Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday This And That

re: Another Rock Milestone 50 Year Anniversary:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015:  IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY!   
On June 16th, 1965 the complete take of "Like A Rolling Stone" was recorded (Take 4) at approximately 3:30 PM in Studio A at Columbia Recording Studios on Seventh Avenue in New York City. Ten more takes were recorded until they realized that #4 was the one. It was the first take to be played all the way through the 6 minute plus lyric. 
At it's conclusion, Tom Wilson, the producer, suggested a playback and the picture above shows left to right: Engineer Roy Halee, Producer Tom Wilson, Assistant engineer Pete Duryea (behind Wilson), manager Albert Grossman, publisher Artie Mogul, Bob, photographer Sandy Speiser, assistant Vinnie Fusco (partially blocked) and yours truly smoking a Marlboro.
I was a songwriter at the time and also a studio guitarist. I knew Tom Wilson pretty well and we were good friends. When he found out I was a Dylan fan, he invited me to this session as a guest to watch. I was 21 at the time. A song I had co-written had six months previously been the #1 song in the country (This Diamond Ring by Gary Lewis & The Playboys) for about a month. I also got calls as a studio guitarist to play on recording sessions. Me and my 
neighbor from Queens, NY, Harvey Brooks played a lotta Top 40 club dates in various bands as well. We had  previously played a place called Carousel Park at The NYC Worlds Fair about a year before six nights a week and made a nice pile of change for those days. Harvey got me that gig and I owed him big. 
At the time, I was trying to make it big in the music biz and I was about ten per cent talent and ninety percent ambition. I decided immediately I was gonna get to the Dylan session early with my guitar, plug in, and tell Tom Wilson I had misunderstood his invitation and thought he meant to hire me as a guitarist.
The session was called for 1 PM and so I showed up about noon to pull off my ambitious caper. The other musicians knew me from other sessions and nothing seemed amiss to them. I was warming up when Dylan burst through the door with another guitarist in tow and that guy sat down next to me said hello and plugged in his guitar and started warming up as well. He looked to be about the same age as me and so I was quite surprised and disappointed to hear what an amazing player he was as he warmed up. I immediately took a cigarette break, put my guitar in it's case and went in the control room where I actually belonged. This happened before Tom Wilson arrived, so he hadn't seen my failed ambitious caper go up in smoke. The guitarist was, of course, Mike Bloomfield from Chicago who I had never heard of or met before. He had just joined The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and their first album was due to be released soon.
An hour into the actual session. they moved organist Paul Griffin over to piano instead.  Here was another chance for me. I played keyboards early in my life but switched to guitar when Elvis Presley came along because by then  it was hipper to play guitar. But I always still played keyboards i.e. for songwriting, sometimes on sessions, etc. So I went over to Tom Wilson and said: "Tom, why doncha let me play organ on this ? I gotta great part to play on this!" Actually, I had nothing but that ninety percent ambition. Wilson looked at me and said "You're not an organ player - you're a guitarist!" and then they called him away to take a phone call.
I thought to myself - he didn't actually say NO - and so I walked into the studio and sat down at the organ. 
A Hammond B3 organ is very complicated to start up and I didn't yet know how to turn it on. Fortunately, Paul Griffin had left it on.
Tom Wilson hadn't seen me go back in the studio and sit behind the organ. When he finished his phone call he said over the talk-back mic - " Okay, Bob - we got everybody here. Let's do one and I'll play it back to you and you can pick it apart.  (Pause as Tom sees me sitting at the organ)  What are you doing out there?(all the other musicians start laughing cause they knew me as a guitarist). Wilson laughs as well. This is where he should have said "Would you get your white ass back in the control room where you belong please ?" But because he was a kind man and also because he would have had to explain what i was doing there, after he laughed he said:) Okay - stand by - This CO86446 Like A Rolling Stone remake Take 1."
And so began my career as an organ player. Three takes later, I did miraculously come up with a part and the first full take of the song was recorded and everyone went back into the booth to listen to all six minutes and thirty five seconds of it. About a minute into the playback, Dylan said to engineer Roy Halee, "Turn the organ up louder" Tom Wilson quickly replied "Bob, that guy is NOT an organ player" Bob said " I don't care - turn the organ up!"
thus cementing my career as an organ player. Another ten takes were taken but they were all much faster than Take 4 and so it was decided to return to Take 4 and use that as the final master.
Nothing else was recorded that day but Bob came over to me and asked me to return the next day and play on the rest of the album. Within a coupla days, I talked Dylan into hiring Harvey Brooks on bass to join us. Years later Miles Davis had Harvey play on his Bitches Brew album. So we were finally even for that great World's Fair gig he had gotten me! Unfortunately and mysteriously, Tom was replaced the next day as producer by Bob Johnston, and never produced another Dylan track.
But he did sooo much more - produced "Sounds Of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel, discovered and prodduced The Mothers Of Invention and The Velvet Underground. And signed and produced The Blues Project with me playing keyboards as a session guy and I was asked to join their band - which I did for three years.
So today I sit here at age 71 and am amazed at what a lucky and bizarre career I have had as well and bless Tom Wilson for inviting me to that Bob Dylan session because he was my friend and thought I would enjoy it.
-- Al Kooper 

Last week we chronicled the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones' epochal “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #67 in the issue dated June 12, 1965.  The next issue (June 19, 1965) saw it zoom up to #26 on its inexorable march to #1 where it landed in the issued dated July 10, 1965. It stayed in the top slot for four weeks and, during that run, was certified as the band’s first gold record.   In connection with that anniversary, ABKCO is releasing a limited edition 12” 45 rpm limited edition vinyl of the track (b/w its original US b-side “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” and the UK flip, “The Spider and the Fly.”)  Scroll down for details.
In lieu of providing a replica of the Billboard chart, as we did last week, we’ve come up with the original Billboard singles review that ran upon the record’s release.  That “lyric at ending” which we’re cautioned about is, presumably, this one:
And I'm tryin' to make some girl
Who tells me baby better come back later next week
Cause you see I'm on losing streak

We also found a Newberrys ad from The Portsmouth (NH) Herald from earlier in the month in which “Satisfaction” is offered for 66 cents which is something like $4.96 in today’s money.  The ABKCO special edition 12” single is offered on Amazon for $14.98 (click on pre-order link in the press release below) which equates to $1.99 in 1965 dollars. What a deal!!

-- Bob Merlis

re:  First 45's:
Purple People Eater and Roger Miller's Dang Me ...
My brother and I received these two 45's in the mid 60's. By chance I played the flip side of "Dang Me," "You Got To Again" and was totally blown away.
Tony Minchew
It's one of my Roger Miller favorites, too ... and we've featured it several times before in Forgotten Hits.  (Roger had quite a few interesting B-Sides ... can you believe "The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me" was a B-Side?!?!)  Another underrated favorite of mine by him is "Husbands And Wives", a #20 Hit in 1966.

re:  Jim Ed Brown:  
Country singer Jim Ed Brown, best known as the lead singer of the Browns with sisters Maxine and Bonnie, died of cancer Thursday (June 11) in a Franklin, Tennessee, hospital at the age of 81. 
Born in Sparkman, Arkansas, Jim and Maxine originally joined Ernest Tubb's radio show as a duo. Their "Looking Back To See" was a #8 country hit in 1954, the year before Bonnie joined to make them a trio. From 1954 to 1968, they charted with 21 country tunes, 13 of which crossed over to the pop charts, including "The Three Bells" (#1 pop and country - 1959), "Scarlet Ribbons" (#13 pop, #7 country - 1959) and "The Old Lamplighter" (#5 pop, #20 country - 1960). 
Jim began a solo career in 1965 and the trio split up two years later. As a solo singer, his biggest hit was "Pop A Top" (#3 country - 1967), but he scored even bigger hits as a duo with Helen Cornelius, including "I Don't Want To Have To Marry You" (#1 country - 1976) and "Lying In Love With You" (#2 country - 1979). They were voted the Country Music Association's duo of the year in 1977. 
Jim was the host of the Nashville Network's TV show, "You Can Be A Star!" from 1983 to 1989 and co-hosted the syndicated "Nashville On The Road" TV show. The Browns were elected this year to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Jim was presented with his induction medal in his hospital room five months early. 
-- Ron Smith

