Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuesday This And That


After reading your content today about Chubby Checker and Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, I thought you’d enjoy the attached photo of the two of them.  I don’t believe I’ve shared this with you previously. 

-Tom Cuddy


Thanks for the posting of my Chubby Checker piece ... proud to have been approved by a writer of your own excellence.

Fascinating stuff, too; outright confounding.

But, hey, I believe that we collectively gave 'The Hall' 'n' Friends the best thrashing they've had in years.

Sometimes the choir needs to be preached to. Reminded. Keeps our teeth sharp.

So Wenner's gone now, eh? Too late. His damage is irreparable.

Specifically: The self-destructive format of annual nominations; each one yet another nail in their beckoning coffin.

No doubt, many of us ruefully imagine what the inductions will be like in ten years: Justin Bieber. Britney Spears. Kanye West. The Jonas Brothers ...

... And, of course, producer DJ Khalid, who has made vocal autotuning the new au natural.

Wanna hear something funny? I'd recently watched a segment on CBS's Sunday Morning profiling this boorish, untalented oaf, who'd actually declared himself to be "a genius" and on a par with "Quincy Jones."

The Emperor's-New-Clothes-Made-Flesh. Hilarious, if it weren't so sad.

And yes, he, too, will one day be rock'n'roll royalty.

The beginning of the end, maybe. Will we finally have the satisfaction of watching this toxic institution swallow its own tail?

Thanks again, 

Claude Zwyer

After founding The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (and, reportedly, running it with an iron fist to make sure that artists HE considered worthy always took precedent over any suggestions the so-called nominating committee might come up with … ditto for those record companies willing to spend big bucks on $10,000 tables at the award ceremonies and on-going donations to The Hall), Wenner stepped down, effective January 1st, 2020.  (Honestly, it got to the point that we suggested he move The Rock Hall to his basement since it was starting to look a little bit like his own personal iPod or mix tape!)

In a statement he explained, “I just felt I had done what I set out to do.  That it had been built, stabilized and become well financed and managed — and, after 30-plus years of running it, time for new energy, new ideas, a new generation.”

(Never mentioning, of course, the COMPLETE loss of credibility … and relevance … the organization experienced under his reign.)

Some say Wenner was just winding down his career, having already sold “Rolling Stone Magazine” and “Us Weekly” in 2017.  (He remains on The Rock Hall Board.)

Co-Founder Ahmet Ertegen passed away in 2006.  (There was always much speculation that some of the inductees made the grade as a means of satisfying Ahmet’s contribution to rock history.  Some were, at best, questionable.  Percy Sledge, anyone???  Rock and Roll?  At the induction ceremony that year, held in Cleveland, Sledge confided to anyone willing to listen that even HE didn’t understand what he was doing there!!!)

Keep in mind that The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee and Organization really have nothing at all to do with The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Museum housed in Cleveland (other than in name only.)  We have found, in speaking with numerous RRHF Museum personnel over the years that they have been embarrassed annually by some of the ridiculous names that have made the ballot in lieu of FAR more deserving artists whose accomplishments really DID advance rock and roll as a serious art form.

New President John Sykes was a big wig at iHeart Radio and MTV … and the hope was that he would evaluate some of the missteps so publicly debated over the past two decades and maybe start to make right some of these ridiculous omissions.  There has been SOME evidence of this the past couple of years in the way of more “mainstream” artists making the ballot ... Donna Summer, Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick for example … but lately the direction seems to be one of more of a MUSIC Hall Of Fame rather than a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Honestly, maybe that’s not such a bad idea … because now you can induct just about ANYBODY!!!  (I mean, let’s face it … the artists who had the greatest impact on the growth of rock and roll were all inducted within the first three or four years of the formation of the institution.  We’ve argued before that once you get past Elvis and The Beatles, you’re already down to the second tier!)

Now, don’t get me wrong … it’s a pretty solid second tier … Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Sam Cooke, Bill Haley, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Rick Nelson, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, The Drifters, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Dion, The Four Seasons, Bobby Darin, The Platters, Simon and Garfunkel, The Who, The Four Tops …

ALL of these artists were inducted during the first four years of The Hall’s existence.

But by 1990, the list of worthy candidates was already starting to wear a little thin.

Still, The Hall continued to ignore deserving acts like Chicago, The Moody Blues, Neil Diamond, The Righteous Brothers, The Dave Clark Five, The Ventures and more for DECADES past their eligibility dates.

In their stead, game-changing “rockers” like Bonnie Raitt, Percy Sledge, Bill Withers, Grandmaster Flash, Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen (!?!?), Tom Waits and Public Enemy were enshrined between 1995 – 2015.

I still can’t get past the fact that Joan Jett is considered Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame worthy but Pat Benatar isn’t … in what universe does this make sense???  The CONSTANT ignoring of The Guess Who, Canada’s greatest export EVER.  Rick Nelson is in but The Monkees have never made the ballot?  This reality goes WELL beyond the concept of a “double standard” … it flat out doesn’t make any sense at all!  And how is Ed Sullivan not in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?  He did more to advance the popularity of rock music than just about anybody!!!  And actually had whole families watching it together during the ever-evolving and often turbulent ‘60’s.

I can only say that with a team of what is supposed to be the most elite group of experts ever assembled, the nominating committee doesn’t seem to have a CLUE as to how rock music was built and evolved … and that’s a shame.

We trusted this organization to legitimize Rock Music and have its appreciation celebrated if, for nothing else, its longevity alone.  This “fad that was going to fade in 15 minutes” is now nearly 70 years strong … and still just as addictive as ever.

So yeah, I’m happy to hop on my soap box whenever this topic pops up. (That’s what passion will do for you!)  kk

On the other hand, some of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony All-Star Jams have become quite legendary … including the one that happened exactly 17 years ago yesterday (March 15th, 2004) when, in addition to ZZ Top, Jackson Browne, The Dells, Prince, Bob Seger, Traffic, Jann Wenner himself and George Harrison (for his solo work) were inducted.

Harrison had died just 29 months before, so he never saw his solo work recognized.  (As seems to be the way with The Rock Hall, for some reason, SO many of their inductions have been posthumous, rather than recognizing the artists’ work while they’re still around to enjoy their moment in the spotlight.)

Regardless, for the end of the ceremony Salute To George, fellow Traveling Wilburys Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, along with George’s son Dhani, Steve Winwood and a few others took to the stage to play Harrison’s White Album classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”  It’s an incredibly rockin’ performance … which is then elevated to the stratosphere at the end when Prince performs his blistering guitar solo, something he had never rehearsed with the rest of the band.  (For the grand finale, Prince’s guitar ALSO seems to disappear into the stratosphere … watch him throw it straight up into the air, where it then just disappears!!!)

Clearly a moment precisely rehearsed between Prince and one of his handlers (and also a surprise to the rest of the musicians on stage), to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever come forward and claimed “I’m the guy who caught Prince’s guitar,” hidden up in the rafters!!!

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it … or heard it … this has become a bit of a live classic on the Classic Rock Stations these days … this video clip will STILL blow you away.  (Who knew Prince could play like that?!?!)

You can check it out again, right here … 

We just happened upon an AMAZING documentary over the weekend on Amazon Prime called “Muscle Shoals” … a VERY in-depth profile of the Fame Recording Studio down there that produced literally hundreds and hundreds of hit recordings dating back to the ’60’s.  The vintage footage and interviews are incredible … how they knew to be filming this stuff at the time … and then hanging on to it for all these years just blows you away.  (And what a life Rick Hall has had … all of the ups and downs, setbacks and inspiration / determination … just remarkable.)  Excellent sound and quality throughout, too.  More musical highlights than I can mention … but among the cast of artists you’ll find The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Alicia Keys, Bono, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett, Jimmy Cliff, Paul Simon and much, much more.  (How have I not seen this since its original release in 2013???)  Highly recommended!  (kk)

That new Elvis biopic (starring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker) has now been pushed back to a June 3, 2022 release date due to Covid delays and concerns.  (Still hoping our Beatles “Get Back” film stays on target for an August 27th release, already a year behind the original schedule!)  kk

About a month ago, I reunited two old touring buddies, Tommy Roe and Billy J. Kramer.  (I was secretly hoping that the two of them might work together … I think Billy could do a KILLER version of Tommy’s song “What If’s and Should Have’s.  It’s a perfect track that fits Billy’s recent penchant for a lean toward country music.)

Well, imagine my surprise when Billy sent me this copy of him doing Tommy’s big #1 Hit “Dizzy” … from back in 2008!!!

