Tuesday, December 8, 2015

re:  Cornerstones Of Rock:
That's the big news this week ... WTTW will finally air this awesome reunion concert TWICE on Thursday Night ... and then again on Saturday.  Apparently only being shown locally in the WTTW broadcast area now, be sure to tell your friends all about it.  We'd love to see this show get worldwide coverage and help set the stage for many more broadcasts of this nature.
Check your local listings by originally scheduled to be broadcast Thursday Night (December 10th) at 7:30 pm with an encore performance immediately behind it.  LOTS of great goodies being used as incentives to draw new subscribers to the station, too ... so you'll definitely want to check this out.  (kk)
For those of you, like me, who don't live in the WTTW viewing area, you will not see the Cornerstones Of Rock program. WTTW is not making it available for viewing anywhere else any time soon. I was told that since it is a local production, they are keeping it in house for the foreseeable future. It will not be streamed either. They want you to buy the DVD. They're supposed to get back to me, when they know how much they'll charge for it. It should be a fun two hour program, minus the pledge breaks. Please note the actual concert was about three hours, and there really wasn't too much excess babbling. I would venture to say that there could be as much as an hour of music that WTTW isn't gonna show.  They may show some selected clips later on, but who knows when that will be. If the nice lady gets back to me before Thursday, I'll give you all a heads up. Looks like I'll have take the money I was gonna spend on Kent's Xmas gift, and buy the DVD. Sorry dude.
Jack Levin
Now see if you were REALLY a friend you'd just order us BOTH a copy!!!  (lol)  I've heard that there's LOTS of additional footage including interviews, rehearsals and full length performances not shown as part of the television broadcast ... plus a live cd of the proceedings as well as a "greatest hits" CD of the original commercially released versions of these tunes.  (Guessing THAT bundle's gonna cost around $250!!!)  Stay tuned to watch and see.  (I'm using my DVR ... that way I at least have a back-up copy until the real dvd shows up! Bad luck with PBS pledge product in the past ... we ordered the autographed copy of the Brian Wilson and Friends concert broadcast live from Las Vegas and never received it ... and my three follow-up inquiries went completely ignored.  I've since heard that they completely sold out as they had a very limited supply of product.  The good news is they never charged my credit card.  The bad new is I've yet to be able to find a copy other than on eBay where the guy wanted something like $150 for it!!!  (kk)
Speaking of great PBS Specials, did any of you happen to catch The Carpenters documentary that ran over the weekend.   I nearly bought that one, too ... until I realized I already OWN it ... and probably paid about $30 for it vs. the $180 they wanted for pledge night.  Very heavily edited for broadcast ... but still worth a viewing or two.  Such a sad ending to such a beautiful, fairytale story.  (kk)
re:  The New Colony Six:
Founding Member Ray Graffia, Jr., reunited with Ronnie Rice, a familiar voice on The Colony's records during the hit years, along with current member Bruce Mattey to film their segment of The Cornerstones Of Rock Program for PBS.  It's my understanding that the trio (backed by The Ides Of March) performed FOUR songs that night:  "I Confess", "Love You So Much", "I Will Always Think About You" and "Things I'd Like To Say".  Not sure how many will make the final edit but hopefully ALL of these performances will be on the deluxe version of the DVD and soundtrack CD.  (Ray told me they also filmed and recorded some interview material with each of the participants so I'm thinking that'll probably be part of the bonus material as well.)
Meanwhile, it looks like 2016 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for The New Colony Six.  Promoter Robert Stolzman, who organized last year's Benefit Concert for The Rhythmic Arts Foundation, is promising numerous appearances by the band next year as they lend their support to other fund-raisers.
For right now we're only at liberty to tell you about the first one ... but Robert promises there's a lot more to come.  
Read on ...
Hi Kent -
Just thought I would let you know that I have several upcoming shows to benefit Misericordia with everyone’s favorite band, The New Colony Six.  
We have shows scheduled across Chicagoland all through 2016 but can only release the info to one of them at this time. 
This one will take place at the Woodstock Opera House on April 30th.  
The NC6 will be the only act.  
I have some pretty big name guests to appear at our Meet and Greet but won't announce this information until Valentine’s Day! ha-ha!  (I can tell you that long-time friend of The New Colony Six, Chet Coppock will be there, along with Dana Buffone for a special book signing.)
I am also doing a Rockabilly Fest on April 29th to kick off our Lovefest Weekend featuring the Cadillac Casanovas and Slick 50, another popular rockabilly band from the area.  I will also have some of my old *Rick Nelson friends in town for this show.  Again this show is a benefit for Misericordia.
I will announce the other shows in January and will give Forgotten Hits the inside track on these as they become available.  
Attached is an ad you can use, along with some pictures.
Regards -
Robert M. Stolzman

re:  Tom, Elvis ... and Two Dicks ... :
Vintage Vinyl News is reporting on a strange Elvis Presley / Tom Jones encounter ... apparently something Jones shared with host Conan O'Brien on his late night program recently ...
Tom Jones had the most awkward encounter with his hero Elvis Presley when The King opted to relieve himself while pitching the Brit a new song.
The two rockers became friends in the mid-1960s after a meeting in Los Angeles, and when Presley heard a song he thought was perfect for the Welshman, he insisted on visiting him in his hotel suite, while Jones was taking a shower.
The "It's Not Unusual" singer could hear Elvis singing in the bathroom as he cleaned u and it was only when he stepped out did he realize The King had been crooning on the toilet.
"He was standing there cleaning up, looking in the mirror and so I'm naked and he's half-naked; his pants are down by his ankles," Jones tells U.S. chat show host Conan O'Brien. "He's singing this song to me. 
"I'm trying to towel down and Elvis is singing ... and then of course I said, 'Elvis, you know your pants...' and he went, 'Red!', because he used to have a bodyguard called Red... so Red busts through the door, thinking there's something wrong... and he says, 'My pants, man...'"
The minder, Red West, then proceeded to help Elvis squeeze back into his skintight leather trousers.
Tom has previously opened up about his friendship with Elvis, noting they had all types of interesting conversations. 
"He would say to me, 'Tom, you're a lucky man, because you married your childhood sweetheart'," Tom recalled to USA Today. "Elvis said, 'How do you sing like that?' That's what he said, to me. I said, 'Well, you're partly to blame.' He said, 'Yeah, but I grew up in the South, listening to black gospel. How did you learn it?' I said, 'By listening to you, and people like you. By listening to Mahalia Jackson.' I was getting it on the radio, but we were both white boys listening to black singers."
re:  Bobby Darin:
I guess you found out last week that I'm not the only one who wants to hear more about Bobby Darin.
Frank B.
I've been promising to rerun this series for about eight years now ... I guess it's probably time for me to actually do it!!!  (kk)
The most effective use of "Mack the Knife" I've ever seen is in director Robert Redford's wonderful 1994 film "Quiz Show," which looks at America's "loss of innocence" over the scandal of the rigged TV quiz shows of the late '50s. Redford contrasts Bobby Darin's relatively "innocent," cleaned-up version to open the film with Lyle Lovett's explicit version of "Moritat" to end the show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lEKcJ52xF8
Don Effenberger 
I'd never heard this Lyle Lovett version before ... and, while listening to this, I noticed that a Lotte Lenya version of "Mack The Knife" is ALSO available.  (Now I think that in all fairness she should have inserted Bobby Darin's name in her version!!!)  kk
Talking about "turn about is fair play" ...
Hello Kent,
I have come to realize that my previous email concerning the ironic relationship between Bobby Darin and Tim Hardin contained an error. It was 'If I Were A Carpenter' not 'Reason To Believe' that was shared between the two and sometimes got mixed up as to who wrote which.
Regardless Bobby Darin was a superb entertainer and artist who left us all too soon. Reading his Bio on Wikipedia I realized the importance of taking Penicillin each and every time I went to the dentist, since I, like him, had Rheumatic Fever as a kid.
Thank you for your marvelous blog, one never knows the impact some little bit of trivia or the sharing of a story impacts others, I must say I have had a lot of fun reading your blog so thank you.
Keep up the good 'labor of love' and have a very Merry Christmas,
Actually the Bobby Darin / Tim Hardin connection goes deeper than that.  Hardin couldn't get a hit with "If I Were A Carpenter" until Bobby Darin recorded it.  It went on to become a '60's standard and The Four Tops also charted with a hit version of this record shortly thereafter ... and it was this song that put Hardin on the songwriting map.
In a true case of turn-around is fair play, Hardin then recorded the Bobby Darin composed tune "Simple Song Of Freedom".  It would be his only chart hit, reaching #47 in 1969.
This, too, is discussed in much greater detail in our Bobby Darin Series ... I may just have to take the month of January off from regular postings and finally get this sucker posted to the website ... it really is a good series (yeah, I know ... SO modest ... but it IS!!!) ... and I worked very hard on it ... and it played to rave reviews at the time, running once as an encore presentation to a whole new mailing list and then again through the official Bobby Darin websites.  What made it fun and unique for me was the fact that I knew VERY little about Bobby Darin's career prior to writing it.  It was truly a research and writing experience and, in the process, I became a HUGE fan of his music.  (Plus with our FH Buddy Dennis Tufano still doing his tribute to Bobby Darin in concert, I think HE might enjoy seeing it again, too!)  Let's see if time will permit me to do so.  (kk)
re:  This And That:
Joel Whitburn's latest book, spotlighting all of the weekly Cash Box Magazine Charts of the '60's, has already started shipping.  (Can't wait to see my copy!!!)  These will make the perfect companion pieces to his similar Billboard Chart Books, some of which are already out of print!
Better get your hands on these early before they're all gone!
Complete ordering information can be found on The Record Research Website ...

Meanwhile, Joel has extended his $10 off offer ... so you aren't going to find a better time to order this than right now!  (The Cash Box Charts of the '70's are ALSO available through Record Research!)
Kent ...
Interview Date:  July 26, 1987 - Hank Ballard
He said that in 1960 he had three songs on the charts:  "The Twist", "Finger-Poppin' Time" and "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go.", kind of comparing himself to the Beatles.
He also stated that Dick Clark pushed Chubby Checker's version of "The Twist" because Dick was
involved in Chubby's management.
Hank wasn't bothered by this because he wrote the song and was still making money off Chubby's sales.
Off the top of my head -- I thought Hank's version of "The Twist" was first on the charts in 1959. I'm not going to call him a liar until I check it out.
Turns out I was right and wrong.
How can that be you say?
I say my Billboard book has it listed this way:
March, 1959 - "Teardrops On Your Letter" is a hit for Hank Ballard. That's the A-side.  The B-Side is "The Twist." I guess we were both right.
Here's another interesting fact.
In July, 1960, Music Vendor has Hank Ballard's version of "The Twist" listed as a #1 hit. Not Billboard, only Music Vendor.
If we take Chubby Checker's version of "The Twist," it was a #1 hit twice (1960 and 1961) and add
it to Hank Ballard's (Music Vendor) version of "The Twist" that means that it was a #1 hit a total of THREE times, not two as we previously thought it was.
Frank B.
Technically, "The Twist" SHARED the #1 position in Music Vendor with the Chubby Checker version.  Back then, Cash Box and Music Vendor tended to list multiple recordings of the same song at the same position, designating the official "hit" version, followed by competing cover versions that were available at the same time ... but you're right ... in SOME fashion, both Ballard and Checker hit the top spot with Hank Ballard's revolutionary composition.  (kk)
Hi Kent,
Let us not forget that they saved the best one in the series for last ... "Crusin' With Porky Chedwick"
Ed Salamon
Please tell CharlieOFD that it was great seeing all the covers of the Cruisin' Series in FH. I am fortunate enough to have all of them but to be honest with you, I really can't remember where or how I got them. Probably my local record store, but can't remember. In addition to the LP for the year 1957 featuring WIBG's Joe Niagara, I always did like the LP for 1962 featuring Russ "Weird Beard" Knight, the Savior of Dallas radio for station KLIF. Incidentally, as I am typing this email to you, would you believe I have not heard one Christmas song on the radio yet? Of course the radio in my car does not work and I have refused to get it fixed because of the same old same old you hear every day including songs and sports talk. I may get out tonight and play online the Ronettes's 1963 rendition of SLEIGH RIDE. That's got to be my all time favorite Christmas tune through the years. Happy Holidays, Kent.
I, on the other hand, have completely overdosed on Christmas Music this year ... and can't turn it off fast enough.  Seems that every station in town has upped their ante and are playing more Christmas music more often than ever ... and some pretty horrendous renditions, too, I might add.
In fact Me-TV-FM has now dropped down to my #6 button on the car radio ... I don't know where they're digging up some of the Christmas music they're playing but I can positively assure you that it is neither "timeless" or "memorable".  It's as if the station has completely lost their focus on what they first set out to be.  And now they're playing up the television connection more than ever, featuring TV themes interspersed by what seems to be every half hour or so.  (The theme song from "Mad Men"???  Timeless and memorable???  Really???  I also heard about a 3 1/2 minute version of "The Andy Griffith Show" theme the other day ... it's one of those that EVERYBODY knows ... and will bring a smile to your face ... for about thirty seconds ... 3 1/2 minutes is just overkill.)
I've about given up on them ... it's gone from "often annoying" to "false advertising" to "damn near unlistenable" over the last few months.  SUCH great potential ... but they can't seem to decide what they want to be when they grow up.  (kk)
Hello, Kent ~~~
Regarding The Huffy Radio Bike Story I sent recently ~~~
Thanks to John LaPuzza for the link to "Steve's Antique Technology!"   
This link John provided displays, and has information for, over a half dozen interesting Bike Radio Models that were around when we were kids! Somehow I was oblivious to all the Bike Radio Add-Ons that were available then!
By the way, I still have my radio and its carrying case that I, too, "strapped on" my Bike. It's a 6 inch by 3 inch by 1½ Westinghouse Seven Transistor "Personal Radio" complete with gold-colored triangular designators behind the clear dial with a matching red triangle on the dial to line up for fast and easy tuning to both Emergency Conelrad Civil Defense Stations frequencies, if ever needed!

 Chuck Buell