Me-TV-FM’s got an interesting weekend planned …
Beginning at 7:00 pm on Friday, they’ll be kicking off their first ever “Lost ‘70s Weekend.”
Long time veteran radio industry expert Sean Ross has written a popular series of blogs on songs that were once big hits but are seldom heard on the radio anymore. He’s even come up with a mathematical formula, the "Lost Factor," in which he’s able to rank songs from specific decades on how “lost” they are on radio today by factoring in: a) how popular they were in their year of release in that year’s Billboard Top 100; and b) how few spins they get on radio today.
This coming weekend, Me-TV-FM will be playing selections from his “100 Most Lost Songs of the ‘70s” ranking. (By the way, you can follow Sean on Twitter at @RossonRadio.)
Before that, they’ll also be celebrating a couple of important birthdays by featuring all day birthday salutes to Barry Manilow on Thursday (today!) and Paul McCartney on Friday (tomorrow!)
The best place to listen is still the Milwaukee stream, accessible here:
And don’t forget … you can listen to the new HISTORY OF ROCK ‘n’ ROLL feature here in Chicago on Me-TV-FM, 87.7 FM, from 7-9 am on Saturday and from 10 pm – Midnight on Sunday … soon to also be streaming on the Milwaukee feed. (kk)
[I will say this … after reviewing Ross’ list, kudos once again to Me-TV-FM for “unlosting” a good number of these hits. I’d say that at least 40% of these tunes are part of their regular rotation and perhaps another dozen get a spin every now and then. The others simply don’t fit their “soft rock oldies” format … I don’t think you’re gonna hear “Dynomite!,” “My Ding-A-Ling,” “Scorpio” or the Frijid Pink version of “House Of The Rising Sun” anytime soon on Me-TV-FM … no matter HOW long you listen!!! – kk]
Happy 78th (!) birthday this morning to Barry
Manilow. Makes me feel ancient. ;-)
Here's a rarity many folks don't know about - the Scott English tune that became one of Barry's earliest and biggest hits.
I've attached the file. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-zhg1BeUkQ
Because the group Looking Glass had recently had a #1 Hit with a song called “Brandy,” Barry changed the girl’s name to “Mandy” … and went straight to #1 with his first big hit record. (Scott English’s version, although little known until Manilow pushed it into the spotlight, actually DID chart at #70 in 1972 … the same year as that OTHER song “Brandy”’s success!)
Barry Manilow’s first big release as a solo artist was “Could It Be Magic” … which TOTALLY tanked in 1974. (It never even charted) Then after “Mandy” went to #1 … and the follow-up “It’s A Miracle” made The Top Ten, Arista re-released “Could It Be Magic” … and this time it climbed to #6. (There is a WHOLE big controversy about this song, too. While Manilow readily admits the music borrowed heavily from a classical piece by Chopin, early pressings showed Tony Orlando as the cowriter of this tune. When it was rereleased and became a hit, Tony’s name was mysteriously missing from the record label … a point of contention between the two forever more.)
I have to admit to being a BIG Fanilow at the time … saw Barry several times during those first eight years of hits (twenty Top 20’s, thirteen Top 10’s and THREE #1’s) … including the taping at Ravinia of his television special. (I’ve told the story before about how after the concert had ended and Barry was LONG gone, they had the audience stick around for another two hours so they could film crowd shouts of everybody reacting to how phenomenal Barry was on stage … except it was all “canned” reaction because he was probably already changing into his silk pajamas in his hotel suite by the time we all got out of there!!!) Still, a fun night of music and an incredible memory. (Barry also did a sensational Soundstage show for PBS that I wish I had a pristine copy of … my VHS tape is pretty well worn after nearly fifty years!!!) kk
[Hard to believe Barry’s going to be 78. Paul McCartney turns 79 the very next day and
was already having chart hits 12 years before Barry! – kk]
Hi there Kent, and FH readers,
Well, over the weekend I started digging even deeper into the history of one of the songs that B. J. Thomas made famous, No Love At All. As Kent pointed out last Friday, the song was written by Johnny Christopher and Wayne Carson. It was actually Wayne Carson that first recorded the song back in February of 1970, but I don't think it charted.
Then, in April of 1970, Lynn Anderson recorded the song, which was released in June of that year, and it was a major hit on the Billboard country charts. In fact, No Love At All was the name of the album that she recorded the song on.
The same month, a man named John Rowles (who I must admit I know nothing
About) also recorded the song as well.
So, I have to correct my statement from last week that George McCannon III recorded the original version of the song, No Love At All. It was the first version I ever heard to be sure, living as I did in the Hartford, Connecticut, area at the time, but as it turned out, George McCannon III was at least the fourth person to release the song since it was first released by Wayne Carson in February of 1970. So, as Paul Harvey would say, now you know, the rest of the story!
Another song that has come up recently is Hooked On A Feeling which B.J. Thomas had a hit with in the summer of 1968. Then a European group called Blue Swede recorded a very different version of the song in 1974, with a lot of Oo-Ga-Cha-Ga’s in the background. But surprisingly, they were not the first group to record the song in that manner. In 1971, Jonathan King, who had a big hit in the fall of 1965 with Everyone's Gone To The Moon which always makes me think of Dan Ingram's classic aircheck during the northeast blackout on November 9, 1965, was the first person to record Hooked On A Feeling With Oo-Ga-Cha-Ga’s in the background. It
was a smash hit in Europe, Holland, Belgium and in the UK as well, but it didn't do a thing here. But this version of the song was much less impressive than Blue Swede's version. But clearly, his version gave Blue Swede the idea of how to record the song. You can listen to Jonathan King's version by going to:
And speaking of Blue Swede, here's a real forgotten hit. I guess because of the beautiful way that the Association recorded Never My Love, which was released just as the summer of love was winding down, no one ever thinks of this Blue Swede follow up to Hooked On A Feeling which was a hit in the fall of 1974. It certainly isn't played on oldies stations that I know of anyway, and it gives the song a totally different feel than the Association’s slow, mellow version. But it was a hit at the time.
LOTS of great examples here, Sam … thank you.
You’re right about Jonathan King (a very inventive musician) coming up with the whole Ooga-Chugga concept. Despite being a huge hit throughout Europe, it never even caused a blip here in The States.
As for Blue Swede’s version of “Never My Love,” it’s really quite awful … but released hot on the heels of their #1 Hit “Hooked On A Feeling,” still managed to make a Top Ten showing here in America, ultimately peaking at #6 six months later in 1974.
As for “No Love At All,” I’ll still take B.J. Thomas’ soulful version of any others. (kk)
And speaking of B.J. Thomas, I just noticed that we’ve mentioned his hit “The Eyes Of A New York Woman” three times now yet still haven’t featured a clip of the song!
So here’s a tv clip from 1968 … not the greatest video quality … but a great version of B.J. lip-synching the song …
I noticed the outpouring response continues in regards to the passing of B.J. Thomas by we Forgotten Hits readers. I guess I am not the only one who keeps thinking of his passing. His music crossed so many formats -- Top-40, Pop, Country, and Christian. From a Hank Williams song to Bacharach - David, to a Beach Boys classic and everything in between, he could sing it all. There's a reason he sold 70-million records!
You find out in life, fame and fortune doesn't isolate a person from challenges that life presents. And yet, through it all, B.J. Thomas remained the down-home, genuine person right to the end. It's always nice when you meet somebody like him and find out he is every bit the nice person you hoped he would be.
Enclosed is an interview he did with Geraldo Rivera on Good Night America in 1974. As I said, not even fame and fortune excludes you from the obstacles you can run into in this journey we call life.
Like Roy Orbison and Elvis, B.J. Thomas had such an identifiable voice and great range and, as with Orbison and Elvis, that occasional operatic tone on certain notes such as on his song "Mama."
Kent, at the risk of repeating myself, thank-you for your coverage of the vast topics you cover in Forgotten Hits ... and the days and hours you put in, year after year, in its publication. Thank-you for all the work you put into assembling all the information, giving up weekends, getting up early and getting to bed late meeting the deadlines, in contrast to those of us that get to read the fruits of your labor at our convenience. Reading Forgotten Hits a helluva lot easier, I'm sure, than "piecing the puzzle together" on your end of it. Again, THANK-YOU!
Thank you again for the kind words and praise … it’s comments like yours that make this whole thing worthwhile. (Good to know that we sometimes get it right once in a while! Lol)
This is a great clip. (OMG, they both look SO young!!!)
I’m not convinced B.J. had kicked his habit by 1974 … I might have to read up a little bit more on that one. In the case of SO many addicts, they put the image out there that they’re clean but are still deeply addicted behind the scenes. The idea of B.J. “retiring” for three years doesn’t quite make sense to me either … he had ten chart hits between his two #1 Records (“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” 1969, and “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” in 1975, six of which made The National Top 40 (although the charts weren’t as kind after “Rock And Roll Lullaby” charted in the Spring of ’72) … perhaps THESE are the three years he’s referring to, since this interview first aired in 1974. (Also, B.J. missing out on $200,000 worth of concert dates over the course of three weeks is pretty damn impressive … in today’s money, that’d be a little over a million dollars!!!)
Regardless, once he kicked it, he certainly walked away a better, stronger man … to the benefit of ALL of us. (And certainly an appreciative and reflective one, too.) I just love his voice and his music … which, fortunately for all of us, never really suffered along the way … and it is so great to see that he touched SO many of us. I know that I will never get tired of listening to him. (He’s in my CD player again right now as a matter of fact! Betcha I played over fifty songs by him these past two days alone … including “Mighty Clouds Of Joy” about six times and “Rock And Roll Lullaby” about four!!!) kk
And since we can’t seem to EVER mention B.J. Thomas without mentioning Elvis, too, here is a GREAT clip sent in by Frank B …
Jerry Weintraub: Elvis, a Million-Dollar Check, and Me (Nov. 10, 1998) | Charlie Rose – YouTube
Elvis made Jerry a millionaire .
Hello Music Lovers:
It's a big evening of rock and soul on TCM TV channel this Saturday: Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix as well as Thelonious Monk.
"Shake!: Otis at Monterey!" and "Jimi Hendrix" are scheduled for broadcast.
My brother Kenneth and I wrote "A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival" published in November, 2011. Michelle Phillips (Afterword), Lou Adler (Foreword) 4.7 out of 5 stars, 31 ratings
My 19th book, "Docs That Rock, Music That Matters," published in 2020, chronicles the legendary filmmaker and Oscar winner, D.A. Pennebaker and his documentaries "Shake!: Otis at Monterey" and "Monterey Pop," both lensed at the epic 1967 Monterey event produced by Lou Adler and John Phillips. The "Docs" book also examines some additional Motown, Stax and Hendrix-themed documentaries.
Due in October 2021 will be our "Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child" book. Advance praise comes from UCLA graduate, author/editor and journalist Daniel Weizmann, who wrote the as-told-to for DeeDee Ramone’s autobiography "Lobotomy" as well as editing Timothy Leary’s last collection, "The Delicious Grace of Moving One’s Hand."
"Here is a Jimi Hendrix book that dares to do what the others don't: treat him like a human being. Instead of rehashing the usual claptrap folklore, Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child delivers a portrait of the actual 3D person like we've never seen before. From the deep exploration of his musical evolution to the cast of characters who knew him well to the vivid portrayal of the world he moved in, this is a book that lets you meet the real Jimi once and for all, and it's mindblowing. In these pages, Jimi fans will discover that truth is stranger, more beautiful, and more soulful than mythology." --Daniel Weizmann
Please visit Kubernik's Korner at www.otherworldcottageindustries.com