Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Ides Of March Get Their Way

We were amongst the crowd in Berwyn last weekend when The Ides Of March were honored with the dedication of "Ides Of March Way", a stretch of pavement not far from Morton West High School where the four original members of the band graduated High School between 1966 and 1968.

Despite a BEAUTIFUL day, the festivities were moved inside the Auditorium of the High School to better accommodate the crowd that had gathered to pay tribute to our "Local Boys Done Good."

In a VERY moving ceremony, Jim Peterik remarked that had somebody told him that the path he used to walk to school every day ... from Oak Park Avenue to Riverside Drive and then over to Home Avenue ... would one day be named "Ides Of March Way", he wouldn't have believed it in a million years.

Founding members Larry Millas, Jim Peterik, Mike Borch and Bob Bergland started the band (as The Shon-Dels) while still in grade school back in 1964. A year later they recorded their first record "Like it Or Lump It" on their own record label (which went absolutely nowhere ... but is probably worth a FORTUNE today, assuming you could even FIND a copy!!!)

Legend has it that Peterik named the band after Troy Shondell, who topped the charts here in Chicago with "This Time" back in 1961 ... he reportedly liked Troy's name so much that he named the band after him!

Of course, a year later another group called The Shondells, an all-girl outfit from Cincinnati, came out of nowhere and "bubbled under" on The Billboard Pop Singles Chart with a song called "Wonderful One" in 1962 ...

And then in 1964, a kid from Niles, Michigan, named Tommy James named HIS band The Shondells and recorded a little track called "Hanky Panky", which went completely unnoticed for two years ... until a deejay in Pittsburgh started playing it one night, propelling the record to #1 in 1966, thus putting an end to ANYBODY else using the Shondells name from that point further.

At this point The Shon-Dels became The Ides Of March, a name suggested by bassist Bob Bergland, who had just finished reading "Julius Caesar" in High School. The name stuck ... and their first single under that name hit pay dirt here in Chicago where "You Wouldn't Listen" went all the way to #7 (and just missed making The National Top 40 when it stopped at #42 in Billboard Magazine.) It SHOULD have been huge ... it's a GREAT track that totally captures the pop sound / garage band sound of that era.

Another minor hit followed ("Rollercoaster", #92 in Billboard and #19 here in Chi-Town) and then they released a track that dabbled with horns for the first time called "My Foolish Pride", a personal favorite of mine, that didn't chart at all.

In 1969 the band put together an audition tape for Warner Brothers records consisting of four songs ... they had added horns permanently to the line-up by this point, after again dipping into The Morton West and Morton East High School musicians pool ... and one of those tracks, "Vehicle", catapulted them to the major leagues the following year.

The song topped the charts here in Chicago and went all the way to #2 in Billboard Magazine. It literally hasn't been off the radio since ... and I swear that a day doesn't go by when I don't still hear it today ... and that's true of whatever city I happen to be in at the time. It truly has become a Rock Classic ... and a few years ago was introduced to a whole new audience when Bo Bice recorded the song after performing it on "American Idol."

"L.A. Goodbye" became a #2 Chicagoland Hit (and deserved a FAR better fate than it got on the national charts, where it peaked at #72 in Cash Box Magazine.) After a few more failed singles, the band split up in 1973. (In fact, I was at their so-called farewell concert, also held at Morton West High School that year.)

The late '70's and early '80's saw Jim Peterik form Survivor, who went on to have their own fair share of Top 40 Hits, including the chart-topper "Eye Of The Tiger" from the Sylvester Stallone film "Rocky III" ... as well as Top Ten Smashes like "High On You", "The Search Is Over", "Burning Love" (from "Rocky IV") and "Is This Love". In addition to co-writing these songs, Peterik also composed hits for the Southern Rock Band .38 Special ... but in 1990, the City of Berwyn asked The Ides Of March if they would consider reuniting for one night to headline the city's "Summerfaire" Concert Series. The band agreed and have been together again ever since ... adding twenty more years with all four original members still intact ... making it now 46 years since they first started rehearsing in a Berwyn basement!

Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero and Joseph Keating of School District 201 were both on hand to pay tribute to the band and congratulate them on their many accomplishments and always acknowledging their Berwyn roots ... as was Joanne Zendol of District 100 (who was able to work about a dozen Peterik song titles into her speech!), the legendary Dick Biondi (who earlier this year received a similar honor when "Dick Biondi Way" was dedicated downtown to commemorate Dick's 50th Anniversary of first broadcasting on WLS Radio, a position he STILL holds today!) and Monsignor Daniel Mayall, Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral, who offered prayer and blessings for this accomplished group of musicians. (In his final prayer, he asked "How do I address you, Lord? There are so many ways and you go by so many different names ... Holy Spirit? ... Heavenly Father? ... no, today it's 'Great God In Heaven'", which brought the crowd to its feet in honor of one of rock's most famous lyrics.)

It was clear that each member of the band was emotionally touched by the ceremony ... as was most of the audience. (For me personally, this was the first time I had been in The Morton West Auditorium since I was presented with my own High School Diploma on the very same stage where The Ides Of March were being honored this day!)

The band then closed the show with four KILLER musical selections: "L.A. Goodbye", "You Wouldn't Listen", "Eye Of The Tiger" and, as Peterik noted "The 'Vehicle' that got us all here today". It was an OUTSTANDING performance and a well-deserved honor for Berwyn's Favorite Sons. (Remarkably, a Berwyn street naming honor has happened exactly ONCE prior to this day!)

The Ides Of March just recently released their first album of all new material, "Still 19", their first since 1973!!!

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Jim Peterik, Larry Millas, Mike Borch, Bob Bergland, Chuck Soumar, John Larson, Scott May and Dave Stahlberg, still performing today as The Ides Of March (with all four original members since 1964!!!) Way To Go, Guys ... we love ya!!!

-- Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Biggest Songs Of Summer, 1970

Jumping ahead to 1970 (you'll find The Top 50 Songs Of Summer for 1967, 1968 and 1969 already posted on the website ... which is where all of THESE new rankings will join them next week), we want to once again thank both Randy Price and Jack Levin for the time, effort and due-diligence put into compiling these charts. There was a TON of research to review and these guys came through for us again. Thanks, Guys!

And now, without further adieu ... finally ... here are The Biggest Songs from the Summer of 1970, as tabulated by the rankings in both the national and the local Chicagoland charts:

The Biggest Songs of Summer, 1970 -
based on The National Charts

1. MAMA TOLD ME (Not To Come) - Three Dog Night (Dunhill)
2. BAND OF GOLD - Freda Payne (Invictus)
3. BALL OF CONFUSION (That's What The World Is Today) - The Temptations
4. THE LOVE YOU SAVE - The Jackson 5 (Motown)
5. (They Long To Be) CLOSE TO YOU - Carpenters (A&M)
6. MAKE IT WITH YOU - Bread (Elektra)
7. RIDE CAPTAIN RIDE - The Blues Image (Atco)
8. LAY DOWN (Candles In The Rain) - Melanie with The Edwin Hawkins Singers
9. SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED I'M YOURS - Stevie Wonder (Tamla)
10. TIGHTER, TIGHTER - Alive And Kicking (Roulette)

11. HITCHIN' A RIDE - Vanity Fare (Page One)
12. O-O-H CHILD - The Five Stairsteps (Buddah)
13. THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD - The Beatles (Apple)
14. SPILL THE WINE - Eric Burdon & War (MGM)
15. GET READY - Rare Earth (Rare Earth)
16. WHICH WAY YOU GOIN' BILLY? - The Poppy Family (London)
17. THE WONDER OF YOU - Elvis Presley (RCA Victor)
18. GIMME DAT DING - The Pipkins (Capitol)
19. WAR - Edwin Starr (Gordy)
20. LAY A LITTLE LOVIN' ON ME - Robin McNamara (Steed)
21. I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVING - B.J. Thomas (Scepter)
22. IN THE SUMMERTIME - Mungo Jerry (Janus)
23. ARE YOU READY? - Pacific Gas & Electric (Columbia)
24. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL - Ray Stevens (Barnaby)
25. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Atlantic)
26. (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) WHY CAN'T I TOUCH YOU? - Ronnie Dyson (Columbia)
27. OHIO - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Atlantic)
28. LOVE ON A TWO-WAY STREET - The Moments (Stang)
29. THE LETTER - Joe Cocker (A&M)
30. A SONG OF JOY (Himno A La Alegria) - Miguel Rios (A&M)
31. UNITED WE STAND - The Brotherhood Of Man (Deram)
32. MY BABY LOVES LOVIN' - White Plains (Deram)
33. LOVE LAND - Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band (Warner Bros.)
34. PATCHES - Clarence Carter (Atlantic)
35. WESTBOUND #9 - The Flaming Ember (Hot Wax)
36. TELL IT ALL BROTHER - Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (Reprise)
37. UP AROUND THE BEND - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Fantasy)
38. IT'S ALL IN THE GAME - The Four Tops (Motown)
39. THE SLY, SLICK, AND THE WICKED - The Lost Generation (Brunswick)
40. 25 OR 6 TO 4 - Chicago (Columbia)
41. OVERTURE FROM TOMMY (A Rock Opera) - The Assembled Multitude (Atlantic)
42. QUESTION - The Moody Blues (Threshold)
43. CECILIA - Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia)
44. MISSISSIPPI QUEEN - Mountain (Windfall)
45. SUMMERTIME BLUES - The Who (Decca)
46. CHECK OUT YOUR MIND - The Impressions (Curtom)
47. MAKE ME SMILE - Chicago (Columbia)
48. DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS - Tom Jones (Parrot)
49. SILVER BIRD - Mark Lindsay (Columbia)
50. MAYBE - The Three Degrees (Roulette)

The Biggest Songs of Summer, 1970 - Chicagoland Charts

1. The Love You Save - The Jackson Five
2. Close To You - The Carpenters
3. Make It With You - Bread
4. Mama Told Me (Not To Come) - Three Dog Night
5. Ball Of Confusion - The Temptations
6. Spill The Wine - Eric Burdon & War
7. Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image
8. Ooh Child - Five Stairsteps
9. Band Of Gold - Freda Payne
10. Tighter & Tighter - Alive & Kicking

11. My Baby Loves Loving - White Plains
12. Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) - Melanie
13. The Long And Winding Road - The Beatles

14. Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
15. In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry
16. War - Edwin Starr
17. Why Can't I Touch You - Ronnie Dyson
18. Hitchin' A Ride - Vanity Fare
19. I Just Can't Help Believing - B.J. Thomas
20. Lay A Little Lovin' On Me - Robin McNamara
21. Loveland - Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
22. Get Ready - Rare Earth
23. Love On A Two Way Street - The Moments
24. Gimme Dat Ding - The Pipkins
25. 25 Or 6 To 4 - Chicago
26. A Song Of Joy - Miguel Rios
27. Mississippi Queen - Mountain
28. Question - The Moody Blues
29. Make Me Smile - Chicago
30. Daughter Of Darkness - Tom Jones
31. The Wonder Of You - Elvis Presley
32. Are You Ready - Pacific Gas & Electric
33. The Letter - Joe Cocker
34. Cottage Cheese - Crow
35. United We Stand - Brotherhood Of Man
36. Patches - Clarence Carter
37. Mississippi - John Phillips
38. Julie Do Ya Love Me - Bobby Sherman
39. Overture From Tommy - The Assembled Multitude
40. Up Around The Bend - Creedence Clearwater Revival
41. Everything Is Beautiful - Ray Stevens
42. Hand Me Down World - The Guess Who
43. Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
44. Lookin' Out My Back Door - Creedence Clearwayer Revival
45. Neanderthal Man - Hotlegs
46. Hey Mr. Sun - Bobby Sherman
47. It's All In The Game - The Four Tops
48. Solitary Man - Neil Diamond
49. Hi De Ho - Blood, Sweat and Tears

50. Silver Bird - Mark Lindsay

This was an interesting year in that for half the summer both charts were Top 40, before WLS cut back to a Top 30 and the dates matched up. Also, the hits were staying on the charts longer. The #50 song of 1970 would have been #43 in 1966.

One wouldn't think of Motown having such a huge presence on the charts this late in the game, but six of the top 50 were by Motown artists.

Gotta tell ya, even though it's the first time the dates match up on WLS & WCFL, the 1970 charts have huge discrepancies. 1970 was a strange year. There were a lot of songs that charted on WLS and not WCFL and WCFL and not WLS. Most obvious would be Mississippi by John Phillips (a forgotten hit for sure)! Both Mississippi and Cottage Cheese by Crow appeared only on the WCFL chart. Had they had the same performance on WLS, Cottage Cheese would have been Top 20 and Mississippi just a few notches back. Had The Long And Winding Road duplicated its WLS performance on WCFL, it would have been the #2 song of the summer. That's just some of the discrepancies.

Having compiled a number of charts for you now, this has to be the most titles that appeared on one chart and not the other. There are probably as many as half a dozen others. Moreover there were a lot of songs that did poorly on one chart or another. Normally there aren't huge variations, but there were a lot this year. Actually what I should do is see where each song ranks on each of the charts, but I'm out of patience right now.
Jack (Rock and Roll Never Forgets)

The competition between WLS and WCFL always ran high ... quite often one would jump on one song (or one version of one song) and the other station would feature another. (A couple of tunes that immediately come to mind: "I Don't Know How To Love Him" by either Yvonne Elliman or Helen Reddy; "Son Of My Father" by either Giorgio or Chicory) ... ANYTHING to distinguish one radio station from the other. Both stations readily added songs by our "Local Heroes", too ... WLS early on and WCFL for a little while longer. In my mind (and in my memory) this just made for more entertaining radio ... and much more variety. Between the playlists of these two AM Powerhouses, we often had as many as 60-75 different songs to hear each week!

It's funny ... as you actually do these charts, you find some real surprises ... in my mind, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what many of the biggest songs would be ... especially here in Chicago where WLS and WCFL played CONSTANTLY in my car, house, etc. Summers were always my favorite time of year and this music in particular holds a special place in my heart and memories.

For 1970, I fully expected "Close To You' to come in at #1 ... and I have ALWAYS associated "Make It With You" in conjunction with that one ... both were popular at the same time ... and these are two soft-rock classics (showing where music was headed back in the early '70's.) "Mama Told Me Not To Come" was another one strongly associated with the Summer of 1970 ... so I was quite surprised to see The Jackson Five topping the chart here in Chicago. (Maybe I underestimated this tune simply because I didn't like it at the time ... still don't for that matter ... so I turned it off more times than I listened to it ... but still, I don't remember it being THAT big here in Chicago.)

A couple of others that I thought would chart higher would have to be "Hitchin' A Ride" (HUGE here and playing non-stop on AM Radio), "War" (probably released too late in the summer to have the impact it should have) and "In The Summertime", the proverbial summer favorite. ("Spill The Wine" by Eric Burdon and War is another one of those tracks that I've turned off virtually EVERY time it's come on the radio for the past 40 years!!! lol)

We hope you have enjoyed these Last Blast Of Summer Chart Recaps ... beginning next week, you'll find ALL of The Summer Charts posted on the other Forgotten Hits Website: ...

Meanwhile, we're STILL hoping to get a couple of the jocks on the list to feature selections from these lists on their programs next week, particularly on Tuesday, September 21st, as that's The Official LAST Day Of Summer ... if something develops in that area, we'll be sure to let you know.

Thanks again to everybody for following along ... and to Randy and Jack again for their exemplary efforts! (kk)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Biggest Songs Of Summer, 1966

Today we've got another list of Summer's Greatest Hits ...

This time spotlighting The Summer of 1966!

Special thanks again to Randy Price and Jack Levin, who compiled the official chart statistics for June, July and August of 1966 of both the national charts (using chart information collected from the three major music trade publications of this era) and our Chicagoland Weekly Surveys as ranked by WLS and WCFL, two AM Top 40 Giants who were battling for our undivided attention that summer. (I, for one, couldn't do it ... I was CONSTANTLY switching back and forth between the two, trying to find MY summer favorites ... back then, I couldn't get enough of "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells, "Summer In The City" by The Lovin' Spoonful, "Dirty Water" by The Standells, "Bus Stop" by The Hollies, "I Saw Her Again" by The Mamas and the Papas and, here in Chicago, "Sugar And Spice" by The Cryan' Shames and "You Wouldn't Listen" by The Ides Of March. Music just didn't get any better than this!!!)

The Biggest Songs Of Summer, 1966 - Based on The National Charts

1. HANKY PANKY - Tommy James & The Shondells (Roulette)

2. STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT - Frank Sinatra (Reprise)

3. LIL' RED RIDING HOOD - Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs (MGM)

4. PAPERBACK WRITER - The Beatles (Capitol)

5. WILD THING - The Troggs (Atco / Fontana)

6. RED RUBBER BALL - The Cyrkle (Columbia)

7. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME - Dusty Springfield (Philips)

8. PAINT IT, BLACK - The Rolling Stones (London)

9. THE PIED PIPER - Crispian St. Peters (Jamie)

10. SUMMER IN THE CITY - The Lovin' Spoonful (Kama Sutra)

11. SWEET PEA - Tommy Roe (ABC)

12. COOL JERK - The Capitols (Karen)

13. I AM A ROCK - Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia)

14. MOTHER'S LITTLE HELPER - The Rolling Stones (London)

15. SUNNY - Bobby Hebb (Philips)

16. DID YOU EVER HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND? - The Lovin' Spoonful (Kama Sutra)

17. I SAW HER AGAIN - The Mama's & The Papa's (Dunhill)

18. AIN'T TOO PROUD TO BEG - The Temptations (Gordy)

19. THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY, HA-HAAA! - Napoleon XIV (Warner Bros.)

20. DIRTY WATER - The Standells (Tower)

21. SOMEWHERE, MY LOVE - Ray Conniff & The Singers (Columbia)

22. HUNGRY - Paul Revere & The Raiders (Columbia)

23. LITTLE GIRL - The Syndicate Of Sound (Bell)

24. A GROOVY KIND OF LOVE - The Mindbenders (Fontana)

25. DON'T BRING ME DOWN - The Animals (MGM)

26. ALONG COMES MARY - The Association (Valiant)

27. SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER - The Happenings (B.T. Puppy)

28. OH HOW HAPPY - The Shades Of Blue (Impact)

29. SWEET TALKIN' GUY - The Chiffons (Laurie)

30. WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN - Percy Sledge (Atlantic)

31. OVER UNDER SIDEWAYS DOWN - The Yardbirds (Epic)

32. BAREFOOTIN' - Robert Parker (Nola)

33. OPUS 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me) - The 4 Seasons (Philips)

34. THIS DOOR SWINGS BOTH WAYS - Herman's Hermits (MGM)

35. GREEN GRASS - Gary Lewis & The Playboys (Liberty)

36. I COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE - Petula Clark (Warner Bros.)

37. DOUBLE SHOT (Of My Baby's Love) - The Swingin' Medallions (Smash)

38. SWEET DREAMS - Tommy McLain (MSL)

39. HE - The Righteous Brothers (Verve)

40. IT'S A MAN'S MAN'S MAN'S WORLD - James Brown & The Famous Flames (King)

41. THE WORK SONG - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (A&M)

42. (I Washed My Hands In) MUDDY WATER - Johnny Rivers (Imperial)

43. BLOWIN' IN THE WIND - Stevie Wonder (Tamla)

44. THE MORE I SEE YOU - Chris Montez (A&M)

45. LOVE LETTERS - Elvis Presley (RCA Victor)

46. SUNSHINE SUPERMAN - Donovan (Epic)

47. MONDAY, MONDAY - The Mama's & The Papa's (Dunhill)

48. HOLD ON! I'M A COMIN' - Sam & Dave (Stax)

49. MAMA - B.J. Thomas (Scepter)

50. PLEASE TELL ME WHY - The Dave Clark Five (Epic)

The Biggest Songs Of Summer, 1966 - CHICAGOLAND CHART

1. Wild Thing - The Troggs
2. Hanky Panky - Tommy James and the Shondells
3. Pied Piper - Crispian St. Peters
4. Summer In The City - The Lovin' Spoonful
5. Hungry - Paul Revere and the Raiders

6. Paperback Writer / Rain - The Beatles
7. I Saw Her Again - The Mamas and The Papas
8. Lil' Red Riding Hood - Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs
9. Strangers In The Night - Frank Sinatra
10. Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones

11. Bus Stop - The Hollies
12. I Am A Rock - Simon & Garfunkel
13. Dirty Water - The Standells
14. Sugar & Spice - The Cryan' Shames
15. Red Rubber Ball - The Cyrkle
16. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield
17. I Couldn't Live Without Your Love - Petula Clark
18. Say I Am - Tommy James and the Shondells
19. You Wouldn't Listen - The Ides Of March
20. Sweet Pea - Tommy Roe
21. Sunny - Bobby Hebb
22. See You In September - The Happenings
23. A Groovy Kind Of Love - The Mindbenders
24. When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge
25. Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind - The Lovin' Spoonful
26. Cool Jerk - The Capitols
27. Over Under Sideways Down - The Yardbirds
28. Sunshine Superman - Donovan
29. Don't Bring Me Down - The Animals
30. The More I See You - Chris Montez
31. This Door Swings Both Ways - Herman's Hermits
32. Along Comes Mary - The Association
33. Mother's Little Helper / Lady Jane - The Rolling Stones
34. Hey Joe - The Leaves
35. Girl In Love - The Outsiders
36. Respectable - The Outsiders
37. Sweet Dreams - Tommy McLain
38. They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha - Napoleon XIV
39. Wouldn't It Be Nice / God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
40. The Land Of Milk And Honey - The Vogues
41. Born A Woman - Sandy Posey
42. Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
43. Sweet Talkin' Guy - The Chiffons
44. I Call Your Name - The Buckinghams
45. Day For Decision - Johnny Sea
46. Oh How Happy - Shades Of Blue
47. You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes
48. Alfie - Cilla Black
49. Evol Not Love - The Five Americans
50. Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks

Had WCFL been a Top 40 chart instead of a Top 20 chart, the standings would have looked a lot different, especially in the case of the last five and a couple more that just missed being in the Top 50. They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha manged to make it to #38 despite spending only two weeks on each survey before being withdrawn from airplay. Obviously someone other than our parents bought Strangers In The Night by Frank Sinatra. Also four two sided hits make the chart in the summer of 1966. Three local bands,The Cryan' Shames, The Ides Of March and The Buckinghams all made the list, with The Robbs just missing.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never forgets)

1966 was without question the weakest showing for common Top 20 Results we experienced in compiling these charts ... only 12 songs were common to both the local and national chart rankings.

1966 was also a BIG year here in Chicago for local music ... both WLS and WCFL went out of their way to spotlight some of the local talent who were making a name for themselves. In addition to Top 50 Chart Hits by The Cryan' Shames, The Ides Of March and The Buckinghams (as Jack mentioned above), we were also hearing lots of music from the likes of The Shadows Of Knight and The New Colony Six (both of whom were still pretty much in their garage band phase at this point).

"Hanky Panky" is the song that I most associate with The Summer of '66 ... and it scored a #1 and a #2 ranking on our recap charts. Hand-in-hand with that one was always "Wild Thing" by The Troggs ... seemed like these two songs have been forever linked.

Your All-Time Summer Favorite (as voted on by nearly 10,000 of you out there), "Summer In The City", scored a Top Ten Showing on both charts ...
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your All-Time Summer Favorites
... as did the aforementioned "Strangers In The Night" by Old Blue Eyes himself, The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. "The Pied Piper", "Paperback Writer", "Lil' Red Riding Hood" and "Paint It Black" were the other titles common to both Top Ten Lists.

Tomorrow we close out this week's Special Summer Series with a look back at The Summer Charts for 1970 ... but first, why not hop on over to the OTHER Forgotten Hits Website and take a look at The Top 50 Songs Of Summer for 1967, 1968 and 1969!!! You'll find them posted here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Summer Of Love Countdown
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Biggest Hits of Summer, 1968
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Top 50 Songs From The Summer of '69

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer's Biggest Hits, 1965

Here are the final rankings for Summer's Biggest Hits, 1965, as compiled by Randy Price, Kent Kotal and Jack Levin, utilizing national chart information from the three biggest trade publications as well as local Chicagoland information gathered from The WLS Silver Dollar Survey and the "street sheet" Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago". Final rankings are based on the points accumulated from these sources for the months of June, July and August ONLY, 1965:

THE TOP 50 SONGS OF SUMMER, 1965 (National Edition)

1. (I Can't Get No) SATISFACTION - The Rolling Stones (London)
2. I CAN'T HELP MYSELF (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) - The Four Tops (Motown)
3. MR. TAMBOURINE MAN - The Byrds (Columbia)
4. I'M HENRY VIII, I AM - Herman's Hermits (MGM)
5. WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? - Tom Jones (Parrot)
6. YES, I'M READY - Barbara Mason (Arctic)
7. WOOLY BULLY - Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs (MGM)
8. CARA, MIA - Jay & The Americans (United Artists)
9. CRYING IN THE CHAPEL - Elvis Presley (RCA Victor)
10. WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE - Jackie DeShannon (Imperial)

11. SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME - Gary Lewis & The Playboys (Liberty)
12. WONDERFUL WORLD - Herman's Hermits (MGM)
13. SEVENTH SON - Johnny Rivers (Imperial)
14. YOU TURN ME ON (Turn On Song) - Ian Whitcomb & Bluesville (Tower)
15. I GOT YOU BABE - Sonny & Cher (Atco)
16. FOR YOUR LOVE - The Yardbirds (Epic)
17. DON'T JUST STAND THERE - Patty Duke (United Artists)
18. I LIKE IT LIKE THAT - The Dave Clark Five (Epic)
19. HELP ME, RHONDA - The Beach Boys (Capitol)
20. BACK IN MY ARMS AGAIN - The Supremes (Motown)
21. A WALK IN THE BLACK FOREST - Horst Jankowski (Mercury)
22. I WANT CANDY - The Strangeloves (Bang)
23. TOO MANY RIVERS - Brenda Lee (Decca)
24. BABY, I'M YOURS - Barbara Lewis (Atlantic)
25. A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN - Ronnie Dove (Diamond)
26. LAURIE (Strange Things Happen) - Dickey Lee (TCF Hall)
27. HUSH, HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE - Patti Page (Columbia)
28. DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS - Billy Joe Royal (Columbia)
29. HOLD ME, THRILL ME, KISS ME - Mel Carter (Imperial)
30. CALIFORNIA GIRLS - The Beach Boys (Capitol)
31. UNCHAINED MELODY - The Righteous Brothers (Philles)
32. MARIE - The Bachelors (London)
33. ENGINE ENGINE #9 - Roger Miller (Smash)
34. (Such An) EASY QUESTION - Elvis Presley (RCA Victor)
35. JUST A LITTLE - The Beau Brummels (Autumn)
36. HELP! - The Beatles (Capitol)
37. IT'S THE SAME OLD SONG - The Four Tops (Motown)
38. TICKET TO RIDE - The Beatles (Capitol)
39. I'VE BEEN LOVING YOU TOO LONG (To Stop Now) - Otis Redding (Volt)
41. THEME FROM "A SUMMER PLACE" - The Lettermen (Capitol)
42. I'M A FOOL - Dino, Desi & Billy (Reprise)
43. ALL I REALLY WANT TO DO - Cher (Imperial)
44. BEFORE AND AFTER - Chad & Jeremy (Columbia)
45. PAPA'S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG (pt. 1) - James Brown & The Famous Flames (King)
46. TAKE ME BACK - Little Anthony & The Imperials (DCP)
47. SHAKIN' ALL OVER - The Guess Who (Scepter)
49. IT'S NOT UNUSUAL - Tom Jones (Parrot)
50. LAST CHANCE TO TURN AROUND - Gene Pitney (Musicor)

THE TOP 50 BIGGEST HITS OF SUMMER, 1965 - Chicagoland Charts

1. Satisfaction - Rolling Stones
2. I Can't Help Myself - Four Tops
3. Mr. Tambourine Man- Byrds
4. Wooly Bully - Sam the Sham & Pharoahs
5. What's New Pussycat - Tom Jones
I'm Henry The VIII, I Am - Herman's Hermits
7. Cara Mia - Jay & Americans
8. Crying In The Chapel - Elvis Presley
9. I Want Candy - Strangeloves
10. Save Your Heart For Me - Gary Lewis & Playboys

11. Wonderful World - Herman's Hermits
12. I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher
13. Baby I'm Yours - Barbara Lewis
14. A Walk In The Black Forest - Horst Jankowski
15. What The World Needs Now Is Love - Jackie DeShannon
16. Don't Just Stand There - Patty Duke
17. Help Me Rhonda - Beach Boys
18. For Your Love - Yardbirds
19. I Like It Like That - Dave Clark Five
20. Down In The Boondocks - Billy Joe Royal
21. Seventh Son - Johnny Rivers
22. Help! - Beatles
23. California Girls - Beach Boys
24. I'm A Fool - Dino, Desi & Billy
25. Silhouettes - Herman's Hermits
26. Laurie - Dickey Lee
27. It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones
28. Just A Little - Beau Brummels
29. Little Miss Sad - Five Emprees
30. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte - Patti Page
31. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me - Mel Carter
32. You Turn Me On - Ian Whitcomb
33. Give Us Your Blessing - Shangri-Las
34. All I Really Want To Do - Byrds
35. Back In My Arms Again - Supremes
36. Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows - Lesley Gore
37. New Orleans - Eddie Hodges
38. A Little Bit Of Heaven - Ronnie Dove
39. It's The Same Old Song - Four Tops
40. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
41. Nothing But Heartaches - Supremes
42. The In Crowd - Ramsey Lewis Trio
43. She's About A Mover - Sir Douglas Quintet
44. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
45. It Ain't Me Babe - Turtles
46. Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter - Herman's Hermits
47. Catch Us Is You Can - Dave Clark Five
48. Before And After - Chad & Jeremy
49. Baby The Rain Must Fall - Glenn Yarbrough
50. You'd Better Come Home - Petula Clark

Another clear-cut winner for 1965 as The Rolling Stones rocked EVERYBODY's Summer with their Summer Anthem "Satisfaction." (For those of you at home keeping score, this is the third year running that The Biggest Song Of Summer was the same record on both the local and the national charts ... and THIS year, it was a LANDSLIDE!)

But as big as "Satisfaction" was ... and still IS, we can't overlook some of the other acts who were making their presence known back in 1965.

For example ... How big were Herman's Hermits back in 1965?

Big enough to have FOUR of The Top 50 Songs of Summer! That's as many Top 50 hits as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Dave Clark Five COMBINED!!!

In fact, British artists account for over a dozen of The Top 50 Summer Hits. (Once again, the BIGGEST Hits of The Summer of '65 seemed pretty clear ... 16 of The Top 20 Records are common to BOTH charts!)
But when was the last time you heard the likes of "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" by Patti Page? "Marie" by The Bachelors? "A Little Bit Of Heaven" by Ronnie Dove? "Before And After" by Chad and Jeremy? "Last Chance To Turn Around" by Gene Pitney? ALL of these finished in The Top 50 on the National List! So did Forgotten Hits Favorites like "Laurie" by Dickey Lee, "A Walk In the Black Forest" by Horst Jankowski, "Don't Just Stand There" by Patty Duke, "You Turn Me On" by Ian Whitcomb and "Easy Question" by Elvis.

You can catch The Top 50 Songs Of Summer, 1966, tomorrow on the Forgotten Hits Web Page ... see you there!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Biggest Songs Of Summer, 1964

Here are the final rankings for The Summer's Biggest Hits, 1964, as compiled by Randy Price, Jack Levin and Kent Kotal, utilizing national chart information from the three major industry trade publications as well as local Chicagoland chart information, compiled from the WLS Silver Dollar Survey and the popular "street sheet" Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago for the months of June, July and August ONLY, 1964. Reflected below are The Top 50 Summer Hits based on a combined consensus of these charts for this very specific period in time:

THE TOP 50 SONGS OF SUMMER, 1964 (National Edition)

1. I GET AROUND - The Beach Boys (Capitol)
2. RAG DOLL - The 4 Seasons (Philips)
3. MEMPHIS - Johnny Rivers (Imperial)
4. A HARD DAY'S NIGHT - The Beatles (Capitol)

5. A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE - Peter & Gordon (Capitol)
6. EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY - Dean Martin (Reprise)
7. CHAPEL OF LOVE - The Dixie Cups (Red Bird)
8. MY BOY LOLLIPOP - Millie Small (Smash)
9. WISHIN' AND HOPIN' - Dusty Springfield (Philips)
10. THE LITTLE OLD LADY (From Pasadena) - Jan & Dean (Liberty)

11. PEOPLE - Barbra Streisand (Columbia)
12. DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING - Gerry & The Pacemakers (Laurie)13. THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA - Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto (Verve)
14. UNDER THE BOARDWALK - The Drifters (Atlantic)
15. WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO - The Supremes (Motown)
16. DANG ME - Roger Miller (Smash)
17. CAN'T YOU SEE THAT SHE'S MINE - The Dave Clark Five (Epic)
18. LOVE ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART (Cuando Calienta El Sol) - The Ray Charles Singers (Command)
19. LOVE ME DO - The Beatles (Tollie)
20. KEEP ON PUSHING - The Impressions (ABC-Paramount)
21. LITTLE CHILDREN - Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas (Imperial)
22. WALK ON BY - Dionne Warwick (Scepter)
23. NO PARTICULAR PLACE TO GO - Chuck Berry (Chess)
24. I WANNA LOVE HIM SO BAD - The Jelly Beans (Red Bird)
25. MY GUY - Mary Wells (Motown)
26. C'MON AND SWIM - Bobby Freeman (Autumn)
27. BAD TO ME - Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas (Imperial)
28. HELLO, DOLLY! - Louis Armstrong & The All Stars (Kapp)
29. STEAL AWAY - Jimmy Hughes (Fame)
30. TELL ME WHY - Bobby Vinton (Epic)
31. DON'T THROW YOUR LOVE AWAY - The Searchers (Kapp)
32. PEOPLE SAY - The Dixie Cups (Red Bird)
33. GOOD TIMES - Sam Cooke (RCA Victor)
34. NOBODY I KNOW - Peter & Gordon (Capitol)
35. TRY IT BABY - Marvin Gaye (Tamla)
36. (You Don't Know) HOW GLAD I AM - Nancy Wilson (Capitol)
37. DIANE - The Bachelors (London)
38. BECAUSE - The Dave Clark Five (Epic)
39. WALK--DON'T RUN '64 - The Ventures (Dolton)
40. TEARS AND ROSES - Al Martino (Capitol)
41. HANDY MAN - Del Shannon (Amy)
42. HOW DO YOU DO IT? - Gerry & The Pacemakers (Laurie)
44. AIN'T SHE SWEET - The Beatles (Atco)
45. DO YOU LOVE ME - The Dave Clark Five (Epic)
46. FARMER JOHN - The Premiers (Warner Bros.)
47. JUST BE TRUE - Gene Chandler (Constellation)
48. (Just Like) ROMEO AND JULIET - The Reflections (Golden World)
49. TODAY - The New Christy Minstrels (Columbia)
50. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU BABY - Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells (Motown)

The Biggest Hits Of Summer, 1964 - The Chicagoland Charts

1. I Get Around - Beach Boys
2. Rag Doll - Four Seasons
3. Little Children - Billy J. Kramer & Dakotas
4. A World Without Love - Peter & Gordon
5. A Hard Day's Night - Beatles
6. The Little Old Lady From Pasadena - Jan & Dean
7. Can't You See That She's Mine - Dave Clark Five
8. Everybody Loves Somebody - Dean Martin
9. Memphis - Johnny Rivers
10. Don't Let The Sun Catch Your Crying - Gerry & Pacemakers

11. Wishin' And Hopin - Dusty Springfield
12. Love Me Do - Beatles
13. Chapel Of Love - Dixiecups
14. What Have I Got Of My Own - Trini Lopez
15. The Girl From Ipanema - Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto
16. Nobody I Know - Peter & Gordon
17. I Wanna Love Him So Bad - Jelly Beans
18. My Boy Lollipop - Millie Small
19. She's The One - Chartbusters
20. Party Girl - Bernadette Carroll
21. Dang Me - Roger Miller
22. First Night of the Full Moon - Jack Jones
23. Do You Love Me - Dave Clark Five
24. Don't Throw Your Love Away - Searchers
25. Handy Man - Del Shannon
26. Under The Boardwalk - Drifters
27. Where Did Our Love Go- Supremes
28. How Do You Do It - Gerry & Pacemakers
29. Love Me With All Your Heart - Ray Charles Singers
30. Three Window Coupe - Rip Chords
31. In The Misty Moonlight - Jerry Wallace
32. Father Sebastian - Ramblers
33. Dead Man's Curve - Jan & Dean
34. Diane - Bachelors
35. People Say - Dixiecups
36. C'mon And Swim - Bobby Freeman
37. World Without Love - Bobby Rydell
38. Yesterday's Gone - Chad & Jeremy
39. Because - Dave Clark Five
40. Shangri-La - Vic Dana

41. Don't Worry Baby - Beach Boys
42. Mexican Shuffle - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
43. House of the Rising Sun - Animals
44. I'll Keep You Satisfied - Billy J Kramer & Dakotas
45. Tell Me Why - Bobby Vinton
46. Rockin' Robin - Rivieras
47. People - Barbra Streisand
48. The World I Used To Know - Jimmie Rodgers
49. Love Is All We Need - Vic Dana
50. Farmer John - Premiers

What an odd assortment you'll find on our Chicagoland Summer Chart. While the "Sound of the Times" was certainly reflected by the appearances on the chart by The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, Jan and Dean and Johnny Rivers ... and The British Invasion was in high gear thanks to high-charting records by The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, Peter and Gordon, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Chad and Jeremy, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Dusty Springfield, The Animals and The Searchers ... what the heck was going on with these major chart entries by the likes of Dean Martin, Barbra Streisand, Bobby Vinton, Jack Jones, Vic Dana, Trini Lopez, The Ray Charles Singers and Jerry Wallace?!?!?

Just proof again that in the Golden Days of Top 40 Radio, EVERYTHING could be played side-by-side without ANY segregation as to musical tastes and styles. And NOBODY objected ... we just tuned in, listened, and enjoyed!

Looking over the complete Chicagoland Top 50 list, you'll see that there wasn't a whole lot of variety in the artists department, however ... The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Peter and Gordon, Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, Vic Dana, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and The Dixiecups each held down TWO spots in our Summer Top 50 Countdown ... while The Dave Clark Five claimed THREE of The Top 50 spots! (That's nearly 40% of the entire chart accounted for by these nine artists!)

And anybody thinking that Beatlemania had died down by The Summer of '64 will be surprised to know that no less than TWELVE titles by The Fab Four hit our local charts during the Summer Eligibility Months of June, July and August! (These include everything from the all-but-forgotten German version of "She Loves You" called "Sie Liebt Dich" and their rendition of the old '20's classic "Ain't She Sweet", recorded at an early German recording session back in 1961 to nearly the entire soundtrack of their first film "A Hard Day's Night, spread out over three Capitol singles that summer ... ALL off these records were moderately-sized hits during The Summer of '64 here in Chi-Town!)

The Top Two Records both nationally and locally were "I Get Around" by The Beach Boys and "Rag Doll" by The Four Seasons, showcasing the epitome of the falsetto sounds coming from both coasts by two of the biggest, premier bands of the decade. In fact, SEVEN of The Top Ten Titles were common to both lists.

The Chuck Berry chestnut "Memphis" made The Top Twenty List for the second year in a row ... in 1963, Lonnie Mack scored a HUGE instrumental hit with his version ... and in 1964, Johnny Rivers tore up the charts with his "live" vocal rendition, just as he did on a regular basis at the Whisky A-Go-Go.

Much bigger hits here in Chicago than on the national charts included "She's The One" by The Chartbusters, a blatant Beatles sound-alike record that STILL sounds every bit as good today (despite the fact that it's rarely played on the radio anymore) and Bobby Rydell's version of "A World Without Love", a song we featured recently on the website in conjunction with a True Oldies Channel inquiry. We also featured a Chicagoland favorite, "Father Sebastian" by The Ramblers a while back ... this one only managed a #86 showing on The Billboard Chart but was a Top Ten Smash here in Chi-Town.

The diversity of music played side-by-side on the radio at the time is also evident when looking over these charts. You'll find the country novelty hit "Dang Me" by Roger Miller ranked right up alongside the Bossa-Nova beat of "The Girl From Ipanema" by Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto; Motown hits by The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells played alongside the latest British Invasion hits of the days ... and radio STILL found time to program the likes of Al Martino, Barbra Streisand, Bobby Vinton and HUGE #1 Hits by Louis Armstrong and Dean Martin.

All-in-all, a pretty exciting summer full of music.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Biggest Summer Songs of 1963

As promised, all week long we'll be saluting The Biggest Songs Of Summer ... for 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1970. After this week's LAST BLAST OF SUMMER concludes, these charts will then join our other summer charts (for 1967, 1968 and 1969) on The Forgotten Hits Web Page:

Once again, I want to extend my VERY special thanks to Randy Price and Jack Levin for helping us compile these official charts. Using ONLY the chart data for June, July and August, we have once again determined the very Biggest Songs Of Summer for each of these spotlight years. National Data was analyized from all of the leading trade publications ... and the local Chicagoland Charts were determined by combining the stats from AM Powerhouse WLS and either WCFL (for 1966 and 1970) or our own local record shop survey chart called simply "Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago".

You'll find all the results below for 1963 ... and every week day this week, we'll salute another Summer Season.


(National Charts Edition)

1. EASIER SAID THAN DONE - The Essex (Roulette)
2. SUKIYAKI - Kyu Sakamoto (Capitol)
3. SO MUCH IN LOVE - The Tymes (Parkway)
4. SURF CITY - Jan & Dean (Liberty)
5. FINGERTIPS (pt. 2) - Little Stevie Wonder (Tamla)
6. IT'S MY PARTY - Lesley Gore (Mercury)
7. BLUE ON BLUE - Bobby Vinton (Epic)
8. WIPE OUT - The Surfaris (Dot)
9. HELLO STRANGER - Barbara Lewis (Atlantic)
10. (You're The) DEVIL IN DISGUISE - Elvis Presley (RCA Victor)

11. BLOWIN' IN THE WIND - Peter, Paul & Mary (Warner Bros.)
12. MEMPHIS - Lonnie Mack (Fraternity)
13. TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN, SPORT - Rolf Harris (Epic)
14. YOU CAN'T SIT DOWN - The Dovells (Parkway)
15. DA DOO RON RON (When He Walked Me Home) - The Crystals (Philles)
16. JUDY'S TURN TO CRY - Lesley Gore (Mercury)
18. CANDY GIRL - The 4 Seasons (Vee-Jay)
19. I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - Al Martino (Capitol)
20. ONE FINE DAY - The Chiffons (Laurie)
21. JUST ONE LOOK - Doris Troy (Atlantic)
22. PRIDE AND JOY - Marvin Gaye (Tamla)
23. STILL - Bill Anderson (Decca)
24. RING OF FIRE - Johnny Cash (Columbia)
25. MORE - Kai Winding & His Orchestra (Verve)
26. DETROIT CITY - Bobby Bare (RCA Victor)
27. IF YOU WANNA BE HAPPY - Jimmy Soul (S.P.Q.R.)
28. TWO FACES HAVE I - Lou Christie (Roulette)
29. SURFIN' U.S.A. - The Beach Boys (Capitol)
30. 18 YELLOW ROSES - Bobby Darin (Capitol)
31. NOT ME - The Orlons (Cameo)
32. HOPELESS - Andy Williams (Columbia)
33. HELLO MUDDUH, HELLO FADDUH! (A Letter From Camp) - Allan Sherman
(Warner Bros.)
34. MOCKINGBIRD - Inez Foxx (Symbol)
35. DENISE - Randy & The Rainbows (Rust)
36. ON TOP OF SPAGHETTI - Tom Glazer & The Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus (Kapp)
37. GREEN, GREEN - The New Christy Minstrels (Columbia)
38. MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK - The Angels (Smash)
39. ABILENE - George Hamilton IV (RCA Victor)
40. MY SUMMER LOVE - Ruby & The Romantics (Kapp)
41. BIRDLAND - Chubby Checker (Parkway)
42. DANKE SHOEN - Wayne Newton (Capitol)
43. IF I HAD A HAMMER - Trini Lopez (Reprise)
44. STRING ALONG - Rick Nelson (Decca)
46. IF MY PILLOW COULD TALK - Connie Francis (MGM)
47. LOSING YOU - Brenda Lee (Decca)
48. HARRY THE HAIRY APE - Ray Stevens (Mercury)
49. FALLING - Roy Orbison (Monument)
50. I WILL FOLLOW HIM - Little Peggy March (RCA Victor)

(Chicagoland Edition)

1. Easier Said Than Done - Essex
2. Surf City - Jan & Dean
3. Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto
4. Shut Down - Beach Boys

(incredibly, here in Chicago, this was the higher charting side of this
single, NOT "Surfin' U.S.A."!!!)
5. Blue On Blue - Bobby Vinton
6. So Much In Love - Tymes
7. Wipe Out - Surfaris
8. Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport - Rolf Harris
9. Candy Girl - Four Seasons
10. One Fine Day - Chiffons

11. Gypsy Woman - Rick Nelson
(Nationally, a low-charting B-Side .. but here in Chicago, a Top Ten Hit! You'll
find the OTHER side of this hit, "String Along", on The National Top 50
Summer Chart.)
12. Blowin' In The Wind - Peter, Paul and Mary
13. Memphis - Lonnie Mack
14. It's My Party - Lesley Gore
15. Denise - Randy and the Rainbows
16. My Boyfriend's Back - Angels
17. Still - Bill Anderson
18. Fingertips, Part 2 - Stevie Wonder
19. Devil In Disguise - Elvis Presley
20. Hello Stranger - Barbara Lewis
21. Falling - Roy Orbison
22. Till Then - Classics
23. Detroit City - Bobby Bare
24. You Can't Sit Down - Dovells
25. Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh - Allan Sherman
26. Judy's Turn To Cry - Lesley Gore
27. Hootenannny - Glencloves
28. Sting Ray - Routers

(Nationally, this one peaked at #50!)
29. Ring Of Fire - Johnny Cash
30. Green Green - New Christy Minstrels
31. Two Faces Have I - Lou Christie
32. I'm Afraid To Go Home - Brian Hyland

(Nationally, this one stopped at #59!)
33. Da Do Ron Ron - Crystals
34. From Me To You - Del Shannon

(Look how well this record did here in Chicago, where it peaked at #10)
35. True Love Never Runs Smooth - Gene Pitney
36. I'm Movin' On - Matt Lucas
37. Be True To Yourself - Bobby Vee
38. When A Boy Falls In Love - Mel Carter
39. Good Night My Love - Fleetwoods
40. More - Kai Winding
41. Six Days On The Road - Dave Dudley
42. Not Me - Orlons
43. What A Guy - Raindrops
44. Tamoure - Bill Justice
45. Foolish Little Girl - Shirelles
46. Danke Schoen - Wayne Newton
47. Come Go With Me - Dion
48. Abilene - George Hamilton IV
49. Your Graduation Means Goodbye - Cardigans
50. 18 Yellow Roses - Bobby Darin

On our 1963 Biggest Songs Of Summer Charts, we find that "Easier Said Than Done" tops BOTH the National and the Local List ... clearly the undisputed Biggest Song Of Summer, 1963. Other clear-cut, Top Ten Favorites include "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto, "Surf City" by Jan and Dean, "So Much In Love" by The Tymes and "Blue On Blue" by Bobby Vinton.

In fact, 15 different titles share a spot on EACH of The 20 Lists, a pretty good representation of just how big these songs really were during the Summer of '63.

While The Beatles wouldn't make their big splash here in The States for several months, Del Shannon took a Lennon and McCartney tune into The Top Ten here in Chicago when he recorded their British #1 Hit "From Me To You". (Nationally, this one stopped at #67 on The Cash Box Chart.)

It's also interesting to see "Shut Down" by The Beach Boys chart as the A-Side here in Chicago while the recognized hit side of the record, "Surfin' USA" didn't even make our Local Summer List. Chicagoans also seemed to prefer the flip side of Rick Nelson's hit "String Along", making "Gypsy Woman" the charted record of choice. (Both of the "traditional" A-Sides made The National List Summer Showing.)

And a few records that didn't even crack Billboard's Top 40 ended up placing on The Chicago Chart as well ... it's probably safe to say that most of the country wasn't even familiar with the likes of "Hootenanny" by The Glencloves, "Sting Ray" by the Routers, "I'm Afraid To Go Home" by Brian Hyland, "Tamoure" by Bill Justice and "Your Graduation Means Goodbye" by The Cardigans.

Tomorrow we recap The 50 Biggest Hits Of Summer, 1964 ... stay tuned!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 09 - 12 - 10 )

It's another SUPER-SIZED Edition of The Sunday Comments this week in Forgotten Hits ... Enjoy!!!

>>>Big Jay Sorenson is back in New York Today and Tomorrow, helping us with our 1001 Countdown. I like Big Jay. Wish he was here on a permanent basis. (Frank)
>>>Big Jay's a big fan and supporter of Forgotten Hits ... we wish him the very best ... 'cause we dig him, too! (kk)
And, if you're a Big Jay Fan, too, then you'll really like this next piece of news ...

Jay Sorensen, a.k.a. “Big Jay” on WNBC, New York and still a live wire on the radio, takes on an additional role as South Jersey Vice President for the New Jersey Radio Museum, based in Dover (Morris County), NJ. NJRM co-founder Carl VanOrden notes that when the effort got rolling a decade ago, it was mostly driven by folks from North Jersey. He says Sorensen has the contacts and energy to take the effort to all corners of the state. You might hear Jay doing weekend airwork at classic hits WCBS-FM, New York (101.1), and if you’re in the Garden State, you might be getting email from him about the museum.
-- Tom Taylor / Taylor On Radio
WTG, Big Jay ... congrats!!! (kk)

And our VERY SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS go out to Janis Johnson of Chicago, IL, who won a free pair of ticket to see Peter Noone and Micky Dolenz at The Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana, on Saturday, October 23rd ... courtesy of Peter Noone himself! Have a GREAT time at the concert! (kk)
Ohmygosh, Kent! You are kidding me, right?????

Okay, got to tell you what a fan I am but before I say another word:
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
I have been his fan 4Ever, am the age of an original fan, and have entered every Herman concert every time he has had one! I don't win, but I just sit and daydream (used to be to win a kiss from Herman, date from Herman, jacket from Herman ... modern day contests have been concert tickets, or backstage passes ... I have NEVER won, but then, most people don't of course! He has a zillion fans who enter!!!!!
I am stunned!!!!!! And I couldn't believe when I read your site and also the email updates and saw that he had given tickets! I just thought, how beyond cool!
Yes, I am absolutely able to attend this concert, I mean, come on!!!! Are you kidding me????? I feel like driving there tonight and "queuing" up! (I always start throwing British words around when I think of 'erman!!!! I always wanted to be his fab bird!!!!!)
Totally, totally thrilled. Can't believe it.
Thank you!!!!!!!!
Best, Best, Best!!!!!
We know her very well ... she's a lifetime member of the fan club.
Jana / Peter
It is SO great that a major, life-long fan won these ... thanks again to Peter for making it all possible ... should be a GREAT night of music ... I can't wait!!! (kk)

We just got this little note from Davie Allan ...
There's an Eight Episode "Showtime" series titled "Wild Things" starting September 10th at 12:00 a.m. (or you could say it's midnight on the 9th). I don't know if the show will be anyone's cup of tea but I figured a contest might be in order. The first person to tell me the original name of the theme will receive a copy of my latest album. Hint: the tune is not from the 60's. If you already have "Retrophonic", please send me the name of someone you think might like it OR ... wait and receive a copy of "Retrophonic 2 - The Home Demos" (no release date scheduled yet).
Davie Allan
Got an idea as to what it might be? Then email Davie at ... and Good Luck!!! (kk)

Speaking of Davie Allan, he just sent me THIS note, too ... I think there may be a few others on the list who might want to participate in this. You can check it all out here:

Hi Kent,
I had to share this with you! (too cool)
Rock on,


I have listened to Trade Martin's WORK SONG twice today, the first being of course the 45 rpm version I played earlier here at home and the attached MP3 which you just sent to me. The early records that Trade Martin made, were in my opinion, similar to what the Crests and Johnny Maestro made, in that both boys and girls enjoyed them. Or in other words, they were COEDucational.
Speaking of record labels, indirectly, design wise, my all time favorite was the ABC PARAMOUNT label with the various colors in the name. I don't know if you have had on your website any discussion on record labels, as to favorite design, color, etc. but the ABC PARAMOUNT was always my favorite.

One final thing. I was talking to a friend of mine years ago, and he was surprised that there were so many vocal versions of hit instrumentals we know of today. For example, Apache was done vocally by Sonny James, Wonderland by Night done vocally by Anita Bryant, Stranger on the Shore done vocally by Andy Williams, etc. Have you ever done a piece on this topic?
We've never really done anything on the labels themselves ... might make for some interesting conversation. As for vocal arrangements of well-known instrumentals, we touched on this briefly when we posted our readers' Top 40 All-Time Favorite Instrumentals ... in fact, Gary Pike of The Lettermen even sent us a few vocal versions of popular instrumentals that HIS group recorded. (Unbelievable how many people SANG "Sleep Walk", the #1 Favorite Instrumental of All-Time according to The Oldies Nation. Not that ANY of them are particularly BAD versions ... there's just something haunting about that Santo and Johnny original ... MY all-time favorite instrumental, too!)

You can check out the COMPLETE list here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 40 Instrumentals, 1955 - 1979
The list shows both an actual chart ranking based on these songs' performance on the national charts as well as a SECOND list of your personal favorites, as voted on by The Oldies Nation. Check it out!
By the way ... you'll find more from Larry ... and Trade Martin ... further down the page today. Be sure to check out the "Sounds Like ..." posting below!!! (kk)

Hi Kent!
Gotta tell you about our upcoming convention ...
Oct 21/24 - in Newark, NJ
They will be coming great distances for this.
You'll note the music panel listed for Saturday the 23rd. The panel is run by me and Brian Gari (Eddie Cantor's grandson).
Two of the panel members are Dick Heatherton (famous Dee Jay). His dad was Ray Heatherton "The Merry Mailman" and his sister is Joey Heatherton. Just so you have an idea of who Dick is.
Ed Rambeau will also be on the panel. He sang "Concrete and Clay" besides writing "Navy Blue" and "Kiss Me sailor" for Diane Renay.
Please check the web site listed below for more details.
DJ Stu Weiss

Hi Kent!,
You did such a wonderful job with The Fleetwoods, having Gretchen write, now it's The Shangri-Las' turn!
Seeking any information about this recording, in general. I know the music was recorded first then vocal Takes, up to 19, were added.
Would like to know:
A.) Recording Date(s)
B.) Recording Studio(s) Names / Locations(s)
C.) Musicians
D.) Studio Personnel
E.) Etc.
Mary-Ann and who else is heard here? No doubt from NY!
Here's an Early Take with studio talk.
Remember (Walkin' In The Sand) - 1964 - The Shangi-Las
From what I've read, there was an initial version that had to be trimmed to a more friendly airplay size. Since the "hit" song really didn't have an intro, could this (touching) spoken word intro be what was edited out?
The Animals: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place - 1965

As heard on a past French EP, with a hint of Stereo:

Johnny Tillotson: Poetry In Motion (Take #2+) - 1962
Finest sounding Stereo version of it, to date:
Dionne Warwick: I Say A Little Prayer (Take #10) - 1967
Trying to obtain inside information:
Chuck Jackson: Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird) - 1962
Nothing uncommon, just a great song!

Elton John: Rocket Man - 1972
As it sounds (stereo) "remixed", with my own little twist:
Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) - 1972 - The Looking Glass.
There are two or more "mixes" of this (Stereo) song. What I'd find on CD and vinyl (45) wasn't what I remember hearing (later) on radio! Not much difference between the two or mixes, but the "bridge" (I guess you call it) is where the main difference is. I went for years trying to find what I heard playing on radio, on CD and finally did. Assume what radio plays (WOGL, etc.) is from vinyl. However, this (audio enhanced) version includes bongos during the bridge.
This is the more common version played on radio, with a more dominating horn section, evident keyboard work, excluding bongos. Maybe you can round up The Looking Glass and find out how and why this happened! lol. Would like to see this song remixed / remastered, though it would probably require multiple tapes and a lot of luck.

>>>I have a question for anyone who grew up in Chicago who might remember: When did Round Records first open, was it in the 6Ts or the 7Ts? Also does anyone happen to know if Round was connected to the "Round" label (Capes of Good Hope, etc.)? Much appreciated and groove on! (Bob Rashkow)

>>>To the best of my knowledge, there was no affiliation between the record store and the record label ... but let's see what comes back from our readers. (kk)>>>I went to Loyola University in Chicago beginning in fall 1981. Round Records was right across the street from my dormitory, and so became the site of many, many visits over the next five years. I bought countless 60s records there in the upstairs "used" section, as well as picking up the occasional album (the first three REM releases, as I recall) from the downstairs "new" section.One thing I recall about Round Records is that the owners were either in the band Mountain Bus or affiliated with them. Mountain Bus released an album in 1971 on a custom label called Good which may have been their own creation. That album, said to have elements of jam and psych rock and country, is now a reasonably valuable ($50-100) collectible. Most of the people who worked at Round were themselves musicians, including Baird Figi of 80s psych band Eleventh Dream Day. Had I been aware of Mountain Bus back in the early 80s I would have wanted to know more about them, asked questions, etc. I miss the store; it was a big part of my musical education. (Stu Shea)
Thank you so much for posting Stu Shea's reminiscence of Round Records. I actually met this wonderful collector at one of the record fairs in Hillside IL a couple of years ago, and we shot the breeze about obscure Midwestern pop and soul for a few minutes. Not surprising that he used to hang around -- at Round!
BTW, for Mitch Schecter - I love everything the Rip Chords ever recorded. Thanks to Beverly Records I now have a VG+ copy of "Here I Stand", which should have been a much bigger hit, and a M- copy of "Three Window Coupe." And of course "Hey, Little Cobra" is one of the great surf / hot-rod records of all time!
Bob Rashkow

I passed your note along to Mitch Schecter of The Rip Chords ... and here's what he had to say:
Thanks Bob Rashkow!
I agree that the original recordings are great and are classic today. Maybe you would enjoy our newer recordings as well ... we stay true to the original sound throughout ... with great respect to Terry and Bruce. The new CD's feature Original Touring / Recording Members Richie Rotkin and Arnie Marcus.
Thanks again Bob ... And thanks for forwarding Bob's letter to me Kent!
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords

And, speaking of The Rip Chords, some of our East Coast Readers are in for a treat if they can make it out to this concert event:
Kent ...
Here's a poster of a great show that we are included on at The Allentown Symphony Hall in Allentown Pa. on Saturday, September 25th.
If any of the F.H. readers are in this area, grab a ticket and stop on out and catch the show, then stop and say hello!
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords

Hi Kent -
Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that I have in my possession a program guide of the 1959 Dick Clark Caravan of Stars given to me by a good friend. It's good to have great friends. I remember that you asked for any programs from those great tours starting at the 60s. Here is one from 1959. We are in there along with many big stars of that year like Paul Anka, Jimmy Clanton, Bobby Rydell, Annette Funiccelo, The Coasters, The Drifters, Duane Eddy, The Skyliners, Lavern Baker and many more. It was a great tour. I am going to send you that via e mail.

But I would also like to mention that our hometown of Frackville, Pa. is going to present us with a plaque to be placed at the borough hall on October 9, 2010, Saturday at 3 PM. Man, what an honor. In case of bad weather it will be held in the gymnasium right there at the site. The borough hall is now at the old high school on Oak Street. I would like to invite you or any of your subscribers or the many people we met throughout the years in the business too numerous to mention, but they know who they are. It would be great to see all of you. It promises to be a big day for everyone.
Keep up the great work in keeping the forgotten hits remembered and ...
Frank Jordan

Congratulations, Frank, that's a great honor. (Wish we COULD be there to see it!!!) And thanks for the tour program photos ... they'll be posted up on our Scrapbook Memories Page right after our Special Summer Countdown Series runs. (You can check it out here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Scrapbook Memories) kk
Please check out – new music by a ‘60s - ‘70s band with a top-ten regional hit that never did get our album released (always “a heartbreak away from a contract”).
Flash forward: I was their keyboard player, and after 39 years, I’m in a new band – now called Rob Carlson & Benefit Street – with the original group’s lead singer / chief songwriter: (And we’re still doing new original music, as well as three songs from the old album. Yes, we’re all still alive and well, and many of us are still playing out both for love and for money!)
Thanks for any kindness you can show the CD. The guys (and lady) in the band appreciate it!
(Think there’s a story there, perhaps?)
Many thanks,

Country Paul
Paul Payton
Not sure if there's a story here or not ... but I'm certainly happy to promote your latest efforts. Thanks, Paul! (kk)


I'm a long-time reader but have never written before.
My good friend Mike Clifford who recorded the hit "Close To Cathy" back in 1962 has just released "Mack The Knife" backed by the 38 piece PTPOPS Orchestra. It's available at
I feature Mike prominently on my station, which has been running 24 / 7 for the last 3 1/2 years ... I'll be playing this new cut on the station, but I encourage anyone who loves great music to give his version a listen ... the instrumentation is superb and Mike has NEVER been in better voice.
I grew up on Cleveland and my station is modeled after WHK, my favorite station growing up ... I play a 60 / 40 mix of charted tunes and what I like to call "songs you should have heard"... I'm proud to say that Tom Diehl is one of my enthusiastic listeners.
Keep up the great work ...
Chuck Benjamin

Hey Kent,
Have you seen this about the world's rarest car?
It's the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 Convertible Concept Car
After spending decades as a collection of parts stuffed into wooden crates – the F-88 was reassembled.
In 1954 – the F-88 was a Motorama “Dream Car” and was one of only two – or an unconfirmed possible three - ever created. The F-88 seen here is literally the only car left of its kind – and was sold to John and Maureen Hendricks at the prestigious Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona for an unbelievable $3,240,000. This acquisition made automotive history and is the “cornerstone” of the Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum in its own special room in a rotating display worthy of the F-88!
Alex Valdez

(click photos to enlarge ... they're really quite amazing!!!)

Denny Tedesco just let me know about some upcoming screenings of his AWESOME flick spotlighting The Wrecking Crew. This is MUST SEE Viewing for every music fan on our list! If any of these locations are near you, do yourself a favor and check this film out ... you will NOT be disappointed. (kk)
Hi Kent!
Just letting you know about a few Upcoming Screenings / Fund-Raising Events that are happening in the near future. If you’re in the area or know someone that might be able to go, please let them know of the event.
And, if you’re interested in hosting private fundraiser, please check out:
Thousand Oaks, CA
Sunday, September 19th
1401 E Janss Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Time: 4:30 PM
Q&A with Don Randi and Denny Tedesco
Non-profit Screening - Suggested Donation
Dallas, TX
Saturday, October 9th
1409 South Lamar, Basement #012
Free parking on Belleview Street entrance
Dallas, TX 75215
Time: 8:00 PM
Phone: 214.565.0383
Non-profit Screening
Q&A with Director, Denny Tedesco
Salinas, CA
Saturday, October 16th
National Steinbeck Center Announces: Night at the Museum
Saturday, October 16th with the Rock n’Roll Evening with The Wrecking Crew
One Main StreetSalinas, CA 93901
TIME: 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00 PM)
Non-profit Screening
Q&A with Director, Denny Tedesco
Screening is followed by a mixer with music and cash bar in the Rotunda.
They're still trying to raise funding to get this film commercially released ... and it's a film that deserves to be seen ... so please check out these special screenings if they happen to be playing in your area ... or visit the official website to learn more and watch outtakes from the film:

Just wondering if any of your members remember this? I have looked for this forever and it finally made you tube. Thought you might get a kick out of it as I did.

YouTube - Red Rose Tea Marquis Chimps Commercial
I honestly don't remember this ... but with all the commercial-savvy folks on our list I'm sure many will be totally charmed by seeing this neat little ad again! (kk)

Great to hear from Walter Podrazik, and neat story about switching channels back and forth ... I seem to recall doing that a few times myself when there were two shows I just had to see on together, like maybe a monster movie and a Red Sox game! Don't know what made me think that run of the Scarecrow was the 2nd, not the first, but over the years, I've come to accept with a humble shrug all those "memories" that turned out to be bum. And when something I recall turns out to be dead on, I appreciate it, each and every time!
To Walter: Did you see my comments on viewers living in Upper Upstate NY? They got Disney on Canadian TV earlier in the evening in those days, and so watched both. I looked up the TV schedules in old newspapers at the library to confirm it. There are other interesting Canadian sidebars to classic American TV ... the Great White version of Howdy Doody comes to mind, of course. Also, several of the 60s / 70s Peanuts specials aired on the CBC on an earlier date than their US premiere. And don't forget all those Canadian Beatles records. This even extends to food products ... like, occasionally I'll run across an old breakfast cereal or chewing gum that I seem to remember, but that isn't on the standard "lists"...and it turns out to be Canadian, and apparently infiltrated stores in New England where I grew up.
I personally didn't know that the Canadian version singles of "Roll Over Beethoven" and "All My Loving" had charted here in The States until I saw Joel Whitburn's first Billboard Pop Singles book back in 1970 ... I certainly don't recall seeing these records in the stores here in the Chicagoland suburbs. What REALLY stands out in my memory, however, is all the Vee Jay "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" Beatles sleeves that were on the shelves that first year ... man, I wish I would have thought to buy a couple hundred ... because I certainly had the opportunity to do so ... the shelves were JAMMED with these picture sleeves! (Of course back then, when I was ten, I probably never had more than $2 in my pocket at any given point of time ... kinda like now!!!) kk

In my opinion, there are two different ways to choose these songs. Probably the most common is the songs you prefer to listen to right now. The second, and I believe, more accurate way, are the songs that have provided you the most enjoyment over the years, especially when it first came out. For me, some of the songs in the second group have dropped out of the first group, because I have heard them enough to tire somewhat of them. A Day In The Life and In My Life are not in my top half of Beatles' song.
-- Dwight Rounds
Short of a personal favorites list, I don't know how else you could accurately rank something like this ... certainly you could list the biggest hits in order but that would confine the list to just the singles ... and even if you incorporated album sales and rankings into the mix, how would anybody distinguish between the significance of one album track over another short of playing favorites or monitoring long-term impact?
A list of most IMPORTANT and world-changing songs would put "I Want To Hold Your Hand" at the very top of the list ... but it's far from their "greatest" song. Likewise, with seven weeks at #1 here in The States, it would rank second only to "Hey Jude", which topped the charts for nine weeks in 1968.
And you're right ... some of these songs have worn thin over repeated listening for the past 40+ years. Even a great song like "All You Need Is Love" ... certainly another one that belongs on the "Important and Significant List" (if only because of its worldwide "Our World" broadcast ... and the fact that it became the unofficial anthem of The Summer Of Love) ... REALLY drags for me now. Yes, it's still a great song ... but in hindsight picking up the tempo even half-a-notch probably would have made for a more listenable song all these years later.
After all the hoopla surrounding the Rolling Stone Magazine List, I started to divide The Beatles' catalog into five categories ... beginning with songs that I've ALWAYS loved and still love to this day ... and ending with songs that I have NEVER liked ... EVER!!! (As I said earlier, it'd be far easier for me to list my twenty LEAST favorite Beatles songs than my twenty favorites!!! 'Cause THESE songs have NEVER caught my ear!!!)
The bottom line is that a list like this is all purely subjective and designed by nature to spark controversy and conversation ... which is exactly what it's done. There are no right or wrong answers ... that's kinda the cool thing about music. (kk)

Kent ...
This young lady was ahead of her time. She found the Beatles in 1963.
Frank B.
And here in Chicago, WLS Radio Legend Art Roberts formed the very first Beatles Fan Club in the U.S.A. ... literally Beatles Fan Club #1!!! He, too, believed that something big was about to happen ... guess you could say he was kinda right! Read our "Who Played The Very First Beatles Record In America" article and you'll see that some folks knew a little bit about The Beatles before "I Want To Hold Your Hand" burst the scene wide open ... but getting a copy of the "Please Please Me" that early is amazing ... it just might have been the ONLY copy here in The States at the time!!! (kk)

Have you guys seen this one? Over the weekend, AOL Music ranked The 100 WORST Songs Of All-Time. You'll find some songs you 'Love To Hate" on the list ... some obvious titles of choice (aka The Usual Suspects) ... and some songs where you'll simply shake your head and say "Are you kidding me?!?!? I LOVE that song!!!" A little bit of everything for everyone can be found here:

And, on a related note, Hz So Good this week announced The Top 50 LEAST-Deserving #1 Songs (as voted on by the oldies nation). If you'd like to see a copy of the list, drop an email to Rich Appel at: ... and tell him that Forgotten Hits sent you! (kk)

GREAT article on Bobby Fuller. I found your article online at
I am Bobby Fuller's birth son and was adopted out at birth. Just wanted to say great article! I do have a question I hope you can help me with. You stated in the article, "Most importantly, we know that these mob figures were named as beneficiaries on FULLER's reported $1,000,000 life insurance policy." Can you tell me where this information comes from? I've been trying to find it for awhile now. Thanks,
John Novak
Hi John!
Thanks for your letter on Bobby Fuller ... unfortunately, I'm not going to be of very much help to you here. That article was first published back in 2002 ... and a wide variety of sources were used in compiling the information used in the article ... DOZENS in fact, including material submitted by many of our readers at the time. ... so I can't say for certain specifically where that one quote came from ... and all of my original notes from this series were lost two dozen computer crashes ago!!!
The circumstances surrounding Bobby's mysterious (and horrifically violent) death have been put under microscopes for over 40 years now and nobody is any closer today to proving what happened than at the time of the original incident. Everybody who's ever looked into this case has drawn their own conclusions and suspicions (and even most of those seem to vary in some fashion, depending on who you talk to.) OUR report was written WELL after the fact and simply summarized all of the different research resources used in originally preparing the article.
I can say that, over the years I talked to Bob Keane several times through Forgotten Hits and my personal opinion is that he was devastated by Bobby's death ... it would be hard for me to imagine Bob being in someway responsible. (We lost Keane recently, too, so any mysteries he was privy to died along with him at that time.) Then again, after reading Tommy James' recent book exposing some of the behind-the-scenes activities of Roulette Records Boss Morris Levy, who knows what was REALLY going on in rock and roll back in the mid-'60's!
Sorry I can't be of more help ... but the death of Bobby Fuller is truly one of the great tragedies of rock and roll. (kk)

re: FIRST 45's:
You guys are still sendin' 'em ... and we're still publishing them ... so keep 'em coming, folks! (kk)
Click here: Forgotten Hits - FIRST 45's
Click here: Forgotten Hits - More of Your FIRST 45's
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Even MORE Of Your First 45's
I was living in Crailsheim, Germany. It was Christmas, 1965, when I got my first record player and my first 45s. They were "It Ain't Me Babe" by the Turtles on the original blue White Whale label. I remembered the original "B'" side was the fine rocker "Almost There". Also "Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows" by Lesley Gore, short and sweet at 1:37. I remembered the flip was a dramatic ballad "You've Come Back" written by Van McCoy. Another one was "A Taste Of Honey" by Herb Alpert. I remembered the record would skip at certain points. I remembered the flip side was a sprightly version of Anton Karas' "The Third Man Theme". I liked the Tijunana Brass so much that I bought the follow-up "Zorba The Greek" that was edited to 2:48 from a 4:26 version. In addition to the edits, there was some extra crowd noise, an overdubbed trombone towards the end, and adddtional reverb.
I've always LOVED the whole idea of the "punched-up" single versions ... and wish that EVERY single mix would come back again in CD format so we can TRULY relive our youth.
The B-Side of "Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows" is one of my ALL-TIME Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides, and we've featured it a few times before in Forgotten Hits. "You've Come Back" is one of Lesley Gore's FINEST vocal performances, too ... so we'll give it another spin here today! (kk)

Based on comments I saw in Forgotten Hits, I've just finished reading "Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter." Randy Schmidt has done an outstanding job of telling the complete, tragic story of Karen's life and her slow death. His meticulous attention to detail is really appreciated by those of us who like to get "the most accurate truth." Randy even tells us about Richard's and Karen's first 45s; certainly a nod to Forgotten Hits.
Things must've gotten hurried toward the end, since it appears the copy editor either quit or rushed through the final third of this volume, as evidenced by the increase in grammar problems and typos. For anyone who is at all interested in the music of our era, or in psychology and family dynamics, this book is a must-read. This isn't the first, and won't be the last story chronicling the tragedy that sometimes results from the melding of extreme talent and family dysfunction.
LOL ... as soon as I read about Richard's "First 45" I posted it on the website! (Links above ... guess it's just a force of habit at this stage of the game ... with literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of responses!) Still a pretty hot topic 'cause if you were into the music at all the way that WE were, you remember stuff like this.
I was VERY pleased with Randy's accounting ... so much so, in fact, that I read Ray Coleman's Karen Carpenter bio right behind it to see what kind of new factoids Schmidt had uncovered. (Coleman's book is over ten years old now ... and, if your read Randy's preamble, you know that it was heavily edited ... or influenced by ... Richard and Mama Carpenter!)
A tragic tale about a disease that nobody knew too much about at the time ... makes you wonder if part of Karen's true purpose in life was educating the rest of us ... (quite honestly, I could probably use anorexia for about ten days myself!!!) The GOOD news is, she left behind some BEAUTIFUL music with some unparalleled vocals that will charm many, many generations to come. (kk)

I've just read a story of fame, fortune and incredible drug abuse. It's the life story of Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night called "Three Dog Nightmare".
I never knew any of this. So unbelievable it's almost like a tale of fiction.
If you're interested in this type stuff, I heartily recommend it. Got it from my local library. I knew the group was big but had forgotten just how big. Read it and weep ... and sometimes chuckle.
Yep, one of my all-time favorite rock biographies ... we've been telling people about it for YEARS!!! "Three Dog Nightmare" (or as I like to call it, "The Exciting Adventures Of Chuck's Exploding Penis") is MUST reading for any fan of their music. (The guys are still on the outs ... Negron performs as a solo act, often in conjunction with Blood, Sweat And Tears, and Danny and Cory have been doing the "Two Dog" version of Three Dog Night for decades now ... BOTH acts sound GREAT in concert ... in fact, there's a DVD available of the Danny and Cory version performing with The Memphis Symphony Orchestra that is just out of this world ... look for THAT at your local library ... or video store ... too!)
People sometimes forget just how big Three Dog Night really were ... truly the biggest act on the planet for a couple of years in the early '70's. Talk about having it ALL and then blowing it. (It's really no wonder that Hutton and Wells have never forgiven Chuck Negron for effectively ending their run at the top.) Three Dog Night scored 21 consecutive Top 40 Singles ... that's their ENTIRE chart career ... and 13 of those made The National Top Ten on either the Billboard or the Cash Box Chart ... and, in most instances, BOTH!!!
The book is an incredible journey from "Hero to Zero" ... from "First to Worst" ... from "Success to Excess" ... at this point it's fair to say that Negron is lucky to be alive and a TRUE survivor.
Absolutely recommended ... as is the Karen Carpenter bio above. (kk)

If you want to read a nightmare, read David Crosby's "Long Time Gone" ... talk about close to death and a roller coaster ride ... David is one lucky dude.
You also might want to check out the Woody's "Message from Michael", a song about the nightmarish death of the Byrds' original drummer, Michael Clarke (who also drummed for the Flying Burrito Bros and Firefall).
He took his first drink at 14 and never quit drinking ... quite sobering!
This is an all encompassing video of the letter that Michael wrote just days before his nightmarish death. Get a kleenex, you're gonna need it. Let this be a wake-up call to all of us that may have a drinking problem!
"Wild" Bill Cody
I've always wondered about some of these rock star biographies ... you cannot help but wonder how they can possibly remember ANYTHING about their glory days, being as fucked-up as they were at the time ... generally they spent this time in a COMPLETE state of unconsciousness and obliteration. Remarkably, some of them not only lived through it but lived to tell about it, too ... but honestly, how can they POSSIBLY remember a thing?!?!? (I especially felt that way reading Eric Clapton's bio recently ... Grace Slick's, too ... truthfully, the list goes on and on. That's why I try to sneak in something "sane" once in a while like the Andy Williams biography I mentioned the other day! lol) kk

re: SOUNDS LIKE ... :
>>>I don't know if you remember it or if it was playing on your favorite rock and roll station at the time, but there was an alternate vocal version of "The Work Song", too. It didn't chart nationally, I believe, but it was by the Bobby Vee sound-alike, Trade "THAT STRANGER USED TO BE MY GIRL" Martin on RCA. (Larry Neal / The Wax Museum)
>>>I'm not sure if he likes mine, but I love all the Bobby Vee records ... still, I've never heard anyone say that we even 'slightly' sounded alike. (Trade Martin)
My father used to have an expression he used a lot and it went something like this ... "If I say or do anything in particular again, please have my head examined."
Remember a few weeks ago when I said that the Dual's 1961 recording of STICK SHIFT was very, very similar to BLUES' THEME by Davie Allan and the Arrows? Well, after my comments ran (along with yours and Davie Allan's, too!) I played them back to back really for the first time here at home and, sure enough, there was really no similarity.
Now it's happened again with me calling Trade Martin a "Bobby Vee Sound-a-like"! I really meant that on his earlier recordings with COED records. However, a while ago, I went in there and played his THAT STRANGER USED TO BE MY GIRL as well as a follow-up, HULA HULA DANCING GIRL. Now, in my opinion, on those recordings, at various parts of the song, I still think he sounds a little bit like Bobby Vee, but less now than I did some years ago.
So from this point on, I will never again say a certain singer or group sounds similar to another singer or group.
Please don't ask my opinion on Ral Donner or Terry Stafford, or Marvin Benefiel, aka Vince Everett.
LOL ... first of all, I think Trade took it as a COMPLETE compliment ... sounds like he's a Bobby Vee fan himself. But how INCREDIBLY cool is it that a comment like this can be made ... and Davie Allan ... and Trade Martin ... and even Bobby Vee can ALL read it because they're all regular Forgotten Hits readers ... and we can bring you their responses right here on our web page. Now THAT's a dream come true for me ... everything I EVER hoped Forgotten Hits would be.
And I, for one, LOVE your comments and observations ... that's what it's all about here in FH ... and the fact that you're as knowledgeable about this music ... and have played it all ... and OWN it all ... and LOVE it all ... speaks VERY highly of your opinion credibility-wise. So keep 'em comin', Larry!

Oh, by the way, you left Ronnie McDowell off your list! (lol) And personally, I think Vince Everett's recording of "Such A Night" is every bit as good as Elvis' ... and that Terry Stafford SURPASSES The King with his rendition of "Suspicion" ... so wait'll you see what kind of Elvis hate-mail I get in the next week or two!!! (lol) kk

No doubt about it ... folks are happy about us reinstating our new website posting email reminders ... over the past two days, we've received a couple thousand emails from folks asking us to put their names BACK on the list. (If you haven't signed up yet ... but would like to receive an email letting you know each time we make a new post ... just drop us an email that says PUT ME ON THE LIST and we'll add your name to the file. Send it to:
All-righty then ... 'Nuff said ... you're on the list!!! (lol) kk

yes yes yes, a trillion times yes! ... what am i saying yes to again? ... oh yeah, right ... YES!!!!
--- stolf

Hi Kent!
Your website is always fun and informative; hope you keep it going for a long time.
Karen Thompson
Oklahoma City

If you're still interested in keeping in touch with old bass players from the New Colony Six, then keep me on the list, please. Thanks.
Walt (Wally) Kemp
LOL ... ALWAYS interested in THAT!!! Thanks, Wally! (kk)

I'm getting old too, and a reminder is always welcome in my inbox!
Thanks for all you do, it's much appreciated and enjoyed.

Hey Kent ...
KEEP ME ON THE LIST!!!!!!!!!!!! Having been out of radio for 10 years now, you guys are THE BEST at keeping this old jock informed about our beloved oldies! Thanks for staying the course and doing us ALL a great service!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to thank all the FH readers, especially Carolyn, (who came thru for me big time!) who helped me in my quest to obtain 45 45s that were popular this week 45 years ago. My wife loved the gift. Sadly I don't think there were any 78s back in 1965, so I can't work on 78 78s for her 78th birthday in 33 years. Not to mention I'll be 94 and in a home for senile rock and rollers, assuming I'm alive.
It was a VERY clever birthday idea ... and a GREAT musical tie-in to boot! Glad we were able to help in some small way! (Frannie's birthday is next week ... kinda freaky that she turns 50 just hours after my odometer passed 50,000!!! Some bizarre symetry there or what?!?!? lol) kk

Hi Kent,
Please put me on the list. I have always appreciated the straight forward approach you take when sharing and have learned so much from you.
Thank you.

YAY!!!!!! Great to have you back!
I know that I'll appreciate the reminders. As much as I love to read Forgotten Hits (and I don't think I've missed a single issue since you first added me to the list), it's hard for me to remember to check the website every single day -- and time just gets away from me. Now I'll know exactly when to check -- and never miss another posting. Thanks again for reconsidering -- I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.
No, you're definitely NOT the only one ... we received literally hundreds and hundreds of letters just like yours ... so hopefully by redoing the list we're not only giving you guys what you really want but we're also eliminating all of the bounce-backs we were getting. So far, so good ... for everybody! (kk)

David Green-Manley here.
Since my Father passed away it appears more and more groups want to use his car collection. When he felt all was forgotten, you and your team came into his life. The vehicles will still be available and of course the loan of the vehicles are always free. The Tires and Rims shown are some of the gifts we send along with the classic cars and hot rods to be given away. My Dad was great man ... he and Tony Orlando were real close.
David Green-Manley J

Thanks, David ... it's a pretty tight group, this oldies community of ours! (Hey, what do you think of that awesome Oldsmobile featured above?!?!?) kk

Love you man, in a totally non-homosexual, non-anal penetrative way! :-D
LOL ... thanks, Ed ... this one TOTALLY made my day!!! (kk)

PLEASE put us back on the list. I / we deeply appreciate all of the effort you put into this fabulous site ... can't even imagine how difficult it is to do. It's definitely a labor of love. "We" includes Mom and Dad (aka boomers) and two teenage daughters who ADORE "our" music. They HATE, as many of their friends do, the music of their own era. So, thank you for keeping the greatest era in music alive!
Marianne Van Zandt & family

Wow ... thanks, Marianne ... 'cause THIS is what we do it for!!! (kk)

Kicking off tomorrow ... and running all week long ... it's our VERY Special Top 50 Summer Countdowns, featuring The Biggest Hits of Summer, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1970 ... as we do our best to present The Official Last Blast Of Summer ... right here in Forgotten Hits! Be sure to check back Monday - Friday to see the results! (kk)