Lots of talk about all of the overlooked artists by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame again ... just as there ALWAYS is every time the new batch of nominees is announced. At this point, even with a new regime in place, it is doubtful that we're going to be able to sway any of the ultra-secret nominating committee to take a moment to look BACK before looking forward to the next batch of "eligibles" each year and righting some of these wrongs that have existed for YEARS now.
When I talked with the people at The Rock Hall back in 2007, one point was made VERY clear to me once they learned that Connie Francis topped our Deserving And Denied List. (Keep in mind that during the late '50's and early '60's, Connie Francis matched Brenda Lee virtually hit for hit ... they were the absolute QUEENS of popular music during this era and still reign supreme whenever chart research for the early years of rock and roll is complied. In fact, Connie actually outperformed Brenda with 44 Top 40 National Hits to Brenda's 36. She also had 18 Top 10's to Brenda's 14 ... yet Brenda Lee was inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002 and Connie has never even been nominated.)
An inside source who we spoke to back in 2007 (but insisted on remaining anonymous) told me that most of their colleagues agreed that in hindsight, voting Brenda Lee into The Rock Hall was a big mistake ... that she didn't really belong ... and that committing another "wrong" to allow Connie Francis a spot only worsened the situation ... it didn't really solve anything ... but since they couldn't UN-induct anybody, they just had to let it lie as it was.
Now I will agree that Brenda Lee had the grittier, rock and roll voice between the two ... but these two have ALWAYS been considered "a matched set" ... and it's just wrong that Connie Francis ... and some of the other early rockers from this era ... Chubby Checker, Freddy Cannon, etc., not to mention acts like Paul Anka and Neil Sedaka and some of the other early pioneers ... are not in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... and have never even merited a spot on the ballot in the eyes of those in charge of these things. It's just wrong ... and soon folks will completely forget about this early era and what REALLY made it kick. (kk)
Noted Radio Program Director Tom Cuddy sent me this observation that HE received from Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon after these discussions started stirring up here again in Forgotten Hits ... and it breaks my heart to admit that he's absolutely right ... and worse, that there's nothing any of us can do about it ...
With all the Forgotten Hits conversation recently about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon wanted me to share with you why he, Chubby Checker and dozens others will never get in.
I SEE WHERE KENT KOTAL SAID CHUBBY CHECKER SHOULD
BE IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL. IT WON’T HAPPEN, BECAUSE WE KNOW IT’S POLITICS.
ALSO, TELL KENT THE OTHER REASON.
THIS IS IT ...
THERE’S DOZENS OF US THAT WILL NEVER BE ASKED BECAUSE OF THE ERA OUR MUSIC IS FROM.
YOU GOT ACTS THAT ARE NOT THOUGHT OF AS ROCK AND ROLL ACTS AND THEIR MUSIC ISN’T EITHER ...
LIKE FRANKIE AVALON, BOBBY RYDELL, FABIAN, BOBBY VEE, TOMMY ROE, JOHNNY TILLOTSON AND PAT BOONE.
THEY ARE CONSIDERED BY HOF BOARD MEMBERS AS ALL TOO CUTE ... BUBBLE GUM. WE ARE PUT IN THAT BUNCH.
- Tom Cuddy
There is NO doubt that there is some bias against some of these artists ...
But I'll tell you what ...
Put on a Freddy Cannon record ...
ANY Freddy Cannon record ...
And tell me that that's not rock and roll!!!
(And then try to find one by Leonard Cohen or Percy Sledge or Joan Baez or Bonnie Raitt or NWA or this year's nominee Dionne Warwick and convince me that it IS.) kk
A brand new Tina Turner documentary is in the works … Tina, of course, is one of the brand new nominees on this year's ballot for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. (This time around, it's as a SOLO artist ... Tina was previously inducted as part of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.)
Look, too, for a brand new film about Elvis (a Warner Brothers production), currently shooting in Australia and starring Austin Butler as Elvis, Tom Hanks and Colonel Tom Parker and Olivia De Jonge as Priscilla Presley. And watch for TWO new Aretha Franklin profiles, one of which stars Jennifer Hudson as The Queen Of Soul.
As such, I am happy to report that our Golden Age of Rock And Roll is alive and well. (As the cartoon below would indicate, it's the best music EVER!!!) kk
Hey, Kent ...
Sam's got a good point there!
Oldies Music Power
I was surprised to see your work on Satchel Paige and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. There are a number of books and articles highlighting his life and I was wondering which ones you used for reference.
Also, if still possible, may I have a revised copy of the Top 3333 list?
Keep up the good work!
Hey Jerry! Coming from a former Major League Pitcher, that is high praise indeed!
As you said, a number of books have been written about Satchel over the years … including TWO biographies by Satchel himself! (The problem with Satchel’s autobiographies is that he told several of the same stories differently in each book. He seemed to have a real proficiency for keeping some shroud of mystery around his life’s details so it is believe that many of these variances were well-planned and thought out prior to him sharing them publicly.)
You’ll also find all kinds of articles and career statistics online …
But the one I found to be the most helpful and accurate was the book written by Larry Tye, published in 2010.
Tye really did his homework and research thoroughly, citing literally THOUSANDS of sources … in fact, at the back of the book you’ll find something like 75 PAGES worth of references (in VERY small type, I might add!) of the various sources he consulted in putting his biography together.
I also liked the fact that he quoted actual news reports published in the sports pages of newspapers like The Chicago Defender who were touting Paige’s exploits AT THE TIME, as they were occurring, thus reporting them as the current news of the day. This method helps to debunk some of the most outrageous myths out there … although I will also acknowledge the fact that Satchel’s career was SO extraordinary, that you shouldn't really discount ANYTHING you hear about him until you’ve checked three or four other sources … because, incredible as many of these tales may seem, a LOT of this legend is true!
The “Satchel Paige Highlight Reel” is fascinating … but this book offers up SO much more in the way of behind the scenes stories, quotes and newspaper clippings … and, along the way, paints the picture of what it was like to be Black in America during the first half of this past century. It was not a pretty picture … and Tye’s book delves into all of the tribulations a Black Man had to endure at the time … while also allowing for the love and admiration of the TRUE baseball fan, regardless of color, who had the utmost respect for Paige’s abilities.
I’ve been an admirer for some time … and this 50th Anniversary Tribute of his being named to Baseball's Hall Of Fame allowed me to deviate a little bit from my normal musical fanfare. It was a fun and VERY interesting piece to write. (I probably came back and tweaked it at least two dozens times over the course of the last year prior to publishing it last week!) kk
Oh … and as for the revised list of THE TOP 3333 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS OF ALL TIME List, we are sending brand new copies out to anyone who requests one … we have corrected a number of errors and omissions … so just drop us a line and we’ll shoot you off a brand new copy. Jerry, yours will be on its way shortly. (I'm trying to gang these sends together to minimize the number of emails going out, rather than sending them in onesies and twosies!) kk
Please send me the revised copy of the Top 3333 List. Also, didn't you say at one point that you would send out the complete list of all songs that got votes? I am curious how close some of the songs that I voted for were to making the Top 3333.
Unfortunately, that OTHER list is so far back on the back burner right now that I can’t even begin to guess when I’ll get to it. I’ve still got half a dozen things to wrap up from last year … not to mention NEW projects that are popping up every single day. (And then I go and do something dumb like decide to republish Steve Knuettel’s Phil Spector Series … this is about 250 pages of editing to be done … and the deeper I dig into it, the more things I want to fix … like moving the comments into the chapters that first inspired them (instead of running 50 pages of comments at the end of the series like we did when we first ran i!)
This particular piece drew the most response of ANY piece we have ever done … or, if not, it was at least in The Top Three in this regard. Plus, if we’re going to do all of that, we might as well weed out some of the extra comments about little “fixes” that needed to be made along the way and simply FIX them once and for all instead, rather than bore the new readers with all the details. All VERY time consuming at a time when I have VERY little time to spare. (On the plus side ... ??? ... between the pandemic and what very well may be FOUR FEET OF SNOW on the ground by the end of the day today, we're spending much more time inside these days!)
We may get to it eventually, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. (It might end up being the kind of thing where I’ll just surprise you one day and send it to you, rather than posting it here and drumming up all kinds of questions and controversy again as to the woulda coulda shoulda’s that surrounded the original series. I'm not so sure I really want to endure all of that again!) Or, if there are SPECIFIC titles you’re interested in, send me a list of THOSE titles and I’ll see if I can give you some insight. I can tell you in advance, however, that some of the more obscure titles only received the one vote cast by the person who nominated them … so they were never going to make the list anyway!!! Many of the bottom 1500 ranked songs only earned single-digit votes. (kk)
Another look back at the music of 1967 ...
And, speaking of 1967 ...
I always liked "The Cat In The Window," written by the same team that gave us "Happy Together." (In fact, The Turtles also recorded a version. It's AWFUL!!!)
For some reason, I always thought this would have been a good song for Olivia Newton-John to take a crack at ... I can hear her voice singing it and think she would have done a great job. (Something about that breathy vocal ... and those opening notes have always reminded me of Olivia's early vocal style.) kk
I just found this video on Randy Bachman's website and wanted to send it on.
Sometimes when you hear a hit song in a different setting and context, it takes on a whole different feel.
Give a listen to 600 exuberant Canadians at the Burton Cummings Theater in Winnipeg singing "These Eyes." Somehow a song written by two guys sitting at an upright piano on a Saturday morning sounds brand new some over 50 years later.
FH Reader Tom Cuddy sends in this update from one of the ‘80’s guilty pleasures …
Air Supply on why they got no love from MTV and Rolling Stone:
'We were never cool. We're still not cool.'
Just wanted to let you know that FH is my first “go to” in the morning.
Thanks for all your hard work!!
Thanks, Jay … much appreciated. (kk)
Just for fun …
Remember this one from a couple of years ago???
A couple more smiles from Chuck Buell ...
CB ( which stands for "Colada Boy!" )
That is the perspective I have had for a year now.
When do you think we will get up off the floor?
Right now they’re predicting that the earliest that this could happen would be this fall - expect lots more postponements till then.
(Honestly I’m not ready to risk it - are you???) kk
I just had the first vaccine and will take my parents for their booster next week. Latest findings say that if you are exposed to covid, two weeks or later, following second injection … you are protected for at least three months duration and need not quarantine. That sent me a WHAAAT?? ONLY THREE MONTHS?? Reaction, but continuing to read on (always a good idea) I see that is because they only have research going that far into the vaccine duration. If it proves that this is the length of the protection, we would be getting vaccines three times a year.
I have accepted that a yearly flu and covid shot is on my horizon. THAT is something I can deal with in order to increase quality of life.
I heard more about that this past weekend, too ... and I'm also hearing that a LOT of people are getting very sick after the second vaccination (but typically only for a day or two ... because they're actually GIVING you a small degree of Covid so that the antibodies can start to work to combat it.)
That's not something I'm especially looking forward to ...
But neither is dying. (kk)