Saturday, February 24, 2018

THE SATURDAY SURVEY (February 24th, 1968)

This week's chart (another from Clark Besch's extensive personal collection) takes us to Maryland where The Monkees have the "Best Bet" with their latest ... but remarkably WPGC is showing "Tapioca Tundra" as the A-Side when clearly "Valleri" (another misspelling) was the hit.

A great, overlooked track by Paul Revere and the Raiders, "Too Much Talk," is on the rise this week, moving from #24 to #19 and you'll also find Madeline Bell's original version of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" premiering at #34.  (Although it didn't do all that well nationally, this was a big hit in Chicago, too, ten months before the pairing of Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptations took it all the way to #1 in most cities across the country.)

"There Is" by The Dells is proving to be a big hit on the East Coast, too, moving up nine places from #15 to #6.  It was a pick hit on last week's chart from Idaho but is already a Top Ten Hit here in Maryland!  (kk)

2-23-68 WPGC Morningside, Maryland

Home to Andrews Air Force Base and the Federal Census Bureau, Morningside is a small town of 2000+, but also is just a little trip across the Potomac River to our nation's capital. 

In 1968, it was also home to a very cool top 40 station, WPGC. You'll note quite a different set of music than last week's Idaho chart displayed. 

Two of the more obscure but groovy records on this chart blasting the DC area were Nobody's Children's great brassy arrangement of the 1966 Hollies hit "I Can't Let Go" and the psychedelic offerings of Grapefruit and "Dear Delilah." 

The Nobody's Children record was actually produced by WPGC's DJ Harv Moore and was eventually picked up nationally by Buddah Records. 

Meanwhile, Grapefruit was an unknown British band then and now well known as a band whose name was given to them by John Lennon. Their music was published by Apple Music in 1968 and despite a great and very Beatlish sounding album released in 1968, failed to gain much success. Their use of phasing on this 45 adds interest and helps add to the psychedelic feel of the time.
-- Clark Besch

THIS WEEK IN 1968:  

2/18/68:  David Gilmour replaces Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd after Barrett, who founded the band, was fired for erratic behavior and out of control drug use.
Also on this date, Paul Mauriat performs his #1 Hit “Love Is Blue” on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Also performing this evening is Bobbie Gentry, who sings her new single “Louisiana Man”

2/19/68:  Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers begins a 3 ½ year run in the London stage production of “Charlie Girl”

2/20/68:  Manfred Mann’s cover of the Bob Dylan tune “The Might Quinn” reaches Number 1 in the UK.

2/21/68:  Blood, Sweat and Tears release their debut album, Child Is The Father to the Man 
2/23/68:  The Jefferson Airplane perform at the very first L.A. Pinnacle Dance Concert, which will continue as twelve monthly events throughout the rest of the year.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Friday Flash

Hello, folks,
I pulled your email from a 2010 post on Kent Kotal's Forgotten Hits website here:
I was born in 1965 and grew up geeking out on the WKMI 1360 Big 30 survey. I began paying attention in '75 and collected on and off between '75 and when they stopped printing the survey in '79.
I would be interested in sharing information, images, or trading duplicates with anybody who has WKMI surveys from these or previous years. Possible buying / selling … I'm really quite happy to fill in gaps in my history with copies, too. WKMI surveys go well back into the 1960s;  post-1967 is my chief interest.
I'm in Maryland.
I've attached a couple of survey scans and samples of the format from 1976 to 1979.
Thanks for any reply,
Bill Beverly
Hi Bill!
If you check out the site, you'll find that we're currently running a brand new feature called The Saturday Survey which runs (believe it or not) every Saturday!!!  (You won't believe how long it took us to come up with that one!)
This year, each survey features flashes back exactly 50 years to that date in 1968 ... what makes this series so special is that during the course of the year, we will be featuring a different survey from all 50 states!
Scroll back even further and you'll find our 1967 Series which provided a calendar for the entire year, looking back 50 years.  Each week we ran our two major Chicagoland charts (WLS and WCFL) as well as our Super Chart, which shows the combined popularity of these songs nationwide based on information collected from the three major trade publications that tracked these things.
I am happy to run your request (and some of these cool samples!) and see what kind of response we get.  (We've got quite a few survey collectors on the list and I'll forward your request to a few others.)
Meanwhile, please take some time and continue to make your way through the site ... LOTS of good stuff up here for us survey geeks! 

Here is a scan of the WMCA survey I'll be counting down on my Top Shelf Oldies show on March 8th. If you can work this into your Saturday Survey feature around that time, that would be a great tie-in. Thanks!
    – Randy Price

Everybody loves a good countdown show … so happy to mention it now AND then!  Thanks, Randy!  (kk)

And, speaking of music charts, the King Of The Crop has gotta be Joel Whitburn … his Record Research books have become the Industry Bible for all things pertaining to the national charts … so we were EXTREMELY happy to hear from Paul Haney about their latest release … heading out to the printer now!

Hi Kent,
Just wanted to let you and your readers know that the Top Pop Albums 1955 - 2016 book has FINALLY gone off to the printer.  The book is exactly 1,600 pages and lists over 470,000 album tracks!  This is by far the most exhausting project that I’ve ever worked on in my 26 years at Record Research.  It took almost a full year to finish the weekly research, enter the cuts for over 6,000 new albums, edit the entire book and proof all of the additions / corrections.  I hope that everyone who orders a copy will appreciate all the hard work that the Record Research staff put into creating it.  The books will hopefully be shipping by mid-to-late March.  Because of the sheer size of this particular book, printed quantities will be limited.
Paul Haney
Record Research
This is GREAT news, Paul.  The Album Chart Book has been a staple of my library ever since the first edition.  (And it’s been a little while since this one has been updated … my current issue only runs through mid-2006 so I can only imagine the amount of work it must have taken pulling together the information for EVERY Top 200 charted album over the past ten years!!!)
I love the fact that the tracks are listed with the album lists again … makes life SO much easier than cross-referencing two volumes … but my God, how many more pages can you guys pour into one of these volumes?!?!  It’s absolutely massive … and I can’t wait to get my copy.
With a limited press run, you may want to get on the pre-order list right now while there are still copies to go around!  Full information can be found on The Record Research Website here:

The other day we mentioned that The Ides Of March were coming to The City Winery in May … but when I read the original promo piece I noticed that the band's biography is about 20-25 years out of date!  (I let  Jim Peterik know right away so he could get it corrected.  John Larson, still listed as a band member, died in 2011 … and Chuck Soumar has been gone for at least eight or nine years now as well!)

Jim dropped me a quick thank you note … and also mentioned some other shows he's got coming up in the months to come.   (He also let us know that he's been writing with the members of .38 Special again ... can't wait to hear the results!)

You can check out all the details here:

Hi Kent!
Jp here. Writing in Atlanta with .38 Special.
Thx for the heads up re the City Winery bio. Omg!  It's being addressed right now.
And thanks for posting the Ides Winery Show.
You know about "The Songs" Show I’m doing on March 11th at The Chicago Street Theater in Valparaiso, Indiana, right?  I've asked Paul Braun to please send Sir Kent of Kent all the info on this show ... as well as info on the Ides Metropolis show on March 23rd. 
And don't forget we've got another Cornerstones show at The Arcada Theatre on April 29th. 
Hope to see you at some of these shows.
The Ides of March always put on an exceptional show … catch them if you can … you will not be disappointed.
"The Songs" show is Jim's reimagining of some of his best known hits, all presented in a totally  new style.  We caught this show last year and it was a blast.
More information on Jim's website …
And be sure to check out this cool article (and videos) posted in conjunction with Jim’s Valparaiso gig …  

Speaking of upcoming gigs, Todd Rundgren will be making his first ever appearance at Austin’s SXSW Festival this year as part of the Cleopatra Records Showcase.  Todd’s most recent album, “White Knight,” was released by the label last year.  

The latest artist to announce their retirement from the road (we seem to have at least one a week lately!) is Neil Sedaka.
We’ve seen Neil a couple of times these past few years and he’s still a very entertaining and engaging performer … a great story-teller who hasn’t lost his vocal chops either … in fact, he still enjoys that youthful exuberance in his tone that takes you back to the exciting time when you first heard many of these tracks.  (We’ve tried several time in the past to get a Forgotten Hits interview … maybe now he’ll have the time to do it!  Lol)
Naturally, we wish him well.  I honestly don’t know how so many of these artists have made a career of life on the road … it has to take a tremendous toll on you and your family … between all of the hassles you’ve got to go thru at the airports and the hotels … to enjoy that brief hour or two on stage in front of your fans … and yet it must be SO rewarding to share those moments that you can overlook the rest.  My hat is off to you!  (kk)

Here’s a guy who DID get an interview … and Neil explains why this tour will be his last …

I've been reading Harvey Kubernik's new book "Inside Cave Hollywood" and THOROUGHLY enjoying it (although I have to admit it's cost me a bit of money to get through it!)
That's because every chapter is SO unique and interesting, I've gone out and purchased copies of some of the material he describes in these articles.  (Part Interview / Part History Lesson … the book gives insightful details about the artists, the '60's and the '70's and presents it in a very entertaining way.)
Since I've started reading I've already gone out and bought "Motown: The Sound Of Young America," a BEAUTIFUL coffee-table type book that is supposed to be the DEFINITIVE history of the label … I've purchased and watched the dvd's spotlighting the highlights of The Johnny Cash Show … (man, Johnny had EVERYBODY on his show … from Bob Dylan to James Taylor to Linda Ronstadt to Creedence Clearwater Revival to Merle Haggard to Neil Young to The Monkees to Kris Kristofferson to Derek and the Dominoes (how many tv appearances did THESE guys do?!?!) to Glen Campbell to Neil Diamond … and on and on and on.)  I had to watch these right away … and still think the story about Linda Ronstadt "singing better bottomless" takes the cake!
Then I had to finally give in and order The Rolling Stones Mono Box … ALL of their '60's albums collected together into one beautiful box set presenting EVERY track in glorious mono!
Each chapter is a new adventure … Jimi Hendrix … Chess Records … The Turtles and Frank Zappa … Leon Russell … Elton John … Bob Marley and lots more.  Highly recommended (although I personally will likely be broke by the time I actually finish it!!!)

And check it out … I'm famous!!!  (kk)

Hi ,
I noticed that you mentioned the Grateful Dead on your page here:
Did you know that John Perry Barlow, one of the band’s primary lyricists, passed away just this week?
There is an honorable article about him here:
I thought you might want to share this with your readers so they will know what this great man did for us all.
Marie Cloete
Happy to pass this along, Marie … thanks for sending!  (kk)

Tomorrow’s Saturday Survey takes us to Maryland … be sure to check it out … and stop back every Saturday as we make our way across the USA, looking back at the biggest hits of 1968!  (kk)