Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Weekend Comments

Our original plan was to take the whole holiday weekend off ... but then when things got derailed again on Thursday and Friday, I figured I'd put together a quick Weekend Comments Page ... so check it out!!! (Some good stuff on here ... including yet another Forgotten Hits EXCLUSIVE!!!)

Hey, look what Billboard Magazine just did!!! They've compiled a list of the All-Time 30 Greatest Songs of Summer!!! (Are we trend-setters or what?!?!?) FH Correspondent Ron Smith just sent me this link with their Top 30 Summer Countdown ... biggest difference is their list runs from 1958 through Now ... which means that Katy Perry's "California Gurls", still riding their Hot 100 Pop Chart, actually makes their Top 30 List! Smallest difference??? They've come up with the EXACT same #1 Summer Song that WE did, every time we've run this survey. You can check out the full results right here (and catch a video for each track, too!!!) kk
(Actually, this is getting just a little bit freaky!!! That's two in a row now ... last time we did our True Oldies Channel / Forgotten Hits Top Remakes Weekend, AOL came back with their list of The Top 20 Greatest Remakes Of All-Time ... and now THIS ... after True Oldies counted down our Top 20 and we put a list of The Top 100 on the website!!! Unreal!!! And yes, for the record, I have been looking over my shoulder the entire time I've been typing this!!!) kk

Two of my favorites summer songs are oddball choices, I guess: "Make Believe" by Wind from 1969. Many years later, I got the LP with the silver cover and found out who Wind really was, and there's at least one other super cut "Teenybopper." Then from 1977, I always liked "Over the Summer" by Sparks. Just perfect in every way, if slightly off-kilter. "A little redder, but much better." Boy, I remember that! Kids coming back on the first day of school, so sore they could barely sit down.
-- stolf

"Make Believe" by Wind was one of our original Forgotten Hits way back when ... a song deserving of more recognition and airplay ... and it seems to be receiving that (or at least a little more respect, perhaps due to the Tony Orlando connection) these days. (I couldn't believe that Orlando didn't so much as MENTION the recording of this track in his autobiography! Never understood that.) We'll feature it again today because it's one of OUR favorites, too. (And was a #13 Hit here in Chi-Town back in 1969 ... but actually in the FALL of '69!) kk

Oh, man! You left off the best summer song by the HOTTEST woman who ever lived!
"Summer Wine" by Nancy Sinatra!
Later ...
If you check the "expanded" list, you'll find "Summer Wine" by Nancy and Lee at #76 ... then again, if you check our Top 200 All-Time Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides List, you'll find them all the way at #3!!! Without question, a GREAT tune ... and a personal favorite. (And yes, Nancy WAS hot!!! lol) kk

You nailed it brother!
Love your posts!
Wild Bill

Thanks for the "short stack" ... of 'HOT 'CAKES' ... lol.
Those are all GREAT songs on your list, and as I was reading down thru the song titles I could almost smell the open air NIGHTS in my old 53 Ford convertible during that 1964 Summer of my High School Graduation. Again, your newsletter is helping me remember a LOT of great times.
There is ONE song however ... (Oh Great Master of the Forgotten Disc ... lol) ... that your list did NOT include ... it's a "summer song" that I think SHOULD have been included ... George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun".
Maybe it doesn't fit the criteria, but you have to admit, the lyrics seem to point to this MOST pleasant of ALL the seasons for 'action' and 'memories'.
Let me know what you think about that, and as I've told you before, "Thanks" for all the work you put into your great newsletter. You NEVER fail to entertain me and to "take me back" to my younger years.
Best "Summertime Dreams' to you and your Crew,
Veeder Van Dorn
The 'Original' Moonrakers
PS. I'm including a "remix" I did of a Beach Boys favorite of mine "Getcha Back". It's fun to listen to and maybe your readers would like to hear it. I'm still working in music, though these days I'm mostly playing for Alzheimer patients and for Convalescent Hospitals. I'm getting a hip replacement surgery done soon and I'm in the same boat that some of THEM are. I make a joke out of my situation and tell them ... " I'm a Hip Guy ... and an Old Hippie ". That usually gets a chuckle or two.

Van Dorn!!! Great to hear from you!!!
Actually, if you check the "updated and expanded" list on the website, you'll see that The Beatles' classic "Here Comes The Sun" is indeed listed as an "extra" ... incredibly, NONE of The Beatles' hits earned enough votes to make The Top 40 ... or even The Top 100 List for that matter! (Top Beatles vote-getter? "Good Day Sunshine"!!!) But you're absolutely right ... at the very least, it deserves an "Honorable Mention" ... so that's where I've listed it!
Sounds like things are going well ... as always, thanks for the praise, it means a lot! Have a GREAT summer! (kk)
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your All-Time Summer Favorites

Good late evening, Kent,
Just back from a week in WA -- Seattle, Tacoma and the "Tri-Cities" -- where I had a chance to listen briefly to 97.5, an oldies station there programmed by an old friend, Barry Long. Barry is also the afternoon jock. Love 'small town' radio ... they get so wrapped up in the community ... which is why radio should continue to be around for many more years -- it's a 'local' thing.
So, tonight was my first opportunity to read the Top 40 All-Time Summer Favorites -- and, for the most part -- I have to agree with you ... particularly since 'the real 'boys of summer,' The Beach Boys, landed two in the Top 10 and four more filled out the remainder of the Top 40. Actually, if you include Brian's "Surf City," a #1 for Jan & Dean, the group has seven songs represented out of forty. Don't think any group or artist will ever top those numbers.
But it was also wonderful to see two 'all-time' greats, Nat "King" Cole and "old Blue Eyes," make the list. Great songs, great singers -- and great melodies -- will always stand the test of time.
"Fun, Fun, Fun" always comes up when you ask folks what their favorite 'songs of summer' are -- even though it was actually written in the depth of winter -- or at least wrapped up during that period. I was with Brian Wilson at his new office in the Sunset - Vine Tower (corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street - and catty corner with Wallich's Music City retail store) when he was putting the finishing touches on the song. In fact, he had me sing a few harmony parts with him so he could get a feel for what it would sound like when he went into Western Recorders a few days later on January 1, 1964, to record the classic. "Warmth of the Sun" filled out the session that day. Not a 'bad day at the office,' wouldn't you say, guys?
So, even though "Fun" opens their 'live' concert album, it had not been recorded when we did the first of two 'live' recording sessions at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, on December 21, 1963. "Beach Boys Concert" became the group's first #1 album and first "Gold" album. It also contained their first #1 single, "I Get Around."
Overall, I have to agree with most of the choices but I was a bit surprised that Gail Garnett's "We'll Sing In the Sunshine" did not show up. It, too, was not a 'summer song,' per se, but did manage to win a Grammy for "Best Folk Performance" at the 1965 Grammy Awards. It had been a Top 5 pop hit, a #1 A/C hit and even got a good deal of country play in '64.
Fred Vail / Treasure Isle
Nashville -- "Music City, USA"
PS Great to see The Jamies, "Summertime, Summertime," on the list. I don't know if it was a nationwide thing, or just the Sacramento stations having fun with the song, but a few of the jocks used to play it at 33, instead of 45. It gave the song a real r&b sound ... and I actually got used to listening to it that way. Would love to hear from a few of the readers to see if their local stations played it at the slower speed?
Gale Garnett's Hit "We'll Sing In The Sunshine" ALSO made our "Honorable Mentions" list ... it earned a total of 24 votes ... just not enough to make the "hot" list. Honestly, after all this time, "Summertime Summertime" has not aged well for me ... I think it would be a RELIEF to hear it at 33 rpm!!! As always, thanks for your "hands on" insight, Fred! (kk)

... and, speaking of The Beach Boys ...

This just in from David Beard, publisher of "Endless Summer Quarterly", the PREMIER Beach Boys fanzine ...
Endless Summer Quarterly Celebrates Summer With A New CD
With The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary over six months away, Endless Summer Quarterly (now celebrating its 23rd year) is pleased to be bringing subscribers of the fanzine a brand new 14-track compilation featuring music from Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, and Dean Torrence, as well as material from the late Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Jan Berry. The complimentary disc is included in the Summer 2010 issue available exclusively to subscribers until October 1, when the edition will be available for individual purchase.

ESQ editor David Beard is also the featured writer in Goldmine Magazine’s “Summer Surf Issue” in which Beard has contributed three feature articles: an interview with Al Jardine on the 45th anniversary of the Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!) album, vintage q & a with Jan & Dean and “The 10 Albums That Changed My Life” by David Marks; he has also contributed a two-page spread on compiling the complimentary CD titled, “Behind the scenes: The Making of the ‘Boys of Summer’ CD.” The July 16 edition [Issue #782] is available now.
The rest of 2010 looks great for subscribers of ESQ, with an upcoming special edition on the 40th Anniversary of Sunflower … and interviews with Brian Wilson and Al Jardine on their respective album releases. Subscribers of ESQ have come to expect accuracy, quality and fun, and that’s what each edition delivers for the fans in celebration of The Beach Boys’ amazing legacy.
Endless Summer Quarterly was established in 1987 by editors emeritus Rick Edgil and Phil Mast in San Diego. Editor emeritus Lee Dempsey and current editor David Beard began publishing in Charlotte, NC with just over 200 subscribers in the summer of 1993. Within a few years the East Coast team had established a new following of readers with an incredible increase of over 1,000 readers. With the passing of Carl Wilson in February of 1998 and The Beach Boys pursuit of individual musical, ESQ refocused on the individuals and their musical contributions both to the band’s history as well as their individual output. Considered to be the world’s leading Brian Wilson / Beach Boys / Jan & Dean publication by the group members, their associates and historians worldwide, ESQ continues to create historically memorable editions with David Beard’s positive vision and desire to celebrate the band’s legacy. now includes a complete back issue order form (dating 15 years back to 1993) with a breakdown of every edition as a downloadable PDF file.

Al Jardine ... Steve Miller ... Flea ... That was a killer version of the Beach Boys hit "Help Me Rhonda"! And this on the eve of the Beach Boy's 50th Anniversary!
Wild Bill

And still available on Al Jardine's website:
Click here: Al Jardine - "Help Me Rhonda" Video
In fact, if you go right now, you'll also see a brand new video posted featuring Alec Baldwin!!! (kk)

Hey Kent:
When did this occur in Pittsburgh?? And did you get a copy of Barry and Roger together on a pic?
Wild Bill
Sounds like just a few weeks ago ... late May / early June maybe??? We're already looking forward to watching a FANTASTIC concert once PBS finishes editing this thing. Mike Bush snapped a photo of McGuinn and McGuire backstage at the event ... and while we haven't obtained the rights to run a copy yet, we're still hoping to have something for you soon! Stay tuned! (kk)
P.S. Hey Mike ... Barry would like a copy, too!!!

By the way, the line-up for this show sounds nothing short of spectacular ... check this out ... these are some of the artists confirmed for PBS Oldies tapings (many of whom will appear on this program recently filmed in Pittsburgh!): Ronnie Spector – "Be My Baby"
Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone – "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter"
LaLa Brooks – "Da Doo Run Run"
Bill Haley's Comets – "Rock Around the Clock"
The Passions – "Just to Be With You"
Lou Christie – "Lightnin' Strikes"
Paul Revere and The Raiders - "Kicks", "Just Like Me"
Carl Gardner's Coasters – "Yakety Yak", "Poison Ivy"
Sonny Turner's Platters – "Only You", "With This Ring"
Jay Traynor – "She Cried"
Jay Black - "Cara Mia", "This Magic Moment"
The Guys from Turtle Creek (Bill Burkett & Huey Geyer) –"You're The One"
Kenny Vance and the Planotones – "Looking for an Echo"
The Kingsmen – "Louie Louie" (Tom Cruise's ringtone in the new "Knight And Day" movie, by the way!!! kk)
The Toys – "A Lover's Concerto"
Question Mark and The Mysterians – "96 Tears"
Roger McGuinn (of the Byrds) – "Mr. Tambourine Man"
Barry McGuire – "Eve of Destruction", "Green Green"
Bruce Channel – "Hey! Baby"
Jefferson Starship – "Miracles"
Davy Jones (of the Monkees) – "Daydream Believer"
Mitch Ryder – "Devil with A Blue Dress"
Jesse Colin Young of the Youngbloods – "Get Together"
Dee Dee Sharp – "Mashed Potato Time"
The Orlons – "The Wah Watusi"
Shirley Alston Reeves – "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"
The Chiffons – "One Fine Day"
Eddie Floyd – "Knock on Wood"
Eddie Holman - "Hey There Lonely Girl"
The Miracles – "You've Really Got a Hold on Me"
The Marcels – "Blue Moon"
Kathy Young – "A Thousand Stars"
Gary Lewis and the Playboys - "This Diamond Ring"
The Chad Mitchell Trio The Dixie Cups – "Chapel of Love"
Steam – "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye"
Cannibal & The Headhunters – "Land of 1,000 Dances"
The Exciters – "Tell Him"
Cathy Jean and the Roommates – "Please Love Me Forever"
Len Barry – "1, 2, 3"
Randy & The Rainbows featuring Randy Safuto – "Denise"
The Edsels – "Rama Lama Ding Dong"
The Cleftones – "Heart and Soul"
Quotations – "Imagination"
Chad and Jeremy – "Yesterday's Gone", "Summer Song"
Jonathan Edwards – "Sunshine Go Away"
Linda Jansen of The Angels – "Till"
That just means that there's some REALLY good music coming up on PBS later this year!!! (kk)

And speaking of Roger McGuinn, here's something from his #1 Fan, Wild Bill Cody:
Growing Bolder did a great interview with Roger & Camilla, it's an hour long interview, however there is a small faux pax, after 22 mins the interview starts again, (so you might want to start it around 22:30), but then it goes for the entire hour to the end. Really alot of great and interesting info that I think you'll enjoy. If you get a chance, check it out!
Wild Bill

I just happened to catch Jim Shea interviewing Daddy Dewdrop the other morning on Y103.9 ... what an interesting background this guy has had ... I had NO idea!!! (I guess I've always just thought of "Chick-A-Boom" as one of those great, one-hit wonders ... I mean, I've ALWAYS loved the song ... and played it non-stop back in the day ... but I never realized how far back the career of Richard Monda (Daddy Dewdrop's real name) went! From late vaudeville dates that included dancing with Frank Sinatra at the age of five (Monda's age, not Sinatra's! lol) and appearing on stage with the likes of Danny Kaye and Abbott and Costello ... to a lead role in the film "The Eddie Cantor Story" (he played Eddie as a young boy ... and even sang in the movie!) ... to auditioning for the part that ultimately went to James Dean in "Rebel Without A Cause" ... this guy's done it all at one time or another. (But I was perhaps MOST impressed by finding out that Monda wrote The Mauds' big Chicagoland Hit "Soul Drippin'" back in 1969 ... how is it possible that I never knew this?!?!? I mean, we've spent YEARS discussing how a young Tony Orlando co-wrote The New Colony Six's big local hit "I'm Just Waiting, Anticipating (For Her To Show Up)" ... but I had absolutely NO idea that Daddy Dewdrop was involved with writing THIS Chicagoland classic!) And The Mauds aren't the only artists to record Richard's music ... everyone from Tom Jones to Engelbert Humperdinck to Gary Puckett to Sammy Davis, Jr., to Kenny Rogers to Ringo Starr have recorded songs penned by Richard Monda over the years! You can check out all the details on The Daddy Dewdrop Website:
Click here: Daddy Dewdrop Welcome
Wish I had known Jim was going to have him on his program ... I think Daddy Dewdrop would have enjoyed hearing one of my favorite "Grade School Frannie" stories from years back:
When I was a fifth grade elementary student in Fort Worth, Texas, our music teacher, Mrs. Mitchell, allowed us to bring our own records from home and play them in her class each Friday. Since I used my allowance to treat myself to one 45 a week, I always provided the Friday music. One particular Friday, I brought Chick-A-Boom to play. My classmates were quite excited about this since it was our favorite song and we sang it every day at recess. I gave the record to Mrs. Mitchell, she put it on to play and then sat down at her desk to read Good News For Modern Man, which was not out of the ordinary back in 1971 Texas. Mrs. Mitchell was engrossed in her bible studies and not paying much attention during the opening of the doors 1 and 2 in the song, so she did not hear of the bikini parts located behind each door. At the point of, "I opened the third door ... " my whole class sang as loud as they could, " ... and she whispered so sexy and low ... oooooo!!" THAT caught Mrs. Mitchell's attention and she jumped up, went to the record player, removed the record and exclaimed, 'Frances are never again to bring such dirtiness to my classroom ever again! This is not the way of our Savior!" She then sealed the record in a manila envelope, taped the back shut, and put my mother's name on the front. That was also the end of Friday Record Day, and we went back to singing Waltzing Matilda and My Grandfather's Clock.
-- Frannie Kotal
lol ... I LOVE it!!! One of my favorite childhood stories from Frannie's adolescence!!! (Not sure which left deeper emotional scars ... the lyrics to "Chick-A-Boom" or Mrs. Mitchell's reaction to them!!! lol) kk

I am reading the biography of Eddie Cochran, written by his nephew. John Rook is mentioned a lot in the book. I seem to remember that he was also writing a book on his association with Eddie. I am hoping that he will let us know when it will be available. I live in Albert Lea, Minnesota, the town where Eddie Cochran was born. We have Eddie Cochran Weekend every year in June, with a drive in movie, car cruises, car swap, ice cream social, concert and a dance with local oldies bands. Our museum is home to Eddie's gold records, stage clothes, etc, so I have developed in interest in him and his music and want to get to know a little bit more about him. John Rook?? I need an update!!! Thank you so much!!
LeAnn Zerck
Albert Lea, Minnesota
I sent your note to John Rook (who I believe has attended The Eddie Cochran Festival many times in the past) and asked him to share an update with our readers. During our Summer Favorites Countdown, Scott Shannon mentioned that if it were up to HIM, "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran would have been #1 ... it's his favorite Summer Song of all time! (It came in at #8 on our list.) By the way, be sure to check out John's Tribute to Eddie on his web page ... it's OUTSTANDING! (kk)
Click here: John Rook -
(Be sure to scroll down to see ALL kinds of "Eddie Links"!!!)
A few years ago Scott Shannon discovered my life prior to radio. He told me then that he was a huge Eddie Cochran fan.
On my website, in the "Passing Thru" section, you'll find a rather detailed writing and photos of my years with Eddie. His mother Alice Cochran invited me to join her in Albert Lea before she passed away. It was during a time when I virtually shut out Eddie from my life. It was just too painful to go. That fifty years has now past since I last talked to Eddie, the sadness of his death has begun to be replaced with some great memories of our time as teenagers. I miss him. He was a great influence for me and with his suggestion that I entered into a radio career.
Just a few days ago I heard Summertime Blues on the radio and in recent years I've been able to listen to 60 some odd cuts, many that were never released but given to me by Al Bennett, President of Liberty Records, before his death several years ago. A few dozen of them bring special memories because I was in the recording studio at Liberty or Gold Star in Hollywood when they were recorded.
Eddie always signed every autograph "Don't Forget Me" ... he would be so pleased knowing they haven't.
I've attached one of my favorite Eddie Cochran songs, "Sick and Tired". It was a hit by Fats Domino in 1958 and Eddie is joined by our pal Bob Denton. It was a song that they often sang while I was driving them down the road for a weekend on the California desert. It was never released for the public.
John Rook
Wow!!! VERY cool ... and another Forgotten Hits Exclusive! Thanks, John, for sharing this VERY rare track with our readers. (kk)

>>>According to Joel Whitburn's Pop Single Book, "Burn That Candle" charted as the A-Side, peaking at #16 on The Billboard Best Sellers Chart in 1956. "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie", the flip side, reached #23. Incredibly, neither record made the Cash Box Chart. (kk)
In fact, both sides of that Bill Haley single did appear on the Cash Box charts, peaking in late 1955. Here's the link to the chart from Dec. 17, 1955, showing "Candle" at #13 and "Boogie" at #38 (after peaking at #24 a month earlier):
–- Randy Price
Wow ... my source for this is the "Cash Box Pop Singles Charts, 1950 - 1993" by Pat Downey, George Albert and Frank Hoffman ... based on YOUR chart copy, clearly they've gotten it wrong. (Any idea how many OTHER errors like this might exist in this book???) kk
There are literally hundreds of errors in the Cash Box chart books, but this was not one of them (technically) ... The Pat Downey book used the earlier Frank Hoffmann book as its source for all the '50s chart data; Hoffmann, for reasons best known to him, researched the Top 10 Juke Box charts for his chart data up through July 1956, before switching over to the Top 50 Best Selling Singles charts. As a result, any record that failed to make the Top 10 on the Juke Box chart prior to August 1956 is not included in those books. (All the charts posted on the website are transcribed from the Best Selling Singles charts.)
–- Randy
I would LOVE to get a list of these corrections so that we can update OUR chart information as well ... always want to be sure to be quoting the correction statistics, as often as we refer to this chart information in our newsletters! (kk)
After I got the Pat Downey Cash Box book, I compiled a list of errors and omissions for the A thru M section of the Artists listings and sent it to Pat. I spoke with him on the phone shortly thereafter, and he told me that, due to poor sales for the book, he did not plan to publish an updated edition, so I never took the time to complete the list through the end of the alphabet. Some of those are minor corrections to song titles or artist and label names, but many are corrections / additions to the chart data. It should be noted that most of the errors / omissions were originally in the earlier Frank Hoffmann Cash Box book and were unknowingly carried forward by Downey (who had been told by Hoffmann that his book contained no errors). Someday I hope to have the time to put together my own Cash Box book, which would include complete and accurate chart data from the earliest Best Selling Singles chart through the last one in November 1996.
– Randy
I would LOVE to see you take on the challenge of putting together the COMPLETE book of Cash Box Charts with all this information corrected once and for all ... a GREAT research tool for all of us who share this passion. Please keep us posted, Randy! (kk)

... and speaking of The Charts ...

>>>Should we reprint our Sixties Chart Book? Help us make the decision. To Reprint or Not To Reprint ... It's Up To You! Straight from the pages of Billboard -- every weekly "Hot 100" music chart, from January 1960 through December 1969, reproduced in black and white at about 70% of its original size. But before we can commit to a costly reprint, we need a commitment to order from you. If we reach our print quota, you will then be charged and we will reprint. If our quota is not met, you will not be charged. So, tell your friends who also have a heart for the charts and CALL TODAY to reserve your copy. Pre-Orders for this book CANNOT be made online or by mail. You MUST call to order: In the U.S., please call (800) 827 - 9810; Outside the U.S., call (262) 251 - 5408Monday through Thursday, 8 am - 5 pm; Friday: 8 am - Noon Central Standard Time
(Joel Whitburn / Record Research)
>>>I've got a complete set of ALL of Joel's Billboard Chart Books ... these are a GREAT reference tool and if you're into the charts the way we are, you're going to want to get your hands on a copy, too. (kk)
For those of your readers who do not have a copy of Joel Whitburn's Hot 100 Charts, the 60's, you should call and tell them they would like a copy. I bought one when it originally came out and it should be on the library shelf of anyone who likes our type of music. Also, you might get ,if they are still available, the Bubbling Under 100 Charts.
Larry Neal
The "Bubbling Under" book was discontinued after the inventory ran out ... ALL of that chart information, however, is now available in Joel's "Top Pop Singles" book ... an INCREDIBLE source of EVERY record to every make ... or "bubble under" Billboard's Top 100 Chart. (In addition, you get THOUSANDS of "classic tracks" that didn't make the charts but have long been associated with these artists. It's an absolute MUST HAVE for ANY serious music fan. (kk)

... and, speaking of the charts ... AGAIN!!! .. be sure to check out the special 4th of July Anniversary noted below!!!

Of course we all know what The Fourth of July REALLY means ... and MOST of us will take note of this in between the hot dogs and the beer consumed this weekend ... but we also thought we'd share a couple of patriotic videos submitted by our readers for you to enjoy this weekend ... along with this interesting musical tidbit ...

DIDJAKNOW?: The 4th of July marks the 40th Anniversary of "American Top 40", the syndicated Top 40 Countdown program originated by Casey Kasem back in 1970?!?!? Hard to believe (and Casey stepped down as host YEARS ago, most recently relinquishing those duties to Ryan Seacrest, who someone seemed to have a hole in his otherwise seemingly non-stop schedule!) Casey's old programs are being broadcast all over the country on great oldies stations (and XM70's has been playing them for YEARS!) Kinda neat to hear some of the songs from the bottom half of The Top 40 that simply don't receive ANY airplay anymore ... always a neat study. (Personally, I always enjoyed Casey's special countdown features ... they really mixed things up a bit!) As a special anniversary feature, Seacrest will announce "The Top Artist of the Past 40 Years" on this weekend's program ... and will also pay homage to Casey Kasem, the guy who launched “the most famous countdown show in radio history”, which debuted on the July 4 weekend of 1970 with Casey countin’ ‘em down, coast to coast. (kk)

Kent ...
Do you remember? Top 40, hits 40. It was 40 years ago this Sunday (7/4/10) that Casey Kasem went on the radio with a new syndicated show called "American Top 40."

The #1 song on the first "AT 40 " was "The Love You Save" by the Jackson 5 -followed by Three Dog Night's "Mama Told Me Not To Come" and the Carpenters' "Close To You." The first countdown included one of Elvis' last hits, "The Wonder Of You" and the last major Beatles hit, "The Long And Winding Road." Today the show is hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
Meanwhile, this holiday weekend, here in New York, at 12:40 PM Big Jay Sorenson is back on New York radio. Currently playing I's = I Second That Emotion by the Miracles.
The A to Z countdown started on Monday, and will be running through the holiday weekend, from 6:00 AM to midnight - everyday.
Frank B.

Kent ...
A few months ago my friend producer / manager, Joel Diamond, who’s under consideration to replace Simon Cowell on “American Idol”, and I were talking about the problems facing America today.Both of us wished that we could do more to help the country that has given us so many opportunities. The next day I got an e-mail from him, which he has allowed me to reprint.

Artie Wayne
Dear Artie,
I’m not a politician or even a reality show star; I’m just a guy who loves America and everything it stands for! We are dealing with more crises at the same time than any other point in our history … but we cannot let it get us down.
While the rest of the world is in turmoil, we can proudly say that we have never turned away from a challenge because it looked too difficult or when it looked impossible.
I truly believe in America and the unifying power of music. It moved me so much that I recorded this brand new version of “UNITED WE STAND” by the Joel Diamond Experience featuring Benny Mardones and Teresa James in preparation for the 10th anniversary of 911. Upon completion of this recording, I realized that America needed to hear it NOW!
Happy Birthday America! July 4th, 2010
Your friend always,
Joel Diamond
This is a GREAT remake of a GREAT song ... and we featured it several weeks back here in Forgotten Hits ... I've probably played it two dozen times here at home since Artie first sent this in ... and it certainly seems appropriate to feature it again over this 4th of July Weekend. (kk)

We received a couple of emails about this new video by Mel Carter ... and wanted to share it with our readers ...

Hi Kent:
Mel “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” Carter, who to my ears and eyes has been a true highlight of the PBS-TV Doo Wop concerts, has just posted a video at You Tube dedicated to the troops, past and present. Very moving! Plus, when anybody has the confidence to record something a capella, you truly get to see how gifted they are vocally.
-- Tom Cuddy

This is beautiful -- Mel's voice is as pure as ever.
Danny Guilfoyle

It certainly is a powerful reading ... and there's no question that this man can still sing. We've addressed Carter's career before in Forgotten Hits ... while "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" is and will always be his signature tune, Mel hit The National Top 40 three other times with his readings of "When A Boy Falls In Love" (#38, 1963); "All Of A Sudden My Heart Sings" (#35, 1965) and "Band Of Gold" (#32, 1966). Thanks for sending this one ... very well done! (kk)

Thank you for featuring my "Taps" video from U-tube on your website. This vocal rendition of the national song has been played at many military funerals --- leave comments if you are incline to do so ---
Thank you and God Bless ---
Mel Carter

And some food for thought this holiday weekend, courtesy of Fred Glickstein of The Flock ... and Will Rogers!
Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash with his best friend, Wylie Post, was probably the greatest political sage this country ever has known.
Simple but Brilliant and full of truths! Enjoy!
-- Fred
1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman . . . Neither works.
4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.
8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading, the few who learn by observation, and the rest of them who have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.
11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.
12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Wishing ALL of our readers ... and ALL of their loved ones ... a Happy and Safe Fourth of July Weekend! See you next week ... with more great Forgotten Hits! (kk)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dick Biondi Way

A few photos and reports from yesterday's street dedication ceremony honoring Chicagoland Radio Legend Dick Biondi ...

And the Year of the Wild I-Tralian continues!
Less than two months after Chicago DJ Dick Biondi was saluted on the 50th anniversary of his first radio broadcast in the Windy City with a "day" in his honor, on Tuesday June 29th the City of Chicago dedicated "Dick Biondi Way" at the corner of Lake Street and Garland Court. Though the Garland "alley" runs north to the old Stone Container Building, home of WLS-AM in the '60s, the site is actually across the street from the original WJMK-FM (Oldies 104.3) studios where Dick broadcast for over twenty years.
A crowd of nearly 200 were on hand for the unveiling by Dick and Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly, who sponsored the honor in the City Council. Also speaking were Michael Damsky and Michael LaCrosse, General Manager and Program Director respectively of Dick's current home, "True Oldies" WLS-FM. Bob Sirott - a Chicago legend in his own right - spearheaded the effort and hosted (and his wife, Marianne Murciano, brightened the festivities).
Dick was serenaded with a chorus of his "Pizza Song" by Chicago rockers Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams, Ronnie Rice of the New Colony Six, Jim Peterik of the Ides of March (on ukelele), Jimy Sohns of the Shadows of Knight, Jimy Rogers of the Mauds and Jim (J.C. Hooke) Pilster of the Cryan' Shames. Also present were True Oldies DJ Greg Brown, Radio-TV columnist Robert Feder and Theresa Gutierrez of ABC - television's Channel 7, plus a plethora of Dick's current and former co-workers (including a former Music Director of his who shall go nameless).
(EDITOR'S NOTE: That would be our FH Buddy Ron Smith ... who worked side-by-side with Biondi for YEARS!!!)
The funniest moment of the afternoon might have been when a clueless passer-by exclaimed, "Is that Al Pacino?" No, but it was - as Peterik put it - the only Italian on the planet with no rhythm.
Channel 7 coverage:
-- Ron Smith
As we mentioned earlier in the week, we were unable to attend the street dedication ceremony honoring Dick Biondi ... but thankfully Ron Smith was there and filed this report (Hey, isn't that YOU in the background there on this ABC news clip?!?!? lol) kk

Ron also sent along some very cool photos from the event (click to enlarge) :

The Street Signs ... Before and After the Unveiling
Dick Biondi with long-time friend of Forgotten Hits,
Photographer Michael Bush

Ronnie Rice (formerly of The New Colony Six), Greg Brown (WLS-FM DeeJay),
Jim "Hooke" Pilster (The Cryan' Shames), Jimy Rogers (background in hat, The Mauds)
and Jim Peterik (The Ides Of March) were all on hand to help celebrate!

Dennis Tufano (formerly of The Buckinghams ...

he's the guy with the naturally graying hair)

and Jim Peterik of The Ides Of March ...

(he's the guy with the fluorescent purple rock star hair)

were on hand to serenade the crowd
Hi Kent ...
How cool is it to now say ... "Meet me at the corner of Dick Biondi Way?!"
- Michele Abrams

An unidentified female fan (is that you, Candace???)

and Bob Abrams (formerly of the Buckinghams)

flank Ronnie Rice (of the New Colony Six),
holding the sign now signifying Dick Biondi Way!
(Photo courtesy of Michele Abrams)
VERY cool!!! Very cool indeed! (kk)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Radio News ... And A Look At The "Live" Side Of Things

Don't forget to mention the long overdue honor to Mr. Dick Biondi on this Tuesday. Many personalities from the day will be there to say thanks.
Jimmy Pilster / The Cryan' Shames

Yep ... today's the day ... Dick Biondi Way will be dedicated later this afternoon. Unfortunately, we're unable to attend the ceremony ... but if any of our FH Readers are able to be there, please report back to us with complete details!!! (And that goes for all the artists, too!!!) kk
Fans and friends of the legendary Dick Biondi will gather at 2 p.m. Tuesday for Chicago’s official dedication of “Dick Biondi Way” at the northwest corner of East Lake Street and Garland Court. The honorary street designation will salute the Radio Hall of Famer, who recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first broadcast on WLS-AM (890). “The Wild I-tralian” is still spinning the oldies from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday on Citadel Broadcasting WLS-FM (94.7). The location of “Dick Biondi Way” was chosen for its proximity to the 360 North Michigan Avenue building that housed the studios and offices of WLS for decades. -- Robert Feder

Kent ...
A little less than 3 years after dumping the faltering "Jack" format and returning to classic hits, WCBS-FM (101.1) is the city's top radio station again. The May Arbitron ratings, released yesterday, show WCBS-FM averaging 6.4% of the audience, compared to 6% for perennial No. 1 WLTW (106.7) WCBS-FM last reached No. 1 in 1996, with its oldies format.
Frank B.
I had just read the same thing. Here in Chicago, Jack-FM scored a 2.2 share ... a far cry from True Oldies' 4.1 rating ... proving again that these guys really didn't know Jack about what Chicagoland wanted in the way of a radio station. Ironically, the two other oldies stations that used to be available on the radio dial continue to stream 24 / 7 online, playing the exact same music they used to play as a radio station, only fully automated and sans deejays. You can still listen to Real Oldies 1690 and Magic 104 on your Internet hook-up! But the biggest oldies news here locally has been the growing playlist of Y103.9 ... it's absolutely unreal. There is literally NOTHING they don't play anymore, from the '50's to the '60's to the '70's to the '80's ... there isn't a day that goes by where I'm not amazed a couple of times by what I'm hearing ... legitimate HIT records that traditional oldies radio has ignored for years. Only problem is their signal is SO weak that you can only pick them up in a specific area ... and that's a real shame. They do, however, ALSO stream 24 / 7 ... so check 'em out online and see what I mean, particularly Jeff James' program ... it's unreal!!! (Links for all three stations are below):
Click here: WRLL-AM
Click here:
Click here: Listen Live To WWYW - Y103.9
While finding these weblinks, I also came across a GREAT oldies website called "The Hits Just Keep On Comin'" ... sounds like this guy is into everything that WE'RE into here ... check out his web page if you get a chance:
Click here: The Hits Just Keep On Comin': Real Oldies

Listen to the Music of The Hit Parade Hall of Fame Now ...
Just click on "Hit Parade Radio" button at
John Rook

I just interviewed all three Tygers for my "Those Were The Days" radio program. They will be a part of my show on July 3rd. The Forgotten Hits Top 40 Summer Countdown will air on Saturday night June 26th, from 6:00 pm-?
Phil Nee - Wrco Fm 100.9
Would love to hear copies of BOTH of those shows, Phil! Thanks! (kk)

And, speaking of The Forgotten Hits All-Time Summer Favorites Countdown, it sounds like DJ Scarlett Hayze has gone back to play the entire Top 100, now that we've posted the complete list on the web page!!!
(Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your All-Time Summer Favorites)
Hello from the veranda!
And the Fun continues!!

beginning at 7 pm ET
we continue with the TOP 100 Countdown of Your FAVORITE SUMMER SONGS!
We ended last night's show on No 68 ("Night Moves" by Bob Seger).
Join me on the veranda to hear No. 67 on down to No. 40!!

Thanks to Kent and !!
Moochas smoochas darlings!

DJ Scarlett Hayze

From his INSIDE MUSIC MEDIA column, here comes THIS piece of sage radio advice from Jerry Del Colliano:


Would you believe that Radio One fired its entire airstaff at urban adult contemporary WMMJ “Magic 102” in Washington last week?With the exception of the syndicated Tom Joyner show in the mornings, their latest brainstorm is to turn the station into a 24-hour a day iPod with no jocks and “all music all the time”. The only problem is that WMMJ’s virtual "iPod" features the music IT likes and not what YOU necessarily like. Instead of jocks like Olivia Foxx, Suge, Mike Chase, Alvin John Waples and music director and morning show producer Chris Harris on the air live, Radio One thinks listeners will love no jocks and they will love no salaries. Oh, the weekend staff, which must have cost Radio One next to nothing to employ, is also wiped out. Radio One and Done, as I call them, has slithered through consolidation and then the recession as an unremarkable entity and lousy stock investment. If you’re wondering why Radio One could make such a radical move, they apparently slobbered over their recent PPMs in which they ranked second in the DC market. They saw a ratings increase when they told their jocks to shut up. But that's just another stupid radio trick ... it would be a big mistake to think eliminating all live and local jocks will gain listening. Radio is hell bent on turning itself into an iPod. Without live and local, radio IS an iPod of its own making. Most listeners would rather hear their own playlists if foolish owners like Radio One confuse increased ratings with no live and local personalities.

-- Jerry Del Colliano

In light of this article, this poem (submitted by FH Reader Christ Astle) seemed quite timely and relevant:

Dear Media friends:

I betcha you can relate to this on some level. You may have even known Rex Bob ...

Chris Astle


There's a disc jockey in Hartlanberg

Who works at W.A.N.T.

He puts two or three eggs in him

And he's in your car by 6.00 am

He lives for his job and he accepts his pay

You can call and request 'Lay Lady Lay'

He'll play Stanley Jordan, The 'Dead and Little Feat

And he'll even play the band from the college down the street

And his name is Rex Bob Lowenstein

He's forty-seven, goin' on sixteen

His request line's open, but he'll tell you where to go

If you're dumb enough to ask him why he plays Hank Snow

Well, he tries to keep his talkin' to a minimum

He's a Democrat, he's a Republican

He's an ad man with a great voice, say some

But when he spins those records he's neither one

He'll talk to the truckers on the interstate strip

The housewife and the car dealership

And when his second wife left him for a paper millionaire

He cried unashamedly right on the air

And his name is Rex Bob Lowenstein

He's forty-seven, goin' on sixteen

His request line's open but he makes no bones

About why he plays Madonna after George Jones

Now, one day a man in a pinstriped suit

Took the owner of the station to a restaurant booth

His pitch was simple, "you'll increase your sales"

If you only play the song list we send in the mail."

He guaranteed a larger audience

Less confusion and higher points

"But your drive-time jock won't get to do his thing."

Hey he's not half bad, tell me, what's his name?"

Well his name is Rex Bob Lowenstein

He's frequently heard, but he's seldom seen

His formula's simple and his format's big

"I just play anything, you call and tell me what you dig."

Now Rex Bob David Saul Lowenstein

Quit his job a week later, but before he'd leave

He locked and bolted the control room door

And played smash or trash till they cuffed him on the floor

Well they drug him into court and the judge said, "Rex"

I've got to lock you up, for what I'm not sure yet."

But your boss here says he thinks you're wrapped too tight."

But, by the way thanks for playing 'Moon River' last night"

And his name is Rex Bob Lowenstein

He's a flaming bell inside a tambourine

He could play it all if he was just set free

Just to find what the people WANT

And we just got this email in from our FH Buddy, the recently-retired (yeah right!!! lol) Ronnie Allen:

I fully expected my Tommy James show to be my last one for several months. But right after I made my public announcement of my intention to take some extended time off, I received an email from Susan Jacks (formerly of the Poppy Family of "Which Way You Goin' Billy" fame) telling me that she was ready to do a show with me. I could not bring myself to tell her about the "time off" that I was taking. So I said "when would you like to do it." We agreed on May 26 (just about a month ago) and we recorded it then.
I've now posted it on my Radio Page and -- at least for now -- Susan Jacks (and not Tommy James) is my closing act. Many of your readers are aware that Susan had a health crisis earlier this year regarding kidney failure. Her brother Billy, who provided the name for Susan's biggest hit record, provided something much more important back in February. During the show Susan discusses the details leading up to the major event in her life and also brings us up to date on how she is presently doing. We also play several of her great recordings in addition to "Billy."
The radio interview show , recorded exclusively for the Jersey Girls Sing website is on this page: Ronnie's Radio Page
I now intend to continue with my "time off" but I won't make any promises. If things change, you and your readers will be among the first to know.
Thanks again for everything! I still can't get over the tribute that you did to me a few weeks ago. That was so nice of you. It's great to be able to appreciate that when one is alive!
Hey, glad to do it ... it's good radio, featuring the artists and the music that we love. Thanks, Ronnie ... enjoy your next couple of days of retirement!!! (lol) kk

WJQB has this billboard up in Holiday, FL off US 19. I think Scott Shannon will be glad to see this :)
Scott Levison
Pinellas Park, FL

And, speaking of The True Oldies Channel ...

Kent -
I just visited your website for the first time and found it interesting. I've started listening to the True Oldies Channel on my computer and they mentioned your site. I've been searching for stations to listen to since radio is absolutely horrible here in the Greensboro / Winston Salem / High Point market in North Carolina. We had a great oldies station for many years that always got good ratings (Oldies 93.1); but the idiots at entercom ditched it several years ago for country music. We had another station take up the slack and start playing oldies, but they had a poor signal and questionable management. They have just leased the signal to K-Love and are now playing Christian Music. Another station calls itself rock, but they are all talk (no music at all) all morning until 12 noon; and their afternoon and evening playlist is very small.
I also have a suggestion. What about the "other" songs by all of those supposed "one hit wonders" that are not really one hit wonders.
How many people think the Archies are a one hit wonder? When was the last time any station anywhere played Bang-Shang-A-Lang or Jingle Jangle?
Lots of people remember Tossin' and Turnin' by Bobby Lewis, but how many people remember One Track Mind?
There are probably better examples. I would love for somebody to come up with a list.
Edwin Simpson
Greensboro, NC
That was the whole premise behind our "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot" Weekend on The True Oldies Channel last year ... there are literally HUNDREDS of other examples ... and it's a GREAT excuse to play some things you don't hear every day alongside the ones you do. Seriously, we need to get Scott to run this feature again ...
start emailing and tell him that you want another Forgotten Hits Weekend ... "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot"!!! We did about 60-65 of these last time and could EASILY add another 30-40 to "freshen" things up a bit for the next go 'round! Sounds like an awful lot of listeners liked our recent Summer Favorites Countdown ... might be time to strike while the iron is hot!!! (lol) kk

... and, on the LIVE side of things ...

I would love to know if the The Happy Together Tour is coming anywhere in Texas? I saw a similar concert about 12 years ago in Austin and it was the best concert I'd ever been to in my life! Please add me to your list so I can find out when they'll be near us.
Max White
Based on the current information we have (available on The Forgotten Hits Website), I don't see any Texas stops on the list. (They may have already passed through their on the first leg of the tour.) Here are the dates we still show coming up:

July 20th - Glenside, PA

July 21st - Peekskill, NY

July 22nd - Brooklyn, NY

July 23rd - Gilford, NH

July 24th - Hyannis, MA

July 25th - Cohasset, MA

July 27th - Jacksonville, FL

July 28th - Atlanta, GA

July 29th - Hollywood, FL

July 30th - Daytona Beach, FL

July 31st - Clearwater, FL
(As always, shows are subject to change ... check any of the artists' websites to confirm!)

I also heard something about Scott Shannon coming out to introduce The Buckinghams when the show resumes next month ... will have to gather a few more details on that. (Not sure if this is just for the New York shows or what!) kk

More Micky News ...
We told you that he's got a new album coming out ... and that YOU can play on some of the tracks ... and see him perform it live on his new tour. All VERY cool news indeed! But check out the band line-up for THIS gig!!!
Micky Rocks Congress (watch CSPAN for this)
Television sitcom rocker Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees will be joined by three members of Congress in a Capitol Hill performance designed to boost legislative support for the Performance Rights Act. Dolenz will be appearing in the Capitol Visitor’s Center, and will be joined by a bipartisan set of sidemen, including Joe Crowley (D-NY) on guitar, Tom Rooney (R-FL) on drums and Ted Deutch (D-FL) on keyboard. Event organizers say there will be other surprise guests. The session is scheduled for Wednesday 6/23/10 at 4:30 Eastern.
Dolenz will also perform songs from his upcoming album (A Tribute To Carole King called "King For A Day") on his new tour that begins tonight in San Jacinto. There also will be a free concert at Warner Park in Woodland Hills on August 29th, and a September 26th performance at the Los Angeles County Fair.
That was one of the dates we missed due to our computer snafu ... but you might still be able to catch this CSPAN Clip on YouTube! (kk)

These from Brad Waddel's EXCELLENT Monkees online newsletter "Flexquarters":
Davy Jones is driving across Florida to Busch Gardens, where he's booked to perform three outdoor concerts, at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It's raining, the kind of Florida rain you're sure is leaving dents in your hood.

"It's torrential down here now," Jones says in a recent telephone interview. "We'll probably be playing to five people in the park. But it'll be OK. It doesn't matter to me, actually, whether there's 100 or 100,000." We put it out; we go to perform. We always say, You had better be good if you follow Davy Jones. I'm telling you that now, because I'm good." He laughs, and the comment doesn't come across as braggadocio. Then he picks up the conversation and takes it all the way to the amusement park in Tampa. The most popular member of one of the most popular musical groups is in a talkative mood. Jones was the original American idol, the first of four young men picked from auditions for a television show about a struggling rock 'n' roll band. The show was called "The Monkees," and the quartet of the same name rivaled the Beatles for popularity in the late 1960s. As Paul McCartney was the cute Beatle, Jones was the cute Monkee -- only cuter, all 5-foot-3 of him. Now 64, he will perform the Monkees' hits with his band (not the Monkees) as part of the Sixties Spectacular on Saturday at Proctors. Also on the bill are Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, the Grass Roots and the Capital Region band American Cafe. On the phone, Jones explains all the things he's doing -- finishing an album of standards, writing a musical, singing with symphonies, hosting a PBS show on '60s music, taking care of his horses and, yes, performing concerts.He owns a farm in Beavertown, Pa., but is living now in what he describes as a modest apartment in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with his flamenco-dancing wife Jessica Pacheco, who is half his age. As he talks, he meanders often to a favorite topic: staying grounded in his world of celebrity. "The Monkees went to the mountaintop," he says. "The Monkees opened the door to the world for me. But I didn't ask to be an authority, an example. However, once you become successful, you become better looking, you become more attractive, you become more articulate, you become all of these things that you're not. And if you start believing that, then you've got a major problem." He says he's had no choice but to deal with intrusions. Although it's been 44 years since "The Monkees" premiered on NBC, Jones is still recognizable. "As soon as I leave the house, I become a public commodity," he says. "It's like it never went away. I walk through an airport, and people say, 'Hey, Davy, how are you doing?' When I go to the supermarket, people point at me, and I say, 'Hello, how are you? That's all right. Yeah, no problem.'"I grew up on the street, you know, where I knew everybody, and everybody knew me. And that's what I prefer."

Hall of Fame honors Nesmith, who's always ahead of his time
Michael Nesmith is receiving the Warren Skaaren Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th annual Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards tonight. This is an award for, as one might imagine, lifetime contribution to movie and film culture. But in Nesmith's case, it might as well be an award for Most Unlikely Career Arc and Ability to Possibly See the Future. Even setting aside his recording career with the Monkees and after and his role producing such iconic movies as "Repo Man," it's a kind of amazing how much Nesmith did before a whole lot of people thought it seemed like a good idea. He learned all about entrepreneurship when his mother invented what became Liquid Paper when Nesmith was 13 and built it up into a multimillion-dollar company. Music on television? He did that twice, once with the Monkees, then again when he invented cable TV show Pop Clips for Nickelodeon, which was sold to Time Warner / Amex and became MTV. Home video? Yeah, he was there, too, with the pioneering distribution company Pacific Arts Video in the 1970s. Exclusive live music performances viewable in a virtual world? He's working on that now with the company Videoranch 3D. Wearing a watch cap year-round the way he did on the Monkees? Oh, yes.That wasn't an act. He wore it to the audition to keep his hair out of his eyes, and the producers — legendary Bert Schneider and future directing legend Bob Rafelson — kept it in the show. "I'm wearing one right now," Nesmith says from his studio in California. Though Nesmith has long been associated with California, he has serious Texas roots. "I'm a fifth-generation Texan," Nesmith said. "My mother was divorced when I was a toddler, and I had a remarkable support system of brilliant aunts and uncles." It was the sort of environment that made him easy with new ideas and different ways of thinking. Nesmith didn't start playing music until he was about 19. "I was coming out of the Air Force and was very drawn to music." He headed to Los Angeles to make it and auditioned for the Monkees, sort of on a lark. Working on the Monkees exposed Nesmith to all sides of filmmaking, but it was production that interested him the most. "I never thought of myself as a director and writer. Those guys are really long-ball hitters," Nesmith said. "But I enjoyed bringing all the different parts together and watching them work." In the mid-1970s, a few years after Nesmith had gone solo and cut a couple of records, he was introduced to something that was common in Europe, but not in the United States. It would change his life. Then it would eventually change everyone else's life. "I remember talking to executives outside of the U.S. who said, 'You have this single "Rio." Over here we make little films to go with the record, and national and state TV stations play them. It's especially helpful to artists who can't tour. Are you interested? Like Liquid Paper, like the Monkees, here was an opportunity to innovate. "The idea of me just standing with my guitar and singing didn't seem right," Nesmith said. He and the director came up with some images, disparate stuff, him dancing with a woman, beaches, outer space. "The director said, 'I don't understand the narrative.' I said, 'I don't either, but let's put them together and see what happens." Now, Nesmith is quick to say he believes in narrative: "In most filmmaking, continuity is preserved at all costs. The storyline is king, as it should be." But once they took the images down to the editing bay and started cutting them together, bingo. "It really was something magic," Nesmith said. "It kind of happened with the Monkees, with Disney, with Busby Berkeley. The film grammar was expressing itself with music in a way that was very natural, as if to say, 'Yes, that is the way that it was supposed to work.' "Then I thought, 'Gee, I wonder if this is science or if we lucked into it? This is something Nesmith believes in — innovation grounded in something real, something solid. Most of the technological and cultural innovations Nesmith has been involved in, from music videos to the home video market, he describes as applied science combined with a little bit of vision. "There was no home video business when I got into it. It was, at most, recycled movies," Nesmith says. "But video was the new grammar, it was how people communicate with each other. When I started 'Pop Clips,' I knew it was going to be very strange for a while. There just weren't that many videos." That is, perhaps, Nesmith's best talent — watching, observing, processing, noticing when the time is right for something. This is what happened when he read Alex Cox's script for "Repo Man," the cult 1984 science-fiction movie set in Southern California's hardcore punk scene. Nesmith was executive producer on the project. "I was impressed by the intensity of (Cox's) intelligence," Nesmith said. "He was just hip and fun and genuinely funny. I was just following along." These days, his baby is Videoranch 3D, an Internet-based space with exclusive live performances at various virtual venues, sort of like Second Life with James McMurtry playing. There isn't anything else quite like it around, which is familiar territory for Nesmith. "It's another long lonely road," Nesmith laughs. "But you know an idea is good when there is something that feels so natural about it. You get swept along with it, but it's very solid. So there's comfort there."

John Lennon would have turned 70 years of age on October 9th, 2010. On the evening of his birthday, a very special concert event entitled

"Remember Lennon: Imagine 70" will be staged at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT. With one of the greatest John Lennon impersonators in existence, a world-class backing band, and audio-visual accompaniment, the show is a respectful tribute recreating the concert John may have performed had he still been with us. Tickets for this event will go on sale to the general public this Monday, June 21 at 9:30am.
For further information, visit the Shubert Box Office, 247 College Street, Downtown New Haven, CT or call 203.562.5666 or 888.736.2663.
Here is your link to order tickets:
Don't miss "Remember Lennon: Imagine 70," a unique extraordinary musical theater experience celebrating the music, the memories and the magic of John Lennon.

CHARLIE GRACIE: Philly's Original Rock 'n' Roll Star
AND SHIRLEY ALTSON REEVES: Lead Singer of The Shirelles,
will JOIN FORCES on JUNE 30TH at
Two Shows: 5:30 and 8:00
(Local Doo-Wop Specialists: THE EMERALDS will open the show)

Today Ringo Starr launches his 11th All Starr Band tour featuring Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, Richard Page, Wally Palmar, Rick Derringer and Gregg Bissonette.

Hope to see you on the road!
Fans can expect to hear a jukebox worth of classics including Ringo’s “It Don’t Come Easy”, “Photograph”, “Little Help From My Friends”, “Yellow Submarine,” “Octopus’s Garden” as well as selections from his latest release Y NOT (Hip-O / Ume). Ringo will alternate with hits from the All Starr’s including: “Free Ride,” “Frankenstein,” “Broken Wings,” “Kyrie,” “Hang on Sloopy,” “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,” “Dreamweaver,” “Talking In Your Sleep,” and “What I Like About You.” The tour kicks off June 24 with two nights at Fallsview Casino in Ontario and 11 shows later, on July 7, Ringo will celebrate his 70th birthday with a “Peace & Love” celebration at Noon, followed that evening with a concert at Radio City Music Hall.
The North American tour concludes August 7 at Los Angeles’s Greek Theater.
The full itinerary is as follows:
6/24-25/10 Fallsview Casino Niagara, ON
6/26/10 Bethel Woods PAC Bethel, NY
6/27/10 Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT
6/29/10 Bank Of America Pav. Boston, MA
6/30/10 Westbury Theatre Westbury, NY
7/2/10 State Theatre Easton, PA
7/3/10 Caesars Circus Maximus Atlantic City, NJ
7/5/10 State Theatre New Brunswick, NJ
7/6/10 American Music Theatre Lancaster, PA
7/7/10 Radio City New York, NY
7/9/10 PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Cincinnati, OH
7/10/10 Chastain Park Atlanta, GA
7/11/10 Durham PAC Durham, NC
7/13/10 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, FL
7/15/10 Hard Rock Arena Hollywood, FL
7/17/10 St Augustine Amph. St Augustine, FL
7/18/10 Beau Rivage Biloxi, MS
7/20/10 Nautica Pavilion Cleveland, OH
7/21/10 Sands PAC Canandaigua, NY
7/23/10 Caesars Windsor, ON Canada
7/24/10 Horseshoe Casino Hammond, IN
7/25/10 Mystic Lake Casino Prior Lake, MN
7/28/10 Jubilee Auditorium Calgary ALB Canada
7/30/10 Northern Quest Casino Spokane, WA
7/31/10 Chateau St Michelle Woodinville, WA
8/1/10 Cuthbert Amphitheatre Eugene, OR
8/3/10 Mountain Winery Saratoga, CA
8/5/10 Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage, CA
8/6/10 Humphrey's San Diego, CA
8/7/10 Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA

This just in from Jimy Rogers of The Mauds / Blue Road:
All shows FREE!

Sunday, July 4 - 2:00 Blue Road in Deerfield
"GandFest" Celebration in Jewett Park
Lifetime Achievement Award to Gary's dad Bob Gand
Music starts at 1 pm (after the parade) featuring Not for Profit, award at 1:45,
Blue Road follows at 2 pm, followed by teen bands Burrows Four and Minor Cha
MAP - click here

Sunday, July 4 - 7:30: Chicago Gold Review
featuring Jimy Rogers - MAUDS, Dennis Tufano - BUCKINGHAMS, Sonny Geraci - OUTSIDERS, Tom Doody and Jim Pilster - CRYAN' SHAMES, Jimmy Sohns - SHADOWS OF KNIGHT
(Gary and Joan will also perform during Jimy's set)
Arlington Heights Frontier Days

Sunday July 11 - 2:30 Blue Road - Taste of Westmont
Blue Road kicks off a great afternoon of blues dedicated to the memory of Muddy Waters Followed by Blues Jam (lead by Blue Road) and headliner Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials

Wednesday July 14 - 7:00 p.m. - Blue Road -
Wheeling Summer Concert Series and Pool Party!
Bring the kids, bring your bathing suit, or just come and sit on the comfortable patio at the Wheeling Aquatic Center; 327 W. Dundee Rd. in Wheeling
Great way to break up the work-week!
Admission normally $10 but FREE after 7 pm for this show

You can catch The Buckinghams on Saturday, July 3rd, at the Village of Hoffman Estates Fourth Of July Festival ... the boys are on a short break from the Happy Together Tour and are coming home to celebrate The Fourth Of July with their fans here in Chicago! More details on The Buckinghams' web page!

Eat your hearts out FH readers ... Sunday, there will be a free ... FREE! ... concert at the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, featuring the Doobie Brothers AND Kenny Loggins! I will be there at sun up! Have a great weekend everyone!
Tokei Two


A quick heads up for very cool show on Sunday, July 4th, at Recreation Park, Arlington Hts.

Frontier Days ... Featuring The Cryan' Shames w/ Jimy Rogers (from The Mauds), Jimy Sohns (from The Shadows Of Knight), Sonny Geraci (lead singer of The Outsiders & Climax) and Dennis Tufano, 'The ORIGINAL Voice of the Buckinghams'! ... and it's all for FREE!!!

Hope to see ya there.


Jimmy "Hooke" Pilster

We're trying to finalize our 4th of July plans right now ... but this one is pretty high up on the list ... a GREAT night of music with a stellar line-up of talent ... hoping to see YOU there, too! (kk)

Many of the local Chicago-area musicians have been lamenting the "slim pickings" of festival dates for the past few years ... these two emails came a few days apart of each other but definitely echo the same sentiments ... for those of you on the list responsible for booking some of this talent, this may serve as some interesting food for thought. It seems like more and more of the ad listings show nothing but cover and tribute bands ... yet some FINE, original talent is still out there ready, willing and able to perform to a receptive audience. Check this out: (kk)
The music business has been pretty flat. I'm still working society dates, some classical, some jazz, even a few Blues gigs here and there. I'm afraid that most of the work on the "carnival circuit" is all Tribute and Cover bands, or some of the old timers that had a hit or two in the day. Since I prefer to involve myself with more original / creative endeavors, the fests just don't seem to be the correct venues for established horn players, certainly in this town ... in a way, it's sad.
There are so many really talented players that don't get a chance to be heard ... I would imagine that within the next couple of years, there won't be any "live" acts performing ... the festival committees will just hook up an iPod to a sound system, people will drink their beers, and no one will know the difference.
If the major acts are cancelling their tours, could you imagine how many other pros are home practicing in their basements? When a phenomenal horn player graduates from college today, he has nowhere to go ... and that's the truth. We had Rush Street, the Aragon, the teen clubs, tours. Those were great times.
Keep the fire burning,
Quent Lang

I've become a bit disillusioned lately about the survival of our preferred music, as represented in Forgotten Hits. Why? My band, Reboot, as you know , plays music of the 50s, 60s and 70s. We have contacted eight booking agents regarding booking our gigs. Several have answered us saying that there is no longer a need, nor many calls for bands that play that music. The others couldn't even bother to answer our inquiry. They claim all their clients want 80s and 90s stuff, primarily rap and hip-hop groups! Or they prefer DJs doing 80s and 90s stuff over live bands in general. I feel like our profession and oldies music is becoming obsolete. I refuse to accept that there is no audience for this music being played by live bands. Is our beloved music really dead for the most part? It seems radio stations that play it are dying and bands doing this music are also struggling to survive.
For me, this is really depressing. I play this music more for the love of it than for the money. I've turned down numerous offers from "original" bands, in order to play the music I grew up with and love the most. Sad, very sad, that this situation exists and is getting worse. It seems the masses just don't care about this music any more.
I pray I'm wrong. But unless we find a booking agent that believes in this music and still wants to promote it, it looks like it may be close to extinction, as far as live bands that play it are concerned. I still believe that the late '50s through the early '70s was the best era in music.
Preston Ritter
(Former drummer of The Electric Prunes and other 60s artists)
Hi Preston!
Ironically, you'll find a very similar letter that I received earlier this week from a former member of The Mauds (a local Chicago blues / rock act), who also played with Wayne Cochran's C.C. Riders back in the late '60's.
Here in Chicago, the trend in live music seems to be nothing but COVER bands and so-called "Tribute" Artists ... bands who PRETEND to be a specific artist ... and I'm telling you, they're EVERYWHERE!!!
Several of the upcoming flyers I received this week promote the likes of The "Fake" Eagles, "Fake" ABBA, "Fake" Styx, "Fake" Journey ... Neil Diamond, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and SO many others are also targeted as "Budget Buys" for promoters of live musical events ... and it's REALLY, really sad. Watered-down versions of these songs is NOT the way we want to remember these artists ... and more and more artists have been cancelling their tours all-together due to lack of ticket sales. Quent Lang goes so far as to say that live music in the future won't even consist of a deejay ... but rather somebody's iPod hooked up to some big-ass speakers ...
That's Entertainment?!?!?
That's why it's so encouraging to hear that specialty oldies shows like "Happy Together Again" Tour are doing so well and selling out venues ... it gives us SOME hope that this music still holds some appeal. (Carole King and James Taylor together in concert was a big ticket draw ... and we've got Donald Fagan of Steely Dan, Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers and Boz Scaggs all coming here to perform together ... what a GREAT line-up of artists THAT is ... and these acts rarely come through here anymore ... so seeing all THREE lead vocalists is a REAL treat. By the way, they're billing themselves as "The Dukes Of September Rhythm Revue" ... so if you get a chance to see 'em, be sure to check 'em out ... we would LOVE to go!!!)
Don't give up ... oldies music on the radio is bigger than ever ... the biggest thing is getting the word out there ... some of these "superstar" acts (like The Classic Rock All-Stars, featuring the leaders of four or five successful '60's and '70's band) are still a very hot ticket. Gregg Rolie's new band (featuring some GREAT tributes to Santana) sounds FANTASTIC on record ... wish they were coming through Chi-Town so we could see them live. Even your old partners in crime have reformed The Electric Prunes and are recording a new CD ... so who knows what the future holds! I think that some opportunity still exists to go out and play the hits, the music that we love, and mix in a few new tracks as well to prove that these are still vital, talented musicians ... but you're right ... convincing these young promoters who determine these things ... and weren't even BORN yet when this great music was around ... is getting tougher and tougher. My favorite story of the past few years concerns an agent who thought he was booking Chicagoland legends The New Coronary Six ... and that is NOT a joke!!! (kk)