Not a bad version at all!  (kk)

Oh yeah … and here’s the one I like …

Now how about Tommy PRODUCING this track for Billy … and contributing a little background vocals and guitar … and recording it in Nashville!!! (Hey, I can dream, can’t I???)  kk

And some EXCLUSIVE good news for Forgotten Hits Readers from Billy J. Kramer …



I sent  Tommy “I Won The Fight” and my cover of “Dizzy” and he is going to try to come up with a new song for my new album.  I’ll keep in touch as it would be great work with him.  I did my first tour with him in 1963. He was always a gentleman.


Billy also sent us this interview he did with Billy and Bobby Alessi


And since we’re on YouTube, check out these clips that FH Reader Clark Besch sent us …

Home movies from The Dick Clark Caravan Of Stars Tour (including Tommy Roe, Little Anthony, Herman’s Hermits, Ronnie Spector, Freddy Cannon, Brian Hyland, The Rip Chords, all artists we’ve been talking about lately … as well as many others!)

Cool stuff, for sure!

This could be The Greatest Show On Earth …

In fact, these are six of the greatest videos of RnR I have ever  seen!

The Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tours of the 60's with incredible narration by Myron Lee!

IF you know people NOT ID'd in the videos, please let me know the exact time they show up and which part, who they are and anything else!  You MUST recognize someone I don't?!

From East Coast, Texas to Minnesota, South Dakota, Ohio, Kansas, to Florida, Oklahoma and all over -- old monuments -- Alama, black hills, badlands -- fun rock n roll and one spot is the amusement park in Oklahoma City, where we saw Roger Miller perform in the summer of ‘5.  I have photos that match the stage, so it IS the same place!

MANY people you may have even known or played with are here.

The best videos I may have ever seen.  The innocent days or RNR when out on the road was REALLY out on the road!  Touring with breakdowns and MOTELS!!  SO many of you will have similar circumstances and experiences.

Spend half an hour on these!  You won't regret it!

The old 60's buses, cars, boats, planes!

Tommy Roe, Little Eva, Little Anthony, Ronnie Spector, Herman’s Hermits, The Dovells, Bobby Vee, Linda Scott, Dickie Clark, Jimmy Clanton, Conway Twitty, Buddy Knox, the Essex, Freddy Cannon, Paul & Paula, Rip Chords, Brian Hyland -- AND ALL IN COLOR!!!

These have been on youtube for almost 10 years, but I have NEVER seen them.  HOW?


Myron Lee and the Caddies - Part 6 of 6

Several of theses artists are members of our Forgotten Hits list … I think you guys will REALLY enjoy seeing these again … and maybe you can help fill in a few of the blanks as to exactly who’s who in some of these clips.

VERY cool, Clark … thanks for sending!!!  (kk)

Here's what Tommy Roe had to say after I sent him copies of these vintage clips ...

Hey Kent ...

These videos were great!

I had the pleasure of working with Myron on many tours during the sixties. He is a terrific guy and very talented. I even produced a record for him on my label, ABC Paramount, with a song I wrote called, "Everybody's Going To The Party." The recording is featured in one of his videos.

These videos really capture the innocence of the early days of  rock 'n' roll. What a treat! 

Rock On, Myron..

OK, now THIS is pretty cool!!!

Frank B just sent us this Facebook post …

What are the chances that Ringo would take this shot … in 1964, no less … and then publish it 50-something years later in his book of photographs … and all these high school friends (who ditched school that day to go to The Beatles’ concert) would reunite to re-enact the event all these years later!!!  VERY cool!


All of those songs you mentioned today are great to MY ears, too ("Second Avenue" is a bit lame ‘tho!) 

Cool to see the Mob and Ides about to make their journey up the Super Chart this week, too.

Clark Besch

>>>I’m surprised that none of the FH comedians have picked up on the current relevance of this FH ditty, a perfect anthem for the trans-generation brigade:

Roger Miller’s “My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died.”  (Mike Markesich)

Man, I’ve loved that song since I was a kid!  Used to sing it all the time!

My dad loved Roger Miller and we saw him in concert in OKC in 1965.  We got his autograph after the show! 

Clark Besch


You talked about Roger Miller in today's FH. As you probably know, he was from Erick, Oklahoma, and 99 44/100% of his records were played on our local top 40 radio station, if not all. My favorite of his probably has to be his 1965 hit ENGLAND SWINGS. All of his mid-sixties records were on the Smash Label with an earlier record of YOU DON'T WANT MY LOVE aka IN THE SUMMERTIME being on RCA. The latter tune was also recorded by Andy Williams.

I also heard that last week that Chris Barber (of his Jazz Band fame) passed away. Always liked somewhat his 1959 PETIT FLEUR on Laurie.


Roger Miller got played a LOT in my house growing up … my mom was a MAJOR fan … which made me a fan, too … VERY catchy and clever stuff … which earned him a dozen National Top 40 Hits.  Everybody knows the big ones, of course … “Dang Me” (#5, 1964), “Chug-A-Lug” (#5, 1964), “King Of The Road” (#3, 1965), “Engine Engine Number Nine” (#7, 1965) and “England Swings” (#6, 1965) … but I also liked some of the more obscure tracks, some of them beautiful tunes with some pretty deep lyrics.  (“One Dyin’ And A Buryin’,” #30, 1965; “Husbands And Wives,” #20, 1966 and Roger’s version of “Little Green Apples,” #39, 1968.

I used to love the part of his show where he’d have someone from the audience yell up a topic and he’d make a song up right on the spot.  One of those tracks wound up on the B-Side of “Dang Me,” called “Got 2 Again,” which we’ve featured a time or two before in FH.  (kk)

Noted British Jazz Musician Chris Barber passed away on March 1st.  He hit The Top Five here in The States with his hit "Petite Fleur" in 1962.  (kk)

One more … ‘cause you KNOW how much I love these perfectly choreographed dance videos!

This one comes from Chuck Buell …

And now, to end your yesterday day today ~~~

And get you into a Saturday Night Dance Party Mood ~~~

How about some Special Jackie Wilson and "Higher and Higher?!!"

Higher and Higher 2:57 


We thought WE were having a bad winter!!!

(Well, actually, we WERE … but NOTHING like what got dumped on Colorado over the weekend!!!  Actually, we had a few more unexpected inches yesterday, after being warm enough to walk the dog without a jacket on Saturday.)

Frequent FH Contributor Chuck Buell has been keeping us up to date on all the action there in Colorado with weather updates.  (In addition to a couple of feet of snow in one sitting … plus drifts of as much as five feet high … this poor guy has also got his leg in a cast right now!  I told him not to try and venture out in all of this … or we may not find him again until everything thaws in May!!!)

Anyway, he seems to be coping with things with his usual sense of humor …

So I just wanted to share a few comments from the past 36 hours with those of us experiencing less accumulation.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!!!)

Hey, Kent!

Perhaps you saw on the news we in Denver got hit with a definitive, record-breaking Heavy Colorado Spring Snowstorm with Snow Depths up over a couple of feet in and around the city and Five Feet or more in the mountains!

I thought I was back in Chicago!

Interstates closed North, South, East and West!

City Streets impassable!

All Denver International Airport's Runways shut down!

Over 2000 Flights Cancelled!

Over 20 inches of snow with more on the way!

High Winds Blowing Snow into Drifts!

Schools and Businesses Closed Monday!

Blizzard Warnings Issued!

Sheltering in Place!

Could be a Historical Top Ten Denver Snow Storm!

Fourth Largest Snowfall in known Denver Weather History!!

This after days of clear Rocky Mountain Blue Skies, Mile high Sunshine and temperatures in the Upper 60s even hitting 70 degrees at one point!

And the sooner you set your clocks ahead an hour, the sooner this Storm will be Over!

This morning, I couldn't help but break into a Forgotten Hit ~~~

“Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away,

Sunny Days it seemed were here to stay,

Oh, I believe in Yesterday.

I’m not the warm man I used to be,

There’s a Snow Drift

On the roof hanging over me.

Why it had to Snow,

I don’t know, I long for May.

Now I need a place to hide away.

How I long for yes-ter-daaaay.

Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm."

Then she said, "Would you mind running to the store for me?!"

It's a Good Thing I know my way around town because my damn wipers didn't help me at all!

CB ( which stands for "Cold Boy!" )

FH Reader Geoff Lambert shared this clip of Jay Black performing the Jay and the Americans classic version of "Cara Mia" in sort of a "Then and Now" fashion.  (Incredible as this song sounded in 1965, I swear he actually got BETTER with age!!!)

Lambert read (in Glen Fisher's excellent Doo Wop Ramblings Newsletter) that Black (82) had recently been confined to a nursing home ... sad to see our heroes age ...

But he never sounded better than he does here.  (kk)

And, since we featured a Cheech and Chong clip yesterday, check out this Tommy Chong video promoting the Tommy Chong Smoke Swipe, sent in by FH Reader Mike Wolstein!