One of the biggest (and most pleasant) surprises of 1971 had to be the completely unexpected release of Carole King’s landmark “Tapestry” album.
Harvey Kubernik (who penned the liner notes for the special re-release version of this great CD) has put together a very interesting retrospective of not only Carole’s album but also many of the players who were “instrumental” in pulling the whole thing together.
If you’re a fan of this LP (and who isn’t), I think you’ll find Harvey’s piece (currently running in Music Connection) very interesting …
01. Ben E. King
02. Mary Wells
03. The Spinners
04. The Marvelettes
05. Chubby Checker
06. Carole King
07. Diana Ross
08. Tina Turner
09. Phil Collins
10. Joe Cocker
11. Willie Nelson
12. Dionne Warwick
13. Harry Belafonte
14. Judy Collins
15. Mariah Carey
16. Jethro Tull
17. King Crimson
18. The Commodores
19. The Monkees
20. The B-52’s
>>>A Boston radio station began playing RUBY, DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN as an album track while BUT YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU was still on the charts. To avoid confusion, the record label decided to issue it as a single under the new moniker KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION in an effort to avoid competing with themselves on the charts! (kk)
While there may be some small kernel of truth in the above statement, according to Ken Kragen, who was Rogers' manager, the label was trying out different lead vocalists within the group with each new release. They noticed that the songs sung by Rogers were always more popular with crowds at live shows and generated more airplay from radio. It was for that reason that they decided to force the name change to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, even against Roger's wishes.
As I stated in the beginning, I'm not totally discounting your story. I'm sure that if you could actually talk with all of the players today, you'd probably get a slightly different story about it from each of them.
Thanks for the very informative pages.
Former Air Personality
KNIX – Phoenix
According to Kenny Rogers, in his EXCELLENT autobiography (or as HE called it, “A Memoir”) “Luck Or Something Like It,” here’s how he remembers the circumstances regarding his name being pulled out front of the band’s name …
It seems that First Edition band member Mike Settle had written a song called “Once Again She’s All Alone” that the band had planned to release as their next single … the FOLLOW-UP to “But You Know I Love You,” also written by Settle.
According to Kenny, it was after this song was released and was starting to get some airplay and climbing the charts that he discovered the tune “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town,” thanks to a recording that Roger Miller made of the song.
Rogers approached the band’s new producer, Jimmy Bowen if he could record the song. Bowen told Kenny, “Because of the depressing lyrics, you will never get that song played on the radio” … to which Kenny replied, “Yeah, but if we do, it could be huge.” They nailed it in twenty minutes.
While “Once Again She’s All Alone” was starting to make some headway on the country charts, pop, rock and underground radio stations had picked up on “Ruby,” thanks to its mention of “this crazy Asian war.” (At the time, The War in Viet Nam was in full swing … and finding more and more detractors here stateside. In truth, the song, written by country star Mel Tillis, was actually written about the KOREAN War … but that didn’t matter … it clicked with the audience and was soon getting more airplay than the intended next single.)
In Kenny’s own words, “The record company started to get excited. We went from no airplay to two records on the air at the same time. Whenever a situation like this arises, there comes a point where one record has to be sacrificed for the sake of promoting a potentially bigger record. No station is going to play two songs at the same time by the same artist … unless, of course, you have someone around who thinks outside the box … and that was Jimmy Bowen. Jimmy came up with the idea of putting my name in front of the group on ‘Ruby” so as to separate the records from each other. ‘Once Again’ was by The First Edition. The label for ‘Ruby’ would now read Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.” While Kenny acknowledges that having his name out front was “not something I fought for or particularly wanted,” it stuck … and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” became a #2 smash. “Once Again She’s All Alone” was never heard from again.
Now in all honesty, I don’t know how much momentum “Once Again” had really built up to this point … it bubbled under in Billboard for exactly one week, peaking at #126 … and never charted at all on their Country Chart … so I think it’s safe to say that Kenny may have embellished this story just a little bit. Still, there’s no denying the huge hit that “Ruby” became … although it never really made it to #2 either, peaking instead at #6 on the pop chart and #39 on the country chart.
The versatility of this band (starting with a song that was PURE psychedelia, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” … and then moving into country and pop, with their heaviest roots in country music, was really quite remarkable.
If you read our online piece (now posted permanently here: http://forgottenhits.com/kenny_rogers), you’ll learn that after original female vocalist Thelma Camacho decided to leave the band, Karen Carpenter was one of the girls who auditioned to replace her … but was turned down in favor of Mary Arnold … who just happened to be Camacho’s roommate! It’s a fascinating story. (kk)
Billboard Magazine looks at an interesting spin on Oscar Winning Music this past week, citing a number of films whose songs won Academy Awards used in movies that received no other nominations! (I never would have thought of this one!!! Lol)
A few examples:
“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
“Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile”
“You’ll Be In My Heart” from “Tarzan”
“I Just Called To Say I Love You” from “The Woman In Red”
“Last Dance” from “Thank God It’s Friday”
“You Light Up My Life” from “You Light Up My Life”
“The Shadow Of Your Smile” from “The Sandpiper”
“Call Me Irresponsible” from “Papa’s Delicate Situation”
“High Hopes” from “A Hole In The Head”
“All The Way” from “The Joker Is Wild”
“Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” from “The Man Who Knew Too Much”
“Mona Lisa” from “Captain Carey USA”
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from “Neptune’s Daughter”
And how about “Thanks For The Memory” from “The Big Broadcast Of 1938,” which starred W.C. Fields and a young Bob Hope. “Thanks For The Memory” would go on to serve as Hope’s “theme song” for the next sixty years! (kk)
Paul McCartney posted some very cool lyric videos on YouTube for all the tracks on his new “McCartney III” album … each a little bit different in style, but all quite clever.
You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDMVPuy1cqcnYciUyhGsZ-mD77e6nNfk4
We covered Jimmie's situation and operation in great detail in Forgotten Hits at the time, as it was happening, with full reports coming in from Jimmie's son, Michael.
Your facts are a little bit scrambled, but essentially correct. The operation wasn't to install a metal plate but rather to REMOVE one that had been there for forty years. When they went to do so, a newly formed skull was found underneath.
But perhaps they key to it all was, as you suggested, the power of prayer ... which went FAR beyond those of Sister Dolores Hart.
Check out this '60's FLASHBACK below for more details, as they happened, at the time ...
A greater outpouring of love, appreciation and prayer for an artist throughout the oldies community would be hard to imagine ... and to this day Michael Rodgers believes that it was the combination of this love and prayers from all of his Father's friends and fans that pulled him through this very critical time.
Here is a portion of Michael’s original email, explaining the circumstances, followed by his report immediately after his father’s surgery … simply amazing. (kk)
In 1967, when he was 33 years old, my
Father was injured in what is now known as a road rage incident. He suffered
severe head injuries and underwent three brain surgeries. During one of those surgeries,
he lost 28 square inches of his skull on the right side of his head. Since 1968,
he has carried what is considered to be the largest steel plate ever implanted
in someone's head.
It took Dad nearly 15 years to recover from the last surgery in 1968, as he had to learn to walk, speak and regain his motor skills. He was not supposed to live more than 10 years with this steel plate in his body, as the body continually tries to reject these kind of implants. Over the years as he has gotten older the skin on his scalp has gotten thinner and the remaining bone continually cuts his scalp. If left this way, this situation will eventually lead to his death.
Over the last 15 years he has had over 60 different skin graphs and other surgeries. The last such surgery was 18 months ago and it nearly killed him. He now has a hole in his head the size of a half dollar and it has been this way since February.
My Dad is tough. He is the definition of
the word. He has avoided what is about to take place and tried everything
imaginable to live with the constant pain and discomfort and he has now made a
decision that will define what will be the rest of his life. On Thursday, June
28, 2007, a team of Brain Surgeons in Hot Springs, Arkansas, will remove the
steel plate that he has carried with him for 39 years. They plan to remove the
outer layer of skin and lift the plate away from the position it has held
covering the outer layer of his brain. If successful, they will replace the
plate with a new material that has been developed that will recreate the skull
bone and will not be rejected by the body.
If this surgery works he will have the chance to live what is left of his life without pain. Dad has made the decision. The doctors feel confident that all will be fine and we are stepping out on faith that this is the right course of action.
*** Please pray for my Father that his
surgery and recovery will be successful and that his health will be completely
*** Please pray for the team of doctors and nurses that will be performing the surgery so that they might have guidance and wisdom during this time.
*** Please pray for our family that we might have strength and courage to face the days ahead in helping Dad with his recovery.
*** Please put my Father, Jimmie Rodgers, on your prayer lists at church or through an email request such as this one. (Feel free to copy and send). All of us are connected in this life in some way. I believe there is power in prayer and power in positive thought. I believe that together all of us, through prayer and positive energy and thinking, can help that to happen.
Thank you all for being a part of and playing a part (large or small) in my life.
Name: Jimmie Rodgers
Date of Surgery: June 28, 2007
My family and I thank you. And my Father thanks you and will be most appreciative to you for your thoughts and prayers.
As soon as a copy of this letter ran in Forgotten Hits, we received a flood of prayers and well-wishes for Jimmie Rodgers. Several of the deejays on the list picked up the story and went on the air with it the very same day. (We got reports of over a dozen jocks covering Jimmie’s story, asking for prayers on the air, including this one from a FH Reader who just happened to hear Scott Shannon on The True Oldies Channel WHILE he was reading our post!)
What could be weirder than this:
As I started to read today’s post regarding Jimmie Rodgers, what should Scott Shannon be saying on the air but a plug for Forgotten Hits, mentioning the website and your email address, along with a quick review of the letter from Michael Rogers. And then he played Honeycomb. It just finished.
Go Kent and Scott!
Guy Arnston in Algonquin
Here is what Michael told us, just hours after his father's surgery ...
Miracles do happen and one happened this
morning. The surgery began this morning with a group prayer with the doctors
and family. About four minutes after beginning, the doctors pulled back the
scalp to reveal the plate. When they did that, the plate literally jumped up
away from his head. The doctors, five in all ... a Neuro Surgeon, two Plastic
Surgeons, two Stem Cell Specialists and the rest of the team ... began to clean
the plate and lift it away from the head. It released itself and came away
clean. On the video, we could hear the Neuro Surgeon say "Oh my God, look
at that. How did that get there?"
Under the plate was revealed a complete and intact skull bone where three months ago there was none. The entire hole in the bone which was an eight inch by six inch oval had grown completely closed with a new skull bone which was smooth and shaped to match the existing skull. It was perfect in every way and was the same thickness as the other bone.
The doctors said that in 35 years of surgery they had never seen anything like it. They did not need to recreate a new skull bone at all. Dad was completely healed and made whole again after 40 years.
The stem cell doctors sprayed a stem paste made from Dad's blood over the skull bone and onto the skin flap and the Plastic Surgeons closed him up. The stem paste will keep him from swelling and will encourage skin growth onto the bone. The entire procedure took about 28 minutes and after one hour in recovery, Dad walked out of the room on his own, much to the anger and dismay of the nursing staff. He is coming home tomorrow.
And then this ...
He spent one night in the hospital and was
When we left the hospital yesterday, he was hungry, so we went to a nearby Olive Garden restaurant for lunch. You should have seen everyone's face when Dad walked in with this turban bandage on his head. It was very funny.
As of this morning, June 30, 2007, he went bass fishing and, when I spoke to him about an hour ago, he had landed two.
My Father and our family want to personally thank everyone who has sent emails and well wishes from around the world. Your prayers and positive thoughts were heard and all of our lives have been changed in such an amazing way. We cannot thank you enough.
So if anyone asks you how Jimmie Rodgers is doing, please tell them that he is completely healed and is in perfect health.
God bless you all and thank you again so very much.
Michael also told us that, thanks to a blitz of publicity surrounding his father's upcoming surgery ...
Within a 48 hour period I received emails
from Honduras, Germany, South Africa, England, France, Denmark, Sweden, the
Philippines and Italy. As well as from nearly every state in the union,
including North Pole, Alaska.
Dad was placed on the Australian Prayer Network which reaches over 10,000 prayer partners worldwide. He was also placed in dozens of prayer chains throughout the US and abroad and prayer groups were held the morning of the surgery while it was in progress. Also, I received word that 14 Catholic Churches around the country held a special mass for Dad the morning of the surgery.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Like a said, a FEW more folks than Sister Dolores Hart were praying for Jimmie!!! lol -kk]
On XM Satelitte Radio, a DJ named "Matt the Cat," who hosts the 50's
on 5 show, paid tribute to Dad the night before the surgery. Dad called in to
thank him and Matt said "Jimmie, we are going to make you a miracle"
and then he played Dad's record of the same name. It was very touching and Dad
teared up a little on that one.
Also on XM Radio, the Rollye James Show had a tribute program for Dad as well and fans from all over the country called in and said that they were praying for him. This is just an example of the response one email request for prayer can receive when sent to such a limited group of people.
I firmly believe that Dad was healed and given a new skull bone because of the faith of Dad, our family, and so many people throughout the world. Please never forget that prayer works. Prayer is powerful. God is Great!
Please forward this letter to everyone that you might have sent the prayer request to so that they may know the outcome as well.
It was an amazing day.
Prayer is so powerful.
Much Love to you all,
The "Oldies Community" really jumped on the bandwagon on
this one ... our sincere thanks to EVERYONE on the list who said a prayer or
helped us put the word out to other music fans out there regarding Jimmie's
recent battle. (Boy, it SURE is nice to get GOOD news once in a while, isn't
it?!?!?) To all the jocks who went out on the air with this ... to EVERY fan
who whispered something to The Big Guy Upstairs ... sincere thanks from Jimmie
and his family. In a world filled with so much BAD news, this truly is an
Thanks so much for sharing it with our group, Michael ... many of whom are amongst your Father's biggest, concerned, and loving fans. (kk)
Two years later, we couldn't help but wonder how Jimmie
was doing with his recovery ... so we spoke with his son Michael last week for
a follow-up report … and he told us:
So nice to hear from you.
Dad is doing great and enjoying life to the fullest. He is still busy with writing projects and playing golf most days. Currently he is on a road trip and is expected here in Nashville sometime next week. When I see him, I will tell him of your email and your request to speak with him.
Thanks again and please thank everyone with your group for the love and support that you have all shown my father.
If you want to listen to Wild Wane’s Jimmie Rodgers Tribute, it’s the second hour of the show.
WARNING: You'll have to listen to some DOO - WOP first.
If I do that, I’ll be asleep before the second hour even starts!!!
Just kidding … thanks for sending, Frank! (kk)
So sad to hear about the escalating of Tony Bennett's battle with Alzheimer's. The 94 year old pop star has been battling the disease for four years ... but he and his family come clean about its effects in this month's AARP Magazine.
More about this heartbreaking news here:
Your mention of some of the hits of James and Bobby Purify brought to mind the original "Let Love Come Between Us." It was released at the end of 1966 by a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, seven piece group calling themselves The Rubber Band. It was only a regional hit and one we played at the Florida radio station where I was working. It was actually in area charts at the same time as the Purify's "I'm Your Puppet," nine months before they covered it.
The song was written by Joe Sobotka
and John Wyker of The Rubber Band. On keyboards was Johnny Townsend. He would
later form the Sanford/Townsend Band with Eddie Sanford and score a national
top ten hit in 1977 with "Smoke From A Distant Fire" (recorded at
Back in the day, you wouldn't believe all of the cover versions of then current hits by unknown bands that radio stations received from record distributors. Very few of them ever made playlists. Some 45's came with the same song on both sides. I assume this was to prevent a deejay from flipping them over and not playing the preferred tune. The vinyl of some radio station only copies would come in colors like red or blue to make them stand out from others.
1966-67 was a magical time to be in
radio. It was always exciting to get the latest releases and play for the first
time the songs many of us now consider the sweet spot of popular rock music.
This one evidently got enough sales and airplay as a local hit to bubble under in both Record World and Cash Box for a couple of weeks at the end of 1966, peaking at #125 in the former and #130 in the latter. (kk)
Although Save Our Stages (SOS) successfully passed, theater owners are still waiting for their first relief check to show up. The hope is to have everyone who qualifies for funds to help keep their doors open during this incredibly difficult time will start to see some of this funding during the month of February. (A Billboard article published this week wonders if 2021 will also be written off as a “No Concerts” situation again as the country struggles to properly distribute and vaccinate everybody, all the while fighting a couple of new strands of stronger variations of the Corna Virus. Still rather bleak right now, despite some relaxing of restrictions as we move forward. (kk)
And now for something completely different …
(No, it’s not Monty Python … but it’s an unusual album nonetheless, featuring random “drop-ins” from Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Mike Bloomfield, Frank Zappa and Mitch Mitchell!)
Read on …
Beautiful People “If 60’s Were 90’s” Box Set
Featuring Sampled Guitar Riffs, Lead Vocals & Word Raps From Guitar God Jimi Hendrix (FIRST RELEASED IN 1993 )
The cleverly titled “If 60’s Were 90’s” by the band Beautiful People, is a truly unique and seminal record.
“Beautiful People are a bunch of movers and shakers from London's Acid House Scene, who have a highly developed fascination with the music of Jimi Hendrix, emphatically not a ‘Tribute’ band in the style of the Bootleg Beatles or the Australian Doors, Beautiful People have used sampling technology to virtually recruit Hendrix into the groups line up.” - David Sinclair, Billboard Magazine
Consisting of over fifty guitar riffs, vocal cut outs, out- take lead breaks, and word raps from guitar god Jimi Hendrix, “If 60’s Were 90’s” also features spoken steals from Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, 60’s blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield and a party called the “Milky Way Express” that included the one and only Frank Zappa. Like some Groovy Psychedelic time-machine cruising the Hendrixphere, Beautiful People pluck from over 30 different Hendrix recordings, writing nine new songs creating an... “Ambient Dance Dream Tribute” (Kris Needs, NME) … of … “Super Psychedelic Baggy Indie dance with Orb like overtones ...” (Ian McCan, VOX) creating a sound that arguably helped kick off the rock dance crossover phenomenon of the early 90’s, bringing guitars back into dance music while still retaining the psychedelic rock majesty of one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th Century.
It all began when Singer/ Guitarist turned Acid House promoter Duncan Elder AKA Du Kane teamed up with Keyboardist/Studio Tech Whizz Luke Baldry, and created a one-off Hendrix sampled house track that found its way to Eric Clapton. Eric initially wanted to release the track but on managerial advice generously passed it on to Alan Douglas, (who ironically had been looking for an “environment” for the sampling of Hendrix at that time.) Douglas gave the gig to Kane and Baldry, the boys decided to name the band after Kane’s Acid House promotion company “Beautiful People” a name inspired by and attributed to author Ken Kesey and his team of 60’s Merry Pranksters. The album was completed in July 1992 with live drums recorded by Robin Goodridge (later of BUSH fame) and first released in 1993 on Castle Communications Essential label with remixes by Killing Joke bassist and Legendary producer YOUTH (Pink Floyd, Verve, U2.) The album was generally well received even if the idea of it did freak out some purists, but it proved to be a grower. The New York Post called it “An inspired bit of Grave Digging.” In 1994 Beautiful People toured Europe supporting HAWKWIND then on the personal request of Noel Gallagher toured the UK on the OASIS “Definitely Maybe” tour.
After securing an American deal with Continuum records Beautiful People racked up a number #1 and number #3 in the US dance chart with “If 60’s Was 90’s,” and “Rilly Groovy” (the former with accompanied video featuring Jimi’s son James Sunquist, aka Jimi Hendrix Jnr,) “Rilly Groovy” which was also placed in the opening credits for the movie “P.C.U” (a Grunge Era National Lampoon’s Uni flick starring Jeremy Piven and David Spade), as well as “If 60’s Was 90’s” being added to the movie soundtrack of “Prefontaine” starring Jared Leto... With a huge American Tour booked and the single about to be released to the mainstream chart, everything was looking good when out of the blue their American Label Continuum went bankrupt ...everything halted and the album was frozen.
