Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Short Stack

re:  Happy New Year!
Hey, a HEALTHY and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and Frannie.
THANK YOU for all you do!
Mike De Martino

Hi Kent
A bit late, sorry but Happy New Year !
(Writing from Thailand!)
You must be a radio guest please this year?
Regards ~
Thailand???  Happy New Year to YOU!!!  I think our biggest venture over the New Year's holiday was the 20 minute ride to Palatine for breakfast!  (lol)
kk on the radio in Great Britain?!?!?  Now THAT would be pretty cool, wouldn't it?
I'm sure we can work something out.  Thanks, Geoff!  (kk)

Hi Kent -
May 2016 be another FANTASTIC YEAR  for FORGOTTEN HITS!!!
As I always say,  "When in doubt, ask the MASTER"......
Your Fan,

re:  News We Missed:
Between our limited year-end postings and our Bobby Darin Weekend, we missed a few news headlines along the way ...
Just a quick recap here ...

FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this report spotlighting all of the great artists we've lost this past year ...

And, sadly, the list just continued to grow as the year wore on.

Probably the biggest news story of this past week was the passing of Natalie Cole, daughter of the great Nat "King" Cole, with whom she dueted posthumously on the Top 20 remake of Nat's 1952 / 1961 hit "Unforgettable".  Natalie scored ten other Top 40 Hits under her own name, including titles like "This Will Be" (#6, 1975); "I've Got Love On My Mind" (#3, 1977); "Our Love" (#6, 1978); "Someone That I Used To Love" (#21, 1980); the Bruce Springsteen-penned "Pink Cadillac" (#5, 1988) and "Miss You Like Crazy" (#7, 1989).  Over the years, Cole fought some drug demons, which long-term may have ultimately contributed to her early death at 65.  

More from Ron Smith's oldiesmusic.com website ...  
Natalie Cole, daughter of the late Nat "King" Cole who charted five times in the top ten on her own, died in a Los Angeles hospital Thursday (December 31) of congestive heart failure -- a complication of hepatitis C and a previous kidney transplant due to drug use. She was 65.
Born Stephanie Natalie Cole in Los Angeles in 1950, she was only 15 when her father died of lung cancer. Her mother had sung with Duke Ellington's orchestra. She started performing while still in college but struggled to get out from under her father's shadow. It was singer Chuck Jackson and producer Marvin Yancy (whom she later married) who saw her performing in Chicago in 1975 and recorded her first album, "Inseparable," with her, eventually getting her signed to Capitol Records -- her father's old label. The result was "This Will Be," a #6 single that year. The next year she won Grammys for "Best New Artist" and "Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Female" -- the first of nine she would eventually win. In 1977 she reached the top ten again with "I've Got Love On My Mind" (#5) and the following year with "Our Love" (#10). Other hits included "Pink Cadillac" (#5 - 1988) and "Miss You Like Crazy" (#7 - 1989). She is also remembered for "Unforgettable" (#14) -- a "duet" with her late father in 1991. Her autobiography, "Angel On My Shoulder" was published in 2000, detailing her recovery from addiction and was turned into a made-for TV movie. She has appeared several times on TV herself, notably in "Grey's Anatomy" and "Touched By An Angel". She was also married at times to Rufus drummer Andre Fischer and gospel singer Andrae Crouch. She is survived by a 38 year-old son.
-- Ron Smith

Ron also told us about this one ...
Stevie Wright, lead singer of the Easybeats of "Friday On My Mind" (#16 - 1967 US) fame, died Sunday (December 27) in a hospital in New South Wales, Australia. The Leeds, England native was 68. Stevie and his family migrated to Australia when he was nine and in mid-1964 he helped form the Easybeats in Sydney.  Besides "Friday On My Mind" (co-written by Stevie), the group had five other top five records in Australia. When they disbanded in 1969, Stevie fronted two self-named bands and achieved another Australian #1 single with "Evie" in 1974. He also appeared in the Australian stage production of "Jesus Christ Superstar." His authorized biography, "Hard Road: The Life and Times of Stevie Wright," was published in 2004 and documented his struggles with drugs, including heroin. The Easybeats were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2005. "Friday On My Mind" was voted "Best Australian Song Of All Time" by the Australian Performing Rights Association in 2001.
-- Ron Smith / oldiesmusic.com

From Vintage Vinyl News, a sad anniversary:   

On December 28, 1983, 32 years ago today, Dennis Wilson drowned while diving in Marina Del Rey, CA.  Only 39 at the time, Wilson had been through a tumultuous decade-plus leading up to his death, including fighting with both alcohol and heroin. In the late-60's, he became involved musically with Charles Manson and, in the early-70's, his throat and voice were damaged in a bar fight. Dennis had regular disagreements with Beach Boys members and staff over his activities and, by 1983, he was banned from the group until he went through a detoxification program. 
By November 1983, Wilson was living as a homeless person and tried to straighten himself out at two different hospitals but was unsuccessful in either program. After another bar fight, Wilson checked into a hospital for his wounds and almost immediately checked out and started drinking again. 
On December 28, he spent the day drinking before deciding to dive into Marina Del Rey to recover items he had thrown into the bay three years earlier. He never surfaced. 
Dennis Wilson was buried at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard on January 4, 1984.

Speaking of The Beach Boys, here's David Beard's review of the recently released "Party" CD, "Uncovered and Unplugged" ... featuring the raw, rehearsal tracks recorded by the band prior to adding all the party sound effects.  (We've been thoroughly enjoying this loose, fly-on-the-wall take on these sessions) ... 

Hi Kent,
It's December 31st and Burton Cummings is 68 today! 
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your family!Cheers,Tim Kiley
Happy Birthday, Burton!  BC is a HUGE Bobby Darin fan ... and we even featured a clip of him performing "Mack The Knife" solo in Las Vegas as part of our tribute.  Hopefully he had a chance to read our tribute, now up on the website for all to see. (kk)
Other birthdays over the New Year holiday ... Monkees Michael Nesmith (73) and Davy Jones (who would have been 70) ... both born on December 30th.
New Year's Eve also marked the 36th Anniversary of Rick Nelson's plane crash.  Always one of my all-time favorites, I miss him nearly every day ... and have never grown tired of his music.  Examiner Reporter Jeremy Roberts pays a nice tribute (and interviews Nelson's biographer Philip Bashe) here:

re:  Congrats!:
America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees Barry Manilow leads public vote ... Barbra Streisand, Neil Sedaka, Temptations among other inductees

DEC. 30 - Barry Manilow, Barbara Streisand, Neil Sedaka and the Temptations are among ten pop acts selected for 2016 induction into America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame. Barry Manilow topped the public on-line vote. The new inductees were announced Wednesday.

Also newly-elected into the Hall of Fame are the Association, Dion, the Grass Roots, the Lettermen, Paul Revere and the Raiders and Three Dog Night. In the “Legends” category, The Hall of Fame committee selected Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, the Ink Spots and the Mills Brothers, for their influence on pop music.

Inductees had to have a charted song prior to 1975 to be considered. They were selected from 25 nominees chosen by a national music industry panel based on the breadth, depth and influence of the artists’ recordings. 
These, alphabetically, are the 2016 inductees into America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame.

As one of the top pop acts of the ‘60s, they recorded some of the most enduring songs of the decade, including “Windy,” “Cherish” and “Never My Love” … The Association.

As the leader of the Belmonts and as a solo act, he scored such memorable hits as “Runaround Sue,” “Ruby Baby” and “The Wanderer” … Dion.

Although this California pop-rock act had just two top 10 hits, its infectious catalogue of songs - including “Midnight Confessions,” “Let’s Live for Today” and “I’d Wait A Million Years” - remain popular decades after their release … The Grass Roots.

This trio was the number one adult contemporary group of the 1960s, and their distinct harmonies produced dozens of hit albums along with high-charting singles such as “When I Fall In Love,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Theme From ‘A Summer Place’ “ … The Lettermen.

This popular singer-songwriter-pianist epitomized the pop sound of the ’70s with his love ballads and enjoyed a long career as a jingle writer / vocalist as well. Among his many hits are “Mandy,” ’Copacabana” and “I Write the Songs” … Barry Manilow.

Their fusion of 1960s pop and rock and appearances on “Where the Action Is” and “Happening” made them one of the iconic acts of the decade with hits such as “Good Thing,” “Kicks” and “Indian Reservation” … Paul Revere & Raiders.

One of the most prolific singer-songwriters of the pop era, he had 30 charts hits including “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” “Bad Blood” and “Laughter in the Rain” and helped launch the career of The Captain and Tennille … Neil Sedaka.

She’s not only considered as one of the more consistently excellent singers of the past five decades, but is also a talented actress and director. Among her hits are “People,” “The Way We Were” and “Evergreen” … Barbra Streisand.

Despite numerous personnel changes, they scored more than 50 hits for Motown, including the classic “My Girl,” “I Can’t Get Next To You” and “Just My Imagination“ and are considered the No. 1 soul act in popular music history … The Temptations.

From 1969 through 1975, this act -  with three lead singers - had 21 hits, and every one reached the top 40 including the No. 1 “Joy to the World” and “Black and White” … Three Dog Night.

