Thursday, August 9, 2018

Thursday This And That

Hi Kent,
I’ve been following your comments on the 60th Anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with great interest.
Joel and I have been having some great discussions about this very topic recently.  I agree with what he wrote to you in the Sunday comments.  It’s just too bad that the Hot 100 didn’t start a few years earlier so that Billboard could include all those essential 1955-58 hits in their recaps.
When looking at the all-time rankings, keep in mind that Billboard has their own formula.  Personally, I much prefer Joel’s method of ranking the hits primarily based on the number of weeks at the peak position, followed by weeks in Top 10, Top 40, etc.  This method is totally transparent, with all of the data laid out in a logical, easy to understand format.  No complicated mathematical formulas or weighting of different eras.  After all, the goal of any record is to attain the highest position on the weekly chart.  In my mind, a #1 record will ALWAYS trump one that peaks at #2.  I guess what I’m trying to say, is get a copy of our Pop Annual to get the real story!
While I’ll always consider Billboard to be the top dog in terms of compiling the weekly charts, I also look to other sources.  That’s why my favorite Record Research publication is The Comparison Book.  I also like to consult the various local surveys as well.  Some songs that were big hits in my home market of Minneapolis didn’t fare nearly as well on the national charts, and vice-versa.  The recent series that we are doing on the Cash Box regional charts has been a fun and fascinating project to work on as Joel has really dug up some interesting songs and artists.
I haven’t heard any of the Sirius programming, but I don’t need to.  I have all the music I need on my computer hard drive, so I can listen to anything I want at any time.  Maybe they need to hire one of us true chart fans as a consultant to make sure they get it right!
Paul Haney
Record Research
I totally agree with your assessment of the Chart Comparison book … I campaigned for this volume for YEARS, once Joel had access to the other major trades.  There isn't a day that goes by when I don't consult it for a more accurate picture of record popularity.
I think the individual year end rankings of how a record performed that year are better suited as "at the time" reports as hindsight tends to distort some things.  (That being said, Billboard ranked "Wooly Bully" as the biggest record of 1965 … and it never reached #1 on their own chart … so obviously their point system took other factors into account.  How could this record possibly have been bigger or made a bigger impact than #1 Hits like "Satisfaction," "Yesterday," "Downtown" or "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"?)
By the same token, I do believe that a record that spends three, four or five weeks at #2 probably should outrank a record that spent one week at #1.  Prime example would be the novelty hit "Harper Valley PTA," #1 for one week in 1968 and then gone.  Meanwhile, #2 peaks like "Young Girl," "Those Were The Days," "Born To Be Wild" and "Theme from 'Valley of the Dolls'," #2 for four weeks, rank behind it.
Keep in mind, too, that Billboard determined their year-end rankings by each record's performance from November to November.  My biggest objection (along with the most obvious offender) to Joel's method is ranking The Monkees' "I'm A Believer" as the #1 Record of 1966, simply because it peaked at #1 during the last week of the year.  It just isn't accurate information.  It spent its other six weeks at #1 in 1967, where it achieved its greatest success.  It should be ranked as the #1 Record of 1967 based on the actual statistics, not just the one week it reached its peak position.  It distorts reality.
I have discussed before a method of "hindsight ranking" that better establishes the relationship of this music due to all the major changes along the way with programming trends and collecting the chart data.  It would still be a point system but then divided by specific criteria in an effort to make "all records created equal."  It's called the "Hit Index" and assigns a calculated value to every record so they can be fairly compared side by side.
Example:  A record like The Beatles' "Yesterday" only charted for 11 weeks but spent four weeks at #1, six weeks in The Top Ten and 9 weeks in the Top 40.  In 1965, records just didn't stay on the charts that long as there was so much new competition being released each week that even many of the biggest hit records were off the charts in  span of three to four months.  Today, it's not at all uncommon for a record to stay on the chart for a year or more.  (Remember when Paul Davis broke the all-time chart barrier by charting for 40 weeks with "I Got Crazy"???  Who would have ever thought back then that records would eventually ride the chart for 60 weeks???)
Without going into the specifics of the points it accumulated weekly thru a weighted system based on actual chart position with bonus points for Top 40, Top 10 and #1 status, let just use the bonus points for this example.
"Yesterday" would earn one point for every week in The Hot 100 (11), three points for each week in The Top 40 (27), five points for every week in The Top Ten (45) and ten points for every week spent at #1 (40) for a total of 123 points.
Now jump ahead to 1996 and the monster hit "Macarena," which spent 14 weeks at #1 and charted for an incredible 60 weeks!  Again, give it one point for every week in The Hot 100 (60) plus three points for each week in The Top 40 (37 x 3 = 111) plus five points for each week in The Top Ten (5 x 23 = 115) plus ten points for each week at #1 (140) = 366 total points … or about TRIPLE the points earned by "Yesterday".
So which is the bigger hit record, relatively speaking, to the total era of the 30 year timeframe between these releases?
Well, take the 123 points earned by "Yesterday" and divide it by the 11 weeks it spent on the chart.  That gives you a Hit Index of 111.82.  Do the same for "Macarena" (366 / 60) and you get a Hit Index of 61.00.  The fact that the times changed to allow a record to chart for 60 weeks doesn't allow you a fair comparison between these two #1 Hits.  But dividing the points earned for each record and then dividing by the total number of weeks it took these records to compile these points DOES allow you a way to fairly and accurately compare them side by side.
It's a hell of a lot of work to go back and recompute … but even this simple basic method gives you a better idea as to the relative popularity of each record when compared to others from different eras.  For me, this is the only way to accurately rank them side by side … in hindsight.  (Make sense?)
Hopefully, you've been following our Saturday Surveys feature … this year we've been showing a Top 40 regional chart from every state … by year's end, all 50 states will have been represented in our recap of the 1968 charts.
And, since you mentioned the Minneapolis charts as being amongst your favorites, check out this next email … and what a cool find Mike Wolstein has come across!  (kk)

Hi, Kent -
I don't remember where I found this ... a 1966 survey from KDWB, Minneapolis - St. Paul, 1590 AM. 
It's interesting because the brand new Ides of March single shows up down at the bottom (must have been its first week) as being on the Harlequin label, which was a promo pressing of 225 copies (Jim Peterik told me this personally).  I don't have any other surveys from that week to compare it to. I wonder how long it remained on the charts on that label before it was shown as being on Parrot.
Mike Wolstein
Chicago area

VERY cool!  And amazing that it would chart this way this far away from home.  (The survey shows a Week Ending Date of May 21st … the Ides record first premiered here in Chicago … on Parrot … on the May 12th WCFL chart (as an "up 'n' comer) and not until May 27th on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.)  A rare chart indeed … and an AWESOME autographed copy of the single in question.  Thanks, Mike!  (kk)

It seems to be The Month of Jim Peterik!!!

First, this extremely rare Minneapolis survey showing The Ides Of March premiering on the chart at #40 with their very first hit, "You Wouldn't Listen," on the original Harlequin label (along with an autographed copy of that very single) …

Then a full-length interview with Jim in the August issue of Goldmine Magazine …

And then the news that Jim's "Eye Of The Tiger" is the 26th biggest song of the past 60 years according to Billboard Magazine's just released 60th Anniversary Issue of The Hot 100.  (Man, does it get any better than this???)

Wow.  That’s awesome, Kent!  
That must have been the earliest add we ever had. On Harlequin for god's sake!  Thx for sending. Gonna post this!  
JP in Salt Lake City

And then ...

I just did an awesome show with David Pack's Legends of Rock Live …  (Me, David Pack, Richard Page (Mister Mister), John Elefante (Kansas). Dave Jenkins ( Pablo Cruise) … and then Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris and Shawn Colvin.  They called it the TrueBeliever Fest, where the songs are the stars. Quite a night.   (The whole thing was organized by Monte Powell, who wrote ten number one hits with Keith Urban and his wife, Anna. 
I just saw the list of the top 600 songs of the past 60 years in Billboard.  But by the time I saw it, you had already run the notice in Forgotten Hits!  You are just so ahead of the curve. You’re the best!  Thank you, my friend!  Hope you are doing great.
Man, that is quite a line-up … how do we get THAT show to come to Chicago?!?!?  (kk)

Thanx!  When I handed that 45 to Jim (for the autograph) at the Hillside Record Convention in 1983, he (jokingly) tried to steal it from me!  ;-)   Incidentally, if you haven't seen the WBBM-TV piece that was shot by Mike Bush (reported by Sirott), it's posted here:

Since I've been helping Pam Pulice with the Dick Biondi Film for the past four years, I've gotten to be "buds" with some of the local "garage" guys, especially Jim, Ronnie Rice, and lots of others. Great bunch of people. 
And I just remembered this fabulous piece done by WTTW-11 ("How Chicago Rocked the Sixties") ; 27 minutes ... here:

Then, after reading today's column, I just HAD to send this in. 
I picked this shirt up at the "Chicago Groups" record convention at Hillside in 1983.  It was designed by Gary Strobl.  It's one of my favorite t-shirts, and I've never seen another like it!

Mike Wolstein
Chicago area
I feel quite certain that that New Colony Six T-Shirt was a custom design of Gary's … he used to make ALL kinds of shirts back then (specializing in all things Monkees-related) and I'll bet he designed something special for each of the local groups participating that day.  He moved out to LA many, many years ago, but we have managed to stay in touch thanks to our great love of this music.
Since we've run links to both of these features several times in the past, I figured that this time we would post the actual clips right here on the site for those who want to see them.  (I was at that Hillside Record Show as a dealer when Mike Bush gathered all of our Local Heroes together for a special reunion … and Frannie and I watched the complete "How Chicago Rocked The Sixties" PBS special again Sunday night!  Great stuff!)  kk

And Ides keyboardist Scott May sent in this clip from a recent Top Tens Countdown Show, spotlighting The Ides' big hit, "Vehicle" … which comes in at #6!
(I'm telling you, it's The Month of Peterik!!!)  kk

From Clark Besch …

Billboard's All Time Hot 100 Top 100 gives The Ides Of March the #26 position this week!  Jim Peterik … back in the Hot 100 again in 2018!
While "Vehicle" gets snubbed SOMEHOW by the likes of "Sometimes When We Touch" for Top 100 plays of 20th century???
Did we lose stations in the 80's?  There seems to be no songs from 80's to 2000 (THANKFULLY, for the most part).
These lists are absurd in some of the listings, but certainly most garner the rating.  It's just weird.  "Never My Love" #2???  HUH???
I haven't seen the airplay list yet but for the past several years now "Never My Love" has been coming in second only to The Righteous Brothers' hit "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" … so I'm assuming that's still #1, right?
The Association have been VERY proud of this fact and have been mentioning the new rankings at all of their shows for the past few years.  I'm sure they'll do it again when we see them next week at The Happy Together Show at The Paramount Theater. 
As for "Vehicle," I still hear it every single day ... so it's gotta be WAY up there on the list somewhere! (kk)

And, speaking of Chicago groups doing well on Billboard's latest rankings, check this out …

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, the magazine tabulated the Top 100 groups and duos of the rock era, based on chart performance.  In other words, from Aug. 4, 1958 through last week.
Chicago is the Top American Band in Billboard chart history and # 4 overall, behind the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Bee Gees!
The Billboard magazine, with the complete list,  will be on newsstands this week.
FYI: Current tour partner, REO Speedwagon, was # 60 on the list.  The highest ranking current act on the list is Maroon 5 at # 11.
What a terrific acknowledgement of Chicago’s contributions, as they continue to tour the country this summer with REO Speedwagon, and as their “Chicago 2” PBS-TV “Soundstage” episode continues to air.
- Tom Cuddy

1. The Beatles
2. The Rolling Stones
3. The Bee Gees
4. Chicago
5. The Supremes
6. Hall & Oates
7. The Four Seasons
8. The Temptations
9. Beach Boys
10.The Carpenters

Speaking of #1 Records, I just read that the Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line hit "Meant To Be" is now enjoying its 36th WEEK at #1 on Billboard's Country Hits Chart!!!  This is UNHEARD of!!!  An all-time new chart record!  (Actually, it's not a bad song ... and not too hard to watch either ... just ask any of the 539 MILLION people who have already watched this video ... that's more than HALF A BILLION people, folks! ... but #1 for 36 weeks?!?!)  Yowzah!!! (kk)

>>>Hi Michel - I just finished reading your book yesterday … a VERY enjoyable read.  You've had a VERY exciting life ... (I'm jealous!!!)  Congratulations!  (kk)  
Thank you so much, Kent. It has been a really crazy ride, that's for sure. It still is … I had to cut off the book when I got to the 80’s because I had already reached more than 80,000 words (about 300 book pages) and I hadn’t even got to a lot of the fun stories like working for producer Michael Mann (Band Of The Hand and Manhunter, both of which I scored the music for) and hanging with Faye Dunaway, who held my hand all through the mixdown of her film Silhouette.
If this book is a financial success I am going to do a sequel, but if it isn’t I’m still satisfied that I finally got this much down on paper. When I started I thought it would be a six month project, but it ended up being a 3 1/2 year project. Boy, was I clueless!
Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say about it.
Many thanks,
Scroll back to August 7th to read the full review in case you missed it.  Great book … and a fun read.  (kk)

And here's a new piece sent in by FH Reader Tom Cuddy about one of the guys Michel worked closely with … although not necessarily always in a good way (read the book!!!) …

Congratulations to our friends over at The Drive … they're now officially Chicago's #2 radio station.  Sure, they picked up quite a few new listeners after the demise of The Loop … but they've also retained those listeners … and then some.  Folks are liking what they hear.  (Two for Tuesday has become a "must listen" at work … no matter what department you walk through, you'll hear this playing.)
Meanwhile, kudos, too, to Me-TV-FM, now tied for 9th with their best ratings yet.  The oldies and classic rock are alive and well in Chicago!  (kk)

FH ANALYSIS:  We've been listening to The Drive quite a bit a work lately so this recent ratings success hits home a little harder.
But I must confess that I'm curious about why the "formula" is working so well.
Forget about Two For Tuesday, a long-standing tradition at The Loop for decades ... this feature is always a joy to listen to ... but the station's daily fanfare seems to be a very select (few) number of artists who then get played as many as 8-10 times a day!  (Is this REALLY what the listeners were looking for?)
Now granted, I typically work about a ten hour day - which is a LONG time to listen to the radio, especially one station ... but today alone I heard EIGHT songs by AC/DC ... probably equally as many by The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith and maybe as many as ten by Led Zeppelin.  Each day also seems to feature essentially the same play list ... always a couple of tunes by Boston (two or three seems to be the norm), a few Beatles tracks thrown in, a couple by Eddie Money and Jimi Hendrix, at least three or four by The Eagles and then at least a pair of tracks from Journey, Pink Floyd and Bob Seger ... all Classic Rock fanfare for sure ... but it seems to have taken on the pattern of a "daily dose" ... and I mean EVERY day, day in and day out ... and as such, other than Bob Stroud's program (where he'll do features like Ten At Ten and One 45 at 1:45), they don't seem to stray too farm from the beaten path ... which, I can only assume, is the PROVEN path based on the station's increasing ratings. (They are also playing more and more Listener Requests ... but by and large these seem to be tracks the station would have been playing anyway.)
Good for them ... but honestly I think most listeners want more ... and The Drive certainly has a deep enough catalog to accommodate.  (Their 8-10 day long "A to Z" feature is one of their most popular ... and is ALWAYS filled with some pleasant surprises.)  A few more "surprises" thrown in on a daily basis would be a welcome relief from hearing the exact same playlist five days a week.  (kk)

Check this out …

Paul McCartney's Carpool Karaoke segment has proven to be SO popular (over 130 MILLION YouTube hits since it first aired on James Corden's late night TV show) that CBS is now going to show a fully-expanded version, one hour television special on August 20th!!!  (Clark Besch … it looks like you were right … I NEVER would have believed it!)  Plus now I don't have to stay up late or DVR it!!!  (kk)

And talking about a televised event you need to mark you calendar for, check this one out!

SAVE THE DATE: Great Performances Grammy Salute To Music Legends with Neil Diamond (singing “I’m A Believer” with Micky Dolenz), Tina Turner, Queen and The Meters (Oct. 5) - on PBS

Several months ago we told you that Ann Wilson (formerly of Heart) sang her own arrangement of the Lesley Gore classic "You Don't Own Me."
We also told you that we didn't care for it at all!!!
There have been several absolutely killer versions of this song … one of my all-time favorites of any era (and written by our FH Buddy John Madara)

Well, they've finally released a copy of this track … so now you can judge for yourself …

Meanwhile, you can check out our original piece here …

Regarding the group BLACK SHEEP that I emailed you about … it never occurred to me that this would be a different group than the one Jim mentioned featuring Lou Gramm(atico) ... but I am almost positive that one of your readers will know if they are one and the same or two different groups.
Along that same time period (1966), there was a another group with just the name of SHEEP. They had a record out on Boom Records called HIDE AND SEEK, a remake of a song recorded earlier (1962) by singer Bunker Hill.
Larry Neal
My gut tells me that these are two separate groups … and that Lou Gramm's Black Sheep didn't appear until the early-to-mid '70's. (I think Jim thought they were one and the same as well … so maybe we've debunked yet another musical myth here in Forgotten Hits!!!  lol) 
The group Sheep charted nationally with "Hide And Seek" … it went to #53 in early 1966 in Cash Box … peaking at #58 in Billboard.  It hit #38 here in Chicago on the WLS chart.  (kk)

And, speaking of Lou Gramm, did you see that Foreigner has been booking more "reunion" shows???  (Man, I hope they come to Chicago … I would LOVE to see all the guys back together again!)
Here's the story we saw in Ultimate Classic Rock …
Along with an USA Today accounting that Tom Cuddy sent us regarding a recent appearance.  (The USA Today article mentions four more reunion shows, two on the east coast and two on the west, but hopefully if the vibe is good, they will soon be expanding their tour schedule to accommodate some of us who want to see them that live in "Middle America," too!)  kk

The Genesee Theatre has just booked the Roy Orbison Hologram Tour for October 21st … the presale ends today at 10 pm …
Just jump over to the Genesee online ticket box office … and type in the promo code GENESEE for your chance to grab tickets before the go on sale to the general public.  (kk)

And, speaking of upcoming shows, here's one for our East Coast Readers …
Happy Anniversary to Vito Picone and the Elegants … incredibly, it was 60 years ago that their hit "Little Star" hit #1 … and they're throwing a bash to celebrate.  You'll find all of the details in the poster below. (kk)

Pam Pulice's latest fundraiser / promo screening of her new Dick Biondi documentary was held Wednesday Night at The Beverly Arts Center.  Special Guests included Ronnie Rice, formerly of The New Colony Six (and still appearing with them at their Cornerstones shows) and legendary disc jockey John Records Landecker.  Unfortunately, we were unable to attend … but hopefully we're getting closer and closer to seeing this film become a reality.
As always, you can donate thru their website:

Hey Kent -
Have you ever interviewed this guy?
Tony Burrows - A Six-Time One-Hit Wonder
Bill Scherer
I have not ... but would LOVE to meet him.  (I don't think anybody else can make this claim ... although Jay Ferguson comes to mind (Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne and his solo hits) ... but that would only make him a THREE-time One-Hit Wonder!
I know Tony has been doing shows in The States recently ... would LOVE to see somebody bring him to Chicago as part of a '70's package show.  (kk) 

A final chuckle from FH Reader John LaPuzza ...