Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

Local Forgotten Hits Readers were notified the other day about a brand new free ticket offer from our friends at The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL.  (If you live in the Chicagoland area and would like the chance to participate in these special offers, drop me a line and ask to be added to our Local List.  From time to time we are presented with special deals just like this one ... and they tend to go fast ... so why not take advantage of first notification through our special mailing list???)  
[To enter for chances to win during this special give-away offer ... or to permanently sign up for our local list ... just send an email to ... and we'll take it from there.]

This time around, we're tying it all into Mother's Day Weekend ... with a pair of free tickets to see one of the greatest voices of our time ... ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK !!!  (What a GREAT treat for Mom on her special day!)
Engelbert will be appearing on Saturday, May 9th, at The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, Illinois ...
And The Genesee has partnered with us to give away TEN PAIRS of FREE TICKETS to this show!!!
Engelbert was a vocal heartthrob back in the day ... and he still wows his audience today, nearly 50 years later.  Top 40 Hits like RELEASE ME, THERE GOES MY EVERYTHING, THE LAST WALTZ, AM I THAT EASY TO FORGET, A MAN WITHOUT LOVE, LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE, THE WAY IT USED TO BE, I'M A BETTER MAN, WINTER WORLD OF LOVE, MY MARIE, SWEETHEART, WHEN THERE'S NO YOU, ANOTHER TIME ANOTHER PLACE, and AFTER THE LOVIN' kept HUMPERDINCK near the top of the charts and dear to our hearts for many years ... and now is YOUR chance to see him for FREE!!!
Tickets will be given away on a first come / first served basis ... and when they're gone, they're gone.  (Please do not enter this drawing if you are not 100% sure that you are able to attend the show ... we would hate to cheat other fans out of seeing this great concert ... or have ANY of these great seats go to waste.  If necessary, check with Mom first ... but we think she'll love you for it!!!)
Concert Details again:
Live in Concert at
The Genesee Theatre
in Waukegan, Illinois
Saturday, May 9th
(Show starts at 8 pm)
Remember, Mother's Day is Sunday, the 10th ... so take your Mom out on the town the night before ... dinner and a show ... and the show's on us!
VERY Special Thanks to Colleen Rogalski and our friends at The Genesee Theatre for this generous offer ... EXCLUSIVELY for our Forgotten Hits Readers!  (kk)

I WAS going to go with "Winter World Of Love", one of my favorite Engelbert tracks ... but frankly I've HAD it with this winter!!!  Spring is supposed to start in a couple of weeks ... and I can't wait!!!  (kk)  

We're officially giving this station our Forgotten Hits Seal Of Approval ... yes, I'm starting to hear some repeats (and unusual ones at that ... not stuff I heard five or six DAYS ago ... but stuff I heard five or six HOURS ago!!!) ... and there are still some other programming glitches (two out of four straight songs the other day were by Petula Clark ... GREAT to hear her back on the radio again ... but that HAD to be a mistake!) and some questionable song choices (God, I sound like an American Idol Judge!!!) ... but overall with THIS vast a play list, they are already offering, hands down, the best music selection and variety on the dial here in Chicago right now ... and they'll grow out of these other issues.  (Keep in mind, this is still part of their "test run".)
So PLEASE give it a listen ... because if this station is successful, it'll prove EVERYTHING I've been saying for the past fifteen years ... and especially the past five years when terrestrial radio took a serious turn for the worse and landed in the terminal zone.  87.7-FM ... I've been able to get it in the car (no matter where I've driven), I have reset my clock alarm radio at home (and it comes in fine) ... and I believe they'll be streaming shortly ... so unless you have this ridiculous need to hear "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Jack And Diane" six or seven times a day, please give this station a spin.  I think you'll like what you hear.  (kk)

We've run this clip before but I just love it!  I can't even imagine the time it took to edit this thing together ... the timing is PERFECT!  Even if you've seen it before, give it another view ... it's guaranteed to make you smile and brighten up your day.  (kk)

The big story in Chicago this week is the OUTRAGEOUS prices for Grateful Dead tickets as the Dead prepare to close out their final tour at Soldier Field. 
As of Tuesday, ticket prices were reportedly going for up to $126,000 PER TICKET!!!  (Jeez, for $126,000, Jerry Garcia himself better come back from the dead and do a four-hour guitar solo ... and bring John Lennon and Elvis with him!!!)
Incredibly, people are paying RIDICULOUS sums of money to see this show.  (Must be all those rich folks with the Dead Head stickers on the backs of their Cadillacs!)
One of our readers, Rich Silverman, told me that he's seen The Dead twice at Soldier Field ... and that there were times when Jerry's bandmates actually thought he had died on stage ... until he farted that is!!!  (lol)
I think in this case the majority of the audience will have a touch of grey ... but you'd better have some beaucoup bucks in your pocket too!  (kk)
For 126 k I could buy the Chicago Fire!
Chet Coppock 

I was catching up on some very old mail this past weekend when I came across this one ...
I believe it slipped through the cracks during all of our Buddy Holly coverage ...
I had the chance to meet Joe B. Mauldin and the Crickets twice.  The second time was most memorable as our station hosted Bobby Vee, Tommy Roe, and the Crickets in 2005.  Even though I was just the m.c., they treated me like I was one of them.  Hearing them in the dressing room
talk first hand about rock and roll history was amazing.  Joe was a very nice man who would really attack that bass on stage.  Sonny made him the brunt of a couple of jokes and Joe seemed to take the kidding and played off it very well.  The Crickets were so good on stage.  They just tore it up that night. Early in the show a young man, who looked like he was high school or college age,  stood up between songs and yelled "you guys rock". Joe and the Crickets got a good chuckle out of it and continued to play an incredible show.  Those of us in the crowd could not help but feel like we had just witnessed something special.   Sadly now that Joe is gone we will never see that trio again.
Phil Nee - WRCO

I am especially looking forward to the May 7 Chicago Rock fundraiser for Marty Grebb. This is a very heartfelt and helpful way to assist someone who has been a part of this wonderful legacy of Chicago music. The line up is incredible: Dennis Tufano is amazing, as are the Cryan Shames ... can't wait!

Hey Kent,
I saw you mentioned not being able to see the Glen Campbell movie here in Chicago.  They absolutely showed it in the Chicago area a few months ago, limited release.  We saw it at the Loew's in Schaumburg .   Great great movie, not to be missed, especially if you are a Glen Campbell fan.  
I'll bet I searched the internet at least 50 or 60 times trying to find this movie playing ANYWHERE within 50 miles of Schaumburg and never saw it listed once ... and you're telling me it played right here IN Schaumburg?!?!  Unreal!!!
I've been waiting to see this since the moment I heard it was being made.  Felt really bad that we missed Glen's final appearance here in Chicago a couple of years ago when he came through as part of his farewell tour ... REALLY wanted to see that, too.
If you search our website you'll find a couple of promotional pieces regarding a new book written by Glen's daughter and author Mark Bego ... so LOTS of Glen Campbell coverage going on right now.  He was always a very entertaining guy ... and had quite a connection to Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys ... which is ANOTHER new movie we're looking forward to seeing.  Check out the email below ...

Really looking forward to "Love And Mercy".  I remember reading of the casting some time ago and being astounded that ugly Paul Dano (freaky boy in Little Miss Sunshine, freaky genius in that Tom Cruise - Cameron Diaz movie) was playing Brian ... and that gorgeous Elizabeth Banks was playing Melinda ... LOL ... vain much? Whatever. I really wanna see it. 
John Cusack as older Brian doesn't make much sense to me visually either ... but the preview looks pretty good ... and you know the music is going to be outstanding.  It opens nationwide on June 5th ... so consider it a date!  (kk)  

Another friendly reminder to file your IRS Return this year ...
No, not THAT IRS form (although I guess you'd probably better file that one, too!) ...
The Annual Rich Appel It Really Shoulda ... Been A Top Ten Hit form!!!
More details here:   

A couple of months ago we told you about a GREAT reunion interview that the members of The First Edition did at The Country Music Hall Of Fame / Kenny Rogers / Through The Years Exhibit.  We've been asking the museum to please post this segment on their website ... and it finally went up this week.
If you've got a little time to kill, I think you'll find this most enjoyable ... I know I did.  We've given Kenny Rogers and the First Edition some fair consideration over the years in the way of Forgotten Hits coverage ... so this is a GREAT way to cap things off.  (kk)   (Scroll down to find The First Edition segment ... another great Kenny Rogers interview is posted here, too ... along with a couple of his classic videos)
More Kenny Rogers and the First Edition FH pieces:
Ken Freck
I shot a quick email to Peterik the other day on this ... let's see if he responds.  By the way, some British poll just named "Eye Of The Tiger" as 29% of the public's favorite song to work out to ... and have you noticed that they're starting to use the "Vehicle" horn riff in the advertisements for the new Will Smith movie???  All of a sudden Jimmy's EVERYWHERE again!!!  (But apparently NOT at the special Marty Grebb Benefit Concert mentioned above ... I'm hoping he'll at least stop and do a few songs with the band ... we're talking Chicago Musical Royalty up there ... and he's a BIG part of it.)  kk

That story about the Platters -- which reads more like a press release than any kind of actual reporting -- is certainly a classic in it's own right. My favorite line was the one about The Platters -- whom I built an entire Reader's Digest CD box set around -- being identified as "the first African American vocal group to crash through the racial divide that existed in the '60s and reach international stardom."  Really!  What a surprise for all the other African-American groups who were on the charts internationally in 1960 -- and in the decades before.
The writer of that piece apparently did not know, among other things, that The Platters were essentially a ‘50s group – which first charted in 1955 and scored nearly all their key hits before that decade ended.   Before them, African-American groups like The Ink Spots and The Mills Brothers were charting domestically and internationally just fine.
When I interviewed The Platters' manager and chief songwriter Buck Ram in 1977, one point he made clear was that ownership of the group name "The Platters" was his and any member of The Platters was his employee.   How did that happen?
The Platters formed in 1952 with group member Herb Reed inventing their name.  After their initial work under the direction of first manager Ralph Bass failed, The Platters hooked up with songwriter Ram, who wrote for them “Only You.”  The group’s recording of that song for the Federal label was considered so bad by label owner Sid Nathan that he dumped the group and refused to release “Only You.”  At that time Ram happened to be managing another African-American group, The Penguins, who in 1954 scored a major pop and R&B hit with “Earth Angel” on the tiny Dootone label.   Mercury Records came to Ram asking to sign The Penguins and Ram agreed – but only if they’d also sign his other group, The Platters.  Reluctantly, Mercury did -- only to discover that while The Penguins never scored again, The Platters were to go on to rule as the #1 black vocal group of the  1950s.  And what was their first Mercury hit?   Nothing other than a million-selling new  recording of "Only You."  That sparked Sid Nathan to change his mind and rush-release the group’s inferior Federal version of the same song.  (You may have discovered, to your dismay, the amateurish Federal recording pop up on assorted budget line LP compilations.) 
Ram’s deal with The Platters as manager and chief songwriter included the group signing over all rights to their collective name to him.   (Motown would later do the same thing the groups they signed like The Marvelettes and The Jackson Five.)  The various Platters also became Ram's salaried employees, an idea the group members liked at first because it guaranteed weekly paychecks regardless of if their later records sold or not.  Over time, though, as those recordings did sell into the millions, The Platters -- who were not profit participants in their recording career -- deeply regretted the deal they had made with Ram.   Lead singer Tony Williams was particularly upset.  Finally, in 1959, after recording what became The Platters' final million seller ("Harbor Lights"), Tony quit to start what became a solo career which went nowhere.  Tony was replaced by Sonny Turner, but the fact that nearly all The Platters’ hits had been, in essence, Tony Williams solos with the rest of the group serving as backup singers, the lack of Tony’s presence sparked an immediate decline in The Platters career.   Mercury tried to deal with the loss by releasing subsequent Platters singles with a new recording by the group on one side and an old album track with Tony singing lead on the other.  That ploy only sort of worked for a couple of years.  In 1962 The Platters' final Mercury singles to chart at all were released. 
Not yet willing to give up, Ram next secured a deal with the smaller Musicor label and in 1966-7 his revised Platters made a brief comeback with minor singles like "With This Ring" and "I Love You 1000 Times."   And then it was over.
One of Buck’s big concerns at the time of our interview in 1977 was the number of fake sets of Platters playing clubs and county fairs around the country.  He told me he was suing each one to insure that only the Platters group he authorized were using that fabled  name -- which he still owned.
Buck Ram died on January 1, 1991, in Las Vegas at the age of 83.  Herb Reed, the last surviving original group member, then began a long battle in federal court to reclaim all rights to The Platters' name.  “We were cheated back then but that’s how things were done,” Herb told the press.  “It’s theft and I have to fight it so that no other artist faces this.”  In 2012, Reed finally won his case – weeks before he, too, passed away at the age of 83.    
--  Gary Theroux
Yeah, referring to The Platters as a '60's group kinda threw me, too ... the hits had pretty much dried up by then ... their hey-day was the 1955 - 1960 era ... and those recordings made back then STILL send chills up your spine when you hear them today.  (Kinda weird to see a white guy singing all the leads in 2015!!!)  kk 

Kent ...
Thanks for printing the legal decision about the Herb Reed Estate having legal rights to the Platters name. You're right ... I did miss it.
I have one more legal question for you.
Sonny Turner became lead singer of the Platters when Tony Williams left the group. I think it was in 1961. In your opinion -- can Sonny use the group name Sonny Turner & The Platters or is he not
allowed to use Platters at all?  It seems to me that he's the only one who has a truthful claim to the name, since he was at one time lead singer of the group and recorded some hits under that name ... "With This Ring" and "I Love You 1000 Times" and a couple of others.
Thanks -
Frank B.
"My opinion" has nothing to do with it ... this is a legal ruling.  Under the circumstances my guess is (and that's all it is is a guess) Turner may be able to bill himself as "Sonny Turner, former lead singer of The Platters" or something along those lines as these are, in fact, the facts.  (As it turns out, my hunch was correct ... check out Sonny's official website: ... where he bills himself exactly as such.)
It's a tough call ... and a topic we'll get a little more in-depth with over the next couple of days ... once again we've got a group with the LEGAL right to the name, a long, hard fought legal battle that went on for decades, without a single original member in the line-up ... nor any official legal ties to one ... and then you've got Sonny Turner, who actually sang lead on a couple of their latter day hits, who has to bill himself as "formerly of". But with all of the remaining original member now deceased, how does one maintain the legacy of the group and keep this music alive?
This situation is most similar to the one I mentioned before about The Temptations.  You've got the "legal" sanction headed up by Otis Williams, the only surviving member of the original group ... but NOT a member who ever handled any of their lead vocals on any of the hits ... he's just "the glue" that's held it all together for all these years ... but he's a legendary hall of famer and has certainly earned the rights to that legacy.  But in effect what he's done is gone out and hired a bunch of hired hands to best simulate the sound and feel of The Temptations in order to best present this music in its most complimentary form.
Meanwhile you've got Dennis Edwards who was NOT an original member of the group ... but DID sing on a number of their very biggest hits in the late '60's and early '70's ... so HIS show can offer up the closest thing to the actual sound on those records (he even has Paul Williams' son in the band) ... but he has to bill himself as Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue.
Sticky points these days when so many of these great artists have passed on ... like I said, we'll go into greater detail over the next couple of days ... but today it's the guy with the rights who are helping to confuse the fans.  You may have "the rhythm section" up on stage ... the drummer and the bass player ... but the lead singer who often wrote AND sang every hit we know by a particular artist cannot use the band's name that he helped make famous.  That's why you've got SO many "formerly of"'s out there today.  More to follow.  (kk)    

A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll
Micky Dolenz is best known as the lead singer of the hugely successful rock 'n' roll band, The Monkees, which originated from the classic sixties TV show of the same name.  The Monkees sold over 65 million records and toured the U.S. (and much of the world) many times over.  Micky has also starred in many musicals on Broadway, the West End and in national tours including Disney's AIDA (Broadway), Pippin, Hairspray (West End), Grease, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Tom Sawyer and more.  Micky has recorded two solo albums (Remember and King For A Day)
and recently appeared in the World Premiere of the new play Comedy Is Hard (Ivoryton Playhouse) by four time Emmy winner Mike Reiss (The Simpsons).
"A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll" is a brand new show Micky has created to combine his love of Broadway with his love for rock 'n' roll in one thrilling new intimate concert. The show will include some of the Monkees greatest hits, a few rarities and songs from musical roles he has performed and from shows he loves.
Produced by Van Dean
Directed by Van Dean and Micky Dolenz
Music Direction by Michael J. Moritz, Jr. 
-- David Salidor
Right now this show is running exclusively at 54 Below in New York City ... no word yet on whether Micky will take this out on the road ... and with all of his other commitments (including a Monkees tour Down Under), we may not find out for quite awhile!  (kk)
Got this from Alex Valdez (it came under the heading "Cheap Parents") ...

>>>I learned something today for the first time by going over WKBR's survey. In the section PERSONALITY PICKS OF THE WEEK, was a record called THE SQUARE, a narrative, recorded by Dick Whittinghill on Dot. I did not know that this had been recorded by anyone else.  Let me explain.  In early 1965, Don Wallace, who did weekday mornings - afternoons here in OKC on WKY 930 (Noon - 3 PM), recorded that narrative. It made it into the top 20 on WKY's weekly survey in April of that year. He recorded it on Foundation Records with the flip being the Paul Peterson tune MY DAD. Through the years for whatever reason, I have always thought that Don Wallace wrote that. Apparently not. On the label it says it was co-written by Charles Brower and Billy Vaughn. Which begs the question if any other DJ's recorded it in other markets. Needless to say, WKY's crosstown competitor at the time KOMA,did not play the record. I have emailed Don Wallace to find out any additional information on why he came about recording this narrative.  (Larry Neal)
>>>Let us know if you hear back from Don Wallace.  Maybe some other deejays on the list might be able to answer your question as to whether or not this track was recorded by different jocks in different markets.  I'm really not familiar with "The Square" at all.  (kk)  
I heard back via email from Don Wallace, who recorded THE SQUARE back in early 1965, and here is what he said.
He said he liked THE SQUARE when he first heard it and decided to make a "cover" of it. I am assuming at this point that WKY radio got a promo of it in along with the other weekly promos they got every week. He said that a man by the name of Tom Hays out of Enid Oklahoma decided to pay for the recording fee. It was to be put out on Foundation Records, which was the label that Tom Hays owned.  The record was produced in the studio of Sullivan's Recording studio here in OKC. Sullivan studio was owned and operated by Gene Sullivan, formerly of the recording duo Wiley and Gene. Don said, as he recalled, the record made it to #2 on the local top 40 radio chart survey. I respectfully disagreed with Don on this. I didn't say this to him though. I knew how high it got on WKY, where he worked at the time. He said the royalties from the record (didn't say how much that was, but probably wasn't enough money at the time), were donated to a Northside YMCA here in OKC. The royalty check was presented to Mr. Norman Bagwell in his office. Mr. Bagwell at the time was the general manager of WKY radio and WKY television. He did say he had several copies left and would give them to me if I wanted. I appreciated the gesture but currently told him that I already have some three copies. 
I will go out on a limb and probably say other DJ's in other markets made a "cover" of this record,
though probably not many. Local DJ morning man for many years on WKY radio, Danny Williams,
recorded Wink Martindales' 1959 DECK OF CARDS. That was put out on Sully Records owned and
operated by the above Gene Sullivan.
Hey, if either you or Don can send an MP3 version of Don's version, I'll be happy to share it with our readers.  Thanks, Larry.  (kk)
More from Larry after viewing this week's chart ...
You are correct in that I don't ever remember seeing a SPOTLIGHT SOUND or PICK HIT OF THE WEEK listed at the top of the survey. Usually they are at the bottom.
Speaking of PICK HITS OF THE WEEK, for the week of February 11, 1965, here in OKC Bobby Sherman's IT HURTS ME was the PICK HIT OF THE WEEK. It stayed on the survey for some three more weeks peaking at #34, courtesy of Decca.
I went to the website that listed the top songs over on the other side of the pond and the song that
came in at #24 by a group called Heinz called DIGGIN' MY POTATOES got my curiosity as to how
it sounded. I looked it up on you tube. I can take it or leave it, for right now I'll leave it. As for the group Heinz, I had never heard of them, even though it is rumored one may listen to their records one of 57 ways.

Speaking of the charts, WCBS-FM Dee Jay Big Jay Sorensen takes a look back at what was happening on the charts on this date in the '60's, the '70's and the '80's right here:   

The mini vacation from the Sunday comments was a good idea because this edition was very entertaining. You helped me reconnect with a song I had forgotten ... "Alibis" ... and I was introduced to a new one to me ... "Sunlight" by The Youngbloods. Thanks! 
Yep, BOTH great songs.  (For the record Jesse Colin Young wrote "Sunlight" and recorded it with his group, The Youngbloods ... but the version we featured on Sunday was actually done by Three Dog Night ... and incredibly well if I do say so myself!)  Chuck Negron laid down the PERFECT vocal on this track ... and it was quite popular on the FM Soft Rock Stations in the '70's ... got a lot of airplay here in Chicago.  THESE are the kind of album tracks radio ought to be featuring if following an "soft rock pop hits" format ... not deep, obscure tracks that risk losing your audience ... especially when you're still ignoring literally THOUSANDS of other hit records in the process!  (kk)