Monday, December 9, 2019

A Monday Morning Quickie!

The rumors are true … Gilbert O’Sullivan IS touring again and will be hitting several City Winery locations across the country next Spring, including a stop right here in Chicago on April 19th.

Here are the other dates as they are currently posted:

April 12 – Washington, D.C. – City Winery
April 13 – Philadelphia, PA – City Winery
April 15 – New York, NY – City Winery
April 16 – Boston, MA – City Winery
April 19 – Chicago, IL – City Winery
April 20 – Nashville, TN – City Winery
April 22 – Atlanta, GA – City Winery
April 24 – Berkeley, CA – Freight & Salvage
April 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Mint  

O’Sullivan has not toured The States in 43 years (and even back in the day he wasn’t doing a lot of live appearances), so this is a real treat indeed. (I had one reader ask me “What’s he going to do, sing “Alone Again (Naturally)” for an hour straight?”)  But the truth is Gilbert had SIX Top 40 US Hits (and better than TWICE that many back home in Europe) … 

Here in The States he scored with “Alone Again (Naturally)” #1, 1972; “Clair” (#2, 1972); “Out Of The Question” (#17, 1973); “Get Down” (#4, 1973); “Ooh Baby” (#11, 1973) and “Happiness Is Me And You” (#34, 1974.)  “Nothing Rhymed” and “A Woman’s Place” were also popular songs here.

As to what you can expect, here is the way Gilbert described it:

"Well, you'll get two-and-a quarter hours of some of the best-known songs, album tracks that people like, plus a sample of the new material. So, there's plenty to choose from. There's a continuity right through my career, picking out songs that I think work well melodically and lyrically that people will find interesting, I hope. And then, there's that element of new material, which we bring in four or five songs from the new album."

Having never had the chance to see him before (the story going ‘round at the time was that Gilbert’s voice wasn’t strong enough to project properly during a live setting, a problem he could successfully overcome in the studio), I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing him for the very first time.  Let us know if you get tickets to see him in YOUR area, too!  (kk)

And speaking of shows …

I really liked your review of It Was 50 Years Ago Today.
I'm seeing the show this week in LA and I have one question. Do you recall from having seen it so recently what time the show actually started? The tickets say 7 but one can never trust that.
Thanks and keep up the great work. 

Actually, I've seen the show twice now ... just saw it again last week as it circled thru on the second leg of the tour, back to The Arcada Theatre.
It's been pretty punctual ... our start time was 7:30 (which is challenging on a week night!) and it's a pretty long show ... about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish (with an intermission)
I think this time around they may have started 15 minutes late ... but the show moves along at a pretty good clip.
Besides featuring 24 songs from The White Album, each artist also performs two of their own hits ... so yeah, it's a long show ... but a very entertaining one.
Send us your review after you see it!
Thanks, Michael!  (kk)

As for MY review, I enjoyed it every bit as much this time around.  Sure, there were a few rough edges … most of which, I think, can be attributed to their brief break in the action … but all of these artists seem pretty committed to honoring the music of The Beatles in a very professional and loving manner. (I’m sure each and every one of them were influenced by The Beatles in some fashion before striking out on their own successful careers.Between Jason Scheff, formerly of Chicago, Todd Rundren, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Christopher Cross and Joey Molland of Badfinger, their hit list is quite impressive indeed!
Jason made a comment during the show that this experience has introduced him to several new artists that he has the utmost respect for … and knows that he will remain friends with for the rest of his life.
Christopher Cross also remarked about what a thrill it was to perform all these hits by such great songwriters … and then added, “But let’s not forget The Beatles, as they were pretty good songwriters themselves.”
You will enjoy this show.

It looks like there are only a couple of dates are left on the agenda … and these very well may be sell outs …  
Wednesday, December 11 - The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA    
Sunday, December 15  -The Jackson Rancheria Casino, Jackson, CA

Kudos to Sam Tallerico, who did another GREAT B-Sides show this past weekend, featuring a number of songs that made our Top 200 List as well as several surprises.  (I think they’re having fun with this … and it may actually turn into a monthly feature!)
If you missed the program you can listen to the podcast here:
(It looks like their first B-Sides Show may still be posted there, too.)
A fun listen.  (And I don’t think I’ve ever been thanked 20 times in 2 hours before … so thanks to YOU guys, too, for taking this concept and running with it!)  kk

Ok, I’m about 20 years late to the Forgotten Hits party, but here goes!
I’m not a dj but have a friend who is, and he hosts a couple of oldies shows that have as a daily feature a song or “track" -- ”Ted’s Track” — that I select to commemorate the day. I do my musical research (’50s to ‘the 80s) and for that date provide material for the dj on artists’ births (living and dead), artists’ deaths, significant events, songs released, songs recorded, and songs (sometimes, albums) that hit #1. As part of one of my recent tracks, I researched two-sided singles and discovered Forgotten Hits. And that’s how I found you. What a great site!
So … here’s my first 45 (so young that I bought it with money — 89¢? — from my parents): Pat Boone’s “A Wonderful Time Up There” / “It’s Too Soon to Know.”
This was early ’58, and I do remember that it was either going to be that Pat Boone 45 or David Seville’s “The Witch Doctor.” Now, as an adult (or, as I like to say, “a man of a certain age”), I know that “It’s Too Soon to Know” was a cover of the Orioles’ original  from ’48, a very early doo-wop/vocal group harmony and, in retrospect (hindsight being the best sight) — and especially considering that I share an ethnicity with David Seville -- I probably should have chosen “The Witch Doctor.” No regrets, though: in the last few years, I’ve been collecting original 45s — including Seville’s — and even some 78s and a few lps I missed the first time around. The 45 collection is now just a bit over a thousand and goes back to the very beginnings of the 45 in 1949.
Anyway, I’m happy to share that memory with you and, while I wish I had known about Forgotten Hits sooner, I'm glad I’ve now found it and am greatly enjoying the website.
Ted Kharpertian
Our FIRST 45’s Feature has been one of our most consistent favorites for YEARS now … and it would STILL make for a great daily feature on SOMEBODY’S radio show.  (You could feature songs and stories from our posts … and then encourage your listeners to submit their own list of First 45’s … seriously, a program like this could run for YEARS … and it actually did on Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel several years ago.   Hey, EVERYBODY remembers their “first,” don’t they???)  kk

Loved seeing that ad for The Cuff Links ... from Decca Records.
My father worked for them and I well remember him bringing home the acetate (!!!) of that rather brilliant records.
Thanks for the memories
- David Salidor

This is an FYI …
Next year on January 11, the Drifters, Coasters, and Platters will be in Oklahoma City to do a concert of their hits. At least, three groups that pretend to be originals. Of course, we all know that a lot of the original members have passed on. They are showing a 30 second promo at least on television and they show the singer from the Coasters(?) singing POISON IVY.
Kent, as my dad would have said, this guy couldn't carry water in a bucket much less carry a tune. Anyway, I am not going. Though I will have to admit most of the members of the group look like the age the original members would have been.
And, speaking of The Coasters, it's that time of year again when new network commercials start popping up on television. I just now saw one during the telecast of the PAC-12 Championship game. At least new to me.
It shows two young couples apparently SEARCHIN' for something in a toy department. They look outside the window and see the golden arches of McDonalds ... The Coasters would have been proud.  Stay tuned for more to come. 
Also ...
Reader Sam was interested in the song THE EGGPLANT THAT ATE CHICAGO by Dr West's Medicine Show and Junk Band. I think most of your readers know that novelty record was written by Norman Greenbaum, who later did SPIRIT IN THE SKY later on in 1970. I was curious and went and looked. Here in the OKC area, it made its initial survey appearance for the week of December 1, 1966, at song position #50. It peaked later on for the week of January 5, 1967, in song position lucky #13. Probably the biggest novelty record from the year 1966 here in OKC had to be BATMAN'S GRANDMOTHER by Dickie Goodman, peaking at #2.
Larry Neal
I love the way some of these novelty hits charted high on our local charts.  (“Batman and His Grandmother) went to #9 here in Chicago … but Break-In King Dickie Goodman also had two #1 Records here … “The Untouchables” and “Mr. Jaws.”)

In fact, FH Reader Clark Besch mentions how well novelty hits did here in Chicago in his email, as well … and also covers some other recent topics we’ve covered …

I NEVER heard the "Eggplant" song on Chicago radio.  Kinda odd, as Chicago radio DID play LOTS of novelty songs. 
Certainly, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich's "Bend It" got LOTS of airplay on WLS, mostly via the British Billboard show that Ron Riley used to do, which featured MOST of the group's 60's UK hits.  US Fontana actually released the song in two different (but VERY similar) versions, as I have both 45s, like Kent played. Cash Box did chart songs back before 1955 but they often listed ALL of the versions available.  Here, you will see "Goodnight, Sweetheart" at #8 via MANY artists, listing Spaniels at end of line.  They had regional charts as well and the Chicago one did NOT show it, but others listed McGuire Sisters version, etc.
Clark Besch

This was a very common practice back in the early-to-mid ‘50’s … when it was still believed that the SONG was the most important factor and not the artist.  (That dates back to the old Your Hit Parade days … as well as a time when sheet music actually outsold records.)
Most typically, ALL of the artists SHARED the chart position … until (or unless) one version truly broke out and away from the others.
In the case of “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” Joel Whitburn’s Cash Box book only shows the versions by he McGuire Sisters and Sunny Gale … oddly enough, NOT The Spaniels’ version.  (Wonder why?)  kk

Just wanted to let you know that Jack Levin (who turned seventy last week … Happy Birthday, Jack!) … and I look at the top 3333 countdown every day.  In fact, I just found the first Pretenders song I ever heard, Brass In Pocket, on the list! 
Does anyone even know what Oye Como Va means?  Someone told me it meant "Once upon a time?"  but I never found out.
Thank you, Kent!!!
Hmmm … well, I just did an online translation and it came back as “here’s how it goes” … anybody else have a different translation?  (kk)

GOOD LOVIN' by Gene Cornish and Stephen Miller have made the list of 2019‘s Best Music Books on!
You can check out all the details here: 
Carol Ross

I finished Gene Cornish’s book a couple of weeks ago and found it to be a very enjoyable and informative read.  (I never got around to writing a review … for this one or the Mary Wilson / Mark Bego book, which I also enjoyed immensely … just been too damn busy here lately to take the time needed to do so.)

Quite honestly, the one sentence review provided via the link above really doesn’t tell you much …

In fact, it doesn’t even tell you WHY they think it was one of the Best Music Books of 2019.

So while, I don’t have a FORMAL review written, I will tell you this …

My first instinct, when hearing that Gene Cornish had written a book was … “Who’s going to want to read a book written by the least famous and least exciting former Rascal?”  (Cruel, I know … but am I really overstating the truth in any fashion?)
And then I should also point out that it’s not an exceptionally well-written book … but I put most of the blame for this on co-writer Stephen Miller, who is an journalist and experienced writer … he should have been MUCH more on top of things like Gene’s tendency toward rambling and redundancy … (on more than a few occasions, it reminded me of the old Top 40 radio days when the jocks were instructed to give the time, temp and call letters three different ways during the same 30 second beak!) … once Gene finds the right adjective he’s looking for, he tends to then use it again and again in the next several paragraphs.  Miller also should have caught the (at least) dozen typographical and spelling errors that also  make reading the book frustrating and distracting.
But … all of that being said … I have to say that I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book!!!  In fact, I was fascinated with it … and, as a result, read it very quickly (which, at over 500 pages, is really saying something.)  I just didn’t want to put it down!
That’s because it turns out that Gene really DOES have a VERY interesting story to tell … and, if you can overlook the two points that I personally found annoying, I believe you will find everything else about the book and Gene’s story quite enlightening ... because he tells it very well.  And he tells it in an open and honest, matter-of-fact way, which shows you how even the slightest misstep can often lead to long-damaging and hurtful results.  (Who knew that Gene, of ALL The Rascals, would be the guy having to deal with a 30+ year drug problem … or that he had been wiped out more than a few times financially but was able to rebound successfully, often thanks to the long-standing interest in the band that is still shared by SO many fans.)
Gene is the first to acknowledge Felix Cavaliere as the main reason for his own success … but these two (as well as all of the other Rascals, including his very best friend, Dino Danelli) were on the “outs” nearly as often as they were totally dependent upon one another to succeed.
He covers in great detail all of the bumps in the road along the way, leading up to, during and after their greatest success … and right up on through their recent revival on Broadway with “Once Upon A Dream,” a show we got to see right here in Chicago a few years back.  (It’s current enough, in fact, to even include his recent on-stage heart attack while performing with, believe it or not, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals!)
Perhaps the band’s greatest asset (and greatest enemy and deterrent) was the EXTREMELY talented and temperamental Eddie Brigati who, along with Felix, basically built and defined The Rascals’ sound.  (This poor guy nearly died twice before the band even took off!  But they waited for him because they knew the band couldn’t and wouldn’t be the same without him … and then, as his way of showing thanks, he left them in the lurch on more than one occasion.)  I’m telling you … you need to read this book!
It really is a VERY fascinating story … and Gene (when he stays on point) is an excellent storyteller … the good points FAR outweigh the bad and I can HIGHLY recommend this book.
The story of The Rascals needed to be told … and Gene Cornish does a very good job of doing exactly that, without pulling any punches, yet all the while still letting his love and admiration for his former bandmates shine through.  And if, by some miracle, they ever decide to resurrect “Once Upon A Dream” again, it really needs to be seen. (My suggestion:  put out a DVD of the show ... excellent footage of the entire concert exists ... 
coupled with a well-done narration filling in all the blanks in The Rascals’ story … maybe by somebody like Steve Van Zandt, who has been their greatest campaigner ... and financier for YEARS NOW ... and it’ll be a best seller … and a sure-fire Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary.)  Carol Ross … are you listening???  (C’mon … Tommy’s movie STILL hasn’t been made … put some muscle behind this one … most of the work is already done for you!!!  Lol)  kk

(OK, so maybe I DO have a formal review written!!!)  kk

Hi, Kent!
I wanted to tell you about this site a while back and completely forgot.  Better late than never, though.
You may know of it, as it's been around ages. I finally did my annual visit today ... always lots of great material. One of the best vinyl-related sites on the planet.
In light of the fact that you're up to your elbows in FH work, better not to look at the site quite yet, as you won't be able to pull yourself away from it.  ;-)
Mike Wolstein
LPCover Lover | The World’s Greatest LP Album Covers, 45′s too
Yes, we’ve run links to this site before … always sure to bring a smile or two to your faces as you “shop around” … thanks, Mike!  (kk)

In other “Hot LP” news …

One of my fave Ides obscure 45s gets just dues finally!  Their first 45 on Warner Brothers from 50 years ago, 1969, is the opening track on this new 2 CD import from Warner Japan! 
"One Woman Man" is a lush sound that is similar to their earlier great tune "Nobody Loves Me" but with a much happier outlook lyrically.  You get the great brass and a sound that was in line with the softer music of the time.  There's even an unintended slight reference to the NC6's 1969 hit "I Want You to Know" musically if you listen closely.  Jim will have to put this back in their concert schedule now, maybe?  A truly great tune.
Also included, one of my fave Andrew Gold songs (I'm not sure I can even pick one, he has SOOO many of my faves), "Never Let Her Slip Away."  Out next week!
Various Artists – Never Let Her Go: Warner Pop Rock Nuggets Vol. 11 CD

1.One Woman Man – Ides Of March
2. Tighter, Tighter – Alive & Kicking
3. Lady-O – Judee Sill
4. Suavecito – Malo
5. Motorcycle Mama – Sailcat
6. Please Send Me Someone To Love – Paul Butterfield’s Better Days
7. Smokin' In The Boy's Room – Brownsville Station
8. We May Never Pass This Way (Again) – Seals & Crofts
9. Cherry Pie – The Hagers
10. Never Let Her Go – David Gates
11. Let There Be Music – Orleans
12. Holdin' On To Yesterday – Ambrosia
13. Popsicle Toes – Michael Franks
14. Sharing The Night Together – Lenny LeBlanc
15. I Never Cry – Alice Cooper
16. P. F. Sloan – Jimmy Webb
17. I Don't Wanna Go – Bruce Roberts
18. Five Years On – Laverne & Shirley
19. Love Is The Answer – England Dan & John Ford Coley
20. Suspicions – Eddie Rabbit
21. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

Various Artists – Love Hurts: Warner Pop Rock Nuggets Vol. 12 CD

       1.    Eden Rock – The Fifth Avenue Band
       2.    Angelina - Gulliver
  3.    Gas Lamps And Clay – Blues Image 
  4.    Flying To Morning - Rosebud 
  5.    Be Nice To Me – Todd Rundgren 
  6.    Only The Children Know – Jeanie Greene 
  7.    Beverly Glen - Country 
  8.    Ain't That Peculiar - Fanny 
  9.    You Don't Need A Gypsy – Robert John 
10.    Occapella – Van Dyke Parks 
11.    Poor Boy – Casey Kelly 
12.    All I Need – Batdorf & Rodney 
13.    Cruel Wind – Eric Kaz 
14.    Lover, Baby, Friend – Dana Cooper 
15.    Fineline – Ned Doheny 
16.    Love Hurts – Gram Parsons (with Emmylou Harris) 
17.    It's Not The Spotlight – Barry Goldberg 
18.    Ever Since You're Gone – Brinsley Schwarz 
19.  Gotta Get Next To Somebody - Brigati 
20.    Never Let Her Slip Away – Andrew Gold 
21.   This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
  • Audio CD: both volumes available December 13, 2019
  • Label: Warner Japan
Jim Peterik comments about the inclusion of his 1969 Ides Of March track on this new compilation …

“Omg Clark! This is Epic news!  (Actually Warner Brothers news. Lol!)
This is one of our lost gems 💎 for sure!  It was our first release from Warner Brothers and the first love song I wrote for Karen Moulik (later to be Peterik.) 
At the time we were all super in love with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap - especially after a chance meeting with them in Old Town’s Piper’s Alley.
(They were in an ice cream parlor - we came in decked out in our paisley, patouli and fringe, as were they. My first words to them were, “Aren’t you Cornbread?” This gentleman politely replied, “That’s Wheatbread, Paul Wheatbread”. Oops.) 
So the similarity to the Gap are obvious. But slightly more obscure age the lineage to the New Colony’s “I Want You To Know.”  I believe the main connection is Hoyt Jones, the incredible arranger both groups used on various releases at the time. This unsung hero arranged nearly all the NC 6 songs and many of ours such as One Woman Man, Hymn For Her and Lead Me Home Gently. He would enhance our brass section with Chicago Symphony brass, strings and, on this song, even with bass flute played by the great Richie Fiduli. 
The Ides are thrilled One Woman Man is finally seeing the light of day. The Ides harmony blend has never been better represented and the duet between drummer Mike Borch and myself is a real goosebump for me and many. 
The production work by our manager / producers Frank Rand and Bob Destocki is outstanding, as is the engineering of the late great Columbia staffer, Dick Dearborn (the team that a year later is responsible for our game-changer, Vehicle.)
Thanks, Clark, for making us aware of this release.
Much love.
Jimbo “. 

Hi Kent,
I join with all the others in wishing you and Forgotten Hits a Happy 20th Anniversary! 
As someone mentioned recently, I also find your publication compulsory reading if not daily, at least every two to three days.  And, reading the message from Darlene Love recently is certainly just one of the reasons.
We all seem to think fame and fortune isolates one from disrespect and disappointments that life randomly dishes out.  Not even Darlene Love, and her lengthy, historical music resume is safe from low-flying brown objects.  
Every once in a while I read where an iconic music artist is a follower and comments in your publication and it certainly adds to the genuine and far-reaching impact of Forgotten Hits.  And, Darlene Love is certainly in that category.  This music icon's credentials are legendary and lengthy and certainly is a compliment to the credibility of Forgotten Hits.  Her resume in the music business is bigger than a Sears catalogue (in their heyday).  From "He's A Rebel" to Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans to Phil Spector, Hal Blaine and the rest of the Wrecking Crew, Elvis, along with Sam Cooke, and countless others to include backing vocals for other major music artists on innumerable hits, Darlene Love is one of the greats!      
Tim Kiley
In all fairness, Darlene posted those comments on her Facebook Page ... I just felt that they deserved to be shared.  (It's an insult to an artist of her stature to be dismissed and trivialized this way.  I guarantee you that if you polled America and asked them who they MOST would like to hear this song sung by, the majority would vote for Darlene Love, hands down.)  I know that everybody on THIS list absolutely would!!! (kk)