Friday, February 17, 2012

The Beach Boys Are Back!

The Beach Boys are back ...

And we can't wait!!!

The Beach Boys continue to make headlines this week as many of their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour Dates were announced ...

n't see this

They hit Chicago on Monday, May 21st ... and it's expected to be an immediate sell out the minute tickets go on sale here next Monday.  (With their next show scheduled for May 27th, there's already speculation and anticipation regarding adding another show or two here in Chicago just to meet the overwhelming demand for tickets.)

I've seen The Beach Boys 20 times ... and Brian Wilson solo four times ... but I have NEVER seen The Beach Boys WITH Brian Wilson.  This will be the ULTIMATE 50th Anniversary Show ... and is sure to be one of the top-grossing tours of the year.  A quick look at the official reunion video for "Do It Again" (ALWAYS one of my favorite Beach Boys tunes) proves that these guys can still make GREAT music together.  (Now if they can just table their differences and get along for the next six months, we're ALL in for a treat!!!)

And it sounds like Capitol Records is pulling out all the stops in the way of new and commemorative releases ...  all in all, we're in for some VERY Good Vibrations this year!

Stay tuned to Forgotten Hits for more details and updates as they become available.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Wrecking Crew, Part 3

Perhaps Don Henley sang it best ...
"There's three sides to every story, baby ...
There's yours and there's mine
And there's the cold hard truth." 

Do any of us really care WHEN The Wrecking Crew became "The Wrecking Crew"?  Does the date really matter?  Fact is, it's what they've come to be known and recognized as ... something they DIDN'T achieve when all these great records were being made and the artists with their pictures on the album covers were getting all the credit and glory. (These studio musicians rarely even found their names in the liner notes!  They were a well-guarded secret ... a "secret weapon" if you will ... a band of musicians who could come into a session and create pure musical magic.)

It's a story that NEEDED to be told ... the volume of music this "Band Of Brothers" placed on the charts is unheard of ... and should NOT be unheralded.

I've watched the film at least six times and NEVER got a sense that Hal Blaine or Denny Tedesco or anybody else for that matter was taking any kind of claim or glory for leading this group of extraordinary musicians.  As such, I find it hard to recognize just what Carol Kaye's beef really is.  She was part of a landmark group of artists who recorded a landmark LIBRARY of great music!  Accept your place in music history.  (Quite honestly, I never heard ANYBODY in this film be anything other than complimentary to Carol as both a musician and a human being!)  Embrace your legacy ... and let the rest of the world know about it!

This is a film that NEEDS to be seen.  (I expected, after the runaway success of the "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown"/ Funk Brothers documentary, that this would have been a no-brainer ... a smash hit ... and, in all fairness, "The Wrecking Crew" has played to RAVE reviews everywhere it's been shown ... but licensing this wealth of material has been prohibitive in allowing the film wide release ... or DVD release, too, for that matter.)

As such, see it whenever and wherever you can.  (The Wrecking Crew website runs constant updates regarding where the film is being shown, most often as a fundraiser to front these exorbitant licensing fees.)  You can check it out here:
(You'll also find GREAT outtakes from the film, most of which will hopefully make it to the DVD release once all the legal details can be worked out.)

The only upcoming screening currently scheduled on the website is tomorrow afternoon at 1 PM in San Francisco ... it's being shown as part of "Social Media Week" at The Ninth Street Independent Film Center, 145  9th Street, in San Francisco.  Check the website often for updates as to showings in your area. (Forgotten Hits typically runs updated screening lists, too.)

For more of Carol Kaye's perspective, here is a link to her website, too:  Click here: The Official Carol Kaye Web Site

Finally, a brand new book on The Wrecking Crew has just been released this week.  Written by Kent Hartman, it promises to tell "the inside story of rock and roll's best-kept secret".  I haven't seen a copy of this book yet so cannot comment in any fashion on its content ... hoping to pick up a copy soon.  Hopefully it, too, tells the story behind this amazing group of musicians ... and lists their many, many recording credits, properly crediting and acknowledging their unparalleled legacy of recordings.  You can check it out here:

And, for those interested in reading Hal Blaine's take on all of the above, HIS book is still readily available through, too ...
Click here: Hal Blaine and The Wrecking Crew: 3rd Edition (9781888408126): Hal Blaine, David Goggin, David M. Schw

For more of our take on the film, be sure to read these Forgotten Hits articles from the vault ... you'll find our original movie review, an interview with Producer Denny Tedesco and a little more history on The Wrecking Crew and their musical legacy ... in which WE pointed out (YEARS ago!) that they were not actually known as "The Wrecking Crew" at the time this great music was first being created.  However, thanks to icons like Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, they have come to be known this way internationally ever since.  Read on ...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Wrecking Crew, Part 2

In the interest of fairness and "Equal Time", we are reprinting today some of the comments made by Wrecking Crew bassist Carol Kaye ... who has not taken kindly to the stories being told in this new film ... and has publicly said so by way of interviews and postings on her own website.

She seems most upset with the motives behind this film ... and the inaccuracies told within the context of the documentary.  (Quite honestly, she seems MOST upset with Drummer Hal Blaine ... but that's a whole 'nother story!!!)

Anyway, we've offered to let Carol speak her piece in Forgotten Hits a couple of times now but never received a response.  We did, however, receive NUMEROUS postings from original Electric Prunes Drummer Preston Ritter ... and promised that we would present ALL points of view in our postings.

So here's Carol Kaye's take ... on the REAL story behind The Wrecking Crew ...

Here are a number of random postings from Carol Kaye's Facebook page, regarding why she doesn't endorse or like the "Wrecking Crew" film.  She claims it's not true and they musicians were NEVER called "The Wrecking Crew" by anyone.  It was an invention by Hal Blaine in the 80s to sell his "phoney" book, as she refers to it.
Preston Ritter
Also one wrote a lot of gibberish about how the "wall of sound" is so "tricky" to get (a whole philosophy about it), I had to answer no, nothing like that at all. We all just played too loud, at Gold Star what some had called "dirty" echo (but which I thought was great, built by Dave Gold), and leaked into each others' microphones ... that was the "secret", in my opinion, to the "Wall Of Sound" as well as Dave's special echo that ran right through the women's rest room.

About drummers:
>>>>>>>>>>Question -- Carol, what do you know about a drummer named Nick Martinis. His name shows up on a few PET SOUNDS and SMILE-era Beach Boys session sheets, but I've never heard of him otherwise. Was he another occasional player like Richie Frost?
Answer: >>>>Nick is a fine jazz drummer who, like a few others for a little while, started doing some occasional record dates ... but he (like others) didn't invest into getting a rock-drum setup, plus didn't take the time to really get his rock chops together. Richie Frost did quite a few dates for awhile but never was a #1 call drummer ... before Earl Palmer and Hal Blaine, both shared the #1 call spot for drummers (both of them neck and neck in amount of recording dates done).
Sharkey (Ed) Hall and Jessie Sailes were doing the drum recording dates along with Charlie Blackwell - all 3 were jazz drummers as well as a couple of others doing drum recording dates then: the fine Jack Sperling and Jackie Mills ... other drummers doing the more elite record dates were Alvin Stoller (who could sightread 4 line scores of written drum parts as well as Frank Sinatra's drummer, Irv Cottler, "Mr. Swing."
Earl Palmer moved here from New Orleans (in 1957) where he'd already recorded many hits for great artists such as Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, etc. for years there since 1947 and is the most-recorded drummer with certainly the most credits - he was already established since 1947 as a hot recording drummer in New Orleans before arriving here in Hollywood in 1957 and is accomplished in ALL styles including fine jazz, not just rock and roll.
Nick did on a few record dates but was a fine jazz drummer and a good scat-singer in jazz also. He kept playing jazz live and has been with the Pete Jolly Trio (usually with Chuck Berghofer string bass if he's not busy) for years now, has cut many CDs with Pete, other jazz artists in LA.
Earl Palmer, John Guerin, Paul Humphrey, and most of the recording drummers were fine jazz drummers (as well as Sharkey Hall, Jessie Sailes, Charlie Blackwell, Jack Sperling etc. before them), and great to work with in the recording studios. These fine musicians made the switch, got their rock drums sets together (totally different heads, setups, mutes etc. than the finer jazz styles of music), and even Hal Blaine played a few psuedo "soul jazz" gigs (for H.B. Barnum) but no, he wasn't a jazz drummer and didn't do jazz in the nightclubs with the regulars at all - he was a always a "rock-pop drummer" only. Hal did get his well-known rock drum sounds together for rock and roll yes and did a lot of record dates and was instrumental in starting the multi tom-tom rock licks, and heavy-sounding rock styles etc.
Earl Palmer jazz drummer from New Orleans, started the "funky" paradiddles, and famous great drum style sounds of his own too (Boogaloo, Swamp Beat, tasty Jazz Fills and Sounds etc.) - I enjoyed many a record date with Earl. He had that great groove, taste and sparkling technique - he loved to play music, and wasn't into "stardom" role much either, a real musician and wonderful human being, fine family man who successfully raised 7 wonderful kids. Jim Gordon, while not known as a "jazz drummer" could hold his own in all styles, being a schooled musician early-on as part of the drum corps, think it was the Blue something corps that was widely known world-wide.
As far as Richie Frost is concerned, he was very busy here and there for a few short years (a sometimes-jazz drummer, mostly a groove drummer on recordings, could play all styles of music) but like jazz drummer Jack Sperling, other drummers of that period, his work dwindled pretty fast at one point and I remember and about the late 1960s, he moved out of LA up to Oregon. He did more recording work than Nick ever did but still was not that popular as a popular recording drummer (not like Earl, Hal, Paul, John, others).
The public still have little idea of all the creativeness of the totally-experienced studio musicians on all those dates. At first we had to write down the chord changes on most early dates - there was no music usually, then later on more arranging / writing was done but we all still had to create parts over the arrangements.
If people stop to think of the background of musicians in those days: HARD bebop jazz, the GREAT big-band era of the 40s and 50s which produced the finest musicians in the world, years and years of combo work in nightclubs, and the all-important MULTI-CHORDS of all the HUNDREDS of STANDARDS we all had to not only play and read, but INVENT on BEFORE any of us did studio work ... only the drug-free booze-free musicians made it into the studio musician work which was taboo to anyone who had drug or booze problems. It was a highly self-disciplined business.
And ... for movie studio work, it was necessary background experience especially for drummers to come from the big-band era and the jazz era, for the heavy big-band experiences they needed to do studio movie-TV recording with, that was a given if you wanted to work in the heavy major film studios.
That musician experience is not really available today like it was in the 1950s ... today, many will play in big-bands but it's more sporadic than like the huge demand for prolific traveling famous big bands of the 1940s and 50s who played dance & concert gigs almost every night. We paid our dues like everyone did back in the 1950s where you're playing almost every night, doing some rough traveling, and playing all the time. There's not much chance today to play to develop musicians'creativity like it was back in those hard-working professional musician days.
Musicians today are not trained in the standards chordal education of those times either. Today's educational system is much different in training fusion players, rock-soul, and elevator music but not the real jazz of the 1950s, the real music it took to play all the chord changes of the Standards which was so common back then unfortunately ... which limits the kinds of any creativity musicians can do today.
The musicians of those prolific times were mostly the STUDIO MUSICIANS of the 60s, hardened by years of professional playing, on the road, playing so much music that when I teach it today, sometimes students wilt fast - they had no idea the music we played was that complex compared to the easy rock-pop-country-blues they're used to playing.
But usually, because of the good materials they work on plus no-fluff teaching, they do get it with some dedication to a little time with steady practice. Experienced teaching does work well in passing along the important theory, chordal progressions, how to create etc. ... they do eventually "get it" just fine ... the system works.
There's just not a lot of teachers out there who know how to teach the chordal real-jazz stuff and surely don't teach the right ways unfortunately - between that and not enough opportunity like there used to be when real music (instead of stage-shows etc.) was important. The scene has changed and yet there are places to play, a lot of them, and places to jam too if not right in your own home with a few musicians. It's amazing what you can do to get that kind of joint-practice with other musicians. Playing in front of the audiences is another percipience to get used to also.
There's a reason why you don't quite hear the musicianship today like the many who played in the great Artie Shaw, Goodman, Ellington, Basie, Harry James, Woody Herman, Chick Webb, Fletcher Henderson, even the Glenn Miller and Glen Gray bands of yesteryear. The spirit, the tightness, the total grooves, the intensity, the "hungry" sounds ... if you don't play good, you don't eat - that's the way it was back then.
Today, most people would rather have career jobs and just play for fun on the weekends, which works well too, it was too hard of a life to be a full-time musician back in the 40s and 50s. Today, you can have good gigs and just play part-time and enjoy a lifetime of playing some good gigs if you've learned the right stuff.
The chordal music of the 1940s and 1950s standards and jazz (and even the pop of those years) created a musical era that can't be duplicated, not today, with the ignorant inexperienced teachers out there teaching nonsense non-workable studies to students. Some younger teachers are making it a point to learn from the more-experienced older educators to get the great chordal system that spawned real jazz soloing, standards, etc. ... I surely hope the young teachers will do more to learn (and teach) the great chordal system that created this past era.
Other popularly-working fine studio drummers in the movies, TV-film shows, and non-rock elite record dates include: Sol Gubin, Louie Bellson, Ed Thigpen, Jake Hanna, Panama Francis, Larry Bunker, Nick Ceroli, Joe Porcaro, Harold Jones, Cubby O'Brien, Mel Lewis, Duffy Jackson as well as most of the work done by jazz heavies ... Johnny Guerin, Earl Palmer, Paul Humphrey, Ed Shaughnessey, Alvin Stoller, Shelly Manne, Irv Cottler, etc. all wonderful people by the way, and fun to work with etc.
Record date (non-movie except maybe for 1-2 films) drummers also included: Sharky Hall, Jesse Sailes, Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, Ron Tutt, Frankie Capp, Ed Greene, Jim Keltner. note: Frankie Capp was popularly-hired in movies as a percussionist, as was another very great jazz drummer-legend: Larry Bunker.
PS. Like Jack Nitzsche, Leon Russell, Al Kooper etc. have always said, and others in our business also, we were never known by Hal Blaine's later-invented name for his book (1990) as "the wrecking crew" ... that's his self-promoting name.
We studio musicians were all independent of each other totally in recording, and never were a "formed group of musicians."
We all had our own separate professional careers way before ever doing studio work and many of us were well-known before ever doing studio work. We were sometimes known as the "clique" but never 'wrecking crew' as promoted by one who would like to think of himself as "the authority" on our history, it's simply not true as others like Nitzchie, Leon Russell, others have often said in the news media ... we were never known as the Hal Blaine term 'wrecking crew' but that's not the worse of it.
Hal is totally off-base and wrong when saying "the older studio musicians called us that" ... he never was hired for movie work with those movie studio musicians he slanders by saying that, they never said that, plus what they sometimes said was in praise of us, totally the opposite of what Hal says! I know them all well, and worked daily with them, Hal did not and there-in might be the problem.
I've always publicly said nice things about Hal Blaine in all these years, as you can tell in my past correspondence, and interviews with the news media. But enough is enough, I never got along with Hal Blaine, tho' I did a lot of record dates with him yes, but I was never close to him and I never "had a feud with Hal" either as Denny Tedesco lies to people about to cover himself since he refuses to accept I reject his film for what it is, in one journalist's opinion a "piece of Hollywood fluff", telling lies that sometimes makes the public angry at us."
Nothing could be farther from the truth!! We really liked the music we turned into hit records tho' sometimes yes, it was boring at times (surf-rock stuff) etc. ... Denny cannot accept the fact that his misbegotten film is simply NOT who we are nor what we did ... it is skewered to make money for himself and for Hal Blaine and a couple of others, that's the truth of the matter. We were ALL duped into appearing in this film, it was misrepresented to us!
If you wanted to get Earl Palmer, Plas Johnson, others including myself really angry, say "wrecking crew", and it's not just those words but what they stand for: Hal Blaine's invented self-promotion to make people think we were all part of "his band" ... totally false. And Denny Tedesco, who sometimes calls Hal Blaine "my real father", slanders me by saying "there's a feud between Carol and Hal" to make an excuse as to why I don't endorse his phony film too! He has threatened me from time to time to "take down your statement about my film" but I refuse to do that, as he's telling lies about me, and illegally posting something I never said on his website.
See our Music Connections Interview for more info.
Knowledgeable top journalists now shy-away from anything called "wrecking crew" since they know it to be a phony term, and is frowned upon by most of the studio musicians (yes, a few go whichever the wind blows as to that for sales of their CDs etc.) who were never called that at all ... we were ALL totally independent of each other and were never part of a "band" let alone a "band by Hal Blaine called the 'wrecking crew'" ... He should not set himself up as "the person defining who we all were" ... most of us had thriving wonderful (mostly jazz) music careers before we ever saw the insides of any studio work.
And Hal gets very angry when someone doesn't "agree with him" about his self-promo term of 'wrecking crew' ... he's been angry at others and at me for years about this ... and, like he does with others he gets angry at, he slanders too. He even got angry at Sonny Bono because Sonny didn't see him and so didn't say hello to him one time.
Also, Hal Blaine stole one of my recorded tracks (see my home-page website), and uses it as "his own" recording.
Again, Denny Tedesco's film of 'wrecking crew' is NOT representative of the true story of our group of studio musicians and has been purposefully skewered to omit some key players as well as play up the importance of many others who were minor, and invent "stories" in this considered-to-be-fluff film - it's totally wrong and while some might not say anything about it, most of our group of studio musicians are irate about being USED for Denny's true purpose.
Also, Hal's "credit" of The Way We Were is wrong, that was Paul Humphrey on drums on that (listed on the contract too), and also Jim Gordon on drums of "These Boots Were Made For Walkin" by Nancy Sinatra as Nancy herself remembers too ... Hal played on the Goodyear ad of that tune, not Nancy's hit recording, maybe he confuses what he did with that, and not the gold record he bought ... the contract on Nancy's recording can't be found.
Hal and Earl were neck-to-neck in Hollywood as far as amount of record dates go, and my fav of course was always Earl Palmer, who had many hits before he ever started to record in Hollywood in 1957 (hits with Dave Bartholomew, others in New Orleans since 1947). And then I loved to record with Paul Humphrey and many others like John Guerin, both like Earl were top pro's, well-known fine jazz drummers. You can go from jazz drums to rock-pop and soul drums easily but not much the other way around.
I did a lot of recordings with Hal Blaine, true, but we were never close and his ego was such you had to bite your tongue sometimes especially when it comes to his idea of "women" and his incessant complaints about his ex-wives etc. and his carrying ons, i.e. ... he sometimes has an odd habit of putting a flashing red-light on top of his car ...
Earl Palmer, myself and many other top musicians like Leon Russell, Jack Nitzchie have always spoken out against the phony term of "wrecking crew" ... and tho' at first, not being aware of the manipulation ... we were all fooled by Denny.
From a dedicated wonderful journalist:
>>>>And thanks for putting me right about the Wrecking Crew expression. I had kind of wondered why I had never seen the expression in my older music books and now I know, it's banned now.

Here's a Wrecking Crew memento sent in by Forgotten Hits Reader Jersey John:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Wrecking Crew - Part 1

Today's piece was written by Forgotten Hits Reader / Contributor Bob Rush (aka Dr. Robert!) ... and first appeared in the British Publication "The Beat".  By Bob's kind permission, we are re-running it today in Forgotten Hits.

           I just had the good fortune to screen the new film by Denny Tedesco entitled, “The Wrecking Crew.”  It’s not widely available to the public yet, but more on that later.  The Wrecking Crew documentary is an extremely important, and highly entertaining, film.  Tedesco is the son of American ace session guitarist Tommy Tedesco, and although a lot of the focus of the film is on his father, or from his father’s perspective, it doesn’t play favorites:  each member of the Crew is paid tribute, as is the music that they made.  Denny Tedesco is a fine film maker, having produced programs for American television networks A&E, Biography and Comedy Central, before beginning filming and production on "The Wrecking Crew” documentary. 

 If you’re not familiar with The Wrecking Crew by name, I know you’re aware of their music. They were the group of about a dozen or so crack musicians who populated the recording studios of Los Angeles, California, in the 1960s, turning out hit record after incredible hit record with artistry, dexterity, speed and skill.  The group's nickname originated by drummer Hal Blaine, due to the apparent hostility that older big band-era Hollywood studio musicians held toward these younger, rock-minded players (who, themselves, were jazz and traditional musicians). "Somebody said they're gonna wreck the business," Denny Tedesco explains. "It stuck ... and it's been a great name." While they worked often with solo artist singers, Crew members also played on records by some noted '60s rock bands.

        Among the hundreds of songs recorded by the Crew and bought and loved by the public, are:  The vast Beach Boys  catalog, beginning in 1965, hits by the Monkees, The Grass Roots, The Association, (my own former band) The Rip Chords, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nancy Sinatra, The Tijuana Brass, The Turtles, Sonny & Cher, Alvin & the Chipmunks, The Byrds (first record only), Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Joe Cocker and so many others we know and love.
Working four or more sessions a day, the players took everything in stride. "I asked all the musicians, were you ever intimidated by any of the artists you played for? They all [said] no, not at all." But when recording with a certain Chairman of the Board, everyone, says Mr. Tedesco, snapped to. "With Sinatra it was not intimidation as much as you were on your game."Did the musicians realize they were making history? "There was no way they thought these songs would last 40 years," Mr. Tedesco says. "As my father said, 'We recorded hundreds of hits, but we did thousands of bombs.' Going to work every day for 15-20 years, think of how much they recorded that never made history.

        The Wrecking Crew were, in many ways, the American cousins of London’s own previously nameless team of session musicians consisting of Vic Flick (guitar), Big Jim Sullivan (guitar), Jimmy Page (guitar), John Baldwin (nee John Paul Jones) (bass, keyboards), Ronnie Verral (drums), Barry Morgan (drums), Alan Weighell (bass), Dave Richmond (bass), Les Hurdle (bass), Ronnie Price (piano), Mike Moran (keyboards), Eric Ford (guitar), Bryan Daly (guitar), Alan Parker (guitar) Clive Hicks (guitar), Clem Cattini (drums) and Bobby Graham (drums) who played on so many of the hits of the 60’s that originated in the London studio scene.  

         The American Wrecking Crew were called upon by producers such as Phil Spector, Shadow Morton, Lou Adler, Denny Cordell, Sonny Bono, Brian Wilson, Bones Howe and many others.  They’d gather in the studio and read the charts, or create their own now-iconic lines, and lay down a sound that is at once recognizable but at the same time chameleonic enough to “become” the groups and artists for whom they were recording, and helping to create those groups’ unique recorded sounds.

The documentary uses a great deal of never-before-seen footage and photos, as well as interviews and an interesting narrative, to tell the story of the Crew through the eyes of Tommy Tedesco and his family, as well as by Hal Blaine and other surviving members.   

According to Denny’s dad, Tommy Tedesco, in his terrific book, “Confessions of a Guitar Player” (and, indeed, he does confess a great deal), the “All Star Rhythm Section” of The Wrecking Crew were:

Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer - drums,
Leon Russell, Don Randi and Larry Knechtel – piano,
Ray Puhlman, Carol Kaye and Joe Osborne – electric bass,
Jimmy Bond, Lyle Ritz and Red Callender – upright bass and
Glen Campbell, Bill Pitman, Billy Strange, Joe Maphis and, of course, Tommy Tedesco - guitars

        The Wrecking Crew documentary has already been screened to great reception in Leeds and Glasgow.  Denny Tedesco, a one-time resident of Manchester, is spreading the good word so that it can be further screened and further supported on its way to wide release.  His biggest block to public distribution is the cost of using the hundreds of songs and clips the Crew recorded and that are an essential part of the movie. You, the public, are invited to help arrange screenings of this important documentary, or to make a contribution to finish paying the music licensing fees.  Denny Tedesco says, “The labels and the publishers are not necessarily the bad guys.  They’ve given me an amazing rate, but there’s just so much music.  We’re now only about $200,000 away which, relatively speaking, is not a lot considering what’s already been paid for.”  The barrier to release is licensing from record companies and music publishers 133 clips of recordings these musicians played on. Respecting the film's historical mission, they agreed to special licensing terms, but Mr. Tedesco is still raising the required amount. "We know it's not going to be a moneymaker," he admits. "It's impossible. But you know what? I want this story out there."   And do you know what, Denny?  So do we!  
He accepts donations at his website:

Denny further notes that “If your readers go to the website they can enjoy a huge amount of outtakes - about twenty of them.”    I did, and they’re terrific!  

In addition, Denny asked that British fans express their support for the film by simply sending him an email at:

He says, “We want to show our distributors, especially in England, that we have a real audience.  Glasgow, Leeds, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Rio Di Jeneiro.  The audience response is amazing!   Emails of support for a ‘Bring The Wrecking Crew Documentary to England’ campaign would be terrific.”  Let’s do it, gang!  For the sake of Rock n’ Roll!

Wrecking Crew's selected hits:

• "Ramblin' Rose," Nat King Cole (1962)
• "Be My Baby," The Ronettes (1963)
• "Surf City," Jan & Dean (1963)
• "Everybody Loves Somebody," Dean Martin (1964)
• "California Dreamin'," The Mamas and Papas (1965)
• "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," The Righteous Brothers (1965)
• "Mr. Tambourine Man," The Byrds (1965)
• "A Taste of Honey," Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (1965)
• "California Girls," The Beach Boys (1965)
• "Good Vibrations," The Beach Boys (1966)
• "Strangers in the Night," Frank Sinatra (1966)
• "These Boots are Made for Walkin'," Nancy Sinatra (1966)
• "Windy," The Association (1967)
• "Valleri," The Monkees (1967)
• "The Beat Goes On," Sonny & Cher (1967)
• "Wichita Lineman," Glen Campbell (1969)

Well, that’s all for now.  Hope you enjoyed it.  And remember – if anything’s troubling you, FAHGEDDABOWDITT!!!!

Dr. Robert for The U.S. Beat  

    For more information regarding this OUTSTANDING film ... or how YOU can make a contribution to insure its release, please visit The Wrecking Crew websites noted above.  We've been touting this film for a couple of years now ... and it really is something.  You'll also find information about upcoming screenings of the film ... it's coming ANYWHERE near your area, do yourself a favor and check it out ... you will NOT be disappointed.  This truly IS the music of our generation ... to think that this band of musicians was involved with so much of it is nothing short of amazing.  Highly recommended ... don't miss it!  (kk)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Monday Comments


While Whitney Houston is a bit out of the focus years of FH, I've felt despite the raves of her earlier stuff, her song selection could have been better. But then who am I to judge. I'd be happy if I had a record that was certified aluminum, let alone multi-platinum. I suddenly feel old finding out she was 48.

Well they blew it again!  In tribute, they could have spent a few more minutes for all the people they did not mention ... Gerry Rafferty, Rob Grill, Don Kirschner ... and the list goes on and on.
While they each got their own spotlight moment, I couldn't believe that the major "In Memory" portion of the show excluded Etta James and Don Cornelius, too.  Dan Peek of America was missing as well.  Instead we got a number of "behind the scenes" names that most of America wouldn't even recognize.  Again, just a bit too much focus on Whitney ... may have blinded them to the others we have lost along the way.  (kk)  

Promoter Randy Alexander sent us this official statement from Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff upon hearing of Whitney Houston's death:  
“Whitney Houston was an unbelievable talent and one of the greatest voices of all time. Her passing is a tremendous shock and a terrible shame. She had a rough life and was under so much pressure as an artist, because she meant so much to the music community. She was one of the most admired singers ever, who was loved by everybody. We’re praying for her family.”   
Gamble & Huff also recalled Ms. Houston’s strong Philly connection:   
A then-unknown Whitney Houston recorded “Hold Me,” a duet with Gamble and Huff recording artist Teddy Pendergrass for his 1984 Elektra album, “Love Language,” his first following the automobile accident that left him paralyzed.
Gamble and Huff wrote and produced a number of hits with the late Linda Creed, who later wrote Houston’s #1 Smash, “Greatest Love of All.” They first met Houston in Philadelphia at a memorial for Creed, following her death from breast cancer, recalling that Houston “looked like a model and had so much going for her” when they went to her dressing room. They also recalled seeing Houston for the last time at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party in 2008.   
Gamble and Huff’s relationship with the Houston family began in the late ‘60s when they worked with the R&B act the Sweet Inspirations, founded by Cissy Houston. A Gamble and Huff composition, "Gotta Find Me A Brand New Lover" appeared on the group’s fifth album ("Sweet Sweet Soul") in 1969, and “whenever Cissy couldn’t find a baby sitter, she’d bring Whitney to our studio in Philly. Cissy always used to talk about her daughter when we were recording with her, and what a great talent she was going to be.”

What a damn shame about Whitney Houston, especially the timing of it all.  She was one of the few people I consider touched by above for her fantastic voice, and great beauty.  I'm sure tonight's Grammy show will bring a lot of people (including myself) to tears as she will be talked about a lot.  We will always love you, Whtney.  Please, rest in peace.  You deserve it.  Later, Kent.
Ed Pond  

We have lost a magnificent voice, and I am certainly grief-stricken. This is another tremendous blow to the record industry. Whitney’s alliance with the genius, Clive Davis, who often produced her records and picked most of her hit songs with his golden ears, made for a double dynamite combination.  
Whitney came to my office in Cherry Hill (NJ) a number of times and she couldn’t have been sweeter or more humble during each and every visit. She was a highly gifted woman from a highly gifted family, which included her blessed mother Cissy, another extraordinary singer, and her aunt, Dionne Warwick, whose dream of becoming a motion picture actress was realized through Whitney when she scored big in the movies. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I was disappointed that I was never able to work out the scheduling for a visit with her on the frequent record business specials that I co-hosted and produced on The Merv Griffin Show.
On behalf of the staff of the Friday Morning Quarterback, we send our deep condolences to an iconic musical family.

My favorite Grammy moment?  Glen Campbell's great performance ...
even with his 'ailment' & failing abilities, (honor him while he can still appreciate it) getting his LIFETIME ACHIEVMENT AWARD ... doing a rousing rendition of RHINESTONE COWBOY ... to the delight of a STANDING audience ... singing and dancing along ... (especially the 'big names' in the front rows) and a totally classy PAUL McCARTNEY
fist pumping and mouthing the words right along with Glenn ...
Glen's performance was nothing short of amazing.  And The Band Perry and Blake Shelton paid a fitting tribute to this great legend.  (My regret is not being able to see him when he appeared here in Chicago a couple of weeks ago ... I've never had the pleasure and knowing that this was my last chance to do so, missing this concert was a heartbreaker.)  kk

Hey Kent,
Looks like a great show tonight.
I've been honing my Grammy speech for over 50 years.  
Ah well.  Wait 'til next year. :-)
Paul Evans  
Well, we're not ALL gonna get one.  YEARS ago I had a Grammy nightmare.  I had just finished up writing and recording "Lonely Christmas" and gone to bed exhausted.  Halfway through the night I began to dream ... and imagined it becoming a HUGE Hit ... winning every music award known to man.  I proudly went to The Grammy Ceremony and picked up my Grammy for Best Holiday / Seasonal Song of All-Time and headed out to the car to bring the award home to display prominently in my music room when, out of nowhere, Santa and his magnificent sleigh landed right there in the parking lot. (Toldja it was a holiday nightmare!!!)  Santa wandered over and congratulated me on having written The Best Christmas Song ever ... and in all the excitement and Holly-Jolly of it all, I dropped my trophy in the snow.  This commotion must have spooked his reindeer something fierce because all of a sudden there arose such a clatter I had to look twice myself just to see what was the matter.  Before I knew it, Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer, et al, had scattered everywhere, tearing up any snow (along with my award) that remained in the snow-covered parking lot.  Once things settled down, I searched everywhere for my prize, only to find it scattered in broken pieces all over the lot.  Yes ... it was true ... my Grammy got run over by a reindeer ... (kk)  

You called it --- this year's Grammy Awards Program was, start to finish, the best I've ever seen.
Steve A.  
It was wall-to-wall, non-stop entertainment.  (And you KNOW they had to be scrambling to pull this all together within the last 20 hours, after hearing the news about Whitney Houston!)  My only concern was that it NOT turn into "The Whitney Houston Show" but rather remained true to the focus of what this program was REALLY supposed to be about ... and while a tribute to Whitney was certainly expected and justified, I think LL Cool Jay's opening prayer (and the number by Jennifer Hudson) were sufficient.
I enjoyed every bit of it, too.  (I don't think they gave away a dozen awards all night ... the focus was on the performances and most of them were amazing!)  Even those that fell short of "spectacular" were still a spectacle to watch.  Everybody seemed to be in top form and it really was a viewing pleasure.  (And what'd I tell you guys about Bruno Mars???  Is he amazing or what?!?!?)  Cool to see McCartney close the show, too ... especially after seeing The Beatles slighted far too many times during their era of "suits" voting and nominating.  All in all ... as you said, start to finish ... a GREAT show!  (kk)  

Kent ...
You are amazing!  I love so much of what you write ... but your stuff on Bobby Darin is always right on the money.  Your writing is terrific and your knowledge of Darin is awesome. Thank you so much for putting him front and center.

I was also impressed by the list of old fogey favorites of mine to be on tonight's show.  For the most part, I was not disappointed!  I was so happy that someone saved Lady Gaga from Fisherman's Wharf in time to make it to be snubbed by the voters.  Too bad they couldn't have cut the fish net off her face after rescuing her from the sea.  I was especially happy to see her get up and LEAVE just before Sir Paul started his "Abbey Road" medley.  Good move for her.  I'd hate to see her try one of their songs!
As for MY people that were on the show, it would have been better had they been honored in 1968 when they actually were likely getting shut out of honors in their own time.  Still, good to see the Beach Boys reunited in a group that has never been together with David Marks being an early Beach Boy and never a member with Bruce Johnston.  I wonder if Glen Campbell thought HE should have been up there?  Speaking of Glen, I sure wish he would have sang "Wichita Lineman" instead of "Rhinestone Cowboy" but he still did an admirable job.  Blake Shelton could not have sounded more like Glen on "Southern Nights."
As for the Beach Boys, it was nice to see that Mike Love CAN shave and look halfway presentable at times.  They did OK, but "Good Vibrations" is just so overplayed (but NOT overrated) that I'd much rather have heard "California Girls" or "I Get Around" if they had to do a big hit.  Still, it was great to see them together again and doing pretty well with the song.  Brian looked like he wanted to be elsewhere right away afterwards, but I suppose that is normal. 
It was fun to see Stevie Wonder play "Love Me Do" (even though that was John on the Beatles song) when presenting Paul.  I really love his version of "We Can Work It Out."  Paul's "My Valentine" was pretty boring I felt ... and I wished he would have just chosen a better "standard" like "AND I LOVE HER."  Joe Walsh did a nice solo, though.  The "Abbey Road" medley was just great with all the guitarists up there (even though the Boss had something going on with his guitar).  It was the highlight of the show.  Glad the Gaga missed it!  Speaking of "The Boss," he gave an inspirational rendition of an inspiring new song, so hats off to him and the E's. 
Obviously, Tony Bennett loves singing solo to an audience and NOT to Carrie Underwood.  He sang OK, though, and is an icon to be always remembered.  The Whitney Houston tributes were OK.  She had a great voice.  I was bummed that they did not play music from all who passed this last year, as I did not hear Andrew Gold or Ferlin Husky and saw no mention of Etta James or Don Cornelius in the segment.  Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt did great saluting Etta.
As for the CURRENT Grammy stars, Taylor Swift did a great job and was obviously pleased with a standing "O".  Foo Fighters sucked, even though I thought they did decent awhile back on SNL.  This song was totally worthless that they "sang" this time.  Adele?  She was OK, but the song was nothing special -- luckily, neither were any of the others up for the award.  I'd just as soon she did not act like Cyndi Lauper when she accepts awards.  I'd take that new talent Rumer well before Adele.  Bruno Mars was great with his "Cold Sweat" James Brown-like performance. 
Of course, Diana Ross had to give her "I remember when you were just a child" speech to the host.  All in all, it was the best Grammy show I'd seen in ages--especially with Lady Gaga sitting for 3 hours looking through her 4000 netting holes "and though the holes were rather small," she still had to snub Sir Paul's last performance.  I guess by then, she already knew "how many (fishnet) holes it takes to fill the Staples Center...." 
Clark Besch  
Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood DID sound a little "mismatched" during their duet.  I couldn't help but think that even back in 1965, Tony would have seemed like an "old-timer" up there on the stage ... and here it is 47 years later!!!
I couldn't agree more that artists like The Beach Boys, Paul McCartney and Glen Campbell SHOULD have been saluted in their hey-day ... but it IS kinda cool that these three "dinosaur acts" put on some of the best performances witnessed all night.  (And you're right ... Brian Wilson looked like he couldn't get off the stage fast enough once the song was over!)  My first thought when they flashed on Glen Campbell in the audience during The Beach Boys' set was, "Man, they should have invited HIM up there to play with these guys!!!  What a memorable performance THAT would have been!
I LOVED Taylor Swift's performance ... she hasn't always sound great live ... but she NAILED it last night.  And her choice of material was spot on.  Again, artists like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown relied more on "spectacle" than substance ... Taylor went out there and just KILLED with a stripped-down, heartfelt performance.  She was amazing.
And Bruno Mars was spectacular to watch ... I swear this guy can do ANYTHING!  (His black and white performance last year was the highlight of the show ... kicking things off by channeling his inner James Brown certainly let us know what kind of show we were in for.)
Adele (as expected) swept the awards ... and I believe she deserved it.  (Some of the competition in these categories barely received any airplay on mainstream radio ... Adele may be over-saturated on the airwaves right now, but at least it's all good stuff!) As for Lady GaGa, she DID seem a little reserved ... but I think her hit "You And I" is a GREAT song.  (Honestly, I would have opted for Pink's "Perfect" in that particular category ... one of the best performances of the year in my book!)
All in all, a VERY entertaining show ... I can't think of an entire ceremony I've enjoyed more, start to finish.  (kk)  


I want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday's Comments with the "Life and Times of Bill Mack". In fact, I read the column twice. I read and saw names of artists I have seen in a long time. Singers like Paul Peek, Esquerita, Lance LeGault, Art and Dotty Todd.
Paul Peek had at least two records which made our local survey, WALKING THE FLOOR
OVER YOU in 1959 on NRC and PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY in 1966 on Columbia.
(I've got to get that one out again and refresh my memory how it goes. Interesting to know if it charted in your town).
As you know Gene Vincent made many records which did not chart nationally. His earlier sixties records made the surveys here in OKC. WILDCAT for one and PISTOL PACKIN' MAMA. One of my all time favorites of Gene Vincent was the one he recorded in 1958, a record that the kids on American Bandstand could take center floor and DANCE TO THE BOP.
Larry Neal
The Wax Museum  

Bill Mack's remembering Gene Vincent brought so many memories to me. Eddie Cochran, introduced me to Gene while recording at the Capital Tower in Hollywood in the late 50's, just before they toured the UK together, where Eddie lost his life and Gene, along with our friend Sharon Sheeley never recovered from that tragic auto accident.
I have dozens of photos of Eddie but I find this photo sent to me by Eddie's mother Alice Cochran best demonstrated Eddie and Gene together and the fun they had. Always clowning with Eddie doing his best "Amos & Andy" impersonations.  It was in England that Eddie first performed in his black leather outfit, that Gene ridiculed because Gene had already worn a black leather jacket on stage. Eddie told Gene, he was only "half dressed" without the pants.
A few years later John Lennon and George Harrison told me how Eddie and Gene introduced them to American rock music. Following Eddie's death, John Lennon actually tried to enlist me to help him purchase Eddie's guitar. Mom Cochran said "no, it's not for sale".
Thank you for Bill Mack's recollections of Gene Vincent, that's how it was.
John Rook

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is FINALLY righting a couple of wrongs ... maybe more of these "oversights" will be corrected in the future, too, FINALLY allowing some of the great, over-looked artists to finally taking their rightful place in The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.  (kk)   
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says six additional groups will be inducted this year after a committee determined they should be recognized with previously enshrined original lead singers.  The Blue Caps, the Comets, the Crickets, the Famous Flames, the Midnighters and the Miracles will be inducted at the April ceremony in Cleveland. 
The Crickets' Buddy Holly and the Famous Flames' James Brown were inducted in 1986. The Comets' Bill Haley and the Miracles' Smokey Robinson were inducted in 1987. The Midnighters' Hank Ballard was inducted in 1990 and the Blue Caps' Gene Vincent was inducted in 1998.  Previously announced inductees are the Beastie Boys, Donovan, Guns N' Roses, Laura Nyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Small Faces / The Faces, Freddie King, Don Kirshner, Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns.   

Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits are doing a Valentine's Day Show in Fairfield, CT at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University.  Details (and a cool little interview) can be found here:  
Kent ...
Peter Noone - proud to be an "Oldie but Goodie."
Frank B.
If you get a chance to catch this show, DO IT!!!  You will NOT be disappointed ... Peter Noone continues to be one of the most entertaining oldies artists on the circuit!  (kk)

Kent ...
Can you believe this? Madonna Fans want attacks postponed until after her 5/29 show.
I guess she was better than I thought she was at her Super Bowl show.  It's all about priorities.
Frank B.
Cool organ on "Operator Please" by the Up Stairs with Curt Johnson (thanks once again, Gary Myers!!!)  I can imagine tooling around west central Wisconsin in '67 with that record blaring from the transistor or the car radio!!!  Back around the late 80s or so there was a DJ on WFYR named Curt Johnson, but I suspect this is a different guy -- I think this one was a year ahead of me at Niles North HS in Skokie if I recall correctly.  Confirm, anyone? 

WCBS-FM remembers the unique voice of Karen Carpenter in this little piece submitted by FH Reader Frank B: 
Kent ...
Check out the great voice of Karen Carpenter. 
Frank B.
Hi Kent,
I wanted to let you know that I'm helping Freddy Cannon with his brand new Facebook Fan site.
I'd love to spread the word and get people to visit and "like" his site. I'd appreciate any help you can offer in getting the word out.
Best Regards,
Cathy Comora :)
Happy to help spread the word, Cathy!  With Freddy's new biography out in the stores, his pencil drawings available through his website, his classic hits being featured in movies and television ads and a new Facebook site, he's busier and more popular than ever!  (kk)

Kent ...
Wild Wayne is interviewing Charlie Gracie. He just played "Baby Doll".
He said they recorded this song at his house, with this new technology.
Charlie's favorite song on the  "For The Love Of Charlie" album is "And Now I Win".
Charlie was born on May 14, same day as Bobby Darin, 1951.  (Actually, it was 1936 -- kk)Now playing "Boogie Woogie Blues"
December, 1956 he recorded "Butterfly" for Cameo ... went to #1. 
He was first solo performer to tour England (Bill Haley and his Comets were first ), 1957 
Now playing "Fabulous".
December 19, 1999 = Paul McCartney singing "Fabulous" at the Cavern Club.
Charlie has a book coming out. "I'm Alright" from 2001. Charlie's tribute to his friend Eddie Cochran.
Playing "I Don't Know Why", only slow song on the new album.
"Rock-n-Roll Heaven", written by Charlie. Graham Nash singing harmony with him
on this one.
February 15 is Charlie's 54th wedding anniversary.
Frank B.
The new album is a lot of fun ... and a very spirited effort.  If I have one complaint it's that the vocals (and particularly the background vocals) seem to be buried in the mix ... I would have gone for a much "cleaner" sound.  Lots of guest vocalists but you can't really distinguish them in what, for the most part, is a pretty muddy mix.  Musically, vocally, lyrically, it's a strong outing ... I just wish a little more care had been taken in the mixing end of things ... Charlie deserves better.  (kk)

I don't know if this phenomenon is happening nationwide or even worldwide, Kent. Several really good oldies (gasp!) bands have formed here in Nashville and are playing to crowds of all sizes in a variety of venues. A couple of the very best bands, Timeline and Boomerang, have developed a loyal following and are pulling in crowds from all around. We've seen some of these multiple times and have had a blast reliving our youth on the dance floor. Boomerang has sold out every single show they've ever done - and last weekend they sold out a 550-seat venue to rave reviews and a jam-packed dance floor. Their second song at that show was a fabulous, accurate cover of Rose Garden's "Next Plane To London"! Now tell me another oldies cover band that plays the hits plus the Forgotten tracks.
So good to hear the Forgotten Hits "live" now, too!
David Lewis
I can assure you that it's happening a LOT!!!  We see more and more of this here locally, too ... oldies bands that are nailing the sounds of the '60's ... and featuring all kinds of Forgotten Hits mixed into their sets.  (In fact, several bands have sent us their playlists recently just to show us how eclectic these lists really are!)  And the BEST news is, the music is going over very well with the audience.  Oldies fans KNOW what they like ... and are tired of being force-fed the same couple of hundred songs again and again.  (kk)   

We recently told you about a new group here in Chicago called Crash Landing ... unfortunately, we missed their premier gig at Space ... but our FH Buddy Quent Lang tells us they, too, went over gangbusters ... and are lining up more gigs as we speak.  
The show was SOLD OUT. Awesome night. Several of the Forgotten Hits readers were there.
I'll keep you posted about our upcoming shows.  Thanks for the shout out.

This from Forgotten Hits Reader Dave Barry ... The Top Ten Post-1950's Novelty Tunes (as decided by The Huffington Post):
Personally, I've never considered "King Of The Road" a "novelty" song ... so I'm more than a little surprised to see it come in at #1 ... but some of these other tracks are fun.  (I especially liked Ray Stevens' reworking of his #1 Hit "The Streak"!)  kk

A short biography of the life and music career of Johnny Maestro (1939-2010) has been written by Brooklyn NY native Irene Brodsky.  Irene is a part-time faculty member of Brooklyn College CUNY.  She is a full time writer and this is her fourth published book.  It is now available at and at (which offers a 20% discount).
Lois Dixon
President, JohnnyMaestroFans on Yahoo! (Internet fan club) 

Hello Kent:
After hearing Scott Shannon play Evil Women by Crow yesterday it got me thinking of a couple of other ones you don't hear anymore.  I have two hits that were big here in the Midwest that I think Scott should play.
"Harlem Shuffle" by the Fabulous Flippers.  Big time great song, covered by the Stones no less, but this one is much better.  The other one is "Pain" by Michaels Mystics.  Put both of these in your play list for a while. 
Great channel, great web site Kent.
Thanks for the memories. 
Pete Heger
Wow ... I'm not familiar with EITHER of these tracks!  In order to qualify as a "Forgotten Hit", it has to be a record that folks will instantly remember, even if they haven't heard it played in 30-40 years!  That's the magic of some of these great, forgotten oldies ... they've been off the radio for DECADES yet you can still sing along with nearly every single word when you hear them again ... that "Wow! Factor" that we keep talking about.
Checking Joel Whitburn's latest "Top Pop Singles" book, I don't see that EITHER of these songs ever charted nationally ... (but thanks to Joel's new "Regional Hits" information, it looks like the Fabulous Flippers' version of "Harlem Shuffle" was big in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area back in 1966.  Says here it was a "live" version that was first released on the Quill record label, before Cameo - Parkway picked it up.  (Had to be one of their last releases, too!)  Normally, I'd feature it for you but it isn't on the Cameo-Parkway CD box set either.  (But I'm sure SOMEBODY out there has a copy to share!)  kk
I CAN feature this great Crow track, however!  Crow was VERY big here in Chicago ... and even bigger in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area (from whence they came!)  "Evil Woman, Don't Play Your Games With Me" was their biggest national hit, reaching #16 on the Cash Box Chart in 1970.  (It peaked at #6 here in Chicago.)  Just as big ... or bigger ... locally were "Cottage Cheese", their follow-up hit (#4 Chicago, #56 nationally) and "King Of Rock And Roll" (#13 Chicago, #40 nationally.)  Ages ago we featured the rare Ozzy Osborne / Black Sabbath version of "Evil Woman", too ... but here's the Crow Hit Version from 1970.

I’ll “see” the New Colony Six autographs you had in today’s column and “raise” you these two that I found in the bottom of my music machine.
Walt (Wally) Kemp

And this from a brand new reader who discovered Forgotten Hits through our Jimi Hendrix article ...
Well, hello!
Generally speaking, history is made by people whom listen to others, and I think Jimi Hendrix was a keen observer of life and reflecting it back at them.  Remember the 60's was a tumultuous period for the African-American, the ex-Viet Nam veteran, for women's liberation and Hendrix was more conveying those social themes through his music, so if you really take time to listen to the sounds he produces and let your imagination take you to those places you might recognize a little empathy within for what was happening back then ... but remember all good works of art cannot be fully assimilated in one viewing, for art allows many things once ugly to flower beautifully kind regards
Josh Manene   

And here's some GREAT news ... the online service "Eventful" announced this week that the most requested act to book for Chicago is ... BURTON CUMMINGS!!!  (I've gotta believe our coverage had something to do with that!!!)  Now we just have to wait.  (C'mon, Sam ... you've GOT to work something out on this!!!)  Would LOVE to see Burton live again ... a GREAT show ... and he'll be playing to a packed house.  Now we just wanna know when!!!  (kk) 

And, speaking of Burton Cummings, I just heard that Ron Onesti has booked Bachman - Turner into The Arcada Theatre!  More details coming up as we get them.  Also headlining soon ... Three Dog Night ... so stay tuned!  (kk)

Dear Fellow Beatles Fan:
     Roll Up Roll Up for the Mystery Tour, step right this way…  
for information on the one and only original Magical History Tour!  "It's getting better all the time!"
August 19 to August 29, 2012 
presented by Liverpool Productions / International Tours & Events
in association with The Cavern Club, Beatles Story, Cavern City Tours and
IN CELEBRATION of the 50th ANNIVERSARY of RINGO's first-ever show with THE BEATLES! 

Along with commemorating all the 50th anniversary events on our vacation, we are celebrating our THIRTIETH YEAR presenting tours to Liverpool! Our Magical History Tour is 11 Beatle-ful days in Liverpool, London & Scotland, from August 19-August 29 (but we can customize or modify your vacation should you wish to spend less days). You could even join us for Liverpool-only if you wish. Once again, we have kept our rates the lowest in the travel business despite rising costs. The price per person for Liverpool + London is still only $2999 including airfare from NYC!  Or you could fly on your own (land-package option) for only $2499 total per person. We also have flights from Chicago & L.A., and can customize tours from other cities.
In Liverpool, we will visit every imaginable site as we do every year, plus enjoy all the exclusive events our group is privy to. No other tour goes to all the places we go to, gets inside the places we have access to, and has as much fun! No other group works in conjunction with Cavern City Tours and Beatles Week to ensure admissions to everything, and front-row seats or V.I.P. perks to events. There will be many surprises and special guests, all of whom will be available for autographs and photos.
In London, we will be have our now-annual "Twist & Shout" Beatles party at The Hard Rock CafĂ©, where we'll eat, drink, dance, and visit the rarest memorabilia in "The Vault" with special celebrity guests. We will visit Abbey Road. In fact, we are the only tour group to ever have held actual recording sessions inside Abbey Road Studio 2. For activities in London and Liverpool, please refer to the past tour reports on our website, and know that we'll be adding new surprises. While you're on the website, we encourage you to read all the other great tour reports to give you a taste of some of the Fabtastic things we do on the tours.  Click here:
Special guests in the past reads like a Beatles who's-who including Pete Best, Cynthia Lennon, Mike McCartney, John Lennon's sister Julia, George's sister Louise Harrison, former Apple recording artist Jackie Lomax, former Wings members Danny Siewell-Denny Laine-Laurence Juber-Steve Holly-Hamish Stuart, Paul's guitarist Rusty Anderson, Beatles first manager Allan Williams, Billy J. Kramer, Sid Bernstein, Gerry Marsden, May Pang, Badfinger's Joey Molland, Klaus Voorman, Astrid Kirscher, Sam Leach, author Mark Lewisohn and others no longer with us such as Beatles chauffeur Alf Bicknell, Cavern DJ Bob Wooler, Ringo's step-dad Harry, John's Uncle Charlie Lennon and former Apple general manager (and Beatles buddy) Alistair Taylor. They were just a few of the celebrities we have met while on our vacations.
Oh yes, did we forget to brag that on past tours and promotions we have had close encounters with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Julian Lennon, Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison and George Martin?!   
America's greatest Beatle tribute bands join us too: 1964 The Tribute, The Fab Four, Rain, British Export, The Return, Penny Lane, Fab Faux, Tim Piper, BeatleMania, A Hard Night's Day, BritishMania, Instant Karma, The MerseyBeat, Abbey Road, Working Class Hero, American English and many more -- not to mention bands from all over the rest of the world who come to Liverpool to perform for us! No other organized tour brings along bands, no other tour generates as much fun, and no other tour is recognized by the city of Liverpool. 
For 2012, you will once again have the added option of staying over at the Hard Day's Night Hotel around the corner from the Cavern Club, with different themed rooms, and all the amenities a traveler could possibly want. 
Our "Magical History Tour" has been written about in national newspapers, in Beatles magazines, it's been talked about on radio stations worldwide, and has even been featured on television, most notably on the Travel Channel and the BBC! Your host, Charles Rosenay!!!, was the founder of the Beatles fan club magazine Good Day Sunshine, he produced Beatles conventions across the country for over 20 years, he has co-hosted Beatles specials on QVC-TV, and was featured in a video presentation at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, when it opened, as one of the world's most famous Beatles fans. Charles has also been one of the host/MCs at the Beatles stage of Liverpool's Mathew Street Music Festival. Charles and Danny, partners in Liverpool Productions and International Tours & Events LLC, are honored to be welcomed into Liverpool Town Hall by the city's Lord Mayor. No other tour group has received such a distinguished honor. Charles is pictured below with Paul and Linda at left and with the Lord Mayor and his wife.
The response to MMTour 2012 is incredible, and we expect a sell-out. Please note that 5 of the past 9 tours completely sold out. Don't miss out on what is the definitive fan tour celebration in all of Beatledom for THIRTY years. Accept no substitutes. We have space for you, AND WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU BOOK YOUR RESERVATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Below is a very abbreviated tentative itinerary of some of the bullet point highlights of the 2012 MMTour:
19 Aug Depart U.S. for the greatest vacation adventure of our lives!
20 Aug Arrive London - check into hotel - Day trip on luxury coach -
Evening activity - dinner at London's original Hard Rock Cafe
21 Aug London comprehensive Beatles sites all day including visit to Abbey Road! Cross the same road as The Beatles. Take pictures of the historic studio. Sign the Abbey Road wall. Go around the corner and visit Paul's Cavendish Street home.
Evening only free night in London - see a West End Show - visit a club - take another Beatles tour
22 Aug Depart London by coach via Henley with a visit to George Harrison's Friar Park home with time to visit the town, shop, check out the Henley bazaar/flea market, pay respects to Dusty Springfield at the Henley church where she's buried and have brunch in the town.
Depart Henley for Liverpool and check into hotel.
Evening at Cavern Club for Cavern 50th Anniversary of Granada TV's coverage ("Some Other Guy") & celebration of 50 yrs since Ringo played his 1st gig with The Beatles at The Cavern
23 Aug Full English Breakfast included.
Depart for Manchester - day-long coach tour visiting all the Beatles sites in Manchester commemorating The Beatles 50th Anniversary in Manchester
Evening return to Liverpool at night for "Viva Las Americas" concert with bands from North America (U.S. & Canada), South America & Central America.
24 Aug Full English Breakfast included.
Afternoon Beatles Week welcome party at the Alma De Cuba venue & visit to The Beatles Story Exhibition.
Evening "They Say It's Your Birthday" salute to Paul McCartney (who celebrates his 70th this year) show at Philharmonic Hall with McCartney tribute concert hosted by comedic impersonator Stevie Riks.
Late-night dancing and singing at the Adelphi Hotel.
25 Aug Full English Breakfast included.
Beatles Auction in the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).
Afternoon concert event in Port Sunlight at Hulme Hall celebrating 50th Anniversary of the very first venue Ringo played as a Beatles.
Evening "Live Peace in Liverpool" concert at Philharmonic Hall with Working Class Hero, Gary Gibson and other Lennon tributes artists.
Late-night "Beat Party" at the Adelphi featuring 20 bands from "across the universe."
26 Aug  Full English Breakfast included.
Day-long International Beatles Convention with Special Guests of Honor, Bands, rare video shows, the largest Beatles collectors marketplace in Europe and much more.
Evening V.I.P. concert party in Adelphi Hotel grand ballroom.
Midnight (very optional) annual "All Nighter" in the hotel's three separate convention ballrooms.
27 Aug  Full English Breakfast included.
Visit inside John & Paul's Beatle homes (Mendips & Forthlin Road) + Mathew Street Festival.
Late afternoon/early evening "50th Anniversary of The Beatles" concert spectacular at Philharmonic Hall
Followed by gala concert showcase headlined by one of Mersey's greatest bands The Searchers
28 Aug  Full English Breakfast included.
Exclusive all-day professionally-guided comprehensive Magical Mystery Tour of all the city's Beatles sites - including George & Ringo homes - schools, hang-outs, birthplaces, etc. - aboard the yellow MMT bus Late afternoon Ferry Cross The Mersey
Evening Farewell Party with Gerry Marsden/Gerry & The Pacemakers at the Cavern Club
29 Aug "There are places I remember..." Depart to airport for return flight home to the U.S.
We are the only company in the world that has brought thousands upon thousands of satisfied fans from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan and other countries to Liverpool on a regular basis for so many years. We are the only group officially recognized by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool for our efforts in bringing fans to the Beatles' city! We are very honored by this distinction, and we are proud to be the longest-running and most respected tour for Beatles fans anywhere! But mostly we are proud of the level of satisfaction among all our past travelers who all had the time of their lives. We can provide numerous references upon request.
If you would like further info, kindly email us your full name and address, and we will rush you printed materials on what is sure to be the greatest tour ever. Join us and be part of history; you'll have the time of your life! It's guaranteed to raise a smile! Reserve your space today.
Thank you & Cheers,
Charles F. Rosenay!!!, Danny Levine, Karen Garcia, Rene van Haarlem and Kelley in the office
“Magical History Tour” Liverpool Productions' "MMTour 2012" 
International Tours and Events, 315 Derby Avenue, Orange, CT 06477 USA
Phone: (203) 795-4737   Fax: (203) 891-8433  

MMTour: 1983-2012

The longest-running and greatest tour FOR Beatles fans,

organized and hosted BY Beatles fans

Kent ...
How ya doin'?
I was fortunate to be in the second row at Carnegie Hall when the BEATLES played their first show. Even before the concert begins, there’s a restless rumble in the crowd, the kind of reaction that usually precedes a revolution! 

Hi Kent - 
Furvus of The Fifth Estate here. 
I agree with you completely about Bob Leftshits' all too crude comments about the new Paul McCartney album!!  Oh pardon me, but the crudeness must be catching. Why do I call him Leftshits though?? First because he's not right. He is completely wrong, at least as to McCartney's album and in saying nobody gives a shit about it. I do and you do!  I know many others as well, and as good as it is, and about time for him to do this kind of thing, many many more will love it as it goes on here.  Spotify or no bloody Spotify!!  Not everything that is good necessarily goes screaming to the top of any charts, especially today.  Some of it takes a while to be appreciated and sell substantial numbers.  Paul is more aware of all this than any of us are, especially Mr. Leftshits there.
All this is more pressing and on my mind lately than for most probably, because with The Fifth Estate's
new record out, we are going through all the new thoughts on record releases almost exactly the same
as Paul is right now.  I'm sure. He has to be. There are no rules presently!! It's all brand new to all of us. 
So how can Bob Leftshits claim to KNOW them. I get his point about piracy, but there are many, many
considerations way beyond that from the artist's point of view. And the truly great thing in all this is that
the artist, for better or worse, gets to do what he "feels" is best, without some suit like BL there telling him what to do. What works for one may not and often will not work for another. There is enough change out there right now on the record release scene so that  all of us in the 5E band have had many a sleepless night over this and probably for Paul even more so. Although he doesn't need the money like we actually could use, he is a consummate professional and most assuredly wants the record to be great and successful.   Like Sachmo and Frank Sinatra before him, I'm sure Paul will do it his way, and his way hasn't been so bad  so far!!  AND Mr. BL is really nothing but just BS!
By the way we as a band on our current Time Tunnel album had a similar decision to make as Paul just did make on his latest.  We have guys in the band who have been successful on Broadway and in Hollywood voiceovers now. Me as a drummer, I have played easy jazz styles with The Brubecks and John Scohfield early on, just to mention a few.  We could easily have done a top notch smooth, easy listening album that would have sounded good in the background.  That was correct for Paul at this point, but for us where a lot of our music has not been out there as it should have been in past years, we wanted to be a bit more as people would have heard us then, back there in The Time Tunnel.  But bear with us. Why with a little of the support of all the readers like we really have been getting here on the present one, we also could easily get to an album something like what Paul just did here and we hope we do at some point. It's a very very great musical place!  Some of our earlier music was a lot like this anyway, orchestras and strings, more than most rock bands at the time.  But our newer one is doing
just great and getting better each day especially in Boston, LA, and Malta!!?? It's a great new world, but without order! 
Ken "Furvus" Evans
-- The Fifth Estate
Far be it from me to criticize (yeah, right!!!) ... but I may detect just a LITTLE bit of back-pedaling going on here from Bob Lefsetz regarding Sir Paul after the whole "Kisses On The Bottom" / Spotify thing we ran last week ...  

This is music's greatest night. If they dropped a bomb on the L.A. Convention Center, they'd have to start all over, the entire infrastructure of the mainstream music business would be wiped out. And you might not think that's a bad thing, but the old days are through, the labels no longer dominate, and it's not only business people in attendance, but stars too.
As for the music, McCartney BLEW EVERYBODY ELSE OFF THE STAGE!
After an introduction by the Cirque du Soleil acrobats, Paul and his band took the stage with a blistering rendition of "Magical Mystery Tour." This was like being jetted back to your high school bedroom, but having all of your dreams come true. It was mindbending, you couldn't help but smile. These songs are in our DNA and he couldn't have done it any better. We just weren't prepared.
And then he played "Junior's Farm."
I'm a fan. And it's great to hear the hits, but when semi-obscure nuggets are revealed, you feel that he's playing just for you. And I think he was, since most people in attendance sat down. But it wasn't as bad as it was during "1985." You know, the last track on "Band On The Run"! Well, turns out most people didn't know. Paul's banging the notes out on the piano and I'm in college, my whole life is scrolling by in my head, it's the essence of rock and roll.
But almost everybody else ... Wasn't so good.
Duane Eddy did a killer take on "And I Love Her," Diana Krall revealed the subtleties in "For No One" and James Taylor needed no teleprompter for "Yesterday."
Yes, most of the acts were reading the lyrics, which made their performances somewhat perfunctory, the less said the better.
Except for Neil Young.
He took the stage with Crazy Horse. And did a turn on "I Saw Her Standing There" that took you right back to the basement, back in '64, after you bought "Meet The Beatles" and a guitar and began to play, too. I bet there wasn't a baby boomer in the room who didn't have this experience. It was raucous, it was all about emotion, it garnered a standing ovation.
But once again, when Paul took the stage, he just blew everybody away.
Yes, he played some new material, and I'd love to tell you it killed, but ...
But he did play the medley from the second side of "Abbey Road" and jammed with Joe Walsh and Dave Grohl at the end. He was having fun.
And fun is the one thing that money can't buy.
And this was the best MusiCares ever.
Backstage, Scott Rodger ,Paul's manager, told me how McCartney cold-called him. You think you have to work it, that's the only way you'll be recognized, if you dun people to death. But Stella called a friend, looking for help, who recommended Scott, and as they say, the rest is history. Hype rarely works in today's market, it's all about the work, and Scott's working 'round the clock, that's the nature of the music business.
Hours after the show ended, who comes striding through the room but Paul and Nancy.
So we're shaking hands and I tell him how much I loved hearing "Junior's Farm" and how I told Abe that the hit single was live, how rare that was, and Paul corrected me, no that's COMING UP!
Of course he was right.
But it was one in the morning and it was so long ago and he shouldn't have even been listening to me, he should have just been pressing the flesh.
But the greats are on it all the time.
And there's no one greater than Paul McCartney.
-- Bob Lefsetz
Kent ...
Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John are slated to sing at 60th Anniversary Show at Buckingham Palace.  Click to find out who else will be there.

Frank B.

Anyone who collects the obscure 45 in earnest might know (or SHOULD know) Frank Merrill.  He has stopped here in Lincoln a couple of times to chat over the years and my collection has benefited greatly by knowing this man.  He just issued his new list of 45s and I found some cool stuff on there that might be interesting to FH readers.
First off, this 45 listing:
MARVIN GAYE & MARY WELLS [motown 1057, VG+ PS] Once Upon A Time / What’s The Matter With You, Baby [vg+  $10] [m- $14]

I nominate this as the MOST FORGOTTEN “TOP 20” OLDIE **IN ROCK AND ROLL HISTORY** EVER!!!  In the 47+ years since this was released, I have ABSOLUTELY NEVER, EVER heard either side of this on any RADIO station!!!Actually, I have this 45 with sleeve and have NEVER heard it on radio even back then!
How about this 45 below?  I saw this listed and thought, I gotta know more.  WHY did someone name their group the New Conally 5?  It had to be a tribute to the New Colony 6, right?  Actually, I did not find this mentioned, but I assume it really must be in some small way.  Pretty cool!  I guess it is really the Lyres and their main member is Jeff Conally!  Anyway, I found the below info and you can download the song for FREE!  Hey, maybe THAT is an NC6 reference too?  "Free" was a single by the off shoot "Raymond James Michael" and on LONDON!  Anyway, Ray Graffia should get a kick out of this!

Lyres / New Conolly 5 – Now I've Got A Witness / Stoned 

Group member is Jeff Conolly.  Lyres release on the Rolling Stones Singles series on NY label Norton Records. Both tracks were recorded around 1991 and then released on Lyres third album 'Happy Now'; despite this, b side is credited to The New Conolly 5 (a joke moniker used for this release in this series intended to be 'split' singles). Issued in stock company cover.
Download for FREE!
Lastly, he also makes mention of a radio show I do not remember but is apparently now available.  THIS OLD BOY JUST GOT VERY EXCITED!!!!  I took a short break, and I just now found out that the 55-HOUR rock and roll documentary “THE POP CHRONICLES” is entirely available for listening on the Internet!  It can all be heard at this link:
For about forty years I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about this program, which was only broadcast on KRLA in Los Angeles and it was NOT SYNDICATED, therefore I never heard this 1969 program.  I was fortunate enough to hear THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, though, which was ALSO on the radio in early 1969.  Without that, it’s very doubtful that I would have ever gone into selling records.  It was a “perfect storm” because I heard that 48-hour opus, and I “discovered” thrift shops as a source for records, almost simultaneously.  COPY AND PASTE THAT LINK INTO YOUR BROWSER, it is easier than me making this a page with HTML.  I am into the third hour, now.  I am very happy finally to hear this documentary.  WHAT A TREAT!
IF you'd like to check out his sale and site, find it at: and tell him Clark sentcha. 

re:  THE OTHER I.R.S.: 
For the fifth consecutive year, Rich Appel is collecting your votes for the songs YOU think SHOULD have been a Top Ten Hit.  (Hence the title I.R.S. ... as in It Really Shoulda ... Been A Top Ten Hit!)
Many of our readers have stuffed Rich's ballot box in the past ... and we're hoping you'll take some time to vote for your favorites again this year, too.
All of the details (plus a link to the results from the previous four polls) can be found here:
By the way, I'll be guesting on Rich's Radio Show later this month (Sunday, the 26th) as part of his "One Hit Wonders At One" feature.  More details to come ... but you can check out Rich's programs every weekend right here:
Psychedelic Surf Music Legend Merrell Fankhauser's 'Best Of Tiki Lounge'
Volumes 1 & 2 DVDs Now Available on Gonzo MultiMedia
2/10/2012 - London, UK - Hailed as the godfather of surf music, legendary Merrell Fankhauser, who has led one of the most diverse and interesting careers in music, has released 'Best Of The Tiki Lounge' volumes 1 & 2 DVDs, featuring performances from his famed TV show 'Tiki Lounge', on UK's Gonzo MultiMedia. Merrell Fankhauser is considered one of the main innovators of surf music and psychedelic folk rock, and is widely known as the leader of the instrumental surf group The Impacts who had the international hit “Wipeout”. His travels from Hollywood to his 15 year jungle experience on the island of Maui have been documented in numerous music books and magazines in the US and Europe. Merrell has gained legendary international status throughout the field of rock music; his credits include over 250 songs published and released.
Merrell Fankhauser has presented a number of television programs over the years including 'California Music', 'Route 66 TV Live', and in 2001 he began hosting a music show called 'Tiki Lounge' that airs on the California Central Coast, Southern California, Hawaii and parts of the East Coast. 'The Best Of The Tiki Lounge' volumes 1 & 2 feature highlights from Merrell's cable TV show. Volume One features Merrell performing alongside other music artists, such as Willie Nelson, Randy California, Dick Dale and Nicky Hopkins. The DVD also includes clips from Merrell's Birthday Boogie with Mary Ramsey of 10.000 Maniacs, Fito De La Parra of Canned Heat, Ed Cassidy of Spirit and many others! Joined once again by former Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy, along with John Cipollina, Mark Tullin and others, the 'Best Of The Tiki Lounge' Volume Two features new original songs by Fankhauser, including “The Whole Day Ahead of Us”. Also in this volume, Merrell takes an expedition into the Nevada desert to the edge of the secret airbase Area 51 in search of UFOs.
To purchase Merrell Fankhauser 'Best Of Tiki Lounge' DVDs

Visit the official Merrell Fankhauser website at

I know I've covered this a couple of times before ... but I need to point it out again ...
If you want me to see something that's in ANY way time sensitive (particularly as it relates to an upcoming appearance, radio program, new release, etc, etc, etc.), the BEST way to reach me is ALWAYS at the address ... it is the ONLY email I check EVERY SINGLE DAY.  While some of you have other email addresses on file for me ... (I still get mail at our old The60sShop address ... the short-lived gmail address ... once in a while to my personal email ... and even the main website web address of ... the BEST way is ALWAYS the email.
I point this out again because in the past couple of weeks I've found several emails that absolutely WOULD have made our Forgotten Hits postings had I only seen them in time ... but by the time I got around to reading mail sent to these other addresses ... (which is quite often only once a week or a couple of times a month) ... the events had already passed and we weren't able to alert other interested readers in time to actually enjoy them.
So PLEASE update your address books to show the email address as the PRIMARY way to reach me.
Thanks, Gang!  (And now on with the show ...) kk