Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23rd

Making leaps of five spots or more in The Top 40 this week we find "San Franciscan Nights" by Eric Burdon and the Animals (#34 to #25), "There Is A Mountain" by Donovan (#52 to #29), "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison (#39 to #31), "Funky Broadway" by Wilson Pickett (#48 to #33), "You Know What I Mean" by The Turtles (#46 to #34), "The Letter" by The Box Tops (#63 to #35), "The Windows Of The World" by Dionne Warwick (#47 to #38), "Higher And Higher" by Jackie Wilson (#53 to #39) and "Blues' Theme" by Davie Allan and the Arrows (#45 to #40). 

Bumped from consideration for the "Our World" worldwide television special, The Beatles return to the studio tonight to work on Paul's "Your Mother Should Know".  (Actually the filmed sequence that appears at the end of their "Magical Mystery Tour" television special is one of the few highlights of that hour.)

Herman's Hermits (with The Who as their opening act) perform at Atwood Stadium in Flint, Michigan.  

Ironically after passing on an opportunity to visit Graceland a week earlier because The King was out of town, The Monkees and Elvis are both scheduled for recording sessions at RCA Studios today in Hollywood, CA.  Elvis ended up cancelling his sessions at the very last minute so The Monkees did three split sessions between noon and 1 am.


Davie Allan has been a friend of Forgotten Hits for many years now.  His 1967 Hit "Blues' Theme" was a #3 smash here in Chicago (and we've seen several charts where it actually ranked at #1) yet nationally the best showing it ever had was at #27 in Record World.  (It peaks this week at #40 on our Super Chart.)

A good part of the reason for this is that once again the record never reached its full momentum at the same time across the country.  For example, although it was released several months earlier, "Blues' Theme" premiered on either April 15th or April 22nd on the national charts ... but didn't debut here in Chicago until July!  As such, the record enjoyed the unfortunate fate of becoming popular in various new cities across the USA as it was already falling off the charts in others.  Had this record had the advantage of mass saturation and accumulated sales and airplay all at the same time, it likely would have been a National Top Ten Hit.

Davie fills us in on a little more about the history of his best-known song and his band, The Arrows ...   

Being in the middle of the “Summer Of Love”, 1967, made me wonder if our music (especially the “Cycle-Delic Sounds of…” LP) was okay for that time. We had a two-night gig at the “Hullabaloo” in Hollywood and we were booed the first night by all those flower children. The next day I went to a toy store and bought four sets of bows and rubber-tipped arrows. That night when they started harassing us again, we shot the arrows into the audience. We didn't know what to expect, but we were a bit surprised because many of them got a kick out of it. 

When we did “The Wild Angels”, I knew I had found my niche and I never wanted to turn off the fuzz! I went on to do a couple dozen other soundtracks many of which were “biker” films such as “Devil’s Angels”, “Born Losers” (that introduced the character “Billy Jack”) and “The Glory Stompers” (with a pre-“Easy Rider” Dennis Hopper). In interviews I have stated that “Blues’ Theme” was my attempt to have my guitar sound like a Harley motorcycle! Also, a reviewer said I sounded like “Duane Eddy with dirty fingernails”. I even recorded a takeoff / tribute to Duane on my 2013 album “Retrophonic 4” titled “Don’t Blame Duane”. 

During our 1967 tour, a stop at “Tower Records” in New York brought a great piece of news. Even though “Blues’ Theme” only went to #37 on Billboard, it was hitting top five just about everywhere as it traveled from town to town (December, 1966 to September, 1967) and I was told at the label that it had sold 800,000 copies! I haven’t said much about this, but I only made $2000! And to get my credit on “The Wild Angels” album, I waived any chance of royalties (and that album went up to #17 on Billboard’s chart!). Outrageous treatment (somebody made a ton of money but not me or my band members). Having said that, I must say that my career has had plenty of ups with the downs. 

So, here we are after the 50th anniversary of “The Arrows” in 2015 plus the 50th anniversary of “The Wild Angels” in 2016, we now have the 50th anniversary of “Blues’ Theme” in 2017! By the way, the apostrophe is in the right place because “Blues” was Peter Fonda’s name (not “Blue”).   
Davie Allan