Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 04 - 07 - 13 )

Bravo! Kent on the Gary Lewis & the Playboys scoop ~ fun to hear all these versions!

My hat is off to all of the FH members who devote the time and effort to listen to the various nuances from any given recording. I've been in the music business off and on for 40 years. While I'm fully aware of stereo / mono and / or album / 45 / CD recordings, I wish I had the time, the patience, the room in my house, etc., to do all of the research. As the time goes on, I suspect even more alternate mixes will show up. I base that opinion on the fact that more and more record company engineers were not even born when the original 50s & 60s classics were recorded and have no idea what the song sounds like. So when the engineer is told to get Sure Gonna Miss Her, he / she grabs the first recording they see, which may or may not be the one we are most familiar with. For all we know the original recording has been misfiled for 40 or 50 years. I gotta tell you all that everytime I think I know a lot about music history, I realize after reading accounts from those of you who were there, there's a lot more behind the music stories that VH1 could ever document. I've been reading Kent's posts for 11 years now and I don't think Kent could have ever imagined how far this little website would progress in 11 years, let alone when he started it up before that. You guys just really floor me with all the little details. Yet should anyone think for a minute that this website would only appeal to the really SERIOUS music fan, they would not be correct. Even the casual music lover should be able to appreciate this. My little business may be called Rock And Roll Never Forgets, but there's a lot of rock and roll I haven't even heard about yet, let alone have had time to remember long enough to forget. (Sounds like an Elvis song). So all you DJs, recording artists, producers, vinyl junkies, etc., keep sending in those cards and letters to Kent. These are the stories that you don't see on VH1, or read in Rolling Stone.
Thanks so much for the kind words. As I have said SO many times over the past 14 years, NOBODY knows it all ... I learn something new in Forgotten Hits nearly every single week ... which keeps it fun for me. And discovering and being able to share some new fact (especially when backed up with special insight from a source who was there) is the icing on the cake. But we all need to realize that Forgotten Hits is a TEAM effort ... and we couldn't do it without you. (When I think back to the computer crash of 2012 ... and the prospect of having to stop doing this ... I am truly humbled and overwhelmed. Just look at how much stuff we've covered in the months since then!!! Absolutely AMAZING!!! Special thanks again to those who helped us recover.) kk 

And, on a related note ... 

Forgotten Hits is what Rolling Stone Magazine used to be ... interesting.
Dennis Tufano 

Hi Kent,
I have found your Gary Lewis segments very enlightening. The most eye opening part for me is ... I actually did not know that Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis and the Playboys is the son of Jerry Lewis. Okay ... you can stop laughing ... I bet I am the only person on earth that didn't know that.
I watched Rock Center with Brian Williams tonight and they did a story about The Masked Marauders ... what an interesting story that was ... but I guess everyone but me knew that one too ... LOL
OK, I have to admit that I AM quite shocked that you never knew ... or didn't see the resemblance ... but the again, after reading Carl Wiser's email below, maybe this simply means that Gary Lewis accomplished exactly what he was shooting for. In fact, you'll learn many other interesting tidbits about Gary Lewis and the Playboys if you click on the link below and read Carl's interview with Gary. Good stuff ... read on! (kk)

Hey Kent.
Keep in mind that Gary Lewis could have gotten out of The Army by invoking his famous father, but he didn't - and he ended up in Vietnam. When I spoke with him a few years ago he made it clear that his success was not predicated on his father, and in fact, he went out of his way to avoid comparisons.
It was Gary's mother who was his big supporter, getting him a drum kit so he could pursue his ambitions. Here's what he told me:
She says, "Yeah, I'll buy you the equipment, you can rehearse here at the house when your dad's out of town." And she said, "I really hope it works, because if it doesn't, I'm going to have to explain where this money went." So "Diamond Ring" is climbing the charts and she says, "Now you can tell him."
Jerry Lewis didn't know his son had a band until "This Diamond Ring" was a hit.
When you grow up with a father who is only vaguely present, it can be quite a challenge to discover your identity and validate your accomplishments. When I spoke with Gary, I mentioned Oliver Leiber, the son of Jerry Leiber. Oliver also downplayed his dad, moving to Minnesota and living on the cheap until he became a hit songwriter / producer for Paula Abdul. Like Gary, Oliver doesn't mention his dad unless you ask him directly. Here's Gary's quote on that:
"I was very proud of him and his work. His work was great. Even today I watch his movies when they come on. I loved him and respected his work tremendously. But at a very early age, I realized this is not what I want to do. If I do anything remotely close to what my dad does, I'll never have my own identity, I'll always be compared to him, and that would be bad for any person to have to go through. I know there are stars' sons that have made it on their own, sons and daughters. But I didn't even want to give that a shot. I didn't even want to try it. Plus, I loved music. I wanted to get into music so bad, but I just didn't have the push, the drive. And then the Beatles came out. That gave me the push and drive."
The full interview with Gary is here:
Be Well,
Carl Wiser
You'll find some very interesting insight into The Wrecking Crew here, too. And you'll love the part about how he got his name ... Gary was born Cary Levitch!!! Great job, Carl! (kk) 

Kent -
Thanks for clearing up the "Sure Gonna Miss Her" story!! I had to read it a few times but I think I understand it now. For any fans who prefer the 'without horns' version on 45, it was re-released on Underground Records -URC 1054 w/Green Grass as the A-side. The song REALLY sounds even better on vinyl, even though Snuff apparently wasn't happy with it. That's Gary on the drums, if I have the story correct? Learning these stories is so interesting!!!
John Evanich III

That video of the musical highlights from The Red Skelton Show is one of the most fun nine minutes on YouTube. There's some rare stuff in it - including one of Gayle McCormick's few moments ever captured on film or tape. 
David Lewis  
I just HATE the thought of this material being made available after all this time ... and the still squandering in some vault somewhere until somebody comes up with the right project to use it on ... and then (typically) only license a 20-second clip. This material is just TOO good to go to waste. 
They really need to rethink their strategy here ... and get this music to the people to whom it will mean the most! (kk)   

I love collecting old TV footage of rock and roll performers on dvd. I really liked the Smothers Brothers season 3 and season 2 (they released them in reverse order). While season 1 was promised, it has never been released. That may have been the brothers best year featuring rock and rollers. I am wondering why that has never made the store shelves? Musical guests included: The Happenings, The Turtles, Simon And Garfunkel, Blues Magoos, Buffalo Springfield, Paul Revere And The Raiders, and The Buckinghams.  
I also wish there would be a remastered release of The Big T.N.T. Show. The T.A.M.I. show is one of my favorites. I have been told that the followup (T.N.T.) was even better. 
Phil - WRCO  
SO much great music on TV back then ... I want to see this stuff come on while some of us are still around to enjoy it!!! (kk)  

The WCBS-FM list of the Top 10 dance records of "all time" was absurd for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that, other than 1990's "Vogue," it was really just an assemblage of high-charting '70s disco hits.  
As a waltz recording by a string quartet is a "dance record," too, not all dance records either came from the mid-to-late '70s or are "disco" in the '70s sense of that word. "Disco," of course, as actually short for "discotheque," the French term for "dancing to records" which was first popularized stateside back in the early '60s when Chubby Checker was leading the dance craze pack with "Let's Twist Again," "Limbo Rock," "The Fly," "Pony Time," etc. "Dancing to records" was exactly what you did at sock hops and on "American Bandstand" during that period, grooving to stacks of 45s by not just Chubby but The Dovells, The Miracles, Dee Dee Sharp, The Orlons, The Isley Brothers, Bobby Rydell, The Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Chris Montez, Bobby Freeman, Elvis and many more.  
In the case of recorded sound, "all time" refers to post 1877, when Edison recorded "Mary Had A Little Lamb" (a few years before Paul McCartney). Therefore, if you were going to make a list of the "all time" ten biggest, best-loved or most significant dance RECORDS ever made, you'd have to include more from outside 1974-9 than just "Vogue." I can come up with loads of candidates, including one which was the best-selling record of the entire pre-rock Big Band Era. In fact, the tune has the distinction of charting by somebody or other in nearly all of the next five decades (albeit sometimes in medley form):  
Glenn Miller (1939 - 40)  
Johnny Maddox (1953)  
Ernie Fields (1959)  
Bette Midler (1973)  
Jonathan King (1976; UK)  
Henhouse Five Plus Two (1977) 
Larry Elgart (1982; worked into "Hooked On Swing")  
Jive Bunny & the Mixmasters (1987; worked into "Swing The Mood")  
Here's Glenn Miller & his Orchestra with the "Sun Valley Serenade" movie version of "In The Mood" (a different performance than the hit single):
Gary Theroux
The list was ludicrous ... especially coming from an oldies station ... how do you ignore so many significant trends? "The Twist" is still the only record in the rock era to top the charts TWICE! It was a national phenomenon. (kk)   

And then ... after our special Saturday video ran ...

That's a great gag -- although I'd only put it in an R rated movie. Of course, "(Let's Dance) The Screw" was a real Crystals record (Philles 111), although only promo copies were made in 1963. I visited the Philles office in 1973 or 1974 -- Phil was not there -- and his staff gave me promo copies of a few singles, "The Screw" being one of them. I'm sure you know the story behind that infamous record.

Enjoyed your little video you sent out today. It just reminded me of one thing or record.
I don't know if you've covered this before in your FH but the Crystals' recording of (LET'S DANCE) THE SCREW parts 1 & 2 from 1963. Wonder offhand how many of your readers remember that record and if it happened to make their local survey when it came out. Without checking, I don't believe it made it here in OKC. I do have a copy however.
Larry Neal

Actually, quite a while back we ran an entire Phil Spector Series in Forgotten Hits, put together by one of our readers.  (A pretty rare record if you've got a copy!) 

Here ... in '60's Flashback style ... is the chapter on "The Screw" ...  


We recently had QUITE a bit of discussion in FORGOTTEN HITS regarding the record that PHIL SPECTOR recorded in an effort to dissolve his partnership with LESTER SILL. 
Here is the COMPLETE story behind (LET'S DANCE) THE SCREW: 

As for Phil Spector, why doesn't anyone ever play his record "Let's Dance the Screw" by The Crystals (Philles 111)? I have the 45 rpm and I'll tell you! It isn't really The Crystals! It sounds like he recorded himself while on Reds (seconal)! There must be a story behind it. I've heard a couple of different ones, so I don't really know.  
Later . . .

I asked STEVE KNUETTEL (who put together a special PHIL SPECTOR Series for FORGOTTEN HITS) for HIS version of the LET'S DANCE THE SCREW story.   

Here goes:   

Phil Spector and his mentor, Lester Sill formed Philles Records (named after Phil and Les) and Mother Bertha Music (a publishing company named after Phil's mother). After several successful Phil produced records and a few Lester produced flops, Phil wanted complete control of Philles and Mother Bertha. To him that meant his long time friend and partner Lester Sill had to go. Lester reportedly agreed to sell out his entire interest in Philles and Mother Bertha for $60,000 and a piece of the action on the next Crystals record. When Lester called Phil to collect the check, Phil's lawyer told him that they were still working on it, trying to calculate the loss from the lost Paris Sisters' album and other deductible expenses. Lester got his own lawyer involved. The legal battle began.
Phil went into the studio with the Crystals and his lawyer and recorded "(Let's Dance) The Screw - Parts 1 & 2". Phil had no intention of ever releasing the awful record but allegedly produced it only to rid himself of Lester. Eventually the split was finalized. Phil was now in full control of Philles Records and Mother Bertha Music. "(Let's Dance) The Screw - Part I" / "(Let's Dance) The Screw - Part II [Philles 111] was only released on promotional copies and was quickly withdrawn. Phil replaced the Philles 111 catalog number with Darlene Love's "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry". The few copies of (Let's Dance) The Screw that do exist are extremely rare and valuable selling for up to $3,000 each. Blue bootleg copies of the record do exist and can be purchased in the $5 - $25 range. (Spectropop says there was at least one stock copy of the record - check the link at the end for a picture - if it is legit, I imagine it would go for $5000+)
The reason no one ever plays the record is because it sucks. Supposedly the male voice on the record is that of Phil's lawyer and the female voices are the Crystals. My best guess is that it is his lawyer and probably the Blossoms. 
-- Steve Knuettel

From ..... 
(to explain Philles 109X and Philles 111)  
One possible theory is as follows ... After Philles 109 was released, Spector began in earnest his quest to rid Lester Sill from the partnership. In creating the terms of the break-up, one condition was that Sill would receive royalties from one more Crystals release ... Spector already had "Da Doo Ron Ron" in the can, ready to go, but he really didn't want Sill to get a part of the royalties from what Spector believed (and, rightly so) was going to be a big hit ... So, he re-released Philles 109 as 109X (Philles 110 had probably already been assigned) and passed it off as "another Crystals release" ... Sill's lawyers didn't buy into the ruse, and Spector had to come up with a legitimate new Crystals song ... Hence, the birth of "(Let's Dance) The Screw" (see "Withdrawn & unreleased Philles"), of which a few copies were passed out (including one to Sill) as Philles 111. Once the partnership was dissolved the record was quickly withdrawn, a Darlene Love song was released with the same issue number, and the Crystals hit that Spector had held back, "Da Doo Ron Ron," came out as Philles 112.
See also ...  
A few gems from the Philles label never made it to the general public. (withdrawn & unreleased)  

How's THAT for a thorough answer?!?!? (lol) Fascinating stuff ... and that's EXACTLY the kind of fascinating PHIL SPECTOR information we featured in our Special FORGOTTEN HITS Series.  (We've been talking with Steve about permanently posting something on the website ... we'll keep you posted on that.)

Let's Dance The Screw may have been Phil's joke to screw Lester in contracts. But it could have been worse. Phil could have shot him.  

You asked for it ... so here it is "(Let's Dance) The Screw - Part 1
I now remember why I did not put it on the CD set that I sent you ... other than the fact that it sucks - it's also long nearly 4 1/2 minutes of shit! Part 2 is just as bad if not worse and just as long - a slower version with a few instrumental breaks - yuk! It's a real piece of trash interesting only because of its history.    

I recently read that it was released to satisfy a distribution deal with Universal Distributors (Harold Lipsius & Harry Finfer) prior to that I've always heard that it was released as part of his split with Lester Sill. 

Good response to our all-day "fools" marathon on April 1st. We received quite a bit of mail about it ... and a few inquiries as to why this song or that song didn't make The Top 50 List. The answer to each and every inquiry we received is simple ... that list was put together by FH Reader (and "Ranking The '60's" author) Dann Isbell ... and Dann compiled a list of The Top 50 "Fool" Songs of the 1960's. So when you guys were asking about "Poor Little Fool" or "(Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I", the answer is really quite simple ... both of those songs came out in the 1950's.  

Meanwhile, we were also sent a couple of fool songs that we missed ... including this goodie from FH Reader Jerry Kamper:   

I really have enjoyed the listings of the “Fool” Top 50 from the 60’s.
A few year back I saw a YouTube video from an old 1966 Shindig. That night the show was hosted by The Righteous Brothers and their special guest was Nancy Sinatra.
On the show that night were two brother from England, Paul & Barry Ryan.
The song I viewed on Shindig never charted in the States but should have as far as I’m concerned.
In keeping with “Fool 1960’s “ give a listen to Paul and Barry Ryan and enjoy.
Jerry Kamper   

Not quite sure where the "fool" part comes in ... but this IS a really good track! (kk)    

Please excuse my senior moment. My earlier email referenced a song called “Have Pity On The Fool” Not only did I get the title wrong but obviously it doesn’t fall into the “Fool" 1960’s list.
What can I say?  “Have Pity On The Old Boy” or as SNL’s Gildna Radner might say “Nevermind”.
I still stick to my guns that “Have Pity On The Boy” should have been a hit.
It is a pretty good song ... and I don't show it charting at all!  (It DID reach #18 on the UK Charts however.)  Doesn't matter ... we're featuring it anyway via the YouTube link above.  (Unfortunately the far-better-sounding audio clip you sent me won't play on this page ... has to be an MP3).  Thanks, Jerry!  (kk)  

>>>The long-talked-about Marvin Gaye bio-pic apparently still isn't any closer to being made. Long time speculation was that Law And Order star Jesse Martin would play the lead role ... but several months ago it was announced that Lenny Kravitz was now the leading candidate. (Martin looks like Marvin's twin brother ... and has some Broadway singing skills ... it's going to take a bit of make-up and style-adjusting to make Kravitz believable in this role.) kk
Gaye's son fought long and hard, from what I've read, to keep Kravitz from going forward with the project ... and in fact, a few weeks ago, the producers caved, and put Jesse Martin back in the role.  
Jesse L. Martin To Play Marvin Gaye In ‘Sexual Healing’, Replaces Lenny Kravitz (
Meanwhile, there was a report that Martin's former captain on Law & Order, S. Epatha Merkerson, was being courted to play Gaye's mother.
Now THAT would be some EXCELLENT casting. Thanks, Bob ... I had not heard this ... great to see it's back on track ... now they just need to get it made! (kk)

My first 45 purchase in 6th grade was the Walt Disney theme to Johnny Tremain. WOW!
My first rock and roll purchase was "Dance to the Guitar Man." This purchase led to a collection of thousands of 45's and albums all from the 50's and 60's. Recently moved to Florida so sold them all. Kept about 50 rare 45's and picture sleeves.
What a fantastic site.
Michael Vecellio
Thanks, Michael! We still receive "First 45" stories all the time. Look for yours on the other Forgotten Hits website: (kk)  

Spinner is reporting (by way of ABC News Radio) that Billy Joel is considering retiring from live performances. Joel, performing later this month in Australia ... and New Orleans (!) , is feeling the effects of hip replacement surgery, saying he not only feels it physically but has also noticed changes in his voice. 
Joel says: "I want to see if it's time for me to get off the stage. There's a time when an athlete says 'I can't swing the bat anymore.' So I get to feel it out ... I don't want to be that guy; I don't want to be Spinal Tap." 
Joel stopped composing new music in the '90's and has recently seen his music used in everything from a Broadway Musical to Glee ... a "Greatest Hits"-type "Love Songs" CD was just recently released. When he packed off of his Piano Man Tour with Elton John a couple of years ago, Elton paired up with Leon Russell ... with whom he then recorded a duets album. (kk) 
Billy Joel pays homage to legendary record producer Phil Ramone in Rolling Stone this week, too. Phil and Billy worked on many hit albums together. 
You can read the whole tribute here:   

Your note on 'Sister Rosetta' interested me because a few years back when Alison Krauss recorded 'Raising Sand' with Robert Plant, she had a song about her which made me want to research and learn about Sister Rosetta Tharp. Attached is that song. Speaking of Alison Krauss, it is about time for her to give us some more bombast like that ... we're ready. I'd like to see her do some classic covers ... some Disney ... just anything that would showcase that magical voice. We miss her.
Thanx for advancing ALL the oldies ... there are so many we care about.

New York, NY (April 3, 2013) — On May 21, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release two titles from The Moody Blues: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 and Live at Montreux 1991. These re-issues are now being made available on DVD / CD sets, truly giving fans the ultimate live experience
Featuring such classic tracks as “Question,” “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Legend Of A Mind,” “Ride My See Saw,” “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” and “Your Wildest Dreams,” Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 and Live at Montreux 1991 traces twenty years of The Moody Blues incredible live shows, proving that these songs stand the test of time.
At the end of August 1970, shortly after the release of their album A Question Of Balance, The Moody Blues took to the stage of the Isle Of Wight Festival in front of an audience estimated at over half a million. Live at The Isle Of Wight captures this stunning performance, and the DVD includes a 20-minute documentary.
Live At Montreux from July 1991 is the band’s only Montreux appearance to date. With a line-up including John Lodge, Justin Hayward, Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge, this was a very special night with inspired performances of all their classic hits.
The Moody Blues formed in Birmingham, England in the early 60s and were immediately successful, going to No.1 with their second single “Go Now.” As the sixties progressed, their music evolved into a lusher, more progressive sound, fusing classical music and hard rock. With the arrival of Justin Hayward and John Lodge the classic line-up came together and produced the masterpiece Days Of Future Passed, which contained their classic hit singles “Nights In White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon.” Between 1967 and 1970 they released five more albums, four of which hit the Top 5 in the UK with two of them going to No.1. They enjoyed similar success in the USA, where four of the albums hit the Top 20.
Eagle Rock Entertainment has also recently released Justin Hayward’s new album Spirits Of The Western Sky.

Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970:
Documentary (approx 20 mins)
The Concert:
1) Gypsy
2) Tuesday Afternoon
3) Never Comes The Day
4) Tortoise And The Hare
5) Question
6) Sunset
7) Melancholy Man
8) Nights In White Satin
9) Legend Of A Mind
10) Ride My See Saw
11) Conclusion

Live At Montreux:
1) Lovely To See You
2) Gemini Dream
3) Tuesday Afternoon
4) Bless The Wings (That Bring You Back)*
5) Lean On Me (Tonight)*
6) Say It With Love
7) The Story In Your Eyes
8) Your Wildest Dreams
9) Isn’t Life Strange
10) The Other Side Of Life
11) I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)
12) Nights In White Satin
13) Legend Of A Mind
14) Question
15) Ride My See-Saw
FH Reader Shelley Sweet-Tufano sent us a review of a '60's Spectacular Show she saw recently in Schenectady, featuring Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits, Mary Wilson (of the original Supremes), Jay and the Americans and The Happenings. (Wow, how THAT's a cool line-up!) 

She tells us:
The reporter for this show sat next to me. After I read the review, I decided I did not need to write my own and send it to you ... his captures the evening perfectly. Hope you enjoy.

That writer you sat next to is Brian McElhiney, who says in part:
Nostalgia had its day and then some Saturday night at the '60's Spectacular at Proctors.
Heritage acts trotting out their hit years after the fact can sometimes be a dicey proposition, with tired performers singing songs they don't really want to be singing anymore. Nothing could have been further from the truth at this show, however.
Before a packed house, the four acts on the bill -- Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits, Mary Wilson (an original member of the Supremes), Jay and the Americans and The Happenings -- each performed generous sets of their old favorites, with an energy, excitement and pure joy that was palpable.
Noone and his four-piece band, the evening's headliners, took the cake in the energy department. Kicking off the set and second act with "I'm Into Something Good," Noone was all smiles and boyish charm, grinning at the crowd as he crooned the lyrics. He quipped early (and often) about how it was his lifelong dream to play Schenectdy, leaving the audience in stitches right before launching into "Love Potion No. 9."
The band, led by high-kicking guitarist Vance Brescia, provided muscular takes on classic Hermits songs such as "Sea Cruse," "A Must To Avoid," and "The End of the World." A low-key rendition of "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" late in the set was a highlight, all jangling guitars and Noone's earnest crooning.
Noone proved himself a vocal wizard throughout, tackling snippets of songs from The Rolling Stones ("Jumpin' Jack Flash"), Johnny Cash ("Ring Of Fire") and his punk rock followers The Ramones and The Sex Pistols ... before the show's absolute climax, a roaring sing-along version of "I'm Henry VIII, I Am." The song built through at least five verses (all the same, of course), Noone egging the crowd on the whole way through.
Out of the three openers, Wilson, who closed out the first act of the show, brought the most energy and the most spontaneous fun. The original Supreme covered all of the Motown vocal group's hits, taking on the lead vocals originally handled by Diana Ross. And while she may not be Ross, Wilson was in fine voice and spirits, tearing through "My World Is Empty Without You," "Reflections" and "Come See About Me" with power and precision.
She invited literally anyone who wanted to up on stage mid-set to dance, and a number of audience members took her up on the offer, hamming it up with her through "Baby Love" and "Stop! In The Name Of Love."
Jay and the Americans, veterans to the '60's Spectacular, played the longest set of the first act, taking the stage second. The Happenings played a short set to open the show. Lead vocalist Bob Miranda was clearly the star of the show here, propelling such hits as "'Til" and "See You In September," which quickly turned into a sing-along. The group save the best for last, tearing through "I Got Rhythm" and a powerful version of "God Bless The U.S.A." to a standing ovation.  

Good morning, Kent:
You mentioned the various versions of "Here Come the Judge" in your blog post yesterday.
Last summer I researched a few of them (and some other "judge" songs inspired by the popularity of the catchphrase "here come the judge" in the summer of 1968) at my blog. There were several.
Here's the link, in case you or anybody else is interested: Cheers
The Hits Just Keep on Comin'  
One of MY favorite "judge" songs has got to be "Murder In My Heart For The Judge" by Three Dog Night ... although I have since learned that this song was first done by Moby Grape! (kk)  

Kent - 
Some woman on Amazon yelled at me for giving Ms. Brodsky a bad review for her Johnny Maestro Book. She said that she was an author and I don't understand how much hard work and research goes into writing a book. Just because it took me 15 minutes to read it, doesn't mean it's a bad book. I told her she should compare Sheree Homer's Rick Nelson with Ms. Brodsky's Johnny Maestro if she wants to know what hard work and research are like. I should've made her read your review, if she thought mine was bad.
Frank B.
Hey, we have a responsibility to our audience to tell what's good and bad out there ... and after every review we received expressed what a disappointment Irene Brodsky's Johnny Maestro book was, we felt an obligation to share that information ... as well as write our own unbiased review. (I still can't believe that all the bad press she received in Forgotten Hits actually helped increase her book sales!!! That just blows me away! Kinda like slowing down to look at a train wreck I guess.) Anyway, who knows ... the one yelling at you on Amazon could very well have been Irene Brodsky herself!!! As for our review, you'll find it here:  
Click here: Forgotten Hits: "Sixteen Candles Shine Forever In Memory Of Johnny Maestro" ... A New Book By Irene Brodsky

Gary Pike has shared a video with you on YouTube

Hey Kent,
Here's a real obscure 45 that only a few know it was The Lettermen or at least 2/3 of the Lettermen. You can read my post here for the explanation. The single pictured looks like an Aussie release.
The other side was a spoof on "DUTCHMAN'S GOLD" too. Can't say they had no sense of humor! TONY BUTALA, BOB ENGEMANN and JIMMY PIKE ... otherwise known as "THE LETTERMEN"

These cool crooners played around in the studio and came up with a funny Parody on the Walter Brennan hit "OLD RIVERS" ... The other side was a spoof on "DUTCHMAN'S GOLD" too. Can't say they had no sense of humor! TONY BUTALA, BOB ENGEMANN and JIMMY PIKE ... otherwise known as "THE LETTERMEN"
We've had a Lettermen mini-series planned for a couple of months now ... just haven't been able to find the time to finish it and get it up on the website. But it's coming soon ... and we'll have some ultra-rare tracks to share, too! Stay tuned! (kk)
For the record, Jim Pike and Bobby Engemann are the only ones on the record. Jim and Bob were messing around in the studio one day impersonating Walter Brennan and doing a parody on Old Rivers, Nick Venet, their producer, loved it and decided to record it. When the record was first pressed up it said Jim and Bob, but Capitol later included Tony for some reason. Jim starts off as the Brennan character and Bobby answers as the son. Bobby recently passed away from complication of heart surgery.
-- Gary Pike

FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this new video clip of B.J. Thomas talking about his brand new CD, "The Living Room Sessions".

And did you happen to check out OUR rare-for-a-Saturday video posting? It's a GREAT video commercial for LastFM Radio. Scroll back and check it out! (kk)

For the past five years we have campaigned for the return of Fred Winston to radio, especially if that meant we might get to hear him again here in Chicago ... where he has long been a local favorite.

When Jan Jeffries announced last year that he was bringing back a classic, all-star line-up to WLS-FM, we couldn't have been more pleased ... Brant Miller, Fred Winston and John "Records" Landecker were all "coming home".

But then Jeffries pulled a bone-head move and switched from the station's successful oldies line-up (thanks in great part to Scott Shannon and his True Oldies Channel, which helped to relaunch the station a few years before) to a "classic hits" format, "unlike any other on Chicago radio today." Shannon was gone ... Dick Biondi was moved to overnights (while the bulk of his audience was sleeping) and, just as we predicted, the ratings plummeted. New upstart K-Hits quickly overtook the station as fans preferred at least SOME form of variety over the repeated airplay of Steve Miller, John Mellencamp, Journey, Bob Seger and a handful of about 20 other artists that WLS-FM plays ad nauseum throughout the day.

Now comes word that Fred Winston has been fired. Our FH Buddy Danny Lake (whose program we love, by the way, although he, too, is greatly restrained by what the station allows him to play) will be filling in until a regular replacement can be found. (Ironically former morning man Dave Fogel, who was cut by the station to make room for the return of Brant Miller, has now moved over to doing mornings at K-Hits, where his ratings routinely trump those of any of the WLS jocks!)

To me, it's just ANOTHER bone-head move ... the problem with WLS-FM isn't the jocks ... they're all confined to giving not much more than the call letters, time and temp three times an hour. Between them, they're lucky to get three or four complete sentences out in a 60 minute time period. The jocks that helped to build this station, that at one time DEFINED Personality Radio across the nation, have been bound and gagged and told to simply play the music ... as if the music alone will carry them. Anything that might help distinguish the station and set them apart from every other radio station in town playing the exact same play list has been buttoned up and locked away. It isn't Winston that needed to go ... it's Jeffries ... who has taken the station from #5 to #18 since making all of these "revolutionary" changes. (kk)  

Hey Kent,
In my quest to find the best online radio listening, I stumbled across this. I searched FH, but didn't see it mentioned.
Ummm, this is WLS - like literally. The jingles and commercials alongside music of the 1970's.
All I can say is WOW! Playlist seems deep enough for me. Just WOW! Check it out! Did you know about this one and I missed it?
AJK - The Youngest Oldies Freak Around
Actually, we HAVE plugged this one a couple of times before ... misleading as it is, using both WLS' slogan AND their call letters ... yet having absolutely NOTHING to do with the station.
Honestly, it never won me over. I put it on for about an hour yesterday ... non-stop '70's, yes ... but not the music from the '70's I really want to hear. Some real obscure stuff? I'll grant you that ... but I'm not sure I haven't already heard "Hold Her Tight" enough times for one lifetime ... same for all the cheezy dance music they played while I was tuned in. Heard a few jingles but there wasn't enough going on here to bring me back. Then again, I give them props for doing something different. (Chicago used to have an all-'70's station awhile back that did a pretty good job of mixing things up. Unfortunately, it didn't last very long either.) kk

Give this one a try if you haven't already. Lots of legendary Chicagoland jocks playing a specific format of music with several channels to choose from. Unfortunately, it's a limited loop of music at this point in time ... but it'll give you a chance to hear big-time Chicagoland radio personalities like Clark Weber, Mitch Michaels, Connie Szerszen, Scotty Brink, Tommy Edwards and ... for right now anyway ... it's also the only place to listen to Fred Winston! (Hmmm ... it looks like K-Hits JUST missed a GOLDEN opportunity here to snag a Chicago broadcasting legend ... they JUST hired Jeffrey T. Mason the day before Winston was let go. With Tommy Edwards AND Fred Winston onboard, K-Hits would have been poised to gain even MORE ratings points over WLS-FM.) By the way Winston and Edwards co-host the Chicagoland's Best Oldies Station on Chicago Radio Online. You can listen here: Click here: Chicago Radio Online

Our FH Buddy Randy Price (he of "Super Charts" fame) is celebrating his second anniversary on the radio this week ... check out all the details here:
I wanted to let you and your readers know about my Second Anniversary Show on Top Shelf Oldies.
Please tune in on Wednesday, April 10, from 8 - 9 pm ET on Top Shelf Oldies ( For this special program, I'll be featuring an entire hour of rare stereo oldies, including tracks by The Kalin Twins, The Exciters, Dusty Springfield, The Vogues, The Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond and many others. Also included will be a rare stereo Mystery Oldie! For those who are not able to tune in for the live stream, the show will be archived, as of that date, here:
Thanks for helping to spread the word!
– Randy Price
Congratulations, Randy! (kk)

Hi Shameless friends!
My friend Andrew Sandoval has featured the Cryan Shames in his latest internet radio show "Come to the Sunshine" this week. As I turn 57 today, I thought it the best time to listen to my faves get their just dues one more time. Seems like yesterday when I was hearing their songs for the first time on the Big 89 at 10 years old! Hearing the mono cuts on Andrew's show today still gives me the thrill of the first times I heard "I Wanna Meet You". You can get reaquainted with the mono versions on this show. Their CDs are all out of print now. Hopefully, that will change in the future.
FYI, Andrew has had an amazing career of presenting the best of harmony pop 60's music as well as being just a good guy. Andrew is the writer of the amazing book
The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation which literally tells a day by day account of the pre-fab four that is astoundingly detailed. If that weren't extensive enough for you, how about his new book The Bee Gees Day-By-Day Story: 1945-1972 That's some WORK!!
He was nominated for a Grammy for his Rhino CD comp in 2012 for Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965–1968PLUS, coolest of all, he just has an amazing collection of music that he actually KNOWS many of the 60's artists he works with on CDs and he SHARES with us all in his shows. Check it out!
His shows are now on podcasts that can be downloaded quickly for listening any time. If you just want the Shames part of the show, move to exactly 60 minutes in and re-enjoy the sounds!

I STRONGLY suggest you look at the other 84 podcasts and you will have your ears and mind illuminated if you listen to some tunes sure to make Shames fans happy too. Just the stories and photos will keep you busy all afternoon! TONS of my fave artists and writers are here to enjoy. Here's the whole shebang!
Oh as a P.S., I just spent Easter Sunday with my girlfriend's family on an Iowa farm and while sitting on their deck sunning, my girlfriend's 30 year old nephew was laying on the railing facing the sky and said "lots of cool jet contrails today." I proceeded to mention the story of how JC Hooke and gang were crossing Iowa and he looked to the sky in 1966 and thought the same thing and the thought became the title of the Shames 2nd album (and one featured on Andrew's show) "A Scratch in the Sky." He thought a minute and said "That's a COOL idea!"
Gotta go, "Sailing Ship" is starting and I gotta listen with both ears!!
The Cryan Shames music will never die!! :) While you are waiting for the download of the show, attached is MY piece of Ron Riley Shames magic I taped in 66!
Clark Besch

Cool clip, Clark ... when is the last time anybody heard anything by The Pozo-Seco Singers played on the radio?!?!? (lol) But now I wanna hear the whole Cryan' Shames tune ... so we've included that one, too! (kk)

Man, I yearn for the good old days when WVON was all about Pervis Spann, Joe Cobb, E. Rodney Jones and Bill "Butterball" Crane. God, those cats just defined the word "cool."
They didn’t sell out by trying to cross over. They pitched their product to the blacks, but knew that white kids in Schaumburg and Northfield were diggin' the daylights out of their act.
Who out there doesn’t recall Alvin Cash and the Registers topping the 'VON charts with the historic "Alvin's Got a Boogaloo?"  
Have to run ... I think there might be a song by Journey coming up.
Chet Coppock