Saturday, May 28, 2016

Holiday Weekend Comments

It has been a VERY crazy week making daily postings impossible ... but I'm hoping to do a little catch up over the long holiday weekend.  (Besides working on my upcoming interview with Bobby Rydell, we've got a couple of shows scheduled this weekend and a family barbecue, too, weather permitting ... but we'll feed you what we can in the meantime, including today's short-but-sweet comments page and another SWEET 16 Feature tomorrow that you AIN'T gonna wanna miss!)  kk

Speaking of upcoming shows, Jim Peterik wanted us to let our midwestern readers know about a big show he's got coming up next week in Three Oaks, Michigan, on June 4th, at The Acorn Theater.  Jim will be performing selections from his brand new CD "The Songs", backed by a bluegrass band.  (Wait till you hear some of these interesting new arrangements.)   kk

Hi Kent! 
I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor and help me to spread the word on my June 4 show at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan.  This is a GREAT venue and only about an hour away.  I will be performing "The Songs" with the bluegrass band. 
"The Songs" featuring re-imagined versions of my biggest songs plus two new ones.  It was all done live in Nashville at the iconic Sound Emporium.
Could really use your help to sell this great theater out.  And it would be great if can come, too.  
Thanks man! 

We're not going to make it to this one, Jim, but we WILL be at the Crystal Lake show on June 25th at The Rau Center For Performing Arts ...more info here:

We would love to hear from fans able to attend either of these shows.
By the way, Jim also has a couple of Cornerstones Of Rock shows coming up with The Ides Of March and all the other great Chicagoland bands (The New Colony Six, The Buckinghams, The Cryan' Shames, The Shadows Of Knight, and a few other surprises) on June 24th at The Pantages Theater in Minneapolis, MN, and on September 3rd at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL.  (kk)

And we got this one from one of our readers this week ... when's the last time you saw this clip, Jimmy???  (k)  

Don't think I've seen this one posted by you before. 
Sammy Davis "getting' down" for sure. 

Kent ...
Mark your calendar ... this Friday, May 27, 2016, at 10:00 AM, Dan Taylor kicks off the Top 500 Countdown.
If you're in the New York area, you can listen live at 101.1 FM.  Others can listen at
Why should I be the only one who disagrees with the songs that were picked?
Frank B.

We're seeing a lot of good press about the brand new Monkees album out Friday (May 27th).
Here, you get to hear Micky, Peter and Mike talking about it ...

Speaking of reunions, check out these next three emails!

Hi Kent,
The Pittsburgh area's most prolific hit making band of the rock 'n' roll era, the 1967 - 1970 Shondells, will reunite on June 18th at the Hazlett Theater on the North Shore, as the Crystal Blue Band (band members Mike Vale and Eddie Gray are co-writers of the band's #1 Billboard hit and million selling single "Crystal Blue Persuasion"). Vale, Gray and Ron Rosman are joined by Mike Wipls, who replaces the late Peter Lucia on drums.
At a time when many of the biggest acts including The Beach Boys and Paul Revere and the Raiders were using session musicians to play on their records, this, the Shondells' most successful lineup, themselves recorded the group's second top ten hit, "I Think We're Alone Now," and every other one of Tommy James and the Shondells' fifteen chart singles until the group and James separated in 1970. Their other top twenty national hits include "Mirage," "Gettin' Together," "Mony Mony," the number one chart hit "Crimson And Clover," "Sweet Cherry Wine," "Crystal Blue Persuasion" and "Ball of Fire" (co-written by Vale). The Tommy James and the Shondells' recording "Sugar On Sunday" (co-written by Vale) was covered by the Clique and also became a national hit. Vale, Rosman and Gray appeared as the Shondells on many television appearances including twice on the Ed Sullivan Show, three times on American Bandstand and appeared on Hubert Humphrey's Presidential campaign. Vale and Rosman had originally become Shondells in April 1966, when their group the Raconteurs were chosen to replace the original iteration which had recorded "Hanky Panky" then broken up.
Our mutual friend Mitch Schecter of the Rip Chords posted on Mike Vales Facebook page "....To me, this is like The Beatles getting back together! Pennsylvania"s finest! History! Greatness"
Ed Salamon  

Photo one: Bottom row (left to right) The 1967-1970 Shondells: Eddie Gray, Mike Vale, Ron Rosman. Top, Peter Lucia

Photo two: Bottom row(Left to right) the Crystal Blue Band: Eddie Gray, Mike Vale, Ron Rosman. Top, Mike Wilps

Photo three: Flyer for the reunion show at the Hazlett Theater, June 18th

TONY ORLANDO: "Humbled" by Reaction to His Dawn Reunion   
They've remained friends "like family" and will share the stage for three shows this August. 
Tony Orlando says he's "very humbled" by reaction to his upcoming reunion with Dawn. 
The '70s hitmaker and long-time veterans advocate says that the idea to team again with Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent was hatched by the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania -- where he stages his annual Christmas shows. 
He explains, "One of their executives asked me, 'Would you mind if I got the girls [to work with you again]? Try doing it just for [us]?'" 
Telma and Joyce agreed to the August 10th and 11th shows -- even though both have busy solo commitments. Telma has worked non-stop in sitcoms over the last 30 years, while Joyce is a Christian and backup singer. And they've added a third date to their reunion -- August 15th at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. 
And while they haven't worked together steadily since the late '70s, Tony says the three have remained close friends, "like family." 
There's one more member of the Dawn family who'll be aboard for the reunion shows. Toni Wine, who wrote "Candida" and sang backup on that song and its follow-up, "Knock Three Times," has been a long-time member of Orlando's tour band. She's also been a close friend of his for "55 years. She asked me to introduce her to [music executive] Don Kirshner." She'll be on stage with Tony, Telma and Joyce for these three August dates.
-- submitted by Tom Cuddy 

SHA NA NA: Original Members Reuniting Next Week
Sha Na Na is reuniting -- for one night only.    
The band, whose first show was billed as "Grease Under the Stars", is returning to New York's Columbia University for one night only. 
Co-founder Henry Gross tells us that a planned concert by their current lineup has morphed into a reunion welcoming back all eleven surviving original members. 
The June 3rd private show at New York's Columbia University -- where the band formed -- seemed the ideal opportunity to welcome back former members, such as Henry, who later recorded the '70s surf-sound ballad "Shannon." 
Henry Gross on how the June 3rd show grew into a Sha Na Na reunion:
"That's where it started.  Jocko [Marcellino], who is one of the original members of Sha Na Na, is the current manager. And they just took this gig thinking it was going to be a Sha Na Na gig -- and then it turned into this other thing. It's sort of really perfect that it's at Columbia University, because that's where it started." 
A limited number of tickets for the show are available through the university. 
Henry Gross on the band's mission and how it found its name:
"Sha Na Na, if you think about it, was the first tribute band. It could have rolled off anyone's tongue. In the song, 'Get a Job' by The Silhouettes, 'Yip yip yip yip, boom, sha na na na na, sha na na na na na,' and it was actually a brilliant name. But the sad part was when we got a copy of the sheet music of 'Get a Job,' the original words were, 'Sha da da,' [chuckle]."
More information here:

As if there haven't been enough musical / celebrity deaths this year, within the past month we've also had to deal with death hoaxes surrounding acts like Little Richard and Connie Francis.  (We also received a report last week about the passing of Percy Sledge ... who died a full year earlier!)
Folks just seem obsessed with the way we're losing our musical icons.  (kk)

Speaking of which, check out this upcoming Dan Rather television special ...

And this upcoming PBS music special, too ...

I've been listening to "Toast And Marmalde For Tea", a track you posted a few days ago.
This song is really a chant, but one that I am drawn to. I find the melody haunting.
Googling the lyrics I find this:

Tin Tin – Toast And Marmalade For Tea lyrics
Toast and marmalade for tea
Sailing ships upon the sea
Aren't lovelier than you
Or the games I see you play

You more lovely than the day
When the sun is in your eyes
I see through your disguise
Or the games I see you play

(Repeat 2nd verse)

(Repeat 1st verse)

(Repeat 2nd verse)

(Repeat 1st verse)

(Repeat 2nd verse

Karma points? Have at it, then!
I think this is one of those records that was going for more of an overall sound than much more than that.  (Clearly the repetitive lyrics would bear that out!!!)  Hey, why write five or six verses when two will suffice?!?! 
The track was produced by Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees and has a very definite early '70's Bee Gees sound to it.  Band member Steve Kipner would go on to write a couple more memorable chart hits (with a little better lyric content) ... "Hard Habit To Break" for Chicago and "Physical" and "Twist Of Fate" for Olivia Newton-John. The Tin Tin hit "Toast And Marmalade For Tea" peaked at #15 in 1971 and, while long since forgotten by most, it has appeared regularly in Forgotten Hits over the years ... and now gets a fair amount of airplay on Chicago's Me-TV-FM, too.  (kk)

Been crazy here and have not had a chance to write, but I NEVER miss your reading your newsletter! Thanks from all of us musicologists out there!!
Mike De Martino 

Hi Kent, 
Love your site! 
Kind regards, 
Bauke de Vries

About a month ago or so we told you about two brand new releases coming from Eric Records, continuing on their "Hard To Find 45's on CD" series.
Well, that information is now available ... the disks will be available next month, and here are the track listings and preordering information:

May 2016
Pump Up The Volume! Eric Records Takes On the 80s!      
  • Hard To Find 45s on CD Volume 15: 80s Essentials & Beyond
  • Hard To Find 45s on CD Volume 16: MORE 80s Essentials & Beyond 
FREE SHIPPING:  NO CHARGE for SHIPPING of any two or more CDs within the USA.

 Order now for early shipment starting June 7th, before any other website
(official release date is June 17th).
Please help support the music you love by ordering direct at

Hard To Find 45s on CD, Volume 15:
80s Essentials & Beyond


Click here for complete track listing and to

 At last! The first new volumes in our flagship series since 2012, Eric Records presents 80s Essentials & Beyond (Hard to Find 45s on CD, Volume 15), the best of the ’80s and early ’90s in big, audiophile-quality sound. And not only do these songs SOUND better than they ever have before, but many are also presented in rare radio edits and hit single versions.

Fully packed with 78 minutes of music and five #1 hits including UB40's “Red Red Wine", Roxette's "It Must Have Been Love.", Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting” as well as the often over-looked “One More Try” by Timmy T.

Rare radio edits and single version debuts include Take Your Time (Do It Right) (S.O.S. Band), Baltimora's bizarre dance track "Tarzan Boy", and Charles & Eddie's big pop-soul duet "Would I Lie to You".  And even a big pop ballad from teen-fave star Glenn Medeiros: “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You,” which spent 25 weeks on the chart.

On 80s Essentials & Beyond, Eric Records captures the magic of the 80s and early 90s by making all these songs sound the best they ever will!    Complete with 12-page booklet with bios by Greg Adams.

Instrumental Collectors Note: Looking for more volumes in the famous series Complete Pop Instrumental Hits of the Sixties?
Email for details about
NEW VOLUMES from 1963 through 1979.
Please include your name, address and phone number.

Hard To Find 45s on CD, Volume 16: 
MORE 80s Essentials & Beyond

“Pump up the volume!” captures the spirit of Hard to Find 45s on CD, Volume 16: MORE 80s Essentials & Beyond. Filled with rare songs and scarce single versions, this disc will transport you to a time when greed was good and MTV actually played music videos!

On MORE 80s Essentials & Beyond you’ll find an eclectic mix to the max—sharply remastered and smartly sequenced! Hear George Thorogood's blistering blues, "Bad to the Bone" (single version for the first time on CD) next to Soft Cell's synthesizer-soul medley, "Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go" (heard here in its super-rare radio edit) and the Stereo single debut of Modern English's new wave anthem "I Melt With You."  Even the rare on CD Theme from Cops - Inner Circle’s “Bad Boys” and BOTH of Suzanne Vega's Top 5 hits.

Twenty hot tracks (including three #1s - 79 minutes of music) in audiophile-quality sound and all the original radio-hit versions.

On MORE ’80s Essentials & Beyond, these classic singles sound the best they ever will! Complete with 12-page booklet with bios by Greg Adams.

Don't forget these great releases!

To browse or buy, visit, and begin filling up our SECURE online shopping cart with great sounding pop and rock classics! We accept VISA, Mastercard, Discover and PayPal.

Ordering online is the fastest, easiest way to start our new releases winging their way to you. And remember, shipping is free when you order two or more CDs (U.S. only). Phone, mail and fax ordering options are also available. Click HERE for details.

AND ONE MORE FINAL REMINDER:  We've got copies of TWO great new books to give away ... be sure to register for your chance to win a copy of the brand new Bobby Rydell autobiography "Teen Idol On The Rocks" as well as Joel Whitburn's new Top Ten Albums Book soon in Forgotten Hits.  If you haven't already registered to win a copy of one of these hot, new releases, please drop us a line this weekend so we can throw your name into the hat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

45 Years Ago Today (5-24)

This is an example of the chart I would look at when buying my favorite records at Saffells in Richland Center. when I was growing up.  I used to get one every week.  The chart info came from Record City in Mequon, Wisconsin.  Later I believe it was Radio Doctors that supplied the charts to area music stores.  It is hard to believe that it was 45 years ago this month that this chart was posted.   
I think 1971 ranks as one of my favorite years for music.  I still think 1967 is tops.  '71 or '73 battle for second place in my humble opinion. 
It is awesome to think that this is a chart that I picked up after I cruised through the record bin and now it is being seen worldwide!  I look forward to seeing it posted.
Phil - WRCO

1967 was the year for me ... but there was some mighty good music released in 1971, too.  (1973???  Not so much!  lol)

Thanks to Me-TV-FM, we're hearing many of the tracks on this list on the radio again ... a WIDE variety of music from every era.  (I'll bet I heard at least a dozen of these within the last week alone!) 

I graduated High School in 1971 ... which would have put me right around this date, too, so this was a very special time in my life.  (see kk early '70's photo below!)  That means our 45 year High School Reunion is coming up right around the corner!  (Actually, I think I already saw an announcement about a September date!)

As for personal favorites, I'd be hard pressed to pick less than 40 out of the Top 80 ... wow!!!  A Top 80 Chart!!!  

I've featured a baker's dozen great tracks below ... some of which I'll bet you haven't heard in AGES!!!

Thanks for sharing, Phil!  (kk) 

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Monday Comments

Dear kk - 
The Paul Anka show was incredible. At 75, his voice was magnificent. I didn't detect even one questionable note. What a special ensemble of talent supporting him! 
The stories were interesting, the jokes, albeit lame, were cute, and his timing was perfect. And after performing for 59 years, his enthusiasm and respect for his audience was off the chart. 
Unlike so many of his contemporaries all of his songs were performed pretty much using the original arrangements so you never heard anything " jazzed " up and questioning what you just heard. I enjoyed the two hour effort and felt I heard EVERYTHING I was hoping to hear.  
My daughter was with me ... she's 46 and was mesmerized by the event.  
Highlites for me personally --  
His entrance - he entered right by my seat - very cool.
The duet with Sammy was special.
Being a vet and also a fan of the movie, the dramatic rendition of The Longest Day brought me to tears. Him doing the presumably unrehearsed requests was neat.
The way he descended into the audience to perform and his amusing interaction was pulled off perfectly.  I thought he brought the full house to their peak of excitement. What fun!
Finally the segue from My Way to Diana was as good a finale as any I could have wished for.
I was not prepared to experience what turned out to be one of the finest concerts I've witnessed. Took me 59 years to get to see him perform but as the cliché goes " Well worth the wait ".
I nearly forgot ... how well done was the guitar ensemble medley and of course, me being familiar with the history of "I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore" made it more personal.
My ONLY regret from the evening is not having the opportunity to say hello to you. Perhaps some other time.
Continued success to you ... looking forward to read your remarks.
God Bless,
Jim Nowoc  

Hi  Kent,  
I've got a question for Bobby Rydell ...  
What were your first impressions of Ann Margret when you worked with her and are you still friends??  
(Can you tell I am a big Ann Margret fan!!)   
Keep up the GREAT work Kent!  
Bobby and Ann have kept in touch over the years and still see each other from time to time ... but probably not as often as either would like. (In fact, they still call each other "Kim" and "Hugo" most of the time!!! lol)  
He talks quite a bit about working together on "Bye Bye Birdie" ... as well as some special "reunions" since.  (The name of the high school in the musical "Grease" was "Rydell High" ... another great tribute to this early teen idol!)  I know that "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Grease" are two of my daughters' all-time favorite musicals ... and we've seen them numerous times over the years.  
Don't forget to send us YOUR questions for Bobby Rydell ... We'll be talking with him next week ... so, if there's anything you've ever wanted to know, drop us a line and we'll include the best questions as part of our interview! And, enter now to win a free copy of Bobby's new book, "Teen Idol On The Rocks".  
Just drop us a line and put "BOBBY BOOK" in the subject line ... and we'll enter your name in our drawing to win a copy of this new biography!  (kk)

I just had a great read, and fully enjoyed The Bobby Darin Story link.  
I also just finished reading Tommy James' "Me, the Mob, and the Music" and found it very good reading.  
And, I just ordered the book "Bobby Darin: The Incredible Story of an Amazing Life".  I am sure I will enjoy it, especially after reading the link from your great site.  
I wish Omaha wasn't so far from the Arcada Theatre ... I would love to be able to see some of the great entertainment that seems to always be there.  
I do have tickets to see The Happy Together tour that is coming on September 3rd. I know it will be a great time.
The Arcada puts on some amazing shows ... in the course of a week you can see big name Vegas acts like Paul Anka and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. ... country star Crystal Gayle ... rocker Sebastian Bach ... psychedelic groups like The Strawbs ... the inventive Todd Rundgren ... and classic rockers like The Orchestra followed by The Glenn Miller Orchestra!  ALWAYS something interesting going on, with the widest variety of musical styles you're ever going to find.
The Tommy James book is being made into a movie (I'll have to ask Tommy how things are coming along with that) and, after doing all my research for the Bobby Darin article, I have become a full-fledged fan.
The Happy Together Tour line-up this year consists of The Turtles, Chuck Negron, Gary Puckett, Mark Lindsay, The Cowsills and The Spencer Davis Group.  As of right now, there's no Chicago stop listed ... but they ALWAYS come to The Paramount Theatre so I'm hoping they follow suit.  This is a GREAT line-up and you should have a great time.  (kk)

Speaking of The Happy Together Tour, Mark Volman has been declared "cancer free" ... I recently got this note from FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...

