Saturday, December 19, 2009

On The Radio

Long-time Chicagoland Radio Personality Jonathan Brandmeier has been let go by The Loop (three months early from the sounds of things).

Johnny B. was one of the biggest names on radio for the past 30 years, but he now finds himself (like so many of us) amongst the unemployed.
But unlike the rest of us, he's got the means (and the talent) to have some fun with this whole situation ... check out his new video (pretty scathing ... and pretty profane ... but, without a doubt, ALSO some of the most spot-on, accurate commentary on the state of radio today ... and the idea that "personality" simply isn't part of the program anymore. You're preachin' to the choir here, Johnny B!!!) Truth is, love him or hate him, this is a HYSTERICAL clip! If you haven't seen it yet, you've got to check it out ... and if you're an unemployed jock who's devoted the better part of your life to keeping radio fun and interesting, you will TOTALLY relate!!! (And kick yourself for not thinking of this first!!! lol)
I mean, how can you argue with lyrics like these:
“Johnny B.’s the best and he’s got awards to prove it.

But now the suits say it’s cheaper to play music.
Hey, monkey, push a button and play another song.
Talent on the radio just doesn’t belong.
Enjoy this crap while you can ’cause it won’t last long.
It’s the last time I raise a ship from the dead.
Now I’m gonna watch it sink all over again.”
You gotta see it and hear it to appreciate it ...
Click here: YouTube - JOHNNY B "UNEMPLOYED MO FO"

Seems like some hearty congratulations are in order for our radio buddy Scott Shannon ... check out THESE news clips!
Scott tells me he’ll be working “primarily with the major-market music stations, but will be available to work with all Citadel properties, on an as-needed basis.” So call him an in-house consultant who’s already got a very full workload at WPLJ, New York (PD and morning host) and the Citadel Media-syndicated True Oldies Channel (one of the loves of his life, now on 66 stations). Turns out Scott’s been working with Los Angeles classic rocker KLOS (95.5) – and the results are strong enough for CEO Farid Suleman to give him the VP / Programming title and the opportunity to “assist program directors at Citadel’s major-market stations with overall programming and content decisions.” L.A. manager Bob Moore says Shannon’s been “the architect of the new direction at KLOS, which has propelled the station to its highest ratings in the past 20 years.” Scott famously took onetime beautiful-music WVNJ, Newark (100.3) from broom-closet status to top 40 winner as New York’s Z100, in a miraculous feat of “worst to first.” He later journeyed to Los Angeles to do “Pirate Radio” KQLZ and returned to New York in 1991 at hot AC WPLJ (95.5).

WPLJ / NEW YORK PD and morning co-host SCOTT SHANNON as VP of Programming for the company. SHANNON will remain PD at WPLJ and will continue to program CITADEL MEDIA's TRUE OLDIES CHANNEL while adding duties assisting CITADEL's major market PDs with overall programming and content direction.
"SCOTT is one of the preeminent radio programming talents in the industry and we are very fortunate to have him as part of our company," said CEO
FARID SULEMAN. "He has been instrumental in recent successes and innovations at several of our stations as well as the network."
"SCOTT's contribution to radio are legendary and his success are many," said WPLJ and
WABC-A / NEW YORK Pres. / GM STEVE BORNEMAN. "He is a proven resource for us and simply the best music programmer in the industry today. During the last 12 months, we’ve been able to elevate WPLJ to some of its highest ratings ever, clearly positioning us as one of the leading stations in NEW YORK. I’m delighted about his new position and know he will continue teach us all how it’s done.
WTG, Scott! Clearly your work has not gone unnoticed! You pretty much single-handedly saved the oldies on terrestrial radio ... and now you're taking over the rest of the broadcasting universe! Congratulations! (And if you ever need a hand programming The True Oldies Channel, I AM available ... and for a whole lot less than what Johnny B.'s gonna want!!!) kk

Meanwhile, Hit Parade Radio is moving forward at a stepped-up pace right now, too, thanks to the acquisition of Liz Doyle, who'll now serve as Vice President of Operations for the network. With a stellar track record behind her, John Rook is anxiously awaiting the results of what Liz will do to help market this exciting new format, catering to the demographic that traditional radio has chosen to ignore for decades now.

Greetings from Dallas.
I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Liz Doyle, the new Vice President of Operations of Earthworks Entertainment’s, Hit Parade Radio.
The first quarter of 2010 we are introducing our newest programming network, Hit Parade Radio. It targets the largest and fastest growing demographic group in America; 45+ year old adults, 70 million people and 28% of the population. This demographic is also the most underserved radio audience as well.
Hit Parade Radio is the creation of John Rook whose programming successes are well known at dozens of stations nationally including WLS-Chicago; WCFL-Chicago; KFI-Los Angeles and KABC-Los Angeles. John brings a wealth of experience and a gifted feel for what attracts radio listeners.
The on air talent is anchored by Larry Lujack and Wink Martindale. Larry, the first “SuperJock” in the US started his career in 1958 and is best known for his work on WLS and WCFL in Chicago. Inducted into the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in June 2002, the Radio Hall of Fame in November 2004 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in April 2008, Larry Lujack is a magnet for radio consumers. Wink Martindale is the recipient of many awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His voice is one of the most recognized in radio. He also has hosted several syndicated TV shows and numerous game shows nationally. LuJack and Martindale bring their experience, unique personalities and style, knowledge of music and ability to communicate to Hit Parade Radio.
Hit Parade Radio offers a great format along with state of the art digital and marketing support.
I invite you to listen for yourself by clicking on or via Wi-Fi, our latest and greatest method of digital delivery.
I look forward to talking with you about Hit Parade Radio and your market needs and how we can help you achieve them.
Liz Doyle
Hit Parade Radio

This Friday night I'll be celebrating 8 years on the Internet with topshelf oldies.
After I tell you this weeks schedule, I'll reminisce about the past a bit.
This week I'll be featuring a little bit of everything from my collection.
The program is on from 7 PM till 3:01 AM over
I'm saving 9 PM for a couple of special things.
Of course it's country music at 12 AM on Midnight Country.
I'm thinking back to when I was a kid and wanted to be a Dee jay. I remember my old Wollensak tape recorder. I did my show on that little machine but I was the only one who heard it.
Back in 1960 / 61 I was a weekly guest on a folk music program called "Folklore with Lorrie." The host was George Lorrie and I used to preview different folk albums that George gave me to listen to.
When I went into the service I was doing oldie shows in 1961 at the Service Club at Fort Dix, NJ. I was playing music from the 50s which were starting to be called oldies. I always ended my show with a new song that just came out called "Good Goodbye" later renamed "So So Long". The song was by The Bob Knight Four and I still sign off my show with that theme song today.
When I came out of the Army, I spent many hours being MC of folk concerts at a place called The Community Cultural Centre in Brooklyn, New York and in the summer we moved the weekly concerts outdoors to a place called Sea Side Park. I was instrumental in getting some great people to sing for this non-profit organization. My old buddy George Lorrie did a concert for us. Besides being a Dee jay, he also sang. I had folk singer Barbara Dane, Tom Glazer, The Beers family, The Bergerfolk and several others did me the honor.
I also did MC work in Prospect Park for local bands from the area.
As time went by, it was suddenly the 1980's and I was on a weekly country music program in Elizabeth, New Jersey with Freddy the German Cowboy. I had a 15 minute portion of his show and I always made it seem like a big production. A couple times Freddy couldn't make it so he let me do the entire show. We later moved to WCNJ-FM in Hazlet, New Jersey. This was non-commercial radio and Freddie was paying for it as he reminded everybody that he owned The Blue Ribbon Inn. You must try mama's home cooking and especially her pierogies.
When Freddy moved to this station he bought a block of time Monday through Wednesday at midnight. Our theme song was "Just hooked on country" which I fell in love with and use on my country portion of The Pop Shoppe every week. Now Freddy was on Monday. I had Tuesday to myself and Freddy was on Wednesday. I programmed all 3 programs and learned a lot in those days.
There was time open earlier in the evening and I got the job of filling in any free time. I started something called "Return to Bleecker Street", a folk music show. Some weeks I did specials of different artists like Jane Olivor / The Surpremes and so many others. It was 1985 and I started fooling around with "The Pop Shoppe". This name actually came from a round robin tape club that I had been running. One day Freddy had enough with this station that just didn't cover enough area for him. The management liked the response to my show "The Pop Shoppe" so they let me stay on. In spite of the limited coverage the station offered, I was there for several years. Eventually several of the Dee Jays left to help start a new station in Freehold / Howell, NJ. It was there that I met Hattie who sits in for me when I take some rare time off my show. Our Program Director Dlanna eventually left and started topshelf oldies. In 2001 I joined her Internet station. I've been here ever since.
The web site for topshelfoldies is
My address is
And that address can be used to contact me during my show or anytime.
Remember this is my 8th year celebration. You must be here this night because I don't want to be alone.
Yours sincerely,
Stu Weiss / DJ STU
Congratulations on eight years, Stu! It's clear that you take a lot of pride in what you're doing ... and enjoy it, too! (We got this out too late to plug Friday's show ... but hearing you tell your story was well worth it all!) kk

And I've got to hand out some VERY special props to Y103.9 FM here in Chicago ... they just keep expanding their playlist ... it is a CONSTANT joy and surprise to hear some of the music that's been cropping up on there lately ... and it's clear that jocks like Jim Shea, Jeff James and Tom Kent really know, love and appreciate this music. You can catch their stream here:

Click here: Y103.9 - Homepage
(I mean, if you're going to advertise "The Greatest Hits Of All Time" then you might as well play as many of them as possible! They've even added a "Vintage Vinyl" feature, which allows them to play '50's music for the first time ever ... ALL ideas we've been promoting for YEARS now!!! WTG, Y103.9!!!) kk

But a great big "OOOPS! Of The Week" Award goes out to Greg Brown over at WLS-FM ... the other day on his weekday feature of playing a "#1 Song From This Date" he TOTALLY mixed up his "Believers". Acknowledging the fact that The Monkees had the #1 Record on this date in 1967 (which they did, with their chart-topper "Daydream Believer") he then proceeded to play "I'm A Believer" instead ... which was released the PREVIOUS December (as in 1966) ... and didn't hit #1 until December 30th of that year. Watch it, Greg ... the people who listen who know their oldies will catch you on this kind of stuff!!! You just GOTTA do your homework! (kk)

And finally, just one more reminder that you can now catch our very own Forgotten Hits on the Radio broadcasts over at our new podcast site. First up on the web: The Entire Top 50 Favorite Instrumentals Countdown, featuring Phil Nee of WRCO. Also posted: Forgotten Hits on The Flip Side Show with Mr. C. Both programs are fine examples of how some of our newsletter features have crossed over to oldies radio.
You can listen here: ... and read the results of some of our recent surveys here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 40 Instrumentals, 1955 - 1979
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Top 200 BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HITS of All-Time
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 20 Favorite Psychedelic Songs
Meanwhile, Scott Shannon's still getting major mileage out of our "First 45's" feature, too!
Click here: Forgotten Hits - FIRST 45's
Click here: Forgotten Hits - More of Your FIRST 45's
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Even MORE Of Your First 45's
Yep, Forgotten Hits is ALL over the radio lately ... be sure to check us out when you get a chance!

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Christmas Presents

I couldn't be more pleased! The other day when we featured Paul Evans' 1959 Top Five Hit "Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat" we heard from Paul ... who told us that he was still recording and performing ... and even had a Christmas song of his own to share with our readers!!!
Hi Kent,
A friend of mine put me onto your blog because of your recent article mentioning the hit song "Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat Kissin' And A-Huggin' With Fred"!!!

Well, I’m the Oldie that sang “Seven Little Girls” – and I’m still hacking away at the music biz.
Thanks for the mention,
Paul Evans
PS Here’s a link to my “Santa’s Stuck Up In The Chimney” video which is getting 2,000 hits a day and has gotten over 105,000 hits on You Tube to date. Not bad for an aging rock star, eh? J
Anyway, if you get a chance, please click on the album cover link below. And please let anyone – particularly anyone with children – know about the video.
Click on the link below to see the video.

Click here: YouTube - Santa's Stuck up in the Chimney
You won't believe all the stuff that this guy has done!!! In addition to placing three of his own singles in The National Top 20 ("Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat", #5, 1959; "Midnite Special", #16, 1960 and "Happy-Go-Lucky Me", #10, 1960), Paul also wrote the hits "When" for The Kalin Twins, "Roses Are Red" for Bobby Vinton and the Elvis Presley hits "I Gotta Know" and "The Next Step Is Love"!!! Check out his VERY impressive bio here:
Click here: Paul Evans' Biography
And then enjoy his hot new Christmas tune, "Santa's Stuck Up In The Chimney"!!! You'll find some vintage Paul Evans video clips on his website, too. Welcome to the list, Paul!!! (kk)

On behalf of myself and all The Buckinghams, we wish you and all your readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Much success for 2010 ... is the best!
Carl Giammarese
Thanks, Carl ... and right backatcha ... Merry Christmas to ALL The Bucks ... and keep rockin' in the new decade! (kk)
Here's another great track from The Buckinghams' new Christmas album "The Joy Of Christmas" ... it's their take on a Christmas Classic ... and one of my all-time favorites ... "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".

They changed Chuck Berry's lyrics to "Surfin USA" so why not change "Santa Baby" to "Santa Brian"??? He's even playing Santa in the picture! Even the RIGHT year -- 1963!! Vic Flick will like this one if he hasn't seen it. Any comments, Vic?? WLSClark

You'll hear a fair amount of Beach Boys Christmas Music every holiday season ... but one of the BEST new Christmas songs in recent years seems to barely get acknowledged these days ... here's another one of my favorites, "Hey Santa", by Brian's daughters, Wendy and Carnie Wilson!

Two of the artists who made a MAJOR impression on our recent Top 50 Favorite Instrumentals List were Booker T. and the MG's (who placed THREE songs in the countdown!) and Santo and Johnny, who had the #1 Favorite Instrumental of All-Time with "Sleep Walk." (You can catch the complete list on The Forgotten Hits Web Page ... Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 40 Instrumentals, 1955 - 1979 ... or listen to the countdown as it aired on Phil Nee's WRCO Radio Program over Thanksgiving Weekend:

Thanks to FH Reader Steve Knuettel ... (he's the guy who put together that killer Phil Spector Series we ran a couple of years ago) ... we've got holiday tracks from BOTH of these instrumental giants to share with you today:


This is a Christmas CD that I co-produced & engineered in my studio, Geo Sound, here in Philadelphia in 1998. It's an 18 song holiday compilation ... and it promises to be fun for the entire family ... featuring all Philadelphia artists including Tommy Conwell, Marah, Buzz Zeemer, Rolling Haysseds, Mark Boyce Combo, Eltro, John Flynn and 10 other great artists. Mostly Originals.
Season's Greetings Philadelphia
© Copyright-Record Cellar
Record Label: Record Cellar

Click the link to review tracks:

Happy Holidays,

George Manney

After we featured Bob Lind's new New Years song last week, we got THIS review from our Colorado Buddy "Wild Bill" Cody ... who shared the track with some of his music contacts:

Hey Guys:
My buddy Bob Lind (former Denver Native of Elusive Butterfly Fame) just put together a holiday tune that caught me off guard ... I think it's brilliant. I have it attached. If you can find room to play it with all the other Xmas Oldies and announce that it's by Bob Lind, I think your audience would love it. It's also available on his website Check this out!
After I heard it earlier today, I wrote this note to Bob ...
Holy S**t Bob, this is an incredible Xmas Song! I heard it for the first time today. Let me shoot this to Oldies programmers around the U.S. and see if they can get this on ... you are SO RIGHT! This is Bob Lind circa 1967 ala like Howard Cosell ... "TELLING IT LIKE IT IS"!!!
Whoa ... you leave me numb!
Wild Bill

Here's the track again for the benefit of anyone who may have missed it:

>>>Some people like "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" a lot. But others don't feel the same. One thing's for certain. Like it or not, the one thing that record has NOT been over the past 30 years is IGNORED! Just about everybody on the planet has heard it and it is one of the relatively few Christmas records issued during the rock era that has become a true holiday classic. The man who wrote it was Randy Brooks. (Ronnie Allen)
As an FYI; Randy Brooks lives in the DFW area and often performs his music at holiday events.
I saw and met him last year at a Men of Note Concert in Plano, TX.
He's a very funny performer discussing this song and other ones he has written recently

>>>If you get an opportunity, please re-post Debe Welch's "Please Don't Give Me War Toys for Christmas." It's one of our new Christmas faves. (David Lewis)
>>>Will do ... and I think you just made Debe's holiday season too!!! (kk)
That did make our day, Kent! Please tell David Lewis that he can download it off my website at
Thanks for all the great songs, too :)
Debe Welch

And ... on kind of a related note ... how's this for a nice gesture?
Kent ...
I've been sending Christmas Cards to Soldiers in the Hospital.

Maybe if you printed this address, some of your readers might want to send out some Christmas Cards.
Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave., N W
Washington, D. C. 20307 - 5001
Frank B.
Thanks, Frank ... happy to pass this along. They may get there a little late ... but it's the thought that counts ... and I'm sure these guys can use some serious cheering up ... especially this time of year, away from their families. (kk)

And, speaking about our "Soldier Boys", here's another fascinating tale from our FH Buddy Artie Wayne:
Kent …
How ya’ doin’?
Back in 1966 I was working as a staff writer and producer for Scepter Records. Florence Greenberg, who owned the company, decided to re-release “SOLDIER BOY” by the Shirelles, which had been number one a few years earlier, and asked me to write and produce a new b-side for it.
She also suggested that to save time and money I should write the new song over the old Shirelles track, “A THING OF THE PAST", which she owned and was in the girls' key. It was during the Vietnam War and I decided to write a song about a soldier returning from the front at Christmas. It’s called “MAMA, MY SOLDIER BOY IS COMIN” HOME”
As far as I was concerned there were no b-sides and even though I only had three hours to write and record the song with Shirelles, I was determined not to make it a throwaway. I flirted with Shirley while she was on mike until she gave me the playful performance I was looking for.
We recorded just one verse at a time and while she was singing one, I was writing the next. At the end of the session, everything was finished and it was released the next day!

Artie Wayne
And here it is! Thanks, Artie! (kk)

Here are some fun Christmas Songfacts from our buddy Carl Wiser over at
Hi Kent.
Thought you could use some random Christmas songs tidbits:
Bob Dylan has a new Christmas song out that must be heard to be believed. It's a Christmas Polka called "Must Be Santa":
Neil Diamond had released 3 Christmas albums - he's Jewish. His latest album contains a cover of Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song" because Neil says, "I thought I'd throw one in there for my people." By the way, "White Christmas" was written by Irving Berlin - also Jewish.
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer started off as a children's book given away at Montgomery Ward stores in 1939. The book became so popular that it was made into a song in 1949 and a TV special in 1964. Unlike Santa, Rudolf is copyrighted, so Chuck Berry had to pay royalties when he wrote "Run Rudolf Run."
The first rap song released on a major label was "Christmas Rappin'" by Kurtis Blow in 1979.
John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" is an anti-war Christmas song. In 1969, he and Yoko put up billboards in major cities that said "War is Over (If You Want It)" and, with the help of Phil Spector, turned it into a song in 1971. Paul McCartney's Christmas classic is the much lighter "Wonderful Christmastime," which used a funky synthesizer that later appeared in the hit "Bette Davis Eyes."
Wishing good cheer to all at Forgotten Hits.
Carl Wiser
Our list of Christmas Songs:

And we got the good word a couple of times this week regarding OUR Christmas Classic, "Lonely Christmas"!!!
Hi Kent;
I finally had a spare hour to update my website, and added a link to both, and to your mevio site. Check out: and see what you think. I'm looking forward to more collaborations with you.
Were you able to listen to my 2nd Anniverary Show on Dec 8? It went really well, and I ran 2 of your greetings, including the one about your podcast site. Now I'm making plans for more podcasts of my own. I have 2 years' worth available.
By the way, there's a pretty good chance I will play your Christmas song on an upcoming FLip Side ...
Mr. C.
Thanks, Mr. C. I DID get to listen to most of the anniversary program ... congratulations again on two years of doing The Flip Side Show! (And FH Readers can find the show that WE did together on The Forgotten Hits on the Radio website: ... just type in "Flip Side Show" to the Search Engine and the whole show will pop up for your listening enjoyment! And thanks, too, for featuring our "Lonely Christmas" track again this holiday season ... we really do appreciate it! (kk)

Hi KK:
Your "Lonely Christmas" is burning up my current holidaze playlist for yet another year. :)!

John B. Krug
Yes, you can turn me on! I'm on the radio! Surf City Sounds Plus:
Thanks, John! That's three years in a row!!! We TRULY do appreciate it.
You can catch BOTH of these shows by clicking on the links above ... you just never know WHO you're going to hear on there!!! (kk)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Story Behind The Song

Brand new on The Forgotten Hits Mailing List is Paul Evans, whose Top Five Hit "Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat" we featured the other day on the web page. (You'll hear more from Paul tomorrow, including his brand new Christmas song, "Santa's Stuck Up In The Chimney", a YouTube favorite with over 100,000 hits so far!)

But today Paul tells us about the #1 Hit he penned for Bobby Vinton back in 1962. Not only did it top Billboard's Pop Singles Chart for four weeks ... but it literally launched Vinton's career ... "Roses Are Red (My Love)" would be the first of Bobby's 31 Top 40 Hits, including three more #1's, "Blue Velvet" (1963), "There, I've Said It Again" (1964) and "Mr. Lonely" (1964). (Bobby's "Polish Prince" favorite, "My Melody Of Love" just missed the top spot ten years later when it peaked at #2 in Cash Box Magazine in 1974.)

But it all had to start somewhere ... and today songwriter Paul Evans tells us ... in his own words ... the story behind "Roses Are Red (My Love)":

Hi Kent,
I just spoke to Artie Wayne ... and he thought that I should relate a couple of stories to you that are NOT up on my Web site.

How’s this one about “Roses Are Red (My Love)” …

I was in Associated Recording Studios recording demos on some new songs of mine when a co-writer of mine, Al Byron (“Happy Go Lucky Me”, “Something Blue”) walked in and wanted to show me a lyric that he’d just written.

So, as a joke, I told my musicians to “Take a break. I’m going to write a hit song now”. J J J

Al put his lyric in front of me on the piano. I took a minute to scan it and then I wrote it.

I turned around – laughing – but Al wasn’t laughing. “That’s terrific”, he said.

I worked on the melody for a couple of weeks, because you can’t write a hit song in under three minutes. But I just couldn’t top the melody that I’d written at my first glance at Al’s lyric. And that’s what you hear on Bobby Vinton’s four-week Billboard topper - the lyric that Al put on my piano and the melody that I wrote in under three minutes.

“Roses Are Red (My Love)”, of course, turned into Al’s and my biggest hit ever.

Here’s the lesson: You can work on a song for months (and I have) until you’ve finally got it to a point that you think it might be the world’s first perfect song – but no one likes it.

But you can work on a song for a few minutes - and - POW! You’ve got yourself a big hit. Go figure.
Paul Evans

Thanks, Paul! (We'll feature your new Christmas song tomorrow!)

According to Fred Bronson's book "The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits", Vinton was about to be dropped from the brand new Epic Record Label after his first two releases flopped. (These releases could best be described as "Big Band" music ... Vinton first fancied himself as a band leader, not a singer.) At a meeting with some label executive lawyers, they broke the bad news ...

"No, no ... you owe me two more sides", Bobby protested. The lawyers excused themselves to discuss the matter in another room. While they were gone, Bobby explains, "They were figuring out how to get rid of me. I saw a pile of records that said 'reject pile', and they still weren't back. I noticed the record player was turning, so I started to listen to some of the records they were throwing out and all of a sudden I heard 'Roses are red, my love, violets are blue.'

"When they came back, they said the band just wasn't making it. I said, 'I can sing a little, and there's a song you're throwing away that really sounds like something I would hear on the radio.'" Since they agreed that they did, in fact, owe Bobby another recording session, they let him cut two more songs, including "Roses Are Red".

Bobby says he recorded it first as an R & B song. "It was the worst sounding thing you ever heard in your life!" he admits. "I'm not really a country singer, but I said we should do it country ... and on the strength of the song, I got a second shot at 'Roses Are Red'." Epic even brought in a new arrangement, strings and a vocal choir.

The single went straight to #1, the first #1 Record for the Epic Record Label. In fact, when the record sold a million copies, Bob Morgan became the first record producer to officially receive a gold record in acknowledgment of his contribution!

For more on Paul Evans' hit music, be sure to check out his website:
Click here: Paul Evans - Recording Artist and Songwriter

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Next Year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees

We got the word bright and early yesterday morning ...

Jann Wenner & his Cronies Hall of Fame strikes again:
In the immortal words of Comic Book Guy: "Worst class ever!"
-- Ron Smith

That's right ... the OFFICIAL list of inductees going into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (in a ceremony being held on March 15, 2010) will be:

World-wide pop sensation ABBA, reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff, art-rock (and then very POPULAR rock) band Genesis, the long-overlooked British Invasion act, The Hollies and the "I guess the eighth time's the charm" Stooges.

Far more exciting (and some might say more DESERVING) are some of the sidemen / non-performers being inducted next year. Heavy on long-neglected and ignored songwriters, 2010 will see Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Otis Blackwell (who wrote some of Elvis' biggest early hits), Mort Shuman (whose most common songwriting partner Doc Pomus was inducted a few years ago) and Jesse Stone ... along with record mogul David Geffen.

In a concentrated effort NOT to repeat all my past rantings and ravings on the annual RRHF Inductees list, let's just take a look at what we've got here.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit on, probably the two BIGGEST surprises (or disappointments ... again, depending on your fence position!) would have to be ABBA and The Stooges.

We've been long-time supporters of ABBA taking their rightful place in The Rock Hall. (If I'm being completely honest here, I NEVER thought for a minute that they'd actually be inducted ... or even given serious consideration for such an honor. I just thought that in the minds of the powers that be, inducting ABBA would simply be perceived as the ultimate "un-hip" stigma ... and a number of rock purists certainly DO feel that way. On the other hand, maybe this is a subtle hint that there's still hope for this committee yet ... and that, over time, many of the other artists who regularly show up on our "Deserving And Denied" list will also find their way into the coveted Hall.)

Although sales reportedly don't matter, ABBA remains the biggest selling act worldwide in history ... and that's a pretty tough statistic to overlook or throw by the wayside. Their music has since transcended pop and rock, having been adapted to the incredibly successful stage and screen presentation, "Mamma Mia". (Wouldn't it be incredible if ABBA reunited on The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame stage to perform for FREE after turning down reported offers of up to one billion dollars to get back together for a satellite concert beamed around the world?!?!? Unlikely ... but incredible!!!)

On the other end of the spectrum, we've got The Stooges. This is, I believe,
their EIGHTH nomination. (I still think there should be a limit as to how many times an artist can be nominated and NOT be inducted ... at which point their name should permanently be withdrawn from the ballot. That's the way OTHER Halls Of Fame do it!) With absolutely ZERO hits to their credit, they represent the very anti-ABBA ... yet seem to have been a "pet project" of RRHF President Jann Wenner for YEARS now regarding their induction into what many consider (show of hands???) his own personal Hall of Fame Favorites.

This year's final ballot delegates Donna Summer, Laura Nyro, Kiss, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Darlene Love, LL Cool J and The Chantels to the "bridesmaid" position. For some of these artists, it isn't the first time they've come up short of the necessary votes to make the cut ... based on past experiences, the odds are it won't be the last.

A couple of this year's inductees weighed in on the various announcements I received yesterday ... here are just a few:

If you're surprised to see ABBA among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's next crop of inductees, join the club. So is Bjorn Ulvaeus, co-founder of the Swedish pop group.
"It's pretty unexpected," Ulvaeus said, reached by phone at home in Stockholm.
"It's a wonderful thing, of course. I'm slightly overwhelmed, considering the other people in the Hall of Fame. It's a fantastic thing."

"If the Hollies were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, my heart would just be full of good feeling for [Hollies co-founder] Allan Clarke, one of the most underrated rock 'n' roll singers," Graham Nash said in an October interview, before the honor was official.

ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus said he and the other members of the group -- Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Agnetha "Anna" Faltskog -- have not discussed plans to attend the ceremony.
"We haven't had time to do that yet," said Ulvaeus, 64. "We wanted it to be official, then we'll get together and we'll talk about what we'll do. It's too early for me to say anything."
A consortium of concert promoters offered $1 billion to ABBA in 2000 for a 100-date reunion tour. The group declined.
Asked if there is a snowball's chance in hell that ABBA would perform at the Rock Hall gala, Ulvaeus laughed.
"I don't think so," he said. "I mean, we split up in '82, for heaven's sake. That's a long time ago.
"But as I say, we haven't talked yet, the four of us. So we'll see."

Iggy Pop says his band has been patiently awaiting this honor for some time. "We've been rejected seven times, and we would have set a record, I think, if it happened again," the Stooges' frontman tells Rolling Stone. "It started to feel like Charlie Brown and the football. I had about two hours of a strong emotional reaction after hearing the news. It felt like vindication. Then I kind of scratched my head and thought, 'Am I still cool? Or is that over now?' "

The news was quite surprising for the Swedish pop group ABBA. "I didn't think this would happen, because we were a pop band, not a rock band," says Benny Andersson, who helped found the group in 1970. "Being a foreigner from the North Pole, this feels really good."

The Hall of Fame has earned a reputation for convincing long dormant groups like Talking Heads and Led Zeppelin to perform at induction ceremonies. Though Graham Nash hopes to play with the Hollies for the first time since 1983 ("I'll be there with bells on," he says), an ABBA reunion is less likely; the group split in 1983 and has refused all offers to reform ever since.

"It's very tricky because Agnetha [Fältskog] is not flying," Andersson says. "The people who are really fond of ABBA for what we did, I think we are doing them a favor by not going out." He said he wouldn't completely discount a performance, but wanted to talk it over with the rest of the group. "It's 99 against 1 [odds], though."

A reunion of the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis, who haven't played together since a one-off in 1982, is more likely — however Phil Collins' recent medical problems have left him virtually unable to play the drums. "I don't think he'd be itching to play early 1970s Genesis music at the moment," says Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks. "Peter [Gabriel] is a bit elusive, but I'll probably talk to him soon and see if he has any concept of what he wants to do. I don't feel a great need to play. I'm happy just to drink."

ABBA, The Hollies and Genesis ALL made our "Deserving And Denied" List a few years back ... so we have to at least take SOME pleasure in rejoicing in their long-awaited recognition.

The Stooges?!?!? Come on!!! They've become the Susan Lucci of rockdom!!! We commented three or four years ago (in our well-publicized take on "What's Wrong With The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame") that The THREE Stooges are more deserving than Iggy's clan ... at least THEY can claim to have helped to inspire The Beatles' famous Mop-Top haircut (aka "The Moe"!!! lol)

Jimmy Cliff?!?!? He was, in fact, an international star (who seemed to catch on everywhere but here) ... and, in his genre of music, is considered a leader. Does he belong in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Probably ... but not before so many of the OTHER artists who are continually denied consideration year after year after year.

Certainly artists like Cliff and The Stooges did more (and at a much more distinguished and inspirational level) than artists like Chicago, Neil Diamond, The Guess Who, The Moody Blues or any of these OTHER guys ever did!!! (It's kinda like my old argument ... when you go to name the most IMPORTANT Rock Artists of all time ... certain names are simply a given ... they simply roll off the tongue because they are SO deserving of this honor and recognition ... one cannot deny the importance and impact that they made of the genre:

Elvis ... The Beatles ... Leonard Cohen;

Chuck Berry ... The Beach Boys ... Percy Sledge;

Bob Dylan ... Little Richard ... Jerry Lee Lewis ... Bonnie Raitt;

Jimi Hendrix ... Buddy Holly ... Ray Charles ... The Velvet Underground;

I mean, it's hard to even utter another artists' name in the same breath as THESE top-drawer acts, right?!?!?

Chicago ... The Guess Who ... Neil Diamond ... oh wait ... these are artists that they've decided are not GOOD enough (or WORTHY enough) to be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Connie Francis ... Chubby Checker ... Pat Boone ... The Moody Blues ... Paul Anka ... Three Dog Night ... Linda Ronstadt ... The Monkees ... Tommy James and the Shondells ... Hall and Oates ... Neil Sedaka ... ELO ... artists who not only helped define a generation of rock music but also paved the way for so many that came after them ... ALL of these artists ranked high on YOUR list of artists worthy of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ... but have NOT been considered worthy enough for consideration by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee.

No sir ... instead, THEY'VE given us MEGA artists like Joe Tex ... LL Cool J ... Patti Smith ... The Stooges ... Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa to consider. Percy Sledge, Leonard Cohen, Bonnie Raitt ... "rockers" like Buddy Guy and Miles Davis (usually the first names springing from the lips of ANYBODY in the know being asked the magical question, "Who are some of the GREATEST rock and roll artists of all time?") How 'bout The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk, The New York Dolls and Parliament / Funkadelic??? ALL of these artists were considered worthy enough to garner either a nomination or induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame by their knowledgeable nominating committee.

If you polled a random group of 100 people on the street, how many do you think could sing a song by The Stooges? Afrika Bambaataa? The Velvet Underground? Ask those same 100 people to sing something by Chicago, Neil Diamond, The Guess Who, Paul Anka, Linda Ronstadt, Hall And Oates, The Moody Blues or Tommy James and the Shondells and I expect you'll find a completely DIFFERENT result. No, it's NOT a popularity contest ... we know, we've heard it all before ... but which music made the GREATER IMPACT to the greatest majority of people? Which music had the most profound impact on this ever-developing art?

We're not here to slam The Hall today ... quite honestly, each year since our series first ran they've inducted more and more artists from our "Deserving And Denied" List. (To date The Hollies, The Dave Clark Five, ABBA, Genesis, John "Cougar" Mellencamp and The Ventures from our Top 40 "Shoulda Beens" have all been inducted since we first raved out three years ago. That's 15%!!! Can Neil Diamond, The Guess Who, Chicago, The Moody Blues, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Yes, Heart, Pat Benatar, Johnny Rivers, ELO and Grand Funk Railroad really be that far behind? The times ... they just MAY be a-changin'!!!)

Once again the R&RHOF embarrasses itself by elevating into nomination artists of either marginal or zero rock 'n' roll importance (such as previous ridiculous inductees Leonard Cohen, The Velvet Underground, etc.). This time the chaff among the wheat includes two-(minor) hit wonder Jimmy Cliff (how did this turn into the Reggae Hall of Fame?) and the zero hit flop band Iggy & the Stooges. And the headline on Rolling Stone's news story announcing this travesty OPENS by trumpeting the WEAKEST of the pack (The Stooges) while ignoring the immensely far more qualified Hollies. There isn't space here to list all the deserving acts the HOF has routinely passed over for years (The Raiders, The Moody Blues, etc.). Other letters printed here will do that. Maybe the HOF's idea is to wait until enough of the important rockers they routinely pass over have died, thus denying them the honor while still alive (as happened with key members of the Dave Clark Five and others). It's really unfortunate that such a good idea as the R&RHOF has deteriorated into simply a list of the performers on Jann Wenner's personal iPod.
Gary Theroux

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heaven Sent

It all started here:

Hi Kent,
Hope you, and yours, are well. "Early In The Morning", from last send, tweaked my unconscious. (I recall that tune from radio, or perhaps even the shampoo commercial that was mentioned. Was GREAT to flash-back to.) Here's a loooong-shot. There was as a "fragrance", I assume aimed at the 12-18 female demographic, named "Heaven Sent" - possibly "Heaven Scent". This was circa 1966-1970?, Chicago market, heavy saturation. There was a rather catchy song they labeled that product with, and played it again, and again, and yet ... again. On those late night drives one takes with that new girl ... who makes one's heart beat faster than the rest, the ambient melodies create the sountrack ... smile. The lyrics go something like: "Suddenly, there's a heavenly fragrance that clings ... it's heaven scent. Suddenly you're an "imp" (imp?) wearing angel's wings ... in heaven scent ... Suddenly you are all of the things that you want to be, a little bit naughty but heavenly ... in heaven sent ... etc." Can you imagine the angst those lyrics would create in the 16 year-old female heart? Angel / naughty? I digress ... I have so many memories tied to that commercial, and people I've kept connected to. Years ago I tried calling radio stations, and even searched the net. I'd do anything to get my hands on that. Might anyone out there in FH-land has ANY clue If, and HOW, I might be able to get my hands on that commercial? Thought fishing in "FH" pool might get a lead?

Thanks ever-so ...

Kent and Ron, As for your "wanted" "Heaven Scent" commercial, I think EVERY person that listened to WLS back in the period you mention will recognize this GREAT jingle instantly. Like you, I was entranced by how cool it was, the idea, not just the tune -- AND the over saturation of airplay it got! I loved it and have been trying to get a clean tape or record of it ever since without luck. Attached is the only version I have from AM radio. It sounds like the Chiffons to me, but the version I remember best was mostly a solo voice, possibly double tracked, singing it just a bit more sexy than this cleaner sounding (But STILL GROOVY!) version. Hey, how cool was this jingle? It was so good that the company put the SHEET MUSIC to it in their trade ads!! Buddy Weed composed it. Kent, can you find Buddy for us? Haha. So there you have it! Another great classic from Kent's FH members! Enjoy and by all means, SING ALONG while I play it on the piano in "Moderato, with a beat" (see sheet music)!!! WLSClark

Kent - It is Heaven Sent not Heaven Scent cologne one reader was alluding to and it can be purchased on the Net at the manufacturer or even via K-Mart. I'm tempted to buy a bottle, just to refresh my memory on the smell because I wore it all the time. Also, I do remember the commercial, just don't remember the exact lyrics or melody. Keep up the good work. Sue Patterson

A good number of us thought Heaven "Scent" made sense (since it was, after all, a perfume fragrance) but it seems you are correct. We found ALL kinds of listings for this on eBay ... and it is apparently still in production to this day! (Who knew???) Now what they REALLY ought to do is revive the old jingle, pay Forgotten Hits BOATLOADS of money for stirring up an interest again and get rolling with a killer, kick-ass ad campaign. (Hmm ... I wonder if I can interest "Mad Men" in taking this on?!?!?) kk


And it really hasn't stopped since!!! Your comments and memories just keep on comin'!!! (We love it!!!)

Again, you are amazin!
Just wait!!! Check out the emails and soundclips below. (Now even our 13 year old daughter is walking around the house singing the Heaven Sent commercial!!! lol) Who would have EVER thought that the mention of this long-forgotten commercial would stir up so many memories?!?!? (kk)

Hi Kent,
Nice to see the buzz around the old Heaven Sent jingle. Did you know there was another version of the song -- with different lyrics -- that aired in 1972? I've attached that one (recorded off WQAM that year), along with the earlier, better-known Heaven Sent jingle.
Jeff Lemlich

It truly is amazing the buzz this little long-forgotten jingle has caused! (Maybe NOT so long-forgotten after all!!! Catchy enough that our 13 year old has been singing it around the house lately!!! lol) kk


Since we just recently covered "She Lets Her Hair Down" (later used as a Clairol commercial) and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" (mentioned again below, used in yet ANOTHER hair commercial) ... and our instrumental countdown acknowledged such well known commercial / pop hit faire as "Music To Watch Girls By" (Diet Pepsi), "The Dis-Advantages Of You" (Benson and Hedges 100's) and "No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In" (Alka Seltzer) it almost seems like a no-brainer in hindsight that somebody should have taken advantage of the obvious appeal of THIS tune!!! (kk)

Hi, Kent -
I noticed in yesterday’s blog that Ron was looking for a copy of Heaven Sent. It took a bit of searching through my collection to find it, but here’s the original Heaven Sent jingle. There were a number of variations recorded over the years, but this is considered to be the classic version. Listen and enjoy!
BTW, thanks for straightening me out on the spelling. Until yesterday, I assumed it was “Heaven Scent.”
Rob Frankel
Citadel Media

Who would have EVER thought that this little jingle would have been THIS fondly remembered?!?!? AMAZING!!! (kk)

Click here: heaven sent fragrance, great deals on Health Beauty, Collectibles on eBay!
(I guess they're still making this stuff ... but seriously ... what would the vintage, 40+ year old perfume currently selling on eBay smell like today?!?!?)

Hi, Kent.
Some really great stuff on the Forgotten Hits site right now, like that "Heaven Sent" clip. I remember that very well from WLS and wonder why the song apparently was never expanded into a single. The lyrics certainly captured the essence of my girlfriend at the time!
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Gary Theroux

I think the song was Donovan's "Wear Your Love Like Heaven." I can remember the song very clearly.

Nope .. but that was another one ... in fact, scroll back on the web page to December 2nd (when we first explored the Clairol "She Lets Her Hair Down" commercial tie-in) and you'll see that we featured this one, too, a GREAT over-looked Donovan tune from 1967 (that I just happened to hear Jeff James play on Y103.9 the very next day!!!) kk

Like I keep saying, you just NEVER know which topic is going to catch on next here!!! Hope you enjoyed our little tribute to Heaven Sent. (Now where'd I leave my bottle of Hai Karate?!?!?) kk

Click here: YouTube - Hai Karate - vintage TV commercial

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Christmas Music

Some people like "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" a lot. But others don't feel the same and, in fact, the record that opens this show expresses a decidedly different point of view! One thing's for certain. Like it or not, the one thing that record has NOT been over the past 30 years is IGNORED! Just about everybody on the planet has heard it and it is one of the relatively few Christmas records issued during the rock era that has become a true holiday classic.

Dr. Elmo Shropshire was a practicing veterinarian in 1979 when he and his wife Patsy, who performed as the Homestead Act, first recorded this novelty song as "Elmo 'N Patsy." The man who wrote it was Randy Brooks.
It took four years before their record became an overnight success. There's a bit of confusion because the record has become a charted hit on two different labels with two different versions: first on Soundwaves and then Epic. For openers the Soundwaves version was Billboard's #1 Christmas hit in 1983 and the Epic version was Billboard's #1 Christmas hit in 1984 and 1985.
Dr. Elmo tells the story of this amazing and unlikely success, filling in most of the missing pieces that you've all probably been wondering about, including Patsy's initial involvement and subsequent lack of involvement. And his own story is amazing as well.
Apart from the 15 minutes of fame that he achieves in December of every year, Dr. Elmo is proud that back in 1956 he was the exercise boy for a horse named Needles which won the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and came thisclose to winning the Preakness and (what would have been) the Triple Crown.
Dr. Elmo and I had loads of fun doing this show and sharing a few other recordings as well. He was a total delight.
To access this Dr. Elmo radio interview show or any of my previous ones, please visit the "Jersey Girls Sing" website at
When that home page comes up, please click the "Ronnie Allen Theater" (the name has a yellow background) in the picture on the right-hand side. That will bring you to my index page. Please click on "Ronnie's Radio Page" and you will then be able to access the show (it's the first one listed under the blue heading "Current Radio Interview Shows") or any of my previous ones, which are listed in reverse chronological order.
Ronnie Allen
Like it or not, it's become a Christmas Classic. (I wasn't aware of Elmo's veterinarian background ... pretty amazing really!) Always good stuff, Ronnie! (kk)

Hey Kent,
It's been a while since I've written to you. Your "Christmas Presents" inspired me to write and offer a few Christmas songs you may not have heard. I scanned my ipod Christmas songs and picked out a few (of the more than 300 selections).
The ones I selected are:
Melodeers - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - a cool doo-wop version, it actually charted
Hank Ballard & Midnighters - Santa Claus Is Coming - a cool R&B Christmas tune
Booker T & MGs - Jingle Bells - a nice R&B yule instrumental
Dion - Jingle Bell Rock - a nice R&R version
Brenda Lee - Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day - one of several BL holiday tunes
Vince Vance & Valiants - All I Want For Christmas Is You - a Dallas favorite - not the same as the Mariah Carey classic
Bobby Vee - A Not So Merry Christmas
Santo & Johnny - Twistin' Bells - a great Jingle Bells R&R holiday instrumental
Canned Heat - Christmas Blues - a hippy dippy rarity
I've attached the Hank Ballard tune. "I've been good. I ain't been bad. Santa is coming, and I sure am glad" - gotta love it! If you want any of the others, just let me know and I'll send them along.
I haven't heard MOST of those on your list ... so send away if you like ... but do it quick if you want us to share any of these this holiday season!!! (kk)

Happy Holidays right back at ya!
What dedication - up at 5:21 a.m. to send the version of Forgotten Hits out.
Sue Patterson
lol ... maybe 5:21 am YOUR time ... but typically now Forgotten Hits goes out between 6 - 7 am Chicago time IF it goes out at all!!! (kk)

Great stuff as usual, Kent. Thanks for all of these. If you get an opportunity, please re-post Debe Welch's "Please Don't Give Me War Toys for Christmas." It's one of our new Christmas faves.
David Lewis
Will do ... and I think you just made Debe's holiday season too!!! (kk)

Kent ...
How ya'doin'?
Being half - Black and half - Jewish not only gives me the inalienable to use “Yo” and “Oy”in the same sentence, but it also allowed me to gather the best collection of Christmas and Hanukkah Music videos on the internet! I'm proud to present NOOKIE's CHRISTMAS AND HANUKKAH MUSIC VIDEOS!
Adam Sandler’s, “Hanukkah Song”, Carrie Underwood”, NEW MICHAEL JACKSON, JEWISH RAPPERS … CHUPTZAH. “HANUKKAH’S THE BOMB”, Bon Jovii and Red Bank3 SINGING “THE HANUKKAH SONG”, Christina Aguilera, WHAM,Toby Keith, PAUL EVANS, Andy Williams, The Smurfs, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS”, and much, much more!
Happy Hanukkah!
Artie (still meshugana after all these years!) Wayne

Hey Kent,
Thanks for the recent "shout out" in Forgotten Hits. We didn't win the contest, but we had a nice showing and a good number of votes. And as the attached Chicago Tribune article shows, there were some voting irregularities. It seems a few people did vote early ... and often! But a fun experience and we've gotten a lot of views on YouTube.,0,5460505.story
Thanks again for all your support of "Santa's Comin' Here!
Dick Eastman

Well, I think it's a GREAT new Christmas Song ... and well worth another viewing before the holidays are upon us. WTG, Dick! (kk)

Kent ...
I just found this song on You Tube.
I don't remember this song, do you?
Frank B.

YouTube - I Wanna Spend Xmas With Elvis - RARE Bobby Darin Song
No, I sure don't. Bobby Darin recorded a Christmas album back in 1960 ... in fact, he even had a minor two-sided hit with the single "Christmas Auld Lang Syne" / "Child Of God" ... but it sounds like this one really pre-dates his own Christmas offering. Not a very good song ... but a novel Noel novelty to be sure.
I didn't remember addressing this song at all during our lengthy month-long Bobby Darin Series several years ago so I did some quick fact-checking ... "I Want To Spend Christmas With Elvis" was, in fact, written by Bobby Darin and Don Kirshner and released as a single by Little Lambsie Penn in 1956. (The YouTube clip states that the poster recorded it right off his old 78!!!) Kirshner and Darin were tight in the early '50's before Bobby's career took off ... they often wrote songs and jingles together but very few of these ever made it to vinyl (and NONE of them could be considered "hits".) Jeff Bleiel's EXCELLENT book "That's All: Bobby Darin On Record, Stage And Screen" cites three examples from 1957: "An impressive list of singers would record Darin-Kirshner songs in 1957. Rockabilly great Gene Vincent took 'Wear My Ring', R&B legend LaVern Baker recorded 'Love Me Right' and jazz singer Bobby Short cut 'Delia'. In May of 1957 Darin recorded two songs he and Kirshner had written: 'Wear My Ring' and 'Talk To Me Something' ... influenced and inspired by Elvis Presley's success, Darin produced these in the rock'n'roll idiom." (kk)

Hi, and happy holidays!
Hope you can let your readers know about Jimy Roger's Christmas CD with Blue Road - it is a CD single with 2 songs, and you can download it from CD Baby - it just went live today. You can also buy the actual CD from us at shows or locally at Gand Music and Sound in Northfield. It will fill the void for some soulful, bluesy, but rockin' Christmas tunes! Our last show for the year is Dec. 19th at Gabe's Backstage Lounge - it will be Jimy Rogers and Blue Road, and we'll be doing the holiday songs plus a couple more new holiday songs.
Joan Gand / Blue Road
Congrats on a great year, guys! Fans interested in hearing a really nice, bluesy rendition of the Christmas Classic "White Christmas" would do themselves well to check out Jimy Rogers' recording at The Mauds' website:
Click here: The Mauds® - Music

And I was very happy to receive this note from another one of Chicago's legendary bands, The Buckinghams:
Hi Kent,
From "The Joy Of Of Christmas," I would like to feature the Buckinghams Christmas song "Have A Little Faith." It is a song of faith and hope and the promise that things will get better. I would like to dedicate it to all our fine men and women that are making the ultimate sacrifice by putting their lives on the line serving us in Iraq and Afghanistan with the hope and faith that they will soon be rejoined with there families ... our prayers are with them.
Kent, your readers can also download the track by going to
Have a blessed Christmas.
Carl Giammarese

Thanks, Carl. In fact, The Buckinghams have their entire Christmas Album, "The Joy Of Christmas", available for downloading FOR FREE on their website from now until New Year's Day!!! It's a GREAT collection of Christmas classics along with some brand new Christmas music written by the band. And we are VERY happy to feature "Have A Little Faith" on the website today ... a BEAUTIFUL song that we got to see Carl perform live at this year's Rock And Roll Roots CD Release Party. Thanks again. (kk)

... and, speaking of The Buckinghams ....

The Buckinghams had an INCREDIBLE run during 1967, the same year that The Monkees hit #1 with their first FOUR LPs. The Bucks started the year off with a #1 Single, "Kind Of A Drag" and then followed that up with four more National Top Ten Singles: "Don't You Care" (#6), "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (#5), "Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song" (#5) and "Susan" (#7). It's amazing to think that ANYBODY was ever releasing as many as five singles a year ... yet THESE guys were taking all five of theirs into The National Top Ten!!! (In between, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" peaked at #39 ... and, here in Chicago, they also placed "I'll Go Crazy", "I Call Your Name" and "I've Been Wrong" in our Local Top 20 before their 1967 assault on the charts. AMAZING!!!) kk