Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 31 - 16 )

ELO has the #1 Album in Great Britain right now as their greatest hits package "All Over The World", first released nearly twelve years ago, moves into the top spot on The British Albums Chart.  (It's their first #1 Album in 35 years!) Sales were boosted by Jeff Lynne's ELO appearance at The Glastonbury Festival.  (The LP peaked at #6 when it was originally released in 2005.)    
We can't WAIT to see Jeff Lynne when he finally tours The States.  (Right now we're only seeing dates for Los Angeles (The Hollywood Bowl) and New York (Radio City Music Hall) ... but are hopeful that he'll also criss-cross the country at some point and make a stop here in Chicago.) 
His live DVD Concert is amongst the best we've ever seen ... and their music seems more popular than ever.  (Catch our review here:

Pat Upton passed away on Wednesday, July 27th - Upton was a member of Spiral Starecase and wrote their biggest hit "More Today Than Yesterday".  In 1983, he opened a club called PJ's Alley which, a short time later, became the last place Rick Nelson performed before his tragic plane crash on New Year's Eve, 1985.  "More Today Than Yesterday" is one of those songs that has played constantly since its release in 1969 ... it's just a real good / feel good track.
More here in an article submitted by Tom Cuddy:

Kris Kristofferson has just been booked to perform for three nights at The City Winery, January 16th, 17th and 18th - tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday, August 4th.

And The Genesee Theatre has added shows by Vince Gill, Survivor and Alice Cooper.
Check out this upcoming line-up:
September 15th - The Little River Band with Ambrosia
September 16th - George Thorogood with Damon Fowler
September 22nd - Alice Cooper
October 13th - Rick Springfield with Loverboy
October 20th - Vince Gill
October 29th - Survivor with John Waite and A Flock Of Seagulls
November 4th - The Monkees
November 10th - Styx
November 11th - The B-52's
December 15th - Kenny G
More ticket information here:

>>>Perhaps someone might have an idea who recorded a version of "The Theme To A Summer Place" that I am trying to identify. It is a male vocal that I recorded off the radio in the late 60s or early 70s; I still have a copy if someone wants to give it a listen. The song was recorded by a lot of folks but not too many male solo vocalists. I have ruled out Cliff Richard, Dick Roman and Andy Williams. Jackie Rae also released a version around 1960 and the only small audio clip of him that I can find is not the version I am after; however, the clip could be from a re-recording. 
(Earl Thompson)
>>>This could be a tough one as literally HUNDREDS of artists recorded this song over the years.  Why don't you send us the clip and we'll run it on the website and see if anybody recognizes it.  (kk) 
Here is the mystery version of Summer Place in MP3 format. You are correct in that it has been recorded by a zillion folks ... however, I can only find a handful of male solo vocalist that have recorded it and none of those are the mystery artist. Again, I recorded this probably before 1970 or thereabouts.
Fingers crossed!!!!

Let's see if anybody recognizes this vocalist!  (kk)

Commenting about Nina Simone in today's FH, I always did like, believe it or not, her 1959 recording of I LOVES YOU PORGY. I am not sure but I think she re-recorded it later on in the sixties on the Phillips record label but I am not sure. Loved her original though on Bethlehem Records.
The song you have listed in her CD Track Listing, SINNERMAN ... I am wondering if that's the same song that singer Tommy Sands (remember him?) recorded in 1959 while he was with Capitol? Both songs I have mentioned were fairly big here in OKC back in their day. I agree with you in that I always liked the Cryan' Shames' I WANNA MEET YOU, even though it wasn't all that big a record here in OKC. I did not know they had recorded UP ON THE ROOF. Just played it on you tube and not a bad version at all.

Both versions of Nina's "Porgy" charted ... the 1959 version reached #11 on the Music Vendor Chart (the precursor to Record World ... it topped out at #18 in Billboard) and the 1964 version (on  Phillips Records as you suggested) was a re-recording and "bubbled under" for exactly one week at #148 in the same trade publication ... which was the only place it charted. 
Nina didn't have a lot of success crossing over to the pop charts ... after her 1959 debut with "I Loves You, Porgy", she never reached The Top 50 again ... but she was nominated (fifteen times) for Grammy Awards in the jazz category. 
The Cryan' Shames hit our Chicagoland Charts eight times between 1966 and 1969 ... and six of those made The Top Ten.  ("It Could Be We're In Love" topped the WLS and WCFL Chart for four weeks ... their version of "Up On The Roof" peaked at #7 as its follow-up.) 
They were always considered to be the premier vocal harmony group that the other local bands aspired to  ... and their version of "Up On The Roof" is a good example of why.  (kk)

Lead Vocalist Tom Doody (Toad) sent me this after we ran Thursday's Comments Page ... he still makes spot appearances with the band from time to time ... and was with them for the PBS Cornerstones Of Rock taping as well ... as were Jim Pilster (Hooke) and James Fairs, who wrote a great deal of their original material. 
Thanks for the kind words, Kent.  I consider myself blessed to have been the one who sang those great songs.

Enjoyed Friday's FH and was kind of curious as to what songs didn't make the cut. Even before I scrolled down from song #1, the first songs I thought of immediately were WILD WEEKEND, WILD, and WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, the Brook Benton version as well as the instrumental version by Jimmy Smith.
When we first took a walk on the wild side a couple of years ago, we came up with about fifty titles that qualified ... but once again, within the confines of a Sweet 16, we're limited as to what we can feature.  Other great tracks we had to leave off include other noted versions of "Wild Thing" (Senator Bobby and Jimi Hendrix ... how's THAT for a variety of programming?!?!?), "Wild Wild Life by The Talking Heads, Theme from "Wild Angels" by our FH Buddy Davie Allan, "Wild Wild West" by Will Smith, "Having A Wild Weekend" by The Dave Clark Five, "Wildwood Weed" by Jim Stafford, "Real Wild Child" by Ivan / Buddy Holly, "Runaway Child, Running Wild" by The Temptations and even "Break My Stride" by Matthew Wilder ... plus at least twenty or thirty more!  Always a tough call ... but fun putting these things together ... and (hopefully) inspiring a few of the jocks on the list to think outside the box once in a while when programming their own music sets.  (kk)

Hi Kent - 
An energetic crowd waited anxiously to hear legendary singer / songwriter Jimmy Webb at Hoover Auditorium in Lakeside, Ohio, on July 28th.  The show was titled, "The Glen Campbell Years", which pretty much held true.  Jimmy talked about his early days on the farm in Oklahoma, how he got into songwriting, and, of course, how he met Glen and their partnership and friendship over 50 years.
Jimmy did not disappoint, starting the night with Galveston, and performing a number of hits including Wichita Lineman, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Highwayman, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and Postcards From Paris. 
He also talked about his time at Motown, and also hitting the motherlode with The 5th Dimension with Up, Up and Away, scoring HUGE at the Grammys.
He wrapped up the set with a great performance of MacArthur Park, which included video of Glen on guitar accompanying Jimmy.
A real pleasure to see a great songwriter and hear his music and stories.
Tom Apathy
PS - Seeing Mark Farner of Grank Funk Railroad tonite!

Jimmy did a show here recently at The City Winery ... I wasn't able to attend but I'm sure he's a fascinating story teller.  You've got some GREAT (and very artsy) shots here, Tom ... thanks for sharing!  (And send us some Mark Farner pix, too!)  kk

Coming Up ...

Limited postings over the next couple of months ... 
Beginning on Monday, August 1st, we'll be working on various other projects including a MAJOR clean-up here on the wesbite (in hopes that fewer old issues will make for fewer problems posting the new stuff ... lately I seem to have an issue on a daily basis with Blogger changing my fonts, colors, sizes, spacing, etc ... and what should take 20 minutes sometimes now takes an hour and a half!!!) 

So ...  

If you haven't caught up on some of our older features lately ... DO IT NOW ... because many of these will start to disappear and move off of The Forgotten Hits Website and into The Forgotten Hits Archives.  

This'll take awhile so stuff won't disappear overnight ... but we are going to take a long, hard look at what to keep up here over the next few months ... so even if we're posting a daily Forgotten Hit to keep the format alive ... along with assorted special features like SWEET 16 and 50 YEARS AGO TODAY ... you'll have PLENTY of time to catch up on anything you may have missed over the past eight years or so.

SUGGESTION:  If you have a particular topic of interest, type it into our search engine and let those come up first ... we have covered SO much ground over the past 17 years, eight on this website, that I don't think you'll EVER be lacking for something to read!!! lol

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sweet 16 - Having A Wild TIme!

We're having a WILD Time today in Forgotten Hits with our latest SWEET 16 Feature!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday This And That

re:  Bad To Me:  
Hey Kent ...
Thanks for the rare "Bad to Me" video sung by the Fab 4.  I am looking forward to the Billy J. Kramer interview.

I found this demo version of Bad To Me by John Lennon. It's only 1:23 but it does seem complete.
Hoffman Estates

re:  Don't Use Our Songs:
I was shocked when watching the Republican Convention last Monday when my dear friend, the late Alan Gordon, had his song "Happy Together" used as one of the songs played during the opening night.  I knew Alan and even if he had liked Trump, that song was SPECIAL to him.  Like the other songs to come in other nights, he would NOT have authorized its use for a campaign like Trump's.  Alan wrote plenty of hits over his life, including one I then expected to hear in the coming days of the convention, "Celebrate" by Three Dog Night.  "Happy Together" was what Alan called "HIS BABY."  One of the great songs of the ages. 
Then I heard at the complete end of the last night, Free's "All Right Now."  This is my ALL TIME fave song of the 70's.  It ranked #1 for seven weeks on my personal charts back then as a 14 year old.  By that night, I'd heard plenty of good songs used in the campaign, usually by the "house band" (whomever they were) and done very well, but this was FREE's version and the complete five minute LP version as balloons fell.  I thought, as many would, "Paul Rodgers must be a Trump supporter to allow this" (???)  I was wrong, of course.  It turned out that Paul and MANY others are very upset about this.
In a GREAT protest against the use of hit songs to promote politicians WITHOUT artist or writer consent, Sheryl Crow, Bob Golden and Michael Bolton have written a song that even has a video including Mellencamp, Cyndi Lauper, Bolton and others.  It is well done and some funny lines including what Trump CAN USE for free, a song performed by my brother Roger's cat, Tiger, years ago.  You'll love the little slap at Spotify in there too!
Here's the story and the video song starts about 3:30 into the segment.
Personally, I think Trump should license "in the Year 2525" as that is where he is taking us ...
Now, will the Dems use songs like this too?   I can see the same thing again.
Clark Besch
It looks like the "making of" link above no longer works - this video has been removed from YouTube - but if you scroll back to our Tuesday posting you can hopefully still catch the video itself that aired on HBO the other night.  This has become a VERY big deal over the last several campaigns ... and these guys should know better.  (kk)

Changing my vote now ...
Scott Besch
At least he has his own campaign songs:
... or from when I sat in the Lincoln Northeast High student lounge (yeah that lasted about a year before it was discontinued for us) and played THIS on our jukebox down there in 74.
Of course, he might use these hits of his for Trump or Hillary, too:
Scott, as I remember my teen years, I gotta think you have an idea!!!

Last week, Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, the two founding members of The O’Jays decried the use of one of their signature songs, “Love Train,” the lyrics of which were also altered to “Trump Train,”  at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, just a short distance from Canton, OH where the group formed in the late 1950s.   Williams commented that “Our music, and most especially, ‘Love Train’ is about bringing people together, not building walls.” Eddie Levert suggested in his comment that Trump “just may be the Antichrist.” 
In news reports that followed, it became clear that the group members were very concerned with their perceived association with the Trump campaign.  Today, they became aware of a pro-Trump video posted by Rep. John Mica (R-FL) in which another of their most notable songs, “For The Love Of Money,” had been appropriated without their consent.  Accordingly, they instructed their attorneys to issue a cease and desist letter which has been sent not only to Congressman Mica but also copied to Paul Manafort, Trump’s Campaign Chairman:  
Your use of our clients’ signature song, and utilizing the original recording constitutes a patently false implication that Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have endorsed you or your political agenda or Mr. Trump’s agenda. Our clients unequivocally do not endorse you, your agenda nor your party’s views or those of Mr. Trump. On the contrary, Mr. Levert and Mr. Williams have actively opposed these ideals ...we hereby demand that you and any person or entity with which you are affiliated with, immediately and permanently refrain from exploiting our clients’ proprietary material, using the recording of the song “For The Love of Money,” or any of our clients’ other intellectual property rights.  
Eddie Levert commented, “Trump and his people have no right to help themselves to our music. He presents himself as supporting 'law and order' but, in truth, he’s not respecting the law at all. Mr. Trump resorts to painting pictures of gloom and doom and suggesting that he, alone, is the one savior who can fix things.  This reminds me of another story and that would be the Book of Revelation.  Those who would question just how great America is should travel around the world a bit and let us know if there is any greater country; we know there isn't.”   
Walter Williams, added, “We don’t appreciate having our music associated with a campaign that is hurtful to so many with whom we have common ground.  We’ve really had enough of this I’m living proof that America is already great; I came from nothing and everyday I feel blessed to live in the greatest country on earth.  We support those who inspire in a positive way as opposed to bullying and using scare tactics.”   
The O’Jays were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and have previously been recipients of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award. They continue to record and perform in their seventh decade as musical proponents of peace, love, hope and harmony.

Speaking of The O'Jays, we caught them on "Live At Daryl's House" this weekend ... and they were FANTASTIC!
As soon as the program was over, I emailed Ron Onesti and said, "We have GOT to get these guys to play at The Arcada Theatre!"  Let's see what happens with that ... I'll keep you posted ... but check this appearance out "On Demand" when you get a chance ... they are still in FINE voice!  (kk)

re: This And That:
Good morning, Kent,
Thank you very much for including an item about "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 3" among your Sunday Comments. Marti and I are sure that some of your many followers will find the book of interest.
Your time and dedication in compiling and formatting Forgotten Hits material week after week is evident. That obviously is a labor of love for you. Thanks for helping to make sure that people don't forget those great hits.
Jeff, with regards from Marti Childs
Your books are EXACTLY the kind of material our readers crave - folks would do themselves well to pick up copies of not only the final edition, but the two that preceded it plus "Echoes Of The Sixties" ... all look to be available on Amazon.  (kk)

FH Reader Frank B recently sent me a copy of the film "Nina", spotlighting the erratic career of Nina Simone, starring Zoe Saldana.  (We finally watched it this past weekend as a matter of fact!) 

Now comes word of a new Nina Simone documentary being released by Eagle Rock Entertainment ...


New York, NY (July 25, 2016)—Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary at the 2016 Oscars®, Best Music Film at the 2016 Grammy Awards, and winning Best Documentary at the American Film Institute Awards in 2016, documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone? connected with critics and fans alike with its deep examination of the legendary Nina Simone.  On September 2, 2016, Eagle Rock Entertainment will present this film as a DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, and on Digital Formats, with additional bonus interviews not included in the main film. [MSRP $26.98 Blu-ray+CD, $21.98 DVD+CD]  
What Happened, Miss Simone? is the story of Nina Simone’s life and career. Through archive interview and extensive performance footage, alongside new interviews with family, friends and colleagues, the film paints a fascinating portrait of this complex and challenging artist. Nina Simone was many things: pianist, singer, songwriter, performer, civil rights campaigner, wife and mother, victim of abuse, and black icon. Growing up in the segregated American South, she began to learn piano at age 4, attended the Juilliard School Of Music in New York and aspired to a career as a concert pianist. Thwarted in this, allegedly because of her color, she began to play in nightclubs to earn money and her career as a jazz and blues performer was born. The film follows Nina Simone through the sixties and her intense involvement in the civil rights movement, her decision to relocate to first Africa and then Europe in the early seventies, her emotional difficulties in the eighties, and her later years in France in the nineties. The CD portion -- Music From And Inspired By What Happened, Miss Simone? – includes a collection of songs from across Simone’s career. A blend of studio recordings and live performances, the album includes “I Loves You Porgy,” “Sinnerman,” “Feeling Good,” and her compelling take of “I Put A Spell On You,” among others. The first nine songs were included in the film.  
A captivating film about an extraordinary and influential artist, What Happened, Miss Simone unveils the struggles and triumphs of an icon, and further exudes why Nina Simone will continue to be revered for generations to come.  
Amazon links:  
1) I Loves You Porgy  
2) Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood  
3) I Put A Spell On You    
4) Strange Fruit (Live in New York, 1965) 
5) Sinnerman  
6) Mississippi Goddam (Live In New York, 1964)  
7) Little Girl Blue (Live In New York, 1964) 
8) Don’t Smoke In Bed (Live In New York, 1964)    
9) My Baby Just Cares For Me  
10) Lilac Wine  
11) Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair  
12) Night Song  
13) Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (Live in New York, 1965)    
14) Feeling Good  
15) Ne Me Quitte Pas

Good Morning Kent -
Perhaps someone might have an idea who recorded a version of "The Theme To A Summer Place" that I am trying to identify. It is a male vocal that I recorded off the radio in the late 60s or early 70s; I still have a copy if someone wants to give it a listen. The song was recorded by a lot of folks but not too many male solo vocalists. I have ruled out Cliff Richard, Dick Roman and Andy Williams. Jackie Rae also released a version around 1960 and the only small audio clip of him that I can find
is not the version I am after; however, the clip could be from a re-recording.
Earl Thompson
This could be a tough one as literally HUNDREDS of artists recorded this song over the years.  Why don't you send us the clip and we'll run it on the website and see if anybody recognizes it.  Thanks, Earl ... and welcome aboard!  (kk)

Six artists charted with versions of "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" in Billboard Magazine between 1960 and 1969 ... Lolita, Dick Roman, J's With Jamie, The Lettermen, The Ventures and Percy Faith,  who charted TWICE, including the #1 original, which topped the chart for nine weeks in 1960.  (Percy also cut a disco version in the '70's that failed to chart.)  Guess you could say that this was HIS tune!)
In addition to the male artists you listed above as having recorded vocal versions of this song, you can add Bobby Vinton to that list.  (kk)

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Cryan' Shames' "Sugar & Spice" peaking on WLS at #7.  It also entered the Billboard charts this past week in 1966.  Because it was hard to pick WLS up in my hometown of Dodge City, Kansas, I was slow to add it to MY personal charts as a 10 year old and it started charting in early August, too.  It started a love affair with Shames music that is strong as ever 50 years on, not just for me but for thousands.  In '66, that song started it for me, while (still living in Kansas) in '69, I was getting free DJ 45s and "Rainmaker" was about Kansas and ended the Shames' recordings.  I had no idea that it would be the last by them and kept waiting and waiting.  No single.  No album.  Yet, 50 years after Sugar & Spice, their music inspires thousands to sing a long still.  Thanks, guys! 
WLSClark Besch
Congratulations, guys ... and Happy 50th.  The renewed resurgence in your music, thanks to things like the recent Cornerstones of Rock concert series is letting others around the country remember and recognize this great music, too.
Back in 1966 I saw The Cryan' Shames perform one of their very last gigs as The Travelers in the parking lot of the Hillside Shopping Center (long since gone).  The reason I had gone that night was because I was looking for a new guitar and although I had absolutely NO idea who they were at the time (or, better said, who they would become!), I went because I had answered an ad placed by guitarist James Fairs, who was looking to sell his Starburst Gretch Country Gentleman Guitar.  He played it for me in their trailer.  I ended up not buying it, but picked up photos of the band (also long since gone) as well as an autographed photo of East Of Midnight WLS Jock Don Phillips, who was mc-ing the whole thing.
I clearly remember them performing "Sugar And Spice" that night along with "If I Needed Someone" and a KILLER version of Jr. Walker's "Shotgun" ... made quite an impression on a 12 year old kid!
The memories only got better from there as hit after hit after hit raced up the WLS and WCFL charts.  One of my all-time favorite songs of the '60's remains "I Wanna Meet You" ... and "It Could Be We're In Love" and their version of "Up On The Roof" (reportedly played at Carole King's second wedding) raised the bar to the highest level amongst our local heroes.  (How all three of these were not National Top Ten Hits I'll NEVER understand!!!) kk