Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Sunday Comments ( 11 - 15 - 20 )


>>>BOOK REVIEW:  I'm currently reading "HUSHABYE":  The Mystics, The Music And The Mob.  I'm halfway through the book … and I didn't get to the Mob part yet.  It was written by Al Contrera, original Bass Singer of the Mystics and current member of the Classics. He tells us how some tough kids from Brooklyn started singing on the corner as the Overons -- and wound up singing on the Alan Freed, Dick Clark and Clay Cole shows as the Mystics.  Lead singer Phil Cracolici went to prison for murder. He was innocent. Wrong place at the wrong time.  The Dion And The Belmonts 1959 Hit "A TEENAGER IN LOVE" was written for the Mystics. You want to know what happened -- read the book.  (FB)   

>>>Thank God Tommy James wrote HIS book so The Mystics could “borrow” his title!!! (lol)  I’m sure some of it is quite fascinating … but with only one hit, I’m not sure the story of The Mystics would sustain my interest for very long.  (Granted, it WAS a Top 20 Hit … and “Hushabye” is a GREAT song … I’m just not sure what to fill the REST of the pages with!!!  Although it already sounds a little bit like a mash-up of Tommy’s book … and “Jersey Boys”!!!)  kk


Just a quick note to say the "Hushabye" book that chronicles The Mystics was a VERY enjoyable read. Of particular interest was how they ended up recording "Hushabye." 

The Mystics were great 61 years ago, and are still performing with originals Phil Cracolici and George Galfo still producing a wonderful sound.
All the best,
Ron Spain

Kent - 

Bobby Scammell, here ... long time bassist for the Rip Chords.

The Mystics and the Mob book is out. I am able to give some first hand knowledge, from the performance side of things, as The Rip Chords have done several shows with The Mystics over the years. 
I have been in the business long enough to have performed a 1966 show with Tommy James when he was still using the Pittsburgh bar band for shows, which was some time before Roulette Records. 
I played the Northeast USA during the Four Seasons' heyday. I've recorded for RCA Records and had my material distributed nationally, with surprise co-writers listed on the label that never wrote a word.
Back in the day, mob involvement was not unusual. As kids, we just wanted to get out there and play.  When it came to the business side of it all well, that was often out of our control.
As for the Mystics? I would like to say this ... 
The Rip Chords had a show out in Las Vegas. On the bill was the Del-Vikings (circa 1957.)  When they walked
on stage it was six young men in their 30's. They did "Come Go With Me" and "Whispering Bells," plus a few disco and funk tunes. Hmmm? Okay. 
On the other hand, I have done several shows with The Mystics over the years. Every musicians was age appropriate, talented, well rehearsed, and left the
audience entertained and applauding. 
Backstage? In the artist dressing area?
Absolutely the nicest guys you can meet. Nothing but pure professionalism.  (Although you do have to elbow them out of the way at the post show buffet!!!)
Stay safe, Brutha' ... and, wear a mask, as I am doing, above.
We WILL be back on stage someday. I gar-RON-Tee !! 
- Bobby
Bobby also sent me this cool pic of himself with Lou Christie (which gives me an excuse to run MY picture with Lou again, too ... one of the nicest guys I've EVER met in the music business.)
This is from a show that The Rip Chords did with Jimmy Clanton, Lou Christie and The Mystics back in 2013.

And here's me and Lou after his show at The Italian Fest a couple of years ago. (kk)

Here's an article recently run in Best Classic Bands about Jim Peterik, The Ides Of March and their monster hit "Vehicle" from 1970.
(Jim has a new album out with Toby Hitchcock / Pride Of Lions called "Lion Heart" ... and it's a good one!  In fact, he sent me a couple of copies to give away to Forgotten Hits Readers.  Interested?  Drop me an email with LION HEART in the subject line and we'll add your name to the list of potential winners.)
Meanwhile, be sure to check out this piece:
And this YouTube clip of the title track from "Lion Heart" ...
GREAT song!  (kk)

Hi Kent:  
Just south of 25,000? 
That’s an impressive number!  
Sounds like the TV theme song poll is going to give us a strong sense of what people like.  
I hope you’re pleased with how it went — I know that, like election officials in several states, you’re up to your neck in ballots.  That’s a good thing.  
We received a very positive response to the theme songs feature on our end, too.  It was great to be able to partner with you on it and help get the word out.  
Looking forward to seeing the results next weekend. 
The Me-TV-FM TV Themes Weekend certainly helped bring in the last minute votes ... glad to hear things were successful on your end, too.  (I think you'll agree that we've assembled a pretty good track record with our cross-promotions thus far!)
As for the final results, we're putting together next weekend's feature now and I think it's going to be a fun way to present the list ... so be sure to check it out.
(We'll be counting down The Top 50 from 6 am till 9 pm on Saturday, November 21st, and Sunday, the 22nd, from 9 am till 6 pm.  You'll also hear a whole slew of "extras" along the way.  In fact, the voting was SO successful that after we count 'em down, we're going to post The Top 100 Favorites instead on the other Forgotten Hits Website!)  kk

So who won?
Bob Sirott
The official winner won't be declared until NEXT Sunday ...
But I CAN tell you that it was a landslide victory (and very reflective of our 2013 poll.)
You know, this would make for a GREAT segment on your program Monday Morning (the 23rd) ... and I JUST happen to be off from work that day!  (lol)
C'mon ... you can't let Landecker be the only one slipping in short clips of music these days!!!  (kk) 

I promise!  (kk)
Thank-you for doing your best to keep Forgotten Hits "politics-free" and yet, at the same time, defending yourself when necessary.  
I remember a time when printed radio surveys came out, nobody said it was rigged.  When the weekly Billboard Top 200 was printed, nobody demanded a recount.  When Radio & Records or Gavin released their surveys, it wasn't fake news, nor when Forgotten Hits was taking votes for the Best TV Themes of All-time was I thinking, "If my favorite theme doesn't win, this list is going to be fake, rigged, or corrupt!"  
Wait a minute -- Breaking News:  This just in -- 
The song "American Woman" really is a Canadian plot to move the border farther south so Canadians can warm up?  
Hold everything!
Didn't I just see Randy Bachman's and Burton Cummings' pictures in the post office?  
Thank goodness Midnight In Moscow didn't end up on the TV themes countdown!  
Whooooa ... one second ... don't say a word ... I think I just heard the football huddle talking about me!  
For Pete's sake (whoever the hell Pete is), if people can "make a joke" about getting a disinfectant injection why can't the rest of us engage in a little satire?  
Yes, I know, "politically-correct" is an oxymoron.  But do you ever feel we live in a time in history where there is too little "oxy" and way too much "moron!" 
Apparently making a joke is now corrupt.  And also, it depends on who you are as to if you get to make a joke.  When you think about it, it really is difficult nowadays trying to stay out of the way of low-flying brown objects.  You know the drill:  "You can please some of the people all of the time,  you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time."  Apparently along the way somebody took the "party" out of "political!" 
Some days it doesn't pay to fall out of bed, does it!  
In the words of comedian George Gobel:  "Do you ever feel like all the world is a tuxedo, and you are a pair of brown shoes?"  
Nowadays, all you can do is keep trying, Kent.  
One second ... keep it down ... there's another football huddle! 
Tim Kiley
I agree about keeping politics out of music, but I DID laugh and to Bob, I also was not happy about the outcome.  
I can't believe so many people are still alive that are not wearing masks that were alive to vote on November 3rd.  Bob, consider yourself one of the LUCKY ones to live long enough to vote for your hero.  HAHAHAHA
(BTW, I am never political, but I will NEVER vote for a candidate that uncouth who has no interest in keeping the people of FH alive.)
Clark Besch  
Any of our long term readers know that we have done our best to keep politics out of our music column.  (Now if only President Trump had kept music out of his political rallies, he wouldn't have had so many big time artists issuing cease and desist orders to stop using their music without their permission as part of his campaign!)
But sometimes you've just got to stop long enough to smile ... 'cause life as we know has gotten a WHOLE lot harder this year.
(I'm still especially fond of the The Trump White House photo that we ran when Trump first took office four years ago!)  kk

>>>And, speaking of the recent election, we’ve been taken to task for our “Mr. President … YOU’RE FIRED” post over the weekend  (kk)

>>>Kent, Did it not occur to you that some (maybe many) of your followers prefer to keep politics out of our shared love of the music of our lives and some (maybe many) are not happy with the election results and the way the election was conducted?  Let’s keep the music the focus of Forgotten Hits.  (Bob Verbos)  

Since I happen to live and sleep with Mr. Forgotten Hits, I have to give comment on Bob V’s complaint. 

The “ You’re Fired” post was much less of a political remark as opposed to a pop culture one.  

I’m the political half in this conscious coupling. Personally, I'm thrilled at the outcome as it is right now, while Kent is just glad it (and all  the wretched political commercials) is over. He’s a music man through and through, so I quite enjoy a deviant subject once in awhile. 

The “You’re Fired” greatly pleased me, and I think it benefits Kent to please his woman over pleasing Bob or anyone else who was a bit butthurt over the election. 

If anyone is still disturbed by such an innocuous remark, they can go to Parler and write their heart out. 

Kent, thank you honey. I adore you♥️
Mrs. FH
Thank you, honey ... love ya!
(Has the damn fool conceded the election yet?  I mean it's been eleven days now!!!)
Well, if nothing else, Trump has proven than he is more than just a tweeting-fool eleven year old girl ...
He is ALSO a two year old, stomping his feet in the middle of a temper tantrum.  Classy man, REAL classy.
Way to go out in style and leave your memorable mark.  (kk)