Friday, June 15, 2018

The Friday Flash

>>>Four straight days of brand new postings  (kk)
You keep this up and we'll have to raise your salary!  L-o-L !
Frank B.
I’m finding that this was much easier to promise than it was to deliver!!!  Got home VERY late from The Mike And Micky Show last night and had a hell of a time getting out of bed this morning … not enough time to really prepare anything so I’m going with what I’ve got.  (Great show ‘tho!!! And a VERY enthusiastic Chicago crowd … I think the guys will be talking about this audience for a long time to come.)  kk

Speaking of which, FH Reader David Salidor just sent me this GREAT interview with Micky Dolenz …
Watch for our review of the Mike and Micky Show … if it doesn’t make our Sunday Comments Edition we may have to do a special Monkees Monday post!  (kk)

I did get a chance to visit with our FH Buddy Rick O'Dell (Program Director of Me-TV-FM, which got a rousing round of applause before the show began.)  We were finally able to take a picture together ... in front of the display booth they had set up in the lobby!  (kk)

>>>Having just listened to The Chieftones' version of "Indian Reservation" I'm not so sure this would have been a hit ... the Don Fardon record (my personal favorite) and Paul Revere and the Raiders' version (which went to #1) blow it away.   (kk)
"Indian Reservation" was written by John D. Loudermilk, someone who I think is overlooked as a songwriter (and singer).  He wrote dozens of songs, many of them well-known hits.  Yet, he only charted TOP 40 nationally twice, and only once under his own name.
I like the Fardon version best myself, but a good song is simply a good song.
Loudermilk wrote some great songs … one of my all-time favorites is "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," a song that for me is timeless … I’ve never heard a bad version of that one either.
We traced the roots of "Indian Reservation" in our Honest Injun series several years ago.  If I remember correctly, it was Marvin Rainwater who first brought the song to national attention.  (I'm trying to find the original segment in the archives, which is ALWAYS a challenge after so many computer crashes!  lol)  kk

UPDATE:  Success!!!  Just found it … (had to go all the way to 2005 for this one!!!)

MARVIN RAINWATER is one of the VERY few artists featured this month in our special Honest Injun Series who is actually of American Indian descent. 
RAINWATER was born either MARVIN KARLTON PERRY (or PERCY, depending on which source you choose to believe) in 1925 and took the stage name of MARVIN RAINWATER to promote his Cherokee Indian heritage.  (It was, in fact, his mother's maiden name ... and MARVIN was one-quarter Cherokee.)  In 1955, he appeared on THE ARTHUR GODFREY TALENT SCOUTS SHOW, an early television staple.  Two years later, he would have his biggest chart hit when GONNA FIND ME A BLUEBIRD went to #22 in Billboard Magazine.  (This record was a much bigger hit here in Chicago, where it peaked at #7 on the old WJJD Chart.  It peaked at #3 on Billboard's Country Chart.) 
Before his success as a recording star, RAINWATER tried a variety of other occupations, including working in an auto repair shop, a lumber yard and as a tree surgeon.  He also studied specific courses in the hopes of becoming either a veterinarian or a pharmacist but his love for music won out.  (MARVIN lost his right thumb in an accident at the auto repair shop, limiting his ability to play the piano ... however, he continued on with his songwriting hobby and eventually placed the song I GOTTA GO GET MY BABY with recording star TERESA BREWER.  He also wrote his biggest hit, GONNA FIND ME A BLUEBIRD.) 
His OWN style could best be described as country and early rock-a-billy and when country legend RED FOLEY heard him perform an old HANK WILLIAMS tune, he invited MARVIN to join his OZARK JUBILEE radio program. 
RAINWATER continued recording throughout the '50's but never again encountered the type of chart success that BLUEBIRD brought him.  In 1959, he developed some throat problems, drastically affecting his vocal abilities.  In 1980, he told GOLDMINE MAGAZINE, "I didn't know it then, but I had calluses on my vocal cords and should have quit for months.  Instead, we'd spend hours and hours in the studio (recording "do-overs") without ever getting anything decent."  After finally recognizing what the REAL problem was, RAINWATER had throat surgery and then resumed his singing career, going on to record for a variety of record labels into the '70's (including WARWICK, UNITED ARTISTS, WARNER BROTHERS, BRAVE and WESCO.)  Much of his rock-a-billy work has since be repackaged and released via Germany's BEAR FAMILY RECORDS, and MARVIN has remained very popular overseas.  (Early in his career, RAINWATER cut some 50 rock-a-billy tunes for a local Washington, D.C. studio owner, who then pedaled these tunes to a variety of budget record labels like SPIN-O-RAMA, CROWN and PREMIER once MARVIN reached some chart success with MGMRAINWATER claims he never authorized these songs to be released ... nor did he earn a penny in royalties for their sale.)  While RAINWATER today is considered a classic rock-a-billy artist (he's even in The Rock-A-Billy Hall Of Fame), his biggest hit, GONNA FIND ME A BLUEBIRD is most decidedly COUNTRY (rather than rock, pop or rock-a-billy) in nature. 
DIDJAKNOW?:  Although he never hit The Top 40 again, MARVIN RAINWATER DID have a couple of other chart hits ... including a song titled HALF-BREED, which peaked at #66 in 1959.  (No relation to the CHER hit we featured a couple of weeks ago.)  It was, however, a #16 Country Hit ... and was written by JOHN D. LOUDERMILK!  In fact, MARVIN RAINWATER was the very first artist to record LOUDERMILK's INDIAN RESERVATION ... then titled PALE-FACED INDIAN ... back in 1959, SEVERAL years before DON FARDON and PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS took a crack at the tune.  (You may recall that this was the very first song that we featured in this special HONEST INJUN tribute ... don't you just LOVE it when all this stuff ties together?!?!?!)  In fact, thanks to the amazing THEONEBUFF, we have this rare MARVIN RAINWATER track to share with you today.

(Hey ... I said it was the first version ... not the BEST version!!!  kk)
REGRETS, I'VE HAD A FEW:  Much like our earlier-featured artists, REDBONE, RAINWATER would appear on stage and on television dressed in full Indian garb, wearing buckskins, moccasins and headband while performing.  (He now feels that he may have "typecast" himself early on in his career.)  No official word on whether HE later sold or donated any of these outfits to that VILLAGE PEOPLE guy.  (LOL)
BTW:  A planned, little mini-interview with MARVIN RAINWATER (now 80 years old and STILL performing regularly) was either canceled ... or, hopefully, postponed ... when MARVIN had to back-out at the last minute due to another commitment.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  Keep in mind this article ran back in 2005 … Marvin died of a heart attack in 2013.)  kk

I wanted to let you know that there is a new book in the "Ranking" series called "Ranking the Rock Writers".  This one is a solo effort on my part, done with Dann Isbell's endorsement.
The goal of the book is to create a compilation and scoring of all of the songwriters and their songs appearing on the three major charts between 1955 and 1991, and one unambiguous assignment of identity for each physical songwriter, and one physical songwriter for each identity based on an analysis of publicly available sources, harmonizing aliases and variant spellings. The reason this is challenging is that for about 20% of the records, the label, copyright and royalty rights writer assignments differ.
There are three major indices: 1) All the writers (11,834) who appeared in the three major magazines between 1955 and 1991, with all their songs, scored.  2) The Top 2000 writer teams (10,773) with all their songs, scored.  3)  All the songs that appeared in those magazines (24,426) with all their vital data.  In addition there are specialty lists: Top 200 writers and writer teams: first and biggest songs; Biggest writers by decade; Highest charting songs -- incorporating all versions -- for the period and more.
I also included a narrative and timeline-strength chart for the songs of the Top 30 writer teams.  The whole mess is 900 pages.
Kent, I'd like to send you a copy for review and comment in Forgotten Hits.  (I have to say I'm a little nervous about sending you the narrative section because no one knows the history the way you do.)  I wrote what I remembered and mostly tried to stick to interpreting what I see in the data.
The book itself can be found on Amazon after a soft launch June 1.  I'm now working on the website so as to be ready when Rich Appel features it on his July 4 show.  Because a good number of assignments require interpretation, I'm trying to find a way to put my research notes on line as well. 
Hope you're doing well.  Forgotten Hits continues to be the flagship for music of that era.
Bill Carroll

