Did you watch the Murray The K program on PBS the other night?
I’d have to say it lived up to all the hype … wall to wall music from start to finish with some of the biggest names in the recording business at the time.
And not a dud in the bunch … EVERY song was performed to perfection in any variety of settings.
Highlights for me had to be Little Anthony and the Imperials … who KNEW he could move around like that?!?! His performance challenged some of the best I’ve seen by James Brown and Jackie Wilson!!!
And how about The Righteous Brothers?!?!? Fricking AMAZING!!!
A LIVE performance of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” … which is NOT one of my favorite songs to begin with … but man, they sang the SHIT out of this song!!!
Every act is worth seeing …
Watch your local listings for repeat airings … definitely something you’ll want to check out if you missed. (And you can OWN a copy of the DVD for a $60 donation!) kk
I recorded the Murray the K Special from Saturday and watched it yesterday. It features many great shots. The restoration process makes some of the footage seem like it was recently shot. I enjoyed the live performance by the Righteous Brothers and all of the early forms of music videos. I don't believe they would let a music group shoot video in a factory today while they are putting together cars like they did for Martha and the Vandellas! I will have to ask my wife for an allowance so that I can buy the dvd!
You can pick it up for $60 bucks … and still do a good thing by donating to PBS in the process. (Of course this also means that they will continue to hound you for more money two or three times a week till forever after … but sometimes, you just gotta have it!!!)
It really was quite remarkable the caliber of the artists who took part on this program … ALL top notch performers at the top of their game. (kk)
Do you remember Murray The K singing "THE LONE TWISTER?"
No, not familiar with that one … probably more of a New York thing … kinda like Dick Biondi recording “On Top Of A Pizza” here in Chicago in the early ‘60’s.
But I will say this …
I have MUCH more respect for Murray The K after seeing this 1965 broadcast.
Much of my previous opinion was jaded because of the way he latched on to The Beatles when they first hit New York City … but this guy was one cool cat WAY before The Beatles ever came over to our shores.
And he was every bit as entertaining as the acts he was presenting on stage.
Murray The K was the real deal … and his shows lit up the East Coast Music Scene on a regular basis … back in the day of package shows featuring a dozen headliners on the same bill, each coming out and singing three or four songs. (It was The Happy Together Tour thirty years before there WAS such a thing as The Happy Together Tour!!! Lol)
Frank sent in THIS clip of an old Murray The K promotion …
He didn’t just put on shows at Brooklyn’s Fox Theater (although that seemed to be his “home base” for a lot of them.)
Check out the artists performing on THIS bill!!! (kk)
We heard from a number of readers who said "It's What's Happening, Baby" wasn't airing in their area of the country.
The original intent was for this program to air at 7 pm in ALL time zones last Saturday Night ...
But in some case, other previously scheduled programming forced this program to be moved to another time slot ... and in that respect, we've heard everything from 10:30 pm to Midnight to 2 am!!!
So again, please check your local listings (or go online to your local PBS Website) to confirm the rebroadcasting times for this program ... as I think you'll really want to check it out! (kk)
Cleveland Rocker Michael Stanley passed away on Friday. His hit “He Can’t Love You” was ALL over the radio back in 1980 … yet rarely gets played anymore these days. (Although I bet it will be for the next few weeks!)
It’s a GREAT rock song with an mega-hook chorus that just reels you in … and it finished at #1439 in our official list of The Top 3333 Most Essential Classic Rock Songs Of All Time.
We actually came across Michael again while doing our research for this countdown. He was working at a radio station in Cleveland as a disc jockey! … and still making limited appearances on the concert scene, too. (Stanley actually hosted afternoons on WNCX for thirty years after his rock career faded.)
Michael wrote a farewell letter to his fans just days before he died peacefully of lung cancer, something he had been battling for the past seven months.
Stanley’s death may not have come as a big surprise to his regular listeners. He remained on-air up until last week, when the station noted, “Michael is dealing with serious health issues that prevent him from joining you in his 3-7pm time slot. It has been important to him to be on air up until recently, because you, his fans, mean that much to him. Please keep Michael in your thoughts and prayers, and if you wish to send positive vibes out to Michael, please do so below.”
In his farewell letter to his fans, Michael wrote: “If you’re reading this, then I am off to catch up with that big club tour in the sky. But before the bus pulls out, I wanted to thank all of you for being a part of my musical journey.” (kk)
It was sad to hear about the passing of Michael Stanley.
The Michael Stanley Band was always popular here in the midwest. Songs like He
Can't Love You, My Town, Heartland and Lover are still popular requests.
Phil - WRCO
>>>Debuting at #76 is a song by The Bells called "Stay Awhile." This is one of those tunes that you either loved it or you hated it ... absolutely no middle ground on this one. I loved it. (In fact, I remember taking the "L" downtown with our instruments and then performing this song at The University Of Illinois Chicago Campus back in 1971with Brad Gould and Carl DeStefano, where I performed the male lead and Carl did the female part in a beautiful falsetto that had the whole audience laughing!) kk
I was 11, and so was "creeped-out" by it ... but I figured LOTS of college guys would try to pull THAT off!
- Bob Frable
My coworker Tom McBrien confided that hearing this song makes him quiver! (kk)
>>>I wonder what song was on THAT radio?! (Chuck Buell)
Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde, of course.
Classic Rock Icons BADFINGER Release Full-Length Album Of Collabs Featuring Veteran Stars Of Rock, Blues & Pop!
Includes performances by Matthew Sweet, Todd Rundgren, Rick Wakeman, The Legendary Pink Dots, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, Rick Springfield, Sonny Landreth and more!
You’ve grooved to Matthew Sweet’s “Baby Blue,” played air piano along with Rick Wakeman on “Come And Get It,” and swooned hearing Rick Springfield’s voice on “Love Is Gonna Come At Last” - but now the wait is finally over as the full-length collaboration between Joey Molland’s Badfinger and a stellar line-up of special guest superstars is finally released! No Matter What - Revisiting The Hits gathers an immense amount of talent on one album - in addition to the aforementioned, guests include Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, blues legend Sonny Landreth, eclectic art rockers The Legendary Pink Dots and many more - who offer their unique twists on some of Badfinger’s biggest, most era-defining hits from the Paul McCartney-penned “Come And Get It” to “Day After Day,” to the monster ballad “Without You.” The latter was originally released by Badfinger in 1970 but became a global phenomenon when Harry Nilsson recorded a version in 1971, and then it conquered the airwaves again in 1994 courtesy of Mariah Carey’s bombastic version, and now Rock Hall Of Fame nominee and producer/songwriter/guitarist extraordinaire Todd Rundgren offers a passionate rendering of the song that is by itself worth the price of admission to this great collection.
No Matter What - Revisiting The Hits will be available on both digipak CD and in superb-looking tri-color (red, white & blue) vinyl!
Order the album: https://orcd.co/badfinger_no_matter_what
1. No Matter What feat. Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge)
2. Come And Get It feat. Rick Wakeman
3. I Don’t Mind feat. Carl Giammarese (The Buckinghams)
4. Day After Day feat. Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Terry Reid & Manchester String Quartet
5. Love Is Gonna Come At Last feat. Rick Springfield
6. Baby Blue feat. Matthew Sweet
7. Midnight Caller feat. The Legendary Pink Dots
8. Suitcase feat. Sonny Landreth
9. Sweet Tuesday Morning feat. Albert Lee
10. Without You feat. Todd Rundgren
And let’s not forget Chicago’s very own Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams!!!
I’ve always been a HUGE Badfinger fan … so I’m anxious to hear these “reimagined” versions of some of my favorites. Ordering information is above. (kk)
And, speaking of The Buckinghams, I got these two emails back to back the other day …
Please let us readers know if you've heard about any future touring dates for Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams. They were the first band I saw in 1968. My band Geneva Convention opened up for them at Majestic Hills in Lake Geneva. Thank you,
Funky Ron drummer
I don’t think ANYBODY is touring right now … not yet anyway.
Right now the most current information seems to be up on Dennis’ Facebook Page … and he does have a few things lined up but not until later this fall.
Which embarrassing remake of the Buckinghams hits was so distressing to hear on Pandora?
Hope all is well,
I half-expected this email! (lol)
But not to worry … it wasn’t anything but you … but rather a VERY embarrassing remake of “Kind Of A Drag” that Dennis did.
It kept absolutely NONE of the flavor or feel of the original … in fact, it wasn’t even close. Definitely NOT the way The Buckinghams would want their music remembered, if you catch my drift.
When you put on a station that advertises itself as ‘60’s on 6 or The Dave Clark Five Channel or any OTHER radio format to promotes a very specific era of music, THAT is what the listener is expecting to hear … not some throw-away knock-off version that not only doesn’t measure up but also distorts the commercial aspect and impact of the original version.
One of the most profound things you ever told me … and I have never forgotten hit … we were sitting in the autograph section after one of The Buckinghams’ Christmas Shows WAY out on the south side several years ago … is that “a record is forever” … so much time and care is put into perfecting every single note to achieve the most ultimate sound result possible … because once you release it, you’re stuck with that recording forever. THAT’S the music a listener expects to hear when tuning into a “specialty station” like this … not some God-awful Herman’s Hermits record that doesn’t even have Peter Noone on it! (Even worse yet is The Mindbenders’ version of “A Groovy Kind Of Love” that they’re playing!)
Imagine somebody discovering this music for the first time and then hearing an infinitely inferior version of one of your biggest hits … it’s just wrong … and let’s face it, first impressions typically last forever.
Now I get it that an awful lot of artists record new versions of their hits … often to sell at concerts … sometimes to reimagine this material … and, even in your case, to show how the music of The Buckinghams will be presented in concert, with you on lead vocals rather than Dennis Tufano, who sang the original hits.
But you’ve been fronting The Buckinghams for over forty years now so people have come to expect faithful representation of this music performed by you and Nick. As such, The Buckinghams are regularly touring all over the world, performing their impressive catalog of hits. It’s your livelihood.
But when you turn on the radio to hear these tunes, it’s the ORIGINAL versions that listeners want to hear … THAT’S the music they remember … the music they grew up on and the music that they cherish.
We DID get The Dave Clark Five station to start playing the original hits by Herman’s Hermits … as it should be … now we just need to get them to work on some of these others! (kk)
I had a feeling you were referring to the track Dennis did back in the late 70's / early 80's for K-tel which I had nothing to do with, and you’re right … it was God awful! They weren't even the right chords let alone how bad the arrangement and feel was. The quality was terrible!
A couple months ago Cleopatra Records offered me the opportunity to perform and collaborate on one of the tracks for the Badfinger album “No Matter What.” The song I worked on is “I Don’t Mind.” They asked me to record the lead and background vocals mixed in with Joey Molland’s voice. I also played all the lead guitar. It’s a great song! With my vocal and lead guitar, it sounds a little Pink Floyd to me. Anyway, I was excited to collaborate, and it was quite an honor to be a part of the album alongside some of these great talents, which included Todd Rundgren, Ian Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Rick Springfield, Mark Stein and Matthew Sweet. It’s amazing the way the recording industry has evolved. I was able to go back and forth with the producer and record my parts in my studio and send the wav files to him for mixing into the song.
Especially cool that you also got the chance to play lead guitar on this track as these days you spend most of your time just doing the singing with The Buckinghams. I can definitely hear the Pink Floyd feeling that you’re referring to. (As a HUGE fan of both Badfinger and The Buckinghams, this makes for a great match up of talent. Carl told me that he first met Joey on a cruise that he and The Buckinghams and Joey and Badfinger were both doing. VERY cool that they’ve stayed in touch and are both members of the Musicians Mutual Admiration Society!!! (Actually, I had thought that perhaps Joey would have used more of the folks he toured with during The White Album 50th Anniversary Tour a couple of years ago … but it looks like only Todd Rundgren is represented. Still, not a bad choice at all … since Todd also PRODUCED Badfinger back in the day! He and George Harrison shared production credit on their “Straight Up” LP … my all-time favorite album of theirs.)
Hope this Covid thing is over before the end of the year and groups like yours can start touring again. While I’m not quite ready yet to go sit in a crowded theater with a bunch of strangers, I am anxiously awaiting the time when we can start seeing shows safely again. (kk)
On March 8, 2016, the legendary record producer, arranger, composer and musician Sir George Martin died peacefully at his home in England at age 90.
I first met Martin in 1975 at the opening of the Chrysalis Records office in West Hollywood.
Near the end of the last century, I had another conversation one evening with Sir George Martin after he had faxed me on his letterhead a wonderful note lauding my work and production of an album I had done in 1996. Any doubts I ever had about working in a recording studio or writing / documenting music immediately vanished.
We met at the Hollywood Bowl the next time he was in Los Angeles when his office invited me to Martin’s sound check for a recital he was conducing and narrating of Beatles songs at the venue.
I mentioned I had met or interviewed all four band members during the seventies while I was writing weekly for the now defunct "Melody Maker."
“The group did a lot of quality material,” he quipped around a rehearsal break that sunny afternoon.
Earlier this century, I connected again with Martin and his son Giles in Hollywood at the landmark Capitol Records building inside their renowned Studio B. It was a media gathering and playback unveiling for the Beatles’ LOVE album that day.
In the Capitol facility, Sir George and I talked briefly about a Frank Sinatra recording session he had attended in this very same room on his first visit to Hollywood, in 1958.
The EMI label sent him over the pond after Martin was invited by Capitol executive Voyle Gilmore to visit the American division.
Martin described that date when Sinatra was backed by Billy May’s orchestra while actress Lauren Bacall was in attendance. The songs cut were eventually placed on Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me LP.
I wanted to make it a point to personally thank George Martin for discovering and signing the Beatles to their British record label deal in the first place. And to praise his persistent determination, along with Brian Epstein’s, in encouraging Capitol Records to have some faith domestically in Martin’s groundbreaking Parlophone / EMI recordings with the band back in 1963.
It was at my most recent Martin encounter, where one of his Beatles productions started playing in Studio B.
Try hearing their music over custom TAD monitors.
George then autographed a solo album, put his arm around me and enthused, “Pretty good stuff. Don’t you think?”
In the October 16, 2005, issue of "Variety" magazine my brother Kenneth wrote a cover story on the Beatles hailing the combo as the entertainers of the century.
I just read his piece again and still marvel at the ongoing gift Sir George Martin left us.
From FH Reader David Salidor …
On ROBERT MILLER’s debut podcast (Follow Your Dream), his first guest is radio-personality Bruce Morrow, who re-counted his introducing The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1964 … with variety-show personality Ed Sullivan:
“Ed and I were in the dugout and the noise from the crowd was deafening … but, as we walked the staircase to the stage, it began to shake and Ed got nervous. He looked at me and asked what we should do … and, I said pray!”
Morrow also re-counts the day when he was on CBS-FM and they were hosting -with fellow DJ and Monkee Micky Dolenz- a live show at the late-B.B. King’s club in NYC. “When we were doing the show live, they were changing the format and equipment in our studio. We didn’t find out till late in the day … that was very disappointing, because they let the audience down and my audience is #1 with me.”
Miller fronts the rock/jazz/latin band Project Grand Slam and it debuts on most platforms Monday, March 15.
By the way, yesterday (March 8th) Micky Dolenz celebrated his 76th birthday ...
Man, I wish I had as much energy as HE has when I was 25, much less 76!!! (lol)
Happy Birthday, Mick! (kk)
Then there was the time Muhammad Ali fought Denver Broncos defensive end Lyle Alzado on July 14, 1979, at Mile High Stadium in Denver in an eight-round scheduled exhibition match.
Ali was 37 and retired. Alzado was 30 and was days away from reporting to Broncos’ training camp.
Ali did not train for the fight. And Alzado hung in there under a blistering midday Rocky Mountain sun and even received some praise from Ali after the fight.
“For a non-fighter he’s great,” Ali was quoted as saying. “He’s got the potential to be a world champion in the next two years if he continues to improve. For a man to come into my league and almost master me was a surprise.”
There was no scoring, however, so there was no winner. Just a questionable publicity stunt on both sides, I think.
But, yeah, I was there for the only time I saw Ali "fight" in person. I didn’t have anything else planned that day.
Muhammad Ali was on my short list of idols and role models when I was growing up as a kid. Although I saw at least half of his fights in some fashion, I never was able to see a live bout. That being said, for the kind of seats I would have been able to afford, the ringside view on the television pretty much blew everything else away. (One time when we were in Vegas George Foreman was training behind the MGM Grand Hotel … so I did get to see an exhibition with him that was pretty much all for show for the benefit of the absolutely miniscule group of folks who stopped by to see what all the fuss was about. Among the list of all the concerts and sporting events that I’ve attended over the years, I’ve never had the pleasure of attending a boxing match. (kk)
As to The Bee Gees backlash, a lifelong fan of the group, I even got tired of them by the early 80's. It was just oversaturation … so now can enjoy them again.
What I find weird is how many never knew they had any music before their 1974 rebirth!
It is pretty incredible. Between their 1967 US debut and 1977’s explosion of “Saturday Night Fever,” The Bee Gees charted an incredible 33 times … and that includes a “Two Years On” hiatus … which prompted Comeback #1.
Early hits included “New York Mining Disaster, 1941” (#14, 1967), “To Love Somebody (#17, 1967), “Holiday” (#12, 1967), “Massachusetts” (#11, 1967), “Words” (#15, 1968), “Jumbo” (#39, 1968), “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” (#3, 1968), “I Started A Joke” (#5, 1969), “First Of May” (#16, 1969) and “Tomorrow, Tomorrow” (#32, 1969) … and that’s just The Top 40 Hits!
Comeback #2 was launched with the back-to-back #1 Hits “Lonely Days” (1970) and “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” (1971). Soft Rock ballads “Don’t Wanna Live Inside Myself” (#30, 1971), “My World” (#15, 1972), “Run To Me” (#9, 1972), “Alive” (#26, 1972) followed … and honestly, at that point the group had become pretty boring and predictable. Don’t get me wrong … these are all still great songs … but they needed to do something to liven things up a bit!!!
And then, there it was … Comeback #2 was the launch of what would become known as The Disco Era … and “Jive Talkin’” (#1, 1975), “Nights On Broadway” (#4, 1975), “Fanny” (#9, 1976, “You Should Be Dancing” (#1, 1976), “Love So Right” (#3, 1976), “Boogie Child” (#12, 1977) and “Edge Of The Universe” (#26, 1977) …
All of which begat the “Fever” Era … six #1 hits in a row: “How Deep Is Your Love” (1977), “Stayin’ Alive” (1978), “Night Fever” (1978), “Too Much Heaven” (1978), “Tragedy” (1979) and “Love You Inside Out” (1979). During that same stretch, they also wrote and produced six Top Ten Hits for younger brother Andy Gibb (including three #1 hits: “I Just Want To Be Your Everything,” “Love Is Thicker Than Water” and “Shadow Dancing.”) “An Everlasting Love” (#5, 1978), “(Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away” (#7, 1978) and “Desire” (#4) followed.
With artists like Yvonne Elliman, Samantha Sang, Dionne Warwick and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton taking the Gibb Brothers Songbook to the top of the charts, The Bee Gees barely missed a beat. (Other often-overlooked ‘80’s and ‘90’s tracks like “You Win Again,” “One” and “This Is Where I Came In” proved that The Brothers Gibb still had their magic.
Like I said, a lifelong fan here … and proud of it! (Hey, I like ABBA, too!!!) kk
Joel Whitburn is currently offering $30 off his Billboard Top Pop Albums book.
That means you can pick up a copy of the 1955 – 2016 Edition for only $69.95!)
This book lists EVERY album to ever hit Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart during The Rock Era, 1955 – 2016 ... as well as a cross reference to EVERY TRACK on those albums. (It really is a "must have" book for your reference library)
Click the link above to view sample pages and place your order. (kk)
And, speaking of the charts ...
Celebrating the #1 Singles of 1967 (according to Record World Magazine)
That’s a total of 26 tracks to top the chart in 1967. And when you factor in the other two major trade publications (both, quite frankly, far more respected for their chart information than Record World), you can add three more titles to the list: “I Got Rhythm” by The Happenings (#1in Cash Box only), “Never My Love” by The Association (#1 in Cash Box only) and “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#1 in Cash Box only.)
By the same token, three of these titles listed only topped the chart in Record World: “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” by The Royal Guardsmen, “She’d Rather Be With Me” by The Turtles and “Little Bit O’ Soul” by The Music Explosion.
Several years ago, we compiled a list of the Biggest #1 Hits of The Beatles Era, using a unique formula …
We calculated the total number of weeks each record spent in the #1 position between 1964 and 1970 … and then ranked these hits by their accumulated total.
When all was said and done, the list shows The Top 200 #1 Hits … with 23 “extras” that also topped the charts.
You can see the complete list here:
A Final Funny From Frank B:
(C’mon … you all got it, didn’t you???) kk