Friday, March 30, 2012

Who Played The First Beatles Record In America? ... An Update

Is it REALLY the TENTH ANNIVERSARY of our landmark Beatles series? 

Wow!  Funny ... 'cause in some ways it seems SO much longer ... and in others it seems hard to believe that ten years have gone by.

A few weeks back we told you about a posting that FH Reader (and researcher) Randy Price found online, posted by a listener to WIBG in Philadelphia who says he heard "Please Please Me" played in February of 1963 on the station.  That puts us right around the same time frame as our findings for Dick Biondi first airing the song on WLS here in Chicago.
After a couple of months of trying to track this guy down for more details, we FINALLY heard back from Alex McNeil today ... here's a copy of his email ...

Hello Kent -
I just saw the message Randy had sent me on the BSNPubs web site (even though he sent it to me two months ago); he had relayed to you my posting that "Please Please Me" had been played on Philadelphia's WIBG sometime in February, 1963.  Let me add some more info.

First, I'm awfully glad I saved my Top 99 lists!  I use them quite a bit.  I host the Friday edition of "Lost and Found" on WMBR-FM, 88.1, Cambridge MA//  The show runs weekdays from noon to 2, and we play lesser known music of the 60s and 70s, with a different host each day.  The show has been a feature of WMBR (which is owned by MIT) for about 30 years now.  As per the Digitial Millennium Copyright Act, shows are archived for two weeks on the web site.

At the time, the Top 99 lists were compiled weekly, but published biweekly and distributed to record stores.  I believe they were actually delivered to the stores on the "Effective Monday" date of each list, so the Feb. 11 list would have been available on Monday, February 11.  I always enjoyed checking off all the listed songs that I had heard.  Knowing that WIBG would play new records a week or two before listing them, I frequently jotted down the names of new artists or titles on the back of the current survey, and then checked my jottings against the records that would be listed for the first time on the next survey, or sometimes on the one after that.

So, on the back of the February 11 survey, I wrote down about 40 artists or titles, of which "Please Please Me" is the last one, which suggests it was played late in the week of February 18, perhaps Friday, Feb. 22.  [I doubt it would have been played on Sunday, Feb. 24, because WIBG had religious programming until 2 PM, current music from 2-7, then Hy Lit's oldies show from 7 to midnight.]  I wrote down the title, rather than the artist, probably because the artist name was new to me and I didn't recognize it (or possibly because I didn't hear the entire song).  Immediately above "Please Please Me" are such artists as Patti Page, Jay and the Americans (whose "Strangers Tomorrow" made the Feb. 25 Top 99 list), the Dutones ("The Bird" made the Feb. 25 Top 99), Jerry Butler ("You Won't Be Sorry" is on the March 11 Top 99), Earl Grant (whose "Yes Siree" made the Feb. 25 Top 99), and Johnny Thunder ("The Rosey Dance" is on the March 11 Top 99).

"Please Please Me" was again played on WIBG, because I jotted down "The Beattles" on the back of the February 25 list, this time near the top.  That suggests I heard "Please Please Me" again early in the week of February 25.  The "Beattles" are listed just below the Duprees ("Gone with the Wind" made the March 11 Top 99), the Appalachians, and Timi Yuro ("Insult to Injury" is on the March 11 Top 99).

I have to confess I have no specific memory of actually hearing "Please Please Me" at the time, nor do I have a specific memory of hearing "She Loves You" in the fall of 1963, even though I checked it off on the Top 99.  My earliest actual memory of the Beatles is seeing a "The Beatles Are Coming" sticker or promo on the counter of a record store in December, 1963 (sometime before Christmas), asking the clerk "what's that?" and being told "they're a group from England."

Hope this is of some interest.
Best wishes,
Alex McNeil

Hi Alex!  Great to hear from you!
Many years ago, Forgotten Hits did a search trying to nail down with all certainty as to who was the very first radio station in America to play a Beatles tune. (You can read the whole article on my website:

I've talked numerous time with Sam Lit, Hy's son, regarding WIBG possibly being the first station to play "Please Please Me" in 1963, but we've never been able to nail down conclusively the exact date (and, apparently, these records no longer exist at the station ... I had hoped there might be an old programming log or something that might help us establish the correct time stamp on this.)
If you're thinking that you first heard this song somewhere between the 18th and 22nd of February, 1963, that puts us right around the same time frame as the WLS debut.
As you mentioned in your note (about the station playing the songs BEFORE the new "street sheet" came out), WLS used to do much the same thing ... once a song hit their Top 40 Chart, in addition to showing the record's current chart position, they would also show how many weeks they had been playing it on the station ... so when "Please Please Me" debuted on the charts on March 8th, it showed that WLS had already been playing it for three weeks prior to its hitting the charts.  (The WLS Silver Dollar Survey at that time had a Friday "street date" ... and March 8th WAS a Friday in 1964).  Tracking back three weeks, that would mean that they first started playing the record the week of February 15th (three Fridays prior), which potentially means they could have started airing it ANYtime during that week.
Ron Smith, who worked with Biondi for YEARS over at WJMK, reasoned it to be an even tighter timeframe ...

Since it says on the March 8th survey that it had been played for three weeks, the chances are it had been played since at least the week of February 22. This corresponds with the release date of the song -- February 25, 1963. Vee Jay was headquartered in Chicago and it stands to reason they took a copy on that date or perhaps earlier directly to the station, who probably added it immediately. 

As we know, radio stations always received advance promo copies of songs prior to them being released to the public, the idea being to drum up some interest for the record by radio airplay so that by the time the record actually showed up in the stores, folks would flock in to pick up a copy.  This wasn't the case with "Please Please Me" the first time around, however ... it totally flopped.  Noted Beatles historian Bruce Spizer pulled sales records from Vee Jay, showing that the initial pressing released in February of 1963 (with The Beatles' name misspelled as "The Beattles") only sold 5650 copies during the first six months of 1963 ... hardly an attention-grabber.

I think we're pretty close on the time frame here ... and I feel quite sure that WIBG, big as they were at breaking records nationally, ALSO received an advance copy of this "hot" new single.  But I don't think they would have received it any sooner than WLS did.  Vee Jay would have sent promo copies out to all of their target radio stations at exactly the same time.  (And, being literally right down the street from the WLS studio, they theoretically could have walked over a copy faster than any other station would have received theirs in the mail.)

The question now boils down to the actual first air date ... when was new music added to the play lists of any given station (which we may never officially determine ... this is the tenth anniversary of our series and we're still no closer to cold hard facts than we were ten years ago!).  Yours is an interesting case to say the least.  And as such, at the very least, we may have to officially declare a "tie" until more details show up!  (kk)

Thanks for your reply.  I suppose we'll never know for sure who played 'em first in the USA.  With Vee Jay being in Chicago, it would make sense that WLS would get the record promptly and play it, as they probably had a good relationship with the local labels.  Just as WIBG did with the Philly labels such as Cameo / Parkway, Swan and Jamie.

One (seemingly thorough) internet source says the 2/25/63 release date for PPM is "traditional," and he thinks the actual date was closer to 2/20.  In any case, as you note, promo copies would have been in existence before 2/25.  But I assume Vee Jay would have mailed their promos to Philadelphia (either directly to the station or to a local sales rep), which would mean it got to Philadelphia later than it would have gotten to a Chicago station.
Has anyone ever seen a promo copy of PPM with a radio station date stamp on it?
Also, just because I jotted it down doesn't mean that this was the first time that WIBG played it.  But my best guess is that I made my notation on February 21 or 22, 1963, as I listened to WIBG just about every weekday in the afternoon after school and in the evening if I was doing homework.  But I was less likely to listen on a Friday evening.

I'm surprised it sold as much as 5600 copies.  I've always wondered how many copies were sold of uncharted or low-charting records of that time.

Actually, that's a good idea ... I wonder if anyone has ever happened across a DJ Promo Copy with a date stamp ... now THAT would be enlightening!!!  (kk)

We pass the baton on to Bruce Spizer and Sam Lit ... Bruce, have you EVER seen a "date-stamped" dee-jay promo copy of the first pressing of "Please Please Me".  And Sam ... is there ANY chance in the world that WIBG programming logs still exist from 1963???  All of a sudden, things are getting interesting again!  (kk) 

Hi Kent,
Nice to hear from you. You know my position on this. Vee Jay records had a Philadelphia office and the first Beatles airing in America was on WDAS AM in 1963 by a DJ named Georgie Woods. It was hand delivered to WDAS by Gerry Butler who was also recording for the label at the time
Philadelphia, as you know, was at the epicenter of new music exposure from the dawn of Rock & Roll in 1954 for a multitude of reasons. I don't say these matters of record except to clarify the facts. 
Hy Lit brings the Beatles to Philadelphia:

Sam Lit
President / CEO
Hy Lit Radio Technologies Inc.

See, and I just thought that you'd be happy to see us finally give Philly its due!!! (lol)  But if you want to drudge up that whole Georgie Woods debate again, I will ... if only for the benefit of all of the new readers on the list who may have missed it the first three or four times we went through this!

Your latest email indicates that Woods played the record in 1963 ... which makes sense.  However, all previous communications (and the link you sent me to the "Legends Of Philadelphia Broadcasting" website claim that he first played "Please Please Me" in 1962 ... and, simply put, the timeline doesn't work ... which is why I was so quick to completely dismiss it.  

According to the "Legends Of Philadelphia Broadcasting" posting,  submitted numerous times in the past as "evidence":

A couple years later, George (Woods) nicknamed a recording artist “The Ice Man” because he was “so cool on stage.” That was Jerry Butler. In 1962, Georgie Woods started playing on WDAS a “new” group called “The Beatles.” The song was “Please, Please Me” on the African-American owned label, Vee-Jay (the same label Butler recorded for).

That "bold" and "matter of fact" statement is what set me off.  Woods COULDN'T have played "Please Please Me" in 1962 ... because it didn't EXIST yet in 1962!!!  New documentation discovered since our series first ran ten years ago now shows that Vee Jay Records released "Please Please Me" here in The States for the very first time on February 7th, 1963 ... so Jerry Butler COULDN'T have "walked over a copy" in 1962 because the pressing simply didn't exist.

When a statement like " first played 'Please Please Me' in 1962 is so BLATANTLY wrong and erroneous, it's difficult to give any credence to any of the other comments that come behind it.

EMI / Parlophone, The Beatles' parent record label, did not release "Please Please Me" in Great Britain until January 11, 1963 ...
This Philadelphia claim asks us to believe that BEFORE the record was even pressed for British distribution ... BEFORE it would have been presented to EMI's U.S. subsidiary, Capitol Records ... and been turned down by them ... before ANY of this happened (during which time EMI quickly scampered around trying to find another U.S. distributor to pick up the release) ... that Vee Jay Records stepped in ... MONTHS before they even had access to the master ... which they didn't receive until the end of January, 1963 ... and pressed up a special promo copy of this as-yet unreleased single, flew it out to Jerry Butler in Philadelphia, and asked him to get somebody on a Philly station to play the record on the air!  The entire concept is PREPOSTEROUS (not to mention ridiculous and pure fabrication!!!  Even a kid in kindergarten could shoot this story full of holes!)
Nor would anybody have been able to tout The Beatles as the latest British sensation at this point ... although they were clearly establishing their following overseas, it wasn't UNTIL "Please Please Me" came out and topped the charts that true Beatlemania erupted.  This was the record that helped MAKE that happen ... so there would have been no way to "pre-sell" the notion that they were the hottest thing happening on the music charts because it simply wasn't true ... because it hadn't happened yet.  It was about to explode ... but that would be late January / early February of 1963 ... and NOT any time in 1962.  (Their first British release, "Love Me Do" was far from a smash, ultimately peaking at #16 on The British Charts.)
Fact is, NOBODY noticed "Please Please Me" the first time around ... it didn't stand out in ANYBODY'S mind ... and it COMPLETELY tanked here in The States.  The point of our article was never to imply who first "discovered" The Beatles here in The States ... but rather to establish, once and for all, DEFINITIVELY, who PLAYED this record first in The States.  Simply put, playing it had NO impact whatsoever in furthering The Beatles' careers at this point ... it is strictly for historical value that we pursued all of this in the first place.
But to boldly claim that ANYBODY ... ANYWHERE ... played this record in 1962 is nothing short of ludicrous insanity!!!  And they REALLY need to amend their website accordingly, lest anyone else see it any perceive it as "fact".  (Then again, maybe that's exactly their intent!!!)  kk


Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 1964 ...

... one of the most important dates in Beatles History ...

Because THAT'S the date (according to The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart) that The Beatles accomplished something that had NEVER been done before ...

And has never been done since ...

On March 29, 1964, The Beatles held down THE TOP FIVE POSITIONS on The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart!

It was Beatlemania at its "in your face" utmost ... and, admittedly, The United States was a little bit late to the party ... but we wasted NO time catching up!

After the release of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" ... and their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show ... the floodgates opened ... The Beatles were EVERYWHERE ... and The British Invasion had officially begun.

The Beatles hit #1 on The U.S. Singles Chart for the first time on January 26, 1964 when their U.S. break-through single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" reached the summit ... and they didn't give up that top spot on the charts until May 3rd, when the unlikely "Hello Dolly" by the nearly 63-year-old Louis Armstrong finally knocked them off their throne.

"I Want To Hold Your Hand" hit #1 on January 26th ... and stayed there for an incredible seven consecutive weeks ... before it was knocked out of the top spot by "She Loves You", a Beatles single originally released here seven months earlier to deaf U.S. ears.

"She Loves You" remained at #1 for two more weeks before it was replaced by The Beatles' brand new single "Can't Buy Me Love", which vaulted from #27 to the top of the charts in only its second week on the chart on March 29, 1964.  It sat there for the next five consecutive weeks, giving The Beatles an incredible run of 14 straight weeks in the #1 position.

The impact of Beatlemania was never more obvious than the chart issued for the week beginning March 29th ... coming in at #5 was "Please Please Me", a record that had already peaked at #3 a couple of weeks earlier.  Still holding on at #4 was their first chart-topper, "I Want To Hold Your Hand", followed at #3 by the previous week's #1 Record, "She Loves You."

Holding down the #2 spot was The Beatles' version of "Twist And Shout" (a record that actually reached #1 on many of the other U.S. Charts) ... followed by their latest global release (yes, America had finally caught up!), "Can't Buy Me Love", which managed to top the charts in only its second week on the list!

Perhaps just a remarkable is the fact that The Beatles also held down the #31 spot ("I Saw Her Standing There"), the #41 spot ("From Me To You", a former British #1 Record ... but the B-Side of "Please Please Me" here in the States), the #46 spot ("Do You Want To Know A Secret?"), the #58 spot ("All My Lovin'" ... such was the demand for Beatles merchandise that even this single brought in from CANADA made our charts!), the #65 spot ("You Can't Do That"), the #68 spot ("Roll Over Beethoven", another Canadian single) and the #79 spot ("Thank You Girl").

In addition, records like "We Love You Beatles" by The Carefrees and "A Letter To The Beatles" by The Four Preps could also be found on the chart this week.

So could new music by British Invasion acts like The Dave Clark Five ("Glad All Over", #10 and "Bits And Pieces", #48), The Searchers ("Needles And Pins", #15), The Swinging Blue Jeans ("Hippy Hippy Shake", #24) and Dusty Springfield ("Stay Awhile", #75).

We again salute The Beatles for the incredible accomplishments.  You'll find them in our Sound Advice column today, too ... and be sure to check back tomorrow for an update on our popular "Who Played The Very First Beatles Record In America" series.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Sunday Comments ( 03 - 25 - 12 )


Kent ...

The Beatles just beat Neil Diamond.  Home team loses.

Up next, Chicago vs. Billy Joel.
Big Jay is here helping us with the March Music Match-up.
Frank B.
More than a few upsets in the REAL March Madness Games, too!!!  We saw two 15th Ranked Teams beat two 2nd Ranked Teams this weekend!  (kk)
Yikes!  Chicago beats hometown favorite Billy Joel.  Next hour it'll be Chicago vs. the Beatles.
Got to go. Wild Wayne's Memory Machine is about to start.
And then ...
Big Jay just announced that the Beatles beat Chicago by 15 votes in the finals of the WCBS-FM March Music Match-up.
Kent ...
Here's what the final Brackets look like:
Notice they're calling it the Vinyl Four instead of the Final Four.
Clever, don't you think?
Frank B.
Kent ...
Here's another match-up idea for you ...
Let's see if I can explain this idea to you.
Former group member vs. Group.
For example: 
Paul McCartney vs. the Beatles
Brian Wilson vs. the Beach Boys
Lionel Ritchie vs. the Commodores
Ben E. King vs. Drifters
Clyde McPhatter vs. the Drifters
Clyde McPhatter vs. Billy Ward and the Dominos
Jackie Wilson vs. Billy  Ward and the Dominos
Len Barry vs. the Dovells
You get the idea.
I'm sure you can think of more to add to the list.
What do you think?
Frank B.
Oh yeah, we could probably come up with at least fifty more ... actually, that's not a bad idea really ... or at least a good excuse for a "Double Play Weekend" theme!  (kk)

Meanwhile The Drive's Album Madness continues ... they've had some GREAT match-ups this past week ... with lots more to come.  You can check out their most recent brackets here:   Click here: The Drive's Album Madness


Here's more on that upcoming Rolling Stones Documentary that we've been telling you about ...  

Release to Coincide with Stones 50th Anniversary
Director Brett Morgen / Eagle Rock Entertainment to Release
New York, NY (March 21, 2012)– In celebration of the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary, Eagle Rock Entertainment is pleased to release a groundbreaking and eye-opening documentary, featuring remarkable revelations from the world’s most legendary band.  This is the first film to ever trace the evolution of the Rolling Stones’ from 1963, making it the ultimate Stones experience.  The film will be showcased in September as part of the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary celebrations.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Rolling Stones and help to bring this extraordinary documentary film to millions of fans,” said Terry Shand, Eagle Rock chairman and CEO.
The film is a cinematic journey through the incredible eye of director Brett Morgen, capturing hours of never-before-seen footage in a rare, uncensored format that reveals the band’s vivid stories told through their eyes and their voices. With paramount access to the band and their materials retrieved from vaults and personal archives, Morgen captures astonishing new interviews and footage.  “For anyone who wants to experience the band, this is the film that will defy convention and create a sonic tapestry to transport viewers into the world of the Rolling Stones,” said Morgen, an Academy Award nominee who is known for esteemed work on The Kid Stays in the Picture among many other projects. “The film will deliver the original, bold, sexy and dangerous flavor of the iconic rock band.” 

Fans go on the road, in the studio, behind the scenes, and witness each band member’s personal, unfiltered perspective on the legendary life of the Rolling Stones – embarking on a journey through 50 years of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. The film is executive produced by the Rolling Stones, produced by Victoria Pearman, co-produced by Morgan Neville and directed by Brett Morgen.
It has previously been announced that Thames & Hudson will release the only official and authorized book The Rolling Stones: 50 to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary on July 12. The book has been possible by privileged access to superb reportage photography from the Daily Mirror ’s archive, the largest newspaper collection of Rolling Stones photography, most of it hitherto unseen. This photographic autobiography features images selected by the band accompanied by their own words.

Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, Audio and Digital Media in the world.  Eagle works directly alongside talent to produce top quality, High Definition and 3D programs, both concerts and documentaries, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, The Doors, Jeff Beck, U2, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 30 multi-platinum, over 50 platinum and over 90 gold discs, worldwide.  Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices in London, New York, Toronto, Paris and Hamburg.

Still tons of Davy Jones tributes coming up ... here's a short list from our buddy Brad Waddell at Flexquarters:
Official NYC Davy Jones Memorial - April 3, 2012 - UpdateWe have been asked who will be appearing at the Official memorial evening. The organizers are not confirming guests at this time. While several special guests are scheduled, it is important to make sure people understand this about David and memorializing his life.
Cousin Brucie is the MC, and some of David's family will be there.
The Davy Jones Band a/k/a the Monkees 2011 touring band, is the house band.
There will be special surprise guests and multimedia tributes. It will be a very special, very intimate night with those who loved David and were a part of his life in music and elsewhere.
There will also be very special event merchandise available, and all
proceeds go to care of David's horses. All 16 of them.
B.B. King's in New York City, the site of Davy Jones next to last concert, will be hosting a special tribute to Davy and the Monkees on Monday, April 9th at 8 pm featuring the Blue Meanies who have previously performed excellent tribute shows to the Monkees, the
Beatles, the Kinks and other great 60's music.
The Blue Meanies have performed at the Fest For Beatles Fans and will be at the upcoming Metro Fest that Micky Dolenz will be appearing at, which will mark Micky's first public appearance since Davy's passing.  If things work out, it looks like I'll be introducing the Blue Meanies on the B.B. King's stage, which will be an honor to appear on the same
stage Davy and many other greats like Mike Smith of the DC5 have performed on. You'll find details on the April 9th tribute on the B.B. King's website.
I hope many on the board here from the New York area will be able to attend the tribute concert.
The Shorty Blackwells will perform a very special charity concert in London on April 14th playing the greatest hits and the best album tracks of The Monkees, in memory of Davy Jones. We're aiming to raise £300 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the charity that David was very involved with
When:  Sat  April 14th 2012 @ 7.30pm
Where:  The Comedy Pub,  7 Oxendon St, Leicester Square, London SW1Y 4EE
Cost: £5.50 (advance)  £7 door.
We've set up the event webpage at you'll find event details,  and details of how to save over 20% on tickets for this great event, so click over there now and get in the mood
If you're on facebook you'll have seen our event page also!/events/399358310091077/
Please 'like' us, and feel free to tell / invite your friends along too.
If there's a Monkees song you'd like to see in the set, do let us know via facebook or the website and we'll see what we can do.
We're long term Monkees fans (look at our name!) and we'd love all the true Monkees fans in the UK to come together to honour David's memory at this special concert.
‘A Tribute to Davy Jones’
March 30
Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles IL
Tickets, $29 - $55
(630) 962-7000
Ron Onesti will host A Tribute to Davy Jones at his Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL on March 30, before the Bill Medley and the Righteous Brothers concert.
“He was a very good friend,” Onesti said. “He loved St. Charles. When I first brought him in, he thought it was a very lovely, welcoming town. He literally walked the streets and people couldn’t believe it.  He was just a really, really good guy and once you became his friend, you had a friend for life.”
The tribute show will include the band The Pondhawks performing Monkees songs, and some common and rare video footage from the “The Monkees” TV show, as well as footage of Jones performing.
“It’s classic Monkees video footage and a live music retrospective … Then I’ll come out and tell some stories we’ve shared together,” he said. “We’ll have a gentleman named Michael Bush who was a photographer and also Davy’s road manager on the comeback tour. He’ll have some stories as well.”
The tribute will last about 40 minutes, and then the audience will be invited to sign a condolence card for his late wife, Jessica.
On Friday night, March 30, in tribute to Davy Jones, Liverpool Productions will be presenting "An Evening of Monkees Memories" at Aldario's Restaurant, 240 Naugatuck Avenue in Milford, CT. The event is open to all ages and doors open at 7 pm.
"An Evening of Monkees Memories" features the New Jersey pop-rock band "The Characters." The Characters were a backing band not only for Davy Jones, but also for Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, and they appeared in The Monkees' video for their song "Heart and Soul." They will be headlining the evening with a full set of the Monkees' hits, along with a second set of favorites from the Monkees' era. There will also be trivia, giveaways and DJ entertainment by Charles F. Rosenay!!!
Charles F. Rosenay!!!'s Liverpool Productions, organizers of the event, not only presented Beatles Conventions in Connecticut for four decades, but also produced Monkees Convention in the state in the 80s.  Peter Tork was a special guest at two conventions, and Davy Jones was the special guest of honor at one of the events. Charles considered
Davy Jones a friend, and they were working on a project together just before the time of Jones' death.
The Friday night, March 30 "An Evening of Monkees Memories" tribute to Davy Jones at Aldario's Restaurant in Milford, CT is a dance party which will feature the live concerts by The Characters, DJ entertainment, special guests, a full all-you-can-eat dinner buffet plus open bar. Admission is $40 and reservation can be made at (203) 874-6096. For further info on the event, call Liverpool Productions at {203) 795-4737.
FYI, the latest issue of Rolling Stone (Bruce on the cover) has a nice 4-page tribute to Davy Jones.  If I remember correctly, it is a  more extensive piece than was posted on-line right after his death.
Editor: FYI: The rock and roll hall of fame is run by the editor of Rolling Stone Magazine ...
A Tribute to Jones
Rolling Stone surprised me this week with a nice story about the late Davy Jones, who fronted The Monkees for 46 years until he died from a heart attack Feb. 29 at age 66.
When Rolling Stone began, it was partly as a reaction against bands like The Monkees, a prefabricated quartet of actors and musicians based on The Beatles. The Monkees were formed to star in a television show meant to satisfy a kid’s attention span and empty parents’ pockets — it was a perfect storm of marketing and music.
But The Monkees’ disposable pop was the ideal gateway drug for a generation of kids who got addicted to music via “Last Train to Clarksville” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” The songs were good — they’re still good — and it was nice to see Davy’s 19-year-old baby face in all of its 1966 glory.
Anybody out there still thinking that the press didn't give proper or sufficient coverage to Davy's passing simply isn't paying attention.  Here it is ... nearly a full month later ... and we've STILL got all these tributes and events coming up.  Davy was well-loved by MILLIONS ... and his fans and friends are STILL showing their love and affection.  If any of our readers are able to attend any of these events, please let us know and we'll be happy to run follow-up reports.  (kk)



On the suggestion of Forgotten Hits, I bought an e-copy of "The Wrecking Crew" by Kent Hartman (and see?  I might have gotten a promo copy from The Beat, but I'd rather support a writer.  Helluva a guy I am, huh?  : )) I'm not through it yet, but I have to tell you, it's an incredible book.  I haven't researched Mr. Hartman to see if he's written anything else, but I'll tell you - he should.  The man was born to write.  The book is orderly, fascinating and really breaks down each player's back story so it all perfectly makes sense.  Informative and fun reading it is, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the legends involved in this era of music.

Just one thing (there always is, right?):  near the beginning he mentions that Columbia Records signed as their first rock act Paul Revere & the Raiders.  If I am not mistaken (and I often am) my old band, The Rip Chords, were signed first, as "Hey Little Cobra" was recorded around October of '63, well before anyone on the National scene heard of the Raiders.  This was followed by Terry Melcher's next production:  The Byrds. 
A small point, to be sure, but as a former Rip I felt compelled to comment.  Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, and best of luck and thank you to Mr. Hart.  I'd love to get it written up for The Beat, so if you're in touch with the gentleman and if he's interested  please give him my email address.
All best regards.
Yer bud,
(Dr.) Bob Rush

American Correspondent

"The U.S. Beat with Dr. Robert"

THE BEAT Magazine
I'm actually reading it myself right now, too ... and quite enjoying it.  While I don't expect to learn a whole lot of new information, Hartman has done a GREAT job of pulling it all together and finally giving these folks some credit for all their efforts.  It's a very enjoyable read and well-written.  The short "back stories" on how some of these players all happened to come together are quite interesting.
For the record, I have ALWAYS heard that Paul Revere and the Raiders were the first rock act signed by Columbia Records.  While they didn't really break through in a major way until 1966, The Raiders began recording for Columbia in early 1963.  (You may recall that they recorded THEIR version of "Louie Louie" in the very same studio ... during the very same WEEK! ... that The Kingsmen cut THEIR version of the tune!!!)
Interesting, too, that Terry Melcher (long joined at the hip with The Rip Chords) went on to produce both Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Byrds, both of whom went on to greater chart success than his own band!)
Wouldn't it have been great if Ken Hartman's book could have come out at the same time as Denny Tedesco's EXCELLENT "Wrecking Crew" documentary?!?!  They could have each helped to springboard one another, drumming up FAR more national attention.
Word of mouth has been good for both ... and we're BIG fans here in Forgotten Hits land.  Thanks, Bob!  (kk)

Don't know if I missed your notice on this, but legendary guitarist Billy Strange passed away on February 22 at age 81.

As Forgotten Hits has been discussing the Beach Boys and the Wrecking Crew, Strange's career included playing guitar on numerous Beach Boys hits including "Sloop John B" and on the Pet Sounds album as well as being part of the famed Wrecking Crew.

As the story goes, Strange once took the kind of phone call that thousands of musicians receive on in their wildest dreams. "I was staying at a hotel in Nashville in 1965 when my telephone rang and this unmistakable voice said, 'Billy, this is Elvis. I'd like for you to stop by my studios and play some music with me.' I was absolutely thrilled, so I went along and he just sat at the piano playing gospel songs. We had a lot of fun; so much so that we never got around to recording anything that first day."
His career spanned decades as a successful songwriter, arranger and recording artist. He contributed to records by Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Dean Martin, the Everly Brothers, the Partridge Family, et al. Best known as arranger for Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" and her duet with father Frank on "Something Stupid."
For more on Billy Strainge:
Actually yes, we covered his passing quite extensively ... and even included testimonials from some of the artists he worked with over the years.  (Scroll back to late-February to find the bulk of it ... but you'll find The Wrecking Crew comes up quite often here in Forgotten Hits!)
The Wrecking Crew book mentioned above is worth reading for the Billy Strange / "Limbo Rock" story alone!  Classic!  This guy played with just about everybody who was anybody back in the day.  Check out the Billy Strange discography list on the link above!  (kk)

re:  THE MOB:


Recently, Steve O'Brien (trumpet player and my section-mate in the Mauds) sent me this compilation of YouTube clips of the Mob ... certainly one of the best horn bands to come out of the late 60s and early 70s.

Great musicianship, fabulous song writing, and incredible showmanship. While most of your audience was paying attention to the local teen club scene, these guys were tearing it up on the Show Lounge circuit.
I'll never forget the first time I saw them. I was 19 and one of my friends snuck me in to George's Show Lounge at Milwaukee and Dempster.
Thought you might want these for your archives. I think you have featured the Mob in past issues.
Quent Lang

Thanks, Quent ... will have to check these out.
I guess The Mob are back together ... we ran a short blurb for them a couple of weeks back ... they've even launched a brand new website.  Cool to see these guys making music again!

You know when you mention Chicago ... and The Mob ... these guys are probably NOT the first ones you think of ... but they were pretty big on the local scene back in the late '60's and early '70's ... and even scored a Top 20 Hit Record here in Chi-Town with "I Dig Everything About You" back in 1971.  Band member Jim Holvay wrote four of The Buckighams' biggest hits, too!  (kk)
Hi Kent ...
It has been a long time in the making, and I am proud to announce, a great new website for a legendary band.
Is your seat belt fastened?   
Ladies And Gentlemen ...
Check out the site, look around ...
Thanks in Advance!
Booking & Press Inquiries 312-675-8151
- Michele Sweeney-Abrams
Also on the local scene ...


In case you hadn't yet heard, I thought you'd enjoy knowing that your favorite Roots series has new life beyond Borders, the bookstores. 


Tickets are on sale now for “Rock and Roll Roots of Chicago Live!”
Friday, May 4, at the Mayne Stage at 7:30 pm.  
Known for his popular radio show, “Rock and Roll Roots,” host Bob Stroud (97.1-FM “The Drive” radio) will present a journey through Chicago music, with guests Carl Giammarese and Jim Peterik.
The comfortable setting of Chicago’s Mayne Stage  provides excellent acoustics to enjoy live music with Chicago natives and beloved musicians and singers Giammarese and Peterik, along with Bob Stroud.
This audience will be the first to enjoy this live presentation of the legendary radio show “Rock and Roll Roots,” which features Top 40 Hits from The Buckinghams, The Ides of March, and some surprises ... music that put Chicago Rock and Roll on the national charts, where it is remains on national radio, 45 years later and still going strong.

All seats are reserved and must be purchased before the day of show. Tickets are $45 and may be purchased online, or by calling at (866) 468-3401. Patrons can dine before the show at the theatre’s Act One restaurant located in Rogers Park.
All the best,
Dawn Lee Wakefield


New York - First generation rock and roll standard-bearer and Rockabilly Hall of Fame Inductee Charlie Gracie has set his first New York performance in over five years on Friday, March 30th at 7:30 PM at The Bitter End. Tickets are priced at $15. The New York appearance by South Philadelphia’s favorite son is in conjunction with the recent release by ABKCO of For The Love of Charlie, a new album milestone for the 75 year old legend. Ten of the album’s 12 tracks were produced by Al Kooper who has been a Charlie Gracie fan since his days in The Royal Teens of “Short Shorts” fame.   
For The Love of Charlie, which includes the track “Back To Philadelphia,” is the first newly recorded release to feature the Cameo Records trademark in more than forty years. The Cameo logo is a nod to the fact that Gracie was the label’s very first significant success:  his hit “Butterfly” helped establish Cameo (and its Parkway sister label) as a major indie in the era preceding The British Invasion.  “Butterfly,” despite the fact that it was covered by Andy Williams, went to #1 on the charts in 1957, putting Cameo/Parkway in the forefront of the teenage music boom of the era. Likewise, his follow-up, the aptly titled “Fabulous,” solidified Gracie’s legacy on both sides of the Atlantic.  Cameo’s hit streak started with Gracie and continued with a string of smashes from Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Orlons, Dee Dee Sharp, The Dovells and others. 
Sir Paul McCartney recorded a version of “Fabulous” and other UK rockers have long celebrated Gracie’s spirit and sheer musicality.  Van Morrison invited Gracie to tour with him and Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton are on-the-record admirers.  For The Love of Charlie, includes vocal contributions from both Graham Nash (who saw Gracie perform even before the Hollies were founded) and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, who named Charlie as one of the most important influences on his musical career. 
For his Bitter End appearance, Gracie will be backed by Richie Scarlet (guitar/piano) who has worked with Ace Frehley and Leslie West, Russ Wilson (drums), Lenny Lee (bass) and Raeya (background vocals, percussion). On March 29 Charlie Gracie will be broadcasting Live on WFUV at Noon in advance of his Bitter End performance date. 
Gracie’s early Cameo catalog is chronicled in ABKCO’s The Best of Charlie Gracie 1956-1958, a strong seller since its release five years ago.  Additionally, "Baby Doll," a freestanding track by Gracie was the top selling single in Philadelphia shortly after its release earlier this year. It's the first time in over 50 ears that Charlie Gracie is charting on Billboard and headlining a New York date. 
Last month, Charlie Gracie was honored with a proclamation from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, commending “this accomplished musician and exceptional talent for the honor that he brings to our music-loving City and his past, current, and future contributions to the world of music and the lexicon of rock and roll. Fabulous, a documentary film chronicling Gracie’s remarkable life and career is currently airing on PBS stations nationally.
More information about Charlie Gracie’s performance date at the Bitter End is available at
How about a double bill of Kiss and Motley Crue?!?!?   
And don't miss these great shows coming to The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL:
A Tribute To Davy Jones (featuring The Pond Hawks) ... and The Righteous Brothers, with Bill Medley ... Friday, March 30th
Joan Rivers, Live ... Two Shows, Saturday, March 31st, at 7 and 9 pm.  This will be a live television taping!
The BoDeans ... Friday, April 20th
A Night of Chicago with 25 or 6 to 4, featuring original Chicago Drummer Danny Seraphine! ...Saturday, May 5th
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer ... Saturday, May 12th
Blue Oyster Cult ... Friday, May 18th
Three Dog Night ... September 14th
Three Faces Of The King ... A Live Tribute To Elvis ... September 15th
Kansas ... September 21st
More shows are being added all the time ... visit the website at

A friend visited a yard / garage sale at Melanie's daughter's house recently. Melanie was there helping out and chatting with visitors. A good bit of Melanie's personal memorabilia was being sold.  
David Lewis
Howard Kaylan recently ran an online "garage sale", too, cleaning out some of HIS memorabilia collected over the years.  I guess you hit a point where you realize you can't take it with you ... and, hopefully, it will be of far greater value to someone else who can cherish and appreciate it.  Unfortunately in my case, I guess I always assumed that at this stage of my life I'd be in a position to finally add some of the "dream items" that had eluded me for so long ... not have to sell off that which is near and dear to me.  (Then again I always thought life got EASIER as you got older, too ... I was wrong about THAT one, too!!!)  There IS a value to all of this in the hands of the right collector ... I guess in the meantime I'll just wait it out to see if that person happens to come along!  (kk)

In regards to what some of your readers said commenting on the record by the Roosters being played at a different speed, the first thing I thought of was a record that came out in 1955 on Decca Records called OPEN UP YOUR HEART (AND LET THE SUNSHINE IN).
It was by the Cowboy Church Sunday School. You played it at 45 rpm where the singers sounded like very young kids, but playing it at 33 rpm the singers sounded like the age they really were. Nothing was said on the label indicating to try to switch to 33 rpm.  
Hey, that gimmick worked pretty well for David Seville!  (kk)

Bought a 45 by Jan & Dean ... I believe it is "DRAG CITY".
First sound is that of a dragster, revving two or three times ... then off she goes and you hear the gear change 3-4 times.
That's a 45 ...
 AT 45 RPM.
If you have that 45, put in on your turn table and put the speed to 33.
SOUNDS like a huge MAC, taking off!
Robert Black

Greatest Rock & Roll opening riffs.
Video is poor but the music is classic.
Are we missing anything?
Yeah, it's a little sloppily put together ... but their heart was definitely in the right place.  Some all-time classics to be sure ... instantly recognizable.  Seems like The Stones ALWAYS came up with a great guitar hook to kick off their songs.  (And Paul Revere would argue that the first five notes of "Good Thing" belongs on this list, too!  And, I'd have to cast my own vote for "Kicks"!)  kk


Probably my all time favorite foreign language song of the rock era has got to be SUKIYAKI, which you co-featured today on Sound Advice. I always did like his follow-up (and he did have one even though it wasn't a hit) a tune called CHINA NIGHTS. To this day I still don't know what he's singing.
Speaking of foreign language songs from the rock era, I always did like a tune out of 1963 by Keith Colley called ENAMORADO. Remember that one? Again, didn't really know what he was singing but still liked it.  Larry
Keith Colley's record was a Top 20 Hit here in Chicago (despite only making it to #66 on the national charts.) And "Sukiyaki" has certainly proven to be a timeless classic (despite the risk it must have been when first releasing it back in 1963.)  It has returned to The Top Ten TWICE since Kyu Sakamoto cut it and topped the charts with his version ... first for the "Boogie Oogie Oogie" group A Taste Of Honey in 1981 (#3) and then again for 4 PM, who scored A #8 Hit in 1995 with their version.  It just goes to show you what a pretty melody can do!  (kk)

All that rolling around in the green and no one mentions Tom Jones’ “Green Green Grass of Home”?
Love all the work you do ... thanks. 
Scott Schultz
Actually, that was one of the first ones we featured.  In fact, we coupled it with Gary Lewis and the Playboys' hit "Green Grass" to kick things off!  (kk)

Hi again Kent,
I just listened to the song "Sandy" by Ronnie and the Daytonas. For what ever reason many times I can not get your daily Sound Advice selections to play. Then maybe the next day I can go back and they will and maybe they won't. Today was the first day this week that I was able to get them to play which makes it nice for me that you leave them up. I have no earthly idea why this happens but it's pretty much a crapshoot. Well ... my computer is nine years old ... anyway ... I have never heard "Sandy" before but I have to say I am a fan. What a lovely song.
And on an unrelated topic ... Bela Fleck and the original Flecktones are performing here in Springfield Mo, next Wednesday. Our newspaper says that this is a reunion tour and possibly a farewell tour. After 17 years away ... Howard Levy ... harmonica player and pianist has rejoined the band. Fleck on banjo ... bassist Victor Wooten and percussionist Roy Wooten. Do you know this group? The article says that the band had three albums recorded from 1988 through 1992. They also have a new album "Rocket Science". Do you know this group?  
I've heard from other readers, too, about the sound clips not always playing the first go round ... and then they play fine on repeat visits.  I myself haven't experienced (but Lord knows I've had countless OTHER problems with Blogger and DivShare!!!)  I think a lot of this has to do what browser you use to view the site.  Mozilla Firefox seems to work best for me ... some of the others seem to be hit or miss.
I've been trying to leave the entire week up there so that folks who don't check the website every day (shame on you!) still have a chance to see which tracks we've featured.  Also, some of the Internet DeeJays on the list are then playing ALL of the week's songs as part of their weekend programming, so that's working out nicely, too.
"Sandy" by Ronny and the Daytonas is a beautiful track that's been forgotten by radio ... really shows the other side of the band's talents.  (Another favorite is "Baby Let's Wait" by The Royal Guardsmen ... these guys got so wrapped up doing the Snoopy thing that a beautiful song like this one went virtually unnoticed.)
I'm not familiar with The Flecktones ... a local group perhaps?  I don't see that they've ever had a nationally charted hit, so I can't say for sure.  Maybe one of our other readers can shed some light on these guys (???)  kk

Most of this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductors have been announced ...

The worst album titles of all time:
I don't agree with a few of them ... seem fine to me ... like 'collie melon'


Kent ...
The Closing of Clifton Music.  The "End Of An Era".
Frank B.

Wow! 50 years since The Twist! Kinda makes ya feel old, doesn't it? I believe it remains the only single in the history of the Billboard chart that went all the way to #1 in two consecutive years!
1962 was the year I graduated from El Camino High School in Sacramento, CA. I ran for Commissioner of Entertainment for the second semester that year -- late winter - spring - early summer -- and my campaign theme was: Add A New Twist to 1962. Elect Fred Vail Your Commissioner of Entertainment.
My campaign promise was if they elected me, I would bring big name entertainment to the high school for assemblies and dances. I won. I delivered: The Diamonds, Rusty Draper, Jan & Dean, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Bobby Freeman, Johnny Crawford (recording star of TV's Rifleman series), Birtha Tillman and Johnnie Morisette (AKA Johnny Two Voice, who's 1962 hit -- as Morisette -- Meet Me At The Twistin' Place, was one of the top selling and charting singles on Sam Cooke's SAR Records)
All these artists appeared for free in exchange for me promoting their engagements at local hotel ballrooms and county fair venues. Those appearances also opened the door for me to start producing concerts and booking recording artists into all-night grad parties and teen clubs. Exactly one year later, May 24, 1963, I produced my first Beach Boys concert at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. I joined the band that night as their first advance man, marketing manager and emcee. I was 19.
I finally met Chubby at a Country Radio Seminar here (Nashville) about eight years ago. I found him to be a very likeable guy who has aged remarkably well.
Chubby's celebrating 50 years of "The Twist" in 2012 ... I say, Why Not Party!
Fred Vail / Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc.
Music City, USA

Re: I'M DICKENS, HE'S FENSTER... I was lucky enough to have 'connections' that gave me 'watchable' vhs copies of several episodes of "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" years ago ... Astin and Engels carried the show ... but from a very young age I was an EMMALINE HENRY fan ... she played Astin's wife ... SHE WAS HOT! Had that 'Dorothy Provine' thing going on!  Later, still looking pretty good as Dr.Bellows' wife, Amanda on I DREAM OF JEANNIE.  

Died in '79, brain cancer, buried in Israel ... only 50 years old ... never married.
Well, isn't arm-candy enough reason for watching a show? 
(btw - the show is right at the 'edge' of my memory)
BTW --- the only LUCK OF THE IRISH ever on around here is a modern one, not the 1930 - 40's Tyrone Power one ... and I must have been thinking of 'Luck of the Irish' being remade as IMDB shows Darby as only one made in 1959.

Have Elvis doing SUCH A NIGHT ... original release?
Listen to the drawn out drum finish ... then when the sound quiets down, you'll hear a distinct "WOO" ... likely the drummer.
Herman's Hermits ... when their song Leaning on a Lamp was first played on radio, when they finished the line "I'm leaning on the lamp post at the corner of the street ... In case a certain little lady comes by ..." 
Then, as a back sound, someone doing a DO WOP thing ... "Do whackado whackado whackado whackado whackado whackado."  On many plays on radio, only an instrumental sound is there.  Wonder if the Roger Miller group had anything to do with the exclusion, due to his song DO-WHACKA-DO.  Copywrite infringement!?
Elvis adopted Freddy 'n' the Bell Boys' version of Hound Dog and closed his performances with it.  Steve Sholes noticed he seemed to make no attempt to record it, and when he asked Elvis why not, Elvis said it was a piece of  NON RECORDABLE fluff, for finishing the show.  Sholes knew Elvis' temperament ... DON'T PUSH.
After a short time of days or weeks, he agian approached Elvis and suggested that the audience EATS that song up.  (ESPECIALLY THE GALS!) ... bet they'd like to come home from school and listen to it at their leisure.
Elvis agreed to TRY IT.  Elvis's one fanaticism ... "They, the fans, pay GOOD MONEY to hear me ... I HAVE to give them my BEST!"
Even with a song he didn't think was recording material, he still did about 40 takes before he was HAPPY!
Might bear double checking, however YOU do such, but I read that, years back.
BUUUUUT then two poems he most despised ... SHOOTING OF DAN MCGREW / CREMATION OF SAM MCGEE ... ARE Robert Services' MOST FAMED poems.  
Robert Black

And, speaking of Elvis, check out THIS story!!!  Who would have EVER thought that they'd still be discovering NEW Elvis material after all this time!!!  First of all, that it would even EXIST ... and then be in a condition that something can be DONE with it!  Simply amazing!
Kent ...
The King's career continues.
Frank B.

Bob Lefsetz just ran a piece featuring "behind the scenes" stories and recollections from Bob Cowsill of The Cowsills and Jim Yester of The Association ... AMAZING stuff!!!
If you're not already on Bob's list, drop me a line and I'll forward you a copy of it! 
And, from that same issue, here's is a GREAT clip of Susan Cowsill absolutely KILLING It on "To Sir With Love" ... completely a cappella!!!  Amazing!!!

Good Morning Kent,
Just in case no  one has brought it to your attention yet, My Mother the Car is out on DVD. Unfortunately He and She still isn't from what I've found.  I remember the show, but I never saw it.  From what I saw looking around the net, lots of folks liked it and would like it to be released.
It was interesting to find out that the creative team behind Get Smart for the first twp seasons left Get Smart to go and work on He and She which wound up lasting only one season.  For some reason I remembered that it was only on for one season.
I'm loving the fact that a lot of old and sometimes forgotten about shows are coming to DVD.
A lot of these shows loom larger in our memories than they really were.  Some simply haven't held up all that well over time ... but I definitely remember enjoying "He And She" when it was on.  There was a genuine chemistry between then married couple Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss. (kk)
Here's a link to a BBC radio programme with 'Boom Boom' talking about his hits and career.  I thought you might like to pass it on to your readers (including Freddie himself!)
It's only available until the 29th though, so you'll need to be quick!
George Van Win

We got a really good response to our recent piece on Robin Luke ... "Professor Luke" even sat down for a brief Forgotten Hits Interview ...
Now comes this from FH Regular Frank B ... a photo of Robin Luke (with his sister, Susie Darlin'!!!)  kk

Kent ...

Did you know that Ringo was Joe Walsh's Brother-in-Law?
Frank B.

Yep ... and he's been on most of Ringo's All-Star Band Tours, too.  I heard him on the radio the other day talking about his new album ... hard to believe it's been twenty years.  (Think about how long The Eagles have been back together now!  Frannie and I watched "Hell Freezes Over" the other night ... and couldn't BELIEVE that that concert was staged eighteen years ago!!!  Who'da thunk it?!?!?  (By the way, Eagle Glen Frey ALSO has a brand new solo album about to be released.  And there's talk of yet another world tour ... this time playing places the band has NEVER played before.)  kk

Just a quick note on the Horn bands:  I saw Blood, Sweat and Tears again this weekend in Minneapolis.  The band is still the best out there.  Absolutely no reason that they and Chicago should not be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I think they need a new person in charge of that.   
Jason Paige is the new lead singer now (the voice of Pokémon of all things!).  He is no David Clayton-Thomas but he brings his own style to the band and has just tons of energy in his show.  The band is still top notch, never sounding better.  A great show.
Pete Heger 

Dear Friends and Fans of 60s Cinematic Pop,
Gary Pig Gold's overview of ABKCO's soundtrack release on HERMAN'S HERMITS has just now appeared at the Roctober Reviews site (and in their print zine soon, too).
Here is the virtual address, for one and all to read, reprint, re-post, quote from and / or link to ...

Before his tragic death at the age of 25, Randy Rhoads was on a fast track to being hailed by critics and public alike as the greatest rock guitar player of all time. Over a short two-year period, Randy recorded two seminal multi-platinum albums with Ozzy Osbourne, which are heralded today as among the most noteworthy recordings in hard rock music history. Through his jaw-dropping six-string work on songs such as "Crazy Train", "Mr. Crowley" and "Flying High Again", Randy Rhoads achieved legendary status as a guitar icon and his artistic legacy continues to grow with each passing year.
A brilliant guitar virtuoso, Randy's masterful ability of bridging rock and classical techniques helped him forge a groundbreaking style of guitar playing. In 1981, Guitar Player magazine honored Randy by selecting him as best new talent of the year. Humble and self-effacing, Randy refused to rest on his laurels. Instead, being bestowed with this prestigious award motivated him to strive for greater creative heights. Tragically, Randy's life ended much too soon when on the morning of March 19, 1982 he was killed in a small private plane that careened into the garage of a plantation home in Leesburg, Florida.
Randy Rhoads' ascendancy to super-stardom was inevitable. Tirelessly honing his craft, he was a devoted student of his instrument, endlessly practicing and perfecting his skills. His days were spent as a guitar teacher and by night he solidified his rising reputation as the "next big thing" on the Hollywood club scene. His big break arrived when he assumed the lead guitar slot in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band. Soon the entire music world would be dazzled by his spectacular flights of fiery fretboard sizzle, swiftly recognizing the merits of this burgeoning guitar genius.
With his dynamic six-string wizardry, Randy Rhoads invented an exciting and technically advanced style of explosive hard rock guitar playing that dominated the '80s music scene. Decades later, his massive influence continues to shape, educate and inspire first, second and third generation players and music fans that marvel at his extraordinary musicality and stunning instrumental prowess. Today, Randy's legendary status as a guitar hero is assured, joining the pantheon of rock's Mt. Olympus where he stands proudly alongside such revered guitar heroes as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Ritchie Blackmore.
No one-trick pony, Randy was well versed in a multitude of musical genres seamlessly cross-navigating rock, blues and classical. In fact, his immense love of classical music continued to be a driving force in his life. Until his untimely death, he continued to take classical guitar lessons in an effort to break new ground as a player.
Today, mythologized and immortalized, Randy Rhoads has become a veritable pop culture institution. Paying homage to his pioneering ability, Marshall Amplifiers created a custom amplifier that bears Randy's name and signature sound. Action figures and sculptures with Randy's likeness have become highly sought after collector's items, while Jackson Guitars have sold millions of Randy Rhoads model guitars, pleasing the late guitarist's loyal legion of dedicated followers. His image graces innumerable music magazine covers annually.
Finally, after years of anticipation, comes the release of "Randy Rhoads", a biography written by Steven Rosen and Andrew Klein, which vividly documents Randy's life and career. Teeming with hundreds of rare photographs and memorabilia, the book chronicles an oral history of Randy's remarkable life through those who knew him best. Packed with countless emotional and poignant stories about the guitar icon, the book weaves a powerful tapestry of colorful memories about his life, which help provide deeper insight into Randy, the man, the myth, the legend. His life is a lasting testament to his supernatural talent and quiet humility.
"Randy Rhoads" is being published by the Velocity Publishing Group, with exclusive distribution through Guitar World.
Pre-orders for "Randy Rhoads" will be accepted starting around April 1 via
-- Ken Voss

And, speaking of new books, I got this from a FH Reader today, too!

Hey Kent,

My company, Iconoclassic Books, has just reissued two classic books about rock 'n' roll radio. Arnold Passman's 1971 release, The Deejays is available at
and Wes Smith's Pied Pipers of Rock 'n' Roll: Radio Deejays of the '50s and '60s is available at
It was a blast working with these authors...Arnie Passman even supplied some new material for The Deejays. We soon will be reprinting Geoffrey Stokes' Star-Making Machinery: Inside the Business of Rock and Roll, the 1976 account of the making and marketing of a Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airman album.
Keep up the great work with the blog! I'm lovin' it!!
Rick Baverstock

While perusing the survey on your website on WLS' Garage Bands of the 60's, when I saw listed IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR at #25 by Michael & the Messengers (a group I am not familiar with), it reminded me immediately of the same song done by a group known as Kit and the Outlaws from early 1967 on Philips Records.  Their version made it into our top 10 locally here in OKC. Don't know if you are familiar with that group or version or not. Also, a group known as Dick Whittington and his Cats had a cover version out at the same time which also made our local survey.
Michael and the Messengers were a Wisconsin-based band who did pretty well on our local charts, scoring hits with their remakes of "In The Midnight Hour" (#5) and "(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet" (#12), both in 1967.  I think at least one of these tracks has made the rounds on some of the "Nuggets" collections, thus giving the group a little bit more national exposure than they received during their hey-day.  (kk)

Dear Friends:
As a friend of legendary rock vocalist and guitarist Mark Farner, I wanted to make you aware of a documentary that's in the works regarding his life called, I'm Your Captain - The Mark Farner Story.
Slated for release in September, 2013, to celebrate both Mark's 65th birthday and the 40th Anniversary of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band" hitting #1 on the Billboard charts, this movie should be a riveting ride.
The producers of the film have a website where fans can participate in funding the project and investors can get involved to the help fund the film -
If you know anything about Mark's history with his band, Grand Funk Railroad, or his life in general, you know this has the makings to be an excellent documentary.
I've had the pleasure of working with Mark over the past dozen years on various tours and benefit concerts, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more genuine individual.
Please help spread the word on the project and join the journey on getting this done.
Thank you for your support.
Cheers -
Jeff Albright

I saw this story on our A.P. service this morning.  More tv and movie creators should be like this.
Phil - WRCO
NEW YORK (AP) - Dusty Springfield's song "The Look of Love" has been pulled from the season premiere of "Mad Men" because it's historically inaccurate. The show is a stickler for details, and the song came out in 1967, six months after the events of the episode take place. TV critics noticed. Show creator Matthew Weiner (WY'-nur) says in a statement he's replaced the song with one more suited to the time period. He says the show sometimes takes artistic license with the end-title music but they want to match the music in the show to the time period. "Mad Men" premieres Sunday on AMC.
VERY cool indeed.  This has been a real stickler point with me for ages now ... when these "time-sensitive" pieces run music material historically inaccurate for that timeframe.  Kudos to Matt Weiner and AMC for having the chops to do this!  (By the way, "Mad Men" returns ... after an exceptionally long hiatus ... tonight on AMC.)  kk
“Mad Men” will make its long awaited return on Sunday, March 25th, but is currently under fire from critics due to some historical inaccuracy. Show creator Matthew Weiner has pulled Dusty Springfield‘s 1967 hit “The Look of Love” from the show’s season five premiere because the events of the show took place six months prior to the song’s release. 
As reported by Rolling Stone, Weiner responded to television critics in a statement saying, “We have replaced this song with one more suited to the time period and you, along with our audience, will hear it for the first time during our March 25th broadcast.”  The magazine notes that the wildly popular AMC series generally uses music suitable for the time frame of the show, typically from the 1960s or earlier. One notable instance where this wasn’t the case was during an episode called “Maidenform,” when Louisville rockers My Morning Jacket had their 2005 track “The Infanta” featured during a montage. 
“Although we take license for artistic purposes with the end-title music, we never want the source music to break from the time period we are trying to recreate,” Weiner continued. “As someone who has a deep appreciation for details, I want to thank you for bringing this to our attention.”
-- courtesy of Frank B (and WCBS-FM, natch!)
And Jerry Lee Lewis says that he's going to be tying the knot again ... for the SEVENTH time!!!  (Don't a good percentage of his wives end up inexplicably dead?!?!?)
Kent ...
The Killer strikes again.
Frank B.

Hi Kent,
I've meant to send you this for the last couple weeks but just been forgetting to do it.
When the classical based songs topic came up a couple weeks back this was one that I thought of.
I don't think this was released as a single, but it's from the Innocent Man
album and is sort of a tribute to both doo wop harmony and Beethoven. The chorus, I believe, is based on a Beethoven piece.
"An Innocent Man" is my all-time favorite Billy Joel album ... so I'm quite familiar with this piece. Billy was certainly a classically trained pianist so he probably rehearsed this piece as a child.  He actually credits LV Beethoven for the chorus in his liner notes!  Yes, it's sometimes amazing how well these classics fit into some of our favorite, modern pieces.  (kk)

And, speaking of Billy Joel ...

Kent ...
Watch Billy Joel curse out the audience and go crazy.
Frank B.
Go Crazy, yes ... but if you read the piece, you'll see that he's not cursing out the audience ... but rather the stage crew that keeps lighting up the audience!  It is a bit of a flip-out ... but if you know Billy Joel, you know that he's sometimes tempted to "Go To Extremes"!!!  (lol)