Friday, July 31, 2015

The Friday Flash

re: Radio News Of Note:
More comments about Chicago's new radio station sensation ... and a few OTHER radio comments as well ...

Neil Sabin, I owe ya one, pal. 87.7 ME-FM has won me over. Any station that ships out "Tough of Grey" and "Sail on Sailor" back to back earns my trust. Please forgive me for previous transgressions.
Why is it every time I see a Dead Head I feel like screaming, "Get a Life." Of course, I say the same thing about most soccer fans.
Chicago's majestic "Beginnings" off their Chicago Transit Authority album resonates as much with me today as it did 45 years ago. It may well be inch for inch and pound for pound the best overall rock song of the 70's with horns that are overwhelming. However, I know people who will argue that it's not even the 4th or 5th best song on the album. 

Chet Coppock 

Bob form Bolingbrook ...
It was such a nice surprise to hear Forever Autumn by the Moody Blues on Monday at around 9:10 am on Me-TV-FM. I actually have the album and soundtrack from War of the Worlds (I believe it's a collectors' item and quite rare) where some of the songs are narrated by Richard Burton. Nice change of pace and music format.
Have you and Forgotten Hits ever done a piece on this double album? The story and all is interesting. My grandfather, who has since passed away, recalled packing their belongings up for fear of being taken by these aliens. 


Big story out of Chicago this week was that John Records Landecker is leaving WLS-FM. Not "retirement", he says ... and he wasn't fired ... he's simply leaving of his own free will to pursue other interests (whatever they may be).  
According to Robert Feder's column, this is the first time Landecker has ever VOLUNTARILY left a radio station without having another job lined up. He told Feder: “I’m not leaving 94.7 WLS with the intention of going on another radio station at all,” he said. “If I do somewhere, fine. If I don’t, fine. But if I do, it’s definitely going to be on my terms 100 percent.”  

Landecker was quoted as saying that, even though he made his mark in a VERY big way in the '70's, the music of the '70's and '80's (and now even some of the '90's now playing on WLS-FM) was never his favorite ... that he would prefer playing '60's music ... meaning that he won’t miss is the music he’s been playing night after night: “I graduated from high school in 1965. All I really want to hear is the ’60s.  I’ve had it with the ’70s, the ’80s, now and all that. I don’t want to hear any of that stuff anymore. In about 10 years, maybe I’ll want to hear it again.” 
(That's kinda how I feel about "Jack And Diane"!!! - kk)

Will John be back on the radio anytime soon? Only time will tell. He seems happy to be hanging things up on his own terms ... and maybe he just wants to "enjoy life" for a little while ... (his daughter Amy stars on the popular new Amazon television series "Transparent" ... and a visit to the
west coast to visit with her fall into his immediate plans) ... but don't be surprised if we still hear his voice from time to time. John left that part of his future pretty vague ... but also open for any number of possibilities. (A Podcast perhaps???)  

Meanwhile, you can pick up a copy of his excellent biography here ...  

Spring for the deluxe edition with the bonus CD offering radio highlights from his illustrious career!   (kk)

John Landecker isn't the only WLS-FM name making radio headlines this past week ... Program Director Jan Jeffries has departed the station (and is off to Washington, DC) ... and, according to Chicagoland Radio and Media headlines this morning, new on-again / off-again morning man Jack
Diamond is also out the door. (I wonder if anyone will notice ... he has spent more time OFF the air than on the air over the past year!) It'll be interesting to see what direction the station takes once newly named Program Director Brian Thomas takes over the reigns. Stay tuned!  (kk)     

Talk about WLS big-wigs, you'll find a WHOLE bunch of them in this vintage clip I received from Chuck Buell last week ...

Somebody just brought to my attention this old TV Video Clip of all us On-Air Guys at WLS in 1972 being interviewed. Check the Guy at the Far Left! Is he rockin' the 70s Image or what?! And be sure to listen to his astute comments later in the interview about why there are no "Girl" Disk Jockeys!
1972 WLS On Air Guys

re: I've Often Heard It Said That Most Instrumentals Are Simply Too Good For Words:   

The list we ran the other day, supplied by Bill Oakley, has a few of our readers buzzing (in "Which Came First ... The Chicken Or The Egg" fashion) about some well-know instrumental hits and their vocal counterparts. (For me, I've RARELY heard a vocal version of an established instrumental hit that made me think the vocal arrangement SHOULD have been the one to make it ... but, as we see here SO often in Forgotten Hits, to each his own.)   

Anyway, here's more from Bill ... and one of his new constituents ...   

Just got through reading Sunday's FH. While I was reading it, I went through the first half of Bill Oakey's list of instrumentals-vocal songs. Needless to say, I didn't know that most of these vocal versions existed.  
In 1961, Conway Twitty recorded C'EST SI BON on MGM and it did quite well here in OKC. Billy Vaughn had an instrumental version of that same tune, but I don't think either charted nationally.  
I probably played some twenty songs from the first half of the list to see what the vocals sounded like. I didn't play them all the way through, however, maybe no more than half the length of the song.    

Here's more from Bill ...  

Hello Kent, 
Thanks so much for publishing the list of instrumentals with vocal versions. And thanks to the readers  who have suggested new titles to add.  
With regard to the many entries on the list that were recorded first as hit vocals, I established a criteria that the instrumental version had to be released as a 45 rpm single in order to be included.  Otherwise, you are quite correct that the “Muzak” album cuts would number into the thousands.  
There are a small number of exceptions to that criteria. I did include a few jazz standards that were not released as singles. I did that because very few jazz hits got played on Top 40 AM radio, and I felt  like the vocal versions by folks like Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, etc., were quite interesting to listen to. There are also a few movie and TV instrumental themes that may not have been released as singles.  
Here are a few more to add to the original list:  
312. ’Til Tomorrow - Oscar Peterson Trio. Vocal by The Four Aces, Eileen Rodgers 
313. Theme From The Wild Angels - Davie Allan & The Arrows. Vocal by The Visitors 
314. Tuxedo Junction - Ray Anthony / Earl Bostic. Vocal by Ella Fitzgerald, Frankie Avalon 
315. Theme From The Thomas Crown Affair (The Windmills Of Your Mind) - Michael Legrand / Arthur Lyman. Vocal by Dusty Springfield, Noel Harrison and many others 
316. Midnight Oil - Charlie Blackwell. Vocal by Dickie Pride
317. Soul Finger - The Bar-Kays. Vocal (Soulfinger) by Oscar Hamod & The Majestics 
318. Angela Mia - Ralph Flanagan. Vocal by The Crew Cuts 319. Straight, No Chaser - Thelonious Monk. Vocal by Gene McDaniels and Vocal (Get It Straight) by Carmen McRae 
320. Theme From The V.I.P.’s - Bill Evans. Vocal (The Willow) by Roy Hamilton 
321. A Night In Tunisia - The Modern Jazz Quartet. Vocal by Ella Fitzgerald and Vocal (Love Was Just An Interlude) by Anita O’Day 
322. Theme From Rio Conchos - The London Symphony Orchestra. Vocal by Johnny Desmond 
323. America - Arthur Lyman Group / Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. Vocal by Trini Lopez 
324. 55 Days At Peking - Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen. Vocal by The Brothers Four 
325. Velvet Waters - The Megatrons. Vocal by Bruce Gillespie, Tony Worsley, Jimmy Little Dickens

re:  This And That:   
Thanks for the heads up on the Zombies tickets.  I got 17th row, just left of center.  Four of the five original members will be together to play for this special show.  Out of all the shows you let us know about, this may be the one that will be the most important. I first saw the Zombies live at the Abbey Pub in Chicago a long time back, when they first reformed.  After the show I was able to meet Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent and they were two of the nicest people I ever met.  Don't miss this concert!  It will be one of the best 60s shows you have ever seen.  (Bill Mulvy)
If you check out my website ... ... I've had Colin Blunstone on the show  four times, Rod Argent twice.  Also, members of Moody Blues and, recently,  Gunnar Nelson. 
Regards - 
Geoff Dorsett
Radio Presenter
The Soft Rock Show  |  Kick Up the '80s  |  Supersonic '70s  |  Solid Gold '60s  |  All Our Yesterplays
Hey Kent,  
What a great summer for concerts!   I just learned that in December Darlene Love is bringing a Christmas show to the Genesee Theatre.  If by any chance you get tickets for that, remember us if you can ... would love to see her.   Since we missed out on our free tickets to Engelbert recently, this
would make a great substitute.  In the meantime,  enjoy the music this summer. 
We loved loved loved loved Air Supply in Elk Grove Village this week.  They blew us away ... what a great surprise! The man sitting next to me has seen them 25 times and made the concert all the more fun with his passion and enthusiasm.  
I don't know if we'll have access to any Darlene Love tickets ... but we'll see what happens.  Ronnie Spector is also expected to bring her Christmas Show back to The Arcada Theatre, too ... so stay tuned!  (Ron Onesti already has holiday shows lined up featuring Felix Cavaliere's Rascals, The Ides Of March, The Lettermen and Michael McDonald.  Check out the website for more details.) kk  
We went to go see Christopher Cross and Air Supply in Elk Grove Village this past Tuesday night.  
Yes, it was hot.   
Yes, it was crowded.  
But Air Supply COMPLETELY blew us away ... what a great show!  
Incredible to think that they have been together for 40 years already ... and their voices sound as fresh as ever.  Hope you got to see this fantastic show.  
Actually, no, we missed the entire Elk Grove Village Concert Series this year ... and this was one of the ones I really wanted to see.  (Tuesday Night we were at the Graham Nash show at The Arcada ... which was ALSO an incredible show ... but it would have been nice to see both of these incredible '80's artists.) 
I've seen Christopher Cross before ... (he's coming to The Arcada in November, too) ... but have never seen Air Supply.  Based on these two glowing reviews, I'm going to have to make it a point to get to one of their concerts next time around!  (When they played The Arcada a few months back we couldn't go due to other plans that evening.)  kk 
Dear Kent; 
Random thoughts of a kid who always wanted to be a full blown rocker: 
Whispers growing in volume: Isn’t Ronnie Onesti planning a bigger, bolder "Chicago High School Rock Party" than the blast he had for Marty Grebb a while back. Yes, he is. I don't know how a rematch could possibly top the show we saw several months ago. However, if anybody can make that kind of magic, it's Ronnie.  
Jimy Sohns is guesting with me at the VIP party to kickoff the national Sports Collectors show at the Stephens Center on Wednesday. How many copies did G-L-O-R-I-A actually sell - 6-7 million? 
Who is the greater female vocalist: Barbra Streisand or Aretha Franklin?  I'll hang up and wait for the answer.
Who is the most overrated female vocalist in rock history? Madonna by knockout. She makes Tom  
Waits sound like John Lennon. 
Chet Coppock
author: Buffone - Monster of the Midway  
>>>The times, they have a-changed ... and not necessarily for the better.  (kk)   
Yes, Kent's seems to be a "sign of the times" as Petula Clark used to sing. Now in this "enlightened age" it's more about life style choices and the corresponding radio station that reflects that choice.  Many times it's about what the dj or sponsors want to play rather than what the audience wants to hear. I think you are right that the surveys are useless because the people they survey are not thoughtful about their music and just think off the top of their heads. It may be a random sample of listeners who are surveyed but us fans of good music and "forgotten hits" are particular listeners with interesting taste and know that there are better selections to hear. 
>>>I would have expected (this is my opinion, of course), to have  him sing at least one of the two following songs, his 1961 recordings HALFWAY TO PARADISE   (Larry) 
He's sung them when I've seen him in concert!!!
Eileen (his #1 fan)