... And this Cult favorite was lost in a 90’s ethereal mist ...
That is... until now...Out on Gonzo MultiMedia in box set form, and for the first time on (Purple) Vinyl is the whole remastered album, a triple CD selection of the best remixes by YOUTH, PM DAWN, Ben Mitchell, and Astralasia amongst others, a remastered CD of the album, also a DVD of all the bands Live TV performances, music videos, an interview with Alan Douglas, as well as a scrapbook coffee table book put together by Ian Brown and Fall. Producer Mike Bennett, with Du Kane telling the whole story with pictures and testimonials from members of the Darkness, Happy Mondays, The Fall, Sub Sub, Wishbone Ash, Sisters of Mercy, Oasis, Spiritulised, Steve Etherington, BUSH, Primal Scream, blues guitarist Will Johns, Fuzz Box, The Dust Junkys, and Hendrix photographer Karl Ferris commenting on how much influence “If 60’s Were 90’s” had on them personally, and on the music that followed, proving that Jimi Hendrix was still showing the way to another generation twenty five years after his tragic passing, and still inspiring future generations.
“It’s an album to dream to ... or just play spot the lick ... and the closing ‘The Sea’ ... Eventually incredibly combines the beautiful intro of ‘Hey Baby’ with those stoned vocals of Electric Ladyland. It’s as if Jimi just got up and walked into the studio yesterday.” - Record Collector
“Listening to this album it is obvious it was made with the utmost respect ... in fact somewhere or other Jimi is probably smiling” - Guitarist magazine
“Mixing previously unheard slabs of Hendrix into an Ethereal Post Rave haze will appeal to psychedelic warlords of all ages” - Melody Maker
“Sounds like the ghost of Jimbo is its executive producer”- SELECT MAGAZINE
“The fact that Jimi’s 60’s freakouts are still lightyears ahead of what passes for rock in the 90’s is not wasted on this group ... An ambient dance dream tribute” – NME
“You get the sense Beautiful People do actually know and love Hendrix’s music ... it’s a great record both cheeky and elegant” - TIME OUT
“Loved if 60’s Were 90’s a hidden Gem...and a welcome relief from Brit Pop” - Billy Duffy (Guitarist - The Cult, Dead Men Walking)
“One of my favorite bands of the 90’s. It’s great to hear If 60’s Were 90’s is out again... Historic!” - Kenney Jones (Drummer - Small Faces, The Faces, The Who and Jones Gang)
“A right Royal Hendrix Groovathon!” - Toby Toman (Drummer - Primal Scream, Nico)
“Beautiful People were massive in Manchester...It was Perfect as purist Hendrix fans loved it and another generation in the indie scene lapped it up too... and not a duff track on it!” - Nicky Tunes (Dust Junkys and collaborator with the Fun Lovin Criminals)
“I played all the Live drums on this Jimi inspired dance /rock crossover record... I gave a copy to Gavin Rossdale and he was so impressed he called me early the next morning about doing an audition for BUSH!” - Robin Goodridge (Drummer - Beautiful People, Spear Of Destiny, BUSH, Ellis)
“When I first heard the ‘Beautiful People - If 60’s was 90’s’ album,
I was Blown Away with how they respectfully fused Jimi Hendrix’s music with their modern Electronic Beat and played along perfectly with him as if he was there in the group! And therefore, I absolutely know that he would have loved it and would have wanted to Jam with them ...” - Karl Ferris (Photographer & Designer of “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” 1967-1968 US Album Covers:“Are You Experienced?” and “Electric Ladyland”)
“Wow when of my favorite remixes, I remember hearing it as the closing track on a beach on a 20k rig with 2000 freaks going crazy just after dawn, dolphins were flippin, naked beautiful people in the waterfall ... Certainly one of the best and most memorable experiences I’ve ever had ...” - Youth (Bassist for Killing Joke and Producer for Pink Floyd, The Verve, Paul McCartney and many more.)
To purchase: https://www.musicglue.com/beautiful-people/