We're STILL playing some MAJOR catch-up here ... (and, from the looks of things, still having some website issues!) ... but were able to throw together a few quick end-of-the-week comments ... Enjoy!!!
Do you remember this fact ?
2/15/1967 = The group "Chicago" forms as " The Big Thing."
Yes ... actually, I think I had eggs for breakfast that day. (kk)
re: THE SUPERBOWL:
So here's my take on a few recent topics of discussion ...
I'm thrilled the Packers won the Super Bowl. I used to stand in Regalman's drug store on Downer Avenue in Milwaukee, just across the street from UWM, and watch them play on a little T.V. the store had. Good Times. As for the half time show, the only problem I had with it was Fergie's singing ... she tends to be off key in live performances quite a bit,(to my ears anyway ). I thought the costumes with all the lights were awesome. It kind of reminded me of the Olympics opening ceremonies in Beijing ... way cool.
Now that you mention it, we, too, thought Fergie was the weakest part of the show. (But at least she didn't pee herself!!!)
Another popular female artists who just can't seem to sing on key when performing live is Katy Perry ... her stuff is catchy as can be on the radio ... but I've yet to see a performance where she's been able to pull it off live. (kk)
re: THE GRAMMYS:
As for the Grammys, I really liked seeing so many different performers from so many different age groups and genres singing together. I liked the fact that more different people won awards instead of the same old same old winners. But one thing I do not get ... why are the accoustics soooo bad. It's the Grammys. It's all about music, nothing else and yet so many of the performers were so hard to hear. Babs is just one example. I think her voice sounded good but it was all muffled so who knows for sure?
They seemed to be having sound "technical difficulties" throughout the evening ... of course nowadays when something has to be bleeped out of virtually EVERY song they play, you can't really tell how much of that was intentional!
One stand-out performance that I failed to mention was the solo turn by Bruno Mars, one of the hottest acts on the charts right now. (Mars had his hand in three of the top nominees ... "Just The Way You Are", "Nothin' On You" and the oft-mentioned "F*** You".) He performed his most recent #1 Hit "Grenade" as a doo-wop ballad (broadcast in black and white ... and AWESOMELY done!) Bruno Mars channeled his inner Sam Cooke, James Brown and Jackie Wilson for this one in a letter-perfect performance. (kk)
I guess you're going to make me suffer and give me the Bobby Darin Series in bits and pieces. Okay. I'll take it anyway I can get it. LoL!
Do you know if this rumor is true?
I heard that Cee Lo Green's follow up hit is going to be called "SOB" LoL !
As I leave you, I will quote Bobby Darin: "That's All".
OK, I have to admit ... even reading some of this back all these years later ... I wrote a DAMN good Bobby Darin Series!!! (kk)
Deeply disappointed that Johnny Maestro's name was not mentioned during the "In Memoriam" segment. It's a real shame that the Grammy Foundation couldn't give a couple of seconds to showing Maestro's name and photo along with the others. Lois Dixon JohnnyMaestroFans on Yahoo
You'll find more on Johnny Maestro below! (kk)
Jagger and Streisand looked terrific. Nice to see Aretha Franklin recovering from her illness - she looked great too.
One of my favorite uses of the "F" word in a song is Nilsson's "You're Breaking My Heart (you tore it apart, so F*** you!") Too bad I heard his smash hit version of "Without You", which I loved in January '72, long before Badfinger's original version, far superior IMO. But Kent, if you haven't heard it already, check out Nilsson's wild and weird soundtrack for Otto Preminger's glorious failure of a flick, "Skidoo." Especially "The Garbage Can Ballet."
I'll never forget the first time I played "You're Breaking My Heart" ... After falling head over heels for the "Nilsson Schmilsson" album, I couldn't wait to get the brand new Nilsson album home to see what Harry was up to next. Popped it on the ol' turn-table and immediately loved EVERYTHING about it ... (particularly "Joy" and "Turn On Your Radio", the two preceding tracks) ... and when this came on, I literally jumped out of my chair in utter and complete disbelief. I actually had to move the tone arm back and play it again, just to make sure I'd really heard what I thought I'd just heard! Shock value, yes ... funny as hell?!?!? HELL, yes!!! And it STILL sounds great nearly 40 years later!
I'm not familiar with "The Garbage Can Ballet" but, if you're a Nilsson fan ... and you haven't seen it yet ... I absolutely INSIST that you pick up a copy of the new Harry Nilsson bio-documentary "Who Is Harry Nilsson ... And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?" It's wall-to-wall entertainment ... GREAT music ... and some insight into this tortured artist that you couldn't even have imagined. (kk)
Jim Peterik at The Grammys ... LOL
A Sharp Dressed Man? ...
Or Purse And Boots?
Jimbo quit the Forgotten Hits Mailing List last week ... evidently he needed more time for shopping. Hopefully he'll still participate from time to time when we need him to help clarify or comment on something. (kk)
So, now that Lady Antebellum scores song and record of the year, who sends a check to the great Alan Parsons for having written it years ago as "Eye in the Sky?"
I never really noticed this before but once I saw this comment, I knew IMMEDIATELY what he was talking about ... certainly the chorus is virtually note-for-note. (Maybe that's why "Need You Now" was so instantly accessible???)
(Did you pick up on this one right away, Tim English?!?!?) kk
re: JOHNNY MAESTRO:
Kent, I attended the last concert of Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge at The Mohegan Sun. My friends (from NYC area, MA, and CT) all meet to go to Bowzer's productions there ... so much fun.
Johnny was the last act that night (more fitting in hindsite) as he was the Headliner. We thought he was magnificent, and stayed right until the very last second, unlike many concert-goers who take off to "beat the traffic" and end up being 233rd in a line waiting to exit the Arena parking.
His voice stunned us, as we knew he had been ill and might not be at his pinnacle. BUT, oh he was!!! We have nothing but praise to give for his performance and when, a short time later, he passed away we were shocked-not believing he could have delivered such a great send-off. I instantly knew we had been witness to his final stage performance and felt God had indeed blessed me with this honor.
Many of you clicked on the YouTube connection today to watch it ... and aren't you happy you did? Thanks again, Kent, for connecting us all. Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
re: CHUCK JACKSON:
>>>I am pleased to announce the posting of my latest radio interview show. It is with the great Chuck Jackson. What can I say about this amazing recording artist and entertainer who has been in the business for over 50 years? Chuck has charted with more than 20 recordings on the Billboard Top 100. If you only know Chuck from his two recordings "Any Day Now" and "I Don't Want To Cry", I believe you will be amazed at the versatility and amazing range he shows on the others that we play as well. Ronnie's Radio Page(Ronnie Allen)
I'm glad to see Ronnie Allen give Chuck Jackson his due. "Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird)" is my annual top choice of deserving songs in Rich Appel's yearly IRS list -- It Really Shoulda (been a Top 10 hit). I rank it No. 1 of all the songs that fell short of the Top 10. (It only made it to No. 23 in 1962 -- ahead of its time, I'm afraid.) It finished No. 44 on Rich's 2010 list. Voting is open now for Rich's 2011 list . . . And "Any Day Now" is worth a spin sometime -- actually, anytime.
Sounds like the list shuffled up a little bit last year, due to the influx of so many new voters. Can't wait to see how things shake out this year. (You'll find more details regarding how you can cast YOUR vote below!) You've got PLENTY of time to vote, so give it some thought and then email your choices right to Rich. (Tell him to add you to his mailing list, too, so that you not only get the results of this year's I.R.S. Poll, but don't miss any of his other fun mailings!) kk
The singer Chuck Jackson was mentioned. I always did like his followup to I DON'T WANT TO CRY which was IT NEVER HAPPENS (IN REAL LIFE). Chuck's singing style was always nique I thought, somewhat magical in a way, as if he waved a magic WAND and he sounded that way. Back in the late fifties and sixties, actually in a way, a kid could come home from school and hear a record on the radio for the first time and knew immediately who the artist or group was because everyone back then had their own distinctive sound. I was glad to read the comment on Chuck Jackson since I really didn't know what he was doing nowadays.
Larry Chuck Jackson is another one of those great singers whose entire career has been erased based on what makes the oldies playlists these days ... and that's just a shame. Chuck scored 14 Top 40 Hits on Billboard's R&B Chart (including three Top Ten's). While "Any Day Now" stopped at #23 on the Billboard Pop Chart, it went all the way to #12 in Cash Box, whose charts relied more on sales than airplay. He was also the first artist to chart with "I Keep Forgettin'", which became ex-Doobie Brothers Michael McDonald's first solo hit. (Jackson reached #48 in 1962 with his rendition; McDonald took his version all the way to #4 twenty years later!) kk
Let's see if we can get a few jocks on the list to play "Any Day Now" today ... it's a GREAT song that's becoming all too overlooked by oldies radio. Ronnie Milsap did a really nice version of this one, too. (#14, 1982 ... and a #1 Billboard Adult Contemporary Single for five weeks!) So did Elvis, who stuck HIS version on the B-Side of "In The Ghetto".
re: SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS???:
The name Charles F. Rosenay may be familiar to Forgotten Hits readers as the producer of "ROCK CON: Weekend of 100 Rock Stars" and "BEATexpo." Along with these conventions, he presents the "Magical History Tour" which brings fans to London and Liverpool every Summer, and he also organizes the "Dracula Tour," a "vampire vacation" which travels to Transylvania every Halloween.
Charles is a "monster kid" as well as a rock & roll enthusiast, and writes an online newsletter called "Horror Happenings. Twice a month, the column prints a top 10 list from a music celebrity or notable, and the most recent list comes from Rick Mullen, best known as bassist from Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen ("Hot Rod Lincoln").
Past lists have come from such artists as: Ron Dante (The Archies), Greg Hawkes (The Cars), Spanky McFarlane (Spanky & Our Gang, Mamas & The Papas), actor Bill Mumy ("Lost in Space"), singer / songwriter Dean Friedman ("Ariel"), Butch "Eddie Munster" Patrick, rock & rock hall of fame vocalist Little Anthony, Dan Lauria ("The Wonder Years" & Broadway's "Lombardi"), baseball great Dave Winfield, singer Beverly Bremers ("Don't Say You Don't Remember"), Pat DiNizio (The Smithereens), Billy Hinsche (60s pop band Dino Desi & Billy), 70s rock & roller Ian Lloyd (The Stories), Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge) and others.
And can you believe that's it's already time to start casting your votes again for the I.R.S.?!?!? (As in "It Really Shoulda Been A Top Ten Hit'!!!)
Yep, we know that HUNDREDS of you participated last time ... so here's the first (early) pitch from Rich Appel regarding this year's Hz So Good / I.R.S. ballot:
We're still on the way-early side of filing, so there's plenty of time before countdown day on the Ides of April. But here's everything you need to know:
What I.R.S. stands for in Hz-ese is It Really Shoulda been a Top 10 hit.
Based on the U.S.'s longest and most trusted weekly singles chart. Not that it matters: you don't need to do any research for this. Just send us your list, we'll do the checking. List yoursongs that really shoulda been Top 10 hits in rank order, your favorite at the top including both title AND artist, please, for each. List however many you want, keeping it in the 2-figure zone, please. Just because we're compiling a Top 104 doesn't mean you have to as well.
Like that other I.R.S., just because you filed last year or the past 2-3 years doesn't mean you shouldn't do so again this year, even if that means sending us the exact same list. But if you want to shake it up and file different songs, that's fine too.
Now the fun part (if the above wasn't fun enough): there'll be prizes awarded to random voters this year. And wait until you hear what those are. Actually, you'll have to wait, but I promise it'll be worth it.
>>>Eddie Cochran's life ended with the greatest tragedy of all in the London midnight car crash that killed him in 1960 when he was just 21 years old.
(from the brand new Buster Fayte book "Rockabilly's Eddie Cochran As Revealed in Three Steps to Heaven: The Eddie Cochran Story")
It's a pity that nobody read the article before it was submitted ... because (as EVERY REAL Eddie Cochran fan knows), he wasn't within fifty miles of London when he died, but at Chippenham in Wiltshire, three counties away.
George Van Win
re: CHARLIE GRACIE:
AL KOOPER and CHARLIE GRACIE at the legendary B.B. KING'S BLUES CLUB on 42nd Street in NEW YORK CITY: Friday, February 11th, 2011
Philadelphia's very first rock & roll star -- CHARLIE GRACIE -- was the invited guest of legendary songwriter, producer and musician AL KOOPER -- noted for his work with Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Cream, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Lynryd Skynrd and more.
Al is the producer of Charlie's new CD, coming later this year, and has long been a admirer of Philly's pint-sized rocker.
500 PLUS -- A SELL OUT CROWD ATTENDED!
Charlie and Al arm and arm and on stage during rehearsals
Charlie on stage with Quentin Jones' Barnstormers in support.
re: JACK SCOTT:
Sounds like our Jack Scott Interview has been moved to the back burner. (Word is Jack's working on a biography book deal ... and probably doesn't want to "give too much away" ahead of time in our pages.) Hey, I get that ... we'll see where it all goes from here. Thanks to the readers who sent in questions.
Meanwhile, Jack it has just been announced that Jack Scott will be inducted into The Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame later this year ... so congrats on that one!!! (I also heard that he's been recording again ... although details surrounding this are still pretty hush / hush at the moment ... but if anything breaks on the "new releases" frontier, we'll be sure to let you know here in Forgotten Hits!) kk
Jack Scott is being inducted into The Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame. It's something that I've been working on for many years.
Well, believe it or not, some guy down in Texas has just opened up the first-ever 8-Track Museum!!! (Guess he figured these would all be worth something some day!!! lol) And wait till you see how much he's got!
Far too long an article to reprint here, if you'd like a copy, drop me a note and I'll forward it along. (Hmmm ... can the Betamax Museum be far behind?!?!?) kk
re: THIS WEEKEND:
More coming up in our regular Sunday Comments Feature ... see you then!
re: ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN: Kent, Just a comment or two on Wednesday's comments. The comments on the song ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN reminds me of past songs which had to do with rock and roll stars who went on to their reward after they passed away. I don't know if you have done anything like this in the past but a couple of songs which come to my mind first are Johnny Cymbal's 1963 recording of TEENAGE HEAVEN and Eddie Cochran's 1959 recording of TEENAGE HEAVEN. Probably the biggest "heavenly" song here in OKC was Tex Ritter's 1961 Capitol recording of I DREAMED I WAS IN HILLBILLY HEAVEN. I don't know if Tex Ritter did this elsewhere, but he recorded the song and instead of using Western stars like he did in the original, he inserted the names of local DJ's that were working here in the OKC area. Larry "I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven" was a pretty good-sized hit here in Chicago, too, where it peaked at #7 back in 1961. Not sure I quite get the connection of replacing some of our fallen heroes with the names of "live" deejays ... but hey, whatever got the record played, right??? (kk)
Speaking of "Rock And Roll Heaven", we may have ruffled a few feathers with this one when we inquired as to just how much (if anything) Sonny Geraci had to do with the writing of the song. (Scroll back to February 9th if you missed our original posting.) Questioning stuff like this in search of "The Most Accurate Truth" really isn't new territory for Forgotten Hits ... remember a month or two back when we questioned why, on the Mike Curb version of the Robin Luke Hit "Susie Darlin'", an additional songwriting credit was added to the record label? Or how about our Bobby Parker feature regarding the true origins of the Marv Johnson / Dave Clark Five Hit "You Got What It Takes"? Anyway, here are a few tidbits that we received in Sonny's defense. (I tried to find some YouTube clips of Geraci performing the song live in concert, thinking that this might provide a true representation as to how he introduces the song on stage, but every single one of them seems to have mysteriously disappeared!!! lol)
>>>I didn't know that Sonny Geraci wrote "Rock & Roll Heaven"! (Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords) Huh? Alan O'Day wrote it. (David Lewis) >>>I can only tell you that when I saw Sonny last July, he ABSOLUTELY gave the impression that he had a hand in writing the song. (kk) >>>Although I know he sings it in his show, I have never heard Sonny claim that it was his idea. (Alan O'Day) >>>So says Alan O'Day ... who really DID write "Rock And Roll Heaven" (kk) Sonny spoke onstage of recording the first version of this song, and he did an amazing version of it. I think he was actually talking about creating that first recorded version of it ... not writing it ... my mistake. BTW, Sonny spent quite a bit of time talking with Richie and I before the show and he is an amazing guy. Just for recording "Time Won't Let Me", he is an icon in my eyes. Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords
Based on some of what you'll read below, I think Sonny has accurately presented the story many times in the past ... but knowing what I heard with my own two ears, I also feel comfortable in stating that he may also "embellish" that story from time to time when performing it on stage. (In fact, the first time I heard him say it, I was dumbfounded ... "How could I possibly not have known this?!?!?" I remember asking myself. It bothered me SO much that when I got home that night, I looked it up to see whose names actually appeared in the songwriting credits. Checking SEVERAL sources, I saw that Geraci's name was NOWHERE to be found ... so now I was REALLY confused!) First to record it ... yes. Had a hand in writing it??? I don't think so.
