Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 01 - 19 - 14 )

re:  50 Years Ago:  
You might want to mention that this coming week marks the 50th anniversary of the debut (at #80) of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on the Cash Box Top 100. It's the chart dated 1/11/64, which (as was the case with all three major trade charts) was a Saturday week-ending date; i.e., the issue was published on Saturday, Jan. 4, and appeared on newsstands the following Monday.)
Randy Price
These dates get tricky ... our own local charts, for example, would be announced on Friday ... that's when Dex Card would play down the brand new WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... and I remember a few years back when we got all kinds of flack for celebrating what WE felt was the correct anniversary of The Beatles holding down The Top Five Spots on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart because we were using the "week ending date", meaning that they actually assumed those positions seven days earlier ... only to find that Billboard themselves saluted the chart date as THE date rather than the fact that it clearly said "week ending" before that date on their published chart.
Since then, we've adopted the same approach ... and you'll see that as we salute the coming of The Beatles and the whole British Invasion, we'll consistently address our dates based on the date shown on any given chart.  Also, for consistency's sake, we'll only be addressing these records' performance in Billboard Magazine and the WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... although we WILL be running a variety of 1964 charts throughout the year as part of our brand new Saturday Surveys feature.  As such, you'll find "I Want To Hold Your Hand" listed as premiering in Billboard on January 18th (the Saturday date) at #45 and on WLS on January 17th (the Friday date) at #40.  (kk)

In NYC, we got a head start on I Want To Hold Your Hand which was already #1 this week, 50 years ago.
The Beatles (cocky Brits that they were) said that they would not come to America until they had a #1 Hit here.  In hindsight, it really wasn't that bold a request ... they had already topped the charts all over Europe ... and in Great Britain alone "I Want To Hold Your Hand" would be their FOURTH straight #1 single (following "Please Please Me", "From Me To You" and "She Loves You".)  I think at this point they were pretty confident of their appeal ... America still seemed HUGE to them ... and no British act had ever really conquered here before.  (Before I get a TON of emails, yes, The Tornados hit #1 here in The States before The Beatles did ... but pandemonium did not then ensue ... nor did they ever have another hit to speak of here.  And "Please Please Me", while never OFFICIALLY #1 on the main chart in Great Britain DID reach #1 in virtually every other ancillary chart.  I consider "Twist And Shout" a #1 Hit here in America for the same reason ... the ONLY major U.S. Trade that didn't show it there was Billboard ... it was #1 across the land and in all the other major music publications.)
This is going to be (as Peter Noone once described it) a "fun romp through time" as we pay tribute to all of the songs and artists that turned our world upside down back in 1964.  Yes, it started with The Beatles ... but it certainly didn't end there.  (kk)   

I began thinking about this as I read the pieces about the 50th anniversary Beatles tribute. 
Go back to the mid to late 60's and think about E. Rodney Jones, Bill "Butterball" Crane, Ed Cook and the golden voice of Herb Kent on WVON. 
kk, you are the man ... the leader of the pack. In 2015, there should be some type of celebration to salute the impact 'VON had on radio ... not just local radio, but American radio in general. As you now, the station was billing a bundle in those days.  
I'll never forget being invited to sit in with Butterball and Rodney as they did their shows. I was just a grass-green white kid who was enamored by Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson and Motown. The Regal and Spann's "Burning Spear' became my regular hangouts.   
Can you imagine seeing the original Temptations for just two bucks as I did at the Regal?!?  
WVON earned and deserves a big time 24 karat gold PROP!  Chet Coppock  
Host: Chicago Blackhawks Heritage Series  
Actually they just had their big 50th Anniversary Celebration ... and they aired vintage clips all day long ... then toasted themselves with a party and concert that evening.  I'll betcha you could EASILY assemble a crew of folks (fans, loyal listeners and jocks) to do it again!  (kk) 

How about this anniversary?: The Northridge Earthquake (that's where my wife and I lived at the time ... nightmare!!! 
Davie Allan 
Focusing on the GOOD memories from 50 years ago, Davie!  (lol) In Forgotten Hits, it was The Beatles and The British Invasion that rocked our world!  (kk)   

Hi Kent:  
On the January 12 issue of WRIT in Milwaukee, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” starts at #7.

