Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 12 - 15 - 13 )

A short but sweet Sunday Comments this week ...  

Had a rush of late answers that came in Friday night just ahead of the 10:00 deadline for our Joel Whitburn / Record Research / Forgotten Hits 1950's Trivia Challenge ... so I've been "grading papers" all day long!  Meanwhile, without further adieu ...

Congratulations to Ron Smith (right here in Chicago ... and curator / proprietor of the website ... so he knows of what he speaks!)  He is our grand prize winner in the Joel Whitburn / Forgotten Hits 1950's Trivia Challenge Contest.  As such, he wins a copy of Joel's new book "Billboard Best Sellers and Hot 100 Charts of the 1950's.
We'll run the complete set of answers next week in Forgotten Hits.  Meanwhile, for those of you interested in picking up your own copy of Joel's new book, you can do so here:
Click here: Billboard Best Sellers & Hot 100 Charts: 1950s | Joel Whitburn's Record Research  
And don't miss THIS one ... for the first time, Joel will be publishing The Cash Box Charts (this is the one that I'VE been waiting for!!!)  Pre-Orders are being accepted right now with an expected ship date of February of next year.  This book will complete The Pop Music Trilogy of Chart Research for the Rock Era ... Joel's Billboard and Record World chart books are considered the music industry bibles so you'll be sure to want to complete your collection!  
Click here: Cash Box Pop Hits 1952-1996 | Joel Whitburn's Record Research   
Congratulations again to Ron ... on a job VERY well done.  (When all was said and done, we had nine neck-and-neck competitors trying to win this one ... with a MAJOR rush of entries right at the end from some folks who devoted some SERIOUS research to this project!  I wish we had NINE books to give away ... but we don't ... so thank you all again very much for your concentrated effort.) 
And thanks to everyone who played along ... hopefully you found it both fun AND challenging.  And VERY special thanks again to Joel Whitburn for his generous donation.  (kk)  

Wow, Kent, that was fun, "educational"  -- and verrrrry hard.Below is my best shot at the answers.Thanks to both you and Joel for such a tough but engaging  "assignment."And congratulations on starting your 15th year. 
Don Effenberger 

Kent, my attempt is attached.   
Lots of frustration with this one, but also lots of fun. 
Mike Ogilvie  
Mississauga, ON.  

OK Kent, 
It took some doing, but I've got 50 answers. Whether or not they are all correct, is a different story. 
I gotta tell you though, if I would put this much effort into other aspects of my life, as I did this quiz, I'd be in good shape.  

Here's my entry for the Whitburn '50s quiz (think I nailed them all).  
You came close.  In fact, ALL of the finalists came close ... SO close, in fact, that I had to break down some of the answers into partial points to separate the pack.  I even did an over-the-phone consult with Joel Whitburn about a couple of answers that didn't match what he had given me as a guide ... but still may have, in fact, been valid considerations.  Taking ALL of these points into consideration is how we ultimately came up with our winner.  (kk)

Wow, this was so,much fun! 
I submitted a guess for every question. Admittedly a few were "educated guesses" because I don't have access to the Billboard charts from the 50s. 
So, yes, for me this was a BIG challenge! 
I do have access to the Cash Box charts so most of my "educated guesses" were based on those. I'm hoping the charts were close enough to enable me to make most of my guesses correct. 
If I win I will provide my snail mail address. (I feel that to do so now would be presumptuous and might bring me bad luck)! 
Thanks to you and Joel for this! 
Okay ... here's my contest entry.  
Ronnie Allen

Wow!  Who knew The Buckinghams were THIS popular over in The Philippines?!?!?  Check out these Billboard World Charts from 1967, sent in by FH Reader Clark Besch.  Chicago's Buckinghams has as many as three Top Ten Records at the same time over there in the islands!  (Looks like The Monkees were pretty popular too!) 

Clark sent in this note (and chart photos) after reading our comment last week about Al Kooper giving The Bucks a shout out in his weekly "New Music For Old People" column.  (kk)
>>>And, speaking of The Buckinghams, our FH Buddy Al Kooper gave them a shout-out in this week's "New Music For Old People" column ... dedicated to great Beatles covers recorded over the years.  (He singled out their version of "I'll Be Back" from their "Time And Charges" album.)  

For Al and Kent and the rest, 
The Buckinghams were huge in the Philippines in 67 and 68.  I thought I'd enclose just how big they were, and in particular, the Bucks' version of "I'll Be Back"!!!  It debuted in their top 10 in Billboard's "Hits of the World" (Hey Joel Whitburn, how about doing a book on these?) on 11/4/67 at #10 just as "Don't You Care" rose to #1.  Obviously, from these charts, Monkeemania is in full swing, yet the Bucks really hold the top better in this country.  After a slow climb to #1, the Beatles cover finally reaches #1 at Christmastime, just as THREE Bucks 45s are in the top 10 now!  Two weeks later, they hold 3 in the top 7!  I think "I'll Be Back" held #1 for 9 weeks in a row, if I remember right.  I did these jpegs years ago.  Finally, after 26 weeks in the Philippines top 10, it's last week was 4/27/68, while "Susan" is moving up!    That's NOT half a year in the Philippines Top 100, but 26 weeks in the TOP 10!!!  How do you sell that many 45s in a country of 7100 islands totaling (in 1967) 32 million people (3.1 in Manilla)?  That's what I call blanketing a country!! 
I had absolutely NO idea The Buckinghams were that popular over there.  (Incredibly, I remember seeing a chart many years ago where The New Colony Six had the #1 Record in Hawaii with "Long Time To Be Alone", one of my all-time favorites by them, that barely made a dent on the charts anywhere else.  In fact, the record did so well, it earned the group a trip to Hawaii for live performances!)  kk

re:  THE ORLONS:  
>>>Steve Caldwell (the "one man" mentioned in your email) has participated with Forgotten Hits a few times over the years ... maybe he can provide some additional insight into your question.  Several years ago, he resurrected The Orlons and began performing again around the Philadelphia area.  As far as I know they are still performing assorted gigs.  (Maybe he'll see this and let us know how he's doing.  Would love to hear from him again!)  kk

Hey Kent ...
I was reading the Newsletter today,and there was a letter about Stephen Caldwell and The Orlons. Stephen and The Orlons are doing well, playing shows pretty consistently. I've seen a lot of Steve over the past few months. He was backstage at our show in Collingswood with Dennis Tufano, Mark Lindsay, Ron Dante and Lou Christie. 
I thought I would attach a poster for an upcoming show we are doing with The Orlons! Maybe some of the FH Readers will make a road trip to attend. It's gonna be a blast!! 
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords

Still hoping that we'll hear from Steve ... I told him that Forgotten Hits is a GREAT place to stay in touch with your fans as well as promote upcoming appearances and special events.  Thanks, Mitch!  (kk)

And, I no sooner opened Mitch's email than I received this one from FH Reader (and dee jay) Gerri Bender! 

Hi Kent!  
I am sure that Mitch Schecter has let you know that The Rip Chords and The Orlons (with Stephen Caldwell) will be performing a show at the Sellersville Theatre, in Sellersville, PA, on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Tickets went on sale December 10th! Had to chime in as it was your "introduction" of Mitch and I several years ago (when I won three Mitch Schecter solo Cds, that are awesome, by the way) that has led to a beautiful friendship! 
Happy Holidays to you and the family! Keep up the good work! 
Gerri Bender 
Gerri's Place - Sunday Evenings 7-10 PM EST WRDV-FM  
Hey, if any of our readers make it out to this show, please report back to us ... we'd love to hear all about it!  (kk)  

Got this from a brand-new FH subscriber ... 

Thanks for including me in the mix.  
I see some of my “old” and current friend’s names and their comments here.  
Your research is stellar ... if awards for the best info on the music of the  50’s are ever awarded, you’ll be in the limelight.  
George Buetow 
Founding member - The Missing Links  
P.S.  BTW, the first 45 I purchased was “Rockin’ Robin” by Bobby Day.  
We had a 20 record Seeburg Jukebox in the basement of our home and stacks of 78’s.  
Wish I still had them. 
Thanks, George ... I think you're gonna like it here. 
A brand new Google stat shows me how many first-time visitors discovered our website last week ... 1792 ... wow!  Pretty impressive (since I didn't do ANYTHING new in the way of advertising or promoting!!!)  That just means word of mouth continues to be good  (which means I guess I'll keep it going for another week or two ... or sixty!!!)  Shows you yet again the HUNGER out there for "oldies" ... no matter WHAT those knuckleheads programming radio today may tell you.  Thanks, folks!  (kk)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fab Four Friday

The Beatles are all over the news again this week ... for any variety of reasons.

First and foremost is the upcoming release (on Tuesday) of "The Beatles Bootlegs", 59 tracks never before commercially released from their BBC Sessions.  (Two double CD's of legitimate recordings also exist, including a brand new release from just a few weeks ago.)
As mentioned the other day in FH, it's all part of clearing the decks in order to protect expiring copyrights due to a change in the laws that would allow this material (unreleased or not) to fall into public domain.  As such, we're going to get a wave of material that was never considered good enough to release before ... but now suddenly is!  (I will admit that there WAS a time in my life when it was important for me to own ... or at least hear ... ever note The Beatles ever put down in the recording studio ... but I've thankfully passed that stage now ... and quite honestly am I little bit surprised that The Beatles themselves would be supportive of this release as they ALWAYS prided themselves on only putting their best effort forward, locking away everything else that got them there in the vault.  I suppose after the release ... and success ... of the Anthology series ... three double CD sets that did big business several years ago ... followed by the success of their two sets of BBC Sessions ... as well as the complete re-release of their entire music catalog with enhanced sound ... they've come to realize that the public will buy virtually ANYTHING "new" by The Fab Four that they haven't heard or had access to before!)  For MY money, I don't need to hear six takes of "Misery", a best forgotten early track from their first British LP in 1963 ... the only final take is good enough for me.

The Bootleg Series is being released as digital downloads only, much like the Brian Wilson set that David Beard told us about the other day.  I'm curious as to what they're going to charge for these short little snippets.  (A quick check of iTunes this morning doesn't give us an answer to this question ... but we DID find a complete list of all 59 tracks that will make their debut next Tuesday):

Hi Kent,
The Big Beat 1963 Beach Boys/Brian Wilson release sounds like an interesting one.  I definitely look forward to it.  I did some searching and came up with an article with a track listing for The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963.  Of course I cannot guarantee it’s authenticity, but it is very likely the actual track list since the scheduled release date of the songs is only 5 days away.  You can check it out here:
Les Peterson

It was also announced this week that The Beatles will be presented with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at The Grammys next February.  (A long overdue event if you ask me!  In fact, it's kinda disappointing to see the company they've been lumped into ... similar awards will be awarded to The Isley Brothers, Kraftwerk and Kris Kristofferson!)

You've probably already heard about the signed $1.00 bill with all four Beatles' signatures on it that failed to reach its minimum bid reserve on eBay a couple of weeks ago.  Then, it finally found a buyer ... but the sale fell through ... so it reportedly went back up on the auction block again ... and ultimately sold for just over $25,000!!!  It's a very rare piece of Beatles memorabilia in that it was signed BEFORE Beatlemania hit here in The States, just prior to The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
File under:  Now THAT'S Annoying!!!
I guess it's a Good News / Bad News scenario.
The balance of The Beatles' US Album configurations are FINALLY being released in January ... the catch is they'll be coming out as a CD Box Set, meaning the eight that I've already purchased (each packaged in the original US artwork with both the mono and stereo versions on the same disc) will have to be bought AGAIN!!!  (Why do they do this?!?!?)
Ironically, noted Beatles historian Bruce Spizer and I were just talking about these the other day, wondering if, now that Apple had released the definitive upgraded versions of all of their British configuration LPs, the Capitol project had been abandoned.  Well, apparently not.  And this report (see link below) indicates that most of these releases WILL be available for individual purchase, too, for a limited time. (So maybe I'm OK after all!)  
Oddly enough, this will not be a COMPLETE collection ... albums that had the same track line-up will not be re-released in conjunction with this new set (meaning albums like "Sgt. Pepper", "The White Album", "Yellow Submarine", "Magical Mystery Tour", "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be" will NOT be part of this new collection.)  On the plus side, I can FINALLY add "Hey Jude", "Yesterday And Today" and the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack back into my collection.
This music is very special to me as this is the way I heard it growing up I know Capitol Records took a lot of flack over the years for "butchering" The Beatles' releases here in The States, but this is the way I know this music ... and it has never sounded right in its British configuration.  (Saddest news is that we won't be treated to the mono version of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which is also the way I will always hear THAT album in my head ... I've always found the mono version to sound far superior than the stereo version.) 
Here's more from Vintage Vinyl News:
On February 7, 1964, The Beatles touched down on U.S. soil for the first time. This coming February, New York and the NYC BEATLES 50 Committee will be hosting several celebratory events and gala concerts across the city, with proceeds benefiting Food Bank For New York City.
Special events highlighting NYC BEATLES 50 will include a star-studded concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, the gala, ‘America Celebrates the Beatles All-Star Concert’ and more. Additionally, there are all-day lineups of bands planned on Saturday and Sunday, February 8-9 throughout the city.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration highlights the number 50 throughout the series of events, with 50 bands from 50 countries having been invited to perform in New York City, and most tickets will be priced at only $50 each.
This city-wide, globally-inclusive series of events and shows to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles visit to the United States is still adding artists, celebrity presenters and panelists.
For more information or to inquire about participating as a musical artist or sponsor, please contact Kathryn Musilek:
Stay tuned for updates, artist lineup and additions to come. Tickets will go on sale shortly to coincide with the launch of the website
Feb. 6, 2014 - “Twist & Shout: New York Celebrate The Beatles” at the Apollo Theater
Feb. 7, 2013 – “America Celebrates the Beatles, All-Star Concert”
Feb. 8, 2014 - “Across The Universe” Beatles Music Festival
Feb. 9, 2014 - “Across The Universe” Beatles Music Festival
More events to be announced: Stay tuned
Advisory Board Members:
The Family of Sid Bernstein
"Cousin Brucie" Bruce Morrow (Sirius / XM)
Dick Cavett (Legendary Television Personality)
Dennis D'Amico (I Do Music / Reviver Records)
"Little" Anthony Gourdine (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)
Bill Heckle (The Cavern Club, Liverpool)
Tommy James (Singer / Songwriter / Musician / Author)
Spanky McFarlane (Spanky & Our Gang, Mamas & Papas)
Ken Michaels (Every Little Thing Radio Show)
Marvin Scott (WPIX News Senior Correspondent)
Shannon (World-famous Beatles & Rock Artist)
Dave Winfield (former NY Yankees Hall of Fame player)
About Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 30 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of  community-based member programs citywide, Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. Learn how you can help at
For more information, contact
Kathryn Musilek at Shark Party Media:

And, let's face it, you can't talk about The Beatles ... and New York City ... without mentioning John Lennon ... who called New York his home for the last years of his life.  Lennon was recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.  The ceremony coincided with the anniversary of his murder, incredibly 33 years ago.   
John Lennon was remembered in a moving tribute at his star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sunday, December 8, 2013, on the 33rd anniversary of his death. Many fans gathered at the celebration, organized by peace activist Jerry Rubin and Breakfast With the Beatles radio show host Chris Carter to commemorate John and pay homage to his music and his life. Pat Tyson has sent us her report of the event and pictures for our readers.
Full Story:

Lennon's name is also attached to this project:
HEART, Yoko Ono, Jackson Browne, Melissa Etheridge, Nils Lofgren, Little Steven and Indigo Girls are just a few of the many artists who have come together to lend a helping hand to Tunes4Food - Redemption Day, a newly released CD on Popadelic Records that will benefit three Feeding America Food Banks: Food Bank of Western New York in Buffalo, Cleveland Food Bank and Long Island Cares/The Harry Chapin Food Bank in Hauppauge, New York.
Available now on iTunes for $9.99 ( and eBay (in packs of 2, 3 or 10 ranging from $25 - $100 that all include free shipping and promo stickers), Tunes4Food - Redemption Day features nineteen tracks in all (see below for track listing).
Trying to answer the question, "What would John Lennon do to help feed the needy?," Bob James and a group of music students in Buffalo, New York came up with the idea for Tunes4Food and quickly organized a continuous 25-hour benefit concert on the steps of City Hall (June 2009).
"Distinct from crisis-driven benefits, this is a proactive campaign to address the growing need for help not only in these particular communities, but across our country," says campaign manager and project producer James. "Unfortunately, hunger is a growing epidemic but, with this drive, I think we can make a measurable difference."
It's been determined that for every Tunes4Food - Redemption Day CD sold, the Feeding America Food Banks can purchase approximately 40 meals.
Links to purchase the CD can be found on the Tunes4Food website at
To further advance the cause, winter events and local musical performances have been scheduled in the three cities of the benefiting food banks, with a spring benefit being planned for Los Angeles.
"It's amazing that a small grassroots community service music club in a Buffalo classroom has drawn together some of the biggest names in music," comments Bob James, who was recognized by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1999 for a music campaign relating to school safety in the Buffalo area. 
"We have deep appreciation for the artists and their staff that helped build this album. We hope that the meals generated to feed those in need will be received in that spirit and we challenge musicians in other communities to adopt this idea."
As stated by Feeding America, "Hunger exists everywhere in America. It does not matter if you live in a urban, suburban or rural setting - hunger has no boundaries."
Help the cause and spread the word.
For more information, please contact Jeff Albright / The Albright Entertainment Group at or Bob James / Tunes4Food at (Tunes4Food is a 501C3 IRS recognized charity)
Follow Tunes4Food on Twitter at
This CD is dedicated to the songs, lives and courage of Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.

"John Lennon was quoted as saying he wanted to be remembered as a famous peacenik, and he worked tirelessly to get the anti-war message out during his lifetime. Our song, 'Dear Old America' speaks through the eyes of a young soldier in 2013 struggling with the reality of modern war and its painful effects on our world and its families. We dedicate this song to all those wounded and in need." 
With Love, Ann Wilson, HEART 

"Given the abundant planet we live on, there should be no hungry people anywhere, including America. Please support this worthy cause however you can. We can all help and solution are our collective responsibility."
Nils Lofgren, Guitarist, Songwriter & E STREET BAND Member

1) Apathy Isn't It - VoxOne (John Lennon spoken word c/o Yoko Ono)
2) World's a Mess - The Verbs
3) Dear Old America - HEART
4) Redemption #9 - Bethany Fonda & Ana Vafai
5) Philosophy of Loss (live) - Indigo Girls
6) The Birds of St. Marks (live) - Jackson Browne
7) Book of 7 Secrets - Ana Vafai, Grace Lougen
8) Hello Birmingham - Ani DiFranco
9) Good People, Dirty Lives - Alison Pipitone
10) Hard Times In America (live) - Willie Nile
11) The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again - Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers
12) Open Up Your Eyes - Pete Mroz
13) When You Are Loved - Nils Lofgren
14) Salvation - Little Steven
15) One Guitar - Stevie Fleck & The Love Parade
16) All We Can Really Do (live) - Melissa Etheridge
17) Redemption Day - Grace Stumberg, Will McFarlane + The Local Saints
18) Red 11 - Bob James, Will McFarlane + The Local Saints
19) Sunny Side / Hard Times (Mash-Up) - The Sunnyside Players with Sara, Bethany, Ana, Taryn, Grace, Emmi, Howard & Bob

Meanwhile the fund-raising CD for The Phillipines (featuring two Beatles tracks) hit #1 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart last week.  (It has since been displaced by the new Garth Brooks box set.)  Great to see that these guys can still earn a buck or two, isn't it?!?!?  (Honestly, it IS kinda funny to see The Beatles charting right along side today's hottest teen sensation, One Direction!  lol  Especially since THEIR material is now 50 years old!)  kk

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More This And That

Sounds like a couple of you are tearing out what may remain of your hair over this one!!! (Hey, I told you it wouldn't be easy!!!)  On the other hand, hopefully you're finding it challenging and fun. (As of this morning we've got a real horse race going on ... four readers are neck-and-neck to win a copy of Joel's brand new book The Billboard Best Sellers And Hot 100 Charts of the 1950's.)
You still have until 10 pm Chicago time tomorrow night to get your entries in.
We'll announce the winner on Sunday ... and run the complete set of answers early next week.  Meanwhile, get your entry in before tomorrow's deadline for YOUR chance to win a copy of this great new book!   

I'm missing 14 answers. That's not gonna be good enough. Jack  
Nope ... not with this crowd it isn't!!!  (lol)  But you've still got time to dig a little deeper ... so I say go for it!  (kk) 

Hi Kent,
I'm trying to decide if this was a cruel trick or an early Christmas present! Oh my! The synapses are burning now! What a cruel trick to offer a super 50's trivia contest at the busiest time of the year! What a terrific marketing ploy to help Joel sell his super book! 
I browsed through the questions ... what a devious mind he has! How wonderful to rekindle joyous memories from our innocent youth. I have put off doing the quiz until a quieter time after Christmas ... (then I can use his book as a reference!) and take pleasure in the discovering the answers and learning other aspects and secrets of the great era the fifties were.
Merry Christmas to you and to all the FH readers, supporters, and contributors! And to all my friends from "Music Oldies" who enjoy this wonderful chronicle of our unequaled journey towards adulthood.
Happy New Year,

After wrapping up his three years residency at The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Garth Brooks is hitting the road again ... and in a very big way.  He has just announced a world tour, beginning in 2014.  (Guess he missed performing after all!)  I expect this to be a VERY hot ticket.  More details to come.  (kk)    

Revised copyright laws is making for some very interesting digital releases.  FH Reader David Beard tells us about an upcoming Brian Wilson release  
Click here: Brian Wilson's "The Big Beat 1963" - National Beach Boys |   
And also how these new laws have caused record labels to open the vaults and release previously unheard material by Bob Dylan and The Beatles!  Interesting stuff!  (kk)   

In your column today about the soundtrack album from MARY POPPINS being nominated for the Grammy Hall of Fame, I agree with you that it is somewhat hard to believe. When I first read that, I thought immediately of the New Christy Minstrels' tune out of 1965 CHIM CHIM CHEREE which was played on local top 40 radio stations. The reason I remember it real well as that one of our local DJ's would turn the record over and play the flip side, THEY GOTTA QUIT KICKIN' MY DOG AROUND. Always liked that tune over the "A" side of the record. 
I think people tend to forget just how big the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack really was back in '65.  It held down the #1 Spot on Billboard's Albums Chart for fourteen weeks, the longest stretch of the entire year, holding even The Beatles at bay during some of that time.  
Consider this ... "Mary Poppins" was #1 for 14 weeks ... The Beatles spent a total of 24 weeks on top that year ... but that was spread out over THREE albums ... "Beatles '65" (9 weeks), "Beatles VI" (6 weeks) and "Help!" (9 weeks).  That accounts for 38 of the 52 weeks.  What other albums topped the charts in 1965?  One by Elvis ("Roustabout", #1 for a week), one by The Rolling Stones ("Out Of Our Heads", #1 for 3 weeks) and "Whipped Cream and Other Delights" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, which held down the top spot for eight straight weeks.  (Hmm ... that sounds like an interesting album ... I wonder what the album cover looks like???)  
The remaining five weeks were filled with more movie soundtracks ... "Goldfinger" (#1 for three weeks) and "The Sound Of Music" (#1 for two weeks ... and all over the media again this past week after Carrie Underwood's "questionable" performance.)  That means that soundtrack albums occupied the top spot for 29 weeks in 1965.  (Remember, "Roustabout" and "Help!" were soundtrack albums, too!) 
As for The New Christy Minstrels, they clearly had a sense of humor.  One of my all-time favorite tracks by them is their version of "Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips", a song I first discovered on The Dr. Demento Show!  (kk)

Always interested in Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. I did not know about Thelma or Mary back then. When I heard them on the radio, I did not know a woman was in the group. Nice to know it now! 
Please subscribe me to your newsletter! 
I'm a First Edition fan, too.  We've covered them several times over the years.  For those who'd like to catch up, may I suggest:  
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Search results for first edition

Here's a real "feel good" video clip, just in time for the holidays ... reminds you of what they're really supposed to be all about.  Sent in by FH Reader Chuck Buell.  Thanks, Chuck!  (kk)  
Check This Out!
CB  (which also stands for "Christmas Boy!"  Ho-Ho-Ho!!) 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Our readers came through again!!!  (In fact, we're batting 1000 for last week's posts!)  Read on ... 

After posting this comment last Thursday ...  

>>>I came across your website while searching for an old song that my father used to play many years ago. I believe the song was produced in the 1960 - 1970 era. I am desperate to find this song, I have searched for the lyrics and everything I can possibly think of to find the song and keep coming up empty. 
Here are the lyrics ... if you know of the song or the artist I would appreciate it so much! This would mean the world to us, to be able to find the song again. A man sings the song and the backup singers or group sings a lot during the chorus. We think the song was on the B-side of a 45 and not a widely popular song. Here is the song ... 
She was dreamed up in Detroit, on a Saturday afternoon ... and she sure looked good on paper at the time 
Then they started to produce her, back in 1964.. and she's become a legend in her time! 
- She was a Ford GT, headed for the Grand Prix ... She set a track record, with a low ET 
- Now the Maserati couldn't shake her, NO, NO, The Ferrari couldn't take her, No, No ... The Lotus couldn't shake her, She was a Ford GT. 
Chorus repeats twice, I believe ... 
Last verse: 
I wasn't there myself, but I saw the film.
At the end he says ... 
I'm gonna see a man about a Ford GT, and as the song fades you hear " Turn It On, Turn It On, GT Ford" sang over and over by the backup group.  
Thanks for any help if you can offer it!  
(Melinda  Adams)  

... we got this link from FH Reader Vibramutant (aka The Vibeman):   

Click here: ? Jackie & The Giants - FORD G.T. - YouTube  

It was, in fact, a B-Side ... the flip of one of those "Hit Records" sound-alike singles that copied Peter and Gordon's hit "I Go To Pieces", also shown below.  (Not a bad version ... we used to perform this song, too!)  We've covered Hit Records several times before in Forgotten Hits ... that's the  label based out of Nashville that would release sound-alike versions of the latest hits on the radio and then sell them for a fraction of the price to (most often) unsuspecting music fans thinking they were getting a great bargain on a hot new release that they just heard on the radio.  (Check out our list of complete titles, submitted by Paul Urbahns a short while back):  Click here: "Music is fun for everyone"- The "Hit" Records Project  

The Vibeman  

Click here: ? Jackie & The Giants (I Go To Pieces) (Ford G.T.) Hit Records 185.wmv - YouTube  

Meanwhile, I think we made Melinda's day ... and right before the holidays, too!!! 

That's so amazing! Thank you so much, he is going to be so excited!

And now maybe we can help HIM out as well ... see his note below!  

Thanks kk!
I wish some one could tell me the song that came out in the late 70's early 80's era that sounded like the style of Jigsaw... "Sky High" and Pilot ...."Magic" that said in it's lyrics ..."You're a bag of blivet!" My sister remembered it from the radio station WROQ in Charlotte NC but it stumps me to give her the answer. The only song that has ever stumped me in a question.  

And then ...  

>>>Who are the musicians backing up Davy Jones on the PBS Special that ran last week? Specifically I was curious about the woman dancing with him who also sings and plays tambourine.  She kind of favored him and wondered whether it was a daughter?  (AJ)    
Kent -
You had a reader ask this week who was the woman dancing with the late Davy Jones during last weekend’s PBS-TV 60s special.  That was Davy’s third wife, Jessica Pacheco.  
-Tom Cuddy

Yep, I can see why our reader would think that was Davy's daughter!!!  (Wonder if that had something to do with his ticker giving out?!?!  But what a way to go!)  kk   

Which begs another Davy question ...   

Hi Kent, 
I was watching the My Music last night on PBS and was wondering if you knew who the backup singers were singing behind Davy Jones?  They were four black men all dressed in the same suits and then there was also a girl playing tambourine and a guy playing guitar as well.  I thought they were wonderful as well as Davy.  Thanks so much for the info.  I love these specials. 
Paula Baroch 
Great Falls, Montana  

Billy J. Kramer and I are spearheading a project to get Brian Epstein nominated and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I can't believe he's been overlooked all these years! 
I'll give you details as we progress.  We sure could use the support of all your readers.
I'll keep you posted, ol' buddy.
Bob Rush  

A valiant effort, to be sure ... but, unfortunately, a waste of time ... the folks running The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame truly couldn't care less about what we music fans or the artists think ... they have their own agenda and don't respond to any outside suggestions.  (For that matter why isn't Ed Sullivan in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?!?!  He brought this music to MILLIONS every single week ... and introduced us to all the latest sounds for over twenty years!)  I've seen petitions signed by over 10,000 people that went absolutely nowhere. 
Hate to burst your bubble, but this is the sad, sad reality of how this organization is run.  Even these past two years where fans are allowed to vote for the artists nominated by their own committee is a bit of a joke.  The winning artist based on outside fan support (regardless of how many accumulated votes that artist may have received) ultimately receives ONE vote on the final ballot (of approximately 500 total votes cast.)  This is NOT an organization "for the people".  That being said, this year's ballot is the most interesting one we've seen in YEARS!!!  That's because there were such slim pickings for newly eligible artists this year.  (New artists become eligible 25 years after their first recording ... the only one making the ballot this year was Nirvanna ... leaving the door open for them to dip into the vaults a little deeper and FINALLY acknowledge deserving artists like Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Yes, Deep Purple and The Zombies, artists WE have been supporting for YEARS to take their rightful place within their hallowed halls.  (Other nominees this year include The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Kiss, Link Wray, Cat Stevens, Chic and Peter Gabriel.)  I failed to mention L.L. Cool J, The Meters, The Replacements and N.W.A. ... yes, that's right ... Niggaz With Attitude ... because I consider these artists to be Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame "givens" ... EVERYBODY worldwide their impressive body of work ... in fact, most of us can't get their songs out of our heads ... right?!?!?  (kk)   

Kent ... 
I have a question for Joel Whitburn, if you don't mind.  It's about the Orlons, a Philadelphia group, made up of three ladies and one man. 1962 to 1964 were their best years. 
My Billboard book and Norm N. Nite's book say that Shirley Brickley was lead singer. Other internet sources say that Rosetta Hightower was lead singer for most of their hits. I'd like to know which one is correct.    
Frank B.  
Whitburn's book says that Rosetta Hightower sang the leads ... and tells us that Shirley Brickley was shot to death in 1977 ... so technically we already HAVE his answer. 
Steve Caldwell (the "one man" mentioned in your email) has participated with Forgotten Hits a few times over the years ... maybe he can provide some additional insight into your question. 
In the meantime, I checked the liner notes from the "Best Of The Orlons" CD released a few years ago (when ABKCO Records FINALLY opened the vaults and released the Cameo / Parkway material on CD.) 
It sounds like the lead singer of The Orlons was a bit of a revolving door there at the beginning ... 
Jeff Tamarkin tells us that it was Steve Caldwell who first handled the leads!  Then, when the label execs that this wasn't quite the sound they were looking for, they told The Orlons "that each of the girls would be asked to sing lead the next time the group came in" to the studio to record. Their first single for Cameo was the standard "I'll Be True" ... and on THIS record, the lead vocal was handled by Marlena Davis (the only girl you DIDN'T mention in your email!)  This record failed to chart so on the follow-up single ("Mr. Twenty-One") the lead vocal went to Shirley Brickley. 
It wasn't until their third release that The Orlons broke through on the charts ... "The Wah-Watusi" went all the way to #2 ... and Rosetta Hightower was "now installed as The Orlons' primary lead vocalist."  Tamarkin says that Steve Caldwell's rich baritone came into his own "as an essential component of the group's vocal mix ... The Orlons had stumbled upon a recognizable sound."  For their next hit ("Don't Hang Up" ... another Top Five smash) Caldwell used what came to be known as his "frog voice" ... listen to the "No No" next time and see if you agree! 
After disbanding in 1964, Rosetta Hightower moved to England, where she recorded background vocals on records by John Lennon and Joe Cocker.  Several years ago, Caldwell resurrected The Orlons and began performing again around the Philadelphia area.  As far as I know they are still performing assorted gigs.  (Maybe he'll see this and let us know how he's doing.  Would love to hear from him again!)  kk  

Hey Kent,  
I'm up listening to the Nick Digilio Show on WGN on-line. He just had an interview with Denny Tedesco. He was promoting the fund raiser for "The Wrecking Crew" ... It was a good interview.  
Mike Mertes  
It's a GREAT tribute to these fine musicians ... and it deserves to be seen.  We're down to just over a week now to raise the money for The Wrecking Crew's Kickstarter campaign.  FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us a link to an article that appeared in The New Yorker over the weekend ... and below that we've run the Kickstarter link again for any last minute donations you guys might feel inspired to make.  SO close ... I hate to see them miss it now.  Full info on the site.  (As of this morning they're still $65,000 shy of their goal ... if they don't reach that goal, they don't collect a penny.)  kk  
Click here: The Session Musicians Who Dominated Nineteen-Sixties Pop : The New Yorker 
Click here: "The Wrecking Crew" The Untold Story of Rock & Roll Heroes by Denny Tedesco — Kickstarter