Saturday, July 28, 2018


*Survey courtesy of Gary Pfeifer and ARSA website

Wow!  Check it out ... Cream's got the #1 Record on this week's WMID Survey out of Atlantic City, New Jersey!

But there are other poised to take its spot ... The Rascals are up 18 places (from #20 to #2) with "People Got To Be Free," Jerry Butler jumps nine spots (from #12 to #3) with "Never Give You Up" and The Doors are nipping at their heels with their latest, "Hello, I Love You," which climbs from #16 to #4.  Any one of these records could take over the top spot next week.  (And "Sunshine Of Your Love" made a huge leap of its own, reaching #1 from the #7 spot the week before!

The chart seems to skew to the heavy side with records by The Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf and People all represented ... but again, this was the magic of the '60's ... which means that you'll also find records by 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Vogues, The Monkees, Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, The Association, The Cowsills and The Supremes in this week's Top 30.

One surprise ... The American Breed charting again with "Any Way That You Want Me," again, a record that failed to chart here at home, climbs from #27 to #21 out on the east coast.  (kk)

7-28-68 - WMID - Atlantic City, New Jersey

Altho there aren't any songs by the Jersey Boys on this chart, there's plenty of Windy City guys representing here!  A great American Breed tune as well as Jerry Butler's song that would bring him and his "Ice Man" image to true acceptance on both the RNB AND Pop charts in the coming years.  

We'll feature Chicago and Chess Records' Radiants' last hit, 'Hold On" (#7) this week.  The band had been around quite awhile and from a local slant, members Maurice McAlister and Green "Mac" McLauren (recorded as "Maurice & Mac") were the artists who recorded WLS' Art Roberts mid-60's late night theme "Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song."  We'll feature that, as well as the Radiants' song as well as one of my fave 60's bands, the Montanas', pop version of "Hold On" produced by our Tony Hatch!
-- Clark Besch

On This Date in '68:

7/22/68 - Al Kooper releases the Super Session LP with Stephen Stills and Mike Bloomfield.

7/23/68 – Apple Records signs The Iveys to the label.  They will have one minor hit (“Maybe Tomorrow,” #67 in Billboard but a Top 40 Hit … #32 … in Record World) before changing their name to Badfinger.  (The name was suggested by John Lennon, who also had once worked up a bluesy instrumental he called “Badfinger Boogie” … Paul McCartney, on the other hand, wanted to call the group “Home” … which gives you some idea how far apart their ideas were heading at the time!)

Badfinger would hit the US Top Ten with their next four releases:  “Come And Get It” (written by Paul McCartney, #3, 1970); “No Matter What” (#4, 1970); “Day After Day” (#1, 1971) and “Baby Blue” (#9, 1972).

7/24/68 – Jimmy Drake (who recorded the Top 10 novelty hit “Transfusion” as Nervous Norvus in 1956) died of liver failure

7/26/68 – Motown Records signs The Jackson Five

Also on this date, Jeannie C. Riley records her future #1 Hit “Harper Valley PTA.”  (That’s one of those songs I don’t ever need to hear again!)

7/27/68 – Robin Gibb is hospitalized for exhaustion during The Bee Gees’ first US tour. 

Friday, July 27, 2018


Seems to be a lot of that going around …

Just a day after we broke the news about Tommy Roe going in for quadruple bypass surgery came word that Michael Nesmith had just gone thru the same procedure.  (Guess he was sicker than anybody thought when the balance of The Mike And Micky Show tour was cancelled!)

Nez is back home recovering in California and says that he still plans on completing his two week tour with The First National Band in September … as well as rescheduling any missed dates with Micky Dolenz next year.  (Might we also see a few new dates added???)

It’s amazing (and very encouraging to hear) how successful these surgeries have been in the rock and roll world.  (In fact, Freddy Cannon … and even his good friend Svengoolie … both had heart surgery a few years ago … and are still going strong.)

Nesmith doesn’t downplay the procedure, however.  He told Rolling Stone Magazine: 

It’s frightening.  There’s also a lot of pain involved, and I didn’t like that. You can’t cough and you can’t walk, and you can’t get up. And you’re hooked to these gadgets that are annoying. I didn’t even know where I was for a couple of weeks.  “If anybody ever comes up to you on the street and offers you bypass surgery for free, turn them down ... it hurts!
-- Michael Nesmith

Hi Kent –
I was shocked to hear about Tommy Roe. He was on my first tour of the UK.  He was a gentleman and I liked him very much. I have emailed him and wished him good luck.  Please keep me informed of his progress.
Take care –
Billy J. Kramer
Yes, it was pretty surprising news … but Tommy has promised to keep in touch with us and let us know how he’s doing.
Meanwhile, I’ll see YOU at Beatlefest in a couple of weeks!  (kk)

Thank you for the alert on Tommy Roe.  I posted it here to add some prayers for his recovery:

Val's ... And The Glorious Days Of Record Shops
So sorry to hear about Val from Oak Park.
This brings back memories for me as I used to work at another small music store in Oak Park called Chicago Digital ... another store back in the day that you could find imports, bootlegs and many other things you could not find anywhere else. I remember working there one day and we had some people from the Prince entourage come in looking for some rare Prince items, which we had had. There were many DJ's who visited also. A great experience that turned me onto much new music that I would not have heard otherwise. The store is still there on Harlem Avenue. But it is a shadow of what it used to be. A great memory for me.
Art Walicki
There were SO many cool record shops back then … another favorite of mine in Oak Park was Little’s Music … I got to know the owner, Paul Little, quite well … and we loved discussing the oldies even way back then.  (He would correct me and fill me in on little details as part of the educating process.  Funny … and I actually laughed as I started typing this because it is such a vivid memory … I remember coming in one day and asking him to order “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” by Gene Pitney … I wasn’t really all that familiar with the song but was just starting to build my collection of every Top Ten Hit … and he corrected me, “Only Love Can Break A Heart” … “Only Love Can Break YOUR Heart” was a Neil Young song!!!”
This was back in the day when record shops would special order records for you if they didn’t have it in stock and this one, being an oldie (and evidently not a very high “in demand” oldie at that), had to be special ordered.
When Paul finally decided to close up shop, he invited me in to browse thru what was left of his store inventory and I remember picking up a copy of every “Cruisin’” album he had.  (Unfortunately, he didn’t have them all … so I walked away with several holes in my brand new collection … and, of course, back then if you wanted a specific title, you had to hunt it down by going from record store to record store in the hopes that somebody else would have a copy or be willing to order one for you … not like today when you can order online thru Amazon or check it out on eBay!!!  Back then you had to really WORK to build your collection!!!)  And it was always a VERY pleasant experience, making brand new discoveries along the way.
Pleasant memories of an era that today’s generation have no experience with.  (Today an artist like Drake can release a new album and all 27 tracks will receive enough downloads to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100, thus breaking The Beatles’ record for most charted songs in a single week.  Back then you had to go out, get in your car and drive to the record store, buy the album and then carry it back home to play it … and if you liked tracks like “All My Lovin’” and “This Boy” and “Till There Was You” and “Not A Second Time,” you had to play them for yourself … they didn’t count toward sales and airplay like they do today.  Can you even imagine how many more GAZILLIONS of sales and charted hits The Beatles would have had had this option been in place at the height of Beatlemania?!?!  Even today, some 50+ years later, Beatles downloads still outsell many of the current releases!)
But I digress …  (lol)  kk

Oh yes, I remember Val’s Halla – my husband used to spend his life ... and most of our money there.  We had crates and crates filled with albums and I always used to have to tell him to stop ... that he was spending all of our money on music.  Our place was just filled with apple crates full of albums!  And I'll bet he still has most of them!

Altho my visits to Chicago have been few, one record store I went in to was Vals Halla when we came to Chicago to see FH'er Stu Shea sing.  I spoke with Val for half an hour, mostly about Brian Wilson and other celebs she met over the decades.  It was fun and I can only imagine what it was like in its' "head shop" days.  We had something much like that here in Lincoln and it was MY go to spot for boots, imports and used records every week! 
Rest in peace, Val. 
Val’s got into used records kinda late in the game … but once she did, the back room was just stacked full of them (unfortunately, most often in VERY random order ... you really had to search thru everything in the hopes of finding what you wanted!)
Her regular crowd always seemed to prefer the artists more off the beaten path than the popular mainstream … but she catered to ALL music lovers.  (I had absolutely NO idea about her background with Capitol Records … now I regret never discussing any of this with her … wait till you see the next post!!!)
One very clear memory I have was waiting in line to buy John Lennon’s “Imagine” album the day it was released … and watching her cut open the shipping carton to start selling the LP over the counter to all of us who were there to buy it.  (kk)

Hi, Kent.
Wednesday's column was a killer! 
A few things I'd like to comment on...
most importantly the feedback on the Landecker / Sirott interview on
WGN. That piece couldn't have been any better – it touched on so many aspects of rock radio in Chicago, and brought back many great memories.  I can't wait to finally meet John Landecker at the Dick Biondi film event in Beverly in August!
It's great to hear all of the good stuff about Dick Biondi. Of course, we're all anxiously awaiting news about him and his return to the airwaves.
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Val Camiletti.  I'd visited her shop a number of times over the decades, and always found something to take home. 
One of my favorite memories was of her telling me the story of how, in 1966, while working for Capitol Records, she was involved in
sending letters to record distributors and stores in and around the Chicago area, asking them to please return their copies of the "Yesterday and Today" LP for credit, due to a replacement program.  In my old nabe, there was a fantastic record store called "Little Al's" (remember that place, Bob?) where the owner would cover the entire front of the store with copies of the hot LP for that week.  I remember seeing about 50 copies of the infamous "Butcher Cover" lining the front of the store.  How many millions of dollars did we lose by NOT buying up all those copies?
Mike Wolstein
Western Burbs
RHS Rough Rider '67

It’s funny – I had just finished reading about Val’s Halla in Forgotten Hits and then picked up our local newspaper here in Naperville and saw that they were covering it, too.  Although I’ve never personally been there, it sounds like it was quite the haven for music lovers back in the day.
As mentioned here the other day, plans were already in the works for the 46th Annual Hallapalooza … so we’re expecting to see all kinds of artists donating their time and all kinds of music fans sharing their memories when we visit Val’s Halla Saturday afternoon.  (Now we just need to get the weather to cooperate … it’s gone from a BEAUTIFUL forecast with temps in the upper 70’s to rain and thunderstorms all weekend long … and now back to what sounds like a very pleasant day.  Let's hope so ... 'cause as we all know, moving this event INDOORS just isn’t a possibility!!!)  kk

Here's how ABC News covered it locally ...   

The longtime owner of Val's halla record store in Oak Park has died. Val Camilletti passed away Tuesday at the age of 78.  
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Camilletti had been diagnosed with breast cancer about two years ago and passed away in hospice care.  
The original Val's halla Records location on South Boulevard featured an Elvis shrine in the bathroom. One of Camilletti's cats was usually found reclining on a bin of tightly-packed vinyl, while her dog would hang out by the front counter.  
The store remained in Oak Park, but moved to 239 Harrison Street in 2006, hosting several musical acts over the years.  
Mary Keating bought her first album at Val's halla shortly after Camilletti opened the store 1972. Keating said she became friends with Val because she visited the store so frequently.  
"I bought lots of music from her, especially in my 20s, and we became friends just because I was often in the store," said Keating.  
Keating recalled customers coming into the store with a "vague description" of a song and Camilletti quickly identifying it.  
"I think what I'll remember about Val is that as much as she loved music, I think she loved how music connected people even more. Her face would just light up when she connected with someone over a shared love of a new band or a great concert."  
Halla-Palooza, the store's 46th anniversary party is still scheduled for this weekend.

And this from The Chicago Tribune (guess you could say Val was pretty well loved in our community!)  kk
(That picture must be from the NEW location ... I don't remember Val's Halla EVER looking this big and "grand" before!!!  lol)  kk

This And That: 
The announcement came so late I did not have time to form any expectations, and yet my expectations were still surpassed. Jarvis was a best pick as interviewer, even though he claimed his fandom was leaving him star-struck.  I don’t want to give a verbatim account, and yet I do. It was just a pleasure.
Looking at the chat screen during the broadcast, I understand why they posted this last minute. Even though all questions from the audience and FaceBook had to be pre-submitted, the chat screen was a running log of questions and declarations of love and loyalty. NO, I am not talking about my postings. I was transfixed to the interview before me and said nothing.
We are aware that The Beatles were not musically book-trained, and Paul explained how, attending LIP when he and George did, this was possible. It was not the school Sir Paul has “patroned” it to presently be. However, he supports all learning styles … formal music … picking things up from family and friends … practical, just figure it out yourself without knowing what it is called. As someone who has worked over 20 years varying learning styles to fit individual students, I was so happy to hear his outlook. Too many times we “throw the baby out with the bathwater” when it never needs to be ONE way only to obtain your dreams. Paul’s music professors told him, “You’re no good, but you could be a teacher.” (HUH? OH YEAH … if you can’t do, you teach.) Paul, himself, said, “What? Teach others to be no good?”  
The questions covered Beatles’ name changes, favorite stars you have worked with (I was gratified to hear John, George and Ringo named as the top), what effect technology has had on writing songs and performing, (VERY interesting and inciteful answer), the new Egyptian Station album and Paul and George’s “caning days” at the Institute.
I have to end with this George Harrison story.
On one of George’s “caning days,” the professor missed his hand and hit his wrist (dangerous) leaving a welt. His father asked him at tea what happened to his arm. George bravely answered that he wouldn’t lie. He had been caned that day. The next day the professor was called out to the hall by a Headmaster only to face Harry Harrison, who asked him, “Did you cane my son yesterday?” “Yes,” was the answer and BAMM! Harry knocked him down with a punch! A day of much rejoicing I am sure.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

There seems to be a resurgence in the music that Freddy Cannon made years ago and, of course, Freddy himself. Got an idea to throw out at you (and I'm sure you will throw it right back to me.)  LOL
Years ago, the Ventures recorded WALK DON'T RUN and then later a WALK DON'T RUN '64 as well as Sandy Nelson’s TEEN BEAT and later TEEN BEAT '65.
What do you think of the idea of Freddy re-recording TALLAHASSEE LASSIE as TALLAHASSEE LASSIE '18 with the dances from the original being replaced with dances of the current era?
(Yeah, that's what I thought you would have said.)   LOL 
Damn … are there actually NAMES for the dances the kids do today???
(Honestly, these types of dance events don’t seem to be quite as popular today as they were way back when … another nod to a bygone era, I guess.)
It is clear that Freddy is still having the time of his life … and he deserves it.  I’ve had his Greatest Hits CD in the car all week long!
(Now he needs to release a new, collectors’ edition, featuring his original demo of “Rock And Roll Baby,” the song that evolved into “Tallahassee Lassie!”  (kk)

NOTE:  We agreed that until Freddy gave us permission to do otherwise, we would only ever air a short snippet from this original recording … so here it is again (along with a clip of the B-Side) for any of those who may have missed it the first time around.  As you can see, the song was fully formed and arranged before Frank Slay and Bob Crewe got together and rewrote a big chunk of Freddy’s Mom’s lyrics.  (kk)

Boy, I wish somebody would open up a theater like The Arcada in The Twin Cities … all I can do is keep hoping! 
You won’t believe how many people we’ve heard this from over the years.  We are VERY fortunate to have a place like this nearby, dedicated to keeping all of this great music alive.  (Folks on our Locals List received an email last night telling them about some of the GREAT shows coming up at The Arcada in the months to come.  Live in the area and not on the list?  Drop me a line and we'll add your name to these special mailings!)  kk

Now THIS is some awesome news …

SiriusXM has announced that The Beach Boys will be appearing in an intimate Q&A session with a select group of listeners at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood on Monday, July 30, as part of the SiriusXM "Town Hall" series. The session will be moderated by Emmy award-winning actor, director, producer and writer Rob Reiner, and will air on August 10 at 5pm ET / PT on Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel (4). 
In a rare live group appearance, founding members Brian WilsonMike LoveAl Jardine and David Marks, along with long time Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston, will chat with Reiner and answer questions from fans about their SiriusXM channel, their new album, The Beach Boys with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and their celebrated career. Fittingly, the Town Hall will take place at the Capitol Records Tower, the home of the band's first major label affiliation and the legendary studio where they recorded some of their early material.
"It was a thrill to launch a full-time Beach Boys Channel in May, and our listeners have loved it," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer at SiriusXM. "Now this Town Hall is another rarity we are excited to present … all of the band members in one place for a special session with fans. It underscores the connection SiriusXM allows listeners to have with some of the biggest musicians of all time -- in this case, the original 'American Band.'"
Jerry Schilling, The Beach Boys' manager commented, "The entire The Beach Boys band and organization is looking forward to this SiriusXM Town Hall. It will be an historic event, as five band members gather for a conversation with their fans and Rob Reiner. They have not all been in the same place since their 50th anniversary shows in 2012. This is a rare and special moment for the band and SiriusXM listeners. It’s been a pleasure working with SiriusXM to make this happen."
We will DEFINITELY have to be listening for THIS one!!!  (kk)

We just got word that ABKCO Music will be releasing the COMPLETE Bob Seger / Last Heard Cameo / Parkway recordings on September 7th.
This is an early glimpse into an artist who would develop into a major rock and roll superstar and should be quite interesting.  (We have featured a few Last Heard tracks over the years … but it'll be REALLY nice to have them all collected in one place now!)  
Seger had a HUGE local following for nearly a decade before he broke big nationally ... so this will serve as an interesting peek into the development of his long career.  (I'll be listening to an advance copy this weekend and report back next week with my thoughts on the new CD.  (kk)

On September 7 ABKCO Music & Records will release Heavy Music: The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967  by Bob Seger & The Last Heard. This will be the first time ever that all records by the celebrated Detroit group will be made available since their origination as 45 rpm singles. The collection is wrapped in a newly designed album package, sold as a single CD, a single 180-gram vinyl LP, and on all digital platforms. “Persecution Smith,” the first single from the rare recordings is available to stream and as an Instant Grat download with pre-order. 
Pre-Order/ Pre-Save the album HERE
Bob Seger contributed to several local Detroit groups leading up to his breakthrough success with “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” (1969) and “Night Moves” (1976). 
While serving as keyboard player and occasional singer in Doug Brown & The Omens, Seger met his future manager Edward “Punch” Andrews who co-owned the Hideout Records label. After The Omens split up, Seger formed his own group and while writing for The Underdogs, another band on Hideout,  he co-authored their single “Get Down On Your Knees.” After a failed attempt by The Underdogs to record the Seger-penned “East Side Story,” Seger was encouraged to record it himself and it was released by Hideout in June of 1966 under the name Bob Seger. The fantastic single was quickly reissued by Cameo Records just 6 months later, with Bob Seger & The Last Heard on the label, cementing the band’s name. 
With the help of former bandmate Doug Brown, the group recorded four more singles for the Cameo label over the course of the next year culminating with “Heavy Music” in July 1967. Launched with a simple but catchy bassline with snaps and claps to get the groove going, “Heavy Music” became a hit locally in Detroit, and the band appeared on the local Detroit TV show Swingin’ Time. The 45 of “Heavy Music (Part 1)” backed with “Heavy Music (Part2)” charting at #103 in Billboard and #70 in Cashbox. 
Stylistically, Bob Seger & The Last Heard went beyond the simple garage rock stomp and stammer formula and spread their wings lyrically and sonically in a few short years. “Persecution Smith” pokes fun at half-hearted revolutionaries in a style reminiscent of “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream,” “Sock It To Me Santa” (released for Christmas, 1966) references James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” and “Heavy Music (Part 1)” carries a Spencer Davis Group swagger before “heavy” music was even a term in the popular vernacular. “East Side Story” is an urban saga that tells the story of a woman in a tenement apartment begging her man not to head uptown with his knife; placed akin to a tune reminiscent of “Gloria” by Them.   
Heavy Music: The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967 has liner notes by the celebrated music writer Jim Allen, original photographs and label art from the Cameo vaults. The monophonic collection was mastered by Robert Vosgien at Capitol Mastering and the vinyl was pressed in Detroit at Third Man Pressing. 
Bob Seger & The Last Heard – Heavy Music: The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967
1)   Heavy Music (Part 1)
2)   East Side Story (Vocal)
3)   Chain Smokin’*
4)   Persecution Smith*
5)   Vagrant Winter#
6)   Very Few#
7)   Florida Time
8)   Sock It To Me Santa
9)   Heavy Music (Part 2)
10)  East Side Sound (Instrumental)
Produced & arranged by Bob Seger and Doug Brown except:
*Produced & arranged by Bob Seger
# “A Hideout Production”
Reissue Producer: Teri Landi
Bob Seger – lead vocal, organ, piano guitar
Dan Honaker – bass
Carl Lagassa – guitar
Pep Perrine – drums, percussion
Additional vocals – Doug Brown, David Whitehouse
Personnel on tracks 2 and 10: 
Bob Seger – vocal, guitar
Doug Brown – guitar, organ
Dan Honaker – bass
Pep Perrine – bongos
Bob Evans – drums

When you talk about your timeless, beautiful melodies, there aren’t many better than “Sukiyaki,” a #1 Hit in 1963 for Kyu Sakamoto … which also went to #3 again in 1981 for Taste Of Honey and then returned to The Top Ten again in 1995 when 4 PM recorded it.
FH Reader Ben Stokes tells us of a new version, just released by GH Hat (featuring Eriko Tamura)
I don’t care which decade you first discover this song, it’s a timeless, beautiful classic that will stick with you.  (A beautiful tune is simply a beautiful tune ... and that's all there is to it!  The same day I received this link, I heard the Kyu Sakamoto version on an old "Mad Men" episode!)

Hi there, 
Just released … Sukiyaki (Ue O Muite ArukĊ) [feat. Eriko Tamura] by G.H. Hat
Here is a Soundcloud link:
Ben Stokes

We have covered this tune several times before in Forgotten Hits.  It got its American title because the record promoters wanted to get a song that was sung completely in Japanese played on US Radio … but needed a word that most Americans would recognize … so they went with this Japanese dish … and, sure enough, it worked.  In fact, it remains the ONLY song sung entirely in Japanese to top the US Pop Singles Chart!

Here’s a link to one of our earlier features … just fascinating!  (kk)

Hmmm! I just read the “fact” that claimed Jack Bruce and not Eric Clapton sang Sunshine of Your Love.  Someone, (the person who thought that was true), must have not really listened. 
They both sang it, switching lines in the verses and singing harmony in the choruses. Sheesh!
Hi Kent –
Just a quick correction to Frank B's comments ...
>>>A few interesting facts:  #12 = "Sunshine Of Your Love" by Cream … Most people think Eric Clapton is singing lead. It's really Jack Bruce.  (Frank B)
He's half right ... Jack and Eric sing alternate lines throughout the song and harmonize on the chorus. 
Mike Lane
Honestly, I always understood Jack Bruce to be the lead singer for Cream … the only official Eric Clapton lead vocal I was aware of was on “Crossroads” (and, quite honestly, that one always sounded a lot like Bruce to me, too!)  As far as I knew, Clapton didn’t even sing the song that he and George Harrison wrote together, “Badge,” so now I’m even more confused than ever.
In fact, I specifically remember being shocked how good Clapton’s voice was when he finally pursued a solo career and released “After Midnight” and sang all of the Derek and the Dominoes stuff.  I didn’t think that he had handled any of the vocals in any of his previous stints with The Yardbirds, Cream and Blind Faith.
Anybody able to shed any additional light on this?  Thanks.  (See, even I learn something new in Forgotten Hits from time to time!  Lol)  kk