Let’s kick the week off with this Food For Thought Query from Chuck Buell …
Here’s a GREAT clip of Kelly Clarkson singing The Beach Boys Classic “God Only Knows” … with a little help from Wendy and Carnie Wilson … and Carnie’s daughter Lola … with even a surprise appearance by the song’s writer, Brian Wilson!!!
On a related note, I got this from long-time FH Reader Phil Miglioratti …
Private Screening of the Documentary “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” by Surf's Up: A Beach Boys Podcast Safari on SoundCloud
Hosts Mark Dillon and Phil Miglioratti provide a preview of the forthcoming documentary Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road and report on a virtual press conference featuring director Brent Wilson, Rolling Stone's Jason Fine - who is featured in the film - and Brian himself! Their conversation covers songs that tell the movie's story, those Brian has influenced, Brian the live performer, his relationship with his brothers, and the great voice of Blondie Chaplin.
In addition to the podcast, I posted my nominations for the soundtrack.
The Cirque Du Soleil Production of “Love,” a tribute to the music of The Beatles, will finally reopen on August 26th.
Shut down since the pandemic, tickets are now available again thru the show’s official website: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/beatles-love
It’s a musical extravaganza of Beatles music, many interpreted in new ways and all enacted to perfection by this talented troupe of acrobats, trapeze artists, dancers and more. (It really is a sight to behold.)
DEFINITELY worth seeing if you get the chance. (kk)
The only reason I passed the Long Cool Woman lyrics quiz is because of Clint Black's 2008 country version. He got most of the words correct with his cover version.
Elton John had several songs in his early days that I was never sure what he was singing. I thought she had 'electric boobs' in Bennie and the Jets, and did not know that Daniel was heading for Spain until Wilson Phillips did a cover version.
Many of us were listening to those songs on an AM radio broadcast through a 3-inch speaker. That was also part of the problem.
Phil – WRCO
I think we all HOPED (and wanted to believe) he was singing “Electric Boobs”!!! (kk)
>>> While I was listening to a doo-wop show I recorded onto cassette from the radio in the late Nineties, I came across a song that the DJ didn't announce and I'm wondering if any of your readers could help me identify the artist and/or song. If any of your readers could point me in the right direction, I’d sure appreciate it. (Colin Donahue)
>>>If ANYBODY out there can give us the answer to this one, it’s gotta be Frank B. … a long time reader and MAJOR Doo-Wop aficionado. What say you, Frank??? (kk)
I figure the wrong answer ---
Is better than no answer at all.
Well, that ain’t it … we had a couple of other guesses (don’t read that the wrong way … we have absolutely NO idea what the right answer is!!!) but none of those were the right lyrics (similar perhaps) nor were they a cappella renditions.
This one may be tougher than it looks. (kk)
Me and Wild Wayne put our heads together.
This is what we came up with. It’s not exactly what you're looking for.
The only one that I can think of with very similar lyrics is the song “This Can’t Be True” by Eddie Holman - 1965 - Cameo Parkway
Really enjoying your blog. You amaze me with the amount of information you come up with. Just terrific. You have some great followers / contributors including our friend, Frank B. They are so vital to what we do.
I’ve spent about an hour researching the challenge song you sent me. The only thing close is “You Can’t Be True” by Eddie Holman. It wasn’t a cappella and it was released way before the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzDnM1pnEA4
I have reached out to some friends in the Doo Wop community who have been singing for years. If they don’t have an answer, I’ll post in the newsletter.
Thanks and keep up the good work.
Doo Wop Revival
I don’t think it’s a song from the ‘90’s … it’s a song Colin HEARD in the ‘90’s. Since everybody keeps coming up with the same Eddie Homan song as their answer, I cannot help but wonder if somebody (some doo-wop group) was inspired by his record and recorded their own adaptation, coming up with some new lyrics along the way. (The lyrics can be found on last Thursday’s post if you’d like to refer to them again.) And Colin, if you can make an MP3 of your cassette recording and send it along for us to post, that may trigger a recognition from some of the Doo-Wop fans on our list.
about you, Danny Guilfoyle? Can you
solve the mystery??? (kk)
Meanwhile, let’s see if anybody else out there is able to come back with anything.
This could be an original song by a group just fascinated with the whole doo-wop sound and trying to create it as authentically as possible. But Colin DID send us a copy of what he taped off the radio ... so let's see if THIS helps anybody identify the song and artist. (Boy, talking about Helping Out Our Readers!!! Lol We're sure giving it the old college try on this one!)
Does THIS help anybody identify the song and/or artist??? (kk )
By the way, if you’re REALLY into Doo-Wop, then how can you not visit this place???
There's a long list of unreleased Bobby Darin material. I wonder why the estate doesn't release a few more albums?
There are still a considerable number of STUDIO recordings that have never seen the light of day … I can’t even imagine how much that tally would increase if you started adding in live performances!!!
I think it’s just a matter of rights to this material … and the limited audience it would appeal to.
Many years ago when I went to The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas for the ceremony and Jimmy Scalia, Bobby’s official archivist, played two unreleased tracks for this special gathering. The thought back then was that perhaps some of this material could finally be released … but, to the best of my knowledge, that never happened … even in the wake of the hit Kevin Spacey film and the anthology box set. (It would just seem to me that the timing could have never been better than striking then and there while Bobby’s name was back in the forefront again.)
I would love to see a box set of “in the vault” recordings released … maybe even a couple of disc’s worth of material, along with two more discs featuring live material … but will it ever happen? Who knows. (For me, The Holy Grail of Bobby Darin recordings is still HIS version of “Danke Schoen,” recorded before he wiped his vocal off the arrangement and gave it to Wayne Newton to record instead. After all these years of searching, I’ve come to believe that it either no longer exists … or never existed in the first place!) kk
From FH Reader Ken Voss …
Ellen McIlwaine RIP
It was the mid-‘60s Greenwich Village scene. Jimi Hendrix and Ellen McIlwaine were struggling musicians who shared a common bond – music. They shared the stage together. She was a friend. Hendrix left Greenwich Village when Chas Chandler convinced him to come to England. McIlwaine stayed, and by the early ‘70s had carved out a cult-like status with her albums Honky Tonk Angel and We the People. She eventually moved to Canada, where she was active in the festival circuit and Prairie Music Scene, out of the limelight but staying true to her roots. Sadly, McIlwaine passed away in June after a battle with cancer at the age 75.
Ellen McIlwaine was born in Nashville but grew up in Japan with her missionary parents. Hearing American rhythm and blues on the radio, she was playing rock and roll piano as early as her fifth birthday, inspired by the music of Fats Domino, Ray Charles and Professor Longhair that she heard on Armed Forces Radio. Her family eventually returned to the United States when she was 15, making Atlanta home. There, she became involved in the southern gospel / R&B scene. She also switched from piano to guitar, inspired by B.B. King.
She quickly evolved with a captivatingly original style. She turned an acoustic guitar into a funk instrument. She then fused that with New Orleans' jumbo scat vocalizations. Her voice, her playing, her interpretations put her in a small circle of popular female folkies of the early 70s era - including the likes of Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro.
In 1966, McIlwaine moved to the East Village of New York City, soaking up the Greenwich Village vibe. It was the same period Hendrix was there. It's said that Hendrix even sat in on her gigs at the Cafe Au Go Go, "encouraging her as well as teaching her how to use her voice like another guitar," writes Tom Terrell in the liner notes of her release Up From the Skies: The Polydor Years (Polydor Chronicles), who also indicates McIlwaine was with Hendrix when he wrote "The Wind Cries Mary".
"I used to play with Jimi Hendrix," McIlwaine acknowledged in the book Hoot: A 25 Year History of the Greenwich Village Music Scene (St. Martin's Press). "I don't think Jimi ever played with women before. There weren't that many women around. I played the piano. I didn't play guitar when he played with me. He played lead guitar. He sat on a barstool and he played and didn't try to steal the show and act macho and everything."
She continues, "It was real interesting getting to know him, because he was real difficult to get to know. I don't know if anybody ever really did. He was withdrawn. Music was the way he communicated - music was everything. He lived it and breathed it. He was always interested in hearing everybody."
Closing out her story on Hendrix, she said "When I was playing with him, I called my manager at the time and I said, 'I found a guitar player.' And he said, 'Well, who is he?' I said, 'You've got to come down and hear him, his name is Jimi Hendrix and he's really good.' He said, 'I heard about him.' I said, 'Well, come hear him.' He said, 'No. No. You don't want him in your band, he's black.' I said, 'I don't want you to be my manager.'"
Over the years, McIlwaine has honored Hendrix with her interpretations of his music. In 1972, she included a version of “Up From the Skies” on the album Honky Tonk Angel (Polydor), recorded live at the Bitter End in New York, just Ellen and her guitar, not as a tribute to Hendrix, but as one of her own songs. She returned to the Hendrix catalog again in the late ‘90s with her take on “May This Be Love” on Women in (E)motion (Tradition & Moderne), reprising “Up From the Skies” with a much funkier jazz-scat arrangement on Spontaneous Combustion (Tradition & Moderne).
As mentioned, McIlwaine appeared to be one of the Greenwich Village alumni who would continue with a lengthy successful career after her first couple of albums. Unwilling to compromise with the music industry commercially and a bout with alcoholism left McIlwaine on the sidelines. Leaving New York, she headed up to Toronto where she became involved in the reggae and blues scenes there. In 1987 she became a permanent resident of Canada and was touring the festival circuit with Johnny Winter.
Her career rebounded in 1997 when she was invited to Germany for the annual Women in (E)motion Festival. The success of that spurred McIlwaine to head back into the studio for the album Spontaneous Combustion.
Since then, McIlwaine moved to Calgary and, with her interest in Eastern music, has continued to release albums exploring a variety of world music formats. Her last album Mystic Bridge (EMM) was a blues / world music project featuring table virtuoso Cassius Khan.
You could find her regularly performing at Calgary’s Ironwood Stage and Grill. She boasted of being proud of being “clean and sober” since 1982. But hip replacement surgery in 2004 slowed her, and as the number of venues dwindled and fewer festival opportunities, McIlwaine became a typical Calgary resident and was driving a school bus while she battled her cancer.
Ellen McIlwaine discography
1972 Honky Tonk Angel (Polydor)
1973 We The People (Polydor)
1975 The Real Ellen McIlwaine (Kot’Ai)
1978 Ellen McIlwaine (United Artists)
1982 Everybody Needs It (Blind Pig)
1987 Looking for Trouble (Stony Plain)
1995 The Real / Everybody Needs It (Stony Plain)
1998 Up From the Skies: The Polydor Years (Polydor)
1998 Women in (E)motion (Tradition & Moderne)
2000 Spontaneous Combustion (Tradition & Moderne)
2006 Mystic Bridge (EMM)
Submitted by Ken Voss
Hi Oldies Lovers,
The jazz quintet that I sang with in the 1990s, Group 5ive, always brought us a big hand from our audiences. I’ve sent along a 7 minute medley of top group hits through the years, from “Juke Box Saturday Night” by the Modernaires (1942) to “Up Up & Away” by the Fifth Dimension (1967).
Enjoy the memories,
Please check out my new online site, Paulevans.com, for information about my music career and about my book, Happy Go Lucky Me, which will be released in the UK on July 29th and here in America on November 16th.
Hi Kent -
Would mind posting the following link:
Bandstand Diaries shares the fascinating story of how Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and its millions of viewers catapulted its teenage dancers (called “the Regulars”) to fame. You will not be disappointed. Please go to “Bandstanddiaries.com”. Thank you!
Eddie Kelly (1959 - 1961)
Speaking of American Bandstand, I see that Chubby Checker is coming to The Arcada Theatre on November 7th ... that's always a great show ... and that Bobby Rydell may (or may not!) be coming later on this year as well!!! Read on ...
Bobby Rydell Will "SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER."
Well, I don’t know if he’ll see ME in September … we were kind of disappointed in his last show where he concentrated the bulk of his time honoring The Great American Songbook, virtually ignoring his own hits (which we all came to see) in the process. Hopefully, this time around he’ll do more than four of his own songs! (I might be more inclined to go if this were a Golden Boys Show … but this one's a solo show.) And it’s not that Bobby put on a BAD show, performing with a very tight four-piece jazz band and a nine-piece horn section … he just didn’t put on the kind of show his fans came to see and hear. (kk)
UPDATE: On the Arcada Theatre website, they’re showing Johnny Rivers performing there on September 12th … so I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe Bobby cancelled and hasn’t rescheduled yet (meaning his website information is wrong???) Check before making plans! (kk)
UPDATE TO OUR UPDATE: I just spoke to Ron Onesti ... Johnny Rivers will be performing on September 12th as advertised ... Bobby Rydell's date will be moved ... but we won't have a firm date until after Wednesday of this week ... so again, please check the website before purchasing any tickets to either of these events. (kk)
Of course, we gave Bobby the full week spotlight treatment back in 2016 … readers wrote in to say that they thought it was the best interview he’d ever done (although I will admit that it took more than a little bit of prodding from me on my part to get him to participate beyond his standard twenty minutes!) On the plus side, I also heard from readers who said that they heard Bobby mentioned our interview and website coverage while doing OTHER interviews during his 2016 jaunt across the United States so, begrudgingly as it may have been, I think that HE appreciated the in-depth coverage as well!) kk
You can read it all right here: http://forgottenhits.com/bobby_rydell