Saturday, September 5, 2009

Music, 1969

While most will argue that The Grammys are not a very good barometer when it comes to measuring GOOD music (aka "Hit" music ... or reflecting the sounds of the times), they seemed to do all-right in their awards honoring the music of 1969.

The Record Of The Year Award went to Producer Bones Howe and the Fifth Dimension for their chart-topping hit "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In", a song that held down the #1 spot for six weeks that year. (We covered "The Story Behind The Song" in one of our earlier 1969 Salute Pieces this past month.)

Album Of The Year was awarded to James William Guercio (Producer) and Blood, Sweat and Tears for their self-titled LP, which spawned the hit singles "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "Spinning Wheel" and "And When I Die", all of which reached the #2 spot on The Billboard Chart that year.

Song Of The Year was a bit of a surprise ... this honor went to Joe South for his Top Ten Hit "Games People Play".

And Crosby, Stills and Nash were named "Best New Artist" that year as well.

Other significant award winners that year were Harry Nilsson (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male, for "Everybody's Talkin'"), Peggy Lee (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Female, for "Is That All There Is"), The Fifth Dimension (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group for "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In"), "Color Him Father" by The Winstons (Best Rhythm and Blues Song), Joe Simon (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Male, for "The Chokin' Kind"), Aretha Franklin (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Female, for "Share Your Love With Me"), The Isley Brothers (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Group, for "It's Your Thing"), "A Boy Named Sue", which won honors for both Shel Silverstein as the songwriter (Best Country Song of the Year) and Johnny Cash, who took home the honors for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male. (Cash won an additional Grammy for writing the liner notes to the Bob Dylan album, "Nashville Skyline"!) Tammy Wynette won the Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for her big hit "Stand By Your Man" and The Edwin Hawkins Singers won Best Soul Gospel Performance for their recording of "Oh, Happy Day". Best Instrumental Arrangement went to Henry Mancini for "Love Theme from 'Romeo And Juliet'" and Burt Bacharach won for Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture for his work on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Finally, Art Linkletter won Best Spoken Word Recording for his very moving "We Love You, Call Collect" and Bill Cosby took home the honors for Best Comedy Recording ... all in all, a pretty spot-on year when it came to recognizing these achievements.

Meanwhile, on The Pop Charts, the biggest single of the year went to "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies ... Lead Singer Ron Dante remembers:

1969 was an incredible year for The Archies.
Archies Fun House was the number one Saturday morning show that year and our music was everywhere."Sugar,Sugar" was the number one record of the year and the cartoon was even played on The Ed Sullivan Show.I remember the Sugar, Sugar recording session was really cool with the legendary Don Kirshner, Jeff Barry, Toni Wine and Andy Kim all present.Don put the whole thing together getting Archie comics to let him choose the songs, producer and singers.Jeff and Andy were terrific at coming up with great songs and hooks for the group. Andy even played guitar on Sugar,Sugar using a matchbook instead of a pick. Jeff worked the musicians a little harder than usual giving the bass player ideas that took some time.After I did my lead vocalToni Wine and I did all the background vocals and she added her wonderful voice to the "I'm Gonna Make Your Life so Sweet" line.In 1969 everything changed. Woodstock, The Moon Landing, The Mets and The Archies.A perfect year.
Ron Dante

Some found the unexpected surprise of a bubblegum / pop record earning The Single Of The Year Award a bit dumbfounding, especially in light of some of the other musical trends of that era. Music had definitely taken on a harder edge by 1969 with the formation of new super groups like Led Zeppelin, Blind Faith and Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young) releasing their first LPs.

Here are some of the other comments we received on this topic:

Was "Sugar Sugar" by the unforgettable Archies really the number one song in '69? No big deal. Hey, the hooks were kind of catchy.
I couldn't get enough of Creedence, Tommy James, Rush Street, Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders or anything via Stax, Volt or Motown. Rush Street, in particular, was just too much fun. The Street had yet to go corporate, so my haunts were Rush Up, Rush Over, Mother's, Butch's and Puncinellos.
Rush Up was the apex of boy - girl attraction. If you couldn't find a babe in that joint by 10 pm you just weren't trying. There was also a tonk bar on Broadway avenue called "The Do It Lounge" which really should have been outlawed.
We just danced until we passed out ... and then danced again. Thank God the place had a 4 A.M. license.
My man Wayne Cochran was appointment entertainment. He was running a band with at least a dozen musicians. They were so damn tight it hurt. The Riders always drove home the point with the heaviest of jazz-funk bass lines and horn sections that were overwhelming.
Wayne, of course, was a handbook on showmanship. I would love to get in contact with him.
Kids today think they're having fun. Forget it. We put a copyright on fun in 1969.
We were doing the popcorn and the funky chicken.
Had to make a few bucks and I was truly blessed. I'd hooked up with WFLD - now Fox 32 - and was working a variety of jobs: news writer, on camera sports reporter, etc. It was a wonderful rush for a 21 year old kid. 21 years old? Actually on the tube? Couldn't happen today ...No News Director would have the guts.
Here's the deal ... TV, especially UHF, was still very embryonic. I wound up doing all those gigs at 'FLD because the station was running on a short leash budget. My salary was about 200 bucks a week. That wasn't bad since I never spent more than about 300 dollars a week.
Chet Coppock
Host: Notre Dame Football
WLS Radio
LOL ... good stuff, Chet ... I can TOTALLY relate to spending 50% more than what you're earning ... and STILL have that problem today!!! (lol) By the way, don't forget to check out Chet's brand new book, "Fat Guys Shouldn't Be Dancin' At Half-Time" available soon in book stores or through all of the usual online services! (kk)

Hey Kent,
1969 was the year that I graduated from Falconer Grammar School in Chicago. It was also the year that I discovered bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Three Dog Night, Jimi Hendrix, Elephants Memory and one hit wonder The Bubble Puppy (who I was surprised to see in the RRHOF one hit wonder exhibit).
I grew up listening to my older Brother's music collection (10 Years Older). Elvis, the Crewcuts, Everly Brothers, Roger Miller, West Side Story soundtrack, etc. It was a great foundation to Rock N Roll. But when I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, at 8 years of age, I ran out and bought Meet The Beatles on vinyl, my whole world changed. (Although I have always been an Elvis fan).
1969 was also the year that I began my High School Years at Prosser Voc. That opened up my eyes and ears to many different types of music. Santana, Stevie Wonder, Temptations, and many non-white bands, being that Prosser was a non-district school. You could live anywhere in the city, and attend Prosser. I made many friends, of all different races and religions during that time, and still have many friendships from that era.
Mark Zimmerman
Hayward, CA

'69 MEMORIES: What a great year. I spent most of that year in the 8th grade or Junior High (when did it become middle school? lol) and had a newspaper route. I used to build plastic model cars and the entire line-up of '69 Chevrolets became my favorite cars and remain so to this day (a few years later my best friend bought a 69 Chevelle SS396 and taught me to drive standard shift with it). That year I decided to go to Trade School to learn the Printing Business after getting a sampling of it in the Jr. High Print Shop, so that year had a big effect on my life because I worked as a Printer from 1973 up until 2008.
So much great music that year, Beatles, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Motown still cranking out great songs and The Rolling Stones which you mentioned and always kind of makes me chuckle that Honky Tonk Women got knocked out of the #1 spot by Sugar, Sugar although I do love both songs, (side-note, a few years ago I had the good fortune to meet and talk with both Ron Dante and Andy Kim at different times and found them both to be excellent performers as well as very nice people), it shows what a wide variety of music was on the radio back then.
I certainly remember the moon landing because our entire extended family was at a barbecue and everybody went inside to watch on TV. My youngest brother was born 5 days later on the 25th, he just turned 40 (Happy Birthday Charlie) and my cousin got married that summer, 1st wedding I ever went to, and she and her husband are celebrating 40 years of marriage this year.
Of course, I watched all the news reports about Woodstock, but at 13 years old, no way could I have gone, although I live about 2 hours drive from the site(I did manage to go to Woodstock '94, lots of fun).
My summer ended on a bad note when in late August I was nearly killed in a car accident with my brother, cousin and 16 yr old next door neighbor in his brand new 69 Volkswagen Fastback(remember those?). Fortunately, we all survived, but I spent 4 weeks in the hospital (riding shotgun without seatbelts) and started High School in October instead of September and walked around with 2 black eyes for about 6 months.
Anyway, lots of great music including the now much over-played Suspicious Minds and the DJs on WABC playing around when the song faded out and then came back again. I used to love that and nowadays I never hear that version anymore even though the song gets played several times a day by every station in my area(I know, we don't need to hear it, but I would love to hear that version on the radio once in awhile)
That's about it for me on 1969 (please excuse the rambling)
Thanks Kent, for all you do
Orange, CT

69: Those numbers are not JUST for what some of you are thinking.‘69 the year is indelibly etched in MY mind due to many things that a lot of you mentioned. For ME, it was when I realized that (during that summer and fall) all types of music clashed and collided to become the true soundtrack of the end of our collective adolescence. Think about it. A WHOLE generation had known about ELVIS and bad movies. Some of his songs were sorta relevant … and then “Suspicious Minds” came out … a career rejuvenator for sure. The Beatles hit their peak (some suggest two years prior) with the release of Abbey Road that fall. CCR was becoming the biggest American rock band. The Stones had “Honky Tonk Women” even with the erased tracks of their founder Brian Jones. Motown was still making relevant music, although NOW mostly influenced by what Sly Stone was up to. Stax was still puttin’ down thegrooves … although they maybe had peaked the year before … (Don’t count “Shaft” later … asthat was the beginning of the end for the Stax empire.) Bubblegum was still in the mix with Bobby Sherman’s “Little Woman” … although the best true bubblegum was gone already. The ROCK of The WHO, Janis, Jimi, The DOORS were all at the peak of their powers then. The SOULwas still magnificent from Detroit, Memphis , NY … not yet morphing into Disco … although SOME of the roots of Disco CAME from that year … (Listen to the rhythms and beats in Soul songs from ’69.) Folk singers could still sell records … Dylan, Baez, Arlo, Simon & Garfunkel, etc … PURE POP FUN was still available from The Turtles (although their peak was in ’67 & 68.) Lou Christie was a hit-maker from another era … (only gone for 2 or 3 years!) And there were STILL a lot of regional hit records in each major city. Just look at WLS’s surveys thatKent has posted recently. Even WABC was playing some regional faves even at THAT late date. Some records I heard on WFIL and WIBBAGE in Philly were LOCAL records that NEVER made it to NY or Chicago … and could only BE played in Philly today! But … just what WAS the commonality of all this music?? We loved almost ALL of it! And several songs could be playedby ONE station. Not all, mind you … the really esoteric tracks were played by the AOR stations … the POP stuff on AM … but for ONCE, AM played a lot of “heavy” hits and a LOT of black music that was only played on “SOUL” stations just a year before … when CHAOS ruled the airwaves … the killings of very popular figures, and not ONE of our generations MUSIC LEGENDS had yetcroaked. It’s not because I was 16 in ’69 that made me superior in my tastes in music (which entailed ALL of the above in some magical place in my head) … no. It was the fact that it all was HEARD by the masses.
Today, there is no such thing as a MASS appeal station for ANY genre. Perhaps COUNTRY is close, but even THEY are broken up by niches and old, vs. new country. And OLD means the 90’s. I also think THIS is why Classic Hit stations of today that actually PLAY a little of ALL that we remember are doing so WELL in most cities. We didn’t stop liking music in ’69. I know I didn’t. But by ’89, I was gone. New music didn’t cater to ME anymore. BECAUSE much of it was only played on SELECT STATIONS. They were already sliced and diced into little corners of the FORMAT world of consultants and certain programmers. THAT’S when it all went bad. It’s not a recent thing. It started in the 80’s ... or maybe even the late 70’s!!!!!!! So my memories of ’69 are VERY fond. I was able to deliver my papers on my bike still, and STILL have time to head to the beach in a nearby Jersey Shore town. I was TETHERED to my earpiece on my paper route (so much so, that a customer asked my mom if I was DEAF! Mom laughed and she thought the woman was gonna hit her. She explained that it was a pocket RADIO that I had in my ear from morning ‘til night!) I didn’t NEED it at the beach that summer, as almost EVERYONE had on either 77 WABC or 102.7 WNEW-FM. There was a chasm alreadydeveloping between the freaks and the straights … but I was a little of BOTH; musically anyway … All I know is what I feel NOW. I feel like it was a special time when the stars DID align and the moon was in the seventh pass ... and Jupiter was aligned with Mars. We THOUGHT peace would guide the planet. Alas it didn’t … but musically MILLIONS of us were on one or maybe only TWO wavelengths. And THAT was very special. It will NEVER happen that way again. I didn’t get to Woodstock, as my liberal MOTHER wouldn’t let me go. My CONSERVATIVE father said, “Let him go.” Mom won out … as SHE was listening to the MOR station on the radio describing what was about to happen, and SHE didn’t want her oldest being exposed to that “crowd.” Little did she KNOW I knew the crowd. I wasn’t a 100% freak, nor was I a 100% geek.I knew HOW to get there, and I had a ride!!! But I didn’t go. I savored the MOVIE thefollowing year. I bought BOTH albums … and even got the 4 CD set a few years back … with songs NOT in the movie. I play it once a year around that time JUST to try to LIVE it for real. Then we became adults VERY quickly as a generation, and it all seemed like a dream. It wasn’t. It was a very REAL … but somewhat SURREALISTIC time for ALL of us middle Boomers > Thanks for reading my thoughts! ‘69 indeed!

Big Jay Sorensen

The Year-End Chart - 1969:
Every year Billboard Magazine tabulates a ranking of The Biggest Singles Of The Year, based on these songs' chart performance during the eligibility period.
In 1969, The Top 20 Songs of the Year, as determined by Billboard Magazine, were as follows:
1) Sugar Sugar - The Archies
2) Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In - The Fifth Dimension
3) I Can't Get Next To You - The Temptations
4) Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones
5) Everyday People - Sly and the Family Stone
6) Dizzy - Tommy Roe
7) Hot Fun In The Summertime - Sly and the Family Stone
8) I'll Never Fall In Love Again - Tom Jones
9) Build Me Up, Buttercup - The Foundations
10) Crimson And Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells
11) One - Three Dog Night
12) Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James and the Shondells
13) Hair - The Cowsills
14) Too Busy Thinking About My Baby - Marvin Gaye
15) Love Theme from "Romeo And Juliet" - Henry Mancini
16) Get Together - The Youngbloods
17) Grazing In The Grass - The Friends of Distinction
18) Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
19) Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival
20) What Does It Take - Jr. Walker and the All-Stars

Incredibly, the song that topped BOTH of our Summer Charts, "In The Year 2525" by Zager and Evans, finished the year out at #26. (You'll find that complete list in tomorrow's issue of Forgotten Hits.)

The two other chart hits from "Hair", the Musical, that missed The Year-End Top 20, came in at #33 (Easy To Be Hard) and #43 (Good Morning Starshine). My favorite band of 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival, placed two other songs in Billboard's Year-End Top 50: "Bad Moon Rising" finished at #24 for the year and "Green River" came in at #31. Elvis' other #1 Hit, "In The Ghetto" ranked at #38 and "Get Back", one of the songs The Beatles performed on the Apple Rooftop, finished at #25. All-in-all, a pretty good year for music ... most of these songs are still part of our everyday listening on oldies radio today, some 40 years later.

By 1969, the LP was slowly become the preferred way to purchase and listen to music. This trend is clearly in evidence as you look at some of the biggest LPs of 1969:
1) In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfuly
2) Hair - Original Cast
3) Blood, Sweat And Tears - Blood, Sweat and Tears
4) Bayou Country - Creedence Clearwater Revival
5) Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
6) At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
7) Funny Girl - Soundtrack (huh?!?!?)
8) The Beatles (White Album) - The Beatles
9) Greatest Hits - Donovan
10) Greatest Hits - The Association

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" coming in as the biggest album of the year was a bit of a surprise ... it debuted on the charts in July of 1968 ... but rode the chart for 140 weeks, or nearly three years!!! Incredibly, it never reached the #1 spot yet still earned enough points during the year to finish on top of Billboard's LP list. Their follow-up LP, "Ball", also finished in the year-end Top 20.

Three Dog Night's debut album also made the year-end chart as did classics like "Nashville Skyline" by Bob Dylan, "Cheap Thrills" by Big Brother and the Holding Company and "Stand" by Sly and the Family Stone. And who could forget the cult-classic "Switched On Bach" by Walter Carlos and Benjamin Folkman?!?! (After all kinds of media coverage, it finished up as the 21st biggest album of the year!)

For a look back at another classic album released in 1969, please visit our other web page and click on the Dusty Springfield link ... "Dusty In Memphis" is regarded as one of the best albums of all-time today ... yet upon its original release it only managed a #99 showing on The Billboard Chart.
Click here: Forgotten Hits - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD

Other '69 albums classics include the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album and the Blind Faith LP. Creedence Clearwater Revival would release THREE LPs that year!!! ("Bayou Country", "Green River" and "Willie And The Poorboys" were virtually NEVER off my turn-table in 1969 or 1970!) "Abbey Road" was released too late in the year to make 1969's year-end chart (but wound up as the #4 album of 1970.) Other notable releases include "Let It Bleed" by The Rolling Stones, "Tommy" by The Who, (the first Rock Opera), "In The Court Of The Krimson King" by King Krimson, the self-titled album releases by The Band, The Chicago Transit Authority, Blood, Sweat and Tears, The Allman Brothers Band, It's A Beautiful Day and Santana, the first two Led Zeppelin releases, "Hot Buttered Soul" by Isaac Hayes and "Volunteers" by The Jefferson Airplane. Good stuff ... and necessary components of ANY complete record collection.

And, speaking of countdowns ...

re: THE LABOR DAY 500:
Ron Smith's Oldies Music Website has just posted this year's list of YOUR Top 500 Favorite Oldies ... as voted by his readers worldwide. (The entire list can be viewed on Ron's website here):

Click here: Oldies Music -- history, trivia and charts of Fifties, Sixties and Seventies music
Now posting bi-annually, here are this year's Top Ten Favorites ... along with their 2007 counterparts:
#1 - SATISFACTION - The Rolling Stones (also #1 in 2007)
#2 - HEY JUDE - The Beatles (also #2 in 2007!)
#3 - SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU - The Skyliners (#7, 2007)
#4 - CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE - Elvis Presley (#23, 2007)
#5 - AMERICAN PIE - Don McLean (#4, 2007)
#6 - GOOD VIBRATIONS - The Beach Boys (#9, 2007)
#7 - UNCHAINED MELODY - The Righteous Brothers (#12, 2007)
#8 - AME CALINE (SOUL COAXING) - Raymond Lefevre (huh?!?!?) #65, 2007
#9 - MY GIRL - The Temptations (#3, 2007)
#10 - MAC ARTHUR PARK - Richard Harris (#44, 2007)
2007 Top Ten Hits NOT listed above:
#5 - IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT - The Five Satins (#52, 2009)
#6 - DON'T BE CRUEL - Elvis Presley (#40, 2009)
#8 - OH, PRETTY WOMAN - Roy Orbison (#18, 2009)
#10 - RUNAWAY - Del Shannon (#11, 2009)
Even cooler, Ron has compiled a list that shows how EVERY song has fared in his Labor Day Countdown for the past twelve years!

You can check out THAT information right here:
Click here:

And, here's ANOTHER countdown of interest ... especially with the entire Beatles Catalog being reissued next week!!!

After years of extensive research, The Official Chart Company have compiled a list of the All-Time Top 30 Best-Selling Beatles Singles in the U.K. Surprisingly, The Top Five best-selling singles all date from 1965 or before ... as do seven of The Top Ten. You don't find a latter-day #1 Hit until you reach the #6 spot, which is occupied by "Hey Jude" from 1968.
The Top Ten Best-Selling Beatles British Singles are as follows:
1 She Loves You
2 I Want To Hold Your Hand
3 Can’t Buy Me Love
4 I Feel Fine
5 Day Tripper / We Can Work it Out
6 Hey Jude
7 From Me to You
8 Help!
9 Hello, Goodbye
10 Get Back

Friday, September 4, 2009

9 - 4 - 65

I chose this particular survey to feature this week for a couple of reasons ...

First of all, WLS only listed their Top 20 songs on their Silver Dollar Survey this week ... that's because they ran a SECOND chart listing featuring "The 20 Best-Selling #1 Records" of their brief history as a Top 40 Radio Station. (WLS switched over to Rock and Roll / Top 40 in 1960 ... and quickly became THE leader for teen listening here in Chicagoland. While they weren't the first radio station in town to do so ... we'll eventually be featuring 1950's charts from radio stations like WJJD, WIND and WGN who ALL played Top 40 Rock and Roll at one time or another ... they certainly became the biggest ... and stuck with this format longer than any other radio outlet in town. And, with 50,000 watts behind them, they became an AM Giant in the '60's ... their signal could be picked up in over 40 States and listeners all over the country were diggin' the sounds of The Big 89 on clear nights across America.)

As such, it was nice to see them salute their past, honoring former #1 Records like "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles and "Sherry" by The Four Seasons from 1962 and "It's My Party" by Lesley Gore and "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels from 1963, right alongside recent chart-toppers from 1965 like "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones, "Downtown" by Petula Clark and "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits.

(click to enlarge chart)

The OTHER reason I wanted to feature this particular chart is because of the song that sits at #20 this week. The WLS Silver Dollar Survey lists "Yesterday" by Paul McCartney as the 20th biggest song in Chicagoland!!! Not The Beatles ... but Paul McCartney!!!

Despite showing five weeks of airplay, the song did NOT appear at all on the previous week's chart ... and, in fact, it showed up a week later at #35 ... with only ONE week of airplay noted ... correctly credited as The Beatles!!!

This is a REAL anomaly ... and something that HAS to be very difficult to explain. My FIRST thought was that they did this because when The Beatles performed "Yesterday" live on The Ed Sullivan Show, John, George and Ringo left the stage, leaving Paul McCartney all by himself to perform the song with an acoustic guitar ... but THAT program didn't air until September 12th ... better than a week AFTER this chart first hit the streets.

Even stranger is the fact that "Yesterday" didn't debut on The Billboard Chart until the week ending September 25, 1965 ... THREE weeks later! (In fact, Capitol Records didn't even RELEASE "Yesterday" as a single until September 13th, the day AFTER the Sullivan performance!!! And it wasn't released as a single in Great Britain at all, where it only appeared on the "Help!" LP ... which was released in The U.K. on August 6th.)

This can only mean that WLS had been playing it as a cut off an import copy of the British LP (not at all uncommon, really ... Ron Riley regularly featured British-Only hits on his program, many of which would later become hits here Stateside as well) ... but it WAS unusual to see it charting at #20 when, theoretically, it didn't even EXIST yet to purchase!!! ("Yesterday" would not be included on the domestic "Help" soundtrack album either. In typical Capitol Records fashion, they held back the tracks from Side Two of the British "Help!" LP to squeeze out more album releases here in The States ... as such, tracks like "Act Naturally", "It's Only Love", "You Like Me Too Much", "Tell Me What You See", "I've Just Seen A Face", "Yesterday" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" wound up appearing on the U.S. albums "Rubber Soul", "Beatles VI" and "Yesterday ... And Today".)

As such, this is makes for a pretty unique chart ... especially coming from one of the biggest radio stations in the country at the time. (Certainly, it must have helped to fuel demand for the single since you couldn't actually BUY it at the time!!! lol) Perhaps Listener Requests were a factor?

Other favorites from this week's WLS Top 20 include the previous Beatles' single "Help!" (#2 behind the Sonny and Cher Hit "I Got You Babe", now enjoying its fourth week on top of The Silver Dollar Survey ... it would replace it at #1 the following week and hold that top spot for a total of two weeks on its own), "Action" by our FH Buddy Freddy Cannon (#17), "Catch Us If You Can" by The Dave Clark Five (from their OWN recently released film, "Having A Wild Weekend", later renamed "Catch Us If You Can") and "Some Enchanted Evening" (#14) another INCREDIBLE vocal performance by Jay and the Americans.
Songs mentioned a couple of weeks ago when we last featured a 1965 WLS Chart (both of which we promised to feature in today's piece) include "Little Miss Sad" by The Five Emprees (formerly shown as The Five Empressions on that earlier chart) and "The World Thru A Tear" by Neil Sedaka, a GREAT over-looked Sedaka tune that only reached #76 nationally but was a #4 smash here in Chi-Town.

Meanwhile, we've now got a THIRD reason to feature this chart. A few weeks ago we told you that long-time FH Reader Jack Levin was trying to collect The Top 45 45's for September 4, 1965, for his wife's upcoming 45th birthday. In fact, we even ran a list of some of the titles he was still missing in his quest. Here is an updated list, showing the records he still needs to complete this collection. If anybody can help him out with this, please drop me an email and I will forward it to Jack and hook you guys up.

Here's what I need: Help & Yesterday - Beatles; Heart Full Of Soul - Yardbirds; Laugh At Me - Sonny;The World Thru A Tear - Neil Sedaka; With These Hands - Tom Jones; Just You - Sonny and Cher; Summer Nights - Marianne Faithfull; I'll Make Your Dreams Come True - Ronnie Dove; Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl - The Barbarians; I Still Love You - The Vejtables; I Live For The Sun - Sunrays; Agent Double-O Soul - Edwin Starr; Somebody New - Rivieras; Millions Of Roses - Steve Lawrence; Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett; Blowin' In The Wind - Steve Alaimo; Kansas City Star - Roger Miller; September In The Rain - Chad & Jeremy; Give Me All Your Love- Gerry & The Pacemakers; Action - Freddy Cannon; It's Gonna Take A Miracle- The Royalettes
That's 23 singles. The other two will have to come from either Billboard or Cashbox. You wanna talk about some forgotten hits, there's quite a few here. I've got a year to get this together. I've picked up a few at record shows, but many of the dealers have no clue as to what they have and I haven't the time for anything more than a superficial look. Thanks for your help.

I asked legendary WLS Disc Jockey Clark Weber what he remembered about this week's featured WLS Chart ... again, it just struck me as unusual that "Yesterday" would be listed as being by Paul McCartney ... and making The Top 20 at a time when you couldn't really buy the record. Clark contacted Dex Card, the guy who used to count The Silver Dollar Survey down every weekday afternoon and Ron Riley, the "Man In The Know" about ALL things British Invasion-oriented back in 1965 to see if THEY could shed any light on this, too. Here's some of what we got back:

Hi Kent -
What an interesting mystery and a fascinating question. I had been Program Director since July of that year and for the life of me I can’t recall why it was placed at #20!
Ron Riley’s British Billboard was very popular and I do recall that Ron was playing it as a single. It became a monster in nothing flat and perhaps I may have even added it to the regular playlist. However record sales were the measuring stick used for position on the Silver Dollar Survey and certainly not telephone requests. I forwarded your e-mail to Ron, Dex Card, and Darlene Carr, who was my secretary at the time. She compiled the weekly surveys. Perhaps one of them can shed some light on this.

Clark Weber

The Ron Riley / Clark Weber Feud was played up BIG-TIME on WLS ... and it REALLY helped the ratings of BOTH shows ... no matter whose side you were on, people tuned in just to hear what one of them might say about the other!!! As part of this on-going ruse, Clark Weber always took the anti-Beatles position ... while Ron Riley fed us anything and everything British he could get his hands on, even counting down The British Billboard ... often times premiering songs that wouldn't be released here in The States weeks or even months later.

As for my speaking out against the Beatles, it was originally based on the Vee Jay releases. After the station was burned by the hype of Cliff Richards and the other budding British groups, we became gun shy. Those first Beatle releases were pretty bad. I know that several Beatle experts claim that the Capitol releases were the same as the Vee Jay. I was there and I assure you that sound wise they were as different as night and day. The minute we heard the Capitol remixed releases we know they would be monster hits.
My outspoken stance as their records went through the roof was simply a ruse. It inflamed the kids stirring them into a white hot heat and they listened to Riley as he defended their Beatles. They listened to me because they couldn’t believe someone like me was so cool and yet so out of touch! I compounded the problem by meeting the Beatles and saying that I thought Lennon was full of himself and a bit of a jerk. Which he was! Having said that, what four teenagers given all that adoration, exposure and money would have acted any other way? Their songs combined with a lot of studio magic saved the day for the record industry and radio as well! Even today they stand the test of time as one of the greatest rock bands in history.

The 1965 Silver Dollar Survey is strange. It seems it would have been noticed by one of us at the station ... and would have caused a response from listeners and the music industry. It would be interesting to check another survey from that same date. In other words, could this be a forgery? I don't remember the "Number One Hits" being part of a September survey. But as we get older ... memory seems to diminish. For instance ... I don't remember you being PD in July of 1965. I know that Ralph was at the station at that time.

Nope, this is the real deal ... I've been collecting WLS and WCFL Surveys for over 35 years now ... and there are at least a dozen of us fanatics on The Forgotten Hits Mailing List that can claim a COMPLETE collection of EVERY chart ever published ... even if that means a Xerox Copy or a hand-written list covering the periods where WLS or WCFL no longer distributed charts to the public but printed in-store display posters instead. Many of us would visit the record department at Sears or Polk Brothers and write those titles in a notebook each and every week to insure that we never missed a list!!! (We've even got WJJD Charts going back to 1956 and the dawn of The Rock Era ... here again, we're probably only a chart or two away from a complete collection of THESE charts!!!) AMAZING what people held on to, isn't it?!?! But this music meant the MOST to us back then ... and, obviously, it still does!!! (kk)

If anybody else out there connected with the station can shed any light on this topic, we'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More Of Your 1969 Comments

>>>Sweetwater ... the movie advertisement says that they were the first “band” to appear ... (Dwight Rounds)

>>>Sweetwater was the first act SCHEDULED to appear at the Woodstock Music And Arts Festival ... but they, like THOUSANDS of others, were trapped in the traffic jam surrounding the event site. As such, after an already delayed, late start, the organizers asked Richie Havens to open the show instead. (kk)
Thanks for printing this. I don't remember how long Havens was "stuck" out there, but I think it was at least an hour, much longer than he had planned.
By "movie", I meant the Sweetwater Movie, not Woodstock. They were really not the first band, as you pointed out. Richie Havens (and band [drummer?]) was. I know this is picky, but I would define a band as two or more musicians. "George Harrison" was actually the George Harrison Band, Elvis Presley was the Elvis Presley Band, etc. The only real "solo" albums I know of are the first Paul McCartney, and early Bob Dylan. Neil Young would perform "solo", but always had a band (Crazy Horse, Stray Gators, etc.) as his band. Speaking of "solo" performances, I think McGuinn is the best, even better than Neil Young. Check these out. What an incredible voice he still has!
Dwight Rounds
Depending on which report you believe, Havens stayed out there anywhere from one hour to THREE hours ... and, in fact, "Freedom", the song so prominently featured in the Woodstock Movie and Soundtrack, was pretty much improvised on the spot. (In fact, "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" was apparently performed because Sweetwater was known for THEIR version of this tune!) All of this is pretty amazing when one considers that "Freedom" now very well may be the song we most remember Richie Havens for, despite his Top 20 version of The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun"!
According to Rob Kirkpatrick's new book "1969: The Year Everything Changed", "With Sweetwater still nowhere in sight and a gathering of approaching storm clouds casting a dark hue over the Catskill horizons, (Promoter Michael) Lang convinced folksinger Richie Havens, who was originally scheduled to play later in the evening, to take the stage and officially kick off the festival just after 5:00. Havens responded with a hypnotic nine-song set that energized the masses while framing the weekend with an awareness of, as he told the crowd, 'the people that are going to read about you tomorrow.'" Kirkpatrick (who has now come onboard as one of our most recent Forgotten Hits Readers) goes on to say that Havens chose "an improvised number to close his set ... 'Freedom' ... with lines from the traditional Negro spiritual 'Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child,' a song that Sweetwater had covered for its biggest hit, thrown in for good measure." And, with that, the festival had OFFICIALLY begun!!! (kk)
BTW: Havens performs a brand new version of "Freedom" (called "Freedom 2009") over the end credits of the new film "Taking Woodstock" ... for me another disappointing trip to the movies. We had REALLY been looking forward to this one ... I feel that for most of the film they totally missed their mark, focusing on too many issues that don't really matter to the millions of fans of the festival. Most disappointing was the lack of any real Woodstock music typically associated with this incredible weekend. I mean there were little bits and pieces here and there, but it seems that SOME sort of licensing agreement could have been worked out that would have benefited ALL parties concerned, especially with all the brand new Woodstock merchandise that's been flooding the market lately ... and the re-release of the film in its "Director's Cut" edition. (They DID use the split-screen technique to great effect, however!) It also seems that a lot of the "back story" of getting the festival off the ground ... as well as the massive amount of chaos that it created ... were overlooked while other matters that had absolutely NO impact on the festival itself ... Elliot Tiber discovering that he was gay, for example ... were given major screen time. Even Eugene Levy as Max Yasgur, a pivitol character, was barely used. My score on a 1-10: 2.

re: SHA NA NA:
Sha Na NA celebrates their 40th Anniversary with a New CD featuring 20 tracks with 6 previously unreleased songs on it. The Record Company is Pat Boone's Gold Label. Jimmy Jay did the Radio Spot for the CD in the style of the 50’s and it is attached.

Jimmy Jay

Thanks, Jimmy. How sad that the release of this new hits collection coincides with the passing of Dirty Dan McBride! And, right on the heels of the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, too! (kk)
Hey, anybody remember the cool little commercial Jimmy Jay did for Forgotten Hits a couple of years ago???

I just picked up a new book by Pete Fornatale, "Back to the Garden". It's the story of Woodstock, told by the musicians who were there and the behind-the-scenes people who made it happen. Really fascinating. He got some terrific people. Frankly, I'm impressed that he found so many who remember 1969. Pete has been a radio personality in New York for 40 years, who also happens to be in "Airplay". I know there are a lot of Woodstock books out this year, but this one's special.
Carolyn Travis
Frannie made my birthday a Woodstock-themed celebration this year ... we went to go see "Taking Woodstock" ... she got me the 40th Anniversary Director's Cut DVD Box Set of the movie as well as the books "The Road To Woodstock" by Michael Lang, who organized the whole thing and an unbelievable photo book put together by Brad Littleproud and Joanne Hague called "Woodstock: Peace, Music and Memories" that includes some BEAUTIFUL photos. We saw an entire table of books dedicated to Woodstock at Barnes and Nobles this summer so there are PLENTY of great reads to choose from ... including a paper dolls book where you can dress Grace Slick and Janis Joplin for the concert!!! (lol) Again, I am just COMPLETELY blown away by how "mainstream" this whole festival has become forty years later ... back in '69 anybody even THINKING about going was looked down upon as a complete freak!!! (kk)

re: TV, 1969:
Your mention of the Thursday night TV schedule reminded me of this clip for "This Is Tom Jones" from KGO from 1969. (And a snippet of Donovan, too.)
David Lewis

ON 1969 TV WATCHING - We only had ONE tv in the house until the late 60's (and mom & dad got to choose the program), got our first color tv in 1968 ... it was a huge console that had a record player on one side, and radio controls on the other in hinged lids with the tv in the middle ... a 'fancy' piece of furniture ... I did manage a black & white tv in my bedroom FINALLY ... but not one of those compact 12 models that came along later (and cheaper) ... I don't think we ever had a remote control in my parent's house ... as a matter of fact, I think my first tv remote was in the early 80's when the archaic cable boxes had the channel changing part on a long cable that you could place where you sat ... you NEVER left the tv on all night in my mom's house ... so I bought one of those clunky timers to shut off your lights and would set it for 1 in the morning ... I was one of the first to get a vcr ... (cost $900) ... remote on a thin wire, would only pause the show, but the screen went blank for that time ... and was the size of a microwave ... with dials to select the channel ... blank 2-4 hour tapes cost $20 each ...Has ANY 30 year old ever seen a tv station go off the air with a test pattern ? (or 40 year old?) ...

Geez did we come a long way in a short time ...
I remember distinctly telling somebody once that if I was EVER too lazy to get up and change the television channel, I'd simply stop watching TV all-together!!! This was back in the day where you had to pay extra to get a remote ... and they were primarily being marketed to older folks so that they wouldn't have to get up out of their easy-chairs. Of course nowadays you don't have any option BUT to use the remote ... and, with 500+ channels, I couldn't even imagine standing there changing them manually anymore. And talking about color TVs, we were one of those families that bought that ridiculous see-through color wax paper that you TAPED to the front of your TV screens ... it was three horizontal bands of color ... blue at the top (so that all your skies looked blue), red in the middle (so that you had color skin tones) and green at the bottom (for the grass.) Of course this system only really worked for about six minutes of Bonanza each week ... everything else looked TOTALLY ridiculous!!! (It very well may rank as one of the most RIDICULOUS inventions of its time ... but my Dad still went out and bought one!!! lol) When we finally got a REAL color TV, I was thrilled ... by then nearly every program was being broadcast in color and you just couldn't live without one. (And I think the price finally dropped down to around $500, too.) Did you hear about the Celebrity Roast for Joan Rivers the other night? Carl Reiner was one of the Roasters ... but another roaster (I can't remember the guy's name ... one of those D-List comedians, I'm pretty sure) got a jab in at Reiner, who he congratulated on making his color television debut that night!!! (lol) Technology truly HAS come a long, long way. (By the way, I bought one of the very first VHS recorders, too ... once BetaMax was deemed to be on its way out. I had already purchased three or four videos in anticipation of eventually owning a player to actually watch them on ... and I wanna say back then that VHS Player was every bit of $1200!!! Unreal! (kk)

Talk about your Echoes of '69 ... I just heard that British Police are reopening a complete investigation into the "mysterious" drowning of former Rolling Stones Guitarist Brian Jones. Jones quit the band over creative differences and then, three weeks later, drowned in his own swimming pool. At the time, everybody just figured he was another casualty of the drug-induced '60's ... but now they say they've got reason to believe that foul play was involved. (Apparently somebody made a death bed confession that HE was responsible for Brian's death!) It'll be interesting to see how all of this develops. (Rumor has it that Detective Lilly Rush and Newsman Bill Kurtis are standing by to take a crack at this "Cold Case".) Clearly, 1969 is still with us in a VERY big way!!! (kk)
The full story (as reported by CNN) can be found here:
Click here: Police review death of Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones -

How about a couple of news clips from exactly 40 years ago? Most of us don't remember that after Hurricane Camille smacked the Gulf Coast, the aftermath caused major flooding in Virginia.
David Lewis
After just "celebrating" (?) the four year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, people sometimes forget just how devastating Camille really was ... some of Camille's statistics will absolutely "blow you away"!!!
As much as the rain has been played up as a major factor during the Woodstock Festival, it truly pales in comparison to the devastation and havoc caused by Hurricane Camille. (Ironically, BOTH events took place the same weekend back in August of 1969 ... could the impact of Camille's fury have had anything to do with the amount of rain they were experiencing up New York way???)
The worst part about Camille's run was the fact that The National Hurricane Center in Miami was unable to accurately predict the hurricane's path of destruction. It was first believed that the tropical storm would hit hardest in Florida ... then, after a change of course, New Orleans ... when in reality the most devastating damage was experienced in Biloxi, Mississippi. By this time, many of the WRONG areas had already been evacuated. When it came time to evacuate Mississippi, it was almost too late.
Here are some unbelievable statistics as published in Rob Kirkpatrick's new book "1969: The Year Everything Changed":
The storm was born on Thursday, August 15 ... but the following day, it had already passed through Cuba, where winds were recorded at up to 115 miles per hour. At this point, Camille was headed toward The Gulf Coast and on Saturday, August 17th, a hurricane watch was put into effect from the northwestern coast of Florida, from Fort Walton to St. Marks, and as far west as Biloxi, Mississippi. For a brief moment, it was believed that the storm was losing its intensity ... when, in fact, exactly the opposite was the case. In reality, the storm seemed to stop in The Gulf Of Mexico ... but while it was their, its winds intensified to about 150 miles per hour. By Sunday Morning, the storm was on the move again, and now seemed to be headed straight for New Orleans. (At this point, Camille was about 310 miles due south of Pensacola, Florida, and moving northwest. Experts believed, due to what Kirkpatrick described as "conventional wisdom", that she would soon steer eastward and land somewhere on the Florida panhandle early Sunday Night. However, on Sunday, NEW hurricane watches were issued for Mobile, Alabama, which now was believed to be the new point of impact.)
By Sunday afternoon, an airplane that ventured into Camille's path computed its wind speed to be 190 miles per hour! The pilot described the wind velocity as "far beyond the descriptions used in our training." Camille was not only growing stronger but she was also moving faster ... and not veering eastward as experts had predicted. She now appeared to be headed for Gulfport, Mississippi.
Kirkpatrick writes, "After a hurricane advisory was issued for the Gulf Coast from Gulfport, Mississippi to Pensacola, Florida, residents began an exodus in search of safer locales inland. Around the same time as the warning, an eighteen-wheeler capsized on Route 49 in Gulfport, blocking one of the three main roadways inland. Instead of stopping traffic altogether to allow for the removal of the wreckage, authorities decided it more prudent to leave the vehicle where it was and allow motorists to drive around it. Traffic jammed up even worse as residents and workers lined up to evacuate the region."
Now listen to this!!! "Under normal conditions, the Mississippi River dumps two billion cubic feet of water per hour into the Gulf of Mexico. But on the night of August 17th, the waters of the Mississippi met a greater force in the Camille storm surge. As the waters from the Gulf of Mexico rose sixteen feet higher than the Mississippi, huge whirlpools formed at the mouth of the delta ... and then the unthinkable happened ... the waters of America's 'Big River' began to run BACKWARDS!!! As far as 120 river miles ... from the mouth of the Mississippi to Carrollton, Louisiana ... the currents were running Northward." The storm was now literally defying the natural laws of physics!!!
Camille finally made landfall at approximately 11:30 PM Sunday Night at Bay St. Louis in Hancock County, Mississippi. She hit the mainland with the highest storm surge ever recorded on U.S. Coastland. Reports filed at the time indicate that the water rose to within the third floor of apartment buildings, meaning the surge had now risen to twenty-eight feet above sea level!
"Meteorologists concluded that just before landfall, Camille's winds had reached a record speed of 201 miles per hour. Boats were washed inland and collided with houses. The areas of Clermont Harbor, Lakeshore, Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport Beach and Biloxi were decimated."
All or part of twenty six counties in Mississippi, two in Alabama and nine parishes in Louisiana were all declared disaster areas. In Mississippi and Alabama alone 3868 homes were destroyed and 42,092 were damaged. (I believe I just heard this past weekend that Hurricane Katrina destroyed or damaged something like 35,000 homes in New Orleans four years ago.) Camille next moved north to Tennessee, then into Kentucky, then across the southern tip of West Virginia and through Virginia before heading back out into the Atlantic Ocean. It left 256 people dead in the receding waters and a total damage of more than $1.4 billion (in 1969 dollars).

Like you, I am a huge baseball and music fan. I have been a SF Giants fan since 1962, after watching the Dodgers - Giants 3 game playoff, and attending game six of the Yankees - Giants World Series. I got Joe DiMaggio's autograph, but had no idea who he was, and lost it by the time I got home.
I remember well, the Cubs and the Mets that year, the first year of division play. The Giants had finished second to the Cardinals the prior two years, and they were in the East. The Giants finished second again (West) to the Braves.

Dwight Rounds
Like the song says, most of us "root, root, root for the home team" and "if they don't win, it's a shame" ... but here in Chicago in 1969, The Cubs DID win ... the greatest percentage of the time ... (well, in hindsight, the SECOND greatest percentage of the time) ... and the club truly did deserve better ... but it was The Mets' year and they sure made baseball exciting for the last six weeks of the season! (kk)

Speaking of Squeaky Fromme, did you happen to catch the bit that David Letterman did after she was released on parole?
David Lewis

This is GREAT!!! Thanks so much for sharing with us! (kk)

Thanks for your realistic commentary on Kennedy. He is portrayed in the media as a statesman. All he did was try to take other people's money to help the poor (after 70% for administration). I know of nothing he did personally to help anyone less fortunate. I don't think he ever worked a day in his life.
Other accomplishments -
1. He was caught cheating at Harvard when he attended it. He was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him.
2. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly signed up for four years instead of two. Oops! The man can't count to four! His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to England (a step up from bootlegging liquor into the US from Canada during prohibition), pulled the necessary strings to have his enlistment shortened to two years, and to ensure that he served in Europe, not Korea , where a war was raging. No preferential treatment for him! (like he charged that President Bush received).

3. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank of Private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged. Imagine a person of his "education" NEVER advancing past the rank of Private!
4. While attending law school at the University of Virginia, he was cited for reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlights off after dark. Yet his Virginia driver's license was never revoked. Coincidentally, he passed the bar exam in 1959. Amazing!

5. In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash, and hospitalized for several months. Test results done by the hospital at the time he was admitted had shown he was legally intoxicated. The results of those tests remained a "state secret" until in the 1980's when the report was unsealed. Didn't hear about that from the unbiased media, did we?
8. Kennedy held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant. He authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health care easier for the indigent, and funded Meals on Wheels for fixed-income seniors and is widely held as the "standard-bearer for liberalism". In his very first Senate roll, he was the floor manager for the bill that turned U.S. immigration policy upside down and opened the floodgate for immigrants from third world countries.
9. Since that time, he has been the prime instigator and author of every expansion of an increase in immigration, up to and including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Not to mention the pious grilling he gave the last two Supreme Court nominees, as if he was the standard bearer for the nation in matters of "what's right". What a pompous ass!
10. He is known around Washington as a public drunk, loud, boisterous and very disrespectful to ladies. JERK is a better description than "great American". "A blonde in every pond" is his motto.

Dwight Rounds
Far be it from me to speak ill of the dead ... in fact, Frannie and I watched some of the memorial service for Kennedy over the weekend and some of it was quite touching ... but Teddy SURE seemed to have received some pretty preferential treatment over the years ... but honestly, this just seems to be the Kennedy way. NONE of these guys ... immediate family, children, cousins, whomever ... have EVER really been held accountable for any wrong that they've done ... and their "accomplishments" have been built up to what some might consider "folklore" proportions. That Edward Kennedy was allowed to have ANY sort of public, political career at ALL after the Chappaquiddick incident is beyond my comprehension ... and sadly the TRUE events of that day have forever been buried with the bodies of Mary Jo Kopechne and now Teddy himself.
Again quoting from Rob Kirkpatrick's book "1969: The Year Everything Changed" ... a MUST read for anybody who enjoyed our 1969 Series ...
Sometime very late Friday night or early Saturday morning, Ray LaRosa had been sitting on the front porch of the cottage when he'd seen a lone figure approaching in the dark. He heard Kennedy's voice telling him to get Markham and Gargan. (All three of these men were Kennedy aides who were staying with him at Cape Cod. kk) La Rosa went in to fetch the two men, who went outside to meet Kennedy. "There's been a terrible accident," the senator told them. "The car's gone off the bridge down by the beach, and Mary Jo is in it."
They got in a car and quickly drove out to Dyke Bridge. When they arrived, the headlights of their car shone on the underside of Kennedy's Delmont 88, which lay upside down in the saltwater currents of Poucha Pond, about ten feet to the right of the bridge. Markham said, "Holy God."
"I realized if Mary Jo was in that car, there was no hope," Gargan said later. "I said to myself, 'Oh shit, this is over! This is done. She's gone.'"
The three men got out of the car. Gargan and Markham undressed and made their way out to the submerged car. They tried in vain to locate Kopechne in the dark waters. The current threatened to carry them away from the car, and at one point, Gargan says, he got trapped inside the car and almost drowned. He later remembered looking up and seeing Kennedy laying on the bridge on his back, his hands clasped behind his head, his knees draw to him, saying aloud, "Oh, my God. What am I going to do?"
Gargan and Marham gave up their search, and the three drove to the ferry landing. Gargan insisted that they needed to report the accident. Kennedy, he says, told him, "All right, all right, Joey! I'm tired of listening to you. I'll take care of it. You go back; don't upset the girls. Don't get them involved." With that, Kennedy dove into the Sound and began swimming toward the mainland.
"I hope he drowns, the son of a bitch!" Gargan said.
So even Kennedy's closest aides couldn't believe the way Kennedy had chosen to deal with this crisis. In fact, with a car available to the three men, one cannot help but wonder why Teddy dove into the water and SWAM back to the house!!! (To solidfy his personal "rescue mission" perhaps???) As I mentioned in our original piece, Kennedy settled with the Kopechne family financially shortly thereafter and we really haven't heard much from them at all these past forty years. A shame, 'though, that their young 28 year old daughter lost her life that night as a direct result of Kennedy's negligence yet HE was able to still complete a very public, high-profile career in politics. Much has been said about how the incident forever ended his chances for the Presidency ... in MY mind, he should have spent the majority of that time behind bars!!! (kk)

Hi KK:
This is one I can't pass without comment.
About Senator Kennedy's death ...
I think kicking him around about Chappaquiddick at this point is about as useful as stoning a dead horse. God is well aware and we know that Kennedy had his day in court, in the media and in his own conscience. If there were more reasons and actionable evidence to back it up, other legal options were easily available at the time for the prosecuting attornies ...
Respectfully acknowledging any bad things done, if we're typing about crimes of magnitude and politicians whose behavior causes innocent people to die, I'm comfortable arguing that EMK was a speck in the wind compared to some of the other usual suspects by the Potomac. I know there are a lot of good demonstrated things to say about the guy. If you want a good starter, here's just a "little" one. After 9/11 to pay his respects, he personally called every surviving family of victims who lived in Massachusetts. Class.
Best Regards!
Yes, you can turn me on! I'm on the radio! Surf City Sounds Plus:
They always say that you should never discuss religion or politics ... and Forgotten Hits is, after all, a MUSIC publication first and foremost ... the whole Kennedy thing only came up because it was a MAJOR news story of 1969 ... and, quite honestly, politics has little if anything to do with it.
However, I must address one of your comments above ... Edward Kennedy did NOT have his day in court ... NO charges were ever filed against the Senator. Instead, Kennedy plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident ... and that was it. When he called a national press conference to address the evening's events and apologize to the nation (and Mary Jo's family) ... a great PR move as a means to show that he, too, was a victim here who could have also perished in the crash ... he was COMPLETELY let off the hook and never faced ANY type of criminal charges. In fact, his little speech was SO effective that the next day The Washington Post would write: "We suspect he will suffer enough in any case ... this man who has already suffered the loss of an eldest brother, shot down in a war, a sister killed in a plane cras, and two brothers murdered by assassins."
Forgetting right or wrong for the moment ... and dealing ONLY with preferential treatment ... I guess I would ask how these past personal circumstances would absolve him of his OWN guilt in this instance. I mean, a young woman DIED due to his negligence! I guess I would ask you how you think YOU would have been treated by the courts had YOU been the one driving the car that evening, going off the bridge into the water and having your female companion drown. I wonder how YOUR life might have changed had you experienced these same set of circumstances. That's not a political commentary ... not by ANY stretch of the imagination. That's simply a case of what's right and what's wrong. Reckless homicide? Never mentioned. Involuntary manslaughter? The subject never came up. And, as I stated earlier, after nine hours had passed, you couldn't even test Kennedy for sobriety ... if he HAD been drinking (and odds are he had been), he'd already slept it off by the time he went and told anybody about the accident! So there weren't even DUI charges discused. I cannot help but wonder: What do you think YOUR penalty would have been under the same circumstances?
Quoting Time Magazine: "Forty years later, the question people asked in the immediate wake of the tragedy that blotted the character and career of Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy remains germane: What was he thinking? Here are the facts of the case, as Time first reported them: Kennedy's career was threatened not by a violent enemy or a political foe, but by a scandal that revealed a shocking lapse of judgement and control. Kennedy's lost night on Chappaquiddick Island off Martha's Vineyard and the mystifying week that followed brought back all the old doubts about his character. For approximately nine hours after the car he was driving plunged from Dike Bridge into Poucha Pond, carrying his only passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year old aide in Kennedy-family political campaigns, to a death by drowining, Kennedy failed to notify police. After his first brief and inadequate statement at the station house, his silence allowed time for both honest questions and scurrilous gossip to swirl around his reputation and future.
"Days after the July 18 accident Kennedy withdrew his initial opposition to misdemeanor proceedings against him and pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident. That night on national TV, he told his version of the events, assuming full responsiblity for his failure to report the incident. 'I was overcome,' the Senator said, by 'grief, fear, doubt, exhaustion, panic, confusion and shock.' He was never punished by the courts for his deed. Kopechne's family is reported to have received an undisclosed sum of money as settlement from the Senator's family.
Forgiven by Mary Jo's family, I cannot help but wonder (to paraphrase Crosby, Stills and Nash, ALSO huge in 1969) "the cost of freedom." How much did Kennedy pay to win their silence and forgiveness? Again, I cannot help but wonder how intensely they might have pursued someone else in this instance, had YOU, for example, been driving that car.
Did Kennedy go on to serve a distinguished career in the Senate. Yes, he did. Would America have been cheated out of his policies and wisdom had he been locked up forty years ago? Most likely so. Was he treated fair and square, just like any OTHER U.S. citizen under the same circumstances? Not even close!!! (kk)

re: THE MUSIC OF 1969:
1969 was a GREAT year for our New Colony 6! Did you ever notice that almost every Christmas in 1965-72 era that this group seemed to be charting with a very special song?
12/1965: I Confess,
12/66: Love You So Much,
12/68: Things I'd Like to Say,
12/69: Barbara I Love You,
12/71: Long Time to be Alone,
12/72: Never Be Lonely
Think about it! Pretty amazing, I think, that every Christmas time, there were the NC6 to fill the stockings!! Had "Treat Her Groovy" taken off like Mercury Records thought, that would have covered 1967 (it fell off WLS in late Nov. 67) and had the six issued "Muddy Feet" as a followup to "Close Your Eyes Little Girl", it could have covered 1970 too!
The Buckinghams had a mini-version with 12/66: Kind of a Drag,
12/67: Susan and
12/68: Where Did You Come From.
The Cryan Shames only had I Wanna Meet You / We Could be Happy still barely selling in 12/66, but "A Scratch in the Sky" was just out for Christmas, 1967.
SO, 1969 was a banner year for the NC6 and, thus, for my ears too! Four GREAT singles: "Things I'd Like to Say," "I Could Never Lie to You," "I Want You to Know" and "Barbara, I Love You" (which I then rated my #1 record of the year).
On the local Chicago radio scene in early 69, Barney Pip was still doing his live remotes from the Cheetah! Club in Chicago. In an effort to go with a younger DJ lineup to combat the "young" themed WCFL, WLS moved old fave Ron Riley to later night to make room for Chuck Buell in the early evening following Larry Lujack, who was now playing a vague rendition of the survey countdown in the afternoons. It was no longer the strict regimented Dex Card countdown show of two years previous. Personally, I was still playing my reel to reel taping of the Beatles' "Hey Bulldog" and "It's All Too Much" from November, 1968, when Ron Riley played them as "WLS Exclusives" that would never available to the public until February, 1969. Speaking of the fabs, "The White Album" (not called that at the time) was getting considerable play in early 69. Many do not realize that non-45 LP tracks were not heard much on AM, but most stations did program "something" off the double Lp set. I taped San Antonio's 50000 watt juggernaut playing "Rocky Raccoon", WLS playing the expected "Back in the USSR" and "Birthday" and I caught Ron Kingbee Britain at CFL going out on a limb with "Yer Blues"!!
Chicago music of 69 by debut:
January: Things I'd Like to Say (NC6), Keep the Faith - American Breed, Soulful Strut - Young Holt Unlimited, Where Did You Come From - Buckinghams
February: First Strain to California - Cryan Shames
March: Who's Making Love - Young Holt Unlimited, Only the Strong Survive - Jerry Butler, Can I Change My Mind - Tyrone Davis,
April: Hunky Funky - American Breed, This Is How Much I Love You - Buckinghams, I Could Never Lie to You - NC6
May: Moody Woman - Jerry Butler
July: Choice of Colors - Impressions, Room At The Top - American Breed, Questions 67 & 68 - Chicago, Straight Ahead - Young Holt Unlimited
August: Let Me Be The Man My Daddy Was - Chi Lites, All The Waiting Is Not In Vain - Tyrone Davis, I Want You To Know - NC6, What's The Use Of Breakin' Up - Jerry Butler, It's A Beautiful Day - Buckinghams
October: Cool It - American Breed, Strange - Aorta, Rainmaker - Cryan Shames
November: To Change My Love - Chi Lites, Barbara I Love You - NC6 (my #1 song of 69)
December: Beginnings - Chicago, Want You To Know - Rotary Connection
In 1969, I loved TOP 40 music! I loved rock, ballads, country and all that was Top 40 then! Great MOR or ballads of 69 chronologically:

