Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wrapping Up "Blame Week" In Forgotten Hits (Hey! Don't Blame Me!!! It HAD To End Eventually!!!) Part 6

We're wrapping this week up with one of my very FAVORITE late discoveries in life ...

It's a musical gem by The Everly Brothers ... and a COMPLETELY overlooked hit from their Warner Brothers years.

I think I have heard this song on the radio exactly ONCE in my entire life ... 
but it was a Top 20 Hit back in 1961 ... and it still holds up as a great-sounding recording today.  

The song dates back to the '30's and comes from another musical, "Clowns In Clover" ... but The Everlys sound EXCELLENT on their beautiful pop version.  

(Who knows ... maybe we can get somebody out there to actually play this on the radio again!!!)

It's "Don't Blame Me" by The Everly Brothers

Friday, July 29, 2011

Who and What Are We Blaming It On Today?!?!? (Part 5)

Milli Vanilli went all the way to #1 with their first four singles ... and apparently without ever actually singing a single note!

Of course everything crashed and burned once the public found out ... especially after they had already won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1989.  (These guys took the old Monkees adage of not playing on their own records to a whole new level when it was revealed that Rob Pilatris and Fabrice Morvan were simply phony frontmen for video appearances while all the REAL singing was going on behind the scenes thanks to Charles Shaw, John Davis and Brad Howe.)

I don't know that ANY other artist has been stripped of a Grammy ... maybe they should blame it on their marketing guy!!!

Meanwhile, they're blaming it on the rain!!!


Sammy Davis, Jr. tried to get all hip and cool with the kids back in 1967 with this one ... and somehow it managed to sneak into Billboard's Top 40 ... I'm not quite sure how THAT happened ... Davis was hardly a chart fixture at this point in his long and illustrious career!

But a year later he'd score a #11 Hit with his excellent version of "I've Gotta Be Me" from the Broadway Musical "Golden Rainbow" ... which just happened to star Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme ... who blamed some issues of her own on The Bossa Nova earlier in this series!

Sammy's asking us not to blame the children ... maybe some good advice, in hindsight, for this rather turbulent time in our country's history.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whose Fault Is It Today? (The Blame Game, Part 4)

Ever the perfect gentleman, Smokey Robinson takes the hit on this one ('cause he was a fool!)  

Here's another great Motown track that never seems to get played on the radio anymore ... despite its #18 showing back in 1971.

It's "I Don't Blame You At All" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

(Hardly "blame free", Smokey and the Miracles also did a track called "Who's Gonna Take The Blame" the year before!)


And leave it to Howard Jones to be the perfect diplomat ... it ain't NOBODY's fault according to Howard.  
(This one reached #3 in 1986 ... with a little help from Phil Collins)

No One Is To Blame by Howard Jones

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's All About The Blame This Week In Forgotten Hits (Part 3)

One of my personal favorites, EYDIE GORME reached #6 with this "shuffle-tune" back in 1963.
(Hmm ... I guess that dance floor CAN be pretty tempting after all!)



Oldies radio NEEDS to play this song ... every time I have EVER heard this come on the radio, I've watched heads turn, shoulders, feet and entire bodies start to move ... and, about half-way through, a complete sing-along typically breaks out with the chorus! 

And it's one of those tunes that'll stick in your head all day long, too ... in fact, I've had several people come up to me a few days later and ask "What was that song we heard about the bossa-nova the other day?"

Give this one a shot on your program today and see if you experience the same results!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who (Or What) Are We Blaming It On Today? (Part 2 of our New Series)

Here's a rarely heard Jacksons hit (#54 in 1978 ... right before Michael-mania kicked into high gear!) ...

And here's your PERFECT excuse for giving your number to that guy on the dance floor last night.  
(Although the wine may have had a little something to do with it, too!)


Dan Peek, original founding member of America, passed away this weekend.  Details were still sketchy at press time but the original reports we received early yesterday have now been confirmed.  Ironically, America's brand new CD, "Back Pages", comes out today.  (We reviewed it a couple of weeks ago in Forgotten Hits:  Click here: Forgotten Hits: AMERICA: Back Pages

Just in case the FH Grip Reaper hasn't informed you, it sounds like Dan Peek died on Sunday, July 24th.  As of right now, details are sketchy ... but there should be more to follow.
David Lewis

I heard "unconfirmed" reports from a few folks on the list ... and then saw this on Ron Smith's website:

Details are sketchy, but his web site says that Dan Peek, guitarist and singer with the group America from its inception through 1977, died Sunday (July 24) at the age of 60. Dan (who was born in Panama City, Florida), along with Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, were sons of U.S. airmen stationed in Britain. Forming a trio, they came to the attention of Warner Brothers Records. Their first album was released in 1971 to little success until the single “A Horse With No Name” went to #1 (#3 in the UK) the following year and was promptly added to the LP. That led to a string of top 40 hits including “Ventura Highway” (#8 - 1972), “I Need You” (#9 - 1972), “Don’t Cross The River” (#35 - 1973), “Tin Man” (#4 - 1974) “Lonely People” (#5 - 1974) and “Sister Golden Hair,” which returned them to #1 in 1975. Those last four singles came from albums produced by the legendary George Martin. Dan left the group in 1977 to pursue a Christian singing career. His first album, “All Things Are Possible” (with the others contributing backup vocals) was a pioneering hit in that genre, reaching #1 there but also crossing over to the pop charts. Dewey and Gerry, meanwhile moved on to Capitol Records as a duo and had two more top 40 hits. Dan later recorded with Ken Marvin and Brian Gentry as the group Peace. America was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006. Dan wrote an autobiography entitled, “An American Band” in 2004.
-- Ron Smith

Dan's website simply says:  Dan went to Heaven on July 24, 2011 ... and that's it!  (kk)

Meanwhile, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell posted the following on the official America website (
Dan Peek  (November 1, 1950 - July 24, 2011)
We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dan Peek yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peek family.
"I am so sorry to learn of Dan’s passing. Dan, along with Gerry and myself, formed the band “America” as teenagers after being great friends in high school during the late 60’s. It was a joyous time for the three of us, full of excitement and laughter. We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined. Dan was an equal and integral part of that early history, and I have never forgotten the good times we spent making that music and learning about life together. Although we eventually went our separate ways, his contributions to the music of “America” have always been present and will last forever. This news brings great sadness. My sincere condolences go out to his wife, Catherine, and the entire Peek family. May Dan rest in peace, and his memory be cherished forever." - Dewey Bunnell

"I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Dan's passing. He was a dear friend for many years. Dan and his music will live on in the great songs he shared with us all. My sincere condolences go out to Catherine and the entire Peek family. May he rest in peace ... "
- Gerry Beckley

Within the span of just six days, Chicago will be visited by Micky Dolenz, Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney this week.  (It all kicks off tonight with Micky Dolenz in Elk Grove Village, hot on the heels of The Monkees' big 45th Anniversary Reunion Tour.  Brian Wilson will give an intimate performance of The Beach Boys' Greatest Hits at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Saturday ... and then Sunday and Monday, Paul McCartney will be rockin' Wrigley Field!)  When it comes to '60's artists, they didn't come much bigger than The Monkees, The Beach Boys and The Beatles ... so to have all THREE of these groups represented in our city this week is QUITE an honor and a treat! 
And there's some real musical symmetry going on here, too!  Of course The Beatles and The Beach Boys constantly pushed one another to greater musical heights in the '60's.   McCartney has said on numerous occasions that "Pet Sounds" was the inspiration for "Sgt. Pepper" ... and that "God Only Knows" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.  Likewise, earlier Beatles releases like "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" convinced Brian Wilson that the record album could be elevated to a true art form.  The Monkees outsold The Beatles in 1967 ... and then were their invited guests when they visited London that year. 

The Pre-Fab Four even sat in on a couple of "Sgt. Pepper" recording sessions during that visit!  And Jeffrey Foskett, Brian Wilson's long-time musical director, recently produced Micky Dolenz's new "King For A Day" CD, Micky's tribute to Carole King!  Seems like we should have held an official "reunion" of our own!!! (kk)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Blame Game

This week Forgotten Hits salutes "The Blame Game" ...

No ... I said the BLAME Game, not the NAME Game!!!

Hey, we've all fallen victim to it ... 
When things don't go exactly according to plan, people just need an excuse ... 

I mean, come on ... it has to be SOMEBODY's fault ...

And, at various times, each and every one of us has been either the "blamer" ... or the "blamee" ...

So this week we're PLACING The Blame MUSICALLY ...

(which means PLAYING the Blame ... with a few songs you just don't get to hear much anymore!)
in Forgotten Hits.

FIRST UP ... The Bee Gees ... who, back in 1975, were blaming it all ...on The Nights On Broadway!!!  

(While hardly a Forgotten Hit ... we still hear this one all the time ... we've got a few goodies planned for you that'll carry you through the rest of the week ... so please stop back daily ... and check out Today's Blame Tune ... as well as Today's Forgotten Hit!)