Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday This And That

re:  Bad To Me:  
Hey Kent ...
Thanks for the rare "Bad to Me" video sung by the Fab 4.  I am looking forward to the Billy J. Kramer interview.

I found this demo version of Bad To Me by John Lennon. It's only 1:23 but it does seem complete.
Hoffman Estates

re:  Don't Use Our Songs:
I was shocked when watching the Republican Convention last Monday when my dear friend, the late Alan Gordon, had his song "Happy Together" used as one of the songs played during the opening night.  I knew Alan and even if he had liked Trump, that song was SPECIAL to him.  Like the other songs to come in other nights, he would NOT have authorized its use for a campaign like Trump's.  Alan wrote plenty of hits over his life, including one I then expected to hear in the coming days of the convention, "Celebrate" by Three Dog Night.  "Happy Together" was what Alan called "HIS BABY."  One of the great songs of the ages. 
Then I heard at the complete end of the last night, Free's "All Right Now."  This is my ALL TIME fave song of the 70's.  It ranked #1 for seven weeks on my personal charts back then as a 14 year old.  By that night, I'd heard plenty of good songs used in the campaign, usually by the "house band" (whomever they were) and done very well, but this was FREE's version and the complete five minute LP version as balloons fell.  I thought, as many would, "Paul Rodgers must be a Trump supporter to allow this" (???)  I was wrong, of course.  It turned out that Paul and MANY others are very upset about this.
In a GREAT protest against the use of hit songs to promote politicians WITHOUT artist or writer consent, Sheryl Crow, Bob Golden and Michael Bolton have written a song that even has a video including Mellencamp, Cyndi Lauper, Bolton and others.  It is well done and some funny lines including what Trump CAN USE for free, a song performed by my brother Roger's cat, Tiger, years ago.  You'll love the little slap at Spotify in there too!
Here's the story and the video song starts about 3:30 into the segment.
Personally, I think Trump should license "in the Year 2525" as that is where he is taking us ...
Now, will the Dems use songs like this too?   I can see the same thing again.
Clark Besch
It looks like the "making of" link above no longer works - this video has been removed from YouTube - but if you scroll back to our Tuesday posting you can hopefully still catch the video itself that aired on HBO the other night.  This has become a VERY big deal over the last several campaigns ... and these guys should know better.  (kk)

Changing my vote now ...
Scott Besch
At least he has his own campaign songs:
... or from when I sat in the Lincoln Northeast High student lounge (yeah that lasted about a year before it was discontinued for us) and played THIS on our jukebox down there in 74.
Of course, he might use these hits of his for Trump or Hillary, too:
Scott, as I remember my teen years, I gotta think you have an idea!!!

Last week, Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, the two founding members of The O’Jays decried the use of one of their signature songs, “Love Train,” the lyrics of which were also altered to “Trump Train,”  at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, just a short distance from Canton, OH where the group formed in the late 1950s.   Williams commented that “Our music, and most especially, ‘Love Train’ is about bringing people together, not building walls.” Eddie Levert suggested in his comment that Trump “just may be the Antichrist.” 
In news reports that followed, it became clear that the group members were very concerned with their perceived association with the Trump campaign.  Today, they became aware of a pro-Trump video posted by Rep. John Mica (R-FL) in which another of their most notable songs, “For The Love Of Money,” had been appropriated without their consent.  Accordingly, they instructed their attorneys to issue a cease and desist letter which has been sent not only to Congressman Mica but also copied to Paul Manafort, Trump’s Campaign Chairman:  
Your use of our clients’ signature song, and utilizing the original recording constitutes a patently false implication that Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have endorsed you or your political agenda or Mr. Trump’s agenda. Our clients unequivocally do not endorse you, your agenda nor your party’s views or those of Mr. Trump. On the contrary, Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have actively opposed these ideals ...we hereby demand that you and any person or entity with which you are affiliated with, immediately and permanently refrain from exploiting our clients’ proprietary material, using the recording of the song “For The Love of Money,” or any of our clients’ other intellectual property rights.  
Eddie Levert commented, “Trump and his people have no right to help themselves to our music. He presents himself as supporting 'law and order' but, in truth, he’s not respecting the law at all. Mr. Trump resorts to painting pictures of gloom and doom and suggesting that he, alone, is the one savior who can fix things.  This reminds me of another story and that would be the Book of Revelation.  Those who would question just how great America is should travel around the world a bit and let us know if there is any greater country; we know there isn't.”   
Walter Williams, added, “We don’t appreciate having our music associated with a campaign that is hurtful to so many with whom we have common ground.  We’ve really had enough of this I’m living proof that America is already great; I came from nothing and everyday I feel blessed to live in the greatest country on earth.  We support those who inspire in a positive way as opposed to bullying and using scare tactics.”   
The O’Jays were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and have previously been recipients of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award. They continue to record and perform in their seventh decade as musical proponents of peace, love, hope and harmony.

Speaking of The O'Jays, we caught them on "Live At Daryl's House" this weekend ... and they were FANTASTIC!
As soon as the program was over, I emailed Ron Onesti and said, "We have GOT to get these guys to play at The Arcada Theatre!"  Let's see what happens with that ... I'll keep you posted ... but check this appearance out "On Demand" when you get a chance ... they are still in FINE voice!  (kk)

re: This And That:
Good morning, Kent,
Thank you very much for including an item about "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 3" among your Sunday Comments. Marti and I are sure that some of your many followers will find the book of interest.
Your time and dedication in compiling and formatting Forgotten Hits material week after week is evident. That obviously is a labor of love for you. Thanks for helping to make sure that people don't forget those great hits.
Jeff, with regards from Marti Childs
Your books are EXACTLY the kind of material our readers crave - folks would do themselves well to pick up copies of not only the final edition, but the two that preceded it plus "Echoes Of The Sixties" ... all look to be available on Amazon.  (kk)

FH Reader Frank B recently sent me a copy of the film "Nina", spotlighting the erratic career of Nina Simone, starring Zoe Saldana.  (We finally watched it this past weekend as a matter of fact!) 

Now comes word of a new Nina Simone documentary being released by Eagle Rock Entertainment ...


New York, NY (July 25, 2016)—Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary at the 2016 Oscars®, Best Music Film at the 2016 Grammy Awards, and winning Best Documentary at the American Film Institute Awards in 2016, documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone? connected with critics and fans alike with its deep examination of the legendary Nina Simone.  On September 2, 2016, Eagle Rock Entertainment will present this film as a DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, and on Digital Formats, with additional bonus interviews not included in the main film. [MSRP $26.98 Blu-ray+CD, $21.98 DVD+CD]  
What Happened, Miss Simone? is the story of Nina Simone’s life and career. Through archive interview and extensive performance footage, alongside new interviews with family, friends and colleagues, the film paints a fascinating portrait of this complex and challenging artist. Nina Simone was many things: pianist, singer, songwriter, performer, civil rights campaigner, wife and mother, victim of abuse, and black icon. Growing up in the segregated American South, she began to learn piano at age 4, attended the Juilliard School Of Music in New York and aspired to a career as a concert pianist. Thwarted in this, allegedly because of her color, she began to play in nightclubs to earn money and her career as a jazz and blues performer was born. The film follows Nina Simone through the sixties and her intense involvement in the civil rights movement, her decision to relocate to first Africa and then Europe in the early seventies, her emotional difficulties in the eighties, and her later years in France in the nineties. The CD portion -- Music From And Inspired By What Happened, Miss Simone? – includes a collection of songs from across Simone’s career. A blend of studio recordings and live performances, the album includes “I Loves You Porgy,” “Sinnerman,” “Feeling Good,” and her compelling take of “I Put A Spell On You,” among others. The first nine songs were included in the film.  
A captivating film about an extraordinary and influential artist, What Happened, Miss Simone unveils the struggles and triumphs of an icon, and further exudes why Nina Simone will continue to be revered for generations to come.  
Amazon links:  
1) I Loves You Porgy  
2) Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood  
3) I Put A Spell On You    
4) Strange Fruit (Live in New York, 1965) 
5) Sinnerman  
6) Mississippi Goddam (Live In New York, 1964)  
7) Little Girl Blue (Live In New York, 1964) 
8) Don’t Smoke In Bed (Live In New York, 1964)    
9) My Baby Just Cares For Me  
10) Lilac Wine  
11) Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair  
12) Night Song  
13) Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (Live in New York, 1965)    
14) Feeling Good  
15) Ne Me Quitte Pas

Good Morning Kent -
Perhaps someone might have an idea who recorded a version of "The Theme To A Summer Place" that I am trying to identify. It is a male vocal that I recorded off the radio in the late 60s or early 70s; I still have a copy if someone wants to give it a listen. The song was recorded by a lot of folks but not too many male solo vocalists. I have ruled out Cliff Richard, Dick Roman and Andy Williams. Jackie Rae also released a version around 1960 and the only small audio clip of him that I can find
is not the version I am after; however, the clip could be from a re-recording.
Earl Thompson
This could be a tough one as literally HUNDREDS of artists recorded this song over the years.  Why don't you send us the clip and we'll run it on the website and see if anybody recognizes it.  Thanks, Earl ... and welcome aboard!  (kk)

Six artists charted with versions of "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" in Billboard Magazine between 1960 and 1969 ... Lolita, Dick Roman, J's With Jamie, The Lettermen, The Ventures and Percy Faith,  who charted TWICE, including the #1 original, which topped the chart for nine weeks in 1960.  (Percy also cut a disco version in the '70's that failed to chart.)  Guess you could say that this was HIS tune!)
In addition to the male artists you listed above as having recorded vocal versions of this song, you can add Bobby Vinton to that list.  (kk)

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Cryan' Shames' "Sugar & Spice" peaking on WLS at #7.  It also entered the Billboard charts this past week in 1966.  Because it was hard to pick WLS up in my hometown of Dodge City, Kansas, I was slow to add it to MY personal charts as a 10 year old and it started charting in early August, too.  It started a love affair with Shames music that is strong as ever 50 years on, not just for me but for thousands.  In '66, that song started it for me, while (still living in Kansas) in '69, I was getting free DJ 45s and "Rainmaker" was about Kansas and ended the Shames' recordings.  I had no idea that it would be the last by them and kept waiting and waiting.  No single.  No album.  Yet, 50 years after Sugar & Spice, their music inspires thousands to sing a long still.  Thanks, guys! 
WLSClark Besch
Congratulations, guys ... and Happy 50th.  The renewed resurgence in your music, thanks to things like the recent Cornerstones of Rock concert series is letting others around the country remember and recognize this great music, too.
Back in 1966 I saw The Cryan' Shames perform one of their very last gigs as The Travelers in the parking lot of the Hillside Shopping Center (long since gone).  The reason I had gone that night was because I was looking for a new guitar and although I had absolutely NO idea who they were at the time (or, better said, who they would become!), I went because I had answered an ad placed by guitarist James Fairs, who was looking to sell his Starburst Gretch Country Gentleman Guitar.  He played it for me in their trailer.  I ended up not buying it, but picked up photos of the band (also long since gone) as well as an autographed photo of East Of Midnight WLS Jock Don Phillips, who was mc-ing the whole thing.
I clearly remember them performing "Sugar And Spice" that night along with "If I Needed Someone" and a KILLER version of Jr. Walker's "Shotgun" ... made quite an impression on a 12 year old kid!
The memories only got better from there as hit after hit after hit raced up the WLS and WCFL charts.  One of my all-time favorite songs of the '60's remains "I Wanna Meet You" ... and "It Could Be We're In Love" and their version of "Up On The Roof" (reportedly played at Carole King's second wedding) raised the bar to the highest level amongst our local heroes.  (How all three of these were not National Top Ten Hits I'll NEVER understand!!!) kk