Monday, March 28, 2016

The Monday Comments ( 03 - 28 - 16 )

Congratulations to Gary Maurer of Milaca, Minnesota ...  
He just won a copy of Joel Whitburn's new book "America's Greatest Hits, 1940 - 2015", a recap of Billboard's Top Ten Pop Charts for the past 76 years! 
“THANKS”, AGAIN. ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
What are the chances???  About 1 in 53!!! 
Didn't realize your email was the one that launched "threesomes"  (see more on this below) 
Congratulations again ... the book is already on its way to you. 
Thanks again to everyone who entered.  (Gotta tell you, we had a GREAT response to this one!!!)   
Meanwhile, you can still order YOUR copy from Joel's Record Research website ...
And don't forget to preorder the upcoming follow up release, "America's Greatest Albums, 1956 - 2015", on sale now through a special discount offer.
And stay tuned ... we just may have a copy of Joel's Top Ten Albums book to give away in May, too!  (kk)

Great Songs Are Great Songs!
Hi Kent,
Sorry this is so late but I've been enjoying the tennis in Palm Springs and just got back to my home in Spain.  
I just wanted to congratulate you on your great interview with Tommy Roe and Forgotten Hits' coverage of the Chris Montez / Tommy Roe show. Wish I'd been there! Why?  Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet either of these guys, although they both recorded my songs. Tommy recorded COUNT ON ME, which had a wonderful global free ride on the back of THE FOLK SINGER. (I'm very grateful for that). Chris, of course, put CALL ME on the map and started a journey that subsequently brought covers by Astrid Gilberto, Nancy Wilson, George Shearing, Frank Sinatra and a huge deal (long ago) with the Bell Telephone Company. 
Incidentally, Sinatra's CALL ME was the 'B' side on STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. 'B' sides were great but try explaining to anyone under 40 what a 'B' side is!!
Hi Tony!  Good to hear from you.  Hope you're doing well. I've got to tell you that "Call Me" is one of my very favorite songs of all time.  (I'm guessing Petula recorded it first, right?) 
We're hearing LOTS of Petula Clark here in Chicago these days thanks to Me-TV-FM ... who have delved DEEP into the library of "forgotten hits" to play some things that just haven't been played on the radio in a while. 
In the last couple of weeks I've heard "Downtown", "I Know A Place" (several times), "You'd Better Come Home" (!!!), "Round Every Corner", "My Love", "A Sign Of The Times", "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" (several MORE times), "Color My World", "This Is My Song", "Don't Sleep In The Subway" (several times) and "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener" ... so nice to hear this stuff in regular rotation again! 
Speaking of "Call Me", they certainly did a very good job of "cloning" that record for Chris' next hit, "The More I See You"!!!  (kk)
Thanks, Kent.
We are doing just fine after a fun-filled couple of weeks in the States which included a Variety Children's Charity Telethon in Des Moines followed by ten days in Palm Springs. 
Thanks for all the info and thanks also for your kind comments regarding CALL ME. It's been a nice little earner for a long time but Petula wasn't the first to record it. 
I wrote it for Keely Smith when she came over to the UK in 1964 to record with me. This was a deal arranged between Warner / Reprise and Pye. I worked with the famed Jimmy Bowen but when we finished CALL ME he didn't want it released.  
Following DOWNTOWN's success I was desperate for album songs for Petula so I played CALL ME to her, just me at the piano. Naturally I told her about the Keely Smith record but, for obvious reasons, didn't play it to her. Petula loved the song. When the DOWNTOWN album was released in America, my publisher (Leeds Music) pitched CALL ME to A&M for Chris Montez. CALL ME and THE MORE I SEE YOU could have been recorded on the same session. As you suggest, they do sound very similar and rough enough to have been recorded live in a club. If you read this, Chris, I'd like to know. Having said that, it's never been difficult to simulate the sound of a night club in a recording studio.
Best wishes to all,  
Interesting stuff.  I passed your email along to both Tommy Roe and Chris Montez ... let's see if we get anything back!  Thanks again, Tony!  (kk) 
Hi Kent ... 
Thanks for the Tony Hatch email ... very nice. 
Thanks again, 

