Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Saturday Surveys (2-15)

Here's a vintage chart from 1962.  Eddie Fisher tops the chart with "Milk And Honey", a record that didn't even chart in Billboard!

Sausage King Jimmy Dean had THREE Top Ten Hits this week in '62 with "Dear Ivan" (#5) and his two-sided hit "To A Sleeping Beauty" / "Cajun Queen" at #9.  (In fact you'll find EIGHT Two-Sided Hits on this week's chart!)

We were still twistin' in '62 ... Chubby Checker was at #4 with "The Twist" and Joey Dee and the Starliters held down the #7 spot with "The Peppermint Twist".  Gary "US" Bonds threw "twist" into the title of his latest hit, too ... "Dear Lady (Twist)" owned the #15 spot.  (Scoot down to the bottom ten positions and you'll also find twist tunes by Sam Cooke ... "Twistin' The Night Away" ... and The String-A-Longs with "Theme For Twisters".)  Joey Dee's already got his "twist" follow-up record planned ... "Hey, Let's Twist" was one of the pick-hits listed on KLMS' "Wax To Watch" list!

Elvis was promoting a different kind of dance with his hit "Rock-A-Hula Baby" from his latest film, "Blue Hawaii", which also featured one of the all-time classics from The King, "Can't Help Falling In Love".

Jump ahead ten years and you'll find that San Diego's KGB survey offered up a wide variety of music in 1972.  The Top Ten features hits by The Osmonds (teeny-bopper pop), Neil Young (an FM staple), Climax (adult contemporary / middle-of-the-road), Nilsson (power pop), Grand Funk Railroad (hard rock), The Carpenters (soft rock at its finest), T-Rex (Glam-Rock), Santana (Latin Rock), Redbone (Native American / Indian Rock???), Paul Simon (Folk Rock) and Three Dog Night (the most successful pop act on the planet at that moment in time.)  Wow!

Radio wouldn't DREAM of programming this music side-by-side today!  (For that matter, other than right here in Forgotten Hits, when's the last time you heard "Footstompin' Music" by GFR, "White Lies, Blue Eyes" by Bullet, "My World" by The Bee Gees or "Rock And Roll Lullabye" by B.J. Thomas?)

GREAT tracks, each and every one!

Here's a Canadian Chart courtesy of our FH Buddy Doug Thompson.  (Boy, Bill Trebilcoe had a face MADE for radio, didn't he?!?!?)


Peter Noone and company are up on top with "Listen People" ... (they also occupied the #29 spot with "A Must To Avoid") ... and one of our all-time favorite Forgotten Hits holds down the #5 spot ... "Andrea" by The Sunrays,  produced by Beach Boys Dad Murry Wilson!  And, speaking of The Beach Boys, you'll find them at #23 with "Barbara Ann". 

Quite a few artists had multiple hits on the chart this week, including The Beatles (#8 and #14), The Dave Clark Five (#10 and #46) and Canada's very own Guess Who, with two records that never made a dent here south of the Canadian border ... "Baby's Birthday" (#21) and "Believe Me" (#36).
I'm guessing "Porky's Picks" was CKY's version of a Country Chart as NONE of these records ever made a dent on the pop charts! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

50 Years Ago This Weekend ( February 14 - 15 - 16 )

The Beatles made their second appearance on The Ed Sullivan on Sunday, February 16th ... this time they performed SIX tracks:  "This Boy" and "From Me To You" ... along with repeat performances of "I Saw Her Standing There", "All My Lovin'", "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand".  The show was broadcast live from The Deauville Hotel in Miami where The Beatles were photographed earlier in the week enjoying the sun and the pool, a far cry from rainy ol' England!  (Sullivan signed The Fab Four for three appearances on his program ... the record-breaking show the week before, recently saluted on CBS Television with The Grammy's All-Star Tribute To The Beatles television special, the performance we're remembering today from Miami ... and a third trip back the following week (which was actually taped in advance so that The Beatles could return to England for other commitments.)   

Earlier in the week they made their first live concert appearance on American soil when they performed at The Washington Coliseum (on February 11th) where approximately 8000 screaming fan witnessed this very special occasion.  (In fact, it was filmed for television ... The Beatles performed a make-shift version of "in the round" ... which is to say that in order for all the fans in the coliseum to see them, they literally had to get up and turn the stage by hand themselves between songs to face all four sides of the theater!  As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, the end of the concert was lost forever when the camera ran out of film!!!)  The film of this concert showed up in movie theaters a couple of months later so that fans all across the country could see their new music heroes live in concert.  (Well, live on FILM anyway!!!)

The following night they appeared at Carnegie Hall (thanks to a bit of clever maneuvering by promoter Sid Bernstein, who sold the Hall on the idea by referring to The Beatles as some "British Gentlemen" who were quite popular in their homeland.  Incredibly Bernstein booked the band before he had heard them play a single note, solely on their amazing popularity overseas!)  The Beatles put on TWO shows that night, both to sell out crowds.  It was a prestigious engagement ... they were, in fact, the first rock group to ever play Carnegie Hall ... but The Fab Four never returned to perform at this venue again.

Bernstein described the events this way to The Allentown, PA Morning Call in 2008:  

“I knew the woman who did the Carnegie bookings.  I used to see her in the neighborhood supermarket. I told her there was this group of four guys from England who were a phenomenon, that she should get them. Carnegie never had a rock group before, so when I made my application, she assumed they were a string quartet — I never told her otherwise. When they saw the crowds, they weren’t too happy.”   

Chartwise here in The States, it looks a bit like The British Invasion is gaining some momentum.  

In the Billboard Magazine Chart dated February 15th, I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND is #1 for the third straight week … and SHE LOVES YOU has moved up a few notches to #3.  The DUSTY SPRINGFIELD Hit I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU is now in The Top 30, sitting at #27.  More Fab Four records follow as PLEASE PLEASE ME climbs to #45, I SAW HER STANDING THERE has jumped 15 points to #54 and MY BONNIE, a record THE BEATLES recorded with TONY SHERIDAN back in 1961, has now debuted at #67.  (They were originally called THE BEAT BROTHERS on the original pressings of that record, which never became a hit in Europe until AFTER Beatlemania spread worldwide.  However, it was a fan who walked into Brian Epstein's record shop asking for this record that first prompted Brian to check the group out for himself.  After witnessing an afternoon lunchtime session at The Cavern, he was ready to sign them right on the spot!)  That gives THE BEATLES FIVE records on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart for the third week of February!  Also new this week ... THE DAVE CLARK FIVE premier on the U.S. Chart for the very first time, coming in at #77.  A so-called rivalry between the two bands (manufactured by the U.S. Press) will soon ensue!    

Here in Chicago, The Beatles are at #1 and #2 with "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" respectively.  New on the charts is "Glad All Over" by The Dave Clark Five, premiering at #27.  Meanwhile, Cliff Richard climbs to #29 with "It's All In The Game".  (Again for some reason Dusty Springfield's first hit, "I Only Want To Be With You", never charted here in Chicago ... yet today it's one of her best known tracks.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thursday This And That

re:  It's A Small World After All:
This is just WILD!  After running the letter below from Jerry Kamper on Monday as part of our "Radio" feature, I was SHOCKED to receive the following letter from long-time Forgotten Hits Reader Steve Davidson ... check this out!
Hey kk,
I have been enjoying reading about all the controversy surrounding today's radio or lack there of.  The old saying “don’t fix it if it ain't broke” comes to mind.  It’s definately broke as far as I’m concern and the fact that new avenues are not being  attempted is puzzling.  
Tommy James' reference to growing up and having access to the 50,000 watts of WLS and your comment about the night time signal reaching 48 states was spot on.
The importance of the DJ’s and the jingles can’t be overlooked as well. If one never left the confines of Chicago they might never have known how important the 50,000 watt signal was to so many of us. They also may not have recognized the fact that much of our music was only going out to a local audience and not to the entire country.  
Our local DJ’s were our friends and companions who understood us, even if our parents sometime didn’t.  
Back in 1968 I discovered for myself just how much WCFL and WLS meant to me the hard way as I was away from home for the first time in my life. I remember getting the WLS signal off and on at night while I was penned up in Ft. Polk, Louisiana. Hearing a Chicago DJ,  some radio jingles and a New Colony Six tune was a slice of heaven for a kid that grew up on the southwest suburbs of Chicago.  The fact that I was alone, (Dear John), confused and had no idea what was in store for me in the very near future made this radio signal encounter very personnel and much needed.
If I had never left home I might have taken the whole experience for granted but it was such a needed and personnel experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. 
There were many trips back to Chicago in the years that followed. I would never return but for visits to either bring my bride-to-be-home to meet the family or give my folks their first look at their new grandchild. Making  these trips during daytime travel I always knew I was getting close when I could pick up the radio signal of WLS.  
If you what to know what radio meant to us growing up just watch American Graffiti and check out the smile and expression on the Richard Dreyfuss (Curt) character while he’s out cruising and listening to Wolfman  Jack.
Pilot Of The Airwave
Here is my request
You don’t have to play it
But I hope you’ll do you best
I’ve been listening to you show on the radio
And you seem to be a friend of mine  
Jerry Kamper
Hi Kent,
Not sure in your 2/10 posting if "Jack" and "Jerry Kamper" are one person or two (they're two - kk) but I started reading the blurb and I immediately thought of my time at Fort Polk in 1968 and hearing WLS and then lo and behold he mentions his time at Fort Polk!
I still remember waking at 3 AM to run in full gear during basic training only to hear my bunkmates' radio playing  "Midnight Confessions" and me wanting to go home.
Most people younger than 60 don't realize that morning radio was meaningless to us back in the 50's and early 60's  because it didn't play rock and roll. But nighttime TV was only a few stations so we listened instead to the radio and called in requests and felt a kinship to the evening DJ's such as Dick Biondi.
Then, before I finished reading the letter, I thought about "Pilot of the Airways", as it most and best epitomizes what nighttime radio was all about back then and again I was surprised to see it posted at the end of the letter.
Today it's the 6 - 10 AM and 3 - 6 PM slots that are important to radio but back then it was 6 PM to Midnite and it was the link that connected all of us to the music.
Steve Davidson
(summer address:  CHICAGO IL)
That's just WILD!!!  You guys may actually KNOW each other!  
Over the years, Forgotten Hits has reunited former neighbors and classmates, Army buddies and once, a father with a daughter he never even knew he had!!! It's the power of music ... and that universal language again ... it brings out all of the bonds and memories we share.  Simply put, there is NOTHING more powerful out there ... yet today radio wants to wrap it all up in a neat little package of 200 songs and 40 artists, positively clueless that living life's experiences encompasses ALL of the sights and sounds we were exposed to.  What a shame!  (kk)
Speaking of which ... 
re:  Radio:
Forgotten 45s to air nationally ...
-- Ron Smith
Man, what a GREAT idea!!!  (Why didn't I think of that ... fifteen years ago?!?!?)  kk
re:  Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted:
It was reported this week that David Cassidy and his wife of 23 years, Sue, are getting divorced.  No official word on whether David's drinking had anything to do with this ... but it's hard to imagine that it didn't.  (Maybe he'll offer to meet her halfway and they'll still work things out!  I think he loves her ... and isn't that what life is made of?)  kk

re:  Happy Together:
This week Vintage Vinyl News reported the 2014 Happy Together Tour Line-Up of The Turtles, Chuck Negron, Mark Farner, Gary Lewis and Mitch Ryder.  (Of course WE told you that about five months ago!!!)  But they DO have the concert dates listed ... so here's your chance to relive some great '60's memories, live in concert.
  • 06/07 - Biloxi, MS - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
  • 06/08 - Montgomery, AL - Montgomery Performing Arts Center
  • 06/10 - Columbus, GA - River Center for the Performing Arts
  • 06/11 – Coral Springs, FK - Coral Springs Center for the Arts
  • 06/12 - North Myrtle Beach, SC - Alabama Theatre
  • 06/13 – Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
  • 06/14 – Fort Myers, FL - Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
  • 06/15 – Daytona Beach, FL - Peabody Auditorium
  • 06/20 - Tarrytown, NY - Tarrytown Music Hall
  • 06/21 - Westbury, NY - NYCB Theatre at Westbury
  • 06/22 - Englewood, NJ - Bergen Performing Arts Center
  • 06/23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts
  • 06/24 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theater
  • 06/26 - Jim Thorpe, PA - Penn's Peak
  • 06/27 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
  • 06/28 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
  • 06/29 - Lancaster, PA - American Music Theatre
  • 07/01 - Morristown, NJ - Mayo Performing Arts Center
  • 07/02 - Glen Allen, VI - Innsbrook After Hours
  • 07/09 – Ferndale, WA - Silver Reef Casino Pavilion
  • 07/10 - Snoqualmie, WA - Snoqualmie Casino / Snoqualmie Ballroom
  • 07/12 – Jackpot, NV - Horseshu Casino Outdoor Venue
  • 07/13 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery
  • 07/20 - Costa Mesa, CA - Pacific Amphitheatre
  • 07/27 - Webster, MA - Indian Ranch
  • 07/29 - New Brunswick, NJ - State Theatre
  • 07/31 – Sylvania, OH - Centennial Terrace
  • 08/01 - Nashville, TN - Tennessee Performing Arts Center / Polk Theater
  • 08/03 - West Allis, WI - Wisconsin State Fair / Main Stage
  • 08/06 - Kettering, OH - Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts
  • 08/07 - Northfield, OH - Hard Rock Live
  • 08/08 - Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fair / Grandstand
  • 08/09 - St. Charles, MO - The Family Arena
  • 08/10 - Peoria, IL - Peoria Civic Center (Theatren
  • 08/12 - Indianapolis, IN - Indiana State Fair / Marsh Free Stage
  • 08/20 - Effingham, IL - Effingham Performance Center
  • 08/21 - Louisville, KN - Kentucky State Fair / Fairgrounds Stadium
  • 08/22 - Aurora, IL - Paramount Arts Centre
  • 08/24 - Winnipeg, MB - Club Regent Casino
  • 08/25 - St. Paul, MN - Minnesota State Fair
  • 08/27 - Pueblo, CO - Colorado State Fair / Events Center

  • re:  Diggin' Forgotten Hits:
    As a former jock and current radio and jingle freak, I love your blog. 
    Thanks much and keep the flame burning.
    Ken Levine
    Thanks, Ken ... I've run several links to YOUR website as well.  Good stuff!  (kk)
    re:  The Beatles 50th Anniversary Television Special:
    Well, they didn't draw 73 million viewers ... in fact it was closer to 14 million (still not bad for a 50-year old band ... betcha ANY radio station in town would KILL for 14 million listeners ... of course in order to draw that many, they'd actually have to play something that people really want to hear!!!) ... and in the end (the love you take ... oh, never mind), they still got beaten by The Olympics ... but CBS was please (pleased) enough with the results to run it again last night in prime time.  It'll be interesting to see how many people tuned in to watch it again (or took advantage of their second chance to see it if they missed it the first time around).  
    Honestly, I felt no need to see it again this soon ... three nights later.  (What is this, cable?!?!?  I mean it's not like this was "Eddie And The Cruisers"!!!)  But the more I thought about it, I figured if there was absolutely NOTHING else going on, I might just tune in for the last half hour to see Paul and Ringo performing together again.  Instead, we put it on during dinner and I ended up watching the ENTIRE show again ... and enjoying every bit of it.  (The "Sgt. Pepper" / "With A Little Help From My Friends" moment was STILL the crowning moment in my mind ... but I can now count several other performances amongst my favorites ... including Stevie Wonder's killer rendition of "We Can Work It Out", STILL my favorite Beatles cover version of all time, the great harmonies of Imagine Dragons on "Revolution" and the wailing, dueling guitar solos at the end of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".  (I still wasn't moved by The Eurythmics' performance ... it just didn't do it for me ... and I agree with one of our readers below that Katy Perry turned in a pretty decent performance of "Yesterday" ... probably the first time I've EVER heard her sing on-key in a live performance.  That being said, I still don't see why they couldn't have cut away to show Paul singing it solo on Ed Sullivan's Show back in 1965 ... or any of the other famous Sullivan clips from their return performances to the program.)
    I never really cared for The Beatles' version of "We Can Work It Out" ... I was a "Day Tripper" fan all the way ... and always felt THAT should have been the A-Side of the single.  When Stevie cut his version in 1971, it blew me away right out of the box ... what a GREAT interpretation ... it gave the song a whole new feel ... a new groove ... and for the first time, I actually enjoyed it.  Watching him perform a near letter-perfect version on the 50th Anniversary Tribute just reinforced this for me again.
    And I enjoyed Paul and Ringo's comments ... as well as those of the crew and audience members who were there that incredible night in 1964 ... even more this time around.
    I can't believe I watched the whole thing ... (cue Alka Seltzer commercial) ... there were SO many other things I should have been doing instead ... but I'm glad I did.  (kk)

    Meanwhile, some of your Beatles comments are still coming in ...

    Hey Kent,
    I wasn't going to add my two cents on CBS' Beatles 50th Anniversary show, but here it goes anyway.
    I recently bought a new DVR / VCR combo and couldn't wait to record the special. After spending about three hours into the instructions, I found out that I couldn't record directly from my TV. I was bummed, until I watched the whole special. I have to give it a C-, and would probably never watch it again.
    First of all, who really wants to hear today's artists singing Beatles songs? What was CBS thinking? Oh yeah, I get it. It was "The Grammy's Salute The Beatles" or something like that. 
    The special did have its moments, but very few, in my opinion. We all wanted to see more from the old Ed Sullivan tapes, and hear those original songs. I never liked George's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", until Kenny Rankin did a cover of it. (Give that a listen on your stereo sometime.) Joe Walsh's playing on the song was good, but I remember what a electrifying performance Prince put on at a George Harrison tribute special, aired years ago. That alone made me a fan of the guy. Some of the "older" artists did respectable renditions, but nothing to scream about. I did like the mini-bios of John, Paul, George and Ringo. My favorite moment was, of course, when Paul and Ringo were together on stage. The Sgt. Pepper medley sent chills up my spine, and I actually got a tear in my eye. Yoko's dancing was amusing! I think it would have been terrific if CBS could have aired each of the three Sullivan shows on consecutive Sunday nights, just like it happened back then. To me, that would have been a much better tribute.
    John LPuzza

    The thing I kept thinking as I watched the Beatles anniversary show the other night is that it proved that talent isn't the problem nowadays. The younger performers on the show have talent, but they need better songs to perform than the ones today's songwriting mill is producing. Katy Perry has never sounded better to me than she did on "Yesterday," which made all of her other hits seem trivial (although "Yesterday" would do that to most artists). I wasn't familiar with Ed Sheeran beyond his one record with Taylor Swift, but I was impressed by his take on "In My Life." It's probably my favorite Beatles song, so I was prepared to be outraged -- and was not.
    My only quibble with the show was this: Where was Eric Clapton?
    The Hits Just Keep on Comin'

    Hello there,
    A  Forgotten Hits blog entry from Saturday, November 5th, 2011, and one from Sunday, November 13th, 2011, made references to Art Hannes, a former CBS announcer for the Ed Sullivan Show.  Art Hannes is my late uncle, brother to my dad, George Hannes.  As a kid, I remember being allowed to stay up late on Sunday evenings to watch the Ed Sullivan Show, but also to listen for our uncle saying "this is Art Hannes speaking".  Bed time followed immediately.  I recently came across this article from the archives of our home town newspaper, The Olean Times Herald, which chronicled some of the other career and life achievements of my Uncle Art.  The article was prompted by a visit from our Aunt Ruthie (Art and George's sister) to Don Swaim, who wrote the piece.  A link is included with this e-mail, for your interest.  Thanks for the blog effort on Forgotten Hits ... I feel like I really uncovered something there ... very informative and entertaining.
    Gary Hannes
    Topeka, Kansas
    (born/raised Olean, New York)

    Before we all move away from the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, may I offer a shout-out to some of the records that the Beatles inspired?  I have found four from 1964 that made the Billboard Hot 100 chart -- probably there are more, but I couldn't find any that charted.
    1.   "My Boyfriend Got a Beatle Haircut" by Donna Lynn, debuted on February 22, peaked at #83.  Born Donna Lynn Albano, the 14-year-old Canadian had already appeared in a Broadway show, "Christine," at age 10.
    2.   "The Boy With the Beatle Hair" by the Swans, debuted on February 29, peaked at #85.  The Swans were apparently a studio backing group.
    3.   "We Love You, Beatles" by the Carefrees, debuted on March 21, peaked at #39.  The Carefrees were a British girl group.  This song is based on "We Love You Conrad" from the musical "Bye Bye Birdie."  According to Wikipedia, one of the group's members was married to Andy White, who played drums on one of the versions of the Beatles' "Love Me Do."
    4.   "A Letter to the Beatles" by the Four Preps, debuted on March 21, peaked at #85.  The Preps, a quartet from Hollywood, scored several times in the 1960s with songs parodying other musical groups: "More Money for You and Me," "The Big Draft," "Got a Girl," etc. 
    Henry McNulty
    Cheshire, Connecticut

    Hi kk,
    This was one of those times I wished I didn't live in Taiwan.
    No TV airing of the 50th anniversary Beatles special and no Winter Olympics events whatsoever.
    With this disappointment in mind, I looked forward to Lou Simon's special countdown of the British Invasion acts of 1964.  However, with only six minutes remaining in his program, the electricity in my house blinked off and I lost the recording.
    Thanks for your review of the Beatles special and for posting other readers' opinions.  It takes the sting away from having to miss the broadcast.
    Dann Isbell

    Hey Kent,
    Just a quick response to Sunday nights show. I thought it was well worth watching. I was 12 when the “Sullivan” show aired. I was hoping for some complete song footage. I mean the original songs were just over two minutes ... they couldn’t find time to show the complete clips in a two and a half hour show? I was disappointed by that. Also I was hoping for a little more history then what they gave us. I guess 50 years after the fact, that’s what Wikipedia is for. Today’s audiences want today’s stars. Paul and Ringo at the end were the best. As we all move forward down the road called “life” it always occurs to me how powerful music becomes. It can bring you up and take you down as well as take you back all those years ago.

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

    I don't know if I've EVER been this far behind before!!!

    Crazy work hours (again) so VERY little time at the computer ... as of this morning I'm officially NINE DAYS BEHIND opening mail (well MOST mail anyway ... SOME of it got read) ... and still haven't posted some of your comments dating as far back as the Super Bowl!!!

    So over the next few days, we'll try to clear the decks on some of this stuff ... and bring things back up to date again.  (Unfortunately, I don't see a break in the schedule any time soon ... so you'll have to bear with us for awhile.)

