Sunday, June 28, 2015


The reviews are starting to come in for this year's edition of The Happy Together Tour ... and, as usual, they're astouding.
The show has expanded to SIX headliners this year:  The Buckinghams, The Grass Roots, The Association, The Cowsills, Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders) and The Turtles will all perform their various greatest hits before coming out for a reprise and group presentation of the show's theme song "Happy Together".
We have probably seen this show six or seven times over the past fifteen years and it is always an entertaining event.  The line-ups may change slightly (other "regulars" seem to include Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Gary Puckett, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night and a few others seem to pop up again every few years or so) but it has never failed to provided a fun-filled evening of "Feel Good" Rock and Roll from the '60's.

The first review we received (from their show in Philadelphia) came from long-time reader Rich "RVB" (who took us on a tour of Philly a few years back, including a one-on-one walk through of the old Philadelphia International Building and Studios, just recently demolished.  We've noted a few corrections to his report ... but nothing that would change the spirit of just how much fun he and Mamie had at the show ...  

Hey Kent!
Wednesday, 6/24/15, Mamie and I attended the "Happy Together" tour at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA, and man, what a rocking show with a most appreciative crowd!
With the exception of Paul Revere & The Raiders, every act featured at least two original members, with three each from the Cowsills and the Association.
The best for me were two acts that I never thought I'd get to hear ... Mark Lindsay of the Raiders and the Grassroots.
Chills came upon hearing "Never My Love" from the Association, who are as tight as ever with those signature guitar / vocal blends.
Every act sounded great and brought a well-deserved standing O with many standing throughout individual songs.  The finale was awesome with each act coming onstage doing a part of their biggest hit and finishing up with everyone appropriately singing "Happy Together".
Considering the talent in this tour and the appreciative audience this could be the best oldies show that I've ever attended.  If it comes to your area don't miss it!
Rich (RVB442)  
We have always enjoyed this show and have been highly recommending it for years now.  In the past many of the performing acts have stayed in touch with us "From The Road" and now that the 2015 Tour is off and running, we're hoping that they'll continue to do so.
Just to clear up a couple of points: It's actually just a Mark Lindsay show ... his ties to The Raiders have been severed for decades now ... but as their former lead singer, the songs sound exactly the way you'd expect them to sound.  Lindsay's still in great shape (how many Raider kicks did he do the night YOU saw him?!?  This guy is 73 and can still kick his leg up over his head.  I'm ten years younger and can barely stand up out of a crouch!)  After Paul Revere's death last year, his hand-picked band decided to carry on (at Paul's request) as Paul Revere's Raiders.  None of them are original members of the '60's band ... but several had been with Paul 35-40 years at the time of his passing.  They put on a GREAT show and pay great homage to all the hits.
As for The Grass Roots, they don't contain ANY original members.  This again was a band assembled by lead singer Rob Grill who, at the time of his death, bequeathed the name to Mark Dawson (actually from right here in Chicago) and asked him and his musical cronies Dusty Hanvey, Larry Nelson and Joe Dougherty to carry on the tradition of playing these Grass Roots classics.  And make now mistake about it, they pay a very real and loving tribute to this music.
Dougherty Nelson and Hanvey have all been with the band since 1985 (30 years! .. although Hanvey did leave for a short period of time during this stretch ... and lead vocalist Mark Dawson joined in 2008.  The band's sound completely captures the feel of all this great music.
(Here's a Grass Roots Family Tree you can refer to for all the changes made over the years.  Early hit years guitars Creed Bratton went on to star on "The Office" for all eight seasons!) Original members Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna have been keeping The Buckinghams going now for the past 35 years.  The guys play all over the world (and recently did one of those Rock And Roll Cruise Ships).  Long-time Chicago favorites, they helped to put our city on the musical map with their #1 Hit "Kind Of A Drag" ... and in 1967 Cash Box Magazine named them Group Of The Year, thanks to their SIX charting singles:  "Kind Of A Drag" (#1); "Laudy Miss Claudy" (#36); "Don't You Care" (#5); "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (#5); "Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song" (#5) and "Susan" (#6).  Carl and Nick recently re-teamed with original Bucks Lead Singer Dennis Tufano to headline The Benefit Concert For Marty Grebb, their former keyboard player, covered extensively here in Forgotten Hits.
I've seen The Association several times over the years, too ... and found them to be a mixed bag when it comes to the harmonies ... when they're on, they're incredible ... but when they're off, it is such a HUGE disappointment when weighed against the completely unique sound they provided back in the day.  Unfortunately for me personally, I've heard more "off" than "on" performances.  In one of the rarest instances of my life, we actually got up and had to leave during one show.  Sounds like you caught them during an "on" moment, which is encouraging as I hope to see them during this year's Happy Together Tour, too, when they stop in Chicago on August 21st for a show at The Paramount Theater in Aurora, IL.  I was surprised to see that THREE original members are back on board.  (We have lost a couple of members of the original line-up lately ... seemingly sad but realistic trend as you look at the acts listed before them.  One other report (reprinted below) says that the group now consists of Jim Yester, Jules Alexander, and Del Ramos. 
We were fortunate enough to see The Cowsills recently at The Arcada Theatre and they COMPLETELY blew us away.  The harmonies are better than ever and they seem to be having a really fun time up there.  We've heard from other Forgotten Hits Readers who tell us in every instance they have stolen the show ... and a couple reviews below (in addition to yours) would indicate this to still be the case.  I'm hoping we're invited backstage again at the Chicago show as I would LOVE to finally meet them.  (This group, too, has gone through some difficult hardships of late, losing members of the family which, in this case, really IS "the family".  Highly recommended to any one who may not have caught their act of late.  And catch their Showtime Documentary, too ... you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll dance ... a very sad ... yet fun experience.    
Finally, The Turtles.  (I mean, who else could headline The "Happy Together" Tour?!?!?)  I know Howard Kaylan missed a few Turtles dates a few months back after back surgery, but both Flo and Eddie should both be ready to rock you with both their feel-good music as well as their irreverent sense of humor that keeps their act one of the fastest-paced shows currently being presented on the rock and roll stage.  I've known these guys for years now and they are having a blast doing this every summer.  They even hand-pick the supporting acts which, hands down, offers more "bang for your buck" than any other show in town.
Glad you finally had the chance to see it ... can't wait till it hits our area.

And fans will have SEVERAL opportunities to see The Happy Together Tour this year ...
Check out their 2015 schedule!
Tonight - Sunday, June 28th - The Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY
Friday, July 17th - Chinook Winds Casino Resort - Lincoln City, OR
Saturday, July 17th - Cinook Winds Casino Resort - Lincoln City, OR
Sunday, July 19th - Clearwater River Casino and Lodge - Lewistown, ID
Wednesday, July 22nd - Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay - San Diego, CA
Thursday, July 23rd - Chumash Casino - Santa Ynex, CA
Friday, July 24th - Golden Nugget Casino Showroom - Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, July 25th - Campe Verde - Campe Verde, AZ
Sunday, July 26th - Pacific Amphitheater - Costa Mesa, CA
Friday, July 31st - Lynn Auditorium - Lynn, MA
Saturday, August 1st - Paramount Theatre - Asbury Park, NJ
Sunday, August 2nd - State Theatre - New Brunswick,NJ
Monday, August 3rd - ArtsQuest Center At SteelStacks - Bethlehem, PA
Tuesday, August 4th - Mayo Performing Arts Center - Morristown, NJ
Wednesday, August 5th - Bergen Performing Arts Center - Englewood, NJ
Friday, August 7th - War Memorial Auditorium - Nashville, TN
Sunday, August 9th - Wisconsin State Fair - West Allis, WI
Wednesday, August 12th - Indian State Fairgrounds - Indianapolis, IN
Thursday, August 13th - Missouri State Fairgrounds - Sedalia, MO
Saturday, August 15th - Little River Casino Resort - Manistee, MI
Sunday, August 16th - Performing Arts Center - Bolingbrook, IL
Wednesday, August 19th - Fraze Pavilion For The Perfroming Arts - Kettering, OH
Thursday, August 20th - Hard Rock Live - Northfield, OH
Friday, August 21st - Paramount Theatre - Aurora, IL
Saturday, August 22nd - Casino Rama Entertainment Centre - Rama, ON
Sunday, August 23rd - Foelinger Theatre - Fort Wayne, IN
Wednesday, August 26th - Effingham Performance Center - Effingham, IL
Thursday, August 27th - Kentucky State Fairgrounds - Louisville, KY
Friday, August 28th - Oaklawn Racetrack - Hot Springs, AR
Saturday, August 29th - Riverside Casino and Gold Resort - Riverside, IA
Sunday, August 30th - Bluestem Center For The Arts - Moorhead,MN
Monday, August 31st - Minnesota State Fairgrounds - Saint Paul, MN
Wednesday, September 2nd - Mahoning County Fairgrounds - Canfield, OH

Two More Reviews From The Philadelphia Show, courtesy of FH Reader Tom Cuddy:    

'Happy Together' again and still fun: Turtles, Cowsills, Association, and others at the Keswick  
The Happy Together Tour that sold out the Keswick Theatre on Wednesday was stuck - gleefully - in the American flower-power 1960s. Flo & Eddie of the Turtles (whose 1967 hit lent the show its name), the Buckinghams, the Association, the Grass Roots, the Cowsills, and Mark Lindsay (from Paul Revere and the Raiders) rippled through sunshiny harmonies, dewy rhythms, and lilting melodies.  
But beneath those lovely surfaces were depths of darker loveliness. The bubblegum psychedelia of the Summer of Love was but the prettier harmonic sister of weightier, inward-looking '60s jams from Dylan and Hendrix. This was the rainbow tonality of optimism and unity, not rancor and protest. Each song was elegantly executed, every high note hit, without a hint of creakiness. Not a single act was a one-hit wonder; each tight set was packed with tunes familiar to 1960s AM-radio fanatics.  
Between tunes, Buckinghams originals Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna reminisced about Edwardian suits and mop-tops. On hits such as "Kind of a Drag," they riffed through epic chord changes and Californian beachy harmonies - and, being Italian guys from Chicago, they had that swagger. 
The showstoppers were brothers-sister act the Cowsills - inspiration for TV's Partridge Family. Cowsill siblings Susan, Paul, and Bob leapt into the fluffy chamber pop of "The Rain, the Park and the Other Things" and the tangy theme to television's Love, American Style with weird, jittery panache. Best act all evening.
The Grass Roots were great - Motown-inflected rock with a tribal, thumping edge, but they lost points for not having original members performing the charge of "Midnight Confessions" and other tunes. Lindsay was solidly soul-rocking on rousing hits such as "Kicks."  
Along with the Cowsills, best of show were the Association and the Turtles. Dapper in white suits, sounding angelic, original Association members Jim Yester, Jules Alexander, and Del Ramos let loose with soft, high three-part harmonies on "Never My Love" (still radically sophisticated) "Windy," and "Cherish." The Turtles' Flo & Eddie - legendary goofballs - dressed like chickens, wordlessly harmonized through Frank Zappa's "Peaches En Regalia" (the duo belonged to the Mothers of Invention for a time), and crafted complex harmonic structures for Turtles smashes such as "Elenore" and "Happy Together," the night's dreamy theme song. 
-- A.D. Amorosi - The Inquirer

Sixties feel-good pop returns with “Happy Together 2015″ tour  


The latest version of  the “Happy Together” 1960s hits caravan tour boasts a resume of 56 Billboard chart hits, and is accented with modern-day multimedia accompaniment.
This year’s bill features The Turtles, for whose signature hit the tour is named; The Association, who were on the first Happy Together Tour in 1984; Mark Lindsay, who sang with Paul Revere & The Raiders and even had a gold-selling top 10 solo hit in 1970 with “Arizona;” The Grass Roots (“Let’s Live For Today,” “Midnight Confessions,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Sooner or Later”); The Buckinghams (“Kind of a Drag,” “Don’t You Care,” “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song,” “Mercy, Mercy,” Mercy”); and The Cowsills, the Rhode Island family singing group that landed four songs in the top 30 from 1967-1969.
“We’ve been wanting (to be on) this tour for a long time,” said Paul Cowsill, who started out as a 16-year-old roadie for his musical brothers, then joining the band (who had also added the family matriarch, Barbara) as a performer after the song “The Rain, The Park & Other Things” became a gold-selling smash. “Mom was on the Johnny Carson show, and Johnny says to her: ‘I hear there’s an addition to the family.’
Mom said: ‘Our son, Paul, he’s got the (music) bug and he’s in (the group).”
According to Cowsill, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman of The Turtles had a tough time convincing venue buyers for Happy Together that The Cowsills could be much of a draw. That was until the Showtime documentary “Family Band: The Cowsills Story” brought them back from being “under the radar.”
“Now we’re going to all these places that didn’t want us, and proving ourselves,” Cowsill said. “Look at the YouTubes (videos of The Cowsills). How can you not want this band?”
Over the years, Cowsill’s parents and several of his brothers — including former “Sixteen” Magazine pin-up idols Bill and Barry — have passed away. Although brother John joined The Beach Boys to be their drummer, the current Cowsills still have Paul, 63, his brother, Bob, 64, and sister, Susan, 56, as well as a few of their adult children, making The Cowsills a multi-generational group. Whether or not the next generation will continue the group is uncertain.
Cowsill sounds like he’s having the time of his life being “back on the bus.” “The shows are just incredible. All the bands are really up to snuff. We do our thing and we get to listen to all those other songs. The Grass Roots — those songs take me back to (growing up in) Rhode Island. Mark Lindsay is a hoot!,” Cowsill said, adding that he and Susan think Lindsay does yoga because of the on-stage flexibility and athleticism they’ve observed from him.
Although The Cowsills are planning to convene in Lafayette, La. next year to record some new music, Cowsill promised their Happy Together set would be nothing but hits, including their version of the title song of the musical “Hair” and the theme song from the TV show “Love, American Style.”
The vocal arrangement for “Hair” came from a playful TV appearance on a Carl Reiner-produced show called “The Wonderful World of Pizzazz.” The show was sponsored by the fashion tastemakers Harper’s Bazaar, and Reiner said: “Wouldn’t it be fun if you put on wigs and do your song ‘Hair’?” Because the all-American pop music family’s squeaky clean image was the opposite of the anti-establishment messages of the Broadway show the song came from, “MGM (Records) told us not to do it,” Cowsill said. “Hair” reached No. 2 and sold more than 500,000 copies and Cowsill said the only reason the label caved was because the family had an acetate copy of their recording of “Hair” that they shared with radio stations, creating their own buzz for the record.
In the ’70s The Cowsills became the inspiration for the hit TV show “The Partridge Family” — in fact, Cowsill considers Shirley Jones and Danny Bonaduce good friends. However, he said, the original plan was for his family members to be the stars of the show, until it became clear that the network was “never going to want my mom” over Jones. In the name of family unity, patriarch and manager Bud Cowsill gave the network an ultimatum to cast them all or not at all.  “‘The Partridge Family’ was on the air so for long it kept us on the news,” Cowsill remarked, remembering David Cassidy becoming angry at being frequently asked about the band his show was based on.
“The Cowsills are humbled and couldn’t be more grateful to be on the Happy Together Tour,” Cowsill said.


