Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tuesday This And That

re:  The Box Tops: 
Hi Kent, 
Regarding The Box Tops / Wayne Carson Thompson:  
The Box Tops were able to take advantage of the great songwriting catalog provided by Wayne Carson Thompson (who sadly passed in October, 2015). Wayne, a singer in his own right, wrote “The Letter”, “Neon Rainbow” and “Soul Deep” for the Box Tops, as well as their most underrated song. “You Keep Tightening Up On Me”. The latter, which reached only #92 in 1970, has a great lyric and chorus but gets overlooked as it was their last hit and, back in the day, record buyers had already moved on.  
Wayne also wrote two further Box Top-styled songs, both recorded by Bruce Chanel, “Mr. Bus Driver” and “Keep On”. Wayne’s  catalog can be seen at: 
One other late Box Tops’ goodie: 1969’s “Turn On A Dream”, with its great horn riff and written by Mark James (writer of “Suspicious Minds” and “Hooked On A Feeling” among many others). 
Best regards, 
Mike Edwards

>>>While we're treasuring our Box Tops memories, how could you not mention "Choo Choo Train"??
I liked Chilton's Box Tops voice way more than his Big Star voice.  (Dan)

>>>Yep, another good one ... and a #17 Hit in both Cash Box and Record World back in 1968 (besting their Billboard showing by nearly ten points!)  kk
Wow! I had never heard the song Choo Choo Train until they played it that night! I swear there were songs the rest of the country knew that never got played in Boston when I was growing up!!!!


re:  Leonard Cohen:
When we ran our Leonard Cohen piece over the weekend, the tune "Hallelujah" was inadvertently left off the posting ... so here it is now for all to enjoy.  This truly is a beautiful piece of work.  (kk)

re:  Nancy Wilson / How Glad I Am:  
>>>In your Random Picks on 11/11 I'm really glad you plugged in "How Glad I Am" by Nancy Wilson.  In her first chorus, is it my imagination or does Ms. Wilson sing:  "but you don't know, you don't know, you don't know, how the hell I am?"  Please give a listen again and see what you think.  Thanks.  (Tim Kiley) 
>>>OMG, I think you're right!!!  I've never noticed this before!  I've never heard it this way before ... but I'm damn sure radio wouldn't have played it this way back in 1964!!!  Anybody able to shed some light on this one?  (Scroll back to Friday and listen for yourself!)  kk

I'll be damned! I never heard it sung that way ... but in the traffic of mp3s coming in and out of my life, I actually have that version. When I click on it, it says "LP Capitol Promo - 2Lp", so that explains it to me. A promo version got out there. And it stayed that way on the actual LP.
Unreal!!!  How could this one slip by us?!?!  (kk)

I just now played the Nancy Wilson refrain over and over again. I don't think, at least it sounded this way to me, that she actually came out and said the word hell completely. It sounded like she stops abruptly when she starts to say hell with the letter h, segues into the other words. That's just my feeling on it. I also got out my 45 and played it as though there was going to be a difference between it and the song you posted.
Was there?  Because I just can't believe that I've been listening to this song for over fifty years and never noticed this before!!!  And it sure as hell sounds like she's singing "hell" to me!  (lol)  kk

Hi Kent, 
Just a follow-up on the Nancy Wilson "How Glad I Am" lyrics question. 
I went on-line to see if this controversy has arisen before and sure enough I found a website that addressed it.  I have listened to the lyric many times, and by the way this is the version on her compilation, and I would be curious to other opinions as to if they to hear on the first chorus:  "How the hell I am."  Of course, with today's lyrics this would be small potatoes in comparison, but in 1964 it would have certainly cut air-play.Another great song by Nancy Wilson is her cover of "I've Never Been To Me."  It literally smokes the original by Charlene. 
I don't care what this website says, this is not a case of a misheard lyric ... listen to the YouTube clip above posted by Hil and you'll hear the song the way we all remember it being played on the radio back in 1964.  Then scroll back and listen to the clip I posted on November 11th ... there is absolutely NO question in my mind that she sings "how the hell I am" on the November 11th posting ... and it doesn't even miss a beat ... the rest of the recording is exactly the same. 
Fooling around in the studio perhaps?  I don't know (and efforts to contact Ms Wilson yesterday failed) ... but I can also emphatically state that there is absolutely NO way radio would have played the "hell" version back in 1964 ... and she would have been denied her biggest pop hit in the process.  (Another great Nancy Wilson track ... and the only other one to make the Pop Top 40 ... is 1968's "Face It Girl, It's Over".  Always loved that one!)  kk

re:  Happy Birthday!:
Happy Birthday to Petula Clark, who turns 84 today.
What an incredible string of hits she had in the '60's.
Riding the coattails of The British Invasion, Petula first burst on the American scene in late 1964 with her chart-topper "Downtown".  (She'd already been enjoying a career for over a decade back home and throughout Europe ... but the combination of the immediate love of all things British and the songwriting and production skills of Tony Hatch pushed Clark over the top around the world for the next several years.)
Although I never got to see her in concert, I did catch her in the mother role of "Blood Brothers" when it played here in Chicago several years ago, with brothers David and Shaun Cassidy in the other lead roles.
I have long been a fan of her music and Tony Hatch has been a contributing Forgotten Hits member for years now as well.  (I had the pleasure to finally meet Tony in person a few years ago when he was staying at The Palmer House here in downtown Chicago ... what a nice guy!)
Let's celebrate today by sharing the Petula Clark Hit List ... and listening to two of my personal favorites.

1954 - The Little Shoemaker  (US - xx / Chicago - xx / UK - 7)
1955 - Majorca  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 12)
1955 - Suddenly There's A Valley  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 7)
1957 - With All My Heart  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 4)
1957 - Alone  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 8)
1958 - Baby Lover  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 12)
1961 - Sailor  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 1)
1961 - Something Missing  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 44)
1961 - Romeo  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 3)
1961 - My Friend The Sea  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 7)
1962 - I'm Countin On You  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 41)
1962 - Ya Ya Twist  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 14)
1963 - Casanova  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 39)
1963 - Chariot  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 39)
1965 - Downtown  (US - 1 / Chi - 1 / UK - 2)
1965 - I Know A Place  (US - 2 / Chi - 2 / UK - 17)
1965 - You'd Better Come Home  (US - 21 / Chi - 17 / UK - 44)
1965 - Round Every Corner  (US - 18 / Chi - 37 / UK - 43)
1965 - You're The One  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 23)
1966 - My Love  (US - 1 / Chi - 8 / UK - 4)
1966 - A Sign Of The Times  (US - 9 / Chi - 25 / UK - 49)
1966 - I Couldn't Live Without Your Love (US - 8 / Chi - 3 / UK - 6)

1966 - Who Am I  (US - 18 / Chi - 20 / UK - xx)
1967 - Color My World (US - 15 / Chi - 19 / UK - xx)
1967 - This Is My Song  (US - 3 / Chi - 9 / UK - 1)
1967 - Don't Sleep In The Subway  (US - 5 / Chi - 14 / UK - 12)

1967 - The Cat In The Window (US - 24 / Chi - 28 / UK - 20)
1967 - The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener  (US - 28 / Chi - 22 / UK - xx)
1968 - Kiss Me Goodbye  (US - 10 / Chi - 7 / UK - 50)
1968 - Don't Give Up  (US - 23 / Chi - 31 / UK - xx)
1968 - American Boys (US - 49 / Chi - xx / UK - xx)
1969 - Happy Heart  (US - 62 / Chi - xx / UK - xx)
1969 - Look At Mine (US - 62 / Chi - xx / UK - xx)
1969 - No One Better Than You  (US - 83 / Chi - xx / UK - xx)
1971 - The Song Of My Life (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 32)
1971 - I Don't Know How To Love Him  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 47)
1972 - My Guy  (US - 70 / Chi - xx / UK - xx)
1972 - The Wedding Song  (US - 61 / Chi - xx / UK - xx)
1982 - Natural Love  (US - 66 / Chi - xx / UK - xx)
1988 - Downtown '88  (US - xx / Chi - xx / UK - 10)

re:  Another Concert Review:
Another outstanding show at The Kent Stage (Kent, Ohio) on November 10th.
The evening started out with Chicago's own The Empty Pockets, who are fast becoming a fan favorite here in NE Ohio.  The Pockets have played a number of gigs here in recent years and have developed a nice following, and also picking up new fans with each show.   They also served as the backup band for headliners, Al Stewart and Gary Wright.
Al Stewart is always charming, full of great stories on opening up for the Stones, being a guitar student of Robert Fripp, commenting "I will return, like General Westmoreland in front of a Japanese crowd (think about it) ... and has not missed a beat with his guitar work or vocals.  Doing about an eight song set, he played classics such as Road to Versailles, Time Passages, Soho (Needless to Say), On The Border and, of course, Year of the Cat.
This was my first time seeing Gary Wright.  I was glad to see him perform, but was not wowed by his performance.  His stage presence and vocals were lacking, especially compared to Stewart.  He performed some old Spooky Tooth (Better By You) and a few songs from a new CD that was actually recorded about 40 years ago.  He finished up his set with hits Love Is Alive and Dream Weaver.
Tom Apathy

 all photos courtesy Tom Apathy

I've seen both Al Stewart and Gary Wright during the past few years and have to agree that Al Stewart is the far more engaging performer ... it's fun to just listen to his stories ... and the great songs are an incredible bonus.  Thanks, Tom!  (kk)

re:  This And That:
Enjoyed your FH on Friday featuring songs from 11-11 that featured 11 songs which peaked at #11.
I kind of thought you might do something like this on 11-11.
Since it was Veteran's Day, I thought you might feature songs that were military oriented ...
Have a good weekend.

Fun election stuff Kent!  
By the way, I have been to the CBGB's. I saw "Talking Heads" a couple of times when they were first starting out.  David Byrne, I thought, was in "some kind of trance," the way he just kept staring and staring.  I didn't see it at the time, but have since figured that was just his act.  It was weird. 
And that's about all I remember of the "infamous" CBGB's. It was a little "hole in the wall" place.  I didn't think it was much to write home about. And still don't.
Thanks, Kent, as always.  

Watch for a new theatrical release of The Rolling Stones' recent tour of South America ...
Kent ...
Frank B.   

>>>I just finished Garry Berman's "For The First Time On Television" last week.  A well documented, well researched effort, Garry traces back a wide variety of firsts ... HUNDREDS in fact ... everything from The First Person Ever To Appear On A TV Screen to The First Television Station in the US ... to The First Drama Ever Performed on TV, The First Regularly Scheduled Drama Series, The First Prime Time Network Sitcom to the First Sitcom Use Of A Laugh Track ... The First Western, First Medical Drama, First Science Fiction Show, First Legal Drama, First Police Drama, First Daytime Soap Opera (this statistic may shock you ... while not the first daytime soap opera to air on TV, "The Guiding Light" aired first for fifteen years on radio before premiering on television on CBS in 1952, where it ran for another 57 years!!! ... giving it a total run of 72 consecutive years overall!!!  That's gotta be three or four generations of family members alone!!!  Not to mention how many times they must have told the exact same story again and again and again during that run!)  The book is filled with fascinating tidbits like that ... First Animated Television Series, First Musical Variety Program, First Made For TV Movie, First Spin Off ... on and on and on.  My initial reaction when I first heard of this book was to contact the folks over at Me-TV to see if they might be interested in putting together some kind of television special broadcasting many of these first in conjunction with a nice tie-in to the book ... but unfortunately nearly ALL of these "first" are SO obscure or were seen by such an incredibly limited audience at the time (seven people in some cases!) that it just doesn't lend itself well to that type of promotion.  There is no "connection" to even the most avid tv viewer.  Thankfully, Garry keeps the topic interesting by listing so many other programs we CAN relate to that "followed suit" to the subject matter of each "first" listed.  From a historical standpoint, if you're into television and want to know the REAL facts, THIS is the book for you.  You'll learn things you never even dreamed of.  However, if you're geared more around coverage of only the most popular shows of the day, you'll find that most of what WE recall as being groundbreaking at the time was really just an update to something somebody else had done earlier with much less fanfare.  Still, I think something COULD be done on the TV level to capitalize on all this little known information.  For example, assuming you could find a short lead-in clip for some of these subject matters, you could run a 3-5 minute "example" of a television first and then lead that in (with some good narration explaining the evolution) into a far more popular program that folks COULD relate to.  Case in point:  I'm sure there are still enough fans out there of the original "Peyton Place" that you could run a five minute "highlight" reel of television's first night time soap opera ... and then lead that into the "Who Shot JR" episode of "Dallas".  Now THAT would be television worth watching.  Do the same thing for many of the classic tv sitcoms ... first comedy, first comedy with a laugh track, first comedy filmed before a live audience, etc, etc, etc.  What do you guys over at ME-TV think about THAT idea???  (kk)  
Hi Kent:
Thanks so much for your thoughts. And, I'm glad you enjoyed the book. It was a lot of fun to research, as I guess you can imagine, but also challenging at times.
I know a lot of the "firsts" I cover date back to the "dark ages" of TV, and are little-known to the general public, but that's a big reason why I wanted to bring a lot of those facts to light.
But, as you say, there are still many firsts from the 1950s onward that do more easily relate to what the nostalgia TV channels like MeTV have been programming in the past few years.  So, you may be right ... the information I've presented might be of use to them.  I'd even be happy to serve as some kind of consultant or "historian" (not meaning to sound pompous here), if they'd like to work with me in any capacity.
Thanks again for the review you posted.  Since I'm somewhat of a small fish in a very big pop culture / nostalgia pond, I'm grateful for any efforts like yours on my behalf to help spread the word!
-- Garry

I saw one of your readers mentioned the song "Cinnamon" by Derek.  I'll bet you're aware that Derek is another pseudonym used by John Hendrey Blair (Derek was his brother's name) who also had an earlier hit with "Mr. Bassman," as Johnny Cymbal.  
I swear, it's musical trivia like this that keeps me going!  :)
Keep up the good stuff, my friend, and all the best, 
Bob (Rush)  
PS:  On a lighter note, Friday night I enjoyed a great, long jam with my good friends Hal McAndrew, and Frank Jeckell.  Frank is the original lead guitarist of The 1910 Fruit Gum Company (and still is).   Looks like it might be a nice side-project for us all.  I'll keep you posted. 
Bob Rush  
After emailing each other for years, I finally got to meet Frank Jeckell when The 1910 Fruitgum Company played The Arcada Theatre a year or two ago ... nice guy.  Told me he hadn't been to Chicago since 1968 when the group was super hot on the charts.
As for Derek, I recently sent a clean copy of "Cinnamon" to Me-TV-FM for broadcast and have heard them play it several times since ... always loved that song.  (Believe it or not, the first time I heard it I SWORE it was Neil Diamond ... especially being on the Bang label.  Thought maybe they had dug a real gem out of their archives because by then Neil had moved on to Uni Records.  Damn good song!  Thanks, Bob!  (kk)

Coming Up In Forgotten Hits:
Tomorrow we'll be running our latest edition of SWEET 16 ...
So be sure to tune in for that one!
And then on Thursday at tribute to the late, great Leon Russell.
(So, if you have a few thoughts to share, please send them now!!!)