Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 27 - 14 )

Here's a little tribute to Paul Revere - get well soon!

It was pretty obvious at the Arcada show that Paul Revere was not in the best of health.  We hate to see our rock and roll heroes fall but let's face it, he's not a young man ... and he's spent nearly his entire life out on the road making people happy.  Anyone who has ever seen one of his shows has come away in brighter spirits ... and for that, we thank you, Paul Revere.
Our FH Buddy (and Raiders Drummer) Tommy Scheckel has played with a lot of artists over the years and says he has NEVER worked with anyone who appreciates their fans more than Paul Revere.
Paul is all about not letting down fans and promoters.  He is a one of a kind entertainer, a true original and he makes magic on a stage and has total control. Knows just how to press those buttons, man!
Thanks for the well wishes ... I'll pass them along.

Our FH Buddy Joel Whitburn has some INCREDIBLE deals running right now ... offering MAJOR savings on some of his most popular Record Research chart books.  But you've got to act quickly ... this offer expires on July 31st! 
Check out the link below ... EVERY single one of these is a valuable research tool ... a day doesn't go by when we don't refer to at least a few of them!  (kk)  
Click here: A Dozen Deals!     

Speaking of The Billboard Charts, here's a link you've just GOT to check out ... but prepared to invest HOURS and HOURS of your life surfing around. 
It's called The Nostalgia Machine ... and not only does it list The Top 100 Songs from every year (1960 - 2013!), culled from Billboard's Year-End Charts, but it also offers a video clip for each selection!  You'll definitely want to bookmark this one ... and come back again and again.  VERY well done ... and an absolute MUST for chart-a-holics like us!  (kk) Click here: The Nostalgia Machine    

And, in other Billboard chart action, last week we told you that it looked like Weird Al Yankovic was going to score his very first #1 Album.  Well, he pulled it off ... but check this out ... he beat Jason Mraz out of the top spot by EIGHT units!!!  (I doubt that there has EVER been a closer battle for #1 Album honors!)  Meanwhile, Al says this is likely his last LP ... he'll just do random downloads in the future since that's what people are buying these days.  Releasing eight straight brand new videos certainly didn't hurt his cause ... some of these earned close to ten million views in a matter of days, propelling his album to the top of the charts!  (kk)   

Fascinating site, man! 
I was the original PD at KIIS-AM / FM, switching it to Top 40 in early 70's. What a ride. Worked there 3 different times; the last time stayed 15 years!
Do you have any info on  a 45 called "NEXT PLANE TO LONDON" by THE ROSE GARDEN? 
Don Elliot  
I remember covering this song a few times in Forgotten Hits, (a great track, by the way, that I heard on that WCFL station we plugged last weekend), most recently because a rumor started circulating that the opening voice over the airport loud speaker belonged to comedian Steve Martin, before he made it.  We ultimately proved that it wasn't him ... but it SURE does SOUND like him when you have that thought in mind!  (kk)  
The voice for the airport announcer is me on the front and middle of the song and there's a whole story that goes with it about how the reverb was broken in the studio at Nashville West next to KHJ on Melrose in Hollywood -- and I hung a Telefunken mic in the men's room to get the echo.  It was recorded on an Ampex 4- track by Engineer Charlie Underwood. 
Originally the voice was supposed to be that of Sam Riddle, a KHJ Boss Jock who is also the TV host of the show called 9th St., West, later when I'm to put a show together called Star Search. We have been best friends for years working K rock together in the beginning. 
-- Sincerely,  
Don Elliot   

