>>>As most of you already know, we just LOVE 1967!!! We even devoted an entire YEAR to celebrating the sights, sounds and events of our all-time favorite year in music. (Scroll back to the last couple of days of 2016 and you can catch this series in its entirety simply by clicking on the “Newer Posts” button at the bottom of each page … it will literally take you day by day thru the entire year!)
Here’s a quick link to get you started:
All right, Kent Kotal ...
Your Love Jones for the sights and sounds of 1967 is legendary 'round these here parts so LAFOS is gonna give you what you want this Saturday from 1 - 3 pm ET at www.wvkr.org or http://www.mixcloud.com/LAFOS (later that same day). Two solid hours of January '67 Super Chart hits and oh, so much more -- just for you.
And, hopefully, some of your FH followers, too … many of whom have been making my day lately with their contributions.
Those Tom Jones / Jennifer Hudson clips had me grinning from ear to ear!
The "Good Vibrations" vids were interesting. Have you ever checked out any of the Fendertones' Beach Boys covers on YouTube? Superb!
And, speaking of "forgotten," I played Bobby Fuller Four's "Never To Be Forgotten" last week that came from a 2010 I-Tunes download with a really distorted sense of audio separation. Checking other versions on YouTube, they all seem to be that way. Does anyone know if there's a "clean" version of that song?
Thanks, kk, for all you do and "see" you Saturday, January 30.
We’ll be there, Sammy … Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!
Sounds like another great show in the making! (kk)
Regarding Chubby Checker’s appearance at Mohegan, yes, that was his last concert and the last “big name” concert at The Wolf Den in Mohegan Sun. We were shocked that he showed up. Connecticut was closing down and things had begun to be dicey all around. And then … we became shut ins.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
I’m trying to remember the last concert we saw before the pandemic shut everything down. (I’m not 100% positive but I think it may have been America with The Buckinghams at The Genesee Theatre … and a GREAT show it was, too!)
I DO remember that we had tickets to see The Bay City Rollers at The Arcada Theatre … but that concert was cancelled / postponed once the “stay at home” order was declared. Our grand daughter was staying with us for spring break and she had never seen a concert before … so we thought this would be a fun one to take her to. Ron Onesti had even made arrangements for her to meet and get her picture taken with the band … and, prior to the show, we were playing their music for her in the car so that she would at least be somewhat familiar with their biggest hits.
It was odd because we were able to go out and do something every day until the day she was due to fly home, which is when everything was shut down. We weren’t even sure if they were going to let her travel. Dinner out every night she was here … hanging out at places like Dave and Buster’s, the adult arcade, and doing a bit of sight-seeing at a time when we could all still walk around open and free … and maskless!
God, it seems like so long ago, doesn’t it??? They’ve started relaxing things here in Chicago again, with restaurants being allowed to reopen (at 25% capacity anyway) and a big battle regarding whether or not the kids should be returning to their classrooms or not … all kinda crazy and premature in MY mind, seeing that the number of cases continue to rise daily and the vaccine, while now available, seems to be in very short, limited supply. (Do we REALLY want to go thru lockdown, phase three again … or does it just make more sense to wait for this “return to life” until we actually have things a bit more under control?)
Not my call … and, quite honestly, even choosing not to participate doesn’t help reduce my risk of catching this by much if everyone around me IS going back out in public and exposing themselves to the bug … but I think I’m going to just play it safe for a little while longer, especially since many of the news broadcasts this week seem to be focusing on a newer, stronger strand that has already been found present in our area and is killing a bunch more people in Africa and The UK. (kk)
Were you able to see Chubby’s show at The Wolf Den, Shelley?
I was completely blown away when I saw him New Year’s Eve Weekend a few years ago. (kk)
Unfortunately, neither myself nor my friends made it there.
I was notified that his appearance was still scheduled but uncertain. Then I received notice that he, indeed, had arrived at Mohegan, but whether he would perform, given his age and covid, was still in question.
By the time I received the “He’s going on!,” he was close to walking on the stage.
I was never in doubt that he would draw a large crowd anyway, as Mohegan draws many of the same people daily, and being able at the last minute to secure a seat in The Den is a memory in itself.
By the way, the same person who did the YouTube video you provided has a string of them from that night: Henry LaPierre.
FROM OUR CHUBBY CHECKER CONCERT REVIEW, COVERING CHUBBY’s SHOW AT THE GENESEE THEATRE on DECEMBER 30th, 2017 …
Chubby appeared as part of a concert billed as Three Legendary Voices of the ‘60’s …
Also on the bill were Martha Reeves (of The Vandellas) and Mary Wilson (of The Supremes.)
This was a very difficult review to write as the event lived up to its promise in name only … and that’s a shame … as I was REALLY looking forward to this show … not only as our last concert of 2017 … but also the chance to see three legendary artists that I greatly admire but had never seen before.
The highlight for me all along was the opportunity to FINALLY see Chubby Checker in concert. We have LONG been advocates of Chubby’s rightful place in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and for as long as we’ve been doing Forgotten Hits, Chubby’s name comes up near the top of every “Deserving But Denied” list. This was our chance to show our support. (I’ve heard that he still puts on a great show … and wanted to see him for myself.)
Both Mary and Marth failed to win us over with their performances that night … both were lack-luster and severely out of tune. (In Mary’s defense, she was clearly ill that night and shouldn’t have tried to perform … but Martha’s voice has become so deep and throaty that it was literally unrecognizable as the same voice that sang all those hits so many years ago that we all know and love.)
After a brief intermission when Mary and Martha both went out into the lobby to sign and sell product, Chubby Checker finally took the stage … and, unlike the two ladies from Motown who, for the most part, shared the same backing musicians, Chubby brought along his own, self-contained band … and let me tell you something … Chubby has got himself a REAL rock band … these guys were smokin’ and not in ANY way, shape or form slighting the presentation of Checker’s music … these guys ROCKED with some incredible guitar and sax solos thrown in throughout the performance.
Chubby Checker turned 76 years old last October and I swear he looks, sounds and moves like a man less than HALF that age on stage. (He has obviously taken VERY good care of himself!!!) Truth be told, he looked and sounded AMAZING and, paired with this killer back-up band, COMPLETELY turned the show around in all the ways I truly hoped he would.
His set moved rapid fire, at first with very little conversation, as he ran through a few of his hits and other hits from that era (including a nice tribute to Fats Domino, who recently left us. By now I’m sure you’re all familiar with the story of how Dick Clark’s wife renamed former chicken plucker Earnest Evans “Chubby Checker,” making a play on Fats Domino’s name and the rest, as they say, is history.)
Checker was a HUGE part of the Philly scene and, thanks to Dick Clark and shows like “American Bandstand,” was quickly piped into living rooms all over America. (Even today, the bulk of his back-up band hail from Philadelphia as Chubby remains true to his roots some sixty years later!)
Early on in the set, Chubby ventured out into the audience to sing and twist with a few of the spectators while he performed "Slow Twistin'" … and he held court over the crowd throughout the evening, having us sing the missing lines in at least a dozen tunes … everything from his biggest hits … to the closing theme of The Mickey Mouse Club!!!
It made for a fun night of entertainment (although for me the sing-along thing wore a little thin pretty quickly … as stated here many times before, we came tonight to hear YOU sing … not provide half the vocals for you!!!)
He poked fun at his early 1964 Hit “Hooka Tooka” when, after singing a couple of choruses, admitted “That’s a dumb song.” (It is … but he made it fun all over again!)
Since it was the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I thought he might bring out his version of “Jingle Bell Rock” out of the mothballs again but that didn't happen. He did, however, offer words of encouragement to the audience as one year ends and another one begins to “fight the Devil every day … every time you see him in the mirror,” suggesting that rather than “turn over a new leaf” for 2018, “FIX the leaf you’ve currently got … and make things right.” It wasn’t done in a preachy way and truly felt sincere. Chubby is a very “likeable” character … and I do believe he may have gotten thru to a few people in the audience.
He brought a young girl up from the audience to “shake what you’ve got” during his version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (although I think she was willing to do a WHOLE lot more shakin’ that Chubby may have bargained for!) and a couple of other times, pulled girls from the front row up on stage to dance with him.
It was a great show (which even featured a new track called “Changes” that really showcased Chubby’s voice and the band’s ability as musicians … I downloaded it immediately as soon as I got home. With a rock band that strong, I wish he would have also done “Harder Than Diamond,” a track that got some FM Rock Radio airplay back in the ‘80’s.)
Naturally he closed the show with “The Twist,” which he then rolled into “Let’s Twist Again,” a solid one-two punch to end the show.
The crowd loved him … and when he went out into the lobby to sign autographs and pose for pictures, the line of fans was ridiculous! EVERYBODY wanted to meet and shake hands with Chubby Checker, who promised he would stay till the very end … “until EVERY fan got what they wanted in the way of a picture or an autograph” … “I’ll be here till they lock the doors ‘cause that’s what I do for my fans” … and I believe he did just exactly that.
This was a GREAT show that easily could have stood alone without the disappointing downer of the two opening acts. Chubby's still got it ... and he knows EXACTLY what to do with it. Highly recommended if he happens to be coming out your way!
I MUST CONFESS: Coming into the show, I knew I had an issue with one thing … and all I can say again is WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE???
Martha and the Vandellas were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995 … The Supremes in 1988 … but the guy who HEADLINED the show … the ONLY guy in the history of The Pop Charts during the Rock And Roll Era (now 60+ years strong) to hit #1 on the charts TWICE with the same record … the guy who launched a National Dance Sensation … ALSO TWICE … has never even been nominated.
Now how can that be???
Of course, I'm talking about Chubby Checker … who had 24 Top 40 Pop Hits of his own (including his comeback “duet” with The Fat Boys) and Five National #1's … yet has never even made the ballot!!!
Watching this show, the wheels started turning … we have GOT to get this guy the recognition he deserves … somebody like Bruce Springsteen needs to come out on stage with him and do a couple of tunes (much like he did several years ago with Gary “US” Bonds) and let the rest of the "modern world" know who this guy is ... and what he has done!
Radio has to start playing his biggest hits again now that they’re FINALLY back in print. Several of these (“The Twist,” “Let’s Twist Again,” “Slow Twistin’,” and “Limbo Rock” still sound great today.)
A documentary needs to be made … not only showcasing Chubby Checker, but also explaining the whole phenomena of how his hit, “The Twist,” launched “The Discotheque Era” here in America back in the early ‘60’s, catching on first with the kids and then again with the hip, club elite who pushed it back into The #1 Spot all over again when anybody who was anybody was out trending at all the hot clubs, doing The Twist.
Places like The Peppermint Lounge and dozens of others just like it sprang up to accommodate the demand for a place where young, hip adults could hang out and dance the night away. Joey Dee and the Starliters also hit #1 with their “Peppermint Twist” and dozens and dozens of “twist” songs soon filled the charts … it just may be the single biggest dance sensation in history, Macarena be damned! (Hell, even The Four Seasons first asked “Sherry” to come out to their twist party … and The Beatles covered an old Isley Brothers song and made “Twist And Shout” their very own!)
Chubby seems pretty humble about it all ... Billboard Magazine has declared "The Twist" to be the Biggest Song In The History Of Popular Music, simply by reaching the top of the charts on two separate occasions. Chubby shrugs that off by saying, "Well, SOME song had to be #1 ... had to be the biggest record of all time ... and it just so happens that it's mine." [Of course in the new video featured earlier this week, Checker can now be seen doing a little bit of bragging of his own! Lol]
When you consider every other fad and phenomena that has passed thru music over the past 65 years, it's a pretty incredible feat indeed. (Think about it ... all Chubby did was rerecord a Hank Ballard B-Side in essentially the same manner that Hank had done it ... and it proceeded to light the world on fire. Fueled by the likes of Dick Clark and American Bandstand and deeJays across the country, the dance craze took off and make Checker an overnight superstar. But the record speaks as much to Chubby's charm and charisma as it does to the innocence of the era ... this was nothing short of an overnight sensation ... a phenomenon personified.
So I’m appealing to guys out there like Shawn Swords and Paul Russo who read Forgotten Hits and have dedicated a good portion of their lives to preserving this era of music and The Sounds of Philadelphia … other Bandstand-Era folk like Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, Fabian and more who were THERE at the time and LIVED this experience … Danny Tedesco who put together that GREAT Wrecking Crew documentary … Carolyn Travis who did the excellent “Airplay” documentary … Pam Pulice, who is putting together the new Dick Biondi documentary … publicist Bob Merlis and Jody Klein (who controls the rights to Chubby’s Cameo / Parkway catalog of music and recently did the documentary tribute to Sam Cooke) … Gary Theroux, who co-wrote The History Of Rock And Roll … and deejays and radio programmers like Scott Shannon and Tom Cuddy and so many others out there that have graced our list over the years …
Let’s make this happen … in Chubby’s lifetime …
Let's pool our efforts and get him the credit he deserves … get him into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame … and preserve this very special moment in music history when the latest dance craze was something EVERY kid in America wanted to learn!
be sure to check out these EXCELLENT photos sent in by FH Reader Tom Apathy,
who saw essentially the same show WE did a few weeks before …