Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 28 - 11 )


When the news of Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford's deaths both hit us on the same day, the focus seemed to dwell more on Jerry Leiber and his tremendous contribution to the history and evolution of rock and roll.  But we've received a few Nick Ashford comments since then, too ... so we wanted to share them with you!  (Let's just say that Nick Ashford wrote more than a few oldies classics, too!)  kk 

Nick Ashford produced the Gamble & Huff smash “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” for Motown; Ashford & Simpson were a key link between the Motown Sound and Sound of Philadelphia 
PHILADELPHIA – “Nick Ashford was truly one of our favorite songwriting colleagues and producers. He and Valerie Simpson had a major impact on Gamble & Huff's songwriting career, as Nick was responsible for producing a song we wrote, ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,’ with Motown. Nick heard the song after we wrote it for Dee Dee Warwick and made it a major hit for Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations together. We also worked with Ashford & Simpson on ‘Is It Still Good to You,’ which they wrote for Teddy Pendergrass, and they did an excellent job. We’re longtime admirers of Ashford & Simpson as one of the greatest songwriting teams ever. Nick was a multi-talented artist, and he will be truly, truly missed by both of us.”
I just read about the passing away of Nick Ashford -- and Mr. Music (Jerry Osborne) just wrote about Nick and Valerie, about Nick and Valerie working together and their getting married.    I will remember Nick, who was also born in South Carolina.  And will get a note out to Valerie, his loving wife. 
Dotty Daniels

And this submitted by FH Reader Fred Vail (from Reuters):
Songwriter Nickolas Ashford dies at age 70 
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. songwriter Nickolas Ashford, who penned such rhythm and blues hits as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "I'm Every Woman" with his wife Valerie Simpson, died Monday at age 70.  Ashford, who had been treated for cancer, died at a New York hospital with his family at his side, publicist Liz Rosenberg told Reuters.  
A native of South Carolina, Ashford met Simpson in the early 1960s at White Rock Baptist Church in Harlem, after he moved to New York to pursue a career in entertainment and found himself homeless.
Simpson played the piano and sang in a church choir, which Ashford soon joined. The two began writing songs together and had their breakthrough hit in 1966 when
Ray Charles released their composition "Let's Go Get Stoned."
It was the beginning of a partnership that saw the duo marry in 1974 and write a string of hits.
They were signed to
Motown Records, where they penned the 1967 classic Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell duet "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Gaye and Terrell also had hits with the couple's songs "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need to Get By."
Ashford and Simpson's other songs include "Send It," "Found a Cure," and "Don't Cost You Nothing."
Their composition "I'm Every Woman" was recorded by
Chaka Khan and later by Whitney Houston, and for a time was the opening theme song for Oprah Winfrey's TV talk show.
Ashford and Simpson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.   

Ashford is survived by Simpson and their daughters Nicole and Asia, Rosenberg said.   
Copyright © 2011, Reuters

And (if you haven't already seen it), don't miss Artie Wayne's remembrance of Nick Ashford here ... :

KENT ...

You'll find Artie's recollections of Jerry Leiber here ...
Jerry Leiber was a great inspiration and was vital to the start of my songwriting career. I also had the fortunate opportunity to play piano on many Leiber & Stoller recording sessions as a musician in the early days.  When I had dreams of being a producer, I met Leiber & Stoller in the Brill Building when they called me to play on ‘Boy From New York City.’ I was so nervous, but when I started grooving, that's when I really settled down, because Jerry and Mike cut some really groovy records.  That was a great time for me as a studio musician. I’ll never forget Leiber & Stoller because they helped me get the knack of the studios. Jerry will be missed. 
Leon Huff

I admire him as one of the great songwriters of our time.  All of his songs – from Elvis Presley and the Coasters straight through to Smokey Joe’s Café – were a testament to his stature. As a songwriting team, when you work together so long and one of you passes, the partner loses a person with a truly special connection. We send our condolences to Michael Stoller, their families and their friends. 
Kenneth Gamble

Pop music lyricist Jerry Leiber, whose partnership with Mike Stoller created such timeless hits as Jailhouse Rock and There Goes My Baby, helping to shape the identity and commercial potential of early rock and roll, died Tuesday of cardio pulmonary failure, Rolling Stone is reporting. He was 78. 
Wild Bill Cody (from the LBN Music Insider Report)

Jerry Leiber, who was born and raised in Baltimore before becoming one of the greatest lyricists in rock ‘n ‘roll history, died of cardio-pulmonary failure in Los Angeles Monday. He was 78. Leiber’s lyrics, almost always set to music by his longtime partner Mike Stoller, were recorded by Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, T-Bone Walker, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, Neil Young, the Drifters, the Coasters, Los Lobos, Little Richard, Peggy Lee, Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, Merle Haggard, and many more.  
Yet Leiber almost never sang his own lyrics in public. He thought the whole concept of the singer / songwriter was a foolish one. Some people are good singers and some people are good songwriters, he maintained; very rarely is anyone both. He wasn’t bashful about his own talent as a lyricist; he knew he was very good. But he also had no illusions about his singing voice.
“I think Dylan is a kind of contemporary street poet,” Leiber told me in 1996. “He was as a monumental force in pop music. I’m just not as excited by what he did as I am by Memphis Slim or Muddy Waters. I’m not so interested in a voice that works around an idea–I’m happier to hear a voice that is thrilling.
“When Dylan came along, it was suggested that I should do the same,” he added. “It would have been the way to go, but I didn’t approve of that. I didn’t want to go up there and sound like what I sound like and have Jimmy Witherspoon coming up behind me and burn me down to my socks. I was much happier getting a great singer to record my songs, because if you make a great record it lives forever, if you make an adequate record, it lasts for maybe a season.”
So Leiber and Stoller stayed behind the scenes as songwriters and producers, giving up a greater fame to make greater records. Dylan, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, Ray Davies, Curtis Mayfield, and Randy Newman (a Leiber protégé) are better known as lyricists because they made records under their own names, but their satiric wit, linguistic dexterity, and wild imagery aren’t all that different from Leiber’s. Like Dylan, Simon, and Newman, Leiber was a Jewish kid who fell in love with African-American music. Unlike them, he did it in Baltimore.
“On a real subliminal level,” Leiber added in 1996, “there’s a connection between black music and Hebraic music. If you listen to Ray Charles and a chazen in a synagogue, you’ll hear some amazing similarities. You’ll ask, `Are they from the same shetl?’
“I made a lot of deliveries in the black neighborhood,” he said of his mother’s West Baltimore grocery store, “and I’d often be invited into these smoky, mysterious houses. I’d be told to sit down and eat, and I developed a taste for pig’s feet, pork shoulder, greens, yams, and all that Southern food that I still love today. The radio might be on, and somebody would be playing something funky on a guitar or saxophone. I heard Meade Lux Lewis playing boogie-woogie piano, I heard Josh White singing folk blues, I heard Big Joe Turner belting out big-band blues, and I loved it all.”
-- Geoffrey Himes (submitted by Ken Voss)

Here's a link to a piece published by American Songwriter Magazine back in 2007, spotlighting the songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller:

re:  ELVIS:
If you enjoyed the Elvis Interview we provided a link for the other day (Examiner Columnist Jeremy Roberts interviewing Marshall Terrill), then you'll want to continue this discussion today as we link you to Parts Two and Three of this on-going discussion!  (kk)
I loved your collection of lollipop songs ... I played them all at the same time ...
I think I went into a diabetic coma ...

Looks like you covered the "Lollipop" song in high capacity. But to be honest with you, when I saw the Chordettes' name, the first thing that came to my mind was a version out of 1958, I believe on RCA by Ron and Ruby. I think I will get that version out tonight and play it.  If memory serves me right, it is shorter than 2 minutes long.

The clip from The Munchkins is the best!
That little song has stuck with me since I was verrrry young.
David Lewis

Since Doris Day's name came up a few weeks ago I remembered that I had a Doris Day tune that was in the style of the girl groups so thought I'd pass it on.
Now, how cool is this?!?!?  Doris Day's name has come up a few times recently in Forgotten Hits ... and now Beach Boys Examiner Columnist David Beard is reporting that Doris has been back in the recording studio making a brand new album ... produced by none other than Bruce Johnston, the former Bruce and Terry / Rip Chords partner of her son Terry Melcher!  Here's the scoop!  (kk)
87-year-old Doris Day will release a new album on September 5 called My Heart. The record will be her first release in 17 years. 
For this new collection, Bruce Johnston returns to his role of producer. In addition to his production duties on three of the album's 12 tracks, Johnston co-wrote three songs with former collaborator Terry Melcher (before Melcher passed away on November 19, 2004). Those songs — "The Way I Dreamed It," the title track and a re-recording of the 1987 Beach Boys and Little Richard collaboration "Happy Endings" — create a solid and unique blend of recordings reuniting Doris with Terry. Uniquely, "Happy Endings" is sung by Melcher, with a touching introduction from Day about having her late son on the recording. Along with these tracks, Day also recorded Johnston's "Heaven Tonight" and the epic "Disney Girls" (from the Beach Boys' 1971 Surf's Up album). My Heart is set to be released on September 5, 2011, and can be preordered now on For the complete setlist, visit the Doris Day tribute site Discovering Doris Day
For more on Doris, visit her offical site:

And, speaking of David Beard, he's also got a GREAT shot of the new deluxe SMiLE package that Capitol Records is putting together for their upcoming Beach Boys release ... check this thing out ... it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!  (Must have, honey ... we've been waiting 44 years for this one!!!  lol)  kk

We've been telling you about the new Martin Scorsese / George Harrison film that'll be airing on HBO ... and now we've got a really cool short clip that'll definitely make you want to see it!!!  Check this out!  (kk)
Coming this October, Martin Scorsese traces the life of George Harrison in an intensely personal film, weaving together previously unseen archival materials, home movies, and interviews with Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr, Jackie Stewart and others. 
In the US, "George Harrison: Living In The Material World" debuts in two parts on October 5 and October 6, 2011, exclusively on HBO.
In the UK, the film is released as DVD, Blu-Ray and Deluxe packages on 10 October, 2011 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK.
The UK Deluxe Edition includes 2 DVDs, a Blu-ray, a 96-page booklet and a CD of never-before-released George Harrison tracks. Pre-order your copy on, or check your local retailer.
Coinciding with the film, Abrams Books will publish Olivia Harrison's George Harrison: Living In The Material World, a personal archive of photographs, letters, diaries and memorabilia from George's life — available worldwide beginning October.
Man, I can't WAIT to see this film!  Speaking of George (and all of his Beatle Buddies), next week in Forgotten Hits we salute The Beatles ... and the solo careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo ... with "Today's Forgotten Hits" Two-Fers all week long!  Be sure to check the FH Website every day for your Daily Beatles Fix!  (kk)

From Wild Bill Cody:
Before Britney, before Bieber, Beatles fans reigned supreme. In the upcoming documentary, Martin Scorsese explores the band’s quietest member in George Harrison: Living In The Material World. With an impressive slew of interviews from Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr, Roger McGuinn and Jackie Stewart, the three-and-a-half hour documentary will examine Harrison’s life and career.

And, in OTHER Beatles news ...

Geez, it was 47 years ago tomorrow that the Beatles played Red Rocks just west of Denver.  My Big Sis Sharon saw their limos outside the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver! She was a Senior at Cathedral High School and was walking to the buses in downtown Denver when she saw the Beatles.  Where were you on this date 47 years ago in Denver? I was a Freshman at Regis H.S. and unhappy as hell that I was in a school with NO WOMEN! But I had bought a Beates Wig that I wore to school daily and finally gave to a Speech Teacher there!
Denver is celebrating the fact ... please turn to KRWZ Cruisin Oldies 950 in Denver to hear all the BEST of the Beatles from 47 years ago this weekend!
Wild Bill Cody

And watch for a Paul McCartney television special commemorating the benefit concert he organized for the victims of 9-11 coming up for the tenth anniversary of this tragic event.  More details next week in Forgotten Hits.  (kk)


Personally, I always liked ? and the Mysterians' version of DO SOMETHING TO ME better than Tommy James' version. In OKC, like most major cities, we had two radio stations which played top 40 rock and roll music. A lot of times one would play certain records and the other wouldn't play them at all. For example, here in OKC, WKY 930  did not play the ? version of DO SOMETHING TO ME while KOMA 1520 did. Of course you and I and many of your readers knew that ? had other records besides 96 TEARS.
I like BOTH versions of this song ... and think it should have been a bigger hit.  Here in Chicago (where Tommy James was HUGE), his version of "Do Something To Me" went to #19, again besting its national chart performance.  I didn't become aware of the ? and the Mysterians version until a few years ago when Dave The Rave turned me on to it via his Relics and Rarities radio program.  Good tune ... and it's on their recently released Cameo / Parkway Greatest Hits CD.  (kk) 

I liked that Davie Allan track you featured over the weekend -- Oh Buddy -- can you tell me more about it?
I'll let Davie tell you himself!  (kk)
Thanks Kent!
My wife Janine wrote the lyrics to the "Buddy" tune.  We 
wrote the song right after I was picked as one of the guitar recipients of The Buddy Holly Guitar Foundation.
It closes my "home demos" CD (all home demos from the 60's up to 2010): "Retrophonic 2-The Home Demos". I'm working on "Retrophonic 3" for 2012.
Davie Allan
Great tune.  And congratulations, Davie ... this honor puts you in some pretty elite company!  (Check out the "Artists Page" at the link above!)  kk


Excellent idea for this week's FH, taking a page at random and picking out a FH.
Last night on Scott Shannon's Crusin' America he did mention that Chubby Checker is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and should be. It's ironic that Chubby Checker's song, by asking the question "how LOW can you go", got so HIGH on the charts.
Personally, I always liked the flip side of the record better, a song I might add that was number one with Olive Oyl.
Larry Neal
I happened to be in the car on Tuesday when Scott Shannon played "Limbo Rock", too ... so that was kinda cool!  (kk)

James Brown’s unburied body and fortune remain in limbo as relatives battle for a piece of The Godfather of Soul. James Brown has been dead for nearly five years, but the battle over his $100 million fortune has grown so heated it’s the subject of a PBS TV special aimed at teaching people what not to do to protect their estates. 
Wild Bill Cody (from the LBN Music Insider Report)

re:  BOB LIND:
Another review of the DVD. 'Tis happy, I yam.
No bad ones yet. This delights me.
So I share it with you.
Bob Lind
I thoroughly enjoyed it, too.  In fact, you'll find OUR review of Bob's DVD posted on his website as well!  (kk)  

I've mentioned the new Bob Lind DVD Perspective a couple of times now in the newsletter ... but FINALLY had a chance to watch it this weekend. It's a VERY interesting, appropriately titled piece ... introspective, candid, honest and entertaining, all at the same time ... guaranteed to hold your attention (and make you both smile and cringe) for 93 straight minutes! 
It's also a GREAT chance to hear some of Bob's newer material ... (no, as he points out in the video, he did NOT die in 1969 ... he's been doing ... and is STILL doing ... the same thing ... making music ... and observing and relating life's experiences for the entertainment and enjoyment of us all. Unfortunately, it just hasn't always been out there and accessible for many of us ... but this new release helps get us all up to date!)
In addition to his musical stories (and there are plenty ... my personal favorite is a piece called "Looking For You" ... and you'll find a video clip for this one on Bob's website), Bob also shares some of his own life stories and experiences. (His remembrance of his time spent working as a staff writer for The Weekly World News is priceless!) 
There are moments where his soul is stripped naked for all the world to see ... and we get a much better understanding as to just what makes up the man as well as the "tortured artist" ... and we're all the richer for it.
(By the way, Bob, for ANY paranoia you may have experienced while putting together the band for the concert sequences, you needn't have worried ... you couldn't have assembled a better group of musicians to bring to life your musical visions. Kudos to ring-leader Jamie Hoover on lead guitar, Matt Cook on keyboards, Dave Carpenter on bass and Kevin Jarvis on drums ... they truly do bring your thoughts and dreams to life on stage.) 
All in all, an interesting and enlightening way to spend an hour and a half.
-- Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits /

Hello, gorgeous! Don't go Pond on me! ;-)
Why Barbra Streisand Matters
After pulling a 16-hour shift the other night, I got out to my car (at about 11:30 PM), flipped on WLS-FM and was shocked to hear (in their never-ending quest to play the unexpected) "The Main Event" by Barbra Streisand.  Now I will be the first to admit that I NEVER liked this song ... hated it, actually ... and the  whole idea of Barbra doing disco just seems WRONG to me ... but it sounded SO good to hear this again (after basically being black-listed from radio for the past 32 years.)  Not something I want to hear again and again ... and maybe not even for ANOTHER 32 years ... but it sure is cool to hear somebody go COMPLETELY off the regular play list and surprise us once in a while ... and, as such, it was a pleasant one!  You don't hear Babs on oldies radio much anymore ... but the girl had 21 Top 40 Hits, including five that went all the way to #1.  "The Main Event" was a #3 smash back in 1979 ... so it deserves a spin every now and then. (kk)


Hi Kent:  
The Chicago tour pulled into NYC last night.  It was a 2-hour greatest hits show!  One of the best shows I’ve ever seen them do.  Both shows in Chicago this weekend are sold out and you’re going to have an incredible time.  (Since it’s a hometown show it’s going to be crazy ... have fun!)
Tom Cuddy
Looking forward to it ... with The Happy Together Again Guys back in town Friday night ... and Chicago performing at Ravinia on Saturday ... we had one rockin' good weekend!  (Watch for reviews of both concerts next week in Forgotten Hits!)  kk


It doesn't get any better than this!
Rick Roberts will take the stage this Sunday right before the only date for the Desert Rose Band this year! Woo-Hoo! Rick will kick ass!

"Now he's back and I'm Blue" ... The Desert Rose Band ... they will be in Denver this weekend for the first and LAST TIME THEY WILL PLAY THIS YEAR ... OR EVER!
Please get some cheap seats ... and you can stay at the Bilco Ranch with me the night before the show.
Rick Roberts will be playing also, and I'm sure he'll do a bunch of Firefall Songs that he wrote ... things like "Just Remember I Love You", "You are the Woman", et al, and, of course, "Colorado", which he had a huge hit with the Flying Burrito Bros.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see Chris Hillman and J.D. Maness on pedal steel  take the stage with Rick.
This is a show you DON'T want to miss!
(I'll tell you what ... if you miss this show, you are missing out BIG TIME!!!)
Tix are still avail and,  if you need a place to crash, you can do so at the Bilco Ranch here in Ft Collins.
I know Rick would LOVE to see you as would Chris Hillman, John Jorgenson, Herb Petersen and the rest of DRB.

Wild Bill

WOO-HOO!!!  Chris Hillman just wrote back to me on this and said he's going to be there!  I'm telling you gang, get some tix and meet me at the show ... and get there before 2 pm!


Between earthquakes and hurricanes, I’m just now getting around to writing about the fabulous John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band and Johnny Rivers concert last Sunday in Margate, NJ. 
This was a free concert they’ve had for a few years as a fundraiser for local charities. (I saw Peter Noone there two years ago). I won tickets on the radio and had front row seats! We got there a few hours early just when Johnny was doing his sound check. He looked great. I had a picture in my mind of what he looked like last time I saw him back in the 60s and he hadn’t changed-still handsome! Oddly, when I had youtubed his video of Summer Rain-there he was in a huge afro and big bushy beard. That was not how I remembered him!  (Here's a photo of Johnny I took during his sound check!)

The rain started coming down around 6 pm and the concert was due to start at 6:30. The sun broke through and the rain stopped about 6:40, and you couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night!
First John Cafferty performed. I couldn’t place any songs he’d done, but he was on the soundtrack to “Eddie and the Cruisers”, which was shot in South Jersey, which made him a local hero. He came on sounding Springsteen-ish, but had his own style, and did a few covers of some great songs, the names of  which escape me now. I did get a hug as he was going back onto the stage after jumping off and singing in the audience.
Johnny came out and did a couple songs I was not familiar with to start. I’m guessing they were on his “Greatest Hits and More” CD that was for sale at the concert. He did incredible covers of “The Snake”, "House of the Rising Sun”, "I Put a Spell on You”, and “Barefootin'”. Some of his own hits included “Tracks of My Tears”, “Memphis”, "Maybelline”, “Mountain of Love”, "7th Son”, ”Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”, “Summer Rain”, “Baby, I Need Your Lovin”, and, of course, “Secret Agent Man” (never at the top of my favorites but the crowd was screaming for it at the encore). There were probably more, but I didn’t have anything to write with. I had put Forgotten Hits' email address on a card to give him, but I never got close enough. He was supposed to come out and sign things after, but we waited through the fireworks, and he still hadn’t come out. Maybe because of the late start ... but we left when it looked like he was never coming to the booth. He sang for over two hours. He didn’t do much talking at all. I’m still walking on air!!

Here's one of Johnny in action during the concert

Hey Kent!
We have some cool shows coming up that I wanted to tell your readers about.
I've attached some posters. 
Thanks again, Kent!
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords


Randy Bachman has a brand new book available through his website.  Titled "Vinyl Top Stories", it's kind of an extension of his Canadian radio program ... and Randy's got some GREAT stories to share. 

Speaking of new books, Howard Kaylan of The Turtles assures me that once The Happy Together Again Tour is over for 2011, he is ABSOLUTELY going to settle down and finish HIS new book, written in partnership with (in Howard's own words) "rock scribe extrordinaire" Jeff Tamarkin.  This should be a fascinating look at life in the '60's ... and all that's come since.  Howard's another great story teller (and a VERY funny guy) ... so we've got THIS one to look forward to, too!  (kk)

Well Kent,
I feel a back-to-school mode in your blog this month.  I have been reading and printing the articles on the singers / groups you have been posting and will add material to my curriculum.  I have also added books listed here to my reading agenda and so MY mind will be alert and ready for those back-to-school, hit-the-ground-running requirements we need to engage our students in (my hope) an intriguing way.
Wouldn't it be nice (Beach Boys plug) to teach a class on '60's music ... and then be able to turn your students on to some of this great music that we love so much?  Give them a better appreciation of where this music came from?  What a blast that would be!  (Imagine taking the whole class to see something like The Happy Together Again Tour for this year's field trip!!!  Outstanding!!!)  Wish I could find a gig like that (plus it'd be nice to supplement my income ... and actually get PAID for doing some of this!  lol)  Thanks, Shelley .. maybe we'll run a feature where each of your students has to write an essay about their favorite piece of '60's music ... and then we'll publish the best ones and award a Greatest Hits CD or something to the winner!  (kk)
And here's some great news ... many of our readers have been asking us for years how they can get a DVD copy of "At The Drive-In", a PBS Television Concert Special from a few years ago.  Well, we just got THIS link from ... not only is it available ... but it's also on sale!!!  (kk)
Click here: At the Drive-In: Jan & Dean's Farewell Concert - Pop / Rock Classic Movies on DVD (2003) Starring Ray Peterson; Bo
Hey Kent ...
Thanks for sharing this info!  "At The Drive In" was a great show that we are proud to have been a part of. is also the home of Collectables Records, the label for two of our newer CD's, as well as reissues of the classic recordings.
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords

I had the chance to visit with Chicago Manager Peter Schivarelli and Lee Loughnane backstage after the Chicago concert last night ... and they are both REAL excited about the brand new Christmas CD that Chicago will be releasing in October.  (This will be their THIRD CD of holiday tunes, appropriately titled 
"O Christmas Three"!!!)  More details soon in Forgotten Hits (as it looks like we may be one of the first to "sneak peek" a brand new track!)  In fact, the band rolled out a lit Christmas Tree and performed a rollicking, jumping version of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" as part of the concert ... watch for the full concert review later this week in Forgotten Hits.  (kk)

Good Monday Morning Kent!
Reading your comments about Labor Day reminds me that radio stations have a finite number of songs to choose from.  At least that is what I would find when we requested a specific song for birthdays.  I belong to a fan club that used to do just that for its' members.  Call THEIR local radio station and request a song by a certain artist.  The reply was generally the same save for five or so song requests:  We don't have THAT song, but we will play .......... for you. 
So when I hear about voting for faves I know that it probably means:  Let's see what we have and organize it in a way that makes the most sense to the most people.  One of our local stations plays every disc they have over a multi-day (takes about nine days as I recall) period in alphabetical order.  I have popped in at certain times in the alphabet to hear what was being played and was both pleasantly surprised when I heard something unexpected and totally disappointed when a song was missing that I felt they should own.
Maybe a playing by the world's largest vinyl collector would cover it for most of us.  If we lived long enough to complete it.  But music is just one of those topics that is formed from, and relies on, opinion, to function and thrive.
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
Here in Chicago, one of the most popular radio features is when The Drive (WDRV - 97.1 FM) plays their A-Z collection ... it, too runs for about eight or nine days ... but their catalog is so deep that there are new additions and surprises every time they run this special.  It makes for a GREAT break in the action  ... and we, too, find ourselves guessing "What's coming up next?"  Certainly helps to keep you tuned in. 
It just seems to me that if you're going to call yourself an oldies station ... or a station playing "the greatest hits of all time", your music library ought to run several thousand songs deep.  No, you're not going to play all of them all of the time ... but if you're also going to offer to play requests, then damn it, have the library to select from!!!  (kk)
I think I've said this before to you, but I'll repeat it. When I was Music Director at WJMK, I personally tabulated the Memorial Day 500 votes each year and the list was legitimate. One year, I postponed surgery to get the list together before my enforced "time off." Of course, the list had to be ready by Memorial Day including the printing, but it was always prepared AFTER tabulation.
After I left in 1992, I noticed the MD500 sounded suspiciously like the results of auditorium testing. Those, perhaps, were the years you printed the list before "voting" was even over. To me, that is inexcusable.
It's a shame no one's done a top 500 list in over five years (and a legitimate one for a lot longer). But then, I also miss "battle" weekends and all-request weekends. Radio was clearly more than an automated jukebox in those days.
-- Ron Smith
I wish I could find samples of the lists we printed as I'm not certain what years they were for ... I know they're around here somewhere but I just can't put my fingers on them.  (Regardless, the station continued to "take votes" long after the lists were printed as part of the promotion so clearly THESE votes were never tabulated or had any affect or impact on the final outcome ... I know that because I used to listen to them telling us listeners to be sure to get our votes in now ... while I already had the printed list in my hand!  So you may have tabulated votes up to a point ... but I'd have to believe hundreds and hundreds ... if not THOUSANDS of votes were never tabulated in time to be considered in the final outcome of the list.)
The year that most surprised me (and I have to believe that this was the result of actual votes cast because usually if a Beatles song topped the list, it would have been "Hey Jude", which seems to universally dominate lists like these on other radio stations around the country ... if not the world)) was the year that "I Should Have Known Better" by The Beatles came out on top!!!  That was a B-SIDE!!!  (WJMK did play this song a lot ... but I never expected to see it come in at #1!)  Now THAT was a surprise ending!
We've also heard from numerous other former jocks (all of whom requested to remain anonymous) stating that their radio station countdowns, too, were "rigged", meaning the outcome was predetermined irregardless of votes received.  Yes, votes were taken into consideration ... and a few "surprises" were planned along the way ... but by and large the end result was pretty much a foregone conclusion.  (kk)
Bob Dearborn originally sent this to me. Thought you'd be interested:
-- Ron Smith
Not sure if this reminds me more of that Al Pacino movie "Simone" ... or The Jetsons!!!  Sadly, it's the way radio has been ... and sounded ... for quite a while now.  (Nope ... sure wouldn't want to inject ANY sense of personality into the media!!! 'Cause we all know that THAT's never worked before!!!)  kk
FH Reader Jeff Duntemann sent me essentially the same article ... along with a couple of comments ...
Kent --
Maybe you've seen this already, but given how important DJs were in our youth, it might be worth posting a note about:
There is now a $200 program to operate radio stations, acting as a virtual DJ.
It's evidently a tweaked version of a more generic "virtual assistant" program:
Depressing. Damn, I'll listen to Connie Szerszen or Marcy Braun over a piece of software every time.
-- Jeff Duntemann
   Colorado Springs, Colorado

