Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Sunday Comments ( 06 - 26 - 16 )

It's been awhile since we've been able to do a comments page ... hope you all enjoyed our Bobby Rydell Series this past week.  

But today we'll get back to addressing and answering some of your thoughts and questions ... some are just a little bit older than others.  

This And That:  
Meatloaf gave WHOLE new meaning to "The Show Must Go On" last week when he collapsed on stage in Canada ... but his vocals kept going!!!  At one point one of the most powerful and dramatic voices in rock, it would appear that Meat has lost the ability to perform before a live audience ... and that's too bad ... because I always liked the guy.  (On the other hand, this may pave the way for a potentially very successful Lip-Syncing Tour, starring Meatloaf, Britney Spears and Frankie Valli!!!  Maybe they can even get LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen to host the whole thing!)  kk     

>>>Have you heard about this?  Last week at a Bob Dylan concert in California some belligerent fan in the audience starting yelling out "Free Bird".  Now this happens all the time at concerts ... except on this particular night, Dylan and his band then actually PLAYED "Free Bird"!!!  Now how cool is that???  (So was it a belligerent fan or a plant? Who knows ... who cares ... I just LOVE the idea that Dylan had the sense of humor to oblige.)  kk  
Your Bob Dylan "Free Bird" story was classic.  He performs at our little baseball stadium in Lincoln on Wednesday.  I think I will yell out "2525" and see if he will play that Lincoln Nebraska classic!  Haha!  
Clark Besch     

When I saw Bob Dylan I yelled out, "Lay Lady Lay", "Rainy Day Women," "Like A Rolling Stone" -- ANYTHING FAMILIAR PLEASE!  
Ron Smith  

Rolling Stone Magazine has named The Monkees' new "Good Times" LP one of 2016's best albums so far ... that's some pretty high praise from the same guys who will never consider them for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!  (kk)

Kent ...
Check this out.
Jerry Keller's Birthday (6/20/1937 ) falls on the first day of Summer this year and his biggest hit is "Here Comes Summer."  Cool.
Frank B.   

Have you seen the trailer for the new Ron Howard film "Eight Days A Week", profiling the touring years of The Beatles?  (Can't wait to see this one!)

Speaking of The Beatles, FH Reader Clark Besch sent this in after Beatles Historian Bruce Spizer ran a tidbit about the 50th Anniversary of the release of the "Yesterday ... And Today" album.  Check out THIS alternate version of the cover!  (kk)   

Actually, I like the recalled blue cover mentioned below.  It is MUCH better than the butcher or white covers.  It also resembles the somewhat bland blue "Yesterday" US pic sleeve.     


The infamous Beatles Butcher cover (shown above) made its limited appearance in June 1966. After Capitol Records sent out copies of the album to distributors, disc jockeys and reviewers, the company was besieged with angry protests over the grisly photo. It marked the first time that the Beatles judgment was severely and universally criticized. Faced with an unprecedented outpouring of outrage, Capitol recalled the cover on the eve of the album’s release. The story behind the album cover is now well known, featured and discussed in countless books, magazine articles and internet blogs and sites.

Legend has it that the cover was the Beatles way of getting back at Capitol for dissecting and reconfiguring their carefully crafted albums. The cover was a brutal visual pun letting the world know that “Capitol Butchers the Beatles.” Stories also tell of Brian’s approval of the cover, stemming from his fondness for pop art and sick humor. Paul is given credit for being the Beatle who pushed for the cover. Once the cover was recalled, the Beatles were hastily thrown together for a replacement cover (shown below) taken of them surrounding a steamer trunk. Their bored facial expressions and body language show their disappointment and resentment that their cover of choice was pulled from the market before it even went on sale. And that’s pretty much what we have heard time and time again.

Well none of that is true. The Butcher cover was not a Beatles protest of how Capitol treated its catalog. It was concocted by photographer Bob Whitaker, who shot an entire series of bizarre photos of the Beatles during the session. His inspiration for the Butcher photo was the book Die Puppie [translated The Doll] by German artist/photographer Hans Belmer. Brian was not in favor of the cover. He hated the Butcher photo and was concerned as to how it would adversely affect the group’s image. But as manager, he had to push for and defend the cover, even taking blame when it blew up in the Beatles faces. Paul was not the Beatle pushing for the cover. It was John, who saw it as a way to bust the group’s image as angels and show they were aware of life. The trunk photo was not taken after the album was recalled in mid-June 1966, but rather a month and a half earlier. In fact, the original cover design prepared by Capitol for the album (shown below) used the trunk image, which was sent to Capitol by Brian Epstein. And, if not for fate, Brian and John, the blue trunk cover would have been the album’s cover upon its release.