Kent ...  
Have you ever heard this story before?  I was listening to Scott Shannon the other day.  They were talking about the song "Mac Arthur Park."  A listener wrote in with this comment -- 
"Someone left the cake out in the rain and we'll never have that recipe again." 
It's supposed to be about a man who lost his wife and child during birth. Scott said he never heard that before.  I say I never heard that before. What do you say?  
Frank B. 
There are VERY few songs that I actually detest ... but this is one of them ... GROSSLY over-rated in my opinion (and always has been as far as I'm concerned.)  In a rare instance, I actually like the Donna Summer disco-version of this song over any other that I've ever heard ... that is if I have to listen to it at all. 
Nevertheless, no, I've never heard that story before.  Songwriter Jimmy Webb (who wrote the tune ... so I figure HE should know) says that the inspiration for the song came from the relationship and breakup between Webb and Susan Horton.  Mac Arthur Park (in Los Angeles) was where the two occasionally met for lunch and spent their most enjoyable times together.  In fact, he has gone on record to state that their breakup was also the inspiration for his tune "By The Time I Get To Phoenix".  As for someone leaving the cake out in the rain (I HATE when that happens!), Webb says that the lyric was meant to be symbolic and referred to the end of a love affair. 
Webb first pitched the song to The Association, who turned it down.  Although numerous artists have recorded the song over the years, the HIT version belongs to actor Richard Harris, who took it all the way to #2 in 1968.  (The song was written in 1965 as, what Webb envisioned, a HUGE symphonic piece!  Coming in at 7 1/2 minutes, it paved the way for longer music to gain airplay on Top 40 AM Radio.  (The Beatles would soon top the chart with "Hey Jude", a 7:11 masterpiece of their own!) 
Webb described the song this way to journalist Geoff Boucher:
"In mid-1965, I was absolutely besotted with my girlfriend at the time. MacArthur Park was where we met for lunch and paddleboat rides and feeding the ducks. She worked across the street at a life insurance company." 
The breakup left Webb reeling ... and writing. "I also wrote 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix' about her, but I never even got as far as Riverside. But I lost her. She married some other guy. We're still friends. Her name is Susan Ronstadt" (a cousin to singer Linda Ronstadt.) 
"Those lyrics were all very real to me; there was nothing psychedelic about it to me. The cake, it was an available object. It was what I saw in the park at the birthday parties. But people have very strong reactions to the song. There's been a lot of intellectual venom."  (kk)

Man, I just LOVE it when all the planets align!!!  The VERY next email I opened came from FH Reader Clark Besch, who sent THIS in ... 
Here's an FH that was remembered in full glory last night ... 

Now ... what are the odds?!?!  Check out this clip ... and make sure you stay for those last few notes!!!  Amazing!  (kk)
Hi Kent!
I loved your “Forgotten Hits with No Strings Attached” post with my favorites being James & Bobby Purify’s “I’m Your Puppet” and that rarely heard Chairmen of the Board track . You could have also added Sandie Shaw’s massive British hit “Puppet on a String” to the list as well to show what was going on on the other side of the Atlantic.
Speaking of the other side of the Atlantic, I wonder if there is a site or radio station devoted to mainly British oldies. One that not only concentrates on well known British Invasion (or Beat Boom as it was known in the UK) artists, but also lesser known UK artists and many Pre-Beatle era British pop artists. The reason I ask this is because of my interest in 1960’s British rock & roll but also pre-Beatle era Britpop as well (much of my record collecting these days concentrates mainly on Sixties British rock and pop).
Keep up the good work on your blog!
Mr. Kelly Izaj of Pittsburgh, Pa.
With the wealth of variety offered through Internet Radio these days, I'm sure there must be SEVERAL stations specializing in this type of music ... I just personally don't know of any ... but I'll betcha some of our readers do.  Stay tuned!  (kk)

It was a hot Saturday night in Palmdale for "Merrell Fankhauser And Friends" ... A Great 60's Night In The Desert! We had a very enthusiastic crowd, some fans I hadn't seen in over 40 years !  Bassist Jim Ferguson of Merrell And The Exiles played on a few songs with us. There was even a lady there that went to High School with Beefheart & Zappa !  It was a big success!
Best Always,

Picker Woodroof's photo. 
Sounds like you guys had a GREAT time!  Thanks for sharing, Merrell!  (You'll find lots of live performances ... as well as clips from Merrell's TV Show "The Tiki Lounge" on YouTube!)  kk   

A Forgotten Hits Reader just sent in this link to a brand new interview with Denny Tedesco, Producer of the excellent Wrecking Crew documentary ... 
Just in case you didn't know about this, I thought I'd let you know.
It's very recent -- this week, I believe.

I was at a private meet and greet with the Blackhawks Alumni on Saturday during the convention. It was great ... there were about 20 of the old members from the Standby’s club (the old fan club dating back to the 40’s) and about 11 past players. Chet Coppock was there and I went up and said that we had a mutual friend, namely you. Well, that opened up the flood gates and he couldn’t say enough about you and started to talk, of course, about his connection to the New Colony Six, etc. So I kind of have a new friend.  Attached is the photo we took together. 
Georgiann Burke

Very cool ... I believe Chet is a genuine fan of what we do here in Forgotten Hits ... a short while back, he, Ray Graffia, Jr. (of The New Colony Six) and I hammed it up pre-show at The Arcada Theatre, doing our very best doo-wop pose!  (Pretty cool under the lights, eh???)  kk

Now THIS is really odd!!!  Here's a song and artist I'd never heard of before ... and now they've come up TWICE in the last couple of weeks!
Last week as part of our Saturday Surveys feature we ran a track called "All's Quiet On West 23rd" by Julie Budd ... Forgotten Hits Reader Clark Besch (who sent us both the survey and the sound clip) told us a little bit about how Julie was being groomed to be "the next Barbra Streisand" ... and now I just got THIS email from long-time FH Reader Ronnie Allen ...
My next interview show for my Jersey Girls Sing website will likely be in August with Julie Budd, a singer who never had a big hit but whose work I've admired for so many years. Her only Hot 100 entry was under the name "Julie"; it was her 1976 recording of "One Fine Day," which peaked at #93. Her 1968 recording of "All's Quiet On West 23rd" -- inspired by the Kitty Genovese killing that occurred four years earlier -- should have become a big hit but did not because of the reluctance of radio to play what was understandably a controversial recording.
Ronnie Allen
Let us know when you've got this posted, Ronnie, and we'll be sure to pass the info along.  (kk)   

Speaking of The Saturday Surveys ...  

Hi Kent!
I enjoy the Saturday Surveys, especially the one from KDKA-AM 1020. I have one theory why the Montclairs’ “Happy Feet” was a Top Five single here in Pittsburgh during that time. Some of the DJ’s at KDKA were using “Happy Feet” as a “news kicker” to introduce the hourly news. The requests for that song – because of its use as a news kicker – got it its Top Five position on the KDKA charts despite “bubbling under” at #108 nationally. After all, more than a few classic instrumentals became popular because of their use as news kickers.
Mr. Kelly Izaj of Pittsburgh, PA.   

I share a birthday with Mick Jagger.  So as I was viewing the Saturday Surveys from our past birthdays, I was really able to look back and enjoy.  The best part was clicking on "Birthday".  Mick and I thank you ... even tho' he doesn't know he does.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano   

Kent ...
Be sure to check this out on 8/1/14 
It's a celebration of Scott Shannon's 101st show, but its really his 103rd show -- according to the article. I still don't think it's right. According to my count, Scott took six vacation days and one sick day.
Mickey Dolenz will be one of Scott's live guests.
Reminder - Micky Dolenz was on the air with his 101st. show, when they replaced the old WCBS-FM with JACK-FM. I hope it doesn't happen again!
Frank B.
A WHOLE lotta cities got "jacked around" with that whole fiasco ... thankfully it died a quick (and rather uneventful) death!  Happy 101, Scott!!!  (kk)
This weekend on WCBS-FM, every hour they're playing two songs from a # 1 Album. New idea.  I don't remember them doing this before this weekend. I say good idea.  What do you say?
Frank B.
I think it's a great idea ... if done right.  What would make it a REALLY great idea would be if they played one hit from the LP along with a true LP-cut ... something that HASN'T already been played to death ... to give you more of a real feel of the album.  If all you're going to do is play the two hit singles that you play every single day anyway ... then you might as well just make it a two-fer / twin-spin weekend ... or simply every "Two For Tuesday".  (kk)   

Finally, a few more show dates you'll want to know about at The Arcada Theatre ... tickets and more information are always available at the website!  (And while you're there, be sure to check out Ron's new weekly program "Backstage with Ron Onesti - All Access", a WGN radio feature that is also filmed for viewing on the oshows website.  This week ... Jim Peterik ... EXCLUSIVELY on the site!  By the way, I absolutely LOVE the opening promo of Carl Giammarese in the parking lot at Gene and Jude's!!!  A Chicagoland landmark!)
AUGUST 29th - KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND (We LOVED him last time he was here -- a GREAT entertainer!)
AUGUST 30th - JOHNNY RIVERS  (This'll be my first time to see Johnny!)
SEPTEMBER 13th - LOU GRAMM OF FOREIGNER  (Was really looking forward to this one but we've got a scheduling conflict and are going to have to miss the show ... hoping a Forgotten Hits reader two can file a complete concert report!)
(I saw these guys last year as part of the SAIL ROCK Concert Series ... and it was OUTSTANDING!)
OCTOBER 5th - AL STEWART  (billed as a WINE TASTING AND BOOK TOUR)  Here's another guy who NEVER seems to tour ... SO glad to see that he'll be making a stop at The Arcada Theatre!
OCTOBER 9th - ASIA  (can't miss THIS one!!!)
OCTOBER 16th - BILL MEDLEY  (special 7:30 PM show ... just don't let RON put you in the corner!)
OCTOBER 17th - TOWER OF POWER (just added!)
Gary was also part of last year's SAIL ROCK extravaganza ... a GREAT show!
NOVEMBER 7th -  BJ THOMAS with guests EXILE  (We'll be at THIS one for sure!)
NOVEMBER 15th - AMERICA  (this show sells out every time)
NOVEMBER 16th - THE LITTLE RIVER BAND (7 pm)  Really looking forward to this one, too ... I've always wanted to see these guys!
NOVEMBER 22nd - THE SPINNERS with RAY PARKER, JR.  (Another one we've been anxiously awaiting!)