Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 22 - 18 )

Freddy Cannon: 
Your Freddy Cannon Comments are still rockin’ Forgotten Hits!
Here’s a link from New Yorker Tom Cuddy about this week’s GREAT Daily Herald article written by Ron Onesti, talking about last Sunday’s Doo-Wop Show …  (I'm tellin' ya ... people all over the country are reading about the events that happen regularly at The Arcada Theatre ... it's literally world famous!!!  If you're planning a trip to Chicago, you've got to include a stop here on your itinerary!)

Hi Kent,
I'm a little late to Freddy Cannon comments, but I just wanted to share my own Freddy Cannon story. Back in November of 1972, I attended a Richard Nader Rock 'n Roll Revival show at Madison Square Garden, which was the very first concert I ever attended at age 16 and the very first performer that night, and the first live concert act I ever saw, was Freddy Cannon!! He was fantastic! Total high energy for his whole set! A great way to start my concert going adventures. I'm so glad that Freddy is still out there rocking and rolling and that you met him after all the effort you put into bringing him to the Arcada! Great to see that Richard Nader Poster, over the years I went to many of those shows and saw many of the acts featured on it! Thanks for all you do to keep the music alive!
Eddie Burke
Ashley, PA 
P.S. the closing act for my first concert was Roy Orbison, who put a spotlight on his good friend in the audience, sitting about 10 rows ahead of me, Johnny Cash!! What a night!!    

Great post on Boom Boom, my friend.  Hope you have some time to breathe. :O)
Thanks -
Barry Winslow
The Royal Guardsmen

Hi Kent,
Don’t recall if you mentioned this in a previous FH blog, but Freddy Cannon closed Cousin Bruce Morrow’s Sirius - XM Palisades Park Reunion Concert last month in New Jersey. He looked and sounded great.
Freddy will join Brucie again on September 28th at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, with The Cowsills and others.
Ed Osborne
If you get the chance to go to this, go!!!  Not only is Freddy in great shape but seeing The Cowsills live is one of the best concert experiences I’ve had in the past ten years!  (kk)  

Hi Kent -
Thanks for the review on Freddy Cannon.  It was a great pleasure when he was a phone guest on our Radio show three years ago .
I believe he holds the record for number of appearances on Bandstand. I think it’s over 120? 
You are right about Rock n Roll stars being bigger now in the UK than the USA. Lord Rockin' Geoff would testify to that.
The music industry has so many acts who were huge in America but not in the UK and, of course, reverse is true.  Many of our top acts never had Billboard success.
Would love to have seen Freddy at the Arcada - sounds a great night.


This And That:
Always good to see evidence of your faithful, all-inclusive commitment to what you do -- and what WE do. Lots of music-oriented blogs, websites and publications couldn't care less what an artist is doing if it doesn't relate directly to his / her music. Thanks for being the exception and including the notice about the reading of my play.
All the best,
Thanks, Bob … we’re all about keeping the artists and music of this era alive and in focus.  Spread the word … we would love to run weekly updates and what all you guys are doing these days!  (kk)

Here’s a GREAT Scott Shannon / Bruno Mars video moment, sent in by FH Reader Tim Kiley …

Hi Kent, 
I always loved this song by the Pat Upton and the Spiral Starecase and I ran across this version on YouTube today by Bruno Mars -- thought you would get a kick out of it!
Tim Kiley

Bruno Mars just may be the singular, most talented person on the planet today.  This guy can do it all ... write, sing, dance ... and he just oozes charisma ... he comes across as a truly likeable person who's having a ball doing anything and everything he's doing.  We've probably watched this clip at least a dozen times already!  Thanks, Tim!  (kk)

August 17, 2018 = Scott Shannon's 1000th show on WCBS-FM.
6 to 10 AM, live broadcast featuring Special Guests and reviewing the last 4 1/2 years.

WLTL-FM 88.1 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie soundtrack Monday, July 23, at 12 Noon CT.  The movie did not do well at the box office, but the soundtrack sold over 1,000,000 units (platinum). A few singles were released, including the number 1 R&B/top 10 pop hit “Got To Get You Into My Life” by Earth, Wind And Fire.  Celebrity songs by George Burns, Steve Martin and more will stream at: 
The 40th Anniversary Of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Movie Soundtrack
Monday, July 23, at 12 Noon CT on WLTL

That's tomorrow, folks!  (kk)

And, since we've been a bit of a Doo-Wop mood lately, I wanted to share this from DJ Stu Weiss …  

Here’s a show worth mentioning …

Big news this past week as Billy Joel played his 100th Concert at Madison Square Garden.  Special Guest this time around was none other than The Boss, Bruce Springsteen!  (By the way, Bruce’s final Broadway Show will be airing on Netflix on December 15th, too!)  

I wonder how many of those songs shown on the KA-ROCK Stereo Survey the station was actually playing in stereo. Most of the them had been released in stereo at the time, although some of those were not the single edits / versions. 
– Randy Price

kk …
Just heard them announce this.  Saturday at noon (New York Time), Rewound Radio will be doing a salute to Bob Shannon, WCBS-FM. 
If you've never heard Bob Shannon, do yourself a favor and try to catch him today. I think I told you about him.
I used to listen to him every day from 3 to 7 PM.
First they said he was on vacation ... then they just didn't say anything. As far as I can tell, he just got tired of it all and gave it up. He always closed his show like this -- "Till Tomorrow at 3, Be Seeing You.”
Frank B.
Every Saturday afternoon, Rewound Radio does their Dee Jay Hall Of Fame segment, spotlighting either one of the great deejays from the rock and roll, top 40 era, or, quite often, an entire radio station, by airing actual airchecks from back in the day … ALWAYS a good time ‘cause it’s the real deal.
I missed this one … but again, the most bang for your buck, oldies radio-wise has GOT to be Rewound Radio … ‘cause they remember what it was like and they truly care about this magical era.  (By the way, head honcho Allan Sniffen gave us a GREAT shout-out on Rewound Radio yesterday.  If you haven't listened yet, give 'em an hour and you'll be hooked!)  kk

Here’s Bob Shannon on the return of WCBS-FM.
Frank B.

And, speaking of great radio …

You can catch radio legends John Records Landecker and Bob Sirott reminisce about the heyday of rock radio in Chicago and the inspiring influence of the great Dick Biondi. They’ll be interviewed by David Plier on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM. The segment will be posted online at early Sunday morning.
-         Robert Feder
Two of the all-time greats from WLS in the ‘70’s … GOTTA listen to this one!  (kk)

I found this old Leslie ad featuring Jim Peterik and just had to share it ... man, he looks GREAT in this picture ... guessing it's from maybe ten years ago or so (???)  Maybe Jim can confirm.  Very similar to the recent AXS Concert we were talking about recently.  (kk)

For an update on the status of LJ Coon’s ongoing efforts to reopen the investigation into the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, drop me a note and I’ll be happy to pass along.
WARNING:  There’s some pretty graphic stuff in here that I felt it best NOT to post it to the website … but it does show you just how deeply they’re looking into these circumstances.  It is only available to our readers by email request … so let me know if you’d like to receive a copy.  (kk)





On September 14, 2018, Eagle Vision will release Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle of Wight Festival on Blu-ray and Digital Video.
Joni Mitchell is a unique creative force, a female troubadour who has led the way for countless female artists with an enduring legacy of musical sophistication. She has been named “one of the greatest songwriters ever…” by Rolling Stone magazine and is a 9-time Grammy Award winner.
In 1970, the Isle of Wight Festival was one of the largest musical events of its time. Bigger than Woodstock, and controversial from the get-go, hundreds of thousands of people descended on the island. Many of those without tickets set up camp on a hill overlooking the festival site, opposing the consumerism of the event and intent on “taking the music back” by any means necessary. It was a celebration of hippy counter culture gone awry, and in Joni’s words “they fed me to the beast.”
Joni Mitchell took to the stage to deliver an outstanding performance against all odds. At times, it was a battle against the audience, as they tore down barriers and shouted obscenities. Her set was interrupted multiple times, including one man invading the stage to try address the crowd. She later commented, “It seemed like an appropriate time to flee…”, but still the seemingly fragile folk-rock singer stood her ground. Instead she returned to her piano, sitting on a fold-up wooden chair, and made an impassioned plea for respect from the audience, continuing her set with “My Old Man,” she won over the crowd and the atmosphere softened. In response the front page of Melody Maker hailed her with the frontpage headline, “Joni triumphs!”
Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, who sadly passed away shortly after the film’s completion, Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle of Wight Festival features new interviews with Joni, discussing her recollections of the event intercut with festival footage, both onstage and behind the scenes, offering a fascinating insight into a now legendary concert from the artists point of view and putting the events of the day into context. Alternatively, fans can enjoy the uninterrupted live concert footage featuring classic songs such as “Woodstock,” “Both Sides Now,” and ”Big Yellow Taxi.”

Track listing:
1) That Song About The Midway
2) Chelsea Morning
3) For Free
4) Woodstock
5) My Old Man
6) California
7) Big Yellow Taxi
8) Both Sides Now
9) Gallery
10) Hunter
11) A Case Of You

Leonard Cohen in Concert 1972 - Unseen Footage and Sound Recordings From Legendary 1972 Tour Rediscovered!
Legendary Film Director Tony Palmer was in his archive looking for something completely different when he discovered a box of archive film and sound recordings from Leonard Cohen’s famous 1972 tour, which formed the basis of the highly critically acclaimed, multi-prize winning and best-selling DVD “Bird On A Wire.”
Concert material from the concerts in Stockholm, Paris and the Albert Hall, with Cohen at the height of his powers performing “Marianne,” “Susanne,” “Joan of Arc,” “The Story of Isaac” and many other songs, is now being restored and edited together by Tony Palmer, who shot the original material.
This will be interspersed with more backstage film of the band on tour, and even some fresh interviews with Cohen himself all of which has remained unseen for over 45 years
These amazing audio and visual recordings will be released in a Limited Edition Deluxe and Standard versions exclusively through Pledge Music during the summer 2018
These releases will act as a companion recordings and film and will all add considerably to footage of the early part of Cohen's career. For which there is an increasing need since, apart from the film “Bird On A Wire,” there is comparatively little widely available.

DVD featuring 71 minutes of previously unseen footage of 1972 tour shot by Tony Palmer and not included in Bird on a Wire film & 2CD set
CD1 – Best of Live Recordings by Tony Palmer at various venues.
Track List:
1. So Long, Marianne
2. You Know Who I Am
3. The Butcher
4. Famous Blue Raincoat
5. Story Of Isaac
6. Joan Of Arc
7. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
8. The Partisan
9. Suzanne
10. Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
Film Soundtrack CD & DVD Track List:
1: So Long, Marianne
2: Bird on a Wire
3: Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
4: Famous Blue Raincoat
5: You Know Who I Am
6: Joan of Arc
7: Chelsea Hotel (improvised)
8: Suzanne
9: Avalanche
10: Story of Isaac
11: The Dealer
12: Chelsea Hotel
13: The Butcher
14: We Shall Not be Moved
For more information:

Cat Stevens at 70: His voice in the recording studio was ‘instant magic,’ recalls The Hit Men’s Jimmy Ryan

Jimmy Ryan of The Hit Men, left, and Cat Stevens

As Yussuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens turns 70 this weekend (July 21), Jimmy Ryan of THE HIT MEN, who played guitar on 1974’s multi-platinum Buddha and the Chocolate Box album, recalls how Stevens’ voice back then had a “transformational” ability in the recording studio to turn a track into “instant magic.” 
A primary example of Stevens’ wondrous studio flow, Ryan explains, was during the session for the song “Sun - C79”. Ryan wanted to write out a rough chart of the song’s multiple chord and mood changes. 
Stevens had other ideas.  
“He wouldn’t have it,” recounts Ryan now lead guitarist of THE HIT MEN, the popular “real deal” musicians who’ve separately delivered dozens of hits to the classic rock superstars of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. “He kept saying ‘just follow along,’ as he loosely wandered from half singing / speaking it, sometimes with a guitar, often while holding a guitar and not playing. His approach was for us to ‘get’ the song emotionally first, then work out the details later.   
After quite a few rounds of this, recording began and a coherent track eventually emerged. Not amazing, by Ryan’s standards, but OK. Ryan discretely whispered that opinion to Jean Roussel, the keyboardist, who knowingly smiled back and said to just “wait for it.” Stevens then stepped up to the mike, the track started rolling, the engineer pressed “record,” and … 
"… I was a witness to instant magic,” says Ryan. “His voice brought the song up to a whole new and unexpected level, creating that amazing sound and sung story telling he is so famous for. I’ve never seen a track transformed so quickly and thoroughly by anybody since! For me, that summed up the artistic genius that is Cat Stevens … and the Billboard charts agree.” 
In the ensuring months, Buddha and the Chocolate Box was Certified Platinum (over 1 million units sold), and the artist known now as Yusuf / Cat Stevens cemented his place in music history as a Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer!

>>>I’ve read this one a couple of times now and STILL don’t know how to react … FH Reader Sam Boyd sent me this piece written by Bob Lefsetz about The Happy Together Tour … Is he slammin’ the artists?  Or is he praising the quality of their hits, allowing them to endure five decades and still sound fresh and new???  Or is it just a whole lot of both going on here??? (He even slams the audience, referring to them as “the nearly dead”!) I dunno … you decide … all I know is The Happy Together Tour provides ENDLESS entertainment and enjoyment … and we can’t wait to see it again when it hits The Paramount Theater in Aurora next month.  (kk)

I have read many of Bob’s writings and my take on this is that he is surprised that he enjoyed it … at least more than he expected to. He can be caustic and assumes a position that is difficult to budge even if proven wrong. That is what is happening here. He has decided what / why the artists will / can do and is coping with things not being the way he had supposed. I am not saying he decides the outcome before he views shows, but he does go in with his lifetime of experiences and stances firmly set. He treats himself and his life in the same manner, so he does not limit his critiques solely to others. He came down hard on the sound system and screen size, which could easily vary from theatre to theatre, but as I have not yet read a review of his that was all positive raves,(does not mean they don’t exist) this was actually flattering for Happy Together Tour.
My outlook is just different. I go to a concert, show or musical with such gratitude for the opportunity that I glow. I am looking for the good in the experience and if I cannot possibly find it in the performance, clothing, lighting, staging, audience, or staff … I would look forward to dinner afterward. Actually, there have only been a couple of times that dinner outshone the show. 
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
Lefsetz has built his whole reputation on being controversial just for the sake of being controversial … not to say that his opinions aren’t well-respected in the industry … he is one of the most-read music columnists out there … but I find him to be far more negative than positive the majority of the time … but far too often simply for the sake of being so.  (kk)

The ‘80’s:
August 18 = WCBS-FM … Free concert in the park. 
They do this every year.

Belinda Carlisle was in Chicago this past week as part of an ‘80’s Fest held at The Arcada Theatre.

It was an interesting concept, not unlike what we’ve been talking about lately here in Forgotten Hits … gather together the lead singers who sang these hits, put them upfront with a killer back-up band, and let them take the audience back to a happier time.

This particular show featured Belinda, singing her hits with The Go Gos as well as from her solo career, Limahl (from Kajagoogoo, who also had a large ‘80’s hit on his own), Annabella from Bow Wow Wow, Tony Lewis, former lead singer of The Outfield and the groups ABC and Modern English.

Between them, these artists helped provide the Soundtrack of the ‘80’s with great songs like “We Got The Beat,” “Vacation” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” by The Go Gos; “The Look Of Love” and “When Smokey Sings” by ABC; “Too Shy” and “Never Ending Story,” both hits for Limahl both with Kajagoogoo and solo; “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow; “I Melt With You” by Modern English; “Your Love,” “All The Love In The World” and “Since You’ve Been Gone” by The Outfield and “Heaven Is A Place On Earth,” “I Get Weak,” “Mad About You” and “Circle In  The Sand,” all from Belinda Carlisle’s very successful solo career.

While I wasn’t at the show (it sounds like it woulda been a cool one to see!), The Arcada Theatre sent us some photos to share with our readers, all taken by house photographer Lucian Bilotti.   
(Special thanks to Ron Onesti and Brittany.)

Belinda Carlisle


Annabella (of Bow Wow Wow)


Tony Lewis (of The Outfield)

Modern English

So … since we've ventured into the '80's … here are a a couple more tunes from that era that hit a little closer to home.

Both hail from Illinois, with REO Speedwagon having their roots in the college town of Champaign down south … while Cheap Trick broke big out of Rockford, about 90 miles to the north of where I grew up.

REO paid their dues for a long time before finally hitting it big in the early '80's with their "Hi Infidelity" album.  (Earlier low-charting hits like "Ridin' The Storm Out," "Roll With The Changes," "Keep Pushin'" and "Time For Me To Fly" garnered all kinds of airplay here in The Midwest in the late '70's … but I'll betcha as far back as 1972 I saw REO open for at least half a dozen acts that came thru town.  They seemed to be the "go to" band and, as such, I saw them paired with everybody from Badfinger to The Raspberries to Malo to Chuck Berry … and that was just at one venue!

Recent Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees Cheap Trick kicked around for quite a few years, too, before their "Live At Budokan" album put them on the map.  (Yeah, all they had to do was travel half way around the world to achieve success here in Chicago!)  But that 6300 mile trip launched their career that eventually earned them eight Billboard Top 40 Hits (including a #1 Record with "The Flame.)  REO hit the top of the charts twice with "Keep On Loving You" (1981) and "Can't Fight This Feeling" (1985).

Here are a couple of Forgotten Hits from the ‘80’s, both with local ties to the Midwest (and Illinois in particular.)

Despite both bands being entrenched in Classic Rock Heavy Rotation, here are two outstanding tracks that you just never hear anymore …

 “In Your Letter” went to #20 for REO Speedwagon in 1981 … and is about as un-REO-sounding a record as they ever made … while “Voices” reached #28 in early 1980 for Cheap Trick.  (For some reason, there are parts of this song that always reminded me of The Hudson Brothers!!!  Go figure!)

Regardless, give them a listen … because you probably won't hear them anywhere else anytime soon!  (kk)

This Week’s Closer:
From FH Reader John LaPuzza …

Band Chart:

(Oh Yeah??? Try telling that to Paul McCartney!!!)  kk