Friday, October 22, 2010

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Here's a question for the guys in the Fifth Estate. Has anyone ever approached you to play Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead at a funeral?
Jack / Rock And Roll Never Forgets

This is no joke ... it is ABSOLUTELY the Honest to God truth ... and I think I may have told this story once before here in Forgotten Hits.
Many, many years ago I saw a movie with my ex-wife ... I'm not 100% certain, but it may have been "The Big Chill" ... and in the movie, they played a song at somebody's funeral ... (which means that if it WAS "The Big Chill", the song would have been "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones) ... anyway, my ex-wife was SO moved by the scene that she asked me "When I die, what song are you going to play at MY funeral" ... to which I responded ... without one second's hesitation ... "I dunno ... "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead?!?!?!?" Absolutely a 100% true story!!! lol (kk)

Meanwhile, here's another '60's FLASHBACK ... several years ago we ran a piece on the interesting instrumental interlude that comes right in the middle of The Fifth Estate's biggest hit, "Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead" ... here it is again, along with a little update from Ken "Furvus" Evans (and a few OTHER timely comments, too!)

Kent --
I was almost middle aged when I heard something on the local classical station -- and realized that it was the instrumental bridge in "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead," which charted when I was a freshman at Lane Tech. That little flute sequence goes back to the year 1612, from the "Terpsichore Suite" by German composer Michael Praetorius. I don't recall it being included in the 1939 WIZARD OF OZ film soundtrack, so somebody somewhere must have added it to the Fifth Estate cover. Classical music steals its way into pop music from time to time; see also "Lovers' Concerto" by the Toys and "Winter's Children" by the Capes of Good Hope, as well as "Touch and Go" by ELPV2 in the mid-80s.
Thanks much and keep it coming!
-- 73 -- Jeff Duntemann
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Very cool ... to hear a short snippet, simply click on the link below ... it'll take you right to the melody The Fifth Estate copped for their recording!!! lol (kk)
Click here: Dances from Terpsichore - 4. La Bourée: Collegium Terpsichore: MP3 Downloads

Drummer Ken "Furvus" Evans fills us in as to how this was worked into the arrangement of their take on the OZ classic below! (kk)
Thanks Kent!
Very interesting that one of your readers would be perceptive enough to even notice such a thing! Yes, Michael Praetorius it is, and here's the deal on it.
We will give that credit solely to Wayne Wadhams our singer / keyboard player.
(Sadly, Wayne passed away a couple of years ago ... and a couple of years AFTER this piece first ran in Forgotten Hits - kk)
Wayne had played classical music in theaters around the area between flicks to pick up a little spending money. He had played theaters like The Paramount in New Haven since he was 13. The band actually formed first in 1963 as The Decadents (later The D-Men) when he was about 15, and he became a lot to us as George Martin, with his classical background, was to The Beatles, except he was built into an otherwise two guitar, bass, drums and vocals band, rather than just being an external producer. But produce he did. We have about 100 recordings. Most of them have never been heard, some with good reason. But many should have been and looks like now they will. We had already had a number of good singles out with United Artists' Veep records, been on Hullabaloo co-hosted by Brian Epstein where we did our garage classic I Just Don't Care (the first real punkish style tune done on prime time national TV I am told), and we had recently changed our name to The Fifth Estate (after a magazine we saw in Chicago while doing a blues club tour). We were a solid performing band playing as much as six sets a night, six nights a week in Greenwich Village. But we were now looking for something that would go deep into the charts. That's when Don Askew, the lyricist for many of our songs, was at a party someplace in NYC and after a few drinks (maybe quite a few), he made a bet that we, The Fifth Estate, could at that point make a hit out of any song. Somebody suggested Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead and the rest is history, I guess.
Except ... it is the Michael Praetorius part in there that probably really made that all work. Our band used to get together and rehearse all day and late into the night. In the Summer it would be blisteringly hot. Some of us would go out and get (what else) pizza and bring it back for dinner and I believe this time Wayne stayed at the house while the rest of us went. He had a hammock set up way out back in the bushes and he had run a long, long wire out there for headphones so he could listen to music and rock back and forth in the hammock as he did. This day he was trying to relax so instead of listening to a recent album he put on one of his classical favorites from his organ in the theater days. And it just hit him I guess, and the rest is history (sort of) I guess!!?? After the pizza and back in our rehearsal room, he takes me over to the piano and says what kind of drums can you do with this and what do you think of it as our next single?? Hummm?? I said it gives you room in that middle part to do some harpsichord things which he was pretty good at, maybe the best around even and at such an early age. Now we were quite creative for the time and we usually just made something up that worked pretty well. But this was different enough that I didn't have any good immediate answer. So I went home took out my records and went though 20 or 30 or so before I came to Nowhere Man, obviously a Beatles tune, and I heard it all click immediately and so I just ripped off Ringo's beat from that song. It does pull and hold the other two parts together very well and the rest is HITSVILLE!!! So we, the band, put "Terpsichore Suite" into the piece. All the members of the band are playing on the recording along with a few members of the New York Pro Musica, who overdubbed a couple of horns and that piccolo line. Ricky played the piccolo line when we did it live, and even at times we did that line with fuzz guitar of all things. It actually comes out really fine but in a more garaged out rockin sort of way, which was the basic sound of the band at that time overall, with harpsichord, fuzz guitar and often even fuzz bass along with all the other. That's about it, Furv ps - I should also mention that Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead was done in FIVE languages by us; Japanese, German, French, Italian and English. In case you weren't aware of such an earth shattering fact!

Furv or Ken if you like. (I actually prefer Furvus when I'm in the music realm of things.)

Forgotten Hits Reader Jersey John recently sent in a short clip of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead", too ... apparently an "outtake" of some sort ... so Furvus addressed this issue for our readers, too!
Whoa!! ... Impressive sounding demo they made in basement! Clever! ...
Would like to know the name (title) of LP that was used in the demo.

Here's your answer, John!
As to John who wrote FH about The Fifth Estate DEMO of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!!, although at this late date we don't really know for sure which LP the Praetorius Dance Music we used for the demo came from as Wayne Wadhams who actually chose that music passed away not that long ago, but I did check around and found a CD on line which could contain the same earlier recording. I found a version of Michael Praetorius' Dances from Terpsichore - La Bouree, played by Collegium Terpsichore that possibly sounds like it. I believe this Bouree was recorded in the early 60s and very importantly was an early attempt to bring back to life, AUTHENTICALLY REVIVE, this 400 year old musical form which had been lost and not heard for centuries. Sheesh? Kind of almost like us - The 5E !
John, you're truly cool for having dug that deep. That CD can be found here.
AND our new Time Tunnel album is free to you. Just put in a request as I mention below.
There is the story of how the tune came about that day the idea popped up at -
(Interestingly enough, you'll find that the Songfacts Article mentioned above simply references OUR interview with Ken "Furvus" Evans" from a few years back in Forgotten Hits ... it's virtually IDENTICAL to our '60's FLASHBACK shown above!!! lol) kk

AND how it was recorded is kind of interesting as well. Wayne was a great keyboardist and harpsichord player at a very early age, and when we finally recorded that tune we all played and sang our parts on it and Wayne did the Harpsichord, and a few New York Pro Musica players were added to give it a bit more of an authentic touch. BUT when we first did the DEMO John sent to FH we did that all ourselves in our basement demo recording studio. I played the tubs, as we then called them, (drums) on there and the song was recorded in sections. I first fit the beat to and recorded over the pre-recorded Bouree dance music sections. Then I had to play at exactly that same tempo (finally after I don't know how many tries) with the band for all the just band sections, so THEN these parts could all be edited seamlessly together to make up the complete song. Pretty cool home producing, especially for those days which were starting to be more anything and everything goes, but which were still very primitive by comparison with today. It had a middle part from Dance Music by Michael Praetorius! After all we are a Rock and Roll DANCE BAND. All this played over the same rhythm foundation as The Beatles then recent #1 Nowhere Man. Man how could you miss! We didn't.
(Listen closely and you'll find that the background vocals "la-la-las" are very reminiscent of The Beatles' "Nowhere Man", too!) kk
I guess a joyous dance is a joyous dance whether it happened 400 years ago, 40 years ago, or 4 days ago! - or 400 years from now I hope.
For those wanting to know more about The Fifth Estate and all our other craziness you can check the Classic Bands website.

Then maybe just a word on what we are up to now.
Well, at the moment I am typing this, but other than that we are finishing our new TIME TUNNEL album with Shel Talmy of The Kinks, Who, Manfred Mann, David Bowie (I could go on) I will - The Fifth Estate! I'm going to send a demo of one of our new songs from the album called ENCHANTED, but a good demo with the 4 of us just standing there and playing the track with only a few overdubs. As I listen to this now it is probably good enough so that parts of this may actually be used for the master. This is a rough mix DEMO, without Doug's and Ricky's background singing (yet to be added ). Yep the same two doing the la la la's on Ding Dong! In fact a lot of this relates very much to that kind of thing harpsichord and all, except we wrote Enchanted. But we start it out with, what else??, that's right! of course - Tibetan Monks' Horns (in acknowledgement of their plight and the plight of all from that country) with the song giving thought and hope that maybe music, sometimes old musical forms even, can help improve the world even if it is in just some small way.
'Nough said. Here it is. Enchanted - first time anywhere.

It has been suggested to me that when the full album comes out early next year at about $14 for the 14 new songs on the album, that we should autograph the first 100 sold. Shel Talmy has agreed to sign as well. So for those interested you can contact me at:
No money to be sent now - but just a request for an autographed album when it is out. The first 100 requests (or so) will be signed.
Ken - Furv - whoever? or is it whomever?? Who cares - not me!

Interested? Drop Furvus a note. (And Jersey John, YOUR copy's a freebie!!! See, we don't just save the give-aways for our female readers!!! lol John joked a while back that Stacee, who won the autographed Tygers CD and LP after her email ran on The Forgotten Hits Web Page, had perhaps received some preferential treatment ... but with Ken Evans giving John a free Fifth Estate CD due to his astute observations regarding their early demo recordings, I'd have to say we've evened the score!) kk


Too funny ... after the ouster of radio programming legend Lee Abrams at The Tribune ... (officially, he "resigned"), it was funny to see THIS headline in "Taylor On Radio" the other day:
Former radio consultant Lee Abrams leaves Tribune. Now what?
"Ding dong, the Witch is dead" sentiments started surfacing after Friday's announcement from CEO Randy Michaels. Tribune staffers long annoyed by the iconoclastic advice and poor spelling from the company's Chief Innovation Officer were probably cheering at their desks. A list of the "Ten Dumbest Things Lee Abrams Has Ever Said" soon floated on (
here). Michaels and Abrams really had no choice about the decision. The damage was done by Abrams' widely-circulated memo that linked to the kinds of videos that give HR officers the night sweats - things like a parody of a TV newscast labeled "sluts." Michaels is under heightened scrutiny since the October 6 New York Times front-page attack. That David Carr piece spotlighted both the alleged frat-house atmosphere in the Tribune boardroom and the lethal effect of the 2007 Sam Zell buyout on the employees' stake in the company. Then along came the shake-up-the-troops memo from former radio consultant and XM chief programmer Lee Abrams last Monday. Radio folks aren't surprised by the talk about Michaels' free-wheeling nature. They've been hearing it for years, and have more context for it than, say, a Tribune staffer at the Baltimore Sun. But Abrams had to go, because Tribune's in the midst of finally getting a Chapter 11 bankruptcy re-organization to the court as soon as this week. CEO Michaels had no wiggle room.
Here's the Randy Michaels memo –
"As you know, earlier this week we suspended Lee Abrams from his position as Tribune Company's Chief Innovation Officer for distributing an email and video link that some employees found offensive. Today, Lee offered his resignation and I accepted it. Effective immediately, Lee will no longer be an employee of Tribune." No thanks-for-his-service flowery language, no "We appreciate Lee's contributions to the culture of the company." Where do Tribune and Michaels go from here? That's probably up to Wall Street. For what it's worth, TRI hears that one recent job applicant for a job at Tribune was told that his interviewer (a Randy Michaels-era hire) wasn't sure how long he might be there, himself. Still - Michaels says the operating results have been improving during the nearly two years of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Sam Zell, the biggest lightning rod of all, is off the scene. And lenders-turned-owners are chiefly interested in performance, not style.
-- Tom Taylor / Taylor On Radio


We have also heard from a number of disc jockeys on the list who have told me that they're planning on featuring "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" as part of their special Halloween programming! (More on Halloween in The Sunday Comments Page!) kk

Excellent!!! Many thanks to Ken (and others)!!! The CD with the demo, that is out of print, containing "Ding Dong ... " is actually good for being a demo!!! Clever, too, with its content!Was one of my favorite songs!
Where I first heard it? I know this for a fact, during the initiation day at grade school summer school!!! :)

Thanks, Ken / Kent!




And, how's THIS for yet another PERFECT Forgotten Hits tie-in ... Furvus just sent us a YouTube clip of The D-Men (pre-Fifth Estate by about a year and a half) performing on "Hullabaloo" ... with Lada Edmund, Jr. dancing in one of the cages. (You won't BELIEVE who's dancing in the OTHER cage!!!) Lada's been the subject of quite a few FH postings lately, once word got out that she'll be appearing at Charles Rosenay's upcoming Beat Expo. Check it out:
Here it is on youtube, Kent. You are correct that was in 1965 when we were still The D-Men, but we are the same five guys who by early 1966 became The Fifth Estate.
Brian Epstein and Michael Landon were the co-hosts of this show. AND the dancers are Lada Edmund, Jr. and Dionne Warwick, which to me is just as cool if not cooler that she wanted to be one of the dancers on our segment as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trying To Catch Up!

And the comments just keep on comin'!!!!

Here's what we got after our Double Dose of Weekend Comments ran ...

re: SLOW DOWN!!!:
whew ... you're on fire lately ... hard to keep up on the reading ...
slow down!
lol ... you're not kidding!!! I'm having a hard time keeping up myself!!! In fact, I had to schedule a couple days off this week just to sort through everything that's left ... and I'm STILL not done!
The volume of comments have been unreal lately ... always a good thing, but unfortunately it makes it impossible to work on NEW stuff when I spend every night sorting through the OLD stuff!!! However, I've always felt that if people take the time to write (which we ABSOLUTELY encourage you guys to do ... after all, that's what Forgotten Hits is all about!), the least we can do is run the best of the comments we receive. So we're doing the best we can (without completely overwhelming you guys, of course!) kk
yeah ...and i need time to absorb the knowledge for the finals ... so that when you hand out degrees ... i'm on the graduation line ...

Stars of Broadway's BEATLEMANIA LIVE! to Perform Saturday, Oct. 23 in St. Charles
Event Set for 8 pm at Historic Arcada Theatre
ST. Charles, IL - October 18, 2010 - The stars of Broadway's BEATLEMANIA LIVE will perform this Saturday, October 23rd, at the historic Arcada Theatre. The show begins at 8 p.m. at
105 E. Main Street in downtown St. Charles. Tickets start at $29.
"Every era of the Beatles' career will be represented with larger than life Broadway lights and sound, bringing full orchestration to capture their greatest hits from the Ed Sullivan, Shea Stadium, Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road eras," said Ron Onesti, president of Onesti Entertainment and owner of Arcada Theatre. "'Yesterday,' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' 'Penny Lane,' 'Let It Be,' and 'Something,' are just a few in this amazing 2-hour multimedia show."
With four complete, authentic costume changes, and four extraordinarily talented tribute artists performing with the original model guitars and drums as used by the Beatles, BEATLEMANIA LIVE blends intricate stage choreography with powerful visual effects that recreate the experience of a live Beatles concert, Onesti added.
Tickets start at $29 and are available NOW online at or by calling the Arcada Theatre ticket line at 630.962.7000. Box office hours for in-person ticket support at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main Street, St. Charles, are Thursdays, 2-7 pm.

And, speaking of Ron Onesti ...
Brock And Abrams is performing Friday, 10/22 at 8 pm at Onesti Italian Steakhouse & Supper Club, 18 N. 4th Street, St. Charles, IL. Call and make your Reservation Now! 630-584-1888
Thank you ; )
- Bob

Also performing this Saturday Night at The Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana ... Micky Dolenz and Peter Noone in what should prove to be one HELL of an oldies show!
Click here: Herman's Hermits feat. Peter Noone & Micky Dolenz of The Monkees
Janis Johnson of Chicago will be joining us at the concert ... she won tickets (courtesy of Peter Noone!) in our Forgotten Hits Give-Away ... and we can't WAIT to see the show! ALWAYS a great time ... if you're in the area (and free Saturday Night), give it a Whirl (as Peter might say!) kk

... and, speaking of Forgotten Hits Contest Winners ...

Congratulations to our "Best Of Apple" CD Give-Away Winner, Chris Glutsch of Bluffton, South Carolina! A copy of the brand new CD (signed by Lon Van Eaton) is yours and will be on its way to you shortly! Thanks again to everybody who entered our little give-away (and special thanks, too, to Lon Van Eaton and David Salidor for donating the autographed CD!!!) kk

Thanks for mentioning the Pig Light Show - they were a big part of the late 60s at the Fillmore East. I know that Marc and the Pig Light Show really appreciate it.
Also Marc works with the Electric Prunes and Blues Magoos and has been friends with Howard Kaylan for many years.
Thanks again!


Here's an update on the "Buddy Holly" event for next year (some interesting additions):
Davie Allan
Some VERY cool, big names are attached to this thing ... thanks for keeping us posted, Davie! (kk)

Hey Kent ...
I had the pleasure and the honor of meeting and talking with Juma Sultan this past August when I was at The National RockCon with The Rip Chords.
He is a really amazing person.
Before we took a photo together, he said to me, "Since you are in The Rip Chords, I won't charge you for this photo".
We both got a big laugh out of it as this photo was taken.
I really felt like I was standing alongside history.
Here's the photo....
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords
Now that's an EXCELLENT idea! Thanks, Mitch!
If you'd like to see a copy of this photo, simply send $5 to Forgotten Hits and we'll email you a copy! (Just kidding ... maybe! Hey, we've got to figure out SOME way to make a buck doing this after all these years!!!) kk

>>>Country music audiences have been very kind to Rucker, embracing him in a field that typically doesn't see a lot of Black break-out stars. (Name two other than Charley Pride!) kk
Saw the above passage on your comments page, and while I can't name two black country stars other than Charley Pride, I can name one: harmonica player De Ford Bailey, the first black star of the Grand Ol' Opry (Sun Records owner Sam Phillips: "Hell yes, I remember De Ford Bailey!")

His entire recorded output consists of only eleven titles recorded between 1927 and 1928 but he was amazing. Got all eleven on a Document CD entitled, appropriately enough, 'Harp Blowers: 1925-1936'.
Sorry if I took the discussion in another direction but I had to share.

OK, so I should have been more specific (lol) ... successful black country SINGERS from the past 25 years ... but you're right, if De Ford Bailey was the very first Black artist to join The Grand Ole Opry, his honor SHOULD be noted. Thanks, Ed ... you ALWAYS enlighten us with your knowledge of musical history! (kk)

Great comments package today -- and glad to see you mentioned "Waking Up Is Hard to Do" by ... The Laryngospasms. Ronnie Allen features their song on his site, too.
They're a group of Twin Cities anesthesiologists who have gained "fame" in the national medical community, of all places, by doing parodies of pop songs. They add "medical terms" and themes to a whole bunch of songs, far beyond their Neil Sedaka tribute (which has gotten an incredible 6.3 million hits on YouTube). They include: "Mr. Gasman," "The Little Old Lady With Her Fractured Femur" and "Ring of Fire" (which deals with hemorrhoids).
And they sing really well.

Here's their story of how they got started -- Don Effenberger
Very cool! This was my first exposure to them and I thought it was GREAT! Made it our Pick Clip Of The Week! Now I'll have to check out some of these others. Thanks, Don! (kk)

Great to see your post with the Sun-Times clip about the Steve Goodman post-office dedication that invokes his "Go, Cubs, Go." Goodman often doesn't get his due.
You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis, context and effects of "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" and its semi-sequel, "Go, Cubs, Go."
You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now.
It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography.
If you're not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. 'Nuff said.
Clay Eals
Seattle, WA
Wouldn't it be cool if Bob Stroud would feature Steve Goodman's "Go Cubs Go" on the next Rock And Roll Roots CD?!?!? And that's coming from a lifelong SOX fan!!! (kk)

>>>For those of us who recorded reel to reels and cassettes in the 60's, maybe we are the ones with the lasting product? See site: Wouldn't be a shame if all those digital rap songs went away someday. :) (WLSClark)
Kent ... You had a mention of US reel-to-reel tapers from the olden days. YEP, I WAS A TAPER MOST OF MY LIFE! I go all the way back to the 'toy' battery operated recorders that used 3 inch reels. I went thru a dozen of them over the years, moving to state of the art when I was older. Horrible quality by today's standards, but it was like magic in the 2nd grade! I got out of reels very late ... but was still able to sell off my collection for use as blanks (before they turned to oxide dust) for a pittance. AND I had the 'smarts' to pay a place to convert some 'special' tapes to high quality cassettes. These were 'talking' tapes ... me and the guys getting stoned in high school, me and the guys getting stoned in college, me and the guys getting stoned at the AXP frat house. YOU MAY NOTICE A THEME. I have tons of hilarious taped material, blackmail material? for former 'stoners' now pillars of society and industry ... (yeah, I'm a prick for salvaging and saving them) ... BUT IF I DIDN'T CONVERT THEM THEN, THEY'D PROBABLY BE LOST! Seems transistors don't age well and tapes played poorly on my old tape deck. AND the biggie? REEL-to-REEL went digital a long time ago ... I don't know where I could go now for ANALOG conversion of tapes ... IF ANYONE HAS ANYTHING TO SAVE FOR POSTERITY, DO IT QUICKLY ... You may still have time...(gary) RENFIELD

Hey Kent,
Just got back from Port Edward Restaurant in Algonquin, where Jim Peterik and Lisa McClowry performed a handful of tunes live on 87.7 radio for Rick O'Dell's Sunday Brunch show.
Drawing mainly from Lisa's album Time Signatures, which was beautifully produced by Jim, Peterik played jazzy acoustic guitar behind Lisa's expressive vocals on the Peterik-penned title track, plus single "Waiting for You," and the Ides of March's "Come Dancing" from their recent album, Still 19. The McClowry / Peterik co-write "Roses for No Reason" falls squarely in Streisand territory and Lisa acquitted herself with confidence and emotion on the Broadway-style ballad. Peterik, purple hair intact, trotted out "Vehicle" with the usual festival accoutrements, standard intro and crowd-supplied horn section, but McClowry's verses added a touch of Brasil 66 to the proceedings. Finishing up with "Eye of the Tiger," the two singers were regaled by the standing-room-only audience with a big ovation and a long line of well-wishers. This was a special opportunity to see these talented and personable singers up close and personal, and they delivered as the true professionals they are.
Guy Arnston in Algonquin


I was reading "Forgotten Hits" and played "Delirious" by Neil Diamond and Brian Wilson and was struck by the sheer beauty of Brian's layered backround vocals. The contrast between Diamond's rough lead and Brian's backup was striking and beautiful. Dolph

The contrast in their vocal styles actually play very well off each other ... not a hit, but a track we figured our readers would want to know about. (kk)


It's not whipped cream, but could be other delights.
Should Barbra Streisand's butt cheeks be considered cheescake?

>>>Maybe you did run Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream album cover a bit much. But I will never stop enjoying the My Sharona picture sleeve! (The Great and Wonderful Malcolm)

>>>It IS quite titillating, isn't it??? (kk)

You bet your sweet bippy it is! ;-)


Hi Kent,
I'm pleased to announce my latest radio interview show. It's with Billy Vera.
For years I have been mispronouncing his last name. Being a big fan of the wonderful Dame Vera Lynn, it's probably understandable that I always pronounced it "Billy VEERA." Many other deejays pronounced it that way as well.
But it's actually pronounced "VERRA" (rhyming with "Yogi Berra"!
Billy is an incredibly talented singer, songwriter, actor and music historian. As a recording artist he has had national hits as a member of a duo, a solo singer and the leader of a group.
Billy initially achieved success by writing hits for Barbara Lewis and Rick Nelson. But it wasn't until late 1967, when he recorded a groundbreaking duet with Judy Clay (he was white and she was black) called "Storybook Children," that most of the record-buying public began knowing him by name; he co-wrote that song with Chip Taylor and it became a duet classic. The following year his recording of Bobby Goldsboro's poignant "With Pen And Hand" became the first of several pop hit versions of that song.
But it wasn't until the 80s when Billy achieved his biggest success. He was the leader of a horn-based R&B-styled group called Billy Vera and The Beaters. In 1981 he and his group had a top-40 hit with "I Can Take Care Of Myself" and followed-up with the less-successful "At This Moment" which stalled at #79. But five years later that original recording of "At This Moment" (he did NOT re-record it) amazingly zoomed to #1 on the chart. It didn't "just happen" though: there was a good reason for it, and of course we cover that during the interview.
He has many other accomplishments, including writing a #1 country hit for Dolly Parton, acting in movies and on TV and being involved in the production of over 200 CD compilations!
To say he has had quite a career is putting it mildly!
He's an amazingly versatile talent and one heckuva nice guy as well. You can check out his Facebook page and send him a personal message. (Don't be shy about telling him how much you loved this interview!) Most likely -- unless he's out-of-town -- he will quickly send you a personal reply.
Following is a list of the tracks in sequence, including the two bonus tracks.
1 Opening (looped excerpt from a recognizable recording under my introduction)

2 Mean Old World -- Rick Nelson

3 Make Me Belong To You -- Barbara Lewis

4 Make Me Belong To You (excerpt) -- Fats Domino

5 Don't Look Back -- The Remains

6 Storybook Children -- Billy Vera and Judy Clay

7 Country Girl - City Man -- Billy Vera and Judy Clay

8 With Pen In Hand -- Billy Vera

9 I Really Got The Feeling -- Dolly Parton

10 I Can Take Care Of Myself -- Billy Vera and the Beaters

11 [his minor hit follow-up] (excerpt) -- Billy Vera and the Beaters

12 At This Moment -- Billy Vera and the Beaters



The Bible Salesman -- Billy Vera

Peanut Butter -- Billy Vera and the Beaters
My Billy Vera radio interview show, recorded exclusively for the
Jersey Girls Sing website is on this page: Ronnie's Radio Page
Ronnie Allen


We wouldn't REALLY do that, would we?!?!?

Here's a picture of Mitch Schecter of The Rip Chords with Juma Sultan at RockCon ... followed by one of Michele and Bob Abrams with Juma ... and one of Bob with Vince Martell of Vanilla Fudge ... Juma has been playing a lot with Vince recently in the New York and New Jersey Area.


(at ROCKCON 2010)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another Amazing Forgotten Hits Find!

It's been an interesting journey, this past month ...

It all started with our coverage of the street dedication ceremony for Ides Of March Way, honoring Berwyn's favorite sons ...

The Ides Of March Get Their Way

Then we heard from Jim Peterik himself ...

Hey Kent!
Jimbo here.
Thanks for the great article. I so appreciate your long time support and encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago rock. Good times indeed.
Hope you get a chance to hear the Ides' new one, Still 19.
Thanks again, brother! Keep Rocking!!

And then, amongst a whole batch of Ides accolades ...

More Ides Accolades

The Sunday Comments ( 09 - 26 - 10 )

We received a question from Mr. Peterik:

Wow Kent!
These are some really cool letters. I was blown away!
The one from John Rook was a special treat because the Ides credit him as one of the main architects in the mega success of Vehicle. WLS support was critical to the success of any record and when Destocki and Rand told us Rook was making it Record of the Week, we celebrated.
Here's where John can help me out on the history:
For years we had been telling the story that it was Disk Jockey, the late great Art Roberts, who suggested adding the vocal answers to "love you, need you!". Our managers told us if you add those, WLS will add the record.
Recently I heard it was really John Rook who suggested that. Will we ever know?To whoever it was - we "Love you ... Need you ... Got to have you!" Lol!
Keep rocking!

So we went right to John Rook for the answer to this one ... who told us that Jim
remembered the story correctly ... it WAS Art Roberts who made that suggestion. (Personally, I was surprised to hear this ... I thought Roberts had left WLS by 1970 ... but apparently he was sold on the record from the first demo he heard ... and suggested that by adding the "call and response" gimmick it would help insure pop success.) Rook wasn't convinced ... in fact, he admitted that he was still a little reluctant to add the record even after Destocki and Rand brought him the new, updated demo. When he still hemmed and hawed about adding it to the WLS playlist, they screamed, "C'mon, John ... we MADE the record the way you guys wanted it ... how can you not jump on it now!!!" (lol)

Knowing he was leaving for LA the following week, Rook made it the Top Add / Pick Hit of the Week ... and plugged it into hourly rotation ... He also now admits that he was 100% wrong about the record and that he just didn't hear it from the get-go ... and credits Art Roberts for having a great ear for this kind of thing. He says that "Vehicle" is a GREAT record and a great song ... and says that once WLS jumped on it, other radio stations across the country followed suit and, by the time he was unpacking his bags in LA, it was already on the radio there, too!

Rook also had this to say:

Nice seeing the Ides of March receiving acclaim for their contribution to pop music. Jim Peterik should have a street named after him, too.
In the early 70's, promotion man Bob Destocki and Frankie Rand begged me to add "Vehicle" to the WLS playlist. It would be the very last record that, as program director, I would make "Pick Hit of the Week" ... giving it airplay every hour for the first week. I was on my way to Los Angeles to become president to Bill Drake's company but within a few weeks Vehicle was all over the airwaves in Los Angeles as well as Chicago and the nation. A great record ... and a great band.
John Rook

Of course now we were DYING to hear the original "Vehicle" demo ... SOMEBODY must have a copy of this thing lying around somewhere ... we asked Jim if HE might have a copy to share with our readers ... but never heard anything back.
(It is ALWAYS so cool and interesting to hear what the "original vision" for a well-known tune was like ... we knew it'd be a real coup to come up with a copy!)

Meanwhile, long-time Forgotten Hits Reader (and frequent contributor) Clark Besch sent us ALL kinds of AMAZING Ides rarities ... their Pepsi Commercial ... a Public Service Announcement for Budweiser's Designated Driver program ... even a "live" version of "Vehicle" recorded in 1970 at an Ides Of March concert ... ALL kinds of cool stuff ...

Marching On With The Ides - More Cool Comments, Info and Collectibles!

All incredible stuff to be sure ...

but the Holy Grail became finding the original "Vehicle" demo ...

And then we got this ...

While searching for some other stuff in my collection, I found a bunch of Ides things including a mediocre recording of the original "Vehicle" demo! Completely different recording, but it is as described. Some groovy different sounds in it besides the lyrical change, yet great!
Jim is such a great guy ... who knows, maybe featuring some of these rarities on your website just might stoke him to get some of these in great quality out to the public! He could make a whole CD of just Ides, etc, demos! These Ides demos have great value, just as if a Beatles outtake, IMO.
What a mind, voice, talent!!!
Clark Besch

INCREDIBLE!!! The complete vision is there ... the horns are COMPLETELY formed and arranged, FULLY realized, even in its most infantile version ... the guitar solo is noticeably different (and, if you've been following along with us, you now know that the burning solo permanently etched in the brains of millions of us was nearly lost due to a recording session glitch!) ... and hearing this take WITHOUT them, but knowing that the "call and response" aspect came later ... AFTER the demo was screened for WLS / The Big 89 ... and suggested by legendary WLS Jock Art Roberts ... and then watching "Vehicle" climb to the top of the charts ALL over the country ... we truly have history in the making here today.

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Clark Besch for tracking this down ... apologies for the somewhat "muddied" sound (but to my ears all this does is add more authenticity and history to our findings.)

And, congratulations again to Chicago's Ides Of March for their long, exciting and rewarding musical journey ...

and for providing the "Vehicle" to take us all along with you.

We wish you continued success and thank you for all that you've given us.

Their new CD, "Still 19", is available from The Ides Of March website here:

Click here: The Ides Of March Flash Intro

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 10 - 17 - 10 )

The Comments Continue ... in Weekend Comments, Part 2!

>>>Denny Laine was scheduled to make his first-ever convention guest appearance in Trumbull, CT back in the mid-80’s and couldn’t get into the U.S. at the time, but his ex-wife, Jo-Jo, and his children Laine and Heidi attended. (Charles Rosenay)

>>> Did he REALLY name one of his kids Laine Laine?!?!? (kk)
>>>That is exactly what I was going to ask. I would have had my name legally changed to "I Hate You Dad Laine". (Kristy)
Denny Laine's children Heidi-Jo and Laine, whose mother was rock groupie Jo Jo Laine (born Joanne LaPatrie), both are known by Denny's birth surname, Hines.

Dad's name is actually Brian Hines, so the child's name is Laine Hines, not Laine Laine. But that was funny.
Charles Rosenay


I found three emails with this news flash in my mailbox this morning JUST prior to publishing this week's edition of The Sunday Comments ... and wanted to share the news regarding another sad loss with our readers.

Kent ...
Just found out about this Rock-n-Roll Death. I don't know if you reported it or not. In Memoriam: General Johnson « WCBS-FM 101.1
We also lost Barbara Billingsley of "Leave It To Beaver" -- not music-related, but certainly a part of our childhood.
Barbara Billingsley of 'Leave it to Beaver' fame dies -
By the way, you shamed me into it. I felt guilty. LoL!
I just sent a copy of your newsletter to all the D J's I know on WCBS-FM and Wild Wayne. You win, Kent -- let me know if you hear from them.
Frank B.
Lol ... thanks, Frank ... that's EXACTLY what I was going for! (lol) Sad news about General Johnson and no, we had NOT reported it earlier. In fact, I was surprised to see three emails this morning about it right before we went to press ... so now we're the ones helping to let the rest of the oldies world know. Thanks for sending. (kk)

General Norman Johnson, songwriter, producer and lead singer of The Chairmen of the Board, has died at age 67.
The group is best known for the national hits “Give Me Just A Little More Time” and “Pay To The Piper” but they are greatly revered in the Carolina “Beach Music” community for songs like “Carolina Girls” and “Everything’s Tuesday”.
Norman Johnson was actually named General when he was born in Norfolk, Virginia — but didn’t use that first name until he later moved to New Orleans and fronted the group
The Showmen. The group recorded a legendary anthem to rock & roll called “It Will Stand” and Johnson stayed with them until 1968 when he moved to Detroit. There, he hooked up with the songwriting / production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. The trio were leaving Motown to form Invictus / Hot Wax Records and Johnson was signed with The Chairmen of the Board as one of their first acts.
As a songwriter, Johnson contributed to hits by
The Honey Cone (“Stick Up”, “Want Ads”), Freda Payne (“Bring The Boys Home”) and Clarence Carter (“Patches”) which won a Grammy with co-writer Ronald Dunbar.
In recognition of the contributions that Johnson has made to American popular music, the Virginia General Assembly designated June 9, 2001 as General Johnson Day in Virginia.
-- Bob Shannon

Johnny Brooklyn had a phone interview with Maurice Williams on KPOO - FM and Maurice is in Charlotte, NC, now and he has a new album out. It is quite good. Maurice is in fine voice and has a new group of Zodiacs. He talked about taking his group to Nashville because he knew John R of WLAC was there, connected up with Excello Records which gave good guidance because Maurice owns the rights to Little Darlin', Stay, and others. Maurice also talked about the passing of General Johnson. He had just heard about it. General Johnson also lived in Charlotte, and had great records with the Showmen, Chairmen of the Board, and under his own name.Check out, especially Sunday nights at 10, Monday nights at 8:30, Thursday afternoons at 3, all Pacific time. Charlie Miller, the Autumn King on KPOO

General Norman Johnson, leader of Carolina "beach music" favorites, the Showmen from 1961-1967 and then with the Chairmen of the Board, died in suburban Atlanta Wednesday (October 13) from complications of lung cancer at the age of 67.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1943, he formed the Showmen (along with Milton "Smokes" Wells, Dorsey "Chops" Knight, Gene "Cheater" Knight and Leslie "Fat Boy" Felton) while still in high school there. Signed to Minit Records, they recorded the anthem "It Will Stand," which charted twice (#61 - 1962 and #80 - 1964 when re-released by Imperial Records). The song was a regional hit in many locales including a top ten record in Chicago. Likewise, the group's "39-21-46" failed to chart originally in 1963, but bubbled under at #101 when re-released four years later. General Johnson moved to Detoit in 1968 and teamed up with writer / producers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (who had left Motown to start Invictus Records). Starting a new group with Danny Woods -- who had sung in a later incarnation of the Showmen, Harrison Kennedy and Eddie Curtis, they called themselves the Chairmen of The Board. General also began a successful string of compositions, penning Clarence Carter's "Patches," "Bring The Boys Home" for Freda Payne and the Honey Cone hits "Want Ads," "Stick Up" and "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show."

The Chairmen of the Board started their chart life with their biggest hit, "Give Me Just A Little More Time" (#3 - 1970), written by Holland-Dozier-Holland and featuring General on lead. It was followed by eight more chart records, including his composition, "Pay To The Piper" (#13 - 1971). General Johnson tried a solo career in 1979 but re-formed the Chairmen on many occasions since. He was honored with a day in his honor by the state of Virginia in 2001.
-- Ron Smith /

With all kinds of John Lennon Music all over the radio this past weekend ... and all sorts of new products hitting the shelves in stores ... all in honor of what would have been John's 70th Birthday on October 9th ... we sure didn't expect to hear THIS one!!! (kk)
Hi Kent,
Your mention of the Beatles vs. the Stones book and the quotes from the Lennon Playboy Interviews reminded me of this little gem.It's from The National Lampoon from the first album they did called Radio dinner.The first time I heard this I thought it was the funniest thing -- early 70's. I didn't know that the lyrics in the song are basically quotes from the Playboy interviews from 1970.It even seemed even more over the top after I read those interviews.Quality is a bit iffy on this since it's from a beaten up piece of vinyl.I suspect it isn't something you'd want to pass on to the readers without a large warning sticker, but I thought you might get a kick out of it.
Aww, Bill ... you know we'll feature just about ANYTHING here!!! lol But this one is REALLY bad!!! (kk)

This one was all over the news last week ...
FBI Halts Auction Of Lennon Document « WCBS-FM 101.1
And, with all the talk about what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, it was nice to see THIS piece again:
Paul McCartney On “Yesterday”: 1984 Interview « WCBS-FM 101.1
-- both submitted by Frank B

Kent --
I just read the 40th anniversary tribute to the White Album ("THE BEATLES").
The first time I heard it in its entirety was sometime around 1977 or 1978. I was only familiar with about half the tracks until then. I think the ballads -- "Julia", "I Will" -- are lovely but don't hold a candle to the older stuff like "Yesterday" or "Michelle."
THAT SAID: It's the tougher, more defiant / rebellious tunes that really make the album a Beatles classic, plus the fact that they were already considering going their separate ways -- which, of course, is reflected on every single side.
Certainly "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is not only one of the finest tracks but one of the best Beatles songs ever. I agree with you, Kent, that "Good Night" is probably one of the "throwaways". I think it was their way of saying goodbye to the fans -- I also think that by the time they recorded "Abbey Road", IMO even more uneven (with peaks such as Come Together and Because, and low points such as most of Side 2). they had given up on being official spokesmen for the youth of London, etc., and were just biding time.
"Glass Onion" always tickles me as a kind of parody of a lot of the Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour stuff -- BUT I think MMT stands on its own merits, somewhere ahead of the White Album; "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" has some of their funniest lyrics, "Cry Baby Cry" has some of their most profound, and "Revolution #9", while not "A Day in the Life" by any stretch of the imagination, makes its point: get rid of professional sports, and you'd have your revolution -- people would be in the streets en masse, but the vast majority of them don't seem to care about Vietnam (the track, IMO, is more timely than ever, and it still "creeps me out" as one person remarked).
So all in all, the White is, I believe, the last stab at greatness by the Fab 4, and certainly a classic. (My faves are Revolver and Rubber Soul too, and I also think Sgt. Pepper is their most "relevant" LP, definitely my 3rd favorite. If "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" were the only track, it would be my favorite without question, even though I love them all.)
Thanks for your patience.
Bobster (Rashkow)
You'll find our 40th Anniversary White Album review here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Forgotten Hits Salutes The 40th Anniversary Of The Beatles' White Album
Along with track-by-track commentary by noted Beatles Historian Bruce Spizer. Honestly, I haven't found too many people over the years that have considered Side Two of "Abbey Road" one of The Beatles' low spots ... while each individual song on its own may not always cut the (Mean Mr.) Mustard, collectively it was once again a brand new and innovative way to present their music (and clean out their cluttered notebooks filled with song fragments that somehow still seem to fit together ... and quite nicely at that!)
Then again I'm not sure John Lennon himself would rank "Revolution Number Nine" up there with "A Day In The Life"!!! (lol)
For me, the White Album too often feels less like a Beatles album than each Fab working on their own. (The suggestion that each of them should have taken one side of the two disk set and record their own solo album probably would have satisfied everybody but Paul, who EASILY could have filled four sides with his own material all by himself ... this was clearly his most prolific period, 1967 - 1969, with SO many stand-out tracks and musical styles being explored.
All in all, I've got to rank "Abbey Road" as amongst my all-time favorites (although there really isn't ANY Beatles album that I have a hard time getting through.)
Thanks for your review ... I love the fact that different tracks rank as "stand outs" for different people, proving again the universal appeal of this music. (kk)

re: BEAT EXPO 2010:
Check out this link on the event:
Ken Voss
Yes, we ran a promo for this the other day ... quite an impressive line up of guests to be sure! I talked to Charles Rosenay, the organizer of this event ... and he is very proud of the line-up for this show ... Tommy Roe, appearing (and possibly even performing!) after YEARS in retirement ... and Richard Langham, second engineer on The Beatles' first recording sessions, who has never done a show like this before. LOTS of other goodies, too, so check out the info at the link above. (kk)

>>>Recently on in your website, the name of Lada Edmund, the Hullabaloo Girl, was brought up. I think you will agree with me, but the word Jr. follows her name. Offhand, I think that is the only girl I can think of who has the name "junior" following her name.(Larry Neal / The Wax Museum)

>>>While I'm not personally familiar with Lada Edmund Jr.'s Hullabaloo Career, it sounds like she's done a WHOLE lot more than that over the years ... check out her website (where autographed pictures are also available!)
Click here: personal trainer, Lada St. Edmund Home
(I think you'll find the "About Lada" Page quite interesting!)
She seems to have QUITE the cult following, too! Meanwhile, you're right ... I can't think of another single female "Jr."!!! (kk)
Another female “Jr.” is soul singer R. B. Hudman, Jr., who recorded two singles for Bill Lowery’s 1-2-3 label and another for Atlantic. She’s shown with the “Jr.” only on the first 1-2-3 release.
Nope, don't know her either!!! Lada will be appearing at Charles Rosenay's Beat Expo 2010 (link above in the previous email) ... see below:
LADA EDMUND: 1st-Ever BEATexpo Convention Appearance!Famed 60's Hullabaloo TV "Caged Go-Go Dancer" and Recording Artist who sang on Murray The K's show at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre
Click here: Lada Edmund Jr.
Browse around here for a little while ... ALL kinds of cool, vintage '60's photos (and links to YouTube clips featuring Lada dancing on Hullabaloo and other programs, too. In fact, you'll even find a photo of her 1965 TV Guide Cover! And the album cover to a "Hullabaloo" soundtrack LP! Really some neat stuff ... here are just a few more:

Lada with Herman's Hermits

Lada with The Beach Boys

Lada with The Beatles

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

So great to read the comments regarding Brian Wilson's touring band. Yes, they're tops. When I first hired the Beach Boys (May 24, 1963) they were pretty much all kids. Carl was 16, Dennis Wilson, 18, Alan and Brian were 20, and Mike was 22. There was an innocence in their vocals -- in additional to those great harmonies. I knew that touring would be a major part of their future success.
At the time, they were making $350 to $400 a night in Southern California, $500 to $750 on the road. They gave their audiences 100% -- and if Murry sensed they hadn't done their best, he'd let 'em know it. No, nothing physical, as some of the books would lead you to believe, but he'd give them a stern reprimand. "Those kids paid good money to see you and they deserve a great show," he would say.
Over the years -- after they'd become music icons -- and they had expanded the road band to include additional percussion, guitars, keyboards -- they remained one of the top touring attractions, even after the tragic death of Dennis on Dec 28, 1983. Shortly after younger brother Carl's premature passing on Feb 6, 1998, the remaining 'original' Beach Boys, as we all knew and loved them -- and for whatever reason or reasons -- went their separate ways.
All three configurations have maintained virtually all of the various touring band members. However, only Mike and Bruce Johnston continue to tour as The Beach Boys, and Mike is the only 'original' member on stage. All three original Beach Boys have great stage bands -- all three still play to audiences who not only appreciate the music but respect the legacy of the band.
When Brian decided to return to the road with his own band in the spring / summer of 1999, he put together a stunning band. Lead by musical director Jeffrey Foskett, with The Wondermints supplying the foundation of the rhythm section, and additional background vocals by Taylor Mills, I was blown away with the result.
I was honored when Brian and Jeffrey asked me to introduce them at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, in June of 1999, and I was honored to introduce them again when they played the historic Ryman Auditorium in November 2008,
Overall, they are the best touring band I've seen (with Paul Simon's band coming in a solid second). I think one of the key reasons is not only their superb musical abilities, but also the fact they have a deep respect for Brian -- and a passion for the great music that he -- and The Beach Boys -- have given us over the past 49 years.
IF -- and that's a HUGE 'if' -- all three original members re-unite for a 50th Anniversary tour in 2011 -- it will be interesting to see which touring band members emerge as the road band. Regardless of who gets the call, I'm very, very confident it will be one hell of a band.
Fred Vail
Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc.
"Music City, USA," / Nashville, TN

Hey Kent,
Even though I can't see 'em, keep posting those Risque covers will ya?
Just don't post the John and Yoko cover.
I dunno ... I'm never really been a very big cheesecake fan ... unless, of course, it's covered in Whipped Cream!!! (kk)

Maybe you did run Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream album cover a bit much.
But I will never stop enjoying the My Sharona picture sleeve!The Great and Wonderful Malcolm
It IS quite titillating, isn't it??? (kk)

I just read on your site that Joey Heatherton had at one time been married to former NFL player Lance Rentzel.
Lance Rentzel, if you didn't know already, went to high school here in OKC, Cassidy School, then later on to the University of Oklahoma where he played college ball.Again, you may or may not know, but in 1968, Lance Rentzel recorded a song calledLOOKIN' LIKE SOMETHIN' THAT AIN'T b/w BEYOND LOVE on Columbia Records.
The record itself did make the local top 40 radio survey. Don't know how high it got without checking.
Through the years, with a song title like LOOKIN' LIKE SOMETHIN' THAT AIN'T,to me that type of record was always number one with English teachers at the time. Tome, the all time favorite of English teachers has to be Buster Brown's follow-up to his1960 hit, FANNIE MAE, that title being IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN'T. I just love it.
One final thing. Lance Rentzel's recording in my opinion AIN'T BAD.
Lance Rentzel never made the national charts with his record ... but Joey Heatherton scored at Top 25 Hit back in 1972 when she released "Gone", a song we featured EONS ago in Forgotten Hits. Here it is again ... let's see if THIS one rings a memory bell or two! (kk)

>>>I've been a huge Lon & Derrek Van Eaton fan since ... well, way before I joined "The Rip Chords"! Back in the 60's I was playing in a band that rehearsed in a barn in Bucks County, Pa. Our bass player, Richard Bush, (who went on to co-write "A Woman's Got The Power" for Clarence Clemmons), answered an ad for a used Acoustic Bass amp ... and lo and behold, it was being sold by the Van Eaton Brothers. We knew them from the band "Jacobs Creek" (I still own that album, on Columbia). Of course, we all bought the "Brother" album when it came out, and even saw them perform live with a full band opening up for David Bowie at The Tower Theater, and as a Trio at a cool folk club called The Main Point (now closed, unfortunately). I never got to know them personally, but did meet Derrek a few times, and he was always very cool. They were a true success story from my "neighborhood", so to speak. Glad to see they are being talked about again. Please say hello to Lon & Derrek for me ... they are amazing musicians,and influenced me very early on. (Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords)
How Great! I remember him vaguely. Did I thank you for the article?
Many, many thanks. It is odd and interesting to relive the years. Thanks for passing this along.
Glad to do it ... wild to think about how many memories we've helped to conjure up over the years!
And, FINAL NOTICE to get your entries in for the Lon Van Eaton / Autographed "Best Of Apple Records" CD ... we're going to pick a winner NEXT WEEK ... so, if you haven't entered yet, drop me an email at and we'll throw your name into the hat for our Free CD Drawing! (kk)

Hi Kent -
Thanks so much for the piece on Lon Van Eaton. It has caused so much attention and noise, that it has become an article destined for the ages!!!We'll get those CDs out to you next week.
David Salidor
Thanks, David, always glad to help (and it's great to know that our piece got noticed!!!) Can't wait to hear the new CD ... we'll be picking our winner next week! (kk)

Thank you for featuring my home town heroes Lonnie & Derrek.
They are from Trenton, New Jersey, and I was so proud when I heard that Apple picked them up.
I have the Jacobs Creek recordings and their single when they were The Trees.
Once again, Thank You ... this was a nice surprise!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Carl Bonafede!
Ditto ... from all of us here at Forgotten Hits! (kk)

I can see John and Allen Klein in the courtroom battling it out over the Cameo-Parkway catalog. Neither John or Allen publishes anything other than the "norm" that was available decades ago. Same with Bunny Sigler, mono, when Stereo LP was available. He should know this!Look at Elvis, look at The Beatles and other artists ... stereo, alternate takes, karaoke, etc. But when it boils down to Philly, nothing from the norm. Like old school thinking!This was brought to my attention over ancient monophonic Spokesmen CD!
Let's get with it, Philly!!!
Jersey John

Thanks for the link to Barry's re-make of Eve Of Destruction to Still On The Eve Of Destruction. He is right ... It is HEAVY!
But it is also GREAT! What a statement about our current world.
Time may not have pleasant to Barry's appearance, but it clearly hasn't been to me either. But it has enriched his perception of our world.
John C.
It's a GREAT remake ... and more timely than ever!
While looking for Lada Edmund, Jr. stuff for the piece above, I happened across this neat little piece of photo nostalgia on her website ... an actual ticket to the Hullabaloo Television Performance, hosted by none other than Barry McGuire! (kk)

And, for more REALLY cool Barry McGuire stuff, be sure to check out his Trippin' The '60's Website: Click here: Trippin the 60's - About Us (kk)

Did your high school win?
lol ... I remember some pretty frantic high school competitions trying to win a major recording act's appearance at your school. (The big competition by us was those gum-wrapper "chains" that all the girls made ... and then "linked" their individual chains into one MONSTER-sized chain that took an army of Seniors to carry through the halls!) We had some pretty good bands play out our High School, too ... I remember seeing The Association and The Turtles there ... and, of course, local acts like The Ides Of March and The Cryan' Shames, too.
While browsing around Reel Radio Repository the other night I found an old 1976 clip of Larry Lujack on WCFL after they had switched to their "World's Most Beautiful Music" format ... funniest part of it all was in between all the boring instrumentals, they still made an announcement that the radio station would STILL honor their contest regarding the Kiss Concert!!! (lol) TOOOOO funny!!! (Wonder what Grandma and Grandpa thought about THAT one if they happened to be tuned in listening ... 'cause I can't imagine ANYONE else in town listening to that dreck!!!) kk

Gee, Jane, why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel?!?!? (lol)
You're right ... we've probably only featured Engelbert a couple of times over the past twelve years ... and, despite having fourteen National Top 40 Hits, you RARELY hear his stuff on the radio anymore. (Quite honestly, his name HASN'T come up here a whole heck of a lot ... and I don't think that's just because it's so hard to spell!!! I'm guessing that most oldies music fans don't find him "oldies-friendly" ... which is probably why you don't hear a lot of his stuff on the radio anymore either.)
Speaking as not much of a Humperdinck fan ... although I will admit that my Mom LOVED him ... I can honestly say that not ALL of his music is dreck ... in fact, tracks like "After The Lovin'" and "Release Me" were legitimate Top Ten Hits and deserve a spin at least every once in a while.
And I still maintain that if a record was good enough to make The Top 20, then it ought to receive SOME airplay ... so, based on that criteria, you'd ALSO have to include "There Goes My Everything" (#20, 1967); "The Last Waltz" (close enough at #21, 1967); "Am I That Easy To Forget" (#18, 1968 ... and I know we featured THIS one not too long ago); "A Man Without Love" (#18, 1968) and "Winter World Of Love" (#13, 1970).

Quite honestly, your BEST bet in hearing Engelbert these days (other than maybe on a soft-rock, middle-of-the-road oldies station) is probably on Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel. (Of course it would have to be as a "Cheezy-Easy-Listening Song Of The Day" ... but at least it'd get played!!!)
I've passed your letter on to Scott ... be listening next week because I've got a feeling he'll feature SOMETHING ... this one's just too good to pass up! (kk)

More great Ides stuff today, Kent! I really got a kick out of the guy saying Jim "sounds like Howlin' Wolf" at 3:27 in the live recording."Aire of Good Feeling" certainly sounds a lot like some Chase tracks, doesn't it? Thanks for posting that one today.
David Lewis
Rock and Roll got "horny" back in the late '60's and early '70's ... and while groups like Blood, Sweat And Tears and Chicago were certainly at the forefront, leading the way, several other acts (Lighthouse immediately comes to mind) changed up their whole sound a bit, too, to keep up with the times. And this was certainly the case here in Chicago, too ... Chase and The Ides Of March and The Mob all had significant hits here during this era. But horns and rock and roll were nothing new here in Chi-Town ... the whole sound of The Buckinghams and The Mauds was built around this sound several years earlier. In fact, Bucks' producer James William Guercio took what he learned working with The Buckinghams and turned it into mega gold when he took over the reigns of Chicago! (kk)

While searching for some other stuff in my collection, I found a bunch of Ides things including a mediocre recording of the original "Vehicle" demo! Completely different recording, but it is as described. Some groovy different sounds in it besides the lyrical change, yet great! I am leaving town for the weekend, but next week, I will try to send along along with a funny Lujack comment on the Ides!
Jim is such a great guy ... who knows, maybe featuring some of these rarities on your website just might stoke him to get some of these in great quality out to the public! He could make a whole CD of just Ides, etc demos! BTW, I take exception to the comments about the first and third WB singles not being good. "Superman" is terrific in my opinion. What Lujack said is somewhat true, but I love the song! As for "One Woman Man", it's very much in the bag of what they were doing, as their previous great single "Nobody Loves Me" was similar, but both are just terrific and fine without the normal blaring brass. I told Jim when we talked that I thought both were great singles and he broke into "Nobody Loves me" right on the spot! What a mind, voice, talent!!!
I think Jim's been pretty appreciative of our coverage thus far ... and it would be GREAT to feature some of these unheard gems ... maybe he has some "work-up" demos he'd be willing to share with all of us somewhere down the road, too! (kk)

>>>And, I would be remiss if, on the subjects of Hall Of Fames, I didn't encourage you to hop on over to The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame (kk)
It's 'Halls of Fame' fer chrissakes!
I think some of you guys need to establish what 'Rock'n'Roll really is. The Beach Boys and their ilk don't qualify, Rock'n'Roll ended before they got going.
Okay, I'm happy for anyone to be nominated as 'hit paraders' or 'pop' artists, but Rock'n'Roll?
The Crickets ARE R'n'R; disco, soul, pop, and balladeers are not!
We stand corrected ... (note heading above!!!) But as for what is and isn't rock and roll, we STILL don't seem to be clear on THAT subject. (Of course The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame hasn't helped by shedding any new light or insight on this topic ... instead they just continue to muddy up the water as to what does and doesn't constitute rock and roll. As stated in our most recent piece, all we've EVER asked for is establishing some criteria or definition on this matter.) kk

Kent ...
How about a list of the different Halls of Fame ?
Hit Parade
Group Harmony
I'm sure you can think of a couple of more to add.
Frank B.
Kinda like awards shows, there sure are a whole buncha them!!! And you can pretty bank on somebody feeling that somebody was slighted in virtually every single one! (kk)

Hi, Kent.
Rock 'n' roll is an extremely broad term, which is why everyone's opinion differs when it comes to 1: the first rock 'n' roll record, and 2: who should and should not get inducted into the Rock Hall.
I've said it a million times before but it bears repeating, especially since many of your readers may not have heard my stance on rock's history: rock 'n' roll has been evolving since the days of slavery. It's a continuum; a continuous evolution. Everything is built on what came before. Now, your readers could say, "But there was no rock 'n' roll in, say, the '20's" Ah, but there was - it was called the blues (i.e. country blues, hillbilly, and jazz) and spirituals. Just like rock in the 1950's was rhythm and blues (or white interpretations of black music), so it was in the '20's and '30's. That's not to say that EVERYTHING is rock 'n' roll. I don't, for example, consider Bing Crosby rock 'n' roll, or for that matter, Donna Summer. Like I said, it's an evolution. Buddy Holly & The Crickets sound nothing like Metallica, but they're both rock 'n' roll acts nonetheless.
Having said that, since the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is obviously run by half-wits, which is why I personally don't care who gets in or who doesn't, perhaps it's an honor NOT to be inducted.
There are a number of artists who would agree with you ... the process has become SUCH a farce that it is no longer considered the honor it OUGHT to be to be inducted ... and that's just a downright shame. (kk)

Hi Kent,
First, I really enjoy your Blog. I've found a lot of info that I was not aware of.
However there is one thing that I have never been able to understand. And that is all the comments on the selections of Inductees into the Rock Hall.
There is no doubt that the selections are made for one major reason ... Money.
If the RRHF doesn't put in artists from different years, like the 70's and 80's, then attendance at the RRHF drops.
The Hall is a profit making organization, like everything else in the US. So, accuracy doesn't count. They just want more attendance, so they can make a larger profit.
Sorry for being so negative.
Except The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is a NON-PROFIT Organization (raking in HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars each year ... if not millions ... and, as we've heard numerous times recently, now trolling for additional donations above and beyond admission fees and special events).
According to their official mission statement:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.
Museum admissions, memberships and store purchases support our efforts to educate the world on the social significance of rock and roll. Please spend a moment and learning more about the world's only Museum devoted to the celebration and preservation of rock and roll music.
They ALSO claim to "give back" to the rock and roll community by way of donations to down-on-their-luck, poverty and/or health-stricken artists ... and in music education to help promote the rock stars of tomorrow ... but as Roger Friedman has pointed out numerous times in the past ...
(Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame President) Joel Peresman is paid just under $400,000 a year to organize this list (of nominees) for the Rock Hall Foundation. Also on the group’s 2009 federal tax filing: $25,000 spent on music scholarship, nothing listed for indigent or needy musicians, and between $10 mil-$13 mil in assets. Good job!-- Roger Friedman
So, to answer your question, no ... NOBODY is being fooled by any of this!!! (kk)

Another great FH entry today, Kent. The stories from Clark and Ken add so much to a fantastic web page. Thanks to all who contribute.Is the girl you took to see Neil downtown in 1970 a FH subscriber? She should be ... Speaking of Jeff and Ellie, here's a short comment from Jeff.
David Lewis
I wonder if she even REMEMBERS the Neil Diamond Concert!!! (lol) Nope, haven't talked to her since 1970. Thanks for the clip! (kk)

Dave Barry's Book Of Bad Songs is a must have or at least a must read for every rock and roller.

Yep, a whole lotta fun ... and it's still in print, too. You can check it out here:
Click here: Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs (9780740706004): Dave Barry: Books (kk)

Former WLS DeeJay Chuck Buell happened to catch our recent Neil Diamond piece that featured an old Psych Pscene underground newspaper clipping regarding Neil's appearance in Milwaukee ... and he was NONE to happy about what had been written about him. (Granted this was 39 years ago ... and it's doubtful Buell ever saw the article in the first place ... but he also had some SERIOUS doubts as to its accuracy. Now we can't really fact-check a 39-year old article ... especially one that was written by somebody else [who didn't even receive a byline!] ... but in our commitment to always present "the most accurate truth", I asked Chuck to share some of his thoughts with our readers:
Although it’s been so many years that have passed since, contrary to the comment in “Pysche Scene’s” report of my “absence” at Neil Diamond’s February 1971 Milwaukee concert because it “was too cold”, I just want to state that I have been known throughout my radio career to take pride in honoring ALL of my listener-impacted Personal Appearances.
And having been a huge fan of Neil Diamond at the time, I would have truly looked forward to meeting and “presenting him with a plaque” even if it were some "90 miles" away from Chicago.
Whether I was actually even booked to appear to do that or not back in 1971, admittedly, I do not recall. (False “appearance announcements” while rare were not unusual occurrences in those days ). However, a news publication with any merit at all would have attempted to get their facts straight before writing that the night was “mared” [sic] by “Buhle” [sic] who was “supossed” [sic] to be there. It’s also interesting to note that this unbylined article’s editorial notion seems to be that the fans at the show were in a state of angst, fear, nervousness, unease, apprehension, worry or whatever correct definition of “anxiety” that was “deepening” one wishes to use.
Overall, their Purple Haze “hippy-dippy” reporting accented by misspellings, misuse of words, and strange editorial comments does beg the infamous question, “What WERE they smoking?!”
Otherwise, I found this to be a very entertaining blog post.
Chuck Buell
Chuck brings up a couple of very interesting points. Most readers probably wouldn't even be aware of many of these "Live Appearances" rouses staged back in the day, designed to draw extra fans (and ticket-buying customers) out to an event under the false pretenses of somebody who may (or may not) also be there ... thus trying to often lend false credibility to their event. (We've even heard reports of "imposters" showing up at these events ... probably a case of shady promoters figuring "Hey, these guys are on the radio ... nobody knows what they look like anyway!")
Such was not the case here in Chicago (and especially at WLS) where the disc jockey's pictures were regularly (and prominently) displayed on the weekly surveys distributed at all the local record shops. Chuck Buell and Kris Eric Stevens were two of the "new wave" jocks hired by WLS in the late '60's / early '70's who kept the "youth movement" going as stations on the FM dial swayed more and more AM listeners away.
Perhaps the biggest surprise at all is that an underground music rag would even bother to COVER a Neil Diamond concert!!! Not exactly the "hippest" thing to do at the time (and certainly not the kind of artist that one would expect appeal to their general readership and/or target audience.)
While we can't undo any inaccuracies published 39 years ago, we CAN present Chuck's point of view ... and, hopefully, have done so here today. (kk)
By the way, today Chuck has a successful voice-over business ... you can check out his website here:
Click here: Professional Male Voice Talent - Chuck Buell
And you'll also find some vintage airchecks on Reel Radio Repository:
Click here: Airchecks:Radio:REELRADIO Reel Top 40 Radio Repository

Hey Kent ...
You're using up all your Neil Diamond material.
You won't have anything left to talk about when he gets inducted into the R-n-R Hall of Fame . LoL !
Frank B.

Hey, IF (and when) he gets inducted, we'll open the flood gates to Neil's praises ... just TOO many good stories to tell and music to share! (In fact, we may have another "Diamond" or two hidden in the rough yet to come!) kk

>>>The LP version would come out three months later, but the 45 version would remain rare and available only on the 45 scanned here until Rhino put it on a CD in the 80's!! Love it! (Clark Besch)
I'd rather have the 45! That's nice looking, Clark!
Good luck with that ... it's pretty rare. I think I've seen THREE of them in the past 45 years ... and NEVER with the picture sleeve Clark shared with us ... and back in the late '70's / early '80's I did ALL kinds of record shows and Monkees conventions! Just checked both eBay and ... nada! (kk)

>>>For some crazy reason, they never released "Girl" as a single. (That's the song that Davy sang on that famous episode of The Brady Bunch ... it's since gone on to become a cult / shing-a-ling classic!) It could have been a decent-sized hit if released in a timely fashion. (kk)
Oh, but "Girl" was released as a single (Bell 45,159) in November 1971. I have the promo 45 complete with date stamp and radio station call letters on the label! (I don't have a'll just have to take my word for it! )Mark (ComputerDJ61) Q¿Q
My error ... what I meant to say was that they never PUSHED the single to capitalize on Davy's appearance on The Brady Bunch. Good luck finding anything other than a promo copy of this one ... I don't think it ever reached "wide circulation" ... although I did own a "stock" copy once upon a time. (kk)
Hi Kent:
A correction for you that I saw in the Monkees section. It was mentioned that "Girl" by Davy Jones was not released as a single, but that is incorrect. It was issued on the Bell label in 1971. The stock copy is hard to find. Not sure why it didn't chart with the TV exposure, but I guess stranger things have happened. Ken
While I know that stock copies exist (I think I've seen exactly ONE in the past 39 years!) they're definitely hard to come by. (Once again I checked eBay and ... and found one Canadian pressing of the single, wrongly advertised as having been released in Canada only.) kk

>>>Davy Jones also had a minor pre-Monkees hit with a tune called "What Are We Going To Do?" (#93, 1965) kk
I got to see Davy Jones as part of a 60's Spectacular show in Schenectady, NY, back in March of this year (where he was performing with Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits and Rob Grill and the Grass Roots). I had a copy of my "David Jones" solo LP on Colpix with me (I believe it was released in the aftermath of "What Are We Going To Do" hitting the charts. Oddly, it has a stereo cover and stereo record labels but the album was pressed up using the mono stampers!) and from the third row of the orchestra pit, I held the album up and when he saw it, he shouted "Look at that!" and then asked to see it. He proceeded to hold it up to the audience, saying "I used to be a teen idol", which resulted in what sounded like about 200 girls screaming from further back the theater. Lots of camera flashes went off at that time as well, but I've never seen any pictures from that part of the concert, so if anyone out there has any, I'd love to get copies. The people I was at the show with didn't get any pictures from that moment either because they certainly had no idea I would hold the cover up or that Davy would even see it -- it all happened rather quickly. As for the concert itself, Davy put on a great show (and to tie in to recent FH comments, it was the best I'd seen ever Rob Grill perform, and Peter Noone, who headlined, was in top form as well).
Tom Diehl
There's a GREAT Monkees episode where the other guys hold up copies of Davy (then David)'s first solo LP, talking about how he's all the rage while they're filming a movie on the beach. What's especially funny about this piece is that the OTHER teen idol featured is Bobby Sherman, who wouldn't have his first pop hit until three years later! (Sherman was previously best known as the host of television's "Shindig" program!) kk

That CHUM chart courtesy of Clark Besch was fun to look at! A few Canadian exclusive hits by groups such as Mandala, Quiet Jungle, and the Passing Fancy -- and, of course, "Half Past Midnight" by the Staccatos, later to become 5-Man Electrical Band and experience some success here in the States as well -- a great, great tune. So the Monkees recorded "Valleri" a year before it was released as a single. Any credibility to the "story" (if there is one, I may even be making it up!) that the weird "angelic voices" on the Beatles' "Revolution #9" were backwards-tape manipulating of "Because", which if I'm not mistaken was recorded in 1967 or 1968 and then scrapped for Magical Mystery Tour AND the White Album? (It's OK, Kent, we know you hate that track!!!)
Bob Rashkow
"Valleri" had already been used on the TV show a couple of times before it was finally released as a single a full year later ... and even then, when it WAS finally released, it was a re-recorded version. By this time, Boyce and Hart had been dismissed as musical arrangers ... but were brought back (uncredited) to try and recreate the track for a 1968 single release. It's really a pretty fascinating story ... check it out here (Chapter 6):
As for "Because" by The Beatles, that track didn't turn up until the "Abbey Road" album ... and was heavily influenced by Yoko playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on the piano and a (most likely stoned) John Lennon then asking her to play it BACKWARDS!!! That's the melody he used for "Because" ... a fine bit of singing by The Fabs ... nine part harmony thanks to overdubbing. Have you ever heard the version with just the vocals ... it's breath-taking! (kk)

P.S. Paul McCartney has gone on record as saying that he thinks Yoko also helped John with the lyrics on this one ... there are just too many Yoko-ism used: "It's rather her kind of writing ... Wind, Sky and Earth are recurring ... it's straight out of 'Grapefruit'."

Kent -
I loved the Monkees post. I guess that isn't news to you as you know I am a Monkees fan. Yes, there was a single that Kirshner put out with Davy called My Favorite Monkee Sings. I don't have it but I have seen it. I read that the reason he titled it that way was that, unlike the other three, Davy was always willing to go into the studio to sing anything for Kirshner. I am not surprised to read that he may have wanted to give Davy a chance for a solo career. Just an FYI.

As I was posting an old WCFL survey on Ebay the other day, I mused why it had taken all the way to 1971 for someone to release a single by Davy Jones. Now if it appeared that they were grooming Davy for a solo career, (and it would have made sense at the time), what took them so long? Certainly by the time it was down to a duo, Davy would have seen the writing on the wall. Then why didn't they follow up Rainy Jane? Sure it's not one of the top tunes of the day, but there were a lot worse. Moreover it was the heyday of the teen idol. Did someone miss the boat here, or did Davy piss someone off?
I believe there were enough people in high places determined to make Davy Jones a star no matter what ... clicking with The Monkees was just an unexpected bonus. We've heard reports over the years that Jones' part was the only one guaranteed up front ... but then also heard that this wasn't the case ... but Davy WAS under contract to Colpix and Screen Gems so who knows! (I believe Ron Dante told me once that HE auditioned for the part of Davy ... of course then the character's name wouldn't have been Davy ... but you know what I mean! lol) kk

And, speaking of Ron Dante ... check THIS out!!!

Hi Kent.
Loved your column on the Monkees.
Got to hang with Mickey and Peter last weekend at the at the celebrity get together.
I once auditioned for their show back then for Donnie Kirshner.
They are great guys.
All the best, my friend.
Ron Dante

Wow, GREAT shot, Ron ... thanks for sharing! (kk)

Kent -
I loved reading this. THANKS!
As you know, Peter Tork was a guest at last year's BEATexpo. But he was the first Monkee to be a guest at a Monkees convention back in (pre-reunion) 1981, when I produced a Monkees Convention in Bridgeport, CT. Now it's common for Monkees to make such appearances (Davy was a guest at my Beatles convention in the mid-90's), but in '81 nobody believed Peter would be there because at that point, a Beatle had never showed up at a Beatles convention and a Monkee had never showed up at a Monkees Convention. He was a great guest, and he spoke so eloquently about Lennon's passing just a few months prior.
But I'm most proud of the Monkees convention I co-produced in Teaneck, NJ, just after the Monkees reunited, because it was the only show in history with guests Davy, Micky, Peter, Boyce and Hart! Even I say "Wow!" when I think back on it.
Just wanted to share.
Charles Rosenay
Would have LOVED to have been at that one, Charles!!! (kk)