Monday, June 14, 2021



Hi Kent – 

A kinda “quick” response to say thanks much for posting info on the “in the works” Ron Riley Documentary.

Pulling it together is a small, bright, eager group of recent graduates from SCAD University, one of the country’s premier colleges for cinema production.

As it happens, one of our family nephews, Bradly Stull, discovered that a once popular WLS 1960’s radio personality was in his lineage - I am their graduation thesis project – a brand new documentary project was underway.

I certainly wasn’t looking for any late-life notoriety, but I’m impressed by their enthusiasm and backing their effort 100%.


Ron Riley

WLS The Big 89, 1963 – 1969

Glad to do it.  I was one of the millions of teens who tuned in every night, so this is MY way of saying "Thank You" for all that you gave us listeners back in the day.

You probably have a better appreciation of it now, after hearing it for the past 50-60 years (!), but the music of that generation and the jocks that brought it to us meant EVERYTHING to us at the time.  And those memories have stayed with us longer than most of the friends we’ve met and made over the years.

I doubt that you could even begin to comprehend it at the time, but you guys changed our lives … forever … so thank YOU for all the golden memories.  (kk)

>>>Paul Evans, from Queens, New York, visits Cousin Brucie this weekend.  How about giving us a preview of what he and Cousin Brucie might be talking about.  (FB) 

>>>I’ll betcha they’ll be talking about Paul’s new book - which doesn’t officially come out till next month (but Paul already sent me an advance copy so I’m guessing Cousin Brucie’s got one, too!)  Also about writing songs for Elvis - and maybe even Paul’s hit Christmas video about Santa getting stuck in the chimney.  (Let me know how well I guessed!)  kk


A+ in your preview to the Paul Evans interview.

Cousin Brucie asked Paul how he spent his down time and Paul said, “I wrote a book, ‘HAPPY GO LUCKY ME.’”  From March to October, he spent four hours a day / six days a week writing.  The book is out in England in July and in the U.S. in November.  You can check it out at

He went on to say that Elvis recorded four of his songs.

In 1978, he had a comeback hit "HELLO THIS IS JOANIE" … a big hit in England. I don't remember this one at all.  About to check it out.


Here’s the link so we ALL can hear it!

And a link to Paul’s VERY popular Christmas tune from a few years ago, too!

We’ve been plugging this one for YEARS now … great little tune.  (Looks like it’s working … Paul’s up over three million views today!)  kk

Frank also tell us about Tony Orlando’s show on Saturday Night.

This week, Tony did a two hour special on Bobby Darin.

You can listen to a podcast of this two hour program here:

Bobby acted as a mentor for Tony when he was just a kid breaking into show business.  (Some people forget that Tony had two Top 20 Hits as a solo artist back in 1961, nearly ten years before he struck gold with Dawn.)

Tony was just 17 when he hit the charts with his first hit record, “Halfway To Paradise” (#17) in 1961.  He followed that one up with the even bigger hit, “Bless You” (#11, 1961).  (Bobby also mentored a young Wayne Newton, ultimately giving him HIS first big Top Ten Hit,”Danke Schoen” in 1963.)

Of course, WE’VE spotlighted Bobby Darin, the man and his music, before, too … but never more so than with our 2003 series …

(And, I just HAVE to mention this again since it seems to be coming up again and again and again lately …

Tony Orlando’s first hit, “Halfway To Paradise,” peaked at #17 in Cash Box Magazine … but only climbed to #39 in Billboard … another chart discrepancy of over twenty places.  In that it also placed at #23 in Music Vendor, I’d have to say that once again Billboard was not factoring in as many resources as some of these other publications.  (For the record, on The Super Chart it peaked at #23.)  kk

kk …

You made a very good point about WABC not giving Harry Harrison a chance to say goodbye to his loyal listeners.

Worst one of all-time that I can remember was when WCBS-FM switched to JACK-FM … Nobody saw that one coming.


From Big Jay Sorensen … 

I talked with Neal Sabin of Me-TV-FM about ten days before Robert Feder ran his column and he seemed to be VERY confident that they would dodge the bullet on this one.  (Let’s hope so … the station has been posting Top Ten Ratings here in Chicago and now, thanks to syndication and streaming, is heard all over The United States.)

I am also happy to report that Me-TV-FM will now be one of the flagship stations running Gary Theroux’s History Of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  With six syndicated / affiliate stations across the country and streaming coming out of their Milwaukee station, this will expose this new series to millions of new listeners.  (kk)

Last Friday, The Drive (WDRV-FM) counted down their version of The Top 97 Classic Rock Songs as voted upon by their listeners … and let me tell you, it was QUITE a surprising list, especially in light of our own research last year when over one million votes, airplay reports and itunes downloads were tabulated in order to compile THE TOP 3333 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS OF ALL TIME.

For example, The Drive’s Top 20 shaped up this way:

# 1 – SWEET CHILD O’ MINE – Guns ‘n Roses  (#179 on our list)

# 2 – FREE FALLIN’ – Tom Petty (#28)

# 3 – BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – Queen (#1)

# 4 – PIECE OF MY HEART – Janis Joplin / Big Brother and the Holding Company (#128)

# 5 – HARD TO HANDLE – The Black Crowes (#968!)

# 6 – GO YOUR OWN WAY – Fleetwood Mac (#97)

# 7 – GIMME SHELTER – The Rolling Stones (#5)

# 8 – UNDER PRESSURE – Queen with David Bowie (#78)

# 9 – ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL – Pink Floyd (#185)


#11 – COME TOGETHER – The Beatles (#87)

#12 – ALL MY LOVE – Led Zeppelin (#167)

#13 – NOVEMBER RAIN – Guns ‘n Roses (#2291!!!)

#14 – SILVER, BLUE AND GOLD – Bad Company (#3126!!!)

#15 – LAYLA – Derek and the Dominoes (#3)

#16 – DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME) – Simple Minds (#1361!)

#17 – YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT – The Rolling Stones (#35)

#18 – TINY DANCER – Elton John (#15)

#19 – JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH – The Rolling Stones (#54)

#20 – BACK IN BLACK – AC/DC (#49)

Three Queen songs in The Top Ten (but "Another One Bites The Dust" doesn't even make the list … yet "Fat Bottomed Girls" does ... Three Rolling Stones songs in The Top 20 … (FIVE made ours!!!) ... only ONE song by The Beatles (and it’s “Come Together” and not "Hey Jude," "Here Comes The Sun" or "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" ... in fact, SEVEN Beatles tunes placed higher than this one on our list) and only one song by Led Zeppelin (this from a station that plays an average of eleven Led Zeppelin songs a day!!!  They even BILL themselves as “Chicago’s Led Zeppelin Station”) … as well as “Chicago’s Aerosmith Station,” who didn’t place a song on the countdown until you hit #27.  (“Dream On,” naturally … gotta hear THAT one at least 30 times a week!)  Meanwhile, "Mama Kin" made the list but "Sweet Emotion" didn't.  Go figure.

Two songs in The Top 20 by Guns ‘n Roses???  “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” in The Top 20?  “Layla” all the way down at #15?  “Silver, Blue And Gold” as their favorite Bad Company song???

I dunno … maybe the audience is just skewing younger.  (Or perhaps Covid Memory Loss is at play!)

When all was said and done, we only had FIVE common Top 20 songs between us ... and THEIR list had at least five or six more head scratchers.

Some of the “most obvious choices” came in as follows:

“Here Comes The Sun” (#24), “Start Me Up” (#25), “In The Air Tonight” (#26), “Dream On” (#27), “Let It Be” (#28), “Live And Let Die” (#33), “Hey Jude” (#36), “Sweet Home Alabama” (#38), “Juke Box Hero” (#40), “Free Bird” (#50), “More Than A Feeling” (#54!!!), “Stairway To Heaven” (#57), “Take It Easy On Me” by The Little River Band at #63 … how the heck did THAT happen??? … when does The Drive EVER play that song??? ... “Magic Carpet Ride” at #82 … but no “Born To Be Wild” … “Monkey Man” by The Rolling Stones at #87 but “Satisfaction” doesn’t even make the list (?!?!?) Crazier still, “Hotel California”’s is not even on the list?!?!?  Some VERY STRANGE voting going on here!!!

More surprises:  “She’s A Rainbow” at #29?!?!?  (Gotta be due to that new commercial that’s running all the time on TV!)  “Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin and “Fool In The Rain” BOTH finishing ahead of “Stairway To Heaven” (#57) … and “Whole Lotta Love” not even making the list!

Also missing:  “Born To Run,” “Light My Fire,” “Who Are You,” “All Along The Watchtower,” “Purple Haze,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Life In The Fast Lane” … all high-ranking choices on our list and songs you hear every single day, whether you want to or not … yet “Never Been Any Reason” by Head East and “Everybody Wants Some” by Van Halen made the list (at #58 and #45 respectively.)

Let’s just leave it at “interesting” as to these choices … but certainly NOT representative of what MOST Classic Rock Fans want to hear … or even what The Drive plays on a regular basis.  (kk)


Here’s a bit of good news for all the vintage “legacy” artists out there …

Tom Cuddy tells us …

This Week In Music: Sony Music Steps Up For Its Older Artists, Cancels Unrecouped Debts

This is SO long overdue … but very good news nonetheless.

It struck me the other day when we ran the story about Micky Dolenz’s version of Michael Nesmith’s “Different Drum” reaching #1 in Great Britain …

Something like that could NEVER happen here in America …

But over in Great Britain, they have ALWAYS shown a love and long-standing appreciation for not only this music but all these artists who created it in the first place.  Concert tickets and record sales continued for DECADES after some of these artists’ last hits fell off the charts.  Here in The States, unless it’s through a radio or music outlet specifically catered to the oldies market (and there are fewer and fewer of these around each week!), the news of a Dolenz / Nesmith collaboration would barely register as a blip on the showbiz Richter Scale.  (And they pulled out all the stops on this one promotionwise!)

Hopefully now some of these long forgotten (and quite often swindled) artists will start to earn back some of what they’ve gone without for all these years.  (kk)

After answering a reader’s question the other day about the horn players used on The Buckinghams’ records, Carl Giammarese reminded me …

Tufano and Giammarese played in the studio with many great and well known musicians including Tom Scott and the LA Express. 


Yes, I had forgotten all about that.

After The Buckinghams split up, Dennis Tufano and Carl Giammarese headed west and went to work for Lou Adler’s Ode Records label.  (Adler had produced the hits of The Mamas and the Papas in the ‘60’s … and in 1971, Ode was home to Carole King’s “Tapestry” album.)

I did just a quick search on Amazon to see if any of that Tufano and Giammarese material was available on CD and was surprised to see how many listings they had for original vinyl product …

Lou Adler produced the first Tufano and Giammarese album and single, a song I wrote, called “Music Everywhere.” Lou was an exceptional producer that I enjoyed being around. He also gave us the freedom to create … wish we could have had some hits. I think “Music Everywhere” charted in the 50's. [#68 – kk] Ode Records was a special custom label back then. 

Carole King played on “Music Everywhere” and others on that album.  We did three albums with Ode in the 70's.


VERY cool … I think I only have the first one … so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

Although “Music Everywhere” never charted here in Chicago, it DID get a fair amount of airplay on the soft rock stations at the time … and is a really good song ... sounding VERY much “of the time” for that music era.  (kk)


In today's FH, you mentioned and talked about George McCannon III and the songs he had that did chart. You mentioned the one he charted with in 1963 … a song called LANA. Now I'm taking the lazy man's way out and asking you a question. Is this LANA the same song that Roy Orbison and the group the Velvets recorded both on Monument records? I believe I know the answer. What say you (lol)?


Well, since I’ve never heard ANY of the songs you're referring to, all I can do is look it up and see!  (Which is probably exactly what you wanted me to do!!!)

The answer is YES –

“Lana” was written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson as part of an early and somewhat regular songwriting partner.  (The two wrote “Only The Lonely,” “Up Town,” “Blue Angel,”I’m Hurtin’,” “Running Scared,” “Crying,” “The Crowd” and “Blue Bayou” together … a pretty impressive string of hits recorded between 1960 and 1963.)

For the record, Orbison’s version of “Lana” never charted either ... and The Velvets' version was issued as the B-Side of their single "Laugh" ... which was ALSO written by Orbison and Melson! (kk)

Congratulations to all of the recording artists that made The Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year.  Alison Moyet and Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold Dorsey) both received MBE’s (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.)  Rick Wakeman of Yes and Lulu (born Marie Lawrie) were both awarded the CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and  Alan Parsons received an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.)  kk

Also from Larry …


I have seen a brand new commercial (at least brand new to me) on television. It is 15 seconds long and the item is Lipton Iced Tea.  In the background is the song by Davie Allan and the Arrows, I'M LOOKING OVER A FOUR LEAF CLOVER.

I have only seen this commercial twice … so I am not positive that it is Davie Allan ... but I am positive about the song, even though it is done very quietly in the background, causing one to have problems figuring it out at all!

I am going out on a leaf (no pun intended) and say that you haven't seen this commercial yet.


And you would be correct ...  I have not ...

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t ask Davie Allan if his song is being used in the new Lipton Tea advertising campaign!!!  (Davie has been a long-time Forgotten Hits Reader … so let’s see what he has to say.)  kk

I have searched the Iced Tea tune and couldn't find my recording. Is there a way your reader can give me more info and somehow get a copy of the commercial?



I can only surmise by this response that either it isn’t Davie … or if it is, he was never notified (or likely compensated!) 

Can we get a little bit more information on this so we can check things out?

Thanks, Larry!  (kk)

UPDATE:  I found a site that shows all of the recent Lipton Iced Tea commercials … and none of them feature this song.  Maybe it’s a different brand? (Not Lipton)

Since I’ve never seen the commercial, maybe you can let us know the next time you see it.  Thanks, Larry … or any other readers who can steer us right!  (kk)

Forgotten Hits Reader Geoff Lambert, who publishes a weekly music sheet featuring the latest oldies news and historical facts from This Week In Rock and Roll History, tells us that Fifty Years Ago This Week in 1971 in the U.K. (which is where he’s based), the new #1 record this week (displacing Dawn’s “Knock Three Times”) was “Chirpy, Chirpy Cheep, Cheep” by Middle Of The Road, a song given the spotlight treatment here in Forgotten Hits a couple of weeks ago thanks to a piece written by FH Reader Mike Gentry.  It would be the start of its five week run at the top of the chart.  And, on this very same Record Retailer Chart, the highest new entry of the week was Chirpy, Chirpy Cheep, Cheep by Mac and Katie Kissoon, premiering at number 41.

If you’d like to get on Geoff’s mailing list, just drop him an email at … and tell him that Forgotten Hits sent you.

(Please note, however, that he is taking a two week break right now so no new newsletters will be going out until July.)  kk

And this one, just in from Mike Wolstein, made ME smile ...