I saw the new Aretha Franklin biopic Respect over the weekend. There were parts of the movie that were difficult to watch, including all of the abuse that she suffered and her own abuse of alcohol. Jennifer Hudson is truly amazing as Aretha and Forest Whitaker as her father is incredible. The best performance, though, is a clip at the end of the real Aretha singing at a tribute to Carole King.
Phil Nee – WRCO
We haven’t seen it yet (or the 8-hour National Geographic TV movie either, for that matter) … odd, because I was so looking forward to both of them. (I think I’m still in a bit of a funk about going places … I I had gotten to the point of shaking most of this off and venturing out again … but with all the new cases and now even vaccinated people contracting the disease lately, including a few people I know … plus having to go back to wearing masks at work and at some other local establishments again … I’m just not all that anxious to go out and sit with a bunch of strangers quite yet.)
That being said, MOST of the reviews I’ve read have been positive, especially when it comes to Jennifer Hudson (who already has ONE Oscar under her belt!) Not bad for a 7th place American Idol finalist!
I know we’ll see it eventually (there are a few movies that have opened recently that I’d like to see) … and we do have tickets to a few more in-person events as well … so, barring another lockdown mandate, we’ll get out there eventually!
Thanks, Phil! (kk)
Finally, the Top Pop Singles is being split into two books. With each edition getting larger and the print getting smaller, this is a great idea.
The first book covers the Hot 100 up to 1989, but I would have extended it to November 23, 1991. That was the last week before Billboard began to base its chart on Sound Scan and BDS. Charts after that date cannot be meaningfully compared with those before, so that's where I would have split it.
That’s an interesting perspective. I think Joel was looking more to cap off the decade and the demise of the vinyl single … as well as Top 40 radio in general … but you’ve raised an interesting question, so I asked him about your inquiry.
This is what he had to say …
I did consider extending the research into the early 90s … however, I decided to keep the entire decades separate. Those early 90s saw the takeover of the cassette single and the rise of hip-hop / rap artists such as MC Hammer, Biz Markie, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre and 2 Pac.
All-in-all it just made sense to make the split at the end of the 80s decade.
Thank you for your insight behind this thought process. (You already know my opinion on Billboard rewriting history by erasing all of the great rock and roll tracks that came before their first Hot 100 Chart ... and I think I remember you telling once before a LONG time ago that when you first started doing your research, you, too, considered starting the rock era in August of 1958) ... but there is just NO way you can eliminate all those great, early Elvis tracks, "Rock Around The Clock" (which launched the rock and roll era) and all those other early influence artists who paved the way for all that came afterwards. (Heck, some of those artists' careers were already winding down by August of '58!!!)
The idea of eliminating the ludicrous comparisons between the charts of the ‘50’s,
‘60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s with the charts of today is right up my alley ... we've been singing THIS song for quite
some time now! (As I’m typing this,
Billboard just announced that The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” has just logged
its 88th Week on Billboard’s Hot 100. Notice how it's not even called The Hot Pop Singles Chart anymore ... because this list has absolutely NOTHING to do with the popularity of singles anymore! Not when EVERY track of a brand new album release can chart the very next week!) Back in the 1955-1989 era, you had to actually be able to BUY the song on a single, even as vinyl gave way to cassette and CD singles. Now, it's like EVERYTHING goes, even YouTube views! It would probably be more accurate to compare today's chart rankings with Billboard's old Sheet Music Sales charts that predated the Pop Music era. That would likely be a more accurate comparison than the performance of a record's popularity during this highly competitive and ever-changing era of new sounds and trends that we experienced in the '60's!
A year-and-a-half on the Hot 100 chart was unheard of in our era, where the competition was so fierce that artists were having to release as many as four or five singles … and in some cases, as many as three albums per year just to stay relevant!) The fact that 28 singles have now spent 57 weeks or more on the chart doesn’t say much about the caliber of the music coming out these days. There just isn’t enough new, good music to push out some of these old tracks that are hanging on forever. This is yet another reason that there is no fair and balanced way to compare the music of the pre-1990 charts with the charts of today as records just didn’t stick around that long before. Even a huge hit like “Yesterday” only spent about a dozen weeks on the chart back in 1965 ... and that included four weeks at #1!!! The very idea that ANYTHING The Weeknd has released could rank higher than the classic music of the ‘50’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s is simply unthinkable … yet these kinds of comparisons are being made all the time by Billboard Magazine these days. (Joel recently told us that an artist like Drake, who’s only been charting since 2009, will occupy at least FOUR FULL PAGES of chart entries when his new Top Pop Singles, 1990 – 2022 is released next year! (Sadly, future historians will miss represent these eras for the rest of time.) He already had 151 chart hits in the 2018 edition of Joel’s book!!!) For the record, 81 of those hits (or better than 50%) only charted for three weeks or less … giving even MORE credence to the concept of GOOD pop music is all about QUALITY … and not quantity.
But we do have some REALLY good news to share … and you’re hearing it here first.
Joel Whitburn IS going to move forward with his idea to offer the brand new edition of his Top Pop Singles, 1955 – 1989 book in a full color version as well as the usual black and white version. (Look for updated ordering information on the Record Research website either later today or tomorrow!!!) And I couldn’t be happier …
These books will now definitely define the era of music covered here in Forgotten Hits … in not only the utmost detail but now also in coffee table book quality. I’ve already preordered a copy of each edition for my music library. (kk)
I thought you’d like to know that I am going to print a 4-color limited edition of the new Top Pop Singles 1955 - 1989. From the samples I’ve seen it will add a whole new dimension to that great rock era.
My daughter Kim is working on our web site to get both editions online. I just made the decision to print a 4-color edition yesterday after talking to the printer. The black & white edition will be first and a week later they’ll print the color edition. Hopefully, we’ll have everything, including sample pages, up and running in a day or so.
Thanks again for your interest and very kind comments.
And, speaking of Joel Whitburn, here’s ANOTHER Forgotten Hits Exclusive …
Joel sent me a copy of his new book “Top Pop Playlists, 1985 – 1999” to give away to a Forgotten Hits Reader.
It’s the third installment of his new series, counting down the 20-25 biggest hits of each month, all printed in beautiful, full color.
Earlier editions are also available thru the Record Research Website:
View samples on the website of these beautifully illustrated books … PERFECT for building your own timeline countdowns.
If you’d like to enter for a chance to win the final book in this series, “Top Pop Playlists, 1985 – 1999,” just send me an email with TOP POP PLAYLISTS in the subject line and we’ll enter your name in the drawing. (kk)
Hey Kent –
I was reading that wonderful article about the Ides Shames Union and it brought back some great memories. It really was a fun band to be in.
We were doing pop music and original music at a time when disco and punk were really coming on. It was hard maintaining an audience for what we did. That did not diminish the fact that everybody in the group was an excellent musician and a fine singer and it may be the best group of singers I’ve ever worked with.
Thanks again for the article.
My only regret in being in that group is that we didn’t get enough recognition for the songwriting of Don Melton and John Pavlik. I still think they’re great writers
I was fortunate enough to see the band a couple of times, most memorably at a place called Rush Up downtown on Rush Street where the band was crammed into the rafters. (Man, that had to be uncomfortable! But you still put on a great show.)
I had always hoped a recording contract might come out of the street cred the two bands had earned on their own previously … but I guess it just wasn’t to be. A few “homemade” recordings survived and I know we’ve aired them here in Forgotten Hits over the years … so that’s been a pretty cool club to be in. Thanks, Tom! (kk)
I always read what you put out … it's always been very entertaining and keeps me up to pace on what's happening in our world.
I'm doing well healthwise I've made it through the lockdowns and all that other stuff and was so excited to play the first job and it went very, very well. I hope you're gonna be at The Arcada … it's always a great job and to be in the new place is gonna be even better … and if we bring the same level of excitement that we had at the job in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, then it should be a great, great and memorable job.
Definitely hoping to make it to one of the upcoming Cornerstones shows … can you believe I haven’t been to one in over FOUR YEARS?!?!? Hoping to see you guys at the Dick Biondi Birthday Bash, too. (kk)
I was reading the list of shows that were put on at the Syndrome. One of was Grand Funk (opening act was Bloodrock) 5/1/71. In parenthesis, it said the show was cancelled and moved to the Amphitheater. Both Grand Funk and Bloodrock's list of shows staged in 1971 at the Syndrome weren't moved to some other location. I know since I attended that show.
I passed your information along to Ken Voss and he is doing some additional fact-checking and then, if appropriate, a modification to his article. Stay tuned! (kk)
Dion has just released a brand new track called “I’ve Got To Get To You,” featuring Boz Scaggs and Joe and Mike Menza.
You can watch the brand new video here:
Look for a new album (the follow-up to his smash LP “Blues With Friends”) later this fall. (kk)
Just added on SiriusXM … (or is it the newly-branded XSM???) …
Sounds Of Summer: The Florida Keys!
The other day we told you all about the Chicago Summer station that SiriusXM has added to their line-up.
Well now, in keeping true to their word, OTHER cities and locales are being added to the mix.
Visit SiriusXM today to see how you can subscribe to these brand new channels. (kk)
Looks like WOKY wasn’t the first station to jump on “Maggie May” either …
I know for many years the story of a WOKY Disc Jockey flipping over Reason To Believe to play Maggie May was circulated ... I never was positive about the source. Maggie May starts on the WOKY chart on 8-10-71. It is #1 for four weeks and is on the charts for 14 weeks. I have looked at other Mercury releases around the same time and it looks pretty sure to me that the 45 was released in Mid-July.
The KRLA survey seems too early for the 45. The second one is possible, but they are playing LP tracks as well. I don’t remember hearing it on AM until late July. I remember that WRIT had a survey with all 45’s except for Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney. It happened from time to time.
Until somebody can provide a chart showing “Maggie May” on it earlier than the KRLA chart we ran the other day, I’ve got to go with this station as being on of the first (if not THE very first) to jump on this song and realize its hit potential. (That being said, I will ALSO say that in all likelihood it was most probably played as an album track this early on … but would have been one of the precursors to recognizing how big this record could be.) When Mercury finally decided to release a single from the album and stuck “Maggie May” on the B-Side, I can almost hear this wave of “What are you, crazy?!?!” screaming from disc jockeys from coast to coast, all of whom knew better as to what the REAL hit record was going to be. (kk)
Perhaps the facts that Maggie May was recorded at the end of the session, and intended as a filler, and not expected to be a hit, are the reasons the loud thump during the mandolin solo was left in the final mix and is heard on every edit / version of the song.
Harvey Kubernik has a new piece celebrating the anniversary of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” album. You can check it all out here:
I am with you in that I don't remember Diana Ross' SURRENDER. If it made our local survey, I don't know without checking.
OK … I went and checked on that SURRENDER record by Diana Ross. It made its initial appearance here in OKC for the week of September 2, 1971, at the bottom of the survey listed as a HIT BOUND record. It never got any higher than HIT BOUND. It was on the survey for just three weeks. Ironically, her counterparts, the Supremes, dropped off the survey at the same time with their record NATHAN JONES. Always did like that record.
I remember the records you mentioned by Ted Cassidy and Soupy Sales. I have got both of them and yes, they did make our local radio survey. You were guessing that the record by Senor Wences is a collectable record. It probably is … and I do have a copy of it with a picture sleeve as well.
HELPING OUT OUR READERS:
We’ve been asked to ask our readers if anyone out there might have a copy of an interview that Dick Biondi did with Karen Carpenter back in the ‘70’s. (Unfortunately, I don’t have much more information than that … but if this sounds familiar, or may be something you have picked up in your own collection over the years, please let me know so that we can get a copy into the proper hands. New documentaries are currently being made for both Biondi and Carpenter and this would make for a welcome addition to each.) Thanks, folks! (kk)
This weekend, Me-TV-FM will be doing another salute to the old K-Tel / Ronco records that came out in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.
Rick O’Dell tells us all about it below …
If you’re like me, you probably had a love-hate relationship with the albums put out by K-Tel and Ronco back in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. On the one hand, for those of us trying to stretch our allowance, this was a way of getting a lot of music on one album for a low price (“20 Power Hits! 20 Original Stars!”) On the other, when you got home, opened it up and put it on the turntable, you realized there was a reason they could put so many songs on one album — every song was a lot shorter than what you heard on the radio.
Well, this coming weekend, we’ll solve that problem. Whenever we play a song that was included in one of those K-Tel or Ronco collections, we’ll play the version of the song that radio stations played back then, not the disappointing, truncated version you found on the album.
Our K-Tel / Ronco Weekend begins in the 7:00 pm hour on Friday (August 20th)
Ironically, Phil Nee of WRCO was just telling me the other day that he first discovered the song “Pretty Lady” (a GREAT track, btw!) on one of those old K-Tel albums. (They would always stick in a few lesser-known hits to fill out their twenty tracks and this just happened to be one of them. We never heard this song here in the Midwest when it was out!) Of course, it was an abbreviated version, as was so often the case, in order to fit twenty tracks on a single LP! (I first heard the song when Big Jay Sorensen played it on Dave The Rave’s program about a dozen years ago or so and fell in love with it immediately. Ironically, I heard it TODAY on Rewound Radio, too!)
I was telling Phil how when I heard it for the first time, I felt the vocal to be somewhat reminiscent of Leon Russell … and it still sounds that way to me now. It certainly didn’t sound like either of Lighthouse’s other two big hits, “One Fine Morning” or “Sunny Days!” (kk)
From Clark Besch …
Back when it was a REAL Hard Day's Night!
>>>August 16th marked the anniversaries of the deaths of both Elvis Presley (1977), The King Of Rock And Roll, and Aretha Franklin (2018), The Queen Of Soul. (kk)
I shamefully was celebrating National Rum Day that day and MISSED that!
(I’m sentencing myself to 24 hours in the “Jailhouse” of “Rock,” and writing “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” on the wall 100 times.)
~ cb ~