Saturday, March 17, 2012


Wrapping things up with today's special


Here's a GREAT video done by the cast of "American Idiot" ...

Featuring the GREEN DAY Classic "21 Guns"!!!

(This is MUST viewing if you've never seen it ...

... looks like there are over NINE MILLION folks ahead of you in line!!!)

It's OUR way of wrapping up our very own GREEN DAY ...

with GREEN DAY!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Everybody!!!



We'll be posting "GREEN" tunes all day long today on The Forgotten Hits Website ... 

So check back often!!!

(And don't forget to check today's SOUND ADVICE Column for a couple more GREEN / Saint Patrick's Day tunes!!!)

Reaching all the way back to the '50's for this batch of tunes ...

First up, the timeless classic "Greenfields" by The Brothers Four, a #2 Hit in 1956 ...

Followed up by the chart-topping novelty hit by Jim Lowe, "The Green Door", also from 1956 ...

And then the eternal hit "Greensleeves" as done by The Beverly Sisters ... it eeked its way into The Top 40 (at #40) back in 1957!



We'll be posting "GREEN" tunes all day long today on The Forgotten Hits Website ... 

So check back often!!!

Here are a couple of "Classic Rock" classics ...

The timeless "Green Eyed Lady" by Sugarloaf
(a #3 Smash in 1970) ...


and the equally classic "Green River"
by Creedence Clearwater Revival,
a #2 Hit in 1969! 



We'll be posting "GREEN" tunes all day long today on The Forgotten Hits Website ... 

So check back often!!!

(And be sure to check our SOUND ADVICE Column today, too, for MORE St. Patrick's Day fun!)

You can't do GREEN SONGS and not feature this #1 Hit from 1968 ...
Of course I'm talking about "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers!!!

And let's not forget THIS great hit from 1963 by The New Christy Minstrels (featuring our FH Buddy Barry McGuire) ...
Not to be redundant, but it's "Green Green" ... a #14 Hit that year ...
And their biggest chart hit of all time!



We'll be posting "GREEN" tunes all day long today on The Forgotten Hits Website ... 

So check back often!!!

Here's our mini-Chicagoland salute to "Think Green" ...

First up ... "Green Light" by The American Breed ...
Their 1968 follow-up hit to "Bend Me, Shape Me",
which reached #30 all on its own that Spring.

And then ... with a little bit of a stretch ....
But SO worth it ('cause it's such a great song!!!)
Our buddies The Cryan' Shames and their 1968, #73 Hit
"Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles David Smith and Jones"!!!



We'll be posting "GREEN" tunes all day long today on The Forgotten Hits Website ... 

So check back often!!!

(And be sure to check today's SOUND ADVICE column, too!)

Of course we ALL know "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the MG's ...
It's been used in COUNTLESS movies, commercials, television shows and promotions over the years ...
And you're still likely to hear this one every single day on the radio ...

But does anybody out there remember "The Green Mosquito" by The Tune Rockers?!?!?  It was a #40 Hit in 1958 ... and has fallen off the radar ever since!

It's our "Instrumental Green" for the day!!!



We'll be posting "GREEN" tunes all day long today on The Forgotten Hits Website ... 

So check back often!!!

Kicking things off with a little "Green Grass" Two-Fer ...

First up ... Gary Lewis and the Playboys and their #8 Hit from 1966, 
"Green Grass" ...

Followed by Tom Jones and his #10 Hit from the following year, "The Green, Green Grass Of Home"

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Got this note from singer / songwriter (and Forgotten Hits Reader) Paul Evans just in time for St. Patrick's Day ...

Hi Kent!
Here's "The Wearin' of the Green" from my 1960 Carlton Records' album, FOLK SONGS OF MANY LANDS

We'll kick things off with this one ...

Then be sure to check back throughout the day for MORE GREEN selections!

And check out our SOUND ADVICE Column today, too ...

It's more of our St. Patty's Day salute ...

Watch for a special Sunday Edition of SOUND ADVICE, too,

Along with your weekly dose of Sunday Comments!

(Gotta go watch "Darby O'Gill" now!!!  lol)

Friday, March 16, 2012

More of the Monkees

As times get tougher, I find myself selling back pieces of my life ... and with so much recent outpouring of love and affection for all things Monkees, I've decided to part with my personal Monkees picture sleeve collection.  (Trust me, this is a tough and painful decision ... but there are some REAL hard-to-find rarities here ... and these are in exceptionally good condition.  If this goes well, I may follow suit with other artist collections in the months to come ... as necessary ... so stay tuned!)  kk
Last Train To Clarksville (Colgems 1001)
The first Monkees single was actually released with TWO different Picture Sleeves ...
A full-color, slick paper stock version (with a strip along the bottom encouraging fans to "Write to The Monkees Fan Club") ... and a "paper" version with a sepia-tone photo of the band.  We've got 'em both.  VG+ condition on each (with a little bit of ringwear showing on the color version)
I'm A Believer  (Colgems 1002)  VG++
Pleasant Valley Sunday / Words  (Colgems 1007)  VG+  (The sleeve itself is in great shape ... but there's a small staple hole in one corner and a not-so-completely removed sticker in the other, on top of the Colgems logo)
Daydream Believer (Colgems 1012)  stills from "The Rainbow Room" that we told you about a week or two ago.  VG+
D.W. Washburn  (Colgems 1023)  A beautiful sleeve ... and damn near mint
The Porpoise Song  (Colgems 1031)  A tough sleeve to find in good condition ... because of the solid black background, nearly every one I've ever seen has had a significant amount of ringwear ... this one has NONE but does have a bit of a "wave" to it ... still a solid VG+
Tear Drop City  (Colgems 5000)  Another tough one to find, this one's a very strong VG++ / M-
Someday Man  (Colgems 5004)  Probably the weakest in the bunch ... quite a bit of ringwear and record impression on both sides)  I'd have to call this one VG (although the sleeve itself is in pretty good shape)
Good Clean Fun  (Colgems 5005) VG+ with a couple of very small scuffs and tears on one side ... but another very hard one to find.
Oh My My  (Colgems 5011)  Solid VG++ / M-  (The Monkees were down to two at this point ... but this sleeve features GREAT shots of Micky and Davy on the full color cover ... perhaps their rarest sleeve.)  
The running joke in the industry at the time ... as the group kept getting smaller and smaller ... was that whoever was left would eventually release a record as "The Monkee"!!!
That Was Then, This Is Now  (Arista 9505)  Solid VG++
Daydream Believer  (Arista 9532)  '80's reissue (with original artwork reproduced on one side ... and a promo for their "Then And Now / Best Of" album on the other.  Flipside of this single was "Randy Scouse Git" from "Headquarters".   Nice sleeve ... VG++ / M-
Every Step Of The Way  (Rhino 74410)  Hard-Cover sleeve, M-
Heart And Soul  (Rhino 74408)  Another cool sleeve that's a bit hard to find, M-
(Records included on the last two)
The Monkees EP  (Colgems 101) Hard-Cover EP sleeve from their first LP ... includes the rare 33 1/3" single featuring Theme from The Monkees / I Wanna Be Free / Take A Giant Step and three others ... I can't tell you what the three others are without playing it because THIS record has the Side 1 label affixed to BOTH sides!!!  lol  Still quite a rarity.  The sleeve is a solid VG++ ... the record itself looks to be a VG to VG+
More Of The Monkees EP  (Colgems 102)  Hard Cover EP sleeve from their second LP ... again, WITH the record featuring I'm A Believer / Mary Mary / When Love Comes Knocking At Your Door / Steppin' Stone / The Kind Of Girl I Could Love / She.  Sleeve is VG++ / M-; record looks to be VG+ ... and this one even comes with jukebox strips!!!
Cereal Box Record (#3), featuring Papa Gene's Blues.  Cardboard record from a series of 4 releases in this edition.
Cereal Box Record (#4) featuring Valleri.  Cardboard record from a series of 4 releases, but of an entirely different series.
Christmas Is My Time Of Year  (Record and Picture Sleeve)  Released in 1986 as "We Three Monkees", this is the sleeve AND record ... both in VG++ shape (except somebody wrote their name on the back of the sleeve!)
Again, all items sold ONLY as a set ... $1250.  Drop me a line if you're interested.  (These items have NOT gone up for sale through any other means at this point in time ... we're trying this method first.  If this works out, watch for other special offers in the future via Kenny The K's Swap and Shop!!!  lol)
It makes me feel so good to see so many people express their love for Davy Jones.  He was a cool cat, a great singer, and a fantastic performer, and he deserves all the tributes he can get.  Yes, it's maddening that The Monkess aren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - I really don't want to believe that Jann Wenner is STILL pissed about the studio musician thing.  He should have left those ridiculous thoughts behind in the closet he came out of.  I guess us Monkees fans have to have an "Occupy Roling Stone" event to get them in.
I was checking out, and I saw that the 1972 Bell Records solo album that contains "Rainy Jane" is selling for $150.  I bought it from Abbey Road Records in Washington back in high school, along with the Capitol release of "Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart" for $20, total.  I'm glad to see them back on the charts again, just too bad it's for Davy's demise.  The Monkees, and Davy (or, as Davy said his Japanese fans pronounced it, 'Daby, Daby, Daby!') will always be too cool for school.  Save the Texas Prairie Chicken!  Later, Kent. 
If anybody's going to hide behind the studio musician thing, then they'd better un-induct The Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys, The Byrds and about half of the other artists in there.  You can't have a different set of rules or criteria based on the artist.  According to all that I've heard and read, The Monkees were "black-listed" by Wenner YEARS ago ... implying that OTHER members of the nominating and voting committee believed they belonged there ... but Jann put the kibosh on the idea.  Perhaps now in light of all this new "love and affection" being shown the group ... including front page coverage by Wenner himself ... they'll FINALLY get their due.  What a RIDICULOUS shame (or would that be sham?!?!?) that it took Davy's death to finally get this done.  (kk)
Recently, CBS Sunday Morning had a story on Davy's death, but again, they played only two songs that DAVY sang lead on.  How hard is it to do some research and play songs he sang?  No one Plays "A Little Bit Me" on their tributes on TV.  I see the fluff piece on Davy in People, but it IS good they gave him a front page like the 60's teen mags.  The comment underneath saying he changed music is TRUE.  HE and the MONKEES changed the face of music -- good or bad.  Back then and in retrospect now, I think for the good.  It was just plain GREAT music!  I am happy to see their songs back on the playlists, although with Monkees fans being somewhat like Elvis fans in ways, I can see some people downloading the songs for .99 cents (that would be like buying a 45 for 10 cents in the 60's) just to pay tribute even tho they may have already had the MP3s.  As far as the Rolling Stone thing, yes, that is a bit weird having them pay tribute after their 60's snub. 
Clark Besch
Weirder yet, did you read the Mike Nesmith interview in Rolling Stone?  Where he says that in HIS mind Davy WAS The Monkees ... and the rest of them were just his back-up band?!?!  Where the hell did THAT come from!?!?!?  Nesmith probably executed more control than all of the other Monkees combined ... and regularly had his compositions featured on each and every LP.  And Micky sang more leads than Davy.  Was Davy the heart-throb teen idol figure?  Sure ... that's why he always had those glistening stars in his eyes every time he saw a pretty girl.  But the others were hardly his "back-up" band.  (There IS some truth to the fact that Davy pretty much had the gig from the beginning ... I've heard that numerous times before ... yet we've shown you video proof that he also went through the auditioning screening process just like everybody else ... so I can't say with all certainty that it was a "given" ... I think it was just something they were hoping they could make work ... and obviously it did!)  One could argue that the show was built around Davy ... but the concept all along was for a "group", based more so on the antics of The Beatles in THEIR romp "A Hard Day's Night".  (kk)
Yeah, I DID read that!  When you read Andrew Sandoval's book on the day to day Monkees activities back in 66, you would know that Nesmith was doing all he could to be writing and arranging Monkees tunes before the TV show even aired!  YES, Davy was the idol of the bunch, but almost EVERY Monkees member was on every teen mag all of the time and I am not remembering at all that Davy was more popular than the others -- and I have 100's of those teen mags still!  He certainly was NOT the lead on most of their biggest hits, but was VERY important as a singer and "cute" Monkee.  I think Nesmith was being Nesmith -- tell Rolling Stone whatever he wants to tell them and not necessarily what really happened.  Why not?  The Hall of Fame is a RS sham and he would know it for sure. 
I think there was a certain push to have Davy be the teen idol / sex symbol of the band by the teen magazines ... he was always played up as the cute one and, while the others certainly had their share of magazine covers, I personally think Davy had them all beat by a very large margin.  Hey, it was all part of marketing the band ... and everybody benefited from it.  (What was it I read the other day?  Something about Micky being the most sexually active of The Monkees ... but Davy being the sex symbol that brought the girls in, ultimately allowing Micky to make his moves?!?!?  Crazy times to be sure!)  kk
Where to begin ... probably like everybody else ... when I was a young fan of the Monkees.  We all were unexplainably drawn to their crazy antics, screaming girls and pre-MTV-style concert footage.  The music was infectious and it sure wasn't the shows' plots that kept me engaged.  As unique as each Monkee was, Davy was the most endearing.  His natural qualities as a human being transcended into his character.
I was fortunate to work with Davy on many occasions.  Each time we got together, I was met with a warm embrace and his own impersonation of my Chic-ah-go style "How ya doin'".  He really loved coming back to Chicago, marveling at the deep-dish pizza and the sincere love his midwest fans always showed him.
The first time I brought him to my Arcada Theatre, he fell in love with the City of St. Charles. He would ask me to bring him in a day or two early just so he could check out the town.  Many times he was spotted just walking down Main Street and chatting with the shop owners.
He loved our former restaurant, The Onesti Dinner Club, that was built within a 160 year old church.  He had purchased an old church, but really did not know what to do with it.  One look at our place and his face truly lit up.  We would spend hours talking about ways of re-creating what we had done at his place.
Then there was the time I brought him back on stage after one of his fabulous concerts.  As he genuinely thanked the standing ovation, he said, "Ron, this audience is tremendous!  I would love to hug you all!"  He then retreated to the dressing room.  I walked in and reminded him of the meet and greet he was to do.  He said, "Oh yeah.  What have ya got, 15 or 20 folks?"  I said, "Well my friend, you just told 900 fans that you wanted to hug them.  I've got 900 people waiting in the theatre for their hug ... nobody is leaving!"  So for the next four hours, Davy smiled and posed and signed.  Entertainers rarely do anything like that these days.
I was on the phone with my "big sister" Deana Martin, Dean Martin's daughter one day.  I told her that Davy was coming to the theatre and she told me that Davy actually only had one major girlfriend on the show ... and it was her!  She also said they had a little fling off screen, too.  She promised to send me the clip from the show.
So the last time he was by me, I once again asked him to join me back on stage after another superb performance.  I told him I had a little surprise for him.  I brought our 40 foot screen down and played the clip from the show that he and Deana sat staring into each other's eyes while stars were shooting out.  The crowd roared and he somewhat embarrassingly smiled.
I asked him who the girl was and he replied,"That was actually Dean Martin's daughter, Deana.  What a lovely girl she was."  I asked him if had kept in touch with the daughter of the legend.  He said, "I haven't seen her in 40 years.  I would love to see her again."
At that moment the big screen was raised and there she stood, arms outstretched, and her gleaming smile.  His jaw dropped and they rushed to hug each other.  They then sang the Dean Martin classic Everybody Loves Somebody together.  A truly incredible moment and one of the best memories I have in my 30 year career.
But that was Davy.  Each moment spent with him, whether you were one on one with him, or part of the throngs of fans singing along with him, was special.  Aside from the fact that I literally saw eye to eye with him, I always valued the time we spent driving to see Dick Biondi at the radio station, or going out to eat as much, if not more so, than his time on our stage.
Of course, his memory will live on in his music and on tv.  The entertainment industry lost a small-framed giant this leap-year February 29.  It was Davy that helped me realize that I am a good dad to my seven year old daughter.  A Monkees song came on in the car and she said, "That's Davy Jones!"  If I have had anything to do with perpetuating his memory to the next generation, I have truly shown my appreciation for Davy.
What was most amazing to me was how  warm he remained in a business that he felt kind of left him behind.  He would tell me stories of the show making millions, but he and the guys each making $500 a week.  It was the fans that really kept him going all those years.  He loved giving back to his fans, knowing the jockey from Manchester made so many people happy.
Thank you, my friend.  As you take your "last train," remember that you have enlightened our lives, and you will be missed. 
Anytime anybody asks me how  "I'm doin'," I'll think of you.
Ron Onesti
Onesti Entertainment / The Arcada Theatre
The Arcada Theatre, 105 Main Street, St. Charles, IL 

Davy Jones with Ron Onesti

Davy Jones' Family says their final goodbyes to the former Monkee in Manchester, England -- R.I.P., Davy
Frank B.
Interesting to see Micky's comment about the three surviving Monkees getting back together to perform at a New York service for their former comrade ... I've got mixed emotions on that whole idea.
(More on Micky's latest activities below!)  kk

Hi Kent,
Where else could go with this question other than the Forgotten hits site, right?
I saw in the Sunday Comments that the Monkees out sold the Stones and the Beatles in 1967.  I've seen that before, too, but I've always wondered how many songs did the
Stones and Beatles release in that year versus how many the Monkees released.
Could the lack of releases versus the flooding the market with releases the Monkees seemed to do in 1967 scue those numbers?
The Monkees were INCREDIBLY popular in 1967 ... and yes, they released a tremendous amount of product that year.  (FOUR Monkees albums topped the charts in 1967 ... their LP debut "The Monkees" was still #1 on the charts when the year began, only to be displaced in the top spot by their follow up album, "More Of The Monkees", which then topped the charts for another incredible 18 weeks, giving The Monkees a 31 week consecutive lock on the #1 Album position!
In June, "Headquarters" spent a week at #1.  The Pre-Fab Four closed out the year on top, too, with their latest release, "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd.", which spent another five weeks on top of the charts, giving The Monkees an incredible THIRTY WEEKS at #1 during 1967 alone.  (Add in the first seven weeks of their debut album's run at #1 in 1966 and that's an amazing 37 weeks on top of the charts ... an incredible 62% of the year holding down the #1 position for that time period!!!)
What did The Beatles do that year?  Well, the album that knocked "Headquarters" out of the top spot was a little thing you may remember called "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"!!!  "Pepper" topped the charts for a total of fifteen weeks, still three weeks shy of The Monkees' second album.  The Beatles would knock them out of the #1 spot once again when their "Magical Mystery Tour" soundtrack album replaced "Pisces" at the top of the charts at the turn of the calendar page, circa 1968.
As for The Rolling Stones ... they had no #1 albums in 1967 ... between The Monkees and The Beatles ruling the charts, that only left EIGHT WEEKS for any other artist to bask in the glory ... and those eight weeks were spread out between Diana Ross and the Supremes (and their Greatest Hits album, which spent five weeks at #1), Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe" (two weeks at #1) and a week at the top for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass album "Sounds Like".
The Stones reached #2 with "Between The Buttons" and "Their Satanic Majesties Request" (which also peaked at #2 the following year).
On the singles chart, The Monkees scored Top 40 Hits with "I'm A Believer" (#1 for seven weeks) and its flip-side "Steppin' Stone" (#20), "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" (#1) and ITS flip-side "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" (#39), another two-sided hit with "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (#3) and "Words" (#5) and the #1 Hit "Daydream Believer" wrapping up the year.
The Beatles hit #1 with "Penny Lane", "All You Need Is Love" and "Hello Goodbye" ... and the B-Sides of all three of those singles also charted ("Strawberry Fields Forever", #8, "Baby, You're A Rich Man", #34 and "I Am The Walrus", #46).
Comparatively speaking, 1967 was not a banner year for The Rolling Stones ... but they still placed four sides on the chart that year, including the #1 Hit "Ruby Tuesday", followed by "Let's Spend The Night Together" (#28), "Dandelion" (#6) and "We Love You" (#50), which just happened to feature a couple of The Beatles on background vocals!
While I don't have actual "official" sales figures, it looks like "Between The Buttons" and "Their Satanic Majesties Request" both went gold, "Sgt. Pepper" went platinum eleven times over (but that includes all sales SINCE 1967, too) and "Magical Mystery Tour" has sold upwards of six million copies since it was first released.  The Monkees sold five million copies of each of their first two LPs and two million each of "Headquarters" and "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd."
Heading back to the singles charts, The Beatles went gold with all three of their single releases, The Stones struck gold with "Ruby Tuesday" and The Monkees reached gold status with all four of their new single releases.
Going strictly from memory (having been there!), it was DEFINITELY The Monkees' year, hands down.  Actual physical sales and chart statistics would indicate that if they didn't outsell The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, it had to be pretty damn close!  (kk)

NY – Monkee - MICKY DOLENZ was in New York last week reading for a possible new role in GARAGE BAND, produced and directed by Ken Davenport. The play’s reading was held at club Ha! Comedy Club in New York City.
Seen after the reading (L - R): Dolenz agent Ken Melamed, from the Bret Adams Ltd. agency; Dolenz; and, fellow cast member Donnie Kehr.
And, speaking of "Garage Bands" ...
re:  GARAGE BANDS:Hi Kent -
Getting back to Question Mark and the Mysterians, their backgrounds must still be a mystery since the "master" doesn't know.
Just a thought, I think the two best Garage Band  Songs came out the same year
1966:  96 Tears and Gloria by the Shadows of Knight.
Would be interesting to see some of your readers favorite Garage Band Songs.
Keep up the Great Work!!!
Well, we did our Psychedelic Poll a few years back ... I don't see why we couldn't put together a Garage Band Poll, too.  My fear is that many of these bands would be so obscure that we might not be able to find musical selections for all of them!  And the line between garage band and psychedelia seems to have blurred and blended into what we now refer to as "nuggets" these days ... quite honestly, it might be difficult to make a distinction between the two.  But hey, I'm up for anything.  (Maybe we can enlist our buddy Mike Dugo, who runs the 60's Garage Bands website, to assist us with this project ... what do you say, Mike???)  kk

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Bobby ... And Roger McGuinn (?!?!?)

Your 60's Flashback about Bobby Darin was incredibly interesting, especially his relationship with Sinatra. One thing you might not know about Bobby was his close relationship with Roger McGuinn: After hired as a sideman by the Limeliters and the Chad Mitchell Trio, and producing for Judy Collins (he produced her early 60's album that included "Turn, Turn, Turn"), Bobby hired Roger (Jim) to play guitar and sing backup harmonies as Bobby wanted to add some folk roots to his repertoire. Unfortunately, about a year and a half after Roger began his relationship with Bobby, Darin became seriously ill and retired from singing. Bobby then opened T.M. Music in the legendary Brill Building in New York City, hiring Roger as a song writer for $35.00 a week!!!
And just a sidenote on Roger, Feb 8th was my 63rd B-day and I was asked to fill in for Mornings on KIGN-FM for a Morning Guy that lost his voice. Wouldn't you know it, I was on live from 6 -10 am, at about 6:08 the station phone rang and on the other end of the line was Roger wishing me a Happy B-Day! He had just finished a gig on the West Coast and he and his wife Camilla were on their way driving back to their home in Florida. Talk about a pleasant surprise! It definitely made my day!
"Wild" Bill Cody
VERY Cool, Wild Bill! Here's how we covered the Bobby Darin / Roger McGuinn connection in our series way back when:
In late 1962, Bobby Darin went to see Lenny Bruce perform at The Crescendo in Los Angeles.  The Chad Mitchell Trio were the opening act that night and Bobby fell in love with the stylings of their guitarist.  In fact, after the show was over, he went backstage to meet the band and offered the guitar player DOUBLE what he was currently making to join his own back-up band.  As it turned out, the guitarist was bored with the music of The Chad Mitchell Trio ... and was already considering an offer to join The New Christy Minstrels.  Darin persuaded him that he would be lost in the crowd of such a large outfit and that he would be better served "hooking up with me."   And, that's how it came to be that future-Byrd Roger McGuinn began playing guitar for Bobby Darin!
McGuinn takes credit for first introducing Bobby Darin to the music of Bob Dylan ... all the more fitting in that The Byrds launched their career with a cover of the Dylan song "Mr. Tambourine Man".  Likewise, Bobby's philosophy on rock and roll is said to have influenced Roger McGuinn, prompting The Byrds to plug in their guitars and perform "electric" folk music, something that Dylan himself would later go on to do. 
While McGuinn's time in Bobby Darin's back-up band was short-lived (he was also employed as a staff-writer at Darin's Trinity Music Publishing Company ... but would soon leave to pursue his own musical interests, ultimately forming The Byrds and helping to set off the folk / rock phase!), Bobby continued to stay in touch with Roger over the years and never lost respect for him as an artist.  He also wished him well in all of his musical endeavors ... and never begrudged him for trying to make his own name in the music business.  (He also never stopped considering opportunities for the two of them to work together again either!)
In 1966, Bobby got the idea to make his own movie ... a film that was to be called "The Vendors" ... and he worked on it on and off for the next several years.  Although the film never really materialized, Darin poured vast amounts of his time and money into the making of the film, which was never released.  From the sounds of things, this is GOOD news ... the film was reportedly a disaster!
At first, Bobby considered Roger McGuinn for the lead role.  (Of course by 1966, Roger was already leading The Byrds during their biggest moment in the sun and the move really wouldn't have made much sense.)  However, early on (while Roger was still playing guitar in Bobby's band), he had once told Bobby that he wanted to get into movies ... and Darin considered THIS role to be the perfect springboard for a film career ... hell, it had already worked for him!  In Bobby's mind, why COULDN'T Roger do both ... and be a success at both!  So he set up a filming date to see if Roger could handle the part.  When all was said and done, the role of a heroin addict / junkie wasn't something Roger McGuinn wanted to be associated with for the rest of his career and, at the very last minute, he backed out.  When word got back to Bobby, Darin sent him the bill for a lost day of shooting!  (kk)
LOL:  At this rate, if this keeps up, we'll have rerun our entire Bobby Darin Series (albeit out of chronological order!) on the website pretty soon!  That's OK ... you guys really seem to like these excerpts ... so we'll feature them when we can (until the whole thing ultimately gets posted.)
Here's another cool Roger McGuinn clip where he recounts his amazing history ...
Hey y'all:
There's a good friend of mine on my "Byrds Enthusiasts" Facebook page who just posted this video of Roger McGuinn on "The Midnight Special".  It's an interview and his song "Take Me Away" circa '75 ... get aload of Roger's hair!
To date, this has been seen by ONE person in the entire world, ME!
So you are one of the first to view this!
"Wild" Bill Cody
"Eight Miles High" was The Byrds' (and final) top 20 hit.
But why were there two versions of the song?
Why was it briefly banned from radio?
And which famous musician's instrument is emulated in it?
Kent ...
I thought you might find this interesting.  
I'm reading Freddy Cannon's book "Where The Action Is!"
Page 154 - He compares the deaths of Elvis and Bobby.  
In Bobby's case , there wasn't much that he could have done to have avoided his fate. On the other hand, Elvis was unfortunately a victim of something he could have prevented. I think that Bobby Darin met an especially sad ending.
I knew Bobby, and I liked him. Not everyone did. He was undeniably a huge superstar in show business.  When I first met him he was billing himself as a songwriter, before he had his own hits with "Dream Lover" and "Splish Splash." He had a little office here in Los Angeles.  I talked to him on the phone, and he said to me, "Come over here, Freddy. I want to play you some songs that you might be interested in recording."  I can't remember what the songs were at the time, but he was trying to write a song for me. Nothing really came out of it, but I loved meeting him.
Bobby Darin was a great guy, and I really liked him. Unfortunately , some people have said that he was "an idiot" and he was "a jerk" who was hard to get along with.  I didn't find that at all. I think that recording artists don't act that way towards each other, because they have a mutual respect for each other.! There is something of a sense of peer camaraderie. When well-known singers get together, there is usually no pretense. Bobby Darin should not have died so young. To have died at the age of 37, of heart
disease, should not have happened to him at all.Like me, he had once contracted both rheumatic fever and scarlet fever. He also had a heart murmur, like I did. In my case, my body repaired it -- I grew out of it.  However, his did not, and he had a heart attack and
died.  Bobby Darin was brilliant. What a talent he was.! He could have been big still today. He seemed to have the knack to be able to sing any song, and to sell it. I loved his early rock & roll records, but as time went on, he started moving into singing big pop songs like Frank Sinatra. What a varied catalogue of music that he created:  from "Mack The Knife" in 1959 to his Top Ten version of "If I Were A Carpenter" in 1966, to his version of the song "Happy" in 1973. There was nothing he could not sing, and make every song
all his own. His death in 1973 was really tragic. It was not his fault, or at his own hands. It was simply a "roll of the dice," and his name came up. In my eyes, he was truly a great guy.
I believe what Freddy says about Bobby. In other parts of the book he has no trouble
talking about people he didn't like like Cher and Dionne Warwick. 
I do think the part where he said when us famous singers get together - there is a certain respect.
Frank B.  
Thanks, Frank.  I just landed in NYC and I LOVED reading this. If it's ok with you, I'd like to post it to the group. It seems to me that most people who knew Darin liked him. I think there was a lot of truth to the young, brash BD but it also became a lazy writer's construct. Thanks heaps, my pal.
I finished Freddy's book a couple of weeks ago ... a quick, fun read from a guy who TRULY appreciates the support his fans have shown him for all these years.  Freddy Cannon and Bobby Darin were a couple of REALLY big names during the early days of rock and roll ... cool to see that they seemed to have a mutual respect for one another.  (As I've said so many times before, one of the highlights of doing this is talking with some of the artists and finding out that they're just as big a fan of some of these other artists as WE are!!!)  kk

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mid-Week Comments

Improving radio is ALWAYS a hot topic here at Forgotten Hits ...
Here are a few of your recent ideas, thoughts, suggestions, recommendations and memories ...
Hi Kent,
I've been reading, with interest, the various comments over the past week concerning today's radio. Having recently retired from the business last year I thought I'd throw in my nickel's worth.
First, on the recommendation of one of your writers this morning, I'm listening to WGVU as I type away. They have a "standards" show on Sunday morning which is featuring some tunes that were hits before my time, but I recognize most of them and am enjoying it. I look forward to hearing their other shows.
I thought Clark was writing about me in this morning's note about listening to the radio when he was young. Hanging on every word that the local dj spoke, listening to the music for hours and hours, anticipating trips to the record store, needing each week's survey and having his own imaginary radio station. Mine was in the basement. Old record player, fake microphone and plenty of 45's to spin. I guess that was the beginning of my radio career. What wonderful memories.
Mason Ramsey's comments were quite interesting this week. I started in the business when it was fun. I retired after several years with Clear Channel and another corporate owner. I agree with Mason that it's unfortunate the business has been diluted down to "liner jocks," voice tracking and book readers. But I'm not sure how the jocks can rebel against the corporate programming. For every jock who actually has a job in the business there are a few dozen guys and gals waiting in line for the job. So they suck it up just to remain on the radio.
Prior to retiring, I was program director at a news / talk station. Of course that's not enough in today's corporate world. I also voice tracked middays on the classic rock station. They had me doing the noon hour "live" because they thought there should be some interaction between the jock / station and the listener. One hour ... what a joke! And, as Mason referred to, the playlist was pathetically small. After working just one hour a day "live" I was totally sick of the same songs after just a few months. So imagine how I felt after playing the same stuff for SIX YEARS!!!  Think how the morning guy and the drive guy felt having to listen to the same songs for a few hours a day. Not to mention the poor listeners. Yes, we all complained constantly but every word fell on deaf ears.
And then there was the consultant. On one occasion when he was in town he came into my office and asked if I had any thoughts. I was all over his ass about the music. I asked why we only play two Def Leppard tunes when they had tons of hits. I asked why we only play two Bon Jovi songs when they had tons of hits as well. He said Bon Jovi was an 80's hair band that nobody cared for anymore. Hair band? Bon Jovi? I told him Cinderella was a hair band, Warrant was a hair band, Poison was a hair band.  I suggested that Bon Jovi transcended that image, that they went on to great musical success and were legends. I asked if he was talking about the same Bon Jovi that I had recently seen in a sold out concert in Omaha. I asked if we were talking about the same Bon Jovi that has consistently been one of the top concert draws over the past several years. It was obvious that neither of us was going to win the discussion. He politely excused himself and we kept playing "Runaway" and "Livin' On A Prayer."
It doesn't matter what you may think of Bon Jovi and their music. I'm simply using this as an example of the corporate / consultant mentality. As long as their thinking (and playlists) are so narrow minded, as long as their sole interest is money, the listener is doomed. Radio once broadcast in the public interest. Today they broadcast in the owners interest.
Steve Hotvedt   

>>>Check out It is a PBS station out of Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids, Michigan ... but unlike any PBS or oldies station you have ever heard. They play records that will make you say out loud "OH, YEAH!, I forgot about that one." For instance, I have heard lately:  "Charity Ball" by Fanny, "Cinnamon Cinder" by Pastel Six, "The Sound of Love" by the 5 Americans, "Out and About" by Boyce & Hart, "Help Me Girl" by the Outsiders and hundreds of local and area (read Chicago) bands. Plus you can click to see the playlist for song and artist. Give it an hour or two and you will be hooked. Yeah, they play some of the same 60 or 70 songs that the "oldies" stations have in their rotations, but the other two thirds of the time is delightful.  (Dube)
FH reader and wonderful friend, Bob Stroud, grew up selling 45s in the Grand Rapids record stores.  Although I have many GR radio surveys from the late 60's (WKNX mostly), Bob sent me hundreds more years ago and I cherish those.  Together with mine and his, GR had a great set of stations that played TONS of Forgotten Hits and lower charting 45s that would have made growing up near and selling 45s in GR a great time.  Maybe that is what WGVU is working towards.  The Stroud Crowd stretches beyond Chicago in all directions!  :) 
Clark Besch
I put WGVU on for awhile on Sunday afternoon ... here's a link to their playlist:
LOTS of Forgotten Hits tunes on this list ... including a couple that are coming up in the next week or two in our Sound Advice feature.  Cool, too, that this is considered a "Real Oldies" station ... boy, we sure miss ours here in Chicago!
I devoted a good percentage of my early teen years making up my own charts, too ... growing up here in Chicago, we had TWO powerhouse AM stations ... and my whole world revolved around them.  I'd faithfully pick up both the WLS and the WCFL survey each and every Friday ... and then put together a "combined" chart based on the overall performance of these records based on the two stations' lists.  (I had NO idea what Billboard or Cash Box Magazine were back in 1967 ... my scope for music never extended beyond Chicago ... I just figured that if WE were hearing it, the whole WORLD must be hearing it!!!)
I can't count the times my dad would come into my room while I was hovering over my surveys compiling my own list and scream "Stop playing with your papers and go outside and get some exercise!" or something to that effect.  That's what he called them ... my "papers".  (lol)  How ironic, I suppose in hindsight, that many of my "friends" were playing with THEIR papers in THEIR bedrooms, too ... only THEIR papers were ROLLING papers and they were embracing the ever-blossoming drug scene.  Meanwhile, I was perfectly content to just sit there with my records and my surveys, playing back my own countdown from my limited collection.
I can't tell you how many people have shared a similar growing-up experience with us over the years.  There was no limit to the passion that we held for this music ... and the fact that it has carried over all these 40-50 years later proves again just HOW powerful it really was.  (kk)
By the way, we heard recently from Lou Simon over at XM / Sirius Radio ... he does a weekly countdown on their '60's Station that incorporates The Top 40 Biggest Hit Records of the week based on a combination of the national charts.  If you're an XM / Sirius subscriber, you'll definitely want to check this out ... it airs Sunday Nights at 10 PM Eastern and again on Wednesdays at 9 PM Eastern.  (kk)

Randy Price's "Randy On The Radio" internet radio show celebrates its anniversary on Wednesday, March 14, 8 - 9 PM ET. Tune in for lots of forgotten hits, including several rare stereo oldies, a Mystery Oldie contest and a Guess The Segue contest. Info for accessing the stream and entering the chat room are available at
Previous Randy On The Radio shows are archived at:

Would you believe this past weekend I got out Charlie Rich's MOHAIR SAM and played it here at home since I hadn't heard it in forever how long. My all time favorite of his wasyour posted song of LONELY WEEKENDS. Great post to your Sound Advice.
One final item and no big deal. But I believe the correct name of the label was Phillips International.
Be sure to check out TODAY's SOUND ADVICE Column ... as Forgotten Hits salutes the very first EVER Gold Record Single!!!  (kk)

Philly Pop Music and Clutch Cargo is proud to announce our benefit CD release ...  "Mull of Kintyre", featuring Charlie Gracie and Clutch Cargo
Street Date - March 15th
Downloads @ iTunes and CD Baby plus Limited Edition Hand Numbered CD's.
Partial proceeds to benefit the Philadelphia Police and Fire, Pipes & Drums Band
Featuring special guests:  Charlie Gracie, Philadelphia Police and Fire pipers, Birdie Busch, The Orlons, The Hooligans Luke Jardel, and Skip Denenberg.
Why this song ...
George Manney:  "We chose the McCartney single for two reasons ... first of all, it features bagpipes and we are trying to help raise funds for the Police & Fire Pipes and Drum band.
Secondly, as a fitting tribute to Sir Paul, we chose Philly R&R pioneer, Charlie Gracie to cover McCartney's hit since Sir Paul covered Gracie's 1957 hit, 'Fabulous' and this year is the 35th anniversary of the original release of 'Mull of Kintyre'."
Clutch Cargo;
George Manney - drums, Irish percussion, synthesizer , backing vocals
Rocco Notte - piano, glockenspiel
Su Teears - vocals, synthesizer
Dave Humphreys - bass
Jim Mahoney - lead guitar
Marty Ahearn - guitar
Clutch Cargo operates with a flexible line-up of collaborators.
Plus the Choir; Lamb Bristow, Lisa Ciarrocchi, Su Teears, Luke Jardel, George Manney, Stephen Caldwell, Jean Maddox
Recorded at Geo Sound studio
Produced, mixed, engineered and arranged by George Manney
Mastered by Peter Humphreys - Masterwork Recording
Art Design by Su Teears
Visit PPFPD online: 
Visit Clutch Cargo online: 
Philly Pop Music -
Historically, the 1st for Cameo-Parkway artist (The Orlons) to back-up former Cameo artist, Charlie Gracie.
George sent me a short promotional piece to share with our readers to give them a taste as to what this new release sounds like ... you can also click on the Amazon link to hear a 30-second snippet and order a copy of the new release after Tuesday!

You are 'the man'!  Here is a promo that we made just for that purpose and the cover art.

And here is the Amazon Buy Link: 
Keep up the 'great' work my friend.
All the best,
George Manney - producer 

Seventies Rock Pioneer Michael Stanley To Release New CD 'The Hang' 
3/12/2012 – Philadelphia, PA - Much to the excitement of fans and music critics worldwide, music legend Michael Stanley will be releasing his 25th album 'The Hang' on March 2012 on From the mid '70s to the mid '80s, the Michael Stanley Band enjoyed a strong and fiercely loyal following, touring with some of the superstar bands of that period including Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Foreigner and The Doobie Brothers. With over 70 minutes of music, the latest CD from Michael Stanley features twelve new original compositions and covers of songs written by Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler and songwriter extraordinaire Patty Griffin. Once again the album was mixed by legendary Bill Szymczyk and features the talents of Michael's road band, The Resonators throughout.  
“I think it would be fair to say that this is the 'darkest' album I've ever made as it was conceived during a particularly daunting eighteen month period in my life ... but, that being said, I also think it's a testament of hope and to the power we accrue from those we chose to have at our side on our journey.”

Discovered by New York record producer, Bill Szymczyk in 1973, Michael Stanley released his debut album 'Michael Stanley' (Tumbleweed Records), and second LP, 'Friends & Legends' (MCA) to critical acclaim. Both albums featured guest appearances by Todd Rundgren, Joe Walsh and David Sanborn. During this time he formed a trio with two area musicians, Daniel Pecchio and Jonah Koslen, who played Stanley's solo songs as well as new material live. In 1974, out of work, Michael's close friend, Joe Walsh (another Cleveland area musician) suggested he pursue music full time. It was a turning point for Stanley, who along with Pecchio and Koslen brought in drummer Tommy Dobeck and the The Michael Stanley Band was born!
There were several Top 20 and Top 30 hits in the early '80s, among them "He Can't Love You" (1980) and "My Town" (1983). In late 1982, MSB released their final album for EMI 'You Can't Fight Fashion'. The single from the album, "My Town", made it to number 29 on the Billboard charts. The band released two independent albums, 1983's 'Inside Moves', and 'Fourth And Ten' in 1984 (recorded live at Blossom Music Center), before formally disbanding in late 1986, shortly after performing 14 'farewell' concerts at Cleveland's Front Row.
Michael's 'post-MSB' years found him co-hosting WJW-Channel 8's 'Cleveland Tonight' and 'P.M. Magazine', until they were canceled. He also began his long stint as afternoon disc jockey and on-air personality at Cleveland's WNCX 98.5. After several well-received albums in the '90s, as well as a MSB reunion concert, Michael Stanley & The Resonators was formed, which became the band's performing moniker; once again pleasing their loyal MSB fans while winning over new ones, with a set list of old favorites and clever covers interspersed with fresh originals. The pace showed no sign of letting up as the 'The Ground', was released on October 21, 2003. Michael continues to man the airwaves as afternoon 'drive-time' personality at Cleveland's popular WNCX, while performing with "The Resonators" and "Midlife Chryslers" throughout Ohio.
In 2011, Michael Stanley and all The Resonators hit the ground running with their critically accliamed CD 'Shadowland'. And now in 2012, in a career that spans over forty-five years, Michael Stanley's 'The Hang' is a work that sets a new standard in the musical journey of one of rock's finest singer/songwriters!
For song samples from Michael Stanley 'The Hang': 
For more information visit 
"He Can't Love You" is one of my favorite tunes from the '80's ... great to hear that Michael is still out there making new music!  (kk)
That Philly Sound is proud to announce that our newest CD, "The Great Writer / Producer LEON HUFF" has just been released and is available to purchase through CD Baby.  
In 1962, songwriter / record producer, John Madara, discovered Leon Huff playing in a club in West Philadelphia. John invited Leon to play on some of his and partner, Dave White's, productions. As Leon honed his skills, he began writing and producing songs through John's production company. John's company was located in the Shubert Building, where he met Kenny Gamble. They would team up to write and produce some of the most iconic songs in the history of soul music, including "Expressway To Your Heart," "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "Love Train" and "Me and Mrs. Jones," to name just a few. In 1971, Gamble & Huff formed Philadelphia International Records. Their sound became known as The Sound of Philadelphia
This historical CD is a compilation of Leon Huff's early Philly Northern Soul Productions from 1963 - 1969 while he was writing and producing for John Madara's production company, before he would break out on his own with Kenny Gamble. Leon wrote 10 songs, co-wrote 9 songs, produced 3 songs and co-produced 15 songs. Kenny Gamble co-wrote and / or co-produced 6 songs. John Madara co-wrote 4 songs, produced 2 songs and co-produced 13 songs.   
Click here to purchase "The Great Writer/Producer Leon Huff."  
Also, please go to THAT PHILLY SOUND to purchase other rare Philly CDs from our shop and learn more about the artists and people behind the scenes that made up "The Sound of Philadelphia."    
Click here to go to THAT PHILLY SOUND.

And, perhaps a NOT so new release ...
re:  DONOVAN:   
>>>Just in time for his Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, we'll be treated to a new Donovan "Essential Greatest Hits" CD.  (kk)
The only thing new about it is the cover art. It was first issued in 2002.
Tom Diehl
Hmmm ... a timely RE-release then!!!  (lol)  kk

Hey Kent,
Enjoyed the GFR piece - I wrote a book assisted by Don and Mel of GFR on the band BTW
Here's the link FYI 

Kent ...
Another sad death to report.
Frank B.   

Click here: Michael Hossack of The Doobie Brothers 1946 – 2012

You only have to see Rio Scafone perform for a minute to know — she has that look in her eye, as if all she is doing is all that matters at that very moment. The live show exhilarates.
Whole thing starts with a video of preachers condemning rock 'n' roll and Christian DJs smashing rock records. Then Scafone's on stage, twisting, gyrating and owning every inch like some sort of possessed, evangelical-satanic dervish. It's at once nostalgic performance art, killer show band and a rock 'n' roll wonder.
Scafone's a living argument in favor of the idea that rock 'n' roll is in the genes.

Got this from our FH Buddy Wild Bill Cody regarding this years inductees to The Colorado Music Hall Of Fame ...
Sugarloaf, the Astronauts, Flash Cadillac, and KIMN radio will be the inductees this go around. The Moonrakers, Rainy Daze, and one other group will get special recognition. That will be the sixties groups. They will move on to other decades and genres in the future. There will definitely be a folk group induction and maybe a jazz group. We met with the folks from the hall and they have put a lot of thought and effort into this. I think it will come off well.
Bob MacVittie
Hey All Colorado Music Kids:
I briefly interviewed Bob McVittie, the original drummer of the Moonrakers and Sugarloaf, two weeks ago on my radio show concerning them going into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame and above is the email I just received from Bob. I know so far, Red Rocks, John Denver, Barry Fey and Harry Tuft (who opened the Denver Folklore Center in 1962) are the ONLY INDUCTEES into the Colorado Music HOF!
I can't believe Judy Collins and Bob Lind are NOT included here.  I will definitely put a bug in the ears of the induction committee that they certainly should be considered as well.
Wow, this is incredible ... this will be a special occasion, and I'll be sure to let you all know when it will take place in case you'd like to attend!
(I wonder if this will be anything like the Rock & Roll HOF with groups performing?)  ANY members of Sugarloaf, the remaining living Astronauts and Flash Cadillac would be a GREAT SHOW!
Congrats to you, Bob, and the rest of Sugarloaf, the Moonrakers and Rainy Daze!
"Wild" Bill Cody
Please pass this along to anyone that enjoyed these groups back in the day!

Kent ...
A brand new documentary, Strange Fruit, will take a look at The Beatles' Apple Records and feature singers on the Apple Label.  
Click here: New Documentary on The Beatles Coming in April
Frank B.

Found this in the most recent R.I.P. Renfield Newsletter ... made me laugh ...
I show up at work the other day ... and a woman comes running over to me, hands me a catalog, and tells me to read the product description beneath a backyard wishing well on the back cover.  (She was in the market for something like that.)I WAS TOLD TO READ IT TO THE END!

I got a really good laugh out of it ...
(shocked in fact that it got in print in at a serious business)(('sneaked-in', private joke?  none of the other ads were 'funny'))IN FACT, I'M PRETTY SURE THAT SHE AND I WERE PROBABLY THE ONLY TWO PEOPLE
(funny how it got into OUR hands)
As Ron Britain might say, "Wella Wella"!!!  
We have VERY few "pop culture" references going on where I work ... so a gem like this would have been the highlight of my work day.  (Although the other day out of the blue, one of the sales guys was passing through and, completely off the cuff said "They brought their trains with them" ... TOTALLY cracked up every guy in the office.  Not a woman there had a CLUE what we were laughing at.  That hidden "male bond" that is "Slap Shot" ... not a GREAT movie ... or even a particularly successful one ... but a movie that every guy on the planet must have seen ... and loved ... at some point of his upbringing.  Funny what strikes you as funny all these years later ... thanks, Gary!  (For more of this kind of craziness, be sure to check out Gary's website via the link above.)  kk