Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

re:  Clark Weber:  
Our long-time Forgotten Hits Buddy Clark Weber officially retired from the public eye this week, preferring to spend his senior years out of the spotlight, enjoying life with his family and friends.  We wish him the best.  (I guess that means the next time we all decide to go out to dinner together we'll have to use the drive-thru, right Clark???)
Weber is a Chicago Radio Icon ... he's been on the air here in Chicago in some fashion for 55 years, working for WLS, WCFL, WJJD, WIND, WMAQ and WAIT ... it is a RARE feat, indeed, to spend so much time in one city (and a MAJOR city at that!) in the life of a disc jockey ... but Clark was able to pull it off as he always had an audience here for his laid-back style of broadcasting.
And let me tell you, he's still sharp as a tack!  We've made several appearances together over the past several years and he is just as entertaining off the air as he is on.
We wish you well, my friend.
Prior to "officially" stepping back, Clark Weber will FIRST be inducted into the Illinois Broadcasting Hall Of Fame.
More on this story here:   

Robert Feder also covered this story: 
On the eve of his self-imposed retirement, Chicago radio legend Clark Weber has been named to the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. 
Weber, 84, will be inducted June 16th at a dinner opening the group’s annual state conference at the Bloomington - Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. 
A giant of Chicago broadcasting since the early 1960s, “Mother Weber’s Oldest Son” succeeded through various incarnations as a disc jockey, talk show host, program director, advertising executive and industry elder statesman, all with style, class and professionalism. His 2008 memoir, Clark Weber’s Rock and Roll Radio, is the definitive story of the golden age of Top 40 radio here and his pivotal roles in that era at WLS AM 890 and the former WCFL. 
Having kept up an active schedule of public appearances and speaking engagements, Weber said he’s finally ready to hang it up. “Bob Hope once said the time to retire is when you can still hear the applause from your dressing room,” he told me. “In my case, it’s time.” 
Weber said his last radio interview will be May 19th with midday hosts Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano on Tribune Media news / talk WGN AM 720. His last speaking appearance will be May 22nd at Chestnut Square Retirement Community in Glenview. Then he’ll take one last bow at his June 16th Hall of Fame induction. 
As an IBA Hall of Fame honoree, Weber will join a pantheon of broadcast legends that includes Oprah Winfrey, Jack Benny, Orson Welles, Joan Rivers, Dick Biondi, Larry Lujack, Dave Garroway, Paul Harvey, Mike Wallace, Bill Kurtis, Orion Samuelson, Don Cornelius and Siskel & Ebert. 
Also honored at the event as IBA Broadcast Pioneers will be veteran Chicago radio newsman Lyle Dean and longtime Chicago sportscaster Armando Perez.
-- Robert Feder   

From Chet Coppock:
If you looked in the dictionary under "Class" you might find a picture of the remarkable Clark Weber. It's unfair to call Clark a jock, talk show host or a pitchman. He was, much like the legendary Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, a consummate announcer.
As much as I remember Clark spinning 45's on WLS and Super 'CFL, I'll always recall him for something decidedly different.
I once took pro wrestling "bad boy" Bobby Heenan up to visit with Clark to hype a show promoted by Bob Luce at the International Amphitheater.  I'm sure C-dub had no clue who "Bobby The Brain" was but he conducted a brilliant 25 minute gab session. Weber was far too classy to ask Bobby if the bouts were tanked or if the "blood' was real - which by the way it is. Clark dug in with Heenan and pulled out a number of nuggets, all while treating a very gun shy Bobby with respect, class and dignity.
Sadly, my profession no longer turns out people as wonderful as Clark Weber.
That, in itself, is a tragedy.
Chet Coppock:
Host: Chicago Blackhawks Heritage Series 

And MAJOR WLS / WCFL Fan Clark Besch ... the "other" Clark on our list ...
Holy Sh*t!  Clark "Chrome Dome" Weber is retiring?  Mother Weber's eldest son is finally 65???!!  Who knew that he and Dave Letterman were the same guy??  Does this mean that my hero, Ringo Ringworm Ron Riley wins the feud???  Kidding aside, Clark ... has a GREAT first name!  Haha. 
He also is one of the longest lasting greats of broadcasting from the greatest era IN broadcasting on the greatest RADIO station ever -- WLS (among others, such as CFL).  I am so glad to hear that Clark has been inducted into the Illinois  Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  I read the last joke he used in Forgotten Hits and realize that he must now keep his subscription to the 60's Acme Joke Company until after his induction ceremony.  Sorry, Clark, just getting you ready for the roast.  You never know, Riley might show up and do his best Bruce Lovely from the window sill on you! 
Clark Weber, you have been a great friend to me, personally, as well as to millions who have listened to you spin the hits on the Big 89 and more recently, talk up a storm over the ever evolving AM waves.  Your puns and underlying silliness, as well as your easily given advice, happy go lucky attitude towards both your shows and your life have made it a joy for the millions (a REAL figure I am talking of there) of people who consider YOU their friend over so many decades.  May you enjoy retirement and your days ahead be filled with laughter!  (Are you REALLY David Letterman??) 
Take care and God Bless You, Clark Weber
-- WLSClark Besch  (the OTHER Clark)

And, in Clark's own words ...  
Morning Kent;  
Thanks so much for the kind words. It was time to step aside for several reasons and the most important is Joan’s health. She’s been fighting ovarian cancer for over a year and a half and I need to be here or very close by 24 / 7. That realization hit home in early April when I was booked for a two-day seminar in St Petersburg, Fl. The combination of being away, Joan not feeling well and my fatigue after the seminar told me it was more than time.  
A friend of mine who is still on the air and is way past his prime and knows it shared a comment with me that sums up the fear that some show biz people have about stepping down. He said, “ I’m afraid to go from “Revered” to “Irrelevant!” Talk about a misguided ego!
Of course I’ll miss the fellowship, the laughing and reminiscing, the mike, the podium and the adulation that came with it. However it’s more than about time.  
Mother Weber summed it up best when many, many years ago a girlfriend who was then the flavor of the month and I broke up. Mom said, “Don’t be sad because it’s over, smile because it happened!”
PS: Of course we’ll do that dinner sometime!

Folks interested in Clark's look back at Rock And Roll Radio - The Fun Years - can pick up a copy of his book here:
It was announced today that Leon Redbone, the legendary folk / jazz / roots performer has retired from both public appearances and recording. A spokesman for the artist noted, “We share the sadness and disappointment sure to be experienced by his many fans and friends and hope they understand that his health has been a matter of concern for some time.  It has become too challenging for him to continue the full range of professional activities.” 
Redbone’s career has spanned over four decades and began with his earliest performances on the folk festival and club circuit.  His numerous appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live and other outlets catalyzed his rise to international recognition.  Over the ensuing years he has appeared throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Japan and released thirteen albums of his unique music, a panoply of early music styles that he delivered with his singular laconic idiosyncratic style. 
"A Long Way Home", a collection of solo performances, both live and studio, dating from 1972, documenting the dawn of Redbone’s professional career, will be released by Nashville’s Third Man Records as a double album in the near future.
A true champion of early American ragtime, blues and jazz, Leon Redbone has spent a lifetime preserving that musical tradition while exposing successive generations to a rich musical heritage of which they might not otherwise have become aware.  In this regard, his efforts have been lauded by numerous notables including Lovin’ Spoonful founder John Sebastian who has stated, “I find Leon Redbone to be one of our national treasurers.”  Blues and folk veteran John Hammond succinctly commented, “Leon is the real deal.”
-- submitted by Bob Merlis   

re:  Paul Revere's Raiders:  
Hi Kent -
Yes, Tommy Scheckel is a driving force ... the best drummer around. I wish Paul's Raiders a lot of success in the future!
I once had a copy of "Like Long Hair" ... don't know what happened to it. Paul was quite the keyboard player!
Keep up the GREAT work, Kent.
Well, you can listen to OUR copy today if you like!  (kk)

Well done, Kent ... your raiders review was superb.

Hey Kent, 
Thanks for the great review ... it means a lot. We’re still figuring it all out ... hopefully the show will evolve and get better and better in time.  It’s great that you and Ron Onesti have teamed up, the stars have lined up for you guys.
See you down the road, buddy!
I know this has gotta be tough for all of you guys - especially having Paul's images flashing up on the screen all night - and I know you'll catch some flack for carrying on without an original member - but the spirit of this great music carries on thru you guys - and you can certainly be proud of what you're putting up there on the stage. (kk)
re:  New On The List:
Speaking of The Arcada, more great shows have been added to the list ... check THESE out!!!
Arlo Guthrie - July 12th
The Geneva Music Festival featuring The Commodores, Dennis Edwards of The Temptations and J.T. Taylor of Kool and The Gang - July 18th
Graham Nash - July 28th
'70's Pop Fest featuring Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass, Tim Corwin of The Ohio Express, The 1910 Fruitgum Company and Kyle Vincent of The Bay City Rollers - August 28th
A Salute to The Music of Joe Cocker on August 29th, featuring August
Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Gos - September 9th
The Stylistics (featuring Russell Tompkins, Jr. - September 11th)
The triumphant return of Burton Cummings - September 18th
Sheena Easton - November 6th
And more shows being added all the time!
Stay tuned to these pages ... or check the Arcada Box Office Website at   

