Friday, March 15, 2013

Another Great Forgotten Hits Give-Away!

Forgotten Hits has teamed up with Chart Guru Joel Whitburn to bring you another GREAT Forgotten Hits Give-Away!

Celebrating the debut of his "The '70's #1's" on The Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (it premiered this week at #11!), the release of his revamped book "Hot Country Songs, 1944 - 2012" (available now ... it'll start shipping today!)  and a brand new, revised edition of his most popular book in the Record Research Series, "Top Pop Singles" (more details coming soon!), Joel has decided to give away a sealed copy of the new 2-CD '70's Set ... as well as one of his own, personal copies of "The Billboard Hot 100 Charts - The Seventies".  (Joel tells us that this item has been out of stock for quite some time ... and copies are currently going for between $350 and $850 on!!!)

All you have to do is correctly answer Joel's Trivia Questions ... and you'll automatically be entered in the drawing to win these two great prizes!      

Let's put together a great trivia challenge ... we'll do a contest and the winner will get both items!
“I Just Want To Celebrate!”

Now I'm not going to sugar-coat it here ... you're going to have to work hard to earn a shot at these prizes!!!

Joel has prepared TWO series of trivia questions ... Round One pertains to the '70's ... in fact, he's come up with one question for each year of the decade.

Round Two are more "general" oldies questions.  

All-in-all, we're playing the Joel Whitburn / Forgotten Hits Edition of Twenty Questions ... all for a shot at the grand prize shown above.     

Just shoot me an email with as many correct answers as you can from Joel's Trivia Questions below ... and we'll pick a winner from all of the correct answers we receive.  Don't miss out on YOUR chance to win these two great prizes!


Part One:  THE '70's:   

1) Which of these artists had four #1 Hot 100 hits in  1970:
   Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, The Jackson 5,
   Three Dog Night   

2) Which two of these names did not have a Top 5 Hot
    100 hit in 1971:  Proud Mary, Admiral Halsey, Boo,
    Ben, Mrs. Jones, Bobby McGee

3) Which of these ‘persons’ was mentioned in four
    1972 #1 Hot 100 hits:  Baby, Child, Daddy, Girl, Man,
    Mother, Papa, Woman

4) Which two of these songwriters had 3 Top 5 Hot 100
    hits in 1973:  Paul Simon, Jim Croce, George
    Harrison, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Marvin Gaye

5) There were 40 #1 Country Songs in 1974 – 17 made
     the Hot 100 – 5 were by which artist:  Dolly Parton,
     Charlie Rich, Anne Murray, Waylon Jennings, John
     Denver, Tanya Tucker

6) There were 42 #1 R&B Songs in 1975 – all made the
        Hot 100 – what song led the R&B charts for only 3
        consecutive weeks?

7)  527 songs made the Hot 100 in 1976 – longevity
     (weeks charted) was not what it is today – only 58
     had 20-29 weeks charted – how many charted for 30
     or more weeks?

8)  Dance / Disco music was a growing trend on the pop
     charts in 1977 – 19 Hot 100 songs had forms of the
     word Dance or Disco in them – which two were gold
     #1 Hot 100 hits?

9)  There were 48 Top 5 Hot 100 hits in 1978 – all but 9
     were gold or platinum records -- which one of these
      hits was among those 9:  Miss You / Baby Come 
      Back / Three Times A Lady / Short People / Hot
      Blooded / Emotion

10) Which two of these rock bands did not have a #1    
      Hot 100 hit in 1979:  The Doobie Brothers / Styx /
      Cheap Trick / The Eagles / The Knack / Dire Straits
TIE-BREAKER BONUS QUESTION (if needed):  Name the artist that had 22 chart hits – all Top 40 hits except for their debut entry on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart for one week.

Part Two 

11)  What singer was a regular on Don McNeill’s
       Breakfast Club radio show and on TV’s Tonight
       Show starring Jack Parr?       

   12)  What Elvis Presley Sun Studio recording from 1954
          would become a classic hit by a doo-wop group in

13)  Which Beatles’ hit was originally released as by
       The Beattles?

14)  What Canadian rock and roll singer’s two biggest 
       hits both peaked at #3 on the Hot 100?

15)  What rock band leader began his career as a singer
        in a country band, the Down Homers?

   16)  Who is the only artist that had three #1 hits on
          Billboard’s Rock Tracks chart and one #1 hit on
          Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart?

17)  What do these five 1950’s artists have in common:
       Joan Weber, Morris Stoloff, Laurie London, The
       Silhouettes and The Elegants – besides all having a
       #1 hit?

18)  Jackie Wilson had nine consecutive two-sided
       chart hits from 1960-62.  What other R&B
       artist had eleven  consecutive two-sided chart hits
       from 1959-61?

19)  Since 1955, The Beatles have had the most #1 
       hits: 20;  Elvis and Madonna have had the most #2
    hits: 6; who has had the most #3 hits (with 5)? 

20) What pop singing group backed a 1930s 
      legendary movie actress on her only charted
      album, with the group pictured on the cover of
      the album?   

Name the Elvis Presley song that states “You may
    have a pink Cadillac” and the Beatles song that
    states “I’ve got a big surprise”

Whew!!!  (Toldja this wasn't going to be easy!!!  lol)

Think you've got 'em all figured out?!?!?

Then drop us a line at and get your answers in pronto!!!  We'll be picking the Grand Prize Winner within the next ten days!  (kk)

You'll find these great titles ... and SO much more ... on the Record Research Website:

We just got word that Joel Whitburn's "The '70's #1's" will premier at #1 on Billboard's Catalog Albums Chart next week, too ... this is a bonafide hit!!!
(Rhino Records has released over 200 titles of Joel Whitburn compilations over the years ... this is by far the best chart performance for any of them.)  Won't it be cool to see Joel's next Album Book revision ... showing his OWN CD at the #1 Spot?!?!?  This is a GREAT opportunity for you to pick up your own copy of this hot, new CD!  And be sure to check out all of the other great titles available through Record Research via the link above!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday This And That

First, a quick correction ...   

Over the weekend, we ran:  
>>>"I Only Have Eyes For You" is one of those songs that is so good it almost can't fail. EXCEPT when the Flamingos put out a later album, which I bought, that had the song on it but in an updated calypso type feel. PISSED is an understatement. I frisbeed that album so hard it probably made it to Chicago. (Alex Valdez)  
I revised Alex's copy to read "calypso" when he had actually typed "chalypso", apparently a mistake as he had fully intended it to go out that way. (Hey, I figure that if I hadn't changed it, SpellCheck would have!!! lol)  

But Alex explains:  
I know you mean well, but once again you proofed my entry when you deleted the "H" from the word Chalypso. I believe you thought I meant Calypso, thus you are well intentioned. However; for a brief moment back in the day there was a reference to Chalypso which stood for the sound of calypso with the appropriate dance treatment of the cha-cha. I may be full of hot balloon juice, but maybe some other older readers can back me up on this. It may have only been indigenous to the west coast for all I know but it is out there in the ether.
Alex Valdez
With a Yorkie named Cha-Cha sitting at my feet as I type this, I truly apologize! (kk)

You should check out "I Only Have Eyes For You" by Lola and the Saints.
It is great.
The Great and Wonderful Malcolm Collins
Click here: LOLA and the SAINTS....I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU - YouTube  
A great recording ... but the lip-synching is SO bad it's almost hard to watch! If this is really them performing this tune, I'd rank that right up there with the best of them. (kk)  

Last year we told you about The Go Go's official reunion with all of the original members ... in fact, our buddy Ron Onesti brought the band to The Arcada Theatre for one of their first reunion gigs.   
Now comes word from Tom Cuddy that all is not happy in Go-Go's paradise:

Go-Go's Part Ways With Bassist Kathy Valentine

At 11 PM (ET) on Friday night, the Go-Go's posted the following statement to their Facebook:

The Go Go's have parted ways with bassist Kathy Valentine, citing irreconcilable differences.
The rest of the lineup, original since 1979 (BELINDA CARLISLE OFFICIAL, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock and Jane Wiedlin) remains intact.
The band looks forward to another fun and exciting tour this summer.
Valentine started her professional career as a member of Girlschool in 1975 and, three years later, started the Textones. She joined the Go-Go's in 1980 as a temporary replacement for their ill bassist but soon became a full-time member. After the breakup (and eventual reunion) she was in the World's Cutest Killers, the BlueBonnets and the Delphines.
At this point, nothing has been said about the reason for the break or who will replace her for their upcoming tour with the B-52's.

Go-Go's and B-52s Touring Together This Summer

The Go-Go's and the B-52s will hit the road this summer for a series of dates across the U.S.
The Go-Go's had scheduled a farewell tour three summers ago but, when member Jane Wiedlin took a twenty-foot fall while hiking near her home. In the aftermath, the band found new energy, did a 30th anniversary tour in 2011 and have talked about recording new material.
The B-52s have been regular participants in the summer concert season for many years with their high energy set that includes such hits as Love Shack, Roam, Good Times and Rock Lobster.

So far, specific dates have not been announced, but the Go-Go's website does say that they will be playing the following cities and more:
  • New York, NY
  • Hyannis, MA
  • Boston, MA
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Anderson, IN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Marysville, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Saratoga, CA
  • Tuscon, AZ
  • Scottsdale, AZ

The other day we told you about Eric Burdon performing at this year's SXSW Music Festival down in Austin, Texas. Now comes word that another British Invasion Band, The Zombies, will ALSO be on hand for a few shows! (Now how cool is that?!?!?) Here's a blurb sent in by Tom Cuddy from The Houston Press:
In today's pop culture, zombies are hot. Their lumbering, slack-jawed forms are moving (albeit slowly) on TV and in movies, video games, and off the pages of books.
So it's sort of appropriate that -- like these monosyllabic, flesh-shedding creatures who get a second chance -- the beloved '60s British Invasion group the Zombies ("Time of the Season," "She's Not There," "Tell Her No") should also have a resurrection decades later.
"We were pleasantly surprised -- astounded really -- when we started playing together again in 2000 that there was this huge interest in the band, especially since we didn't put out a lot of material," says original vocalist Colin Blunstone from his home in England. "And it's worldwide. People are just fascinated by the band, and we seriously didn't realize that."
The Zombies will play Fitzgerald's on March 17, right after a busy schedule of appearances in Austin at SXSW.
Blunstone, along with original keyboardist / vocalist Rod Argent, are the two beating hearts of the current Zombies lineup, which also includes Jim Rodford (ex-Argent, Kinks) on bass, son Steve Rodford on drums, and Tom Toomey on guitar. A new record, Breathe Out, Breathe In, was released last year.
"I think it's very natural from what the Zombies have done in the past," he says. "And Rod and I have always worked the same way. This was the ten best songs we had at the time, just like Odessey and Oracle [sic] was the best 12 songs we had then. It's funny to me that people think that was a concept album, and it wasn't."
Ah, Odessey and Oracle. Just the mention of the Zombies' masterpiece (and swan song of the original lineup) gets fans of '60s pop and rock all misty-eyed. It ranks No. 100 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. With quality material from start to finish, it also spawned their best known hit with "Time of the Season."
Yet, it almost never got heard in America. It was mostly through the efforts of keyboardist / singer Al Kooper - a fan who pestered the U.S. arm of their record company to release it - that Odessey finally hit U.S shelves in 1968 (the word misspelling an error by the album cover's artist). Ironically, the Zombies couldn't capitalize on that success and interest, because the band had already broken up.
But as Blunstone -- who went on to have a solo career as well as sing with the Alan Parsons Project -- points out, there was no thought of getting the boys back together. "It was never really discussed within the band," he offers. "And Rod and Chris [White, bassist] were already putting Argent together, or the beginnings of it."
Another fond memory Blunstone has of those first years was a trip to the U.S. when the Zombies appeared as one of many acts on the 1965 Dick Clark Caravan of Stars Tour. That's where Blunstone and Argent went through a kind of musical trial by fire on the bus that served as transportation for the talent.
"There was a great bonding going on," he says. "We'd have 15 or 16 acts on one bus, so we got to know each other well. And a lot of them, especially the black acts who we really loved, would sing into the night.
"But on the first night we got on, and they said, "Well, what are you going to sing for us?" We were petrified! So Rod and I got up and did a Beatles song. I think it was "If I Fell" and he insists it was "Help". But we stood up and sang a cappella to some of the most beautiful voices in the world!"
Blunstone also points out that, as a keyboard - and not guitar-based band, the Zombies were always a little off the beaten path. And that their use of three-part harmony actually predated their first hearing the Beatles do the same.
Vocally, Blunstone's pipes have an airy, breathy and high-ranged style. He calls it "challenging" to hit the same notes as a 67-year-old man, but says he's fortunate to have kept his vocal range through the decades and also credits a vocal coach that he and Argent worked with, when they began playing together again in 2000, for teaching them a technique to make their voices stronger. - The current Zombies: Jim Rodford (bass), Colin Blunstone (vocals), Steve Rodford (drums), Rod Argent (keyboards, vocals) and Tom Toomey (guitar)
When the Zombies last played Houston in 2004 (and we interviewd Argent), it was at the tiny Engine Room, which attracted a small but enthusiastic crowd. Blunstone and Argent happily mingled with fans after the show, including a couple who had driven eight hours to get to the gig, clutching their import-only "Zombie Heaven" box set.
"I remember playing Houston and it was a positive and enthusiastic crowd, but beyond that, it's hazy!" Blunstone laughs. "A lot of time when we tour America, we cover long distances. So we'll literally get up, eat breakfast, drive all day, get the gear in, play, go to bed, and get up and start all over. But we love to play, so it makes it all worthwhile."
The group's Texas jaunt will be a little more packed this time, especially with their SXSW activities. On March 15, Blunstone and Argent will take part in a panel discussion about their career, followed by a showcase gig a few hours later.
The next day, there will be a signing and in-store performance at Waterloo Records, culminating that night in a headline SXSW gig. Then it's on to Houston, where the set list will consist of mostly Zombies tunes, a few Blunstone solo songs, stuff from Argent ("Hold Your Head Up"), the Alan Parsons Project and some new tunes.
And while Blunstone admits he "doesn't know much" about SXSW, he thinks it will be "fairly full-on." "They'll be keeping us busy! But I'm looking forward to it," he says. "It's funny. We were originally only going to play six concerts in 2000, but it felt so natural, so worth exploring, to keep the band together. And here we are, 13 years later! Life is very strange, you know.  

And speaking of British Invasion Rockers, Tom Cuddy ALSO sent us this Rolling Stones tour update from Rolling Stone Magazine:
50 And Counting
March 8, 2013 3:25 PM ET
The Rolling Stones' '50 and Counting' shows in London and New York last year were some of their tightest shows in years. "There have been quite a few offers," Mick Jagger said afterward, weighing a full tour. Added Keith Richards, "Really, all you're going to have to do is wait for an announcement."
The wait will be over soon. A concert business source confirms to Rolling Stone the band is planning 18 concerts in North America this year. Billboard also reported yesterday the band will play "fewer than 20" dates in North America, with Australian promoter Paul Dainty and Virgin music promoting the tour (the team also promoted the '50 and Counting' run). "May 2nd is the launch day," says another source. "I've heard West Coast cities – L.A. And Seattle. But I think they're going to do some back East as well."
It would be the band's first tour since 2005-2007's A Bigger Bang, and, if the '50 and Counting' shows were any indication, the band is even more adventurous these days. Last year they performed with former members Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman, invited guests like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck and played rarities like "Around and Around" and "I Wanna Be Your Man."
It's looking likely U.K. fans won't miss out on the Stones this summer. When MTV News UK asked Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno if his set at the Hard Rock Calling festival on June 29th will be the most talked-about performance of the weekend, he replied, "Yes, that would be a miracle because The Rolling Stones are playing Glastonbury. I can imagine there will be a lot of people there waiting for them."  

A quick ARSA scan shows the Beatles From Me To You hit the top 10 on KMEN in San Bernadino Cal in the summer of 1963.  
It was sales in and around the LA area that boosted "From Me To You" to its "bubbling under" position of #116 in Billboard Magazine in the Summer of '63 ... several months before "I Want To Hold Your Hand" burst the dam wide open.  In our original "Who Played The First Beatles Record In America" series we ran a copy of the KRLA chart, showing "From Me To You" at # 32... cool to hear that it ultimately made The Top Ten in some cities! (kk)

Without physically checking, I don't believe Del Shannon's version of FROM ME TO YOU charted here in OKC. I do have a copy of the record though.
Your FH for the day by Neil Diamond, MORNINGSIDE, did chart here in OKC back in 1973 on MCA Records. The flip, CHERRY CHERRY, (live version) was also played. Never cared for MORNINGSIDE, but then again, that's just my opinion.
Your reader that used to live in Moore, Ok, will remember that version of ROSE GARDEN which you posted by the Third Avenue Blues Band. That's the version that was big here in OKC. They had another big record out in 1968, IT'S GOTTA BE LOVE.
Finally, and I don't know what it is, but whenever I hear the Flamingo's I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU, I get a chill up and down my back, goose bumps all over. Don't know what it is about that record that does that to me. Great tune out of 1959. Personally, never cared for Art Garfunkel's version.
Larry Neal
Just further proving our point ... different strokes for different folks. It's THOSE very discrepancies that make some records Top Ten Hits ... and others fade out in the 50's ... yet BOTH remain amongst our personal favorites. That's the thing about music ... there's something out there for EVERYBODY! (kk)

When I was a teenager growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ... "way up north' (as Johnny Horton sang in "North To Alaska", although it wasn't actually THAT far north, but it was close), I often used to listen to WLS and Dick Biondi 'skipping in' across the Canadian prairies at night. There was obviously a lot of static, but well worth the annoyance to listen to the 'Wild I-tralian" do his thing.  (Another faithful Canadian listener who liked enough what he heard coming out of WLS to suffer through the static!  And further testament to just how good radio was back then .. that we would endure the torture of trying to tune into the latest sounds, no matter how bad the static got! --kk)  
Before I got my first job in radio, I hung around the # 1 Top 50 station in Edmonton, CJCA, a lot. The nighttime DJ eventually put me to work answering phones on 'The Battle of the New Sounds' (many Top 50 stations had this feature - one song pitted against another and listeners decided which one they liked). This particular night in the early summer of 1963, we had Del Shannon's version of "From Me To You" versus The Beatles' original version. From the several hundred phone calls I answered, Del Shannon beat The Beatles hands down. It wasn't even close.  
Doug Thompson 
Proof again of the "tried and true" beating out anything new and innovative. Less than a year later, Del Shannon would have a hard time getting ANY of his records to chart here domestically! (kk)   

Last week we told you about the new Two-CD Soundtrack for the new Motown Broadway Musical. Now comes more word on the show itself:
I've seen quite a few TV ads for this, too ... wondering if any of our readers have seen the show.  Would love to hear back from you with a full review!  (kk)   

Hi Kent -
Just a quick note to tell you and your readers that I am the Talent Coordinator for this upcoming event September 20, 21, 22 at the LAX Marriott. I'll probably secure many of the artists that you mention in your weekly column and it should be an amazing 3-day weekend. Sponsorship opportunities are also available and I can be reached through our official website or on Facebook -  
All best,
Keep us posted as this develops, Billy ... I'm sure a lot of our west coast friends would like to attend this event. And, if any of the artists are interested in being part of this, let us know and we'll pass the information along ... or contact Billy Hinsche through the Facebook link above.  
By the way, I watched that 20/20 People Magazine Television Special the other night, featuring a poll (of over 1,000,000 voters!) who selected their all-time favorite television programs in a number of different categories. "I Love Lucy" won as best television show EVER ... and Desi, Jr., was on camera talking about his mom and dad. GREAT to see him after all these years! (kk)  
Last weekend we shared a report with you about some of the major car manufacturers eliminating AM/FM Radios from their upcoming models.
Just got this from WRLR's Bish who tells us that General Motors will not be following suit ... 

General Motors Will Not Abandon Radio
The recent editorial by Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads "A Cold Harsh Reality for Radio," quoting panelists at Convergence 2013 in Santa Clara, has amplified the discussion about the role of AM/FM in future automobile dashboards.
Eric's piece has generated pages of feedback from the radio industry and has been shared, liked, and tweeted more than any Radio Ink piece in years.
The article prompted this response from General Motors Chief Infotainment Officer Phil Abram:
Dear Mr. Rhoads:
Your March 8 article "A Cold, Harsh Reality For Radio" came as a surprise to me and the Global Connected Consumer team at General Motors. We are responsible for setting the strategy for infotainment systems across GM. While we are excited about the possibilities of Internet radio services and other emerging services, we understand that AM/FM radio is still a significant source of news and entertainment. In fact, it is an expected feature.
We can’t speak for other automakers, but to be clear, GM has no near term plans to eliminate AM and FM from GM vehicles. We are committed to providing consumers innovative services that dramatically enhance the driving and riding experience. We expect AM/FM radio to be one of the choices consumers have in our vehicles.
We know consumers want to be safely connected in their cars, and we’re enabling it with world-class infotainment platforms, telematics systems and safety services. I invite you to visit our facilities to check out our latest developments.
Phil Abram
Chief Infotainment Officer
General Motors
Eric Rhoads said, "This is great news that GM is willing to step out and state that radio is still critical to their dash. We are reaching out to all the car brands in hopes of getting a simular show of support. Radio listening among youth
continues to be strong, according to Abritron and RADAR, and we believe any car company's removing AM or FM from the dash would be a misguided strategy."


>>>I just saw the Bachman / Turner Overdrive concert on Lake Shore Public TV and it was one GREAT CONCERT!!! They included Randy Bachman's first hit "Shakin' All Over", which he recorded under the name The Guess Who since the group's original name was Chad Hayden and the Reflections. At that time, The Reflections recorded "Romeo and Juliet" and they had to change their name!" (Carolyn)
The Guess Who were originally called Chad Allan & The Reflections (she misheard that as Chad Hayden). Then when Detroits' The Reflections came out with their hit, the Winnipeg Reflections changed their name to Chad Allan and The Expressions.
Chad Allan's real name was Allan Kowbell. One of his favourite groups when he was growing up in Winnipeg was The Chad Mitchell Trio (long before John Denver joined). Allan dropped the Kowbell, added CHad as his first name and later legally changed his name to Chad Allan.
The Guess Who name came from their record company, Quality records in Toronto. After they'd been signed and had recorded "Shakin' All Over", the group sent the tapes to Toronto for release. George Struth at Quality thought they sounded British (well, they HAD recorded a cover of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates version of the song and that group WAS British - in fact, Johnny Kidd wrote the song), so instead of putting Chad Allan and The Expressions as the name of the group on the promo 45 Quality sent to radio stations, the record company put 'Guess Who' on the label and stations made a contest out of it. Who's the group? Listeners called in with their answers.
Guess Who was the name that stuck.
Doug Thompson in Toronto (Yep, I'm still reading)

I had meant to correct the "Chad Allan" comment but forgot all about it as I was rushing out this last week's comments page. While I knew they recorded "Shakin' All Over" (a cover of the Johnny Kidd and the Pirates song as you mentioned ... they're nearly identical in fact!), the story I always heard was that the record company deliberately left their name off the label in the hopes that by writing "Guess Who" on there instead, disc jockeys and program directors would be intrigued enough to give the record a spin, just to hear what it sounded like. And, since this was right in the middle of the first wave of The British Invasion, the fact that the group SOUNDED British would hopefully play to their advantage ... and these jocks and program directors would be none the wiser.  It worked ... "Shakin' All Over" by The Guess Who became a #13 American Hit ... approximately three and a half years before Burton Cummings would join the band and change their sound and musical direction forever. As I recall, the band wasn't all too happy about the name change ... not unlike The Beach Boys finding their first record released with that new moniker ... they went into the studio and cut "Surfin'" as The Pendletones!!! ... but it stuck ... and they've been The Guess Who ever since. (I believe Chad Allan and Burton Cummings tried to coexist as members of the band for a short time there at the beginning ... but Burton's personality was just a little to strong and robust to combat ... and Allan finally went his own way. Honestly, we may not remember these guys at all, had that not happened!) kk

(This one STILL sounds great coming out of your radio ... why not give it a spin!)   

Guitar Legend Peter Banks Passes – July 15, 1947 – March 8, 2013  
London, UK - Best known for his innovative and unique guitar work with YES and Flash, as well as his own critically acclaimed solo albums, guitar legend Peter Banks passed away at his home in London on March 8, 2013. Banks, a founding member of the ground breaking progressive rock group YES, performed on the band's first two albums, 'Yes' and 'Time And A Word'. He would go on to form Flash and release three well-received albums (Flash, In The Can, Out Of Our Hands), along with several successful tours of Europe and the US, culminating in an appearance on the widely watched late night American TV show 'The Midnight Special'. With an admitted fondness for improvisation, music critics touted Banks as a cross between Pete Townshend and Wes Montgomery. Even Pete Townshend, one night after witnessing a YES performance, walked up to Banks, slapped him on the back and said, “You're great!” After Flash, Peter Banks would form the band Empire in the mid '70s and eventually release three albums 'Mark I' 'Mark II' and 'Mark III'. During his career, Banks would release five solo albums (Two Sides Of ..., Instinct, Self-Contained, Reduction, Can I Play You Something?) and had been active in recent times working with acts such as Harmony and Diversity, Prog Collective, ANT-BEE and Days Between Stations. Banks first solo album 'Two Sides Of Peter Banks' has been considered by many as one of the great 'prog' records of all time and features an all-star line-up of Jan Akkerman, Phil Collins and John Wetton. In the early 2000's Banks wrote his autobiography 'Beyond & Before' published by Golden Treasures publishing in the US. Peter was putting on the final touches of the log awaited live recording 'FLASH - IN PUBLIC' CD set for release on Cleopatra Records at the time of his passing. 
"I loved working with Peter on the many records I have produced over the years, he always delivered amazing stuff, creative, inspires and always with that classic original YES flavor that came with his playing. He will be missed by me and many many other fans of his music and playing." - Billy Sherwood 
Peter Banks will always be remembered as one of the pioneers of progressive rock guitar and will be missed by musicians worldwide. 
Peter Banks - July 15, 1947 - March 8, 2013   

Also leaving us this past week (according to Ron Smith's website): 
Traditional jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball died Thursday (March 7) from pneumonia at the age of 82. The Ilford, Essex, England musician is best remember for the #2 hit, "Midnight In Moscow" in 1962. He was named an honorary citizen of New Orleans in 1963 and played at the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. 

(I always liked this one!)  kk   

Country crossover star Claude King, best-remembered for his #6 pop hit, "Wolverton Mountain" in 1962, was found dead at his Shreveport, Louisiana home Thursday morning (March 7) . He was 90. Like fellow singer Jim Reeves, Claude was offered a baseball scholarship before settling in on a singing career with the "Louisiana Hayride" radio and TV programs out of Shreveport in the '50s. However, it wasn't until 1961 that he received a contract with Columbia Records. "Big River, Big Man" was the first of 30 country hits (it climbed to #7 country) and also managed to come in at #82 on the pop charts. It was followed by "The Commancheros" (#71 - 1961) before Claude recorded his biggest hit "Wolverton Mountain." Co-written with Merle Kilgore, it was inspired by an actual location in Arkansas and the real Clifton Clowers, who died in 1994 at age 102. The follow-up, "The Burning Of Atlanta," made #53 pop in 1962. Though his final country appearance was in 1977, Claude also worked as an actor, including the 1982CBS-TV mini-series, "The Blue And The Gray."