Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Sunday Comments ( 09 - 20 - 15 )

Burton Cummings:  
To say that Burton Cummings put on yet another great show at The Arcada Theatre Friday Night is a given ... we've seen him four times now in the past three years and he never disappoints ... and Friday was no exception ... a rockin' good show from start to finish. 

I've run out of superlatives to describe it ... it's something you simply have to experience for yourself.  (Burton said he'd love to come back and play The Arcada every year ... and judging by the fact that each and every show has been a complete sell-out, I'd have to say The Arcada will be proud to have him!) 

Rather than rehash yet another review (you can read my previous reviews here ... along with our exclusive Forgotten Hits Interview from a couple of years ago) ...   

... I'll just tell you that every single word is still true ...  Cummings is still in fine voice and fine spirits and having a ball ... and is genuinely and sincerely touched by all of the positive feedback he gets from his audience ... he said it's shows like these that makes him want to continue to perform for another ten years ... (of course if he does that he may have to change the lyrics to "Break It To Them Gently" to "I'M damn near eighty" at some point in time ... as he also confided that he turns 68 in a few months!) 

We had a blast and even had time for a short visit backstage after the show where Burton taped this EXCELLENT testimonial for me ...

Instead of dwelling only on his performance, here are a few other things I observed at The Arcada Friday Night ... 

Arcada Theatre Host Ron Onesti was having every bit as much fun out there watching this show as every other audience member ... it was great to watch him boppin' to the music and singing along with every word ... it is clear that he loves this music every bit as much as we do ... and it's got to make him proud to be able to continue to present it to such a receptive crowd ... 

Speaking of which, The Arcada crowds are the best ... Burton played to a packed house of lifetime fans of his music, who showed their appreciation after every single performance.  (He mixed the set list up a little time this time around so there were some welcome additions and surprises.)  He interacts well with the audience and is one of the most energetic performers you'll ever have the chance to see.  (I swear he must lose twenty pounds during every show!)  The crowd reacted in kind with standing ovations throughout the night and loud, vigorous applause.  It made for the perfect marriage of audience and performer. 

That being said why is it that at EVERY single Arcada show there is SOME idiot out in the audience who feels that it is his preordained duty to shout out the name of song suggestions at the artists performing up on stage throughout the show?  And I swear this guy ends up in OUR section every single time!!!  Does he REALLY believe that the band came unprepared and without a set list?  Does he not know that EVERY artist saves their biggest hits for last ... and that Burton is NOT going to do "American Woman" three songs into the set?  Does he really think even for a moment that Cummings and the band need to be reminded that they should do "Star Baby" or "Clap For The Wolfman" at some point during the night as if they might not otherwise perform these tracks without his friendly reminder and suggestion?  Enthusiastic, yes ... but annoying as hell. 

Speaking of which, I swear the guy sitting in front of me had the biggest head I've ever seen in my life!!!  This is no joke ... when he sat up straight, the size of his head was the exact same size of Burton Cummings' body! ... and he blocked my COMPLETE view of watching Burton perform on stage for most of the night.  Just for fun, we compared head sizes to all of the other people sitting in that same row and, no lie, his head was 4-5 times bigger than every single one of them!!!  Don't get me wrong ... I realize that this is not his fault ... but it meant bobbing and weaving throughout the night to try and catch a glimpse of Cummings on stage rather than watch the entire concert on the large video screens posted throughout the venue.

But all in all I really can't complain ... Burton put on yet another AMAZING show ... and if he's going to come back every year, then we're going to go see him each and every time ... ALWAYS a great show ... and you should grab the opportunity to check it out next time he comes to a venue near you.

Upcoming dates include:

October 3rd - Berklee Performance Center in Boston, MA

October 4th - Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem, PA

October 6th at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York, NY

October 8th - The Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT

October 10th - The State Theatre - Falls Church, VA  

And finally, I'd like to compliment the opening act, Dennis O'Brien and John Paruolo.  We've seen this duo before but they put on an especially entertaining and varied performance Friday night, covering songs by everyone from The Eagles to Cat Stevens to Paul McCartney to Van Morrison to Jethro Tull ... all with an acoustic guitar and electronic keyboard!  Check these guys out if you get a chance ... (I believe they bill themselves as "The Dennis O'Brien Duo") ... a very entertaining set. 

(Thanks, as always, to Luciano Bilotti for his great Arcada shots!)  kk

Speaking of Great Up-Coming Shows ...

Forgotten Hits Readers on our "Locals List" got the heads up earlier this weekend that we've got tickets to give away to the upcoming Genesee Theatre performance by Jim Peterik's Lifeforce.  We've still got a few tickets to give away ... but you'd better act quickly.

Here are all the details:   

Here is your chance to see Jim Peterik as you've never seen him before ...   

Thanks to a special arrangement with The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL, Forgotten Hits has a select number of seats to give away to the upcoming Jim Peterik's Lifeforce Concert on October 1st.  See below for more details! 


Singer - songwriter / guitarist Jim Peterik – former member of Survivor and the Ides of March – is taking the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL, by storm on Thursday, October 1 with his band Lifeforce, featuring special guest Mindi Abair.  
Peterik has made an indelible mark on pop history, having garnered 18 Top 10 hits, including “The Search Is Over,” “Caught Up In You,” “Rocking Into The Night,” “Fantasy Girl,” “Hold On Loosely,” "Vehicle" and, of course, the triple-platinum Grammy-winning anthem from Rocky III “Eye Of The Tiger.”  But Lifeforce is a different avenue for Peterik, allowing him to stretch his jazz muscles. 
“My wife Karen and I have been huge fans since day one of Pat Metheny, David Grusin, Spyro Gyra, Keiku Matsui, Acoustic Alchemy, Basia, and so many more,” says Peterik. “Writing and performing this style myself is just a natural progression from fan to artist.”  
Lifeforce specializes in jazz that rocks, presenting a powerful collection of rock, pop, soul, world beat, and contemporary jazz.  
Joining Lifeforce is special guest Mindi Abair, who is a marvel in her own right. The two-time Grammy nominated saxophonist / vocalist / author has enjoyed ten #1 radio singles, two #1 Billboard Jazz CDs, and four albums that have landed #5 or above on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts in her solo career. Not only was she a featured saxophonist on American Idol in 2011 and 2012, but she joined Aerosmith for their 2012 summer tour.  
The beautifully restored Genesee Theatre is the perfect intimate setting for this special night of jazz. The theater is located at 221 N. Genesee Street in Waukegan, IL.  
For more information on Lifeforce, please visit:

Wanna go?

Drop me an email at and we'll see what we can do about getting you a pair of tickets to this very special event.  (Check out the video on the webpage to get a taste of what this is all about ... it should be a blast ... and there isn't a more beautiful place to catch a concert like this than The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan.)

Catch me quick if you're interested in attending as these tickets are being offered on a first come, first served basis and they won't last long.  (And please don't request tickets if you're not really able to attend ... we want to reward as many Forgotten Hits Readers as possible and would hate for ANY tickets to go to waste!)

Very special thanks to Colleen Rogalski and The Genesee Theatre for this very generous offer.  
Kent Kotal 
Forgotten Hits  

Live in the Chicagoland area and not on our Locals List?  
Drop me an email and we'll add you to the list.  

And you'll want to do that quickly as we've got some other VERY special surprises and ticket offers coming up, too. 
Stay tuned for information regarding a Forgotten Hits / Arcada Theatre Holiday Get-Together at The Ides Of March Christmas Concert ... some tickets to see Tommy James at The Rialto Square Theatre ... and don't be surprised if we find a way to hand out some Brian Wilson tickets, too, when he returns to the area in November for a performance at The Genesee Theatre!  
There is ALWAYS something cool happening in Forgotten Hits ... this is THE place to be ... so don't miss a single posting!  (kk)

Other great shows:

Scroll back to Thursday to see the incredible line-up of artists coming to The Arcada Theatre over the next few months. It's frickin' AMAZING!!!

Meanwhile, Star Plaza has Zappa Plays Zappa next week on the 23rd, followed by The Zombies on October 16th (that's the same night that Leon Russell is at The Arcada Theatre ... and Stevie Wonder is appearing at The United Center!), Kenny Rogers' Christmas Show on November 28th and The Salute to the '60's on January 30th featuring Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, The Buckinghams and The Grass Roots.

And Lou Christie (who is really diggin' Forgotten Hits ... thanks, Lou ... we love ya!) sent us THIS list of upcoming performances so FH Readers and fans across the country can check out some of his shows when he hits a theater near you ...    

10/3/15 - Roslyn, NY - Roslyn HS - Wounded Warriors Benefit (For Tix: 516 - 587 - 7187) 
10/11/15 - Warrendale, PA (Pittsburgh Area) Jergels Rhythm Grill 
10/17/15 - Wheeling, WV - Capitol Theatre 
10/23/15 - Lincoln, RI - Twin River Casino 
10/24/15 - Sarasota, FL - Van Wezel Hall 
11/1 - 11/8/15 - Malt Shop Memories Cruise (Sold Out) 
11/20/15 - Poinciana, FL - Private  
12/5/15 - Staten Island, NY - St. George Theatre 
2/27/16 - Lancaster, PA - American Music Theatre 
3/12/16 - Greensburg, PA - Palace Theatre

Lou also hosts "Make Summer Last Forever" on Sirius / XM Channel 6 - '60's on 6.  You can catch encore presentations on Monday, September 21st at 1 pm Eastern, Thursday, September 24th at 5 pm Eastern, Friday, September 25th at 11 pm Eastern and Sunday, Septmber 27th at 9 am Eastern

Lou Christie performing at the Addison Italian Fest last month

This And That:
Have you heard about the brand new, deluxe release of The Beatles "1"?
Already one of the best selling releases of the past 25 years, a new deluxe edition (featuring 27 tracks and 50 videos!!!) will be released on November 6th. 

Vintage Vinyl News is reporting:   

One of the biggest selling albums of the last 25 years is the Beatles compilation 1 and, on November 6, Apple Corps Ltd. and UMG will release a new version in a number of formats with fifty promotional films and videos.  

The 27-track CD / DVD and CD / Blu-ray pairs beautifully restored videos for each song, with new stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS HD surround audio mixes. The brand new Beatles 1+ celebrates their career in over 200 minutes through 50 promotional films and videos. This includes the 27 No.1s, with the restored videos, along with a second disc of 23 videos, including alternate versions, as well as rarely seen and newly restored films and videos; all include new audio mixes in deluxe CD / 2DVD and CD / 2Blu-ray packages. The 27-track audio CD is also being made available with new stereo mixes. A 2LP, 180-gram vinyl package will follow.  

The new editions of The Beatles 1 have been made possible following extensive research, and restoration of the original promo films, classic television appearances and other carefully selected videos spanning the band's history. Apple Corps dug deep into The Beatles' vaults to select a broad range of films and videos for their rarity, historical significance and quality of performance. An 18-person team of film and video technicians and restoration artists was assembled by Apple Corps to undertake painstaking frame-by-frame cleaning, color-grading, digital enhancement and new edits that took months of dedicated, 'round-the-clock work to accomplish.  

The result is a visual rundown of The Beatles' number one records, as well as the additional tracks on the bonus disc of Beatles 1+ that show the band in previously unseen standards of clarity and quality; many of the films and videos have never before been commercially released, in whole or in part.  

