... and it truly was ...
TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY the VERY FIRST Forgotten Hits Newsletter went out via email to a select group of 35 readers, all of whom I had met thru the Oldies Music Chatroom on AOL, then about the ONLY way to get online and meet people with similar interests.
I was accepted immediately into a group of knowledgeable, faithful and passionate oldies music fans ... all of whom shared our love of this great music we all grew up on ... much of which was being ignored by "oldies radio" at the time, in favor of playing the same 200-300 songs over and over again instead, leaving by the wayside literally THOUSANDS of others that the REAL oldies music fans still remembered ... songs that held a special place in their hearts and memories.
We've been pushing for expanded playlists ever since ... and, thanks to more and more Internet Radio Stations with seemingly unlimited playlists, we have seen this dream ... this vision ... come true again and again and again.
Sure, most of us still listening to terrestrial radio in our cars or offices have been doomed to the same daily repetition of twenty years ago and beyond. But SOME stations have leapt to the forefront by pushing the envelope a little bit and challenging our memory banks by stepping outside the traditional box, making radio listenable and enjoyable again. (A tip of the hat to Me-TV-FM, for example!)
When I started Forgotten Hits, I figured it would be an occasional newsletter that would go out to a handful of like-minded readers who wanted to share in the memory of hearing some songs absent from the airwaves for far too long ... sharing a memory or two of their own, along with a little background information on the artist(s) being featured. At best, I figured I could probably keep things going for about five years before I ... or my audience ... would get bored with the whole concept.
But then something magical happened ...
Radio picked up on what we were doing here and soon we were being quoted on oldies radio shows across the country, often being invited to come on the air and either talk about oldies music or help with some unique programming ideas.
Then some of the artists caught wind of what we were doing and wanted to participate, nearly all throwing their support behind our efforts and thanking us for doing our part to help keep this great music alive.
It grew so quickly that I could no longer keep up with an email list (not to mention far-exceeding the allowable amount of mail addresses that we could send to) so, in 2008, The Forgotten Hits Website was born.
(www.forgottenhits.com) Today, that site is primarily used to provide home for some of our most popular features ... and archival site, if you will.
Meanwhile, the "damn-near-daily" blog continues here ... http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com. We passed five million viewers earlier this year ... all the more impressive to me when one considers that our first newsletters went out to a mailing list of 35 people!
Along the way we've done investigative research (Who Played The First Beatles Record In America?, The Stories Beyond The Songs), in-depth profiles and interviews ... countless reader polls to determine everything from your Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides to the Best Psychedelic Songs of All-Time ... the Greatest Summer Songs Ever ... the best TV Themes! ... the Greatest Instrumental Hits ... the Best Garage Bands ... the INCREDIBLY popular First 45's Series ... and, most recently, THE TOP 3333 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS OF ALL TIME, still running on its own dedicated website ... https://classicrockessentials.blogspot.com/
We recently spent an entire year recreating the events of 1967, as they happened, on the 50th Anniversary of each occurrence. (Every time I think I'm going to start cutting back and relaxing a little bit more, a new project comes to mind, inspiring me to push a little harder than ever before to see if I can make it happen. That Top 3333 Classic Rock list just about did me in ... with over one million total votes and points to tabulate, it was a project of mammoth proportion ... but Classic Rock Radio needs a wake-up call, much like Oldies Radio did twenty years ago, so who knows ... maybe we can help a little bit in that regard and start to see a difference in the way these stations approach programming. I certainly hope so.)
Bottom line ... It's all meaningless without your support ... so thanks to ALL of you for sticking with us for the past twenty years. Readers have come and gone ... and we've lost some great ones over the past two decades ... but if you're reading this now, your love and passion for the music of the '50's, '60's, '70's, '80's and beyond is EXACTLY what keeps us going ... YOU'RE the ones we do this for.
So ... HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY TO US ...
(and by us, I mean ALL of us ...
as Forgotten Hits is, has always been, and will always be, a group effort.)
Join in the celebration ... and proudly sing ...
IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY ...