Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday This And That

re:  The Little River Band:
Got this email from at least a dozen Forgotten Hits Readers yesterday ... they all remember when we broke the story about the current line-up of The Little River Band a few months back ...
Now Vintage Vinyl News reports ...
Jimmy Fallon Books the Non-Original Little River Band
by Paul Cashmere, Noise11  

Whoever books the talent for the Jimmy Fallon show didn’t do his or her research. The non-original Little River Band has been booked on the show to celebrate 40 years of a band that hasn’t had an original member in decades.
The last man out of the original line-up was drummer Derek Pellicci in 1997. Current owner of the name Steve Housden joined in 1981.
Under Housden’s command Little River Band have not had a hit album or single except for his co-write with Graeham Goble of Little River Band’s last hit song was 1988’s Love Is A Bridge sung by founding member Glenn Shorrock and featuring founders Goble and Derek Pellicci still in the band.
Little River Band has never had a hit record without a founding member.
Jimmy Fallon has basically booked a “covers” band to come on and talk and play about a history they were not part of for January 12.
The original Little River Band, featuring Glenn Shorrock, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles, Derek Pellicci and David Briggs are inductees of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.

The founding members of Little River Band had bonafide Top 40 hits in America with It’s a Long Way There, Help Is On Its Way, Happy Anniversary, Reminiscing, Lady, Lonesome Loser, Cool Change, The Night Owls, Take It Easy On Me, Man On Your Mind, The Other Guy and We Two.
In the late 70s, early 80s, the original Little River Band rivalled the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac in the USA. Nelson’s current line-up had nothing to do with the legacy.
Night Owls (sung by Wayne Nelson) was written by Goble.
There are no Australians in the current line-up of LRB and have not been since Derek Pellicci left. It is true that Wayne Nelson legally owns the name and has done everything he can legally do to stop the founding members referring to their legacy. The fact is Wayne Nelson may own a brand name but he will never own the heritage of Little River Band.
Jimmy Fallon will be showcasing a line-up that has never had a hit but legally owns a brand name. That is pretty poor programming Jimmy Fallon.

Boy, if I received a dozen emails on this I can only imagine how many THOUSANDS of emails Jimmy Fallon must have received!  (lol)  January 12th is till a week away ... don't be at all surprised if this scheduled appearance mysteriously falls through the cracks.  (How do you go on national tv and talk about your 40th anniversary as a band when, in fact, NOBODY in this band was there at the beginning ... nobody contributed to their long-standing legacy ... and NOBODY has 40 years of memories to share?!?!)
Our piece became quite controversial at the time ... this should only help to fuel the fire.  (kk)
re:  The 50 Year Flashback:
>>>Will you still be doing the Saturday Surveys feature?  It’s hugely popular with a group of record geek friends of mine.   (Bob Merlis)
>>>I've revamped it for 2015 ... this year we'll only be featuring one chart per week from exactly 50 years ago ... we're calling it The 50 Year Flashback!  It'll run every Monday in 2015.  It's funny because what I found last year was that The Saturday Surveys had a VERY limited (but VERY loyal and faithful) audience ... but it was also a TREMENDOUS amount of work to put together every week.
Had the response been better overall, I might have kept it going ... but I'm hoping the one chart a week will still keep the faithful interested (and make my workload a WHOLE lot easier!!!  Lol)  kk
OK, I got it ... but we know that we had big fun talking about obscure ’50s and ‘70s non-hits as well as those from 50 years ago.  At any rate, can’t thank you enough for doing all you do.
In today's FH, you asked the question "What is it with all the apostrophes on the WLS survey".
Kent, you mean you don't remember that group from the sixties? I believe they recorded for the ? record label with the lead singer being ! from parts unknown. LOL
You're right ... I vaguely remember now ... Whats on third!  lol  (kk)
Ever notice that as a young music fan you are first attracted to the SOUND of a record?  The meaning of the lyrics are secondary because they deal with experiences you have not yet had -- nor fully understand.  It's only later -- sometimes years later -- that you hear that song again, pay close attention to the words and suddenly realize, "So THATS what that song is all about."
Until I saw that January 1965 WLS Silver Dollar Survey I had never heard of the Eddie Albert single "Fall Away" -- which,  due to airplay on The Big 89 and a handful of smaller stations, managed to chart -- but just barely -- in Billboard.  (It bubbled under for three weeks in January 1965, cresting at only #119.).  Curious, I looked it up on You Tube and there is was, complete with a lot of surface noise and its last few seconds clipped off.  But what a record.
I didn't move within range of WLS until 1966, so I can only surmise that teenage fans of the Big 89 the year before must have fallen for the gentle SOUND of that single.  But today, now that we are all a whole lot older, the poignancy of that track really hits home.  It's as if it was released when we were teens with the intention that we wouldn't really "get it" until now -- half a century later.  Note that "Fall Away" was written by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, the composers of "Love Hurts," "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (among many others).  Here is "Fall Away" --https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARMg-3C6Juw
Gary Theroux
"Fall Away" was a sizeable hit here in Chicago, peaking at #10 on our WLS Chart.  (It did make The National Top 100, peaking at #92 in Record World only ... it "bubbled under" in both Cash Box and Billboard.)  Eddie, of course, would go on to most famously portray Oliver Wendell Douglas on the hit TV Series "Green Acres", becoming ALMOST as famous as Arnold Ziffel, the pig, in the process.  (Talking about '60's innuendo, think it was just a coincidence that gorgeous, clad in her nightgown Eva Gabor kept calling their new home town "Hootersville"???)  I always liked Albert as the warden in the original film version of "The Longest Yard" ... a TOTALLY different type of role for him after his television sitcom days.
"Fall Away" was most definitely lost on the youth back in '64 / '65 ... not the kind of thing we would have cared to listen to (and a guaranteed button-pusher, had there been anything else worth listening to on the dial at the time) ... but you're right ... it DOES take on a completely different feel when listened to with the benefit of life's perspective.  (kk)
1965?  Great year for pop and soul music, Kent!  I'll be sure to check in - and thanks once again. 
>>>1965 was when I became a total top 40 survey-aholic!  It's when I started running home from school in winter to hear Dex Card as early as possible counting down the survey.  My real first home made radio station surveys began mid-65 with "Yes It Is" and "Stop In The Name of Love" being my top choices.  With my imagination, instead of the way KOMA did their charts, I chose to make #0 as higher than #1 and also PH (pick hit) second choice for the first charts I made.  By the time Freddy Cannon's "Action" was #1 on my chart, I was doing a full TOP 80!  I was nine years old!  Late in the year, the Hollies' "Look Thru Any Window" became my fave 60's song of the decade when it topped my chart for five weeks, dislodged early in 1966 for a week during that run by "Andrea."  Dex, Ron, Art all became my heroes instantly.  The rest is history that I continue to relive daily.  :)
(Clark Besch)
I did the same thing as Clark, a weekly top twenty of my favorites. Good to know I wasn't the only fanatic top 40 fan!
So did I ... although mine didn't really start in earnest until 1967 ... that's when Super AM Stations WLS and WCFL competed for the teenage audience and both issued weekly charts that could be picked up at your local record store.  (Remember those?!?!)  Despite both stations covering the exact same audience, their charts didn't always reflect the same results ... so I started COMBINING the two charts into one "consensus" survey in order to determine the REAL Top 40 Songs in Chicago.  (Back then, Chicago Radio was my whole world ... I didn't realize that other radio stations in other cities played different music ... or that national publications like Billboard and Cash Box even existed ... I had never SEEN one!!!)  Many years later, after I discovered Joel Whitburn's very first Record Research book in the library, I started my own ranking system, jotting down each record's peak position locally on index cards and cross-referencing them to how they performed in Billboard.  (Ron Smith evidently did the exact same thing ... only he turned HIS research into books which have proven invaluable to me once I launched Forgotten Hits!)
Eventually, after dozens and dozens and dozens of hours spent at The Chicago Public Library downtown, copying Billboard charts from microfilm, I started what I called "The Sound 60 Survey" ... a compilation of the biggest hits weighted between a given record's popularity on both the local and national charts ... factoring in that these NEW charts would represent The Midwest.  Typed 'em up and soon went back as far as 1956 ... and kept it all going until about 1975.
I still remember an assignment from what must have been April of 1965 where we had to create, from scratch, a graph-chart of some sort.  I had the most current surveys issued by both WLS and Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago, NEITHER of which charted The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" at #1 at the time.  (It DID eventually top the Top Tunes Chart a couple of weeks later).  I couldn't understand how this record could possibly NOT be #1 ... they played it constantly on the radio ... it was consistently ranked as the most requested song of the day ... and everybody I knew LOVED it.  So I did a poll of about twenty students, giving them a Top Ten Hits list to choose from to see how the record might fare in a random popularity poll.  (Lo and behold, I had invented Radio Research without even knowing it!!!  lol)  Incredibly, "Ticket To Ride" STILL didn't rank #1 ... it was kept out of the top spot by Herman's Hermits who had THREE hit records out at the time:  "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter", "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" and "Silhouettes"!  (How the hell do I remember this stuff ... yet can't remember key events from last week?!?!)
Anyway, it was a fun hobby ... and I wish I still had those charts today. (Ironically, in 1969 after seeing Sha Na Na and Ten Years After perform at Woodstock, and having recently been totally captivated by Elvis' comeback television special, I started a list that I called "The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame" ... yep, I invented that too!  It kicked off with ten artists and ten songs ... and each year I would add one new artist and ten new songs to the list ... all from what I would call "The Golden Age Of Rock And Roll" ... kept that up until about 1975, too.)  Back then ... in my mind ... a song or artist had to be at least ten years old to qualify ... let's face it, at the time, rock and roll history didn't reach back as far as it does today! ... so The Beatles weren't even eligible until 1974!  This practice helped introduce me to all kinds of music I had missed out on at the time due to my youth.  Then, when I saw "American Graffiti" in 1973, the whole oldies world opened up to me ... and five years later I had my own mail-order record business, selling out-of-print oldies to music fans ... like this very same Clark Besch! ... through publications like "Goldmine", "Discoveries" and my own mailing lists.  I remember my slogan at the time:  "Keeping Yesterday Alive Since 1978" (which looked a WHOLE lot more impressive in 1985 than it did at the time!)  I guess I just always had this need to share the love of this music with others ... because in 1999 I launched Forgotten Hits and have been doing it ever since!
Damn, Phil, all of that just spilled out of me ... but you now have a pretty good idea of why I do what I do ... for the love of the music ... and the common bond we all share by enjoying it right here in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)