Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Friday Flash

Seeing today's forgotten hit by Neil Sedaka reminds me that in 1959 Carole King's answer OH NEIL, which you mentioned, was voted the worst record to come out of that year according to a poll taken by OKC's local top 40 radio station.
It may have been 1973 or 1974, I was working as a board operator at WXRT. At the time they devoted one day a week to new releases, as opposed to highlighting one or two artists. On that night one of the releases highlighted was a repackaging of Neil Sedaka's RCA stuff, including Stairway To Heaven. That's what the jock played and I'm sure you can guess what the next song he played was.  As far as a road trip to Cleveland, count me in.
We've been talking about organizing a trip to The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame for YEARS now ... what do you guys think???  Can we FINALLY pull it off next summer?!?!? (kk)

I just got through reading Sunday's Comments and was reminded of Gerry Granahan's 1958 recording of NO CHEMISE PLEASE ... which reminded me of that other form of
women's fashion that became popular about the same time; that being the SACK DRESS. Not sure if it charted nationally, but it did make our local survey by the group known as the Beavers (Capitol).
Larry Neal
I initially learned about Gerry through Jay & The Americans when he was was United Artists' house producer.  Here, you can hear him in action telling Jay Black to "hit it"!
Someone commented on the death of Bobby Fuller and wanted to know if anything is available on the exact cause of his death. About two weeks ago I thought very briefly of certain recording artists who passed away under mysterious circumstances, mostly being homicides. Now, I have not gone online to check on this but the first artist that came to my
mind was Sal Mineo. King Curtis was another. Anyway, keep up the good work. Have a great week. I am sure you are looking forward to another 60 hour week.
I don't know that "looking forward to" is exactly what I'm feeling ... actually, I could use a break ... putting together what I think is going to be an EXCELLENT Ed Sullivan Series, set to kick off on November 1st (but nowhere near ready yet!!!  So I could REALLY use the extra hours at HOME this week to work on that!!!)  Bobby Fuller's death certainly is suspicious ... be sure to read our Forgotten Hits article on this topic!  (kk)

Several of your readers have checked in lately with memories of the Hollies.  I wonder how many remember a single from 1970 called Survival of the Fittest?  I heard it on the radio back than occasionally and have featured it on my show. 
Phil - WRCO

For a great review of the new Brian Wilson "sings Disney" album, be sure to check out David Beard's latest column:

Paul Simon Songwriter Available Now!,9c81520,9cb6e34
October 25th marked the release of Paul Simon's Songwriter, a collection of hits and hidden gems chosen by the composer:
  • 32 classic songs on 2CDs featuring songs spanning Paul Simon's career, from Simon & Garfunkel to present
  • Live solo versions of "The Sound Of Silence" (Unreleased from Webster Hall, 2011) and "The Boxer" (Live at Central Park, 1991)
  • Three songs from his acclaimed new album, "So Beautiful or So What"
And Paul's still got plenty of concert dates coming up, too!
Check out the Paul Simon Calendar here:
Friday, October 28th - Verizon Theatre / Grand Prairie, TX
Saturday, October 29th - Mud Island Amphitheatre / Memphis, TN
Friday, November 4th - UNO Lakefront Arena / New Orleans, LA
Saturday, November 5th - Cedar Park Center / Cedar Park, TX
Sunday, November 6th - Civic Center Music Hall / Oklahoma City, OK
Tuesday, November 8th - The Midland by AMC / Kansas City, MO
Wednesday, November 9th - Qwest Center / Omaha, NE
Friday, November 11th - Riverside Theatre / Milwaukee, WI
Sunday, November 13th - Rosemont Theatre / Rosemont, IL
(Hmmm ... wonder if we can still get in to see this one!!!)
Tuesday, November 15th - Fox Theatre / St. Louis, MO
Wednesday, November 16th - i Wireless Center / Moline, IL
Friday, November 18th - Fox Theatre / Detroit, MI
Saturday, November 19th - Veteran's Memorial Auditorium / Columbus, OH
Sunday, November 20th - Indiana University Auditorium / Bloomington, IN
Tuesday, November 22nd - Bank Of Kentucky Center / Highland Heights, KY
Wednesday, November 23rd - EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall / Akron, OH
Saturday, November 26th - Trump Taj Mahal / Atlantic City, NJ
Sunday, November 27th - New Jersey Performing Arts Center / Newark, NJ
Tuesday, November 29th - Landmark Theatre / Richmond, VA
Thursday, December 1st - Durham Performing Arts Center / Durham, NC
Friday, December 2nd - The Arena At Gwinnett Center / Duluth, GA
Sunday, December 4th - UCF Arena / Orlando, FL

I just did a show Saturday night in Jackson, TN, with John Ford Coley, John Claude Gummo lead singer of The Cascades, Mike Rabon, Dennis Tufano and Billy Joe Royal.
My fellow Archie voice Toni Wine also joined us.
What a night of hits.
The music still rocks.
Ron Dante
Sounds like an awesome line-up, Ron!
And, speaking of Ron Dante, one of our readers just sent us in a copy of THIS vintage sleeve:

Kent --
I was going through my picture sleeves and came across this one of Ron Dante, a Columbia promo sleeve issued only to DJs.
A decade or so ago I gave Taj Mahal a Columbia promo sleeve that came out in 1967 with his first album and he had never seen it, so I gave it to him. If Ron doesn't have a copy of this he can have this one -- just let me know.
Danny Guilfoyle

I shared your generous offer with Ron Dante ... and this is what he said:

Thanks for letting me see this.
I haven't seen this cover in four decades!
This was my single release on Columbia.
Great days at the Columbia studio in NYC.
Thanks for the offer ...
My Mom kept one so I do have it in thefamily so to speak.
All the best and keep doing your terrific site.
Love to read it.
Ron D.

Hey Kent,
Sorry we missed you at the Beatles "Art & Music Celebration" this past weekend on (of all places) "Harrison Street!"  Jill and I had a great time meeting up with FH members, Stu Shea and Mike Hartman at the outside event and it was a nice sunny day for Beatles music (despite a strong breeze).  We had a great time reuniting and chatting for an hour with Mike and his wife Janis and Stu and meeting his co-singer (on this day), Joyce, and Stu's long time significant other, Cecelia.
The event took place in front of "Wonderwall Music" (Harrison's first solo was titled "Wonderwall"), which is a quaint little store featuring sitars and Beatles memorabilia like Stu's book "Fab Four Facts" and other cool items.  Their website is: 
I picked up a Beatles album cover coffee mug.  Stu and Joyce Heiser put on a great one hour "Six Degrees of the Beatles" concert that featured songs sung and written by the Beatles as well as those they influenced and were influenced by.  I particularly liked the fact that they played "Forgotten Hits" type material in many cases.  They gave nice performances of "Baby's in Black," "Wait," "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" (a personal fave of mine) as well as Beatles' written songs like "Come & Get it" and "A World Without Love" while mixing in Beatles influences of the Everlies' "Jenny, Jenny" (mentioning the Rockpile EP version as well!), the Goffin-King BBC Beatles cover of "Please Don't Ever Change" (!!) and even some newer hit I was not familiar with that sounded MUCH like "Besame Mucho"!!!  Stu stuck in some nice original material and Joyce did her rendition of the Carpenters' version of "Ticket to Ride" (NOTE: WLS played a big part in that record's success) as well as gathering together HER "Mugwumps" friends to form a Mamas & Papas sound as they belted out "I Call Your Name" in the hit 45 styling.  Throw in Marshall Crenshaw's "Someday, Someway" and a few others and you got a GREAT blend of Beatles sounds you are unlikely to hear elsewhere!  Of course, the cause of helping others in need was important too!
At FH member Guy Arnston's recommendation, we then dropped over to Val's Halla Record Shop and had a surprising long conversation with store owner Val, who started in 1962 working for Capitol Records' Chicago branch!  She told us lots of great stories like how they dispatched of the Beatles Butcher Cover albums that were sent to the Chicago branch as well as meeting Brian Wilson and listening to teens tell her what was the best music in Chicago when they went to the WLS record hops!  Quite a person and place.  Visit her and get some of these great stories:
Oh yeah, besides a photo of Stu (looking very Beatlish himself) and Joyce performing.

Kent, you will be sad to know you missed one of your personal friends I invited just to meet you too!  You REALLY shoulda been there!!  That's me on the left and Stu on the right and ... ???  
Clark Besch

We had EVERY intention of going ... but missed out again. Thanks for the cool shots!!! (lol)  Maybe next month ... this event runs the third weekend of every month ... meaning November and December, too!  (You really DID have the perfect day for this!)  kk


"Seeing and hearing Ray perform so brilliantly 50 years ago in France, is an inspiration and reminds us just how gifted this man was and what an amazing and special talent he had.  This film is a fantastic way for us to continue to celebrate Ray Charles and his beautiful legacy.”  Jamie Foxx, Academy Award Winner/Best Actor for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the film Ray.
New York, NY—Eagle Rock Entertainment and Reelin’ In The Years Productions are proud to announce the October 25th worldwide release of Ray Charles - Live In France 1961 on DVD. The newly discovered concerts, featuring an hour and 45 minutes of performances, were filmed at the 1961 Antibes Jazz Festival in France and show Ray Charles in his prime period with the original Raeletts and his most legendary band (including David “Fathead” Newman and Hank Crawford.) These concerts, Ray’s first-ever performances in Europe, helped him become one of America’s most beloved international stars. Issued with the full cooperation of the Ray Charles Estate, the concerts have been newly transferred from the original 16mm films and have been digitally restored and remastered.     
Ray Charles - Live In France 1961 features 25 songs including the timeless classics “What’d I Say," “Georgia On My Mind,” "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" and "I Believe To My Soul." Also included are “Doodlin’,” "One Mint Julep" & "Hornful Soul" showcasing Ray’s jazz era, as well as the country-tinged Nat King Cole composition, “With You On My Mind,” a song Ray never recorded. Also included is a 25-minute bonus section that features six additional performances from the festival.  
This historic discovery is the first project to develop from the new partnership between Reelin’ In The Years Productions, the world’s largest library of music footage and France’s Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (Ina), one of Europe’s most important footage archives. Reelin’ In The Years is confident that Ina’s vast, well-documented archive will provide music footage for many more projects of this caliber in the near future.  
Ray Charles - Live In France 1961 will premiered at a special screening presented by the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 20th.  The screening was followed by a  panel discussion moderated by Ray Charles biographer David Ritz that that included director David Peck, Tom Gulotta, one of the film’s producers Ray Charles catalog authority James Austin, Ivan Hoffman of the Ray Charles Foundation and Rob Bowman, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Toronto’s York University, whose incisive liner notes are part of the Ray Charles - Live In France 1961 package. Reelin’ In the Years has produced some of the most highly-regarded anthology DVD series in music history including the four-volume, GRAMMY-nominated American Folk Blues Festival series, the multi-platinum selling Definitive Motown series (Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles), The British Invasion series and the award-winning Jazz Icons series. This fall will also see the release of The Hollies: Look Through Any Window 1963 – 1975 and six new titles in Volume 5 of the Jazz Icons series, bringing the total number of titles in the series to 36.
Eagle Rock Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company operating across audiovisual entertainment programming. Eagle Rock Entertainment works directly alongside talent to produce the highest quality programming output covering film, general entertainment and musical performance. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices based in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hamburg, & Paris. 
Producers David Peck, Tom Gulotta, Phil Galloway and Steve Scoville are available for interviews. For further information, please visit or        Facebook: 
"What a discovery! Seeing Ray at his prime in 1961, live with his brilliant small band, is a gift from the gods. I can’t stop loving it.”  - David Ritz, co-author of Ray’s 1978 autobiography Brother Ray 
July 18, 1961: 
1) The Story
2) Doodlin’
3) One Mint Julep
4) Let The Good Times Roll
5) Georgia On My Mind
6) Sticks And Stones
7) Hallelujah, I Love Her So
8) What’d I Say 
July 22, 1961: 
9) Hornful Soul
10) Let The Good Times Roll
11) Georgia On My Mind
12) My Bonnie

13) With You On My Mind
14) Ruby
15) Tell The Truth
16) I Wonder
17) Sticks And Stones
18) I Believe To My Soul
19) What’d I Say 
Bonus Tracks July 19,1961: 
20) The Story
21) Sticks And Stones
22) Yes Indeed
23) I Believe To My Soul
24) What ’d I Say 
July21, 1961 
25) I Wonder
As expected, the Cumulus take-over of WLS-FM has prompted some changes.  Program Director Michael LaCrosse is out ... at a time when WLS-FM is playing the BEST music they have in YEARS!!!  Creative programming with more and more "Wow!" songs per hour than ever before has made tuning in a fun experience of late ... for the first time in ages you truly never DO know what might be coming up next.  We had been especially critical of WLS-FM after their latest change-over at the beginning, altering the schedule, forcing Scott Shannon to imply that he was doing a "local" show (much of which that I've heard simply means reciting the call letters two or three times during EVERY music break ... which is REALLY annoying, by the way, for the listener ... if, after being told for the 30th time this hour the listener STILL doesn't know what radio station he's listening to, he's got bigger problems in life than deciding what kind of music he likes!!!)  On the other hand, even Shannon's show seems more lively, thanks to the wide variety of music now being featured.  I'm curious to see where it'll all end ... if this was simply a "money move", perhaps there's no need to mess with the formula.  Unfortunately, MOST of the time we find that merger / take-overs tend to take the "well, we have to make SOME sort of a change ... just to make a change" route.  Too bad ... listening to WLS-FM has been fun again lately.

Not so much over at Y103.9 ... which used to be our second favorite oldies station in town. 

(I swear, the signal is getting weaker and weaker by the week!!!)  We're not finding the Tom Kent take-over entertaining at all ... and some of the station's strongest talent has been laid by the wayside.  Meanwhile, our FH Buddy Jeff James is back doing a weekend gig (and he still posts his daily "From The Vault" YouTube feature on the site) ...

(Here's one that's Halloween appropriate!!!)
Meanwhile, I still can't get into K-Hits ... they advertise '60's, '70's and '80's but it seems like all I ever hear is '80's.  (Actually, the station isn't THAT bad ... I just can't handle Eddie and Jo-Bo in the morning ... how these guys were EVER Chicago's top morning team is beyond me.  That being said, I DO love their "Senseless Survey" every morning at 7:30 ... never miss that one!)

Kent ...

More useless information for you.

-- "Mellow Yellow" - Donovan; Guest: Paul McCartney

-- "It Don't Come Easy" - Ringo Starr; Guest: George Harrison

-- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - Beatles; Guest: Eric Clapton on lead Guitar

-- "Back In The High Life" - Steve Winward; Guest: James Taylor, background vocals

-- "Love The One You're With" - Steven Stills; Guests: David Crosby, Rita Coolidge, Graham Nash, John Sebastian.  This song was inspired by Billy Preston. He always use to say "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."
Frank B.

Hmmm ... did they do: 

Guest: Michael McDonald -- background vocals on nearly EVERY Top 40 Single released between 1978 and 1982?!?!?  (kk)

A couple of suggestions for Halloween:
VOODOO VOODOO by LaVerne Baker followed by VOODOO WOMAN by Bobby Goldsboro
DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD by The Fifth Estate followed by OVER THE RAINBOW by The Demensions
... add to that THE MUMMY by Bob McFadden and Dor ... or THE LURCH by Ted Cassidy ...
Go beyond the typical WITCHY WOMAN and SEASON OF THE WITCH fare.
Tal Hartsfeld
Unfortunately, we're going to miss doing a Halloween special again this year in Forgotten Hits ... our brand new Ed Sullivan Series kicks off on Monday ... which, of course, is Halloween Day!!!  (That's OK ... we've got more treats than tricks planned for you this year ... I think you guys are REALLY going to dig this one!)  kk

I bought a Johnny & The Hurricanes CD. I clicked through the songs with some excitement, but when I hit the (1960) song, "Sheba", I must have played it three thousand times (after wishing it was the original version, since it was in stereo)! It wasn't a Top 40 hit; maybe Dick Bartley played it on one of his radio shows (not sure how I remember it (like the back of my palm)!). Anyway, I nominate this as best Instrumental of the century!
I don't know about "best instrumental of the century", but this short clip DOES make me want to hear the whole thing!  "Sheba" was the non-charting B-Side of their "Down Yonder" single from 1960 (#31) ... their fifth straight Top 40 single.  Other Top 40 hits for Johnny and the Hurricanes:  Crossfire (#23, 1959); Red River Rock (their biggest hit ... it reached #5 in 1959); Reveille Rock (#22, 1959) and Beatnik Fly (#10, 1960).  kk

Kent ...
Two Blue Songs ... by two rock and roll legends.  Check out Wild Wayne's Clip of the Week.
Frank B.
Kent ...
10/21/11 = Happy Birthday to Kathy Young.  
She was born the same year I was.
That means that Kathy isn't young anymore.
Check out this video clip of Kathy singing "A Thousand Stars", an impromptu live version, accompanied by The Earth Angels and The Quotations ... an incredible a cappella version!
Frank B.
It sure is!!!  If Kathy Young turned 66 last week, I've got to say that she still looks and sounds GREAT!  (kk) 

On October 21, 2011, Fred Ferrara passed away.  Freddy was an original member of Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge and The Del Satins.  A strong baritone, he sang backup vocals and played the trumpet.  After Johnny Maestro's death last year, The Brooklyn Bridge continued to perform in concerts, keeping the music alive as Johnny had wished.  Freddy had a long-time illness, amyloidosis, was hospitalized on October 20 and died the following day of cardiac arrest.  The original Del Satins reunited earlier this year and performed at several sold-out concerts in the New York City area.  The Brooklyn Bridge appeared at two concerts October 14 & 15, and Freddy was there, having fun singing and greeting fans after the shows.  Now Freddy has joined Johnny Maestro in the Heavenly Choir. 
Lois Dixon
Johnny Maestro Fan Club

Hey Kent,        
I heard Scott Shannon play a GREAT forgotten 45 today. I had not heard this song in quite awhile, “Dear One” – Larry Finnegan, so I started looking through my AM Gold and various other Time-Life compilations, but I do not have a copy of it. Can anybody out there send an MP3? It would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank You
Eddie Burke
Orange, CT
"Dear One" was a big #4 Hit here in Chicago. (It peaked at #11 nationally in the Spring of 1962.)  Jim Peterik of The Ides of March has said that he liked Troy's name so much, he named his band The Shondells in the early '60's.  Then some guy named Tommy James hit the charts with HIS band called The Shondells and Peterik had to change the name of his band to The Ides Of March.  (Sounds like everything worked out just fine in the long run!)  We'll run a copy of "Dear One" today ... Finnegan also had a minor novelty hit in 1964 with "The Other Ringo", a parody of the Lorne Greene chart-topper, telling the tale of a certain drummer from Liverpool.  (kk)

>>>Anyway, happy to feature MY first introduction to Emitt Rhodes today ... let us know what you think!  (kk)   
I'm not sure why or how I had a Emitt Rhodes LP, about the early '70's. It was okay from what I remember of it. But I do remember he was a one man band; talented, for sure. Not sure he toured well! :)  Jersey John
No question about it ... touring was a bitch!!! (lol)
Seriously though I think Emitt's first Dunhill album holds up INCREDIBLY well some 40 years later.  It is definitely one of my Top Ten all-time favorites.  (Anybody know ANYTHING about the film they made a year or two ago about Emitt?  It was a foreign deal ... and I would LOVE to see a copy of this!!!)  kk