Thursday, December 19, 2019


>>>How can anyone in the music business not think that TOMMY JAMES qualifies for the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME ... his music and influence has stood the test of time.  CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION, CRIMSON AND CLOVER, MONY MONY, HANKY PANKY, I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW, SWEET CHERRY WINE, DRAGGIN' THE LINE, THREE TIMES IN LOVE and MIRAGE - just a few of the many hits - 23 GOLD SINGLES, 9 PLATINUM ALBUMS and over 100 MILLION RECORDS SOLD WORLDWIDE - 32 BILLBOARD HOT 100 CHART HITS.  Artists around the world have and continue to cover Tommy's songs - BILLY IDOL, JOAN JETT, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, CARLOS SANTANA, REM, PRINCE, KELLY CLARKSON, DOLLY PARTON, CHER, TOM JONES and even THE BOSTON POPS.  Tommy's music is featured in 60 FILMS and 53 TV SHOWS to date along with numerous commercials ... BMI lauded Tommy for his success with the presentation of a FIVE MILLION AIR AWARD for his music being played more than 21 million times on air.  Tommy's critically acclaimed autobiography ME, THE MOB AND THE MUSIC, listed on ROLLING STONE'S Top 25 Music Memoirs, is now in production for a film … with some A-Listers onboard to facilitate … producer BARBARA DEFINA (GOODFELLAS, CASINO, CAPE FEAR and MICHAEL JACKSON'S video 'BAD’) … MATTHEW STONE, who is writing the screenplay (and whose credits include INTOLERABLE CRUELTY and BIG TROUBLE), director KATHLEEN MARSHALL, who has received TONY AWARDS for choreography for the Broadway productions of ANYTHING GOES, THE PAJAMA GAME and WONDERFUL TOWN and was also nominated for DIRECTING each of those musicals.)  Tommy is now enjoying more success with his own radio show on SIRIUS/XM RADIO -'GETTIN' TOGETHER WITH TOMMY JAMES  - airing Sunday evenings, 5 – 8 pm Eastern on the 60s on 6 channel.  The prestigious NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME inducted Tommy and his life size hologram can be viewed at the NJHOF EXHIBIT at NEWARK AIRPORT in New Jersey - Terminal C.  Tommy recently received THE PITTSBURGH LEGEND AWARD and THE JUKEBOX ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD.  Now entering his 51st year in the music business, he continues to tour around the country and Canada.  (Carol Ross, Manager)
Without question, this is a GROSS error in judgement on the part of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame … and is just another example of why they have lost all credibility with music fans and artists all over the world. 
They need to fix this and make things right.  There are still dozens and dozens of deserving artists that need to be recognized yet are passed over again and again and again.  Tommy is certainly at the top of that list.  (kk)
Hey Kent,
Ms. Ross's letter is dead on.  Indeed, how is it even possible that Tommy hasn’t been elected to the R&R Hall of Fame?  It’s rather upsetting.
Something’s rotten in the state of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Paul Evans

>>>I've got to say it was one of the best Kennedy Center Honors I've ever seen ... entertaining from start to finish ... starting with a VERY emotional tribute to Linda Ronstadt, followed by Sally Field.  The salute to Sesame Street was outstanding ... it changed the way we viewed TV for Kids forever ... and I can't even imagine how many celebrity guests have lent their talent to this program over the years.  But the salute to Earth, Wind And Fire blew it all away.  What an amazing showcase of material.  The band continues to offer up music of mass appeal, as evidenced by the tribute performances shown Sunday night.  I'm sure the program will be available On Demand ... and also online at ... definitely worth two hours of your time.  (kk) 
I have to agree about the Kennedy Center Awards show.  It is getting to be the best of all those award shows.  Linda Ronstadt enjoyed it and the people singing her songs were spot on (even if they weren't ORIGINALLY her songs).  There was plenty of mention of Eagles members in her band, but MY hero, Andrew Gold, can be heard quite well on "You're No Good," playing guitar as another famous member of her early band. 
The Earth, Wind & Fire entertainers were really good as well and the band members obviously enjoyed it all. 
Sally Field NEVER gets old, does she?  Always thought she would have been great on "Laugh in" as a regular.
I did not know the conductor, but the female playing "Hoe Down" was fabulous!  Of course, ELP did a rock version that was great as well.
Indeed, Sesame Street was a real eye opener, even when we moved to Lincoln in 1971 and had first taste of Public TV and that show.  I was 14 and older than one should be for watching, but it was first time viewing.  After watching what my Rayderz have done this year, the attached sound bite I recorded in 1971 from SS seems the new appropriate name for my team.  ANYWAY, enjoyed Tom Hanks' conversing with Big Bird on the Kennedy special.
Clark Besch
Could you imagine collecting fifty years of special guest appearances on Sesame Street to put together a two hour tribute special?  Literally everybody who was anybody clamored to get on this show … especially once they had kids of their own.  What a fascinating project that would be to siphon through all that footage and try to come up with the best highlights!  (Come on, HBO … you need to get somebody working on this right away!)

WOW! Thanks for the shout outs! 
It is so wild and yes, there will be disappointments and disagreements, but I'm hanging with you until the end!  I like that we will be able to have the complete list to do our own study and analysis.  I plan on having a group discussion about it with my music friends, twenty and thirty-something groups who also voted.  Plus it will be fun to build my playlist to have while I work.  Shuffle seems to come to mind.

We’re in the home stretch now …

The Top Ten started today … and we’ll wrap everything up on the 30th!

Be sure to check the site each day to see the next song revealed I the countdown!

The suits have won.
I truly hate to say it, Kent, but you've been trying for 20 years to show otherwise, and unless there's a Hail Mary in the next 30 songs, at the end of the rainbow there will not be a golden oldie, there will be just another one of the same 300 songs the corporate whores have brainwashed radio listeners with.
You gave it an unbelievable try, running against the wind. Take solace in the fact you have introduced and reintroduced some readers to some great music.
To all the DJs who read Kent's blog, tell your bosses I will not be listening to commercial radio again. In 10 days, when I turn my radio back on, it's back to satellite radio for me.
I had hoped that FH readers would be different. As I look at what's still on the board, I'm not impressed.
At least Hey Jude & Don't Stop Believin' are off!
P.S. The radio is off because if there's anything worse than the usual 300 songs, it's those same 300 plus the usual two dozen Xmas songs.
As I’ve said before, we knew all along that The Top 300 would include most of the songs that Classic Rock Radio has been playing to death for the past twenty years.  They’re there for a reason … it’s the music classic rock music fans want to hear.
The whole goal of this exercise was to reintroduce hundreds and hundreds of OTHER songs to be considered as viable alternatives here and there to help spice things up a bit … and I believe the radio world will (and already has) take notice.
The Drive (WDRV-FM, 97.7 Chicago) will be launching their latest A to Z playlist the day after Christmas … and it’s long enough to last well past New Year’s Day … and I’m willing to bet that you’ll hear several songs on this list that didn’t make the cut the last several times out that may have been inspired by our own alphabetical listing of nominees several months ago.  SO many great tracks that don’t get played (and now a chance to hear THOUSANDS of them with no repeats for at least eight days a week!)  Definitely worth tuning in for … if only to hear and experience just how good these songs really DO sound when mixed in with the rest of the regular fare.  (kk)

Freddy Cannon was, to us brothers, THE original hard rocker!  His songs were ALWAYS loud, tough sounding, yet always upbeat and happy, with the "Woo" blasting out of each song.  Bobby Rydell and Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon and those were pretty boys with the sweet vocals, while Freddy gave us the LOUD unashamed vocals with the lyrics that were NOT deep, did not have to be UNDERSTOOD as a theme:  "Ya wanna know if you're in love.  Jump Over, woe woe woe!"
They were just good rock 'n roll records.  Freddy made rock 'n roll FUNNNNN!
"The Dedication Song" still is a fave I always loved.  I used the "Don't touch that dial" opening for my radio show opening in the 80's.  SO good to see him well again!  It's no wonder Svenghoolie uses his theme because Sven's schtick is right in line with Freddy's fun stuff.
Clark Besch

Hi Kent ...
Kudos to Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon.  I am so happy that he is recovering and regaining his health. This is all good news.  I wish him the best on his upcoming shows. He has always been an entertainer and fun to watch. I am sure he can take his audience to "Where the Action Is." 

I, too, saw Burton Cummings in concert in 1976 as opening act for the Bee Gees in Omaha.  Get this, there was no mention of him being on the bill!  Can you believe it?  We were blown away by both acts.
Clark Besch
Burton opened for a number of acts when he was trying to build his solo career after the break up of The Guess Who.
I saw him open for Melissa Manchester AND Alice Cooper, both in the same year!  And I have to believe that he was just rolling with the bunches for a good portion of that time.  But he STILL sounds great today … and if 2020 offers up a tour with former songwriting partner Randy Bachman, then you can count us in!!!  (kk)

From our 2013 interview with Burton Cummings:

kk:  A couple of years ago we went to a show that featured America and Jethro Tull ... two acts that would seem to be at opposite ends of the musical spectrum.  But I'll never forget one of the STRANGEST pairings I've ever seen ... and that was seeing a show that YOU did back in the day during the early solo years where Burton Cummings opened up for Alice Cooper!!!  How weird did THAT have to be for you?  (Especially after the whole "Glamour Boy" thing!!!)
BC:  Opening for Alice Cooper was an exercise in professionalism. The first few rows were always painted up like Alice, some of them carrying tomahawks and axes, and I'm out there singing "Stand Tall" … but eventually the band I had won over a lot of audiences.

Hey Kent,
Thanks for mentioning that INCREDIBLE Burton Cummings interview. I'm just beginning to realize how much great information and entertainment I've missed over the last 20 years due to my not knowing about your FH site. 
You covered every base with Burton, much of which I'd known, but there were lots of pleasant surprises there.
If there was only some way I could invent a Flux Capacitor so I could go back to 1999 ...
Again, Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Mike Wolstein
Folks can find that Burton Cummings Interview (one of our best, I believe!) here …

Nice story about Canadian Burton Cummings and his huge fan, Mike Wolstein.  Wow! I know the natural "high" one can get from being around their favorite singer / band and to be able to converse with them in a meaningful way. It truly is unforgettable.
I also wanted to wish you and your loved ones the best for a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.  2020 already ... Where does the time go?!!! 
Sandra Lorenz
I swear 2019 was the fastest year of my life.  It seemed like every time I opened my eyes another month had passed!
But I am looking forward to a very special 2020 … been waiting for this one for a long, long time. 
Same to you and yours for the very best of the holiday season. (kk)

I LOVED the Clark Weber interview!  He was certainly right about the influence of the DJs and WLS and WCFL back then.  Not only were my brothers and I listening to ALL those 50,000 watt rockers, but we found WLS to be the BEST of the best always.  I do think it helped that WLS was years ahead of the others. 
I was a Riley Rebel and not under obligation to follow Emperor Weber's commands, but knowing NOW that it was all for fun, I have to thank Clark Weber for all the great memories and advice and friendship he has given me (and FH) these past years.  I've got my Riley Batman Club cards and Weber Moohlah and our Besch brothers 60's reel to reel tapes and all that stuff and still enjoy looking and listening to it all.  It was the TIME OF MY LIFE and I never tire of reliving it -- especially with those who brought it to me AND I NEVER dreamed I would eventually meet.  (Actually, I dreamed that a lot, but doubted it would happen living in Dodge City Kansas). 
Bottom line is that it wasn't just ME.  As time has gone by, I know SO many people, both fans and people in the music industry or in garage bands of the day that LISTENED just like I did, with radio under pillow at night and Art Roberts giving us that thrilling moment of the #1 requested song of the night -- ALWAYS a very new soon to be smash.
Clark Besch

Hi there, Kent,
This was written in your Tuesday, December 17th, blog entry:
>>>You mentioned Earth, Wind and Fire in this week's jumbo edition of The
Friday Flash.  Here's their Chicago roots:  In 1969, Maurice White, a former session drummer for Chess Records and former member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio, joined two friends in Chicago, Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead, as a songwriting team composing songs and commercials in the Chicago area.  (Ken Voss)
Wade Flemons had two hits that I know of, although one of them may have only appeared on the RNB charts. 
One of them was called Here I Stand, recorded in 1956, which the Rip Chords would record seven years later in 1963. 
The other hit was called Slow Motion, and it was out in the summer of 1959, and appears on a Ken Reed aircheck on KLIF that I have from August 31, 1959. 
He also recorded a song with a group called  the Newcomers called My Baby Likes To Rock, but I don't know if that charted nationally or not.  Actually, the Newcomers may have been the backup group on his other records as well.
Like everyone else here in Canada, I was very saddened to learn of the death of Jack Scott.  It's really unfortunate that he received so relatively little recognition for his contribution to music during his life.  In an interview that he did with one of our Toronto radio stations, he mentioned that he had a bad case of the flu, but was
scheduled to fly to New York for a recording session which he didn't want to cancel.  So, while Jack Scott was recording Burning Bridges back in 1960, he himself was burning up with a 102 degree fever from that flu.  I've never forgotten that story.
Sam Ward
Wade Flemons charted a total of five times on the national charts.  His bigges hit was “Here I Stand” (credited to Wade Flemons and the Newcomers), which peaked at #58 in Cash Box Magazine.  (It only reached #80 in Billboard … and didn’t chart at all in Music Vendor … yet another example of the wide discrepancy between the way each magazine measured a record’s performance.)
Here in Chicago, “Here I Stand” went all the way to #24.  The Newcombers record you mention, “My Baby Likes To Rock,” did no chart nationally … or here either for that matter. 
”Here I Stand reached #42 in Canada on the CHUM Chart, where it spent four weeks. It climbed to #19 on Billboard’s R&B Chart … and “Easy Lovin’” actually made The Top Ten.  (It topped out at #70 on the pop charts.)   “Please Send Me Someone To Love” became another Top 20 Hit for Flemons, but didn’t chart pop at all.
That’s an interesting story about Jack Scott.  (kk)

Jack Scott never really quite got the fame or recognition that he deserved.
I have a Facebook page dedicated to all of the beautiful musical memories that Mr. Jack Scott left to each and every one of us.  It's been 60 years since his first gold record, "What In The World's Come Over You," which is just one of many.  He so deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He, and many others like him, paved the way with their gold records for those that are now being inducted. I try to make people aware of this on my Facebook page, "FRIENDS THAT LOVE JACK SCOTT."  I pray that he can get the recognition that he so deserves.
My hope has always been that perhaps one day his family would be able to see him rock that Cleveland stage ... but of course it’s too late for that now.
Believe it or not just two years ago, at 83 years old, Jack Scott headlined the stage in Las Vegas and then jumped on a plane to headline in England.
I would so appreciate it if oldies radio would play some of his awesome tunes, especially now in light of his passing.  (Jack had FIVE Top 20 Hits … how can radio not play ANY of them?)
I do so love listening to all the oldies and, thanks to y'all, perhaps real rock and roll is here to stay.
Thank you so very much  for your time … and y'all have a blessed holiday.
Bonnie Dejan

This is an archived concert photo I recently uncovered from a Rockford newspaper article in 1966. It announces a concert scheduled for 3/19/66, featuring The New Colony 6, The Shadows of Knight, Baby Huey and the Babysitters, The Flock as well as The Grim Reapers and Komens from Rockford. After the outdoor show downtown featuring Johnny and the Hurricanes in the spring of ‘65 and the two summer of ‘65 shows promoted by Barry Fey at Rockford College featuring The Byrds and The Beau Brummels, this would have been the fourth largest show in Rockford. The NC6, SOK and Flock would return the following summer for large shows at the Ice Chalet in Rockford. I remember attending this show, but this is the first piece of concrete evidence I have found that it took place. I think Jim Sohns mentioned it in an interview in FH, or some other form of media, pertaining to the “Goose” nightclub that was actually never in Rockford.
Robert Campbell

>>>I AM an old fuddy-duddy deep down inside!  (kk)
Wha-a-a-t?!  Just because you're totally obsessed with all the minutiae of Oldies, their artists and groups and love sitting in a dimly-lit room wearing a shirt with sleeve garters holding up the sleeves and a translucent head visor counting, categorizing and compiling over three thousand old songs??!!  Nahh! 
( Again -- {:~} )
Chuck Buell

Forget About All The Singers You Know –
Forget About All The Groups You  Know --
Forget About All The Disc - Jockeys You Know –
Forget About All The ME-TV Executives You Know –
Forget About All Your REWOUND RADIO Connections –
When You're A Hit At Larry's Pub, You've Made "THE BIG TIME."

Watch for another great guest concert review …
This time for Bowzer’s Holiday Rock And Roll Party in Clearwater, Florida!

Me-TV-FM will begin running Wink Martindale’s Christmas Countdown on Christmas Eve, which’ll run continuously through the holiday.  Our long-time FH Buddy Gary Theroux was instrumental in putting this thing together … and it encompasses every genre of Christmas Music you can imagine.  (And, you’ll hear a few things that you DON’T hear non-stop on all the other stations.)  kk

And, with the holidays now less than a week away, we just HAD to share these with you, courtesy of Chuck Buell … (CB) … aka Christmas Boy!