re:  B.B. King:  
From Harvey Kubernik's book "Turn Up The Radio!  Rock, Pop and Roll in Los Angeles, 1956 - 1972: 
(published by Santa Monica Press, 2014)  
Crossing the Slauson Line    
Harvey Kubernik: B.B. King’s “Paying the Cost to Be the Boss,” on the Bluesway / ABC record label, was a Top 10 R & B hit in 1968, and it was popular on the KGFJ radio station.  
King’s opening slot at the Rolling Stones’ November 8, 1969, show at the Los Angeles Forum was a career-altering opportunity. On that cosmic night in 1969, King played in front of music reviewers, rack jobbers, DJs, guitarists, booking agents, and paying folks who had never heard, let alone seen, him in action. King was worshiped onstage in Inglewood that evening. It was a moment in which he knew, that, by the following Christmas, his next half a century of dates and live bookings were going to be taken care of. 
In late 1969, King hit the pop charts with the mournful “The Thrill Is Gone” and, in 1970, “Hummingbird.” He then headlined the Whisky a Go Go in 1971. 
I remember seeing B.B. King at Milwaukee's very first Summerfest in 1972 ... I swear we drove up every night after our day jobs to see artists as diverse as B.B. King, Chuck Berry, David Cassidy and George Carlin!  Then drove back home again so we could still make it into our jobs the following morning. Crazy time (and something much more easily handled at the age of 18 or 19 than today!) 
I swear, B.B. was old THEN!!!  And that was 43 years ago!  (Of course 40 IS old when you're only 18!!!  lol) 
When the news of his passing came I was amazed by the outpouring of grief I heard from friends and fans ... he truly touched ALL of our lives, no matter WHAT our personal musical preferences may have been.  A one-of-a-kind performer, to be sure.  He will be missed.  (kk)   

Bluesman Riley "B.B." King died Thursday (May 14) at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89. B.B. apparently suffered a minor heart attack and was taken to a hospital two weeks ago but was released to home hospice care. Born to sharecroppers in Itta Bena, Mississippi in 1925, he moved to Memphis in 1946, where he was called the "Beale Street Blues Boy" (hence the initials B.B.). He had his own program on all-black WDIA radio there in 1949 and started recording, first for Bullet Records, then for RPM, where his first charted record, "3 O'Clock Blues," made #1 on the R&B charts. It was the first of 76 R&B hits, 24 of which made the top ten. Starting in 1957, B.B.'s music crossed over to the pop charts as well, including blues classics like "The Thrill Is Gone" (#15 Pop, #3 R&B - 1970), "I Like To Live The Love" (#28 Pop, #6 R&B - 1974) and "Rock Me Baby" (#34 Pop, #12 R&B - 1964). All told, B.B. appeared 47 times on the pop charts, as well. He was well-known for his guitar, which he named "Lucille" (actually, he owned many Gibson guitars -- all given that name) after the woman who was the cause of a fight between two men that eventually led to a fire in a club he was playing in Twist, Arkansas. B.B. had been forced to re-enter the burning club to save his precious guitar. Though married three times (twice to the same woman), he once said he fathered 15 children with 15 different women. He was given the National Medal of the Arts in 1990 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He received honorary degrees from both Yale and Brown Universities. Sweden awarded him their annual Polar Prize for popular music in 2004.  
-- Ron Smith

re:  This And That:
Bobby Hart's been getting a fair amount of press lately for his new book "Psychedelic Bubble Gum:  Boyce And Hart, The Monkees And Turning Mayhem Into Miracles".
We're also awaiting the release of the Boyce and Hart Documentary "The Guys Who Wrote 'Em" ... and, hopefully soon, the premier of Bobby's new musical. 
In the meantime you can listen to this great Bobby Hart podcast, courtesy of our friends over at Vintage Vinyl News:
Hi Kent,
I know in the past, you've done some things with Bobby Hart. I thought you might be interested in our latest podcast, which has an interview with Bobby.
Have a good one!-- Roger WinkVVN Music
Speaking of upcoming radio interviews, Lettermen fans may wish to check out DJ Stu Weiss' show this Friday night when he speaks with original Letterman Tony Butala.
FH Reader Pam Dixon just sent us this updated schedule for Chris Montez appearances:
May 16 – Monterey, CA
May 23 – Bakersfield, CA   (Kathy Young is on this as well)
June 6 – Arcadia, CA    (Kathy Young is on this as well)         
June 16 - 22 - Belgium
Sept – Big E , West Springfield, MA
October 25-30 - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls  (Original Stars Show)  
Feb 7 -21 – Rockin Cruise
March 20 – Westbury, NY
April 10 – Hauppauge, NY
June 18 - Lancaster, PA
A "modest" end to Lesley Gore's career is the way they're describing it ... more proof of why the royalty system has to change in order to better take care of all of the artists who created all this great music we still know and love.
-- submitted by Tom Cuddy
Last week we sent you a link to a brand new version of Lesley's hit "You Don't Own Me", which is apparently doing quite well on some of the foreign charts right now. (Which means songwriters John Madara and David White are earning a few bucks from this gem once again!)
Here's another link to that video:
re:  The Monday Morning 50-Year Flashback:
Very little soul music on the WIBM survey. I've noticed this on many smaller cities surveys.
I think it depends on the size of the market ... although I've pointed out several times in the past how even Mega-Giant WLS with 50,000 watts behind them often charted soul classics like "My Girl" by The Temptations, "Respect" by Aretha Franklin and several James Brown classics CONSIDERABLY lower than the national trades did ... and Chicago has a VERY large Black population.  (kk)
What I liked about the WIBM list was the way they made it on a typical 1967 era "IBM" computer card by chopping off the upper left corner.  Well done and not as simple as you might think -- just more appropriate as an IBM info card would look. 
As for the tracks you played, Freddie & Dreamers' "You Were Made for Me" has different edits and I cannot remember now if the one you played is the 45 version or not.  Capitol actually released this in 1963, but it was a hit on Tower over a year later in 65.  However, to elongate the song, they re-edited it, if I remember correctly. 
As for "Laurie," it is a classic story line song.  IF people really like this song, they are likely (like me) to be able to sing the entire story from start to finish without even trying to think of what line comes next!
Clark Besch
I've heard at least three edits of "You Were Made For Me" over the years.  Quite honestly, I've lost track myself as to which is which!  (lol)  But I'll betcha FH Reader John LaPuzza can tell us!  (Hey John, if you're reading this, can you send me a clean MP3 of the hit single mix???  Thanks!)  kk
re:  Beatle-ish:
In this week's edition, you mention the Magical History Tour. Well, you don't have to travel to England to celebrate The Beatles. Just go to Louisville, Kentucky, May 21-25 for Abbey Road on the River - - Four days of Beatle tribute bands along the banks of the Ohio River. 
Ken Voss
Not QUITE the same as seeing all of the actual haunts The Fab Four visited during their journey through history ... but not a bad way to enjoy some great Beatles Music.  Also, The Fab Faux are coming back to The Chicago Theater later this year (November 14th to be exact) and, in addition to many of The Beatles' Greatest Hits, will also be performing "Abbey Road" in its entirety, start to finish.  (I've seen these clips on YouTube ... and they are not to be believed!)  Check 'em out here:
Kent ...
According to Billboard, these were 2014's Top Ten Music Money-Makers:
            1 = One Direction - $46 Million
            2 = Katy Perry - $30.1 Million
            3 = Justin Timberlake - $27.9 Million
            4 = Billy Joel - $27.2 Million
            5 = The Eagles - $26.2 Million
            6 = Luke Bryan -  $25 Million
            7 = Paul McCartney - $23.5 Million
            8 = George Strait - $22.5 Million
            9 = Jay Z - $22 Million
           10= Jason Aldean - $20.2 Million
I guess Sir Paul had a bad year... he didn't make the top 5.
Touring = 80.4 %
Sales    = 13.3 %
Publishing = 4.2 %
Streaming = 2.1 %
Frank B.
>>>PAUL McCARTNEY: Jams at Stepson's Graduation - Paul McCartney spent his Saturday night jamming at a private graduation party in Winter Park, Florida.  The party marked the completion of college by Arlen Shevell, the son of McCartney's wife, Nancy Shevell.  The band playing the event was Josh Walther and the Phase 5.  McCartney approached the group during a break about sitting in for a few songs.  He had the band play a blues riff as he improvised lyrics about his stepson's graduation and then led them through a few Beatles songs they knew.  (kk)
He did a handful of Beatles songs with Josh Walther and the Phase 5. 
Paul McCartney -- available for bar mitzvahs, parties, circus tours.
-- (I can see the ad now!)
Clark Besch
Well, for family functions anyway.  Just think about how much extra money Sir Paul could make each year playing nothing but "When I'm 64" Birthday Parties!!!  Heck, he might even catch Katy Perry!!!  (kk)