Lee Shapiro, former music director Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, recalls Manilow as “a true professional and mensch. … one of the most versatile and generous talents of anyone I’ve worked with.’

Lee Shapiro of the Hit Men with Barry Manilow 
when they co-produced “Barry Manilow Presents Copacabana” 
exclusively for Caesars in Atlantic City from 1990-91

“The Hit Men are musicians in a class all their own”
– M Music & Musicians Magazine
Barry Manilow’s highly anticipated return to Las Vegas this week to premiere his exclusive new stage extravaganza, “The Hits Come Home!,” reminds THE HIT MEN’S musical director of their experience together co-producing another residency, “Barry Manilow Presents Copacabana,” the original early ‘90s stage production derived from Manilow’s signature hit song, "Copacabana," exclusively for Caesars in Atlantic City.   
The hour-long stage show ran from 1990 to 1991 in Caesars’ Circus Maximus Theatre with a cast of 20 singers and dancers. It played to over 100,000 people in its first six months to rave reviews as the "must-see casino show" in Atlantic City. Manilow’s Vegas show opens Thursday in the International Theater at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. 
Lee Shapiro, who ignited his considerable show biz pedigree 15 years earlier as Frankie Valli’s “kid” musical director and Four Seasons member during their 1970s resurgence, recalls Manilow as nothing short of “a true professional and mensch … one of the most versatile and generous talents of anyone I’ve worked with.”
Shapiro is now musical director and keyboardist of THE HIT MEN, the popular “real deal” musicians who each helped deliver dozens of hits to the superstar artists of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. He got his first taste of Manilow’s unique abilities when they went into a New York studio to create a live recording session with two dozen musicians for a soundtrack album that, 27 years later, remains unreleased. Shapiro still marvels at how deftly Manilow delegated roles even though “he could have done anyone’s job.”   
“He’s well versed and proficient at orchestration, arranging, recording, songwriting, and playing piano on a level I’ve never experienced,” Shapiro notes. “At one point he wanted to hear a change in the orchestration from me. This is how he handled it: ‘Would everyone please leave the control room except for me and Lee?’ And then he said ‘Lee, open the score.’ I opened it and he pointed directly to the bar. ‘You see this right here? I’d really like it to be brought down an octave.’ He could have said that in front of everybody, but he didn’t want to embarrass me by drawing questions to my choices. And that’s typical of how he collaborated with those on his support team. I wish him good health and success in his Vegas residency. ‘Copacabana’ was one of the best experiences of my career.”
After decades of helping deliver dozens of hits with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Carly Simon, THE HIT MEN have taken their next major step toward stardom on their own terms, with the release of their first original music video from their first original single, “You Can’t Fight Love,” off the new album, DON’T STOP.   
The Don’t Stop U.S. Tour, having already crisscrossed the U.S. with an all-new production featuring the most recent chapters in THE HIT MEN’s “Hits-tory” from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, resumes later this summer.
What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the ‘60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to some of the most indelible hits of the ‘70s and beyond. It’s only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN’S story – fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history – has become a revelation.
From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CD's, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, THE HIT MEN ― Shapiro, Jeff Ganz (bass / vocals), Jim Ryan (lead guitar / vocals), Russ Velazquez (vocalist / keyboardist / percussionist), and Steve Murphy (drummer / vocalist) have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it!
THE HIT MEN intersperse their stories – and many more – with lighthearted affection on stage, engaging audiences of all ages in self-deprecating fashion as they continue to sign up new members of THE HIT MEN “faithful” wherever they’ve played since coming together in pristine harmony hundreds of shows ago. Watch what the fans say here.
THE HIT MEN bring the hits on stage – and in the studio – with astounding vibrancy, from so many rock greats … and legends. Aside from the previously mentioned artists, THE HIT MEN also count Lou Reed, Foreigner, Sting, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Cheap Trick, Chicago, and yes, even LL Cool J, in their collective canon. Combined, THE HIT MEN have played on some 85 albums, many of them gold and multi-platinum.
Indeed, THE HIT MEN are hardly steeped in the past. But thanks to their illustrious pasts, they sure know good songs when they hear ‘em, and are especially attracted to well-written songs with great melody and hooks. No wonder the members share a fondness for contemporary stars like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, John Legend and Jason Mraz.
As the Associated Press recently noted, “Nostalgia Fades but the 'Hit Men' Play On."
THE HIT MEN continue to recreate their classics while proving again and again that you absolutely can teach old dogs new “tracks.”
August 9: Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY
August 15: Cape May Convention Center, Cape May NJ
August 18: West End Cruise Night & Classic Car Show, Long Branch, NJ
September 29: Friends of the PAC, Middleton, WI
October 12: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
October 13: State Theater, Easton, PA
October 20: Vinegar Hill Music Theater, Arundel, ME
October 27: Honeywell Center, Wabash, IN
October 28: The Holland Theater, Bellefontaine, OH
November 10: GSU PAC, University Park, IL
November 15: Cox Performing Arts Center at Dixie State Univ., St. George, UT
December 2: Katherine Hepburn Theater, Old Saybrook, CT
More dates to come!

Do you know about this book?
If you wrote about it, I don't remember it. 
I also read that since the book was written Sam’s and Bobby’s DNA match.
Frank B.
I’ve read at least six or seven different books on Bobby Darin’s life and none of them have ever mentioned this guy.  That’s not to say it couldn’t be true … Bobby certainly had his flings … but it’s just odd to hear it coming up now, all these years later.  (Keep in mind, Bobby’s been dead for 45 years now!)
Also the fact that the book’s been out a year but is just now getting some notice makes me wonder … I’m just trying to decide if I’m curious enough to read it.  (Honestly, what can he add to the story?  He never knew his father so can’t offer any insight there.  Kinda sounds like one of those stories you’d find on or Lisa Kudrow’s “Who Do You Think You Are” television program (which is actually quite good, by the way!)  kk

And Now, Here's Today's Special Chuck Buell 1966 Music Break!  

If you like mid-60s Classic Anti-hero Western Movies, 

If you like mid-60s Classic “Spaghetti Western” Movies, 

If you like mid-60s Classic Clint Eastwood Anti-hero Spaghetti Western Movies, 

You might like this unique presentation of the Great, Classic Hit theme from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” as performed by the Danish Symphony Orchestra.  

The Danish Symphony Orchestra?!  


I liked it and found it to be a very entertaining, enjoyable and interesting Six Minutes. 

You might like it, too.

CB ( which stands for "Cow Boy!" )
We ran a similar clip several months ago that was quite enjoyable as well. (In fact, if you search on YouTube you’ll find all kinds of modern-day renditions of this song … always a favorite … and tying in perfectly with our fifty year salute to 1968!)  kk
(Interestingly enough, IMDB shows the film as 1966 … but with an official release date of December 29, 1967, two days shy of 1968, which is when the Hugo Montenegro record became a Top Ten Hit.)

You decide between the three versions presented which one is the good ... the bad ... and the ugly.  (Sorry, but voting on the Marvin Rainwater track is already closed.)  kk