I'm a fan of talk host Michael Savage but he gets pre-empted here by Pirates baseball.  To get my daily Savage fix when I go to bed I try to listen to him on WRVA in Richmond, VA, which carries his show 9 to Midnight.  Usually the AM static makes the reception almost impossible.  Well, now ... 
I've just discovered a new web site called which gives you access to over 750 radio stations, all formats from across the country, as it's aired.  At night now, since my computer isn't too far from the bedroom, I can search for WRVA (just enter state and format) and there I have it, loud and clear.  Really neat.
Any station you'd like to hear, it's there as it airs.  They do have a very short commercial before the audio kicks in, a small price to pay.  Just thought I'd share in case you might be interested.
Ted Atkins
You are correct, Ted. is a Clear Channel product that makes all of our radio stations (and some exclusive content channels) completely accessible for your phone or device from anywhere in the world you have connectivity.  We think it’s pretty cool, too! We also have several hours a day that, on the music stations, are commercial free when you are listening to Iheartradio. Just head to a Clear Channel station website or to download. Totally free.
Be well, my good Captain!
Keith Abrams
Operations Manager / Clear Channel Cleveland

Hi Kent,
Well, you being the all knowing one in the forgotten hits department you probably have heard these, but just thought I'd make sure.  Truthfully I don't think either of these were hits, but what the heck.  While hunting for something else, I found both the original version of A Groovy Kind of Love and a cover.  I can send you the original if you'd like to hear it. It's the most boring version of all the versions I've heard.  It is fun to hear just because it's the original and never has been heard much.  The one I'm sending you, though,  is by Patti Labelle. I couldn't find a date but I think it came out in 1966 which is, I believe, the same year that The Mindbenders released there version here. The Mindbenders version was released in England in 1965, I think.
It's funny you should feature Johnny Get Angry, as last nite I heard it for the first time on whatever music service Direct TV subscribes to. So that's twice in two days!
Also I need FH readers feedback. I recently bought 180 CDs, about 1/3 sealed and the rest light scuffs, if that. This collection spanned the letters A thru George Harrison and there's at least that many more I can buy from the rest of the alphabet, at about $2.00 each. These are mainly classic rock from the late 60s-early 70s, with some later ones by classic rock artists. The question is, should I make the rest of the buy?
I guess that's up to you ... if there's some valuable (or resellable) stuff in that mix, I say go for it!  And, if you end up posting a "for sale" list, send us a link and we'll pass it along to our readers!  (kk)
Maria Muldaur seems to equal Forgotten Hits.  This record was number 12 in '75, but don't think I've ever heard any radio station play it since then.

David Lewis
I've always liked Maria Muldaur's version of this song and featured it once before (along with the Peggy Lee original) but you're right, you NEVER hear this one on the radio anymore.  Honestly, you rarely hear "Midnight At The Oasis" anymore either ... and that was a HUGE Top Five Hit.  (Not one of my favorites, but certainly deserving of oldies radio airplay!)  Actually, these two make for the perfect pair for our "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot" feature!  (kk)

It was a good choice today for your Friday Forgotten Hit. One of those hits from the foreign language songs.  (Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero  by Rene and Rene)
Of course I have know idea what they are singing about, likewise most if not all of the
foreign language songs that made the charts. My all time favorite has to be SUKIYAKI.
We've done the story behind "Sukiyaki" a couple of times now in Forgotten Hits ... it's one of MY favorites, too.  I always liked "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero" ... but this is one of those where you wonder about how it got so high on the charts.  According to my research, it reached #14 in Billboard and #15 in Cash Box ... yet every time I've ever featured it, most of the email I've received states that they've NEVER heard this song before ... and this is from a list of readers who are pretty darn knowledgeable when it comes to oldies music.  So I wonder who else was playing it ... and who was buying it!  (I had a copy ... on the White Whale label, along with our buddies The Turtles!)  kk

And, speaking of our FH Buddies, Jerry Osborne (aka Mr. Music) ran a recent piece on Dotty Daniels, who's been getting some attention of late in our Forgotten Hits column, on Dave The Rave's "Relics and Rarities" radio program on TopShelf Oldies ... and now in Jerry's column as well.  Here's another quick "thank you" note from Dotty herself!  (kk)
Dear Kent,
I just saw the article when I came online today.  Wow.  This is so, so lovely.  And I just love the way Mr. Music, Jerry Osborne -- took the high road and wrote about the success enjoyed by all the people that were involved on that magical night.  I feel as if I've been given a special gift -- to be able to revisit that moment in music and to feel complete about it now.  I feel "I've Found the Rainbow's End", the line in one of my recent new songs.  
This has just been so special, to meet the people you have introduced me to and to have them so graciously celebrate that most magical time via the interview on the radio show that you arranged with Dave The Rave (I love his personality) your column and its unswerving investigation and finding the answers that I so needed, and this wonderful article from Jerry Osborne.   I feel like the Phoenix.  Reborn.     
At the suggestion of DJ Dave, I made myself a new email:  that I will be using.  And I am working on a simple Web Page that I will also send in, simply Dotty Daniels, so everything can be put there.  
Thank you, Kent Kotal at  I am so very grateful for your warm understanding and for your help.  I am going to read the articles again and will write you again. Of course, I will be writing to Mr. Music and his people.
Warm regards,
PS:  We just had an Earthquake, 5.9 on the Richter scale.
Heard about the big quake ... hope everything is all right!  Thanks for your thanks ... we're happy to do it.  If any of our readers have any stories or memorabilia to share ... or just want to talk to Dotty and let her know how much you loved her music ... you can drop her a line at the new email address published above.  (kk)
Dotty is clearly grateful for what we've done to rejuvenate her biography project.  
Here are a few excerpts from the letter she sent to Jerry Osborne after his column ran:
Dear Jerry,
Don't mean to make this long but want to express my appreciation for everything.
Kent Kotal at FORGOTTENHITS.COM forwarded me the wonderful articles from your Web Page.  I wrote Kent that, in seeing your article, I thought of a line in a song I wrote recently.
The line says, "I Found the Rainbow's End". I am so happy with your artful depiction of my brief but special journey with the outstanding musicians that worked with such dedication on Paul Simon's Production of Dotty Daniels.  Looking back, it is almost hard to believe we were all so
incredibly young.  It is still magical to me -- that after all the years that have passed, there is now a  detailed account of the journey, thanks to Kent, who so graciously introduced me to you and Dave.  Thanks to you and your researchers.  I am sending Dave a copy of this and thanking him, too, for that 3 AM live radio interview on his show, Relics and Rarities, arranged by Kent.  I had the time of my life.   
I am so happy with the way you took the high road and celebrated everyone that was involved that night in 1963.   You wrote about Valerie Simpson, and her eventually marrying Nick Ashford.  Then I read that Nick passed away on Monday from Throat Cancer.  I would like to
send Valerie a personal note, as for nearly two years now, I began to focus on Cancer as an Artist / Advocate, working here with an Oncology Surgeon, a musician, applying music in the OR  during Cancer Surgeries -- even Stage IV and beyond.  And in the Oncology Chemo Units.  So, the music goes on.   And Nick, also from South Carolina, as I am, will always be remembered for the wonderful gifts of music he shared with the world.  I loved working with
Valerie when we recorded PLAY ME A SAD SONG and I WROTE YOU A LETTER.  She was always an inspiration.  And I loved sharing memories about Big Dee, Freddie Scott, Cissy and the Sweet Inspirations -- unmatchable artists.  And I loved telling about the yet unborn Whitney Houston, being in on the recording as a special guest the night of the recordings -- in the oven, a special presence in the womb of her talented Mom, Cissy Houston, to be born three months later in August.  Then what joy to see her soar and become a phenomenal stellar artist.  My favorite by Whitney is her rendition of "I WILL  ALWAYS LOVE YOU" in her movie, THE BODYGUARD."
There are many, many more memories.  They emerge as I read the article and think back to what else was going on back then.  1963 ... the year my record was released, also became a marked year in history with the assassination of young President John F. Kennedy. So, there's all of that, too, to write about.
I told Kent and Dave that I am now working on my memoirs.  Thanks to you all, I am happy to get going, and thank you once more for your understanding,  support and documentation in getting the facts straight.
I created a Dotty Daniels Email, as suggested by Dave when he asked me on his show for contact info.  I will still be using my other email, but will be available for anyone wanting to write me or contact with comments.  And I'll have a simple DOTTY DANIELS Web Page up, too, so everything can be in one place. As soon as I, do, I'll send the address along. 
Again,  I am so pleased with all you've all done.
Thanks from a smiling heart,
Kent ...
WCBS-FM has come up with the Earthquake Top 5.9 songs.  Clever don't you think ?
Frank B.
Hmmm ... the first ones I came up with were "Shakin' All Over" by The Guess Who ... and "And The Walls Come Crumblin' Down" by John Cougar Mellencamp ... neither of which made the list, by the way!!!  And Frannie immediately came up with "I Feel The Earth Move" by Carole King!  (lol)  kk