Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday This And That

Sam Cooke would have been 88 today.
Chuck Buell
Good one!  HUGE Sam Cooke fan here ... I have always wanted to do an in-depth profile of Sam ... and have started it several times but have never been able to finish it.  (Quite extensive, too!  But I think I just got frustrated after I lost ALL of it in a computer crash back in 2002 and just never resumed working on it after that.)  

FH Reader Bob Benham wrote a VERY nice piece for us several years ago that is well worth checking out ...

We also featured an amazing piece written by Brian Leli ...

>>>Now that you're a Doo-Wop fan, I figure you want to know about this show.  (FB)
>>>Bowzer’s Ultimate Rock ‘n’ Doo Wop Party January 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena featuring Little Anthony & Imperials, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Jay Siegel & Tokens, The Chiffons, Willie Winfield & Harptones, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Kathy Young, Johnny Contardo (Sha Na Na), Bowzer & Stingrays and special guest 9/11 NYC Firefighter Frank Pizarro  (Wild Wayne)     
Ice storm yesterday! Knowing the weather uncertainty, my friend cancelled her tickets and I cancelled the hotel. Turned out to be a good decision. Fatalities from falling trees and downed live wires occurred. We were actually hoping for it to be postponed.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
We had MAJOR snow here, too ... and bitter cold temps (with more on the way).  Our daughter was trying to fly in from Texas to see our OTHER daughter in her starring role in "Silent Sky" ... after two flights were cancelled, then re-routed for a connecting flight ... that was ALSO cancelled ... then a connecting flight that had to circle back to the gate because of an ill passenger ... she got in too late to see the show ... but the theater was kind enough to exchange our Saturday Night tickets for three to the Sunday Matinee where they once again rocked the house.  (Proud Papa here ... but it ain't just me ... the whole cast has been written up to glowing reviews in the local papers here, with photos of Paige in every one, including the cover story on the Weekend Entertainment Section!!!  Whoa!!!)  kk
From Chuck Buell ...
Last Sunday’s “WLS Sunday Survey” from January 20, 1969 ranked The Brooklyn Bridge and BJ Thomas songs one after the other at Numbers 4 and 5.   
As you are aware, this was during the period of time that Coca Cola created so many special 30, 60 and even some 90 second radio commercials featuring a wide variety of Hot Singers of the Day singing stylized custom versions of the “Things Go Better With Coke” campaign based on their hit songs. Each spot ended with a spoken tag line voiced by one of several of leading On Air Radio Personalities of the Day.   
I was chosen to tag some of those spots, two of which were for The Brooklyn Bridge and for BJ Thomas. Here are their Hit Songs and Hit Coke Commercials inspired by those Chicago Top Five songs just for Fun! 
CB  ( which stands for “Commercial Boy!” )

Mike Wolstein indeed sounds like a clone of me and my brothers!  Where was HE that he picked up the west and east coast, too?  How funny that HE was on a Hallicrafter as well!  I never wrote for QSL cards, but sure listened a lot to hard to hear stations waiting for a call letter or city name.  WBZ was indeed a killer.  It's amazing that we listened about the same years and WE also DX'd FM when skip was coming in.  I have a few tapes when FM skip was coming in.  Certainly, KIXZ at 940 in Amarillo was part of MY listening day, sandwiched in the PRIME zone of 890 to 1000 with almost every frequency between offering top 40 to Dodge City.  WHOT also offered up Barney Pip in 1964! Indeed, I have listened to the Zoomer at 740 a few times when DXing late night on AM.

You may remember that we told you several months ago about a rare health disorder that had sidelined Huey Lewis.  (In fact, he had to cancel a 60-city tour as a result of what was diagnosed as Meniere’s disease, which can cause hearing loss, balance issues and inner ear pressure problems.  By all accounts, it was debilitating.
But Huey was optimistic ... “It can get better," he said ... "it just hasn't yet. I haven't come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again. I'm still hoping I'm gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.” 
But now comes the announcement that Huey Lewis and the News have recorded a brand new album!
Lewis says that there are no tour plans to support the new cd for these same health reasons ... but adds “We’re very excited about our new album, and honestly feel that it’s among our best work – we cannot wait to get it out to fans!”
Plans are for this to be a spring release.  (kk) 

If you did not see CBS Sunday Morning yesterday, they had a story about Mo Rocca's new podcast site, "Mobituraies," in which he tells stories of once famous people who have died, but their story hasn't been told well.  
In 1962/3 Vaughn Meader was a huge star as a President Kennedy impersonator due to the overnight success of his album "The First Family."  It seems like every family in the US had this album when it came out.  It was #1 for 12 weeks on Billboard's Top LP charts and left the chart a week before Kennedy died after 48 weeks and being a million seller AND winning 1962 Grammy for Album of the Year.  
At the site below, you'll hear a LONG story on Meader's life.  Sad but interesting.  
When listening, remember that both Andy Williams and the Everly Brothers had gotten their record selling start with Cadence Records, but both had left by mid-1962, leaving the roster pretty low and re-issuing old songs by these two  acts.
Here where I live, you'll find the KLMS / Lincoln's "Nifty Fifty" chart with the album tied at #1 on the singles chart!  This was the ONLY time an album ranked #1 on the KLMS 45 chart and an explanation is in the opening at the bottom.

1.  The Hot 100, second week on the chart, reaching #1 just before Christmas 1962 

2.  The SECOND First Family album peaking at #4 in Hine, 1963 with first album still in the 40's

3.  Oddly enough, the first album re-charted in Cash Box at #95 even AFTER Kennedy's death with 1/4/64 chart.  There was two-page ad for "Beatlemania" in this issue as well.
Clark Besch
You are right when you say every family in America had a copy of Vaughn Meader's "First Family" album ... or at least it sure seemed like it. (I know WE did!)  Years later I bought the "Welcome To The LBJ Ranch" album, which completely cracked me up.  (To this day I can remember certain lines from that LP that'll make me smile when they cross my mind.)
I wish I would have seen the CBS Morning News segment ... they seem to have some REALLY good music / pop culture segments every week.  (I did find it on YouTube so those of us who missed it can now all enjoy it together.)
I haven't listened to the Mobituaries thingy yet ... but remember doing a fairly extensive piece on "The First Family" many years ago in Forgotten Hits.  (Will have to see if I can find that in the archives.)
I remember hearing Lenny Bruce making a comment about Vaughn Meader's career being over after the Kennedy assassination in a long, extended bit that came down hard on Jackie for trying to climb out of the car when, in fact, she was trying to recover the part of JFK's head that had been torn off by the assassin's bullet.  (Of course Senator Bobby's career ended rather quickly after RFK was taken down in Los Angeles a few years later.) 
Several years ago Collectables put out a CD featuring BOTH of the Vaughn Meader "First Family" albums on one disk.  (A 50th Anniversary 3-CD Set is also available)
Listening to them again, they're just not that funny ... and not just because they're terribly dated ... they're just not funny.
But because nobody had ever done anything like this before ... and because the Kennedys were held in such high esteem (as the epitome of the PERFECT life), it clicked ... and the first LP topped the chart for three months!  
On the other hand, I do still find the "Welcome To The LBJ Ranch" album funny, however ... perhaps because it's done more "Dickie Goodman-style" with reporters posting questions and then the answers coming from the actual political figureheads by way of "drops-ins" from previous speeches or interviews.  (Lady Bird taking us a tour of The White House, for example, with all her southern hospitality.)  kk 

Chuck Buell Remembers an Early Nat King Cole ... 
Your Forgotten Hits Feature on Nat King Cole was wonderfully comprehensive!  He was truly one of the Unique All Time Greats and one of my Favorites, too.  
I first became acquainted with him when I was a very young boy when one of my favorite songs was by the “Nat King Cole Trio” from one of my first record albums that my Mom and Dad bought for me called, King Cole for Kids!

The “song?” 
Well, it was actually more of a story called “The Three Trees!”
If you’ve never heard it before, here it is!

CB ( which stands for a former “Cole Boy!” )