Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 11 - 16 - 14 )

re:  Revisionist Charts and Two-Sided Hits:  
Hi Kent!    
After reading your recent article on the Forgotten Hits blog, I decided to give you my two cents on revisionist history and double sided hits.  
On the subject of revisionist history, you can blame it easily on the youth of rewriting the music history books and their practical laziness to REALLY dig deep into music history. Most of them were probably born after 1970 or 1980 and only know music from their own generation and knowledge of music of the past comes from those critics who proclaimed Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s Trout Mask Replica (an LP that sold only 10,000+ copies and ignored for the most part by record buyers circa 1969) one the greatest LP’s ever. These critics are among those voting artists that don’t deserve entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while ignoring those artists that are a little more deserving (you can also add such criminally underrated bands as the Searchers, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Love to the list). By ignoring what John Q. Public was buying at the time, they’re ignoring the long term impacts these artists made. And by limiting themselves to post 4/4/1958 charts, they are ignoring the goldmine of classic records that were released before that period. And by just reading the bull manure that the elitist critics put out in such influential magazines as Rolling Stone and what some later-day “historians” who do a lot of shoddy research are putting out, they are continuing to push the misinformation that they’ve acquired on a public that doesn’t know any better.  And the so-called “oldies stations” that are controlled by corporate radio isn’t helping matters any either. It’s really up to people like you and sites like yours – not to mention Joel Whitburn’s excellent books for Billboard Publications and the earlier Guinness Books coverage of the British charts – for people to really discover the history and the music of the period. Not to mention listening to those two internet radio stations you’ve got me hooked on   (  and Rewound Radio  
Click here: Rewound Radio: It's not how old it is... It's how GOOD it is!!).  
As far as two sided hits goes, back in the Golden Era of AM radio, DJs had a little more leeway in promoting records. Even though most record labels of the period marked the side they wanted plugged on their promo records, some adventurous DJ’s flipped over the records and played the other side of the record if they thought it had some hit potential. The result was that a lot of b sides became regional hits as well as national hits. And the national hits came in large part because such magazines as Billboard and Cash Box factored radio play as well as record sales. The end result; double sided hit singles and - in some cases – some songs not becoming bigger hits than they were due to the split in airplay between the sides. And songwriters got slightly shafted by the royalty system in the USA at the time that paid royalties by the song rather by the record (unless the artists performing the songs happened to write them as well). It wasn’t until circa late 1968 - early 1969 that Billboard combined both sides of the single that were getting strong airplay to allow both tracks to share the same chart position. And that was due to the rising popularity of FM radio and development of Album Oriented Rock (AOR) formats. And when the labels released tracks from the LPs as singles, it was very likely that two tracks from the LP were on the 45 and both could become potential hits because of airplay of the LP on FM stations.  
That’s my two cents on those two subjects. Now I’ll just go back to listening to the cool stuff they’re playing on .  
Mr. Kelly Izaj of Pittsburgh, Pa.  
I know we reported last week (from Rich Appel's column in Billboard) that "House Of The Rising Sun" would now be the #1 Record of 1964 based on criteria today of familiarity, airplay, downloads, etc., but I'd have to challenge that one.  I can't think of more than about a dozen records that have been played to death the way "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison has ... radio has absolutely RUINED that song for me.  Likewise, anything other than "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison being #1 for 1967 wouldn't ring true for me either.  
WHY is radio so hell-bent on destroying the love we have for these songs?!?! And how on earth can the honestly believe that the public is better served by these non-stop repeats?!?!  I just don't get it.  (kk)   

According to Wikipedia, in the beginning Billboard listed both sides of a single as one entity. However, when the Hot 100 chart was created in 1958, they showed each side of the single separately, and did so until late 1969 when these were combined again as one entry. I know, it makes no sense to me, either. I believe the first singles to benefit from going back to the original methodology were "Down On The Corner / Fortunate Son" and "Come Together / Something." Hope this helps!
- Larry Cave
I still find it terribly misleading ... in my heart of hearts I cannot believe that there is a SINGLE music fan who went into the record store to buy "The Inner Light" instead of "Lady Madonna" ... or "For You Blue" instead of "The Long And Winding Road" for that matter ... "What Goes On" instead of "Nowhere Man" ... seriously, "What Goes On"?!?!?  
Other records benefited from the fact that both sides of the record were major hits ... "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" and "Travelin' Man" and "Hello Mary Lou" immediately come to mind .. but others were hampered by this craziness of both sides of the same record competing against each other on the charts ... as such, records that should have been MUCH bigger hits "leveled off" at a lower chart position due to this crazy philosophy.  (Case in point:  "Albert Flasher" vs. "Broken" by The Guess Who ... "Albert" should have been HUGE in my mind!)  kk UPDATE:  Burton Cummings told our readers the story behind "Albert Flasher" earlier this week ... scroll back to Monday's posting to read it in his own words!  And check back tomorrow to read our review of Burton's concert this past weekend at The Arcada Theatre!  (kk)  

Then again, if you remember how radio REALLY was back in the '60's and '70's, you'll probably want to take part in this very special countdown ...   

Hi Kent ...  
My name is Mike Riccio, and I'm the moderator of the Oldies Board (, an offshoot of the website. We've been around for nearly eight years and have over two million hits to the site.
I enjoy your site and have admired the work you've put into it for many years.
I'm currently conducting the 17th annual voting for people's "Top 77 Hits of All Time".
We usually get well over 2500 entries in the voting, but would like to get as much participation as possible.
Perhaps you could mention our efforts and post the link somewhere on your site to encourage people to participate?
Check out the link. The voting link is at the top of the page.
OldiesBoard.comThanks for any help with this.
ALWAYS happy to help promote ANYBODY who's doing their part to help keep this great music alive ... and this is certainly the case with your site.  Hop on over via the link above and vote for your favorites.  And Mike, please let us know when the final results will be posted and if there's going to be a special countdown on Rewound Radio as well.  (Hey, we'd be happy to post the final results here, too!) kk  
Hi Kent ...  
Thanks so much.   
I'm really looking to expand participation this year and I'm excited and grateful for your help.  
To answer your questions, the survey runs through early December, with the results being revealed both online and in an audio version, on Rewound Radio, live, beginning December 26.  
The original purpose of the survey when I started it 17 years ago was twofold:  
1) To determine a true and accurate compilation of oldies fans' favorite songs, with no bias towards a radio station format (where a program director edits the results to fit a format), year of the song, type of song, etc.  
2) To bring back that great feeling of the excitement of radio between Christmas and New Year's when the top hits of the year were played for the first time.  
We get votes for songs from everyone from Beethoven to Michael Bolton and beyond.  
On December 26, the results will be counted down in order from #77 to #1 starting at noon on Rewound Radio. It's turned into quite a popular and exciting week on both Rewound AND the board.  
The board is an offshoot of the website in remembrance of WABC radio. It came about in 2006 when the New York Radio Message Board was inundated with comments about the demise of WCBS-FM as an oldies station, switching at the time to "Jack" radio.  
CBS-FM dj Bob Shannon originally hosted the board, but he could not handle it with all its demands so about a year or so later, it morphed into a board strictly devoted to Oldies.  
Here's the link to the board:  
Here's the link that leads to the voting page:  
Again, I can't thank you enough. Voting will be ongoing until early December and it's terrific if people can be reminded to vote between now and then.  I can only hope you help bring as much participation to this as you have to some of your great polls.  
We'll do our best.  
Hop on over via the links above and vote for your favorites ... and then be sure to tune in on the Day After Christmas to hear all the results.  (I know I will!!!)  Thanks, Mike!  (kk)  
Click here: Rewound Radio: It's not how old it is... It's how GOOD it is!!
re:  The Saturday Surveys:  
To start off, Mickey Lee Lane's SHAGGY DOG was one of those records that not only made it to #1 here in OKC, but it seemed to last, almost forever, on the survey. AIN'T THAT LOVIN' YOU BABY also was big earlier by J.J. Cale in 1960 as well as the version by Jimmy Reed. THE RACE IS ON by George Jones peaked at #2, I believe, if memory serves me right.  Practically every record Nat King Cole recorded made our survey with most at least top 20 hits.  
The pictures of the KOMA GOOD GUYS at the bottom of the survey shows one Jim Bowman, Jr. He later went to work at KOMA's cross-town rival WKY and eventually did a two man show with Terry McGrew on weeknights from 7 pm - 12 midnight. It was called the "Gooseberry Show".  
Finally, Wolfman Jack's I AIN'T NEVER SEEN A WHITE MAN peaked at #16 here in OKC. This was through the courtesy of Wooden NIckel records. You asked the question, rhetorical or not, what in the hell is that record about? I could probably guess, but I'm not a philosopher or anything like that. I just now have listened to it twice but will not guess.  
Larry Neal   

Hey Kent,
Just saw the 1972 song list from KRCB you posted. It was sort of a pop music - alternative station in its day and, as you said, did its own thing. They had a great morning personality named Bob Wallace, who would play cuts from comedy albums, along with top-40 hits, and crazy back-talk on his cart machines. The station also featured local artists trying to make it in the pop music world. One of them was Tommy Mancuso (not Maruso). He sat right next to me in an Intro to Theatre class in college. At the time, he didn't know if he wanted to be a singer or an actor. Not long after that, he had a nightclub act. His "band" consisted of him on guitar and vocals and a drummer. I was surprised to hear KRCB playing his "Oh, What a Lovely Day" a lot, because the record had a poor mix to it. I ran into Mancuso about a year ago at a club, and didn't recognize him. (We do get old, don't we?) He sounded like he wanted to get back into the music business again.
- John LaPuzza  

re:  50 Years Ago This Weekend:  
50 years since "Do Wah Diddy" ... I can hardly believe it ... Yikes!  
Seems like a couple of lifetimes ago. And in another way it seems like yesterday. You know the feeling.   
I think we've ALL come to know the feeling!  (lol)  Still holds up today in my book ... I hear pre-teen kids still singing this song all the time ... timeless music that spans ALL generations.  (kk)   

>>>That's EIGHT of the Top 17 songs ... or nearly 50% of the chart ... held down by British artists.  (Guess this thing wasn't waning any time soon here in Chi-Town!)  kk  
I don't think ANY other city in America loved the British Invasion as much as Chicago.  In early 64, Ron Riley's British Billboard show started playing Sunday nights at 8 PM counting down the UK top 10 plus extras and stories of the bands.  For a bit, he could not even GET the whole top 10, but he hooked up with a UK DJ and between them, he would often give a brief interview before number one to hear what was new going on in UK music and then play #1.  That also allowed a connection to get UK Brit pressings of unreleased Beatles albums, etc.  Soon, WCFL would take them on with Ron Britain's British Countdown.  The other DJs would just add songs by these acts too, as word spread of these bands.  These shows were how I was able to hear and record Brit songs that TRUE fans could grab and go out and buy, even if they never made the WLS / CFL charts.  I have Riley playing MANY tunes such as "My Mind's Eye" by Small Faces or "I'm a Boy" by the Who or "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" by Jimi Hendrix ... or Art Roberts playing "Never Met a Girl Like You Before" by the Kinks and "If I Needed Someone" by the Hollies.  The Hollies song would be a 45 cover of George Harrison's song that COULD have been where the Shames first heard the track, altho it is more likely that the Fabs version was played early via a UK LP and the Shames caught that instead.   
It was a great time to hear new music every night -- even on these BIG market stations!  
Clark Besch    

re:  Jamestown Massacre:  
Hey Kent -  
A little follow up on the Jamestown Massacre.  
My old friend Jeff Quinn was also in the band on keyboards ... not sure how he got missed. He's a current Facebook Friend and he still plays all over the Chicago burbs.  
The band sort of reunited about ten years ago and they were playing in the area quite a bit until a few years ago when they disbanded again. And I think they had shortened the name to just Jamestown.  
And their tune Summer Sun was apparently a huge hit in Japan back in the day.
We’ll see ya on the flip side!  
Dean Milano  
Author - Chicago Music Scene: 1960s & 1970s.  
Available at my website:   

Please add my name to the list of people you have played "Summer Sun" for and loved it. I had never heard it before but I will add it to my Youtube playlist ... really good song.  

I agree that "Summer Sun" is an excellent single.  I heard it during the summer of '72 while working at Phantom Lake YMCA Camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, so it must have received decent airplay from WCFL.  Not sure if WOKY in Milwaukee picked it up.  
Riley Cooper  
Virginia now, Wisconsin in the day

re:  This And That:  
>>>Darlene Love??? How many tunes did she sing for the Ronettes that people in fact believe were sung by Ronnie?  (Chet Coppock)  
None that I can think of, but I can name a few "Crystals" songs on which Darlene sang lead.  

>>>Yesterday was Peter Noone's birthday!  (Happy 67th Peter!!!)  It was also Art Garfunkel's 73rd birthday!!!  (kk)      
And it was Gram Parsons' 68th Birthday!  
David Lewis  
Well, you can add Singing Cowboy Roy Rogers, Canadian Rocker Bryan Adams and wife-beater Ike Turner to that list, too!  (kk)   

Rock Cellar Magazine just issued a first class profile on the original voice of Styx, Dennis DeYoung, whose voice is still fully intact all these years later.    Here’s the feature story:   
-- Tom Cuddy   

It's the equivalent of one of his songs being played every hour ... every day ... every year ... for TWELVE straight years!!!  
TOMMY ROE is a classic American rock pop legend ...  
(904) 806 - 0817  
Hey Rick -  
I just did the math on this one ... and it's even more incredible than you think ... at an average song length of 3:00 per song, this is the equivalent of BOTH songs being played back-to-back, non-stop for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year ... for 23 consecutive years!!! 
Don't sell Tommy short, man!  (lol)  Unfrickinbelievable!!!  
Congratulations, Tommy!  (We've just got to get him a show here in Chicago!)  kk

And this from Tommy ...   

Thanks Kent ...
I am very proud of these awards, and even after all these years in the music business, it feels fantastic to be recognized and appreciated for my efforts as a song writer. I never take the gift for granted.
Hope all is well on your end.  I know it’s mighty cold in Chi town right now, but I’m sure you’re used to it.
Have a wonderful holiday season.

