Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Saturday Survey (December 15th, 1968)

12-15-68 - KOOK - Billings, Montana

Go West, young man!  

We travel from the East Coast to the Midwest to the big sky country this week.  

Billings is the largest city in Montana (about 160,000 population) and a spot Lewis and Clarke visited in their monumental trek West in 1806.  

KOOK always had some great music on their charts back in the 60's.  The station had yet another interesting way to show their chart listings, utilizing BOTH sides of their "KOOK book" for the entire top 40 run PLUS a look back at "the old days" and even TV for that week, which included "The Grinch!".  

Look closely at this chart and you'll find three two-sided hits (including Aretha's #1) and TONS of cool obscure tracks with interesting stories.  With Graham Nash off to join his new west coast friends, the remaining Hollies use an old Buddy Holly tune to reach #3 here!  Older artists like Dion and Neil Sedaka are making their mark, too.  There's The Zombies and a Zombies "re-make" at #16 and #17!

Two Chicago oddities appear as well, one being the Shadows of Knight's "Gloria '69" at #11.  Dunwich guru Bill Traut wanted to cash in on the new found revival of his old hit band (thanks to their recent chart success with "Shake"), so he got Jim Donlinger to add a fuzz guitar track OVER the ORIGINAL 1966 hit version of "Gloria" and tried to make it a hit again in a different psychedelic music era for The Shadows Of Knight.  The band never knew anything about this one then!

The other Chicago odd ball is H.P. Lovecraft's "Keeper of the Keys" at #40.  Jeff Boyan, leader of the recently disbanded Saturday's Children, was now a driving member (along with the above mentioned Jim Donlinger!) of Lovecraft and their new underground music image would carry them well into the 70's with a cult following.

There's so many cool songs here, but I wanna feature "Honey Do" by the Strangeloves.  They had been off the charts for years (remember "I Want Candy" in 1965?), but this song sounded as if they never left their image of hard driving pop rock hit making days.  Much like their 1965 Bang records counterparts the McCoys, their 68-9 revival was nice but with little sales in return.
-- Clark Besch

*Survey courtesy of Gary Pfeifer and ARSA site 

This is, wthout question, one of the most eclectic charts we've featured in our Saturday Survey Flashback this year.  ALL kinds of "hits that never were" are represented here ... along with other records we know performing much better in Montana than they did nationally.

"Listen To Me" by The Hollies, "Reach Out" by Merilee Rush, "Gloria '69" by The Shadows Of Knight, "Star-Crossed Lovers" by Neil Sedaka, "Honey Do" by The Strangeloves, "She's Not There" by The Road, "Crown of Creation" by Jefferson Airplane, "I'm Into Looking For Someone To Love Me" by Bobby Vee, "Fox On The Run" by Manfred Mann, "Nightmare" by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, "I'm A Tiger" by Lulu, "Ten Wooden Soliders" by Mitch Wayne, "Look Around You" by Bobby Goldsboro, "Things" by long-time Forgotten Hits Reader and contributor Merrell Fankhouser and "Keeper Of The Keys" by H.P. Lovecraft.  And check out "Dizzy" as DJ Dan Miller's Pick Hit Of The Week ... a full NINE WEEKS before it would debut on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart!  (Now that's INCREDIBLE!!!)  [Merrell also earns Pick Hit status on this week's chart ... so how can we NOT feature this one?!?!?!]

The album chart also leans toward the heavy side, with LPs represented by Big Brother and the Holding Company, Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix (twice!), The Chambers Brothers and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.

Doesn't leave much room for our own pop hit selections this week ... but I'll go with "Bella Linda" by The Grass Roots and "Son Of A Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield, who we gave the spotlight treatment to YEARS ago in Forgotten Hits.  (kk)

THIS WEEK in '68:
12/11/68 – The Rolling Stones’ television special “Rock and Roll Circus”  is filmed.  Special guests include John Lennon, The Who, Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull and Marianne Faithfull

12/12/68 - The Guess Who’s first album featuring Burton Cummings on lead vocals, “Whitfield Soul”  is released.  It contains their soon-to-be breakthrough hit "These Eyes."

12/14/68 - The Doors headline the L.A. Forum with Jerry Lee Lewis, Lee Michaels and Sweetwater also on the bill

Also on 12/14 - “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly is certified gold today.  It has since sold over 25 million copies.

12/15/68 - The Doors appear on The Smothers Brothers TV show performing their new hit single, “Touch Me.”

Also, an hour earlier this night, Stevie Wonder (“For Once In My Life,” “You Met Your Match” and “Alfie”) and The Brooklyn Bridge (“The Worst That Could Happen”) performed on The Ed Sullivan Show

An Update from Merrell Fankhouser

Kent ~
Thanks so much for sending those old charts with my song "Things" from 1968! Wow, what a surprise!  We were on a lot of stations nationally that I never saw many charts from.  
The Merrell And HMS Bounty album is a valuable collectors item and is being reissued again this year on vinyl and CD!  
My 1967 album 'Fapardokly" gets $1,000 for a sealed copy and $450 for a mint open one! 
The lead song "Lila" from the album is in the new movie 'Chappaquiddick" and the song "Tomorrow's Girl" was on the Warner Rhino 2011 Grammy nominated compilation box set "Where The Action Is L.A Nuggets 1965 - 1968" ... and the song "Supermarket" was in the Thomas Pynchon novel "Inherent Vice". Amazing that three songs from the album are back in the spotlight after all these years ... !  
Have you heard the Merrell And HMS Bounty album? Glad you like "Lila" ... there's even an offer now to put it out on a single!
It still amazes me how those old songs from that album are coming back!  One they recently choose for a movie is titled "Don't let Go," and was originally recorded by "Merrell And The Exiles" in 1965.  It sat on a shelf at Glenn Records studio for 50 years unreleased!
I also have an offer for two of the songs to be in a TV series besides one in another movie. Maybe we can even land one in a national commercial spot ... Steve Miller told me he made 500 G's from "Fly Like An Eagle" when it was being used in the Dodge truck TV ad ! Yep, ads, TV and movies is the way to go and there is a big market for older music from 50's, 60's and early 70's! 
I have over 40 albums now not counting boots and compilations on various labels domestic and foreign.  
Lastly (for now anyway), I've been offered a national radio show to air on the East Coast and on the net that will be one hour monthly shows that follow my music career chronologically from 1962 to now. The show starts October 2nd.    
Any mention you can give my music and "Lila" in the "Chappaquiddick" movie is appreciated. Here's the link when to the new "Lila" video, which is now up on youtube.
Please stay in touch.

Yeah, I like this tune a lot!

Merrell also sent us some vintage photos to share ...

Here are the album covers and band photos of "Fapardokly"  and "HMS Bounty."  The photo without a title is Merrell And The Exiles that played on five of the songs on the Fapardokly album.  
The rest of the pics are HMS Bounty as well as the front and back of the LP. The top photo of HMS Bounty was our best selling single that made it on many charts nationally and the 'bubbling under' in Billboard. We thought it was going to really be a big hit but watched it fall off the charts when the label Uni / Shamley signed Neil Diamond, who had his first hit on a small label. All the promo went to him!   
Ahhh, the music biz.  

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Friday Flash

So this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees have been announced … 

And, instead of the usual five artists being inducted, The Rock Hall has opted to honor SEVEN artists this year … 

Def Leppard led the pack … also inducted were Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, The Zombies, Roxy Music and The Cure … 

Yet they STILL couldn’t find a spot for Todd Rundgren, who finished near the top of the Fan Vote.  (It’s a HUGE snub … even more so when one considers that The Nominating and Voting Committees found that the public would be better served if they inducted Stevie Nicks for a SECOND time rather than give Todd his due once!) 

Billboard opined that the list seemed selectively British this year … and we’ve also covered the point numerous times before about how The Rock Hall evidently doesn’t take the rock artists coming out of Canada very seriously in the scheme of things!  (Once again, The Guess Who have never even been so much as nonimated!!!) 

And FH Reader David Lewis told us that down in Nashville (which is where we're headed), musicians are “especially upset” about Todd being slighted again. 

The induction ceremony will take place in Brooklyn on March 29th … and air shortly thereafter on HBO and over Sirius XM.  (kk)

kk …
I remember hearing Tony Orlando tell his story that Bobby Darin left him his rhythm section.
Tony Orlando was also with popular DJ Murray The K at the time of his death.
Tony’s biography is a great read … this man has had some incredible highs and lows … and has been able to come back from all of it feeling truly blessed.  Pick up a copy if you get a chance … it’s a very interesting book.  (You’ll also hear how, after helping to kick-start Barry Manilow’s career, he was later blindsided by the artist on a royalties deal.)  kk

Thanks for the write up on my favorite, Tony Orlando! I'm looking forward to seeing him again in January, alas, without Telma and Joyce.
I was at the show in 1977 when he had his breakdown on stage over the death of Freddie Prinze, where he performed with Dawn for the last time for a very long time.
After all these years, he is still a great showman, always giving it his all, always thankful to his fans. His band is amazing - each a star in their own right. The crazy jams are my favorite part - when he gives each of them a time to shine.
Thanks for the pictures and the review!
Eileen Shank
Tony has always had an outstanding band … but they didn’t get to share the spotlight so much this time around … it was all about the music, the holiday spirit and the reunion.  (There was one point where keyboardist / guitarist Kerry Cole sang a verse of “White Christmas” in his Willie Nelson voice that brought a smile to all of our faces … but these guys typically REALLY cook on stage … and you’re absolutely right … Tony has always given them their own spot to shine.  (kk)

Here’s a review we ran on one of Tony Orlando’s show from a few years ago …

And a little bit more of what I was talking about on the Manilow / Orlando front …

And more!

