Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 12 - 15 )

re:  Three Cheers For Me!!!:  
Me-TV-FM that is!!!  The new Chicago ratings are out and this low-powered station now sits just outside The Top 20 ... their ratings are up over 77% from the last Chicago book as more and more listeners are discovering the incredible variety of music being offered by the station.  (The fact they they're still not streaming ... and can only be heard in certain areas of the city and suburbs ... makes these statistics all the more impressive and exciting!  Add in the fact that there are no billboards plastered all over the city promoting this new format ... no television advertisements <short of on their own TV network> and it's obvious that the station has grown through extremely good word of mouth (and promoting and praise from places like Forgotten Hits!)  Imagine where they'd fall in the ratings if the station applied the full-court press!!!
Simulcasting on Comcast / Xfinity Cable (Channel 877, as is their spot on the FM dial ...87.7) has also helped.  But so has great word of mouth.  Forgotten Hits Readers across the country are jealous that they don't have a radio station like this in THEIR home town!!! 
And this is the "dream" radio station we've been telling you about for over fifteen years now ... we have always maintained that a station that plays ALL the hits, not just the same 200-300 again and again and again would be a HUGE success and welcome addition to the dial.  "Music For The Ages" (as our FH Buddy Mason Ramsey of Rock And Roll Heaven used to say!).  You're just as likely to hear songs from the '50's through the early 2000's, all played side by side without any discriminating segregation ... because we all grew up being exposed to ALL of this music ... it's part of our radio DNA!!!  This is the station that reaches deep and features "wow" songs all day long on a regular basis ... the station we've been preaching about for fifteen years that COULD and WOULD succeed if only somebody had the guts to put it on the air.  (High-paid, Know-It-All Consultants be damned!!!  These guys don't even have a block of advertisers yet ... and no deejays ... and yet they are quickly capturing the hearts ... and ears ... of a VERY receptive Chicagoland audience.) 
No, they will NEVER reach the "all important" target 19-54 demo that radio says you have to reach in order to be successful.  That's not who they're aiming at.  Their audience is the folks who grew up listening to this great music in the '60's and '70's ... and they are already offering a wider selection (a playlist of somewhere between 2500-3000 songs ... and they're actually LISTENING to their audience as far as what else they might like to hear on the station ... OMG, what a concept!!!  Who KNEW that listeners wanted more than Steve Miller, John Mellencamp, Fleetwood Mac and Billy Joel!!!) than any other station in town ... or perhaps in the history of this whole city!!!  Even our previous oldies stations never delved so deep. 
And, once the advertising kicks in in earnest, they will find (as we have ALSO pointed out countless times in the past) that the demo they're reaching has the greatest amount of "disposable income" at their fingertips ... no they've just got to find the right group of advertisers to capitalize on that and this station will go right to the top of the heap!) 
Kudos to the team in charge at Me-TV-FM ... you're on the right track.  Iron out the last few bugs, start streaming and then syndicate the station across the USA ... and you will see that the listeners will come ... and we can FINALLY feel vindicated for all our soap-box preaching!!!  (kk)

A recent short sample set ... how often do you get to hear any of these?:









From Tom Taylor's "Radio News Now" column:  
Robert Feder says that with its new 1.6 share, “nobody’s laughing now” at the Weigel-run classic hits Me-TV FM. It appears on a low power TV Channel 6 leased from Venture Technologies and run as a complement to Weigel’s Me-TV. Weigel’s Neal Sabin says there is “passionate engagement” by listeners and its website is here.  
For the record, this is NOT a "classic hits" station ... we already have six of those in town playing the exact same music all day long.  This is cream-of-the-crop oldies (with a soft-rock edge), featuring songs you haven't heard in DECADES ... yet know and love ... and can sing along with every single word.  (kk)  

From Robert Feder's column ...  
One year ago it was the laughingstock of Chicago radio, with ratings so small you needed a magnifying glass to see them.  That's when it was going nowhere as a sports / talk station known as The Game 87.7 FM. 
Nobody's laughing now.  Rebranded in February by Weigel Brodcasting as soft rock / oldies Me-TV-FM, WRME FM 87.7 is moving up fast.  In Nielsen Audio ratings released Tuesday, the station more than tripled the audience share it had last June under Tribune Media. 
For the period from May 21 to June 17, Me-TV-FM ranked 25th overall with a 1.6 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 507,700.  Among listeners between 35 and 64, it tied for 22nd with a 1.9 share.  Not bad for a low-power television signal masquerading as a radio station that can't even be heard on many car radios.  In just the past month, Me-TV-FM increased its overall share by an impressive 77 percent.   

From our buddy Larz over at Chicagoland Radio and Media ...  
Another huge ratings increase belonged to WRME-LP / 87.7 MeTV FM, as the rookie station finds its groove, now rating higher than many veteran Chicago radio stations. Since its "soft launch" in late February, the soft oldies station has grown in ratings each month, going from almost no listeners to now gaining a 1.6 share. That frequency now has the highest ratings since 2013 when it played Alternative music. With no real promotional push, other than mentions on its TV sister-station, WRME-LP has ratings that are over four times higher than WGN Radio's disastrous sports format a year ago. Considering the station can only be heard on about half of Chicago's radios and it does not yet stream, to continue to greatly grow an audience like they have been doing is impressive.   

Shocked? Good morning, I'm stunned by the emergence of Me-TV-FM.   
Here's the question that needs to be answered ... just where is that 1.6 coming from? What station is losing juice to a station that specializes in boredom? 
ME's philosphy is simple ... 
Keep it cheap .. keep it non-abrasive. Carry the banner for Seals and Crofts. 
I love ya, Kent, but let's see where the new kids are in two or three more books.  My gut tells me the ME spark is going to fade as the summer rolls on. It's just too laborious.  
Chet Coppock  

Kent,  
The hits of the 50's through the 70's, those seldom if ever heard on radio today, www.hitparaderadio.com  With a play list of 1,500 titles, most from Hit Parade Hall of Fame inductees, many artist deserving of recognition are long forgotten except on Hit Parade Radio. 
Try it, you'll like it.  
John Rook  

You made a comment some time back about not even wanting to get out of the car for fear of what great song Me-TV-FM might play next.  I find myself in the same boat, now waiting for a commercial break instead, just so I don't miss anything!  There is nothing else on the Chicago radio dial anything like this - and it's been LONG overdue.  I'm happy to hear about their recent success and that others are listening  - maybe that means it'll be around for awhile.  I can't wait till they start streaming so I can listen all day at work, too. 
John E.  

It's the only station I listen to.  I've heard so many songs I haven't heard or even thought about in decades - but I agree with you that they need to do something about the programming.  With all the great music that they play, you will NEVER hear three good songs in a row ... never!  They need to liven things up with more up-tempo music and hits from the 60s.  They're getting better - I actually heard The Troggs and Yummy Yummy Yummy the other day - but there's still too much boring stuff strung together - I find myself changing the channel or putting on sports talk when some of these unfamiliar album tracks get played.  However, even at that it's still the best radio station in Chicago for music. 
Ed  
I will once again publicly (and privately) offer my services to help them fine-tune their playlist.  There is too much album stuff being played that doesn't strike a chord with the audience ... you need a connection ... and this stuff shouldn't be played in the same rotation as the familiar hits.  That being said with 2500 - 3000 songs to choose from, there are far too many repeats within a 24 and 48 hour period.  The luxury of a playlist this deep is that you don't have to beat these songs to death.  It is SO good hearing them again ... the last thing we need to do now is create a new batch of "button pushers"! 
Seriously ... this station is SO close to being the best thing around ... and we've got 16 years of taking the pulse of the oldies fan across the nation to find out what they really want to hear on the radio again.  To all parties concerned, I volunteer my services to help you get there.  It's really just a matter of fine tuning ... and then putting out a media blitz to announce the "official" launch of this great station.  (The time period is up on the soft launch ... most of these glitches should have been worked out by now.  Let us help you get to the next level.)  kk

re:  You've Gotta Wonder Where All Of This Is Heading: For months now we've been telling you about all the fuss over The Turtles' lawsuit against Sirius / XM's policy of not compensating artists for pre-1972 recordings being aired ... 

And now comes word about an actual "artists ban" instituted by the BBC ... 

My fear in all of this all along has been that is that these oldies and classic artists are going to wipe themselves from airplay all-together ... nobody's going to want to go through this many hassles to air their music. 

How serious (no pun intended) is it getting? 

We got this report from Vintage Vinyl News this morning ... 

Over the years, the BBC has been known to ban the playing of certain songs because they found them too risque or in bad taste but they've never removed entire catalogs until now. 
The network has told their DJs and program developers to not play music by the Doors, Neil Young, Journey or Bonnie Raitt including covers of their songs or any track that samples their music.  
The action came after the four artists withdrew from the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society), an organization that collects royalties for the playing of music in Britain and distributes them to publishers. They took the action in a disagreement over rates being paid. 
The BBC's fear is that they have no way, now, to pay the four artists for the use of their music which is, essentially, a breach of copyright. They are taking the stand that it is much easier to deal with one organization collecting a standard fee rather than having to make agreements with and pay a host of separate artists. 
According to the Guardian, the BBC's instructions are: 
You can NOT use tracks by these composers on the radio and / or online.    
You can NOT use tracks by these composers whether they are originals or covers.    
You can NOT use the lyrics.  
You can NOT put performances using these compositions on line.    
You can NOT use tracks which include samples of these compositions e.g. Tracks by Skrillex/Chase & Status  
You can NOT use clips which include any compositions by these composers   
All of the artists except for Raitt are signed to Sharandall Music which is owned by Wixen Music. A spokesman for Wixen told Music Business Worldwide:    
The BBC can use Neil Young and the Doors any time they negotiate a license with us to do so in a given programme. All we are saying is that we won’t pre-approve uses or fees if the clients have not had an opportunity to review and approve the uses and fees.  
A BBC Spokesperson explained further:   
The issue has arisen for radio now because we will soon launch a feature which will enable audiences to download radio and music programmes to listen to offline on the BBC iPlayer Radio app. This involves the MCPS right which has been withdrawn.    

Meanwhile, Vintage Vinyl News' Roger Wink shares this story with us ...   

Hi Kent,  
As I'm sure many of your readers know, many veteran artists are not getting paid for the use of their recordings on radio and streaming services.
Not only is much of oldies radio moving towards a post-1963 (and later) format but the immense increases in streaming, to the detriment of sales, is threatening what little income is coming in to artists for their recorded works.
The Fair Play Fair Pay act, currently making its way through congress, is trying to correct many of these wrongs. Not only would it force AM and FM radio stations to pay performance royalties for playing tracks, but it would also close loopholes that many online services are using to avoid paying those royalties on records released before 1972.
I had the pleasure of talking with Ted Kalo at the Music First Coalition in Washington who is spearheading the effort to get this legislation passed. It is an interesting talk with a man who is both a music lover and an experienced player in the Washington machine.
I thought your readers might be interested in the podcast and, more importantly, could get behind the effort with their representatives. 
http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2015/06/vvn-music-podcast-with-ted-kalo-of.html
Thanks so much for listening!-- Roger WinkVVN Music
I think these artists absolutely should be compensated ... the songwriters still collect royalties for their work.  It gets a bit trickier with producers and session musicians as typically they were paid a flat fee for their services at the time they were rendered.  The truth is NOBODY thought this music would last ... much less grow in popularity some 40-50 years later!  There is no end to the horror stories told about artists being ripped off by their managers and record labels ... earning virtually nothing while bringing in millions for the record company.  This just seems to me to be the rightful way to pay back these artists.  Let's face it ... MOST of these guys had a very limited period of success ... others (now in their 60s and 70s) have to spend 200-300 days on the road just to earn a living today.  It simply isn't fair.
Give a listen to Roger's piece and see what you think.  Thanks, all.  (kk)     

re:  Concert Reviews:  
Frankie Valli - Friday 3rd July - Bournemouth International CentreIt was a sell out crowd when Frankie took to the stage and opened with "Grease".Whoever did the sound balance was spot on. Frankie may be 81 years old but his voice throughout the show was crystal clear.With 11 musicians and his Four Seasons he breezed through the first 50 minutes with hits like Dawn, Beggin', My Eyes Adored You, Silence Is Golden and a series of covers they have recently recorded like Stay, Why Do Fools Fall In Love and Spanish Harlem.But in the second half he completely nailed it, opening with every hit you wanted to hear like  Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don't Cry, Rag Doll ... and then saved the last 20 minutes almost like an encore with Bye Bye Baby, Let's Hang On, December, 1963, and Who Loves You.Frankie clearly loved the audience reaction, who were ALL on their feet for that "encore".Simply one of the very best show I have been to ... tremendous interaction with the fans.The film and stage show of the Jersey Boys has made him a star all over again.The only negative was no mention or credit was given to Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, whose songs dominated the two hour extravaganza.If you get a chance, go and see this wonderful show.  
Geoff Dorsett,  
Radio Presenter  
Express fm   
www.softrockshow.co.uk  
Time and time again we see it happen ... "Jersey Boys", "Mamma Mia", "Love And Mercy", a radio station like Me-TV-FM, the recent James Brown biopic, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash ... a whole new generation discovers this great music that we all grew up on ... and falls in love with it all over again ... yet radio, for the most part, still programs with blinders on.  Damn the consultants ... experience this through your own eyes ... you'd have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to see the way this music captures its audience ... which reminds me, include The Who in that group, too ... Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones selling out shows around the world.  Doesn't take a genius to figure out what people REALLY want to hear!!!  (kk)   

Apparently while in London Frankie Valli opened up about his REAL thoughts about the "Jersey Boys" movie, produced and directed by Clint Eastwood.  (You may recall that Forgotten Hits gave THIS one a negative review, too.  I have watched it since ... and it has improved in some ways for me ... but still takes WAY too long to get to the heart of the story ... and I still can't forgive the botched notes that run throughout the film, especially the "Who Loves You" / Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame finale.  Clint ABSOLUTELY should have let them redo this scene ... or, at the very least, dubbed in a better audio track.  Instead, the missed notes are now preserved for all eternity.)   

Here's what Frankie had to say about the film this weekend, courtesy of FH Reader Tom Cuddy:  

FRANKIE VALLI: Unhappy With the Film  
For the first time, Frankie Valli has publicly criticized the Jersey Boys movie.  
During an interview promoting an upcoming London concert, he told a British tabloid that last year's Clint Eastwood-directed film was an unhappy experience. Valli says, "Bob Gaudio and I were supposed to be involved, that’s why we gave up our rights. Who knows our music better? But they took the music out of the movie. That bothered me." He was further ticked when he was not asked to take part in the post-production process. 
Valli would also have "liked more of the movie to be shot in New Jersey, not in studios." He adds, "They could have cast it differently," which is odd because three of the four actors playing The Four Seasons had been in the stage version. 
He then asks and answers his own question: "Was it Eastwood’s fault? Well, he was the director. If it were me making a movie about real people and the real people were there, I’d be asking them questions. It wasn’t a bad movie but it could have been better."   

