Sunday, May 12, 2013

Helping Out Our Readers

It's a rare Sunday Edition of "Helping Out Our Readers" ... kicking off with a GOLDEN opportunity for all of you Monkees fans out there!    

If you're a serious Monkees fan like I am, you will be THRILLED to hear this news ... I've known Gary Strobl for over 30 years ... so this sounds like a VERY exciting project. Anybody out there able to help should let us know as soon as possible! (kk)  
Hello Kent,  
How are you? Busy as a bee, I'm sure. Thank you for your amazing Forgotten Hits.  
I am reaching out to you and your readers to help me find the missing pieces of The Monkees puzzle. Henry Diltz and I along with Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik have recently signed a contract with Omnibus Press to put together a 500-page hardcover, full-color coffee table book on the original phenomenon of The Monkees. I am trying to track down anybody who may have been connected to or experienced the original Monkeemania. I am looking for interviews, original newspaper clippings, photos, radio station surveys, concert tickets, posters, etc. from the time frame of 1962 - 1973. Anybody who contributes to this project will get a proper credit in the book. I want to make this the most definitive book possible on The Monkees. I am sending you the PDF which defines the goal of this book. Our beloved David Jones told me on February 12, 2012, at the Burbank Marriott, "Gary, it's time to finish your book. I will help you get it done." We also talked about editing together the last seven concerts with all four Monkees that I shot in England in March, 1997. I want to fulfill these dreams for both David and me. I could sure use your help. Anyway, drop me a line when you have the chance. Here are a some photos from the last weekend I spent with David. David Keeler took these wonderful photos. I hope you and your family are in good health. Onward and upward!  
Gary Strobl

Hi Everybody!  
We have started a kick starter campaign to help subsidize the production cost of the "Wages of Spin" sequel which covers the inner workings of the music industry from 1963 thru the late 1970's. Our kick starter page link is imbedded below. The first trailer / teaser is available to view on our kick starter page. This is by far our most ambitious project to date with an entire soundtrack of classic pop and original music combined. There is cast information, production photos, the trailer and other pertinent project information on our kick starter page. There are also several pledge items such as: Digital Downloads, DVD's, Film Premiere Invites, Parties with Cast Members and Credit Recognition. Our last two music documentaries are running nationally on PBS affiliates (several hundred combined affiliate airings) and are in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archives. National Public Television will be offered "WOS II" license free. Any help in promulgating our Kick Starter page / information link is greatly appreciated.  
Kick Starter Page:  
Great news, Shawn ... and happy to help spread the word. Interested fans should check out the kickstarter link above. (kk)  

Well, we solved the mystery of why Gary Renfield couldn't find the Roy Rogers / Randy Travis video he's been looking for ...
It's because the video was actually done by Roy Rogers and Clint Black!!!
Read on ...
>>>Maybe your readers can at least confirm I actually saw this and am not hallucinating. It was RANDY TRAVIS in a duet video with ROY ROGERS (modern day) singing HERE'S HOPIN' (I have the cd). I've looked on occasion for many years (and I know how to search) without success. The video had them side by side on horseback ... and at the end ... they get off the 'horses' and have a word and a laugh. The horses are actually just the body with saddle, rocking as if real, not movie cut-outs ... you don't realize it (confirm it) till the end. I'm sure I saw it on tv back in the day ... not a show ... a video ... I'D LOVE TO SEE THE VIDEO AGAIN! I should have asked Roy the time I called him in his office back in the 80's when the museum was in Victorville, Ca. (BIG FAN ... it was a thrill) Now it's in Branson. Thanks for any help.
(Gary Renfield)
>>>It's funny but as I read your email I started to remember seeing this, too. I was a bit of a Randy Travis fan at one point ... nothing major, mind you, but I followed along with the crowd. It seems like this ought to exist somewhere ... in fact, I thought at one time I may have even owned a VHS of Randy Travis Music Videos but I can't find it now. I wrote to Randy Travis via his website but never received a reply of any kind. Let's see if anybody out there comes back with anything on this one. Thanks, Gary! (kk)
Major thanks to FH Reader Fred Vail for solving this one! Greetings, Kent, 
Another 'reading assignment' for the weekend! Today's edition is crammed with some great material. However, as I scanned it, I came across a post regarding Randy Travis and Roy Rogers -- and they did perform as a duet, "Sky Ball Paint," with a 'Sons of the Pioneers' type group called The Bar J Wranglers. However, that scene has Roy, Randy and the group singing around a campfire. 
What I believe Gary is describing, however, is Roy and Clint Black singing "Hold On, Partner," where they are both riding side by side on horses, and when the video ends, they dismount, only to show they're sitting on prop horses and the background was projected on a green screen. I've always loved this video and what is absolutely amazing about it, is the fact that Clint looks enough like Roy to be his son. Check it out and if you don't draw the same conclusion, I'll be shocked.  
Click here: Clint Black and Roy Rogers - Hold on partner - YouTube  
I regret that I never was blessed to meet Roy during his lifetime, but I did attend his funeral in Victorville, CA. He passed away on July 6, 1998, when my wife and I were vacationing in Palm Springs -- and we decided to attend the service -- held at a large Church in Victorville. It was packed, but we managed to get a seat. I vividly remember the casket surrounded by hundreds of floral arrangements and laying on the casket was Roy's ever present 'white' hat. Dale Evans was going down hill at the time but was there in a wheel chair and she would actually survive Roy by three years. We left the Church and headed for his Roy Rogers Museum, which the hearse and procession 'circled' on the way to a private burial. On the front dashboard of the hearse was Roy's white cowboy hat. It's one of those rare moments that still gives me chills. 
While I never had the opportunity meet Roy, I did have the opportunity to meet another childhood hero, Gene Autry, who passed away at age 91 less than three months after Roy's passing. 
While some might consider them 'rivals,' from what I've heard over the years they had nothing but respect for each other. In fact, Roy got his big break when Gene joined the US Army Air Force and went off to fight in WW 2. He was a 'flight officer,' similar in rank to a lieutenant. That left an opening at Republic Pictures for a new 'cowboy' star and Roy got the nod.
Another interesting fact is that Roy is the only person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame twice. Once as Roy Rogers, 'King of the Cowboys,' and another as a founding member of the great 30's / 40's / 50's vocal group, "The Sons of the Pioneers. 
Fred Vail 
Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc. 
Music City, USA 
NICE VIDEO ... Given the chance (when he was alive), the biggest country star would be reduced to a stammering kid in Roy's (king of the cowboys) presence ... and I'm sure he was called MISTER ROGERS (initially) from them. 
gary renfield  
No problem ... hey, that's what our Helping Out Our Readers segment is all about! And you remembered MOST of it correctly ... just had the artist wrong, that's all. (Even more confusing because Roy Rogers recorded tracks with BOTH of these guys!) Yep, cool video ... and now others can enjoy it as well. (kk)  

I’m not sure on a couple of the Hit 45’s, but I know Sam & Dave had 45’s before the “No Particular Place To Go” was issued. 
I asked Paul Urbahns ("The HIT Man") about that, thinking that you meant that Sam and Dave had recorded other tracks for Hit ... but he corrected me. (See below)   
Here is all I know and Ted Jarrett, the producer, is dead.
He does not mention Sammie Moore in his biography "You Can Make It If You Try" but he did not use Sam Moore on his own productions. This was a one off session, believed by some as a way to get Sam Moore into the musicians union, which was necessary to record in Nashville Union studios in those days.  
Issued in MAY, 1964 
In The Style Of: Chuck Berry  
Credited To: Sammie Moore   
Lead Vocal: Sammie Moore  
Comment: Sammie Moore was Sam Moore, who teamed up with David Prater to form the soul duo “Sam And Dave”, which had a string of national hits 1966 – 1969 on the Stax label of Memphis. 
I think what your reader is saying is that Sam and Dave recorded together for someone before the 1964 sound-a-like. I am not a Sam Moore expert but maybe you have a complete discography of his.  
According to Joel Whitburn's book, Sam and Dave teamed up in 1961 ... and were already making records as Sam and Dave by the following year for a variety of smaller labels. They didn't hit it big until they signed with Stax Records out of Memphis and "Hold On, I'm A-Comin'" peaked at #16 on the pop charts in 1966 ... so in THAT respect, Ken is correct ... making it seem a bit odd that Sam would go off and do sessions on his own for the Hit label. (kk)  

Found this photo of Ed Flynn - WAVZ DJ on a 1960's remote. I recall he was a promoter / manager for Tension.   

What a co-inky-dink! I see mention of the Tension recording of "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is". My parents are cleaning out their house and anything labeled 'Shelley' is being thrown my way. Just this week I was going through a stack of 45's they 'returned' to me and there is my copy of this 45. It is in a stack of records that were given to me by a DJ who worked at WKBW in Buffalo, NY, and fellow students from college. I am not sure I will remember nor be able to figure out which one that disc came from, but I think it is ironic that I acquired it from NY when the group is from CT ... where I live(d) 
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano  

Please let me know if you are familiar with a song called Mr Sebastian from I believe the 60s. 

I'm guessing that you mean THIS one ... actually titled "Father Sebastian" by The Ramblers ... a big hit here in Chicago in 1964. (Check out the clip and let me know.) Thanks, Joe! (kk)

There was an “Instrumental of the Month” at least on WWIN in Baltimore. In summer of 1968, the song was called “Shimmy” ... and on the B side was “101 Pounds of Unclean Chitterlings”. It came on a 45 rpm, with a pink or maybe beige label. 
Can someone please find it? The B side song was a guy wailing away on guitar as if he was in the mid seventies but this was out in 1968. Maybe 1969 but I’m pretty sure it was 1968. Reason I’m leaning toward 1968 is because I remember having a party and this girl I knew that went to University of Maryland gave me this record from a new Psychedelic band called “the Rolling Stones” ... and the name of the song was “Jumping Jack Flash”. Being that everyone at the party was African American, it didn’t go over too well at first. Once the booze got to flowing, I put it back on and a few of us started dancing ... and then everyone joined in on the dance floor. Shimmy was an instant hit because not only did it have good timing to dance to, but if you changed the speed to 33 1/3 you could still jam to it. 
Thank you  
Rick Mariano  

Hey kk
I'm married to singer Bettye LaVette and we were just talking about Melvin Davis, who she has known forever. I googled to find something out and saw this piece that you had done on your site a few years ago. I just wanted to let you know that the website that you link to is the wrong Melvin Davis. Melvin is a Detroit native and plays drums.

Thanks ... but you didn't give me a DIFFERENT site to link to!!! (lol) Happy to correct it if you can send me the info. Meanwhile, here is the piece he's referring to (from 2009):
Forgotten Hits
Friday, March 27, 2009
And ... On The 8th Day ...
Six years ago we ran a special piece on The 8th Day as part of Frannie's recurring "Forgotten Soul Hits" Series. At the time, we referred to them as "a group of studio musicians from Detroit assembled by the Holland - Dozier - Holland team for their brand new Invictus label."
Their biggest hit, "She's Not Just Another Woman", made it all the way to # 11 on the Billboard Pop Chart in May of 1971. (It reached #8 on The Cash Box Pop Chart and was a #3 Billboard Soul Chart Smash as well.) A follow-up single, "You've Got To Crawl Before You Walk", reached #28 and then they were gone.
We have since learned that "She's Not Just Another Woman" was first recorded back in 1970 by the group 100 Proof Aged In Soul for Holland - Dozier - Holland's Hot Wax label. Apparently, they then took the exact same track from THAT record and released a year later as a single with the name The 8th Day on the label! (100 Proof Aged In Soul had their OWN Forgotten Hit when "Somebody's Been Sleeping" made The Top Ten in 1970.)
Ironically, both groups appeared to maintain separate identities ... and continue to do so in most publications today. According to Joel Whitburn's Book, "Billboard's Top Pop Singles, 1955 - 2006", The 8th Day line-up consisted of Melvin Davis on vocals and drums, Lynn Harter on vocals, Michael Anthony and Bruce Nazarian on guitar, Carole Stallings on electric violin, Anita Sherman on vibes, Jerry Paul on percussion and Tony Newton on bass ... an eight-piece, self-contained unit. (Nazarian went on to become part of Brownsville Station of "Smokin' In The Boys' Room" fame.) Yet if you check the listing for 100 Proof Aged In Soul, you'll find their lead vocalist listed as Clyde Wilson (who ALSO sang lead for The 8th Day under the name Steve Mancha, even though he's not listed in Whitburn's 8th Day entry), Joe Stubbs (Levi's brother ... Levi, of course, was the voice behind Motown's Four Tops, from whence Holland - Dozier - Holland sprang) and Eddie Anderson (aka Eddie Holiday)!
A quick listen to "She's Not Just Another Woman" by both artists reveals that they are, in fact, the exact same track! (Since 100 Proof Aged In Soul hit the charts first, it's unclear as to why anyone felt a name change was necessary ... they could have kept their OWN hit streak going a little bit longer had they just left well enough alone!) And this is not the only track the two bands shared in common ... Andrew Hamilton notes in his "All Music Guide" review that three of the tracks from 100 Proof's debut album appear as the same identical tracks and vocals on The 8th Day's release ... these include "I've Come to Save You," "Too Many Cooks," and "She's Not Just Another Woman". In fact, a Melvin Davis solo release, "I'm Worried," also appears there!
We were curious to get to the bottom of this mystery ... and found THIS information published as part of an interview that Melvin Davis did with Rob Moss in "Soul Search" last year:
According to this interview, Melvin received a call in 1968 from an old friend, Ronnie Dunbar, who had been around the Detroit music scene since the early 1960's. It seemed that the legendary Motown songwriting team of Holland - Dozier - Holland were setting up their own Invictus and Hot Wax record labels, having recently left Motown, and as a staff producer, Dunbar had been working with several local writers, including Steve Mancha, to produce a number of songs intended for future release. Several of the songs were sung by Mancha himself, but the rest were given to Melvin Davis, who was only paid to sing them on an "ad hoc" basis, but was not signed as an artist. Davis told interviewer Rob Moss, “I got paid $100 for each song and thought they were just scratch vocals so that Dunbar could shop the songs around. Then they put one of them out and it takes off.” That song was "She’s Not Just Another Woman”, which was released three years later in 1971. The record was credited to The 8th Day, a group that did not actually exist. It was, in fact, Steve Mancha, who could not be identified because he was already the lead vocalist for another group on the label, 100 Proof Aged in Soul. When the record became a hit on both the R & B and Pop Charts, it became clear that a follow up single and an album was needed. Invictus had recorded enough material with both Melvin Davis and Steve Mancha over those ensuing years so that when an album was subsequently released by The 8th Day, it contained seven songs sung by Davis and two by Mancha ... but there was no band personnel to go out and perform live or undertake promotional duties. Ronnie Dunbar and bassist Tony Newton decided to create a group in a similar mold to Sly and the Family Stone, who were very popular at the time, and began auditioning candidates in California. Davis told Rob Moss: ”They went down to California and auditioned all these people before settling on a line up they were happy with. But it just didn’t work. They were all from different musical backgrounds and didn’t work like I was used to. That tour was a disaster. The album was all different styles too – a couple of my songs but all this other weird stuff. It bombed."
After the disastrous tour, six new members were recruited and, with Newton and Davis, became The 8th Day who recorded a second album and began a tour of the U.S. Neither went well and Melvin Davis eventually quit the group and signed on as a solo artist, writer and producer with the company. When no more hits were forthcoming, Davis quit for good not long afterwards.
Today, Melvin Davis is a highly regarded session player whose resume is QUITE impressive. 

You can check it all out here:

Hello Forgotten Hits, 
I am looking for the song "Life" by the Joe Leahy Orchestra, released in 1965 or 1966. It was on a 45 by Tower Records and also an album entitled "Tabasco And Trumpets". 
I would also like to find the album "Surfin' Guitar Hits" by The Wipeouts. 
Would appreciate your help in locating the music.  
Jim Cox  
Well, Jim, I'm happy to put it out there ... let's see if anything comes back. (kk)  

Oh, please help me, guys! What was the b side of Elton's "Your Song"? My neighbour remembers playing it incessantly but ... I can't find out what it was!
It's the UK record, not the American release. Any clues, o ye geniuses?
Helen in Scotland, going crazy xx
Wow ... I thought this was an easy one (until I saw you were looking for the U.K. pressing!) Here in The States, the B-Side to "Your Song" was "Take Me To The Pilot" ... but over in Great Britain the flipside was a track called "Into The Old Man's Shoes". Does that help??? (kk)

Thanks for speedy response. That's great and should shut the neighbour up!
Keep up the good work, I love your site.

Wrapping things up with just a few more of your TV Themes comments:

Great work on the TV themes.

>>>I'm pleased that Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" made the top ten of the Favorite TV Themes. We in the states did hear the second theme you featured from "Danger Man". (John LaPuzza)
It's great to see PF Sloan songs in ANY countdown. He was seldom in as many as we would like. Here's an interesting take on the TV theme used for a 60's insurance commercial. It's a cross between Sinatra / Buble / Bassey that might make geccos quiver. Move over, Flo from Progressive because here comes the Farmer's Agent Man!
Freddie Cannon's "Action" is just one of those amazing powerful tracks that HE pulled off consistently in the 60's. Keith Allison and Boyce & Hart did versions of the actual FIRST original "Where the Action Is" theme, but Freddie's was the best.
I was happy all three of my top choices made the top 40 list of Kent's but shocked to find one of them at #2!!! A great list! I would have never picked "Hawaii 5-0" as number one, but it is a good one.

Well, clearly it did the trick ... I've been hearing all kinds of TV themes on the radio again this week ("Miami Vice", "Hill Street Blues", "Welcome Back Kotter", "Greatest American Hero", "Hawaii Five-O", "Happy Days", "Secret Agent Man", "Peter Gunn" and "Dukes Of Hazzard" all in the past four days!) ... and the people at work are still walking around singing "The Odd Couple", "American Bandstand", "Cheers", "Gilligan's Island", "MASH", "Rawhide", "Three's Company" and "I Dream Of Jeannie" ever since The True Oldies Channel special aired. So I guess we reached a WHOLE lotta people with this one! (kk)    

Happy Mother's Day Kent !! ha ha
This was one of your best topics and very nicely gathered, calculated and reported! Although I am a 1st year Boomer, '46, and, in a parochial sense, lean towards those themes that I enjoyed through high school in my 'formative' years, I concur with all the selections it speaks to the broadness of your audience.
Great Job!
A phrase I love to use referring to the 50's is "Our carefree, youthful, innocent days" ... across all aspects of our beginnings we had marvelous attractions to entertain us ... the music, of course, the cars, the fashions, and certainly the 'new invention', Television !
Certainly we may just be the "Golden Generation" or at the very least the luckiest bunch ever.
Thank you,
Well put. I couldn't imagine having lived through any other era ... and consider myself lucky to have witnessed so much. I only hope future generations will continue to enjoy and discover the sights and sounds that we all grew up with. (Thanks to never-ending reruns, this seems to be the case on television ... why radio stations are so willing to give up on the music I'll never understanding ... seems like folks ought to be fighting harder to insure that these great sounds never leave us.) Then again, maybe that's MY lot in life. It certainly was simpler then ... with only three channels to choose from (and FAR more "family time"), no matter where we grew up, we were all essentially living the same life, watching the same shows, listening to the same music ... there is a bond that connects us to this very day ... and it's that bond that makes Forgotten Hits work. So thanks again, everybody ... we simply couldn't do this without you! (kk)