Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 06 - 05 - 11 )

Thanks so much for this book.  I read it in Colorado on vacation and it gave me lots of info I had not known as well as many items I had not thought of how the date meant something or how an event coincided with other historic musical events.  I am sure many will use the info often in the future.  Great reference info! 
Clark Besch
We're hearing nothing but praise for Ron Smith's new book. Remember, you can pick up your OWN copy right here:

re:  IT WAS THE 3rd OF JUNE:
Speaking of important calendar events, did you all remember to observe a moment of silence for Billy Joe McAllister who, 45 years ago this past Friday, jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge?  (We opted NOT to celebrate on the website this year, having dedicated the last two anniversaries to your comments ... but that doesn't mean we still didn't receive a couple of new ones!  Meanwhile, you can revisit our previous celebrations here):

Since another "year has come and gone since we heard the news ...",  Friday June 3rd, is the 45th anniversary of the day that Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge.  This song won several Grammys in 1967.
I wont have time to celebrate ... I'm scheduled to work 14 hours that day. 
Chris Astle 
lol ... me, too, Chris ... 12 - 14 hours per day EVERY day this past week (in what was supposed to be a "short" holiday work week!!!)  This clip of Bobbie Gentry on The Smothers Brothers Show is a classic ... 
a great performance of a great song!  (kk)

Guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it ...
Phil Beckman
(rim shot)  kk

No references to Billy Joe today? It's been 44 years since we heard the news about him.
45 years actually ... because in '67 when this song went to #1, Bobbie Gentry sang "A year has come and gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe."  (kk)

The Amphibian Incident ... that's what really started it all, down in Carroll County.
David Lewis

Are you sure it wasn't the Carroll County Accident?!?!?  (kk)

I've had Glenn Sauter's "Hits of Yesteryear" on all day since opening the Sunday Comments this morning.  He really does a great job and I've actually heard a few tracks that I'd never heard before, and that almost never happens!  I noticed that he played Kathy Kirby and Herman's Hermits' "Hold On," which surely had to be a nod to today's edition of FH.
There are SO many jocks on the list who take our column suggestions and then play them on the air ... which is EXACTLY what we're here for!  I love it!  Hopefully other FH readers have a chance to check out Glenn's station, too!  (kk)

WOGL-FM (a CBS station) over the holiday did a song title countdown, alphabetically! I think 2000 songs. Odd to hear them repeating the alphabet! Some decent songs, though typically for their holiday shows!
Jersey John
These types of shows are a GREAT excuse to deviate from the playlist a little bit and feature a few surprises.  (Plus let's face it ... "no repeat weekends" are always fun to listen to anyway!)  kk

Kent ...
Every Wednesday is Beatles day in the Hall-Of-Fame (once an hour).
During the month of June, they're featuring a different Beatles Album every week.
Today it's "Rubber Soul."
I forgot to tell you that Big Jay Sorenson was in town to help us with the Memorial Day Weekend Countdown. He did his usual great job.
Frank B. 

And, for all you old-time / vintage radio buffs out there, I think you'll find that THIS article makes for some pretty interesting reading:

Kent, this looks interesting. Thanks.
He has been to our old-time radio conventions over the years.
By the way, this coming October will be our final old-time radio convention ever.
Running since 1976, this is goodbye.
So far, on my music panel that weekend is Paul Evans. Still waiting for more guests and further info to pass on.
Stu Weiss

Atomic Cocktail Summer Sizzler Series Starts Tonite, June 2! 
As if the worlds of Mid-East politics, presidential nominations and infernal combustion aren’t heating things up enough, now comes the first of three new June Atomic Cocktail radio shows. Tonight, Thursday, June 2, at 5 p.m. California time, at, DJ host Vic Tripp turns up the sonic thermostat with the premiere of the Smithereens’ new album, plus Frostbite 5000 music from the O’Jays, Standells, Captain Beefheart, Angels, Goldebriars and numerous others. Will the real-time Action House Chat-room be in full effect? Does the warmth of the sun last all summer long?
Whole new things: 
June 9: mini-salute to Cole Porter, plus music by the Exciters, Beau Brummels, Frankie Lymon, the Love, Johnny Burnette’s Rock and Roll Trio.
June 16: Premiere of new Rubinoos single, plus Angry Samoans, Chambers Bros., Hugo Montenegro, Dionne Warwick, Sam the Sham.
July 7: Beatles, Conway and Loretta, Nairobi Trio, the Go!Team. 
The coolest thing imaginable for those who miss the live Thursday broadcast of Atomic Cocktail is to  head on over to the LuxuriaMusic archives, which house podcasts of dozens of shows. Just visit the Luxuria homepage, select “Podcast,” then download the Atomic Cocktail

re:  DAY-O:
Despite WLS-FM's completely revamped playlist, I was STILL surprised to hear "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" come on my car radio the other day ... so much so that I shot a quick glance into my rear-view mirror just to be sure Ronnie Rice hadn't snuck into my back seat!  It really is refreshing to hear how much they've changed things up ... you're now likely to hear just about ANYTHING on that station (good, bad or otherwise ... but at least DIFFERENT!!!)  And I can honestly say I don't think I've EVER heard Bob Marley played this often on Chicagoland radio before!!!  Why, I don't know ... I mean these WEREN'T hits ... but it really has gotten to the point where you're likely to hear one or two surprises nearly ever hour these days ... which is EXACTLY what we've been preaching for the past twelve years!!!  (Hmmm ... maybe our job really IS done here!!!)  kk
And, speaking of "Day-O", check this out ... 
Current popster Jason Derulo (who I actually kinda like ... try getting "In My Head" out of YOUR head once you've heard it!), has just released HIS new single called "Don't Wanna Go Home", a derivative of  the whole "Day-O" / "Banana Boat Song" originally recorded by a number of artists back in the early '50's (but most famously by Harry Belafonte, who scored a #4 Hit with his version back in 1957.)  Of course, NOW the reason Jason doesn't want to go home is because he's havin' too much fun in The Club ... but still kinda interesting to hear how this has been worked into a new song that'll be discovered by a whole new generation: Click here: NEW SINGLE "DON'T WANNA GO HOME" -

Even stranger?  When I played this track for Paige the other day, she told me that Li'l Wayne and Cory Gunz have a new song out using the line "Six Foot, Seven Foot, Eight Foot Bunch!!!" called "Six Foot, Seven Foot"!!!  What the heck are these kids UP to here?!?!?  (Of course the REST of the song is pretty explicit, so we'll forgo a link to THAT one ... but instead run one of my favorite parodies!)  kk
And, speaking of a whole new generation ... did any of you out there follow this season's edition of "The Celebrity Apprentice"?  Frannie and I had never seen the show before but this year's line-up was so interesting, we couldn't resist ... and, I have to admit, we were IMMEDIATELY hooked!!!  David Cassidy, Dionne Warwick, Meatloaf, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk, Baseball Star Jose Cansecuo, Survivor Richard Hatch (who has proven time and time again that while he may have been able to survive the wilds, he's having a REAL difficult time making it through real-life!), Niki Taylor, Lisa Rinna, the HILARIOUSLY funny (although maybe not intentionally) Gary Busey, super-sharp Star Jones and her ultimate rival, Real Housewife Nene Leakes, LaToya Jackson (who, the more I think about it, must be THIS generation's Zsa Zsa Gabor ... famous for WHAT exactly?!?!?), Li'l Jon (whom I have a WHOLE new level of respect for) and finalists Marlee Matlin and John Rich (who won the whole thing ... and for whom I ALSO hold in the absolute HIGHEST regard) made the ENTIRE season entertaining and rewarding viewing ... not a weak episode all season.  Anyway, as their final challenge, finalists Matlin and Rich had to come up with a brand new 7-Up Retro campaign, one embracing the '70's and the other the '80's. 
Matlin's team recruited '70's 7-Up spokesman Geoffrey Holder and took on kind of a "disco" look with their design.  (Be sure to catch Richard Hatch in his afro-wig along with Meatloaf reprising his late-'70's look ... and LaToya Jackson in a Wonder Woman costume!)  You can view their whole commercial here:
John Rich's team ran a series of "auditions" as part of their commercial, wrapping up with one character taking a sip of 7-Up Retro (now with REAL sugar! lol) and turning into Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister!
Both of the product designs they came up with are now in stores nationwide.  Fun way to end the season, guys!  (And watch for these to become collectors' items somewhere down the line!)  kk

