Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thursday This And That

re: Cornerstones of Rock:
I heard from several readers (and coworkers) who have already obtained their tickets to see The Cornerstones Of Rock show at either the Arcada Theatre on March 19th or The Skokie Center for Performing Arts on May 1st.
I also heard from a couple of the performers, firming up their plans for the new year ...
The New Colony Six already have several dates booked for 2016, including a number of fund-raising benefit concerts that they will announce individually as the dates draw closer.
Two full band appearances, open to the public, that we can tell you about right now include:
Durty Nelly's on February 27th and The Woodstock Opera House on April 30th.
In addition, the line-up of Ray Graffia, Jr., Ronnie Rice and Bruce Mattey will partake in both of the Cornerstones shows as well, most likely performing the same set of four songs they did at the WTTW studios:  "I Confess", "Love You So Much", "I Will Always Think About You" and "Things I'd Like To Say".  Congratulations, by the way, to Ray, who has TWO sons getting married in 2016!
Dennis Tufano, original lead singer of The Buckinghams, will NOT be appearing at The Arcada Show on March 19th due to a prior commitment ... but does plan on performing at the Skokie Show on May 1st.  He sent us his list of upcoming appearances to share with our readers ...
January 23rd at the NAMM Show (with buddy Jimy Sohns of The Shadows of Knight); January 29th at The Yayapai Performing Arts Center in Prescott, AZ; January 30th at The Fox Theater in Tucson, AZ; February 4th at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers, FL; The Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, FL on February 6th; The Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, PA on March 18th; The Grand Opera House in Macon, GA, on March 19th; Katie Bellesat The Villages, Florida on March 22nd; The Pop, Rock Doo-Wop Show on April 8th in Lorain, Ohio; The Kool 103.1 Caravan of Stars in Jackson, TN on April 23rd; and The Pop Rock Doo-Wop Show at The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, MD, on May 7th ... more dates to follow.
I asked Dennis for an update on "The Statesboro Bandit", the guy who stole all the money from the Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert a couple of years ago down in Statesboro, Ohio. (FH Reader Tom Cuddy recently sent us a newspaper article ... see link below ... stating that Bill Thompson, who ran off with the money collected for the show, has been ordered to pay back every penny ... but at a rate of only $500 per month.  If the total amount collected was anywhere near the $37,000 figure I originally heard about, that gives this douchebag about SIX YEARS to pay it all back without a penny of interest or penalties.  Given Sonny's health, there's no telling what state he'll be in six years from now.)
Speaking of which, here's the latest from Dennis on this issue, as well as an update on Sonny's current health condition as he understands it from Sonny's family ...
The Bandit spent three years in jail and was released late 2015 to get work and ordered to pay back all monies monthly or go back to jail! Even without the stolen funds we did well outside of ticket sales with auction items and pledges made directly to the organization. After hearing of the crime, the whole town got together and started raising more money for the Geraci Fund. A motorcycle builder auctioned a custom Harley and gave Sonny a good sized check, too! 
Sonny is doing very well in brain function, but physically he is still not at his peak. Slow progress but positive!  He is anxious to return to the stage!!!! He sings everyday and is being very positive about his return to performing.
I asked Dennis to send us an address where Forgotten Hits Readers can make donations directly to the Geraci Family to help offset some of Sonny's medical bills.  (I know a few of us got ripped off the first time around by this Thompson asshole ... but if we can send funds to a collection point positioned to insure this money will go directly to the family ... without any middle men ... I think a few of us might be inclined to donate again.)  As soon as I hear something, I'll be sure to pass it along.
Meanwhile, since I had his attention ... and since all the focus of late has been on the recent Cornerstones Of Rock Program ... I asked him where things stood with the DVD of The Benefit Concert For Marty Grebb he staged here in Chicago last spring. 
Here's what he told me ...
Filmmaker Mark is doing his best to edit this film in between his professional workload. We're hoping to have the final cut available in the Spring.
In addition to the list above of Dennis' upcoming live dates all over the country, I can also tell you to stay tuned for information about another very special local gig right here in Chicago ... more details as they become available.  (kk)
Meanwhile, the current day Bucks, led by Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna, have several bookings already lined up for 2016.  They include:  January 26th at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, Florida; January 30th at The Star Plaza (with Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits and The Grass Roots) in Merrillville, Indiana; February 19th at The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, Illinois and June 4th at The Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan
The Ides Of March will be appearing at Wentz Hall in Naperville on January 16th, before departing for The Moody Blues Cruise (running from February 26th thru March 1st).  Then, in addition to the two Cornerstones shows mentioned above, they've got gigs at The Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights, IL, on May 14th and will be appearing at Milwaukee's Summerfest on June 9th.
From Jim Peterik:
Thanks, Kent!   You're the best!  
Many blessings to you and yours in the coming year.  
Your friend,

Jimy Sohns and The Shadows Of Knight have bookings on January 23rd at the NAMM All-Star Jam in Los Angeles, California; February 20th at The Great Plains Zen Center in Mount Prospect, Illinois and July 16th at The Taste of Antioch in Antioch, IL.
Little known fact, even with Mt. Prospect High School grads, is that Jimy Sohns went to Prospect High School, class of 1966. The high school mascot was the Knights, hence the Shadows of Knight. I went to Prospect High School so would that make me a Knight? I was told he was quite a ladies man. He later confirmed that rumor. In the show Cornerstones of Rock, someone said they formed groups to "meet girls". I guess it worked for Jimy!
The Shadows of Knight were formed in 1963 in the suburbs north of Chicago, Illinois. Originally known as the Shadows, the band's initial lineup consisted of lead singer Jim Sohns, lead guitarist Wayne Peppers, rhythm guitarist Norm Gotsch, bassist Warren Rogers, and drummer Tom Schiffour, most of whom attended Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Within a year, Peppers was replaced by guitarist Joe Kelley, and the band started to make a name for themselves playing parties and school dances in suburban communities like Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights. The lineup shifted again in 1965 when Jerry McGeorge took over on rhythm guitar after Gotsch joined the military, and by this time the band had learned that there was already a very successful British group known as the Shadows; they changed the name to the Shadows of Knight, in part because Prospect's athletic teams were known as such.
Bill Hengels
I couldn't find any listings for The Cryan' Shames or The American Breed ... but if something pops up, we'll be sure to let you know!
Looks like The Sound of Chicago '60's is alive and well ... and will reach an even greater audience this year when Cornerstones Of Rock starts airing across the USA.  (kk)
By the way, we also heard from that GREAT violinist who accompanied the artists during the Cornerstones Of Rock WTTW taping ... let us introduce you to Chihsuan Yang (Chich) ... and be sure to check out her website (link below) ...
Hi Kent,  
My name is Chihsuan Yang. I am the violinist for the PBS Soundstage Cornerstones of Rock. I've heard that there's been some confusions regarding my name, so I'd just like to clarify. :)
Great article in Forgotten Hits blog.
Happy 2016!
warm regards,
Chihsuan aka "Chich" 
-- Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer, Collaborator
re:  Wow!:
Most of you will recognize the name "Shindig!" ... it was a popular teen music program that aired on ABC-Television in the mid-'60's.
Well, wait till you check out Shindig! Magazine, a British Import ...  (a bit of a slow download ... it's 100 4-Color pages! ... but WELL worth the wait!)  This month's issue is devoted to a look back at 1966 ... and you won't believe how many Forgotten Hits artists are featured between these covers ... BEAUTIFULLY done (you'll spend hours going through it!)  kk
re:  This And That:
I’m watching (on DVR) the Jeff Lynne / ELO concert from Hyde Park on VHC cable network. This is the third time I’ve watched this and I thoroughly enjoy it each time. Lynne is backed by a great band, background singers AND the BBC symphony orchestra (lots of strings!). The quality of the music is tremendous and you will be surprised at the number of hits ELO actually had. If you and your readers have not seen this, it is definitely worth looking for.
Happy New Year and keep up the great work.
Bob Verbos
New Berlin, WI.
ps ...  By the way, Oldies 95.7 was once again number 1 in the Milwaukee radio ratings.
Long live the oldies!!!
Yes, I'm QUITE familiar with the Jeff Lynne concert ... we "unofficially" named it The Concert of the Year for 2015 (unofficial because we weren't able to actually attend it ... but the dvd presentation is incredible to say the least.)
In fact, you'll find our "pretty favorable" review right here ...
Legendary Manager Robert Stigwood (The Bee Gees, Cream) passed away on January 4th.  In 1967, Stigwood was hired by Beatles Manager Brian Epstein to work NEMS.  It was here that Epstein gave Stigwood an audition tape by a young group of Australian brothers moving to the U.K.  Those brothers were The Bee Gees, and Stigwood helped launch their career worldwide.
He later got involved with film production as well and, for better or worse, gave the world "Saturday Night Fever", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "Grease", "Tommy" and "Jesus Christ, Superstar".  His record label RSO (Robert Stigwood Organization) scored more hits in the '70's than any other independent label.
Barry Gibb told Rolling Stone Magazine that before they wrote "Stayin' Alive", Stigwood gave them the following instructions:   "Give me eight minutes – eight minutes, three moods. I want frenzy at the beginning ... then I want some passion ... and then I want some w-i-i-i-ld frenzy."
More on his remarkable career here:
Long-time FH supporter Sid Holmes (one of the view people who can actually back up their claim as having a hand in the J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers' recording of the #1 Hit "Last Kiss") sent us this recent article / claim now published on Wikipedia as "fact".  (Sid has ALWAYS said that, convoluted as it may be, Forgotten Hits has ALWAYS presented "the most accurate truth" regarding this much-discussed recording.  This is Sid's response to an email he received about the recent Wiki posting ...
Interesting write-up. There is one Wiki where I get angry storming out of the studio and another where I'm a mental case (that's true). The most accurate coverage of J. Frank's version of Last Kiss is my book with simple facts.
The only part questionable is Snake (drums) lying to me saying his girlfriend sang behind Frank plus claiming they were on tour with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars (hog wash) in early September of 1964. The rest of my book is accurate.
I wrote the book (took two years and $7000) for the reason there was / is so much misinformation on "Last Kiss" (featuring Frank). Yes, no problema of me playing the piano in your studio as I'm a very talented individual and find it very hard to be humble. I found the Wayne Cochran portion of the article to be interesting. I had talked to Wayne (phone) a couple of times the past 10 years and he said it's the norm for others to claim writer's credits years later when a song becomes a hit and the reason for U.S. Copyrights. Wayne doesn't own the song as he signed a publisher's contract way back when in which it was peddled around until it became a hit.  Wayne received around $200,000. I received a check for $2500 from BMI for "Crazy Guitar", as I had copyrighted it in 1956. Rodney, Frank's son, recently utilized my contract with Frank collecting somewhere around 20 grand from Sound Exchange. SE collects from satellite radio and downloads, etc. Rodney made sure I got paid my 20% as without Rodney the only money I
would have received would have been the one song I wrote on the Last Kiss album ($2000). Sure glad I didn't quit my day job as the music business will most definitely shorten a person's life.
I hope I haven't bored you too much as most people want to make a big complicated story out of LK featuring Frank.  Sonley gets no credit but it was his idea to clone Wayne's 45 record.
Me? I get zero credit (no respect) for discovering Frank signing him, teaching the bass player to play bass, bringing Jim Wynne (piano) into the band (hey, I was the piano player on Last Kiss).
I'll forward this around and especially to Jim Wynne who has been claiming all these years to have played piano on Last Kiss.
You can read OUR take on this whole thing here ...
but you'd better get a pen and pencil ready to take notes as it's nearly impossible to keep track of all the "facts" being spewed out during the course of this piece!!!  (kk)
Kent --
Have missed a few FH entries because Carol and I are packing up to move to Phoenix.
I wanted to mention that bike radios were a reasonably big deal in the early-to-mid 1950s. They looked like fat transistor radios, but they were pre-transistor and used subminiature vacuum tubes. I have one, and there was an article about building your own in an early issue of Popular Electronics magazine, I think the end of 1954 or early 1955.  (I'd look it up but all that stuff is in boxes!)
I thought it was a cool idea when I was 12, but I didn't want to build one because I was afraid
someone would steal it right off my bike. The big downside was the expensive 90V battery that fed the tubes. The volume you needed to drown out traffic noise ate those batteries fast. Five or six of them, and you've paid more for the batteries than you originally paid for the radio!
-- 73 --
-- Jeff Duntemann K7JPD
DJ Stu Weiss sent us this Tribute To The Music Stars we lost in 2015 ... nicely done ...
Last year Forgotten Hits broke the story about a guy named LJ Coon who was pushing to reopen the investigation into the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper back on February 3, 1959 ... The Day The Music Died.
Well THIS year, LJ is reaching out to all of the Presidential Candidates asking them to get on board with this new investigation.  (The National Transportation Safety Board ... NTSB ... determined that there was not enough evidence to warrant a new investigation ... but Coon is telling the candidates:
We see this as a LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY, unique for an individual or individuals that could lead this process, and invite and encourage The NTSB to go forward with this Investigation.
We believe this investigation, through the Presidential Candidates efforts will attract support worldwide.
We encourage you to
1. Fly in to The Mason City Iowa Airport
2. Examine one-on-one The Aircraft Wreckage
3. Oversee this Investigation
4. Assign key personnel to stay on site
5. Make sure that The NTSB follows through with their entire expertise
6. Comment on The Investigation as it unfolds
7. This type of involvement into the investigation will provide news coverage, comments, responses for news personnel worldwide.
While we certainly appreciate LJ's continued commitment to proceed with his efforts to have the investigation reopened, I'm getting the sense that The NTSB has already closed the book (and their minds) to any further investigation.  That being said, after we broke this story last year, the worldwide media DID jump onboard and give this thing substantial coverage, so who knows.  (Somehow I just can't see ANY of the political candidates trying to make this a campaign issue ... but stranger things have happened ... don't believe me?  Then how is it that Donald Trump is running?!?!  And leading the polls?!?!!)  kk
More on The Day The Music Died ... here's a very interesting and enlightening interview with Don McLean, composer of "American Pie", the #1 Hit from 1972 that heightened Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Big Bopper awareness ... as well as recapped rock and roll history to that point:
Thanks to FH Reader Tom Cuddy for sending this in. (McLean also inadvertently gives the interview a brand new exclusive!!!  A fun read.)  kk   
Hi Kent and Cherricat ...
A little late, but best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy, rewarding and peaceful new year.
I always enjoy reading Forgotten Hits blog. You are right on the pulse of what's the latest in the oldies music world. 
Sorry to hear about Natalie Cole and the Easybeats member who passed away recently. "Friday On My Mind" is one of my favorites from that vintage.  Maybe it was the forerunner of "Thank God It's Friday?"
Anyhow some good news,   I became a grandmother nine weeks ago for the first time.  I am very elated with my new grandbaby boy.  He is a doll and a welcome addition to our family. I am passing you a picture for you to enjoy.  He'll be rockin' in no time! 
God Bless and take good care.
Congratulations on your new addition!  We've got two now ... a girl (10) and a boy (4).  Unfortunately they live out of state so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like to ... but our granddaughter has spent a chunk of the past few summers with us.  She's a lot of fun to be around ... and WAY into music.  (We were cracking up the way she kept filling us in on the latest countdown and then sang along with every song.  Heck, she even liked some of that "really old" music that I was playing!!!  lol)
Congrats again and enjoy!  (kk)
Enjoy your Grandkids.  They grow so fast!  Hugs!
re:  On the Radio:
>>>In this 1971 WLS Larry Lujack Aircheck, there's a song at 10:28 from the group Free and Easy titled "Are You Goin' My Way." Larry doesn't clearly say that title, but the track appears on Big Tree 118, and I've never heard it before. Are you familiar with it as something heard often in Chicago in '71?    David Lewis) 
>>>I did a fair amount of searching for this one and can't find anything listed for either of our big 50,000 Watt Top 40 Stations for this era.  All of the other songs Lujack plays are readily identifiable ... but not this one some reason.  Checking all three national trades, I don't see that it charted (or bubbled under) there either ... nor could I find it anywhere on YouTube ... but a Big Tree Records singles discography backs up your claim of being single release #118 in 1971.  Any help out there from anyone?   Listening to the entire track list, this is hardly a WLS A-List of tunes:  "I Feel The Earth Move" was a B-Side, peaking at #15, Lobo's hit was ALSO a B-Side that reached #11 on the WLS Chart, the Streisand track got limited airplay but never actually charted, nor did "Are You Goin' My Way", so all in all a pretty weak set of music for a big-time Top 40 Radio Station!  (kk)
Are You Goin' My Way by Free and Easy ... never heard this song, but very good.  Sounds like Gary Loizzo of the American Breed singing lead!
Clark Besch
I'm surprised that if WLS played it, I never heard it and that it never charted. That being said, what a weak set by Lujack - almost like his soon-to-be Worlds Most Beautiful Music days at 'CFL!!!  (kk)
Actually, Lujack DID play easy stuff a lot in '71 in mornings ... lots of Vogues, etc.  Close to time for leaving for 'CFL (in about a year) and bringing in Charlie Van Dyke.
Considering the track list you posted, I'm baffled that this was the 7:00 AM morning drive hour.
David Lewis
This is NOT what I remember WLS sounding like back then ... of course half the fun of listening to Lujack back then were his daily features like "Animal Stories", "Klunk Letter of the Day" and "Cheap Trashy Show-Biz Report" ... MUST listening at the time ... by the time he signed off the air at 10 am, EVERYBODY you ran into was talking about SOMETHING he had said earlier that morning.  His whole on-air attitude was one of a kind ... and infectious ... a very dry sense of humor and, while seeming to not give the slightest care at what he was doing, the truth his he worked for HOURS before going on the air, making sure everything was lined up just right.  One of the all-time greats.  (kk)
And speaking of great Chicagoland Radio of the '60's and '70's, FH Regular Frank B sent us these YouTube links spotlighting Super 'CFL, which we shared with a couple of artists featured in The Top Ten Capsule Countdown ... 
TONS of great clips to explore when you've got some time. 
Happy New Year, Bro ... and thanks for the vid.
Man, that was a whole lifetime away ... lol
Take care, my friend.
God Bless ya'll -
Barry & Teena
(Barry Winslow of The Royal Guardsmen)
 Happy New Year to you and yours as well ...
Can you believe it's 2016?!?!?  We're calling it "Sweet Sixteen"!!!
1966 WAS a lifetime  ago!!!  (kk)
Oh Buddy ... I'm closer to 100 than I am 16 ... LOL!!!
Sweet 16 is most bodacious!
Bless ya'll -
Thanks, Kent ... Happy New Year!
Pleasantly surprised to still be alive 50 years later, Kent, let alone getting to take the stage now and then a half century+ from that summer day when we put NC6 together in 1964.  Pretty cool and to have had some success to boot = amazing!  Who’d a thunk it?
(Ray Graffia, Jr. of The New Colony Six)
Lots of talk about Internet Radio and the new Royalty Rates going around ... it could spell the end of Internet Radio as we know it, leaving us all to suffer with the meager playlists offered by conventional, terrestrial radio instead (which, in and of itself, eventually kill off radio all-together.)  Unlike the newspapers who are dying a slow and painful death because most folks get their news information online these days, radio won't be able sustain itself if exhortative royalty rates are enforced.
DJ Stu Weiss offers this link to sign an online petition to keep Internet Radio alive ...
Don't let them shut down Internet radio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have just visited GoPetition and found the following page very interesting: