Take a bow!
I can only guess how many hours you dedicated to tabulating all the favorite TV theme votes. Then after counting votes, you need to search You Tube for the songs and then more time to write your commentary for the theme winners.
Thanks for making the effort. It’s one of the many reasons why Forgotten Hits is so valuable to us readers.
I noticed you gave some ink to the favorite TV show of radio DJs: WKRP In Cincinnati, with that catchy theme by Steve Carlisle.
I know you’ve told me that you enjoy “Behind the Scenes” stories, so here’s one I’ve never shared publicly before.
Back when I was VP of Programming of WPLJ-FM in NYC, we received a call from the publicist of actor Gary Sandy, who played WKRP’s Program Director, Andy Travis. He was touring the U.S. in a play and they wanted us to interview him to help sell tickets to the production. I asked one of our DJs if he’d like to interview Gary and he said as long as he’s willing to talk about WKRP, he’d love to.
When I reported this to his publicist, she said Gary prefers not to talk much about WKRP anymore, so he would only answer one WKRP question.
I told her we would pass.
She then called back and said Gary would answer two WKRP related questions.
I passed again.
Then an executive of the venue hosting the play called and urgently asked for our help to sell tickets and would you please interview Gary.
I said we would if we weren’t limited on WKRP questions.
It was arranged for a few days later and Gary did answer our WKRP questions, but you could tell he wanted to bring the conversation back to the play, which we gave him the time to plug.
A few years later, for one of the anniversaries of WKRP, I had an idea for WPLJ to host a “WKRP Reunion Cruise” on the Hudson River … and the only way you could attend was to win tickets on the station.
We invited several WKRP stars to fly in from LA to attend the cruise, answer WKRP questions from our listeners, take pictures with fans, etc.
We offered complimentary airline tickets, hotel, and a per diem to:
--Les Nessman (Richard Sanders)
--Herb Tarlek (Frank Bonner)
---Dr. Johnny Fever (Howard Hessman)
Loni Anderson was not available. She had a TV commitment.
We did not invite PD Andy Travis, played by Gary Sandy, because of the experience we had years earlier where he didn’t happily and generously want to talk about the show.
About two weeks into promoting the cruise, my secretary says “There’s a Gary Sandy on the phone. He said he was part of the WKRP cast.”
I took the call and Gary said “I’ve been hearing from my friends in the cast that they are flying into NYC for a reunion and they asked me if I was going. I told them no one reached out to me.”
I explained to him the experience we had with him years earlier and that we only wanted cast members who were proud and enthusiastic about their WKRP experience. We wanted this to be a fun, memorable and upbeat event for our listeners.
He apologized for the interview from years earlier and said his outlook has changed in recent years. He said he would give me his word that if we flew him in with his friends that we wouldn’t have any problems with attitude.
I’m thrilled to report that Gary was a man of his word. He and the rest of the cast were a delight to work with. Our listeners had a blast.
The cast agreed to get up early the morning of the cruise and stop by our studios to be interviewed by Scott Shannon and his then co-host Todd Pettengill.
I’ve included a photo memory from the cruise with me and the four cast members. --Tom Cuddy
The show is still well-loved by its fans … who regularly quote dialog passages from the series.
Here’s a T-Shirt a few of us would proudly wear on Thanksgiving Day …(kk)
Just curious where “Route 66” finished in voting for TV Themes? It is such a cool Nelson Riddle song and arrangement.
It came in at #139 with 53 votes … close … but no cigar.
It was also a #30 pop hit in 1962. (Riddle’s themes from “The Proud Ones,” “The Untouchables” and “Naked City” also charted … but only “The Proud Ones” made The Top 40. (kk)
Sorry if I confused you, Kent, but I had nothing to do with setting up -- or running -- the Twitter theme song brackets. I just followed along with the competition, as any Twitter follower can do.
The theme song brackets were put together by some Twitter user known as The Bracketeers (@BracketeersThe). That user runs bracket competitions on all sorts of things -- favorite candy bars is another recent one.
The user recruits four followers to draft nominees for each contest and seat them a la the Final Four brackets. Then Twitter followers vote in rounds.
I just thought the parallel timing with your poll would be of interest to you -- and your poll to those folks. (The user retweeted news of your poll to his 5,000-plus followers.)
No worries … just surprised to see some of their choices, several of which were never even nominated in our poll, yet occupied slots in lieu of obvious fan favorites like “Bonanza,” “The Monkees” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” themes that I would think would make EVERY TV Themes Favorites list.
That’s OK … I trust the results of our poll … I think most would agree that Our Top 20 clearly represent the feelings of the majority of TV Theme fans.
For the benefit of anybody who may not have already seen it, you can view the complete list here: http://forgottenhits.com/your_top_100_all-time_favorite_tv_themes_based_on_our_2020_poll
THIS AND THAT:
Just wanted to say Congrats on keeping the hits of the 1950's-1980's alive.
I consider your blog to be required reading and I certainly learn something new nearly every time I read it.
What a milestone … 20+ years of forgotten hits …
What shame it would be if some of the greatest pop music ever created would indeed be FORGOTTEN.
I am sure I echo the thoughts of many other readers …
Keep up the great work.
Thank you, Joe …
Even after all this time, it’s still really nice to hear! (kk)
A 50th Anniversary Box Set of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album is being prepared for release next year. (Damn, and I’ve been listening to the 30th Anniversary set all week!!! A bit out of step, I guess ... listening to a 50 year old album by way of a now 20 year old reissue set!)
Promising MUCH cleaner sound and a whole lotta extras, George’s son Dhani has been hard at work on this project for quite a while, the idea stemming back to when his father was still alive and the two talked about how much they’d like to release this with a cleaner sound. (Attribute some of that “noise” to Phil Spector’s “Wall Of Sound” technique that, in hindsight, may have “muddied” things up a little bit at the time.)
Actually, it’ll miss the TRUE 50th Anniversary (which was November 27th of 1970!) but it still should make a welcome addition to your collection. (Let’s face it, if you don’t buy the same album four or five times over the years, then why buy it at all?!?! This is ESPECIALLY more telling with what was at first a 3-Record Set!!! I personally went thru two vinyl editions, a cassette edition, the original CD edition, the 30th Anniversary reissue edition and now can look forward to doling out the money again for a 50th Anniversary set!!!)
Still, the album’s lead-off single, “My Sweet Lord” was the first Beatles solo single to go to #1, so it IS a bit of a landmark LP. (You may remember an earlier version of this tune, recorded by The Chiffons in 1963 as “He’s So Fine“ … just kidding!) George also has the distinction of releasing the LAST Beatles solo single to go to #1 … “Got My Mind Set On You” in 1988.
In addition to establishing his own identity as a solo artist with this LP (some of the songs dated as far back as the “Help!” sessions, although the Lennon and McCartney powers that be didn’t find the material “strong enough” to include on a Beatles LP at the time), some of the musicians assembled for this outing went on to form the nucleus of Derek and the Dominoes, the band led by Eric Clapton, who would eventually marry George’s first wife Patti. (Just as she inspired “Something” for George, she was the muse for Clapton’s “Layla.”) Harrison and Clapton had worked together before, of course, on The Beatles ‘ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and Cream’s “Badge” … but they, along with Jim Gordon, Carl Radle and Bobby Whitlock, also toured as part of Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and "buddied up" accordingly. In fact, early jam sessions held during the “All Things Must Pass” sessions ultimately produced the tracks “Tell The Truth” and “Roll It Over,” originally produced by Phil Spector, which were then used for the “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs” album. (These tracks were later rerecorded without Spector’s involvement … but just as guitar wizard Duane Allman would lend his talents to the Derek and the Dominoes sessions, George’s guitar was present on the original recordings of these two tracks.)
More “All Things Must Pass” reissue press here:
Sadly, today (November 29th) marks another annivesary ...
The passing of George Harrison ... gone too soon. (Ironic that these two landmark dates should fall so closely together)
George has been gone now for 19 years ... hard to believe ... and he is SO missed.
And, speaking of anniversaries, it's hard to believe that it’s already been three years since David Cassidy passed away (November 21st) … or that it’s been 29 YEARS since we lost Freddie Mercury (November 24th). How can this much time POSSIBLY have passed this quickly?!?!
Another coincidence is that Cassidy’s death on November 21st, 2017, coincides with the date that The Partridge Family first topped the charts with “I Think I Love You” in 1970. It stayed on top of the charts for three straight weeks (four in Record World) and became their signature tune.
More on David here: https://bestclassicbands.com/david-cassidy-obituary-11-21-177/
Rollye James is now on WGN late night and often has some cool musical guests on along with LOTS of obscure bumper music. On November 9, she did an hour long interview with Tom “Toad” Doody of The Cryan’ Shames. I thought it was excellent ... best interview I ever have heard with Tom ... very informative and in depth.
Her podcasts are on her website.
Here's the podcast for the hour with Tom. ENJOY!!
Rollye also did a special countdown on Thanksgiving Night of the World’s Worst Hit Records (as voted on by the listeners to her program on WGN Radio Chicago.)
If Chicagoans have been following Rollye James' week of playing BAD records for her bumpers and taking calls as to the worst, she finally counted her Top 10 down.
From WGN Rollye James' Thanksgiving show,
Friday, November 27, 2020, 3:31 am CT:
As promised, we spent Thanksgiving talking to you live on WGN and playing portions of the World’s Worst Hit Records as voted on by you on WGN Radio.
The Top 10 shaped up nicely …
#10 - Terry Jacks - Seasons In The Sun
# 9 - Bobby Goldsboro - Honey
# 8 - America - Horse With No Name
# 7 - Charlene - I’ve Never Been To Me
# 6 - Rick Dees - Disco Duck
# 5 -David Geddes - Run Joey Run
# 4 - Anything by Paul McCartney, Post Beatles
(Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey for example)
# 3 - Debbie Boone - You Light Up My Life
# 2 - Captain & Tenille - Muskrat Love
# 1 - Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
Other bumpers featured:
Trashmen – Surfin’ Bird
Jimmy Cross- I Want My Baby Back
Linda Laurie – Ambrose, Pt 5
Brian Hyland – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
Innocence – Mairzy Doats
Barbarians – Moulty
April Stevens – Teach Me, Tiger
Peggy Lee – Is That All There Is
Cadets – Stranded In The Jungle
Walter Jackson – What Would You Do
Billy Gilman – Warm & Fuzzy Time Of Year
Here are MY THOUGHTS on the Top 10:
I have actually NOT HEARD #1, thank God! That said, #2 and #3 certainly deserve their status. The rest of the Top 10 are mostly pretty bad, too, but #10 doesn't deserve Top 10 by a ways and #4 is a ludicrous posting. Great song, meaningless or not. Replace it with "Mary Had a Little Lamb" if you want (?)
How anyone cannot like Surfin’ Bird or I Want my Baby Back is hard to believe, too.
That said, a fun week to go along with Kent's top 50 TV themes.
Oh trust me, you’ve heard Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” … it’s the main title theme from the film “Titanic” and there was absolutely no escaping it at the time.
Thankfully, much like “Honey,” “Run Joey Run” and “I’ve Never Been To Me,” you don’t hear it much anymore. Here is a case where the listeners have voted … and radio actually listened!!! How ANY of these songs made the incredible impact they did at the time is beyond me! ("You Light Up My Life" was actually #1 for TEN WEEKS!!! ... THIRTEEN WEEKS in Record World! Can you BELIEVE it?!?!?)
I used to talk with Rollye James many, many moons ago … John Rook made the original connection for us but it has been a VERY long time since we’ve had any conversation.That being said, based on everything you’ve been telling me, I think she would LOVE Forgotten Hits … in fact, it sounds like it’d be right up her alley. (Please put in a good word for me! Maybe she’ll remember, too … but I doubt it … it really wasn’t much of a connection, even at the time.)
Of course, with MY luck she’ll want me to guest on one of her shows … and there is NO way I’m getting up at 3 am to do THAT!!! (Lol) Still, having allies like Rollye, Bob Sirott and John Landecker all working at the same station can’t be a BAD thing!!! (kk)
And speaking of countdowns, Tom Cuddy just sent us this list of All-Time Christmas Favorites (or, at the very least, best sellers) …
Here Are The Top 10 Best Selling Christmas Albums Of All Time …
Find A Surprise At The Top!
It WAS a surprise … but a happy one for sure. (My first gut reaction was that this honor would go to Mariah Carey … and there are a few others on this list that I can’t believe sold at the numbers listed.) We all have our Christmas Album Favorites … and none of these would make my Top Ten Favorites list …
But I WILL admit to owning THREE of them. (I’m just not gonna tell you which ones!!!) kk
Another Countdown …
Okay, Kent, which one of your friends is going to play Alan Freed’s Top 25?
Ahh, the good old days.
Although I could probably make a pretty good case for about half of these, you sure don’t hear many of them on the radio at all anymore, do you?
Four Elvis tunes in The Top 20? Pretty impressive. Fats Domino, The Heartbeats, Guy Mitchell’s “Singing The Blues” (A MUST!!!), The Platters, Ivory Joe Hunter, “I Put A Spell On You” … the original version of “Oh What A Night” by The Dells, “In The Still Of The Night” … some DAMN good stuff on this list! (kk)
You and your readers/viewers can read my article for free this week at: www.rocksbackpages.com
LOTS of catching up to do here … on any number of wide variety topics …
Check ‘em out while you can! (kk)
Harvey also tells us about the brand new Ventures documentary coming out on December 8th …
Some Stories Behind The Association with Russ Giguere – YouTube
I didn't realize that Joe is the son of the late actor Dennis Farina (CRIME STORY).
OH yeah … and one of the nicest guys ever!
Russ’ book is a great read, by the way … available here …
And, of course, I should mention that all of these special interviews are done in conjunction with The Dick Biondi Documentary that Joe Farina and Pamela Pulice have been working on for the past six years.
Donations are still being accepted (and are MUCH appreciated) …
Here’s the link: https://www.dickbiondifilm.com/
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Tom Cuddy tells us about a new documentary that asks the musical question “What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat And Tears?” …
Tom also sent us this recent article …
'Rhinestone Cowboy' writer Larry Weiss struggles after COVID-19 battle