Monday, April 9, 2018

A Monday Morning Quickie!

>>>Al Jardine will be teaming back up with Brian Wilson for a series of shows that’ll run through the end of the year. This time around they’ll be performing the entire 1964 Beach Boys Christmas Album along with some of the tracks from Brian’s solo Christmas album “All I Really Want For Christmas” … which begs the question … does ANYBODY out there really want to hear this block of material performed live???  (kk)   

Are you kidding? 
Every Beach Boys fan(atic) worth their vibe would love to hear this performed live. Take a listen to the five Beach Boys' original songs and think of them outside their Christmas theme. Very good, very timely (as related to rock & roll at that time), very much fun.
Forgive the self-promotion but I've written an article on how Beach Boys Christmas is their "family" album: The Beach Boys All-In-The-Family Album 

Comments / Observations  
The Beach Boys, birthed as a garage band with some harmony thrown in, grew into an American phenomenon releasing a string of hit albums covering the surf music wave, the car craze, and surfer girls. "Best of The Beach Boys" fans often overlook the creative, even daring albums they recorded. Artists and critics from across the music spectrum praise the groundbreaking "Pet Sounds" ('66) and the mind-blowing "SMiLE" (studio tapes finally released some 40 year later) but overlook "Party!" ('65), possibly the first unplugged album by a rock group or "Concert" ('64), one of the earliest (and loudest) live shows by a rock and roll band. "Stack-O-Tracks" ('68), the first backing-track-only album, was ahead of its time; a precursor to bootleg studio tapes (many bands are including similar bonus tracks on their new CD product). [Complete article at:  
Catch a wave this Christmas! 
Personally, I think I’d rather hear “Stack-O-Tracks” performed live, especially with Brian’s stand-out backing band of musicians.  I can see throwing in a few Christmas songs during the holiday season … and, as you mentioned, they have some outstanding tracks to pick from … but I just can’t imagine sitting through a 40-minute set of their entire Christmas LP, which always struck me as more aimed toward the parents than the kids who were actually buying their records.  (kk)

Phil also sent us this quiz from MeTV … man, if you can’t ace THIS one, you need to give back your record collection!!!

Fun quiz  

And this!!!  

Hello Kent, 
Just an FYI that I uploaded another Pray For Surf podcast, once again teaming with Mark Dillon (author of "Fifty Sides of The Beach Boys"). We discuss our versions of what could be "The Beach Boys Humor Album." It was fun comparing our lists (several no-brainers for both of us but a bunch of surprises for each of us). So, if you are bugged at your old man and need a laugh, or have not had your daily dose of vegetables, then this is the podcast for you (:>) 

Humor Podcast:  

The Beach Boys "Humor Album"  

Phil Miglioratti and Mark Dillon (author, "50 Sides of The Beach Boys") discuss the role of humor in the Beach Boys music. Each have selected an album's worth of songs ("Monster Mash") , skits ("George Fell Into His French Horn"), and statements ("Cost too much") that put a SMiLE on your face. They approach humor as "a state of mind" that brings laughter or amusement and, in the case of the Beach Boys, allows them to poking fun, even at themselves.  

And, speaking of The Beach Boys and Al Jardine and such, David Beard, Editor and Publisher of “Endless Summer Quarterly,” is going to run my review of the Al Jardine concert we saw at City Winery Chicago in his Summer Edition of this VERY popular Beach Boys fanzine … so how cool is that?!?!?  (kk)   

Thanks so much for the info on the Soundstage Chicago concert. As someone who was lucky enough to attend, I have been looking for this show ever since I was there.   
It was not even listed in my Channel Guide magazine. I had to go to the online TV schedule for WTTW. Look forward to seeing at least half the show again.   
It is on Saturday @ 11:00 P.M.   

We’ll have to set the DVR for this one (so I don’t fall asleep halfway through!!!)  What an odd time to first premier this program!!!  (kk)  

UPDATE:  We watched the concert on Sunday … overall, I found it to be VERY disappointing … I get it that the program was supposed to be a tribute to the Chicago II album … but they didn’t even perform it in LP order (unless this was more inept PBS editing that messed things up.)  For me, the highlights were few … catching Robert Lamm, who still looks and sounds great ... the timeless “Ballet for a Girl From Buchannon,” probably the LP’s best known track … and the fact the Lee Loughnane stepped up to the mike to sing “Colour My World,” a completely unexpected surprise … meanwhile, everything else fell short of everything else I’ve ever seen Chicago do.  And I wasn’t too keen on the filming technique either … it made the whole show look very dated … grainy and faded … just not at all what I was expecting in this type of showcase.
Still, I’m sure it all came off much better live before editing … this is usually the case … as the audience seemed to be having a really good time.
I guess I just expected more of a Chicago II / Greatest Hits presentation at this stage of the game.  (kk)

And since we just covered Chicago AND The Beach Boys, I've just GOTTA run this clip ... both groups in absolutely top form (and I just LOVE Lee Loughnane's intro ... look at that hair!!!)  kk ...

I agree particularly with the first review that mentioned that Michael Bolton looked stiff … but it didn’t bother his voice at all … but he was moving very slowly. 
Thx, Kent,
Enjoy your blog!
Bill Faust  

Blecccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh to Bolton. 
Cannot stand his so-called singing which sounds like some poor soul getting a prostate exam from Dr. Edward Scissorhands.  

Michael Bolton! Good Grief! I don’t think there are enough drugs in the world to get me to see that. LOL 
While I don't think I ever would have bought tickets to see Michael Bolton on my own ... not even back in the day ... I absolutely would have gone to this show had my schedule been clear to do so.  
I look at it this way ... 
I see a LOT of shows ... but most of the time, it's artists I have seen before ... we tend to go see the same artists again and again because Chicago seems to be a regular stop on their tours ... so catching somebody brand new that I haven't seen before ... especially an artist like Michael Bolton, who DID have 18 Top 40 Hits ... holds a certain appeal for me at this stage of the game.  (Then again, if he only performed four or five of those hits and filled the rest of his set list with songs from The Great American Songbook, I probably would have been disappointed, too ... we just went through that with Bobby Rydell a few years ago.)
That being said, give a listen to Bolton’s version of “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” and see what you think … this one really surprised me!  (I'm not trying to sway anybody's opinion here ... but you've gotta admit this is one hell of a vocal outing!  kk

I’ve definitely been waiting for this one … so was quite excited to receive this email the other day from Paul Haney of Record Research …

Hi Kent, 
The brand new Top Pop Albums 1955 - 2016 book just arrived at the offices yesterday.  It’s 1,600 pages and weighs nearly 8 pounds!  I will be dropping a copy in the mail for you today. 
This is AWESOME news!  Joel hasn’t done an update to this book since 2006.  You can order YOUR copy from the Record Research Website now …

I saw Alice Cooper at the Orpheum Theater in Madison a few weeks ago. 
He still sings "I'm eighteen and I don't know what I want," and he just
turned 70! 
It was a very good show and Alice still sounds like he did in the 70's.   There were fans from ten years old all the way to Alice's age at the show.   He sang most of his hits.  The only ballad he did, though, was Only Women.  He did not do I Never Cry,  You and Me, or (my
personal favorite of his ballads) How You Gonna See Me Now. 
I did enjoy his appearance in Jesus Christ Superstar.  Even though he appeared for only one song,  he was one of the highlights.
Phil – WRCO

Do you get free tickets often? I would have loved to see Burton Cummings. I saw him in the 80's when he opened for Alice Cooper.
Debe Welch
I was at that same show ... about the strangest double-billing I've ever seen!  But I couldn’t pass up the chance to see either of them.  (Burton had just started his solo career and was taking every gig he possibly could to stay out there in front of an audience.  Earlier that year we saw him open for Melissa Manchester … TWICE.)  It was a unusual night for sure … especially knowing Burton’s “Glamour Boy” song from his Guess Who days!  (lol) 
We seem to be on a roll lately with the free tickets … check out Sunday’s Michael Bolton concert review to see that we’ve got THREE pair of tickets to give away for The Ides Of March show May 3rd at The City Winery Chicago.  (It’s hit or miss when it comes to tickets … so anytime we can pass them along to our readers, we try to do so.)  The same week you saw Michael Bolton for free at The Arcada Theatre, we took a couple of other readers to the Al Jardine show at City Winery!  (kk)  
It was a strange pairing, but I loved Burton Cummings. 

This is something that is been on our minds for awhile lately, what with the reason wave of retirement announcements by so many of the music stars of our era … add to that the recent passing of many more and the fact that more and more of this music is disappearing from the radio, will the rock and roll music we all know, love and grew up with eventually face extinction and disappear completely.  (God, I hope not … there isn’t any better “feel good” music out there!)  What more can we do to help keep this music and these memories alive?

This from FH Reader Tom Cuddy …

As Boomer Musicians Retire From Touring, Concert Industry Faces Uncertain Future

From Music News, a Flipboard magazine by Rolling Stone
"It's extremely worrisome," says one high-powered agent. "Once these artists really do retire, who will be the … “ 

Read it on

One more great clip that I've gotta share ...

I came across this one while searching for somebody else ... but check it out ... a very young Mickey Thomas handling the lead vocal on the smash hit by Elvin Bishop ... man, what a voice this guy's got!!! (kk)

I just now noticed something while listening to a television commercial that I have heard for about a week now. In the national ad for Arby's Roast Beef restaurants, it seems to me that in the background, very faintly I might add, is the song ARE YOU READY … same tune as the Pacific Gas and Electric's song from 1970. Here in OKC, the edited version was played on the radio (some 2 1/2 minutes long). When one went to the record store to buy it, that version was a little over five minutes long. Again, how the advertising firm came up with that song is anybody's guess. I fortunately have a copy of the edited version as well as the longer version. 
I haven’t seen this commercial yet … good tune ‘tho!  And you’re right, the version played primarily on the radio back then was the shortened edit.  (Actually I’ll have to look for that as it’d be cool to have!)  Thanks, Larry!  (kk)

The other day I mentioned that I’ve been reading some back issues of Melody Maker and New Musical Express from 1965.
When I came across this quote (from Burt Bacharach, no less!) I just had to share.
When Burt Bacharach was asked by New Musical Express whose songwriting he enjoys he answered …
“Richard Rogers in fantastic and I like Jerome Kern.  Lennon and McCartney write some very fine stuff and I think a lot of Goffin and King.  Right now, Tony Hatch is writing very well.”
Kudos to our FH Buddy Tony Hatch (albeit 53 years late!) for earning high praise from one of the most successful songwriters of the ‘60’s!  (kk)

Rockin’ Lord Geoff from across the pond sent us the vintage British Chart from exactly 60 YEARS AGO this week … check out Petula Clark sitting at #23 alongside vintage rockers like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly And The Crickets, Little Richard, The Champs, Danny and the Juniors, Fat Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis … a full SEVEN YEARS before she’d hit the charts here in America for the very first time!  (kk)

Week Ending 12 April 1958
(charts come from the New Musical Express, which we just mentioned above!!!)
Position charts show weeks on the chart / last week’s position / and this week’s position:
10 - 01 - 01 - Perry Como - Magic Moments
06 - 02 - 02 - Marvin Rainwater - Whole Lotta Woman
06 - 03 - 03 - Tommy Steele - Nairobi
05 - 07 - 04 - Jackie Dennis - La Dee Dah
05 - 05 - 05 - Crickets - Maybe Baby
05 - 10 - 06 - Ted Heath And His Music - Swingin' Shepherd Blues
07 - 04 - 07 - Elvis Presley - Don't
13 - 06 - 08 - Michael Holliday - The Story Of My Life
02 - 10 - 09 - Champs - Tequila
02 - 22 - 10 - Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Now
07 - 14 - 11 - Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly
06 - 12 - 12 - Perry Como - Catch Falling Star
01 - NE - 13 - Pat Boone - It's Too Soon To Know
12 - 13 - 14 - Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock
10 - 09 - 15 - Eddie Calvert - Mandy (La Panse)
02 - 16 - 16 - Pat Boone - A Wonderful Time Up There
04 - 17 - 17 - Malcolm Vaughan With The Michael Sammes Singers - To Be Loved
13 - 08 - 18 - Danny And The Juniors - At The Hop
03 - 20 - 19 - Jimmie Rodgers - Oh-Oh, I'm Falling In Love Again
03 - 25 - 20 - Fats Domino - The Big Beat
19 - 19 - 21 - Pat Boone - April Love
01 - NE - 22 - Jerry Lee Lewis - Breathless
07 - 15 - 23 - Petula Clark - Baby Lover
06 - 28 - 24 - George Hamilton IV - Why Don't They Understand
11 - 18 - 25 - Paul Anka - You Are My Destiny
06 - 23 - 26 - Frankie Vaughan - Can't Get Along Without You / We Are Not Alone
03 - 24 - 27 - Jackie Wilson - To Be Loved
09 - 21 - 28 - Alma Cogan - Sugartime
01 - NE - 29 - Ted Heath And His Music - Tequila
01 - NE - 30 - Lonnie Donegan and his Skiffle Group - The Grand Coolie Dam 

And, speaking of great singers from the ‘50’s, Geoff also tells us about an upcoming concert next month that’ll feature Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon as the headliner along with several other acts … catch out the promo poster below …

Singer / Actress REBECCA HOLDEN joined Howard Hewett (Shalamar) for a benefit given by Lifedriven in Beverly Hills. Lifedriven Foundation's mission is to provide life-changing solutions to the socio-economic problem of cancer by helping to enhance the lives and circumstances of children battling cancer in disadvantaged communities.
         Submitted by David Salidor

Here’s an interesting “Helping Out Our Readers” email I received the other day …

Hello there -
My name is Elena and I’m Italian.
Firstly, I want to say that your archive is simply amazing! All those records so well kept and protected, it looks like the Trinity college library in Dublin.
I’m here to ask for your help … hopefully you’ll help us solve a mystery which began in the early 80’s.
In those years, Italy was literally invaded by Japanese cartoons, that are still nowadays much appreciated and remind us of when we were young.
We were all very fond of the theme songs … we used to buy the 45’s or tapes and now you’ll find all those songs in cd collections.
All except one.
There are hundreds of people who are trying to discover who wrote and who sang that song. They’ve also reached the network that firstly broadcasted the series in 1983, but apparently nobody knows the author or the singer. There are no credits appearing in the final theme, the song was never patented and, as they report in forums, the network owner seems very annoyed and declares that the series arrived with the theme included already. Many Italian singers who seem to have a similar voice were asked but they all denied being involved. I discovered those forums just by chance and, reading all the facts, I have come to a personal opinion: that song is probably a plagiarism. This would explain why nobody knows (or simply refuses to admit) who wrote and sang it and why the network owners let spoke their lawyers to give a stop.
I suppose you’re wondering why I am telling you all this (and you probably think I’m crazy.)
Well, I think the original song could be a b-side, and typing it in Google one of the results was your site.
Hoping not to be too annoying, I would like to send you the YouTube link to listen to the song. I see that many readers contribute to your site by posting titles, memories and information about thousands of songs, maybe someone could recognize the melody.
This is just an idea and, after all, I could be completely wrong. But you know, women are stubborn
Thank you for your attention and have a nice weekend.
Anybody out there got any ideas about this one???  This may be a tough one to find, especially being sung in Italian … but we’ve got some GREAT music detectives on our list so let’s give it a go!  Good Luck!  (kk)

Today's Saturday Survey of KLZ with the #1 record of DENVER got my curiosity aroused as to how high it made it here in OKC. For the week of February 29, it was at the bottom of the survey, listed as the PIC-HIT of the week. Two weeks later, it would peak at #24 before falling off the survey.
I was a little surprised in that the record by Michelle Lee didn't make our survey though I do have a copy of it. Incidentally, today if you were ask anyone who Michelle Lee is/was, most would say an actress, especially best known for her work on the "Knots Landing" show. But how many would remember this record she made 50 years ago? Same goes for actress Ann-Margret, who had a big record earlier in 1961 with I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.
Now on this day back in 1968 here in OKC, the #1 record was HONEY with Bobby Goldsboro / Bob Shane being listed as the artist. I have got to be honest with you in that I really don't remember Shane's version being played at all.
Larry Neal
“Honey” was one of the biggest records of the ‘60’s … I can’t imagine ANYBODY sticking with the Bob Shane version for very long, let alone long enough to SHARE the #1 position on the chart!
Checking the national scene, I see that Shane’s version “bubbled under” in both Billboard and Record World Magazine … peaking at #104 in Billboard (during a six week run) and #118 in Record World.  Again, how it earned #1 status on ANY of the local charts is beyond me … “Honey” has become the definitive Bobby Goldsboro song (for better or for worse!)  kk

Hi Kent:
When I came home on leave from the Great Lakes NTC in the spring of 1968 the song "Uncle Sam's Navy" by Johnny Martin on Chart Records was getting a lot of airplay on a Charlotte top forty radio station. As you might guess, I could relate to the lyrics. It sounds like it could almost
be the answer song to Diane Renay's "Navy Blue" -- four years later.  Although I don't remember where I bought my copy, I had no trouble finding it in a local record department. For years I thought it had been at least a minor hit. It wasn't until I bought my first copy of Joel Whitburm's TOP POP SINGLES book in the mid-Nineties that I realized it never even charted. When I returned to Great Lakes for school it seemed like WCFL and/or WLS could always be heard in the barracks, but I don't think I ever heard that record played on either radio station, and Chicago was a Navy town! I still like the song though and play it occasionally.
Another thing: One Saturday I rode into Waukegan with a buddy who had a new car with an in-dash tape deck. I think it was a four track. I remember earlier seeing an automobile record player (yes, there was such a thing) but this was the first car tape player I had ever seen. I was quite impressed! It wasn't until I came back from England that I had my own eight track car player. I wish I had all the money I blew on that lousy extinct format! By comparison, I've still got vinyl records that I bought in the Sixties that still play very well. Like "Uncle Sam's Navy".
Mike G

Well, I’m not so sure this one would have caught my ear back in 1968 … I was more into “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” and “I Love You” by People!
I checked Joel Whitburn’s “Chart Comparison” book (a book I use every single day and highly recommend to all of us chart fiends out there!) and see that “Uncle Sam’s Navy” DID “bubble under’ on the Record World Chart, eventually peaking at #145 in its three week run … probably something that can be attributed more to Navy sales than Navy Seals!  (kk)

Hi Kent
I went to the Rocksino in Norhfield, Ohio (Cleveland) on Friday to see Robin Trower, former lead guitarist for Procol Harum, who then went on to a great solo career.
The 73 year old guitar legend did not disappoint with a solid performance backed only by a drummer and bass player.
I was lucky to get press credentials and shoot the show from the stage front.
The playlist was as follows:
Too Rolling Stoned
Lady Love
Returned In Kind
Not Outside Inside
Somebody Calling
Make Up Your Mind
Day Of The Eagle
Bridge Of Sighs
Can't Turn Back The Clock
Confessing Midnight
Little Bit Of Sympathy
Rise Up Like The Sun
For Earth Below
Photos Attached
Tom Apathy

I’ve gotta confess that the only Robin Trower song I know is “Caledonia,” which is his only Top 100 Hit (it peaked at #81 in 1977) … so this one would have been lost on me … but I’m sure there are other Robin Trower fans out there who will appreciate this.  Thanks, Tom!  (kk)

And, speaking of great concerts …

Last Call For Ides Of March Tickets!!!

We’ll be picking the winners on Friday … so you need to enter now if you want a chance to see these guys at The City Winery on May 3rd.

And check this out … a recent study shows that going to concerts is good for you!!! 

A new behavioral science study has concluded that attending concerts on a regular basis is good for people’s well being – and could extend gig-goers lives by up to nine years. The study, commissioned by U.K. cellphone network O2, claimed that 20 minutes at a concert is better for you that the same amount of time spent doing yoga or dog-walking.  Researchers calculated that a 20-minute taste of live music increased people’s sense of well being by 21 percent, compared with 10 percent for yoga and 7 percent for dog-walking. “Key markers across the happiness spectrum” also increased, with self-worth up 25 percent, closeness to others up by the same amount, and mental stimulation boosted by 75 percent.

So do your body a favor a register to win a pair of tickets to see The Ides Of March at City Winery Chicago on Thursday, May 3rd!!!

We’ve got THREE pair of tickets to give away (and we’re going to this one, 
too!) so send me an email at and get your name on the list!
Tickets are still available through The City Winery Online Box Office, too …

Thx, Kent, for announcing the ticket giveaway for the Ides Of March May 3rd show at City Winery. And though it would be great to see some first timers win, we are just happy to welcome all.  
We are announcing here that we will be doing a two-set show - the first being unplugged - the second full metal jacket. We feel each format has its own special vibe - the first more intimate with more stories - the next relying on the rhythm and brass and more of the hits me and the Ides are have enjoyed through the years.  Can’t wait to see you!
The Friendly Stranger -