Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Sunday Comments ( 04 - 15 - 12 )

Bee Gee Robin Gibb has lapsed into a coma and his family has been gathered ... it's not looking good.  Gibb has been battling liver and colon cancer for over a year now, but after several rounds of chemotherapy, this seemed to be in remission.  He even talked about performing live again with his brother Barry ... but was recently hospitalized again on March 25th for an emergency surgery that was described as "unrelated to his cancer" and involved the removal of a blood clot that had developed in his colon.  Robin next contracted pneumonia and, while hospitalized for this treatment, lapsed into a coma.  His twin brother Maurice died of heart failure due to intestinal problems in January of 2003.  Ironically, next week's episode of "Glee" pays tribute to the landmark soundtrack "Saturday Night Fever".  (kk)

Here's one of the best, most in-depth reports I've seen on Robin's condition.  I'm sure all of our prayers are with him ...

re:  FIRST 45's:
The first 45 RPM record I ever owned was one I had stolen at Big Apple Supermarket in Atlanta, GA. It was called “I Ran All The Way Home” by the Impalas.  This was fall of 1959.  The first legit 45 I ever owned was given to me for a birthday gift “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton.
Bob Jones
"I Ran All The Way Home" probably also accurately describes your First 45 theft back in 1959, too!  (lol)  We've had a few people write in about grabbing their First 45 via the "five finger discount".  (MUCH harder to do in the days of 78's I imagine!!!  lol)  kk

Thanks, Bob ... look for your story up on The Forgotten Hits Website ... we've now got FOUR FULL PAGES of First 45's Memories posted!!!  (And, as you can see, they're STILL coming in!)  kk

Kent - 
You really outdid yourself with the Easter Sunday Comments ...
BEST Sunday Comments sheet EVER!
SO much information ... so much great music ...
Forgotten Hits just keeps getting better and better!
Thank you.  
Wow!  Thanks, Ed.  I thought it was a pretty good edition, too ... but so much of this is contingent on what you guys send me in to work with!  So kudos to the whole group on allowing us to put together "The Best Sunday Comments Sheet Ever"!!!  (kk)

Kent ... 
Carole King's memoirs came out this week ... It's not "Too Late" to buy this book.
Frank B.
Click here: Carole King’s Memoir ‘A Natural Woman’ In Book Stores Today

Here is a picture you can use.
It's Nick Todd ... "Plaything" plus other songs that he recorded.
He is Pat Boone's brother but didn't use the Boone name.
DJ Stu Weiss

Yes, I can see a little resemblance.  Born Nicholas Boone, he didn't want to cash in on his brother's success.  It worked ... Nick Todd had just two very minor hits in 1957 ... "Plaything" (#41) ... and his version of "At The Hop", which peaked at #70.  (kk)

In the new issue of Mojo, (5/12), Davy Jones gets a full page obit with a photo and Whitney Houston gets less than a 1/4 page & no photo. Even Dory Previn got more space & a photo, as did Michael Davis of the MC5.
In other news I am proud to announce that I have been dragged into the 21st century. Rock And Roll Never Forgets has a website! Please visit Hope to hear from you!
Dragged kicking and screaming, I'm sure ... but arrived nonetheless!  Good luck with the site and the store ... and be sure to pop up a link to our Forgotten Hits site for all your new visitors to check out!  (kk)   

Enjoyed your Sunday Comments as usual. I would like to make the following brief comments, if I may, on items which immediately came to my mind.
I enjoyed the posting of Freddie and the Dreamers' A LITTLE YOU. If you had asked me who had that record in 1965, I could have told you, but this was one of his I had not heard in ages. In fact, I played it through twice!
Concerning the comments on local surveys coming out in Chicago, here in OKC the weekly top 40 radio surveys made their weekly debut on Thursday mornings at 9:30 AM. I always looked forward to what song was number one and also what song would turn out to be the "pick hit of the week".  Nothing was said really about "pick albums of the week"
I did not know that Jewel Akens recorded a version of SUKIYAKI. I did some research (not much) and did learn it came out in 1966 on ERA, which I assumed. I liked his version and would you believe I played it three times in a row?
I did not know that Bob Moore had a follow-up to MEXICO. MANHATTEN SPIRITUAL by Santo & Johnny did make our local survey but wasn't all that big of a hit. Reggie Owen's version of 1958-1958 peaked at number one here in OKC back in January of 1959.
The Kirby St. Romain song was one of those records, and I believe I am correct in saying this, that made the local survey of KOMA but not the survey of WKY. Through the years, as you probably know, some records charted on one local survey but not their competitor for one reason or another.
You mentioned NOT ME. I liked Gary 'U.S.' Bonds' version also. Kenny Ball was also mentioned. To me as a kid here in OKC, no matter what time it was, it was always MIDNIGHT IN MOSCOW.
Concerning changing speeds of records, I don't know to this day why I did it, but in 1960 when the group Johnny and the Hurricanes came out with BEATNIK FLY, I turned the record over and played the 'B' side, an instrumental called SAND STORM. I really didn't turn the records over to play 'B' sides very often, but I did on this one for whatever reason. I liked the tune and then again I don't know why I did this, but I tried playing it at 33 speed. Still sounded good, in my opinion. Go figure!
Finally, you said that James Brown's records did not really do that well in Chicago. Well, here in OKC I guarantee you they did quite well, as well as the records by such black artists as Etta James, Jimmy Reed, and Bo Diddley.
Larry Neal
The Wax Museum
"A Little You" is one of my Freddie and the Dreamers favorites ... one of those that deserved to be a much bigger hit than it was.
During the heated battles between our two AM Powerhouse stations (WLS and WCFL), they would often chart songs on one survey but not the other ... or competing versions of the same song (like "Son Of My Father", a song we recently featured, done by both Chickory and Giorgio ... or "Beautiful People" by Kenny O'Dell and Bobby Vee.)  I think it was quite deliberately done to make each station stand out from the other ... and it just meant the listeners got exposed to that much more great music.  (If I had to break it down and generalize it, I'd have to say that WCFL seemed to experiment more in the way of harder rock hits while WLS seemed to take the safe route, sticking with the pop sound.)  It all made for a VERY exciting time in radio.
I was quite knocked out by Jewel Akens' version of "Sukiyaki", too ... and have played it several times since I first discovered it, thanks to FH Reader Tom Diehl.
Bob Moore had a few more hits here in Chicago besides "Mexico" ... his version of "The Theme from 'My Three Sons'" (one of my favorites) went to #20 in 1961 and "Kentucky" went to #14 in 1963 on the WLS chart.  In between (in 1962), his version of "Auf Wiedersehen Marlene" was a featured "extra" on The Top Tunes Of Greater Chicagoland" Top 40 Chart, too.  (kk)

Hey Kent,
Just a quick note to thank you for
putting Freddie and the Dreamers on your site. Your comment about their crazy act being their own undoing is correct, but let me say that it really got them out there, and made them unique among so many British bands, cashing in on the success of The Beatles. It was precisely one year later that "I'm Telling You Now", was the top hit of the land, after The Beatles filled the charts with all those records, as you featured in Forgotten Hits. Like most novelty acts, they faded quickly from the scene, and what a shame it was. I had forgotten about the song, "A Little You", that you let us hear. It was from the "Do the Freddie" album. What a great song, from the vocals, to the guitar riffs, to the percussion! On the album's liner notes was a detailed chart of step-by-step instructions on how to dance the "Freddie", taught by Aurthur Murray, of all people! One line of the song's lyrics says, make a "line in back", but I guess Murray couldn't understand Freddie's Manchester accent, and thought it was a "Limey Bop", so that became a step of the dance! I sure would like to get my hands on the two Capital releases of "I'm Telling You Now" and "You Were Made For Me", that were favored over The Beatles' early recordings, and then bombed, only to become hits, later, on Tower Records. What historic artifacts!
- John LaPuzza
Good luck with that!  I tried to find pictures online and couldn't come up with anything.  I can't imagine that very many copies ever made it into people's hands!  It was good to revisit with Freddie and the Dreamers ... radio certainly doesn't play them anymore and these were fun records ... and HITS, too!!!  (kk)

How cool is this?  One of our buddies from The New Invaders, Jimmy Herter, actually had the chance to sit in for several shows playing guitar for Herman's Hermits Featuring Peter Noone!  (Too bad about ANOTHER one of our Forgotten Hits Buddies, Vance Brescia, who was evidently on the "disabled list" there for a while!  Hopefully you're well on the mend by now, Vance!)  
Here is Jimmy's story, as published in The New Invaders' fans newsletter:
As some of you may know, I have been moonlighting on the New Invaders, playing with Acoustic Avenue, a trio that plays at Chapin’s in Morris, IL, Twin Rail Pub in Minooka, IL and McBride’s in Plainfield, IL, as well as other establishments in the Joliet area.  Ron Romero put Acoustic Avenue together with the idea that if one of the founding members was unavailable for a gig, a pool of other professional musicians would always be available to use and the show would go on.
One day, Ron called me to fill in for Billy Sullivan, the lead guitar player for Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone. 
I had played with Ron and Mike Broccolerie on a few gigs. Mike, by the way, is also a founding member of Acoustic Avenue and can play more songs than anyone on this planet.  On one occasion Mike was unavailable and I had a chance to play with Billy.  We hit it off right from the start, challenging each other with song after song.  I was impressed with Billy’s confidence in every type of music we played and apparently, as I would find out later, Billy liked my style as well!
In February of 2012, Peter Noone’s right hand man on guitar, Vance Brescia, broke his knee cap while executing a dance move that he had done hundreds of times on stage.  In fact I was told by some of the fans that they were worried one day he would get hurt doing that move. So with Vance on the disabled list, Peter needed a sub.  After just one engagement with Billy Sullivan, he had the confidence in me to suggest that I would be a good replacement.  Billy shared some of my New Invaders YouTube videos with Peter and Peter agreed that Billy’s choice for a stand in would be fine with him and I got the call.  YES!  So the preparation for going on the road with one of my lifetime heroes began.
Billy came to my home, and as he walked me through the musical direction of the show, playing the tunes as we went along, it instantly became apparent to me that this was not going to be as easy as learning the songs off of the records.
  Peter Noone, a showman as well as a great singer, had many bits and shtick with stories that would kick into musical skits and jokes ... it’s show business baby!
If you have not seen Peter Noone’s show don’t miss it.  Peter’s voice is as strong and beautiful as ever. He is hilarious.  It is one of the best shows that the the British Invasion has to offer. In fact, Peter is fun all day long. He was kind to me and made me feel welcome from the very instant I met him.  Peter loves his fans and will not leave the building until every autograph has been signed.
In all, I played seventeen shows with Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone,
flew on twelve different airplanes and played in six cities in five states: Oregon, Connecticut, Arkansas, Georgia and Florida.  To finish up the tour with the Hermits, we played at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, FL, for four days in a row..  My wife Judy and granddaughter Elle came to Florida and enjoyed all that Busch Gardens had to offer.
It was a pleasure playing with the Hermits.
  They were complimentary of my playing and professionalism in general and I was extremely  impressed with their musicianship, sense of humor and camaraderie.
Here’s the lineup: Rich Spina , the musical director of the show, on keyboards, Billy Sullivan on lead guitar, Dave Farrara on drums and Vance Brescia, who is expected to make a full recovery from his injury, on guitar. The Hermits will join back up with Peter on May 10th at Epcot Center in Disney World, Florida.  Although I will not be joining them in May, I did express to Peter that if he ever needed me to fill in again, I would be there in a “heartbeat” because after all it was one of the best experiences of my life.
-- Jimmy Herter
Wow!  Talk about the experience of a lifetime!  VERY cool, Jimmy!  Can't wait to hear a couple of Hermits songs added to The New Invaders' repertoire!!!  (kk)

And, speaking of Peter Noone ...

Hey Kent,  
Just after reading the post about Ted Knight, I found this posted on the Herman’s Hermits Facebook page. Weird coincidence.  

Eddie Burke,
Orange, CT
Or maybe NOT a coincidence at all ... Peter Noone reads Forgotten Hits, too, you know!  (kk)

re:  MORE TV:
As long as the subject won't die ...
Forgive me, but out of boredom, I watched a few JUDGE JUDY's a few years back.
(I'm better now) ... I was very surprised to see a now-grown neighborhood kid make an appearance on the show ... (now a DJ ... sued someone) ...
BUT I was SHOCKED ... ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED ... to see Mr. Shirley Jones ... MARTY INGELS ... appear on that schlock show! (and they don't do celeb appearances!).  Seeing him 'duke-it-out' on a 'real' court show made me think he was 'on-the-skids' and needed the money badly!!!  Either that or he lost a bet!
Marty Ingles is one of those guys that you either like him ... or you TRULY loathe him ... rubs a LOT of people the wrong way ... but I guess I "get" him because he's cracked me up numerous times over the years.  One of those life-long non-celeb / never-really-was guys who has still managed to stay in the public spotlight for DECADES and always manages to get in front of the camera.  I like him.  (kk)


This Sunday, Apr 15, Dave the Rave plans to play "Runaround Girl" and air an interview with me on WIBG-FM in Jersey. He's on from (I think) 1-4 in the afternoon PDT (you may need to check that, and I have no idea what time he might play the record & the interview). This should get you there:  and then click on the "Listen Live" icon at the top of the page.
Dave does a fun show and he likes the Portraits music. He also does an internet-only show on topshelfoldies on most Saturday nights. He has played us on that show and often mentions me. I might call in this week (4/14) and get a play & a mention, but I have a gig so it depends what time I get home.
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem
Hoping that some of our readers had a chance to tune in to Dave The Rave's Saturday Night Relics and Rarities Show, too, where he featured ALL kinds of great garage band music!  (kk)

More great photos and coverage of the recent Davy Jones Memorial Tribute ... this time from Brad Waddell of Flexquarters, the online Monkees fanzine:
Click here: Davy Jones Tribute celebrates man behind the Monkee | The Monkees Home Page     

37 There Goes My Heart Again - Fats Domino  (Jerry Kamper) >>>This one reached #35 here in Chicago ... but crapped out at #59 nationally.  ALL of these tunes have been long forgotten by radio.  (kk)
I just played this one on my March 22nd show for Topshelf Oldies ... it's a favorite of mine.
Tom Diehl

Hi Everybody!
The Charlie Gracie "Fabulous" Special Edition PBS Trailer link for National affiliates is imbedded below:
The "Fabulous" Special Edition will begin airing on Nationwide PBS affiliates in around six weeks.
A great special that actually predates Shawn's "Wages Of Spin" documentary.  Watch your local PBS listings and check it out if you can.  And look for more Charlie Gracie news below.  (kk)

Jeremy Roberts reports on a new book by Donnie Sumner, lead singer of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, Elvis' long-time back-up band.  Full details can be found here:
Wilson Phillips were cute-looking ... their singing did nothing for me ... and neither did the talk show one of them had.
I liked their music all-right in the '90's (and I didn't like a lot of '90's music!) ... probably as much because of their parentage than any other reason.  The trio scored #1 records with three out of their first four single releases:  "Hold On", "Release Me" and "You're In Love" ... and their videos were cool to watch, too.  I hate reality tv shows ... but I may tune this one in, just in case they burst into song at some point!  (kk)    

David Beard reports that Dean Torrence is currently working on a brand new album release.  Here are some teaser details now ... and you can subscribe to The Jan And Dean Examiner to stay on top of this developing story here:  Jan & Dean Examiner.  
With all the energy and hoopla surrounding The Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour, it might surprise music lovers of the genre that the Beach Boys 1960’s cohort, Dean Torrence (Jan & Dean) is also back in the studio recording new music for a newly imagined musical experience with some very notable California music cats.  This welcome news comes on the heels of the Beach Boys announcement of a 50th anniversary tour and studio album. 
Jan & Dean Examiner has learned that Torrence has returned to the recording studio, and is working on a new album with Gary Griffin (Surf City Allstars / Brian Wilson band).  The new LP will also include a guest appearance from Beach Boy David Marks.
The group name is The Bamboo Trading Company, and the album’s working title is “Kitty Hawk to Surf City.”  
-- David Beard  

Another generation of kids were introduced to this tune by (an unusually-singing) Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm ten years later on The Flintstones. At least two videos of performances exist.
Wow!  Whodathunk?!?!  Well, here's one of 'em!  (kk)

Here's Open Up Your Heart, Take 2!
Vinny B.
Not quite sure WHAT that is ... but here it is!  (kk)

New York, NY (April 9, 2012)—Eagle Rock Entertainment, the world’s leader in Visual Music, will release Phil Collins Live At Montreux 2004 in a beautifully-packaged 2-DVD set on May 1.
Filmed in high definition, recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby 5.1 Surround and DTS, with a running time of approximately three and a half hours spread over the two discs, Live At Montreux 2004 includes all the greatest hits of his legendary career. The 25-song 2004 concert encapsulates the essence of this great artist, who has performed on the Montreux stage numerous times. One such time, in 1996, was with a Jazz Big-Band. Thirteen songs from that ’96 performance — including one with Tony Bennett (“There’ll Be Some Changes Made”) — serve as a bonus feature (in standard definition).
The Main Program is a stunning reminder of a storied career: From “In The Air Tonight” “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Easy Lover” to “A Groovy Kind Of Love” “Another Day In Paradise” “One More Night” and “Against All Odds” the set-list accentuates the wildly fluctuating amount of genres and styles that Collins has smoothly assimilated within his own personal flair.
Drummer / actor / singer / producer / author Phil Collins came to fame with the ultimate prog-rockers Genesis before starting his solo career 31 years ago. Overall, he has sold an astonishing 200 million records. He’s been in jazz bands (Brand X), was in The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night in 1964 at age 13 and was the wicked Uncle Ernie in a Los Angeles stage production of The Who’s Tommy.   He’s produced Eric Clapton, Earth Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey, John Martyn and Adam Ant. He played drums on Robert Plant’s first two solo albums as well as on his solo first tour. He’s written for the Broadway stage and won an Oscar for writing “You’ll Be In My Heart” from the movie Tarzan. He was inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame with Genesis in 2010.
Phil Collins Live At Montreux 2004 was also released on Blu-ray on March 26 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
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.
Main Show Set List:
1) Drum Thing  
2) Something Happened On The Way To Heaven  
3) Against All Odds  
4) Don’t Lose My Number  
5) You’ll Be In My Heart  
6) One More Night  
7) Can’t Stop Lovin’ You  
8) Hang In Long Enough  
9) True Colours  
10) Come With Me  
11) A Groovy Kind Of Love  
12) I Missed Again 
13) Another Day In Paradise  
14) No Way Out  
15) Separate Lives  
16) In The Air Tonight  
17) Dance Into The Light  
18) You Can’t Hurry Love  
19) Two Hearts  
20) Wear My Hat  
21) Easy Lover  
22) Sussudio  
23) It’s Not Too Late  
24) Drums Again  
25) Take Me Home
Bonus 1996 Big-Band Set List:
1) Two Hearts 
2) That’s All 
3) In The Air Tonight 
4) Invisible Touch 
5) West Side 
6) Against All Odds 
7) Hand In Hand 
8) There’ll Be Some Changes Made (featuring Tony Bennett) 
9) Milestones 
10) Los Endos 
11) Always 
12) Do Nothing ‘Til You Hear From Me 
13) Sussudio
The Davie Allan Collection can be yours for a song:

RETROPHONIC 2 - The Home Demos
$10.00 EACH
(Includes U.S. Shipping & Handling)
P.O. Box 5378
Oceanside, CA 92052

Davie Allan will sign every CD if requested!
The first music video for Charlie Gracie.
Also a 1st for The Orlons to back-up former Cameo Recording artist Charlie Gracie.

Philly Pop Music & Clutch Cargo are proud to announce our promo video for the benefit single,'Mull of Kintyre'.
View on YouTube here: Thanks to Sir Paul McCartney and MPL Communications to allow the promo video gratis for a two year term. A George Manney film.
Partial proceeds to benefit the Philadelphia Police and Fire, Pipes & Drums Band.
Featuring special guests:  Charlie Gracie, Birdie Busch, Philadelphia Police and Fire pipers, The Orlons, The Hooligans Luke Jardel, and Skip Denenberg.
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: Clutch Cargo online:  www.ClutchCargoMusic.comPhilly Pop Music - www.PhillyPopMusic.comThank you for your support!
New York, NY (April 11, 2012)—Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the May 29 release of Foreigner’s Alive & Rockin’, recorded at one of Europe’s most popular Hard Rock fests, the 2006 Bang Your Head Festival in Balingen, Germany. This 9-track concert, previously released on DVD only (Eagle Rock Entertainment) is now available for the first time on CD.
“My initial musical vision for Foreigner was to combine blues and R’n’B with British Rock and make it sound soulful and authentic,” says guitarist Mick Jones. “I’d grown up in England and had the English influence but I was also inspired by many elements of American music from Mississippi blues to country. Foreigner was the vehicle to get that musical blend across.”
That “blend” was never more evident than on this rockin’ night as Jones — with vocalist Kelly Hansen, drummer Jason Bonham, keyboardist Jeff Jacobs, multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel (guitars, saxophone, flute) and bassist Jeff Pilson — knocked out a crowd-pleasing set that included eight U.S. Top 20 hits including anthems “Juke Box Hero” “Cold As Ice” and “Hot Blooded.”
This most beloved of Classic Rock bands has been serving up the hits for over 30 years. With over 70 million records sold worldwide, they’re second only to Led Zeppelin on the Atlantic Records roster in total album sales. Jones, producer of 10 of Foreigner’s multi-platinum albums, has composed some of the most memorable riffs in rock history. After forming Spooky Tooth with Gary Wright in the early 1970s, he left his native England to move to New York in 1976 and formed Foreigner.
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.
Track Listing: 
1) Double Vision  
2) Head Games  
3) Dirty White Boy  
4) Cold As Ice  
5) Starrider  
6) Feels Like The First Time  
7) Urgent  
8) Juke Box Hero / Whole Lotta Love
9) Hot Blooded
Rock Legends SWEET Return With New Album 'New York Connection'
Without The Sweet there would not have been a Kiss” -- GENE SIMMONS
“Mötley Crüe wanted to be The Sweet” -- NIKKI SIXX
“The Sweet are the band that I wish I had been in”  -- JOE ELLIOTT, DEF LEPPARD

4/13/2012 - London, UK - One of the most legendary, influential and enduring names in the history of rock music, SWEET release a brand new studio album – their first since ‘Sweetlife’ – on April 27. 
With worldwide album sales of more than 55 million copies, SWEET have notched 34 Number One smashes across the globe as part of a run of timeless hits that includes ‘Blockbuster!’, ‘Hell Raiser’, ‘The Ballroom Blitz’, ‘The Six Teens’, ‘Action’, ‘Fox On The Run’ and ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’. Seen on Top Of The Pops on what felt like a weekly basis throughout the 1970s, their über-harmonious, multi-tracked guitar work and layered production was to provide inspiration to other acts such as Queen, the Electric Light Orchestra and, in later decades, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and The Darkness.
Now comes ‘New York Connection’. Recorded by original member Andy Scott (guitar and vocals) and his current line-up of Pete Lincoln (lead vocals and bass guitar), Tony O’Hora (guitar, keyboards and vocals) and Bruce Bisland (drums and vocals), the new album is a selection of material originally penned by other artists awarded the band’s instantly recognizable thumb-print. So it’s a boring covers album, then? Well, no. Not really. This time there’s a bit of a twist.
Besides some fairly inevitable selections – Andy Scott, who handles lead vocals on this version of ‘Sweet Jane’ has long declared his admiration of The Velvet Underground – SWEET have not only tried their hands at some unexpected choices such as ‘All Moving Faster’ by the New Jersey punk band Electric Frankenstein and The Black Keys’ ‘Gold On The Ceiling’, but where appropriate they have also mashed in riffs, drum beats or vocal lines from some of their own classic songs. “It’s a case of buy one, get one free!” laughs Andy Scott.
Thus their interpretation of ‘It's All Moving Faster’ interpolates the guitar line to SWEET’s own ‘Burn On The Flame’, while ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ by The Ramones is teamed up with a snippet of ‘The Ballroom Blitz’. Several other examples of this phenomenon abound on the record – see whether you can spot them all! – though the most obvious example is the fusion of the Russ Ballard chestnut ‘New York Groove’ (previously covered by both Hello and former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley) with Jay-Z’s ‘Empire State Of Mind’. Astonishingly, it works.
“When people hear that one in particular, often they have a solitary word: ‘Wow!’” smiles Andy Scott proudly.
However, the equally convincingly rocked-up inclusion of ‘You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)’, a UK chart-topper for Dead Or Alive in 1985, perhaps begs the question of how seriously ‘New York Connection’ is intended to be taken.
“It’s all meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek,” acknowledges Scott. “The whole point of doing something like this was to enjoy it. We had a stab at ‘You Spin Me Right Round’ as a bit of a wind-up, but it came together so well and sounded so right that it was very hard to turn our backs on. We definitely gave it the SWEET stamp.”
If a central thread unites much of the material on ‘New York Connection’ it’s that of songs by New York-based artists, songwriters or material that name-checks the Big Apple in its title. “Obviously, some don’t fulfill that criteria, but most of them do,” explains Scott.
Covered many, many times through the years, ‘On Broadway’ is perhaps best known as a hit for both The Drifters and George Benson. The band likes to think it fits the album’s overall concept by having been recorded by The Foxboro Hot Tubs, a side-project of the American punks Green Day. For these purposes the song concerned has been cross-pollinated with SWEET’s 1977 chart hit ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’. Reveals Scott: “That one almost didn’t make it onto the album as nobody except me could imagine how a hard rock riff could possibly be merged with a pop-soul song. But I think we managed it.”
The project was born when Scott’s son Damian started messing around with a looped sample that was later integrated into a version of the song that closes the album, namely The Who’s 1972 standard ‘Join Together’. This was fitting as back in the 1970s the latter’s guitarist, Pete Townshend, had gone out on a limb as an important backer of SWEET’s crossover from the pop singles market to a harder-edged, more album-based direction. Fans will know that they had also recorded a version of ‘My Generation’ on their 1970s album ‘Desolation Boulevard’.
When SWEET elected to perform ‘Join Together’ on the German TV special Fernsehgarten and realised that it fitted their own style so well they began looking around for other tunes to cover. Gradually the project took on a life of its own.
SWEET are on the road for most weeks of the year. They will tour the UK in the autumn to promote ‘New York Connection’.
The song ‘New York Groove’ will be available as a single prior to the album’s release.
The complete track listing of ‘New York Connection’ is as follows:
    1) ‘New York Groove’ (written by Russ Ballard)
    2) ‘Gold On The Ceilings’ (The Black Keys)
    3) ‘It's All Moving Faster’ (Electric Frankenstein)
    4) ‘New York Connection’ (originally the B-side of Sweet’s ‘Wig Wam Bam’)
    5) ‘Shapes Of Things’ (The Yardbirds)
    6) ‘You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)’ (Dead Or Alive)
    7) ‘Because The Night’ (Bruce Springsteen, also recorded by the Patti Smith Group) Lead vocal: Tony O’Hora
    8) ‘Sweet Jane’ (The Velvet Underground) Lead vocal: Andy Scott
    9) ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ (The Ramones) Lead vocal: Bruce Bisland
    10) ‘Broadway’ (written by a team including Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller)
    11) ‘Join Together’ (The Who)
SWEET - ‘New York Connection’ is available via, iTunes and Amazon
"New York Groove" is available at the following links:

Photo by Dick Barnatt

THE BITTER END has been one of NYC's legendary venues over the last 50 years ... and has seen the likes of Neil Diamond (last year), Barbra Striesand, Joan Rivers, Billy Crystal and more grace its stage. Philly's CHARLIE GRACIE sold out the venue on March 30th!
Charlie's new single BABY DOLL is #4 this week (April 12th) in New York and reached #49 nationally on BILLBOARD's Chart!
RICHIE SCARLET, who played with members of  KISS, is a long-time Gracie fan and joined him on stage that night as well. A memorable evening for all!
Charlie Jr.

CRASH LANDING will be headlining at the Montrose Room in Rosemont on Friday, May 18th. All the details have not been posted on the Montrose Room website as of this morning, but I understand from Mike Flynn that tickets are already starting to move ... so here's a link for advance ticket sales. Since our last show at SPACE in Evanston was completely SOLD OUT and many friends were turned away, I wanted to make sure that I got this info to you ASAP.
Thanks, Quent ... hope we can make it to this one!  (kk)
Hello Kent,
Well, you have done it again!  Awakened a sweet memory from my past via your postings.
I clicked on the WLS promo video from 1969, and low and behold, what do I see but the Station Manager John Rook driving a 1967 Cutlass Supreme 442 in the video arriving at work. 
My favorite automobile!!!! From my youth, and it was really special since I was fortunate enough to purchase 'as new' the '67 CS Holiday Coupe 442 that toured the country with the Auto Show. A really special edition.  Oh, if I was only wise enough to keep it, but the fun it afforded me will never be forgotten. What marvelous vehicles we had to listen to our music in those wonderful carefree years.
Thanks for the post,
Charlie OFD
Kent -
Thanks so much for posting "Not Me" by the Orlons - great record. 
If 94.7 has played it of late, I haven't heard it, so what a special treat. 
The Philadelphia sound, 1963!  I love it, love it, love it. 
I doubt that WLS has played it of late ... but another reader had written in regarding songs from The WLS Silver Dollar Survey from the week that he graduated in 1963 ... and this just happened to be one of them ... a legitimate #12 Hit that time has forgotten simply because it has been ignored for SO long that it has ceased to exist in the minds of many.  And that's what Forgotten Hits is all about.  (kk)
Here's a blast from the past ... listen to this clip from Casey Kasem announcing the invention of the compact disk from 1983:
And another CLASSIC Casey Kasem bit below: