Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thursday This And That

re:  Chet's Top 200 List:  
You and Chet on the radio?  Now THAT would be a song!  Your version needs to be 'Me and Chet and the radio'. If I can get that station, I would listen.  You  need some sort of buzzer/gong to stop each side when time is up.  Debate it!
WRLR streams worldwide and offers up a wide variety of oldies music, including a few import shows from the UK.  You can check 'em out here ...
Bish Krywko, President of the Station, has been trying to get me to do a show for years ... so this would be an easy sell.  (In fact, he's already invited us to let his station host a program just like what I suggested the other day.)  Hardest part (as always) is finding the time to do it.  But stay tuned ... we've been promising Forgotten Hits Radio for years now.  Those of us lucky enough to live in Chicago and enjoy Me-TV-FM now have a glimpse of what radio COULD sound like once you knock down those preconceived walls that the listener only has the capacity to digest a maximum of 200 songs by 30 artists ... but we can now bring this concept to the world!!!  (kk)   

# 3 & #56 (Animals, When I was Young) on Chet Coppock’s Top 200 list are also duplicates.
James B. Trawicki
Yep, several people pointed this out (even though I missed it.)  Maybe Chet liked it THIS much when he was young ... and now he likes it THIS much because it's gotten better with age!  (kk)   

Hi Kent and all, 
Given that Chet's list is based on favorite tunes rather than sales, it's hard to quibble.  Like you, Kent, I'd have a tough time nailing down 200 favorite songs so kudos to Chet for that. 
Here are my thoughts: 
There were a few that I had to check on because I didn't remember them by title, but oddly enough, I think there was only 1 that I'd never heard before. 
Magic Town has always been one of my favorite tunes, and always seems to be overlooked.  
47. Little Milton - Feel So Bad, I'd never heard this version, and it's way way cooler than Elvis's version. It's now a new favorite of mine, too. 
3. The Animals - When I Was Young
17. Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is
I think that Animals tune was listed a couple times on his list so he must really love it. Never did think that was one of the Animals' best.  Tell It like It Is? The Heart version Kicks Aaron's version to the curb very handily.
72. Dion - Little Diane?  Runaround Sue with a Cazoo. Actually I'd like it but that damn cazoo thing!  What, they couldn't afford the sax player?
James Brown - There Was a Time? Cold Sweat is much cooler. 
The other one in the list that didn't grab me at all was 181. The Dells - There Is.  I'm a big R&b guy but that one isn't memorable. Oh What A Night is their best IMO ... <grin>
A fun list to be sure. Nothing like a bunch of music freaks picking songs. 
Thanks Chet, and to you, Kent. 

First of all, like most, MY Top 200 would be different from Chet's quite a lot, because I would choose MANY more obscurities.  I like how Chet has done well being fair with black and white artists.  My list would be much more pop rock and less R&B than his, and thus, less black artists.  It's just how we all grew up hearing rock 'n' roll.  He has almost no country music (Patsy Cline is there), however.  I wouldn't have many either, tho.
Sadly, I don't see the Cryan' Shames' "Greenburg" in there, which is every bit as good as "White Room" from the same months of 1968. 
Anyway, some thoughts:
I like his Animals "When I was Young" at #3 and #56, but I'd choose "Monterey."
"Hey Jude"???  Sorry, I don't buy it as one of their best even if it was their biggest.  "Hey Bulldog" IS a good choice, however!
"Magic Carpet Ride" overrated -- "Born To Be Wild" is much better.
I like the oft-underrated choices of "Soul Sacrifice" and "Anyway You Want it" (possibly top 10 on my list?).
I don't get "Time Won't Let Me"'s popularity.  It's a good song, but it sure gets lots of props for a song that is "just ok."
"Na Na Hey Hey" NO WAY!  "Mr. Businessman" YES!!!
'Money Man" by Baby Huey would be my choice over Stones' version.
Otherwise, nice songs to choose there.  Not a bad list, just not enough obscure ones for me. 
Clark Besch   

May I say that this is an inspired list. Gimme Shelter at #1!  Better it, than Satisfaction, which has topped more than one list like this. But it's the #3 song, When I Was Young, by The Animals, which impressed me the most.
Kent is fond of saying how a song has disappeared from the airwaves. This one certainly has. I don't know that I've heard this song since it came out in 1967. 
On to the main topic of Harper Valley PTA. 
Tom T. Hall may be one of the most under appreciated songwriters in all of music. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for story songs. I did not really appreciate Harper Valley PTA until I moved to rural America. (Wayne City, IL., population 1100. Just down the road a spell from Mayberry, IL. Yes Virginia, there really IS a Mayberry, IL). 
This song rings so true today. Far more so than 1968, given what our society has become in terms of political correctness. 
In the Chicago area there are apartment complexes with more people then this village has. I see the hypocrisy that Tom T. Hall was writing about every day in this town. There's a version of Jeannie C. Riley singing this live, on some program, on You Tube and who ever is playing guitar on it, kicks ass. In homogenized suburban Chicago, you don't see the song from the same perspective. It's not a top 200 song, but it should get a bit more respect. And don't get me started on Billy Don't Be a Hero. 
Jack Levin   

Kudos for Chet for even attempting this. I could never pick 200 tunes, I agree, Kent, 2000 would be easier. But really Chet really???? LETS LIVE FOR TODAY by the Grass Roots not on there? I am sure you forgot, but seriously a lot of great tunes on your list.  
Mike DeMartino   
LOL ... I looked for that one, too.  Years ago (in a TMI / over-share moment) Chet told our readers how he lost his virginity to The Grass Roots hit!  (lol)  Perhaps it wasn't a moving experience (???)  Certainly should have ranked in his Top 200 Memories of the '60's.  (But then again how many times have you heard the expression "If you remember the '60's, you weren't really there"!!!)  kk   

Ya gotta admit it, pal ... between the two of us, we gave 'em one helluva show! 

re:  Now That's A Lu-Lu!:  
Just now scanned today's FH before I leave for the day. Would you believe yesterday for some reason I started singing in my mind DOWN AT LULU's. When that record came out, it was number one with a guy by the name of Tubby. (Get it) ? Always did like it.  
I want you to know that you lost your bet. Not only did I sit through DOWN AT LULU's once, but I did it more than once. Really one of my all time favorites by the Ohio Express. I said by the Ohio Express, not one of my all time favorites overall. I enjoyed perusing Chet's top 200. There were some two or three songs I really wasn't familiar with, but they were album cuts I presume. Well, got to go now. I have to play DOWN AT LULU's again for the umpteenth time. (LOL).
No, I actually, I WON my bet!!!  I said that you couldn't sit still for all two minutes of "Down At Lulu's" without being inspired to move, tap your foot, sing along, get up and dance, etc, etc, etc.  The fact that you played it again and again and again only proves my point.  (So why isn't any OTHER deejay on the list giving this one a spin today?  Because YOUR audience will react the very same way!  Guaranteed!!!)  Scott Shannon ... Rise to the Forgotten Hits Challenge ... and play "Down At Lulu's" on your program today!!!  The oldies fans will love it!  (Besides, a daily dose of the "real good, feel good song" will pick up and perk up your audience ... once they learn to "expect the unexpected!!!)  kk   

Hey Kent, 
I was going to wait until I looked up a couple of songs from Chet's list that I didn't know, but I couldn't ... just had to weigh in on Down At Lulu's. 
I don't know why, but I still like it. 
Even when it was out, I knew it was pretty light weight, but it just so reminds me of being a kid that I just smile when I hear it. 
The Union Gap stuff? Nah, doesn't hold up for me. He had a great voice, but it's calculated dribble to me now. 
I love, love, love these lists, though! 

re:  The Wrecking Crew:  
Just thought I'd let you know who I had on this week's radio show ... Jimmy Webb and Micky Dolenz. 
Both guys were fabulous on the interviews and so complimentary about working with Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew. 
I am meeting Denny Tedesco tomorrow in London for the Wrecking Crew movie.  I am truly excited. 
Both Jimmy and Micky are on the youtube trailer for the movie. 
Thanks as always. 
Regards -   
Geoff Dorsett 
Radio Presenter   

Hey, Kent,
Regarding Hal Blaine and other Wrecking Crew members, the first time I saw their names in print was the liner notes of the Mamas and the Papas' first album, "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears".  Hal Blaine on drums, Joe Osborn on bass, Larry Knechtel on keys.  I loved Blaine's playing so much, I would stand for hours in record stores looking for him on liner notes.  It was easier to listen for him, and before long I could tell his signature drum sound, his approach to a song and his distinctive drum fills. I knew it was him on the 5th Dimension's hits the moment I heard them. He's a little harder to pick out on Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night", and on Herb Alpert's "Taste of Honey", but that's him alright.
Rick Barr,
New Colony Six/ Shadows of Knight

re:  This And That:  
I first heard about Joe Bennett's passing from FH Reader Mickey Cooksey, who put us in touch with Joe Bennett a few years ago.  Joe even participated with Forgotten Hits on a couple of occasions.  He also sent us a couple of really cool Sparkletones links.  (kk)
He also sent us this GREAT clip from the old Nat "King" Cole television show, which featured Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones in action ...
Click here: YouTube - The Sparkletones 1956 on The Nat King Cole Show   

Here's Joe's original message to his Forgotten Hits fans from June 24, 2011 ... almost exactly four years ago to the day of his passing ...

Hello Forgotten Hits and all your fans.  
I'm Joe Bennett from Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones. Thanks for having us as your guest today. 
All the original members of Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones are still alive and performing.  We just performed The Viva Las Vegas Show at The Orleans in Vegas, April 22, 2011.  
I am a guitar teacher at Roper Music in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Drop by to see me if you ever come this way.   
Hope you get a chance to visit my web site and drop me a line.  
The biggest highlight of my Air Force career was meeting and performing with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.  He became and still is a great friend for over fifty years now,  and is one of the world's greatest and most knowledgeable percussionists.
One of the greatest moments of my Sparketones touring was when Elvis Presley attended our show in Vegas at the Royal Nevada Hotel.  After our show he came back stage and knocked on our door.  He came in for a visit and a photo shoot with us.  Another great moment was during a visit to my manager, when I was an artist for Paris Records.  I got to meet Buddy Holly and get his autograph in the waiting room because we shared the same management agency in New York City.
Black Slacks, our biggest seller, was featured in Disney's Rescuers Down Under.  My wife just recently purchased a DVD copy of it at Wal-mart for our grandchildren!
We started our Sparkletones career as major label artists with performances on The Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour,  ABC Parmamount Movie Tour, thirteen weeks in Las Vegas, which included The Nat King Cole Show, a recording session in LA, The Ed Sullivan Show Twice, Alan Freed Tours, American Bandstand several times, and numerous other shows throughout US and Canada. 
The most recent overseas tours included England twice and Germany.
Joe Bennett
Joe Bennett, leader of the Spartanburg, South Carolina, rockabilly band, Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones, died Saturday (June 27) at the age of 75.  The quartet (including Howard Childress, Wayne Arthur and Jimmy Denton) formed at Cowpens High School in Spartanburg in 1956. They were spotted by a CBS talent scout who was impressed enough to leave his job and becomes their manager, signing them with ABC-Paramount Records. Their first recording, written by Joe and Jimmy, was "Black Slacks" (#17 - 1957).  It was recorded in the same studio and right after label-mate Paul
Anka's "Diana" (Paul stuck around to watch them and joined in on background vocals). The follow-up, "Penny Loafers And Bobby Socks" only made it to #42 that year and, when four subsequent singles failed to chart, the Sparkletones were dropped by ABC. Moving to Paris Records, they did manage to "bubble under" the charts with "Boys Do Cry" (#105 - 1959) but three other songs fizzled and the group disbanded. Joe went on to work in music publishing and as an air traffic controller and was a much sought-after music teacher. "Black Slacks" was used in the 1990 animated film, "The Rescuers Down Under."
-- Ron Smith  

I have just learned of the passing of Mr. "Black Slacks", Joe Bennett, this weekend.  I am proud to say that Joe and I were good friends, that we hung out together years ago and I listened with total fascination as he would tell the stories of his rock-star days.  He was a good man, relaxed, friendly, talented and active in his Church.  I was aware of his failing health and knew his time was near, but I still feel the loss deeply.
Jim (Southern) Pritchard

Just a comment or two about Monday's FH. First, I hadn't heard the Raiders' version of LOUIE LOUIE in a long time ... always did like it though. Hadn't heard CAST YOUR FATE TO THE WIND by Steve Alaimo in a long time as well. Liked the instrumental version by Sounds Orchestral better. Didn't Shelby Flint also have a vocal version as well? Whenever I think of Steve Alaimo I think of his 1963 hit EVERYDAY I HAVE TO CRY SOME which was big here in OKC. The songs that stuck with me on KEWB's survey were SOUL SAUCE by Cal Tjader (#16) and Eddie Hodges' #24 NEW ORLEANS. Finally, I don't really remember Little Esther Phillips' AND I LOVE HIM making the survey here, but I do have a copy of it. Incidentally, I am not sure, but I believe by this time she or her promotional people had dropped the word Little before her name.
Old habits are awfully hard to drop. To this day I still refer to her as "Little" and sometimes I still refer to Stevie Wonder as Little Stevie Wonder. Little Esther Phillips' 1962 RELEASE ME ... man,
what a record.
Several artists took a crack at "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", the two biggest hits both being instrumentals.  (The biggest was by Sounds Orchestral, which reached The Top Ten three years after the original version by The Vince Guaraldi Trio charted.)  Shelby Flint did release a vocal version in 1966.  "And I Love Him" (#39 for a week here in Chicago) was the first Esther Phillips chart record after dropping the "Little" from her name.  (kk)

LISTEN: Here is a great radio ad for CHARLIE GRACIE's latest CD: ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER, featuring DEE DEE SHARP on Lanark Records Click on the Mp3 File and ENJOY! 
Fresh Charlie Gracie and Paul McCartney pics coming soon!  When Sir Paul's people send us the official photos (in a month's time, as we were told) I'll forward them to you should would wish to share them in your blog.
I still can't believe I met him myself! He was very down to earth and extremely respectful of my dad and mom. He loved my dad's autobiography: ROCK AND ROLL's HIDDEN GIANT (Alfred Music  Publishing ) and held it up high in the photos that were taken.
Of course, Sir Paul contributed to the Foreword in my dad's book. He covered one of my dad's late 50's hits 'Fabulous' back in 1999 as part of his Run Devil Run cd series.
My dad is certainly one of the privileged and pervious few in the USA, to have a direct musical link to Paul -- which dates back to the very beginning!
When my dad headlined the Liverpool Empire Theater in 1957, Paul and a couple of the boys were in those audiences taking it all in.
Paul delights in recounting the story of watching my dad, Charlie, Sr., performing his uniquely rapid-fire version of Guitar Boogie. It left quite an impression. There's a live version by my dad on YouTube performed at a Bowser show which has close to 300,000 views. It's always a show stopper. He also played it at an appearance this past Friday night!
So thanks very much again -- and stand by for an update and photos.
My dad heads off to Great Britain July 1-8 to headline the Wildest Kats In Town R&R Festival in Suffolk. He returns to the UK again in November for a extended show tour.
Best wishes,
Charlie JR. 

As a long time Emitt Rhodes fans, I was happy to receive this email from Clark Besch the other day:  
Why has this great talented man wasted his life away since 1973?  What a shame.
Thanks, Clark ... your email prompted me to seek out this elusive documentary ... and while I didn't find it, I DID find this rather lengthy interview from 2010 ...
Amazing interview.  Love & Mercy Part 2!  Just like with Love & Mercy, thanks, I'm glad I heard this.  AND yet I feel so sad.  His new songs aren't bad at all, unlike what I expected them to be.
If anybody out there has the means to get me a copy of the "One-Man Beatles" / Emitt Rhodes documentary, I NEED to see it!!!  Please email me privately.  Thank you!  (kk)
Speaking of documentaries (Rock Docs???), the one profiling The Seeds will be showing in Oregon later this month.  You can check out all the details here:

Here's some unfortunate news about someone fans of 1960's radio might remember. 
I used to like to flip between WLS and WVON.  Some great music you didn't hear anywhere else.
Ed Erxleben
Former WVON personality Lucky Cordell, daughter critically hurt in South Shore fire     

The "Satisfaction" Countdown continues, courtesy of Bob Merlis ...     

The penultimate installment of our weekly countdown chronicling the march up the charts of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is upon us.  
As we’ve been telling you, it was the very first Rolling Stones’ record to get to #1 in the US and that happened in the issues of Billboard, Cashbox dated July 10 and in the issue of Record World dated July 3 — there were three competing music biz trades back then.  If you were anywhere over that July 4th holiday 50 years ago you would have heard “Satisfaction” on hundreds of transistor radios at the beach and from un-airconditioned cars blaring out from rolled-down windows. 
We found the Cash Box Top 100 from the week of July 3, 1965 which, like Record World the previous week, had it poised to depose The Byrds’ folk rock take on Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” from the top slot.  It knocked out The Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself” to get to #1 in Billboard. 
See below for more information about ABKCO’s 50th anniversary limited edition 12”, 45 rpm release of “Satisfaction” that’s out on July 10th to commemorate the milestone.  We’ve added a shot of the record that shows the label which replicates the art seen on the original London Records’ pressing. 

Released during the first week of June in 1965, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones proved to be a monumental single, not just in terms of airplay and chart position (their first U.S. #1), but also in terms of shaping popular music. The song that, according to Newsweek, contains the “five notes that shook the world” has proven itself timeless. A half-century later, the Rolling Stones played the song as their finale on the opening night of their Zip Code Tour of North America 2015.    
The idea of writing a song around a riff (a repeating sequence of notes), rather than a vocal melody or chord progression, though not unprecedented at the time, had yet to take rock music by storm. “Satisfaction” was the storm. Over the course of the next several years, the shift in focus towards the riff took hold, and can be still heard in popular music today.   
On July 10, ABKCO Records will celebrate the golden anniversary of “Satisfaction” by releasing a limited edition, numbered 12-inch version of the single on 180-gram vinyl. While the smash hit comprises the entire A-side, the B-side consists of both original U.S. and UK “Satisfaction” flip sides: “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” and “The Spider and the Fly,” respectively. The record is housed in a sleeve featuring award-winning photographer David Bailey’s shot of the group, recreating the original 7-inch single artwork.  Mastered by Carl Rowatti at Trutone Mastering Labs and cut from the original mono master tapes, the 45-rpm 12-inch format makes this a true audiophile pressing, allowing for wider grooves that yield louder levels, broader range, deeper bass and better high frequency response.  
London Records (the Stones’ U.S. label at the time) released “Satisfaction” in the first week of June, less than a month after the track was recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood, CA on May 12, 1965. By June 12, the single had entered both the Billboard and Cashbox charts. Over the course of the next month, “Satisfaction” shot straight to the top, hitting #1 in Record World on July 3, where it held its position for three weeks; Billboard and Cashbox followed suit, declaring it #1 on July 10, where it stayed for four weeks. Sales-wise, “Satisfaction” was an unparalleled success – it became the group’s first RIAA-certified gold record on July 19, 1965.  
The UK version of the “Satisfaction” single, released by Decca on August 20, 1965, would become the band’s fourth #1 single in their home territory. The track made its LP debut on July 30 of that year, when it was included on the U.S. version of Out of Our Heads. ABKCO Films’ much-lauded documentary The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965 features the band’s first ever performance of “Satisfaction” to a paying audience, played Dublin’s Adelphi Theatre on September 3 of that year. (See link below)  
The iconic guitar riff that opens the song was composed by Keith Richards who recorded the sequence of notes on a home tape recorder while in a dreamlike state in the middle of the night when the band was on tour in the U.S.  After listening to his own recording and devising the song title “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” he played the riff for Mick Jagger by the pool at the Gulf Motel in Clearwater, FL in early May, 1965. Jagger immediately composed the lyrics.   
Having scrapped a version of “Satisfaction” that was recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago on May 10, the group re-recorded the song at RCA Studios in Hollywood, CA on May 12. It was this version that would take over the airwaves and shoot up the charts the following month.  
Textured by the aid of a Maestro Fuzz-Tone pedal, Richards’ riff was originally intended to be replaced by a horn section, but the recording sounded complete to producer/manager Andrew Loog Oldham and engineer David Hassinger. Jagger’s lyrics, simultaneously expressing sexual frustration and disdain for consumerist messages, would strike a nerve with the mostly young, rock ‘n’ roll buying public. Ironically, the only two people in the Stones’ camp who were initially against turning “Satisfaction” into a single were Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  
“The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man,” credited to Nanker Phelge (a pseudonym used on compositions written by the entire band), is a lighthearted jab at George Sherlock, an employee of London Records at the time, who accompanied the group on their first U.S. tour. The Stones saw Sherlock as a vain, toupee-topped, seersucker suited music biz flunky who was ultimately harmless. In later years, Sherlock expressed pride in having been the subject of the song. Loosely based on Buster Brown’s hit “Fannie Mae,” it is the lyrical content that gives the tune historic importance; the prodding of authority figures through song was almost unprecedented at the time. In the UK, Decca decided to instead use the country-blues composition “The Spider and the Fly” (also by Jagger/Richards) as the B-side to “Satisfaction,” the company assuming that the abundance of American references on “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” may have gone over the heads of British listeners.  
Pressed by Quality Record Pressings in Salina, KS, and limited to 10,000 numbered copies in North America, ABKCO’s “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” 12-inch single will be released a half-century to the day after the landmark song dominated U.S. charts and helped transform the course of pop music history.  
Pre-order link:   

And, speaking of The Rolling Stones ...   

Dear Musical Friends, 
As the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band again hit that road, Gary Pig Gold looks back at a couple of their DVD's and compares/contrasts accordingly …