Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 27 - 18 )

Dick Biondi:  
I’m sorry, but you cannot fire Dick Biondi. That term will never apply. You cannot terminate a spirit as strong as his. You cannot compare him to anyone else on radio.  
How can you put an expiration date on a legend?
A legend lives forever, changing the world for everyone in the range of his voice. Dick would never buy into his own divinity, which makes him even more divine. 
He is a burning star in the galaxy of rock and roll ... and nothing can stop him from shining. 
Dick, we are all thinking of you right now.  And loving you forever.  
Jim Peterik and all the Ides of March

Kent -
I enjoyed your tribute to Dick Biondi. It’s hard to believe that I never had the pleasure of meeting Dick, having worked in only one market at the same time and that was your city .
Without question, Dick is truly a Radio Icon and should be remembered for the impact he had on the industry. (Hey, we should all be as fortunate to have as long a run as Dick had in a very tough business.)
Keep your fingers crossed, Chicago … maybe someone will come along and welcome him with open arms.
Then again, Dick might say “Thanks but no thanks!”
Either way, thanks Dick, for a magnificent career.
Johnny Holliday

Hi Kent, 
We just received a very generous donation from Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band! We are honored to have Paul in the film, and especially grateful because this means we can get back to piecing together our story.  Paul’s generosity gets us one step closer to the finish line.  
We are actively seeking our passion partners … people who believe in our mission and want to help us bring the Dick Biondi story to PBS. Now, more than ever, knowing Dick will not be returning to the airwaves at 94.7 WLS-FM, we feel it is vital to finish this project in a timely fashion.  If any of your readers would like their name, group, or company associated with “The Voice That Rocked America: The Dick Biondi Story,” please have them call me at 630-670-8411.  Or visit our Donate page
Kent, we are screening our new 20 minute prevue followed by a Q&A at select venues around Chicagoland and getting a lot of great reactions from people in spite of it being a work in progress.  We’ve got two  screenings booked and are planning more.  Hope to see you at one. You never know who’s gonna show up, like John Landecker who surprised me at the Michigan City Library last Sunday.  John calls himself the Dick Biondi Ambassador and has been a great supporter of the project. Of course John’s in the film along with so many great, great personalities.  What a journey this has been for me to get to know all these DJs and artists I grew up listening to.  Incredible. 
June 5th - 1:00 PM - Fremont Library - 1170 N Midlothian Rd - Mundelein, IL 60060
July 1st - 2:00 PM - Sulzer Library - 4455 N Lincoln Ave - Chicago, IL 60625 with Special Guest Ronnie Rice, who will talk about Dick’s impact on the music of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s
As always Kent, thanks for keeping us informed and keeping the music alive.
Pam Pulice
Director, The Dick Biondi Film 
(630) 670-8411 
Film website
Daily Herald article 
Tax deductible donations  
All donations to this project are tax- deductible and will be received through our fiscal sponsor, Chicago Filmmakers, which is a Non-Profit 501(c) 3 organization. 
Checks can be made payable to Chicago Filmmakers — write Dick Biondi Project in memo line.
Mail to: 
Dick Biondi Project c/o Chicago Filmmakers
5720 N. Ridge Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60660    
If you’ve got some comments you’d like to make about the storied career of Dick Biondi, please send them along … and we’ll make sure he sees them! (kk)

Radio … And The Charts:
Hi Kent,
Some very cool stuff about the 1956 charts, both in Cash Box and the Chicago papers.  Just as soon as the Tribune listings were "found," I called off the bloodhounds which I had in search of the mysterious newspaper weekly article that I had attributed to the American.
Now, you're saying that the American (or somebody else) had a column with Top Tens???  In other words, two different newspapers doing this at the same time, in the same city?  THAT is something I've never heard of!
Now I need to find out which stations reported into the American?  Were there any that didn't appear in the Trib at all?  (I curiously noticed that WLS never reported there.)  I'm thinking of guys like WHFC Cicero, WENR, who knows maybe even an FM station, etc.??  Does anybody know anything about the column in the American at all?
I may have to order that Whitburn 1956 book just to see what the reporting form looked like - and, especially if it's filled out, I'm wondering if somebody's sitting out there with a bunch of those from all over.  It wouldn't take all that big of a stack for me to be offering $10K or more.
Frank Merrill
These mid-to-late ‘50’s charts predated WLS's switch over to Top 40 so no, they would not have been reporting ...
I'm still shocked that WCFL was playing the popular hits at the time ... had no idea this was going.
I seem to remember them being in The American ...
Chicago had FOUR daily newspapers back then … besides the two “majors,” The Tribune and The Chicago Sun Times, we also had The Daily News and The American (both of which were afternoon newspapers … remember THOSE days???  Now a major city is lucky to have ONE daily newspaper … and it’s likely something that very few people read.)
The fact that The Tribune charts that I have typically only show about the Top 5 Records as reported in by the participating stations leads me to believe that there was a second listing of some sort … because the charts I’m referring to are definitely Top Ten Lists.  (I've included a couple of scans below … unfortunately, they’re not of very high quality … mine are all copies of copies of copies ... and I have a VERY limited collection at that ... but this tells me that there was definitely more than one source for this information.  (kk)

Actually, I was more surprised to see rock and roll in the WBBM reports.  Is it possible that one of these stations had something like a Saturday Morning Top 10 or 20 Countdown - and no other rock and roll was played during the day?  Did either of the newspapers have radio schedules, which may have shown such a show?  But if it's just a bunch of names, you can't always tell what kind of music was playing.
I'm thinking of something like the WGN show (with Phil Collins!!!) which may have been just a couple hours per week in isolation.  I'm also thinking about things like that Budweiser show that ran on stations that didn't play any rock and roll otherwise, like KTAR in Phoenix.
I don't think there are many (any?) people who really know the extent that many stations may have done some form of rock and roll for very limited hours.  I think it's kind of the same thing that made WJR show up with a Top Ten back in 1956 in the paper.
In the paper in some places, I've also seen reports that were clearly NON-rock and roll lists, where something like "Firefly" by Tony Bennett was too raucous for them.

I have to make a little correction to Clark Weber's comments.
Yes, WJJD gave up rock, but the reason was not a poor nighttime signal, but rather a non-existent nighttime signal. In those days, WJJD had to sign off the air at sunset, Salt Lake City time. We'll save the reason for another day, but during the summer, they'd still be on at 9:30, an hour or so after most daytimers in the area were signed off. Still, WJJD's bedtime never went much past 9:45, even on the summer solstice.
Also,  WJJD didn't segue from rock right into country. They adopted an MOR format in 1962 and went country a couple of years later.
Thank you, Clark, for reminding us of some of the talent heard on WJJD back then. But I don't think you mentioned that Ron Riley worked there. So I hope the Riley - Weber feud hasn't reignited.
Bill Fortune

We told you how Me-TV-FM is running their “Summer Of Me” special this weekend (it’s on the air right now here in Chicago!), featuring tunes selected by Forgotten Hits Readers several years ago that compiled a list of Top 100 Summer Favorites.  (You can check out the complete list here: 

The year this feature first premiered, eight different radio stations ran countdowns featuring all or part of our research results.  Because each station programmed their own countdown individually for their target audience, it was neat to listen in and see what types of different approaches they took when revealing the winners.  (Difficult, too, as on a couple of occasions, this list was on against itself in different markets!!!)

Now, in addition to Me-TV-FM featuring Summer Favorites all summer long, we got word that is going to countdown the complete list as well … in its entirety … (and hopefully even feature a few of the cool “extras” that also received a significant amount of votes.)
More details below … and we’ll let you know when it’ll air so you can tune in and listen.
(Hey … Phil Nee … wanna do this for one of your Those Were The Days programs?  Maybe tie it into the official First Day Of Summer?  And Scott Shannon, too … you made a REALLY big deal out of our list when we first released it … and then ran follow-up specials for a few years after that … at one point, even polling your own audience to see what favorites THEY came up with.  How about doing a full-blown True Oldies Channel Summer Weekend to feature the 100+ songs that made our list?)  kk

Hi Kent,
To start with, I love your website! I'm a retired radio guy living in Lincoln, NE. 
Thank to your kind permission, I am putting together a summer special featuring The Top 100 Summer Hits as selected by your readers.  The special would focus on some of the stories behind the songs and artists.  (Naturally, I will reference your website and your poll in doing so.)
The special will stream on my website
Thank you again for your consideration … and I’ll be sure to let you know when you can catch this special.
Don 'Records' Ludden
(Records Truly Is Not My Middle Name)

Helping Out Our Readers:
Hi kk -
I grew up during the 70’s  listening to a song originally written and performed by Simon & Garfunkel, ”Bridge Over Troubled Water”  … nut the version I’m most trying to find was an instrumental by an orchestra, or the album by the name of “Franne and Tasha.”
I appreciate any help you could give.
Noah Reeder
I did a little bit of searching but came up empty … maybe one of our readers can find something for you.  Stay tuned ! (kk)

This And That:
We recently told you about a Royal Guardsmen Reunion Concert held down in St. Petersburg, Florida.  In fact, thanks to FH List Member Barry Winslow, we were even able to share some pretty awesome pix.
Then, this past week, we ran across a clip that FH Reader Clark Besch had sent in a while ago featuring The Royal Guardsmen performing an Army radio ad … so we just HAD to share it!!!

I sent a copy to Barry who responded …

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha ...
Forgot about that one ...
Dear Lord, that was too much.
Thanks, Kent … that made my morning.
I don't know how you keep it going, Kent, but carry on, my friend. 
Hope you have a super Memorial Day ... maybe even get a chance to relax ... lol!
Bless ya, my friend

If Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman are touring, I'm there.
This one is truly baffling … I got the PR announcement and checked out the details … but knew I could run the listing until Tuesday or Wednesday … so when I prepped that posting, I referred back to the link and all of the information was gone.  I then did several searches and there was virtually nothing online about this tour … and every single one of the links that I was able to find that WAS about the tour, were also disabled.
I emailed Roger McGuinn to ask him about it but haven’t heard anything back as of yet … if he responds, I’ll be sure to pass the information along.  And if anybody out there knows what the heck is going on, please enlighten us as well!  (kk)

Hey Kent,
I have always felt that "Get Together" by The Youngbloods was THE song that brought the '60s decade to a close. The earliest versions were recorded in 1964, by the Kingston Trio and David Crosby. The trio released it on their "Back in Town" live album, titled "Let's Get Together", while Crosby's version remained a demo for a while. I like The Youngbloods' version the best, as it is more dramatic and reflective of the times, but the '64 recordings are interesting in their own right. (The very beginning of Crosby's, sounds like "Twist and Shout"!)
We Five had a minor hit with this in 1965 (#31) but I agree that The Youngbloods best capture the spirit and feel of the song.  (Their original release in 1967 tanked (#62) … but the 1969 rerelease (spurred on by its use in a television advertising campaign) pushed it all the way to #4 in all three major trade publications.  Great tune.  (kk)

JOHN LENNON: Postal Stamp in September
There will sixteen differently colored versions of a 1974 photo on a replica 45-RPM record sleeve. 
The John Lennon postage stamp will go on sale September 7th.
The special series will be printed on a replica 45 - RPM record sleeve.
Artwork released by the U.S. Postal Service shows sixteen different color variations of a 1974 image by noted photographer Bob Gruen. The original black-and-white photograph has been treated in gradations of color. Lennon’s signature appears at the top of the stamps.  “USA,” the peace symbol and the Forever denomination appear along the bottom. 
A different photo appears on the back side of the panel -- a 1971 image by Peter Fordham that originally promoted John's Imagine album.  
--Submitted by Tom Cuddy

Hi all,
I am trying hard to regain my LIVING room and my bookshelf is mostly done (yeah, metal one, but ... ).  Been working on getting this place livable to some extent.  Anyway, if you'd like to see my book collection (many of yours are larger, I'm sure), here's a good example along with my decades old bookends custom made for me in the 70's.  If you are from Chicago, these will interest you.  About ten 45s set into a wooden cut, glued in place with appropriate A sides showing.  I can switch them around to show other sides when I wish.  NOW, all I need is the Cryan’ Shames book.  When is that one coming from Hooke, Toad, Fairs or SOMEONE????!!!  How about an NC6 book too, Mr. Graffia???  I am VERY happy to say that some of these books are by friends of mine, too!!!
Clark Besch

I bought tickets for last November’s show and held on to them. I’m sure
the 13 month wait will be worth it!
Joe Malin
Bob Seger 2018/19 Tour Dates
11/24 (Original date 10/142017) — Kansas City, Sprint Center
11/27 (10/10) — Des Moines, Iowa, Wells Fargo Arena
11/30 (10/12) — Scottrade Center, St. Louis
12/12 (11/15) — XCEL Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minn.
12/14 (11/17) — Rosemont, Ill., Allstate Arena
12/20 (10/05) — Greenville, S.C., Bon Secours Wellness Arena
12/22 (10/07) — Atlanta, Infinite Energy Arena
1/19 (9/30) — Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Arena
1/29 (11/13) — Billings, Mont., Rimrock Auto Arena
1/31 (11/7) — Boise, Idaho, Ford Center
2/15 (10/28) — Phoenix, Talking Stick Resort Arena
2/17 (10/26) — Denver, Pepsi Center
2/23 (11/4) — The Forum, Inglewood, Calif.

Sixties Psychedelic-Rock Legends The Chocolate Watchband Release Two New “Far Out” Singles
San Jose, CA - When discussing legendary psychedelic garage bands of the 1960s, the Chocolate Watchband is at the top of the list. The Chocolate Watchband formed in San Jose in 1965. The band's music was described as “a blend of 1960s-style garage and psychedelic rock with a distinguishable 'Rolling Stones' San Francisco sound. Produced by Ed Cobb, the group's early music combined the influences of blues with a psychedelic edge that featured terse lyrics and instrumental experimentation. The Chocolate Watchband appeared in the 1967 film “Riot On Sunset Strip” and the 1968 film “The Love Ins.” The band released three highly acclaimed LPs from 1967 to 1969 before disbanding in 1970. In 1999, they reunited at the San Diego event 66 / 99 in San Diego, CA, organized by musician / journalist Mike Stax. They continue to play today at garage rock festivals in Europe as well as the States with Little Steven, The Yardbirds, Love, The Zombies, Bo Diddly, Iggy Pop, the Strawberry Alarm Clock and the Electric Prunes.
Now much to the excitement of the band's fans around the globe, the Chocolate Watchband are releasing two new singles destined to be classics! - “Judgment Day” and “Secret Rendezvous”! The tracks were recorded in 2017 at Kingdom Voice Productions, Santa Clara, CA.

Says lead vocalist and founding member David Aguilar, “I wrote 'Judgment Day' as the country was still in recovery after every dollar you might have had invested suddenly tanked thanks to Wall Street. People were getting laid off, they were moving backwards in income, homes were being foreclosed on. Families were living in their cars. It was a terrible time for the American dream. But this was pure opportunity for those who enjoyed stratospheric wealth. Wall Street gangsters, bailed out by American taxpayers, were rewarded for their massive greed and stupidity. They immediately started buying up everything they could, hotels, new corporate jets, restaurants chains, radio stations, small businesses, big businesses, casinos, 300+ acre ranches with 16,000 square foot homes in compounds near Aspen, on Long Island, or in Florida. Their trophy wives were pampered like pet poodles.
“It resulted in the anger that put the current president into the White House. And it's ironic, Judgment Day didn't come for the political party that remains the mouthpiece for the fat cats. And now the White House is filled with more Wall Streeters! The Who were wrong, Americans can get fooled again!

“'Secret Rendezvous' changed names a few times, lyrics were quick and fast, the whole song came from the opening riff … I recorded it in about 40 minutes. I like songs like this - they write themselves as you track it. I recorded drums and guitar together, added bass, horns, cowbell, (yeah say it - “more cowbell”) and vocals. When the band got a hold of it, they ripped it! I can't wait to sing this song on stage!”

Watch the band's new live video “I'm Not Like Everybody Else” (the Acid Test 5/7/16):

The Chocolate Watchband:
David Aguilar - Lead Vocals, harmonica, percussion, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars
Gary Andrijasivich - Drums, backing vocals, percussion
Tim Abbott - Lead guitar, sitar, backing vocals
Derek See - Guitars, backing vocals
Alec Palao - Bass

Tim Abbott - Engineer / co-producer,
Ross Peterson - Mix Engineer / co-producer
Joey White - Mastering Engineer

To purchase “Judgement Day” single:

To purchase “Secret Rendezvous” single:

“Judgement Day”:
“Secret Rendezvous”:

For more information:
The Chocolate Watchband official band website: