Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday This And That

Very special thanks to Lou Christie, who sent us a beautiful wine glass set (for absolutely no reason at all ... other than the fact that he's just an INCREDIBLY nice guy, who really appreciates his fans and his supporters!) along with a beautiful hand-written card that says "Cheers!  Thanks for helping to keep our music alive.  Lou Christie."

There are so many of our favorite artists from the '60's and '70's out there still making it happen ... and we tip our collective hats to you for bringing it home night after night.  I have met SO many nice, appreciative artists over the years, thanks to Forgotten Hits, and Lou Christie's right up there at the top of the list.  Thank you, Lou ... not only for the glasses (which Frannie insisted we try out IMMEDIATELY!!!), but for all the great music and memories, too!  We love ya!  (kk)

I have seen Deacon Blues several times and always enjoyed their tribute to Steely Dan.  It is always delivered with the utmost respect.  (To quote Bob Stroud, "This isn't 'Louie Louie' they're playing here ... it's STEELY DAN!!!")
I can only suspect that you caught Steven on a bad night as he has always been spot-on whenever we've seen them.
(You were a bit harsh on him, don't you think?)
I would encourage you to check them out again.  I do not think you'll be disappointed.
Lou

Believe me, I was expecting the very best, based on all the great things I've heard over the years ... but I cannot emphasize enough how distracting it was watching Steve carry on his own agenda while the rest of the band was playing their hearts out.  It literally ruined the show for us.  But this is a solvable problem, which is why I offer the advise as constructive criticism ... I'm not going to tear down ANY artist just for the sake of tearing them down.
I say analyze  your show ... talk to your fellow band members and most faithful followers ... discuss the points I've taken issue with and see if just maybe there's some room for improvement that would make the experience far more enjoyable for all parties concerned.  'Cause honestly, it was PAINFUL!!!  (kk)

The thing I love most about Forgotten Hits is the fact that you tell it like it is.  You are not going to patronize an artist ... you are ALWAYS going to call 'em as you see 'em.
I love Deacon Blues ... have been following them for years ... but your points are well taken and I have noticed some of these issues, too.
That being said, I would NEVER have the balls to point them out!  (lol)  But that's what we've got you for.  Forgotten Hits has ALWAYS put the music fans first ... and your knowledge and insight seems to be right on the money more often than not.
So I thank you for your candor and your honesty.  It is exactly what we have come to expect from your publication.  Don't ever change.
Rick
We will ALWAYS call 'em as we see 'em ... and that's a promise!  But NEVER without at least SOME attempt to offer ways to improve these weaknesses. Deacon Blues is a very popular attraction here in Chicago and my hope is that when we see them again I can write a far more positive review after enjoying a far more pleasurable experience.  (kk) 

kk ...
Another death to report.
Preston Epps has passed.
Frank B.
Preston Epps scored two Top 50 National Hits in the late '50s / early '60's, first with "Bongo Rock," which peaked at #13 in Music Vendor (#14 Billboard) and then with "Bongo Bongo Bongo," which just missed The Top 40, peaking at #41 in Music Vendor (and #78 in Billboard.)
HI KENT! 
Got some cool stuff for ya! 
THE BOX TOPS  "outa the box" Newsline
BIG! ... 
CITY WINERY NASHVILLE ... BOX TOPS IN CONCERT, AUG 30
BIGGER! ...
2020 ... Florida MINI TOUR with HERMAN'S HERMITS, STARRING PETER NOONE, with special guests THE BOX TOPS!
JAN 30 - Barbara Mann Center - FT MYERS, FL
FEB 1 - CAROLE AND BARRY KAYE Auditorium in BOCA RATON
FEB 7 - Thrasher Horne Center - Jacksonville, FL 
FEB 8 - Peabody Auditorium - Daytona Beach
(on tour with my old boss, Peter Noone ... it's gonna be fun hangin' with them!)
BIGGEST! ...
AUG 31 - SEPT 1 - TEXAS INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL -  50th ANNIVERSARY
We play on SEPT 1 at 7 pm ...
Othert acts performing for this very special event include ZZ TOP, CHICAGO, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, EDGAR WINTER,
JOHN MAYALL AND MORE!
Thanks!
RICK
Congratulations to all the guys!  Job well done!
Keep me posted on the City Winery gig ... quite often they coordinate their own tour, having the performing artists make the rounds and do shows at all their locations.  Who knows ... you just may be headed back to Chicago sooner than you think!  (kk) 
While mowing for the second time this weekend yesterday (this weather has GOT to stop!!), I had my MP3 player on and on came two faves ... "Taxi" and "Hold Me With Your Eyes" ... and that made me wonder ... 
WHAT IF ... Harry Chapin was still alive?  
After he re-wrote his classic 1972 song "Taxi" as "Sequel" in 1981, he would be a shoe in to rewrite it again today as "Uber"!!!

"It was rainin' hard on Lake Shore,
He needed one more fare, then call it a night.
He pulled up to Grant Park and
Kent got in at the light.

It took awhile but he glanced at the
license and my name.
He said,
"HEY, You're RONNIE RICE!!"
OK, so it needs work, right?

The other was ... 

WHAT IF ... a certain WLS DJ had flipped the NC6's "I Will Always Think About You" over and said THIS side is the side to play:  "Hold Me With Your Eyes"?  Would Ronnie have been a star for the band if that had happened?  I am glad it didn't, but what a GREAT A side it could have been!!!
I guess I missed a few spots on my lawn so I will have to go back out again!!!
Clark Besch   

Kent: 
Many thank you's so much for running the photo of Debbie Gibson and I in "Forgotten Hits."  
It was great to catch up with Debbie, and that was without a doubt the best concert I have seen in a long time!  It was two and a half hours of non-stop hits, seamlessly presented.  
New Kids On The Block came out of the stage floor to a massive ovation, and the music from that point forward was endless.  After presenting several of their hits, the stage lights went down and, at the other end of the arena, a different stage came to life, and there was Debbie singing and dancing to several of her own hits, on a circular platform that looked like a giant CD.  Then the same occurred with Tiffany, Salt 'n' Pepa, and Naughty By Nature, each alternating with NKOTB.  What a great evening, embellished with confetti guns, streamers, pyrotechnics, and special effects galore.  
If you can catch one of the shows during this current "Mixtape" tour, it is a journey through some of the most memorable music of the '80s and '90s.  To see and hear Debbie Gibson singing a duet version of her hit "Lost in Your Eyes" with NKOTB's Joey McIntyre was a real highlight.  And, to think that I first met her when she was 16, and singing at The Roxy roller rink.  You go Debbie!  
What an evening of brilliant fun!  Coming to a town near you.
Cheers,
Mark 
kk ... 
I like THIS --- 
Haven't made up my mind about THAT.
QUESTION #1 = You were talking about the high price of Sam's book. I was wondering --- Sam, is that an autographed copy or is it extra for your autograph?
Kent, Since you're the middle man, you should know.
QUESTION # 2 = Kent ...
How did you come up with #3333 for your countdown? 
Why not #2222 or #1111, or maybe #4444?
FB
First of all, if you'll pay $899 for a copy of Sam's book, I think we'd BOTH sign it for you!!! (lol)
As for The Essential 3333 Classic Rock tracks, it's because Classic Rock was born when the LP became the music vehicle of choice in the late '60's ... 
And since LP's played at 33 1/3 RPM's, I just figured the Top 33-Hundred ... plus and extra third would give us the Top 3333.  (Now I know that some of you out there will argue that an extra third would have made the count 4444, but I was basing my math on "hundreds" ... so 33-Hundred plus a third of the next hundred.  And I stand by that argument because it is a well-documented fact that at least five out of three people have problems with math.)  kk

VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
Chuck Buell sent us this one ... and it's a keeper!
I'm still not really clear what it even is that they're advertising ... but this clip along with Satchmo's vocal made my day the other day.  Enjoy!



Chuck also sent us this closing smile ... (which many of us computer-challenged participants can relate to!)  kk


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Concert Review: Deacon Blues

I have been hearing nothing but great things about Deacon Blues for the past several years ... but Sunday Night (May 26th) was the first chance I had to see them ... and I was really looking forward to the experience.

"America's Premier Steely Dan Tribute Band" ... "boasting up to a dozen players and singers on stage to ensure the sound is accurately and faithfully reproduced" ... "better than the real thing" ... and so on.  As such, after all these accolades, we were expecting a lot.

And when the twelve members took the VERY cramped and crowded stage at The City Winery Sunday Night, we prepared ourselves to be blown away.  Sadly, by the time it was all over, we were rather underwhelmed.

It's not that they weren't good ... as musicians, they were able to reproduce some of the most intricate and complicated music every created within the confines of classic rock.  Steely Dan's inventive and original blend of rock, soul and jazz established them in a class by themselves ... and hits like "Do It Again" (#6, 1972), "Reeling In The Years"#6, 1973), "Show Biz Kids" (#30, 1973), "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" (#3, 1974), "Black Friday" (#31, 1975), "Peg" (#8, 1977), "Deacon Blues" (#17, 1978), "FM" (#22, 1978), "Josie" (#21, 1978), "Hey Nineteen" (#10, 1980) and "Time Out Of Mind" (#22, 1981) stood out from everything else being played on the radio at the time due to their distinctly unique sound.

