Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Forgotten Hits Salutes 1967

It is, without question, the most ambitious project we've ever put together ... 

50 Years In The Making ... plus literally THOUSANDS of hours this past year alone assembling the final product. 

Something of this nature doesn't just fall together over night ... 

So let me thank a few people before the official launch on Friday, December 30th. 

Thank you to Randy Price, who assembled The Super Charts.  FOR THE FIRST TIME ANYWHERE, Forgotten Hits Readers will have the chance to see what I believe to be the most accurate and honest representation of the music AS IT HAPPENED back in 1967. 

Over the years, we have pointed out the discrepancies of chart positions as tabulated by "The Big Three" national trade publication devoted to presenting this information ... Billboard, Cash Box and Record World.  It was not uncommon to find spreads of twenty chart positions between the three magazines. 

Along the way we learned that, much like payola affected which records got airplay in the late '50's and early '60's, numerous "favors" were granted in exchange for a better chart position ... little things like "buy a full page ad in next week's issue and your record will show up with a bullet and a ten point jump" ... and other practices far more involved. 

However, the bottom line is each of these publications used their own resources to calculate their chart information.  They each polled various radio stations for airplay and popularity, record distributors and record stores for number of units shipped (and number of units purchased) as well as any other number of "secret sources" to determine the relative popularity of any given song or artist.  But each of these trades used DIFFERENT sources to gather and tabulate this information.  Some factored in actual sales as a higher criteria ... others factored in airplay as being the key determining factor. 

The idea behind The Super Chart was to take ALL of this research and evaluation into consideration ... and then determine an across-the-boards ranking of the relative popularity of each week's hits by factoring in ALL of this research material available.  I came up with the concept ... but Randy Price did ALL of the heavy lifting, scouring through decades of published charts to determine "the most accurate ranking" possible by utilizing ALL of this available information and research.  I will stand and defend the end result as the most POSITIVE and ACCURATE charts available ... and our Special 1967 Fifty Year Flashback Feature will utilize ALL of this information each and every week of the year.   It is the first time EVER that this information has been shared and is yet another EXCLUSIVE of our commitment here in Forgotten Hits to consistently bring you THE MOST ACCURATE TRUTH POSSIBLE.  (Our hope is that after reviewing these results, we can FINALLY get this tremendous volume of work published and out to radio stations and interested fans and collectors to once and for all document the DEFINITIVE history of the pop charts as it needs to be shown.) 

You will also find the WLS Silver Dollar Survey and The WCFL Sound Ten Survey represented each and every week.  Copies of these charts came from lifelong collector Jack Levin who tediously scanned and sent every single week for both Top 40 Powerhouse 50,000 Watt Radio Stations here in Chicago.  (Due to their clear channel broadcasting, both WLS and WCFL could be picked up at night in nearly every state in the country.)  1967 also happened to be an EXTREMELY good year for Local Talent on our charts ... so you will be able to view the chart performances of many of our Local Heroes like The Buckinghams, The Cryan' Shames, The New Colony Six, The Ides Of March, Spanky And Our Gang, The Mauds, The Riddles and several others.  This, too, puts a unique spin on our series as we capture the "local feel" of the charts right alongside the national hit makers. 

Putting together a calendar of this sort presented MANY challenges along the way.  You would not believe the number of discrepancies published on the Internet as "fact".  As such, we found publications like Ron Smith's "Eight Days A Week", Bob Dearborn's "Olde Disc Jockey Almanac" and websites like "This Date In Rock And Roll History" to be invaluable sources.  Dozens of other "timeline" type sites were consulted and discrepancies were tracked down and investigated until we got a definitive confirmation of these dates.  Sometimes this meant checking newspaper pressings, a variety of specialty websites devoted to specific topics and yes, even Wikipedia from time to time ... what we found is that even if they weren't 100% accurate, they usually gave us a viable starting point that started us looking in the right direction.  I can only tell you it was exhaustive ... but necessary.  Along the way, we had some of these other sites and services make corrections to their OWN publications based on the documented facts we were able to offer, thus making ALL of this information far more reliable for future researchers.  (Think about it ... we only researched 1967 ... can you imagine how many OTHER erroneous facts are still floating around out there?!?!?) 

We researched TV Guide listings and websites devoted to programs like The Ed Sullivan Show, Where The Action Is, The Hollywood Palace, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and many, many more to try and present an accurate listing as to who performed what, when and where.  Are we still missing some?  I'd be shocked if we weren't!  But hopefully good response to this series will offer further insight and documentation to help make things more accurate for the future. 

Finally, whenever we could, we tried to talk to some of the artists themselves.  They, after all, were the ones who were there.  (Of course, Micky Dolenz's catch phrase has always been "I was there ... and they told me I had a really good time.")  Be that as it may, hopefully again we can present some interesting insight not found anywhere else.   (My hope is that as the series continues to unfold, more and more artists will contact us to share some of their personal memories and milestones with our readers.)

And thanks, too, to the many deejays who have pledged their support in getting the word out about our brand new series.  Guys like Scott Shannon, Rick O'Dell, Phil Nee, Allan Sniffen, Rich Appell, Citizen Bill, Mr. C, Lou Simon, Phlash Phelps and many, many more are going to be featuring tidbits from our series throughout the year ... meaning that you're going to get to hear even MORE great music from 1967 as the year unfolds.

Please stick around for the ride.  A new posting will hit the site EVERY DAY ... from December 30th, 2016 thru January 2nd, 2018, at EXACTLY 6 am Chicago time.  We will NOT be sending out reminders for these postings ... we're trusting you to bookmark the site and visit it daily. 

We can ALL have a really good time with this ... so feel free to comment and share your memories with us.  It is for that reason that we're asking you to subscribe to Forgotten Hits.  THOSE memories will go out as supplemental emails, typically once or twice a week, to the subscription list only.  If you haven't already done so, drop me an email at either or and ask us to put you on The 67 List.  Trust me ... you won't want to miss a thing ... and we encourage you to experience the WHOLE enchiladas!!!   

Stay tuned ... we're just hours away from the big launch.  Please tell everybody you know to jump on The Forgotten Hits '67 Bandwagon.  It's gonna be one hell of a ride!