Mark Volman, the frizzy-haired co-frontman of the Turtles and the “Flo” half of Flo & Eddie, has been given a clean bill of health after undergoing treatment for throat cancer. 
The news was broken on Twitter by the band’s other frontman, Howard Kaylan, who wrote, “Thanks for all of your positive thoughts. Here to tell the world, Mark (Flo) Volman is Cancer Free!!

Joel Whitburn's new "America's Greatest Albums, 1956 - 2015" Top Ten Albums book has just started to ship ...

It is the PERFECT companion piece to his recent America's Greatest Hits compilation, listing The Top Ten Records on The Billboard Pop Singles Chart for EVERY week from 1940 thru 2015.
You can order your copy now thru the Record Research website ...
Or enter to WIN a copy now by dropping us an email with the words TOP TEN ALBUMS in the subject line.
We'll pick one lucky winner over Memorial Day Weekend and send them a copy of this hot new book ...
So get your entries in NOW to qualify!  (kk)

Jim Peterik has a few more local shows set up to promote his new album "The Songs" ... featuring brand new arrangements of some of his most popular and best-known tracks.
We missed his show at The City Winery a couple of weeks ago ... had to work late again at the last minute ... but we're shooting to catch him on Saturday, June 25th, at the Rau Center For Performing Arts in Crystal Lake.  (He also has shows coming up at The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI, on June 4th and another one on July 17th at The Space in Evanston.  Check the website for more details.)  kk

Jim's also has some Ides shows coming up ... in fact, the group also recently visited their altamater (and mine as well), Morton West High School.  (see photo below)

Catch The Ides Of March June 24th at The Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, MN; July 3rd at Ribest in Naperville, IL; July 9th at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI; July 16th at The Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL, August 6th at Romeofest in Romeoville, IL; The Arcada Theatre on September 3rd in St. Charles, IL (part of the Cornerstones of Rock show) and The Theatre of Western Springs on November 5th in Western Springs, IL.  
More dates are being added all the time so be sure to check The Ides Of March website for all the latest information.  

Regarding "Never Be Lonely" by The New Colony Six ... last month when I saw Bob Wilson - the writer of this song - we discussed it fondly. He and Ronnie Rice talk quite often, and it would be so cool to get Ron down here to perform it with Bob and his band.
David Lewis
The story goes that Bob Wilson brought the song with him when he joined The New Colony Six after leaving The Boyz.  (However, further research says that Wilson was never officially a member of The NC6 ... he just supplied them with material, including another "bubbling under" hit "People And Me".)  I'd be curious to get HIS take on all of this since we've never spoken to him about it.  (Maybe you can speak with him, David, and have him get back to us???)  Meanwhile, here is a copy of the very rare Boyz version of this tune.

If a Mike Nesmith guest appearance at an upcoming Monkees show means that we will get to hear "Me And Magdalena" live, please tell Mike to just keep writing his book, which also sounds like it's gonna be a real winner ... NOT!
Dave The Rave 
I thought Mike's participation on the new album was going to be vintage tracks that have been in the can for four or five decades ... but believe it or not, this is a brand new track, written by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, who says ...   

Before The Beatles, before The Velvet Underground and before punk and / or indie rock, The Monkees were the first band I truly loved. Their albums were always on in our home when I was a kid (especially Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.), and I learned to sing alongside them. I spent countless hours in front of the TV in the '80s watching Monkees reruns wishing I could climb through the screen and be in the show with them. They made being in a band seem so fun — and goddammit, it should be! For these reasons and a million others, I can say with absolutely zero hyperbole that contributing "Me & Magdalena" to this album has been the greatest honor of my career.
-- Ben Gibbard

The new album "Good Times" is available this Friday (May 27th)  kk

Hi Kent, 
Regarding Image Of A Girl ...
Bobby Rey of the Hollywood Argyles told me that he produced that and he was the one playing the "ticking clock" sound that Larry Neal refers to in his email. 
I dated a girl who's 1st husband was a later member of the Safaris (not on the record). 
I saw Safaris lead Jimmy Stephen on a SoCal Doowop Soc show circa early 90s. 
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem