Friday, February 8, 2019

The Friday Flash

Have you checked out the BET "American Soul" television series yet?

This is the one we told you about last week paying homage to "Soul Train" and Don Cornelius.

We just watched the first episode ... and I totally loved it!  (Funny 'cause I never would have dreamed of watching the show while it was on!!!)

But let me tell you ... very well acted ... EXCEPTIONAL music ... and a couple of young, stand-out performers who were quite impressive (to say the least).

Episode One was more of an overview ... we meet young, ambitious Don in Chicago where he's hosting a local dance show ... then watch him collect fourteen stations for syndication ... before moving to California to launch the program nationally ... and then flash-forwarding to 2012 when Don took his own life with a gunshot wound to the head.  I'm anxious to see how they fill in the gaps in between.

The music itself was outstanding ... everything from Gladys Knight and the Pips (featuring a spot-on look-alike performance from Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny's Child), who performs both "Neither One Of Us" and "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," The Chi-Lites, The Staple Singers ... as well as tributes to The Temptations and The Undisputed Truth.

The program is available On Demand ... and Episode 3 will air next Tuesday (February 12th). 

And, speaking of Classic Soul from the '70's, check out next year's Soul Train Cruise ...  (Yes, it’s every bit of a year away … but check out the line-up for the 2020 Soul Train Cruise … booking now!!!  If this new Soul Train television series "American Soul" turns out to be a hit, you just may find yourself hard-pressed to score a ticket for this one!!!)  kk

The Jacksons, The Isley Brothers, Johnny Gill, Cameo, Peabo Bryson, War, Atlantic Starr, Karyn White, Regina Belle, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, he Urban Guerilla Orchestra, Cruise Host Tony Cornelius and Original Soul Train Dancers 

Luxury Cruise Sails From Ft. Lauderdale, St. Maarten, St. Croix, Half Moon Cay, January 18 - 25, 2020  

R&B superstars who have appeared on Soul Train throughout every era of its storied history will come together on the 2020 Soul Train Cruise, paying homage to each generation that grew up with the iconic show. 

Featuring The Jacksons, The Isley Brothers, Johnny Gill, Cameo, Peabo Bryson, War, Atlantic Starr, Karyn White, Regina Bell, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, The Urban Guerilla Orchestra, Cruise Host Tony Cornelius and original Soul Train Dancers, the Soul Train Cruise will revel in the music, inimitable fashion and groundbreaking dance moves that changed music and pop culture forever.   

“Don Cornelius was a special friend of the Isley Brothers. His vision for Soul Train gave black artists a platform to showcase their talents in ways that no other television shows had ever done. Soul Train was truly unlike anything else,” says Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers. “It brought soul music to the world, turned hundreds of talented singers and musicians into stars and made an impact in so many ways that still lasts to this day. The Soul Train Cruise takes all of these things and puts them into one place with the greatest fans for a week of unbelievably good times. The Isley Brothers are so thrilled to be back for next year’s party.”  

“We just returned from the sold-out 2019 Soul Train Cruise and the good times are still vivid in my mind,” adds StarVista LIVE’s Soul Train Cruise Host Tony Cornelius. “It was like getting a group of your closest friends together for one huge, weeklong celebration.” Fans look to keep the party going, with over half of cabins for the 2020 cruise already sold an entire year in advance. “Next year’s cruise will be particularly special, with The Jacksons and The Isley Brothers and many others onboard, reflecting Soul Train’s long-lasting success and impact as well as performances by many of the artists who appeared throughout the weekly series’ uninterrupted 37-year history.”  

Guests aboard the 2020 Soul Train Cruise will experience seven days of nonstop Love, Peace and Soul, spending their days and nights with the stars during more than 50 live performances and over 25 celebrity interactive events. The vacation of a lifetime includes parties at the pool, a Gospel Hour, live interviews, cocktail receptions, Q&A sessions, dance classes with the original Soul Train dancers, wine tasting, costume parties and so much more.  

The cruise will take place aboard the Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam, a luxurious ship that features an array of premier dining, lounges surrounded by panoramic views, a world class spa and salon and elegant staterooms.  Cabin prices start at only $1,900 per person (double occupancy) and include access to all of the major concerts, gourmet meals, and daily events. Further information is available at or by calling 844-266-7685.

Can you dig it???  (kk)  

And, speaking of great TV shows, a tip of the hat to one of my favorites from this year's new crop of programs, "A Million Little Things," for their EXCELLENT use of our FH Buddy Tony Hatch's timeless classic "Downtown" in last night's episode.  (I wonder if Tony even gets "A Million Little Things" out in his neck of the woods ... which I supposed could be anywhere these days from The UK to Spain to God knows where!!!)

If you've never seen the program, it's what I like to call "This Year's 'This Is Us' ... but I've become completely invested in all of the characters and it has become one of the few shows I actually look forward to seeing again each week.  (I would add newbie "New Amsterdam" to that list, too ... as well as the reworked "The Connors" which, for my money, outshines ANYTHING the series might have accomplished with Roseann Barr still on hand.

In addition to the Petula Clark original version (which comes at the end of an exceptionally pivitol and emotional scene) we also get a short clip of a beautifully slowed-down version ... would love to know what that one was done by ... did some digging this morning but came up empty.  Anybody know?  (kk)

Forgotten Hits Readers loved the '60's Dance Clip we ran the other day.  (Scroll back if you happened to miss it ... I'll betcha I've already watched it a dozen times myself!!!)  kk 

Chuck Buell's youtube clip of "Let's Dance" had about every 60's sitcom that I loved in it.  Some great stuff (in many ways).  
Clark Besch

That ‘60’s Dance Video made my day – it had every show I used to watch in it – Jeannie, Samantha, Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, Mrs. Peel, Laura Petrie … even Granny and Mr. Ed!!!  And the perfect song for all of it!  What a great clip! 
I love these clips … and am blown away every time by how they perfectly synchronize the music to the video from a completely different time and yet manage to make it fit perfectly.  But THIS one fits our audience to a tee!  (kk) 

One of Elvis' old friends has died.
George Klein was one of Elvis’ oldest and dearest friends … he was one of the first disc jockeys to believe in him and was instrumental in getting his early records played on the air.
The two met in high school … and, incredibly, Elvis was even Best Man at George’s wedding.  Elvis was The King … but George Klein carved out his own spot in rock and roll history.  Sad news indeed.  (kk) 

It's not too late for Scott to consider running for office! Here's a picture of him I snagged at a local event on Feb 28, 1970.
David Lewis

Are you sure that’s not his High School Graduation Picture?!?!  
(Man were any of us ever that young???)   
Thanks, David! (kk)

Locals on the list will love this one …

Robert Feder is reporting that Bozo’s Circus: The 1960s,” a new two-hour special featuring digitally remastered full-length segments from the first decade of the legendary Chicago children’s show, will premiere at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, on Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9.
Hosted by Dean Richards and produced by George Pappas, the special includes sketches, guest circus acts and the Grand Prize Game, starring original cast members Bob Bell (as Bozo), Ray Rayner, Don Sandburg, Ned Locke and Bob Trendler. The special also will be streamed live at and on the WGN Live app, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. It will be rebroadcast at noon on Sunday, February 24. Widely regarded as the most popular and successful locally-produced kids’ show in television history, “Bozo” aired on WGN from 1960 to 2001.

Just a quick note here to let you know that ABKCO has just posted a really compelling lyric video for the Rolling Stones’ “19th Nervous Breakdown” that we’re sharing here.  

Some background ...

The record was released in February, 1966, and, yes, “19th Nervous Breakdown” was the Stones’ nineteenth single.

It was recorded in December, 1965, at RCA Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA,  during the sessions for Aftermath. However, it did not appear on any proper studio albums. 

The first appearance of “19th Nervous Breakdown” on an LP was on Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass), released later in 1966.  

“19th Nervous Breakdown” was released as a single in the UK in February of 1966 with “As Tears Go By” as the B-Side, and then in the U.S. one week later with “Sad Day” as the B-Side.  

In the single’s first month of release, the band performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The single went to both #1 and #2 in the U.S. and UK, to wit #1 on Record Retailer Chart (UK), #1 in Cashbox (U.S.), #2 in NME (UK), and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (U.S.).

The song has only ever been officially released in mono sound.

The box set The Rolling Stones in Mono (ABKCO Records, 2016) contains a previously unreleased alternate mono mix of the track.

The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and Brian Jones’ guitar line is partially derivative of “Diddley Daddy” by Bo Diddley.
-- Bob Merlis

I have been transferring old cassettes to digital and came across an old SNL bit I recorded in the 70's that reminds me of the type of humor that Chuck Buell would enjoy, as well as other jocks on the list.  
It's an SNL skit where Dan Akroyd portrays a radio station DJ doing a laid back FM underground show at the same time he does an AM pop uptempo show.  It's very funny, but not that far from how it was in some ways.  Even today, with the digital stuff, it can be done much easier than what Dan was obviously up to in the mid-70's in this skit.  
WABC had Dan Ingram doing some things like this with a somewhat laid back FM show to the opposite of his AM show at WABC.  You could hear Phil Ochs and other more progressive artists on the FM side of WABC just like you get in this skit.  It's not quite so similar in sound, but DJs DID do AM and FM shows in the 60's and 70's that featured totally different music.  Obviously, FM eventually won out for music and AM went mostly talk.  I miss tuning the dial for AM, but the good music ship of the 60's and 70's has mostly sailed, so c'est la vie.

For more on WABC-FM and how things went there (as well as in other markets).  You'll hear WABC's Bobba Lu playing early Stone Poneys, Electric Prunes, etc.  

And finally this from FH Reader John LaPuzza ... with what I like to call "The DJ Curse" ...