Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31st

This is how we closed out 1966 on the national level.  (It's actually the perfect break … these records are ranked in order of sales and popularity for the week ending December 31, 1966 … the last day of the year.) 

Yesterday we showed you the twenty biggest records in Chicago during 1966.   

Billboard's National Year-End "Best of 1966" Chart tells an entirely different story …   

Here S/Sgt Barry Sadler's had the biggest record of the year with his five week chart-topper "The Ballad Of The Green Beret". 

The #2 Record of the Year was "Cherish" by The Association.  Coming in at #3 was "Soul And Inspiration" by The Righteous Brothers, followed by "Reach Out, I'll Be There" by The Four Tops (#4), "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterians (#5), "Last Train To Clarksville" by The Monkees (#6), "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas and the Papas (#7), "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes (#8), "Poor Side Of Town" by Johnny Rivers (#9) and "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas and the Papas (#10).  (This gives the brand new … and fire hot … Mamas and Papas TWO of the year's ten biggest records … and The Monkees … who would rule the charts in 1967 … one of the year's biggest singles in just the few months remaining after its first release.)  

Rounding out The Top 20:    

#11 - Summer in The City - Lovin' Spoonful
#12 - Born Free - Roger Williams (wow!)
#13 - These Boots Are Made For Walkin'  - Nancy Sinatra
#14 - What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin
#15 - Strangers In The Night - Frank Sinatra
#16 - We Can Work It Out - The Beatles 
#17 - Good Lovin' - The Young Rascals
#18 - Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band
#19 - Hanky Panky - Tommy James and the Shondells
#20 - When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge

Tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... 

1967 begins!

Friday, December 30, 2016

December 30th

Our brand new series kicks off today with a look back 50 years ...

And we'll continue to do so for ALL of 2017 ...

Please join us as we recreate 1967 ... exactly as it happened .

But first we've got to show you how it got there!


Here's how things shaped up here in Chicago as 1966 drew to a close.

Notice that The Monkees have the #1 Record on WLS but, for whatever reason, they're showing "Steppin' Stone" as the A-Side of the hit!  (This will be the only time the record appears that way in the #1 slot.)  The Monkees haven't reached the top the WCFL chart yet … they're showing "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" by The Royal Guardsman on top ... and it'll occupy the #1 spot on Super 'CFL for three weeks. 

Some of Chicago's Top 20 Records didn't fare nearly as well on the national charts … "Grizzly Bear" by The Youngbloods, "Love You So Much" by The New Colony Six, "There's Got To Be A Word" by Innocence would be prime examples.

Both charts offer recaps of The Top 20 Hits of 1966 … but with surprisingly different results.  Although 17 titles (18 if you count "Day Tripper" by The Beatles, listed as a two-sided hit on the WCFL chart) appear on both year-end charts, some are in surprisingly different rankings.   

For example, WCFL shows "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas and the Papas as the biggest hit of 1966 … but it ranks at #6 on the WLS chart.  Likewise, WLS' #1 Record of 1966, "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells" only musters a #8 showing on the 'CFL chart.  "Kicks" by Paul Revere and the Raiders ranks as both #3 and #9, "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterians fared better on WLS (#7) than it did on WCFL (#19) and "Sounds Of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel was either the 8th … or the 13th biggest hit record of the year.   

Making the WLS list (but not the WCFL chart) are "Last Train To Clarksville" by The Monkees (#14) and "Five O'Clock World" by The Vogues (#19).  (Again the balance is off because WLS listed "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper" as separate entries at #11 and #12 respectively).  

WCFL shows "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra at #10, "Reach Out, I'll Be There" by The Four Tops (#12) and "Barbara Ann" by The Beach Boys (#15) … none of these records made the WLS Year-End Top 20.






Thursday, December 29, 2016


It's the final SWEET 16 of 2016 ...

And thanks to a little help from our Forgotten Hits Readers ...

(and a little bit of cheating!) ...

We've come up with the PERFECT way to wrap up this series.

It's the SWEET 16 Sixteen!!!

We had a lot of fun putting these together for you every month ...

And hope that you've enjoyed them, too.

So please give a listen to our Final SWEET 16 ...

And then be prepared to be blown away tomorrow when our BRAND NEW Series kicks off in Forgotten Hits.

It's the most ambitious project we've ever undertaken ...

(Literally 50 years in the making!)

Trust me ... you won't want to miss a thing ...

So please, tell EVERY music fan you know to start hitting The Forgotten Hits Website tomorrow!


At the age of 76, Ringo Starr says he can no longer sing his 1973 #1 Hit "You're Sixteen" anymore ... I guess it is kinda creepy ... but man, what a great record he made.  (That's Harry Nilsson doing all the background vocals, Producer Richard Perry hitting the low bass note and Paul McCartney playing kazoo ... actually a comb covered in wax paper ... on the track!)

If you play "Eight Days A Week" twice, that's 16, right???

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Forgotten Hits Salutes 1967

It is, without question, the most ambitious project we've ever put together ... 

50 Years In The Making ... plus literally THOUSANDS of hours this past year alone assembling the final product. 

Something of this nature doesn't just fall together over night ... 

So let me thank a few people before the official launch on Friday, December 30th. 

Thank you to Randy Price, who assembled The Super Charts.  FOR THE FIRST TIME ANYWHERE, Forgotten Hits Readers will have the chance to see what I believe to be the most accurate and honest representation of the music AS IT HAPPENED back in 1967. 

Over the years, we have pointed out the discrepancies of chart positions as tabulated by "The Big Three" national trade publication devoted to presenting this information ... Billboard, Cash Box and Record World.  It was not uncommon to find spreads of twenty chart positions between the three magazines. 

Along the way we learned that, much like payola affected which records got airplay in the late '50's and early '60's, numerous "favors" were granted in exchange for a better chart position ... little things like "buy a full page ad in next week's issue and your record will show up with a bullet and a ten point jump" ... and other practices far more involved. 

However, the bottom line is each of these publications used their own resources to calculate their chart information.  They each polled various radio stations for airplay and popularity, record distributors and record stores for number of units shipped (and number of units purchased) as well as any other number of "secret sources" to determine the relative popularity of any given song or artist.  But each of these trades used DIFFERENT sources to gather and tabulate this information.  Some factored in actual sales as a higher criteria ... others factored in airplay as being the key determining factor. 

The idea behind The Super Chart was to take ALL of this research and evaluation into consideration ... and then determine an across-the-boards ranking of the relative popularity of each week's hits by factoring in ALL of this research material available.  I came up with the concept ... but Randy Price did ALL of the heavy lifting, scouring through decades of published charts to determine "the most accurate ranking" possible by utilizing ALL of this available information and research.  I will stand and defend the end result as the most POSITIVE and ACCURATE charts available ... and our Special 1967 Fifty Year Flashback Feature will utilize ALL of this information each and every week of the year.   It is the first time EVER that this information has been shared and is yet another EXCLUSIVE of our commitment here in Forgotten Hits to consistently bring you THE MOST ACCURATE TRUTH POSSIBLE.  (Our hope is that after reviewing these results, we can FINALLY get this tremendous volume of work published and out to radio stations and interested fans and collectors to once and for all document the DEFINITIVE history of the pop charts as it needs to be shown.) 

You will also find the WLS Silver Dollar Survey and The WCFL Sound Ten Survey represented each and every week.  Copies of these charts came from lifelong collector Jack Levin who tediously scanned and sent every single week for both Top 40 Powerhouse 50,000 Watt Radio Stations here in Chicago.  (Due to their clear channel broadcasting, both WLS and WCFL could be picked up at night in nearly every state in the country.)  1967 also happened to be an EXTREMELY good year for Local Talent on our charts ... so you will be able to view the chart performances of many of our Local Heroes like The Buckinghams, The Cryan' Shames, The New Colony Six, The Ides Of March, Spanky And Our Gang, The Mauds, The Riddles and several others.  This, too, puts a unique spin on our series as we capture the "local feel" of the charts right alongside the national hit makers. 

Putting together a calendar of this sort presented MANY challenges along the way.  You would not believe the number of discrepancies published on the Internet as "fact".  As such, we found publications like Ron Smith's "Eight Days A Week", Bob Dearborn's "Olde Disc Jockey Almanac" and websites like "This Date In Rock And Roll History" to be invaluable sources.  Dozens of other "timeline" type sites were consulted and discrepancies were tracked down and investigated until we got a definitive confirmation of these dates.  Sometimes this meant checking newspaper pressings, a variety of specialty websites devoted to specific topics and yes, even Wikipedia from time to time ... what we found is that even if they weren't 100% accurate, they usually gave us a viable starting point that started us looking in the right direction.  I can only tell you it was exhaustive ... but necessary.  Along the way, we had some of these other sites and services make corrections to their OWN publications based on the documented facts we were able to offer, thus making ALL of this information far more reliable for future researchers.  (Think about it ... we only researched 1967 ... can you imagine how many OTHER erroneous facts are still floating around out there?!?!?) 

We researched TV Guide listings and websites devoted to programs like The Ed Sullivan Show, Where The Action Is, The Hollywood Palace, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and many, many more to try and present an accurate listing as to who performed what, when and where.  Are we still missing some?  I'd be shocked if we weren't!  But hopefully good response to this series will offer further insight and documentation to help make things more accurate for the future. 

Finally, whenever we could, we tried to talk to some of the artists themselves.  They, after all, were the ones who were there.  (Of course, Micky Dolenz's catch phrase has always been "I was there ... and they told me I had a really good time.")  Be that as it may, hopefully again we can present some interesting insight not found anywhere else.   (My hope is that as the series continues to unfold, more and more artists will contact us to share some of their personal memories and milestones with our readers.)

And thanks, too, to the many deejays who have pledged their support in getting the word out about our brand new series.  Guys like Scott Shannon, Rick O'Dell, Phil Nee, Allan Sniffen, Rich Appell, Citizen Bill, Mr. C, Lou Simon, Phlash Phelps and many, many more are going to be featuring tidbits from our series throughout the year ... meaning that you're going to get to hear even MORE great music from 1967 as the year unfolds.

Please stick around for the ride.  A new posting will hit the site EVERY DAY ... from December 30th, 2016 thru January 2nd, 2018, at EXACTLY 6 am Chicago time.  We will NOT be sending out reminders for these postings ... we're trusting you to bookmark the site and visit it daily. 

We can ALL have a really good time with this ... so feel free to comment and share your memories with us.  It is for that reason that we're asking you to subscribe to Forgotten Hits.  THOSE memories will go out as supplemental emails, typically once or twice a week, to the subscription list only.  If you haven't already done so, drop me an email at either or and ask us to put you on The 67 List.  Trust me ... you won't want to miss a thing ... and we encourage you to experience the WHOLE enchiladas!!!   

Stay tuned ... we're just hours away from the big launch.  Please tell everybody you know to jump on The Forgotten Hits '67 Bandwagon.  It's gonna be one hell of a ride!

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Monday Morning Quickie!!!

Although posting it THIS late, it's practically a Nooner!!!

2016 claimed another superstar victim ... this time on Christmas Day ... when it was announced that George Michael had passed away.
Michael ruled the charts in the '80's, first as one half of Wham! (seven Top Ten Hits, including three #1's) and then as a solo artist, scoring 14 more Top 10's and 7 more #1's (including a stretch a string of four in a row from his "Faith" album.)
George's life wasn't without controversy ... and the official cause of death won't be announced until after an autopsy.
(released as George Michael unless otherwise shown)
1984 - Wake Me Up Before You Go Go (#1) as WHAM!  (#1 UK)
1985 - Careless Whisper  (#1) as WHAM! featuring George Michael  (#1 UK)
1985 - Everything She Wants  (#1) as WHAM!
1985 - Freedom  (#3) as WHAM!  (#1 UK)
1986 - I'm Your Man  (#3) as WHAM!  (#1 UK)
1986 - A Different Corner  (#7)  (#1 UK)
1986 - The Edge Of Heaven  (#10) as WHAM!  (#1 UK)
1986 - Where Did Your Heart Go?  (#50) as WHAM!
1987 - I Knew You Were Waiting For Me  (#1)  as Aretha Franklin and George Michael  (#1 UK)
1987 - I Want Your Sex  (#1) 
1987 - Faith  (#1)
1988 - Father Figure  (#1)
1988 - One More Try  (#1)
1988 - Monkey  (#1)
1988 - Kissing A Fool  (#5)
1989 - Heaven Help Me  (#5)  as Deon Estus with George Martin
1990 - Praying For Time  (#1)
1990 - Freedom  (#8) ... different song than above
1991 - Waiting For The Day  (#27)
1991 - Mother's Pride  (#46)
1992 - Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me  (#1) as George Michael and Elton John (a live recording of Elton's big 1973 hit)  (#1 UK)
1992 - Too Funky  (#10)
1993 - Somebody To Love  (#30)  George Michael and Queen (recorded live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert)
1996 - Jesus To A Child  (#7)  (#1 UK)
1996 - Fastlove (#8)  (#1 UK)
WHAM! also scored with their Christmas classic "Last Christmas", now a holiday staple, as is "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid, on which George Michael was prominently featured  (kk)
stats courtesy Joel Whitburn / Record Research
The best Christmas song of all time  
But this is the one I love the best ... it also just happens to also be the last time she sings it on the Letterman show:  
Take care ... and have a great Christmas and healthy new year
I think this'll be our last blast of Christmas for 2016 ... although our All-Christmas Radio Station has announced that they'll continue playing holiday music through New Year's Eve before returning to their regular format.  (WHY!?!?!?!?  Have you not already beaten this to death???)  kk
Hi Kent -
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Any word on a concert tour yet for Cornerstones ? Would love to see this in NE Ohio
Take care
Recent conversations with Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams, Jim Peterik of The Ides of March and Ron Onesti of The Arcada Theatre indicate that a Midwestern Tour is definitely in the plans for 2017 ... but several details still need to be worked out.
My suggestion ... help get some momentum going by contacting venues in your area (Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, etc., asking them to book this show ... have them contact for more information.  I know all the guys are chomping at the bit to take this show on the road!  (kk)
Speaking of The Arcada Theatre, here's a nice piece Ron did on Burton Cummings, who returns to The Arcada on April 21st (and we can't wait!)
The Top 77 show will be held Monday at 2 PM on
Hope you can tune in for the songs which got the most votes this year, plus some notes on the songs and some fun trivia questions!  There will be a pre-show starting at #140 with Allan Sniffen at 10 AM. So, please make a note to join me, Mike Riccio and Bob Radil!  
Plus, all week long after the show, Rewound Radio will  be playing only songs which received votes this year, no matter where they turned up on the list. 
Tom Natoli / Rewound Radio
Hopefully most of you will see this in time to tune in ... and if not, they typically replay the countdown numerous times during the week.  Check out for more details.
Speaking of countdowns ...
Hi again Kent,
I mentioned Roy Orbison's backing band The Candymen in my earlier post. If my memory is correct,
I heard back in 1967 that the group was originally formed in Dothan, Alabama, by Bobby Goldsboro as The Webs. Roy changed their name to The Candymen after the B-side of his 1961 smash hit "Crying".  As a guitarist, Bobby toured with Roy until "See The Funny Little Clown" became a hit and he went solo.
I am enclosing our 1966 year end radio station chart showing Bobby at #15 with "Blue Autumn".
Mike G
Again, I STRONGLY suggest picking up a copy of the new "Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone" (Volume Three) book by Jeff March and Marti Smiley Childs.
What I especially like about this edition is that several of the artists featured are cross-referenced because their paths crossed behind the scenes along the way.  The formation of The Candymen is well documented ... and you might be surprised about who played in that group over a period of time. 
(In fact, pick up the whole collection ... you'll find Bobby Goldsboro profiled in Volume Two!)
It is available on Amazon as well as their own EditPros website ...
FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this piece spotlighting Bev Bevan and his take on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction of The Electric Light Orchestra ...

ELO's Bev Bevan Talks Rock Hall Induction, Jeff Lynne Rift 

The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will bring together many bandmates that haven't shared a stage in a long, long time …   Read it on

Sounds like Henry Gross has been busy!!!  He just filed this report ...
Hi Kent!
Happy holidays!
I just returned from nine weeks in the U.K., touring with my pal, the amazing Joe Brown ... his most successful tour ever ... just playing ... great tour.
Then I played on a benefit for the Musicians Fund in Nashville in honor of my dear friend and my bassist of 30 years, the incomparable Mike Chapman. Mike played on just about every recording Garth Brooks ever made as well as a slew of other country hits. I miss him every day!
Then I played a solo show at Lafayette's in Memphis, TN, this past Friday night at what was the best Xmas party!
Gonna take it easy for a while and figure out what's next.
Hope your having a wonderful holiday.
Sounds like you've been having a blast, Henry ... thanks for checking in!  And keep us advised of any new music and shows you may be sending our way in 2017!  (kk)