Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 25 - 20 )

This article may interest you -- with the perpetual debate over who first played the Beatles!
Don Efenberger

We continue to see these false “facts” being repeated … although I have to admit that more and more sources are now citing our landmark article from 2002 that traced the origins of the first Beatles record being played in America to Dick Biondi and WLS in February of 1963.

A quick Google search of this topic pops up SEVERAL sources now crediting our research for the most accurate (and exhaustive) search into this topic …

After Beatles Historian Bruce Spizer acknowledged our research in his book “The Beatles Are Coming,” we started to see it recognized in more publications.

Here’s our original (and exhaustive!) piece from 2002:

And our Ten Year Anniversary piece … as the debate continues …

50 Years Ago This Week, The Carpenters had the #1 Single in the Country as “Close To You” climbed to the top of the charts everywhere.
Tom Cuddy sent us this piece taking a look back at the incredible sound of this incredible act.
The Carpenters’ “Close To You” And Herb Alpert’s Fateful Note
The duo would top the charts six more times over the next five years:  “We’ve Only Just Begun” (1970), “Superstar” (1971), “Hurting Each Other” (1972), “Yesterday Once More” (1973), “Top Of The World” 1973) and “Please Mr. Postman” (1975).  In addition, they would send six other records into The Top Ten.  (kk)

>>>I wonder what motivated this recording attempt, apparently around 1980 … how far it got and why it never got any further.  (kk)
You certainly have valid questions as to if he stockpiled songs on tape.  When I watched the documentary, it sounded to me like he went across the street to his mom and collected "his songs" in whatever form they were in and brought them back for making the new CD in 2016.  If not for his mom storing them, because they were apparently precious to HER (and maybe NOT him?), we might never have had the 2016 CD.
Varese's 1995 CD, "Listen, Listen" contained the 1980 "Isn't it So" as a bonus track and it was also put on Emitt's 2016 CD, so many of these songs must be 30 years old!  STILL, they sound really good in their new setting, too.
"I'm Schizoid."  That's how Emitt described himself in the 1983 interview below.  I remembered I had this OLD "Flipside" issue somewhere that had been a great read and found it online just now ... a very intricately detailed story on Emitt.  The interview was conducted by Mike Quercio (of 3 O'Clock) and Sue Hoffs (of The Bangles) and Pat "Pooch" DiPuccio (apparently, the Flipside editor) after driving around asking people where Emitt lived.  Emitt shows more interest in Sue than the interview.  It's easy to see why.
Some highlights include:
The Palace Guard, as the Hullaballoo house band … he could "hang out and get all the pizza he could eat."
He just learned to play the guitar on his own.  He mentions having a mentor, Russel Show, who worked in the mailroom at A&M Records!
"Live" was a demo that A&M released as is.  He seemed VERY enthused in that period as a performer on the strip in LA.  He loved having "girls ripping clothes and grabbing body parts."
The "American Dream" album was him in the studio with "anybody who was anybody."
Some A&R guy at Dunhill came out to his parent's house (studio) and Emitt played the backing tracks to the songs he wanted to release for an LP and Emitt sang over the tracks LIVE for the person.  MAN, how I would have loved to have been THAT guy at THAT moment!
About going to England, he had the great hilarious comment "Over here (US) I was the American McCartney.  Over there I was the ... American McCartney."  When asked about his start, he basically gave another funny, but true, answer … "Basically, I've spent my whole life in a garage."
It gives insight into how much his mom must have loved him and kept clippings as well as, apparently, his later unreleased songs. 
He talks about why "Farewell To Paradise" took so long to release.
Emitt wanted to go to the Bangles' session when they recorded "Live" for their first Columbia album.
The most exciting thing of his life in 1983?  His children being born.  Fast forward 26 years to the 2009 documentary and he has no contact with his children.  So sad.
He bypassed anything about recently doing any songs or for the future.
In the end, I don't think I have ever written so much about someone in my life! Emitt musta had SOMETHING I liked. 
You can now read the entire two page article from "Flipside" 1983 via the link below.  Just enlarge print with magnifying glasses in grey in lower right corner.

This is a VERY hard article to read (not made any better by the fact that all of the type is reversed out of a black background!)  Even blowing it up only helped a little bit.  And I couldn’t get it to stay on the second page of the interview for some reason … it kept drifting back to what I had already read.  Hopefully, some of you will have better luck with it than I did.  (I also couldn’t get it to print out for some reason.)
All of that being said, Emitt doesn’t come off looking any better in this context.  He was a strange bird, for sure … doesn’t really seem to have it all together … and even when he’s trying to be funny, it comes off as being a little off the mark.  (His need to keep coming back to the subject of drugs … and then saying how he did very little drugs because he was a good boy seemed extremely odd to me, too.)
The end result is, I’m almost inclined not to read any more by him or about him as I’m afraid it will start to change the image I have held for him for all these years.
A VERY talented man … who wasted many, many years by not pursuing his God-given craft.  It’s a shame.  The “One Man Beatles” documentary only serves to drive that point home even farther.  I think I’ll just listen to the music … as I have been doing all week long … to the point that I can’t even sleep at night because it’s still playing non-stop in my head!!!  The music lives on … and brings back many happy memories and moments for me … that’s what I choose to hang on to.  (kk)

Original Fleetwood Mac Founding Member Peter Green passed away yesterday, July 25th, at the age of 73.  He reportedly died peacefully in his sleep.
Originally founded as a blues band, Green wasn’t around to enjoy the massive commercial success of the band in the late ‘70’s after Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham came on board.  (Green quit the group in 1970, fifty years ago, due to excessive drug use and increasing mental health issues.  He would be institutionalized a few years later.)
Under his reign, Fleetwood Mac earned their first US Chart Single with the instrumental “Albatross,” a song voted in as your #3192 in our recent Top 3333 Most Essential Classic Rock Songs of All-Time Poll.  He also wrote “Black Magic Woman,” a song that he and Fleetwood Mac first recorded … that would go on to become a MAJOR hit for Santana in 1971.

I would like to tell you what immediately came to my mind after reading Friday's FH.
Casey Kasem's A LETTER FROM ELAINA reminded me of a record in 1963 called A LETTER FROM SHERRY by Dale Ward. Both songs are quite different, but it still reminded me of the Dale Ward record.
Singer Jake Holmes was mentioned with a song called SO CLOSE. The only thing I remember about him is a song he came out with in 1969 called HOW ARE YOU? Part 1 on Polydor Records.  
Reader Geoff Lambert reported that singer Rod Bernard died at the age of 79. I always did like his THIS SHOULD GO ON FOREVER. I have two copies of his record, one being on the original Jin Record label. Also, he had a record in 1961 which I don't know if you or any of your readers will remember. It was called COLINDA on the Hall Record label I believe. Big record here in the OKC area … Top 10 I believe.
You are right in saying that Jerry Lee Lewis looked barely alive in that picture you posted. I really had to look twice at the picture to see if it was really him. How sad.

Dale Ward’s record was a BIG hit here in Chicago, reaching #5 in 1964 on our Top Tunes Of Greater Chicagoland chart.  (It peaked at #7 on WLS)  Nationally, it was a #25 record.
By all appearenaces, Jake Holmes’ biggest claim to fame was erroneously scoring a Top 40 Hit (on American Top 40 ONLY) due to the error described in our piece.
This really wasn’t the case, however.
Despite peaking at #49 in Billboard (on which the AT40 chart was based), it actually WAS a Top 40 Hit in both Record World (#27) and Cash Box (#29) … another one of those 20-point spreads we keep coming across in the way of measuring a record’s relative popularity.
It is these types of discrepancies that inspired us to start The Super Chart many, many years ago … a reflection of the popularity of these hits as gauged by all three major trade publications.
Randy Price put the whole thing together for us and Super Charts now exist from 1955 to 1982 when Record World stopped publishing.  For me, it is the most accurate representation of how these records REALLY performed on the charts as they take into consideration the research and resources of all three major trades, thus widening the spread of data collected considerably.
I am happy to report that The Super Charts will return next year when we take our look back at the music of 1971 … so stay tuned for that.
Meanwhile, we would STILL love to get these things published so that the whole world can enjoy them.  If somebody out there is interested in helping to put this deal together, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
OK … commercial over.
As for the other tunes you mentioned, “How Are You? – Part One” bubbled under in Record World and Cash Box in 1969 … it never even got that far in Billboard.  Officially, its peak was #105.
As for “Colinda,” IT bubbled under in Billboard at #102 in 1962 … but got as high as #76 in Music Vendor, making it another one of those records with a 20+ point spread that we see so often … which is why WE support The Super Charts put together by Randy Price … oh wait … didn’t I just tell you about these?  Well these two simple, totally random examples prove once again WHY these charts are so valuable!  (kk)

A couple of weeks ago we told you about a new release spotlighting the best of the PBS Rock, Pop and Doo Wop television concerts … a 7-DVD / 2-CD box set being released on August 17th.
This set is already being advertised for the price of $59.98 plus shipping and handling ... but if you order RIGHT NOW, it can be yours for just $39.98, postage paid!
The track list is nothing short of phenomenal and features over 200 songs and performances.
But you’d better act quickly!  This special pricing won’t last.

Watch for brand new posts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week in Forgotten Hits … (and don’t be surprised if we don’t come up with a few more along the way!!!)  Make us part of your daily routine … so you never miss a thing!  (kk)