Friday, April 16, 2010

Some End Of The Week Comments

Special thanks to DJ Stu Weiss for sending along this link ... it's a "Guest Book" of Johnny's fans ... and if you loved Johnny's music, you'll want to sign in, too!

Hey, Kent,
In response to Fred's strange e-mail,,
you could have responded with a long-forgotten, early '63 Top 20 hit, Neil Sedaka's "Alice in Wonderland."
It's timely again with the Tim Burton - Johnny Depp film juggernaut.
Other choices: Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" or Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts."
Don Effenberger
Yep, I thought about "He's Mine" by Alice Wonderland, too, a #62 Hit back in 1963 that went all the way to #16 here in Chicago!!! But ironically, I had just played "Cinderella" for my daughter and it sounded SO good to hear it again, I just had to feature it in Forgotten Hits. (Can you believe this thing got all the way to #16 in Billboard?!?!?) kk

This is really eerie that you would ask me for a copy of this song today because a friend was talking about this song last night after my friend saw it on someone's blog and then later in the night we heard Dave The Rave play the record on Topshelf Oldies ...
Tom Diehl
Even weirder ... I turned Dave The Rave on around 10:00 Chicago time Saturday Night and he wasn't on ... the earlier guy was substituting ... so I listened to maybe three or four songs and then shut it off ... I didn't know that Dave was coming on later or I would have stuck around!!! (kk)

>>>I have seen the Beach Boys 26 times. Saw them last year in Dayton, Ohio. The show and the music were excellent. Mike may have lost a little, but he never had a great voice ... neither did Jagger. It's the music. When I hear all those old car songs it takes me back to a good time in my life. I thought Mile sounded pretty darn good last year, and I will see him this year in Indiana. Keep going Mike, lets have some FUN,FUN,FUN. Huge Beach Boy Fan! (Joe Fuller)
Howdy, Kent,
Please let Joe Fuller know that if he's going to the BB show in Rising Sun, IN (Grand Victoria Casino) July 30 / 31, I just might see him there. Not 100% sure at this time but would love to see the Mike, Bruce and the group in concert again. It's been five or six years since I saw the show in Ashland, KY. I also visited with Mike and Bruce (along with Brian, Alan and Dave Marks) at the 40th Anniversary of the release of "Pet Sounds" at Capitol Records in June '06 and I saw Alan -- and his wife, Mary Ann -- at Dick Dale's "Musician's Hall of Fame" induction a few months ago here in Nashville.
I only saw the clip of the "Dancing With The Stars" segment that you sent me. I have a gut feeling that Mike will be right on the money on the current tour dates. He certainly knows the material! :)
Fred Vail / Nashville -- "Music City, USA"

Kent ...
Did you see John Gotti, Jr. on 60 minutes?
After Tommy James came out with his Simon and Shuster book, “Me, the Mob and the Music!” a few months ago, it’s seems to be OK to talk openly about the Mob. So I went back to my controversial interview with Tommy and added some things I was afraid to put in the first time! More on Morris Levy … more photos.
Don't forget, on Tuesday night following “American Idol”, “GLEE” returns for it’s second season … by far the best music show on television!
Artie Wayne
Artie told me that it looks like Tommy James, John Gotti, Jr. and The Cast Of Glee ALL appear to be singing right now!!! (lol) And Tommy recently told Jim Shea that his book is going to be bigger than ANY record he ever had ... which is really saying something, coming from a guy who hit Billboard's Top 40 seventeen times ... and that figure includes eight Top Ten Hits and two #1's!!! No question about it, the book is hot ... and the upcoming movie will be even hotter!!! WTG, Tommy! (Be sure to check out Artie's revamped article ... LOTS more "insider" stuff this time around. Thanks, Artie ... just be sure to drop in and say "hello" every now and again from wherever it is you'll be hiding!!! lol) kk

And, speaking of "Glee" ...

re: GLEE:
It's certainly one of OUR favorite TV shows ... and we SURE would have liked to have been able to get tickets to see the cast's live concert when comes to Chicago in a few weeks ... but NOW comes word about a Toronto, Canada Radio Station that's dubbing itself GLEE-FM!!! Check this out!!!

There have beenWeb-radio stations devoted to TV shows before; (“Life On Mars” offered its version of “1973 Radio” last year). But on Monday, Canada’s Global TV took over a terrestrial station, CIRR (103.9 Proud FM), Toronto’s gay-themed pop / dance outlet, rebranding it “Glee FM” to tie in with the show’s second suite of new episodes starting tonight.
So what did an “All-Glee” format sound like? Regular morning team Patrick & Deb and discussion topics included bullying in high-school and which “Glee” character are you? (There were mostly Rachels.) There was a visit from the York University a capella group (which sang “Don’t Stop Believing”) and a phoner from the show’s co-creator Brad Falchuk. There were callers qualified to win a trip to see “Glee” in New York.
One challenge to doing an “All-Glee” format on Canadian radio? There are no more than 3-1/2 songs from the existing “Glee” catalog that might qualify as Canadian content, and one is “(You’re) Having My Baby.” So the format was actually Glee soundtrack music plus unrelated Cancon. It would have been fun to hear what non-Glee music the station would have interspersed on its own volition otherwise, although there was an occasional Lady Gaga or Adam Lambert song and the station’s regular, but still appropriate “Mandatory Madonna” feature.
In any event, it was more “Glee” music in one day than American radio may have managed to accommodate during the show’s entire first run of episodes. Here’s the first 80 minutes or so of the station yesterday at 6 a.m.:
Glee Cast, “Somebody To Love”
Glee Cast, “Hate On Me”
Max Vangeli & Digital Lab, “Your Love”
Glee Cast, “Alone”
Faber Drive, “G-Get Up & Dance”
Glee Cast, “Take A Bow”
Jane Child, “Don’t Want To Fall In Love”
Glee Cast, “Bust A Move”
Glee Cast, “You Keep Me Hanging On”
Nelly Furtado, “Powerless (Say What You Want)”
Glee Cast, “Sweet Caroline”
K-Os, “Crabbuckit”
Glee Cast, “Taking Chances”
Laura Pausini, “Surrender”
Glee Cast, “Bootylicious”
Glee Cast, “Can’t Fight This Feeling”
Adam Lambert, “Whatya Want From Me”
Glee Cast, “Bust Your Windows”

-- Ross On Radio
Unreal!!! (I wonder how long THIS will last!!! lol)

>>>I've always loved this song (and used to perform this one myself back in the day!) I seem to remember buying the album and the song was, in fact, credited to "Buckinghams and Nicks" for the amazing background vocals as I recall. (I don't have the LP anymore because I ALSO remember thinking at the time that "Magnet And Steel" was the ONLY good song on there!!! lol) kk
Thanks, Kent!!! Yeah, my sister and I both love Magnet And Steel! BTW, I contacted Walter Egan and Walter was kind to inform me: Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Annie McLoone provided backing vocals. :-)

>>>I've always loved this song (and used to perform this one myself back in the day!) kk
I still enjoy Blind Spot's cover of this great song.
David Lewis

Lol ... thanks, David! (Gives me a chance to run my '80's picture again ... drummer Bob Mielcarski and lead guitarist Mike Mertes, both Forgotten Hits Readers, will get a kick out of seeing themselves alongside some of the OTHER big stars of the day this morning!!! lol) I thought I still had a snippet of us doing "Magnet And Steel" on the computer but I couldn't find it. I remember playing this for somebody one day, after telling them that I used to be in a band in the late '70's and early '80's ... and, after they heard us doing "Magnet And Steel", their response was, "Oh, a WEDDING band?!?!?" Hmmm ... not exactly ... but it WAS us in a "softer" moment. (kk)
P.S. I wanted to mention that that's Ric Fontana on keyboards ... although we've lost touch over the years, I did go to his wedding about ten years ago and he was a hell of a player. Just wanted to give EVERYBODY in the band full credit!!! (kk)

“ROCK CON, the first annual Weekend Of 100 Rock Stars” is set to take place at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center in East Rutherford, NJ on the weekend of July 30 – August 1 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), 2010.
Produced by Charles F. Rosenay!!! and Liverpool Productions, this “fan-oriented rock & roll celebrity show” is like no other. Usually, at a celebrity show, the special guests appearing number 5-10 or 20-50 at the most – never 100 stars all at the same time! ROCK CON models itself after Nashville’s Country Music “original fan fairs” several days each year consisting of fan-driven concerts, autograph signings, photos, product giveaways and meet-and-greets.
In a similar fashion, fans attending the “Weekend Of a 100 Rock Stars” will be able to talk directly to, obtain signed autographs from and meet some of their favorite rock and media personalities on common ground. Those attending the three-day event can also browse through the world’s largest rock & roll music and memorabilia marketplace – over 50 years of rock history. Thousands of fans of all ages are expected to attend, and there will be many special guests linked to The Beatles history, with a special themed "Lennon Legacy" list of guests.
According to producers, "an event of this magnitude is long-overdue. Country artists have their FanFair, there’s ComicCon and baseball players and actors all have shows where they could meet their fans, but this will be the first time Rock & Rollers and music people will get together in such a unique environment."
Although the “Weekend Of A 100 Rock Stars” is months away, some very special guests of honor confirmed to appear include current and former members of such famed rock bands as:
The Hollies (2010 Rock HOF inductees), The Cars, The Animals (1994 Rock HOF inductees), The Toys, The Angels, Jay & The Americans, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, Elephant's Memory, Vanilla Fudge, Tommy James & The Shondells, Tuff Darts, The Yardbirds (1992 Rock HOF inductees), The Stories, The Archies, Spanky & Our Gang, The Rip-Chords, The Fifth Estate, Bay City Rollers, Utopia, The Rascals, Cactus, The Strawbs, Blues Magoos, Human Beinz, The Smithereens, The Go-Gos, Styx, Jefferson Airplne / Starship and many others.
Also, expect to see radio and TV music personalities including legendary television DJ / MC Clay Cole, the only host to have had both The Beatles and the Rolling Stones on the same broadcast.
Producers are quick to point out that the planning has only just begun and “it's already having a snowball effect - musicians, composers and rock stars have started calling us to be part of the weekend celebration."
A comprehensive listing of all the “100 special guests” will be announced shortly.
Tickets go on sale April 15th through the website
For further info, email or call (203) 795-4737.
Media Contact:
Charles F. Rosenay!!!
Liverpool Productions
315 Derby Avenue
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 795-4737

Just a quick reminder about Jim Shea's upcoming interview with Tommy Smothers:
This coming Thursday, 4/22, I'll have my long awaited chat with Tom Smothers. Big month. In fact, by popular demand, since we've had so many of these fine guests lately, we've launched the Best of Jim Shea Saturdays 6-10 am starting 4/10 ... it's just another chance to catch some of these interviews (and other stuff on the show) you may have missed.
Jim Shea / Y103.9
Jim talked with Robby Krieger of The Doors on yesterday's program.
You can "Listen Live" to these interviews here:
Click here: Homepage - Y103.9
Click here: Next Media Live Radio Player

It was SO nice to hear from Gretchen Christopher the other day, founding member of The Fleetwoods. (It's been over a year now since Gretchen and I last spoke ... and, you may recall that we celebrated the release of her "Sweet 16 / Suite 16" CD a couple of years ago in Forgotten Hits as part of our special Leap Year Feature. (Gretchen was born on February 29th ... so 2008 was "officially" her 16th Birthday!!! lol And, she released a brand-new, critically acclaimed CD in honor of this very special event!!!)
Anyway, here's the latest from Gretchen herself:

Kent Kotal, hello!
I'm just getting rid of some old email and ran across your "The60sShop" email address and wanted to say hello.
What would you think of this idea? I may re-release SUITE 16 because once I kicked off its release with a concert in Las Vegas, headlined by THE FLEETWOODS starring GRETCHEN CHRISTOPHER, I returned to Olympia to take over management of Mom's caregiving (which my brother had handled, during the 3-1/2 nearly sleepless years I spent producing the album and also spending more time with Mom).
Fortunately, Mom and I were together when, a month later, in December, we learned that GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16) is among the 2007 BILLBOARD CRITICS' PICKS for 10 BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR. Wonderful news, but, having already committed fully to Mom's hospice care, I was not able to properly promote and publicize the album (beyond the announcement below and some radio interviews).
Though doctors said she might not see her 95th birthday, Mom lived to celebrate her 99th birthday and beyond! On July 30th, 2009, which would have been her 100th, we laid Mom's ashes to rest and celebrated a life well lived (see )
Now, it's a new year and I tell myself it's time to resume focus on music and performances.
Valentine's Day, February 14, 2010, a feature story, "Love notes that last" (about Little Bill Englehart's "I Love An Angel" and my "Come Softly To Me" - and our respective mates), was published in The Olympian and The News Tribune.
Valentine's night I performed in celebration of the 60th birthday of HEART founding Guitarist Roger Fisher, who (in a memorable spot in the midst of all the rock bands) performed the "Dom Dom"s behind me on "Come Softly To Me" at the King Cat Theater in Seattle, where we raised funds to benefit Haiti. (We'd done such a performance, two years ago, for the Rock Star Reunion).
April 30th, 2010, I've been asked to perform at Seattle's HARD ROCK CAFE in celebration of the 65th birthday of Goldy McJohn, former Keyboard Player of STEPPENWOLF, under whose banner / license they'll now be touring: THE MAGIC CARPET RIDE.
This Friday, April 9, I'll be interviewed by Chuck Dauphin for MUSIC NEWS NASHVILLE and I believe the album will be reviewed.
So, I just wanted to bring you up to speed on all these recent events so that you could share the news with all of your fans.
Oh, and someone just reminded me that "Come Softly To Me" (which is re-recorded on SUITE 16) became the nation's #1 Record on the Billboard Hot 100, April 13 through May 10, 1959. It's our 51st anniversary. Let's celebrate!
Catch me up on you, The60sShop, and FORGOTTEN HITS!

Wow ... SO hard to believe that it's been 51 years since "Come Softly To Me" captivated our hearts as the #1 Record in the Country!!! SO glad to hear that you're doing well ... as always, we're happy to let the fans know about your latest goings-on ... so please DO stay in touch with us. Meanwhile, FH Readers are encouraged to check out all of the latest news on Gretchen's website (shown above) ... and, if you haven't already done so, give a listen to some the song-clips from here latest CD! (kk)

And this just in ...

Carl asked me to share with you the latest news with for you and your FH readers:
The Buckinghams are pleased to announce that Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna have been invited to perform on the national “Happy Together — 25th Anniversary Tour”. They are joining Flo and Eddie of The Turtles, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Mark Lindsay, formerly of Paul Revere and The Raiders, and Rob Grill of The Grass Roots. The 2010 tour begins May 20th and continues in selected cities across the country through June. Longtime Buckinghams’ fans will recall Carl and Nick were featured on the successful 1985 Happy Together Tour, with The Turtles, The Grass Roots, and Gary Lewis & The Playboys. That year, the first “Happy Together” Tour was named one of the Top 10 Highest Grossing Tours in the nation. What’s different for the 2010 Reunion Tour is that all performers will share a single backup band accompanying them, to streamline the concert, so music from all 5 groups can be presented in a 2-hour concert. Carl and Nick will join the HT25 Tour, produced by Flower Power Concerts, in Santa Ynez, California. Carl noted, “It’s an honor to be asked to return for the Happy Together Tour, celebrating the 25th anniversary of a tremendous national tour. We look forward to seeing many of our fans, and making new friends as we travel the country with our colleagues.” Nick said, “It’s a great opportunity to revisit some favorite cities and the same arenas where we performed for Buckinghams’ fans in 1985.”
The Buckinghams, including Bob, Bruce, and Tom, have a full summer and fall schedule booked, independent of the Happy Together Tour that just features Carl and Nick, starting for the next 3 Saturdays:
Saturday, April 17th, Punta Gorda Days Block Party, Punta Gorda, FL
Saturday, April 24th, Havana Chamber of Commerce Spring Fling, Havana High School, Havana, IL
Saturday, May 1st, Hersheypark Amphitheatre, Hershey, PA
Pollstar always has our most complete schedule.
Thanks for your help in getting the word out, Kent;

Many thanks,
Dawn Lee Wakefield, on behalf of The Buckinghams

Always happy to help to spread the word, Dawn ... hopefully this show will make its way through Chicago ... sounds like a GREAT concert line-up!

By the way, The Buckinghams are one of the acts appearing at this year's Music In The Park Series in Bensenville, Illinois, too. (The Bucks will be live on stage on Wednesday, August 4th.) Honestly, a pretty weak line-up this year, VERY heavy on "cover" and "tribute" bands. Other than The Bucks and The Ides Of March (who open the series on June 9th), it looks like we're going to be subjected to not much more than sound-alike bands: fake-Styx, fake-Eagles and fake-Santana. Of course, we always enjoy seeing The New Invaders ... and I've heard really good things about The Chicago Catz, too ... considering it looked for quite a while that there wasn't even going to BE a Music In the Park Series this year, I guess we really can't complain ... still a GREAT way to spend a nice evening out, listening to free music in the park. (kk)

... and, speaking of great concerts ...

Hi Guys!
Just wanted to tell you about the fabulous "Tribute to the 60's" we went to a couple of weeks ago. Included in the billing were Sonny Garaci (Precious and Few, Time Wont Let Me), "The Vogues," singer from Three Dog Night, (sorry I don't remember his name) and my favorite, "The Grass Roots" featuring Rob Grill. The Grass Roots always put on a good show. They sang their greatest hit songs and Rob Grill knows how to entice the audience with his singing and charisma and not to mention his story quips. Rob is a highly talented bass player and singer. He is very coordinated to perform such feats simultaneously. Among the songs they sang were "Temptation Eyes," "Sooner or Later," "Midnight Confessions," and a personal tribute was announced by Rob to our current forces fighting overseas and our Viet Nam Vets with "Let's Live for Today." They brought the house down in Upstate Pa. If you get a chance, check them out.
I'm guessing you saw Chuck Negron, probably the best voice IN Three Dog Night but now appearing on his own (or with Blood, Sweat And Tears) while Danny Hutton and Cory Wells continue to perform as a Two-Dog Version of Three Dog Night. (They've never forgiven Chuck for his drug use that ultimately sabotaged and did the band in back in the '70's.) Sounds like another great line-up ... and, as you can see above, you'll have ANOTHER opportunity to catch Rob Grill and The Grass Roots with some other stellar '60's acts real soon! (kk)

And, hot on the heels of Barry talking with us here in Forgotten Hits, I just got word that he'll be joining DJ Stu Weiss on his Top Shelf Oldies "Pop Shoppe" Program later this month. Here are all the details:
At 9 PM on the 23rd of April I will be having a telephone interview with Barry McGuire.
Don't miss this one.
Stu Weiss' Pop Shoppe
The show is on from 7 PM till 3:01 AM (eastern)

Collectors' Choice Music has just announced some brand new, exclusive releases from the coveted vaults of Cameo / Parkway Records. It sounds like this is just the beginning as more titles are already being planned ... but right off the bat, you can now order:
Clint Eastwood: Rawhide's Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favorites
Terry Knight and the Pack: Terry Knight and the Pack / Reflections (CD 2-fer)
Bobby Rydell: Bobby Rydell Salutes The Great Ones / Rydell At The Copa (2-fer)
Chubby Checker: It's Pony Time / Let's Twist Again (2-fer)
The Orlons: The Wah-Watusi / South Street (2-fer)
and a special vocal compilation CD called "Cameo Parkway Vocal Group Collection: Remembe Me Baby" featuring The Rays, The Dovells, The Lydells, Billy and the Essentials, Pookie Hudson and the Spaniels, The Roommates and many, many more.
All these new releases are available through the Collectors' Choice Website:
Click here: Collectors' Choice Music
(and, if you buy the whole set, they'll even throw in a BONUS CD featuring a dozen more tracks, including six NOT found on these new releases!)

... and, speaking of Cameo / Parkway ...

Frank Allen (Searchers) and Bruce Welch (Cliff Richard's Shadows) were in attendance last night at Charlie Gracie's sold out show in London (Twickenham) at the Winning Post R'n' R club.
All smiles are Charlie and Joan Gracie with Frank Allen (left) and Bruce Welch (right) before Charlie's show last night. Charlie -- the guitarist, has long been a huge influence on many British artists ... ranging from McCartney and Harrison of the Beatles to others like Grahan Nash, Ray & Dave Davies, Peter Noone, Albert Lee and more!
Quoting FRANK ALLEN (of the Searchers): "Just got back from seeing your dad ... he had a great night ... the band behind him sounded perfect and Charlie was terrific --- he sang and played up a storm!" (Email came in this morning)
Charles Gracie, Jr.

Speaking of Charlie Gracie, it sounds like they're FINALLY putting the finishing touches on to his new LP ... the tapes have been turned over to FH List Member Al Kooper ... and soon, Charlie's new CD will be available to the masses.
How'd you like the chance to NAME it?!?!? We just received THIS interesting offer from Charlie, Jr.!!!
Now that we have your attention ... LOL ...
Many of you may already know that Charlie's new CD has gone to mixing (to none other than the great Al Kooper -- he plays on it, too!) but we'd like your input as to the title!
Charlie arrives back from his 5-week concert tour of Great Britain at the end of the month ... but why not surprise him by offering some suggestions.
GRAHAM NASH, PETER NOONE, AL KOOPER, DENNIS DIKEN, TOM T-BONE EDMONDS and others have contributed their talents as a tribute to Charlie. The cd is mostly 'rockin' with the exception of one or two ballads and a quirkie tune. We'd like your input! Here's a few title suggestions we've already receieved:
***Send us yours now! Shorter titles preferred. Your's just might be the one and we'll credit you on the cd if your title is chosen!

-- Charles, Jr.
Got a suggestion? Drop us a line and we'll forward it along to Charlie Gracie, Jr.!!! (Personally, I really like the "Amazing Gracie!" idea!!! And it isn't even MINE!!! lol) kk

Just got this note from our FH Buddy John Madara, regarding a new release from ANOTHER Philadelphia legend:
That Philly Sound is proud to announce that our newest CD, LEN BARRY -- THE LOST LP, has just been released and is available for purchase through CD Baby.
This rare, historical CD features 25 songs by the great, soulful artist, Len Barry. There were singles released from the LP, but the LP featured on the cover was never released in its entirety. Now with this CD, all of the Len Barry Lost LP recordings are presented in their original form, along with 4 never-released and 9 additional masters available for the first time on CD.
Click here to purchase and learn more about Len Barry -- The Lost LP
Also, please go to THAT PHILLY SOUND to purchase other rare Philly CDs, and learn more about the artists and people behind the scenes that made up "The Sound of Philadelphia."
Click here to go to THAT PHILLY SOUND.
THAT PHILLY SOUND is presented by songwriter / record producer John Madara, who co-wrote and co-produced such timeless classics as AT THE HOP (Danny and The Juniors), THE FLY (Chubby Checker), 1-2-3 (Len Barry, who also co-wrote the song) and YOU DON'T OWN ME (Lesley Gore). John also produced the huge hit record, ROCK AND ROLL IS HERE TO STAY (Danny and The Juniors).
All songs have been digitally restored and digitally mastered.
Thanks for your support!

Fred Glickstein just sent us a link to some vintage Flock photos from their appearance at The Bath Festival, circa 1970 ... in fact, click back to the Home Page and you'll see some of the other amazing artists on the same bill.
EXCELLENT reviews of The Flock's performance there ... you can check it all out here:
Click here: Bath festival 1970-The flock.

You'll also find a number of new videos posted on YouTube:
Lollipops & Rainbows ...
Chanja ...
Atlantaians Truckin' Home ...
Afrika ...
Just Do It ...
Rain ...

After we ran that short blurb about The Tygers (courtesy of Ron Smith), we heard from The Tygers' Promotor Billy James, who also represents a number of OTHER '60's acts we're sure our list would love to see ...
Hey Kent,
Thanks for mentioning the Tygers new CD on your site - it is quite good!
I represent other 60s acts like The Turtles, Human Beinz and Chocolate Watchband to name a few and will send you updates when they come in.
We're also promoting a brand new CD by original Santana vocalist Gregg Rolie - he has reunioned most of the original Santana Band and is touring and playing Evil Ways and all the hits (they started in 1969)
Thanks again for the Tygers mention!
Billy James / Glass Onyon PR
Be sure to check out Billy's website for some of the latest information regarding many of your other '60's favorites! (kk)

Of course if you're going to mention Milwaukee, you're ALSO likely to hear from Gary Myers, the guy who wrote the book on the Milwaukee Rock Scene!!!
>>>Now, if only the Unchained Mynds could mount a comeback (and what was with Milwaukee groups and vowels?) (Ron Smith)
The Unchained Mynds were actually from LaCrosse.
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

Hi Kent:
Saw your little blurb on local hits. Cool to have Milwaukee Surveys on the site! You mentioned The Unchained Mynds, who were from Western Wisconsin. "We Can't Go On This Way" was one of the Top 10 hits of the year on WOKY in Milwaukee in 1969. It was #1 for 3 weeks. It also was top 5 on WRIT.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saluting Some Chicagoland Radio Royalty

(not) Much of what follows is true:

Back in the 1860's, Thomas Edison invented the radio. Extremely proud of his latest invention, he and his trusty sidekick Watson celebrated that evening with a glass of brandy in front of the wood-burning stove. They then spent the rest of the evening listening to Dick Biondi and Herb Kent as they beamed across the airwaves of Edison's brand-new contraption.

Who would have ever thought that nearly a century and a half later, while Al Gore was busy inventing the Internet, these two radio icons would STILL be on the air, broadcasting to their legion of fans and doing what they love best.

For the past couple of weeks we've been telling you about the upcoming tribute to two of Chicagoland's Radio Legends, Dick Biondi and Herb Kent. Hosted by Bob Sirott (no radio slouch himself ... when Bob first took to the airwaves here in Chi-Town, he was an IMMEDIATE hit and quickly became one of the most listened to deejays in town ... as well as a personal favorite ... he parlayed that success into a television career as well), the event was held last Saturday at Columbia College (where Sirott himself is an alum!)

We were unable to attend the ceremony (and have been kicking ourselves ever since) as a virtual Who's Who of Chicagoland Radio and Rock And Roll were on hand to wish these two radio legends well.

Here are a couple of first-hand reports (and photos) from some of our readers who WERE able to attend:


I had REALLY wanted to attend this thing ... in fact, I talked to Ron Smith Friday Night about it and he said they were expecting a couple thousand people to show up ... unfortunately, he ALSO told me that the auditorium seated about 300!!! (Biondi told Ron that he didn't expect 200 people to show up ... and Ron felt that there would be AT LEAST 2000!!!)
I heard from Carl Giammarese and Fred Glickstein earlier in the day that they had planned to attend ... now I wish I would have just shrugged it off and gone, too ... was hoping that maybe SOMEBODY filmed this whole thing for some sort of local broadcast.
Anyway, sounds like a GREAT time ... and you're right ... I wish I coulda been there!!!

Hi Kent!
Your site is always INCREDIBLE!!!
Went to the Columbia event last night -- besides all the celeb radio folks there -- there were many of our beloved Chicago music artists -- Here are some pix if you want a peek -- I'm passing these around -- feel free to use any you want!

(We were both born in July!)








Damn ... I really wanted to go to that last night ... but between the hassle of getting downtown and then the thought of having to stand all night, I decided to pass ... I've heard ONLY good things about it since and have been kicking myself all day!!! Would have been nice to finally meet you there, too!
Oh well ... I'm hoping somebody filmed this and will air the highlights later ... truly radio royalty on board that night ... and some major celebs in the audience, too!!!

And this recap from Robert Feder's column on Monday:
Hundreds of fans packed the Columbia College auditorium and overflowed into three satellite rooms Saturday when Bob Sirott interviewed Chicago radio’s greatest living legends, Dick Biondi and Herb Kent, onstage together for the first time. What made a great night even more unforgettable was the presence of many local music legends in the audience to pay tribute to Biondi and Kent. They included Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler, Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites, Ronnie Rice of the New Colony Six, Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna of the Buckinghams, Jim Peterik of The Ides Of March and Survivor, Fred Glickstein of the Flock, and Al Lathan of Four Days and a Night. Among radio luminaries in the crowd were Greg Brown, Connie Szerszen, Stan Lawrence, Marv Dyson, Michael Damsky, Michael LaCrosse and Sirott’s wife, Marianne Murciano. Even Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers was there.
-- Robert Feder
FOR THE RECORD: Although often attributed to Thomas Edison, the invention of radio was really a culmination of the efforts of MANY ingenious men along the way. (In fact, Edison was actually a later-comer to the mix.) For a pretty fascinating timeline showing the development of the medium that forever changed the world, we think you'll find these articles particularly interesting:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More For All The Collectors Out There ...

Hi Kent,
I am the worst record collector ever. I have purchased many things over the years just because I assumed they were worth more than I was paying for them. Although I have sold and traded a few things, it pains me to part with anything because I may never see another like it.
We have a few nice promo 45s at the station but most labels have writing on them about intro time and fade out info for the dj. Another station gave me a bunch of albums when they were remodeling but like most radio station copies, the covers are shot from being slid in and out on the shelf.
Several years ago I bought a Beatles item. It is a post card that is 'autographed'. I have discussed this item over the phone and internet with collectors over the years. Without seeing it they believe it is only worth $100.00 at the most. This card is from the final America tour. It is not a stamped autograph. It was signed by a pen. From what I have read, most autographs from that era were signed by secretaries or Mal Evans. Comparing the signatures with the Beatles, by my untrained naked eye, it appears they are very close to the real thing. Here are a few things that make it unique.
The lady I bought it from was a member of the press. She did not get proper credentials and missed out on a press conference with the Beatles. The cardboard envelope it was shipped in from Beatles headquarters in England is still in good shape including a red stamp on the back promoting Gerry and the Pacemakers. A personalized letter apologizes for the mix-up and has the actual signature of Tony Barrow. The Beatles postcard only has the first names of the Beatles signed. Most pictures of Beatle autographs, that I have seen, always have first and last names signed.
I have had collectors offer me $100 to $200 dollars (again without seeing it). I have had offers to appraise it but they always want me to send it in the mail, and I don't want to. I have never seen another one like it, and probably will not again, so it is worth more to me than $100 to $200 dollars.
I am very sure that it is not the actual first name signatures of the Beatles, but there is always that thought in my mind ... what if? Do you have any suggestions?

Let's run your story (and picture of this rarity) here and see if we get any responses. Meanwhile, I'm also send a copy to noted Beatles Historian Bruce Spizer, a regular contributor to our list, to see if he has run across this item before. It sure sounds authentic to me ... and I can't imagine that there could be too many of these floating around.
On the other hand, The Beatles have got to be the most bootlegged and counterfeited artists around ... I'll never forget a dealer posting a sign at the second or third Beatlefest here in Chicago that basically said: "Can't Find What You're Looking For? Let Us Know And We'll Make It For You"!!! (lol) kk
Here's what Bruce Spizer had to say:
It is a cool item even though one can be 99% sure the post card was not signed by the Beatles. Documents pertaining to tours and press conferences do have value, but only to the right buyer. I’d value it at about $500, but the reality is that it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. It’s cool , but may not be $500 cool to most collectors. Perry Cox, at, is better suited than me to give values and he may be interested in purchasing it or working on commission for an ebay sale.
Looking at it, I'm pretty sure those aren't real signatures ... neat 'tho that Tony Barrow took the time to personally answer her request. (I can only imagine how many similar requests he must have been receiving at the time!!!) Still not something you're likely to see very many of! (kk)

Hello Kent:
Here is one of those “If I only knew then what I know now” stories.
When I was about 15 in 1968 I lived about 3 blocks away from WDGY 1130 AM in Minneapolis (actually Bloomington , but whose counting). We used to ride our bikes up to radio station in the evening when only the DJ at the time, Diamond Jim Dandy comes to mind, was at the station. We would go over to the dumpster and start dumpster diving. In amongst the half full Styrofoam cups of coffee and the dumped out ash trays, if we were lucky, we would find stacks of 45’s. These were the ones that they rejected. Over time we probably had hundreds of them. We would play them and if we didn’t like them they made great Frisbees or BB gun targets. Just think about what could have been in there! And demo tapes! Tapes that garage bands would send in or the girl groupies expressing their love for the on air talent. The small 3-1/2” or 5” reel to reel tapes. Best thing we did there was hold them flat to see how fast the tape would peel off the reel. Just think of what was left behind or we destroyed without knowing the upcoming value.
Pete Heger

1966 was about to turn into 1967 and I was already an over-the-top Beach Boys fan. I had done my best to stay current with the rumored release dates of the highly anticipated SMiLE album. Stories abounded of how Brian WIlson was breaking rock creativity barriers but in seeking rock perfection, missed deadline after deadline. Around the Christmas holiday, I noticed a Capitol promotion display in my local record store so I simply asked the owner if I could have it when the album was released and he agreed.
Of course that album has yet to be released. In 2004, Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE was released to high critical acclaim and several of the songs slated for the original Beach Boys album have been officially released (not to mention the many bootlegs that enable other over-the-top fans like me to construct something very close to what we would have heard in 1967). But the SMiLE comprised of the amazing vocals of the Beach Boys is yet to have an official mix and release.
As disappointed as I was back then (the possibility of a fan ever hearing SMiLE seemed remote back then), I took the life-size, full-color album cover home and still have it in my collection. A reminder of what might have been - some think, as I do, it would have more than held its own against (or with!) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles and, if so, would have completely alerted Beach Boys history. Probably no Bluebirds Over the Mountains or Smiley Smile. Probably no no-show at the Monterrey Pop Festival and no need for an Endless Summer resurgence. A very different trajectory for the Beach Boys, for certain.
A few years ago, a professional record collector of Beach Boys memorabilia told me that album was the first one he had heard of (it might be truly rare, not merely old like me!) and could fetch, he speculated, a thousand dollars. Wow. Not bad for a promotional display for an album that has still not been released.

Although today I consider myself to be a HUGE Beach Boys fan ... and have done an ENORMOUS amount of research into the band and their music ... I have to admit that I was one of those who came late to the party. Their early albums didn't impress me ... whereas a new Beatles LP would rarely contain a cut I'd skip over, the same cannot be said for most of the early Beach Boys LPs ... once you got past the hits and an occasional surprise, MOST of the album seemed to contain a whole lot of "filler" to my ears. I've always considered The Beach Boys to be one of those VERY fortunate bands who GREATLY benefited by the fact that the record company always seemed to know EXACTLY which tracks to release as singles, as they NEVER seemed to miss with their latest 45 release. For me, this simply wasn't the case with their album releases and, after several disappointments, I simply stopped buying them.
Many years later, while researching the band, I came across the story of "Smile" and was FASCINATED ... I just HAD to hear this LP!!! Like you, I have, over the years, built up an incredible collection of "Smile" out-takes on bootleg albums and CDs and have read COUNTLESS articles about what the LP was SUPPOSED to be all about. But back around 1973 or 1974 I remember going to a Flea Market with my Dad and finding an album for $0.99 called "Smiley Smile". Being both naive and uneducated at this point about the release of this LP, I swear I thought that I had discovered the Holy Grail!!! I couldn't wait to get home and slap it on the turn-table. When I did, I thought it was AWFUL!!! I had built up the "promise of what was to be" SO high in my own mind that I couldn't believe that THIS is what all the fuss was about!!!
Of course, I learned later that this was NOT the case ... even Beach Boy Carl Wilson would later call the "Smiley Smile" LP "a bunt instead of a grand slam" ... and it remains one of my LEAST favorite Beach Boys LPs to this day.
I enjoyed Brian's "re-creation" of this long, lost LP from a few years ago ... and have the video concert where he performs in from beginning to end, too ... and it's all very nice ... but with all The Beach Boys reissues that have hit the market over the past 30 years, I've got to believe that the bulk of these tapes in their original form simply do not exist anymore. Stories abound about a freaked out Brian destroying the tapes himself ... and I tend to believe them. Thanks to the titles that were ultimately released (both on subsequent LPs and on some of the box sets and compilations over the years) ... and, of course, the trusty bootlegs ... we can pretty well assemble a reasonable facsimile of what "Smile" most likely would have been ... but again, any comparisons to ... or considerations of surpassing "Sgt. Pepper" ... just aren't there for me. I'm not hearing it.
I still have to rank "Pet Sounds" and the greatly under-appreciated "Sunflower" as my two Beach Boys LP favorites, even all these years later. And, contrary to just about every critique and review I've ever read, I really like the 1985 "Beach Boys" album, too. (kk)

In the mid '80's I'd listen to Bob Pantano on WOGL during his Saturday night show. He'd play songs that were popular around the Philadelphia area that I hadn't heard in ages. That alone was enough to make me seek out these fine songs on vinyl. It was a pleasure for my ears to listen to best quality obtainable - great sound quality intrigued me. Hearing first time Stereo was even more impressive.While collecting vinyl records, I came across recordings recorded on 35mm film audio tracks. The sound quality was very impressive! This was about the early '60's. This practice didn't seem to last, maybe because people didn't want to pay a premium price for premium sound.While collecting vinyl, I ran into a recording of "Blue Moon", by The Marcels. It was a raw non hit version and it included a bit of studio talk / chat. I went wild over it; I finally got to hear what went on in a recording studio!I was late to jump on the CD collecting bandwagon, since initial CD sound quality was not as good as on the vinyl records I found. However, since CD began to offer alternate versions and / or demos, some with studio talk, I began to collect them. When I discovered there were bootleg CDs of Beatles songs, I had to have them. This was about the late '80's. The raw sound quality of The Beatles, directly from session tapes, was more impressive than even the late Beatle Remasters. I learned, early on, record companies were out to milk my wallet dry, offering fair, then better, then even better sound quality, and so on.I wanted to find and collect as many alternate versions as I could, from the '50's and forward, of US Top 40 Hit songs. Doing so, it made me question why alternate versions seemed to fade about the late '60's.Something had to have changed in the way music was recorded. No longer was it common to record Take after Take wasting miles of recording tape. Tape recorders became more advanced with many tracks, that could record and play tracks simultaneously. If, for example, a guitar solo went sour, you could just record that over after sending the rest of the music group home. Faster, more efficient productions became popular so record companies could profit more or survive. The focus was lost onsound quality, what could be fabricated in a recording studio, the fastest way possible, was the new key issue.Granted, this practice of fabricated studio sound was not always approved by some, such as Tom Dowd. Not sure if Tom's emphasis was on sound quality or he didn't want the production to drag on until each member of the group individually recorded their part of the songs on tape. Thanks to Tom and other like-minded individuals, there are somealternate versions of '70's, Pop, hit songs. Even Paul McCartney learned from his Beatles days, you could dub this and overdub that to make a song without actually having an entire group, per se' re: Wings.Was this dubbing practice common with Country & Western music? I'm not sure, but thanks to Chris S., we found Tammy Wynette, in 1976, was recorded real-time, hence an alternate version and higher quality sound. Tammy was worth the cost of studio production time and recording tape.Not many music group members will admit what actually happened to make that hit record in the recording studio, because it would subtract from listeners admiration.As you may know, I love high quality Stereo sound. Anyway, this song was on a Prez Prado LP, about 1959. Have to assume it's a 35mm film sound recording. As with other 35mm recordings, a Big Band with dynamic sound is ideal for these type recordings. Know RCA, Mercury and some independents issued these type of LPs, but they probably didn't catch-on because of higher price. I'm certain the advent of Stereo brought them about. The audio quality of 35mm sound recordings rivaled Audio CD quality, maybe even surpassed it. This was the first time I found Rosemary Clooney singing on a various artists CD. She sounds good! You'd be surprised where it's marketed on CD! The LQ MP3 snippet may not be that impressive, but will give an idea of the quality ... Rosemary Clooney - Corazon De Melon (Watermelon Heart):
I asked John to elaborate a little bit about his unique hobby / obsession!!! (lol) He's truly going after a very specific (and very rare) niche here ... but has had some amazing success in many of his finds ... here, in greater detail, is (as Paul Harvey might say) the REST of the story!!!
Kent, how's this??? ...
In about the mid '80's, a couple Philadelphia radio stations were competing with "Oldies". Some of the DJs would play songs I hadn't heard in ages. I'd search the FM band to find other radio stations playing similar material. Some of the songs sparked a strange, eerie, odd feeling, like where was I when I first heard them.Maybe due to my divorce, I turned to music to past the time. I wanted to hear more, so I began collecting LPs and 45s. It was a rewarding hobby collecting music material. I was always a fanatic of stereo reproduction and concentrated on it initially. I subscribed to popular record collecting publications, such as Goldmine and Discoveries. I guess it was in one of those publications where I read about a Marcels album with some studio talk / chatter. It was so "cool" to hear what went on during a studio recording, the material that was typically edited out of "hit" songs.
My vinyl collection rapidly grew in size to four digit figures. I'd scour used bookstores, thrift shops and anywhere else I could think of to find a music collecting dream. Not too much later, Audio CDs hit the market; I was the first on the block to buy a player and a few CDs. I ended up returning the player when I heard tape hiss noise that did not exist on my vinyl collection. I eventually moved and sold my large vinyl collection for pennies on a dollar; just too much to move. I still miss my vinyl collection.Trying to fill an empty void, I tried Audio CDs again, but was turned off by a Rhino name that dominated the market. While at Tower Records in Cherry Hill, NJ, I found, by accident, a CD from EMI / Collectables that contained a bit of studio talk and wonderful stereo! I manually hunted for more, concentrating on record labels. Unlike I could do with vinyl collecting, the internet became popular and I could share with the world what I found while collecting CDs, in the form of song snippets on a "free" web site. It was like my portfolio.I found it difficult to find other CD collectors that were interested in what I wanted to find, so I became in competition with myself. I'd find and report search limitations when querying for "alt", "alternate", "out-take", "stereo" and similar words on popular music selling web sites. I'd even look for duplicate song titles on a CD; what was that second version? Even searched particular record label names. The Internet put me in touch with a couple undisclosed record companies that were so kind to allow me to have a small amount of material that was not ever published in the form I wished to hear it. I enjoy playing detective with what I hear, putting the pieces together.This music collecting obsession grew and grew. Before I knew it, I was collecting from around the world. I'd find oddities even in the food market CD budget bin. I began to learn the record labels; knowing they might have more of what I liked. The internet put me in touch with actual artists that recorded the music I admired and loved; I had many questions to ask. While many have a much greater (and admirable) music knowledge than I, I focused on what you'd might call, "The "Uncommon Top 40", including, but not limited to, rare stereo, out-takes, alternate versions, unedited versions, demos, highest sound quality versions, false starts, studio talk / chatter, foreign language versions, etc., from about the mid '50's onwards. Since I can "mix" (and sound enhance) songs, I can make my own stereo versions from various sources or even include the studio talk that was edited out, for a more "complete" version.While my "real" goal was to share with the world what I found and discovered, it's a struggle to find a radio station who wants to take a chance on me, especially with no radio experience, other than CB radio where I was "busted" by the FCC for excessive broadcasting power :D All I want, like others have done for me on radio, is to put a few smiles on peoples faces while airing my goodies. Life, to me, is no paradise, so why not make someone else happy.To date, after collecting CDs (and a bit o' vinyl) for about 18 years, I'm still a heavy buyer, hoping to fulfill a unique radio dream. I'm also grateful to Kent and his readers/contributors for keeping past music alive. A fine musical performance, in the form of a song, in my mind, never ages.
My Best,
John - in NJ -
A quick visit to either of John's websites will turn up an AMAZING assortment of "alternate gems", ripe for the picking. Here's another recent clip he sent me, regarding one of MY all-time favorite songs, "Magnet And Steel" by Walter Egan:
Here's something interesting for your readers, Walter Egan, "Magnet And Steel", 1978, with vocal overlay highlighted. Seems the ending required some attention. Notice the music ends, but the singing continues. Even Walter (at the end) questions if it's a good Take. Can't say I hear Lindsey Buckingham here (Whitburn) ...
I've always loved this song (and used to perform this one myself back in the day!) I seem to remember buying the album and the song was, in fact, credited to "Buckinghams and Nicks" for the amazing background vocals as I recall. (I don't have the LP anymore because I ALSO remember thinking at the time that "Magnet And Steel" was the ONLY good song on there!!! lol) In fact, Egan never hit Billboard's Top 40 again! (I have to admit that I love hearing these "extended endings" that are ultimately faded-out during the final mix ... let's face it, at the time you're recording this in the studio, you don't know for sure yet just where the fade will hit, so you always record just a little bit more just in case. This one's a bit unusual in that they just kept going long after the musical track had stopped ... but I dig it!!!) kk

And one more worth listening to ...
Saturday, the 17th, is Record Store Day. I put together a sound collage honoring record stores including Jerry Lewis, Monty Python, Bill Kirchen (Little Bitty Record), Texabilly Rockets (Stack a Record), the Howling Diamonds (Record Collection). Ironically I put this together from running words like "record" through Napster. My favorite record mentioning records is Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lies by the Cosmic Rays. "I went down to the record shop without a worry on my mind ... "I am in love with the new Robbie Fulks album Happy. It is all Michael Jackson, Jackson 5 songs. I'll be playing some of it and records about records on my show tonight, 10 pm pacific time on KPOO. com.
Charlie Miller, the Autumn King

Monday, April 12, 2010

The British Invasion

For the past couple of months now we've been RAVING about the brand new British Invasion DVD Series just released by Reelin' In The Years Productions ...

The initial series features special discs spotlighting the music of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Herman's Hermits, Dusty Springfield and The Small Faces ... and, if you buy the special box set (containing all four of these DVDs) you also get a BONUS DVD featuring extended interviews and more musical highlights.

We first heard the good news that this was going to be an on-going series a few weeks ago ... and we were already chomping at the bit to see which artists might be spotlighted next.

Then we just received this announcement from Bob Merlis, along with some media coverage regarding the next series of releases ... and we can't WAIT!!!

Check this out:

We've been working to spread the good word about the British Invasion DVD series that's been out just a couple of weeks. Volumes cover the music of Herman's Hermits, Small Faces, Gerry & The Pacemakers and Dusty Springfield packaged together with a bonus disc that comes with the box set. I'm just back from NY where British Consul-General Sir Alan Collins hosted a wonderful celebration of those releases with a reception at the UK Consulate offices. The event was attended by a gaggle of media people as well as actual British invaders Ian McLagan of the Small Faces (now a resident of Austin, TX and a U.S. citizen) and Keith Hopwood, guitarist extraordinaire of Herman's Hermits. They were joined by some home-grown musicians who have a deep appreciation of the British Invasion era. These included Marshall Crenshaw (factoid: he played John Lennon in Beatlemania! before launching his career as a singer / songwriter and then played Buddy Holly in "La Bamba"), Handsome Dick Manitoba of the the seminal and legendary punk band The Dictators and Genya Ravan who fronted Ten Wheel Drive and, prior to that, Goldie & The Gingerbreads, the first all-female rock band to be signed to a major label. They formed in 1962, actually a bit in advance of the first wave of the British Invasion.
The big news at the event came from David Peck, Reelin' In The Years Productions' president and one of the producers of the series who announced three of the bands that will be chronicled in the next British Invasion series slated for release this fall: The Hollies (just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Manfred Mann and cult faves The Pretty Things.
Check out Jim Bessman's account of the event that's pasted below; it's a wonderful tale about Robert Kenison, member of idiosyncratic midwestern rock band Dr. Bop & The Headliners, getting to meet Keith Hopwood again five decades after their original encounter in Madison, WI:

'British Invasion' DVD launch brings together rock 'n' roll legends
April 10, 2010 -
Manhattan Local Music Examiner
Jim Bessman
It was a remarkable reunion of two rock 'n' roll legends from both sides of the Atlantic Thursday evening at the British Consulate-General in New York for Reelin' in the Years Productions' launch party for its British Invasion DVD series.
The series features single-disc documentaries of Dusty Springfield, the Small Faces, Herman's Hermits and Gerry & The Pacemakers. Consul General Sir Alan Collins hosted the event, which starred Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan and Herman's Hermits guitarist Keith Hopwood.
Also in attendance was
Robert Kenison, a.k.a. Troy Sharmel of the legendary 1970s Madison, Wis.-based rock 'n' roll show band Dr. Bop & The Headliners. Kenison re-introduced himself to Hopwood, whom he recalled chauffeuring around in Dr. Bop's limo when Herman's Hermits performed in Madison.
"Our manager was Ken Adamany, who also managed Cheap Trick," said Kenison afterwards. "He would rent out our limo to touring acts when they came to town. But it was so long ago that now I'm not sure if it was Herman's Hermits or Rare Earth that I chauffeured! But I do know I ended up having drinks with Herman's Hermits at the Park Motor Inn across the street from the State Capitol."
And Kenison did indeed enjoy an animated conversation with Hopwood at the Consulate-General regarding the two guitarists' mutual guitar hero -- and Herman's Hermits' underappreciated influence in their own right.
"We were all influenced by Chet Atkins," said Kenison. "He had a signature thumb-and-fingers picking style and played a Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar -- which is what George Harrison played in The Beatles. Everybody wanted to be like The Beatles, and I salivated to get a Country Gentleman and eventually got one."
The guitar, Kenison noted, "had a button you could push to mute the three top strings and another one to mute the three low strings. I was always curious if Keith used one on [the group's No. 1 hit from 1965] 'Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter' to get the muted banjo sound."
Sure enough, an impressed Hopwood acknowledged that his guitar was indeed a Country Gentleman.
"He said that the original recording of 'Mrs. Brown' -- which Herman's Hermits covered -- used a banjo, so they were looking for a means of copying that sound," continued Kenison. "Then someone stole Keith's guitar when they were touring, so he inserted a feather duster between the strings and the replacement guitar's body to get the same effect as the Country Gentleman's!"
Kenison also quizzed Hopwood about the volume control on the guitar licks on "Listen People," Herman's Hermits' No 2 single in 1966.
"It sounded to me like he was using a Telecaster, which in those days -- before there were floor pedals -- had a volume control close to the strings so the little finger of the right hand could control the volume," said Kenison. Again, a surprised Hopwood confirmed Kenison's surmise, as he did moments later when Kenison suggested that Herman's Hermits' lead guitarist Derek "Lek" Leckenby was a student of guitarist James Burton -- as evidenced by his playing on the group's No. 7 hit from 1965, "Just A Little Bit Better."
"James Burton did all those great guitar licks on Ricky Nelson's records," Kenison noted. "Keith said that Leckenby just idolozied him. So we were listening to Chet Atkins and James Burton in the Midwest -- and so were these guys in England!"
The Herman's Hermits DVD Listen People 1964-1969 has been receiving rave reviews -- rightly, relates Kenison, whose own mid-'60s pre-Dr. Bop band, The Gentlemen, assumed the style and sound of The Beatles and their contemporaries.
"For a lot of guitarists in little bands across America, Herman's Hermits were very influential -- more than people realize -- in terms of learning how to play guitar," explains Kenison. "We didn't have Internet or youtube or guitar tablature -- you had to listen to records and try to figure out how they were playing. Herman's Hermits had two guitars, bass and drums and nicely-done arrangements -- similar to The Beatles -- and small groups could sound really good playing their music."
He points to "Silhouettes," Herman's Hermits No. 5 hit in 1965.
"It's opening guitar line was a scale -- which forced us to learn to play scales!" he said. "So it became a sort of pedagogical device -- a learning tool. And Keith noted that it later goes up half a step -- so you learn about modulation! We started playing it in thirds to make harmony, and it was fun to do."
Kenison adds that The Gentlemen also played "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" and Herman's Hermits' No. 4 hit from 1967 "There's A Kind Of Hush" in addition to "Silhouettes."
"A lot of bands were playing those songs because they sounded great, and were instrumentally challenging," he concludes.
Incidentally, it was announced at the British Invasion event that Reelin' in the Years' next set of British Invasion DVD's will be released in the fall and will include programs documenting
The Hollies, Pretty Things and Manfred Mann. A short clip of The Hollies' Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Tony Hicks singing the first chorus of their 1967 hit "On A Carousel" at the original Abbey Road Studios recording session left attendees gobsmacked.
(The Examiner saw The Gentlemen play at a junior high school dance and later wrote the "Bez Sez" column for the Dr. Bop & The Headliners newsletter; he also wrote the liner notes for the 2004 compilation Herman's Hermits -- Retrospective.)

You can read more here ... as well as check out a couple of video clips:
Click here: 'British Invasion' DVD launch brings together rock 'n' roll legends
(More clips from this series have been posted on YouTube!)