Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Top 40 Hits, 1960 - 1963

Coming in at #40 ... "Hey Baby" by Bruce Channel (from 1962)!

#39 - Fingertips, Part 2 - Little Stevie Wonder  (1963)

#38 - Duke Of Earl - Gene Chandler  (1962)

#37 - Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles  (1961)

#36 - Telstar - Tornadoes  (1962)
We heard from drummer Clem Cattini during our British Invasion Countdown a few weeks ago.  This was their #1 Hit from 1962 ... the first British Group to top the U.S. Charts.
(By the way, check out this eBay link ... you'll find their name spelled BOTH ways ... with the "e" and without!  Weird!) Click here: telstar tornadoes in Music | eBay )

#35 - Johnny Angel - Shelley Fabares  (1962)
We grew up loving her on "The Donna Reed Show" ... who knew this girl could sing?  (Her series co-star Paul Petersen also placed a few records on the pop charts.)

#34 - Save The Last Dance For Me - The Drifters  (1960)

#33 - Soldier Boy - The Shirelles  (1962)
Two songs on today's countdown from these Jersey Girls.

#32 - Louie Louie - The Kingsmen  (1963)
Although it never officially hit #1 in Billboard (damn you, Singing Nun!) it DID top the charts in both Cash Box and Record World ... and nearly every other city across the country that dared to play it.

#31 - Last Date - Floyd Cramer  (1960)

#30 - Hey Paula - Paul and Paula  (1963)
Another classic boy / girl duet from this era ... and one that I guess Donny and Marie really couldn't cover (now could they!)

#29 - He's So Fine - The Chiffons  (1963)

#28 - Blue Velvet - Bobby Vinton  (1963)
One of FOUR Chart Toppers for The Polish Prince between 1962 and 1964.

#27 - Pony Time - Chubby Checker  (1961)
Another dance record by this premier dance artist.

#26 - Calcutta - Lawrence Welk  (1961)
Instrumentals were big in the early '60's ... and even the champagne sounds of Lawrence Welk made the countdown!

#25 - Everybody's Somebody's Fool - Connie Francis  (1960)
One of my favorites by her.

#24 - Dominique - The Singing Nun  (1963)
OK, we've given Sister Luc-Gabrielle more than her fair share of flack over the years ... and maybe this song deserved some attention for the pure novelty and unusualness of it all ... but #1 for FOUR WEEKS?!?!  Man, I'll NEVER get that.  America NEEDED The Beatles after this one!!!

#23 - Stranger On The Shore - Mr. Acker Bilk  (1962)
The first British Artist to hit #1 here in The States with an instrumental ... BEFORE The Tornadoes (as pointed out during our British Invasion Countdown a few weeks ago)

#22 - My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own - Connie Francis  (1960)
More from Connie!

#21 - El Paso - Marty Robbins  (1960)
This was the #1 Song that ushered in the decade.

The countdown wraps up tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ...

Don't miss The Top 20 Biggest Hits, 1960 - 1963.

Friday, September 27, 2013

On With The Countdown!

Picking up the countdown at #60 ...

#60 - Mother-In-Law - Ernie K-Doe  (1961)
We TOLDJA it was coming!!!

#59 - It's My Party - Lesley Gore  (1963)
We featured Lesley at the beginning of the week with her 1967 Hit "California Nights" ... but THIS is the one that started it all.

#58 - Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - Neil Sedaka  (1962)
Covered by any number of artists over the years, Neil even remade this one himself ... and scored a hit all over again as a slowed-down ballad.

#57 - Travelin' Man - Rick Nelson  (1961)
Thought by many to be the first rock-and-roll video, Rick's "travelogue" went right to the top of the charts in 1961.

#56 - Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence  (1963)
Steve and Eydie probably appealed more to our parents than to us teenagers ... but he sure scored a big, teen-aged-size hit with THIS one in 1963!

#55 - Mashed Potato Time - Dee Dee Sharp  (1962)
An inspiring tune (especially if you're Bobby "Boris" Pickett)!!!

#54 - Walk Like A Man - The Four Seasons  (1963)
These Jersey Boys went right to #1 with their first three single releases ... and ALL of those were big enough to make this special countdown. 

#53 - Blue Moon - The Marcels  (1961) 
Doo-Wop at its finest ... these guys dug out an old chestnut and gave it a whole new spin ... and ended up with the #1 Record in the Country!

#52 - Take Good Care Of My Baby - Bobby Vee  (1961)
Another hit for this teen idol.

#51 - My Boyfriend's Back - The Angels  (1963)
This one sounds just as good today as it did 50 years ago coming out of your radio!

#50 - Michael - The Highwaymen  (1961)
More from the folk era.

#49 - The Stripper - The David Rose Orchestra  (1962)
Take it off ... take it ALL off.  This has gotta be one of the greatest instrumentals of all time!

#48 - Limbo Rock - Chubby Checker  (1962)
Chubby has a few dance hits on the countdown ... and this one comes in at #48.  How low can you go???

#47 - Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto  (1963)
Clearly a Forgotten Hits Favorite, we've featured the song (and the story behind it) numerous times over the years in Forgotten Hits.

#46 - Greenfields - The Brothers Four  (1960)
Sounding a bit dated, it's hard to imagine having the patience to sit through this slow-paced gem even then ... but it was a HUGE hit for these guys.

#45 - Exodus - Ferrante and Teicher  (1961)
A big movie theme hit (for the masters of music theme hits!)

#44 - The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens  (1961)
One of those songs that'll never die ... remade by Robert John in the '70's, "The Lion King" in the '90's and N*Sync in the '00's ... is there ANYBODY on the planet who doesn't know (and sing along with) this one???

#43 - I Will Follow Him - Little Peggy March  (1963)
Peggy was only fifteen years old when this one topped the charts back in 1963! 

(Killing two birds with one stone on this one ... since we've featured "Sukiyaki" SO many times before in Forgotten Hits, we're giving you this very special version of "I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March ... sung half in English and half in Japanese!!!  Now where else are you gonna hear THIS kind of stuff?!?!?)

#42 - Return To Sender - Elvis Presley  (1962)
Still one of my all-time favorites by The King.

#41 - Teen Angel - Mark Dinning  (1960)
One of the earliest ... and biggest ... teen tragedy songs.

More tomorrow ... as our very special countdown hits The Top 40!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Countdown Continues

We're counting down The Biggest Hits of 1960 - 1963 this week in Forgotten Hits ... 

Today we pick up the countdown with #80 ...

#80 - Chain Gang - Sam Cooke  (1960)
One of my favorite artists of the late '50's and early '60's, gunned down WAY too soon.  The potential of what he might have become was never realized ... and that's just a shame. 

#79 - The Bristol Stop - The Dovells  (1961)
More Philly Sounds ... this time featuring Len Barry, who would score a HUGE solo hit in 1965 with "1, 2, 3".

#78 - Surf City - Jan and Dean  (1963)
These guys actually hit the charts before The Beach Boys did ... in fact, Brian Wilson helped write this one ... which launched a whole new surf music phase.

#77 - Ramblin' Rose - Nat "King" Cole  (1962)
A standard that performed well enough on the pop charts to earn the #77 position in our very special countdown.

#76 - If You Wanna Be Happy - Jimmy Soul  (1963)
One of the biggest novelty hits of the early '60's.  (Can "Mother-In-Law" be far behind?  Or, in the case, ahead???)

#75 - Hit The Road, Jack - Ray Charles  (1961)
A Ray Charles classic.

#74 - Handy Man - Jimmy Jones  (1960)
The original, Del Shannon-ish sounding hit before James Taylor slowed it down to a crawl in the '70's.  (Shannon would have his own hit with this four years later)

#73 - The Loco-Motion - Little Eva  (1962)
The #1 Hit for Carole King's baby-sitter.  (Go figure!)  Yet another Dance Craze tune that would go back to #1 by ... of all people ... Grand Funk Railroad in the 1970's!!!  (Never saw THAT one coming!!!)

#72 - Sheila - Tommy Roe  (1962)
The first chart-topper for our FH Buddy Tommy Roe, who did his part to keep the Buddy Holly sound alive in 1962.

#71 - I'm Leaving It Up To You - Dale and Grace  (1963)
Like the Tempo and Stevens hit "Deep Purple", resurrected in the '70's by Donny and Marie.  For whatever reason, these two duets seem to be forever linked.

#70 - Itsy Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini - Brian Hyland  (1960)
The very first 45 I ever bought with my own money ... and the song that launched the career of Brian Hyland. 

#69 - Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley  (1962)
The first of FIVE appearances by The King of Rock And Roll in our special countdown.  (And you guys thought he was just a '50's artist!!!)

#68 - Walk Right In - The Rooftop Singers  (1963)
We featured this one a week or two ago as part of our Salute to Folk Music of the '60's.

#67 - Quarter To Three - Gary "U.S." Bonds  (1961)
One of my least-favorite Gary Bonds songs ... but his all-time biggest hit.

#66 - Wipe Out - The Surfaris  (1963)
Catching a wave of the surf craze, this one resurfaced in 1966 and became a hit all over again.

#65 - Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes  (1961)
Our first Motown title ... but definitely not the last!

#64 - Surrender - Elvis Presley  (1961)
Elvis Is Back ... from the Army ... AND on our Top 100 Countdown!

#63 - Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett  (1962)
A Halloween classic ... play this one alongside #55 in tomorrow's countdown and see what you think.

#62 - Alley Oop - The Hollywood Argyles  (1960)
A novelty classic ... and the song that launched WLS-AM 890 as a Top 40 / Rock Station here in Chicago back in 1960.

#61 - He's A Rebel - The Crystals  (1961)
Written by Gene Pitney, who inexcusably doesn't appear in this special countdown as an artist!

More tomorrow ... as the countdown continues.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The 1960 - 1963 Countdown Kicks Off Today!

This week we'll be featuring The Top 100 Singles, 1960 - 1963, based on information collected from Dann Isbell's new book "Ranking The '60's", available now through ...  
Click here: Ranking the '60s: A Comprehensive Listing of the Top Songs and Acts from Pop's Golden Decade: Dann Isbell: 9781492  

#100 - The countdown kicks off with The Philly Sound of The Orlons, in at #100 with "The Wah-Watusi".  (1962) 

#99 - Be My Baby - The Ronettes  (1963) 
This timeless classic (and Brian Wilson favorite) has shown up EVERYWHERE over the years ... TV, movies, advertising ... in 1986 Rocker Eddie Money even got lead singer Ronnie Spector to reprise the "Be My Little Baby" line in his hit song "Take Me Home Tonight"!
#98 - Running Scared - Roy Orbison  (1961)
The Big "O" ... and no, I don't mean Oprah! 

#97 - I Like It Like That, Part 1 - Chris Kenner  (1961)
Later a hit for The Dave Clark Five, this was the original. 

#96 - Sixteen Reasons - Connie Stevens  (1960)
Cricket from "Hawaiian Eye" had her first solo hit after helping out Edd "Kookie" Byrnes (of "77 Sunset Strip" fame) with his Top Three Smash "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb". 

#95 - The End Of The World - Skeeter Davis  (1963)
Still one of my all-time favorites from this decade. 

#94 - North To Alaska - Johnny Horton  (1960)
Horton closed out the '50's with his #1 Smash "The Battle Of New Orleans" ... it spent EIGHT WEEKS on top of Billboard's Hot 100 Single Chart!  Now he was back, taking a northerly look at the map. 

#93 - So Much In Love - The Tymes  (1963)
Another timeless classic, long out of print until ABKCO finally opened up and shared the Cameo / Parkway Vaults a few years ago. 

#92 - Wooden Heart - Joe Dowell  (1961)
Known by most as an Elvis song (he sang it in "G.I. Blues", his first comeback movie after his stint in the Army), the #1 Hit Record actually belonged to Joe Dowell. 

#91 -  Don't Break The Heart That Loves You - Connie Francis  (1962)
You'll find three hits by Connie in our Top 100 Countdown ... along with Brenda Lee, Francis dominated the charts as one of the premier female vocalists of the decade.  (Yet she's STILL not in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!!!) 

#90 - Wild One - Bobby Rydell  (1960)
One of the original Teen Idols ... and another artist who was able to ride the wave of The Philly Sound. 

#89 - Walk, Don't Run - The Ventures  (1960)
A GREAT Rock And Roll Instrumental ... and one that ANY guitarist worth his salt had to learn at one time or another. 

#88 - Can't Get Used To Losing You - Andy Williams  (1963)
A long-forgotten gem by crooner Andy Williams, who left us a short time ago after entertaining us for decades on both the charts and the TV screen. 

#87 - Bobby's Girl - Marcie Blane  (1962)
Marcie wished that she was Bobby's Girl ... 20 years later, Rick Springfield wished that he had Jessie's Girl ... proving that teen age lust will never die!
#86 - Our Day Will Come - Ruby and the Romantics  (1963)
Still a haunting sound, even fifty years later! 

#85 - The Boll Weevil Song - Brook Benton  (1961)
One of my favorites as a kid growing up, Brook normally took a more serious approach with this recordings.  Incredibly, he would have one of the biggest hits of his career in 1970 with "Rainy Night In Georgia". 

#84 - Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel) - Roy Orbison  (1960)
The Big O is back with one of his best ... a 1960 smash. 

#83 - I Want To Be Wanted - Brenda Lee  (1960)
There's the first Top 100 Hit in our countdown for Little Miss Dynamite. 

#82 - Easier Said Than Done - Essex  (1963)
A #1 Hit from 1963 by a group that originally formed when they were members of The U.S. Marine Corps! 

#81 - Deep Purple - Nino Tempo and April Stevens  (1963)
A GREAT duet, later brought back to the charts by Donny and Marie ... and I've got to say that I love BOTH versions of this song!
The countdown continues tomorrow ... be there or be square!  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back to the '60's ... This Week In Forgotten Hits!

Contrary to what radio today would lead you to believe, the 1960's did NOT begin in 1964 with The Beatles and The British Invasion.  

While I would be the first to agree that these new sounds did more to invigorate the sounds of the decade, the four years preceding the onslaught of foreign talent on these shores were pretty interesting, too.  (It has often been reported that music was in the doldrums … the country was grieving the assassination of  their young president … and The Beatles just happened along at a time when this country most needed something to brighten our spirits again … and there may be a certain amount of truth to this statement.  However, a closer look at the music we were listening to, circa 1960 - 1963 makes a pretty good case for the continued development of rock and roll.)  

Elvis was back from the Army … and, although he had "cleaned up" quite a bit, he still managed to place 28 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart in that four year period … and all but three of them made The Top 40.  In fact, Elvis notched 13 more Top Ten Hits in his King Of Rock And Roll belt … and topped the charts with tracks like "Stuck On You", "It's Now Or Never", "Are You Lonesome Tonight", "Surrender", "Good Luck Charm" … and JUST missed with timeless tracks like "Can't Help Falling In Love" (#2, 1962), the two-sided hit "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame" / "Little Sister" (#4 and #5 respectively), "Return To Sender" (#2, 1962) and "(You're The) Devil In Disguise" (#3, 1963).  

Motown was in its infancy … before the decade was over it would explode and become a driving force in the way America listened to soul music, crossing over to win fans of both black and white young America.  

Groups like The Four Seasons on the East Coast and The Beach Boys on the West Coast kept both their lead vocals on their hot new sounds HIGH on the charts.  In fact, the whole Surf Music Craze had its deepest roots in the 1960 - 1963 era.  

So did folk music … what has since become known as The Girl Group Sound … The Wall Of Sound from Phil Spector … and the music created in The Brill Building.  

We had great novelty hits like "Alley Oop", "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini", "Mr. Custer", "Mother-In-Law", "Monster Mash" and "If You Wanna Be Happy", all of which topped the charts … along with classic instrumental hits like "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" (one of the biggest hits of the decade), "Wonderland By Night", "Calcutta", "The Stripper", "Stranger On The Shore" and "Telstar" … Dance Craze Songs that exemplified The Philly Sound like "The Twist", "Let's Twist Again", "Limbo Rock", "The Loco-Motion" and "Peppermint Twist".  Feel-Good Songs like "Cathy's Clown", "Everybody's Somebody's Fool", "Stay", "Tossin' And Turnin'", "Hit The Road Jack", "Runaround Sue", "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", "Duke Of Earl", "Hey Baby", "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", "I Will Follow Him", "It's My Party", "Sugar Shack" and "My Boyfriend's Back".  Teen tragedy songs and pining love songs like "Teen Angel" and "Running Bear" … "I'm Sorry" and "Georgia On My Mind" … and songs that just defy description and classification like "Big Bad John", "Sukiyaki", "El Paso", "Travelin' Man" and (what the hell?!?!?) "Dominique"!  

This week Forgotten Hits takes a closer look at the Top 100 Singles, 1960 - 1963 … the years BEFORE "The British Are Coming, The British Are Coming" became the phrase of the day … a time when American artists still dominated the charts and our hearts.  (OK, OK … you WILL find "Telstar" by The Tornadoes on this list … but that's about as cockney as we're going to get!)  

The countdown begins tomorrow ...

Enjoy the ride!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Six Degrees Of Separation - Gotham Style

So a couple of weekends ago, I was flipping thru the channels and I found that MeTV was running an entire one-hour, complete episode of "Batman", the television series ... and not only that, but it was the one that features Lesley Gore as one of Catwoman's hench-ladies ... the episode where Lesley sings her latest hit "California Nights" ... which just happens to be one of Frannie's all-time favorite songs.   Naturally, I had to watch the whole thing.  

Catwoman (at this stage of the series anyway ... they ultimately went thru THREE!!!) was still being portrayed by the lovely Julie Newmar ... which got me to thinking about this whole Six Degrees of Separation thing.  Heck, this one was so easy, it literally wrote itself!!!  In fact, I got TWICE that far with The Caped Crusader.  I finally stopped at a Baker's Dozen!!!  (lol)  

Which means that today, we've got THIRTEEN GREAT TRACKS ... for your listening enjoyment and befuddlement!!!  (kk)


How's this for starters ...CALIFORNIA NIGHTS by Lesley Gore, who portrayed Pussycat, one of Catwoman's hench-women in the "That Darn Catwoman" episode.



And then, how about WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT and "JULIE DO YA LOVE ME" ... along with a vintage shot of me, my daughter Kris and Julie Newmar herself!!!

Many will argue that the best part about Batman was the villains ... so let's salute a few of them right now ...

You just heard "EARTH ANGEL" by THE PENGUINS. "THE JOKER" by THE STEVE MILLER BAND, "TWO FACES HAVE I" by LOU CHRISTIE, "SWEETS FOR MY SWEET" by THE RIDDLES and "POISON IVY" by THE COASTERS.  (OK, OK, I'll admit that a couple of these are a bit of a stretch ... but we made it work!!!)

And let's not forget about Batman's sidekick, The Boy Wonder!

Was I a Batman fan?  You betcha!

Don't believe me???

Check out my Grade School Graduation Picture!!!

I never quite got this next one ... but it works for me ... and, incredibly, this was a Top 20 Hit in 1967!

That was Whistling Jack Smith ... who was, of course, Kaiser Bill's Batman.

And let's not forget THESE two!!!

There's your Six Degrees ... or would that be THIRTEEN Degrees ... of Separation ... Gotham Style!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 09 - 22 - 13 )

We've got a WINNER!!! 
Congratulations to Forgotten Hits Reader Steve Sarley ... he just won TWO FREE TICKETS to see Burton Cummings perform live in concert at The Arcada Theatre this Friday Night, September 27th at 8 PM. (Be sure to come out early and catch The Zombies as the warm-up act!!!) 
And the comments just keep coming ... once Ron Onesti and Burton Cummings published links on their web pages and Facebook pages, the volume went through the roof.  We've now permanently posted our Burton Cummings Interview on the other Forgotten Hits Web Page ... here: 

Hi Kent,
Congratulations on all of the well-deserved accolades you have received in the presentation of the superlative Burton Cummings interview in Forgotten Hits ... as with a song, you can tell when it's a hit!

I'm sure Burton Cummings, his Manager Lorne Saifer, and Tour-Manager Sam Boyd must be very pleased with the results and its content.  What a great preface to what I'm sure will be one of the best music shows to hit Chicago this year!  Burton Cummings' voice and compositions and their longevity speak for themselves.
By the way, you mentioned you were in the printing business -- I was wondering if you called your company "The Artist Formerly Known As Prints!"

Great interview again Kent, love Forgotten Hits -- continued growth and success!
Best Regards,
Tim Kiley

LOL ... hey, I like that!!!  (If I could ever figure out a way how to make it in the "music business", I would most certainly adopt that moniker as"The Artist Formerly Known As Prints"!!!  I love it! 
Lots of great press on the Burton Cummings interview ... and we're really looking forward to the show.  In fact, we're encouraging any and all Forgotten Hits Readers to meet us in the lobby after The Zombies set to say hello ... we'd love to see ya!  (kk)

Burton is still making great music in the millennium, too.  Here's a track from his latest CD of all new material "Above The Ground" ... once again singing about The USA.  A GREAT track ... that sounds old and new at the same time!  (lol)  kk  

And this just in from FH Reader Tom Cuddy ... The Zombies release their first-ever video!!!  (Kind ties us into both the Burton Cummings piece AND some of your British Invasion comments below!)

We're still getting comments about our Top 100 British Invasion Hits (1964 - 1965) Countdown, too ... including this week, a unique look back at The British Invasion from a Canadian perspective!  

>>>So I propose that The Dave Clark Five started the "British Invasion", as I believe they were the first non-Beatles group to hit the charts following the Beatles success.  (Paul Urbahns)
Actually, if you want to talk about the hype that is the "British Invasion" in the very early '64 era, you might look at the weekly Hot 100's and see that the DC5 were first to be added, but after that it was mostly US acts singing ABOUT the Beatles.  We had the Carefrees and Donna Lynn, the Swans, and the 4 Preps ... all doing songs ABOUT the Beatles (along with Bobby Vee's Beatlesque "I'll Make You Mine" containing the "woo" shaking heads bit from his touring with the fabs in UK earlier) ... all of this occurred before others jumped into the mix that were FROM Britain.  These songs fueled the fire.  It was mostly "Beatlemania" rather than the British Invasion in the beginning.  That DID fuel the fire quickly and finally, in March, the Searchers helped start the flood.  One other record from England started the same week.  For the Besch brothers, the Swingin' Blue Jeans were what started the British Invasion for us in full swing.  We had heard the DC5's "Glad All Over" first, but it did not SOUND like the Beatles.  It was "Hippy Hippy Shake" that really got us all wondering what was going on.  Stations were putting out rumors that this was possibly actually the Beatles, too.  There were SO many Beatles records out already on various labels that it was entirely feasible to us.  Add to it that the Fabs had recorded the song themselves on the BBC earlier.  The sound was unmistakably Beatles-esque.  Whatever the case, it was a great memorable time.
Clark Besch

Even David Seville and the Chipmunks got into the act!  I played the HECK out of that "The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles' Hits" album ... in fact, for the LONGEST time, that was the ONLY copy of "From Me To You" I could find ... by then The Beatles' version was already off the shelves.  I also remember seeing album displays in the record stores featuring GIRL GROUPS photographed in half-silhouette fashion (like The Beatles' "Meet The Beatles" album) called The Beatlettes and The Beatle Buddies!  ANYTHING to cash in on the craze and make a fast buck.  (Think about how quickly these albums had to be thrown together!!!)  It was an INCREDIBLE time ... we had never seen anything like it.  (kk)  

I agree that Cliff Richard had some GREAT songs that just never made it big here in the States.  "Green Light" was his attempt at a second "Devil Woman" and I loved that tune.  One that ties in with the British Invasion stories is the B side to the August, 1964, Epic 45 "Bachelor Boy."  "Boy" was the A side and was Cliff's typical styled song, but if you flipped it over, you heard his best attempt at Beatlemania-sound.  "True, True Lovin'" has that Beatles' version "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" sound with Cliff's trademark vocal sound.
I've been listening to a whole lot of early Cliff Richard since our series ran, trying to get a handle on what we missed.  There are a few good ones from the late '50's and early '60's that I think could have been decent-sized hits here if given the chance ... but he REALLY blossomed right around the time Beatlemania hit.  I'll never understand why his label didn't push harder to half Cliff ride the tremendous wave of pandemonium that was going on at the time with all things British.  "Bachelor Boy", "Summer Holiday", "Lucky Lips", "It's All In The Game", "Don't Talk To Him" and "I'm The Lonely One" ALL should have been big hits here in The States.  (Back home in England these tracks peaked at #'s 1, 1, 4, 2, 2 and 8 respectively.  I still can't believe that they weren't able to capitalize on "All Things British" going over the top here in The States and relaunch his career in a big, big way on this side of the pond. (By the way, I found an INCREDIBLE collection of Cliff Richard music ... "The Singles Collection" ... a Six CD Set featuring all 127 of his solo singles released between 1958 and 2002!  Got me into the Cliff Scene in a big, big way.)  The very first Cliff Richard song I ever heard was Cliff's version of the Jagger / Richards tune "Blue Turns To Grey".  It was included on a British Rock Compilation LP in the early '70's ... years before "Devil Woman" hit the charts ... but a great version of this long-forgotten track.  (kk)

We had quite a bit of discussion regarding The Seekers when our Top 100 British Invasion Hits ran ... now comes news that a reunion tour may be in the works!
No U.S. dates in the plans just yet ... but quite a few appearances in both Australia and the U.K.  (kk)  

If you check out this week's new addition to Reel Radio, you can hear Peter and Gordon echoing your thoughts on the British Invasion being a lot of US songwriter covers early on.  Some interesting comments by Peter and Gordon on the Stagg Line!  You can also catch two of our fave Chicago bands blasting out two of their more obscure 1966 sides on the Sound 10 Survey countdown.  Hip Hip Hooray WCFL!

One thing I noticed as I reviewed your countdown of the Top 100 British Invasion hits is how many of them were remakes.  By my count, 27 of the 100 had first been done by someone else before the Brits had hits with them ... more than a quarter of them.  There was PLENTY of innovative songwriting during the British Invasion years, but the number of remakes shows, I think, that style was almost as important as substance then.
Henry McNulty
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Which goes back to my point about these British acts taking our American Rock And Roll, putting a brand new spin on it ... and then feeding it right back to us.  And we LOVED it!!!  (kk)
Peter and Gordon recorded some EXCELLENT covers of their own.  I'll still put their versions of "I Go To Pieces" (Del Shannon) and "True Love Ways" (Buddy Holly) up against the originals any day!  (kk)

Here are the first records I ever bought ... four at once for my birthday: 
'Don't Make Me Over' by The Swinging Blue Jeans
'Stop' by The Moody Blues
'She Needs Company' by Manfred Mann
'Hold Tight' by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
I bought them at WT Grants in downtown Syracuse, April '66  
Kevin Patrick
NY, NY 10013
Definitely some British Invasion-influenced stuff here ... NONE of these were U.S. Hits!!!  Thanks for sharing, Kevin!  (kk)   

>>>According to the CHUM Chart Book , Cliff Richard hit the Canadian Chart fourteen times before "Devil Woman" reached the American Top Ten.  By the way, a couple of those "Capitol of Canada" 45's sold enough copies here to chart in Billboard, too ... "All My Lovin'" (#45) and "Roll Over Beethoven" (#68) hit our charts as Canadian singles ... as well as as part of the Capitol EP "Four By The Beatles" (#92), all in 1964.  (kk)

>>>We were lucky in Winnipeg in that we got to hear some of the British stuff that the Americans didn't get to hear ... things by Cliff Richard and Georgie Fame and Gerry and the Pacemakers that didn't really get off the ground in the States ... some Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and a few others.  The British Invasion was very, very extensive in Canada, I guess probably because we were part of the Commonwealth and Capitol Records, they had just about everybody ... from The Beatles and Dave Clark on down ... Cliff Richard and the Shadows ... EVERYBODY was on Capitol.  It was a cool time in Canada.  We took that British  Invasion square in the face!  (Burton Cummings)  

It is not often that I have cause to get out my Canadian radio charts, but I often have found them fascinating and with the above comments as well as Burton Cummings weighing in, I thought I'd throw these at you and Bruce Spizer and your Canadian readers.
Clark Besch

We talk a lot about about the week The Beatles held down the top five spots on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart in 1964 ... but check out this Canadian counterpart chart ... six of the top seven records belong to The Fab Four (including tracks like "All My Lovin'" and "Roll Over Beethoven", tracks that weren't officially released as singles here in The States by Capitol but records that still charted as IMPORTS because the demand for new Beatles music was so high at the time!)  In fact, that tally jumps to 8 of the top 12 when you add "Love Me Do" and "From Me To You" into the mix.  They've got 10 of the top 36 (that's nearly 30% of the entire chart!) Unreal.  You'll also find some of the "spin-off" artists that Clark talks about ... check out #56 ("Beatle Flying Saucer" by Ed Solomon ... and "I'll Let You Hold My Hand" by The Bootles at #60!)  There was a fairly successful break-in record that got played here quite a bit in Chicago at the time ... "The Invasion" by Buchanan and Greenfield.  (Buchanan was one half of the old Buchanan and Goodman team ... Dickie Goodman was making his own solo records by this point ... and, believe it or not Greenfield was Howie Greenfield, long-time song-writing partner of Neil Sedaka!)  It fizzled out nationally but went to #22 here in Chicago.  (kk)

Here's quite an exciting quandary for you guys that I have always wondered about.  I have an extensive CKWS Kingston, Ontario, Canada survey collection from late 1963 thru 1964.  The station was pretty strong at 10,000 watts daytime and 5000 night just across the northeastern edge of Lake Ontario from New York state, a mere 50 miles north of Syracuse, NY.  It's very possible that New Yorkers were catching the Beatles tunes earlier than most US listeners if they caught Canadian stations.  Actually, the eastern US folks MAY have heard the earlier 63 Beatles singles before Canadians, as I have not seen any Canadian charts other than western Vancouver's CFUN (near Seattle) listing Beatles songs prior to "She Loves You."  Overall, Canada seemed only a month ahead of the US in hearing the Brit Invasion songs, but often charted songs OTHER than ones that hit here. 
The CKWS Oct 29, 1963, chart shows "She Loves You" as a non-new song at #34 with a UK issue date of late August and a Swan US date of mid-September release.  The Brit star of that day was Cliff Richard holding #5 and #25 on this chart.
I will mention that between the above chart and the November 26, 1963 chart, "She Loves You" meandered around the mid-20's as it would until it drops off in late December at about the time Beatlemania would strike the North American continent.  SO, the Beatles were not an instantaneous smash in Canada either.  The November 26th chart IS interesting from other points.  Besides "She Loves You" at #24, Freddie & Dreamers jump in at #46 with "I'm Telling You Now" which US Capitol DID release in October, 1963 (before the Beatles US releases!),  but reissued as a #1 US hit single much later on Tower subsidiary.  The VERRRRY odd thing is noting the "Pick of the Week" being "I Saw Her Standing There" by the "Mystery Singers" on Parlophone!  Obviously, this was the Beatles, but why the mystery??  I don't THINK the song was issued on 45 in Canada before 1964 and the Beatles were not big yet, so I wonder what was going on there??  
Maybe because Capitol of Canada hadn't picked it up yet???  Remember, "I Saw Her Standing There" first appeared on The Beatles' "Please Please Me" LP, a full YEAR before it was released as a single here in The States as the flipside of "I Want To Hold Your Hand".  They may have had access to an import copy and, knowing that the record wasn't really available, just played it to have an "edge" on the competition.  Radio used to do that back then ... work hard to get the "scoop" on another station ... that's why "world premier exclusives" were so important.  People forget in this day and age of cookie-cutter clones.  (kk)

The March 17, 1964 chart shows Beatlemania in full swing, as well as "Capitol-mania".  Capitol OWNED the Canadian disc market it seemed.  A side note that maybe the US chose the wrong songs to release, as "All My Lovin'" was huge in Canada and was imported over to US market.  Note "She Loves You" back on the CKWS chart at #3.  It actually returned right at the beginning of 1964 after about a week off the chart.  SO, "She Loves You" was basically a CKWS chart rider from October, 1963 until it finally fell of in May, 1964!  Hmm, "Beatle Flying Saucer" at #56??  Must be like the Buchanon and Goodman "Invasion" 45 in the US about that time.  Bootles at #60 -- a girl group most likely.

Next, a CHUM chart showing the debut of "She Loves You" at #42 on 12/2/63.  Cliff sits at #2, but all this above Beatlemania is slow to get to the 1050 AM juggernaut out of Toronto that can be heard across the US. 

By May, 1964, Beatlemania AND the Brit Invasion is widespread in Canada.  CHNS 960 in Halifax, Nova Scotia (directly EAST of Maine) was a strong 10,000 day / night station that was airing MANY UK charters that did not do well in the US.  Check out #1, #8 (!!!), #27, #28, #30, #35.  Note a couple of CHICAGO rockers going well at #25 and #26!!

CHSJ 1150 St. John, New Brunswick, Canada (100 miles NE of Bangor, Maine) was another 10,000 watt day / night AM station.  Altho not shown here, this chart is from 6/13/1964.  This one is great to see the Capitol Records dominance in Canada with UK and US artists.  20 of the top 50 on Capitol including the Hollies taking on the Searchers at #24.  Even the Roulettes were on Capitol!

Montreal born Andy Kim gets some GREAT press in 1964 with his #7 record as well personal TV appearances on CHSJ-TV teen TV show (see to right of survey), well before he hit it big in 1968.  CHUM chose to ignore his minor successes mostly, until 1968.

CJCA 930 was a 10,000 watt day / 5000 night station in Edmunton, Alberta (200 miles north of of the western / northern Montana border).  This is their top 40 for the entire year of 1964 issued 1/5/65.  Note that "All My Loving" was the BIGGEST Fabs hit in that area.  Look at the Brit dominance here.

Amazing ... once again The Beatles have The Top Three Records of the Entire Year ... with "All My Lovin'" holding down the top spot ... a sure-fire smash hit had Capitol pushed it here in The States.  "Twist And Shout", "She Loves You", "A Hard Day's Night", "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Thank You Girl" round out The Top Ten Records of the Year, giving The Fabs another 60% hold on the charts.  Not far behind:  "Roll Over Beethoven", "Can't Buy Me Love", "This Boy" and "Please Please Me" ... that's TEN of the Top 40.  Yeah, Canada got into Beatlemania in a big, big way.  (In fact, I believe there was even an LP released there CALLED "Beatlemania" if I'm not mistaken!)  kk

CFAC is a 10,000 watt day / night Calgary 960 station (250 miles NE of Spokane, Washington).  Here's a 1965 chart showing the Guess Who rockin' in at #2 amidst the hits of the day.  The song would not be a US chart rider for months to come!  

Lastly, a 6PR Perth, Australia chart from summer 1964 showing lots of Brit influence, but surprisingly more US charters than one might expect??

Clark Besch
FASCINATING stuff for us chart buffs.  (And with literally THOUSANDS of brand new Canadian Forgotten Hits Readers, you guys should have a field day with this!  Spread the word!)  Thanks, Clark!  (kk) 

More Beatles news ... 

We've been talking about the new, second volume of Live BBC Recordings being released later this year by Apple.  Here's a short clip / promo from Vintage Vinyl News ...   
Click here: VVN Music: Watch: Vintage Footage and Sounds in Beatles' On Air: Live at the BBC, Volume 2 Promo   
For a complete track listing, look here ...  
Click here: On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2: Music

Songwriter extraordinare Carole King made the news a couple of times last week ...     
Shortly after taking over the role of manager of her mother, Carole King, in mid-2011, Sherry Goffin Kondor looked over a list, left by the departed manager.  
"It was things that needed to be taken care of," she said. "And one of the things on the checklist was, 'Go and see the reading of the musical and kill it. Carole's not into it."
The musical was "Beautiful," which tells the story of one of the most celebrated composers and singers in pop history; a woman who wrote (with her lyricist husband, Gerry Goffin) dozens of major hit songs in the '60s and '70s, including "Natural Woman," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," "Up on the Roof," "You've Got a Friend" and "Chains," which was covered by a band of admirers called the Beatles. In the late '60s, King emerged as a singer, and her 1971 album, "Tapestry," stayed on the charts for an astounding 68 weeks, helping to pave the way for the era of the singer-songwriter.
"Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" will open this month at the Curran Theatre in a "pre-Broadway world premiere." It moves to New York for previews before its Broadway opening in January at the Stephen Sondheim Theater.
In other words, Sherry Kondor didn't kill it.
"I think she always had a level of discomfort about having her story told by someone else, and (having) her story shrunk down to the scope of a play. Lorna (Guess, the previous manager) had urged her to at least try it, with this writer and that writer, and each time it was underwhelming. So I went into it thinking it's not going to work. I'll go to this reading and then have to break the news."
She was in for a surprise.
"I watched the reading, and I'm charmed. I laugh, I cry. I called my mother. 'Mom, I don't want to kill this. This is really good.' I thought, there's great potential there, and we should let it grow. She said, 'OK. I'm trusting you.' "
Kondor gave the producers the go-ahead, along with some notes for writer Doug McGrath ("Bullets Over Broadway" with Woody Allen, "Infamous" and "Emma").
When it was time for another reading, Kondor persuaded her reluctant mother to go with her to a rehearsal space in Times Square. "We'll sit in the back," Kondor told her. "I won't let anyone talk to you." They stayed through the first act. "And at intermission she said, 'I'm leaving.' What? I imagined all these people would ask, 'Why'd she leave?' She said, 'I think it's really good. I just can't watch my life like this.' I said, 'OK. Understood.' And everyone else understood."
King, who is not doing interviews in advance of "Beautiful," sent this message to The Chronicle: "I've always been a very private person, so initially I was horrified by the idea of my life being turned into a musical. The period chronicled in 'Beautiful' was exhilarating in so many ways, not the least of which was being stimulated creatively by Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, but it also included some of the most painful moments of my life.
"After Sherry saw an early workshop, she encouraged me to attend a reading. Hearing it aloud in a room full of people left me conflicted. I had to leave after the first act because the excellence of the writing and the actors' interpretation awakened long-buried emotions. But the artist in me realized how good the show was, and I knew I couldn't stand in its way. I gave 'Beautiful' its title, which has multiple layers of meaning for me, and now I give 'Beautiful' my blessing."
In fact, King cooperated with writer McGrath soon after he was hired, in 2009.
"She came to my office and allowed me to ask anything I wanted," he said. "I led her through her life. She was generous in openly and honestly telling me what happened and how she felt: her doubts, fears and strength. But then, 'That's it. I've given you everything I have.' " King then turned to writing her memoirs ("A Natural Woman," published last year).
McGrath came aboard after several failed attempts at a Goffin-King-based musical, dating back nine years.
"Early on, somebody tried a musical in the 'Mamma Mia' mode," he said. "They took the catalog and made up a fictional story to fit the songs. Ours is the opposite of that. Their catalog is most interesting in the context of their personal story."
McGrath was hired despite having no professional experience with musicals, said Christine Russell, Goffin's manager, because "we just wanted the right storyteller."
That story, as King said, dealt with some painful moments, including her divorce from Goffin and his straying into hard drugs. It helped, Russell said, when McGrath came up with the idea of focusing not only on Goffin and King, but also on their friends, another husband-and-wife team of composers, Mann and Weil. "That made Gerry and Carole feel more comfortable," she said.
"Gerry's story is pretty intense," Weil said.
"In a sense," Mann added, "Cynthia and I have become the comic relief in the show."
Mann (music) and Weil (words) composed "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," the most often played song in pop music history. Their credits also include "On Broadway," "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place," "Walking in the Rain," "Uptown" and "He's Sure the Boy I Love."
The two couples often worked in adjacent, tiny offices at 1650 Broadway, a block or so away from the fabled Brill Building. There, they and a dozen other composers cranked out pop tunes for Aldon Music, a publishing company that pitted the teams against each other to come up with the next hit for the next big group.
"Beautiful," McGrath said, "is about them and their best friends who were just on the other side of the wall. It's about these four humans - the incredible talent, the competition and friendship they had, the blindness to certain faults in another person, the ability to love and forgive."
The fierce competitiveness depicted in "Beautiful" was real. Writers heard each other's songs through common walls. The atmosphere, King noted in her memoirs, "didn't exactly foster inventiveness."
Weil agreed: "It just fostered thievery!"
She quickly added that she was joking.
King will be portrayed by Jessie Mueller, a Tony nominee for her work in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" in 2011. Kondor saw Mueller's audition.
"There was something about her when she came into the room," she said. "She just had the same sunny, sweet energy that my mom has. I said, 'Yes, she could play my mom.' "
When "Beautiful" opens at the Curran, Mann and Weil plan to be there. Goffin, who is ailing, hopes to catch a performance. As for King, her daughter said it was unlikely she will attend opening night, but will "sneak in at some time."
It'll be nerve-racking, no doubt, for all of them.
"I'm a little scared," said Goffin, who's read the script. He said he hopes that, beyond the marvelous music he and King created, "Beautiful" will bear a message:
"We all made mistakes," he said, "but what we created together was lasting." {sbox}
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical: Opens Saturday. Through Oct. 20. $50-$210. Curran Theatre, 445 Geary St., S.F. (888) 746-1799.
Ben Fong-Torres is a freelance writer. E-mail:
-- submitted by Dave Barry  

Carole King will join the ranks of Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand to be celebrated in January as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year. Two nights before the GRAMMY Awards, King will be honored at a star-studded gala in Los Angeles. 
On January 24, the Dixie Chicks, Lady Gaga, Bette Midler, Jason Mraz, James Taylor and Steven Tyler will take the stage to perform and honor the singer. Additional artists will be announced in the coming months.  King is being honored for her charitable work. The singer-songwriter is involved with several environmental organizations. She has worked with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies since 1990 as well as other groups in fighting the passage of the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act. 
-- submitted by Frank B  

>>> This has been driving me crazy for years.  There was a band who played in the midwest just around the time CTA (Chicago) was out. They were around in the early 70's; maybe 70 - 72. They played at Drag Races a lot. They had a great horn section and had a song out with the letters USDA in it. Does that ring a bell with you? The name of the band or the song?  (Buddy M)Kent-I've been following your blog for some time; I've really been digging it.Buddy M. asked about a horn band in the early 70's who played in the Midwest.  He mentioned a song with "USDA" in it.  I don't know if I can help him with the band, but the song was probably "Hello Groceries" ("You look so prime, tender and sweet / You're USDA inspected meat"), which appeared on Chase's first album.  I don't know if Chase was the band in question; if not, the cover of a fellow horn band's song would make sense.  I hope this helps.  As always, keep up the great work.Sincerely,
Todd W. Zimmerman
Worth a shot ... here's a YouTube Link ... let us know if this is the one ...
>>>Does anyone know the origin of a DJ-only record in which Mel Blanc did one-liners as the various Warner Bros. characters?  The format was a knock at the door, a one-liner, then a door slam.  Bugs Bunny and Tweety & Sylvester and the rest were all there; but the two I remember most were Porky Pig wanting "a job as a radio an-n-nn-, a radio a-nn-n-nn, a d-dd-d-disc jockey," and Yosemite Sam shouting "Kill the power!  Ah cain't stand it no more!!"  I've heard it might have been called something like "Run-Ins" or "Run-Throughs," but have never seen a copy "in the wild."  (Jim)
Hi Kent, 
If you want to pass on my email address to the person looking for the Mel Blanc stuff I believe I have it. I think I also may have the Return to Paper Plates, and at least some of The Story Lady episodes. 
I won't vouch for tip top quality but they are certainly listenable if they are still in the dungeon, which I think they are. 
Interested parties should email me and I'll forward Bill's information along.  (kk)
>>>I’m putting together a compilation CD of the Winter Dance Party Show at the Surf Ballroom from February, 1959. (The day the music died). I found the set lists for Bopper, Valens and Holly. However, Dion and the Belmonts were also on the bill, but I’m having trouble finding their set list. Hopefully someone can help. I need the songs they played in order. Plus where were they in the line up to take the stage? I would think Bopper opened, then Valens, followed by Dion(?) and finally Holly. Any help would be appreciated. As always, “Thanks” so much for keeping us music fanatics in touch with others who truly care about the music.   (Gary)
I have reached out for help on this.  I do know that things were a little different that night due to the hospitalization of Buddy's drummer, but the line-up itself may have been the same.  Anyway, let's see what comes up.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
Looking for the b-side song ... something like oop oobioe do … unsure of the a side … Four Seasons maybe?  Can you help?  
Mike Stransky
Well, I don't see it listed on any of their charted singles ... and I don't see anything like this listed on their singles discography either ... so I'm think that maybe it's NOT The Four Seasons?  Anybody out there got any ideas on this one?  (kk)   

Hi Kent - 
Do you recall a song of which part of the lyrics go,  "As long as you love me, we can fly"? It may have been an early '70s song, but I am not certain. I actually thought the group Chase had recorded that one, but I did not find it on YouTube.  Just my curious self, inquiring.
Thanks a lot, Kent.
Yay!!!  I love the easy ones!!!  This is "One Fine Morning" by Lighthouse, a BIG Hit in 1971.  YouTube clip below:

Marvin Rainwater, who had the 1957 Hit with "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird" (#22) passed away last week. 
Click here: VVN Music: Passings: Marvin Rainwater (1925 - 2013)
We ran a short profile of Marvin during our "Honest Injun" Series a few years back ... it was supposed to be followed up with a brief interview ... but Marvin had to cancel at the last minute due to a scheduling conflict.  Here ... '60's FLASHBACK Style ... is the piece we ran ...
Early on in this series, we mentioned that we would be featuring One Hit Wonder recording artist MARVIN RAINWATER.  In fact, MARVIN  is one of the VERY few artists featured this month who is actually of American Indian descent.
RAINWATER was born either MARVIN KARLTON PERRY (or PERCY, depending on which source you choose to believe) in 1925 and took the stage name of MARVIN RAINWATER to promote his Cherokee Indian heritage.  (It was, in fact, his mother's maiden name ... and MARVIN was one-quarter Cherokee.)  In 1955, he appeared on THE ARTHUR GODFREY TALENT SCOUTS SHOW, an early television staple.  Two years later, he would have his biggest chart hit when GONNA FIND ME A BLUEBIRD went to #22 in Billboard Magazine.  (This, too, was a much bigger hit here in Chicago, where it peaked at #7 on the old WJJD Chart.  It peaked at #3 on Billboard's Country Chart.)
Before his success as a recording star, RAINWATER tried a variety of other occupations, including working in an auto repair shop, a lumber yard and as a tree surgeon.  He also studied specific courses in the hopes of becoming either a veterinarian or a pharmacist but his love for music won out.  (MARVIN lost his right thumb in an accident at the auto repair shop, limiting his ability to play the piano ... however, he continued on with his songwriting hobby and eventually placed I GOTTA GO GET MY BABY with recording star TERESA BREWER.  He also wrote his biggest hit, GONNA FIND ME A BLUEBIRD.)
His OWN style could best be described as country and early rock-a-billy and when country legend RED FOLEY heard him perform an old HANK WILLIAMS tune, he invited MARVIN to join his OZARK JUBILEE radio program.
RAINWATER continued recording throughout the '50's but never again encountered the type of chart success that BLUEBIRD brought him.  In 1959, he developed some throat problems, drastically affecting his vocal abilities.  In 1980, he told GOLDMINE MAGAZINE, "I didn't know it then, but I had calluses on my vocal cords and should have quit for months.  Instead, we'd spend hours and hours in the studio (recording "do-overs") without ever getting anything decent."  After finally recognizing what the REAL problem was, RAINWATER had throat surgery and then resumed his singing career, going on to record for a variety of record labels into the '70's (including WARWICK, UNITED ARTISTS, WARNER BROTHERS, BRAVE and WESCO.)  Much of his rock-a-billy work has since be repackaged and released via Germany's BEAR FAMILY RECORDS, and MARVIN has remained very popular overseas.  (Early in his career, RAINWATER cut some 50 rock-a-billy tunes for a local Washington, D.C. studio owner, who then pedaled these tunes to a variety of budget record labels like SPIN-O-RAMA, CROWN and PREMIER once MARVIN reached some chart success with MGM.  RAINWATER claims he never authorized these songs to be released ... nor did he earn a penny in royalties for their sale.)  While RAINWATER today is considered a classic rock-a-billy artist (he's even in The Rock-A-Billy Hall Of Fame), his biggest hit, GONNA FIND ME A BLUEBIRD is most decidedly COUNTRY (rather than rock, pop or rock-a-billy) in nature.
DIDJAKNOW?:  Although he never hit The Top 40 again, MARVIN RAINWATER DID have a couple of other chart hits ... including a song titled HALF-BREED, which peaked at #66 in 1959.  (No relation to the CHER hit we featured a couple of weeks ago.)  It was, however, a #16 Country Hit ... and was written by JOHN D. LOUDERMILK!  In fact, MARVIN RAINWATER was the very first artist to record LOUDERMILK's INDIAN RESERVATION ... then titled PALE-FACED INDIAN ... back in 1959, SEVERAL years before DON FARDON and PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS took a crack at the tune.  (You may recall that this was the very first song that we featured in this special HONEST INJUN tribute ... don't you just LOVE it when all this stuff ties together?!?!?!)  In fact, thanks to the amazing THEONEBUFF, we have this rare MARVIN RAINWATER track to share with you today.
REGRETS, I'VE HAD A FEW:  Much like our earlier-featured artists, REDBONE, RAINWATER would appear on stage and on television dressed in full Indian garb, wearing buckskins, moccasins and headband while performing.  (He now feels that he may have "typecast" himself early on in his career.)  No official word on whether HE later sold or donated any of these outfits to that VILLAGE PEOPLE guy.  (LOL)
BTW:  A planned, little mini-interview with MARVIN RAINWATER (now 80 years old and STILL performing regularly) was either canceled ... or, hopefully, postponed ... when MARVIN had to back-out at the last minute due to another commitment.  In the meantime, here's a link to his VERY informative website:

I'm telling you, EVERYTHING we're seeing on this film RAVES about how good it is.  (Sooner or later I'm going to have to break down and watch it myself!!!  lol)  Here are a couple more rave reviews ... 
Jerry Osborne wrote an interesting article about Sixto Rodriquez.  (See below)  The 2nd link is a live performance and the 3rd link is about Detroit. (InnerCity Blues).
I just watched the Oscar winning documentary about him "Searching For Sugar Man" and the story is perhaps the most unique story regarding a musician in the 70's and 80's.
I wouldn't characterize his stuff as rock but the message is loud and clear much in the same way as Dylan only perhaps even more succinct
Amazing he stays in Detroit when he's such a sensation around the world.
Steve Davidson  

'Searching for Sugarman' as you describe, in my opinion is a great and poignant movie. I have watched it several times. He is like no other person in the industry and his mystique will always be captivating.
Linda Fundytus  

FH Reader Frank B reports that our FH Buddy Big Jay Sorensen has a great piece up on the WCBS-FM Website this week ... which also spotlights a couple of OTHER "Friends of Forgotten Hits", Ron Dante (and the Archies) and Chicago.  (You'll find Diana Ross there, too ... but we haven't heard from her yet!!!)  kk  
Click here: This Week In History: “The Man With the Golden Ear” Strikes Again! « WCBS-FM 101.1  

WARNING:  Listening to Eagles music can be hazardous to your health!!!   
Woman Stabs Roommate Because He Kept Playing The Eagles 
Vernett Bader of North Charleston, SC was tired of listening to her roommate play the Eagles. So, she grabbed a serrated knife from the kitchen and began to stab him. After she told him she didn't want to listen to the band. He responded by telling her to shut up and continued playing his music. 
It’s something that presumably only happens in the movies, but this time it was all too real for a South Carolina man. 
Yesterday (September 16) Vernett Bader of North Charleston, SC was tired of listening to her roommate play the Eagles. So, she grabbed a serrated knife from the kitchen and began to stab him.
After she told him she didn’t want to listen to the band. He responded by telling her to shut up and continued playing his music. 
The police report states that when her roommate and his brother took the knife away from her, she went back into the kitchen and got another.
Police claim all three were intoxicated at the time of arrest. Bader was charged with domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. Her male roommate was found with stab wounds on his arm, hand and elbow, police report.  
The police report did not state what Eagles song was playing at the time of the incident.   
– Annie Reuter,  
Because the NAME of the song would be the most relevant point of this article, right?!?!  Ironically, The Eagles blew thru town Friday Night for their first of TWO Chicagoland appearances.  (We're going to the other one in October ... maybe just as well ... let this craziness die down a little bit first!  lol)  kk  

The Eagles will be the first band to perform at the newly renovated L.A. Forum when the iconic music venue reopens in January in Los Angeles. 
The Eagles will bring their ‘History of the Eagles’ show to the venue for three nights on January 15, 17 and 18.
The venue, owned by The Madison Square Garden Company, has recently been given a $100 million make-over bringing in state-of-the-art technology and amenities and creating the largest indoor venue in America.
The make-over includes a new 8,000 square feet hospitality area separated from the arena with a tinted wall.
The Eagles have been touring The History of the Eagles shows with former member Bernie Leadon who played with them on the first three albums. Leadon co-wrote the classic Witchy Woman. The current tour also features his song Train Leaves Here This Morning in the opening moments of the show.
Eagles fans can grab tickets for the Forum shows by registering for the ‘Fan Invitation’ onsale now at
Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning September 28 at 10 AM through,, at all Ticketmaster locations, through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and Ticketmaster Express at 866-448-7849 (automated only self-service line).

West Coast fans are encouraged to check out the show ... just be sure to check your weapons at the door!  (kk)

And this just in ... a review of The Eagles' performance here in Chicago last night, courtesy of Tom Cuddy ... man, I can't WAIT to see this show!!!

Concert Review: Eagles at United Center, Chicago - September 20, 2013


"Seems like a dream now, it was so long ago."  
The Eagles are the definitive American rock band. Outside of the Beach Boys, no other American act even comes close to matching the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, the spot on music of life quite like the Eagles. 
They did their first of two nights (they will appear for their second night in Chicago on October 19 at  the All-State Arena) in Chicago at the United Center on Friday, September 20 in front of a sold-out crowd of hard-core fans; and a few nominal fans. 
Don Henley and Glenn Frey are two gifted composers / lyricists and they took the stage in silence and it went from you could hear a pin drop to a deafening roar of approval. The lovers of the timeless music catalog known as the Eagles were beyond content. They opened the show with two little heard ballads from their first two albums. Train Leaves Here This Morning is off the 1972 debut album, Eagles. That lovely piece of music segues into Saturday Night off of the Desperado album. No band defines musicality better than the Eagles. They were and are gifted songwriters, musicians, singers and clearly, the best harmonizers in all of recorded music. Lest one think hyperbole is being used. It's not. 
Original member, Bernie Leadon rejoins the Eagles on this, Their History of the Eagles tour. Even though we are being led to believe and I believe it is true, that this will be their last tour as Eagles, it is wonderful to have him back.  He plays the mandolin on Saturday Night and it is beyond a welcomed moment in life itself. The only missing element is Randy Meisner. Randy Meisner's ill health has prevented him from taking part in this retrospective of a career. Glenn Frey did say from the stage that Randy was recovering. Unfortunately, his nuanced and beautiful presence on the stage will not be felt during this tour.
The acoustic open to the show with the earliest of Eagles songs is beautifully done. No theatrics. It's the music. Period. 
They play through a near mind-numbing series of hit songs. Peaceful Easy Feeling,Witchy Woman, Tequila Sunrise, Best of My Love, Already Gone and One of These Nights. They launched into a scorchingly subtle, beautifully poetic and hauntingly cow jumped over the moon moment with their non-Randy Meisner version of  Take It To The Limit. Randy Meisner is obviously not there to craft and mold the moment that only he can take to the limit, but the memories of the original recorded version are so deeply rooted in the mindset of the lover of the music that it will no doubt never fade away during the earthly life of the fan. The current stage version of Witchy Woman is newly arranged with a driving downbeat. It took on a life of its own. Bernie Leadon, in his intro said he wrote the song with Don Henley and then got a laugh out loud moment with "no one in the band ever dated anyone like this woman." One of them probably did. 
More hits - Lyin' Eyes, New Kid in Town, Life in the Fast Lane, In The City,Heartache Tonight and then they rolled us into a post hypnotic trance on their encore songs, including Hotel California, Take It Easy and they move quietly into the sunset with the most gorgeous and simple take on Desperado. They play it straight with the original arrangements of many of these songs, but they mess around (in a good way) with Heartache Tonight. Glenn Frey admits he loved what the Beach Boys did with Barbara Ann. A group of musicians having fun with their guitars talking to one another. There were no heartaches last night. 
Lots of humor and talking on this tour. I've seen them several times over the years and they talked more last night than they have in their entire career on the stage. Frey had some good moments with his Lyin' Eyes tune dedicated to his ex-wife. I won't give you the punch line.
Those Shoes was so spot on I literally could have closed my eyes and thought my turntable was playing my Long Run copy. 
Joe Walsh adds a tremendous amount of humor and rock to the evening. His superb artistry with the guitar lends itself wisely to the band. His inclusion in the band may be one of the most brilliant decisions Glenn Frey ever made. By the way, he looks great. Talk about aging well. Joe's highlight moment was Rocky Mountain Way. You get a Colorado backdrop to ease you while showcasing his still remarkable set of gifts. 
Timothy B. Schmidt off of a bout with cancer is in top form. He drives home the appeal of the country rock roots and he delivers on the hard driving rock songs. 
Don Henley and Glenn Frey still offer supremely worthwhile lead vocals throughout the multiple sets, although, keep in mind they are 66 and 65 years of age respectively. No, they don't sing like they used to, but they are better than anyone else out there under the age of 30. Their voices have to strain a bit and they are no longer effortless voices. They are two of the finest vocalists, phrasers and interpreters of their own music in the last sixty years of recorded music. Song for song, there is no act quite like them. The Beatles may reign with range and depth, but for sheer joy, solace and peace in rock/pop music I would rather have the catalog of the Eagles on the desert island, wherever that may be. On a cold and lonely day I'm pulling out On the Border 
I don't say this lightly, but in my life I have been comforted deeply by my faith, my immediate family and by the music that has so stirred my emotions. The Eagles have been with me on my own personal journey since that lofty late spring day when I first heard them back in May, 1972. I sincerely can't imagine not having them as my backdrop. 
I shared this evening with my two surviving siblings. I also had two elementary school friends join in. The evening was like a walk into my youth. Amen to that! In the end, it was much more than a walk backwards. It was a walk into my very present life and ultimately, a walk into the future. The music of the Eagles will be with me until I take my own last breath.
Oh yeah, "the bluebird was high on the wind."
This show is something to behold. May they have the wind be at their back as they loiter effortlessly through the balance of their days.

Product endorsement of the week ... too funny!  (kk)