Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Saturday Surveys (November 15th)

This 1965 chart from KLMS out of Lincoln, Nebraska, shows you what "Local Hits" were all about!

Topping their chart is "Mr. Moon" by The Coachmen, who knock The Rolling Stones out of the top spot this week!

You'll find some other surprises in their Top 20 as well ... records that didn't chart anywhere NEAR as well as they do on this Lincoln chart ...

Jackie DeShannon at #3 with "Lifetime of Loneliness" ... Nini Rosso at #6 with "Il Silenzio" ...  Horst Jankowski (who we just featured with his biggest pop hit a few weeks ago) at #8 with "Heidi" ... Lurch (from "The Addams Family") at #18 with his hot new dance record "The Lurch" ... even tracks like "Early Morning Rain" by Peter, Paul and Marry (#10), "Trouble With A Woman" by Kip and Ken (#19), "Sinner Man" by Trini Lopez (#29) and "Don't Pity Me" by Peter and Gordon are faring MUCH better than they would nationally.

Always cool to see a "Nifty Fifty" chart in the day of Top 40 radio!

Speaking of which, about about a chart showing The Swingin' Sixty?!?!?

And look at THIS #1 ... "Point Panic" by The Surfaris!!!  I've never even HEARD of this one!!!

How about "Splash Down" by Bob and the Messengers???  Ever hear of this one before???

"Dominique" by The Singing Nun is one of their pick hits this week ... and that hand-written note "Let's do something with this one" was inspiration enough for me to feature "Detroit City #2" by Ben Colder!

And finally, ANOTHER Top 50 chart from Cleveland's WHK (who also use the "Tunedex" brand on their weekly survey.

This one dates back to 1959 ... and features then-rocker Conway Twitty on top with his version of the old standard "Danny Boy".

I've always been partial to "Uh-Oh" by The Nutty Squirrels if only because it's got a great bit of scat-singing in the middle ... and is probably as close as "jazz" was going to get to The Top 40 during rock's early, formative years!

Our FH Buddy Freddy Cannon's got the highest debut of the week with "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" ... so let's give THAT one a spin, too!

Friday, November 14, 2014

50 Years Ago This Weekend

November 14 - 15 - 16:  

You'll find three British Acts in Billboard's Top Ten this week ... "Have I The Right" by The Honeycombs is at #5, "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann falls to #7 and "She's Not There" by The Zombies jumps 13 points from #22 to #9.  

The Kinks climb to #13 with "You Really Got Me" while The Nashville Teens slip a notch to #15 with "Tobacco Road".  The Rolling Stones have their first Top 20 U.S. Hit as "Time Is On My Side" jumps from #30 to #18. 

Other Top 40 British Hits include "Everybody Knows" by The Dave Clark Five (#23), "I Don't Want To See You Again" by Peter and Gordon (#24), "I Like It" by Gerry and the Pacemakers (#26), "I'm Crying" by The Animals (#27), "I'm Into Something Good" by Herman's Hermits (#28), "A Summer Song" by Chad and Jeremy (#32) and "When You Walk In The Room" (#37) by The Searchers. 

Further down the chart, Manfred Mann debut with their follow-up hit "Sha-La-La", the #71 record this week. The Dave Clark Five aren't far behind them ... their latest, "Any Way You Want It", premiers at #78.  Chad and Jeremy's new single "Willow Weep For Me" barely makes a dent at #94 ... and that's it as far as a British presence this week.

Here in Chicago, The Kinks have the highest charting British Hit on The WLS Silver Dollar Survey as "You Really Got Me" climbs into the #2 spot.  Right behind it at #3, #4 and #5 you'll find "I'm Into Something Good" by Herman's Hermits, "Have I The Right" by The Honeycombs and "She's Not There" by The Zombies.  Also still hanging on to a Top Ten Spot is "Tobacco Road" by The Nashville Teens, which slips from #6 to #10 this week.  

The Overlanders are at #12 with "Don't It Make You Feel Good", up nine places from the week before, followed by "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann at #13.  The Rolling Stones complete the British hold on The Top 20 with "Time Is On My Side", #17 this week in Chicago.  That's EIGHT of the Top 17 songs ... or nearly 50% of the chart ... held down by British artists.  (Guess this thing wasn't waning any time soon here in Chi-Town!)

TV - LOTS of British Acts on American TV during October and November of 1964 ...  

On the October 7th edition of SHINDIG (which was taped in London), The Beatles opened the show with "Kansas City / Hey Hey Hey Hey", a song not yet available here in The States.  They later performed "I'm A Loser" (from "Beatles For Sale" / "Beatles '65") and the old Ringo chestnut "Boys". 

Other British acts appearing on this program included Tommy Quickly ("Stagger Lee"), Sandie Shaw ("There's Always Something There to Remind Me"), Sounds Incorporated ("Sounds like Locomotion.") and transported American P.J. Proby, who sang both "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Hold Me."    

On October 14th, Adam Faith opened the show on Shindig with "It's Alright" and Manfred Mann were shown performing "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" in a clip taped in England.     

Ed Sullivan had The Animals on his program on October 18th ... they performed "House Of The Rising Sun" and "I'm Crying".  A week later (October 25th), it was The Rolling Stones who performed "Around And Around" and "Time Is On My Side".   

On October 28th, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas opened the show on Shindig with "Da Doo Ron Ron".   

On November 1st, The Dave Clark Five were back on The Ed Sullivan Show performing "Any Way You Want It" and "Because".   

On November 4th, Gerry and the Pacemakers kicked off this week's episode of Shindig with "How Do You Do It"  A week later (on November 11th) Billy J. Kramer was back to open the show with his version of the Lennon and McCartney track "I Call Your Name".    

On November 15th, Ed Sullivan welcomed Peter and Gordon to his show ... they performed "I Don't Want To See You Again" and "500 Miles".  

Three nights later Manfred Mann were back on Shindig doing their latest, "Sha La La" ... and a week after that (November 25th) Chad and Jeremy sang "Yesterday's Gone" and Matt Monro sang "My Kind Of Girl".

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Full disclosure:  I never had the chance to see the original Temptations ... I was too young at the time and, quite honestly, as big as The Temps were nationally, their records didn't play all that well here in Chicago.  (Example:  "My Girl", one of their signature tunes and a #1 Hit EVERYWHERE, only got as high as #19 on The WLS Silver Dollar Survey.)  In fact, despite the close proximity of Chicago and Detroit and a significant Black population here in Chicago, the first record to crack The Top Ten for Temptations on WLS didn't happen until 1968.  That's the year "I Wish It Would Rain" peaked at #2.  By then The Temps had already scored EIGHT Top Ten Pop Hits on the national charts ... and had taken SIX records all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B Singles Chart.   

That being said, I absolutely LOVE their music today ... and will ALSO admit to having watched The Temptations bio-pic AT LEAST fifty times now.  (It's nothing short of a personal addiction for Frannie and I ... we simply CANNOT get past it if channel-surfing.  If we dare to stop on this film ... ANY time, ANY day, we know in advance that we will end up watching the entire four hour deal again!  And I've got to tell you, it is SO well done that I HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE who may have some how escaped seeing it by now.)   

The Temptations were that rare breed of entertainment that went through numerous personnel changes along the way yet still managed to retain their sound, their integrity and their audience in the process.     

One such change was the addition of Dennis Edwards (formerly a member of The Contours, who scored big with "Do You Love Me" back in 1962, prior to Dennis joining the band), who officially replaced the problematic David Ruffin in July of 1968, six months after the aforementioned "I Wish It Would Rain" had its run up the charts.  Edwards would take over lead vocals on their next hit, "Cloud Nine" (#4, 1969) and was also the featured vocalist on their subsequent #1 Hits "I Can't Get Next To You" (1969), "Ball Of Confusion" (1970) and "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" (1972) ... not a bad track record for the new kid in town!  (In fact, Dennis Edwards sang lead vocals on the only two Grammy Awards The Temptations ever won!)      

Over the past 40 years there have been SO many versions of The Temptations touring (and often competing against each other), that we have stayed clear of these various factions for fear of not knowing just which configuration best represented the sound we have since come to know and love.   

So when I heard that The Temptations were performing in the Chicagoland area this past weekend at The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, I had mixed emotions about going ... Dennis Edwards would be at the helm (in what is now billed as "The Temptations Review"), and at least he was the lead singer on a number of #1 Hits ... Otis Wilson, the one constant in The Temps over the years (and the only surviving original member), also still performs from time to time but despite his longevity, he was always more of a "support" player than a lead ... although it is his memoirs on which that The Temptations movie was based upon.  Still, I felt compelled to see SOME version of the group while there was still the opportunity to do so, as so many other key members of the group have since passed on.  Besides, I couldn't imagine them not doing justice to The Temptations "brand" ... these guys were THE premier R&B band here in America for close to two decades.    

So, thanks to Forgotten Hits Reader Steve Sarley, and Genesee Theatre promoter Colleen Rogalski, who invited us out to see the show, we made the long trek out to Waukegan, Illinois, to see Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Review.     

This was our first trip to The Genesee Theatre, a BEAUTIFUL spectacle in Waukegan ... but I'm guessing it was filled to less than 50% capacity Saturday Night.  That's a shame, as our Master of Ceremonies that night explained that hosting Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Review completed the theatre's Motown Trifecta, having just played home to Pete Rivera of Rare Earth and Smokey Robinson in recent months.     

Clearly Edwards had played The Genesee before ... and the crowd that DID turn out (an all ages crowd if I've ever seen one!) was there for the pure love of the music that this band has shared with us over the years.  It was quite evident that this was a faithful crowd, many of whom have most likely seen some configuration of The Temptations several times before over the years. (Edwards must have mentioned "Waukegan" at least 45 times during the course of their two hour show, working it into the lyrics of their songs as well as during his between song patter ... fun and clever the first three or four times ... not so much after that!)      

I guess when you're part of a group that has enjoyed nearly 40 Top 40 Pop Hits during their career it has got to be difficult trying to narrow down which ones to perform when you perform live in concert.  No matter what you do, you're still going to leave out somebody's favorite.  As such, The Temptations elected to include MOST of these hits in medley form, giving us just enough of a taste of each one to whet our appetite for more.    

That's both a good thing and a bad thing ... there are certain songs that simply deserve the full-length treatment ... and The Temps only served up a couple of songs in their entirety the whole night.  These included a killer rendition of their big #1 smash hit "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" which, when backed by their full nine-piece band (aka The Temptations Review Orchestra, featuring a four-piece brass section and a couple of keyboard players who filled in all the strings and incidental effects), became one of the evening's highlights ... and a slowed-down arrangement of "I Wish It Would Rain", which was dragged on for about ten minutes of audience participation, again was, at first, quite entertaining but, after five or six minutes of the same, not so much.    

Other MONSTER hits guaranteed to bring the audience to their feet were also presented in abbreviated form.  These included "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", a guaranteed show-stopper on ANY given night, "Cloud Nine", "Psychedelic Shack", "I Can't Get Next To You" and "The Way You Do The Things You Do."  (I must add, however, that "Ball Of Confusion", which completed their first hits medley of the night, was a stand-out performance.  As such, I was primed and ready, hoping for more of the same as the night moved forward ... but most of their hits were presented as almost a passing fancy or obligation, rather than an expression of just how powerful these songs really were at the time.)  In fact, instead of featuring more of these universally familiar tracks, the band opted to include several songs that have long since disappeared from view (and our consciousness) due to the limited airplay playlists that besiege radio today ... "Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)", "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" (which DID get a good response), "It's Growing", "My Baby", "It's You That I Need", "Since I Lost My Baby" and several others that even the die-hard Temptations fans had a hard time remembering and recognizing.     

Even their two biggest career #1 Hits, "My Girl" and "Just My Imagination" were presented in medley form (with each other) to close out the show ... to my mind, a complete injustice to their indelible contribution to The Motown Sound and long-lasting appeal.     

WORD TO THE WISE:  Perhaps the best example that drove this point home to me was their ten minute  performance of "Some Enchanted Evening", in which they reinvented the song's melody (making it almost unrecognizable in the process), in favor of displaying some vocal gymnastics ... it not only went on too long, but was completely unnecessary.  I feel quite confident in saying that there probably wasn't a single member of the audience who wouldn't have GLADLY traded these ten minutes of tedious boredom for full-length versions of more of the music we all really came to hear.     

I will say this ... Edwards has put together a stellar group of vocalists.  I guess if you're going to pay tribute to The Temptations, there are certain "necessities" that have to be there ... including the high soprano / falsetto of Eddie Kendricks, the low-down bass and baritone of Melvin Franklin, and the strong rich tenor voices of David Ruffin, Otis Wilson and Paul Williams.  In this regard, he succeeded ... each vocalist displayed their incredible talent and richness of voice where needed.  (In fact one of those vocalists is none other than Paul Williams, Jr., a fact I was unaware of until Dennis introduced the group!)  Edwards also wisely distributed the lead vocals to the individuals best suited to handle them ... and often took on more of a background role as the material dictated.  Without a doubt, each and every man on stage was impressive in their presentation ... it's just a shame that we weren't treated to more of an overall show of the hits ... far too many songs went on for far too long, almost as if they were stretching for time to fill their two hour slot ... and the selection of so many lesser known (and, in some cases, UNKNOWN) material rather than playing up (and paying more attention to) their best known hits left the audience more than a little disappointed.  (That's not just MY opinion ... we heard this from several fans leaving the theater on their way back to their cars who were expressing the exact same view.)  

 Frannie was able to grab a couple of shots of Dennis Edwards and Paul Williams, Jr., shaking hands 
with their fans at the end of the show.  (That's her marquee shot up at the top of this piece, too)

Overall Concert Review (on a scale of 1 - 10) :  5    
My understanding is that The Temptations are headed to Broadway for a two week string of performances with The Four Tops (who, sadly, are also missing their original lead singer).  Ironically, they'll be competing with "Motown: The Musical" playing right up the street.    
Perhaps in this configuration, each band will be forced to play a pared-down set of music, thus concentrating on giving the audience the very best of their best material.  I hope so ... it will make for a far more enjoyable show.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

B.J. THOMAS - Concert Review - The Arcada Theatre

B.J. Thomas was in FINE voice and spirits Friday Night at The Arcada Theatre when he headlined the show that also featured Exile.  (Scroll back to see yesterday's Exile review if you missed it.)  

We have seen B.J. Thomas in concert before ... and nobody will EVER accuse him of being "Mr. Excitement" on stage ... he just comes out and sings ... and slays you with his voice, every bit as strong and clear as it was some 30-50 years ago when he was racking up FIFTEEN Top 40 Hits on the Pop Charts.  (And he makes the whole process look completely effortless ... the whole while hitting home run after home run from the stage.)   

Start to finish, he did nearly every single one of his biggest hits ... "Eyes Of A New York Woman", "Most of All", "Rock And Roll Lullaby", "Hooked On A Feeling", "Mama", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "Hey, Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", "Might Clouds Of Joy", "I Just Can't Help Believin'", "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and "Don't Worry Baby" were all performed to rousing applause.   

WORD TO THE WISE:  When you've got an opening act as vocally strong as Exile, bring these guys out to handle the background vocals on "Rock And Roll Lullaby" ... B.J.'s somewhat limited back-up band made a valiant attempt ... and B.J. himself did some INCREDIBLE high falsetto harmonies and filler ... but this particular song, LONG a fan favorite, deserves the maximum treatment in concert ... especially when you've got the resources backstage to do so!   

What he ALSO did this time around was provide an on-going commentary on his career between songs ... and he did it in such a way (with his down-home, southern sense of humor) that hearing him talk about these tracks was every bit as entertaining as hearing him perform his hits.  (Apparently this fact was lost on one female fan who, at one point, shouted from the audience "Just Sing" ... B.J. IMMEDIATELY put her down for her comment to which the entire audience responded with what very well may have been the loudest ovation of the night!!!  As Frannie said when it happened, "Congratulations, woman ... you have just embarrassed ALL of St. Charles tonight with your behavior."  Sadly, far too often you can dress them up ... but you can't take them out!)

The last time we saw B.J. was a few years ago at an outdoor venue where be barely said a word between songs ... so this was a VERY welcome change for me ... and quite entertaining.  (It played as more of a "Vegas-type show", which is how I imagine he performs most of the time.)  I remember reviewing at the time that B.J.'s outdoor show must have been the QUIETEST concert I had ever seen ... if he were any more laid back, he'd probably be sound asleep!!!   

That's why when he told the story about touring behind his very first hit ("I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") and being put on the bill as an opening act for James Brown, it was such a treat ... the mental image of "Mr. Bland" opening for "Mr. Dynamite" brought a smile to all of our faces (although Brown apparently went out and told "his" audience to give this new kid a listen ... which they did.)   

He seemed to be having a good time on stage Friday Night and so did we ... but I will admit that he over-stayed his welcome by about five songs ... towards the end, there were moments when his between song patter turned into flat-out rambling ... and performing several songs in a row that were not his own hits lead to boredom pretty quickly.  That being said, when he stuck to the hits, they sounded GREAT ... and his between song commentary was, for the most part, very entertaining and enlightening.  It's no secret that B.J. has had some serious "substance abuse" issues in the past, but he has weathered through them ... and come out in fine form and voice ... as such, it was fun to listen to him reflect back about the days when he was having a "really good time".   

Especially ironic for me was the fact that B.J. opened his set with The Temptations' song "Get Ready", noteworthy because we knew we were going to be seeing Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Review the following night.  (Be sure to check back to Forgotten Hits tomorrow to find that review!)  I couldn't help but wonder if The Temps would open THEIR show with a B.J. Thomas song ... somehow, I didn't think so ... nor did B.J. sound right performing theirs ... simply put, that one just doesn't fit his style.   

As such, I was curious as to what direction the show would take ... but B.J. went right into his string of hits and won us over in the process.

Overall Concert Review (on a scale of 1 - 10) :  6 ... with the notation that this easily could have been a 7 1/2 were it not for the lengthy moments that dragged ... seriously, there at the end there were at least three times I figured "well, this has got to be the last song of the night", only to find that he was going to sing another one ... and then another one ... and then another one.  ("Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" SHOULD have been the big finale show-stopper ... however, B.J. kept things going with four more songs after that, none of which were his own hits, including "Higher And Higher" [Jackie Wilson], "Oh Me, Oh My" [Lulu], "Little Green Apples" [O.C. Smith] and "Suspicious Minds" [Elvis] ... quite honestly, ONE of these would have been enough for most of us ... and several audience members did, in fact, leave the theater after "Raindrops" had been performed.  Had he slipped one or two of these non-B.J. hits in mid-set, and closed with his biggest smash, he would have left a far more satisfied audience behind.)  Still, when he was "on", he was QUITE entertaining ... and he was "on" most of the night ... all the more reason for him to wrap things up on a high note.   

Here's one of the big ones he didn't do ...

And, one of my all-time favorite ... that I absolutely INSIST would still sound great coming out of your radio today (if they'd only play the damn thing!!!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Concert Review: EXILE at The Arcada Theatre

We saw an incredible double bill at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles Friday Night, another GREAT showcase of talent that crosses all musical borders.  

The pairing of Exile and B.J. Thomas was once again genius on the part of Ron Onesti ... the PERFECT blend of pop and country who performed to a VERY enthusiastic and well-satisfied crowd.  

First up ... Exile.

Now if you only know Exile by their #1 Smash One-Hit Wonder "Kiss You All Over", I can assure you that you have missed a LOT of great music since then.

While I have never considered myself a true, hardcore Country Music Fan, I DID have a brief fling with the genre in the mid-'80's ... which is right about the time that these guys broke through in a BIG way, scoring TEN #1 Records on Billboard's Country Singles Chart.  I will tell you that the music of Exile was a big part of what lured me in!   

Incredibly, they've been together since 1963 and are celebrating their 51ST YEAR in the music business right now ... and I've got to tell you they sound as fresh and relevant today as ever ... they COMPLETELY won over the crowd at The Arcada.  (There was certainly an Exile base of fans at the show ... but in the process they also won over ANYBODY who had come to see B.J. Thomas that night.  B.J. joked during his set, while asking for another round of applause for Exile, that he has loved these guys ever since he first saw them perform as the back-up band on one of Dick Clark's famous road shows back in the late 1940's!!!  Truth is, in the mid-'60's they actually DID hone their skills playing back-up as The Exiles on many of Clark's Caravan of Stars tours!)   

I can best compare their success to that of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition ... each scored their first hit with a song that didn't even remotely suggest their ties and affection to country music ... Kenny with the psychedelic "Just Dropped In" and Exile with "Kiss You All Over", an erotic piece of pop that tore up the charts back in 1978.  Each group went on to attract their own audience in the field of country music and, as such, both acts have sustained long-standing careers with their very loyal country music fan base.   

Exile not only performed their own country hits ("Woke Up In Love", "Give Me One More Chance", "She's A Miracle" and others) but they also performed country hits that they first wrote and recorded that went on to become #1 Hits for other country acts like Alabama ("Take Me Down" and "The Closer You Get"), Janie Fricke ("It Ain't Easy Bein' Easy") and Restless Heart ("When She Cries").

But the biggest surprise of the night was when they told the story of their hit that just wasn't meant to be. 

Exile, of course had that great #1 One Hit Wonder in 1978 with "Kiss You All Over", a song that still gets played virtually every single day ... but they never really had another pop hit.  As a result of topping Billboard's Pop Singles Chart for four straight weeks, they were soon touring all over the country with some of the biggest names in the business and doing television appearances, enjoying the whole "star treatment" that comes along with a #1 success ... but soon it was time to go back into the studio and see if they could avoid "the sophomore curse". 

Now typically after a brand new band has a #1 Hit right out of the box ... (fact is Exile was your typical 15-year "overnight success" story!), their next record is pretty much a shoo-in for radio airplay, hoping that the band will strike gold twice now that they had built an audience.  Well, "Kiss You All Over" was a MONSTER ... like I said, you still hear it today ... so, to increase their chances of a "sure thing", they even used a song written by the same songwriting team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, who had penned their #1 Hit.  Chapman and Chinn were EXTREMELY hot at the time, having written and produced hits for a number of artists including Blondie, Sweet and The Knack.  But for whatever reason, they couldn't work their magic for a second time with Exile.  No one could have been more surprised than the band themselves.  

When they finished the session after recording their next single, they were absolutely CONVINCED that they had just pulled off the incredible feat of back-to-back #1 records.  But it didn't happen.  In fact, their next single never even charted!  Radio didn't play it ... people didn't buy it ... and nobody at all seemed interested in this track ... until five years later when some brand new band out of San Francisco decided to cut the track.  

Here's the ORIGINAL version of "Heart And Soul", recorded by Exile in 1978 ... five years before Huey Lewis and the News would take it into The Top Ten!

WORD TO THE WISE:  Career hit a dry spell and you're looking for new material to get you back in the game?  Every single one of those #1 Country Singles came from Exile album tracks that were overlooked as having "hit potential" at the time of their original release.  It just might behoove you to scour the Exile archives and see if there's more gold in them thar hills ... it's worked several times before!   

Concert Rating (on a 1-10 basis) ... a VERY solid 8 ... and a GREAT show.

J.P. Pennington

Sonny Lemaire

 Les Taylor

Vocally, they're unmatched ... PERFECT harmonies throughout the night with three singers capable of handling lead vocals ... never more in pristine evidence than on their stirring a cappella version of the Curtis Mayfield song "People Get Ready" ... all in all, five VERY charismatic guys who put on a thoroughly enjoyable show from start to finish.  (In fact, I've got to give the night to Exile, hands down ... they really executed the perfect concert experience.)

And that's saying a lot!  Believe me, B.J. Thomas was no slouch, either!!!  (lol)

Look for our review of B.J.'s show tomorrow in Forgotten Hits!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Helping Out Our Readers

We haven't done one of these in awhile ... but we HAVE stock piled a few requests ...    

Your reader that was looking for an early 60's guy / girl song could be thinking of Birdlegs & Pauline and the 1963 song called Spring.  Even though it was a three women one man group, it sounds like a duet.  They were from Chicago and Rockford.  The song was recorded at Sauk City, Wisconsins' Cuca studio and released on Vee-Jay.  Maybe this isn't what they were thinking of, however, I feel it is worth a shot.
Phil - WRCO


I was in grade school and Jim and Cathy Post (Friend & Lover) played at a company event at my Uncle Jim's  place of employment (Riggensteiner Printing) located in Chicago near UIC.  The band played what was to become a national smash " Reach Out In The Darkness".  An executive at the company was good friends with either Jim or Cathy - what I recall!  
Danny Lake / WLS  

I wonder if your reader is referring to Len & Judy, who recorded for the (tiny) Deer label of Chicago. Their 45, "Willy Nilly Joe" / "I'm Leaving Town Baby" (Deer 3001) is valued by rockabilly collectors for its b-side. I'm enclosing both sides of the 45.
Stu Shea

FYI …   
I saw this on one of your old postings ...   
>>>There used to be a Saturday morning show on the radio called "The Browsers" Do you know what ever happed to these guys? The guy leading the show was Eddie Hubbard. Dave Allison, Don Lucki and Ron Baxley were also on the show. Hubbard used to be the announcer for the Chesterfield Supper Club with the Glenn Miller Orchestra; top rated personality on WIND in Chicago. I just wouldn"t miss that show!!   (Joni)    
>>>I don't remember this one ... anybody else out there able to help? (kk)    
After hosting “the music of the stars” format on WJJD-AM 1160 Chicago, Eddie was heard on SMN (Satellite Music Network) in Mokena, IL.  ABC Radio Networks took over in Dallas, TX.     
The Browsers were heard in a one-hour segment with Eddie on Saturdays on the ABC Radio Network.  The Browsers were also featured on WKDC-AM 1530 Elmhurst with Bob Knack and The Great Escape.  WKDC changed call letters to WJJG but Bob continued with his Saturday morning show.  Bob Knack left the air and later WJJG played nostalgia music Sunday afternoon / evening with The Browsers vignettes.     
I don’t have exact times / dates as of this email but I thought you might be interested after I saw this in your 2013 archive.    
Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s

Hi Kent ... 
As you may recall in the movie, Jersey Boys, the Four Seasons or the Four Lovers as they were previously known sang background vocals for Bob Crewe on several recordings. I'm wondering if those recordings were ever hits and, if so, which ones were they, if you happen to know. Just interested if you happen to know. Thanx :)) 
As far as I know the early Four Seasons were delegated to background singing roles for close to two years before finally having a hit of their own ... but despite their unique sound an vocal contributions, NONE of these recordings ever became a legitimate hit that you would recognize.  (I'd be curious to hear some of these, too, just to see exactly how they enhanced the sound of the "chosen" artist who had a recording contract and the faith of Bob Crewe.)  Kinda cool to think that his background proteges became one of the biggest recording acts of all time!  (So much for "golden ears"!!!)  kk

I grew up in Detroit area listening to WKNR Keener 13.  They played and charted Leroy and I own a copy. I just looked it up on line and listened to it sung by Norma Tracey.  Look it up and listen. Thought I'd let you know if you didn't already find out.
Larry Streetman
Yes, for whatever reason this track sparked quite a bit of commentary back then ... and we ultimately featured the Norma Tracey record on the website.  Thanks, Larry!  (kk)

Can I ask you to try and identify another?
Attached is a small mp3 file of a song which I can't identify - once again recorded on a "reel to reel" tape player in 1972, so it's not great quality.
I'm wondering if it's "Margo - What Have I Done (I'm So Ashamed)?" (Chart Records CH-5180) but the only way I can check is to buy the 7" single from a USA site - and the postage to the UK is expensive!
Can you let me know if I am correct or if it's something else?
Many thanks.
I've never heard it before but I'm willing to have the list take a stab at it.  (kk)

I've been thoroughly enjoying your 50 Years Ago series. How could we forget the summer of 64!  
On a slightly different subject, have you ever done anything on the Jamestown Massacre? They had a hit with Summer Sun back in 72. Not much info out there other than they were from Downers Grove.   Thanks. 
Hoffman Estates 
"Summer Sun" was, at best, a local hit back in 1972.  Billboard charted it at #90 ... it did a little better in Cash Box (#78) ... and a little worse in Record World (#93) ... and, truth be told, even here in Chicago it never climbed any higher than #20 (and that was on the WCFL chart only ... for some crazy reason, WLS ignored it!) 
And that's a REAL shame ... as this is a GREAT, overlooked track that SHOULD have been a much bigger hit.  Everyone I've ever played it for has fallen in love with it ... yet somehow it never caught on with the masses. 
Led by Dave Bickler on lead vocals (who would next move on to handle those duties to far greater success with Survivor when he teamed with Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan), The Jamestown Massacre also included Len Fogerty on guitar, Mark Ayers on keyboards, Gary Manata on bass and Jim Smith on drums.  
We've talked about these guys a couple of times before in Forgotten Hits ... the general consensus seems to be that their name may have very well been their greatest detractor from success.  However this has NEVER made the least bit of sense to me ... the infamous Jonestown Massacre happened in 1978 ... six years AFTER this record came out ... yet so-called radio "experts" have cited this as being the main reason deejays across the country were a little shy about tasting the kool-aid at the time.  Ridiculous!  This is a GREAT record ... and it SHOULD have been a monster hit ... especially in 1972 when this was the sound de jour!!!  (kk)

UPDATE:  Dave Bickler's replacement as lead vocalist of Survivor was Jimi Jamison, who died of a heart attack earlier this year on August 31st.  He joined the band in 1984 and sang lead on their hits "The Moment Of Truth" (from "The Karate Kid"), "I Can't Hold Back, "High On You", "The Search Is Over", "Burning Heart" (from "Rocky IV") and "Is This Love.  He was only 63 years old.    

Hi Kent, 
I was looking for The New Place schedules online.  I haven't found any, but I noticed a post from 2010 that states that it burned down in 1968. Dex Card still held outdoor shows at that location over the summer of 1969.  The acts were along the line of his Wild Gooses that summer.  John Harrold  
Before my time ... but one of the coolest things about doing Forgotten Hits is being able to just go ask Dex Card himself to see what he remembers!  (Obviously somebody's timeline is wrong here ... so let's find out whose!)  kk   
Hi Kent,   
The New Place burned down, but continued to be used for outdoor concerts.  The former owner was Don Manhard. 
Dex Card

Regarding your thread regarding  “A Walk In The Black Forest”, I can remember it being used as the intro to a programme where two boys and father (?) walked across Dartmoor.  My mother bought me the single because of that programme. Any idea of the name of the programme please?   
Graham Grimmett 
Nope ... but somebody out there might know ... let's give it a shot!  For some reason "A Walk In The Black Forest" has also come up numerous times before in Forgotten Hits.  On a recent road trip I brought along a copy of a radio program I put together for WRCO up in Wisconsin ... it was our "Walk Don't Run" Marathon ... six hours of nothing but songs with the words "walk" or "run" in the title.  As soon as this one came on, Frannie recognized it immediately ... but just couldn't think of the name.  Apparently it was used in a variety of television spots back then.  (kk)

I have an old 45 on Buddah Records, “Take Your Time,” by Morning Rain.  Do you know ANYTHING about it?  It’s a great pop song! 
Alan Ethridge  
Buddah Records got stereo-typed as the home of Bubblegum Rock in the late '60's ... and they truly did deserve that title, thanks to hit after hit after hit by artists like The Ohio Express, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Lemon Pipers and others ... but they also released a wide variety of other music as well ... by artists as diverse as Melanie, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the recently featured Brooklyn Bridge, friends of Forgotten Hits like Lou Christie and Ian Lloyd and Stories, oldies acts like Sha Na Na and Fred Parris on up through disco hits like "More More More" by The Andrea True Connection.  Morning Rain fell somewhere in between. 
Their single "Take Your Time" never charted on any of the pop charts published by the national trades.  As such, I couldn't find anything in any of my research sources that even mention them.  (Incredibly, there wasn't even a posting on YouTube ... which typically caters to the rare and obscure!)   
I did find, however, a VERY comprehensive Buddah Records Discography Site which at least lists the record (albeit with no additional information.) 
Anybody else out there know anything about these guys???  Let us hear from you!  (Plus I'd like to hear the record!!!)  kk  
Click here: Buddah Records - CDs and Vinyl at Discogs

I am a fan and listener of the 60's oldies music.  I used to listen to the UK Top 20 as released  by the New Musical Express. I was very fond of a nice song of which I only remember some of the lyrics.  I am in search of its title and the name of the singer.  After writing down the following lyrics, I wonder if you can be of any help .
I studied Shakespeare when I was in school, thought Romeo was a joy.  I like the true way he loved Juliet, it was my ideal of a boy. 

Romeo, why am I so in love with you? Romeo, is it you or the thing you do? 
Are you mine from the moment you said hello ... are you mine or just bluffing my Romeo?  
That's all I remember.  
Thank you for a reply. 
Al Fredazar  
This one's not at all familiar to me ... but somebody on our list may recognize.  (Plus we've got a pretty large British readership these days, too ... so stick around to see if we can get you your answer.)  kk

Hello - 
I have spent more than 20 years looking for one LP ... Paul Revere and the Raiders: Special Edition I would REALLY love to get the LP in mp3 because I don't have a record player anymore ... or if you can just tell me where I can buy the old LP that would be ok too.  
Thank you for your time.  
Michael Curry  
Well, I didn't see this listed in any of the obvious places ... and, although I had a pretty complete collection of Paul Revere and the Raiders albums in my collection at one point and time, I can't say as I remember this being one of them.  So I consulted a couple of price guides and didn't see it listed there either ... so now I'm baffled. 
Digging a little deeper, I DID find an album called "Special Edition" released in 1983 ... could that possibly be the one you're referring to???  
This guy had a copy for $39.99 advertised when I checked on 10/21 ... 

Click here: Paul Revere and The Raiders "Special Edition" Raider America Records 582 | eBay  
Wikipedia (not one of my favorite sources for accurate information) says the "Special Edition" album was recorded in 1982 and marketed on Paul's own "Raiders America" record label ... it featured Michael Bradley on lead vocals.  I couldn't find a track listing but I imagine a good portion of this LP contains re-recordings of their best-known hits (although there may also be some new material included as well.)  kk
UPDATE:  At $39.99, Michael decided to pass ... I think if I'D been looking for a record for over twenty years ... and finally had somebody hand it to me on a silver platter ... I would have JUMPED at the opportunity to finally snag this thing!!!  (To each his own, I guess!)  kk



Wow!  Normally, I wouldn't even have the FAINTEST idea as to how to go about doing this!!!  If you have all of her old information (full name, recent addresses, etc.) you've probably got a better chance of locating her than I do!!!  But never say never ... we've pulled off some pretty amazing things here over the years.  
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Some Mid-Week Comments  
UPDATE:  Incredibly we DID find Patti ... she is STILL a Forgotten Hits Reader (and has been for probably at least a dozen years or so!!!)  I forwarded her Rich's information and left this matter in her hands to do with what she will.  (Stay tuned ... who knows, "Forgotten Hits Match" may be just around the corner!!!  lol)  kk

Hi Kent - 
Hope all is well with you. 
Billy J  Kramer is my live, on air guest on Monday, November 3rd.
Hal Blaine from the Wrecking Crew will be my guest on November 10th.  

I wondered if we could put a request out via your fine newsletter.   
We have done over 1400 interviews on our radio show.   
Most recent interviewees include Robert Lamm of Chicago, Don Felder of the Eagles, Denny Tedesco   (son of Tommy), producer of film The Wrecking Crew, Kent Hartman, writer of the book The Wrecking Crew ... and many others. 
In fact, if you have not already read them, I would recommend two wonderful books:  
"Always Magic In The Air" by Ken Emerson ... the story of the Brill Building 
and "The Wrecking Crew" by Kent Hartman.  
I'm seeking for future: 
Any writer from The Brill Building ... it has long been my radio mission to locate people to interview on the subject of The Wrecking Crew ... which may be difficult as it is now an age where sadly some of the great songwriters have passed on. 
I recently interviewed both Kent Hartman and Denny Tedesco ... both of whom were wonderful guests ... and I am delighted to say that Hal Blaine is going to be my guest on the 10th of November.  
It has just been announced that Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will play four dates in the UK in July of 2015.  I have already asked UK PR People to help me set up a phoner but I was hoping that with your strong connections, you might have an "inside contact" to Frankie Valli.  Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. 
In fact, if any of your contacts out there can help me line up spots with these artists ... or put me in contact with somebody who can, please have them contact me. 
My email is: and website is:  
Regards --  
Geoff Dorsett  
Happy to pass your request along ... perhaps somebody out there has the contact information to help set this up for you.  (Meanwhile, off the record I have given you a couple of names that I think would also make good interview candidates ... look forward to any updates you can share with our readers.  Thanks, Geoff!  (kk)   

And sometimes these things just have a way of solving themselves ... before we can even get them to print!  (lol) 

Hi -
I hope you can help me!
I'm trying to identify a song that was recorded onto a Reel to Reel tape player in 1967, in the UK, from a pirate radio station.  The title could be "I Can't Help The State I'm In" or "I'd Do It Again"
or something similar.  Sounds to me like a British group and was probably a B side.
Believe it or not I still have the tape and it plays and have managed to transfer it to my PC. It is now in mp3 format - have squeezed it down to half a MB.  I've sent it along to you so you can play it and share it with your readers in the hopes that somebody will recognize it and tell me who and what it is!

After a bit more of a thorough search on the web I'm wondering if it's Bobby Wood - "I'd Do It Again", the B side of "So Cruel" from 1964 ... but there's no way I can verify that - can you?

Nope, it's not that one.  (Tom Diehl sent us a copy of the Bobby Wood track and it ain't the one!!!)  Anybody else out there got any ideas as to what this might be???  (kk)

Thanks - I nearly bought it too off ebay!   I appreciate all the help.

And then ... he found it on his own!!!  (Sharing with others who may also have an interest.)  kk
I've got it!  Shazam has come up trumps!

It's "Philip Goodhand-Tait & The Stormsville Shakers - No problem" from 1966.
It's on Youtube.
Thanks anyway!

For 40 years I’ve been wondering if I dreamed up hearing a song called “Mary, Mary”.  All I remembered was one line “Mary, Mary, why do you just laugh at what I say … ” and the approximate year, 1974.  Today, thanks to Forgotten Hits, I found the song!  A  discussion on the band Puzzle, and their song “You Make Me Happy”, led me to check out some of their other tunes that were mentioned and, to my surprise, there on YouTube was the song I’ve waited for years to hear again … “Mary, Mary”.  I always knew that if I ever stumbled across this tune it would be because of Forgotten Hits.  Thanks for helping to solve the puzzle!  
Dick Eastman 
Antioch, IL
Excellent!  (The only "Mary, Mary" I knew was the one by The Monkees from their second album!) kk  

Can you tell me who sang the song Crazy Love?  They played it on Sirius radio. It was played on the Peter Noone show.  
Unfortunately there are several songs called "Crazy Love" that have received quite a bit of airplay over the years.  The ones that immediately come to mind are by Poco, Van Morrison, Paul Anka and The Allman Brother Band ... and each of these are a completely different song!  Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon have also recorded songs called "Crazy Love".  If you think you can narrow it down from this list, I can most likely send you a copy to listen to in order to determine if that is the one you're looking for.  Thanks, Terri!  (kk)
Thanks for getting back to me. I was able to get it. It was by the Velours, a 50's group.  Thanks again.
Wow!  That one didn't even make my list!  (lol)  kk

Just as we were about to go to press, we received these two interesting inquiries ... 

Hi Kent - 
Always the curious '60s aficionado, I wanted to ask you who the writer was of the song "Workin' on a Groovy Thing"? Could not find it when googling.  And is it true that singer Patti Drew did the original version in '68, but with not much success? 
Chalk that one up to the great Neil Sedaka ... just another one of the MANY hits he had a hand in writing.  (It was co-written with Roger Atkins.)  It became a Top 20 Hit for The Fifth Dimension in 1969 ... but you're right, Patti Drew cut it first a year earlier.  (We've featured BOTH versions several times in Forgotten Hits.)  Patti's version topped out at #62 in Billboard ... but was a #17 Hit here in Chicago ... so when we heard The Fifth Dimension's version a year later, it was already familiar to many of us.

Burton Cummings has a show coming up this Friday Night at The Arcada Theatre ... so this question seemed ESPECIALLY timely!  (He absolutely KILLED here last year ... hoping to see some of our Forgotten Hits Readers out at this year's show.)  kk

Hi Kent -
Can you please ask Burton Cummings "What's the deal with 'Albert Flasher'"??? 
That's got to be the most nonsensical song ever written. 
I mean, I love it ... but it makes absolutely NO sense! 
Is there some hidden meaning that I'm missing?  Or is this just from the era when the drugs were really kicking in?
I'd LOVE to hear his response.
As far as I know, "Albert Flasher" started out as a piano warm-up exercise (and a DAMN good one at that ... that run features some pretty amazing playing that really drives the song!)
As far as the lyrics go, I guess I never really gave them much thought ... I've just been a fan of the overall sound of the record.  I think it should have been a MUCH bigger hit than it was (and to this day believe that the fact that it was promoted as a two-sided hit here in America hurt its chances of doing so.)  Paired with "Broken" (in my mind, a far inferior track), radio wasn't sure which side of the record to play.  I remember here in Chicago "Broken" being given the initial push ... but then "Albert Flasher" coming up right behind it.  Once the dust settled, "Broken" peaked at #51 nationally and "Albert" reached #22 ... not a bad showing (but I've always felt that this one had "Top Ten Hit" written all over it.
I'll put your inquiry to Burton Cummings and see if he can shed any inside light on the lyrics and inspiration.  I just think it's a GREAT sounding record!
The piano riff in Albert Flasher is just an exorcise I used for years to "warm up" my hands when I sat down at the piano.
One time we were doing a radio interview in LA, and there was a big red sign that flashed when the news guy was finished and it was time to throw back to us in the other studio … there was a button that caused the red light to flash and on this button was written "alert flasher".  In my hurriedness,
I wrote down "albert flasher" thinking what a cool name it was … it was just that I misread it.
On the plane, on the way to Hawaii, I found that tiny piece of paper in my pocket from the radio station with "albert flasher" written on it.
Sometime later, when I got to a piano, I scribbled down some gobbledegook lyrics …
Michael was a moonbeam maker … there was a guy I went to school with named "Michael" who was 
exceedingly smart, and who apparently solved some old logic problem that had been in the books for years … other than that, it's all just stuff "grabbed from the air".


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