Friday, August 12, 2016

The Friday Flash

re:  50 Years Ago Today:
Had you walked into your fave record store on Friday 8/12/66, you would have seen this WCFL survey ...

Yep, and there you see it ... first stop on the tour ... Chicago, Illinois!  (kk)

Hey Kent,
It's hard to believe that it's been 50 years since The Beatles had their turbulent year of 1966. I know it all started with John's "more popular than Jesus" quote. Some of us knew what John was all about and that his words were taken out of context. I caught an interview with Ringo, many years after their last Shea Stadium concert. He said they were all very nervous before taking the stage. Before the show, he actually tilted his cymbals to hide his face, thinking that some nut would start shooting from the audience, and that the cymbals would act as a shield. The difference between then and now is that performers DO get shot on stage these days.
- John LaPuzza
I don't recall the exact details but I seem to remember one show where a firecracker went off or something when The Beatles were on stage and they thought it was shots being fired.  They were rightfully paranoid ... and security throughout the tour was beefed up to an all-time high level.  How much crazier is it still to think that 14 years later John Lennon would be gunned down in New York City trying to enter his apartment building ... or that an intruder would break into George Harrison's home to attack him with a knife?   (And you thought the jealous boyfriends during Beatlemania were bad!!!)  kk

Hi Kent,
I will be In Chicago this evening.  I will be doing a sound 
check tomorrow morning at 9:30 ... if you can make it I'd like to meet up with you. 
You are doing a great job and wonderful service with Forgotten Hits ... and I appreciate it along with many other artists.
Billy J. Kramer's in town for an appearance at The Fest For Beatles Fans this weekend.  Unfortunately we're not able to attend but I would LOVE to see his show.
Watch for our brand new, exclusive interview with Billy ... hopefully next week (if I can ever get the final editing done ... I'm back to 14 hour work days of late which leave little time for anything else!)  Tenative plan is to run a review of the Toto concert on Monday (just a few tickets left for their appearance at The Arcada Theatre tomorrow night), a SWEET 16 on Tuesday (the 16th, of course) and then three days of Billy J. Kramer from Wednesday thru Friday ... so LOTS of great stuff coming up in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)

re:  This And That:
Also this weekend ... 

The Benefit Concert for (and featuring) Jimy Sohns and The Shadows of Knight ... with performances by both the current band AND the original line-up!
It all happens at Mac's On Slade in Palatine, IL ... more details via the link below: 

>>>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!!!!
I say it's by Dick Roman
And I'm thinking you've got it.  (Earl says he ruled out Dick Roman as a candidate ... but it sure sounds like him to me!) Dick charted at #53 with his version in 1962 ... and these sound like one and the same to me.  (kk)

>>>I'm  talking about the REAL Wild Wild West ... not this Will Smith stuff. I mean the real thing from 1965, with Robert Conrad and Ross Martin. It may well be the best TV theme song of all time, and certainly the best for any Western.  Jeff Duntemann)
>>>C'mon ... better than "Bonanza"???  I don't think so!  (Actually I've never seen the show OR heard the theme before)  kk  
"The Wild Wild West," an instant hit series for CBS, aired between 1965 and 1969.   It featured gunslinger James West and Artemus Gordon, an inventor of an endless series of incredible gadgets as well as a master of disguise.  The two served as the country's first Secret Service agents, traveling the Old West at the behest of President Ulysses S. Grant.  They spent each episode fighting villains, encountering beautiful women and dealing with fiendish plots to take over the World.  In 1999 the concept was revised, recast and turned into a hit movie.  The opening and closing TV title sequences, plus the transitions in and out of commercial breaks, all featured and enhanced the popularity of the series' theme song, which I consider above average but not really one of, say, the ten greatest TV themes of all time.   But to each his own.  Below is one version of the opening animation of "The Wild Wild West" -- plus my personal favorite TV theme and it's show open animation.. It helps to know film history and stop now and then on a freeze frame to get all the overt and insider references in this second clip, which runs 50 seconds.  
Gary Theroux

About two months ago, I decided I had enough of commercial radio, as I, too, was tired of hearing Steve Miller, Foreigner, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Journey, Bon Jovi, etc., so I went and subscribed to SiriusXM. I started on the sixties channel (channel six appropriately), and two days later I made it to Little Steven's Underground Garage, (channel 21).  I have not moved the dial since.
I hear songs I haven't heard in 50 years plus, as well as songs that probably weren't heard outside of a small circle of friends. The only Pink Floyd song I've heard in the last two months is See Emily Play and I think I've heard one of Steve Miller's pre-1970 songs, as well. Moreover, some of the back stories they give on the songs are great.
I will never willingly listen to terrestrial radio again.
You are spot on with the jocks, but to a certain extent, it was also the magic of the time period. Even when Dick Biondi returned to town, on WCFL in 1967, some of the magic was lost, and for sure when he returned a decade later, it wasn't the same. Sadly times change and none of us are who we were 50 years ago.
I will be curious next year as we become fixated on the music, and times of the Summer Of Love, 50 years ago. Hopefully I won't have to hear The Beatles' All You Need Is Love, incessantly. I will start throwing things.
I will look forward to your thoughts, Chet, next year. 
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)
Forgotten Hits will be celebrating the 50 Year Anniversary of my all-time favorite year in music in a VERY big way next year  ... and Jack is one of the folks who is helping us put it all together.
We'll start promoting this in a much bigger fashion after September 1st ... this is something you're going to want to tell ALL of your music-lover friends about ... without question, the single biggest undertaking we've ever done.  (All I can say is if you've been enjoying our periodic "50 Years Ago Today" segments, you are gonna LOVE what we've got planned for next year!)  kk

Thursday, August 11, 2016

50 Years Ago Today (August 11th)

Although nobody knew it at the time, 50 Years Ago Today The Beatles landed in Chicago for the start of what would be their final concert tour.

The focus this evening, however, was a press conference filmed by all three major networks and ultimately shown around the world ... John Lennon apologizing for his "We're more popular than Jesus" remark from a few months before.

The original comment was made to Maureen Cleave of The London Evening Standard and published in March.  In a comment that went virtually unnoticed in Great Britain at the time ... Lennon was, after all, always the cheeky one, said "Christianity will go.  It will vanish and shrink.  I needn't argue with that ... I am right and I will be proved right.  We're more popular than Jesus now."  Because his comments were part of a much longer interview, it didn't draw the attention in The UK that it did here when, taken out of context, it appeared in the popular US magazine "Datebook" some four months later ... and an absolute uproar ensued.  

With a headline that screamed "I don't know which will go first ... rock and roll or Christianity", radio stations throughout the US (but predominately in the south) made headlines by boycotting the playing of any more Beatles music on their station.  Led by a radio station in Birmingham, Alabama, the news spread through America's Bible Belt and 22 radio stations (some of whom had never even played a Beatles record ever before) jumped on the "Ban The Beatles" bandwagon.  Some even organized (and broadcast) public burning and destruction of Beatles records and memorabilia.  Listeners were encouraged to throw anything to do with The Beatles ... records, books, photographs, collectible merchandise, souvenirs and anything else they might have on hand ... into the giant bonfire while television cameras documented the whole event.  Even The Ku Klux Klan suddenly became music critics, holding public displays of outrage and, at one point, reportedly calling the media to say that one of The Beatles would be assassinated if they took the stage in Memphis.

There was genuine concern across the pond about The Beatles' upcoming US tour ... and even talk of cancelling the tour all-together.  (1966 was not a good year for The Beatles ... between this public outcry to "Ban The Beatles" spreading across America, stoning and being roughed up at the airport trying to leave the Philippines after a perceived snub of Imelda Marcos and a furor over their "butcher cover" photo that was immediately pulled off the market due to bad taste, it was no wonder the group had decided to give up touring in favor of spending more time in the recording studio.  Truthfully, it was becoming harder and harder to reproduce the much more sophisticated sounds they were recording now in concert anyway ... especially in front of thousands of screaming fans who couldn't really hear the music anyway.)

On the evening of August 11th, on the 27th floor of the Astor Towers Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, John Lennon faced the press and apologized for his remarks, stating that "it was wrong ... or it was taken wrong ... and now there's all this" ... and then The Beatles got on with their tour.

Honestly, box office for their final tour was down ... even Shea Stadium had something like 11,000 unsold seats this time around, after selling out in a matter of hours the year before when The Beatles performed to 55,000 screaming fans in what was at that time, the largest audience in history.  How much of this can be attributed to this one incident is hard to speculate.  (At one point, Lennon wondered "If I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have gotten away with it".)

The Beatles performed together for the very last time (save their Apple rooftop performance for the "Let It Be" sessions) a couple of weeks later on August 29th, 1966, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park.  While no official announcement was made at the time ... not even amongst themselves ... The Beatles knew that their touring days were over.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 07 - 16 )

Hi Kent:  
Many thanks for marking the 50th anniversary of "Revolver." It certainly can be argued that it is the Beatles' finest album (although I still give that honor to "Abbey Road"). But in your comments, you said that the British release included "Drive My Car" and "Norwegian Wood."  Not so. Those songs appeared on the British version of the Beatles' previous album, "Rubber Soul."  The confusion among American fans for many years stemmed from how Capitol Records shamefully cannibalized both "Rubber Soul" and Revolver" to create a "new" album for the U.S., "Yesterday and Today." For that album, and I use the term loosely, the songs "Drive My Car," "Nowhere Man," "What Goes On?" and "If I Needed Someone" were lifted from the British "Rubber Soul," and "I'm Only Sleeping," And Your Bird Can Sing," and "Dr. Robert" were taken off  the British "Revolver."  Add "Yesterday" and "It's Only Love" from the Brit "Help" album, and the "We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper" single, and wha-lah, you have the mish-mash American "Yesterday and Today" album.  It wasn't until EMI released the true British versions of the Beatles' albums on CD in the late 1980s that many American fans became aware of the true, intended song line-up of each album. Thankfully, from "Sgt. Pepper" onward, the British and American versions coincided. 
Many thanks, 
Garry Berman 
Yeah, I really blew it on this one ... bumped what I had planned to run when I realized the significance of the date ... and then pulled it all together in about nine minutes before I had to run out the door for work ... 
Craziest thing about it is I ran a photo of the back cover which correctly lists all the titles and yet I STILL didn't catch it!!! 
The Fest For Beatles Fans hits Chicago next weekend ... will you be in town for this?  (Not sure if we're going yet or not.)  I just interviewed Billy J. Kramer this past week so wanted to say hello to him ... and probably know at least a dozen more folks who'll be making appearances.  Plus it'd be really cool to meet Klaus Voorman on the 50th anniversary of "Revolver" too! 
Thanks again for the heads up ... I have since fixed the posting.  (By the way, "It's Only Love" appeared on the US version of "Rubber Soul" ... see, it can happen to the best of us!  lol)  kk

Forgotten Hits Locals have the chance to score discounted tickets to several of the shows hitting our area in the next few months.  (Live in the area and not on the Locals List?  Drop us an email at and put LOCALS in the subject line ... if you live within a reasonable traveling distance of our area, why not take advantage of some of these special ticket offers we're able to pass along from time to time?)  
Thanks to Ron Onesti and The Arcada Theatre, this time around, folks can see The Liverpool Legends (Beatles Tribute) on August 12th, The New York Bee Gees (with a special salute to Donna Summer) on August 26th, The Doo Wop Live show, August 28th, starring Joey Dee and the Starliters, Danny and the Juniors and Terry Johnson's Flamingos and Jose Feliciano on September 4th. 
Simply visit The Arcada online box office at and enter the special promotional code FH50DEAL at check-out and you will receive 50% OFF your ticket price for each and every one of these shows!  
Don't miss this chance to catch some great musical entertainment at HALF OFF the normal ticket prices!  Order your tickets today! 

From FH Reader Frank B ...  
Tony Orlando is excited about his upcoming reunion shows with Dawn ...

Hey Kent, 
Two things ...
All those Archies' songs and yet no "Who's Your Baby", a top 40 hit? I know it was a single only, but it should have been added to one of the CDs, don't you think? 
The best cover version of "Theme From A Summer Place" I've heard is by Joanie Sommers. She may be  the most under appreciated female singer of the sixties. There's a lot more to her than just "Johnny Get Angry".  "Don't Pity Me" was another great early song.  
She was equally adept at pop, jazz and all those great Pepsi commercials.  In fact, she was once billed as "The Voice of the Sixties".
Some of my other favorites include "I'd Be So Good For You", "Little Girl Bad", "It Had To Be You", Out Of This World" and "A Lot Of Living To Do".She is well worth looking into.
Bill Mulvy
I get it ... if you're going to do an Archies complete album package, that's one thing ... but this is the most DEFINITIVE Archies package ever ... so at the very least you ought to make sure every track is present and accounted for.  "Who's Your Baby" reached #25 on the Record World Chart despite a #40 showing in Billboard ... it should have been included as a bonus track.
I'm not all that familiar with the work of Joanie Sommers ... "Johnny Get Angry" was her only National Top 40 Hit ... but I know she also did a cover of "One Boy" from "Bye Bye Birdie" ... and I specifically remember playing the heck out of one of her B-Sides, "Why Don't You Do Right", the flip of "Be My Love" as I recall.
As for her take of "Theme from 'A Summer Place'", I'm not quite as head-over-heels in love with it as you are ... but it's still worth sharing ... as is the missing Archies track.  (kk)

“An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At Ridgefield” To Be Released August 26, 2016! 

Cleopatra Records is pleased to announce “An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At Ridgefield” on August 26, 2016. Get ready for an incredible concert experience, a multi-media extravaganza available on CD, Vinyl, DVD, and Blu-ray, starring classic rock icon and famed songwriter / producer Todd Rundgren 
A Wizard, A True Star, the title of his 1973 solo album, aptly sums up the contributions of this multi-faceted artist to state-of-the-art music. As a songwriter, video pioneer, producer, recording artist, computer software developer, conceptualist, and interactive artist, Rundgren has made a lasting impact on both the form and content of popular music. He had produced more than fifty records for other artists, including Hall & Oates, Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, XTC, Grand Funk, The Band, and Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell
Recorded live at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT on December 15, 2015, Rundgren's new release includes some of his best known songs including “Hello It's Me”, “I Saw The Light” and “Bang The Drum All Day”! PLUS, hear / watch fan favorites that haven't been performed live in decades, including unforgettable Utopia and Nazz anthems.

The set list consists of milestone Rundgren classics taken from his rich back catalogue, including songs from the albums “Something/Anything” (1972), “A Wizard, a True Star” (1973), “Faithful” (1976), “Hermit of Mink Hollow” (1978), “The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect”(1982), “A Cappella”(1985), “2nd Wind” (1991), “One Long Year” (2000), “Liars” (2004), “Global” (2015), plus key cuts from the Utopia albums “Oops! Wrong Planet” (1977), “Swing To The Right” (1982) and “POV” (1985), as well as from the first two albums by Todd's seminal 60's band The Nazz (1968 and 1969).

 Band Line-up:
Todd Rundgren (guitar, vocals)
John Ferenzik (keyboards, vocals)
Jesse Gress (guitar, vocals)
Prairie Prince (drums)
Kasim Sulton (bass, vocals)

Track Listing:  
1. I Saw The Light
2. Love Of The Common Man
3. Open My Eyes
4. Sometimes I Don't Know What To Feel
5. Black And White
6. Buffalo Grass
7. Determination
8. Lost Horizon
9. Bang The Drum All Day
10. Kiddie Boy
11. Black Maria
12. Drive
13. Secret Society
14. Love In Action
15. Couldn't I Just Tell You
16. Can We Still Be Friends
17. Hello It's Me
18. One World

1. Intro / I Saw The Light
2. Love Of The Common Man
3. Open My Eyes
4. Remarks
5. Sometimes I Don't Know What To Feel
6. Black And White
7. Love Science
8. Buffalo Grass
9. Determination
10. Lost Horizon
11. Bang The Drum All Day
12. Soothe
13. Kiddie Boy
14. Black Maria
15. God Said
16. Drive
17. I'm So Proud
18. Ooh Baby Baby
19. I Want You
20. Secret Society
21. Love In Action
22. Couldn't I Just Tell You
23. Can We Still Be Friends
24. Hello It's Me
25. One World
26. Credits

Produced by Chris Andersen

Executive Producer: Eric Gardner

Music Produced and Mixed by Todd Rundgren

Sound Recorded by Chris Andersen and Jeff Notti

Edited by Chris Andersen

Photos courtesy of Stevo Rood

The CD/DVD package comes in a special 6-panel digipak! Also available on limited edition vinyl!

To purchase “An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At Ridgefield”:

Todd’s Facebook Store:

Todd’s Official Fan Site:

Twitter: @toddrundgren


New York -- Bassist Robert Miller, whose group Project Grand Slam has produced their own re imagined version of the great Ray Davies / Kinks song “You Really Got Me,” has elicited a quote from Ray’s brother (and, co-founder of The Kinks) Dave Davies on the production: “Very unique version and I am liking it!”
Says Miller, “We wanted a terrific, cover for the new album (The Queen’s Carnival out on 8/19) and I knew instantly this was it. It’s a great song, always has been, always will.” Their new album, The Queen's Carnival is out on (SONY/RED) on August 19.

Hi Kent,
Keep up the good work ... I always enjoy your website. 
Ed Kocjan