I’m telling you … you could spend MONTHS going thru the Forgotten Hits website catching up on some of the cool stuff we’ve covered over the years!!!  (And this weekend might be a good time to do that since we’ll be out of town and unable to post anything new!)  kk

Hi Kent: 
Thoroughly enjoyed your Tony Orlando & Dawn review today.  And I wanted to thank you for including updates on the station in your past two newsletters.  There’s quite a bit of overlap between your readership and our listenership, I’m seeing, so you’re helping keep them informed.   
It’s interesting to see where people get their news.  When Comcast dropped us (as of December 1), we posted an announcement about that on social media and our home page.  Over a hundred people responded over the next few days.  Yet, I’ve been getting 3-4 notes each day since then from listeners asking, “Why can’t I get you on Comcast?”  Your newsletter is another way of filling the information gap.
Have a great day.
Rick O’Dell

A few observations from the Tuesday evening Brian Wilson Christmas Concert in Sarasota, FL - -  
It never crossed my mind that I would one day hear the entire Beach Boys Christmas album live ... But tonight that’s what happened!  
From Little Saint Nick to Auld Lange Syne.
Plus, a little bit of church. We Three Kings (wise men and women) still seek Jesus …  and a stunning rendition of O Holy Night, beautifully sung by Blondie Chaplin.  
Added to The Man With All the Toys ...  let every heart prepare him room.  
Thank you, Brian, for inviting Jesus to this Christmas party!


Odds are that by the time you read this this morning we’ll already be on our way to Nashville, TN, for the weekend.  One of the highlights will be seeing Amy Grant and Vince Gill perform their Annual Christmas Show at The Ryman Auditorium Sunday Night.  (This will be our last concert of 2018 … which reminds me … we still have to put together our list of The Top Ten Concerts of 2018 when we get back … so be sure to stay tuned for that!!!)  We'll also meet up with a couple of long-time Forgotten Hits list members ... so this should be a fun fun fun weekend.  (Sorry ... I've still got Phil's Beach Boys comments in my head!)

We also still have to give away copies of Mark Bego’s newly revised Aretha Franklin biography … so if you haven’t entered for your chance to win a copy yet, do it NOW because the deadline will be next Tuesday, December 18th.  We’ll announce the winners by week’s end!  (kk)

And how about this ...  

Boy, Forgotten Hits is EVERYWHERE this week!!!  

Wednesday Night we watched “The Goldbergs” Fall Finale on ABC … and during the course of that half hour broadcast they showed (in order) the Brook Benton “I Want To Be With You” / Lincoln car commercial … followed by the Elvis impersonators “There’s Always Me” Verizon commercial … and then, during the very next break, an Amazon commercial that features Bunny Siegler’s “Let The Good Times Roll.”  

Then, watching “The Connors” On Demand (man, I am REALLY digging this show … they’ve done some GREAT character development now that Roseanne is out of the way … they did a bit at the bar between John Goodman and Katy Sagal, who were making plans to go to Ravinia (a very popular outdoor music venue here in Chicago) to see “a bunch of oldies bands” … or at least “what’s left of them” … like Gladys Knight and the Pip … The Two Tops … a Righteous Brother … and One Dog Night!  (Boy, how many times have we covered THIS topic?!?!)  There’s also a nice shout-out to Baby Huey and the Babysitters and their non-hit single “Messin’ With The Kid.”  (Now how cool is THAT?!?!?)  

Good clean fun with some great music references this week on ABC!  (kk)  

Check out this YouTube link …
One of the comments says “The Connors brought me here”!!! (Too funny!)

More and more being said every day about the banning of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” … FH Reader Frank B sent us these two cartoons he saw on Facebook …

Even Rolling Stone Magazine has gotten in on the action …

kk …
Dino's back on the charts.
Frank B.
Yep!  In fact, we scooped Billboard Magazine with their own chart this week by about seven hours when we ran our list of Christmas Music making a comeback in this week’s Hot 100 list!  (How the heck did THAT happen?!?!)
Because the first thing I did Tuesday Morning was check the new Hot 100 Listing to see where Christmas Music fell on this week’s chart. I posted my findings right around 6:30 am … and Billboard didn’t release their OWN findings until 1:30 PM … so, incredible as it may sound, we beat them to the punch!!!  (kk)

This person may not mean a lot to the folks who were *fans* of pop music in the 60s and 70s, but he did help a lot of *makers* of pop music who were making the scenes.  The host of the Upbeat Show (based in Cleveland, but quickly syndicated around the country), Don Webster, has passed away on Thursday 12/13 at the age of 79. 
This article here (includes last TV performance of Otis Redding, days before his fatal plane crash):
-- Tim Kiley
“Upbeat” was must viewing for fans of ‘60’s music … we have covered this program many times in the past … in fact, we even pushed to have some of these vintage video released again so that the public could see them again for the first time in decades!  (I know they license clips … at a premium rate, I might add … for musical documentaries and such … but it’s the REAL fans out there who want to see them … and not just some 20-second edited clip either!  Most of our Chicagoland Local Heroes appeared on this program one time or another, too.  The musical guest list over the years is out of this world … literally, a Who’s Who of talent.  (kk)