Friday, January 28, 2011

The History Of Rock And Roll

This Saturday (the 29th), WDRV-FM Chicago (The Drive) will be replaying their recent "History Of Rock And Roll" radio special. You can read a little more about what they featured here: Click here: 97.1fm Chicago - The Drive - WDRV ... and, if you click the "Listen Live" link at the top of the page, enjoy this program for yourself all day long on Saturday.

Meanwhile, mention of THIS show sparked some memories of the OTHER "History Of Rock And Roll" syndicated series that ran back in the '70's and '80's ...

Hi Kent ...

A few tidbits on the "HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL" from my perspective.
At the time of its inception I was Program Director of CKLW in Detroit (Windsor, Ont.). The late Bill Drake, the RKO Radio consultant, first brought up the idea of the 48-hour rockumentary in the fall of 1968. At the time he was the partner of Gene Chenault and they serviced all of the RKO stations including CK, KFRC, KHJ, WRKO and RKO's station in Memphis. In collaboration with KHJ PD, Ron Jacobs, the script was written by a local, and I believe former, LA Times writer.
All RKO PDs were asked to submit material for the program including interviews with local music mainstays. Being in Detroit, I interviewed several Motown stars for their input including Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Levi Stubbs, etc.
The tapes were then sent to LA for editing and inclusion in the HRR. Each RKO market then received the script and the interview tapes and we each produced our own version locally. The master program which first aired on KHJ was narrated by the late Robert W. Morgan, produced by Ron Jacobs and engineered by the legendary Bill Mouzis. In Detroit we produced our own, utilizing Mark Elliott (afternoon jock then known as Ed Mitchell). Midway through the recording process, however, I was transferred to KFRC, San Francisco, and took approximately 25 hours of tape with me which I had to smuggle under the Detroit River from our Windsor studios. In SF, and I can't recall the reason why, I flew Charlie Van Dyke out from Detroit to finish recording the whole thing (pausing between certain excerpts to record both the KFRC and CKLW call letters which were then spliced out depending on the station. Drake was upset that I'd used two voices for the broadcast. Once completed, the CK tapes were sent back East and the week following the KHJ premier the HRR was aired on the other RKO stations in early February of 1969.
The HRR was aired continuously for 48 hours on the first go-around. It's still hard to believe that so much work went into the show that was only heard between midnight and 6 am. Later broadcasts were aired in anywhere from 1 to 6 hour segments. Extensive promotion for the HRR took place in each market and the ratings were off the chart. If I remember correctly KHJ had nearly a 50 share in LA and KFRC was close behind. Just unbelievable!!! When Drake - Chenault later syndicated the concept around the world, the narrative was voiced by KHJ's "Humble" Harvey Miller. A still-later edition, upped to 50 hours, was voiced by Bill Drake himself.
One of your readers commented about Miller and his later legal problems. Harvey was indeed convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his wife. This occurred while I was later the PD at KHJ and it was a real nightmare.
All in all THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL was heard by millions around the world including Armed Forces Radio. When years later we aired the show on WTAE here in Pittsburgh where I was VP & GM I remember paying something like $7,500 for the syndication rights. Another huge success.
You might want to query John Rook, the then PD at WLS, about what he went thru to nab the broadcast. A fascinating story if he cares to share it.
Just thought I'd try to clear up any misconceptions regarding one of the great radio broadcasts of all-time, THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL. It was right up there with "War of the Worlds" only we didn't terrify, we enthralled.
I still have my original script for the program somewhere around here and all the RKO PDs were presented with a huge color litho commemorating our efforts and painted by Tom Jung. I have copy #69 out of 100 produced and it hangs proudly in my rock museum here at home (gold records, photos and a guitar mounted on the ceiling).
Thanks for letting me share and continued good wishes.

Ted Atkins
Pittsburgh, PA

(click photos to enlarge)
Gary Theroux, one of the original co-writers of "The History Of Rock And Roll" has been a frequent Forgotten Hits contributor for several years now. During that time, we've discussed this landmark series a number of times. Here (from The FH Archives) are some of Gary's memories (and a peek at the inside track as to how this amazing series was all put together). (kk)
The very first “rockumentary” ever made was the original “History Of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which was produced in Los Angeles at KHJ in 1969. It featured the voice of DJ Humble Harv and received wide distribution over the next few years. In 1976 I was hired by Bill Drake to revise and update the show – an assignment I entered into with great enthusiasm, and I was familiar with the HRR through WLS' rebroadcast of it in 1970. I remember even running down to Radio Shack and buying a whole case of 7” reels of tape in order to aircheck the entire show. Unfortunately, I fell asleep after recording for 36 hours!
Although I’d been interested in rock and pop history since I’d begun on radio at age 11, the HRR turned my flame into an inferno. I began to extensively research rock history and even put together a 16 week radio series called “The Evolution of Rock” at my college radio station (WGLT).
The first thing I discovered in putting together the update was that the original HRR script suffered from some serious flaws. There were loads of factual errors, which was not surprising. considering the state of rock history at that time. Few historians took rock seriously in the mid-to-late ‘60s and most of the press coverage was on the level of fiction-filled throwaway teen fan magazines (“16,” “Flip,” etc.) Rolling Stone itself had only begun in 1967 and was largely focused on hyping the local San Francisco music scene.
The 1969 HRR suffered from a somewhat chaotic layout and a tendency to make opinionated predictions that turned out to be a bit off the mark. It viewed, for example, The Four Seasons’ then current “Genuine Imitation Life Gazette” LP as a pacesetting achievement, rather than what it really turned out to be – a ill-conceived dud.
I wound up researching, writing and co-producing an entirely different “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” retaining but one sequence from the original (the Phil Spector listening test). The entire show was restructured in a modular format, with each hour or half hour built around a single theme. In that way, stations could either run the show from beginning to end or strip it across a week or more (running any number of self-contained hours they wanted).
While some hours spotlit major figures in rock history, most dealt with genres (folk rock, Motown, etc.) or eras. The sequencing was done chronologically and the contents focused on the story from the viewpoint of a fair and balanced reporter – not a critic, who would bend history in order to play up personal favorites and play down the rest. My goal was to have the original artists, writers and producers themselves tell the story in their own words – with only minimal narration (by Bill Drake) to hold the show together and bridge gaps. Fortunately I have interviewed several thousand hitmakers over the years, so that audio was available. The final 52-hour program was released in 1978, ran on some 800 radio stations around the world and won Billboard’s “Top Special Program of the Year” award. To this day, I still get mail about the “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and various spinoffs.
One is a 2 ½-minute daily feature short-form version. Several hundred evergreen episodes have been produced over the years. Those self-contained donut-formatted features each spotlight three sequential hits by a major hitmaker and interweave music clips, fun facts and revealing artist interviews. Scott Shannon and I have talked about adding the features to his True Oldies Channel mix. We’ll see if that happens. In the meantime, you can read the whole story of the 52-hour HRR on the website.
Gary Theroux

