Friday, August 31, 2012

The Friday Flash

Here's some cool stuff to help jump start your long weekend ... 


Here's one you won't want to miss ...
This Labor Day Weekend, Rich Appel is counting down The Top 100 One Hit Wonders ...
Here's all the info:
The Top 100 One-Hit Wonders counts down this Labor Day weekend on WRNJ's "The Rest Of The Week With Rich Appel," Saturday 6 am - 1 pm and Sunday 10 am - 3 pm.
The list covers one-hitters - as in, artists who sang lead on only one top 40 hit nationally - from the mid-1950s through the 1990s. (We figure any act with only one hit since 2000 still has another shot.)

Sounds like fun! (I guested on Rich's show a few months back and played some of MY favorite One Hit Wonders from the '60's and '70's ... but this should be quite a collection.
To help kick it off, here's Chicago's own Ides Of March ... and THEIR "One Hit Wonder" song ... (and no, I don't mean "Vehicle"!!!) kk

With the latest installment of our ''Hard-To-Find 45's on CD'' series, Eric Records tackles a broad topic - love songs. After all, most songs are love songs - all about wanting it, finding it, losing it, and every step in between. And, we've got that covered, from John Denver's heartfelt tribute to his wife, ''Annie's Song,'' to Ronnie Dyson's frank discussion of bedroom politics, ''(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can't I Touch You?''
What makes Hard-To-Find 45's on CD Vol. 13: The Love Album really special, though, isn't the love part, it's the hard-to-find part. Sure, these are all love songs, and nearly all of them were Top 20 hits. But, trying to find these on any other CD collection is like trying to find a date at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night - not easy, and very expensive!
No less than six of these songs are making their CD debut in one form or another! Two of them - Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds' ''Winners And Losers'' (1975) and ''Do What You Wanna Do'' by Five Flights Up (1970) have never appeared on CD in any form, anywhere. Others, like The Avant-Garde's pop-psych paean ''Naturally Stoned'' (1968), make their stereo debut. (By the way, guess who was in The Avant-Garde? Future game show host Chuck Woolery!)
Like all of Eric's ''Hard-To-Find'' series, this volume embraces the marvelously eclectic nature of popular music. Its 19 tracks cover more than a decade of prime-time pop, from the swooning ''Love Me With All Your Heart'' by the Ray Charles Singers (1964) to Roger Whittaker's poignant ballad, ''The Last Farewell'' (1975). Included in that span is one of the most sought-after love songs of all time - Paul Stookey's ''Wedding Song (There Is Love)'' - in its original hit version.
But nowhere, however, is that eclecticism more apparent than in a foursome of songs expressing love for God - all unexpected Top 20 smashes in an arena not known for its reverence. We have famed songwriter Kris Kristofferson's quietly awestruck ''Why Me,'' the Edwin Hawkins Singers' ecstatic ''Oh Happy Day,'' and Miguel Rios's ''A Song Of Joy'' (1970), based on the climatic final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (making its U.S CD debut, by the way...). And then there's the most unexpected hit single of all time: ''Amazing Grace'' by The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (1972), which forced teenagers coast-to-coast to listen to bagpipes - and like it!
Hard-To-Find 45's on CD Vol. 13: The Love Album is built from original single versions on original master tapes, painstakingly engineered for crisp, vibrant, stereo sound. Like its companion volume, Hard-To-Find 45's on CD Vol. 14: 70s & 80s Pop Classics, it includes a detailed, illustrated 12-page booklet by well-known music author Greg Adams. Available now for pre-order through Amazon. CD will be released Sept. 18th.
Tom Cuddy
I've got every CD in this series ... they make for a GREAT collection ... so I can't wait to add this one to the shelf. More information (and complete track listings for both Volume 13 and Volume 14) can be found at the Amazon links below:

Click here: Hard To Find 45s On CD Volume 14 (70s & 80s Pop Classics): Various Artists: Music
Now we've got to get some of our Forgotten Hits Partners together and put out a series of FH CD's ... man, think of the song titles WE could come up with!!!  We'd fill twenty volumes overnight!  (kk)

Like you, I’m a fan of Bill Buster’s Eric releases. Last year I sent him a wish list of songs I was hoping he would track down and release on CD. I noticed, happily, a couple of them are going to be on the forthcoming release. Here was the list I sent him:

Stars on 45 "Medley." It was # 1 in 1981.  It has been released in an extended version on CD, but I have never seen it available in the original 45 RPM / radio version.
My Sweet Lady by Cliff DeYoung. It made it to # 17 in 1974.
Baby Face by Wing and a Prayer Fife and Drum Corp. # 14 in 1975
Do What You Wanna Do by Five Flights Up. # 37 in 1970
I.O.U. by Jimmy Dean. # 35 in 1976. I have found many re-recorded versions on CD, but never the original.
Seattle by Perry Como (TV theme from "Here Coms the Brides") # 38 in 1969. This has appeared on CD once in its entirety, but it is rare.
The Thought of Loving You by Crystal Mansion. # 84 in 1968.
Be My Baby by Andy Kim. # 17 in 1970
96 Tears by Question Mark & the Mysterians. I have only seen re-recorded versions on CD.
What Am I Crying For by Dennis Yost & the Classics IV. #39 in 1972. Has only been available on CD by Australia's Raven Records.
A Song of Joy by Miguel Rios. # 14 in 1970. Never available on CD.
The Morning of Our Lives by Arkade. # 60 in 1971. Group featured Austin Roberts.
Baby, Hang Up the Phone by Carl Graves. #50 in 1974.
Always Something There To Remind Me by RB Greaves. #27 in 1970. Have never seen on any U.S. CD compilation.

Some great choices on there, to be sure ... and we've featured a few of these over the years.  (Actually, I'd love to see somebody do a full-encompassing, all-label Greatest Hits CD of Andy Kim's original recordings ... they have been sorely missing for FAR too long from circulation.  
I was beginning to think that I was the only one that remembered "Do What You Wanna Do" by Five Flights Up, a GREAT soul classic reminiscent of The Stylistics, who wouldn't start charting on their own for another year or two.  I've featured it a few times before in Forgotten Hits and always gotten a good reaction ... so we'll run it again with the caveat that I can't WAIT to replace my worn-out 45 version with a new, pristine version off this brand new CD release!  (kk) 

We told you the other day that WCBS-FM would be counting down The Top 500 Fan Favorites this Labor Day Weekend ... and even forewarned you about the songs that'll be landing in The Top 20.
Now, thanks to Forgotten Hits Reader Frank B, we bring you the play-by-play of the countdown thus far:

Kent ...
Countdown started at 6:00 AM (Eastern):
500 = I Can't Get Next To You - Temptations
499 = A Beautiful Morning - Rascals
498 = Everybody Plays The Fool - Main Ingredient
497 = Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor
496 = Upside Down = Diana Ross
I say 500, 499 and 498 should be higher up on the list.  I say 497 and 496 should be off the list.
I was thinking of sending you an e-mail - after each
song, so we could discuss it. L o L !!
Frank B.

Word is that John Fogerty is doing a duets album now, too. Scheduled for release in late winter / early spring, 2013, Fogerty teams up with everyone from The Foo Fighters to Kid Rock to Jennifer Hudson to Bob Seger to country superstars like Alan Jackson, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert. Titled "Wrote A Song For Everyone", Fogerty redoes some of his favorite Creedence tracks (as well as a few of his solo hits) in new duet fashion. Should make for an interesting release. (kk)

The Rolling Stones ... Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 World Premiere ... September 29 at 7:00 PM ... The 50th New York Film Festival

ABKCO Films and the 50th New York Film Festival are proud to join in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Rolling Stones by announcing the World Premiere of The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 on Saturday, September 29th at 7:00 PM. An encore screening of the film will take place on Wednesday, October 3rd at 8:30 PM. Both screenings are scheduled for the Walter Reade Theatre.
What was once rumor is now fact as ABKCO Films presents a meticulously restored and fully-realized version of this first-ever, legendary but never released film. Shot on a quick tour of Ireland just weeks after the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” hit # 1 on the charts and became the international anthem for a generation, The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 is an intimate, behind-the-scenes diary of life on the road with the young Stones. It features the first professionally filmed concert performances of the band and documents the early frenzy of their fans and the riots the band’s appearances inspired.
Charlie is my Darling is a rediscovered letter from a lost world. It has long been a holy grail of rock fans, surfacing in bits and pieces and tantalizing but frustratingly un-synched fragments. The band is shown traveling through the Irish countryside by train; dashing from cabs to cramped, basement dressing rooms through screaming hordes of fans. Motel rooms host impromptu songwriting sessions and familiar classics are heard in their infancy as riff and lyric are united.
This new 2012 version of the film with added never-before-seen footage was directed and restored by director Mick Gochanour and producer Robin Klein, the GRAMMY® Award winning team that brought the classic The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus to the screen. Charlie is my Darling’s dramatic and stunning concert footage – including electrifying performances of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “The Last Time” and “Time Is On My Side” – shows the band developing its­­­­­­­ musical style by blending blues, R&B and rock-n-roll riffs, and captures the spark about to combust into The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World. Candid, off-the-cuff interviews are juxtaposed with revealing, comical scenes of the band goofing on one another as well as unsuspecting outsiders, and offers an unmatched look inside the day-to-day life of the Stones.
Originally directed by pioneering filmmaker Peter Whitehead and produced by Rolling Stones manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham, Charlie is my Darling is the lost preamble to a life captured on screen. Like no other band, the Rolling Stones repeatedly put themselves under the microscope, allowing the greatest filmmakers of our era – including Jean-Luc Godard, the Maysles, Robert Frank, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Hal Ashby and Martin Scorsese – inside their world. Charlie is my Darling is the invaluable frame: the unseen story of the band becoming the legend.
ABKCO Films will be making a major announcement regarding a nationally televised Broadcast Premiere in the next few weeks and has set Tuesday November 6th as the commercial retail release date for The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965, the director’s cut, the producer’s cut and this new 2012 version will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and as part of a Super Deluxe Box Set.
Walter Reade Theater165 West 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam, upper level)
Monday – Friday: 12:30 p.m. – 15 minutes after the start of the last screening of the day.
Saturday and Sunday: 30 minutes prior to start of first screening of the day - 15 minutes after start of last screening of the day.

For Further Information Please Contact:
New York
Tracey J. Jordan / ABKCO Films
Los Angeles
Bob Merlis / MFH
Malt Shop Memories Cruise: October 27 - November 3, 2012
Departing Fort Lauderdale, FL on Holland American Eurodam
To: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
More Information here:
Starring: Dion, Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, The Original Drifters, The Duprees, Sonny Turner (The Platters), Carl Gardner’s Coasters, The Chiffons, The Tymes, The Marvelettes, The Encounters, Gino Monopoli and Comedian David Brenner

And here's another "Cruisin'" option ... featuring our buddies Paul Revere and the Raiders ...

Join Paul Revere and the Raiders in this year's Concerts At Sea Cruise ... January 20 - 27, 2013
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Princess Cays, Bahamas
St. Maarten
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

Also on the bill:  Chubby Checker, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mitch Ryder and more.
More details here:

Speaking of Chubby Checker, I met Forgotten Hits Reader Bob Rush (Dr. Robert) last weekend when he was in Chicago for a chiropractic seminar. Bob has been instrumental in getting several '60's bands back together, coming onboard as a musical director and then rebuilding the sound of the band. (We first met him when he resurrected The Rip Chords ... he's currently working with The Dovells, one of the premier Cameo / Parkway bands.)
I told him that he ought to approach Jody Klein about doing a full-blown Cameo / Parkway Artists tour ... think about it ... The Dovells, The Orlons, Dee Dee Sharp, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Tymes, Charlie Gracie ... there are any of these acts still performing today ... and while you probably couldn't call it the "Bandstand" Tour (for obvious legal reasons), with the support of somebody like Klein (who now controls the complete Cameo / Parkway catalog), a tour like this could be good for business for all parties concerned.
I sent the same suggestion to Jody ... and to Bob Merlis, who represents a lot of his affairs ... stay tuned to see if anything ever comes of this. (kk)

Dear Kent
Thank you for your email. The PBS Special and the tour while great ideas, have all been discussed when we started the re-release of the Cameo-Parkway catalog but for one reason or another, nothing ever came to fruition.
We are committed to bringing this great music to the public and hope that we are doing so with our Cameo-Parkway series.
Jody Klein
85 Fifth Avenue
New York NY 10003
P: 212.399.0322 F: 212.849.9122

Hi Kent,
Saturday night we had an opportunity to see the "Happy Together Tour 2012" at the Ho Chunk Casino in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. It truly was a blast from the past with Flo and Eddie of the Turtles, the Grassroots, the Buckinghams, Micky Dolenz, and Gary Puckett. Of course they played all their best-known hits. They were all songs that I was familiar with, but not being as savvy as you and most of your readers, I really didn’t know that these guys did some of those songs. I didn’t even know that Flo and Eddie were two of the founding members of the Turtles.
They all sounded just as I remembered them from 50 years ago except Gary Puckett. He was one of my all-time favorite artists. But when he sang "Young Girl", and "This Girl is a Woman Now" it took me a minute to actually realize what he was singing. It seemed like he was trying to jazz them up or stylize them too much. Maybe it’s just that he’s sung them so many times, that he’s tired of the way they were originally recorded.
None of them looked quite the way I remembered them, but then again, neither do I. They all had a lot of energy and except for five minutes, it was nonstop rocking for two hours and 45 minutes. They all came back on at the end and did a short clip of one of their songs. The show was sold out and of course most of the crowd was 60+. I wonder if seeing me and two others in our group in wheelchairs made them realize just how old their fan base is getting. LOL Each group got a standing ovation and the entire cast got another standing ovation at the end.
The songs they sang weren’t Forgotten Hits, but it was a lot different hearing them performed live. Memories, memories, memories . . .
Mark Bertram 

We've seen this show numerous times over the years and it's ALWAYS a good time ... and believe me, these guys are well aware of the age of most of their audience ... although I've got to say that from the shows I've seen, the fans seem to range from 6 to 60 ... each new generation discovers and falls in love with this music. SO many hits ... so many great songs! Heck, ten years ago I remember Mark Volman thanking security ... for helping to keep the wheelchairs from rolling up and hitting the stage ... so they have fun laughing right along with us.
Too bad about Gary Puckett ... his set has been the most consistent disappointment during this year's tour. He tends to over-sing every one of his hits. The guy still has a great set of pipes ... why not just sing the hits the best you can instead of trying to blow the doors off on every song? The fans want faithful representations of these hits ... we know 'em by heart and love 'em to death. We've heard from more fans this year than ever before regarding their disappointment ... and we've tried to get the point across in our column ... but he seems determined to just oversell each and every performance. Too bad ... 'cause the guy REALLY can sing!
That being said, you're not going to fine a better line-up of stars on one stage. Glad you got to see it ... it sounds like you had a great time! (kk)
NEW YORK (Aug. 27, 2012) – MICKY DOLENZ and his band will make a rare New York City appearance, at B.B. King’s on Friday, October 19; and, the show will be recorded for a new live album to be released later this year.
Dolenz, who as part of the legendary Monkees – who will re-group with the surviving members, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork for a series of shows this November – has sold in excess of 65 million records, will have his next solo album, Remember, released on September 25.
If all that weren’t enough, Dolenz will appear in a series of performances of Hairspray marking the 25th anniversary of the original film, in Indianapolis and Baltimore; where he will essay the role of Wilbur Turnblad. He had appeared in London’s West End in 2010 reprising the same role as well as a U.K.-national tour the following year.
Hairspray: In Concert! Will additionally star filmmaker, writer, and artist John Waters as the narrator. Waters of course created and directed Hairspray, the popular cult comedy hit in 1988.
Says Dolenz, "I love B.B. Kings! It's an incredible place to play and I can't wait to record my live album at this legendary venue."
Friday, October 10
B.B. King’s
237 West 42th St.
New York, NY 10036
Show time: 7:30

And here's a brief interview with Micky about the hit television series "Breaking Bad" using his Monkees' hit "Goin' Down" on a recent episode ...

From the article:
Dolenz is a fan of the AMC series, and for that reason, he says he’s “a little torn” about the song’s use in the scene. “ ’Goin’ Down' has nothing to do with drugs, obviously,” he tells THR. “And I certainly don't condone meth -- that is nasty stuff that kills a lot of people and ruins a lot of lives. ... On the other hand, I like the TV show, it's very well-made. … And no, I didn't make a penny.”
Read more at the link above.  (kk)

For the Elvis Presley "completist" ... this is your chance to own a pair of The King's dirty drawers!!!
Got this from FH Reader Frank B ... are you ready for your fifteen minutes of fame???
Kent ...
You say you want to be famous. One problem - You have no talent.
You shouldn't let that stop you.
Frank B.

More this weekend as we're able ...  OMG ... is summer REALLY over?!?!?!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Helping Out Our Readers

We got some pretty good response to our last edition ... so let's get right to it!    

>>>Who sang a song called "Chickawa Chickawa wa wa"? Not sure the spelling is correct. (Veeors) 
>>>Wow ... can't find a listing for that one. Anybody out there got any ideas??? (kk)
We got a few different answers to this one ... maybe Veeors can check these out and let us know which one of these he had in mind! (kk)

"Chickee Wah Wah" is a song by Huey & Jerry from 1958 (attached) ... found it right on Amazon and also there was a notation in Wikipedia: "In 1958, Vin Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records, released a popular single "Little Chickie Wah Wah" with Clowns singer Gerri Hall, under the billing of Huey and Jerry." However, I recall a different Chickee Wah ... went something like, "Chickee Wah ... Chickee wah wah wah ... ", which is the one I think your writer, Veeors, is looking for. Unfortunately that's all I can recall of the song.

And then ...

With a little help from my friends, I found the REAL "Chickee Wah" for your reader, Veeors. This is the one that I recall being popular in the 50s. Bobby Marchan was one of the "Clowns" in Huey 'Piano' Smith's band. Remember "Don't You Just Know It"?
By the way, I continue to seek just one more song from what began as a list of around ten songs I was looking for. I remember a lot of the song, which is what makes it so frustrating, because you would think any song that memorable would also be recalled by others, but no such luck so far. The words I recall are as follows:
" ... no time for tears my darling, no time to cry for the moon,
don't you know the good story of old? Most lovers dreams end too soon.
Take my hand and be glad to walk in the sun. We'll walk, we'll talk and our walk will be one.
Don't look back on the streets of tears. In time we'll learn to forget.
There is no time for tears, my darling. Take my hand and you'll never regret."
This could have been a regional hit to the DC Metro area around 1957, because I believe it was played on the Milt Grant Show, DC's answer to American Bandstand. It sounds so much like the Five Satins' "To The Aisle" that if I begin singing one of them, I end up segueing into the other one.
As you can see, I REALLY want to find this song. It is the ONLY one left of my list of ten and it would be so satisfying to find it. Please ... ANYBODY ... if you even have an inkling ... take a little time and give me a hand with this one.

I’d bet it’s “Chickie-Chickie Wah Wah” by Ray Stevens on Capitol (1958), prior to his hits on Mercury.  (This rip comes from my NM 45. I don’t think it’s been comped, but I may be wrong.)

Bobby Marchan - Chickie Wah Wah Wah - I think it was on the Ace or Specialty label. It was from the '50's however. I believe it was the original version if anybody else did it they covered it.
Al Kooper
Well, we've definitely come up with a few completely different songs here ... so let's see if Veeors writes us back to let us know if we've cracked yet another musical mystery! (kk)

>>>I have a favor to ask of you. Any chance you could check in with some of your rock n' roll pals and find out if anyone knows how to get in touch with Al DeCarlo from Bangers Flying Circus and Medura? I'd love to get in touch with him if possible. (Deb Yurica)
>>>Happy to run this by our readers (many of whom were part of the music scene back in the day) to see if we can help. (kk)
Hey, Kent,
A reader asked today about getting a line on Al Decarlo from Bangor Flying Circus and Madura. You may be able to do that in person Saturday night at Blues Bar in Mount Prospect. One of the guest artists slated to appear in celebration of Jim Sohns' 66th birthday bash with the Shadows of Knight is Dave (Hawk) Wolinski. Dave played the keyboard part on the Shadows' "Shake" and was a central figure in both Bangor Flying Circus and Madura. If you both end up there tomorrow, I'll introduce you and you can ask him personally about Al. The Madura website says both Al and drummer Ross Salamone left the music business after Madura's demise.
Rick Barr, New Colony Six/Shadows of Knight. (PS, I was a huge fan of Bangor Flying Circus and used to see them whenever I could, with Michael Tegza, from HP Lovecraft on drums, a monster player).
Hi Rick! As you know, we DID swing by the Jimy Sohns Birthday Bash ... and were impressed by just how many surprise guests stopped by to help celebrate Jimy's 66th birthday. (In fact, I invited Fred Glickstein of The Flock to come by, too, as he was the one who sent us the original inquiry on the whereabouts of Al DeCarlo.) We got to visit with quite a few people that night ... but did not have the pleasure of meeting Al ... so, if you can please pass this along to him, Fred (and a woman named Debbie Yurica) are trying to reach him. Drop them my email address is you like and I'll help to make the connection. Thanks! (kk)

Hi, Kent,
I enjoyed seeing Jerry Schollenberger’s post on Pete Wright’s Sunlight label. Most of the handful of singles issued on Sunlight, apart from the three New Colony Six 45s, are very tough to find. (The Ral Donner release goes for around $200.)
I tracked down most if not all of them some time ago. The 45 Jerry refers to by Chicago DJ Eric Stevens was actually issued under the name Jan Erik Stevens. The A-side, “Training Wheels,” was written by none other than Jim Peterik!
Michael Thom
Well THAT would be an interesting one to hear ... can you send us a copy? (kk)

>>>I've never quite understood the criteria for induction into The Iowa Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... The New Colony Six were inducted years ago ... but they're from Chicago. Meanwhile, it's great to see Tommy Roe (who was born in Georgia!!!) earning his spot. (Huh???) kk
Perhaps this line from their website will explain national groups being inducted into the Iowa Rock Hall:
"This year's Out of State honoree is the incomparable Tommy Roe." Looks like maybe one "out of state" group or person gets the honor each year.  

re: SOUNDS LIKE ... :
>>>To this day I don't believe that George Harrison intentionally copied "He's So Fine" when he wrote "My Sweet Lord". They called it "subconscious plagiarism" (kk) 
I am not sure these days on the above, but I still think Lennon's "Happy Christmas" sounds as much like Peter, Paul & Mary's traditional version of "Stewball" as "My Sweet Lord" / He's So Fine". In fact, Peter, Paul & Mary's version sounds hardly ANYTHING like this old Woody Guthrie version from two decades earlier! 
Or how about this one from Leadbelly where the American version started:  
The horse was foaled in 1741, and originally owned by Francis, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, and later sold. His name has been recorded as "Squball", "Sku-ball", or "Stewball". He won many races in England, and was sent to Ireland. The Irish turf calendar states that he won six races worth £508 in 1752, when he was eleven years old, and was the top earning runner of that year in Ireland. His most famous race took place on the plains of Kildare, Ireland, which is generally the subject of the song of the same name. The early ballad about the event has Skewball belonging to an Arthur Marvell or Mervin. Based on the horse's name, Skewball was likely a skewbald horse.
Maybe my Irish ancestors bet on him!! They did have money then!!
For more interesting info on the horse and the song:
I never thought "My Sweet Lord" sounded all that much like "He's So Fine" and, had it not been pointed out to me, I doubt that I would have EVER found a similarity on my own. A completely different story regarding "Stewball" and John Lennon's "Happy Christmas", however ... they're literally note for note the same song  ... something else I wasn't aware of at the time as I wasn't familiar with the Peter, Paul and Mary tune and didn't discover it until years later, well after the John Lennon Christmas standard was etched in my brain. Incredibly, HE got away with it (maybe because it was such an old standard, dating back to the 1800's, almost to the point of public domain.) I've always felt George got burned on this one. (You'd think if ANY similarity existed, Phil Spector would have said something or pointed it out at the time ... after all, it was Phil who personified the whole girl-group sound back then! And he produced the #1 George Harrison hit!) kk

>>>As part of another series we did way back when, we officially disproved the oft-repeated rumor that Redbone was the only all Native American band to score a hit record on the American charts ... the then "disappointing" revelation was that the Vegas Brothers were of Mexican decent ... but dressed in Indian garb to help promote the myth. (kk)
Maybe it's time to clarify something for the people who have spoken with such authority on the matter.
It's true that one member of Redbone was of the stereotypical types that lived in teepees, beat tom toms and are reminiscent to the cast of "Dances With Wolves".
The other guys being of Mexican descent are also Native American Indians in the truest sense of the word. Most Mexicans, myself included, have Yaqui Indian heritage.
This indigenous tribe occupied southern parts of Arizona and northern Mexico and were here long before the white man showed up. Just because a line was drawn from the southernmost tip of Texas to Tijuana by a new breed of cat does not change the fact. So the Spaniards, the French and the Crackers played post office with the Yaquis and thus we have this new breed on the scene.
The Yaquis wore the same rags the Apaches and Cheyenne wore but with more airholes due to being in a hotter climate. So I feel Redbone can be classified as a Native American Indian band. Shit , Lolly Vegas looks just like the cast member in Dances With Wolves who took Costner's hat. We say Mexicans because that is what it has become, but in reality it's also Indians we be. Many out there who are white Americans are, in reality, Cherokee , Choctaw, Cree, Comanche, and whoever else your grandpappy was banging, so let it do what it do.  
Alex "2 dick dog" Valdez
woop woop woop
Far be it from me to argue with your heritage ... although I cannot help but wonder how many people of Mexican decent offer up anything other than that nationality as part of their own heritage. I get the semantics of what you're saying ... but the generations who have followed that were born and raised in Mexico are most certainly referred to as Mexicans ... just as those of us born three or four generations later here in The States are now full-blooded Americans. Our only point with our Redbone series way back when was to dispel the rumor that they were an authentic Indian / Native American band ... a myth they (and the record label) helped perpetuate by dressing them in full Indian garb for their appearances. Clever gimmick, yes ... authentic? Not so much. (kk)

This exchange appeared in Bob Lefsetz's newsletter recently after I responded to a Donovan / Jimmy Page query posted earlier. Interesting to see that the facts have changed yet again ... really makes you wonder how much people remember from back then ... especially when you consider the number of recording sessions they were involved with (and the drugs of choice they may have been using at the time.)
We similarly disproved the long standing, oft-repeated story that guitar virtuoso Jimmy Page played the lead guitar riff on Herman's Hermits big remake hit "Silhouettes", finding instead that studio whiz-kid Vic Flick actually handled that role. (Page DID, in fact, play on a number of Hermits' hits ... but NOT the lead on this one.)
My original sources for the "Hurdy Gurdy Man" story were a couple of Jimi Hendrix biographies ... AND commentary from Donovan himself (who, obviously, ALSO would have been at this session) ... so it's interesting to see that John Paul Jones ... another guy in the studio that day ... remembers it differently. (Just goes to show you why it's so difficult sometimes narrowing down "the most accurate truth"!!! lol) 

Read on ... 

>>>For the record, it was SUPPOSED to be Jimi Hendrix playing lead guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" ... in the end, three-quarters of the future Led Zeppelin appeared on the track ... yet amazingly, even so, Jimmy Page did NOT play lead guitar on this cut! This comes from our Jimi Hendrix piece published a few years ago  (kk):

HITS AND MISSES: HENDRIX probably missed out on another Top 20 single in 1968. DONOVAN wrote his #3 smash HURDY GURDY MAN for JIMI to record but, when JIMI failed to do so, he agreed to play guitar instead on DONOVAN's version. When those plans ALSO fell through, DONOVAN went ahead and recorded it on his own (with ALLAN HOLDSWORTH on lead guitar.) Amazingly, also present in the studio that day were JIMMY PAGE on guitar, JOHN PAUL JONES on bass and JOHN BONHAM on drums ... three-quarters of LED ZEPPELIN a full year before they joined with ROBERT PLANT and launched their own hard-rock career!
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits
In the booklet notes of the 2005 EMI UK rerelease of Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man album, John Paul Jones is quoted as saying the guitar on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" is Alan Parker, not Jimmy Page or Allan Holdsworth, who has also been credited for that part. As Jones played the session for sure, I think we can take his word on this.
-- Michael Tearson

It was Allan Parker on Hurdy Gurdy Man.
I was there.
Peter Noone

>>>Most of us are familiar with the Beatle tribute songs that came out after the boys hit the states in '64 (and continued forever after): "We Love You Beatles" by the Carefrees, etc. ... BUT were there any tribute songs to other British Invasion artists? A song about Herman's Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers, etc?
I know there are songs written about the Rolling Stones, for example, but not in the same vein (novelty?) as those Beatles songs. (Gene Laufenberg)
>>> Great question, Gene! And you're right ... The Beatles and Rolling Stones songs are most familiar ... but I wonder if there WERE any other songs written about the British artists invading our shores at the time. I can't think of any off the top of my head ... but maybe some of the MAJOR British Invasion Fans on our list can shed some light on this. (Even cooler would be if you could send in a couple of examples so that we can share them with everybody else!) kk
Hey I'm a MAJOR British Invasion Fan, but you are making me go into the inner depths of my 'way-back' (a little Dr Peabody there) brain for this one. The We Love You Beatles tune was used interchangeably with other groups when the names worked. For instance We Love You Herman, which was used at an airport scene in 'Hold On' (movie starring Herman's Hermits). The almost dead part of my way-back brain is telling me there were local attempts (for me that would be Niagara Falls, NY and all of Connecticut) I heard on the radio, to tribute the bands in song. But even if these were released for sale, they were primarily attempts by local groups and never reached country-wide popularity. I hope someone proves me wrong on this one. I would like to hear some.
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
And then ... before we could even respond ...
Memo to self: Check sources before answering questions. Just popped Hold On into computer and the airport song is We Want You Herman. It has a decidedly different melody from the 'Bye Bye Birdie' tune. And as Meatloaf has pointed out to us, there is distinction between 'wanting' and 'loving'. This tribute was never recorded except for soundtrack, though.