Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 06 - 18 )

On The Radio:
Several readers wrote in to share the GREAT Chicago Tribune article / feature on Me-TV-FM that ran last week.  More amazing kudos to the little station who could … as the ratings continue to rise and more and more people discover the music that the rest of radio has forgotten.
High fives all around to Neal Sabin and Rick O’Dell for all they’ve done.  (And once again I was right … Neal admits in this article that he built the original playlist around the music he had on his iPod!!!  I KNEW it!!!)
Check it out … high praise indeed!  (kk)

The fastest-growing radio station in Chicago has no DJs, plays way too many songs, targets aging baby boomers and is so far down the FM dial it can’t be picked up by many car radios. 
Also, it’s not technically a radio station.
Three years after launching, MeTV FM’s eclectic soft oldies format has turned a low-power TV signal at 87.7 FM into a top-10 Chicago radio station, confounding competitors and rewriting the unwritten rules of broadcast radio.
“A lot of people think it’s amazing that we’re doing the kind of numbers we are without all those traditional things,” said Neal Sabin, 61, vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting, which operates the station. “But we’ve broken a lot of radio rules here.”

More via the link below.

I thought you’d like this, in case you missed it.   
Great article,
Danny Guilfoyle
Rock and Roll Historian

A reader wanted to know why the Don McNeil Breakfast Club continued long after ABC  brought WLS and started rockin’. My understanding was that ABC agreed to continuing the Breakfast Club for five or six years after they purchased the Prairie Farmer station and all its assets, including the Prairie  Farmer Magazine.
WLS continued the Farm Report from 5 to 6 am, featuring Charles Homer Bill and Captain Stubby into the late 60’s. The hi jinx of those two very funny farm guys was downright hilarious and I must modestly admit I was a part of it, including hiring a hooker attired in a skin tight black leotard to hide under Chuck Bill’s desk when he did the ABC network news at 6 am.
She was instructed to grab him by the shoes and startle him … however, as a hooker that’s not where she was trained to grab guys. The scream was heard on ABC from coast to coast.
I also knew Suzette, the nude manicurist that did Chuck’s nails while he attempted to do the news (Chuck said he was so flustered he forgot how to speak English!) and I was directly involved with the disgraceful stunt of Captain Stubby eating a Baby Ruth Candy Bar covered with Mazola oil disguised as human excrement, gagging Chuck while reading said network news. I did except a call from Stubby’s doctor saying that my hiding on the coat rack in the clothes closet and grabbing Stubby’s hand when he hung up his coat on a dark morning did set the Doc’s efforts to stabilize Stubby’s heart back several years! I promised I wouldn’t do it again! That went on for almost nine years and I still giggle at those stunts even today.
Clark Weber

>>>Were the old folks REALLY tuning in at 5 am to catch Don McNeil?  (kk)
He was actually on between 9 AM and 10 AM each weekday morning, and that's what made that obtrusion stand out even more on such a heavy-hitting rock and roll powerhouse radio station! 
While it's been a long time ago, from deep in the crazy audio archives of my mind, I can only imagine the contrast may have sounded much like the attached!
Chuck Buell

Quite honestly, I didn’t listen … EVER!!! … so I would be the last one to make the definitive statement here … but we always want to present factual information here in Forgotten Hits so, after doing a bit more digging, I’m thinking I may have been confusing the Farm Report (which typically ran from 5 – 6 am) with The Breakfast Club (a totally different program, that ran from 9 – 10 am) … so you’re right … a VERY disruptive pause to the nature of WLS’ then rock-and-roll programming.
(Honestly, going from my very young memories here, I remember thinking at the time that jocks like Clark Weber and Bernie Allen played more to the housewives at home, getting their kids off to school before starting another round of housework … and then the station switched gears to the younger market a bit later in the day, once the kids were home from school, by presenting programming like Dex Card’s Silver Dollar Survey daily countdown before the really hip disc jockeys like Ron Riley and Art Roberts took to the airwaves (although Weber and Riley certainly had a GREAT thing going with their on-going on-air feud, which prompted many listeners to tune in to BOTH shows, just to hear what one jock might say about the other!)
Bringing in rock-the-boat jocks like Larry Lujack and John Landecker (much like WCFL’s Ron Britain and Barney Pipp) must have startled the old-school jocks at the time, because it was SO far off the path of what they were accustomed to … but there is absolutely NO question that the formula worked.  (kk)

Speaking of WCFL, I have been listening to for the past several days and really enjoying the mix of music and memories generated by the original jingles, old airchecks featuring some of the station’s most popular jocks (I heard five Larry Lujack Klunk Letters of the Day the other day!) and old episodes of Chickenman.  (He’s Everywhere! He’s Everywhere!)
Part of the concept in supposed to be imagining what WCFL might sound like today had they not closed up shop back in 1976 … and I think they may be missing the mark here a little bit.  (Much as I love it, I don’t think ‘CFL would have been playing Aerosmith’s “Big Ten Inch” at ANY point in time!!!  Lol)
Still, it’s a station you can leave on all day long, hear an excellent selection of music and enjoy a smile or two (or ten!) when some of the old vintage clips come on.  Highly recommended …

This And That:  
I just found this promotional hand bill and sent it to Jim Peterik to see what he thought … 
Hey, Jim,
Just came across this old bill for Dex Card's Wild Goose club from 1971.  Good times for sure!  
Is that "Dennis and Carl" from the Beach Boys playing as a duo on your under-bill????  
Of course, you could have sang with Chase the week before!  YOUR great addition to Chase, "Run Back to Mama" wouldn't happen for three years, but I'm guessing you did some gigging together back then, too.  Of course, "Two Hangmen" has taken legendary status alongside "Lake Shore Drive" as songs that have their great cult following out of Chicago, too.  Alice Cooper is still going strong.  Did you see him singing "King Herod's Song" live on the NBC "Superstar" live production last month?  He was great as King Herod.  Crow and REO for $2.50.  Gotta love all this "community" music with Dex, who I truly loved listening to on WLS in the mid 60's.  Great times. 
Clark Besch

My guess is “Dennis and Carl” are probably Tufano and Giammarese (first thought to cross my mind anyway) doing an early gig as a folk-duo.
I never got to go to The Wild Goose … was too young at the time … but Dex had everybody perform there at one time or another!  (kk)
Love it, Clark!  That’s Dennis Tufano and Carl Giammarese! When they had the act Tufano & Giammarese on A & M.  Cool!  
Oh wow!  I did not even think about that, because their "working" names were their last names in mid-70's.  This must have been VERRRRRY early after the Bucks officially ended, as their last 45 was 1970. 
Ha!  Nailed it! 
We saw The Ides Of March perform at City Winery last Thursday Night … watch for our review tomorrow in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)

Just why does Little Steven Van Zandt think the J.Geils Band should enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Was "Angel in a Centerfold" a musical classic? Please, Geils has no business being anywhere near the Cleveland hangout.
Meanwhile Little Steven IS on target with his endorsement of The Jive Five for entry into the Rock Hall. The Five's "My True Story" is a magnificent slice of doo wop that rates just a few yards back of the  Flamingo's masterpiece, "I Only Have Eyes for You," a song that is to R and B what "Imagine" is to rock n' roll.
Love the Cornerstones. Could see them twice a week, thus this has to be mentioned. I genuinely admire Jim and The Ides, Jimy Sohns, the Colony, the Shames and the Buckinghams, but the shows truly resonates on a big time level because of the horn section and the keyboard players. Jimbo put together one helluva group of superb instrumentalists - legitimate unsung heroes.
And, as always, Ron Onesti remains the master promoter.
Chet Coppock
New  book: "Chet Coppock in Pursuit of Chet Coppock," scheduled for a July release

Question for Jim Peterik: Will the Ides be performing the Eye of the Tiger at the November Cornerstones show? 
Question for Steve Van Zandt: How can Paul Anka continually be overlooked as a singer and songwriter for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  Thank you for listing Neil Sedaka!!! 
Ron Lange

City Winery has added a second Justin Hayward for August 26th (it’s a 4:30 start) and tickets are already nearly gone for this one, too.
If you’re interested, best to hop on over to The Chicago City Winery website now while tickets still last!

Hey Kent,
More good reading, my friend.  Just got back from our 50th gig in St.
Pete, FL ... had a ball. 
Bill DeYoung wrote a book about Phil Gernhard and asked us to play for him. Wish you could have been there. 
Got "caught up" on my seafood needs ... lol ... forgot how good fresh tastes.
Waiting on some pics, but here's one of the Old Guy.  :O)
Take care, Buddy, and shout when you can.
Barry Winslow

Damn, would have loved to have seen that show … The Royal Guardsmen, back together again!  (By the way, the Snoopy Exhibit is still going on at The Elmhurst History Museum.  I’m going to have to get over there one of these days to make sure you guys are represented!!!)
Take care!  (kk)  

This from FH Reader Ken Voss …

While vinyl sales continue to increase, Shure announces they are going to stop selling phono cartridges.

Sad news last week, too, when Gibson filed bankruptcy.  Always a leading guitar manufacturer, their history dates back to 1894 and brand names like the Les Paul, the Flying V and the SG kept it a popular choice by many famous musicians over the years.  (I had an ES335 back in the day!)
It sounds like there is a bail-out plan in place, however, so hopefully the restructured company can survive and continue to manufacture their fine product.  (The company still sells around 150,000 guitars a year!!!)  kk

>>>"Did you hear that Bob Dylan's getting back together?"  (Fred Glickstein of the Flock)
Yep - he's brewing whiskey in Nashville!
David Lewis

kk … 
Check out the WCBS-FM 20th Anniversary Show.  I know you won't be surprised if I tell you tat I was there. 
Frank B

Eagle Rock Entertainment has another great release waiting in the wings …
John Mellencamp:  Plain Spoken:  From The Chicago Theatre
(Would have loved to see this show … and now we all can thanks to this new DVD+CD / BluRay+CD release!)

More information below …

Songwriter. Storyteller. Musician. Actor. Artist. Social Activist.
These are just some words that come to mind when the name John Mellencamp is spoken. On May 11, fans will have the ability to get a deeper look at this artist when Eagle Rock Entertainment proudly presents Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, and digital formats.
“Try to keep it as plain spoken as possible” … those are some of the first words the viewer hears in Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre.
A self-narrated musical journey, the film encapsulates the sound and soul of John Mellencamp. Stepping outside the boundaries of a concert film or documentary, Plain Spoken blends highly personal voice-overs from Mellencamp with live footage of him performing with his full band at the historic Chicago Theatre, just 250 miles from his native Indiana. He tells us the story of his Midwestern upbringing, the trials, turns and triumphs of his career, and his overall outlook on life while the music plays, supporting his stories. The result is the essence of John Mellencamp, delivered fully on-screen.
In addition to the full film with Mellencamp’s commentary, this audio visual release offers a “non-commentary” option (available in the Main Menu) in which viewers can watch the concert on its own. The audio visual set is completed with a component CD of concert audio. The set, which includes special guest Carlene Carter, showcases Mellencamp performing his most cherished songs. “Small Town,” “Minutes To Memories,” “Pop Singer,” “Cherry Bomb,” “Longest Days,” “Authority Song,” and “Pink Houses” are just some of the gems cherry-picked from his brilliant catalogue, and the set also includes songs from his acclaimed most recent album Sad Clowns And Hillbillies.
With a career spanning more than 35 years, John Mellencamp has elevated his legacy from pop star to one of the most highly-respected songwriters of a generation. Mellencamp is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, “The Souls of the People” John Steinbeck Award, and will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 14, 2018, among many other prestigious honors. He has achieved a total of 22 Top 40 hits in addition to earning the record for the “Most #1 tracks by a solo artist on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks” chart.
Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre serves as a stunning cinematic experience that offers a welcoming, intimate glimpse into the words and wisdom of John Mellencamp. Pre-order your copy now!
Brought to you by Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Tom Cuddy sent us this recent interview with our FH Buddy Peter Noone … and it’s a good one!

Chuck Buell sent this in for Cinco De Mayo … but we couldn’t run it yesterday due to our on-going Saturday Survey feature …
But that's OK because the sentiment still works today … so here it is!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, Kent, on today, a day that’s more popular in the United States than it is in Mexico!
So for those wishing to participate in the Festivities, remember it does celebrate the Battle of Puebla, where the Mexicans made a stand against an invading, better equipped French army in 1862, and is NOT a celebration of Mexico's Independence.
Now armed with that information, for those who wish to be Mexican for a day much as they wish be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, please be respectful as you raise and down a shot of Tequila or take part in joining others who account for Margaritas being nearly half of all cocktails sold on Cinco de Mayo. Oh, and as for avocados, Americans eat 81 million pounds of avocados on Cinco de Mayo.
CB ( which stands for “Calendar Boy!” )
(a 1958 and a 1973 attachment are . . . ah . . . attached! )

From FH Reader UROUT (Gary) …

The Saturday Survey:
Something tells me you will NOT be featuring WJMA in Orange, VA, or WFLS in Fredericksburg, VA ... But if ya could ... please.  TYVM! 
We featured Virginia back on January 13th ... WGH out of Newport News, VA.  (kk)
Thanx for remembering us ... out of our listening area, I'm afraid.  Sniff!  But I'll ck it out again.  Thanx for keeping on keeping on.
When I went to today's FH, when I immediately saw and read about White Levis, I thought of a record that came out in 1963 by a group called the Majorettes. It was on Troy Records and was called WHITE LEVIS (tennis shoes, surfin' hat and big plaid pendleton shirt). It did quite well here in the OKC area. Don't know if it made it on your surveys up there. Also, UNWIND and CAN I CARRY YOUR BALLOON did extremely well here, too.
“White Levis” charted as an “extra” on the old Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago” chart but that’s about it.  “Unwind” and “Can I Carry Your Balloon” never even made it that far … they didn’t cart at all here in Chicago.  (kk) 

I would like to request some WHB (Kansas City, MO) Top 40 hit surveys if anyone has them.  I did some deejay work there in the summer of ‘68, when the deejays would take their vacations.  Of course, I was always on the 10 pm shift, but I still loved it.  Only got to do it for one summer because Uncle Sam thought I was a necessity.
Happy to post this here … LOTS of survey collectors on the list … maybe somebody will have and send what you need.  (Were you pictured on any of the 1968 surveys?  Or are there particular ones you’re looking for?)
If somebody is able to help, drop me a line at and I’ll connect you.  (kk)

Your Saturday Surveys are making me popular at Larry's Pub.  (I need all the help I can get!)
I copy them down on Saturday and then play them on Sunday on the Jukebox.
The mailman just brought Connie Francis' book.  (finally!) 
Here’s my Kentucky Derby Countdown, in no particular order …
1 = One Mint Julep - Clovers (Official Kentucky Derby Drink) 
2 = My Old Kentucky  Home - Recorded by many (Official Kentucky Derby Song) 
3 = Bowling Green - Everly Brothers. Don was born in Brownie, Kentucky 
4 = Kentucky Woman - Neil Diamond
5 = Kentucky Rain – Elvis
6 = California Chrome - Tommy Roe 
7 = The Race Is On - George Jones 
Now I have TWO Survey's to play tomorrow!

As you might have already noticed, or been told by others, Chuck's
Tribune ad (shortly after the 5/6/68 survey) didn't quite make it. Was
it too big to present it any other way?
Bob Frable

Here is a resend of the Buell Tribune ad … because this didn't come through (in the FH posting for today to me anyway )
Evidently some folks weren’t able to view this … we’ve heard about a few browser issues lately … but this one came thru perfectly fine on both my computer and my phone … so I’m a little surprised.  (I don’t if reposting it will do any good but I’m giving it a shot.)
What I have found to be the most consistently reliable browser of late is Firefox … and I’ve checked the site several times since and it’s been there every time.  (I know on AOL, for example, there were many times when I couldn’t get the song clips to play … but then I’d switch over to Firefox and they’d all play fine.)  Sometimes it’s as simple a fix as hitting your refresh button. 
Regardless, here it is again … for those who may have missed it!  (kk)

Also …

>>>I always thought of Chuck Buell as more of a '70's jock at the station ... tied into that whole Kris Erik Stevens / John Records Landecker line-up ... man, what a powerhouse WLS was back then!  (kk)
OK, so here I am --- tied into that whole Buell - Stevens line-up.  In the late 60s!

Kris joined WLS on Valentine's Day in 1969, about eight months after I had in 1968.  But from that evening on, he and I rocked the Windy City, along with a major part of the Great Midwest and beyond, together each night from 6 PM to 2 AM Back-to-Back!

And yes, I was also on the air there in the early 70s. John Landecker joined the station later in 1972 amidst a big, almost full on air staff shake up and realignment, a time when Kris was just one to leave. Not to imply that Records was not a great add to the then changing line-up … he certainly was. Anyway, you look at it, you might say that Kris and I were Landecker's "warm-up act!"  {:~} 
Many years later, after the major WLS format change, I adapted this so that Kris and I could express our empathy to our former listeners.

Chuck Dah-Buell-Ell-Ess

And …

You pointed out that ~~~  
>>>White Levi's were the fashion statement of 1968, as shown on (WBBF’s) survey's back side. Look how the Levi's ad was designed to just drop in the call letters of the various radio stations across the country running the ad on that week's survey!  (Could it look any sloppier or home made???)  kk

Levi’s was a big advertiser on the radio during those times.  And, as a continuation of “localizing” their brand by utilizing familiar names, here’s a radio spot that aired only on WLS.  It’s a rare, interesting pairing of WLS On Air Radio personalities, Larry Lujack and I!
Now when listening to this, keep in mind that that time was the slowly waning days when contemporary rock ‘n’ rollin’ On Air Guys were often directed NOT to mention, or even allude to, if they were in any kind of relationship, much less married!
OK, with that in mind, from early 1970, here’s the Buddy Spot of Lujack and Buell for Levi’s!

And here’s A Nod to 60s Levis Sloppy Slam Bam Graphic Presentations

Chuck Buell