Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Tuesday This And That

50 years later, The Beatles have the #1 Album in the country with "Abbey Road" ... just like they did 50 years ago today!  (Pretty fricking incredible!)
And look at how well these songs have held up!
COME TOGETHER, SOMETHING, MAXWELL'S SILVER HAMMER, OH! DARLING, OCTOPUS'S GARDEN, I WANT YOU (SHE'S SO HEAVY), HERE COMES THE SUN, BECAUSE, YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY and the Side Two ABBEY ROAD MEDLEY (Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End) ALL made The Top 3333 Most Essential Classic Rock Songs List.  That accounts for EVERY track on the album.  (kk) 

>>>I recently heard that the last original member of The Lettermen has left the group after 60 years.  His name would be Tony Butala and I haven’t seen any press on it, so I’m not sure of the reason, but I would guess that since he’ll be 81 next month, he decided to retire. I understand he still owns the Lettermen trademark and that three singers will continue to tour under the Lettermen name in future years.  Two of those three singers (Donovan Tea and Bobby Poynton) have been touring with Tony for years.  I know former Lettermen Gary Pike is a FH reader, so I thought you could check with him to confirm the details of this historic change for the band.  Gary ’s brother, Jim, who sadly recently died, was a original member of the Lettermen as well.  (Tom Cuddy)  
Can you imagine if they tapped Gary Pike to fill this sudden opening?  Be a GREAT way to keep the legendary group alive!  (kk)

I asked Gary if there was ANY chance that this might happen ... and here's what he told me ...

Hey Kent,  
Yes, Tony did publicly retire from the group.  But knowing Tony, you can never count him out.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he came bounding back at some point.  He still retains the Lettermen name from when he purchased all rights from Jim.
I attended the last show, which was here in the LA area.  It was a token appearance for Tony to say goodbye and the other guys got me up also to sing a song.  On the bill were the Association and We Five.  They opened the show and then after a brief intermission, the Lettermen closed the show with the appearance of Tony and I.  As of now anyway, Tony is officially off the grid.  
I should also mention that the guys sang a tribute for Jim and gave him credit for all the great Lettermen vocal arrangements.  Jim’s wife Sue was also in attendance.  
As for me stepping in for Tony, I don’t know about that, even though I have filled in for Darren Dowler in the past and almost for Tony when he had his back operation. I don’t think it will happen.  I have been heavily involved in doing TV commercials since I left the Lettermen the first time.  I like being home and working.  Spending a lot of time on the road is the pits.
Gary Pike / Former Lettermen
The Lettermen (or some variation thereof) are scheduled to do their annual Christmas show at The Arcada Theatre on Sunday, December 15th.  (kk)

Hi Kent!
Wouldn't it be fantastic to have Ray and Dave Davies in Concert!! They were the Hottest in the British Invasion.
And going way, way back The Royal Teens' song "Who Wears Short Shorts" was the FIRST song I learned to play on the accordian when I took lessons!!! What a catchy tune!  
And if Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings can't seem to get together, please find out if Randy will do a tour alone!!! He is on my bucket list for sure.
Keep Rockin!

"Short Shorts" is one of those annoying ear worm songs that we all love to hate (or is it hate to love?!?!) ... catchy as hell and a #3 Hit back in 1958.  (It also provides a bit of comedic relief in the "Jersey Boys" musical as future Four Season (and prolific songwriter and hitmaker) Bob Gaudio launched his career with that tune.
I don't know about a Kinks tour yet ... let's see if they can make it through recording the album first without killing each other!  (Maybe they can get the Gallagher Brothers from Oasis to give them some pointers on brotherly love.  Nah ... probably not!)
As for the whole Randy / Burton thing, I've been hearing this "will they or won't they" thing for over a year now.  They did do a couple of shows together in Canada ... more of a laid back "stories behind the songs" sort of thing with just the two of them rather than rocking out with a full band ... but no "reunion tour" or Soundstage taping (both long-rumored to be on the agenda for 2019) ever happened. They have both continued to do solo shows, however, and Burton Cummings has made a few trips to Chicago already this year.  (Randy was last here a little over a year ago.)
I approached both for comments about their songs that made our Top 3333 Most Essential Classic Rock Songs Of All Time List but never heard back from either one.  (Between The Guess Who, Burton's big solo hit and Randy's work with Bachman-Turner Overdrive, these guys account for 28 songs on the final countdown!)
The only upcoming shows showing up on Randy's agenda are part of the '70's Rock And Romance Cruise, running from February 15th thru February 22nd.  "Randy Bachman and Friends" are billed as the headliners.  Other acts include Cheap Trick, Todd Rundgren, Ambrosia, Stephen Bishop, Jefferson Starship, Rita Coolidge, America, Don Felder (of The Eagles), Pablo Cruise, Peter Beckett of Player and ABBA: The Concert (A Tribute To ABBA).  If a trip to Chicago pops up next year, we'll be sure to let you know!  (kk)

>>>I was going through some old issues of The Illinois Entertainer and thought you might like to see this article from April, 1976, about the demise of WCFL.  (Ken Voss)
Anyone besides me out there remember when WCFL-FM was on 104.7 out in Morris, IL, playing the hits of the 60s and 70s?  They used the old jingles and even used "Marina City"
in their IDs.  I picked it up from a friend's home out in Downers Grove (couldn't pick it up in the city very well), and at first I thought it was a pirate station. The jocks were pretty good, and the music (to me) was middle-of-the-road top 40. This was in 1993. It was weird to hear what was originally an AM format in FM, as the wideband sound quality was so crisp!
WCFLChicago.com offers up a nice mix of vintage 'CFL jingles and air checks along with a variety of music that spans from the 1950's thru today ... sort of a projection of what WCFL might sound like today if it were still on the air. (I'm not sure I agree with ALL of that ... but they sure do play an incredibly wide variety of music on a daily basis ... a very eclectic mix of hits, album cuts and obscurities.)  Heck, you even get several doses of Chickenman every day!  Put together by FH Reader J.R. Russ, I probably spend about 20 hours a week listening to the station at work, alternating between WCFLChicago, Rewound Radio and Me-TV-FM out of Milwaukee as my streaming options.  (Of course we also listen to WXRT and The Drive on Mondays and Two-For-Tuesdays, too!)
If you haven't already done so, check 'em out ... I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised.  (kk)