Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Good News Week

We've covered this tunes a few times before and it always seems to get a good reaction and a bit of dialog going ... so last weekend's mention of it (and the reaction to that mention) really came as no surprise.

Here are a few of your most recent comments ... along with a few more that I found in the archives:

You are the man and you are number one in my book.
I just got home from work and played your FH for today, EVERYONE'S GONE TO THE MOON by Jonathan King. The first thing that came to my mind was the 1966 recording of IT'S GOOD NEWS WEEK by the group Hedgehoppers Anonymous aka Jonathan King, also on Parrot Records. A lot of times your FH reminds me or triggers my mind about another song which I haven't heard in ages.
Would you believe I just now played that record three times in a row. Always did like that record. I have a strange feeling (hey, that would be a great title for a song by someone like Billy Stewart) that IT'S GOOD NEWS WEEK was a bigger hit in Chicago than it was here in OKC.

Thanks again for the kind words ... this just means that we're doing our job, gettin' those wheels turnin'! "It's Good News Week" WAS a HUGE hit here in Chicago (#3, 1966). We have featured this tune a few times over the past several years ... and ALWAYS get a good reaction. (kk)

Loved Monday's Forgotten Hit choice ... Everyone's Gone to the Moon has always been a favorite of mine. I did not know whose song it was though. I went on youtube to see what else Jonathan King had done. I was amazed to see what an accomplished man he is. Singer, songwriter, author etc. While I was checking him out another song came up ... It's Good News Week. I listened to it and it did not have a verse in it that I remember well ... the one about the sacred cows. I read some of the comments from the people and one person said that the version with Asia and the sacred cows was banned in the U.S. I live in the U.S. and that is where I heard it ... can you explain?
It may have been banned in some areas (which hampered the record's national success) but it was played here in Chicago, too, and was a BIG hit ... #3 in fact! (kk)

Well, imagine that ... It's Good News Week is a record I recently purchased a promo 45 for ... in fact, just two weeks ago ... so I was playing it while I was on the road.
I could've SWORN that Forgotten Hits had covered the two versions before, with comments from myself, but a quick search didn't turn up anything.
Anyway, depending who you ask determines what answer you'll get in regards to which version was the hit version in the US ... because several other websites I went to said the version mentioning the sacred cow was the US version, which was released here because the censors didn't want "birth control" being mentioned on the radio, thus making the other version the one banned in the US ... I'd love to get a true definite answer on this one ... and Forgotten Hits would certainly be the place to find it.
The version that is on my promo 45 is, in fact, the "sacred cow" version and that was the one I kept finding lyrics for online because I was trying to find which lyrics had been changed between the two (since I was not at my computer I couldn't conveniently pull up my two mp3s of the song).
So, the previous version you posted was the stereo mix with the "sacred cow" lyrics ... I'm sending you the mono "birth control" version (which does not exist in stereo).
Tom Diehl

Well, I can personally vouch for the fact that it was the "sacred cow" version that was a hit here in Chicago ... and I'd have to say the REST of the country, too ... because I had never even HEARD the "birth control" version in my entire life until you sent it in the last time this topic came up in Forgotten Hits. I LOVED this song when it was out and bought the 45 at our old Korvette's Record Department (along with a couple of OTHER favorites at the time ... "Just A Little Bit Better" by Herman's Hermits, "As Tears Go By" by The Rolling Stones and "We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper" by The Beatles. (How the hell do I remember this stuff?!?!?) Anyway, I can state with 100% certainty that it was the "sacred cow" version that was being played at the time ... and, being a #3 record locally, it was played here A LOT!!! (kk)
As for why you couldn't find any discussion about this on the website, it's because the most recent coverage devoted to this tune predates the website by a couple of years ... but I DID find some of that in the archives and am sharing it here now:
I just had Hedgehoppers in my player in the car last night listening and thought about how I received "It's Good News Week" in the strangest of ways.
Our local Guys potato chip company used to put a 45 in with bag in 66 for awhile in Kansas and you could see what the 45 was if you scrunched the bag around just right! Can you see a 10 year old doing that? Anyway, thought I'd gone to heaven when I found one with the Hedgehoppers Anonymous 45 in it!
"MOM! You gotta buy this bag!"
Here's a question for the oldies experts:
Besides Hedgehoppers Anynymous, who redid the song "It's Good News Week" in the early 1980's? There was a male and female singing this song and it was great! I really wish someone can answer this!!! Please help ... a FunTrivia member is looking for this. Only cover I could find was by a group called Affinity, also done in 1965.
Any ideas guys???
I am looking for the newer version of this song that has a girl and a guy singing these lyrics ... any clues as to who might have been the one to redo this song? Please help. Thanks!
I'm not so sure that this version was a "re-recorded" version. They had at least 2 versions released for the world market. Obviously, this version wasn't released in the USA because - SHOCK! - it mentions "birth control". The USA got the "lots of blood in Asia now ..." version, which wasn't released worldwide because of religious sensibilities about the "sacred cow". Still, some USA radio stations banned the song because of the feeling that the " ... blood in Asia ..." line was a subtle reminder of the Vietnam War. In spite of the controversy, it's a happy little song!

This song has been re-recorded and rewritten since it first came out in the 60's. The second verse originally said, " It's good news week. Lots of blood in Asia now, they've butchered off the sacred cow. They've got a lot to eat." Additional note: Jonathan King of "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" fame, produced this song. Leo's Lyrics Database - Hedghoppers Anonymous - It's Good NewsWeek lyrics
and also this from AMG not noting anyone else has done the song allmusic
Interestingly enough, this next batch of comments came out right after Bob Stroud released "Rock And Roll Roots, Volume 10", which included the Hedgehoppers Anonymous tune! It also was my first introduction to the "birth control" lyrics. (kk)
>>>It was great to hear "It's Good News Week" again -- I'll bet I haven't heard that song on the radio in close to 40 years! (Bob)
>>>since BOB STROUD included it on his latest ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS CD (Volume 10), it seems to have stirred up some new interest! (kk)
This leads me to ask ... WHICH version made the cd? The original uncensored version or the censored version? Like many songs of the time, there was one lyric changed, and both versions are readily available on 45.
Tom Diehl
What IS the specific difference? Would like to hear them both! Thanks, TOM! (kk)
"Lots of blood in Asia now, they've butchered up the sacred cow, they've got a lot to eat" was a lyric that caused radio stations to refuse playing the record as it was in reference to the Vietnam War. The lyric ended up being changed to something along the lines of "Families shake the need for gold by stimulating birth control". Some websites list the lyric as "coal" rather than "gold", but depending on how much attention I'm paying to the song, I can hear either word there ... the re-recorded lyric version only exists in mono, however the original version exists in stereo.
WOW!!! I can HONESTLY say that I have NEVER ... EVER ... heard the "birth control" lyrics on this record!!! (Obviously, the BOB STROUD CD version is the original HIT version!!!) News to me ... but, thanks to TOM, we've got the RARE version included with today's email!!! (See ... you really DO learn new stuff in FORGOTTEN HITS all the time!!!)

>>>WOW!!! I can HONESTLY say that I have NEVER ... EVER ... heard the "birth control" lyrics on this record!!! (kk)

Hi Kent,

The version I bought all those years ago, i.e. the version that was on sale in England, was the "birth control" version. And I can honestly say that I have never heard the "bloody cow" version ... makes me most curious now!

I was unaware that there was a different version from the one I've been listening to for all these years :)
Thanks Kent
And I'm EXACTLY the opposite ... for the past 42 years the ONLY version I have known is the "sacred cow" version!!! It's ALWAYS cool to learn something new here in FORGOTTEN HITS. (Thanks again to TOM DIEHL for sharing this with us!) That being said, it would appear that here in America we got the "sacred cow" version while Great Britain got the "birth control" version. For the record, "It's Good News Week" officially peaked at #44 here in The States (and went to #3 in Chicago) ... but peaked at #5 in Great Britain. (kk)
I've got to give you props for featuring that Hedgehoppers Anonymous song ... I haven't heard this one in YEARS!!! (And this was a pretty big hit, too, wasn't it??? I wonder why nobody plays it!) Anyway, it was GREAT to hear it again ... probably played it about twelve times already!!! Pretty controversial lyrics for that time ... and I remember there being an outrage about it then, too.
A MUCH bigger hit here in Chicago than it was nationally ... and you're right, these are pretty "edgy" lyrics for 1965!!! Got a REAL good response to this one ... glad we could feature it again! (And it IS on the new ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS CD, too!) kk