The artists join Paul Anka, Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, the Beatles, Tony Bennett, Glen Campbell, Carpenters, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Chubby Checker, Chicago, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, The Eagles, The Everly Brothers, the Four Seasons, Buddy Holly, Elton John, Tom Jones, Carole King, Brenda Lee, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, Paul McCartney, the Monkees, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Patti Page, the Platters, Elvis Presley, the Righteous Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, the Supremes, Johnny Tillotson, Bobby Vinton, Andy Williams and Stevie Wonder in America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame.

In the “Legends” category, the Hall of Fame selection committee in 2015 elected Les Paul & Mary Ford for their influence on pop music.

A feasibility study to determine the size and location of a permanent Pop Music Hall of Fame facility is underway. Current plans are for a large, multi-use performance venue as well as both permanent and rotating exhibits. America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame is based in Canonsburg, the home of Perry Como, Bobby Vinton and the Four Coins, who together placed nearly 200 songs on the Billboard charts. Canonsburg is just south of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Election of the fifth class of inductees will be in September 2016.

The 2016 Pop Music Hall of Fame inductees will be celebrated with a four-hour radio broadcast on WJPA-FM New Year's Day beginning at noon. The broadcast will also stream live at wjpa.com.  For further information visit americaspopmusichalloffame.org

Christmas music REALLY took over the airwaves here in Chicago this holiday season ... I swear I heard more holiday music on the dial than EVER before ... seemed like EVERYONE jumped on the bandwagon this time around. And that doesn't necessarily mean GOOD Christmas Music.  Sure, you got all of the usual suspects, with sometimes as many as thirty different renditions of the same holiday tunes jammed down your ears ... but overall it was simply too much. (My-FM, formerly The Lite, saw their ratings better than TRIPLE thanks to their 24/7 output of Christmas tunes.  Worst for me was probably Me-TV-FM ... they played a HORRENDOUS mix of music ... much of which you either haven't heard before or didn't ever need to hear again.) 
But during ALL of the holiday hoopla an unusual thing happened. 
Brenda Lee's holiday hit "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree", found its way back into Billboard's Top 40!!! 
Due to new chart-compiling regulations that now take airplay, YouTube views and downloads into consideration, Brenda's 1958 recording climbed to #38 on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.  It was that record's first appearance on the chart since 1961 ... and Brenda's first Top 40 Hit since 1967!  Whodathunkit?!?!  (kk)

re:  This And That:  
Kent ... 
From Elvis' new CD ... I just bought it.
Frank B. 

I bought mine at the post office the same day I purchased the brand new Elvis stamps ... this album has become a HUGE hit in England.  (kk) 

One of the most watched and talked about clips from last week has to be Aretha Franklin's performance of "A Natural Woman" as part of The Kennedy Center Honors saluting the song's writer, Carole King. 
Headlines screamed "Aretha brings Obama to tears" ... I don't know if I'd go THAT far ... but it IS a pretty stirring performance (as long as you overlook how ridiculously Aretha is dressed for the occasion!!!  Mark Bego, you HAD to be rolling in your seat when you saw her come out for this one!!!  lol) 
If by some chance you're one of the three or four people in the world who hasn't already seen it, you can check it out here:

Kent ...
Here's another countdown for you to consider ... The Top 101 Best Party Songs of All-Time.
(My favorite is "Double Shot" by The Swingin' Medallions)
Looks like your favorite failed to make the list ... but then again with GREAT party songs like "I Melt With You" (?!?!?) by Modern English, three songs by Bon Jovi and tracks by Pink, Cee Cee Peniston and Londonbeat, it's getting harder and harder for a classic rock party song to find a spot on a list like this these days.  (Who the hell ARE these people??!?!?  And what on earth are they doing on a "Classic Hits" station???)  kk

re:  Helping Out Our Readers: 
My father in law has asked us to find a song title for him if possible…He said all he knows is the song was released between 1962 - 1967 and he believes and it has the words Jaguar, Cougar and Ford in it.  He said he thinks it may have been a little racist and that it seemed to be yanked from the air pretty quickly but for some reason he wants to hear it again.  Any ideas?   
Katie Mikesell 
There were SO many car songs released in the late '50's and early '60's, this could be any one of them.  I'm guessing it was more of a car race song so things like "Beep Beep" by The Playmates and "Hot Rod Lincoln" by Johnny Bond or Charlie Ryan immediately come to mind.  Then again, tracks as old as "Maybelline" mention Chevys and Fords, so who really knows for sure!!!
I'm open to taking suggestions from some of our readers ... and then we can play back some of the most popular and likely candidates.  Maybe ask your father-in-law in the meantime if the song was "race-related" ... which, I guess by YOUR description, could mean a couple of things in this case!!!  (kk)