Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Saturday Survey (June 30th, 1968)

6-26-68 - WPDQ - Jacksonville, Florida 

Amazingly, this city is the most populous city in the state today with nearly a million people over the consolidated city limits along the Atlantic Ocean near to the Florida / Georgia border.  

WPDQ had a great chart this week in 1968 and the most obvious obscure 45 is the top 10 Spirit 45, "Mechanical World!"  Culled from their first acclaimed LP, they would gain more widespread fame a year later with "I Got a Line on You."  

Steed Records was Jeff Barry's great tool for presenting his new songs and talent in 1968, just having his first hit with Any Kim's "How'd We Ever Get This Way."  #59, "Mary on the Beach" by Hank Shifter, seems like a natural song for a beach city station to air.  Exile would cover the song a year later.  
There are many cool odd items, but one of my fave Brit Invasion tunes is the Love Affair's "Rainbow Valley" at #34.  I question if any local weekly chart ever had more songs by duos than this chart too!  I count SEVEN duets on this top 60!  There musta been something in the water that week in the nearby ocean! 

-- Clark Besch

I like the Chicago action on this Sunshine State Chart ... The Buckinghams (#39 with "Back In Love Again"), The New Colony Six ("Can't You See Me Cry," premiering at #48) and The American Breed (brand new on the chart with "Any Way That You Want Me," a song that got some airplay but failed to chart here at home) bring up the hind-quarters.  Another tune I've always liked is Nancy Wilson's "Face It Girl, It's Over."  It premiers at #42.

A couple of major movers this week ... 

Donovan climbs 22 places from #31 to #9 with "Hurdy Gurdy Man" while Wilson Picket takes a leap of 23 spots with "Midnight Mover."   Topping the chart (for at least the second week in a row) is The Union Gap with "Lady Willpower."  (kk)


6/24/68 - The Beach Boys release their Friends LP.

6/27/68 – Elvis begins filming his “comeback” television special for NBC.

6/28/68 – Aretha Franklin appears on the cover of Time Magazine

Also on this date, The Rascals receive a gold record (their third) for “A Beautiful Morning.” 

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Friday Flash - Local Edition

Kent -
The good news is we are heading to Summerfest … the bad news is we have not moved in about 45 minutes. Check on traffic before you come. I guess Trump is in town and protesters are blocking the exit ramp.
Mike DeMartino
Hot day for a concert … and even hotter this weekend!  Would have loved to see the expanded sets but it just wasn’t to be on a Thursday.  Report back to us on the concert … if you ever get there!!! (kk)

This guy made it …

I just got back from the Cornerstones of Rock show at Summerfest. The show started promptly at 4 pm (an on time start is always appreciated!)
The first set, including the Ides of March (who also backed up all but the Buckinghams), Jimy Sohns, Cryan’ Shames (Tom Doody, Jim Pilster and Jeff Rutter), New Colony Six (Ray Graffia, Bruce Mattey and Ronnie Rice), and Ted Aliotta lasted about an hour and 40 minutes. After a ten minute break, the Buckinghams took the stage and were in mid-set when my wife and I were forced to make an early exit at about 6:15. The crowd was near capacity, impressive for a late afternoon show. As I recall The Ides did six or seven songs, The Cryan’ Shames did five, The New Colony Six, six, and Jimy Sohns, three.  Jimy was forced to sit on the drum platform the last minute of his third song and was assisted from the stage, looking distressed (he did not sing GLORIA during this set - not sure if he returned before the show ended).
I found it interesting that Tom Doody and Jim Pilster each gave kudos to James Fairs during their set between Cryan’ Shames songs.
The crowd enthusiastically enjoyed the music, with the New Colony Six set, Ted Aliotta on Lake Shore Drive,  and Vehicle seemingly receiving the loudest cheers, and the stars of the show made a point to make multiple compliments about Milwaukee.   
In sum, the Chicago musical legends put on a great show for us cheeseheads.
Bob Verbos
I hope Jimy’s doing ok … Sohns and Pilster have both had health problems of late … and performing that energetic of a show in this kind of heat would take it out of someone half their age! 
Sounds like it was a great show … and I love the idea of the expanded sets.  (Would love to see the complete set list for this event.  Keep in mind The Ides Of March have to learn ALL of this other material in order to back up the other groups … so I think it’s great that they’re still looking at ways to improve the show.  I wonder if we’ll see any of these changes when Cornerstones returns to The Arcada Theatre in November.)  kk

Kent -
Once again I find myself wondering the same thing you do!
>>>As you know, I have been pushing for a little more variety in the Cornerstones shows … I believe it’ll help to keep those loyal fans who keep coming back again and again to see the show want to keep coming back even more, with a new element of surprise added into the mix.  Unfortunately, we’ll miss the Summerfest show but I wish you all the very best of luck … and hope to catch up with you when Cornerstones returns to The Arcada Theatre in November.  (kk)
I’ve been ignored after the Skokie PAC show and was never asked to return to the Cornerstones Live shows.  I was told it was due to my unavailability, but I was open for many of the multiple dates listed.  I feel like I’m losing my connection to the Chicago Music Scene through the efforts of agents and other "unnamed sources" involved with booking and managing the Cornerstones shows.  It bruises my soul to think that my comrades in Chicago Music have discredited me for my participation in the band’s success over the years.
My question is WHY? In the past I have brought us all together to celebrate our musical contributions as Chicago Musicians. To be SHUT OUT is a personal insult and I will never forget it.
I know that all this may not be suitable for your “positive vibe” postings, so please edit it as you like. 
Hope to see you at Copernicus Center for the Italian American Benefit Concert / Dennis Tufano “Soundtrack Concert” featuring The Chicago Experience Band and Anthony Rago on Sept. 23, 2018.
Dennis Tufano
This is a very difficult letter to post, even in edited form, as I am truly stuck in the middle between ALL of these great artists who I love dearly and do my best to support.  However, I feel that I must be totally honest here when I say this … (and I know that I’ve said this before) … I had really thought (and hoped) that you would be involved with some of the Cornerstones shows whenever and wherever possible and am disappointed to see that this hasn’t been the case.  The Buckinghams can still do their other 100+ shows a year with the current line up and nobody will miss a beat … but the Cornerstones Shows are supposed to be something special … something displaying this incredible era of music when Chicago Rock was king. 
(And I’m sorry, but I’m going to go even a step further and be brutally honest here for a moment … and really I don’t care WHAT kind of twisted logic any of you guys throw back at me … can somebody PLEASE explain to me how … and in what alternative universe … does Dennis Tufano, who sang EVERY hit The Buckinghams ever had,  NOT belong at a Cornerstones Show … but Bruce Mattey, who was NOT a member of The New Colony Six during their hit-making years … and never charted a single solitary record in his entire career … DOES?!?!)
It pains me, too, that James Fairs, a founding member of The Cryan’ Shames, no longer partakes simply because he wants to re-invent the songs we all know and love so well, rather than perform them in the style that made them hits in the first place (which is the way the fans want to hear them.)  I just don’t get it.
Cornerstones is a celebration of this music.  It’s amazing to me that some fifty years later The Ides Of March are still intact with ALL of its original members yet nearly all of the other acts on the bill still can’t let 40 year old wounds heal.  Honestly, gimme a break already … and get real for a second … just how many more Cornerstones shows are in all of our futures?  LET IT GO!!!!!  CELEBRATE THE MUSIC that got you all here in the first place and let us all share in the moment.  This is SO sad … and SO embarrassing!  (kk)

On a more positive Cornerstones note, FH Reader Tom Cuddy tells us that the PBS Television Special (filmed as part of the on-going Soundstage series) is being re-released for commercial release now that the fund-raising portion of this item has passed …

Cornerstones of Rock -- American Garage 
Featuring performances by Rick Derringer and the McCoys, Ides of March, American Breed, Shadows of Knight, Standells, Cryan’ Shames, New Colony Six, Buckinghams / Dennis Tufano, and Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
Recorded live at WTTW’s Grainger Studio in Chicago , IL, where the groundbreaking music series Soundstage began more than 40 years ago. The first special in the series will bring together Chicago area’s iconic rock groups of the 1960s and ‘70s for a once-in-a-lifetime concert special. Highlights include American Breed’s “Bend Me, Shape Me,” Ides of March, featuring Dartanyan Brown’s ”Get It On,” the Buckinghams featuring Dennis Tufano’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and Rick Derringer and the McCoys’ “Hang On Sloopy.”
Do you think this DVD release of the PBS Cornerstones of Rock concert will feature some bonus songs???  Fingers crossed!    
Tom Cuddy 
Honestly, I doubt it … heck, it’d be nice just to get the whole show!  If you remember, when PBS first released the DVD, “Gloria” had been eliminated from the final cut.  How do you feature Jimy Sohns of The Shadows of Knight and NOT feature their biggest, best-known hit?!?! (The story going ‘round at the time was that they weren’t sure they had copyright clearance to include it.  Hopefully that’s all be worked out by now!)
UPDATE:  Nope!  I just checked the track list on and there are no new bonus features or alterations to the original DVD as released by PBS a couple of years ago.
And what’s with this marketing campaign?  The whole show revolved around our Local Heroes … yet the way it’s being promoted now, it looks like a Rick Derringer concert!  Derringer and The Standells were featured as “special guests: on a show that featured The Ides Of March as the “house band,” backing up other Chicagoland favorites like The Cryan’ Shames, The New Colony Six, The American Breed, Skip Haynes (OF Aliotta Haynes and Jeremiah and not the whole band as advertised, as the other lead members had already passed away … sadly, Haynes would join them within a year, as would Gary Loizzo, lead singer of The American Breed, who passed away right after this program first aired on PBS) and the previously mentioned Jimy Sohns.  The Buckinghams performed as a self-contained unit, reuniting current members, led by Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna, with original lead singer Dennis Tufano.
And why are The Ides Of March identified for performing “Dartanyan Brown’s ‘Get It On’ when, in fact, they backed up EVERYBODY and performed their OWN hits “Vehicle,” “L.A. Goodbye” and “You Wouldn’t Listen”???
Oh well, I guess we should just be happy that this thing is FINALLY coming out via a media that other garage band fan across the country can now enjoy, since this special did not air in all areas when it was first shown on PBS.
And there are OTHER Soundstage releases coming out, too …
BMG has announced plans to roll out the Soundstage Classic Series, featuring for the first time ever DVD / CD combo packages of live performances by rock band Heart, folk / pop hit makers America, and the Cornerstones of Rock, featuring Rick Derringer, Ides of March, American Breed and more. (Release date: June 29) 
Heart Live - With the hits “Magic Man,” “Dog & Butterfly,” “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda,” among others, Heart Live is a look at the  revolutionary rock band, Heart, featuring sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, as they bring passion and energy to an explosive 23-song set that touches on every era of their awe-inspiring career.  Rounding out this definitive live performance are tracks from their album “Jupiter’s Darling” plus rare covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop” and Elton John’s “Love Song.” 
With a four-decade history of chart-topping hits, Heart rose to fame in the mid-1970s with music influenced by hard rock and heavy metal, as well as folk music. To date, Heart has sold over 35 million records worldwide, including over 22 million in the United States. They have had 10 top albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2010s.  The group was ranked number 57 on VH1’s ?100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
America -- Live in Chicago 
Perennial favorite America began defining the California folk-rock sound nearly forty years ago when they topped the charts with such massive hits as “Ventura Highway,” “Only In Your Heart,” “Sister Golden Hair” and “Horse With No Name,” among others.  Years later, these friends, Gerry Buckley and Dewey Bunnell, are still making music together, touring the world and thrilling audiences with their timeless sound. 
Filmed before a live audience,  America, Live in Chicago is a unique and intimate performance of the legendary band that defined the early ‘70s folk sound and ruled the Top 10 charts with their evocative harmonies and acoustic style musicianship.  This memorable 20-song set includes their greatest hits as well as live versions of “Head and Heart, “ “Till the Sun Comes Up Again” and “The Last Unicorn” plus a special on-stage appearance by Christopher Cross on “Lonely People.” 
The performance was captured in High-Definition and Mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound.  The DVD includes a bonus interview with America founders Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell.
As broadcast on PBS from 1974 through 1985, the legendary concert series Soundstage presented white-hot rock and pop acts from all over the world, including artists such as The Temptations, Al Green, Benny Goodman and Bob Dylan, in one-hour increments. The program resurfaced to immense acclaim (with the same format) in 2003; one of those concerts, with the popular 1970s pop band America , is featured in this release. 
The Soundstage Classic Series features handpicked live performances from the very best of the Soundstage Series on PBS, spotlighting artists from all genres of the music world.
I was at the America Soundstage taping and already own this concert on DVD.
It would be great if they dipped into their archives to present more of the “vintage” shows from the early days of the series.  Two of my all-time favorites come from the late ‘70’s … the Barry Manilow show was outstanding, as was the one that featured Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, reunited to perform several of their Guess Who hits together as well as some of their solo material.  (THAT’S the one I’VE been waiting for for decades!!!)  kk
And, speaking of Soundstage Shows, last week there was some discussion going back and forth about a show taped back in either 2008 or 2012 (depending on which source you choose to listen to!), celebrating the music of Jim Peterik.
Besides The Ides Of March … and two former lead singers of Survivor … the program also featured performances by .38 Special as well as Mickey Thomas and Starship.
I had never seen it before (nor even knew it existed!)  Apparently the program never officially aired … but AXS TV has been airing at various times in June and July … and it really is quite an excellent concert.  (I will say first that the program has been HEAVILY edited to fit into a one hour timeframe … so the amount of content as well as the proper running order of the material presented has been somewhat compromised … but it definitely is worth seeking out if you get the chance.
Check your local listings (or the AXS TV website schedule) so you can find out when it’s airing in your area.  (I ended up DVR-ing the show Monday Morning at 10:30 am!)  kk
Are you going to the Library on Sunday?
A get-together celebrating the new Dick Biondi documentary you’ve been telling us about … which will also include a promo screening and some Q&A with the director.
Nope, gonna miss this one, too … but we’re in regular communication with Pam Pulice, who is putting this whole film together.  (In fact, we’ve been helping to line up some interviews to be included in the film!)
Details below for those who would like to attend:
Join Ronnie Rice, formerly of the New Colony Six, at 2:00 P.M. this Sunday, July 1st, at the Sulzer Library in Chicago for a prevue of the Dick Biondi documentary, followed by a Q&A with the director. Wear your official Dick Biondi Film tee shirt which is available by scrolling down to the GET MY TEE button on our website:
We're gonna relive those magical WLS Dick Biondi years with one of rock and roll's legendary artists, Mr. Ronnie Rice!
Pictured from L to R:  Dick Biondi, Ronnie Rice, Dave Fogel, and Greg Brown