Saturday, October 27, 2018

October 27th - The Saturday Survey

*Survey courtesy of John Schwob and ARSA website   

10-25-68 - KIRL - St. Charles (St. Louis), Missouri
KIRL had only gone to a top 40 format three months prior to this survey, taking on long time St. Louis top 40 leader KXOK head on.  My fave 1910 Fruitgum Company song is a hitbound, but alongside it is a rare sighting of Gary Lewis' "Main Street" charting.  This is the same song Denver's great Astronauts put out on 45 three years earlier.  Lewis' version really cooks and the opening drum roll (by Wrecking Crew member Hal Blaine, I'm guessing) sounds an awful lot like the opening to the "Rock of Chicago WLS" jingles years later!  Great rendition, which they also did live that very Sunday evening on Sullivan in a very cool and interesting video style.  Mary Hopkin sang the #7 song as well on that show.  Besides FH star Ron Dante's first Archies hit "Bang-Shang-a-Lang" hitting top 10, Ray Stevens tries for one more very cool serious song (#20 "The Great Escape") before he returns to novelties and hits with "Gitarzan" next up.
-- Clark Besch

We've got another BONUS CHART for you this week, this one from WROK where The Singing Cowboy has the #3 Record with "Paralyzed."  (Toldja anything goes during the '60's!!!)  

Yep, right up there with The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly and Cream!!!  (Too funny!)

Actually, this record was released by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, but that's just one of the many mistakes shown on this week's chart.  (They even spelled "Paralyzed" wrong!!!)

In fact, you'll find LOTS of misspellings on this week's chart ... which has kinda become the norm here as we make our way from coast to coast.  (SteppInwolf ... Mary HopkinS ... Shondels ... it never ends!)

We also see Five By Five working their way DOWN the chart with their cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic, "Fire."  And a couple of premiers by two of Chicago's favorites, The Shadows Of Knight and The Buckinghams!  (kk)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thursday This And That

The group Canned Heat had three Top 40 Hits between 1968 and 1970 … and, incredibly, I heard TWO of their rock-boogie / blues classics on back-to-back television commercials the other night!  (I can’t think of another time where a single artist was so well represented in this way … especially when one considers that two completely different advertisers are using two-thirds of the same artist’s entire hit catalog simultaneously!)    

“Going Up The Country” (#9, 1969) can be heard in a brand new ad for Geico … and was also previously used in a popular television spot promoting Volkswagen …

And “Let’s Work Together” (#17, 1970) is the new theme song of Amazon.   

How popular is this spot?  It recently became the 5th most “Shazam’d song” as new people are discovering it every day … and wanting a copy for their own music library.  How’s THAT for keepin’ the music alive?!?! 

And I swear I can remember their first hit, “On The Road Again” (#8, 1968) being used in a television commercial a short while back, too, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to find it online.

You can catch Canned Heat at Chicago’s City Winery on November 28th. 
Good seats are still available here:  (kk)

I must say that I agree with most of your picks for over-rated tunes. 
Many songs that I can't take anymore are the result of overplay.  They
include:  Stairway, Hotel California and Total Eclipse.  However, I am also guilty of overplaying, as so many requests come in for these songs. 
There is a new generation of music fans that are hearing these tunes
with fresh ears.  I agree that Don't Stop Believing and Sweet Caroline
are played to death. When I see and hear an entire student section at a
high school or college game singing along to those tunes, it gives me a
good feeling.  It is amazing that a 40 or 50 year old song is still
popular a couple of generations later.  Let’s face it, the crap that they usually listen to can't be used as a sing-along at a game or the home team would be penalized for the obscene words heard from the crowd.
There are several Bob Dylan songs that I really like, however, they are performed by other artists! (Mighty Quinn - Manfred Mann and All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix).
When I think of over-rated / worst songs, I think of some of the awful
number one songs in the 70s and 80s, including You Light Up My Life -  
Debby Boone, Torn Between Two Lovers - Mary MacGregor (both from 1977) and You Don't Bring Me Flowers - Barbra and Neil, to name just a few.  
I was counting down the Billboard number one songs of the year on New Year’s Eve back in 1986 and it got ugly at Midnight when the number one song of the year was That's What Friends Are For by Dionne and Friends.  The switch board was lit up with people upset about such a sappy song topping the year end chart.  There were certainly a few others from 1986 that I don't care if I ever hear anymore.
I also got some angry responses from listeners when Chuck Berry
died.  I was doing a tribute and the most requested song of the night
was My Ding-A-Ling.  On the air, I casually mentioned my feeling that
that song is one of the worst to ever hit number one and how it was sad that some only remember Chuck Berry for that turd.  I could not believe how many people disagreed with me. One guy that loves that record even sent a note to management about how I should shut up my opinions and just play the damn song or I should be fired!
I really like It Never Rains In Southern California by Albert Hammond. 
I remember landing in Southern California years ago and that song was
playing on the radio in the airport shuttle.
Phil – WRCO
WAY back in 2004 we did a series on The Songs Of Bob Dylan in much the same vein … while I’ve never been a Dylan fan per se, I DO like some of his songs as done by others … and we spent a whole week going through a catalog of tunes that sound SO much sweeter when sung by someone else’s voice rather than his own.  (Actually, that might be a fun one to resurrect one of these days … I’ll have to check the archives to see if it still exists after so many computer crashes over the years.)
We wrapped the whole thing up by featuring Dylan songs sung by Dylan that I actually could stand … for example, I don’t know that Bob’s voice has EVER sounded better than it did on “Lay Lady Lay” or “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” … I remember even featuring “Wigwam,” a personal favorite, as one of those I could tolerate, probably because it only featured Dylan humming along with the melody!  (Now THAT would be a great one to feature as a “Name The Artist” segment on one of your upcoming shows!)
Yeah, I’ll have to give this some thought and see what I can find.  Since it never ran on the website before (this one harkens back to the early email-only days of Forgotten Hits), I’d wager to say that the majority of our current readers never even saw it.  (kk)

>>>That reminds me … (and I’m sure that I’ll piss off more than just a few people here) … another song I consider to be HIGHLY over-rated is “American Pie.”  (kk)
I couldn't disagree more! Certainly it was over-PLAYED when it migrated from FM radio to the AM Top 40 airwaves, but I contend that if the song had remained in the relative obscurity of FM radio its brilliance would be better recognized today, and it would be considered a "lost" masterpiece.
– Randy Price
My disenchantment dates back to the song’s immediate breakthrough on the charts.  Yes, it was unique and different … and certainly provided food for thought about what it all really meant … but within the first two to three weeks it had been over-analyzed ad nauseum to the extent that I could no longer listen to or enjoy it for what it was.  Honestly, I’ve been turning it off ever since.  Yet it is held in such high regard by everyone else that I’ll admit to being in the minority when it comes to disliking this song … but feel that it is grossly over-rated for what it really is.  The fact that people are STILL talking about it nearly fifty years later blows me away.  (kk)

Hey Kent,
My, my, did I open a can of worms with that one guy's most overrated song list that I sent you?
For the record, and this is to all you Buffalo Springfield and Albert Hammond fans out there, I never said I did not like (am I employing a double-negative?) "For What it's Worth" and "It Never Rains in Southern California."  I stated that "Worth" was ONE song that got the group into the R&R HOF. "Southern California" got TONS of airplay. The pop station in my home town almost always played it, right after the news at the top of the hour, which drove me nuts!!!
I heard "Sock It To Me, Baby", by Mich Ryder and the Detroit Wheels the other day. I really didn't care for the song when it came out, but I like it now. I looked it up online, and there are sites that give Aretha's hit, "Respect" full credit for coming up with the phrase, "Sock It To Me" because the women's chorus sings it towards the end of the song.
Well, I remember when "Respect" came out. "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In" had already been using the phrase, to the max. (Remember President Nixon's, "Sock it to ME?”)
"Respect" was released months after "Sock It To Me, Baby."  I wonder if it was Ryder's song that invented the phrase. When it hit the airwaves, us adolescents couldn't understand some of the words and thought they were "dirty", i.e. "Louie Louie" and "Hanky Panky." 
What does it mean? "Every time you kiss me, hits me like a punch!" I've had a girlfriend or two like that.
So, if anyone really knows its origin, or if anyone really cares, let us all know! 
          John LaPuzza

Just a quick timeline check shows that Aretha’s version of “Respect” premiered on the national charts the week of April 29, 1967.  As you stated, Mitch Ryder’s hit debuted a couple of months earlier (the week of February 4th).  “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” didn’t debut until January 22nd, 1968 … a full year later … which is really surprising to me as I, too, thought it was the TV show that inspired the Mitch Ryder hit.  (They did run a TV pilot special in September of ’67 … which was still after both these records had enjoyed their hit status … but I don’t know if “Sock It To Me” was featured on that particular episode or not.)
“Laugh-In” created several catch phrases like “You bet your sweet bippy” and “Very Interesting” and “Here Comes Da Judge” … which DID inspire the song of the same title by Shorty Long as well as a totally different record by Pigmeat Markham.
Nixon’s appearance aired in 1968 and was considered QUITE the coup at the time.  (Granted, “Laugh-In” was also the #1 Television Show in the nation … but to have the actual President Of The United States ON the program uttering the familiar catch phrase in quizzical fashion was just unheard of at the time.  Keep in mind, this was fifty years ago, back in the days before Trump felt the need to be the focus of everyone’s attention on a daily basis!)
Tricky Dickie was asked back to the program after the whole Watergate scandal to tell folks … “Remember a few years ago when I asked you to ‘Sock It To Me’?  Well, you can stop now” … but at that point America’s sense of humor in his regard had waned.  (kk)

>>>About a year ago I met Mitch Aliotta at a party, and I told him how much I loved "Lake Shore Drive" and felt that it should be established as THE Chicago song.  (Mike Wolstein)
>>>Had to be more than a year ago as Mitch died in 2015.  (kk)
I feel really dumb.  I must be getting old. The fellow I spoke with was TED Aliotta.  He always gets up and sings "Lake Shore Drive" at the Cornerstones and other rock shows.
Sorry for the error!
Mike Wolstein
OK, now that makes a whole lot more sense!  (lol)
I’m not especially fond of Ted’s rendition … but it does help keep this Chicagoland Classic alive and in front of the fans.  With all three members of Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah gone now, we have to find ways to pay tribute any way we can.  (kk)

Rock Group Chicago takes up residency at The Venetian in Las Vegas next year from February 8th thru the 23rd … and you can take advantage of an early ticket presale today … just click the link below!
Enter the code CHICAGOVEGAS for presale access.  (kk)

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February 8 – 23, 2019
VIP and Meet & Greet packages available!
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Presale: Wed, 10/24 10am – Thu, 10/25 10pm PT
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Hey Kent,
Perhaps you could start a feature within Forgotten Hits titled "Get Off My Lawn" where all of us passionate (obsessed?) old folks can rant about annoyances regarding pop music, whether current, or of past history?
That over-rated songs feature got me thinkin' the other day ... I'm sure there are some subscribers who tune in to the weekend rebroadcasts of Casey Kasem's American Top 40. I can listen to the program via terrestrial radio, or the on-line broadcast at WQUN-AM (a commercial off-shoot of my college alma-mater, WQAQ-FM). It seems that the Charis Music Group, the company that "remastered" and now syndicates the original AT-40 programs, have this penchant for using an ANNOYING TO NO END feature in digital editing programs, such as Audacity, which I have used myself ... Audacity (how apropos, lol!) contains an editing option to speed up the tempo of any musical track without changing the original pitch (or, the "key" of the song) in order to keep it recognizable. Well, IMO, this renders the song unlistenable; the adjusted tempo is often adjusted far too fast.
One recent AT-40 show featured songs from a week during the early 1970s.  I heard at least four to five songs sped up so fast that it sounded ridiculous ... far, far worse than having to endure re-recorded version of hit songs, or even rechanneled stereo versions of mono recordings.
Of course, most people who listen to music as nothing more than sonic wallpaper do not care. 
Any industry pro's care to comment?  Yeah, I know time needs to be allowed for local spot drops per hour, but jeez, fit them in according to the original program format! This is just as bad as Ted Turner's ill-advised colorization of black and white films! Just master the damn song at 48 rpm if you need to "pitch-up" the songs for time constraints.
Mike Markesich

FIRST 45’s:
Just happened across these two new statistics while reading music articles this past week.

Brian May of Queen’s FIRST 45 was “Rock Island Line” by Lonnie Donegan …

And Rick Nelson’s FIRST 45 was “Blue Suede Shoes”  by Carl Perkins!
(Gonna have to add these to the list!)

One of our most popular features EVER, you can find hundreds (if not thousands) of FIRST 45’s memories on the Forgotten Hits Website (and some great stories to go along with them.)

This list is tailor-made for oldies radio … Scott Shannon featured one of these a day for about three years on The True Oldies Channel a short while back and airing it just brings in more responses from your listeners … a GREAT way to interact with your audience.
Let me know if you’d like to add this feature to your daily broadcast and when it’ll be airing and we’ll post Listen Live Links on the website so that other oldies fans can tune in to listen as well!  (kk)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

One Winner …..

One Winner ?!?!?!

And it’s not me?!?!?!

Guess it’s a good thing I got up when the alarm clock went off this morning then!