Sometimes I run across some gems I've almost completely forgotten. Here are a couple we never hear.  
Mark Lindsay's "Miss America"    
The Neighborhood's "Big Yellow Taxi" 
David Lewis
Thanks to Me-TV-FM, these songs aren't quite the "obscurities" they used to be.  (Me also plays the Mark Lindsay version of "And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind" quite a bit, along with "Arizona" and "Silver Bird".) Still the best variety on the dial in Chicago today ... just wish they'd start streaming so the rest of the world could start enjoying it too!  Maybe the rest of the dial wouldn't seem so boring if they were suddenly challenged again to do something better ... and bigger.  (kk)

I have been giving some thought to the subject of great album starters. 
These are a few I remember from my youth ...
Carole King - Tapestry
1. I Feel The Earth Move  2. So Far Away 3. It's Too Late
The Beatles - Abbey Road
1. Come Together  2. Something  3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
1. Drive My Car  2. Norwegian Wood  3. You Wont See Me
The Beatles - Meet The Beatles (U.S. Version)
1. I Want To Hold Your Hand 2.  I Saw Her Standing There  3.  This Boy
Van Morrison - Moon Dance
1. And It Stoned Me  2. Moondance  3. Crazy Love
The Doors - The Doors
1. Break On Through  2. Soul Kitchen  3. The Crystal Ship
The Guess Who - American Woman
1. American Woman  2. No Time 3. Talisman
This next batch may be in the over-played radio hall of shame; however, you can't deny how big these songs and albums have been over the years.
The Eagles - Hotel California
1. Hotel California  2. New Kid In Town  3. Life In The Fast Lane
The Cars - The Cars
1. Good Times Roll  2. My Best Friends Girl  3. Just What I Needed
John Cougar Mellencamp - American Fool
1. Hurts So Good  2. Jack And Diane  3. Hand To Hold On To
Phil Nee - WRCO
You've got some GREAT choices on here, Phil ... absolutely NO denying that these LP's grabbed  (and demanded!) your attention the minute you put the needle down!  Keep 'em comin' folks!  (kk)

Coppock's Topics  
A few remembrances of mine in perusing the comments by Chet if I may. 
He mentions the Bo Diddley tune WHO DO YOU LOVE.   Ronnie Hawkins and Tom Rush had big versions here in the OKC area back in 1963 and 1971 respectively, not to mention a version by the Woolies in 1965. 
I do happen to remember that piece of junk known as JELLY JUNGLE. What would you call another record by them, RICE IS NICE? 
I don't know if LOVE TRAIN by the O'Jays sounds better today or not, but in my opinion, it still sounds good.  Their earlier version of LIPSTICK TRACES back in 1965 did fairly well here in the OKC area.  Would you believe a few nights ago I got out the 45 record of CAROL by Chuck Berry and it is still from the, in my opinion, rock and roll hall of fame, songwise. 
And finally even unto this day, I still get chill bumps up and down my spine whenever I hear the Flamingos' I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU. 
And finally (haven't I said that already?), I tried to come up with a few songs that may be Easter oriented. I believe you've done this in years past. Songs by the Jelly Beans, Ray Anthony and Champs and Applejacks doing the BUNNY HOP (take your pick), Lee and Paul and one that probably only I remember (goes right up there with JELLY JUNGLE), I WANNA BE AN EASTER BUNNY by a group known as the Singing Reindeer, a group that goes right up there with Don Charles and his singing dogs. 
Have a great weekend. 
Larry Neal   

Hey, Chet -- 
They're called The Staple Singers, not the Staples Singers.
Regarding "Jelly Jungle," I think it is qualifies one of most creative, inventive and fulfilling of all bubblegum records -- even though it peaked at only #51 in 1968.  (It was a big hit on Chicagoland radio.)   Everybody has their own tastes, of course, and in my case "Jelly Jungle" ranks as my all-time favorite bubblegum single. 
Gary Theroux 
Most of the Buddah / bubblegum singles did better here in Chicago than they did nationally.  ("Yummy Yummy Yummy" was a #1 Record for example, which only peaked at #4 on all three national charts.)  "Jelly Jungle" reached #21 in Chicago on the WCFL survey and made the Top 30 in both Record World (#26) and Cash Box (#30) despite its #51 showing in Billboard.  Check out the end of today's posting for a comparison chart of BUDDAH BUBBLEGUM as it pertains to their three biggest artists, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Ohio Express and The Lemon Pipers.  (kk)  

I agree with Chet on the Staples' songs being great and "Love Train" still sounds great to me, too.  However, he opens himself up for "992 Arguments" (the great follow-up to Love Train) when bringing up "Jelly Jungle."  Three weeks at #1 on my personal charts in 1968 and holding off the Cryan' Shames' psych masterpiece, "Sailing Ship" at number two.  The MONO single sounds great today, but the stereo version is just different enough to make me want the 45 always when listening.  It's the same recording, but mixed differently. 
Clark Besch     

I enjoyed Coppock's random tho'ts piece.  All us music lovers think like that.  Please consider this my request for my prize of two years of Freudian therapy for listening to 'Jelly Jungle,' and, I must say, I've earned it!  Since I'm female and just the last word in refinement, the answer to the last question is 'Miracles' by Jefferson Starplane, but 'I Only Have Eyes For You' is a close 2nd.   'Sexual Healing' gives me the same feeling as Zaeger & Evans' 'In The Year 2525' ... nails on a blackboard!   

Hi Kent ...
Happy Easter to you and yours.  
To answer Chet's question, my vote is "Miracles" by Jefferson Starship.  Yep, they "nailed" it.  Best romantic song out of the three.  The song definitely helps to set the mood.
Over the years I've heard this one cited more than any other ... and we certainly have enjoyed it as well ... along with "I Only Have Eyes For You" ... although our choice has more often been (shudder!) the Garfunkel version!  (kk)

Lovemaking songs ... now that could be an interesting couple days of suggestions! 
Chet's suggestions are good ... I have no argument with any of the three. 
The only problem is you have three distinctly different time periods. 
If you were to get down with your honey bunny in the years before Beatlemania, the Flamingos win, hands down. 
By the mid 70's, it took more than a sha bop sha bop, to get the party started. Grace and Marty sounded as good as they had back eight, or so, years earlier. 
Meanwhile Sexual Healing, is Marvin at his finest.  It would prove to be one of the last true R&B / soul records, before Rap dominated the genre. Truth be told, R&B / soul was always the place to find the songs that made you want to dim the lights and light the scented candles. 
I'm going in reverse order, starting with Marvin Gaye.  
I'm sure we'll get a few more people weighing in on this ... but don't limit yourself to Chet's three suggestions ... let us know some of YOUR favorites as well.  (We've got a few of our favorites as well!  In fact, Santana's "Smooth" sparks some very special memories for Frannie and I .. we were pretty partial to that one for awhile!  Or, if I'm in a particularly selfish mood, I guess there's always "My Ding-A-Ling"!!!)  kk

Cornerstones Of Rock:  
I FINALLY received my DVD / CD package this past weekend, four months after the show was first taped at the WTTW studios last November.  I popped in the CD of original recordings as soon as I opened it and got an immediate error message and thought "Oh No ... not after all this time!!!"  (They said they had manufacturing issues which contributed to the delay ... did I wind up getting one of the defective discs?!?!)  But, thankfully, after ejecting it and cleaning it off, it played just fine on the next try (although I will say that the stereo mixes seems a little out of balance on many of the tracks, strongly favoring one channel over the other.) 
You've still got a couple of chances to see the show live here in the Chicagoland area ... The first show at The Arcada sold out ... but it looks like there are still a few seats for the May 1st performance at The Skokie North Shore Center for the Performing Arts ... and then all the guys come back to The Arcada on September 3rd for another concert.  Full details on the oshows website ...  (kk)

This And That
I was a big new wave fan in the 80s and saw the Go-Gos in a small club. Their first album, Beauty And The Beat was fantastic ... kind of a mix of the girls group and British Invasion sound. 

To answer your question, does anyone miss the Go Go's? ... The "Go Go's" weren't so bad ... "Come on Man! " Girl Power! 

I just checked out your interview with Tommy Roe on the forgotten hits site.  
Excellent, as ever!  
Have a great weekend.  
Oscar Arslanian 
Arslanian & Associates

Forgotten Hits got the treatment the other day after we featured Simon and Garfunkel's "Fakin' It" 45 in our Tommy Roe interview. 
Cool to think that Mental Floss Editor Nick Greene is reading OUR stuff!!!  (kk)

Thanx for the update on Bobby Rydell the other day ... I was thinking how I should find out how he's doing and you must've read my mind 'cause there it was the very next morning. 
I recommended to my local library that they buy his book for their shelves.  Can't wait to read it!  
Tell him that some of us are always pulling for him.  OK ... maybe not when I'm cooking dinner ... but definitely in drive time.  God bless Bobby ... and you for remembering him, too. 
I've heard Bobby is one of the nicest human beings you will ever meet. We're trying to set up an interview for when the book becomes available ... so please stay tuned for that.  (kk)

Big news last week that they're filming an additional five minutes of footage so that Paul McCartney can be in the new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.  He and Johnny Depp have gotten to be VERY close friends over the past several years ... so now Macca will follow in the footsteps of Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, who played Captain Jack's father a few films ago.  (Depp disclosed that he patterned his character on Richards as a source of early inspiration.  Can you believe this will be the FIFTH film in this series???  Who would have ever thought???)  kk

Here's a new one on me ... "Miranda" by Adam West, sung in character as Batman!  With the new Batman vs. Superman movie packing theaters this past weekend, Me-TV-FM gives us eleven reasons why Adam West is still the best Batman ever.

We went to see "Batman v Superman" over the weekend ... man, what a disappointment.  (On a scale of 1-10, we both gave it a 2 ... and actually thought about walking out of the theater a couple of times.  That being said, the trailer shown beforehand for the 2017 Batman Lego Movie looks TEN times more enjoyable and entertaining than this was!!!)  
This is NOT the Batman and Superman we grew up with ... each of them killed far more people than the bad guys in this movie, breaking the superhero credo that has existed since these characters first came to life back in the 1930's.  Plus Ben Affleck's Batman said "shit" ... now I can say "shit" ... and YOU can say "shit" ... but BATMAN's not supposed to say "shit"!!!  Again, everything we ever loved about these heroes was missing from these portrayals.  WAY too loud ... way too many special effects drowning out and obscuring the dialog and the action ... and far too little action at that ... a complete waste of the Wonder Woman character, who only seemed to be there to set up the inevitable number of sequels this fiasco will inspire ... Jesse Eisenberg as a schizophrenic Lex Luthor (instead of the mad genius we've all known him to be for years ... it looked like Jesse couldn't decide how to play the character so he threw in some elements of The Joker instead, just to play it safe!) ... start to finish, pretty much a muddy mess.  I can't help but wonder ... when you have an ensemble cast this strong ... think about the actors involved with this ... Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Laurence Fishburne (huh???) as the Editor of The Daily Planet (Perry Black???), Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jeremy Irons as the ever-reliable Alfred (who now helps control Batman's movements through what appears to be a very sophisticated Game Boy), Holly Hunter, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (as Bruce Wayne's father in a scene that gave him about a minute and a half of screen time), and a who's who of real-life newscasters ... when you assemble a group of actors THIS strong and THIS talented ... do they realize at some point during the whole process that they are filming what will ultimately be deemed a piece of crap?  Certainly, with the incredible string of credits under their collective utility belts, they MUST have known that this was complete garbage the whole while they were doing it.  I think I'm done with super-hero movies ... they have completely destroyed my memories of what a good super-hero is supposed to be and represent. (kk)

But this DOES give me the opportunity to tell my all-time favorite super-hero joke ...

Superman is flying around and just happens to notice a completely naked Wonder Woman lying in a field of grass.  He decides that he just HAS to have a piece of that ... so he swoops down and very quickly at super-speed does a little bit of pumping of his own ... and then flies off again before Wonder Woman even knows what hit her.
"What the hell was that?" Wonder Woman gasps.
"I don't know", The Invisible Man answers, "but my ass sure hurts!!!"

>>>"It's A Cryin' Shame" didn't get airplay here in Chicago ... too bad 'cause it's a great song.  (I discovered this one when a reader sent it in.  The Grass Roots also recorded a version ... but I like the Gayle McCormick version the best.  (kk) 
Kent --
Ummm ... puzzled here ... I heard the song in Chicago and recorded it on reel-reel tape in October of 1971. (I still have the typewritten index for my old tapes, with dates.) I don't remember which local AM station played it, but I recall hearing it quite a bit that fall. Definitely a great song, and one that probably didn't get the attention it deserved.
And now she's gone, at only 67. Scary.
--Jeff Duntemann
  Phoenix, Arizona
Well, it didn't chart on either WLS or WCFL so I don't know who would have played it (other than maybe a couple of shots early on to see if it caught on.)  It looks like it first charted nationally at the end of September, 1971, but only made The Top 40 on the Record World chart, peaking at #39. Odd but I truly don't remember EVER hearing it on the radio here in Chicago.  That being said, I really liked it the very first time I heard it ... a few years ago in Forgotten Hits.  (I keep telling you guys, I learn as much here as YOU do!!!  lol)  kk

Here is a VERY cool recent interview with our buddy Davie Allan from "Ultimate Guitar" ...

>>>Gotta love this quote!  I've been telling you about this new series of Uncut Magazines spotlighting "The History Of Rock And Roll" on a year-by-year basis ... and I'm making my way through 1967 right now when I found this quote from Mick Jagger ... "It's alright leaping about the stage at 20, but when you get to 25, 26 ..."  (kk)
I think it was sometime in 1969 when Mick made another of his famous quotes: "I'd rather be dead than doing "Satisfaction" when I'm 40."
David Lewis
Yeah, I have to imagine that Mick singing "Satisfaction" has paid quite a few of the bills over the years.  (lol)
I still have to laugh at a comment Bobby Darin made early on when he first saw The Stones ...
(from our Bobby Darin Series, now available in its entirety here ...
'60's FLASHBACK:  When THE BRITISH INVASION hit, BOBBY really liked the new sounds and could appreciate the talent of the band members writing their own material ... even though it spelled the end of the old BRILL BUILDING era of song-pitching.  In fact, the first time he saw THE ROLLING STONES perform, he commented that MICK JAGGER would have a HUGE career in Vegas ... because, at that time, Vegas is where ALL the big stars ended up!  No one was ready yet for this new musical revolution ... and who'd have thought that 50-some years later, THE STONES would still be playing to sold out audiences all over the world ... and getting upwards of $300+ a ticket to do so!!!

And, speaking of Bobby Darin ...

You'll find some GREAT Bobby Darin photos and comments here ...

And FH Reader Frank B sent us this clip titled "Bobby Darin in Baghdad" ...
As well as news that Bobby's version of "Mack The Knife" has been added to The National Recording Registry

The 1910 Fruit Gum Company
1968 - Simon Says  (#1 USA / #2 Chicago)
           May I Take A Giant Step (#45 USA / #Ex Chicago)
           1, 2, 3 Red Light  (#3 USA / #1 Chicago)
           Goody Goody Gumdrops  (#28 USA / #11 Chicago)
           Indian Giver  (#3 USA / #2 Chicago)
           Special Delivery  (#28 USA / #11 Chicago)
           The Train  (#52 USA / #3 Chicago)
The Ohio Express
1967 - Beg, Borrow And Steal  (#23, USA / #24 Chicago)
1968 - Yummy Yummy Yummy  (#4 USA / #1 Chicago)
           Down At Lulu's  (#19, USA / #3 Chicago)
           Chewy Chewy  (#8, USA / #3 Chicago)
           Mercy  (#26 USA / #5 Chicago)
The Lemon Pipers
1968 - Green Tambourine (#1 USA / #2 Chicago)
           Rice Is Nice (#26 USA / #xx Chicago)
           Jelly Jungle  (#26 USA / #21 Chicago)