Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hangin' Out WIth You On The Weekend!

Here's a rare Saturday post from yours truly ... 

Merry Christmas / Bah Humbug! 
Mixed reaction to the brand new PBS Exclusive Christmas CD release … but personally, I think it’s great!

What a great Christmas lineup.
Thanks for the heads-up.
We try to buy at least one new Christmas CD each year … and between this mammoth 4-CD box set and the newly refreshed Royal Philharmonic Christmas CD, this has turned into a banner year!  (kk)

>>>It doesn’t get much better than this, folks!  Kind of the ultimate Christmas Collection!  (kk)
Don’t know about that Kent …
Christmas to me has to have Elvis’s Christmas album and The Phil Spector album and it’s not complete without hearing that Grandma got run over by a Reindeer.
Take care,
Rockin’ Lord Geoff (In England)
Ah, but you get a sampling of all THREE of these in this brand new compilation set … and, if you watch the PBS special tonight, you’ll even get to see the great Ronnie Spector perform two brand new versions of her Christmas classics live!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
Another great read, my friend. 
Thanks for listing the Royal Guardsmen in TJ's new Christmas project ... Most appreciated.  I really like the Christmas record we made and had no idea it'd have legs this long. :O)
Hope you and your family have a super blessed Thanksgiving.  We all have a lot to be thankful for. 
Take care … and I'll be watching for the next blog.
Bless ya, Buddy,

Right backatcha, Barry ... to you and yours.  "Snoopy's Christmas" is a long-time holiday favorite around here ... I'll bet I've already heard it three times since Halloween!!!  (kk)

By the way, that PBS / TJ Lubinsky My Music: Christmas special airs at 7:00 tonight in the Chicago area ... and I plan on watching.  Check your local listings to see when and where it may be playing in your area.  (kk) 

I’ve voiced my frustration in the past about the way Billboard Magazine seems to be rewriting history when it comes to the pop charts …
And this latest stunt takes us another step further in proving my point.
In honor of Billboard’s 125th Anniversary, they’ve come up with a list of The Top 125 Artists Of All-Time based on a study of their Hot 100 Pop Chart AND their Top 200 Album Chart, covering the time period of August 4, 1958 (the day the first “official” Hot 100 Chart appeared) thru today.
So right off the bat, the supposed tie-in to 125 years isn’t really being respected at all … they’re really only covering the era of approximately HALF that time.
Now, don’t get me wrong … “The Rock Era” has been pretty much defined by the changes made to the music and record industry, thanks to the domination fueled by teenagers purchasing music by their favorite, brand new artists.  Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” seems to have become the starting off point … and Haley was quickly followed by Rock And Roll’s Poster Boy, Elvis Presley.
But Presley was hardly the first teenage idol to capture the hearts (and pocketbooks) of teenage girls from coast to coast.  Prior artists who made a major impact to the music scene BEFORE Billboard’s Hot 100 debuted (you know … those FIRST 64 years of the 125 years they’re supposedly honoring) are all but ignored by their criteria of eligibility.  (You won’t find pre-rock era heartthrobs and major recording stars Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Mario Lanza, Al Jolson, Perry Como, Nat “King” Cole, Eddie Fisher … or even Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters or Patti Page, for that matter … anywhere on this Top 125 list “inspired” by Billboard’s 125th Anniversary.)
Even Elvis himself has been severely compromised … as we have covered numerous times in the past since Billboard has decided to virtually focus ONLY on the music to hit their charts since August 4th, 1958.  In establishing this new “start date,” Elvis’ first 32 chart hits have been eliminated from the equation!!!  And we’re not just talking about ANY chart hits … this was Elvis’ prime period … and monster hits like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender,” “All Shook Up,” “Teddy Bear” and “Jailhouse Rock” have all been deemed “ineligible” because they came BEFORE the August 4th, 1958 cut-off date.  Hell, on August 4th, 1958, Elvis was in the Army!!!  His initial wave of popularity had already ended … and has been completely wiped out and ignored in this new way of accessing the charts.
How bad is it?  Between March of 1956 and August of 1958, Elvis placed 21 hits in Billboard’s Top 20!!!  This list includes ELEVEN #1 Hits!  This methodology SEVERELY cuts into The King’s chart output.
But even so … and this is the good news … despite this tremendous slight toward his creative output, Elvis still managed to come in at #13 in The Top 125 listing.  (Billboard acknowledges and explains that “due to the changes in chart methodology” of computing their Hot 100 List, “certain periods for each chart recap were weighted differently to ensure as equal a representation as possible among all eras.”)
So thanks to their version of “a level playing field,” Elvis comes in behind HUGE revolutionary artists like Mariah Carey (#4), Madonna (#5), Barbra Streisand (#6) and Taylor Swift (#8 … seriously?!?!  Of ALL- TIME?!?!) and just ahead of Drake (#16) and Rhianna (#18).  [Yep … that’s the BAD news!!!]
And when you do, you’ll see that The Beatles DID come in at #1 … just ahead of The Rolling Stones (#2) and Elton John (#3).  Paul McCartney scored a double whammy by coming in at #12 … yep, even HE beat Elvis … as a solo artist.
Other surprises on the list … Eminem and Usher coming in ahead of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, The Supremes, The Eagles, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac … and Adele, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Maroon Five and Jay-Z all finishing up in The Top 50.
Check out the complete list for yourself via the link above.  (kk)

Man, wish I was there for the 55th Anniversary Ides of March show!  The new CD is awesome! 
Altho it sounds nothing like the Ides' first 45, "Like It Or Lump it," I had to laugh at seeing the song title "Love or Something Like it" because I thought maybe a re-write of the first single updated!!! haha.
Again, the playing and songwriting and harmonies are excellent from those guys that started so long ago. 
If you read Jim Peterik's great autobiography, "Through The Eye Of The Tiger," you will read that his first real gig was in a band he had called the Renegades and it was at his high school, Berwyn's Morton West.  Jim relates how scary it was standing up there the first time onstage and not long after, Larry Millas was at the door and the history was written.  The new CD's "The Miracle" certainly plays well to relate what a story it was and what can happen with luck and good timing -- AND TALENT! 
So, while working thru my own radio tapes from the 60's, I ran across this bit recorded off the Barney Pip show on WCFL Chicago.  Barney and I were friends in the years before he passed many years back and he was kind enough to HAND WRITE all the answers to the pages of questions I had for him.  I wondered why he did not wish to just record them.  He said he was used to writing and that one of his downfalls was that he wrote down every name and number called in to his show and at the Cheetah, often being teen girls.  You get the idea.  Anyway, that's a lot of writing when he told me he got about 1000 calls a night.  If you remember his show, he called the callers his "Pip People" and if you got your name mentioned, it was a great thing you could tell everyone ... and then "turned into P-Nut Butter," of course.
Anyway, the Ides of March were soon born in 1964 and in 1968, I was taping late night off WCFL from Dodge City, Kansas, when I caught a noisy (as usual) broadcast of Barney naming his "Pip People" callers that night and one was a shout out to the Ides of March, who had just done a "great job" at the same high school named above, Morton West.  Jim was 17 years old!
BTW, if anyone out there has the Levi's commercial in this clip, I'd love to hear it in the clear.  Great Crykle sounding jingle with Chicago's Ken Nordine doing voice over, I believe.  Go to good old Karroll's Red Hanger shop because they had those Levi's!!!
Here's a March 21, 1968, story for attached audio clip.  Today, I know I can depend on FH to provide details on these events, but somehow, I wish ... I was still listening to Barney calling out to the Pip People.

Jim and the rest of The Ides went to Morton West High School … but had already graduated by the time I got there.  Still, they remained VERY loyal to their old stomping grounds and probably performed there several dozen times over the years.  (I saw them there several times myself, including their “Farewell Show” back in the mid-‘70’s.  In fact, Ides Of March Way, runs just by the High School … and the ceremony for the street sign dedication was held right in Morton West’s auditorium!  I was there for that, too!)
Wish I could have seen that 1968 show that also featured The New Colony Six.  I never had the chance to see them “back in the day” … but Ray Graffia, Jr. tells me it was AMAZING.
Radio was SO exciting here in Chicago back then … constantly flipping back and forth between WLS and WCFL … Ron Riley and Art Roberts to Ron Britain and Barney Pip … what a GREAT time to be growing up loving this music.  (kk)

Forgotten Hits is too much fun.  I don't have time for it.  
Keep it comin', Kent!  :)
While working on Dick Biondi stuff, how about this nice work done by FH'er Freddy Cannon to help Dick out one night in 1961?  And how about having "Mr. Baby Sittin' Boogie" come in and do an hour of baby noises on stage???  Haha

And with your mention of "Wooden Heart" by Joe Dowell, you did not tell that he was a 21 year old LOCAL boy still at University of Illinois only 70 miles away from Chicago.  The below from his hometown newspaper for whom he once was a paper boy (as mentioned) and had been signed to do the Dick Clark "Caravan of Stars" show in Champaign with Biondi as master of ceremonies! 
BTW, the great Ray Stevens, then a Nashville session player mostly, plays the organ on "Wooden Heart" as well as playing keyboards for Dick Biondi's 1963 spoken word (mostly) album.
Joe is likely the only person to be BORN in Bloomington, Indiana and actually grow up in Bloomington, Illinois!  The local paper did this nice little write up until it got egg all over its face when it gave the title of Joe's recent national number one hit.  Check it out!

And last but HARDLY least, for Chuck Buell, I think you found Jenny in Chicago in 1971 along with Fred Winston (l) and Roy Chiovari (Chicago Warner Brothers promotion man) and Chuck "Man in Stripes" Buell claiming "I got your number: 867-5309!"
OMG, was Fred Winston ever really that young?!?!  (lol)
Good times, for sure!  (kk)

Man, I loved Biondi"s quote from Delores Eiler ... just too funny.
Barry Winslow
TOTALLY cracked me up, too … and I’ve already repeated it to several people!  (Just not something you’d expect Dick Biondi to say … but hey, HE was young once, too!  Lol)  kk