Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 06 - 10 - 13 )

Sounds like Burton Cummings is having a hard time dealing with the repercussions of his Mother’s Day auto accident in LA … he has been reliving the moment of impact in recurring nightmares and admits that for the first time he may need to undergo some therapy to help him come to grips with life in the aftermath.

FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this recent article …

Here is a guest book review from Jim Peterik …

Book review:  Don’t Stop Believing by Jonathon Cain  

I guess you could call me rock bio junkie. I draw great inspiration from reading the memoirs and bios of great musicians and songwriters - especially in the rock world.
My bookshelves are close to crumbling with accounts from many of my heroes: Keith Richards, Jimmy Webb, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon (The Life just came out), Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash - the stacks are up to the ceiling.
My latest companion on the road is the autobiography by Jonathon Cain of Journey. Wow ... what a page turner. Chapter after inspiring chapter of this fine musician / songwriter’s life and astounding career.
Did you know that as a young grade schooler in Chicago he was a survivor of the tragic Our Lady Of Angels fire that took the lives of over 100 innocent children?  I am the same age as Jonathon and remember vividly the moment my mother told me about the fire. It was all over the news and remember I cried seeing this horrific event on our black and white TV set.
Music became Jonathon’s healing. And boy did the blessings pour down upon him. So many of his songs were touched by the tragedy and the spirit to rise from the ashes is between the lines of so many of his songs. His father’s immortal words “Don’t stop believing, Jonathon” one day would become his defining moment in music.
In loving detail he tells of his musical journey - finally tasting success as a member of the Babys and then finding his way through good fortune and talent to his ultimate destination.  (His stories of songwriting collaborations with Steve Perry and Neil Schon are worth the price of the book alone.) 
His spiritual path is also well charted in his book. Not only does he talk the talk - he walks the walk.
I had the pleasure of being in the audience, invited by my friend Rick Weigand, to attend Jonathon Cain’s solo concert at his alma mater - East Leyden High School in Schiller Park 20 years ago. It was inspiring to hear him playing solo, doing some of his biggest hits with just a piano. He also unveiled some new songs which held up to his best. I was amazed at what a great singer he was! Meeting him afterwards, I was struck by how unaffected he was by all his amazing success. He remains one of my biggest inspirations.
Needless to say, I heartily recommend this book to music fans, Journey fans and those searching for their own path through life.
I’m a believer - in Jonathon Cain.
Rock on!! 
I’ve got a feeling my library must rival yours … seems all I read are the bios of music stars. (I’m reading Chuck Negron’s revised biography “Three Dog Nightmare” right now for the third time … waiting for my copy of Michel Rubini’s book to come in the mail … and I probably have the next three or four books lined up after that!My guess is we’ve read many of the same books … Graham Nash’s was another recent favorite, as are the ones by Grace Slick and Mike Love (if by chance you haven’t read these yet.)  Then again YOURS isn’t so bad either!  (lol)  
Growing up in the same area during virtually the same time frame, I found dozens and dozens of connections … including having been at the same Turtles concert at Riverside – Brookfield High School where you met your future wife.  (I attended RB at the time before transferring to Morton West during sophomore year after our scheduled move to California was derailed.)
Guess I’ll have to pick up Jonathan’s book.  (Sounds like he’d be a GREAT one to include in one of your World Stage shows!)
Thanks for sharing, Jim!  I’m sure many of our readers will feel the same way and pick up a copy for their own collapsing bookshelves!  (lol)  kk

Check out Harvey Kubernik’s new narrative regarding Rhino Records’ brand new Buffalo Springfield’s deluxe box set …

7A Records also has a VERY limited edition Davy Jones single coming out … more details here …
And here …

Seriously??? SEVENTEEN BUCKS for a vinyl single???  (It does have a really cool picture sleeve 'tho ... still, I think I’m gonna have to pass on this one!)  kk

I have chatted with the New Colony 6's Ray Graffia, Jr. recently and by coincidence, I got in my car yesterday and my Radom playing MP3 player began to play the beautiful Ray song, "Can't You See Me Cry."  I just thought "What a song.  What a group."  From there, it was sing along time as it has been for 50 years.  Those clever lyrics like "or would you answer that you don't know, but I look familiar."  I thought about it as I sang along blasting the stereo and began to realize it was summer of 68 when I was charting the song on MY charts.  I checked and this exact week was the first week it hit MY charts in 68 fifty years back.  I'm not sure, but I think one way to prove a song's lasting legacy is to have someone 50 years after it was released be singing along with joy in their hearts to YOUR song!  Ray and the guys, thank you for one of SOOOOO many songs I still love 50 years on!  
Here's Uncle Larry Lujack (as usual for him) naming the song incorrectly.  Heck, it's lucky for the band that with the NEXT NC6 45, he couldn't even play the right side.  He chose the flip to play and it became their biggest national hit!!!

And check out the latest FIND from Sundazed Music!!  Chicago's Shadows of Knight were the 60's bad boys of the city with the coming of "Gloria."  Yet, BEFORE that song came into their repertoire, they were local well known garagers before Dunwich ever put them to vinyl!  Back when I was helping out with their Sundazed reissues of the Dunwich LPs, they never knew about any 1965 tape, so I asked my friend and this new CD's liner notes writer, Jeff Jarema, where this tape came from.  It was saved all these years by original Shadows of Knight member Norm Gotsch before he was replaced by Jerry McGeorge in 66.  THIS Cd below is 14 songs as presented by the band BEFORE they were national stars and from a performance at Chicago's legendary Cellar club!  Lots of the songs were done by LOTS of bands in 65, but these guys pushed it to the limit.  If you dare, check it out!
Clark Besch 

More from Clark ...   

I liked Roger McGuinn's version of "if I Needed Someone."  It is VERY much as what I would envision the Byrds' version to sound like.  IF you were in Chicago in 1965, WLS played the song before Christmas of 1965 as a "Beatles Exclusive."  I have it taped off the station.  In reality, WLS was playing TWO Beatles exclusives, because they were two songs on the UK "Rubber Soul" LP release that were chopped from the US version in stores here in the States.  The other was "Drive my Car."  Both songs would eventually surface HERE in the summer of 1966 on the "Yesterday And Today" conglomerate of old tracks.
As an LP track in the UK, "If I Needed Someone" was offered to the Hollies by Beatles producer George Martin.  Allan Clarke loved the tune and, despite objections from Graham Nash, the Hollies recorded it and released it as a follow-up to MY all time fave #1 60's song, "Look Through Any Window," in December, 1965, just about the time WLS was first airing the Beatles’ version of the song.  Relatively speaking, the Hollies 45 version in the UK bombed, reaching only #20.  It was their only non-top 10 hit there in a string of 13 hits released by them from late 1963 to late 1967! 
In the press, the New Musical Express printed a story that George Harrison hated the Hollies' version.  The 45 sales likely sank in part from this, even though when an artist like the Beatles gives you a song (the perception the Hollies got), you should likely be flattered enough to record it!   If nothing else, the Hollies may have HELPED the perception of George's songwriting abilities, as George would have three songs on the next album, "Revolver," including the opening track, "Taxman."  Whatever the case, I think the Hollies version of the song was quite good. 
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the Hollies were a fairly new entity to my listening in late 1965 and "Look Through Any Window" had become a giant (as Dex Card would put it) in the town, securing my love for WLS when no one else seemed to be playing this great tune.  In November, some 53 years ago, below is how I printed the Silver Dollar Survey tunes as a 9 year old DXing the big 89 from Dodge City, Kansas.  OK, so my spelling wasn't great!

SO, with the Hollies being known now in Chicago as hitmakers, and WLS playing the Beatles' version of "If I Needed Someone" off the UK LP in December, 1965, a new Hollies song would be welcome on the Chicago airwaves, too!  Thus, around Christmastime, the Hollies' "If I Needed Someone" was rising on the UK charts and WLS got a copy and started playing it as the new follow-up to "Look Through Any Window."  However, the US release of the 45 never happened and we waited here until February, 1966, for our next Hollies nugget, "I Can't Let Go."  It was an instant smash on WLS. 
The newly named Cryan’ Shames had picked up on the great unreleased Beatles track, "If I Needed Someone," and had chosen it as their first 45 release on Destination records in early 1966.  According to some, because of it not being released here yet, no publishing rights were given yet here and the Shames would have to choose a different song.  Despite WLS playing both the Hollies and Beatles' UK 45s, neither had been out in the US.  As a cash in move by Imperial Records in late 1967 after the Hollies had jumped to Epic in the US, the song WOULD be issued as a "new" single backed by another old Hollies UK single "I'll Be True To You (Yes I Will)."
Back to early 1966, the Shames had already recorded the song and there were acetates made.  I have one.  Still, it could NOT be released and they switched to another UK fave, "Sugar And Spice," from the Searchers’ bag of hits.  As we know, it sent the Shames on their way.  Destination Records was never exactly organized and some store copies of "Sugar And Spice" actually contained "If I Needed Someone" when played!  I have one of those, too!  Eventually, the Shames' version would show on their debut album, "Sugar And Spice," in late 1966, a few months after the Beatles version finally was released.
I think all the versions are good.  Long story?  Sorry!  :)
Clark Besch

George reportedly hated The Hollies’ version and was very vocal about it, which is a shame for, as all successful songwriters know, covers and new recordings of songs they’ve written generate royalties that go right into the bank with virtually no effort on the part of the original songwriter.  (Think about the money Lennon and McCartney made off of “Yesterday” with its hundreds of recorded versions at the time.)
It did, however, show that Harrison was now a notable songwriter.  In fact, since the demise of The Beatles, George’s catalog is now held in VERY high regard.  (I don’t know if it’s still the case or not but Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” was the #1 most downloaded song in Beatles History, eclipsing anything the dynamic duo had written.)
Randy Bachman has a new CD out right now called “By George,” featuring his interpretation of several George Harrisongs … including a complete re-imagining of “If I Needed Someone,” which he treats in a jazz arrangement.  (kk)

Would their version of “If I Needed Someone” have been the break-through record for The Cryan’ Shames that “Sugar And Spice” was?  I think not … their reading of “Sugar And Spice” is, in my opinion, FAR superior to the original Searchers version.
The Hollies were extremely influential with our local heroes … seems like everybody was covering their tunes before they caught on with the mainstream audience they would eventually enjoy.  (kk)

By the way, here's the actual WLS Silver Dollar Survey for that week in November, 1965, that you're referring to ... November 19th ... and the #10 Song that you missed was "Turn, Turn, Turn" by The Byrds!  (kk)

>>>About 30-some years ago, I thought I heard the legendary Jack Armstrong, or someone who was at a Cleveland DJ Reunion on WMJI back when they played OLDIES, say the following:  "You are not successful in radio until you have been fired three times."  (Uncle T)
Uncle T, Jackson Armstrong was one of my FAVE DJs 50 years ago on WKYC.  He was an amazing talent that I got the chance to talk with in the late 80's for just a minute.  Back then, he told me a similar thing, in that radio today doesn't want to pay "talented people" anything.  Thus, you get no talent on radio anymore.  THIS was the late 80's and he was right for the most part.  Biondi fought the all commercials and no chat battle in 1963!!! 
Dick’s constant objections to the number of commercials he had to play on WLS was instrumental in his leaving the station.  Obviously, we all know now that it’s the commercials that pay the bills (and the high-priced talent that a successful radio gig used to allow.)  Today, in the day of computer programing, voice-tracking or no on-air talent at all, radio is drastically different than it was back in our day when personality was king.  Back then we listened as much for the deejays as we did for the music.  Sadly, it’s become a bygone era … kids listening to the radio today are no longer dreaming of THEIR chance to be that voice on the radio connecting to millions of listeners waiting to hear what they’re going to say or do next.  It’s too bad … like I always say, give people a REASON to listen, and they will.  Instead, radio is dying a slow death … and those in charge really don’t seem to care.  (kk)

I learned this week of the death of Vincent Clifford aka Billy Thundercloud.  He was a member of the Chieftones.  They were a group of musicians that were all members of the Tsimshian Indian Nation.  After meeting at school in Northwest British Columbia in 1964, they began performing and eventually settled near Richland Center, Wisconsin.  They recorded several singles for small labels in Canada and Wisconsin.  When they were not touring, they were taking care of their horses and living on a farm.  They had many brushes with fame.  They performed on the television program To Tell The Truth in 1966.  Billy and two imposters appeared before the panel and it was finally guessed that he was a member of an all Indian band.  They appeared at Disneyland and Walt Disney gifted them a Mountain Lion which appeared at some of their concerts.   
I knew the group members and they would tell lots of stories about the road.  One such story had them performing at the same venue as Paul Revere and the Raiders.  The Chieftones were covering the 1968 Don Fardon record (The Lament Of The Cherokee) Indian Reservation at their shows.  They claim that their version inspired the Raiders to record a version which led to the 1971 hit.  The Chieftones always felt that that hit could have been theirs.  I mc'd a show with Paul Revere back in the day and I asked him about this.  He told me that he remembered the group but did not recall them playing that song.  Billy Thundercloud stepped out in front as the leader when the group moved to Nashville in 1974 and they had more success in Country Music.  'What Time Of Day' was their only Billboard entry.  They did have a few songs make the Country Charts.  The Chieftones disbanded in the late 1970s.  
Billy Thundercloud passed away from complications from a stroke / pneumonia at his home in Palm City, Florida on June 5th.  He is survived by his wife, Bev, daughters Shawnee and Chey, and three grandchildren. 
Phil – WRCO

Having just listened to The Chieftones' version of "Indian Reservation" I'm not so sure this would have been a hit ... the Don Fardon record (my personal favorite) and Paul Revere and the Raiders' version (which went to #1) blow it away.  (I don't know how many people know this, but this track was originally supposed to be a Mark Lindsay solo record ... but Paul Revere BEGGED him to put The Raiders' name on it ... and promised to personally promote the record from coast to coast to make it a hit (of which The Raiders were desperately in need of at the time.)  Out of respect for Paul (and all that he had done to further his own career), Lindsay agreed ... and, true to his word, Paul hopped on his motorcycle and drove cross country, stopping at every Top 40 Radio Station he could think of to get them to play their new release on the air.  It worked ... "Indian Reservation" became Paul Revere and the Raiders' only #1 Hit in 1971.)  kk

Speaking of Billboard’s Country Charts, FH Reader Paul Haney tells us that Record Research is prepping a brand new, revised edition of their “Hot Country Songs” book, now covering the years 1944 – 2017.  And, if you pre-order now, you can save $10!  (The book is due to ship in August.)
You’ll find more details (and an order link) below.  (kk)
Hi Kent, 
We are hard at work putting the finishing touches on our new Top Country Singles 1944-2017  book. 
It is scheduled for release in August.  Order now and save $10!
Paul Haney / Record Research