Saturday, June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali ... Dead At 74

As you grow up there are certain people who inspire you ... people who will influence you for the rest of your life.  Often times these are bigger than life icons who you know you'll never meet ... never be able to tell them just how much they meant to you ... how they affected your inner being.  I had a few ... Elvis, of course ... Paul McCartney ... and Muhammad Ali.

I saw every one of Muhammad Ali's fights.  It was one of the few things my dad and I did together.  Whether it was rebroadcasts on ABC's Wide World Of Sports on the weekends, the rare live bout that made tv, or closed circuit viewing at the old Hillside Theater, we caught them all.

Ali was brash ... he was cocky ... he annoyed the hell out of millions of people ... but I just loved the guy.  He was also charismatic, charming, and (in his own words) beautiful.  He was dealt a bum deal when he was banned from boxing at the absolute peak of his career due to his religious beliefs and refusal to report to the draft.  Eventually he was able to comeback, reclaim his heavyweight boxing title and then, a few years later, win it again for an unprecedented third time.

He was one of a kind ... The Greatest.  He talked the talk but also walked the walk.  For over thirty years he's fought the biggest battle of his career against Parkinson's Disease.  Several times in the last decade news reports have placed him on his death bed yet he still came back to beat the challenge.  He lost his final battle yesterday and he will be missed.

You will hear a lot about Muhammad Ali in the next few days, both good and bad.  (There are still quite a few haters out there ... but the truth his Muhammad Ali at one point was the most recognizable face on the planet Earth.)  He could go ANYWHERE ... any country on the globe ... and command the attention of each nation he visited ... a true ambassador for peace.  

But I will always remember his complete control over the media whenever he spoke ... the "I Am The Greatest" rants ... joking with Howard Cosell (and trying to pull his toupee off during interviews) ... the poetry (including what he once described as the "shortest poem ever written" ... and then recited simply "Me ... Wee!!!") ... the predictions as to which round he'd knock out his opponents ... the Little Richard / Gorgeous George "I'm so pretty" comments ... say what you want about the man, but he never failed to entertain ... both inside the ring and out.  We will never see another one quite like him. (kk)


ALI was the man that put modern boxing on the lips-of-everyone.  He had a great run and was a great showman.  It's a shame ... we all get old ... and in his case, developing a debilitating disease.  The stand-out little story that comes to mind though is a business opportunity he got in on.  Someone convinced him to get into the shoe polish business (maybe he only put in seed money to a friend).  The product had his image on it ... but the bottle design and instruction sheet were directly stolen from another major manufacturer.  They just inserted his picture into the original logo and replaced the 'character' already there.  I never heard what settlement was made in the lawsuit, but i think the product was 'pulled' very quickly.


Although I grew up there during this era, I don't recall a lot about "Cassius" from the Louisville days other than the main events - his winning the Olympics Gold was a biggie - I recall a big celebration upon his return, and there was always a lot of interest in his title fights - so yes, he was big news in town - I believe Louisville was not ready for his change to Muhammad - it was a southern town and rather conservative - (I remember when they finally integrated the local amusement park) - the city did name one of the main downtown streets after him - Muhammad Ali Blvd. His album, I Am The Greatest, did get lots of local airpplay. On the down side in Louisville - he did leave the town and his "draft dodging" (not that he could have passed the mental exam) did not sit well with the locals, besides Louisville is not known for it interests in local poets - but I always remember liking his raps. To sum it up though I think he is regarded as a local hero still.


Hello Kent, 

Not much to say about the loud mouth, arrogant, boisterous, me me me, Mr. Clay. 
Or was he really a Marketing Genius?????     

I'm not sure that I can shed any different angle than whatever you might come up with concerning Ali. I can tell you that he's been on the cover of Rolling Stone three times, and that no other athlete has appeared there more than once. He also appeared on the cover of Crawdaddy as well. I can't recall any athlete that's had more than one cover in all the different music mags.


I remember that my Mom had that Cassius Clay LP, I Am The Greatest, which was very much over-played in our house.


I haven't got a lot to say about Ali, as I never really idolized him much, although I do respect his legacy. I'll submit a few random thoughts on the man ...
I listened to his 1964 fight with Sonny Liston on the radio with my Dad and Uncle ... February, '64, the month The Beatles hit America.  I was nine years old and mesmerized.

I didn't follow his career too closely, but knew Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali was known as 'The Greatest'. However, in my book (and I'd expect some good arguments here), 'The Greatest' would mean a Heavyweight undefeated, and as far as I know Rocky Marciano was the only undefeated Heavyweight champ.
I didn't know what to make of his draft resistance and being stripped of his title, but he followed his beliefs and made a stand for racial equality. I saw the Ali movie, but found it kind of boring, with all that Muslim shit.
I was touched when he lit the Olympic Flame in 1996 -- that was quite a moment in time. I always liked his humorous braggadocio style.
I personally disliked his 'Rope-A-Dope' technique, as I would've preferred to see him come out swinging aggressively. I think that technique possibly contributed to his later onset of Parkinson's Disease. 

In closing, I have a favorite picture of Muhammad Ali ... 

Here in Rochester, NY, there is a club that started in 1951 called the Rochester Press Radio Club. The purpose of the club is to raise money for our local children's charities. Back in the year 2000 our headliner for this dinner was David Wells. Other head table guests were Gayle Sayers and a photographer named Howard Bingham, who has been Muhammad Ali's photographer since the early 60's. He was in town receiving an award from Eastman Kodak, based in Rochester, so he was loaned to us to add to our head table. Other head table guests were local sports figures. Three days before our sold out event we received a call from David Well's agent saying that he could not come as he had to be with his pregnant girlfriend. Quite a predicament as it takes us many months to lock up a headliner for this event. Not many people want to come to Rochester, NY in the winter!
Unknown to us, Howard Bingham called Muhammad Ali at his home and explained the situation to him, letting him know that all net proceeds go to children's charities. Howard came to us and told us that Ali was going to try to reschedule his itinerary and attempt to come to Rochester to fill in as our featured guest. We weren't sure that this would happen until the morning of the event, but Muhammad Ali came to Rochester that late afternoon of the event in his own private jet. We had suffered a loss of about 130 tickets (Yankee fans) that had to be refunded to this point, but there were still over 1000 people who did not request refunds as the money goes to charity.
Those that stayed were treated to the surprise of their lives. 

As Howard Bingham was reaching the end of his presentation, which was filled with many never-before-seen photos of Ali, he asked if the audience had ever seen Ali in person. A few people raised their hands and when they did,  Ali came out from behind the curtain, and the crowd went wild. He entertained for the next half hour and helped us auction a pair of Olympic boxing gloves that he personally autographed for the winner ($11,000) and had a photo taken with the winner as well. He asked all kids in the audience to come backstage with him, and stayed with them for another half hour, shaking each hand. He also autographed four more pair of gloves which we have used in subsequent auctions for the last four years. All this -- and he wouldn't take a cent!
We had to sue David Wells to get our deposit back, and it took almost a year before we got it back. Ironically, photos of David Wells in a Hard Rock Cafe the same night in Toronto showed up in the paper the next day. The story of one true hero and one bum!
Danny Guilfoyle

PS I have a lot of songs about Cassius Clay and Muhammad Ali.  Here are some of the things that I have:  

1.  Bette McLaurin -"You're The Greatest". This is the song that Billy Scott had a minor hit with in 1958. This is Bette's "letter" to Cassius Clay, and she recites it over music in the beginning, and then talking over music a little more at the end. Bette McLaurin was a mellow singer who had been around since the early 50's, recording with the Striders, Four Fellows and as a soloist. This type of song was very different for her. I also have the picture sleeve that came with it, which is kind of unique. It is from 1964.

Wow, I dunno, Danny ... BETTE McLAURIN looks a little bit like FLIP WILSON's GERALDINE!!!  LOL ... I think they might have shared the same wig!  (kk)   

2.  Sir Mack Rice -"Muhammad Ali". This was produced by Al Green in 1976.

3.  The Alcoves -"The Ballad Of Cassius Clay".  Another from 1964 and very different from the Bette McLaurin song. Uptempo and driving, this one uses Clay's description of Sonny Liston as "a big, ugly bear" in it's lyrics.

4.  The Best Ever -"The Peoples Choice". Muhammad Ali starts this one off by proclaiming as only he can that "I Am A Baaaaaaaaad Brother". From 1975.

5.  Don Covay -"Rumble In The Jungle". I don't think this was ever a single. It is on Don's 1975 album on Mercury entitled "Hot Blood".

6.  Eddie Curtis -"The Louisville Lip". I think this is the Texas blues singer -- not sure of the release date. Obviously from around 1964, it is on Raftis records.

7.  Liberated Brother- "Muhammad Ali".  This 1975 release on RCA was written by Weldon Irvine Jr., known for his somewhat radical Afro-American political stance.

8.  Page Scherer- "He Is He". This one is a little weird. It is recited to the music of "This Land Is Your Land", and speaks about Ali's being loyal to his viewpoints. It is from 1974.

9.  Vern Harrell - "Muhammad Ali". Vern mentions Ali's victories over Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena, so it's from around 1970.

10. J.W. Grasshopper (and the Butterfly) - The Ali Shuffle". From 1974 on Brown Dog records.

I have the Cassius Clay recordings on Columbia records as well, but I expect that you already have these. I also have the picture sleeve from "Stand By Me".

Somewhere in this house I have some things by Joe Frazier as well.

We've featured the Cassius Clay version of "Stand By Me" a few times over the years in Forgotten Hits.  This one actually charted in 1964, peaking at #86 on the national charts. It's actually not a bad version.

In 1975, Johnny Wakelin and the Kinshasa Band had a Top 20 Hit with "Black Superman - Muhammad Ali".  It hasn't been played much (if at all!) since ... but you might remember this one!

Friday, June 3, 2016

50 Years Ago Today ...

... Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

You remember, don'tcha???   

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day - 
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay.
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat -
And mama hollered out the back door, "y'all, remember to wipe your feet."

And then she said, "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge -
Today, Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge." 

And papa said to mama, as he passed around the blackeyed peas,
"Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense; pass the biscuits, please.
There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow.
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billie Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And brother said he recollected when he, and Tom, and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?"

I'll have another piece-a apple pie; you know, it don't seem right.
I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge -
And now ya tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge."

And mama said to me, "child, what's happened to your appetite?
I've been cookin' all morning, and you haven't touched a single bite.
That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today -
Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday", and oh, by the way -
He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge -
And she and Billie Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge  

And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Bobbie Gentry had one of the biggest hits of 1967 when she told this story in her "Ode To Billie Joe" ... but, as was pointed out to me a few years back in Forgotten Hits, the events of Billie Joe's McAllister's demise actually happened on June 3rd, 1966 based the lyrics of the final verse ... ("A year has come and gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe) ... making this the 50th Anniversary of Billie Joe's leap into the abyss. 

Gentry hit The National Top 40 a few more times ... "Okolona River Bottom Band (#39, 1967) and "Fancy" (#31, 1969) ... plus a couple of great Everly Brothers remake duets with Glen Campbell ("Let It Be Me", #38, 1969, and "All I Have To Do Is Dream", #27, 1970) ... but nothing ever had the impact of this pop culture phenomenon.  After a brief stint on television and in Las Vegas, she's become a complete recluse, refusing to ever talk about her big hit record ever again.  Even most members of her own family has lost contact with her.  (It has been a long-time goal of Forgotten Hits to get her to break her silence here but we've gotten absolutely nowhere with this quest.)  Examiner columnist Jeremy Roberts talked to Jim Stafford, one of Bobbie's ex-husbands recently, and he spoke briefly about their time together ... but everyone has pretty much had to deal with and respect her request to live the rest of her life out of the limelight.

A movie based on the song threw a major wrench into everyone's open-minded interpretation of the lyrics ... somethings are better left to your own imagination ... so we won't even address that here.

Still, she left us with a one-of-a-kind memory ... so sometime today, please take a moment of silence to observe the memory of Billie Joe McAllister. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday This And That

Just enough comments to fill a Thursday This And That segment!

Readers didn't take too kindly to Gary Theroux's Pat Boone comments that ran yesterday ... or Frannie's assessment of Mike Love's latest face lift ... read on ...

The Fat Man:   
>>>Pat Boone often gets knocked as a white guy who sometimes stole "black songs" by people unaware of the fact that in the '50s black and white artists perpetually covered each other's material. They included Fats Domino -- whose biggest hit, "Blueberry Hill," was in 1956 his cover version of a 1940 chart-topper by white bandleader Glenn Miller -- who in turn had found the song on the soundtrack of a Gene Autry western!    (Gary Theroux)
One comment about Pat Boone ... 
While Fats did a remake of a 1940 hit, Blueberry Hill, Pat competed on the charts with Fats with Ain't That A Shame and Little Richard with Tutti Frutti. There is a big difference between REMAKING an older hit record and COVERING a current record and competing on the charts with it.
Mark the Shark

I just wanted to say that there is a HUGE difference between reviving an old song and taking it to the top (Blueberry Hill) and jumping on a brand new recording and covering it simultaneously specifically to appeal to a different audience.
Mike Love:  
>>>Frannie says she was totally creeped out by Mike Love's latest face lift ... to the point that she thought she actually might have nightmares!  (One comment she made was something to the effect of "he almost looks as if he were recently embalmed"!!!)  kk
I'm always kind of offended when our aging stars are criticized for trying to stay stage perfect looking.  To have a job that you're really great @ & then to have people be nasty about your looks seems cruel.  I personally tho't Mike Love looked wonderful even aside from whatever cosmetic aids he may've needed to pursue to achieve that.  Not many people stay shiny, out of the box perfect their entire life.
Hi Kent -
Thank  you  for providing the Beach Boys Memorial Day performance on your email so whoever missed it can enjoy it!!!
It's a free country to express your views, but Frannie, lighten up about Mike Love's looks.  For being almost 75, he has the stamina to still perform in great style ... Let's  just all enjoy the music while some of the original Beach Boys are still around. We have already lost too many of our favorites.  
Keep Rockin ... or should I say Keep Surfin......
This And That:
Hi Kent,
Maybe others beat me to the punch, but if not, Goin' Down was not on Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, (1967).
I believe there's a version on the CD release, but I still have my vinyl and it's not there.
The Girl I Knew Somewhere wasn't on Headquarters either, but it was the flip of A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You. Had Headquarters on vinyl, too.  The Girl I Knew could also be on the CD reissue though.
BTW. I'm with you, I love the new CD. Sounds old, yet new.
Adam Sleshinger did a wonderful job.
That set list (and the song credits) came from Vintage Vinyl News ... and my guess is the references are where you would find these tracks TODAY, looking for material that is still in print.
"The Girl I Knew Somewhere" and "Goin' Down" were both non-LP B-Sides at the time ... and both are great tracks.  (Ironically, I HATED "Goin' Down" when it first came out ... I just couldn't relate to it ...  but today it's one of my favorites.  Micky really cooks on this track and it shows just how wide a musical range The Monkees covered back then.)
The new CD is outstanding ... I've probably listened to it at least nine or ten times now.  And I agree ... the perfect mix of old and new.  I read yesterday that it was Amazon's #1 best seller from vintage artists ... and deservedly so.  Here in Chicago Me-TV-FM is doing Monkees twin spins this week ... something from the brand new album coupled with one of their original hits from the '60's.  Hard to believe 50 years have gone by ... yet if you watch the old reruns, they haven't aged a day!  (kk)

Yeah, the Tin Tin song has that warbly sound like Here Comes the Sun to my ears.  Love "Is That The Way" follow-up, too.  I agree on "Pretty Lady", too.  What a perfect song!
Clark Besch    
Got this from FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...     
Chicago, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon and More Will Be Singing “Greatest Hits” for ABC
by ABC News Radio | Jun 1, 2016 | Music News   

The musical lineup for the new ABC show Greatest Hits has been announced. Among the performers for the decade-spanning song tribute series are Chicago, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon andRick Springfield.

The six-episode music series will feature iconic music artists and current chart-toppers from various genres performing hits from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Each show will focus on a five-year period in time and feature duets, tributes and solo performances.

Other artists also confirmed to give Greatest Hits performances include Bonnie Raitt, Wilson Phillips, En Vogue, LL Cool J, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, CeeLo Green, John Legend, Coolio, Meghan Trainor, Pitbull and Wiz Khalifa.
Greatest Hits will be co-hosted by Arsenio Hall and country singer Kelsea Ballerini. It premieres Thursday, June 30, at 9 p.m. ET.

The WCBS-FM top 500 list is a joke. To think that this once great oldies station is playing Can't Help Fallin' In Love by UB40 and not Elvis is upsetting. Good thing there are MP3 players full of my favorite all time songs.
It certainly was a mixed bag of music ... Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" from 1998?  Doesn't a song have to be at least 25 years old to even be considered an "oldie"?
It's funny because "Real Oldies" used to only focus on songs from 1954 to about 1965 ... then they expanded to around 1970, which widened their audience.  Still there are oldies "purists" who insist "real oldies music" should stop at 1963, the year before The Beatles came over here and "ruined everything."  (Radio programmers, on the other hand, have all but abandoned this era of music, save a select few, preferring to program to, in their words, "people who are still alive".
True Oldies used to stop at around 1976 or so ... before the Disco Era came along to, once again "ruin music" forever.  They now regularly program songs well into the late '80's (although Scott Shannon promises that The True Oldies Channel will NEVER play Bon Jovi!!!  lol)  Bon Jovi, by the way, made The Top Ten Memorial Day 500, however, on WCBS-FM ... the station the employs Scott Shannon in the mornings!
We did a popular series a few years ago called "What Is An Oldie" and got a tremendous response to it.  Everybody has their own opinion.  The word "oldies" is now considered "condescending" because fans of this music don't want to be reminded that they're old.  We ARE old!!!  And we stand by this music.  Me-TV-FM has proven that the mix we have always talked about here in Forgotten Hits will work ... music played side-by-side from ALL eras.  They do a GREAT job of selecting the "music of our lives".  (This is ESPECIALLY true if you happen to be a huge Gordon Lightfoot fan ... which I am not!!!)  Their "timeless and memorable music" motto falls of the rails several times a day but by and large they are still the BEST music on the dial here in Chicago.  (kk)  
>>>I've featured on the site a couple of times now is this new version of "Reflections Of My Life" by Marmalade front man Dean Ford ... actually gives me chills every time I hear it ... (not to mention a lump in the throat and a tear in the eye) ... powerful stuff!  (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. Dean Ford's remake of "Reflections Of My Life" comes complete with 46 years of poignancy. He sounds a bit like Roy Orbison now. 
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
Be sure to stop back tomorrow for another one of our "50 Years Ago Today" features! (kk)  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

Ain't That A Great Way To Spend Your Holiday Weekend?  

Regarding your "Ain't" songs, you might like to know that in the studio an argument broke out between producer-conductor-arranger Billy Vaughn and Pat Boone when Billy slated Pat to record "Ain't That a Shame."  Pat -- a college honors student at the time (1955) -- told me he wanted to change the lyrics and title to "Isn't That a Shame" so he wouldn't sound illiterate -- but Billy wouldn't hear of it.  As things worked out, both the Fats Domino original and Pat's cover version of "Ain't That a Shame"  became Top 10 pop hits at the same time.
By the way, Pat often gets knocked as a white guy who sometimes stole "black songs" by people unaware of the fact that in the '50s black and white artists perpetually covered each other's material. They included Fats Domino -- whose biggest hit, "Blueberry Hill," was in 1956 his cover version of a 1940 chart-topper by white bandleader Glenn Miller -- who in turn had found the song on the soundtrack of a Gene Autry western!  
Gary Theroux 

I enjoyed your Ain't Songs which you posted today. To me the ultimate "ain't" song is Buster Brown's 1960 version of IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN'T MY BABY. I could just imagine that record being #1 with every teacher that taught English in school at the time. Of course there were several others you could have used, but one of the first ones I thought of was the Searchers' 1964 song AIN'T THAT JUST LIKE ME. Always did like that one myself. 

One of my fave song lyrics is "I ain't never did no wrong" (from "One Night" by Elvis). Probably  the greatest number of grammatical rules ever broken in six words! 
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

Here's the way The Top 500 shaped up on WCBS-FM's Memorial Day 500 Countdown ... 

The Beach Boys 
We found out about this one too late to let our readers know but it sounds like some of you caught it ... The Beach Boys were part of a Memorial Day Concert that ran on PBS Sunday Night.  (I missed it, too!)  

Thankful to be proud again when our Beach Boys are live on television. Looking and sounding great; Mike and Bruce, Jeffrey, Scott, John, the rest ~ God only knows what we'd be without you and your extraordinary songs and sounds.
Sadly, I count too many times when, whether it was their apathy or a TV producer's micing inability, America's greatest band sounded anything but.
Bravo! to Mike Love for resetting the bar high and incorporating the talents like Jeffrey Foskett, Scott Totten, John Cowsill and others. Gives me hope that when all the originals are off-stage, their exquisite sound will still be heard live around the world. (And, God only knows, live-in-Heaven command performances ... Now, wouldn't that be nice? )

Hi Kent, 
Was good to see "Mike Love & Bruce Johnston's Beachboys" on Channel 11's "Memorial Day Salute Program".    
Jeff Foskett did Brian Wilson's parts and all in all I enjoyed them very much.  The BEST part was seeing the audience -  ALL AGES-  reacting to their songs with such enthusiasm!!! 

I know it would be great if ALL the remaining Beachboys would tour together but, I guess, you are dealing with allot of different egos and personalities !!!!   
Just keep their Music Alive, that's what I say......  
ps  Great to see John Cowsill doing the drumming!  Long live the Cowsills, too!!!!!

Maybe this one will repeat from time to time (???)  Meanwhile, we DID find a YouTube clip of their performance ... I dunno ... it's almost TOO perfect to be live, don'tcha think???  And Frannie says she was totally creeped out by Mike Love's latest face lift ... to the point that she thought she actually might have nightmares!  (One comment she made was something to the effect of "he almost looks as if he were recently embalmed"!!!)  kk

FH Reader Tom Cuddy also sent us this recent interview with Bruce Johnston ...   

The Beach Boys have added several more dates to this year's tour ... 
Here's how things are shaping up right now ...

  • 06/17 – Pala, CA – Pala Starlight Theatre
  • 06/18 – Lincoln, CA – Outdoor Amphitheatre At Thunder Valley
  • 06/23 – Layton, UT – Kenley Amphitheatre
  • 06/24 – Layton, UT – Kenley Amphitheatre
  • 06/25 – Fountain Hills, AZ – Fort McDowell Casino
  • 06/26 – Arcadia, CA – The Arboretum And Botanic Garden
  • 06/29 – St. John’s, NF, - Mile One Centre
  • 06/30 – Liverpool, NS, - Queens Place Emera Centre
  • 07/01 – Truro, NS - Rath Eastlink Community Centre
  • 07/04 – Brooklyn, NY – The Amphitheatre At Coney Island Boardwalk
  • 07/06 – White Plains, NY – Westchester County Center
  • 07/07 – Portland, ME – Maine State Pier
  • 07/08 – Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
  • 07/09 – Boston, MA – The Wilbur
  • 07/10 – Webster, MA – Indian Ranch
  • 07/11 – Ocean City, NJ – Ocean City Music Pier
  • 07/12 – Ocean City, NJ – Ocean City Music Pier
  • 07/13 – Wilmington, Del., Grand Opera House
  • 07/14 – Selbyville, Del., Freeman Stage At Bayside
  • 07/15 – Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center For The Arts
  • 07/16 – Ocean Grove, NJ – The Great Auditorium
  • 07/17 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center
  • 07/18 – Lancaster, PA – American Music Theatre
  • 07/19 – Washington, DC – Concert Hall
  • 07/21 – Sylvania, OH – Centennial Terrace
  • 07/27 – Saginaw, MI – FirstMerit Bank Event Park
  • 07/29 – Fredericksburg, VA – Marks & Harrison Amphitheatre
  • 08/05 – Aurora, IL – RiverEdge Park
  • 08/06 – Duluth, MN – AMSOIL Arena
  • 08/07 – Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre
  • 08/08 – Sioux Falls, SD – W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds
  • 08/11 – Lincoln, NB – Pinewood Bowl Theatre
  • 08/12 – Cedar Rapids, IW – McGrath Amphitheatre
  • 08/13 – Lac du Flambeau, WI – Lake Of The Torches Resort Casino
  • 08/14 – West Allis, WI – Wisconsin State Fair Grandstand (Wisconsin State Fair)
  • 08/16 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica
  • 08/17 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion At Riverbend
  • 08/18 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center At The Heights
  • 08/19 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn At White River State Park
  • 08/20 – Sterling Heights, MI – Freedom Hill Amphitheatre
  • 08/21 – Grand Rapids, MI – Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
  • 09/09 – Bakersfield, CA – Bright House Networks Amphitheatre
  • 09/11 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
  • 09/29 – Niagara Falls, ON – Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
  • 09/30 – Niagara Falls, ON – Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
  • 10/01 – Niagara Falls, ON – Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
  • 10/02 – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theatre
  • 10/04 – San Antonio, TX – Majestic Theatre
  • 10/05 – Stafford, TX – Stafford Centre
  • 10/07 – Biloxi, MS – Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
  • 10/08 – Biloxi, MS – Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
  • 11/17 – Santa Rosa, CA – Luther Burbank Center For The Arts
  • 11/18 – Stockton, CA – Bob Hope Theatre
  • 11/19 – Thousand Oaks, CA – Fred Kavli Theatre
  • 11/20 – Palm Desert, CA – McCallum Theatre
  • 12/05 – Lawrence, KS – Lied Center Of Kansas
  • 12/11 – Avon Park, FL – Alan Jay Wildstein Center For The Performing Arts
  • 12/12 – Sarasota, FL – Van Wezel Perf. Arts Hall
  • 12/13 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
  • 12/14 – Fort Myers, FL – Barbara B. Mann Perf. Arts Hall
  • 12/15 – Miami, FL – Knight Concert Hall - Arsht Center
  • 12/16 – West Palm Beach, FL – Dreyfoos Hall
  • 12/17 – The Villages, FL – Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center
  • 12/18 – The Villages, FL – Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center

The Monkees  

The three surviving Monkees were interviews by CBS News about their new album ...    

I've been listening to it all weekend and I've got to tell you that I REALLY like it ... a lot!  If they had come up with something this strong after their television series was cancelled, these guys might have enjoyed many more years of pop stardom.  A GREAT comeback LP, just in time for the 50th Anniversary.  Everybody is in top form.  (Watch for a full review in the days to come.)  kk

Here's a clip of Micky and Peter Monkee-ing around in the recording studio, working on the new LP ...

And here's a look at The Monkees' set list from their opening show in Washington, DC ... courtesy of Vintage Vinyl News:

The set list for May 26, 2016 @ The Warner Theatre, Washington DC

Set 1

  • (Theme From) The Monkees (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • Listen To The Band (from The Monkees Present, 1969)
  • Last Train To Clarksville (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • That Was Then This Is Now (from Then & Now The Best of the Monkees, 1986)
  • Your Aunt Grizelda (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • Saturday's Child (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • She (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • She Makes Me Laugh (from Good Times, 2016)
  • A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You (single, 1967)
  • The Girl I Knew Somewhere (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • Steam Engine (from Listen to the Band, 1991)
  • Shades of Gray (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • Randy Scouse Git (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • For Pete’s Sake (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry cover)
  • (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher (Jackie Wilson cover)
  • Let's Dance On (from The Monkees, 1966)
Set 2

  • Mary Mary (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • Circle Sky (from Justus, 1996)
  • Porpoise Song (from Head, 1968)
  • Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again (from Head, 1968)
  • (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • Words (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, 1967)
  • Goin’ Down (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, 1967)
  • Papa Gene’s Blues (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • D.W. Washburn (single, 1968)
  • What Am I Doing Hanging ‘Round (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, 1967)
  • Daydream Believer (from The Birds, The Bees and the Monkees, 1968)
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, 1967)

  • No Time (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • I’m A Believer (from More of the Monkees, 1967)

This And That  
>>>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.  (Shelley)  
>>>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.  (kk)  
The spotlight on Tin Tin's uniquely wobbly-sounding "Toast and Marmalade For Tea" reminded me of how really good it's also wobbly follow-up was -- even though it barely reached the Top 60 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles charts.  See what you think:
Gary Theroux
I'd never heard that one before ... but I like it!  Sounds like it should have been a hit to me!  (Your reference to the "wobbly sound" reminds me of those days of warped 45's on the turn-table, one thing the digital age has eliminated.  Nothing worse than coming home with your brand new single from the record store only to find that the record was warped ... or, worse yet, skipped.  (How many out there remember putting a penny on the tone arm to get the record to play, in effect, scuffing it up even further!!!  (lol)  I think that some of those failed follow-ups are every bit as good or better than the originals that got the artist on the chart in the first place.  One that immediately comes to mind is "Pretty Lady" by Lighthouse.  How the hell did THAT one fail?!?!?  (only #53 in Billboard but #31 in Cash Box)  Listen to that one and see if it reminds you of Leon Russell's vocal from around that same timeframe.  (kk)

Joel's latest update to his best selling book will start shipping next month ...
Order your copy today!

Top Pop Singles 1955-2015 will ship out in late June! Check out a few of its new rankings below and order now to be among its first readers!

On Sale at $10 Off!

Just $69.95; will be $79.95

Where do you find a song’s peak position or the date it first appeared on the charts?  For nearly five decades, Top Pop Singles has been the go-to guide for music fans and industry professionals worldwide.  Joel Whitburn’s exclusive research of Billboard magazine’s pop singles charts, namely the “Hot 100,” is just part of the extensive and painstakingly accurate information featured for 43,893 songs and 9,065 artists.  This 15th edition of our flagship book is the best one yet!

Here's a sneak peak at a few of the book's special back sections ...

Check out these major, NEW FEATURES below:
 Each US chart hit that hit #1 on the United Kingdom (British) charts is now indicated with an easy-to-find symbol, also showing total weeks at #1. This is the first Record Research publication to show this non-US chart information.

For every #1 hit from other major trade magazines (Cash Box, Music Vendor & Record Word) that DID NOT hit #1 in Billboard, weve added an easy-to-find symbol, with the total weeks at #1 shown. At a glance, see newly-researched #1 hits for such artists as The Beatles (4 additional #1s), Creedence Clearwater Revival (3 #1s), The Everly Brothers, The Kingsmen, Elvis and many more.
actual page size: 8.5" x 11"

► Expanded HRH Listings from 200 to 300 titles - song that are the most-honored by critics and music industry professionals such as the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and other significant rankings.
► Revised "24 Hit Club" now includes 266 members with photos.
► Updated bios - vital information for every new artist, plus group members, birthdates/places, rapper's real names, and death dates updated through Spring 2016.
► List of approx. 200 ultra-rare EPs - never charted, early rock 'n' roll - among them The Harp Tones, The Mello-Kings, Eddie Cochran, LaVern Baker, Chuck Berry, The Crests, Danny & The Juniors, and more!

Order today! 

And don't forget that we'll be giving away a copy of his Top Ten Albums Book real soon, too!  (kk)

Hi Kent - 
Just saw a great show at the Kent Stage on May 26th with JD Souther.  JD has written for and performed with the likes of Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles, as well as his solo albums and stint with the Souther, Hillman Furay Band (with Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield and Poco). 
JD was in a great mood, telling many stories of how his songs came about, working with Linda Ronstadt, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Waddy Waddell, and many others. 
His set covered his many hits including, Best Of My Love, How Long, New Kid In Town, Faithless Love, White Rhythm and Blues, Closing Time, Silver Blue and of course his solo hit You're Only Lonely. 
Tom Apathy

Thanks for some more great shots, Tom.  Actually, JD Souther was just here last week at The City Winery.  (Unfortunately, we were unable to attend ... and it sounds like we missed a GREAT show!) 

Lots of good stuff coming up at The City Winery over the next few months, including Robby Krieger (June 3rd), Kris Allen (June 4th), The Weight (an outstanding tribute band to The Band, featuring Marty Grebb, on Jun 10th), Jimmy Webb  (June 12th), CeeLo Green (June 14th), Billy Joe Shaver (June 20th), The Verve Pipe (June 28th), The Wailers (June 30th), Bruce Hornsby (July 4th), Macy Gray (July 10th and 11th), Aaron Neville (July 14th and 15th), Al Stewart (July 19th), Reverend Horton Heat (July 20th), Booker T. Jones (July 25th), Louis Prima, Jr. (July 28th), Mac McAnally (August 7th), Berlin (August 8th), Buffy Sainte-Marie (August 24th), Garfunkel and Oates (August 31st), Paul Reiser (September 2nd), Jon McLaughlin (September 15th and 16th), The Richie Ruray Band (September 21st), Eric Burdon and the Animals (September 26th and 28th) and Leon Russell (October 30th)

Watch for our complete summer concert list coming soon to all the "Locals" on the list.  (Live in the Chicagoland area and wanna sign for special concert announcements and ticket offers?  Then drop me a line with "Locals" in the Subject Line and we'll add you to the list.)  These special announcements typically go out via email only.  (kk)

Regarding "Image of Girl," I remember Art Laboe telling me that the original master tape of that song was lost decades ago (I believe in a fire) and, as a result, all copies since then have been taken from a submaster Art had obtained from the original label (Eldo) shortly after it's release in order to include that track on one of his "Oldies But Goodies" compilation LPs.   
One always had to be careful in licensing tracks from Art. who owned a handful of hits, like Sandy Nelson's "Teen Beat" and The Skyliners' "Since I Don't Have You."  Laboe also had sublicensing deals with several small labels (like Sun and Challenge) which allowed him to license out tracks he did NOT own.  In order to clearly identify his company as the licensor of those hits, Art got into the habit of altering the tracks -- such as overdubbing a drum or guitar line or, in the case of The Champs' "Tequila," replacing the end shout of the song's title with his own shout (which was painfully obvious).  In that way Art could tell if his versions of those hits were turning up on LPs, 45s or CDs his company had not licensed.  I, of course, refused to license for the compilation albums I was assembling tampered-with tracks and therefore only licensed from Art recordings which I knew he personally owned (and therefore had not screwed around with).  As far as I can tell, Laboe never messed with "Image of a Girl" because, as I've noted, he became the sole source one could go to in order to license that track.
Gary Theroux

Could you tell me if the gem "Strawberry Tea" is in some album (single,compilation. etc..) by Gordon Alexander?  It seems that is NOT on his only LP.
Many Thanks
Napo Camassa III
The best that I could come up with was a recording by Tiny Tim from his "God Bless Tiny Tim" album.  You've probably already heard it, but here it is again for all of those out there who may not be familiar with this unusual bit of Tiny Tim psychedelia  (kk) ...

I just wanted to drop a line to you to say I enjoyed reading the blogs on your website -- especially the one about how some songs hit #1 in the 1960's on some charts but not on the others. I have enjoyed the music of the 1960's but was too young to have much first hand knowledge of the charts until the 1970's. I never knew there were such national charts (until American Top 40, of course). Since then I have been producing countdown shows (using the Cash Box charts) to help keep that music alive. I have been mostly sharing those countdown shows with family and friends but thought you might enjoy a show or two. If you will get me a snail mail address I can send you a show burned onto a CD-R that plays on a computer (the show is in the MP3 format).
By the way, the first 45 I remember buying as a kid was The Unicorn by the Irish Rovers. I 'lost' the 45 years ago but have the song thanks to itunes.  
Joe Cantello 
Roswell, Ga  
Glad you're digging Forgotten Hits ... it's all about the music!  Sure, send me a disk and I'll give it a listen!  (kk)