On a more somber note, I just left the Ryman where approximately 800 folks gathered for Jim Ed Brown's service. It may have been more but I was on the main level and couldn't see the balcony. Needless to say, the musical tributes and hymns were phenomenal: the Oak Ridge Boys, who will be inducted into the CMHOF in the fall, did a hymn -- as did The Isaacs -- both without any instrumentation -- the way harmonies are meant to be heard. Hillary Scott, along with her brother, and mother, Linda Davis, did a wonderful tribute, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers were exceptional, as was the always pitch perfect Vince Gill -- who did not sing "Go Rest High On The Mountain," as has for so many others who have passed. Hillary came back with her partners-in-song, "Lady Antebellum," and closed the musical part of the service. 
As I listened to Vince I could not help but think: one of country music's greatest tenors paying tribute to one of country music's great baritones,' as Jim Ed certainly was that. 
What 'baby boomer' does not recall "The Three Bells" and the haunting chorus: "all the Chapel bells were ringing, was a great in his life." The bells are certainly ringing for Jim Ed -- a great singer, entertainer and person. I'm glad I had I had the opportunity to tell, while he was healthy and alive, just how much his -- and his sister's singing meant to me.
I played their records as a teen deejay and PD and promoted his records during my brief tenure with RCA.
Have a great week.
Fred Vail
PS Brenda Lee, Pete Fisher and Jeannie Seely gave wonderful spoken praises. 

Jim Ed Brown(1934-2015)
Jim Ed Brown died June 11 at the Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee, of lung cancer. He was 81. He last performed on the Grand Ole Opry in April, while his cancer was in remission. It returned June 3, and he began a second round of chemotherapy. James Edward Brown was born April 1, 1934, and grew up in Benton and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He and Maxine and Bonnie, known as the Browns, joined the Opry in 1963. When his sisters retired from the music business, Jim Ed became a solo artist and a member of a duo with Helen Cornelius. The Browns were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame three months ago, with Jim Ed holding the distinction of being a hit maker as a trio, a duo, and a solo artist. His 90-minute funeral service was held June 15 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, with his flower-covered casket sitting in front of the stage. The Oak Ridge Boys provided the first musical tribute and Lady Antebellum the final one. Other performers and speakers included Jeannie Seely, Brenda Lee, Crystal Gayle, Craig Morgan, Vince Gill, and the Gatlin Brothers. 
Diane Diekman   

Kent ...
Jim Ed Brown died last week.

If you listen close, Jimmy Brown sings "Jimmy Brown has passed away" ... and he did.  
My family claims that I have too much time on my hands.  
I can't figure it out, can you?
Frank B.  

re:  This And That:  
Kent ... 
Here's a list of the top 365 Songs of the 20th Century. 
My first question --- How did they come up with 365 Songs ?
Frank B.

Wow!  Here's a list that's sure to spark some controversy amongst our readers ... a little hard to believe that, even with the criteria as listed below, that THIS is the way these records would rank over the past 100 years.  (Seriously?  "On The Road Again" by Willie Nelson? "Bills Bills Bills" by Destiny's Child?  "No Scrubs" by TLC? All bigger than "Hey Jude", "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" and "I'm A Believer", none of which made the list?  Bigger than the God-awful "You Light Up My Life" that topped the charts for ten straight weeks?)  I dunno about this one.  And I can't believe it's strictly based on sales and gold records ... sure would be interesting to see their research!  (kk)

Your mention of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs reminded me of a rock and roll revival that was held here in the OKC area some 40 years ago. It was put on by promoter Richard Nader. On the program were such artists as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, the Shirelles, the Coasters, etc. One of the artists was Sam the Sham minus the Pharaohs. When it was time for him to perform, he came on stage, brought a stool with him to sit on, sat down and started to play two songs with his guitar. Now somewhere along the way, Sam the Sham had turned to playing and singing gospel music. He played and sang two songs, both gospel in nature, and not once did he sing WOOLY BULLY or LIL' RED RIDING HOOD. I could have made a fortune that night if I had ample ammunition of tomatoes, lettuce, etc. The people in the audience was booing him fierce. If they had such items, they would have thrown them at him while he was on the stage. Right now I am going to go the website with the ? interview. Always did like 96 TEARS.
Sounds like ol' Sam went over worse than Rick Nelson's Garden Party!  (lol)  The ? interview is hysterical ... well worth the read if any of you haven't checked it out yet.  Carl Wiser of Songfacts wins our Patience Of The Week Award for this one!  (kk)

New York, NY (June 15, 2015) -- As AEROSMITH gears up for their 2015 summer tour, a date has been announced for the release of Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014.  Due out September 4, the 20-song collection captures the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famers delivering a scorching career-spanning show at the famed Donington Park in Leicestershire, UK in June 2014.  Filmed in high definition, the critically acclaimed concert film--which premiered in February with a highly successful nationwide theatrical run--will be available on multiple formats: Blu-ray+2CD, DVD+2CD, DVD+3LP and digital formats for North America and DVD, Blu-ray, DVD+2CD, DVD+3LP and digital formats for ROW/Europe.  Details about a special pre-sale--with bonus items--of Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 will be available in the coming weeks.

Headlining the massive Download Festival as part of the band’s “Let Rock Rule” tour, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton, and Brad Whitford unleashed supercharged versions of “Love In An Elevator,” “Janie’s Got A Gun,” “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing,” “Dude Looks Like A Lady,” “Walk This Way,” “Dream On,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Toys In The Attic,” “Mama Kin,” and many more.

In the Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 liner notes, David Wild--Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone--describes the performance as having “the same kind of power and overwhelming passion that has always remained at the very heart of the live Aerosmith experience…So whether you were fortunate enough to be there among the crowds at Donington Park that gloriously atmospheric night in 2014--or more likely, if you are just lucky enough to catch up after the fact today--there is only one appropriate shared reaction to what you are seeing and hearing here: genuine rock & roll shock and awe.”

"It's always an absolute hoot that leaves me howling at the moon, performing at Donington we couldn't have had a better time on stage that night,” says Steven Tyler.  “I could feel the vibes of all the greats pulsing through the stage like AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica and so many more.”

“We have played Donington many times but this performance was one of our best,” recalls Joe Perry. “Thanks to our fans who were there who helped us make it a night to remember.  We are proud to have it be part of this theatrical series and it will give our fans who weren’t there around the world a chance to relive an ass kicking night of rock and roll.”

"We’re really proud and grateful to have been chosen to headline the Download festival at Donington for 2014,” Tom Hamilton adds. “It was an awesome experience and I think this film captures it.  Special thanks to the insane fans who stuck with us through mud and rain.”

“I'm grateful to have been able to play this show at Donington,” says Joey Kramer. “I thought the band played great, the audience was great. That night was a very special time.”

“Playing in Donington has always been a highlight of the tour for us,” adds Brad Whitford. “The fervor of the crowd there is a sight to behold and this night was no different.”

Fans can now bring home the live experience of Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014Breaking down the long-lasting appeal of the band and the contributions of each of its members, Wild writes in the liner notes:

●“Has any frontman ever stayed as deeply connected to the true spirit of rock & roll than Steven Tyler? The man’s muse does just not seem to contain an off-switch, and somehow he continues to have more energy onstage now than ever before…take a good look at Tyler on fire here…Tyler’s voice remains a tremendous force of nature…”

●“[Perry’s] delivered some of the most thrilling and iconic guitar solos in all of rock history…the man is not simply one of our all-time greatest guitarists…Perry has also more than earned his place in the Songwriters Hall of Fame along with Steven Tyler, further validation of their shared place as one of rock’s most respected songwriting teams ever.”

●“Among many other virtues, Aerosmith is arguably the most soulful band in rock history, and a lot of the credit for that goes to powerhouse yet funky drummer Joey Kramer…Kramer’s strong sense of feel provided Aerosmith with a solid foundation that keeps the band pumping…Kramer is the man credited with giving the band its eternally cool name.”

●“Rock solid bassist Tom Hamilton is much more than simply half of one of hard rock’s best and most versatile rhythm sections…Hamilton is not just a fine musician--he has also co-written a few of the most beloved Aerosmith classics…namely ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Janie’s Got A Gun,’ as well as a number of other fan favorites.”

●“…[Brad Whitford is]…perhaps the group’s most effective secret musical weapon…known as Aerosmith’s band’s rhythm guitarist…Whitford has shown himself to be the absolute perfect guitar slinger to partner with Joe Perry--a more trained axe ace who has done so much to allow Aerosmith to consistently sound like a massive guitar army, and even better yet, one that always wins.”

Click here to view a trailer:

The Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 track listing is as follows:

1) Train Kept A-Rollin’

2) Eat The Rich

3) Love In An Elevator

4) Cryin’

5) Jaded

6) Livin’ On The Edge
7) Last Child

8) Freedom Fighter

9) Same Old Song And Dance

10) Janie’s Got A Gun

11) Toys In The Attic

12) I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing

13) No More No More

14) Come Together

15) Dude (Looks Like A Lady)

16) Walk This Way

17) Home Tonight

18) Dream On

19) Sweet Emotion

20) Mama Kin


AEROSMITH are a living piece of American music history, having sold over 150 million albums worldwide and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  They are the recipients of countless awards including four GRAMMYs®, eight American Music Awards, six Billboard Awards and 12 MTV Video Music Awards among many other honors.  Proving that they can cross genre-boundaries with ease, these rock legends have even taken home a Soul Train Award for Best Rap Single for their remix of Run DMC’s “Walk This Way.” With scores of multi-platinum albums, AEROSMITH continues to inspire generations to get their wings, get a grip and just push play. It is no wonder why they are one of the most beloved bands of all time.

For more information, visit:

From FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...
Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit and original Beach Boys singer-guitarist Al Jardine will take part in a celebration of The Kingston Trio on June 21st and 22nd at The Avalon in Hollywood. Both shows are being filmed to air on public television early next year.
We'll have to watch for this one!  (kk)
New York -- Micky Dolenz, who started the fine-furniture design and production company Dolenz and Daughters - with his daughter Georgia, appeared at last week’s Dwell On Design event last week at the LA Convention Center.  
The event, held yearly by Dwell magazine, drew designers, architects, and design enthusiasts from all over the country.
The two held a panel on design and took questions from the packed audience.
Check the company out at .
L-R: Micky Dolenz and Georgia Dolenz.
Photo: Mimi Teller

Micky also told "Something Else" about a Monkees song that got away ...

Micky Dolenz was blessed with some of the best material of the era as part of the Monkees, from Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (“Steppin’ Stone,” “Last Train to Clarksville”) to Gerry Goffin and Carole King (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”) to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (“D.W. Washburn”) to Neil Diamond (“I’m a Believer”). 

But there was one that got away — at least, for a while. Seems the Monkees were pitched the amiable ballad “Diary” well before it became a Top 20 hit for Bread as part of their 1972 album Baby I’m-a Want You.

“David Gates, of course, was part of the stable, part of the Brill Building West,” Micky Dolenz told Paul Freeman of Pop Culture Classics. “I remember meeting him in the writers’ little building. And he wrote a couple things for the Monkees. And it was towards the middle or end of the recording thing that the publisher gave me that demo, that acetate. I still have it. [Laughs.] And he said ‘I guess you should do this.'”
At that point, however, Micky Dolenz had his misgivings. “I don’t know, I guess I was just being stupid at the time,” Dolenz admits. “I said, ‘No, I didn’t think I should do a ballad.’ It was actually not until a number of years later that he got that out with Bread. And I always kick myself in the butt for not doing it, because the Bread version is one of my favorite tunes.”

That wrong was finally righted when Micky Dolenz included Gates’ “Diary” on his 2012 solo release Remember. “When I told that story to my producer, when we were putting together the concept for the album,” Dolenz adds, “he said, ‘Oh, let me fool around with that and see what I can come up with.'”

Jack Levin was lamenting the lack of pictures when he recently met Ronnie Rice, so I thought I'd share this one taken when our band closed for him last February.  He's a great guy, indulging all the autograph-seekers and picture-takers.  He does a great show, featuring sixties music, including his New Colony Six hits ... not so much his early solo records though. 
Ed Erxleben
I've known Ronnie for several years now and he's always "on".  
Here's a recent picture of him at The Marty Grebb Benefit Concert ...
Oops ... no wait ... this one ...