Friday, May 28, 2010

A Few More Last Minute Comments

If you've been listening to Y103.9 for the past week or so, you already know that they've been teasing a major announcement coming this Friday (as in TONIGHT) at 6 pm regarding a programming change. Well, we've got the scoop on this one, folks, and Chicagoland musicphiles will LOVE this little piece of news. True to his word, Jeff James gave US the exclusive story first ... and here it is!
>>>Something BIG is shaking up for my program that involves some the greatest 45's that have not been on the air in 35+ years!!!!!!!!!!!! As soon as I get the ok to mention it, you guys will be the first to know!!!!! (Jeff James / Y1039)
Lay it on me, Jeff ... the oldies fans want to know! (kk)
Here ya go!

Can you see we are going to get super deep - - gonna play much of the Dunwich - Quill and other labels from Chicago - and mix in not just the garage and rock of the 60's but plenty of awesome 70's
Pretty much if it relates to the chicago area - I'm gonna spin it!

Including jazz - rock instrumentals - novelty, etc.
This will be Forgotten Hits on steriods - - and there will be some neat FEATURES within the show - - just tune in starting at 6 pm Monday through Friday!
Jeff James / Y103.9

Thanks, Jeff, for letting us break this major announcement. Interested listeners all over the country ... hell, all over the WORLD! ... can tune in and listen here:
Click here: Listen Live To WWYW - Y103.9
You're going to hear some things you haven't heard in DECADES!!! Transplanted Chicagoans ... garage band affecianados ... or just fans of the obscure and the forgotten ... are sure to be delighted with this brand new feature. (kk)
Kent -
I have been working on this with corporate for 4 years ...
and now its time to really play - if you know what i mean!
Jeff James

Speaking of "Forgotten Hits on steroids" (lol!), the idea of more and more Forgotten Hits on the Radio REALLY seems to be catching on. Here's another announcement we received this week:

Hi Kent,
I've got to tell you about a brand new podcast inspired by Forgotten Hits!
A couple of months ago, a friend and former long time broadcaster told me he was starting a new website that would be featuring audio podcasts with both talk and music programs. He wanted to know if I would be interested in putting together a music show. The first idea that popped into my head was to create an outlet for my desire to play those "forgotten hits" that we all love so much, but barely hear on mainstream oldies stations, including my own.
I came up with the title, The Lost Archives of Top Forty Radio, and started
producing what I call mini radio shows that can be accessed anytime. Each
program is only about 20 minutes long, so there's not a big commitment of
time, (plus you can activate the player and continue to surf the web with the
show in the background). There are no commercials. It's just me and the music.
These oldies podcasts can be accessed at:
The latest show should be of interest to you as it features an all Chicagoland
lineup and includes a couple of plugs for your newsletter and website.
Hopefully your readers will enjoy the content of the shows as well. It's our little
way of helping to keep the oldies alive.
This is a fledgling site and the shows are still works in progress, but we have a
comment section and welcome any input, pro or con.
When you have a few minutes to spare, give us listen and let us know what
you think. Thanks,
Dave 0'Gara

This sounds awesome, Dave! Thanks for letting us know. (Just listened to the most recent batch ... GREAT stuff that most of the listening audience has long since forgotten.) And, with folks still buzzing about our Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides, we recently received comments like these, too! (kk)


Here's a Chicago B-side favorite: "At the River's Edge" (Backing up "I Lie Awake") by the New Colony Six. Of course, I might be a little bit biased.
Wally Kemp

Yep, that's a good one ... and we actually did feature that during our on-going Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides Series. (Unfortunatley, not eligible for the countdown, however, because the A-Side didn't make The National Top 40, one of the criteria for consideration.) Some pretty heavy subject matter for early 1966 ... and probably EXACTLY the kind of track you'll hear Jeff James playing on his brand new Windy City @ 6 program. Meanwhile, you should know that The New Colony Six DID make The Top 200 with their B-Sides to "I Will Always Think About You" ("Hold Me With Your Eyes", #57) and "Things I'd Like To Say" ("Come And Give Your Love To Me"., #75.) Thanks, Wally! (kk)

The next batch of B Side Top 200 have been posted (#21 - 30). That means that the individuals B Sides (#21 - 40) are now available for downloading at "The B-Side 45 site:
Next group of 10 sides will be up in a week.
Rich Grunke
Back up on Rich's website by popular demand ... your Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides as voted on by our readers in our recent poll. (With over 65,000 votes cast, I'd have to say this is a pretty accurate representation of your all-time favorites!)

And don't forget to listen to Mr. C's Flip Side Show, too, on Tuesday Nights, where he regularly features BOTH sides of some of our favorite 45's!
Click here: The Flip Side Radio Show - HOME PAGE
(More B-Sides News coming soon! So stay tuned!)



I got my copy of Dick Stewart's "Eleven Unsung Heroes Early Rock & Roll" and I'm spotlighting it on my opening Web page this week, so I felt that a full review was in order.

-- Ron Smith

I’m not sure naming your book “Eleven Unsung Heroes Of Early Rock & Roll: Historic Contributions By Artists You Never Heard Of” (Dick Stewart; The Lance Monthly Press; ISBN: 978-1450585903) is such a good idea. Convincing readers that they want to know the stories of “nobodies” is a tough sell. But Dick Stewart (himself an “unsung hero,” having played with Albuquerque’s King Richard & the Knights to local success in the sixties) has really only given us two “unknowns”: Robert Kelly of the Expressions and guitarist Clyde Hankins. The rest are musicians you know — or should know. Guys like Jack Ely, who sang “Louie Louie” with the Kingsmen; Davie Allen of “Blue’s Theme” fame; one-time Cricket Sonny Curtis; Carl Bunch, the drummer on Buddy Holly’s ill-fated Winter Dance Party and Larry Knechtel of Bread and the legendary Wrecking Crew of Hollywood studio musicians.
What most of the artists have in common (Larry, Davie and Jack are the exceptions) is a connection with the Texas / New Mexico music scene in the ‘50s and ‘60s and links to Clovis, New Mexico, producer Norm Petty and his most successful product, Lubbock’s Buddy Holly. The book includes interviews with members of the Crickets and the String-A-Longs as well as the Fireballs. There were times in reading the book, though, when I wished Stewart had combined his interviews with Petty’s artists into a comprehensive examination of the controversial producer. As it is, we get contradicting recollections on the String-A-Longs’ signing with Warwick Records from Keith McCormack and Jimmy Torres. To his credit, Stewart makes note of the conflicting stories, but 32 pages later.
And I do want to correct one error — Stewart says the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” “immediately supplanted” the Fireballs’ “Sugar Shack” at the top of the charts. Actually, two months and four other #1 tunes separated those songs. It was easy for “Sugar Shack” to outsell “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in 1963, as Stewart contends. The latter song wasn’t even released in the U.S. until December 26 of that year.
All quibbling aside, these are stories that need to be told. Larry Knechtel, who played bass on Elvis Presley’s “comeback” TV special and piano on Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” died earlier this year and his chapter is as fine a eulogy as he could have hoped for. Carl Bunch was hospitalized with frostbite from the conditions on the Winter Dance Party and gives a first-hand account of the good and bad times he lived through on the tour as well as the tragic fate of Ronnie Smith, who was brought in to replace the late Buddy Holly with the Crickets on the tour.
Sonny Curtis paints a fascinating portrait of the early days of Buddy and the Crickets and gives the real story behind his writing of the theme song for TV’s “Mary Tyler Moore Show.” We’re also treated to the never-heard second verse of “Walk Right Back,” written by Sonny too late for the Everly Brothers to record.
It’s certainly not dry history. Jack Ely tells how a Boston deejay’s attempt to ridicule “Louie Louie” backfired. Larry Knechtel pulls no punches in dissing the Beach Boys. And Davie Allen chronicles his years of conflicts with Mike Curb.
Yes, these are unsung artists. But unknown? No way. We may not know all their names but their accomplishments are definitely noteworthy.
On the book’s back cover, readers are enticed by a promise that “a subsequent release [is] currently in the works.” That’s good news. Let’s hope he gives us an equally prestigious group of musicians to spotlight and that they also get their due. We've mentioned this new book a few times now in FH ... sounds like a winner. Thanks, Ron! (kk)

Kent ...
Don't know if you talked about this book before, "When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead" by Jerry Weintraub. For those who don't know, Jerry Weintraub is a manager / promoter. Some of the acts he handled include Elvis, Frank Sinatra, The Eagles, Chicago, John Denver, The Four Seasons, etc.
I'll give you one story: He woke up in the middle of the night, turned to his wife and said "I just had a vision ... Jerry Weintraub Presents Elvis At Madison Square Garden." She said "Do you know Elvis?" He said, "No." She said "Go to sleep - you're crazy!"
Jerry called Colonel Parker and told him his plans. The Colonel said no. He called him everyday for a year. After a year, the Colonel said yes. Elvis told Jerry two things: "I want my fans in the front rows, no big shots" ... and "I don't want to see empty seats."
The first show was in Miami at a 10,000 seat arena . Night show was sold out. He asked the guy in the ticket office if they should add a matinee. The guy said yes. He lied. When Jerry arrived, only 5000 seats had been sold for the early show. Jerry thought to himself, "My first show and I'm in trouble."
He saw that the seats were screwed into the floor. He had 5000 seats removed ... put them in the parking lot and covered them ... then put them back after first show.
Elvis told Jerry that the audience for the night show had more energy, seemed louder, more lively. Many more stories.
Frank B.

Weintraub is probably one of the best known concert promoters in music history ... EVER!!! I imagine that he must have some AWESOME stories to tell. Will have to check THIS one, out, too! Thanks, Frank! (I'm not sure I understand how Colonel Parker finally agreeing to let Weintraub book Elvis at Madison Square Garden resulted in a show in Miami, however ... am I missing something here???) kk

Kent ...
I guess I didn't explain myself properly. Jerry never told the Colonel about Madison Square Garden Show. He just told his wife that story. He told the Colonel he wanted to take Elvis on the road. They started in Miami. They did eventually do Madison Square Garden.
I might as well give you the Frank Sinatra Story.
Frank was retired for a few years. He wanted to make a comeback. He heard about Jerry's success with Elvis so he wanted Jerry to handle his comeback tour. Everything is going great ... but Frank would get down every once in awhile. He calls Jerry from Las Vegas. "Jerry -- I can't do this anymore. Same thing every night. Same songs. I can't do it."
Jerry hops a plane to Vegas. Trying to cheer up Frank, he tells Sinatra, "I'm working on something big. I can't tell you for a few days."
Frank insists on knowing his plans. Of course he's got nothing. Jerry tells Frank "We're going to do a live show." Frank says "I do live shows every night."
Jerry explains, "Well, this is a show with no rehearsals ... like a boxing match. We get Howard Cosell to be the announcer. We'll call it 'The Main Event'."
Frank loves it. Comes the day of the show and Jerry's calling Frank. Frank won't answer his phone. Jerry's in a panic.
Frank calls Jerry. Jerry said, "Frank, I need you to come to Madison Square Garden. We have to talk about commercial breaks." Frank says Jerry, "You said I didn't have to rehearse, I'll be there at 7."
Great show, big success.
Everybody hated Jerry because he made his deals with the arena. He cut out the middle man. There's even a great Chicago story in the book.
Frank B.

Yep, sounds like a good one. Thanks for explaining, Frank! (I knew otherwise I'd be bombarded with notes from readers asking me when they moved Madison Square Garden to Miami!!! lol) kk

>>>Please let us know if this program is archived somewhere so that interested readers can get a chance to hear it. (kk)
That Atomic Cocktail "It Ain't Him, Babe" Dylanology show is available as a podcast so you didn't really miss it. You can check it out here:
Select the May 20th show
Bob Merlis

I am pleased to let you know that I finally completed the editing of my Tommy James radio interview show. It's especially timely because Tommy has written a best-selling book entitled "Me, The Mob And The Music: One Helluva Ride With Tommy James And The Shondells."
Our show focuses on the book and includes all of his very biggest hits.This show was recorded exclusively for the "Jersey Girls Sing" website. The home page of that website is and clicking on the picture of Tommy will get you directly to my Radio Page, which is a part of the website and which contains this latest show and all of my previous ones. Or you can get there directly by clicking the following link:
In anticipation of you sharing this information I wish to thank you and everybody in the Forgotten Hits family for your support of my efforts in the past two and three-quarter years.
Ronnie Allen

I have to admit I was a little surprised to see THIS one!!!
Not sure what to make of this, but thought you'd find it interesting.
Be Well,


Out of My Chelle Is 10 Tracks of Upbeat Pop Flavored with R&B, Dance Digital Release Set for June 8; In Stores July 20
LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2010, Legendary music man Phil Spector’s first recording project in three decades is the debut CD for his wife Rachelle Spector, which he produced and arranged. Titled Out of My Chelle, the disc features 10 tracks of upbeat, mainstream adult pop, with hints of R&B, rock and dance. It is scheduled for release on the independent label Genius 4Ever Records with distribution through Rocket Science / RED. The album will be available for digital download on June 8 at Amazon, iTunes and other digital retailers and in stores on July 20.
"I trusted her with my life and songs and production,” Spector says of his wife. "She's fantastic on this album."
The first single is “Here In My Heart,” the perfect pop vehicle for Rachelle’s effervescent vocal and her naturally positive attitude. The lyrics carry a particularly special meaning for her as well, since she and her husband of four years live not only more than 100 miles apart, but in what only can be described as two entirely separate worlds.
“Like the lyric says,” Rachelle notes, her bubbly outlook turning serious, ‘no matter where you are, you’re here in my heart.’ Phil is actually far away, but he's still the shining light in my life, and I can always feel him here with me.”
She is referring of course to the fact that her husband is currently in prison after being convicted of murder—a crime for which Rachelle, who is well-versed in more than 40,000 pages of testimony spanning two trials, steadfastly and convincingly asserts his innocence.

When they met at L.A. hot spot Dan Tana’s in 2003, a few years after Rachelle moved to Los Angeles from Beaver Falls, Penn., to pursue her singing career, she had no idea who Spector was, in terms of his stature in the industry, nor was she aware of the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman at his home a few months earlier.
By the time she knew the details, her impression of Spector was vastly different from the man the media portrayed. She fell in love with a man she describes as “witty, smart and cute,” and after a three-year courtship, they married in September 2006. They began work on the CD a couple of months later.
The recording process took more than two years with sessions taking place during downtime from the first and second trials. The resulting 10 songs, blend shades of R&B, rock, dance and disco over a multi-layered pop instrumentation, but remain a distinct musical departure from the producer’s renowned “Wall of Sound” orchestrations.

In addition to “Here in My Heart,” standout cuts include the synth-heavy R&B jam “Free,” and the gospel-tinged ballad “Baby Believe,” with it’s lush arrangement bringing in just the right amount of acoustic guitars, lap steel, strings and piano. The disc quickly shifts gears to the rock-influenced “Got Me Where You Want Me,” a highlight of Rachelle’s live set, while “That Boy,” couples a pop / dance vibe accentuated by the exotic sounds of sitar, strings and harp. Out of My Chelle closes with the Beatle-esque pop of “Are You Willing,” and the pop ballad “How Can You.”
For Rachelle, the release of her debut CD is just one of her main goals for 2010. She anticipates performing live in select cities later this year and of course she is anxious and hopeful for a release with even more meaning: That a successful appeal on her husband’s behalf will bring him home.
-- Sheryl Northrop / NorthStar Entertainment

We lost Art Linkletter the other day. I'm sure for most of us Baby Boomers, he was part of our lives in some fashion. I certainly grew up watching him on TV with my parents and my Mom had most (if not all) of his "Kids Say The Darndest Things" books ... and I read 'em, too!
Linkletter got his start on radio ... his NBC Program "People Are Funny" ran for 19 years ... and he followed that up with a television series, "House Party", that ran for another 25!
He hit a home run with his "Kids Say The Darndest Things" feature ... many years later Bill Cosby (famous for his own "Cosby Kids" connection) would revive the program ... and any time you saw Allen Funt interviewing kids on "Candid Camera", you knew exactly where he got his inspiration.
To say that Linkletter lived a full life is an understatement ... he died at the age of 97, outliving three of his children. He was married to his wife Lois for 74 years! A big part of his life ... and he often acknowledged it as THE most important thing IN life ... was his family ... and one of his greatest heartbreaks came in 1969 when his daughter Diane ran away from home. Despite his incredible gift for conversation, Art had apparently been unable to communicate with his own daughter. He attributed much of this to her hanging out with the wrong crowd ... and drug use ... and in 1969 he recorded an absolutely heart-wrenching plea for her to come home and try to work things out called "We Love You, Call Collect." (Sadly, Diane later committed suicide by jumping out of a window.) The record just missed making The National Top 40, peaking at #42 in Billboard Magazine, and went on to win a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Recording of 1969. We featured it here in Forgotten Hits a couple of years ago and to this day it is one of those recordings that can still rip my heart out ... once his voice breaks there near the end, it's all over for me! We're running it again today and, as part of Memorial Day Weekend, it helps to serve as a reminder to take stock in and value what you have. Goodbye, Art. (kk)

I've never actually made it to one of Jim Peterik's "World Stage" Concert Events ... but I've heard AMAZING things about them. This year they're presenting it with a bit of a twist ... an "unplugged" performance with a top notch guest list of musicians. Here are the latest details, courtesy of Marlene O'Malley / Rock On Chicago:
Jim Peterik's World Stage - Up Close and Unplugged
ROSEMONT, IL (May, 2010) – Rock Legend Jim Peterik of Ides Of March and Survivor fame will commandeer World Stage “Up Close and Unplugged” on Friday, June 4th at the Montrose Room in Rosemont. His very special guests will be Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special fame and a special appearance by rising star Lisa McClowry.
The culmination of Jim Peterik's life-long love affair with music, the World Stage series are concerts with an elite group of artists singing duets with Jim on songs that they co-wrote, and other hits from their careers. For ten years, Jim has mounted large-scale concerts, with a large band. On this occasion, the show has been scaled down to match the intimacy of the Montrose Room.This is the first-ever “Unplugged” World Stage. Joining Jim and his guests will be Christian Cullen and Jeff Lantz on Keyboards and Mike Aquino on Guitar.
During his reign, Jim Peterik has been responsible for writing or co-writing an incredible array of top-10 hits including: “Vehicle” ,"Hold On Loosely", "The Search Is Over", "Heavy Metal" (with Sammy Hagar), "Caught Up In You", "Rockin' Into The Night", "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys", "Fantasy Girl" , "High On You", "I Can't Hold Back", "Is This Love", "Burning Heart" (from Rocky IV), and "Eye Of The Tiger." Artists that have performed with Jim Peterik and World Stage include: Don Barnes (.38 Special), Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Alan Parsons, Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), Henry Paul (Blackhawk), Rik Emmett (Triumph), Tom Keifer (Cinderella), Kip Winger (Winger), Johnny Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd), and Kevin Chalfant (The Storm). Tickets are available in advance through, and may also be purchased at door.
About the Montrose Room: Located within the stylish InterContinental Chicago O’Hare (5300 N. River Rd, Rosemont), the Montrose Room brings the high energy of the Windy City to Rosemont packaged in an intimate nightclub setting. Boasting a state-of-the-art acoustic design, and ringside cabaret seating.
Doors open at 8:30 pm and patrons must be 18 and older for admittance. Convenient on-site parking
For more information and calendar, visit the Montrose Room at or call 847/544-5300

Philly Radio / Tv Icon BILL WEBBER ("Wee Willie Webber") passes at the age of 80!
Beloved radio - tv personality Bill ("Wee Willie Webber") Webber passed away early this morning (5/23) in hospital as he was scheduled for open-heart surgery this coming week. We were so fortunate to hear BILL in recent years on WHAT -- 1340 AM in a format that plays "The Greatest Music of All Time" ... and how fitting ... as BILL was unquestionably one of the industry's greatest broadcast personalites of all time! He graced the airwaves here for SIX DECADES, on TV Channels 6, 17 and 48 ... as well as on Radio, WIP (25-years), WPEN and most recently on WHAT and WVLT-FM (South Jersey). BILL often filled in for Charlie O'Donnell as announcer on AMERICAN BANDSTAND, when that show emanated from Philadelphia. For those of us living in the greater Philadelphia Metro-Region, this is a "loss in the family." BILL always reminded us as to what radio should be ... like sharing time with a personal friend. All who listened to BILL knew how much loved what he did through his exhuberance and enthusiasm. He could make the dullest commercial sound like a trip 'round the world ... the deal of a lifetime ... one that you should never pass up! BILL knew he was blessed to work an in industry he loved for so many years --- and he made us, his listeners, feel good as we basked in that radiance. Our deepest condolences to BILL'S wife of 51-years--Connie, his children and extended family. Wishing you God's Comfort ... The Gracie Family

You often hear me lament the shortsightedness of today’s radio CEOs for plundering personality radio in the name of financial budget cutting. Radio personalities are the one local asset that cannot be duplicated on a web stream or the mobile Internet right now. It is lunacy to waste them. And in light of the recent loss of two radio giants, we come to appreciate not only how important personalities are, but the role of the local radio station as well in helping them find their loyal audiences.
I speak of the death of Bill “Wee Willie” Webber of Philadelphia radio fame over the weekend and, several months earlier, the loss of Ron Lundy – the WABC and WCBS-FM icon in New York City.
I worked with “Wee Willie” in Philadelphia at WIP and, as you would expect with his career longevity, he was the real deal – nice, engaged, loved his fans and loved his trade. Until his death, Bill Webber was working in Philly radio on smaller stations and the local PBS outlet in recent years but nonetheless at 80 he kept going. Gerry Wilkinson, Philly Broadcast Pioneers President (and classmate of mine at Temple University) said it best: “Bill used to tell the students at the Broadcast Pioneers Career Nights and Symposiums that the broadcaster loves his craft so much that he'll continue to play his trade to the last breath” – and Webber was doing that”.
I did not personally know Ron Lundy, but because Philadelphia was almost a suburb of New York radio during WABC’s glory days, I felt like I knew him. Bill Kehlbeck, Sr. VP at the Mahlman Company did a poignant tribute to the consummate radio pro when he talked of the common touch, like Webber, that Lundy had with fans and workers. Here’s how Kehlbeck put it: “What stands out in my mind is there were two entrances on our floor that got you to the WCBS / FM on air studios at Black Rock. A lot of newer on air guys slipped through the back door. Not Ron ... he entered and walked through each day through the main or "sales entrance." And stopped office to office along the way, loud, joking ...
talking it up with everyone and endearing himself to both the rookies and senior sales staff everyday. You looked forward to it! It was a miracle that Ron made it to the studio in time for his live 9 am shift start, as everyone "stopped him" along the way!”
Lundy was an adopted New Yorker (from Florida) and Webber, born in Cuba, settled in Philadelphia, the city he and a lot of other people find difficult to leave. Webber and Lundy loved radio. Loved their audiences. Lived in the cities they loved.
In an era of Repeater Radio, CEOs think it is okay to import outside programs and use technology to create unremarkable voice tracking, but that’s not radio. In fact – that’s what’s killing radio. I’ll make this statement flat out. I don’t care if you could only listen to Ron Lundy or Bill Webber on a tin can connected with a string from the studio, the hell with technology, you’d listen.
This is not about a call to relive the past nor is it a naive denial that all things – including lives – must come to an end one day. Just simply a reminder of the awesome power of the radio personality at a time when the industry really needs a wake-up call.
Radio can’t compete with Pandora if what listeners want is customizable music radio. Can’t compete with the mobile Internet if what listeners want is their own portable iTunes music library on call at a click, swipe or touch. And it’s even getting harder lately for radio to compete with Blackberry devices, iPhones, iPads and smart phones in delivering information on-demand to the palm of consumers’ hands. But if you want to be entertained by a person who is living in a local market where the personality is likely raising their family and dealing with everyday life the way you do, then there can never be a digital version of a radio personality.
So we may mourn the death of two great radio personalities here, but part of the radio industry is also dying when new age CEOs have, in their infinite wisdom, found a way to eliminate the one thing that can carry radio on its shoulders for many, many more years to come. Local personality morning shows deliver up to 50% or more of the total revenue of radio stations. My friend Dick Carr, the WIP General Manager who employed “Wee Willie” Webber when I was there as a young upstart as well as an entire lineup of legitimate radio personalities could teach radio CEOs a thing or two today. Personalities are a unique part of the appeal of radio but always in the context of the local radio station. That is, a station without local personalities is just a station waiting to lose audience and a station in need of personalities is waiting to attract its maximum audience. When some of Carr’s personalities later left the popular and highly rated WIP for more money to defect to a lesser signal and less magical mix of format elements, that station WPEN laid an egg and eventually switched to oldies – with no personalities. As we appreciate the lives and careers of these two radio personalities – Lundy and Webber – how timely to understand the importance of the local radio station – involved in the community, the source of news, information, entertainment and comfort. Because without all that, great talents would still be looking for a place to connect with local audiences who eventually loved them in life, missed them when they left the air and mourn them in death.
The secret to radio's financial recovery is not waiting for spot advertisers to come back. It is bringing personalities back first -- the missing ingredient to an industry turnaround.
-- Jerry Del Colliano

“Wee Willie Webber”, a Philadelphia radio and TV fixture for decades and an all-round good guy, died Sunday morning of a heart attack, just a few weeks shy of his 81st birthday, Broadcast Pioneers president Gerry Wilkinson calls Webber (who was anything but “wee”) an icon, and says “His 62-year career was truly amazing.” Webber’s radio credits included working on-air at WIP (with the likes of Ken Garland, Tom Lamaine and Tom Moran), WPEN, and being the last voice on WRCV (1060) when it flipped to all-news KYW in mid-1965. More recently he’d worked on WHAT and WVLT. Generations of Delaware Valley kids grew up watching Webber on WFIL-TV (now WPVI), WPHL and WKBS. A poster on the Philadelphia Board of notes that Webber also hosted WHYY-TV’s acclaimed Philly-centric “Things That Aren’t There Any More.”
-- Tom Taylor


I've fallen WAY behind on my emails again this past week so (if I can manage to "catch up" a little bit and pull it all together) we just may have a Sunday Comments Page after all. Please check back to see ... and remember on Memorial Day Monday we OFFICIALLY kick off Summer, 2010, with our latest Forgotten Hits Readers Poll. Meanwhile, have a happy and safe weekend! (kk)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Scrapbook Memories

click to enlarge photos
We're in the process of building a brand new page on The Forgotten Hits Website called "Scrapbook Memories" ... and we need your help!!!
Over the years, a number of you have sent in photos of yourselves taken with some of your favorite artists ... autographed album covers ... exciting stage shots ... or (like the photo above) ... tour book memorabilia. (Look closely and you'll see that the cover of this vintage Dave Clark Five Tour Book has been signed by a couple of the artists who shared the bill with these guys way back when.)
The above photo comes courtesy of Carrie Pasfield, who actually sent me SEVERAL neat photos from back in the day. (You'll find a number of these up on the website ... with lots more coming up in the weeks to come ... so please check back often!)
If you've got some photos that you'd like to share with our readers, send 'em along ... give me as much information as possible as to when they were taken (and don't forget to include your name and location so we can give you proper credit for submitting these.)
And, if you've sent us in photos in the past, please send them again as they literally could be ANYWHERE on my computer right now!!! (lol) It'll take me forever to find 'em all ... so we really could use your help.
Hopefully this will grow into a long-standing, on-going feature ... one more neat reason to check out The Forgotten Hits Web Page!
Thanks! (Can't wait to see what you've got!!!)

We've all heard about Dick Clark's Caravan Of Stars Tours from the '60's ... here's an actual program book cover from the mid '60's!!!

Today's batch of Scrapbook Memories comes from Carrie Pasfield of Brighton, Michigan, who tells us that these tour books were purchased at shows held in Greenville, SC, back in the day. Please send in YOUR photos and memorabilia to share with our readers!

Click here: Forgotten Hits - Scrapbook Memories

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Helping Out Our Readers

Hi Kent -
Thank you so much for the info on The Critters. Since the tune came out during the years of the British Invasion, I assumed they were a British Group! Would never have guessed they were from New Jersey. Will have to find my 45 and put it in my juke box.
Thank you again.
Hey, it's what we do!!! (lol) I've heard "Mr. Dieingly Sad" about four times since we featured it last week in Forgotten Hits ... always a good sign that some of the jocks on the list are taking our "suggestions" to heart (in a programming sort of way!) kk

Our Oldies Buddy Randy Price has helped us out a number of times over the years with some of our special features ... and, as a noted chart statistician, we've mentioned his "Super Charts" project several times in the past. As we've seen with our own research, MOST of the biggest hits of all-time are pretty well documented by their across-the-boards performance in the national music trades. Every once in a while, however, some of the mid-to-lower chart entries seem to have HUGE discrepancies in their chart position ... sometimes by as much as 20-30 points or more. By combining the weekly progress of EVERY record in all three major musical trades (Billboard, Cash Box and Record World), Randy is in the process of re-writing music history by compiling the ULTIMATE set of Super Charts ... in what will TRULY be the most accurate measure of a record's popularity ever assembled. But, in order to complete this project, he still needs some of the older issues of Record World / Music Vendor to do so. We've agreed to run Randy's "Want List", covering the period of 1960 - 1980 ... later, we'll go all the way back to 1956 in an effort to help him fill in some of these even earlier gaps in his chart research.

Ideally, he'd like the entire magazine issue ... but, to keep this project moving, good, clean copies of The Top 100 Pop Singles will certainly suffice for the time being.
If you think you can help him out, please drop me a line and we'll link you guys up. Thank you in advance for your help. (Just drop me a line at!) kk

Here is an updated list of the charts I still need to complete the 1960s and '70s SuperCharts (black & white scans or photocopies are acceptable, and I will pay any reasonable costs for them):
July 27, 1959 (#634): Top 100 Pop

Aug. 3, 1959 (#635): Top 100 Pop
Aug. 10, 1959 (#636): Top 100 Pop
Aug. 31, 1959 (#639): Top 100 Pop
Sept. 7, 1959 (#640): Top 100 Pop
Sept. 28, 1959 (#643): Top 100 Pop
Oct. 5, 1959 (#644): Top 100 Pop
Oct. 26, 1959 (#647): Top 100 Pop
Nov. 2, 1959 (#648): Top 100 Pop
Nov. 23, 1959 (#651): Top 100 Pop
Dec. 28, 1959 (#656): Top 100 Pop
(The last 3 are the most critical of the 1959 issues; the others above would be helpful, but are not essential, for completing the early 1960 charts)
Feb. 29, 1960 (#665): Top 100 Pop
March 7, 1960 (#666): Top 100 Pop
April 11, 1960 (#671): Top 100 Pop; Beat of the Week [top 10 positions]
June 27, 1960 (#682): Top 100 Pop; Beat of the Week [top 10 positions]
Oct. 31, 1960 (#700): Top 100 Pop; Beat of the Week [top 10 positions]
Nov. 14, 1960 (#702): Top 100 Pop; Beat of the Week [top 10 positions]
Nov. 28, 1960 (#704): Top 100 Pop; Beat of the Week [top 10 positions]
Dec. 12, 1960 (#706): Top 100 Pop; Beat of the Week [top 10 positions]
March 6, 1961 (#718): Top 100 Pop
May 1, 1961 (#726): Going Up [top 10 positions]
Jan. 25, 1964 (#868): Top 100 Pop; Looking Up [top 10 positions]
Feb. 1, 1964 (#869): Top 100 Pop; Looking Up [top 10 positions]
Feb. 29, 1964 (#873): Top 100 Pop; Looking Up [top 10 positions]
April 11, 1964 (#879): Top 100 Pop; Looking Up [top 10 positions]
April 18, 1964 (#880): Singles Coming Up [top 10 positions]
April 25, 1964 (#881): Singles Coming Up [top 10 positions]
May 2, 1964 (#882): Top 100 Pop; Singles Coming Up [top 10 positions]
Aug. 15, 1964 (#897): Top 100 Pop; Singles Coming Up [top 10 positions]
Feb. 27, 1971: Top 100 Pop
Aug. 2, 1975: Singles 101-150 [top 10 positions]
– Randy

Brand new FH Readers are still discovering some of our "Favorite Commercials" coverage on the website ... in fact, we received TWO emails in this regard this past week!

I’m a fan of the classic oldies instrumental hits. However, I recall that there was an instrumental song that was released during the late eighties which sounded as if it was inspired by LIAR. LIAR and other mid-sixties garage rock songs. However, few people, if any, are able to identify the name of that song and the artists who performed it, despite the fact that it’s often played on Muzak. Nonetheless, that song can be currently heard as the background music for the newest Head & Shoulders TV commercial. It’s an appropriate choice since the commercial emphasizes the need to maintain a healthy head of hair during the past forty years.
I used to be a regular listener of WCBS-FM, WKHL — Kool 96.7 FM — and WMTR when they were true classic oldies stations. Unfortunately, all three of those stations had their formats changed in recent years in order to contend with demographic changes that have occurred in the metropolitan New York City area. WMTR, a New Jersey-based radio station, used to specialize in playing mainly the songs from the pre-British Invasion era. It would not be uncommon for them to provide airtime for such instrumental hits as MANHATTAN SPIRITUAL and PENETRATION along with WALK, DON’T RUN and PIPELINE. That station currently plays the greatest hits of the sixties and the seventies.
Lou Henken
I've not seen the Head And Shoulders commercial you're referring to so I can't even guess at what song it might be ... but I'm guessing some of our readers will know! In fact, you've come across two of our recent popular topics ... music used in commercial ads and all-time favorite instrumentals! Check back to these pages to see if we come up with your answer. Meanwhile, welcome aboard! (kk)

Great website! Please add me to your mailing list. Thank you! ...
And can I ask a question? I'm trying top identify a TV commercial ... 70s? 80s? ... That used Donovan's flute part from "First There Is A Mountain" .. .not sure there's any singing, might be a re-recording of the flute music ... girls are dancing to it ... ring any bells? ... thanx a ton!
--- stolf
I absolutely remember the spot ... but can't think of the product for the life of me. Again, I'm sure one of our readers will know the answer to this one ... stay tuned! (kk)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More On Rick Nelson / Garden Party

We received a few responses to our Rick Nelson / Garden Party piece the other day ... here's what some of you have had to say:

>>>When Rick took the stage with his Stone Canyon Band, people didn't recognize him because he had looooong hair and looked nothing like the little Ricky that they remembered from the TV show. (Wild Bill Cody)
Sort of ... but the way I remember it, it wasn't the long hair ... it was showing up at an oldies show and not getting into the spirit of it.
Sha Na Na, around the same time, started doing shows at colleges with the students all 'greasing up' and rediscovering the 'old days' and the 'old' music ... For Rick, a few old songs with a few newer ones thrown in might have been accepted with less of a negative crowd reaction. In addition, Rick (formerly Ricky), was dressed in a neck-to-toes sequined outfit with armpit-to-wrist sequined tassels that hung when he 'spread - his - wings' ... he was dressed like Liberace at a funeral director's club meeting.
Rick was readily recognized from his head and voice, and 'settled-down' the more 'wild' look, at least for when he did a club swing thru Wildwood, NJ every summer ... MEMORIES MIGHT NOT BE ALL HE SANG, BUT THAT CONCERT WAS DEVOTED TO MEMORIES ... It was a really big venue not available to him anymore, but not the venue for what he wanted to do ... HE TOOK A SHOT !
I had an older sister, so Ricky was around our house alot ... (tv and music).
Later (for me) ... it might have been college ... I remember him being thought of as a 'dick' for trying to promote the 'new' Rick ... and not going with the theme ... and then we all got on board and loved him for 'pissing' on the 'old' us that criticized him ... lol
ps - 'Little' RICKY was a grown man by the end of OZZIE & HARRIET ... he graduated college on the show. Of course, he grew up on the show, but I think more people remembered him as an adult than as a kid.

Here's an interesting angle to the whole Madison Square Garden "booing theory" that I hadn't heard before ... I just found this on a website called "The Straight Dope", which claims to be "Fighting Ignorance Since 1973" (and then, in parentheses ... just like THESE ... states "It's Taking Longer Than We Thought"!!! lol)
In October 1971 Rick was invited to play in a reunion show at Madison Square Garden, alongside such early rock luminaries as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard and others. By this time, his hair had grown shoulder length and he was heavily into the country rock genre. When he mixed in new material with his old music, the audience began to boo.
Whether it was really their reaction to their idol's new look and sound, or, as one report states, ". . . there were reports that police were in the back moving people out, and in the political spirit of the early 70's, the crowd was actually booing the police activity," Rick felt the crowd was booing him.
He wrote about the experience: "I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends / A chance to share old memories and play our songs again. / When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name / No one recognized me, I didn't look the same."
Rick realized at that point that he had to be true to himself. Hence the chorus of the song: "I learned my lesson well. You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself."
I hadn't heard that the crowd might actually be booing somebody or something OTHER than Nelson ... so that's an interesting new angle to think about! Again, either way, it inspired Ricky to write one of the biggest hits of his career ... so SOME good certainly came out of this whole experience!!! (kk)

(LP Cover ... Click to enlarge photos)

I have to comment on Ricky Nelson and Garden Party.
Fans paid money to hear their favorite pre-Beatles era artists sing their hit songs. It might have been OK for Rick to sing maybe one newer song but he was really pushing the envelope in attempting more.
This was billed as a Rock And Roll Revival. The 20,000 people wanted to hear oldies. Rick was probably the only artist performing that didn't quite get it.
There are millions of truck drivers who could only dream of playing MSG. Rick should have been thankful for the opportunity.

I've heard literally DOZENS of interviews with Rick Nelson after the Madison Square Garden Concert ... and you are absolutely correct ... he totally DIDN'T get it ... and has admitted as much all along.
Nelson wasn't one of the artists typically invited to these Oldies Revival Shows ... and, since he had been playing all along with his Stone Canyon Band (featuring an odd "oldie" here and there as part of his act ... including a somewhat "countrified" version of "Hello Mary Lou"), he REALLY didn't know what to expect ... or fully understand what the crowd had come to hear. (Ironically, a decade later his stage show was virtually non-stop back-to-back oldies hits, very true to their original arrangements ... and Ricky's voice truly did improve with age.) As stated above, the GOOD news his that one of the biggest songs of his entire career came out of the experience. (Nelson wasn't really known for writing his own material ... so this was a nice bonus as well!)
Here's Rick's 1969 "Live At The Troubadour" recording of "Hello Mary Lou", giving you some idea as to what he was regularly sounding like back then (kk):

And here are those handwritten lyrics I told you about that first appeared as the back cover to Nelson's "Garden Party" LP back in 1972:

Rick's handwritten lyrics to his big comeback song ... click to enlarge photo

I was surprised to find an article that Rick's son Gunnar wrote for the "Chicken Soup For The Soul" book series ... a piece regarding "Garden Party"!!! You can read the whole thing right here:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some Of Your "Local Hits" Comments

Here are some of the comments we received after our "Spotlight on Wisconsin" / Local Hits Series ran last week:

Just hearing the two samples you featured on your website was enough to make me order the new Tygers CD.

"Night Walker" sounds like a leftover Atlanta Rhythm Section track - and I just LOVE that "Society's Child" / "Indian Reservation' ending! - you've certainly covered THAT topic a time or two in Forgotten Hits. Now I can't wait to hear the rest of the CD. Hopefully it won't take The Tygers 40 years to record their next one.
Thank you for introducing me to this band - I've never heard them before but if they sound THIS good, I've got a hunch we WILL be hearing from them again!
Beth Susman
Like I said, you'll pick out all kinds of musical influences and references throughout the CD but the songs are still strong enough to stand on their own. (I wonder how many other of our regular Forgotten Hits Readers picked up on that "Society's Child" / "Indian Reservation" ending ... you're right, we HAVE covered this topic a time or two here in FH!!!)

Thanks, Beth ... I'm VERY confident that you'll enjoy the whole CD! (kk)

I was excited to hear the Tygers cuts this morning. I would love to get the group to join me on the air to talk about the new release. Since I still play "Little By Little" from time to time, I think our listeners would get a kick out of this.
Phil Nee
I would think that they would LOVE to do your show ... a GREAT chance to play some of the old music right alongside the new ... and drum up a little more local interest. I've passed your note on to The Tygers and hope that you'll be hearing from them real soon. When you do, please let us know so that we can help to spread the word so that others on the list can listen, too! Thanks, Phil! (kk)

Great piece on The Tygers, a band I'd never even heard of before! It's amazing to me that you can take an unknown artist, do a 3-day piece on this artist, and still leave us wanting more. Kudos to Forgotten Hits for introducing us to music we might have otherwise missed - and always keeping it interesting.
Put me on the list of folks who just ordered the new Tygers CD!

Thanks, Bill, that means a lot. I'm proud of the piece we did on The Tygers and thank the guys again for doing the FH interview ... I hope that they're all proud of it, too! (kk)

Regarding Tony's Tygers, that show we did with them up in Milwaukee must have been the show at County Stadium and, given their popularity to the north of we flatlanders, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they immediately preceded us to the rotating stage. I always kinda considered Tony's Tygers and the Robbs as Wisconsin's Cryan Shames and that is meant to be the penultimate compliment. Melodic tunes; great harmonies; catchy hooks; just enough raw power pop to stay in the garage. Reminded me of our earlier pre-Mercury ballads and mid-tempo tunes and that, of course, is THE ultimate in kudos.

Hope all is great in your world -
Ray Graffia, Jr.
The New Colony Six

Thanks for the plug, Kent. To clarify, that band member list I sent you for The Tygers includes both original and later members, and the two female singers were actually part of a later group (Passion) that Tony Dancy tried.
I've heard the new Tygers CD and I have to agree with you, it is very good. These guys obviously know something about music. Even their first record was really surprisingly sophisticated for such a young band.

Gary Myers

Hey Kent,
Thanks so much for The Tygers article - great!!!
Billy James

C'mon ... wouldn't you expect a piece on Tony's Tygers be grrrrrrrrrrrrreat?!?!?!
Thanks, Billy! (kk)

Thanks a million for your help. That was quite an extensive piece. We'll keep you appraised of our progress and always remember your dedication to the old music.

Thanks again, Kent, the series looks great.
Lanny / The Tygers

>>>Quite honestly, he was not a big help in my research and it's my understanding that he was very difficult to work with. In fact, one former band member, upon learning that Craig was working as a single in the 90's, said, "That's good - that way he can get along with himself." (Gary Myers)
The quote in Gary Myers' book actually came from a live interview on my show with a Madison area artist who asked me whatever happened to Vilas. I sent the tape to Gary when he was working on "Do You Hear That Beat".
When Vilas read the book, he was not happy. He did not know that my show was the source. I have never told him. Several of the ViCounts have told me that they agree with the statement that is in the book.
Vilas' son Timothy Craig lives in Nashville and has gotten some plays on Country radio in the last 2 years. The cd is called 'You Got It' and the title cut has been his biggest so far.
Phil - Wrco
Being completely honest, I had to heavily edit some of the comments I received regarding Vilas Craig (including a couple that I could run at all!) ... apparently he was not very well liked by many of his musical contemporaries ... and it sounds like he spent most of his time alienating himself from his bandmates and musical cohorts rather than enjoying the music they helped him to provide. Too bad ... after all this time, and all that music, it sounds like there aren't a lot of happy memories to show for it ... not at ALL what music is supposed to be about. (kk)

>>>Since I wasn't familiar with these guys, I asked our Milwaukee FH Investigative Team of Ken Freck and Gary Myers what they could tell me about Vilas Craig and his various bands ... I didn't get a whole lot back but here's a little more insight: (kk)

Well, I guess I could have copied the whole entry from my book, as I did with the Tygers, but (as I think I mentioned) I had just met Tony for the first time about a week before you asked and everything was very positive. With Vilas Craig, not so positive. I hadn't heard anything from him in many years and then, out of the blue a couple of years ago, I got an email from him saying something like "It would be nice if my coverage of him was honest" (!). I responded and asked if he was saying I was dishonest about something, and I stated that all my info and comments came from him and others. He never replied. (I do have several direct quotes from him in my "Do You Hear That Beat" coverage, but most are from a WRCO radio interview he did with Phil Nee in Richland Center). And Ken should have glanced in the book (or looked at a map?) before he wrote that, because Richland Center is actually in SW Wisconsin, pretty much due west of Madison.
I also should have mentioned that one of the players to pass through Craig's band was Keith Knudsen (of the Doobie Brothers).
Gary Myers

Happy to pass this info along ... didn't know Knudsen was once a member of Vilas Craig's band! Thanks, Gary! As for the Phil Nee quotes, you'll find that confirmed above from none other than Phil Nee himself! Bottom line seems to be that Craig isn't going to win any "Mr. Personality" Contest any time soon. (kk)

Wow! I've never heard that "Brown Eyes" song before. Boy, if any record ever should have been a hit, it's this one! How on earth did this song slip through the cracks?
Jenny Cullen
Honestly, I'd never heard it before either ... and it IS quite good. Phil Nee told me that he's been featuring it on his program for years ... and even voted for it in Rich Appel's recent I.R.S. Countdown of songs that "really shoulda been a Top Ten Hit". Over the years of doing these Local Hits / Show Me Your Hits features, we've discovered a few real gems ... and this is certainly one of them. (kk)

Another group that deserved better than they got - great stuff by The Robbs!

>>>In the liner notes for the recently re-released album "The Robbs", drummer Craig Krampf jokes that "We were the kings of 'bubbling under'" ... and, to a degree, he's right! The Robbs "bubbled-under" on Billboard's Top 100 Chart with the tunes "Race With The Wind" (#103); "Rapid Transit" (#123); "Movin'" (#131); "Last Of The Wine" (#114) and "I'll Never Get Enough" (#108) and fell to the same fate when, as Cherokee, they released "Girl, I've Got News For You" (#116 in 1971). (kk)

The Robbs also failed to crack the Top 100 in Cash Box, but Record World was a different story: "Race Like the Wind" spent two weeks at #93 on its Top 100 chart in 1966, and "The Last of the Wine" spent three weeks on that chart in 1970, peaking at #95. Not much of a showing, but at least some national recognition for the group's singles.

-- Randy Price

Hey Kent:
One addendum to the Robbs from a Milwaukee chart stand point:
They had many chart hits here and some went Top 10. Their biggest hit in Milwaukee was the nationally “missed” classic – Bittersweet. A great PF Sloan & Barri tune which mystifyingly was not a national hit. It was their only #1 Record in Milwaukee.
Ken Freck

Hi Kent,

I really enjoyed the spotlight on the Robbs! I've had several of their 45s that I've picked up at various sales over the years and have always liked the music (especially Rapid Transit), but because I never hear them on the radio and don't remember them being played with any regularity when their songs were released, I thought I was the only one who liked their music. I'm glad they're finally getting a modicum of credit for producing some very good music.



Have you done a piece on this band from Minnesota? If so, I missed it. I notice they're doing local gigs.
David Lewis
After receiving your email, I contacted Jim Donna, one of the original founding members of The Castaways, about participating with us here in Forgotten Hits. "Liar, Liar", of course, is a '60's classic ... a One Hit Wonder that EVERYBODY knows and loves. Got an email back that he would check things out and then never heard another word. Maybe somewhere down the line we'll hear more from these guys. Meanwhile, the band seems to be very busy with local gigs in and around the area so Minnesota readers can definitely check them out this summer. (kk)

We'd love to do more Local Hits / Regional Hits features ... they always seem to be very popular with our readers. If you've got some songs and artists that were big in YOUR neck of the woods, drop us a line and we'll help to let the rest of the country know about them! (kk)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 23 - 10 )

I happened to hear Scott Shannon talking about Ron Smith's website the other day on The True Oldies Channel ... he said that Ron is finding it harder and harder to find "Oldies News" about Oldies Artists OTHER than obituaries. Sadly, this certainly DOES seem to be the case ... and we seem to be losing some great talent lately. (And, since Ron Smith is ALSO the "official" Grim Reaper here at Forgotten Hits, we tend to report many of these passings in our pages as well.) Here are a few recent losses you may or may not have heard about ... all from Ron's awesome oldies site, appropriately called

Norman Ezell, vocalist and guitarist with the Five Americans and lyricist of their biggest hit, "Western Union," died of cancer Saturday (May 8) near his home in Lodi, California. He was 68. Born in Chelsea, Alabama, Norman grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant on a football and basketball scholarship. There he helped form a band called the Mutineers (along with Michael Rabon, John Durrill, James Grant and James Wright), which moved to Dallas after graduation and became the Five Americans. Joining Jon Abdnor's Abnak Records, they switched from playing surf music to a more British sound, though contrasting that with the "Americans" name. Their first single, "I See The Light," was released in 1965 and graduated to national prominence when leased to HBR Records at the end of the year. It reached a respectable #26 early in 1966, as did "Evol - Not Love" (#52). 1967 saw Abnak distribute their own records and "Western Union" benefited, reaching #5 and staying on the charts for 12 weeks. But similar sounding "Sound Of Love" and (especially) "Zip Code" only got to #36 and, after three more songs that never got out of the top 95, the group disbanded in 1969. Norman became a born-again Christian, teacher and minister in northern California. He also wrote two books.

Eddie Jackson, vocalist and guitarist with Philadelphia's Brenda & the Tabulations, died Monday (May 3) of a brain aneurism in a hospital there at the age of 63. Eddie also co-wrote the group's hit, "Right On The Tip Of My Tongue" (#23 Pop, #10 R&B - 1971). Originally a quartet consisting of Eddie (who had moved to Philadelphia from his native Forest City, North Carolina, in 1965), lead vocalist Brenda Payton, Maurice Coates and Jerry Jones, the group got together in 1966 when the wife of influential Philly DJ Georgie Woods heard Brenda and Maurice singing together. She arranged a recording session and their first single on her Dionn label, "Dry Your Eyes", made it to #20 pop and #8 R&B in 1967. It was followed by twelve more pop and sixteen more R&B chart records on Dionn, Top & Bottom, Epic and the Chocolate City labels. Eddie left in 1971, at which time the group became an all-female trio. Brenda died in 1992 at the age of just 46. In later years, Eddie worked as a car salesman in Philadelphia.

Norman Wright, member of the Dell-Vikings, died Friday (April 23) at the age of 72. The group was founded by airmen at a Pittsburgh base who recruited Philadelphia-born Norman when their tenor singer became stationed in Germany. Their victories in several talent contests (including the All Air Force competition in New York City) earned them a recording session with Fee Bee Records where "Come Go With Me," with Norman on lead, was cut in 1956. Originally recorded a cappella, the label added instrumentation and it soon became so popular that the master was leased to Dot Records for national distribution, where it reached #4 Pop and #2 R&B the following year. It was the first top ten hit for a racially-mixed group in the U.S. But by the time Dot released "Whispering Bells" (#9 Pop, #5 R&B), Norman and three of the four other group members -- who had been under-age when they signed their contracts -- had already split for Mercury Records where they competed with their Dot recording with "Cool Shake" (#12 Pop, #9 R&B). For the remainder of 1957, both labels released singles (though Dot added a second "L" to their group's name) but the confusion led to no more chart recordings -- even when Corinthian "Kripp" Johnson was legally able to join the others in 1958. Though the group disbanded in the mid-'60s, it re-formed in 1970 and Norman sang at times with them and with his sons in another incarnation of the group over the next thirty years. Norman and the Del Vikings were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2005.

Corrado "Connie" Codarini, original bass singer with the Four Lads, died Wednesday (April 28) in Concord, North Carolina at the age of 80. Originally formed by choir members at St. Michael's Church in Toronto, the quartet began performing in clubs there. One night while they performed an imitation of the Golden Gate Quartet, the leader of the group was in the audience and phoned his manager in New York to hear it. That led to an invitation to the Big Apple where club and TV appearances led to a 1951 contract with Columbia Records, who soon used them as backup singer for Johnnie Ray on hits like "Cry" (#1 - 1951), "The Little White Cloud That Cried" (#2 - 1951) and "Please Mr. Sun" (#6 - 1952). Moving on to their own recordings, the Lads charted 28 times between 1951 and 1959, including "Moments To Remember " (#2 - 1955), "No Not Much" (#2 - 1956), "Standing On The Corner" (#3 - 1956) , "Skokiaan" (#7 - 1954), "Put A Light In The Window" (#8 - 1958), "Who Needs You" (#9 - 1957) and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople" (#10 - 1953). Connie left the group in 1961 and started a restaurant. The Four Lads were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

Dave Fisher, founding member, musical director and lead singer of the Highwaymen, died of myelofibrosis, a rare blood disease, Friday (May 7) at the age of 70. While still a high school student in New Haven, Connecticut, Dave sang with a doo-wop group called the Academics that released three singles on Ancho Records (while he was with them). Moving on a year later to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, Dave started the Highwaymen with Bob Burnett, Steve Trott, Chan Daniels and Steve Butts. Originally calling themselves the Clansmen, they eventually changed their name due to its unsavory connotations. The new moniker came from the Alfred Noyes poem of that name. After honing their act for two years on campus, the quintet traveled to New York, where they quickly picked up a manager, producer and recording contract. Their first single on United Artists Records was "Santiano," David's composition centering on the California Gold Rush, with the classic folk tune, "Michael (Row The Boat Ashore)" on the B-side. Released during the height of the "folk boom" in January of 1961, it should have sailed to the top of the charts. It did, but not without a struggle. It wasn't until a Worchester, Massachusetts, DJ turned the record over that summer that "Michael" reached #1 for two weeks. By then UA no longer had the group under contract and had to pay to get them back. "Michael" was followed early the next year by the double-sided hit, "Cotton Fields" (#13) and "The Gypsy Rover" (#42). The group steadfastly refused to leave school, performing only on weekends, which slowed their success. "I'm On My Way" only reached #90 in 1962 and "The Bird Man" finished their chart run at #64 that year. While most of the others went on to law or business schools when the group disbanded in 1964 (Steve Trott served at one time as Assistant U.S. Attorney General and became a federal judge), Dave stuck with music, recording solo for Columbia and MGM Records before eventually working with former Four Preps singer Glen Larson on the music for his television productions (including the 1987 production, "The Highwayman"). A lawsuit filed by the original Highwaymen against the later Johnny Cash - Willie Nelson - Waylon Jennings - Kris Kristofferson incarnation was settled amicable when Dave's group opened a concert for the others and then granted them limited use of the name.

Actress and singer Lena Horne died Sunday night (May 9) at a hospital in New York. She was 92. Born in Brooklyn in 1917, Lena joined the chorus at the Cotton Club in Harlem when she was just 16, soon graduating to singing at the club, then on to Broadway and Hollywood musicals. Appearing in dozens of musicals on the screen, her performance of "Stormy Weather" in the 1943 musical of that name became her signature song. It also was her first hit record, making it to #21 that year. All told, Lena charted six times, including "One For My Baby" (#21 - 1945), "Deed I Do" (#26 - 1948) and "Love Me Or Leave Me" (#19 - 1955). Her last movie was as Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wiz" in 1978. But her 1981 one-woman show, "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music" earned her a Tony award. Lena was a Kennedy Center honoree in 1984, and received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1998.
-- all of the above courtesy of Ron Smith,

And, speaking of Lena Horne, I ALSO wanted to mention that we received very lengthy tributes to two other artists that we recently lost. Too long to run in their entirety here in Forgotten Hits, we're instead forwarding copies to interested parties. These include a VERY nice tribute to Lena Horne, who passed away on Sunday, May 9th. Horne enjoyed a long, illustrious career, successful in music, film, Broadway and more. Her passing at the age of 92 cost us a true legend. And, a week later, we lost Metal Guitar Legend Ronnie James Dio. (Boy, talk about your two extremes of the musical spectrum!!! Dio had most recently been performing with the latest incarnation of Black Sabbath, a group calling itself Heaven And Hell!) FH Readers interested in obtaining copies of these two tributes need only to drop us a line and we'll be happy to forward copies of these piece to you. (kk)


This summer, join Beatles fans from throughout North America on the MAGICAL HISTORY TOUR to Liverpool, London and Hamburg.
Fifty years ago, The Beatles journeyed to Hamburg, Germany, and fans will get to follow in the Beatles' footsteps in the city where The Beatles turned from boys to men. In John Lennon's own words, "I grew up in Hamburg, not Liverpool."
The visit to Hamburg is part of Liverpool Productions 27th annual "MMTour" from August 21 - September 2, 2010, which brings fans to all the Beatles homes, schools, clubs, homes, early hang-outs and other sites in the three main cities connected to the history. For fans wishing to go to Liverpool and London only, the dates are August 23 - September 2, and there are also options for Liverpool-only stays and shorter options.
The fully-guided, professionally-escorted tour includes visits to Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, Abbey Road, the Cavern Club and all the locations that fans have dreamed of someday visiting. A highlight of the tour is "Beatle Week" in Liverpool, featuring the International Beatles Convention, the Mersey Street Music Festival and the annual Liverpool Beatles Auction. There is also a V.I.P. event in the London Hard Rock Café with special guests, and exclusive parties at some of original Hamburg clubs where the Beatles got their start. Travelers will experience every Beatles-related landmark in Hamburg, as well as in London and Liverpool. Interested fans are encouraged to visit the website to read about past tours which included Hamburg.
During the tour, travelers will meet and greet many Beatle associates, relatives and dignitaries who take part in the annual festivities. In the past, participants have had close encounters with Paul, George, Ringo, Pete Best, Julian and just about everyone connected with the history of The Beatles. The tour is hosted by Beatles aficionado Charles F. Rosenay!!! and Rene van Haarlem, editor of the international magazine "Beatles Unlimited," and an expert on Beatles sites.
The tour is presented by Beatles fans for Beatles fans and is open to all ages. Space is limited.
For further information, write: Liverpool Productions, 315 Derby Avenue, Orange CT 06477 USA, e-mail or phone toll-free
(866) L-I-V-E-R-P-O-O-L-T-O-U-R (direct line is 203-795-4737). Please contact us for a link to the website.
Magical History Tour 1983-2010 "It's Guaranteed to Raise a Smile"
-- Charles Rosenay
Sounds like a splendid time is guaranteed for all. What an amazing thing this would be to see! (kk)

In other "Beatles" news, Paul McCartney has announced two more dates for his "Up And Coming" tour ... Saturday, July 10th, at AT&T Park in San Francisco and Tuesday, July 13th, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. More information is available at Macca also hosted a live video chat this past week and over 4000 fans enjoyed a fun Q & A session. Rolling Stone Magazine reports that McCartney was asked everything from "Do you listen to Justin Bieber?" to "Boxers or briefs?" McCartney used the opportunity to encourage fans to buy the upcoming, newly remastered "Band On The Run" CD (available in August) and hinted that a live performance at The White House was also in his immediate future. Rolling Stone described McCartney as "chatty, jokey and warm" ... and the fans genuinely seemed to enjoy his candor in answering many of their questions.

Posting this too late to tune in and listen, but it sounds like a neat little Bob Dylan tribute special ran last week as part of the Atomic Cocktail radio Series!
Atomic Cocktail Radio Series Salutes Dylan’s Birthday May 20 with an Hour of Imitators, Pretenders, Fakes and Flatterers
How many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man? Yes, and how many ways might we find, other than just playing his songs, to acknowledge the arrival date of the man who forever rearranged the face of popular music?
On Thursday, May 20, from 5 to 6 p.m. PDT, the popular online radio show Atomic Cocktail ( offered an answer in "It Ain’t Him, Babe", an hour’s worth of the best tracks from four decades of Dylan clones and sound-alikes. Rare sides by such name acts as Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny Bono, Michael Nesmith, Barry McGuire and Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter were featured alongside plagiaristic paeans from all manner of obscure also-rans.
Atomic Cocktail producer Gene Sculatti (who’s never been photographed with program host Vic Tripp) explains that "It Ain’t Him, Babe" is “something we’ve been wanting to do for some time. The whole notion of our show is doing an affectionate send-up of vintage Top 40, with a wildly eclectic playlist, and this birthday tribute plays right into the way we like to deliver the goods. It’s irreverent, but at the same time hopefully it’s informative. In an hour you’ll get a pretty good idea of how pervasive Dylan’s impact has been and the often weird lengths others have go to to try and recreate his magic.
“There’s so much material that we could have done two shows, so we’ve picked the best of the crop, for what we hope will comprise an intense 60 minutes. No actual Dylan songs will be played, though a Dylanesque interpretation of a soul-pop classic by Bob & the Dylan-tones will get an airing. And we’re saving the absolute best fake-Dylan of all time for the end of the show. If you’re a Dylan fan and you haven’t heard this fellow, it’ll be a ‘new morning,’ we guarantee.”
Sculatti, a pop-culture observer whose books include The Catalog of Cool, Too Cool and San Francisco Nights: The Psychedelic Music Trip, has been a Billboard editor and contributor to USA Today, Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times. He’s overseen the weekly Atomic Cocktail program (which counts down the Frostbite 5000 chart of “the coolest records of all time”) since November 2007.
Luxuria Music is an independent, Los Angeles-based online radio station staffed by some of the country’s most knowledgeable pop-music experts, among them several recording artists and industry professionals. The station, which celebrates 10 years of continuous service this year, programs a daily mix of mostly 20th-century music: lounge and easy-listening, surf, garage-rock, girl-group, Brill Building and British Invasion sounds, Latin and exotica.
-- Bob Merlis / M.F.H.
Several years ago, we did a special week-long series spotlighting the very best of the Bob Dylan "covers" ... kinda like the Bruce Springsteen / Tribute To The Boss feature we reran recently. If we can find it ... and there's enough demand ... maybe we'll run it again on the website in the weeks to come. (kk)
How does it feel to be the most acclaimed songwriter of the pop-rock era? Sooner or later, one of us must know. But how does it feel to want to be that celebrated poet? Listeners to the popular online radio show Atomic Cocktail got some surprises tonight, Thursday, May 20, at 5 p.m. California time, at when the program saluted Bob Dylan’s 69th birthday with the ‘It Ain’t Him, Babe’ special. DJ Vic Tripp delivered a full hour’s worth of music from artists momentarily sucked into the kooky vortex of Dylan’s high-’60s style --- imitators, clones and pretenders like P.F. Sloan, Bob Seger, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny Bono, Mike Nesmith and a plagiaristic passel of obscure also-rans. “Hey there, don’t you scream ’cause I didn’t eat up all my ice cream or turn off the light when I came downstairs / Forgot to burn the rubbish and comb my hair, just shut up!”
-- Bob Merlis
Please let us know if this program is archived somewhere, Bob, so that interested readers can get a chance to hear it. Thanks! (kk)

Congratulations Dick Biondi for 50 Years!
I was honored to be included on the Dick Biondi 50th anniversary broadcast on WLS May 1, 2010. Governor Quinn proclaimed May 1st Dick Biondi Day in Illinois. Jimy Rogers / The Mauds

I would particularly love to see the appearances of Frankie Valli with the Four Lovers. I believe they appeared at least twice.
Bob Hughes
Now THAT is something that I would like to see for myself!!! (kk)

Here's the latest on the new Endless Summer Quarterly CD: Brian Wilson, Michael Love, Alan Jardine, David Marks, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Dean Torrence (+ Jan Berry) will all be included … more info at the website:
David Beard
Endless Summer Quarterly

Hi Kent ...
I just started a new site for record buyers and sellers to hook up. Hope your readers will check it out. Sellers post their records with their contact email addresses. Then they negotiate their own terms with any interested buyers. Any comments or suggestions on improving the site from any interested reader would be much appreciated.
John Marshall
I've been toying around with the idea of selling some of my most prized collectibles ... honestly, it may be getting very close to the point where I'm going to have to unload some of these ... so we may be in touch sooner rather than later, John! Meanwhile, other record collectors should also check out this new site. (By the way, we're in the process of putting together another "Collectors" piece for the website ... so if you have any Record Collecting stories to share, please drop us a line!) kk

>>>When I click on the 'sixtiesoldiesguys songs' link, to go to Rich Grunke's website for the songs he posted, I get a Web page cannot be found. Could you please email me a direct (http) link. It might work for me. Thank you. (Larry G.)>>>I believe that that link was only "live" for about six months or so ... to the best of my knowledge, these tracks are no longer accessible on the web. Sorry. (kk)

Here's the http link for Larry G. to Rich Grunke's site:
It has all the Chicago b-sides there.
Happy days!
Thanks, Don ... happy to run a link to Rich's site again ... but what this guy was looking for was the COMPLETE Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides Countdown that we did a few years back. Rich posted those tracks shortly after our final list was announced ... but I believe he only kept it up there for about six months. (I don't know that he'd be inclined to run it again ... but there seems to be quite a bit of renewed focus to the B-Sides again right now ... so who knows!!!) Thanks again! (kk)

He has plenty of B-sides to DL, and if enough people ask, he might put the Top 200 up again.
Works for me! I've sent Rich a copy of this exchange ... let's see what happens. Meanwhile, I would LOVE to get a copy of The Top 20 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides Countdown I did on the Dave the Rave / Relics And Rarities Top Shelf Oldies Show at the time ... we spent about six hours on Dave's program that night and had all kinds of musical guests calling in as well. (Hey Dave, do you have this available as some sort of an archived podcast? Or, if you have a copy, I can even post it on my Mevio site where we feature certain Forgotten Hits radio appearances. Lemme know!!!) kk

And this just in from Rich Grunke ... sounds like those of you who missed listening to The Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides the first time around will soon have a chance to listen to these tracks in stages. Check this out:
This is what I have decided to do regarding the request to repost the 200 Favorite Forgotten B-Sides. Here is what I have posted regarding this on my Yahoo website Bside45 : The B side -
"Going to do something different over the next 4 weeks.
Back in 2007 the "Forgotten Hits" Blog site held a vote and determined the top 200 B sides. Shortly after the list was released, I made available the complete 200 B sides on my personal web site. The songs were available there for about 6 months before I took them down.I've had a request for me to repost them there.
What I have decided to do is this:
For the next four weeks I will post the top 40 of the 200 B sides. Each week I will post 10 songs starting at the number 40 position and work myself up to the Number One song. The songs from #41 through 200 will be posted after this at my personal web site. The entire 200 songs will up at that site for a limited time. After the 4 weeks, I will take a week's break and then restart my B sides off yearly charts starting in 1961. During this 5th week, my wife and I will be exploring the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River for five days and four nights. Assuming I don't drown, my regular postings will resume on June 23rd.
The first group of songs (#31 through #40) will be posted on Wednesday June 19th. The next 10 the following Wednesday and so on.
If interested in the songs, I hope to see you there.

sixtiesoldiesguy / Rich"
Thanks, Rich ... and please send us a "friendly reminder" so we can let know folks when these are up there for their listening pleasure. (We've got a couple of other B-Sides projects in the works, too, so stay tuned!) kk

Also ... thanks again to Mr. C. for featuring several of the songs that made our Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides List on his program these past couple of weeks ... we got a chance to catch a little bit of the program this past Tuesday and loved not only his song choices but also the mentions of the website. Thanks, Mr. C. ... I truly do appreciate it! (kk)

And we may be doing ANOTHER show real soon, too ... Phil Nee from WRCO in Richland Center, Wisconsin, just told me that HE'D like to do a B-Sides Show sometime this summer ... and even invited me to join him in the studio to play back some of our favorites! And Y103.9 FM right here in Chicago has been talking about doing a "Flip Sides" / "Twin Spins" Weekend later this year, too! Stay tuned for more details! (kk)

Hi Kent,
Thank you and David Lewis for including the song by Matt Monroe in Sunday Comments 05-16-10. Knowing Matt and working on quite a few of his recordings, I have to admit to tears rolling down my cheeks by the the end of the track. His voice, the arrangement, the production were all wonderful.
I read the input about Bob Rush and Tony Marc, both good friends of mine. Tony recently bought my VOX Electric 12 string which was featured on, amongst other recordings, "A World Without Love" by Peter and Gordon. The transaction was excellent in every way. As a thank you and, knowing of his amazing interest in and collection of guitars, I sent Tony a copy of 'Rickenbacker Electric 12 string' by Tony Bacon. Unexpectedly, a couple of weeks later, in the mail came a Danelectro Cool Cat Board and five Cool Cat Pedals which I intend to put to good use. This is just one example of Tony's kindness and generosity.
Thanks as always for the Forgotten Hits,
Thanks, Vic ... GREAT to hear from you. One of the most rewarding aspects of doing Forgotten Hits has always been hearing from those of you who have devoted your entire lives to their love of music ... and then selflessly sharing that gift and love with the rest of us ... the kindness and generosity you describe is simply so uncommon in these "make a buck" / "screw your neighbor" days that we sometimes forget that it even exists. Thanks for reminding us ... it means a lot. (kk)
P.S. UPDATE: Days waiting for MY free Danelectro Guitar to show up: 7

Kent ...
I've commented before on how much I appreciate the effort you put into making FH a quality product. I've also mentioned that Bob Greene's books are often the only books I'll read in a given year that don't contain grammar errors. Here's Bob's new article on typos: David Lewis
I'll admit to being one of those who find these sort of typos annoying in a "pet peeve" sort of way ... and I really do strive to get Forgotten Hits as grammatically correct and close to perfect as possible ... but sometimes between the rush of trying to cram it all in and the occasional brain freeze, stuff still gets by me ... I'll usually catch it while reading the finished, already circulated piece ... 'cause then it seems to just jump off the page at me!!! Of course by then it's already too late. (I guess you could say that those of us who ARE offended by this sort of thing tend to take it pretty seriously ... in what virtually everyone else would probably consider to be a real "anal" sort of way!!! lol)
But the story that REALLY cracked me up recently was the one about the Canadian Cook Book Printer who had to scrap an entire edition of their latest book because one of the recipes called for "freshly ground black people" ... it happened about three weeks ago and has been the talk of the printing industry ever since. (For the tens of thousands of dollars that this had to cost to reprint, I'm guessing there's a former proof-reader out looking for a job right now in The Great White North ... and it's a pretty safe bet that he'll be a WHOLE lot more careful while "peppering" his resume!) kk

Kent -
Thanks for the mention a couple weeks back on this killer web site! I've bookmarked your site - love it - and I always appreciate the help of your web site - I want this station to rock the suburbs! With over 25,000 45's myself that I can pick from - and I do - I always need a hand from time to time and will let you know when I run into that wall!
Can't say nothing now - but something BIG is shaking up for my program that involves some the greatest 45's that have not been on the air in 35+ years!!!!!!!!!!!!
As soon as I get the ok to mention it, you guys will be the first to know!!!!!
Jeff James
Can't wait to hear the news, Jeff ... love the way you mix up the play list on a daily basis ... you truly are likely to hear just about ANYTHING on this program. (I mean, let's face it ... if you're going to play "The Greatest Hits of All-Time", you've really got to cover more than two or three hundred songs!!!) Happy to promote ANYTHING in the name of Good Radio! And if some of our "suggestions" help to liven things up every now and then, all the better! (kk)

Hi Kent!
Fabulous site ... thanks for all your hard work ... we really enjoy it!!
Woody Johnson / The Class of 68 Band
Thanks, Woody, great to hear from you! Glad that you're enjoying Forgotten Hits! (kk)

Last week we picked a video of former Byrd Roger McGuinn's train ride from Florida to New York as our "Video Clip Of The Week" ... the clip was submitted by our buddy Wild Bill Cody ... who, after seeing it posted on our website, sent along a nice note to Camilla and Roger McGuinn, letting them know that we had posted it for all the world to see!
A Glorious and Blessed Sunday Morning to you and Roger!
Last week I came across the Growing Bolder website and watched your "rail" video. Finally, we get to see and hear a little of bit of Camilla! Well I sent it on to some friends and fans and also mindlessly sent it to the editor of the "Forgotten Hits" website which goes out to tens of thousands of oldies radio dee-jays and fans alike. Much to my surprise this morning in their weekly newsletter it was the "Clip of the Week" for all to see and hear ... how cool of Kent Kotal to share!!!
I'll see you in Denver soon!
Much love,
Wild Bill
And then this nice note from Bill ...
Thanx Kent, and the website and newsletters are HUGE, thank you for all the hard work. One of these days we'll get together and discuss the oldies over a beer or two!
Wild Bill
Thanks, Bill ... jeez, I should hire you as my P.R. Guy!!! (I don't think we've got tens of thousands of readers just yet ... but hey, let's put it out there ... like Artie Wayne always says, "If it's on the Internet, it must be true!") Thanks again! (kk)
P.S. The website DID just recently pass 200,000 readers 'though ... so that's pretty cool, right?!?!?!!

We were bombarded with comments this past week ... I just love it when you guys respond to some of what you read here ... so look for additional comments pages throughout the week.
Got something that YOU'D like to say? Just drop us an email at ... and then check this page often to see if your comments appear!