Friday, December 18, 2015

The Friday Flash

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
The Class of 2015 has just been announced ... 
Chicago, who led the "popular vote" category, will FINALLY be inducted this year ... as will Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, Deep Purple and NWA (who came in on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as fan votes went ... but Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Dictator Jann Wenner has wanted these guys inducted for a long, long time ... which is why they've made the ballot so many times over the past few years ... whereas Chicago has never even been so much as nominated before.)  Second and third place vote-getters Yes and The Cars were snubbed and ignored once again this year.
The 31st Annual Induction Ceremony (wow!  have they REALLY been pissing us off for that long already?!?!?) will take place on Friday, April 8, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York ... and HBO will broadcast the ceremony in spring 2016.  (kk)
The final tally of fan voting shaped up this way:
Chicago led the pack ... by a landslide ... with over 37 1/2 million votes.  As mentioned above, second and third place finishers (Yes and The Cars) each had about 26 million votes.  Deep Purple and Steve Miller (both of whom made the cut) both finished with 25 1/2 million votes.
After that, it wasn't even closer.
6th Place went to Janet Jackson, with just under 10 million votes.  Cheap Trick earned 2.3 million while The Spinners finished just over two million.  Chaka Kahn had 1.8 million votes while Chic finished with 1.3 million. 
In 11th Place were The JB's (with 950,000 votes), followed by NWA (who got in with just 675,000 votes ... or about 20% of what Chicago earned), Nine Inch Nails (564,000), The Smiths (490,000) and Los Lobos (405,000).
Greetings from AZ, Kent!
Just read this year's annual rant about the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Of course you're correct in your assessment but also of course our opinions don't matter to them.
I'm sure you'll get lots of mail reminding you of your failure to mention other worthy ones but I think the HOF's single biggest exclusion has to be Connie Francis. She certainly was the lead female singer in the first decade of rock and roll and to exclude her because her songs weren't hip enough is just plain wrong.
Steve Davidson
Connie was one of the Top Three leaders the first time we polled our audience many years ago and came up with our "Deserving And Denied" list ... but she seems to have fallen off the radar since then ... and, quite honestly, since you hear virtually NONE of her music on the radio anymore (despite 44 National Top 40 Hits.)  The young people today will never consider her as they've not been exposed to her music. (I remember making an argument a few years back that if you induct Brenda Lee, you HAVE to induct Connie Francis.  These were, without question, the two biggest female voices of the 1950's and early '60's ... but the general consensus we got back was that inducting Brenda Lee was a mistake in the first place ... so why make ANOTHER mistake simply because these two artists were tied at the musical hip?)  And, since you can't UN-induct anybody, then just leave well enough alone and move on.
I think Connie Francis posted the stats necessary to gain induction ... but The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has NEVER been about the statistics ... else how would artists like Lou Reed (mentioned above), Leonard Cohen and Percy Sledge be enshrined?  (kk)
"Only the beginning ... only just a start."
I am thrilled as I'm sure you are that Chicago finally won over the eastern establishment to gain entry into the shrine in Cleveland, Ohio.
Truthfully, if the group had only turned out "Chicago Transit Authority" it would have been Hall of Fame material. For example, tell me anything about The Ramones that truly makes your spine tingle.
Additionally, I happen to like Lou Reed, but except for his vocals on "I'm Waiting For My Man", and "Walk On The Wild Side" what did he offer rock 'n roll that begins to compare withe raging horns and lyrical excellence of Chicago?
In conclusion, The Rock Hall is about a lot of people but it is not about Steve Miller, a guy who has bored me for decades. I would rather see Jim Peterik enter the shrine based on his work with the Ides and other groups.
Jim is a rocker. Miller is "Billy Joe and Bobby Sue ... get it on watchin' tube."
Chet Coppock
From FH Reader Tom Cuddy (by way of  
Chicago on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Reuniting With Peter Cetera  
"I guess if a reunion with Peter was ever going to happen, this would be a prime opportunity," says co-founder Robert Lamm    
Chicago has been eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ever since their debut album, The Chicago Transit Authority, celebrated its 25th birthday in 1994. But they never even got onto the ballot until this year, a situation that enraged their passionate fan base to no end. To Chicago co-founder / keyboardist Robert Lamm, however, it was never that big of a deal. "If you're nominated for a Grammy and you don't get it, you don't have a heart attack," he says by phone just a few hours after learning he'd gotten in. "You just move on and keep working. That's really what my attitude always was."  
We spoke with Lamm about the big news, sharing the stage with N.W.A, dealing with brutal rock critics and the possibility of reuniting with former Chicago frontman Peter Cetera for the first time since Cetera left the band in 1985. 
Congrats on the big news. Who told you?    
I got a call from Peter Schivarelli, Chicago's manager, about this and some other issues. We're about to ramp up and play a New Year's Eve show for NBC in Chicago and then go on to Asia, so we have some production things we're talking about. The good news came in, and it's quite gratifying.  
Are you surprised?  
I can't say I'm 100 percent surprised since we did get word that we'd been nominated. Heaven knows we've been eligible for a long time, so that it was always something that was possible. Frankly, I was very surprised that we'd been nominated.
It's been so long that we've been eligible. I think that the body of work, even just considering the work we did on the first album and beyond, certainly changed the face of pop music and is considered influential. As a composer, I can tell you that a number of songs that Chicago recorded have been sampled a number of times by contemporary artists, so that's an indication that the music seems timeless.

How often did you hear from fans that were upset you weren't in?  
For years now, whenever the inductees were announced there was always a number of DJs or entertainment reporters who would make the point of, "What's going on here? Why aren't these guys in the Hall of Fame?" That was endorsed by our fans to the degree that we know what our fans are thinking.

Did it personally bother you that you didn't get in all those years?  
Thankfully, we've never stopped touring and for at least the first 40 years, we recorded pretty steadily when we weren't touring, so we were always busy looking ahead to what was next. 

There seems to be a theme from your whole career that you've always been a fan's band. The fans love you, but the rock-critical elite has never embraced you. Do you understand why that happened?  
It goes in and out. When you have a long career and you've weathered the storms of different trends in music and the changing of the guard as far as tastemakers are concerned, you project a large target to be criticized or ignored, or sometimes actually praised. We've had a taste of all of that.

And through all of it, you guys simply plowed ahead.  
At some point, I'm guessing it was maybe 10 or 15 years ago, we all sort of looked at each other and had this conversation of, "Well, I guess music is what we're going to be doing for the rest of our lives."

Do you think part of it was you simply had too many hits in a short time period and that turned the critics off?  
I do. The specialness and avant-garde-ness of the first album was fully embraced by critics all over the world. Frankly, we built a career on that one album. We did subsequent albums and kept doing albums regardless of what critics said. We performed all over the world and accumulated a following. By the fifth album, the music became more mainstream. By the mid- or late 1970s, pop music itself had become more mainstream until punk emerged. Then it really took a left turn in terms of what critics liked. Critics are listening for what's new or different or fresh. I completely get it. By the 1980s, it was power-ballad land for us since that is what enabled us to maintain a career. But critics couldn't pigeonhole us and I think that frustrated them. 

Did they tell you the names of your fellow inductees? 
No. Can you tell me?

Sure. One is Cheap Trick. Are you fans of them?  
Sure. At least their one big album, the live one, is terrific.

Deep Purple, Steve Miller Band, N.W.A.  
Wow. That's great company. I loved Straight Outta Compton, the movie. That was really a long time coming and beautifully done, a historic document, well-directed, well-acted. It really kind of puts that music in the forefront. It takes it out of a genre and places it firmly in pop music. It's great. I'm very happy with that one.

Did you ever imagine you'd be playing on the same bill as them?  
[Laughs] We've played with an amazing variety of artists. It would not have surprised me, and here we are.

I'm sure Steve Miller is someone you've met over the years.  
Actually, very early on, he played some dates as our opening act when we were virtually at the level of an opening act ourselves. In the beginning of our career, we opened for Jimi Hendrix and had Steve Miller open for us. Bruce Springsteen opened for us. We've been privileged to hear all these sorts of artists.

Have you ever been to an induction ceremony?  
No, I haven't. I'm hearing a rumor ... Do the artists that get inducted wear tuxedos?

Many do. Others just dress how they're comfortable. 
How would you dress if you were inducted?

I've never thought about it. Probably a tux, but maybe not a traditional one.  
Maybe just rock finery. I get it.

The inductees usually perform. Are you guys going to do that?  
I honestly don't know. We love to play and we're ready and willing to play if that's what is required or desired.

Bands usually play with ex-members. Do you think that might happen?  
Yeah, sure.

You're open to playing with Peter Cetera?  
Absolutely. I talk to Peter from time to time. I know he hasn't played bass in many, many years, as fine a bass player as he was. He'd certainly sing, at least I imagine.

Has he played with you guys even a single time since 1985?  
[Softly] No. Not one. Not one.

The fans will be thrilled if that happens.  
There were opportunities and discussions over the years about doing some things together, but it never happened. I guess if it was ever going to happen, this would be a prime opportunity. And personally, I'd find it very moving.

That's one of the best parts about these nights, seeing people come together after so many years apart.  
Sure. Sure. Where does the ceremony take place?

They rotate it, but this year they're doing it in New York.
Wow, that's great! That's my hometown.

There's usually a big all-star jam at the end of the night. Is there one Chicago song you think would work for that?
Well, especially for guitarists, I think "25 or 6 to 4" would be the perfect jam tune.

Do you think any of your songs could work with N.W.A?  
I wonder what they would play? I've had "26 or 6 to 4" used by a couple of rap artists who rap over the tune. Young Buck, I think, did one. I can't recall the others. If we're talking about an N.W.A tune, I'd have to put on the album and check it out.

That should do it. I'll see you in April on the big night. 
I'm very excited. I can't wait.
About freaking time for Chicago and Cheap Trick ... that is great! And Steve Miller, who learned from the masters when he lived here. So HAPPY. I think it is time for a road trip!

It's Official!  CHICAGO!  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2016.  Watch on YouTube 
Eddie Burke 
Some of the other inductees are also speaking out today.  FH Reader Tom Cuddy also sent us these links ...
Steve Miller Is Critical of The Hall Of Fame ...
And this from Robin Zander of Cheap Trick ...
The Cornerstones Of Rock:
>>>The featured violin soloist on "Lake Shore Drive" was referred to by Peterik as "Cheech" on stage.  Nobody I talked to seemed to know her real name for sure ... and the end credits whipped by so quickly I couldn't catch it there either ... but she was amazing.  (I asked around but Jim Peterik never responded, Jim "Hooke" Pilster admitted that he fell asleep before the end credits rolled (lol) and Skip Haynes THOUGHT her name was Ann Harris ... so that's what I'm going with for right now until somebody can offer more clarification.)  Speaking of Skip Haynes (who flew in special for this to perform "Lake Shore Drive" with The Ides and Ted Aliotta), he also told me that in all the years he's performed his classic hit song this was the first time that he EVER did it live on stage with violin accompaniment.  Amazing!  (kk) 
Kent ...
The violin soloist name is Chihsuan Yang. Her nickname is "Chich"  and, on top of being an incredible musician, she is also, obviously, stunning.
There were a few shots of her in my DNA article. I had more performance photos but as we know, WTTW didn't want those publicized. 
Now that the show has aired several times maybe it's safe to run a few "exclusive" shots on the website?  I still don't understand why they'd shy away from additional publicity ... the whole idea behind this thing was to raise as much money as possible in the way of donations. (And I heard they did very well!)  Let me know if you want us to run some photos up on the site ... maybe we could dedicate a special page to the event or something.  ALWAYS interested in dressing up the site with some great photographs!  (kk)
Hi Kent -
One word for the Cornerstones of Rock Show ... 
G  R  E  A  T  !!!!!
Like Jim Peterik said:  "We don't look 19, but we sure played the music like we did when we were 19".
I agree with you they were ALL  EXCEPTIONAL except for Rick Derringer's version of  "Hang On Sloopy".  It  was waaayy s l o w e r   than the record!!  Too much talk. But he is a legend so I was still glad to see him.  Too bad his younger brother, who played the drums in the original group, didn't perform.
Hope this program opens the door for that period in Rock and Roll when the CHICAGO GROUPS ROCKED THE NATION
Speaking of the Cornerstones Of Rock show, several readers have written in asking when the tickets will go on sale to the general public for The Arcada Theatre performance.  Ron Onesti tells me that this'll happen on January 4th ... which is right around the corner ... so stay tuned ... 'cause these babies are gonna go FAST!!! (kk)
And speaking of upcoming Arcada shows, you can catch The Ides Of March (with special guests) there tonight doing their annual Christmas show.  LOTS of great dates have already been booked for 2016 ... including these recent adds ...
Bret Michaels - March 10th
Don Williams - April 14th
Vince Neil - July 16th
Rita Coolidge - July 17th
Little Anthony and the Imperials - October 23rd (They put on an OUTSTANDING show at The Arcada a couple of years ago!)
Charlie Daniels - November 3rd (I missed him the last time around)
Johnny Rivers - November 6th
Plus Air Supply on January 22nd
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top on January 29th
Jefferson Starship on January 30th
The BoDeans on February 12th
Chuck Negron and Mark Farner on February 13th
Creedence Clearwater Revisited on February 20th
UFO on March 4th and 5th
Tommy Roe with Chris Montez (and a Beatles Tribute Band, recreating the excitement of their 1963 British Tour) on March 13th
Blue Oyster Cult on March 25th
Randy Bachman on April 16th
Crystal Gayle - May 6th
Alan Parsons - May 7th
Frankie Avalon - May 8th
The Orchestra - May 13th  (former members of ELO)
Paul Anka - May 19th
Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone on June 4th
and the return of The Stylistics on October 7th
As always, check out the OShows website for updates and complete ticket information ...
Recent Passings  
Luigi Creatore, Songwriter and Producer, Dies at 93 

He also worked with Johnny Burnett, Gene McDaniels and Vicki Carr -- and released a series of successful easy listening instrumental albums.
Tommy "Snuff" Garrett, one of the leading American producers of '60s and '70s pop-rock, has died after several months of declining health. He was 77.
A native Texan, he began his career as a rock and roll DJ in Lubbock -- where he became a friend of Buddy Holly. Garrett moved to Hollywood in the early 1960s. At Liberty Records, he became "the man on the other side of the glass," crafting hits for Johnny Burnett, Bobby Vee, Vicki Carr, Gene McDaniels, Cher and Gary Lewis -- who credited Garrett with launching his career.

Your readers might want to know about the passing of legendary Gene Norman. His GNP Crescendo label gave us the Seeds, Dick Dale, the "Star Trek" soundtracks from the original TV series, Robin Trower and Savoy Brown LP's, and thousands of albums and singles over a 62 year period.  
Harvey Kubernik
Gene Norman, jazz impresario, disc jockey and label president, passed away peacefully at his home in Hollywood, California on November 2nd 2015. He was 93. 
Born Eugene Nabatoff in Brooklyn, New York and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at 18, Gene began his radio career in San Francisco, before relocating to Los Angeles in the 1940s. 
A jazz buff, Gene Norman soon became Los Angeles’ leading disc jockey via stints on various local stations, including KLAC. Turning impresario, he initiated a series of jazz concerts throughout the Southland across two decades, including dates featuring Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee and Erroll Garner. His Blues Jubilee programs at the Shrine Auditorium in the early 1950s attracted some of the first integrated audiences in the United States. 
Norman also introduced the Snader Telescriptions, a prototype MTV-styled concept documenting recording personalities of the era, on NBC-TV. He hosted the first ever televised jazz concert on KTLA, as well as ‘The Gene Norman Show’ and ‘Campus Club’ on KHJ. 
While a DJ at KFWB, Norman organized jazz concerts at venues like the Shrine, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and the Hollywood Bowl with artists like Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie and Shorty Rogers under the aegis of ‘Gene Norman Presents.’ These shows were recorded and released on Decca, Capitol and Modern Records, presaging Norman’s later career as a record label owner. 
In 1954, Gene opened the Crescendo nightclub on the Sunset Strip which featured an adjunctal venue, the Interlude, upstairs. There he presented virtually every record and cabaret star of the era, including Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Newhart, Johnny Mathis, Stan Kenton, Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, Lenny Bruce, Don Rickles, Rusty Warren, Mort Sahl, Woody Allen and Louis Armstrong. 
Norman continued to put on big concerts, and produced a series of live albums and studio recordings based around his promotions. His own record imprint, GNP Crescendo, was therefore a natural next step, and indeed the label became the focus of the rest of his life. He served as one of the directors of the RIAA, and was elected into the Hall of Fame of the American Association of Independent Music in 1991. 
Norman’s jazz recordings formed the base of what was to evolve into a vast and varied catalog, including acts such as The Seeds, Joe & Eddie, Queen Ida (who garnered a Grammy for the label), Wrecking Crew regular Billy Strange, Bing Crosby, Gary Richrath and many original film and television soundtracks. The label operated out of offices on the Sunset Strip for more than five decades, moving to less hectic quarters in later years. Up until his death, Norman remained a force in the label’s direction, consulting with musician/producer/director son Neil, to whom his legacy now passes.
More Harvey Kubernik interviews about his great new Neil Young book ...
We featured Harvey's remembrance of the "Rubber Soul" album (on its 50th Anniversary) earlier this
week in Forgotten Hits.  (Scroll back if you missed it!)  kk
And, speaking of Rubber Soul ...
Rubber Soul:
Rubber Soul was the first album I remember buying. Along with Paul Revere and the Raiders. :)
I remember the cut RUN FOR YOUR LIFE being played a lot from The Beatles' "Rubber Soul" album.
Me, too.  That one (and "You Won't See Me") were my two immediate favorites.  Our band used to do "Run For Your Life" all the time back then.  (kk)
Hey Kent,
Great Rubber Soul piece today!  A fantastic groundbreaking album. 
I was even inspired to get an exact re-creation of John Lennon’s suede jacket worn on the Rubber Soul album cover.

(pic taken last year)
Hi Kent-
Re: Rubber Soul at 50 ...
This photo appeared just a few years ago.

Love your blog!
-Mike Lane
Hi Kent - 
Enjoying your Rubber Soul article with my favorite coffee cup ;-)  

Also, thought you might enjoy these random LP pix from my collection …
Records put out by WCFL. 


One I purchased back in the day (Sounds … Sun Set) and the other (Winter Gold) I found at a Palatine Library book sale a couple of years ago.  Love the DJ photos on the back, and the cool / somewhat random seeming song selections!  Thanks for your continued efforts to keep this music alive and well.
Mike Stineman
Hey Kent -  
Ahhh, "Rubber Soul." That album was sooooooo groundbreaking! It was light years beyond what anyone else was doing at the time, even though Capitol Records did all they could to sabotage the record by altering the running order, adding different tracks, etc., as opposed to the UK version.  
I always thought "Wait" was a damn good track. Listen to John and Paul trade off the lead vocals. Soon, that type of collaboration would be unheard of. Great job, Kent!
- Larry Cave
Thoroughly enjoyed your recent coverage of the 'Rubber Soul' album - one that certainly spent a fair amount of time spinning around on my turn table way back when.
Way back when is right - where on earth did those 50 years go?
This And That  
Kent -
When you were looking for various surveys from around the country, I sent you a copy of a local, Maine Township High School chart, first to broadcast on the air waves with their very first DJ,a young man named Harrison Ford. I was thinking that this might be a good time to put this up on FH ... what a perfect "Star Wars" tie in.
It was a simple typed up a survey, their first survey with their first DJ, Harrison Ford.
It had call letters on it. I included some comments on my email on it.
Bill Hengels
Just found this on the Internet ...
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
City of license Park Ridge, Illinois
Slogan "The Voice of Maine Township"
Frequency 90.5 MHz
First air date December 20, 1959
Format High School
ERP 8 watts
HAAT 31 meters (102 feet)
Class D
Facility ID 6050
Transmitter coordinates 42°02′14″N 87°51′30″W / 42.03722°N 87.85833°W / 42.03722; -87.85833
Callsign meaning Maine Township High
Owner Board of Education, Maine Township #207
Webcast Listen Live
Website WMTH Online

WMTH-FM, located in Park Ridge, Illinois, was among the first high school radio stations in the United States when it was licensed in 1959. Established by the Student Council at Maine Township High School, now Maine East High School, the station went on the air during December 1959.[1] The station became known as "The Voice of Maine Township".
The radio station was built by electronics teacher, Theron Whitfield, and electronics students in the school. The first student voice on the station was that of class of 1960 senior, Harrison Ford, who went on to become a major film actor in movies such as Star Wars and the "Indiana Jones" series.
WMTH-FM has studios at all three existing Maine Township High Schools; Maine West High School in Des Plaines and Maine East High School and Maine South High School in Park Ridge. There was also a studio at the former Maine North High School in Des Plaines.
The call letters were chosen "MTH" as in Maine Township High (school). The WMTH-FM antenna is located on the highest point of the school building at Dempster and Potter Roads in Park Ridge. The studio from 1959 through 1970 was located in room 147B, across the hall from the auditorium. When the center courtyard building opened in the fall of 1970, the radio station relocated and the first WMTH-TV television studio was built.
The original power of the station was 16 watts effective radiated power at a frequency of 88.5 MHz. This continued from 1960 until 1983 when the frequency was changed to 90.5 MHz and the power reduced to 8.9 watts. This leaves it as one of the lowest powered FM stations in the United States, and one of few remaining under the now-discontinued Class D license.
WMTH broadcasts between the hours on 9 am - 5 pm on Weekdays only, with each Maine Township school broadcasting on a different day. A full calendar schedule can be found on the station website. WMTH also broadcasts online.
WMTH-FM continues to broadcast a mixture of music, school sports events, and other programs of local interest.

Famous alumni[edit]

Very cool!  I couldn't find a WMTH survey with Harrison Ford's name on it ... but I did find the chart we ran last year.  I also found this ... an old Beacon Newspaper clipping of "Harry Ford" on stage in "Little Mary Sunshine", circa 1960. (kk)
Hi Kent ...
Season's Greetings!  
As always, thanks for sharing with us all of these great concerts of 2015. Fortunately in the last few years, I have seen most of these artists.  I saw Brian Wilson and the Wonder Mints when Brian made his first comeback tour in NYC ... the audience was dancing in the aisles.  It was so exciting to see Brian return after many years.  It left me with a great remembrance of his fine talent and brought me back to being an adolescent. It was the best "medicine" ever.  It made me young again ... it was magical.  It was a "fountain of youth" concert.  If anyone wants to feel young they should definitely check out these great concerts.  
I have seen Chuck Negron ... his voice still is good, and when I was 12 or 13 I saw the Motown Review with "Little" Stevie Wonder.  He did "Fingertips Part 2", which was my favorite song and I played it so much I think I wore the record out ... no, I wore the needle out!  It was jazzy, it was different, it was wild.   I knew that he was "revolutionary" ... and mind you, this was "pre-Beatles."    
And last but not least, I am still sick about the loss of STP rocker, Scott Weiland.  So young and talented yet, and WOW, what a magnificent voice! If only he hadn't started with the drugs. If only, if only, etc.
Howard Stern has an informative interview with Scott on YouTube.  However, Howard Stern is what I consider to be a jerk.  I would have liked to see Charlie Rose interview Scott Weiland. He has much more sensitivity to emotional suffering of people. Who knows what contributed to Scott's downfall.  Stern didn't help the situation nor did Scott's ex-wife. I doubt that she needs $60,000 a month to live on. So sad. Scott, I salute him for being a great entertainer (and probably a great person before the drugs).  Check out Scott's Christmas songs. They are great.  He will be missed.
Got an extra $1500 you don't know what to do with?
Well, if you're a Frank Sinatra fan, Rhino has an EXCLUSIVE, Collectors Edition book you might be interested in ...
Not a Sinatra fan ... but the money's still burning a hole in your pocket?
Then send it my way ... I've got a lot of Christmas gifts to pay for!!!  (kk)
Kent ...
Scott Shannon is talking to Mark Rivera from the Billy Joel Band.
Tonight will be the 24th show of Billy's current residency at Madison Square Garden.
Mark said they're already selling tickets for June, 2016. That will bring the total up to 30 straight shows.
Hard to believe anybody could sell so many tickets at the same arena . By now you'd think everybody saw his show. I'm sure many people have gone back two or three times.
Frank B.
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album made news again this past week when it became the first album in history to be certified platinum thirty times over!  (Actually it's sold over 100 million copies worldwide!)
Here's a link to a story run in Vintage Vinyl News (erroneously crediting Boris Karloff for the narration on the title track when it's actually Vincent Price!) but interesting because it also lists the current twenty best selling LP's of all time based on a new RIAA released report ...
Notice that "Thriller" and The Eagles' "Greatest Hits" album still hold the top two spots on the chart ... these two have been duking it out for decades now, changing places a couple of times along the way!  Please note that The Beatles only have TWO albums on the list, with only The White Album making The Top Ten (with 19 million copies sold).  They now fall behind contemporary artists like Shania Twain and Garth Brooks!  (I have to admit that I'm a little surprised not to see Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" album on the list ... it sold enough copies consistently to stay on Billboard's LP chart for 736 consecutive weeks.  Once it left Billboard's current Best Selling Albums Chart List, it moved over to their Best Selling Catalog Albums List ... where it has remained for the past fifteen years.  Incredible!!!  How has it not sold enough albums over the past 42 years to fall short of this new RIAA list?)  kk
For the past week or so, the CRUISIN' LP series of albums have been mentioned in one way or another from some of your readers. I was reminded today of the first time I became acquainted with the albums.
It was either in 1970 or 1971. One night at home I decided to channel surf because the particular songs being played on my two favorite stations were not all that  great to me. Those two stations by the way, were KOMA and WKY, both top 40 stations in their heyday. Well, this one particular night while I was channel surfing, I came upon the song BOOK OF LOVE by the Monotones. I immediately stopped surfing and wanted to know what station I had tuned into.
After the song was over, it segued into a commercial for a 1958 Mercury auto. My first thought was that I somehow had entered Rod Serlings' TWILIGHT ZONE and had gone back into time. What was going on? I soon heard songs like CHANTILLY LACE, SHORT SHORTS, AT THE HOP to name a few. Also, commercials, radio station jingles and a DJ by the name of Jack Carney. Said station turned out to be WIL in St. Louis. Finally, this eerie feeling of going back into time passed. Suddenly on the air, a guy came on and told the listening audience that was a reproduction of an aircheck done by Carney years ago. Now the station I had come upon, was a "pirate" radio station that had been put on the air by a couple of guys here in OKC operating out of their garage at their home. This was being done illegally of course without permission by the FCC. As far as I know and remember, it was only on the air for a few more days. I don't know how many days it had been on the air before I discovered it. But again, what a weird feeling to tune in a station on the radio thinking you had gone back into time. Later on I did become familiar with the Cruisin' series of LP's and have them all in vinyl.
I have been a record collector of 45's since age 3 ... have thousands of them.
I have been interested in chart data since age 14.  As someone said, I was too young to know about BILLBOARD, CASH BOX, AND RECORD WORLD.  My universe was WOKY in Milwaukee and some from WLS.
I started collecting Whitburn books in 1976 and have them all.  My FAVORITE book, just like you and Paul Haney, is THE COMPARISON BOOK.  Everything you have said about the book is "right on!"
Keep the excellent information coming with FORGOTTEN HITS!
Dennis Darovich
Are you aware of this site?
Bill Hengels
Nope ... can't say that I am ... a club I'm in no hurry to join, I might add!  (kk)
Hi Friends,
If you haven't put your Christmas list together yet, please note that my "Santa's Stuck Up In The Chimney" You Tube video  broke the 2,000,000 views mark this past weekend.  ( It's now at 2,030,000 ).
Thanks for the plays - and have a Merry Christmas and a successful 2016,
Paul Evans
Toldja you'd hit two million hits this year!  Congratulations ... and Merry Christmas to you and yours!  (kk)
Thanks Kent.
Next year ... the moon!  :-)
Traditionally we go to the movies on Christmas Night to see one of the new blockbuster releases held for that day's premier.
This year, the plan is to go see the new Jennifer Lawrence / Robert DeNiro / Bradley Cooper flick "Joy".  (These three were so enchanting in "Silver Linings Playbook" that we want to see them again.)
FH Reader Bob Merlis tells us about the soundtrack to this hot new film ... 
Soundtrack For David O. Russell Film Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper Includes Cream, Rolling Stones, Bee Gees, Ella Fitzgerald

JOYthe newest film written and directed by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, The Fighter) includes a remarkable soundtrack that will be available for digital download Dec. 18 and as a CD Jan. 8 from ABKCO Records. 20th Century Fox will release JOY nationally on Christmas Day.  
JOY is the wild story of a family across four generations centered on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy’s inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Elisabeth Röhm and Dascha Polanco.
Like David O. Russell’s previous films, JOY defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty, and love.  Lawrence has earned a Golden Globe nomination (Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy) for her role in JOY.  
Five time Oscar nominee David O. Russell commented, “There are songs here I have been waiting almost 40 years to use in a movie, from ‘Aguas de Marzo’, Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘I Want to Be Happy’, Bee Gees ‘To Love Somebody’, to the rare Nat King Cole ‘A House With Love In It,’ with his singular spoken radio introduction to the song. Cream’s ‘I Feel Free,’ with the acapella harmonizing of Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton which at the film’s end, becomes the new recording made for the film by Brittney Howard of The Alabama Shakes, amazingly overdubbed with her incomparable voice. The privilege of making a simple quiet piano version of Springsteen’s soulful melody ‘Racing In the Street’, and the singing of collaborators Jennifer and Edgar, these are what make a movie magical to me, and why I love going to the movies and listening to their soundtracks. Our score by West, David, and Blake is at the heart of the picture, together with the choirs.”
In addition to an original score provided by West Dylan Thordson and David Campbell, with additional music by Blake Mills, Music From the Motion Picture JOY contains a swath of timeless songs, ranging stylistically from Latin jazz to hard bop to rock and roll. The collection is bookended by two versions of “I Feel Free” – the original, which was an early hit for power trio (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker) Cream, and a brand new rendition performed by Alabama Shakes vocalist Brittany Howard.
Other significant tracks include “Stray Cat Blues,” from the Rolling Stones’ acclaimed 1968 album Beggars Banquet, and “Sleigh Ride” by the Ronettes, which originally appeared on Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You, considered by many to be the quintessential Christmas album. The title track from Lee Morgan’s landmark 1964 album The Sidewinder is another JOY standout.
As is often the case with David O. Russell films, the track selection for JOY leans towards the less obvious. “To Love Somebody” is an early Bee Gees single that was only a minor hit in the U.S. and UK in 1967.  “I Want to Be Happy,” an original composition for the 1925 musical No, No, Nanette, is performed by a the pre-superstar Ella Fitzgerald, when she was still with Chick Webb and his Orchestra. “A House With Love In It” is performed by Nat King Cole from his groundbreaking 1956-57 NBC television program The Nat King Cole Show. This rare version has not been generally available in the U.S.
Music From the Motion Picture JOY contains three musical performances by cast members that are featured in the film itself. Edgar Ramirez sings the Randy Newman-penned “Mama Told Me Not To Come,” most well known as a 1970 hit for Three Dog Night. He is backed by Latin jazz mainstays Ray de la Paz and The Pedrito Martinez Group. Ramirez, as the character Tony Miranne, also sings Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Aguas De Marzo,” while his duet with Jennifer Lawrence underscores their characters’ relationship.  The two actors sing “Something Stupid,” a duet that was a massive number one hit for Frank and daughter Nancy Sinatra in 1967. 
Story and song are intertwined throughout JOY, and having all of the crucial tracks featured in the film represented in one package is an uncommon gift. Music supervisor Susan Jacobs, who also worked with  David O. Russell on American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook, meticulously chose a collection of songs used to carry forth the themes that serve as threads throughout the film. 
Digital release date: December 18 
Physical release date: January 8  
Music From the Motion Picture JOY track listing:
1)   “I Feel Free” – Cream
2)   “Joy Romantic Theme” (score)
3)   “Aguas de Marzo” – Edgar Ramirez
4)   “The Sidewinder” – Lee Morgan
5)   “I Want to Be Happy” – Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb and His Orchestra
6)   “In the Bleak Mid-Winter – Thomas Bullard, Choir of King’s College, Benjamin Bayl, and Stephen Cleobury
7)   “Notre Pere, Op. 14” – Salzburg Bach Choir/Alois Glasser
8)   “Mama Told Me Not to Come” – Edgar Ramirez, Ray de la Paz & The Peditro Martinez Band
9)   “Something Stupid” – Jennifer Lawrence & Edgar Ramirez
10)   “To Love Somebody” – Bee Gees
11)   “I Am in Love” (score)
12)   “Mop Drawing” (score)
13)   “Racing in the Street” (score)
14)   “Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes
15)   “Stray Cat Blues” – The Rolling Stones
16)   “Texas” (score)
17)   “Markham” (score)
18)   “A House With Love In It” – Nat King Cole
19)   “Joy Theme” (score)
20)   “I Feel Free” – Brittany Howard
21)   "IFeel Free” (Bonus Track) – Brittany Howard
And, speaking of Christmas, don't miss Mike Baker's annual event ...
“A Hometown Holiday” airs Christmas Day 7 am - 4 pm on WLTL-FM 88.1 and streams at  Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s hosts the annual Christmas special with favorites from the golden age of top-40.  
First heard in 1995, the holiday broadcasts includes groups and artists who’s only hit single is a Christmas song.  This list is available at along with more information.

Hello Kent:
I've been meaning to write you. Here in the Miami / Fort Lauderdale market we recently had the following happen:
On Tuesday, Dec. 8th, the entire on air staff at Magic 102.7 FM (WMXJ) was fired leaving only music and commercials on the air for the remainder of the month until a format change takes place in January. Three decades back the station was playing classic oldies from the '50s and '60s. Eventually the playlist moved to '60s and '70s, and more recently to '70s and '80s classic hits. Just six months earlier the station was sold to Entercom Communications Corp. so these firings may not have been a huge surprise to many. The jocks that were fired included Mindy Lang, who was at the station for 30 years, and Joe Johnson, who was a 28 year vet of the station (as well as host of the syndicated Beatle Brunch program since 1992). This format change officially signals the end of the "oldies / classic hits" format for the Miami/Fort. Lauderdale radio market.
It's no wonder that satellite and internet radio are the only places left to hear the excellent music from the golden age of rock n' roll. I personally play my own music playlist via my iPod as well as listen to internet radio stations (where I get to hear songs I've never heard prior). However, it's sad to see the last one standing is now gone for good. I wonder if this is just the beginning of a trend nation wide for this format.
Santiago Paradoa
Miami, Florida
We're seeing it more and more ... the music of our lives is quickly disappearing from the airwaves ... but us "oldsters" haven't given up yet ... we WILL seek out the music we love on the internet and enjoy it there ... with FAR more variety than terrestrial radio could ever offer.  It's programming with blinders on ... you've got a devoted, core audience out there for this type of music ... and you're selling yourselves short by not recognizing it.  (kk)
REMINDER:  Don't forget to enter your name to win a copy of Joel Whitburn's new book "Cash Box Top 100 Charts:  The Sixties" ... but I should warn you ...
This just may be the biggest response we've EVER received for a Forgotten Hits Give-Away ... and we've only got one book to award as a prize. 
So since you all agree that this is a Must Have Addition to your Music Library, PLEASE head on over to Joel's Record Research Website and order a copy.  You won't be disappointed!
Meanwhile, we'll continue to take names through the weekend ... and then award the grand prize sometime next week before Christmas! 
P.S.  We'll give away the Davie Allan CD's this weekend!  (kk)