Monday, February 8, 2021

Monday Morning

This seemed like a good one to run first today, right on the heels of yesterday’s Super Bowl contest.  It comes from frequent contributor Clark Besch …

HEY, wonder why I did not try for a WLS Chicago trip to Super Bowl II?  My Oakland Rayderz took on the GB Pack on January 14, 1968, before 54,000 fans.  Like this week's Super Bowl LV, it was played in Florida -- however, it was at the Orange Bowl in Miami.  It featured 13 future Hall of Famers. 

The below contest was a trip to the second SB AND $150 cash!  The second half of the contest was likely more important to the winning "Sports Good Guy" as a ticket to the game was $12 face value.

This was the back side of the WLS 11/24/1967 Silver Dollar Survey:

The front side was more important to me in 1967.  I think I count 15 songs we have recorded off Ron Riley's show in that time period.  A great time to listen to the Big 89, contest or not.

That said, "GO CHIEFS!"  That said, you may think it odd that I would cheer for the Chiefs, being a Rayderz fan, but if you were a Bears fan and won the contest above by being a "Sports Good Guy," would you REALLY be cheering for the Packers in that game?

Just like we'll be doing all year long this year, Best Classic Bands takes a look back at 1971 this week, too …

And how about this!!!


The Dick Biondi Film, Reel Stories Productions and Carl Giammarese proudly present a chance to bid on a one-on-one, 30-minute virtual Meet-and-Greet with Carl Giammarese of the legendary Buckinghams!

Best known for their smash hits “Kind of A Drag,” “Susan,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and so many more magnificent hits!

The winning bidder will have the chance to meet with Carl virtually via Zoom and talk with him about his illustrious career. In addition, Carl will sing a song! Also

included is a personally autographed photo and CD for you from Carl! How COOL is that?

Proceeds from the winning bid will go towards the Dick Biondi Film and 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Chicago Filmmakers. Therefore, the winning bid is tax deductible.

Bids are being taken NOW! Minimum bid is $200.

Email your bid to our Auction Coordinator, Cathy Kulawik, at

Bidding ends Sunday, February 21st, at 11:59 PM CST.

When emailing your bid, be sure to include your name, bid amount, email address and phone number. Please write “Carl Giammarese Virtual Meet and Greet bid” in the subject line.

The Meet and Greet will take place via Zoom and will take place during the final week of February. We will work with you to make these specific arrangements. Please note: There will be only ONE winning bidder.

This is truly an incredible opportunity for you to speak with a true legend of rock and roll … the one and only Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams! Make your bid today!

Thank you, Carl! Thank you to all of the Dick Biondi Film fans!

Best Wishes,

Joe Farina

Director of Communications and Marketing of Reel Stories Productions &

The Dick Biondi Story: The Voice That Rocked America!

Co-Creator and Co-Host of the "Rock and Roll Show with Pam and Joe!"


The Dick Biondi Film is slated for release on PBS, film festivals, streaming and DVD. Become a Sponsor of the Dick Biondi Film!  Sponsorships are tax deductible. Contact me here:


Follow and like us on Facebook, join our Facebook group and subscribe to

our YouTube channel!

Reel Stories Productions LLC, is an independent production company based in Chicago, dedicated to art, music, and entertainment. Our mission is to present and promote creative expression through interviews, performances, and storytelling, and to produce stories with heart.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors!

Paul Shaffer, Onesti Entertainment, VC Plumbers, Douglas and Lynn Steffen, The Village of Bolingbrook and Roger C. Claar, Mayor, Jim Peterik, Hagerty Insurance, Beverly Records, Italian American Executives of Transportation, Jim & Tracey Corollo, Katherine Konopasek, Dennis & Carolyn Terpin, Carol "Chucko" Tenge, Michael Ungerleider & Stephanie Serna, Mike Wolstein, Lemont Classic Car Club, California Aircheck, Cryan' Shames Home Page Staff, Jeff Michalak, Eileen and Bob Petitto of Jomar Manufacturing Company.

Media Support: MeTV-FM, In a Nutshell TV Show, 95.9 The River.

Acknowledgements: Newcity Magazine, Randolph Street Market,, We The Italians, Lawyers for the Creative Arts and the Illinois Film Office.

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Sirius / XM has launched several new channels for Black History Month, including ones devoted to Motown, to Aretha Franklin and to Jimi Hendrix.  These are limited time offerings … so check them out while you can during the month of February.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Channel is available now, exclusively on SiriusXM through March 1
Tune in for classic studio and live performances, early demos, and original programming, including the celebrity guest DJ show “My Hendrix Experience,” plus music from artists who influenced Hendrix and those who were influenced by him. Listen all month on the SiriusXM app (ch.743) and catch the channel when it takes over Deep Tracks (ch. 27) from February 8-14.


What you want. Baby, we've got it

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to us on The Aretha Franklin Channel, one of our new limited-run channels honoring Black History Month. Follow the journey of the Queen of Soul through her iconic catalog, from her early recordings to her biggest hits, and get down to music from the many artists she influenced. Tune in all month long on the SiriusXM app, or catch the channel when it takes over Soul Town (ch. 49) from February 15-21. 


The Motown Channel

During Black History Month, SiriusXM celebrates Berry Gordy’s vision, Motown Records, with a dedicated channel featuring Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, and more.

Beginning on Sunday, January 21st, cartoon fans will be able to enjoy The Flintstones and The Jetsons back-to-back on Me-TV!

If you grew up in the ‘60’s, these were likely two of your favorite shows …

As Hanna-Barbara provided a fun way to look back at the past and into the future!

Now THIS is a book I’ll have to read!

On February 16th, Extraordinary Record Producer Richard Perry’s newly published memoirs arrives in book stores.  Titled “Cloud Nine:  Memoirs of a Record Producer,” it should prove to be a fascinating read.  Perry was the go-to guy in the ‘70’s and put together a track record of hits unmatched, working with everybody from Carly Simon (“You’re So Vain”), Harry Nilsson (both “Schmilsson” albums), Ringo Starr (the biggest album of his career, spawning the #1 Hits “Photograph” and “You’re 16”), Burton Cummings’ first solo album (and its Top Five single “Stand Tall”), The Pointer Sisters (“I’m So Excited,” “He’s So Shy” and “Slow Hand”), Leo Sayer’s #1 Hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and its follow-up, “When I Need You,” Art Garfunkel’s “Breakaway” album (one of my favorite albums of all time) as well as works by Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and many more.  (How diverse was his breadth of work?  Everything from Captain Beefheart (his first LP production credit) to Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Thru The Tulips” to Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson’s smash hit “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before.”  The guy was nothing short of a genius!  (Ordering it RIGHT NOW!!!)  kk

Wolverton Mountain - "ORIGINAL" Merle Kilgore 


This Song Was A 1962 Hit For Claude King.

Here's The Story Behind The Hit, From The Guy Who Wrote It.


Frank B.

This is a GREAT clip!

“Wolverton Mountain” became a #1 Country Hit and a #4 Pop Hit for Claude King in 1962.  It would be his only Top 40 Hit on the pop charts … and even spawned an answer song by Jo Ann Campbell called “(I’m The Girl On) Wolverton Mountain,” a #29 hit in its own right just a few months later!  King fared a little better on the country chart, scoring 18 more Top 40 Country Hits, five of which made The Top Ten.  (kk)

Hi Kent,  

In my music meanderings today, I ran across this description of the life of 50's & 60's music artist, Bob Luman.  Upon reading it, I thought it was a perfect description of so many music artists, be it of one from Chicago, Winnipeg, Liverpool or, in Bob Luman's case, Blackjack, Texas.

It's a classic American story. It almost sounds mythic, and it sure as hell would make a great movie. And nobody could have played the part better than Bob Luman.

Here's this dirt-poor kid from East Texas, born in 1937, and growing up in the boring, strait-laced days of the early 1950s. He's sleep-walking his way through high school, trying to decide between his two loves: baseball and music. He's too wired to do well in school. It's hard to sit still, and concentrating on American History and Practical Math is out of the question. Sometimes his thoughts take him to the baseball diamond. He's hitting for power or making the kind of catches you see on highlight reels, robbing someone else of a hit. Sometimes he thinks about performing on stage with his guitar, fronting his own band and sounding like Lefty Frizzell or Webb Pierce or whoever happens to be on the charts.

But somewhere deep down, at a level he can't even describe, the music isn't quite what he's looking for. Something is missing. The performing is OK; he loves to be up on stage working the audience. It's the music itself that isn't quite satisfying. But where else can he take it? What options are there for a teenage white boy in Texas around 1954? If not country music, then what? Surely not the horrible pop music that some adults listen to. That's not the kind of singer he is. And he's not black, which rules out the kind of music he sometimes hears late at night on stations like WLAC in Nashville. But, boy, there's something really appealing about those blues and R&B sounds he's been hearing more and more.

And then it happens like in some sort of Hollywood movie script. It's very sudden and almost from that moment there's no turning back. What Bob Luman doesn't know is that he's not the only one it's happening to. But none of that matters right at the moment. The point is that Luman is almost immediately a changed man. Suddenly he knows what he wants to do. Baseball will slip into the background and become something to do in his spare time. Music, this new kind of music, will define who he is and what he does.

His story will be told and embellished many times over the years, by press agents, music journalists, and by Bob, himself. The official version goes like this: Bobby Glynn Luman was born on April 15, 1937, in Blackjack, a small community near the east Texas town of Nacogdoches. He went to high school in Kilgore and learned to play guitar from his father, who was also proficient on fiddle and harmonica. J. C. 'Coot' Luman was, in the words of Bob's wife Barbara, “a real John Wayne type.” A tough uncompromising guy who nevertheless had a real soft spot for his son.

Bob was fronting a fairly traditional country band. In August, 1955, all of that changed. Elvis Presley, flush with the success of a few Sun Records, came through Texas. One story has it that Luman's girl saw or heard about the show first, reporting the events to Bob the next day. He wasn't sure what to make of her story, but he sensed that something was happening and he had to check it out. That evening they both went to see the strange looking young man with sideburns and swiveling hips. That was, to borrow a cliché, the first day of the rest of Bob Luman's life.

Take Care,

Tim Kiley

While Bob Luman’s name probably isn’t the first one that’ll pop into anybody’s head when talking about the big hits of the ‘50’s and early ‘60’s … (for that matter, it probably isn’t the 200th name either!) … he DID score a #4 Smash in the Fall of 1960 with “Let’s Think About Living.”  He never had another hit record climb above #90 on the charts … but that’s a pretty decent One Hit Wonder.  Thanks, Tim!  (kk)

MORE OF THE STORY:  I was curious why, after discovering Elvis Presley in 1955, Bob Luman didn’t have a hit record of his own until five years later … but in his book “The Billboard Book Of One Hit Wonders,” Wayne Jancik says that Luman began recording in 1955 and released a series of rockabilly discs that were “teenage dynamite,” yet never charted.  He singles out “Red Hot,” “Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache,” “Make Up Your Mind, Baby,” “Svengali,” “Class of ’59,” “My Baby Walks All Over Me” and “Dreamy Doll” as being amongst the best.

Luman singing “Let’s Think About Living,” telling the listener “Let’s forget about the lyin’ and the cryin’, the shootin’ and the dyin’ and the fellow with the switchblade knife” sounds like QUITE a departure from his earlier roots.  Jancik also says that Bob Luman charted 39 times on Billboard’s Country Chart and that five of those records became Top Ten Hits.  (One of those was a version of Jim Weatherly’s “Neither One Of Us,” which went to #7 in 1973.  Don’tcha just love it when all this stuff ties together?!?!)

Sadly, he died on December 27th, 1978 in Nashville at the very young age of only 41.


You said that FH caters to all different musical tastes of its readers, i.e. the Glenn Miller running side by side with Jimi Hendrix. Just as it was during the decade of the 1960's, etc., top 40 radio stations were playing a VARIETY of music on their stations, as you very well know.

Going back to the Batman readings of a few days ago, I remembered (do you?) the song that Lavern Baker put out in 1966, BATMAN TO THE RESCUE on Brunswick. It was sung as if she were singing JIM DANDY.


No, I was not familiar with the LaVern Baker “Batman” song … so I had to check it out and share it with the group.  (Not much chance of THIS one being a hit!!!  Lol)

I miss the days of variety radio, where you heard a little bit of everything … it really  broadened your musical horizons and gave you a better appreciation of ALL types of music.  Everything today is so compartmentalized!  (kk)

Congratulations to Dion, whose “Blues Comin’ On” has earned a Song Of The Year nomination in the Blues Foundations’ 42nd Annual Blues Music Awards.  It comes from his most recent album “Blues With Friends” (a good album!) and also features guitar whiz Joe Bonamassa.  Dion is still recording great music … and having a ball doing it!  Congratulations, man!  (kk)

From Tom Cuddy …

A life behind drums: Hal Blaine, the most recorded studio percussionist in history

Hal Blaine was, without question, one of the best known and most versatile drummers in pop music history … this guy played on HUNDREDS of hit records by hundreds of artists … a true gem and master of his field.

And yes, we’re still working on editing down our Phil Spector Series from several years ago.  (If I had to guess, I’d say that I’m about 60% done … so still a ways to go!)  Regardless, we’ll let you know as soon as it’s finished and how and where you’ll be able to find it.  Trust me … it’ll be well worth the wait.  Steve Knuettel did an INCREDIBLE job of putting this thing together … and you’ll hear some music you’ve never heard before … including the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to Phil Spector Productions.  Stay tuned for more details.  (kk)

I was talking with Billy J. Kramer the other day and he told me that, before the pandemic hit, he had been working on a brand new album in Nashville with Producer Tom Hambridge, who produces Buddy Guy.  Unfortunately, they only got about half of it done … but once things open up again, they’ll get back to the studio to finish things up … so hopefully that’ll be a nice surprise before the year is up.  (kk)

And, speaking of new albums …

Several months ago we told you that when Dennis DeYoung recorded his new album “26 East, Volume 1,” produced by our buddy Jim Peterik, they actually recorded enough tracks for TWO albums.  (Hence the title)

Well Dennis talks about this ... and a WHOLE lot more … in this great new interview with Ryan Reed and Ultimate Classic Rock …

And Beach Boys completists may be interested in these new Japanese reissues coming out with (we’re told) INCREDIBLE sound …

More from Clark Besch …



He's an 80 year old Superstar who has a new single and video out!  It has sitar start to end as the main instrument!  The song itself, a bit bizarre, but "TOO BAD!"

Tom Jones back in action!

Official video:

Live as I saw him on BBC's Graham Norton Show last night:

He does a great job with it live and, after singing the song, he explains WHY he chose this song.  It's actually a 60's song by folk singer Malvina Reynolds.  She was in her 60's when she appeared on Pete Seeger's "Rainbow Quest" (airing originally in 1965-6 on a UHF TV station in NYC) to sing her original version of the new Tom Jones song.  To say it lightly, she began her song writing career VERY late in life.  That song was about how people back in the 60's thought singers should "be this way" or "that way" and conform to other's thoughts when being a song performer/writer.  That is much of what the "Rainbow Quest" series was like.  If you haven't seen any of these shows, you should watch some.  There are several on youtube including Donovan, but also OLD singers as well as young with show host Pete Seeger and guests just sitting around a table playing and singing and discussing their music, informally.  I'm not sure if Dylan's episode is on youtube, but it is awesome.  TODAY, I would say it would be similar to a Ken Burns PBS special, almost.

BTW, Malvina is the writer of Pete's signature "Little Boxes," the Seekers' "Morningtown Ride," and the Searchers' "What Have They Done To The Rain"!!!  Later, she wrote songs for "Sesame Street."


Most people in the US have seen a One-a-Day vitamin commercial with a song that seems fairly unfamiliar to many -- including me.  I'm actually embarrassed to find what and where this came from.  I should have known! 

People in the UK would know it because it reached #2 there in 1968.  The song was from the musical "HAIR"!!!  All of those hits from that show and THIS one escaped me until the TV commercial!  I actually thought it might be sung by Mike Kennedy of Los Bravos when I heard it -- not a WOMAN!  How stupid.  I had to find out what this was.

It fits well with Black History month, as well.  The song is another "Hair" medley titled "Ain't Got No, I Got Life" by Nina Simone!  The song is fascinating because she put two songs in different parts of the musical into a song that fits her feelings, first of deprivation and then privilege.  The 45 was on RCA -- the same label as the soundtrack hit LP -- and released in 1968.  At Christmas time in the UK, this racial song was in the UK Top 5 with silly "Lily the Pink" and "I'm the Urban Spaceman" as well as the old Clint Eastwood western theme "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly."  How amazing! 

Here in the US, Nina's "Hair" hit would be the first chart 45 from this gigantic musical, but reach only #94.  I guess it was ahead of its time!  Anyway, fascinating to hear her sing the tune live below.  The commercial part starts at 2:16 when the medley changes tempo and moves from "Ain't Got No" into "I Got Life."

NOW, hoping you all will get your shots.  I signed up, but with no underlying problems and being only 64, all I could do was quote Jim and tell them "If 6 was 9."

It didn't work.  :)


There are parts of Sir Tom’s new video where he looks like Eric Burdon!  (And, now that I’ve said that, there are some vocal similarities, too, that I’ve never noticed before!)  Still, a pretty cool song, I think.  After just a couple of listens, it’s already sticking with me.  (Honestly, I think he sings it better live!  Should have gone for that extra take!) 

I’ve never seen the “One A Day” commercial … so I can’t really comment on that one … not one of the most memorable moments from the “Hair” soundtrack … but still extremely cool that it worked out this way!  (kk)

We’ve got another success story to report today …

>>>I came across an old blog post about The Evolution Of Rock on your site ,as I've been wanting to get my hands on the documentary that I first heard as a high schooler in the late 70's.  Realizing these posts are nearly ten years old, do you know how I could get a hold of Warren Cosford, or Dave Strock or others that might have the show in their collection?  Or point me to someone who might collect such shows?  Thank you.  (Don Buettner / 40-year broadcasting veteran)

Hi Don -

I'm assuming that by now you are well on your way into enjoying and rediscovering the Evolution of Rock series ...

Kudos to Forgotten Hits (and reader David Lewis) who had a copy on its way to you in less than 24 hours after reading our "Helping Out Our Readers" post!

He sent ME a copy, too, and I've been slowly making my way thru it on my way back and forth to work in the morning.

Yes, it's dated ... yes, there is a fair amount of bad information ... yes, some of the songs used are not even the original versions ... but one has to remember that in the late '70's when this program was first developed, nothing quite like it had ever been done before.  It's not like today where you can just go online and download pristine copies of every song.  They had to use whatever they could get their hands on, which meant tracking down actual physical copies of the records and then recording those records (no matter WHAT shape they were in ... you'll hear hiss and skips in the final product!!!  No WAY would that EVER fly in today's world!) into the final broadcast around their commentary.

Still, it's a picture of history, captured as life as we knew it, circa the late '70's.

Many thanks to David Lewis ... and the Forgotten Hits Team, who have helped us keep our track record of Helping Out Our Readers up there in the 90% success range.  I say it again ... there is really no one else out there quite like us ... and it's that on-going, combination effort that makes it happen.  So while I didn't necessarily receive a Thank You from you for helping to fulfill your request, I am passing along OUR thanks to Forgotten Hits Nation ... and singing their praises once again.  It is that COLLECTIVE “US” that makes it all happen … and Forgotten Hits would be nothing without each and every one of you.  (kk)