Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 03 - 18 - 18 )

Cousin Brucie:  
As expected, my Cousin Brucie commentary on Friday sparked a series of responses.  Folks seem split into a few different camps on this one … those who say "cut him some slack … he was one of the best there ever was" … others who have NEVER cared for him in the first place and have always found him to be highly overrated … and then those who say, "yes, he's gotten older … and he's not what he used to be … but he was there for the dawn of it all … and if you weren't there with him, you probably won't get him at all now." 

And I can relate to that … if only by using our own Dick Biondi again as an example.  (I'll probably get crucified for some of this but there are a lot of parallels here, so here goes!) 

Biondi was revolutionary for his time … outspoken, outlandish … speaking out against the establishment by criticizing his boss and WLS Management on the air … he immediately established a unique bond with his audience and they LOVED him for it!  He was recording music parodies while Weird Al Yankovic, Steve Dahl and  Jonathan Brandmeier were still wearing diapers. 

Remember, rock and roll was brand new then … nobody knew how to handle it … because for the first time in pop music history, it was the KIDS who were dictating the hits … this music spoke directly to them … so even though most of these jocks (like Alan Freed and Biondi and Cousin Brucie and Wolfman Jack and Jerry Blavat and Hy Lit and all the others) were considerably older than their audience, they inspired these kids to “bring out the crazy” and enjoy this music … using whatever tactics they could come up with.  And it worked. 

But by and large the game changed once The British Invasion hit … jock patter became more sophisticated … they HAD to know about the music because there were new artists on the scene every week … names that would live in infamy forever more.  And these guys … this new crop of jocks … were there to make you feel part of the scene.  Perhaps the nationally most famous was Murray The K, who attached himself to The Fab Four as "The Fifth Beatle."  Here in Chicago it was people like Ron Riley and Art Roberts at WLS and Ron Britain and Barney Pip at WCFL that pushed the envelope, raising the intelligence level a notch by challenging the listeners to keep up and participate … and that worked well until the next wave of jocks came along and revolutionized our listening habits again forever more.  Guys like Super Jock Larry Lujack and John Records Landecker … before giving way to the Steve Dahls and Howard Sterns and Mancows who seemed to be there only to derive some type of shock value with their comments.  It wasn’t even about the music anymore.

I can only speak for Chicago here (and honestly, Biondi's golden time with WLS ended before I was even listening to the radio ... and I would have been too young to get most of it anyway) ... but there was a time when EVERY teenager was listening ... there really wasn't anything much in the way of competition back then for Top 40 Rock And Roll ... WLS was it ... and anything that Biondi said or did was heard by ALL ... and repeated and talked about the next day within those circles.  (It was like that with Lujack in the '70's and '80's ... all you had to do was start a sentence at any time during the day with, "Did you hear what Lujack said this morning?" and it was an automatic, resounding "Yes" ... because EVERYBODY was listening ... everybody heard it and those conversations continued to spark throughout the day because we were all joined as one and hung on every word to hear what he was going to say next.) 

The simple fact is, hard as it may be to swallow, that guys like Biondi and Cousin Brucie really haven’t been relevant since 1963.  That’s taking NOTHING away from these guys … they’re broadcasting LEGENDS … and had such a HUGE impact on the lives of MILLIONS of teenagers growing up that those same fans will tolerate a sub-standard performance today just because of who these guys were and how much they meant. 

Chicago LOVES Dick Biondi … he’s an institution … we've named a street after him here! ... we’re doing all we can to help raise funds to make a documentary on his life, a documentary that NEEDS and deserves to be made to celebrate a life worth celebrating … but the plain and simple truth is that he hasn’t done a show entertaining enough to be worth remembering since the ‘70’s.  

Still, he LIVES to be on the radio … he's actually told me that he wanted to die on the air … it’s all he’s ever done … it’s all he’s ever known … radio is the love of his life and he has dedicated every minute of his life to it … but just like every other fad that comes along, it comes with an expiration date.
Bruce Morrow’s passed decades ago.  The difference is he still tries to speak with some authoritative relevance.  While he was still on the air, Biondi would reminisce about those early day … GREAT stories … and many of the artists would even call in or come on the air to reminisce with him.  Dick (and ONLY Dick) could get away with deviating from the play list and spin some of the records he played on WLS back in the early '60's because there was usually a great story behind them ... or a lifetime loyal listener request that just couldn't be denied and had to be honored.

Health issues have kept him off the air for awhile now ... and he really should have gracefully retired 25 years ago ... but he just loves it too much ... and his audience loves him ... so radio has provided a "permanent home" until such time he simply can't do this anymore.  (Much like Morrow, I imagine, what radio programming director would EVER want it on his epitaph that HE was the guy who fired Dick Biondi for the last time?!?!)   

Every major artist from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s owes a HUGE debt to Dick Biondi for the boost he gave their careers … if only by playing them and talking about them on the air.  I guess in that respect, Cousin Brucie deserves the same … but then up your game a little bit if you want to stay in it.  The old schtick doesn’t work in 2018.  Go ahead and rest on your laurels while you still can … and bask in the adoration of the fans ... but then shut up once in awhile and play some music!!!  (kk)
Check out these two cool ‘60’s DeeJays links that I found … you'll find Cousin Brucie and Dick Biondi listed on BOTH of these … Biondi's even listed at #1 on one of them.  They truly changed the game in a revolutionary way ... but then never really changed again with it to keep up with the times ... thus never really developing their original connection with any type of a new audience.  The diehards who were there remain true ... but can anybody name ANYTHING that either Dick Biondi or Cousin Brucie have said or done on the air that's been worth repeating since 1975???

One reason I enjoy following your efforts - you ain't afraid to "Say It Like It Is," even if I find you to be misguided in rare instances ("It Must Be Him" by Vicki Carr will always be Puke City, USA to me).  

Anyway .... Hear! Here! regarding the incredibly lame legend NYC DJ, Cousin Brucie and his woeful, laughable Hollies comment. I'll go even further - people who grew up in the NYC area routinely champion and brag about 77WABC and their line-up of jocks. I personally am sick and tired of the incessant flag-waving for a station that was really BORING to listen to. 
For me, I was a little bit too young for their 1960's heyday. During the early to mid 1970s, I preferred my local stations over tuning in W-A-Bloated-C on the transistor radio. If I was somewhere, and WABC was playing on the radio, I'd flip the dial every chance I got. The weekly playlist selected by gestapo programmer Rick Sklar notwithstanding (they were always a month behind, charting hits that already peaked and were recurrents locally).  Of all their jocks, Brucie was thee worst.  His god-awful, idiotic "eeeyyyeeee" squeals were aural fingernails clawing a chalkboard. His delivery was totally goofy, and came across as someone who tried way to hard, in my opinion, to sound hip.
When I began collecting old 1960s radio airchecks in the mid-1980s, WABC was one of the stations often sent to me via trades with other collectors.  Upon careful listening, I reaffirmed my assumptions - the format was cluttered, the jocks rambled far too long, the songs were overplayed and late when compared to other competing stations.  I grew to be even more annoyed with the incessant gabbing of Cousin Bruce.  Whereas Ingram was tolerable, Brucie was just too damn annoying. If I lived in NYC, I'd be tuning into any other available Top 40 station, not WABC.
When I discovered the Chicago stations WLS and WCFL via old airchecks, thanks to my long time pal Clark Besch, I was immediately hooked.  Ron Britain and Barney Pip sounded and delivered a much more teen oriented attitude while sounding "with it", whereas WABC jocks were elders trying to be hip. And upon discovering KHJ! Wow!! Where have ya BEEN all my life?  Morgan, Mack, Steele, Riddle, Tuna, and Humble Harv ... Christ! These jocks kicked Top-40 ass round the clock!! That was exactly the kind of station I would've been hooked on 24-7 as a teenager during their heyday. Uncluttered on-air presentation, catchy short jingles, and rockin' weekly playlists that were immediate and happening. Naysayers of Bill Drake and Ron Jacobs can just stick it - those guys were like the Beatles of radio programming during the 1960s. I know WABC was the all-time greatest share-rated station during their heyday, but, so what? As a listener and fan of Top 40 radio, I have always been more concerned and interested in quality, not overall popularity.
Now, regarding Cousin Brucie's errant authoritarian commentary with Graham Nash - absolutely no excuse for that idiotic, uninformed assertion. I'll bet if someone like myself or you were able to tell him
right afterward about the comment, I'll bet any amount of money that Brucie's reply would be, "So what?  Nobody really cares about that stuff."
I'm not surprised, however, that this kind of rewriting history of rock and roll occurs regularly with Sirius programming - most of the people who work there think MTV was the first channel to broadcast rock and roll, support rap music artists as rock and roll hall of fame inductees (barf!) and certainly can't name five Chuck Berry songs, let alone identify him without having to look via their smartphone. The Sirius formats are impotent flops, especially when it comes to oldies.  The same, overplayed 150 songs.  The oldies jocks, like the esteemed Cousin Bruce, are boney fossils that should have been sent out to pasture years ago. There are far, far better options to listen to than Sirius for oldies  -  via webstream on the 'net, brought direct to you from people who operate their own internet stations.  They are passionate, they know rock and roll history, and jeez, you can actually hear something you may not know, or have not heard in eons.  There is no chart referencing program director telling you: "Hey, you can't play *that* song, it only peaked nationally at #22, it wasn't a hit." Is it any wonder the scant few oldies formats broadcasting on terrestrial radio are perpetually whirling around in the toilet before changing formats?
My late, former DJ friend had it absolutely right whenever we conversed about radio (almost always, as we had both been employed as DJ's on AM and FM stations for a time) - terrestrial radio has gone the way of the DINOSAUR.  Thank God the people who worked during the Top 40 heyday of the 60's and '70s kept tabs on the operation by recording the broadcasts. I'll listen to one of my 1,000s of airchecks anytime over some modern oldies channel or station. Folks like yourself, Clark Besch, and many others are the true behind-the-scenes kingpins keeping the spirit and fun alive, not the has-been Cousin Bruce's of the radio world.
Mike Markesich

You'll find some serious rebuttal by way of this perspective from Allan Sniffen who, by the way, I believe runs HANDS DOWN, BAR DONE, the best Internet Oldies Station on the planet, Rewound Radio.   
They help keep the spirit of Top 40 Radio alive by running vintage airchecks over the weekend and while tied to the past of WABC by nature, they also feature programming from Top 40 Jocks from all over the country including (somewhat frequently) many of our Chicagoland heroes who, I believe, raised the bar significantly when it came to entertaining broadcasting.

Here's his take on this whole Cousin Brucie thing …

Hi Kent:
As you know, I run the Musicradio WABC web site (since 1996) and program and DJ on Rewound Radio.  I grew up with Cousin Brucie and have chronicled his career on and on Rewound Radio.  I saw your comments about his flubbing the Hollies song and I'd like to give you some perspective on Bruce Morrow.
I totally understand why you're not a fan.  If you didn't grow up with him on WABC, you'll never get him.  I will tell you that he was amazing as the nighttime DJ on the biggest radio station in the nation of that era (WABC).  He had a sixth sense for how to appeal to his young audience as a friend, "cousin" and confidant.  No one ... and I mean no one (yes, I'm including Dick Biondi) was as good at that as he was.  He really was sincere and in the process advocated his listeners do the right things.  He truly reached them through a small transistor radio stuck under a pillow.  His fan base will never lose that bond he created back then.
All that said, if you're not one of the millions of baby-boomers who became a fan at that time, you'll never get him now.  As an adult hearing him since about 1974, he sounds like a DJ with poor technical skills and goofy commentary who should talk less.  He's partially responsible because he's been riding his own coattails for so long he's become a caricature of himself.  It's like a TV sitcom when they exaggerate the past. 
Bruce messed up the Hollies / Graham Nash story because he doesn't know any better.  He was never really into the music as New York DJ's Scott Muni or Bob Lewis were.  What he wanted was to be a star and if the music got him there, he was cool with it.  As the years have gone by, he's tried to set himself up as a music historian because that's where the tide has taken him as his baby-boomer audience has aged. 
For the most part, he gets away with it as long as someone is ghost writing behind him and he stays on the script.  To those who love him, it's just "Brucie being Brucie".  They don't care if he's not perfect.  If anything, it makes him more endearing.  To those who don't get him, it's maddening.  I talk to radio people all the time who think I'm crazy for celebrating him.  I get why.  Imagine if you're a Real Don Steele fan!
I suspect Sirius messed up the segment and gave him an inappropriate song.  Then he didn't know any better and you heard the results.  Annoying as it is, his fans won't mind a bit.  
-- Allan Sniffen

Cousin Brucie is the most miserably boring jock in radio history. He once dared at an oldies concert I attended at Madison Square Garden around '95 to declare that rock 'n roll had been invented in the men's room at the high school he attended in Brooklyn.
He is the primary reason I am closing my subscription to Sirius. Book it, the Drive 97.1 has a better overall play list that this satellite crap. Wow, I feel better already.
Chet Coppock
New book: "Chet Coppock in Pursuit of Chet Coppock" due out in July

Hi Kent: 
Sorry to hear about Cousin Brucie's faux pas regarding Graham Nash. I'm one of those Brucie fans dating back to when I was about six years old in northern New Jersey, and an avid listener of WABC. Brucie has always been somewhat eccentric, with his rapid-fire talk and almost stream-of-consciousness patter (evident on his airchecks from the '60s and '70s, preserved on the web site I don't have satellite radio, so I haven't heard him on Sirius or anywhere else in quite some time, but I agree that he should have taken at least a moment to double-check himself before presenting the wrong song to demonstrate Nash's wonderful singing. In his defense, I could only speculate that it was a case of Brucie having had the song in his head for the past several decades, always attributing the vocals to Nash, even though that wasn't the case. Lord knows the man must have such an overstuffed musical database in his brain that a glitch is bound to happen once in a while. I'm sure I've done that myself many times, unwittingly crediting one artist for something that another had recorded. I understand your point that a professional of Brucie's experience and stature should not make such a glaring mistake, and, to be honest, I'm surprised that he is still going strong at his advanced age. Those who aren't fans of his might argue that it's time for him to hang-up the ol' headset, but his genuine enthusiasm for what he does can't be denied. So, while it was an embarrassing (or, if you prefer, inexcusable) mistake for him to make, I personally would give him a pass this time. His intentions were good, in praising Nash's work, he just screwed up by choosing a song he thought was a Nash vocal, but simply wasn't. I'm sure it's been pointed out to him by now. Oh,well. We're all human. Anyway, keep up the good work!
--Garry Berman

I didn't hear the "Cousin Brucie" Morrow gaffe, but I'm not the least bit surprised.  To put it bluntly, at age 82 Bruce Morrow is past it.   He was big-big-big in New York 50 years ago, but these days he's just a shadow of his former self.  His SiriusXM show is an embarrassment ... constantly calling everyone "cousin" and basically babbling, when listeners want to hear music.  It is indeed sad when people "age out," but sadder still when they don't realize it and continue to pretend they're still as good as they used to be. 
Henry M / Connecticut

Hi Kent,
Oh, you’ve touched on a pet peeve of mine too!!  That’s not the first time I’ve of the Graham Nash / ”Long Cool Woman” comment from a deejay.  This happens a lot with many bands these days and I’m yelling at the radio that the deejay is a moron!
Yes, Cousin Brucie does seem more interested in talking than taking any interest in the music he’s playing.  Seems to me at this point he’s been doing it for so long that he’s fairly confident about what he says, details be damned.  But the Hollies one is a great mistake that many have made.  I’ve also heard Diana Ross mentioned with the Supremes as they’re about to play “Up the Ladder to the Roof” or “Stoned Love”, both hits with Jean Terrell on vocals after Ross left.  If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t tell us who’s singing.
Sirius XM music stations are constantly frustrating to me.  The 60’s channel is better than most “oldies” stations but still plays songs that made the top 10 and rarely go much deeper.  Very frustrating.  And the Volume channel … oh my!  A music talk channel is an excellent idea but most of what I hear on this channel are former deejays (or veejays from MTV who are now legends I guess) talking about some of the most inane topics or some of the most inconsequential “artists” like Bieber or some other passing pop star that matters not.  The Debatable show is, on occasion, interesting if the deejays could stop trying to impress us with how much they know.  There are some great interviews with some legends sometimes and there is the occasional half hour interview with some unique performers or music related players.  Just not enough of this overall.  A lot of filler it seems to me.
The Eddie Trunk on Volume show is all heavy metal 90% of the time even though he says it’s not about that.  I listen in to see how long it takes for him to mention Kiss on any given day.  It rarely takes very long.  Still, I like his enthusiasm and knowledge of his genre as he is genuine and truly loves his music and the people that make it.
The Deep Tracks is quite good as it plays album tracks that you may remember or not but it’s much better than hearing the same old stuff.  My only frustration here is how many times they play “hits” that we’ve heard many times and aren’t, um, deep tracks!
The Rascals news is indeed fascinating and wonderful to hear about.  I’m one of their biggest fans from back in the day and know every song and album by heart.  They made some amazing, soul-filled, rock and sounded like no other. 
I did see the “Once Upon A Dream” show (twice) and thought it was quite good.  They played the hits as well as some deeper tracks which was really nice to hear.  Hopefully this will happen with the new incarnation.  Frustrating that Dino won’t be involved as he is a fantastic and underrated drummer and truly should be playing on these songs.  My fear is that Carmine might overplay as he can do, although he is an amazing drummer also.  These guys all go back to NY / Long Island scene of the 60’s and I’m guessing have known each other from way back then.
Try as I have, I’ve never gotten the whole scoop on the breakdown of the Rascals and why it is so hard for them to get together.  40 years passed before the “Dream” tour and it was amazing to hear that they were getting together again and so great to see them together making music.  Felix always infers that Eddie leaving during the “Search and Nearness” sessions was as the core of their distance.  He seemed very bitter when he did talk about it in interviews and laid the end of the Rascals on Eddie’s leaving but I suspect there are two sides to this one like everything else.
I also saw a Facebook post from Dino a couple of years ago where he said that if the Rascals were to get together again that there would have to be contracts signed and everyone getting the same share of the pie.  Not sure but it sounds like he might have been bitter about the “Once Upon A Dream” situation and how things played out there.
As much as I love this band, I saw Felix’s show last year and was quite disappointed.  He sounds great but seemed like he was just going through the motions ... played the hits and was gone after about one hour and then a two song encore.  Why travel from city to city and play as little as you can?  I never understand this with bands.  “Here’s the hits you came to hear with a guitar solo thrown in here and there, good-bye.”   Oh well.
AXS-TV is a highlight on the vast wasteland of music on tv, agreed!  Some great concerts and interviews.  The Dan Rather interviews are really quite good (even though Dan wouldn’t be my first choice for this) with some important musicians.  This coming Tuesday he’ll be interviewing John Densmore and Robbie Krieger from the Doors.
Bubble Puppy vs. Balloon Farm … tough call!  I was a big fan of “Question of Temperature” back in the day. 
Thanks, Kent, for all you do.  You got me thinking today!!
Jim House

Jimmy Wisner
I am so sad today to have lost my great friend, Jimmy “The Wiz” Wisner, who passed away March 13th. He was my arranger, co-producer, and songwriting partner for 52 years. Our first record together was "I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW" in 1966. Our latest collaboration was two songs on my soon to be released new album ALIVE! ... he will be terribly missed! Our prayers go out to Jane, his wife, and Matt, his son.
Tommy James

Hi Kent. 
I was so saddened by the passing of Jimmy Wisner.
I worked with him on so many record productions.
His production of Bob Dileo's "Band In Boston" was so cool.
I wrote the song with my writing partners Bobby Feldman (who was one of The Strangeloves and co-producer of The Angels and The McCoys.) The other writer on that song was my longtime writing partner Gene Allan, who was originally in The Tempos, who recorded an early version of "See You In September".
Jimmy Wisner did an incredible job every time I worked with him.
Truly a legend of his era.
See you this summer when I take over as the lead singer of The Turtles on the "Happy Together Tour".
Rock on bud,
Ron Dante
Looking forward to it.  Thanks for the insight on "Band In Boston," a pretty cool undiscovered track!  (kk)

Don't forget Jimmy "The Wiz" Wisner's own Top 10 hit, "Asia Minor," which he recorded under the name "Kokomo" because he was afraid his peers in the classical music field would look down on him for cutting a pop record!   "Asia Minor" -- a rocklin' adaptation of Grieg's "Piano Concerto in A Minor" -- soared to #8 in the spring of 1961.
Gary Theroux
"The History of Rock 'n' Roll"

On the passing of Jimmy Wisner, musical producer, arranger, songwriter, nothing was said but isn't this the same Jimmy Wisner who, in 1961, had a record with a catchy little tune called ASIA MINOR on Felsted records? He recorded it under the name of Kokomo. This was not mentioned maybe because it might be considered one of the least of his accomplishments.
Larry Neal
Double-mentioned now for good measure!  (kk)

This And That: 
Eagle Rock Entertainment will be releasing Days Of Future Passed Live by The Moody Blues on DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD and 2LP next Friday on March 23th.
Filmed in high definition, this title captures the incredible night when the band performed Days Of Future Passed live in its entirety with a full orchestra.
The Moody Blues’ classic 1967 album Days Of Future Passed  is regarded as one of the foundation stones of the progressive rock genre. In 2017, the band headed out on the album’s 50th Anniversary Tour, including this stop at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts in Toronto, accompanied by a full orchestra. The concert begins with the band by themselves performing a selection of classic Moody Blues tracks before they are joined by the orchestra to perform Days Of Future Passed in its entirety plus a couple of fantastic encore tracks. The bonus feature, entitled ‘Remembering Days Of Future Passed’, delivers brand new interviews with Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge discussing the making of this classic album.
The Moody Blues, Justin Hayward (guitar, vocals); John Lodge (bass, vocals) and Graeme Edge (drums, percussion) are joined on stage by Norda Mullen (flute, guitar, percussion, vocals); Julie Ragins (keyboards, percussion, guitar, saxophone, vocals); Alan Hewitt (keyboards, vocals); Billy Ashbaugh (drums, percussion) and Elliot Davis (musical director, conductor and co-arranger). The live show also features the voice of Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons on the two spoken word tracks Morning Glory and Late Lament.
Days Of Future Passed Live is available on DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD and 2LP and can be ordered here.

Hi Kent!  
Great column jam packed with great nuggets!  
Thanks for posting the clip from Paul Shaffer’s new show on Sirius XM. Looks great. Paul is a old friend and I called to congratulate him. Wanted to thank all our friends for the well wishes yesterday on our day -  the Ides Of March! 
We are busy getting ready for our two set show at the Metropolis in Arlington Heights on Mar 23rd.  The two set show will start out unplugged ... and then the second set will feature full brass jacket, including a couple of songs we haven’t done in decades and a newer one we never play called Who I Am from our box set. 
You can also catch The Ides at City Winery May 3rd. If you’ve never been there, you will love this venue. 
And don't forget the next Cornerstones show at the Arcada on Sunday, April 29th. It'll be a matinee show with a few surprises!  Tba soon!
Thanks again, Kent, for keeping the music and the memories alive. 
Rock steady.

I’ve always believed Graham Nash receives WAY to much credit for the success of the Hollies. Allan Clarke was the voice of the group, with Nash AND Tony Hicks providing back-up vocals and parts of the great Hollies three-part harmonies. Nash seems to get way too much reciprocal Hollies credit because of his Crosby / Stills / Nash membership, while Clarke gets way too little. Even Nash, at the Hollies’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, called Clarke one of the greatest lead vocalists in rock history.
Bob Verbos
I would agree that Allan Clarke has one of the greatest (yet under-appreciated) voices in rock history … he was a key part of The Hollies' sound … but it was their incredible three-part harmony that won the band their greatest accolades over the years … other groups aspired to be just like them.  (Here in Chicago nearly all our Local Heroes were first inspired by the incredible vocals The Hollies demonstrated … themselves HUGE fans of The Everly Brothers.)
This goes to one of my greater on-going points about The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame … (oh no, there he goes again, off on another RRHF tangent!!!)  But the WHOLE point of this organization was to recognize the artists who moved the genre of rock and roll forward into new directions with new ideas and inspiration.  Back then, artists influenced each other … and egged each on to newer and greater heights because of the extreme amount of competition for airplay and fan base.   So you had The Everly Brothers inspiring The Hollies (they ultimately cut an album together … can you even IMAGINE what that must have felt like for The Hollies to be there in the studio working with and producing perhaps their favorite artists of all time!!!) … and then The Hollies inspired other artists all over the world to strive for better harmonies and finding that third and fourth part.  Who the heck did Bon Jovi inspire?!?!  We can see who inspired THEM … but what have THEY done to move the genre forward?  (OK, stepping off the soap box now!)
If you haven't already done so, read Graham Nash's biography … it is a glowing tribute to the vocal abilities of his oldest and dearest friend, Allan Clarke.
And by ALL means pick up a copy of The Hollies DVD "Look Through Any Window" … it is an absolute MUST HAVE for EVERY music collection, INCREDIBLY well done, spotlighting the true talents of ALL of the members of the band.  (You'll find our review here, along with a few other comments and a look at Graham Nash's book.)
Meanwhile, you've inspired me to run this clip again, too!  (kk)

Now granted, it IS Graham who takes the lead on this one (pointing that out for Cousin Brucie's sake, too, in case he wasn't sure!) but this is just SUCH a cool clip I had to feature it again!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
Great info on Graham Nash, especially with "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" (one of my favorites!).
A singer of the past, Ronnie Hawkins (& the Hawks) how amount some insight on him?
One of his best songs was  "MARY  LOU" (cool lyrics for the day: "I had a '55 Ford and a Two Dollar Bill and when she took that it gave me a Chill...")
I don't know that we've ever done any type of feature on Ronnie Hawkins (although I know he has come up a time or two … but I wouldn't know where to begin to find it!!!)
"Mary Lou" was a #24 Hit back in 1958 … so the least we can do is feature it!  (kk)

Have you ever printed a Disc Jockey countdown like this one? 
March 15, 1958.

No, but this is exactly the type of chart I was talking about from back in the day when Billboard ran multiple pop hit charts in their publication.  This continued until 1958 when everything was finally consolidated into The Hot 100 Chart, which is the way these records have been ranked ever since.  (kk)
And, since we're stuck in 1958, let's feature this one, too!
WE thought it was a BRILLIANT move … but apparently not everybody felt the same way.  (On the other hand, back in 1975 we couldn’t understand why on earth The Eagles would want to bring Joe Walsh on board … or why he’d want to stay there!)
But Vince Gill seems to be fitting in just fine … and it sounds like everybody’s happy all the way around.
FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this clip of Gill talking about this:  

Hey Kent -
I did an extensive interview with Bill Champlin, who was with Chicago from 1981-2008. He's the guy who suggested they use producer David Foster, which ended up both invigorating and fracturing the band. Bill explained that it wasn't just the horn section that felt marginalized - Foster brought in studio musicians (often the Toto guys) to play, which made the band feel like an upscale version of The Monkees. It became all about Peter Cetera, which was rough not only on the band, but on the fans who heard Chicago go from "25 To 6 To 4" to "Hard To Say I'm Sorry."
Before Chicago, Bill was in a great San Francisco band called Sons Of Champlin. They were right there musically, but couldn't break through because of (as Bill explained) their youthful stupidity. He also co-wrote Earth, Wind & Fire's "After The Love Has Gone" and George Benson's "Turn Your Love Around." Fortunately, he didn't hang up on me when I asked why the girl in that song was "charging by the hour" for her love.
Here's the interview:
Be Well,
Carl Wiser

Carl also did a recent interview with Andy Kim, which can be found here:

And so did WRCO's Phil Nee, who sent us this clip to share:

It was exactly 50 years ago today that The Beatles had a song on the charts titled LADY MADONNA.
Five months later they would release the follow up single -- HEY JUDE.
Question:  Did Paul McCartney have a thing for Biblical names?
Could be … Mother Mary came to him a couple of years after that!  (And let's not forget Gideon's Bible in "Rocky Raccoon"!)  kk

As to the recording of  THE (real) McCOY by the Ventures, I did not know that the instrumental was on the flip of WALK, DON'T RUN. However, and I went to double check since I have the 45, THE REAL McCOY came out in 1959 on Blue Horizon records with a flip called COOKIES AND COKE. Now the song THE REAL McCOY was written according to the record by Wilson and Bogle. The tune THE REAL McCOY is an instrumental with an occasional word or two spoken by a Walter Brennan sound alike. There might be a discrepancy here somewhere but I don't know.
You say you are going to have a special feature on Easter Sunday, April 1. Looking forward to that. Are you going to be posting I WANNA BE AN EASTER BUNNY by the Singing Reindeer? (lol)
Larry Neal
So obviously "The Real McCoy" is a totally different recording that "The McCoy" then … now I'm curious to hear it!  (Especially since it predates The Ventures' hit status!)
Sorry, no … no Singing Reindeer for Easter … but a more in-depth look back at the '50's than we typically do in Forgotten Hits.  Stay tuned … I think you'll enjoy it!  (kk)

I’m not sure I understand the relevance of these two Annette Funicello links I got today … but here goes!

kk …
Johnny Crawford (The Rifleman) talks about Annette.

And then …

You probably don't remember this movie.  It’ a fun song.

Are you kidding me???  We’ve featured “The Monkey’s Uncle” a whole bunch of times before in Forgotten Hits!
In fact, I remember playing it one time on Jim Shea’s morning show and making the comment that if they remade this movie today, it would probably star Miley Cyrus, Maroon Five and Snakes On A Plane!  (Definitely a better song than a movie!)  kk