I was REALLY sad to hear this one ... always liked Andrew Gold.  I first became familiar with his work through his incredible guitar work on Linda Ronstadt's #1 Hit Record "You're No Good" ... and was SO pleased when he started to have hits on his own:  "Lonely Boy" (#3, 1977) and "Thank You For Being A Friend" (#11, 1978).  Here are a couple of reports we saw:
Andrew Gold, the Burbank, California native who recorded the hits "Lonely Boy" (#7 - 1977) and "Thank You For Being A Friend" (#25 - 1978) died of an apparent heart attack Friday (June 3) at the age of 59. Born into a musical family, his father was Ernest Gold, Academy-Award winning composer for the movie "Exodus." His mother was Marni Nixon, who provided the singing voices for Natalie Wood in "West Side Story" and Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady." Originally a member of the Los Angeles group Bryndle (along with Karla Bonoff), he gained famed arranging and playing on five Linda Ronstadt albums, including the haunting guitar work on "You're No Good" in 1975. He released his first solo album that year, though he continued playing in Linda's band for two more years. He also played with such diverse artists as Cher, John Lennon, 10cc, Eric Carmen, Stephen Bishop and produced Karla's 1982 #19 hit, "Personally." In 1983 he joined Graham Gouldman of 10cc in Wax (AKA Wax UK), who charted with "Right Between The Eyes" (#43 - 1986). Wax broke up in 1989 and Andrew re-formed Bryndle. "Thank You For Being A Friend" was used as the theme for the TV show, "Golden Girls" and Andrew also sang the theme from TV's "Mad About You" entitled "The Final Frontier."
-- Ron Smith

In 1974 Linda Ronstadt hooked up with former performer Peter Asher and engineer Val Garay and created an album entitled "Heart Like A Wheel" that zoomed to the top of the chart and became embedded in the public consciousness.  It made Linda Ronstadt a superstar, it was the best thing she ever did, before or after, and there was a third creative genius involved ... Andrew Gold.  He was not only a guitarist, but also an arranger, his work is stamped all over the breakthrough track, "You're No Good".  And like every second banana, a key member of the ensemble, eventually Andrew Gold stepped aside, into his own solo career.
And the breakthrough came on his second album, done with the Ronstadt team, Asher and Garay and the rest of the players.  The track was "Lonely Boy".  Andrew Gold had a hit.  And on the follow-up there was a cut that became ubiquitous, "Thank You For Being A Friend", it was the theme for the "Golden Girls".
Andrew Gold died yesterday.  I'm stunned.  He was always so alive.  Not a passive player, but someone active, energized by life.  Not that I really knew him.  Had an e-mail exchange, but I'd see him on stage, on television.
You think people last forever.  Or at least longer than you.  When they predecease you, die before their time, you just can't understand it, especially when they were not sick, when there's no advance warning.  They were here yesterday, and ... now?
-- Bob Lefsetz

Jazz pianist Ray Bryant, best-known in the pop world for his 1960 recording, "The Madison Time" (#30 - 1960) died Thursday (June 2) in a New York hospital at the age of 79. Originally a bass player, the Philadelphia native switched to piano, playing in the bands of Billy Kretchmer and Tiny Grimes and becoming the house pianist at the Blue Note Club in Philadelphia before starting his own combo in 1956. He also charted with "Shake A Lady" (#108 - 1964) and his version of "Ode To Billie Joe" (#89 - 1967). Ray was the uncle of "Tonight Show" bandleader Kevin Eubanks. Incidentally, that's Baltimore DJ Eddie Morrison, not Ray, doing the "calls" on "Madison Time," which was a popular dance at the time. The song was later featured in the original movie version of "Hairspray."
-- Ron Smith

Gil Scott-Heron, most known for his song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, passed away at age 62. I will assume his funeral will not be televised either.
Gil Scott-Heron, a Chicagoan, never made much of a dent on the music charts under his own name and may be best-known to our readers from his appearance at the "No Nukes" concert in 1979.  (I saw him perform with Stevie Wonder at a show here in Chicago in the early '80's.)  kk

Revolutionary poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron (born in Chicago), best known for his 1970 work "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," died May 27th at a New York City hospital. The exact cause of death is currently unknown, though he had been battling a severe drug addiction and other health problems for years. He was 62.
Ken Voss

I add my message of regret to the many expressed at the recent passing of British singer Kathy Kirby and would like to tell this little story.
I was her producer at UK's Pye Records for a short while in the early 60's and, although we made some good records together, never discovered the magic that makes the hit. One day, as I was pondering what the hell to do next with Kathy, the phone rang in my office. It was Decca Records' Dick Rowe, the man who had given me my big break as his assistant at the short lived Top Rank Records. He said, "We would like Kathy Kirby. Can you arrange for her to be released from her Pye contract? In exchange we'll give you Mark Wynter. We're having trouble making hits with him but I reckon in your hands he would do well". Well, of course, something like this was unheard of in the record business, but I had just received a copy of the big US Jimmy Clanton hit "Venus in Blue Jeans" and reckoned if Mark could cover it quickly enough, we could go Top Ten in the UK. I said nothing to Dick about "Venus in Blue Jeans" and, despite some doubts from Pye senior executives, quickly arranged the artiste exchange. Pye released Kathy to Decca and signed Mark. We recorded "Venus" four days later and it subsequently charted at #4. Kathy went to Decca and soon went UK Top Ten with the Doris Day song "Secret Love". I will always be pleased for her that my failure became her success.

Sad about Joe Brooks -- a truly great song penner; as I once remarked on Spectropop, it's really HARD to believe that he could write a great tune like "My Ship Is Comin' In" for Scott Walker and 11 years later something as bland (MHO) as "You Light Up My Life."  (I had to verify with other Spectropoppers that it was one and the same man.) 
-- Bobster

I read that Debby Boone was asked about the death of Joe Brooks. Her reply was that she wanted to remember the beautiful music he wrote. For her, he really helped her career with his song "You Light Up My Life".
As for me I did a little tribute to Joe Brooks on my show Friday night. Those who listen to my show "The Pop Shoppe" on topshelfoldies know I basically play the 50s and 60s but this past Friday I had to get on my soapbox and talk about the Joe Brooks that I remember.
I had never heard of Joe Brooks until 1978 when my satellite tv station ran a movie called "If Ever I See You Again". It wasn't a nationally big favorite. It was just a simple love story, but I fell in love with it. Joe's music haunted me so much that I wound up watching the movie several more times when the station ran it. It has since then become one of my favorite Christmas movies and I make sure I watch it every December. I was able to secure a copy several years ago. It starred Shelly Hack and Joe Brooks. The musical score was Jamie Carr and Jerry Keller among a few others. Jerry Keller you might recall for a song called "Here Comes Summer".
In 1983 I discovered a movie that Joe wrote called "Invitation To A Wedding". It was cute but a song that was done in the movie was just so good, but it seems I'm the only one that remembers it, though I cannot find a copy of this beautiful song "Tonight is the Night" by Elaine Paige. So pretty. The genius of Joe Brooks.
DJ Stu Weiss
Far be it from me to discredit the song-writing talent of Joe Brooks ... the results of his efforts more than speak for themselves.  But I doubt that you'll find 13+ women willing to come forward and talk about Joe's "sensitive side" after he physically attacked them.  Suffice to say that Joe had issues ... and could  only be perceived as a threat to women everywhere.  This history of abuse has been well-documented.  O.J. Simpson was a great running back, too ... but there OTHER events in his life that overshadows those achievements today.  
I saw "You Light Up My Life" at the movie theater when it first came out.  (The song in the film was sung by Kasey Cisyk but was mimed by actress DiDi Conn, who played the lead.  When it was time to release it as a single, Debby Boone cut the track ... and I'll admit to buying a copy ... heck, I probably really even liked it for the first 250 times I heard it ... but the oversaturation killed it for me (as did all the bad connotations attached to it ever since as one of the wimpiest, sappiest songs ever recorded.)  But no matter WHAT we think it still managed to top the pop charts for ten straight weeks ... and that's only been done by a handful of tunes over the past 50-something years.  Kudos to Joseph Brooks for that achievement ... but with the understanding that we have to take SERIOUS points off for the gutter scumbag he became later in life.  (kk)

I'll refrain from commenting on the late composer of "You Light Up My Life," but I can tell you that when that song topped the charts for ten weeks in late '77 / early '78, the staff of Casey Kasem's "AT40," of which I was a member, was tearing its collective hair out trying to come up with a great story for Casey to tell every week that it reigned at Number One.  Once we used up references to Debby Boone's ancestry (Pat Boone, dad; Red Foley; grandfather), we were struggling.  Despite the fact that she was a very sweet girl, my interview with her for the purposes of mining stories had been very unproductive.  She just hadn't done much living yet!
I don't know what went wrong in his life or his head in later years, but there was a period of such greatness that he left us. There was a soundtrack album from the movie "If Ever I see you again". Then Debbie Boone recorded an album called "You light up my life" that features some Joe Brooks music, but her album "Midstream" features her versions of the songs from his movie that I love so much. Besides this there was an album called "The Joe Brooks Group" that features a very interesting version of Rad Doll with Joe as lead vocal besides his gang singing some other great material. If that's not enough you'll find that Joe wrote the music for Eddie and the Cruisers movie (Part 2).   
We lost a guy who had a lot of problems, but in his earlier years he left us some fantastic memories. That's the Joe Brooks we should remember.  
Although I never actually met John Carter, I had one odd connection to him.  A friend of mine occasionally babysat for his daughter, Crosby, and also house-sat, at least once, while the Carters were out of town.  Taking advantage of this beautiful home, my friend threw a dinner party there one night and, of course, I had to check out the owner's record collection.  It was quite impressive and varied and, envious, I wrote a note for Carter saying that if he was ever interested in selling his LPs to please call me.  Well, a few weeks later, he did indeed call.  As it turned out, he wasn't willing to part with the records, but he wanted to let me know that he appreciated that I appreciated his tastes in music.  A very cool guy and, evidently, very loved throughout the industry.


I think the success of "You Light Up My Life" (and all fall-out associated with its success) helped to blackball Debby from what SHOULD have been a much longer career.  She actually has a GREAT voice ... and follow-up hits like "California", "Baby, I'm Yours" and "God Knows" (written by our very own FH Buddy Peter Noone!) all should have fared FAR better on the charts than they did.  I always expected a GREAT, latter-day comeback record ... but it just never happened.  (kk)

Here's a "live" version of "God Knows" performed by one of its song writers, Peter Noone.  (You'll find MORE on Herman's Hermits below.)

Joe Brooks recorded an album of his own songs in 1969, called "Morning."   I bought it after one of the local Chicago stations played his single "A Special Kind of Morning" a few times. As best I know that song never charted, but it was decent and very typical 60s, and I had it on one of my 8" reel-to-reel mix tapes. *Much* better than "You Light Up My Life."
The album was weird because it included poetry recitations by somebody named "Rosko". Also very 60s (Rod McKuen, anybody?) and so earnest you just couldn't stand it after about thirty seconds.
The album came to a weird end: It got soaked when the basement drain at our house backed up during a storm in 1974, and got moldy, along with a few of my Monkees albums and Beatles 6. Lesson: Never leave your albums piled up on the basement floor!
--Jeff Duntemann
   Colorado Springs, Colorado

re:  SICK BAY:
Do you have any info on this?  They announced it at the show I was at last night:
This is dedicated to Earl (Speedo) Carroll who is very ill.
I am not looking forward to do a Cadillacs tribute.
It is so sad.
Stu Weiss
I have NOT heard anything on this ... but he has got to be well into his 80's, no???  Anybody out there able to offer up more information?  (kk)

>>>Originally, the "Penny Lane" single ended with a trumpet solo which, to this day, is STILL the way I hear it because that's the way I first heard it on the radio. The promo single had the trumpet ending ... but by the time the single was officially pressed and released, The Beatles had substituted more of a psychedelic ending to the tune.  I suppose in hindsight the trumpet ending DOES sound a bit contrived ... but I loved it and, because it WAS the first way I heard the song, will always remember this as the way they had originally intended for the song to sound.  (See, Jersey John ... we really DO remember what we heard way back then!!!)  kk
>>>Want me to remix the tracks with AM radio lightning flashes and in low fidelity mono with a DJ talking over the beginning so it's identical to the way you heard it decades ago!!!?? :-)  LOL!  (Jersey John)
Why remix it if you can hear the tape as it happened?  Sorry bout the wavering tape and static and distortion likely caused by my over excitement at recording the new Beatles song of Art Roberts on WLS.  Oh yeah, NOT SORRY about the excitement of BEING THERE!  :)  WLSClark

And how cool that it runs right into "Pretty Ballerina", a song we featured last week as part of our Ian Lloyd interview!  (kk)

Hi Guys and Gals,
I seem to be on a roll these days trying to catch up with everything and make up for lost time.

Also, be sure to check out my book review on: 
Paul McCartney's Solo Music Career by John Cherry
Thanks for support, time and patience!
Jennifer Vanderslice
MoonGlow PR

It has always been my belief that Jan & Dean cut the first version of "Where Were You When I Needed You," written by their friends, Flip Sloan and Steve Barri.  Both Jan and Dean, as related to me in conversations 30+ years ago, believed that to be true, too. 
We got our information from Peter Noone himself ... who ALSO told us that P.F. Sloan was in the studio with Herman's Hermits when they cut the record, making sure they were doing justice to his composition.  Honestly, it sounds like SEVERAL artists cut this track ... and all around the same time ... yet despite SO many artists believing in it, it still only rose to #28 for The Grass Roots ... and they had the BIGGEST hit with it on record. (kk)

>>>Here’s an exclusive for you!  Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon has agreed to collaborate on a book telling his life story. (Tom Cuddy)
I am telling you, Freddy Cannon is one of the most exciting voices on record.  There is NO WAY a person could not be happy listening to his records if you grew up in the early 60's or mid-60's.  Several of our first records were by him.  My oldest brother got "Transistor Sister" very early, my next oldest was on "Jump Over" shortly and one of my first was "Muskrat Ramble".  You just had to MOVE your body when listening to these songs.  The Beatles took a toll on his success, but he came back with "Action" and one of my faves was "Dedication Song".  Most of the time, like Bobby Rydell, his 45s had hit B sides as well! 

>>>Having done an extensive amount of research on my Bobby Darin article several years ago, I can honestly say that this is the first time I recall hearing anything about Doc Severinsen playing on "Mack The Knife"  (kk)
I GUESS you had to buy the original LP album to find the musician credits! And was "Queen Of The Hop" only issued as a single?  I e-mailed Doc - hopefully he can / will confirm!!!!
Love the song, but odd to find my main man, Tom Dowd, as a recording engineer. Maybe Big Band recordings wasn't his thing.
Here's Queen of The Hop. You'll hear, "Jesse, lay out of the intro", then the saxophone disappears from it. So, Jesse Powell is the sax player.
Bobby was beginning to "cook"!
The original LP doesn't show the musician credits ... I checked.  (Actually, I thought it did ... for some reason, I thought remembered Bobby thanking all of the musicians by name for helping him put together the album that catapulted him light years out of the rock and roll arena, but apparently I was mistaken.)  And, for the record, I'm not saying that Doc DIDN'T play on the album ... I  just figured that since this story makes for an interesting bit of trivia, it would be a better known fact!  (kk)

I just started a "Byrds Enthusiast" website on Facebook, and we have a buttload of people signed up including Rick Roberts and John Jorgenson, I think all of your readers need to join if you consider the Byrds as one of THE Premiere Groups of the Sixties.
"Wild" Bill Cody
BTW, could I be hosting a new morning show on a killer Oldies Station in the next week or two? Stay tuned!
Please keep us posted on this, Bill ... very happy to help spread the word.  Good Luck!  (kk)

Kent ...
Another rare clip, from the Ted Mack Show.
Frank B.
Johnny Burnette and the Rock & Roll Trio. September 9, 1956 live from Madison Square Garden, NYC! Johnny lived in Memphis, TN in the same public housing project as Elvis -- the Lauderdale Courts.

A good friend of mine, Rick Roberts, formerly of the Flying Burrito Bros and the leader and founder of the group Firefall, sent me this. Rick, who physically has not been well for years, is through the grace of God regaining his strength, voice AND his writing chops ... he was kind enough to send me this on Facebook ...
Hey Wild Bill,
I really LOVE Colorado ... living here and playing here. I am about to come out with a new set of songs! My playing and singing are coming along just great.
God Bless Rick, and God Bless Colorado ... this is one of my favorite songs of all time!
A Happy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend to you all!
God Bless,
Wild Bill

Sounds like lots of news on the Charlie Gracie front ... here's a first-hand report from Charlie, Jr.!
Hi Kent!
It looks like my dad's new cd may finally be coming out -- hopefully sooner than later now -- perhaps late-summer or early-fall.  On the cd with dad are AL KOOPER (main producer), JIMMY VIVINO, CRAIG ROSS, GRAHAM NASH, PETER NOONE, DENNIS DIKEN and more!
By the way, PBS here in Philly is doing a 2-hour special on my dad this coming Saturday, June 4th, at 8 PM on WHYY-TV-12. He will perform LIVE and then they will show his documentary again: Charlie Gracie: Fabulous! It made over $10,000 in pledges for our local PBS affiliate when first aired in 2007. Shawn Swords -- the director -- is actually reworking the documentary -- with updates, including a dozen new interviews as well as new footage and an added chapter on the down years, after my dad got blackballed by Cameo - Parkway for asking full payment of royalties.
BTW, my dad has also written a book with JOHN A. JACKSON about his life and career which has spanned 60-FULL TIME years now! Despite all the odds, my dad never had a day job, as they say. Jackson also penned ALAN FREED"S life story: The Big Heat, which was made into a cable movie about 12-years ago.
So at 75, Charlie Gracie is still vital with several new projects about to break. I'll
keep you posted. Feel free to share my comments in your next update.
Thanks very much!
Charlie JR.

Big doin's in Springfield this month. 4th of July stuff got cancelled to focus on this. Same venue you know.

FYI, to all my friend who love this as much as I do: 
- Bob 

Free Tonight?  Then check out our good friends The New Colony Six ...
And it's all for a good cause, too!  (kk)

I was talking with Jim Shea (formerly of Y103.9) last week about The Drive's up-coming 10th Birthday Concert featuring America and Jethro Tull.  (Kind of a weird pairing, no???) 
For me personally, I would probably sit through the America portion of the show and then leave before hearing Jethro Tull play a note ... while I like their hits OK, I just never got into the whole Tull music scene.  (I remember back in the early '70's a bunch of my friends had gotten tickets to see Jethro Tull perform at The Chicago Stadium ... I had a chance to go, too, but passed ... and instead drove all of them to the concert so they wouldn't have to jack around with parking and long exit lines ... then went downtown to kill a couple of hours before picking them up again.
We have been to quite a few of these Drive Birthday Shows over the years ... which are ALWAYS a GREAT night of musical entertainment ... and we have been pleasantly surprised in the past by artists that I would have never considered buying a ticket to see ... The Moody Blues and Joe Cocker to name the two greatest examples.  Again, while I liked most of The Moody Blues' hits, I just never really got into their whole "art rock" album scene (but I was clearly the exception to the rule ... virtually EVERYBODY I knew loved their music but me!)  Truth be told, they put on an absolutely AMAZING concert!  We LOVED it!
As for Joe Cocker, I've always been a fan ... just never a big enough one to shell out money to see him perform live ... but he completely blew us away.  In fact, we went to see him again a year later (although that was more a case of Joe being the opening act for the big Guess Who Reunion Show that brought Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman back together again.)
Yes ... I would LOVE to go to this year's show (so, if you America guys happen to be reading this today ... or any of you Drive deejays who follow Forgotten Hits are able to kick a few tickets our way, I certainly won't say "no"!!!) ... but honestly, I think you can get more bang for your buck by doubling up on these seats ... I'll be happy to hand mine off to whomever you like in the parking lot once America is done playing their set ... and let some die-hard Jethro Tull fans sit through the rest of the show in our seats!  (kk)
I, too, would primarily want to see America ... I "saw" them once in Ohio at an outdoor venue similar to Ravinia ... meaning it rained like hell and the thing was delayed like a  ballgame so we walked all the way back to our car (like an hour walk), heard that they were starting up despite the rain ... walked all the way back, hearing the show, and then got there just in time to catch the encore in this rain shortened set ... I believe it was Tin Man
Homecoming is an under rated album that never makes anybody's list of anything ... maybe Leonard Cohen took their spot on the list.
I have never have seen Tull ... bucket list? ... maybe item #738, but it's on there ... and a great band nonetheless. 
To me, Jethro Tull was a really interesting band who just managed to dip into AM radio Top 40 with their little toe, like Steely Dan, or to a lesser extent, Moody Blues ... and that right there says something about the embarrassment of musical riches we had back then.
4th of July 1975 -- EV-rybody I knew went to an outdoor venue between Cle and Youngstown  called Nelson's Ledges to see Todd Rundgren ... at the time I thought he was an interesting artist ... but that night I chose to go indoors at the Richfield Colusseum (between Cle and Akron) and saw one of my all time greatest shows ... Santana and Clapton ... Clapton headlined ... they jammed together for several really choice encores ... fucking guitar heaven, dude!
And despite what the older generation tended to believe about outgroup bias and conformity ... it was totally cool that I went my own way with the smaller group and saw who I wanted ... back then, as now, we respect people's individual passion for artists
Believe it or not, there are kids who are totally down with Eminem but cannot take Kanye West, and vice versa ... I assume that their individual tastes are respected among peer group members more than we suspect ... but then again, we didn't have so many guns laying around back then!
Ahhh ... this is great ... I'm getting the bug again ...
Thanks for keeping the feeling alive, Kent!
Jim Shea
Thanks a heap, Kent, for including "Rupert's Travels" by the Gun.  I own their 1969 LP which is fantastic.  I love every track, particularly "Sunshine", "Take Off" and "Heartbeat (It Won't Be Long)." 

Another great round of comments this week, Kent!

Hi Kent,
I continue to enjoy you and the fruits of all your hard work.
Keep doing that awesome Thing You Do
Jim Shea

>>>Back in 1969 my boyfriend at the time joined the Army ... Honestly, some men will do anything to get away from me!  The night before he left for basic training we were together at my parents' house and of course it was all sad and teary and" When I Die" came on the radio. We made it our song and we called the radio station ... KWTO ... and asked the DJ for an encore performance. The DJ said they don't do that but made an exception after we told our story.  Whoa ... that sounds a lot like the movie "Frankie and Johnnie" ... but I promise ... it really happened.  Now I have this song on my Ipod. Good Memories.  (Stacee)

If Stacee is talking about the song "When I Die" by Motherlode (from Canada), then yes, a great (touching) song!
Jersey John
Yep ... that would be the one!  (kk)

I couldn't agree with you more on your comments today about Pat Boone. Always did like
MOODY RIVER. Here in OKC there was an alternate version played by a singer by the name of Chase Webster on Southern Sound records. Also in 1961 Chase Webster had another record which made the local survey here call SWEETHEARTS IN HEAVEN on Dot records. Don't remember too much or know anything at all about Chase Webster.
P.S.  Speaking of the MOODY RIVER, the last time I saw someone by the name of SPEEDY GONZALEZ was oaring down it.
I think that there are at least a DOZEN Pat Boone hits that would still sound great on the radio today ... to completely ignore an artist that had THAT great of an impact on the charts in the earliest days of rock and roll is sacrilege as far as I'm concerned.  (By the way, "Speedy Gonzales" was the SECOND 45 I ever bought with my own money.  The first was Brian Hyland's #1 Hit "Itsy Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini!"  You can read all about them ... as well as hundreds and hundreds of OTHER "First 45" stories ... right here):
I agree with you. I always did like Sue Thompson's PAPER TIGER. That title started me to wonder what other songs are out there with the word "tiger" in the song title.
First one to come to my mind is TIGER by Fabian, TEACH ME TIGER by April Stevens, THE TIGER IS WIDE AWAKE by the Romeos, etc. Incidentally, the FH the day before by Ricky Nelson was an excellent choice ... in fact, you might say it was a MIGHTY GOOD choice.

And finally, one of my favorite letters of the week (with apologies attached!) ...

>>>Congratulations to our latest Forgotten Hits Contest Winner, John Blazier of Indianapolis, IN, who just won a copy of Ron Smith's new Rock And Roll Calendar Book "Eight Days A Week: Births, Deaths and Events Each Day In Oldies History."  Readers entered by submitting their birthday (it IS, after all, a calendar book!!!) and then Ron randomly (and anonymously) selected a date ... the person with the birthday CLOSEST to the date Ron selected was determined to be the winner. (For the record, Ron chose October 30th ... and John's birthday is October 17th.  Yes, Mike Martino of Chicago, IL ... that means YOU missed winning by exactly ONE DAY!!!  lol)  kk

I did a double take when I saw most of my name in your newsletter. Yes, it is my luck to miss it by one day (as Maxwell Smart would say, "missed it by that much!), but to add insult to injury it is Mike De Martino ... but I love ya anyhow!
All my best -
Mike De Martino(aka "the dude")
President of the Lovejoy  Music Club

Sorry about that, Chief!  (kk)