Saturday, February 5, 2011

Some Of Your CHICAGO Series Comments ... And Lots Of Other Cool Stuff, Too!

Nice write-up on the band, Chicago!!
I liked their early material (I'm A Man, etc.) as I did some of their later tunes. However, I found a recent Rhino (2006?) CD of theirs in the budget bin. Looked interesting because of an alternate (horn) mix of a recent tune. I think it's this one:
But the sound quality was a disappointment.I have to assume some or most of their studio recordings (session tapes) went up in smoke, due to a fire at a studio where they possibly recorded. Why I can't find any alternate versions when there should be some. Believe they own their recordings. Most interesting piece I found of them is this,, a Japanese version of Questions 67 And 68 (1969).

Jersey John
lol ... yeah, try singing along with THIS one!!! (kk)

>>>Back in 1989, I took my then four year old daughter to see them with The Beach Boys at Poplar Creek, an outdoor music venue here in the Chicago area that is now, sadly, now part of history. That night, Jason Scheff singled my daughter out from the audience and sang "You're The Inspiration" to her ... a short while later that same night, Beach Boy Mike Love presented her with a beach ball ... man, talk about your magical nights!!! We had second row seats ... which I think spoiled her for life!!! lol (kk)
You too? Of course. Your story about taking your four-year-old to see Chicago and The Beach Boys resonated. We took ours to see The Grass Roots in '85 when our youngest was also four. (No prizes or mementos, though!)
Ours was TRULY a magical night. By the age of four, Nicki was a HUGE Beach Boys Fan!!! She used to sing their songs around the house all the time. (If I remember correctly, she saw them for the first time on "Full House"!) She was even a member of their fan club ... and had a Beach Boys bumper sticker on the back of her bicycle!!! So when I heard that The Beach Boys were coming back to Chicago ... WITH Chicago no less ... I just knew that I had to take her. (My wife at the time was dead set against it ... "You don't take a four year old child to a rock concert!!!" She considered it to be a complete waste of money ... "and what are you going to do with her when she falls asleep at 9:00?!?!?") But I insisted ... I knew that this was a very special bond between my daughter and I ... and I wanted to be the one to take her to her first show.
I've told this story before but it's SO good that I have to tell it again.
We drove out to Poplar Creek (without tickets) to see the show. I brought a couple of blankets ... my original plan was to grab some lawn seats, let her listen to the music under the stars and then, when she fell asleep, cover her with another blanket until it was time to carry her back to the car. But none of that ever happened.
On our way into the theater, we passed several scalpers in the parking lot trying to unload last minute tickets ... but we pushed on through and went to the ticket window instead. I told the girl that we wanted a couple of lawn tickets and she said, "Well, we still have a few select seats that just became available in the pavilion if you're interested."
I asked her where the seats were and she told me "They're in the second row". I laughed ... "Yeah, right ... what second row from the back, facing the wall?" and she said, "No, sir, we just received this special block of tickets and if you'd like them, I can put you in the second row."
I was floored ... how could I possibly say no?!?! The seats were, in fact, second row ... and nearly dead center stage. I couldn't believe it!
Chicago took the stage first and did a killer show. (Oh My God, I thought ... she doesn't know ANY of there songs ... she'll be asleep for sure by the time The Beach Boys come out! As if this probability wasn't upsetting enough, the prospect of my "ex" being right was even less desirable!)

However, three songs into their set, Jason Scheff noticed my daughter and started smiling and waving to her. Of course, she immediately responded and soon several members of the audience were talking and pointing ... Nicki had become the center of attention. She not only stayed awake, but was up on her feet for the entire set. When Jason sang "You're The Inspiration" he moved to the front of the stage, pointed his finger at Nicki to the beat of the music and sang the words right to her. The crowd went nuts!
When The Beach Boys came out, Mike Love picked up right where Jason had left off. A couple of songs into the show, he motioned for Nicki to come up to the stage and he gave her a beach ball. (I'll bet she still had it four the next four or five years before it finally died!) He extended his hand out over the edge of the stage and "fake-danced" with Nicki for a couple of their upbeat tunes. She never did fall asleep (until we hit the car anyway) but it was a priceless memory that could NEVER be recreated.
But that didn't stop me from trying. About a year and a half later, The Beach Boys and Chicago came back through town, only this time at an indoor venue. I was determined to get second row seats again ... only this time I had to go through a series of ticket brokers, "trading up" for better seats with each transaction. When all was said and done, I'll bet those seats cost me $300 a piece ... but damn it, she sat in the second row again to see her now TWO favorite bands. (Like I said ... I spoiled her for life!!! lol)
Chicago and The Beach Boys first started touring together in the mid-'70's ... and it was ALWAYS an incredible show. They would even come out and join each other on stage ... The Beach Boys singing back-up on "Wishing You Were Here" ... the horn section filling in some of the gaps on The Beach Boys' hits ... it was always guaranteed to be an incredible show. In fact, I probably saw these two acts as a "double bill" at least four or five times ... and enjoyed every minute of every show. (kk)


While I have to say your piece on Chicago is done up in the usual fine FH manner, however I just don't understand what is the appeal of their music. I didn't understand it in 1969, when I first heard them, nor in 1973 when I saw them in concert (The Pointer Sisters were more entertaining), nor pretty much anything they did after that. Now before I get slammed again for having no taste, I will agree that I don't. After all, I'm the one who doesn't like Xmas music, nor a couple of other rock icons. Perhaps if the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were what we and most music fans think it should be, then perhaps I might join the argument pro or con about Chicago, but it's already been determined that it's a joke and the joke is on us. So, at this point, why get worked up about who is or isn't there. You've already established that the average music fan's opinion doesn't matter. Still, I suppose that the people should be aware of how the corporate mentality has taken over the music we call rock and roll.

>>Former Drummer Danny Seraphine, a founding member of the band who opened the "Beginnings" nightclub here in Chicago during the band's hey-day, was ultimately fired by the band after what was described as a "severe falling out" in 1990. Seraphine has a brand new autobiography out, which I'll have to pick up one of these days to see if he sheds any new light on anything we've reported this past week! (kk)
I happen to be reading that book "Street Player" right now. The firing of Danny Seraphine had always puzzled me. Chicago was one of the best bands to come out of the late '60's. They combined relevant lyrics with superb musicianship: edgy but not sloppy or tedious. The bedrock of this group was the percussion of Danny Seraphine, whom I regard as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. As time went on, I felt Chicago lost that edge and became just a very successful pop hit factory. Their music was pleasant, but the last Chicago song that made me sit up and take notice was Feelin' Stronger Every Day.
So I was surprised in 1990 to see Seraphine let go. More surprised with the reason I heard: he had "lost his chops". I found it incredible that the drummer on Make Me Smile and Fancy Colours could not keep up with the lumbering power ballads that were Chicago's stock-in-trade by 1990. Danny has his own band now, doing many of the early Chicago hits, so apparently he has found where he had mislaid his "chops".
Danny's book doesn't answer the question of why he was fired, I think, because Danny himself doesn't know the reason. Other than that it's a revealing look at the inner workings of the band, especially since Danny has no reason to pull any punches in discussing people who he feels have betrayed him. On the other hand, while Danny acknowledges his own paranoia and hair-trigger temper, he continually makes excuses for his own actions. However, this is, after all, his version of events, and maybe he was justified, but if you confront people too often, they will find a way to get rid of you...and they will never acknowledge the real reason. I've seen enough office politics to know that.
Ed Erxleben
Both Scott Shannon and Tom Cuddy (whose comments appeared in our Chicago Hit List feature ... scroll back to February 3rd if you missed them) also commented on Danny's book ... and I really can't wait to read it. (Wish I could have done so BEFORE our series ran ... but this might make for some interesting follow-up discussion ... stay tuned!!!) And wouldn't it be cool if we could get Danny to comment on some of this, too?!?! (kk)

And, speaking of The Beach Boys ... they've got a bit of a "special event" planned for this evening ... check it out!:

Al Jardine To Play With Mike Love
Kent ...
Partial Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion.
Frank B.
The first step toward a
Beach Boys reunion takes place this Saturday. That’s when Al Jardine will play with Mike Love and his current Beach Boys lineup at an event honoring the 100th birthday of the late president Ronald Reagan.
Al Jardine Performs for CBSFM Listenersview gallery
Jardine calls it the right occasion.
The band has long been friendly with the Reagan family. To play at the Reagan Library “shows respect to them.” He adds with the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary occurring this year, “It seems like the right time to show some solidarity … within the band. It’s a good sign for the fans.” However, it will not be a complete reunion of the original surviving members as Brian Wilson’s manager tells us he won’t be there. The Ronald Reagan Centennial Birthday Celebration Concert takes place Saturday evening at 7 p.m. PT at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and it will be streamed online
With the 50th Anniversary looming, it sure would be nice to see The Boys set aside their differences and play together again one more time. The Beach Boys WERE very close friends of Ronald Reagan and his administration ... and Reagan went to bat for The Boys for a very special 4th of July Celebration held back in 1983. To see them reunite for this very special occasion warms my heart. (Let's just hope they don't let James Watt in to see the show ... that guy always draws the wrong element!!!) kk

Our friend Michele Abrams just posted a review of Davy Jones' recent concert at Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana ... you can read the whole thing right here:

Hey Kent ...
What a Great Night!!!
I just returned from an amazing show at BB Kings in NYC.

We were guests of Ron Dante for his 60's show that also featured Dennis Tufano, Sonny Geraci and Bo Donaldson.
We got there early in the afternoon and Ron, who I've known for quite a few years now and admire greatly, introduced us to Dennis and Sonny. Imagine my surprise when Dennis knew me! He mentioned Forgotten Hits and we talked about how great your newsletter is. I've been a huge fan of Dennis' and Sonny's for years and years and it was an honor to meet them and talk music with them and just generally hang out with them. What great guys!
And the show was fantastic. A total hit parade! All of the hits were played and everyone was amazing. During Ron's set, he performed The Rascals' "You Better Run" ... and he called Eddie Brigati up onstage. Eddie was great and it was cool to talk with him after the show. The audience had a lot of celebs in it, including the great Paul Shaffer.
What an amazing night.
I just thought you would appreciate hearing about it. If I get any photos sent to me, I'll forward them to you.
I'll tell you ... Ron Dante has a winner with this amazing show. I'm glad I was there to see it. Thanks Ron, Dennis, Sonny and Bo!
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords
Wish I could have seen this show ... it sounds amazing! (We promoted it several times over the past month.) That would be GREAT if you are able to send some photos to share with our readers!
Ron Dante and Dennis Tufano have been Forgotten Hits list members (and contributors) for quite some time now ... and I would love to get Sonny Geraci to participate once in a while, too. (I met him for the first time at last year's Fourth Of July Bash hosted by The Cryan' Shames, where Dennis and Sonny also performed.) Bo Donaldson would be the icing on top. We've just GOT to keep getting the word out there to these artists ... let them know how we can continue to expand their fan base and provide more opportunities to talk about their upcoming concerts and releases ... as well as stay in touch with their fans. Sounds like a pretty amazing night! (kk)
Kent ...
Here are two photos from the BB Kings show, courtesy of my good friend Jimmy McElligott, who plays in a great NYC band called "Pocket Rockets", who have Grammy winning Recording Engineer Dennis Ferrante, who engineered a bunch of Lennon sessions, among others. The first one is with my friend Jimmy, Paul Shaffer, Me and Susie Collins (who sang back up with Lennon, ELO, SNL singer ... and tons more!) ... and the other one is of the guys onstage rocking out for their encore.
It was a great show!

Kent ...
In that photo with Paul Shaffer, if you look in the top left corner of the photo, you can see Dennis Tufano, who was standing with us just seconds before this photo was taken. Dennis is amazing! I was totally blown away by his performance ... and he is such a cool guy too. It was an honor to hang out with him for a bit that day. Of course, Ron and Sonny were great as well. Ron has such charisma onstage ... he lights up that stage, and Sonny is a true entertainer.. His tribute to our fallen rock stars was unbelievable. I didn't know he wrote "Rock & Roll Heaven"! This show really rocked!
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords

L - R: Dennis Tufano, Sonny Geraci, Ron Dante

Hi Kent ...
Two on-line news sites ( & Goldcoast that I write for will exclusively run the first story on my new record and video that Commemorates President Reagan's Centennial this Sunday February 6th.Thought that you might like to run a little blurb about it on Sunday for this historical event, too!
Ronald Reagan's Got the Blues: Centennial Celebration
@abc @cbs @nbc @cnnbrk @foxnews @wsj @ibd @time
Reagan Ce/ntennial spoof video:
“Ronald Reagan’s Got The Blues” recording and 'coming soon' video announcement:
Here's the final video link for YOUTUBE:
Trade Martin

Friday, February 4, 2011

The History of Rock And Roll

We've been getting TONS of comments, questions and memories pertaining to both "The Evolution Of Rock" and "The History Of Rock And Roll" ... jeez, at this rate, SOMEBODY'S gonna have to air these programs again just to satisfy the demand!!! (And that's EXACTLY what we're shooting for!!! I mean, let's face it ... NOBODY is making radio like this anymore ... but air them in manageable doses that allow all of us the opportunity to tune in and listen ... I don't know that there's a single one of us out there who can tune in for six straight hours anymore ... much less 52!!!) A little out of date? Sure ... but if promote it properly ... as a "time capsule" look back at the first 30 Years of Rock And Roll ... I believe these specials can still serve a purpose ... and bring brand new listeners into the fold. (If nothing else, it's also an opportunity to hear some of this great music that simply doesn't have a radio home anymore!) kk

Thanks for including us in your blog post today!
Shannon Peterson
WDRV 97.1 FM The Drive
Glad to ... LOVE the station (and have been a listener since Day One!) Of course I ended up getting called into work on Saturday and missed the broadcast of The Drive's "History Of Rock And Roll" for the SECOND time now!!! But the bits and pieces that I was able to hear were great. (Maybe some of the guys would like to talk about how they put it all together??? Lemme know!) Thanks, Shannon! (kk)

I don't remember the year, but it must have been around 1969 or 1970 when KDWB out of Fargo, North Dakota, ran the original special for two hours a day, Monday through Fridays, starting in June.
I had just gotten out of school for the summer ... I must have been around 12 and I was glued to the radio for those two hours each day. This was the Humble Harv narrated version. I've always thought they should sell the darn thing so we rock history freaks could just buy it. I heard the next version as well in the late 70's, but for some reason the first one grabbed me more. I suspect it was because it had never been done before.I also remember when WLS used to do "retrorock" on week nights at 9:25 PM. I had my radio on when I was in bed and just waited to see what they'd talk about.

As explained in Gary Theroux's text the other day, the show will NEVER be available for sale ... TOO many licensing issues (and the material was only licensed for limited broadcasting.) Look at what all The Wrecking Crew folks are going through right now trying to get their film out there (much less the required soundtrack album!!!) And I'm sure that there ARE bootleg copies of "The History Of Rock And Roll" floating around (although I've honestly never seen one.) I, too, would LOVE to have the COMPLETE broadcast for my personal collection ... and will sign ANYTHING they want me to sign, promising not to broadcast, sell, copy or distribute it ... I just wanna enjoy it all to myself!!!
Wouldn't it be great if all this renewed interest and publicity inspired SOMEBODY to take the bull by the horns and get this thing back on the air again? Even air it as something like "Rock And Roll: The First Thirty Years" and then, throughout the broadcast, promote something along the lines of "Like what you're hearing? Then contact your radio station and tell them that you want the next 50 chapters!!!" If the response is particularly good, perhaps we can even find a home for Gary Theroux's daily series of 2 1/2 minute snippets profiling many of the songs and artists featured in the full-blown broadcast.
Seriously 'though, I'd LOVE to see the whole thing expanded into a 65 year history ... spread out over 150 hours that could air in three hour blocks every weekend for an entire year. I'm telling you ... THIS is appointment radio. Run it on Saturday Night and then repeat it again at Noon on Sunday for the benefit of anyone who may have missed the previous night's airing. It's a GUARANTEED winner. C'mon ... ANYBODY?!?!? (kk)

Hi Kent ...

A very interesting read ... I really enjoyed it.
However I would like to correct Gary Theroux on one item:
The original KHJ HRR was narrated by Robert W. Morgan. "Humble Harve" Miller then did the first syndicated HRR. There are copies of the original out there somewhere. I just remembered that I gave a taped copy of the original from KFRC to Ed Ames of the Ames Brothers. He and I were friends back then. How many of your readers remember him from the group, as a solo and as a star on the old TV western, Daniel Boone I think. He achieved a great moment back then when, as a guest on the Johnny Carson Show, Carson had Ed stand in front of wooden outline of a person and Carson threw a tomahawk at Ed. Hit him right in the crotch. Whoa ... They call the audience reaction as the longest sustained laughter in TV history.
Just sayin'...

Ted Atkins
Well, that's not EXACTLY what happened ... but you're close!
Click here: YouTube - Johnny Carson with - Ed Ames - 1965
I think another of the longest sustained laughs in television history has to be that Dick Van Dyke episode where Rob Petrie thinks they brought the wrong baby home from the hospital ... so he contacts the couple (Mr. and Mrs. Peters) who had a baby boy the same day as Laura ... invites them over to discuss what he's SURE must be a hospital mistake ... and then opens the front door to greet a BLACK couple on his door step. CLASSIC stuff! (kk)

>>>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.

(Ted Atkins)
OK, so now I've got to know ... what exactly DID John Rook do to get The History Of Rock And Roll for his radio station?
Jim C.
I asked him that question to see if he might like to elaborate for our readers ... but he declined, stating simply:
It's one of the great stories that I've never made public except for a few close radio pals. Let me think about it ... and I'll let you know.

Hi, Kent.
Gee -- I never thought of "The History of Rock 'n' Roll" as being at all controversial!
But I must say that I found the “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” letter from Ted Atkins truly fascinating, as it included a number of facts about the show which even I did not know – taken from Ted’s perspective of one of the era’s most important and influential radio programmers.
Here are three little notes to Ted on his letter:
1. The “still later” version of the HRR which he refers to must be the one I wrote and co-produced in 1978. It ran 52 hours, not 50, as you can see from the two pages of program content placed right under Ted’s letter.
2. Bill Mouzis, who engineered the 1969 HRR, was one of the contributing editors of the 1978 edition. Bill is quite elderly now, but as feisty as ever!
3. The HRR poster by Tom Jung (attached to this e-mail) was commissioned by Bill Drake for the 1978 version of the show. Everyone involved had different ideas about which stars should be prominently featured and how big and so what you see is sort of a compromise. I did not want Peter Frampton included because, although "Frampton Comes Alive" had been a big LP seller a year or so earlier, I was not convinced that he truly had staying power. (And he didn't.) However, there he is, sandwiched in between the Beach Boys and Linda Ronstadt.
One hundred framed prints were made and distributed, mostly to key radio programmers like Ted Atkins. My own copy, on the wall here in my office, is #16. I will never forget the unveiling of the poster at Universal City. I was at one end of a long conference table with Drake while all the other seats were occupied by somber-suited yes men from the ad agency. When the head of the agency pulled the drape off Jung’s artwork, all eyes flashed from it to Drake for his reaction. Poker faced and dressed in his customary University of Hawaii sweatshirt -- in complete contrast, of course, to all the penguins around the table -- Drake slowly said, “That – is – awful –“ and for a split second every one of those ad agency guys turned chalk white. Then, the slow talkin’ Drake finished his sentence (after his dramatic pause) with the word “good.” All the color rushed back to those faces and the smiles broke out. I later asked Bill why he teased them like that and, with his usual grin, explained, “I just wanted to make ‘em squirm.”

Regarding your comments, Kent, later down the page, I consider the dawn of the rock era to be the late ‘40s, when records like Wynonie Harris’ “Good Rockin’ Tonight” and Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right, Mama” came out. You can trace elements of rock’s hybrid status back farther, but it was in the late ‘40s when a significant number of records that truly rocked were issued. So, with that in mind, to run from the late ‘40s to today you’re talking a good 65 years.
Would I love to put such a special together?
You’d better believe it – and I have most of the material I’d need right at hand in my archives. But, as I noted before, no commercial station plays music over that vast a spread of time (although it would sure be interesting if they did).
As no commercial station in the U.S. plays 65 years of hit music, what I have done instead is create a broad series of 2 ½ minute “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” daily features, each of which spotlights three successive hits by an artist along with fun facts about those gems and artist interviews. Some episodes have turned up, from, time to time, on the Forgotten Hits website. I'm still hoping that Scott Shannon will pick up the series for his True Oldies Channel.
Regarding the availability of “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” KYNO in Fresno, CA (a station formerly owned by Gene Chenault) recently re-aired the show, as did WCBS-FM in New York. After Drake - Chenault Enterprises closed it’s doors, it’s assets – including “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” – changed hands several times, eventually landing at Jones Radio. In 2009, Jones Radio Networks ceased operations and all of their radio programs and satellite formats were acquired by the Triton Media Group’s Dial Global. If you want to license the longform HRR, I’d suggest you contact them.
All the best,
I would agree that the TRUE roots of rock and roll can be traced back even further than 1948 ... but that's certainly a reasonable starting point, particularly if you're looking for music that the mass audience will recognize and can identify with. (Our good friend Ed Parker ... aka JacoFan ... has traced rock back to the late 1800's and has documented trends in music that have evolved over time into that which is familiar to us today ... in fact, his letter follows yours ... and I believe he sent you his long-form essay tracing rock back to its most basic, infantile beginnings. Read on! (kk)

I'm going to rant, but it's not against you or anyone else in particular. I've got a few different ways of saying what I've been saying for years now, but the challenge for me will be to keep it simple. And, like I've said, you may have readers that are new to your mailing list that have never read my views (not that my opinions are more valuable than anyone else's, but, I'm proud to say, my views are in the minority.)
I read some of the comments on your Forgotten Hits page pertaining to rock's history and, not surprisingly, while the shows seem like they were interesting and a lot of work went into their creation, they still place rock's beginnings in the 1950's. At least that's my impression. Granted, the "rock era" is said to have begun in the 1950's. The music that came prior should be documented and included in any history of rock simply because it greatly shaped rock as we know it, be it Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin, or The White Stripes.
Now here's where I'll try to keep it simple:
It's a fact that American pop music can be traced back to various styles, namely, and arguably most importantly, African field hollers, with rock 'n' roll obviously a main ingredient of that pop music. It's also a fact that pop music / rock 'n' roll [which, to a certain extent, are the same thing] is a continuum; an evolution that continues to this day. The opinions, on the other hand, come into play on two levels: when it started and what actually qualifies as rock 'n' roll. The reason for this is simple: rock 'n' roll is an extremely broad term embracing many styles. Everyone's opinion differs as to what the first rock 'n' roll record was, not to mention the controversy surrounding the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame (who should be in and who shouldn't be.) My feeling is if doo-wop can be considered rock 'n' roll (which it is), then surely raw Delta blues qualifies as rock 'n' roll too. As Robert Plant once said, "They [the '20's and '30's blues guitarists] had the licks when you can barely get it down on recording equipment."
I take the very fact that rock 'n' roll is an extremely broad term to go in the opposite direction - just as rock has evolved since the '50's to the present, so has it evolved from the field hollers to the 1950's.
As wide a view as my perception of what rock 'n' roll is, however, I do not consider everything to be rock 'n' roll. For example, while Bing Crosby is part of the continuum I speak of simply by being a pop singer, he does not fall into the rock evolution, i.e. field hollers, blues, spirituals, etc.; the direct lineage, despite being an influence on certain rock vocalists (Roy Brown, Elvis, John Lennon.)
Speaking of Bing Crosby, it's been said many times that, before the "rock era," there were pop singers such as Patti Page and Perry Como, Bennett, Sinatra, etc. "Sweet music," if you will. True, but this view completely ignores the early black vocal quartets, spirituals, and various blues forms and implies that rock 'n' roll appeared out of nowhere when, in fact, it's been evolving for several decades / centuries even by 1950's standards.
To put it another way, the general rule seems to be that if people first heard black music and / or white interpretations of black music in the 1950's, then black music must not have existed in the 1940's and earlier; black music - rock 'n' roll - was new to them so therefore it must be new altogether. Most people who first heard rock 'n' roll in the 1950's took this narrow viewpoint of rock's history with them into adulthood, which is why "real" documentaries about rock 'n' roll's rich history prior to the 1950's needs to be told. People need to know what went down in the 1890's, early 1900's, 1910's, '20's, '30's, and '40's.
I'll be glad to contribute what I can to any documentary that may be made in the future.
As we've talked about MANY times in the past, the generally accepted birth of rock and roll has been tied to the song "Rock Around The Clock" reaching #1 back in 1955. This began the "acceptability" of rock and roll as a music or art form. Without question, it's roots date back considerably earlier than that, as evidenced by the "race music" that was so prevalent on the R&B Charts in the late '40's and early '50's. While disc jockeys like Alan Freed certainly did their part by bringing this music into the homes of the teenagers, white "cover" artists like Pat Boone, The Crew Cuts and so many others influenced Middle White America to at least LISTEN to these new sounds. My God, even wholesome little Ricky Nelson was singing this music on our televisions every single week! And that's when the whole thing exploded ... soon, the listening audience wanted "the real deal", which helped to pave the way for artists like Fats Domino and Little Richard and several others to cross over and achieve mass appeal and success. Today, these artists (along with people like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley) are considered to be the "forefathers" of rock and roll. (We've written several times before about how MUSIC ... more than ANY other political movement or protest marches ... helped unite and bring harmony to the races ... there is no greater evidence of that than the earliest stages of rock and roll!)
Without question, a COMPLETE History Of Rock And Roll should encompass ALL of this as well as trace its roots even further ... but the truth of the matter is (especially since this will ultimately be the first chapter), you'll LOSE your audience if you feed them too much unfamiliar material. Fascinating as it may be, I think you need to work it into other segments ... talk about the Gospel "call and response" ... and then run that right into the early success of Ray Charles' music ... something along those lines that show where it came from ... and how it developed into what we all grew to know, love and accept. My guess is that if this "education" is presented properly, it will inspire more folks to go back and seek out some of these early examples on their own. That's how I discovered the music of the '50's ... I was too young the first time around ... but when The British Invasion Artists started feeding it back to us, I sought out the originals to see what inspired them in the first place.
Bottom line ... one HELL of a true History Of Rock And Roll could be assembled ... and, as I keep saying, by expanding it to 150 hours, it leaves room for much deeper exploration of these early influences. Sadly, even The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, which once prided itself on honoring some of these early influences, has let that category all but disappear ... because there just isn't any "commercial value" in showing this on their annual television special ... and it won't help sell tickets to their "$10,000 per table" ceremony. Sad ... but true. (And seriously, shouldn't a magazine of Rolling Stone's caliber be more committed to getting this story out there? Then again, I guess that's what WE'RE here for!!!) kk

>>>What The Drive [WDRV] put together on their own certainly serves the purpose of satisfying their listening audience. (kk)

Yeah, if you only like Classic Rock, the White Man's music.
What radio needs is someone who is unbiased, no white man's supremacy thing on The History Or Rock And Roll, who also likes the instrumentals and [as Joel Whitburn would call it] Adult Contemporary music.
Sorry, Kent, radio still remains boring to me! As far as XM and Sirus, now that they're one, it's time for a few, ahem, commercials to keep them floating! Should hire some decent DJs!

Jersey John
As the PREMIER Classic Rock Station in town, what other perspective would you EXPECT them to cover? Could they have gone deeper? Absolutely ... but not within the confines of a one-day special trying to encompass a 60 year era of music. But The Drive DOES do Classic Rock right ... regular daily specials like "Triple Play Thursdays" or "Album Sides Weekends" or my personal favorite, "The Drive - A to Z", which typically runs for eight or nine days straight as they run through their extensive on-air catalog, STILL finding ways to slip in NEW material each time ... this station CARES about the music. They cater to their audience. (If you think about it, even Bob Stroud's "Rock And Roll Roots" radio program ... a Chicago Radio Institution for over 25 years now ... rarely delves back further than about 1963 ... hardly "roots" at all in reality ... yet one of the most successful programs in Chicago radio history!) I'd love to see The Drive expand this program over time ... add to it ... instead of album "Deep Tracks" how about "deeper chapters" ... now that you know you've got a "hit" program on your hands, continue to develop and expand it and then air new "expanded" chapter every weekend. A lot of potential here that will still allow you to remain true to your genre. (kk)

And now, from "The Evolution Of Rock" Canadian Camp, we received several responses:

I just read Gary Theroux's comments regarding both The History Of Rock And Roll that he was involved with as well as The Evolution Of Rock that I was involved with ... and I just wanted to say a few things ...
Gary ... you're right.
And you're wrong.
You're right that in 1969 CHUM DID hastily put together something they called The History of Rock due to Drake's History of Rock & Roll being aired on competiter CKFH. It was never aired anywhere else but CHUM. I've never heard it ... so it would be unfair of me to comment on it's "quality".
But you're wrong that it was The Evolution of Rock. THAT was a completely different program. It was produced by CHUM in 1976 and 1977 and won Billboard's International Documentary of The Year Award. It was 64 hours long.
(Further updates were produced from 1978 thru 1980, I believe, but aside from convincing Bill McDonald to write them even though he was busy working for Chuck Blore in Hollywood by then ... and directing Chuck Riley on the Narration ... I had nothing to do with them).
The Evolution of Rock was syndicated by TM throughout the world and later sold to Wagontrain Productions, who placed it on KODJ / L.A. to launch their Oldies Format in 1989. I know because Chuck Riley called asking if I could have it "yanked". At the time he was The Voice of The CBS-TV Network and Emmis Radio both of which, of course, could be heard in L.A.
There is a certain "irony" that in at least one market ... Philadelphia ... both programs were on the air simultaneously.
I recorded Chuck Riley's narration at WIBC Indianapolis, the flagship station of Fairbanks Broadcasting, because Chuck was Afternoon Drive. Our deal with Fairbanks was that they could have the program gratis for all their stations. One of those stations was WIBG in Philly and, of course, they decided to put it on the air. Much to their surprise ... as National PD George Johns explained it to me ... WFIL got Drake's History of Rock & Roll "out of mothballs" ... and put it on the air.
George tells me the EOR won. If so, it could hardly be fair as 'FIL would have been airing a seven or eight year old program.
I hope this helps to "clear the air" on this issue, Gary. I have no opinion on The History of Rock & Roll because I've never heard it.
BTW ... other documentaries produced by CHUM which received international syndication are The Story of The Beatles (1970 - 12 hours), The Elvis Presley Story (1975 - 12 hours) and also an 8 hour Top 100 of The Year from 1970 thru 1977 which aired each year in Canada thru The Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
Warren Cosford,
Production Manager of The Evolution Of Rock
P.S. Gary ... there is no question that The History of Rock and Roll was a HUGE accomplishment. It paved the way for all of us who would later create audio and video documentaries on Rock and Roll and it's many personalities / musicians.
But as for The Evolution of Rock, Gary ... you have the right to your own opinion ... but not your own facts.

On our behalf, Warren also asked J. Robert Wood, the Program Director and later General Manager of CHUM, if he recalled what prompted us to produce the original CHUM History of Rock n Roll. Here is his reply:

Tom Rounds, the President of Watermark, sold us the Drake version; we were to have exclusive rights for its airing in Toronto. Then Rounds broke his word and sold it to CKFH. So we decided to pre-empt CKFH by producing our own version even though we had no script, no interviews, and no research. It was, in my opinion, a terrific program, especially given that we had to start broadcasting it virtually right away in order to launch ahead of ‘FH.
A first draft of the script was developed by Walt Grealis, but it was Larry Solway who wrote the one we used. We had Larry in one office writing it, Doug Thompson in a nearby studio producing it, and Chuck McCoy on the air broadcasting that night’s “latest chapter.”
Yes, it may have been sketchy and a bit sparse in spots, but Larry’s script gave it a sociological perspective that the Drake version lacked. And Doug Thompson’s soaring, meticulous, and beautifully-paced production was easily just as good as the Drake version, despite the impossible deadlines (one three hour chapter each night and only a fraction of the interviews we would later assemble for the Evolution of Rock).
But if our version was sparse in places, so was the Drake version. For example, I seem to recall that the Drake version featured a six or eight hour stretch of nothing but a straight countdown of the top hits of rock n roll strategically scheduled to air during the all night show on their stations. So their version was also sketchy in spots.Regarding Mr. Theroux’s comments about the CHUM Evolution of Rock, it is telling I think that the program was purchased by the leading station in virtually every one of the Top 100 U.S. markets including most of the Drake stations even though it originated in Canada. We actually had competing broadcasters in various markets threatening to sue us if we did not sell the program to them.
The program was also broadcast on stations in major markets in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other English speaking markets around the world. A few years later, when we sold the rights to the program to TM Productions, Jim Long, Jerry Atchley and the rest of the TM team sold it to hundreds of additional smaller market stations in the U.S. and around the world. Ultimately, because of their efforts, the CHUM Evolution of Rock would have aired on far more stations and been heard by far more people than the Drake version. In fact, it was probably the most successful long form music documentary program in the history of broadcasting. Finally, I would be very surprised if the Drake organization had a team of people who could match the body of work and awards achieved by you, Doug Thompson, Bill McDonald and Chuck Riley. They just don’t come any better.

J. Robert Wood

Another note we have to share with you today came from Doug Thompson to Warren Cosford regarding the landmark CHUM Series (with a few "editor's comments" from Warren himself wherever he felt it necessary.) Doug has been a FH Reader for a few years now and although he and I may have gotten off on the wrong foot initially (ya think?!?!?), I have to say that he has become a staunch supporter of our efforts ... and regularly sends me notes to tell me that he's "still reading"!!! (lol) I love it! Doug also sent me the official CHUM Chart Book, a complete history of The Canadian Charts ... signed by many of the principle players at the station from back to the day, a gift for which I will ALWAYS be grateful. (I use it all the time, Doug!!!) Here are some of HIS comments on what's been going on:


In the whole scheme of your career, what does it matter what Gary Theroux thinks?

I mean, really, who cares what he thinks?

You know what you, J. Robert Wood, Bill McDonald, Chuck Riley, Bob McMillan and Zeke Zdebiak did with "The Evolution of Rock". It was magnificent. As you rightly point out, it won the Billboard award for "Best International Syndicated Program of the Year". But it was different from Drake's 60's version of the "History of Rock'N'Roll" that Theroux is talking about (other than the subject matter and the music). It's like comparing McIntosh apples and Red Spy apples. They're the same but they're different.

But so what? I don't even care that you called a program I produced, "I've never heard it, but I understand that it was likely about as poorly written and produced in comparison to your program as you remember it." (Speaking of CHUM's original "History of Rock" in 1969) It was.
Ed Note: Actually Doug.....that paragraph was sent to you, JRW and Bob McMillan in my First Draft, but not to The List or to Forgotten Hits.

No one in Canada, certainly not at CHUM, had ever attempted anything like that. It WAS written and produced to counter program CKFH who'd purchased Drake's original "History of Rock'N'Roll" in 1969. And it did its job well. Larry Solway, who was not a fan of much rock and roll music, wrote it. Chuck Riley flew into Toronto to narrate it (thanks to Bob Wood) and I produced it. Think about it - writing and producing 28 hours of radio programming ... in less than two weeks. The script was dry (and that's being kind), the production was extremely basic. We rolled records a lot of the time (that's what Larry had in the script). We had no interviews in it other than a couple of Elvis clips I added to one of his songs that I took from the "Elvis Sails" RCA interview EP.

It aired 4 hours a night for 7 nights in a row. Requests for copies and to replay it from listeners were so great that CHUM did indeed repeat all 28 hours at the end of the year.

Now compare that to the one week you, Bill, JRW and I had to write and produce "The Beatles Story". It was only 12 hours and it practically killed some of us (well, me actually). You produced the middle four hours and handled all the day-to-day CHUM commercial production for that week while I produced the first four hours and the last four. As you know, I was there six days straight. I worked 'round the clock (as did JRW and you), went home at 7 in the morning, had a quick shower and came right back to CHUM. I ended up in the hospital for several days when it was over. But we were young and crazy as well as devotedly dedicated to CHUM and our leader, JRW. After all ... we were at WAR. And we won that war. CKFH eventually went away, only to be replaced by another, stronger competitor - CFTR and it was during that new war that you, Bill, JRW, Bob, Chuck and Zeke created "The Evolution of Rock".

In 1983, ABC Radio in Hollywood hired me to write "Ringo's Yellow Submarine". It was a 24 hour radio series featuring The Beatles' Ringo Starr as host. "Ringo's Yellow Submarine" ran three hours a week throughout the summer on hundreds of radio stations all over the world. In the late summer, near the middle of the series, Goldmine Magazine wrote a review of the show and they weren't particularly kind. It upset me, but I knew I'd done the very best show I could, and that ABC were very happy with the show. In fact, they ran all 24 hours again the following summer.
Ed Note: Doug is much to modest to mention this but ... in the final hour of the show, Ringo was asked to take phone calls from fans. He said he'd do it providing Dougie Thompson was in the studio with him. "Dougie knows more about me than I do".

Opinions like Gary Theroux's are a dime a dozen. He wrote for Drake's History of Rock and Roll. Of course, he's going to prefer that. I HAVE listened to every hour of both specials and honestly, I do prefer "The Evolution of Rock" simply because it's much more production based. There's more excitement to it. I also very much like the original 48 hour "History Of Rock and Roll" rockumentary that Ron Jacobs produced at KHJ in 1969 with Robert W. Morgan narrating. God, that was fun to listen to. I actually prefer THAT version to the syndicated Drake version that Theroux would have been involved with.

Look, you're never going to change Gary Theroux's mind, just as he's never change yours. So, in the immortal words of Strother Martin's character from "Cool Hand Luke", "What we got here ... is failure to communicate."

Doug in Aurora

And one more ...
Well, I just have to comment, after all the work Dave Doering and I did digitizing the Evolution Of Rock, on the History vs. The EOR. My observations are, I think, objective and accurate. I don’t know how long it took the CHUM folks to make the show; but, it took Dave and I a full year to digitize it. Not only did we copy each record and / or tape (depending on what we had available), precisely as the original, we also processed a full copy using Adobe Audition minute by minute, line by line for, in our opinion, much improvement over the original. We started this as a personal lark. I had the records from when WXIL ran the show in 1978. We ran it twice. The first time was over a weekend all the way through without interruption. There were stay-awake–a-thons during the show. Nobody wanted to miss any of it. The second time, WXIL ran the show on weekdays, in the evenings, playing three hour long segments a night or one year a night. Then I put the show away and forgot about it until about seven years ago when Dave Doering (a close friend and former WXIL shareholder) called me to ask if I still had the show. I did. He wanted to know if he could digitize it. After some conversation, we both decided to work on it in a cooperative manner. Not long into the project, we began to think – independently – that the show could still be viable commercially; especially if updated. During that process, Dave and I found Warren Cosford along with Bill McDonald who wrote the show. We became good friends. I also contacted Chuck ‘Riley’ Hanks and we talked for hours on the phone. When finished, we were led to believe that we could purchase the rights for the show from CHUM. Then calamity hit. Chuck Hanks died, CHUM sold out and we got left holding the bag with a huge amount of legal fees for the research and negotiation work we had been doing up until all the changes out of our control and no deal. Anyway, we finished the digitizing process through and including 1980. 1978 – 1980 was all done originally in STEREO with the preceding segments all recorded in MONO. Our 1980 segments are also in MONO because we couldn’t find a STEREO source version anywhere. Now, I told you all this for background on the comments that follow pertaining to “The History of Rock” vs. “The Evolution of Rock”. While I did not check with Dave Doering on the following, we have discussed this so many times that I really think I speak for Dave as well as myself.

First, and as an aside, during our digitizing work, I found a number of original TM 15” Master Tapes on eBay. I think there are 17 in all in that collection. I traded a digitized version of the show from LPs for the tapes. We were both very happy. Now, the tapes revealed some very interesting things. All the openings by Chuck “Riley” Hanks said the following: “ … The History of Rock – The Music That Made The World Go Round”. I always wondered about that and still do. The rest of the segments are identical to the LPs … “ … The Evolution of Rock – The Music That Made The World Go Round”. Another was that many “imperfections” found on the LPs were also on that tapes, although, the tapes were slightly better overall. Too bad we didn’t have it all on tape. But both tape and LPs had “surface noise” among the things we removed in our process.

Here is my appraisal of both shows in a brief summation:

The History was better engineered. The audio quality is much better. Their music sources (i.e. records) seem to be much better as well; i.e. cleaner. I also believe the History is in STEREO as in the originals and MONO where the originals were MONO. I can’t attest to the research comments, but I will not argue the point as, to me at least, it is not strictly speaking relevant from a commercial standpoint. That is concerning both the History and the EOR in my view. Now, in my opinion, as for the EOR, the production values far, far exceed that of the History. While the History was produced by genre, the EOR was done chronologically year by year. It grew and grew and grew on you! Chuck Riley hyped the thing, which was just what a “high energy” Top 40 Radio Programmer “like I’m” really appreciates and it fit the WXIL format like a glove. My only regret is that the EOR should have been entirely in Stereo from 1958 onward. Dave and I, had we received the “promised” “Raw” Master Tapes from CHUM, would have given it serious consideration … adding in Stereo music where possible. We love the show and appreciate all that went into it. The writing on the EOR is exceptional, any incorrect research or assumptions notwithstanding. And, if Warren’s accounts are correct, as I assume they are, Warren and Chuck made a great team in creating all the excitement. Each needed the other. While I have met several former and current CHUM folks, my EOR associations in terms of our research and work include Warren, Bill McDonald also a great personal friend and Bob McMillan.

As others in the radio industry on this list have mentioned quite often, it is a real shame that good talent is mostly (there are some exceptions) dormant and / or unemployed in what was once a thriving and exciting industry. Innovation is gone. As an aside, Dave and I have the EOR in WAV format and high quality MP3.I have attached a promotional vehicle used by TM with all TM reference removed at their request. We have permission to use the EOR in terms of TM, TM Century, etc. perpetually for whatever that’s worth …. not much, I’m afraid. I posted a high quality version of this promo on Facebook several years back. Warren or some other list member found it; but, I did not lay claim to it at the time. You should see the art work that Bill McDonald did for us when we thought we had the deal with CHUM. He’s a great guy! This attachment is a “Lo-Fi” small 32 KBPS in mono to make it easily sent by e-mail. But, it gives you an idea. Anyone who would like a high quality copy of this promo, just ask and I will be happy to pass it along. It is 10.5 MB. Make sure you ISP and your e-mail can handle that large a file first.Before the sale of CHUM, they ran the three hours from 1965 digitized by us on CHUM on a Sunday. They gave us credit for the digitization. I copied it from their web site. So, I have a copy complete with our credits.


Dave Strock (from West Virginia)

And then a late comment from co-producer Bob McMillan ...
Hi Warren;

Just back in (Sunday evening) from a Grandson visit to Saskatoon and have caught up with the History and Evolution thread ... whew! Someone in the US sure has his knickers in a knot!!! Kinda makes you want to get out the razor blade and grease pencil again.
In thinking back to our days ... Bill McDonald, Zeke, you, Larry, Bob Wood etc., I have nothing but pride in our accomplishments with our radio specials and radio in general. There aren't too many people out there who did what we did under the pressure that was on us and to get the results that we did (pardon my grammar).
I recall, on many occasions, playing a segment of a special for you, getting `the look; and re-doing it. It`s not that we threw it together, it`s just that ``it could be slicker``; and we did.
There are many, many segments throughout the EOR that are special because of the teamwork; not just one writer or one producer or one announcer, but all of us. As I recall, my production had to be better than Zeke`s and Zeke`s production had to be better than yours and your production had to be ... well, you get the picture, because you helped paint it, Warren. You, Zeke and I each had a hand in producing portions of the EOR and, to this day, I stand by the fact that not a single person can tell where I started and turned it over to Zeke or where Zeke turned it over to you, etc., etc.; we were that in tune with each other.
By the way, you might want to ask Gary Theroux if he ever had a hand in producing a video version of the show especially for schools.

Kindest regards and with CHUM pride,

Bob McMillan
(Between 1977 and 1986 Bob McMillan also produced the VIDEO History of Rock, a 35 minute program which was updated each year and presented in every Toronto area High School. Warren Cosford)

How cool is it to have SO many people involved with the original making of these landmark radio series responding in our forum!!! Clearly, everyone is still quite proud and passionate about the work that was done ... and, quite honestly, I think ALL of this would make for some very refreshing programming again. Let's face it, at the time that these programs first aired, nothing like this had ever been done before ... and the fact that these two different series aired right on the heels of one another also meant that no benchmark had previously been set. Without a doubt, I'm sure ALL parties concerned would do certain things a little bit differently today, if time and finances would allow for it ... inspiring me to say once again, IT'S TIME TO UPDATE THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL TO COVER THE PAST 70 YEARS!!! Is ANYBODY out there in radioland listening?!?!?

Thanks again to EVERYBODY for their continued support and boatloads of inside information ... where else would the average oldies music fan get to hear such stories? Personally, I love it ... and if somehow, someway this forum can help inspire somebody out there to take this to the next level, then I'll feel that we have made a MAJOR contribution to help keep this great music alive. (kk)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CHICAGO: The Hit List

How is it even REMOTELY possible that Chicago is NOT in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Incredibly, they've never even made the ballot!!!

What's wrong with this picture???

They've entertained us for DECADES, helped pioneer and spearhead the whole horn-rock era of rock and roll, fused rock and jazz YEARS before Steely Dan came along, incorporated political candor along side progressive, free-form guitar jams ... composed ALL of their own material ... with EVERY member of the band contributing to these hits over the years ... and retained at least half of their original members some 43 years later. They remain today, without question, the greatest injustice that can be attributed to the boneheads who determine such factors at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... a GROSS oversight and royal slap in the face to some of the most consummate musicians to ever pick up and study the craft of their instruments.

Just check out The CHICAGO Hit List:
1969 - Questions 67 and 68 (#71, national peak)
1970 - Make Me Smile (#9)
25 or 6 to 4 (#4)
1971 - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (#5)
Free (#19)
Lowdown (#25)
Beginnings (#7)
Colour My World (#7 flipside)
Questions 67 and 68 (#13, reissue)
I'm A Man (#49)
1972 - Saturday In The Park (#3)
Dialogue (Part 1 and 2) #17
1973 - Feelin' Stronger Every Day (#8)
Just You 'n' Me (#1)
1974 - (I've Been) Searchin' So Long (#6)
Call On Me (#6)
Wishing You Were Here (with The Beach Boys) #9
1975 - Harry Truman (#13)
Old Days (#5)
Brand New Love Affair (Part 1 and 2) #43
1976 - Another Rainy Day In New York City (#32)
If You Leave Me Now (#1)
1977 - You Are On My Mind (#49)
Baby What A Big Surprise (#4)
1978 - Little One (#44)
Take Me Back To Chicago (#62)
Alive Again (#13)
1979 - No Tell Lover (#14)
Gone Long Gone (#73)
Must Have Been Crazy (#83)
1980 - Thunder And Lightning (#56)
1982 - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (#1)
Love Me Tomorrow (#22)
1983 - What You're Missing (#81)
1984 - Stay The Night (#15)
Hard Habit To Break (#2)
1985 - You're The Inspiration (#3)
Along Comes A Woman (#14)
1986 - 25 or 6 to 4 (new versions) #46
1987 - Will You Still Love Me? (#3)
If She Would Have Been Faithful (#16)
Niagara Falls (#91)
1988 - I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love (#3)
Look Away (#1)
1989 - You're Not Alone (#9)
We Can Last Forever (#53)
1990 - What Kind Of Man Would I Be? (#5)
Hearts In Trouble (#57)
1991 - Chasin' The Wind (#31)
1997 - Here in My Heart (#59)

Fifty charted singles ... plus 31 charted albums (including six gold, eight platinum and eight multi-platinum LPs!!!) Not worthy of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction, my ass!!! (kk)


Forgotten Hits Reader (and radio big-wig) Tom Cuddy sent me THIS note ... along with a list of the most-played Chicago songs on the radio, 2010. A few surprises here: without looking at the list, Frannie and I both guessed "Saturday In The Park" would come in at #1 ... but it came in at #6! A few others that I seem to hear all of the time include "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is", "Beginnings", "If You Leave Me Now", "Old Days", "25 or 6 to 4" and "Make Me Smile" ... but a couple of those didn't even make The Top Ten!
Here's Tom's note ... and list:

Reading your stories for the past few days about the band Chicago inspired me to forward to you a story I wrote late last year for the band's official fan club publication, "Scrapbook."

The first concert I ever attended as a teen was Chicago at the Rhode Island Auditorium. They have been one of my all-time favorites ever since. Through my jobs in radio and divine intervention I have become fortunate enough over the years to become friends with the members of Chicago. They have displayed enormous kindness by even thanking me in the liner notes of a few of their CDs. (Kent: Remember liner notes?!)
I have worked with hundreds of artists over the years, but very few as talented, down-to-earth, and appreciative as the guys in Chicago.
New York, NY

(click to enlarge)

The band Chicago holds a special place in our hearts, too.

Before we even met each other, Frannie and I had each seen Chicago live in concert at least half a dozen times ... seeing them IN Chicago was always an extra bonus ... but she says their shows down in the Dallas / Fort Worth area were always complete sell outs, too. Ironically, on the very first night of our honeymoon in Las Vegas ... (no, Nicholas Cage WASN'T there) ... we saw Chicago again (our very first time together) at the Stardust Hotel ... and I can honestly say it was the BEST performance I ever saw them give. (I've got some GREAT Chicago memories ... back in 1989, I took my then four year old daughter to see them with The Beach Boys at Poplar Creek, an outdoor music venue here in the Chicago area that is now, sadly, now part of history. That night, Jason Scheff singled my daughter out from the audience and sang "You're The Inspiration" to her ... a short while later that same night, Beach Boy Mike Love presented her with a beach ball ... man, talk about your magical nights!!! We had second row seats ... which I think spoiled her for life!!! lol)
I also talked to Scott Shannon after our Terry Kath / Chicago article ran and he told me that he had just finished reading original Drummer Danny Seraphine's new biography ... he said I did a GREAT job of putting into words Terry Kath's state of mind at the time of his death, capturing the very essence of his "inner demons" ... something that NOBODY (including Terry himself) could have properly verbalized or understood at the time. (I haven't read Danny's book yet but really want to ... Scott told me the book kicks off with the group arriving at the house to remove Terry's body ... pretty morbid stuff, to be sure ... but an undeniable part of the band's history.)
Thanks for sending us your list, Tom. We've got a lot of Chicago fans on the list ... and all over the world. (How have these guys been snubbed by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for so long?!?!? They should immediately jump to the top of the list for Mandatory Inductees for 2011!!!) kk

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CHICAGO, Circa 1978 (Part 3)

Original Lead Guitarist ... and some would say the heart and soul of the band ... Terry Kath was gone. Producer / Manager / Mentor James William Guercio was gone. The rest of Chicago was not only trying to figure out their next direction ... but also deciding whether they would even stay together at all.

Fortunately, their love of music prevailed ... several of their musical peers ultimately convinced the band that they should go on ... and that this is what Terry Kath would have wanted. (Ironically, Kath was reportedly working on a solo album ... with now-departed Guercio producing ... at the time of his untimely death.)

So the band regrouped ... and new guitarist / vocalist Donnie Dacus was added to the fold as Terry Kath's replacement. (Dacus brought a little bit of a Peter Frampton look with him when he arrived ... as well as some renewed, youthful, jubilant enthusiasm for making music.)

Think about it ... Chicago had released eleven albums over the past ten years ... and most of these were multi-disk sets. They were feeling a little bit stale and road-fatigued, not to mention bummed about the loss of their original guitarist, especially under the rather unusual and unfortunate circumstances surrounding that loss.

The first track they recorded for their twelfth LP would go on to become its lead-off single, "Alive Again". Some would say it was a direct tribute to Terry ... or perhaps to their new (excuse the pun) beginnings ... but there was an excitement to this track not heard on a Chicago single in quite a while. I loved it the first time I heard it and rushed out to buy the LP as soon as it was released. ("Alive Again" ultimately peaked at #13 in Cash Box Magazine and #14 in Billboard.)

The LP was called "Hot Streets", which in an of itself depicted yet ANOTHER departure for the born-again band. This would be the first album NOT assigned a number. (Prior to this release, Chicago's albums ... after their "Chicago Transit Authority" debut ... were officially called albums "II thru XI"!) Also gone was the gigantic logo that adorned the front cover of every other album up through this date. (Some have said that the Chicago logo is about as recognizable worldwide as the logo for Coca-Cola ... as such, the band really had no "visual" identity ... they were, in fact, the epitome of the nameless, faceless band ... constantly on the radio, scoring hit after hit after hit ... but stuck in an "identity crisis" cycle that apparently was one of Terry Kath's haunting demons at the time of his death.) So, for the first time EVER, the members of the band were prominently featured on the front cover of the new LP. (Incredibly, it would also be the LAST time!!!)

After "Alive Again" made its run up and down the charts, a couple more singles from the LP were released: "No Tell Lover" peaked at #14 and "Gone Long Gone" only managed a #73 showing before it was gone long gone from the radio and our memories. Also gone an LP later was the newly added Dacus ... some say he never really fit in with the rest of the guys ... and "Hot Streets" seems to have become "the album that nobody really talks about" ever since.
(It did stay on the charts for seven months ... and sold platinum, ultimately peaking at #12 on Billboard's Album Chart ... but even today you will rarely hear "Alive Again" or "No Tell Lover" played on the radio or as part of the band's repertoire in concert ... although a number of Greatest Hits compilations released over the past 35 years prominently feature both of these Top 20 Tunes in their song line-up ... and rightfully so!)

The band also took a little bit of flack for another track on the LP. Peter Cetera gave one of his best rock vocals to date on a track called "Little Miss Lovin'", a song that I believe COULD have been another Top 20 Hit Single for the group had it been released that way.

The opposition? Singing behind Cetera's gritty vocal was none other than The Bee Gees, probably the hottest group on the planet at the time thanks to their recent disco resurgence. (What on earth were The Bee Gees doing on a Chicago record?!?!?) In hindsight, it's STILL a damn good track that might gain a little more acceptance now that most of The Bee Gees backlash has passed ... so we're featuring THIS one today, too!

Chicago is still performing to sold-out crowds today. With their entire original horn section still intact ... and Robert Lamm still handling keyboard duties ... the band sounds as fresh today as they did way back when. (When one considers that even a few of the so-called "newbies", like vocalist / bassist Jason Scheff, who replaced Peter Cetera in 1985, has already been with the band for 25+ years and drummer Tris Imboden has performed with the group since 1990 ... or 21 years ... this has proven to be a pretty rock-solid line-up for decades now. (Former Drummer Danny Seraphine, a founding member of the band who opened the "Beginnings" nightclub here in Chicago during the band's hey-day, was ultimately fired by the band after what was described as a "severe falling out" in 1990. Seraphine has a brand new autobiography out, which I'll have to pick up one of these days to see if he sheds any new light on anything we've reported this past week!)

Meanwhile, I hope you have enjoyed our little Forgotten Hits Time Capsule, zeroing in on the critical crossroads period of Chicago, circa 1978.

Tomorrow in Forgotten Hits --->
The CHICAGO Hit List ...
An AMAZING list of their 50 charted singles ...
And, on Friday ...
You won't BELIEVE the mail we've been getting this week about last week's
(Somebody needs to dig these landmark radio series out of mothballs and air them again!!!)
Please join us! (kk)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

CHICAGO, 1978 (Part 2)

Much was made at the time ... and has been made ever since ... regarding the eerie Lynyrd Skynyrd album cover for their "Street Survivors" LP, picturing the group engulfed in flames. Ironically, the LP was released just three days before the fatal plane crash that killed three members of the band. MCA moved quickly to pull the album off the shelves, replacing it with a solid black background in respect to the band.

But did you know that the inside gatefold cover of the Chicago XI album depicted Terry Kath with a bullet going through his head? Photographer Reid Miles had instituted a running gag over the past four LPs showing the band in various comedic confrontations with the police ... but on the band's eleventh album, the last to feature Terry Kath on guitar, released shortly before his death, the photo showed Terry being shot in the head by a policeman's bullet!

Reports regarding the exact circumstances surrounding Terry's fatal pulling of the trigger that night of January 23, 1978 ... just eight days before his 32nd birthday ... have varied any number of times over the years. The only eye-witness to the accident, Don Johnson, the band's keyboard technician, has kept pretty quiet about the incident, perhaps helping to fuel even more speculation.

At various times, reports have circulated that Terry had been depressed regarding any number of things ... a bad romantic relationship ... some low self-esteem regarding the fact that he was considerably overweight and couldn't live up to the "sex symbol" personna of a big-time rock star ... the fact that he had never really received the proper recognition and respect for his guitar-playing abilities that he deserved ... added to the fact that he had been consuming more and more drugs at the time ... I can confidently say that based on all of these factors (and any other inner demons that Terry may have been harboring), I don't know that anyone can truly speak accurately about Kath's actual state of mind at the time of his death.

Producer James William Guercio says that he and Terry had been working on a solo album ... and that if any member of the band was poised to step away from the group and pursue a successful solo career, Kath would have been the most likely choice. (Ironically, it was bassist Peter Cetera who managed to do so several years later.)

Other reports have circulated that Terry had been playing around with another gun at the kitchen table that night ... one that really was unloaded and was missing its magazine chamber ... and that several times he had put it to his head in mock Russian Roulette fashion. (Since Don Johnson was the only eye-witness to the shooting, this is either a story he had to have told somebody that was then repeated "out of school" ... or complete fabrication ... as no one else could possibly have known what went on that night, simply because they weren't there to witness it.) Most agree, however, that Kath had an affection for guns and loved to shoot them, play with them and clean them. He was also known to stay up for days at a time, partying hearty before he'd ultimately collapse from exhaustion into a deep (and often drug-induced) sleep. Despite not knowing any of the principle players in this crazy circus, I still feel quite confident in saying that I'm willing to bet that more than once or twice over the past 33 years, it must have crossed Don Johnson's mind that he could have just as easily been the victim that night as the witness if Terry was, in fact, twirling a loaded gun around the kitchen table in haphazzard fashion!

After first playing around with the gun that was missing its magazine chamber, Kath then picked up the other gun ... which, unknown to anyone at the time, still contained one bullet in its chamber ... and started waving it around the air when it misfired, sending the bullet

straight through his head. Others have stated that the gun that ultimately killed Terry was known to have a faulty trigger and had misfired in the past. Some say he was so tired (and / or high) that night that he didn't even realize what he was doing. Official reports called it an "accidental shooting", stating simply for the record that Terry Kath had died of "self-inflicted gun shot wounds".

Regardless, the heart of Chicago was gone. The band figured this was it ... it was over ... but thanks to support from several other artists and musicians, (most notably Doc Severinsen of The Tonight Show!), they were ultimately convinced to continue ... as Terry would have wanted them to.

The band truly was at a crossroads ... their star lead guitarist was gone ... their long-time manager and producer was gone ... and for the first time in ten years, Chicago was going to have to go through the process of interviewing potential new band members. No one really knew for sure what the future held for this incredibly successful band.

---> More tomorrow in Forgotten Hits

Monday, January 31, 2011

Forgotten Hits Remembers Terry Kath

Terry Kath, original lead guitarist for the rock group Chicago, might have been turning 65 years old today if he had played spin the bottle the week before his 32nd birthday instead of spin the gun chamber ... but, sadly, that's not what happened.

His loss was immediate ... and it's still felt today, all these years later.

Never fully appreciated for the guitar skills he possessed, Kath was, at the time of his death, not a "happy man".

When Chicago first headed out to The West Coast in the late '60's (as Chicago Transit Authority), they opened for any number of headliners, trying to make their mark on the music scene, including guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.

From our Forgotten Hits Jimi Hendrix profile:
CHICAGO CONNECTION: Back in late 1968 / early 1969, Jimi Hendrix happened across a band performing at the famed Whiskey A Go-Go out in LA. That band just happened to be The Chicago Transit Authority (known later simply as Chicago), who had just moved out to the west coast trying to get a record label deal. According to saxophonist Walt Parazaider, "This guy came up very quietly and tapped me on the shoulder. He says, 'Hi, I'm Jimi Hendrix. I've been watching you guys and I think your guitarist is better than me.'" That guitarist was Terry Kath, one of Chicagoland's greatest musical casualties ... he died playing Russian Roulette in 1978 ... and that was quite a compliment indeed. In fact, HENDRIX invited CTA to open for some of his shows, most famously at the LA FORUM, April 26, 1969. Parazaider goes on to say, " ... that's how we got in front of big audiences." By year's end, their first LP was out ... and that was some 25-or-6-(to 4)-plus albums ago.

(You can read the whole piece here: Click here: Forgotten Hits - Jimi Hendrix)

Ironically, early on Kath was often described by critics as a "Hendrix wannabe" and accused of mimicking Hendrix's sound and technique ... but Terry had been doing amazing things with feedback, distortion and free-form guitar solos for years. No less a critic than Hendrix himself remarked "I think your guitarist is better than me."

Initially, after Terry's death, the band considered breaking up ... it was that traumatic. Friends since college (and with eleven albums already under their belts, ALL of which had previously gone gold or platinum ... with album sales of somewhere near 20 million at the time!), they just couldn't imagine going on without Kath, one of their musical and spiritual leaders. While it may have been some of the other members of the band that gave Chicago their jazz influence ... and others still that insured that their sound remained "pop" enough to keep them on the charts ... Kath was, without question, the "rocker" ... a progressive, heavy rock guitarist with a sound that should have propelled him to the top of all the critics' lists. (To this day, Chicago still doesn't get the respect they deserve ... witness their omission from The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!)

Kath died at a critical turning point within the band ... they had just dismissed their long-term producer / manager / mentor / (and some would say Svengali) James William Guercio. If band mates Peter Cetera and Robert Lamm were considered the principle lead vocalists for the band, Kath outdid himself on their eleventh album, handling the vocals on four of the LP's eleven cuts.

Much like the long-rumored Mama Cass story about choking to death on a ham sandwich, the members of Chicago insist to this day that Terry did NOT die playing Russian Roulette ... although this is the way the story of his death has most often been portrayed. According to Ben Joseph's book "Chicago: Feelin' Stronger Every Day", Kath "was not at a party with other members of Chicago present ... Kath was sitting at the kitchen table of Chicago's keyboard tech, Don Johnson, cleaning his guns and, while waving one too close to his head, it went off and took his life."

This isn't to say that Kath wasn't having a difficult time dealing with his own inner demons ... the books goes on to make several other comments:

"He was at my place the night before he died," remembers James Pankow. "He had been having major hassles with his old lady and had been doing substances." Pankow claims that Kath had been awake for a couple of days before the incident. "He wasn't incredibly depressed, but he was bumming and he was tired. I said 'Terry, do yourself a favor and lie down and get some sleep, man.'"

Joseph describes Kath as "a gun collector ... an aficionado" who would often go out to the shooting range to practice with his pistols. While keyboard tech Don Johnson was the only witness to Terry's death, he declined to comment for Joseph's book. Jimmy Pankow says that after they came back from the shooting range, Terry sat at the kitchen table, cleaning his guns. Johnson told him, "Hey, man, you're really tired. Why don't you just put the guns down and go to bed." Terry said, "Don't worry about it" and he showed Donny the gun. He said, "Look, the clip's not even in it" and he had the clip in one hand and the gun in the other. But evidently there was still a bullet in the chamber. He put the clip back in and began waving the gun around his head. "What do you think I'm going to do?", he asked ... "Blow my brains out?" And, at that moment, the gun went off.

Terry Kath died instantly. Pankow says "Only Terry knows what he was thinking at that moment. I do not believe, nor will I ever believe, that Terry was suicidal. Terry was a very strong individual and he had never alluded to any notion of suicide ... and Terry and I were very close."


Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 01 - 30 - 11 )

In respect of the privacy of our readers, we always send our emails out "blind" ... but, inevitably, once or twice a year, one of these sneaks through "unblinded". All we can do is apologize for this ... it is certainly not our intent to publish the email addresses of our many readers.

Fortunately ... (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) ... our alert mailings go out to TWELVE separate mailing lists ... so even if one of them gets by me (which apparently it did on Friday), it only represents about 8% of our mailing list ... still an inconvenience, I know, but not as bad as it COULD be. Unfortunately ... (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) ... our list has become a VERY desirable list. We've got a pretty elite group of oldies fans, deejays and artists who read and participate with Forgotten Hits on a daily basis ... so when an "unblind" list DOES make it past us, some of the "poachers" on the list IMMEDIATELY try to contact each and every member available on that list for their own purposes. (Much easier to steal OUR list, I guess, than to develop a meaningful list of their own!!!)
Again, for this I apologize. Please know that we have NEVER ... nor WILL we ever ... distribute our list to ANYBODY out there asking us to do so. (And you'd be surprised by just how many people have!) It's taken twelve years to establish ourselves as the "go to" source for oldies information ... and it's list members like each and every one of you out there that make Forgotten Hits as unique an insightful as it is. So again, I want to apologize to anybody who received unsolicited email from any of these list poachers ... my recommendation is to simply email them back and ask them to remove your name from their address book immediately. Hopefully they'll show enough respect to do so.
Meanwhile, we'll continue to monitor this as closely as we can but I already know that SOMEWHERE down the line it'll happen again when I'm rushing to get something up on the site as I've got one foot running out the door ... so let me apologize IN ADVANCE for THAT situation as well! (kk)

I think our recent piece on pressing your ashes into vinyl collectibles for your closest fans and family must have inspired our buddy Wild Bill Cody ... check this out:
I guess you heard the sad news that fitness guru Jack LaLanne passed away at the age of 96. Well, come to find out that his grieving widow Elaine has decided NOT to cremate his remains, but instead, since he was SO healthy, made up her mind to JUICE HIM!
I dunno why I find this funny ... you decide!
Too morbid or???
Hey, I think it's funny! (lol) kk
Boy does this suck or what?
Why this popped into my mind, I don't know, but I wanted to submit it to Jay Leno's Tonight Show (God knows his writers need some help!!!), but NBC informed me they will accept no unsolicited material nor will pay for such.
Whatever ... I thought this was funny ... especially since all you see on late night info-commercials is Jack LaLanne and his wife hawking their "juicers"!
Wild Bill



Kent ...
Don't know if you heard this sad news yet.
Frank B.
In Memoriam: Gladys Horton of The Marvelettes
And, from Ron Smith's website:
Gladys Horton, a founding member and one of the lead singers of the first Motown group to reach #1 (the Marvelettes with "Please Mr. Postman), died Wednesday (January 26) at a nursing home in Sherman Oaks, California. She was 66. Gladys had been in poor health since a stroke suffered last year. Gladys and four fellow students at Inkster High School in suburban Detroit formed the group as the Casinyets, which stood for "Can't Sing Yet." But they could. Despite only winning fourth place in their school's talent contest, they impressed Motown's Berry Gordy, Jr. and Smokey Robinson enough to give them a contract in 1961. Besides "Please Mr. Postman" that year, the girls had success with hits like "Playboy" (#7 - 1962) and "Beechwood 4 - 5789" (#17 - 1962). All told, they charted 25 times in eleven years. However, it soon became clear that Motown was putting its promotion behind the Supremes and the group's last top ten record was "Don't Mess With Bill" in 1966. Gladys left the group when she got married in 1967 and they broke up in 1971. She spent much of her time after that taking care of her handicapped son. Adding insult to injury, Motown gave away the rights to the group's name (some say by Gordy in a poker game) and Gladys was unable to re-form it in later years.

-- Ron Smith

Hi Kent,
Is it already Sunday again? Where did the week go?
Loved the KHJ boss jock jingle! Interesting to know the background behind it. Wow do those names bring back memories! KHJ was my home station back in the day when AM radio ruled. If music wasn’t blasting from the pink plastic plug in radio on my desk, it was coming from my transistor radio as I sat on the beach. Sam Riddle is a more than familiar name to me. His TV show “9th Street West” was the west coast version of American Bandstand and a must Monday – Friday along with the Lloyd Thaxton Show. A group of my friends and I were actually on the show that broadcast from Desilu Studios in Hollywood. I still have the Dusty Springfield LP that my boyfriend and I won for the Happy Faces contest. Then there was Hollywood A-Go-Go … a not to be missed weekly show on Saturday evening hosted by Sam Riddle. Here’s a link to a fun YouTube of that show: Hollywood a Go Go complete show open and close:
A little off the track of KHJ, but speaking of Lloyd Thaxton … I had quite an interesting experience getting to know him in 2006. I heard my morning DJ interviewing Lloyd when he published his book “Stuff Happens” and sent an email to the DJ about a memory I had of Lloyd’s lip sync performance of Jay & The Americans’ “Cara Mia”. Over the years when I’d hear that song rather than thinking of Jay & the Americans, I would always see Lloyd dressed in a crazy get up that included a Viking helmet. I always wondered what the connection was for a song with an Italian title. Before I knew it, I had an email from Lloyd with a photo of that memory and an answer my question. He said, “Well, an Italian helmet wouldn’t have been very funny!”

I replied to his message commenting on a photo of one of his shows that had been posted on the radio station site after the interview. I mentioned that some of the people in the photo were kids from my high school. Our exchange continued from there because Lloyd was working on a DVD of his old shows and said he would love to get in touch with people who had been on his show. It was timely that within a few weeks I had a high school reunion and the location was just minutes from Lloyds home, so he ended up making a surprise guest appearance.
The DJ for the evening played the audio that had been used as the show theme and when it started playing everyone smiled remembering the tune.

When Lloyd walked into the room and came to the mic and said “Hello my name is Lloyd Thaxton” everyone yelled back “So What!” Who could forget that highlight from the show! When he asked how many of those in the room had been on his show about three fourths of the people there raised their hands. He entertained us with a sense of humor that he certainly hadn’t lost over the years. Sadly Lloyd passed away in 2008, but his blog remains online at: and includes some memorable photos, stories and comments from Lloyd.
The Lloyd Thaxton show was syndicated in cities around the country. Anyone else have memories of this show? From his blog:
Lloyd was also one of the founders of Tiger Beat magazine. Following The Lloyd Thaxton Show, he hosted numerous network game shows, an ABC radio talk show and the variety show Showcase ’68 on NBC-TV. For eighteen years he was writer, producer and director of the high-rated national infotainment TV show “Fight Back! With David Horowitz” and writer-producer-director of over 200 segments on NBC-TV’s ‘”The Today Show.”
We received quite a bit of mail after Lloyd's passing a few years back ... he was well-loved by ALL of us who grew up watching his show after school. Shortly before, we heard him on Dave The Rave's "Relics And Rarities" radio program on Top Shelf Oldies ... where he was the consummate guest ... VERY entertaining. On that program he talked about putting together the series of DVD's that would best represent his show ... but he passed away before they ever saw the light of day. Here's hoping SOMEBODY will pick up the gauntlet and get these things out there to the public ... some of these performances were priceless and we would LOVE to see them again. Thanks for sharing YOUR memories with us, Dana! (kk)

... and, speaking of Top Shelf Oldies ...

We got this neat little clip from our buddy DJ Stu Weiss the other day ... looks like somebody put together a little video montage featuring Stu, Dave The Rave and Tom Diehl (along with all of the OTHER Top Shelf Oldies jocks!) Kinda neat ... and definitely worth a watch and listen! (kk)

I just read your ditty on KHJ's similar jingle and was going to email you or Chuck Buell to see if you had the KIMN version. I love it! And I remember it! Didn't Bruce Johnston and Doris Day's kid (can't think of his name) sing that jingle?
Talk about bringing back old memories! Hal "Baby" sounds YOUNG doesn't he?
If you remember the great days of 950 KIMN, you'll love this!
Thanx, KK,
Wild Bill
You're thinking of Terry Melcher ... I think this whole thing was put together by Roger Christian ... but maybe some of these jocks can share a few more details! (kk)

Good screening ... 600 showed up ... SRO.
Enough money was raised to buy licensing for two songs referenced in the film.
More info at the Wrecking Crew FB page ...
A must see for those who grew up on 60's pop and rock tunes ... Credit finally comes for the master session musicians of the Wrecking Crew

Fame comes in many forms, and the late guitarist Tommy Tedesco experienced a particularly weird form of it.
View Full Story here:
Click here: Credit finally comes for the master session musicians of the Wrecking Crew - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Kent ...
The last time I saw folk singer / activist Phil Ochs was at a small celebration the day that Nixon resigned live on TV. His brother, and my friend, publicist Michael Ochs, arranged for an NBC-TV crew to record Phil’s reaction to his arch enemy’s fall from power … while we all cheered!
Artie Wayne
I've been reading some REALLY good reviews on this new film (or would that be Philm???) While I'll admit to not being very familiar with Phil's work (I was simply into other music at the time), I'd like to see this if only to obtain an overview of this man's musical accomplishments. It's in limited release right now across the country and I can honestly say that I haven't heard ANYTHING but positive reviews. Check it out if you're so inclined! (kk)

>>>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. (Larry Neal)
>>>We did a pretty in-depth feature a couple of years ago on the 50th anniversary of the plane crash. 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. So, if you're interested in participating, please send us your Buddy Holly memories, thoughts and comments and we'll try to put together a special tribute on February 3rd ... Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens comments are also welcome! (kk)
Not much response to this so far ... and if we don't get enough to put together a column, we'll just skip it for this year (and refer you to our archived piece instead). So, if there IS something that you'd like to share with our readers, please drop me a note (PRONTO!) so we can pull something together! (kk)
>>>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. (Larry Neal)
>>>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. (Larry)

Here is a picture of me taken when I was in Jr. High - High School. Again, a lot of my friends said I looked at the time like Buddy Holly, even my mother. However, you make the call on that.
P.S. The other picture is of me later on at the radio station.

UPDATE: Through this morning's mail we have not received enough material to do a worthy tribute to Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. With a brand new feature planned for next week, we'll probably run anything we receive next weekend instead ... in the meantime, you can still send in your comments and memories if you'd like to see them included on the site.

Meanwhile, please enjoy the piece we did to honor the 50th Anniversary of this very sad Rock And Roll Moment:

Click here: Forgotten Hits: The Day The Music Died
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Forgotten Hits Readers Remembers The Day The Music Died

YouTube - Hey Buddy - Trailer for Buddy Holly Book
Kent ...
Future book review ... I'm buying this book and Wanda Jackson's new album.
Frank B.
Yes, this is the one that Ron Smith told us about last week (kk) ...
>>>There's a new book out about Buddy Holly written 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)
OK, guys, READ the book and I'll run BOTH of your reviews!!! (lol) kk

... And, speaking of Wanda Jackson ...

>>>Here's something on Wanda Jackson -- didn't she date Elvis for a while?
She was on Letterman this past week. (Frank B.)
Kent ...
And now on Conan's show this week, too ... guess she's really making the rounds to promote here new CD. In fact, she performed with Jack White on guitar.
In case you missed it, here's part of her interview:
Conan says "Tell me something about Elvis."
Wanda says "He was a good kisser."
Conan says "You kissed Elvis?"
Jack says "That's not all she did!"
Wanda hits Jack.
Frank B.
YouTube - Conan O'Brien 2011.01.25 Wanda Jackson and Jack White

You can file this under: Songs You Fear Playing Loud

Bubblegum music, as they call it, is very intriguing to me. It's so silly, but yet clever and great music! Makes me feel good! But it's that kind of music you don't wish get caught blasting in your car with the windows down, or to playing while you're telling your boss you're mature enough to handle that upper management position!!
Last radio show I heard that featured Bubblegum music was WABC-AM in NY about the late '80s or early '90's! Not sure what CD I "ripped" this from, but not one I'd recommend for airplay. However, since I'm updating my snippets, I enhanced its sound. Anyway, I also included a silly mini music video I made (when out of work) to match yet another silly but great Bubblegum song ...

The Ohio Express - Chewy Chewy (1968):

The 1910 Fruitgum Company - 1,2,3 Red Light (1968) (audio suffers):
Speaking of The 1910 Fruitgum Company ... Unlike others who were glorifying drugs via song lyrics (later to be scolded by US Presidents and FCC), these fine gents took a different approach! Lyrics everyone could enjoy! They looked as clean as their lyrics! Fine musicians! Scored THREE Top 10 Hits within a one year period! I didn't know so much talent existed in New Jersey! :-)

Indian Giver - 1968
And here's just one more ...
The 1910 Fruitgum Co. - May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart) - 1969

You will all remember this fine song! Didn't chart Top 40 - the Payola plague had hit the music industry! While over my sister's house, ripping this CD, she heard this song. She mentioned that, like I, she remembers it! A Billboard #63 hit! Go figure!
And she wasn't one to be digging this type of music!!
So, take it from me, if you wish to excel as a DJ, play the songs YOU remember hearing on radio. If you do, you'll excel beyond those who preach about Billboard charts!
Okay, okay, this group was from downtown NJ, so local DJs probably favored them!!! :-)

Jersey John
A couple of original and current members of The 1910 Fruit Gum Company are Forgotten Hits list members and have contributed to our newsletter from time to time. (We featured their new Christmas song the last year or two, too!) They're all good guys and still out there playing their hits (and many of these other bubblegum classics, too!) kk
Here's a copy of a letter (and their response) that I sent into the band a short while ago:
Some may call your style of music "Bubblegum" ... I just call it fine music! Not sure who actually dreamed up the idea, incorporating childhood rhymes and phrases into music, but I feel it's ingenious!! A fairly clean-cut looking group, too! Sound like a fine Garage Band! Don't take that wrong!While I do admit, your remakes sound pretty fine, I'm a bit of a stickler and prefer the sound that made you famous! Three Top 10 hits within a one year period, nothing to sneeze at! Thanks for your wonderful music!! Oh, and I have a question ...
On Indian Giver, was the piano part overdubbed? Seems it, with a increase in tape noise ...

My best wishes to you all!


John - NJ
1910 Member wrote:

Hi and thank you for the nice words. I was talking with the keyboard player a while back and yes, the parts were dubbed.

Hey, this was all fun, innocent and feel-good music ... and INCREDIBLY popular back in the day. (1968 saw a NUMBER of Bubble Gum Hits rank near the top of the charts ... and we didn't care if the group really existed or not ... this was a whole new music form that we hadn't experienced before ... and it REALLY sounded fresh coming out of our radios back then. Quite honestly, it still sounds pretty damn good today. These were well-made records and you can just feel the "happiness" jump out of the grooves when you played 'em. (kk)

I grew up in Kincardine Ont CANADA. KIN-CARDINE?????

Check the eastern shore line of Lake Huron

I was 63 last December ... means I aught be a BEATLES person.

Due to my older brother having a radio, on early Saturday morns I woke up to the late 50s music. About 61 or 2, I got into the Elvis thing ... and stayed there ... even though most of my fellow teens DID go Brit Invasion.

As I think of it, 90% of the people listened to radio as a background. I was given a radio in the early 60s, but it was a plug in so, to listen, I'd simply lay on the bed and that way I think I soaked up every song. Didn't DIG all of them but, I was aware OF them.
What I came to be disappointed in was, I'd hear a song, two or three times in a couple of weeks, and then no more. Thanks tooooooo youtube, I can now dig most out and listen.
Ral Donner and I GOT BURNT;
James Coe - THE FOOL

Two guys sadly who are called one hit wonders but their second songs got aired ... just not for long:
Chris Montez and Let's Dance ... and the second one, SOME KINDA FUN
Jimmy Gilmore and Sugar Shack ... with DAISY PETAL PICKIN. Who knows it was him under the title, the Fireballs, and BOTTLE OF WINE!
WHO was it did: "Moonshine Tenneessee wine, runnin' round my head ... friend of mine ..."?

TONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNS of great tunes and songs that never really got a real chance

HERB ALBERTINE and THE LONG SHIPS ... got that on a 45 ... SAME tune on both sides, but one side favours a piano, the other, a horn.Yours,
Robert Black,
Willowdale Ont
Welcome to Forgotten Hits! That's what we're all about, Robert ... reminding you about all the great ones you forgot!!!
Just a couple of quick corrections ... "The Long Ships" was actually by CHARLES Albertine, not "Herb" ... I think you're confusing him with Herb Alpert, who (of course) had a TON of hits! ("The Long Ships" was Charles' only chart record ... and even THAT one "bubbled under" at #112 ... I thought maybe it did better in Canada but, according to my CHUM book, it didn't chart there at all.
Chris Montez may have only had one other "rock" hit ("Some Kinda Fun", #43, 1963) but he reinvented himself in the mid-'60's and scored a few more times with "Call Me" (#22, 1966); "The More I See You" (MY personal favorite, #16, 1966 ... I actually heard Scott Shannon feature this one a week or two ago as his "Cheezy Easy Listening Song Of The Day!"); "There Will Never Be Another You" (#33, 1966) and "Time After Time" (another GREAT remake that went to #34 in 1966.) Montez started out his career trying to be the next Ritchie Valens ... but is probably BEST remembered for his "lounge act" tunes of the mid-'60's.
I'm not sure about "Moonshine Tennessee Wine" ... it kinda sounds familiar ... and I'll bet SOMEBODY on the list will turn us on to this one!
Thanks for writing ... glad we could spark a memory or two!!! (kk)

The song "Fire (Let Me Stand Next To Your)" was written by Jimi Hendrix and it appeared on his first "Experience" album in 1967. It was never meant to be released as a hit. Even though he opened his live show with the song from time to time, it was only a filler on the LP. A group from Magnolia, Arkansas, by the name of Five By Five, liked the tune and got permission to record it. It didn't crack the top 40, nationally, but their single was a bonafide hit in 1968 and was played frequently by radio stations across the country. Because of this, Track records released the Hendrix version in Canada and other countries (but not the US) in 1969. Then came Hendrix's untimely death, in 1970. Immediately, all the pop and FM stations stopped playing the Five By Five recording in favor of the original and it was released as a single. After that, Five By Five was never heard of since. Too bad. I always thought that their version was far more exciting than the Hendrix recording with great lead vocals.
John LaPuzza,
Omaha, NE

The Five By Five version of "Fire" was a HUGE hit here in Chicago where it "burned" up the charts all the way to #5. Unlike the wimpy Underground Sunshine cover of The Beatles' tune "Birthday" that we featured the other day, you felt the conviction in this recording. They clearly admired Jimi Hendrix and did justice to his tune. But you're right ... you NEVER hear the hit single version anymore. (Then again, you're not likely to hear the Richie Havens version of "Here Comes The Sun" much either ... and THAT one was a Top 20 National Hit! Instead, you'll hear The Beatles' version three or four times a day. (Be nice if they'd mix it up once in a while, wouldn't it? But hey, that's what WE'RE here for!!!) kk

Here are some "songfacts" right from the horse's mouth ...
I had a disagreement with someone that the extended LP ending was appended after the song became a hit. However, I'm told by Billy himself, it was not ...

Hello John,
That's the way it was recorded. We were just having fun, you might say, after we had gotten to the end of the song. It worked out well though and people seem to always comment on the ending a lot.
Many thanks and best,

Billy Swan's "I Can Help" topped the pop charts back in 1974 ... a BIG cross-over hit that also reached #1 on Billboard's Country Singles Chart. A very popular record that virtually EVERYBODY sang along with at the time (and another major hit that you don't hear a whole lot of anymore.) I can't tell you how many times over the years I've had people tell me, "Wow! I always thought that was Ringo Starr!" Hmmm ... I NEVER heard it that way ... but I DO remember Elvis loving this song and cutting a version himself! Thanks, John! (kk)

I saw your mention of Reed Kailing the other day ... a very nice guy, by the way.
He started out in the Milwaukee group The Destinations. Their record was on the Chicago Destination label. He then was in The Hardy Boys, a Chicago-based group who had records on RCA through Dunwich Productions. Then came his Grass Roots run, and after that he was a member of Player, who had a huge hit with “Baby Come Back”. Just some background info in case you didn’t have it.
I've been playing The Grass Roots' version of "It's A Cryin' Shame" virtually non-stop since I first found out about it ... and Gayle McCormick's version, too. How is it even POSSIBLE that this was not a hit record?!?!? Tom Diehl sent me a "cleaned-up" version of The Grass Roots' track ... that YouTube clip we linked to is just a little too distorted-sounding for my ears. He also sent me the correct SINGLE version mix of The Buchanan Brothers' single we featured the other day, "Medicine Man (Part 1)". Apparently ALL of the versions commercially available on CD are NOT the original single mix ... I knew this at the time but it was the ONLY "digital" copy I could find and I really wanted to feature this tune. Nice to hear the "real deal" here again this morning! (kk)

Gayle McCormick's "It's a Crying Shame" was a hit in a number of markets, but like many others, not all at the same time. It received airplay in various places, and I know it was played on either WKBW or WYSL in Buffalo, as I worked for the ABC Dunhill distributor in Buffalo at the time, and we had activity on this single. Fortunately, Gayle was very attractive and got a lot of attention when she visited radio stations when the single was out.

Clay Pasternack

>>>Do you ever 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) kk
Regarding making money with this stuff ... yes, these days I have virtually no other thought. But I say that making someone LOL makes these bits far from useless ... and waaaaaay back in the day, was it "useless" to know who King Arthur's foster brother was? (Sir Kay) ... or that Galahad was Launcelot's son ... altho Launcelot was his confirmation name, and he was christened Galahad, so the son is really Galahad Jr.? Yeah, I suppose ... so sue me ... ;) ;)
-- stolf
EXACTLY!!! (kk)

Kent ...
More proof that vinyl pays off.
Frank B.
Double mortgage, anyone? $125,000 lot hits our Market Watch countdown Goldmine Magazine

After you buy a couple of these, you'll probably want to add THIS one to your collection ... a Heavy Metal Tribute Album to the music of Frank Sinatra!!! (kk)
Frank Sinatra Gets A Hard-Rock Makover On New Tribute Album
Kent ...
I don't know about you, i'm passing on this one. Sounds like a bad idea.
Frank B.

Kent ...
Wild Wayne interviewed Maurice Williams Sunday on his "Memory Machine".
Maurice said that he was in the Guinness Book Of World Records for his song "Stay".
1960 - Shortest # 1 Record.
A girl was over at Maurice's house. Her brother came to pick her up. Maurice said "stay a little longer." Next day he wrote this song.
Frank B.
YouTube - Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs - Stay

Just found out about Joel Whitburn's new book and I wanted to tell you about it ... It's a listing (by artist) of EVERY Top Ten Billboard Pop Singles Chart Hit from the past 70 years!!! Yes, you read that correctly ... EVERY Top Ten Record from 1940 - 2010 is now listed in one comprehensive volume!

More details on The Record Research Website:
Click here: Top 10 Pop Hits, 1940-2010 Joel Whitburn's Record Research

Kent ...
Billy Joel & Paul McCartney!
Frank B.
Billy Joel DVD Release Date Pushed To March – WCBS-FM 101.1

Based on an interview I just read with P.J. Bloom of Neophonic, Inc. (conducted by Larry LeBlanc), who is responsible for coordinating all of the music featured in the hit Fox Television Series "Glee", a Paul McCartney-themed episode is DEFINITELY in the show's future. (Ironically the show just made music headlines when The Glee Cast passed The Beatles with number of charted hits on The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart!)
LARRY LeBLANC: How did it feel having the show’s cast overtaking the Beatles on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart?

P.J. BLOOM: It is difficult to process when you see it there in print. It’s amazing, and at the same time it feels a little bit blasphemous to a music person like me. There are just certain things that you are not supposed to mess with. Obviously, it feels incredible. I am thrilled for the success of the show, and Ryan’s success, and my own success because of it. At the same time, we are doing covers. We didn’t overtake the Beatles’ singles record by writing songs, so it needs to be kept in perspective. But, you know, it’s awesome.

LLB: Sir Paul McCartney didn’t send a telegram?

PJB: Paul has been an incredible friend of the show. We’ve used several of his songs and we will continue to use several of his songs. We have also used a couple of Beatles songs. We have been talking to Paul and his camp about doing a Paul McCartney tribute episode, which will definitely happen at some point. If there is an accolade that Paul hasn’t won over the years, I would be surprised. So I would assume that he wasn’t too broken up by “Glee’s” success.

LLB: [The episode that will feature Paul McCartney’s songs has yet to be announced. According to Reuters, Ryan Murphy was a sent a set of mix CDs by McCartney “It came out of blue in a package, handwritten, and it had two CDs and it said, ‘Hi Ryan, I hope you will consider some of these songs for ‘Glee,’” Murphy said. “So, of course, we are going to do something with him.”]
"Glee" will feature a tribute to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in the special episode that follows this year's Super Bowl. Previously themed episodes include Britney Spears, Madonna and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The show's a WHOLE lot of fun ... and it seems that EVERY song they feature not only races up the charts by the Glee Cast but ALSO sparks HUGE catalog sales for the original artists who recorded these songs. As such, there's been a run of artists offering up their catalog to the producers for consideration in future episodes. "Glee" tends to mix classic rock with today's current hits, thrown together with a couple of show tunes and an unexpected surprise every once in a while, too. There's never really been an episodic television series quite like this to use music so effectively ... and it's really helped the music programs in schools all over the country by inspiring teenagers to let their "Inner Gleek" out and express themselves in the arts. (kk)

I don't know if you check in on Ed Marimba's blog ... he has a podcast now ... good stuff ... but he had this great 'poster' ... perhaps you've used it before ...
if you can use it, please give ed a plug!
And last but not least ...
You'd think that in their hometown they'd have gotten better billing. Do you think Chris Montez and Tommy Roe tell their grandkids about the time they got top billing over The Beatles? (Hey, I would!)

Get out of the cold next month and join fellow fans for "Weekend of LOVE Getaway V" February 18 - 19 - 20.
Celebrate the anniversary of The Beatles arrival in America with fans of all ages.
Enjoy 3 days / 2 nights of fab fun Beatles fan activities in Las Vegas including reserved group seating at THE BEATLES LOVE® by Cirque du Soleil® show at The Mirage, two nights deluxe Vegas hotel accommodations, V.I.P. tickets to not one but two concerts by Beatles tribute acts playing in Vegas + backstage meet & greet reception, after-show party and dinner at BB Kings, visit to the Beatles rEVOLution Lounge, shopping spree at the Beatles LOVE gift shop, complimentary goodie gift bag, and gala Sunday farewell party WITH goodbye souvenir gift and SPECIAL SURPRISE GUESTS at the Hard Rock CafĂ©.
We will see "Yesterday - The Beatles Tribute" at the Tropicana Hotel's Tiffany Room. We've never had a concert on Friday as part of the weekend, so this is a great way to start off the fun. The band "Yesterday" moved from the Tropicana in Atlantic City, added a "Pepper" set & a 5th Beatle & they're celebrating their 25th anniversary.
The Saturday concert is the wonderful band which calls itself "The BeatleShow" at Planet Hollywood's Saxe Theatre. We see this show every time we are in Vegas, and the fans are always blown away. The band is made up of former members of The Fab Four, Fab Four Mania and Fab Forever, so you know that can't be bad!

It's always more fun going with a group of fellow fans!
Hosted by Charles F. Rosenay!!! of Liverpool Productions
For further info or to make a reservation, call direct line (203) 795-4737 or email
Many collectors and fans may not realize that the photos used on these two familiar Capitol picture sleeves were taken from the Beatles' 1964 Las Vegas concert!

I have no idea if this article ran in other newspapers, but it was in the opinion page in the 1/29/11 edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. In case the print is too small, the gist of the article is about a woman Mary - Lu Zahalan - Kennedy, 53, of Sheridan Institute of Advanced Learning in Oakville, Ontario, who has become the first person in the world to be awarded a master's degree in The Beatles. Apparently Liverpool Hope University started its "The Beatles, Popular Music & Society" program three years ago. She moved to Liverpool and whizzed thru the program in 18 months, writing her master's thesis on why Canada was quick to embrace the Fab Four.

I liked your Robert Parker interview about "his" You Got What It Takes song, though I don't agree on one point ... he could have done something back then, as Berry Gordy wasn't any bigger than a pimple on a behind!
I think "Money (That's What I Want)" and You Got What It Takes by Marv Johnson, were recorded in the same recording studio; both can be found in Stereo, but not from EMI!!!

also liked your John Madara interview, too. He seems sour when he doesn't get credit, but really, would Hall and Oates been as big as they are in his hands? I liked the "studio" photos, too ... one looked like someone's house! Play prerecorded music, record vocals. Typical!



You can find several of our classic / vintage interviews posted on The Forgotten Hits Web Page here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Home Check 'em out when you have some extra reading time on your hands! (kk)

We continue to receive positive response to our new feature ... here are just a couple more recent comments. (And be sure to watch for five more forgotten gems next week!)
It's difficult for ANYONE to remember songs they thought were great without hearing them again. I first ran across April Wine while collecting 45s at a used jukebox dealer (3 / $1.00) decades ago! Nice to read FH mentioning them! And The Buchanan Brothers - Medicine Man, too, from 1969.
April Wine - You Could Have Been A Lady

Buchanan Brothers - Medicine Man (1969):

Nice to read FH Marlene mentioning Gerry and the Pacemakers, too!

Gerry & The Pacemakers - I'm The One (196?):

Never made US Top 40, but received airplay!! I Like It! :)

Gerry & The Pacemakers - I Like It (1964) Botched version B/W Take #19:

Nice to hear a song recorded real time without overdubbing.
Gerry seems like a "cool" guy, though he remade the hits. Watch that stuff, Gerry! :)

Not the "... Shame" by Gail McCormick (nice song, by the way!) as FH Larry mentioned, but one I had to find on both LP and CD by ...

The Magic Lanterns - Shame, Shame (1968):

Love the horn drive. I still say "Ozzy" was in that group, but doesn't want it to be known he was instrumental in a love song! :)

Footnote: If you REALLY like this song, avoid the Collectables CD ... buy the Import!

Jersey John

Another great batch of Forgotten Hits this week. Why doesn't radio play Early In The Morning by Vanity Fare? It was a Top Ten Hit!
Don't ask me ... I can't believe they don't play it either! (kk)

Recently we have come to depend on FH Reader Frank B's "Helpful Hints" to get us through our daily lives. Previously, Frank has sent us fascinating seminars on "How Records Are Made", "How To Climb A Radio Transmittal Tower" and, my personal favorite, "How To Gift Wrap A Cat".
Well, today, with all our "senior" readers in mind, we offer up "Texting For Seniors", courtesy of Frank B ... consider this OUR part in promoting Public Service for our readers:
Kent ...
I'm sending you this list so you'll understand your older readers when they write to you.

Frank B.

Since more and more seniors are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you -- or pass it on to an older friend. It might also be a good idea to pass this on to your CHILDREN and Grandchildren so they can understand your texts.
ATD: At The Doctor's
BFF: Best Friend Farted
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CGU: Can't get up
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
GGP: Gotta go pee.
ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... And Can't Get Up
TTYL: Talk To You Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil
GLKI: Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In

A very special mini-tribute to Terry Kath and Chicago, circa 1978 ... tomorrow would have been Terry's 65th Birthday ... as well as more of our brand new weekday feature, "Today's Forgotten Hit", spotlighting more great songs that were big hits in our hearts and on the radio at the time ... but have long since been forgotten by the powers that be that program oldies radio today.

Please join us next week for these special features. (kk)