Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Here Are A Couple Of Shows You Won't Want To Miss!

One of the hottest oldies tours this summer (and DOZENS of summers past) will be THE HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR, this year featuring some OUTSTANDING '60's talent like THE TURTLES, THE ASSOCIATION, THE BUCKINGHAMS, THE GRASS ROOTS and MARK LINDSAY, former lead singer of PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS.  Believe me, this is a show that the oldies music fans want to see.  (We recently ran a combined list of ALL of these artists' Top 40 Hits ... it's a literal HISTORY in the art of making hit records!!!)
But SOME fans want to know why the tour doesn't hit THEIR town.
Here's a letter we just received from long-time FH Reader "Wild" Bill Cody!
I've been following this tour for many years and am miffed that they don't come out to Colorado or all points west? It seems to take place EVERY year in the east and mid-west only? HELLO??
Wild Bill

The Happy Together Tour 2011*
July 8 - NYCB Theatre at Westbury in Westbury, New York
July 9 - Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut
July 10 - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
July 11 - Musikfest Cafe at ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
July 13 - Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania
July 14 - Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, Massachusetts
July 15 - South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, Massachusetts
July 16 - Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey
July 17 - Sovereign Pacific Arts Center in Reading, Pennsylvania
July 19 - Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida
July 21 - River Center Performing Arts Center in Columbus, Georgia
August 4 - Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Kettering, Ohio
August 5 - Centennial Terrace in Sylvania, Ohio
August 6 - Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, Illinois
August 7 - Wisconsin State Fair Grandstand in West Allis, Wisconsin
August 24 - Kentucky State Fairgrounds in Louisville, Kentucky
August 25  - Effingham Performance Center in Effingham, Illinois
August 26 - Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Illinois
August 27 - Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota (Corn Palace Festival)
August 29 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota
*More dates to be announced soon.
I know the current ad says "More Dates To Be Added Later" ... but I put your query to some of the artists on the bill to see what THEY had to say about it!
It is very simple ...
We do not act as agents and do not book the tour ... the promoters in the cities are the reason we go to a city.  If a promoter believes he can make money with a tour, he negotiates a deal to bring the group in.
Music Business 101.
A promoter books the show from the group's agent and then the group goes to a city and plays.
We do not make the decisions about where we go and play and we would love to come back to Colorado, but no one is booking the tour in Colorado at this time.
Maybe that will change.
Last year we did play Littleton and Denver, Colorado.
Mark Volman / The Turtles
Hiya Kent;
Sorry to have been out of touch for so long, but the ol' flu bug caught me off guard this past week, and I literally haven't been able to focus since.
As to the question about booking the Happy Together Tour, you guys certainly understand that the groups onstage are not in charge of where the tour is going.
Agents do that.
And the producers of the event.
When you've got that many people traveling in a pack, it's not so easy to jump around between destinations.
Things need to be routed so that the journey makes some financial sense.
So if we get an offer in Denver, say, and it stands alone, the powers that be "cost everything out" to see if a monetary solution can be found. Usually, they try to group dates together by region.
As always, the West Coast stands alone.
If we're lucky enough to put together a run of shows here on the left side of America, it will be added separately and with plenty of time to get tickets for this summer.
It's not our fault, but we apologize if we don't make it to a venue near you this season.
Ask your local promoter about the show, and if they are curious enough, they'll find Paradise Artists and we'll see you after the show.
Thanks for the forum, Kent.
And forgive me for not being more proactive about our upcoming itinerary.
I look forward to each and every show.
Look for Flo and me performing later this summer with Dweezil Zappa and ZPZ, at last.
Howard Kaylan / The Turtles
Hello Kent,
It's great to hear that there is that much interest in the Happy Together Tour this year due to its success last year. I can understand our Colorado fans' disappointment, but it really is not the decision of the artists. If were just up to us, we'd play everywhere. I believe it has to do with finding the right venue and if it can be routed with other venues. I'm sure the producers of the tour have made it available to every venue out there, its just a matter of who buys it ... so, like everything unfortunately, it all comes down to $$. The tour is still in its development, so hopefully it will make it to CO.
I will pass this on to the tour producers.
Best regards,
Carl Giammarese / The Buckinghams

And, speaking of The Happy Together Again Tour ...
Notice that the official booking agency for the Grass Roots doesn’t list Rob Grill any longer and there’s an updated band picture (without Rob).  I hope he’s healthy enough one day to return to the stage.
Tom Cuddy

