Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Birthday To Us!

This weekend, Forgotten Hits celebrates its TWELFTH ANNIVERSARY!!!

That's right ... Forgotten Hits was first launched (as an emailed newsletter to 35 original subscribers!!!) over Thanksgiving Weekend, 1999!  (Guess you could say we've grown a little since then!!!)

It remained an email-only publication until about 3 1/2 years ago when we launched our two websites.

Since then, about a million and a half folks have stopped by to check out what we're doing ... and word of mouth has stayed consistently good over time.  (Every once in a while we even surprise ourselves ... our recent Salute to The Ed Sullivan Show played to rave reviews for three weeks and inspired memories from several artists who appeared on the program back in the day.)

We've also helped THOUSANDS of readers solve their own "musical mysteries" over the years with our popular HELPING OUT OUR READERS feature. (In fact, you'll find a couple of those coming up next week in Forgotten Hits!)

Anyway, we just wanted to say "Thank You" again for all of you who've stuck with us ... and told others about what we do here.  It's ALL about the music ... and Keeping Yesterday Alive ... but we couldn't do it without your help and support ... so please join us in celebrating as we launch our 13th Year of Forgotten Hits ... by featuring again the very first Forgotten Hit we ever ran:


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all our Forgotten Hits Readers.
Some radio bits and pieces ... and a Thanksgiving Day classic.
(Now I gotta go watch "Planes And Trains And Automobiles"!!! lol)

Kent ...
Thanksgiving Weekend on WCBS-FM:  A to Z, #1 Countdown.
In previous years, they played their entire Music Library from A to Z.
This year, only the #1 Hits. Sounds good to me. I think I'll listen to this station for a change!  LoL!!
Actually, it starts tomorrow (Monday Morning) at 9 AM on the Dan Taylor Show.
This sounds more to me like a week long countdown instead of a weekend countdown.
Frank B.
We've been kicking around a couple of A to Z ideas of our own lately ... stay tuned!  (kk)
Morning,  Kent!
The countdown just started with "ABC" by the Jackson 5 followed by "Abracadabra" by the Steve Miller Band.  If you send me your phone number, I can check in with hourly updates. LoL!!
Frank B.
Leaving the "A's" with "Arthur's Theme."  
Entering the "B's" with  "Babe ."
By the way, they just played "Angie" by the Rolling Stones.  Next came "Angie Baby" by Helen Reddy.  DJ Bob Shannon said that "Angie" was the inspiration for Alan O'Day to write "Angie Baby" a year later. Do you know if that's true?  Maybe we can ask Alan.
Frank B.
I love it when deejays tell the stories behind the songs ... but sometimes they're not always quite accurate ... so I  DID ask Alan ... here's what he had to say:
Frank & Kent,
To be slightly anal, the song did not inspire me, but yes, the name felt perfect for my strange little heroine! 
Kent ... 
Day 2 - WCBS-FM A-Z #1 Countdown:
H = He's A Rebel, He's So Fine, Hey Baby, Hey Jude, Hey Paula, (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.
In addition to the countdown, they're also taking bids and donations for the Harry Chapin 
"Hungerthon."  Good music  +  Good Cause.
Now they're playing "Kansas City."
Entering the pucker-up portion of the WCBS-FM Countdown:
"Kiss And Say Goodbye" - "Kiss On My List" - "Kiss You All Over."
Here's a complete list of what's been played so far.
We start Day 3 with the P's = Photograph, Physical, Pick Up The Pieces, Play That Funky Music.
Hey Kent, I found a mistake. The WCBS-FM web site lists "At The Hop" as the last  "A"  song. I was listening - the last "A" song they played was "Arthur's Theme."  I feel they owe me a future play of "At The Hop."
Do you think I sometimes take these things too seriously ?
LOL !!
Frank B.

Heck no ... I'd make 'em play it, too!!!  "At The Hop" topped Billboard's Top 100 Singles Chart for seven weeks beginning back in January of 1958 ... how the heck do you overlook THAT one?!?!?  (kk)

And here's some VINTAGE Thanksgiving Radio, too ... courtesy of FH Reader Clark Besch:

Here's the first of two Thanksgiving Day aircheck blasts from Chicago radio past.  Both feature "fill in" Dj's (in a way), one from 80's WLS and one from 60's WCFL.  Neither have been on other sites, to my knowledge.
First, a Thanksgiving Day in probably 85 or 86, I believe (I have the info somewhere, but not with my tape, of course!), featuring Larry Lujack spending some extra airtime into Steve Dahl's (and Garry Meier) Thanksgiving Day program.  Do you remember the hostilities between Steve and Larry on WLS back then?  Grab a turkey leg and listen up and remember!
Clark Besch

Most definitely NOT radio's finest  hour, to be sure.  I was listening live when all this happened and it's something you never forget.  Historical ... shocking ... amazing ... all of the above ... but SO sad to see two of radio's greatest icons resort to this behavior.  (kk)

Here's a nice aircheck from Thanksgiving Day 1967 on Chicago's WCFL to make the Turkey day more festive for FH readers who remember the great days of Chicago WLS / WCFL radio war years. 
It's the Jim Stagg afternoon show, but with "King B" Ron Britain substituting and making way for more nighttime comedy antics than the suave and smooth afternoon Stagg presentation normally had.  You will hear NFL scores (MY fave Oakland Raiders beating up on KC while heading for the 2nd ever Superbowl), the usual November Chicago 40 degree weather, the ever exciting Blore jingles blasting out the action of a new show starting as Dick Williamson exits midday, music from FH faves Tony Hatch and Tommy James, all the King B drop-ins and craziness, the daily Stagg Line where listeners voted for their fave hits of that day (the final best five in votes to be played two hours later).  Ron's creativeness presents pictures of a backup staff of Stagg and Britain mixed crew that is fun to picture in the mind.  There's a fun commercial done by the Dick Orkin creative gang (Jim Runyon also) that would go on to great success long after CFL was gone with his Dick and Bert ad agency in LA.  CFL birthday contest and "The Great Debate" featuring fathers commenting on each side of two somewhat sappy serious spoken word 45s of the day: Victor Lundberg's hit "Open Letter To My Teenage Son" and the non-hit rebuttal from Buddah records' Every Father's Teenage Son's (that's the artist listed on the label) titled "A Letter to Dad."  Then, finally, a Chris Montez-like (seems like Montez music was on CFL ALL the time) Sony commercial that sounds like it could have been sang by Buckinghams' "Kind of a Drag" vocalist, Dennis Tufano! 
Hope you enjoy this slice of Pumpkin Pie from the Past!! 
Clark Besch

Robert Feder called it "Radio's Worst Week Ever" when reporting on all the lay-offs and dismissals of late.  What does it all mean?  Where does it all end?  As we've covered so many times in the past here in Forgotten Hits, radio as we knew it ... radio as we loved it ... just doesn't seem to exist anymore.  There is SO much great talent out of work and off the air these days ... yet terrestrial radio seems content to just ramble on with little regard for substance and / or entertainment value.  Here's how Robert Feder described it: 
A lot of good people lost their jobs at radio stations all over the country this week.
In most cases, it didn’t matter whether they were talented and capable or whether their stations were successful and profitable. They were fired because the huge companies they worked for didn’t want to pay their salaries anymore.
Dozens of program directors were among those who suddenly found themselves unemployed and unlikely to find new jobs commensurate with their skills and experience. I know two of them personally, and consider both to have been among the best in the business.
Michael LaCrosse, who until Tuesday was operations director of oldies WLS-FM (94.7), told me that he considered himself “really lucky” to have worked at a couple of great stations in his home town — even if his layoff by Cumulus Media means the end of his career here. “Most people aren’t that fortunate,” he said without bitterness.
Mark Edwards, another old friend from his days as vice president of programming at adult contemporary WLIT-FM (93.9), was forced out in a “cost restructuring” Thursday as program director of Entercom Communications’ KZPT-FM in Kansas City. “Everyone says it was not performance,” he told me. “I was just the only PD in the building not holding down an air shift or programming more than one station.”
Clear Channel Radio won’t say how many employees it laid off in small and medium markets Wednesday, but industry websites estimated they were in the hundreds. One of the sites, Joel Denver’s, carried running tallies of the victims’ names as waves of firings were carried out from coast to coast.
Even Inside Radio, the daily newsletter wholly owned by Clear Channel, couldn’t sugarcoat the facts: “The downsizing appears to be [Clear Channel’s] largest since it reduced the workforce by a combined 11 percent in 2009,” the publication reported Thursday. “The new dismissals hit program directors, assistant program directors, music directors, producers and air talent, including ones that were voicetracking shows for other stations. Some were even the top talent in their timeslot on a top-ranked station.”
Unlike the layoffs at Cumulus and Entercom, Clear Channel insisted that its actions this week were not about cutting costs. “We’re making these changes to improve the quality of what we provide to each of our local communities,” a company spokesperson told Inside Radio. “There will be more localization, not less.” Imagine that.
Amid the carnage, some inspiring stories of integrity emerged. John Laton, an 11-year veteran of Clear Channel who most recently had been vice president/market manager for the Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, quit rather than implement firings he believed to be undeserved and counterproductive. “I just said, ‘Enough already,’ ” Laton told Duane Dudek of the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.Within days, Laton was snatched up as Milwaukee market manager for Spanish-language Adelante Media Group. “I actually get to go to work every day and use my best judgment,” Laton said of his new job. “My input will not only be respected, but as importantly, expected in this company’s culture. For the first time in a very long time, I will be in control of my own destiny.”
We reported about the dismissal of Michael LaCrosse last week.  Sounds like he went out as a class act ... here's a report from Chicago Radio and Media:
Michael La Crosse wrote on his Facebook page a short while ago: "Thanks to everyone at 94.7 WLS. It was a great experience and I'm happy to have had the chance to work with you." He also sent out a classy, warm, and encouraging email to all of his now-former co-workers at the station today.
The email read:
"I wanted to take a quick moment to thank each of you for helping making the last five years at 94.7 WLS so meaningful.
When I arrived in late 2006, the station was in a much different state than it is today. Through a lot of hard work, tough choices, and dedication to the product that the listeners wanted to hear and that clients wanted to be a part of, we’ve taken the station to new levels from both a ratings and revenue standpoint. I have no doubt that the work you’ve all done in laying the strong foundation that 94.7 WLS now has will be used to see continued success in the future.
I can't thank you enough for all the effort and hard work you've put in. It has been a true privilege to work with you. We may not have always seen eye to eye on what to do or how to do it, but in the end we put together a station that I am beyond honored to have been a part of.
As I have now reached the end of the line at 94.7 WLS, I ask one thing from you: remind yourself every day of how much fun radio can be. You're a part of something that brings happiness to millions of listeners every week simply by playing songs that make people want to turn it up and feel good. No matter how bad someone's day is, when people are listening to the radio and they hear one of their favorite songs, it can make all the difference. You get to be a part of that every single day. Don't forget how lucky you are to be a part of something so significant.
I don't know what's next for me, but I know that my time and experiences with everyone at 94.7 WLS will benefit me wherever I go. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing co-workers and friends."

>>>I listen to Scott Shannon on the TOC and hear him speak of you frequently :-) .  
Thanks for all that you do to keep our Memories alive.  Always TCB'ing in Huntsville, AL
(Jennie Carpenter)
And suddenly TOC is gone from Huntsville. Enter John Tesh.
David Lewis

From Chicago Radio and Media:
NOVEMBER 7th:  A true Chicago radio legend, John Records Landecker, has returned to his roots, playing the hits of the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, it is not on a downtown Chicago radio station, but close -- and it can still be heard in Chicago.

Landecker has been doing an afternoon talk show format on WIMS-AM in nearby Michigan City, IN since the Fall of 2007 (with the exception of two weeks in 2009). As of today, his show has shifted to music, and the talk personality now is gracefully segueing back to being a fun DJ. By all accounts, this is not a one-time stunt, but is indeed the new format for the WIMS-AM afternoon show, with JRL having a blast playing music for fans.

In addition to playing a lot of rarely heard music on the air today, John Landecker joked about the "just like riding a bike" cliche and had fun with listeners on Facebook while on the air. On Facebook he said "It's WLS MusicRadio all over again!" and joking that he has "DJ DNA."
John Landecker can now be heard spinnin' the oldies from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm Monday - Friday on WIMS-AM 1420. The 5,000 watt radio station can be heard clearly in the southern sections of Chicago, the south suburbs and well into northwestern Indiana. Depending on radio antenna strength, weather and other factors, the station can sometimes be picked up into the northwestern suburbs. For those out of the radio range, the best way to hear the station is online on WIMS-AM? Well, one reason is that Landecker lives in Michigan City, IN, making his commute to work much more enjoyable than a commute to downtown Chicago.
Even though he began his career in his native Michigan (Ann Arbor & Lansing) and also worked at a station in Philadelphia, it was when John Records Landecker began at WLS-AM in Chicago in 1972 that his career took off to new heights. With WLS' powerful signal reaching over much of the United States and into Canada, Landecker -- using his anti-authority attitude, dry sense of humor and incredible interaction with callers -- made him one of the most popular and influential DJs of the 1970s. His "Boogie Check" bits, done near the end of shift at night, where he would rapidly take unscreened call after unscreened call, answering questions and playing around with the callers, became must-hear "appointment radio." To this day, "Boogie Check" is brought up constantly to Landecker. (There are no plans on bringing the bit back at this time.)
Outside of short times away on Toronto & Cleveland radio stations, Chicago radio has been his home for most of his stellar career.
In addition to his famous years at WLS-AM, John Records Landecker has also worked at

WLUP-FM, WAGO-FM, WCKG-FM, WJMK-FM, WZZN-FM, WGN-AM and a return stint on
WLS-AM, but this time as a talk show host.
While the return to being a weekday DJ is new as of today, John Landecker never truly left being a music DJ. He has been hosting a syndicated show entitled "Into the Seventies" for over four years for the TKO Radio Network. The show can currently be heard locally on WLS-FM on Sunday nights from 7:00pm-Midnight.
And yes, Records truly is his middle name.

We covered this in our new "kk's corner" segment ... but felt that it bared repeating ... 
Congratulations to our radio buddy Dick Biondi ... and everyone else who made this exclusive list!  (kk) 

Dick Biondi Tops Your List of 60's DJ's 
The votes have been tallied and the results are in. Radio Ink readers - and perhaps a handful of Biondi listeners - believe Dick Biondi was the greatest DJ of the 1960's. Biondi was followed by Cousin Brucie, The Real Don Steele, Larry Lujack and Dan Ingram in the top five. Biondi had our poll listed on his website (he's still on the air in Chicago) and that generated some additional votes for our unscientific poll.
Our thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and post comments about their 1960's radio memories (HERE) and to Lee Abrams of putting together the list. he took a lot of heat for names readers believed were left off and we appreciate that we didn't have to take that heat. Here is how your votes landed the top ten jocks...
#1 Dick Biondi
#2 Cousin Brucie
#3 The Real Don Steele
#4 Larry Lujack
#5 Dan Ingram
#6 Art Roberts
#7 Rick Shaw
#8 Jack Gayle
#9 Jack Armstrong
#10 Dr. Don Rose

Sometimes you find something great while looking for something else.  I listen to Tom Diehl's Real Deal on Wednesdays when it's on.  Yesterday, to make sure I didn't miss it, I tuned in to Top Shelf Oldies early in the afternoon.  I was surprised to find that Top Shelf oldies apparently has music 24/7 now.  They have this DJ named Otto Mation.  He doesn't talk much, but he kept the music playing till the show started.  I found something else.  At 1 pm our time on Wednesday, they have a show called "Home Town Countdown" in which Rick Lewis plays the entire survey for this day in history from a local radio station.  This time the choice was Hartford, CT, 1962.  It was much like Real Oldies countdown, except that instead of try to cram 20 songs into an hour, he played the entire 60 song survey over four hours, including both sides of two sided hits, alternate versions of hits and extras from the day.  This is the type of thing WLS-FM or Y103.9 ought to do for Chicago.
Love those vintage countdown shows ... XM60's used to do a GREAT one with Terry "Motormouth" Young.  There IS a place for a show like this in Chicago ... the best Sunday line-up I can remember was listening to Bob Stroud's Rock And Roll Roots from 9 am till Noon ... and then switching over to Ron Smith's Chicagoland Countdown on Real Oldies.  Our Chicagoland Top 40 Charts have a built in audience for anyone who grew up here at the time.  And because stations like WLS and WCFL were 50,000 watt AM outlets, people across America could tune in and listen and, as such, heard many of the unique songs that made our charts.  (kk)

And, speaking of countdown shows, we just got this from Frank B. about some Dick Bartley countdowns that are airing on (where else?!) WCBS-FM!!!
Kent ...
Every Sunday, from 7 to 11 PM, tune in for TWO Countdowns. B.
Dick's been doing his radio thing as good as ANYBODY else for DECADES now.  (He had a local show right here in Chicago for YEARS ... and I understand he's a "sometime Forgotten Hits Reader", too ... so that's kinda cool!  LOVE these countdown shows!  (kk)

Kent ...

I was just in Chicago and flew home last night.  I came in for the Radio HOF at the new Museum.  Would have LOVED to meet you.  

Have you been to MY site?  It's and I've got a LOT of stuff.

My WLS goodies are classic.  Hope to hear from you!

Best ...
Novi, MI
(suburban Detroit ... aka "The D")

Kent -
I just wanted to say 'Thanks' for all of the Hard Work that you do in 'putting together' the Forgotten Hits newsletter - it really does have a place in the FUTURE Cultural Mainstream.
If not for someone like you, it would definitely leave a 'Void' in the FUTURE … after all;  you know as well as most of us --- It's 'Our' PAST that makes the FUTURE in what it becomes. You do inspire … if you haven't heard it … lately.

A few years back, we got Y103.9 on board featuring the Arlo Guthrie classic "Alice's Restaurant" on Thanksgiving Day.  (In fact, I think they featured it four times!!!) 
With all the changes going on over at that station, who KNOWS what they've got planned this year.
But we couldn't let a Thanksgiving slip by without featuring it once again.
Put this one when you sit down to your Thanksgiving Dinner ... and see if it doesn't spark some stimulating conversation!  (lol)


Monday, November 21, 2011

Kudos For Sullivan

I guess you could say response has been good!!!  Here are just some of the recent emails we received during the course of our very special Ed Sullivan Series:  

I am really enjoying your feature with Andrew Solt.  What a great interview!  I hope you are getting a big response from this.  It is amazing to read that so many of those shows have survived.  I can't believe that Ed Sullivan had the vision even back in 1948 to preserve them. Thanks again.   
Phil Nee - WRCO    

Kent --
Wonderful post -- and great work with Ed Sullivan Week!   
Henry McNulty   

I've really been enjoying reading the series and people's comments / memories!  
I especially enjoyed reading the artist memories this week!  Best,

Dug your FH Stones Feature. 
Love the portion of the lyric of "Satisfaction"! ... 
"When I'm watchin' my T.V. ... 
and that man comes on to tell me how white my shirts can be ... 
But he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as me"  
Too good!!! :-)  

Hi Kent, 
Enjoying the Ed Sullivan series so much ... 
great job as always and a fantastic interview with Andrew Solt.  
Thanks again.  
Cory Cooper / The Elvis Expert Consultant / 
Technical Advisor "Fame & Fortune" 

I'm reading the Solt interview at this moment!
Loving this series, Kent. Very fine job. 
David Lewis 

Bravo - great series!


Hi Kent,
Just wanted to say thanks for the great feature the last two weeks. I especially loved your suggestions for future releases. 

I thought you did a great interview and kudos to Andrew Solt for giving you the chance to grill him. <grin>  
I, too, watched Ed most Sundays. It seemed to be Bonanza or Ed on Sunday nights. I think Ed won out most of the time.  
I remember also seeing the Beatles the first time and going to school the next day and that's all we talked about.  
Another big moment was the Young Rascals. I was a huge fan. I, too, loved the Animals.  Heck, to be honest I loved most of the R & R performers at that time.  
Thanks again.  
I think you've sold some more DVD's for him.  
LOL!  I hope so!!! Then it's a win / win for everybody!  (Hey the guy below you ordered some!!!)  kk   

I wonder how many other folks went to the Ed Sullivan Website and ordered DVD's this week after reading your top notch review of this material.  I know I sure did!  
We heard from a few people who either HAD ordered DVD's or said they were planning to ... there's a pretty remarkable selection to choose from ... but that Rock And Roll Classics line-up that we featured seems to encompass it all.  That's a "Must Have" for every oldies music collection!  (kk) 


I have thoroughly enjoyed the  Ed Sullivan Series ... a lot of great memories, and I thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!  You never cease to amaze me with all the great work that you do.

Thanks again!!!!!!!          


The Ed Sullivan Show piece is so entertaining! What an interesting interview! You should be very proud. Thank you for doing this for us.  

Steve H  

This has been a FANTASTIC SERIES!  Thank you, my friend, for sharing some fantastic memories with us all.  The Ed Sullivan Show is a show we all grew up watching ... (and Ed is one of the only impersonations I can nail!)  This is MUST READ AND SEE material and I've passed your links along to all my friends and family ... this is something they'll all enjoy it!  (And heck, you even featured an "Ed" story or two from me!!! :-)  
"Wild" Bill Cody  
It's been a very successful run ... lots of good response ... and SO cool to have so many of the artists who appeared on the program share their memories with our readers from the OTHER side of the screen!  This is one that we're going to permanently post to the OTHER Forgotten Hits Website, ... as I think more and more people will discover it over time.  Thanks for helping to spread the word, Bill ... I appreciate it!  (kk)  

Hi Kent -
Thanks so much for the correct information on Alan Price! So glad to hear he is alive and performing. When in doubt ask the master....
Enjoying the articles on Ed Sullivan Show! Keep up the great work!

This has been a great interview ... thanks for a great read.

I am lovin' this!!!
Alan O' Day  

I asked Bob Merlis, who helped me to set up this Ed Sullivan Series in the first place ... 
"So what did you think of the Andrew Solt Interview?"  (kk)  
Delighted, thrilled, awestruck. Pick one or more.


You're blowing me away!  
This is without a doubt the BEST thing you've ever done. 
Good God, I am BLOWN AWAY! 
Wild Bill  

And this from Andrew Solt himself!!!  
Kent - 
Thanks for doing such a thorough, in-depth job on the library, the rock music, the other genres and its importance in pop culture and American TV history. I appreciate your thoroughness and interest in Ed Sullivan and his rich body of work.  You did a very thorough, stellar job and your time, focus and involvement with the Ed Sullivan Show these past few weeks is much appreciated.  Well done!

And finally ... 
hey kent ... 
didn't notice if you already used this YOUTUBE clip ...       
my favorite
ED SULLIVAN related video ...
and a proper ending to your series ...
done in jest ... but emplifies what a 'really big shew' it was...
We ran the audio for this earlier in the series ... but I agree ... it's still a worthwhile clip (and proper ending) worth sharing.  Thanks, Gary!  (kk) 

A Few More Of Your Comments And Memories

So much to read on Ed Sullivan that I have not gotten through it all yet.  Just wanted to comment on the 60's Chicago scene and Ed. 
Groups like the New Colony Six got on Mike Douglas and others, the Shadows of Knight made Where the Action Is and others, the Ides made  Something Else (with John Byner host), the American Breed made it on American Bandstand and others. There are other viewings I am sure, but cannot remember now.
Certainly some made it on Lloyd Thaxton, Shebang, Hollywood A Go Go,  Shivaree, Hullaballoo, Shindig, Malibu U, Upbeat, Showcase '68, Kiddie A Go Go (local pre-teener), Hollywood Palace, Merv Griffin, Hy Lit, It's Happening and Happening '68.
The Buckinghams hold the best position for success in the TV 60's era.  They made the Smothers Brothers show in 67!  In 1968, they achieved the ultimate in getting an Ed Sullivan booking!  Their performance was quite unique.  They sang "Susan" with live vocal up until the instrumental (?) break and then cut to a film of them in their civil war uniforms (did they steal the idea from the Union Gap for some reason??) playing on a swing set!  Then, they broke into a yet to be released live vocal of "What Is Love?" from their upcoming album.  A very cool performance, I thought.  The week they were originally scheduled to appear did not work out and they were bumped to the following week's Sullivan show, but the clip made it and Chicago rock history!
It was interesting to read Carl Giammarese's Buckinghams appearance comments.  It's strange that Ed was so late getting the hottest band of 1967 on his show.  They had been on the Smothers Brothers in the summer of love 67, but this was January, 1968, when the Bucks were on Sullivan.  Unlike other acts, this appearance did NOT catapult them to higher heights.  However, I think it was the sudden change of music that led to the group's demise so quickly.  They were great, IMO, BUT the tide was switching.  In 68, teens were swept up by bubblegum music and the slightly older were finding that in order to be hip (like it or not), the Doors and Cream were the new sound and the Buckinghams' pop music followers were more likely jumping on the Union Gap bandwagon (for the time being, at least). 
The Bucks were caught up in an outgoing tide that even their more concept oriented later LPs could not conquer.  Songs like "What is Love" and the great "We Just Know" from their new LP were great, but "Love" was not a "Susan"-type 45 song and "Know" was more like the Cyrkle (also now passe' by 68) with a cool psychedelic reprise. 
It's best summed up by the year end 67 American Bandstand show.  On it, Dick Clark plays the best of the best throughout the show.  After playing "Light My Fire" and seeing the kids really digging that while dancing, Dick told them that Cashbox's top group of the year was ... THE BUCKINGHAMS!  There was this quiet collective "ohhhh" like it was a big letdown to the late teen kids dancing.  A year earlier, it would have been a big cheer, probably.  It was a fast paced music period of change for sure.
The Cryan' Shames never made it to many shows presumably because of JC Hooke's hook (at least, in Bandstand's case).  I have an aircheck where they supposedly called in to say they were on their way to tape Sullivan in January, 1968 (same time as the Bucks show aired).  I asked Tom Doody and Jim Pilster if that ever happened and they said it was the first they'd heard of this.  They never got contacted from the show to do it.  Too bad!!
One more big Chicago happening would be the first Destination Records single to hit the WLS charts.  It was the Warner Brothers' "Please, Mr. Sullivan."  The song was entirely a parody about groups that performed on the Sullivan show and even included their impersonation of Ed declining.  A great Chicago novelty in the "Louie Louie" / "Alley Oop" musical styling that sold pretty well in Chicagoland and opened the door for the NC6's "I Confess" to be the next garage record to hit from Chicago.
Clark Besch

I especially like hearing these "Please, Mr. Sullivan" lyrics after running our series ... funny how many of these instances and references were noted over the past three weeks.  Pretty cool, actually!  Thanks, Clark!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
Enjoying the great memories that have been posted at your Forgotten Hits site. We didn't get a t.v until 1966 (age 15) and two years later I was in the Marine Corp.So, I missed a lot. The music scene in So. Cal. was then and still is my constant companion in life. Living here outside of Lynchburg, Virginia, I have come to rely on my extensive cd collection of 60s and 70s music .... there is no reason to turn the radio on these days. Not a single "oldies" station remains here in central Virginia. If you want country or "headbanger" music ... well, they have plenty of that (no thanks).
I am trying to find more info as to the Ed Sullivan Rock and Roll (7, 9 and 12 dvd sets). In particular, whether these newer releases by SOFA entertainment truly contain the "full length" performances by the artists. The Sullivan site says "full length" but I have read some of the "older" reviews at other sites (they may not apply to the more recent Rock n Roll releases) and they speak to all the editing / shortening of the performances. Maybe someone will post their experience with the newer sets, or better yet, maybe we can get Mr. Andrew Solt to put this question to rest, once and for all. Just what does "full length" mean ???
I and a number of my friends are ready to shell out the bucks for these Ed Sullivan sets, but we remain hesitant until the above question is answered. Maybe Mr. Solt can include an answer to this question right at the Ed Sullivan "Rock n Roll" website ... for all to read.
Thanks and keep up the great work.  I, like others, miss my "oldies" radio and  The "Real" Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, Dave Hull, Bob Eubanks, Bill Balance, Charlie Tuna ... oh there were so many.
Jim Slert
My experience has been that some of the clips have been shortened ... but in doing the research for this series, it also became clear that Ed Sullivan himself had "shortened" and abbreviated versions of many of these hits performed on his program.  (Hard to believe in hindsight ... in that a hit single back then typically came in at under three minutes!!!)
A bit more discouraging is the number of "repeats" spread out through some of these sets ... but again one has to remember that these originally aired as 30-minute segments on VH-1 ... and weren't typically consumed back-to-back but rather in spread-out doses.  Some of the "themes" used crossed over to so many boundaries that repeat clips were almost a necessity.  Add to this the fact (as Andrew has pointed out) all that is involved with licensing the rights to these tracks and you can see that perhaps a few corners were cut here and there.
All that being said, I have probably about 25-30 Sullivan disks in my collection and I never get tired of watching them ... there just isn't enough of this material to go around anymore so it's a real treat every time we pop one in the DVD player.  (Which, I might add, we have done quite regularly during the duration of this series ... once I'm running a lengthy spot like this, I tend to "over-compensate" but watching and listening to everything possible to truly absorb myself in the topic ... and we have watched DOZENS of hours of Ed Sullivan clips since this series began.  Attesting again to the durability of these performances, my wife has yet to complain once ... and, in fact, even our fifteen year old daughter has popped into the room from time to time catch one of HER favorite artists from this era!)
I highly recommend the 12-DVD "Rock And Roll Classics" edition ... you get a little bit of everything and it's pure entertainment start to finish.
Hopefully, future releases will be specifically made for home video rather than simply rehashing previously aired programming on stations like VH1, TVLand and PBS.  I believe that some of these "unique" disks, designed and developed specifically for home use, concentrating of the music, would make for a VERY welcome addition to ANY DVD Music Library Collection.  (kk)

While I'm personally not really interested in buying old Ed Sullivan TV shows, I have to admit that whoever did the video restoration did a nice job! I'm laying odds that The Lovin' Spoonful sounded best, live!
Jersey John
We're totally LOVIN' watching this stuff ... let's face it, you can hear most of this music all day long on end ... but to actually SEE these artists performing it ... in the prime of their careers ... makes for some pretty entertaining evenings!  (kk) 

Kent ... 
According to Ron Smith's fine book "Eight Days A Week," on 11/20/1955 = Bo Diddley sings "Bo Diddley" on the Ed Sullivan Show - after agreeing to sing "Sixteen Tons." (sparking Ed's ire).
This got me to thinking ... how many people can you think of that went 
back on their word to Ed Sullivan?  
Mick Jagger promised Ed he wouldn't sing the lyrics "Let's spend the night together."  He didn't keep his word to Ed. I think Jim Morrison sang something he said he wouldn't sing. Not much you can do about it with "Live" TV shows. Can you think any others?
Frank B.
Actually, Mick Jagger kept his word ... and sang "let's spend SOME TIME together" instead of the actual lyric ... in fact, you can see Mick roll his eyes on camera when he makes the lyric substitution.  Jim Morrison defied Sullivan (or, some speculate, simply forgot during the heat of the moment, performing live on one of the biggest shows on television) and sang about "getting higher" despite the directive to alter the lyrics to "Light My Fire".  Certainly there were others but these are probably the two most famous instances.  (I wasn't aware of Bo Diddley performing a different song ... my guess is that he was ALWAYS supposed to perform "Bo Diddley" because that was his hit at the time ... "Sixteen Tons" is a new one on me.  In fact, there's a clip of Bo Diddley singing "Bo Diddley" on the Rock And Roll Classics DVD.)
Once you betrayed Ed, you simply weren't asked back ... Ed knew the power of his program and wasn't about to have some young and rebellious rock and roller abuse it.  The Doors didn't care ... when told they wouldn't be asked back, their reply was simply "Who cares?  We've already done it!" (kk)
I believe this to be true and have heard this story many times. 
Bo sang what he wanted to sing (his great "Bo Diddley") -- not what the producers wanted him to sing -- and we are a lot better off for that. Kind of like what the Doors did -- sang what they wanted to sing since it was live and nothing could be done or said until after the performance.
Andrew Solt  

Hey Kent -
I have the 12 DVD set on Ed Sullivan and was watching the Vanilla Fudge You Keep Me Hanging On after I first wrote in.  There was a voice note before the video that said their album had been out for a year before they were on Ed and it hadn't sold well, but after their performance on Ed Sullivan the album took off.  So not only did it make me go see them on tour, but Ed also helped their album sales.
Mickey Cooksey
This is absolutely true.  Vanilla Fudge's version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was first released in July of 1967 ... and it went virtually nowhere on the pop charts, peaking at #67 during a five week run.  Exactly one year later, after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Atco Records released the track again as a single ... and this time it shot up to #6 ... and spent three months on the pop singles chart.  It is unreal how well so many of these records did after folks saw them performed on Ed's show Sunday Night.  And, as you can see, it doesn't really matter WHICH version of "rock and roll" you're talking about ... be it early vintage rock like ratings chart-busters like Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, British Invasion Rockers like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, et al, The Motown Sound of The Supremes, The Temptations and The Four Tops ... or the newer heavy metal sounds of Vanilla Fudge, Steppenwolf, The Doors and Janis Joplin.  ALL of these artists saw a HUGE increase in sales after they graced Ed's program.  All the MORE reason this guy belongs in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!!!   (Who else delivered THIS kind of variety, week after week after week, to all us kids camped out in front of their parents' TV sets on Sunday nights?!?!?)  kk

I am thoroughly enjoying the Ed Sullivan run.  So much to learn.  So much to enjoy.
How can it be that we can enjoy OVER AND OVER AGAIN the performances of musical artists?  We listen to their songs, sometimes ad nauseam.  We attend their concerts and laugh at each joke; while relishing each musical piece that we have heard and seen before.  This was again my finding in Peekskill, NY, on 11/11/11.  No ... I don't think it had anything to do with the date.  I have been working seven days a week somewhere since Labor Day and could not wait to have two days off to visit Peekskill on the Hudson and see a concert starring Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone and special guest Lou Christie.  Both of these artists have welcoming camps that surrounded me with friendship and opportunity for discussions.  There is truly no reason for me to feel special in a situation such as this (no one wants my take on current academic testing or curriculum and certainly I am not in my retail location to help them find the perfect gift), but they did.  Since we go to a concert to watch and listen to music, that was all I needed.  Well, I got plenty of that!  It was clear from the onset of each performance that Lou Christie and Peter Noone love to be performing.  They have surrounded themselves with musicians who also love performing and, in particular, love performing their lead singers' songs.  How can you beat that?!  If I start highlighting the individual songs, this paragraph will go on ad nauseam and I will lose MY audience.  Just go see them.  Check out schedules.  See concerts in your area for all performers you can.  It is fun, uplifting, magical, and it makes your life Just A Little Bit Better.
And hey -- Peter Noone is on Youtube performing with High School students at a workshop that same day??  My students would have shown up on a snow day or holiday for that!  Now comes the ad nauseam part.  Thank you Peter, Lou, Vance, Rich, Billy, Dave, Dennis, Jana, Kathy and Linda.  
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano  

Funny ... sounds like Ed Sulllivan was the Oprah of his day!!

Hey Kent ...
I'm really enjoying the "Ed Sullivan" Tributes. I especially loved Charlie Gracie's letter. We have had the honor of being on shows with Charlie on a few occasions and I can tell you he is the real deal, a true rocker, and in my mind, and in the minds of many others that I know, a true Founding Father of Rock & Roll ... one of the greats ... and he wails on that Guild!
In the words of another founding father ... "Long Live Rock".
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords 

>>>Yes, at any point in time Ed might have a sports figure like Joe Louis or Joe DiMaggio stand up and take a bow ... or Lucille Ball or Diana Ross ... Stars LOVED to go to Ed's shows ... and he sometimes went to great lengths to insure that they had a ticket!  (Andrew Solt)
>>>Dino, Desi & Billy appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the summer of 1965. DD&B performed our hits "I'm a Fool" and "Not the Lovin' Kind" back-to-back before going over to chat with our host.  Desi's mother, Lucille Ball, sat in the studio audience and was flanked by her mother, Dede Ball, and daughter, Lucie Arnaz. We may not be in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but DD&B are proud to have been a part of the exclusive club of performers that appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.  (Billy Hinsche / Dino, Desi & Billy)
You can see this on one of the Sullivan videos available.  It's pretty funny because Ed asks Lucy to stand and be recognized from the audience and then, after the performance, he brings the kids over to talk and says how nice they are and then adds something like "I hope you and your girl patch things up."  Then they leave.  I scratched my head and then realized he had been listening to the song they sang and was commenting about THE SONG!  It was so funny!  
Clark Besch

Yes, we've watched that one a couple of times now.  (Both clips are part of the Rock And Roll Classics collection, the 12-DVD Set we told you about the other day.)  As part of his intro for the trio, Ed calls out to his friend, the "eternally 39" Jack Benny ... and explains that the combined ages of the three young performers we're about to see is only 38 years old!!! After their performance, he brings the boys out center-stage and invites them to come back and then says something about being sad to hear about their broken love affair, a reference indeed to the songs they had just performed!!!  Classic Sullivan!  (kk)

I did so many music and variety shows but appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show and being able to sing my own song, Put A Little Love In Your Heart, was absolutely the most exciting I ever had on television. 
You really felt like you had reached the top when you went on Ed's show. It was also telecast live, which kept you on the edge knowing tens of millions of people were watching. Ed could also be funny. He called out to talk to me during the start of my second song, "Brighton Hill," but the band kept playing and we made it through.
Jackie DeShannon

Here are my memories of The Fleetwoods' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

It was a great feather in our Fleetwood caps to do the Ed Sullivan Show, as teenagers in 1959.  Our self-penned song "Come Softly To Me" was the #1 Record on The Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks and a hit throughout the world. Top booking agencies were vying to sign The Fleetwoods, Dolphin's debut artists.  Dolphin Records President Bob Reisdorff said we would sign with MCA (a real powerhouse at the time), if they got us The Ed Sullivan Show.  They did; and we did.  

But the show was far different from the slick, fan-pleasing presentation we'd enjoyed making on The Dick Clark Show.  On Dick Clark's BeachNut Hour, we sang along with our record (lip-synched), and what TV viewers heard was the hit recording they loved and the audience clapping and cheering, as Gary opened with his famous "Dom Dom" scat line and (left to right) Gretchen and Barbara cooed "Come Softly", while descending a staircase in high heels and gowns chosen by Record Producer Reisdorff. 
Conversely, The Ed Sullivan Show, also in sophisticated New York, put us in cowboy outfits! (Why? Someone guessed, maybe because we were from the West, and they thought we were still cowboys and indians out there?)  A wood rail fence to lean on, and a bass player in the middle of the corral, completed the unlikely setting for our soft pop song in street-corner counterpoint.  
They had a live chorus singing (Gary's) "Dom Dom" background, and it nearly drowned us out, complete with a loping cowboy beat behind (Gretchen's) melody and lyrics, and (Barbara's) harmony.  
Ed Sullivan was not there for the rehearsal, nor was Bob Reisdorff; so Gretchen, official spokesperson for The Fleetwoods, asked whoever was in charge if they could quiet the chorus and add bongos, to counter (the cowboy feel) with a latin beat.  The Bongo player thought it was his big chance and "played to beat the band!"
Before the actual telecast, we Fleetwoods quietly agreed among ourselves that we never wanted to do The Ed Sullivan Show again.  We much preferred Dick Clark's production.  
But a half century later, we received this communication from someone who had been present at our Ed Sullivan dress rehearsal.  With his permission, his note also appears on our website, - where the latest of our Screen Performances ("Come Softly To Me" in the new movie, "The Green Lantern") has not yet been posted - but, at the bottom of the page, you can see a clip from our very first:  The Dick Clark Show appearance, which so contrasted with our Ed Sullivan Show experience.)
1959:  The Ed Sullivan Show
Memory of a fan:  At one time, my father sold advertising space for a "car" magazine. Because of his job, he was able to get some tickets to a Sunday-afternoon dress rehearsal of "The Ed Sullivan Show" (one of their sponsors at that time was "Lincoln" cars).  
I remember sitting in the audience, and seeing two girls and a guy take their place onstage, before being introduced by "Ed."
All of a sudden,
I realized who it was, and I said out loud, "The Fleetwoods!!!" 

To this day, I don't remember who else was on the show that day. Sincerely,
Eli Mallon  
Thank you Eli.  And thank you Ed.  Even if it wasn't our favorite way to be presented, we can look back with humor and enjoy the sentimental honor of being part of that history - the iconic Ed Sullivan Show.
Gretchen  Christopher

We've shown you LOTS of great Ed Sullivan / YouTube clips over the course of this series ... and THIS one has quickly become one of OUR favorites.  (Not officially available thru YouTube, Forgotten Hits has been allowed to "Sneak Peek" this track in today's column ... it'll go viral next week ... but you can see it here first!)

It's a ROUSING performance by The Friends Of Distinction of their #3 Smash from 1969, "Grazing In The Grass".  Watch this one ... I am willing to personally guarantee that I can dig it, he can dig it, she can dig it, we can dig it, they can dig it ... and YOU can dig it, too!

While Andrew Solt assures us that new titles are in the works, he won't divulge any details at this time for fear that if any negotiations fell through, the whole process would only leave a legion of disappointed fans.  We get that ... but our readers have their OWN ideas as to what they'd most like to see next!
Based on the responses we've received from our readers thus far, we've put together a short list of clips oldies music fans would most like to see on an Ed Sullivan DVD compilation ... call it a "Fans' Favorites" disk if you will!
Leading the pack right now:  Gary Lewis and the Playboys performing "This Diamond Ring", The Buckinghams performing "Susan" and Chubby Checker doing "The Twist".  (We're going to have to put The Fleetwoods' performance of "Come Softly To Me" right up near the top of the list now, too, after reading Gary and Gretchen's comments this week!!!  lol)
The single artist compilation we'd most like to see:  The Dave Clark Five ... BY A LANDSLIDE!!! 
(I know that's gonna be a tough order to fill ... but sooner or later this stuff HAS to come out again!!!)

Stay tuned to these pages for all the latest news regarding any new Sullivan home video releases.  (kk)