And honestly there is no NEED to embellish this story. Sonny Geraci has had an EXCEPTIONAL career. The Outsiders scored four straight Top 40 Hits in 1966 ("Time Won't Let Me", #5; "Girl In Love", #21; "Respectable", #13 and "Help Me Girl", #37.) With Climax, he scored another immediate classic when "Precious And Few" went all the way to #1 in Cash Box Magazine in 1972. In fact, telling the story of "the one that got away" is even MORE interesting ... the fact that he heard the potential in this tune is a GREAT credit to his musical credibility ... plus it wasn't a "hit" until the lyrics were reworked, by which time his recording had already been out for a couple of years. FAR better to rest your credibility on THOSE laurels than to get caught up in one of these "What did he just say?" scenarios!!! (kk) Well done, Kent. Tell it like it is!!! :) Alan O'Day
Kent ... Here it is. This is from Gary James interview with Sonny on Classic bands.com. This is pretty much how Sonny explained it onstage. Mitch Q (GARY JAMES) - This song "Rock and Roll Heaven", that was written by Climax keyboard player John Stevenson, didn't Alan O'Day write that song? A (SONNY GERACI) - That's one in the same. Johnny wrote "Rock And Roll Heaven" and he called me over to his house to play it for me. "I wrote this song, it's gonna be a big record for you. It's gonna be the biggest song you'll ever do!" He was pretty excited about it. I listened to the song and the verses you hear are not the verses you hear on the record. It's kind of different. But the hook ... he wrote "If you believe in forever, life is just a one night stand. If there's a rock and roll heaven, they've got a hell of a band." I knew that it was great. I got pretty excited about it. So, I got a hold of Marc Gordon, who was the head of our label at the time and he thought we needed to bring somebody in to make the verses prettier, to fit my voice. So, he brought in Alan O'Day. So, I met Alan O'Day and made the verses pretty, so it would fit my voice. Together they collaborated and it was a 50 / 50 deal. I thought it was gonna be a smash. Nothing happened, but we were pretty cold by then. We had two or three stiff records in a row that didn't do anything for a lot of reasons. Warner Brothers had the publishing on that song. They kept coming into the studio when we were recording. They had something up their sleeve which I found out later. They knew The Righteous Brothers were going to get back together again, 'cause they were broken up. They were kind of holding back on that song because they wanted them to do it. They thought they could have a big hit record with it. And in that few months time when we did it, Bobby Darin passed away and so did Jim Croce. Their names were not mentioned in our song because they were still alive. So, The Righteous Brothers stuck their names on it, re-recorded the song, put it out and had a million seller with it. That one hurt. (laughs) It was written for me.
re: AND, IF NOT ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN, THEN HOW ABOUT A STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD STRIP?: Kent ... Check out this list. I say maybe 1 out of 10 (# 6) can be considered a Rock Star. Frank B. Top Ten: Rock Stars With Stars Or how about the Ten Most Important Rock Documentaries Of All Time??? Here's a list that Warren Cosford just sent us! I know Jim Carroll - he and I did the CBC 'Midday' show together in about 1994 when I was still considered a 'futurist' ;) He's always been a pompous ass, very full of himself. But the article looks interesting, nonetheless. a< href="http://www.jimcarroll.com/2010/06/the-10-most-important-innovation-themed-rock-documentaries-of-all-time">www.jimcarroll.com/2010/06/the-10-most-important-innovation-themed-rock-documentaries-of-all-time What?!?!? The brand new Justin Beiber film isn't on this list?!?!? Now how can THAT be?!?!? Since some of those listed involve ficticious bands, I would quickly add The Beatles' "Anthology" and "This Is Elvis" to the list. Plus there have been a number of EXCELLENT Made For Home Video releases that are quite exceptional including profiles on The Mamas and the Papas, The Turtles and Sam Cooke ... and how about "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" ... or the struggling-to-be-released "The Wrecking Crew"?!?!? All FINE pieces of musical entertainment, high in informational content. (kk)
re: THE GRAMMYS: We found ourselves quite entertained (for the most part) during last night's Grammy Awards Ceremony. Surprise upset of the night: newcomers Arcade Fire winning the Album Of The Year award, leap-frogging over HUGE names like Eminem, Lady GaGa, Katy Perry and big winners of the night Lady Antebellum. Their performance (to MY ears anyway) was pretty much pure noise ... although watching the bicyclist fly around the stage with the stroke-inducing strobe lights going crazy was pretty cool to watch. After all the fuss, our boy Cee-Lo Green was completely shut out in the big awards with Lady Antebellum taking home both Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year award honors for their monster hit record "Need You Now". (Don't get me wrong ... it's a GREAT song ... and, quite honestly, probably the "perfect fit" in Grammy-dome. They played the heck out of THIS one last year, too ... and STILL do.) Click here: YouTube - Lady Antebellum - Need you now (Official Video) Excellent QUALITY + Ringtone Download For oldies music fans, there were a few highlights ... the ceremonies kicked off with an All-Star Diva Salute to the ailing Aretha Franklin, who appeared via video remote to thank The Grammy Association ... and promised to be back there at the ceremonies live next year. (What was nice about the tribute is that they performed a couple of Aretha songs that you rarely hear anymore instead of some of the more obvious choices ... when is the last time you heard "Ain't No Way" or "Spirit In The Dark" played on the radio???) Mick Jagger strutted his stuff during his first-ever Grammy performance, part of the salute to our dearly-departed music heroes from last year. Jagger looked great singing "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love", the Solomon Burke classic that pretty much bombed with Burke first released it back in 1964 ... but became an R&B staple when The Blues Brothers covered it a decade later. And we were even treated (?) to a live performance by Bob Dylan! (Now the nasally tone of Dylan's voice has always bothered me ... but add to that the complete raspy hoarseness of last night and it was damn-near intolerable!!!) Even Barbra Streisand came out to sing "Evergreen (Theme from 'A Star Is Born')", introduced by her costar in the film, Kris Kristofferson.
Meanwhile, our mention of The Grammys in the Sunday Comments Page sparked a couple of your comments: Being that I have never taken the Grammy's seriously on any level, I saw where you said Eminem is up for 10 Grammys and some mess called "F*** You" is up for song of the year. I, for one, will gladly go back to the stuffy old fogies who actually nominated music. Ken
Aww, c'mon ... give it a listen ... and then judge it strictly on its musical merit ...
Vintage R&B never sounded this good!
(And, come on, don't you remember how we all laughed so hard we wet ourselves when Nilsson did the same thing back in 1972???)
I will concede it’s decent as far as modern black music goes. It’s better than all rap, but so is a good toilet flush. It uses cheap shock value to undermine the retro R&B style. In the 2000’s I guess it’s pretty good stuff. If it were 1964 it wouldn’t be in the top 1000 songs. Just depends what your standards are I guess. It has a sophomoric novelty appeal.
Listen to it two or three more times ... and I GUARANTEE you'll be hooked ... I've also sent you the "Forget You" radio-friendly version, STILL getting TONS of airplay by both Cee-Lo Green and Gwenyth Paltrow, who covered the song on "Glee". (In fact, Cee-Lo and Gwenyth performed the song together at the Awards Ceremony as a duet! Their appearance together on Saturday Night Live a few weeks earlier was ALSO a TV stand-out!)
Give it ten more minutes ... and I promise you'll be a fan ... it's damn-near inescapable!
And with "Forget You" you eliminate the "gimmick" ... but honestly, it just makes the REAL one that much more likeable!
I actually loved getting this week's Sunday Comments in an email -
We're looking forward to watching the Grammys tonight ... hope we're not disappointed.
Love ... and F*ck You rules!
Yes, it's true that in retrospect, some Grammy winners through the years have been what we today would consider questionable or even ridiculous choices. However, the same is true of some Emmy, Oscar and Tony winners -- and inductees into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. So who's to blame for not recognizing the artists or works which, over time, would retain the most lasting value and importance? Keep in mind that in almost all of the contests noted above it was the collective PEERS of the winners who did the voting. The most noteworthy exception to that rule is the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame -- which has always been the most closeted, cliquish and secretive operation of them all. It has an excuse for sometimes nominating and electing absurd inductees -- especially now, when the only real criteria for induction is to be a personal favorite of Jann Wenner.
Regarding the Grammys, remember that the original idea of the awards in 1958 was to honor "quality adult music" (i.e., Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, etc.) over the increasingly better-selling rock material. That's why artists like Elvis Presley -- who personified the changing course of American popular music the Grammy founders found unsettling -- were deliberately ignored. (Elvis, of course, was only to eventually win for his inspirational work and never for his rock recordings.) Over time the Grammys slowly evolved and began accepting artists and forms of music closer to what was actually selling as opposed to what had previously been deemed by adults as higher quality. As originally conceived, the Grammy celebrated artistry (as the academy voters felt it) over sales.
Today the Grammys are a near total reversal of what it's founders had in mind. If you had told them, along with those who voted for the very first Grammys in 1958, that 53 years later not only would a mainstream record company actually release and score a radio hit -- plus earn a GRAMMY NOMINATION -- with a song entitled "F**k You" they would considered you certifiably insane.
Popular music has certainly EVOLVED a lot since 1958 -- but has it ADVANCED? I'll let you answer that question.
Did you know that the first Grammy Awards were held in 1959, at the Los Angeles Beverly Hilton?
Yes ... but did YOU know that our buddy Bobby Darin won TWO awards that night??? In fact, he was up against his idol Frank Sinatra ... and EACH won two awards! (kk)
OOPS ... MY BAD!!!
Darin won his awards at the SECOND Grammy Awards Ceremony ... recorded in 1959, he wouldn't receive the award until 1960 (which makes perfect sense in hindsight.) It was also the very first TELEVISED Grammy Awards Ceremony.
Here's a rare excerpt from our long-missing Bobby Darin Series covering this topic:
Despite all the advice he received to the contrary, Bobby went in and cut the standards album he wanted to make. With that thought in mind, "That's All", for all intents and purposes, may very well have been the very first concept album. Bobby wanted to show his versatility as an artist and when the unlikely pop / rock candidate "Mack The Knife" was selected as his next single, it blew the lid off EVERYTHING else that was out at the time. It shot straight to #1 and stayed there for nine incredible weeks. Besides several other previous chart appearances (most often as "The Theme from 'ThreePenny Opera'" or "Moritat"), Bobby made the song his own...to the point that every "eek" he ad-libbed in the studio have now become permanently etched as part of the lyrics of the song ... you end up singing along with each and every one of them every time you hear it. Richard Weiss did an INCREDIBLE arrangement and the song took on a whole new life of its own. "Mack The Knife" was a radio SMASH, crossing over to ALL genres of music ... even the JAZZ stations played it! Bobby was rewarded a few months later when he was nominated for four Grammy Awards. In the Music Industry's second-ever (and first televised) ceremony, "Mack The Knife" was nominated for Best Arrangement. (Richard Weiss lost to Billy May, who had done the arrangement on Frank Sinatra's hit "Come Dance With Me".) Darin and Sinatra (and the same two songs) faced off again in the Best Vocal Performance Male category and Sinatra also won THAT award. But then Bobby rebounded with the Best New Artist award and topped off the evening by winning The Record Of The Year Award for "Mack" (which just happened to beat Sinatra's "High Hopes" recording.) By now, the comparisons to Frank Sinatra had really started to escalate and would follow him for most of the rest of his career. (How ironic that these two crooners would go head-to-head in so many categories at that year's Grammy Awards!) At the end of the evening, whether he was pumped up by the excitement of the day's events or overcome by his own massive ego, exhilaration and / or exhaustion, Bobby made a comment that would haunt him for the next several years. When pressed by UPI's Vernon Scott about challenging Sinatra in all four categories (and winning in two), Darin reportedly said "I hope to surpass Frank in everything he's done." Soon newspapers all over the country were talking about the cocky young kid with the big mouth, who was WAY out of line for even hinting that he deserved to be mentioned in the same breath as Old Blue Eyes ...
despite the fact that those same newspapers had been playing up the comparisons for months already. While Darin would spend the next several years denying or down-playing the remark, Sinatra refused to comment. In hindsight, it seems to have been more of a feud fueled by the press than anything personal between the two artists. Photos circulated of Sinatra and Dean Martin using a Bobby Darin album cover as a dartboard .... but the truth is that Darin was close with fellow rat-packer Sammy Davis, Jr., most of his life. (In fact, the liner notes for Bobby's big crossover album "That's All" even reprinted a telegram sent by Sammy Davis, Jr. stating "I've just heard the dubs for your new album. What can I say? They're so good I hate you! But seriously, Bobby, I think the album's another step in a career that I feel will last a long time.") Bobby also remained on excellent terms with Sinatra's daughter Nancy and her then-husband Tommy Sands. There are even reports that suggest that after Sinatra broke away from Capitol Records to form his own record company, Reprise Records, Bobby was approached about jumping ship from Atlantic to record for Ol' Blue Eyes. (Darin reportedly turned down the offer, feeling he'd be the lost, forgotten artist amongst Sinatra's rat-pack pals also signed to the label ... in fact, Bobby signed with Capitol to record alongside his other idol Nat King Cole, hoping to fill some of the void left by Sinatra's departure!) Another well recounted incident tells that after one of Bobby's nightclub engagement, Jerry Lewis approached Darin and told him that he was all alone in the league ... Frank, Dean, Sammy and Jerry were all several years older ... and NOBODY else was doing what Bobby was doing ... he had the whole arena to himself. The only one who could louse it up for him was Bobby himself ... otherwise, there was NOBODY out there that could touch him. Bobby took the advice to heart. The most-famous comment Sinatra ever made on the subject when asked what he thought of Bobby Darin was: "I sing in saloons. Bobby Darin does my prom dates." Darin called it "one of the greatest single lines of all time" and said that he was only too happy to play his prom dates ... until graduation! ISN'T IT IRONIC?: Years later, Frank Sinatrawould cut his OWN version of "Mack The Knife", using a virtually identical arrangement to Bobby Darin's!!! In fact, on his 1984 album "L.A. Is My Lady", Sinatra added a lyric paying tribute to some of the previous "Mack" hit-makers: "Satchmo Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin and Lady Ella, too ... Old Blue Eyes can add nothing new." (kk)
re: SUPERBOWL SUNDAY:
Hi Kent -
I thought the Black Eyed Peas Half Time Show was fantastic!!!
That's all I can say!!
I agree ... but from the looks of things, that makes two of us!!! (lol) kk
Great piece from WLS Clark on Beatles / Black Eyed Peas.
A few other quick comments ...
re: JOEL WHITBURN'S NEW "TOP POP SINGLES" BOOK:
I can't wait to see Joel Whitburn's new book, spotlighting the local and regional breakout hits. But I wish he'd list ALL of the hits, not just the Number Ones -- or the ones that didn't eventually make The Top 100! This would be a GREAT way to document what was popular in various parts of the country.
Originally, Joel told me that this new bit of research was going to be a separate book all by itself ... and maybe it still will be some day ... but he was SO anxious to get this new information out there that he incorporated it all into this new 13th Edition of Top Pop Singles instead ... which in and of itself is quite surprising, in that he has NEVER done back-to-back update books so quickly before, only a year apart. We're all hoping that this will turn into a popular enough feature that Joel may go back to the boards at a later date and put together the ultimate "regional" chart book. (kk)
Joel Whitburn's newest book states that The Kit Kats "Also Recorded as New Hope", but it seems that they also recorded as The Pablo Ponce Four and The Tak Tiks (on Guyden Records). It's also interesting to read that "Let's Get Lost On A Country Road" was recorded as an instrumental, issued twice!!! The new book says it did well in Philly, but I never heard it on the air! Never knew that! But since I was there, their Biggest Hit was "Let's Get Lost On A Country Road", locally! Best JJ
Billboard only reported what the local radio stations and record stores reported. Personally, I would LOVE to see a "Top Ten" or "Top 20" list from half a dozen major cities, presenting a "local slant" to the charts from various regions around the country. (LA, New York, Chicago ... Philly, Detroit, Cleveland ... Dallas, Miami and maybe a few others to REALLY put things in perspective as to just what was popular where.) Here in Chicago, my own personal chart collection dates back to mid-1956 ... I would LOVE to see local chart information dating back even further! Again, let's just hope that this new feature catches on and Joel decides to expand its coverage in a future volume. But for right now this is a HUGE new addition to his already massive Music Bible of Information! (kk)
re: THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL / THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK:
We're winding things down on this topic now ... but I think we've proven the point that these programs DESERVE to be heard again. Anybody out there thinking about putting something together??? (kk)
Regarding Shannon Peterson's (WDRV) comment about The History Of Rock & Roll ... KDWB got into Fargo (or did), but 630 Khz is out of St. Paul. T. Michael Jordan (aka: Tom Nefeldt), one time KDWB jock circa '67,'68.
>>>Chuck Riley's delivery does have more energy ... and it would have been great if he hadn't mispronounced so many words in the copy. (David Lewis)
That was a particular quirk of Chuck's. Sometimes I think he did it on purpose just to get a rise out of me (or to see if I was paying attention as we recorded). I know Warren Cosford, in directing Chuck for the Evolution of Rock, had similar problems.
Chuck used to drive me crazy with his pronunciations. For example, it was like pulling teeth to get him to say Bee Gees correctly. He always said 'Bee JEEZE' with the emphasis on JEEZE.
I worked with Chuck at CHUM on CHUM's original History of Rock in 1969, then The Beatles Story in 1970 as well as many CHUM promo sessions. Later, in 1989, after I'd moved to LA, I hired Chuck to be the promo announcer for John Candy's weekly two hour radio show, "Radio Kandy" that ran on a couple of hundred stations in the U.S. Our offices and studio were in Brentwood, Chuck lived in Groucho Marx's old house in Studio City at the time (not that far over the canyon), but he always insisted that he couldn't drive to our studios as he needed to stay close to Hollywood because he was under contract to CBS for network promos and for three hours a day, he needed to be close to CBS at Fairfax and Beverly, so we always recorded Chuck at a studio in Hollywood called Prism.
Chuck was a wonderful guy, a major curmugeon, and an incredible story teller. Chuck and Jack Armstrong (who worked together at WKYC in Cleveland) were similar in that way. Having a meal with Chuck was ALWAYS an adventure. He'd send things back at the drop of a hat. Once in Toronto, at the local greasy spoon near CHUM, he sent back toast. You could always count on the fact that at some point in every meal, Chuck would send something back, He also loved hot, spicy food. Chuck didn't consider a Thai or Indian meal a success unless he was sweating profusely while he was eating.
But what a talent.
re: FIRST 45's:
As more and more people discover The Forgotten Hits Website, we continue to receive several of your "First 45's" memories. Please check the site often to see if YOUR memories have been posted ... and, if you haven't sent yours in yet, just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org ... like THIS guy did!!! (kk)
My first record was Tom Dooley by the Kingston Trio. I was only about 7 at the time and originally had the 78. I remember it clearly though because I put it on the chair one day and my dad sat on it and broke it. I cried so much that to shut me up, my mum made him go out to buy another copy and he came home with the 45. The B side was Ruby Red, another great song which I finally found on CD about two years ago.
The first record I actually bought myself was Let's Jump The Broomstick by Brenda Lee. I was lucky enough to meet Brenda on my first visit to the States in 2006 and was surprised to learn that although the song was a big hit in England, it did nothing in the U.S. Most of the 45s I bought later are long gone, but I still have these two and whenever I hear them they remind me of the days when music actually meant something Cheers Nick Gordon
re: TODAY'S FORGOTTEN HIT:
I, too, am enjoying the daily Forgotten Hit feature. It's a shame that most early '60s (and before) songs aren't even possibilities, given the realities of so much Oldies programming, but that said, it's always fun seeing what you come up with.
To that end, I was wondering yesterday (Saturday) what song you'd pick for Valentine's Day and was trying to "read" your mind and see how it works -- no easy task! I'm sure you've already chosen the song, so let's see how far off I am . . . I'm guessing you'll pick Leapy Lee's "Little Arrows" for Cupid's Day. If you didn't, you should have -- hah! It got up to No. 16 in 1968.
Honestly, I hadn't even considered a Valentine's song for Monday ... but it's a great suggestion ... so I bumped "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" by Jerry Lee Lewis to a later date! (lol) Betcha never would have thought of THAT one for Valentine's Day! (kk)
That sounds great, Kent. I hope you didn't overlook Valentine's Day in "real life," or there might be hell to pay at home!
And I certainly would NOT have thought of the Jerry Lee Lewis song.
The following Monday, of course, is Presidents Day, if you choose to observe it.
There are all sorts of Forgotten Hits in that category, too -- from JFK 1962 songs (such as the really forgotten PT 109 --a Top 10 hit for Jimmy Dean -- to the really obscure novelty song My Daddy Is President).
Not to mention Chicago's Harry Truman and all the one-time-is-enough Dickie Goodman "sample" songs -- including Energy Crisis, Watergrate and 1974 and '81 versions of Mr. President).
Keep up the great work.
Or "Snoopy For President", I suppose ... or even "Alvin For President"!!! I've tried to stay away from the "themed" songs but you know what, if it means more deejays will play these on the air, I'll go with the flow ... just ask ... I'm pretty flexible! (lol) We've saluted a couple of "Birthday" artists already ... and I have a few more planned ... plus we'll salute this year's inductees into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame pretty soon, too. As I said, I'm receiving DOZENS of suggestions from our readers for this new feature ... proving once again that there absolutely IS a home for this on the radio. C'mon, Scott Shannon ... let's give it a whirl! And you can even launch it with another one of those True Oldies Channel / Forgotten Hits Weekends ... "One You Know ... And One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot!" (kk)
Again a great collection of articles this week.
The subject of so-called oldies station playlists got me thinking about great songs that never get played on these stations. The station here in Detroit doesn't even call itself an oldies station, it just says it play the hits from the 60's-70's-80's, but in reality, it doesn't play much 60's music except Motown (of course) and Beatles. What it does play over and over is an endless stream of Billy Joel and Elton John hits.
I've included my list of those forgotten hits, most of them Top 30 when they were out, that I'd love to hear these stations play.
Suspicions - Sidekicks
Whispers(Getting Louder) - Jackie Wilson
Things I'd Like to Say - New Colony Six
The Push And Kick - Mark Valentino
Kick That Little Foot - Round Robin
Heavy Makes You Happy - Staple Singers
Misdemeanor - Foster Sylvers
Birds Of A Feather - Joe South
Sit Down I Think I Love You - Mojo Men
Selfish One - Jackie Ross
Let's Pretend - Raspberries
Little Black Egg - Nightcrawlers
Did You See Her Eyes - Illusion
S.O.S - Edwin Starr
Gene & Debbie - Playboy
Thee Prophets - Playgirl
Shout Shout - Ernie Maresca
And that's just the ones that come to mind.
Readers are lovin' our new feature ... not a day goes by where we don't receive a dozen (or two!) suggestions of songs to feature. Actually, we've already compiled quite a list ... and several of your suggestions are already on the list ... but keep 'em coming, folks ... just in case we miss one here or there! (kk)
re: DIGGIN' FORGOTTEN HITS:
I've been meaning to send this email for quite a while now. I just want to say how much I'm enjoying your blog - it's informative and I often hear tunes that I'd "forgotten" about. Somehow you've managed to make Forgotten Hits an interactive community, with lots of people contributing and responding with feedback - it's wonderful!
I've sadly just closed down my own music blog because I was only receiving comments from a handful of loyal readers as compared to the large number of people who were accessing the site (and the music). I may continue with it as an invitation only blog - would you be interested in taking a look if I do so in the near future?
I hope you don't mind too much my asking (you probably have your own good reasons for not doing this already), but would you consider activating the comments feature under each post so that it would be possible to comment right on the blog?
Also, would you please add me to the Forgotten Hits 'Sunday Comments' email subscription list?
Thanks very much, Kent, and great work!
Thanks for the kind words ... and welcome aboard!
We used to allow comments to be posted right to the site but then we have to constantly monitor them ... somebody is always trying to post their own agenda (usually links to buy drugs in Canada it seems ... or other unwanted messages of a more sexual nature) ... so I finally had to eliminate it.
Besides, folks seem to LOVE reading The Sunday Comments .... it's our most popular feature (plus it allows us to edit the content as to what gets posted.)
This week we had ALL kinds of technical difficulties with the website ... so The Sunday Comments went out via email.
Please feel free to share your comments and memories with our readers ... it's really what Forgotten Hits was all about. And, if you do decide to get your site back up and running again, I'll be happy to run a link so others can check it out, too!
Thanks again! kk
I understand completely about the unsavory comments. I not only enjoy reading the Sunday comments feature, but also check each day to see if there's a regular posting up. Something about your site just captures the magic and the innocent joy of the music and the times.
Up until a couple of days ago, I had a link on my blog to Forgotten Hits and I was glad to see (through Feedjit) that a lot of visitors jumped over to it.
All the best,
Your web site is great and fits my complaints about so-called "oldies stations"
(with their 300-song playlists) to a T.
Please put me on the mailing list.
Welcome aboard, Henry! Research be damned ... your listeners are tuning out because there's not enough variety on the menu!!! Oldies Radio needs to start beefing up the play list if they want to survive in this day of iPods and such, where folks can carry their 10,000 favorite songs around with them wherever they go. The same two or three hundred just AIN'T gonna cut it no-mo'!!! (kk)
Due to EXTREME technical difficulties, we are unable to post today's edition of The Sunday Comments on The Forgotten Hits Website. As such, it's going out via email to our regular subscribers. If you're not on our mialing list but would like to receive an email copy, too, just drop us a note at email@example.com and we'll send it on its way. We apologize for the inconvenience ... hopefully whatever issues we're having will be resolved in time to post other material later this week.