Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Saturday Survey (September 8th)

*Survey courtesy of Geno Price and ARSA website
9-4-68 - WKLO - Louisville, Kentucky 

Most famous for being the home of Churchill Downs, WKLO was the top 40 giant in 68 there.  The station always played lots of lower rung national hits and this week was no exception.  At #3 this week might be a conflict of interest?  Teen vocalist Kenny Schmied (along with 18 year old Brenda Cox) and the Accent revue had their "Dark End of the Street" riding high.  The song was a cover of an RNB hit by James Carr a year earlier.  The interesting part is that Kenny was the son of the Louisville mayor at the time!

Just two spots behind is the fast rising Professor Morrison's Lollipop with their snotty garage / bubblegummy "You Got the Love," which was a product of the new bubblegum hero team of Kasenetz and Katz.  Just two  years ago, we learned that this song was a re-write (to some extent) of an unreleased Monkees tune recorded in January, 1967 titled "Gotta Give it Time."  That song finally surfaced when the Monkees' 50th anniversary CD "Good Times" came out in 2016.
-- Clark Besch

So cool to see the Chickenman ad on an out-of-state survey!!! 

Chickenman was the brain child of advertising genius Dick Orkin, who premiered the novelty series right here in Chicago on WCFL.  (You can still listen to episodes every day on ... along with vintage airchecks from the 'CFL era.) 

Looks like Andy Kim had a monster hit down in Louisville with "Shoot 'em Up, Baby" ... it falls from #2 to #6 this week. 

One of my all-time favorite tunes by The Box Tops cracks the Top Ten this week as "I Met Her In Church" climbs from #18 to #10. 

We featured The Will-O-Bees' version of "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" a while back in our Saturday Survey feature ... I still think this is a great recording.  (Mama Cass will have the big hit version a few years later.)

And I especially like how "The Weight" is shown by both Jackie DeShannon and "Big Pink" ... which is the name of the album it came from, not the artist!  (Of course, it was released by The Band!!!  Ooops!)  This one's for you, honey ... Take A Load Off, Frannie!  (kk) 

THIS WEEK in '68:

9/3/68 – Sly and the Family Stone win Lloyd Thaxton’s “Showcase ‘68” talent contest, beating out several of our local groups (The New Colony Six and The American Breed among them) in the process.  The program ran for ten weeks as a summer replacement for The Jerry Lewis Show.

9/4/68 – As George Harrison’s guest, Eric Clapton records his guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thursday This And That

Chicago’s City Winery has given us some free tickets to pass along to two of their upcoming shows.  

Jim Messina has had a very storied career, spending time with Buffalo Springfield, Poco and as one half of the hit-making duo Loggins and Messina … and he shares music from all of these different phases of his career during his live show.  (I’ve seen him a couple of times now and it’s always a very entertaining show.)  

Canned Heat was one of the original boogie bar bands from the late ‘60’s who hit it big with their Top 20 Hits “On The Road Again,” “Going Up The Country” and “Let’s Work Together” … so much so that they were invited to perform at Woodstock!  

We have tickets for BOTH shows to give away …  

Jim Messina performs at The City Winery on Sunday, October 21st and Canned Heat comes to town on Wednesday, November 28th (new date) for an appearance at Chicago’s City Winery.  

In addition, Davie Allan sent me a copy of his brand new CD, “Retrophonic 5” to give away to a FH Reader.  


Then drop me a line (at and let us know which offer you’d like to register for and we’ll throw your name into the hat for a chance to win one of these great freebies.  Simple as that!

Retrophonic 5 is now out on CD. There aren't any titles like "I Just Wanna Fuzz You," but he does have other classy tunes. He doesn't act his age but he wakes up the neighbors with the roar of his teenage heavy metal elephant gun. This is a sonic instrumental musical guitar gonzo. No singing, just melodicgrunge. A blast of blasting guitars. You've gotta get this into your life! 
The Vibramutant 

Davie sent me a copy (as well as one to give away to a FH Reader) and said he was back to “true form” on this CD.   

He described it to me this way:   

A new album (first one on CD in 3 years is coming out on the 7th).  After three blunders that turned off my fans, I have gone back to my roots.
-- Davie Allan

I personally have liked ALL of his recent releases and consider his vocals (and those of his guest vocalists) a delightful distraction to the “fuzz that made him famous” … I think he pulls both styles off famously (and have featured his Christmas tune “A Winter Song” a few times now in Forgotten Hits)

Nevertheless, I think you’re probably right in that Davie’s REAL fans … the die-hard fans who have been with him from the beginning … will appreciate the return of The King Of Fuzz.  (And I LOVE the Paul McCartney references, too, by the way … great stuff!!!)

I had the chance to listen to a pre-release date screening of Macca’s new release on The Beatles Channel with Sir Paul on hand to introduce each new track.  Honestly, it’s much as I had expected … and his “cute, na├»ve” approach to the explanation of each new tune wore thin for me decades ago … this guy knows EXACTLY what he’s doing … there isn’t anything innocent about it … each new release has been very well calculated and he’s been a master of that art form for as long as he’s been in the public consciousness.

The voice is gone … as it has been for years now … but for me what is also lacking this time around are the infamous McCartney hooks … the musical melodic phrases that stick with you.  Paul has always been a master of the melody or the catchy chorus.  This time around he seems to be reminiscing more about his sexcapades as “The Cute Beatle” all those years ago … I wonder how wife Nancy feels about that?!?!

Still, the minute my copy comes in the mail tomorrow it will go immediately into my CD player in the car for repeated listens … assuming I’ve finished the Davie Allan CD first, of course!  (kk)

Forgive me, Cream fans, but why would anyone pay any money to see Jack Bruce's kid, Ginger Baker's kid, and Eric Clapton's nephew by marriage? What's wrong, they can't go out and get real jobs? Is there any original member of Canned Heat still alive? Back in the early 70's I think I saw Jesse Colin Young open for America, the Bee Gees, and the Beach Boys, in the space of a month. 
Jack Levin

While the Cream show holds no appeal for me, I know of a few Forgotten Hits Readers who are going to this show. 

I think part of it boils down to this …

Who else is going to play this music and help to keep it alive?

I finally threw in the towel on this argument a while back … because the only hope of this music continuing, is to have SOMEBODY go out there and perform it … as long as they remain faithful and respectful of the original sound, it may be our only chance of keeping it alive.

Thus, if you enjoy the music of groups like The Grass Roots, The Little River Band, Paul Revere’s Raiders and several others out on the circuit today … if it makes you feel good and it is presented in a way that stays true to the original intent … then go out and enjoy the only option left for hearing this music performed live. (Otherwise, dig out the old records and CDs and relive the experience that way … but, as you know, there is something about seeing and hearing this music live, if presented properly.)

Far too many of these artists have left us, making it impossible to maintain the original band ... it simply isn’t an option.  (Far too many others are still squabbling over God knows what some four or five decades later … making it impossible for us to experience the true magic of this music again.)  You can often see multiple versions of some of these bands, too … or catch any number of the “formerly of” artists we talk about all the time who sang the hits but have fallen out of favor with those who hold the legal rights to the name of the band.

Pick and choose the ones you want to see.

This whole “Second Generation” Cream idea just doesn’t appeal to me or I’d go and check it out.  Technically, it’s a Tribute to Cream … and how many tribute / copy bands are out there today playing at all the outdoor neighborhood festivals (taking work away from the real, legitimate artists we’d much rather see!)  I guess at least in the case of the Cream show at least the participants are part of the bloodline (although what the heck does “nephew by marriage” mean?!?!  All I can say is the kid must be one hell of a guitar player … or else what’s the point?!?!)  kk

Oh God, I’d kill to see Canned Heat ... even if Canned Heat has no original members.
Chet Coppock

For the record, (since a couple of people have asked), original member Larry Taylor is still a member of the band, as is Fito de la Parra, who joined them at their peak in 1968.  You can keep up with all their latest goings on here: … we’ll announce the winners of a couple of free tix next week.  (And, to my point earlier, key members Bob “The Bear” Hite, Henry Vestine and Al Wilson have all since passed away … two by drug overdose.  Pretty hard to keep the original band together when the guys are killing themselves along the way!)  kk

I am surprised you listed those Stereogum links.  The guy’s reviews are largely crap.  He calls Lou’s vocal on “Lightnin’ Strikes” irritating (???) and claims the song was three years out of time (???).  He even suggests the song only got played because of personal “payola” provided by Lou, which is undoubtedly false.  He also drops the f-bomb on several pages that I read, apparently just for the sake of doing it.  I’m not opposed to it when it’s appropriate, but for this guy, it’s gratuitous.  Do we really need to know he “f-ing loves” “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”?  The entry for “Get Off Of My Cloud” refers parenthetically to the FCC’s investigation of “Louie Louie” because, he says, the FCC thought it “might be about drugs.”  Um, yeah, right (not).  Opinion is one thing, but this guy often has no idea what he’s talking about.  And he offers little if anything in the way of insight into anything.  This is vanity posting at its worst.
Anonymous By Request

All legitimate points … and I’ll admit that I only did a little bit of browsing on the site … but was just happy to see somebody else doing their part to acknowledge this great music … but certainly not at the expense of tearing it down.  (Hey, I'm all about ANYTHING that helps keep this music alive … but this also serves to show why Forgotten Hits has lasted twenty years, presenting the music … and our love for this music … in a far classier and more respectful way.  That's not to say I haven't taken artists to task before for what they've done ... or called a piece of crap a piece of crap ... but I have always believed that there's a fair way to raise these points that offer, if nothing else, constructive criticism that may make it all more tolerable and enjoyable for all of us.)  

I guess our approach is just a tad more respectful and classier … and I’m OK with that.  (kk)

Hi Again Kent,
Just spoke with Sam The Sham … and I wanted to let you know that he seems to be doing well, following his recent health issues. In his humorous way, he told me to send up a few Bottle Rockets! And he said that he relied on one of the shortest Bible verses----"Lord Help Us"!
What did you think of The Rose Garden's new CD?  I think the Omnivore release is a real gem, especially the unreleased cuts. I think it’s a very unique CD … and the booklet enclosed really gives a great insight into the history of the group.
Take Care.
John Eckert

Glad to hear he’s on the mend!  Please let him know that we are happy to pass along ANY message he’d like to send to all his fans out there! 
You’ll find our review of the new Rose Garden CD below.  (kk)

(Omnivore Records)

It’s tough to pigeon-hole a One Hit Wonder Artist … so often, these aren’t even real bands but rather studio creations where the producers and/or songwriters know they’ve got a hit song on their hands and are just trying to find a vehicle to get it out there into the marketplace to cash in on some quick bucks.  As such, they recruit somebody … anybody to help make that dream come true, typically studio musicians and sessions singers, leaving them with no real band to go out on tour or to do tv appearances to properly promote the thing once it becomes a hit.  (This has been the story more times than I can count.)

But there is ALSO the scenario of the real artists out there who get as far as one big hit and capture the attention of the music fans from coast to coast and then, for one reason or another, just can’t sustain the momentum to score that second hit and build a career.  This, too, can be any one of many reasons … the label doesn’t support them … the band breaks up … or they shoot their load on that first release and have nothing else marketable in the can after that hit has played out its shelf life.

The Rose Garden was a real band that hit it big quickly and then just as quickly, disappeared from view. 

I have to admit that I grossly underestimated The Rose Garden, who scored a Top 20 Hit in 1967 with “Next Plane To London.”  It’s pretty hard to judge the full scope of an artist when all you hear is the hit single.  Now don’t get me wrong … I liked the single enough to buy it … and I still think it’s a great track … but I never investigated any further to see what else they had to offer when their first (and only) LP was released in early 1968.

That LP has recently been reissued (along with sixteen bonus tracks) and has been getting a fair amount of attention in the oldies press of late, both as a re-discovery of the band … and due to the fact that Gene Clark of The Byrds was involved with a couple of their recordings.  (Neil Young of The Buffalo Springfield was also a visitor to the studio when the band was recording, but he didn’t perform with the band … rather just giving them advice along the way.  The Rose Garden DID record his song “Down To The Wire” however.)  For an unknown, start-up band, that’s some pretty heavy company to be keeping right after The Summer Of Love!

On first listen, I guess I mistook them for a pop band when, in fact, delving deeper into their catalog, I have discovered that they were very much the traditional folk band of this era with pop tendencies … and quite good at it actually.

However, in the music business, timing is everything … and by late ’67 / early ’68, the traditional folk music scene had already run its course.  Between The British Invasion, The Motown Sound and the much heavier underground scene that was coming to the forefront at this point in time, their blend of folk and coffeehouse genre didn’t have much of a following left to support it.  As such, the LP quickly passed without notice.

By all appearances, the band was fronted by Female Lead Vocalist Diana De Rose (whose addition to the group helped prompt their name change to The Rose Garden), but the core group itself had existed for several years before this and they were quite proficient musically and vocally before she came on board.
In fact Diana was not your typical domineering, flashy lead vocalist.  She had, at best, a passable voice with not much in the way of range or dynamics.  Where she really shone best was when her vocals were mixed with those of the other members of the band … in fact, it was the combination of their voices that created the perfect blend, reminiscent of Peter, Paul and Mary, The Mamas and The Papas and Sonny and Cher, all contemporaries of this era who found the right mix of pop and folk music to catapult them into the upper regions of the pop charts.

The disc features two tracks written by Gene Clark (on which he also performs), several previously unreleased tracks that were recorded for a second album that never came to be (some of which I found to be more intriguing than the material that did make the cut!) and five live tracks (including their hit single “Next Plane To London”) which, unfortunately suffer poor audio mixing that all of the members today acknowledge as being the biggest detriment to their managing and production team.

It’s not a bad album … it’s just that you’ve already heard the best of it if you’ve heard the single.  However, from a historical perspective, it is interesting to see The Byrds’ influence on The Rose Garden … and the fact that they actually crossed paths along the way makes things much more exciting and interesting.

You can order the CD here:

I also like the way they do this one … a couple years before Rick Nelson covered this underrated Bob Dylan tune …