Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Saturday Surveys (May 10th)

Reaching back to 1960 for our first chart this week as we take a look at the 40 most popular records in L.A. according to the KFWB Fabulous Forty Survey.

"Cathy's Clown" by the newly-signed Everly Brothers tops the chart for the brand new Warner Brothers Record Label.  They've also got the #2 Hit with "Sixteen Reasons" by Connie Stevens ... as well as the #1 LP, "The Buttoned-Down Mind Of Bob Newhart", a HUGE album success at the time.

A couple of great tracks that you never hear on the radio anymore (because, as we all know, radio and rock and roll didn't actually exist before 1964 ... and even then only in limited quantities.)

Wouldn't it be great to hear tracks like "Let The Little Girl Dance", "Sweet Nothin''s" and "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" come blasting out of your radio again ... even just once in a while?!?!?


Look who's topping the chart (for at least the second week in a row) in New York City this week in 1966!

Why it's Chicago's very own New Colony Six, with their very first single release, "I Confess"!

Placing ahead of such standard '66 fare as "Kicks" by Paul Revere and the Raiders (who were ALSO dressing in Revolutionary War gear at the time!), "Monday Monday" by The Mamas and the Papas and "Good Lovin'" by The Young Rascals,  ALL of which reached #1 on any number of radio station charts we've seen from 1966, that's quite a coup for our local sextet.

Other big hit surprises ... "Try Too Hard" by The Dave Clark Five (not one of their best-remembered tracks), "Georgianna" by The Princetons (also a BIG Hit here in Chicago ... but one to never make The Billboard Charts), "Tie Me Down" by Dino, Desi and Billy, another Billboard non-charter, and "I Can't Grow Peaches On A Cherry Tree" by Just Us at #12.

Friday, May 9, 2014

50 Years Ago This Weekend

5/8, 5/9, 5/10, 5/11, 1964:

For the first time in fifteen weeks, THE BEATLES did NOT have the #1 Record in the country.  This week, that distinction belonged to LOUIS ARMSTRONG, who was, at this time, a 63 year old jazz singer / trumpet player from New Orleans.  His version of HELLO DOLLY displaced The Fab Four, holding them to only the #2, #5, #11, #12, #35 and #64 positions.  (Yeah, THAT's showin' 'em , Louie!!!)  New on the charts for The Fab Four was P.S. I LOVE YOU, the flip-side of LOVE ME DO, which had now climbed all the way up to #12 on its way to the top of the charts. (P.S. I LOVE YOU debuted at #64).  In between you could find DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET (#2), CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (#5), TWIST AND SHOUT (#11) and THANK YOU GIRL (#35).

Other British hits of note:  BITS AND PIECES by THE DAVE CLARK FIVE (holding down the #4 spot … THE DC5 now had FOUR chart hits of their own … GLAD ALL OVER was at #14, DO YOU LOVE ME climbed to #32 and I KNEW IT ALL THE TIME sat at #70.)  LITTLE CHILDREN by BILLY J. KRAMER AND THE DAKOTAS was at #23, NEEDLES AND PINS by THE SEARCHERS was still holding on at #37 as was DUSTY SPRINGFIELD's latest hit, STAY AWHILE, which was perched at #38.  DIANE sat at #46 and PETER AND GORDON premiered on the charts with A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE, a tune written by LENNON and McCARTNEY, at #76.  SUGAR AND SPICE by THE SEARCHERS sat at #85, GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY debuted at #89 for THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS and THE ROLLING STONES, yet to make much of an impression on the American teenagers, crawled from #98 to #96 with NOT FADE AWAY, their version of an old BUDDY HOLLY tune.

While Louis Armstrong was topping the national chart, here in Chicago it was Jan and Dean's two-sided hit "Dead Man's Curve" / "New Girl In School" that was the #1 Record.  ("Hello Dolly" sat at #5.)  The Beatles still had the highest charting British Hit with "Love Me Do" / "P.S. I Love You" at #3.  It would climb to #1 the following week and stay there for  four weeks, only to be replaced by another Lennon and McCartney composition … stay tuned for that one!

Also impacting The Top Ten were "Bits And Pieces" by The Dave Clark Five at #7 and "Thank You Girl" / "Do You Want To Know A Secret" at #10.  Right behind it were "Yesterday's Gone" by Chad and Jeremy and another Beatles two-sided winner, "Can't Buy Me Love" / "You Can't Do That" at numbers 11 and 12 respectively.

The Rolling Stones were at #21 with "Not Fade Away", followed by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas at #22 with "Little Children".  Other British hits included "Diane" by The Bachelors (#29), "Good Golly Miss Molly" by The Swingin' Blue Jeans (#30), "Do You Love Me" by The Dave Clark Five, premiering at #32, and "I Only Have Eyes For You" by Cliff Richard at #39.

This week on The Ed Sullivan Show (airing May 10th) we were able to catch appearances by both Dusty Springfield AND Gerry and the Pacemakers! 

Dusty sang her first two American Hits, "Stay Awhile" and "I Only Want To Be With You", while Gerry and the Boys performed "I Like It" and "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying".

And, on the same show, former American heart-throb Bobby Rydell performed HIS version of "A World Without Love", a song that looked like a sure-fire hit ... until the Peter and Gordon version hit the airwaves!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday This And That

David Beard tells us about a great, free concert coming up this weekend, featuring The Surf City All-Stars, starring Dean Torrence ... along with a couple of VERY special guests ... Al Jardine, son Matt Jardine and David Marks!!!

Mayfest On Main 2014
Saturday May 10
Main Street
North Myrtles Beach, SC
In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 the Legends of Surf Music, backed by the Surf City Allstars, performed for standing room only audiences @ MAYFEST ON MAIN. The group returns to North Myrtle Beach once again.  
The Surf City Allstars are a great band as well. Gary Griffin (keys / vocals) started recording and touring with the Beach Boys in the 1970’s. Philip Bardowell (guitar / vocals) was hand picked by Beach Boy Carl Wilson for the Beach Boys band in the 1990’s. David Logeman (drums) was hired by Beach Boy Mike Love in 1994. Chris Farmer (bass / vocals) toured for 12 years as the musical director for the Beach Boys. Aaron Broering (guitar / keys / vocals) is the newest member to join the Allstars.  
Additionally, Matt Jardine (Beach Boys band member, California Saga, California Surf Incorporated) will be joining the group on stage for this performance.  
Each song performed by the Legends of Surf Music at Mayfest will be immediately recognizable. All the great surf, drag and fun-in-the-sun imagery is perfectly captured by the iconic trio. The combination of Al Jardine, David Marks and Dean Torrence together on stage creates a fresh harmonic blend for all the well-known classic hits.  
It is guaranteed to be a great time for ages 6 - 80. Immediately following the show, Al, David, Dean and the Allstars will sit for an autograph session.  
Be there or be square!  
©2014 David Beard / All rights reserved  
The Surf City All-Stars just performed here in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and, unfortunately, I had to miss this concert.  (Catch our official FH Review here:  )  The added bonus of actual Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks ... along with the legendary Dean Torrence ... makes THIS the concert to see this Mothers' Day Weekend.  
If any of our South Carolina readers are able to attend, we would love to run a full review of the show!  (kk)  

And speaking of great shows ...   

I just bought my tickets to see the Monkees on June 1st at Milwaukees' Riverside Theater.  Hopefully Micky saves his voice for that night.  
I have not seen them since their 20th Anniversary tour in 1986 and am looking forward to seeing Mike Nesmith for the first time.   
They were really hot at the time because of the MTV reruns and there were many young people at the show.  Gary Puckett, the Peter Nooneless Hermans Hermits, and Rob Grill's Grass Roots were also on the bill.   
You mentioned Air Supply is playing in the Chicago area this weekend.  My wife and I saw them a couple of years back and Chris Nesmith (Mike's eldest son) was touring with them.  I recognized him even before they introduced him because he looks like his dad.  I have heard that he is in the Monkees band now.  
Phil - WRCO  
I've never seen Mike Nesmith before either ... he's the ONLY one I've missed ... so I'm VERY excited to report that I just found out yesterday that I WILL be going to The Monkees Show at Star Plaza Theater on May 31st (thank you VERY much, David Salidor!!!) ... and think I may just go check out Air Supply this weekend at The Arcada, too.  (Just to show you the variety Ron Onesti brings there, he's got Air Supply on Friday Night, The Alan Parsons Live Project on Saturday Night and a special Mother's Day Sock Hop featuring The Bronx Wanderers on Sunday ... where they actually take out some of the seats and turn it into a dance floor!!!)  Now if that's not something for EVERYBODY I don't know what is!!!  (kk)

Sad news about the passing of Jessica Cleaves, a founding member of The Friends Of Distinction who also let her vocals shine with Earth, Wind and Fire as well as Parliament / Funkadelic ... Click here: VVN Music: Passings: Jessica Cleaves of the Friends of Distinction, Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament-Funkadelic (1948    

Hi Kent,  
Thought you might get a kick out of this ... it really does sound like a new Lennon / McCartney composition.  

Regarding "The Girl Can't Help It" ... I can't imagine a more appropriate place for Jayne Mansfield than in the titular role for anything.   
Gotta agree with you there on that one!   (kk)   

Talking about Pete Drake, I also remember a follow-up he had with this talking steel guitar with the  Brenda Lee tune I'M SORRY.
As for the WLS DJ's taping some of their shows on weekends, I remember as a kid listening to Art Roberts on Sunday nights with his HEY BABY! THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG. I was told at the time that was on tape.
Drake's version of "I'm Sorry" bubbled under at #122 in Billboard.  Here in Chicago it reached #26.  (kk)

After reading Monday's Comments and the Baby Boomer Legends  Concerts Review, here are some items that immediately came to my mind.
I always did like the song LOOK FOR A STAR.  Years ago it was classified, I believe, as the first song to hit the charts that was featured in a horror movie. There were three versions of the song out at the time which you know but I always liked Garry Miles' version best.
The group the Casuals was mentioned. Was this the same group that did SO TOUGH back in 1958? I know they had a followup on Backbeat records but can't think of the title now. I am told sometimes they were known as the ORIGINAL CASUALS.
Dallas Frazier's ELVIRA was very big here in OKC.
Finally, last week a friend of mine came over for a visit and when it was time for her to go, she got her purse and started looking for her (car) keys. She couldn't find them initially. She almost pulled everything out of her purse. Where is Paul Peterson when you need him?
Almost every other posted FH if not every posted FH, I read something that immediately reminds me of a record made years ago that I haven't heard in ages. I don't know if you or your other readers can say this. In Tuesday's FH, you mentioned the high school musical you went to with your daughter playing in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
Kent, I don't know if you remember it, but in 1957 singer Malcolm Dodds had a song called BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (DID THE ROCK AND ROLL). Haven't heard it in years, just got it out and played it as they used to say "one more time". This record definitely was the END of all records.
Haven't heard of that one ... nor did it chart in Billboard.  All I can say is that Paige did an OUTSTANDING job in the role of Belle ... and then missed a couple of days of school this week, sick as can be.  Thankfully she was in top voice for the performance!
As for a couple of your other mentions, Whitburn's book shows "So Tough" as being by The Original Casuals, stating that the first pressings of the record showed the band as simply The Casuals.  It doesn't list any other charted records by the band.
He also lists FIVE charted versions of "Look For A Star", the biggest hit going to Garry Miles.  (This was one of those where you have to wonder if they intentionally changed an artist's name to add confusion into the mix ... the version by Garry Mills charted at #26 at the same time.  Confused record buyers probably weren't sure WHICH record to buy!  Billy Vaughn, Deane Hawley and Nicky Como also had chart hits with this record. 
And hey, let's feature that Paul Petersen track, shall we???  'Cause you know damn well RADIO ain't gonna play it!!!  (kk)

Here' an interesting link sent in by FH Reader Tom Cuddy regarding a new album that features 31 different versions of the timeless classic "Unchained Melody" ...
Yep, it seems like this one's been covered by just about everybody over the years ... and there's a wide variety of styles represented here ... but one of MY all-time favorite versions is seems to be missing.  Check out a VERY young LeAnn Rimes (age 13 at the time) and her powerful version from 1995.  (kk)  

And he sent us this one, too, regarding the latest goings-on of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... apparently still operating as a major profit center for a very select few ...

And one more ... this time a conversation with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers ...  

Hola Kent,
Bueno Cinco De Mayo! 
Regarding the item on the '63 Increase Records album, there was a CD put out for '63 but it was issued by Dunhill as a dual year offering combined with '62. They also had a combo CD for 56-57. There is a third company, G&C Music, that issued a triple CD for '61-'62-'63, with copyright credit to Increase Records.  The kicker with the triple issue is that new Cover Art was added showing Eddie & Peg hugging in front of a Studebaker Avanti. Plus another triple CD was issued for '58-'59-'60, with Eddie & Peg getting ready to go see "The Blob" in a '58 Chevy Impala convertible with Peg begging off since Elvis is on the Ed Sullivan Show ! The triple sets are titled 'Cruisin' Years' and the discs themselves are in the same format as the single Increase issues. The two double year CD's use Dunhill Records on the CD, and preface the title with 'The History of Rock & Roll'.
The original issues were on LP vinyl records.  I am unaware if there were ever cassettes made, but obviously Increase Records, the originator of the series, sold the rights for four years to Dunhill and then six years to G&C Music, maybe due to money or distribution issues.  Nevertheless they offer a terrific glimpse into the Power of the Radio DJ's and the sounds of the times ... and the Jewel Case covers are treat by themselves, chronicling the times.
The CD circulated as 'Cruisin' '63' was of B. Mitchell Reed of WMCA, New York, so the WKBW / Joey Reynolds version noted by reader Clay Pasternack was replaced, obviously due to music rights. I have all the years plus two additional releases named 'Cruisin' Years' and "Cruisin' 1955 - 1960" and the last of the series titled "Cruisin' with Porky Chedwick" with no specific year.
It would be wonderful if Clay could somehow share the songs and promos and commercials from his unissued copy.
Here is a picture of the Cruisin' Series LP Covers.  There used to be a great free site documenting the story, but now it has been replaced by a subscription type site ... I can't blame the guy ... he put a lot of effort into this.  That is basically the entire run.  The covers are wonderful depictions of the current events of the year represented.
Go easy on the Margaritas!

Timeline is a local four-piece band that plays the sixties and seventies like no other band. They know the music very, very well and play it just like the records. Among other big name groups they cover, these guys perform complete Beatles LPs and harmonize just the way the Fab Four did. We've been dancing to them for a few years at various venues around town, and just last night I was chatting with their lead guitarist Bob Wilson and discovered he was originally from Chicago. He's a recently-retired Nashville High School principal. Once I learned he was from Chicago, the ensuing discussion revealed he knew and had worked with nearly every Chicago band member I've ever seen mentioned on FH. He played in bands thru the 1960s and reeled off the names of all the guys from NC6, Shadows, Shames, Bucks, CTA, etc. (He even knew The Robbs from Wisconsin) Bob told me he'd talked with Skip Griparis as recently as last week. He and Skip were in the band Trilogy, which many from Chicago will remember.
They sound great ... Bob Wilson was a latter-day member of The New Colony Six ... one of those "missing links" if you will ... so it's kinda cool to find out where he ended up ... and even cooler that he's still making music (and sounding so good doing it.)  Thanks for sending.

I think the ideal "solid gold hits" format would be a full comprehensive-playlist type of program featuring top-100+ songs from 1950 through 1989. About 40 years worth of hits, every style and every song ever played on radio at some point during this period (even if only for a week or two).
And supplement the programming with assorted classic B-sides and select non-single album tracks as well.
This way songs like KEY LARGO by Bertie Higgins can be followed up with the likes of SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU by The Skyliners (for example), and the term "oldies" can apply to all four decades: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
Anything 1990 and beyond, make that the responsibility of all the OTHER radio station formats.
Tal Hartsfeld
We did a very lengthy series a couple of years ago on "What Is An Oldie?"  Unfortunately, you're asking for every bit of 15,000 songs to be on the playlist ... and today you won't find many radio stations willing to play 1500.  And, truthfully, a good chunk of this music doesn't hold up very well ... and has disappeared for a reason.  But I firmly believe there is a happy medium to be had ... if only somebody would be willing to hedge their bets long enough to give it a try.  (kk)    

From Frank B:    

We've run this link before ... but it looks like they've added to their playlist so here it is again for all to enjoy ...  

This is beyond incredible ... for the listener who can relive those wonderful music days of yesteryear... and for the artists and record companies.   

And here's another one we ran a short while back (courtesy of Clark Besch):
Oh my God!  Holy Batrope!  Here's 14 window climbing cameos including Dick Clark, Lurch, Colonial Klink and more!  Who the Hell is Susie Knickerbocker??  Apparently, a west coast gossip columnist.
The Dick Clark one would have been better if the Cryan Shames' JC Hooke would have stretched his arm out the window and pulled Dick back in "giving Dick the hook" as he did with the Shames on their never appearing on his shows due to Jim's Hooke!

Finally, here's another fun clip sent in by FH Reader Frank B:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Comments On Your Concert Comments and Reviews

Thanks again to Ron Onesti for giving away FIVE free pairs of tickets to the Micky Dolenz / Cowsills Show this past weekend.  And thanks to our five winners for supplying their honest reviews of the show.   

I decided to let all of those reviews run sans comments yesterday to give you guys the spotlight ... but today I'd like to address a few points noted along the way. 

Randomly taking them one by one ...  

I can honestly say that growing up I don't think I ever would have given a second thought to seeing The Cowsills perform live in concert ... although I loved some of their music ("The Rain, The Park and Other Things" and "Indian Lake" in particular), but I was just a little "too cool" and they were just a little bit too square and wholesome for my tastes at the time ... but over the years I have come to better appreciate the tremendous gifts this family has shared with us musically ... and, after seeing the Showtime documentary special, am more intrigued than ever by the way they soldiered on despite some incredibly difficult obstacles along the way.  As such, I was REALLY looking forward to seeing them perform at The Arcada Theatre.   

On the other hand, I've probably seen Micky Dolenz 25 or 30 times over the years ... so while his show may hold fewer "surprises" for me, I still enjoy and appreciate his presence on the stage. For me, Micky's has always been one of the most under-appreciated voices of rock and roll ... the man can SING!!!  And, from my own personal experience, I've never seen him put on anything less than a stellar show.  Based on the reviews we received it sounds like he was either having an "off night" ... or maybe just saving himself a little bit for all of the upcoming Monkees reunion shows right around the corner.  (Micky returns to the Chicagoland area later this month, in fact, for a Monkees show at the Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, Indiana.)   

Some of you seemed genuinely surprised by the connection of The Cowsills to the old television favorite "Love, American Style".  No, they didn't WRITE the theme ... but they performed it each week during the opening and closing credits.  Funny to think that this one went over so well in concert ... but then again, is there anybody out there who doesn't know this song?!?!   

Without a doubt, this family went through some incredible struggles internally ... if you haven't seen it, you have GOT to catch their documentary special ... it takes you through every high and low of their career ... happy and sad.  With a couple of recent losses I have to give them props for carrying on.  (Brother John currently drums with The Beach Boys!)  And, by all accounts we received, they still sound great!  (Some say they flat out stole the show!)   

The story of how the real-life antics of The Cowsills inspired the watered-down television equivalent, The Partridge Family, is pretty well known.  What some don't realize, however, is that the show was originally planned to be built around The Cowsills themselves.  For whatever reason, it didn't turn out that way ... comments ranging from "they couldn't act" to "they have no charisma" to "they're not believable as a family band" (which in and of itself is the ludicrous type of comment only Hollywood could make ... they WERE a family band for God's sake!!!) prevented the series with them onboard from ever getting off the ground.  

Instead, they decided to hire professional actors ... and Shirley Jones and her real-life step-son David Cassidy, assumed the lead roles.  (Reportedly neither knew the other had been cast until the first day of rehearsal!)  Even then the intention was to dupe in a real band and just have the actors lip-sync the tunes provided.  (This actually happened on the pilot episode ... but after that, Cassidy insisted that he really COULD sing ... and play the guitar ... and why don't producers give him a shot?)  They did ... and a brand-new teen idol was born, literally overnight.  (Unfortunately, this was never the image David wanted for himself ... and he had a real hard time dealing with it.  You'd be more likely to find him backstage jammin' to Jimi Hendrix than singing pop tunes like "I Think I Love You" or "Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted" ... but I digress.) 

If you haven't seen the Showtime Cowsills Documentary Special yet, seek it out ... it's really quite amazing.  (You can probably find it On Demand ... and it is also available as an "Instant Video" through Amazon.)  No matter what you THINK you may know about their story, I guarantee you you'll find some real surprises here ... many at the expense of "happy endings."   

As for Micky (part of yet ANOTHER TV Band ... and, some might argue, the very first "Boy Band" ... and why not?  They were "manufactured" in much the same way The Backstreet Boys and N*Sync were.  Hey, if Destiny's Child and TLC can be classified as "Girl Groups", then why aren't The Monkees a "Boy Band"?!?!?), the story is that he auditioned for the part on The Monkees by performing "Johnny B. Goode" to prove that he, too, really could sing.  (Dolenz has NEVER gotten the credit he deserves for his amazing vocals.)  He had done a bit of recording prior to the TV series but nothing ever really clicked for him.  Once he sang their first two hits (two MONSTER #1 Records, "Last Train To Clarksville" and "I'm A Believer") his whole life changed ... and, as noted in the reviews, he's been singing them ever since.  

Dolenz has always been capable of more, however, and he normally showcases this in concert.  One of the most moving performances I've ever seen was Micky singing "Since I Fell For You", a real torch song that he nails as well as anybody I've ever heard ... in fact, BETTER than anyone I've ever heard.  Unfortunately, that's not the kind of music his fans come out to hear.   

It's nice to see that he featured "Crying In The Rain", a duet with his sister and long-time performing partner Co-Co.  It comes from his EXCELLENT "King For A Day" album, a tribute to Carole King (who also happened to write a few songs for The Monkees, a couple of which Micky reimagines within the context of this LP).  The bluesy rendition of "Sugar Sugar" happens to be my favorite track from his "Remember" album, released a couple of years ago ... the highlight of the disk for me.  It's also a nod to the fact that Don Kirshner first presented this song to The Monkees to record and they reportedly turned it down, saying that they were trying to break away from that bubblegum image.  (Kirshner was fired shortly thereafter and The Monkees took complete control of their recording output beginning with the "Headquarters" album.)  Kirshner never gave up on the song, however, and a couple of years later resurrected it with Ron Dante on lead vocals, masquerading as The Archies.  (Guess he figured he could execute COMPLETE control over a non-existent "cartoon" band ... plus at least they could never fire him!!!)   

The "Oh Darlin'" story, however, is a complete myth.  Yes, Micky DID go to the studio to watch The Beatles record ... but that was in 1967 when they were making their "Sgt. Pepper" album.  The song he actually sat in on was "Good Morning, Good Morning".  (McCartney recorded "Oh Darlin'" as nearly a solo track two years later, long after The Monkees had fallen off the charts.  In fact, John Lennon himself has remarked how he wishes HE could have been involved in the track ... and there's absolutely NO way Micky would have been there if the rest of The Beatles were not!)  We shot a ton of holes all over this story a few years ago in Forgotten Hits.  Just consider it a GREAT excuse to do a BRILLIANT job covering a Beatles classic.  (By the way, Micky also recorded "Good Morning, Good Morning" on his "Remember" album as a tribute to that REAL landmark moment.)

The Jimi Hendrix story, however, is true.  Hendrix finally quit the tour after six dates, fed up with all the screaming 13 year old girls begging for Davy!  (Some related articles you might enjoy are listed below):
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Jimi Hendrix   

What would have made for an EXCELLENT Arcada Experience Bonus was the fact that Bobby Hart was also in town the night before Micky performed on the 2nd.  How cool would it have been to be able to reunite these two for the Q&A session!  (Personally, even as it stood, I think I would have enjoyed the Question and Answer segment as much as either show ... a great, rare chance to see the artists open up and respond to their fans.)  Had I only known ahead of time, I'm certain I could have arranged this.  (A short while back Jeff Foskett was here with Brian Wilson the night after Micky performed a free concert in Elk Grove Village.  Jeffrey produced Micky's "King For A Day" album ... another potential great reunion that never happened.)   

Regarding the sound and the seating at The Arcada Theatre, I, too, have experienced some sound issues in shows in the past.  There seem to be a few "dead areas" in the theater where the sound doesn't reach you quite as well ... and it tends to have a bassy overtone some of the time, making it difficult to hear and understand the artists when they are speaking rather than singing.  And I will agree that the seating is rather tight ... I'll even add a comment that the bathroom is nearly impossible to navigate, holding maybe three people (if one of them turns sideways!)  This is the nature of an old, vintage theater dating back to the 1920's.  (Guess we were all much smaller then!!!)   

That being said, I think Ron Onesti has done a GREAT job of preserving and renovating this theater.  And that's a fine line to walk.  You want to retain as much of the old look and feel as possible (they've even got the old pump organ that rises up out of the floor which they use from time to time for some of the pre-concert music, just like they used to do back in the old days before the movie started.)  All of this adds to the charm and ambiance of the theater.  I know that Ron is planning more expansion and renovations in the future ... and hopefully issues like more comfortable seating, larger bathrooms and improved sound are all on the list.  I know that he wants to provide the ULTIMATE in theater / concert experience ... while still retaining the charm of this beautiful theater.  Overall, it's a GREAT place to see a show ... and it photographs beautifully ... several of these concerts have been filmed for television over the years and The Arcada has quickly become THE hot spot to see a show in the Chicagoland area.  (Ron himself will tell you that while the theater has some truly historic mega-memories ... acts like The Three Stooges, Martin and Lewis, Mickey Rooney, Groucho Marx and others have performed there over the years ... its RICHEST history has really been the past six or seven years as it has reinvented itself as a showcase for today's favorite stars.)  EVERY person who I've EVER talked to has RAVED about their first Arcada experience.  It's just a GREAT place to see a show ... and no matter WHO you came out to see, odds are you have left as a fan of the theater ... and that's really saying something.  More improvements will come ... so visit often ... you just can't get a better concert experience than this.

Speaking of which, you can catch two more great shows at The Arcada this weekend ...

Soft Rock '80's band Air Supply will be performing Friday night at 8:00 ... and on Saturday, The Alan Parsons Live Project will be doing TWO shows (7:00 and 9:30).  Tickets and more information (as always) at the OShows Website: