Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday This And That

Kent ...  
Ron Smith's Labor Day 500 ... 
My first pick checked in at # 11.  
Frank B.  
Yep, we ran a sneak peek of the list on Friday  ... I sent it to a few radio folks on the list suggesting that just maybe perhaps THESE were the songs most folks wanted to hear on the radio ... and the only response I got said "We play most of these".  
Ron mentioned to me that the number of Elvis titles were down (probably because radio only recognizes three or four of his 200 hits these days ... even Billboard Magazine has eliminated 30+ legitimate hits with their new "Hot 100" mentality.)  Meanwhile, Ron also said that the number of Beach Boys tracks was UP this year (possibly because of the success of the new Brian Wilson piopic, Brian's new solo album, and extensive touring by both Brian and his band and the Mike Love / Bruce Johnston version of The Beach Boys).  Meanwhile, "Hey Jude" seems to have permanently placed itself in the #1 position ... this is its TENTH consecutive year of coming in at #1!  
I really haven't had time to fully scrutinize the list yet, but I'm willing to bet that there are AT LEAST 50 GREAT choices on here that would make EXCELLENT adds to ANY radio play list ... which would be immediately noticed (and appreciated) by their listeners.  Unfortunately I'm not sure that ANYBODY in radio programming is mentally capable of seeing outside the box anymore.  Radio has been programmed with blinders on for SO long now, that  it seems as though any and all sense of creativity has been thrown by the wayside.  They've REALLY dumbed it down.  And think about it for a second ... how hard is it to program these days anyway?  As a general rule, every station in town just says "Well, this is easy ... I'll just play the exact same songs that THEY'RE playing ... it must be working right?  Otherwise everybody wouldn't be doing it!!!"  
That's why stations like Me-TV-FM and Rewound Radio provide such HUGE breath of fresh air ... both stations have been stepping WAY outside the box by daring to remember ... and then PLAY ... the music we all grew up with, without any reservations or apologies.  And listeners are noticing and responding.  Me-TV-FM reminds its listeners "It's All Memorable Music" ... which Rewound Radio takes the approach of "It Doesn't Matter How Old It Is ... It's How GOOD It Is".  We commend BOTH stations for doing their part in making radio interesting and exciting again.  With a little more "appointment radio" programming, they can lock their audiences up even further by providing "can't miss" features ... in which we regard I really believe we can help.  (For the record, I've been kicking around a variety of different ideas with each of them ... and am still hopeful that we can finalize something soon that would allow Forgotten Hits to continue OUR crusade to keep this music alive by "partnering" with radio stations who can "bring it to the people" on a regular basis ... so stay tuned for more details on all of that!)  
We've been saying it for fifteen years now ... put it out there and your audience will embrace it ... and good word of mouth will brings others to your station as well.  Listeners are tired of being insulted by programmers who honestly believe that programming any more than 200-300 is beyond the listeners' comprehension level.  It's a demeaning and insulting attitude to take with the very people you are most dependant on in order to survive.  It may have taken fifteen years to get here ... but the radio revolution is FINALLY on!!!  (kk)  

Speaking of holiday weekend radio, WLS-FM borrowed a page from The Drive's successful playbook and featured an A to Z weekend ... only WLS played 'em down A to Z by ARTIST rather than song title. This gave them several opportunities to work their way through (in their words) their "extensive playlist" ... which typically during the week seems to include about 200 - 300 songs.  
However, this weekend they dug deep and featured songs and artists you NEVER hear on the station.  (One set included John Denver, long "banned" from our local airwaves until Me-TV-FM resurrected his music with Chicago listeners, preceded by "Israelites" by Desmond Dekker and the Aces, a song the station probably hasn't played since 1969!)  
Maybe somebody over at WLS is listening (???)  Several weeks ago after the long-overdue ouster of Jan Jeffries, we suggested that the station embrace its incredible legacy and play the hits THEY helped to create back in the '60's and '70's.  (Again, a little "friendly competition" from Me-TV-FM couldn't hurt either, right?)  Right now they're simply playing the exact same music as at least four or five other stations in town ... step outside the box and reclaim your rightful spot on the dial!  Kudos to a valiant effort this weekend ... now let's keep it going! (kk)   

EXAMPLES:  This weekend we heard SO many songs and artists that aren't part of their normal, day-to-day "Classic Hits" play list ... so it's no coincidence that they're expanding their horizon a little bit.  During random tune-in's I heard songs I'm sure the station hasn't played in DECADES by the likes of Rocky Burnett, Shalamar, Silver Convention, the aforementioned John Denver and Desmond Dekker and the Aces, Chris Rea, Suzi Quatro, Pacific Gas and Electric, Mouth and MacNeal, Malo and Chuck Mangione ... this is NOT your normal WLS-FM diet by ANY stretch of the imagination ... which is VERY encouraging news for those of us who grew up with the station ... and remember what it USED to be ... back in the days when it was an industry LEADER rather than simply a follower playing the exact same song mix as every other radio station in town.  (kk) 

When they hit the "U's" on Sunday Night they even played USA For Africa's "We Are The World".  Despite what a HUGE hit that record was , you virtually NEVER hear it on the radio ... yet, if you're like me, you can picture each and every vocalist take their turn from the original video.  How interesting to have TWO radio stations in town play the unexpected this long weekend!  (kk)

Kent ...  
Elvis Is Back!  
According to Billboard Magaine, Elvis earns his 53rd Ttop 40 album on the Billboard Top 200 as the new compilation "Elvis Forever" debuts at #11.  
The set is sold exclusively through the U.S. Postal Service, and is Presley's highest charting album since 2003, when "Elvis: 2nd to None" peaked at #3.  
The new album was released in conjunction with the promotion of Presley's new commemorative stamp.  
Among all acts with the most Top 40 charting albums, Presley remains in second place behind Frank Sinatra, with 57.  
Frank B.  
Well, I bought it ... along with a few blocks of the collectible stamps (packaged neatly to look like an old 45 record sleeve).  I'll probably use some of them but then put a couple of sheets away as collectors' items.  (I did the same thing with the first edition of the Elvis stamp many years ago ... but hid them so well I'll be darned if I can find them today!!!  lol)  
It's amazing how many times RCA/BMG has gotten me to buy the exact same Elvis music I already own ... but a collectible package like this was just too good to pass up.  (There was a time when I would have bought a dozen copies and then put them away for resale years later, still sealed and never opened ... but I don't know if I'll live long enough to see these ever hit their collectors' market value!)  Still, the CD sounds great ... but they missed a GREAT opportunity, as you pointed out a few weeks ago, Frank. Yes, "Return To Sender" is on there ... but what about "US Male"???  I believe they could have used you on their creative team for this one!  (kk)  

Hi Kent,   
I got to see the Happy Together Tour this past Monday, August 31.  
I thought I'd give my thoughts.  
First the good:  I thought that for the price $21 a ticket (plus the cost of state fair admission tickets) here in MN it was a steal. The audience loved the show and sang along to everything, which shows just how big a roll music played in our lives in the 60's and 70's. Kudos for the production folks that keep this show moving along so that there were no long gaps between acts.  
Now on to the acts themselves ...  
I think by now most people know the songs done by the individual acts in the show so I won't bother with that. The Grass Roots did a great job carrying on the Roots' legacy despite the fact that none of them are originals. The Cowsills were my favorite ... lots of fun on stage, they did all their songs well and didn't sound like they were reciting from a script as some of the other performers did. They came out and visited with the audience after the whole show was over and they couldn't have been nicer people. I got to tell Susan that I had a huge crush on her when I was 10. Come to think of it, I still do.  
The Buckinghams were good, but even if you're OK as performers and have songs as good as theirs, you should be fine.  
The Association weren't as bad as I expected, given some of the reviews, but they were up and down. It seemed as though a couple of the guys weren't in the best of health, but when they hit the harmonies quite often it all came together. Other times not so much. They did seem like they were really enjoying themselves.  
On to Mark Lindsay. Definitely a seasoned performer. He was great with the audience, but vocally he seemed to be phoning it in. He seemed to still have a good range, but just never seemed to go for anything that would even stretch his abilities even a little.  
I actually went to the show to see him and the Cowsills and I was disappointed in the Lindsay set since back in the day he was such a kick butt singer. I know he's older and didn't expect him to sound like he did in 1966, but just seemed like he was ready to be done with the tour when he was singing.  
Lastly, The Turtles (Flo and Eddie). I've never seen them before, but I expected them to be a bit on the wackie side, and they were. I don't think they hold their tunes in as high esteem as we do. Too bad. They really had some great pop tunes. They really rush through the songs. It would be nice to have them do them with a bit more attention to detail. My final thoughts ... (yes there's more!)  
The band as a whole did a great job of harmonies and backing people up. It would be nice if they really went back to the original recordings and made more of an attempt to capture those original sounds.  (That's more of an opinion than a criticism.)  It also would be nice if they had real horns on those songs that had them instead of the not so great horn patch on a keyboard.  
They could just have charts and hire horn players in each town to keep the cost down. Particularly on the Buckinghams tunes it would be helpful. The Grass Roots tunes would have benefited by live horns as well.  
Lastly the sound man wasn't very on top of things when I saw them. Seems to me that by the end of the tour he should have it down. Many times the backing vocals weren't loud enough, and other times they were louder than the lead vocal. That being said, he could have had an off night. Again, for $21 it was still a steal. I hope that Flo and Eddie take it seriously and don't just think of it as a money machine, if in fact it is.  
Well, the tour is officially over ... overall good reviews from everybody that we heard of, with many of the same complaints ... no Grass Roots original members, faulty harmonies from The Association, too short a song set by ALL of the artists (but The Turtles in particular as headliners), The Cowsills (and in many cases, Mark Lindsay) regularly stole the show, and The Turtles' set was far too short and played strictly for laughs rather than making any attempt to give us the feel-good essence of the music.   
I'm sure next year's line-up will be announced shortly (and I don't really expect any major shake-ups despite numerous suggestions of artists from our readers).  Hey, it's still an AWFUL lot of hits for your money ... every one of these records provided the soundtrack to our lives ... so for that we can and should be grateful.  Maybe next year ALL of the artists should consider how much this music truly means to their fans ... and then when those fans shell out that money to come hear all of their favorites again, provide a show with a bit more enthusiasm and appreciation.  Thanks to the fans, ALL of these guys have been able to enjoy 50-year careers, doing what they love doing best.  And, if you're only going to get 15-20 per set, make it a KILLER set, challenging the next artist to "beat this!" every time you go on stage.  I guarantee you it'll raise the energy level on BOTH sides of the stage.  
That's my two cents for Happy Together, 2015.  Carl Giammarese emailed me last week that while the tour was LOADS of fun and he's sad that it's over, he really can't wait to come home and enjoy a little rest and relaxation, too, before heading out on the road again with the full line-up of The Buckinghams.  GREAT time for this new "Complete Singles" CD to come out from Varese Vintage ... fans should be pumped to add all these chart hits to their collection!  (kk)     

WOWZA!  I have perused, know what I want to go back and read first, and then return to re-read and finish on today's Friday Flash!  If you do NOT post anything new before Tuesday, I can do this ... 

This week's Friday Flash was loaded with so much good stuff that there was something for everyone!   
Thanks for all you to keep this thing alive and thriving!
David Lewis   

You can preorder this disk here:    

Unrequested Anecdotes, Chapter 23 
"Happy" was cut in in France in '71 during the "Exile On Main Street" sessions.  The basic track is Keith on guitar, bass and vocals, producer Jimmy Miller on drums and Bobby Keys on baritone sax.  It was supposed to be a demo, but the feel was so good they simply sweetened the track with Mick Taylor on slide guitar and Mick Jagger on harmony vocals.  It's the only Rolling Stones Top 40 hit with Keith on lead vocals.   
Live performance is from the film, "Ladies & Gentlemen-- the Rolling Stones."  This is just so damn good:  
Here's Keith in a great extended interview plugging his book a few years back -- dispells all the drunken, loutish images from his heroin / Jack days.  Even then, when I interviewed him in '78 ("Some Girls"), he was funny and sharp.  Going into that interview was one of the few times that I was really intimidated ahead of time -- didn't know what to expect.  But he couldn't have been nicer to me.    
I told him about the Knack who were really hot in L.A. at the time, playing the Starwood a few nights later.  I was at the show.  Someone came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder and it was Keith.  "Thanks for the tip, mate.  They're still mucking out their stall a bit, but they do a good set."  He went backstage and talked to the band which, frontman Doug Fieger told me later, just floored them.  One can only imagine what a Keith visit and endorsement must have meant to them. 
A world without Keith someday is hard to imagine. 
Scott Paton    

Take a Four and a Half Minute Break and  Check This Out! The Eight Track Museum  
CB (which also stands for "Cartridge Boy!")  
PS: You know, I never had an eight track tape cartridge nor player?!  I skipped right over that media right to the Cassette Tape! 
Chuck Buell 
Likewise ... 
I hated the way 8-tracks switched channels right in the middle of a song ... 
Couldn't believe ANYBODY found that acceptable!!! 
Yet all my friends had them and didn't seem to be bothered by this at all.  
Cassettes were the ONLY way to go for me for a long, long time ... especially since I could now make my own to listen to in the car.  

Oldies rule in Milwaukee   
Hi Kent, 
It seems that oldies radio is flexing it’ muscles in Milwaukee. Oldies 95.7 (renamed WRIT a few years ago in honor of the great AM station of the 60’s) was once again number 1 in Milwaukee radio for the second quarter in a row. AND, Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel is now on AM 1290 and FM 100.3 in the Milwaukee area. This is a great addition to Milwaukee radio. 
Bob Verbos  
New Berlin, WI 
PS - To the recently raised question “Whatever happened to Sheena Easton?”, she still tours on a limited basis. Sheena is still in good voice and is still a looker. I last saw her a couple years ago at the local casino theater and she put on a great show, featuring many of her hits. Sheena is also very skilled at playful, humorous banter with the audience, and likes to make reference to her hot, sexy image of the 1980’s. Her website lists her upcoming gigs. 
One of which just happens to be at The Arcada Theatre on November 6th.  (She played at the Gay Pride Festival here a few years ago and sounded great ... but with half a million people there, you could barely get near the stage to catch a glimpse.  However, I always found her music somewhat appealing, especially when compared to much of the other '80's techno stuff.)  kk    

On October 23, 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment Will Release LYNYRD SKYNYRD (Pronouced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) & Second Helping – Live From Jacksonville At The Florida Theatre  
~ On DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Formats ~ Available as DVD + 2 CD exclusively at Walmart ~

New York, NY (September 2, 2015)— On October 23 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment will issue the simultaneous release of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin'nérd & Second Helping – Live From Jacksonville At The Florida Theatre on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Formats. This will also be released as DVD+2CD set exclusively at Walmart. [MSRP $14.98 DVD, $19.88 DVD+2CD, $19.98 Blu-ray]. 
Recorded this year, this release captures the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd performing their first two studio albums, Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd and Second Helping, live in their entirety for the first time, at two specially staged concerts at the Florida Theatre in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.  
Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd was released in 1973 and includes “I Ain’t The One,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “Tuesday’s Gone,” and the seminal “Free Bird.” Second Helping was released the following year and includes “Workin’ For MCA,” “Swamp Music,” “Call Me The Breeze,” and the classic southern rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama.” 
The shows captured on Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd & Second Helping – Live From Jacksonville At The Florida Theatre represent a special occasion for both Lynyrd Skynyrd and their fans, as the band performed tracks they’d never or rarely played live before along with classic songs that are an essential part of any Lynyrd Skynyrd live show. 
With the Bonus Features offering a special created behind-the-scenes with Lynyrd Skynyrd section, this release offers nearly two hours of peerless musical entertainment.  

For a sneak peak, check out “Gimme Three Steps”:

Band line-up:   Lynyrd Skynyrd  
Gary Rossington - Guitar 
Johnny Van Zant - Lead Vocals 
Rickey Medlocke - Guitar 
Michael Cartellone - Drums 
Mark Matejka - Guitar 
Peter Keys - Keyboards 
Johnny Colt - Bass Guitar  

Dale Krantz Rossington - Background Vocals 
Carol Chase - Background Vocals  

Jim Horn - Alto Sax 
Paul Jackson - Trumpet 
Myles Moore - Baritone Sax 
Nick Campbell - Percussion 
Steve ‘Boxcar’ Traum – Harmonica   

1) I Ain’t The One  
2) Tuesday’s Gone 

3) Gimme Three Steps  
4) Simple Man 
5) Things Goin’ On 
6) Mississippi Kid  
7) Poison Whiskey  
8) Free Bird   
9) Sweet Home Alabama*  
10) I Need You  
11) Don’t Ask Me No Questions   
12) Workin’ For MCA   
13) The Ballad Of Curtis Loew   
14) Swamp Music   
15) Needle And The Spoon   
16) Call Me The Breeze 
* Track One of CD2 format  

Catch LYNYRD SKYNYRD on tour this fall:  
September 11 and 12– Lincoln City, OR – Chinook Winds Casino 
September 15 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery September 17 – Jackson, CA – Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel 
September 18 – Pomona, CA – La County Fairgrounds September 19 – Tucson, AZ – Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater September 20 – Scottsdale, AZ – Talking Stick Resort & Casino 
September 25 – Lewisville, TX – 2015 Western Days September 26 – Houston, TX – Sam Houston Race Park October 1 – Seviersville, TN – Smokes Stadium 
October 2 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater 
October 3 – Muncie, IN – Emens Auditorium 
October 4 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Music Festival November 7 – Montgomery, AL – Alabama National Fair December 5 – Mescalero, NM – Inn Of The Mountain Gods Casino



Original Fillmore Auditorium poster artist Bonnie MacLean, shown here in her suburban Philadelphia home studio with a first-run poster she created in the ‘60s for a concert with Vanilla Fudge and Blue Cheer, has been commissioned by Live Nation to create an exclusive souvenir poster featuring Hall & Oates to commemorate their Opening Night performance Oct. 1.

Photo credit: Randex Communication

Keepsake 1960s Inspired Poster Art Created by Philadelphia’s Bonnie MacLean, Former Wife of Legendary Concert Impresario Bill Graham,
to be Presented to All Concertgoers in Attendance  
Oct. 1   

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 2, 2015) — The spectacular Philadelphia Fillmore, hailed as the “best live rock music venue in the United States,” has formed a uniquely special bond to the iconic legacy of the original Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco after discovering an extraordinary link to the past in its own back yard. And the results will be unveiled on opening night as a treasured keepsake for everyone in attendance. To commemorate the sold-out Grand Opening concert Oct. 1 starring Hall & Oates, Live Nation has commissioned 1960s Fillmore poster artist Bonnie MacLean, a Philadelphia native and the onetime wife of legendary concert impresario and Fillmore Auditorium founder Bill Graham, to design a distinctive souvenir poster which will be handed out free to ticket-holders that evening.   “We are thrilled and privileged that Bonnie has come on board to exclusively lend her singular authenticity to the Fillmore Philadelphia,” said Michael Grozier, Sr. Vice President, House of Blues Entertainment. “We’ve gone to tremendous lengths to write a new chapter to Philadelphia’s proud musical heritage by honoring the legendary traditions of Fillmore music halls around the country, and we can’t wait to see what she creates not only for us, but also for the 2,500 patrons who will pack the house on Opening Night.”  
MacLean was among the driving forces behind the rise of the San Francisco rock music scene of the late '60s, with the success of the Fillmore Auditorium due in no small part to her groundbreaking posters promoting the venue's concert attractions. She moved back to the East Coast in 1972 and settled in rural Bucks County, PA, where she has been living ever since, painting nudes, landscapes and still lives in her converted barn studio. She remains best-known for her series of historical hand-drawn rock posters, among the most sought-after collectible poster art in rock. Some of MacLean’s posters sell today for as much as $10,000. 
“I’m quite pleased to be recognized by Live Nation as the person I was 50 years ago,” said MacLean. “The Fillmore Philadelphia will spread the joy of what used to be the most wonderful music venue around. Philadelphia, being a musical city, will enjoy it and appreciate it.” 
The Fillmore Auditorium, which first opened in San Francisco in 1965, is one of this country’s landmark performing stages. That Fillmore was the focal point of the psychedelic music scene during the 1960s and ‘70s, helping to launch the careers of iconic rock acts such as the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Santana, The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, and many, many others which helped it grow into the legend it is today. 
MacLean, already married to Graham at the time, helped her then-husband launch the Fillmore Auditorium by joining the staff to collect tickets, pass out handbills, and count receipts. Her initial contribution as an artist was simply drawling lists of band lineups on the coming attractions board at the top of the stairs, before she eventually stepped in to create more than 30 posters for shows featuring the likes of the Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Cream, the Yardbirds, and numerous others.  
The opening of The Philly Fillmore marks the seventh Fillmore now open in the U.S., and the latest addition to a legendary group of music venues that traces its lineage to rock history’s golden era. The newest Fillmore is a major component in the continued revitalization of iconic Fishtown and is rising at one of the city’s historic addresses, the legendary Ajax Metal Factory. The building, at the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Richmond Street, is being transformed from a pounding WWI munitions machine constructed over 100 years ago into a beautiful, pounding music machine of a different sort, 2015 style, with a distinct Philly flair.  
More on the Philadelphia Fillmore at

Monday's posting of the Rolling Stones' tune reminded me that I haven't heard Don Covay's version from a year earlier in years ... thanks for reminding me to play his version this morning.  
Also in this weekend's FH, mention was made of Roy Orbison's MGM recordings in a boxed set. I noticed his RIDE AWAY came in at #22 on KIMN's survey. 
Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. 
Larry Neal  
"Ride Away" probably hasn't been played on the radio in 50 years ... it simply wasn't that big or well-known a hit (#25 in Billboard) ... yet now you hear it nearly every single day as part of a Geico commercial.  Again, who would have EVER thought to resurrect THIS one for a current-day ad campaign???  (kk)

If you're a big "Ray Donovan" fan like we are, you are going to TOTALLY enjoy this new clip that Frannie found ...