Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 08 - 18 )

Hi Kent –
I love this! And no matter what the conversation is about Sinatra - he was and will always be the Chairman of the Board !!!'
Carol Ross
No doubt about it, Frank was one of a kind … but tell me if you feel quite the same way after hearing him destroy “Mrs. Robinson” below, trying WAY too hard to live up to that "hep cat" image.  (kk)

Great job on your Frank Sinatra special. 
You mentioned Frankie Valli singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." 
My friend Marianne is at a park concert right now listening to Frankie and she just sent me a clip of him singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."
Frank B.

>>> I was one of four guitarists and the only one to play in E-Flat with a capo  (Glen Campbell) 
>>>I've seen this before, but it strikes me as odd in a few ways … I'd have sworn that he said "without" a capo when I first saw this.  (It's not too unusual for some guitarists to use a capo for flat keys, but in my 58 years of gigs, of those who choose to use them, I've never heard of anyone having a problem WITH a capo.  It's difficult for me to believe that any guitarist who was at the level of doing a Sinatra session would have any kind of problem playing in any key and would use a capo for anything other than a special situation of wanting "open" strings in a flat key.   "Strangers ..." is in F and modulates to G, so it has nothing to do with the key of Eb.  So I can't help but wonder if Campbell was confusing this with some other session.  (Gary E. Myers / MusicGem)
It seems to me that if you tune a guitar down a half step to E flat and put a capo on the second fret your ARE playing in F.  So what's the big mystery?
George Van Win

Frank Sinatra was my dad’s music.  Growing up, I was never a fan … however, the years have mellowed me a bit.  That's Life or Summer Wind were far better records than Strangers, in my humble opinion.
I worked for a radio owner in the eighties that thought he was
Sinatra.  He even looked like him a little and would walk out with his
hat on and his coat over his shoulder.  One time he was showing one of
his rich buddies around the station while I was on the air.  He must
have wanted to impress the guy that as the owner he could do whatever he wanted.  He came in with a Sinatra album and put it on the empty turntable and placed the needle on the last track.  "Play that next", he said.  I did not argue, as I needed the work.  We went from a mid-80s pop hit right into Frank's version of Mrs. Robinson.   It was a train wreck segue.   Some listeners thought I did it as a joke and thought it was pretty funny.

The PTA, Mrs. Robinson,
Won’t OK the way you do your thing,
Ding ding ding
And you'll get yours, Mrs. Robinson,
Foolin' with that young stuff like you do
Boo hoo hoo, woo woo woo
Phil – WRCO
OK, now I’ve just GOT to hear it!!!  (lol)  kk

OMG … my opinion of Frank just dropped about 4000 points!!!  (kk)

I have the 45 of “The Men In My Little Girl’s Life,” but I don't want to dig it out and download it because it DOES suck.  However, I THINK you may be playing the stereo alternate and not the 45 version of the hit.  Not sure, but it doesn't sound quite like I remember cringing to when it came on the Silver Dollar Survey countdown.  Hey, why don't you just give me a paper cut instead ... OR play "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte," a song that also tortured me that year.
Clark Besch

Mike Douglas, who is best remembered today as a long-running daytime TV variety-talk show host, first won fame as a featured singer with big band leader Kay Kyser snf his Orchestra between 1945 and 1950.  Douglas sang lead on several Kyser hits, among them the 1945 chart-topper "Ole Buttermilk Sky" (Columbia 37073).   In 1950, Mike also provided the singing voice of Prince Charming in Walt Disney's animated feature "Cinderella."  His 20-year TV talk-variety series began in 1961 and featured guests ranging from John Lennon, Kiss and the Rolling Stones to Freddy Cannon, Aretha Franklin and The Three Stooges' Moe Howard.  Mike quickly became the hottest host on daytime television.   According to TV Guide, his impact was such that “dishes go unwashed and shirts remain unironed when Mike Douglas comes on.”  His syndicated show ran on nearly 200 stations and was viewed each day by close to six million housewives (and kids home from school).   In 1967, Mike won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Daytime Performance.”  The beloved and genial Douglas and his series were at the peak of their popularity when he was handed "The Men In My Little Girl's Life,” a moving part-recitation with words written by Mary Candy and Eddie Deane and music contributed by Gloria Shayne (the co-writer of “Do You Hear What I Hear.”)  For any big band singer to make a comeback on the pop charts after two decades away – and do it in 1966 among such prime rockers as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley – seems like it would have been absolutely impossible.  However, you must remember one thing.  Unlike today, when all contemporary hits sound cookie-cutter similar, back in the ‘60s pop radio was open to hot hits of ALL kinds and styles – be they country, show tunes, hard rock, soft rock, folk ballads, blues, orchestral, novelty numbers, Motown magic and even spoken word.  Within a few minutes on Top 40 radio back then you could hear Jack Jones, George Jones, Tom Jones and The Rolling Stones back-to-back and no one would even bat an eyelash.  Top 40 then mean the best 40 hit singles regardless of style.  It was that diverse – and that exciting.   And it was into the context that “The Men in My Little Girl’s Life” was released (Epic 9876).   The song condenses into less than four minutes the stages a young woman goes through from childhood to adulthood – as seen from the perspective of her loving Dad.    You didn’t have to be a father – or any kind of grown-up – in 1966 to understand the perfectly crafted emotional underpinning of that track.   And the result soared into the Top 10 – peaking at #6 – just as the new year began.   Mike Douglas never scored another hit and ended his TV series in 1981.  In 2007, the year after Mike’s passing, PBS aired the documentary "Mike Douglas: Moments and Memories."
Of note:  Two years after “The Men in My Little Girl’s Life,” Perry Como scored one of his final chart hits with “The Father of Girls,” a single expressing much the same feelings as Mike’s record.   Here’s a live version:
Gary Theroux
"The History of Rock 'n Roll"

Regarding the Mike Douglas song “The Men In My Little Girl’s Life,” we always used to sing “Dad, there's a boy outside, his name is Chuck...."  
Lol ... yep … that one works on “The Name Game,” too!  (kk)

Thanx to Jerry Reuss for sharing in Forgotten Hits that his mid-1960s English teacher told him the length of a good report should be, “Like a lady’s dress. Long enough to cover the subject, yet short enough to be interesting.” 
It reminded me that just a few years earlier, I on the other hand, after giving my campaign speech for President of my High School Class, was questioned by a teacher about the appropriateness of my choice of words when I had opened my speech by saying it would not be a long one. “It would be more like a French swimming suit and cover only the essential points!
~~ Chuck Buell

kk –
More from Connie Francis’ new book …
Connie was making her fourth appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.  She sang "Mama."
CF:  I prayed that Ed would not call me over to take a bow. Everybody knew he couldn't ad lib his way out of a paper bag.  Connie , is your mother still dead? She shot Ed a baffled glance.
During another appearance Connie was going to sing "Yiddishe Momme," from her "Jewish Favorites" album. Sophie Tucker (and Jerry Lewis) threatened to walk off the show. In the mid 20's this song was considered to be her song.
Ed advised both of them --- if they walked, they'd never appear on CBS-TV again. They both backed down.
Connie decided to sing another song and everybody was happy.
I’m going to have to order this book … sounds like a really fun read.  (But I’ve still got something like nine more to finish before I can start this one!!!  Lol)  kk