Between them, these artists have 70 Top 40 National Hits!  Incredible!!! 
Here's how they rank on the all-time hits list.  #1 Records are shown in Bold Red.

# 1 - Windy - The Association (1967)
# 2 - Cherish - The Association  (1966)
# 3 - Happy Together - The Turtles  (1967)
# 4 - Hair - The Cowsills  (1969)
# 5 - Indian Reservation - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1971)
# 6 - Kind Of A Drag - The Buckinghams (1967)
# 7 - Never My Love - The Association  (1967)
# 8 - The Rain, The Park And Other Things - The Cowsills  (1967)
# 9 - She'd Rather Be With Me - The Turtles  (1967)
#10 - You Showed Me - The Turtles (1969)

#11 - Kicks - Paul Revere And The Raiders  (1966) 
#12 - Midnight Confessions - The Grass Roots  (1968)
#13 - Good Thing - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1967)
#14 - Don't You Care - The Buckinghams  (1967)
#15 - Let's Live For Today - The Grass Roots  (1967)
#16 - Elenore - The Turtles  (1968)
#17 - Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1967)
#18 - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - The Buckinghams  (1967)
#19 - Hey, Baby, They're Playing Our Song - The Buckinghams  (1967)
#20 - Hungry - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1966)

#21 - Indian Lake - The Cowsills  (1968)
#22 - Susan - The Buckinghams  (1968)
#23 - Along Comes Mary - The Association  (1966)
#24 - It Ain't Me, Babe - The Turtles  (1965)
#25 - Two Divided By Love - The Grass Roots  (1971)
#26 - Sooner Or Later - The Grass Roots  (1971)
#27 - Arizona - Mark Lindsay  (1969)
#28 - Everything That Touches You - The Association  (1968)
#29 - Temptation Eyes - The Grass Roots  (1970)
#30 - Just Like Me - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1965)

#31 - I'd Wait A Million Years - The Grass Roots  (1969)
#32 - Too Much Talk - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1968)
#33 - You Know What I Mean - The Turtles  (1967)
#34 - Heaven Knows - The Grass Roots  (1969)
#35 - I Had A Dream - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1967)
#36 - Birds Of A Feather - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1971)
#37 - Let Me - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1969)
#38 - She's My Girl - The Turtles  (1967)
#39 - You Baby - The Turtles  (1965)
#40 - Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1969)    

#41 - The River Is Wide - The Grass Roots  (1969)
#42 - We Can Fly - The Cowsills  (1968)
#43 - The Great Airplane Strike - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1966)
#44 - Don't Take It So Hard - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1968)
#45 - Ups And Downs - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1967)
#46 - Bella Linda - The Grass Roots  (1968)
#47 - Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies  (1966)
#48 - Silver Bird - Mark Lindsay  (1970)
#49 - Glory Bound - The Grass Roots  (1972)
#50 - Time For Livin' - The Association  (1968)

The Best of The Rest:
Things I Should Have Said - The Grass Roots  (1967)
Baby Hold On - The Grass Roots  (1970)
Let Me Be - The Turtles  (1965)
We Gotta All Get Together - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1969)
Where Were You When I Needed You - The Grass Roots  (1966)
Six Man Band - The Association (1968)
Walking Through The Country - The Grass Roots  (1970)  Country Wine - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1972)
The Runaway - The Grass Roots  (1972)
Like Long Hair - Paul Revere and the Raiders  (1961)
Sound Asleep - The Turtles  (1968)
Laudy Miss Claudy - The Buckinghams  (1967)
The Story Of Rock And Roll - The Turtles  (1968)