Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 01 - 02 - 11 )

Welcoming in the new year with another batch of your most recent comments.

Got this from Diane Diekman, who is writing the Marty Robbins biography "Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life Of Marty Robbins" ... it recalls a not-so-very Happy New Year for Marty, circa 1980 ... (and provides a neat excerpt from her upcoming book):
Marty Robbins wrapped up the year of 1980 with a three-performance New Year's Eve show in Evansville, Indiana. After returning home to Nashville, he experienced chest pains. "I thought it was just an extra bad case of indigestion," he said later, "because I've had a heart attack, and it was nothing like the one in '69." That one had required triple-bypass surgery in January 1970. Now, 11 years later, he waited several days before calling his doctor for an appointment the next day. The doctor insisted he come to the office immediately. "I had on a big cowboy hat, a straw hat, I had on boots and jeans and a big jacket like real cowboys wear, y'know," Marty recalled. The doctor checked him and called an ambulance. Marty thought he was kidding until ambulance attendants rolled in a stretcher. "Doctor Ewers," Marty said, "I'm not dressed for the hospital." The doctor insisted he get in the ambulance. Marty felt embarrassed to be wheeled through the waiting room on his back, dressed in his outdoor clothes with his hat lying across his chest. He spent almost two weeks in the hospital and another six weeks at home before resuming his touring schedule.
-- Diane Diekman
For periodic book updates, drop Diane a note at! (kk)

YouTube - Top 10 New Year's Songs
Kent ...
I like #3, sung by Sonny Til & Orioles.

Seems like everybody's got a Christmas and New Years song.
How many people have a song for "After New Year's Eve"?

I do. (Now i'm just showing off.)
YouTube - The Heartbeats - After New Year's Eve 45 rpm!
Here in New York, WCBS-FM is playing the Top 101 Party Songs this weekend.
I've got the Top 5 for you:

1 = New York, New York = Frank Sinatra
2 = Billie Jean = Michael Jackson
3 = Satisfaction = Rolling Stones
4 = Celebration = Kool & The Gang
5 = Twist & Shout = Beatles
They played #1 last night in Times Square after the countdown to the New Year.

Frank B.
We heard "New York, New York" while watching the finale of that Dick Clark / Ryan Seacrest thing but I didn't know it was tied into a WCBS-FM Countdown. (I'm not quite sure how "Billie Jean" qualifies as a "party" song?!?!? Don't quite get that one!!!) Happy New Year, Everybody! (kk)

I want to wish a Happy New Year to you and everyone who reads Forgotten Hits.
I just posted my latest radio interview show and it's a bit different from my previous ones. My guest is not an oldies star per se. She is primarily a TV star. Most notably, she played the role of "Cissy" in all 138 episodes of the beloved sitcom "Family Affair," which ran from 1966 through 1971.
She is Kathy Garver.
Okay, if we stretch things a bit, she dpes have an oldies connection of sorts. She recorded a Christmas song called "Lem, The Orphan Reindeer" and that was written by hit songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, best-known for their own recordings and some songs they wrote for the Monkees.
I know that there are many oldies fans who loved that sitcom, so if you're interested, you can listen to the show by clicking the link here
Ronnie's Radio Page
-- and then clicking on Kathy's picture at the lower-left of the screen.
Ronnie Allen

I will admit to having a brief crush on Cissy ... or was it Mrs. Beasley?!?!?

I honestly don't remember ... but hey, we cover the full gamut of pop culture here so I say check it out at the link provided above. Thanks, Ronnie ... and Happy New Year to ALL! (kk)

We've just been given the golden opportunity to interview Jack Scott for Forgotten Hits ... and we want to take a slightly different approach this time around. We're asking interested readers to submit their OWN questions to ask Jack ... things you've always wanted to know about ... and we'll pick several from these selections and feature them as part of our interview. (The interview itself will be conducted by FH Reader Warren Cosford, who has interviewed Scott several times before in the past and is doing THIS interview EXCLUSIVELY for Forgotten Hits!!!)
So get your questions in early and we'll see what we can put together! It's another exclusive "Ask The Artists" Segment in Forgotten Hits.

Thanks! (kk)


After you mentioned Time For Living by the Association, I went looking for my greatest hits album. I could find the jacket but sadly not the album. So I went on Deep Discounts and ordered it because I remembered how much I loved that album. So then you go and mention No Fair At All and Goodbye Columbus and, of course, I had completely forgotten how much I loved No Fair At All ... in fact, I had forgotten about the song completely! And even if I had thought about it, I am pretty sure I would never had remembered it was The Association. So of course I went on line to Deep Discounts and ordered Renaissance and Goodbye Columbus ... so you should change the name of Forgotten Hits to Renewed Memory. And look at how helpful you are with the economy by getting people to buy old music. Thanks!
BTW, I loved a lot of the letters you printed that people wrote in to AOL after your run in with the Terms Of Service police. There is a lot of humor in this world. Humor and music ... two of my very favorite things.
Happy New Year!
Forgotten Hits IS good for the music industry ... we inspire fans of this music to dig out their old records and play them again ... or visit places like Deep Discounts or and order new copies of this music on CD ... or get deejays to play something that they probably hadn't even THOUGHT about playing in YEARS!!! We're doing our part to help keep yesterday alive ... and letters like yours make me feel like it's all for a good cause. Here's "No Fair At All" again ... one of MY personal favorites! (kk)

As of the first of the year Professor Robin Luke is officially retired after a 35+ year working as an educator at Missouri State University ... and he's hoping to get back out on the road and resume his ORIGINAL career as a singer / songwriter! If anybody out there has an interest in booking Robin for one of their upcoming oldies shows, please drop me a line and I will be happy to pass it along. Clearly we found a lotta love out there for "Susie Darlin'" after all these years ... enough for three full pages of postings ... so please let us know. Thanks, all ... and thanks again, Robin, for letting us share your story with our readers! (kk)

Teena Marie, known as 'Ivory Queen of Soul,' dies She was one of the greatest contemporary singers of the modern era. Saw her earlier in the year live in Miami … she rocked the house. May her soul rest in peace.
Teena Marie was COMPLETELY off my radar, I guess ... I mean, I remember her having one pretty good-sized hit in the early '80's ("Lovergirl", #4, 1985) but that was about it ... and honestly, watching the video of this track rang absolutely NO bells at all in my memory bank. (In fact, for some reason I thought she was one of those teen-girl singers but Frannie, who first told me of her death, said no.) We heard from a few other readers who were also surprised and saddened by her death. Teena Marie was only 54 years old. (kk)

>>>Speaking of Sheila, I have an earlier recording of Sheila by Tommy Roe and have always wondered how it came about and if it ever charted. It's really nothing like the Buddy Holly style version and I think it was recorded in the late 50's. If it did chart, I'm pretty sure it didn't get very high. There's gotta be a story behind the re-recording of it years up the road. (Bill)
>>>I seem to remember hearing an earlier version of "Sheila", too, on some oldies compilation LPs way back when. I always figured it was just an alternate take or something, but Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles" book shows that an entirely different version of "Sheila" was release on Judd Records in 1962 before ABC-Paramount picked up Tommy Roe as a recording artist. You're right ... it never charted at all ... and Roe re-cut the track after signing to a major label. (kk)

I know I told you before, but I'll tell you again ... it was 1960, not 1962!
Judd 1022 - Sheila b/w Pretty Girl, was the last release for the label started by Judd Phillips, the brother of Sam Phillips, in 1960.
Tom Diehl
I know you told me, too ... but that info comes from Joel Whitburn's book ... so I'm letting you tell HIM, too! lol
According to a short Tommy Roe biography I just read, Tommy did, in fact, record "Sheila" (a song he wrote when he was just 14 years old!) for Judd Phillips' Judd Records Label in 1960. Incredibly, he was still in high school at the time and, although it made a little bit of regional noise in the Atlanta area, it never received any national airplay or distribution. A year later, Atlanta deejay Paul Drew recommended Tommy to ABC / Paramount Record Producer Felton Jarvis (the guy who would later go on to produce Elvis Presley!), and Felton had him re-record his local hit for his new label. The rest, as they say, is history, as "Sheila" soon topped the Billboard Chart. (kk)

And, on a related Tommy Roe note ...

It really bugged me that I didn't know the answer to this question off the top of my head the other day ... so I did a little digging ...
>>>Is there a recording of the Beatles' first concert in America (New York I believe).If I remember correctly, Roy Orbison, The Righteous Brothers and Jay & the Americans opened for them. (Paul Rosenberg)
>>>Actually, The Beatles first official concert here in The States was held at the Washington D.C. Coliseum in February of 1964 ... they held the concert there as a way of saying thank you to the Washington, D.C. radio station who first broke their first U.S. #1 Hit "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on American radio. Honestly, I don't know that there were any opening acts for this particular concert. (kk)
Well, that concert was held on February 11th ... and The Beatles' opening acts were the aforementioned Tommy Roe (who appeared on the same bill as The Beatles in England a year earlier, right about the time their record "Please Please Me" began climbing the charts in The U.K.), The Chiffons and The Caravelles, hot on the charts at the time with "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry". (How's THAT for a Forgotten Hit?!?!?)

Scroll back to our December 21st posting and you can read all about a brand new release of that concert, restored to pristine condition, that'll soon be making its way to home video. (For the record, The Beatles made their New York concert debut the following night at Carnegie Hall, a pretty remarkable feat for a rock band at the time! Credit Promoter Sid Bernstein for THAT coup!) kk

And, since we're talking British Invasion here ...

>>>Just wanted to let you know if you don't already ... Dave Clark released 28 songs by the DC5 that were unreleased on iTunes ... and he has most of his stuff on iTunes now. (Joe)

>>>Cool that some unreleased DC5 stuff is finally seeing the light of day. The much talked about complete reissue series never happened (legitimately anyway!), which probably would have provided quite a few of these "bonus tracks" for all us fans! (kk)
Not all of the tracks that claim to be unreleased actually are ... however, some of the previously released songs are now in stereo for the first time, such as an all time favorite of mine called Return My Love, which was only issued as a 45 in the Philippines, I believe ... perhaps Dave Clark never knew it was issued there and thought it was completely unreleased.
Also, some of the songs claiming to be Dave Clark Five tracks are sometimes just Mike Smith solo recordings from the 70's or unreleased "Dave Clark And Friends" recordings.
Tom Diehl
Either way, these are still EXTREMELY rare tracks that have LONG been unavailable in any format ... it would be great to see ALL of this stuff reissued again ... along with some of the killer Dave Clark Five video that exists of their television performances. (I've got a pretty extensive collection of DC5 videos in varying degree of quality ... pristine copies sure would be nice! It's easy to forget just how great these guys really sounded! Always one of MY favorites!) kk

Kent ...
Elton John has a son. How did he do that ? Click to find out.
Hello Daddies! – WCBS-FM 101.1
Frank B.
A surrogate mother gave birth to a son for
Elton John and David Furnish on Christmas Day.
Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John (WOW, now that’s a name!), who weighed in at just under eight pounds, was born in California to a woman they declined to identify.
“We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment,” the men, who married in 2005, told Us magazine. “Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents.”
Personally, I think Bennie Daniel Levon would have been a LITTLE bit cooler ... but congrats to the happy dads! (kk)

re: ELVIS:
Kent ...
It sounds like they found some pre-Sun recordings.
Frank B.
Mining Elvis Presley's catalog: What was found and what was lost Pop & Hiss Los Angeles Times
Sounds like some pretty amazing stuff to be sure ... a collector's dream come true! (kk)

Today is your last chance to enter for the chance to win the free, autographed copy of Alan O'Day's recently reissued first album, "Appetizers" ... first time on CD. It includes his #1 chart-topper "Undercover Angel" as well as his own version of "Angie Baby", a song that topped the charts for Helen Reddy. There's even a bonus track not included on the original LP. But you need to do it TODAY ... 'cause we pick the winner tomorrow! S
hoot me a quick email at if you're interested! (kk)


A few "quickies" here to help clear the decks!

Hey Kent -

I found your great blogs looking for Mauds info today. I was stunned and sorry to find out (belatedly) about Jimy Rogers. I was also looking at the First 45s stuff and thought I'd share mine.

Keith Johnson

Losing Jimy was a VERY sad way to end the year ... he will be missed ... but also lovingly remembered by those that knew him and / or enjoyed his music. I don't know if you still live in the Chicagoland area anymore or not, but there will be a benefit concert to honor Jimy's memory (and help pay some of his medical expenses) coming up in April. Here, courtesy of Joan Gand, Jimy's bandmate, are the details:


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reggies Rock Club

2505 S. State St.


Jimy Rogers Tribute Concert

Featuring Blue Road and friends, including the Cryan Shames, Jimy Sohns, The New Colony Six and MANY MORE ... TBA

Order tickets here:

DONATIONS to the Jimy Rogers Memorial Medial Fund (to help defray his medical expenses) are still being accepted ...
Make check out to The Estate of James Rogers and Mail to:

Gand Music and Sound

780 Frontage Rd.

Northfield, IL 60093

As for the First 45's, we've received a run of new memories recently as more and more people discover the website ... so we're going to run a special batch of them tomorrow in Forgotten Hits to kick off the new year. Watch for yours on the website tomorrow morning. Thanks, Keith ... and welcome aboard! (kk)

>>>About a month ago, I won a CD on this show I listen to, The Group Harmony Revue (Saturday, midnight - eastern, on ). The CD I won was "The Capris- Our Story". Track 21 = "Don't Twist With Anyone Else But Me" & Track 22 = "Twist Around The Clock" ... both by the late Clay Cole. I can't figure out how Clay Cole got on a Capris CD but I'm glad he's there. I'll have something to remember him by. (Frank B.)

Kent ...

Last time I told you I couldn't figure out why two Clay Cole Songs were on my "The Capris: Our Story" CD. I just found a booklet with the CD. At first I didn't see it. It was kind of tucked behind the front label.

The booklet said that the Capris backed up Clay Cole on "Don't Twist With Anyone Else But Me" & "Twist Around The Clock". The Capris also toured with Clay's Review, 1962 & 1963.

Another one of those strange things - Clay Cole & Nick Santamaria, lead singer of the Capris died just weeks apart. I'll miss both of them.
Here's a clip of Nick talking about his health problems.


Frank B.

A while back we heard from a couple of readers who were having difficulties accessing RevolutionRadio, where Scarlett Hayzes broadcasts her show. (Scarlette, a FH Reader, was featuring most ... if not ALL ... of the brand new Christmas Music we spotlighted on our website.) Sounds like she has since talked to the powers that be at the station and offers a couple of solutions:

Thanks for the info, Kent ... I passed this info on to the owners and they appreciated the feedback!
I am sorry some of your readers were unable to access the site ... the direct feed is
This allows you to bypass the station altogether and may make it easier for you to tune in.

Please let your readers know that I am delighted you were trying to catch the station (and my show) and I encourage you to try again! I am on the air every Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights from 7-9 pm Eastern Standard Time ... Happy New Year, and thanks again for your interest and support!
DJ Scarlett Hayze
Revolution Radio

Check these out ... Carly Simon on ABC's "In Concert", 1972 ...

WOW!! Great Performances!!! Why isn't this stuff available on DVD??

Eddie Burke

These are nice clips ... Carly in her prime (and let's face it, she didn't perform a lot so these are especially nice to see!) It would be nice if some of this stuff became available again ... in the meantime, we just have to rely on YouTube I guess to see some of these vintage performances.

Stranger still is how Carly Simon has all but disappeared from the radio these days. Short of "You're So Vain" (which they seem to play CONSTANTLY), you don't hear much of Carly's music anymore ... and that's just WRONG!!! Between 1971 and 1980, Simon had ELEVEN Top 40 Hits (and these two, "Anticipation" and "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" were amongst the best.) She also scored with "The Right Thing To Do", "Haven't Got Time For The Pain", "Attitude Dancing", "Nobody Does It Better", "You Belong To Me" and "Jesse" ... plus two duets with then-husband James Taylor on "Mockingbird" (#3, 1974) and "Devoted To You" (#36, 1978). SOMEBODY out there should start treating Carly with a little more respect ... that's a pretty impressive hit list in ANYBODY's book! (kk)

Hi Kent,
A friend just turned me on to your newsletter ... VERY COOOL!!!

Just thinking about the old days when things were simpler ... now everything is such a rush everywhere!!!! Please sign me up!!
It's great to see that you cover so many artists looking back and seeing when music was real ... not what kids are buying now!!!!!!!!!!I am a tribute artist and take great pride in my craft my tributes to ELVIS AND NEIL DIAMOND, just to name a few are my favorites! The music they created is timeless!!
I have seen ELVIS in 77 MAY CHICAGO STADIUM it was a night I will never forgot!!
Neil Diamond since the 70's and he still puts on a great show!!!!
I am celebrating ELVIS' BIRTHDAY JAN 8 AT THE SKOKIE THEATER AND NEIL'S ON JAN 23 ... maybe some of your readers will have a chance to check out my tributes to these two great singers.
Keep up the great work!!
Steve Richards
Happy to help spread the word, Steve. I was at Elvis' 1977 Chicago Stadium Concert, too ... TWICE as a matter of fact ... saw him in 1972, too, right before the "Live At Madison Square Garden" album came out ... (virtually the exact same show he did here.) I have NEVER felt that kind of electricity in the air when Elvis first took the stage ... there simply aren't words to describe it. (Wish I could have seen him in Vegas!!!)
Welcome aboard ... feel free to share your comments and memories with our readers ANY TIME!!! (kk)

My take on oldies music is a Samuel Butler quote I got from my Dad. Butler was a Victorian-era author, described as an iconoclast, who wrote, among other things, the Utopian satire "Erehwon."
He said: "The oldest books are only just out to those who have not read them."
Amen, and all the best for 2011!

As I suspected it would, visitation to The Forgotten Hits Website dropped off SIGNIFICANTLY since we stopped sending out daily reminders and access links. You guys have just GOT to find your way there on your own ... it truly isn't worth the hassle of fighting with AOL over this after all these years. Or simply subscribe to the link offered at the bottom of the web page and they'll send you automatic reminders every time a new posting is made.
Just to show you how committed AOL is to resolving this matter (yeah, right!!!) my latest letter to AOL's Terms Of Service General ALSO went ignored and unanswered ... again, apparently there is absolutely NO interest whatsoever on their part in resolving this matter ... or discussing it in ANY fashion. Gotta love it ... but now you can see exactly what I'm dealing with here at the AOL level ... which is why you guys have just GOT to find your way to the website on your own!!! (kk)
Can somebody PLEASE get back to me on this? I need your help!
I have written (and called) several times before but NOBODY is getting back to me to let me know exactly WHAT "terms of service" I violated recently. Is there ANYBODY there who can get back to me in a pro-active manner so that I can correct whatever it is I'm doing wrong to properly comply and conform?
All I know for certain is that we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of subscribers who have ASKED FOR reminder links to be sent in order to visit the website(s) whenever new postings are made ... many of whom have taken the time to write to you personally to let it be known that these mailings are being sent to them BY REQUEST ... but since we stopped sending these requested announcements, viewership at the website is down SIGNIFICANTLY.

These people DEPENDED on these reminders and the convenience of simply being able to click the link and go ... and EVERY person who received these links ASKED for them. And, since every email ALSO includes an opt on / opt off disclaimer, I just don't see what term of services I'm violating ... especially since I've been doing this for going on twelve years now!!!
I am sincerely TRYING to comply ... but without ANY input or feedback from you, I don't know what it is I'm doing wrong. I do know that I have worked VERY hard to build up this loyal readership base and that this is greatly compromising my ability to continue to do so ... so PLEASE get back to me and let me know what I can do that will ultimately get ALL of us what we want.
Thank you very much.
Kent Kotal
Please, bookmark us now ... and check back often ... or subscribe to the link below. DO NOT let AOL destroy all of our efforts!!! We depend on your loyality to keep Forgotten Hits alive ... without it, there's just no point in continuing to post new information that virtually nobody is going to read!!! (kk)

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Shape Of Things To Come ... Perhaps The Closest We're Ever Going To Get To The Whole Story

What a GREAT way to end the year!!!

The story behind the Max Frost and the Troopers / One Hit Wonder "Shape Of Things To Come" came up again recently.

As most of you already know, this was the VERY FIRST Song we EVER featured in Forgotten Hits when we kicked things off over the long Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend back in 1999 ... and, over the years, we've featured it again and again as kind of an anniversary tribute to our Oldies Newsletter.

Along the way, we've come both closer ... and further away ... from discovering the truth behind this great recording. But THIS year we took a MAJOR leap forward when we received brand new comments from Davie Allan of the Arrows (long rumored to be the mystery backing band on this track, a rumor we dispelled several years ago) and Mike Curb (the guy responsible for putting together the whole "Wild In The Streets" soundtrack). Unfortunately, despite repeated attempts, we did NOT hear back from Paul Wibier, the guy who SANG this classic hit! (Now THAT would have been the crowning glory!!!) For right now anyway, it looks like Paul is destined to be one of the "ones who got away" ... he is apparently not interested in talking about "the good old days" ... and that's a shame ... because he may be the guy who holds a few of the key missing pieces to the puzzle.

We have ALWAYS prided ourselves on our great love and appreciation of this music ... and have strived to convey that feeling to the artists as well ... EMBRACE your glory ... SHARE your legacy ... with the fans who will appreciate it the most ... because THOSE are the people who religiously read Forgotten Hits! (Oh well, he just ain't buyin' it!!! lol But we tried!!!)

As such, we are proud to present ... for the first time ANYWHERE ... "The Most Accurate Truth" surrounding "Shape Of Things To Come" by Max Frost and the Troopers, courtesy of Mike Curb:

Back in the mid-60s, before I became head of MGM Records, I had my own label, Sidewalk. It worked out to be a very nice arrangement. Whenever it appeared that a single was breaking nationally, I had an agreement with Tower Records to buy the master and reissue it on that label.

I signed a group to Sidewalk Records called The Moms Boys and I believe we changed their name to The 13th Power. I believe the lead singer in the group was Paul Wibier. As you know I had an agreement with American International Pictures to produce and release their soundtracks such as Wild Angels, The Trip, Born Losers, Wild Racers and numerous other soundtracks including Wild In The Streets. In some instances I wrote most of the music; i.e., The Wild Angels, and in other cases we released albums on the Sidewalk label such as The Trip that featured songs that were all created by The Electric Flag featuring Buddy Miles and Mike Bloomfield.

With respect to the motion picture Wild In The Streets, my recollection is that Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote all the songs, and I served as the producer of all the records. Harley Hatcher was the engineer on the records but he made such an important contribution that I have asked that he also be listed as a co-producer even though he wasn’t listed on the original album. I am proud to say that Curb Music is still involved with Harley Hatcher after almost 50 years.

We released an instrumental version of Nothing Can Change The Shape Of Things To Come with Davie Allan and The Arrows, but I think you indicated to me that Davie had said that he did not play on the Max Frost & The Troopers version. When I listen to the record it sure sounds like Davie Allan, but I will defer to Davie’s memory with respect to whether or not he played guitar on the record. I do remember that Larry Knechtel and Hal Blaine, along with other major studio musicians from California played on the record.

The reason we changed the name of The 13th Power to Max Frost & The Troopers was because the lead actor Christopher Jones played the role of Max Frost and we felt that we would have a better chance of breaking the record under the name of Max Frost & The Troopers. The record was a big hit and actually reached the 20s of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

This is the best that I can do in terms of remembering the details of a record that was recorded over 40 years ago. However, if you have any further questions that would jog my memory, I would be more than happy to answer them. Also, if anyone remembers this differently, I would be very happy to hear that and that might also help me remember as well.
Mike Curb

Davie Allan made a couple of modifications to the above remembrance ... he has stated for a while now that, despite popularly circulated reports, he did NOT play on the Max Frost hit single ... but has recorded "Shape Of Things To Come" several times on his own.

This from Davie Allan:

I was getting the question about "Max Frost" and the song "Shape Of Things To Come" a lot so I saved an answer that I keep reusing.
(I first sent this to a fan in February '05):
(And we've run it in Forgotten Hits several times since as well ... yet numerous OTHER publications continue to credit Davie Allan and the Arrows as being the "mystery group" behind this great recording!) kk

I wish I could say that we were "Max Frost & The Troopers" but unfortunately, it's just not true. I DID play on the "Wild In The Streets" soundtrack along with studio musicians known as the "Hollywood Wrecking Crew" (Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye and Larry Knechtel) but none of us played on "Shape Of Things To Come".
A band was hired to do that one and it was kept a secret as to who the members were (actually "Mom's Boys" featuring Paul Wibier). The mix-up started when my instrumental version was released as the last "Arrows" single on the "Tower Records" label. All I did was play lead on that pre-recorded track so everyone assumed that we and "Max Frost" were one and the same.
I'm on some of the "Max Frost" tracks including the ones that appeared on "The Glory Stompers" soundtrack.
-- Davie Allan

Thanks, Davie ... this only confuses the issue further!!! (lol) Truth is, after 40+ years I'm not so sure we'll EVER get the COMPLETE answer ... but how cool is it to have a couple of guys who were actually involved in these sessions sharing their memories with our readers??? AWESOME! (Now if we could only get Paul Wibier to answer our emails!!! Ah, who knows ... maybe he's waiting for our TWELFTH Anniversary to spill the beans in Forgotten Hits!!!) kk


See you back here in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Still MORE on Susie Darlin'!!!

I also heard Scott Shannon's shout-out and subsequent playing of Robin Luke's wonderful "Susie Darlin'". It used to get more airplay on older stations such as MAGIC 104 in the eighties, when they were more inclined to spin stuff from the mid-to-late-50s and early 60s (besides Dion, Ray Charles and the obvious No. 1 blockbusters). It is a truly a great song and deserves much more representation.
Mike Curb DID continue, on and off, to record, even though his FIRST priority was producing and penning. I will hazard a hypothetical guess (without having checked anywhere yet!!!) that Mike Libert, or Liebert, is his given name. One of his minor hits was "Burning Bridges" early in 1971 on MGM as "The Mike Curb Congregation", complete with full orchestra and a bunch of kids and adults -- a kind of gospel-pop if you will. I liked it but got quickly tired of it!!!
Tower Records, as far as I know, got going in 1964-65. One of their first smash hits was Ian Whitcomb's dance stomper "You Turn Me On" (Englishman, right?) and then they started signing American acts such as The Sunrays and Davie Allan -- and eventually "Max Frost and the Troopers", dissolving the label around '69.
Bob Rashkow

Thanks, Bob. "You Turn Me On" was ANOTHER one of our earliest Forgotten Hits features ... what a GREAT song! Maybe we can get a jock or two on the list to give THIS one a spin today! (kk)

And, while we're at it ... here's another ... how about somebody out there playing "It's All-Right" by Adam Faith today!!! For some reason, these two songs always seem to stick together in my mind ... I love 'em BOTH ... yet you rarely hear EITHER of them on the radio anymore! We're doing OUR best to try and rectify that today! lol (kk)

Hi Kent,
Well put me in the Susie Darlin' camp as well. I don't know when I first heard it but I was born in 1957 and just sort of always have it as a song memory so I heard it somewhere.
Well, without question folks are enjoying hearing it again. Looks like we scored a home run with this one!!! Thanks, Bill! (kk)

How cool that I was mentioned in the Susie Darlin' posts!
Here's to a "Fuzzy" holiday!
Davie Allan
See, Davie, the REAL fans out there know that you played on this record!!! Happy to point it out to everyone else (as part of our "Entertain And Educate" Policy here at Forgotten Hits! lol) kk

The Robin Luke interview and conversation is a fascinating one.
Robin may get a kick out of this. I still perform that song today. Many of my customers are ballroom dancers and they love the cha cha rhythm of that song. So Robin, it's a hit with ballroom dancers. I'm sure you never envisioned that 55 years ago.
BTW, I spent many an hour, in my bedroom, recording layers of harmony from a Sony reel to reel to an Ampeg reel to reel. You had to plan very carefully which part you wanted to lose the most of and record it first. The loss of fidelity was a real obstacle. My greatest multiple layering achievement was recording the harmonies of "Something Happens" the Dante and Friends recording. I was thrilled to have sung each part and get it recorded in my bedroom. Well it sounded good to me at the time, anyway. LOL.
Keep up the good work of resurrecting those great oldies. Wonderful memories and so wonderful to get updates on the artists like Robin Luke.
Bob Hughes

I had to chuckle when I saw all the versions of Susie Darlin' that you and your readers found ... like even one by Mike Curb. Do you think maybe Herb Alpert might have covered it, too???? Or possibly The Hollywood Strings??? ... har har... Put me on the list of your readers who always liked that song.

Kent, your in-depth investigation of it is really neato. Thanks for helping me explore all that crazy music and memory territory ... it's like "Sound Archaeology" ... a really interesting non-credit course at The University of Forgotten Hits.
Veeder Van Dorn

The Moonrakers

>>>We used a primitive Ampex portable tape recorded with “sound on sound” and one microphone. I would lay down a track and then put on earphones and sing over the original track(s) to put another one on. This went well until a mistake was made, and then we would HAVE TO START ALL OVER! It took about one month to get it right with seven tracks. That is why Susie Darlin' sounds so “mushy” ... because each time a track was laid down on top of the others it took a great deal of high fidelity away. (Robin Luke)
>>>This does sound fair / poor ... that's a shame!!! (John)
That's a pretty awful thing to say ... the quality of the recording adds to the charm of the song. Perhaps if it were done in a professional studio it might not have been a big hit.
I can think of other songs that sound similar that became big hits that just would not sound right if done in a major studio. Another one that comes to mind is There Goes My Baby by the Drifters, which was done in a tiny studio that was primarily used for cheap songwriter demos, because the good studio they usually recorded at was booked for the day. If it sounded high fidelity I don't think it would've been as big of a hit.
Tom Diehl
And, as we learned, Robin Luke was taken to one of the BEST studios in Hollywood to re-record "Susie Darlin'" with experienced, top-notch session musicians ... and the results were not even releasable! It's the "crude sound" of this recording that is it's greatest charm. (kk)
>>>Isn't it amazing with all the gadgets and gizmos at anyone's disposal today for recording purposes, how cool the song sounds with just the tapping of a pencil for percussion. I think that simplicity is part of what makes many of those 50s songs great.(Jack)

>>>I have multiple copies of the 45 in my collection because I love this version so dang much. (Tom)
>>>I absolutely LOVE that version of Susie Darlin' by Mike Curb --- any idea how I can get a copy? (Dean)
>>>Well, it sounds like Tom Diehl's got four copies ... maybe HE'LL sell one to you! (lol) kk
>>>I do not remember this (of many) covers. A nice upbeat version though! I’d love to have a copy. (Robin Luke, Ph.D.)
I have multiple copies of the 45, I'll gladly send Robin one for free if I can get his mailing address. Anyone else interested in one will have to send me money (LOL).
Tom Diehl
I passed your offer on to Robin Luke, Tom ... let's see if he takes you up on it!!! (kk)

Kent ...
I know that you and Robin told me that the story about this song, "Susie Darlin'", that's been going around since it was recorded, wasn't true. I've decided to reject your version of the story, even though it's true.
I'd rather think that Robin Luke wrote "Susie Darlin'" as a tribute to his sick and dying sister than to think he put her name on it at the last minute to avoid having problems with his High School girlfriends.
That's how I feel about it.
Do we always have to search for the truth? I say , not in this case.
Frank B.
LOL, well, as they always say, when given the choice of printing the facts or the legend, go with the legend every time. But we're all about "The Most Accurate Truth" here in Forgotten Hits ... so I was happy to help to set the record straight regarding "Susie Darlin'"'s TRUE origins.
Sure, the legend SOUNDS better (unless, of course, you happen to be poor little Susie Luke!!!) but we're all about setting the record straight ... which is why this OTHER point is such a stickler with me! (kk)

Sounds like Mike Curb may have been dipping into the royalty pool when he released his version of "Susie Darlin'" -- leave it to Forgotten Hits to uncover this mystery -- or, at the very least, start a whole new controversy!
Mike Curb built an INCREDIBLE career for himself, first in the music business and then in the political arena ... his credentials are really quite impeccable. However, that being said, I would think that, speaking strictly as someone who at one time earned their living as a singer, a recording artist, a songwriter, a producer and a record label executive, there isn't ANYONE out there who could possibly better understand the personal connection an artist would have to a piece of work that they themselves have created.
Let me make it clear that we're not accusing ANYBODY of doing ANYTHING. However, if something "unsavory" happened in connection with Curb's release of Robin Luke's song, I just feel that THIS would be the proper time to make things right. SOMEBODY along the way added the name "M. Libert" to the songwriting credits ... and with Mike Curb and Davie Allan BOTH involved with the recording of this tune for Tower Records, we'd just like to find out the "inside track" and make things right ... so my hope is that SOMEBODY involved with this release would come forward and allow us to help in doing so.
Davie Allan has been a FH List Member for several years now and has been a GREAT supporter of our efforts here. Likewise, we have done everything within our power to help spread the word about his latest releases.
Mike Curb and I have both been involved in a project together for the past couple of years that, as of yet, still hasn't come to fruition ... and, as such, I'm unable to talk about it within the context of this forum ... but I would hope that ALL parties concerned would see our intentions only as being right and honorable and help us put this matter to bed once and for all. I can only ask them to support me in my efforts to do so.
A whole lotta years have passed by since this record was first released. Robin Luke may be considered a "One Hit Wonder" by all of our musical standards ... but it was a pretty big hit ... and Robin spent the next 35+ years carving out an incredible academic career for himself, becoming a Professor at Missouri State University. Mike Curb spent a great part of his career setting standard after standard in the music industry before reinventing himself with equal and/or greater success in the political arena. BOTH men should be proud of their lifetime accomplishments ... they have BOTH enjoyed extemporary careers in their chosen fields.
All WE'RE trying to do here is make things right. I have no other agenda ... political or otherwise ... just the basic knowledge that right is right. (kk)
I apologize for having very little to add to this "Susie Darlin'" conversation except to say that the alias line would not surprise me! Being in the studio everyday for about five years and playing on countless recordings makes much of the facts a little "fuzzy"! I'm fairly good at remembering names but M. Libert does not ring a bell.
I doubt it you'll hear from Mike Curb (he won't even get back to me about the proposed deal with Sundazed to re-release the old soundtracks on CD (a deal that has been in negotiations for a year and a half!!!


But incredibly we DID hear back from Mike Curb!!! Thanks to our repeated requests (and Joel Whitburn's help ... a TRUE combination of persistence and assistance!!!), we FINALLY heard back from Mike, who shared some of HIS recollections surrounding "Shape Of Things To Come", the Max Frost and the Troopers Hit from 1968 that holds the distinction of being the VERY FIRST Forgotten Hit we EVER featured here back in 1999.

And you can read ALL about it right here tomorrow ... in Forgotten Hits!

(What a GREAT way to end the year!!!) kk

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

Tying up a few loose ends today in Forgotten Hits ... LOTS of comments coming in these past few days so let's get right to them!

re: CHER:
I have to say I agree with you, Kent, about Cher and what her plastic surgeries are doing to her. The way she used to toss her head to the side and fling her hair over her shoulder, nowadays might send something flying ... like her lips, maybe. I am not a big Cher fan, but I do applaud her on being one of few, if not the only, artists to have a hit record for six decades in a row. No small accomplishment, as we're coming to find out.
Mick ... eat your heart out. Maybe Santa will bring YOU lips like that for Christmas! Happy Holidays everyone!
~Sharon {Tokeitwo}

Hey Kent,

I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing and detailed response to my question.
I had not anticipated such an interesting discussion with your readers. You even got in touch with JOEL WHITBURN!! for some info! I was very pleased to see all of this. I had not realized there were as many artists with almost similar achievements. You really made my day with your incredible research and response.
I can't even tell you how much I enjoy the Forgotten Hits sites! I look forward to every posting!Thank You Again!!

Orange, CT
Thank you, Eddie, for inspiring us to do something a little above and beyond the normal Q&A feature! And, thanks to this discussion, I was put back in touch with Fred Bronson, the guy who used to do the Chart Beat Column for Billboard Magazine, who happened upon our posting. I'm curious to see if he comes up with any other Six Decade candidates! (kk)

By the way, if you checked out our Wrecking Crew link provided in our 12th Day Of Christmas Posting, you heard Cher talking about what it was like working on The Phil Spector Christmas Album at the ripe young age of 17. If you missed it, just scroll back to December 24th ... definitely worth seeing! (kk)

re: T-REX:
>>>"Bang A Gong" gets almost constant airplay here in Chi-Town, on both the oldies AND Classic Rock stations ... but we first discovered Marc Bolan and T-Rex with their EARLIER release, "Hot Love", a #15 Hit here in Chicago in 1971. Now THAT's one you NEVER hear on the radio anymore. (Nationally, it only reached #54 on the Cash Box Chart and #72 in Billboard ... which is probably why ... but it's a goodie so we're going to feature it here today. Let's see if THIS one rings a memory bell or two out there! (kk)
T Rex’s “Hot Love” IS a great track -- and we played it a lot at WGLT, the Illinois State University campus radio station, in 1971. We also played “Ride A White Swan,” their crunchier, more garage band clap-along single from four months before (released as by the harder to spell Tyrannosaurus Rex).
As for “Bang A Gong,” it’s noteworthy to know that that was not what the song was called when originally issued in England. The song then was listed as “Get It On” – but when released stateside, the Reprise label revised the title.
Why? Because another “Get It On” – a totally different tune by the jazz-rock group Chase – had been a U.S. hit just a few months before. At the time, Chase was thought by some critics as serious competition to such brass rock stars as Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Leader Bill Chase and his band, though, never got the chance to fully develop the way their competition did. Four key members – including Bill Chase himself – were killed in a 1974 plane crash.
Gary Theroux

Glad to see you feature The Association's "Time for Livin'," unfortunately one of their many neglected songs.
Among those are two favorites of mine that never got the attention -- or chart love -- I thought they deserved. Those two also show their wide range of talent and styles:
-- "Names Tags Numbers Labels," which barely crawled onto the Hot 100.
Great lyrics, written by Albert Hammond.
-- And "Goodbye Columbus," one of the most upbeat, feel-good songs of the Sixties (in distinct contrast to the downbeat, like-titled movie).
Don Effenberger
Hey, we've got a LOT of fans of The Association here on the list ... myself included. (Actually, we did a shout out to them a while back and I specifically remember featuring BOTH of thesongs you just mentioned, as well as their '80's "Comeback Hit", "Dreamer".)
I wanna say Colorado Reader Jeff Duntemann is a HUGE fan of "Goodbye Columbus" which, as you pointed out, is a much better SONG than movie ... and he may have initiated this track once before within our pages!!!
I've also featured another beautiful, overlooked ballad of theirs a few times before ... "No Fair At All" is one of my personal favorites and, although it didn't crack The Top 50 on the National Charts, it went Top 20 here in Chicago back in 1967. (kk)

By the way, as tipped to us last week, The Association will have plenty of time to work on their harmonies next summer ... they've just been added to the 2011 Happy Together Again Tour! Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams gave us the word that The Bucks, Rob Grill and the Grass Roots, Mark Lindsay and The Association will ALL be joining The Turtles for next year's big Summer Oldies Event ... and, as always, stay tuned for complete details and (hopefully) updates from the road by all these great '60's artists! (kk)

Kent -
I have heard tons of stories about the infamous "$50 hand shake" ... the best of those were from Hy Weiss of Old Town Records, whose friendship I have cherished long after his passing. I am glad that I was in the business at a very young age to have known a good number of the pioneers and made them tell me all these stories!

Clay Pasternak

Radio broadcasting legend Rush Limbaugh was recently asked this question: Click here: Would Top 40 Radio Work Today?

For his candid answer, click on the link above! (kk)

And, speaking of The Golden Age of Rock And Roll Radio ...

Hey Jocks,
Now that the holidays are winding down, don't forget to send us your early airchecks to be used in The DeeJay Lounge on the brand new Airplay Website. We're looking for audio (and photos, too, if you've got 'em) to help illustrate The History Of Rock And Roll Radio ... so please send us what you've got and we'll forward them along.
And just a quick reminder to contact your local PBS Station regarding the showing of "Airplay" in your area. This is the Carolyn Travis / Chris Gilson film that we've been talking about for awhile now ... it takes a look back at the History Of Rock And Roll Radio. HIGHLY recommended ... airings are supposed to start in February ... but to make sure YOUR station carries this program, please drop them a quick note to let them know how much you'd like to see it. On behalf of EVERYONE involved with "Airplay", Thank You. (Stay tuned for updates!) kk

Let's take just one more moment to remember a couple of those who left us recently this past year ...

I had just finished watching the movie Pirate Radio (2009) with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and the wonderful Rhys Ifans, wherein I marveled at all the terrific music in the movie; from several Rolling Stones tracks to The Turtles’ “Eleanor.” Watching that movie and hearing all that terrific music, yet again strengthened my resolve and made me feel positively joyous. Again, the power of music cannot be denied. Then, I get some bad news, from my friend Tom Cuddy; That the legendary TV and radio personality Clay Cole had passed away. Earlier this year Tom gave me his wonderful memoir Sh Boom! (The Explosion of Rock ‘n Roll - 1953-1968) (Morgan James Books); detailing Cole’s magnificent rise to fame in the early 60’s, where he wrote, produced, and was the on-screen talent in several different shows. It’s probably one of the best three music books I've read this year; however, meeting and getting to know Cole was truly an experience in itself. I can safely say that he was everything depicted in the book and more; tremendously gracious and so knowledgeable about all things music. He was literally a child prodigy who prepared shows in his family’s basement for his family and friends; that kind of reminded me of myself, when in my youth I made Top Ten record charts for an imaginary radio station … go figure! What was interesting when I read the book, and still resonates now, is how often Cole’s accomplishments were highlighted, but he never got his proper due. In one memorable incident from the book: Cole’s show was rewarded by a powerful civil rights group, but he didn't receive the award himself; the very people who he fought without ever having these very acts presented on his show, did. And, to top it off, they didn't even acknowledge him in their speech! Stuff like still happens today, and still hurts each and every time. All I can say is that it was an honor to have met him and spend an afternoon with him. It was, in hindsight, one of the best moments ever for me. I just opened a delighted Xmas card from him this week, so my thoughts go out to his friends and family. It’s been a tough year. RIP, Clay.

-- David Salidor

Clay Cole is better known for his TV work than radio, helping to popularize rock & roll in its very early days. He even wrote a book called “Sh-Boom! The Explosion of Rock n’ Roll (1953-1968).” But he got his start, under his own name of Al Rucker, as a young actor on the radio and on stage. When he was just 15, he scored his first TV show gig, as the host of "Rucker’s Rumpus Room” on Youngstown television. When he made it to New York City, he became “Clay Cole” and hosted local dance shows on TV from 1959 until 1968. He was the jock at many live rock & roll concert reviews, even at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater, and later he became a very successful writer and producer for television. His friend John Rook says Clay was a also a member of the nominating committee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame – and says sadly, Clay has just died, short of his 73rd birthday. The New York Board of is missing Clay, and one poster says that Pat St. John “sent out a great song to him” Sunday on WCBS-FM – “100 Pounds of Clay.”
-- Tom Taylor

I loved Clay - he was a true friend and there's nobody I know who didn't like and respect him. He was a great guest at my BEATexpo in 2009 and at ROCK CON this past Summer. I got a Xmas card from him Tuesday and wrote one in return. I replaced it with a sympathy card. Here's a short article on him in my newsletter:
Charles Rosenay
Clay Cole died of a heart attack in his home Saturday morning.
If you grew up in New York in the late 50's or 60's, you had a number of television heroes: Zacherley for monsters, Office / Chief Joe Bolton for The Three Stooges, Sonny Fox for Wonderama (before Bob McAllister), Bozo (yes, he was big, before clowns were scary!) and Clay Cole for rock & roll. It may have been LLoyd Thaxton or Dick Clark in other areas, but Clay Cole's show was the coolest and grooviest of them all. Ryan Seacrest could have learned a lot from Clay Cole, the only rock & roll host to ever have The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on the same show!
Last year Clay published his book, "Sh-Boom: The Explosion of Rock 'n' Roll" brimming with gossip, heartbreak and truth in a behind-the-scenes look at "live" television, mom & pop record companies, mob-run Manhattan, and the infancy and innocence of the rock music biz before it exploded. The book is still from Clay's website is
Clay Cole was special guest of honor at "
BEATexpo 2009" and at this past Summer's "Rock Con," where he held court like a king amongst the rock stars. He was loved by everyone. We were honored to be his friend and just got a Xmas card from him a few days ago.
We are re-printing his Top 10 List, but if there's a Top 10 list of beloved people who graced the music history, Clay Cole would be #1 on the chart.
Terrorble Top 10 List The Ten Things Clay Cole associates with scary stuff:
1. Zacherley: After working with and knowing the "cool ghoul" for so many years, I found John to be a kind and gentle man. I was no longer fearful of “monsters.”

2. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: The beast is a beauty. The truly scary thing is she’s about to turn 60!
3. Eddie Munster (Butch Patrick) The kid’s a monster, haunted by his childhood success.

4. Vincent Price: A refined gentleman and a gourmet chef; but hardly as scary as the Iron Chef, Gordon Ramsay. Now that’s scary.
5. House of Wax in 3-D: Nothing is more frightening than a paddle ball in the wrong hands.
6. Billy Mays was frightful. Sadly, he’s gone, only to be replaced by the insufferable Sham-Wow monster.
7. Greta Van Sustern, Nancy Grace and Suze Orman scare the pants off me. They are the Patty, Maxine and Laverne of revulsion.
8. Ellen DeGeneres: Only when she dances. Stop that dreadful dancing.
9. Spencer Tracy in “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1941): This is a true fear-provoking monster movie; Tracey is truly frightening as Mr. Hyde.
10. Walt Disney’s “Bambi” This is the scariest movie ever made. A child’s worst fear is abandonment by a parent. Disney dishes it out in a hellish forest fire. Don’t take the kids.

As you know Clay Cole, who was a dear long-distance friend of mine for the past few years, passed away suddenly at his home in Oak Island, NC, last Saturday (December 18) at the age of 72.
My deejay friend, Stu Weiss, hosts an Internet radio show every Friday at 7 PM EST called"The Pop Shoppe" on Top Shelf Oldies (
He also posts here quite often. I've been a listener to Stu and a friend of his for more than nine years.
Because Stu knew about my close friendship and professional association with Clay Cole over the past four years, he invited me to talk about my memories of the man during a half-hour tribute that he was planning for his "Pop Shoppe" show on the night before Christmas.
We initially intended my portion of that to be a conversation. But because Stu -- like so many others this winter season -- was having voice problems, he suggested that I do most of the talking. So admittedly most of what I said was a monolog rather than a dialog.
I tried very hard to be totally composed. But as I talked about Clay I am sure it was obvious that I was talking through my grief and, well, it was difficult. During my portion and following it, Stu played several of Clay's recordings to honor his memory.
In response to requests from several in Stu's chat room and with Stu's permission, I decided to turn this into a "Ronnie Remembers" show. It's a "radio interview" show, of course, but the tables are turned: I was the one being interviewed. Nevertheless I feel it's most appropriate to be included with the other shows on my Radio Page, even though it's really a "show within Stu's show."
I thank Stu for inviting me to talk about Clay and to for allowing me to share this with you.
The Clay Cole Tribute show (courtesy of Stu) is on the following page, along with more than 100 interview shows that I've done for the Jersey Girls Sing website:
Ronnie's Radio Page
Click on Clay's picture and then click the link to the show.
In the unlikely event that you don't see Clay's picture, please press the F5 key to bring up the latest version of the page.
Ronnie Allen

Legendary Rock and Roll TV MC, Clay Cole, Dead at 72 « WCBS-FM 101.1
Kent ...
Check out the Angels on The Clay Cole Show, 1963.
Don't know if I told you -- I sent Clay an E-mail asking him to sign up for "Forgotten Hits".
I'm only bringing this up to prove what a great guy he was.
He didn't know me. I asked him to do it and he did it.

About a month ago, I won a CD on this show I listen to, The Group Harmony Revue (Saturday, midnight - eastern, on ).
The CD I won was "The Capris- Our Story". Track 21 = "Don't Twist With Anyone Else But Me" & Track 22 = "Twist Around The Clock" ... both by the late Clay Cole. I can't figure out how Clay Cole got on a Capris CD but I'm glad he's there. I'll have something to remember him by.
Frank B.
And I certainly do appreciate that! So sad that he's gone ... sounds like he truly was one of the most loved men in the business ... EVERYONE I've ever talked to who crossed paths with Clay Cole speaks of him with the highest regard. Shame we never got a chance to talk. He will be missed. (kk)

Hey Kent,

We lost another one:

Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) pass away December 17.
We were very sorry to learn that Don Van Vliet passed away on Friday 17 December 2010 due to complications arising from multiple sclerosis
Additional information at:
-- submitted by Ken Voss

And this from Rolling Stone Magazine ...
by Maura Johnston
Don Van Vliet, who became a rock legend as
Captain Beefheart, died today from complications from multiple sclerosis in California. His passing was announced by the New York-based Michael Werner Gallery, which represented his work as a painter.
Ten Essential Captain Beefheart Songs
His Trout Mask Replica was Number 58 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In a 1969 review, Lester Bangs called Trout "a total success, a brilliant, stunning enlargement and clarification of his art."
View our gallery of Captain Beefheart photos
"Don Van Vliet was a complex and influential figure in the visual and performing arts," the gallery said in a statement. "He is perhaps best known as the incomparable Captain Beefheart who, together with his Magic Band, rose to prominence in the 1960s with a totally unique style of blues-inspired, experimental rock & roll. This would ultimately secure Van Vliet's place in music history as one of the most original recording artists of his time. After two decades in the spotlight as an avant-garde composer and performer, Van Vliet retired from performing to devote himself wholeheartedly to painting and drawing. Like his music, Van Vliet's lush paintings are the product of a truly rare and unique vision."
Read Rolling Stone's 1970 cover story on Captain Beefheart
Van Vliet grew up in Glendale California. In high school he met Frank Zappa, and in 1959 he dropped out of a junior college to work with him on film and musical projects. By 1964 Zappa left for Los Angeles to form the Mothers of Invention, and Van Vliet formed Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. A&M records signed the group, but after early blues-rock singles (including a cover of "Diddy Wah Diddy") went nowhere, a crushed Van Vliet parted ways with the label.
Gallery: Art by Captain Beefheart and other musicians
Van Vliet teamed up with Ry Cooder for Captain Beefheart's first LP, Safe as Milk, but the disc attracted few fans outside of a small cult. That cult grew slightly with the release of 1968's Strictly Personal, but it wasn't until Frank Zappa signed Van Vliet to Straight Records that Beefheart's full creativity flowered. Without the limits imposed by a traditional label, Van Vliet began creating his masterpiece.
The double album Trout Mask Replica was written in an intense eight-and-a-half-hour session at the piano. In a 1970 Rolling Stone cover story, Van Vliet described the process. "Well, I'd never played piano before and I had to figure out the fingering," he said. "I don't spend a lot of time thinking. It just comes through me." The album redrew the boundaries of popular music, combining avant-garde jazz, R&B, poetry and garage rock in a fantastically surreal way. "It is a masterpiece," RS wrote in 1970. "It will probably be many years before American audiences catch up to things that happen on this totally amazing record."
Those words proved to be prophetic. Captain Beefheart continued to release records through the 1970s, though none aptured the acclaim of Trout Mask Replica. Van Vliet retired from music after 1982's Ice Cream Cow and began a new career as a painter. For the past three decades he was a rock and roll recluse, though unlike Sly Stone and Syd Barrett he continued to communicate with his audience through his artwork.
Van Vliet leaves behind a wife, Jan. The two were married for more than 40 years.
Andy Greene contributed to this article.



PHILADELPHIA – Bernie Wilson, baritone vocalist in the classic lineup of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, died early yesterday from undisclosed medical complications at Kresson View Center in Voorhees, NJ, Philadelphia International Records has announced.
Wilson joined Melvin, Teddy Pendergrass, Lawrence Brown and Lloyd Parks in the world-renowned lineup that was signed to Philadelphia International Records in 1972, the beginning of a four-year string of hits for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes that were integral in defining the Sound of Philadelphia. They became one of the most popular groups in R&B during that era, with recordings that ranged from sweeping, extended proto-disco dance tracks to silky, smoldering ballads, all wrapped up in the lushly orchestrated production that had become the legendary signature of Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff. The group made their chart debut with “I Miss You,” then continued with a Grammy nomination for their first #1 R&B hit, “If You Don't Know Me By Now.” More #1 hits followed, with “The Love I Lost,” and “Wake Up Everybody.” Other Blues Notes classics during that time include “Bad Luck” (#4 R&B; #1 Dance) and “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”
The passing of Wilson leaves Lloyd Parks as the sole surviving member of the classic lineup of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
Philadelphia International Records sends its condolences to the Wilson family.
Funeral arrangements are pending.

-- submitted by Randy Alexander

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation Mourns the Loss of Pioneer Award Recipient
Teena Marie, "The Ivory Queen of Soul"

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation announced today that “we are saddened by loss of our friend and R&B Legend Teena Marie.”
A recipient of the R&B Foundation’s 2008 Pioneer Award, Teena considered the acknowledgment to be one of the greatest honors of her illustrious career. Upon accepting her award in 2008, a tearful Marie said, “Everything I ever asked God to give me, he gave me, and I have to give him the glory. I asked my heavenly father to take my poetry and let me set it to music, and he did.”
(Link to Video of Speech at 2008 Pioneer Awards)
A statement from Damon Williams, Chairman of the R&B Foundation reads: “Teena was a true Pioneer of R&B music and a Musical Bridge Builder. She brought people from all walks of life together under the banner of soulful, heartfelt music.
“Her amazing voice and classic songs like ‘Square Biz,’ ‘Lover Girl,’ and her unforgettable duet ‘Fire and Desire’ with Rick James will continue to be played and enjoyed by the world keeping her presence alive. We were delighted and honored to have her in our presence to accept her well deserved Pioneer Award in 2008. She will truly be missed by us all.”
Former Vice President of Motown Records and R&B Foundation Executive Committee member Iris Gordy had this to say in a statement: “Presenting the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's 2008 Pioneer Award to Teena Marie was one of my proudest moments, not only because Teena was most deserving, but because she was like family and I knew how extremely moved she was to have been selected for that particular honor. Teena was a thoughtful, insightful and incredibly sensitive artist who approached life like a knowing soul who had truly 'been here before. Always a fearless songwriter and producer, Teena possessed a uniquely recognizable vocal style. Her artistic light will remain incredibly bright. She was much loved and will be missed beyond measure.”
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation ( is the only non-profit organization solely dedicated to preserving Rhythm & Blues music and celebrating the artists who create it. / The Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Awards Program has recognized over 150 legendary artists whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music. The award honors the career achievements of solo artists, vocal groups, songwriters and producers who are nominated and selected by members of our board of directors. As part of the Pioneer Awards, most recipients receive an honorarium. Since 1989, the Pioneer Awards Program has given over $1.5 million to worthy honorees and will continue to celebrate legendary Rhythm & Blues artists.
Media Contact: Randy Alexander / Randex Communications

Paul McCartney Is Done Performing – WCBS-FM 101.1
Kent ...
Click to find out Paul's two most memorable shows of 2010.
Frank B.

Did you catch Macca at The Kennedy Honors last night on CBS Television? GREAT tribute to ALL of this year's inductees ... VERY moving and emotional night, I'm sure, for ALL of the honorees. Really makes you wonder why Steven Tyler wants ANYTHING at all to do with hosting "American Idol", doesn't it?!?!? (kk)

And here's one more comment on The Beatles ... and the first airing of their disks here in North America ... by none other than Bruce Spizer himself!!!

Bruce Spizer signing in again! Thanks for the plug of my books at I did want to clarify one point, though. I make every effort to give proper credit, but sometimes things do fall between the cracks. As for your conclusion that Dick Biondi was the first American DJ to play a Beatles record in the U.S., it was something I suspected, but was only able to nail down with your help. My Vee-Jay book showed an image of the WLS survey dated March 15, 1963, with Please Please Me by the “Beattles” at number 35 in its fourth week of airplay, meaning WLS started playing the song in mid-February. The survey had a picture of Dick Biondi at the bottom. I figured a WLS DJ was the first to play a Beatles single in the U.S.. After all, Vee-Jay Records was based in Chicago at the time and WLS did chart the single. With your help, I was able to interview Dick Biondi. As best he and I could determine, “Please Please Me” was first played on or around February 14 on Biondi’s show. His stories about Vee-Jay president Ewart Abner were very entertaining. Your detective work was brilliant and your conclusion about Dick Biondi being first in the U.S. sure does appear to be correct.
By the way, a DJ in Worchester (near Boston) did something pretty cool in the fall of 1963 before Beatlemania broke loose. He played the Swan single and in December, 1963, his station charted “She Loves You” at number 10. But even more amazing was the number one single that week. Believe it or not, “I’ll Get You” topped the charts!
Keep up the good work and have a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year!
Bruce Spizer

Hi Kent,
Thanks for another fun week of Forgotten Hits, Christmas and otherwise. Vance's interview on WUSB went great this week . Those who weren't able to listen to the broadcast can catch it at their convenience at:
The opening music included a couple of Vance's songs along with Paul Evans' "Santa's Stuck up the Chimney". The interview included some serious and some humorous talk related to music and aging and a bit of Vance unplugged. One Christmas song and a second unreleased Vance original heard only by his nursing home fans until Thursday.
All the best to you and Forgotten Hits readers as we move into the home stretch of 2010!
I listened to the playback of this program last night ... quite enjoyable as they got into several different areas of music ... clearly not just a Christmas show or a chance for Vance to plug his own stuff ... in fact, he almost seemed to shy away from that aspect of things, preferring instead to concentrate on the stimulating conversation at hand.
Vance brought up SEVERAL good points about music then and music now ... points we have reiterated numerous times here in Forgotten Hits.
He ALSO mentioned a cool YouTube video featuring Simon and Garfunkel, performing with Andy Williams, their big hit "Scarborough Fair" on Andy's old television program. We wanted to share that with you, too. (Vance's commentary on this clip was spot on!) kk
Click here: YouTube - Andy Williams with Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair / Canticle


Hello to my California friends and fans -- and friends and fans who might find themselves in California in Mid-January. (I send this tour info to everyone on my list, even people in Europe. I never know who will be where when).
I'll be doing a series of shows out there in the Wild West between Saturday, January 15 and Wednesday, January 19. The venue numbers, addresses, websites and show times are posted on my Gigs Page:
Here's the overview:
Saturday, January 15: The Vortex in San Francisco.
I've never played it, but I'm told it's a great room. It's being promoted by Neil Martinson who brought me out for my concert at the Knockout Room back in 2007.
Sunday, January 16: Wombleton Records in L.A. I'm told it's a "mini-McCabe's," one of a growing number of Music Stores that feature intimate showrooms. I'll be shamelessly hawking merch, including the just-released documentary BOB LIND: Perspective.
Monday, January 17: Troubadour Reunion in West L.A. This one isn't open to the public. It's one of those invitation-only deals. But some of you may be among the invited guests. I'll be doing a short guest set.
Tuesday, January 18: The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena One of my favorite venues in all the world. Bob Stane, former owner of the legendary Ice House owns and runs the place and nobody knows more about how to present acoustic music. Music legend John Beland is also on the bill.
Wednesday, January 19: The Fretted Frog in East L.A. Another music-store-with- showroom place. Again, I'll sing some songs, do a meet-and-greet and push my CDs and DVD down your throats.
It's been more than two years since I've played the Golden State and I can't wait to get at you again.
As always, I'll be sending out a reminder a little closer to the time. But for those of you who like to make plans early, here you go.

Bob Lind

Enter me in the contest, puh-leeeze!
"Undercover Angel" is one of my favourite songs from the 70's. Being young (junior high) and naive about the ways of love and sex (and, struggling to understand why I liked guys while other guys didn't), "Undercover Angel" was always a sexy song to me. That one, and "Moonlight Feels Right" by Starbuck, and "Hot Child In The City" (long and short versions) by Nick Gilder. Those songs, among others, helped me fantasize about leaving my horrible life in Lebanon, Oregon and going to find some fun and frolicking, and made my life at least bearable. The thought of meeting an "Undercover Angel" who could be a "Hot Child In The City" who could help me find out why "Moonlight Feels Right" was always a wish for me. Still haven't found it, but it's fun to look! ;-)
Also - and, I know this has nothing to do with music - everyone should raise a glass to honor the work and and careers of the late Leslie Nielsen, of "Airplane" fame ("And, don't call me Shirley!") and the late Blake Edwards, he who created the Pink Panther and the immortal Inspector Clouseau ("Do you have a REHM?" "A what, sir?" "A REHM!" "Oh, you mean a ROOM, sir" "That is what I've been saying, yew Fool!") Happee Hollydaze!
"Being Gay Means Never Having To Be Boring"- Edina Monsoon, "Absolutely Fabulous"
Love & Peace,
a/k/a Edina Pondsoon
a/k/a Frosty Hector

We'll continue to take your entries for the free, autographed Alan O'Day CD through January 3rd ... and then it'll be time for Alan to pick the winner ... so get 'em in NOW if you're interested! Thanks! (kk)

Had he lived, Sam Cooke would be 80 on January 22, 2011. Though his tragic death, at the age of 33, deprived successive generations of new music from Cooke, known as ‘the man who invented soul,’ his legacy and influence endure.
His own catalog of original recordings continues to connect with music consumers who are now offered the possibility of hearing the core of his catalog in high-resolution digital audio by agreement between ABKCO Records and HDTracks. Four albums, Sam Cooke at the Copa, Keep Movin' On, Ain't That Good News and the career-encompassing compilation Portrait of a Legend 1951 - 1964 are soon to be available for download in 88.2kHz/24bit audio.
In 1986, 25 years after his passing, Cooke was among the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, alongside Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. His transition from gospel music to R&B and rock ‘n’ roll was the template followed by soul / urban performers for the past 60 years.
Cooke’s songwriting has stood the test of time with versions of his classic repertoire performed and released over the years by such notable artists as John Lennon, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Seal, The Animals, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Bobby Womack, R. Kelly and countless others.
Rod Stewart recently told Rolling Stone, “To explain what Sam Cooke meant to me, it would take a couple of hours just to scratch the surface. The man basically introduced me to soul music. The first time I heard him, his music hit me like a thunderbolt and just slapped me around the head. I was 15 years old, and he changed my life."
Aretha Franklin noted, “Sam was a singer’s singer who strongly influenced many male vocalists. He was loved, respected and revered by artists in the pop and gospel field of music, as well as by his audience, as a unique and extraordinary artist and human being.”
“Sam Cooke is somebody other singers have to measure themselves against, and most of them go back to pumping gas!” quipped Keith Richards while Muhammad Ali succinctly stated, “Sam Cooke was the world’s greatest rock-and-roll singer … the greatest singer in the world!”
Perhaps, Sam Cooke’s most influential song is “A Change Is Gonna Come” which eloquently decried racial discrimination. On the night he was elected President, Barack Obama, clearly was profoundly aware of the song when he invoked its central them stating, “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
The legacy of Sam Cooke will be celebrated throughout 2011 with many radio, retail and online promotions. Check www/ for updates.
HUGE Sam Cooke Fan here ... had always planned on doing a lengthy spotlight feature on the man, having read just about anything I could get my hands on regarding his incredible career. We did manage a few Forgotten Hits pieces over the years ... and recently posted this mini-series on the website:
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Forgotten Hits Remembers Sam Cooke
Click here: Forgotten Hits: The Sam Cooke Tribute Continues Today In Forgotten Hits

Speaking of Sheila, I have an earlier recording of Sheila by Tommy Roe and have always wondered how it came about and if it ever charted. It's really nothing like the Buddy Holly style version and I think it was recorded in the late 50's. If it did chart, I'm pretty sure it didn't get very high. There's gotta be a story behind the re-recording of it years up the road. Greg Kihn also did a version I think in the early 80's.

I seem to remember hearing an earlier version of "Sheila", too, on some oldies compilation LPs way back when. I always figured it was just an alternate take or something, but Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles" book shows that an entirely different version of "Sheila" was release on Judd Records in 1962 before ABC-Paramount picked up Tommy Roe as a recording artist. You're right ... it never charted at all ... and Roe re-cut the track after signing to a major label.
He stayed with ABC-Paramount for the next ten years, scoring 14 Billboard Top 50 Hits for the label, including the #1 bubblegum smash "Dizzy", which stayed at the top of the pop charts for four weeks back in 1969. (kk)

Hey Kent,
Just wanted to let you know if you don't already ... Dave Clark released 28 songs by the DC5 that were unreleased on iTunes ... and he has most of his stuff on iTunes now. One of the unreleased songs was The Last Train to Clarksville!
Happy new year and keep up the good work.Take care.i love the dc5 (Joe)
Wow, I wonder when they got around to recording THIS one!!! Cool that some unreleased DC5 stuff is finally seeing the light of day. The much talked about complete reissue series never happened (legitimately anyway!), which probably would have provided quite a few of these "bonus tracks" for all us fans! Thanks, Joe! (kk)
I'm not sure when they recorded it ... they had a show called Hold On, It's the Dave Clark 5 and the song is Hold On.
Please check out the link and let me know how you like it if you can. i love the dc5 (Joe)
Click here: Last Train To Clarksville (Unreleased) by The Dave Clark Five - Download Last Train To Clarksville (Unreleased) on
It's ALWAYS cool to hear an artist you know do a song you didn't expect to hear them do ... so yeah, I think it's GREAT! Not as frantic as The Monkees' version but a good one nonetheless! Thanks, Joe! (kk)

And, speaking of The Monkees ...


Kent ...

Davy Jones will be turning 65 and Mike Nesmith will be turning 68. I didn't realize that two Monkees were born on the same day in different years.
Also on 12/30/56: Charlie Gracie records "Butterfly".
Frank B.

More and more talk about a Monkees 45th Anniversary Reunion Show next year (sans Nesmith, of course ... too bad ... wouldn't it be cool if he'd just do a dozen shows with them or something???) This very well might be one of the reasons why they revamped The Happy Together Again Tour Line-Up of 2011.

As for Charlie Gracie's recording of "Butterfly", the LEAST we can do is give that one a spin today! (Recorded on December 30th, 1956, it would go on to top the charts a couple of months later.) Maybe a few of the jocks on the list will play it today, too, in honor of this historic date.

Here's a photo from a couple of years back of Charlie with Andy Williams, whose version of "Butterfly" ALSO topped the pop charts in early 1957. (Cool shot ... they're each holding the OTHER ONE's single!!!) kk

(Click to enlarge)

>>> A record I’ve always liked is by Dick & DeeDee in 1964, called “Turn Around”. I’ve found that song hard to find on I Tunes or even You Tube. (JW)>>>"Turn Around" was a #22 Pop Hit back in early 1964 (and it went all the way to #12 here in Chicago.) Today it's considered a "folk classic". (According to Joel Whitburn's book, the song was first introduced by Harry Belafonte back in 1959.) kk
Regarding the song “Turn Around,” it was first copyrighted in 1957 with Harry Belafonte, Malvina Reynolds and Alan Greene credited as writers. One website I discovered, however, states that comments made by Malvina’s friends imply that the song was entirely her creation. They say that that the copyright was set up that way simply because Belafonte made it a condition before he’d record the tune. Such a thing was hardly unprecedented, as Frankie Lymon, Chuck Berry, Mann & Weil and many other songwriters who’ve had to share credit with non-collaborators would attest. Belafonte apparently also agreed to record the song only after Alan Greene made modifications – mostly adding in the chorus -- to Malvina's original words and music. In her own songbooks, she credits the song solely to herself and Alan Greene.
Of note: w
hen Harry cut the tune, he sang "little dirndls and petticoats" instead of “little sunsuits and petticoats," explaining that “you don’t wear petticoats with sunsuits.”
“I wasn’t thinking of wearing,” Malvina replied. “I was thinking of ironing.”
Artists as diverse as Perry Como, Kenny Loggins, Danny Kaye, The Brothers Four, Diana Ross, Rosemary Clooney, The Everly Brothers, The Lettermen, Freddie & the Dreamers and Sonny & Cher have all recorded “Turn Around,” although the only Hot 100 version so far has been Dick & Dee Dee’s rather shrill recording in 1964. My personal favorite is the one which appeared on the flip side of Jimmie Rodgers’ 1967 hit single “Child Of Clay.” In fact, with one edit (removing the second verse, as I never had a daughter), I used Jimmie Rodgers' “Turn Around” three years ago to accompany a slide show I put together on YouTube documenting my two sons’ growing up years:
Gary Theroux
When our 14-year-old daughter heard me playing this song while preparing today's Comments Page she remarked, "What a SAD song!" I told her that this is how EVERY parent feels, watching their kids grow up ... and away. I told her that she would never fully appreciate this song until she had kids of her own.

I remember "Turn Around" as being one of those songs it seemed like EVERYBODY was singing on television variety shows when I was growing up. In fact, it became SUCH a folk / "standard", that we used to perform it in our various school musical groups (glee club, choir, Madrigal, etc), too. It just seems to be one of those songs that everybody knows. (Although it dates back to the late '50's, I've always found it somewhat reminiscent of the big Frank Sinatra Hit "It Was A Very Good Year" ... kind of reflective in the same way, I guess. "Today", later a hit for The New Christy Minstrels, is another one that comes to mind.)
By the way, the Jimmie Rodgers version earned several of our readers' votes as one of their Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides ... but not enough to make our Top 200 List a few years back! (kk)

I want to thank you for including a copy of “Turn Around” by Dick & DeeDee in last Sunday’s column.
Keep the DJ information and oldies discussions coming. It’s great.

I am proud to announce the arrival of my book, WHERE THE ACTION WAS.
Thank you for your support and patience. I hope you enjoy the book and be sure to spread the word about the book to family, friends and fellow fans.
Thank you,
Mark "Hoss" Amans
This is GREAT news, Hoss! We've been waiting for this one for a while now! Happy to help spread the word! (kk)
Where the Action Was “On the Inside of the Evolution of Rock ’n’ Roll”
Available at:
"(the book is about) legendary sixties and seventies road manager Mark Amans aka Hoss ... written in a casual, detailed manner, as if you were there. (it's) one of the best books on classic rock ... from recording sessions to hysterical fans to being on the road to the inner workings of sound and stage equipment, thankfully absent of dirty gossip and bitterness ... a goldmine of history."

The Raiders stared in Dick Clark’s “Where The Action Is!” … did more TV appearances than any other band, ever. Hoss road managed many other groups, all included in this book.
I worked as road manager, tour manager, and later, bodyguard for many bands throughout my career. To name a few: The Viceroys; The Wailers; Paul Revere and the Raiders; The Blues Magoos; The Robbs; Mark Lindsay and Instant Joy; The Grass Roots; The Butts Band; Gary Puckett and The Union Gap; Wolfman Jack;. Cat Stevens; The Who; Herman’s Hermits; The Nazz; Robbie Krieger and John Densmore from The Doors and the Butts Band ... plus many others.
To summarize this story, it tells of an individual who started out in 1960 in rock ’n’ roll and took it all the way in his field, to the top, and became the most famous road manager in the U.S. of the time ... in trade magazines ... TV ... fan mail ... “wherever I went, it was like the rock stars I worked with”.
From band boy, to roadie, to road manager, tour manger, and body guard, it tells the true-life story of groups starting out, and the excitement of making it all the way to the top ... changes in the way we tour on the ground ... in the air ... sound equipment ... show productions, TV ... touring, recording, business and instruments ... the fun, the hard work, the excitement, the danger and the responsibility of touring ... I HAVE DONE IT ALL. THE ROCK ’N’ ROLL EVOLUTION WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. I was right in the middle of it! There were no set standards or proven ways until we blazed a trail into the new world of Rock “n” Roll.
Mark "Hoss" Amans

Can't wait to read it, Hoss ... we've been waiting for this one for a long time! Interested readers should check out the link above! (kk)

Paul Fraser Collectibles Our Top Five... Just in time for Christmas, the most valuable collectible toys
Kent ...
Do you have any of these toys leftover from your childhood?
Frank B.
Actually we have a couple of vintage toy collectors (and dealers) on our list that I'm aware of ... which leads us to this ...
Have you ever done a piece on what type of collectibles many of the readers have with regards to Oldies ? May it be a signed guitar, album, picture etc. ... I'd love to hear what some of the items might be?
I met John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Spanky McFarland and McKenzie Phillips in Naperville for an outdoor concert and was invited back to their hotel room and had them sign one of their albums that I had brought along. I was talking to John Phillips about a song that Mama Cass sang called Nora's Dove when she was with the Big 3. A wonderful memory for me!
Vic Morrow
We've done a few pieces on record collectors before ... talking about some of their great finds (or the ones that got away) but have never really zeroed in a wide range of music-related collectibles.
What do you guys think? Is there some interest here? Drop us a line and let us know if we should pursue this. Thanks! (kk)

re: AOL:

Has your AOL mess been solved?


Who knows ... and I most likely won't EVER know until they determine that I've done something wrong again. Some have speculated that this may all be simply a case of ONE person complaining about receiving the reminders ... which is crazy, really, because ANYBODY receiving a reminder ASKED for it to be sent to them at some point in time ... and each reminder comes with an Opt On / Opt Off feature ... so if you wanted the reminders to stop, ALL you had to do was email back an "Unsubscribe" message and your name would be immediately removed from the mailing list. Pretty simple, really. Others have suggested that somebody else, jealous perhaps of how popular and successful Forgotten Hits has become, was just trying to make trouble. Either way, it's nothing short of LUDICROUS to me to think that AOL would listen to the voice of ONE over the voice of THOUSANDS who WANT their Forgotten Hits reminders ... but I've had AOL Reps tell me that this is, in fact, what they do ... if just ONE PERSON in their "community" finds something objectionable, they will listen to that ONE over everybody else ... even 'though that ONE has the option ... on a daily basis ... to be dropped from the list. Yep, that's some pretty good policing going on there. (That's how it works in the real world, right? If a television series has 13 Million Viewers but one little ole old lady from Wichita writes in and says "I didn't like the joke about her ta-ta's", they yank it off the air, right?) Jeez, get real, people. Change the channel ... or opt off the list. Don'tcha understand that if you're not enjoying Forgotten Hits it's better for BOTH of us if you just leave??? We work countless hours to make this "informative, entertaining and, above all, fun" for our readers ... if you don't think it is, JUST GO!!! But don't feel this need to take everyone else WITH you!!! (kk)

>>>Based on the response we got this year ... from both the readers AND the artists ... I think we're on to something here. (Yours and Jack's were the ONLY two negative responses I received ... everybody else ... hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of emails ... have been applauding our new feature ... so who would YOU listen to???) kk

I can understand going with the flow, but at the same time maybe not all FH subscribers celebrate Christmas! After all, you did receive a notice from AOL, if you know what I mean.

Jersey John

And, as stated above, it's YOUR choice whether or not to read it ... nobody's holding a gun to your head!!! If the Christmas topic isn't your thing, then skip it ... makes no difference to me ... I find it hard to believe that ANYONE reads Forgotten Hits word-for-word anyway!!! (Heck, even FRANNIE doesn't do that!!! lol I have a hard time getting through parts of it myself!) So find the parts that fit your interest and go with it ... and ignore the rest. We have far too large a list (and too far a range of topics) to EVER think that we're going please EVERYBODY every time ... I mean, come on ... let's face it ... we're NEVER going to strike gold on every topic ... so we don't even try. (Some of the ones that "click" surprise the heck out of me at times!!! But hey, who am I to judge? That's why we put so much out there!) If it doesn't float your boat, so to speak, then skip it ... but, like I said, DON'T try to ruin it for everybody else who IS enjoying it ... as stated above, just "Change The Channel"!!! Or ask for your money back ... we'll return EVERY cent you paid for our services, no questions asked. Simple as that. (kk)







Thanks for your support, Mike! (kk)

You deserve the best.
Thanks for all your support and for all the great posts.
We wouldn't have such great input if it wasn't for you.
Have a happy & healthy & rocking New Year, Klark Kent!


Let's Talk Forgotten Hits!!!

Personally, I can't depend on Billboard or Joel Whitburn to tell me what was popular on radio! For example, they claim The Outsiders charted (4) Top 40 hits, but I never heard of (3) of them!!
Sandy Shaw was a good singer! When I first heard her "Long Live Love", I thought it was a good song, but can't say I heard it before!! But, this one, oh, yeah, I remember it!!
I enjoy finding the songs I remember, not what some dumb book or magazine tells me was popular! Besides, I didn't have to receive Payola to like them! And for me, after Top 30, the songs become less and less recognizable!...Sandy Shaw - Girl Don't Come (1965)

Charted: UK: #3, US: #42
Now, this one, can't say it is as recognizable as above, but, no doubt, I heard it before! The singer here, Polly Brown, sounds a bit like Dionne Warwick!!
Pickettywitch - That Same Old Feeling - 1970Charted: UK: #5, US: #67
Jersey John
First of all, all four of those Outsiders singles charted here in Chicago, too ... and quite well, I might add. "Time Won't Let Me" went to #4, "Girl In Love" to #10 (besting its national showing of #21), "Respectable" (my personal favorite) reached #5 in Chi-Town and #13 in Cash Box Magazine and "Help Me Girl" competed with the Eric Burdon and the Animals' version, reaching #16 here in Chicago (and #37 in Billboard.) I guess it just depends on where you grew up. Since The Outsiders hailed from Ohio, we probably heard more of their music in the Midwest than you did out on the East Coast ... but we've also featured ALL of these "unknown" tunes in Forgotten Hits before, too ... and MOST of our readers were THRILLED to hear some of them again (especially "Girl In Love" and "Respectable") because they truly HAVE fallen off the oldies radio radar.

I always like "Girl Don't Come", too ... I first heard it on one of those British Invasion compilation LP's back in the '70's ... 'cause I don't really remember ever hearing it here on the radio either, despite the fact that it actually reached #37 here in Chi-Town.
You've got to remember that Joel Whitburn's books reflect the performance of these singles on Billboard's Charts ... a NATIONAL ranking. That doesn't mean it was a hit in many "local" areas. Likewise, we've all got some local, regional hits that never made the Billboard Charts at all ... yet are amongst our favorite musical memories. ("Girl Don't Come" did a little better on the Cash Box Chart, where it peaked at #35).

As for Polly Brown, we featured her biggest hit, "Up In A Puff Of Smoke" a while back in Forgotten Hits:
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Up In A Puff Of Smoke
(We likened her voice to being more in the Diana Ross-vein ... listen to "Up In A Puff Of Smoke" and see if you don't agree!)

Picketywitch charted here Stateside with "That Same Old Feeling", another record that did considerably better in Cash Box (#40) than it did in Billboard, where it peaked at #67. It was, however, a Top Five British Hit.
How much these records got played in any given area determined how well they did on the national charts. The WORST thing working against them is that with MANY of these records, they would start to catch on in one area of the country right around the same time they began to fizzle out in another ... they just never received the consistent momentum AT ONE TIME to become a breakout hit. That's why The National Top 20 pretty much covered records that were being played EVERYWHERE ... #21 - #40 got a sizeable amount of airplay ... and #41 - #100 may have never played in YOUR hometown at all. (That's also why Whitburn's "Bubbling Under" books were so fascinating ... all that information has now been incorporated into his regular Top Pop Singles book.) kk


Kent ...

Just in case we're compiling a list of our favorite New Year's Eve Songs, here's mine.

YouTube - Orioles - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (original version) Remember this one ? We use to call her the "Blonde Bombshell".

YouTube - Jo Ann Campbell - Happy New Year Baby

Didn't Bobby Darin almost marry Jo Ann Campbell?
If you re-ran the Bobby Darin Story, I wouldn't have to ask you these questions.
Frank B.

Jo Ann Campbell was one of the great loves of Bobby Darin's life. (You can also add Connie Francis and Sandra Dee to that list.) But in ALL cases, Bobby demanded that he be the center of attention ... at least in the entertainment universe ... and none of these ladies were ready to give up their own career in order to take a backseat to Bobby's. (Sandra Dee did to a degree but quickly got tired of sitting at the head table, watching Bobby perform the same act night after night in Las Vegas ... slowly but surely, it ate away at their marriage.) Jo Ann Campbell really only had one Top 40 Hit ... her "(I'm The Girl On) Wolverton Mountain" answer-song to the big Claude King Hit in 1962 ultimately peaked at #37 on the Cash Box Chart. Here in Chicago, an earlier hit, "A Kookie Little Paradise" went up to #21 despite never cracking The Top 50 on the national charts. (kk)

We've got a couple more postings planned to round out the week ... so PLEASE check back with us on Thursday and Friday ... and then a little bit of a New Year's break in the action to get caught up on a few other things. Have a VERY Happy and safe New Year!