The full story is too long to print in this column, but can be found in the revised and expanded digital edition of “The Beatles’ Story on Capitol Records, Part Two: The Albums,” which is now available for immediate download. The book devotes 80 pages to Butcher and Trunk covers, complete with all of the essential color and black & white photos from the Butcher and Trunk photo sessions, photographs of Bob Whitaker at work during the Butcher and Trunk sessions, four alternate trunk designs and several Capitol memos and letters regarding the covers. An edited version of the story appears in the June 2016 issue of Beatlefan magazine. For those interested in learning how the Butcher and Trunk covers came to be, I urge you to check out the Beatlefan article and the Capitol album digital book. I will be giving a audio / visual presentation on the Butcher cover at the August 2016 Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago. I hope to see you there!
Bruce Spizer

Regarding the death of former Wings guitarist Henry McCullough, Macca wrote: "I was very sad to hear that Henry McCullough, our great Wings guitarist, passed away today. He was a pleasure to work with, a super-talented musician with a lovely sense of humour. The solo he played on 'My Love' was a classic that he made up on the spot in front of a live orchestra. Our deepest sympathies from my family to his."
An obituary appears here:
My thoughts:
I have to admit that I did not know who Henry was, but when I read Paul's above comment, I thought about it a minute.  First, I thought about how TRULY AWESOME his solo was in "My Love."  Then, I remember always thinking that Paul had been in quite a lull for hits for about two years when "My Love" came out and shot to #1 followed VERY quickly by "Live And Let Die" and the onslaught of Macca big hits was on again.  It started with that song and Henry's solo.  In the period between Ram and Uncle Albert and "My Love", Paul had struggled with hit records while his fab bandmates were doing much better in many cases.  Anyway, that's my opinion. 
R.I.P., Mr. McCullough. 
There's a lot of truth to what you say.  McCartney's output in 1972 (the year between "Ram" and "Red Rose Speedway") consisted of the lack-luster singles "Give Ireland Back To The Irish", "Mary Had A Little Lamb" (which I actually liked!) and "Hi Hi Hi" (another fave that he still performs in concert from time to time.)  The first Wings album, "Wild Life", was quite a disappointment and when Paul told EMI that he wanted "Red Rose Speedway" to be a double album, they told him no ... he hadn't had the sales recently to support it.  (Imagine telling a Beatle, the top selling act in the world for YEARS, that they didn't have enough faith in his record sales to allow him to do a double album!)  Although I loved it, a television special titled "James Paul McCartney", broadcast in support of his latest release (and featuring the world premier of "Live And Let Die" along with "My Love" and Paul's first performance of a Beatles song since the break-up, "Yesterday" during the finale, also didn't do well in the ratings or with the critics.  But then everything turned around ... after "Red Rose" topped the charts, led by the #1 Single "My Love", Paul was right back on track with "Live And Let Die" and his biggest album ever, "Band On The Run".  (kk)

David Beard ran this piece in celebration of Brian Wilson's 74th Birthday ...

Our FH Buddy Roger Wink from Vintage Vinyl News ran some commentary this week about the way Billboard currently calculates their Top 200 Albums Chart ... and he raises some VERY interesting points.
Read his whole assessment here ... and then check out our comments below.  (kk)
Roger -
You bring up some very good points in your Red Hot Chili Peppers analogy ...
Folks of our generation go out and BUY the entire album ... we're old school and this is the way we want our music.  (And let's face it ... there are VERY few people that still go out and buy music ... so we are a force to be reckoned with!)
Me, personally?  I'm the guy who wants to hold the physical CD in my hands and read the liner notes and look at the pictures.
No doubt about it, the times have changed when it comes to actual record sales ...
Years ago N*Sync would sell 2 1/2 million copies in its first week and break all kinds of sales records when it premiered at #1 ... today you only have to sell 11,000 copies to be a #1, #2 or #3 best-seller!
Billboard ... a trusted source for over a hundred years ... knows this ... and knows better.  Drake's fans don't even understand the concept of this. 
In this day and age, downloading single tracks and keeping track of that in any type of a ranking systems makes sense ... but ONLY as single tracks ... NOT as an album.  (Let's face it ... the option to download the entire album exists thru all these services like iTunes, Amazon, etc ... THOSE are the sales that should count ... and the ONLY sales that should count ... when measuring the album chart ... it needs to be regulated by this criteria, apples to apples.)
This is why veteran acts are currently outselling today's popular artists ... because WE actually go out and spend the money.  The industry needs to recognize this and react (and report) accurately this information.  Otherwise the charts don't mean a thing.  (kk)
I'm guessing you bid on The Killers Rolls Royce.
Frank B.
No, ever since I was outbid on The Batmobile I've stayed away from these things.  (kk)
Hi Kent,
The Crystal Blue Band (the 60s era Shondells) at the New Hazlett Theater, Pittsburgh 6/18/16
The surviving members of the Pittsburgh area's most prolific hit making band, the sixties era Shondells,  reunited last Saturday as the Crystal Blue Band.  I was lucky enough to be there for this historic night in Pittsburgh music history and felt I should write a review for those who weren't. But Shakespeare beat me to it by more than 400 years when he wrote "That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet" in Romeo and Juliet.
Band members Mike Vale and Ron Rosman were in the initial version of Tommy James and the Shondells, when Tommy Jackson from Niles, Michigan, came to Pittsburgh after the local success of his three year old single "Hanky Panky" and teamed up with local band the Raconteurs to form the group with that name. Eddie Gray joined a year later, in time for the group's biggest hits. The fourth member of the most successful incarnation of the Shondells, Pete Lucia, has passed away. It is their harmonies and Gray's signature guitar riffs you recall from hits including "Crimson and Clover" and "Crystal Blue Persuasion," which Mike and Eddie wrote with Tommy and from which they take their name.
45 years later, these guys still play the hits like you remember hearing them on the radio or their appearances on TV shows like American Bandstand and Ed Sullivan.  That's particularly impressive without lead singer Tommy James, but over the years many other groups have soldiered on creating the same sound without their lead voice; for example The Beach Boys (without Brian Wilson), Jay and the Americans (without Jay Black), the Mamas and the Papas (without Mama Cass), Paul Revere and the Raiders (without Mark Lindsay), etc..
Mike, Ron, Eddie and new drummer Michael Wilps were augmented by members of Johnny Angel and the Halos with guest Donnie Garvin (from Pure Gold), which also served as an opening act. Ron and Mike Vale split the lead vocal duties. They opened with one of their lesser top 40 hits "Do Something To Me" and finished with an extended version of "Mony Mony" that had everyone in the audience on their feet and singing and stomping along. You could feel the historic building, which was the first Carnegie Music Hall in the United States, shaking. In between they performed all of their biggest hits, just like the records, and a couple of new songs they intend to release on a future album. Frontman Mike Vale tied the songs together with stories behind the songs and information that gave them context as well as some very funny bits.
Afterwards Mike, Ron and Eddie came out to the lobby to thank fans (who Mike said came from twelve states), take photos and sign autographs.
Before the show, Jack Hunt (Johnny Angel) had asked if I had any copies of my book "Pittsburgh's Golden Age of Rock 'N' Roll" with me that I could sell. I did and he introduced me in the middle of Johnny Angel and the Halos' set and I signed books at intermission and after the show.
It was a great night of music in a very classy venue with top notch production. I don't know how this evening could have been any better.
Ed Salamon

Photo 1: Eddie Gray, Ed Salamon, Mike Vale and Ron Rosman after the show
Photo 2: Ron Rosman, Mike Vale and Eddie Gray on stage 6/18/16. In background Johnny Angel and Donnie Garvin
Mike Vale sent me a copy of their "Legacy" CD, where they recreate a dozen of the best known Tommy James and the Shondells hits.  The musicianship is outstanding throughout but they've got a big challenge in front of them in that whenever you hear a song like "Crystal Blue Persuasion" (best track on the cd, by the way) or "Crimson And Clover" or "Mirage" start, there is a certain special sound you expect to hear next once the vocal starts ... it's just been engrained in you after nearly fifty years of airplay ... that doesn't come across on these new recordings.  Folks will look at this two ways ... these guys were the heart and soul of the band (think Creedence Clearwater Revisited, featuring Stu Cook and Doug Clifford) but the guy who wrote and sang all those hits isn't there to sing them.  Some will say it's a wise decision to stay as far away from that sound as possible ... others will say they should have gotten a sound-alike vocalist to head up the troops ... and still others would complain that "all they did was get a Tommy James clone."  It gets even tougher when the lead act is still out there performing these hits as well.
That being said, I'd love to hear some of the new material you mentioned.  I think having been The Shondells gets your attention ... and will get them some immediate bookings ... but showing folks that you've still got the creativity and the chops to back it up is what's really going to help sell this band.  (Hey Mike, if you've got a couple of these new tracks laid down, I'd be happy to share one with our readers and see what they think.)
Meanwhile, here's The Crystal Blue Band doing "Sugar On Sunday" (at Mike's suggestion), a track Tommy recorded but then gave away to Clique, who had the hit single version.  (kk)   

Tom Cuddy tells us about an upcoming doo-wop show on Long Island ...

And check this out from FH Reader Frank B ... 

Kent ...
Check out the prices for this 1966 concert.

Frank B.
Check out the prices ... AND the line-up for those prices.  Can you imagine sitting in the audience for this one ... at The Hollywood Bowl no less?!?!  (kk)

And, speaking of great shows ...  

Happy Together, 2016:  
The other day we told you how Billy J. Kramer was filling in for Spencer Davis on the June dates of The Happy Together Tour. 
We just heard from Billy (who I'm hoping will continue to send us tidbits from the road ... be nice to hear from some of the other artists on the show, too ... Howard and Mark ... Mark Lindsay ... Chuck ... and Susan Cowsill ... over the years you all have participated in some capacity with us ... help us build up the anticipation for when you guys hit the next town!!! 

Anyway, this from Billy J. Kramer ... 

Hi Kent,
I joined the Happy Together tour for the month of June.
I was a big Turtles fan and always loved the shows Mark and Howard did over the years.
I knew it would be a lot of fun ... all the artists are the original people who sang on the records.
I am having a great time ... all great people.
Westury tonight ... Staten Island on Tuesday.
I'll be in touch tomorrow with more information.
Just gotta tell you that it's a great show!
I haven't seen a review yet on Forgotten Hits concerning the Happy Together Tour, 2016, so I guess I may be the first one to send one in.
I attended the show on June 11th here at the beautiful Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, and a great time was had (I'm pretty sure) by close to 2,000 patrons, which was almost a sellout. I was able to snag seats about fifteen rows from the stage and got some photos but alas because of the glare from the stage lights I did not feel comfortable enough about the quality to send them in.
The show started with a pre-recorded announcement from Shadoe Stevens welcoming everyone to the show. He began with "The Happy Together Show will start in five minutes." A two-second pause and then " The Happy Together Show will start in four minutes." A two-second pause ... well, you get the drift. And then finally, "Due to illness Spencer Davis will not be here tonight, please welcome Billy J. Kramer!"
The Happy Band (that's what they were referred to by the artists) was already in place and here comes a somewhat overweight but well-dressed gentleman with 1970's style longish hair onto the stage. He thanked the crowd for coming and breaks into the Beatles song, I Call Your Name. You could tell the audience was trying to determine what to make of this, a not previously announced performer who was attempting to sing his hits from the 1960s. I did say sing, but I think I'm gonna go more with shouting the words to the songs rather than singing. He played I'll Keep You Satisfied, From A Window, Little Children, Bad To Me (his biggest hit) and then closed with the Dave Clark 5 cover, Glad All Over. All performed in less than twelve minutes. I will be honest here, and I don't think I'm the only one to think this ... the whole thing looked and sounded like your dad attempting karaoke and perhaps passing the test. I was trying to think who Mr. Kramer reminded me off and finally during his last song it came to me. Remember the movie Back To The Future? At the end of the movie Marty McFly wakes up and his family has been rejuvenated into the family he had always hoped they would be. Kramer reminded me of Biff when he was kissing Marty's fathers's ass after waxing his car. Just my thought but several others at the show agreed with me.
And after a brief couple of minutes, to an introduction by Shadoe Stevens, the Cowsills bounded out (yes, bounded out) onto the stage. And they were, hands down, the highlight of the night. Bob, Paul and Susan looked great and sounded even better. They jumped right into The Rain, The Park And Other Things and to say that this sounded great would not be complimentary enough. It was completely outstanding. I could hardly believe these three people could sound this good. Yes, they were helped by the band with some of the singing but still an amazing performance. I could say if you closed your eyes that it sounded just like the record but it was much better than that.
Let me throw this out there right now. I am not going to say that this is what happened but I can't say that it did not. I'm sure you have heard of auto-tuning (a relatively new device that a lot of artists bring with them that helps enhance their singing by helping eliminate pitch problems and other blemishes. I really have no problem with that because the artists are actually singing unlike some (Frankie Valli?) that lip-synch. Not saying 100% that this is the case here but the question needs to be raised and again I'm OK with it. If you see this show wait till you hear how good Howard Kaylan sounds. I've seen him sing at least ten times or more over the last thirty years or so and he never sounded better than he did tonight. Saw the Moody Blues here at Ruth Eckerd Hall about three months ago (it was the week after their cruise and they were doing some Florida dates) and out of all the times I've seen them in the past (ten times or better) Justin Hayward has also never sounded better. He was singing but his voice was near letter perfect. It was incredible. Anyway just throwing out my two cents on this matter. Back to the show at hand.
The Cowsills performed We Can Fly, Indian Lake, Love American Style, and then closed with just an incredible version of Hair. Again simply amazing. Let me say also the energy and exuberance and just having a great time they showed the audience was remarkable. Even told a few jokes. Bob, "You know I always wondered why we were never invited on the Happy Together Tour. We always wanted to play it, but were never asked. Finally Paul explained the reason why to me. He said we weren't old enough. But that all changed last year. We finally got our ticket onto the show. What was our ticket you ask? (Holding up a card) It was our medicare card!"
Next up was Gary Puckett and he had an impossible job to follow the Cowsills. He did his best. He was quite personable, seemed animated to the crowd, told some stories, but lets face it, his voice has seen better days. Here the band carried him with their background singing, in fact any time some high notes had to be hit it was the band that did it. He sang Lady Willpower, Over You, This Girl Is A Woman Now, Woman Woman (which he said was his favorite song) and then closed with Young Girl. Gary told the crowd how much he loves the Clearwater area, in fact so much that he has lived here for the last fifteen years in Palm Harbor (which is about ten miles north of Clearwater). He then said that his whole family was here standing just off-stage and he brought them out to huge applause. His wife (who was gorgeous and looked maybe thirty years younger than him) was carrying his grandson, and they were accompanied by his two adult children and their spouses. Pretty touching.
A twenty minute intermission and then Mark Lindsay was introduced. He ran out onto the stage and immediately jumped right into a medley of Steppin' Out and Just Like Me. Mark looked and sounded great.  To my eyes, he could easily pass for mid 50's. He was all over the stage performing and, in fact, while singing Kicks, he was able to get his leg up in the air at least as high as his chest. I'm 61 and I would give anything to have his flexibility and energy. And he is 74.
Another trait that it seemed all the Happy Together performers have is a great full head of hair (except maybe Howard Kaylan, whose head was covered by a hat). Mark sang Hungry, Good Thing and then what he called his personal favorite, Indian Reservation, and then closed with Kicks. My only quibble with his choice of songs might be that there was no solo stuff like say Arizona and no songs from the Raiders period of 1967 - 1970. That, unlike a lot of fans, is my favorite Raiders era. Would have loved to have heard Let Me, or perhaps Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon, or maybe Him Or Me or even something off of Collage. Just a slight pick here, though, because I though he was great. He also told a couple of great stories like, "Yes, I love thinking about being back in the 60's. You know I would be in bed sleeping and then dreaming about me and Paul and the rest of the Raiders running up and down on the beach in California just like it was the 60's again and them all of a sudden I would wake up and realize I'm not BACK in the 60's,  I am IN my 60's. And this was a few years ago". Very entertaining.
Up next was former Three Dog Night singer Chuck Negron. I saw Chuck here in Clearwater just last December when he played a free outdoor show. I sent in a review of that show which you published. Thanks! Chuck sounded great, just as he did a few months back. His voice, in my mind, is just as good as it was back in TDNs heyday. Chuck turned 74 just three days before this show and he looks like he could pass for his mid-50's, just like Mark Lindsay. Great head of hair, looks trim and in shape, his only downfall is that his movements on stage (or lack of them) are very limited. With a voice like he has, though, movements are not that necessary. He opened with Shambala, then played Celebrate. For his third song he chose Eli's Coming and he two members of the Happy band help him out on vocals by singing a couple of lines each. Of course in the case of all the Three Dog Night songs. the band helped out by singing background vocals. Let me throw this in right here ... the band performed extremely well with their singing spot-on for all the artists. I will give the band at least 50% of the credit if not more for how well this show sounded. If you noticed a trend here, the first three songs Chuck sang were not Three Dog Night songs that he originally sang the lead vocals on. Shambala and Eli's Coming were Cory Wells songs and Celebrate was sung by all three members. Finally with his fourth song he performed a Chuck Negron TDN vocal with their first big hit, One. And then he closed out his part of the show with the song everyone was waiting for, Joy To The World, which before starting the song, Chuck stated that he thought that it was only No. 1 hit about a bullfrog. Chuck did not do a lot of talking but with his voice he let his singing do his talking for him.
And now, last but not least, The Turtles or Flo and Eddie or just plain Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. Last year I saw the Happy Together Tour in Plant City, Florida, as a one-off performance (not part of a tour) and Howard Kaylan was absent with a broken leg. Mark Volman had to sing the lead vocals (and not real well frankly) and they had former Turtle Jim Pons fill in on bass guitar. For this tour if Howard had been unable to play then the Turtles would have had to cancel because unfortunately Mark Volman can not sing at all right now due I'm guessing to recovering from cancer. However Howard Kaylan more than made up for it with his splendid voice. Like I said earlier, he has never sounded better (auto-tuning or not).
They started off with their old routine of Mark Volman singing a recent Top 40 song and stopping mid-song to break into a Turtles hit. This time Volman came out dressed as a not so attractive plump woman and opened his mouth and out came the voice of Adele singing Rolling In The Deep. Not Mark singing it but a recording playing. After about thirty seconds or so, Howard came out yelling at Mark "What are doing, that's not ours!" The recording stopped, Volman took off his wig and dress and the band broke into She's Rather Be With Me. I can not say enough as to how well Kaylan sounded. Literally perfect and I've heard him many times over the last thirty years. As far as Mark Volman, he never sang. He basically wandered around the stage and mimed a little singing while the Happy Band provided all the background vocals. They also sounded great, as I've stated before. Next up was You Baby and then It Ain't Me Babe with Kaylan imploring the audience to sing the No-No-No part. "Come on its easy its only one word". Right when this song finished, Volman grabbed the mike and said, "A year ago I was diagnosed with cancer".  And then a long, uncomfortable pause as the audience, who was having a great sing-a-long happy together time, was somewhat stunned by this announcement. Finally after the pause grew slightly longer Howard Kaylan broke in with, "Come on lighten up, he's here right now. He beat cancer!" A lot of applause and the show went on with Elenore and then the finale of (of course) Happy Together, featuring some great singing by Howard and Mark still wandering around the stage. They then brought out each performer, who sang a bit from each of their most popular song and then all joined in for the group finale and hug with a repeat of Happy Together. And then it was done.
Couple of quick thoughts ... just about all of these artists are in great shape and basically all sounded real good. You can tell they are genuinely happy to still be performing their hits at their age with the audience eating up every minute. I have seen all of these artists many times before except for Billy J. Kramer and The Cowsills, who really impressed me. I cannot wait to see a full-fledged show by them. It would be great if Chuck Negron and Three Dog Night could mend fences (especially with Cory Wells gone) and perform together again, but that's not gonna happen. I would love to see a complete show by Mark Lindsay (which I'm sorry to say I never have). And, as for The Turtles, I always loved their band back in their heyday. They made some fine, eclectic albums and it would be great to see a show by them performing more than just their five or six greatest hits for the millionth time. Probably not gonna happen either. Overall an entertaining two and a half hours of 60's music and hits. I will say this ... just the night before at our local ampitheatre in front of 20,000 cheering fans I saw Journey with the Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. That show would probably have blown this show off the stage but then again it's probably like comparing apples to oranges. Probably not a fair statement, just the way I see it. Let me sum it up by saying it was a great weekend of music and entertainment.  
Rich Turner
Safety Harbor, Florida
Thanks, Rich ... a good and thorough review.
It's tough sometimes because ALL of this year's performers have participated with Forgotten Hits at some point and time ... so it's hard to print anything that even hints at a negative review or a less-than-stellar performance ... but you guys are the '60's music fans out there, and only you can communicate to these artists what you want to see and what may be lacking (in some of the weaker areas) ... so I run these reviews simply as observations by true, die-hard music fans.
I love every single one of these performers and their music has been with me for most of my life ... not a day goes by that I don't cherish it.  And on any given night any one of them can steal the show or have an off performance.  Kudos to Mark Volman for giving it his best shot after bravely beating cancer ... both he and Howard have had health issues these past few years but they still get out there and give it their best for all their loyal fans.  Kudos to The Cowsills who CONSISTENTLY seem to knock their audiences out of their seats with every performance. Gary Puckett's voice is as strong as ever ... I just hate the way he messes with the melodies of his hits ... and so does most of the audience ... and that's just good, constructive criticism there.  Kudos to Mark Lindsay and Chuck Negron who ALWAYS put on an entertaining show (and still love what they're doing). I , too, would love to see full-length performances by both of these guys.  (Actually, they should team up, take the Happy Band with them, and do a series of post-Happy Together shows together and each give the audience a killer hour of music.  And, from the sounds of the article below, it sounds like Chuck will be very busy after this year's tour ends!)  kk

From Premier Radio's Mike McCann  (by way of FH Reader Tom Cuddy) ...
THREE DOG NIGHT: Chuck Negron Has New Music Coming Soon    
He's recording an album with two of his daughters with new songs and three never-completed Three Dog Night recordings.

Chuck Negron is spending the summer singing his Three Dog Night classics on the Happy Together Tour.
But once gets back to Los Angeles in fall, he'll complete work on a new album -- where again he'll be part of a three-voice group. This time, he's teaming with his daughters.
Chuck Negron is back in a trio -- this time, it's family style.
"The album I'm working on I did with my daughters -- my 15-year old daughter Annabelle, and my 22-year old daughter, who just graduated college, Charlotte. We're doing three-part harmony and of course, lead. And its very, very exciting to work with your kids."
These won't be covers of the songs he made famous in Three Dog Night. Instead, in a formula that sounds a bit like the new and successful album by The Monkees, it's a combination of new material and never-completed songs from the Three Dog Night days.
"Seven original tunes, possibly we'll go [with] three never-released Three Dog Night tracks. The only three tracks that ever weren't, were never released. We've done some remixing and brought 'em up -- not brought 'em up to date, but just some of the things were just bare. You know, one song was just piano and me. So we just put some bass and stuff on it."
Chuck is also preparing an updated and expanded third edition of his autobiography Three Dog Nightmare.
The Happy Together Tour, in which Chuck co-stars with The Turtles, Mark Lindsay, The Cowsills and Gary Puckett, continues throughout the summer.
This is all great news.  Chuck is in fine voice and fine spirits ... it'll be nice to hear some new music from him ... along with some of the Three Dog Night material that wound up on the cutting room floor.
Chuck's autobiography, "Three Dog Nightmare" is one of the best rock bio's I've ever read.  We've been recommending it for years in Forgotten Hits.  If anybody deserves an updated version, it's Chuck, who literally brought himself back from the dead, cleaned up his act and has been healthy and sober ever since.  Can't wait to read it!  (Send us a copy, Chuck!!!  Autographed, please!  And let me know when you're ready to sneak-peek one of the new tracks ... would love to showcase that in FH.  (kk)

Tear Jerkers:  
Your selections just keep on coming! 
We suggested to Scott Shannon that this might make for an interesting new daily feature on The True Oldies Channel ... and maybe we weren't so far off base on that after all ... check out this email from FH Reader David Lewis ...  

For several years during his reign here in Nashville, Scott did a weekly special on Wednesday nights at 9 PM called "Crying Time." He'd begin and end the show with a few seconds of the Ray Charles hit, then he'd do an hour of sad songs. It was quite popular and is still mentioned by the locals in the Nashville History Facebook groups.  
I think "the maudlin hour" may be a bit too much ... hard to come out of that one in an "up" mood ... but a daily feature spotlighting one particular song, preceded by a letter from a listener, would make for a GREAT "appointment radio" spot.  We've already run dozens and dozens that he could choose from to get the ball rolling until his own listeners start to chime in with theirs ... and some REALLY good ones on this list, too.  C'mon, Scott, what do you say???  (kk)  

Sorry to be joining the "tearjerker" conversation so late, but I have one song and one question for you.  "Daisy A Day" by Jud Strunk tells a sad story in a really sweet way.  If I outlive my wife, that'll be me.  The question is about "Girl on a Swing" by Gerry and the Pacemakers.  A long time ago, a guy told me that the girls at his school used to think this was a sad song for some reason.  Is there any particular background I'm missing on this song?  It came out just a little bit before I became "aware" of pop music, so I have no personal recollection of any stories associated with the song.  It's a long shot, but what the hey. 
Love your blog!
Riley Cooper 
Burke, VA 
None that I'm aware of ... anybody out there know anything about this one?  (kk)

I see that somebody picked The Worst That Could Happen by Brooklyn Bridge as one of their "sad songs" favorites.  This one's no tear-jerker to me since my late wife pointed out to me that this song is misnamed. It should have been called the Second Worst Thing, with, obviously marrying the woman as the worst.

There are a few songs that tear up my eyes every time I hear them.  Two of them have a life's story attached, the other one just makes me sad.
Ray Price - For The Good Times
Jack Greene - Statue of a Fool
and the other -
Eddy Arnold - Make the World Go Away
I know all of these were country classics but both Ray Price and Eddy Arnold hit the pop charts with their songs as well. 

I can't believe it took so long for someone to mention George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today."  
My all-time favorite tear jerker, though, is O.C. Smith's "Daddy's Little Man."

I'm glad they never play it because I couldn't afford the Kleenex if they did.
This is coming from a guy who cries at the ending of "The Notebook" every single time.
Later, Dude!
Steve Sarley

Hi Kent,
Wanted to drop you my Tear-Jerker List of songs. 
Enjoying Forgotten Hits as much as ever -- what a great respite from a world that is moving way too fast!  Thank goodness for music, thank goodness for Forgotten Hits -- kind of like an ice cold beer after running a marathon!  Ha! 
By the way, when in the hell are we going to see Burton Cummings on "Live At Daryl's House?" 
Keep up the SPECTACULAR work!
Tim Kiley
P.S.  That's Janet Vogel hitting the high notes at the end of the Skyliners' hit "Since I Don't Have You."
1. FORGET HIM – Bobby Rydell
2. END OF THE WORLD – Skeeter Davis
4. TEEN ANGEL – Mark Dinning
5. LAST KISS – J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers
7. HURT – Timi Yuro
8. CRYING – Roy Orbison
11. THESE EYES – The Guess Who
12. MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY – Natalie Cole
13. LOSING YOU – Brenda Lee
14. ASK THE LONELY – The Four Tops
15. I'D RATHER BE BLIND – Etta James
16. I'VE BEEN HURT – Bill Deal & The Rhondells
17. IT'S ALL IN THE GAME – Tommy Edwards
18. SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU – The Skyliners
19. KISS AWAY – Ronnie Dove
20. DONNA – Ritchie Valens
22. LONELY TEARDROPS – Jackie Wilson
I also wanted to send you this video of HEART performing this year -- Ann Wilson will be 66 in a couple of days (and still has the pipes) and Nancy is 62 and they sound better than ever. 
I saw them a couple years ago at Hudson Gardens in Denver (The Mile High City's best kept concert secret) and they simply kicked ass!  From Ann's singing to Nancy's guitar-expertise, they are simply excellent -- every musician in the band is top-flight (their lead-guitar player and drummer kick ass).  I see where HEART, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS (another incredible band live -- a perfect match with HEART), and CHEAP TRICK are all touring together this year -- I see they are going to be in Chicago at the First Merit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on July 19th.  They are EXCELLENT Kent, I really would make it a point to catch the show.    
Saw the pix of Red Rocks and it's a legendary venue but the weather can be iffy -- Hudson Gardens is a much more intimate venue with around a capacity of 3000 people (and can get afternoon and evening rain, but it is beautiful and the weather is not as iffy as Red Rocks).  I saw Three Dog Night there a couple of times.  It really is an excellent venue. 
I told them to book Burton Cummings -- knowing the show he puts on and what a great venue it is, it would be a perfect match for a packed house.
I think Burton Cummings would make an EXCELLENT guest on Daryl's House ... how do we make THAT suggestion?!?!?
Some great titles on your list.  I've never seen Heart ... have always wanted to and was supposed to go a couple of times but something always came up that prevented me from being able to.
As for Heart, they've done some pretty good tear-jerkers, too.
One of my all-time favorites would have to be "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You" ... which, for me anyway, was probably more of a "goosebumps" song (remember when we did THAT series?!?) than a tear-jerker ... but powerful stuff any way you slice it.
Thanks, Tim ... some great stuff on this list.  (kk)

Tear jerkers?  For me, "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics.  Not even sure why, except that it makes me think of my dad, gone 30 years now.  He was a great father, but this song does it for me as far as tears just from its words.  
Clark Besch  

Bobby Rydell
>>> A reader wants to know how your vocal version of 'Telstar' came about?  Had there always been lyrics to the song or was this something that was created especially for your record?  (kk)  
>>> I don't know.  I haven't an answer for that ... all I know is that I recorded it.  I don't know if they WROTE lyrics or if there already were lyrics … I haven't a clue for Telstar.  I really don't know.  (Bobby Rydell) 
Hi Kent,
Regarding a vocal version of Telstar, a track titled "Magic Star (Tel-Star)" by Margie Singleton bubbled under for 1 wk in 1/63: 
I do "Forget Him" on my gigs from time to time. Written, I believe, by Tony Hatch, but under the pseudonym Mark Anthony (?). 
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

I didn't realize that until you said it but yes, you are correct.  (See photo below)
Tony told me once that you were allowed three pseudonyms under which you could publish music ... another of his was Fred Nightingale, which he used for The Searchers' "Sugar And Spice", later covered here in the States by Chicago's own Cryan' Shames.  (kk)

Kent ...
Great Bobby Rydell interview.
And check it out ... Bobby Rydell goes back to Palisades Park.
Frank B.

Much has been made about a comment Paul McCartney made during The Beatles Anthology book, series and film about how a song by Bobby Rydell inspired the "yeah yeah yeah" pop culture changing hook in their own "She Loves You".  Some have speculated that it came from "Swingin' School" ... others "We Got Love".  Paul himself never divulges the name of the track and adds even more confusion into the mix by saying that it was influenced by a song Bobby had out at the time.  Well, both of those songs came out in 1960 ... "She Loves You" was written in 1963.
I checked both the US and the British charts to see what else Bobby had out in early-to-mid '63 that might have been the track to catch their attention but none of his 1963 output seems to fit the bill.  (In fact, Bobby's only 1963 British hit was "Forget Him", which charted in May ... incredibly six months before it would become a hit here in The States!)
Still McCartney gives direct tribute to Bobby Rydell.  That being said, my best guess is that it was "We Got Love", a great track by Bobby and one that we didn't feature in our special week-long series ... so here it is now.  (Remember how we told you that Paul's dad tried to persuade him to change the lyrics to "yes yes yes" in "She Loves You", a "more proper way of British speaking rather than this American slang."  Thank GOD Paul didn't listen to his old man on this one!!!)  kk

We even heard from Bobby himself after the series ran ...

Thanks, Kent -
It was great!!! Really appreciate it!!! 
Bobby Rydell

By the way, congratulations to Mike DeMartino of Chicago, IL ... he won a copy of Bobby's great new book "Teen Idol On The Rocks".  Thanks to everyone who entered and followed along with our week-long series. 
And also to Gary Blau and Steve Sarley, who were both able to join us at the Jim Peterik Concert at The Raue Performing Arts Center last night.  (Review to come)

And here's some parting great news ...

Kent - 
You are the first to know, and it is because of all the interest FH has stirred up!   
Saturday, November 26th, 8 pm ... "A Bobby Rydell Thanksgiving Homecoming", live at The Arcada Theatre!  Tickets go on sale next Friday!
Ahhhhhh...The power of Forgotten Hits!
Ron Onesti
President / CEO
Onesti Entertainment
This is GREAT news, Ron ... we're breaking the story here first!
Tickets go on sale next Friday ... but stay tuned to Forgotten Hits because we'll have a couple of pair of tickets to give away to our local readers!  More info to come.  (kk)

Also at The Arcada ...

Just booked - Felix Cavaliere's Rascals with special guests Jay and the Americans - September 30th
Micky Dolenz (a solo show after The Monkees' 50th Anniversary Tour) - November 17th

And ...

Michael Bolton - June 28th  (order your tickets TODAY and get 20% simply by entering the code BOLTON20 at the check-out screen)
Rita Coolidge - July 17th
Tower Of Power - July 29th
Ted Nugent - August 3rd (first show sold out!)
Toto - August 13th
Cornerstones of Rock - September 3rd (starring The Ides Of March, The Cryan' Shames, The New Colony Six, The Shadows Of Knight and The Buckinghams)
Jose Feliciano - September 4th
Night Ranger - September 11th

Tommy James and the Shondells - September 24th
.38 Special - September 25th
The Stylistics - October 7th
Pat and Debby Boone - October 16th
Little Anthony and the Imperials - October 23rd
Charlie Daniels Band - November 3rd
Dionne Warwick - November 4th
Starship (featuring Mickey Thomas) November 5th
Johnny Rivers - November 13th
Tony Orlando - December 10th
We get letters from oldies music fans from all over the country WISHING they had a theater like The Arcada where they live ... consistently a WIDE assortment of GREAT entertainment of a regular basis, week after week, month after month, year after year.  (As Graham Nash might say, "Won't you please come to Chicago" ... and check out some of these classic performances.
More information on The Arcada Website: