Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday This And That

re:  FINALLY!:  
After a rather lack-luster summer, some GREAT shows will FINALLY be hitting our area these next two weeks.  
First up ... tomorrow night ... The Happy Together Tour hits town, appearing at The Paramount Theatre in Aurora.  No official word yet on whether or not Gary Lewis has returned to the fold after battling an illness that sidelined him for several shows.  (He never answered my last email asking how he was doing.)  
Also on hand ... Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.  This will be our first time seeing both of these rockers in concert, so we're looking forward to that ... as well as reuniting with headliners Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night and The Turtles!
Then, next week, Donny and Marie Osmond come into town for a series of shows at the Paramount, kicking off on Wednesday, August 27th (my birthday!!!) and extending through Sunday, August 31st (for a total of SEVEN show, including two each day on Saturday and Sunday.
Also next week, KC and the Sunshine Band return to The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.  We saw this show a few years ago and it was a real fun time.  KC's still got a lot of energy and pumps out the feel-good music all night long.  He'll be appearing next Friday, August 29th ... followed up the very next night by '60's Legend Johnny Rivers.
Again, this will be a first-time experience for us, although we're long-time Johnny Rivers fans.  (He just doesn't seem to make it to Chicago very often!)  Really looking forward to this one.
More details for ALL of these shows (plus a stellar line-up of follow-up shows) can be found here:

re:  The Saturday Surveys:  
That WELK chart has one of my favorites at #26, "You Make Me Happy" by Puzzle. A great "Chicago" type song that WBBM-FM played. This was a song that should have charted nationally ... but didn't. By the way, they were on Motown and WBBM-FM played three other tracks off their debut album ... besides "You Make Me Happy", they played "On With The Show", "Lady" and "Brand New World". All of them are great and I still listen to them today. 
Mike Hartman

Thanks for posting the Dick Bartley survey.  Too bad he comments as if Dick is past tense, as he is still rocking the airwaves here and across the country every weekend on "Rock & Roll's Greatest Hits."  
WHY you would pick "Muskrat love" to feature is beyond me ... why not "Joyful Ressurrection"??? 
A GREAT CCR song that brother Tom Fogerty sang with all of CCR doing the music and vocal backgrounds.  
Clark Besch  
This is a GREAT track ... and sounds just like John (which is NOT how I remember Tom Fogerty sounding at all.  As you know, Tom was the original lead singer of the band ... but they didn't take off until brother John took over the lead vocals ... if they sounded THIS much alike, it's hard to attribute the success of John's vocals as being the key to pushing them over the top!)  That being said, it was, without question, John's songwriting ability that defined the band ... although they also recorded some of the best cover versions of songs I've ever heard in my life.
Reading all the YouTube comments there seems to be some debate as to whether or not John Fogerty really participated on this track or not ... but it sounds SO much like him I find it hard to believe he didn't ... although I've never heard the story before (and we covered Creedence Clearwater Revival deeply in our series several years back ... see link below.)  I know that at this point NOBODY in the band was talking to each other ... so even John laying down his tracks separately from the others seems to be a bit of a stretch ... he made negative comments to Tom on his death bed regarding the entire CCR mess ... so who really knows. In that I wasn't familiar with this one (and in that Forgotten Hits is, for the most part, supposed to trigger a memory), I went with the America version of "Muskrat Love" (a HORRIBLE song by the way!) as a time-stamp on 1974.  (Still one of my all-time favorite "in concert" lines came after seeing America play an INCREDIBLY rockin' version of "Sandman", after which Gerry Beckley praised his partner Dewey Bunnell by saying "Now THAT'S Classic Rock" ... only to follow it up with "Muskrat Love", after which Beckley said "Note to self ... don't mention "Classic Rock" and then play "Muskrat Love"!!!) 
On the PLUS side, thanks so much for sending this ... it just may be my "new" favorite oldie of the week!  (kk)  
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Creedence Clearwater Revival   
(OMG ... is this piece REALLY almost 12 years old?!?!?) kk

re:  Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard:  
>>>"Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard" is by Diane Ray and is another one of those One Hit Wonders ... she never charted again.  (kk)  
Diane Renay’s Don’t Talk to the Lifeguard a one-hit wonder???  What about her BIG hit Blue, Navy Blue and the follow-up Kiss ME Sailor? I  loved these songs. 
Bob Verbos,
New Berlin, WI.  
Not Diane Renay ... Diane RAY, who charted exactly once with "Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard."  Diane Ray is from North Carolina (and that's her real name) ... Diane Renay was born Renee Diane Kushner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  But you're right ... both of the chart hits you mentioned made Billboard's Top 40 for Diane Renay!  (kk)

Ted said he wasn't familiar with the song PLEASE DON'T TALK TO THE LIFEGUARD.  Kent, when I played that song you posted and saw it mentioned, I also thought of a version that came out two years previously in 1961 by Andrea "IT HURTS TO BE SIXTEEN" Carroll. Remember that version?

Honestly???  No ... in fact, I couldn't sing you a line from the Diane Ray "hit" version ... and I just listened to it!  (lol)  For whatever reason, this one was never really on my radar.  The song charted for exactly one week here in Chicago on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... debuted, peaked and disappeared at #30.  (kk)  

But evidently OTHERS remember Andrea Carroll ... I got this email a day later ... 

Hi KK, 
After reading Sundays Blog, I couldn't help but think of Andrea Carroll.  She was from Cleveland, Ohio, and in our area (Akron, Ohio), she was the one that had a hit with her version of Please Don't Talk To The Life Guard, and another hit "It Hurts To Be Sixteen".  I believe that she was the first one to record the Life Guard Record.
I also want to mention that there is a YouTube Video sung by a girl named Donna, who claims that she was the girl that Richie Valens wrote the song for. The guy claims it's worth a bundle of money.
I enjoy your Blog and read it every day.  Although I'm older, and also like the 1950's music.
Do you remember a group called "The Cat", from Thailand.  They recorded an album in 1966, titled "Do The Watusi".  The single "Do The Watusi" is on YouTube. I found an album by them and really like it.
I've been buying and selling records for 40 years; however I have no idea what the album is worth (if anything).  I have an old copy of Osborne Price Guide ... however they are not listed.  I'm going to try to send a song with this E Mail of the group, and get your and your readers opinion.
Keep up the great work.  
Arnold Kirkbride

Borrowing heavily from "Tobacco Road", no???  I'm not sure whether to take the vocal seriously or not ... then again, maybe she was just trying to do her best Brenda Lee imitation there in the middle!  Definitely different. (kk)

re:  Too Funny ... Another Great Example of Life Imitating Art!: 
“It’s a mega meta kinda thang,” says Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, referring to the ZZ Top / Jeff Beck collaboration of "Sixteen Tons" ... he debuted the song to a sold out Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on August 13th with his band mates Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, and co-headliner Jeff Beck.   
But it gets even more meta than that. The song “Sixteen Tons” itself is shrouded in controversy. While Tennessee Ernie Ford enjoyed the greatest success with the song, it was originally recorded in 1946 by country singer Merle Travis, who has writer credit. However, folk singer George S. Davis (formerly a coal miner himself) claimed he was the true author of the tune, and wrote it as “Nine-to-ten Tons” in the 1930s.    
Flashback to 2009: It is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden. Billy F Gibbons, singer / guitarist of ZZ Top, joins guitar legend Jeff Beck and his band on stage. They perform “Rough Boy” (ZZ Top) and “Foxey Lady” (The Jimi Hendrix Experience).
2012: A video appears on YouTube by an unknown user entitled “Jeff Beck and ZZ Top – Ernie Ford’s SIXTEEN TONS.” The footage has clearly been culled from the Madison Square Garden concert three years previous, but how about the audio? What sounds a lot like Jeff Beck and Billy F Gibbons playing a revved up version of the 1955 #1 single about wage slavery as a coal miner is, in fact, a clever and convincing hoax.
2014: ZZ Top and Jeff Beck announce their U.S. tour, in which Jeff Beck’s set is followed by a ZZ Top set, concluded by an encore where Beck joins That Lil’ Ol’ Band From Texas onstage. Gibbons is made aware of the YouTube video and totally amused that “someone who obviously had too much time on their hands” would go through the lengths to put the parts and pieces together to create the phantom song.  Gibbons shared the link with Jeff whose initial reaction sparked the retort, "Bloody Hell…!  We can do this…!"  
While some artists under similar circumstances might've been upset or might've even considered other action, ZZ Top and Jeff Beck did the exact opposite by deciding to actually cover “Sixteen Tons,” using the very arrangement of the YouTube hoax.  
YouTube hoax from April 2012 (actual artist still unknown): 
ZZ Top and Jeff Beck performing the same song FOR REAL on August 13, 2014:

re:  This And That:
From FH Reader Dave Barry ... our popstars DO like to misbehave!!!  (kk)

Hey Kent, 
Count me in on having that "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" as in my Beach Boys's Top 30 Favorites.  The harmonies at the end are cool ... and the guitar solo in the middle rocks pretty hard for a Beach Boys track.  My Wife, who likes the Beach Boys but is not a freak like me, loves that one, too. 

More Beach Boys ...

Hi Kent:
I am a long time Music / Program Director / Song Writer from Central Pa. (Penn State). I am writing per the suggestion of Fred Vail. After learning that the Beach Boys would be performing at Penn State in October, I was inspired to compose a "tribute" song for them called "They Bring the Beach to You" . The song is getting a lot of airplay including Flagler Beach / Wilson Beach radio and many other stations as well. We've been asked to perform it on TV and it is getting many nice Facebook shares / likes / comments as well. Fred Vail gave me your name and said that you may be able to post it to share. We would count it an honor. He loves the song and made a nice comment on youtube.  We are delighted that "They Bring the Beach to You" is doing great and would appreciate it if you would share it for us.
I have been writing songs with Jack Servello for eight years and we've enjoyed success with other well-traveled hits, but it seems that everyone loves this one. Last year I composed a "tribute" song for my friend Ron Dante called "We Still Sing Sugar Sugar" and he was thrilled. We even included it on our "Greatest Hits" CD. 
Thank you very much for your consideration. Love your site and am glad that Fred recommended it. You can bet I will be telling others!
Bill Dann
Love it! Thanks, Bill ... and please DO send us the Ron Dante track, too ... Ron's been a long-time Forgotten Hits Reader and Contributor!  (kk)

Jim Croce performances you WON'T hear on the new Jim Croce CD are the ones he recorded in the studios of KIMN in Denver during an interview a few weeks before his fatal 1973 plane crash. That interview and Jim's impromptu performances were captured on a single 10" reel of quarter-inch tape which was never duplicated or rebroadcast.  I bought that tape from the estate of the interviewer and it resides today in my archives. The interview itself, by the way, while of excellent fidelity, is not all that good from a content standpoint. The interviewer did not really know what to ask and therefore generated only inconsequential responses. Despite that, Jim Croce's natural charm and warm-hearted spirit shines through.
Gary Theroux

Quite a bit of press this past week about Aerosmith's Drummer Joey Kramer being out of action for their current tour due to heart problems ... but now FH Reader Tom Cuddy tells us that they've found an excellent substitute ... Kramer's own son, Jesse will be sitting in on drums until his dad is well enough to return!
More details below ...

AEROSMITH: Back on the Road With Substitute Drummer 
Drummer Joey Kramer, who has been sidelined with a heart ailment, took to Twitter to let fans know that his son Jesse is sitting in for him. 
Aerosmith was back out on the road on Saturday night in George, Washington, but with a substitute drummer in the saddle.
Band members took to Twitter to spread the news with drummer Joey Kramer, who has been sidelined with a heart ailment, letting fans know that his son Jesse is sitting in for him.
Guitarist Joe Perry also took to Twitter, writing that the band would "miss Joey" but is in capable hands with Jesse, "who's a kick ass drummer!" Perry added that Joey is "doing great and will be back very soon," but he didn't specify when.
Kramer's wife, Linda, tried to downplay the situation, claiming that the media is "blowing" her husband's health problem "out of proportion." She did confirm that he underwent a procedure "related to his heart," but said he doesn't have an history of heart problems and did not undergo "emergency open heart surgery."

I agree with what your reader Jack said in his words to you. In October of 1968, our local top 40 radio station's weekly survey dropped from 50-55 songs down to 30. Also, for some two months now, I have had my radio in my car turned off.  Stations were playing the same old same old. Sports talk stations are doing the same old same old as well. I agree with him that silence is preferable to hearing the same old songs over and over again. I have not missed the radio being on at all.
By the way, I just now saw on television for the first time a thirty second commercial depicting women's fashions. The music  used in the background was Sam Cooke's 1964 SHAKE. Just love it.  Don't know however if it was a local or national spot.
Larry Neal
I've seen that same commercial here several times now so it must be a national ad.
Sadly more and more people are turning off their radios all together rather than listen to the exact same crap, day in and day out, every single day.  What a shame.  There are 10,000 legitimate hit songs to choose from ... why is radio subjecting us to this "beat-you-over-the-head" programming?  (I'm listening to a 1968 Year-End clip featuring Larry Lujack on WLS right now ... because that's STILL better than anything else that's on the radio at this moment in time!!!)

Speaking of which ... I'm not the only one upset about the ridiculous scaling down going on over at  (Over 1200 more clips were eliminated since my last sign-in!!!)  They've just GOT to find a way to fix this ... or there's no point in renewing my subscription.
Seriously, WHO do we need to write to to protest this new change in policy?!?!

Hi Kent:  
Saw your comments about what has been happening to Reelradio. Can’t agree with you more! Only a group of bureaucratic Morons could do this nonsense to fans of Real Vintage Radio.  

Chicagoland Radio and Media is reporting this morning that projected new morning host Jack Diamond will NOT be joining WLS-FM after all ... in fact, he starts his brand new gig at XHPRS-FM (soon to be rebranded as 105.7 MAX-FM) in the San Diego / Tijuana area.  That's two big deals that have fallen through for WLS-FM in the last few months.  (Eddie and JoBo also bowed out of an opportunity to earn $500M a year as the new morning team.)  Hmm ... if I was Jan Jeffries' boss, I'd have to be wondering why NOBODY wants to work at my radio station.  (Of course, if I were Brant Miller, I'd be thinking "screw these guys!" ... but that's an entirely DIFFERENT story.)  Back on the rumor block ... Robert Murphy returning to the shift that made him famous as "Murphy In The Morning" ... but the station's also got some other under-utilized talent in Danny Lake and Tom O'Toole, too.  Stay tuned for more "major shake-up" news ... coming soon to the now-struggling, one-time radio giant.  (kk)

Regarding the Glen Campell film, I see that an impressive array of stars were assembled to play tribute to the man. Conspicuous in her absence appears to be Tanya Tucker -- and if you read her autobiography, "Nickel Dreams," you'll find out why.  My archive includes a never released one hour interview Bill Drake conducted with Glen in 1977.  As far as I know, it was Bill's only celebrity interview and he asked that I not use it when assembling "The History of Rock 'n' Roll." 
Gary Theroux

The Motown Musical is alive and well, as shown in this report submitted by FH Reader Dave Barry:

Thanks for keeping the hits alive ... I always enjoy my visits to the site. 
It was a bit sad to see that Paul Revere has retired, but I rejoice that he lived and performed all those years (since "Like Long Hair" in 1961) and can walk away still standing and playing to the end.  One of my favorite memories is attending a concert by the early Raiders (Mark, Fang, Smitty, etc.) minus Paul at the "Oaks Park" in Portland, OR, several years ago.  It was obvious that they had performed together many times, had all the fun moves, enjoyed playing together again and knew how to connect with the audience.  Forget all the video screens, pyrotechnics and augmented effects ... just give me some solid guitars, a decent vocalist and a "good beat so I can dance to it" and I'll score it at least a 95 every time. 
Sometime a few years later, I had a chance to sit and visit with Mark for a few minutes.  He was relaxed and easy to chat with.  I still enjoy a number of his solo efforts he recorded with the help of Jerry Fuller in the early 70's.
Again, thanks for your efforts!
Jim Pritchard
(aka Jim Southern, KTEO, KXLF, KMOR & KNAK back in the early 60's)

re:  Clip Of The Week:
Got this one from Clark Weber ... how many of you out there are going to try this next time you go to the gym???  (I call this "Sweatin' To The Oldies, Millennium Style!")  kk