Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thursday This And That

Back in the early “Email Only” days of Forgotten Hits we used to run a supplemental feature called “Leftovers,” which gave us the chance to “Clear The Decks” whenever we would start to fall behind with our regular postings.

It is with those very best of intentions that we present today’s Thursday This And That Page … chock full of goodies, old and new, trying to pave the way for the weekend.


kk …
8/21/1947 = Don't forget to wish Carl Giammarese a Happy Birthday.
Frank B

I did!  (His is six days before mine … and I swear we had this exact same situation last year around this time!!!) 
If you check out this video clip (man, I just love The Decades Channel … another brain child of Neal Sabin of Me-TV and Me-TV-FM), you’ll see from the footage that Carl first started playing guitar for The Buckinghams when he was just six months old … and it’s been a long and illustrious career ever since!
Happy Birthday, my friend!  Hope you had a blast!  (kk)

A few words about a couple of our other Local Heroes ...  

Great edition, Kent! 
Thanks so much for running my pieces.

You’re the best! 
Here are a few shots from the Ides show with the great Chris Isaak at the New Lennox Outdoor Amphitheater.  What a great crowd!  
Please credit Kristie Schram for photos.   

Thx man!
Hey, TOTALLY my pleasure … thanks for sharing them.  (Some great pix here, btw!)
One of the biggest perks of doing Forgotten Hits is being able to show the REAL music fans out there things that they might otherwise never have the chance to see.
Was talking with Billy J. Kramer about this very thing the other day.
Sure, you can do all kinds of shows … and at some point I suppose they all kinda start to run together … but from the FAN’s perspective, seeing these artists is a VERY big deal … having a personal CONNECTION with these artists is something that they will carry and keep with them for the rest of their lives.
I know you, Jim, always make it a point to visit with the fans after the show.  You help to create that special moment and connection … whether they’ve seen you two hundred times or this is their first show.  It doesn’t matter … it still creates a very special event in the hearts of the fans out in the audience that night … a shared memory that they will keep with them forever.
I am SO proud to be part of this.  That’s why we LOVE giving away free tickets to some of these shows … so that others out there can share in the experience of the event … because I know that EVERY single person who reads Forgotten Hits is a real, honest to God music fan … someone who has been touched my this music and inspired by this music for decades now.
So thank YOU for your generosity in allowing us to share.  (kk)
Unique content!  That’s what you’re all about.  

Hi Kent –
I just received this from Dennis Tufano …


More info to follow … I don’t live in California, but this sounds great. 
(OK … I just got more info …) 
During the ticket purchasing process, the customer will have the option to select a Pre-Show VIP Meet and Greet Upgrade Ticket, limited to the first 100 buyers. This is a one hour private session in our banquet room at the venue with all of the artists from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM (The show starts at 4:30 PM). We will provide appetizers for the guests at this Meet and Greet!
Well? Pretty exciting, right?
Shelley (maybe I could hitch-hike)
That sounds like a GREAT show ... a double bill of Dennis Tufano and Lou Christie would make for an excellent concert.  (And, based on your recent review, it sounds like The Duprees are pretty impressive on stage, too!)  Dennis is back here in Chicago on September 23rd at The Copernicus Center … more information via the link below …

Here's a link to another GREAT review of the Jeff Lynne / ELO Concert, this one held at Madison Square Garden as the band wraps up the American leg of their tour ...   
The article also mentions the resumption of The Micky and Mike Show tour, postponed when Michael Nesmith had to go in for immediate quadruple by-pass heart surgery.  (Prior to reconnecting with Dolenz next year, The Nez is going back out on the road in September with a new version of his First National Band, too ... so I would have to say that the surgery was a MAJOR success!!!)
Make-up dates are scheduled for March 5th in Red Bank, New Jersey at the Count Basie Theatre; March 6th in Glenside, P.A. at the Keswick Theatre; March 8th in Huntington, New York at The Paramount; and March 9th in New York at the Beacon Theatre.
And there's a brand new Michael Nesmith / First National Band live cd available now, too ... "Michael Nesmith and The First National Band Redux: Live at The Troubadour" captures a concert that Nesmith gave last January, the excitement from which apparently whet his appetite for more tour dates and thus, the unusual Monkees Reunion shows he did with Micky. (You can catch OUR review here):

Here’s a new book all you chart-aholics out there are going to love! 
Written and compiled by Bill Carroll (who most recently gave us “Ranking The ‘70’s," written in tandem with Dann Isbell, who wrote its predecessor, "Ranking The '60's"), “Ranking The Rock Writers” is a comprehensive and complete catalog of ALL of The Top 100 Singles appearing in the three major trade publications, 1955 – 1991 … and then ranking them by songwriters to determine the most successful songwriters (and songwriting teams) of The Rock Era.
The end result captures the chart history of over 24,000 songs, written by nearly 12,000 different songwriters and 11,000 songwriting teams.  Bill has even taken into account any known aliases that these writers may have written or published under … and the results are simply staggering.  (This is a MASSIVE volume of information … nearly 900 pages listing every charted hit, categorized by both song title AND by songwriter.)
So, for example, a couple of weeks ago when I was writing my review of the Steve Cropper Concert and I wanted to know which songs Steve had a hand in writing back in the day, I could simply flip to the alphabetical Songwriters Index and see that 55 of Steve’s titles have charted in The National Trades between 1955 and 1991.  His all-time biggest hit was “(Sittin’ On The) Dock Of The Bay,” first a hit for Otis Redding in 1968, when it earned 7420 chart points.  (Covers by Michael Bolton, The Dells, The Reddings, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, Sammy Hagar and King Curtis and the Kingpins are also noted.)  Cropper also contributed to “Knock On Wood,” “Green Onions,” “In The Midnight Hour,” “Time Is Tight,” Aretha Franklin’s “See Saw,” “634-5789,” “Soul Limbo” and “Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do).”
All of the writers are also ranked by number of TOTAL chart hits and point accumulated during this time period. 
It is no surprise to see Paul McCartney listed as the most successful songwriter of The Rock Era … as the author of 192 chart hits, both as a solo artist and in tandem with John Lennon, Macca earned 195,949 total chart points.  (His work with Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello, Denny Laine and others is also accounted for.)
McCartney also tops the Songwriting Teams list (with John Lennon), accounting for 139 chart hits and earning 255,037 total points.  Other songwriting legends and teams teams that ranked at the top of the list include the Motown Super Trio of Holland, Dozier and Holland, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, The Brothers Gibb, Goffin and King, Elton John and Bernie Taupin and long-lasting chart topping mainstays Leiber and Stoller, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Mann and Weil, Brian Wilson, Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen and more.
The method of how these statistics were compiled goes on a little too long and is, quite frankly, a bit too scientific for me … but this can be attributed to Carroll’s background (an esteemed Professor of Chemistry) … a simpler explanation with a couple of examples “dumbed down” to layman’s terms would have been sufficient.  Still there is no denying the amount of painstaking research that went into compiling this very impressive volume of work.
I know that I will continue to use this guide as an invaluable source of songwriting information as well as a means of giving credit where credit is due.  (The thing about a book like this is, the facts don’t lie … these statistics were compiled from each record’s actual chart performance AT THE TIME and are not weighted in any fashion by hindsight or long-term popularity.)
A must-have for any collection of serious pop chart history.  (kk)

You can order your copy here ... as well as get all of the pertinent information you could ever need:
(Bill told me that he probably spent over 3000 hours compiling the writers section alone!  Now that's some SERIOUS dedication!)  kk

And, speaking of Paul McCartney, what did you think of the expanded one hour Paul McCartney / James Corden Carpool Karaoke episode?  Makes you wonder how much more there is that they haven’t shown.  (The two spent the whole day together after all!)
I thought it was great … lots of additional live pup footage … and some topics touched on that you really wouldn’t expect … Paul’s Japanese drug bust … the whole “Paul Is Dead” rumor … VERY entertaining stuff and the two seemed to get along quite well.  Definitely a soft spot in McCartney’s heart for his upbringing in Liverpool … and, for lack of a better word, it went a long way in sort of “humanizing” him in a way that Joe Average Public doesn’t typically get to see.
Macca’s new CD is out on September 7th … and with this much buzz already circulating (the original 23 minute version of Corden’s McCartney segment had over 430 million views, thus prompting the more in-depth version … not bad for a 76 year old mega star, eh???),it’s sure to be his biggest chart hit in years.  (kk)  

Tom Cuddy sent us this recent update: 

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ is no longer the best-selling album of all time in the US
These two LPs have teeter-tautered back and forth in and out of the #1 spot for years now … but it looks like The Eagles have taken a pretty commanding lead at this point (kinda surprising in a way because they have released FAR more complete Greatest Hits packages in the years since.  The material on this LP doesn’t even include their landmark “Hotel California” tracks!)
But that’s OK because the “Hotel California” album is now the THIRD biggest selling LP of all time, giving The Eagles TWO of the Top Three Best Selling Albums EVER!!!  (Now you can see why they have to charge such exorbitant prices for their concert tickets!!!  These guys are just barely getting by!)
For the record, Michael Jackson still tops this list with worldwide sales … but here in The States, it seems to be The Eagles’ game all the way.  (kk)

Also from Tom:

'Blues Brothers' Director John Landis Remembers Aretha Franklin: 'She Was a Real Soldier'

In addition, Tom sent us a Goldmine Magazine article about The Cowsills, which says that siblings Susan, Bob and Paul have recently re-recorded a capella versions of some of their biggest hits (including "The Rain, The Park And Other Things," "We Can Fly," "Hair," "Indian Lake" and others.
The new LP will be called "The Dockside Silhouettes," available soon thru their website.
And to make things even MORE exciting, brother John Cowsill (who now drums for The Beach Boys) flew in and added HIS vocals to these tracks, too!
Talk of a follow-up LP, featuring all new material, most of it penned by the band, is also discussed.
The Cowsills put on an amazing, jaw-dropping show ... it's GREAT news that they're recording together again, too!  (kk)

Your viewers might enjoy knowing about this filmusic event.
Filmmaker Neil Norman, the owner of GNP Crescendo Records, also sent me this WLS survey. Chicago was a big radio market for the Seeds in 1967.  Meanwhile, up in the Gary Pig Gold and Burton Cummings side of the Pine Curtain that week ...  
Harvey Kubernik


Oh yeah, The Seeds went all the way to #1 here in Chicago ... a bit of a surprise at the time, honestly ... but "garage rock" was HUGE here in Chicago in the mid – to – late ‘60’s. 
And look at Chicago’s Buckinghams up at #4 in Canada this week!  “Happy Together” by the Turtles is making a huge leap as well, jumping from #29 to #12.  
Would love to hear from some of our readers if they happen to make it out to this event.   (kk)

You sure made a really good point about garage rock and SoCal recordings 1966 - 1969 constantly on the WLS AM radio charts.  
It was so cool to actually see the initial WLS survey Neil had in his archive underscoring the Seeds' # 1 position on the chart and that for a brief period they were popular in the Chicago radio market, decades before album and CD reissues, let alone a music documentary on them.  
People at this influential RKO chain Chicago radio station sure supported the sounds of Los Angeles and Hollywood. Delightful to see this visual evidence.
And The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham at RCA Studios on Sunset Blvd.  
I saw and met every one of the above, 1966 - 2000, and interviewed just about all of 'em.  I am blessed.  

I think only  two of the above recording artists are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Has anyone done the math and also realized how seminal and influential all of these recording artists were and how durable their catalogs are? 
How many kids in the sixties and seventies and into the current century heard these groups and their catalogs  and learned how to sing, play and write songs from them? 
Bones Howe, the engineer / producer of The 5th Dimension, and so many other incredible recordings is the  most overlooked music visionary. Listen to his catalog on headphones. 
I was just researching The 5th Dimension and earlier this century a journalist in "The Los Angeles Times" took a misinformed poke at them. Obviously, he must be yet another transplant who came to L.A. for college or stayed in town to get a job or make it in show or literary business. 
Maybe all these transplants from out of SoCal who now toil in the regional music media who dismiss homegrown and Hollywood-birthed sixties and seventies recordings are a California pop culture documentation problem we should be concerned about. 
In "Uno Mundo," Stephen Stills asked for one world. 
And Johnny Rivers headlines the Saban Theater in September. Somebody needs to listen to his 20 chart records as well as his covers of Oscar Brown Jr. and James Hendricks. He's still got it on stage and is now in the Capitol Records studio working on new recordings. 
Thank you again for acknowledging and touting my Laurel Canyon, Turn Up the Radio! and 1967 coffee table size music book expeditions. 
I know my endeavors inform countless CD and vinyl re-releases and a plethora of music documentaries that will be produced or set for theatrical or DVD release. As discussed previously, I'm very happy being in the library for budding filmmakers and producer / directors. 
Today I am putting the finishing touches on a large book, "The Story of The Band From Big Pink to the Last Waltz," which will be out in November. This venture took 50 years and very proud of the work and detail so many people did with me. 
Do I even have to mention some tracks of "Music From Big Pink" were done in Hollywood at Capitol and Gold Star studios? And basic recording for their second album, "The Band," were also cut in Hollywood? 
The Story of The Band, From Big Pink to The Last Waltz, by Harvey Kubernik (Author), Ken Kubernik (Author).
Price $29.95. Format Hardcover
Keep up the good work in covering the waterfront. 
Harvey Kubernik ... Los Angeles native
You are certainly keeping the spirit of the West Coast Sound alive and well in all your publications … ALWAYS well informed, beautifully illustrated documentation, most of it coming from the actual sources themselves, culled from decades of interviews and just being right there on the scene as it was happening.
It was a magical time indeed. I look forward to your book on The Band (the last one on The Doors was outstanding!) and the wealth of material still to come.  Thanks, Harvey!  (kk)

Seeing KGB’s Chart with Ray Stevens’ "Mr. Businessman" at #8 is such a treat, as it is a GREAT lyric and song.  Ray could do "serious" well and this ad from Billboard July 27, 1968, has a visual to go with the 45!  The ad does not even plug the name outside of the cartoon!
Clark Besch
Here's a CHUM chart for later this week from 50 years ago.
Doug Thompson

Thanks, Doug.  (We've actually got a Canadian Chart coming up as part of our weekly Saturday Surveys Feature … so be sure to watch for that, too!)  kk 

>>> Have you ever seen or heard about this Top 100 Chart from WCFL recapping the biggest hits of the rock era?  (kk)
No … I never heard of its existence.  That being said, this is one of the more ridiculous all time lists I've ever seen. The interesting thing is that 50 years later, you would still see Satisfaction in the top three. I wonder what criteria they used?
I just like it because of its "trustworthy" information.  For example, isn't it nice to know that "officially" "Harper Valley PTA" was a bigger hit than Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel"!!!  (kk)
In reference to a couple of your other recent comments, I would highly recommend Slim Jim's Sunday night Sirius XM show for rockabilly fans. I have also attached a photo from my Go Fund Me page from last May.
Jack Levin

Cool to see some of our local heroes represented on the WCFL All-Time Top 100 Chart!  (kk)
OK, despite the weirdness of this Human Resources guy on America's Got Talent this week, you can't help but be happy that the show used the American Breed's "Bend Me Shape Me" as a backdrop for the act after three minutes of strangeness.
Clark Besch
Yeah, I've got to admit that this is one of the creepier things I've seen!  (lol)  kk

>>>I couldn't help thinking it the whole time I was sitting there ...
How do you review a show that you have essentially seen about a dozen times now?  (Note to Shelley:  I don't know how you see Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits 8-10 times a year ... my "repeat performances" have been spread out over several years!!!  Now granted, he is one of the most accomplished, charismatic performers on the circuit ... and has a way of making every show seem somewhat unique by adapting to the crowd and the city where he's performing ... but essentially ... musically speaking ... it's exactly the same show every single time.  Yes, he mixes up the song line-up every now and then ... perhaps as much to prevent his OWN boredom with these tunes as anything else ... and I have NEVER seen him put on a bad show ... he kills it each and every time ... but again, I found myself thinking about this instead of paying complete attention to the Happy Together Show on stage Friday Night ... and the fact of the matter is that this was MY loss ... because there is absolutely NOTHING that any of the acts on stage did wrong to present anything other than a hit-filled, exciting show.  But I digress.)  kk 
I so totally get this! AND let me add that YOU REALLY GOT IT, TOO!
I don’t go to the shows to do reviews. You and I do not get paid for doing that, so I can go to any show I desire without worrying about my reaction. I go to any concert for me, first; my students and friends second, the venues third. Remember, I also majored in Theatre Arts in school. It runs through my blood. The venues love hearing my thoughts on what they do.
You are so correct on Peter Noone, Happy Together Tour, etc. They are consistently GREAT shows, and the venue waits to hear from me on their success level. Recently, my valet delivering my car to me, asked me how I liked their first production in their ballroom. He said, “We have some work to do there.” Venues want to knock it out of the park as well, each time. What better way than with consistently great performers? Then you can see where you need to improve / enhance your staff training and equipment. Then there is the audience.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT NEW VIEWERS SHOW UP? Haven’t we run out by now? But they are there, and I speak with them. Not TO them, WITH them. I find out why they came, what they expect, how did it compare … and most profoundly … how do you feel now? The euphoria of the after-concert glow is unanimous. Isn’t that in itself worth attending? If something can make you happy and, if even for one night, improve your life … shouldn’t you grab it?
I have a concert addiction. I also have a musical theatre addiction. I read A LOT. I spend time walking on the beach. It helps me smile when a guest says, “Why don’t you have more of my size, the color I want, the price I want to pay, ship and wrap it?” Or when the school system ties my hands further and says, “We decided all students need to learn THIS way only.” I don’t want to smoke or drink, I want to watch the audience react to wonderful, talented performers. I want to see the younger members joining the “oldies” groups and loving the music. I want to see the children dancing. I want to ask the audience, “How do you feel now?” after a concert and see their faces light up. I want to see the performers wriggle their way out of bad jokes, sticky situations, and terrible technical staff / equipment. It improves my life by improving me. I have an affinity for music and the stage.
A side note:  I did not attend the Happy Together Tour this year as the Music Hall  decided to charge sky-high prices, and the surrounding hotels did the same. THAT I am against. I am everyman.
AND Kent … if you were connecting to me when you were at a concert of known quality performers, then AHAH!! We are a community. (Could not resist)
Shelley … changing the quality of life, note by note.

Greetings Kent,
Just wanted to check in with you and let you know about the new release on CD from the 60s Group, The Rose Garden. The release is a totally re-master of their Atco LP. It also includes 16 additional tracks, 13 of which were unreleased, including some live tunes and some material with Gene Clark. The title is called “A Trip Through The Rose Garden: The Rose Garden Collection.”  The CD is offered by Omnivore Recordings. 
Hope things are going well.
Take Care -
John Eckert
Talent Consultants
Authorized Representative
The Rose Garden
Hi John!
I've been hearing some very good things about this CD … seems to be a lot of focus on the fact that Gene Clark of The Byrds was involved in some of these recordings.
(For any of you out there who may not remember, The Rose Garden scored a #15 Hit with their 1967 single "Next Plane To London,"  a song I always enjoyed … and featured in our Salute to 1967 Series last year.)
Many years ago there was a rumor going around that the spoken voice at the beginning of the record (the gate announcer) belonged to comedian Steve Martin - which we later proved as incorrect -  but if you listen to it with that thought in mind it really DOES sound like him!
You can order your own copy thru all of the usual sources.  (kk)
Yes, we heard that rumor, too. It was a guy in local LA Radio.  If I remember correctly, his name was Don Elliot. Might have one of the names wrong … getting too old now.
It’s kinda funny … he recorded the boarding phrase in a restroom at the recording studio to get that neat echo! It does sound a little like Steve Martin  when he sez … Gate Nummmmmber Five.
Just got in another batch of the Rose Garden's CD ... be in the mail tomorrow ... should be "On The Next Plane To Schaumburg"! 
Take Care.
John Eckert
p.s. Your Blog is a Daily Read!  

Many of you know that one of my many fave artists is Rick Springfield, dating back to the early 70's.  Jill and I got to go see him last weekend outside here in Lincoln at Pinewood Bowl in Pioneers Park.  Outside of his first two RCA LPs, my faves of his are from the 70's, of which he did none of the from.  BUT he was a great showman and guitarist in good voice and we got an extra free experience when he sang his hit "We All Need THE HUMAN TOUCH."  He came out into the audience and what do ya know?  Jill and I actually DID touch him!  It was a pretty cool thing that he did to that song that I captured on Jill's phone.  The video is sideways because of THAT, but worth seeing.  Big file, so may not load for some of you.  It was fun.  That guy has always been able to rock as powerfully as the 60's DC5!
You can download our video (Jill is happy!) here:
If that doesn't work, try my two faves by him from the 70's. He didn't do either, but he was still great to see live.
And what I consider is HIS equivalent to "Maybe I'm Amazed":
Clark Besch
We saw Rick Springfield by accident the first time.  We had flown out to Las Vegas and bought tickets to see David Cassidy in EFX at the MGM Grand … but David was on holiday for two weeks so his fill-in replacement was none other than Dr. Noah Drake, Rick Springfield himself
It was an entertaining enough show but the absolutely highlight for me was when during what was supposed to be the intermission, Rick completely broke character and became rock star Rick Springfield, playing many of his biggest hits for those of us who stuck around.
It was such a cool, unexpected surprise … and definitely the highlight of the show!
He's come thru town a few times recently, but most often as an all-acoustic show … just him and a guitar … and that's really not the show I want to see him do.  (Richard Marx recently did a similar gig at The Genesee Theatre and while it was a very good show featuring some VERY good music … Richard, too, was in great voice and fine spirit … the novelty wore off quickly and I wanted to hear him rock out on some of his great up-tempo tunes.)
Still, there's no doubt that Rick Springfield has maintained his following.  Glad to hear you guys had a great time.  (kk)
I sent this email out to a bunch of friends, even tho the video is a very big file and got several comments from people who are 60's fanatics and yet LOVE Rick as well from the 70's and 80's.  I had no idea in some cases. 
I'm sure some people think he is just some "glamour boy" (to quote Burton Cummings) because of his acting, but before that and after, he has always had great songs and a TON of power behind his songs.

>>>Actually both Edison Lighthouse and The Brotherhood of Man had follow-up singles to their signature songs ... Edison Lighthouse with IT'S UP TO YOU PETULA and Brotherhood of Man with WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO MY LOVE? … thus making Tony Burrows' record that of "being a 'one-hit-wonder' four times" instead of six.  (Tal Hartsfeld )
>>>Neither of those songs made The National Top 40 and, while "It's Up To You Petula" did chart here in Chicago, I wonder how many people could hum a line from "Where Are You Going To My Love?" … I'm guessing not a single one.  (A better Brotherhood Of Man example would have been "Save Your Kisses For Me" which did reach #27 in Billboard in 1976 but fell short of The Top 40 in the other national trades … but perhaps Tony Burrows was no longer the lead singer at this point so maybe that's not a valid entry either.)  I'm content to give him the distinction of six One Hit Wonders.  (kk)
You're right about Burrows not being part of the group by the time of
"Save Your Kisses For Me." Producer Tony Hiller had recruited a whole new group after the original lineup split up in 1972. (Sure, this is from Wikipedia, but it appears nicely sourced)
Bob Frable
Would LOVE to see Ron Onesti book Tony Burrows into The Arcada as part of a "package show" … we should look into that!!!  (kk)

Hey Kent,
Just a short note …
Check out the movie trailer for the new black real estate comedy Arizona. At the 1:15 mark our old friend Mark makes a visit.
Really enjoyed your ELO review backed up with the Happy Together Tour show … we don't get these shows to visit our area in Oregon. The Happy Together tour made a two day stop at a local Indian casino but I would rather not visit these establishments, because of the smoking policies.  We did manage to take in Paul Revere's Raiders last month and the musicianship by these guys was stunning.  And not just the Raiders hits but also the other singers they back-up on the cruises.
Enjoy your free time for the rest of the summer and keep us informed and educated.
Actually this looks like it might be a pretty funny movie (in a sick kind of way!  Lol)  Mrs. K really enjoyed Danny McBride in “Vice Principals” so she may even want to go!  (lol) 
Paul Revere’s Raiders are coming back to The Arcada Theatre in November (with Mitch Ryder and Peter Rivera, former lead singer of Rare Earth.)  We saw this show last year and it was excellent.  (kk)

Hi Kent,  
I saw both groups Chicago and REO Speedwagon back to back in Irvine, California in June ... outdoor venue.  It was chilly but being a die hard Chicago fan, I am happy I weathered the cold, chilly night.
What an amazing concert … both groups are still sounding AWESOME after all these years.  Saturday in the Park indeed!
Janny G.

Kent --

I can confirm 100% that Lou Gramm's Black Sheep is not the same group that Larry inquired about. That group was from La Canada, CA (per Mike Markesich's Teenbeat Mayhem) and released three singles: I Told You / Baa Baa (Bellcor 102, as the Blacksheep), It's My Mind / Arthur (Columbia 43666) and Feeling Down / Suzanne (Columbia 43974). The singles are all excellent "garage" recordings.
Mike Dugo

The group that released "It's My Mind," first issued on the Vision label, then picked up by Columbia for national release one month later, were a group of five teens, most of them lived at that time in La Canada, a suburb of Los Angeles. They had a local release out prior to "It's My Mind," a fantastic garage-rocker titled "I Told You" on the Bellcor label one year earlier (1965). They also had a second single on Columbia in December, 1966,  "Feeling Down."  Lou Grammatico was not a member of this group. 
Mike Markesich

Hey Kent,
This is the same guy that sent you the email about Wilmer Alexander and The Dukes and mentioned Lou Gramm's Black Sheep. You mentioned that you'd like to hear the Black Sheep albums. I can send you cd-rs of the two Black Sheep albums as well as the entire Wilmer and the Dukes album if you like. Just send me an address to mail them to. 
Just an FYI … there is a cd-record shop in Rochester called The Bop Shop on Goodman Street in Rochester, NY (the phone number can be Googled) whose owner is somewhat of a historian on Western NY State music, which includes both bands plus several more. He is a wealth of knowledge and will sell you cd-rs of several Rochester bands' out-of-print cds. I have purchased most of them from him, including the Rustix (on Rare Earth Records), whose guitarist wrote you about the Dukes vs. the Rustix "battles".
Anyway, thanks for printing my letter - that wasn't my intent, but it was fine. My intent was just to thank you for keeping the 60s-70s relevant and available. Let me know about the cd-rs. 
Jim Hill

And now I've gone and printed another one!  (lol)
Sure, I would LOVE to hear the two Lou Gramm / Black Sheep albums … and go ahead and send Wilmer and the Dukes along, too, since you offered.  (I really like their single)  Maybe we can feature a track or two of Lou pre-Foreigner somewhere down the road.  (I always loved Foreigner's music … and am hoping that they will continue to enjoy this brief reunion enough to continue to add shows to the itinerary!  Would LOVE to see them here in Chicago!  Thanks, Jim!  (kk)

UPDATE: As anxious as I was to hear Lou Gramm’s pre-Foreigner work, when the CD’s arrived I opted to listen to the Wilmer and the Dukes disc first … and I am REALLY enjoying it!
Eventually, I’ll get thru it all … but this one has captured my ear for a few play-thrus already!  I’ll keep you posted!  (kk)

ZZ Top Front Man Billy Gibbons is heading out on the road again as a solo act in support of his second solo album, "The Big Bad Blues" due out September 21st. 

Billy F Gibbons Heads Out On The Big Bad Blues Tour This Fall

Photo credit: Blain Clausen
Second Solo Album By ZZ Top Frontman
Available From Concord September 21
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Billy F Gibbons, guitarist / vocalist for Texas trio ZZ Top, has just announced an October / November North American tour in support of his sophomore solo album effort The Big Bad Blues. Billy and his band, consisting of drummer Matt Sorum (Guns ‘N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), left handed guitarist Austin Hanks, and Elwood Francis, DJ and harmonica player, will be hitting the road from NYC to California on the two dozen date tour that includes a multi-night stand at New York’s Iridium and culminates at the fabled Troubadour in West Hollywood.  Ticket sales begin this Tuesday, August 14. 
Gibbons commented on the new album’s blues focus, “There’s something very primordial within the art form, nobody gets away from the infectious allure of those straight-ahead licks! I suspect Jimmy Reed did me in early on. The inventiveness of that high and lonesome sound remains solid and stridently strong to this day. We could go on to mention the lineup of usual suspects, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, all three Kings [B.B., Albert and Freddie]. The lengthy list of champions is forever carved in stone.”
A lyric video for “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’,” the very first track of The Big Bad Blues, has just been released. Its hot rod theme is a reflection of one of BFG’s burning passions and includes his fenderless ’34 Ford “Whiskey Runner” built by rodding legend Jimmy Shine. Click to view
The follow-up to the Afro-Cuban-flavored PerfectamundoThe Big Bad Blues is a more straight-forward blues-rock affair, and will hit the streets on September 21 from Concord Records. In addition to the songs penned by Billy, four others were written by blues giants Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Jerome Green, Bo’s legendary “Maraca Man”.  The song list also has the girls touch as Gilly Stillwater composed Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’ … Billy remarked “She was writing that about me, wasn’t she?!?
Billy F Gibbons – The Big Bad Blues Tour 2018
Oct-13  Riverside, IA  Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
Oct-14  Prior Lake, MN  Mystic Lake Casino – Showroom
Oct-16  Chicago, IL  House of Blues
Oct-17  Columbus, OH The Bluestone
Oct-18  St. Louis, MO The Pageant
Oct-20  Wabash, IN  Honeywell Center
Oct-21  Cleveland, OH  Agora Ballroom
Oct-23  Kitchener, ON  Centre in the Square
Oct-25  Derry, NH  Tupelo Music Hall
Oct-26  Beverly, MA  The Cabot Theater
Oct-28  Huntington, NY  The Paramount
Oct-30  New York, NY  Iridium Jazz Club
Oct-31  New York, NY  Iridium Jazz Club
Nov-01  Washington, DC  Pearl Street Warehouse
Nov-03  Pompano Beach, FL  Pompano Beach Amphitheatre
Nov-05  Clearwater, FL  Ruth Eckerd Hall
Nov-06  Lake Buena Vista, FL  House of Blues – Orlando
Nov-07  Atlanta, GA  Variety Playhouse
Nov-09  Houston, TX   Revention Music Center
Nov-10  Fort Worth, TX   Billy Bob’s Texas
Nov-11  San Antonio, TX  Aztec Theater
Nov-15  Solana Beach, CA  Belly Up Tavern
Nov-16  Las Vegas, NV  Brooklyn Bowl
Nov-18  West Hollywood, CA  Troubadour
Billy F Gibbons on the web: 

(And those who may be passing through South Florida next week) …
I am writing one last time to remind you that The Stonzek Theatre will be presenting a reading of PEDESTALS, my favorite play, on Monday, August 27th and Tuesday, Aug. 28th.
I know some of you have already reserved (Great!) ... but for the rest of you who might be interested in attending, let me urge you to reserve soon. It's a small space and I don't want to see anyone who wants to see it get turned away.
Here's all the info -- when, where, and how to reserve.
As I'm telling everyone who asks -- and many who DON'T -- if my music moves you, don't miss this play. It's not a musical, but it encompasses all the heart and passion of my songs and does it with the help of some powerful actors who "get" what I've written and infuse it with life.
It's being directed by the amazing Saxz Stevens, whose experience and creativity give it exactly what it needs.
I hope to see you there.
Bob Lind
Wish we could see it … sooner or later we WILL hook up.  Meanwhile, congrats on yet another round of soon-to-be accolades, I’m sure.  Thanks, Bob!  (kk)
Helping Out Our Readers:   
Hi, Kent -
This plea for help might sound a little strange, but you're my only hope.
That Peter Knight LP I showed you, the one with the pictures of disk jockeys (among other people), also shows a girl who appears to
be (at that time) an 18-year old Vicki Lawrence.  (Lower right hand corner, second from the right)  I've tried sending messages to her on her Facebook page, but she doesn't respond.
Since you have lots of connections with entertainment folks, do you think you might know someone who knows a way I can contact
her personally to ask if that's really her on that LP cover?   An e-mail address for her would work great, but I can't find one.   Maybe
her management company or whatever?
Vicki is scheduled to do a live appearance in Warsaw, IN, in early September, but it's a 370-mile round trip and I don't have the time or
energy to go down there.
Anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks a bunch!
Mike Wolstein
I asked Gary Theroux for an update on the PBS Television Special he was working on that would feature home movies of pop stars of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, relaxing at home or on vacation, while some of their biggest hits played in the background.
We sent out an appeal to some of the artists on our list to contact Gary with information regarding what they might have to share.  (My guess is that if this thing takes off, future episodes will also be put together … but we’re trying to get this first one off the ground with the draw of some big name entertainment!)
Here’s the latest … and if you think that you may have something of interest to share, PLEASE contact Gary immediately … tell him that you got the information from Forgotten Hits and would like to be considered for this project!  Thanks, all!  (kk)

The rough cut of the TV special with the working title of "Inside The History of Rock 'n' Roll" is about 75% complete.   As you know, it is comprised of segments spotlighting key figures in rock, pop and soul between 1955 and 1969.   Nearly every segment is a mix of TV or film performance footage of the artist's best-loved hits, non-performance home movie footage and insightful audio interviews with the spotlit stars.   The toughest part has been finding home movie or home movie-like footage of these hitmakers offstage and out of the spotlight -- just interacting with family, friends and fans in much the same way as us non-celebrities did during that era.  The whole idea of including such footage is to show the side of these stars' lives not on display when they're on TV or in concert. 
Not every artist on this tentative list will make the final cut and there may be some additions, buy here is a short list of artists we’re working with right now:
And while we already have audio interviews with all these stars, if anyone has audio interviews with either Johnny Rivers or Aretha Franklin which are better than what we already have, we're open to licensing those as well.  
What we are primarily looking for right now is 1955-69 home movie (or home movie-like) footage owned by fans, fan clubs, film archives or artist management to whom we will pay a licensing fee.   
To my surprise, these artists' fan clubs and Forgoten Hits Readers have not been particularly helpful in locating such footage -- although we have found some amazing clips from a myriad of sources.   We're still open to review any home movie or home movie-like footage from any source.   If it proves better than what we have now, we'll gladly license that footage and pay the rights holder for any of his or her material which winds up in the final edit.   
I can be reached at
Gary Theroux
"The History of Rock 'n' Roll"     
Damn … in the past week alone I’ve been surrounded by ‘60’s Mega Stars like Billy J. Kramer, Peter Asher, Jeremy Clyde, Ron Dante, Mark Volman, Chuck Negron, Mark Lindsay, members of The Association, Gary Puckett (who I believe DID respond to our first announcement), and The Cowsills (who you KNOW have a TON of home movie footage because a lot of it was used in their own documentary, “Family Band.”)
Plus we are always in contact with artists like Carl Giammarese and Dennis Tufano of The Buckinghams, America’s #1 Band in 1967 … Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon … Lou Christie, Burton Cummings, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, Jim Peterik, Gary Lewis and SO many others who would make PERFECT guests on a program like this (and pave the way for future installments to be commissioned!)
Still, that’s quite a list you’ve assembled … by spreading out some of the big names, I can see this turning into a semi-regular series with multiple sequels.  (Now I can’t wait to see it!!!)
Please get in touch with either me or Gary on this as soon as possible … meanwhile, I will run another appeal here today to see if I can snag anything for you.  I think this sounds like a REAL entertaining special, showing a side of these artists that the public NEVER got a chance to see.  (kk)  

And mind you, this is no easy task putting something like this together … 

There are several acts on the list I sent you which may not make the final cut.  I need film or video versions of two 1955 - 1969 hits by each artist to assemble each profile -- but only have cleared one each by Jefferson Airplane, Johnny Rivers and Neil Sedaka.  Jefferson Airplane, for example, only had two hits (!) -- and the only TV version of "White Rabbit" I might be able to clear is the one from "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour."  However, the brothers have retired and shut down their operations -- especially after the fire which destroyed their winery.  After many attempts, I've been unable to contact either Dick or Tom -- and therefore I have no idea who to go to in order to clear the version of "White Rabbit" which they control.  (You can see it on You Tube.)  If I can't clear a version, Jefferson Airplane will have to be dumped from this edition.   That's not a huge problem, as I have so many other artists which can and will take their place.  This first volume is not supposed to be comprehensive.  Instead it is a Whitman's Sampler of 1955 - 69 era musical icons.

There are lots of key 1955 - 69 artists not on the list.  Note that Aretha Franklin is missing -- largely because I only have one very brief audio interview clip of her.  The only Motown act listed above is The Supremes -- leaving room for Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Miracles, etc. in future volumes.  Little Richard is missing, along with The Platters, The Diamonds, The Coasters, James Brown, Chubby Checker, Roy Orbison, Jackie Wilson, Bobby Vee, Bobby Darin, Sam Cooke, Brenda Lee, Lesley Gore, Nancy Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, The DC5, Herman's Hermits, The Shirelles, CCR, Paul Revere & the Raiders and many, many more.  There are LOADS of other hitmakers I'd like to profile in future volumes if this first one is a hit -- and the above list doesn't even include the wealth of artists post 1969!
We'll try to help you in any way we can (even if it means securing footage for future episodes.)  
One more mass appeal to all the artists on the list ... we would LOVE to have you included in this ... but need to hear from you in order to do so!!!
Please drop me an email at if you are interested in participating ... and Gary will take it from there.  Thanks, All!   (kk)