I still haven't seen all of it (but I know it has been on several times over the past week.)
I hate to admit this (as I'm not sure I even consider him to be Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame worthy) … but the induction speech by Howard Stern followed by the acceptance speech by Jon Bon Jovi have got to be the two best speeches I have EVER seen at any of these ceremonies.
Stern was hysterical … and exuberant and passionate about his love for the band and their music. And EVERY member of Bon Jovi came off as intelligent and articulate in their acceptance speeches.
They first got together back in 1979 with a clear vision and purpose … to work as hard as they could to make it in the music business … and that they did … 38 charted Billboard Singles (including nine that made The Top 40, five of which made it all the way to #1) and over 135 Million Albums sold. They stayed focused and never took their eyes off the prize ... and, in the process, built a CAREER in the music business ... and for that alone I salute them.
I don't dislike Bon Jovi … in fact, I don't really feel anything for them one way or another. I like a few of their tunes (and tolerate a few others) … I just don't see what they contributed to the advancement of rock and roll, which was supposed to be the original purpose of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame … who were the greatest influences and trend-setters of this genre that took rock into new directions and kept the art form of rock and roll music alive.
Instead, today it's just a matter of "we need to induct X number of acts each year, whether they're worthy or not … and we can't own up to our own mistakes of overlooking several deserving artists in the past."
It’s a shame … and I don't want to get back up on my soap box again because you've already heard it all a thousand times before. Nothing against Bon Jovi … history has proven them to be a great rock band with a HUGE following … but do they belong in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? (The link we sent last week ranking the "deservability" of each inducted artist placed Bon Jovi dead last.)
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame would never be bold enough to request a "do over" … even though there are probably more artists who should be "uninducted" than there are deserving artists still waiting for their first shot on the ballot!
What's done is done … you can't unring that bell … so PLEASE concentrate on the deserving artists you've over looked over the past 30-something years and do the right thing.
'Nuff said. (kk)
Thanks so much for the above-the-fold mention of the Tribune article by Robert Channick in your “Sunday Comments” yesterday. I smiled at your reference to Neal’s iPod. The article could definitely have been subtitled, “How One Man’s iPod Turned Into One of the Most Popular Radio Stations in Chicago.” The credit for the station has to go to Neal for creating the format — with his iPod -- and to Weigel Broadcasting for sticking with it. Since 2009, five separate companies have put five different formats on 87.7 in Chicago (country, smooth jazz, alternative, sports talk and “timeless and memorable music”). None of the first four lasted three years. Weigel had enough faith in their format to stick with it long enough for it to find its audience — and for an audience to find it. That never happens in radio anymore. Everyone’s after the quick hit, but Weigel had the patience to let it grow.
And you keep up the great work at Forgotten Hits. I learn something new with each one of your posts.
Thanks for the great review of the Ides show at City Winery on Thursday! And the great reviews from our dear friends and ticket winners, including Dick Biondi filmmaker Pam Pulice. Mentioning Dick’s name elicited one of the biggest ovations of the night.
It’s always a challenge to introduce new or deep cut material but it’s rewarding when we get a strong response to those songs.
That night we opened with Too Far To Turn Around (which I wrote on a recent trip to China) and it felt like it had been in the set for years. Yet it felt fresh to be doing a relatively new song. Same with Last Band Standing, Who I Am, Music Messenger and the follow up to Vehicle which we opened set 2 with, Superman. All featuring the powerful Buzzards brass section.
The Ides will be adding more new and deep cuts through the year.
Thanks to all for coming out to the Winery and celebrating life and rock and roll with us! And thanks to Forgotten Hits for keeping the dream alive! Much love –
As a pre-teen I always found it a bit disappointing when the Breakfast Club aired on WLS. However, whenever I was traveling in other states with my folks, they would let me search the local radio dial to find the program on a local affiliate, so I could feel, at least for the hour, that I was listening to WLS while I was out of range. Silly, but true. Eventually I worked in engineering at WLS / WDAI for a year. The radio bug had gotten me early in life.
Hey Kent -
Unless I missed here, our guys at playing at the Milwaukee Summerfest!
June 28th 4pm Uline warehouse stage.
Mike De Martino
It’s true … Cornerstones of Rock move a little north of the border for a Summerfest show next month. Should make for a great turn-out … ALL of these artists enjoyed a tremendous amount of success here in the Midwest back in the day. They’re part of a VERY impressive line-up that I think blows Ravinia away this year … you’ll find something for everybody up in Milwaukee this summer. (kk)
The Ides just keep marchin' along! Great to see them still in top form! It would be hard for them to sing their great obscure 45, "Nobody Loves Me", because EVERYBODY does!
As to the Breakfast Club and Farm reports on WLS, I also NEVER listened to them. For one thing, I seldom listened because I was getting up to go to grade school and Jr. High School for classes! No time for the Big 89 in morning hours for me. However, I think Uncle Lar Lujack may have gotten Animal Stories from these shows to some extent. He loved animals and outdoors and likely gained an interest in these shows as well.
As to Clark Weber and Bernie Allen programming more for housewives, I agree. One of the best things about the WLS "Feature Albums" was that it often gave those guys (especially Bernie) a chance to play easier listening LP cuts from MOR albums featured as albums of the week on the survey.
As to WCBS-FM, what an entity that was! The oldies station of oldies stations. I have the LPs dating to the 70's that they released and they got the whole nostalgia FM thing going, it would seem.
ME-TV FM owes a lot to Forgotten Hits, I believe. Kudos to BOTH for creating a giant!! In case you are like me and have a car that does not get 87.7 on your FM, you can buy a Sandisk MP3 player cheap at Best Buys and it gets 87.7 and just plug into your car.
As to WLS and CFL playing "Unwind," I have CFL playing it on tape but unable to locate it presently. GREAT song, as were all his serious 45s from his LP 'Even Stevens," which Varese reissued on CD decades ago in great quality.
Attached is a 1968 survey from ARSA that has Dan O'Shea's pic, whom I assume was asking for a survey. We heard WHB often in Dodge City.
I've got WHB survey dated 8/2/68.
Let me know if you might be interested in copies of these charts. (kk)
In your Monday posting, you mentioned that the Happy Together Tour has no Chicago stops. Pollstar shows that the Happy Together Tour will be at the Paramount Theater in Aurora on August 17th. It doesn't show any tickets on sale, but apparently there is a stop scheduled as of now. Thanks for a great blog!
The Happy Together Tour has hit The Paramount Theater every year for at least the past fifteen years … and I thought they were booked again for 2018 … but when I checked the official tour schedule, I didn’t see it listed. (In fact, I checked THREE different sources before making the comment that the show would miss Chicago this year … and NONE of them had the Paramount show listed!)
According to the information posted on The Turtles’ own website (as well as The Paramount Theater's own site), you are correct … and Aurora, Illinois, will once again rock to the good-time sounds of Gary Puckett, The Association, The Cowsills, Mark Lindsay, Chuck Negron and The Turtles (albeit with Ron Dante sitting in for Howard Kaylan, who is having back surgery and unable to participate.)
This should be A GREAT show (as always) … and now we’re hoping that we can attend after all! (Ron told me that he is REALLY excited about this year’s tour, after also being on the bill as a solo artist last year.)
Complete tour information here: http://theturtles.com/tour/
HAPPY 76th May 9 to one of my best friends in the world, TOMMY ROE, rock 'n' roll pioneer and legend.
And a finer gentleman you will not find.
Hoping he returns to the stage sometime soon.
Pic: Tommy and me ... 2014 - The Cavern Liverpool
Not quite like the many groups of Chicago that hit the charts, Rochester, NY, occasionally had a group hit the lower part of the Billboard Top 100.
Number 13 on Saturday’s featured WBBF chart showed the Dukes “One More Chance,” which hit #80 on Billboard. It was actually “Give Me One More Chance” by Wilmer and the Dukes. Just a little bit of Rochester music history.
Lots more great shows just added to the list of acts coming to Chicago in the months to come.
The Arcada Theatre just added Jay and the Americans with The Vogues (now THAT'S a great double bill!) and Dean Torrence … while The City Winery has booked Howard Jones, The Average White Band and Canned Heat! Love the chance to see some acts we've not seen before!
And this just in ...
Tony Orlando and Dawn will reunite for a Christmas Concert (as well as perform all of their greatest hits!) at The Arcada Theatre on December 11th. (Now how cool is THAT?!?!?) kk
And speaking of great shows, Barry Winslow just sent in some more photos from The Royal Guardsmen Reunion Show down in St. Petersburg, Florida … check 'em out!!!
Here's a group shot of the guys ...
And then, In order: Bill Balough, Billy Taylor, Chris Nunley, John Burdett and our FH Buddy Barry Winslow ... the original Royal Guardsmen reunite for a show in St. Pete! (kk)
Just getting in to Connie Francis auto- biography.
Page 2 = Connie talks about her miscarriage . (She's now married to her third husband, Joe.)
Page 12 = She's looking into adopting a baby boy.
Page 15 = Connie gives a detailed account of her rape … 11/8/1974 at the Howard Johnson Motel in Westbury, New York. The rapist threatens to slit her throat if she doesn't give him money. Problem is
she gave all her valuables to a friend, who's in another room.
The guy says he'll count to 20. If she doesn't show him some money, he'll slit her throat.
Connie tells the guy who she is. This somehow changes his mind.
He ties her to a chair instead of killing her.
This is book #1 of a 2-part auto-biography.
I don't think it can get any worse than the few pages I already read.
I'm not sure there's enough to fill two volumes but this sounds pretty exciting so far … now add in her hit record years and her life-long love for Bobby Darin and I think I'll know everything I ever need to know about Connie Francis! (kk)
I just wrapped up teaching "The History of American Popular Music" to 29 Lipscomb University students. Pat Boone is, perhaps, their most famous alum. I got to spend some time with him about a month ago during one of their fund raisers.
I had interviewed him for my high school newspaper back in '61. He was still a hot act then, second only to Elvis with the number of chart records in the 50's, early 60's. He also was known for 'covering' all those great rhythm and blues hits -- which probably not endear him to Jann Wenner -- at a time when many radio stations were segregated. Seems odd today, but think of the times ... particularly in the South.
He's 83 and still sings great. A fun show if you ever get a chance to take it in. He has an accompanist and also does a lot of rear screen projections (film and stills) of the 'good old days.'
On another note, I just got word that my lifelong friend, Brian Wilson, has canceled the current tour -- he was doing three nights at the symphony hall here in Nashville -- and is having back surgery. No specific info yet. I wish him well.
Always great news / history / stories ~ thanks Kent!
Phil @ PrayForSurfBlog.blogspot.com
FYI . . .
This is SMiLE?
Could this have been the original track-by-track sequence of The Beach Boys' 1967 SMiLE LP?
Author Mark Dillon (Fifty Sides of The Beach Boys), in discussion with the Pray for Surf blog's Phil Miglioratti, plays the favorite game of the group's fans: reconstructing the 1967 SMiLE album.
Like many, Dillon believes that, if finished, the record would have been the band's pinnacle. Yes, Brian Wilson recorded a splendid version of SMiLE in 2004, but this was a revisionist take on what the original would have been.
Dillon has come up with a fresh theory regarding the track selection and sequencing for the 1967 release, taking into account the time restrictions of LPs and subtle sonic and verbal linking clues. And he proposes answers to those nagging questions: where would “Good Vibrations” have fit in and what track would have actually closed this thing?
Listen to the complete discussion HERE>>> and please share your thoughts . . .
And, now available on DVD ...
BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY … FINALLY OUT ON DVD JUNE 1 INCLUDES ONE HOUR OF BONUS FOOTAGE FROM PAUL MCCARTNEY, KEITH RICHARDS, RONALD ISLEY, SOLOMON BURKE, ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM, CISSY HOUSTON, OTHERS
Virtually since its debut at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, demand for a DVD version of BANG! The Bert Berns Story has been mounting. In the intervening time, the feature documentary has been screened at more than 50 international film festivals, theatrically released in numerous major markets and digitally released thereafter. Along the way, it attained a 100% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes and earned five (out of five) stars from MOJO. Now, the film’s producers have announced that, at long last, a DVD release is set for this June 1. The BANG! DVD include a full hour of additional footage, including interviews with Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ronald Isley, Cissy Houston, Andrew Loog Oldham, Solomon Burke, Betty Harris, Mike Stoller, Ben E. King, Doug Morris, Joel Dorn and Carmine “Wassel” DeNoia, among others.
BANG! The Bert Berns Story is now available for pre-order exclusively at www.bangthebertbernsstory.com
It’s music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary about the life and career of Bert Berns narrated by Stevie Van Zandt and featuring Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, and many more. BANG! The Bert Berns Story tells the story of one of the most important songwriters, producers and label chiefs of the ‘60s whose hits include “Twist and Shout,” “Hang On Sloopy,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Here Comes The Night” and “Piece Of My Heart.” He helped launch the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and died tragically at the age of 38, before the decade was out. BANG! The Bert Berns Story was executive produced by Sid Ganis and produced by Michael B. Borofsky and Brooks Arthur. Brett Berns, Bert’s son, co-directed with Bob Sarles who also edited the film. Sarles is an Emmy-nominated film and television editor and documentary filmmaker. He co-edited the Peabody Award winning documentary series Moon Shot and directed and edited Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield; Fly Jefferson Airplane; John Lee Hooker: Come And See About Me; Feed Your Head: The Psychedelic Era and Soulsville.
Brett Berns commented, “Because of the subject matter, there has been an understandable demand for a physical DVD of the film from fans of the music and collectors of my father’s body of work. We’re delighted to finally make it available now with a bounty of extra footage from many of the artists whose lives and music were touched by what he was able to accomplish in the short time he was given.”
Until quite recently, Bert Berns had been relegated to obscurity, his very existence known only among the cognoscenti of hardcore record collectors and old school music industry veterans, but that has dramatically changed in recent years. The film is part of what The New York Times called “the Berns boomlet,” which began in 2014 with the acclaimed Joel Selvin-authored biography Here Comes The Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm & Blues (Counterpoint Press) and the source of the film’s narrative thread. The Broadway bound musical Piece of My Heart – The Bert Berns Story originally premiered Off-Broadway in 2014 in an extended run called “stunning” by The Village Voice and “gorgeously tuneful” by The New York Times.
Stevie Van Zandt, the musician (Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band), actor (The Sopranos) and media mogul (SiriusXM’s Little Steven’s Underground Garage) posthumously inducted Berns into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 and is, most appropriately, the film’s narrator.
BANG! The Bert Berns Story chronicles the brief life of a musical genius who, over the course of a tragically brief career, managed to write and produce numerous groundbreaking hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Berns founded Bang, one of the most successful independent record labels of all time, the home of hits by Neil Diamond, The McCoys, The Strangeloves and Van Morrison. Shout Records, Bang’s sister label, yielded hits for Freddie Scott, Erma Franklin and other R&B greats. Bert Berns is the only songwriter in history whose work has been recorded by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals, Them and Led Zeppelin.
Analog Planet, the highly influential high-end audio site encapsulated the film’s appeal: “Cross Goodfellas with the hippest Ken Burns PBS mid-sixties New York music business documentary you've never seen and then anchor it with a songwriter, producer, record label executive biography that were it not true would have been difficult for any fiction writer to invent. That's the heart of Bang! The Bert Berns Story.”
The New York Times review of the film noted, “There’s some juicy stuff here … If you love the music Berns made, you’ll love this movie; if you don’t, I feel for you. But Bang! might nevertheless entertain with its dish.”
Roots music outlet No Depression suggested, “You probably heard a Bert Berns song today. If you heard “Tell Him,” “Twist and Shout,” “Cry to Me,” “Here Comes the Night,” “Hang on Sloopy” or “Piece of My Heart,” you heard a song he wrote. If you heard “Baby, I’m Yours,” “Under the Boardwalk” or “Brown Eyed Girl,” you heard a record he produced. Berns’ enormous catalog of deeply-felt songs and deftly-produced records puts him in a league with the best of the Brill Building’s songwriters and New York’s golden age pop producers.
Additional laudation for BANG! The Bert Berns Story:
The story is arresting, and if that’s all BANG! offered, that would be enough. But BANG! does more. – San Francisco Chronicle.
BANG! is a documentary that simply needed to be made. — Variety
The film recounts the way Berns charged and hustled his way into the music business, shaping the sound and business of pop along the way… BANG! also serves as an unintentional eulogy for an era of pop that recedes into the history books. – Rolling Stone
The film unfolds like a Hollywood noir…BANG! is sure to stir your emotions and stick in your head for some time. – NY Observer
The new high-water mark for music documentaries. – Glide Magazine
This film is a beautiful secret whispered in your ear. -- Sugarbuzz
BANG! needs to be seen. -- Counterpunch
The film offers some pretty interesting insight as to how business was done back in the day ... music and otherwise ... and touches on mob involvement, payola and any other number of things that helped to insure your latest hit did well on the charts. The soundtrack is phenomenal ... the story is incredible ... and after viewing it, you will never hear this music the same way again. -- Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits
CHUBBY CHECKER’S “THE TWIST” INDUCTED INTO
THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
At last month’s annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a new category was introduced: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Singles. Taking the stage in Cleveland, The E-Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt broke the news, describing the new singles program as “a kind of Rock Hall Jukebox, established in recognition of the excellence of singles that shaped rock and roll.”
Of course, included in the inaugural inductions in this new category was “The Twist” by Chubby Checker. The record was first recorded and released in 1960 on Cameo’s Parkway label. A Baltimore disc jockey took a chance on the record, the response was tremendous and it was soon climbing the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It hit the #1 position on the Hot 100 as the dance craze swept the country and the world. Chubby was in great demand for TV and personal appearances and even hosted his own episodic dance instruction program carried by hundreds of stations. The excitement the record had caused didn’t abate and was such that Chubby’s “The Twist” went back up to the #1 position at the beginning of 1962. It was the first time a record had occupied the #1 slot in two different run-ups, a feat unequaled to this day. When Billboard compiled its list of “All-Time Hot 100 Top Songs” in the first 50 years of the Hot 100 Chart, “The Twist” by Chubby Checker was, yet again, #1. The record was added to the National Recording Registry of Library of Congress and it was inducted into The Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.
That which had been wrought by “The Twist” forever changed the world of dance and music. It transcended racial, cultural and economic lines and had a profound impact on both young people and adults. From junior high school dances to café society, “The Twist” created a sensation never really equaled by a single recording. As noted, Chubby was in great demand and followed up “The Twist” with hit after dance-themed hit, all of which made the Top Ten. These included “Pony Time,” (another #1 record) “Limbo Rock,” “Slow Twistin’," “The Fly,” “Let’s Twist Again” and “Popeye (The Hitchhiker).”
Chubby’s career as a premiere entertainer has never abated over the course of the ensuing fifty-eight years. He has a raft of upcoming performance dates that will see him twisting in Texas, New Jersey and Las Vegas, among other locales.
When asked about the honor that has been bestowed on the record that first brought him to international prominence, Chubby was analytical in his response. “’The Twist’ is the style that we dance on the dance floor. ‘The Twist is in the Rock Hall.’ Isn’t that great?” He further explained that by “style,” he is describing a new dance paradigm. “I’m looking at the girl … the girl is looking at me. We’re not touching, but we’re dancing, exploiting our sexuality while fully dressed.” He went on to discuss the fact that “The Twist,” along with the Pony, Fly and the Shake foster the same approach as one would to rock, pop and hip-hop dancing. “The style is just like ‘The Twist,’” he observes.
“These dances, in their original form, were very strenuous because of the fast beat of the music. Girls were sweating, ruining their hairdos, killing their make-up and so were the boys in their suits and ties. We realized that The Twist, The Pony, The Fly and The Shake were better than working out in the gym and, because of that, a new industry was born: working out to music.”
Somewhere on the planet it’s dark and someone is boogieing and Chubby Checker is the boogieman. Or someone is in the gym exercising to music, working up a sweat to The Twist, The Pony, The Fly and The Shake. “Before Chubby Checker and ‘The Twist,’ this didn’t happen,” he says.
Our conclusion: “The Twist” changed everything. Thank you, Chubby.
Except for the pre-rock era’s “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “The Twist” was the only record to have achieved Billboard Hot 100 #1 status two separate times. This unprecedented feat has never again been accomplished by any other record in the subsequent 56 years.
ABKCO Music & Records is home to the Cameo Parkway catalog, including “The Twist” by Chubby Checker
Congratulations to Chubby Checker, who still puts on an incredible show. (Now let's have The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame do the right thing and induct the MAN who brought us The Twist, too!) kk
This time Lightnin' Lou picked one of his own songs.
Not the first time … and I'm sure it won't be the last! (lol) kk
A BRIEF BREAK IN THE ACTION:
LOTS going on over the next ten days or so … so limited postings at best.
But you can still count on our regular Saturday Survey feature, which this week takes us to Louisiana.
Before the month of May is over, we’ll also visit Minnesota and Alaska (!!!) … plus feature another “Bonus Chart” at the end of the month.
Feel free to keep your comments and memories coming … and we’ll process them as quickly as we can. Thanks, folks! (kk)