I wondered how one might go about getting a copy of this legendary program ... strictly as a collector and not with the intent to broadcast or resell. I also wondered if, with proper updating, The History Of Rock And Roll couldn't be even more relevant today. Let's face it, many of the artists interviewed for the original series are no longer with us ... their comments, memories and reflections are "frozen in time" so to speak and it'd be impossible to recreate them today. Here are a few more details from Gary (kk):
I have one copy of the 1978 HRR on a set of 52 LPs. The show was primarily distributed to radio stations on vinyl in those pre-CD days, although a few outlets got a dub on quarter-inch audio tape (mainly stations that ran automated programming, on 10” reels. Such tape reels were the primary way Drake - Chenault’s assorted syndicated radio formats were distributed to our 400 or so automated clients.
In those days, automated radio stations had a wall containing six to eight 10” tape decks with a central computer brain and a tape cassette carousel containing commercials, jingles, etc. A song on Deck 1 would run to its end, where a tone (unheard by the listening audience) would trigger Deck 2 to start, etc. The decks would play until a preset time when a commercial cluster would play off the carousel. The last commercial in the cluster would then trigger the next tape deck to begin playing. The system could be locally overridden at any time by a board operator, who could come on live to read the news, etc. His or her main function, though, was to sit there and watch the reels turn. When a reel came to it’s end, he or she would rewind it and replace that tape with another. If you fell asleep and all the tape decks ran out of tape, there’d just be silence on the air until the GM phoned you on the hotline to tell you that you had better wake up and reload the decks. You’d do so, restart the automation and then wait there for the GM to arrive, curse at you and hand you your pink slip.
No copies of the HRR were ever sold – legally. Instead, the show was leased to stations for a certain number of runs or unlimited runs within a certain time frame. After that, the copies were to be returned to Drake - Chenault and most all of them were. The reason the copies could not be sold is that they were licensed for broadcast use only. We did not clear the music for SALE and couldn't. That was because hundreds of tracks were involved, all master recordings (and copyrighted compositions) owned by a cornucopia of labels and music publishers. It would have cost a fortune to clear all that stuff for sale, even if we could, which we could not – because in some cases such licenses were unavailable at any price. You couldn’t get such rights for Beatles tracks, for instance, or Elvis, or a whole host of other acts that had never appeared on compilation albums before. So were dubs of the HRR ever sold anyway?
The answer is yes, but they were all bootlegs. I have been offered copies of the show many times by sellers who had no idea I researched, wrote and co-produced the program. As you might expect, the most heavily bootlegged hour was the last one, #52, with the HRR Timesweep – the longest montage of music ever produced up to that time. It included clips of every #1 hit in order from Dean Martin’s “Memories Are Made Of This” in 1955 to the #1 record the week the show was completed – Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life.” (I think that statement completely debunks Darwin's Theory of Evolution, at least musically.)
The Timesweep came about, by the way, quite by accident. I had planned to spend a half-hour profiling assorted key hits of each year that did not turn up elsewhere and supplementing that with an A and B montage. The B montage would be brief excerpts of other great hits of the year we did not have time to play in full. The A montage would be every #1 hit of that year in order.
The girlfriend of one of my engineers kept complaining to him, “Where ARE you every night? What is it about this History of Rock ‘n’ Roll project that keeps you working each evening?” He explained it was those darn montages that Theroux asked for, and to demonstrate, he ran a dub of the master reel of A montages and took it over to her house to play for her. He started the tape and then went out to pick up a pizza. When he returned, she was sitting, cross-legged in front of her speakers, in tears. “Hey,” he said, “It can’t be that bad.” “No,” she sobbed. “It’s wonderful. But I just heard my entire life pass before my ears.”
When I heard that, I knew how to end The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll. We edited together all the #1 hits montages in sequence and that became the famous closing Timesweep.
I should mention that three versions of the HRR were produced. The original 1969 edition was cut at KHJ in Los Angeles and then syndicated out. It seems hard to believe now, but back then very little serious research had been done on rock music or its history. Rolling Stone was in its infancy and basically covered only current music, just like Teen Beat, Fab or the other “groovy” teen magazines of the era. It was very difficult for the original crew to collect documented facts about rock’s history and had to make the best of what limited research materials were on hand. That’s why the 1969 HRR is so full of errors and misjudgments. Nevertheless, it was groundbreaking for its time – and when WLS in Chicago aired it in 1970, I ran down to Radio Shack and bought a case of tape in order to aircheck the entire 48 hours. Hearing it changed the course of my life. Little did I know that six years later I would be asked to remake the History, which I did, as it turns out, from scratch. Almost nothing from the 1969 show wound up in the 1978 version, except a handful of vintage interviews and the Phil Spector listening test sequence. When I began work on the show in 1976, all I inherited was a shoebox with a few interview tapes in it and the original script. It was only in going over it that I discovered how chaotically organized and full of errors the ’69 show was. I then decided to restructure the HRR into sequential themed modules and both tap my own archives of artist interviews and conduct a host of new ones. I wanted the story of rock to be told, as much as possible, by the writers, producers, musicians and singers who had made the magic happen. Fortunately for me, I also had access to my own immense archive of research data – something no one had assembled and had available in 1969.
The 1978 52-hour HRR aired on more than 800 stations around the world and won Billboard’s “Top Special Program of the Year” award. In the early ‘80s, after I had left Drake - Chenault, new people built what they called the “Silver Anniversary” edition (without specifying what it was the silver anniversary of!). About 75% of that version was a cut-down of my ’78 show, in which, among other things, they reduced the ‘50s to ONE HOUR. Other parts were slashed and burned as well in order to create room for full hours celebrating then currently hot artists – IF THEY ROCKED OR NOT. As an example, they spent an hour on Dionne Warwick, one of the greatest POP singers of all time but never a rocker (as she would tell you herself). And so it went. I had designed the show in modules to make it easier to update, but had never imagined that this kind of hack job would be done. Hearing “The Silver Anniversary Edition” on the air, I winced at every edit – knowing all to well what had been chopped out. Apparently, my disgust with that abomination was shared by the listening public, because “The Silver Anniversary Edition” bombed. The current owners of the longform HRR, Jones Radio, presently syndicate the award-winning ‘78 version – although, of course, it is now woefully out of fate and needs updating. Jones, however, apparently has no plans to do so.
One big problem in making and marketing an HRR today is that it would have to span some 60 years – from the ‘40s (Wynonie Harris’ “Good Rockin’ Tonight”) to today’s hits. How many stations today, even oldies stations, would agree to run something that covers that wide a time span? Especially in an era in which many OLDIES stations don’t even play anything from before 1975? I’d love to produce a new version and have all the materials to do it – and it wouldn’t be all that expensive, either – but it would be a hard sell to commercial radio. What would make more sense would be for XM or Sirius to let me develop a “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” channel – complete with themed hours, the stories behind the songs, intimate artist interviews, etc. I’ve talked with Scott Shannon about this approach to some extent, as he and I are kindred spirits. His True Oldies format (syndicated on terrestrial radio stations) is terrific in that it plays far more music than your standard, say, Cox Radio oldies format (which beats to death the same oddly chosen 200 tracks). Scott would be good to work with on such a project – or to bolster his True Oldies Channel. And along those lines, his format lends itself perfectly to a daily 2 1/2 minute syndicated version of the HRR, in which fun facts and artist interviews would illuminate the stories behind three sequential hits by a major artist. Such a daily feature version of the HRR already exists; in fact, I have produced more than 200 episodes with another 300 written and ready to be assembled. That approach would especially work on oldies stations that perhaps do not play music of certain stars or decades. As each 2 ½ minute episode is evergreen and self-contained, a station would only run those episodes that fit their programming perimeters. Anyone interested in more information? E-mail me at
So the answers to your questions are yes, you can get a bootleg copy of the 1978 HRR if you search long enough. No, I doubt that an update feature-length HRR will ever be produced, although I have the materials and would love to do write and produce it. Yes, a daily 2 ½ minute version of the HRR IS available for broadcast. And finally, yes, you can actually LEGALLY (apparently) buy a copy of HIGHLIGHTS from the 1969 HRR from Bill Mouzis, who engineered the KHJ version and also helped me with the 1978 remake. Below is a press release he sent me just the other day:
The original 93 KHJ History of Rock and Roll, the very first-ever radio "Rockumentary", was conceived by Bill Drake, former radio consultant to RKO General Inc. This 48 hour special is presently archived in The Library Of Congress in Washington D.C., The Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts in New York, The Julliard School Of Music in New York and the University of California in Los Angeles, California.
Against this backdrop I am pleased to announce that the highlights of this spectacular achievement can now be yours. I have isolated, compiled and processed close to two and one half hours of these highlighted segments as they were actually heard on Boss Radio 93 KHJ in February, 1969. This monumental Special was produced by Ron Jacobs, written by Pete Johnson, narrated by Robert W. Morgan with production engineering by Bill Mouzis. I have also completed putting together two highlight reels, actually CDs, which will form the nucleus for this limited special edition 2 CD Set. It contains twenty seven (27) unaltered highlights of the original show. Having been digitally re-mastered they include classically produced music montages, outstanding commentary by the inimitable Robert W. Morgan, comments by the stars, their songs and their history - a taste of honey for sure.
In a very personal but public way I have undertaken this endeavor to honor Mr. Morgan's memory and to dedicate this effort to that memory. He not only was my friend but my soulmate in our longstanding working relationship at KHJ. Working under the guidance of the very talented Ron Jacobs, in doing all of the production for 93 KHJ and the entire RKO General chain of stations for five years, there was never a "strassman" of disagreement among us in producing some of the greatest 93 KHJ Boss Radio on-air promos of all-time.
It is now my distinct honor and pleasure to announce that for the very first time this original material will be available to the general public. For the nominal price of $39.95, plus tax and shipping, a 2 CD Set can be purchased containing close to two and one half hours of air-checked archive material with appropriate notes included. The meticulous art work involved in completing the Set is in itself well worth the price and conjures up the times we lived in - a classic memento for a very special time in the annals of radio.
Profits derived from the sale of this highlight package will go to charitable causes, including The Robert W. Morgan Cancer Awareness Fund and for Ron Jacobs and The Association for the Preservation of Hawaiiana Online.
The scheduled date for release is May 22, 2007, the ninth anniversary of Mr. Morgan's untimely passing.
Bill Mouzis can be reached at:
Gary Theroux
Updating "The History Of Rock And Roll" would be a HUGE undertaking ... but well worth the effort in my opinion ... think about it ... if the dawn of The Rock Era was 1955, at the time the series first aired in 1969 Rock And Roll Music was only 14 years old! (Even if you budget in another five years of early "race music" / "rock roots" as the "Pre-Rock" Era that led up to what we now call Rock And Roll, you're still talking about a history of less than 20 years.)
By the time the 1978 re-boot aired, rock had aged another nine years, bringing the scope of this project to just under 30 years. That means there's another 33 years of rock music and trends that has happened SINCE this series last commercially aired.
Think about that for a second ... in 1978, Disco Music was just a year or two away from taking its last lap around the music court. As Gary told us, Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" was #1 for God's sake!!! And for TEN WEEKS no less!!! Think about the music evolution that has happened since!
Bruce Springsteen ... Michael Jackson (at the time the 1969 series aired, The Jackson Five hadn't even hit the charts yet! By the time the 1978 edition aired, most music fans would have categorized the brothers in the "Remember how great The Jackson Five used to be" category ... who could have EVER predicted that young Michael would go on to re-invent himself and become the biggest star on the planet!!!) ... the punk and new wave scene of the '80's ... grunge ... the death of John Lennon ... the return of The Monkees and the whole Milli Vanelli fiasco ... Madonna ... M-TV ... HUGE rock charity benefits like USA For Africa and Live Aid ... rap and hip-hop ... U2 ... Prince ... big country cross-over acts like Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and Alabama ... and a whole new wave of teeny-bopper stars like Britney Spears, N*Sync and Justin Bieber ... Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey ... the "Glee" and "American Idol" phenomena ... Eminem ... and SO much more.
When I say that we have all lived through this music, that doesn't mean we've liked it all ... we ALL have our individual tastes ... but, like it or not, we've all still experienced it, for better or for worse ... and it's part of who we are ... making a comprehensive History Of Rock And Roll update certainly in order. (And most likely will be again 20 years from now when many of us are dead and gone.) This crazy new teenage fad that was NEVER supposed to last back in 1955 - 1956 just keeps on growing and evolving ... and it will continue to do so. But will radio take the time to develop and air such a special?
Not the way it's set up now, it won't ... all of these so-called fads covered in the spectrum of a program this large have since been segregated on the radio dial ... today, a radio station that will play this, WON'T play that ... despite the fact that ALL of this music co-existed at the time.
This is why we keep pushing for the "Music Of The Ages" format ... what a PERFECT way to launch a radio format like that ... that encompasses ALL phases of music, exactly as we were exposed to it. Even an outlet like XM / Sirius (probably the most likely and ideal place to take on a challenge of this proportion) would most likely end up breaking this up into their various "Decades" channels ... after the '50's segment aired, you'd have to switch over to The '60's Channel to pick up the next segment ... and so on throughout the '70's, '80's, '90's and beyond ... not an incomprehensable request, I suppose ... I know that I would do it ... but it defeats the whole concept of The Evolution Of Rock ... speaking of which ... THAT was a wildly successful syndicated series, too, back in the day.
Produced first for CHUM Radio out of Canada, there was a near head-to-head battle between The Evolution of Rock and The History Of Rock And Roll ... and clearly NO love lost between the two. Read on! (kk)

Here's a letter we received from FH Reader Warren Cosfield, who covered the CHUM Evolution of Rock when it aired again a few years ago:

Hi Kent:
Thanks for asking.
Here's an article I wrote a few years ago on 440 Satisfaction 1976.
CHUM has produced The Story Of The Beatles (12 hours - 1970), The Top 100 Of The Year (1971 - 1974) ... you may have heard it on the RKO stations ... The Elvis Presley Story (12 hours - 1975). It’s time to get ambitious. We decide to produce The Evolution of Rock.We estimate it’ll be about 60 hours. We were really dumb.
CHUM Program Director, J. Robert Wood thought that the reason for producing these kind of programs was to increase ratings. He was right, short term, but long term …… in syndication, charging stations cash for the rights to air the shows was not the way to go. Norm Pattiz later figured it out. Give it away and take the airtime the stations will give you. Sell it to people who had money that wanted to buy time to reach 18-34s efficiently. Advertisers! Norm figured out the "business". We figured out the "art".
The Evolution Of Rock is still "out there" somewhere. KODJ ran it in L.A. in the early 90’s to debut their Oldies format. I used to air portions of it on CKLW holiday weekends. Check it out. The Production holds up ok, but the writing is outstanding. In fact, it’s amazing. It’s the best example of "writing for the ear" I’ve ever heard. The writer was Bill McDonald, a Canadian from Winnipeg. Eat your heart out, Bill Drake.
The Evolution Of Rock became a 64 hour Radio Documentary. It debuted on CHUM, WTAE, WIBG and WIBC almost simultaneously. I still get calls about it today. I’ll never produce anything better. So I’ve stopped producing. The other producers on the show were Bob McMillan and Zeke Zdebiak.
Chuck Riley didn’t want to voice the show. Money convinced him. At the time he was King Of The Hill, doing afternoon drive in Indianapolis at WIBC for Jim Hilliard and George Johns. He’d met them both in Winnipeg in 1964. Along with Neil Young and Burton Cummings ….. but that’s another story.
For six months, every other weekend in 1976, I would fly to Indianapolis to record Chuck Riley. The engineer was often Howard Schrott, who later became comptroller for Emmis. Working with Riley was a pain. He said didn’t believe in the project. He just wanted his money.
After we had finished the show, and it had won Billboard Magazine’s International Documentary Of The Year Award, Chuck Riley called me in Toronto. He had heard the program on WLS Chicago. He didn’t think that the studio announcer was doing a very good job of introducing the commercials. Chuck asked me if I knew the Program Director of WLS. I did. It was John Gehron. Chuck said ….. "for a peanut butter sandwich and a bus ticket, I’ll go to Chicago and do the IDs the way they should be done. I never called Gehron. Riley was full of shit. A few months later Chuck Riley called from Los Angeles. He was on a holiday. By then, the writer of The Evolution Of The Evolution of Rock, Bill McDonald, had gone to work for Chuck Blore and Don Richmond in L.A. Riley wondered if I would ask Bill if he would ask Blore to listen to his demo tape. Blore listened and tore it apart ….. but a few weeks later BillMcDonald called me in Toronto looking for Riley’s telephone number. ABC-TV were looking for a backup for Ernie Anderson. Chuck Blore recommended Chuck Riley. Riley got the job. Chuck Riley became the voice of CBS-TV, Emmis Radio and a lot of Movie Trailers. It all started with The Evolution Of Rock. Chuck died 5/10/07
Warren Cosford

The CHUM - produced program "The Evolution of Rock" was produced in 1976 - 77 and was aired by dozens of stations in the USA. It was supposedly aired in each of the Top 100 markets in the USA, plus all across Canada, OZ, and NZ. I didn't know until today that CHUM is re-airing the show right now, over 30 years later. An hour segment each day.
Here's some background on the show, straight from the CHUM website.
There's more good info worth reading here:
CHUM had a history of producing Rock Documentaries ("Rockumentaries").
CHUM produced the 28-hour History of Rock, a 10-hour Story of Elvis, a 12-hour Story of the Beatles, and the year-end top 100 featuring interviews with the artists and newsmakers of the year. Philly listeners may remember that WIBG played the entire 64-hour program immediately prior to switching to a talk format in '77. The narrator, radio great Chuck Riley, passed away earlier this year. Whether or not one considers Paul Revere and The Raiders a lightweight pop act, they did trade heavily on the teenybopper appeal of Mark Lindsay. The group also differentiated themselves with their costumes and their on-stage antics, which probably inspired other rock acts that became known for their on-stage deportment. Their music stands the test of time, and is largely ignored today.
David Lewis
"The History Of Rock And Roll"'s Gary Theroux is clearly not a fan of "The Evolution Of Rock" series ... even all these years later, these feelings continue to run pretty deep ...

Regarding XM ... and the fact that I could do a lot more for XM than remake and update “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” ... the fact is that XM is one of the few places left where such a program would be possible. The 1978 HRR covered about 30 years of music history (1948 - 78), while an updated version would be required to cover 60 (1948 - 2008)! No terrestrial radio station, except a noncommercial educational outlet, spans that wide a time period – while an XM or Sirius could.
As for 'The Evolution Of Rock', you should know that we spent several years developing and producing the 52-hour “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” During that period, we got word that CHUM – very much aware of what we were doing – had decided to hastily throw together their own radio special to compete with us. I didn’t know much about their writer-producer, Rolling Stone contributor Ritchie Yorke, but was concerned when it was made clear that CHUM, in their determination to steal our thunder, was speeding through production in order to beat us to the starting gate. This was distressing, but as I explained to our crew, I was not interested in compromising quality to take part in any kind of race. We were going to put in as much time as we felt was needed to turn out the very best “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” possible.
Indeed, CHUM did launch “The Evolution of Rock” just before our “History” was completed. Knowing I was worried, a friend in Canada sent me a 90-minute aircheck of “The Evolution” so I could hear just what we’d be up against. I remember vividly putting it on the tape deck, sitting back and reading the note my friend had attached to the reel. It said, “This sucks.” It didn’t take long for me to realize how accurate that assessment was.
“The Evolution of Rock” was a textbook example of how NOT to put a radio special together. It was chaotically programmed, loaded with errors and heavily opinionated. Rather than telling it the way it was, the contents skewed history to both overstate the importance of the writer’s personal favorites while disparaging everything else. His opinions formed the backbone of the show, rather than genuine in-depth research and objective understanding of the material. This approach was the polar opposite of the one I took in building “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Rather than coming on like a self-important critic, I tackled my subject as an unbiased investigative reporter. That’s why, as much as possible, I let the original artists, writers and producers tell their own stories and only used narration as a bridging device. If a value judgment was called for, I turned to the only critics who counted – the public – who voted for the songs, stars and musical scenes that spoke for them by buying copies, attending concerts or requesting their play on the radio.
“The Evolution of Rock” proved to be no threat to “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” It didn’t take long for industry word of mouth to sink it long before “The History” was released a short time later. Although I still have that Canadian aircheck, I myself had completely forgotten about “The Evolution of Rock” until it dawned on me where that clip you ran on “Indian Reservation” came from. (By the way, as that hit was recorded for release as a Mark Lindsay single, I would have asked Mark about it – not Paul Revere, whom, as I recall, was not even at the session.) As for “The History of Rock n’ Roll,” it went on to win Billboard’s “Top Special Program of the Year” award and air on more than 800 stations around the world.
The 52-hour, 1978 “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” last I heard, is currently owned by Jones Radio. I own the 2 ½ minute daily feature version, which interweaves fun facts and revealing interview clips with three successive hits by a given artist.
Gary Theroux

Whew! The controversy will never end ... but with BOTH of these programs now long unavailable, I believe that we are poised for something new.

What The Drive put together on their own certainly serves the purpose of satisfying their listening audience. While it may be the "condensed" version of such a history (designed to air in a single day and capture the highlights and major market trends), it certainly helps to whet the appetite for something more comprehensive. I'll be listening again this Saturday simply because it's something different ... and the whole idea intrigues me. If either The Evolution Of Rock or The History Of Rock And Roll aired again ... even in its original format ... I'd listen again just to hear what was covered and considered important at the time which, in hindsight, is really the early stages of rock and roll development.
Honestly, the idea of running a 52 hour continuous series was never a practical one ... NOBODY could possibly listen to the whole thing all the way through. (Even Gary Theroux fell asleep trying to tape the WLS airing after 36 hours ... and there is no bigger fan on the planet ... with a greater vested interest ... than Gary!!!)
If the 30 year history took 52 hours, updating this would certainly take twice that ... like I said, a HUGE undertaking. And, quite honestly, some reworking of the original tapes would also have to be done, if only to capitalize on the benefit of 33 years of hindsight.
I say expand it even further ... make it 150 hours long ... and then air it in three hour segments on the weekend ... maybe once on Saturday with a repeat on Sunday ... so that the millions of music fans out there who would flock to listen to a program like this can listen to it and absorb it in a practical fashion. (Ahh ... there he goes again ... with that whole "appointment radio" concept!!!)
Certainly the impact of The British Invasion or Motown ... or spotlight artists like Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and Michael Jackson ... cannot truly be captured in a single hour ... expand the whole thing to better encompass the scope of all that's gone down musically these past 60+ years.
I'd love to be in on the outline for this ... although I'll be the first to admit that I might have a tough time "objectively" writing a good deal of it. (There are probably a couple of chapters I could probably handle, however!!!) Finding the right "voice" to present it is a key element, too (although I kinda like the idea of different jocks covering different chapters and experts, especially if they can lend a certain credibility to that particular area of rock history.)

Yes, the idea of a brand new series is a VERY exciting concept. Hopefully, this will not be the end of this discussion. If the right people got together and pooled their resources of vintage interviews and airchecks, an absolutely AMAZING Tribute To Rock could be created. It'll still never please everybody ... but man, what a fun listen that would be!!! (kk)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I, too, watched American Idol for the first time in about three years and I enjoyed watching Steven, Jennifer and Randy. Perhaps Simon should have left a few years ago.
It was also interesting that the best performances were by the 15 year olds.
You know for all the abuse Steven Tyler has put himself thru over the years , he looks pretty damn good for a guy about to celebrate his 63rd birthday in a couple months. Howza about Aerosmith's cover of Remember, Walking In the Sand?

I'm really enjoying this season early on ... there's a new sense of energy in the air ... maybe the others just simply burned themselves out after eight or nine years ... even Randy seems to be having fun again.
Aerosmith has done some interesting covers over the years ... none more surprising than their remake of The Shangri-Las' hit "Remember (Walking In The Sand)". While I remember it receiving quite a bit of airplay at the time here in Chicago, the record only made it to #67 nationally and never officially charted here. (Who knows, maybe this bold move by the band helped to inspire Pearl Jam to take on the J. Frank Wilson classic "Last Kiss" a few years later!!! Then again who ever would have guessed that hard-rockin' Grand Funk Railroad would record "The Loco-Motion" ... and take it all the way to #1 no less!) Heck yeah, I'll give it a spin ... always one of my favorites by them!

And honestly, I think I'm hearing more Aerosmith on the radio now than ever!!! (This is especially true of their barely-a-hit "Back In The Saddle", another one I've always liked that seems to be showing up all over TV and movie soundtracks lately.) I'm thinking that J-Lo's probably extended HER career by at least another decade, too ... and she's "humanized" herself to an audience that otherwise had pretty much already written her off as another self-important diva. Yeah, I'm diggin' it so far this season!!! (kk)

... and, speaking of remakes ...

Someone needs to remake Little Miss Sad. I'm surprised some punk band didn't do it 30 years ago. Same goes for Overnight Sensation, by the Raspberries. Mel & Tim's Backfield In Motion brought to mind their other hit, Starting All Over Again.
"Starting All Over Again" is yet ANOTHER bona-fide Top 20 Hit that gets virtually NO airplay these days. Good stuff! (kk)

About the Buddy Holly plane crash: there's a new book out by a Bourbonnais author. He's a pilot and actually went over the NTSB report with one of their people to determine what probably happened. That's only a small part of the book, which is actually a personal journey by the author in discovering Buddy and John Mueller: I'm hoping to write a full review of "Hey Buddy" as time permits.
- Ron Smith
Sounds interesting ... and a rather different take on these events. Will have to watch for this one. And please send us a copy of your review once it's completed! (kk)


Enjoyed Sunday's comments as usual.
You have probably done this in the past before,but do you remember where you were and what you were doing on February 3, 1959, when you heard that the music had died? Maybe some of your readers would like to comment on here they were and what they were doing.
I was in my 8th grade speech class here in OKC during the 6th and final hour. The news came out over the intercom from someone in the office.
Oh, by the way, many times I was told when I was in Jr. High and High School that I looked like Buddy Holly even with the glasses that I wore.
One final note. Everyone knows the name of the three singers which which perished in that plane crash, but who can remember the name of the pilot of the plane? An idea for you on that day as for a forgotten 45 in the upper right hand corner. How about featuring one of the tribute records that came out shortly. Tommy Dee's THREE STARS on Crest Records, Ruby Wright on King Records, and Herschel Almond's THE GREAT TRAGEDY on Ace Records, just to name a few.

Larry Neal
We did a pretty in-depth feature a couple of years ago on the 50th anniversary of the plane crash. I personally was only five years old at the time ... so I don't remember a THING!!! (Not the case just a few years later when President Kennedy was assassinated, however ... by then I was old enough to absorb what was going on and think about what it all really meant!)
We can try to do a little something regarding Buddy Holly / Big Bopper / Ritchie Valens memories that day, I suppose ... if some of you readers out there would like to share a memory or two, I'd be happy to run them ... who knows, maybe I can even find some of the comments from a couple of years ago in the archives to run again.
I know it's not much notice, but let's see what we can pull together. And "Three Stars" would be a good tune to feature. Honestly, with our brand new "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature, I've deliberately stayed away from any '50's and early '60's tunes because I know the deejays simply won't play them ... if I do too many, it just might defuse any potential this series might have for a radio home ... and that's a REAL shame. But slipping one in here and there every once in a while ... especially on such a timely topic as this ... shouldn't be a problem. (If you notice, virtually EVERYTHING featured so far has been from between 1965 - 1980, which is about the ONLY music oldies radio wants to play anymore. Even at that, they're STILL leaving out all kinds of legitimate hit songs!!!) Thanks for your suggestion! (kk)

Three quick comments in regards to your reply to me.
First, you remember the assassination of JFK. Remember the tribute song that came out shortly afterwards by Connie Frances, THE SUMMER OF HIS YEARS?
You also mentioned what fun all this would be if you didn't drive yourself completely crazy. Remember that one of these days THEY WILL COME AND TAKE YOU AWAY (HA! HA). Because the powers that be will not think you are NORMAL. Remember that answer record by someone known as THE EMPEROR? I believe he was half of the team of Hudson and Landry.
A few weeks ago, the local "oldies" station here in OKC took off the syndicated shows done by Machine Gun Kelly and Steve Goddard and segues what they call "classic oldies" ... which basically is the same thing because the two syndicated shows played the same songs every week on their show. So it was no different than what wasplayed during the week.

Yeah, that's what drives me nuts about oldies radio today ... they'll hit you with a come on like "Where you never know what we're going to play next" and then they go right into something they're probably going to play three or four times that day ANYWAY!!! Mix it up a little!!! That's what "Today's Forgotten Hit" is all about. Run your little promo ... but then play the clip from our website. I'm telling you, you WILL get a response ... but you've got to give it a try first. Then, when you see that it's catching on, you can add "Today's Forgotten Hit" as a regular daily feature. C'mon ... try it ... I dare you!!!

By the way, Larry, I'd LOVE to see one of those old grade school pictures of you looking like Buddy Holly! lol (kk)

My mother has a whole bunch of pictures of me when I was younger. I'll see if she has any (and I know she does) that would be a good representation of me looking similar to Buddy Holly. I just now pulled my album of his, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY on Coral Records (57279). The glasses he wore, black ones, were a little thicker than the ones I wore. I started wearing glasses in the 8th grade.
When I was also in high school, once or twice some people told me I looked like someone else they knew. Unfortunately this person was known for stealing hubcaps off of cars. Something common teens did back in the fifties.


"Games" by Redeye was a huge hit here as well. I have the 45 in a box out in the garage somewhere. There was a much longer LP version of it.
"Games" went all the way to #3 here in Chicago in early 1971 ... LOVED that song when it was out. Peaking at #22 in Cash Box, why is it that we NEVER hear this one on the radio anymore?!?!? (kk)

You've run some real gems here lately -- songs I'd forgotten all about -- Could Have Been A Lady, Games, Resurrection Shuffle, Medicine Man, White Lies - Blue Eyes -- some GREAT tunes that never get played on the radio anymore. Thanks for shaking the memory banks!
That's what we're trying to do, Todd ... I'm out to prove a point that people WILL remember AND respond to these tunes if radio will only give them a chance! (kk)

Hey Kent ...
Thanks for the Gerry and the Pacemakers song ... always loved them ... I have several of their 45's but I don't think I have any albums or cd's ... thanks, tho!
These guys were a big part of that early wave of The British Invasion ... and were all over the radio and television back then. (I think I first heard "It's Gonna Be All-Right" in their "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" movie ... a pretty awful film that tried to cash in on the whole Mersey Beat sound of the era. (Hey, The Beatles had made a film ... The Dave Clark Five and Herman's Hermits, too ... so why NOT Gerry and the Pacemakers?!?!?) kk

Worlds Worst Robber. Funniest Stuff on the Net!
Kent ...
Crime does not pay.
Frank B.
LOL ... this is GREAT!!! And I think that the newscaster is funnier than the robber!!! (kk)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This And That

Frannie sent me this one yesterday. Looks like you now have the opportunity to truly create your own "timeless" soundtrack ... you have to see this to believe it!!! Kinda brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Ashes To Ashes, Disk to Disk", doesn't it??? (kk)

re: GAMES:
Redeye / "Games" ... I have that 45 up in the attic ... think it was on an obscure imprint called "Amaret".

Thanks to WKBW / Buffalo for playing that back in January 1971. Programmed by Jeff Kaye, with Don Berns as Music Director, they were quite adventuresome compared to other Top 40's I remember. For example, I was surprised to learn that Gayle McCormick's "It's A Cryin' Shame" died before making the Top 40. I think it made the Top 10 on 'KB. But unlike "Games", I heard "Cryin'" on a couple other stations back in the day. It wasn't long after that I started hitting the local record store each week to get the previous week's Billboard before they threw it out. After that it was easy to keep up and see who was really trying to expose listeners to great new music as opposed to just following the pack.
Enjoy the site and the great music!
Charlie Mitchell
DeCarlo-Mitchell Productions
Burgettstown, PA
Actually, I show it on the even more obscure Pentagram record label ... light blue as I recall. Thanks for the kind words ... our brand new "Today's Forgotten Hit" seems to be ringing a few bells out there! (kk)

Margaret Whiting was the daughter of composer Richard Whiting, who died at the peak of his fame in 1938 at the age of 46. His creations include "On The Good Ship Lollipop," "Ain't We Got Fun," "Hooray for Hollywood," "She's Funny That Way," "Till We Meet Again" and, as Lou Christie knows, "Beyond the Blue Horizon."
At the age of seven, Margaret sang for one of her father's collaborators, Johnny Mercer. In 1942, right after helping found Capitol Records, Johnny signed the young lady to his label and the hits began -- among them, "That Old Black Magic" (1942), "Moonlight in Vermont" (1945) and "Now is The Hour" (1947).
Margaret's biggest hit arrived in 1948: the chart-topping "A Tree In The Meadow." As I wasn't born until the following decade -- and, like many people, was long oblivious to the music "before my time" -- I never heard her record until 31 years after it had been made. It's wistful, understated theme of love lost but never forgotten hit home with me and the track remains one of my all-time favorites -- as I told Margaret on one of her many visits to the offices of Reader's Digest Music during the '80s and '90s. Starting in 1969, she had recorded extensively for the Digest, including a note-for-note remake of her then 22 year old "A Tree in The Meadow." Only the fact that the RD version was in stereo gave it away.
Whiting's later hits included "Little Girl Blue,'' Far Away Places," "Forever and Ever," "Baby It's Cold Outside" (with Johnny Mercer), "Slippin' Around" with Jimmy Wakely), "Blind Date" (with Bob Hope), "My Foolish Heart," "A Bushel and A Peck," "I'll Walk Alone," "The Wheel of Hurt," "Only Love Can Break a Heart" and "Until It's Time For You To Go." Between 1942 and 1970 she scored more than 60 times on Billboard's pop, country or easy listening charts.
Ms. Whiting made many appearances on TV variety shows in the '50s, '60s and '70s. She also co-starred (along with her sister, Barbara) in the Desilu sitcom "Those Whiting Girls," which served as the summer replacement for "I Love Lucy" in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Margaret was married four times, including once to Allan Sherman collaborator Lou Busch and, at the end, to porn star Jack Wrangler. Once in a restaurant, in the course of an argument, Jack called out, "But I'm gay!" The unflappable Ms. Whiting purred back, "Only around the edges, dear." Wrangler died in 2009.
Margaret passed away on January 19 at the age of 86. She was both quite a character and a very nice woman. I'm glad I got to know her.
Gary Theroux

George Harrison’s Sister Writes Autobiography – WCBS-FM 101.1
Kent ...
Now people I never heard of are writing autobiographies.
Frank B.
Actually, Louise was quite instrumental early in The Beatles' career here in The States, helping to get the word out and answering fan mail. If you check out our article "Who Played The First Beatles Record In America", you'll see that George came over to visit her before The Beatles even made their first trip to America in 1964 ... kind of "testing the waters" to see what was happening here musically at the time. He even sat in with a local band ... and Louise got a radio station in downstate Illinois to play The Beatles' latest U.K. record release, too.

Click here: Forgotten Hits - Who Played The Very First Beatles Record In America?
Here's a picture of Louise with long-time FH Reader "Doc Rock" taken a few years back:

John Lennon letters to be published after Yoko Ono sells rights News NME.COM
Kent ...
Do you think a couple of the letters might end with "P.S. I Love You"?
Frank B.

>>>Del Shannon's record came out here in The States before The Beatles' OWN version did! (It peaked at #67 on The Cash Box Chart in July of 1963.) kk

I believe The Beatles version of “From Me To You” is released here before Del Shannon’s. I think it’s from April or early May of ’63. Del’s is the first to chart for sure.
You're right ... "From Me To You" was released here in The States on May 6th (according to Bruce Spizer's INCREDIBLY informing Vee Jay Records book) ... but it didn't CHART here in The States until the first week of August (and even then only managed to "bubble under" on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart.) Del Shannon's cover version debuted on Billboard's chart on June 29th, which is about five weeks earlier. With a significant amount of airplay on the west coast, "From Me To You" (as an A-Side) sold about 21,000 copies between its May release and the end of the year. In February of 1964, at the height of Beatlemania, it was released again, only this time as the B-Side to the "Please Please Me" single. Despite being a #1 Record back home in Jolly Ol' England, it still only managed a #41 showing here Stateside. (Perhaps more remarkably, "Love Me Do", The Beatles' first British single ... and a pretty primitive recording at that ... went all the way to #1 here in America when it was finally released as a single in April.)
"From Me To You" was the ONLY Beatles record missing from my collection for many, many years. Never released on an album here until after The Beatles broke up (it wasn't even included on the "Hey Jude" album, which finally collected all of the other U.S. releases missing from LP up through that time), I was forced to play the version by The Chipmunks if I wanted to hear this song at home!!! (I never bought the "Please Please Me" single because I had THAT song on my "Introducing The Beatles" LP ... back then, it never dawned on me that I might be missing a B-Side!!!) Didn't make that mistake again once I realized the single was long out of print and I had a hole in my collection!!! (kk)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Anybody who watched Sunday's game between The Chicago Bears and The Green Bay Packers knows what I'm talking about ... The Bears NEVER even looked like they were in it. Over the course of the afternoon, Chicago was able to pull together about six minutes of actual football playing ... the rest of the time, they appeared embarrassingly dull, lethargic and completely out of sorts and, quite honestly, not deserving of the Super Bowl shot they were given. (And all this despite winning their division!) Later the night, The Pittsburgh Steelers did what they had to do and will join Green Bay down in Arlington, Texas, in a couple of weeks for Super Bowl 45. Incredibly, this is will be the EIGHTH time The Steelers have made it to The Super Bowl ... and they've won the game six of those eight times. For Green Bay, this will be their sixth trip ... they have three Super Bowl wins. It should make for a pretty exciting evening of football. (Personally, I'll be watching to see how I do in the office pool ... and to see The Black Eyed Peas perform at halftime ... not sure if Fergie will treat us all to another nipple-gate performance ... or pee herself on stage ... but it should make for a pretty lively half-time show.) Meanwhile, we can now get back to the MUSIC here in Forgotten Hits ... and we've got some good stuff coming up over the next couple of weeks ... so please check back often ... and don't forget to check out our new Monday through Friday web feature, "Today's Forgotten Hit" ... which can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the web page every weekday morning! (kk)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 01 - 23 - 11 )

After playing Bobby Darin (“Splish, Splash”) a few of my songs backstage at an Alan Freed Rock and Roll Show, I tell him I’m going to sign a management contract with Alan. Then he speaks to me privately. He tells me that a payola scandal involving Alan is about to break, and I should wait before I sign anything with the controversial Disc Jockey. Then Bobby tells me about a longtime friend of his who just opened a publishing company at 1650 Broadway. He writes down his friend’s name, and the next day I go to audition for Don Kirshner at Aldon Music.
(Read the rest here):
Artie Wayne

Kent ...
Read about Don Kirshner's death.
Maybe the Don Kirshner and Bobby Darin connection will be a good enough reason for you to re-run The Bobby Darin Story in an upcoming Forgotten Hits.
Frank B.

Hmmm ... how did I not see this coming??? (kk)

Here's a picture from summer 63 that I had sent you earlier ... thought it might be a good time to run it again. I sent a copy to Ron Dante, too, and mentioned to him that he should point out all of the Kirshner clan left to right -- can anyone else out there do that???
Clark Besch

I don't remember all the faces, but I knew most of them!
To Don Kirshner's left is Charles Koppelman, Don Rubin, Artie Kaplan, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann ...
Right behind Don is Gerry Goffin.
To Don's right is Lou Adler ... and above Lou's right shoulder is Jack Keller.

Above him Howard Greenfield. To Howie's right is a very young Tony Orlando.
From left to right: First girl don't know but there's Carole King and next to her is Little Eva. Above Eva to her left if Brooks Arthur.
What a great picture!
Thanks for sending it along.

Cool ad ... and virtually every single one of these people went on to have stellar careers in the music industry ... he sure knew how to pick 'em!

But honestly I thought THIS might make an even BETTER photo to run again, especially in light of our questioning:

>>>In 1969 you had TWO songs in the Top Ten at the same time ... yet NOBODY really knew ... or was supposed to know ... who RON DANTE was!!! Meanwhile, TRACY (by THE CUFF LINKS) and SUGAR, SUGAR (by THE ARCHIES) fought each other for chart position back in 1969!!! What was that like ... having TWO Top Ten Records ... and receiving virtually NO recognition for it?!?!? (kk)
>>>Having both Sugar, Sugar and Tracy as hits at the same time was a dream come true. I always wanted to be on the radio and this was twice the airplay all over the world. The fact that my name was not on those records did not bother me too much. I knew the word would get out as to who was the lead singer and good things would follow. They did. I ended up being one of the top jingle singers in the business during those years and had my own solo album coming out. Those were wonderful days. (Ron Dante)
>>>When did it first become public knowledge that you were the lead singer for THE ARCHIES? (kk)
>>>Two years after the Archies came out, I did a solo album and Kirshner took out tons of ads announcing I was the voice of The Archies. (Ron Dante)

Speaking of Ron Dante, here's a quick reminder about his up-coming show at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City later this month on the 30th of January. Performers include Dante, Dennis Tufano, Sonny Geraci and Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods.
For more information, visit:

Henry Gross will be performing his one man show, "One Hit Wanderer" on February 19, 2011 in the Murray Theater at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. Tickets can be purchased in advance from Ruth Eckerd Hall or at the door. Henry's "One Hit Wanderer" show chronicles the highlights and funniest moments of his life in the entertainment business. On the surface, it is an autobiographical look back at the pursuit, realization and subsequent demise of his Rock & Roll dreams. A closer look reveals a story of perserverance, hope and commitment that make this show a rollercoaster ride of laughs, tears, disappointments and triumphs.

Kent ...

We've got some very important birthdays coming up ... both on the same day.
Monday, 1/24/11:

Neil Diamond = 70
Jack Scott = 75
Frank B.

Happy Birthday to both ... but actually Joel Whitburn's book shows Jack Scott's birthday as being January 28th!!! (kk)

Hi Kent,

I've been a longtime follower of FH, have rarely written to you. First, let me say that I love this blog, and read it faithfully and daily.
If you can stand one more Grass Roots question: There was an early hit by the Grass Roots that I used to love, but definitely falls into the Forgotten Hits category, at least here in Rochester, NY. That song is "Things I Should Have Said." I remember it having an unusual beat (for that time), and smart lyrics. I loved that song in my sophomore year in high school, but haven't heard it in years. Do you or anyone else remember it?
Thanks for all the memories!
-- Charlie
I sure do, Charlie, 'cause it's one of MY favorites by them, too! (I had considered this one (#23, 1967) ... and "Lovin' Things" (#35, 1969) for our new "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature ... but I think I came up with an even better candidate (so stay tuned!) Meanwhile, I'm happy to feature "Things I Should Have Said" today ... betcha lots of OTHER folks on the list will remember this one, too, once they get to hear it again! Thanks for the great suggestion ... and thanks for the kind words, too! (kk)

GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tying it all together, here are The Grass Roots doing the Gayle McCormick song. Or was it the other way around?
David Lewis
Excellent ... I LOVE it!!! (kk)

Speaking of which ...

Wow - thanks for including this one today! It was very big here in Nashville and such a surprise it was unknown in Chi-Town.
David Lewis
Especially since it apparently WAS big in Wisconsin. Boy, you'd never think this was the same girl who sang "Baby It's You" for Smith ... this one has almost a disco beat to it ... yet pre-dates the disco era by about four years. Not a bad tune at all. (kk)

The Gayle McCormick record 'It's A Crying Shame" was very big here in OKC even though you mentioned it didn't chart in Chicago.
Frannie said that she remembered it, too, which means it also got airplay in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. That's the thing about these regional hits ... never enough momentum to make a big splash on the national charts because it would break in different regions at different times. While not a GREAT record, it's certainly deserving of Top 40 status. (It peaked at #43 in Cash Box and #44 in Billboard.) kk

And, speaking of Hit Records ...

>>>One of your readers wanted to know or wondered how to make a "hit record" ... I believe Brook Benton answered that question back in 1962 on Mercury Records. (Larry Neal)

Kent -
Let's not forget that the Raspberries also took a crack at this in 1974 with Overnight Sensation (Hit Record), a forgotten favorite of mine.

- jsl

Yep, that's a goodie. (#18, 1974) "Let's Pretend", another #18 Hit for The Raspberries, would be one of MY favorite Forgotten Hits by the band! You'll hear "Go All The Way" virtually every day ... and "I Wanna Be With You" once in a while ... but you pretty much NEVER hear these other Top 20 Hits! (kk)

Thanks for the attention to Brook Benton, one of pop music's under-rated, under-loved vocalists. I've always thought he did THE definitive version of the great Bacharach - David song "A House Is Not A Home," which unfortunately only got to No. 75 on the charts.
I featured him (and, of course, The Association!) in a column last year on a whole bunch of under-appreciated singers. some_of_our_most_underappreciated_singers_here_are_a_few_of_my_favorites And your mention of Benton's "Hit Record" reminded me of another clever novelty Record" song -- this one by Forgotten Hits regular Freddy Cannon.
I always liked "If You Were A Rock and Roll Record" and, for that matter, "What's Gonna Happen When Summer's Done,", his two 1962 post - "Palisades Park" follow-ups that I thought should have fared better on the charts. Neither of them made the Top 40, though. Both admittedly sound "primitive" by today's production standards, but I thought they captured the innocence of the times. Are you seeing a strange pattern in my (sometimes) preference for forgotten songs that fizzle?
Don Effenberger

My life-long pal (I was in his wedding and went to college with him) and former partner in our California radio stations, Dex Allen (former all night jock at KQV in '64 - '66) sent me this today. Brings back a lot of memories.
To the tune of "Little Deuce Coupe", the song by the Beach Boys, this was written by Roger Christian and was produced for KHJ by Roger who was then a KHJ jock. It was one of the first things I heard on my first visit to LA in May of '65. KJH had just launched. Sam Riddle picked us up at the LA airport and we went to Nickodell's Restaurant next to KHJ. That night I met Bill Drake for the first time. Later, Roger Christian and I syndicated the track and sold it to stations around the country. Used it first when I was PD at KIMN, Denver. Each station, of course, had to feature their own jocks. Hard to do in the days of one-track recording. I brought the entire jock lineup in on a Sunday morning to record it. Just a bit of interesting history. Hope you enjoy it.

Ted Atkins

VERY cool, Ted! (In fact, I sent a copy to Carolyn Travis to post on her Airplay / Dee Jay Lounge web page!) They don't do stuff like this anymore ... so it's great to hear this again after all these years. Thanks so much for sending. (kk)

I no sooner sent out the KHJ version and Chuck Buell said he thought that he had the KIMN version and PRESTO!!! What memories. On an early Sunday morning in the summer of '65 ... all the jocks leaning into the mike for their turn. We, like most others then, only had a single-track machine. Hope you enjoy another Sho Biz ditty.

Margaret was married (or just together) for many years to Jack Wrangler, one of the first true stars of gay (and some straight) adult films, who passed away last year or the year before. At a restaurant one night Margaret was upset with Jack over his continued activities with men, even though they had been together for some time. He was also still drinking and partying, and he got mad at her in the restaurant and screamed "I'm Gay!", to which Margaret replied, "Only around the edges, dear". Wonderful quip!
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with her recorded works, I only know her because of her relationship (which was a long and happy one) with Mr. Wrangler.
Jack was also president of the Johnny Mercer Foundation, and he put together several cabaret shows for Margaret, including one where she covered Johnny Mercer's music. (If you remember the cliche' from the 70's of uber-masculine gay men, with the 'clone' look - tank top, mustache, tight jeans - Jack Wrangler was one of the first adult stars to portray gay men as 'manly' (for what the 70's meant to be 'manly'). It takes all kinds to make relationships.
Whiting had a pretty extensive recording career in the Pre-Rock Era, placing 32 songs on Billboard's Pop Chart between 1945 and 1952 (including nine Top Ten Hits on their Best Seller's List.) She only hit The Top 40 once after 1952 ... that was when her version of "The Wheel Of Hurt" peaked at #26 on The Billboard Chart in 1966. (kk)

I'm glad to see the Addrisi Brothers getting a lot of attention in Forgotten Hits ... they wrote so many wonderful records for other artists, all while putting out some pretty amazing records on their own.
One of my all time favorite 45s is by the Addrisi Brothers on Valiant Records, recording their own songs, Little Miss Sad (which would become a minor hit for the Five Empressions aka the Five Emprees, reaching #74 in 1965) backed with C'mon Home Baby, which I've heard by a British group called the Escorts, as well ... but don't know if it was a British hit or not.
Tom Diehl

Without question, The Addrisi Brothers achieved far greater success as song-writers than as recording artists ... but I've really never heard a bad record by them!
The Five Emprees' version of "Little Miss Sad" may have only reached #74 nationally, but here in Chicago it was a HUGE local hit, peaking at #3 on the WLS chart. We've featured it a couple of times before in Forgotten Hits. (I'd never heard The Addrisi Brothers' original version till now.)
I don't show "C'mon Home Baby" by The Escorts charting on EITHER side of the ocean. (kk)

>>>I know "the vet" wasn't Steve Thorpe or Fat Marty ... frankly, i'm at a loss ... (Chet Coppock)
By the way, Marty Nicosia was “Fat” Marty.
Ray Graffia, Jr.

>>>Over the years, we've run into people who have invented COMPLETELY new lives for themselves by claiming to be somebody they're not ... an even greater risk when the Internet is involved since you can tell anybody virtually ANYTHING and they have no way of proving or disproving it. Several years ago I received a few emails from a woman ... I wanna say down in Florida ... that was questioning whether or not the guy she was dating really was a former member of The New Colony Six, as he had claimed to be. She just found too many holes in the stories he told her and figured that since I was from Chicago, I would automatically know if the guy was for real or not. She even sent me several pictures to compare to old NC6 album covers and such. Turned out the guy was a complete fake ... and believe me, he's not the ONLY one we've run across over the past twelve years of doing this. (This is an even more likely scenario when you're talking about some of the "faceless" bands who performed back in the day ... if they weren't household names, it was unlikely very many folks could name ... or recognize ... most of them. And, with these bands changing their line-ups as often as they did, you sometimes had a case of trying to keep up with a revolving door of group members! As you can see above, even some of the band members who were THERE don't remember all the specifics after all this time!) kk
Regarding the queries about the person who might or might not have been connected with the New Colony Six and was in Vietnam, you commented that not infrequently, people claim to have been associated with this or that "faceless" pop/rock group -- and it's all fake. Boy, are you right.
I was in college (1965-69) with a guy who, I'm sad to say, died a couple of years ago. His obituary, a paid death notice in the New York Times, said that for a time he had been a member of The Association under his original name, Ted Bluechel Jr. This claim -- totally false -- apparently caused quite a stir among fans of The Association, especially because Ted Bluechel at the time was alive and well, and for all I know, still is. This phony information was even picked up by the Cornell University alumni magazine; apparently someone just reproduced the NY Times death notice without doing any checking.
That's why we need people like you -- to shed light on fake stories like that one, and keep the record straight.
Here's a link to a Washington Post blog that reported on the phony "Bluechel death" : _Bad 'Association' - Post Mortem - Obituaries from The Washington Post_ ( Henry McNulty
OK, now this one takes the cake. That's REALLY carrying the lie a bit too far, don'tcha think??? ... but I've also seen cases where some of these people have convinced their entire FAMILIES that they're really somebody else ... so I guess anything's possible! Unreal!
In a related note, DIDJAKNOW? - Jules Alexander of The Association arranged the vocals on The New Colony Six song "Barbara, I Love You" from their "Attacking A Straw Man" album? Although it didn't do much nationally on the charts (#78 in Billboard, 1970), it was a #13 Hit here in Chicago. (kk)

Going back to the subject of artists' names or song titles being misspelled on the record label, I can't remember offhand the record but I have one in which the time is correct but labeled wrong. Instead of saying on the label it had a length of 3:10, it has 2:70 which is the same thing.

Larry Neal
I'm guessing it was this one, "Fakin' It" by Simon and Garfunkel. (We actually featured this on the website a few weeks back after I heard Bob Stroud talking about it on his "One 45 at 1:45" Program.) Whereas Stroud attributed most of this to the "psychedelic flavor of the day" (and there may be a certain amount of truth to that), I also believe that this was Simon and Garfunkel's way of getting their latest record played in a radio era where a song HAD to come in at under three minutes to be considered for Top 40 Radio airplay! Very cleverly, they manipulated the label to come up with a "time-friendly" number of 2:74. It worked ... the song was under three minutes ... and "Fakin' It" peaked at #15 in 1967. But I can assure you that this wasn't a misprint at all ... it was QUITE intentional. (kk)

Seeing an item on today's Forgotten Hits about the Grass Roots song that came in two versions reminded me of something last year. I heard Mary Hopkins' underappreciated 1970 single "Temma Harbor" on the Chicago oldies station (I think) and at the end of the chorus there was a line I didn't remember: "We can go a little deeper in the long bamboo ... " Huh? I remember the line as: "We can live and dream together, in a world that's new." Having poked around (alone) in a couple of bamboo stands, I think they should have stayed in the treehouse. But then I got to thinking about other songs that got the Mr. Bowdler treatment back in the day. Here are a few more:
In 1967, the Rolling Stones single "Let's Spend the Night Together" became "Let's Spend Some Time Together" for the sake of their Ed Sullivan TV appearance, which got Mick Jagger extremely annoyed. Supposedly it was just for the show, but I'm almost certain I heard it on the radio more than once.
Lou Christie's 1966 "Rhapsody in the Rain": "In this car, our love went much too far" became "In this car, love came like a falling star". This was after one of the local Chicago stations (WLS?) had run a prerecorded lead-in asking, "Should this song be banned?" I think a couple of my friends went out and bought the 45 at that point, fearing that it would pulled off the market.
It wasn't always about sex. In Charlie Drake's 1962 song "My Boomerang Won't Come Back": "Practiced 'til I was black in the face" became "Practiced 'til I was blue in the face" but that happened many years later; I want to say after 2000. The dubover was sloppily done and very obvious.
Those are just the ones that come immediately to mind. I'm sure there are plenty of them that snuck past me, and it would be interesting to hear what others remember.
One final note: At our 40th grade school reunion in 2006, we had a trivia contest, and one of the questions was: "Name a top 40 pop song containing lyrics sung in Latin." (We were a Catholic school and we knew all about Latin.) Nobody got it and I had to give the crowd some huge hints.
Of course, it was the Association's "Requiem for the Masses," which contains some chilling moments from a well-known setting of the Latin Requiem Mass. If there's another pop song containing Latin, I've never heard it.
-- Jeff Duntemann
Colorado Springs, Colorado
As far as I know, The Rolling Stones NEVER recorded a "Let's Spend Some Time Together" version of their hit. Knowing how Jagger felt about the Sullivan appearance, I don't think he ever would have agreed to do so.
We've covered the "Rhapsody In The Rain" story several times before in Forgotten Hits (and, in fact, WLS was instrumental in getting the lyrics changed ... there are more involved than what you mentioned in your email.) If I can find it in the archives, I'll rerun it again next week, because it always sparked quite a few responses ... and I don't think that it ever officially ran on the website.
You're also right about the Charlie Drake recording ... once it became "politically incorrect" to say "black in the face", a new version was created. (Kinda like a number of Three Stooges episodes never being run in syndication due to both Black and Hitler references ... I believe some of these unedited shorts may be available as DVD extras but I'm not certain about that. In fact, a number of old Warner Brothers cartoons ALSO had to be edited for this reason!)
Another one that immediately comes to mind was Van Morrison's first big hit "Brown Eyed Girl" ... you weren't really allowed to talk (or sing) about "making love in the green grass behind the stadium) back in 1967!!! I'm sure that there are several more (and, knowing our readers, we'll soon have a whole new list to talk about!!! lol)
Thanks, Jeff! (kk)
BY THE WAY ... You'll find more about Lou Christie ... and The Association ... elsewhere in today's Sunday Comments Page!

Hi Kent -
Thanks for the info on the "Since I Don't Have You" movie and the "Baby Its You" Broadway show coming in the near future!!! Two of my favorite groups and I'm really looking forward to seeing these.
As for Jack Scott, is he related to Linda Scott from "Don't Bet Money Honey" and "I Told Every Little Star" fame????
David Nelson passing was a surprise. I have a DVD of Ozzie's band from the thirties and a couple of his CD's with Harriet singing! Let us know when Gunnar and Matthew come to Schaumburg for their Dad's Tribute!

Keep up the Great work.
I'm really looking forward to these shows, too ... especially since I don't know ANY of the details or circumstances surrounding the death of female vocalist Janet Vogel! And The Shirelles show should be interesting, too.
There is no relationship between Jack Scott and Linda Scott. (Jack's real last name is Scafone.) He had nine Top 40 Hits between 1958 and 1960, including The Top Ten Hits "My True Love" (#3, 1958); "Goodbye Baby" (#8, 1959); "What In The World's Come Over You" (#5, 1960) and "Burning Bridges" (#3, 1960). Of course you don't hear ANY of them on the radio anymore ... so we'll feature MY favorite today ... you'll find "Goodbye Baby" posted below.
As for Matthew and Gunnar, they're scheduled to appear here on Saturday, February 12th at The Prairie Center For Performing Arts ... but apparently the show is already sold out! (Just checked) Bummer ... this is supposed to be a pretty amazing show ... missed them when they were at The Arcada Theatre last year and had really been looking forward to seeing this show. (kk)

>>>The musical tells the story of Florence Greenberg , a housewife from Passaic,NJ, who discovered the Shirelles singing at her daughter's high school. Greenberg became their manager and eventually created a recording empire. Sounds like a hit. (Frank B.)

Unusual to find Florence receiving more attention than even Berry Gordy, while they were both promoting records in Philly. From what I heard, Hy Lit may have been one of the DJs they both spoke to. Thanks for the heads up, Frank!Meanwhile, speaking of The Skyliners ...
The Skyliners - Pennies From Heaven - 1960

While their other Top 40 hits were good, such as Take #1 (possibly vocals only) of ... ... this one sparked my interest, because it's uptempo, Stereo, and sounds like Big Band swing of the past! [Insert applause here]. Certainly not a Doo-Wop sounding song, though others classified them as a Doo-Wop group! I gather their producer was an older gent! Nice singing!I'd like to know where this was recorded, what recording studio? Whose band is playing?
Thank You!!!
Jersey John (formerly of PA)

Kent ...
Our friend Tom Diehl reviews Bowzer's Show on Ron Smith's Oldies Music.
I thought you might want to take a look at it.
Frank B.
Oldies Music Bulletin Board: Re: Johnny Maestro/Kenny Vance
It was neat getting the inside track from Lois Dixon regarding the newly revamped Brooklyn Bridge this past weekend ... and now we've got a review to boot. Thanks, guys! (kk)

Just wanted you to know about our upcoming Valentine's Day Johnny Mathis 3-hour Special from noon - 3:00pm (New York Time).

Mary Anne Barothy
Celebrate Valentines Day withThe Voice of Romance Mr Johnny Mathis ...
PRLogPress Release – Jan 21 2011 – Baltimore Net RadioBNR an independent internet broadcasting station and affiliate of Fredericksburg Network Radio of ...

I am pleased to announce the latest radio interview show that I have posted on my Radio Page. Please share it with your group.
This interview was a long, long time in the making and I look forward to feedback from you and the others.
The real name of my guest of honor is Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco.
He confessed to me that, if he had his way, he would have been perfectly happy recording simply as "Lugee." After all, people like Fabian and Dion didn't do too badly by using a single name.
In fact, he WAS recording as Lugee early in his career. Singing with a backup group, he released a single on Robbee Records (out of Pittsburgh) as Lugee and the Lions. It did NOT roar up the chart but still, it was a nice beginning.
Okay, technically it was NOT a beginning. Prior to that Lugee had sung backup on a HIT record that was -- not coincidentally -- on that Robbee label. It's one close to my heart because its title was my name. It was by Marcy Joe. You guessed it. It was "Ronnie"! After all these years I finally found out -- from Lou himself -- that he was one of the backup voices singing my name!
Two things more than anything else resulted in Lugee's career taking wings.
The first thing: meeting an amazing, unique, mysterious and eccentric gypsy lady by the name of Twyla Herbert. She was 30 years older than he was and, if the truth be told, was NOT a rock and roller. But maybe that's why she turned out to be the perfect songwriting collaborator for Lugee. She was a classically-trained musician and that helped make up for the fact that Lugee had no formal musical training.
The second thing: someone suggesting that Lugee Sacco not use his real name and, instead, use the professional name of "LOU CHRISTIE."
The rest is happy musical history.
Lou was one of the 60's first successful singer-songwriters and, together with Twyla, Lou co-wrote nearly all of his songs.
The four recordings of Christie - Herbert songs that were most notable in terms of chart success were "The Gypsy Cried," "Two Faces Have I," "Rhapsody In The Rain" and (prior to that one) the chart-topping "Lightnin' Strikes," which became the first of Lou's TWO signature songs.
These four recordings all featured Lou's alternation of his two voices (normal and falsetto) and distinctive female backup singers.
They are among the most remembered and beloved hits of the 60s.
This show includes all those recordings and others, including Lou's top ten recording of "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" (written by the late Tony Romeo) and Lou's OTHER signature song. That would be the show's closer, "Beyond The Blue Horizon," which was featured in the Oscar-winning Best Picture "Rainman" as well as other movies.
Lou remains one of the most popular performers on the oldies music circuit. I met him in person at a show in Easton, PA a few years ago and, if you have never seen this man perform and are among the many who enjoy his work so much, I highly recommend that you try to catch a performance if he comes to your area.
And of course this interview was close to my heart for one other reason. The backup singers on "Lightnin' Strikes," "Cryin' In The Streets," "Rhapsody In The Rain" and "Trapeze" were "Jersey Girls" Denise Ferri and Bernadette Carroll (and also Peggy Santiglia).
Here's a track list for this show. All recordings are by Lou Christie except if otherwise specified. Because the show is 70 minutes, there are no bonus tracks.
1 Opening (the opening of "Lightnin' Strikes" plays underneath my introduction)

2 Ronnie -- Marcy Joe
3 The Jury -- Lugee and the Lions
4 Little Did I Know (excerpt) -- Lugee and the Lions
5 The Gypsy Cried
6 Two Faces Have I
7 Mr. Tenor Man (excerpt)
8 How Many Teardrops
9 Guitars And Bongoes
10 Lightnin' Strikes
11 Cryin' In The Streets (very brief excerpt)
12 Rhapsody In The Rain [uncensored version]
13 Rhapsody In The Rain [censored version] (excerpt)
14 Trapeze
15 I'm Gonna Make You Mine
16 Beyond The Blue Horizon
My Lou Christie radio interview show -- recorded exclusively for the
Jersey Girls Sing website -- is on the following page, along with more than 100 others that I've done for that website: Ronnie's Radio Page
In the unlikely event that you don't see Lou's picture, please press the F5 key to bring up the latest version of the page.
Ronnie Allen
We're BIG Lou Christie fans here ... and have always wanted to see him perform live. (Incredibly, BOTH times I had tickets to see him, the shows were cancelled!!!) Will have to check his website to see if there are any Chicagoland stops in the near future.
Thanks, Ronnie ... this sounds like a good one! (kk)


We just received word about another radio program you might want to check out, especially if you're a fan of THIS guy, Mr. Bobby Vee!

This Wednesday (January 26th, 2011) on Topshelf Oldies (, starting at 8 PM Eastern, I will be interviewing Bob Celli (it's being pre-recorded today, and will be the very first phone interview I have done for my own show). Bob is a musical archivist, fan and friend of Bobby Vee, and he also heads up online clubs for Bobby's fans and friends.
There is a brand new 2 cd Bobby Vee Rarities set that has just been released by EMI International and I will be playing through the entire album over a 3+ hour show (the actual length of the show hasn't been determined as of this writing) while chatting with Bob along the way. I've been listening to the set all week long and it is excellent, with many previously unreleased, limited release, first time stereo recordings and should-have-been hits featured on the set. There is also a live chatroom that can be found on the Topshelf Oldies website and I'll be in to chat with anyone who wants to tune in and drop by to say hello.
The show will run from 8 to 11 PM Eastern with the possibility of it running longer, depending on the phone call. If you're a fan of Bobby Vee and haven't picked up the set yet, here's your best chance to hear the entire album for free -- naturally I'll encourage everyone reading this to rush out and pick up a copy. Both Amazon UK and Amazon US have the cd listed at a VERY low and reasonable price for a double cd set. Grab it while it's still cheap, you won't regret it!

Tom Diehl

Thanks, Tom! I passed your note along to Bobby Vee ... who knows, he just might be your NEXT interviewee!!! (kk)

And HERE'S some news about a guy that a lot of folks sounded a lot like Bobby Vee ... or was that the other way around???

Kent ...
Interesting article ,about the" Day the Music Died."
Frank B.
Newsvine - It Wasn't The Fuel Line - How the Buddy Holly Crash Really Happened
And some cool links at the bottom, too. (kk)

>>>Normally, we tend to stay away from some of these "cover / sound-alike / tribute" bands and concentrate on "the real deal" here in Forgotten Hits. I've got mixed emotions about it ... in many cases, these "copy bands" are taking work away from some of the real bands competing for the same audience at many of these summer festivals and such. But on the OTHER hand, MOST of these bands LOVE this music and are simply paying tribute in the way they best know how ... and, to that degree, they're doing the same thing that WE'RE doing, which is everything we can to help keep this great music alive. So we're going to leave it up to you, readers ... let us know if you'd like to see more of this "cover band" coverage ... or if you have a couple of bands that you'd like to recommend that you think our readers would enjoy. (kk)
My favorite cover band is called The Mahoney Brothers. Not only do they do an incredible Beatles show complete with costumes from every period, but they also do a show called Jukebox Heroes. Some of the covers they do are Neil Diamond, Buddy Holly,Willie Nelson, Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and more. These guys are fabulous,and I try to see them every chance I get. You can find them at They usually perform in the NJ / PA area,but I see they have some shows in MA coming up also. Check them out!

Thrive / Survive LA Named Official Charity of Beatles Tribute Cruise 2011

Beatles Tribute Cruise 2011 is proud to announce that Thrive / Survive Los Angeles has been named the official charity of this year's cruise. Beatles Tribute Cruise 2011 will be hosting a charity raffle with close to 100 Beatles related items with all proceeds going to Thrive / Survive Los Angeles. Tickets will be sold during the cruise and prizes will be awarded before each event during the eight day cruise in March.
Survive Los Angeles was founded by Nico Juber, daughter of former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber. (Mr. Juber will be headlining this year's cruise.) Nico, a Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor, founded Thrive / Survive to support other young adult cancer survivors.
The grand prize of two Ultimate Weekend Tickets for Abbey Road on the River and signed copies of "LET HIM BE" DVDs have generously been donated. "We have donations of signed books, hundreds of MusicSkins, CDs, DVDs, Beatles toys and collectibles with much more on the way" says Woody Lifton - Beatles Tribute Cruises promoter. "We would love to help Thrive / Survive with a huge boost in awareness and funding."
Thrive / Survive Los Angeles is a project of The Giving Back Fund, a registered 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information or to make a donation, please go to
For information on the Beatles Tribute Cruise 2011, please go to or
If you have a new Beatles related item you would like to donate to the raffle, contact Woody Lifton at

And, speaking of The Beatles ... here's a neat ... and I would think ULTRA-rare collectible ... a photo of John, Paul, George and Pete Best ... signed by John, Paul, George and RINGO!!! Check it out! (kk)

Kent ...
Pete Best and his replacement. That sounds rare to me.
Frank B.
Paul Fraser Collectibles Beatles Ringo and Pete Best star on same piece of memorabilia
From Dave Barry ...
January 17, 2011 "San Francisco Chronicle"
All you need is love ... and luck, too
Leah Garchik
Monday, January 17, 2011Adda Dada, art collector and dedicated thrift shopper (to put it mildly), sifting through the treasures of the Community Thrift Shop on Valencia Street, found last week "an English band record ... really damaged, but oh, well, OK, price is only $1.50."
He took it home, examined it with a magnifying glass, and discovered it was signed by John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and "an unreadable/smeared Ringo."
"God save the queen," says Dada, "and I mean this queen, you almost passed out!"

Beatles' Abbey Road Crosswalk Listed as Protected Site by U.K. Government
By Kristen Schweizer - Dec 22, 2010
London crosswalk made famous when the Beatles walked across it for the cover of their 1969 album “Abbey Road” was listed as a protected site by the U.K. government. The street crossing in the St. John’s Wood neighborhood is the first of its kind ever to be listed as protected, John Penrose, the U.K.’s minister for tourism and heritage, said in a statement today.
Thousands of tourists every year flock to the Abbey Road street crossing and adjacent
Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles recorded most of their songs. The studio buildings were listed as protected by the English Heritage office in February, days after reports that owner EMI Group Plc was trying to sell the site to cut debt.
“This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral but, thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photo shoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage,” Penrose said. A crosswalk is known as a zebra crossing in the U.K., a protected pedestrian crossing of a road marked by zebra-like stripes.
Beatles band member
Paul McCartney also welcomed the news, which came a month after the group’s songs began selling on Apple Inc.’s iTunes service.
“It’s been a great year for me and a great year for the Beatles and hearing that the Abbey Road crossing is to be preserved is the icing on the cake,” he said in the statement.
-- submitted by Dave Barry

Kent ...
As I was searching for some new video clips, I made some extraordinary finds!
The first is a one minute film taken backstage at a rock show in Texas in the ‘50s featuring ELVIS PRESLEY, BUDDY HOLLY, CARL PERKINS, AND JOHNNY CASH together for the first time … again! The second is a theatrical trailer of a man I knew slightly but respected greatly, Phil Ochs. His documentary, “There But For Fortune” is only playing at one theater in New York and it’s already #25 at the box office!

http://artiewayne.wordpress. com/2011/01/17/rare-video- clips-elvis-holly-perkins- cash-plus-new-phil-ochs- trailer/
Artie Wayne

http://artiewayne.wordpress. com/about-artie-wayne/
Cool, Artie! I've seen that backstage Elvis clip before in a couple of television documentaries ... both it has ENORMOUS historical value. And the Phil Ochs trailer ties in PERFECTLY with our piece on this film last week. Thanks! (kk)

And, speaking of Elvis, I guess you can post THIS one under the "Passing The Buck" category ...

re: ELVIS:
Fake £20 Elvis Presley novelty banknote fools teller in German Central Bank Mail Online
Kent ...
I don't blame the bank clerk. I would've cashed it.
And here's something on Wanda Jackson -- didn't she date Elvis for a while?
‘Queen of Rockabilly’ still reigns Music Entertainment Toronto Sun
New album for " Queen Of Rockabilly." She was on Letterman this past week.
Frank B.

>>>I cannot help but wonder if "Play Those Oldies, Mr. DJ" by Anthony and the Sophomores was the first major hit to contain the word "Oldies". (Jersey John)Kent,

Your first reader in today's comments asked the question of what was the first major hit to contain the word "oldie" in the title. First I learned a long time ago that what is considered to be a major hit for one person may not be a major hit for another. Anyway, without checking any references, the first song to come to my mind was THOSE OLDIES BUT GOODIES REMIND ME OF YOU from 1961 by Little Caesar and the Romans.

Actually, there has been only one major hit (on the national charts, up through the mid '90s at least) whose title included the word "oldies": "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)" by Little Caesar & The Romans, a top-10 hit from 1961. That record might have been the first single ever to feature "Oldies" (as a reference to older hit records) in its title; 1961 also saw the release of "Oldies But Goodies Show" by Al McGee on Donna 1348, but I'm not sure whether that release preceded the Little Caesar platter. The only other possible contender I know of was a record by Ray Bolger, released in 1951 on Decca, called simply "Oldies" (B-side of "Once Upon A Nickel"). However, not being familiar with that song's lyrics, I don't know whether it was a reference to old music.
– Randy Price

The Alexandra Burke version of "Hallelujah" is fabulous - and so moving!
Thanks for including such great stuff in every FH!
I've probably listened to it 20 times myself this weekend ... I've always loved this song and this is now the BEST version of it I've ever heard. (kk)

Hi Kent,

I thought many of your viewers would like to know about the enclosed link.
Eddie Kelly
American Bandstand (59'-61')
Note: Also was guest at RockCon.!/event.php?eid=123328911064629
Sure, Eddie, happy to pass this along. LOTS of American Bandstand fans on our list!

Entertainment industry photographer Linda Matlow of Pix International has recently published a compilation of her music photos. 'Hardcover' is an eclectic compilation of band photographs (on and offstage) that Linda Matlow photographed from 1979 to 2010.The first run of this volume, 'Hardcover - Limited Edition' sold out in less than one month after printing.The new, revised edition has been scaled back to 128 images with a few additions made that were not in the Limited Edition.'HARDCOVER' will only be available directly thru the website.
A UK publisher has picked up two of Linda Matlow's recently completed entertainment photo book titles and they estimate 2012 for publication.Specs: HARDCOVER (hardcover edition) (Revised edition) Books are printed on premium 115-pound high-gloss archival-quality paper.Ordering link and more info here:
Linda Matlow,PIXINTL

So what'dya think? Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez made their debut as new judges on TV's American Idol this past week ... and honestly, I REALLY enjoyed it!!! There's a new enthusiasm on the panel ... I believe their Q-Factor is going to go through the roof. J-Lo's been "humanized" ... those were REAL tears that you saw ... and watching her stuggle early on to tell contestants that they just didn't have what takes really came across as frustrating and sincere. Knowing that she and her husband watch "Idol" at home faithfully enough to have recognized the return of an early contestant really brought things home. And Tyler seemed to be having a ball. (As long as he can keep his hands off the early 20's contestants, I think he'll do fine!!! lol) As far as I'm concerned, Week One was a ROUSING success!
And congratulations to long-time FH Reader Bob Rush (he's the U.S. Correspondent to "The Beat" Magazine in Great Britain ... and former Musical Director of The Rip Chords) ... his daughter Devyn is "going to Hollywood" ... and she sounded just great! (kk)

There is something about music that affects each and every one of us --- maybe in a different way --- but in a strong way nevertheless. Your new "Today's Forgotten Hit" feature reminds us of just how much great music ISN'T getting played on the radio anymore. Dee Jays would do well to take notice and listen --- we want our Forgotten Hits!
Thanks, Dale ... more goodies coming up next week ... so stay tuned! (kk)

You hit another home run today with Could Have Been a Lady by April Wine. It is a true forgotten hit. It takes me back to the days when I would put my K-tel album '22 Explosive Hits' on the family record player and blast the two minute version.
You are on a roll my friend.
Phil - WRCO
LOL ... yeah, didn't you HATE the way K-Tel would chop those songs down to next to nothing in order to squeeze 20+ songs on a single album?!?!? But they always had the hits! More good response to this week's selections ... let's see if we can keep that roll rollin'! Thanks, Phil! (kk)

What a terrific week of Today's Forgotten Hits!
Just a few comments ...
The song by Dusty Springfield was one of my favorites but I never knew its actual name ... I always thought it was called ... Just Because of You ... thanks for setting my head straight on that.
When I started listening to Medicine Man I thought ... I've never heard this song before and then it got to the chorus and It all came back to me.
I liked your pick for Glenn Campbell ... he has always been a favorite of mine. Wichita Lineman is one of my all time favorites but I also like the lesser known song Where's the Playground, Susie?
Keep them coming ... I am so enjoying hearing songs by artists I haven't thought about for many years.
Music is such an amazing thing. It can transport you to another time another place.
It can reflect your mood or set your mood.
It can bridge gaps in generations, cultures and countries.
Powerful stuff that music!
Thanks again for doing your part.
Thanks, Stacee ... the response has been VERY good so far ... and we've already talked to a couple of the jocks on the list about making this some type of a regular feature on their shows ... we'll keep you posted.
You nailed it ... music seems to be the common denominator that unites us all ... and I don't just mean the folks on this list ... as cliche'd as it sounds, this music truly DID provide the soundtrack to our lives ... and even songs like these ... that you BARELY remember ... still ring true all these years later. (Somebody wrote in last week wondering why it is that you can not hear a song for 20-25 years and yet still sing along with every single word once you hear it again. THIS is the very point that oldies radio programmers have been missing for all these years ... but I'll tell you what ... I think this whole Forgotten Hits Radio thing just might catch on. I'll bet I heard AT LEAST a dozen tracks this past week that are NOT the songs you typically hear on the radio anymore ... and it is SO refreshing to hear this!) Thanks for your support! (kk)

re: GO BEARS!:
>>>My wifes family is from the Rockford area and she is a life long Bears fan. I am the only Packer fan in the house. Perhaps you could find Cher's song Living in a House Divided? (Phil / WRCO)
>>>lol ... sounds like a GREAT idea, Phil ... and a long Forgotten Hit to boot!(Cher took this one to #21 back in 1972 during her first major comeback. After being absent from the pop charts as a solo artist since her 1967 hit "You Better Sit Down Kids" (#8, 1967), Cher scored eight straight Top 50 Hits between 1971 and 1974. (Having a hit television series certainly didn't hurt!) And THREE of those hits went all the way to #1: "Gypsys, Tramps And Thieves", "Half-Breed" and "Dark Lady". Odds are you won't hear "Living In A House Divided" anytime soon on conventional radio ... so we're happy to feature today it as another Forgotten Hits Weekend "Extra". (kk)
Thanks for sending this song. I am going to play it tonight during my tribute. Just to smooth things over at home, I might break down and play the Super Bowl Shuffle. It was a number one.

Two things on the Green Bay Packers:
(1) I have a very cool LP "The National Football League Marching Songs" ... conducted by Bernard Green ... RCA LPM-2292. Liner notes say it was recorded July 7 and 8, 1960. All 13 teams are presented, including Tex Schramm's Dallas Cowboys, who had yet to play a game. Also in the notes, Commissioner Pete Rozelle says that "club fight songs" form a rich part of the league's tradition ... altho I wonder if all these are legit, since several are composed by the same couple of individuals.
(2) Recall on "Green Acres," Fred Ziffel watched the soap opera "Prudence Pennypacker" ... while his wife Doris watched the Green Bay Packers!
-- stolf
lol ... do you ever just find yourself thinking about all of the completely useless information you've filed away over all these years?!?! Damn, if there was only SOME way to make money doing this!!! (lol) Yet some of the simplest things take FOREVER to come back to you! (Guess that's part of what makes each and every one of us an "Oldie But Goodie"!!!) kk

Kent ...
If the Bears don't do this, they might win the game.
Also - no off side & holding.
Frank B.

YouTube - Mel & Tim - Backfield In Motion

With the Bears game coming up this weekend, here are some ways to cut into our State Deficit:
1). Any Packer fan that comes down here with Wisconsin license plates will be charged $25.00 at each toll booth. (When we go up to Summerfest, the Racine County Police love pulling over cars with Illinois plates, so why not return the favor?)
2). When a Packer fan with Wisconsin plates tries to park in one of the Soldier Field lots, charge them $125.00 per car. There will be a $25.00 convenience fee for each Packer fan inside of each vehicle.
3). If a Packer fan is stupid enough to enter Soldier Field, they will be carded. Anyone who carries a Wisconsin drivers’ license will have to pay $25.00 for beer. NO PREMIUM BEERS ALLOWED, only Bud Light and Miller Lite.
4). When the Packers lose, regular toll rates on I-294 apply. If the Packers get lucky, rates are DOUBLED.
If the above rules are implemented, Illinois residents can enjoy lower tax rates and Illinois businesses will benefit with the Bears in the Super Bowl.
Packer fans can take solace in knowing that should there beloved team lose, they can look forward to seeing the Packers participate in the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.


Are you ready for some football?
Sing along if you know the words...
Words and music by Jerry Downs @1941
"Great Big Town" recital by Ed McCaskey
"Bear Down" featuring Bill Archer & His Big Bear Band
Ken Voss

Go Packers!

I guess there's always one in every crowd!!! (kk)

Bears Super Bowl Fever has certainly taken over our town. (Repeated airings of 1985's "Super Bowl Shuffle" ... a #1 Hit here in Chi-Town ... have been making the rounds in both its original (and in parodied) version ... but NOTHING captures the Spirit Of Chicago better than THIS one by The Blues Brothers: