Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Sunday Comments ( 05 - 10 - 15 )

re:  Gino Vannelli:  
One of the best shows we saw last year was Gino Vannelli at The Arcada Theatre.  (My wife's been a lifetime fan ... and I liked all of his hits ... so I figured if Gino did his job right that night ... in his sexy, sultry, enticing way ... it'd be a win/win for everybody!!!  lol)  
Fact is, he blew me away!  Exceeded my every expectation. GREAT show ... GREAT storyteller ... and his band is out of this world.  
He'll be back at The Arcada for TWO shows later this month ... Saturday Night, May 16th, with the full band ... and then a BONUS show on Sunday afternoon (2 pm) performing an all acoustic set.  
We're so excited about this that we're offering a special 20% discount on tickets to BOTH of these shows through the Arcada box office.  Order your tickets online at and punch in the special code FH2015 ... and you'll get 20% off your order.  
This is a show we think you'll really enjoy and we'd love to see you out there.  
(By the way, after the acoustic set on Sunday, grab dinner and then come back to see Paul Revere's Raiders ... their first Chicagoland appearance since the passing of Paul Revere.  This, too, is always a great show ... and you can pick up tickets for this one through the Arcada website, too.  Sorry, the 20% discount only applies to the Gino Vannelli show.)  kk  
Read our review of last year's show here:

re:  George Benson:
We caught the George Benson show at The Arcada Theatre Wednesday Night ... what a class act! 
Benson, a ten time Grammy winner, has mastered the art of making it all look seamlessly smooth and effortless.  Of course that's what decades of honing your craft will do for you ... but I swear he just gets better with age.  (A true testament to the respect he has earned for his skills ... sitting right up front were two of Buddy Guy's daughters, who were clearly raised on this music ... and had the utmost respect for George's talents.  And these girls KNOW a thing or two about good music ... and the skill it takes to play it!!!)
He kicked off his set with one of my favorites, the smooth jazz classic "Breezin'", a #63 Billboard Hit from 1976.  He continued to warm up with more guitar magic before finally cranking out his first vocal ... and from there the hits just kept on coming.  He did 'em all ... including "Love X Love", "Love Ballad", "Give Me The Night" and my personal favorite George Benson tune, "Turn Your Love Around" ... although I've gotta be honest with you ... based on a couple of gestures he made at the beginning of this song, I couldn't help but wonder aloud "Does this mean he wants to do it in the butt???"  Let's just say that this performance gave WHOLE new meaning to turning your love around!!!
Best song of the night for me, hands down, was his killer rendition of Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why", on which he displayed an understated yet perfectly executed guitar vibe that was supplemented by sporadic vocal bits and pieces, courtesy of his percussionist Lilliana De Los Reyes, who also handled background vocals and high harmonies throughout the evening.  (I swear she looks all of sixteen years old ... but is a VERY talented and valuable asset to the sound of George's incredible band.)
Speaking of which, George's on stage line-up also includes Stanley Banks on bass, Michael O'Neil on guitar, David Garfield (Musical Director and keys), Khari Parker on drums, the aforementioned Lilliana de los Reyes on percussion and vocals and Thom Hall, also on keys ... ALL accomplished musicians who compliment each other very nicely on stage. If there was one misstep during the night it was when he performed the unexpected "Wichita Lineman", praising the talents of the young man who first recorded it and made it a hit back in the late '60's.  However, when George said " ... and his name was Glen Campbell", I immediately and instinctively reacted with "IS!!!  His name IS Glen Campbell ... he hasn't left us yet!!!"  George immediately corrected himself and then performed the song to perfection, making it sound just as relevant as a mellow, bluesy piece as it did as a country hit all those years ago.
After wrapping things up (to a rousing standing ovation), George returned to the stage, where his encore went on nearly as long as his entire set!!!  He came back out and talked about the man who most influenced his career, Nat "King" Cole, and then performed an extended version of "Nature Boy", one of Nat's most familiar tunes.  Other songs followed, wrapping up with his first big radio smash, Leon Russell's "This Maquerade" (#8, 1976) and a VERY lengthy version of "On Broadway" (#5, 1978), which featured a solo spotlight by each of the players up on stage.
His last US show for a couple of months is tonight (the 9th) in Pittsburgh ... after that he's all over the globe, making stops in Russia, The Ukraine, France, Switzerland, The United Kingdom and Austria.  He returns to the States in mid-August with dates on both coasts through the end of the year.  You can find the full tour itinerary here:
(One report I read said that George hasn't performed in the Chicagoland area for 27 years!!!  So catching him at The Arcada was a real treat!  In fact, Ron Onesti, who just this past week celebrated his 10th Anniversary since saving The Arcada from demolition, told us that he's been trying to book George for all ten of those years ... and this was the first time they could make it happen.)  That coup was to the benefit of each and every one of us in the audience that night.
I would be remiss in reviewing George's concert without mentioning his hysterical opening act,  comedian Damon Williams.  He had us laughing from start to finish with his rapid-fire take on some of life's typically taboo topics.  And it was clear that Damon was having fun up there, too.
If you have the chance to catch this night of all-around, exceptionally good entertainment, please do so.  A VERY enjoyable evening awaits you.  (kk)

Photos copyright 2015, Luciano J. Bilotti - 
For exclusive use on The Forgotten Hits Website

re:  The Drive's 14th Anniversary Birthday Party:
Once again, The Drive, Chicagoland's Premier Classic Rock Station is throwing themselves a birthday party ... and, once again, the presents go out to their loyal listeners.  (Wow, 14 years already ... and I've been their since Day One!!!)
This year's concert event will take place on Friday, June 12th, at The Rosemont Theater, and will feature Dennis DeYoung, performing the hits of Styx along with Heart.
But you can't buy tickets to this concert ...
That's because The Drive is GIVING THEM AWAY!!!
The ONLY way to get a ticket is to WIN it ... and they're giving you several opportunities to do so.
Visit The Drive's website for more details ...
There will be random ticket give-aways at disclosed locations ...
You can win by being the 14th Caller any time The Drive plays a song by Styx or Heart on the radio ...
And you can register to win tickets on line each and every day for random drawings throughout the broadcast day.  (And believe me, I'm trying ... I have never seen Heart and would LOVE the chance to see them in concert.  I've been to most of The Drive's Birthday Bashes ... and this one sounds like a real fun event.)
More details here on The Drive Website: 

re:  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
Legendary DJ Dick Biondi took issues with (in his words) "those A-Holes at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame" for ignoring groups like Chicago and The Ides Of March (not to mention most midwestern groups in general) during his appearance at The Marty Grebb Benefit Concert Thursday Night.
He encouraged everybody in the audience "who owns a computer" to email the Hall and demand that some of these artists be recognized.
Unfortunately (as we've said time and time again), these efforts are meaningless ... The Rock Hall has their own agenda and are not influenced or swayed in any way by what the majority of the public things ... we've seen petitions with 10,000 names on it completely ignored in the past.  (Unless, of course, Elton John makes a personal pitch for Leon Russell, who then gets in on the very next ballot!)
And you know, for the most part, I'm OK with that ... let the inducted artists have some say in the whole selection process ... after all, THEY know who influenced them to pursue a career in music.  I guarantee you they'll come up with a FAR better list than Jann Wenner and his nominating committee will!
I still say they need to hold a special ceremony ... run it on PBS (where the right audience WILL tune in to see this happen) ... and mass-induct a dozen "deserving and denied" artists that have unjustly been ignored by the committee thus far.  Or, as one FH Reader suggested, assemble a Veterans Committee of artists, deejays and journalists who were THERE in the '50's and '60's and let THEM come up with a list of worthy artists.  Because, quite honestly, MOST people out there cannot take The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame seriously until the right these wrongs.  (kk)   

Hey Kent -
The RRHOF voting process reminds me of a New York or Paris fashion show where designers create clothing to impress each other, instead of showing anything the general public would ever wear. In other words, their voters go out of the way to be too hip for the room, looking down condescendingly and imposing their arrogance upon the unwashed masses. "We know better than you!" Very pompous and dismissive of the early days of rock and roll, and of what the people really want. I just ignore what Jann Wenner has to say about anything, especially when his rag slandered an entire frat at U.Va. Thanks!
- Larry Cave   

Kent ...
50 Years Ago The British Nearly Took Over The U.S. Charts
Do I remember?  Well, let's see ... since I ran a 52-Week Salute to The British Invasion last year in Forgotten Hits, pointing out their U.S. chart domination on a weekly basis ... and continue to run our Monday Morning Surveys each week, I'd have to say we've covered this topic pretty well ... better than most, in fact!  But it's cool to see that some of the new, young turks over at Billboard are now discovering this phenomena, too.  (kk)
Of course NONE of that means ANYTHING if you believe this load of crap, also sent in by Frank B ...   

Just like he did with The Billboard Charts of the '50's, '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and 2000's, Joel Whitburn is now starting to publish the weekly Cash Box Charts.
First up, the 1970's ... featuring EVERY chart published by Cash Box Magazine from 1970 - 1979 ... full page reproductions (in black and white) in an 8 1/2 x 11 format.
Books are in stock now and available for immediate shipment.
And, for a limited time only, you can get $10 off the cover price.  (kk)
Visit The Record Research Website now to order your copy ...
And, speaking of cool new releases, The Wrecking Crew DVD and BluRay edition will FINALLY be available on June 16th.  Producer Denny Tedesco tells us that's been nearly 19 years to the day since he first started this project.
Fans have been waiting for this one for a long, long time.  Magnolia Pictures wanted to do a theatrical release first ... but the discs will FINALLY begin shipping next month to all of those who have long been waiting to get their hands on a copy.
PLUS there are over SIX HOURS of bonus material that will accompany the release.
If you were a Kickstarter contributor, you will receive your copy automatically.
Anyone else interested in preordering a copy should visit the official website now and get on the list.
This has been a LONG time coming, people ... and I can assure you that it was well worth the wait.  Order your copy today!  (kk)   

Here's a cool shot of Micky Dolenz and Jack Black, sent in by FH Reader David Salidor ...  
Jack Black (half of Tenacious D) welcomed Micky Dolenz to the NY premiere (at The Landmark Sunshine Cinema) this week of his new movie The D Train.

>>>I don't know if there is any truth to this, but a long time ago, I heard that J. Edgar Hoover actually pressured the record companies to "manufacture" new squeeky-clean teen idols, like Avalon, Rydell, Boone, Fabian, and others, because he thought Elvis was such a threat to the security of our country. Do you or your readers know anything about this? (John LaPuzza)  
>>>First time I've heard this one ... do we know if Hoover was wearing a dress when he said it???  (kk) 
Not that I was ever a supporter of J. Edgar Hoover, but I am on a never-ending crusade to dispel urban myths, and the one about him wearing dresses seems to be just that. J. Edgar was active in Scottish Rite Masonry. This also holds true of people like John Glenn, Gene Autry and Bob Dole. There are ceremonials and plays within the Scottish Rite where the garb worn is similar to that worn by cardinals, bishops, emperors, kings, monks, etc. Obviously, someone who saw one of these pictures, seeing Hoover wearing a garment not typical of 20th century accepted male, attire drew this conclusion, a conclusion doubtlessly fueled at least partially by the fact that J. Edgar Hoover wasn't exactly Mr. Popular.  
Does this me we can say for certain that Mr. Hoover never engaged in kink in the aforementioned or other veins? Of course not! But the fact is the photograph or photographs viewed by whoever don't support the premise. Hence we have an urban myth that's on par with the one about Dick Biondi being fired from WLS in 1963 because of telling a dirty joke, that punch line of which has yet to be heard on a replay.  
While we're on the subject, anyone hear the news that Paul McCartney is really dead? (He hadn't noticed that the lights had changed.)  
Bill Fortune   

Kent ...
Listening to "Wild Wayne's Memory Machine."  He just re-played his 1988 interview with Ben E. King.  
Here are the highlights of the interview:
Like so many others, he started in Gospel Music.
Before the Drifters, he tried out for The Moonglows.  Didn't like the Moonglows ... they had strange difficult harmony.
---  Charlie Thomas was supposed to sing lead on "There Goes My Baby."  He couldn't learn the lyrics fast enough so they asked Ben E. King to sing lead.
---  "Save The Last Dance For Me. " He recorded the song after he left the group.
---  "Spanish Harlem." Snow storm prevented other group members from getting to the studio. The start of his solo career. I heard that it was because of a money dispute.
---  "Stand By Me." He wrote this song while listening to Sam Cooke sing "Lord Stand By Me." Even though he was not in the group, he took this song to the Drifters. They didn't want it so he recorded it solo.
--- John Lennon's recording of "Stand By Me" surprised him.
--- He was honored that Aretha Franklin recorded a couple of his songs.
--- He knew that "Stand By Me "was going to be in a movie.  He was shocked when he found out that it was the title of the movie and that it was a serious movie. The song was back on the charts
in 1986, because of the movie.
Frank B. 

Speaking of Ben E. King, Tom Cuddy just sent us this recently posted YouTube clip of King singing his big hit "Stand By Me" with Paul McCartney and James Brown!  all that musch more unusual when you consider that it was John Lennon who recorded his own version of this tune for his "Rock And Roll" album.  (Actually I've heard John's version several times since King's passing ... something I haven't heard played on the radio in YEARS!)  kk

I just interviewed Jay Siegel on my show this past Friday.  If you missed it, it is now on our website at number 68.  It runs about 30 minutes and is a great interview.
First go to the station website ... then go to interviews, number 68.
DJ Stu  

On the next edition of my Top Shelf Oldies show, I will be featuring songs from this year's IRS104 (It Really Shoulda been a Top 10 hit), as compiled by Rich Appel. And, I'll be giving away a copy of the 5-CD set containing all 104 songs on this year's IRS104 survey that I put together for Rich. The show streams on Wednesday, May 13, 8:00 p.m. ET on Top Shelf Oldies (, and will also be available in the Randy on the Radio Archives ( The CD set will be awarded by a random draw from email submissions with the correct answer to a question I will ask during the show concerning one or more of the songs I play. The deadline for entries is the following Wednesday, May 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET.  
– Randy (Price)   

Errol Brown, lead singer of Hot Chocolate, the London-based quintet that gave us "You Sexy Thing" (#3 - 1976), "Emma" (#8 - 1975) and "Every 1's A Winner" (#6 - 1979), died of liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas Wednesday (May 6). He was 71. Errol was born in Jamaica but moved to England when he was six. Though the group split in 1986, Errol continued with a solo career that culminated in a farewell tour in 2009. The Queen made him a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his musical success in 2003.
-- Ron Smith   

Congratulations to our buddies over at WRLR ...   

WRLR 98.3 FM is very excited to announce the release of the station's very own radio player app. The app developed in house by Michael 'TechTalk' Kastler has just finished beta testing by the WRLR Engineering group. The app allows listeners to get the station on their smartphone no matter where they are. Listeners will see the name of the song and artist currently playing, a list of the last few songs played, and be able to rate the song or program with a thumbs up or down. Icons are conveniently located on the screen so the user can get to the WRLR website or email the station. A small banner message highlights sponsors who support WRLR operations. [Screen shot attached] 
Initially the app will be available only for the Android operating system. The radio player app is available from the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore. It's a free app. WRLR encourages everyone to download the app, try it out and let the station know what they think of it so it can keep improving it to their liking. 
See the links below to get it: 

AMAZON APP: WRLR 98.3FM Radio Live!: Appstore for Android WRLR 98.3FM Radio Live!: Appstore for Android
WRLR 98.3 FM is a community radio station based in Round Lake Heights, Illinois (approximately 50 miles northwest of Chicago). It has been on the air since 2005 and is run completely by over 70 volunteers. More than 40 different programs are produced locally. The station is Arbitron monitored and reaches a potential listening audience of more than 250,00 people throughout central and western Lake County, and parts of McHenry and Kenosha counties. WRLR 98.3 FM is an IRS recognized 501 (c)3 non-profit organization.   

From FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...

And some Santana news from FH Reader Alex Valdez ...   

Congratulations to our FH Buddy John Madara ... his song "You Don't Own Me" (one of my all-time '60's favorites) just won a Logies award this past week for Australian singer Grace.
The official report reads like this:
PRECOCIOUS teen singer and songwriter Grace was the accidental winner of the Logies, thanks to those relentless promos for the return of Nine’s Love Child tomorrow. The 18-year-old artist has just released her cover of the classic 60s girl power anthem You Don't Own Me and Nine snapped it up to soundtrack the campaign for Love Child's imminent second series.  The song debuted at No. 14 on the ARIA charts on the weekend thanks to radio airplay but it was the relentless flogging of the Love Child ads which spearheaded to No. 2 on iTunes on Monday.  
Not a bad version either ... but then a great song is a great song is a great song.  Give a listen here ...  

New York (May 4, 2015)—The Yardbirds, the pioneering band that boasted three of the greatest guitarists of all time – Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page – will now welcome longtime David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick. Founding Yardbirds member and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jim McCarty has also recruited bassist Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan, Billy Idol, Brian Setzer, Mick Taylor), Myke Scavone (singer, Ram Jam & Doughboys) on blues harp, vocals, and percussion, and guitarist/singer John Idan, who appeared on the The Yardbirds’ critically acclaimed 2003 album Birdland. Founding member Chris Dreja is not able to join the band on these dates, but remains with them in mind and spirit. 
After postposing a brief North American tour earlier this year, The Yardbirds are back on track to perform those and additional dates this fall. Confirmed tour dates thus far are listed below. Additional dates are being finalized.  
The Yardbirds served as an integral part of rock history. Co-founded by McCarty in London 1963 with singer Keith Relf, rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, and lead guitarist Top Topham, the band melded heavy rock, wild jams, and an improvisatory feel that influenced generations of musicians. Their strict allegiance to the American blues & R&B standards struck a chord with American audiences that were missing out on this sound.  The result of The Yardbirds’ versions of Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning,” and Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business” led to these original artists finally getting airplay on white radio in the U.S.A. The band also earned a chart-topping hit with their single “For Your Love.” 
Electrifying, eclectic, and way ahead of their time, The Yardbirds’ continue their unbreakable legacy. The Yardbirds’ train keeps a rollin’ !!! 

Tour Dates:  
October 30 - Infinity Hall / Norfolk CT   
31 - Musicfest CafĂ© / Bethlehem PA 
November 01 - Newton Theatre / Newton NJ 
02 - BB King’s / NYC 
06 - Harrah’s Casino / Phoenix AZ 
07 - Harrah’s Casino / Lake Tahoe NV 
10 - Harrah’s Casino / Loughlin NV

The new flick on Brian Wilson appears to be a much deserved indictment of Eugene Landy, Brian's shrink and Svengalie ... I have a feeling that John Cusak just nails it in this flick as an aging Brian Wilson 
Chet Coppock 
We can't wait for this one to open next month ... the trailers look amazing!  (kk)   

Get ready for some music!
Pick a decade, pick a year, pick a song.
Enjoy the fun and the memories.   

Here's one we can't wait to read ...
After interviewing Bobby for Forgotten Hits a few years ago, he will definitely have some interesting stories to tell. (I've already got my copy on pre-order at Amazon!)  kk
Catch our interview with Bobby here:    

re:  Laughs Of The Day:
FH Reader Ken Voss reports ... 
Moans In Britney Spears Song Stolen, Sound Co. Says
By Jody Godoy
Law360, New York (May 04, 2015, 3:06 PM ET) -- Songs by pop star Britney Spears and hip-hop group Travis Porter ripped off recordings of "a woman seductively moaning," a sound effects company claimed Sunday in a copyright infringement suit filed in California federal court targeting Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and RCA Records Inc.
Spears' "Piece of Me" and Travis Porter's "Ayy Ladies" included samples of a woman saying "uhh," "oooh" and "oh yeah," clips that were created by, a company that sells sound samples to musicians, according to the suit.
Another FH Reader wrote in this week (after reports that Spears fell on stage while performing her act in Las Vegas ... and then extended her residency there shortly afterwards) that we can no longer refer to Britney as a new, modern act ... her first hit, "Baby, One More Time" came out SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO!!!  Man, time sure flies when you're talking crazy!!! (kk)   

And former WLS / WCFL / WJJD / WIND / WMAQ deejay Clark Weber tells us ... 
A man walks into his doctor's office and says, “Doctor, I can’t stop singing '“The Green Green Grass of Home!'
The Doctor says “That sounds like the 'Tom Jones Syndrome!'” 
"Is it common?", he asks.
And the Doc replies, “Well, it’s not unusual!”
Ouch!  Take two aspirin, stick a sock in your pants, and call me in the morning.  (kk)