Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Saturday Survey - November 24th

11-22-68 - WHYN - Springfield, Massachusetts

Springfield rates as one of (or maybe the?) oldest cities on our radio journey of 1968, being founded in 1636, nearly 4 centuries ago. WHYN probably had quite a listener draw between Springfield listeners and the state's capital, Hartford, being only 24 miles south.  The survey certainly showed that Springfield was still exploring by listing nearly 60 songs weekly on their chart for years in the 60's and 70's.  Along with a VERY unique way of listing the entries, the survey certainly allowed for LOTS of great obscurities to be heard throughout the northeastern states.  

FH stars are here such as #10 Shadows of Knight, #15 Royal Guardsmen, #35 1910 Fruitgum Co., #42 Lettermen and #49 Grass Roots.  

One of my favorite obscure tracks appears at #37, Johnny Rivers' "Right Relations."  Despite Billboard pushing it as their ONLY Top 20 prediction a few weeks earlier (11-2) and a high debut at #63 on the Hot 100, the 45 not only stiffed in the following weeks, but seems to have been stiffed by Johnny as well, as the song almost NEVER shows up anywhere in reissue.  I love it and present it here with FH'er Chuck Buell presenting in on WLS that November 50 years back.

Another oddity is #44, Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart's "We're All Going to the Same Place."  It was predicted top 60 in the same issue as Billboard's above pick.  Bad week Joel W's guys, I guess?  Shockingly, this record ended the duo's nice run of national hits for good, as the song and duo would never chart the Hot 100 again!  It's as if the Monkees and B&H fans departed on the same train in 1968.  Doom and gloom lyrics would soon end the Cowsills chartings also in 1969 with "The Prophecy of Daniel & John the Devine."  Yet, "2525" was huge?

And here's the very rare stereo version of "Right Relations" without the messy beginning note found on the 45 AND Chuck Buell mentioning as a WLS Exclusive. 
-- Clark Besch

When you list 56 tracks on your weekly survey, you're going to have some unexpected gems that you typically won't find on your average, run-of-the-mill weekly charts.

For example, when's the last time you heard "American Boys" by Petula Clark?!?!

And how often did you hear Joe Cocker's version of "With A Little Help From My Friends" BEFORE he performed it at Woodstock???  (It's still my all-time favorite Beatles cover ever!)  Yet here it is, brand new on the chart this week, debuting at #34.

A little surprising to see Bobby Vinton's "I Love How You Love Me" topping a chart that also includes Cream, Joe Cocker, Steppenwolf and The Chambers Brothers.  (Ahhh ... the '60's!!!)

The Steve Miller Band premiers on the chart at #46 with "Living In The U.S.A."  And check out Nazz's original version of "Hello, It's Me."  (kk)


11/18/68 – Glen Campbell is awarded two gold records today … the first for “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and the other for “Gentle On My Mind.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Album “Electric Ladyland” reaches #1 on the US Chart, where it will stay for two weeks.

Randy Meisner, Jim Messina, Richie Furay and Rusty Young debut at The Troubadour tonight performing under their new name Pogo.  They would shortly have to change their name, however, when Pogo comic strip creator Walt Kelly filed a lawsuit for the use of the name of his classic, beloved character.  Without missing a beat, they quickly changed their name to POCO because it sounded close enough to their original choice that they knew their ever-growing fan base would continue to follow them.  Today they are considered to be one of the premier pioneer bands of blending folk, country and rock and each of these players has been attached to some of the biggest names in rock through the years.

The Spiral Starecase record their hit “More Today Than Yesterday,” which will reach #12 on the pop charts next May.  The tune still holds up incredibly well today (and, fifty years later, you can still hear it just about every single day on oldies and soft rock radio stations around the world.)

11/19/68 – During an appearance at The Royal Command Variety Performance in London, Diana Ross interrupts the show to request a plea for interracial understanding.  The audience … which includes members of The Royal Family … applaud for two minutes.

11/21/68 – Yoko Ono suffers a miscarriage.  The baby, a boy, was named John Ono Lennon II after his father and later buried at a secret location.

11/22/68 – “The Beatles” (aka “The White Album”) double LP is released … The Beatles’ first album release on their own Apple Records label.
[Don't miss our tributes to The Beatles' White Album ... both a 40 year, track by track review and our recent piece on what this might have sounded like as a single LP.]

11/24/68 - Dusty Springfield performs “Son Of A Preacher Man” and Nancy Wilson sings “Face It Girl, It’s Over” on The Ed Sullivan Show

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Friday Flash

The cartoon you had at the bottom of Wednesday’s FH reminded me of an incident that happened many years ago one morning at the breakfast table before my dad was going to go to work. Every day on his way to work, my dad would pass Wilcox Records where through the years I always bought my records. This one particular day (in 1962), my mother asked my dad if he would stop by Wilcox and buy the latest album of Ray Charles which was MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC. She wanted the album for the song which was on it, I CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU. I remember my dad asking my mother why would she buy an album for just one song with other songs she wasn't familiar with. I don't remember my mother's response, only that that night my dad came home with the album. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.
I wonder how many people today download the whole album rather than just “cherry-pick” the tracks that they want.  Back then, you didn’t have the choice … unless the song you were looking for was released as a single, you had to buy the whole LP to get some of the songs you wanted.
Maybe this wasn’t such a bad concept after all.  Back then albums sold well into the millions … and a great opening week might cause a hot new release to sell upwards of two million copies the week it hit the streets.  Today, sales of 46,000 copies can earn you a #1 Album.  (Sounds to me that this could be a contributing factor to why the record business has been in the toilet for years now!)
Back then, certain tracks were deliberately held back as a means of forcing fans to buy the whole LP.  Looks like the music industry has done it to itself once again!  (kk)

Hi Kent:
Just an FYI ... I will be on Dewey's Corner Radio Show on Friday Night (tonight) at approximately 6 pm. We will be counting down a WRIT Survey from November of  1968. A few Chicago Groups will be on the countdown. Doing our 50th year anniversary thing. As always, we play Records!
Ken Freck

Can you believe this???
Sirius XM is raising their rates effective January 15th of next year because they now have to pay a higher royalty rate for the music they offer ... meaning that after short-changing artists for years, getting caught, fined and penalized ... and now having to pony-up at a higher royalty rate, they're asking their listeners to foot the bill for their sins with a subscription rate increase.
This is the final straw for me.  Unless they are planning on making me an offer so unbelievably good that I couldn’t possibly refuse in December when my current subscription runs out, I have absolutely no intention of renewing for another year.  (And by incredibly unbelievable, I mean like $5-$6 per month … their website shows prices as high as $275 per year for some of their services!!!)
They're the ones who got themselves into this situation in the first place by not paying proper royalties to music featured that was recorded prior to 1967 … so now that they have to pay the piper, they’re pushing this increased cost on to their customers instead in order to cover their wrong-doing! 
The fact is, paying for a radio service that essentially gives you the exact same music you hear everywhere else these days for free holds little appeal to me anymore.  I may miss some of the specialty features like interviews and countdowns on The Beatles Channel or limited-run featured artist stations like they've done this past year for The Beach Boys and Billy Joel channels ... but if I want to dive deep into the catalogs of these artists, I can just load the car up with all their cd's, as I already own all this music anyway!
So figure it out, Sirius XM ... otherwise, it's uh-uh … no thanks ... not me.  
With blue tooth streaming now available on the go, there are FAR better choices available to listen to in the car than ever before … Rewound Radio immediately jumps to #1 in my vehicle, followed by preferred streaming choices like and Me-TV-FM out of Milwaukee, which streams the same music that Me-TV-FM here in Chicago plays but chooses not to make available to listeners on the go or wanting to listen to at work.  ALL of these stations play an EXCELLENT mix of music from the ‘50’s, ‘60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s … without excessive (and tolerable) commercial interruption.
When I consider how much I listen to Sirius XM these days, it just isn’t worth the expense.  (Plus we still have great local radio options to choose from as well … even with all these other options available, I still find myself listening to She-FM for Brooke and Jubal in the morning and The Drive for much of the rest of the day anyway.  (I have an unwritten policy, however, of turning off The Drive the minute they play their sixth AC/DC song … which happens nearly daily, in which case WXRT then becomes the station of choice!)  kk

Hi there. 
I don’t comment often but I read FH all of the time.  I’m from your generation and I just signed up for Medicare. 
I agree and disagree with your Radio Edition post.  I have always preferred the Classic Rock era to all others and I don’t believe it’s because it’s the era I grew up in.  It’s the pure musicianship and experimentation that made it special. You can read my thoughts in full at this post I wrote quite a few years ago for my own blog.
But the real reason I’m writing is because I hate it when people say that the era of music they grew up in is the best and there is nothing good out today.  A co-worker in her 50s said there are no songs after 1990 that she likes.  She should stop listening immediately.  She isn’t a music lover because she’s only reveling in nostalgia. 
Charlie Ricci    
There is a good amount of music that has come out since 1990 that I own and enjoy … but there is also a greater amount of “music” (if one can even call it that!) that’s just angry crap that will hold no redeeming value or emotional attachment 25, 30, 40 or 50 years from now.
My point is that there was FAR greater variety and, as you stated, experimentation in the era of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s than there is today where almost everything sounds as if it was churned out from the same mixing machine. 
This is not true of ALL music … there are dozens and dozens of artists whose work I admire from the past 25 years … but within the context of Forgotten Hits, we have an isolated era that we have chosen to focus upon … our whole existence is based on a common love of oldies music … so while we may step outside the “comfort zone” of 1954 – 1989 from time to time to share something by a new artist that we think our readers would enjoy … or should be exposed to … the “norm” for us has to be the era for which we are known to cover ... and provides the reason people come here.
One of the greatest emails I ever got came about sixteen years ago from a guy who simply said “Quit living in the past!” … but I can’t … because the past is EXACTLY what we cover here.  We provide a place where readers can share their own special moments and memories with each other.  That’s EXACTLY who we are and what we do.
With our 19th anniversary right around the corner, we look forward to continuing that tradition as we begin our 20th year.
Got somebody new you’d like us to investigate?  We’d love to hear about it … and may even share this discovery with our readers … as good music is good music, no matter WHEN it came out.  But our MAIN focus will never change … because we ARE Oldies Music … and that’s what people come here for.  (kk)   

Hello Friends! 
Thanksgiving week kicks off the season of giving, and I feel especially grateful this year, thanks to so many great people who have supported the Dick Biondi Film through donations, sponsorships, in-kind donations, and more.  Thank you just doesn’t seem enough for the dedicated community of people who have come together to honor this wonderful man.   
Meet Joe Farina 
Actor, hands on dad, and all around super nice guy, Joe is the new Director of Communications and Marketing who's been reaching out to potential sponsors in order to complete our tribute to a great Italian American hero.  You might remember Joe’s father, the late actor Dennis Farina, a former Chicago police officer who starred in television's Crime Stories and Law and Order Joe is a sensational ambassador for the film and we are honored to welcome him aboard!  Joe would love to hear from you! 
Our Sponsors 
This past Saturday, Joe and I attended the annual IAET (Italian American Executives of Transportation) Dinner Dance where we showed our official Trailer and met many wonderful people who are excited about the project.  AIET was our very first sponsor and we thank President Vito D’Ambrosio and all members for their kindness and support.
We thank Paul Shaffer of Late Night With David Letterman for his generous donation which made it possible to edit our Screener and introduced the story to audiences around the greater Chicagoland area this year. We give thanks to Ron Onesti of Onesti Entertainment for his continuous support and encouragement, and for taking the grand stage at Taylor Street’s Italian Festa this summer to lead thousands of fest-goers who were singing On top of a Pizza.  This scene was recorded and will become the perfect finale of our movie.  
Save the Date— April 28, 2019 
We’ve got a BIG EVENT planned to inspire you to join in on the Biondi fun, featuring Chicago’s own 1960’s band, The New Colony 6!  This incredible group will get you feeling like a teenager again, so stay tuned for details. 
We need you! 
If you’re a Biondi Subscriber, we know how much Dick Biondi means to you, so please consider becoming a Biondi Backer by making a Tax deductible donation. If you’d like to have your business or group associated with the Dick Biondi Film on broadcast television, at film festivals, streaming, and DVD, please consider becoming a Sponsor. Your donation will help cover the cost of music and media rights, post production, distribution, and preparing this documentary film for broadcast.   
After a lifetime of bringing joy, fun, and love through his radio show, personal appearances, and humanitarian activities, Dick quietly left the airwaves last spring due to a leg ailment.  Now is the time to share Dick’s incredible story.  So please, visit our Donate Page 
May this season inspire the joy of giving and make this season about others. 
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! 
Much love and gratitude,
Pam Pulice and the Dick Biondi Film Team