Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year (Part 2)

We promised to feature a couple of tracks we received as part of our Christmas Celebration over the New Year's Weekend ... so here goes!!!

Wanted to send you a tune in keeping with "the spirits" of the season you may enjoy.  
For something unusual, here's a New Years song from my May 2011 CD "Right as Rain", "Happy New Year" (To Almost Everyone).

Rock on! 
Here's to a great holiday season. Let the champagne flow and here's to a healthy and happy 2012 to you And all your readers.
Henry Gross  

Hi Kent, 
I've been enjoying my daily Forgotten Hits.  I wonder if you are aware of Bob Lind's Christmas song, "A New Year's Carol?"  I'm attaching it just in case you haven't heard it.  It's a song everyone should hear this time of year. 
Happy Holidays,
Actually, we've featured Bob's "New Year's Carol" for the past two or three years now ... and it's always played to a great response from our readers. I think THIS year we'll save it for New Year's Weekend ... give you guys something to look forward to!!! Thanks again for sending ... and have a very happy holiday season!  (kk)  

Kent man -
Sure enjoying the rather special Christmas music you have up on FH. 
As you know we, The Fifth Estate, recently released our new Time Tunnel album and have sent it around to only some select radio stations so far ... and several of these have written back and said they intend to use our new Time Tunnel tune, the first one on the album, as a New Years tune for their stations. 
Don't know if you are planning some New Year's specific music (???), but if so maybe Time Tunnel would work for you in this sense.  I know it strictly speaking is not a forgotten hit, but we, The 5E, are forgotten hit makers and TT sounds like it could be a forgotten hit - someday anyway!  I know listening to forgotten hits is so great, but actually being in the process of creating a Forgotten Hit could be totally cool also maybe!!?? 
I wouldn't have thought of this one as a New Year's Tune ... but hey, who am I to argue?  I just think it's great that so many of our favorite '60's hit makers are still cranking out brand new music in the millennium ... and we're ALWAYS happy to help spread the word.
So ... without further adieu ... here is The Fifth Estate ... with the title track from their BRAND NEW album, "Time Tunnel"!!!  (kk)


I was hoping that Jay would share a memory or two with our readers during our recent Ed Sullivan Series.  No reason he can't still send something in ... I'd be more than happy to add it to our website tribute:
Meanwhile, we'll be featuring Jay and the Techniques in one of our "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot" segments next year!  Thanks, Rick!  (kk) 

Another one that missed the cut this holiday season was "Same Auld Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg ... a #7 Hit right after the first of the year, 1981.

And finally, MY favorite version of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" ... sung by ... (believe it or not!!!) ... Donny Osmond!!!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year! (Part 1)

Forgotten Hits Reader Tom Cuddy sent me a recent interview with America's Oldest Teenager, Dick Clark.  

Clark's "Rockin' New Year's Eve" is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this weekend ... and while the hardest working man in show business, Ryan Seacreast, does most of the heavy lifting these days, you can count on Dick Clark (now 82 years old!) to make a few appearances throughout the program.   

From a piece done by Sean Daly in the New York Post, here is: 

"Why I still do Eve":   
Dick Clark has endured.
In a rare interview — the week before the 40th anniversary of his first “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” telecast — Clark, now 82, talks about how he is still recovering from a devastating stoke in 2004 and about why he still wants to appear on the show. 
His imitators (do you remember Lloyd Thaxton?) and tormentors (the congressional committee that unfairly accused him of payola in 1960) are dead and gone.  
But there Clark is every year in Times Square — no longer out in the cold, no longer doing the heavy lifting (that job is Ryan Seacrest’s now) — but he’s there.  
When his story is finally written, it will say Clark probably had more impact as a producer of TV shows than as a kingmaker in the music business — for which he is so much better known. 
His “American Music Awards” introduced the idea of fans voting for their favorites nearly 30 years before “American Idol.”  
Clark made the ground-breaking “Murder in Texas” in 1981 — starring Farrah Fawcett — which was the blueprint for the “true crime” movie that put cable channels like Lifetime on the map.  
It may not seem like it now, but even his idea to challenge CBS and Guy Lombardo — the reigning monarch of New Year’s Eve — with a show of kids’ music was a huge gamble.  
Clark says he is simply happy to take a victory lap every Dec. 31. 
Q: “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” started four decades ago as the first real alternative to Guy Lombardo. Whose idea was it, yours or the network?
A: We originally had a New Year’s Eve broadcast on ABC in 1959, when we did a version of “American Bandstand” for the occasion. Eventually in 1972, I was able to convince NBC to air “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”as a youthful contrast to CBS’s Guy Lombardo telecast.  
Q: Is there one year that stands out to you as the most memorable? Any near-disasters?  
A: The closest we came to a disaster was one year in the ’80s when approximately seven minutes before airtime, we experienced a major power failure in Times Square! All our cameras and lights went black. Through some feverish handiwork by our ABC crew, they were able to get us back and ready for air one minute before the telecast. It was a close call.  
Q: “NYRE” is the one time each year that America has seen you recently. How are you doing? How is your recovery coming along?  
A: These days, I’m still recovering from the stroke I had in 2004. Though I’m not totally recovered, my progress is slow but sure.  
Q: How important is it for you to make that public appearance in Times Square? 
A: I look forward to the Times Square appearance for two reasons. One . . . I’m honored to be a part of the event. And two, I’m really touched by the many people who tell me I’m an inspiration to them.
Q: Is it something you decide to do on a year-to-year basis or something . . . that you hope and plan to do every year indefinitely?  
A: I was most flattered a couple years ago, when I was asked to continue my participation, and I still look forward to it every year.  
Q: People wonder what your day-to-day life is like now. Can you give us an idea how you spend a typical day?  
A: People often ask me what I’m up to these days. My typical work week involves five days of physical therapy, combined with going to my office. I’m involved with several businesses and have a handful of television projects in development.

And, on the radio this weekend ...
Kent ...
Once an hour, WCBS-FM is playing musical New Years Resolutions.
For example:  
Going to buy new boots = "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"
Going to change careers = "Take This Job And Shove It"
Then, on New Years Eve Day, starting at 7:00 AM (Eastern Time) they'll be doing the Top 101 Party Songs Countdown. (Wonder what # my favorite party song will be ...
It goes something like this:  "Woke up this morning, my head was so bad ... The worst hangover I've ever had. What happened to me last night,etc."
Lucky for you - you can't hear me.
Frank B.
Some "Sound Advice"???  Leave the singing to the professionals, Frank ... some of us just make better spectators!!!
And while I'm sure there are a few folks out there who'll be doing "double shots" for New Year's Eve, I won't be one of them ... us "older folks" prefer to stay in, maybe order a pizza and watch a few movies.  
Meanwhile, to quote Pink ... 
"Let's Get This Party Started!"  (kk)

Also of note:  
This weekend The True Oldies Channel will be playing nothing but #1 Records, all weekend long.  It all kicks off this afternoon ... and you can Listen Live here:  Click here: WPLJHD2

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Clearing The Decks For The End Of The Year

Watch for some brand new features in 2012 ...

And we'll have New Year's related pieces Friday and Saturday, too ...

But today we're clearing the decks for the end of the year.

Here are a couple of comments we've received in the past 24-48 hours:

These year-end wrap-ups are always so sad ... and there were times this past year where it seemed as though all we were doing was publishing rock obituaries ... but here's a list put together by and sent in to us by FH Reader Tom Cuddy:
Saluting those veteran musicians, songwriters and executives who passed away in 2011.

    January 4 - Gerry Rafferty (Stealer's Wheel, Baker Street)
    January 17 - Don Kirshner (promoter, TV host)
    January 26 - Gladys Horton (Marvelettes)
    March 17 - Ferlin Husky (Wings of a Dove, Gone)
    March 21 - Loleatta Holloway (Hit and Run, Love Sensation)
    March 31 - Mel McDaniel (Baby Got Her Blue Jeans On)
    April 9 - Randy Wood (founder of Dot Records)
    April 26 - Phoebe Snow (Poetry Man)
    May 22 - Joseph Brooks (songwriter, You Light Up My Life)
    May 27 - Gil Scott-Heron (Godfather of Rap, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
    June 3 - Andrew Gold (Lonely Boy, Thank You For Being a Friend)
  June 8 - Steve Popovich (executive for Columbia, Cleveland International, Mercury Records)
   June 12 - Carl Gardner (Coasters)
   June 18 - Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band)
   July 11 - Rob Grill (Grass Roots)
   July 24 - Dan Peek (America)
   August 22 - Nick Ashford (Ashford & Simpson)
   August 22 - Jerry Leiber (Leiber & Stoller)
   August 24 - Frank Dileo (manager of Michael Jackson)
   September 13 - Wilma Lee Cooper (Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper)
  September 22 - Vesta Williams (Congratulations, Once Bitten, Twice Shy)
   September 29 - Sylvia Robinson (Mickey & Sylvia, Sugar Hill Records) 
   September 30 - Marv Tarplin (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles)
   October 8 - Roger Williams (pianist, Autumn Leaves)
   November 7 - Andrea True (More, More, More)
  November 24 - Charlie Douglas (DJ at WSM, announcer for the Grand Ole Opry)
   December 6 - Dobie Gray (The In Crowd, Drift Away)
   December 6 - Barbara Orbison (publisher and widow of Roy Orbison)
   December 14 - Billie Jo Spears (Blanket on the Ground)
Philly's original R&R Pioneer, CHARLIE GRACIE, performs 'LIVE' this coming FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30TH, at NOON from the WORLD CAFE in Philadelphia, PA., to be heard on NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO all across the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
CHARLIE'S new SINGLE, 'BABY DOLL', which is taking off nationally, will be performed as well! The show can be heard in the Philly-Region on WXPN, 88.5 FM!
Those in the Philly region may attend this special free performance at the World Cafe (30th & Walnut) by going to the link provided here:  Link for Free Tickets: WWW.XPN.ORG
If any of our readers are able to attend this special free concert, please drop us a line and let us know what you thought.  (What a GREAT way to ring out 2011!!!)  kk
Every day we're getting more and more reports about the upcoming Beach Boys Reunion Tour ... there really is QUITE a buzz going on!
Here's another "Set Suggestion" by one of our readers, Phil Miglioratti, who also runs the Pray For Surf website.  (A few surprises here, to be sure ... and personally, I can probably think of about 500 songs I'd put ahead of "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" ... but hey, to each his own!!!)  Be sure to check out the link at the end of this piece and vote for your own "Heroes and Villains" of Beach Boys lore!  (kk)
Beach Boys 50th Celebration Concert Tour - My Top Ten List 
By Phil Miglioratti 
None of the Beach Boys have asked me, but if they did, here are a few suggestions for the upcoming tour celebrating their 50 year anniversary as a band:
1) Open with "Meant For You" 
It is a perfect way to set the stage (pun intended) to send out the core message of the Beach Boys: peace and love. They can play "California Girls" later in the show. 
2) Followed by "Friends"
A reunion for the fans but more importantly may this tour be a measure of reconciliation for the group that started with brothers, a cousin, a neighbor and a friend. All the lawsuits, power struggles, tarmac fist fights, stolen royalties and more than we fans will never know of, may each be forgiven. Maybe not forgotten but no longer standing in the way of giving the world joy of a live concert by a band of friends.
3) Then rock on with "Do It Again"
This was the perfect tune to re-record. The lyrics beg for a reunion. The texture of the song straddles the surf & street era and the progressive stage of the Beach Boys career. 
4) Reprise the band intro from the Beach Boys' Concert album.
"And now, from Hawthorne, California, to entertain you tonight, with a gala concert and a recording session, the fabulous Beach Boys!" Fred Vail, back then a teenager brash enough to promote a concert and bold to couple it to a recording that became the first live concert album of a rock group to hit #1 on the charts, is the perfect choice to bring them onstage. 
5) Honor David Marks
Give him a guitar solo on "Break Away" so we can hear what the original 6 would have sounded like had he not been dismissed from the band. The guitar solo inserted for the single version of this song sounded forced and unrelated to the feeling and flow of this great Brian Wilson song. Maybe David can fill that break with a Beach Boys inspired sound. Murry Wilson may have been greedy (when he engineered David's departure) and David may have been immature in his too-quick reaction to Murry's taunts but it is not too late to make the song a more complete Beach Boy tunes.
6) Keep the break in "Little Girl I Once Knew"
No general managers worrying someone may change from their station when you go into that glorious break - Give us the full song, silence and all! Every second of it! Just like Brian imagined it.
7) "'Cassius' Love vs 'Sonny' Wilson"
Few listeners realize this album-filler, though not an example of a Beach Boys classic, is a grand example of Brian Wilson's understanding of humor and how it can augment the rock ethos. And now, almost a lifetime later, our naivete when first listening to "Our Favorite Recording Sessions,'' and "I'm Bugged at My Old Man" has given way to the realization of how revealing the Love vs Wilson banter was and how painfully accurate was the "I'm Bugged" story-line. I'm not suggesting they perform this cut onstage .. I'm hoping Mike, who has identified his humor as sarcastic, will stay away from anything that sounds sarcastic or causes Brian to feel fear or hurt. I'm not picking sides, just hoping everyone stays with the positivity that Mike preaches in his interviews.
8) Dennis and Carl, please
Bring more than their memory by reminding us of how "Do You Wanna Dance" was a great Dennis lead and how Carl's voice on "God Only Knows" is considered one of the best in rock and roll history. Let their recorded voice take the lead while they are shown bigger than life on a video screen and as the band plays and sings live. They did it for Elvis; why not the most energizing rock band of our time?
9) The Alan Jardine Album
Most of the night will be Brian Wilson - Mike Love tunes (Amen!) but how about a set of songs on which Al sang lead or pushed to the forefront? "Help Me Rhonda" (a #1 hit), "Sloop John B" (Brian took his good idea and turned it into greatness), "The Times They Are A-Changin" (...yet, here are the Beach Boys on world tour!), "Cotton Fields" (Alan's version, please), "Then I Kissed Her" (his lead helped Brian out Spector, Spector), and "Susie Cincinnati" or "Come Go With Me" or Heroes & Villains, or ...
10) "Love & Mercy" 
What would it be like to end the concert with the Beach Boys semi-circled behind Brian at the piano singing "Love & Mercy" as the closing hymn, I mean song. A fitting benediction to what will be an amazing live experience and what was an unparalleled career bringing joy to millions across the globe and generations. 
P.S. I need your help identifying the 50 heroes & villains who shared the lives and shaped the careers of the Beach Boys - Cast your vote and share your comment at: 
Jeffrey Roberts has a great new Beach Boys piece running in his Examiner column ... here are the links: 
Without question, one of the highlights of 2011 was the new Reeling In The Years home video production of "The Hollies: Look Through Any Window".  HIGHLY recommended, here are links to two more reviews (including our own!!!):
In Tuesday's Comments upon the passing of Sean Bonniwell and him being a member at one time of the group The Wayfarers, I don't really know or remember much about that group. They did however, have a record that made our local top 40 radio station's weekly survey here in OKC back in 1960. Said record was RUN, COME SEE on Mercury. Without getting it out and playing it
again, I think they sounded a lot like the Kingston Trio.
I'm thinking this may be an all-together different group, especially if they were more in the folk-vein ... but maybe one of our readers knows for sure (???)  kk
I got Amy Winehouse's new CD for Christmas. You know until she died I really didn't know much of her work. You would see the tabloid stories and I really thought she was just a joke. I had no idea how talented she was. I really love the new CD. "Tears Dry On Their Own" is beautiful. I had never heard it before. If you haven't already ... check it out.
I just noticed Amy's name missing from the list of those artists we lost in 2011 ... maybe she wasn't considered "veteran" enough???  (kk)
Kent ...
Wanna Jam with Steven Tyler at the next Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp?
You also get to partake in a 10 hour recording session.
And, your final performance is at the Playboy Mansion.
They don't give a price ... so you know what that means!!!
Frank B.
And a quick dose of "Helping Out Our Readers" ...
Who's the deep-voiced male background singer on Patti's songs?
Anybody know for sure?  Joel Whitburn's book says that in addition to her sisters Lorranie and Emma (who made up The Drew-Vels), the bass voice belonged to Carlton Black (who was also married to Emma).  Maybe he stayed with her after she started her solo career???  (kk)

Good choice as usual for the FH of the Day. I just had one question to throw out and something that kind of threw me. I have the record filed here at home under Dottie West. Nowhere on the label and the flip is Kenny Rogers name mentioned. You are correct about it peaking at number 14 on the charts. I notice that Kenny Rogers' name is in parentheses under the song title when the title is given.
I don't have the 45 anymore (although I definitely bought it when it came out in 1981) ... like much of my vinyl collection, it has been replaced by CD.  Joel Whitburn's book lists the artist as officially "Dottie West (with Kenny Rogers)" which is probably why it's shown in parentheses on your copy.  While certainly a duet, I always found Kenny to be the more dominant artist on this track, even though it was officially released as Dottie West's record.  Hard to believe Dottie's been gone over 20 years now.  Great tune 'tho!!!  (kk)
Kenny and Dottie ... thanks ... forgot all about this song but always loved it.  Thanks for posting it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers

>>>Hoping you can help me. I've been trying to find a song for more than five years and everyone thinks I'm hearing things! LOL.  1970 or 1971 ... maybe 1972.  One hit wonder. I believe the name of the song is "Sea Trip". Sung by a male vocalist. It's about a guy stranded on an island and he imagines the girl of his dreams is also somewhere on this island or will arrive at the island. Some of the lyrics are: "I was hit by the sound of a heavy heart beat" "stars were bright as diamonds".  Can you help?  (Larry)   

Sea Trip was done by Jackson Homar. I've  never heard it.  In many cases will give you the flip side, by just entering the name of the song.  


Can't even call this one a One Hit Wonder ... I don't show it charting at all!  I DID find a used copy of the 45 on, however ... didn't even check Gemm or EBay.  

Click here: sea trip / feel it 45 rpm single: HOMAR JACKSON: MP3 Downloads

>>>It appears that the UK group, Amen Corner, also recorded Bend Me, Shape Me, which we all know as done by the American Breed. It was also popular there in the early winter of 1968. The question is, since the American Breed did not write the song, who did?  Writers' credits are shown as Weiss - English. No first names are given. Amen Corner's arrangement is totally different.  (Jack)  
>>>I turned your inquiry over to FH Reader (and noted CD liner notes writer and authority) Clark Besch ... he not only helped put together The American Breed's Greatest Hits CD but, over the years, has shared other versions of "Bend Me, Shape Me" with our readers.  Here's a brief history of this track (a #1 Record here in Chicago ... and Top Five nationally, too!) kk 
>>>The American Breed seem to have won the worldwide contest between all of the versions released on this song.  They sold a million here in the US, went top 10 in Canada and even though Amen Corner had THEIR first UK top 10 hit with their version, the Breed reached #24 in UK as well the following month in February, 1968.  This helped the Breed have releases worldwide throughout the next years.  I have many of their import 45s with sleeves and it is obvious that they were a name recognized in the music world internationally.  Scott English and Larry Weiss wrote the song.  Scott had a 1964 minor hit with "High On A Hill" and much later wrote "Brandy", which was a solo hit for him in the UK that Clive Davis grabbed for Barry Manilow, turning it into HIS first hit, "Mandy."  Larry would go on to write "Rhinestone Cowboy" for Glen Campbell!  In between all of this, as a team, Weiss / English wrote many good songs.  The Outsiders battled the Animals with the W/E song "Help Me, Girl" here in the US. The Montanas played their version of "Bend Me" live on the BBC "Top of the Pops" as well as recording W/E's "Caio Baby," also a nice 45 by Lynne Randall.  I am sure I have seen their names pop up on various 45s over the years, as well.  "Bend Me, Shape Me" was first recorded by the Models on MGM as a 45.  The Outsiders recorded "Bend Me" on their "In" album in 1967 as an album track.  The Models' 45 came out in summer of 67.  The American Breed's came out in November, 67 and the Amen Corner version in the UK in December, 67.  Other versions have surfaced over the decades, as well.  The American Breed tried many different writers over the years on their 45 "A" sides and eventually returned to Weiss for their great 45, "Keep The Faith" in 68, which they performed live on Lloyd Thaxton's NBC show "Showcase '68."  You might also remember the great Coke jingle the American Breed did that was played on WLS throughout 68 and 69, "Cool It, Let's Go Get a Coke!"  When working with Gary Loizzo on the American Breed CD comp in 1991, he told me he wrote the jingle.  This might be, but the popularity of the jingle prompted their struggling record label, Acta, to want to put it out as a 45.  The result was "Cool It (We're Not Alone)" in which the Coke line was replaced with "Cool It, Girl, We're Not Alone."  Writers credits go to Weiss / English on the 45.  The Breed also performed "Cool It' (the 45 version) on "Showcase 68" as well!  So now you know a little more of the "rest of the story."  (Clark Besch)  

Thanks for the info. I had thought it might be Larry Weiss and had I thought about it long enough, I would have come up with Scott English, too.

FH Reader Jersey John got THIS inquiry from one of the visitors to his website recently:
I love your site!  I’m hoping you can help me.  For years I’ve been trying to remember a song from the late 60’s — possibly 69.
I thought the girl’s name was Patty, but I’ve searched and searched and couldn’t find anyone who had a song with the lyrics:
“When I met you, I knew that I was gonna love you. . . .”
Does this sound familiar to you?  Many thanks.
Diane Rebbec
Unable to help, he turned it over to us ... and this one was a no-brainer.  In fact, we featured the answer to this question several years ago in Forgotten Hits ...
Hi Diane!
Maybe Patty Drew? I know she had a hit, "Tell Him", but lyrics don't match. am ROTTEN with lyrics!
Patty Duke: for straws! :)
It would be best if you could remember the singer, white or black?
I assume a slow tempo song, being a love song?
Where were you residing when you heard the song? Was it on radio? It may be a regional hit!
If I'm no help, I'll send the question elsewhere, and I'm sure someone can answer it.
Actually, I'll also send this to Kent at Forgotten Hits, maybe one of his reader knows!!
John - NJ
p.s. Kent, if you could help Diane, that would be mighty nice!
You were DEFINITELY on the right track.  It WAS Patti Drew, who had a Top 20 Hit here in Chicago with HER version of "Workin' On A Groovy Thing" in 1968, a song that would go on to national success when it was recorded by The Fifth Dimension a year later.  (The Fifth Dimension's version went to #20 nationally ... Patti Drew's take topped out at #62 on the national charts.)
I've always loved this song ... BOTH versions actually ... but since Diane grew up right here in Illinois, I'm betting the farm that she remembers the Patti Drew version.  (kk)

Before we could even run this in "Helping Out Our Readers", John and HIS reader were able to solve this on their own:
Well, damn!  You did it!  After nearly 40 years, I found someone who gave me a lead — and it was right!  The singer was, indeed, Patty Drew, and the song was “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing”.  It was 1968!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You have no idea how many years this has haunted me, trying to remember.  Now, can you name a book I read in 1997 where the heroines name was . . . . ? 
Diane Rebbec
PS.   I’m a fan from now on!
Kent: Cancel that help! Thanks! This Jersey Boy has the situation under control! :)

Hey Kent -
A record buddy and I were talking last night and wondered ...
We have been collecting all these years.  When we started as kids ... and on till the nineties ... there would be cut out bins in the stores for vinyl.  You never see that for cd's. Where do the cut out cd's go?
This is a GREAT question for the aforementioned Jersey John.  He scourers EVERY available source looking for cut-out CDs, unusual pressings, imports, budget CDs, etc.  I've asked John to give our readers some CD-searching advice.  (kk) 
I find cut-out CDs all the time. Probably see less of them than records because less are "pressed".  Some CDs never make it to distribution; I find those lacking that silly white tape sealer quite often!!  Many of the CDs I find without silly white tape sealers are already considered cut-outs (never made it to distribution), those selling them can't return those CDs for a refund! Others do have some type of cut-out, either a saw kerf or bullet hole, as sold. Lots of current music isn't distributed to radio stations by Compact Disc (CD), but by a web site with binary files, to save cost!
I agree about CDs vanishing off the face of the earth! Me, I buy 'em at some Pathmark food stores. However, the selection is growing small and one store even stopped selling them all together! I found 'em in dollar stores, too, but nothing worth mentioning, except Tony Orlando & Dawn, where I have every single CD from a box set, except one! Oh, and lots of foreign acts showing up, too (welcome to the US!) on CD. But, for the "good" stuff, I seek Amazon and eBay. Worth mentioning, even though I thought it was a great CD, but Jay & The Americans CD, on EMI, the Legendary Masters series, can be found at Pathmark. I guess few like them anymore - just sits and collects dust :-(
But, you or whoever is right, to hear a great selection of songs that we enjoy, they are played over PA systems, even at Pathmark.
Hope that helps.
Thanks, K'!
From what we've been hearing, the entire CD format may become obsolete in the next year or two ... virtually everything is downloaded digitally nowadays.  (Weird, too, because vinyl seems to be making a comeback of late!)  As for me, I'm just making sure I've got both a CD player, a turntable and a cassette deck that are all operational ... 'cause I AIN'T buying all this stuff AGAIN!!!  (kk)  
Click here: Uncommon Top 40 - '50's '60's '70's+  

Could this be the same Johnny Holliday who charted at #40 on the November 25, 1961 WLS Silver Dollar Survey with "One More Time" on Roulette?
Dave The Rave asked me the same question when I talked with him about having Johnny on his show.  I asked Johnny and go no answer at all ... which tells me it isn't him ... because if it WERE, I'm sure he'd have a fascinating story to tell about his brief (if uneventful) recording career.  (kk)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Of Your Recent Comments

Enough comments last week to fill a whole 'nother page!!!
So here goes ... 

Merry Christmas Kent!
I wanted to pass on some sad news.  Sean Bonniwell (of The Music Machine) passed away. I got the word  this morning.  He was a friend of mine. Mickey
Saw this on Ron Smith's Oldies Music website, too ...  

Sean Bonniwell, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the Los Angeles-based garage band, Music Machine, died Saturday (December 24) at the age of 71 after being admitted to the hospital with heart trouble. Born Thomas Harvey Bonniwell, Sean joined the Wayfarers, who recorded for RCA beginning in 1963, as a guitarist. When the folk era began to ebb, Sean formed a group called the Ragamuffins in 1965. By the next year, though, the group -- known for dressing in black with single gloves -- had changed their name to the Music Machine. "Talk Talk," released late that year, reached #15 on the national charts, but two subsequent singles -- "The People in Me" and "Double Yellow Line" in 1967 -- failed to make the top 60. Internal conflicts led to the group's breakup and Sean continued as the Bonniwell Music Machine, but after one LP and some unreleased recordings, he gave up the name himself. A 1969 solo album saw him recording under the name T.S. Bonniwell. Its failure led Sean to give up the music business for the next 25 years. He published his autobiography, entitled "Talk Talk" (later retitled "Beyond The Garage") in 1996.  
-- Ron Smith
Ralph MacDonald  (March 15th, 1944 ~ December 18th, 2011)
Grammy Award-winning percussion virtuoso and pioneer Ralph MacDonald, whose understated Afro-Caribbean rhythms were known as “the ghost” behind a multitude of hit records of '70s and ’80s pop stars has sadly died battling cancer at the age of 67. He leaves behind a loving family including his wife, Grace; their children Atiba and Nefra-Ann; two children Anthony and Jovonni from a previous marriage; and three grandchildren.
Afro-Trinbago-American percussionist, song-writer, musical arranger, record producer, pioneer, plus conga drums and steelpan virtuoso was born in Harlem, USA. Calypso and the steelpan were his roots and in his creations he never strayed too far from them. Ralph began showing his musical talent, particularly with the steelpan, even before his teens, learning his craft at an early age from his father and five uncles, immigrants from Trinidad, who all played professionally in calypso bands. When he was 17, he landed a job playing pan for the Harry Belafonte show; He wrote many songs for Harry, most of which are showcased on Mr. Belafonte’s 1966 album “Calypso Carnival". Ralph remained with the Belafonte outfit for 10 years before going on his own. His versatility made him a much sought-after session player on records by jazz and jazz-soul fusion artists like Bobbi Humphrey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Herbie Mann, David Sanborn, Ron Carter, Tom Scott, Maynard Ferguson and Grover Washington Jr. for whom he co- wrote the 1975 hit “Mr. Magic”. He is also featured on on George Benson's 1976 album, Breezin'; on percussion on Carole King's 1975 album, Thoroughbred, and on Looking Glass's 1973 album Subway Serenade among many, many others. In 1967, together with Bill Eaton and William Salter, he formed the Antisia Music Incorporated, where Ralph convinced Roberta Flack to record "Where is The Love", which he and William had earlier written. Roberta did the song with Donnie Hathaway, the song sold 10 million copies and generated two Grammies. Another of his noted compositions is "Just the Two of Us" a mega-hit sung by Bill Withers and covered my many other artists. His recording credits number in the hundreds and include Burt Bacharach, George Benson, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Miriam Makeba, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Amy Winehouse, Bob James, Ashford and Simpson, Nana Mouskouri, The Average White Band, Hall and Oates, The Brothers Johnson, and Jimmy Buffett.
-- Submitted by Ken Voss 

Kent ...
Last year one of my Christmas presents was an "Elvis Mr. Potato Head". This year one of my Christmas presents was an "Elvis Mr. Potato Head", 1969 special version.  
I'm trying to figure out what I did to deserve such great presents.  
Was I a good boy last year or a bad boy?  
Can you help me out ? LoL!!  
Frank B.  
Hey, you're on your way to the collectors' set!!!  I've got several Elvis Dolls ... and Teddy Bears ... that have come out over the years ... and, once you start, you've just GOT to put together the COMPLETE collection!!!  No Elvis Mr. Potato Heads 'though ... hint, hint!!!  (kk) 

The tune performed on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" -- a variation on a theme by Haydn -- is actually titled "The Musicians."  It was originally a 1951 hit for the unusual combination of Dinah Shore, Betty Hutton, Tony Martin and Phil Harris (RCA Victor 4225).  The song's publisher kept after me for years to try to work it into a Reader's Digest box set but I couldn't find any concepts it would fit.  Finally, after a decade of his pleading, I threw it into one set as a kind of joke bonus track.  
Gary Theroux  
It's also one of my favorite childhood memories.  They performed it on the program twice (the clip I used was the original ... and a bit more "Christmasy" due to the large Christmas package off to the side.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the full-length clip on YouTube ... after taking their bows, a sleigh is rolled out on stage (with Alan Brady / Carl Reiner aboard), and the rest of the cast and crew come out (including Richard Deacon / Mel Cooley) and they all "sing" the "Dick Van Dyke Theme Song" together ... it's a GREAT ending to a very special holiday episode called "Alan Brady Presents ..."  (kk)

Merry Christmas and a Happy Chaka Khan!
Fred Glickstein 


Looking back with Jay Siegel, lead singer of THE TOKENS.

Artie Wayne
Kent --
Thank you SO MUCH for posting Roy Orbison's wonderful movie theme "Zig Zag" and thank you also to anyone who may have sent it on to you.  (Takes The Ohio Express' B-side of "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" into another dimension.) 
Regarding Olivia Newton-John, "If Not For You" will always be my favorite song of her prolific output, followed pretty closely by "Magic," "Make A Move On Me" and "Something Better To Do." 
Finally, somebody mentioned an Upper Midwest regional hit called "Pain" by Michael's Mystics.  Does anyone know the very obscure ABC recording circa 1967 by "Nova's 9" - "Pain" b/w "Why Listen" ?  Anyone know where these guys were from?  (Although California's probably an honest guess.) 

>>>My question to you is this:  What venue would be appropriate for America's greatest rock 'n roll band?  All State Arena? Rosemont Theatre? Or do you roll the dice -- aim big -- and go with the United Center?  I have a feeling there are 20,000 Chicago area people like me who'll pay top buck to see Brian and Mike together again.  
(Chet Coppock)  
>>>Man, I'd LOVE to see them at The Rosemont Theatre ... (but they'd have to play there for an entire week in order to meet the ticket demand!)  I'm thinking this tour is going to play to BIG audiences across the country ... you're probably right on the money with The United Center.  (We saw them there in 1976 when they toured with Chicago ... one of the best concerts I've ever seen!)  kk

Or ... perhaps ... an outdoor venue???  

How about the Beach Boys at Wrigley or Soldier Field? 
John Olsen 
I've read that they're trying to stay true to their "summer image" by doing more outdoor venues ... but if given the choice between the two you've mentioned, I'd have to go with Soldier Field if only because the parking situation will be a hell of a lot better!!!  Honestly, right now I don't care WHERE they perform ... I just hope they can hold it all together and bring us the INCREDIBLE show we all want to see!  (kk) 

re:  ON THE RADIO:  
Our "Airplay" buddy Carolyn Travis has been posting more and more interviews on her Airplay Website in the Dee Jay Lounge.  Some real goodies on here ... including brand new interviews our FH Buddy Scott Shannon, the legendary Dick Biondi and our newest deejay friend, Johnny Holliday!  You can check 'em all out here:  
Click here: Rock Deejays, Rock Radio Djs, Rock-n-Roll Radio Deejays and Stations  
You're going to find all kinds of goodies here including interviews, old air checks, old radio station Top 40 surveys and more ... with more being added all the time!  Be sure to give it a look ... but allow some time ... once you're there, you're going to BE there for a while!!! (lol)  kk  

Hi Kent,
I was reading Forgotten Hits this morning and saw Johnny Holliday mentioned. I just interviewed him for theairplaychannel.comHe's a great guy ... and he tells the story about Joe Eszterhas and "Telling Lies in America". Just wanted to pass that along.
Have a Happy Holiday!
I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Johnny last week ... he's a GREAT storyteller and a VERY entertaining guy.  (Trying to line him up for Dave The Rave's Show after the first of the year ... we'll keep you posted!)  Meanwhile, folks need to check out the Airplay Site ... it's really shaping up nicely, Carolyn ... I spent ALL kinds of time there the other day!!! (lol)  kk 

Cheers, Kent, and a very Happy Christmas to all of you. 
Love your website! 
I present an oldies programme on our local station Radio Verulam so your info and music is brilliant. I quite often interview stars, recently Rod Argent, Marty Wilde, Clem Cattini and John Leyton to mention just a few. If you could ever use any of my interviews let me know, I have more lined up for 2012. Once again all the best and keep up the good work. 
Dereck Staines 

I really like WLS-FM's new slogan:  "The radio station that grew up with you" ... as it has been a HUGE part of our lives since 1960 (when WLS-AM first signed on as a Top 40 Rock Station ... right on through  The Music Radio Years, The Rock of Chicago, and now the perfect blend of music that they're featuring, 1955 - 1989.  WLS has been, in some shape or form, the "constant" that's held it all together here locally.  We've praised their new "expanded" format several times recently ... and we can only hope that it continues long into the future.  It's fun listening to the radio again, never truly knowing just what you might hear next.  Lately, there've been a couple of surprises each hour ... and that has kept us tuned in.  (kk)  

Regarding the PBS special and the variety of the music of the 60's ...
Yes, interestingly a few years ago, as I was teaching, I realized the vast variety of types of songs in the 60's.  By that time I had expanded my course to more than the original book I used and initially confused myself with all the options.  Having grown up listening to the songs, I accepted this as fact, but considered it all "60's decade".  Now, it thrills and surprises me that I listened to such a diverse group of selections.  This helps with my connection of social events to music during this class. 
As a side note:  I will be starting the music / reading classes after we return to the classroom in January.  We have been delving into mysteries, practicing our writing skills, and setting the tone and pace for what I will expect in this upcoming unit.  I took a day off from school when I treated myself to NYC and concerts this month and when I told my students I would not be in on Monday there was an audible AWWWWW....  That is GREAT news as it means I have them engaged in the "you can learn and enjoy it" process.  Ready for musical lift-off!!
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano 
I think it is SO cool that you are helping to introduce this music to such a young audience.  I have long maintained that '60's music is "feel good", stick-in-your head music ... and a lot of that "tone" is missing from today's musical options.  Radio programmers are ignoring their potential future audience by not catering to this young demographic.  This is why I believe that the oldies will never die ... as soon as they hear it, they fall in love with it.  (kk)   

James Fairs (he of Cryan' Shames and The Jamez Band fame) has put together a brand new show that he's calling Nouveau Bluz ... and you can catch their world premier performance at The Montrose Room on Saturday, January 14th. More details are available at and  (kk)

And, tickets for the long-rumored Van Halen reunion tour (with David Lee Roth back onboard!) officially go on sale January 10th!  More details (including news about a brand new album) are still to come ... watch the official Van Halen website for updates.  (kk)
>>>In November, 1990, Jonathan (Sunshine) Edwards and Henry (The Outlaws) Paul came to my house in Nashville to spend a few days singing, playing guitar and telling bad jokes! Singing together was so much fun we decided to spend the evenings recording what we rehearsed that day.  Taking the name of legendary entertainer Ben Vereen "The Vereens" were born ... and left in the drawer. Over the years we talked about going into the studio and finishing the project as we had no backing tracks other than our guitars and Jon's harmonica but never got around to it. 
After listening to the original rough mixes with fresh ears, we felt the best way to present them was to leave them unaltered, exactly as they were and let our voices and the spirit of the sessions carry the day.These raw, unpolished tapes have a warmth and charm whose time, in my opinion had finally come!  So here it is ... just in time for the holidays ... Edwards, Gross and Paul - "The Vereens"  (Henry Gross)
I like the sound of these "rough" mixes ... tend to like the sound of acoustic guitars over electric, just a nice, pure sound.  Always in favor of hearing actual instruments and singers, someone to admire, unlike the '80's when things went sour in sound; too much generated sounds and fake instruments.  Rosie's Garden - has especially nice harmony.
Jersey John

All my CD's are real instruments with the exception of a bass drum sample if it sounds better.

The Edwards, Gross and Paul CD was me quickly putting down two guitars and all of us getting around the mic and singing. Jon played some harmonica as well. It was recorded 21 years ago. The three of us were together last week, at my Nashville house, and sounded the same or better! We are great friends and hope to do some shows if the opportunity presents itself.  
If you haven't heard my last few CD's I have a deal at my website ( for four CD's- 72 songs for $25.00. The best musical holiday deal out there!   
Thanks for listening! 
Happy & healthy holidays, Henry
Listen to tracks at
The Vereens CD available at
Download MP3's at Henry's Facebook MusicStore or CD Baby 

Hi, Kent,
What does a former progressive and pop radio MD, PD and DJ (WHCN, WDRC-FM, WCCC, WBRU, WPLR and more) do after radio? Voice-overs have served me well, but I’m back playing in an original music band with the same lead singer I last worked with 40 years ago! In Rhode Island in 1968, just before I joined the group, The American Dream had a local top 10 hit with a cover of The Rascals’ “Love Is a Beautiful Thing” (on Bovi Records). A second single and album failed to be released; the group went through changes, including their name, to Benefit Street; and I joined for the rest of our recordings. After three years of starving for a living, we broke up and I began my 29-year professional radio career. However, I always felt our music deserved to be heard, and two years ago I (re)issued it on CD (; Presence PCD3301). This put me back in touch with lead singer / songwriter Rob Carlson, and led to playing keyboards with him to support his most recent solo album. This new group evolved into a new entity called (for old times’ sake) Rob Carlson & Benefit Street, and our new album of all-original songs is out now (www.robcarlsonmusic; What Cheer CD3345). We’ve played around New England and New York State, and we made our New Jersey debut at the regionally-famous Stanhope House on Friday, December 16th (  One of the new band’s songs is a remake of what was to be the second single, “The Bells of St. Stephen’s,” which I still feel would have been a national top 20 hit had it been released back in ‘69. I’m attaching the original version as a holiday present for everyone; come out to one of our gigs and hear the new version!  
Thanks for letting folks know, Kent!
All the best,
“Country Paul” Payton
Hope you're enjoying the Holiday Season. 
The signed copies of our new Time Tunnel CD went out to all who ordered them plus some extras to those very early October orders. 
Maybe let me know what you think when you get yours.  I'd really respect your opinion - maybe - especially if it's good! 
Ken Evans
The Fifth Estate
Hi Furv!  Happy Holidays to you, too!  I've listened to the new CD a few times now (and have heard from a couple other list members who also received their copies.)  As we would hope (and expect), there's a vintage '60's / '70's sound to most of this, with some catchy tunes and memorable licks, too!  (We'll try to do a full review after the first of the year ... and let others on the list know where they can order a copy!) kk  

Merry Christmas Kent -
We really enjoyed doing it - we really became four rock and roller kids again - with real instruments, writing real songs (but with far more adult lyrics I do believe - not always though)!  AND it never, never hurts to hear some people may enjoy listening (and maybe even dancing a little too?)!!! 
Probably the best place to order is right from our website, either direct or from the CD Baby widget there:
If people are into iPods and all, so that they are never without these songs - ever! - then I might recommend picking up the album Download from iTunes.  It looks truly cool in that iTune setup once it is in your computer.  Have to get used to all this stuff myself.  We're really just vinyl guys!

Hey Kent
I wanted to give a shout out to Rick, Bob, Doug and Ken of The Fifth Estate! Job well done on the new CD Time Tunnel ... it came in the mail yesterday. It was well worth the wait! Killer CD!
And Ken said they were putting something extra in for the ones who pre-ordered early. WOW!, did they ever!!!  It was like getting a big Christmas present from the band.
Thanks Guys!!!

re:  DION:  
Kent ...
Here's a Vimeo clip from a brand new documentary where Dion tells his side of the story. 
Frank B.  
Click here: The Winter Dance Party- Trailer on Vimeo  
Dion DOES bring up one good point here ... if everybody who ever claimed to be part of the coin toss was really on that plane, they would have needed a 747!  However, the story that has ALWAYS been told ... and most often by Dion himself ... is that he wouldn't spring for the $36 airfare because that was an entire month's rent for his parents back in the Bronx.  So at that point, why would a coin toss have been necessary?  Sorry, but it just doesn't make sense ... and it's REALLY hard to believe that the story's been told wrong for 52 years (and never questioned by any of the other participants throughout that time.)  This new claim just doesn't hold water for me.  (kk)

That being said, I want to tell you about Dion's new album, "Tank Full Of Blues."

FH Reader Bob Merlis just sent me an advance pressing copy ... and I've got to tell you, it's a DAMN good album!!!  Dion truly embraces the sound of the blues ... and does it convincingly in a way that makes you feel he's been secretly living this life for YEARS!!! 
Who knew?!?!? 
I mean Dion has ALWAYS been a great singer ... and let's face it, over the years he has explored just about every kind of music out there ... but he has a natural gift for the blues ... and he sounds GREAT on this new album. 
What's especially impressive is the fact that he's written the majority of these songs himself, again placing him right at home in this new genre.  (I haven't heard the first two albums that make up this trilogy but if they're as good as this one, I may have to pick up copies of "Bronx In Blue" and "Son Of Skip James" real soon!) 
The track "I Read It In The Rolling Stone" has been circulating for a few weeks now as a free download (thanks to "Rolling Stone" Magazine) ... but the track that really hits home for me is probably the LEAST bluesiest track of all. 
Dion wraps the album up with a recitation called "Bronx Poem" ... and it's really interesting to hear him rattle off the chapters of his own life ... and how they relate to the history of rock and roll ... and life itself.  (I love the line about his wife "driving him sane" ... the exact opposite of what pretty much every other married man on the planet might say!!!)

Other stand out tracks include the title track "Tank Full Of Blues", which really sets the tone for the rest of the set.  I also like his tribute to Robert Johson, "Ride's Blues" and "Holly Brown". 
The hot new CD is set for "official" release on January 24th ... but you can pre-order your copy now through all the usual sources. 
All in all, a very solid effort ... and this is a good spot for Dion at this stage of his career.  All of the reviews I've read thus far echo this sentiment ... he sounds very comfortable and right at home here ... and his top-notch styling makes the listener feel the same.  (kk)

>>>Only The Beatles would think to combine two totally separate, typically unrelated chords ... and augmented chords at that ... to create one of the most famous song-openings ever.  (No wonder I could never make it sound like that on my guitar!!!)  Thanks for the instant guitar lesson!  (Ed) 
Think THAT was a guitar lesson?!?!  Wait till you see what we just got from FH Reader Gary Meyers ... WAY over my head ... but this'll probably make sense to a few people out there!  (kk)  
This is to your contributor Ed, who commented about the "Hard Days Night" chord. I don't know what he's calling an augmented chord in there. The two different chords mentioned in that video are Fadd9 and Dsus, neither of which is augmented, nor do they create an augmented chord when combined. 
I'm sure this is way more than you want to know, but they aren't really that unrelated either: 
The sus4 of the D is the same note as the add9 on the F.  The D note is the 6th of F (and the actually the root of the overall chord), and the C note (in the F chord) would be the 7th of the Dsus.  The oddest note in the overall chord is actually the F note because the basic overall chord is D7sus4, which is D-G-A-C. The G-A-C are contained in the Fadd9, the D-G-A are contained in the Dsus, leaving the F note as the oddball, and technically making the overall chord a Dm7add4 (or add11).   
If it were any variation of G aug, it would have a D# note; if it were any variation of D aug, it would have an A# note; if it were any variation of F aug, it would have a C# note. 
Feel free to refer me to Ed if he'd like to email me directly. 
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem  
Did you guys all get that?!?!?  Personally, I like it because I just think it sounds really neat!!!  (kk) 
It occurred to me that Ed might be viewing the F note at the augmented 9th of the D7sus, so perhaps that's what he meant. Generally the term "augmented chord" refers to the basic structure and I think any musician I know would take it to mean an aug 5th. Whenever upper extensions are augmented (generally only occuring with 9th's or 11th's), they would be named specifically. So yeah, you could technically name the overall chord as D7sus4/aug9, but since that's a name I've never seen, I'm pretty sure that it will be much better understood as Dm7add4 (or as I also said previously add11, or even just "add G").  
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem  
Yes ... that's MUCH clearer now!!!  (lol)  Sorry ... but this is all WAY over MY head!!!  Like I said, I just think it's an amazing sound that they happened to hit upon.  Clearly, they were looking for an attention-getting, dynamic opening chord to kick off their new single (which, in turn, would ALSO open their very first film.)  In this case, I'd have to state that they succeeded in spades.  I can't think of ANY other opening chord that commanded ... and demanded your attention the way this one did back in 1964.  (kk)