Tommy Roe's connection to the Beatles in 1963 has resulted in his participation in the Fab Four anniversary celebrations -- but what about the other headliner on that tour: Chris Montez?   I went to Chris' website to see what he was doing in conjunction with the anniversary and was surprised to learn that the most recent entries in his performance schedule are from 2011.   Does anyone know what's going on with Chris?  
Gary Theroux  
Actually, we heard from Chris about a week ago ... he was one of the artists outraged by the complete mishandling of The Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert by the scumbag who scampered off with all the money!  I know that he's still performing and doing shows ... and have NO idea why his website is so out of date.  (I do know that he's performing at this year's Surf Ballroom Winter Dance Party ... as is Tommy Roe ... but my understanding is that all of these shows have long since sold out.)  
Click here: Schedule of Events - Surf Ballroom  
Since we heard from him through one of our readers (who got the notification through Chris' Facebook Page), we asked her to please have Chris contact us and bring us up to date on his latest comings and goings.  Haven't heard anything back yet ... but as soon as we do, we'll be sure to pass the info along!  (kk)  

You are absolutely right that the Billboard Hot 100 chart of January 18, 1964 marked a turning point in American popular culture.  May I make some other points about that week's music? 
Just as they rose, others fell.  Some artists who had long been fixtures on the American pop music scene started their decline then.  "Forget Him" (#4) would be Bobby Rydell's last Top 40 hit.  "For You" (#19) would be Rick Nelson's last Top 20 hit until the quirky "Garden Party" in 1972.  Chubby Checker, already in decline from his "Twist" days, had two songs that week: "Hooka Tooka" (#30) and "Loddy Lo" (#36); he wouldn't have a Top 20 hit for the rest of the 1960s.  "Whispering" by Nino Tempo and April Stevens (#11) would be their last Top 20 recording. 
As Forgotten Hits has pointed out many times, one characteristic of the British Invasion was the covering, by British artists, of American songs -- and the new records' eclipsing the popularity of the originals.  This week, the Billboard survey has one: "Do-Wah-Diddy" by the Exciters (#79), later redone by Manfred Mann, who added an extra "Diddy" to the title.  (On next week's survey, two more appear: "Gonna Send You Back to Georgia" by Timmy Shaw, redone by the Animals as "Gonna Send You Back to Walker," and "When You Walk in the Room" by Jackie DeShannon, later redone by the Searchers.) 
Henry McNulty 
Cheshire, Connecticut 
I think it'll be interesting to watch it all unfold again, exactly as it happened (with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.)  At the time everybody thought this was some crazy new fad which, too, would pass ... but 50 years later we'll still talking about it ... because this music changed the world.  Thanks, Henry!  Stay tuned ... lots more to come!  (kk)   

re:  Survey Says:  
Forgotten Hits Readers are enjoying our new Saturday Surveys Feature.  A reminder from Jack Levin ... if you're a survey collector, he will be at The Chicagoland Record Show all day today in Hillside, IL, with a stack full of surveys to sell!  

The Messengers 45 “That’s The Way A Woman Is” is the 2nd largest local hit ever in Milwaukee. #1 for three weeks in ’71.   
If you notice #34 on your 1-16-65 survey from Ohio, it’s by “Cherilyn”. That is the first solo chart hit by Cher! 
Somebody on the list sent me some Canadian charts and I was looking through them yesterday ... I was surprised to see Andy Kim charting in Canada in 1964 ... four years before any of us down here knew who he was!  They were even promoting an upcoming concert by Andy as well as an in-studio interview.  (Of course Cher ALMOST charted earlier as Bonnie Jo Mason with her tribute to Ringo, "Ringo, I Love You"!)  kk

This if FYI. Here in OKC the song by Robert Goulet peaked at #17. Also records by Andy Williams and Jack Jones were on the surveys. Your traditional rock and roll singers.
Also, on WLLB's survey at song position #16 with Bobby Goldsboro's PLEDGE OF LOVE, that song peaked at #5 here in OKC. Don't believe, however, it charted nationally. But it was a huge hit.

Hello Kent, 
I don't believe you when you say you can't recall that Robert Goulet hit ... cripes, it was high on the Greatest Mob Hits playlist!!! And you say you are from Chicago? As soon as I read the title 'My love scusa me arriverderci roma scusa me!' raced through my mind ha ha
It's song like that I learned my limited Italian! ha ha!
Once again the weekly chart lists are wonderful and we are off to a great start. I received Joel Whitburn's "Hot Country Songs" for Christmas, another gem to pass the time with as I sit snowed in after the weatherman predicted slight precipitation! ha ha
It's the Best Football Day of the Year Sunday .. enjoy and Go Pats. (  I still remember 86 ;(    )  
Enjoy the day.
I've been trying to substantiate reports that Elvis shot up his radio the first time he heard Robert Goulet sing "My Love, Forgive Me" ... but so far I've come up empty.  I guess for now we'll just have to let that TV incident stand alone.  (kk)  

Hi Kent, 
WIXY was huge around here, even though it was not a powerful signal.  I loved that they had a Top 60 chart, which they counted down at least once a week.  I always listened to hear the obscure songs near the bottom of their Top 60.  WHK had a Top 40, but they changed their format shortly after WIXY started playing rock music.  KYW / WKYC had a Top 22, but after WIXY went to Top 60, WKYC briefly switched to Top 44, and expanded their playlist quite a bit. The other station that was big here was CKLW, which came in very clearly across Lake Erie. 
I'm looking forward to your new feature.  I still have all of my old charts, both from the radio stations, and my personal charts that I did for about 6 years.  I started with a Top 20, quickly went to Top 40, briefly tried to do a Top 100 like Billboard, and eventually settled on Top 50. 
Back in the days when I made my own charts, I called it The Sound 60 Survey ... there was just too much good music out there to limit the list to 20 or 40 tunes!  (lol)  I wish I still had those ... held on to them for years before finally tossing them.  It'd be fun to look back at them now.  (I based my chart on the combination of the national trades and our local Chicagoland Charts to come up with a more representative "midwest" chart ... in my own mind anyway!) I think a lot of people are going to dig this new feature ... hoping readers will start to send in copies of charts from their own collections.  (kk)  

It was great to see local Cleveland  band Bocky and The Visions "I'm Not Worth It" at #20. A great reminder of a time when stations supported their local artists. I got to see them once when they came to Pittsburgh, where some of their songs got airplay. they were a really dynamic live act. 
Ed Salamon    

re:  The Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert:  

Kent ... 
We are all heartbroken over the news of what has happened in Streetsboro, Ohio, following the Benefit for Sonny Geraci concert.  That guy has got to surrender the money that was raised.  
Mitch Schecter 
The Rip Chords 
We've been doing our part to draw attention to this grave travesty ... the oldies nation is outraged ... and this money has got to be seized.  (kk)   

re:  Some Awesome Monkees News:    
Michael Nesmith will join Micky Dolenz for the 2014 Monkees ConventionFor Monkees Fans, this is 49 years in the making! Be a part of history as Michael Nesmith joins Micky Dolenz for his FIRST ever Monkees Convention being held at the Hilton Meadowlands in NJ March 14, 15 and 16th of 2014.
Promoters Phyllis Paganucci and Jodi Blau Ritzen of Then and Now Events have announced that not only will Michael Nesmith be joining Micky Dolenz at the convention, he will also be performing his new
show Movies of the Mind Saturday, March 15 at 9 pm. Tickets are available on
This magical weekend will include performances from Micky Dolenz, Coco Dolenz, Christian Nesmith and Circe Link, Jonathan Nesmith, Jessica Nesmith.  Actress Ami Dolenz will be signing copies of her new
children’s book and answering a Q and A along with her sisters artist and photographer Emily Dolenz and Micky’s youngest daughter actress and business partner in Dolenz & Daughters Fine Furniture Georgia
With all of their families in attendance, The Monkees will also be presented with their awards of induction into the American Pop Music Hall of Fame as voted on by the fans late last year. No celebration would be complete without a special tribute to the late and great Davy Jones.

Other guests of the convention who will be greeting fans and signing autographs will be Butch Patrick, Donna Loren, Valerie Venet, Henry Diltz, Gary Stroble, Gary DeCarlo, Geri Reischel, May Pang, Larry
Storch, Beatles Artist Shannon, David and Jennifer Alexander, The Monkeemobile and more.
Along with incredible performances from Buddy Blanc’s Romeo Delight with special guest Micky Dolenz, Coco Dolenz will perform, Circe Link performing a full show, Jonathan Nesmith with members of The
Outerspaces and Mother of Winter, The Characters, The Frodis Capers, The Monkeephiles, The 1910 Fruit Gum Co, you can look forward to singing late into the night with fan favorites of last year The Blue
Meanies.  Sunday we are excited to present Britton Payne’s off-broadway show Here We Come ~ A Monkee Parody.  This show has gotten rave reviews from all who have attended its performances.
There are sure to be surprise performances as well with a lineup of legends like this.
There will be meet and greets opportunities with all of our guests.
A Monkees Memorabilia Market Place will be open as well.
For tickets to the convention and for the tickets to the Movies of the Mind Show starring Michael Nesmith (a limited engagement) and hotel information please visit and for updates you can check out the facebook page Monkees Convention.
Note: As of now Monkee Peter Tork has a conflicting schedule and is not set to appear.
A very special thanks to our sponsor, John Rose, owner of Cella Bagels, Sky Tan and Jazz Audio located  1198 Middle Country Rd., Selden, New York 11784(631) 320-1213.
Jodi Blau Ritzen
Jodi and Phyllis
Monkees Convention 2014
March 14, 15 and 16th
Sheraton Meadowlands
Be There or Be Square

And this just in ...  
Michael will also be performing a show with his band at the convention!
Hey Hey. Just as a reminder, if you are interested in seeing Michael Nesmith's Movies of the Mind show, tickets are limited and will NOT be sold at the door. Even if you have not purchased your convention passes, make certain you order your seat now before this sells out.  The maximum capacity for this is only 1000 people. Get yours at the official website.  Any questions, contact us. This is becoming bigger then we could have dreamed and are so excited for all of you.

re:  The Everly Brothers:
This one comes from their 1986 LP "Born Yesterday" ... almost sounds like a Springsteen song, doesn't it???  (kk)

Here's one of MY favorite undiscovered gems, done by a group called Big Daddy.  They took the Rick James hit "Super Freak" and redid it in an Everly Brothers style that is just too cool for words!  Give it a listen.

Kent ...
Check out our pal Bob Greene's article.
Frank B.
"He's so good," Phil Everly said.
We were sitting in a corner booth at a rural cafeteria in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. 
Phil was talking about his older brother, Don. Having spent time with the Everly Brothers on the rock-and-roll road over the years, I had long noticed something:
Whenever they were performing, Phil fastened his eyes right on Don's. As they were creating their heartbreaking harmonies, he seldom looked away. I didn't want to ask him about that in front of his brother, but, with just the two of us there, I did. 
"I have to pay attention every second with my harmonies," Phil said. "It's like playing tennis with someone who is really great. You can't let your mind wander for even a microsecond, or you'll be left behind." 
When Phil died this month at the age of 74, I recalled that conversation. I first met him and Don during my years on tour with Jan and Dean; there were occasions when we found ourselves as part of shows at the same venues, sharing the same backstage areas, dining at the same pre-concert buffets. There are a lot of unlikely things that I managed to become used to during those years, but one thing I could never get over -- one thing that never ceased to feel like a dream -- was knowing the Everly Brothers. Their talent, the beauty of their voices, was something not entirely of this Earth. They were a miracle.
I was still of elementary school age when, early one morning, the clock radio snapped to life and before I could open my eyes a new song sounded in the darkness: "Bye Bye Love," two voices blending in a way I'd never heard before, and it was electric, it was that kind of unanticipated jolt. The disc jockey said the singers were called the Everly Brothers, and the thought that I would ever meet them, get to know them, travel with them, would not have seemed possible. But such things, if you're very lucky, can happen. 
In the days after Phil's death, the tributes to him from fellow musicians made me understand anew that, as famous and accomplished as those singers are, they, too, were in awe of him. 
Paul McCartney said that he and John Lennon used to pretend they were the Everly Brothers: "When John and I first started to write songs, I was Phil and he was Don. Years later when I finally met Phil, I was completely starstruck and at the same time extremely impressed by his humility and gentleness of soul." Paul Simon: "Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard." Vince Gill: "I honestly believe I've spent the last 40 years, on every record I've been part of for somebody else, trying to be an Everly. ... I've spent my whole life chasing that beautiful, beautiful blend." 
In the five years starting in 1957 they had 25 top-40 hits -- "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Cathy's Clown," "(Til) I Kissed You," "Let It Be Me," so many others -- but the numbers are the least of it. The sound of their voices was so pure, so achingly gorgeous, that to listen was to be humbled and filled with wonder. It's not surprising at all that, across the Atlantic Ocean, of course the young-and-unknown Paul McCartney and the young-and-unknown John Lennon would listen to the Everlys on imported-from-the-U.S. records and try to be just like them. 
When I heard that Phil had died, I sat and did my best to recall moments in his presence, not wanting to forget a single second of them. He was soft-spoken and seemingly quite shy; there was an underlay of pain that somehow felt omnipresent, and that he didn't feel compelled to dwell upon. 
Music fans remember the death of Buddy Holly in 1959, but few recall the funeral. Phil did: He, not yet old enough to vote, was one of Holly's pallbearers. Whatever may have hurt and disheartened Phil, he didn't bother other people with, but you could find it in his music. The first words to a song he wrote later in 1959, and that he and Don recorded: "I've been made blue / I've been lied to / When will I be loved?" 
The fact that he and Don went through long periods of estrangements and silence is not a secret, but the silences ended each time a show began. The breathtaking sound of those voices intertwining was enough to bring listeners to tears. On Labor Day weekend in 1999 they made a trip together to the woods and hills of the part of Kentucky coal country where their father had gone to work in the mines at the age of 12. I was writing a column for Life magazine at the time; the Everlys invited me to come along. 
Don and Phil drove separate cars. I rode with Don up Route 431 in Muhlenberg County. He said: "The town where I was born doesn't exist anymore. It was called Brownie -- just a few miles from here. It was a coal mining camp. When the coal was all gone, they tore the town down." 
Later that day I sat in that bare-bones cafeteria with Phil, and he told me: "There's an acceptance of us here. They know who we are. They know our kin." 
The brothers, on the strength of their hits, found a life for themselves far from the old coal mines. But if they never quite fit in with the gleaming and glitzy rock idols who were their fan-magazine-cover contemporaries, it's probably because, as boys, they had so little in common with the others. "I had this haunted feeling all my life," Don said to me one day in Kentucky. "Of being odd man out." 
I told Don what Phil had said: how Phil had explained his reason for staring into Don's eyes as they sang, how Phil had said how much he admired his brother's gift. 
Don told me: "It's like a third person. When Phil and I sing, there are times that what comes out is not either of us, but the voice of a third person." 
On that trip we had been joined by the great Life photographer Harry Benson. Late one afternoon, by the shore of Lake Adela, with forest all around, the four of us watched the sun getting ready to set. There had been a drought -- little rain for summer months on end. 
The brothers stood there in the quiet and then Phil turned to Don, gestured toward the treeline, and said: "It's browner this year." 
Don, looking toward the water's surface, said: "The lake's down." 
The shorthand of home. Whatever friction may have divided them from time to time, they never took it out on their audiences. When I asked Phil about it -- the constant effort to excel -- he said: "We've never tried to fluff it. We've always tried to make it better." 
That they did. One of my favorite songs of theirs was never a major hit: "Gone, Gone, Gone." Yet with Phil's passing the thought occurs that, because of the music he and Don gave us, he, and they, never will be gone. And that long-ago question of Phil's -- "When will I be loved?" -- has an easy answer: Forever.
-- Bob Greene

re:  David Cassidy:
You were right about David Cassidy ... the word is WAS.

DAVID CASSIDY DRUNK DRIVING -  Three times caught ... how many times not caught?
Always hits a chord with me. My cousin's husband, an astronaut that didn't get to space yet, was killed by  a drunk driver in Florida.  Also killed his three passengers (children) on their way to the movies. Left a wife and kids, friend's kids, and his own either dead or fatherless. 
Laugh it off, Cassidy ...
gary renfield
Yeah, it just seems wrong that THIS guy would get a second chance, much less a third or fourth. Good point on the "how many times NOT caught" question ... no way of knowing ... but it sounds like he clearly has a problem.  We've seen evidence of it at a couple of shows, too, where it was quite obvious from the stage that he was not "quite right" that night.  Too bad.  (kk)