Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Sunday Comments ( 06 - 14 - 15 )

re:  The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson:
Former Beach Boys promoter and manager Fred Vail shared a few memories with us on Friday that we're sharing with you today.
Be sure to check back to The Forgotten Hits Website next week for more of your "Love And Mercy" movie reviews and comments.  (This is probably the most critical response I've ever received after a single review ... which has inspired me to see the movie again and see if upon a second viewing I may be persuaded to modify my opinion.)

Meanwhile, please enjoy Fred Vail's recollection of June 12th, 1983 ... 

It's a bittersweet day for me today (Friday, June 12th).
On this date in 1983 I saw the original five Beach Boys -- Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and Mike Love -- together on stage for the final time -- and it couldn't have been a more fitting way to see all of them -- on the south lawn of The White House with President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan -- and later that evening, celebrating George H.W. Bush's 59th birthday at the Vice Presidential Residence. Bush, 41, even took the stage to sing "Barbara Ann" to his lovely wife, Barbara, and sang along with 'the boys.'
The White House performance was a benefit for Eunice Kennedy Shriver for her "Special Olympics", which I had orchestrated as a favor for a good friend, Tom Carter, who was managing a singer who was recording in my studio at the time.
That night -- June 12, 1983 -- would be the final time I'd see Dennis sing with his band mates. On December 28, barely three weeks after his 39th birthday, he would drown in a Marina del Ray swimming accident. I had seen them go from a $350 a night surf band -- driving them to gigs in my folks' '54 Chevy wagon -- to being "America's Band", taking private jets, arriving in limos and staying in plush hotel suites. It doesn't get much better than that. 
Fred Vail

re:  Me-TV-FM:  
>>>Today's 1970 Super Chart is packed with a wonderful mix of great music. We've sat here and gone through this entire chart and marveled at what a great collection of tracks appear on this list. So sad that only about 20% of these are ever played by our local oldies station. When was the last time you heard Tome Jones's "Daughter of Darkness" on the radio?  (David Lewis)
>>>Believe it or not, since Me-TV-FM signed on here, I've heard it quite a few times ... along with several other
long forgotten Tom Jones tracks.  I can't wait for these guys to start streaming so that others on the list can
enjoy it too. There doesn't seem to be a day that goes by where I don't hear one or two complete surprises.  (kk) 

I just checked and Me-TV-FM is still not streaming.  Although it's still something they're planning on doing, I'm being told they're still trying to "get Chicago right" first.  And I will admit that there is still some fine-tuning that needs to be done.  (They're working from a playlist of just over 2500 songs right now ... and adding new ones all the day.  As such, I'm not sure why I'm hearing "Strawberry Letter 23" and "Love Or Let Me Be Lonely" every single day ... seems like both of those songs, good as they are, could be spread out a little thinner.  Worse yet, of those 2500 tracks there are times where it seems that only about 300 of them are NOT by James Taylor!!!  I swear, I can turn this station on at virtually ANY time of day, set it to play for one hour, and hear a James Taylor song EVERY single time.  Unfortunately, he's now become my new Steve Miller Band / John Mellencamp over-saturated artist.  I turn him off on the very first note ... and I LIKE James Taylor ... I just don't need him as my primary diet!!!) 
On the other hand, let me show you what a typical set on Me-TV-FM sounds like ... I'll bet there isn't an oldies fan out there that wouldn't kill to have a radio station like this in THEIR hometown that they could listen to in the car.  We still fall asleep to it nearly every single night ... and will often put it on as background music when we're just doing things around the house.  Despite any negative comments I may make it is STILL the most variety being offered on the dial today in Chicagoland.  

And they regularly salute our Chicago Local Heroes, too.  The other day in the course of a round-trip drive, I heard "I Will Always Think About You" by The New Colony Six (hear that one quite a bit, actually), "Mercy Mercy Mercy" by The Buckinghams and "Up On The Roof" by The Cryan' Shames.  Not a bad set for a local fan like me!

re:  This And That:
I tracked down Question Mark of ? and the Mysterians, and asked him a bunch of questions about "96 Tears," a few of which he almost answered. It was quite an adventure:
Be Well,
Carl Wiser
You guys have GOT to read this ... absolutely HYSTERICAL!!!
(I was supposed to call Question Mark a few years ago and do a FH interview and just never got around to it ... but somebody gave me his number and said he'd like to do something with Forgotten Hits.  Now I'm wishing I had done it just to experience the craziness of it all!!!
Great job, Carl ... had to frustrating (and funny) as hell!!!  He made that long story short at least half a dozen times ... and STILL never told you anything!!!
(I almost want to call him just to hear him carry on!!!)
Great job!  (kk) 

The Glen Campbell documentary "I'll Be Me" will air on June 28th on CNN at 9 pm Eastern.  We've been waiting a long time to see this one ... and I know a lot of you out there are anxious to see it too.  Check your local listings for encore presentations.

Campbell's long time friend songwriter Jimmy Webb posted a loving tribute on his Facebook Page about Glen's current condition.  (Webb was responsible for many of Glen's earliest hits, including "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" (#26, 1967), "Wichita Lineman" (#2, 1968), "Galveston" (#3, 1969), "Where's The Playground Susie" (#13,1969) and "Honey Come Back" (#10, 1970).

I visited my friend Glen Campbell Wednesday in Nashville. Laura and Kim Campbell were there as well.  
You may be aware that Glen has bravely been living with Alzheimer's Disease. Along with his strong and courageous wife, they have changed the face of Alzheimer's forever. The world watched as Glen traveled from city to city, to continue doing what he loves to do: perform and share his music. Doctors were amazed at how the music and activity appeared to slow the pace of the disease for awhile. With his family, they showed the world that you don't have to hide when you become ill. They raised awareness, and in turn, funds for Alzheimer's research.  
Glen is currently residing in a memory support community — it reminded me of one of the nice hotels he would stay at while on tour. Kim has found this place for Glen that is safe, where he is cared for 24 hours a day. The ratio of caregivers to residents astounded me -- he is never alone. And there are only 17 other residents; his neighbors are former lawyers, doctors, teachers and others who are living with the same challenges that dementia brings. Glen has been my friend for a long time and I love him like a brother. I am sure that Kim has made the right choices for and with my friend of 50 years.  
Glen has his private room and bathroom, all decorated by Kim with custom paint, lots of photos murals and framed memorabilia. The place is bright and clean. He loves color and still wears his blue suede shoes from time to time!  
The memory center has elaborate arrangements for activities. There are many different rooms and spaces for him to experience each day, each furnished tastefully and safely.  
There is an airy screened-in porch where Glen likes to sit and where we visited with him. He has a full time caretaker, Brody. Brody is in his early twenties with long blond hair -- he looks like a surfer! Brody is patient and kind. He plays the guitar with and for Glen. They sing, they walk around the grounds and converse almost constantly. We instantly fell for Brody and thanked him for the care he gives to Glen and the important breaks he gives Kim so she can rest and work.   
Glen has always been a happy guy and a jokester. He still is. For longer than I'd like to remember, he has imitated Donald Duck and during the visit, he did his Donald voice for us. He sings in a low register all the way to high clear notes that are reminiscent of the performances we are all familiar with. He seems almost to go from song to song, under his breath at times. He looked at me after singing one song and said, "that was a good song wasn't it?" Music is still at the very center of who he is. It is almost as though he is giving a never-ending performance.   
The last thing he said to me when it was time for us to go was, "Was it a good one?" like he used to say to me at the end of a concert. That phrase made me think that he recognized me, that and the fact that he said my name to Kim and Laura when I left the room briefly.  
He sees his family all of the time; Kim and two of his younger children live just a few minutes away. And his oldest daughter Debby was visiting just the day before.  
He is loved. He is cared for. He is respected. And most of all, he has his dignity. We can all be comforted by that.
Yours very truly,   
Jimmy L. Webb

How's this for an interesting promotion???
Hey, Kent, 
Styx is coming to the Nebraska State fair.  They were here not long ago, but I found it a bit funny when our most famous local sandwich business, Runza, did some special advertising for the band.  FYI, Runza is a meat sandwich that most all Nebraskans know, but the franchise has never ventured outside of Nebraska very much (, despite its huge popularity.  Check out the custom Runza cup I drank from and was surprised by last weekend!  At first, I thought it was a grand illusion!

I've had John Fogerty's biography on pre-order for awhile now ... can't wait to read it and hear his side of the story.  (Too often, John comes across as the villain in all of this ... and I'm the first to admit that I may have presented him this way as well in our extensive Creedence Clearwater Revival piece several years ago.)  It just didn't seem fair to me that he would shut out his long-time friend and musical partners Doug Clifford and Stu Cook.  While it's true John wrote and sang all of the music, these two guys (and John's older brother Tom) were all instrumental in perfecting the sound that captured the hearts of our nation.
Below find links to both a new article on Fogerty's biography ... as well as our Forgotten Hits piece on the whole band.

>>>In honor of its 50th anniversary, we thought it would be fun to share the Billboard Hot 100 from the week that "Satisfaction" first entered the chart. There aren’t many, if any, artists whose hits are chronicled here who are still at after all this time but, of course, “Satisfaction” and the Stones aren’t like anything that’s come before or since.
(Bob Merlis)
Although Mick couldn't get any satisfaction with girls, he also didn't have any luck getting the number one song of the year in Billboard.  The Hot 100 you showed with the Stones song debuting also showed "Wooly Bully" at its peak #2 on the Hot 100.  In just five weeks, "Satisfaction" was number one and "Wooly Bully" was still in the top 5.  Amazingly, Billboard's year end chart in December of 1965 claimed Sam the Sham's hit was the NUMBER ONE song for the entire year of 1965!!!  It only reached number two on the weekly chart!  "Satisfaction" claimed the number one spot for a whole month!  Yeah, "Bully" was top 10 for nine weeks and stayed on the Hot 100 for a (then) quite lengthy period of time of 18 weeks, BUT I gotta think there was some "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" tactics going on at Billboard then.
Clark Besch
"Wooly Bully" capturing the #1 Song of the Year Award in Billboard has always one of rock and roll's greatest mysteries ... but apparently it earned enough point during its lengthy chart run to eclipse ALL of the records that DID hit the #1 spot during 1965 ... and that's some pretty ritzy company to say the least.
In addition to "Satisfaction" topping the Billboard chart for four weeks, other #1 Hits included "Yesterday" by The Beatles (also #1 for four weeks), "Downtown" by Petula Clark (a HUGE hit), "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by The Righteous Brothers, "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits (#1 for three weeks), "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds, "Help!", also by The Beatles and the Motown hits "My Girl", "Stop! In The Name Of Love" and "I Can't Help Myself".  Hard to believe that the party song "Wooly Bully" could outrank any of these ... but apparently it did.  (kk)  

re:  Diggin' Forgotten Hits:
I am 66 and had a transistor radio in my ear since I was 9.  I thought, and have been told, that I was a freak as to knowledge of the OLDIES ... BUT YOU are from another planet!!! 
I can't tell you how much happiness your Blog gives me every week you post your intelligent passionate thoughts. 
Thanks, Gary ... your letter made my day!  (kk)