Friday, December 4, 2015

The Friday Flash

re:  The Cornerstones Of Rock:  
If you have Comcast, The Cornerstones of Rock is now listed on the guide, in case you want to record it ... both nights are listed ...
(Bill Hengels) 
Cornerstones of Rock logo

Cornerstones of Rock   

Cornerstones of Rock is a new concert series filmed in WTTW’s intimate Grainger Studio where the groundbreaking music series Soundstage began more than 40 years ago. The first special in the series will bring together Chicago area’s iconic rock groups of the 1960s and ’70s for a once-in-a-lifetime concert special.  

Cornerstones of Rock: American Garage
WTTW’s Grainger Studio, Chicago
October 16, 2015 (taping)   

Cornerstones of Rock: American Garage is a nostalgic celebration of the local “garage bands” that rose to national prominence in the 1960s and ’70s, and remain as favorites today with their sing-along hits. This special shines a spotlight on the local groups from the Chicago area who defined this era as they rose through the teen clubs all the way to national prominence.   

Jim Peterik of The Ides of March (the house band for the evening, playing their chart-topping hit “Vehicle”) and WGN radio personality Wendy Snyder will host this historic reunion, as many original members of these popular bands return to the concert stage to play their greatest hits, including:
  • The Buckinghams – Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna with special guest and original singer Dennis Tufano (“Kind of a Drag”)
  • The Cryan Shames – Tom Doody, James Fairs, and Jim “J.C. Hooke” Pilster (“Sugar and Spice”)
  • The New Colony Six – Ray Graffia and Ronnie Rice (“I Will Always Think About You”)
  • The Shadows of Knight – Jimy Sohns with Dennis Tufano and Ted Aliotta (“Gloria”)
  • The McCoys – Rick Derringer (“Hang On Sloopy”)
  • The American Breed – Gary Loizzo, Al Ciner, Chuck Colbert, Jr., and Lee Graziano (“Bend Me Shape Me”)
The concert will close with two special tributes:
  • Tribute to "Get it On" by Chase – performed by The Ides of March, powered by four trumpets and an historic appearance by Chase member Dartanyan Brown
  • Tribute to the late Mitch Aliotta – featuring The Ides of March, Ted Aliotta, and all of the groups performing the legendary Chicago anthem “Lake Shore Drive”
Yep, we've already set our DVR for this ... can't wait to see it (since we had to miss the live taping) ... now less than a week away!  Good press so far ... and hopefully the first in a series of new WTTW / PBS Concert Specials.  (This is how Soundstage started you know!!!)  kk 

As previously reported on CRM, WTTW-TV taped the very first episode of a possible new live music series entitled "Cornerstones of Rock" this past October. That debut episode, "Cornerstones of Rock: American Garage" now has a confirmed air date. The show will be premiered on December 10th at 7:30 pm. Encore airings will be that same night at 9:30 pm, and again on December 12th at 9:00 pm. Additional airings are expected during upcoming pledge drives. Other PBS stations in markets outside of Chicago could pick up the special for airing beginning in the spring of 2016. Should this episode be well-received, new episodes of WTTW-TV's "Cornerstones of Rock" will be created in 2016.
Chicagoland Radio and Media 

Thanks ... I’ve been looking forward to this since summer, when the plans were in the works.  
Jogging my memory ... I saw the New Colony Six at a Friday night “social” (You good Catholics will remember these from high school) at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Skokie circa 1967/68 - They played an amazing version of the relatively new “A Day in the Life” … Yes, it’s true; 
Saw the Cryan' Shames at Patten Gym / Northwestern University circa 1968/69.  I’ve seen The Buckinghams and Jim Peterik in some much later configurations, but for me they don’t hold the same fondness of memory, having not seen them “in the day”.  Nice shows though for sure.
A friend I grew up with in Evanston is on the cover of the first American Breed album.  He’s the Indian on the bottom left side.  
Also, don’t The McCoys sort of mess up the pure Chicago “Cornerstones” concept / spotlight? They were from Union City, IN, on the Ohio border. I also thought “Hang On Sloopy” was a pretty weak song when I was a kid … and it still hasn’t grown on me, with my sophisticated taste in music forty years hence.  ;-)  
Mike S.  
It would have been really nice if they had held the line-up for this first show to our local Chicagland talent ... they easily could have expanded things later on to include more of the popular garage bands of the day.  But I'm still looking forward to seeing it.  Anxious to see the pledge prizes, too ... from what I'm told some pretty extensive stuff in the way of additional footage, interviews, a live CD of the entire concert as well as a "greatest hits" CD that includes the original hit versions of all these tracks as they were first released.  Mark your calendars ... the first airing is next week on December 10th. 
Unfortunately, I was too young to catch many of these '60's Local Legends at the time ... other than The Ides Of March who played my high school (which was also THEIR high school) numerous times.
As for The Ides Of March and The Buckinghams, I will say this ... they're still well worth checking out in the live concert setting.  The Ides still have ALL of the original members that formed in that Berwyn Basement 50+ years ago ... how many other groups can you say THAT about?!?!  And they sound better than ever.  (They truly do kick ass in concert!) 
And Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna have kept The Buckinghams in front of audiences for 35 years now ... they tour regularly and have been part of The Happy Together Tour numerous times and have performed on many of the cruise ships, too.  (kk)

Speaking of great shows ...

re:  More Arcada Shows:  
We had no sooner posted our list of upcoming "new year" shows at The Arcada when Ron Onesti announced the next batch of acts just signed for appearances ...
AIR SUPPLY - January 22nd
RANDY BACHMAN - April 16th
THE STYLISTICS - October 7th
And let me tell you ... there are a WHOLE bunch of new acts to be announced in the days to come ... so stay tuned!!!
Other 2016 show already booked include
Jefferson Starship - January 30th
The BoDeans - February 12th
Chuck Negron and Mark Farner - The Voices Of Rock - February 13th
Tommy Roe and Chris Montez - March 13th
Steven Wright - April 9th  (saw him last year at The Genesee and he was hysterical)
Crystal Gayle - May 6th
Alan Parsons - May 7th
Frankie Avalon - May 8th
Paul Anka - May 19th
Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits - June 4th
Norm McDonald - September 16th

re:  Just For Fun:
Check out this video that DJ Stu Weiss sent us ... 

You cannot help but smiling watching this one!!!
The Rocky Fellers went on to have a Top 20 Hit of their own in 1963 with "Killer Joe".  (kk)

re:  Bobby Darin:
Kent ...
Great stuff.  Very interesting. Love it.
The only way you'll be able to top this -- 
Find out who really killed Bobby Fuller.
I love Big Jay ... listen to him every Friday and Saturday on my clock radio. I did write to him to defend my position.  
Looking forward to next week's edition of Bobby Darin.
November 20, 1994 = Wild Wayne interviewed Dodd Darin.
We know that Bobby and Sandra didn't get along at first.  Marriage lasted seven years. He said his parents grew apart because his mother led a sheltered studio life and Bobby was pursuing a high powered career. He was also changed by Viet Nam and the Civil Rights movement.
Frank B.
Not really planning on running weekly installments ... I keep wanting to get the whole thing up on the other site but there is SO much work involved with that (and SO little time to spend on it!!!)  But one of these days we'll make it happen.  We cover all of that stuff ... Bobby and Sandy (and how he first wooed and won over Sandy's mothe!) ... his involvement with Bobby Kennedy and the Civil Rights movement ... now you've got ME wanting to read it all again!!! (lol)  kk

Loved the Darin piece you posted Thursday. The tracks were nice for comparison. Super job as usual.
David Lewis
It was very well-received when we first ran it ... the Official Bobby Darin Website even picked it up ... in fact, I thought there might still be links to the complete original piece but I can't find any.  Years later I was invited to the Flamingo Hotel ceremony in Las Vegas when they put his star on the walkway and got to meet a lot of these people.  It was an exciting time.  (kk)

Hola Kent,
Charlie from deflateville, revenge is sweet !
Loved the Bobby Darin stuff, a great singer-crooner-performer. I was always fascinated by his appearance on a PBS Special (maybe not, could have been just a video) of his "Simple Song of Freedom" performance during which he appears very uncomfortable singing a 'Peace / Folk' song and ending by giving a slyly subtle peace symbol with his hand. 
A great trivia question compares Bobby Darin and Tim Hardin as to who wrote the songs they both sang "Reason To Believe" and "Simple Song of Freedom", many will guess the reverse.
It speaks to his versatility and desire to more than a "Teenage Heartthrob" plus I may have missed this (getting 'senior' ha ha) but didn't he also write "My Way" for Frank(?) another neat connection.
Hey to Larry, the 'Cruisin' Series' allowed us all to experience all the great Disc Jockeys around the country while enjoying the hits through the years, along with the jingles and commercials. I hope you get a kick out of this:

A super compilation collection. 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and then gave thanks once again after recent events we are the greatest country in the world.
Speaking of Thanksgiving a minor tradition is enjoying Arlo Guthrie's ballad "Alice's Restaurant" and subsequent iterations with family and passing it on. A wonderful statement was shared by Arlo during one of his many performances, when visiting the church years later to purchase and restore it, he was asked by a townsman what he was doing in a church to which he replied "I'm going to establish a 'Bring your own God' Church so all can celebrate their own beliefs in harmony" (I may have abridged it a tad but the essence remains).
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and Happy Holidays to the politically correct!  And thank you, Kent, for the forum.
You're confusing Bobby Darin with Paul Anka on Sinatra's "My Way".  (In fact, Anka has probably rewritten the lyrics to that tune at least two hundred times since in order to fit it into the context of whatever he happened to be doing at that moment in time!)
Darin went full steam into the folk scene ... we had a couple of chapters in our series devoted to his transformation from Vegas lounge lizard into hippie, blue-jean clad Bob.  (Damn, I guess I AM going to have to run this again ... it took a WHOLE lotta work so I hate to just see it sit here in the archives!  Maybe after the first of the year I can devote some time to resurrecting it.)
I listen to "Alice's Restaurant" every Thanksgiving ... in fact, there are a couple of radio stations here in town who play it twice on Thanksgiving Day.  (TV used to run the movie, too, but it's AWFUL!!!)  Instead, PBS ran an Arlo Guthrie concert and I watched a bit of that ... but it was painful to see Arlo try and recreate his masterpiece all these years later ... I ultimately had to turn it off.  The song was both a blessing and a curse ... but now that the whole world knows the story (or at least the whole world as it pertains to the audience at an Arlo Guthrie concert), he's pretty much just going through the motions ... all the little "wink wink, nod nod" moments that made it so clever and unique the first time around are gone.  That being said there are STILL lines that crack me up and make me smile even 46 years later.  (Thank you to cousins Amy and Ina-Alice for first turning ME on to this record way back when at one of YOUR Thanksgiving dinners!)  kk

Hey Kent,
After reading all the things about Bobby Darin, this morning in FH, I couldn't resist sending this Ernie Kovacs clip. Ernie was a one-of-kind comedian. No one has ever been like him, even by today's standards. When "Three Penny" was playing on his show, I thought, "How could they do this to Bobby Darin"hit?"  
I didn't know a thing about the history of the Sinatra vs. Darin "feud". Every time Bobby appeared on TV, my dad would say that he was always trying to copy Frank's style, but I wondered where Dad got that idea. What did I know?- John LaPuzza 

Here are some other cool Bobby Darin links sent in by FH Reader Frank B ...
And from the Bobby Darin edition of "This Is Your Life" (first broadcast on December 2nd, 1959 ... which I see Vintage Vinyl News has ALSO posted links to this week!!!), check out THESE cool clips ... which just celebrated their 56th anniversary!  (kk)

re:  The Huffy Radio Bike:
Hey Kent,
I sure like the photos of the Huffy Radio Bike. In those days, we thought Huffys were cheapies compared to Schwinns, but I just saw a photo of a GREEN Huffy Radio Bike, and I would have found a way to get one! I remember that the closest we could get to a something like that was to hang a transistor radio from the handle bars, by its strap. The radio would swing back and forth, as we peddled, so the reception would fade in and out. Then, we would resort to taping it down! (Not very attractive.) I didn't know that they made radios designed especially to be mounted on bikes, until I saw this page. So, they made Radio Bikes and Bike Radios.
- John LaPuzza
Bicycle Radios - Steve's Antique Technology
Larger Image - Bicycle Radio History - Bicycles predated consumer radios by at least 50 years but as soon as radios and their battery cases became physically small ...

Funny ... I was going to mention tying the strap of my portable radio to the bike handlebars and then forgot all about it ... but I think we ALL did that way back when ... just couldn't keep us away from our favorite tunes!  (kk)

That Radio Bike said it said it took "A" and "B" batteries. I'd bet you can't find them anymore.
R.D. (Bob) Frable
LOL ... good point!  (kk)

This has become a pretty hot topic ... and Chuck Buell (who sent in the original story) tells us ...

Attached is a clearer version of the Radio Bike Ad, if you like.  

Also a friend of mine did some research on this Radio Bike and they came up with this:
Blue is the rarest color, then green, then red. 
One of those, in mint condition? $1500 - $2000.
Another found that Huffy made about 8,500 of them in a two year run debuting in time for the 1955 Christmas season, predating the use of transistors.  With three vacuum tubes, the battery pack was on the carrier behind the seat. 
And a Radio Engineer said, "I would be willing to bet that a set of batteries for a Huffy Radio Bike would cost around $100 today!  The radio in the bike was a tube-type radio and batteries for the old tube portables have gotten really expensive." 
Wow. "A" and "B" Batteries! Used now only to keep the electrical neurons of my mind's vintage memory cells firing!
I remember as a very young Kid these, or similar looking, batteries powering my Dad's Big, Portable Tabletop Shortwave Radio!
Eveready "A" Battery
Eveready "B" Battery

Ride On Radio Rangers! 
Ah yes, I remember these now that I see them again ... you literally had to "plug in" to connect!  (If I'm not mistaken, Dr. Frankenstein had a bunch of these powering his equipment when he created "the monster"!!!  lol)  kk

re:  This And That:
The other day we ran a link to WCBS-FM's Top 500 Thanksgiving Weekend Countdown ...
Then we just got this from the folks at The Fest For Beatles Fans ...
Speaking of lists, The 15th Annual Q104.3-FM Thanksgiving countdown of the Top 1043 Classic Rock Songs of all time was over the weekend and The Beatles had three songs in the Top 6 and four in the Top 11:  
2. Hey Jude
3. Let It Be
6. In My Life
11. Sgt. Pepper Reprise / A Day In The Life.
The Beatles placed 50 songs in the countdown, as voted by listeners.  John had eight, George had seven, Paul had five and Ringo had two - meaning that 72 songs in all made the list.

Thanks again, Kent, for the Santa plug.
And by the way, it's been getting more than 5,000 "hits" on YouTube for the past few days.  I think it's bound to pass 2,000,000.  
My wife asked me why I'm after that number.
The answer?  
"Because it'll make me feel real good".  :-)
Also, I'm getting lot's of requests for the lyrics from teachers who want to use it for their schools' Christmas shows.  Nice!
Congratulations, Paul ... I think you'll pass two million hits in no time!  (kk)

I remember you asking me for this song in the past. At the time I was unable to supply the copy I once had, and converted your wav file to an mp3. By a fluke accident, tonight I found the song again, and it's in nice stereo! It's attached.
Tom Diehl
Thanks, Tom ... evidently a very special promotion "The Chipmunks" did for Harry's Store back in the '50's.  Pretty cool actually.
Their single "The Chipmunk Song" made the national pop charts five times between 1958 (when it went to #1 ... and stayed there for four weeks!) and 1962.  Three out of four times it made The Top 40 ... and the other time it just missed, peaking at #45.  (kk)

Hey Kent.
A Charlie Brown Christmas aired tonight, even though it's only November 30th. The special first aired in 1965, making it eligible for AARP membership. Two big songs in this one, both by the Vince Guaraldi Trio:
"Linus and Lucy" - This is the famous Peanuts theme music. It was actually written two years earlier for a documentary about the comic that never aired.
"Christmas Time Is Here" - Originally an instrumental piece to open the show, the producer of the special decided at the 11th hour to add lyrics, so he wrote some. Guaraldi rounded up some kids from the area to sing them.
Be Well,
Carl Wiser

Kent ...
Have you heard this one?  Mike Love rewrote a Beach Boys song.
Frank B.

Hello Music Fans!  We have big news this holiday season. The Silvers have released a Christmas song called, "What Are You, Christmas?" It's available for FREE on The Silvers / Silver Laughter website, but only until December 31!  Download it now before it's too late!   
Mick Orton