Playing catch-up on the comments again this week due to our special weekend feature …
But here is some of what you guys have been talking about these past few days … (most of it haphazzardly random due to time restraints!)
I saw the Queen movie over the weekend and absolutely loved it … it was like being at a rock concert! The actor playing Freddie was incredible. Too bad so many critics were let down by the film … I guess it just wasn’t close enough to the truth for them in order to still be able to get a PG rating … but I thought it was fantastic.
It took in $51 million in its opening weekend, the second biggest box office ever for a music biopic. (For the record, the all-time leader was “Straight Outta Compton,” which profiled NWA.) Another decent weekend (or series of weekends) could easily push the film over the $100 million mark, a feat only achieved by “Compton” and the Johnny Cash biopic “Walk The Line” … meaning “Bohemian Rhapsody” could conceivably become the biggest musical biopic of all time. (kk)
I saw the comments from Michael Markesich about the music being sped up on the playback of some of the old AT40 shows and I recall back in the '70's that some stations sped up their turntables in order to get in more music in an hour than a competing station. In addition, some stations sped up the music to make the station sound more 'exciting'. Today, some 'oldies' stations speed up their music in order to maintain that same 'feel' of the '70's stations (and '60's for that matter).
While I agree with Michael, songs that sound too sped up can turn the music into the Chipmunks -- it is not AT40 that sped up the music, but individual stations that did it back then and that still do it today. While most people treat pop music as 'background,' it can be frustrating to those that listen to it more as an 'art form.' Maybe when Michael listens to Casey counting them down, just concentrate on the great info you are getting and focus less on the music (or look for a station that doesn't speed up the tunes).
That was a big controversy here in Chicago back in the ‘70’s when WCFL was found to be speeding up the music ever-so-slightly to sound “more exciting” than what WLS was playing (it was all mind games, of course, but they got called on the carpet about it by renown media columnist Gary Deeb at the time … we’ve covered this very topic before in Forgotten Hits). It also allowed them, over the course of an hour, to slip in one more tune … or a few more commercials … so the whole idea was very “purposeful” in all regards.
I haven’t heard any of the “sped-up” Casey Kasem episodes but I am a little disappointed to read that the powers that be in charge of such a project aren’t radio-savvy enough to know that they’re messing with the very music listeners are tuning in to hear … and, in the long run, it will cost them some of that listenership. (Rule #2 in Forgotten Hits: Don’t Fuck With The Memories!!!) kk
Here’s another plug for next year’s Winter Dance Party, being held at The Surf Ballroom from January 31st – February 2nd … incredibly the 60TH anniversary of the plane crash that took Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper from us.
An all-star line-up will keep things hoppin’ all weekend long …
Everybody from Wendy and Carnie Wilson to Frankie Avalon to Chubby Checker to The Killer Vees (Bobby Vee’s sons) to Robin Luke to Jay and the Americans to Little Anthony and the Imperials to Shirley Alston Reeves to The Chiffons to Brian Hyland to Chris Montez to Johnny Tillotson … this event is gonna be a KILLER!!!
We’d LOVE to go but just can’t swing it this year … however, if any of our readers are going to be attending, we would LOVE to hear with you and share your reviews on the website … so PLEASE let us know! (kk)
And, speaking of great shows, it was just announced that Herb Alpert and Lani Hall will be returning to The City Winery next May for TWO shows … May 4th and 5th.
We thoroughly enjoyed their last appearance there and are hoping to have the chance to see them again.
Christopher Cross is also headed back to The City Winery for two shows on March 19th and 20th.
I know you mentioned that you are going to see Gladys Knight at The Arcada next week. Are you also attending Petula Clark’s show this weekend? My goodness, how old is she?
We’ve got The Orchestra on Saturday Night (the 10th) and Gladys on the 13th … but we’re skipping Pet Clark this time around. (We saw her last year, which was one of our “bucket list” shows!) Without looking it up, I’m guessing she’s gotta be 85 … and, after looking it up, that’s technically still correct … she’ll turn 86 on the 15th of this month. In fact, they’re now billing her show on Sunday as a Birthday Event! (kk)
We went to see Peter and Jeremy last night at The City Winery … I was REALLY looking forward to this show (and anxious for Frannie to see it, too, since she didn’t go to Beatlefest this year.) We’ll run a follow up review in the next day or two. (Got home WAY to late to work on this last night after what, at that point, had already been a 19-hour day!)
However, I guess that I don’t DARE run that photo again of me with Billy J. Kramer, Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde …
The four of you gonna be the new Fab Four?
So I took a couple of NEW ones which we’ll use to accompany the review! (lol) kk
Far be it from me to “overstay” our welcome by running that photo too many times, cool as it is, so we’ll dig back and pull one from the archives instead to feature today … probably something you haven’t seen in awhile (or as often) here in Forgotten Hits! (kk)
If you had tickets to see UB40 at The Genesee Theatre, their postponed show has now been rescheduled … but you’re going to have to wait about ten months to see them!!!
Originally scheduled for September 29th of this year, the rescheduled show will now take place on September 20th, 2019! If you are unable to attend this rescheduled show, refunds are available at your point of purchase. (kk)
And after YEARS of rumors, it looks like 4/5ths of The Spice Girls really ARE reuniting for a short (six city) British Tour. (As expected, Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham won’t be participating. I believe her EXACT quote was “I’m not going on tour. What does that look like in the future? It’s not me in a catsuit!”
Could a US tour follow? I suppose anything’s possible but there’d have to be some pretty massive demand in order to cover the expense of such a venture. (I’m thinking they should call it The Old Spice Tour … it’d guarantee them a built-in sponsor to cover some of those costs!)
For me, I’m content to just live with the memories (unless, of course, they are finally able to pull off that Spice Girls / Backstreet Boys Tour that they were talking about doing a year or two ago … in which case, I’m in!!!) kk
Guitarist Glenn Schwartz of the ‘60’s rock band Pacific Gas And Electric (who scored the #10 Hit “Are You Ready?” in 1970) has passed away at the age of 77. Schwartz also holds the distinction of being the original guitarist for The James Gang … who was then replaced by Joe Walsh!
>>>Welcome aboard, Carl … and please keep the memories coming. Feel free to chime in whenever a topic piques your interest as I’m sure we’d all love to hear from you! (kk)
Thanks ahead of time for the memories and for letting me get a photo with you (below) at the 2016 survey convention in KC! The fact that YOU were behind the songs being played on KOOK is a testament to how cool the station was.
More later ...
And then later …
I grew up in Dodge City, Kansas. IT was "just a path" to the Rockies from anywhere. Tumble weeds galore and wind and hot and dry. I LOVED growing up there because we kids could pick up AM DX radio top 40 from west to east coast. Our dad was a HAM and had a 1940 hallicrafter and a great antenna that allowed for great DXing and recording via reel to reel line feed. Like Billings, our western Kansas TV stations were microwave news relays from Wichita. We could get superstation KWGN Denver on skip often. (Clark)
>>>Radio and music got me to Big Sky Country. We had record service at KOOK and were tuned in to the national and regional charts so we knew what was getting played. Being music director was the fun part. I got to pick the new music each week, checked with record stores on sales, and made up the weekly survey. The rankings were also influenced by my Saturday night show, the “Favorite Five,” where I’d ask for calls voting for favorite songs, tabulate the results, and play the countdown back in order. I’ll confess, my own favorites sometimes influenced tabulations. (Carl Mann)
As a kid in the 60's, I had my own pretend station checking Billboard starting in ‘65 and getting my hands on every survey of stations from vacations from 1962 on. I studied all the charts I found and listened across the dial to my heroes. I made my own surveys from ‘63 – ‘76. In the early 70's, I was charting 200 songs on weekly charts. As music director for KOOK, I think it would have been MY dream job (next to being a WLS DJ), if not yours! (Clark)
>>>I played my first Beatles record while at KATI Casper, Wyoming, in late 1963. The British Invasion was well underway when arriving at KOOK in 1964. The Beatles were very established by this time and could do no wrong. It was the first time I ever experienced playing album cuts on a Top 40 format, they were so prolific. It was a new era for rock, and being a 50s doo-wop kind of guy, I shifted grudgingly to what I soon realized was an equally great period. (Carl Mann)
Yeah LP tracks on AM in 64? Not happening before Beatles unless feature LP of week. (Clark)
With the Beatles came the “bad boys” of Britain, the Rolling Stones, also high quality rock. What is called Classic Rock today started at this time, with the Stones and other British-blues-based groups like The Spencer Davis Group “I’m A Man,” the Kinks, the Animals, and of course the Yardbirds, propelled by as-yet unknowns Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. (Carl Mann)
Brit Invasion music is second ONLY to Chicago area artists in 60's for me, too! I was able to work on reissue CDs by all the Chicago bands, which was like a dream in 80's / 90’s / 2000's.
And you played the Omaha band The Coachmen and Prof Morison's Lollipop 45s at KISN! The drummer of those bands is close friend. (Clark)
>>>Also memorable is playing the first Neil Diamond records. We played “Solitary Man” out of the box in 1966. He didn’t really hit until the follow-ups “Cherry Cherry” and “You Got To Me,” and “Solitary Man” didn’t hit until its re-release in 1970. Those three songs to my belief were never matched in his later, more famous years. (Carl Mann)
Yes, Neil Diamond was a double-edged sword for me, too. He was SO great in 60's before mellowing in 70's and on. I hate hearing "Sweet Caroline" constantly at sports events. (Clark)
>>>We actually played Nat King Cole in the Top 40 with “Let Me Tell You Babe” and “Ballad of Cat Ballou.” Also some great African - American females, like Verdelle Smith’s “Tar and Cement,” an ecology song pre-dating Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi song. (Carl Mann)
The Cat Ballou 45 was one of few KLMS Lincoln hits that never made the Hot 100. It reached #1 here on KLMS! Love "Tar & Cement." WLS' Clark Weber recently said other station jocks called him a bit racist on his music for whites programming. (Clark)
>>>I was a huge fan of the Mamas and Papas (had a crush on Michelle). Nancy Sinatra, too … but she was seen more as a shirt tail artist by us jocks … but her “Sugar” album cover picture was a favorite on the studio wall for a while. (Carl Mann)
(c'mon ... you KNEW I had to run it again!!!) kk
Who didn't have a crush on Michelle, altho I loved Nancy Sinatra better. Who knew I'd eventually have my name in her CD booklets one day! So many top artists got their brand new songs played hourly for a few days. WLS had their top 3 requested at 10 PM and I always listened when I could. (Clark)
>>>A career peak for Gary Lewis and The Playboys happened during my tenure at KOOK as well, each successive release after “This Diamond Ring” a well-produced hit. We brought them in for a concert one night in Billings when learning they were in the region and had a hole in their schedule. So, they were available, cheap, even though they were well on their way with hits. No limos then; us jocks had to pick up Gary and the whole group of Playboys at the hotel and bring them to the venue, which was a small, sweaty, room with a stage (we were lucky to have found such a dive at the last minute) overflowing with enthusiastic teens and young 20s. The power to their amps actually went off for about ten long seconds in the middle of a song. They kept playing without amps like nothing happened. When the power came back up, they were still doing the song and the outage was quickly forgotten. Amazingly, they NEVER complained about how “back woods” this gig had to have been for them. (Carl Mann)
Our coincidences are amazing. Gary and gang played OKC when we were there in summer 65 and my brother got Gary's autograph as well as all the KOMA jocks all dressed in blue suits. I remember them doing recent KOMA #1 "For Your Love" by the Yardbirds and when they came to the song break, the fans started applauding which I thought was odd, as I knew the song started back in again, as it then did. (Clark)
>>>I always felt at the time that I got into the biz too late, just past the pre-Beatles era of hits and personality radio. But in retrospect, it was golden times and I’m proud to have experienced it. (Carl Mann)
I feel YOU and I were a part of the BEST era of radio -- Beatles ’64 - 1975 radio. My brothers were into records by 1960 and I followed and by 1964, had a handful of 45s. I bought "She Loves You" when it came out. 1967 is my fave music year, followed by 68 and 66, 65, 64. I started taping off radio in ‘65 and when KEYN-FM in Wichita got going in 68, I was into stereo FM from 69 - 72 when I started listening again to AM top 40 as well as stereo FM. We moved from Dodge to Lincoln in the summer of ‘71, so KLMS and KOIL were big for me, as well as KRCB-FM's great obscure hits. KRCB was a bit odd, as it was AM / FM simulcast then, but FM was MONO too. I listened to YOU at KOIL in the early ‘70's and taped you a little bit. KFXM came on in stereo in ‘72, but lasted a year. Great Omaha radio days. Great remembrances. (Clark)
Any airchecks, Carl? How did you decide to have the TV info and such on your weekly music charts? I did that with MY personal charts, too. I would list the artists appearing at Pershing / Civic and Peony Park on my surveys, too!
If you wish to sample a 70's clip I recorded in early 70's, you can download 43 minutes of tuning around for DJs and stations done in Lincoln by me. Just random stuff from a great radio time. KOIL in there as well as WLS, KLMS, KOMA etc. A cold day at home as a teen listening.
I, too, welcome Carl Mann to Forgotten Hits.
Carl has been a customer of mine for a few years and we met at the survey convention two years ago. One tends to forget that small market radio is where many records got played first, before they hit it big.
Here’s hoping that Carl will continue to share his memories with our readers! (kk)
>>>Terry Knight (who had a minor hit record with an early version of the ultimate Tom Jones hit "I (Who Have Nothing)" back in 1964 (kk)
Oops! "I (Who Have Nothing)" was originally a Top 30 hit for Ben E. King in 1963; and the Terry Knight & The Pack version hit the charts in late 1966.
– Randy Price
Yes, but then I couldn’t have tied it into the other calendar anniversary of Tom Jones being awarded Britain’s Music Industry Trusts’ Award … and referring to him as “Mr. Sock-In-The Pants” again for the 114th time!!!
Ben E. King’s version may have been the original charter (#25, 1963) but it was Tom Jones who had the biggest and most recognizable hit with this song in 1970 (#10). Terry Knight and the Pack’s version actually peaked at #42 in early 1967. (kk)
How many of our TIMEless classics did you listen to on Sunday? (One hell of a list, if I do say so myself … and there were DOZENS more that I had to eliminate to keep the tally right around 60!)
Buddy ... whew! ... I don't know how you do it! Tons of great info.
Took me two sessions to get thru it all ... lol!
Buddy ... whew! ... I don't know how you do it! Tons of great info.
Took me two sessions to get thru it all ... lol!
We appreciate all the time it takes to put these things together. Thanks.
Be well, my friend.
God bless -
Be well, my friend.
God bless -
You forgot WHAT TIME IS IT by The Jive Five.
And, no, I wasn't setting my clock at 2:00 A.M. early Sunday Morning.
I always have my clocks set accordingly ahead of time.
Normally we’ll set ours right before we go to bed … but THIS year I did it in the morning … so I could enjoy that extra hour rather than sleep thru it! (lol) Seriously … does ANYBODY get up at 2 am to set their clocks?!?! (kk)
Take The Quiz!
From Frank B …
Find out “Which Bobby Darin Song Are You?” right here …
Frank B also sent us this heart-warming clip …
Adorable 92-Year-Old Lady Can’t Contain Herself When Willie Nelson Records The Song She Wrote
READERS HELPING READERS:
>>>Yesterday as I clicked on to your website, before it popped up was a survey - questionaire from someone or something called Houston? Not quite sure. It's just like those commercials I see on television with an old song playing in the back ground. I know and recognize the song but can't remember the product being advertised. Anyway, I took the survey; it took some 30 seconds to complete. At the end was offered a free $50 gift certificate with various items being offered. They had a flashlight shown which looked good to me. I didn't offer to get it because they said all that I had to pay was the shipping charges. My question to you is have any other of your readers that you know of, had this question-aire pop up on their computer before FH popped up? (Larry)
>>>This is the very first I've ever heard of this ... and no, it is NOT supposed to happen. I will have to check with Blogger and Yahoo to see what may have caused this. Please know that Forgotten Hits is NOT involved or connected with any of this – we have always been ad-free and will continue to be (unless there is some controlling source behind the scenes that we are not aware of dictating otherwise.) I can only apologize for the intrusion ... and assure you that it was not something that Forgotten Hits orchestrated. If other readers have run into a similar situation, please let us know … because this is definitely NOT what we signed up for! (kk)
I've had issues like this with other sites, and while the site owner is aware of what could be going on, their deal with who(m)ever's hosting the site might actually provide openings for other knuckleheads to quietly dump tracking files (usually in the form of 'cookies' showing you've visited certain sites) onto the viewer's system. It's one thing when a site tells you, "yes, we put cookies on your computer that provide advertising, which helps pay our costs," but quite another when somebody else, through the channels provided by the originator(s) of the ads, gets involved.
When these files do things you don't want them to do, they become "malware," and there are a number of (often free) software products that help protect users from that, or at least detect and clean it out whenever needed.
I, for example, use <ahref=>Malwarebytes.</a>
They offer both free and purchase-able products depending on the user's needs.
I have not heard from anyone else experiencing this issue so I’m going to hope that this was just an isolated incident. If, however, this persists, we want to know about it so that we can contact the appropriate web hots and get this sorted out. Thank you … and sorry for any potential inconvenience this may bring you. (kk)
Congratulations to The Box Tops, new inductees into The Memphis Music Hall Of Fame.
Rick Levy sent us this article … as well as a photo of himself receiving a birthday kiss by none other than Priscilla Presley!!! (There are worse ways one could spend an evening!!! lol)
HI KENT >>>
THE MEMPHIS MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTIO WAS AMAZING.
The ceremony was held on November 1st …
Jerry Lee Lewis performed unannounced …
and it was my birthday, too! …
And yes, I got a kiss from PRISCILLA PRESLEY!!! (see pic)
Here’s a clip from Memphis TV station WMC ...
Check out the first video clip – an exclusive look at Box Tops sound check.
And, purely by coincidence FH Reader Frank B sent us this vintage clip of The Box Tops appearing on The Cool Ghoul John Zacherle’s television program back in ’67. (Notice that I didn’t say PERFORMING … this is a bit of an odd clip in that The Box Tops are there … and they do a bit of a fractured interview … but although their #1 Hit “The Letter” plays in the background twice, we never actually get to see them perform it! What we DO get to see is Zacherle doing some unabashed flirting with some of the young female dancers there that day … I’m not so sure something like this would play in THIS day and age!!!) kk
I had read that the Philadelphia International Records building was to be demolished, after significant parts of it were damaged in a 2010 fire.
Are they at a different location now?
Are they at a different location now?
We visited there in 2007. I know fire pretty well destroyed the building a few years later, but I don’t know what they’re using for their headquarters now. I will, however, try to find out. (kk)
There are no real headquarters these days, Kent. Just some administrative offices, nothing special, as the label has given way to Gamble - Huff Entertainment.
I know there’s a Walk Of Fame Section because I remember reporting on it. Too bad that there isn’t a more substantial landmark to commemorate all the music that came out of this great city. (If I recall correctly, the building we saw when we visited Philadelphia is the same location of the original Cameo / Parkway Records label, another topic we have covered extensively in Forgotten Hits.
Speaking of Gamble and Huff, here’s a promo piece on a recent celebration held out Philly way … look there’s even a photo of my close personal friend Bobby Rydell, posing with Dee Dee Sharp! (lol)
SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA ARCHITECTS KENNY GAMBLE & LEON HUFF REUNITE WITH CAMEO - PARKWAY LEGENDS DEE DEE SHARP AND BOBBY RYDELL TO SHARE A PAIR OF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONORS
Huff and Rydell presented with Lifetime Music Achievement Awards at Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Award Ceremony
L-R: Leon Huff, Dee Dee Sharp, Bobby Rydell and Kenny Gamble reunite to share honors at the RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Awards.
Credit: Randex Communications.
In a historic reunion that traced the roots of the Sounds of Philadelphia and 60 years of world-renown Philly Soul, Philadelphia International Records co-founders and R&B pioneers Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff arrived last night to reunite with a pair of Philly’s Cameo - Parkway Records “Bandstand” legends, Bobby Rydell (“Wild One,” “Volare”) and Dee Dee Sharp (“Mashed Potato Time”), as Huff and Rydell each received Lifetime Music Achievement honors at the annual Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Awards.
Kenny Gamble presented the award to Leon Huff, partners for over 50 years, and recounted joyfully how blessed they were to have fatefully met on an elevator in the old Shubert Building offices, so successfully and prolifically blending Gamble’s lyrics to Huff’s melodies to create over 3,000 songs, including R&B #1 hits, pop #1 hits, gold and platinum records, multiple Grammy and BMI songwriters' awards, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“Huff is one of the best keyboard players I’ve ever known and worked with,” said Gamble. “I’m proud to still call him my production and writing partner for the past five decades.”
Leon Huff, in accepting the award from Gamble, gave thanks for the tremendous catapult that meeting Gamble gave to his career, the pivotal moment in a musical journey which began as a youth playing his mother’s upright piano in the family’s Camden, NJ living room.
“Meeting Kenny Gamble in Philadelphia,” said Huff, “was the best thing that happened in my life.”
While primarily known for all his worldwide mega-hits with Gamble, Huff also is highly accomplished solo artist, starting in 1964 with co-writing "Mixed-Up, Shook-Up Girl" for Patty & the Emblems, and in 1980, the popular dance track, "I Ain't Jivin', I'm Jammin'," from his solo album, Here to Create Music.
Dee Dee Sharp, in presenting the award to Rydell, commented on how much she feels he’s one of the all-time “greatest guys” and reminded the more than 400 attendees at the black-tie affair how honored she was to have sung background vocals on all of Rydell’s Cameo - Parkway hits while still a teenager. Sharp became the nation’s first black female teen idol at Cameo - Parkway, where Rydell was groomed as a massively popular early teen idol as well.
Gamble has long credited the writers at Cameo - Parkway, where Rydell and Sharp became stars, for inspiring him and Leon Huff in the earliest days of their legendary partnership as songwriters, producers and record company executives. The roots of Gamble & Huff date back to the early 1960s, when they backed Sharp and Chubby Checker on tours as members of Kenny Gamble and the Romeos. The Cameo - Parkway office building eventually became the Philadelphia International Records hit factory following its purchase by Gamble & Huff in 1971.
The next artist to receive the Royal Philharmonic treatment will be The Carpenters … look for a new release just in time for Christmas. (And then, in 2019, they’re going to re-record and re-release EVERY record ever made!!!)
Honestly, I think I’m done with this series … yes, the Elvis thing was cool as a novelty … it was the first release of its kind and they actually improved on a couple of tracks in the process … and I couldn’t not own The Beach Boys edition … but this is just WAY too much of a good thing … which makes it NOT such a good thing after all. Seriously, all of this music doesn’t need to be re-orchestrated … and I’m a little surprised that Richard Carpenter, who was one hell of an arranger in his own right, would go along with such a thing.
For the incessantly curious, here is the track list from the new Carpenters edition, which becomes available on December 7th …
2. Yesterday Once More
3. Hurting Each Other
4. I Need to Be in Love
5. For All We Know
6. Touch Me When We’re Dancing
7. I Believe You
8. I Just Fall in Love Again
9. Merry Christmas Darling
10. Baby It’s You
11. (They Long to Be) Close to You
13. Rainy Days and Mondays
14. This Masquerade
15. Ticket to Ride
16. Goodbye to Love
17. Top of the World
18. We’ve Only Just Begun
"Easy Loving" is one of the very few songs that reference Thanksgiving!
How timely ...
Got this awesome photo from Clark Weber showing some of the biggest names in radio here in Chicago during the 1960’s …
From left to right: Joel Sebastian, Ron Riley, Don Phillips, Art Roberts and Clark Weber
And, speaking of really cool shots (and really cool disc jockeys!), here’s a photo of Scott Shannon with Mariah Carey, taken in the early ‘90’s, evidently before they each had their boobs done! (kk)