Wichita Lineman, Scarborough Fair (Mendes), Games People Play, If I Only Had Time - Nick DeCaro, Maybe Tomorrow - Iveys, The Letter - Arbors, Galveston, These Eyes, When You Dance - Jay & Americans, We Can't Go On This Way - Unchained Mynds, Carolina In My Mind - James Taylor, Welcome Me Love - Brooklyn Bridge, Morning Girl - Neon Philharmonic, Where's The Playground Susie - Glen Campbell, Someday Man - Monkees, Never Comes The Day - Moodies, Sometimes In Winter - BS&T, Imagine the Swan - Zombies, Mannix - Lalo Schifrin, I Can't Quit Her - Arbors, Hurt So Bad - Lettermen, First Hymn from the Grand Terrace - Mark Lindsay, True Grit - Glen Campbell, Can't Find The Time - Orpheus, This Girl Is A Woman Now - Gary Puckett, No One For Me To Turn To - Spiral Staircase, Mah-Na Mah-Na - Soundtrack, Colour of My Love - Jefferson, Raindrops ... - BJ Thomas, Sunlight - Youngbloods, Midnight - Classics IV, I Guess the Lord Must Be in NYC - Nilsson, He Ain't Heavy - Hollies, Midnight Cowboy - John Barry (45 version), She Belongs To Me - Rick Nelson, She's Ready - Spiral Staircase, Arizona - Mark Lindsay, Groovin - Newbeats, Walkin in the Rain - Jay & Americans, Mornin Mornin - Bobby Goldsboro, She Lets Her hair Down -Tokens, Baby Take Me In Your Arms - Jefferson
Great pop rock / psychedelic of 69 chronologically: Come on React - Fireballs, Hooked on a Feeling, I Put a Spell On You - Spirit, California Soul - 5th Dimension, Time of the Season - Zombies, Long Green - Fireballs (then, my #2 song for the year!), Hot Smoke & Sassafras - Bubble Puppy, Soul Experience - Iron Butterfly, Apricot Brandy - Rhinoceros, Brother Love's Travelin Salvation Show - Neil Diamond, Goodbye Columbus - Association, Will You Be Staying After Sunday - Peppermint Rainbow, Kick Out the Jams - MC5, Good Times, Bad Times - Led Zep, Badge - Cream, Sorry Suzanne - Hollies, Don't Let Me Down - Beatles, Medicine Man - Buchanan Bros, More & More - BS&T, See - Rascals, Listen to the Band - Monkees, Good Morning Starshine - Oliver, Breakaway - Beach Boys, The Minotaur - Dick Hyman, I'd Wait a Million Years - Grass Roots, I'm Free - Who, Commotion - CCR, Muddy River - Johnny Rivers, You I - Rugbys, White Bird - It's a Beautiful Day, Evil Woman - Crow, Something in the Air - Thunderclap Newman, Celebrate - Three Dog Night, Heaven Knows - Grass Roots, Jongo - Santana, Some of Shelley's Blues - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Time Machine - Grand Funk Railroad, Venus - Shocking Blue, Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin, She - T James, Why Should I Cry - Gentrys, No Time - Guess Who, Vicoria - Kinks, Wonderful World, Beautiful People - Jimmy Cliff
Best Bubblegum of 69 chronologically: Bubblegum Music - Double Bubble Trading etc, Rainbow Ride - Andy Kim, Goody Goody Gumdrops - 1910 Fruitgum Co, Feelin So Good - Archies, Hair - Cowsills, Teardrop City - Monkees, Stay & Love Me All Summer - Brian Hyland, Abergavenny - Shannon, I'm Gonna Make You Mine - Lou Christie, The Train - 1910 FC, Sausolito - Ohio Express, Make Believe - Wind, Tracy - Cuff Links, Jam Up And Jelly Tight - Tommy Roe, Cowboy Convention - Ohio Express
Best R&B / Soul / Gospel of 69 chronologically: I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye, Everyday People, Hang 'em High - Booker T, 25 Miles - Edwin Starr, Time is Tight - Booker T, Oh Happy Day - Edwin Hawkins, Too Busy Thinkin - Marvin Gaye, Black Pearl - Checkmates, But It's Alright - JJ Jackson, That's the Way God Planned It - Billy Preston, Your Good Thing - Lou Rawls, When I Die - Motherlode, Turn On a Dream - Box Tops, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window - Joe Cocker
Best LP cuts of 69 chronologically: Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Sweet Girl of Mine - Cryan Shames, Well All Right - Blind Faith, Carry That Weight - Beatles, Out in the Cold Again - Gary Puckett, Midnight Rambler - Stones
Best obscure 45s of 1969 chronologically: Heart Teaser - Flavor, Beautiful Sun - Peppermint Trolley co, Softly, Softly - Equals, Paxton Quigley's Had the Course - Chad & Jeremy, Honey Do - Strangeloves, Laughin Lady - Parade, Light of Love - Pleasure Seekers, Blackberry Way - Move, 24 Hours of Loneliness - Classics IV, Something's Happening - Herman's Hermits, Heaven Help You - Montanas, Rainbow Valley - Love Affair, I Know You - MC2, Summer Skies - Higher Elevation, Don Juan - Dave Dee, etc, I Shall Be Released - Tremeloes, Love Story - Jethro Tull, Hello World - Tremeloes, One Road - Love Affair, Ulla - People, And She's Mine - Spanky & Our Gang, Green Door - Jerms, Knock on Wood - Harper's Bizarre, Time To Make a Turn - Crow, Yes I Will - Association, I Can Remember - Peter & Gordon, For Pete's Sake - Sweetwater, I Am The World - Bee Gees, Rain-Jose Feliciano, Space Oddity - David Bowie, Living in the Past- Jethro Tull (First time around), Love & Let Love - Hardy Boys, If There Ever Was a Time - Lighthouse, C'Mon Everybody - NRBQ, Moment of Madness - Flowerpot Men, Why Need They Pretend - Lewis & Clarke, The Drifter - Steve Lawrence, Baby You Come Rollin Cross My Mind - John Beland, Superman - Clique, Natural Born Woman - Humble Pie, Bringing on Back the Good Times - Love Affair, Baby Make It Soon - Marmalade, Save the Country - Sugar Shoppe, Wasn't Born to Follow - Byrds, Tears of Joy - Real Thing, Just With You - Chakras, Watch Her Walk - Affection Collection
-- Clark Besch

Thanks, Clark. Our look back at the Music of 1969 will wrap up our '69 Salute later this week ... including an official countdown of The Top 50 Songs From The Summer of '69 ... which we're still hoping Y103.9 may pick up for their Labor Day / "Last Blast Of Summer" Weekend! (kk)

Hey Kent:

These were basically my Top 5 records from 1969 at the time:
Honky Tonk Women - Stones
Badge - Cream
Hot Smoke & Sasafrass - Bubble Puppy
Good Morning Starshine - Oliver
Proud Mary - CCR
Guess I'll also put down my top faves from summer of '69. Some of these start in Spring so I'll list a total of 10.

Bad Moon Rising - CCR
Something In The Air - Thunderclap Newman
One - 3 Dog Night
Did You See Her Eyes - Illusion
You I - Rugbys
Adding my 2 cents to 1969
Some good titles here ... quite of few of which we've covered before in Forgotten Hits. (kk)

Watch for our look back at The Music of 1969 ... coming up later this week in Forgotten Hits!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Some Comments ... And A Special Announcement

We've got some more of your recent comments to feature today ... but first, a VERY special announcement for all of our local Chicagoland readers ... along with an opportunity for you to join us for a VERY special screening of the Rock And Roll Radio Documentary "Airplay". Read On!!!

Here are the latest details about the Chicago-area screening of the new Carolyn Travis film "Airplay" that we've been telling you so much about for the past year or so!

The film is going to shown at The Music Box Theater -- 3733 N. Southport Avenue -- here in Chicago on September 18th at 9:30 PM. This is the ONLY local showing scheduled at this time ... and we will have a limited number of free passes to give away to some of our local Forgotten Hits Readers. If you are interested in attending this special showing of this VERY special film, drop me a line and we'll put your name on the list. (Number of entries will determine just how many tickets we will have to give away, so PLEASE ... ONLY enter if you will be available to ATTEND this screening ... we don't want to deny anybody the opportunity to see this excellent documentary because of a few "no shows"!!!) WLS-FM / The True Oldies Channel will ALSO be promoting this screening and giving away free tickets so you'll have another chance to win free passes there. (Our original hope was to have Dick Biondi onboard that night for this very special presentation but it turns out that he'll be on vacation that week! However, I just received word that legendary WLS Jock Clark Weber WILL be there ... and, hopefully, we can even get him to stick around for a little Q & A after the show!) Obviously, you can also purchase tickets at the theater box office that evening and still get in on all the fun ... and, if you're a fan of rock and roll radio, this IS a film you'll want to see!
"Airplay" takes a look back at The History of Rock And Roll Radio ... the early years with jocks like Alan Freed, the Top 40 years and the growth of some of the mega-watt AM giants, the beginning of FM radio and the "underground" movement right on up to satellite radio today ... with lots of great music, clips and interviews with some of the premier jocks of this era squeezed in between! A fun and informative film for ANY fan of radio.
But you've got to act fast!!! If you'd like to attend this special screening, just drop me an email at and write AIRPLAY SCREENING in the subject line ... and let us know how to get ahold of you if you'd like to attend the very special event. We'll tally up the number of entries received and then contact you with all the details if you're one of our ticket winners. (Tickets will most likely be left at the the "Will Call" window in the theater's box office ... but we're also talking about having a Forgotten Hits Dinner Get-Together BEFORE the show ... this would be a GREAT chance to meet some of the readers on our list!) First come, first served, so PLEASE get your entries in early!

Here's an interesting appeal put together by Sam Lyt of Hi Lyt Radio and Big Jay Sorensen ...
I will likely be sending you some fab news soon about MY career. (I'm still involved with WCBS-FM in NYC, BTW.) One thing I can say is I'm joining Sam Lit and his team at HyLitTechnologies. I will be providing content for some very exciting upcoming things from that camp. I can't say exactly what I'll be doing just yet, but in the early fall, expect to be blown away. And it WILL be oldies related in a BIG way ... as only Big Jay can do it.
If I may, can I put out a note for all of your readers?
We need a SALES TEAM for Hy LIt Technologies that totally gets NEW MEDIA. If you've sold RADIO in the past, and kept seeing that it was getting harder and harder to sell local and even big city radio, because MORE advertisers and agencies were putting spots and ads on INTERNET facilities, then there may be a position for you.We are looking for people who EMBRACE the internet and embrace NEW ideas. The old business model ain't broke yet, but when virtually EVERY broadcast company has shown a DIRECT hit on their revenues this and last year, something is amiss. What WE'RE doing NOW and will do in the near future will be cutting edge, with some NEW emerging technologies that will help make the transition from broadcast to internet for advertisers a very good fit.
Sales Managers, you can apply too. ALSO ... if you've sold TV / CABLE or any NEW MEDIA before, that's a plus. This ain't your father's radio. This IS the future and it is here NOW.
Send RESUMES and describe your understanding of NEW MEDIA and how it needs to be sold to clients. We are out to make NOISE. Get in BEFORE this explodes into something magnificent.
Get in touch with either ME at, or
Thanks Kent ...
Big Jay Sorensen
Hey, I'm always happy to pass along ANYTHING that'll make radio sound new and exciting again!!! Please keep us posted. Thanks, Jay! And good luck, Sam, with this new venture! (kk)

And (although we've been sworn to secrecy!!!) we've heard rumblings of a few OTHER brand new Oldies Music Ventures that may be right around the listening corner. Meanwhile, here's the latest on Hit Parade Radio:
Hit Parade Radio Launches Oldies Network, Repped By RASS
EARTHWORKS ENTERTAINMENT's HIT PARADE RADIO is set to launch its 24/7 Oldies Radio Network format via satellite in the next four to six weeks. HIT PARADE RADIO has also entered into an agreement with SCOTT GILREATH's RADIO AFFILIATE SERVICES & SYNDICATION (RASS) that includes affiliate sales and national advertising sales. Regarding the Oldies format launch, EARTHWORK ENTERTAINMENT CEO STEVEN HUMPHRIES said, "It's been months in the making and we're about ready to launch the most exciting oldies radio format in the USA. With super-talent like LARRY LUJACK and WINK MARTINDALE plus the music you don't hear anywhere else, the format will be a major attraction to radio stations as they continue to downsize and cut back on programming cost." "In all my years of programming, this is the most exciting project I've ever worked on," HIT PARADE RADIO Pres. JOHN ROOK added. "The first class talent and the incredible library of music that you won't hear on other 'oldies' stations make for a huge winning combination. I'm pleased to be once again working with LARRY LUJACK and WINK MARTINDALE, as they truly enhance the music programming we are offering." "With all the projects that we have in EARTHWORKS, HIT PARADE will be one of the first to generate revenue as we move into the first quarter of next year," HUMPHRIES said. "We expect to generate in excess of $2 million in advertising sales for the network in 2010." At the same time, RASS has pacted with HIT PARADE RADIO to do affiliate sales and national advertising sales. "Having the opportunity to work with STEVE and JOHN ROOK on this venture is truly exciting," RASS Pres. SCOTT GILREATH said. "Like so many others, my radio career was molded by jocks like LARRY LUJACK and WINK MARTINDALE. I can't wait to start signing affiliates ... We feel the project growth of the HPR network is unlimited as the formats target the highly neglected 45+ market."
Scott Gilreath
Green Bay, WI

>>>The Hit Parade Radio Network will be programming music not only for this generation of listeners but also every generation that came after. Why, there are over 70 million Americans over the age of 50 - that's 28% of our entire population! No, you won't hear very much music from the '80's on our station - and we won't be concentrating on hard rock - there are already other stations that play that music. What you WILL hear in music that appeals to listeners at the age of 35, 45, 55, 65 and 75 - and that encompasses a LOT of music that hasn't been played on the radio in a long, long time. (John Rook / Hit Parade Radio)

I like the idea of playing music that hasn't been played on the radio in a long time. But I still think they are spreading themselves too thin, like the other stations. I would be changing the station when a song comes on that appeals to the 35 and 45 year old listeners, and I think a lot of those listeners will be changing the station when something comes on that appeals to the 55, 65, and 75 year olds. It seems to me that 70 million Americans over the age of 50 are enough to have a station dedicated to programming what they like to hear. That's a lot of listeners for the makers of Geritol, Centrum Silver, and Depends to advertise to. Rich
Unfortunately, that's EXACTLY why this brand of "oldies radio" hasn't worked in the past. 55, 65 and 75 year olds buy a HELL of a lot more than Geritol, Centrum Silver and Depends ... and have the disposable income to do so ... yet THESE are the types of products that radio typically panders to them. (Boy, talk about your seriously politically-incorrect stereotypes!!!) Quite honestly, THAT type of advertising (along with the usual "do you have urinary problems" and "stay hard" pills) is what turns this generation off ... even if they NEED some of this stuff, they don't need to be told about it ... they're already buying it on their own!!! More and more I'm starting to appreciate Mason Ramsey's idea of "Music For The Ages" ... the concept that music from the 1940's right on up through today CAN be played side-by-side, as long as it's GOOD music. Let's face it, most of us grew up being exposed to all these different musical genres anyway ... and we all enjoy different aspects of ALL of it. It goes back to the Ipod mentality ... what 10,000 songs would you program on your Ipod? It wouldn't be all ONE kind of music because you'd eventually get tired of hearing that, too. I've never understood why a radio station limits its library to a couple hundred songs ... when it doesn't cost ANY more to program a few thousand. Let's face it, nowadays the computer is doing all the work anyway!!! I'm still working on what I'm calling "The Ultimate Playlist" ... when I'm done, it will probably be somewhere around 7000 songs, each and every one of them songs that people WANT to hear ... or would ENJOY hearing if only given a chance. This list would then be tiered into rotation ... some will play once a week (rather than three or four times a DAY!!!) ... and some will only play once or twice a year ... but in between you'll hear more variety than has EVER existed in radio before. In my mind, it's a programming concept that will blow the lid off ANYTHING you've ever seen before in radio ... and you can't even call it Oldies Radio anymore because it truely IS "timeless" music. More details to come ... along with some other hot new radio announcements that we're currently not allowed to talk about!!! (kk)

Meanwhile, speaking of oldies radio ... and those demographics that seem to have been permanently deemed as both "favorably desirable" and "completely ignored" ... here's a cool little piece shared with us by Clark Weber:

Hi Kent;
It’s funny but it’s factual!
Clark Weber

lol ... now I think John Rook should consider hiring Craig Ferguson as one of the spokesmen for Hit Parade Radio!!! HE'LL get the point across!!! (lol) kk


And, speaking of Hy Lit Radio, Sam Lit has put together a VERY nice website tribute to The Beatles' first visit to Philadelphia 45 years ago ... you can check it all out here:

Hi Kent,
Here’s something for you, in advance of my newsletter next week. Next week is the 45th anniversary of the Beatles first coming to Philadelphia. Click
Sam Lit
President / CEO
Hy Lit Radio Technologies, Inc.
Very nicely done, Sam ... fans of The Fab Four should check this out!!! (kk)

And it sounds like ALL of Philly may be celebrating this very special anniversary of The Beatles' first visit to Philadelphia ... I just got this from Charlie Gracie, Jr.:

September 2nd, 1964 at Convention Hall
at the WORLD CAFE: Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
CHARLIE GRACIE -- Philly's very first rock 'n' roll star -- often credited by PAUL McCARTNEY and the late GEORGE HARRISON, joins WXPN's HELEN LEICHT (host), DENNY SOMACH (radio host / author: "Meet The Beatles Again") and LARRY KANE (tv - radio jounaliast / author: "Lennon Revealed", who also traveled with the FAB-4 early on) ... ALL OF WHOM will particpate in an evening of nostalgic remembrance -- discussions, Q & A, rare and historic Beatles' footage, memorabilia, photos and a live set by musician JIM BOGGIA.
INFO / CALL TO RESERVE: (215) 222-1400
Pic: Charlie with Sir Paul in London -- who covered one of Charlie's hits in 2000. George Harrison called Charlie's guitar technique: "brilliant!" in the March 9th, 1996 issue of BILLBOARD.

Charlie Gracie, Jr and Family

***Marshall Lytle - original COMET'S upright bassist calls it quits: "time to move on."
Marshall Lytle - the animated upright-bassist for Bill Haley's Original Comets - sent out an announcement late on 8/17 declaring he was moving on from his 20-plus years with the band to pursue other options. Marshall has a book coming out later this year which covers his life as a musician, his stint with Haley and how he and the Comets rode the wave of the global rock 'n' roll revival.
Born in North Carolina in 1933, Lytle joined Bill Haley and the Saddlemen in 1951. It was he who played bass on the rock anthem: Rock Around The Clock and most recently: VIAGARA ROCK, a tune which gained popularity on Florida radio stations -- alluding to the ages of the Comets ... and the fact that "you're never too old to rock!" The Comets have proved that time and time again throughout the years. Lytle also mentioned the possibility of doing shows with CHARLIE GRACIE (seen in the photo attachment with Marshall at a recent Bowzer show: Mohegan Sun, CT.) and WANDA JACKSON -- both of whom continue to tour worldwide!

The other two original Comets - Joey Ambrose (sax) and Dick Richards (drums) will continue performing on the oldies circuit with new Comets -- namely in Branson, MO., where the band has taken up residence for the past two years. On personal note ... the Charlie Gracie family has great love for all these men and we wish them all the very best. Long may our friendship continue!
At the age of 15, Charlie Gracie saw Bill Haley and the Saddlemen perform in Quakertown, Pa., at the Sleepy Hollow Ranch ... a big outdoor picnic.
"I was a just a young, budding musician ... but it was on that day, after watching Bill and the guys that I decided I wanted to become a performer."
-- Charlie Gracie

Here's hoping that a few of our Forgotten Hits Readers were able to send along "Get Well Wishes" to Marshall after his recent surgery. What a long, distinguished musical career this man has had! (kk)

... and, speaking of sending along well wishes ...

Sad day. Many of you may know that Larry was on some of the 60's soundtracks along with Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye (including "The Glory Stompers" and "Devil's Angel's").
Speaking of "Devil's Angels", one of the tunes from that soundtrack is in Tarantino's new film. This was from a fan / friend on my forum:
Just got back from seeing INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and, wow, I must report that itsure was a HUGE KICK for me to hear Davie's "Devil's Rumble" in it!The Arrows tune blasts mightily from the soundtrack near the end, when Donowitzand Ulmer (two Jewish American GI's, disguised as Italian filmmakers) walk intothe auditorium where the big climax takes place.Very cool!-- Arrowhead Gregory

Really sad to hear about the passing of Larry Knechtel - truly one of the greats.

Yes, quite the consummate musician. As a HUGE fan of Bread back in the '70's, I was thrilled when he joined these other fine former studio musicians as part of the permanent band. (kk)

Kent ... I wasn’t planning to write tributes today for my friend and early co-writer, Ellie Greenwich or for one of my long time musical heroes, Larry Knechtel, but I couldn’t help myself! They both meant so much to me ... and to so many people.
This morning on the east coast they laid Ellie Greenwich to rest.
while on the west coast they held the final services for Larry Knechtel. . I wasn’t able to attend either service in person, but like many of you I was there in spirit! If you want to leave a comment or two, you may do so at the end of each article and I will see that their respective families receive copies.
Thanks and Regards,

Artie Wayne

A GREAT opportunity for some of our readers ... and their many, many fans, to leave a message that Artie will pass along to their families. We encourage you to visit Artie's website and do so ... BOTH of these artists did SO much to enrich our lives. (kk)

And, it looks like you've still got a couple of days to share those thoughts ... Artie is sending in his final postings this Thursday.

Kent ... How ya' doin'? On Thursday I'll be sending the dozens and dozens of comments that have been coming in on my ROCK IN PERPETUITY tribute to Ellie Greenwich and Larry Knechtel, to their families. I've seldom seen such an out pouring of love as this for people behind the scenes in the music business.

If you'd like to join the friends, fans, and stars who have made comments about Ellie Greenwich, please visit:

And for those who want to say something about Larry Knechtel

In the words of Alan O'Day and Johnny Stevenson, "If you believe in forever ... life is just a one night stand ... If there's a Rock n' Roll Heaven ... You know they've got a hell of a band!"


Artie Wayne

BW photo taken at the BMI Awards dinner 1964 by POPSIE

L to R: Artie Ripp, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector, Paul Case, Ellie Greenwich, Jerry Leiber, and Ed Silvers.

Color photo of Larry Knechtel copyright 2009 by Patti Dahlstrom

I got a chance to see Les Paul, on one of Monday night Iridium gigs in NY, and meet him back in 2000. I got his autograph and shook his hand after the show, but pity, I didn’t have camera. Still, a nice experience.
Thanks, again --

Click here: Desi Arnaz Jr.
Click here: Welcome to Miss Amys, the Historic Boulder Theatre and the Boulder City Ballet Company.
Click here: Cinema Treasures Boulder Theatre
submitted by Allan 0318

Great Billy Hinsche stuff ... love the ‘LS surveys and music.

Thanks for running my Davy Jones story and thanks for the plugs (music, not hair).

I hope Davy Jones includes this one - his very best - in his regular show.
I'll Be True To You ... from The Monkees' Second Album.
David Lewis
Although I've heard him do it before in some of The Monkees Reunion Shows, I haven't heard Davy perform this one in a while. Personally, I prefer The Hollies' original version ... back when the song was still called "Yes I Will". Although never a hit here in The States, it reached #9 in Great Britain back in 1965. (kk)

>>>Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how much I enjoy reading all the posts at Forgotten Oldies!! What a COOL site! I was really blown away by JBK Surf City Sounds Plus posting of that photo from Jefferson Airplane's 1969 concert in Grant Park. I was also at that concert but that is the ONLY photo I have ever seen from it. Keep up the great work, Kent! LONG LIVE FORGOTTEN OLDIES!! (Jim Blackwood / Palatine, Il)

>>>I seem to remember John also mentioning something along the lines that he had only ever seen one other photograph from this show ... so it was REALLY cool to be able to feature this one. I was just reading about THEIR Altamont experience ... with Marty Balin being bashed in the head when he jumped off the stage into Hell's Angels territory ... I guess the logic back then was that as long as you were up on the stage performing and entertaining, YOU were in control ... but once you LEAVE that stage, you're subject to the same rules as everybody else ... and that certainly was the night that Hell's Angels policed their turf ... even if it meant killing somebody!!! (kk)
Hi KK:
Thanx to Jim Blackwood and Kent Kotal for their kind remarks about the Jefferson Airplane Chicago 1969 concert photo. It was hanging on the wall of a friend of someone posting on the 2400 Fulton St. message board. I want to ID this person who took the photo to give credit where it is due. There were hundreds of cameras in the crowd and photo coverage in the local papers, so I hope to discover more pix and pass them along in the future.A post script about Marty Balin and the Hells Angels: In the 40 years since Altamont, I've read that Balin has performed with the latter day Jefferson Starship in concerts at biker rallies. So I assume all is well now that they all kissed and made up? (LOL!) Stay tuned!JBK aka ... Yes, you can turn me on! I'm on the radio! Surf City Sounds Plus:

C'mon ... now how many OTHER places are you gonna find that go from The Jefferson Airplane right into Lady And The Tramp without ever missing a beat?!?!? Seriously!!! (kk)
>>>Regarding my question about the first to use echo chambers, I do remember that there was a song sung in "Lady and the Tramp" sung by the two Siamese cats (and I think in reality by Peggy Lee?) where they over-recorded voices to make an echo but my memory is foggy on this as I neither remember the song nor what sound was created. But there was a feature on TV at that time telling how they were able to make that sound. Considering I don't remember what I had for breakfast today I'm amazed that I even remember anything about that song! (Steve Davidson)
>>>Peggy Lee did, indeed, sing the "The Siamese Cat Song" (We Are Siamese If You Please)" in the Disney classic "Lady And The Tramp" ... but I don't know that this was the first use of "echo" on a recording. (Double-tracking or staggering your vocals doesn't really constitute as echo in my book anyway!!!) kk
If I remember correctly, that feature is a bonus on the two-disc special edition DVD of Lady And The Tramp. I don't recall it having to do with echo, rather the fact that there were 2 cats so Peggy had to overdub her voice ...
Tom Diehl

My understanding is that this track was unavailable for decades due to some sort of licensing agreement or something ... but that never stopped Forgotten Hits from featuring some REALLY rare music within our pages. Thanks to Tom Diehl for sending this one along to share with our readers. (This ought to bring back a memory or two ... spaghetti anyone???) kk

... and, speaking of echo recordings ...

re: ECHO:
When I read the Steve Davidson comment about "Echo" in your August 19th Newsletter I was taken back in my memory bank to the time I was being shown around one of the early recording studios in Denver in the early 60s, or now that I'm thinking hard about it, it might have been a tour of the KIMN Radio Station Studios, (95 Fabulous KIMN). Anyway, what I remember is that I was surprised when my guide opened a door and said ... "and here's the echo chamber" ... and we walked in. It was a long narrow concrete and tile room probably 20 feet long and 5 feet wide, and it had an echo like when you sing in the shower. It had a narrow sort of square tube running down the center of it that was maybe 10 inches high. I don't know what that was for, maybe to contain wiring. At one end there was a microphone, and at the other end there was a speaker. I think this might have been Band Box Records, but it might have been KIMN Studios, if they wanted echo for producing their in house commercials and jingles. So anyway, it might have been a small recording studio in Denver in the 60s, or it might have been KIMN Radio studios, but that was probably a standard set-up for "Echo" technology of those days, no matter how big the town was or how famous the recording studio was. So that is one way to get an echo, without overdubbing or a delayed playback, and I imagine there was this same type of "technology" being used even in some of the big major studios like Capital Records at some point in the early days, before overdubbing and WAY before electronic manipulation. I'll bet every studio had a dedicated "echo room" that they could use if they wanted to. There's one thing that should be noted concerning "echo effect" about the singers of the early days of recording ... the 1920s, 30, and 40s and later. Many of the top vocalists had a natural but trained quality in their voice that gave an effect to their tones that was a lot like 'echo'. When you listen to those early recordings you can hear that such singers as Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Vaughan Monroe, Bing Crosby and even Tony Bennett, ALL sang without any "processed echo" in their recordings, but instead worked close to the mic and generated trained tones in their vocals that were lingering and probably very difficult to achieve. In my opinion, the effect is the same as an echo, and creates a very listenable lyric and an enjoyable total experience, even on the more up-tempo arrangements. The 'echo' that Gene Krupa and other drummers achieved in the early big band recordings, especially on the big beat sounds of their snare drums, was totally due to the natural echo of the stage area or the size of the recording studio. In the early 70s I was sitting with Bonnie Bramlett in front of the engineer's console one day at a huge Hollywood studio, listening to Elvis record, but he wasn't there in the studio. The giant orchestra in the studio just across the glass was playing along to his voice, which had been recorded somewhere else. I remember the engineer working with the echo on Elvis' voice and trying to balance the sound that was on the track he was working with, with the ear of the producer. He even asked US how WE thought it sounded. I like the echo that was already there, and Bonnie thought it was fine too, just the way it was. I remember how we thought we were in on something really BIG that day, and were nodding and smiling a lot to the music. It was a HUGE orchestra and an unforgettable experience. When the Walker Brothers recorded their tracks in London, all the instruments were played on one pass, in one giant session, and were mixed "on the fly" by the engineer as the music was being recorded, including the vocals. When you listen to their tracks now, knowing that fact, it gives you an entirely different respect for the quality of the musicians and for the microphone techniques of studio recording in those days. Of course there was 'echo' on those tracks, but the idea that those high quality and complicated Hal David arrangements, including big Tympanic Drum parts, Oboes and French Horns, and even small bells, was so accurate and exact in the mix ... well it's amazing to me, since I now use about 24 digital tracks on my productions, all individually mixed to TRY to get the sound I want, and it sometimes takes literally months for me to be satisfied (or give up). So "Hats Off" to The Walker Brothers ... Scott Engel, John Maus and Gary Leeds, (though they weren't really related), and of course also a salute to their Producer Johnny Franz, as well as in-studio Arrangers and "ears" Ivor Raymonde, Hal David, and Burt Bacharach. Veeder Van Dorn / The Moonrakers
I passed your note along to Vic Flick, who did a number of recording dates with The Walker Brothers way back when to see if he could shed any insight into some of the techniques used on these sessions. Here's what Vic had to say:
Hi Kent,
Thanks for your E-mail about the Walker Brothers. I shall always remember the Walker Brothers as a quality act who took their work very seriously. They recorded many times in Phillips Studios at Marble Arch, London. Most of the times that I worked with them were with Ivor Raymonde, with the ever present producer Johnny Franz hovering in the background. The period when the early Walker Brothers recordings were made was exciting for singers, musicians and studio technicians. Everybody had to get their input right or the recording would grind to a halt and off we would go again. Later, of course, things got easier with multi tracking as the pressure was off and the take could be kept and any glitches corrected. Even so, studio musicians were expected to come up with the goods every take as time was money and ones career, back then, depended on it. As I had written about The Walker brothers in my Book, Vic Flick Guitarman, I asked John for a photograph. Being over cautious and very business like, John asked many questions about how it would be used, would there be copyright problems, etc. In the end the photo wasn't used!
Veeder mentions Burt Bacharach. I worked with Burt many times. He is a wonderful musician with an incomparable desire for musical perfection. Every session was an education.
Below is an excerpt from my book describing a Walker Brothers 'incident.'
Very best wishes.
Be sure to check out Vic's website (if you haven't already done so) for an impressive list of studio credits that'll absolutely blow you away. (You can order his book there, too!!!) Here's the promised excerpt, courtesy of Vic Flick himself!!! The Walker Brothers were riding high in the charts with their 1965 hit single ‘Make it Easy on Yourself,’ on which I had the pleasure of working. Simon Dee had invited the Walker Brothers to sing their song on his TV show recorded at the BBC Lime Grove Studios, Shepherds Bush, West London.
Max Harris was the musical director and the band contained such luminaries as Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Ross and — may I say it — me.
Packing up after the show I had made my getaway by rushing off to get my car.
I had parked in the wilds of Shepherds Bush and left Judy to watch my instruments. When I returned and was putting my gear in the trunk of my car, a distraught woman came up to me.
‘Has Tubby left yet?’ she asked. ‘I desperately need to see him. Please help me. Please? Please?’
Thinking it would take just a minute to point her in the direction of the studio (and Tubby), I said, ‘Follow me!’
In the Lime Grove studios, panic had broken out. There was some sort of alarm and before I knew it, the woman and I were directed this way and that and I was lost within the rabbit warren of corridors. When I reappeared in the street the panic inside had erupted outside, mainly caused by my parked car, containing a stricken Judy, surrounded
by BBC heavies. A carefully orchestrated escape by the Walker Brothers to evade the mass of fans gathered in the street had been foiled by my car.
The BBC heavies were trying to push my car out of the way so the small Austin Mini containing the Brothers could roar off as planned. Judy was crying, the heavies were swearing, I was sweating and the fans were starting to tear the Mini to bits. I jumped in, started the car and made a hasty exit, followed by the stricken Mini and the Brothers. Getting to the end of Line Grove Street, I turned right and the Mini turned left. Side by side at the end of the one-way street, I suffered the full vocabulary of epithets the red-faced Mini driver shouted at me. And so ended an unpleasant evening. There was a slight tension working with the Walker Brothers after that incident, but we all realized we were victims of circumstance.
From the book: Vic Flick Guitarman.
Thanks, Vic! You'll find LOTS more stories like that in Vic's book! (kk)

Does anyone remember a song with these words included, "when he brings his little motorcycle round after tea, how she liked sitting on the back" etc, etc, etc. I have found nobody who remembers it. It was recorded in the 20's, either on Parlaphone or HMV. Hope you can help!
WAY before MY time ... but let's run it up The Forgotten Hits Flag Pole and see what comes back!!! (kk)
I asked long-time Forgotten Hits Reader TheOneBuff if HE recognized any part of this tune ... and here's what I got back:
Grinning. It's even WAY before MY time but let me and the hound dogs see what we can track down.
LOL ... yes, but you're the oldest living guy I know!!! (lol) kk
Thanks! LOL ... I just asked the oldest living woman I know!!
Lol ... let's see if anybody else out there can solve this one. Meanwhile, Hil put us on to another site where we ran our inquiry by their group ...
I don't know this one. 20s is really going back. LOL But tell them to ask at this site, MAYBE someone will remember it or they might know where to look for some info on it. Worth a try. Enjoy your weekend.

I found and bookmarked your site several months ago, Kent, and have enjoyed every visit there since. Keep up the good work!
Bob Dearborn

Wow! Thanks! I used to listen to you on WCFL back in their hey-day!!! I think you'll enjoy our weekly WLS / WCFL Chart Salutes ... and, if you've EVER got a memory or two to share with our group, PLEASE send it along!!! (kk)

Thanks, Chet ... that's what I've been shooting for!!! (lol) kk

Hi Kent,
Hope all is going well.
We just returned from a very successful Vegas performance. We performed for two nights and it was a blast!
Love the newsletter ... Keep it coming!
All the best,
The 1910 Fruitgum Company
You've got to let us know when you're heading out Chicago-way ... would LOVE to see you guys in concert!!! And bring Ron Dante out with you, too!!! (kk)