No, in this area, they accomplished exactly what they set out to do.

It's just that their presentation was hampered by the worst of all possible elements ... 

Their band leader (and Deacon Blues founder) Steve Kikoen, appears to be one of those obsessive, compulsive, controlling perfectionists whose antics on stage take all of the enjoyment out of watching the group perform.  Kikoen seemed FAR more concerned all night with what HE was hearing in the monitors than what the audience was experiencing in their seats ... which was the usual great City Winery sound we've all come to expect at this fine venue.  (Don't get me wrong ... good sound in the monitors is a key essential to every performance ... but once they've been set, they don't need to be tweaked and manipulated again and again and again all night long ... move on!!!)

This annoying obsession, coupled with his unending need to narrate nearly every song along the way, made for an excruciating listener experience.  In fact, he became such a distraction that we lost interest in what the rest of the band was doing ... which is a real shame, as this was a fine group of players paying tribute to an artist that clearly means a great deal to them.

When the guy calling all the shots becomes the band's weakest link, it presents a virtually impossible situation ... there's not much the other players can really do to improve the overall experience as their hands are tied based on creating the performance being dictated to them.

In all fairness, they don't really sound like Steely Dan vocally ... neither Kikoen or keyboardist Tom Linsk "imitate" the vocal styling of Donald Fagan ... and once again this proved to be a bit of a distraction as most of Steven's vocals were just beyond the range of his comfort zone ... he had to stretch to hit nearly every note (and fell short numerous times), causing more awkwardness in their presentation.

I will say that he is a pretty fine guitarist, however ... if anything, it was the simple stuff that tripped him up ... he handled the complicated material with ease.  (Makes me wonder how much better the band might sound if Steve just concentrated on his guitar licks and they added a second male lead vocalist who could also augment the three female background singers on all of the other material ... do they really need THREE female background vocalists or might the addition of a strong male lead make all the difference necessary to put these guys back on track?)

There is no doubt in my mind that Kikoen has great love and affection for this material ... and he seems to have befriended numerous Grammy-winning musicians along the way to help him realize his dream on stage each night ... even earning the praise of Donald Fagan himself, a true feather in his cap.  And the local press has been VERY kind in their accounts of a typical Deacon Blues performance ... so maybe he was just having an off night vocally ... but seriously, dude, you've got to tone down the control thing a little bit ... it greatly diminishes your original vision and sucks a lot of the enjoyment out of the whole live experience.  Don't distract the audience to the point that they can no longer enjoy and appreciate everything else that is going on around them.

You've put together an INCREDIBLY strong band to represent this material ... play these tunes with confidence ... and try to enjoy the show a little bit more instead of nit-picking every single detail and nuance ... trust me ... you'll have a MUCH better time ... and so will your audience.

This same line-up of musicians also partake in six other "cover / tribute" bands, including the material of The Talking Heads and, recently, The Pretenders ... but Deacon Blues is their bread and butter ... and THIS is the act that folks want to come out and see.  Embrace that love and enjoy the ride.  Seriously, you'll be a much happier person once you do!   (And you'll win me over for a favorable review, too!)
kk
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits 

Watch for Deacon Blues performances throughout the summer ... they will return to The Arcada Theatre on ... of all dates ... BLACK FRIDAY (the day after Thanksgiving) ... check them out if you get a chance.

And Steve, this psycho-analysis session comes at absolutely no charge ... consider it a healthy dose of constructive criticism offered with only the very best of intentions.  That being said, knock my socks off the next time we see you!   (kk)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tuesday This And That

GREAT NEWS!:
Great news this weekend as Record Research announced the update to their flagship book, "Top Pop Singles," now covering EVERY Billboard Charted Pop Hit from January 1st, 1955 thru December 31st, 2018.

Whether you've been collecting these editions from the beginning as I have or hopped onboard somewhere along the way, you already know that EVERY update is a "must have" edition to your music library ... and this one is no exception.

Joel Whitburn always finds something new to bring into the mix with each new edition ... and he's running a pre-publication discount offer right now ... $15 off the published price of $79.95 ... if you order a copy before the books come in in late June.

More details here at the Record Research Website ...
https://recordresearch.com/


You'll find all kinds of other goodies here as well ... including books spotlighting the R&B and Country Charts ... a complete history of Billboard's Top 200 Albums Chart throughout the rock era (1955 - 2016) as well as volumes showcasing every printed pop chart in Billboard, Cash Box, Record World, Music Vendor and more.  There's even a Pop Annual recap, showing the rank order of EVERY charted it, year by year ... and my personal favorite, The Chart Comparison Book, which shows the peak position achieved in Billboard, Cash Box and Record World for every charted record, 1954 - 1982, all ranked side-by-side for easy comparison and analysis.

Discover the world of Record Research by adding some of these volumes to your collection.  (I can honestly say that there has never been a single day ... since 1970 ... that I have not picked up a Whitburn book to clarify some point of reference.  It allows me to have the History of the Pop / Rock era right at my fingertips ... they never leave my desk!)  kk

GREATEST CLASSIC ROCK TRACKS OF ALL-TIME: 
Turns out The Drive's Memorial Day 500 Countdown was based on listener votes collected over the last several weeks ... so there definitely was some merit to the process ... and quite a few surprises along the way.  ("Brick House" by The Commodores?!?!?  Really???  I don't think I've EVER heard The Drive play this track before!!!)
Truth is, their results reflect a pretty different outcome than our own months of research ... but that's the great thing about a countdown.  With over 700,000 votes already processed, I'm thinking any Classic Rock Station would be hard-pressed to come up with a more definitive list than ours ... and hopefully that research will pay off by way of more variety in future programming.  (Seriously ... with literally THOUSANDS of songs available for airplay there is absolutely NO reason for ANY Classic Rock radio station to repeat the same song two, three and even FOUR times during the same 24-hour period ... yet that is EXACTLY what they're doing now.  That's about the least-imaginative programming possible!  And it truly insults your listeners on a daily basis.  The volume of votes and nominees we've received PROVES they want and expect more from a radio station.)
We ran into this same issue when we first attacked Oldies Radio some twenty years ago ... a playlist of about 200-300 songs ... but I really expected more in the Classic Rock arena.
But here are the plain and simple facts ...
Any station that is claiming to have a playlist of 500-1000 songs is lying ... they may have 1000 tracks available to play for certain special occasions like this weekend's Top 500 Countdown or a week's worth of A-Z programming ... but on a daily basis, they are playing the exact same 200 songs again and again and again ... which are the EXACT same songs that most of their counterparts across the country are also playing every single day.
And that's a real shame ... because there is SO much more out there that listeners want to hear.
As frustrating as it has been for me to tabulate all these votes (and as many times as I've thought about giving up, having taken on far ore than I can handle on my own), what keeps me going is the plain and simple fact that Classic Rock Radio NEEDS a list like ours ... without it, there is nothing to allow one station to stand out from any of the others ... because right now, they are all essentially the same.
We've still got a ways to go before we start publishing the final ballot ... lots of other research is also being done including download statistics to determine what songs people are actually spending money on to add to their collections.  Monitoring airplay tells you what every radio station in the USA is playing ... but it DOESN'T tell you what listeners actually want to hear ... so PLEASE continue to cast your votes at ClassicRockVote@yahoo.com ... be a part of the DEFINITIVE Classic Rock Essentials List.
Actual airplay is just part of the equation ... we've been monitoring twenty Classic Rock Stations across the country and compiling their daily logs.  Carrying more weight is the number of downloads these songs have received ... this means that, despite what radio is telling us we want to hear, these are the songs that people went and actually shelled out money for in order to add them to their collections.
But NOTHING counts more than your actual votes ... so PLEASE keep voting at ClassicRockVote@yahoo.com.  
More updates and details coming soon.  Target date for the final ballot right now is July 5th ... so stay tuned!  (kk)

Forgotten Hits Reader Joe Cantello told us about another Top 500 Memorial Day Countdown going on last weekend ... we checked this one out as well ... pretty much the same songs ... just in a somewhat different order. 
And that's another thing we've learned ...
As stated before, most of you can probably already guess what the majority of The Top 500 Songs will be ... all this list will do is confirm that ... but you may be surprised by the ORDER of these tunes. 
And with 3333 titles listed, you're going to find ALL KINDS of interesting suggestions in the bottom two-thirds of this countdown ... "WOW" songs that can be slipped in every now and again as real attention grabbers.  (kk)  

Hey Kent - 
Here is a countdown you may want to check out this Memorial Day week end.
I wonder what the time frame this covers is.  (What year is the earliest song from and the latest)?
Joe Cantello 
Top 500 Classic Rock Countdown 
Hey Fox fans. 
Starting tomorrow at 8 am, it's The Top 500 Classic Rock songs of all time ... along with over 100 interviews and lots of trivia about the artist and songs. It will play from 8 am til 8 pm, stop repeat and continue that way through Memorial Day. 
Tune in either on The Fox or http://www.thezew.net. 
Share it, please, and thank you. 
Have a blessed Memorial Day and be safe!
Joe 

THIS AND THAT:


>>>We’ve been out of action for most of this past week but I am happy to report that all is well. There is now an even BIGGER backlog of material I have to wade through to get something up on the site again!"  (kk)  
“Our Boy Friend’s back and his posts are going to double 
Hey-la-day-la our boy friend’s back 
He's been gone for such a long time 
Hey-la-day-la our boy friend’s back 
Now he's back and things'll be fine!" 
- Anonymous -

>>>That’s a rare shot of me that you found … kind of a cross between Cowboy / Stagecoach Kent and Serial Killer Kent, with just a touch of Jim Peterik thrown into the mix, thanks to what appears to be purple hair!!!  (kk)
Who’s the dude with the purple hair. Wasn’t me. I was never that close to my all time dream girl, Doris Day.  
I remember staring mesmerized by her image in shorty pajamas on the cover of my sister’s copy of the original cast soundtrack of the Pajama Game.  Omg.  She looked so sweet & innocent and yet ...  she was always the girl next to the girl next door.  Doris will forever live on!!
Jimbo 
I must have been channeling my Inner Jimbo!(Now where can I buy a pair of those boots???) 
That’s a secret man!  Lol!  
Jimbo 

kk:
Just read about the Rolling Stones giving up their royalties on the "Bittersweet Symphony" tune.
Do you think the Beatles would've done it?
FB
Probably not ... rumor has it that The Beatles' publishing companies are collecting ten million dollars for the use of their music in the new "Yesterday" film out next month ... which Billboard Magazine describes as the "feel-good film of the summer."  I know we can't wait to see it!  (kk) 

>>>Can you believe The White Sox are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Disco Demolition next month?!?!
Funny thing, in 1995, the White Sox were involved in another on-field mess.  They were in town playing the Anaheim Angels on what was billed as Seat Cushion Night.  The game was a score fest, if I remember right, the final was like 16-10.  In the later innings, Mitch Williams, the original wild thing from the Phillies, who lost the 4th game in the 1993 World Series, was brought in by the Angels to quell the Sox.  He didn't.  Instead he allowed 5 or 6 runs, which the Angels never recovered from.  The fans went nuts.  Of the 40,000 seat cushions passed out that night, 30,000 must have made it to the field. It looked like blue snow for a while.  The game stopped and it took the ground crew a good 40 minutes to clear the field.  I kept mine, and still have it today.  From then on, most giveaways were passed out as you exited the stadium, LOL. 
Glad you are doing ok, Kent.  I was beginning to wonder where you were.  I, too, am a fan of Whiskey Cavalier, mostly for Lauren Cohan, :-)   
Scott
I actually think I heard Chet Coppock roll over when the Disco Demolition announcement was first made!  (lol)
There was some talk of a possible reprieve for "Whiskey Cavalier" last week but apparently it's now a done deal ... nobody picked it up and it's history.
Lauren Cohan was certainly enjoyable (much easier to look at, I'm told, than she was on "The Walking Dead"!!!  lol) ... but I found the entire cast completely engaging ... another show cancelled recently before it was allowed to reach its true potential was "The Imposters" ... check that one out on Apple TV if you haven't already seen it.  Lots of fun.  (kk) 

Author Mark Bego caught up with Debbie Gibson on the Mix Tape Tour in Phoenix this week. Gibson has a recipe in Bego’s Eat Like A Rock Star (Skyhorse) book and Bego did Gibson’s biography, Between The Lines in 1989.


And, speaking of books ... 

Kent, 
You wrote:  "I once again have to mention Sam Tallerico’s book “Who Did You Say Your Father Was” a very interesting tale of Sam’s investigation into his own parentage … only to discover that in all likelihood his father is none other than the incredible Bobby Darin."
Am I reading the price here right . . . ?!
From AMAZON.com ~~~

 ==========================================================================================================
.     Over 1 Million Satisfied Customers. 
==========================================================================================================  
$899.99 times One Million equals  $899,990,000.00!
OK, THAT can't be right! 
CB
Say what?!?!?I’ll sell you my copy for $500! (kk)
Lol. And I bet at your price, you'd also even give me free overnight shipping!!
I'd really like to get my $4.99 for shipping ... but if that what it takes to make this happen, ok.  (kk)
Ha ... ha ... thanks!  
I asked Sam if he was aware that his book was selling for $900 on Amazon.  (Well, it's not actually SELLING for that price ... it's just ADVERTISED for that price ... I can't imagine anyone crazy enough to actually PAY it!!!)
Here's what he told me ... 
Hiya Kent,
That is hysterical about the $899! There should be a decimal point in there somewhere. And I'd probably still only see my $1.74 royalty or whatever.
FYI, I pulled the book from distribution back in March, with the intention of reissuing it with the part about DNA and all that's transpired since, but ... I decided the original was a testament about what happened before that time, so I allowed it to be reissued as written ... BUT then the publisher said it would take 6 - 8 weeks for the book to be available again through third party vendors like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. ...to wit, someone who ordered it in March told me they STILL have not received it through Amazon... sigh...but the publisher Lulu says it's available from via THEIR platform NOW, though without free shipping, and Lulu's standard turnaround time which I think is a couple weeks. I really do need to make the online version available too, though, like I've said, I wrote it for a select few, not expecting it to have a shelf life beyond who's already read it.
Which prompts me to thank you, Kent, for your kind words about "Who Did You Say Your Father Was?" available at www.lulu.com. Since the book's publication in 2016, I've gotten DNA confirmation that Bobby Darin was indeed my biological father, thanks to the websites 23andme and Ancestry. What's really cool for Darin fans is that these sites could finally solve the long-held mystery of Bobby Darin's own paternity, something he desperately wanted to know. Hmm ... I smell a sequel ... "Who Did You Say Your GRANDfather Was?"
Meanwhile, I cannot help but wonder ... Wow!!!  What's this seller gonna do, come to my house and steal my proof copies?? Or maybe he / she bought their own copy and thought it was worth that much. LOL
Either way, I will only see $1.92 (just checked the actual amount of my revenue per copy)
Thanks for the head-scratcher.
And, thanks again, Kent, for the plug, but more importantly, for keeping Forgotten Hits a must-read! (PS Love the 1969 surveys!!!) 
As for an update, I am back in New York ... sold our Manhattan apartment (the closing is Thursday, yikes!) Upstate house on the market, moving elsewhere in July, regardless, so geez, no wonder I haven't gotten around to doing anything about my book! 
And yes, I HAVE read Connie Francis' Yellow Pages size tome! I absolutely loved her style of writing ... pulls no punches ... but honestly, the size and glossy pages made it an ordeal. Yet I finished it. I had to wonder how much of her recollections were embellished. I missed a public appearance by her in Florida by just a couple weeks this March. Damn. 
I actually wanted to write something about the Motown 60th Anniversary GRAMMY salute that aired on CBS a few weeks ago, too. I didn't expect much, given previous similar specials, but this one was better than I feared. What WAS shown was enjoyable -- Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder still sounding great, even though there was a bit too much of them at the expense of The Temptations and Four Tops, most notably. If you knew nothing about Motown, you might have been left with the impression that the label was all about Smokey and Stevie, and oh, yeah, some other people made records for the label, too. Why were acts like The Commodores, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Jr. Walker & The All-Stars given such short shrift, when they, and so many others, were instrumental to Motown's success? Speaking of instrumentals, why no shout out to The Funk Brothers?? There was a nice discussion about the songwriters; how fab was it to see Holland - Dozier - Holland! But were any of Mickey Stevenson's songs mentioned (quick, name ONE) and did Nickolas Ashford's name even come up in the conversation?? 
The grande dame of Motown's serenade to Berry Gordy was sweet, but come on, Motown was hardly God's gift to movie soundtracks. When people think 'Diana Ross,' they most likely think "Baby Love," not "My Man." Kudos also to Mary Wilson for being brave enough to sit through the Diana segment that pretty much glossed over The Supremes. And no, of course, there was no mention of Jean Terrell. 
Also there was no mention in the In Memoriam section of ... Bobby Darin, who was on the label from 1971 until his death in 1973.
Curious to hear your take on the special. Will be anxious to read YOUR take on the Motown 60 special, if you indeed saw it.
And for the record, I was one of those readers who was starting to panic when I wasn't seeing anything new in the Forgotten Hits blog for a couple days. Glad to know all is well in your world.  I know your followers are very interested in all the stuff you write about ... I know that *I* am!
Best,
Sam Tallerico
Thanks for the reciprocal kind words.
(Too bad you don't have a couple hundred extra copies of your book lying around ... we could corner the market, selling them for $250!!!)  Of course, it wouldn't be ethical for YOU to do such a thing ... but I'm perfectly happy to be your middle man on this whole thing ... take in the orders while you discreetly ship the packages from an untraceable location ... and all for just 25% of the take!!!  (Yeah, I know ... I've been watching too many spy thrillers lately!)
We actually DID a very brief review of the Motown Grammy Special shortly after it aired ... I, too, was very pleasantly surprised by how good it was ... but also disappointed by what was left out and/or glossed over.
You can read our review below ... 
I watched the Motown 60 Grammy special, celebrating Motown’s 60 year anniversary.  More tribute performances than actual Motown stars this time around … not quite like the phenomenal Motown 25 television special of several years ago.  Too many of these great stars have left us.
Things kicked off to a rousing start with Stevie Wonder (looking somewhat unrecognizable) doing “Sir Duke” and Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson telling the story about Motown’s first #1million-selling hit, “Shop Around,” which Smokey then performed with Pentatonix.  Meghan Trainor also did a note-for-note, letter perfect reading of The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” which was segued into the original where you literally couldn’t tell the difference from where one version stopped and the other one began.  That whole controversial J-Lo sequence that aired several months ago was repeated as was a beautiful tribute to Marvin Gaye performed by John Legend.  (I will admit to never having been much of a John Legend fan in the past … but his last several televised performances … including “Jesus Christ, Superstar” … have completely blown me away.  This is one VERY talented dude!)
Two emotional highlights for me were Stevie Wonder performing “Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer” as a tribute to his late, first wife Syreeta, and Diana Ross performing a “Lady Sings The Blues” medley face to face with Berry Gordy himself … VERY moving.
Catch it On Demand if you can … or watch for the inevitable DVD release.  Although about half the show dragged, it is still well worth checking out.  (kk)  

Hey Kent:
Thank You for posting the late 50's 'Buddy Holly' sound, Mp3 for "Pretty Blue Eyes, Pretty Blues Eyes."
I have had some really great feedback, including some from Buddy Holly's Niece. 
The UK responded with:  "Loved the song. It really has The 'Buddy Holly' vibe."
A 50's Drummer offered:  "Really liked The Mp3, and felt that it really channeled 'Buddy Holly'." 
A 50's Historian:  "Pretty nice. Will you be recording this?" 
Please take the time and listen to the lyrics / song Mp3, and provide your detailed thoughts, comments. 
'Keeping you in The Loop'!!!
Kindest Regards, 
L J Coon
You can scroll back to The Friday Flash (May 24th) to hear LJ's demo in Forgotten Hits.  (kk)

Kent -
Summer is coming and as always I check out various sites to see what playing for free or small donations at the Fests.  Keep in mind your favorites could be playing other places so check out their websites, too.
So without further ado ...
Ides of March 8/9  Elmwood Park at 3 pm
Also 9/21 at Berwyn Octoberfest at 8pm
the Buckinhams July 25 at 7:30 in Addison IL
Here is a great double bill! The Shadows of Knight with The New Colony 6 in Addison, starts at 6:30 on August 1st
When I looked at the Addison web site, there is a lot going on.  Other great groups include Sha Na Na, Los Lonely Boys, and others so be sure to check out the web site www.ithappensinaddison.com to see more.
Also, Elk Grove Village has some great shows ... see below ... 
We are pleased to announce our 2019 lineup for the 11th annual “Unity Within the Community” Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series:
Thursday, July 4 at 7:30 p.m. - Melissa Etheridge
Tuesday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. - Boz Scaggs
Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. - Commodores
Tuesday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m. – Wynonna & the Big Noise
Tuesday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. -Night Ranger
Check out their web site for further info
Here is one I am all excited about ...
Hillside, IL - August 20th - The Cryan Shames! 7:30 
It will be great to see Toad, the one and only Tom Doody, and Hook, Jim Pilster, team up and perform all their classics ... not to be missed!
Skokie, IL's Backyard Bash has a little more current line-up featuring the Smithereens with Marshall Crenshaw singing at 8:30 and Material Issue at 6:45 Friday, August 23rd. On the 24th, War appears at 8:30
Some great shows, Kent, I can't wait!
Mike DeMartino 

DIGGIN' FORGOTTEN HITS:
I just discovered and read your blog on 5/26/19. It is an AWESOME blog and website. I'm sorry I didn't discover this sooner ... but better late than never. 
Thank you so much. It is great reading. 
This is Rockin' Bob from Fair Lawn, NJ. 
Have a great day and a great Memorial Day! 
Bob "The Song Man" Marshello 
Thanks, Bob!  You've got a lot of catching up to do ... so I'll leave you to it!
And we have a whole 'nother page ready for you to explore, too ...
Be sure to check out ... www.forgottenhits.com ... for more great oldies information and insight!  (kk)  

I dig your web site the most!
Rick Bloom
Beatlemania
New York City
Thanks, Rick!  (Were you in the touring company of "Beatlemania"?  I saw the show here in Chicago probably a couple of years after this shot from 1978.)
The Fab Four have also been using our site for promotion purposes.  (Hey, that's what we're here for!!!) 
Keep watching these pages for your chance to win free tickets to see them when they appear at The Arcada Theatre on November 1st!  (kk)
 
 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

May 26th


"Get Back" holds at #1 for the third week in the row.

New to The Top Ten this week are "I Could Never Lie To You" by our very own New Colony Six (one of my favorites by them, by the way ... but then again I liked ALL their stuff!), up from #15 to #7, "In The Ghetto" by Elvis Presley (up thirteen places from #21 to #8) and "Grazing In The Grass" by The Friends Of Distinction, who climb up three places from #13 to #10.

Creedence Clearwater Revival continues to make big leaps up the chart, this week moving from #27 to #13 with their latest, "Bad Moon Rising," another move of fourteen places.

Also climbing eight spots or more are "Day Is Done" by Peter, Paul and Mary (#20 to #12), "Medicine Man' by The Buchanan Brothers (#23 to #14),"Love Theme from 'Romeo and Juliet'" by Henry Mancini #33 to #20), "Let Me" by Paul Revere and the Raiders (#30 to #21), "Love Me Tonight" by Tom Jones (#37 to #26), "See" by The Rascals (#38 to #28), "One" by Three Dog Night (#39 to #30) and "Israelites" by Desmond Dekker and the Aces (#40 to #31).

Interesting premiers include another song from the hit musical "Hair," "Good Morning Starshine" by Oliver (new at #32), "Black Pearl" by Sonny Charles and the Checkmates, a VERY popular group here in Chicago enjoying their first really big chart hit, thanks to production credit by Phil Spector and "But It's Alright" by J.J. Jackson, soon to be a pop and soul classic.






This week in 1969:  

May 20th - Elvis Presley sells his Circle G Ranch in Mississippi for $440,000 to the North Mississippi Gun Club.  (The property will eventually revert back to Presley when the purchaser defaults on his payments.)  

May 21st - CBS announces that The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour is no longer just a replacement series ... it is given its own berth thanks to its excellent ratings and Glen's popularity.  (This earns Glen a raise to $15,000 per week!)  

May 24th – Five days after earning a gold single award, “Get Back” by The Beatles hits the #1 Spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart, becoming the group’s 17th #1 Single in America according to Billboard.  It will stay there for five weeks.
(Here in Chicao, it had already held down the #1 spot for the past three straight weeks!)  
Although Billboard would ultimately award them twenty #1 singles (a record they still hold to this day), both Cash Box and Record World awarded them more, most notably "Twist And Shout," a song that dominated the airwaves during the height of Beatlemania (and still gets played nearly every single day some 55 years later!)
Other National #1 Records that fell short on Billboard's list are "Nowhere Man" (#1 in Record World but only #2 in Cash Box and #3 in Billboard), "Yellow Submarine" (#1 in both Cash Box and Record World but #2 in Billboard) and "Something" (#1 in Record World but #2 in Cash Box and #3 in Billboard, even though it was the designated A-Side of the record.) 
For the first time ever (not counting the rush-released “My Bonnie” at the onset of Beatlemania, which featured The Beatles as simply the backing band to lead singer Tony Sheridan), "Get Back" singles out and credits keyboardist Billy Preston … the only non-group member to ever be credited on the label of a Beatles single.  (Preston was invited to join the sessions by his friend George Harrison.  He first met The Beatles back in 1963 when he was touring England as part of Little Richard’s band.)

The Guess Who make their first US television appearance on American Bandstand, where they perform their first US Hit “These Eyes” 

May 25th – “Midnight Cowboy” is released.  Despite an X-Rating, it will go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and won Best Actor nominations for both Dustin Hoffman and newcomer Jon Voight


Also on this date, The Hollies record “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”  The session piano player on this track is a guy by the name of Elton John (although he was likely still calling himself Reginald Dwight at the time)

Also on May 25th, actress Anne Heche is born ...

And Jimmy Dean opens his first sausage plant in his hometown of Plainview, Texas.   

May 25th - Sam and Dave perform "Born Again," "Soul Man" and "I Thank You" … while Mary Hopkin is on hand to singd "Goodbye" and "Love Is The Sweetest Thing" on The Ed Sullivan Show this evening.     

May 26th – As part of their bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, John Lennon writes and records “Give Peace A Chance” with a number of celebrity guests on hand (including Tommy Smothers and Petula Clark)
Also on this date, as the owner of The California Angels, Cowboy Gene Autry has to fire his very first baseball manager.  The unlucky culprit ... Bill Rigney.