I own all of 'em on original 45s, and play them ... except for the almost pukeville, U.S.A resident on the chart, "Girl In Love" by the Outsiders.  I have the 45 in the collection for the killer B side, "What Makes You So Bad, You Weren't Brought Up That Way" ... haha!  (Mike Markesich)
Not being familiar with EITHER A or B side here, I listened to them. Now I understand why I do not remember them.
A side: What a downer! There are break-up songs and lost love songs, but really now?? Just depressing.
B side: Good beat, love the harmonica reminiscent of Beatles and Rolling Stones, but the lyrics? Hmmm. Especially the ‘hit you in the head’ part.
Just one girl’s point of view.
I just returned from a Wi-Fi free week at the lake and was breezing through the last few articles. I noticed somewhere in the Friday article there was a reference to some “pop and garage artists” including a band referenced as the MC2(?)  Now just out of curiosity, was there an actual band named The MC2 or was this a miss-print referencing The MC5?  Now in jest the MC5 are sometimes referred to as the MC2 by their loyal fans as there are only 2 of them left.
The MC5 have never been accurately captured on audio or video and you have no idea how good they really were unless you saw them in person. If this is a miss-print I would like to see them get as much credit as possible.
Robert S. Campbell
I thought the same thing when I read that but didn’t question it … but, in light of your inquiry, I asked Clark Besch (who submitted that segment) to clarify further …
No, MC2 is an actual group.  In fact, I did a bit of research for the Now Sounds label, who is either or already has released a CD of their output.  A nice mellow sound to the group, as were most Reprise artists.  Jim Keltner of Lennon / Harrison / Ringo fame was in the band and THIS is my fave by them.  GREAT sound, I think.  This is actually a LIVE version of the great 45 they had in 1969 ... VERY much like the We 5, IMO.

Your idea of putting together a tour of lead singers with a “house band” to back them has already been done, albeit at a smaller scale. Larry Hoppen of the band Orleans started an organization called RPM - Rock and Pop Masters in the mid-2000s which featured lead singers from 80s bands backed by the group Orleans and a few standout musicians. An RPM show featured 4 - 6 singers doing their greatest hits as well as Orleans doing theirs. Among the singers I saw at the three concerts I attended (Madison, WI., Weston, FL., and Branson, MO.) were David Pack of Ambrosia, Edgar Winter, Jimi Jameson of Survivor, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree, Wally Palmar of The Romantics. The shows I saw were “pop” shows while RPM also did harder-edge “rock” shows. RPM never really caught on big and the shows stopped after the death of Larry Hoppen in 2012. The shows I saw were tremendous, with hit after hit by the vocalists that made them famous
With a little web research you can find shows featuring two or three vocalists sharing the stage with a supporting band. The remaining members of Orleans still do this. It would be great to try the RPM format again.
Bob Verbos
Yes, we’ve seen several of these shows, too … but something a bit more permanent like this … with some of the biggest names in pop music who simply can’t identify themselves with the groups they helped make famous would be the key … how can Burton Cummings’ name NOT be associated with The Guess Who?  Or Chuck Negron’s with Three Dog Night.  It’s just plain WRONG!!!  (I’m telling you, there’s money to be made here!) kk

kk …
I bet not many of your reader's have heard "The Horse," with lyrics.
Frank B.
Ah yes … but those are the newly made-up lyrics to cash in on the dance craze started with Cliff Nobles’ huge instrumental dance hit.
Listen to the entire story told in this YouTube clip and you’ll see that the song was recorded as a vocal FIRST (“Love Is All Right”) and THEN stripped down to an instrumental track to stick on the B-Side.  It was the B-Side, however, that took off … and gave Cliff a #2 Pop Hit almost exactly 50 Years Ago Today.
Here is the original vocal version of “Love Is All Right” … the INTENDED A-Side … that never really saw the light of day once the deejays turned the record and played “The Horse” instead.  (kk)

I thought the group might be interested in this article, if it hasn't already been referenced and posted. 
It ran in The Chicago Tribune, just two days ago:
"She used to listen to Chicago Radio's Dick Biondi under her pillow … Now she's making a movie"
I also noticed that there's an event on August 8th in the far south Beverly neighborhood where she discusses her film, and both Dick Biondi and John "Records" Landecker will be present.  It might behoove me to try to be in Chicago on that date.
Frank Merrill
Yes, this is the film that we’ve been talking about for months now … Pam Pulice is the one putting all of this together and we have been trying to help to spread the word and get the word out about her fund-raising efforts.
Beverly is a bit of a hike for me … but let me know if you’re coming in for that … it would be GREAT to finally be able to say “hello” to you in person after all these years.
Thanks, Frank!  (kk)

Another WLS item ...
Do you remember back in December of 1968 that WLS and Roulette Records gave away a special gold label 45 of The Shondells' Crimson and Clover?
I do not know if they mentioned it on air or not, but I saw a little writeup in Billboard.  At the time I had subscriptions to Billboard, Variety and Daily Variety (LA edition).  So, I wrote for a copy and they sent me one on 12/03/68, which I received the next day.
It seems that the number of copies that WLS received was 800.  I do not
know how many copies Roulette gave away, or if they had the same gold WLS label.  They sent it in an envelope in which they received 45s from Dot records.
Here are images of the envelope and 45:

It was a very cheap pressing and single sided.  Very thin vinyl.
For more info about this song and the release history, visit
Mike Brown 

Yes, we covered this one eons ago (not even sure how I’d find it at this point) but what you sent is EXTREMELY cool … very high quality photos of the record and the envelope (hard to believe they hand-wrote out all that information below the mailing label!)
The Wikipedia listing is interesting, too … and, if you scroll on down to the bottom where they list their reference sources, you’ll find a link to the Billboard article that you may have seen to initially prompt you to write in for your free copy.
Program Director John Rook could probably have shed even more light on this topic but unfortunately he left us a few years ago.  (He used to participate with Forgotten Hits quite a bit and we would often have hour-long phone calls about just about ANYTHING to do with radio.  I miss those talks.)  kk

UPDATE:  While I didn’t find our original piece on this very rare “promo” single, I did find this from a few years ago, which also mentions the piece.  (I don’t think the information is anywhere near correct … 10,000 free copies, given away at a Tommy James concert?!?!  That just doesn’t sound right to me.  And if it WERE the case, I’m sure something about this would have been mentioned in Tommy’s book.)
By the way, “Crimson And Clover” made our list of Top 20 All-Time Favorite Psychedelic Songs about thirteen years ago.  (How is that even possible?!?!?)  Incredibly, this entire series still holds up very well and has been read by over 2 ½ million people.  (It also makes for an EXCELLENT radio countdown!)
You can check out the whole thing here:

On July 7, 1972, WCBS-FM switched to an all "OLDIES FORMAT."
And, back in 1972 … and probably throughout the ‘80’s, they played REAL oldies … and not all the ‘80’s and ‘90’s tunes they play today AS oldies.  (Referencing your comment about their 4th of July Countdown of The Top 101 Songs of the 1980’s) …

kk …
See what we missed.

And you'll find more Dan Ingram here …

I’ve got to tell you that DJ Don “Records” Ludden did a VERY nice job putting together his Countdown of The Top 50 Favorite Summer Hits (as determined by our Forgotten Hits Readers a few years ago.)
This is DEFINITELY worth a listen …
And, of course you can find the COMPLETE list here …

And, speaking of summer (it certainly has been HOT enough this year) … just got this from our FH Buddy Chuck Buell …

And now, this Special Chuck Buell Forgotten Hits Summer Swimming Reminder.
During the hot Summer months of 1963, it was pretty standard to see teens sitting high atop the strategically placed Life Guard Towers at Beaches, Lakes and Swimming Pools all around the country.
Today, that once young demo perched in those chairs has grown older. With fewer high schoolers interested in a previously prized adolescent summer job of the 1960s, it’s not unusual today in the Summer of 2018 to find older adults, even retirees and perhaps some Forgotten Hits Readers manning those iconic white wood observation towers!
The Washington Post reported that a 70-year old woman in Texas is currently watching over the waters of a popular swimming area. The American Lifeguard Association has recruited people in their 80s to help keep swimmers safe! 
Now, if it turns out that this is something you’ve secretly wished you had done in your youth, it’s not too late for you to pursue this new experience during your personal Golden Oldie years. But like those 70 and 80-year-olds, you’ll first need to complete a Lifeguard Certification which consists of your ability to drive that more mature body of yours to successfully swim 500 meters in less than 10 minutes and run a mile - on a sandy Beach - in less than seven and a half minutes.
And who knows?  YOU too may soon be the object of adoration once again as Diana Ray so lovingly sang in her Top 30 1963 Hit, “Please Don’t Talk to the Life Guard!”

OK, so let’s see … over the years I’ve now been dressed up as a lifeguard AND a cheerleader … and probably at least a dozen other special images along the way!  (Hey, I don’t care … as long as you guys keep reading!)  Thanks, Chuck … I think.  (kk)