Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

re:  The Infinite Wisdom Of Radio:
Hey Kent,
The only way I get to listen to a variety of oldies these days is to listen to Casey Kasem's American Top 40, broadcast here on Sunday mornings. He was one of my heroes, back in the early 70s. There are no "true" oldies stations here, and who wants to give a big chunk of the satellite radio fees to Howard Stern? I thought it would be interesting if you and your readers could come up with lists of the top 20 songs most played today. Put them all together, and come up with the tally. The project may be too hard to stomach, though. My guess is the song that comes out on top (at least in this area) is "Keep On Rockin' Me, Baby".
- John LaPuzza
Way back when, at the very beginning of Forgotten Hits back in 1999 till about 2002 we used to run our "Most Overplayed Oldies" campaign where readers would vote on the songs they are sick of hearing played to death ... songs they genuinely liked that radio has forever ruined for them by this complete overkill saturation.  (Of course back then there were all kinds of legitimate oldies stations up and down the radio dial ... at one time, we had three right here in Chicago.)
Now the very term "oldies" is radio taboo and not to be uttered ... everything is "Classic Hits" and "Classic Rock" ... except the very "finite" definition encompasses only about 200 of the exact same songs by the exact same artists ... it's worse than we ever could have imagined.  (Back then some of the songs most often cited were "My Girl" by The Temptations, "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison, "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison and "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers ... all GREAT songs that radio ruined for us.  You'll still hear these four, of course, but nowhere near to the degree that you did 10-12 years ago. Now it just seems to be a steady stream of Journey, Foreigner, John Mellencamp, Billy Joel and Steve Miller ... once again, songs we USED to love ... that we now can't turn off fast enough.
(I actually heard K-Hits play "Got To Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn yesterday ... and it sounded SO good to hear again.  Of course then they went straight into "867-5309" and "Don't Stop Believin'" ... but honestly wouldn't it be great ... and a WHOLE lot more tolerable ... to hear radio play at least one "Wow!" song every hour?  You know, be creative ... and give us a "pleasant surprise" once in a while.  (kk)
Keep fighting the fight, Kent --
You're never going to win --
But it's entertaining as hell reading what you have to say!
I wonder if these wise young radio program directors will eventually tell the "Elvis Only" guy that he should try to play more Billy Joel songs during his program.  Or that "Breakfast With The Beatles" would probably draw a bigger audience if they slipped a little John Cougar Mellencamp and Steve Miller into the mix.  What the hell are these guys thinking?!?!  And when is enough FINALLY enough?!?!  (kk)
re:  The Saturday Surveys:
Hey kk!
The Cherry Slush!
Why do the grooviest combos ever from America only get underground status?
Because they are just way too far out for the parents to allow their kids to give any support to them!
This was a record that was hidden in that secret place if owned, right beside anything by Davie Allan & The Arrows and Jimmy Flint & The Stones "Hey Momma (Keep Your Big Mouth Shut").
I want you to know that I am just ramblin' about anything and nothing in particular on the surveys posted this week. On WKLO's survey, who remembered that the Human Beinz had a followup to NOBODY BUT ME with the B.B B. tune TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT?
On WLS's survey, I played the Shepherd Sisters' PLEASE DON'T MENTION MY NAME since for all practical purposes, I had never heard it before. It didn't make our survey here in OKC. What is the story again on the song LINDA that Jan and Dean recorded?  Did you know or remember that Adam Wade recorded it two years earlier in 1961 when he was under contract with Coed Records? That version made our survey as well.
The super-short story behind "Linda" (and probably the ONLY reason anybody still talks about it today ... because otherwise it's pretty much just a throw-away track) is the fact that it was written for a VERY young Linda Eastman, who went on to become the first Mrs. Paul McCartney back in 1969.  Other than that, I find it quite "forgettable".  (kk)
Hi Kent
ENJOY seeing the Record Surveys you send!
The KOIL Top 50 Survey had "I've Had It by the Bell Notes as #3!!!
The March 15, 1963, Silver Dollar Survey with Dick Biondi on it had a tune you NEVER hear either: "How Can I Forget" by Jimmy Holiday. (a real "tear jerker").
Have you heard either one of those tunes?
Keep up the great work.
I don't remember this one ... but the Jimmy Holiday single "How Can I Forget" was Jimmy's biggest hit, peaking at #57 on the Billboard Chart in the Spring of 1963.  Not likely you'll ever hear this one anywhere else but here!  So here goes!  (kk)

Always love your "surprise" tunes in Forgotten Hits, and "Soul Coaxin'" by the Raymond Lefevre Orchestra was another example of great music that will never see the light of day except in your i-Pod.  So much impressive music just sits in the vaults, and when you hear it again you say to yourself "what a really great song ... why is that not getting any air-play."  I love really nice production.  I have always felt one of the finest pieces of production out of Motown was Martha & the Vandellas' "Dancing In The Street."  And "Venus" by Frankie Avalon and "Venus In Blue-Jeans" by Jimmy Clanton are other examples of songs that are well-produced and just sound great on the radio.  My wife and I were taking a little day-trip today and had a "formula" station on the radio and on comes "Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison -- you know after hearing it 10,000 times, you just want to hit the button and say p-l-e-a-s-e -- come on, how about  "Gloria" or "Here Comes The Night" -- please, anything else by Van, because after a while, it becomes torture.  Safe without surprise seems to be today's formula -- oh yes, and don't forget those long stop sets!
Tim Kiley  
re:  Diggin' Forgotten Hits:
Hey ...
You guys are sure making me feel a lot younger!!! Many thanks!!! Now, if WLS were starting all over, I'd sure send in a demo tape!!!!!
Bob Hale
WLS SHOULD start over ... and you'd be a welcome addition, Bob!  (kk)
Thanks again for creating this network of kindred souls and the true fellowship that is evident in all your posts.