guitar attack, which also features guitarists Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen, plus longtime bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel.
Super Duper Alice Cooper was produced and directed by the Banger Films team of Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen and Reginald Harkema.  Banger previously delivered the award-winning documentaries "Iron Maiden: Flight 666" and "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage."  Eagle Rock Entertainment released the film in DVD and Blu-Ray on June 3rd, including a deluxe edition with extensive bonus material film footage from a rare 1972 Montreal concert and a full length recent Alice Cooper concert from the 2009 Montreux Festival on CD.
Alice recently marked the tenth anniversary of his radio show "Nights With Alice Cooper," which airs five days a week across the USA, Canada and Australia, as well as in the UK and Germany, syndicated worldwide by United Stations.
Alice Cooper tour itinerary:
Thursday, June 26 - Manistee MI, Little River Casino
Friday, June 27 - Sault Ste Marie, Kewadin Casino
Saturday, June 28 - Bay City MI, River Roar Festival @ Veteran's Memorial Park
Wednesday, July 2 - Grand Rapids MI, Van Andel Arena                                       
Friday, July 4 - Milwaukee WI, Summerfest @ Marcus Amphitheatre     
Saturday, July 5 - Noblesville IN, Klipsch Music Center                                     
Sunday, July 6 - Cincinnati OH, Riverbend                                             
Tuesday, July 8 - Columbus OH, Schottenstein Center              
Wednesday, July 9  - Maryland Heights MO, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 
Friday, July 11 - Des Moines IA, Wells Fargo Arena
Saturday, July 12 - Wichita KS, Intrust Bank Arena                                  
Sunday, July 13 - Tulsa OK, BOK Center                                         
Tuesday, July 15 - Cedar Park TX, Cedar Park Center     
Wednesday, July 16 - Dallas TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion                    
Friday, July 18 - Albuquerque NM, Isleta Amphitheatre                    
Saturday, July 19 - Phoenix AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion              
Monday, July 21 - Hollywood CA, Hollywood Bowl                                   
Tuesday, July 22 - Irvine CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre              
Wednesday, July 23 - Mountain View CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre        
Friday, July 25 - Reno NV, Events Center
Saturday, July 26 - Ridgefield WA, Sleep Country Amphitheatre                                  
Sunday, July 27 - Auburn WA, White River Amphithreatre               
Tuesday, July 29 - Wheatland CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre  
Friday, August 1 - W Valley City UT, Usana Amphitheatre
Saturday, August 2 - Denver CO, Pepsi Arena             
Sunday, August 3 - Kansas City MO, Sprint Center
Tuesday, August 5 - Sturgis SD, Buffalo Chip
Wednesday, August 6 - Sioux City IA, Tyson Events Center   
Friday, August 8 - Tinley Park IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre  
Saturday, August 9 - Clarkston MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre    
Sunday, August 10 - Toronto ON, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre 
Tuesday, August 12 - Cuyahoga Falls OH, Blossom Music Center
Wednesday, August 13 - Burgettstown PA, First Niagara Pavilion                 
Friday, August 15 - Pelham AL, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre               
Saturday, August 16 - Alpharetta GA, Verizon Amphitheatre @ Encore Park
Sunday, August 17 - Tampa FL, Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre                 
Tuesday, August 19 - Charlotte NC, PNC Music Pavilion                  
Wednesday, August 20 - Virginia Beach VA, Farm Bureau Live         
Friday, August 22 - Bristow VA, Jiffy Lube Live
Saturday, August 23 - Camden NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center                   
Sunday, August 24 - Mansfield MA, Comcast Center                        
Tuesday, August 26 - Saratoga Springs NY, Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, August 27 - Allentown PA, Great Allentown Fair 
Friday, August 29 - Wantagh NY, Nikon Theatre @ Jones Beach
Saturday, August 30 - Holmdel NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
Sunday, August 31 - Darien Center NY, Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center
Friday, October 10  - Oklahoma City OK, Chesapeake Arena
Saturday, October 11 - Woodlands TX, Cynthia Woods Pavilion
Sunday, October 12 - Bossier City LA, Century Link Center
Tuesday, October 14 - Louisville KY, KFC Yum! Center
Wednesday, October 15 - Nashville TN, Bridgestone Arena
Sunday, Oct 19 - Jacksonville FL, Veteran's Memorial Arena
Tuesday, Oct 21 - Greenville SC, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Wednesday, Oct 22 - Greensboro NC, Coliseum
Friday, Oct 24 - Atlantic City NJ, Borgata
Saturday, Oct 25 - Atlantic City NJ, Borgata
Sunday, Oct 26 - Uncasville CT, Mohegan Sun
Tuesday, Oct 28 - New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
Wednesday, Oct 29 - Syracuse NY, OnCenter
Wednesday, Nov 5 - Biloxi MS, Coast Coliseum
Thursday, Nov 6 - Southhaven MS, Landers Center
Saturday, Nov 8 - Detroit MI, Joe Louis Arena
Sunday, Nov 9 - Moline IL, iWireless Center
Tuesday, Nov 11 - Green Bay WI, Resch Center
Wednesday,  Nov 12 - Madison WI, Alliant Energy Center
Thursday, Nov 13 - Omaha NE, Century Link Center
Saturday, Nov 15 - St Paul MN, Xcel Energy Center
Sunday, Nov 16 - Fargo ND, Fargo Dome
Tuesday, Nov 18 - Edmonton AB, Rexall Place
Wednesday, Nov 19 - Calgary AB, Scotiabank Saddledome
Friday, Nov 21 - Vancouver BC, Rogers Arena
Saturday, Nov 22 - Spokane WA, Arena
For more information:
Yowzah ... now THAT's a TOUR!!!   Putting in long hours again lately, I've had the chance to listen to "Nights With Alice Cooper" more often recently ... it airs here locally on 103.9FM / The Fox ... and it's quite entertaining.  I have to say that I enjoy and appreciate Alice's taste in music. (kk)  

FH Reader Tom Cuddy tells us that Houston songwriter Mark James is headed to The Songwriters Hall Of Fame ...
Three of James' best known tracks are "Hooked On A Feeling" (a huge hit for B.J. Thomas), "Suspicious Minds" (a #1 Record for Elvis Presley) and "Always On My Mind" (written for Elvis but taken to even greater heights by Willie Nelson.)  To say that this is a long-deserved honor is the understatement of the day!  Congratuations, Mark!  (kk) Here's Mark singing his own "Suspicious Minds" (pre-Elvis).

We're still seeing lots of press about the new "Wages Of Spin II" documentary that's making the film festival circuit right now.  Thanks to producer / director Shawn Swords, I was able to view a screening copy last week.  My opinion:  this one isn't for everybody ... it is NOT something that is going to appeal to the masses.
That's not to say that it isn't interesting subject manner ... taking payola a step further, "Wages Of Spin II" examines some of the under-handed dealings that went on between MCA Records, Organized Crime and the United States Government ... reaching all the way up to President Ronald Reagan and the White House (who had ties of his own to MCA dating back to his motion picture days).  
It is just that the interviews are presented in such a matter-of-fact, monotone manner that it's hard to stay interested and focused ... heavy-handed as this subject matter may be, it is in desperate need of a lighter tone and better flow ... or I do believe folks will begin to tune out.  (To a degree, it hits you over the head ... but offers no "escape" to the topic at hand.)
Yes, it's 100% wrong that this was going on ... no doubt about it ... but the desired core base of MUSIC fans will want to hear the story from the perspective of how all of this affected them ... and that point just never seems to come across the way the subject of payola did in the first film.  As such, my feeling is that they are not going to flock to see this film the way they did the first one where they could immediately connect to the legendary presence of Dick Clark and Alan Freed.  There was a "connection" there that simply isn't present in this new film.
By the same token I came away from the film feeling like there probably isn't a single national chart that we can trust and believe anymore ... if the record companies, retailers and disc jockeys were involved in all of these under-the-table deals, you just KNOW that the trade publications had to be, too.  (We've already heard the stories about how a full page ad in any given publication could cause your latest hit record to take a 20-point jump up the next chart ... and I'm sure it runs FAR deeper than that.)  The thing about it is ... and it's a sad reality to a certain extent ... we were all apparently force-fed the hits since day one ... it had already been determined which records we were going to get to hear and which ones we weren't.  What nobody factored into the equation was the buying power of the American teenager.  I don't care how many times you played it, we didn't BUY it until we liked it.  Virtually EVERY kid I know had a limited source of income to spend on the latest hits of the day ... so we picked and chose wisely.
If you're an industry insider, you will definitely enjoy this new film much more than the average music fan / consumer will.  (The cut-outs story alone is priceless!  And think about how many of THOSE we have al bought over the years!)  But I cannot in good conscience recommend this film to everyone ... I just don't feel it contains the mass appeal to hold your interest.  Had they livened it up a little bit with a little more music of the day and entertainment star power, I think it might have held more of a "mass appeal" factor and connected with more of the target audience.  As it is, I can only give this a 4 out of 10.  (kk)

>>>The official word is Ron Riley really can't leave Baltimore now as he has to tend to his wife ... so the latest story is that Clark Weber has asked former on-air mate Bernie Allen to stop by and visit that day.  (kk) 
Speaking of Bernie Allen, Kent (see attached) -- and, as I think we have discussed before, Clark Weber and Ron Riley were emceeing a New Colony Six show in the vertical picture Clark Besch sent you (as evident by the “C” on the bass drum head, which, as you can see on the NC6 vs Robin Hoods Page 8 attachment from a concert at the Aragon Ballroom, is clearly ours)!      

Ray Graffia, Jr.  
P.S.  Fred Glickstein of the Flock told me he came to this show and shared that, in speaking with one of the Robin Hoods afterwards, he asked how they came to that name.  According to F.G., the dude said that they kicked around several tags  and mentioned The Flock as one they entertained but finally rejected.  Freddie, who liked the label, went to his mates and the renaming of their band (I forget their prior moniker) became official = The Flock! 
Pretty cool to hear the story when he first told me, both in his coming to see us and in our having the tiniest hand in naming them, and pretty cool again to be able to relate it to you!  
Later, kk,  

Get The Flock out of here ... for real?!?!?  Yeah, that is pretty cool.  (Don'tcha just love it when all this stuff comes around and ties together?!?!)  Some interesting behind-the-scenes insight, to be sure.  (Man you guys look so YOUNG there ... right out of high school, right?  1965!!!)  kk   

Hope you have a great Father's Day weekend.  A while ago I thought of a record I hadn't heard in years, got it out to play end enjoyed it. Nope, it wasn't MY DAD by Paul Peterson, but Chuck Berry's 1964 DEAR DAD. It still rocks.
Larry Neal
Several years ago we did a Father's Day salute by playing TWO versions of "My Dad" ... the Paul Petersen hit single along with a little-know and long-forgotten Ray Stevens track by the same title that I just love ... especially the line about "my dad can beat up your dad ... but he wouldn't".  It's a great track ... so THAT'S the one we're going to feature today!  (kk)

A very special new series ... inspired by one of our readers who asked us to define "The Chicago Sound".
(In fact, all of our "local heroes" should enjoy this one ... and some even weighed in with opinions of their own.)
Next week, Forgotten Hits investigates "The Chicago Sound"!
Does it even exist?  And how do we define it?  
Be sure to check it out ... EXCLUSIVELY on The Forgotten hits Website!
(And we hope to hear from YOU guys on this, too!)  kk