Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Sunday / Monday Comments (Part One)

Lots to cover this weekend so we're splitting this into two segments ...

One to run today, featuring your comments on some of the hottest topics of the past week ...

And then a "Monday Morning Leftovers" piece to tie up all the loose ends.

Mystery Solved!  
I know what Billie Joe and Bobbie were throwing off the bridge:  
It was the only known tape of the 7-minute version of the song.  
I mean, really ... we've thought of everything else.
--Jeff Duntemann K7JPD
   Colorado Springs, Colorado

Excellent!!!  I love it!  (kk)

Makes sense to me!
Gary Theroux

The other problem with the song turned up when I searched out a photo of the new Tallahatchie Bridge, on the same site as the old wooden bridge that collapsed in 1972.
I'm pretty sure I've gone off taller diving boards than that and, when I lived in Rochester NY, local kids would jump off local bridges into the Erie Canal for fun all the time in the summer. (It was called "scum jumping," as anyone who's walked along the Erie Canal will understand.)
How is jumping off *that* bridge supposed to kill you?
--Jeff Duntemann K7JPD
   Colorado Springs, Colorado
That was something else that came out at the time ... it's a very short drop into some very shallow water ... but the imagery is amazing.  (Keep in mind that most of the world had never even HEARD of The Tallahatchie Bridge before Bobbie Gentry's song ... and wouldn't have known if it actually existed in real life or not.)  kk  
As a matter of fact, I was just on Google Earth, and can swear I saw Bobbie Gentry's tiny guitar floating down the Tallahatchie River! 

Isn't ODE TO BILLIE JOE more of a "folk-country" song than a straight-ahead "country tune"? 
Tal Hartsfeld
You've got to remember that back in 1967 a lot of these classifications fell by the wayside ... so you got tracks like "Ode To Billie Joe" playing right alongside tracks by Jimi Hendrix, The Monkees, the psychedelic sounds of "Incense And Peppermints" and the pure pop of something like "Georgy Girl".  Music was all over the board back then and nobody even gave it a second thought.
Besides the "folk" movement had already pretty much ended by the end of 1963 ... so "Ode To Billie Joe" would have been classified country at that point anyway.
Truth is, it was an across the boards SMASH ... and had the whole world talking about it at the time.  And look at us ...  here we are, some fifty years later, STILL trying to figure it all out!  (kk)

I was thinking, around June 3rd, 2003, I asked FH readers about this, after reading about the seven minute version in Mojo Magazine in 1/03. However that was few PC crashes ago. It doesn't appear in your message, or is it coming later? Also I'll have complete details on the top 40 survey convention, to be held in KC, the Saturday after Labor Day so stay tuned for that. 
We've been covering The Third Of June for ages now ... not every year (but damn near!)  I didn't go back to check any old postings ... especially with so much new email coming in.  (We obviously lit a fuse again this year!)  But it's been great ... we seem to be finally nailing down some facts as opposed to speculation ... and that's been our goal all along.  (Wouldn't it be cool if Bobbie Gentry read all this stuff and FINALLY said, "Now THERE's a guy who's got it right ... I think I'll talk to him!")  kk

Wow, that's a sticky story. One of the most concrete pieces of information is the Billy Paris lawsuit, which gave him a nice payday for manning the controls on the original demo. Attached is a snippet from Billboard - the mechanical royalty share might be substantial.   
Be Well,  
Carl Wiser

In the summer of '72 I worked with Jerry Van Dyke. We rehearsed for a week at his house in the San Fernando Valley and it seemed as if there was always some neighbor popping in. One of them was Jimmie Haskell.  Another was Spike Jones, Jr.  
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem 

Many, many thanks to you and Gary and everyone who contributed to the Bobbie Gentry stories during the past week. It sounds like she's still holed up in her estate someplace here in Tennessee, and even answers the phone, although she won't talk. There's no other resource - anywhere - with as much solid info as Forgotten Hits. You're the best!  
David Lewis

Thanks, David.  Our goal is to ALWAYS provide the most accurate truth possible ... and sometimes that takes time.  This is no different than it has ever been.  It is ALWAYS what we strive for ... and it is the reason that we're a respected publication today.  As you know better than anybody, memories fade over the years ... stories get embellished ... fiction gets repeated as fact ... what's that old saying? ... when the legend is more interesting than the truth, print the legend.  If and when new facts and information become available (as they sometimes do), if we find that they conflict with something that we've previously published, we will amend our findings accordingly.  Sometimes this takes YEARS ... and as more and more of those people who were around at the time are no longer with us today, this task becomes more difficult with each passing year.  But understand that this is always the goal ... "the most accurate truth possible" ... always has been ... always will be.  Forgotten Hits provides a forum that allows for input from ALL sources.  It allows you everyone from the most casual music fan to someone who has done a fair amount of research on a particular subject to a so-called expert in his field ... all debating on common ground and on a level playing field.  Where else are you going to get the opportunity to play on an oldies stage of this magnitude with the whole music world watching?  I'd venture to say that there is NOTHING out there that's quite like Forgotten Hits, a publication that provides this kind of forum for ALL of our readers to express those convictions.  That's our appeal ... that's why people come back and quote us as a source.  
In this particular case, several people did the research to establish whatever they could about Bobbie Gentry's recording of "Ode To Billie Joe" ... as it happens, some came to drastically different conclusions (or interpretations) based on the information they found.
This was a particularly interesting case because material was submitted that came from that time ... rather material that has had the benefit of 50 years of doctoring and reinterpretation along the way.
Was it originally intended to be the B-Side of the record?
Probably so ... there are just too many people who were there at the time stating this to be the case.  When Billboard Magazine, in an article published at the time, states that "it seems to be the b-side that's really taking off" ... when Jimmie Haskell, who was there at the time producing the session says it was the B-Side ... and when Bobbie Gentry herself in that taped interview we featured the other day  ALSO refers to it as the intended B-Side ... this series of independent commentary would all seem to conclusively prove that "Ode To Billie Joe" was the intended B-Side of the record.
Several findings passed along by other readers (and, once again, by Bobbie herself) also establish the official release date of the record so I don't see that as a matter of debate from this point forward. 
As for the seven minute version, I guess the million dollar question is "Does it exist?"
Probably not ... not today anyway if all this extensive research you suggest took place and they were unable to find it.  
Did it EVER exist?  
Probably so ... or there wouldn't be so many people out there who were there at the time that keep referring back to it.  Once the final edit was made, I'm guessing the leftover scraps went bye bye forever.  Think about it ... Bobbie Gentry had to relearn her own song to match the final edit so she could perform it that way in concert and on television from that day forward  She had the hottest record in the country and was in top demand ... the song from that point forward only exists as we know it.  But going back to her interview again, even she refers to the tale of Billie Joe McAllister as originating as "a short story" ... which tells me there was more to the tale than we ever heard. 
The one and only thing EVERYBODY seems to agree on is that the ONLY person who can state the facts conclusively for sure ... with all certainty ... isn't talking.   
I would LOVE to think that somehow, someway, Bobbie will hear about all our efforts here and come forward and set the story straight once and for all in Forgotten Hits ... but the fact of the matter is that THIS isn't really going to happen either ... so we've got to go with what we've got and draw our own conclusions from there ... hopefully all in an educated manner based on the facts as they have been presented to us.
Most of what comes thru our mail box is "opinion" ... it's not about who's right and who's wrong ... it's not about who likes this song and hates that song ... but this time several people on the list dedicated themselves to do some additional research ... and all came up with slightly different conclusions.  That's what makes the story of Billie Joe McAllister so interesting and is why this particular series is so special and important.  I've enjoyed every minute of it and got excited about each new "reveal"!
MY job as mediator is to take ALL of these "facts" into account and determine "the most accurate truth" ... our motto and slogan since Day One.  I believe we did that with "Ode To Billie Joe".  
As such, I believe "Ode To Billie Joe" really WAS originally the B-Side (although I also believe that Capitol knew it had SOMETHING special here when they first heard it ... they just didn't know quite what to do with it until it took on a life of its own.)  
I believe at some point there was a seven minute version of the tune that most likely no longer exists, which means we'll never get to hear it.  Honestly, seven minutes would have been too long if it didn't add anything to the story. I believe the final edit gave us the crux of what we're all still talking about fifty years later.  Maybe Bobbie Gentry still has the original lyrics or short story in her notes somewhere after all these years ... who knows ... but like I said, if she does, she isn't talking.  (And maybe she's come to the same conclusion we did ... whatever else exists and was left out does nothing to enhance the story or the mystery of Billie Joe McAllister and the Tallahatchie Bridge ... so it's best left unsaid.  Truth is, after THIS much speculation over THIS many years, we'd probably all find it anti-climatic anyway!  But, like most of you out there, I'd still love to see it!)  
I believe Bobbie Gentry probably had SOME idea as to what was thrown off the bridge ... based on everything I've read over the years, the most likely object would be their aborted baby, the trauma of which then proved to be too much for Billie Joe to handle, causing him to jump off that same bridge shortly thereafter.  But let's face it, back in 1967 that wouldn't have been a subject matter that could have been played on the radio, meaning that none of us ever would have heard "Ode To Billie Joe" at all ... and that would have certainly been our loss. 
I think they played this just right ... create the mystery ... leave it open to our own interpretation ... and watch this song take off.  It went to #1 three weeks after it was released and stayed there for four weeks.  
As far as I'm concerned, mission accomplished.  (kk)   

The Little River Band  
Controversy has been stirred up again between one of the original members who made the hits and the current line-up who continue to tell audience how great it was making these records ... even though none of these guys were actually ON these records. 
This was all triggered by a new bio posted by the current band ... which infuriated original member Beeb Birtles.  His comebacks (shown in blue) are absolutely priceless.  (kk)  

From an article by Paul Cashmere of Noise 11:   

Little River Band founder Beeb Birtles has once again taken aim at the current US band doing the rounds with the name but no original members.  

The founding members of LRB have been involved in a mucky and expensive battle with the current name holder Steve Housden (who ironically also no longer performs with the band).“I’m so sick of this shit! Check out this post at,” Beeb posted at his Facebook page.
This is the current Little River Band bio: 

Within eight months of their birth, LRB had already scored three Australian Top 20 singles and two Top Ten albums.
(Yes, and not one member of this current lineup of Little River Band had anything to do with those recordings)
In 1976, after their self-titled debut album was released in the USA, the long grind of 13 US tours in eight years had begun. By 1982 they became the only act – from anywhere – to have a top ten US single for six consecutive years. Little River Band was the first Australian band to successfully conquer foreign markets from an Australian base.
(Yes, and in those 8 years I was one of the founding members of Little River Band. Wayne Nelson didn’t join the group until 1980) 

Headlining their own major shows in America, and touring internationally with the likes of the Doobie Brothers, Supertramp, America, Heart, Boz Scaggs, Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles was a huge learning curve that honed LRB into one of the finest live bands in the world. Record success ran alongside – total record sales around the world have eclipsed the 30 million mark … 16 hit singles by 1985, as well as gold, platinum, and multi-platinum album sales awards. All-told LRB have notched up eight top 10 singles in the US, where two of their songs, Reminiscing and Lady, have more than 9 million radio plays between them.  
(Yes, and not one of the members of this current lineup played any part in the recording of those hit singles and albums except for Wayne Nelson who sang the lead vocal on ‘The Night Owls’ but he didn’t write any of LRB’s hits.) 

The Little River Band of 2016 is stronger than ever and performs between 125 - 150 shows a year in the U.S., Canada and abroad. The band is anchored by American bass player Wayne Nelson, who began his LRB career in 1980. The following year Wayne debuted as lead vocalist on the top ten hits “The Night Owls” and “Take It Easy On Me,” and continues in that role today. Wayne has more years of service than anyone throughout the band’s illustrious history.
(Yes, Wayne did sing the lead vocal on ‘The Night Owls’ and ‘Take It Easy On Me’ but his version of ‘Take It Easy On Me’ was NOT released as the official single by Capitol Records. They chose to go with the version Glenn Shorrock sang and that was the hit single.
R.I.P. Little River Band)

Beeb also notes the line ‘The band is anchored by American bass player Wayne Nelson, who began his LRB career in 1980.’  
(Anchored?  Well put, as at the bottom of the ocean. I would have used the term tanked, myself)     

In January, 2015, the non-original Little River Band even presented themselves to the high profile Jimmy Fallon show in an attempt to perform on the show to mark their 40th anniversary. When Fallon realized the discrepancy, they were dropped from the show.  

We've addressed this issue several times before.
NOBODY in the current line-up of the band is an original member ... nor has ANY current member been with The Little River Band organization for 40 years.  Here's the rundown once again for the current touring band:  
Wayne Nelson (1980 - 1996 ... he then left the band and returned in 1999 and has been back with them ever since - 33 years total); Greg Hind  (member since 2000 - 16 years - and the only actual Australian in the band ... all of the other members hail from The United States); Chris Marion (member since 2005 - 11 years); Ryan Ricks  (member since 2012 - 4 years); Rich Herring  (member since 2006 - 10 years)  

In 2006 LRB founder Graeme Goble released "Someone's Taken Our History" about the faux-LRB.

Got this from Tom Cuddy who saw a related story ...  

LITTLE RIVER BAND: A Co-Founder Criticizes the Current Lineup 
A Little River Band co-founder is still mad at the current lineup using his old group's name.   
Beeb Birtles took to Facebook to criticize a press release for the current LRB's upcoming Schenectady, New York show. He emphasizes that no one in the current lineup appeared on any of the band's '70s hits -- the ones that established them in the U.S. The new members are working for latter-day member Stephen Housden, who licensed the name, but no longer performs.  
With the present-day LRB touting that "Reminiscing" and "Lady" have been played more than nine-million times on U.S. radio and TV over the decades, Beeb notes how none of the current members were on those singles. And that frontman Wayne Nelson, who joined in 1980, sang lead on just one of their later hits, "The Night Owls."
Birtles -- who has lived in the U.S. since 1992 and works as a songwriter and producer in Nashville -- closes with the line "R.I.P. Little River Band."

Tear Jerkers  
Man, what a year!  The celebrity death toll is just staggering ... and not just in the music world ... within a week we lost sports greats Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe!  And earlier this year, Meadowlark Lemon.  Add to this David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, George Martin, Patty Duke and dozens of others and I feel like my whole life is flashing before my eyes!  And the year isn't even half over yet.  What a shame.  (kk)

Speaking of tear jerkers, readers certainly enjoyed Chet Coppock's Friday piece on this topic ...  

Read on ...   

Hi Kent, 
Here’s a dozen songs that may not be “tear-jerkers” in the classic sense, but they all stir deep emotions within me. 
In chronological order:  
Abraham, Martin & John – Moms Mabley 
A touching tribute to what could have been.  Yes, I know that Dion did the hit version (and I love it), but Moms has done some livin’ and really delivers the emotion behind those lyrics.  
At Seventeen – Janis Ian 
Written from a young girl’s point of view, but the universal truths about the pains of adolescence ring true for both sexes.   
Shannon – Henry Gross 
Anybody that lost a beloved pet can relate.  Extra points for being the best Beach Boys sound-a-like ever.    
She’s Gone – Daryl Hall & John Oates 
The classic break-up song and probably the best vocal performance by the top hit-making duo of all-time.  I love how their voices play off each other and propel the song along.  Almost makes you wish she’d never come back.
After The Love Has Gone – Earth, Wind & Fire 
What it feels like after the desperation sets in.  Great blend of Maurice White and Philip Bailey vocals and a perfect arrangement to boot.  
Hearts – Marty Balin 
As much as I love “Miracles”, I consider that song more euphoria than heartbreak.  This is what Marty Balin sounds like when his heart is truly broken.  
Empty Garden – Elton John 
Elton John and Bernie Taupin mourn a friend.  
Come Back And Stay – Paul Young  
This one helped me through an especially painful breakup back in my freshman year in college and put Paul Young on the map in America.    
Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat   
Proof that even those that are “different” have feelings too.  Bonus – it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.   Rain On The Scarecrow – John Cougar Mellencamp 
The best song about the plight of America’s small farmers.  Tells it like it is and it’ll break your heart every time.  
The Living Years – Mike + The Mechanics 
Anybody that’s lost their father can relate.  Partly because of this song, I made damn sure that I was there when my own father passed away a couple of years ago.    
What It’s Like – Everlast 
The best kind of social commentary.  Doesn’t pull any punches and makes you sad, but also makes you think at the same time.  
Paul Haney  
Several people have told me over the years that "The Living Years" has really gotten to them ... many have even used it at family funerals.  David Gates' beautiful tribute to HIS father "Everything I Own" would be another good one ... and I will admit to getting a little emotional the very first time I heard Bread's "Diary", too.  (kk)   

Hi Kent
GREAT Email on "Favorite Tear Jerkers"!! 
Here are some of my FAVORITES:
I Will Always Think About You - The FANTASTIC New Colony Six
This Time - The late / GREAT Troy Shondell
Sealed With a Kiss - The SHRILL voice of Brian Hyland
Wonderful SummerOne hit wonder Robin Ward
Hurt / Whats the Matter Baby? - a DOUBLE-sided hit by Timi Yuro
Caroline NoUnforgettable / SOLO voice of Brian Wilson 
I Only Have Eyes for You-- What an arrangement by TheFlamingos
Angel Baby -  Her Voice makes you CRY - Rosie & the Originals
One Summer Night -  Love at its BEST - The Danleers
I Want You, I Need You, I Love YouThe KING Elvis
What Unforgettable MUSIC!

I just reviewed the list of Chet's tunes ... and I must agree with every song on his tear jerking list ... this may not be MY list ... but I love everyone of those songs on his.

Nice to see you include "Dreams of a Child"; such a visual song that caught me, too, the first time I heard it.  Selling earrings never sounded so nice. 
Having to leave country music out of it, because there are too many to name, but often think of James Taylor saying; "George Jones could make your dog cry". 
Speaking of:
James Taylor - Fire & Rain
Burton Cummings - Stand Tall (once had an ex girlfriend call me to say she was playing this over and over again.  Haunts me to this day.) 
Reflections of My Life - Marmalade (the older I get the more it resonates.  And the latest remake by Dean Ford will get you where it hurts.  Had a marine friend tell me he couldn't listen to it more than once in a sitting.  It made him too emotional.) 
I've Got Dreams To Remember - Otis Redding (Delbert McClinton does a nice version of this, but Otis is one of a kind with that first stanza).   
But Delbert has one; "You Were Never Mine".  If you've never heard it, give it a listen to enter the world of sadness. 
In Dreams - Roy Orbison (Only The Lonely is close, as Bruce Springsteen sang in Thunder Road, but then again, Roy's voice is made for introspection.)  
Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues - Danny O'Keefe (who recorded it three times and released it twice before it was a hit single.) 
It Never Rains In California - Albert Hammond (When he asks to "tell the folks back home I nearly made it", you know it's a lie and he's embarrassed. Haven't we all been where we didn't want others to know our failures? 
Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Fogelberg (reminds me of a certain girl every time). 
South City Midnight Lady - The Doobie Brothers (the music and lyrics are pure loneliness). 
Now I need to go drink a beer ... or two ....
Greg Campbell

And here are two radically differences of opinion ...

I have got to be honest with you, when I first started reading Chet's top 10 musical tearjerkers, I didn't even think of those he listed nor those three you listed. The first type of song that came to my mind were songs like TEEN ANGEL, LAURIE, etc. But then I have got to be honest with you, in that through the years, hey, I never paid attention to lyrics per se. As they used to say on American Bandstand, if a record had a good beat and you could dance to it, well, I normally gave it at least an 85.

Teen-age death songs never affected me much emotionally, I think because the lyrics were so banal and the situations so contrived. The only top 40 song that ever really brought a tear to my eye was not rock and maybe only barely pop: "May You Always" by the McGuire Sisters (1959). I had heard it here on there all my young life on WGN (that's where the house and car radios were always set) and never really understood it until the little girl down the street rejected me when I was 14. I'd known her all my life, but she didn't want a boyfriend (or perhaps didn't want me, which I would certainly understand, given what I was 14) and I let her go without any hard feelings. Alluva sudden, yeah ... The song made sense. I still can't hear it without thinking of her.
But if you want real tearjerkers, you have to go country. I don't think there's ever been a tearjerker song that beats "Love, Me" by Collin Raye
Don't go there without as pocketful of Kleenex.
That is a pretty song ... didn't realize I'd heard it before until I went to your youtube link ... very powerful stuff.
Reminds me of a joke I read on Bob Dearborn's "Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac" website last week ...
A young couple was SO in love and couldn't wait to tie the knot and begin spending the rest of their lives together ... but then on the day they were supposed to be married they were both killed in a car wreck on the way to the church ceremony.
They immediately went straight to heaven and, when they were greeted at the Pearly Gates, God asked them what had happened.
The couple related their story and expressed such sorrow and sadness that, of all days, something like this had to happen on the day they were going to get married.
That asked God if he could marry them right here, right now in heaven ... after all, what could be more romantic than that, especially in light of this terrible tragedy.
God said that he couldn't marry them ... but to come back in five years and if they still felt as strongly about each other, he would see to it that they would be married then.
The couple grew even deeper in love and, at the end of five years, went to see God again to see if they could now have their heavenly wedding.
Once again, God had to refuse ... "Come back in five more years and I'll see to it that you'll be married then."
The couple patiently waited another five years ... and, this time when they went to see God, he had a priest there ready to perform the ceremony ... and the couple was finally wed.
Over the next couple of years, however, they started to experience some problems in their marriage ... things just weren't the same ... they were no longer getting along and literally couldn't stand the sight of each other.  Finally, as a last resort, they went back to God to ask Him for a divorce.
"NO!!!" God boomed, shaking the heavenly skies.  "It just isn't possible!"
"But why not?" the couple asked.
God replied, "Are you kidding me???
It took me ten years to find a priest up here ...
Do you have ANY idea how long it'll take to find a lawyer?!?!?"
A couple more tear jerkers I guess I would have to include on my "emotional favorites" list would have to be "Girl Crush", the Grammy-winning big hit by Little Big Town from last year ... and how about "With Pen In Hand" by Vikki Carr ... even SHE couldn't get through that song without breaking down at some point.  (Honestly, I've always preferred the Billy Vera version of this tune so let me cast my vote for that one.)  And I've also got to campaign for Pinkard and Bowden's "A Christmas Gift" ...  ... which gets me EVERY time. (kk)

When we first start paying attention to songs on the radio as kids, we are attracted to the SOUNDS of the hits we love. That's because we haven't had the life experiences yet to fully grasp what the songs' LYRICS are really about. Sometimes it is years later when we hear again something we loved when we were very young, Almost magically, that old track takes on a whole new meaning because now we fully understand --and have lived through ourselves -- the emotional portrait the recording paints.
If you like thoughtful, poignant, reflective tracks which touch the heart and often include elements of romantic regret, check out Mickey Newbury, who is best known for writing the First Edition hit "Just Dropped In" and his own show-stopping single "American Trilogy." Below ate two non-hit Mickey Newbury tracks -- both from the same album -- beginning with the flip side of "American Trilogy": 
Mickey explained that the starkness of those tracks was due largely to the fact that he was given only a micro budget to record the LP -- and had to pull a lot of favors from Nashville friends who worked on the album with him for reduced rates or even nothing out of respect for his talents. Newbury cut those tracks for Elektra and eventually moved to ABC Hickory, which bought up all his Elektra material. Then MCA bought all the ABC labels and Mickey's recordings kind of got lost in the shuffle. (MCA put out one sort-of "greatest hits LP which was obviously mastered from worn vinyl sources and sold poorly.) After Elektra turned down my request to license some of Mickey's stuff for a folk album I was assembling, I learned of the sale of his Elektra tracks to MCA and licensed several from them. I then got Mickey's phone number and called him up to tell him to expect royalty payments. To my surprise, his response was, "Oh no!" It seems that Mickey had been trying to buy back his "forgotten" Elektra and Hickory masters from MCA and my out-of-the-blue request to license some of them had alerted the label that Newbury's stuff did have licensing value! I don't know if he was ever able to buy the masters back after that or not. Mickey Newbury died at age 62 in 2002.
-- Gary Theroux

Let’s see Kent, you've told us twice now that you don’t recalling tearing up during “Dedicated To The One I Love”. Guess what fellow ... you’re in denial!!!  Frannie is spot on ... you teared up.  
There is a certain amount of feeling good about feeling bad when it comes to all the tearjerker songs of our lifetime.  
I’m always fascinated with certain songwriters and the performers who sing their songs. A great tear-jerker never has a happy ending and only rarely is there optimism for good things to come from the heartbreaking lyrics. 
It’s hard to keep this list brief for some of us who really do love feeling good about feeling bad.
# 1 - Angel Eyes - I’ve got to go back to the saloon with Chet Coppock and cry in my beer.
“Hey, drink up all you people / Order anything you see/ And have fun you happy people / The drinks and the laugh’s on me”.  This song is from what could also be the # 1 all-time tear-jerker album, Frank Sinatra’s Only The Lonely.   
# 2 - Tragedy - I’m partial to Brenda Lee’s rendition but The Fleetwoods and Tommy Roe both also did right by one of the saddest songs on earth.   
#3 - It’ll Never Happen Again - Whoever she was, this girl really did a number on Tim Hardin.  Johnny Rivers gut wrenching rendition of this song from his Rewind album always makes me think of the Roberta Flack line from Killing Me Softly “he sang as if he knew me”.   
#4 - Whenever He Holds You - Great Bobby Goldsboro song which makes you feel the slings and arrows of Puppy Love gone bad. As adults, we can steer away from love lost but as teenagers we may have had to suffer on a daily basis watching him or her walking the other to their high school locker or watching them dance at the sock hop. Lesley Gore's Greatest Hits had all the girls crying in their soda pop.
#5 - A House Is Not A Home - Burt and Hal’s best IMHO. This is truly an adult tear-jerker. Listening to Luthur Vandross, Brook Benton or Dusty Springfield, you feel like one who never recovers from this relationship gone sour.   
#6 - I Keep It Hid - Jim Webb penned song that both Linda Ronstadt and Ray Charles knocked out of the park. “Oh why can’t I walk up to that old love of mine and say 'Baby, what you been doing, I still love you like I did. You know, nothings really changed here' , but, being the way I am, I Keep It Hid.  WOW !!! Sounds like Jim knew he would never have that recipe again, oh no. 
#7 - Caroline No - This was my Dear John anthem back in 1968. Mine was a Carol, not a Caroline, who during the process I never referred to as Sweet Caroline or Carol.  I got over it with no help from Gary Puckett’s Young Girl, Woman Woman or Over You.   
Ask most ex-GI’s and they’ll tell you they know when a Dear John is about to be authored. The last week or two of letters found me going straight to the last page to see if it still read “Love Always, Carol”.  One day you get a letter and go to the last page (or the only page) and it reads “Just Me, Carol” The fact that I was in Viet Nam and I didn’t have to walk past her locker everyday made the healing process a little easier ... NOT!!!
Thanks, Kent, for stirring up old tearing-jerker recollections. It’s 9:00 AM ... and the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad ... so I’ll have one for dessert.  
Just Me,