Friday, May 20, 2016

The Friday Flash

Coppock's Topics  
Chet stated that "The Safaris' "Image of a Girl" is the most underappreciated song from rock's first golden era."  I agree ... not sure if it's the "most", but it is a great song ... for some friends of mine in 7th grade, it was THEIR song ... I guess he had found the right "image".  
BUT, for that same time-frame (early 60's), the Cascades "Shy Girl" is another great song that should have been BIG in the pre-Beatles era.  It has the signature guitar-chink rhythm of that era.  It should have been the "slow-dance" favorite at sock hops.  It was the first song on the only Cascades album (that had Rhythm of the Rain).  Another great Cascades song, a year or two later,  was "Cinderella" that had some success in Japan.  
Billy Fairfield

I just recently subscribed to satellite radio. Of course I immediately found the 60's channel. I loved it, until Cousin Brucie started his show. He may have been big in NY, but I found him boring. I switched channels. However, Chet, you may be a bit prejudiced about Dick Biondi. I think Dick's act played out long ago too.  
Jewel and Carole King in the same sentence? I don't think so. Perhaps had Jewel written huge sellers for as a diverse cross section of artists as Carole had, we could have some agreement. Jewel and Celine Dion? That's even more ludicrous. Celine doesn't belong in the same sentence as Jewel.
Dark Star had the misfortune of being paired with Just A Song Before I Go. Radio programmers love songs that clock in at around 2:10. No doubt that it was pitched like that. Had the label stuck some nondescript song on the back of Just A Song ... and then released Dark Star as the followup, you could have had your wish come true.
I don't have a problem with Toto being overrated, but they have some stiff competition. I'm not silly enough to name some names. Suffice to say some are FH faves.
Can't comment about some of Chet's other topics, as either I wasn't there, or I'm not familiar enough with the given song to say thumbs up, or down. 
Jack Levin 

Chet said that the Safaris' IMAGE OF A GIRL is the most underappreciated song from rock's first golden era. I don't know about that, but from day one and up through the years, I have always liked the clock, metronome, whatever, ticking in the background. I can't imagine the record being played without it.  
Larry Neal 

Toto overrated?  Chet does know that this band consisted of some of the most seasoned, accomplished and versatile studio musicians in the world, right? 
And, they're coming to The Arcada Theatre in August!  (We saw Bobby Kimball there a few years ago and he was great ... but this show should be a killer!  Wonder if Chet'll be in attendance that night!!!)  kk  

Hey Kent,I'll bet you knew you were going to hear from me on THIS one, right? Actually, I cleaned up my language a bit. Toto is, and has been, made up some of L.A.'s finest studio musicians. It is a solid, innovative group. So for a legendary sports broadcaster to place Freddie and the Dreamers into the same category as that band, pleases me to no end. 
- John LaPuzza  
You DO know that he was kidding, right???  (lol)  kk

Bobby Rydell
Kent ...
You said that you were about to read Bobby Rydell's Autobiography.  
I liked it ... interesting and well written.
His father supported him 100% ... his mother not so much.  (You won't hear much about his mother till the end of the book.)
One thing I noticed:  Bobby Darin and Bobby Rydell were both opening acts for George Burns in Las Vegas. George told Rydell to stay out of the casino. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember a similar story about Bobby Darin.
He was gambling in the casino. I think he won some money and George Burns got mad at him for not listening to his advice. I think he even slapped him in the face.  
Bobby Darin never went into the casino again.
Frank B.
I'm about halfway through the Bobby Rydell book and I am enjoying it very much ... well-written and very entertaining.
The George Burns story struck me as odd, too, as it was SO similar to the Darin situation.
Here's how we covered it in our Bobby Darin feature (now permanently posted on the other Forgotten Hits website):


The "finger-snappin', swingin' style" of BOBBY DARIN was a perfect fit for the Las Vegas nightclubs and soon he would become (at 23) the youngest headliner ever on the Strip!  His first break came when legendary comedian GEORGE BURNS invited BOBBY to be his opening act at HARRAH's in Lake Tahoe.  They became an incredible draw and BOBBY learned SO much from the vaudeville master.  DARIN loved GEORGE BURNS and referred to him many times as the father he never knew ... even though he only ever referred to him as "MR. BURNS" his entire career.  BOBBY went so far as to once comment that if he could have chosen his own father, GEORGE BURNS would have been the man.  (BURNS replied that he felt EXACTLY the same way about BOBBY ... but that BOBBY was too YOUNG to be his father.)  GEORGE BURNS and GRACIE ALLEN ... who by then had stopped performing due to illness ... welcomed BOBBY into their lives as part of their family.  When GRACIE died, BOBBY actually slept in her bed for several nights so that GEORGE BURNS wouldn't be alone.  He finally convinced BURNS that the only way he would ever come to terms with his wife's death was to also sleep in her bed.
Back in the earliest days of his nightclub career, GEORGE BURNS was paying BOBBY $1750 a week to learn the ropes ... and BOBBY was happy to get it.  After hits like MACK THE KNIFE and winning a couple of GRAMMY AWARDS, BOBBY certainly didn't need to play second-fiddle to ANYONE ... yet years later he STILL turned down two more lucrative (and career-advancing) offers to appear with BURNS as his opening act.  Truth is, GEORGE BURNS laid a pretty heavy guilt trip on BOBBY DARIN.  BOBBY was sure his old friend would find a replacement for him, especially in light of the circumstances.  BURNS, however, tore into BOBBY, criticizing him for his irresponsibility in not honoring the old contract.  "If I were still paying you peanuts and you had a chance to better yourself, I wouldn't think twice about it, but for the kind of money I'm paying you (BURNS had raised BOBBY's take to $7500 per week), you have a responsibility to me!"  (BURNS had NO idea that BOBBY took a $17,500 per week paycut to open for his old friend ... but that's exactly what BOBBY did ... and he never told him.)  "I'm sorry, MR. BURNS ... you'll have me in Vegas with you," he said.
BOBBY remained close with BURNS for the rest of his life.  In 1964, he even wrote the theme song to BURNS' short-lived television series WENDY AND ME, costarring CONNIE STEVENS.  (He also wrote the theme for the comedy series CAMP RUNAMUCK that year ... but we won't hold EITHER of these against him!)
GEORGE BURNS loved to tell the story of the time that BOBBY DARIN won $1800 during his first gambling go-round in Las Vegas.  BURNS congratulated his young protege on his winnings but warned him not to go back to the tables ... he could lose that money just as easily as he had won it.  In fact, he even offered to hold BOBBY's winnings for him until they left town to insure its safe-keeping ... or, give BOBBY some "pocket money" so he could still have fun in the casinos but also have something to show of his winnings when they left town.  BOBBY snapped back that he was old enough to take care of himself and then promptly proceeded to lose every penny of it!  In a heated "I told you so" argument just before showtime, BURNS slapped BOBBY across the face for his stupidity and arrogance.  Normally, during the show, BURNS would give a long-winded introduction before bringing BOBBY on stage ... the two would then shake hands and then BOBBY would do his show.  This night, BURNS simply told the audience, "Ladies and Gentlemen, BOBBY DARIN."  As BOBBY walked on stage, BURNS refused to shake his hand, slapping it away as he walked off the stage.  BOBBY was devastated.  He felt that he had alienated the best friend he ever had in show business ... not to mention insulted and disappointed a living legend.  "MR. BURNS," he called out on stage, "If you don't give me my regular introduction, I won't be able to work."  BURNS looked at BOBBY's sad expression and then came out to talk to the audience.  "This little boy just lost $1800," he said, and then told the audience the entire story.  When he finished, he asked the audience if they felt BOBBY should be punished or forgiven.  The crowd voted for forgiveness, at which point BURNS went over to BOBBY, gave him a big hug and then gave his normal introduction.  BOBBY went on to give a great performance that night and ... legend says ... never gambled again.
We're going to be interviewing Bobby Rydell in the next week or two ...
This is YOUR chance to ask him anything you like ...
If there's anything you've EVER wanted to know, NOW is the time to prepare your questions.
We'll run the best of what we receive ... along with Bobby's answers ... AND a review of his autobiography in an upcoming edition of Forgotten Hits!  So send them in NOW!!!  (kk)

Michael Nesmith
FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this recent interview with The Nez ... 
MONKEES: Mike Nesmith on Why He's Not on the Tour  
(His commitment to finishing a book took up the same time as the 50th anniversary tour.)
(Mike Nesmith says he would love to joined Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, but he faced a hard deadline to complete his memoir.)
Just hours before the band's 50th Anniversary Tour kicked off in Fort Myers, Florida, we spoke with him in New York. 
Mike Nesmith says his book commitment stood in the way of joining The Monkees tour.
"Double booked. I had already made plans for this summer, and had it set up and made a commitment to my publisher to deliver a book by the end of October. So it just laid right over the time they were going to do the tour; we talked about it. And what we're trying to do is we're trying to work it out so that after I deliver the book, if they've got some dates or if we've got a way to put together a 50th anniversary concert, then we'll do it." 
Nesmith says online rumors that he's planning to do cameos at some shows on the West Coast or other surprise appearances simply aren't true. 
Mike Nesmith says don't try to guess when he might join a Monkees show before November.
"I'm definitely not going to show up as a surprise on any of these shows out there. But we talk about if there a gap where our schedules will open up, and I can go there and get the rehearsal in or so forth... I'll go do a show or two or three. We'll make sure that everybody knows that I'm coming -- and you're not going to play the lottery and go and hope that Nez is there, 'cause he's not. Right now, there's no plans to do it. And when there are plans to do it, we'll say, 'OK, we're going to play this show and this date at this time certain'." 
But the idea of a special night or two, teaming with Micky and Peter, as well as the young writers who contributed to their upcoming Good Times! album holds a lot of appeal -- even if it has to wait till much later this year. 
Mike Nesmith promises Monkees fans they won't be kept in the dark if the guys do a special show with a number of guests. OC: ...I'll let you know.  
"We're also trying to target, we're going to play 'this 50th anniversary concert' and we've invited Fountains of Wayne and we're invited Ben Gibbard and Death Cab [For Cutie] and we've invited Noel [Gallagher] and Paul [Weller] -- and we'll do a big party like that. Those are all pipe dreams right now; they don't really exist. So the best, straight up thing to do is just to say, 'I'm not going to be at any of them that we know of. But if I am going to come to one, you'll know about it.' We'll promote it, we'll make sure that you get an opportunity to come there and if it's that important for somebody to be up there playing Mike, I'll let you know."  
As far as the book, Nesmith says, "It's nothing about The Monkees. I mean there's a chapter in there that kinda touches on it. It's about counter-culture, it's about my life in the counter-culture, about living, growing up. It's about the beginning of the cyber culture. It's memoir-ish, it's about living my life through a series of bands." The tentative title: Listen to the Band
Asked why fans retain such loyalty for The Monkees, Nez says he "just doesn't know... We all carry around a love for that [youthful] part of our life and for that kind of connection between people."
The brand new Monkees album drops next week ... and yesterday Rhino leaked another track ... this time a Mike Nesmith tune featuring Mike and Micky on lead harmony vocals.  You can check it out here ... 

Diggin' Forgotten Hits:  
>>>Things have been pretty hot and hectic here lately.  I am SO far behind on commitments right now it's ridiculous!  Working on four new radio shows ... have already promised five book reviews ... most of which also tie into artists interviews ... and have something like fifteen concerts to attend between now and the 4th of July ... in addition to still working about 55-60 hours per week out in the REAL world!!!  (Between all of this and still trying to get Forgotten Hits out everyday, this leaves time to enjoy all the good stuff that is going on right now ... and that's a REAL shame!!!)
I hear you, Kent - but it sounds like these are mostly labors of love, so it is a blessing!
At the risk of turning you into Napoleon the XIV, take a moment now and then to enjoy all that's going on in your life right now.
Bob Rush
Thank you, Bob ... and I appreciate the encouraging words ... and I really DO appreciate all that's going on ... sometimes it just seems like it's happening so fast that I don't get to truly savor the moment ... but things are definitely great music-wise right now.  (And wait till you see what we've got planned for next year!!!)  kk

I can see all you put into this.  Don't know how you do it. But it's great! 
The music world wouldn't be the same without you.
Ken Evans / The Fifth Estate
Thanks, Furv, I appreciate it.
LOTS going on in YOUR world right now, too, in the way of new releases and being back out doing live shows again.  (Stay tuned ... we just may pull together another Fifth Estate / Forgotten Hits give-away in the next week or two!)  kk

Hi Kent, 
Recently I had to get a new computer because of over heating. You had some great playlists that I stored on my Itunes. Using what songs I had I tried to recreate those lists you had so I could listen to them anytime I wished. While transferring the playlists, my old computer died. Two of those lists were the Top 200 Hits from The Beatle Years and the Top 100 from the British Invasion. Could you please tell me where the posts were so I could look them up. 
Thank You Very Much,
Randy Anderson
The Top 200 Hits of The Beatles Era is permanently posted on the other Forgotten Hits website here:
I had to do a little digging for the other one ... because we counted 'em down over a series of days ...
However, I DID find a "recap" ... ironically enough requested by YOU last year!  (lol)
Here you go:
This is fantastic and I thank you very much. This is a great help. I think the world of Forgotten Hits.

Good response to the "What's The Name Of That Song" radio special that Phil Nee of WRCO ran over the past weekend ...

Phil -
I just wanted to let you know that I very much enjoyed your show last night. I am a frequent listener and at 64 years old appreciate the oldies you play. I went on and bookmarked that website and it is amazing and I will enjoy those old memories. Thanks for mentioning it.
Also glad you guys have that 107.7FM now because I can now enjoy that music at night and without static. Keep up your needed and great work. God Bless.

Kent -
Thanks again for your great work.  I hope we can do another show soon.
We're working on several different radio "themed" shows right now so we'll keep you posted.  Thanks, Phil!  (kk) 

Recent Reviews 
I agree with what you said in your review of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis. To use them again as the example, I just want to hear their hits that they had. I don't want any artist or group to do hits that other artists or groups had. I also don't want said artist or group to do a medley of their hits. I just want to hear the entire songs.

Robin Gibb
Taking just a moment to remember Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees, who passed away four years ago today.

Cornerstones Of Rock:
As one who has both supervised and been hands-on in the post-production editing / assembling / mixing of numerous video productions, it is possible that WTTW a) figured that no one would notice the deleted songs (!) and b) wanted to keep the project as cost-effective as possible.  If the latter is true, they simply did not allocate adequate funding to add extra footage to the DVD release.   Post-production studio and personnel time is not cheap.  At least one producer, editor and writer would have had to been on the clock to source and work in interviews, backstage bits, etc.   WTTW apparently did not believe that the results would boost sales sufficiently to justify the added expense. Regarding the songs, if they were technically good enough to be included in the original broadcast, there's no reason why they would be deleted from the DVD.  That makes no sense at all.  And if they were technically NOT good when originally taped -- then the technical director would have known this right away -- why wasn't a second take shot of the subpar content before the production wrapped?  
Yes, the makers of the DVD have to pay songwriting royalties to the writers and publishers of any music heard in their release, but it's hard to believe that they couldn't clear 100% of the songs performed.  Over the years I have cleared thousands of tunes -- not just writer - publisher royalty rights but also record companies' master licensing agreements -- and have NEVER had a problem with ANY writer - publisher.  Licensing the musical compositions writer and publishers own is how they make their money! 
It's also quite possible that key players in the production of the special were NOT fans and had little or no real knowledge of the music and the acts being showcased.  That would explain their sometimes odd choices of tracks to feature and the amount of time devoted to each act.  I know that if I had supervised the Cornerstone project, the balance of airtime among the acts and the final choice of spotlight songs would have been somewhat different.  I also would have tried to shoot enough material to compile a complete SECOND Cornerstone special out of the outtakes.  
That's been done before.  I remember Karen Carpenter telling me that when she and her brother set about recording tracks for their 1978 "Christmas Portrait" LP, the duo wound up with a full album and a half of first-rate tracks.  Karen said they had a tough time whittling the list down to just enough for a single LP.  She hoped to later record more Yuletide tunes but didn't live long enough to do it.  Two years after her death, her brother, Richard, took the leftovers from "Christmas Portrait" and newly recorded enough instrumentals to pad out the running time,  The result, in 1985, was the second Carpenters Yuletide LP, "An Old-Fashioned Christmas."  .  
Gary Theroux