Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 31 - 14 )

re:  Recent and Up-Coming Shows:  
ZZ TOP bassist Dusty Hill slipped and fell on his hip while aboard his tour bus last week.  As a result of Hill’s injury, which requires immediate attention, the remainder of the ZZ Top tour with Jeff Beck has officially been cancelled. Ticket holders for the remaining dates will receive a full refund through whichever method they purchased tickets. 

Got this from our FH Buddy Quent Lang, formerly of The Mauds, regarding an upcoming appearance with Mike Flynn (ALSO formerly of The Mauds!!!)
I will be joining Mike Flynn and the CRASH LANDING band on Friday, September 19th @ "27 Live" in Evanston. 
More info ...
Quent Lang

Hi Kent, 
Too bad this British Invasion tour isn't invading Chicagoland!

The Return of Rock Royalty
Sharing the stage for the first time ever,
the iconic singers of the legendary
1960’s rock revolution:
Gerry & The Pacemakers
Chad & Jeremy
Billy J. Kramer
Mike Pender’s Searchers
Denny Laine (of The Moody Blues & Wings)

This tour commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ momentous arrival on these shores in February, 1964. They called it THE BRITISH INVASION and in the wake of the massive mop top hysteria, all of the participants in this once-in-a-lifetime concert experience dominated the music world and scored more than forty worldwide Top 40 hits. Their sound and look changed popular culture forever and now they are back to celebrate and honor some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century. The September 19th performance will also feature Peter Asher as a Special Guest.
I know ... we've talked about this one a couple of times now ... what a killer line-up. I immediately went to Ron Onesti to see if there was ANY chance he could book a show at The Arcada Theatre while all these guys are still in the US!  (kk)

Speaking of British Invasion acts, Dennis Tufano, former lead singer of The Buckinghams tells me that he recently saw The Zombies in concert ... and was bowled over by their show.  (We saw them last November when they opened for Burton Cummings at The Arcada.)

I just saw The Zombies ... what a great fucking band!  Live, in concert, two of my all-time faves, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone!  Rod announced on stage that they are happy to present their hits but are not a Retirement Circuit Band but rather A Band playing in 2014 that has new material and other musical interests to deliver! Quite impressive. The audience accepted this with open arms and ears! :)
I understand that there are some "Retirement Circuit Acts” / "oldies" acts who are satisfied just doing the old hits and going home ... as opposed to those of us who present ourselves, along with our past music, as current viable artists.  The fact is, there are many of us who enjoy bringing the past hits and MORE as contemporary artists today in REALTIME!
And I say more power to them!  Many of these acts are still in fine voice ... some sound even better today than they did back in the day ... and they're still creating new, exciting and viable music that radio won't pay any attention to.  What better way to present it than in concert alongside the hits we all know and love.  Many market their own CD's these days and sell them at their live shows or online through their websites.  It's great to hear how good some of these sound all these years later, long after the "flavor of the month" has passed.  (kk)

Speaking of The Arcada Theatre, Ron Onesti has some GREAT shows lined up for September, October and November (all of which are right around the corner!)
September 12 - Lita Ford (with special guests Vixen and Bloody Mary)
September 13 - Lou Gramm of Foreigner
September 20 - Felix Cavaliere's Rascals (with The Brooklyn Bridge)
September 21 - The Time Jumpers (featuring Vince Gill)
September 27 - Ambrosia, Orleans and Firefall
October 5 - Al Stewart
October 9 - Asia
October 10 - '80's Night (with The Romantics, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw and Tommy Tutone)
October 16 - Bill Medley
October 17 - Tower Of Power
October 22 - Gary Wriht
October 24 - The Fifth Dimension
October 25 - Tommy James and the Shondells
November 1 - Kansas
November 7 - B.J. Thomas (with Exile)
November 14 - Burton Cummings
November 15 - America
November 16 - The Little River Band
November 22 - The Spinners (with Ray Parker, Jr.)
More details can always be found on the OShows website:  

re:  You've Gotta Have Heart:
Hi, Kent -
With the mention of Wayne Newton's "Heart", I thought you might be interested in the following, from my story on Kenny Chandler:
“Artie Polhemus (of the Tree Swingers) had become a recording engineer,” related Chandler. “He was working at Dick Charles Recording Studio right near Times Square. They were famous for doing songwriters’ demos. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil went in and made a demo of ‘Heart.’ When they left the studio, he called me and said, ‘I’ve got the song that’s perfect for you.’ I went down, he gave me the dub and he said, ‘Don’t tell anybody I gave you this.’ I listened to it, loved it, and I rushed over to Laurie. They called Screen Gems Music to get a license to record it. Screen Gems said, ‘You can’t record that song. Bobby Darin has an exclusive for Wayne Newton on TM Productions.’

“Eddie Mathews, Laurie’s national promotion man, said, ‘If there’s a lead sheet with the Library of Congress in Washington, anybody can record it.’ We checked and there was a lead sheet on file. We recorded it and had it out in two weeks. Bobby Darin was furious. It’s a wonder he didn’t have me erased. I was supposed to be on Bandstand. Dick Clark had supposedly gotten a call from Bobby Darin, and Darin said, ‘Put Wayne Newton on.’ I never really knew for sure. If I had gotten on Bandstand, who knows how high it would have gone?”
Chandler did win the battle. His record entered Billboard’s Hot 100 on April 6, 1963, and got as far as #64 during a seven‑week run. Newton’s entered three weeks later, only made it to #82, and dropped off after four weeks. Newton, however, had a #13 follow-up, ‘Danke Schoen,’ which virtually established his career.   
This full story, along with many of my others, is on this site:   
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem
Very interesting.  Nope, I never knew ANY of this.  Newton's record did even better in Cash Box Magazine where it peaked at #64 ... but so did Kenny Chandler's ... it reached #52!  And in Record World it hit #45, just missing The Top 40!  Incredibly, Newton's version didn't chart at all in Record World ... so yeah, I'd have to say Chandler's was the bigger hit version by far ... #45 vs. #64.  (kk)

I found a short piece I wrote many years ago about the Bobby Darin / Wayne Newton connection which ran as part of our month-long Bobby Darin Series.  Here is just a short excerpt ... (we pick the story up in 1963):

BOBBY felt that by giving up performing and traveling, he could devote his time to his new publishing company and his family.  He even located offices in the BRILL BUILDING in New York (home to his old buddy, DON KIRSHNER and HIS stable of songwriters) and in the CAPITOL RECORDS Building in L.A., who now held BOBBY's recording contract.  

BOBBY DARIN purchased TRINITY MUSIC in 1963.  He quickly invested half a million dollars of his own money, opening up satellite offices all over the world.  At the time, TRINITY had over 700 music titles to its name, including most of BOBBY's original compositions.  His stable of songwriters included TERRY MELCHER, KENNY YOUNG, FRANK GARI, ARTIE RESNICK, RUDY CLARK, VAN McCOY, BOBBY SCOTT and DEBBIE STANLEY.  

Inspired by the success of his old pal DON KIRSHNER (who had GERRY GOFFIN and CAROLE KING, NEIL DIAMOND, BARRY MANN and CYNTHIA WEIL, JEFF BARRY and ELLIE GREENWICH and several other BRILL BUILDING songwriters under his belt), BOBBY began devoting all of his time to working in his publishing office.  It was a final effort to save his marriage, keeping him closer to home yet still involved with the music business.

By late-1963 / early-1964, BOBBY had not only published his own hit records YOU'RE THE REASON I'M LIVING and 18 YELLOW ROSES, but also the hits UNDER THE BOARDWALK for THE DRIFTERS, THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG for BETTY EVERETT and HEY LITTLE COBRA and THREE WINDOW COUPE for THE RIP CHORDS. 

Along the way, BOBBY also auditioned two young fact, he was very impressed with the younger brother, and suggested that the young man leave the brother act for a solo career.  (BOBBY first saw the act when they appeared on THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW.)  DARIN even promised to find the right song to launch the young man's career.  When DANKE SCHOEN came across his desk a few months later, BOBBY DARIN passed up what most CERTAINLY would have been his own next Top Ten Hit and, instead, offered it to a 21 year old WAYNE NEWTON.  It shot up to #12 on the National Charts and launched NEWTON's career.  (DARIN would eventually record DANKE SCHOEN himself in 1965 ... but it still sits in the can at CAPITOL RECORDS, never having been released!  Give a close listen to this one again and see how much it was patterned after MACK THE KNIFE!)

DANKE SCHOEN was offered to BOBBY DARIN as a rare, exclusive recording opportunity.  BOBBY's producer, NIK VENET, first heard the song performed as an instrumental while vacationing in Europe.  Famed German orchestra leader BERT KAEMPFERT (who hit #1 here in the States back in 1961 with WONDERLAND BY NIGHT, took THE BEATLES into the recording studio for the very first time in Hamburg to cut MY BONNIE with TONY SHERIDAN and co-wrote the #1 Hit STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT for none other than FRANK SINATRA) composed and performed the German Hit version of DANKE SCHOEN and VENET was interested in the song as a track for an upcoming RAY ANTHONY album he was producing.  When he was informed by the publisher that English lyrics were being written, it was suggested that this would make a PERFECT BOBBY DARIN record.  VENET was given an unheard of exclusive:  no other American recording artist or producer would be allowed to even HEAR the song until after DARIN's record was released.  BOBBY reportedly recorded the song ... and then wiped his vocal off the record and gave it to WAYNE NEWTON to sing!  Despite HUGE objections by the publisher, it became a smash ... and NEWTON's signature song, just like MACK THE KNIFE was for BOBBY.  (By the way, if ANYBODY out there has a copy of BOBBY DARIN singing DANKE SCHOEN, I'd LOVE to hear it!!!)  DARIN went on to produce and oversee several other WAYNE NEWTON records, including the highly collectible COMIN' ON TOO STRONG, which we featured the other day.  (Scroll back to hear it.)  COMIN' ON TOO STRONG was written by surf music legend (and BRIAN WILSON crony) GARY USHER.  (Truth is, it'd be pretty hard to rip-off ol' BRIAN WILSON better than USHER did on this track!)  NEWTON's vocal is barely detectable behind the overpowering BEACH BOYS-sounding BRUCE AND TERRY background vocals ... in fact, WAYNE reportedly asked CAPITOL to take the single off the market since he couldn't reproduce the sound on stage! 

To say that BOBBY DARIN had a keen insight into a good song and a talented songwriter would be an understatement ... along the way, he also had WAYNE record a couple of songs by a couple of songwriters who, by 1964-1965 standards anyway, were a little before their time ... and their prime:  in 1964, he cut TOO LATE TO MEET, a tune written by DAVID GATES, six years before he'd hit #1 as the frontman for '70's softrock sensation BREAD ... and, in 1965, NEWTON cut a song called THEY'LL NEVER KNOW, written by an 18-year-old BARRY GIBB ... two years before THE BEE GEES would first make a dent on the U.S. Charts!  

Several years later, NEWTON would pay back the favor for BOBBY's mentoring when, after a long hiatus from show business spent at Big Sur, BOBBY decided to return to the Las Vegas strip ... NEWTON ("Mr. Vegas") pulled a few strings and got DARIN a VERY lucrative contract at THE DESERT INN.

BY THE WAY:  Just after our BOBBY DARIN series went out the first time, TERRY MELCHER passed away after a long battle with skin cancer.  We did not update our series to reflect this sad news. but wanted to at least mention it somewhere along the way.  MELCHER produced THE BYRDS and PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS and recorded successfully with future BEACH BOYS / BRIAN WILSON replacement BRUCE JOHNSTON as both BRUCE AND TERRY and THE RIP CHORDS.  His BEACH BOYS connection remained intact for the next three decades:  in 1988, MELCHER cowrote their #1 smash hit KOKOMO.)  kk

ONE MORE THING:  When we ran our little Wayne Newton feature last week, this track somehow fell off the site ... it's Wayne's 1980 comeback hit "Years", #35 on Billboard's Pop Singles Chart.

re:  The Mauds:
Now that I'm listening to it, I think "Soul Drippin'" got some radio play on Indy's WIFE at the time. Jimy was definitely a singer who could bust it out like most white boys only wished they could.
Saw Flash open on a bill at the Aragon around '73 with the Kinks, Dr Hook and Foghat. 
Most memorable thing was the guitarist pulling the sound jack out of his guitar and playing with it during a jam.
Dan Hudelson

So The Mauds changed the lyrics to "Hold On" to get in trouble? 
If they would have listened to the Sam and Dave version they would have heard "call my name for quick reaction."  
Is this their original version?  I thought I had seen that it was in Mono. This one appears to be in stereo. 
Gotta say, Soul Drippin' is way cooler. 
As far as I know this is the original version.  I have seen another version of "Soul Drippin'" floating around recently  ... NO idea where it came from ... but the one I featured is the "hit" single version that was played here in Chicago.  (kk)

The problems the Mauds had with "Hold On" reminded me that there was a whole lot of bowdlerization going on in that era. Songs that generated controversy were often tweaked after the fact. The one that people here probably remember was "Rhapsody in the Rain," which you covered at length back in 2011, along with "Let's Live for Today," "My Boomerang Won't Come Back," "Temma Harbor," and "Let's Spend the Night Together."   I'm sure there were more, and it would be interesting to see if other readers have spotted any. 
-- 73 --
-- Jeff Duntemann    
Des Plaines, Illinois
WLS's Clark Weber also had The Shadows Of Knight re-record "Gloria" in order to gain airplay at the station ... it shows you just how big and powerful The Big 89 was at the time.  It worked ... their song went on to top the charts not only here in Chicago but in several other cities around the country.  Today it is probably considered by most to be the definitive version, despite the fact that Van Morrison wrote and first recorded it with Them.  (kk)

Great job on your Mauds piece remembering Jimy Rogers.  I never had the pleasure of seeing the band live but your personal memories along with all of those great testimonials tells me that they must have been something to see.  I definitely like what I heard on your site.  There is no question that Jimy Rogers had a gut-wrenching soul -- he FELT this music every bit as much as he sang it.  Thank you for introducing me to one of your "local heroes".
The response to this series was nothing short of phenomenal ... readers from all over the world picked up on our coverage ... I've never seen so many foreign "clicks" on the website ... something like 16,000 people read that feature when it first ran last week ... and we're still getting word-of-mouth visitors today.  To think that I was able to help introduce this band and their music to a whole new world audience is pretty gratifying ... I just wish Jimy were here to see it.  (kk)

AWESOME piece on The Mauds!!!  Thanks so much for doing it. :) 
My station did a piece today about the R & B Music Hall of Fame inductees ... there are some real greats there ... imho more deserving than Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston
They're trying to get Detroit to donate some of its vacant land for a build site for this museum.
And thank you for the suggestion ... I had NO idea the series would go over as well as it did.  (kk)

re:  Chase:
During our Mauds series we mentioned an up-coming show featuring Blue Road and Chase Revisited.  FH Reader Ken Voss sent us this nice little piece on the original band Chase ... and this upcoming memorial tribute ...
Forty years ago this month, on August 9, 1974, legendary trumpeter Bill Chase and three other band members of the pioneering jazz-rock fusion group Chase were killed in a plane crash on the way to perform at the Jackson County Fair in Minnesota.
“In retrospect, it seemed inevitable,” admits original Chase bassist Dennis Keith Johnson, who recalls a number of “close calls” in the days he was with the band. “One winter, our concert ended early, so we thought, ‘Let’s fly to the next gig tonight.’ It had snowed, but our pilot wasn’t concerned and said he would just run the plane down the runway and blow the snow off. He cranked it and you could feel the tail going down and could hear both engines shutting down. The next thing you know, we’re all asked to get out and ‘push the plane.’ We got out and the nose of the plane was sticking out over a seventy-five-foot drop over a four-lane highway and we all had to push an 18,000 pound DC3 back on to the runway!”
Johnson, who is best-known in the years since Chase for having been a founding member and original bassist of the group Survivor and for leading the Dennis Keith Experience, is organizing what he describes as “the last call” performances of “Chase Revisited” to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of that fatal plane crash and to coincide with the band’s induction into the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association Hall of Fame on August 31st in Arnolds Park, Iowa, as well as with the Chicago Jazz Festival.
Bill Chase began his career as a “screech” trumpeter in big bands, including stints with Maynard Ferguson and Stan Kenton before becoming the lead trumpet in what is generally considered to be the best of Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd in the 1960s.
In 1970, Chase put together a genre-bending, cross-generational nine-piece band bearing his name that included no less than four virtuoso jazz trumpeters alongside of an electric rock rhythm section and a power vocalist.
The group’s debut album “Chase” on Epic Records went Gold and charted for twenty-six weeks, was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best New Artist” and featured the group’s No.1 hit “Get It On,” which spent thirteen weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the summer of 1971.
And here's a cool track featuring Jim Peterik singing WITH Chase on a song called "Run Back To Mama".  (kk)


re:  First 45's:  
>>>I have to tell you that your website brought tears to my eyes last week.  I came across your First 45's feature for the very first time ... and memories came rushing back to me about my Mom ... who used to tell us whenever "Happy Together" by The Turtles came on the radio that this was the very first record she ever bought.  She would make all of us kids listen to it and sing along ... and a look of absolute joy would show on her face.  Mom's been gone for a while now ... and I haven't revisited that memory in a long, long time ... but last week you brought it all back.  (I couldn't have been more than 6 or 7 at the time.)  And then when I saw that you were going to see The Turtles in concert over the weekend it made me smile and wish that my mom could have seen it, too.  Thank you for making me remember something that otherwise may have stayed long forgotten.  It's what we would call "a good cry". (Maureen)

As a friend of the late Alan Gordon who co-wrote "Happy Together" with Gary Bonner, I have corresponded with his son, Christian Gordon often since Alan's death a few years back.  I thought he would enjoy Maureen's comments from the Sunday comments FH page.  He responds at the bottom in much the same way Alan would have.  BTW, in the year of 1967, there was a Alan Gordon song on the Hot 100 or Bubbling Under EVERY week of the year except one, and that week had a Turtles LP on the charts with Gordon songs, making his songs Billboard chart riders every week of that magical year! 
Attached is the HT backing track with the beginning adding Alan and Gary's demo vocals so that Maureen and her family can join in with the songwriters in karaoke!

Christian, this morning the Forgotten Hits' blog had the letter above from a new reader.  Thought you might enjoy that your songs inspired a young mother in 67 as well as the daughter in 2014!  Hope all's well. 
Hi Clark -
Hope you are doing well. Great to hear from you. 
Wow, that is a very moving note.  
Music has a way of touching people's lives. It's really something when you think about it, how a song that's special to you, stays with you from the moment you hear it for years, decades ... your whole life. Then, when it has an affect like the note describes above, that is beyond words. 
Like Alan, my family and I will always be grateful for the impact that "Happy Together" has made - and continues to make. 
Thank you for sending this. 
All my best,
Well said ... in fact, my initial response was very similar ...
>>>We talk about it all the time ... it's the Power of the Music ... it cannot (and will not) be denied.  It means different things to different people ... but there is nothing stronger.  Certain songs have certain "trigger points" that emotionally effect each and every one of us ... good, bad or otherwise.  Like I've said SO many times before ... I know of no other medium that connects us the way music
does.  (kk)   

My first memory of a 45 was the Crystals Then He Kissed Me.  I was walking through one of the department stores in Victoria as a young girl and they were playing this live TV show American Bandstand and the Crystals were performing.  I fell in love with the song and went and bought the 45 the same day.  Had to borrow the money from my Mom to do it to.  
I still have a number of old 45’s and 33’s and just gave away a bunch at a garage sale.  Shame but at least the guy really wanted them. 
Lennie McDonald    

re:  This And That:  
It looked like Scott Shannon Day the other day in Forgotten Hits!  Wasn't that Kid Leo throwing darts at the Shannon Poster?  Too Funny!!! 
Yep!  LOVE that video ... especially now that I know the story behind it.  (I haven't heard but hopefully Scott directed a few listeners over to the website to check it out!)  kk   

Radio Ink Magazine is reporting:  
In celebration of its one year anniversary, is having a "Voice of Labor Day Weekend". The station plays jingles authorized by TM Studios as well as classic Chicagoland commercials and features. Also included are "Un-telescoped" song intros and outros over newly inserted stereo versions of songs by some of the station greats including Larry Lujack, Barney Pip, Big Ron O'Brien, Joel Sebastian, Clark Weber, Ron Britan with more to come. The Radio-Ranch's Dick Orkin has authorized the presentation of classic Chickenman episodes. The Batman spoof series features the exploits of mild-mannered shoe salesman Benton Harbor and his fowl attempts to fight crime and save the environment. The programs were produced in the mid-60's.  
WCFL AM-1000 in Chicago was a major force in Top-40 radio and battled head to head with"The Big 89" WLS-AM 890.  While WLS was owned by ABC, WCFL was the only radio station owned by a labor union with call letters meaning  Chicago Federation of Labor.  
PD J.R. Russ says building this "salute" station became a "labor of love" and the Classic Hits formatted "Cyber CFL" began broadcasting last year with the slogan Where Chicago's Favorites Live. The 24/7 programming is available at and from platforms with embedded players like TuneIn, RadioShaker, Nobex, Shoutcast and others as well as hardware devices like Roku and Sonos. J.R. is also looking for former staffers, radio people and even fans of the station to record favorite memories of WCFL as well as to attempt the exciting "double punch" Top of the hour ID.  
For more contact:    

Speaking of new radio ideas ... 
Kent ... 
I think you might find this article interesting. 
Frank B.  
I can only tell you that they're not the first ones to try this idea ... and it hasn't worked yet.  (Plus what gives them the right to decide what part of a song the listener gets to hear?  Or "creative editing to someone else's work?  Top to bottom, the whole concept stinks.)  kk   

Bob Dylan announced his North American Tour Dates this week ... here's the list in case you want to see this industry legend ... 
10/17, 10/18, 10/19 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre 10/21 - Portland, OR - Keller Auditorium 
10/24, 10/25, 10/26 - Hollywood, CA - Dolby Theatre 10/28, 10/29, 10/30 - Oakland, CA - Paramount Theatre 11/01 - Denver, CO - Bellco Theatre 
11/04, 11/05, 11/06 - Minneapolis, MN - The Orpheum Theatre 
11/08 , 11/09, 11/10 - Chicago, IL - Cadillac Palace Theatre 11/12 - Cleveland, OH - State Theatre 
11/14 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre  
11/15 - Providence, RI - Providence Perf. Arts Ctr. 
11/17, 11/18 - Toronto, ON - Sony Centre For The Performing Arts 
11/21, 11/22, 11/23 - Philadelphia, PA - Academy Of Music 11/25 - Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall  
11/26 - Newark, NJ - New Jersey Perf. Arts Center  
11/28, 11/29, 12/01, 12/02 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre  
Lots of "multiple shows" this time around ... and, as always, a good chance additional shows will be added. 

Another good review of the long-lost Flock album ...

The Flock Heaven Bound: The Lost Album (Purple Pyramid Records)   
This jazz-rock, prog-leaning band from Chicago released a handful of records for both Columbia and Mercury back in the 1970s. Employing violin [future Mahavishnu Orchestra musician Jerry Goodman], horn sections and extended arrangements, the band was slightly reminiscent of contemporary artists like Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago but unfortunately they never reached the level of success those other bands did. 
Nonetheless, the Flock - built around the core of vocalist/guitarist Fred Glickstein, drummer Ron Karpman, and bassist Jerry Smith - was one of the most innovative outfits around and cultivated a rabid live following.  
Now for the first time those fans can feast on Heaven Bound: The Lost Album, a record meant to follow the group's third album in 1975 titled inside Out. By that time, Goodman had departed though Glickstein and Karpman continued to work on new music. 
This is that unreleased record and hearing it some 40 years after it was created gives you some sense of just how timeless the band's music was. Glickstein and Karpman are surrounded by a coterie of players including cello, violins, keyboards, saxophones, and pedal steel. Songs like the title track, "Don't You Know (Who I Am)," and "Love Away" rise like geysers on fountains of lush harmonies and funky electric guitar riffs. 
Thanks to Cleopatra Records and A&R / Artist Relations point man John Lappen, we have the pleasure of listening to this unheard music from one of America's truly great and unsung groups.
-- Steve Rosen    

>>>Your mention of Giorgio triggered my mind to a record he came out with in 1969 called LOOKY LOOKY on Atco. It's the only record that I know of by him that made our survey here in OKC. I always did like it. In fact, I just played it twice before I sent you this e-mail. Don't know if you remember it or if it made your local survey.  (Larry Neal)  
>>>"Looky Looky" never made Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart ... but was a regional hit in several markets.  We featured this one a while back in our "Son Of My Father" spotlight a few years ago.  It never charted here in Chicago.  (kk) 
I love "Looky Looky" by Giorgio too.  A number one or two in Wichita as well as being big in OKC.  I gotta say that I like his followup "Stop" from 1970 even better.  To go along with the 2 versions bit, Giorgio actually released 'stop" TWICE on 45 on different labels under different names!!
The first release was called "Full Stop" (as Georgio) and was on London.  Later, Atco reissued a totally revamped and psychedelicized version "Stop" which went nowhere (except on my own personal charts) in 1970.  It certainly leads towards his work on his 72 hit "Son of my father."
And while we're at it, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY", Kent, from Giorgio and the rest of us!
Clark Besch

Hey Kent,  
A few years ago, I was talking with my good friend, Paul Rosenberg. He's a huge fan of oldies pop music and THE expert on the music of Jay and the Americans. We were talking about Gene Pitney's hit, "It Hurts to Be in Love", and Paul played me Neil Sedaka's demo of the same song he recorded first. Because his best recording of the song was done in a studio not approved by his label, it was rejected, so the composers gave it to Gene, who in turn, made it a hit. Whether or not the song would have given Neil's career a boost remains to be seen. Anyway, I told Paul that I thought it would be VERY cool if someone could mix the two artists' recordings together. He suggested that I write to you at Forgotten Hits, and so I did. Maybe someone out there would see it. It was the first comment I ever sent to you, and I have been an avid FH reader ever since. Well, what do you know? Someone out there was thinking along the same lines, and here is the result. Neil's side of it isn't from his demo, but from a newer version from his "Definitive Collection". There is a better mix on the site, as I think this Youtube transfer is a little Neil top heavy. I still think it would be even better if the two guys could switch lead vocal verses, back and forth, and alternate harmonies as well. But, I do appreciate this mix ever happening!
- John LaPuzza   

I think Neil Sedaka does a fine stand-alone version of this song ... it would have been a hit for EITHER artist in my opinion as the arrangements are so similar.  (A good song is a good song is a good song as they say!)  But this is a cool remix ... shows you again just how parallel the two versions really are!  Thanks for sending ... and for your on-going support.  (kk) 

The old WCBS-FM greatly increased my knowledge and joy of oldies music.  Now I have my MP3 players and would not even consider listening to the current WCBS-FM. 

FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent in this recent Goldmine article on Gary Lewis ... meanwhile, we're still curious to find out just how sick he is to have missed so many of the Happy Together shows.    

Okay, I just saw the James Brown bio movie "Get On Up" at the 3rd Street Cinema, then went to the History vs. Hollywood website to see just how accurate the Hollywood version of The Godfather's life actually was. Turned out it's pretty damn accurate! Impressive! Dave Barry 
"Realer" than I thought in many instances ... kinda makes me want to go see it again!  (kk)   

It is great to see that the Wonder Years is finally being released. That show never got the credit it deserved.  It was like someone had followed me around in Junior High and High School and wrote a show about it.  I am glad that they took the time to release the episodes with the correct music. Season one of  WKRP In Cincinnati (another favorite of mine) came out a few years ago without the music and it did not sell well.  
I bought the Midnight Special series that Time Life released back in 2006.  They sent a DVD a month and there are 19 or 20.  It appears that the new release has a few new ones and several that are the same as the previous.  I wish they would make full episodes available.  It was one of the best television music shows ever and featured live performances.  It was like AM radio in those days with so much variety.  For instance ... the February 9th, 1973, show featured host Johnny Rivers, Steely Dan, Albert Hammond, the Spinners and Merrilee Rush. The June 1st of 1973 Midnight Special featured guest host Paul Williams,  Argent,  The Stylistics, The Statler Brothers,  Slade, and Gunhill Road.  There was at least one edition with the Ohio Players filmed at the University of Chicago.   I want full episodes with all the glory of the 70's!  One hit wonders and all!  
Phil - WRCO 
"The Wonder Years" was a mirror of SO many of our lives, growing up in the '60's ... I loved it ... and it was the musical rights that held this thing up for such a long time.  (Still $250 is pretty steep ... I'd be up for your other suggestion of sending a new DVD every 4-6 weeks until the series was complete ... sure make things easier on my pocketbook right now!!!) 
Have you watched "The Goldbergs"?  Kind of a "Wonder Years" for the '80's ... pretty funny (usually) and very authentic.  The guy who does the show was a video-taping fiend when he was a kid growing up and it's really entertaining after watching an (embellished) episode to watch his actual home video during the end credits.  It's available on ABC On Demand if you want to check it out ... definitely has that "Wonder Years" feel to it. 
I used to love "The Midnight Special", too ... one of my favorite episodes was co-hosted by The Guess Who, who performed several selections from their then brand new "Artificial Paradise" LP.  As such we got "Bye Bye Babe", "Those Show-Biz Shoes", "Orly" and "Follow Your Daughter Home", all GREAT tracks from one of my all-time favorite Guess Who LP's. 
In fact, The Guess Who were featured on "The Midnight Special" several times ... but I don't see a single appearance listed on this new Time/Life release.  (Their bond with host Wolfman Jack is what inspired Burton Cummings to write "Clap For The Wolfman", their last big Top Ten Hits.) 
The majority of these acts had to perform live, which meant that A) They had to REALLY know what they were doing ... and B) The audience was treated to a TOTALLY unique appearance. 
We talked about getting this one but I think I'd probably watch each disc once and then put them away and never watch them again.  (I say that yet I've watched many of the Ed Sullivan discs DOZENS of times now and never grown tired of seeing them!) 
I'd be more inclined to spring for the ultra deluxe Motown 25 Set ... which reportedly includes a complete Diana Ross meltdown back stage during rehearsals!!! (Worth the price for that alone!!!  lol) 
I know that eventually we'll get "The Wonder Years" ... I've been on the waiting list for this one for over ten years now ... and am SO happy that it's finally coming out.  (kk) 
More information on ALL of these releases here:   
Click here: StarVista Entertainment CD and DVD Collections - Time Life