Monday, April 18, 2016

The Monday Comments

re:  More Praise For The Mamas and the Papas:  
Just finished reading your exhaustive - and, truly informative special - on The Mama And The Papas.  
Always one of my emotional favorites ... loved reading it. Whenever I hear "California Dreamin'" on the radio, boy does it take me back.  
Clearly a classic; the production and recording values on that record standout for sure. One of my Top 5 ever! Certainly timeless ... it sounds as good today as back then. Thanks -  

Hey, Kent -  
How come we all said "Papa John" and "Mama Cass" but nobody ever said "Papa Denny" or "Mama Michelle"?? 
Just throwing it out there ...  
- Larry Cave   

Hi Kent -  
THANK YOU for all the information about The Mamas and the Papas.  
I just thought that  their name was perfect for them. Like you said their music will live on forever. And that John Phillips was a great arranger. I think Michele mentioned this a few times over the years.  He could take "any song and make it sound great!"   
I enjoy them on my Juke Box and Bose ...  

Back in 1986 or early '87 our group, the Showvinistics, opened for the John and Mackenzie Phillips, Denny Doherty and Spanky McFarland version of "The Mamas and the Papas." This was at a place called Red Creek, where we did our own shows but often opened for famous groups brought in by the owner, such as the Neville Brothers, Big Joe Turner, The Persuasions and Gary "U.S." Bonds -- very eclectic, for sure.  
I had the opportunity to sit and talk music for about a half an hour with all four members of the Mamas and Papas, especially Denny and Spanky. John would contribute occasionally but it is Mackenzie that was most memorable on this occasion. She would interject something about every three minutes -- in a giggling type of gibberish! Everyone seemed to either ignore these outbursts or understood them. I never understood one word. Even when she said goodbye (I think) I was clueless as to what she said, but it was with a giggle and a smile!  
Lots of good information from the others though, who were very friendly and loved talking music.  
Danny Guilfoyle   

"If you can believe your eyes and your ears," Riley and Weber discussing if Cobra or Winky are members of the Mamas & Papas like Kent says they are.  
Clark Besch
Great conversation about the Mamas & Papas ... I don't know how you keep track of all this stuff.  

re:  What's The Name Of That Song?:  
Good selection ... many others even ...  
Unchained Melody  
Superstar by the Carpenters  
Mark the Shark   

You left out the most obvious one of all ...
Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
The toughest part of doing a SWEET 16 is you are truly limited in your selections ... there can only be 16 tracks ... but you're right, "Unchained Melody" probably should have been included.  (Also not making the final list were "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin, "Hocus Pocus" by Focus, "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" by The Beatles, "Baba O'Reily" by The Who, "The Ballad Of The Green Beret" by S/Sgt Barry Sadler, "Space Oddity" by David Bowie, "The Lord's Prayer" by Sister Janet Mead, "Fingertips" by Stevie Wonder, "Train In Vain" by The Clash, "The Great Airplane Strike, 1966" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, "Danny's Song" by Anne Murray, "Land of 1000 Dances" by Cannibal and the Headhunters, "Sunshine Superman" by Donovan and about two dozen more.
I'm telling you, this is a GREAT radio special for somebody ... you could easily put together a three hour program featuring songs like these ... and I'll bet our readers could come up with several more.  (kk)
[I was going to run a copy of "Unchained Melody" here ... but what's the point?  Turn on ANY oldies radio station in America and you'll hear it within the hour anyway!!!]  kk 

Hi Kent -
Don't forget The Jive Five and their tune "My True Story"!!
By the way, how high did it get Billboard? When in doubt, ask the Master.
"My True Story" reached #3 in Billboard in 1961.  Here in Chicago it only climbed as high as #18 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.  (kk)   

How could you leave out the one that doesn't even use the title in the song??   
"Let Her Cry For She's a Lady" ... which in reality was "Wildfower" by Skylark, which had David Foster playing keyboards.  (See David's pregnant wife singing back-up below.)
Greg Campbell
Like "Sunshine Superman", the title is never actually uttered ... but at least its implied ... a key line repeated throughout the song is "She's a free and gentle flower growing wild."  Still, it absolutely qualifies!
Let's continue to build this list.  Memo to Phil Nee (or Scott Shannon if he's interested) ... wanna put together a three hour special?  Heck, Scott could even do this as a specially-themed "America's Greatest Hits" feature!  (kk)

Hola Kent,
You struck a nerve with that subject.  Perhaps the most notorious song in that category is 'Unchained Melody' sung by many but most notably by the Righteous Brothers. Many a music lover was stumped to 'Name That Tune' when the song was played.
My favorite song search occurred in 1988.  I was a 3rd shifter and awoke on the couch with "I Want To Know What Love Is" on the TV as part of the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Concert. I loved the song but being groggy all I could remember was seeing Phil Collins on stage, a lot of smoke in the air, and that 'rhapsody' playing on the television. I had to have that song.
I was married with two kids by then and not as into the music scene ... all I could remember was Collins and the song. I asked a few younger people and they told me Collins was in Genesis, a band unknown to me.  I was in a mall and a muzak version of the song was playing so I approached a young girl (I would be arrested today for doing that) and inquired what the name of the song was being played.  She was a little confused at my request but told me that it was Foreigner. So thought that the name of the song was Foreigner, sung by Phil Collins and Genesis.
I went to my local music shop and asked for the song from the clerk, who straightened me out by telling me Foreigner was the name of the group and sold me a CD with the song on it. I was feeling out of the loop ... I was now a 'family man' and all my music was from before I was married, but that song re-awoke my enjoyment of music and led me to come to appreciate groups who came along after the early 70's.  I know it is only important to me but I just wanted to share it with the readers who may have had similar re-awakenings after getting married.
One that drove me crazy came a few years later (1996 to be exact).
I kept hearing the song "Don't Speak" by No Doubt and just HAD to have it.  I must have visited a dozen record stores trying to find that single but it was nowhere to be found.  Turns out it hadn't been released as a single ... and, in checking Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Records" book right now, I see that it was the first album cut to every hit #1 on the Billboard Chart.  (In fact, it stayed there for 16 WEEKS ... and charted for an incredible 63 ... that's a year plus!)
I did eventually find the track on a CD Promotional Single ... and ended up buying the album as well.  Again, not a "what's the name of that song" experience ... but more of a "how the hell do I get this record?!?!?" experience.  Thanks, Charlie!  (kk)

re:  This And That:  
From FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...    

THE TEMPOS: Vocalist Mike Daye Has Died  
Mike Daye, who sang lead on The Tempos' original version of "See You in September," died on Tuesday. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was 83. He was born Michael Lazo and used Daye as his stage name.   
The 1959 recording enjoyed a second life on the American Graffiti soundtrack.   
Bob Miranda, whose group The Happenings revived and rocked up the song in the summer of '66, tells us, "Those guys were an influence. I don't know if we would have picked up that song if we hadn't heard [their] version."

And check this out ...  

We've seen this talked about in a few places now ... but FH Reader Tom Cuddy was the first to send it in ...    

Word of what will be one of the biggest classic rock concerts in history has leaked as the L.A. Times is reporting that Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Roger Waters and Neil Young will join forces for a three-day festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California on October 7th, 8th and 9th. That's the site of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which gets under way today (Friday).   
If all goes according to plan it will be Dylan and the Stones on the 7th, Macca and Young on the 8th, and The Who and Waters on the 9th. This will be the first time since 2012's Concert for Sandy Relief - 12-12-12 - that McCartney, The Stones, Waters and The Who will all have been on the same bill, albeit different nights.  
Though nothing is 100-percent firmed up, Young's manager, Elliot Roberts, tells the L.A. Times, "It’s so special in so many ways because you won’t get a chance to see a bill like this, perhaps ever again. It’s a show I look forward to more than any show in a long time.”   
The official announcement is expected in early May.   

In your Record Store Day section, the picture of the stereo system brought back memories of working in the electronics dept of Monkey Wards (membuh' them?) in 1986 for Christmas $ for my kids.  We sold a similar unit, and I think I sent at least one of them out of the store.  I wanted one so badly, but couldn't wedge it into the budget.  Imagine my delight when we got MP3 players & digital music!  Count me out as someone who longs for vinyl ... I'm thrilled with the many ways we can obtain and store music now.   
And music today is certainly a lot easier to carry around, too!  (lol)  I replaced most of what I could with cd and digital versions on my music ... just so much cleaner sounding (although some will argue that this is one of its biggest drawbacks ... it's just too "processed" of a sound.)  I don't mind ... I LOVE this music ... and want to hear it in its cleanest form.  (kk)  
[BTW, I'm sure I'll get a TON of mail about THAT comment!!!]

The Fest For Beatles Fans, 2016, was an incredible two-day experience of learning (for me) and enjoyment. 
Peter Asher, Chad and Jeremy put on an amazing production. Billy J Kramer and Mike Pender together, and separately.  Mark Hudson in technicolor extremism. Steve Holley from Wings, Gary and Adam from Elephants' Memory. Music, artwork, photography, memories! So much in so little time.
Yes, quite an incredible line-up indeed ... I'm hoping most of these artists will make it to the Chicago show this summer!  (REALLY looking forward to seeing Peter Asher performing with Chad and Jeremy ... we caught Peter and Gordon several years ago at one of these and it was absolutely outstanding!)  kk
Thank you ... and congratulations to Lou Christie ... who is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of "Lightnin' Strikes" topping the charts and selling a million copies in 1966. (In fact, he's had some commemorative coasters made!  Check out this photo!)