It has been many years since John Sebastian has performed with the Lovin' Spoonful - but Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Joe Butler, Jerry Yester and Steve Boone showed Friday night that the Spoonful can still put on a great show without Sebastian.  With Butler and Yester sharing the vocal responsibilities, the group ran thru a ton of hits.  Butler was the original drummer, but is now out front singing lead and playing the autoharp.  Boone held the music together with a real tight bass.  
The group started the evening with You Didn't Have To Be So Nice, and kept the audience singing, clapping and laughing all evening with great hits like Nashville Cats, Younger Girl, Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind, Daydream, Six O'clock, Darlin' Be Home Soon, Summer In The City and Do You Believe In Magic.  
The gents were very cordial in meeting with fans after the show to chat and sign autographs - If the Spoonful comes to your town, get out to see them for a really fun time! 
Tom Apathy






Dang ... they were JUST here a couple of months ago and we didn't go, figuring that without John Sebastian at the helm, it wasn't going to sound anything like the records.  Will have to remember this for their next trip thru Chi-Town.  Thanks, Tom ... and, as always, great photos!  (kk)    

re:  In Other Concert News:  
We hear that plans are moving forward to release a live dvd of The Marty Grebb Benefit Concert held here in Chicago last May.  (This is the show that brought together so many of Chicago's Local Heroes for one night ... including Ronnie Rice, formerly of The New Colony Six, The Cryan' Shames (featuring Jim Pilster and Tom Doody), Jimy Sohns and the Shadows Of Knight, Jim Peterik and The Ides Of March, and four of the 1967 Buckinghams, on stage together for the first time in about 45 years. 
Final details are still being worked out (and it will take a few months to pull all of this together, as everybody is doing this on their own time between other scheduled performances) but the ultimate goal is to have the disc available by late-Fall, just in time for holiday gift-giving.  And, best of all, proceeds from the sale of this dvd will go right into The Marty Grebb Benefit Fund.  

Dennis Tufano tells us: 
The DVD is in the works. All have happily signed off on the project and we're hoping for an early Fall release, just in time for the holidays!!! 
But as it’s a pro bono deal we have to be patient as the work is being done in between real jobs for all of us. I’ll be in Chicago / Michigan area in August when I’ll try to finalize the dvd content (footage, music, stills, and some interviews) and get to the master pressing!  So the official word is that the DVD is in the works but there's no release date set yet. 
Marty is doing as well as expected as he’s going through treatments and trying to live a normal life in music.  He is definitely pumped about the outpouring of love and generosity he’s received from everyone. 
I will keep you posted as we get closer to release on the DVD. Depending on the sound quality we may have a CD release too. Hoping for the best! 
Thanks for keeping it all together my friend! You need a dvd just about you and your contributions … really! 
Dennis    
Please know that we'll do everything we can to help get the word out once things are finalized.  I'm sure everyone who was there would love to have a copy of this momentous night, especially knowing that a percentage of the funds is going back to the cause.  Keep us posted, Dennis!  (kk)  

.38 Special takes the stage for a free concert in Elk Grove Village Tuesday Night (the 14th).  And The Arcada has SO many great shows coming up over the next three months, we can't even list them all ... so here's the short list of what we're hoping to see:  
TONIGHT:  7/12 - Arlo Guthrie  
7/17 Whitesnake with Foghat and The Answer 
7/26 Tony Orlando 
7/28 Graham Nash 
8/7 Vanilla Fudge & Nazareth   
8/8 - The Commodores  
8/28 70's Pop Fest (featuring Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods) 
8/29 An Evening of Joe Cocker feat. August  (these guys are great!) 
9/4 - Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue 
9/9 Belinda Carlisle  
9/11 The Stylistics 
9/18 Burton Cummings  
9/29 Poco and Firefall  
9/26 - JT Taylor, former lead singer of Kool and the Gang
9/27 Ronnie Milsap…FORTY #1 Hits.His final tour  
10/3 - Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave)  
10/4 Neil Sedaka  
10/16 Leon Russell   
10/23 KANSAS 
10/25 Mickey Gilley 
10/30 Blood, Sweat & Tears with Bo Bice 
11/1 - Tanya Tucker 
11/6 Sheena Easton   
11/8 Vicki Lawrence 
11/14 Johnny Rivers   
11/21 Christopher Cross  
12/6 Lettermen Christmas Show  
12/11 - Felix Cavaliere's Christmas Show  
12/12 Frank Sinatra's 100th Birthday 
In addition, Ron Onesti has booked Jay and the Americans and Lou Christie to perform at the Italian Fest in Addison in August.  (I have ALWAYS wanted to see Lou Christie ... the two times I had tickets, the shows were cancelled!) 
Check out the OShows website for more details ... www.oshows.com ... and watch for more shows to be announced next week!  (kk)


Somebody who won't be touring any time soon is Diamond Dave Somerville, former lead singer of The Diamonds.  Health issues have sidelined this great performer, who has talked with us here in Forgotten Hits several times in the past.  (One of the most entertaining CD's you can buy is "On The 1957 Rock And Roll Greyhound Bus With Diamond Dave Somerville", which captures his live stage show circa 2000.  Sorry to hear he's not doing well ... hang in there, Dave!  (kk) 

From Jimmy Jay with Twyla Robinson Bobbitt
On behalf of Diamond Dave, Dave Somerville's family would like to inform his many fans and friends that due to a medical condition he will no longer be performing. For how long, that's in Gods hands. We contacted many of his very close friends last night and over the past few days the agents who have booked him around the world. Last week my top secret mission has been to be at his bed side with his wife and immediate family. I have known about his condition for a while and now it is up to God to take him on his journey. I asked him the other day "'Dave, what do you want people to remember about you?"and he said "the music". I hope to have a radio special done for this week on his Son Landa, and we even got Dave to Record a few words. With all this being said lets just pray for the Original lead singer of the Diamonds who brought us such great hits as Little Darlin'.
 
I saw him several times.  I remember him as a striking performer with a dynamic voice.  
Shelley 

re:  The Wrecking Crew:  
We told you that Denny Tedesco was off to The UK where "The Wrecking Crew" is finally making its debut.  Here is a first hand report for DJ Geoff Dorsett, who recently had Denny and Hal Blaine on his radio programme.  (Check out all of the interviews he's done ... over 1500 in all ... via the link below ... AMAZING!!!)  And he even wants to have ME on his show!!!  (kk)   

Review of The Wrecking Crew film by Denny Tedesco
Location: Everyman Theatre - Hampstead, London 2nd July
My week had already started so well on Monday 29th June with two amazing guests on my Expressfm radio show ... Jimmy Webb and Micky Dolenz.  Both had so many compliments about the movie and especially Denny Tedesco and legendary drummer of the Wrecking Crew, Hal Blaine. The theatre was a small intimate venue with double sofa seats.  I learned a great deal from the film, which took Denny 19 years to put together from start to finish. For example, I never knew Cher was a 16 year old backing singer on the Ronettes "Be My Baby"!  

The stars of the film were the members of the Wrecking Crew, who were the unknown studio musicians who recorded the soundtrack of a generation.  As a result of this film, they will never again be unknown ... to ANY generation.
From The Beach Boys to the Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel to The Byrds, The Wrecking Crew were the musicians who played on 1000 hits and 100 number ones in the most exciting time in American Culture. 

It was great at the end to have a  Q & A with Denny Tedesco for the audience.
Geoff Dorsett
Radio Presenter
www.softrockshow.co.uk
 

Next you've got to pick up Ken Sharp's book, "Sound Explosion" ... and, of course, the DVD as soon as it's available.  Been watching outtakes all weekend ... over SIX HOURS of additional footage that didn't make the final cut of the film, yet still filled with priceless gems ... and all related by the recording artists themselves.  We've been waiting a LONG, LONG time for this film to come out ... and now it's such a joy to see so many new people discovering it for the very first time.  Folks, you have GOT to pick up a copy of this film!!!  (kk)   

Kent,
I was looking thru the liner notes on my Jan and Dean LPs and noticed they all had a line that said "Orchestra Conducted by Hal Blaine."
Was this just a shout-out to the Wrecking Crew, or did Hal do more than his usual drumming on these LPs?
Just curious ...
David Lewis

I went right to the source on this one ...
Here for the very first time in Forgotten Hits is legendary drummer Hal Blaine!!!
HEY IT IS ME ... HAL BLAINE ...
I’M HAPPY TO RESPOND WITH THE FACT THAT I WAS GIVEN CREDITS (AS CONDUCTOR).
IN ACTUALITY, EARL PALMER, MY DEAR FRIEND WHO IS NO LONGER WITH US, DID ALL OF THE DOUBLE DRUMMING ON JAN AND DEAN. WE WROTE OUT OUR DRUM PARTS AND DID IT ALL IN UNISON.  JAN BERRY WANTED TO EXPERIMENT WITH TWO DRUMMERS.  EARL AND I BECAME THE ROCK DRUMMERS OF HOLLYWOOD DURING THAT ERA.
EARL ACTUALLY GOT ME GOING IN HOLLYWOOD BECAUSE THIS NEW GENRE IN MUSIC CALLED ROCK AND ROLL WAS REFUSED TO BE PLAYED BY MOST OF THE CLASSICALLY TRAINED STUDIO PLAYERS.  
I NAMED US ALL "THE WRECKING CREW" AND IT SEEMS THAT EVERYTHING WE BECAME A PART OF BECAME HUGE HITS … THOSE WERE THE BIG RADIO DAYS.
ALL THE BEST TO ALL OF YOUR “FH READERS"!!!!  
HAL BLAINE


re:  This And That:
The US Post Office has finally released a photo of the brand new Elvis Presley postage stamp, available August 12th.

A special block of 16 stamps will also be available , simulating a 45 record.  These are Forever Stamps so they never expire (should you choose to actually USE one, that is!!!  My guess is that most will be purchased as collectors' items.)
However, if you have always felt the urge to lick the back of Elvis' head, the opportunity now exists for you to do so.  (Of course this isn't the first Elvis Presley stamp issued by the post office ... fans gobbled up every copy of the Elvis stamp issued in 1993, too.)




This story became all the more timely after the Women's National Soccer Team won the World Cup this past weekend!  
>>>As the US women’s national soccer team continues its quest for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Nike’s new commercial is winning praise from fans and media, alike. Without a spoken word, the ad features inspiring images of America’s women soccer players backed by Burton Cummings’ original recording of “American Woman.”   USA TODAY calls the ad “amazing.”  NESN reports “Nike Stirs Passion for USA Soccer in ‘American Woman’ Commercial.” 
WOW … Thanks for this. No, I hadn't seen it. But I will say this ... the shows are getting more dynamic and varied. It's from playing so much. The band is tighter than it's ever been … ever ...!
Burton Cummings
Excellent!  See you at The Arcada Theatre September 18th!  (kk)    

Giving Ringo his due ... 

Got this from FH Reader Scott Paton ...
Good article that gives Ringo his due -- definitely a very "musical" drummer.
Perhaps his predilection for crankiness in recent decades is somewhat due to being the butt of "inferior capacity" comments, as recounted in the article.  But they sure wouldn't have been "The Beatles" as we know 'em without him.

Ringo's no joke. He was a genius and the Beatles were lucky to have him » The Spectator
>> http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/arts-feature/9571372/ringos-no-joke-he-was-a-genius-and-the-beatles-were-lucky-to-have-him/

Sounds like John Fogerty is suing is former bandmates ... again.  (Any thoughts of a complete CCR Reunion have probably been pushed back ... forever!)  Apparently after reaching a settlement with original Creedence Clearwater Revival bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford about performing his original material in concert as part of Creedence Clearwater Revisited, the duo have failed to pay the necessary royalties due Fogerty since 2011.   

Here's some news about some upcoming events at Cool Scoops out in Wildwood, New Jersey, courtesy of our FH Buddy Paul Russo, proprietor of this fun spot!
Oldies fans may want to check out this special appearance by Bill Haley, Jr., all for a good cause.  (And the ice cream ain't half bad either!!!  lol)
We had a blast here a few years ago. (kk)



Kent ...
Didn't realize how good my Top 4 for 4th of July idea was until you printed them all in Forgotten Hits.
7/5/15 = Wild Wayne re-played his Joe Bennett interview from 2002. Joe said the group toured steadily from 1957 - 1960. At that time Joe joined the Air Force.  When he got out of the Air Force he became an Air-Traffic Controller and gave guitar lessons.
Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show twice. Wild Wayne asked Joe where the name came from. Joe said it was his mothers idea.  She advised them to wear vests with sparkling music notes on them.
One of Joe's favorite songs was the flip-side of "Black Slacks" -- "Bop & Rock Boogie. 
During this interview Joe Bennett was talking about touring England in May of 2002.
Frank B.  
 


>>>Tom T. Hall may be one of the most under appreciated songwriters in all of music. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for story songs. I did not really appreciate Harper Valley PTA until I moved to rural America. (Wayne City, IL., population 1100. Just down the road a spell from Mayberry, IL. Yes Virginia, there really IS a Mayberry, IL).  
This song rings so true today. Far more so than 1968, given what our society has become in terms of political correctness. 
In the Chicago area there are apartment complexes with more people then this village has. I see the hypocrisy that Tom T. Hall was writing about every day in this town.  (Jack Levin)  
Then you are going to LOVE this brand new track from Kacey Musgraves, a hot new country singer who has a real way with words ... and captures the spirit of "small town living" in just about three minutes time.  Check it out ... give a close listen to this one!  (kk)

Kent,  
Just a few thoughts that came to my mind today.
John mentioned the Pipes and Drums and Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and their version of AMAZING GRACE. I guarantee you I haven't heard that song on the radio since it was popular. The group's name is almost as long as the song itself.
Seeing Glen Campbell's BONAPARTE'S RETREAT reminded me of Billy Grammar's follow-up to GOTTA TRAVEL ON in 1958, assuming they are one and the same song.
Larry
I believe it is ... "Bonaparte's Retreat" is one of those songs that was covered by all kinds of artists but never actually became a hit for any of them!  (It was first recorded by Pee Wee King in 1949 ... and has been covered by everyone from Glen Campbell to Kay Starr to Willie Nelson on up to ... most recently ... The Chieftans.)
The Pipes And Drums And The Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (whew!) scored a Top Ten Hit in both Cash Box and Record World with their unusual rendition of "Amazing Grace" when it was released as a single in 1972.  (It just missed, peaking at #11 in Billboard.  By the way, that recording reached #1 on the pop singles charts in The United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.  Between 1972 and 1977, it sold over seven million copies worldwide!)  Gotta wonder what label executive was willing to stick his neck out back then to see if this arrangement had any "hit potential".  Whoever he was, we sure could use a hundred more just like him to shake up radio programming today ... somebody willing to take a chance by offering something different ... and then stand by his guns regardless of what happens with it.  Those days in radio are LONG gone as we live today in a world of cookie-cutter programming.  What a shame!  (kk)




More about Glen Campbell from FH Reader John LaPuzza ...

Hey Kent,
After watching "Glen Campbell - I'll Be Me", I read about how the song, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" was written and recorded. Musically, I think it sounds a bit similar to David Gates' first solo hit, "Clouds". I like Glen's, and his son's recordings of it, but Tim McGraw's performance at the Oscars was special to me. The way the song started and finished with just his voice, and then, that great, spiritual backup chorus joining in, sounding like it was arranged by Brian Wilson, was truly amazing.
- John LaPuzza
I hear the David Gates connection now that you mention it ... but ironically my very first initial reaction to that opening piano was "Wow, this sounds like a John Lennon track!"  Glen's voice sounds great on this track ... and knowing now that some of his former Wrecking Crew teammates helped out with this recording makes it all that much more moving for me.  As such, I didn't really care for Tim McGraw's performance ... not that it wasn't good ... but it just didn't have the passion and poignancy of Glen's, if only because of the circumstances surrounding these very heartfelt lyrics.  Definitely one of my favorite tracks from the last few years.  I tried to order the soundtrack cd last week and it was sold out at the first three sources I checked ... which tells me that other fans seeing the film now for the first time were knocked out by it as well.  I especially like his daughter Ashley's song "Remembering", whose lyrics are also especially moving for many of the same reasons.  (kk)




Speaking of the Ventures - yes, a major influence to most all young r'n'r bands in the very early 60's - I joined my 2nd teen band (which included Dickie Betts) at the end of 1960 and we did four different Ventures songs between then and the fall '61, during which time the Venture's had their 1st four chart singles - we did two of the hits and two B-sides. (And I've worked with several musicians with similar stories).
It wasn't until decades later that I learned how incorrectly they had actually played "Walk Don't Run". At one point I contacted Johnny Smith, the jazz guitarist who wrote it, asking if I could interview him about that. He said he had been asked to write a book so he though he should save the story. As far as I know, the book never happened. It would have been interesting to learn how his attitude might have changed between the time he first heard it and the time the royalty checks began rolling in. 

Gary E. Myers / MusicGem


>>>I've never even HEARD of "Hangin' From Your Lovin' Tree" by The In Crowd.   (kk)  
Larry Neil pointed out this great 45 from 1968.  It was another midwest PLAINS hit in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.  The In Crowd were the band that backed Jon & Robin on their Abnak hits.  The band had a few releases on Abnak (including the subject song) that are all good.  This was their biggest hit. 
From the same period in time, another unknown was the Swampseeds' "Can I Carry Your balloon."  This was again a big hit in the same area as above and about the same time of 1968, this one on Epic records.  Dennis Ferrante was the lead singer and apparently just passed away.  I had no idea of anything else he did other than a forgettable follow-up 45 to the one here.  Here's the story from Both Sides Now site:
Recording engineer Dennis Ferrante, whose long list of credits includes work on albums by such diverse artists as John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Lou Reed, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Duke Ellington, Chet Atkins and the 1910 Fruitgum Company, died June 6 from heart failure, according to Jennifer Carmine of the Shannon Gallery, a close family friend of Ferrante's. Ferrante was surrounded by friends and family when he died, she said. Ferrante had a history of heart problems and a benefit concert was held in 2010 to help get him a new heart.  Ferrante won a Grammy Award in 1999 in the category of Best Historical Album. He was one of the engineers on "The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition - The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1927-1973)." 
In a 2009 interview, Ferrante talked about his work on albums by Lennon, Nilsson and Yoko Ono. He said the creation of “#9 Dream” followed John Lennon's standard of work in the studio. “John's way of doing music was he would come into the studio with his song. He would run the tune down for the band and after about 45 minutes the band would be ready to put it down. Then we would record any guitar overdubs or other instruments and be ready to put down John's vocal. He didn't like to hear his voice plain so I had to put in his headphones efx's that seemed to me the more he heard, the better he sang. After that we put on the background vocals and whatever little nuances were needed like May (Pang) saying 'John' in the chorus. After all the parts were put down, we would mix and the rest is what you hear.” 
About the Nilsson album “Pussy Cats,” which John Lennon produced, he said the crazy atmosphere was very much apart of the album's creation. “John was not one to go into a studio and just fool around. He was there to make music, but the craziness is what it was all about. That state led to musical creativity which in turn made great music.” 
And he said that despite the free form nature of her music, Yoko Ono knew what she wanted to do before coming into the studio. “She has a concept in her mind and I had to bring it to fruition, which at times was very nerve racking.” 
Recently, Ferrante had played a show at the Cutting Room in New York with former Wings drummer Steve Holley and others. “Dennis was a storyteller. I never saw him unkind to anyone. He loved telling stories to you and you would laugh until you cried until your sides hurt about whether it was working with John (Lennon) or he could make light of his heart problems,” said Jennifer Vanderslice of Moonglow PR. “He'll be so missed by everybody. He was such a joy to be around."



Got a nice email from our FH Buddy John Madara the other day, who even sent me a copy of my original "welcome" email when he joined The Forgotten Hits Family back in April of 2007.
Dear Kent ...
So happy for you my friend! You have been keeping the music alive all these years with Forgotten Hits!  Congratulations!
John Madara
Of course we've talked to him many, many times since then ... and even posted a couple of permanent links on our other Forgotten Hits website commemorating his great achievements from the early days of rock and roll ...
One of my all-time favorite songs ever, "You Don't Own Me", has recently become a worldwide hit all over again thanks to a brand new recording by teen sensation Grace.  Her video now has over one million views on YouTube!  (kk)

Here's another review of the new Brian Wilson movie "Love And Mercy", courtesy of Vintage Vinyl News ...

Thanks to Bob Merlis, for the past few weeks we've been tracking The Rolling Stones' first US #1 Single "Satisfaction" as it climbs the chart.  THIS week, it finally reaches its summit, where it will stay for the next four weeks.  The track is timeless ... one of the biggest hits of the '60's ... and all time!  (kk)   

Thought you’d want to see the video that ABKCO just launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary of “Satisfaction” hitting #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 (the first Stones record ever to go all the way in the USA).  Below that you’ll find a local radio station survey that provides some context as far as what was being played on Top 40 radio back then.  Thanks to the good folks at Forgottenhits.com (not that “Satisfaction” has ever been forgotten) for providing the KLBK survey. Hey! That’s in Lubbock, TX, Buddy Holly’s hometown. The Rolling Stones' very first (UK) top 10 hit was his “Not Fade Away.”  It was also the first Stones record to dent the US charts (#48 in Billboard). 
But we digress ... it’s all about “Satisfaction” and / or not being able to get any.    





re:  More Micky:   
More Micky ... courtesy of FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...


Micky also made The Huffington Post ... TWICE ... this past week ... with his 54 Below show that we told you about a week or two ago!

And here's a review of that show ...
MICKY DOLENZ’s A LITTLE BIT BROADWAY; A LITTLE BIT ROCK ‘N ROLL - A RARE MUSIC MOMENT  by  T. S . Schill 
Monkee Micky Dolenz knocked it out of the park at his cabaret opening this week at 54 Below, Titled A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll, Dolenz neatly segued his Broadway-chops with several Monkee-hits, including the Carole King / Toni Stern (from HEAD) “As We Go Along,” which this writer just marveled at (fact: Neil Young and Ry Cooder were in on the original recording session). 
Watching him do “Don’t Be The Bunny” from the show Urinetown, and, “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago was just marvelous; as he wrapped his golden-glove of a voice lusciously around these songs.  “Cellophane” was preceded by a very home-spun story, as are all of these numbers. As always, Dolenz is a succinct and funny raconteur.  I'm prompted to say that a book of these vintage anecdotes would be most welcome.   
Of course the Monkee-hits flowed, including “Last Train to Clarksville," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer," the latter of which was followed by Dolenz's joking reminder to a child in the audience, "I sang that song long before Shrek." 
It’s terrific to note that for the 70-year old Dolenz, his voice remains as strong and vibrant as ever; a welcomed mix of Roy Orbison and Freddie Mercury. The emotion that he can draw with each song is mesmerizing and admirable. Also performed was the Lieber / Stoller standout, D. W. Washburn. That song, neatly bridged both of the show's themes, being both a hit for the Monkees and later prominently featured in the Broadway play Smokey Joe's CafĂ©
After his musical director Michael J. Moritz Jr. explained that "I'm a Believer" would be performed in a Broadway manner more suitable for the 54 Below’s intimate, classy setting, Dolenz launched into a slowed-down, jazzy version which was quickly stopped. 
"What's scary is that there's probably someone out there doing it like that," he said before the band reverted to the familiar rocking arrangement. 
The youthful band was truly inspired; most likely because they were backing such a star, but were spot on. 
Playing tribute to the songwriters whose efforts made the Monkees so successful, including Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Gerry Goffin and Carole KingNeil Diamond and Neil Sedaka, Dolenz seemed more comfortable than ever with his original band's musical legacy (next year is their 50th anniversary). 
The evening ended with the rousing "Goin' Down" from their psychedelically tinged album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd., sending the baby boomer audience out in a blissful wave of nostalgia. 
With only two more shows on Friday and Saturday, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime performance. 
re:  Just B.Cos:  
Perhaps the title of his Top Five hit should have been Dirty Little Ole Man??? 
Man, what a way to go out!  (kk)