Sunday, March 5, 2017

March 5th

The Supremes earn a second week at #1 with their latest, "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone" while "Ruby Tuesday" by The Rolling Stones also holds at #2.  "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'" climbs five more notches to #3 for Johnny Rivers and "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" by The Casinos and "Sock It To Me, Baby" by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels also continue to climb the ranks … from #7 to #4 and from #10 to #5 respectively.  

The Beatles leap 22 places (from #28 to #6) with "Penny Lane" in only its third week on the chart while Herman's Hermits make an impressive move from #17 to #8 with their latest, "There's A Kind Of Hush".  Rounding out The Top Ten we've got "Kind Of A Drag" by The Buckinghams falling from #3 to #7, "Gimme Some Lovin'" by The Spencer Davis Group falling from #6 to #9 and sneaking into The Top Ten for the very first time, "My Cup Runneth Over" by Ed Ames, which climbs from #14 to #10.  

The Turtles just miss The Top Ten as "Happy Together" leaps sixteen places from #27 to #11.  Other big movers within The Top 40 include "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles (up to #14 from #30), "Dedicated To The One I Love" by The Mamas and the Papas, up sixteen places from #31 to #15, "Ups And Downs" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, who climb fourteen spots from #40 to #26, "The Return Of The Red Baron" by The Royal Guardsmen, up to #30 from #55, a leap of 25 places and "No Milk Today", a Herman's Hermits B-Side that climbs from #52 to #39, an impressive move of thirteen places.  

The Monkees hold on to the #1 spot on the album chart as "More Of The Monkees" notches its fifth week on top.  In a ten hour session at RCA Studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California, they continue to work on "I'll Spend My Life With You" and "Randy Scouse Git".  

Paul Revere and the Raiders appear on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  

An hour earlier, Dionne Warwick sings "The Way You Look Tonight" on The Ed Sullivan Show.  

Number One at the Box Office:  Hurry Sundown


One of the very first artists we ever talked to in Forgotten Hits were brothers Gene and Ron Hughes of The Casinos, who scored a Top Five Smash with their version of "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye".  It remains one of my all-time favorites ... not just of 1967 ... but of all-time ... it is such a well-written song.

kk / FH:  "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" is a GREAT song ... one of my personal favorites from 1967 ... and it STILL sounds great today!  And it's been a hit a few times since then, too ... Glen Campbell, Toby Beau, Eddy Arnold; it's just a great song! 
Ron Hughes:  After our hit, it was redone by many other artists and put onto many an album for sure.

FH:  It was written by John Loudermilk, right?

RH:  Right.

FH:  And how did you guys come across it?

RH:  Johnny Nash first recorded it ... we had heard his rendition of it ... and decided to do it on stage in our own style.  The Casinos started out as pretty much a doo-wop band with my brothers Gene and Glen and some friends from school ... Joe Patterson (who we lost a little while back), Pete Bolton (who could sing falsetto) and Ray White.  They cut a few records that made a little noise on the local scene like "Maybe" and "She's Outta Sight", etc., but nothing really happened outside the Cincy area.  In the mid-'60's, they decided to expand the group to include a complete brass section ... this is when I joined and we became known as The Casinos "Show" Band ... we played several local clubs and started to build a following.  When we added "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" to the line-up, the crowds went crazy ... especially the girls.  One night, Harry Carlson of Fraternity Records came by and heard us perform ... and saw the crowd's reaction ... and he signed us up.  We put out "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye", a song we had heard Johnny Nash do, backed with "I Still Love You", written by our guitar player, Mickey Denton ... ironically, it was "I Still Love You" that started to get the airplay ... we had to tell the radio stations to turn the record over and play the A-Side! Once they did, the record took off.  Soon we were touring with Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Beach Boys ... one-night stands all over the country!  It was like a one-year paid vacation for me.  Unfortunately, it was over almost as fast as it started.  They released a song called "It's All Over Now" as the next single, featuring Pete's falsetto lead vocal ... big mistake!  (We should have saved "I Still Love You" as our second release.)  I hung up my horn and never looked back.

FH:  Who did your arrangement?
RH:  Our arrangement was done by our guitarist and organ player in the group, Mickey and Bob ... in fact, Mickey wrote the flip side of  Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, I Still Love You which, at first, was getting as much air play as the A side until it went national.

FH:  The Casinos had been around quite a while before this song hit ... why do you think THIS particular song was so different?

RH:  LOL ...because the girls in the clubs loved it!

FH:  I've heard it compared to some of the things The Association were doing at the time.

RH:  Good group ... good songs ... The Association ... if we're being compared to that, it's a compliment to us.

FH:  Not a bad "association" at all, I guess!  (LOL)

RH:  At the time, I believe the Association had nine members, same as us.

FH:  A nine-member group wasn't really in fashion back then ... everything was starting to turn psychedelic right around that time. 
RH:  And we looked "odd" in suits and short hair, I reckon!

FH:  It always seems to be stressed (more by Gene, I guess, from what he's told me) how the band HAD to remain "clean-cut".

RH:  True, very true ... he  maintained "short hair / nice dress" on stage.

FH:  Was that a very conscious thing to appear "different" than what was going on?

RH:  To this day, he still performs like that ... lol ... it was just "our" choice to appear as we did.

FH:  So, is Gene the only member of 
The Casinos still performing today? 

RH:  He sometimes uses Ray White, the bass player and Pete Bolton, the falsetto, for local Nashville oldies shows.
EDITOR'S NOTE:  Please keep in mind that this interview took place several months before GENE HUGHES passed away ... in fact, we talked to him a few times on the phone down in Nashville, pretty much his "home base" at the time, to be sure that HE was happy with the way the interview had gone ... and to check and see if he had anything else to add to the mix.  In fact, I probably have one of a VERY select few promo / advance copies of their proposed GREATEST HITS CD ... and CERTAINLY one of a VERY limited number of SIGNED copies, which he sent me as a "Thank You" for featuring THE CASINOS here in FORGOTTEN HITS!!!)

kk:  Did you do much in the way of television appearances?
RH:  Not local TV stuff, no ... You can check ... Go to Boston ... Cleveland for shows on at the time ... I don't remember the call letters of the tv stations which taped us  : (
Once we showed up at radio station ... they looked at us surprisingly and said ... YOU'RE WHITE!!!!!!!!

FH:  lol
RH:  lol   we blusheddddddd ... unwhitened us fast

FH:  That's actually a pretty good compliment right there!!!!

RH:  Blue-Eyed Soul!

FH:  You mentioned in one of our earlier conversations that you toured with The Beach Boys ... being a HUGE Beach Boys fan, I've got to ask you, what that was like?
RH:  The Beach Boys ... Carl and Mike and Al Jardine ... great guys ... nuff said   : ) : ) : )  Touring was funnnn butttttt tiringgggg!!!  Especially the Beach Boys tours ... different city every night!

FH:  So you haven't stayed involved with music at all?  Were there opportunities after The Casinos
called it quits? 

RH:  Laid down the horn ... turned my back .... sing in shower .. no regrets.  Got into country record promotion in Nashville.  Worked with Gene in that for a couple years.

Here's a photo of us taken in 1968 ... 
From left to right:  Mickey Denton  (lead guitar);  Bob Armstrong  (organ and vocals);   ahem, moi ... Ron Hughes  (trumpet and vocals);  in front, Ray White (bass guitar and vocal arranger);  in back, Pete Bolton  (vocals and falsetto); in front, Tom Matthews  (drummer);  in back, Glen Hughes  (vocals);  against the tree, Joe Patterson, now deceased, (sax and vocals) and in front, Gene Hughes, (lead singer.)
Not pictured:  Bill Hawkins, who joined us on tour and played the trombone. 
(EDITOR'S NOTE:  Lead Vocalist Gene Hughes passed away shortly after our Forgotten Hits Interview ran.  He was kind enough to send me an autographed CD of The Casinos' Greatest Hits while we were talking, which I still have in my personal collection.)