Not quite sure what's going on there ... clearly this is a much different picture than the one appearing on The Happy Together Again Tour Poster.  As we all know, Rob missed a number of dates last year ...
and disappointed quite a few fans who had come out specifically to see him ... reportedly due to his own health as well as a grieving period for the loss of his son.  The fact that he's no longer pictured with the group makes one wonder just what's really up.  (Does this mean that The Grass Roots don't have a SINGLE original member of the band onboard???)  kk
Let your freak flag fly!
Although it's been almost 45 years since the Hippie movement began, there's been an annual concert event since 2005 that celebrates the music of the era and the lifestyle revolution it represented - HIPPIEFEST.
This summer will mark the sixth year of HIPPIEFEST which will feature artists who first achieved stature in the decade that expressed peace, love and happiness.
Hang your fear at the door and join the future.
Make love, not war.
Born to be wild.
Go ask Alice.
Beginning August 3rd in San Diego, California, (call it "California Dreamin'"), "flower power" returns for at least twenty dates with some of the biggest names of the sixties and seventies including Dave Mason (Traffic), Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad), Rick Derringer, Felix Cavaliere's Rascals and Gary Wright comprising this year's incredible HIPPIEFEST line-up (see full itinerary below).
Dave Mason -- who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as co-founder and original member of Traffic in 2004 -- will be bringing his guitar and performing hits from Traffic along with those from his impressive solo career. As the guitarist, a vocalist and one of the principal songwriters for the band Traffic, Mason penned one of the band's first and biggest hits, "Hole In My Shoe," which appeared on their first album in 1967. The following year, the band would release their self-titled second album that would contain another classic hit by Dave called, "Feelin' Alright," that would eventually be covered by several artists including Grand Funk Railroad, Joe Cocker and Three Dog Night among others. In 1970, he would have his first taste of solo success with the song, "Only You Know and I Know." In 1977, Dave would have his biggest hit with "We Just Disagree," which would reach #12 on the Billboard charts. Over the years, Dave has performed and recorded with some of rock's greatest musicians including Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones (Beggars Banquet), Eric Clapton, George Harrison (All Things Must Pass), Paul McCartney ("Listen to What the Man Said"), Fleetwood Mac, Cass Elliot and Jimi Hendrix. If you listen closely to "All Along The Watchtower," that's Dave on acoustic guitar.Shortly after its formation in 1969, Grand Funk Railroad lead singer and guitarist Mark Farner took his American band to the heights of success. They would release their first album titled, On Time, in August of that year and follow it four months later with the release of their second album, Grand Funk. In 1970, Closer to Home -- featuring Mark's song, "I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home) -- would be released and the band would go on to sell more albums that year than any other American band. As the lead singer, guitarist and writer for the majority of their material, Farner and company would sell out New York's Shea Stadium faster than the Beatles in 1971. From 1969 to 1974, the band would release nine consecutive studio albums that would go gold or better (five reaching platinum status). With hits such as "We're An American Band" (which would hit #1 on the Billboard charts on Mark's 25th birthday in September, 1973), "Walk Like A Man," "The Loco-Motion," "Shinin' On," "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "Bad Time" among others, the band fortified itself in rock history. Since his days with Grand Funk, Mark has continued to perform with his solo band throughout the world. In the mid-90's, Mark would join Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band for two consecutive tours. He rejoined Grand Funk for a brief stint in the late 90's, before continuing on with his solo career.
It's doubtful that anyone will be sitting in their seats when Rick Derringer breaks into his well-known rock anthem, "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo." The song continues to be a staple on rock radio and was featured in several movies including The Spirit of '76, Rush, Stag, What A Girl Wants and the cult classic, Dazed and Confused. It's a little known fact that years before his success as a solo artist, Rick had a band at the age of 17 called The McCoys that had a #1 hit in 1965 called, "Hang on Sloopy." The song would eventually be knocked out of the top spot by The Beatles' "Yesterday." A year after its release, The McCoys would find themselves as the openers for the entire Rolling Stones American tour. Although written and recorded a few years earlier, Rick released his most famous version of the song in 1974 and never looked back... In 1977, he would appear on the last Led Zeppelin North American Tour. In the years to follow, Rick would perform with such artists as Alice Cooper ("Under My Wheels"), Steely Dan ("Show Biz Kids" and "Chained Lightning"), KISS, Todd Rundgren, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter and Weird Al Yankovic among others. From 1986 to 1992, Rick would tour with Cindy Lauper and co-write a song from her True Colors album titled, "Calm Inside The Storm." Before embarking on this year's Hippiefest tour, Rick will be in Europe with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.
Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals also has an incredible catalog of popular songs to choose from... As the vocalist and keyboard player for the group Steven Van Zandt called, "the first rock band in the world" (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in May of 1997), Cavaliere and the (Young) Rascals had three number one hits -- "Good Lovin'," "Groovin' " and "People Got To Be Free" -- among several Top 20 classics as "A Girl Like You," "I've Been Lonely Too Long," "You Better Run," "It's Wonderful," "A Beautiful Morning" and "How Can I Be Sure" (the latter two of which were Top 5). He sang vocals on six of the band's successful singles. Throughout the seventies, Felix would release a handful of solo albums and, in 1980, would score a Top 40 solo hit with "Only A Lonely Heart Sees." In June 2009, Felix was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with former writing partner and Rascals bandmate Eddie Brigati. Last year, all four members of the Rascals reconvened for a benefit performance held in New York. He's continued to tour over the years, most recently as Felix Cavaliere's Rascals, who will be appearing at this year's Hippiefest.
Although he's probably best known for his massive hit, "Dream Weaver," Gary Wright originally hit the popular music scene as the singer and keyboard player for the band Spooky Tooth in 1967. In 1970, he would perform at the famous Isle of Wight festival as a member of another band called Howl the Good. Prior to the breakup of Spooky Tooth in 1974, Gary was invited to perform piano on George Harrison's solo classic, All Things Must Pass. In 1975, Gary released his first solo album "The Dream Weaver" featuring the singles, "Dream Weaver" and "Love is Alive," both of which would hit the #2 position on the Billboard charts and remain classic rock radio mainstays until this very day. "Dream Weaver" would sell over a million copies shortly after its release and go on to be prominently featured in three major movies including Wayne's World, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Toy Story 3. In 1981, Gary would achieve his third big hit with the release of "Really Wanna Know You." Since 2008, Gary has toured with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Most recently, Gary released an album titled, Connected, featuring such musicians as Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter.
HIPPIEFEST will be one hit right after another providing the ultimate spectacle of music that has spanned the generations meant for all to enjoy.
Bring your parents, your grandparents and bring the kids!
The Miami Herald summed it nicely a few years back by stating that HIPPIEFEST is "A taste of Woodstock without the mud and bad acid."
Newsday commented that it was "Guaranteed to get boomers misty-eyed enough to fog up their bifocals."
The New York Post said, "No shoes, no shirt, no problem."
Put on your best tie-dye, hop in your VW Van and head to HIPPIEFEST where you'll be able to unleash the Hippie within...
Where else can you "freak freely" in 2011?
"I'm really looking forward to headlining Hippiefest this year. I'm going to get to many areas where I haven't played for a while. It's a great show for the fans, too, with Felix Cavaliere, Gary Wright, Mark Farner and Rick Derringer.  A great night with lots of hits!"
-- Dave Mason --
"I'm geeked about doing Hippiefest this year and can't wait to rock this country and bring back some good memories for our fans!"  
-- Mark Farner --
"I am humbly looking forward to the upcoming Hippiefest concerts.  To share the stage with such a legendary, talented roster of entertainers is truly a once-in-a-lifetime honor. 
What A Show!"  
-- Rick Derringer --
"This year, I am really looking forward to touring with, and playing for, some of my dearest friends. We are ready to rock!  We're gonna rock together for America!"
-- Felix Cavaliere --
"I'm very much looking forward to being on the Hippiefest this summer.  Especially playing again with Dave Mason, who I used to tour quite a bit with in the 70's. I've also been a fan of Felix Cavaliere - especially the Rascal's music.  Rick Derringer and I will be coming off the Ringo Europe tour this summer, so we'll continue working side-by-side. He's such a great guitarist. Mark Farner worked together with me while I was in Spooky Tooth, so that should be fun as well.  It's going to be a great summer."  
-- Gary Wright --
For more information (including individual photos of the artists appearing on this year's Hippiefest), please contact Jeff Albright via e-mail at
Date  / Venue / City
Wednesday, August 3 / Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay / San Diego, CA
Thursday, August 4 / Greek Theatre / Los Angeles, California
Friday, August 5 / Comerica Theatre / Phoenix, Arizona
Saturday, August 6 / Snoqualmie Casino / Snoqualmie, Washington
Tuesday, August 9 / Count Basie Theatre / Red Bank, New Jersey
Wednesday, August 10 / Mayo Center for the Performing Arts /
                      Morristown, New Jersey
Friday, August 12 / Bergen Performing Arts Center / Englewood, NJ
Saturday, August 13 / Plateau at National Harbor / National Harbor, MD
Sunday, August 14 / Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion / Gilford, NH
Tuesday, August 16 / Keswick Theatre / Glenside, Pennsylvania
Thursday, August 18 / DTE Energy Music Theatre  / Auburn Hills, Michigan
Saturday, August 20 / Fraze Pavilion / Kettering, Ohio
Sunday, August 21 / Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater / Apple Valley, MN
Thursday, August 25 / King Center / Melbourne, Florida
Friday, August 26 / Peabody Auditorium / Daytona Beach, Florida
Saturday, August 27 / Ruth Eckerd Hall / Clearwater, Florida
Sunday, August 28 / Seminole Hard Rock / Hollywood, Florida
Thursday, September 1 / Saenger Theatre / Mobile, Alabama
Friday, September 2 / Arena Theatre / Houston, Texas
Saturday, September 3 / Dr. Pepper Arena / Frisco, Texas
Sunday, September 4 / Convention Center Theatre / New Orleans, LA

On the local scene, I can say that I'm really looking forward to seeing this show ... The New Invaders are one of the premier '60's cover bands playing in our area ... and now it looks like lead singer David Huizenga has teamed with Bobby Abrams, Kimi Hayes, Gregg Potter, Tom Fezzey and Dave Steffen to present the "Generation: The Sixties Experience". This should be one heck of a show!  Upcoming appearance dates (and more information on the band) can be found on their official website. (kk)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SOS - Save Our Shannon

I haven't actually been able to break away for lunch at work in several weeks now ... I seem to be going through yet another stretch of 12-14 hour days ... and quite a few Saturdays lately, too ...

So yesterday, when I finally had a chance to break away for 45 minutes, 
I turned on what USED to be The True Oldies Channel (94.7 - WLS / FM) here in Chicago to listen to a little bit of Scott Shannon on his mid-day show ...

Only to find that Scott was missing in action ...

And local deejay Tom O'Toole was sitting in ...

Except it didn't sound like he was just "sitting in" ...

And I didn't hear him mention anything about "sitting in" ...

In fact, it sounded more like this was his regular time slot!!!

(Now I suppose he COULD be on vacation ... having not been able to listen in awhile, perhaps he mentioned something about this last week ... but normally when Scott is away, Blake Hayes ... one of his WPLJ cohorts ... is the one filling in. But now that True Oldies is no more in Chicago ... and they're going for a more "localized" sound ... I guess WLS-FM will use one of their OWN jocks in these types of situations!)

Honestly, with all the hoopla going on here lately regarding the major change overs going on at the station, I guess we've become "conditioned" to expect the worse.  Would they REALLY just take a guy like Scott Shannon off the air without saying anything?  I can't say that I'd be at all surprised by ANYTHING that they do anymore ... the message being sent is "oldies ... out"!

Chicagoland Oldies Music Fans are outraged and, from what I understand, have been bombarding the station with letters demanding they go back to the way things used to be.  (Even a guy like Chicago Radio Legend Dick Biondi seems to be having to "conform" to the new playlist ... normally, Dick pretty much had carte blanche to play whatever his listeners wanted to hear ... but now THAT seems to be changing, too!)

I still don't get it ... when you've got a TREMENDOUS resource like Scott Shannon available to you ... a guy who has won enough broadcasting and programming awards to fill an entire trophy room ... a guy who bears the distinction of being (as described by Billboard Magazine, The Radio Hall of Fame and the majority of his peers) as "The Most Influential Programmer of the Past Twenty Years" ... the guy who routinely delivered the BEST ratings of the entire station line-up (and returned the station to The Top Five with his True Oldies format) ... why does one feel compelled to jack with the formula?  And why now, when the virtually unlistenable K-Hits takes to the air with virtually the same, identical selection of songs?

Now I'm sure that between them Michael Damsky and Michael LaCrosse (both of whom, I've been told by at least half a dozen readers, have returned nasty, snide emails when questioned about the new direction the station is taking) have SOME sort of master game plan that they believe will take the station to the next level.  (Between them, THEY'VE won enough broadcasting and programming awards to fill a small glove box!)  And Forgotten Hits is prepared to give BOTH of these guys equal time to defend and explain their actions right here on our website if they'd like to do so.  (I will be the first to admit that we've been pretty hard on these guys over the past couple of weeks ... and with all the controversy spilled in these pages recently regarding the way WLS-FM is completely DESTROYING everything that Scott Shannon built in the way of The True Oldies Channel, I'm sure we've done more than our fair share of fueling the fire.  As such, when I clicked on the station yesterday and found Scott Shannon to be missing in action, I couldn't help but wonder ...)

I mean, who would have EVER thought that we'd all be missing Scott Shannon SO badly?!?!?  When he first came on here in Chicago, many fans were reluctant to give him a shot, knowing that he was broadcasting from New York ... and yet now we're finding it VERY hard to live without him!!!

I have absolutely NO idea what the "master game plan" is over at WLS - FM anymore ... in fact, I'm not convinced there IS one ... 

And honestly, MOST of the people that I've talked to don't really care ... 94.7 WITHOUT Scott Shannon and The True Oldies Channel just isn't worth listening to ... and the brand new K-Hits is even WORSE!!!

I'm telling you, Chicagoland is PRIMED for a brand new Oldies Station that actually PLAYS the oldies ... the music from 1955 - 1975 ... and nothing BUT the music of 1955 - 1975.  Leave the late '70's and early '80's (and ... shudder ... even some of the early '90's!!!!) to these oldies / greatest hits pretenders.  If SOMEBODY in town will simply step in and program the REAL OLDIES again, listeners will FLOCK to the station ... but they have to be COMMITTED to this music.

Of course it'd be REALLY nice if that "somebody" was ... Scott Shannon!!!
We would LOVE to have him back on our local dial ... (and would love it even more if he came back and kicked some serious butt in the ratings book, too!  Nothing would please me more than to see him teach these young, upstart know-it-alls that you "Don't Mess With Success"!)

Right now, I don't even know if that's possible ... or just some silly pipe dream ... but sometimes (as Ral Donner taught us oh so long ago) ... you just don't know what you've got until you lose it!!!

We miss ya, Scott!!!  PLEASE say it isn't over!!!  (kk)

He's been called "The Most Influential Programmer of the Past Twenty Years" ... and that seems to be the label that's stuck ... 
So today I'd like to offer up:

When it comes to programming, Scott Shannon is the Mary Poppins of radio ...
Practically perfect in every way.

(Think that one'll catch on?!?!?)
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits

Monday, April 18, 2011

Forgotten Hits Remembers Randy Wood

Admittedly, we're a little bit late on this one ... but we wanted to salute Randy Wood, founder of Dot Records, who passed away about ten days ago.
Dot Records was home to a number of early Rock Era white artists, many of  whom covered the popular Black, R&B tunes of the day and made them "safe" for mainstream, Middle-America.
A look at the label's All-Time Top 50 Songs will give you some indication of what we're talking about here.  (The list comes from Fred Bronson's EXCELLENT book, "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits", now in its 4th Edition.)
The book ranks the biggest songs from virtually every major label and artist, as well songwriters and producers ... it also counts down The Top 100 biggest songs from every year (and decade) of the rock era, 1956 - 2007.
Oldies music fans will find it to be a fascinating read ... and perhaps the ultimate trivia argument settler!  In fact, the grand finale includes a countdown of the Top 5000 Songs EVER from this period!
You can pick up your own copy here:  Click here: Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits, 4th Edition (9780823015566): Fred Bronson: Books

Randy Wood, whose Randy's Record Shop pioneered the sale of R&B records by mail order and who later founded Dot Records, died Saturday (April 9) of complications from a fall at his LaJolla, California, home at the age of 94. Ironically, Dot Records specialized in covers of R&B hits by white artists like Pat Boone, Gale Storm and the Fontane Sisters, though Randy also gave us hits by Lawrence Welk, Tab Hunter and the Surfaris. He sold the label in 1957 but stayed with it for ten more years. It was discontinued in 1977 and Randy's Record Shop closed in 1991.
-- Ron Smith

Dot recording artist Robin Luke ("Susie Darlin'") filled us in a little bit on the back-story behind HIS Top Ten Hit Record a couple of months back in Forgotten Hits ...

Originally, we had written:
The single was first released on the Bertram International label in 1958 before Dot picked up the master for national distribution.  Luke was born in Los Angeles, California, but relocated to Hawaii because his father worked for Douglas Aircraft and, depending on where he happened to be assigned at any given point in time, that's the place that Robin called "home".  The story goes that Dot Distributor Art Freeman heard the original recording of the song (already a popular hit locally in Honolulu on the Bertram International label) while honeymooning with his newlywed wife Dorothy in Hawaii and was so taken by it that he called Randy Wood, the owner of Dot Records, and told him that he had just found their next hit. Based on Freeman's enthusiasm, Wood purchased the master without even hearing it (!) and quickly released it on his own label.  The original "bedroom recording" (with echoed vocals courtesy of the bathroom!) featured Robin Luke on guitar and vocal and Bob Bertram, head of the Hawaiian Record Company that first released the song, on percussion ... which consisted of tapping pens on a box and sticks on a pen! (Wayne Jancik's book, "The Billboard Book Of One Hit Wonders", says that the actual recording pressed on Bertram Records was recorded in a small studio in Honolulu. Actually, digging just a little bit deeper, it sounds like Bertram's "studio" WAS, in fact, a bedroom ... and it was the accompanying bathroom that provided the "echo chamber" used on the record!)  After becoming popular locally in Hawaii, Dot took the record national and it sailed into The Top Five during some of the earliest days of rock and roll.  That "primitive"-sounding recording is the one we all fell in love with at the time.  However, a re-recording of the track came about when Randy Wood initially had problems releasing "Susie Darlin'" because it was cut at a non-Union recording session. On his website, Luke explains that they next went into The United Recording Studio in Hollywood, California, to recut the track with union studio musicians: “We went over to the United Recording Studio, which was state-of-the-art at that time, and we had some of the greatest talent in Hollywood working on ‘Susie Darlin'’’ with formal sheet music and the Jack Halloran Singers. It was absolutely beautiful – but it didn’t have that haunting sound, so Randy Wood slipped the original tape into production.”  It worked and Robin Luke soon had his first ... and only hit. Although he recorded several other tracks ... backed by some of the best talent in the business ... he was never able to recapture the raw sound first recorded in Bob Bertram's bedroom studio.  (kk)

Robin Luke then elaborated:
Bob Bertram always thought Susie Darlin' was a hit.  In fact, to make sure, he actually slowed down the song until it sounded like a death dirge. A little bit more up-tempo and it is a terrific blues song, and I am asked often to sing it when appearing in “oldies shows.”  The bedroom where this song was recorded WAS a bedroom (not a studio) and we used a primitive Ampex portable tape recorded with “sound on sound” and one microphone. I would lay down a track and then put on earphones and sing over the original track(s) to put another one on. This went well until a mistake was made, and then we would HAVE TO START ALL OVER! It took about one month to get it right with seven tracks. That is why Susie Darlin' sounds so “mushy” ... because each time a track was laid down on top of the others it took a great deal of high fidelity away.
I will certainly admit that Susie Darlin' was a "monster hit", having sold over 

2 1/2 million copies (and it is still selling … I get royalties to prove it).

Promoter / Producer Fred Vail remembers Randy Wood ...
When Randy Wood died on April 9 at age 94, he had lived long enough to have seen the independent music industry re-emerge as a major force in music. His contributions were enormous.  This obit (see link) is a rather simplified story on the impact of Randy Wood and Dot Records. It's truly a rags to riches story of a record retailer (Randy's Records in Gallatin, TN, north of Nashville) who started a 78 rpm mail order business in 1948, marketed almost entirely on the strength of 50KW WLAC Radio, his primary advertising vehicle. Then came a label that became of one the most dominant indies of the 50's and 60's. Pat Boone, a Nashville native, was, perhaps, his biggest overall star, but you cannot discount the dozens of others who followed, including: Debbie Reynolds, Lawrence Welk, Jimmie Rodgers (who started on Roulette but moved to Dot), Roy Clark, Barbara Mandrel, Freddy Fender, Billy Vaughn, Mac Wiseman, and popular television star Gale Storm, who recorded "I Hear You Knockin,'" Why Do Fools Fall In Love" and "Ivory Tower," which, unlike the two previous hits, was not a 'cover' of a black hit. Other hits by Sanford Clark, The Fontane Sisters, Bonnie Guitar, Nervous Norvis, Louis Prima and Kelly Smith, and Dodie Stevens were other Dot successes.  And let's not forget Forgotten Hits regular contributor Robin Luke, whose "Susie Darlin''' is one of my (and your) personal favorites. I also forgot Tab Hunter ... he was signed by Randy because of his sex appeal and reportedly took 20 takes to get it right on "Young Love". (I guess that is a good example of 'what goes around, comes around.' Signed because of looks and sex appeal and not talent? What a concept!)   :)
If Randy had only introduced a predominantly white rock audience to black crossover records -- songs by Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and others -- his legacy would be secure -- but Randy went far, far beyond that.
Fred Vail / Treasure Isle
Nashville, TN

(courtesy of Fred Bronson, author of "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits)
 1. LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND - Pat Boone  (1957)
 2. THE GREEN DOOR - Jim Lowe  (1956)
 3. YOUNG LOVE - Tab Hunter  (1957)
 4. AIN'T THAT A SHAME - Pat Boone  (1955)
 5. SUGAR SHACK - Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs  (1963)
 6. CALCUTTA - Lawrence Welk  (1961)
 7. APRIL LOVE - Pat Boone (1957)
 8. I ALMOST LOST MY MIND - Pat Boone  (1956)
 9. DON'T FORBID ME - Pat Boone  (1957)
10. BEFORE THE NEXT TEARDROP FALLS - Freddy Fender  (1975)
11. I Hear You Knocking - Gale Storm (1955)
12. Come Go With Me - The Dell-Vikings  (1957)
13. A Wonderful Time Up There / It's Too Soon To Know - Pat Boone  (1958)
14. Wipe Out - The Surfaris  (1963)
15. Moody River - Pat Boone  (1961)
16. Sail Along Silvery Moon / Rauncy - Billy Vaughn  (1958)
17. I'll Be Home / Tutti Frutti - Pat Boone  (1956)
18. The Shifting, Whispering Sands - Billy Vaughn  (1955)
19. Dark Moon - Gale Storm  (1957)
20. Friendly Persuasion / Chains Of Love - Pat Boone  (1956)
21. Susie Darlin' - Robin Luke  (1958)
22. The Fool - Sanford Clark  (1956)
23. Remember You're Mine - Pat Boone  (1957)
24. Pipeline - The Chantays  (1963)
25. Seventeen - The Fontane Sisters  (1955)
26. Funny Face - Donna Fargo  (1973)
27. Why Baby Why - Pat Boone  (1957)
28. Whispering Bells - The Dell-Vikings  (1957)
29. Wasted Days And Wasted Nights - Freddy Fender  (1975)
30. Deck Of Cards - Wink Martindale  (1959)
31. Sugar Moon - Pat Boone  (1958)
32. Marianne - The Hilltoppers  (1957)
33. Only You - The Hilltoppers (1955)
34. At My Front Door / No Other Arms - Pat Boone  (1955)
35. Transfusion - Nervous Norvus  (1956)
36. Dark Moon - Bonnie Guitar  (1957)
37. Teen Age Prayer / Memories Are Made Of This - Gale Storm  (1956)
38. Speedy Gonzales - Pat Boone  (1962)
39. Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor - Lonnie Donegan  (1961)
40. The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A. - Donna Fargo  (1972)
41. If Dreams Came True / That's How Much I Love You - Pat Boone  (1958)
42. Wonderland By Night - Louis Prima  (1961)
43. Ivory Tower - Gale Storm  (1956)
44. You Cheated - The Shields  (1958)
45. Ninety-Nine Ways - Tab Hunter  (1957)
46. A Swingin' Safari - Billy Vaughn  (1962)
47. Daddy-O - The Fontane Sisters  (1955)
48. Wonderful Summer - Robin Ward  (1963)
49. Eddie, My Love - The Fontane Sisters  (1956)
50. Daisy Petal Pickin' - Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs  (1964) 

Early rock artists like Fats Domino and Little Richard (Pat Boone covered BOTH of them!) have remarked many times how much help these whitebread cover versions boosted their careers.  Artists like Pat Boone and Gale Storm (both Dot recording artists), along with several other similar artists on other labels, helped to bring this music into homes that might otherwise never have listened to the R&B / Early Rock sounds of the day.  (Sure, the KIDS were catching on ... and DeeJays like Alan Freed were helping to spread the word ... but Mom and Pop just didn't feel "safe" until somebody "cleaned up" like Pat Boone came along and showed them this music was really okay.)

In Fred Bronson's book "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits", Boone remembers it this way:
"Ninety percent of radio stations in America wouldn't play R&B hits, no matter how big they were.  To get them on radio, other artists had to do them.  I talked to Fats and Little Richard -- there was a definite ceiling on how far they could go.  When a white artist came along and sang their songs, they were introduced to audiences they couldn't reach themselves."

You'll find more here:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 04 - 17 - 11 )

Here's a glimpse of what's been on your minds this past week ...
(yeah, we're having "spacing issues" again this morning ... but if you can muddle through it, you'll find some pretty interesting stuff!  (kk)


That is one sore subject for me! Whenever I heard a station play a 45 RPM at 46, 47 or even 48, I'd run to the dial and change the station real quick! Some of the guilty parties in my area back in the day were WWDJ (97DJ) in Hackensack, NJ, WAVZ (New Waves 13 in New Haven, CT), WXLO (99X in New York) for a short time in 1973, WBLI in Patchogue, LI and 97.5 WALK in Patchogue, from 1988 onwards. As a matter of fact, my wife and I would get into big fights about the speeding up of the music! She didn't mind the speeding up, but I did!
Mark aka Computer DJ 61
P.S. I couldn't tell you the number of times I got portable record players for gifts, and almost all of them played at 35 and 47 RPM!!

I have been reading recently about the subject of sped up songs.  Since I was not working in radio then, I am not sure when stations converted from playing the hits straight from vinyl 45's.  Most of the stations I visited in the late 70s and early 80s had converted to radio station cart machines or reel to reel tapes.  In my experience with carts (they looked like 8 tracks but were not) they would sometimes play a bit fast which was not always the fault of the radio station.  Some stations may have been playing songs a bit faster though not intentional.  I also worked in a semi automated station in the 80s.  There were 4 reel to reel machines with a new songs tape on the top deck,  recent hits on the 2nd,  songs of the last 10 years on the 3rd, and a solid gold tape on the 4th.  If not kept up by the engineer, these would occasionally play songs slower than they were supposed to be.
Phil Nee
All of this may be true ... (several others wrote in to say that their turntables and/or tape players often sped up and slowed down on their own) ... but this practice was being DELIBERATELY done by the radio station at the time ... so that's a BIG difference than a malfunctioning machine!  Suffice to say it happened ... it's been acknowledged ... and then it stopped once word was made public.  Did it work in ANY fashion?!?!  Who knows ... seems like MOST folks didn't even know it was going on!  (kk)

Regarding WCFL speeding up the records, I really don't know.  To the best of my knowledge, it was not done, but if it had been true, it would have been during the time in the 60's when Lew Witz was the general manager.  Sorry that I have been vague about this but my answer would be that it didn't happen.
I am very certain that this did not occur during the time that Ken Draper was the general manager prior to Lew Witz.
Take care.  Watch out for the Wergs. 
Ron Britain
This seems to have been much more of a practice in the early '70's than the '60's ... and the station ultimately admitted to doing so.  (Bob Dearborn told us as much a few weeks back ... NOT radio's proudest moment, to be sure ... but back then it was ANY tactic to set yourself apart from the other stations in town, I guess!)  Hey, maybe that's not such a bad idea after all ... I mean, nowadays, EVERY station on the dial sounds exactly the same.  Wouldn't it be nice if somebody pumped some new energy into radio again??? (kk)

And, speaking of "King Bee" ...

re:  "NEW" OLDIES:

When we were "fixing" CKWW as a Nostalgia Station one of our "secrets" was to air new songs and new recordings of old songs which fit the spirit of the format.  In other words, just because you listened to us for Classic Songs and Classic Recordings from the 40s to the 60s, it didn't mean that your taste in music had died back then.  That was how Rita MacNeil and how The Spitfire Band and how Roger Whittiker, as just three examples,  did well in Windsor / Detroit both in selling records and seats. 
Oldies Stations have had similar opportunities, but I'm not aware of any that have made them part of their format.  Two of My Favs are Freddy Cannon's "Let's Put The Fun Back in Rock and Roll"
and I Feel Like Buddy Holly by Alvin Stardust
It came to mind today when the ever resourceful Andy Merey sent me this
I played a novelty record called "King Bee" by Jana D'Ora (attached). It is one of those songs that mentions top rock and roll artists of the day. These singles were popular around 1960. "Got A Girl" by The Four Preps comes to mind or "Everyone Was There" by Bob Kayli (with Berry Gordy orchestra), only this one named people in song titles like "Patricia" or "The Purple People Eater". What struck me about the "King Bee" song is the reference to 'just like Mr. Scott'. I'll bet it is the only record that mentions Jack Scott in a song.
Amazingly, someone put together a cover video of the song:
George Byrd's Friend ...
Jana D'Ora Side B "King Bee"
Jana D'Ora Side A 1 "Dream On"
Recorded At: RCA Studio B - Nashville August 1960
Musicians: Floyd Cramer (Piano), Hank Garland (Lead Guitar), Kelso Herston (Guitar / Band Leader), Bob Moore (Upright Bass), Buddy Harman (Drums) & The Nashville Strings).
Back-Up vocals: The Jordanaires (Gordon Stoker, Ray Walker, Hoyt Hawkins & Neil Mathews).
A & R Director: Cliff Parman
In Memory Of One Of My Dearest, Closest Friends & Pals, Jane Nobile Tate (a.k.a. Jana D'Ora - Singer / Entertainer)
Warren Cosford

Hi Kent,
With all the talk about The Ides, I just thought I'd throw in my two cents.
I am pretty sure I've mentioned the tribute band that I'm a member of here in MN, The Fabulous Armadillos. We are currently in the middle of an 8 night run of a tribute to the 80's. Our special guest is Jim Peterik.  We did 4 shows last week and have 4 more this coming week. The audiences love Jim, as I am sure they do everywhere. He sings and plays great, has great stories to tell on and off stage about his days with Survivor and the
Ides of March, and is very patient with all my questions about songs, tours, etc. <grin>
Chicago can continue to be proud of one of their own. It's been great to be able to share a stage with him
Without question, Jim is one of our local heroes ... and local treasures.  How cool that he'd sit in on something like this!  (kk)

>>>I saw the topic on The Guess Who "Star Baby" and I don't have any comments on that subject but it triggered a memory on another Guess Who song. I vividly remember hearing "A Wednesday In Your Garden" on WCFL in the Spring of 1969. Does anybody else remember hearing this song on the radio? I finally had the chance to ask Randy Bachman on October 22, 2001 at the Greek Theatre and he told me that it was slated to be released as the follow-up to "These Eyes." Jack Richardson wanted them to re-record it but they never found the time to do it. Eventually, "Laughing" was released and the hits kept on coming. Too bad the Rock & Roll Hall Fame hasn't figured out what this band did for popular music. Anyway, keep up the terrific work on Forgotten Hits.  (Gary Strobl)
Hey Gary.  I was at the Greek show, too.  Got to go to the backstage party afterward.  Too bad Burton Cummings wasn't feeling all that great.  I got to talk to him very briefly in his dressing room.  Great show though.  I went to the Pond show as well.  I got stuck backstage with Gary Peterson, since it wasn't too long after 911, security was wiggy.  It's hard to believe it's been so long ago.  Damn, where has the time gone?

Thank you so much for posting the song by Burton Cummings ... Dream of a Child.  I have never heard this before and I fell instantly in LOVE with it.

It's one of MY favorites, too ... really captures a spirit of that era in a very heartfelt way.  (kk)

Folks seemed to like our little Jerry Lewis video that we posted the other day ... got several comments on that ...
Hey, thanks for the Jerry Lewis video! Funny!

>>>It was great to come upon your site and listen to "To Make A Hit Record."  I had never heard Brook Benton's version - was it the original?   What I do remember, believe it or not, was Jerry Lewis performing it, playing up the big-time producer angle with a big cigar and all, on some TV variety show back in the early-mid '60s.  I wonder what show?  Boy, time flies but songs are timeless.  Anyway, thanks for doing your part to keep these old songs alive and for letting me hear one I hadn't heard in almost 50 years!  (Tom Reid)

>>>The only "Hit Record" version I'm familiar with is the Brook Benton track we featured a while back ... but I'm betting that SOMEBODY out there will also know this Jerry Lewis track as well.  (Hmmm .... do we have any FRENCH readers on the list?!?!?)  kk
Going through my "Hit Records" titles and release dates, I am not sure Brook's was the original or not. Show his record debuted and charted in May of 1962.  However my record info guide shows it was released in 1961 in Great Britain where I don't know if it charted or not.  I have another "Hit Record" by another artist named Prentiss Polk on Columbia that was released here in US in 1961.  Earlier version?  Also have song by the Hollywood Flames from 1961 named "I Can't Get A Hit Record".  Seems to be an answer song to "Hit Record". Also song was released in 1968 on S.S.S. Int by an artist named Mickey Murray.

>>>Jerry Lewis launched his career doing pantomimes to records.  (kk)
And then there's one of my earliest 45 favorites ... (must have been from a sibling, I was too young) ... JERRY LEWIS singing ... I'M A LITTLE BUSYBODY (love the fiddle) and the flipside  SUNDAY DRIVING ... I'm sure they both had to be BIG hits in their day ...(gary) RENFIELD
Actually, no ... in fact Jerry Lewis only had ONE pop hit as a "singer" ... his version of "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody" went to #9 in 1956 ... and only deepened the rift between the two when it did! 

The hit team of Martin and Lewis had just recently split up ... Dean was ALWAYS the singer and Jerry was the funny guy ... after the split, Martin started to concentrate on his singing career again and pursued more serious roles in movies, leaving the "funny stuff" to his former partner.  (After topping the charts in 1953 with "That's Amore", he reached the summit again in 1956 with "Memories Are Made Of This", a #1 Smash that you still hear used in movies and television commercials.)

But when JERRY sang his way into The Top Ten (by way of doing what can best be described as his "best Al Jolson imitation"), Martin was reportedly FURIOUS!  The split was supposed to highlight the strengths of each partner ... DEAN was the singer, not Jerry!!!  As such, he solicited more serious acting roles (before returning to light comedy a few years later ... as well as doing TONS of westerns and portraying Secret Agent Matt Helm!!!)  Of course, his GREATEST success was as the host of his own television variety show and then, even more so, has Master Of Ceremonies for all those crazy Celebrity Roasts!
Jerry, meanwhile thought that perhaps he could do it all.  He had just had a Top Ten Hit Record (and later recorded a not-so-bad version of Jolson's "My Mammy", too) ... but he never had another pop hit.  As an actor / comedian, however, he went WAY over the limits of excess by handling multiple roles in many of his films, also taking on the duties of writer and director.  Most Americans found it all to be a bit too much ... but apparently the French LOVED it and Lewis became a MAJOR movie star over there. Some of the films were successful here as well and today he's considered a legend ... although probably BEST known for his role as fund-raiser for Muscular Dystrophy, something he's been doing now for over 50 years!  (Check out some of Jerry's serious acting roles ... he's actually quite powerful!)  kk
DIDJAKNOW?: Although it may today be considered Dean Martin's best-known recording, "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" (used EVERYWHERE these days) was NOT a hit record when it was first released.  In fact, it never made the charts at all!  (Today, however, it just may be the very definition of "Lounge Lizard Cool"!!!)

EXTRA! EXTRA!:  Long rumored to be an early risque' Martin and Lewis Vegas Act recording, "Blow Me (A Kiss)" is really just a Martin and Lewis parody ... but it's damn good one ... and pretty damn funny, too!  So we'll feature that one again today, too!  (kk)


>>>What's Eric up to these days? Still touring.  (Eric Burdon will be 70 on May 11th)  kk  

Will he sing "When I Was Young"? :-)
Actually, Eric Burdon, in his younger years, reminded me of one of my sister's boyfriends. His name was Eddie Cruise. Cool name; looked just like Eric. We hit it off well, since he liked playing drums, too. But he had a brand new (early '70's) Dodge Challenger T/A, looked so cool with the Six Pack name on the air scoop. One night he said let's take a ride! On a long back-road, I could tell he was setting up a race. When he floored it, I sank so far into the seat; the G force was incredible!
Sorry, getting carried away - reminiscing!

Response has been good since we ran the link to Freddy Cannon's webpage showing some of his new celebrity pencil drawings.  Freddy tells us he has a few new ones up on the page now ... you can check it out here:

Click here: gallery
Freddy's been doing a number of radio interviews, too, talking about his new hobby / passion ... in fact, Phil Nee of WRCO Wisconsin had him on his program last night!  (kk)


This situation at WLS-FM just seems to be getting worse. Dave, Greg and Dick all sound like a bunch of pre-programmed robots these days. And who is Tom O'Toole? Damsky and LaCrosse have totally destroyed that station. I try to listen to Scott via his stream as often as I can. I just can't stand listening to WLS anymore. As far as bombarding the station, I say good luck. Michael LaCrosse was nasty and rude to me. I say the most effective way is just to stop listening. And as far as what Michael Damsky said about Scott and his golf game, was unprofessional and uncalled for. As much as I would hate for Scott to pull out of here, he might as well. For all intents and purposes, Scott Shannon is no longer on WLS as far as I am concerned.
Busy week so I wasn't able to listen much ... but on the way in on Saturday Morning I heard that they were picking up Scott Shannon's regular True Oldies Channel feed (for four hours anyway!)  In fact, on the official WLS-FM website now there are absolutely NO references to The True Oldies Channel at all anymore ... other than this "rephrased" logo spotlighting Shannon's Saturday Morning program:


One of your readers mentioned recently about having DeeJays which knew the music. I couldn't agree more.  Through the years, I have seen the following artists' names mis-pronounced on the air: Bruce Channel with the last name being pronounced like the True Oldies Channel, the group Human Beinz with the last name being pronounced like B-9's, the singer's name Johnny Tillotson being pronounced TilLOTson and my all time favorite ...this one I was actually in the control room when he said it.  We were going into a break and up on the screen it said coming out of the break would be the song SHOTGUN by JR Walker & the Allstars. The announcer on duty said coming up after the break would by SHOTGUN by J. R. Walker.
One of your readers suggested localized programming and music for I believe Saturday mornings by counting down the top 50 songs for that particular week according to Chicago's weekly top 40 radio survey. That is what I did here for years in OKC with the Saturday Morning KOMA KOUNTDOWN SHOW from 6 AM - 9 AM. I started out at six in the morning at the top of the hour with song #40 on the survey and winding it down by playing song #1 doing into the top of the hour at 9. I made a Xerox copy of the survey in question, drew lines between songs #40 and #28. These songs were played during the six o'clock hour. Songs #27-#14 would be played during the 7 o'clock hour and the final hour would by the top 13 songs on the survey. Depending upon the commercial load, length of songs, I played throughout the hours records located at the bottom of the survey called KOMA KLIMBERS. I would come out of a special jingle mentioning that a KOMA KLIMBER was coming up. I always came out of my 7:20 break, or about midway through the show with a jingle that said in effect, next is the KOMA PICK HIT OF THE WEEK. There might be one or more pick albums of the week listed at the bottom of the survey but I really didn't mention them. I first started doing this show in 1988. To be honest with you, when I got into broadcasting on a part time basis, my first job was board operating Casey Kasem's AT40 back in the mid-seventies. One day I got to thinking of how good a show this was and began wondering why couldn't I take it to a new level. AT40 could be played on any radio station anywhere in the country with any call letters. I thought if Casey could countdown the top 40 according to a national trade publication like Billboard, to give it a localized and personal feeling, why not do a countdown according to the top 40 shows locally, in this case OKC. I will never forget one week a consultant came in and talked with me for a short period of time of what I was doing on my countdown show. This one particular survey he went over every song and basically pointed out which songs were, more or less, had to do with some sort of payola. In other words, they were "dogs" of a record. He suggested to me that when I came upon these records which were not hits nationally, or "dogs", to substitute another record which was, or would turn out to be, a bigger record nationally. If I had done this, I would not have played any records locally which were big here, which would have included some odd and or obscure records. I remember after the meeting the PD at the time came up to me by ourselves and told me to "keep on doing what you are doing" which I did.
You also mentioned that you are not able to listen to the TOC in Chicago and didn't know that the cheesy easy listening song had been taken off and instead is played a forgotten 45. Timewise, it is the same, about 1:45 here in the OKC area. Now Scott says this is the official forgotten 45 for the day in that he plays others throughout the day.
I, of course, figured that Scott voice tracks most, if not all, of his show. I just hadn't thought that he would do it a day in advance. His morning show here though, reflects what happened the night before on certain television show, results of various sports events the night before, etc.
Keep up the good work
Casey Kasem's American Top 40 Countdown was hardly anything new when it debuted in the early '70's ... here in Chicago, they used to play The Silver Dollar Survey EVERY SINGLE DAY, Monday thru Friday, counting down the EXACT SAME 40 songs each afternoon ... and they started doing that way back in 1960 or 1961!  (Now THAT had to be a hard show to plan for!!!  lol)  It was probably most famously done by Dex Card (a sometime Forgotten Hits contributor), but a variety of jocks did it over the years and, by the '70's, WCFL was doing it, too.  (I even remember Larry Lujack counting 'em down ... talk about the wrong guy for THAT job!!!)  We had a LOT of two-sided hits (two-sided winners!) here in Chicago, so they'd often rotate which side of the record they'd play during the countdown (just to shake things up a little bit each day), but countdown shows have been around ... and BIG favorites with listeners ... for a long, long time.  Casey just took it to a new level when he came up with a NATIONAL version of the country's biggest hits.  (By the mid-'70's, nearly half the songs on the survey weren't even played here in Chicago anymore, as radio had cut its playlist so tight that we were often listing only 15-20 songs on our local chart!)
The whole appeal of a localized countdown (like what Ron Smith used to do over on Real Oldies 1690) is that you got to hear some tunes each week that DIDN'T make the national charts ... rekindle some long-forgotten memories by hearing songs that were big in OUR town at the time.  I believe EVERY local oldies station should do that today ... program to YOUR market ... and folks WILL remember (and appreciate you all that much more for it!)
As for Scott Shannon, he DOES add new material each morning to keep his program as fresh and current as possible. (I believe he does this right after his morning show in New York on WPLJ.)  Several times he's worked in Forgotten Hits features based on what we ran up on the website that morning ... a few times he's even called and put ME on the air (although we haven't done that for a while!)  For a syndicated show, it's VERY entertaining and Scott's really got it down to a science ... but here in Chicago it's now a specially recorded "local" version where he pretty much just gives the call letters and talks about some of the other jocks on the station.  Honestly, I don't like it (and neither do very many other listeners) ... he doesn't even mention the True Oldies Channel name anymore ... everything is strictly "WLS" now.  As such, we miss new features like the daily forgotten 45.  (Wonder if he ever uses OUR suggestion that we put up on the website each weekday!)  Deejays knowing (and loving) this music makes ALL the difference in the world on a quality oldies radio show ... no question about it ... and Shannon knows and LOVES this music.  With all this "Greatest Hits Of All-Time" stuff going on, the time has never been more perfect for Scott to start to incorporate more and more of the late '50's / early '60's into his playlist.  He is a BIG fan of this era and would LOVE to play more tracks by artists like Elvis, Brenda Lee, Ricky Nelson, Gene Pitney, Bobby Darin, et al ... and MY educated guess is that his faithful listeners would love to hear him play these artists, too.  Something to set yourself apart from what all the other radio stations are doing.  (kk)
And, speaking of Bobby Darin ...


Not the final "hit" Take, but includes a Count Basie "One more once!", with a couple names mentioned that were eventually deleted. Pretty nice Stereo sound quality.

Believe it was recorded late December, 1958, at Atlantic Studios, NY.

Snippet length 1.5 minutes.  Master 3254, Take #7 - AKA Mack The Knife - 1959:'ll feature more of Bobby's odd hit song versions, including studio talk and bloopers. Hopefully, our host, Mr. K., will post them.
Personally, I love the Big Band sound!


Jersey John
LOTS of Bobby Darin fans on the list. (No Frank, I haven't reposted our Darin Series yet!!!  lol)  But ALWAYS cool to hear some of Bobby's "works in progress" so keep 'em comin'!  (kk)


Thank you for posting the Original Mix and true stereo remix of Solitary Man, (1970).
Is there a stereo version of the original from 1966 which I have on a 45?  This is my favorite of the two releases, as it is more basic: and, as I recall, does not include an electric piano or additional voice backup as the 1970 remix.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Justin McDevitt 
We got a pretty good response to our "Solitary Man" feature the other day ... but now I'm more confused than ever!  Check out some of the comments below and see if YOU can sort it all out!  (lol)  kk

I believe the 1970 Bang single of "Solitary Man" was the exact same version as the original 1966 release. This Web site has detailed information on all the different recordings / mixes of Neil's Bang hits, and the 45, LP and CD sources for each one:– Randy Price
Having listened to both tracks at the time of their original release (I always liked this song!), I swear they were different mixes ... the same recording, yes, but "embellished" on the second go-'round in 1970 ... in fact, I remember being very surprised that this was being released again (and it did so much better the second time around.)  As you can see, there are some discrepancies as to which was which ... but I also still have both original 45 pressings around here somewhere, too!  (kk)

A quick correction on Solitary Man ... Bang did make a revised version of the song with extra instrumentation but the original hit version both in 1966 and 1970 are the same recording.
BANG single 519 (1966) - Same as on the Feel Of Neil Diamond album (mono).
FON (mono LP) - This is the original recording of the song. Neil's vocal is single-tracked throughout the entire song, no female background singers at all. There is a single acoustic guitar playing, and a horn section playing softly on the choruses. Neil's humming at the fade "Solitary Man, mmmm, Solitary Man" is audible.
BANG single 578 (1970) - Same as Feel Of Neil Diamond (mono)
The Shilo album was the source for the stereo overdubbed version.  This one has an alternate vocal take, which is almost identical to the FON(mono) one. It's only noticeable on the first verse ("Melinda was mine until the time ...") which is sung in a higher key. Includes a "yeah" right before "Me and Sue, that died too". Has the same basic backing track as FON (mono) but also has post-production stereo overdubs, including an electric guitar (right), female background singers (also on right) and additional horns (left). Lots of obvious double-tracking on Neil at the fade, with the audible humming at end.  The female background singers and guitar overdubs are the mixed down.
On the 2nd verse, the singers are inaudible after " ... part-time thing" and " ... paper ring". On the subsequent Bang stereo versions, they are faint, but audible.
The overdubbed version was eventually used on a Bang "Solid Gold" 45 re-issue, but never charted.
I was a DJ in 1970, played the reissue many times and still have the single. But I refer readers to the excellent web site of Neil's Bang recordings.
This information comes from an excellent page on Neil's Bang recordings.!
Paul Urbahns
Radcliff, Ky


Hi all!
This is Rick Levy, president of Rick Levy Management in St. Augustine, Florida.
Over the years, I have been bandleader and / or manager for such legendary acts as Herman's Hermits, Tommy Roe, Freddy Cannon, The Box Tops, Jay & The Techniques, Bo Diddley and more. Check out
I am very proud and pleased to announce that international legend TOMMY ROE is out of retirement, and has prepared an all new show ...
featuring all his hits, plus lesser known songs he's written, and even some great covers from the era. I am leading the band and we will feature a full electric show plus unplugged and solo segments.
Tommy Roe had 11 top 40's, 6 top 10's, 4 certified GOLD hits, and Two #1 hits in America ... some of his smashes: SHEILA, DIZZY, HOORAY FOR HAZEL, JAM UP AND JELLY TIGHT, SWEET PEA, EVERYBODY, IT'S NOW WINTER'S DAY, and much, more.
More on Tommy at
To book or contact:  /  904 806 0817
Upcoming dates:
May 19 - Century Casino, Edmonton , Alberta, Canada
May 20 - Casino Regina, Regina, SK, Canada.
Would LOVE to see Tommy Roe in concert ... hopefully, he'll be adding some U.S. dates to his itinerary.  (And we just may be interviewing Tommy Roe for Forgotten Hits, too ... stay tuned!!!)  Thanks, Rick!  (kk)
Paul McCartney has just added a stop in Las Vegas to his on-going 2011 tour ... Macca will be appearing on June 10th at the MGM Grand ... and our FH Buddy Charles Rosenay has put together another pretty incredible deal to see not only McCartney in concert, but also Love / Cirque de Solai at The Mirage Theater ... as well as some other Beatles-related special events ... read on ...  
Magical McCartney V.I.P. Vegas LOVE Weekend Package offered for fans

Las Vegas, NV: In celebration of Sir Paul McCartney's very special concert at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, Liverpool Productions has scheduled an equally special mini-vacation weekend getaway for fans, June 10-12, 2011.
Fan will enjoy 3 days / 2 nights of fun Beatles / McCartney activities in Las Vegas including  group seats at The Beatles LOVE® by Cirque du Soleil® show at The Mirage, two nights deluxe Vegas hotel accommodations, guaranteed group seating at a concert by one of the world's most renowned Beatles tribute acts playing on the strip plus backstage meet & greet reception, visit to the Beatles reEVOLution lounge, shopping spree at the Beatles LOVE® gift shop, gala party at the original Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe, and - of course - guaranteed tickets to see the former Beatle live, in concert on Friday noight, June 10, just eight days before his 69th birthday. There will be added attractions, but these are the main events.
The price for the "2011 Magical McCartney V.I.P. Vegas Love Weekend" is only $999.00 per person based on double occupancy, which includes all of the above (transport and meals are the responsibility of the individual). Single supplement add $75 per night.
This unique theme weekend is hosted by Charles F. Rosenay!!! of Liverpool Productions,  organizers of the annual "Magical History Tour," which has brought thousands of fans to Liverpool, England every summer since 1983 (see
For further info or a reservation form, email or call toll-free (866) L-I-V-E-R-P-O-O-L (direct line is 203-795-4737).
Open to all ages. As the four lads once sang, "it's guaranteed to raise a smile."
-- Charles Rosenay

And, speaking of former Beatles ... 
Kent ...
A brand new bio will have the same title as his 1973 album.
Frank B.
I think I've probably got two or three different George Harrison biographies on my shelf right now ... and have never read a single one of them!  (Always seems to be something either more pressing ... or more interesting ... to read.) But I also have a copy of George's book "I Me Mine", which I really WOULD like to get around to reading one of these days!  (kk)
Kent ...
Tickets were $200 - $5000.
Frank B.
Kent ...
Community Board 3 in the Bronx voted unanimously to rename Jennings St., between Prospect and Union Aves., in Morrisania  after the Doo - Wop group the Chords, whose 1950's hit
"Sh-Boom" left the city humming.  Last month they named a street after Johnny Maestro.  
Have to check my Map Quest. I wonder if the Chords will take me to Johnny Maestro or visa versa.
Frank B.
The Sweet - Fox On The Run (1974):
As it was first issued in the UK (only)!!!, it was remade and reissued, then it became an international Pop hit!!!!
So, in this case, tell your favorite DJ to play the remake, not the original version!!!!
Jersey John
re:  K.J. KNIGHT:
Detroit rocker K.J. Knight has a new book out called "Knight Moves".  K.J. first made the scene in the area as the drummer and leader of a group called K.J. Knight and the Knightriders.  He went on to become the drummer for the Amboy Dukes, working with the legendary Ted Nugent.
His new book is basically a a "tell all" account (mainly about himself and we get a great glimpse into that musical era through the eyes of a guy who was living it!), but he talks about Ted Nugent, MC5, Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, Rusty Day's murder, Iggy Pop and many, many others.
If you grew up in the Midwest loving this type of music, this is most likely a book you'll want to read.  You can check out all the details right here:
Hi there, Kent "KK" Kotal!
Thank you for helping me get the word out about my book. I really appreciate it.
The link above includes a picture of the front cover, product description, and a review. The book is available at and other major online book retailers. Signed copies are available at my website 
KJ Knight
And, speaking of books ...

Mr. Kentters,
I got "Monkee Business" today, autographed by Eric Lefcowitz and everything!
Cool!!! (More contests, please!)
Ed Pond

Hi Kent!
Thank you so much for running the information about my new book, "Blast From Your Past!  Rock And Roll DJ’s: the first five years (1954-1959)" in your April 7th blog. Yes, I’m another DJ fan, trying to help preserve the great moments we had that all revolved around our favorite radio station and hippest jock! I’m working to leave their legacy – and ours – for future generations. I truly appreciate your help and it’s been so much fun cyber-meeting people like you along the way.
Ciao for now!
Hi Kent,
I was wondering if you'd be interested in taking a look at my blog.
I describe it as: "A musical gumbo of Blues, R 'n' B, Rock 'n' Roll, Jazz, Girl Groups, Motown, Northern Soul, Early Country, classic Soul and selections from the great African-American gospel quartet tradition"
Much doesn't fall within the purview of Forgotten Hits, but I think there are some gems that might interest you.
Hope you'll drop by!
I checked it out ... and am happy to provide a link for other music fans to do the same.  Thanks, Marie!  (kk)
Subscribe to Beach Boys Examiner, and then you'll be in the loop of things that are happening in the Beach Boys world.
I just did!  And suggest others do the same for all of the latest in Beach Boys-related news!  (kk)
-- submitted by Stu Weiss
Hopefully there'll be many more to come ... this could be a nice little "tribute" site!  (kk)
Norm posted this long lost video on his Facebook page so I'm sure he won't mind me sharing this with your readers.
The text is how I recall that time but it was 25+ years ago, so I may be slightly off on some of this, I paraphrase my memory of it. Publish if you want to, bad angles and all!
Hey Kent,
This is video that was shot the day Felix Cavaliere came to WEBE108 - FM for an interview with my good friend, DJ Storm N Norman.  Apologies for the bad camera angles. Unfortunately, in order to get the audio for the interview, the Beta camera (yeah, ancient technology) had to be tethered to the sound board and we only had a short cable (yeah, stupid) to work with. This was the same day as the picture I sent you recently, obviously. This was a Sunday morning in 1985 and, as you can hear, Norman may have invented the "Oh WOW Oldies" term, not sure if anybody else was using that expression at the time.
Anyway, Felix was living in Danbury, CT, about 1 1/2 hours from NYC, and traveled thru the radio stations listening area quite often and had heard Norm play his music many times. Felix was putting together a Rascals compilation with Warner Special Products and thought this would be a good promo for the album.  After the show, we all went to brunch at a local restaurant and Norm kept in touch with Felix afterwards. Contrary to what Felix says in the interview about getting back together with the Rascals, Norman was able to gently but persistently convince Felix how good it would be to do something with the other guys. Felix decided to do a small show after talking with Gene Cornish and Norman arranged for the show to be at a small local outdoor place, the Levitt Pavillion, and the day of the show Felix not only had Gene Cornish and a good backing band, but, he also brought along his old friend John Sebastian! who did a short set (no Welcome Back) and then Felix and friends played a short set of Rascals hits! This show took place on the day that Jackie Gleason died and Felix dedicated the show to "The Great One". There is a cassette of this show somewhere in my boxes of old tapes and such. If I ever find it I'll digitize it and send you a copy.
You probably remember the "Hands Across America" event, Norman and Felix went to that together as well.
I think that Norman may be partially responsible for Felix getting back with the Rascals because within a year of that show Felix and the Rascals were out on tour with Tommy James, Mamas and Papas (John, Denny, Mackenzie! And Spanky McFarland) and some others I can't recall.
Eddie Burke
Orange, CT
Oh Wow Felix


We heard from a number of readers this week who were planning to celebrate National Records Day by visiting their local vinyl retailers and pick up some limited edition discs.  If YOU have a special experience to share, drop us a note and we'll post some of them next week.  (kk)

Saturday (April 16th) is National Record Store Day!   Introduce your kid or grand-kid to vinyl!.  It's the Medium of Record! local store is at Denbigh & Warwick Blvds, between Radio Shack and Save-A-Lot. 
Also  -- if your cable company is participating -- you can get free HBO and Cinemax April 15-18. 
Chris Astle 
From David Beard's aforementioned Examiner column, here's more about The Beach Boys' special Records Day release ...  
In conjunction with Record Store Day on Saturday, April 16, Al Jardine will be traveling to Amoeba Music’s Berkeley, CA, location for an exclusive in store appearance from noon to 1 p.m. to sign the new Beach Boys two-disc 10” “Good Vibrations” / “Heroes And Villains” SMiLE-era 78 rpm. Jardine will also field questions from fans regarding the upcoming SMiLE box set release.
The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations / Heroes and Villains [ltd. edition 78 RPM single set]Disc 1 —Side A:  “Good Vibrations”
Side B: “Heroes and Villains”
Disc 2 —Side C:  “Good Vibrations” (Early Take)
Side D:  “Heroes and Villains” (Alt. Take) 
Q: If someone has never been to an Amoeba Music store what can they expect? 
Al Jardine: The Amoeba record stores are cavernous and gigantic places and they remind me of the old days when I was buying singles, and the 1970’s when the record stores had all the great artwork and that counter-cultural aspect of buying records and meeting people. It’s really a wonderful thing to have (in the neighborhood).
Q: Talk about this new single you’ve put together to support the Red Cross’s Japanese disaster relief efforts. 
AJ“Don’t Fight The Sea” the official release is set for Tuesday, but we are making some advanced copies available for a debut at Amoeba Music in Berkeley, where I will be signing the SMiLE 78 and the benefit single as well. We’ll also have some on hand for the Japantown show in San Francisco, and more will be distributed at the San Francisco and Hollywood Amoeba store locations.
Side A: “Don’t Fight The Sea” — Al Jardine; featuring Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love & Bruce Johnston with Matt Jardine & Scott Matthews
Side B: “Friends” (A Capella) — The Beach Boys
A Japanese symbol appears on both sides of the single; it means “friend.”
The official release date for the 1,000 “Don’t Fight The Sea” white vinyl singles is Tuesday, April 19, with additional plans to manufacture black vinyl once the limited edition white vinyl is sold out. Of the initial 1,000 pressed 90 or so sleeves have been signed (and numbered) by Al, Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston specifically for auction to assist in the disaster relief.
Q: What can you tell us about the afternoon concert that you’ll be performing Saturday afternoon? 
AJ: I’ll be whisked away from Amoeba to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco. I was approached to perform in Japantown by Ali Monroe (from San Francisco), he told me about the Japan relief effort going on for the earthquake / tsunami survivors in Japan. San Francisco has a Cherry Blossom Festival once a year, so they wanted to use the opportunity to bring awareness to the situation and get as many people together during the festival and have a live concert with local jazz and other Bay area artists. They considered me a “Bay area artist” because I’m closer to San Francisco than I am to Los Angeles (on the Monterey Peninsula), so they invited me to perform a couple of songs, one of which will be “Don’t Fight The Sea,” and a Beach Boys song that people will recognize and (can) connect to. I believe there will be a giant 150’ American flag unfurling to show support for the people of Japan at five o’clock and that’s when I'll be going on. It’s going to be quite an event. 
More information on how to purchase the new single will be available after April 19.
© David M. Beard/All rights reserved 

Proving once and for all that what happens in Vegas doesn't necessarily always STAY in Vegas ... we just got THIS cool shot from long-time FH Reader Mark Bertram!

A Kiss From Marie Osmond

Rolling Stone Magazine recently asked their readers to vote for their all-time favorite songs of the '60's.  The results are a LITTLE bit surprising.  (Two songs by The Rolling Stones?  Two more by The Beatles?  Dylan on top with their all-time favorite?  "Light My Fire" by The Doors?  What's so surprising about that?!?!?  The fact that THREE of these listed favorites give them the excuse to use "Rolling Stone" in the rankings?!?!?) 

Anyway,  here's the way their readers voted:

#1 - Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

#2 - A Day In The Life by The Beatles

#3 - Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones

#4 - Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones

#5 - My Generation by The Who

#6 - Light My Fire by The Doors

#7 - Hey Jude by The Beatles

#8 - Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin (I guess I never really considered this a '60's song ... especially since it kicked off the '70's at the top of the charts ... and they were one of the top selling acts of the decade)

#9 - All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

#10- God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

Through the years there has been a few recording artists who recorded and were known by their first name, for example Fabian, Lulu, Donovan, just to name a few. 
It was good to see an artist today know by their last name, TIN TIN.
I am sure you remember the first name, RIN.
Thank you for the wonderful service to music fans and djs .  You have provided me with so many ideas and opportunities over the past few years.
Thank you again.
Phil Nee / WRCO