Saturday, July 13, 2013

Goosebumps (Saturday - The Finale)

Thank you all SO much for sending in your goosebumps memories. Judging by the response we've received, this seems to have been a very popular feature with our readers ... and we may revisit it from time to time (or permanently post the remarks on the other Forgotten Hits website along with all of your "First 45" memories.)  By all accounts, a rousing success ... so thanks again.

I suppose this list could easily be expanded to include "magic moments" ... let's face it, we all have THOSE, too ... a song that brings you back to a particular time or event ... some special, life-changing moment that will always be associated with that particular song ... a memory so vivid it's like it's happening again today. 

Doesn't really matter WHAT it is ... the first time you did you know what with you know who ... or just cruisin' the boulevard the first time you heard such and such.  A special dance ... a major personal moment ... again, it really doesn't matter WHAT it was ... this particular piece of music reached out to YOU and just grabbed your soul ... it SPOKE to you ... it took hold and never let go. 

I'd like to share one of mine always comes to mind.  Again, we have to go back to high school ... senior year ... and a classmate and I (Mike Krejci this time) were doing The Hike For Hunger, a fund-raising walk (31 miles!) where people pledged so much per mile and the money collected was donated to an organization helping to feed the poor and the homeless. 

I had done the walk the year before ... but for some crazy reason Mike and I decided to RUN the 31 miles our senior year.  Although we had both been on the track team, we weren't especially close ... but this was back in the day when they sat you alphabetically in class so Kotal and Krejci were most often next to or near each other. 

They would have mile stops to rest, use the bathroom, get a drink of water, etc.  (Funny in hindsight ... this was 1971 and before the days of "bottled water"!!!  lol)  We stopped at the last mile marker and I won't lie, I was beat.  It was hot out that day but we both "hosed down" and got a drink.  Just as we were about to take off again for the final mile, "Love Or Let Me Be Lonely" by The Friends Of Distinction came on the radio there.  It was incredible ... inspirational ... an ANTHEM if you will to finish the race.  (And it wasn't even a race ... we were the only two idiots who decided to run it instead of walk it!!!) 

But aptly inspired, we decided to SPRINT the final mile!  And all fatigue disappeared ... this song pushed us through ... and to this day whenever I hear it (which, let's face it, isn't all that often anymore!), I am taken back to that very special moment and that very special place.  No romance ... no life-changing event ... just the right song at the right time that spurred us on to finish up in a flurry. 

Honestly, I'm not even sure we were the first two to finish the walk ... and, with most pledges at about $0.10 per mile, I certainly didn't break any monetary records that day in the way of donations ... but I felt good, knowing first of all that I had help participate in a good cause ... and that we stuck to our guns to run the 31 miles.  (kk)

There is something special about this music that grabbed us back then ... held on and never let go.  MOST of the rest of the world moved on ... they may have had a special moment back in the day (whatever year it may have been for them) but then they got involved with other things (life has a way of doing that sometimes ... always getting in the way of the things you really love!!!) and while a certain song may still hold a special memory (and even make them smile ... or perhaps bring a tear to their eye), it probably doesn't hold the PASSION that our special group of readers have come to associate with this music.  We are a select group of people, bound together by this passion for this music and its very special memories ... and THAT's what makes this whole thing work.

One thing I've learned over all the years of doing Forgotten Hits is that virtually EVERYTHING I thought that I did alone ... or was in some way unique in doing or experiencing ... other kids all over the country were doing the exact same thing at the exact same time.  All of us, unrelated in every other way ... unconnected and, in most cases, never destined to meet ... we all fell in love with this music and it still has that hold on us today.  Sneaking the radio under your pillow at night to listen to another hour of music while your parents thought you were sleeping ... able to recite verbatim the lyrics to every song you heard back in 1964 - 1969, even if you haven't heard it SINCE that time.  THIS is the make-up of our Forgotten Hits list.  Special ... unique ... maybe just a little bit crazy (yeah, I've always wondered why it is that I've retained SO much useless information over the years ... that still means the world to me!!!) ... but this is who we are.

Thanks for sharing your goosebumps moments with us.  Maybe we'll revisit this topic from time to time (or continue to post new arrivals to the other Forgotten Hits website) ... but like we said from the beginning, YOU guys know what they are ... and you guys know what they meant.  So thanks again so much for sharing. 
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits

Friday, July 12, 2013

Goosebumps Memories (Friday)

I learned today and listened to songs I had never heard before and or hadn't heard in years.
One of your readers had a "goosebump" moment with a song by the Jordan Brothers. I had never heard of them, looked them up on the internet and played their song in question by your reader.  Same for today's "goosebump" moments by such artists as Pat Boone, Dore Alpert (that was a new one on me), Clusters (also a new one on me) and Spectors 3, a record I have but haven't played it in years.
Funny, none of these records gave me a "goosebump" upon hearing them just now, but then again, as the old saying goes, "one person's trash is another person's treasure".

As you know, a lot of these goosebumps moments are tied to simply the right song at exactly the right time.
We covered The Jordan Brothers in great depth back in 2009 ... in fact, we even heard from Frank Jordan in response to our piece.  (Google it on the website ... we did a recap piece on March 11, 2009.)  In it, we featured their version of "Gimme Some Lovin'", the Spencer Davis Group classic hit which actually came out here in America before the Davis hit did!  Several people have written in over the years to comment on this one ... a rare case of a cover version beating the original to the charts.  (Except The Jordan Brothers' version never officially charted!)
Country Paul actually send us clips of both the Pat Boone and the Dore Alpert tracks ... we may share those soon in another context.  
I just think it's neat to see how different music affects different people ... yet we are all moved by it just the same.  Might not be the same song or the same artist ... or even the same era ... but the power of music cannot be denied.  (kk)

There are so many classic songs that give me goosebumps, but these two in particular still manage it nicely.  I think Phil Phillips & the Twilighters 'Sea of Love' is one of the most beautiful and haunting doo wop songs to have come out of the '50s (here come the goosebumps and it's only playing inside my head.)  The second one is The Who's 'I Can't Explain'.  Though it didn't chart in North America, I heard the song on CHUM 1050 (a program called the Liverpool School, as I recall).  It transported me to a crowded cellar club in England at the height of the British Invasion, exactly where I wished I could be at that particular time.  
I love hearing about other peoples' goosebumps songs, so thanks for running this series, Kent - it was a great idea! Marie

A few (of many) goosebumps moments: 
  • "Do I Love You" by the Ronettes -- The song's opening is a Spector masterpiece, as is the rest of the song.
  • "Worst That Could Happen" by the Brooklyn Bridge -- Every time I hear Johnny Maestro sing that opening word, "Girl ..." it sends a bit of a chill down the back.
  • "Dusty" by the Rag Dolls -- An obscure song, but again it was the song's opening that got me hooked as well as the gal's harmonies and the Four Seasons-esque sound ... which leads (obviously) to ...
   • "Rag Doll" and "Who Loves You" by the Four Seasons -- 
Can you tell I'm a sucker for good song openings?
Uncle T. Jay @ The Vinyl Arkhives
"Rag Doll" hooked me on first listen, too ... but, as mentioned yesterday, some of that has to be credited to that "Be My Baby" opening!  (kk)

Hi Kent, 
The first song I can remember triggering an “Oh Wow!” kind of response was hearing Don’t Worry Baby when I was ten or eleven.  That one started a lifelong love of harmony driven music.  I also specifically remember the couple of weeks in 65 or 66 when Andrea by the Sunrays was in the top three in Chicago being  counted down by Art Roberts at 10 pm each night.  (transistor under the pillow time!)  I loved that song and never tracked down a copy of it until I was a college DJ 12 years later!  Other goosebump moments came  from the Shames Scratch in the Sky album and especially hearing Could Be We’re in Love the first time.  However my hands down favorite goosebump moment came in 1988  when I purchased Brian Wilson’s initial solo album at a record store (remember those?) which was next door to the place I was picking up my family’s pizza dinner.  On my way home I popped the disc in the car CD player and heard the vocal bridge to Love and Mercy which blew me away and  caused me to drive around replaying it for about two hours completely forgetting that I had the family’s pizza dinner in the car! 


Kent - 
There have been so many, this is why I did not reply. But let me say this ... without music I could not exist. When I am depressed, pissed or stressed, I go for a run (at my age it is more of a half run / half walk) with my i-pod loaded with music and life seems to get a lot better. 
But let's get to the subject on hand ... my goose bump moment was today. I finally saw this rockumentary  "Searching for Sugar Man". Let me tell you, if you like good music, please rent it. It is a story about Rodriguez, a man who had two albums out in the States in the early 70's and never made it, but was reviled as a living legend in South Africa. A few musicologists track him down after 25 years and in 1998 he finally received a hero's welcome in South Africa. If you love music and a great story please rent this movie!!!!!!!!!! It gave me goosebumps! 
Now after the movie my friend Ivan and I went downstairs to learn more about him. He seems to be doing well and playing concerts all over the world. I am so glad for this humble man.  
Now for the exciting ending ... in reading about him, I found out today, July 10th, is his birthday ... how's that for karma! 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIXTO RODRIGUEZ ... you now have two more fans! 
Mike De Martino 
President of the Lovejoy Music Club
I've been hearing quite a bit about this film lately but still haven't seen it.  Yours sounds like a pretty glowing recommendation!  Thanks, Mike!  (kk)   

Hi Kent, 
I’m a bit late with my goosebump songs but there are three that stand out for me. 
First would be The Beatles, “I’ve Just Seen A Face” where the simple line “ … had it been another day, I might have looked the other way and I’d have never been aware, but as it is, I’ll dream of her tonight … ” really struck me and made me literally look around and BE aware of my surroundings and people I might not have noticed before. The Second and Third songs share a group and vocalist: The Eagles, “Take It to the Limit” and “Try and Love Again”, both featuring Randy Meisner on lead vocal. Take It to the Limit with it’s grand orchestration, incredible vocals and sweeping, dramatic ending fade is a song that blew me away upon first hearing and I will always stop and listen to it if I happen to catch a now rare radio airplay of it. Try and Love Again came along after a heartbreak or two as a young man and just grabbed me immediately. “Well it might take years, to see through all these tears, don’t let go, when you find it you will know”… such a great lyric, so sad and hopeful at the same time. The song is also a great example of the country-rock scene of the late ‘70s, of which I was a big fan. Anytime I hear any of these three songs I stop and enjoy the goosebumps!    
Thanks for all you do and congrats on the two million “hits” on the site! 
Eddie Burke 
Orange, CT
I'm surprised to hear "Take It To The Limit" is such a rarity up in your neck of the woods ... we seem to hear it several times a day ... EVERY day ... here in Chicago!  Several folks have cited this one as a goosebumps song, so there must be something to that.  (kk)
Congratulations, Kent, on achieving over two Million hits!
Goosebump Moments ... I love the idea!  I already responded but beg to be able to add another ... how fortunate are we to have experienced the birth and growth of Rock 'N Roll, and its marvelous siblings Folk, Hard Rock, C&W and all iterations.
I vividly recall hearing for the first time "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin late on a summer evening in Kenmore Square Boston, after leaving the area's "Hot Spot" nightclub Lucifers.  I had been brought up on late 40's music and truly loved all the Teen Idols and the mostly innocent music they offered, then WHAM!!! I heard that marvelous stereophonic song zigging and zagging across my cars radio speakers! I was emerging as a person ... I can still experience the amazement I felt. The way they mixed that song or whatever they did made it come alive in the cabin of my Pony Car ... talk about GOOSEBUMPS! I still get them whenever I listen to it. Talk about expanding the mind ... it certainly expanded my joy if music! '69 ... a seminal year!
Keep them coming!!!

The opening arpeggio of “The End Of The World” by Skeeter Davis. And then when her voice hits, captured so elegantly by Chet Atkins. It floats above the backing track and is as ethereal today as the first time I heard it 50 years ago. I can’t do anything but listen when that record is playing. She’s charmingly just off the note, making her sound all the more vulnerable. It’s heaven every time. 
I actually got backstage at the Grand Ole Opry back in the early 90’s when Skeeter was performing and found her in her dressing room, reading the Bible. I gave her a hug and thanked her for all her great records … especially that one. She asked me to sit down and we chatted for a few minutes. What a sweet lady. Goosebumps, indeed.
Lou Simon
Sirius / XM

I really enjoy reading Forgotten Hits. I like all kinds of music, from the 50's thru the 70's. I've bought and sold records since the late 1960's. So I've listened to a lot of music. So although your followers may not understand my choices, none the less, they are my "Goosebump moments".   
The first goosebump record I remember was in the 1950's. My introduction to 1950's Doo Wop. Earth Angel, by the Penguins. And although there have been many songs over the years, I will choose as my second, Mystery Train - By Elvis Presley.
Arnold Kirkbride
See, that's the really great thing about this music ... NOBODY is in a position to judge what song(s) gave YOU goosebumps ... because we all have our own moments ... we all have our special memories ... and because we all understand just how this music made us feel, we can totally relate to the music that moved you, no matter what it is!
Take a look at the two examples shown above ... could you come up with two more diverse pieces of music?  Yet, guess what ... I loved 'em both ... bought 'em both ... and they both moved me in different ways and for different reasons. It's all part of the common bond we share amongst us ... and that's the special magic of this music.  So who cares if my taste is better than yours!!! (just kidding)  We can totally relate ... we get it ... 'cause we know how it feels.  (kk)

I cannot believe how many people have mentioned "I Want To Hold Your Hand" in goosebump moments.  "She Loves You" just blows that song away, even then.  IT was the one who had the kids shaking heads and screaming "Woo" and IT was the one making kids sing "Yeah Yeah Yeah."  "Hand" was the breakthrough, but the older song was the true champion, IMO.  And we all know what FH readers think of the B side, too!
I totally agree, Clark ... even moreso in hindsight.  And, you just triggered yet another childhood memory.
It was early 1964 and we were visiting my Grandmother up in Deerfield.  At this point, all of America had Beatlemania ... they'd done their three shows on Ed Sullivan and the entire world was theirs for the taking.
While we were there, my Dad suggested that we "entertain" Grandma by singing a Beatles song ... so me and my two brothers (between us, all of 10, 8 and 7!) sang "She Loves You", over-exaggerating the "Woo"'s and head-shaking.  It had to look ridiculous, all three of us with dad-enforced crewcuts!!!  But she LOVED it and asked us to do it again ... which, of course, we did, even more vigorously this time around.  When we did the song for the third time, each of us put something on our heads to simulate Beatle-hair and shook it hard enough to throw these objects across the room.  By now I had what can only be described as a Stuart Sutcliffe-sized headache (and the world didn't even know who Stu WAS at the time!!!), not to mention nearly falling down dizziness.  That was enough for me ... but at least all the folks were sufficiently entertained.
Yep, "She Loves You" was the one that spoke an international language.  "Yeah, yeah, yeah" has been part of the vocabulary ever since.  (And to think Paul's dad told them that they really should change it to "Yes, yes, yes"!!!  lol)
Speaking of crewcuts ... and the immediate impact of The Beatles and their hair ... the very next day after their first Ed Sullivan performance, my Dad took us all for haircuts.  The big joke at the barber shop that day was if we all wanted "Beatles cuts" instead.  That's because literally the entire world watched them perform on The Ed Sullivan Show the night before.  And you just knew it ... that's what life was like back then ... EVERYBODY watched the same programs ... so everybody could relate and was "in" on the joke.  I immediately volunteered to let my hair grow out and do the Beatles cut next visit ... but Dad wasn't having any of that!!! (Yep, I was ten ... and already rebelling authority!  lol)  Guess who won THAT argument.  (kk)     

The goosbumps moments theme is obviously a 'stone cold smash'  ... congratulations on another Forgotten Hits winner!

We've been talking to a couple of the disc jockeys on the list about incorporating this feature into their programming, similar to what we did with the "First 45's" a few years ago.
Seems everybody LOVES telling their own story ... what a GREAT way to make your program more listener-friendly and interactive.  (What fan out there wouldn't love to hear their story on the radio ... in their very own words?)  
Yes folks, you're witnessing programming genius right before your very eyes!!!  Now who's with me out there???  (kk) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Goosebumps (Thurs)

More of your favorite "Goosebumps Memories" ... including a couple of "once in a lifetime" moments ... 

Hi Kent,
I just get out of the hospital yesterday after smashing my ankle and ripping my quad last week.  Sux, huh?
But as Rod Stewart said, "Make the best out of the bad - come and laugh it up - hah!"  and so say I.
I may be slow on the draw here, but I've been offline for a week.  I have a rock and roll goose bump to share, and it's a pretty rare and unusual one.  

When I'm singing and playing bass and all the elements are just right, the next thing I know the song is over and I feel so, so good.  I call it "going away" and it's a musical high I live for and, fortunately, am able to reach a good deal.  Most musicians will know what I'm referring to.
Well, when I was with the Rip Chords, we played with Al Jardine and his Endless Summer beach band on several occasions (along with two of the Surfaris).  When we did, they just flew Richie Rotkin and me to do the shows with Al's band playing for us, as I was the musical director of the Rip Chords and I had to work closely with Al's musical director, Billy Hinsche.
I arranged for Mitchell Schecter to come with us on one occasion, too, 'cause I knew it would make him so happy to do it ... and he rocked his butt off, as usual. Now I believe the guys still play with Al, but with both full bands.
Anyway, Richie would sing "Hey Little Cobra" (and Billy Hinsche and I would double on the deep "shut 'em down", trying to out-low each other) and "Three Window Coupe."  I would sing two other songs, usually
"Mustang Sally" and one other.  

At this particular festival gig in Maine, I asked Al and Billy if I could sing "I Can Hear Music" and they
agreed.  This was real balls to the wall, pedal to the metal because 

1) Carl sang it with his one a kind sweet voice, 
2) It's not an easy song to sing, anyway, 
3) I sang and played bass on it in the Rip Chords in the key of A ... and these guys did it in D, and  
4) I was playing guitar, not bass, that day.  
Al counted off.  The band came in perfectly on this fairly sophisticated rocker in the key of A (no surprise with this crack crew) and I sang "This is the way ... the sounds of the city, baby, seem to disappear..." and that's it.  I can't remember a thing until I cued the band to the ending.
What did I do?  Did I f*ck it up? What happened?    
My usual good feeling was shared with some trepidation until Al leaned over (he stood next to me to me stage left) and smiled.  "Man, you sang the hell out of that, Bobby!" 
"I did?  Thanks, Al."   And, oh, thank YOU,  G-d."   :)
And that, my friend, is one of my rock and roll goose bump moments.
There ... now my leg feels all better!
Warm regards and juicy Chicago roast beef sandwiches,
Bob Rush, d.c.  

(a/k/a Dr. Robert, the Doc of Rock, for "The Beat" magazine, England, U.K.)  

I guess I am lucky I recall two Goosebump moments. The first time was when my wife and I visited Sun studios many years ago and the gent talking us through the history was playing from a remote control unit songs that had been recorded in Sun. The first goosebump was when he pressed the button and Whole Lot of Shakin’ came blasting out the speakers. The second goosebumps was when a few years later we visited the Clovis New Mexico studio of Norman Petty and whilst sat in the chair in the recording office Ken (the curator) pressed a button and played That’ll Be the Day. Two real goosebump moments and in both cases the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I can assure you it doesn’t get much better than that.  
Rockin’ Lord Geoff
I can't imagine it gets much "realer" than that ... sitting in the actual studio where this magic was created and then hearing it played back through that very same system.  (What I wouldn't give to spend the day at Abbey Road with George and Giles Martin, pouring over their catalog of Beatles sessions!!!)  VERY cool, Geoff!  (kk)

Well, Kent, I may come across as a bit of a "Johnny Come Lately" here, but this is what I get for not keeping up with all your recent FH editions. The 'goose bump moments' story opened up a ton of 'goose bump' memories for me -- and I am truly blessed to have had dozens, perhaps, hundreds or more, in my lifetime.  Even if I am a bit late, I'd like to share a few of these with your readers just the same. 
Bill mentioned that he had to remove any Beatles or Beach Boys moments because it was so obvious -- or something to that extent -- but I have a special one that forty-seven years later STILL gives me 'goose bumps.' 
But before I pay homage to my dear lifelong friends, The Beach Boys, I'll pay homage to several others. While I had a number of 'goose bump' moments prior to 1958, including tuning in to CBS Television on the night of Saturday, January 28, 1956, and watching a very young Elvis make his first appearance on the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey "Stage Show," that appearance certainly changed my life. Legend has it that it was a cold snowy night in the "Big Apple" and ushers were out on the sidewalk offering free tickets to passerby's in an attempt fill the half empty Studio 50.  
But as to 'goose bump' records that I heard, one of my first 'moments' was listening to a young singer from Denton, TX, as he belted out his rendition of "Little Willie John's" "Fever." I not heard of Ray Peterson but when I heard his incredible four and a half octave range, I was blown away.  Little did I know that a brief five years later, I would book Ray on number concert and night club appearances, get him a gig as an opening act for The Beach Boys, and, more important than that, Ray and I would become lifelong friends. He even performed "The Wonder of You" at my wedding to my first wife. I was honored to be asked by his wife, Claudia, to give his eulogy at his funeral in January 2005. 
Second, in the spring of 1966, I had called my dear friend, Brian Wilson, who wanted to speak to me about some Beach Boys bookings and to catch up on a few other business related matters. I had planned on driving up to his home in the Hollywood Hills, where he and Marilyn lived. Instead, he asked me to  meet him in the basement of Capitol Records on North Vine Street. We met in one of the small mastering studios where he was 'going to disc' from a handful of 1/4 inch tapes he was carrying. He asked the mastering engineer to turn off all the lights -- and with both of us sitting shoulder to shoulder on the linoleum floor -- and with a room almost totally black with the only illumination coming from the pilot lights and VU meters on the console -- and the 'tracking' light over the cutting lathe, I heard "Pet Sounds" 'front to back' for the very  first time. In fact, I was probably the first person to hear it other than Brian Wilson and the Capitol mastering engineer. I can guarantee you none of us knew at that time how important that singular album would become. In fact Brian was more concerned as to how his band mates would react to it, as much of it was done by the 'wrecking crew' while 'the boys' were on tour. My final 'goose bump moment,' at least for this initial offering, is each time I give a group, private or VIP tour of historic RCA Studio "B" here in Nashville. From 2004 to 2010, I was a volunteer educational tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which operates the historic studio. Only three or four of us were selected to host the Studio B tours. While I am no longer giving public group tours, I occasionally am able to bring by a music industry friend, or in some cases other friends and family, I get 'goose bumps' every time I stand on the spot were Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, Waylon Jennings, Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, Al Hirt, Johnny Tillotson, and others recorded some of the greatest music of the 20th Century. And to think that most of those classics were recorded on two-track or four track tape -- many of them with no punches, overdubs, and certainly NONE with vocal tuning Yes, back in those days two 'sides' were recorded in far less than three hours -- often an 'A' side and 'B' side. Many were recorded in 20 minutes or so. They were often on the radio within two weeks. Now, it often takes 35 to 50+ hours per track and the label is lucky to get it out in six months. 
Fred Vail / 
Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc. / 
Music City, USA  

I guess mine has to be Be My Baby by the Ronettes. For a year I was listening and enjoying radio music by my mom playing the radio during breakfast.  I knew few of the song artists. I was sick and home from school and borrowed the transistor radio listening to WMCA. I then tuned more into the artists and titles and made my own top 10. I can vividly remember liking Donna The Prima Donna, Only In America, More, Washington Square and Busted. But one song stood far above the rest. Be My Baby by the Ronettes. Still one of my faves almost 50 years later.

"Be My Baby" grabbed quite a few of us ... most notably Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys (and most probably the producers of the hit film "Dirty Dancing" who opened their movie with this track!)  Something about that opening drum beat just grabbed you ... The Four Seasons used the same effect on their 1964 #1 Hit "Rag Doll" ... and it's still one of my favorites by them.  But "Be My Baby" epitomizes the Phil Spector Sound ... and it's just as affective today, all these years later!  (kk)
In 1966 the biker movie "The Wild Angels" starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra hit the movie theatres and my uncle Ray, who rode a groovy little motor bike, went to see the flick and he ran out and purchased the soundtrack. When mom dropped me off at Grandma's house to visit I went upstairs and picked the lock to my uncle Ray's bedroom to get into his Regular and Lime English Leather and Hi Karate and Jade East colognes and read his Hot Rod, Car Toons and Surf Toons  magazines and I saw that cool LP and placed the record on the stereo and when the song "Blues' Theme" began it was beyond goose bumps! It mutated me into another person! That was my introduction to the genius of Davie Allan & The Arrows. Today is July the sixth, two-thousand and thirteen and I still ride every fuzzed out note of that song as I did the first time I laid ears on it! Then forty plus years later I heard Davie Allan & The Arrows "The Stranger" and it was so beautiful I put the headphones on and put the repeat play function on and laid in bed that night and cried from the emotions it stirred up from within me. Talk about goose bumps! Then came "Mood Swing" right after that release and I got those wonderful goose bumps that still rise up every play of that tune. If the readers on this website "Forgotten Hits" want to spend two dollars today on a wonderful gift to themselves then go to Amazon or any search engine site that sells his tunes you prefer or go to (entire CD) and get "The Stranger" from "Restless In LA" & "Mood Swing" from "Moving Right Along" and those two instrumentals will convince you that Davie Allan's namesake should be worldly wise as famous as any top rated guitar player on this planet. He is so melodic and beautiful. It is very touching and fabulous. I will guarantee the goose bumps will pop up. If it don't move you then there needs to be a serious soul check!

Hey Kent,
Hope all is going good!!!
I wanted to chime in on the "Goosebumps". Being a Beatles fan there are many of their songs that come to mind. However, two Stones songs that most definitely caught me right away and had me run right out and get them were "Jumpin Jack Flash" and "Brown Sugar"!!! The open guitar chord and riffs just grab you immediately and still do 40+ years later. To this day, whenever they come on the car radio the volume gets pumped up!!!
Also, reading the comment from the person named Scott who was on the corner of Soledad and Bouquet Canyon in Saugus, Ca when he heard Arther Brown for the first time ... That is my neck of the woods now. I can only imagine what that intersection looked like back then. I've been out here 20 years and it has changed considerably since I've been here!
Mike Mertes

One thing I've got to hand to the Stones ... they ALWAYS came up with these AMAZING opening guitar riffs that just grabbed you and hooked you from the word go.  You're right ... these songs STILL make you turn up the volume every time they come on ... and you can add "Satisfaction", "Start Me Up", "Honky Tonk Women", "Bitch" and several others to this list, too.  The Beatles had a few clever opening guitar hooks ... "Day Tripper", "I Feel Fine", "Paperback Writer", etc ... very clever and addictive for their time ... but The Stones' riffs seem timeless in comparison ... got their hooks in you and never let go ... and this coming from a life-time Beatles fan!!!  (kk)     

My goosebumps experience was the Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over".  The production on those records was just so different from what was coming out of the US and most of the UK as well. It just sounded HUGE, as if it was recorded with the LED pins just barely out of the red, and it made me go looking for why it sounded so strong.  What did I know, a young teenager playing mostly quartet jazz standards, practicing rock n' roll in the basement in my spare time.  That song just roared out of the radio, and I just had to find a way to be part of that.  Beatles and Stones, Ventures, the whole British Beat roster, the Beach Boys, Lesley Gore, the Motown and  Stax - Volt rosters, all that stuff just added to the repertoire I had to have ... but Glad All Over was the one that showed me the power that was available in that medium. 
All the best 
Rick Barr,  
New Colony Six / Shadows of Knight    

Something to go along with the 'Goosebump' song was when you first heard an MOR song on a AC radio station (usually when you were in your parent's car)  that you became a fan of but had to keep it to yourself, as it wouldn't be 'kool' to let your friends know! I loved 1968's  "Les Bicyclettes De Belsize" by Engelbert Humperdink but no way I could let my friends know about that one. I would enjoy to learn if others had 'secret songs'.
Yeah, but then that would morph into "guilty pleasures" songs ... and "Cheezy Easy Listening Songs" like Scott Shannon did a few years ago ... pretty soon before you know it this will turn into an all-encompassing list!!! (Which defeats the whole purpose of those goosebump moments!)  I'm talking about those rare occasions where something special and magical happened ... you heard a sound unlike anything you'd ever heard before ... something that spoke directly to you ... reached out and grabbed you ... and still holds on to this very day.
There's been a lot of controversy about the new Robin Thicke song "Blurred Lines", currently the #1 song in America ... but the very first time we heard it, we knew it was something special ... it stood out from EVERYTHING else that's currently on the radio.  Certain songs did that, too ... just separated themselves from the pack ... where you just KNEW this was going to be a #1 Hit ... but even as special as those songs are, they're still not necessarily "goosebumps" songs.
Maybe it's tough to narrow down specifically ... but once you've felt one, I think you know.  (kk)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Goosebumps (Wed)

More of your Goosebump Moments Memories ...

Just a couple of songs from my early musical awareness which, when they first came on the radio, caused the world to stop for a moment to let the magic register in my brain (in no particular order): 
Johnny Cash, "I Walk the Line" (waiting for my parents, listening on a car radio in Wildwood, NJ) 
The Flamingos, "Lovers Never Say Goodbye" (doowop on velvet) 
Pat Boone, "Gee, But It's Lonely" (a man and a guitar; only the bridge is orchestrated. The Everlys never recorded it! Say what some might about Pat, but this was two minutes of magic) 
Rivieras, "Count Every Star" (starts great, builds to a transcendent coda) 
Dore Alpert, "Dina" (bought for a penny from a reject pile, I put it on the phonograph and two notes in I said to my mother, who was in the room, "I'm going to love this." "How do you know?" "I just do." And I still do) 
Clusters, "Darling Can't You Tell" (love at first hearing; everything that's good about up tempo doowop - great song, great arranging, superb singing including The Chantels' Arlene Smith overdubbed on the high harmony, and maybe the best bass- singer intro ever in a delightfully crowded field) 
Spector's Three, "I Really Do' (the real voices of teen angels, the perfection of the first - velvet - wall of sound, a "presence" if you will. I named my record =company after this gem. How could Phil have gone so radically off the rails???) 
I still crank all of these up whenever I hear them or play them at home, and I can still get shivers from all of them. OK. That ought to keep y'all entertained for a while! 
Country Paul Payton  

Does getting good vibrations from hearing the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations blast out of my transistor radio count as "goosebumps"?
Sure, why not!  (kk)    

Another of my Goosebump tracks is Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." That 45 was my introduction to Gord - and all Canadian folk music for that matter - and it made me a lifelong fan. We were ironically in Nova Scotia week before last when Gord played here, so we didn't see him this time - and although he still draws a crowd, reports were that his vocal strength continues to drop. Fans come for the music and the memories.
David Lewis   

I guess a Goosebump / Wow! kind of moment was June of ’67 hearing “A Day In The Life”. That was a bit of a change of pace from the norm of the time.   

It's funny because by 1967 we really didn't know WHAT The Beatles were "supposed" to sound like anymore.  They had grown so quickly in the studio with their albums "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver", nobody really knew what to expect by the time "Sgt. Pepper" came out.  But that cute, adorable little pop band from Liverpool was gone ... and quite a few of us listeners hadn't "matured" at the rate they had.  As such, we flocked to more of the "Feel Good" sounds of The Monkees, The Turtles, Tommy  James and the Shondells and many of the other artists that were making great pop records in the mid-'60's.  "A Day In The Life" was pretty heavy stuff for its time.  Little did we know it would forever change the way albums were made and thought of.  (kk)

I forgot a real goosebump song and an unlikely one at that, for me at least. Here I was in my last year in college in NYC in 1963, singing doo wop with my buddies and enjoying group harmony and R&B as well, going to the Apollo Theater to see our favorite artists whenever we could. I loved any form of R&R and R&B at that time so this goosebump song was different because it was a beautiful instrumental. "Our Winter Love" by Bill Pursell still brings back wonderful memories today.
A couple more somewhat obscure songs that give me goosebumps are "Snow" by Johnny Maestro and "An Old Fashioned Christmas" by Kenny Williams.
Thanks for letting me double-dip,
Danny Guilfoyle
A couple of people have mentioned "Our Winter Love" now ... kind of  surprise for me as it seems other instrumentals are more often cited in examples like this.  Good to hear that Bill Pursell had this effect on so many of you.  (kk)

I thought about this topic for about a week now. How many 1000s of songs have all of us heard since the first time we heard ANY song on the radio? I really didn't start seriously listening (every waking moment) to the radio until 1966. Before that if the radio was on I listened, but I didn't go out of my way to turn it on. So what song grabbed me by the balls and wouldn't let go? I thought about In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, American Pie, Alice's Restaurant and Bohemian Rhapsody. But the song that gave me goosebumps then, and still does 36 years after it's release, is a song by the late Harry Chapin. Clocking in at 14 minutes (aren't all of Harry's songs that long?), there was no way it could be edited as a single and still have the song make sense. The song is called "There Only Was One Choice" and it's about Harry spying some kid on a corner strumming his guitar in the hopes of making it big. Although Harry has "made it" in the music biz, he's also become very cynical about it and society itself. He refers to the bicentennial as the B-U-Y Centennial. Today being July 4, is what brought all this to mind. In the end Harry muses about turning 34 and his own mortality and his hopes that maybe his kid will pick up a guitar and find a street corner somewhere. Why does it give me goosebumps? Because in 1977, while I was no longer a kid (I was 27), every nite after putting in my eight hours, I'd head down to Rush St., in Chicago, to a specific street corner and strum my guitar for about four more hours. I'd be there on weekends as well. So in  a sense, I was that kid. 
Happy July 4th everyone. 

As for Goosebump moments,  I think the beginning riff of the Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" will always have that effect on many baby-boomers.  For the kids who were 13-14 in '64, that song lit a fuse. We loved the Beach Boys,  early 4 Seasons, and anything by Dion.  It's the intros that grab you, like At the Hop, 409, Johnny B. Goode, etc.  For most kids in the US, the riff of I Want to Hold Your Hand was the beachhead of the British Invasion...still does it for me. 
Billy Fair  

Hey Kent & family -
Goosebumps ... I tried to pare down which "one" tune gave me the most chills and realized (as many have) the goosebumps are largely part memories attached to the song, and part the magic of the tune itself. The opening strains of Paul Revere & the Raiders' "Kicks", for instance. But ... one night last week my brother-in-law (a James Bond fanatic) and I decided we had appetite enough for another viewing of Goldfinger. Goosebumps. Right there. Memories sure, but the melody, arrangement; John Barry's use of electric guitar, all tied to agent 007. Oddly, what makes the hair on arms stand most, is the way Barry weaves the Bond Theme into each film as "filler", fading in for transition and suddenly gone - kind of an organic mixture of Theme & horns / strings and that magical guitar riff. In this "From Russia With Love" clip (, a perfect example begins at 3:58 and turns louder / softer while Bond inspects his room for listening devices. Filler stuff from the "Theme" but I love it. That's my "goosebumps" musical  moment. Outstanding idea for FH and the way music effects us Kent. Kudos & Thanks! 
Ron Kolman 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Goosebumps (Tue)

Hi Kent,
One of my main Goosebump memories comes from 1964: 
I was 13, had a paper route (for the Sacramento Bee), and was folding papers on the front lawn, listening to my little red transistor radio with the fold-back wire stand.  The DJ announced that he was going to play a new song which had sold many thousand of copies in its first days of release. "Here they are, a new band from England, the Animals!"   The opening riff of "House of the Rising Sun" jumped out of that little transistor radio speaker and it was great.  That sound, along with the primal "Animals" band name, was a serious "goosebump moment" on that early Summer afternoon. 
Billy F.  

I TOTALLY agree with this one.  I was COMPLETELY absorbed in The British Invasion when it hit ... totally captivated by all the latest British sounds ... but this didn't sound like ANYTHING I had ever heard before.  Ironically, all The Animals were doing was feeding us back our American Blues ... but I'd never been exposed to that before ... the early '60's didn't sound like this when I was growing up!  It was a completely new and unique sound ... and I loved it, too.  Honestly, I don't know that The Animals ever really recaptured that moment ... I like quite a bit of their stuff ... but NOTHING pushed me over the top like this one did.  (kk)  

I can remember three records that stood out as goosebump moments:
1) "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds (also mentioned by someone else earlier) - I was completely knocked out by the sound of the 12-string electric Rickenbacker (although I didn't know at the time that's what it was) and the exquisite vocal harmonies. I would sit on my bed with my transistor radio tuning back and forth between WABC and WMCA just waiting for one of them to play the song.
2) "The Sounds Of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel - My brother and I used to take piano lessons on Tuesday afternoons, the day WABC unveiled its new survey. At the piano teacher's house, when one of us was having his lesson, the other would go into another room and read or (in my case) listen to the radio (at a low volume). On one of those Tuesdays, I heard this incredible new record (by Simon & Who???), which I soon discovered was "The Sounds Of Silence" (oh, Garfunkel!).
3) "Sunday Will Never Be The Same" by Spanky & Our Gang - I first heard this one when it was used as background music for the group's appearance here in New York (before the single was a hit). The song got such a great reaction that the DJ (on WOR-FM) would sometimes play the entire song instead of just the snippet after he had read the spot. Of course, it was in regular rotation soon enough. 
Randy Price  
You just triggered another teenage memory of mine.  The father of one of my best friends in high school was convinced that Simon and Garfunkel were Russian terrorists trying to pollute the minds of teenage America by winning them over to their side by hiding subliminal, brain-washing  messages in their music ... in fact, he always referred to them as "Simon and Brezhnevkauf"!  (lol)  "The Sounds Of Silence" didn't grab me ... in fact, I couldn't STAND the song until I saw it used in "The Graduate" several years later ... but "Homeward Bound" won me over on first listen.  And I don't know that there any many songs more powerful and majestic than "Bridge Over Trouble Water" ... to this day, that one can still raise goosebumps.  (kk)

Growing up on the northwest side of Chicago, all my friends lived across and down the alley from each other.  We all met up at night in someone's garage and played music.  I have a vivid memory in the fall of 67 hearing How Can I Be Sure by the Rascals.  I can still see the exact place I stood in the garage, the peeling paint, the brisk fall air, and I remember the exact clothes I had on.   That song hit me like a brick and it is still my all-time favorite song.    Great memories of a great time.   

Bar none, take it the bank, the best r and b / doo wop song of all time is the Flamingo's majestic, "I Only Have Eyes For You." First time I heard the song when I was about nine and have never grown tired of the harmony or the haunting band track. In fact, I believe "Eyes' is one of the five greatest songs of all time - any genre.
Chet Coppock 

The earliest "goosebumps" moment I can recall was being at my friend Norm's house when we were in fifth or sixth grade, and he played the New Christy Minstrels album, "Ramblin'." When the record player got to "The Last Farewell" I stopped cold. Goosebumps. It was decades before I learned that Randy Sparks had written new lyrics for the ancient melody "The River Is Wide," and did an arrangement with all the close harmony we'd come to expect from NCM.
Interestingly, another, much later goosebumps moment (I've had many) happened on my first hearing of "Touch and Go" by Emerson, Lake, & Powell. As with "The Last Farewell," the song's main theme is a workover of an ancient folk melody called "Lovely Joan." Folk melodies are remembered for a reason: They give us goosebumps. That's their *job.*
-- 73 --
-- Jeff Duntemann
    Des Plaines, Illinois 

My goosebump moment occurred at a little record shop in Gettysburg, Pa, called the Platter Palace where I first heard "Give Me Some Lovin'" by the Jordan Brothers. 

You know how people call into talk radio shows and say: "Long time listener - first time caller"?  Well, I'm a long time reader of your excellent site, but a first time responder.  I love your theme of goosebump moments and I just have to offer a few of mine:
1) Very late 50s - early 60s - Listening to the radio and hearing "The Lonely Bull," realizing that the music, which sounded upbeat and triumphant, was also inviting us, thanks to the title, to feel the doomed bull's fear and loneliness.  Then, when the crowd cheered at the end of the song, it felt genuinely chilling.  I felt something similar for 'Telstar,' the music of which seemed to capture the awesomeness of a satellite so far away, up in outer space.
2) Early 60's - Traveling with my family across country in a Winnebago my father had rented, standing in the yard of one of his childhood friends in Rockford, Illinois, and hearing, way down the street, a band rehearsing in their garage, playing their version of the Animal's version of "The House of the Rising Sun."  I'd heard live bands before and had just started trying to form one with friends, but somehow being 1000 miles from home, and never seeing the band, just hearing them playing somewhere in an undefined location, made it seem like a universal moment, like a symbol that rock and roll was in the air everywhere.
3) Early-mid 60's - Having started playing drums, modeling myself on Ringo Starr and Dave Clark, I was completely astonished when a friend played me the Who's 'Can't Explain' and the even wilder back side "Bald-Headed Woman."  It was a sudden realization, thanks to Keith Moon, that drumming could be a lot more explosive than Ringo or Dave had shown me and that rock and roll could feel more rebellious, more out of control and more exciting than I'd ever realized.  I must have played 'Bald-Headed Woman' twenty times that afternoon.  I wouldn't have been able articulate this back then, the song seemed to be promising me that rock and roll was going to keep growing and changing, and that it had a long way to go.  I also didn't realize until years later that in part I was responding to the emotional power of the blues, as the song had a basic blues structure and feel, to which the Who were adding their creative embellishments; I just thought it was so new and exciting, as rock and roll was all through those years of my life.
Thanks for a great site - keep it up!
Tom Reid
Melrose, MA

Monday, July 8, 2013

More Goosebumps Moments (Monday)

No doubt about it, this new series is a hit ... dozens of you continue to write in every day to share your own personal "Goosebumps Memories" and I couldn't be happier than to share them with the rest of our readers, hopefully inspiring many more of them to do the same.  (Not since our "First 45's" feature have we had this much audience participation ... and I love it!!!)

Here are a few more ... with more to follow throughout the week ...

I have a few goosebump-inducing songs, but the ones that stand out the most include Daisy Jane / America. Gerry Beckley's vocal on it just goes right through me, and has ever since I heard it the first time. Pretty much anything by Art Garfunkel, but Second Avenue and Bridge Over Troubled Water are the most effective. When I listen to Nether Lands by Dan Fogelberg with earbuds, closed eyes ... yep ... goosebumps. It appeals to the fairytale girl in me. I cannot forget Gino Vannelli's Powerful People. Amazing song. Hell, just the mention of Gino's name is enough to get me going :D 
But most of all, I get the full body shivers listening to Lonely Christmas by Kent Kotal. My very own rockstar hubby sounding very Beatle-ish. Total turn-on <wink> 
Mrs. K
OK, I admit it ... I stacked the deck with this one ... but how cool is it to know that one of YOUR songs induced goosebumps?!?!  (VERY cool, let me tell you!!!)  kk  

Speaking of which, how cool is this???  DeeJay Phil Nee recently did an interview with Greg Kihn for his WRCO "Those Were The Days" radio program ... and got him to talk about HIS goosebump moments!  Here, exclusively in Forgotten Hits, is Phil remembering one of HIS goosebump songs (Kihn's "The Break-Up Song") and Greg following up with one of his own.  AWESOME!!!  (kk)  
Hi Kent. 
I have attached a segment of today's interview with Greg Kihn in which I mentioned my "goosebump" moment with his song.  The Greg Kihn Band is playing at Mayo Park in Rochester, MN, this Sunday night at 8 pm.  He will be in Chicago in August for Beatlefest because he has a new fiction novel called Rubber Soul coming out this year.
Phil - WRCO

Phil had originally cited "The Break Up Song" as one of HIS "Goosebumps Moments" ... and it's always been one of MY favorite tunes from the '80's as well.  How VERY cool to run this tune after a clip of Kihn discussing his own goosebumps memories!  (kk)
>>>Fast forward to the Summer of 1981.  By this point I only listened to mix tapes of old 60's and 70's  songs in my '75 Ford Maverick.  I flicked on a Top 40 station and heard the Greg Kihn Band doing The Breakup Song (They Don't Write Em Like That Anymore). I felt like the song captured what I was feeling ... maybe the best music and the best relationships were behind me.  Thanks for the 'goosebump' idea.  It sounds like another Forgotten Hits home run!  (Phil - WRCO)

Hi Kent, 
Just thought I'd let you and everyone hear my "Goosebump moment" ... actually I've always thought of it as my "jaw-dropping" moment, as that's just what happened one night in 1961 over here in Merseyside England when the DJ on Radio Luxembourg started spinning The Lettermen singing "The Way You Look Tonight". I had NEVER heard anything like it before, and couldn't believe it when I later heard that there were only THREE members of the group! What a fantastic sound they had, and I've followed their career ever since. As you will be aware, they still perform today, but haven't recorded this past few years. 
Phil Goulding 
Merseyside England

Phil - 
I sent a copy of your email to Jim and Gary Pike, formerly of The Lettermen ... here is what Gary sent me back:
Thanks Kent,  
No matter how long you’ve been around it makes you feel good to hear things like this.  Makes your hair fat.  We have had, and still have, those goosebump moments from other artists, even today.  That’s when we know that we just have to record that song.

>>>A similar track was "If I Could Reach You" by The Fifth Dimension ... to this day, I consider it to be one of Marilyn McCoo's greatest performances (right up there with "One Less Bell To Answer" ... yet nowhere near as big a hit.)  kk   
I was in the kitchen this morning getting a bite of breakfast when "If I Could Reach You" came around on the iPod. I stopped what I was doing and said "This has to be Marilyn's finest work ever." 
David Lewis   

Hey Kent, 
I am loving this whole gose bumps thing ... I was happy to share mine but I am thrilled to read what did it for other people. You get to reconnect with songs you haven't thought of for decades. Thanks for your latest choice ... Marilyn McCoo's "If I Could Reach You". I didn't recognize it by the title but I went on youtube and listened to it. I immediately remembered it then and I had completely forgotten how much I liked it so thanks. 

I've  had many goosebump musical moments.   One that stands out for me is the "Ballad of You and Me Pooneil" by Jefferson Airplane.  As a single, I recall it had a brief flight on WLS' Silver Dollar Survey before vanishing altogether ... atypical from most of top 40 in those daze, it was one of those gateway tunes that led me astray into the genre known as psychedelia ... it has been downhill ever since.  "Ballad' is in the middle of the soundtrack to my long strange trip ... lol!
john b. krug 

I’m going to choose a 1958 oldie that I first heard in 1970. WOR-FM< NYC was doing a hall of fame weekend. Though I vaguely remembered 1963 vocal harmony records, it didn’t quite connect until I heard Little Star by the Elegants. From then on doo-wop records became another part of my music interest.  
Mark the Shark     

Kent ... 
For me it was an LP = "Encore Of Golden Hits," by The Platters.  It turned me into a lifelong fan of Tony Williams & The Platters. 
Then I bought "More Encore Of Golden Hits" followed by "Encore Of Broadway Golden Hits." 
Other LP's I added to my collection = "Remember When" and "Moonlight Memories" + "The Flying Platters" + "Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries."  August, 1998, I treated myself to a retirement present.  That's when I bought The Platters CD Collection = "Four Platters And One Lovely Dish. " That's my story.  
Frank B.  

Keep 'em comin', folks ... and we'll continue to share them.  Have a great week!  (kk)