Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 03 - 04 - 18 )

Here’s my tribute to the late Bill Burkette and The Vogues …
Man, I love this clip!!! (kk)

Hey Kent, 
Hope you are doing well, my friend.  So sorry to hear about Bill.
I pray his family peace. 
We had a great time playing their music for them many moons ago when they came to Ocala.  Great guys ... and even cooler, we saw them again when the Royal Guardsmen played the Cannery in Vegas.  They rocked the place.
I'd love to be able to see ya, Buddy ... just not sure how my schedule
is.  The Royal Guardsmen are doing a gig in St Pete, FL, on April 29th for Billy DeYoung.  He has completed a book about Phil Gernhard ... "Record Man" … well done,   I might add. 
Be safe, mi Amigo, and please shout anytime.

Hi Kent -
Thank You So Much for finding the Survey with my Photo on it.
And Thanks to Ron Smith too!
It was so much fun seeing it again! 
When in doubt I always say, ask the master!!!

How on earth did you find that picture of Carolyn on the survey?  I can see how you might have a copy of the front because that’s the chart information you would need …. but on the BACK???  That’s pretty amazing that you found it … and that Carolyn was featured on it at all way back then!

I have a copy of EVERY WJJD / Top Tunes of Greater Chicago Survey ever made (well, except for survey #2, that is, dated June 18, 1956, which nobody can say with 100% certainty actually exists because over the past 40+ years of collecting these, NOBODY has ever actually seen one … or so much as a copy of one!)
But you’re right … as a general rule, I am only interested in the chart information on the front … and a good majority of mine are just Xeroxed copies that I have collected over the years.
However, I do have a good stretch of REAL surveys from this timeframe and can see that these Coca Cola Top 40 Queen Awards had been going on for quite some time … in fact, some weeks as many as 4, 5 or 6 girls would be featured.  I just didn’t happen to have the one on hand that featured Carolyn.
So it was Ron Smith to the rescue … I contacted him to see if by some chance he had it … and he did.  Congratulations (55 years late!) to Carolyn for making the chart!  And all these years later, she’s STILL lovin’ the oldies.  (Hey, that’s what we’re here for!!!)  kk

UPDATE:  On the back side of another Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago Chart there's an ad for a potato chip company (Krun-chee) that shows a photo of the "Meet The Beatles" album on its package along with teaser copy in its ad that reads "Get The Beatles FREE! with Krun-chee Brand Potato Chips Twin Pack."  Obviously, there has to be a whole lot more to this story than that, as a Beatles album wouldn't fit inside a bag of potato chips (not even a twin pack!) nor would it be safe to do so with all the grease collected in that same bag!  I'm guessing there must be some type of entry form (either inside or on the other side of the bag) that the consumer would then mail in for a chance to win a copy of The Beatles' new LP.  (The first survey this ad ran on was dated March23, 1964, where The Beatles had six titles charted ... "Twist And Shout," #1, "I Want To Hold Your Hand," #2, "She Loves You," #3, the two-sided hit "Please Please Me" / "From Me To You," #4 and, premiering this week at #27, "Can't Buy Me Love.")  I've never heard another word about this promotion anywhere (nor can I find any mention of image of it online) and remember writing to Beatles Guru Bruce Spizer about it years ago to see if he had ever run across one in all his searches and Beatlefest appearances.  At the time he said he hadn't ... but since this ties in nicely with our survey piece above (and the promo for New York's annual Fest For Beatles Fans below), I thought it might be a good time to mention it again in case any other reader could shed some light on this subject.  (kk) 


Hi Kent!  
Thanks so much for mentioning my upcoming date at the Chicago Street Theater in Valparaiso.  I’m hoping that some of your readers can make it out to see the show.
Please let them know that I am looking forward to seeing you at my March 11th show at Chicago Street Theater. I’m presenting an intimate show featuring the songs from my The Songs cd with the some of the amazing players I’ve been touring this project with:  the Storm Chasers - Colin Peterik and on keyboards and vocals, Andy Ohlrich on fiddle and vocals, and Garrett Degnan on upright bass and vocals.  
The set reinvents many of my biggest hits. We are also premiering some new songs from the upcoming Songs Two release. 
Stories behind the songs will be told and the feeling will be relaxed. 
Hope to see you there.  
It’s a 7 pm Show … Sunday night … March 11th … at Chicago Street Theater in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Thanking you in advance for helping to spread the word about this show.
Rock on!!  

As I mentioned before, this is an entertaining night of music … music you already know and love, presented in a whole new way.  (I wish we could check it out again, especially if there is a “Songs Two” release coming!!!  Didn’t know about that one!)

Complete ticket information can be found here:
Believe it or not, we’re signed up for Grandparents Classes that day … with a new grandson on the way, due April 13th.  (I can’t believe we need to take classes for this!!!  We raised one of the parents!!!)
I guess there are always new things to learn … and technology has certainly improved … but the one thing I DO remember about those days that I’m sure HASN’T changed is this …
If the diaper box says 6-8 pounds … that’s about the MOST poop it can hold without spilling over and making a terrible mess.  (OK, so maybe I do need this class after all.)  kk

kk –
Look for this show on PBS.  I'm watching it now. GREAT!
Yep ... check out my review from a year and a half ago ...
After I watched it the first time, I had to watch it three more times again!!!
Here’s what I learned watching this documentary -
"Bye Bye Love" = Everly Brothers first Billboard Hit (1957) -
Writer Boudleaux Bryant got the idea for guitar intro after listening to his windshield wipers on a rainy day. 
"Take A Message To Mary" (1959) –
Writer Felice Bryant got the sound she wanted after listening to the thumping sound of her vacuum cleaner. Archie Bleyer told Boudleaux Bryant to tap an empty coke bottle with a screw driver to create the sound.
This is definitely a program worth seeking out … HIGHLY recommended.  (kk)

As mentioned above, East Coast Beatles Fans will be enjoying The Fest For Beatles Fans next weekend (March 9th, 10th and 11th) at The Hyatt Regency Jersey City On The Hudson … and man, what a line up of acts they’ve got coming to this event (many of whom are Forgotten Hits readers and contributors!)
Check this out: 
In addition to authors Jude Kessler and Bruce Spizer, Billy J. Kramer … Peter and Jeremy (as in Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde, each one half of the ‘60’s Dynamic Duos Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy!) … Randy Bachman … Gene Cornish (of The Rascals) … Mark Rivera … Neil Innes and, of course, Liverpool, the Beatles sound-alike band who perform at nearly all of these fests will all be there.  (A splendid time is guaranteed for all!)

Forgotten Hits Reader Frank B sent us that interesting link last week telling the story behind “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” … this is evidently a new feature by Professor Of Rock.  Today’s feature tells the story of “The House Of The Rising Sun,” as recorded by The Animals.  (kk)
(And if you missed that clip on The Righteous Brothers' song, scroll back and check it out ... it is DEFINITELY worth seeing!)  kk 

We found a nice profile of our FH Buddy David Salidor posted on The Mac  Wire this week …

Hi Kent, 
About a week ago, I made a video discussing my journey from Record Research customer to employee.  I posted it on YouTube and have received some nice feedback.  I thought you and your readers might be interested. 
Hard to believe it’s been 26 years.  That’s exactly half my life!
Paul Haney
Record Research
I think that most of us who grew up addicted to the charts have similar stories to tell ... that magical moment when we first discovered all of our painstaking, tedious research had already been done for us by The Chart Master, Joel Whitburn.  (For me, it was like moment in "The Wizard Of Oz" where suddenly the whole world was in color for the very first time!  lol)
When I was about the same age (13-14 years old, which would have put it right at the beginning of my favorite year in music, 1967) it was the WLS and WCFL surveys that I obsessed over each week, combining the chart data into what I considered to be the “ultimate local chart” and then typing and printing my own surveys every week (as well as doing my own weekly countdown for an audience of one in my bedroom.)
Again, I didn't understand how two radio stations broadcasting essentially the exact same music in the exact same city could possibly come up with different chart results ... and I've been fascinated by these discrepancies ever since.)
You have to remember that, as far as I knew, the ENTIRE world of music existed based on what I heard here in Chicago back then ... I had never even heard of Billboard Magazine or Cash Box or Record World … or considered that the music we heard in Chicago wasn’t necessarily the same music that everybody else was listening to all over the country … my whole world at the time was focused solely WLS and WCFL, which were my only source of information and entertainment.
The next step for me was to enter each song on its own index card, listing every chart position for every week it charted … soon I had to buy multiple large book cases just to house the never-ending volume of cards.
Once I learned of Billboard Magazine many years later, I sought out copies to compare their chart lists to my own … but it was difficult to find copies dating back to the era that mattered the most to me, which would have been 1964 – 1970.  In a story similar to yours, I eventually discovered that The Chicago Public Library Downtown Branch had copies of EVERY issue of Billboard Magazine available on microfilm!!!  So every weekend I could, I would take public transportation downtown and my girlfriend and I would man two different microfilm machines, scroll thru every page of every magazine until we found the charts, and then print out that week’s Hot 100 List.  (To this day, some 40 years later, I can still remember the smell and the pounding headaches I would have after doing this from the blur of the rapidly flashing pages as they would zip across the monitor screen.)  But eventually between the two of us, numerous trips downtown and probably hundreds of dollars in photo copies spread out over several months, I was able to collect a complete collection of every blurry  Billboard Hot 100 Chart from 1963 – 1975 they had on file.
Working at Rosary College at the time, I was eating lunch in the library one day when I found a copy of Joel Whitburn’s very first book, recounting The Billboard Top 100 Charts from November of 1955 thru 1969 … I honestly don’t know if this volume was ever even offered for sale to the general public or if it was published as strictly a reference manual ... thus the name, Record Research.  In fact, this particular edition that The Rosary College Library had had a 1970 addendum added to it.  Same thing … I would begin eating my lunch there every day, bringing my spiral notebook with me each time, and jotting down the titles of every song by every artist who mattered to me and recapping each hit with its peak position.  (Keep in mind this was WAY before computers … and ballpoint pen, paper and cramped fingers were the only option!)  I have often thought about going back to the library to see if by some miracle they still had a copy of this “first edition” as I would love to purchase it as a memento for my own private collection … as I have owned a copy of EVERY updated volume ever since … and still have them all packed away in boxes somewhere, keeping the most current volume within reach at all times on my computer desk.)
I remember seeing Joel's address in the back of the book ... the same one he still uses today some 45 years later ... in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and writing him a letter asking if there was any way that I could purchase a copy of his book.  As I recall, I never got an answer to my letter.
Shortly thereafter, I started reading Billboard Magazine on a somewhat regular basis and saw an ad for Joel’s book … “perfect for deejays and record fans” for sale.  It was at the time a small, paperback edition that now covered all of the chart data from 1955 – 1972 and I immediately ordered a copy.  (I swear to this day that it was MY letter that inspired him to market it to the masses ... but he'll never admit to that!  lol)  That original copy has been opened and closed so many times now I have to keep a rubber band around it just to hold all the pages together, which are so filled with writing and personal notes to render most of the pages useless by now anyway!  Lol  As torn and tattered as it is, I wouldn't dream of ever parting with it as obtaining it was such a significant moment in my life, even if it is held together by chewing gum and duct tape today!  (It was nice because it was portable enough to bring with me to record shows to help me fill in some of the holes in my collection.  The books today are nearly four times the size, both in overall dimensions and page count!)   

In fact, being of "like minds," I even ran into Joel once (for the very first time) at a small used record store in Oak Park, IL, where he was looking for a bunch of obscure albums that made The Billboard Top 200 Chart that he needed for his own collection.  He had been scouring all of the used record stores in the area in an effort to scratch some titles off of HIS want list.)
It’s a hobby – it’s an obsession – it’s been a way of life for SO long now that I can’t imagine life without them.  There is not a single day that has passed in the past 48 years that I haven’t referred to at least one of them for one reason or another.  (How’s that for a “celebrity endorsement”???)
And I love the way the books have continued to improve with each new printing, offering more and more information … B-Sides, songwriters, other chart positions, more detailed biographies, many for artists never heard from again after their first “hit” bubbled under in Billboard!  Truly an AMAZING amount of research and information … and they continue to be updated and corrected as new information comes along.
My understanding is that Joel has a copy of EVERY record ever charted.  (Although I’ve been invited, I still haven’t made it out to see “the vault” … I'm hoping we can finally do that this summer as even in my wildest imagination I can’t grasp what this must look like … to have EVERYTHING right there in one spot.  Amazing!)
And then, just when I thought it couldn't possibly get any better … the DREAM book … the one I’ve waited for for YEARS … The Chart Comparison Book, listing the peak position for EVERY record to chart in Billboard, Cash Box and Record World, all in one volume.  (Joel and I talked about this book for YEARS and I think we both felt it would never happen … there was NO way these three “competitors” would ever allow their proprietary information to be shared in a “side by side” fashion … yet Joel made it happen.  Plus you could still buy the individual books for each trade publication, too, dedicated to their own chart history.) 
And I could finally throw away all my microfilm xerox copies once Record Research published copies of each and every weekly chart in sharp, clear black and white.  Honest to God, it was like my life had come full cycle.  (Sound a bit dramatic???  Then you don’t release what a HUGE part of my life all of this research truly has been.)
So thank you, Paul, for sharing your recollections with us … I know a number of FH Readers will be able to relate (and have their own similar stories to tell.)  And thanks for indulging me while I told mine.  These books are such a HUGE part of my life and I feel forever indebted to Joel Whitburn and Record Research for all they’ve done.  Thanks again to Joel for helping me in some small way to fulfill MY purpose in life by bringing this information to the fans who appreciate it the most.  (kk)

UPDATE:  Joel's new "Top Pop Albums" book is scheduled for release later this spring ... and his Top Pop Hits Singles book (as well as the Chart Comparison book mentioned above) are ALL available thru the Record Research Website:

And finally ...

kk –
Did you know that March is "National Peanut Month?"
I did not!  (But what a GREAT way to end this week's Sunday Comments Page!)  kk