Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 11 - 02 - 14 )

While I was at university, a friend and I heard about the plans for WLS to broadcast a history of rock 'n' roll. Several Canadian radio stations were retransmitting the broadcasts and we found a DJ who agreed -- at considerable personal risk, I imagine -- to copy the broadcasts. For the intervening years, I have kept those reel-to-reel tapes and am in the process of making digital copies so that the material will be easier to enjoy. 
I have the KHJ HRR and several other assorted audio and video efforts to document the history. Needless to say, the history is so complicated with roots that extend back to many different musical genre that I doubt any two could agree that any of the HRR productions out there comes close to writing the definitive history of rock. (Likewise, I doubt many can agree exactly which songs are rock 'n' roll and which are popular or only tangentially considered rock. <smile>) 
I do appreciate your site and the discussions. It is important to document the history, as many acknowledge.  
Both versions of "The History Of Rock And Roll" have come up numerous times in Forgotten Hits ... it seems the one folks consider to be the "definitive" version is either the one they heard broadcast or the one they personally worked on!  (lol) I'm sure much of this must sound dated by now ... but SO many of these great artists have since left us ... so this may be the final testament to their achievements. 
I honestly don't know if a program like this (even a vastly improved and updated one) would play well with today's audience who seem to have absolutely NO attention span whatsoever ... and are typically only half-listening anyway, while their multi-tasking with all their other media toys.  That's why they don't seem to mind the fact that radio just keeps playing the same 2-300 songs over and over again ... because nobody's REALLY listening.  (And quite honestly, who's got the time to devote to a 100 hour radio special these days?!?!) 
You can still catch daily snippets of "The History Of Rock And Roll" on Rewound Radio, twice every weekday.  They're hosted by Gary Theroux, who wrote the original program that aired way back when.  
Click here: Rewound Radio: It's not how old it is... It's how GOOD it is!!   
Someday I'd love to pop BOTH versions of "rock history" in the car and just listen to them back to back for days on end ... I'll betcha between all the resources available today, somebody could put together one hell of a definitive series.  But would anybody listen???  Seems people are more interested in watching video of Justin Beiber urinating in his jail cell (streaming video???) and Honey Boo's Mom hangin' with her Child Molester boyfriend.  Bob Dylan was right ... the times they have a-changed. (kk)  

re:  ON THE RADIO:  
Starting on Monday, The Drive (97.1 FM here in Chicago) kicks off another week of A to Z programming ... a full week (plus) of NO REPEATS from their extensive library of Classic Rock.  (This is ALWAYS one of my favorite programming moves ... tune in and listen ... half the fun is trying to figure out what's coming next!)  A "Listen Live" link is provided below.  (kk)  
Click here: 97.1fm Chicago - The Drive - WDRV  

And once again, how'd you like to be Brant Miller over at WLS-FM?!?!  (He just may be the most shit-upon deejay in all of radioland right now!!!) 
They want to replace this poor guy SO badly that they're negotiating with Jack Diamond again, who turned the job down a few months back and then accepted a different job instead at XHPRS in the San Diego, California / Tijuana, Mexico area, only to quit a couple of weeks later stating that his family was "homesick" for the Washington, D.C. area.  By some small miracle, he was able to get his old job bag ... but apparently is already back "on the market" again.  Word is he'll be the new morning guy at WLS-FM beginning on Monday.  Poor Brant has been yo-yo'd around for MONTHS now as deal after deal after deal has fallen through trying to replace him.  (A much ballyhooed effort to bring back Eddie and JoBo ALSO fell through a few months back ... thank God!  These guys proved IN FLYING COLORS that they have absolutely NO feel or affection for this market of broadcasting.)  Then again, the simple fact of the matter is this ... the problem isn't Brant Miller, guys ... it's the HORRENDOUS format that mimics at least six other radio stations in town.  Get a clue and try something new ... 'cause all your old loyal listeners are gone.  Give some thought as to what might bring them back ... and, if you're STILL clueless after some real soul searching, give me a call ... and let's turn WLS back into what it really SHOULD be ... the legacy and history of this station is FAR too great to be thrown away playing copy-cat radio.  (kk) 

Meanwhile Scott Shannon's return to the Chicagoland airwaves via K-Hits seems to have gone virtually unnoticed ... and that's a REAL shame.  (Of course a little bit of actual promotion probably wouldn't have hurt ... Scott has a HUGE legion of fans here in Chicago who would LOVE to hear him back on the radio again.) Shannon is doing gang-busters business in New York City with CBS Sister Station WCBS-FM ... but his new syndicated program "America's Greatest Hits" hasn't seemed to catch on here yet in The Windy City.  (That's probably because MOST folks who still bother to tune in to K-Hits are probably expected repeated airings of "Don't Stop Believin'" and Tommy Tutone instead ... there isn't room in their mental capacity to accept anything new!)  kk      

Kent ...   
Scott Shannon's regular show is on Monday to Friday.  This new show (America's Greatest Hits) will be on Sunday.  All we have to do is get him a Saturday show so he can be on the radio seven days a week.  
Frank B.  
I'm telling you, you're missing Shannon at his best on The True Oldies Channel, where he literally broadcasts 24/7, playing more of the music OUR readers are interested in.  (Yeah, there's still plenty of late '70's and early '80's being slipped in more and more all of the time ... but Scott ALSO treats us to a lot of great late '50's and '60's hits, too ... definitely enough to keep you tuned in all day long.)  kk  
Click here: Scott Shannon's TRUE OLDIES CHANNEL  

More on Shannon ...    

Kent ... 
10/28/1936 = Today is Charlie Daniels' Birthday. 
Contest question on Scott Shannon's "The Big Show" -- What was Charlie Daniels' biggest chart hit? 
Gentleman calls in and answers "The Devil Went Down To Georgia."  
He wins $100 gift certificate at some party store.   
Now Scott tells us this story.   
One of his early radio jobs was in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was one of those fast-talking DJ's. 
Scott also owned a record store. 
His store manager David (can't remember last name) asked Scott if he could use the store's basement to rehearse new group he found. 
Scott says yes. 
Group became The Charlie Daniels Band and David became their manager. He STILL is their manager today.  
I like inside stories like this one. I wish Scott would tell them more often.  
Frank B.  
I've been telling him for years that his personal anecdotes are the best ... and they help to establish a real bond between him and his audience.  Every single one of us WISHES we could have been there for all this cool stuff that happened along the way of the history of rock and roll ... but Scott Shannon WAS there for a good chunk of it.  I couldn't agree more ... spice things up with more great stories like this one as you go into the record ... the listeners will love these fly-on-the-wall tidbits.  (kk) 

One more:  

Kent ... 
I'm listening to Scott Shannon's new Sunday show, "America's Greatest Hits".  He just told this story. Pat Upton was one of the last people to see Ricky Nelson alive. 
Pat Upton was lead singer of the one-hit wonder group, The Spiral Starecase."  In 1969, they had a hit with the song "More Today Than Yesterday." Pat went on to become a member of Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band. 
Ricky Nelson's last show was at a club in Guntersville, Alabama. Pat Upton owned the club. Pat drove Ricky to the airport after the show. 
I never heard this story before.   Did you know about it?  
Frank B.  
Being a MAJOR Rick Nelson fan, yes I did ... but I still love all those behind the scenes stories that most people are NOT familiar with.  Scott's a great story-teller.  Here's hoping he uses this new program to offer up these interesting little tidbits to his audience.  (I'm still suggesting that you listen to The True Oldies Channel for more of the same.  You really seem to be enjoying his show ... give The True Oldies Channel a shot ... you just may end up going Scott Shannon 24/7 after all!  (kk)  

Hi Kent,  
You've got a great blog and website.Thanks for all you did for Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon ... his sound has the same 'innocent, from the heart' feeling as Buddy Holly. There is something 'pure' about each of their sounds.
I can't forget SBXX and the beatdown, but today some of the pain went away when the Pats clubbed the Bears. 
Love That Dirty Water! 

Loved Furv's 5th Estate song and it DOES have the energy of a Freddy Cannon song! I pray Freddy keeps getting better and better and will "Jump Over" this small hurdle.  
Clark Besch  

And. speaking of The Fifth Estate ...  

Hi Kent - 
Thanks for running my comment about us still playing music which to some sounds a lot like what Freddy  Cannon was doing with his hit records.   We appreciate it immensely. 
Really glad to hear Freddy’s doing better.  Would more than love doing something with him and here’s hoping he gets well enough to do more shows. Ken "Furvus" Evans  
Furv said that he would LOVE to line up some shows here in the Chicago area.  With SO much new product out now from both The Fifth Estate and The D-Men, they're primed and ready to perform ... and he suggested a double bill with somebody like The Buckinghams, The Turtles, Peter Noone or Tommy James would be ideal ... or perhaps some of the '80's band who offer a similar sound like The Remains, The Smithereens or The Romantics.  Of course the above-mentioned package with a healthy Freddy Cannon would be welcomed by ALL parties concerned, I'm sure!  (kk) 

And here's a photo of our FH Buddy Burton Cummings holding up a copy of Freddy's book "Where The Action Is", written with Mark Bego a couple of years ago.  Freddy's getting stronger every day ... and Burton returns to The Arcada Theatre later this month (the 14th to be exact) for what's looking to be another sold out show.  (We can't wait!)  kk

Still getting some good press regarding our Tommy James concert review at The Arcada ... in fact, if you visit Tommy's website ( you'll find a dedicated link that takes you right to our review.  

Clark Besch mentioned that I had interviewed Tommy James for the Chicago Tribune some years back. Here's how he told the Crimson & Clover story back then. Not many details different ...     
I got in a big jam with CFL about that. This is one of my big Chicago stories … I almost blew the release of “Crimson and Clover.”  
“Mony Mony” had been an exclusive to WLS, and at the time WLS and WCFL were just banging heads, both gigantic stations with 50,000 watts. But they were in such competition, and going neck and neck. Any little thing you would do for one, the other would be insulted. I made the mistake of giving “Mony Mony” to WLS, or Roulette did. Jim Stagg didn’t take kindly to that, and I wasn’t going to let that happen again.  
I was doing a concert around the release of "Crimson & Clover". I took a rough 7 ½, not even a final mix, to WLS and played it for John Rook, the Program Director. He said, “That’s great,” and said play it again. He has Lujack record it (surreptitiously) and records the damn thing, not even finished, a rough mix, and the next thing I know I’m getting into the limousine downstairs and I hear, “WORLD EXCLUSIVE, TOMMY JAMES AND THE SHONDELLS, CRIMSON AND CLOVER” on the radio. We had to release a rough mix off a 7 ½ acetate, release it just like that.  
So I go back to New York and I walk into Roulette, into Red Schwartz’ office (Roulette’s radio guy) and sitting there is a funeral wreath from Jim Stagg announcing the death of Tommy James & the Shondells at WCFL radio. Everyone at Roulette was really upset. That’s how close we came to blowing the release.  Of course WLS kept playing it and it went to #1 and WCFL had to go back on it. I always felt bad about that for Jim Stagg.   
Chicago radio was the center of the universe. Not only growing up on Chicago radio, but WLS was truly the biggest station in the country. That’s back when radio stations really were radio stations, where one station could hit 38 states at night. The power of it was awesome. If WLS went on a record, everyone went on it. All I can say is that I’ve loved Chicago all my life.  
-- Tommy James  
(submitted by Stuart Shea)  

And here's another "oldie but goodie" from 2010 ... wow, I had forgotten all about this posting ... a tie-in between Forgotten Hits, Spectrapop and the always entertaining Artie Wayne ... that evidently also wound up on the Pray For Surf website somewhere along the way!!!  (kk)  

Another exciting and extended conversation, Kent!  
This may be of interest:  Tommy James Reveals Secret to Crystal Blue Persuasion  

Meanwhile, have you seen the new "Mony Mony" commercial that's running for Bose Speakers?  It features the Billy Idol version of Tommy's song but it's really pretty clever.  Every vehicle that this guy approaches ends up singing along with the song thanks to the crystal-clear sound coming from his Bose Speakers ... this includes everybody from the kids on a school bus to the old biker dude who can't get the tune out of his head after he parks his bike for the night.  Pretty good spot!  (kk)  

Ron Onesti told me that Tommy James tore the place apart ... wish I coulda been there. 
Chet Coppock  
He did ... it was a GREAT show!  Check out my review for all the play-by-play action!  (kk)  

And, speaking of Tommy James songs you can't get out of your head, I've been playing THIS one virtually non-stop for the past several days. 
Although it only managed a #24 national showing (and didn't even make The Top 40 in Billborad) Tommy's 1971 solo hit "Nothing To Hide" went all the way to #2 here in Chi-Town ... and it SURE felt good to hear it again!  (kk)

And be sure to stay tuned to these pages ... we just may have a Tommy James give-away coming up that'll hit your mail boxes just in time for Christmas!!! (kk)

Our very special 2014 series are dying down ... only a couple of months to go (and, thanks to all these Interne issues, I'm WAY behind in wrapping those up!!!) ... but that doesn't mean we don't get comments every time a new edition hits the site!   

>>>I hadn't heard Don't It Make You Feel Good until you called attention to it in Forgotten Hits. Cool tune. I also noticed that The Shadows had it out around the same time as well, but I liked The Overlanders version much better.   (Bill) >>>Another one that did much better here in Chi-Town than it did nationally ... #7 on The WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... but didn't even "bubble under" in Billboard, where their only chart hit was a cover version of the Chad and Jeremy hit "Yesterday's Gone".  (kk)  
True, "Don't It Make You Feel Good" never charted in Billboard, but it just missed the Cash Box Top 100, peaking at #101 during a 10-week run on CB's Looking Ahead chart. That was just one of the more than 3,000 records that were listed on the Looking Ahead chart, but never so much as bubbled under in Billboard. (I featured nearly 100 of those records from 1959 through 1969 on the July 23 four hour special edition of my Randy on the Radio Top Shelf Oldies show, archived at  
-– Randy Price  

Love Me For A Reason -- What great harmonies and lyrics!  I bought this one on a 45 because I thought it so beautiful and related to it completely.  That reminds me, I have one of Merrill Osmond's show gloves ... signed.  Wasn't he lead on this? 

Just a quick FYI ... Clark was right about FOR YOUR LOVE making it to number one here in OKC. It was for the week of June 24, 1965. Again, FYI, the #2 song was MR. TAMBOURINE MAN and #3 was LAURIE with the Pick Hit of the Week being  THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE by the Lettermen. 
Said song was number one for just one week being replaced by SATISFACTION the following week. 
Unlike you and some of your readers, I was familiar with Terry Black's tune out of 1964 UNLESS YOU CARE. It was on Tollie records as you know, with the flip being CAN'T WE GO SOMEWHERE. I just checked and it didn't make our local survey. However, I do have a copy of the record filed away here at home and really can't remember why I have a copy since it didn't chart locally here in OKC. Clark was right again about it being a Sloan / Barri song.  However, one needs a magnifying glass to make out their name on the label! 
Larry Neal   

And then ...   

I enjoyed the posting of THE OTHER RINGO. I have never heard it before.  It didn't make our survey here in OKC and I am going to assume that the singer(?), Larry Finnegan, is the same one who did DEAR ONE two years earlier. 
On WROK's survey, song position #3 by the Singing Cowboy ... this was a joke, correct? The Singing Dogs from years earlier on their Christmas tune did a better job than this. 
The Musicland Top 40 survey is one in which I have never really known a break-in type of record to make it to number one.  Probably the biggest break-in record here in OKC was Dickie Goodman's 1966 BATMAN'S GRANDMOTHER. It peaked at #15 in May of 1966 here in OKC. 
Going back to WROK's survey, both FIRE songs were also big here in OKC. The group Five by Five also had a big hit a year later in 1969 with the song APPLE CIDER here in OKC. 
Yes, Larry Finnegan is one and the same.  Here in Chicago that record topped out at #28.  (He hit #1 with "Dear One" a few years earlier.) 
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy record is for real ... I just can't believe it reached #3 ANYWHERE (other than on The Dr. Demento Request line!!!) 
Dickie Goodman's 1975 Break-In Hit "Mr. Jaws" topped the charts here in Chicago ... and several other cities as well.  (In fact, it hit #1 in Cash Box Magazine, too!!!)  I remember seeing the Gold Record on display at Cash Records many years ago when we laid down a few tracks there many moons ago!  Other than the very first "Flying Saucer" record from 1956, this is probably the biggest break-in hit ever ... in fact, based on 1975 sales vs. 1956 sales, it may be even bigger than the original. 
Several years ago Dickie's son tried to do a couple of contemporary break-in records but they went nowhere ... too bad, because they were recorded very much in the same vein as the ones his father made back in the day.  (The two that I'm aware of were based on the popular television series "The X-Files" ... Goodman always had a knack for coming up with something totally contemporary based on whatever was "trending" at the time. Since the demise of "The X-Files", David Duchovny has spent most of his time Californicating ... but every year or two we catch wind of yet another "reunion movie" pairing him Agent Scully in the talking stages one more time.  Personally, I've never seen a single episode ... but it was one of Frannie's favorites back in the day.)  Sadly, Jon Goodman's records never took off ... so, as such, I'm wondering how many of you may have heard this one. 
Here goes ...

Hey Kent, 
No offense, but your “Complete Profile” is incredibly weak – especially when compared to your website. 
Any chance of sharing more of your background? I have been a subscriber of Forgotten Hits for many years and always wondered what your background was. Your website has always been incredibly spot on and detailed. I would suspect you work full time on it.    
Believe it or not, no ... I'm lucky if I get 45 minutes to an hour each day to get the next piece ready.  (Sometimes I have a little more times on the weekend ... but it's gotten tougher and tougher as the work demands increase ... typically 55 - 65 hours per week for me ... and I ain't gettin' any younger!!!) ... plus still trying to maintain some quality of family time, too.  I am CONSTANTLY disappointed that I can't do more ... as there are SO many other places I'd like to take Forgotten Hits and I have SO many other ideas I wish I could devote time to.  As such, I'm often my own toughest critic because nearly everything falls short of my expectations in my own eyes.  Such is the true definition of "labor of love" I guess! 
My background is simply that I have ALWAYS been a fan ... and will always BE a fan first.  Forgotten Hits has afforded me the luxury of being able to hob-knob with some of my all-time heroes, which is great ... thanks to generous folks like Ron Onesti, owner of The Arcada Theatre, we're able to see more shows than we ever would be able to see if left to our own devices ... and thanks to the support and growing list of oldies music fans and radio deejays who still believe (and remember) how great radio was and can be, we've filled a void all too present out there in the real world. 
This music MATTERS to us ... it made a BIG difference in our lives ... and I believe it creates a common bond that unites us all.  We take a lot of flack for "living in the past" ... but what we're REALLY doing is CELEBRATING the past ... and allowing all of our followers to participate and share THEIR memories right alongside those of the guys who were there at the time making all of this great music ... and the deejays who are still allowed to program this great music to help keep the memories alive. 
That's what we do ... we joke that "We're Saving The Oldies ... One Song At A Time" ... but that's really been our goal and effort since Day One (which is now nearly fifteen years ago.)  I'm not an ex-radio guy (although I get asked quite often to appear on or consult or help program oldies radio shows, which I LOVE to do, especially "theme shows") ... I was a very avid record collector at one time and did all the record shows and advertised in Goldmine Magazine and Discoveries, running in effect a mail order oldies records business ... but that is now MANY years in the past (as are my days as a musician.)  Nearly everything that could be replaced by CD or digital downloads has been ... my record collection would pale in comparison to most of the folks on this list. 
Simply put ... I am a FAN ... have always been and will always be.  Forgotten Hits has become the "connector" for OTHER fans just like me to communicate and share their love and joy of this music with folks all over the world.  (Now how would I put all of THAT into my profile?!?!  lol) 
Thanks for your ongoing support ... I nearly wrapped this up about ten years ago ... man, look at all the cool stuff we would have all missed if I had!!!  (kk)