Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

>>>All weekend long WCBS-FM will be playing their Top 500 Countdown starts on WCBS-FM.  Maybe you can listen now and then.  (I'm gonna go out on a limb and say neither one of us will like the #1 song.)  Frank B.  
>>>What??? You don't think "Boogie Oogie Oogie" will win the top honors this year?!?!?  (kk) >>>"I Love The Nightlife" by Alicia Bridges is song #500 on the WCBS-FM Top 500.  
We're just getting started and already I'm upset.  (Frank B.)
#1 = "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
DJ said everybody was calling in and guessing "Hotel California", which came in at #2.  All of a sudden "Boogie Oogie Oogie" is starting to look better to me.  (Frank B)

Big Jay Sorensen (who broadcasts on WCBS-FM) didn't take kindly to our commentary on this year's countdown ... 

I'm intrigued by the comments about WCBS-FM and the Top 500 Countdown. I can't speak for management**, but the station is quite successful. No ... really. To whine about "Billie Jean" being No. 1 doesn't compute with a 45 year-old TODAY. To YESTERDAY'S 45 year-old (20 or 30 years ago) it should be blasphemy! Where's "In The Still Of The Night?" 
While I have been reading Kent's wonderful column for years now (congrats on the anniversary) I must say (in my opinion) that we are serving the target audience with pin-point accuracy. If we wanted to super-serve today's 65+ audience, we could play all those great late '50s and early '60s songs that are largely lost on AM / FM radio ... but that would be BUSINESS suicide. What I find most interesting, is the continued feeling of holding on to something that simply can't be done NOW.
It made sense 20 or 30 years ago to play the music the station USED to play then ... but this is 2015. I even grew out of the "demo" and I miss the oldies -- personally. But it ain't about ME. But the music CBS-FM and most other "Classic Hits" stations today DOES resonate with today's 45 year-old. I get calls (years after we stopped playing those "oldies") asking if I can play the Harptones. Uh ... no. Sorry. But I am never rude. I try to briefly explain why. Most people (regardless of age) understand. And then I point out that there are literally thousands of places to FIND their oldies. I know it sounds awful for someone ON the radio to say that, but it's purely business. PURELY. Advertisers generally want 25 - 54 demos. Of course, there are exceptions. But it is reality! So to immediately claim that "I Love The Nightlife" was No. 500 and, "OMG, the world just ended," seems silly. I heard plenty of songs we don't usually play all weekend. And it was great. But the majority of our audience today need not hear "California Girls" on a regular basis ... 'cause it's not THEIR music! It's the oldies of a different generation. Of course, there is anecdotal evidence that younger people (18 - 34) love oldies. Prove it to me with REAL ratings information, please? There are exceptions, but my kids are in their 30s — just outside of 18 - 34 demographic now) and MY music ain't the stuff they wish to hear on a regular basis, if ever. Period. Sure, an occasional sing-along with “Twist And Shout” may happen, but mostly it’s indifference at best. 
I don't wish to get into a pissing match with any of Kent's wonderful readers and supporters. His work DOES serve a wonderful purpose ... to keep OUR music alive. Happily, it IS available in droves, and likely always will be. But just as "Big Band" formats disappeared by the time MY parents were in their '70s, so went "Oldies" radio ... except for a few rare exceptions. One day, "Tainted Love" will be gone as the music of the '00s will be the new "Greatest Hits!" It's evolutionary and necessary. I hope I didn't ruffle too many feathers, but I felt compelled to comment.
Oh ... and to READ about the '60s, '70s and '80s hits, go to my website: and click on Big Week in Pop Music History. I update it usually weekly. There is an archive there complete with videos and the stories about our music, chart history, etc.
I relish your comments at
Big Jay Sorensen 
CBS-FM  101.1 NYC 
**Comments are my own and don't reflect even the sun

Here's the complete list of songs that made WCBS-FM's Top 500 List ...
Passing it along to all you collectors out there ... 

Despite the fact that Dee Mitchell, widow of legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, has pointed out that unscrupulous parties have attempted to sell bogus items and drum kits as having belonged to and played by her late husband, the practice has cropped up again.  "The deplorable practice of auctioning 'Mitch Mitchell' drum sets which he supposedly played while with Jimi Hendrix seems to be ongoing," she noted.  "All of the drums Mitch played with Hendrix and later  are accounted for and not up for sale.   We hope that anybody who might be interested in buying one of these kits will take warning and not fall for this artifice."

>>>When I was just starting my career in radio back in the day as a young, pre-driver's license, teenage disk jockey playing the Hits in South Dakota that have since become those Great Oldies and Forgotten Hits we all love today, it would have been just too cool if this would have been my bike to ride from home back and forth to those KRSD Rapid City radio studios!  (Chuck Buell)
>>>This custom BIKE radio is to DIE for!!!  (I don't think I've EVER seen one of these before!)  kk
I needed this bike in the 60's!!!
Clark Besch
I wonder what one of these goes for today (assuming you could even find one! ... and if you did, if it would still work!!! (kk)

I found this vintage ad on EBay ... looks like these bikes first came out in the '50's!

I also asked I guy I know who works in a bike shop if he's ever seen or come across one.  Nope ... this was a new one on him, too!

More from the Wild Wayne 40th Anniversary celebration, courtesy of Forgotten Hits Reader Frank B ...  

Interview Date:  May 7 1978 - Fred Parris (Lead singer of The Five Satins)
They had the A-side recorded, "The Jones Girl" and needed a B-side.
Fred Parris was in the National Guard in Philadelphia. He was walking guard duty at 3 AM. He decided to work on that B-side song the group needed and came up with "In The Still Of The Nite."
First recorded for the Standard Label, it was recorded at St. Bernadette's Church basement in Easthaven, Connecticut, on a 2-track machine. If you listen to the original recording, you'll hear a truck horn in the background. Once again they get it wrong, making "In The Still Of The Nite" the B-side instead of the A-side.
On the old WCBS - FM Countdowns,this song was #1 ten years in a row.

Interview Date:  October 17, 1982 - Danny Rapp (Lead singer of Danny and the Juniors)
After their 1957 #1 Hit "At The Hop," they were signed by ABC-Paramount . The label said they wanted a song that was similar to "At The Hop" for the group's next release. Dave White wrote "Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay." It was a Hit.
Danny said he thought it would've been a bigger hit if it wasn't so close to the first hit.
Danny also said in the late 50's Danny and the Juniors were appearing on American Bandstand about twice a month.
Frank B.

Whatever happened to Joey Scarbury?
Tom Cuddy
Scarbury actually topped both the Cash Box and Record World charts with his 1981 TV Theme / Hit Single "Theme from 'Greatest American Hero' (Believe It Or Not)" ... it peaked at #2 in Billboard where it charted for 26 weeks.  And yep, ya gotta love that Seinfeld answering machine episode!  (lol)  kk

BTW, for Larry, I have one mini survey that is about two inches high and one inch wide from the 60's!!!
Clark Besch
You know the more I thought about this, the more I realized that the original WCFL "Big 10" Surveys were designed to fold in thirds an fit into your shirt pocket ... and they were pretty cool, too, typically depicting the picture of a current hot artist on the front cover ... and often promoting new album appearances, live concerts and radio station promotions.  (kk)

And, speaking of the charts ...

Really enjoyed perusing the weekly survey for WIBG. The first thing I thought of when I saw the call letters was the second volume of the LP's that were made years ago in which certain DJ's shows were reproduced on vinyl LP. The second volume of the Cruisin' Series was from the year 1957 and featured DJ  Joe Niagara. Of the 14 or 15 albums that were made, it just so happens that the one of Joe Niagara happens to be my favorite. In WIBG's  "Future 49", I counted right at just 7 records that would turn out to be hits as we know them today.

Hi Kent,
Just an interesting note ... Burton Cummings is playing at the Orleans Showroom in Las Vegas January 14th - 17th with a one night break on the 15th and I see where the Guess Who are playing in Las Vegas on that night at the Golden Nugget.  I wonder if any of these former band-mates will  catch each other's performances?  
Also, I know how you love Oldies radio, so enclosed is a station high in the mountains of Colorado that is not saddled by the confines of the big city consultants and as a result you'll get to hear quite an extended library and variety.
Tim Kiley 
Honestly, I can't see EITHER party bothering with checking out the other ... but if pressed to buy just one ticket there is absolutely NO question who I'D go to see ... I'll go for the "real deal" every time!  (kk)

We've told you about this one a couple of times now ...
Well, we finally hit the official release date this Friday, December 4th ...
One of the Lonely Ones Will Finally Be Available After Being Shelved For 46 Years
December 4th marks the anniversary of Roy Orbison’s last ever performance (The Front Row Theater, Highland Heights, OH, 1988), a mere two days before his passing. In recognition, Universal Music Enterprises (Ume) has teamed up with Roy’s Boys LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by the late icon’s sons to administer their father’s catalog and safeguard his legacy. Together, they are releasing One of the Lonely Ones globally on December 4, available in CD, 180-gram vinyl and digital form. 
Recorded between January and August of 1969, One of the Lonely Ones is a complete Roy Orbison studio album that has never before been released in any form. The 12-track album was recently discovered by Roy’s sons when they were preparing for the release of The MGM Years box set (also available digitally and on CD and 180-gram vinyl Dec. 4). Born from tragedy, One of the Lonely Ones is a testament to Roy’s unparalleled ability to turn heartbreak into art.
Things were looking up for ‘The Big O’ in 1968. In the middle of the summer, Roy met Barbara, the woman who would be his wife for the remainder of his life. With a new album due out, Roy was on tour in the UK promoting “Walk On” for his forthcoming album Roy Orbison’s Many Moods. Then on Sept. 15, tragedy struck when his home in Hendersonville, TN burned down, killing his two oldest sons Roy DeWayne (age ten) and Anthony (age six). 
To recover from the tragedy, Roy went back to work, recording a new album in January 1969. After taking a break in March to marry Barbara (and go back on tour), recording resumed in July and finished in August. The album never saw the light of day, however. Due to his self-imposed exile during the latter part of the previous year, Roy’s label MGM Records had pushed back the release of Many Moods to May of ’69, thereby knocking his aggressive release schedule out of whack. MGM ultimately made the decision to shelve One of the Lonely Ones.  
Now 46 years later, the world will get to hear One of the Lonely Ones – an album featuring full band, choir and orchestra, with Roy Orbison sounding his strongest. The album does NOT contain demos, outtakes or alternate versions of previously released songs. One of these tracks has recently gained a lot of attention in the UK. Roy’s cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is a tribute to his friends Gerry and the Pacemakers, who had a hit with it in 1963, and subsequently toured with Roy and the Beatles. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has also been the theme song for Liverpool Football Club and other soccer teams around the world for half a century. A music video for Orbison’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is currently in the works.
Another standout on One of the Lonely Ones is a cover of Don Gibson’s “I Will Always,” a track that was quite literally lost for several decades. Roy’s son Alex Orbison explains, “Roy was picking these deep love songs for his love of Barbara and starting over again. The song was listed as ‘missing,’ and was truly lost for 45 years. When we went through all of the source tapes we found ‘I Will Always’ in the middle of seven or eight takes of another song. It seemed like they were not getting the other song perfect so they tried a run-through of ‘I Will Always,’ which they did nail on the very first try, and then they went back to the other song. ‘I Will Always’ was not listed on that reel, so if we had not searched through all the source tapes - about 100 hours of listening - then it likely would have been lost forever.” 
Five songs were co-written by Bill Dees (co-writer of  “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “It’s Over”). The guitar-heavy “Child Woman, Woman Child,” an ambiguous tale of a man hung up an immature woman, is a little sister of sorts to “Oh, Pretty Woman,” and was the very first track laid down for One of the Lonely Ones. “Sweet Memories,” a Mickey Newbury song Roy had attempted to record two years earlier, but didn’t release it as he felt the earlier version had not been up to par. A lyric video for “Sweet Memories” was recently made using old family photos, many of which have never been seen by the public until now. 
One of the Lonely Ones was transferred from the original tape at the famed Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN, and the tracks were individually mixed by Chuck Turner (whose credits include Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and Marty Stuart) at the Cash Cabin under Alex Orbison’s supervision.  Finally, the restored-to-stereo tracks were put in the capable hands of Richard Dodd for mastering.
Roy Orbison - One of the Lonely Ones [vinyl LP; CD; digital album]
(recorded 1/21/69 – 8/2/69, all tracks previously unreleased)
1) You’ll Never Walk Alone
2) Say No More
3) Leaving Makes the Rain Come Down
4) Laurie
5) Sweet Memories
6) One of the Lonely Ones
7) Child Woman, Woman Child
8) The Defector
9) Give Up
10) Little Girl (In the Big City)
11) After Tonight
12) I Will Always
“Sweet Memories” lyric video:
Preorder links:
One Of The Lonely Ones (CD):
One Of The Lonely Ones (vinyl LP):
The MGM Years (13 CD box set):
The MGM Years (14 LP vinyl box set):

re:  On The Local Scene:   
Hello Kent:   
I thought you might be interested in this event that is occurring this Thursday, December 3rd,  at the Empty Bottle in Chicago:
Chicago music lovers are familiar with the column, “The Secret History of Chicago Music.”  This free event celebrates the publication of a compendium of all of the columns.  
Steve Krakow (AKA Plastic Crimewave) says this about the evening:

ok folks, THIS IS THEE BIG ONE! The official release par-tay of the Secret History of Chicago Music Book Collection is this Thursday at The Empty Bottle, if you RSVP up til the day of the show it is FREE! Copies of the Curbside Splendor Publishing over-200-page hardcover will be available for the FIRST TIME at this event! So stoked to have the first-time-ever set by the FULL BAND version of Athanor, one of my fave 70s windy city psych-pop bands, as well as the 2nd ever perfor...mance in 35 years by electronic soundscapers VCSR (featuring William Vermette), plus the full-tilt avant genius of ONO, and David Bowie-approved auteur Bobby Conn is doing a special "My Chicago" performance that is bound to confound and delight! I'll be signing books and it's gunna be gas!! Can't believe this is finally happening,..yow.

Athanor’s band includes Chris Drehobl of The Mauds on drums and Harry Reinhart (father of American Idol runner up Haley Reinhart) of Midnight on lead guitar.
Best regards,
Rick Vittenson

I'm not sure how many more concerts we'll see in 2015 (we've got Richard Marx coming up on Friday ... and had talked about making The Ides Of March Christmas Show a "Forgotten Hits Get-Together" at The Arcada Theatre on December 18th ... but that one just never came together) ... but not to worry ...

Ron Onesti has already started booking an all-star line-up for 2016 ... and tickets for some of these show are already on sale at their online box office ...

January 17th - The Osmonds
January 29th - Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top)
February 13th - "The Voices Of Rock" starring Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night) and Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad) 
February 20th - Creedence Clearwater Revisited
March 4th and 5th - UFO
March 6th - The Hit Men - featuring artists who have formerly performed with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Critters, Tommy James and the Shondells, Jim Croce, Carly Simon and more
March 11th - Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes
March 13th - Tommy Roe and Chris Montez
May 6th - Crystal Gayle
May 7th - The Alan Parsons Live Project
May 8th - Frankie Avalon
May 13th - The Orchestra (featuring former members of The Electric Light Orchestra)
May 19th - Paul Anka
June 4th - Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone

Lots more shows will be added ... so check back often!