Friday, December 17, 2010

Helping Out Our Readers

>>>As for album / single versions: A version of "Smile A Little Smile For Me" by the Flying Machine has, during the instrumental break near the end, the band sing "ba-ba'ba's" instead of the horn solo (or whatever the instrument is!) Would like to find that version. (Ed)
>>>"Smile A Little Smile For Me" is a GREAT example ... radio has been playing the wrong version of that song for YEARS!!! That's because all of the commercially available versions have the singing ending that you're referring to instead of the horns as released on the original single. (We've actually covered this recording once before in Forgotten Hits and, as such, HAVE the correct version to share with you today. Radio would be wise to replace their copies with THIS one ... and play the hit as it was originally intended to be heard!) kk

What you have posted isn't quite the right version either. The organ intro that is on your copy is NOT on the US single ... however, it is on the Canadian single (which, like the US 45, does have the horn towards the end). Supposedly the version with the organ intro and the ba-ba-ba's at the end, is the BRITISH single version (at least that's what I've always heard and had reported as such but no one has turned up the UK single yet for 100% confirmation for me yet) so technically it could be the right version to some people.
To my knowledge the CORRECT US 45 version of Smile A Little Smile For Me is NOT available on cd. The closest available versions either include the organ intro or are missing it but have severe speed issues. As such, I took a cd version that apparently took a vinyl dub of possibly the Canadian single (with the organ intro, and some speed issues) and cut the intro to match the US 45 as closely as possible and adjusted the speed to match the US 45 as closely as possible (though there are some differences still) and I present you the closest sounding recording you'll find to the US 45 without being an actual US 45 dub (though I also did a dub of my 45 and am sending it, too). On one message board, people suspect that the US 45 actually was a dub of another 45 which is why the intro may have been cut off and perhaps the ending faded slightly early, too (and I have replicated that from my mp3 as well). Enjoy.
Tom Diehl

Wow! Seems like an AWFUL lot of trouble to go through for a one-off, moderately successful single!!! Weird to see so many different versions or mixes released in so many different countries! We'll give this NEW (old???) version a spin today and see if anybody realizes the differences!
According to Pat Downey's Book "Top 40 Music On Compact Disc", the ONLY correct U.S. single version is the one that can be found on the CD "25 All-Time Greatest Bubblegum Hits", issued on Varese Sarabande and now long out of print I believe. I don't have that CD but it sounds like that may not really be the correct version either based on what you've just written. (I just checked ... Amazon still has new copies available so it must still be in print.) I have at least three or four other copies of this track on CD but ALL of them have the "ba-ba-ba" ending instead of the trumpets. (kk)
The Varese cd has the intro chopped off just a LITTLE too much and is also sped up wayyyyyyyyy too much to the point that it makes the song six seconds shorter than it should be, which is a lot for a 3 minute song. No cd has what I sent you which is the closest thing you'll find to the actual 45.
As soon as I read Sunday's Forgotten Hits, I checked and found that I had the wrong version of Smile A Little Smile as well. I'll be a while sorting this out.
I should also point out that I was not the Ed who posed the original question. While I always maintained that "Two Ed's are better than one" there are several Ed's corresponding with Forgotten Hits whom it is flattering for me to be confused with, but I wouldn't want to take credit for someone else's writing.
On the subject of dubbing, Tom, you may have opened the next frontier for Forgotten Oldies. If we can't find the version that we remember, we can create our own. For example, I made a dub of Apollo 100's Joy giving me the cold opening that I remember from the radio, rather than the fade-in. I also replaced the spoken intro to R. Kelly's Bump N' Grind, with the instrumental intro that I remember from the radio, by combining the vocal and instrumental versions of the song. Sometimes I cannot find the version I remember, so I try to piece it together.
The Other Ed
Hey, we might have TWENTY Ed's on the list at this point, who knows!!! (lol)
Interestingly, I ONLY remember the "fade in" opening of the Apollo 100 single. The mix I want to find is the one they used to play on WLS for "I Love You" by People ... a COMPLETELY different version than the A-Side of the single ... but according to some research sent into us a year or two ago by Clark Besch, apparently ONLY available on the Promo 45 released to radio stations with a long and short version. Turns out the short version is a completely different mix ... and the ONLY way I hear this song in my head. Clark sent us a "dirty" copy a while ago ... but I want to hear a crystal clear original! (kk)
As for Joy by Apollo 100, I don't think I've ever heard a version with a cold opening, I think my 45 faded in ... I believe most copies of the 45 are stereo but I once had one that had a mono mix on it, and if I'd known it was rarer I would've held onto it. I assume it was just a fold-down of the stereo mix but it still would've been cool to have either way ... whoever got it from me on ebay years ago probably doesn't know what a rare find they got from me. Oh well!
Tom Diehl

Interesting piece about The Flying Machine. But it was one of those initial CD songs (for me), found on a budget CD, by Delta Music, and it sounded fantastic from what I recall it sounding!!! Sadly, for Delta, not a label you can always trust to provide original hits! :)

Well, this short clip you sent sounds pretty good to me ... but, unfortunately, it doesn't cover the areas of the song where the key differences appear to be! Why don't you send me an MP3 of the whole thing and let's check it out!!! (kk)

>>>Here's a real obscure song and band I'd love to know more about. I have a song called "Long Hair Soulful" by (forgive the misspelling) Bhadavad Gita, on the Phillips label. It's a nice slow song, and the flip side is the same backing track with trippy guitars and such. Anyway, one the songwriters was named C. Mangione. I've always been curious is that was Chuck Mangione (apologies for misspelling if it is mispelled) who did the Olympics theme from the 70's. I'm not sure how old the song is - there's no date on the label. (Ed Pond)
Since I sent in the original mp3 (and since you didn't include the link I sent in to you to where Ed could buy the album on cd), I can confirm that indeed Chuck Mangione was a part of the group prior to the hits he had in the 70's (which I could do without ever hearing again as long as I live).
Tom Diehl
Hadn't really thought about the link ... but here it is in case Ed ... or anybody else ... is interested in checking this out. (Neat, too, to see that Chuck Mangione, who was a pretty hot artist there for a while, was part of this earlier band!) kk
Okay, hmm ... apparently the song started out as by Bhagavad-gita backed with an instrumental version (which I couldn't find) and then was issued in an edited form (but in stereo) on an album as by The National Gallery. All of the versions can be found on this cd:
Whoever requested this must be from around Cleveland, where the band was from, because I doubt too many people outside of that area have heard of the record.
You are SO awesome! Tell Tom I'd love to know more about this group and this song.
The single I have is okay to play, but it does have a crack in it that makes a popping noise when I play it. Hope all is well - later!

You just told him yourself! Let's see if he comes back with any more info. (kk)

>>>My mom and dad has always talked about a song that Buddy Holly did called "The Mostest Girl" sometime in the late fifties or early sixties ... said they played it on the Mighty 690 radio station. Any info would be appreciated. They just celebrated their 50th anniversary and I thought this would be a wonderful gift. (Brenda Veal)

Could this be the song he is looking for? It sounds a little like Buddy Holly's style.
I never heard back from Brenda ... who, I imagine, would have to first play it for her parents ... but I think we've nailed it. Thanks! (kk)


The name Bobby Lee Trammell was mentioned today in your comments. Thought you might like to know that for the week of August 27, 1962, his recording of ARKANSAS TWIST on the Alley record label made it to number one in Tulsa on their weekly top 40 radio station. As far as I know and can remember, he had no records that made the weekly survey here in OKC.
P.S. YOU MOSTEST GIRL is one heck of a rocker.
While Bobby Lee Trammell never made the national charts, SOMEBODY must have been playing his music ... how else would you explain a track like "Arkansas Twist" going all the way to #1 in Oklahoma City ... or kids growing up remembering "You Mostest Girl"!!! (kk)

Hey, any idea what the status is of that book that was being written on the Buckinghams? Last you wrote, (I think), there was talk of it coming out late this year. Doesn’t look like that will happen.
Tony Waitekus
Actually, no, I haven't heard any updates on the status of this book ... so I asked Carl Giammarese and Dawn Lee Wakefield (who are writing the book together) for an update that we could share with our readers:
Hi Kent,
Thanks for asking about the book that Carl Giammarese and I are writing regarding his career and the music of The Buckinghams. Progress is great, and we hope to have it published (very) early next year. As you can imagine, some wonderful things have happened recently that have added a few chapters and lots more stories to the book. Many Forgotten Hits readers and contributors will find their names in the index; we’ll keep you posted and appreciate your continued interest in the book.
All the best,
Dawn Lee Wakefield
Please do ... this is one that many of us are looking forward to reading! Thanks, Dawn! (kk)

>>>I read about a song called "The Crazy Otto Rag / Out of the Bushes" by Ludwig Von Kaufman. This is on Fraternity / 1955 ... done by Murray the K before he was a dee jay.Tom Diehl suggested you might help us find it as he couldn't. Thanks in advance. (Stu Weiss)
Kent ...
The recent reference to "Crazy Otto" - could the attached song from the early 50's be the the hit they are looking for? Here's "The Crazy Otto (medley)" by Johnny Maddox on Dot.
John Rook

Believe it or not, I actually remember this one! When I first started seriously building my record collection, I was determined to find EVERY record to make The Top Ten from 1955 - 1980 ... and this one was a #2 Smash back in 1955 at the very dawn of the so-called Rock And Roll Era . (According to Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles" book, it was first released the year before in Germany by Der Schrage Otto.)
And, speaking of Crazy Otto's ... and Joel Whitburn ... and Cleveland, too, for that matter! ... here's another "Helping Out Our Readers" query that we still haven't solved:
>>>This note goes out to all of your readers in CLEVELAND. I’ve always enjoyed collecting unusual novelty records, however, there is one that has eluded me for over 55 years. At the end of 1954 a record titled “Otto The Staggering Drunk” enjoyed a brief stay among the top selling records in Cleveland. I believe that the record was an import on the Polydor label and that the artist was “Crazy Otto”, “Happy Otto”, Der Schrage Otto” or simply “Otto”. I’m offering $150 to the first person that gets me this 45 rpm record. If anyone has a copy or may know of an old Top 40 station in the Cleveland area that may still have a copy, please send me a note at Thanks to any reader in Cleveland who will finally end my 55 year search! (Joel Whitburn)
>>>It appears to me that "Otto, The Staggering Drunk" is the artist credit, not the song, on the 45. I say this because he has had records issued as Crazy Otto, The Oblique Otto (Der schr├Ąge Otto), etc. ... and the song itself may just be called Otto. That said, I sadly don't own the 45 (it would be on Polydor, yes), nor do I know anyone who has even heard of it. Good luck finding it, Joel! (Tom Diehl)
We'll run it up the flagpole one more time and see what comes back ... we've compiled a near-perfect record finding this obscure stuff ... so I haven't thrown in the towel yet! Can anybody out there help Joel Whitburn end is 55+ year search??? (kk)

Dear Kent:
Today, I was doing some exercising and was playing this LP that is a collection of hits of the early 1970s, and there was this song on it called "The Americans: A Canadian's Opinion", and it is a narrative by a man named Gordon Sinclair and was out in 1974.
It was a hit back then and it talks about how America is always getting put down and barfed on by other countries, and despite that they have been super generous with helping other countries out in times of need.
I think that it is and would be relevant today, what with the troubles the country has been going through currently and to remind people about how, in the face of troubles, America still reaches out to help other countries in times of need, such as with Haiti and also spearheads the movements to help others.
It also tells how America is the first to come to the aid and rescue of those in need of help and this is still the truth. It also says that America has been through bad times before, but it manages to survive and will survive and overcome these setbacks.
I think that oldies stations should play the song, if they have it, and if they don't, then they should try and acquire it, as it is still relevant.
Also, my 7th-grade math teacher, Mr. Bodi, once said that his family hails from Finland and they are the only country in the world that has ever paid its war debt to the United States. This only further strengthens my point, and is why I feel that the aforementioned song should be played on the radio again, and to help uplift the American spirit once again and help us realize that we will and shall overcome and still are a good country.
Leonora Jordan
We've featured "Americans" a couple of times now in Forgotten Hits ... it was actually a hit TWICE in 1974 ... Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian, WROTE and recorded this piece and broadcast it on his Toronto radio program in June of 1973. Gordon's version went to #24 on the Billboard Chart in January of 1974.
Byron MacGregor, a news director out of Detroit, recorded HIS version of this piece (backed with an instrumental version of "America The Beautiful" playing softly in the background) and went all the way to #1 in Cash Box Magazine around the same time. (MacGregor's version stopped at #4 in Billboard but CLEARLY was the bigger hit version.)
This is one of those records you'll hear around The 4th of July or Veteran's Day ... and I know a few years ago we sent copies to both Scott Shannon at The True Oldies Channel and Jim Shea at Y103.9 here in Chicago and BOTH of them played it on the air. (I think Wild Bill Cody may have played it, too, around this time.)
It's one of those that we tend to forget about (despite its #1 status) ... yet certainly deserves a spin at least once or twice a year ... or when it can be tied into to newsworthy political event. We'll feature it here today. (kk)

... and, speaking of political tunes ...

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance Put Christ Back Into Schools Causes
Kent ...
Best version of Pledge of Allegiance I've ever heard.
Frank B.
We've covered this one a couple of times now in Forgotten Hits, too ... (typically on The 4th of July) ... but you're right, it's STILL very moving, even after all these years! (I remember watching Red Skelton perform this LIVE on his television program the very first time it aired ... it was literally numbing ... for such a well-known comedian to insert this moment into his show, one of the most popular on television at the time, was truly remarkable. Listen to the audience early on ... they're expecting a punchline that never comes ... and then nothing but absolute silence as the audience ... and the whole world watching ... slowly takes it all in. A truly amazing piece of television by a remarkable comedian. (kk)

Hello KK!
Maybe your readers and DJs and artists might be able to solve a mystery for me ...
My sister has been trying to solve a musical mystery for the last twenty years.
She says that she remembers a song played on WROQ in Charlotte, NC, during the eighties where they predominately used the line "You're a bag of blivet!" She says the group was reminiscent of the sounds of Chelsea recording artists "Jigsaw" who did "Sky High" ... or EMI artists "Pilot" who did "Magic" ... that kinda sound.
So does anyone know what she's talking about? I sure don't! I did however find out what a bag of blivet is. I never get stumped but this has me admitting absolute total defeat.
I'm drawing a blank ... but I'll betcha SOMEBODY on the list knows what song this is. (And by the way, what exactly IS a "bag of blivet"?!?!?) lol (kk)
Howdy KK!
It's "Ten pounds of manure in a five pound bag"!
LOL ... and what employer hasn't asked each and every one of us to do THAT at some point in time?!?!? (lol) Thanks! (kk)