The Beatles 1 and 1+ offer the restored films, including 35mm negatives scanned in 4K and digitally restored with new stereo and 5.1 surround audio remixes, produced from the original analogue tapes by the GRAMMY® winning team of Giles Martin with Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios. For four of the videos, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have provided exclusive audio commentary and filmed introductions, respectively. The 1+ Deluxe Edition is presented in an expanded 124-page illustrated hardcover book which includes 'an appreciation' of The Beatles' groundbreaking films and videos by music journalist and author Mark Ellen and extensive, detailed track/video annotation by music historian and author Richard Havers.

The formats for the release:

  • Single CD
  • Single DVD
  • Single Blu-Ray
  • CD/DVD
  • CD/Blu-Ray
  • CD/2-DVD (1+)
  • CD/2-Blu-Ray (1+)
The track lists:

Beatles 1
Disc 1 Audio (CD) + Disc 1 Video (DVD or Blu-ray) (same track list)

  • Love Me Do
  • From Me To You
  • She Loves You
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand
  • Can't Buy Me Love
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • I Feel Fine
  • Eight Days a Week
  • Ticket To Ride
  • Help!
  • Yesterday
  • Day Tripper
  • We Can Work It Out
  • Paperback Writer
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Penny Lane
  • All You Need Is Love
  • Hello, Goodbye
  • Lady Madonna
  • Hey Jude
  • Get Back
  • The Ballad of John and Yoko
  • Something
  • Come Together
  • Let It Be
  • The Long and Winding Road
Disc 1 DVD or Blu-Ray Extras

  • Paul McCartney audio commentary
    • Penny Lane
    • Hello, Goodbye
    • Hey Jude
  • Ringo Starr filmed introductions
    • Penny Lane
    • Hello, Goodbye
    • Hey Jude
    • Get Back
The Beatles 1+ (CD/2DVD; CD/2Blu-ray)
Disc 1 Audio (CD) + Disc 1 Video (DVD or Blu-ray)

  • Same as above
Disc 2 Video (DVD or Blu-ray)

  • Twist & Shout
  • Baby It's You
  • Words Of Love
  • Please Please Me
  • I Feel Fine
  • Day Tripper *
  • Day Tripper *
  • We Can Work It Out *
  • Paperback Writer *
  • Rain *
  • Rain *
  • Strawberry Fields Forever
  • Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows
  • A Day In The Life
  • Hello, Goodbye *
  • Hello, Goodbye *
  • Hey Bulldog
  • Hey Jude *
  • Revolution
  • Get Back *
  • Don't Let Me Down
  • Free As A Bird
  • Real Love
Disc 2 Video Extra

  • Paul McCartney audio commentary on Strawberry Fields Forever
* alternate version

Hey Kent,  
I think it's great that Ringo is auctioning off some of his vintage stuff to charity, but that Ludwig black oyster drum set ... I don't know. I was hoping that someday The Beatles' suits and their instruments, that appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show would all be together in a museum (Maybe even at the Ed Sullivan Theater!).
- John LaPuzza

Here's another cool clip ... this one's from FH Reader Frank B featuring Stevie Wonder on The Late Late Show with James Corden ... funny stuff!  (kk)

MICKY DOLENZ SITS IN WITH THE ROOTS ON THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24  New York – Monkee-MICKY DOLENZ, whose new album A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock & Roll comes out on September 25 (on Broadway Records), will sit in with The Roots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on September 24. 
Gonna have to stay up late for this one!  (kk) 

Tommy James is hard at work recording an all-new, all acoustic album featuring reworkings of many of his best-known hits.  The new LP will feature a variety of "special guests" and will be called 'ACCOUSTITRONICS'. 
While there's no official release date yet, we are hoping to be able to "sneak peek" a track for you in the not-too-distant future.

And, speaking of new releases, Carl Giammarese is putting the finishing touches on his latest solo LP now that the Happy Together Tour is over.  He, too, is promising an exclusive Forgotten Hits "First Look" at one of the tracks. 

Long-time FH Reader Billy Hinsche tells us about a brand new release that he's involved with ...   

I am involved in a very special project involving a never-before-heard song called "This Is Elvis" that Carl Wilson and Myrna Smith wrote for an Elvis project - it will launch on iTunes this month.  I'm writing the liners for it now ... and will have more information for you shortly.

What I can tell you is that "This Is Elvis" will be available for download on iTunes in a few weeks and that all proceeds will benefit The Carl Wilson Foundation.
Meanwhile, here's something your readers may be interested in that was released last week ...  

>>>I wanted to comment on the Johnny Cash Documentary, in particular "10 Things We Learned From 'American Rebel'" for which your blog provided a link. Check out #9, where it reads "One of the inmates in attendance (during the making of Cash's Grammy-winning 1969 At San Quentin LP) was 21-year-old Merle Haggard.  Really!!?? The fact is if Haggard was there at all, he was more like 42, give or take. He was born in April of 1937. As interested as I was in 'American Rebel' at the outset, I now have to wonder what other glaring inaccuracies there may be within it. (Bill Fortune) 

Hey Kent - 
Merle Haggard did serve two years in San Quentin - starting in 1958 when he was 21! By 1969, when Hag was allegedly in the audience as Johnny Cash recorded his album at the prison, Merle already had at least a dozen Top 10 country hits. So much for fact checking! 
I love my 60's rock and roll, but I learned guitar by playing along with Johnny Cash records. Johnny's biggest pop hit in the 50's was probably "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" which nobody plays any more. The line between rock and country was blurry back then, much like today. Keep up the good work!  
- Larry Cave

I know that you've published several of my stories from my DJ days but I can't remember which ones.  I'm going to throw a few up against your wall to see if any stick as 'new material'.  
Jim Southern  

In 1968, I was the "All Night" DJ at WOKO-AM in Albany, NY, a C&W station.  We were a sister station of WSLR, Akron, OH, which, according to Billboard, was the #2 Country Music in the U.S., both in audience size and record sales influence (WJJD in Chicago was #1).  So every month the same tour of Country stars that stopped in the Cleveland market had to be presented in the "Tri-City" area around Albany by WOKO.  Late that year I was backstage while the roadies were setting things up for the night's concert.  While I was standing around, Waylon Jennings walked up to me and said "Hey man, is there a coffee shop around here?"  I mentioned that there was one about a half block down the street, to which he replied "C'mon, let's go get a cup".  Waylon had appeared in a tour stop several months before and I guess I had made a decent impression on him.  
As we were heading for the door, I heard a very distinctive voice holler "Hey, where you guys going?".  Waylon replied "We're gonna go get a cup, c'mon."  That's how I ended up in the coffee shop with Waylon sitting across from me and Tex Ritter next to me.  The conversation consisted mostly of Waylon griping because Chet (Atkins) wouldn't let him record what he wanted and Tex answering that he was already doing well (Waylon had six C&W Top 10 hits so far) and he should relax and enjoy the good times and appreciate his success.  
Waylon was still about seven years away from his "Outlaws" LP breakthrough but he was determined to do his music his way and he was going to get there.  As you might guess, my contribution to the conversation was mostly nodding my head and throwing in a "yeah" or two.  
Looking back, I realize I was sitting there with two future members of the "Country Music Hall Of Fame" as well as a TV (Waylon on the "Dukes Of Hazzard") and Movie star (Tex had done 80 or so in Hollywood).  I especially appreciate that Waylon approached me to join him.  While I didn't have much to say, I felt quite at ease with them and a part of the visiting.  
One of the real highlights of that visit is that when I tell the younger folks these days that story, they know who Waylon is.  So many of the artists  that I met back in the 60's and 70's are completely forgotten today.  
Thanks Kent for your ongoing work at FH.  
Jim Southern

Since we seem to be talking country and western music, let me just say that I've become a big fan of new-comer Kacey Musgraves.
She shares a track on the new Brian Wilson album "No Pier Pressure" which I think is one of the album's strongest songs ("Guess You Had To Be There") ... and I recently featured a song from her second album "Pageant Material".
Upon first listen to her new LP I found a bonus hidden track that I fell in love with called "Are You Sure" ... it immediately struck me as sounding like a Willie Nelson song ... so imagine my surprise when Willie came in singing with her a few bars later.
Turns out he wrote and first recorded this song back in 1962, well before making it big in country music.  Kacey has resurrected this vintage track and about a week ago the duo released a brand new video to go along with the song.
Yep, it's got Willie written all over it ... but still sounds GREAT today as a perfect blend of both vintage old-school country and contemporary country sounds.  (kk)  

On The Radio:
Seems to be SOP for radio today ... FH Reader Danny Guilfoyles chimes in on the current state of "generic" voice-tracked radio, circa 2015 ...   

More of the same. If so many feel this way, why isn't there one radio group out there who will make the necessary changes? 
Subject: Killing Radio in their own words 
Blogpost by former major market programmer, Dom Theodore:  
The biggest problem with voice-tracking is the loss of any immediacy to what's happening at this moment in time.  For me, while it may work most of the time in all its generic glory, when something happens now that deserves immediate attention, it's lost.
The best case example I can give is a few years ago when Michael Jackson died.  Far too many radio stations weren't able to break in and spread the sad, sad news ... or flip to a block of Michael Jackson tracks to help comfort his legion of fans ... take phone calls or offer any other type of immediate tribute.  Even Scott Shannon wasn't able to talk to his widespread audience of True Oldies Fans until the day after.
Radio should be now ... an exchange between broadcaster and listener.  As things are currently programmed, we hear the same "human interest" story spoken about six or seven times a day on half a dozen different stations ... because it was the only "sure bet" story to talk about when that program was recorded a day or two earlier!  (kk)

As for radio here locally, I've noticed more and more repeats on Me-TV-FM of late ... it's like their playlist is shrinking ... and many of the tracks that they are playing repeatedly don't even constitute as good radio.  (For example I've heard David Naughton's "Making It" about six or seven times in the past week ... and turned it off each and every time.)  Also WAY too many obscure album tracks that most people don't know or care about. When you do that, you risk losing listeners who push the button and may not come back.  I've heard the same thing from many readers who were bowled over by the station when it first signed on the air ... they find themselves changing the channel constantly now when they can't string together three or four good songs in a row, due to all the programming of tracks more listeners simply don't care about.  As we've said before, it's a REAL shame ... because they're currently the closest thing around to programming variety radio ... but SOMEBODY'S got to be watching the store and take some initiative into fine-tuning this programming mess.
By the way, in their seemingly never-ending crusade to play the most James Taylor music in the world, I recently did my own study.  (Me-TV-FM bigwig Neal Sabin told us that I'm mistaken and that they don't play as much JT music as I've suggested ... so just to make sure I wasn't exaggerating what I was reporting, I did a little experiment of my own and found some pretty amazing results ... read on!)
I swear that EVERY time I turn the station on ... no matter what time of day it is ... I hear a James Taylor song within the hour.  So I started keeping track.
Now I should point out that, other than my drive to work which happens at the same time every day, I listen to the station on a totally random schedule otherwise ... I work a LOT of hours so I typically leave work at a different time every day, often within a 2-3 hour range.  I go to lunch at different times every day ... and go to bed at different times every night ... but I tracked it for the past ten days ... and here's what I found out ...
17 out of the 18 times I tuned in ... no matter what day of the week it was or WHAT time of day it was ... I heard a James Taylor song within the first hour of listening.  17 out of 18 times!!!  NOBODY should be getting that much airplay.  So deny it all you want ... but my ears don't lie.  If they don't get the programming part of this down soon, they'll never have the chance to build a loyal listeners list the station deserves.  Too many repeats ... too many obscure, non-listener-friendly tracks ... and WAY too much JT!!!  (kk)