    Meanwhile, here's at least SOME of what's been on your minds lately ...

    re:  Game Day:  
    What a Super Dud!  Boring game, boring commercials and boring halftime.  Manning was terrible.  The MVP went to wrong player (Percy Harvin shoulda won it).  Then throw in how Bob Dylan sold out to a car company -- I believe he even narrated one of them!  The other featured "I Want You" prominently in it.  Do you think Pete Seeger would be happy about this???  
    Clark Besch

    In case none of your readers have written in to tell you or maybe you might have forgotten, but one of the ads in the Super Bowl had the Human Beinz' NOBODY BUT ME being played in the background.
    I believe the ad was for undershorts for men, though I am not positively sure. Funny, isn't it? I can remember the song being played in the background but can't quite remember the ad product.
    I just now went online to a you tube video of said song. Someone had posted that they were interested in who had done the song since they saw it in an ad in the Super Bowl. One of their comments was a good song to hear even though they didn't know who the group was.

    About two weeks ago, there is a local commercial started showing on our local television with the song STAY being played in the background.
    Now tonight, I saw a network television ad in which the background music was RAM JAM's 1977 song BLACK BETTY. Now there is a song I had completely forgotten was ever recorded. Pretty big hit though, here in OKC.
    It's funny 'cause I've heard from several people this week who LOVED hearing "Nobody But Me" in the Super Bowl Commercial.  Even our daughter Paige (who's nearly 18) LOVED it and wanted me to play it again.  (Now WHY on earth would an ad agency pick an old, "worthless" song like that when ANYBODY who knows it is either already dead, practically dead or doesn't spend any money?!?!?  Isn't that what your consultants are telling you??? Wake up people!!!)  We still here "Black Betty" here in Chicago all the time ... it was a #2 Hit here in 1977.  More and more of "our music" being used in commercials these days ... we ran a rather lengthy list a few months back of songs from our generation getting airplay in tv ads today.  (Funny ... THOSE guys know how to use this music to sell their product ... and brand new people are discovering this music all the time, thanks to the use of it in these advertisements!)  kk

    I'm looking forward to GAME DAY ... about the only thing I'll watch during the whole Super Bowl event is the Bruno Mars half-time show. 

    Hi kk,
    I'm looking forward to GAME DAY.  No football over here to distract me and lots of free time these days because of the Chinese New Year holidays. 

    I don't know what you have planned for Super Bowl Sunday on FH, but the other day I started to think of songs or artists or groups that had some sort of football connection. Mel and Tim's BACKFIELD IN MOTION came immediately to my mind. Also, years ago former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw had a record on the charts as well as a few others.

    This suggestion probably isn't any good and I don't know what you have planned on posting during the halftime period, but Tony Orlando's 1961 recording of HALFWAY TO PARADISE came to my mind.
    That song can be taken in one of two ways. One way is that the women of the world has just one more half to go before they get their husbands back again into the regular routine of life without football.

    I am enjoying your posted songs today.

    A while ago I just sat down in my chair to enjoy the game while also looking at my Sunday paper and just now thought of something. I don't know what song or songs you have in mind to post when the game is over ... however, two songs immediately came to my mind, depending upon which team wins.
    Perry Como's 1969 song IN SEATTLE and I don't know if you know of this record but in 1968 Steve Alaimo had a song called DENVER on Atco which did quite well here in OKC.  Also the New Christy Minstrels in 1963 had a song called DENVER.

    Not only have I been checking out your site before game time but during it as well. I am checking it out right now after the first quarter is over ... and just heard Andy Griffith.Larry

    LOL ... I never thought it through that far ahead!!!  I'm just sticking with my "game" songs ... but throwing in "What it Was, Was Football" by Andy Griffith ... as well as YOUR suggestion "Backfield In Motion" by Mel and Tim ... both after kick-off time!  (kk)

    It's 5:45 PM and I do not have the TV on, nor do I intend to turn it on. However now that we're 12 hours into this, where's Backfield In Motion, or Games, by Redeye? Hopefully we don't hear The Superbowl Shuffle.
    Right on all three counts ... stay tuned!  (kk)

    Hi Kent,
    Whomever wrote this song "Foolish Games" (was it Jewel?) must have just used 'Diamonds and Rust' by Joan Baez as a master template. 
    I always look forward to your day-long playlists, Kent!  It's a bit like going on a treasure hunt - you never know what you're going to hear.

    Don't forget 'Games' by Redeye.
    Gary Theroux
    It's comin'!  (kk)
    I waited till the last one.  I just knew you were gonna play "Games" by Redeye. Thanks!
    David Lewis
    After it went over so well when we featured it a few weeks ago, how could we not???
    GREAT song ... that people really DO remember ... no matter WHAT those consultants tell you!  (kk)

    Well done!  I totally enjoyed the tunes from Sunday ... YOU GOT GAME!
    Some of them I know, some of them I didn't, some of them I had forgotten I knew ...
    Some of them I have ... some of them I want ... and some I'm okay with never hearing again.
    I had never heard the Andy Griffith one before and I really got a kick out of it ... and considering how the actual game went ... it seems fitting.
    Thanks for keeping me entertained ... better than the Super Bowl game and even better than the Super Bowl commercials.

    FH Reader Larry Neal suggested that I feature Perry Como's "Seattle" (from "Here Comes The Brides") when the game was over ... and I said, "But what if Denver wins???"  I needn't have worried ... it wasn't even close ... brings whole new meaning to the phrase "beating a dead horse" I guess!  (kk)

    re:  The Saturday Surveys:
    Here's an interesting and true story regarding this week's WIXY Sixty survey you posted:At Number 16 this week was the Rolling Stones hit, "Let's Spend The Night Together". Because of it's risque title, many stations did not play it, and as many people know, Mick Jagger "reluctantly " had to alter the title on The Ed Sullivan Show to "Let's Spend Some Time Together"Back in WIXY-land, they came up with their own way of skirting the controversy of the song's title (which is most likely why the survey only calls the song "Let's Spend" on paper.  WIXY had re-spliced the song to have Mick and the Gang sing it as, "Let's Spend The To-Night-Gether"!!!Not sure how long that special WIXY version was used or whether area rivals WKYC or CKLW played the "original version" -- if at all, but nonetheless I thought it was a great story from a station who had a lot of creativity and did a lot to draw in the listeners and keep them there ... something obviously lost in the modern-day radio world.
    Regards,"Uncle T.Jay", KAFM Radio
    We ran the link for this one the other day ... a pretty smooth edit ... but I can't believe ANYBODY thought the song really sounded that way.  (Or, if they did, they were sure in for a rude shock when they bought the single and played it for real when they got home!  lol)  kk

    I saw #24 on the WKY survey and flashed on the moment when I heard the Supremes' very first hit for the very first time. I can even tell you where I was at the moment. So now, you've got me started.
    It didn't chart all that well, so genius program directors of oldies and classic hits stations never really touched it over the last four plus decades, but "When The Love Light Starts Shining" remains an incredible mood lifting danceable tune after all these years.
    So it wasn't a huge hit. It's the Supremes, damn it! And it's a piece of music history besides. I could go further down this road with a very similar story about the (Young) Rascal's "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore", but I'll save that for another day.
    That's the really fun part about looking at all these old charts ... and seeing the wide variety of music and artists that radio USED to play on a daily basis.  When you stop and consider that today oldies stations around the globe have something like 60+ years of material to choose from, it's REALLY a shame that they choose instead to play the same 200-300 over and over again all the time instead. (kk)

    Hi Kent,
    I hadn't heard of Africa either, and I was thought they might be a Kentucky band but I was able to find more than I thought at
    Terrell Metheny (father of Kevin Metheny, Howard Stern's pd at wNbc ) was probably still pd at WKLO then.
    Ed Salamon

    You were right on about what you said  pertaining to WKY's survey on this day back in 1964. You were right in that Peter Guliker was a local artist here in the OKC area.  He still lives here as far as I know. In fact, his record which came in at song position #11 I WILL REMEMBER YOU, I got it out while ago and played it since it had been years since I heard it.
    I remember him telling me years ago that when they came out with that record they were going to make some others. But didn't make as many as they wanted to because of the Beatles and other English acts taking over the charts.
    You were also right about what you said about WKLO's survey in that there were a lot of local and regional (mostly local I believe) songs. I did a little research, very little mind you, and found that one or two postings had been made on the songs in which the reader commented that it was a shame that the
    records were only played and heard in Kentucky.
    The song THE GREATEST LOVE by Billy Joe Royal didn't make it here but the version by Dorsey Burnette did. His version didn't get as high though, as Billy Joe Royals.
    The version of THESE ARE NOT MY PEOPLE by Johnny Rivers was covered here in OKC by local singer Gary Gruver on Bravo Records. His version was played primarily.
    The flip side of Bobby Darin's LOVIN' YOU, AMY was the song that made it to number one here in OKC.
    WKLO's groups and artists such as the Oxfords, Africa, Waters, etc., I found their songs on the internet and played them to see what they were like.
    Larry Neal
    Although the John Sebastian-penned "Lovin' You" was the A-Side, we found a number of 1967 charts showing Bobby Darin's version of "Amy" as the hit ... Top Ten in many instances.  (Making it all that much more odd that the song never made ANY of the national charts ... yet was clearly the charted side of preference on so many that we've seen.  "Lovin' You", meanwhile, peaked at #32 in Billboard.)
    Bobby Darin used to tell a very funny story about how he came to record some material written by John Sebastian.  Quite a bit of this material had been pitched to him for the previous couple of years, but Darin turned down every one of them ... only to watch Sebastian and The Lovin' Spoonful score hit after hit after hit with this same material on their own.
    Here (in '60's FLASHBACK style) is part of our coverage of this story from our month-long Bobby Darin Series several years ago:
    '60's FLASHBACK:
    Back before THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL ever had a hit record of their own, the music of leader JOHN SEBASTIAN was offered to BOBBY DARIN to record.  Despite his success finding hits for his publishing company TRINITY MUSIC, DARIN reportedly passed on the opportunity to record songs like DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC, DAYDREAM, YOUNGER GIRL and SUMMER IN THE CITY ... songs that today are considered '60's classics by one of the decade's master songwriters.
    After watching hit after hit climb the charts for THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL, DARIN finally took a stab at a couple of JOHN SEBASTIAN compositions for himself.  His first success came in 1967 when his version of LOVIN' YOU went all the way to #32.  (It was another Top 40 Hit after the comeback success of IF I WERE A CARPENTER ... in fact, it was SEBASTIAN's publishers CHARLES KOPPELMAN and DON RUBIN who first brought these songs to BOBBY's attention.  They had been working with THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL, THE TURTLES and TIM HARDIN ... and IF I WERE A CARPENTER was another song that they ultimately convinced BOBBY to record.)
    BOBBY virtually re-invented himself with these folk-rock / protest tunes.  LOVIN' YOU, however, would be his last Top 40 Record. (He also eventually covered JOHN SEBASTIAN's DAYDREAM ... one of the songs he first turned down ... and released SEBASTIAN's DARLING BE HOME SOON as a single later that year ... it stopped at #93.)
    When BOBBY DARIN was first offered the JOHN SEBASTIAN song YOUNGER GIRL (ultimately a hit for THE CRITTERS, THE HONDELLS and THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL), he turned it down, feeling that it didn't really fit his image.  Although he liked the song, he joked that he was afraid that he might be sent to jail for even having such thoughts!  LOL
    We recently came across an interview that BOBBY DARIN did with DAVID FROST in 1972.  In it, he tells the story of JOHN SEBASTIAN's publishers bringing some of his songs into TRINITY MUSIC looking for BOBBY to record them, growing more and more confident as each tune BOBBY rejected became a bigger and bigger hit for THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL.  (This bit would go on to become a key part of the comedy act portion of DARIN's stage show in the later years ... and it IS a pretty funny story!) 
    Well, what actually happened was some fellas came to me with some songs. They were very fresh in the music publishing business and it was in 1966, and I was kinda looking for a hit ... they brought me a song, which went a little like this (singing) "Do you believe in magic ... in a young girls heart?" and I said "Fellas, that's a lovely song, it really is, but it'll never be a hit."  (pause)  I know what it feels to be an idiot (Laughter from audience)  It was a smash, as you all know, a million and a half seller, maybe a two million seller. A couple or three months went by and they were very solicitous, by the way. The first time they came into the office, they were all kinda dressed up to here, and they were trying to make a impression. So they had said to me "Mr. Darin, may we see you?" and once you call me Mister, you know, I go crackers, I like that. "OK, great," I said, "Yeah," and then they played me that song ... and I turned it down. Couple of months later, after having that success already, they walked back into my office and said "Hey Bobby!" ... (Laughter from audience) ... "We don't wanna bug you but we have a new song."  They played me a song that went something like (singing) "Younger girl came rolling across my mind" and I said "Fellas, at my age I cannot be singing about no younger girl or they'll throw me in jail!"  That's not exactly the way I said it, because we're not in a nightclub, I can't tell you the way I exactly said it ... in any event, that sold two and half million records. It was a big smash. They came back to me a third time and this time they said,  "Hey Baby, wanna get behind this number before you catch yourself in slumber ... we came back to your shack, Jack, this time in a Cadillac ... so we hate to trouble you, because we know you can't make the payments on the VW, but if you do this song before long it'll be a smash, bigger cash than you made with Splash," so I said, "Well play it, don't say it, play it", so they put it on the machine and it went like this. ... "Summer in the City and the back of my neck gets tired and gritty" and I turned that one down too (Laughter from the audience) ... THREE million copies, number one for 28 weeks, it was an incredible record ... so the next time they came into the office I was laying and waiting for 'em ... I said I don't care what you got,  I'm gonna record it and they whipped out the sheet music ... I thought it was ... it wasn't, it was an eviction notice ... it was a piece of paper that said "We have just bought this building with the royalties we made from you turnin' down our records! " (Laughter from the audience) 
    -- From a David Frost Interview with Bobby Darin
    Of course, the JOHN SEBASTIAN song that BOBBY ultimately agreed to record was LOVIN' YOU ... and it became his last Top 40 Hit.  These same publishers also brought him a song written by a young songwriter named TIM HARDIN ... IF I WERE A CARPENTER ... which begat BOBBY's last Top Ten Hit!!!
    TRUTH BE TOLD:  In hindsight, it is a little unlikely that ALL of these JOHN SEBASTIAN tunes were first offered to BOBBY DARIN to record.  In JEFF BLEIEL's interview with KOPPELMAN and RUBIN for his book THAT'S ALL:  BOBBY DARIN ON RECORD, STAGE AND SCREEN, the publishers confirm that DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC was NOT offered to BOBBY DARIN.  It was THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL's first hit and they were not about to give that song away ... in fact, it was BECAUSE of that song's success that they felt they could approach DARIN about recording some of JOHN SEBASTIAN's other material.  Likewise, SUMMER IN THE CITY, one of the biggest hit records of 1966, was never offered ... but this all made for a great little comedy routine as part of DARIN's nightclub act (as witnessed above.)  The REAL kicker in the deal was IF I WERE A CARPENTER ... THAT was the song that BOBBY knew he just HAD to record.

    Hey kk!
    Here's a retro item to reflect the power of the fuzz instrumental hit that "Blues' Theme" by Davie
    Allan & The Arrows had one particular week back in May of 1967 on KACY Radio in California.                                                                                     

    That led me to look up this and it's a cool look back that you might enjoy also.
    I love these radio station tribute websites ... some cool vintage charts here, too!  (kk)

    Hey Kent, 
    I don’t know if you get many surveys from the Left Coast so here is one from KHJ in LA, and of course the one I send would have to be where the Lettermen are number one with Hurt So Bad.  If you keep going west you’ll reach the far East and a chart out of Tokyo and Japan where we had  a whole different set of hits.  The thing about Hurt So Bad is that it peaked at different times in different cities.  Look at the date disparity between WLS and KHJ.  It was that way all over the country and I truly believe if it would have peaked at the same time everywhere it would have climbed a little higher on the national charts. In Billboard it reached #13 and a couple of points higher in Cashbox and Record World.  All of the surveys I have collected from all over the country have Hurt So Bad in the top 5 and many places #1.  We received RIAA gold for it.  Keep up the good work and your great service to us old farts. 
    Ex Letterman and now The Reunion, 
    Gary Pike

    Hi Kent,
    Yes, that WHHY chart is a great one ... such variety ...
    I forwarded it to a couple buddies, with this note:
    Our high school years were great for music ... this chart from our Junior year has some of my favorites ... Left Banke, Sopwith Camel, Easybeats, the Stones with a classic, the Rascals, Spoonful, Beatles  with Strawberry Fields, Buffalo Springfield, Bobby Darin, Blues Magoos, Donovan ... it also has songs by Pickett, James Brown, Marvelettes and Lee Dorsey.
    This is a great chart for one week ... even has Aaron Neville, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Brenda Lee, and a 50's sound represented by the Casinos.  And, one of the Monkees' better songs.  Ed Ames and Strawberry Fields on the same chart!  '67 was a great year for music.
    Billy Fairfield
    Folks seem to really be enjoying our new Saturday Surveys feature.  Be sure to check out this week's edition!  (I think we're probably going to run it on Saturday this week!)  kk
    re:  Sad News:
    This past week we lost a couple of the Misseses ... first, Anna Gordy (sister of Berry and wife of Marvin Gaye) ... and now Samantha Dolenz, first wife of Micky, who he met when The Monkees were visiting England back in 1967.
    From Ron Smith's website:
    Anna Gordy Gaye, sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy (she founded the Anna record label -- home of Barrett Strong's "Money" -- with her sister Gwen and Gwen's husband Billy Strange and licensed the song from Berry) and former wife of Marvin Gaye (for whom he wrote his hit, "Pride And Joy"), died of natural causes Friday (January 31) at her home in Los Angeles. She was 92. Anna was also a songwriter, best known for the Originals' tunes "Baby, I'm For Real" and "The Bells," as well as Stevie Wonder's "What Christmas Means To Me." She married Marvin in 1964 and divorced him in 1977.
    Samantha Juste, BBC "disc girl" on the "Top of the Pops" TV program, who was married to the Monkees' Micky Dolenz from 1968 to 1975, suffered a major stroke Sunday (February 2) and died Wednesday at the age of 70. She was the mother of actress Ami Dolenz.
    re:  La La Brooks: 
    >>>My wife and I watched "20 Feet From Stardom" last night.  We found it to be an incredible documentary, but I've been troubled by the fact that it completely overlooked singer La La Brooks.  I know there is a controversy in that La La sang "Da Doo Ron Ron" and Darlene Love (who was prominently featured) has evidently taken credit for it.  So, do you or any of your readers know if La La's exclusion was political or otherwise?  Goes to show that even the most apparently well-intentioned information movie has to be taken somewhat with a grain of salt.  Still a do-not-miss movie for the music fan.  (Bob Rush)
    >>>I still haven't seen this movie ... hoping to catch it soon, especially now that it's out on DVD and available "On Demand".  As far as I know, La La Brooks was always the acknowledged lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron", a #3 Hit for The Crystals in 1963.  Darlene Love was the uncredited lead singer on their previous #1 Hit "He's A Rebel" ... which is probably why SHE'S featured in the film and La La Brooks isn't.
    >>>Regarding La La Brooks and Darlene Love and "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Twenty Feet From Stardom" ...
    I did see the movie several months ago. It is definitely worth seeing. I don't remember the part about Darlene taking credit for the lead vocal on "Da Doo Ron Ron", although that is something I would normally have noticed and remembered. I have no idea why La La Brooks was excluded or if there was anything political about it. The movie was about background singers, and Darlene Love was one of the best and one of the most prolific - La La was not.  The truth of the matter of who sang lead on "Da Doo Ron Ron" is a little interesting.  Darlene had sung lead on "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love", and she received no credit. She was furious with Phil Spector for crediting those records to the Crystals instead of her. Phil promised her it would not happen again and that she would get credit on the next one.
    From Darlene's book My Name Is Love - The Darlene Love Story (pages 70 - 71), Darlene wrote ...
    "And the next one was going to be "Da Doo Ron Ron".  The only thing that kept me from taking his head off was the quality of that song, in all its nonsensical glory. But guess what? I didn't get that one, either. Phil and I had butted heads during the recording session for "Da Doo Ron Ron" and not just because he was dragging his feet over the contract. ..... he stripped my voice off "Da Doo Ron Ron" at the eleventh hour, and had La La Brooks, the new lead singer of the Crystals, sing over the finished track. ......I can swear though, that I still hear my voice on that lead vocal. I don't think Phil erased all of it, but kept just enough to give La La an idea of what he wanted, and then bolstered her voice in the final mix."
    And from  Mark Ribowsky's book He's A Rebel - The Truth About Phil Spector - Rock And Roll's Legendary Madman  (pages 147 - 148) ...
    "Though Darlene Wright - so cemented in her Darlene Love persona that she now adopted the name as her own - did a lead vocal on "Da Doo Ron Ron," Phil turned away from her loud, studied impeccability. He had heard La La Brooks sing in New York and thought he was blessed. Still only fifteen, Brooks spoke in a whisper, like a breathy sparrow, but when she sang she could knock down a building. She had a Brooklyn accent and a slight vibrato that rippled like a sneering lip through a song. Phil flew her to Gold Star, tried her on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and axed Darlene's lead. La La made the simple love cupidity of the song a visceral thump of a young girl's heart. Darlene had no idea the lead wasn't hers until the record came out, and Fanita James, recalling Darlene's studio take, which she thought was brilliant, assumed two decades later that it was Darlene on the record."
    Hope that helps.  (Steve)
    Thanks for printing my letter about La La Brooks and "20 Feet From Stardom."  I appreciate Steve Knuettel's reply.  I got my information about a Da Doo Ron Ron "controversy" from a website called "," but I have to say that a direct quote from Darlene Love's biography trumps the narrative i read: 
    There is a great deal of dispute over who sang lead on this track.  Darlene Love, who was featured in the 2013 documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" has said that she was the lead singer on this song, which was recorded at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles.
    I didn't realize that La La Brooks was a lesser contributor to the back up singer industry than Darlene Love.  If so, her exclusion from the documentary sort of makes sense. 
    As I'm sure you're aware, The Andantes are one of Motown's big secrets.  There is a terrific self-published bio about them that I highly recommend to you and your readers;  it's worth searching for and reading.
    By the way, La La is performing at New York's famed "Cutting Room" again soon:
    As always, best regards.
    (Dr. Robert, "The U.S. Beat")
    I'm very familiar with the "Songfacts" site ... in fact you'll find several quotes posted there thanks to research that we've done here at Forgotten Hits.  I think Darlene Love truly believes her vocal is still there somewhere in the final version of "Da Doo Ron Ron", even if that means it was only used as a "guide vocal" for La La Brooks to mimic.  (Not all that uncommon a practice back then ... look how often the Gary Lewis / Ron Hicklin situation has come up here in the past!)  Certainly over the years she's told her story to countless journalists ... and without a doubt there's probably some sour grapes surrounding the fact that she sang on two other huge hits for The Crystals but was never properly credited (or compensated).  (kk)

    Since I just saw The Crystals last month at Mohegan, it was interesting to read the info about Darlene Love and the question of 'Who is Leading?".  In concert, La La most certainly sings lead on 'Da Doo Run Run' and gives the lead up to her co-singers for 'He's A Rebel' and 'He's Sure the Boy I Love'.  Co-incidence?
    Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
    re:  This And That:
    Here's a link to a terrific new interview with Tommy James.  
    Tom Cuddy 

    Now here's something I'm REALLY looking forward to!
    A brand new documentary is coming out this spring spotlighting the music of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart ... "The Guys Who Wrote 'Em" (which is the same moniker they used when they teamed up with Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones of The Monkees back in the '70's to tour as Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart ... The Guys Who Sang 'Em and The Guys Who Wrote 'Em.
    You can read OUR special profile (including an EXCLUSIVE Interview with Bobby Hart) here ...
    Click here: Forgotten Hits - THE MUSIC OF TOMMY BOYCE AND BOBBY HART
    And read more about the documentary (as well as see a brief promo clip) here:

    Here's a follow-up piece to an article we covered a few weeks ago:
    David Cassidy has been officially charged with driving under the influence (DUI) stemming from a January 10 arrest in L.A. where the singer registered a .19 on the field sobriety test.  TMZ is reporting that L.A. City Attorney's office told them of the official charge although a trial date is yet to be set.
    On the evening of January 10, Cassidy was pulled over after making an illegal right turn. The arresting officer said, upon approaching the car, "the odor of an alcoholic beverage was emitting from the vehicle" so the standard sobriety test was administered. The .19 that Cassidy registered is more than two-times the legal limit in California.
    The singer was previously arrested for drunk driving in 2010 in Florida and again on August 21 of last year outside of Albany, NY. If he is found guilty in the latest case, he will face a mandatory 96 hours in prison with the possibility of up to one year.
    Seriously?!?!?  96 hours in jail???  Four days?!?!  After this many incidents?  Three DUI's?!?!?  What would YOU get under the same circumstances?  Like Renfield said, "caught three times ... but how many times NOT caught"?!?!?  If Cassidy hit your child's car while intoxicated and killed your kid, would knowing he'd be spending up to four days in jail make you feel any better?!?!?  CLEARLY this guy has a problem (and we have seen evidence of it first hand at a couple of concert appearances.)  He admitted as much a few days later after this announcement went out ...  Speaking to "Entertainment Tonight" from rehab on Wednesday, Cassidy said:
    This has been a very difficult time for me, battling this deadly disease, like millions of others in our country.  I will remain in treatment for as long as necessary and I am getting the best care I can possibly get anywhere. I am working as hard as any human being to live a sober life.  

    This past week, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum (MHOF) honored music legend Roy Orbison by citing his 1964 #1 hit single "Oh, Pretty Woman" as winner of its Iconic Riff Award.  The principals of Roy's Boys LLC, Roy Orbison, Jr., Alex Orbison and Wesley Orbison, Roy Orbison's surviving sons, accepted the award on behalf of their late father at ceremonies in Nashville.  Their company manages Roy Orbison's name, likeness, image and musical output with active release and catalog development  programs.
    Chris Isaak performed "Oh, Pretty Woman" and presenting the award to the Orbisons at the event after opening the evening with a performance of "Only The Lonely."  Isaak was a friend of both Roy and Barbara Orbison, Roy's widow and late mother of Roy Orbison, Jr. and Alex Orbison. Earlier that evening he commented, "Roy Orbison has been my idol since I was a kid. When I met Roy years later we hit it off right away. He was just a great guy.  It makes it a pleasure to be part of the folks honoring his work because I believe every nice thing I'm saying." Wayne Moss who played on the "Oh, Pretty Woman" recording session with Orbison on August 1, 1964 joined Isaak on stage for a rousing performance of the song with its certified iconic riff.  Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum founder Joe Chambers told the Nashville Scene that the "Oh Pretty Woman" riff "gets your blood going from the very beginning," adding, "It's one of those things, you hear it once and you remember it."
    Roy Orbison began making his mark on the music world in 1956 while recording for Sun Records, which boasted a roster of unparalleled talent that also included Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.  However, it was during his years on Monument Records in the early-to-mid 1960s when Orbison’s commercial success reached stratospheric levels, the apex of which was “Oh, Pretty Woman,” a song he co-wrote with Bill Dees.  It went on to sell 7 million copies, spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, and also topped the British charts for three weeks, as well.  It was unprecedented for any American to have this kind of chart-topping power simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic in the Beatles-dominated year of 1964. 
    While Roy Orbison, who is already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is acknowledged to have one of the most uniquely beautiful and haunting voices in popular music, the MHOF honor recognizes the unmistakable riff that kicks off “Oh, Pretty Woman.”  It remains a truly iconic and timeless refrain, evidenced by the innumerable cover versions of the song by artists as diverse as Al Green, John Mellencamp, Johnny Rivers, Bon Jovi, Green Day, and Van Halen, the latter of which achieved a sizeable hit with their own 1982 version, showcasing the guitar theatrics of group leader Eddie Van Halen.  The song inspired the title of and is heard on the soundtrack from Pretty Woman, the blockbuster film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
    -- Bob Merlis

    "Grease" star Olivia Newton-John is headed to Las Vegas. The 65-year-old singer and actress announced a headlining residency Tuesday. She will perform 45 shows at the Donny and Marie Showroom at The Flamingo, starting April 8. Dates are scheduled through the summer. 
    Organizers say the show will feature "Grease" classics including "Hopelessly Devoted To You" and "You're The One That I Want", as well as Newton-John's independent pop songs.  The show will be called "Summer Nights."
    Nostalgia acts do brisk business in Sin City, where Boyz II Men, Shania Twain and, of course, Donny and Marie Osmond continue to fill large theaters.
    Tickets are on sale now, starting at $69.
    -- submitted by Nicki Carlson
    Now HERE'S a scary thought!
    Hee Haw - The Musical is coming to Broadway. It will be a re-imagined version of the TV show, Hee Haw, with a new cast of characters. The musical’s producers are Steve Buchanan and Sally Williams of the Opry Entertainment Group. (Buchanan is also executive producer of Nashville.) Robert Horn wrote the script, and Nashville songwriters Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally composed the music. No dates yet for Hee Haw - The Musical.
    Diane Diekman
    Is there REALLY a market for this?!?!  (kk)

    Tammy Faye Starlite whose Nico: Chelsea M├Ądchen critically acclaimed performance piece has been staged at venues on both coasts as well as at the Andy Warhol Foundation in Pittsburgh is set to debut a new work on Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 PM as part of Lincoln Center's Target Free Thursday series. This time out, Tammy ambitiously tackles the landmark work of another woman artist, first ravaged then reinvented, who emerged from the pop music underground in the 1960s. Tammy Faye Starlite Performs Marianne Faithfull's Broken English In Its Entirety celebrates and probes Faithfull's powerful reemergence as an uncompromising artist when her landmark Broken English album was released 35 years ago. The performance will take place on the Frieda and Roy Furman Stage in the David Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway between 62nd and 63rd in Manhattan.  Admission is free; limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis
    Tammy Faye's performance of the Broken English repertoire features Kevin Salem and the Redlands Quintet.  Salem is well known in alternative music circles for his own albums (Soma City, Glimmer, Ecstatic) as well as for his work as a guitarist with Dumptruck, Yo La Tengo, Freedy Johnson, Rachael Yamagata and as producer on projects with Emmylou Harris, Lisa Loeb, Chocolate Genius, Giant Sand, Mike Doughty, etc.  The Redlands Quintet includes David Dunton (piano), Keith Hartel (guitar, keyboards), Craig Hoek (saxophone), Ron Metz (drums/percussion) and Jared Nickerson (bass). 
    Broken English is considered to be Marianne Faithfull's definitive album, shattering the image of her as Mick Jagger's waifish girlfriend, a delicate pop princess (who, in fact, is of Austrian nobility; her actual title is Baroness von Sacher-Masoch).  After her smash hit "As Tears Go By," the first song ever composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, she plunged into a downward spiral following the infamous 1967 drug bust at Richards' house.  She was drug addicted and virtually homeless in the early 1970s.  Toward the end of that decade, with the help of various musicians and the artist Francis Bacon, she began to reassemble herself to sing and write, becoming the woman we've come to know since: strong, fierce, honest and self aware to the most painfully human degree.  Broken English symbolized that remarkable transformation in her life and work.  The album's songs still resonate today, including the recriminatory "Guilt," "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan," Shel Silverstein's empathetic ode to a deeply unhappy suburban housewife and the title track, dedicated to Ulrike Meinhof, co-founder of Germany's Red Army Faction.  John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" is another album highlight as is the most jaw dropping screed of a woman scored ever on record: Heathcote Williman's no-holds-barred paen to carnal rage: "Why'd Ya Do It."  
    Tammy was drawn to Broken English as a project because "it resonates so deeply, it's the wild and elegant cry of a woman unleashed, an id on the run, steeped in glorious decadence and transcendent redemption."  She adds, "There is beauty, hunger and truth in every note she sings, unafraid to voice her need and her joy.  It's a stunning album, unlike anything else that preceded or followed it and we're honored to give it the performance platform it so richly deserves."
    Target Free Thursdays provide free public performances, Thursday nights at 7:30, unless otherwise noted, every Thursday of the year at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, Frieda and Roy Furman Stage, making the vast spectrum of the performing arts available to the broadest possible audience. Curated by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., Target® Free Thursdays performances feature national and international touring artists as well as local artists from around the New York metropolitan area. 
    -- Bob Merlis

    There's been a bit of talk this past week about Steve Perry saying that he might like to get back together with his Journey bandmates ... but according to Vintage Vinyl News, the only one talking about it seems to be Steve Perry ... there are NO plans for a reunion.  (Other comments I heard this week include something about the media picking up an old interview and running with it before doing any fact-checking.)  According to the members of Journey, who'll be out touring with Foreigner this summer, there are NO plans (or interest for) a Steve Perry reunion.  (kk)

    Hey Kent,  
    Don't know if you've seen this. Interesting read.
    - John LaPuzza

    This past week I had dinner and drinks with a very interesting fellow:  Lon Van Eaton
    Lon and his brother Derrek were the last act to be signed by Apple Records.  They were produced by George Harrison and, I believe, Klaus Voorman.
    Despite some incredible music (c/o you tube) they never made it into the public eye (or ear).  However, they had quite fascinating careers as session players. 
    Lon and his lovely wife Constance moved to New Hope, PA (my home town) from Colorado only a few months ago, and I was introduced by a mutual friend.
    This past Friday I played some music with some local friends (my first time since being injured seven months ago), and man - did it feel great! ... and Lon joined me. 
    I'll be doing a story on him for my column in the English rock magazine, "The Beat" in the coming months, with this year's theme being Beatles-related people and events.  s always, I suggested he subscribe to "Forgotten Hits" ... so I'll keep you posted.
    Warm regards from cold, cold New Hope,
    Bob Rush
    (Dr. Robert of "The U.S. Beat")
    I actually did a (VERY) short interview with Lon a couple of years ago ... I believe their album was being re-released on CD at the time (or maybe it was the Apple Records Greatest Hits CD or something ... I can't remember.)  Anyway, you can find it here:

    Think you make the big bucks as a songwriter once the royalty checks start pouring in? 
    Here's a check Janis Ian received recently ...  (kk)
    You might get a kick out of this. She put it on her Facebook Page today, so it's not secret.
    David Lewis
    I took a vaca week from Cracker Barrel, and a couple days from school and hit three concerts in three days (and spent fun time with friends). 
    January 30th ... Teen Idols (Micky Dolenz, Mark Lindsay, Peter Noone)
    January 31st ... Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
    February 1st ... Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone
    I am just so happy that January turned into a four concert month for me!
    We've got Shelley's review coming up soon in Forgotten Hits ... so stay tuned!  (kk)

    Kent -
    I just got this from the label, pretty amazing! There's a short sample and an episode list available at the site!
    Here's a link from Gonzo  Multimedia for 50 Tiki Lounge Shows at Pay Per View / On Demand. Now you can watch The "Tiki Lounge" TV show anywhere in the world!
    All My Best, 
    Great news, Merrell ... always a fun time!
    We got THIS bit of news about Merrell's new CD release, too ... 
    New Re-Issue of Rare Fankhauser Cassidy Band CD 'On The Blue Road' Featuring Guitar Icon Merrell Fankhauser and Spirit Drum Legend Ed Cassidy Now Available!
    London, UK - Merrell Fankhauser is considered one of the main innovators of surf music and psychedelic folk rock, and is widely known as the leader of the instrumental surf group The Impacts who had the international hit “Wipeout”. His travels from Hollywood to his 15 year jungle experience on the island of Maui have been documented in numerous music books and magazines in the US and Europe. Merrell has gained legendary international status throughout the field of rock music; his credits include over 300 songs published and released. Merrell Fankhauser has presented a number of television programs over the years including 'California Music', 'Route 66 TV Live', and in 2001 he began hosting a music show called 'Tiki Lounge' that airs on the California Central Coast, Southern California, Hawaii and parts of the East Coast. In the early '90s Merrell teamed up with Spirit drum legend Ed Cassidy, which eventually led to the Fankhauser Cassidy Band.
    Says Merrell about Ed Cassidy, “We started on the first one I think in 1994 and he and I were friends for years. We met back in 1969 in passing back stage at a concert but never really had a conversation. Then we bumped into each other again around 1990 and the band Spirit was kind of in a lull then, and he said, “Hey we ought to do some recording together.” At the time I was doing a national satellite TV show called California Music and so I had him on that show and then Randy said, 'Oh I'd like to be on that show', so I interviewed Randy and then I ended up jamming with them all. And then Cass decided he wanted to move further out of the Los Angeles area and he moved up here to the central coast, and I helped find him a house not even a mile from my house, so it was perfect and he wanted to do something blues oriented. So I started writing a bunch of tunes and then we did some classic covers of songs like 'High Heel Sneakers' and the Muddy Waters song 'Going Down To Louisiana' and 'Walking The Dog', and then I wrote a bunch of songs that were in a similar vein that was perfect for me to play slide on. I loved it.
    I think in about four-and-a-half / five months we cranked out the first album, 'On the Blue Road' and my son Tim was singing and playing on a few tunes and we had a regular bass player Leroy Richards at the time who did all of the bass. So we finished that first album and I sent it to Alligator Records in Chicago and they loved it, but they were full up with releases and I made a deal with D-Town Records from Detroit at the time, and they put out groups like the Ohio Players and Lee Rogers, and even one on the football player Rosey Greer. And they loved it and released the CD and and it started getting a lot of airplay all over the place, even in Australia. Then it was nominated for a Memphis Blues Award which surprised me. We didn't win but it was just great to do the nomination!”
    In closing Merrell had this to say about Ed Cassidy, “Cass was my musical guru, to be able to play drums the way he did into his late '80s was amazing! I miss his drumming and also his wit and wisdom...we were close friends for nearly 25 years until his passing a year ago. I think this release is a fine tribute to him.”