One of my favorite little records in late 1969 - early 1970 was "Tell Me" by Jimmy Clanton.  It is a catchy tune with a pretty cool short story about a group of friends parting ways.  If you haven't featured it yet, I think it merits inclusion.   
I'd send along an mp3 track, but my technological expertise with records more or less starts and ends with the turntable!  I do have the 45, so I can figure it out if a track is desired (well, my son can figure it out)."Go Go Radio Moscow" is another forgotten oldie worth pursuing due to its reflection of the Cold War state of affairs in the 60's and due to its humor and use of current tunes in 1967 (I think).  Nikita the K is the credited artist. 
Riley Cooper
Virginia now, Wisconsin in the day  
No need to bother, Riley ... the ever-reliable Tom Diehl came thru with an MP3 of the Jimmy Clanton song so we can all enjoy it here today.  This one never made the charts so I was not familiar with it at all ... nor do I know the "Go Go Radio Moscow" piece you refer to above.  Is this a break-in record (ala Dickie Goodman?)  I know Dickie did "Russian Bandstand" (as Spencer and Spencer in 1959) and also did something called "Radio Russia", too.  Would love to hear the Nikita the K track if anybody has it.  (kk)  
UPDATE:  I just found this in Joel Whitburn's book ... Nikita the K was Ed Labunski, a jingles writer from Buffalo, New York.  His record "Go Go Radio Moscow" featured parodies of "Tell It To The Rain" by The Four Seasons, "Georgy Girl" by The Seekers and "We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet" by The Blues Magoos, all tracks from 1967, which is when this single was released.  It "bubbled under" in Billboard for three weeks, peaking at #105.  Anybody got a copy to share?  (kk)

To commemorate Record Store Day’s vinylcentric Back to Black Friday event, Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., in conjunction with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings, is releasing Hear My Music, a set of rare Jimi Hendrix studio recordings under the Dagger Records imprint. It’s an impressive double LP package, pressed on 200 gram audiophile vinyl by Quality Record Manufacturing and part of the Dagger Records series, Hendrix’s official ‘bootleg’ label.     
Hear My Music is a unique collection of instrumental recordings that reveal some of the creative explorations Jimi Hendrix was undertaking throughout the first half of 1969. While these recordings were not originally intended for release in their present state, they shine further light on the artist’s creative development and unending quest for new musical challenges. The diversity of the recordings — from solo demos to group efforts with the Jimi Hendrix Experience to free form jam sessions — make clear Hendrix’s sheer love of playing music and interacting with fellow musicians in every setting.  
The insightful 11 track release features “Slow Version,” “Ezy Ryder/Star Spangled Banner,” “Jam 292,” “Trash Man,” Message To Love,” “Gypsy Blood,” two versions of “Valleys Of Neptune” including a solo electric guitar rendition and Jimi alone at the piano, “Blues Jam At Olympic,” plus the original unedited versions of “Drone Blue” and “Jimi / Jimmy Jam” from the long out-of-print 1980 release Nine To The UniverseHear My Music marks the first time these recordings have ever been released in their original unedited format.   
Dagger Records was established by Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. in 1998 specifically to release ‘bootleg’ recordings which further detail Jimi’s illustrious legacy. Dagger releases are normally not available in brick and mortar record stores, as all other titles are sold online via Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. is a major supporter of vinyl releases and the bi-annual Record Store Day celebrations.  Other releases in the Dagger catalog include Live In CologneLive At WoburnLive In Paris & Ottawa 1968Burning DesireLive At The Isle of FehmarnParis 1967/San Francisco 1968, Baggy’s Rehearsal SessionsLive In OttawaMorning Symphony IdeasLive At Clark University and Live At The Oakland Coliseum.  
-- submitted by Bob Merlis    

And, speaking of Jimi Hendrix, check out this Jimi Birthday Party Bash they've got planned for New York City later this month! 

Speaking of unreleased gems, if you're a fan of Beatles outtakes, bootlegs and the like, you'll find this article (about the long-proposed "Sessions" album) quite interesting and enlightening ... a blog discussion about all the different configurations that were being considered to release this album that (at best) finally saw the light of day (in small fragments anyway) as part of The Beatles Anthology Series.  
Check out this article sent in by FH Reader Dave Barry:  
Click here: WogBlog: The "Sessions" LP
And one more bit of news for all the "Todd Fans" out there ...    

Todd Rundgren At The BBC Four-Disc Collection To Be Released By Esoteric Recordings – October 27, 2014
An extensive 4 disc clamshell boxed set featuring 3CDs & a DVD (NTSC Region Free) featuring all of Todd Rundgren’s BBC radio & television performances between 1972 & 1982!
London, UK – Todd Rundgren fans rejoice! Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the first ever official release of TODD RUNDGREN AT THE BBC. This four-disc collection comprises three CDs and a DVD (NTSC / Region Free) featuring all of the surviving radio and television broadcasts in the BBC archive transmitted on radio and television in the UK between 1972 and 1982. The set features on CD Todd’s solo 1972 BBC Radio One “In Concert” performance, recorded soon after the release of his seminal album “Something Anything”, the classic 1975 performance by Todd Rundgren and Utopia at Hammersmith Odeon, London, (including a previously unreleased track “Something’s Coming”) – on the first ever UK concert tour of Todd Rundgren and Utopia, a 1977 performance at the Oxford Polytechnic by Todd Rundgren and Utopia (promoting the “Ra” album), and a DVD featuring three different performances for the classic “Old Grey Whistle Test” series; the 1975 Todd Rundgren and Utopia session, a film of Todd Rundgren & Utopia at the Bearsville Picnic in 1977 (performing “Singring and the Glass Guitar”) and the entire recordings made for a 1982 solo Todd Rundgren Whistle Test special (including two songs not featured on the original TV broadcast).
This set is sure to delight the legions of Todd Rundgren fans and is a superb document of Todd’s continuing development as both a solo artist and with his band Utopia between 1972 and 1982.
“Todd Rundgren at the BBC” has been remastered and authored from the original BBC masters and is presented in a clamshell box with a booklet featuring a new essay.
*An extensive 4 disc clamshell boxed set featuring 3CDs & a DVD (NTSC Region Free)
*Featuring all of Todd Rundgren’s BBC radio & television performances between 1972 & 1982
*With 30 previously unreleased tracks on CD & DVD including two never broadcast songs from Todd's 1982 Old Grey Whistle Test special
*Remastered from the original BBC master tapes
*Includes illustrated booklet
CD Disc 1
Todd Rundgren:  1. I Saw the Light; 2. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference; 3. Piss Aaron; 4. Hello It’s Me; 5. Be Nice to Me; 6. Black Maria
BBC Radio One “In Concert” - Recorded at the Paris Theatre, London 6th July 1972 - First broadcast 15th July 1972
Todd Rundgren & Utopia:  7. Real Man; 8. The Seven Rays
The Old Grey Whistle Test – 14th October 1975
CD Disc 2
Todd Rundgren & Utopia:  1. Freedom Fighters; 2. Mister Triskets; 3. Something’s Coming; 4. The Last Ride; 5. Sunset Boulevard / Le Feel Internacionale; 6. Heavy Metal Kids; 7. The Wheel; 8. Open My Eyes; 9. Sons of 1984; 10. Do Ya; 11. Couldn’t I Just Tell You
Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, 9th October 1975 - First broadcast on BBC Radio One on 1st January 1976
CD Disc 3
Todd Rundgren & Utopia:  1. Communion with the Sun; 2. Love of the Common Man; 3. Sunburst Finish; 4. Jealousy; 5. Windows; 6. Singring and the Glass Guitar; 7. Utopia Theme;
Recorded at Oxford Polytechnic, 25th January 1977 - for BBC Radio One
DVD Disc 4 - NTSC /Region Free
Todd Rundgren & Utopia:  1. Real Man; 2. The Seven Rays
The Old Grey Whistle Test – 14th October 1975
Todd Rundgren & Utopia:  3. Bearsville Picnic - Featuring “Singring and the Glass Guitar”
The Old Grey Whistle Test – 2nd May 1978
Todd Rundgren:  4. Love of the Common Man; 5. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference; 6. Too Far Gone; 7. Can We Still Be Friends; 8. The Song of the Viking; 9. Compassion; 10. Lysistrata; 11. Tiny Demons; 12. Time Heals (promotional video); 13. One World; 14. A Dream Goes on Forever
The Old Grey Whistle Test – 3rd June 1982
To purchase Todd Rundgren At The BBC:

And this just in ...
BREAKING NEWS: Peter Tork will be joining Micky Dolenz at the November 17 Rockers On Broadway Event!!!  

This Led Zeppelin reunion story got quite a bit of press last week ... even if it turns out that a good portion of this story isn't true!  (kk)  
Kent ...  
I would have accepted this offer.  How about you?  
Frank B.  
The lone hold-out seems to be Robert Plant.  (Maybe he thinks he can earn even bigger bucks by joining ABBA for their reunion???)  kk

re:  Exile:  
Thanks for the great review of Exile.  As you said, even though they are considered an overnight success and one-hit wonder, they go back 15 years before "Kiss You All Over."  Back in the late 60s I had the privilege of playing keyboard for a group - The Delegation - that regularly opened for The Exiles in the Lexington, KY area.  Let me tell you, The Exiles were a class act!  In the early 70s they even worked with Tommy James, and had a few regional hits, but never hit the Hot 100 until "Kiss You All Over," and then becoming a big country sensation.    
Dan Crabtree
Wheaton, IL
The Exiles (as they were known then) placed ONE song on Billboard's Pop Singles Chart ... it dates all the way back to 1970 when they covered a Tommy James track "Church St. Soul Revival".  It charted for three weeks and "bubbled under" at #104.  It's hard to believe, but by that point they had already been performing for seven years ... and were still another EIGHT YEARS away from their national break-through hit!  ("Overnight success indeed!)
One of the things they mentioned in concert the other night was how proud they were of the fact that they had recently been inducted into The Kentucky Music Hall Of Fame ... these boys are VERY proud Kentuckians ... they built their career there.
I honestly looked at them as being the opening act as the "sugar on top" ... never dreamed they'd blow away both B.J. Thomas and Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Review ... but they did!  (kk)   

Very interesting background on the group Exile.  I, too, followed their country career ... never cared much for Kiss You All Over ... I've seen the group perform several times in the past ... and from the sounds of your excellent review, they haven't lost a step!

Hi Kent, 
Thanks for the review of Exile. For some reason I didn't like Kiss You All Over when it came out. Still don't, but when they went country in the 80's they were great IMNO.  
I wonder if the reason their version of Heart and Soul didn't work for them is because it didn't even sound like the same band? The style wasn't even remotely like Kiss You All Over either. Great version, though, and I'd love to hear that album now. 

re:  B.J. Thomas:  
I have seen BJ Thomas twice, but not in the last 15 years.  Back then, his voice was also incredible and he did a few songs by other artists.  In fact, he sang "That's What Friends Are For" (HIS song, not the Dionne Warwick song), which was a real obscurity trip in which he mentioned that he wished WE had bought it, so it would have been a hit.  He was funny and sounded great both times.
Funny you should mention his back up band being sparse on backing him.  In 1964, when he was touring the Midwest, my friend Bruce Watson of Lincoln's Coachmen played on the same stage as BJ.  Apparently, BJ came up to the band and asked if they would like to back him up -- for free.  They looked at him and said NO.  He was an unknown at the time.  Funny story,  In 1965, the Coachmen DID play backup in Omaha for Brenda Lee!  
Clark Besch 
B.J.'s band was certainly competent enough ... they did a good job of backing him up. (I think he said that one of the band members had been with him for something like 40 years!)  And B.J. was in fine voice as well.  They just could have used a little help covering the background vocals on "Rock And Roll Lullaby", a song SO rich in vocals that it came off a little limp.  That being said, B.J. himself did some OUTSTANDING falsetto on this tune.  Back at the time many people believed Thomas had recruited The Beach Boys to sing back-up for him on this track ... it had that Duane Eddy guitar sound, too, so this song REALLY stood out from the pack when it first starting airing back in early 1972.  Truth is, that WAS Duane Eddy on guitar, making his most-distinctive sound ... but the background vocals were really handled by The Blossoms along with Dave Somerville of The Diamonds.  B.J. paid compliments to all of the above when he performed the song in St. Charles last weekend.  (kk)   

re:  The Temptations:
This may sound like the meanderings of a cat stuck in a time warp, but this 66 year old music crazy kid had the pleasure of seeing the original "Temps" at the old Regal Theater, the Chicago Coliseum, the Hammond Civic Center and, believe it or not, Northwestern University.
There is nothing about the genius of Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Otis Williams, etc., I can say that hasn't already been documented. The group's phenomenal harmonies and unmatched choreography backed by the "Funk Brothers" studio band truly made the group and Motown, "The Sound of Young America."The Temp's "Getting Ready" album remains, in my opinion, one of the 15 - 20 greatest collections of tracks music has ever seen.I was diggin' Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Ernie K. Doe when I was just a youngster. By '64 I had moved on to James Brown and would soon fall in love with Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave and Otis Redding. And, just to cover all bets, by '67 I was nuts about the blue eyed rage of Wayne Cochran.However, the Temps truly made Coppock a blue eyed soul brother, a guy who had the dial locked on WLS and  Super 'CFL but ... also had "the lucky 1450 spot", WVON, up and rolling about four hours a day.  Jeez, I used to buy suits at Smoky Joe's just to look like the Temps ... nothing said soul like lime green or bright purple. I truly admire Dennis Edwards ... however, I wouldn't want to see the Temps as they're composed today. I saw the originals. I saw David sing "My Girl." I saw Eddie smile through, "Get Ready." I still wonder why deep cuts like "Fading Away" and "Ordinary Girl" were never released for the group  by Berry Gordy.
As you know, by 1970, the Temptations had begun to fracture. David went solo as did Eddie, the group's two home run hitters. I did see the two of them at the Holiday Star about 20 years ago jam their hits with four back up singers ... it just wasn't the same. Ruffin appeared so painfully gaunt that you wondered what was holding him up. Hell yes, the house thought it was looking at a guy ravaged by blow.I wish all the FH regulars could have seen the group in its original form. They were to music what Michael was to hoops, Gale Sayers was to football or Michelangelo to the canvas.No group ever had a greater impact on a young punk from Northfield, Illinois.Chet CoppockHost: Chicago Blackhawks Heritage Series
Author: Chet Coppock: Laying it on the Line

First of all, it's Otis Williams, not Wilson. Agreed that the Temptations movie is something that's rewatchable. I was fortunate to see the Temptations reunion concert back in 1982, when all but Paul Williams were still alive. Sharing the bill was the Four Tops, when all were still alive. After seeing your review, I'm glad I went when I did. Even though I've made mention on these pages that you gotta see some of these guys while you still have the chance, I, too, have seen a few shows where you just have to scratch your head and think who decided on this presentation? Sadly, it appears my concert going days are done as it's difficult to make a 200 mile round trip to St. Louis to see any major act. 
Sorry to nitpick, but the founder of the Temptations is Otis WILLIAMS, not Otis Wilson.
My bad on Otis Williams ... had to be a subliminal thing ... I just finished Chet Coppock's book in which he talks quite a bit about the Super Bowl Bears!!!  And Blogger has given me SO many problems again this week that I was unable to fix it!  (I've have tried to go in and make just this once simple correction and it will not let me edit my piece, meaning it'll probably be wrong for all eternity!)  It was difficult enough trying to get this piece to post ... I had to redo the entire review from scratch after Blogger TWICE erased / deleted my previously saved posts! 
Meanwhile we had MORE problems with Blogger on Friday ... check out our "50 Years Ago This Weekend" piece and you'll see that the font changes (and almost disappears) at the end. I fixed and resaved that piece at least a dozen times and no matter what I did, it still defaulted to this mystery mini-font instead!  VERY aggravating and annoying! 
I wish I could have seen them back in the day ... but quite honestly I know I wouldn't have gone as I wasn't a fan at the time ... I reasoning to catch this particular show was because A) I didn't want to wait until there were NO "real" Temptations left and at least this configuration offered up the guy who sang lead on several of their biggest hits and B) because I've been DYING to check out The Genesee Theatre ... and the 80 minute drive to get there was WELL worth the effort ... man, what a BEAUTIFUL place!  (It wasn't 200 miles round trip ... nor is Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana ... but we DO try to get out there at least a couple of times a year.)  I swear I've been to more concerts in the past two years than I have in the last ten years combined!  In fact, I think I'm going to go all "People Magazine" on you guys at the end of the year and list my Top Ten Favorite Concert Experiences for 2014 come year end.  (kk)   

I am sure you will hear this from a few people, but “Dennis Edwards and the Temptations Review” are NOT the group appearing on Broadway with the Four Tops.  The group appearing will be the LEGAL, REAL Temptations, with Otis Williams, Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, plus their tremendous lead singer, Bruce Williamson.   You should try to check them out sometime, as they are tremendous performers, and the true legacy to the original Temptations.
Bill Engel 
I had a feeling that this may be the case when I couldn't find Broadway on the tour itinerary for Dennis Edwards' group.  Even MORE amazing was the fact that I couldn't find ANY listing for the Otis Williams version at all!!!  I wanted to list play dates for both acts but couldn't find a thing on Otis, as to whether or not he was even still performing at all.  (If you think that sounds ridiculous, try THIS one on for size ... while doing that search, I found TWO headlines announcing the passing of Otis Williams when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth!!!)  kk   

re:  America:  
Here's a tease before your America concert. 
Tom Cuddy  
America sold out The Arcada Theatre for what I believe is the third time in a row ... they ALWAYS do well here in Chicago.  (A little more surprising this time, perhaps, because they just played to THOUSANDS of people for free at one of the Elk Grover Summer Concert Series.)  Always a good show ... I've lost count of how many times I've seen them ... but I'll bet it's over a dozen, dating all the way back to 1972.   

Speaking of which ...  

Seeing America again would be great. I hope this weekend's concert is grand. I attended this concert at Western Kentucky University on Nov 7, 1974. Someone else took this photo, though. And the following night, 11/8, I went on my first date with the girl who's still hanging out with me 40 years later. 
David Lewis
I was fortunate enough to see America a couple of times back in '72 ... first as the opening act for Neil Sedaka and then, a few months later, as headliners backed up by England Dan and John Ford Coley.  I've probably seen them another 10-12 times since then ... always a good show.   (I was there for their Soundstage taping a few years ago, too, and now have the dvd of that performance as a memory milestone.)  
We've seen them paired with everyone from John Sebastian to Jethro Tull!!! (I guess their music crosses all musical borders!)  
Unfortunately at the last minute we had to beg off on Saturday Night's show at The Arcada .. hated to miss it as this was their third sold-out performance in a row at The Arcada.  Without even being there, I just know it was a great night of musical entertainment.  (kk)

re:  The Local List:  
We've just started a brand new list for Forgotten Hits Readers who live in the Chicagoland area ... 
We'll keep you updated on all the great upcoming oldies shows ... and even pass along some discount and free ticket offers from time to time. 
Sound interesting?  Then get on the list!  Just shoot me an email at and put the word LOCAL in the subject line ... and we'll make sure to keep you up to date on all the latest oldies happenings in and around Chicago!  (kk)

I would definitely like to join the LOCAL LIST. I love Forgotten Hits and look forward to reading it every day. Recently Stu Shea wrote a blog about a group called The Monteras which I was a member of. I have seen the blog mentioned several time in Forgotten Hits. 
Thanks for keeping that great music alive! 
Joe Malin   

Although my wife's from Palatine, I'm afraid I don't live close enough to Chicago to make your Local List.   However, if you later make up a Loco List -- 
Gary Theroux   

re:  Diggin' Forgotten Hits:
Hi Kent -
I am amazed at the depth of your output.  You are such a well informed, dedicated guy and I am delighted to be a disciple of yours!!BTW -- on my radio show next week -- the most decorated drummer in history -- February, 1968, was playing drums on nine Grammy awards winners in one night ...
from the Wrecking Crew, the wonderful ... Hal Blaine! 
Geoff Dorsett
Radio Presenter

re:  And, Speaking Of The Wrecking Crew ...  
We got word last week that Denny Tedesco has FINALLY found a distributor for his AMAZING documentary "The Wrecking Crew".  Sounds like the film will do a brief run in theaters and then be released on DVD for all to own and enjoy.  

Magnolia Acquires Wrecking Crew Doc
imgHollywood, CA (November 7, 2014) — Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “The Wrecking Crew,” a documentary film directed by Denny Tedesco about the L.A. session musicians behind some of the biggest hit records of the 1960s and early ‘70s.
The uncredited and anonymous musicians of the Wrecking Crew were behind hits by the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, the Righteous Brothers, Elvis Presley and numerous others, and were Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. Many of the musicians went on to become major artists in their own right, including Glen Campbell, Dr. John and Leon Russell. Those interviewed in the film include Tommy Tedesco (father of filmmaker Denny), drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Carol Kaye and sax player Plas Johnson.
Tedesco began the project in 1996, working against time to capture the reminiscences of his father, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was completed in February 2008 and premiered at SXSW the following month. It played the North American film festival circuit for several years before Tedesco launched a Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $300,000 to cover the licensing fee for the more than 100 songs used in the film and final production costs.
“Music lovers will be astonished at the breadth of influence the Wrecking Crew wielded over rock and pop music from the ‘60s,” said Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia, in a statement. “Their story is key to understanding how some of the most important music of that time was created, and Denny Tedesco has made a fascinating and highly entertaining film that will be stuck in your head for a very long time.”
Magnolia Pictures is reportedly planning a theatrical release for the first quarter of 2015.
Magnolia Pictures   
-- submitted by Ken Voss

I asked Denny about the DVD release as these were promised to all of those who contributed to his Kickstarter campaign to run raise the funds to pay the massive royalties involved with leasing all of this great music.  We've heard from some of the folks involved who made contributions but still haven't received their DVD copy yet.      

Here's what he told me:   

I grossly underestimated the time it would take to have all the paperwork cleared to be able to release the film.  I look back and realize I was an idiot to pick June / July.  Even with the money we received, we knew we still needed to raise more for the few more songs, stock footage, and the last edit.  
We also knew we needed to have a theatrical release so that it would be able to create a buzz as well as being covered in national press.  This would give the film a fighting chance to get to a wider audience around the world. 
We approached Magnolia pictures over the years but like all other distributors they stayed away until the music was cleared.   Finally after 18 years, we have a partner and Magnolia Pictures will be distributing the film.  They will be doing a small theatrical run with VOD at the same time and then it will be released on DVD.   
The goal is to release the theatrical in March.   
Until then I will keep spreading the word and hopefully when it comes out, it will be a smash hit.  The more success we have on the first weekend will determine how much Magnolia and the other parties will push for the film. 
I will personally be sending out the DVDs to the Kickstarter supporters. 
Denny Tedesco  
Lunch Box Entertainment  
"The Wrecking Crew" 
Photo of Denny and I at the Arcada screening earlier this year

Our British FH Buddy Geoff Dorsett sent us links to listen to his recent interviews with Denny Tedesco and Kent Hartman, author of the book on The Wrecking Crew.  Geoff has Drummer extraordinare Hal Blaine coming up on his show this week, too ... fans of The Wrecking Crew will definitely want to check these out: 

You'll also want to check out the Fall Edition of "Endless Summer Quarterly" as Publisher David Beard dissects The Beach Boys' appearance on "The T.A.M.I. Show" with exclusive interviews with Mike Love, Al Jardine and Dean Torrence.  Read all about it here:

re:  Tommy James:
We certainly have been giving Tommy James the spotlight treatment here in Forgotten Hits of late ... and don't think it didn't go unnoticed ... Tommy just sent us some autographed copies of his Christmas LP ... ON VINYL no less ... to give away to some of our Forgotten Hits Readers!!!
Be sure to check Forgotten Hits next week when we run a short Tommy James trivia contest.  (Tommy also sent a few unsigned CD copies of the album as well ... so please note your preference when responding ... vinyl or CD.)  We'll gather up all of the correct answers and make a list (and check it twice) and then award all of these prizes in plenty of time for you to enjoy before the holidays!!!  (kk)
Speaking of Tommy James, it sounds like three of the original Shondells are getting back together to do some shows next year (without Tommy) ... and by "original" I mean the group he quickly put together after "Hanky Panky" became a major smash in the Pittsburgh area.

FH Reader Tom Cuddy sends us this scoop ...    

re:  Quote Of The Week:   
On one of several other internet website forums I frequent, the following comment sums it all up:"Rock & Roll is like candy:  To truly enjoy it to the fullest, you first must get rid of the rappers."Genius!BTW, The Vinyl Arkhives plays ALL the music from the first 25 years of Rock & Roll (no rappings to be found), this Wednesday (and every other Wednesday) from 9 PM - Midnight MST, at  
Tim Kubat