Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sharing Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments To Break-Up The Week

The Queen snowball keeps rolling … 

Taking a quick look at this past weekend’s box office receipts, “Bohemian Rhapsody” took in another $31 Million, a drop-off of $20 million from the film’s opening weekend but still an impressive $82 million tally thus far.  (It was no match for “The Grinch,” which topped $66 million for the weekend.)  

And, speaking of "Bohemian Rhapsody," 24 minutes were cut from the film before it could be shown in Malaysia, which has a VERY strict ban on anything to do with gay activity.    

Meanwhile Queen, the movie and the title track are popping up everywhere!  Even this past week’s episode of “The Goldbergs” was titled “Bohemian Rap City” as Barry Goldberg (aka Big Tasty) created what he thought in HIS mind was a rap improvement to the Queen classic.  

YouTube is reporting Queen watching (of the rock variety) at an all-time high … both film clips and behind the scenes footage from the hot new film as well as vintage clips of the original band from back in the day, be it many of their classic videos, live performances or television specials.  (I watched a 30-minute news documentary the other night about Freddie Mercury’s last days that was quite interesting.)  

And, in answer to Frank B’s question from the other day, “Bohemian Rhapsody” DID, in fact, return to Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart this week, premiering at #33!  Amazing!  (This is the THIRD time this song has made Billboard’s Top 40 … it hit #9 in 1976 when it was first released, shot back up to #2 in 1992 after it was used in “Wayne’s World” and now premiers at #33 on the heels of the release of the Freddie Mercury / Queen biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”)  And, by the way, the soundtrack album to that film now sits at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart!  (In other chart news, watch for The Beatles’ White Album to leapfrog into the #1 spot next week, thus topping the chart exactly fifty years apart.)  Incredible!  (It’s like everything old is new again!!!  I love it!  (kk)

Now this, too, from Harvey Kubernik, regarding a Queen documentary from 2012 which is seeing a re-release in light of the film’s success … 

With the box office success of the Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," a May, 2014, Queen Productions authorized documentary on the band, "Queen: Days Of Our Lives" is now broadcasting globally and being viewed by millions.  

Director Matthew O'Casey filmed author and music historian Harvey Kubernik for the original BBC Television airing, "Queen at 40," which is now released as a DVD via Universal Music Enterprises. 

Kubernik appears in the program four times alongside group members Brian May, Roger Taylor, record producer Roy Thomas Baker and David Bowie. 

In the late seventies Kubernik interviewed Queen's Freddie Mercury twice. Once in Hollywood and then in London.    


Meanwhile, the Harvey Train keeps on chugging along, too … check this out … 

This item is on the internet, culled from a display from one of my book publishers.  

NEVER underestimate the power of television, especially when a music documentary airs globally about one of the most iconic bands of all-time. 

Here I am going to two markets on a sunny afternoon in Southern California. Two different people behind the counter ask if I was “the guy they saw last night on a Queen documentary." 

I had no idea it has been running, obviously coinciding with the theatrical release of "Bohemian Rhapsody." I did this appearance in 2012 for BBC-TV, and now it's out on a DVD from Universal Music and connecting with a whole new and different demographic. 

Besides answering some deep Queen queries, I was politely asked about Herb Alpert, The Go-Go's,  the music of Laurel Canyon and the Eagles. 

It was a regional flash. 

One dude went home on his lunch break and brought back a slew of my books to sign.  He even added a free side of guacamole on my sandwich! 

I then returned to the market later that evening with a friend of mine, entertainment publicist Hal Lifson ... you might know his book about year 1966 music book.  

I was in the process of writing a story on The Doors and the 50th anniversary of their "Waiting For The Sun" album. Taking a break, I kid you not, as we were existing the store, Robby Krieger of The Doors walks right into us. I've known him for many years … saw the band in 1968. 

I initially looked at this magical encounter as a signal. But the telephone rang and it was Andrew Loog Oldham who, once again, indicated to me that "there are no accidents." 

I am blessed. We all are. 


By the way, now has the Doors story spotlighted. 

Some of us more than others, Harvey … some of us more than others!!!  (kk)

And last week we told you about Harvey's latest book, "The Story Of The Band" ... 

>>>I've got to tell you ... I am SO proud to be a member of The Harvey Kubernik Book Of The Month Club!!!  (I swear this guy writes a new book every single month!!!  I don't know HOW he does it!)  His latest looks like an absolute gem ... "The Story Of The Band" is yet another BEAUTIFUL, coffee-table type book, beautifully written and illustrated from start to finish.  I can't wait to dig into this it!  (kk)  

Thank you, Kent. 
I look forward to you devouring the pages and absorbing the text and visuals. Might take you days to discover and recover! 
This book took 50 years to live and I know you and many others will feel it. 
You will delight in the dozens of revealing new facts, unheard voices and familiar musicians. 
In a 1977 interview Freddie Mercury of Queen reinforced to me it's about taking risks. That's been my job and expedition goal for many decades.    
On Tuesday you and your viewers / readers might really enjoy the 9,000 word essay I've done on the '68 Elvis Comeback Special that will be displayed on
Feel free to let the universe know about this expanded format product re-release, set for November 30th. 

Harvey Kubernik

And how 'bout this acetate label copy of "If I Can Dream" courtesy of Bob Say!  

I’m guessing this is the “tv version” that aired as the grand finale in his 1968 NBC Singer Television Special (?)
I just finished the Steve Binder book about a month ago … and have SO many bootlegs, deluxe reissue CDs and DVDs on this I can’t even IMAGINE there being even MORE material available now!!!  (But how do I live without it?!?!)
Looking forward to checking it out real soon.  Thanks, Harvey!  (kk)

A quick check of the leaders in this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Fan Ballot this morning shows Def Leppard still on top with a pretty commanding lead and approximately 400,000 votes, followed by Stevie Nicks with 325,000, Todd Rundgren with 245,000, The Zombies with 210,000, The Cure right behind them with 200,000 and Janet Jackson in sixth place with 155,000 votes.  Votes will continue to be tabulated thru midnight, December 9th.  (kk) 

Have YOU voted yet?  I finally cast my votes for Todd Rundgren and The Zombies.  (Although you’re allowed up to five choices, I literally couldn’t find five deserving artists on this year’s ballot!)  You can cast YOUR votes here: 

Hi Kent, 
With all the recent discussion about Chad & Jeremy and Peter & Gordon, a couple of thoughts come to mind that might be worth sharing.
Peter & Gordon had a release in 1968, "You've Had Better Times," that we played a lot at AFKN in Korea.  It was a bit edgy, but had a good sound, though quite outside their normal presentation.  Don't know how it did stateside.
Chad & Jeremy live on today in the Zits comic strip (A top two favorite of mine).  The teen character is Jeremy, and his seldom-seen brother is Chad.  Apparently one of the cartoonists is a 60s buff like us.
Best wishes,
“You’ve Had Better Times” got some airplay here in The States in ’68 … but never enough to break into The Top 100.  (It bubbled under on all three national charts, peaking at #112 in Record World … and that was during a nine week run!!!)  kk

Not being familiar with the Zits Comic Strip, I found this description of Chad on their Wikipedia Page …

Chad Duncan is Jeremy's older brother by four years. He attends college (the college has been identified in the strip as the University of Notre Dame) and is an overachiever and the object of much jealousy by Jeremy.  In his first few appearances, Chad was said to be the perfect child, having his face slightly obscured, and having a more muscular build. He was later re-drawn as looking like an older version of Jeremy with a goatee.  Chad is an occasional character and rarely appears, typically showing up during the holiday seasons and leaving abruptly. In one strip, he told Jeremy he had been there for two weeks already. After Jeremy said he needed to pay more attention, Chad replied, "That's what I keep telling your sister." Chad is a business major, "with a minor in uncommunication", according to Walt, as he almost never calls home.      

First, I appreciate the suggestion you made to Mike Stineman as I have had the same problem of these audio clips not opening on my computer. Thanks for mentioning the refreshing of the page. Last weekend, I was not able to play all of the audio clips you had since most of them didn't open.
One final thing, if I may.
I was curious about something. On October 30th, I sent you an email asking or wondering if recent new reader Carl Mann was the same Carl Mann that worked here in OKC in the 60's - early 70's.  I also sent a copy of station KOOK’s survey for the first week in 1967, I believe.
Again, just curious if he was the same Carl Mann who worked here in OKC years ago. Don't know if you had heard back from him or not. I believe it is the same Carl Mann but I am not sure.
Larry Neal
I believe that we established that THIS Carl Mann did indeed work in Oklahoma City in the late ‘60’s … but that he is NOT the same Carl Mann who had a 1959 Top 40 Hit with his version of “Mona Lisa.”  That’s him commenting above on our recent Peter and Gordon / Chad and Jeremy coverage.  (kk) 

We just got this from FH Reader Tim Kiley regarding an interesting Beatles documentary …

Hi Kent, 
Ran across this special of music and a band that will never be again.  Like, Buddy Holly, you just don't know at the time, the degree of greatness you are witnessing. 
Tim Kiley                          

Tim also sent along this interview with Randy Bachman …

Hi Kent, 
This interview with Randy Bachman is as fine of an interview as I have ever heard. 
Tim Kiley                     

kk …
Another award for Cousin Brucie.

Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow receives his award, November 8, 2018, at The Long Island Music Hall of Fame 7th Awards Ceremony and Induction Gala. Photo: Arnie Goodman Photography — at The Space at Westbury Theater 

I know we’ve had this debate before in Forgotten Hits … but I just don’t get him!!! I tried to listen again the other day on Sirius XM, the ‘60’s Channel, and he couldn’t have sounded more disengaged with what was going on.  (Not to mention the fact that at least HALF of the music he played wasn’t from the ‘60’s at all!)  He completely lost his way a couple of times and it got to the point where I just had to turn him off … it was literally unlistenable!
Many will argue that he was one of the original greats … but in this case it may have been wiser to rest on your laurels and leave your audience with nothing but fond memories than to go out like this.  His fans will forgive him anything, I guess … but those of us who are trying to listen in the here and now are finding it increasingly difficult to do so.  (kk) 

Making Spirits Bright: 
Hi Kent:
Thank you for your mention of the station in conjunction with the Christmas special.   We start at 8:00 am on Christmas Eve and send it through four consecutive cycles all the way up to Midnight on Christmas night.

Rick O’Dell
We’ll definitely be listening when we can!  Thanks, Rick!  (kk) 

We’re thinking of going to the Ides Xmas show this year … worth going to see?
Definitely!  We’ve gone the last three or four years now and it’s always been a great show.  (We’ll miss it this year because we’ll be down in Nashville that weekend seeing Vince Gill and Amy Grant’s Christmas Show at The Ryman Theater.)  kk 

Memphis Ukulele Band: Mark Edgar Stuart, Logan Hanna, Kyndle McMahan, 
Jon Hornyak and Jason Freeman (photo credit: Karen Foch) 

We’d like to tell you about The Memphis Ukulele Band’s forthcoming 7-track EP, Holidays Ain’t The Same.
Let’s be honest:  nobody wants to think about, much less hear, Christmas music before Halloween.  OK, now that Halloween -- and the midterm elections -- have come and gone, we figured it would be worth the effort to remind you about it. There are only 41, going on 40, days left until you know what.  
Plus there’s a bonus to share this time around: the good people at Memphis International Records have posted a sweet little lyric video of the first track launched from the mini album.  It’s MUB’s take on “Gee Whiz It’s Christmas.” The original Carla Thomas version was released in 1963 and became a seasonal standard in the Mid-South.  Overtly inspired by Carla’s breakthrough “Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes),” the song was written by Carla along with Steve Cropper and Memphis composer-arranger Vincent Trauth.  Instrumentation of the new Memphis Ukulele Band version, recorded at Sam Phillips Recording, is radically different in terms of production approach but shares the same guileless innocence as the original. Instrumentation is four ukuleles: a baritone, two tenors and a bass, plus vocalist Kyndle McMahan on sleigh bells.  Says band co-founder Jon Hornyak, “We are referencing the original recording in a very minimalistic but soulful and respectful way.”
This very unique holiday EP was recorded earlier this fall, “live on the floor,” at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis with Halley Phillips, granddaughter of the studio’s founder and namesake, producing.
The group was founded four years ago and has gone on to well-earned notoriety within in the ukulele community and beyond with acceptance among aficionados of Americana and roots music in general. They’ve played Folk Alliance and AmericanaFest and opened for uke legend Jake Shimabukuro at the Memphis In May Festival. They even toured in Hawaii and actually headlined the Kauai Farm Bureau County Fair on Kauai.  Their approach to the ukulele, as one might imagine in light of their roots in Memphis, is unorthodox with elements of gospel, folk, Hill Country blues, pop and that certain something they call “ukulele soul.”  
Staying within the musical parameters of the city from which their name is derived, the group also tackles “Blue Christmas,” the holiday song most associated with Elvis Presley.  Other holiday standards in the set include “Merry Christmas Baby,” dating from 1947 when it became a huge R&B hit for Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers with the legendary Charles Brown singing lead.  There’s also the Hawaiian holiday standard, “Mele Kalikimaka” that was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1949 and which the MUB crew sourced from Liz and Jim Beloff’s The Daily Ukulele songbook. Another non-standard standard in the set is Paul Williams’ “When The River Meets The Sea.”  The EP’s new songs include “Merry Christmas Broken Hearts,” written by the producer and Jerry Phillips, her dad. Another standard-in-the-making is the title song, written by Mark Edgar Stuart, who sings and handles bass uke for the group. On “Holidays Ain’t The Same (Without You),” he’s heard playing “guitarlele,” a hybrid that’s a perfect counterpoint for his poignant Americana ballad.  
The band’s current lineup includes founder Jon Hornyak, a veteran of the Mid-South music scene who was primarily a keyboard player. That all changed after a visit to Kauai and Larry’s Music Center in Kapaa.  He came back to Memphis not only with Kamoa custom ukuleles but also a passion to spread the good uke word.  He was soon joined by the aforementioned Mark Edgar Stuart, a singer-songwriter of renown whose “day job” finds him at Sun Studio – it just doesn’t get any more Memphis than that.  Jason Freeman, a roots rocker, has been providing music for such films as Hustle & FlowBlack Snake Moan and MTV’s Savage Country.  He not only plays tenor and banjo ukulele but also harmonica and kazoo.  Logan Hanna handles guitarlele and baritone ukulele for MUB and, in his “other” life, is an in-demand session player and tours with the “Elvis Live In Concert” touring band.  Lastly, there’s MUB’s newest member Kyndle McMahan, a singer’s singer whether she’s fronting a horn-driven R&B band or in a gentle folk or Americana mode.  With MUB, her acoustic intimacy of performing at low volume allows her brilliant voice full expression and dynamic control. 
Holidays Ain’t The Same is just that: not the same but something very different, very innovative, very fresh, very “uke” and very Memphis.  It’s a unique blend of “uked-out” seasonal music to be served at your next Christmas luau or holiday barbeque.
Click here for “Gee Whiz It’s Christmas” 
(submitted by Bob Merlis)
I thoroughly enjoyed this track ... give it a listen!  (kk)

One of my favorite "lost" Christmas tunes was played often here locally upon the original release time (late 1975) but I never, ever hear it played anymore, not even on oldies stations: "The Christmas Song" by Gilbert O' Sullivan.  It's not the same song as the Nat King Cole holiday chestnut. The melody and hook grabs you (well, me) I can even hum it in my head decades later.
Mike Markesich
I honestly don’t think I’m familiar with that one – so I had to visit iTunes and check it out. 
Here it is for the benefit of anyone else who may not know this one …

Gary has a nice mix of Christmas songs for sure.  I'm sure these things have gone on radio forever, but in the past were limited to the 45s and LPs stations had available to them (60's, 70's, 80's etc).  My main memories were of Dusty Rhodes on WLW Cincinnati doing his long shows on Sunday nights at Christmas.  We would attempt to drive my mom around looking at the lights of the city while Dusty set the mood. 
I did not see MY fave Christmas songs in his list, but they are more obscure, I guess.  The Three Wise Men's "Thanks For Christmas" was a 1980's song that is actually XTC. The Gene Cotton one may have too much political commentary for many these days, but it never seemed to matter before, as it is nearly 40 years old now.  It is extra cool because it was NOT meant for sale when sent to stations and it said play freely but not for sale on the 45.  How cool was that?  ANYWAY, good show, Gary and hope these two tracks make the FH list.
Clark Besch

We used to devote Twelve Days To Christmas back in the old days … so I don’t mind sharing a few here today (even though it’s still a bit early … it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!!!)
Nice to see Paul Evans on Gary’s list … who knows, maybe some day even “Lonely Christmas” (by yours truly) will make the cut!!! (kk)

We never made it to The Arcada Tuesday Night to see Gladys Knight (another worked too late night) … so if any of our reader were there at the show, we would LOVE to hear from you so we can share your review online.

And I just heard that Boz Scaggs will be one of the artists performing as part of the Elk Grove Village Tuesday Night Free Concert In The Park Series next year.    

FH Reader Ken Voss sent us the complete schedule below …
Thursday, July 4 - Melissa Etheridge (fireworks)
Tuesday, July 9 - Boz Scaggs
Tuesday, July 16 - The Commodores
Tuesday, July 23 - Wynonna & The Big Noise
Tuesday, July 30 - Night Ranger 

If you weren’t a Michael Buble fan before, maybe this clip will win you over.
It’s another Carpool Karaoke with James Corden … but this one is killer good … check it out!  (kk)