Thursday, September 2, 2010

This And That

Looks like The Ides Of March have got a pretty big month ahead of them. In addition to opening for The Buckinghams at this weekend's kick-off concert for Schaumburg's 40th Anniversary Septemberfest, NEXT weekend they will be honored with a street-dedication ceremony in Berwyn where "Ides Of March Way" will officially be unveiled. (And, just like Jim Peterik was on hand when The City Of Chicago dedicated Dick Biondi Way a few months back, the legendary Biondi will be there in Berwyn, too, for this ceremony ... and we hope to see some of YOU readers out there, too!!!

More below from Ron Smith, who sent in this "official" announcement from Jim Peterik's Facebook page:
The City of Berwyn will dedicate Home Avenue between Riverside Drive and Cermak Road "Ides Of March Way" Sunday, September 12, 2010, at 4 pm.
Corner of Home Avenue and Riverside Drive.
Honorary Guest Speakers:
Berwyn Mayor Robert J Lovero
Joseph Keating - School District 201
Joanne Zendol - School District 100
Dick Biondi - WLS Radio legend
Father Dan Mayall - Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral
and of course, The Ides, who will be bringing along their guitars and horns, etc.(it's not a concert, but a few unplugged tunes might be in order!)
Hope to see you all there!!
-- Jim Peterik

And this correction from FH Reader Mike DeMartino ...
>>>The Ides of March will be in Forest Park 10/11,doing all the Ides, Survivor and .38 Special stuff ... all original members. It is a great show! As Mikey sez "Try it, you'll like it!! Any takers? (Mike De Martino)
There must be something in the water ... I meant 9/11.

That's the day before the big street dedicating ceremony ... another great chance to hear these guys rock out in concert! (kk)

By the way, The Ides of March also have a brand new CD out ...

Called "Still 19", it's their first release of all new material in 27 years!!! And, it's available through their website:

In OTHER local music news ...

As we mentioned earlier, you can catch The Buckinghams at Schaumburg's Septemberfest this Saturday Night (September 4th) ... they'll be performing from 8:30 - 10:00 PM, following The Ides Of March, who will open that Concert Doubleheader at 6:00 and perform until 7:30. (Talk about some great "Chicago Gold" musical memories!!!) As well documented here in Forgotten Hits, The Buckinghams are boasting a newly revamped line-up ... while The Ides are probably the only band left on the planet still boasting ALL of their original members from 1965 up on stage together!!!

And you can catch ANOTHER pair of Chicagoland "Local Heroes" that same night when The Mauds and The New Colony Six perform together as a very special "Two-Fer" at WXRT's Garage Band Rock Fest, held at Reggie's Music Joint at 2105 S. State Street in Chicago. (The Mauds take the stage at 9 PM followed by The New Colony Six at 10 PM) ... Jimy Rogers' OTHER band, Blue Road, will open the show at 8:00.

>>>Lead vocalist / guitarist Darren Dowler (aka "Baby Raider", since he's the newest member of the band) has only been onboard for about a month now but he fits right in with the high-impact, high intensity, energetic show that Paul Revere and the Raiders put on night after night. (I've never seen a band work so hard up on stage! lol) Dowler does an outstanding job handling the lead vocals. In fact, his resume is quite impressive ... he also sang with The Lettermen for ten years ... within the context of this new gig, he's finally able to let out his inner demon performer and he absolutely excels at it. (kk)
I'm hoping to run an interview with Dowler and Drummer Tommy Scheckel as the "two newest Raiders" in an upcoming issue of Forgotten Hits. Meanwhile, I couldn't help but wonder about Darren's days with The Lettermen ... this just seemed like such an opposite extreme to the laid-back, soft-rock sounds of this other band ... so I asked former Letterman Gary Pike about it. (Interestingly enough, a special Lettermen Christmas Show is coming to the same venue where we saw Paul Revere and the Raiders perform the other night! I wondered if Gary would be taking part in that show, too!)
Hey Kent,
Darren's stint with the Lettermen was from about 1995 to 2005. Back in about 2003 he was experiencing some vocal problems and his doctor ordered vocal rest, so I filled in for him for a while. Darren is like me in the sense that he is an actor and can fit in. Just because The Lettermen had a majority of ballad hits didn't mean that's all we did in our show. We put all of our hits into medley form and did some up-tempo stuff, too. We all did solos, some comedy, and some audience participation. We did an all around variety show.
Officially, Jim (Gary's brother ... and Lettermen founding-member Jim Pike kk)

sold the Lettermen name to Tony Butala, the last remaining original, in 1976 and left the group because of vocal problems. While Jim was resting his voice, he got our younger brother Donny to fill in. I left in early 1981 and Donny left in late 81. Since Tony inherited the group, he has had quite a few guys come and go. Donovan Tea has been the longest replacement so far ... he started in the late 80's.
Quite a few years ago, Jim and I started singing together again with a fella from the King Family and King Sisters show by the name of Ric de Azevedo. His mother is Alice King of the "King Sisters". They had a very successful variety TV show in the 70's on ABC. We call ourselves "The Reunion" Our web site is: (NOTE: One "g" between singing and group) ... I've attached a picture.

In the current bio of the Lettermen you will read Tony's spin on the early history of the formation of the group, but that is not exactly how it happened. Jim was the catalyst in bringing everyone together in the beginning. He did the vocal arrangements and was the creative force in the group. (It's kind of turned into a "Herman's Hermits" thing, but you can ask anyone who was there in the beginning and they know.)
The Lettermen do a Christmas show every December and it's not too bad. The group now consists of Tony Butala, Donovan Tea and Mark Preston. They are entertaining and sing the same vocal arrangements but it doesn't sound quite the same.
I hope I have answered all your questions. I know it sounds like some sort of soap opera but if you would like more clarification I can give you a little more detail.
My Best,
Unfortunately, there seems to be some element of "soap opera" attached to virtually EVERY recording act in history ... glad to see that The Lettermen ... and The Reunion ... can co-exist in the performing arena these days. Thanks for all the details, Gary ... as we always say, we're all about getting "the most accurate truth" out there to the fans at large! (kk)

... and, speaking of Paul Revere and the Raiders, we got this "thank you note" from new drummer Tommy Scheckel after he received OUR "thank you note" for the tickets to last week's show at The Arcada Theater ...

Hey Kent,
You're most welcome for the tickets, glad you had a blast. Loved your review and so did Paul. I pulled it up on my iPhone on the way back to Chicago and he thought you captured a perfect snapshot of the concert. He also said, "This guy really knows his stuff!"
The show steamrolled across IN and MI after playing St. Charles, IL and played to some more amazing audiences. 60s fans kick ass! The good news is that the band will be playing out a lot more this coming year. We can't wait, we had such a good time that it should be illegal to have this much fun and get paid too. (it's not is it?)
Thanks to everyone who traveled out to see us and thanks to the promoters, DJs and journalists for covering these shows. We all wanted to say a special thanks to Ron Onesti for one of the best Italian meals any of us has ever had, and for the cool "Playboy After Dark" style hang in his awesome restaurant after the show in St. Charles, IL. It's built into this cool old church - I mean, come on!
Hope we make it out this way again soon, the Midwest always did know how to let loose and get wacky.

Thanks again Kent for helping keep the 60s music train firmly on the tracks.
Tommy Scheckel
PS We kept seeing Big Boy restaurants on the road. Paul is convinced that Rod Blagojevich was the model. He renamed him, Rod BigBoy-avitch.
The guy kills me!
LOL ... he DOES kinda look like him, doesn't he?!?!? (Paul Revere got off a couple of good Blagojevich lines during the concert, too ... and then, when asked about his own hair ... and as to whether or not it was real ... he said, "Are you kidding me? I'm RICH!!! You think I'd buy THIS?!?!?" GREAT line!!! All kidding aside, Revere looks 25 years younger than he is ... he appears to be in great shape and has a VERY full head of hair at 73 ... and he was up there rockin' right alongside all you youngins!!! Great to hear that the band'll be touring more ... which'll give more oldies fans a chance to see you guys. Please check in with us from time to time and let us know what's going on. Thanks, Tommy! (kk)

The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL, home to both The Lettermen Christmas Show (on December 17th) and the Paul Revere and the Raiders concert that we just saw last weekend, has some OTHER great shows coming up that you might want to check out ...
On September 24th it'll be KC and the Sunshine Band ... we were there a couple of years ago to see these guys and it was a VERY entertaining show. (Of course that's ALSO the night that the air conditioning went out, making The Arcada literally the "hottest disco in town"!!!)
October 1st you can catch Matthew and Gunnar Nelson's Tribute to their father, Ricky Nelson, a show recently reviewed right here in Forgotten Hits by one of our East Coast Readers.
On October 8th you'll be saying "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" ... that's because Kansas will be right here in St. Charles, IL, performing live in concert at The Arcada.
Big show on October 14th ... America is out celebrating their 40th Anniversary ... these guys ALWAYS put on a great evening of music and memories. (We caught them at their Soundstage taping a few years back.)
Lots of other big shows between now and the end of the year, too ... you can check out all of the details at

Now that I've finished reading both The Rolling Stone Magazine List ... and the 2004 Book written by Stephen J. Spignesi and Michael Lewis ... side-by-side, I can honestly say that I'm more than just a little bit surprised at the similarities between the two lists ... particularly in the writers' commentary and Beatles quotations used to support each entry. Far be it from me to accuse anybody of anything here (after all, Forgotten Hits is often not much more than a consensus of four or five research sources accumulated and then rephrased into our own words as a means of reporting some facts that the average oldies music fan might not have been privy to ... kind of a "we do all the reading so that you don't have to" attitude, I guess!) ... but some of this stuff is virtually WORD-FOR-WORD IDENTICAL!!! (Yet nowhere in The Rolling Stone article to I see Spignesi and Lewis credited ... or so much as even mentioned!!!) I dunno guys ... it'd be tough to convince anybody that their 2004 Book ... published six years BEFORE Rolling Stone's take on the same subject matter ... wasn't used as at least a "point of reference" in preparing this "special collectors' issue". Seems to me the LEAST they could do is give Spignesi an Lewis a "nod" of appreciation. (kk)

As per your question on "Are The Beatles Still Relevant in 2010", I vote "No!"
If someone were to spend two million 1963 dollars promoting your Christmas song. Lonely Christmas, it would be even more of a holiday standard then it already is. 47 years later, the investment is still paying huge dividends. You've stated more than once in FH, how many configurations of the same album are you gonna buy? It's like any other product on the market, it was the right band at the right time. The only reason I own The Beatles 1 CD is that upon occasion if I'm asked to DJ a party, people request them. Otherwise I would not own any Beatles music. It is the only Beatles CD I've ever bought, or will buy. I know I could easily be a minority of one on this, but someone has to be.
I think we've got to go with "Majority Rules" on this one, Jack ... witness the mass hysteria last year on 09-09-09 when the entire remastered Beatles catalog was released on CD ... and the demand was so high they had to go back and press more copies! (They also couldn't keep copies of The Beatles Rock Band Game on the shelf either!)
Whatever Capitol Records did to insure a successful initial push to launch the band here in The States might have accounted for the majority of the screaming teen age fans out looking for the latest new teen idol those first few weeks of Beatlemania hysteria ... but the music soon took over ... and it's been all about the music ever since. Otherwise, The Beatles would have faded away like so many other flash-in-the-pan acts we've witnessed in the nearly 50 years since. (I can also pretty much guarantee you that not ONE kid screaming the night of The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show ... or The Beatles themselves for that matter ... could have EVER predicted that music like "In My Life", "Yesterday", "A Day In The Life", "Michelle" and "Eleanor Rigby" ... or albums like "Revolver", "Rubber Soul", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Abbey Road" ... could have POSSIBLY been in the band's future ... not at a time when the simple, catchy melodies of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You" and "Please Please Me" were turning the entire world on its ear. (Your Capitol Records financial theory really doesn't explain the mass hysteria that was going on a full year in advance around the REST of the world either!!!)
The plain and simple fact is that these songs have stood the test of time ... they not only paved the way and set the standard for popular music way back when but they have grown in stature ever since. NOT including them in your personal collection may make a statement of choice in your own mind but all you're really doing is depriving and denying yourself the pleasure and enjoyment of some of the finest music made in our lifetimes. (kk)

“Beatles 107.3” in Corpus Christi begins the Labor Day week of format changes.
There are rumors about other flips, such as the speculation about a CBS Radio client party in Tampa Thursday night. But one of the first actual flips is in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Convergent-owned KRSR, Ingleside (107.3) just grounded the “Star” AC format on a permanent basis. Through Friday morning at 9 am, the station is a fresh-sounding “Beatles 107.3”, featuring the lads from Liverpool. You can be a Beatlemaniac by listening to the stream
here. The ever-lively discussion boards at turn up one other example of pre-holiday stunting – or maybe two, in the same market .
-- (From Tom Taylor On Radio)

We were sad to hear that our FH Radio Buddy Jim Shea is out at Y103.9, our other oldies outlet here in Chicago. Jim has been a GREAT friend and supporter of Forgotten Hits (both on and off the air) for the past several years. (My very first on-air radio interview was with Jim several years ago when our Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame piece first ran in FH.) He's a VERY knowledgeable music guy who truly loves this music ... and he's also just a fun guy to listen to! Ironically, for the past several weeks, Y103.9 has been airing episodes of "The Best Of Jim Shea" while Jim was on vacation ... it was especially flattering to hear back-to-back-to-back interviews with Jock Bartley of Firefall, Dennis Tufano (former lead singer of The Buckinghams) and Peter Noone ... all of whom FH was instrumental in helping to set up for the station. Budget cuts and a 30% decrease in sales are the reasons being cited by the station regarding making this decision ... and it's really not getting any better out there in radioland ... so it's especially tough to see a talented guy like this taken off the air. Let us know where you land, Jim ... and if any of you radio folk out there might have a lead to throw our way, please let me know so that I can pass the info along. Meanwhile, another of our Y103.9 Buddies, Jeff James, has taken over the role of the new morning guy. Simply put, he's ANOTHER one of the most knowledgeable oldies jocks I know out there ... I just hope the tightly regimented format of doing a morning show doesn't completely cramp his style when it comes to playing some of the GREAT, obscure tracks he typically features on his show. (Jeff is the guy who started the "Windy City @ 6" program a while back, featuring an hour a night of Chicago-flavored music.) My understanding is that he will continue to host "Saturday Night Live At The '70's" for the station, too ... a genuine potpourri of musical gems airing from 7 PM till Midnight every Saturday Night! Tom Kent fills Jeff's old spot from 2 - 7 PM weekdays (and takes over the "All-Request Live Drive at Five" segment, too!) Best of luck to ALL the vocal talent out there reading this today during these EXTREMELY difficult broadcasting times. (kk)

Meanwhile, it sounds like True Oldies is back in Knoxville ... this piece comes from Tom Taylor's "Taylor On Radio" column:
Knoxville AM WMTY (670) is dropping talk to go “True Oldies.”
It's apparently using Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel from Citadel Media, returning the format to the local airwaves. That was the original message from the Eastern Tennessee Board of about Horne Radio’s WMTY, Farragut. One poster says that since Citadel’s own WOKI (98.7) dropped True Oldies, there should be a hole for Shannon’s deep, eclectic playlist and fun announcing style. In the meantime, “Metrotalk 670” is definitely gone from WMTY and the station’s no longer streaming. But if you scroll down through the board posts and the speculation about an FM partner for daytimer WMTY-AM – you discover that sister WLOD-FM, Sweetwater, TN (98.3) has apparently already ditched the classic rock to add “True Oldies.” Follow the action on the Eastern Tennessee Board.

I know Scott Shannon was actively pursuing another Knoxville outlet to feed all the True Oldies music fans out there ... great to see that he found one so quickly. The oldies are bigger than ever ... and we're proud to be doing OUR part to help keep all this great music alive. (kk)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Helping Out Our Readers

Hi Kent,
My name is Murray Walding.
I'm a writer from Australia and I'm doing some research on sixties night clubs in Melbourne, Victoria. I'm trying to find out anything about a really obscure track that got minimal airplay out here around 1965. I don't even know the title but its refrain went along the lines of - 'We're not movie stars, We're just the boys with the big guitars.' (Ka-Chang!!!)
I always felt that it might have been a Boyce and Hart song ... does it ring any bells with you?
Kindest Regards,
Not off the top of my head ... but let's run it up The Forgotten Hits Flagpole and see what comes back. Thanks, Murray! (kk)

Thanks Kent...
Maybe I'm looking for something that's so obscure that its only in my memory banks, however I recall the song as being sung by a duo with a name reminiscent of Boyce and Hart. I do recall talking to other kids at school about the track and there was a general consensus that it would be a hit. Guess we were wrong about that. There also may have been a clip shown on local television in Melbourne Australia, and again my guess is around 1965. Any info would be great.
Also, are you aware of the Bill Cosby track- Little Old Man ... a reworking of Stevie Wonder's Uptight? My guess is that it was recorded on the west coast ... I'm trying to find out who the session players were.
Regards and thanks for your reply.
Murray Walding,

"Little Ole Man" was a HUGE hit here in The States ... #4 nationally and #2 here in Chicago (where it still gets played from time to time.) The musicianship on this record is outstanding ... in fact, it sounds JUST like the Motown record (which makes ME wonder who's on it, too!!!) Any ideas out there? Proof??? Let us know. Thanks! (kk)

>>>One of my listeners on The FLip Side sent me an email to ask if I recognized a song. It's not the normal "cheek to cheek" song by Fred Astaire. I don't have the record, so I'm hoping one of your forgotten hits members will recognize it. See below, and thanks! (Mr. C)
>>>I have been searching desperately for a song that was a flip-side of a 45 back in the early 60's (around 1962 or 63). The name of the song is "Cheek to Cheek" and the lyrics I remember are:
Cheek to cheek, I want to dance with you. Arm in arm (or could be "hand in hand") Just like we used to do. Day by day, (day for day?) There's no reason for this broken heart.
It was done by a girl group. I thought perhaps it was the flip side of "Tell Him" by The Exciters, but that's "Hard Way to Go" ... so now I'm stumped. Can you help? Thanks! (Liz)
>>>Have at it, readers ... let's see what you can come up with! (kk)
The version Liz is seeking might well be the flip side of "What Are Boys Made Of" by the Percells on ABC-Paramount from 1963. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy to share. Perhaps another FH member has the 45?
– Randy Price
And then, literally SECONDS later ...
My pleasure ... Thanks for asking me ... (or not) ... this was on ABC-Paramount 10401-B in 1963.
Tom Diehl

More from legendary deejay Bob Hale on this one (courtesy of Clark Weber):
It was "S'Wonderful."
I began using it in Mason City having heard KTHT in Houston late-nights using it as bumper for music and news. They did a non-DJ all-night show called "Downbeat." And bumpers and announcements were tagged with snippets of Ray Coniff.
"On we go with our musical show. More music on DOWNBEEEEAAAATTTTTTT"
(S'Wonderful cut for about 10 secs.)
I adapted it for East of Midnight.
It lasted one week. Sam (Holman, WLS Program Director at the time) said, "Hale, kill the theme ... we don't need them. Get to music!"
"Right Sam!"
End of theme!
For someone to recall that brief period is a wonder! Good listener, I'd say!
Bob Hale

Hiya Kent,
While researching "Back To School" Songs for Mystery Lyrics next month I came across this ...
"Graduation Day," Stark Whiteman and the Crowns ... Certainly the rarest of the items on this list, this classic 45 isn't available on CD anywhere that your Guide is aware of. Recorded by an obscure New Orleans outfit, this sad Fifties ballad was a hit in the region but never made the charts. It's one of the best odes to the day in question, expressing a real, tangible sadness at the idea of leaving your friends behind forever.
This has intrigued me so much that I wondered whether any of the Forgotten Hits readers had any more information about this song and maybe a sound file to go with it?

Cool ... let's see what we get back on this one. Thanks, Dave! (kk)

>>>Kent ...WOW! How do you go from "Lullaby Of Birdland" (1952) to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (1961)? (Frank B.)

While George David Weiss is a songwriter of note, one song he did not write was The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The song dates back to the 1930s in South Africa, exported to England and then the U.S. I recall reading somewhere that the writer's decendants were presented with a very tidy sum not too many years ago for back royalties. Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)

While you're MOSTLY right, there's more to the story. Check out our '60's FLASHBACK below for a short piece we did on the history of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" a few years back in Forgotten Hits. The song DOES date back to the 1930's ... and prior to landing in The Tokens' hands, had already been recorded with a fair amount of success by The Weavers. But Weiss was brought in to write English Lyrics to the African tune, thus making him one of the writers of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" ... previously, the tune had been known as "Mbube" and then "Wimoweh". Check out our recap below ... along with the way they addressed it in the New York Times obituary.


The origin of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" dates back to 1939, when a South African singer named Solomon Linda first recorded a Zulu chant called "Mbube". Thirteen years later, The Weavers got ahold of the tune and recorded it (with a few new lyrics) as "Wimoweh", and scored a #14 Pop Hit in the process back in 1952. When Record Producers Hugo and Luigi learned that "Wimoweh" was actually a song about a lion hunt, they recruited songwriter George Weiss to write new English lyrics and, for the first time, the song became "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", which went on to top the U.S. Charts ten years after The Weavers' Top 20 single. (The following year, that same songwriting trio penned one of Elvis Presley's biggest hits, "Can't Help Falling In Love", this time inspired by an old FRENCH tune!!!)

The Evolution Of A Song: On first listen, you'll see that "Mbube", a 1939 recording by Solomon Linda, is really not much more than a Zulu chant. In 1953, The Weavers took it to another level when they added a few lyrics to the African beat and released it as "Wimoweh". When The Tokens auditioned for RCA Records with their rendition of "Wimoweh", producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore liked it enough to call in songwriter George Weiss and commissioned him to write a complete set of English lyrics, taking the song to its final state. In hindsight, it's truly amazing to think that each enterprising new producer heard enough of a magical melody in the previous rendition to push it to another level ... but "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" has stood the test of time ... it truly is a rock and roll classic! (kk)

George David Weiss, of ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ Dies at 89 - Obituary (Obit) -

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (1961), based on a South African Zulu song first recorded in the 1930s, was given a reworked melody and new lyrics (“In the jungle, the mighty jungle / The lion sleeps tonight”) by Mr. Weiss, Mr. Peretti and Mr. Creatore.
Their adaptation, which kept the refrain — “Wimoweh, wimoweh” — popularized in a 1950s version by the Weavers, became a million-selling hit for the Tokens. Widely recorded since, the song has been used in many motion pictures, including “The Lion King” (1994).

By the way, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" returned to the top of the charts in 1972 when singer Robert John cut a version ... produced by none other than The Tokens, Hank Medress and Jay Siegel! Recording a very faithful (and similiar) version to The Tokens' own hit, it peaked at #2.

It's one of the songs that was just featured on Scott Shannon's "Rock And Roll Remakes" Weekend on The True Oldies Channel ... which got another GREAT response by the way. (I'm telling you ... music fans really LOVE "The Stories Behind The Songs"!!!) kk
Scott -
I don't know where in the world you obtained all that info on the remake weekend but it was both informative and very entertaining. Please do this again often. This one ranked right up there or perhaps even higher than the forgotten oldies weekends.
Steve Davidson

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 29 - 10 )

We did it!!! With a little bit of scrambling, we WERE able to put together a Sunday Comments Page! (Short but sweet ... compared to our usual Sunday ramblings ... but hopefully enjoyable nonetheless!)

Morning Kent!
How's the Birthday hangover?
I hope you got your fair share of "Kicks" from last nights Paul Revere & the Raiders concert. LoL !
Was Mark Lindsay singing with them? I know he's been on the " Happy Together Tour."
Frank B.
A lesson I learned in my early 20's ... No drinking ... No hang-over!!! And I haven't had one since! (lol)
The concert was nothing short of FANTASTIC!

For the record, Mark Lindsay hasn't sung with The Raiders in DECADES ... they're each out doing their own thing ... but even without his vocals, it was a GREAT show. Paul Revere has put together an incredibly tight back-up unit and the musicianship is nothing short of outstanding. Guitarist Doug Heath and Bassist Ron Foos have been onboard as Raiders for over 35 years and keyboardist Danny Krause has been "filling in Paul's missing notes" for over 30 years now ... "newbies" Tommy Sheckel on drums (late of The Buckinghams) and lead vocalist / guitarist Darren Dowler (aka "Baby Raider" since he's the newest member of the band) have only been contributing to the chaos for about a month now but fit right in with the high-impact, "full-speed-ahead"-paced show. (I've never seen a band work so hard up on stage! I swear each one of these guys must lose ten pounds a night! lol) And Revere, at nearly 73 years of age, doesn't miss a beat ... he's still sharp as a tack and the entire performance is precision timed to perfect effect. Comedy and music are equally split during the evening and after years of perfecting his banter in Las Vegas show lounges and now at their permanent home in Branson, Missouri, at the Andy Williams / Moon River Theater, it really shows.
The guys have a lot of fun on stage and the audience is along for one hell of a ride. Dowler does an outstanding job handling the lead vocals (his resume is quite impressive ... after singing with The Lettermen for ten years ... and playing lead guitar for The Backstreet Boys!!! ... he's finally able to let out his inner demon performer and he absolutely excels at it ... honestly, I can't even imagine Mark Lindsay wanting to come back to the hectic pace of this show ... while Mark has been in EXCELLENT voice throughout the Happy Together Again Tour ... by all accounts I've seen, the highlight of the night at each stop ... this is a frantically paced show that NEVER lets up and is more about keeping the audience entertained through on-stage theatrics than simply the quality of the music.) The true bonus is the fact that the quality of the music is OUTSTANDING ... and Paul mixes up the set with a virtual non-stop hit list of Paul Revere and the Raiders
material, much of which you just don't hear on the radio anymore. (As such, it becomes a Forgotten Hits Concert Dream ... their in-concert song list included complete or partial versions of The Raiders' hits "Like Long Hair", "Steppin' Out", "Louie Louie", "Just Like Me", "Kicks", "Hungry", "The Great Airplane Strike", "Good Thing", "Ups And Downs", "Him Or Me, What's It Gonna Be", "Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon", "Let Me", "Birds Of A Feather" and, of course, "Indian Reservation". Even at that, legitimate Top 40 Hits like "I Had A Dream", "Too Much Talk", "Don't Take It So Hard", "Peace Of Mind" and "Country Wine" still had to be left off the list! Man, what a hit-making machine these guys truly were!)
They also did PERFECT cover versions of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and The Animals' "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" ... and, since they were playing here in Chicago, closed out the evening with a bonus encore of "Sweet Home Chicago". All-in-all, a PERFECT night of music.
By the way, at one point in the show Paul Revere remarked that some music critic once stated that "The five most perfect notes in rock and roll can be found at the beginning of the Paul Revere and the Raiders hit single 'Good Thing'" ... and, after hearing it live last night, I'd have to agree with him. Check it out below:

Complete Paul Revere and the Raiders touring information can be found on their website.
Click here: Paul Revere & the Raiders
After another long stretch in Branson, the band is off for a Rock And Roll Cruise in late January (featuring other acts such as Danny and the Juniors, Bill Haley's Original Comets, Chuck Negron (aka One Dog Night!!!) and Gary Puckett. Sounds like a blast! (And will be a blast from the past musically ... you'll find THIS information on their website as well. Talk about Cruisin' To The Oldies!!!)

They don't tour much anymore so if you get the chance to see these guys, by all means, check 'em out ... you won't be disappointed. (kk)

Paul Revere and the Raiders
(NOTE: All concert photos courtesy of Michele Abrams ... thanks Michele!!!)

Paul Revere (with our "Keep Rockin'" buddies, Liz and Lou) after the show!
Hi Kent:
I met you at the Paul Revere and the Raiders show last night ... wow, what a great concert! Talk about your high energy full body workouts!
Tommy the drummer was fantastic. I wonder how long it takes to wring himself out after each show. You'd swear he'd been with the band for YEARS, not just the past month. He never missed a beat and is an incredible showman -- very entertaining to watch.
Actually, the whole band was top notch -- I heard a couple of people say that this new vocalist is the best Paul has had since Mark Lindsay. I've never seen Paul Revere and the Raiders in concert before -- this was quite a show!
Brock and Abrams were an interesting choice as the opening act. Vocally, they were spot-on. I've seen Bobby Abrams perform with the Buckinghams several times over the years but he never really had a chance to show off his vocal chops within the context of that band -- this guy can fact, I think he sang The Buckinghams' hits as well as ANYBODY has since Dennis Tufano moved on to a solo career -- I'm sorry, but NOBODY will ever top Dennis' vocals. Personally, I could have lived without Jimy Sohn's "guest spot" -- I don't feel that he added anything to the show and Brock and Abrams sounded SO good without him that his inclusion seemed totally unnecessary. I can't wait to see them perform again in a longer set -- it didn't seem like they really knew how long they were supposed to perform -- in fact, it almost seemed awkward at times. I'd also love to see them do the audience requests they referred to during their show -- they sounded great! Any idea where else they'll be performing?
-- Sherry
I thought Brock and Abrams sounded great last night, too ... we got there early enough to hear part of their soundcheck and even in rehearsal they were "spot on" vocally. Ron Onesti mentioned that they'd be appearing at his restaurant in September ... and for a full schedule, you can always check their website:

Brock and Abrams ...

... and Jimy Sohns with Bobby Abrams (belting one out!)

Hi Kent,
A friend of mine forwarded me your web page regarding the "Forgotten B-Sides" list. I thought it was great! I am putting a book together on flip-sides. Some of the ones on your list are already included in my book, which I have been working on for a few months now. I have "Bus Rider", "The Boat That I Row" by Lulu, but also by Neil Diamond (they are both great versions!), "Rain" by The Beatles (which is my favorite of ALL time), "Makin' Good Time" by Tommy James and The Shondells (flip of "Ball of Fire"), "Let Him Run Wild " by The Beach Boys, to name just a few.
Feel free to respond, and keep up the good work!
Nick Arietano, Jr.
Rock and Roll Historian
Keep us posted as your book develops. You'll find some GREAT titles on this list ... and be sure to check out our All-Time Biggest Two-Sided Hits list, too ... these are the most successful singles ever released where BOTH sides of the record made the charts! (kk)
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Top 200 BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HITS of All-Time
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides

George David Weiss, of ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ Dies at 89 - Obituary (Obit) -
Kent ...
WOW! How do you go from "Lullaby Of Birdland" (1952) to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (1961)?
Frank B.
He did a whole lot more than that ... Weiss also had a hand in writing "Can't Help Falling In Love" for Elvis Presley, "What A Wonderful World" for Louis Armstrong and "Wheel Of Fortune" for Kay Starr. His work was prominently featured on Broadway and in films, too. (kk)

Glad to have you aboard the Darin Train!!!! Looking forward to the big Bobby Darin event next May!
Susan Schooley,
Cutler Bay, FL
Big fan here, too ... anxious to hear the details. (Man, I just GOTTA get that series up on the website!!!) kk

Hi there,
Thanks for the article ...
A Bobby Darin Fan from Sydney Australia.
Judy McRae

While we try to keep politics (and opinion in this regard) out of Forgotten Hits, I've received this link a couple of times now from Trade Martin and finally decided to share it with our readers. Obviously, we're all free to draw our own conclusions ... but with close to 150,000 hits already, it's clearly relevant to what's been all over the news of late. (kk)
“The President And Grammy winner Trade Martin Disagree On The Ground Zero Mosque" (Read the story, hear the song, see the video.)
The Trade Martin Story (Google search starter)!!!

We've run this one before, too, but it's just a fun way to spend six and a half minutes. (Sent in this time by Alan O'Day!) Having just added another birthday notch to the bedpost, I can relate! (kk)

This topic has come up a couple of times recently in Forgotten Hits ... so imagine my surprise when I heard from Wally Podrazik himself the other day, weighing in on this subject!
>>>I can't say that I've ever met ANYONE who would have preferred missing The Beatles' performance on Ed Sullivan to watching some Disney movie!!! In fact, if anything, quite the opposite is true. Meeting SO many younger readers who weren't around like we were when all this cool musical stuff was happening, they are genuinely jealous of having missed what just HAS to be the most innovative time in pop music history ... and they just LOVE hearing about these experiences through our eyes (and memories) or watching the old clips via youTube or DVDs or what have you. (kk)
>>>Regarding the Beatles versus The Scarecrow ... Well, obviously, in the wake of B-Day, the Beatles were to be a much biggest part of my life than the Scarecrow ... obviously. All's I'm saying is, for the shear nostalgic entertainment of it, today, in 2010, I would rather watch Dr. Syn, Curlew, and Hellspite than the Beatles on Sullivan. You must keep in mind that just as "everybody" was at Woodstock, "everybody" watched them on Feb 9, 1964? ... well, no, not really ... some kids weren't into pop music just yet ... most were, I guess, but certainly not all. At my house, we listened to Al Hirt, whom I love with a passion to this day! And not just the hits but the album cuts, everything. Hell, he did the theme to "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians"!
You might recall the book "All Together Now" the first definitive Beatles discography, published in 1975 by Harry Castleman and Walter J. Podrazik. In the third installment, "The End", in the bio section in the back, Walter came out of the closet and admitted he was watching the Scarecrow. Harry wasn't. Anyway, that gave me the "courage" to stand up and be counted as a true believer in Scarecrowmania ... and BTW I believe this airing was actually a repeat, but it was just as good the second time around. (Stolf)
I'd like to comment on the above thread ...
It was while researching the book Watching TV (also co-authored with Harry Castleman and newly issued this fall in an expanded second edition from Syracuse University Press) that I confirmed the 1-2-3 Beatles versus Scarecrow choice, especially for me in a faceoff that I had remembered taking place back then in the final week. Long before home video recording, it was a matter of controlling the dial. An older, female, teenage cousin wanted Sullivan. Her brother and I wanted The Scarecrow. One TV. Our compromise. We kept switching back and forth (no remote, by hand) and agreed that if we landed on Sullivan and The Beatles were performing, we’d stay there for the songs. Then as soon as they were finished, back to The Scarecrow. Not perfect, but that let us catch most of The Scarecrow. But then it was a long wait until the eventual reruns to see the missing Scarecrow minutes.
By the way, that February 1964 airing of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh was indeed the first U.S. presentation of the miniseries. (See Wikipedia for a summary of its late 1963 presentation in Great Britain.) Obviously, The Beatles ended up an important part of my pop culture experience as well.
Walter J. Podrazik
Thanks, Wally! BIG fan of your books here ... and great of you to weigh in on this one! (kk)
Thanks. Harry Castleman came across this thread yesterday and alerted me to it. He knew the Scarecrow / Sullivan tale was one of those defining moments for me.