Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Weekend Comments ( 10 - 31 - 15 / 11 - 01 - 15 )

re:  The Cornerstones Of Rock:   
The much-talked-about (especially in THESE pages!) WTTW television special that was filmed at the Channel 11 Studios a couple of weeks ago, spotlighting most of our '60's Musical Local Heroes, now has an official air date ... The program will premier TWICE on Tuesday, December 8th, with back-to-back showings at 7:30 and 9:30 pm ... and then will be rebroadcast on Saturday, December 12th, at 9:00 pm as well. LOTS of hoopla surrounding this one ... and we can't WAIT to see it!  Out-of-towners should check your local listings to see when it may be playing in your area.  (kk)

re:  Cory Wells:
Hey Kent, 
I came across this interview with Cory Wells a couple of years ago. There's an assortment of interviews with him on YouTube, but in my opinion, this one is the most insightful of them all: 
FYI: I sent this link to our mutual friend Joe Klein after he wrote about Corey's passing on his blog. He gave it pretty high marks too. It's an interview that really helps put this guy's talent in perspective and is great way to grasp his legacy. 
Bill Fortune
It is a great clip.  I tried to link to Joe's article about Cory Wells but couldn't find it ... please send me a link when you get a chance so that our other readers can enjoy it as well. 
By the way, the video Cory's talking about in this interview is an EXCELLENT concert filmed, I believe, with The Tennessee Symphony Orchestra in 2002.  Check it out if you get a chance.  Thanks, Bill!  (kk)  

Word came out this week that Cory Wells was battling cancer when he died suddenly last week.  Here is a report filed by FH Reader Tom Cuddy ... but we've seen similar reports on other websites as well ...

Three Dog Night rocker Cory Wells was fighting cancer when he apparently died from an infection earlier this week, his family told The Buffalo News.  
The Buffalo native was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in late September and was undergoing treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, according to Dawn Cussins, one of the singer’s two daughters.  
Close family members of the 74-year-old singer knew about the cancer diagnosis, but he was a “very private man” and did not want his friends or fans to know about it, Cussins said.  
Wells died Tuesday night in Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where he had recently been staying in a cottage on Lake Erie that he and his wife owned, Cussins said. According to Cussins, doctors at Brooks Memorial told the family that Wells died of septic shock caused by an infection.  
“We don’t know what caused the infection. We have no idea,” Cussins said. “He became very ill on Monday, and I called 911 to have an ambulance take him to the hospital … He died Tuesday night.”  
No information about Wells’ illness or the cause of his death had been made public before Cussins and one of Wells’ grandchildren spoke to The News on Friday. A Chautauqua County coroner had said he could not comment, saying the decision on whether to discuss the cause of death was up to the family.  
The music world knew Wells as a charismatic singer whose soulful voice powered one of the most successful rock bands in American history. But his family and friends knew him as the former Emil Lewandowski, a loving father and grandfather who was married to the same woman for 51 years, and who would much rather spend a quiet day fishing on Lake Erie than singing before thousands of people.  
His daughter said Wells became very ill on Monday in the Dunkirk cottage that he and his wife bought in the 1990s. “He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in late September, and was receiving treatment at Roswell (Park Cancer Institute),” Cussins said on Friday. “His immediate family knew, but he didn’t want many people to know, because he was a very private person.”  
Wells found out he had multiple myeloma after seeking treatment for severe back pain, Cussins said. Doctors told the family the cancer was “manageable and treatable,” Cussins said, and her father had received several radiation treatments at Roswell Park. He was scheduled to receive several more radiation treatments and, after that, chemotherapy. She said no autopsy was conducted. Although Wells was one of the leaders of a hugely successful rock band that performed all over the world, had many top 10 hits and sold millions of records, he preferred fishing or spending quiet time with his family, according to his daughter and one of his five grandchildren, Jake Lyon.  
“He loved his music, and was proud of his music, but what he really enjoyed was spending time with his family,” Cussins said. “If there was a blueprint for a great father and a great grandfather, he was it.”  
Wells loved Western New York, and that is why he and his wife, Mary, bought the Dunkirk cottage after their home in Malibu, Calif., was destroyed in a wildfire in November 1993, his daughter said.  
Cussins said her father was proud of maintaining a solid family life even during the early 1970s, when Three Dog Night was touring almost non-stop.  
“My father never, ever took drugs, and he hated alcohol,” Cussins said. “He was totally against any of his songs being used in beer advertisements because he never wanted to encourage kids to drink.”  
Formed in the late 1960s, Three Dog Night was one of the most popular bands in the country in the 1970s. The band has continued to be a popular touring attraction over the decades. Several recent concerts were canceled because of Wells’ medical problems, although the band had made no mention of cancer.  
“In the years 1969 through 1974, no other group achieved more top 10 hits, moved more records or sold more concert tickets than Three Dog Night,” according to the band’s official website.  
The band’s biggest hits – including “Mama Told Me (Not to Come),” “Joy to the World,” “Black and White,” “Shambala” and “One” – not only sold millions of records, but were often featured in major films and television series.  
Wells shared the lead vocals with two other singers, Danny Hutton and Chuck Negron. Negron left the band in the 1980s, but Hutton and Wells continued to tour together.  
“It is with deep sadness and disbelief that I must report the passing of Cory Wells, my beloved band mate for over 45 years,” Hutton said in a statement on the website earlier this week. “Cory was an incredible singer – a great performer, he could sing anything.”  
The band’s website lists 12 concerts planned between Nov. 4 and the end of this year. So far, the band has not announced whether it will continue touring.  
In an interview with The News in 2012, Wells spoke about growing up on the East Side of Buffalo, where he was born as Emil Lewandowski. He was raised by a single mother who struggled financially, Wells said.  
He recalled being a “poor kid” who worked at the old Sattler’s department store, loved gospel music and formed a “doo-wop group” with some African-American friends as a teenager.  
After graduating from Burgard High School and spending time in the Air Force, Wells said he moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career. It was there that he met Hutton and Negron and formed the band that would become Three Dog Night.  
While he enjoyed making records and performing before audiences, Wells’ real enjoyment came from spending time with family and fishing.  
“There’s a lot of time on the road,” Wells told the Chicago Tribune in a 1986 interview. “I was actually fishing while I was out there on the road. While everybody else was partying, I was getting up at 4 in the morning and going fishing when we toured through places like Florida, the South, back East, up in Canada.”  
Wells loved participating in fishing tournaments in Western New York, and also wrote articles on fishing for several magazines. “He wrote fishing articles under his own name for Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and American Sportsman,” Cussins said.  
In addition to his wife, Wells is survived by his other daughter, Corrie LeFrenaye, and five grandchildren, Cussins said.  
She said many family members rushed to Dunkirk to visit Wells after he was taken to the hospital on Monday.  
“We spent a lot of time with him on Monday and Tuesday,” Cussins said. “He was pretty zoned out, but he could squeeze my hand. We left him Tuesday night and he died at around 9:30 that night … He was a humble, private man.  Knowing my father, he just wanted to slip away quietly.” Cussins said the family has been touched by the outpouring of good wishes from Three Dog Night fans, but at this point, has no plans for any kind of public memorial service.  
-- The Buffalo News / By Dan Herbeck / News Staff Reporter / Google

re:  Happy Halloween:
I guess you've just GOT to include Elvira in your Halloween plans this year!

This probably would have been a WHOLE lot more effective 25 years ago!  (kk)  

Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s presents Haunted Hits from the Golden Age of Top 40 -  
Airing on Sunday, November 1, 2015, from 12:00 - 1:20 pm on WLTL-FM 88.1 
We will feature the Mercury Theatre On The Air broadcast “The War Of The Worlds” followed by Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s with the Haunted Hits from the Golden Age of Top 40.  The Halloween themed favorites include:  
from the 50s:   “Dinner With Drac” John Zacherle and more
from the 60s:   ”Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” Fifth Estate and more
from the 70s:   “Werewolves Of London” Warren Zevon and more
WLTL broadcasts over the air on 88.1 FM, streaming at and the free WLTL app for your smartphone. 
Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s 

And, for your last minute Halloween needs, be sure to download the Ian Lloyd track here ...   
Hurry! There's still time to add these two great Halloween songs by John Ford of the Strawbs & Ian Lloyd (Stories / "Brother Louie") and Space Drama's dance mix version to your spooky playlists and wake up all the Ghouls stumbling around the backyard!
Download Halloween 320kbps MP3s here:
Ian Lloyd  

re:  This And That:      
LOTS of anticipation for the brand new re-release bonus edition of The Beatles' "1", now accompanied by full-length videos of many of their biggest hits, including several outtakes. 
The so-called "never-before-seen" video for "Revolution" made the rounds last week ... but I'm not sure where that status came from.  We've had this clip for YEARS and I clearly remember watching it when it first aired on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour back in 1968. 
Still, it's great to see it again, especially in such high definition ... and I can't wait to experience the whole gamut of crystal clear video releases. 
(Additional videos have been given the "sneak peek" treatment this past week, including the awesome clip that accompanies "Hello, Goodbye" ... and a 'specially put together clip for The Beatles classic "A Day In The Life" Pre-orders are thru the roof ... for the past couple of weeks it has been the #2 best-seller on ... and you can't even BUY it yet!!! 
But you will soon ... orders start shipping on November 6th.  If you haven't already ordered your copy, may we suggest doing so through The Fest For Beatles Fans website?  You'll find all sorts of OTHER cool stuff here as well ... like those AWESOME lava lamps we showed you a couple of weeks ago.

Speaking of great videos, here's another link to the brand new Billy J. Gibbons remake of the old Roy Head classic "Treat Her Right" (I mean who doesn't love THIS song?!?!?) ... along with more tour news ... and an upcoming appearance on Conan!   


Billy Gibbons and The BFG’s roadshow of his Perfectamundo solo album is now scheduled to hit theaters across the USA starting November 27th in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Performance dates originally slated for earlier in November will now commence early in the new year. The band will first be seen on the upcoming broadcast with Conan O'Brien on November 3rd, 2015.   
The  creation of Perfectamundo, the first ever solo effort by the ZZ Top frontman, was catalyzed by the invitation to appear at the annual gathering of the Havana Jazz Festival. Gibbons and Co. set about creating an appropriate Afro-Cuban influenced recording resulting in Perfectamundo for the Concord Records label. The new release is slated to hit the streets on November 6.   
Watch the “Treat Her Right” video:

Billy Gibbons And The BFG’s Perfectamundo tour dates: 
Nov. 27 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Parker Playhouse 
Nov. 28 - Fort Pierce, FL - Sunrise Theatre
Nov. 29 - Saint Petersburg, FL - Mahaffey Theater
Dec. 1 - New Orleans, LA - Orpheum Theatre
Dec. 3 - Houston, TX - Cullen Performance Hall
Dec. 4 - Austin, TX - The Moody Theater
Dec. 5 - Lubbock, TX -  City Bank Auditorium
Dec. 7 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
Dec. 8 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre 
Dec. 9 - San Francisco, CA - The Regency Ballroom
Dec. 11 - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
Dec. 12 - Aberdeen, WA - D&R Theatre
Dec. 13 - Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre 
Dec. 17 - Havana, CU - Havana Jazz Festival 
Dec. 18 - Havana, CU - Havana Jazz Festival
Dec. 20 - Havana, CU - Havana Jazz Festival 

Our FH Buddy Big Jay Sorensen is doing one heck of a job reminding listeners of all the big musical events that happened "this week in history".  It's become "MUST READING" for oldies fans.  Jay typically spotlights three artists per segment and lets you know what was happening on the music scene for this week in the 1960's, the 1970's and the 1980's.  Some REALLY good stuff to be found here.
I suggest you bookmark this page ... as once our 50 Year Flashback wraps up at the end of the year, we're stepping out of the "music history" box and moving on to other things.  So be sure to check it out here! 

Hi Kent,
Wonderful stories in Forgotten Hits - First 45s. Thanks. 
I bought my 1st record, the 45 RPM version of "Blue Monday" by Fats Domino, in January, 1957, in Minnesota of all places at the list price of 59 cents ... but I cannot remember the list prices after that except that the prices kept climbing.  I think I remember list prices jumping to 69 cents later in 1957.  I think I remember 89 cents in the 1960's for records in 1968 like a re-release of "Rock Around the Clock" that year.  Apparently the list prices held at 99 cents until 1974, if I correctly understand an on-line NY Times article titled '45' SINGLE RECORD: A DISK IN DECLINE, By JON PARELES, Published: October 30, 1986.  The article says the list price in October, 1986, for 45's was $1.99.  The last new release 45 RPM record I bought was "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin in 2000, which incredibly Tower Records carried, at a reasonable but forgotten price.

From Robin Leach, Las Vegas Sun: 
Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers has continued performing and touring since singing partner Bobby Hatfield’s death in 2003, often with his daughter McKenna. Now the singer, 75, is returning to the Strip as an all-new duo, in a sense bringing The Righteous Brothers back to life.
Bill has discovered a singer who he believes best represents the talent and appeal of Bobby. We know that he found the artist in Branson, Mo., where Bill has performed often with The Texas Tenors and John Hagen. 
I’m reliably told the new Righteous Brothers show has landed a residency at Improv in Harrah’s with a pre-Christmas start. 

One of my coworkers, Rich Silverman, had the opportunity to watch Peter Frampton Come Alive last week at North Central College ... and raved on and on about what a good show it was.  Frampton did plenty of story-telling between songs and talked about how he ended up with the guitar "Peggy Sue", made my Buddy Holly's widow, when Paul McCartney failed to reply to a phone message.  He also talked about working with George Harrison while his lavish mansion was under construction, leaving just two rooms habitable ... once of which was "the guitar room", where Harrison had literally HUNDREDS of guitars from his collection on display.  (Peter felt as though he had come up a bit short in that department, having brought along only one!)
Sounds like the man can still play the hell out of his guitars (he made sure to bring PLENTY to the stage that night) and, along with his son, put on a very entertaining an insightful show.
I sent Rich this concert review from a show Frampton did this past week in Boston ... and this is what he said ...  
This review pretty much hits the North Central College show on the head.  The play list was very close and for me, when Frampton and George Kennedy played together – especially on “Change the World” - it was magic.  
It is also interesting that both Julian and Peter both covered Beatle tunes. In our show, Peter covered “Norwegian Wood”.  
Peter Frampton may have made his reputation playing Electric Guitar, but [to me] guitar playing talent is displayed when playing Acoustic and his was on full display. I also have to give props to George Kennedy because that dude can flat out play! 
I know you have seen him before, but if the opportunity to see the acoustic set appears, buy the tickets! 

In perusing today's survey, song #36 by Little Jimmy Dickens, MAY THE BIRD OF PARADISE (FLY UP YOUR NOSE) I always did like. In fact, it's the only record by him I have here at my home in my library. I believe it's the only record he made that crossed over from the country charts to the pop charts. #16 by Jonathan King was one of those I haven't heard on the radio in years. In fact,
on this day according to your survey, this turned out to be A GOOD NEWS WEEK for Jonathan King.
Only a few 1965 surveys left before the end of the year.  Be sure to check the website every Monday Morning for our 50 Year Flashback!  (kk) 

Kent -
Where was WIRL located? I do not remember that station.  Love the radio station surveys!  
Looks like Peoria, IL, to me.  They first signed on the air back in 1948 ... and switched to a Top 40 format in 1960, which they maintained until 1984.  (Wow - sounds like a very similar lifespan to our own WLS ... but with about 10% of the wattage!)  kk 

To my Oldies friends and fans,
This is one for the music history books. 
My co-writer Al Byron ("Roses Are Red (My Love)" and I took "After the Hurricane" to Freddy Bienstock at Hill and Range.  He said that he wanted to show it for Elvis.  So we ran back to my manager and our publisher (his name shall remain unspoken) and he said no, he wouldn't release the publishing, and he wanted to have this demo released as a Paul Evans single.
Let's see. Paul Evans single vs. possible Elvis single.      
Oh well.  Perhaps it shoulda been a hit for me.  But it wasn't.
After The Hurricane / Not Me
PS  The crash at the end is a real Jawbone of an ass.  There was no computer, and therefore no computer equivalent sound.  (Recorded at Associated Studios)

2015 marks a historic 50-year milestone for music legend Roy Orbison.
On July 1, 1965, “The Big O” left Monument Records and signed with MGM Records, going on to release 11 studio albums, a film soundtrack and 27 singles over the course of the following eight years, and at the same time scoring another 11 worldwide Top 40 hits.  In recognition of this golden anniversary of Orbison’s signing of one of the most lucrative and groundbreaking record deals of the era, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) has teamed up with Roy’s Boys, LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by the late icon’s sons to administer their father’s catalog and safeguard his legacy. Together, they are releasing two landmark Roy Orbison packages globally on December 4, each available in CD, 180-gram vinyl and digital form:  
·      One of the Lonely Ones – Recorded in 1969, this is a completely unreleased new studio album.  It’s a 12-track lost Roy Orbison album never-before-heard by the public that was recently discovered by Roy’s sons.  This rediscovered treasure will be released on CD, digitally and on sumptuous 180-gram vinyl.    
·      The MGM Years – Recorded from 1965 through 1973, the box set contains all of Roy’s 11 MGM studio albums, the soundtrack to The Fastest Guitar Alive (written by Roy and Bill Dees for the film starring Roy Orbison) and an album of B-sides and singles from that era.  The box set is available as a 13 CD box, a digital box, or as a special 14 disc 180-gram vinyl release.   All this material has been out of print for decades - 152 tracks in total!    
The first 500 physical The MGM Years box sets (either CD or LP) pre-ordered through The Official Roy Orbison Store ( will be bundled with a copy of the unreleased One of the Lonely Ones album in the same format and for the same price as the box set alone on release.  All those who take advantage of this limited time offer will also be promptly emailed a download code to instantly download the One of the Lonely Ones title track.  
Both the unreleased One of the Lonely Ones album and The MGM Years box set are also available for pre-order globally at all major physical and digital stores including, of course, Amazon and iTunes.   
On July 1, 1965, Roy Orbison found himself at a career pinnacle, at the top of the music world.  The previous year, his single “Oh, Pretty Woman” had been a global smash, going to Number One in the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia.  On the business side, Orbison had to choose between staying with his friend and producer Fred Foster at Monument Records or moving to MGM for a deal that Foster could not match.  Foster didn’t have a film company and of course MGM had a full motion picture arm and promised Roy a starring film role.  In the end that proved to be the deciding factor and Roy chose MGM and its so-called “Million Dollar Deal” - an astounding amount for the time.   
At the time, Roy was one of the only American artists to displace “British Invasion” bands including The Beatles at the top of the charts.  Fresh MGM deal in hand, Roy went into the studio in July, 1965, without missing a beat. “Ride Away” was the first single for his new label MGM, which promptly went Number One in Canada.  His first MGM album, There is Only One Roy Orbison, which included the single “Ride Away,” went Top 10 in the UK and charted strongly worldwide.  
This was just the beginning.  Roy would record and release an additional ten studio albums at MGM plus a soundtrack album for the only film in which Roy starred.  This was Roy at the height of his career, yet the Roy that most fans know the least.  
The MGM Years box set finally puts all of these fabulous records in one place.  These include the 11 original studio albums, the much sought after soundtrack to The Fastest Guitar Alive and a newly created compilation album called MGM B-Sides & Singles that contains all 12 MGM era singles and B-sides that otherwise weren’t included in any album; in all, 152 glorious Roy Orbison tracks.  Each song was additionally re-EQ’d and balanced by Roy’s son Alex and GRAMMY®-winning engineer Chuck Turner to bring the masters back to their original warm vinyl sound.  All this amazing material has been generally out of circulation for decades!   Each original album comes with fully restored artwork and each album has been fastidiously remastered by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Richard Dodd.  The box set includes a beautifully bound booklet with extensive liner notes written by Alex Orbison, Roy’s youngest son, and never before seen photos.  
Recorded between January and August of 1969, One of the Lonely Ones is a great, newly discovered, Roy Orbison studio album.  Kicking it off is a sensational version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that charted for Britain’s Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1965.  The Roy penned, guitar-heavy, “Child Woman, Woman Child” can be considered the musical younger sister of “Oh, Pretty Woman.”  And ten other NEVER BEFORE HEARD Roy tracks – what more can one say?  A lost treasure found!
One of the Lonely Ones was transferred from the original tape at the famed Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN and the tracks were individually mixed by Chuck Turner (whose credits include Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and Marty Stuart) at the Cash Cabin under Alex Orbison’s supervision.  Finally, the restored-to-stereo tracks were put in the capable hands of Richard Dodd for mastering. 
Pre-order links 
The MGM Years (13 CD box set): 
The MGM Years (14 LP vinyl box set): 
One Of The Lonely Ones (CD): 
One Of The Lonely Ones (vinyl LP):    
Roy Orbison – The MGM Years [14 LP vinyl box set; 13 CD box set] (all 152 tracks also available digitally)
1) There Is Only One Roy Orbison (1965)
2) The Orbison Way (1966)
3) The Classic Roy Orbison (1966)
4) Roy Orbison Sings Don Gibson (1967)
5) The Fastest Guitar Alive (Soundtrack) (1967)
6) Cry Softly Lonely One (1967)
7) Roy Orbison’s Many Moods (1969)
8) Hank Williams the Roy Orbison Way (1970)
9) The Big O (1970)
10) Roy Orbison Sings (1972)
11) Memphis (1972)
12) Milestones (1973)
13) MGM B-Sides And Singles (2015) (2 discs in vinyl box set, 1 disc in CD box set)
-- Bob Merlis
Bob even sent along this short video clip showing just how extravagant this box set really is.  You can check it out here:

A lot of VERY big deals were struck in the early '60's with little regard (or knowledge) of the impending British Invasion assault on our music charts.  The Everly Brothers moved from Cadence Records to Warner Brothers in another multi-million dollar deal ... Paul Anka jumped from ABC-Paramount to RCA ... Ray Charles jumped from Atlantic Records to ABC-Paramount and Roy Orbison (after a VERY successful five year run with Monument) jumped ship for MGM Records.
Orbison seemed well poised at the time to do so.  His late 1964 hit "Oh, Pretty Woman" was a MONSTER smash, ending up right near the top of every published list of The Biggest Hits of 1964 ... but sadly he would never recapture that success on MGM.  (Orbison charted 22 times for Monument between 1960 and 1965 ... and those included NINE Top Ten Hits.  He placed 13 more records only the charts for MGM between 1965 and 1970 ... but not a single one of them broke The Top 20.
Not that these aren't great tracks ... Roy was a one-of-a-kind recording artist, unique in every way ... he just never recaptured the success of his earlier works (until 1989, of course, when he hit The Top Ten again with the Jeff Lynne-produced "You Got It".)
Still this is a MAJOR add to any music collection ... in fact the complete, collected work of Orbison's Sun recordings, Monument material and MGM releases is a major coup for ANY music library.  (Now they need somebody to do "the in between years" from 1970 - 1989 when Orbison bounced around from Warner Brother, Asylum, Mercury and a few other labels before landing with The Traveling Wilburys and resurrecting his career with a whole new generation.  (kk)

Poor Tom Jones ... this guy just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut and his thoughts to himself. 
You know they say there's no such thing as bad publicity ... as long as people are talking about you, it's a GOOD thing ... but lately Jones has been making headlines for everything EXCEPT his musical talent.  (Let's just say that he is definitely NOT going to win the award for the Poster Child for Politically Correctness!)  Jones first mouthed off (to a series of MAJOR backlash) when he was replaced by Boy George on the British version of "The Voice".  Then about a week ago or so he made headlines around the world when he called his former labelmate Engelbert Humperdinck "a cunt" during an interview.  And NOW he's going on about his fear of homosexuals in the music business back in the '60's!!!  (WTG, Tommy Boy!)  Learn when to hold 'em and learn when to fold 'em, Tom ... you're really looking like a complete ass lately!  (kk)  

I was ready for most aspects of the music industry but when I met the producer Joe Meek, that threw me off a bit. Because he was a homosexual. I thought, wait a minute, is the London scene, the people who run British showbusiness – are there a lot of homosexuals involved here? Because if so, I’m going back to Cardiff. So much so that when I signed with Decca and Peter Sullivan became my manager, and he said the same thing Joe Meek said – tell the boys to pack their gear up, I want to talk to you myself – I said, you’re not one of these queer fellows are you? And he said, what are you on about? I became paranoid, you see. I wondered, was that required to make a hit record? But then I got into it and I realised no, it just so happened that the first guy to record me was a homosexual producer. Once I got over the shock of that, and realised it wasn’t true, most people were normal. Well, I shouldn’t put it like that. Homosexuals are normal, it’s not that they’re not normal. It’s just that they are what they are.  
-- Tom Jones

In another one of those "How can we miss you if you won't go away" stories, Phil Collins is telling Rolling Stone Magazine that he's coming out of retirement ...

Kent ...
Interesting story about one of my favorite groups.
Very cool, too, since we just saw Stevie live in concert a couple of weeks ago.  (kk)   

I have just discovered your site and love it!  I am hoping you can give an up date on Sonny Geraci, I have searched the internet and cannot find out how this fine artist is doing health wise. I pray for the best.
Thank you
Ironically we had just run a short update on Sonny's health condition a week or two ago, brought to us by Sonny's long-time friend Dennis Tufano, former lead singer of The Buckinghams.  Dennis tells us:
Sonny Geraci is slowly coming back. Mentally he is in very good stead but Physically he is not strong enough to get on the stage. He’s working hard to get back out there. The jerk who stole the money has been released from his prison stay and there’s hope that he will be paying back the money or go back to prison.
I will keep you posted as much as they keep me posted. Thx.

Pair of #1 Sound Of Philadelphia Classics Also Among Hundreds of TSOP Hits on New ‘GAMBLE HUFF MUSIC’ App 
PHILADELPHIA — More than a generation since The Sound of Philadelphia was a chart-topping, worldwide hit-making machine, legendary producer-songwriters and TSOP architects Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff have another #1 smash hit on their hands. 
But this time it’s in the movies — again.
A pair of Gamble & Huff #1 disco classics is prominently featured in Ridley Scott’s The Martian, the blockbuster space epic starring Matt Damon, which has been #1 at the box office for three consecutive weeks.
The “Songs from the Martian” soundtrack, on Columbia Records, features a pair of Sound of Philadelphia #1 Billboard pop and R&B classics: “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” by Thelma Houston; and TSOP’s signature anthem, “Love Train” a double chart-topper for The O’Jays. Both are among the hundreds of TSOP recordings available for streaming through the new “GAMBLE HUFF MUSIC” App.
Gamble & Huff are the only songwriters with more than one contribution to the '70s-laden album, comprised of nine of the greatest classics from disco's golden era. The music evinces the plight of the film's protagonist, Astronaut Mark Watney, played by Damon, who during a manned mission to Mars set in the not-too-distant future is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet with only meager supplies — and limited distractions — including a playlist of '70's disco music left behind by Commander Lewis played by Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar). “Love Train” helps the movie end on a joyful note as the camera pans to the many people who pitched in to rescue Mark (Damon) from Mars.  Gamble & Huff’s musical connection with Mars actually dates back to 1976, when Dexter Wansel went for a sci-fi theme on his debut album, Life on Mars. Not only has the title track, a haunting piece of space funk, been sampled at least 15 times over the past 20 years alone, but it also has been used in recent years as wakeup music for the NASA team overseeing one of the Mars Rover missions.
Whether on Earth or in outer space, the “GAMBLE HUFF MUSIC” App allows listeners to carry the music of Gamble & Huff and The Sound of Philadelphia wherever they go! Available for iPhone and Android, the “GAMBLE HUFF MUSIC” App offers users at any time to hear the timeless music, as well as rare interviews, with artistslike The O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle, Evelyn Champagne King and many more.
Download the “GAMBLE HUFF MUSIC” App for iTunes HERE.
Download the “GAMBLE HUFF MUSIC” App for Android HERE.
Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records became the birthplace, incubator and launching pad for the Philly Soul sound aka “The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP),” a unique blend of R&B rhythms, sweet soul vocals, deep funk grooves, pulsing horn charts and lush string arrangements with melodic structures combining elements of pop, jazz and world music.  With a stable core of artist led by The O'Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, MFSB and the Three Degrees, Gamble & Huff co-founded Philadelphia International Records and began creating monster hits from nearly the first day of its inception in 1971. They continued to record, collaborate and produce major hits with a galaxy of stars from the pop, rock, soul and jazz universes, including Michael Jacksonand the Jacksons, Elton John, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle, the Spinners, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Dusty Springfield, Jerry Butler, Wilson Pickett, LaBelle, Archie Bell & the Drells, the Soul Survivors, Laura Nyro, the Trammps, McFadden & Whitehead, Phyllis Hyman, the Dells and many more.
And look what's up for a Grammy Award!

Dear Wrecking Crew Friends and Family,
Very short notice. We are proud to announce that we have been included on the short list of possible contenders for the "Best Music Film".
If you are a Grammy Voter or know a Grammy voter, we hope you will consider voting for the Wrecking Crew. There would be nothing better than saying The Wrecking Crew musicians have another Grammy under their belt!

*As this message was being written, we found out that our sound track album is also on a short list for Historical Recording.

Finally, FH Reader David Lewis sent us THIS really cool track ... it's the stripped down vocal only track featuring Grace Slick singing The Jefferson Airplane's big hit "White Rabbit".  Shows you again just what a powerful vocal this really is.
The track was released in honor of Slick's 76th birthday ... and it's quite amazing.  (This has always been one of my all-time favorites!)  kk
Interesting listening to this pure vocal of white rabbit ...

re:  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
Chicago keyboardist Robert Lamm has come right out and said it. He calls their nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "certainly a surprise and something we've all been wondering why we've been passed over for 25 years." 
But he tells us they never let the oversight get to them. "Frankly, Chicago has been working and continues to work and write and record ... since the band started. Our focus hasn't been waiting been waiting for honors of this type." And he's taken note of the strong support they've received in the fan ballot. "I had to look at the figures a couple of times and count the digits. 40,000 I could wrap my mind around; 40-million-plus was really a shock." 
After a very busy year, highlighted by a summer on tour with Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago has just a few remaining 2015 dates, including Saturday night in Wallingford, Connecticut. Lamm says they'll open the new year with a tour of Japan and go out on the road again with EWF once the weather warms up. 
Though his hometown Cubs lost it all in the baseball playoffs, Lamm says he was already on the sidelines. Born in Brooklyn, he moved to Chicago when he was a teenager. He tells us his "heart had already been broken" because his Dodgers were eliminated the week before by the Mets.

Public voting for The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2016 continues through December 6th ... 
Here is how everybody ranked as of 10-26-15.  (Suffice to say that the pack has separated ... although artists 2-5 are a whopping twelve million votes behind the clear cut leader, Chicago, they remain only one million votes apart between themselves.  Votes then drop off sharply by the time you hit Janet Jackson at #6 with 9.5 million votes).  You can view the complete list here (effective 10/31, 11 am)  
Chicago (#1 - 37.5 million votes)
The Cars (#2 - 25.8 million votes)
Yes (#3 - 25.8 million votes)
Steve Miller (#4 - 25.4 million votes)
Deep Purple (#5 - 25.4 million votes)
Janet Jackson (#6 - 9.4 million votes)
Cheap Trick (#7 - 2.2 million votes)
The Spinners (#8 - 2 million votes)
Chaka Khan (#9 - 1.8 million votes)
Chic  (#10 - 1.3 million votes)
The JB's (#11 - 900,000 votes)
NWA (#12 - 650,000 votes)
Nine Inch Nails   (#13 - 500,000 votes)
The Smiths  (#14 - 450,000 votes)
Los Lobos  (#15 - 400,000 votes)

re:  Other Big November Shows:
We spent most of last week plugging the Brian Wilson Show coming up November 11th at The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan ...
But actually there are a LOT of great shows hitting our area during the month of November. 
Here are just a few others that you might want to grab some tickets for ...
1st - Tanya Tucker / Arcada Theatre 
1st - The Tubes / City Winery (sold out)
4th - John Sebastian / City Winery
6th - Sheena Easton / Arcada Theatre
8th - Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey / Paramount Theater
9th - Howard Jones / City Winery
11th - Brian Wilson (with special guest Al Jardine) / Genesee Theatre
13th - Tommy James and the Shondells (with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap) / Rialto Square Theater
14th - Johnny Rivers / Arcada Theatre
17th - Brian Setzer Orchestra / Genesee Theatre (Christmas show)
21st - Christopher Cross / Arcada Theatre
22nd - Christopher Cross / Genesee Theatre
28th - Kenny Rogers / Star Plaza  (Christmas show)
28th - America / Arcada Theatre
29th - Eric Burdon / City Winery (sold out)

We were too sick to make it out to the Blood, Sweat And Tears (featuring Bo Bice) Arcada Show last night ... if any of our readers were able to attend, we would LOVE to see a review.  Thanks!  (kk)