Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

re:  Neil Sedaka:   
Neil Sedaka is an amazing talent. My favorite song by his is "The Immigrant", too. There was a bio released several years back which is fantastic; Elton did the forward. Here's the link ...     
A true talent ... no question!   
David Salidor   
Thanks, David, I just ordered a copy!  (kk)  

>>>Again I have to ask ... how is THIS guy not in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?!?!?  (kk)   
Sadly, that's an EASY answer....even if a very wrong one. 
Two words ... Jann Wenner.   
Sedaka is "too pop" for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in the mind of Wenner.   

Hey, Kent,  
You don't have to publish this (and I do appreciate very much your posting many of my comments over the last couple of years), but watch that Calendar Girl video very carefully at the 2:23 mark, specifically where Neil's eyes go not just once, but twice!     
I did a quadruple take (a double take each time he gawked), wondering how that got by the censors in 1960. Even without that eye travel, it was already one of the most amazingly ahead-of-it's-time, pre-music-video era's music-videos, complete with pre-Hooters era Hooters girls. But with Neil doing that look up, that's an award-winner! 
Bill Fortune    
Are you kidding me?!?!  I've GOT to run THIS one!!!  (lol)  Scroll back down to yesterday's review and rewatch the clip ... and pay close attention to what Bill's referring to at 2:23.   
During the concert, after showing the clip, Neil mentioned how he and his wife (of 53 years) were sitting at an outdoor cafe having lunch one day when a woman came up to him and said "Neil Sedaka!!!  I was January in your music video!" ... to which Neil said, "And she was a VERY, very old woman."     
This has got to be one of the very first conceptual music videos ever made.  (Rick Nelson's "Travelin' Man" is often cited but this track predates it by about six months ... so I may have to modify my opinion from this point forward!) 
A VERY young Neil Sedaka, all decked out in his tux and lookin' sharp!  (kk)  

re:  This And That:   
And, speaking of rock star biographies, we've had THIS one on preorder for MONTHS now ... finally coming out this week ...  

FH Reader Tom Cuddy shares this "first impression" ...
John Fogerty is the latest rock star to publish a memoir. Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music hits stores and digital retailers Oct. 5th.  
He tells Rolling Stone that he was motivated by frustration at how he has been portrayed in the press. "I'd talk to a newspaper or magazine, and what I said never really came out right. In fact, it really looked bad in print when I saw myself complaining or anything about something. Finally I just said to myself, 'I'm gonna write a book.'"  
Work on the book began eight years ago with author Jimmy McDonough, who wrote the 2002 Neil Young biography Shakey, but Fogerty stresses that McDonough did not write the book. "Jimmy mainly acted as the interviewer. He said to me, 'John, this book is in your voice.'"  
The book reveals Fogerty's drinking problem, although he never terms himself an alcoholic. He tells Rolling Stone, "I certainly was acting like one. Everything I was doing was alcoholic. The only difference, I suppose, is that an alcoholic can't help himself. He's physically addicted, and if he has one drink, he'll go on a five-day bender. That's not the case with me anymore. I can go out to dinner with Julie and have a glass of wine and that's it. But I do want to say that I was psychologically addicted."  

As a lifetime John Fogerty / Creedence Clearwater Revival fan, it has often time been difficult for me to deal with the callous way Fogerty has continued to treat his former bandmates over the years.  As such, I'm anxious to hear his side of the story ... because the tale as currently documented isn't always a very pretty one.  

We took our own crack at the story behind CCR here ...

We're going to be hearing and reading a LOT about CCR in the days to come.  Here (in "Rolling Stone Magazine") Fogerty explains one of their most infamous and embarrassing moments ... The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony where John refused to take the stage alongside his former bandmates ... and took part in the All-Star Jam at the end instead.  (This is going to be a REAL interesting book to read!!!)  kk

We're really excited about seeing Brian Wilson perform at The Genesee Theatre next month in Waukegan ... and, based on this article from Beach Boys Examiner columnist David Beard, it sounds like Brian's having a pretty good time himself of late.     
Sounds like in addition to Al Jardine, former Beach Boys Blondie Chaplin will also be onstage this time around ... and we will have JUST missed the chance to connect with long-time FH Buddy Billy Hinsche.  
Great seats still available at The Genesee Theatre box office ... and we'll have a couple to give away next week as well.      

Here's a review of another great Chicago-area show ... from FH Reader Ron Kolman ...      

Hey Kent,
Long time no write. Hope everyone had great summer.
Just a quick note about "HippieFest" at the Genesee Theater (Waukegan, IL.) this past Sunday night.  Friends had extra tickets and it was last minute chance to go without knowing who was performing.  Rick Derringer opened and did a fantastic set ... his voice was strong and clear. Derringer and  his fabulous band backed the next guest, Mitch Ryder. He was a riot ... really strong / clear voice and did all his hits ending with the "dirty" version of Little Richard's "Good Golly Miss Molly", and he absolutely shook the whole damn place ... high screams like he was twenty. Following Ryder was Badfinger's Joe Molland.  He faithfully did most of Badfinger's biggest hits, and tore it up closing with "Come And Get It". Derringer came back with stunning capture of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" (Derringer is an AMAZING guitarist still). 
That had everyone (who can stand) on their feet. 
Closing things out was a true 60s gift ... The Family Stone featuring, one of Sly's daughters (I believe Phunne Stone), with an absolutely unbelievable voice, original drummer Greg Errico (I believe he's in the R&RHoF), and "as Sly", Alex Davis (wearing a floppy white hat and shades through the entire set, sounding scarily like Sly, sufficiently so, twas like watching / hearing the original S&FS.)  They cranked out, Dance To The Music, Everyday People, Family Affair, Stand (I love that tune), and closed with an EXQUISITE Want To Take You Higher. The whole experience was unreal, and I screamed along until I had no voice left, and had no choice but to pull my wife in the aisle (along with many others), and dance!  If you get a chance to see them, do!They have own site at:  Wonder if anyone else happened to catch this show and would like to share their thoughts.
Ron Kolman
It's funny 'cause we had thought about going to this (they also played at The Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet) but I just couldn't miss the chance to see Neil Sedaka.  Sounds like we BOTH had pretty incredible concert experiences. (If anybody else out there attended either of these shows, we'd love to hear from you!)  kk  

Hi Kent, 
Thanks for the recent plugs for Record Research. 
I had a blast being on Ron Gerber’s radio show.  After the show we gabbed for another 90 minutes off-air about our mutual love of the charts.  BTW, that show is now a part of Ron’s permanent online archive and I highly recommend your readers check out some of his past shows.  His tribute show to Casey Kasem in the summer of 2014 was a thing of beauty.    
One small correction though ... Ron’s first two 45s were “Le Freak” and “Y.M.C.A.”, and though I did mention buying those two records on the same day back in 1978, MY first 45 purchase was “Earache My Eye” by Cheech & Chong back in 1974!  I’m not real proud of that fact, but I was only 8 years-old at the time and that record was the height of hilarity for me and my little friends.  
On another note, I visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame back in 2001 and had a great time.  I agree with you that the actual museum is a must-see for any true music fan and that the nominating committee is a whole separate entity.  Although Joel votes on the final ballot, I wish he was on the nominating committee as I’m sure he would lobby for many of the artists you mention every year.  Heck, I think Joel himself should be inducted in the non-performer category! 
I’m a huge fan of Forgotten Hits ... keep up the great work!    
Paul Haney / Record Research  
Hey, MY first two 45's were "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" by Brian Hyland and "Speedy Gonzales" by Pat Boone so I can relate!  (I, too, was all of 7 or 8 when those records first came out!)
Check out some of those First 45's links I ran on the website ... they'll bring back a TON of memories as the times and tastes changed.  (And there's a GREAT radio show hidden in there, too ... Scott Shannon played one a day for about two years on his True Oldies Channel ... read the letter and then play that person's first 45.  With the volume of mail we've received on this over the past few years, it could literally go on forever ... what I call tune-in, appointment radio ... with the perfect blend of audience participation.
Glad you're diggin' Forgotten Hits ... as a Record Research Fan from Day One, I've got nearly 50 years of MY life invested in this, too!!!  I still have a copy (albiet a well-worn, much-written in copy) of every single edition of Top Pop Singles that he's ever published!  (And I'm already looking forward to the next one.)
Best to all ---

And, speaking of other good radio stations ...   

Hello again Mr. Kent:  
Here is another gem I came across.  It’s the Mischke Road Show
This is a podcast done by former KSTP AM 1500 radio show host TD Mischke.  Episode 67 is about the Nashville Cats, Nashville’s counterpart to the Wrecking Crew.  He interviews one of the players about his time with them.  Many stories about backing Bob Dylan, Elvis and others.  Quite interesting.  Episode 67 part 2 deals with William Campbell, the man that came up with the bogus Paul McCartney is dead saga.  And he also interviews the man, who as an 19 year old kid becomes the Beach Boys manager.  Two hours will go by fast listening to this.  Mischke is probably one of the best interviewers out there.  On his radio show he once interviewed a man that wrote a book on the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and sung all of his questions the man to the tune of the song.  I think you and your followers will enjoy these.  
Pete Heger
Sounds like fun!  Will have to check this out.  (See, there's still creativity in radio ... you've just got to go out and find it!!!)  kk  

Hi Kent,
I wanted to let your readers know about this fantastic concert in Jackson, Tennessee, on Saturday night.  This is my fourth trip and I wouldn't miss it!!  The Hunts and KOOL103 in Jackson, TN always put on an amazing show.
I hope to see everyone there!  I am also looking forward to meeting and seeing you at the Chicago Cornerstones Of Rock PBS Special!
Take care,
Jim Foster
Kool 103 Caravan Of Stars 30
Saturday October 10, 2015
Billy Joe Royal:  Down In Boondocks; I Knew You When: Cherry Hill Park: Hush: Burn Like A Rocket
Felix Cavaliere: Original Lead Singer of The Rascals - Good Lovin’; I’ve Been Lonely Too Long; Groovin’; A Girl Like You; How Can I Be Sure; A Beautiful Morning; People Got To Be Free
Joe Puerta: Lead Singer of Ambrosia:  Holdin' On To Yesterday; How Much I Feel; Biggest Part Of Me; You’re The Only Woman (You & I)
John Cafferty: Original Lead Singer of The Beaver Brown Band - The Singing Voice of the songs in the Movie Eddie & The Cruisers:  On The Dark Side; Tender Years; Tough All Over; C.I.T.Y.
John Elefante: Formerly of Kansas - Carry On Wayward Son; Point Of Know Return; Dust In The Wind; Play The Game Tonight
Kyle Vincent: Former Lead Singer of The Bay City Rollers - Saturday Night; Money Honey; I Only Want To Be With You; You Made Me Believe In Magic
Ron Dante: Original Lead Singer of The Archies & Cuff Links - Bang-Shang-A-Lang; Sugar Sugar; Jingle Jangle; Tracy
Caravan of Stars 30
Held at the Carl Perkins Civic Center Jackson, TN
Saturday October 10, 2015 - 6:30 PM
Front Row VIP Seating $75 **SOLD OUT**
2nd - 4th Row VIP $60 ** LIMITED **
Premium VIP Center Section Row 5 and up $55
VIP $50
All VIP Seating Tickets include Meet & Greet Starting at 5pm!
Reserved Seating $40
**All Prices are Numbered Seats**
Mail Check Or Money Order To:
Kool 103
1 WDXI Drive
Jackson, TN 38305-4124
**If driving to our studios, GPS: 58 twin oaks place**
Website - 

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While this sounds like a VERY entertaining line-up performing many of the songs we all know in love, I still caution "Buyer Beware" as several of these acts are NOT the original lead singers who had these hits way back when on the radio.  Kyle Vincent, for example, recently told us he was the 17th Bay City Roller ... The REAL lead singer of Ambrosia on all those hits was a guy named David Pack ... and John Elefante joined Kansas in 1981, after all of the hit records shown above had already been recorded with Steve Walsh on lead vocals.  Like I said, I'm sure that this will be a VERY entertaining show and that all of these guys will sing their hearts out for you ... just don't go into this thinking you're getting the "real deal" ... because you're not.  (kk)

Speaking of The Bay City Rollers, (Grey City Rollers???) last week we told you about three of the original members (and a possible fourth) getting back together for a 40th Anniversary Tour.  Well the first three stops on that jaunt, all at The Glasgow Barrowlands, sold out in just THREE MINUTES!!!  London's Hammersmith has since been added to the itinerary.  Heck, if this keeps up, we may experience Rollermania all over again!!! (kk)   

I've told this story before but it's been awhile.  The Bay City Rollers made their very first appearance on US TV on the old Howard Cosell "Saturday Night" program ... all the more ironic in that their first US hit was "Saturday Night" [or, for the benefit of those of you out there who are in any way spelling challenged, S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night].  Back then my Dad used to always buy The Sunday Papers on Saturday Night in an effort to get a jump on the ads ... and there, in a full page spread, was a report about how The Bay City Rollers had broken ALL kinds of television ratings records thanks to their appearance on Cosell's Saturday Night show ... which hadn't even AIRED yet!!!  Rollermania was spreading from coast to coast, it claimed ... a quick insight into how the whole hype / hysteria / PR world works.  All I know is that as a 22 year old kid, it really pissed me off ... and I was determined to hate them no matter what.  But the truth is, they actually recorded some pretty good pop records.  "Saturday Night" may, in fact, be one of their weakest ... but it fit the bill as a great launch record here in The States.  [They had already racked up quite a few hits prior to this in The UK, where it seemed like every week offered a brand new teen sensation!]  I liked the follow-up, "Money Honey" a whole lot better ... and still enjoy their take on the Dusty Springfield hit "I Only Want To Be With You."  I like "Rock And Roll Love Letter", "You Made Me Believe In Magic" and "The Way I Feel Tonight" as well.  And, if I'm being totally honest ... despite all my teasing to date ... I have to admit that our new FH Buddy Kyle Vincent TOTALLY tore the place up when he performed "Saturday Night" as part of that '70's show at The Arcada a few weeks back.  (kk)

I know you (and I) are a stickler for “truth in advertising” concerning concerts. Concerning the Rock Pack concert, John Payne was not the lead singer for ASIA on any of their big hits. He was an addition after John Wetton left the band. Payne continues to tour in ASIA, while original members Wetton, Palmer, and Downes have toured as the “Original Members of ASIA”. Steve Howe recently left to devote more time to Yes and his own band, and was replaced by Sam Coulson.
Bob Verbos 
New Berlin, WI.
Wetton was with the band when we saw Asia last year at The Arcada Theatre ... and he is still in EXCELLENT voice.  We recently promoted his new solo album on which he covers many of his all-time favorite songs (in a style not at ALL like what we're used to hearing in Asia.)  Unfortunately SO many bands touring these days with different lead singers than the hit-making years ... and, in some cases, the "new" lead singer has been onboard for DECADES already!!!  Makes it hard to make the distinction sometimes.  (kk)

Hey Kent,   
Just a bit of side bar trivia about Tina Cole ... 
She is the cousin of Ric de Azevedo, who is the third voice in “The Reunion” of which Jim Pike and myself, formerly of the Lettermen belong.  Tina is also the daughter of one of the “King Sisters”, as well as Ric.  They both are (were) members of the famous “King Family”, who had a weekly ABC prime time variety show in the seventies for many years, along with Christmas specials after that for several years.
Ex Letterman and now The Reunion, 
Gary Pike 

The pre-RCA track you posted of Ronnie Milsap with the tune YOU NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD, I just now listened to online and I will say, it wasn't a bad tune at all. From what I could gather, the song was written by Ashford - Simpson and they did backup vocals on it. I was immediately reminded of something similar that happened to country artist Freddy Fender. He had a recording in 1960 called HOLY ONE on Imperial Records which made it into the top five here in OKC, more than ten years since he would become a household name on the country charts with a few crossover hits. 
Wow, doesn't sound anything at all like the Ronnie Milsap we all know and love!  (More of a Chuck Jackson / '60's soul thing going on here ... which makes sense, I guess.)  Amazing to think that he continued to pay his dues for another ten years before making his mark on the country charts.  
Digging a little deeper, I see that "Never Had It So Good" did, in fact, "bubble under" on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for seven weeks back in 1965, ultimately peaking at #106.  It cracked The Top 100 in Cash Box, where it reached #94.  (kk)  

Diane Diekman reports:   

Nominees for 2016 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City have been announced. Country music nominees include Roger Miller (up against Marvin Gaye, George Harrison, and Jimi Hendrix) in the new category, Deceased Songwriters, while Tom T. Hall competes as a Performing Songwriter (against Madonna, Blondie, and Tom Petty). Nominees in the third category, Non-Performing Songwriters, include Dallas Frazier, John D. Loudermilk, Max Martin, Bob McDill, and Curly Putman.
Seriously???  They now have a category for "deceased songwriters"?!?!?  Hey, maybe that's how some of our "vintage acts" will finally gain induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... seems like they always wait until an artist passes before recognizing them anyway!!!

And, speaking of The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame ...

re:  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
We would SERIOUSLY like to plan an outing for next spring to have a group of Forgotten Hits Readers meet up at the Cleveland Museum.
Right now I'm thinking a 4-day weekend in April ... let us know if you're interested and maybe we'll start a "sign-up" sheet now!  (Once we have a head count I'll contact the museum to see what, if anything, they can do for us in the way of housing and group rates.)  kk

kk -  
Count me in. It would be fun to meet with other musicologists and tour the museum. I was there about four years (took the megabus, cheaper then driving) ago. Maybe take in a sporting event, too, as all the stadiums are within distance.
Mike De Martino  

Here's one you're going to want to watch again and again ... damn, how do they do that?!?  Perfect synchronization!!!  (kk)