Monday, March 18, 2019

A Monday Morning Quickie!

A few more Hal Blaine comments have trickled in …  

Hi Kent –
This week has been so sad with the passing of Hal Blaine (the World's greatest drummer) The tributes on your page and on social media are testimony to a wonderful man.  Once I read Kent Hartman's book on the Wrecking Crew I knew I  had to meet Hal Blaine.
In 2016  I was on holiday in America and he invited me to his home in Palm Desert. I can still hear his words when I pressed the bell on his gated community:  "I've been waiting for you."  
The day we spent was amazing.  His house is adorned with letters from three presidents, astronauts who took his music into space and memorabilia of staggering proportions.  Every musician I have interviewed quite rightly quotes Hal Blaine as the greatest. He gave me signed photos and the legendary sticker "Hal Blaine strikes again."
Even in January he was sending me his regular e-mail "on this day in music," which I always used on my radio shows.
Like everyone else, he will be sorely missed. 
My condolences to his family

So very sad to hear of Hal Blaine's passing.
I was fortunate enough to interview Hal twice, both times in person.
The second time, he asked if I was doing anything after the interview.  I said I was free.  He then invited me to a recording session at Bell Sound in Hollywood with producer Joe Saraceno (The Marketts, The T-Bones and The Routers) - which, in the studio at least, were Hal and members of The Wrecking Crew.
What a fascinating couple of hours.
I've produced music before and hundreds of jingles, so being in the studio wasn't a big deal, but being in THIS studio with THIS drummer and the rest of the musicians (and producer Saraceno) was magical.
A few years ago, I wrote a column about Hal for a Bob Segarini blogsite.  Here's that column.  
Rest easy Hal.  You were a musical legend and well and truly loved and revered.
Doug Thompson

We lost another music legend this past weekend as revolutionary surf guitarist Dick Dale (The King Of Surf Guitar) passed away on Saturday, March 16th at the age of 81.
Dale was yet another artist that made every edition of our Deserving And Denied List of artists worthy of induction to yet consistently ignored and overlooked by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
The most frustrating thing about THIS particular omission is that Dale's resume meets (and exceeds) the exact criteria and very essence of what The Rock Hall was founded to acknowledge and honor ... an innovative guitarist who changed the sound of rock and roll.  The number of guitarists and artist he influenced with his twangy, surf guitar is immeasurable.  (At the very least he should have been inducted as an Early Influence ... but now, once again, another artist has passed before The Hall bestowed the rightful honor of his induction.)
You'll see TONS of accolades pour in for this guy ... he virtually invented surf rock and countless instrumental combos in the process, not to mention early surf pioneers like The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean.  (kk)

As if we haven't had enough sadness for the week - we lost Dick Dale today.  Saw him live a few years ago at Biddy Mulligan's and was surprised that the crowd was tiny - they apparently didn't advertise the appearance enough.  He blew the place away.
Mike Wolstein   

Harvey Kubernik sent in this remembrance put together by himself and Chris Darrow ... as well as an updated piece by Chris ... 

As you might know, I've been doing an oral music history with multi-instrumentalist Chris Darrow for 40 years. 
We were just talking about Dale's influence on Jimi Hendrix. I saw Dick on stage 45 and 50 years ago in SoCal and decided why bother to learn guitar ... 

Darrow has cut a number of solo albums and been a sideman on albums by James Taylor and John Stewart, toured with Linda Ronsdadt, 1969 - 1971 and is an architect of SoCal country rock and pioneer force in Americana. And very involved with surf music. 

"The only real surf guitarist for me is Dick Dale. All the rest are imitators,” Chris claims. “I saw him a number of times around 1962, ’63 at The Rendevous Ballroom in Newport Beach. The intensity and volume of the performances were such that the wooden building seemed to lift off the ground when he played. Until the Beatles came along there was nothing that drove the audiences as wild like Dick Dale and The Del-Tones. He was boss.”
Darrow has been the bandleader for the annual “Surfer Magazine Awards Banquet,” formed a group with guitarist Paul Johnson, who had written the surf masterpiece “Mister Moto,” and Darrow and Corky Carroll, a surf legend did a whole album for Germany on Gee Dee Reords called “Surfdogs on the Range.”
“I lived in San Clemente for about seven years in the late seventies and that’s where I met Corky and most of the surf guys I know. I used to put together a band every year for the ‘Surf Magazine’ awards show called the Hula Buckaroos. We had a band called Cheapshot that was the group Chester, Jerry Waller and I played in. We expanded it to include Bob Siggins. We did everything from ‘Hawaii 5-0 Theme’ to ‘Quiet Village.’ We would play the show and then the dance afterwards. Very cool deal.”  
The above appeared in a "Goldmine" magazine cover story I did last decade. Copyright Harvey Kubernik 2019 

I just called Chris and told him the news. 

He sent me the below expanded reflection ...  

Dick Dale By Chris Darrow  
"I started surfing in high school about 1959 and was stunned by the first Surfer magazine, which came a year later.  Started by John Severson, it was a way to finance his early surf films.  SURF FEVER was the film that started it all for me.  It featured Mexican music, a mandolin instrumental played by Pete Seeger called Woody’s Rag and Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn Theme was used for the big wave sequence at Wiamea Bay.  Surf Music, as such, had not yet been invented.
There had always been instrumental music in Rock and Roll ... guys like Joe Houston, Link Ray, “Mighty”Jim Balcom, Chuck Higgins, Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs and the incomparable Duane Eddy, all set up the arrival of “The King of the Surf Guitar”, Dick Dale. 
In 1961 he put out a record called Let’s Go Trippin and it was all over.  The first real guitar god of Rock and Roll was born with that 45rpm record.  His home turf was Newport Beach, California, and he played regularly at the Rendezvous Ballroom out on the Newport Peninsula.  Since the forties, Newport Beach and Balboa Island had been the coastal hang out for most of the high school beach kids in Southern California, especially during “Bal Week”, Easter vacation.  Places like The Jolly Roger restaurant on Balboa Island and Sid’s Blue Beet, The Prison of Socrates and the Rendezvous in Newport were popular gathering spots in the late 50’s and early sixties.
I saw Dick Dale for the first time in 1962 or '63 at the Rendezvous Ballroom.  The Rendezvous was an old wooden building with a mezzanine wrapping around its interior.  Dick Dale and the Del-Tones played so loud and hard that the reverberating sound in this giant, wooden, sound box literally made the rafters shake.  It was exiting and visceral.  Peroxide heads in Pendleton shirts did the Surfer Stomp with their chicks on the big dance floor.  Dick, playing his Fender Stratocaster, upside down and backwards, wowed the audience with pyrotechnics and theatrics that the likes of Jimi Hendrix would later absorb into his persona.  Had it not been for the Beatles and the English Invasion, I feel that Dick would have been a greater star and even more of a household name. 
The next time I saw him was in the late seventies at a club that he owned in Orange County, dubbed the Rendezvous.  It was a totally different vibe, with a Vegas-style act in a Vegas-style cub.  There were scantily clad girls dancing on the bars and a lounge type group backing him up, featuring his Asian wife, Jeanie, and a big, black, sax player with a shaved head called Mr. Clean.  He did popular songs and every once in a while did a “Dick Dale Song”.  That was probably his lowest period. 
I was living in San Clemente at the time and would front a band called the Hula Buckaroos for the Annual Surfer Magazine Awards banquet every year.  There were always special guests at the event.  One year Dick was introduced out of the audience, and, as we were playing a tune as his intro, he jumped up on stage and proceeded to sit in on almost every instrument, including the drums.  I have only seen Sammy Davis Jr. do anything as 'show biz' as that in my life.  It is my opinion that the only, true surf guitar player is Dick Dale … all the others are just pretenders." 
Copyright 2019 Chris Darrow        

Last week we told you about a new EP release by Tommy Roe … and then FH List Member David Lewis told us that Tommy had been rerecording a number of his hits down in Nashville as well.
Here is more on this story: 

Actor / Singer / Teen Star / Heartthrob Johnny Crawford (“The Rifleman”) has been admitted to a full time care facility where he is suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Fellow teen star (and long-time advocate of child stars for decades now through his “A Minor Consideration” organization) Paul Petersen (“The Donna Reed Show” … and he crooned a tune or two as well, as did his tv-sister Shelley Fabares) has set up a GOFUNDME Page for those who wish to donate.  (Crawford’s healthcare costs are in the neighborhood of $8000 a month!)  Details on how to donate can be found via the link shown below.
Or, if you wish to send a Get Well greeting, you may do so by writing to Johnny at Glen Park Healthy Living - 1220 Mariposa St - Glendale, Ca. 91205.
Thank you to FH Reader Frank B, who received these updates through Wild Wayne … and to all who can find it in their hearts to give back. (kk)

From Paul Petersen: 
My lifelong friend, Johnny Crawford, has been given a tough diagnosis:  Alzheimer's.
His wife, Charlotte, now has him safely in a home.  The cost is steep.
The former kid stars in A Minor Consideration are doing what they can to help.
For those who enjoyed Johnny's work and music over all these decades, here's a way to give back to Johnny Crawford.
Paul Petersen 


Here are The Top Ten Biggest Hits by Johnny Crawford, Paul Petersen and Shelley Fabares:

#1 – Johnny Angel – Shelley Fabares  (#1, 1962)

#2 - My Dad – Paul Petersen (#6, 1963)

#3 - Cindy’s Birthday – Johnny Crawford (#8, 1962)

#4 - Rumors – Johnny Crawford (#12, 1962)

#5 - Your Nose Is Gonna Grow – Johnny Crawford (#14), 1962)

#6 - She Can’t Find Her Keys – Paul Petersen (#19, 1962)

#7 - Johnny Loves Me – Shelley Fabares (#21, 1962)

#8 - Proud – Johnny Crawford (#28, 1963)

#9 - Patti Ann – Johnny Crawford (#40, 1962)

#10 – The Things We Did Last Summer – Shelley Fabares (#46, 1962)

A couple of weeks ago we got to talking about 45 adapters and such …
It never even dawned on me that we were on the eve of the 70th Anniversary of the 45 … a move that revolutionized the record industry back in 1949.  (The little record with the big hole was puzzling to most … and I still maintain that there is absolutely NO reason why they couldn’t have just gone with the smaller hole in the middle like every other record ever pressed … unless the savings on that extra inch and a half of unused vinyl was just so massively significant … and maybe it was … that the pressing plants saved a fortune by not having to use as much … but wouldn’t you think that bigger circle still would have had to be cut out in some fashion, resulting in that 1 ½” circle ultimately being discarded and thrown in the garbage???)
Oh well, here’s some more information along with some celebratory news about this revolutionary invention …  

And, since we’re talking hit singles, the latest by Maroon 5, featuring Cardi B (“Girls Like You”) reached a Billboard milestone this week when it began its 40th week in The Top 20 … something achieved by only five other singles prior to this week.  (It’s not at all surprising that ALL of these achievers are from post-1997, by which time it was not at all uncommon to see a hit record spend a YEAR or more on the chart!!!)
Ah, I long for the days when the market was SO competitive that artists were releasing three or four singles a year just to keep their names out there (and their music on the radio!).  Back then, a successful chart run was about twelve weeks … and you made the most of it during your moment in the sun. (I can still remember when Paul Davis set the music trades on their collective ear when “I Go Crazy” entered its 40th week in The Top 100 … this was unheard of at the time.  Now we’re talking about 40 weeks in The Top 20!)  From a chart perspective, music sure has gotten boring!  There’s just not enough worthy competition to rejuvenate the charts each week.  (Of course, today, new records debut at #1 on a regular basis, too.  And ANY recording is fair game, as long as you get enough downloads and YouTube views … it doesn’t even have to be a “single” anymore to make an impression on the chart.)  Seems like all the fun (and methodology of it all) are long gone from the music industry.  On the plus side, I will admit that the charts today are completely fan-driven … and that’s a good thing.  (kk)

The six longest running Billboard Top 20 Hits:
Most Weeks in Hot 100's Top 20
46, "You Were Meant for Me"/"Foolish Games," Jewel, No. 2 peak, April 19, 1997

42, "Shape of You," Ed Sheeran, No. 1 (12 weeks), Jan. 28, 2017
42, "Uptown Funk!," Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, No. 1 (14 weeks), Jan. 17, 2015
40, "Girls Like You," Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B, No. 1 (seven weeks), Sept. 29, 2018
40, "Perfect," Ed Sheeran duet with Beyoncé, No. 1 (six weeks), Dec. 23, 2017
40, "Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock, No. 1 (six weeks), July 16, 2011

Here’s another interesting chart statistic … 

Two of those records shown above spent more than ten weeks in the #1 spot.
Between 1992 and 2015 (the latest Top Pop Singles book by Joel Whitburn) 32 records have spent ten or more weeks at #1.
In the previous 37 year period that only happened a total of four times.
So again, how can you possibly compare the hits of today to the hits of yesterday when this kind of discrepancy can exist?

On the anniversary of the recording of the R&B / R&R Classic “Sh-Boom” (March 15th, 1954), Frank B. sent us this clip, recounting the incredible story behind the hit song …

“Sh-Boom” charted for 24 weeks on Cash Box Magazine’s Pop Chart in 1954, ultimately sharing the #1 spot (with versions recorded by other artists, most notably, The Crew Cuts) for seven weeks.  (kk) 

Have you seen the list of presenters for this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony?  (I’m not quite sure I get most of them … but here they are):  
Harry Styles presenting for Stevie Nicks
Brian May of Queen presenting for Def Leppard
Janelle Monáe presenting for Janet Jackson
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails presenting for The Cure
David Byrne presenting for Radiohead
John Taylor & Simon LeBon of Duran Duran presenting for Roxy Music
Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles presenting for The Zombies
The ceremony takes place on Friday, March 29th and will air beginning April 27th on HBO.  (I can't promise you that I'll be watching!)  

In 1974 we took an extensive tour of the southwest. By pure coincidence, one of the places we camped at was near the actual gravesite of the real Ringo, depicted in Lorne Greene’s 1964 record that was listed in Hal Blaine’s achievements.
Unlike the record, Ringo, appeared to have committed suicide, by gun, at this absolutely beautiful site next to a pond at the base of the Chiricahua Mountain range in southeast Arizona.
This year we are on another extended tour of the southwest and we attempted to retrace the route of our 1974 trip as closely as possible. On 12/30/18 we were able to locate the grave and our campsite again, which was not easy as it is in a remote area. The grave and the site is exactly as it was in '74.
Very few people, even residents of Arizona, are aware of this beautiful area and we highly recommend it.
Robert Campbell

>>>I was watching old cartoons from the 60's on Youtube the other day and came across one called Super Six. I watched it as a kid, not because it was a good one, but it was the best one on in its time period. With only our three networks back in the day, sometimes we had to settle for the best of the worst.  When the theme started to play on Youtube I thought that the singer had to be Gary Lewis. I did some digging and sure enough it was!  I believe this to be 1966.  Bad cartoon, and not a great theme, but we all love our top 40 trivia.  (Bill Scherer)    
I had the opportunity to visit with Gary Lewis Friday Night at the opening of Michael Bush’s Photo Exhibit (which is quite amazing, by the way!) and we had a good laugh over this “Super Six” tune. (He’s the first to admit it’s not the greatest material he’s ever recorded!  Lol)
But Gary said this was such an exciting time as there were so many opportunities to do fun side projects like these.  (He also mentioned his series of Coca Cola commercials.)  Guest-starring on tv shows … major tours with other big name acts … and then, beginning in 1985 (which is when he first met Mike Bush), the very first Happy Together Tour.  (There is a great photo at the exhibit from this era.)

We talked again about the long-lasting popularity of this music … and how fans who came to see him fifty years ago are still coming to his concerts today.
I’ve gotta tell you, Gary looks great … and has quite a few shows coming up which, if any happen to be in your area, he would love to see you attend! 

As for Michael G. Bush’s “61 at 61” photo exhibit, there are some amazing shots on display … if you get the chance to stop by (it runs thru April 5th), please do as I think you’ll really enjoy it.  (Scroll back to Thursday’s post for more details.)  

My favorites include an amazing shot of Alice Cooper (the detail in this photo is incredible), a beautiful shot of “the two Davids” (Cassidy and Jones), which presents a rare photo opportunity where both artists actually appear to be sober, a very nice photo of Rick Nelson, that great Bee Gees shot we ran last week and one of Carl Wilson backstage where you can see their entire Beach Boys set list written on the palm of his hand!

It was also interesting to see photographers taking photos of the photographer at the opening night event.  Luciano Bilotti and Jack Monogan, both of whom have shared their photos with Forgotten Hits over the years, were there snapping away and admiring in awe the quality of Michael’s work.

Lou explained the uniqueness of Mike’s work … all taken with 35mm film … no digital (not in his vocabulary) … and many from a vintage time capturing these artists during the prime time of their careers. Bush had unlimited, unheard of access at a time where many others had to sneak a camera into a venue in the hopes of capturing a shot or two … and he got to know these artists by visiting with them backstage before and after a show, building relationships that have lasted decades.  (Gary Lewis told me that he just HAD to fly in for this exhibit to show his support … he and Bush have been friends since Michael took his first Gary Lewis photo during a Happy Together Tour stop in Chicago in 1985.)  So many of these artists have left us in recent years so it is especially exciting to see them captured during a far more carefree and exciting time.

In addition to visiting with Gary Lewis, I was also able to do a FaceTime visit with Dennis Tufano, thanks to his sister, who was there showing all of the photos to Dennis via her cell phone because he couldn’t be there personally to experience it for himself.

Michael told me that he already has other exhibits in mind … including one spotlighting Freddie Mercury and Queen (hot on the heels of all the Bohemian Rhapsody frenzy that’s been going on thanks to the enormously successful movie) which could happen as soon as this summer. He’d also like to do one featuring Chicago’s own Cornerstones of Rock Legends (Michael has been photographing The Ides Of March, The Buckinghams, The New Colony Six, The Shadows Of Knight and The Cryan’ Shames for the past forty years now!) and, maybe next year, “62 at 62,” featuring all new photos not featured this year.  (The guy may have a million photos in his collection by this point … in fact, it sounds like HE is discovering or re-discovering some of these for the first time in decades, too!)

Other exhibits currently under consideration:  The Beach Boys 60th Anniversary, On Tour With The Monkees, Sixties Hitmakers, The History Of British Rock, and several others.  So while this particular exhibit may have been a long time coming, it sounds like it just may have opened the door allowing for many more similar exhibits to come … in addition to the long talked about “coffee table book” collecting the best of the best from these series that fans can purchase as a personal keepsake.

Great turn out for a very special event, a long time coming to say the least.  (kk) 

I received the email about surveys that Frank Merrill referred to in FH the other day. I immediately wrote back to the person who wanted to know if his WLS Silver Dollar Survey collection was worth anything. The short answer is, yes. However, there are a bunch of qualifiers that go along with that statement. Both you and Frank touched on a couple and I will add in a couple more.
First it doesn't matter what memorabilia you collect, be it music, sports, political, etc. As Frank said, condition is EVERYTHING! As a collector, I detest the terms NM, VG, G, etc. What's worse is the use of pluses and/or minuses afterwards. What's the difference between NM- and VG+?  We won't get into exactly what is NM, and what is a lesser grade. A good rule of thumb is to place two identical items, and in this case surveys, next to each other. If you can see a difference, then one is NOT NM. Chances are neither is NM.
Survey defects include, but are not necessarily limited to, corner dings, corner folds (there's a difference), the entire survey is folded in half (usually thru the middle), writing on the survey, nicks, tears, wrinkles and more. What it comes down to is what you'll tolerate for the price you have to pay for it. I'll tolerate a less than perfect copy of some weeks, if the price is right. Will I pay $100.00 for survey #1, that looks like it may disintegrate at anytime? Nope. Will I pay $5.00 for it? Maybe, but I won't get into a bidding war over it. The same goes for the other three weeks I'm still missing. In fact, a survey could have none of the above defects and still not be near mint. These surveys were very crisp pieces of paper and if they've lost that crispness, it's lost value. In short, in determining a value, one must consider what, if anything, detracts from top value. Saying something is NM is meaningless. Also meaningless is the rationalization that they are vintage. You won't find them in any shape. I'll tell you right now, I can produce 25 copies of 1/3/64. Probably 50, and in as good, or better shape than anyone else has.
Next is something you mentioned, Kent. Does he want to sell them all at once, or let someone cherry pick? You said if you sell them in bulk, the buyer will want a better deal, than if he were to buy a couple. What many might not realize, is that the prime stuff will go first. You get your top dollar and then what? You're left with bread crumbs ... dates no one wants, or it's one of those NM surveys that isn't really NM ... so you're stuck with them at your current asking price, and now the total value has dropped because the "good" stuff is gone. It comes down to average price per survey. You could be losing more money by selling it individually.
Obviously, the earlier the date, the more valuable, but not always. Other factors include the featured jock, the songs listed, and even the ad on the back. Some surveys have three different ads. Some surveys have more than one color and, of course, then there are those half dozen or so gold surveys. (Don't get me started!)  I will not give out info on what surveys are more valuable, as I don't want to see the price shoot up because I said 1/3/64 is rare. Maybe I should … maybe I'll sell a few! What it comes down to, plain and simple, is that any given week is worth whatever someone wants to pay for it.
One final thing to consider is that the market is totally different than it was when you and I first met over 40 years ago. (We thought we were the only ones!)  I don't know how many collections I've filled in for people over the years, and once they have what they need, the market has shrunk. The Internet and eBay, has done wonders for the hobby. However, the market is shrinking.
A 15 year old kid in 1961 is now 73. How many are still interested in reliving their youth? How many still have those 1961 charts?
What is needed is their 15 year old grandchildren to take an interest in it. Pretty much everyone who wants WLS surveys already has them. All of us are missing the same "Holy Grails."  WLS and, by extension, almost all urban market surveys, are not as desirable as they once were. The market is flooded. I'm sitting on at least 7500 Silver Dollar Surveys. You wanna take them off my hands? I'll give you below market value price if you buy them all.
An honest answer for the gentleman who wrote asking about the value would be about $5-25 for a PRISTINE copy. There are a few worth ten times that total and a few that if you were lucky enough to get two dollars, I'd tell you take the money and run. However once any of the above mentioned defects show up, the value drops like yesterday's #1 record.
That's a pretty good assessment.
I asked Jack which surveys he still needed original copies of in order to complete his own collection ...

And here is what he sent me ...

It looks to me that I'm missing 10/14, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29 and 11/5, all 1960  plus  5/6/61 and 4/13/74. (I have no idea where that went to. 
Now technically the only week I'm truly missing is the one from 1974. The others I have almost perfect two side color copies of. Thanks. 
In the unlikely event that ANYBODY out there happens to have a good, clean (pristine?) original copy available, please contact me and I will pass your information along.  Thank you.  (kk) 
Some big doings this September in Louisville, KY, where the “Bourbon And Beyond” three day festival is showcasing some major talent!