Saturday, December 26, 2009

Helping Out Our Readers

As things begin to wind down here in 2009, we thought we'd run one more "Helping Out Our Readers" segment ... along with a few last minute holiday greetings from some of our readers. Enjoy!

>>>Is that the same Ron Dante who recorded "Something Happens" by Dante & Friends? If so, I would love to know the story behind who the friends were, and his career. That was a great, but unheralded doo wop song. Actually, one of my favorites from that era. Also, there was a group called Dante & the Evergreens. Same guy? Tell me more. (Bob Hughes)

>>>Sorry, but no ... in fact, I think we covered this topic once before ... Ron Dante was the voice behind The Archies, The Cuff Links and The Detergents ... he also produced Barry Manilow's biggest early hit albums and can be hea8d on literally hundreds of jingles. For a more in-depth look at HIS background, just check out his website here:
Click here: Ron Dante OnLine - The Official Website
(We interviewed Ron Dante for Forgotten Hits a few years ago ... maybe we can post THAT up on the website sometime soon, too!) kk
>>>Thanks for the info. The memory must be going. Do you know who the Dante was from Dante & Friends and Dante and the Evergreens? I had once heard that it might have been Gerry Granahan recording under a different name, but I have no corroboration of that. (Bob Hughes)
>>>Dante (of Dante and the Evergreens) was a guy named Donald Drowly ... their version of the Hollywood Argyles chart-topper "Alley Oop" was their biggest hit. I'm not really familiar with Dante and Friends ... but maybe somebody else on the list can shed some light on this for us. And, since Gerry Granahan is ALSO on our Forgotten Hits mailing list, maybe he will see this and have a thing or two to say, too!!! (lol) kk
According to Jerry Osborne's Rockin' Record guide, it seems that Dante & Friends was the same Don "Dante" Drowly of Dante and the Evergreens. I found the song, "Something Happens" on youtube, if anyone cares to hear it. In my opinion it was a real nice doo wop recording, circa 61 or 62.
Bob Hughes
Again, doo-wop is NOT my best genre ... but if Jerry Osborne says so, you can pretty much believe it's true!!! He just may be the foremost authority on this kind of stuff! (kk)
Make that Don Drowty. He did record as "Dante & His Friends" for Imperial records (my favorite tune by him on that label is Magic Ring, which I can't send as an attachment as I do not have my own computer right now -- waiting on a brand new one to arrive just in time for christmas though).
Tom Diehl
Ooops ... sorry about that! Apologies to Don! Thanks, Tom. (kk)

Please tell Charlie Fraser "thanx" for me ... his remembered song triggered my own "confusion" one ..."A Summer Song" by Chad & Jeremy. I, too, have thoought about it many times but this time I was able to look it up when I thought of it. I was sitting in a car waiting for my bf who had dashed into someone's house to pick up something ... what, I don't recall. You could just barely feel fall in the air but it was just about a perfect summer night with a tiny breeze rustling the shrubbery leaves across the street. Right after that, I returned home to VA so the date is pretty well fixed in my mind. This was Denver in 1964 so I looked it up and a blurb said it was released in September 1964, so that would be exactly right. Tim Findley (KIMN?) was my favorite DJ @ the time. Anyway, Charlie is right ... it is sorta fun to have our memories jogged like this, whether we come out right or not. I hope he finds out which song he's thinking of ... racked my brain and could not come up with anything that would work for him.
As we see our own memories fade from time to time, it's really no wonder that some of these artists can't remember every single detail every time either ... sure, they were there, but in many cases now, that was 40-50 years ago ... and, let's face it, they were right in the thick of the moment with a million other distractions going on. Hopefully we can continue to clear up some of these little mysteries (without offending anyone in the process!!! lol) As for "A Summer Song", it premiered on the Billboard Chart on August 15, 1964 and was a sure-fire Top Ten Hit, eventually peaking at #7. (Incredibly, despite some other GREAT recordings, it would end up being their ONLY Top Ten Hit!) Their chart debut, "Yesterday's Gone", peaked at #21 a few months earlier (and was one of those songs that fell victim to those "cover wars" we keep talking about ... a version by The Overlanders reached #52 on the Cash Box Chart and went Top Ten in many markets.) Other Chad and Jeremy favorites (besides their appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show as The Redcoats) included "Willow Weep For Me" (#15, 1965), "If I Loved You" (#20, 1965), "Before And After" (#15, 1965), "I Don't Wanna Lose You, Baby" (#35, 1965), "Distant Shores (#30, 1966) and their version of the Lennon - McCartney tune "From A Window (#93, 1965). kk

dear kent,
you've got to be the only guy i know who would know this. didn't long time wvon jock e. rodney jones turn out at a song around 1967 called "r and b time."
buy your bears playoff tickets early ...
the best,
chet coppock
Actually, 1965 ... it was one of those Part 1 / Part 2 singles ... but "R And B Time" was released on Tuff 6037 ... I don't think it DID much ... but you are correct!!! Happy Holidays, Chet! (kk)
kent ... you are amazing!!!.....
Gotta give kudos to Tom Diehl on this one ... I'd never even heard of this song ... but once I determined that it existed, I figured good ol' Tom could find it for us!!! (kk)

>>>I vaguely remember a song with the same melody as the commercial that was played (a little) in the Chicago markets called "Doggie Named Leroy," of which I recall only a couple of lines:
I've got a doggie named Leroy

He can beat any dog any old time.
Me and my doggie named Leroy
We just play around.
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la la-la (woof! woof!) , etc.
I looked around online for anything on it, and the only mentions were in connection with WLS, so it may have been a local garage band. (Jeff Duntemann)
The song Leroy charted in 1965 by Norma Tracey & the Cinderella Kids, and can be found ... where else? ... on your "WLS Only" CD's.
Ed Erxleben
Ah, yes ... a #35 "smash" from 1965!!! (This one went right by me!!! lol) Thanks, Ed! ( kk)
Good Morning Kent ...
Here's the Ken-L-Ration song someone's looking for. It Bubbled Under in 1965 by 9-year-old Norma Tracey and simpled titled "Leroy".
Joel Whitburn
Thanks, Joel! As I said ... one that slipped right by me in '65!!! (And I was pretty much listening to the radio all the time back then!!!) Maybe this one will jar a Chicagoland memory or two! Thanks, Guys! (kk)

I have a very good friend looking for "Somebody New" by the Riverias. He has searched all over and went thru each GoldMine publication and still no luck. Please let me know if you ever hear of one of the listeners finding this song. I tried I-Tunes with no luck. Vic Morrow

Let's just post it here, Vic, and see what comes back from our readers. (kk)

A trivia question for you: Does anyone have info on a band called the Capes of Good Hope and the song "Winter's Children" from 1966? My older brother is looking for a copy of this song, or any info about the band.
Joan Gand
Blue Road
There don't seem to be many topics, songs or artists that HAVEN'T come up in Forgotten Hits over the past ten years!!! Here's a little '60's Flashback to a short piece we did a couple of years ago ... along with your song request. (It looks like this one made it as far as the "Premiers" list on the old WCFL Chart but never actually charted.)
According to Vernon Joynson's book "Fuzz, Acid And Flowers Revisited", The Capes Of Good Hope hailed from Chicago and included Joel Cory, Mike Horn, Mike Jacobsen, Yogi Landem and Dick Toops. It shows two singles releases on Round Records (by the looks of things, The Capes may have been their first ... and ONLY artist!!! lol) Their official single releases were "Shades" / Lady Margaret",
released as Round 1001 and "Winter's Children" / "If My Monique Would Only Dance", released as Round 1002.
A couple of our readers have written in about The Capes Of Good Hope before but there's not a whole lot of information to share ... seemed you either knew who they were (and liked what they did) ... or they were SO obscure that you never really heard of them at all. (Round Records DID have a very cool record label, however ... FH Reader Clark Besch sent us THIS photo to share a few years back):

Pretty cool, huh? (Get it ... "Round" Records!!!)
Anyway, here's your "Winter's Children" request ... along with a couple of random comments from our old newsletter (kk):

Kent --

Sheesh. I meant to send this to you months ago. It's a song by Chicago band The Capes of Good Hope that has been cited on the Web as a psychedelic song, tho I was never a huge fan of the genre and don't like it much as a song. However, the Chicago connection is real, and if you've never heard it I figured you should.

The 45 was Shades / Lady Margaret, and it was released in 1966 as Round Records 1001. I believe it was Round Records' first 45.

I MUCH prefer their second single, Winter's Children, which also came out in 1966, and is actually a rock cover of J. S. Bach's "Sleepers Awake" from about 1720. The B side was called "If My Monique Could Only Dance" and the title alone is enough to make me go looking for the 45. (I only have the MP3 of the A side.)Here it is. I'm probably the only person on your list who's ever heard it!

Good luck and keep 'em coming!

--Jeff Duntemann

Colorado Springs, Colorado

We've learned to NEVER say "never" here in Forgotten Hits ... we are CONSTANTLY amazed at the wealth of knowledge our readers have (and the obscure tracks in their collections!) We're just proud to be the "glue" that holds it all together so that our music fans from around the world can share those musical memories with one another ... and even discover a few NEW gems along the way once in a while!

The Capes of Good Hope were indeed from Chicago. Their 45 "Shades" has a really cool label where (being on Round records), the title, group and all pertinent info is in one continuous line going around toward the center of the 45! Amazing! The label was an offshoot of Bell Records. Don't care much for it, but the followup, "Winter's Children" is very Left banke-ish baroque rock n roll. It even was released in Britain -- I have the 45. Much better vinyl on UK release. I also have WKYC Cleveland playing it on the air, so it got airplay outta town too! Not psychedelic, but sits in my faves.


And, once we heard that their record had charted in Cleveland, ANOTHER Forgotten Hits Reader got involved in sharing some of this rare, lost music! (kk)


I sent you "Shades" and "If My Monique Would Only Dance". I would ask that I could get a scan of that Cleveland chart with Shades on it, if I could. It is not a bad song, with a noticeable guitar strumming exactly like Bob Lind's "Elusive Butterfly" from a year earlier. "Monique" is not too hot with French lyrics and a Seekers feel of sorts? I have a picture of the Capes somewhere, but couldn't find it quickly, sorry.


Thank you so much for sending the mp3 of Shades. I had just about given up on ever finding the song. I do appreciate it. Kent said that you wanted to see the Cleveland charts with the song. It spent 3 weeks on the WKYC charts, all at #19, on 9/30/66, 10/7/66, and 10/14/66. I am attaching scans of these 3 charts. Thanks again for sending the mp3.


We're re-running ONE of those charts from way back when for our other readers to enjoy. Once again, another Forgotten Hits connection pays off ... I can't think of how many times now we've been able to find songs that folks on the list have been looking for ... sometimes for DECADES ... thanks to our networking readers and music fans. Always a proud moment when this happens ... thanks, guys! I've enclosed SHADES for the rest of the list to enjoy as well. (kk)

Kent -
You are awesome, you are the man! What a Christmas present! Thanks, and have a fabulous holiday!

I could use some assistance in finding the following for Marty's biography:
Musicians --
Claude E. "Eddy Fox" Headrick - drums - early 1970s

Del Delamont - piano - late 1970s
Conrad Noddin - piano and trumpet - late 1970s
Tapes / DVDs --
Movie - From Nashville With Music - 1969

Movie - Country Music - 1972
Simulcast with Ralph Emery - Oct 1970
Grammy awards show - March 1971
Information on Marty's '67 and '69 Dodge Chargers
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Diane Diekman

Washington DC, USA
If anybody out there can help Diane out with her research for her new Marty Robbins book / biography project, please drop us a line and we'll connect you. Thanks! (kk)

And, speaking of Marty Robbins ... THIS comment just came in:


Great stuff I've been reading (catching up on) over the past few weeks. I wanted to remind the readers of a song by Marty Robbins when I heard the Lorne Greene song - Ringo ...
Marty did a great song called Mr. Shorty and it's your typical gunfight western song. Tells a real good story and it just fits right into most things Marty Robbins did.

Bob Morrow

"Mr. Shorty" missed the pop charts ... but was a #16 Billboard Country Hit for Marty in early 1967. (kk)

Kent ...
Good job solving The Animals Mystery. Most people love The Beatles. My favorite British Invasion Group: The Animals. Love all their recordings. My favorites, two lesser known hits. "Sky Pilot" - popular during The Viet Nam War and "When I Was Young" - Eric Burdon's Story. Who's your favorite British Invasion Group ?
Frank B.
Well, The British Invasion was MY era ... I was TOTALLY hooked ... and couldn't get enough. The Beatles always came in first for me (although I was also one of those die-hard Dave Clark Five fans who thought that they might be every bit as big as The Fab Four. Curiously, I didn't like The DC5's first two thumpin' hits "Glad All Over" and "Bits And Pieces" ... but after those, I was totally hooked and still count tracks like "Because", "Can't You See That She's Mine", "Everybody Knows", "Any Way You Want It", "Catch Us If You Can" and their versions of "Do You Love", "Over And Over", "I Like It Like That" and "You Got What It Takes" amongst my all-time favorites.) In third place would have to be Herman's Hermits ... EVERY hit was catchy as can be (and was there ever a cuter performer than Peter Noone back then?!?!? Of course, HE'LL say "What about now?!?!?" OK, Peter ... you've STILL got it goin' on!!! lol) I never really got into some of the heavier acts like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Animals ... I liked ALL of their hits but didn't pursue their deeper catalog the way I did with some of these others. (I've always been kinda partial to "Sky Pilot", too!) There are SO many other great acts from this era: The Searchers, The Hollies, Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy ... heck, even Freddie and the Dreamers!!! (lol) We've been talking about doing an in-depth British Invasion series for ten years now ... maybe one of these days we'll finally get around to doing it! (kk)

Didn't the Animals do TWO versions of "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place"? I could swear there was a version where they sang "SEE My Daddy In Bed / He's Dyin'" as well as "Watch My Daddy In Bed / He's Dyin'".
I also wonder what Cynthia Weil thought about David Johansen's cover of The Animals version ...
You'll see this very same question come up again down below in our "Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun" segment. The Animals recorded TWO different versions of this song ... the general consensus seems to be that the version released here in America was the far-superior take ... although THAT'S the one that they decided was inferior back home in Jolly Ol' England ... so they stuck it on the shelf. (It was actually sent here in error!!! One of those GREAT musical happenstances that we've come to enjoy over the years!) From time to time, if you're really paying attention, you'll hear BOTH versions played on the radio today, depending on which one the radio station happens to have in its library. Apparently the version released here years later by ABKCO was the British version, which circulated as the ONLY version for years until a legitimate MGM Greatest Hits CD was released with the American version intact.
Check out some of the comments on Carl Wiser's Songfacts Page regarding this tune. You'll see the alternate version addressed ... as well as the significance of this song to our boys fighting in Viet Nam at the time.
Click here: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place by The Animals Songfacts



And then this from Charles, who started the whole "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" discussion in the first place:
Sorry about The Animals We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place, I really had a senior moment. ha ha!

No biggie ... like I said, we're just trying to get it as historically accurate as possible. By the way, I did see that Ed Sullivan / PBS thing again the other night ... and they clearly give the date as February 6, 1966 for that Animals / "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" Sullivan performance ... the same date WE came up with when researching the history of this track a few weeks back. (kk)

Well, it sounds like THIS is the topic has been capturing the interest of some of you guys lately. We keep getting examples of multiple hit versions of songs climbing the charts at the same time ... a fairly common occurrence back in the '50's ... but there have now been several examples of '60's and '70's songs that ALSO competed for chart-share. Then, after we mentioned a few examples of artists who placed two songs in The National Top Ten at the same time, it spurred another wave of comments. So today we'll double your pleasure, double your fun by featuring some of these most recent comments:

As far as songs that were at least moderate hits for two artists at the same time post 1960 ... Using ARSA as a source, I have all the listed cities with major league sports teams where the song hit the top 10.
Concrete And Clay -- Unit 4+2, Eddie Rambeau -- Unit [NY,TOR], Rambeau [DET,TOR]
Beautiful People -- Bobby Vee, Kenny O'Dell -- Vee [STL,SD,LA,CLE], O'Dell [SAC,CLE,SD]
Help Me Girl -- Animals, Outsiders -- Animals [LA/SD/SA], Outsiders [DAL/CLE]
I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing -- New Seekers, Hillside Singers -- New Seekers [DET,TOR,SF,BOS,PHI,SD,KC], Hillside [PHI]
Mark The Shark
A couple of others just came to mind ... previously, we mentioned "Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife" by Glen Campbell and Wayne Newton ... but how about "Red Roses For A Blue Lady" by Wayne Newton and Vic Dana ... along with an instrumental version by Bert Kaempfert that performed everybit as well (or better) than these two others ... and, for a really ODD one, how about The Byrds and Cher both fighting for attention with their Bob Dylan covers on "All I Really Want To Do". Or how about The Critters and The Hondells doing The Lovin' Spoonful song "Younger Girl". (This one may be another example of the two versions actually canceling each other out and hurting the overall chances of EITHER song being as big a hit as it had the potential to be. In fact, had The Lovin' Spoonful pursued a single release with "Younger Girl", it probably would have silenced the other two completely! And don't forget, John Sebastian FIRST offered that song to Bobby Darin!!!) kk

As for dueling versions of songs ...
I can think of at least four examples from 1966 alone. In Miami (where I lived for most of my life), "Gloria" by Them went all the way to number one in April,1966, easily trouncing the Shadows Of Knight (who were barely a blip on the South Florida radar). The K-Otics (#5 on 4/22/66) beat the Swingin' Medallions with "Double Shot" in South Florida, though the guys from South Carolina clearly won the national battle. "Younger Girl" charted by both the Hondells and the Critters, and while there wasn't a clear winner on that one, the Hondells fared slightly better in South Florida. And the Batman battle was won by Neal Hefti, 'though he shared time on the Miami airwaves with the Marketts and Batman-related singles by the Spotlights (with Leon Russell), Jan and Dean, Dickie Goodman, and the Campers (aka the Crickets).
My favorite Miami cover battle was in early '67. Since there were no "local" contenders for the "Midnight Hour" crown, WFUN tried several different versions to see what would stick. For a few weeks they listed the artist as "Berries Riley Wanted Messengers"! This odd entry (which peaked at #64 on 4/29/67) denoted the Berries, Billy Lee Riley, The Wanted, and Michael & The Messengers! Finally the Berries won out, charting on their own, but not making nearly as much noise as in Orlando, where it peaked at #2 on WLOF (6/1/67 -- "Try It" by the Standells was at number one).
Jeff Lemlich
Radio certainly WAS an exciting time when these cover versions battled for air time. Here in Chicago, of course, The Shadows Of Knight CREAMED Them with their version of "Gloria", a #1 Hit here for our local heroes ... and a rare instance where the cover / remake clearly outshone the original version by its own composer. To this day, you're more likely to hear The Shadows Of Knight's version, #7 in Cash Box and #10 in Billboard, as opposed to Them's #88 / #71 showing. It's gone on to become a garage band classic ... back in 1966, they wouldn't even sell you guitar strings if you couldn't play THIS one!!! (lol) kk

>>>It was heard on the radio today (12/05/09) that, in the 60's, only The Beatles and Herman's Hermits had more than one song in the top 10 at a time. True?? (ShelleyCTTufano)
I believe she was referring to the American Top Forty replay that is syndicated throughout the US. As you no doubt know, these are the original broadcasts from the 70's, and they bring back great memories and chart trivia. This past weekend, Casey Kasem was counting down the hits from the corresponding weekend in 1977. If I understood him correctly, he made reference to the Beatles and Herman's Hermits having more than one song in the top ten and each song STILL moving up on the chart. He brought that particular statistic up because, at the time, Linda Ronstadt had both It's So Easy and Blue Bayou in the top ten and both still moving upward. He speculated that either one of them might yet go all the way to the top. We know now that didn't happen (on Billboard), with It's So Easy peaking at No.5 and Blue Bayou reaching No.3. I would have thought that some other artists before that time had the same experience, but I think he just referenced the Beatles and the Hermits. Hope this helps.
Dave 0'Gara
Well, we found a total of eleven examples of artists able to pull off this trick during the 1960's in our long-winded answer ... which inspired another email or two on this topic.
Thanks for the great answer to my question. Now, I need to figure out HOW to teach that to elementary school kids when we get into our 20th Century Music / Reading program.
After the question came up about any artists who had TWO Hit Records in The Top Ten at the same time ... and our exhaustive answer about the artists who achieved this feat (and the incredible run The Beatles had when they not only had two Top Ten Records, but ALSO had THE Top 2 ... then Top 3 ... then Top 4 ... and then Top FIVE Records in the country at the same time!!!) It's a feat that has NEVER been equaled ... but in the late '70's, The Bee Gees (and Barry Gibb in particular) NEARLY accomplished this feat as both a songwriter and a producer. (Even The Beatles didn't do that ... one of THEIR Top Five Records was "Twist And Shout", a song written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell ... and all their tracks were produced by George Martin.)
We mentioned that OTHER artists ALSO achieved double Top Ten Status in the '50's and in the '70's ... but the question asked was specifically about the '60's ... so THAT's what we focused on in our answer. Meanwhile, here comes some more statistics courtesy of Danny Guilfoyle:
I just had to mention quickly the achievement of Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees on the Billboard chart for the week of April 8, 1978. "Night Fever" was number one and "Stayin' Alive" was at number two, both by the Bee Gees. Number three was "Emotion" by Samantha Sang, written by Barry and I think Robin Gibb. Number five was "Love Is Thicker Than Water" by brother Andy Gibb, written by Barry. Soon to join the top five was "If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman, written by Barry.
Barry Gibb is the only composer to have four consecutive compositions in a row to hold the number one spot with ""Stayin' Alive", "Love Is Thicker Than Water", "Night Fever" and "If I Can't Have You"
1978 was an amazing year for Barry as he had six of his compositions hit the number one spot!
Danny Guilfoyle

Here's another cool Barry Gibb statistic from 1978 ... in addition to the songs you mentioned above (the four consecutive chart-toppers) Barry ALSO topped the charts for ten ADDITIONAL weeks that year surrounding these titles thanks to the #1 Hits "How Deep Is Your Love" by The Bee Gees, "Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb and "Grease" by Frankie Valli. That means that during a 38 week stretch, a song written and produced by Barry Gibb held down the #1 Spot in the Country for 27 of those weeks!!! In "The Year Of The Beatles", 1964, The Fab Four occupied the top spot on the chart for 18 weeks ... 19 if you count the hit they wrote for Peter and Gordon! Amazing!!! (kk)

You recently mentioned the different versions of Spinning Wheel by Blood, Sweat and Tears. I was only aware of the "horn" one. Can you post the "guitar" one?"
The other two that have always interested me:
>>>"Help Me Rhonda" by The Beach Boys: "ruined our plans" vs. "shattered our plans"
>>>"We Gotta Get Out of this Place" by The Animals: "watch my Daddy" vs. "see my Daddy"
Any insights?
Thanks and I really enjoy your production.
Mark H. Friedman
Birmingham, AL
The two versions of "Spinning Wheel" have been playing for 40 years now ... I don't know that they're so much distinguished by a "guitar version" and a "horn version" as they are by the instrumental break and the "That wasn't too good" comment afterwards. In effect, these were simply the single and the LP version, a fairly common practice back then ... you'll find a huge difference between the recordings of their NEXT hit, too ... "And When I Die". Perhaps the most notorious label for this was Dunhill ... virtually ALL of their single releases differed slightly from their LP counterparts. (Which reminds me ... how many times have you heard them play the wrong version of the Tommy James and the Shondells Hit "Crystal Blue Persuasion" on the radio with the organ ending instead of the trumpet ending?!?!) A lot of these discrepancies are simply the difference between the album version and the "punched-up" single. As for "Help Me Rhonda", The Beach Boys recorded and released this song TWICE ... first as an album cut from "The Beach Boys Today!" LP (as kind of a Buster Brown / "Fannie Mae" heavy-on-harmonica arrangement) and then again in a totally new version (which was released as a single and then went all the way to #1.) They also included it on the follow-up album to "Today!", "Summer Days ... And Summer Nights". But The Beach Boys regularly recorded multiple vocals to their hits ... there are versions of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that feature either Carl Wilson or Mike Love on the bridge ... some pressings of OTHER tunes (such as "Sloop John B., for example) feature Brian, others feature Carl ... and sometimes even Al! (These guys probably have more recorded and released discrepancies than any other major act I can think of.) As for The Animals' version of "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", a COMPLETELY different take was released here in The States vs. the version that Great Britain got. By virtually ALL accounts, we got the better half of THAT deal. The difference you cited ... the lyric discrepancy ... is one of the major differences between these two recordings. (You can hear BOTH versions above in our Animals / British Invasion section.) kk

A few last minute Christmas-related pieces that didn't arrive in time to make our last posting on Wednesday ...

Keep rockin'!
Have a happy and healthy holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous new year.
Ken Voss

Tell the truth ... aren't you kinda glad it's over??? We're a little Christmas Music'd out here ... just a little TOO much of a good thing, I guess. I mean, SOME of these songs were pretty good the first 60,000 times or so that I heard them ... but once we passed the 80,000 and 90,000 mark, I was pretty much pushing the buttons non-stop. (Think I'm kidding? Check out these statistics below!!!) kk

Kent ...
Here is the list of ASCAP "Most Played Songs For Christmas".
Of course this does not include the BMI "Most Played Songs For Christmas", where most of the rock artists are.
-- John Rook
December 22, 2009 (WLS) -- The most played holiday song is "Sleigh Ride," according to The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
"Sleigh Ride" was written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish and has been played more than 118,918 times this year, according to the ASCAP. Other top five songs included "Jingle Bell Rock," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland."
Radio's Top 10 Holiday Songs List: Each song on the list represents an aggregation of all different artist versions totaled together.
1. "Sleigh Ride" (Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish) -- played 118,918 times
2. "Jingle Bell Rock" (Joseph Carleton Beal, James Roth Boothe) -- played 118,601 times
3. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (Edward Pola, George Wyle) -- played 101,614 times
4. "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin) -- played 89,348 times
5. "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith) -- played 77,599 times
6. "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) (Mel Tormé, Robert Wells) -- played 74,360 times.
7. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" (Johnny Marks) -- played 57,948 times
8. "Little Drummer Boy" (Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone) -- played 55,617 times.
9. "Feliz Navidad" (José Feliciano) -- played 51,072 times
10. "Frosty the Snowman" (Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins) -- played 51,068 times

ASCAP is a performing rights organization representing more than 8.5 million copyrighted musical works from more than 370,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. (Copyright ©2009 WLS-TV / DT. All Rights Reserved.)

>>>Vince Vance & Valiants - All I Want For Christmas Is You - is a Dallas favorite - not the same as the Mariah Carey classic. Although I love the version of this song by the Valiants, many might not remember it was first sung by Johnny Maestro and Larry Chance. Thought you might enjoy this version also. (Carrie)
Kent --
This is actually Joel Katz singing lead with Johnny Maestro doing the high harmonies, Larry Chance (Earls) the middle and Bobby Jay (Jeffers, formerly of the Laddins and a CBS-FM radio personality) doing the bass. They recorded this as Santa's Doo Wop Helpers.
Joel owns a recording studio in NJ and has been a long time group lead singer, although never with a major hit. He has been singing since the 1960s and his list of groups that he has sung lead tenor for is staggering. The Conchords, Belvederes, Butanes, Autumns, Wizards, Platinums, Connotations, Twilight, Cliftonaires and currently leads Joel and the Dymensions. He has also sung and toured with the Emotions, Del Satins and Five Discs, although he was not an original member of these groups.
He was the singing voice of "Dancing Bear" on the Captain Kangaroo TV show as well.
His voice is very similar to Johnny Maestro's with more vibrato, so I can understand how Carrie might have thought Johnny was on the lead. Johnny has helped Joel dating back to the mid-eighties and even engineered some of Joel's projects. Joel lives to keep the doo-wop sound alive.
Danny Guilfoyle

As you may know, Joan and I rarely venture onto the computer -- we leave that to our son Charlie, Jr., but we wanted to send a message to all of you with our sincere wishes for a Blessed Christmas Season as we celebrate THE true source of HOPE. May God Bless and sustain you and your loved ones in the New Year and always. We feel especially blessed by your friendship and loyalty over so many years ... and we hold ALL of you close to our hearts! We hope our Jewish Friends enjoyed a Happy Hannakah -- the great festival of rededication to the Faith -- symbolized by the Lights! Finally, we want to send special greetings to all our friends oveseas -- especially in the United Kingdom. Lord Willing, we hope to see you during a 5-week concert tour beginning mid-March, 2010. HAPPY CHRISTMAS!
Pic: Charlie, Joan, Angela, Charlie, Jr. and wife Kim
Charlie Gracie

Hi Kent,
Merry Christmas to you and all your fans ... the bottomless cup of enthusiasm and love you have for the music and the people who make it is one of the things I'm thankful for every day.
Jim Shea / Y103.9
Thank you, Jim ... and right backatcha! (kk)

Hi Kent,
I read Artie Wayne's Christmas article. He must be the hardest working man in the music business. Hats off to Artie.
My video, "Santa's Stuck Up In The Chimney", jumped 2500 views yesterday. It’s definitely on the way to topping 125,000 views by the end of the year.
Well, it seems to me that 125,000 people can’t be wrong.
So the question is, how do I convince the "biz" that the song (and / or the video) is ready for inclusion in Christmas compilations -- or covers -- or whatever?
A happy, healthy and successful 2010 to ALL,
Paul Evans
I don't know what to tell you, Paul ... clearly folks are discovering this song and then telling OTHER people about it ... or going back to visit it again and again ... so it obviously holds SOME appeal ... that tells me that it's marketable. (Like John Rook said above earlier, how many NEW Christmas songs do we ever get to hear anymore? Artists put them out but radio won't play them ... we've probably broken more Christmas Music here in Forgotten Hits these past four years than any radio station has!!!) But a video like this with 125,000 viewings MUST appeal to an awful lot of people ... maybe Forgotten Hits can help to get the word out ... or direct a little more traffic your way. (Interesting to see the spike in YouTube activity for both your video and the Jonathan Brandmeier clip after we ran links in FH!!! I guess that's a LITTLE bit encouraging!!!) kk
“Santa’s Stuck Up In The Chimney”Now Over 122,000 You Tube Views!
Click on the link below to see the video.

Unfortunately the blog apparently disables the animated Santa and the Reindeer dancing video AND the chimney link to Paul Evans' new video shown above ... too bad 'cause these are really cool features!!! (kk)

Hi Kent,
Thank you for another excellent year of Forgotten Hits. Some of the issues took some reading but were always interesting.
Thank you.
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Well, you know our goal has ALWAYS been to provide more than a single-sitting's worth of reading for EVERY bathroom in America ... so we've got THAT going for us!!! (lol) Happy Holidays, Vic ... and thanks for your continued support! (kk)

One of the best things that happened this year was to find your newsletter. I love all the info and since we are both in the Chicago area it is a great source of useful info (for example Dean Milano book signing party). It was great to meet you at the Music Box for the rockumentory "Airplay".
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year
Mike De Martino
President of the Lovejoy Music Club (a bunch of guys who get together and listened to music, mostly 50's to 70's but are open minded to anything and everything!)
Thanks, Mike ... it was nice meeting you and your buddies at the screening, too ... hopefully LOTS more happening on the local scene in 2010 ... glad you're enjoying Forgotten Hits! (kk)

As we celebrate the 55th anniversary of The Drifters' 1954 classic recording of White Christmas with Bill Pinkney and Clyde McPhatter sharing the lead, we thought you would enjoy the following animation created in 2002 by Joshua
Held and revised in 2006 adding the credits shown below. (2002)
Joyous Hanukkah, Peaceful Kwanzaa, "And may all your Christmases be white"!

Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters (SM) - The Legacy Continues!

Still one of my all-time favorites ... we ALWAYS watch this clip a few times every Christmas! Thanks, Maxine! (kk)

Thanks, Mike! No, we didn't feature "Lonely Christmas" this year ... but it sounds like a few of the jocks on the list gave it a spin or two again this holiday season. (Not enough to make the ASCAP list, of course, but hey ... MY song is a TRUE Christmas rarity!) Thanks to ALL of you for another great year ... and for all your thoughts, prayers and support during the most difficult of times regarding my brother Mark ... many of you made mention of this again at Christmas time and yes, it WILL be difficult, especially for his family ... but he is remembered fondly by those closest to him. Thanks to all of you who made donations in Mark's name to Hospice ... they truly were a God-send during his final days ... and to all who have visited our permanent tribute to him on The Forgotten Hits Web Page. It means a lot.
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Remembering Mark Kotal
And now on to a MUCH brighter 2010 ... I mean, it's just GOTTA be, right?!?!? (kk)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Final Blast Of Christmas Cheer!

And the Christmas Hits just keep on comin'!!! Here's another batch sent into us by our readers!

My radio and TV friends, please listen to my attached latest Christmas recording, "PATRIOTIC CHRISTMAS" and if you enjoy it, please consider airing it sometime in the next few days. I've posted it as a free download on my site WWW.TRADEMARTINMUSIC.COM and I've got no problem if you'd like to do the same on your site. I also have a strong, short video on my recording, and I will e-mail it to you immediately if you request it.
Have a great Christmas and thanks so much!!!
and best regards,

Kent …
How ya’ doin’? I’m so excited, I thought must be one of the luckiest guys in the world to have co-written four tracks on three recently re-released Michael Jackson CDs, then I hear that just included “Little Christmas Tree” by Michael on a special Christmas compilation, with Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The J5, and a dozen more classic artists!
I want to thank you and all my Forgotten Hits pals who’ve phoned and e-mailed me, as well as the Deejays, who added the song to their Christmas play lists …now I want to tell you the story behind the song.
“It’s summer of 1973 and Ed Silvers, President of Warner Brothers Music, is losing his patience with me. He thinks I’m spending far too much time trying to get our songs cut at Motown. Although I secure songs in our catalog by some of their biggest artists, they’re only album cuts. Ed is convinced that I’ll never get a single released by Motown.
I know at this point that the only way I could have a chance for a hit and escape the wrath of Ed, is to get a cover by the Jackson 5 or little Michael. There was only one staff writer at Warner Brothers music who could write in a classic R+B style, George S. Clinton, Jr.

I go to the two producers who love George’s writing the most, Jerry Marcellino and Mel Larson, who just had big hits with 12 year old Michael on “Rockin’ Robin” and “Little Bitty Pretty One” (which was my suggestion). They tell me that “Ben”, from the movie of the same name, is racing up the charts and Berry Gordy Jr., the owner of Motown, wants each of his producers to start recording new sides with him.
I sit with Jerry and Mel and we talk about what kind of song they should record with Michael. I suggest a Christmas song, one so commercial that it could be the follow up single to, “Ben”. When I see their eyes light up, I tell them that George S. Clinton, Jr. and I have started such a song! When they ask to hear it, I tell them we were still working on it, when in fact we hadn’t even started! I can’t tell them the title, ’cause there isn’t any! I do tell them, however, that it’s a true story of how my girlfriend left me out in the cold like the last tree in a Christmas tree lot, which is left unsold on Christmas Eve. They freak out and say they had to have the finished song by Monday. I say, “No problem”
I call George, who knows nothing about any of this, as soon as I get back to my office. He can’t believe I told them we’d have a finished song to them by Monday, when it’s Friday and we haven’t even started.
Saturday morning we meet at my office. It’s the middle of summer, about 90 degrees, but we have to get in a Christmas Mood. As I tell George about my break up with Diana last Christmas, then I start to throw Ivory Snowflakes around the room. Soon, we have the first verse and chorus.”
“Little Christmas Tree, looking sorta’ sad and lonely just like me
No one seems to care, they just went away and left him standing there …

All alone on Christmas Eve”
On Monday morning George does a piano voice demo, and I get it to Jerry and Mel that afternoon. They love it so much that they knock one of their own songs off the date and cut ours.
I’m almost in tears when I hear the finished record the following week with the news that it’s being considered for the follow-up to “Ben”, which had just hit number one! You can imagine how I feel a few weeks later when Berry Gordy, Jr. decides not put out any follow up to the Oscar nominated “Ben”, until the Academy Awards are given out … which is after Christmas! A few days later I come up with a plan and present it to Motown. I suggest that the company puts a double album's worth of previously recorded Christmas songs by each of their hit artists, along with “Little Christmas Tree”. The double album is called “A Motown Christmas”, which includes cuts by Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross, and it’s released just in time for the holidays.”

To hear the song and watch the new video on “Little Christmas Tree” by Michael Jackson.
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne from his forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Merry Christmas and regards,
Artie Wayne

Artie also sent us a special link for "Ten Holiday Videos That Don't Suck"!!! (lol) I especially enjoyed seeing the "Dick In A Box" clip again ... and that Elvis Presley / Martina McBride duet features some INCREDIBLE editing. Enjoy!

Kent ... How ya' doin'?

Tired of the same old videos? Here are TEN HOLIDAY MUSIC VIDEOS THAT DON”T SUCK! featuring WILLIE NELSON, Bruce Springsteen, UNCENSORED “DICK IN A BOX!”, Twisted Sister, U2, NEW BLONDIE!, ELVIS, RAD DUDES, NEW Michael Jackson, KILLERS, and Brian Setzer!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and regards -
Artie Wayne

Here's another favorite from last year ... Henry Gross and "What A Christmas"!

My long time friend Andy Kim sent me his latest Christmas recording a few weeks back. I forgot to pass it on to you and your readers.
Andy, who wrote several hits in the 60's and 70's, including "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies, continues to write and has an album of all new songs that he also sent me - very strong material.
Attached is "Whatever Happened To Christmas"
John Rook
What ever happened to Christmas

What ever happened to you & me ...
The season is all over town
The meaning's not easily found
The hand that I used to hold is gone
Still my heart keeps holding on
What ever happened to Christmas
What of the child I used to be
What ever happened to Christmas
What ever happened to you & me
The shop windows flash in the night
The shoppers all go rushing by
The carols that you & I would sing
They used to mean everything
What ever happened to Christmas
What of the child I used to be
What ever happened to Christmas
What ever happened to you & me
I been wondering where you are
Wondering if you ever think of me
I been searching near & far
I'm not a wise man with a star or gift to bring
The hand that I used to hold is gone
Still my heart keeps holding on ...
Instrumental ...
What ever happened to Christmas
What of the child I used to be
What ever happened to Christmas
What ever happened to you & me
What ever happened to Christmas
What of the child I used to be
And what's become of forgiveness
What ever happened to you & me
Thanks, John ... a VERY nice Christmas song ... glad to hear Andy's still making music. (Tell him about what we do here in Forgotten Hits ... we would LOVE to have him come onboard!!!) kk

Kent ...
Re: Andy Kim's new Christmas song.
Here's an additional thought concerning Holiday music....
In the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's radio was responsible for introducing new Christmas and New Years hits that even today are programmed during the holidays. Where are the new holidays hits for the future coming from? What new holiday hit did radio introduce for this year? Or any recent year?
Last year Tommy James had a sensational Christmas record ... and this year, Andy Kim does. Unfortunately "oldie" radio doesn't seem to be aware they could offer some music excitement exposing a new holiday song each year.

We have been VERY fortunate here in Forgotten Hits these last three or four years in that many of these artists have chosen US to debut their new holiday music. We proudly post these on our web page and in our newsletter so that the fans out there can see that these artists are still creating new music ... and in the hope that some of the jocks on the list will pick up this music and feature it in their oldies programs. Tommy James' album is one of the best pieces of Christmas music I've ever heard ... certainly it deserves to be heard this time of year ... and it fits right along with all of the OTHER Tommy James music you're already playing. Andy Kim, too ... and so many OTHERS that we've featured over the past several years. This year alone we've featured holiday tracks by Michael Jackson, Tony Orlando, Henry Gross, Freddy Cannon, The Rip Chords, The Buckinghams, Danny and the Juniors and many others ... ALL of whom are oldies radio staples. What a GREAT excuse to play something a little bit off the beaten path by these artists and still celebrate the holiday season. (We don't need to hear "Mony Mony" eight times today ... nor do we need to hear "Feliz Navidad" eight times ... break up the monotony a little and feature some NEW Music by some of the established oldies favorites!

John raised ANOTHER excellent part regarding the programming of Christmas muisc:

With the holidays once again upon us, music radio has begun to discover the recording artists they neglect all year long. Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole, the Carpenters, Brenda Lee, Andy Williams and dozens of others suddenly “fit,” played right along with a steady diet of rock performers.

You're right ... and as soon as the holidays are over, ALL of the music recorded by these artists will all go back on the shelf and the mentality will once again be that this music simply doesn't "fit" ... when, in fact, it fits just fine!!! (More on this in our next "Radio Segment".) kk

Meanwhile, speaking of Andy Kim ... and The Archies ... here's a track from Ron Dante's "Archies Christmas Party" from last year!

Hi Kent,
We love all the Christmas goodies on your site. I'm sure you know that all your hard work is appreciated.
I hope you and Frannie have a wonderful Christmas.
Carolyn Travis and Chris Gilson
Thanks, Guys ... and continued success in 2010 ... hopefully "Airplay" will be seen by the masses so that others can enjoy this fine piece of work. (kk)

Happee Hollydaze and a (hopefully) Merry Noo Yeer to everyone involved with "Forgotten Hits'! In this time of crisis and concern regarding our economy and Christmas in general, I'd like to impart a little wisdom by one Karen Walker of "Will & Grace". I think she sums everything up perfectly:
"Think about the Baby Jesus! Up in that tower, letting his hair down so that the three wise men could climb it, spin the dreidel, and see if there's six more weeks of winter!"
Love & Peace,

Ed "Don't Go" Pond

I love "All I Want For Christmas is You" by Vince Vance and The Valiants. I also love the version by Santa's Doo Wop Helpers (Joel Katz, Johnny Maestro, Bobby Van and Larry Chance. Katz sings lead and the other guys sing backup.

Hi Kent,
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holiday season,
Mick / The 1910 Fruitgum Company

Warmest Holiday Wishes from San Felipe, Baja, California MX.
Denny & Sandi Flannigan
PS Sandi is doing well after the breast enhancement and the green Christmas tatoo. It's really cool if you can't find a blouse ... HO HO HO

Sandi & Denny ... beachin' it in San Felipe ...

And remember last year when Veeder Van Dorn from The Moonrakers (Denny's old band) sent us his remake of The Beach Boys' classic "Little Saint Nick"???

Hope you'll post "Riu Chiu", the Christmas song the Monkees sang on their Christmas show from the second season. It's beautiful!
Debbie in PA
We've featured this one a number of times in the past ... and even played it on Jim Shea's Radio Show last year when we featured "Forgotten Christmas Hits" ... but we like it, too ... so here it is again!!! (A special treat for all you Butch Patrick fans out there, too!!! lol) kk

And, speaking of The Monkees ...

I recently received an email from a guy named Mark Kleiner, a freelance writer from Saskatoon, Canada, who is putting together a piece documenting the career of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce And Hart. (Mark happened to see our Boyce and Hart piece on The Forgotten Hits Web Page and contacted me to see if I would share some of my personal memories of seeing DJBH at their premier performance at Six Flags Over St. Louis back in 1976.) Naturally, I obliged ... I was a HUGE fan of ALL these guys ... and thought it might be neat to see if any of our readers would also like to share some of THEIR memories. (Who knows ... you just might make his article!!!) So, as a favor to Mark, let's open this up to The Oldies Community out there and see what comes back. And, if you haven't read our piece yet spotlighting The Music of Tommy Boyce And Bobby Hart, you can check it out here:
(You'll also find our exclusive interview with Bobby Hart on the same site!)

Dear Kent,

My name is Mark Kleiner and I am a freelance writer from Canada. I have greatly enjoyed your internet pieces on Boyce and Hart; stellar work.

At the moment, I am putting together an extensive article on the career of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart, due out next summer to coincide with the 35th anniversary of their debut at Six Flags. Would you be willing to email me some more reminiscences of your experience of those concerts? They would be of tremendous value for this piece.

For example, when you mention the minimal amount of press, what press was there? What was the vibe in the park like? Why do you think St Louis was such a big DJBH center (along with Disneyland, the site of their most concerts -- three different stints)?

Thank you for your consideration, Kent. And all your great work on the Forgotten Hits site.

Remembrin' the feeling,

Mark Kleiner

Saskatoon / Canada

Before you go Runnin' Back To Saskatoon, let me show you guys what I've shared with Mark so far ... again, we welcome your input and memories for this special piece.
Hi Mark!
I remember the feeling ... of going to that very first Dolenz, Jones, Boyce And Hart shows down at Six Flags Of America / St. Louis back in 1976.
As I recall, there was VERY little promotion for this show ... but having been a life-long Monkees fan, the minute I heard about it I convinced a friend to make the drive down there with me.
I remember that they couldn't use "The Monkees" name at the time ... so they billed themselves as "The Guys Who Sang 'em And The Guys Who Wrote 'em" ... and it was a VERY enthusiastic crowd ... a record-breaker (at the time) as I recall. I never had the chance to see The Monkees during their hot period ... and since Davy and Micky pretty much sang all the hits anyway, it was a REAL treat to see these guys in action. (Boyce and Hart thrown in on the deal only helped to sweeten the pot!)
I thoroughly enjoyed the show ... by December, they were back in Chicago doing some sort of "Toys For Tots" benefit show or something, where you had to bring a new, unwrapped toy and that was your ticket into the concert. They did pretty much the same show we saw down in St. Louis, but that was OK. (I remember, too, being VERY disappointed at the "live" album that was released from a show they did in Japan ... in fact, I can't believe they let it out ... it was about as unflattering a performance as I've ever heard!)
Anyway, not sure if that's what you're looking for or not ... I've seen probably a dozen Monkees reunion shows since then (never with Mike, however!) and seen them play everything from a packed outdoor theater where you couldn't even see where the crowd ended to a small theater in Indiana where there probably weren't 30 people in the entire audience (Micky and Davy ... "Just Monkee-ing Around") ... but that Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart concert was the first. (By the way, their Capitol album just may be one of the most under-rated, overlooked gems of the decade ... and "I Remember The Feeling" should have taken them back to The Top 40. Incredibly, ten years later M-TV relaunched their career and the 20 year tour, 25 year tour, 30 year tour and 35 year tour have all successfully followed. Yep, I'm a fan!!!)
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits



(We'll see you all back here over the weekend! Have a Very Happy Holiday!!!)