Saturday, January 19, 2019


>>>I wish the Ides would have played a few more songs, but there was no disappointment in the rest of the show.  I cannot give enough credit to Jim Peterik and his whole behind the scenes crew who put on another outstanding show. Just when you thought he could not put out another great show - HE DOES! I already am looking forward to next year’s show.  I thought you said or I read that there would be a CD coming out of this years show. I sure hope so.   
(Art Walicki)  
I would have enjoyed another song or two by The Ides as well … some of their most "sure thing" concert tunes … “You Wouldn’t Listen” and “Aire Of Good Feeling” were missing in action … but, as you said, they have to mix things up a bit from show to show.  (That being said, the show DID seem a little Toby Hitchcock top-heavy … and I’m not just referring to the shirt he looked like he was about to bust out of every time he made a move or took a breath on stage!  Just kidding, Toby ... but it was already a size too small when you wore it last year ... and it looks like the combination of something shrinking and something growing pushed it to its limit this year!  lol)  Hey, don't get me wrong ... I love the guy … and think he’s got an incredible voice … but Toby sang six leads that night … which is at least two leads more than any other featured performer.  As such, it kind of made him seem like the spotlight featured performer of the evening ... which I don't think was the original intention. (Granted, two of those were Survivor songs that only he could have done justice to … but that’s still two more than both of the advertised, featured headliners, David Pack and Alex Ligertwood … who were nothing short of outstanding.)
You can get more Ides music in the not-too-distant future, however … besides the new CD they’re working on, they’re also back at The City Winery on March 6th, right before they take off for a week of cruisin’ on The Flower Power Cruise, sharing the stage with such rock and roll luminaries as The Beach Boys, Tommy James & The Shondells, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jefferson Starship, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Yardbirds, Cheech & Chong, Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night, The Family Stone, , Melanie, The Cowsills, The Box Tops and more, all hosted by Peter Asher! 
As for a live CD of last Saturday Night’s show … there's nothing that I’m aware of.  (I would imagine the licensing of all that music would be quite the nightmare … and truthfully, how much of those three hours could make the final cut on to an 80-minute CD?)
However, Jim DID tell us about another new release he’s working on that’ll feature some past World Stage live performances.

Here’s the scoop in his own words: 

I’ve been putting the final touches on my World Stage Album to come out on April 26th worldwide on Frontiers. Guests read like a who’s who of classic rock: Dennis DeYoung, Kevin Cronin, a previously unreleased track by Jimi Jamison, Kelly Keagy, Jason Scheff, Kevin Chalfant, Toby Hitchcock, Work Of Art, Danny Vaughn of Tyketto, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson and the amazing Mike Reno.  This album Rocks.
We are also in the middle of recording the Ides of March 55th anniversary album, Play On!  The Ides chose the great Fred Mollin (Jimmy Web, America, Johnny Mathis) to produce.
Guest stars so far include Bo Bice of American Idol Fame, Mark Farner, Cathy Richardson, Joe Bonamsssa and more to come. Look for a May / June release on this one.

A concert highlight video of "20 Years Of World Stage" would be an awesome release, too.  Several of these acts are "repeat performers" ... so you might be able to feature more artists than you think if you did some type of World Stage Retrospective video ... and I'll betcha PBS or AXIS TV would air it, too!  (kk) 

On a semi-related note, it was just announced that .38 Special will return to The Arcada Theatre on June 20th.  Tickets are available now. 

Scott May has been with the Ides since they reformed in 1990 ... 28 years.
Jean Mikota  
Apologies to Scott then for understating his tenure!  He’s a GREAT guy … one of the nicest you’ll ever meet … and has been a solid addition to the band for (apparently) going on three decades now!  (kk) 

Great stuff on World Stage. Are you going to see The Ides at City Winery?
Chet Coppock 
Probably not.  (I think I’ve seen them close to 20 times in the past two years in one configuration or other!  Lol)  But I CAN promise you that it’ll be a GREAT show (as always!) 
As for World Stage, it was AMAZING!  In the scheme of things, Jim Peterik is SO underrated ... a TRUE talent that deserves everything he's gotten plus ten fold more.  (kk) 

A friend of mine used to say that he would not go to see a group unless it featured the original lead singer.  He did not care about the other musicians in the band.  He just wanted to hear the voice from his radio memories.  If it was a solo act, this was not a problem.  
I have found that many people don't care.  A lot of folks have purchased those crappy greatest hits cds that feature 'new stereo recordings featuring one or more of the original artists'.   They just wanted to hear the tunes and did not care that they were not the original versions. 
I made my New Year’s resolution to be more tolerant of traveling oldies talent a while back.  You may never hear a 60’s / 70's cover band play Baby Hold On, Temptation Eyes or The Runway, but you CAN hear those songs played live by the current Grass Roots.
We advertised a show featuring the Little River Band a couple of years back.   I interviewed lead singer Wayne Nelson and we talked about the fact that there were no original members.  He has been a member since the early 80's and did sing on three of my favorite LRB recordings:  Night Owls, Take It Easy On Me and The Other Guy. They had a great crowd for the show and the arrangements and vocals were true to the originals.  The concert fans either did not know or did not care about the band’s history or current lineup.  They just wanted to hear the music from their youth played live.
Phil Nee

Hey Kent –
I was one of those purists who wouldn’t go and see a band unless it was something approximating the original group. I suppose I’ve altered my thinking now.
Let’s face it - Father Time is undefeated. The hitmaking groups from the 60’s and 70’s are now IN their 60’s, 70’s or even 80’s.
If the originals give their blessing to a new crop of folks playing the hits under that band name while staying faithful to the original sound (and those points are made VERY clear to the ticket buyer up front), that’s good enough!
The best example I can think of would be the Oak Ridge Boys, who started out singing gospel music ... in 1943! The guys with the secular hits like “Elvira,” etc. didn’t become part of the Oaks until 20 or 30 years afterward. The name has endured, only the lineup has changed. Ownership of the band name - now that becomes another story.
Time marches on ...
- Larry Cave 

I think it’s a big tougher when the key member of the band who wrote and sang ALL of the band’s hits leaves and then the band tries to carry on without them.  In these situations, I’ll spend my money to go see Burton Cummings, John Fogerty and David Pack rather than the groups out there now touring as The Guess Who, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Ambrosia.  I agree with points made by both readers above … I want to hear these songs the way they sounded when they first became hits.
There are also instances where some of the best known lead singers chose to sever ties with their group and pursue other ventures and opportunities … and then, after walking away, decided to come back and, in many cases, compete against their original group.  (We saw The Stylistics a couple of years ago without Russell Tompkins, Jr., and let me tell you, they blew “The New Stylistics,” featuring Russell, away on the stage … but these occasions are rare.) 
I think with SO many of the original artists having left us now, the Truth In Music Law needs to be amended to make it MANDATORY that the advertising for ANY live performance should clearly state just who it is that’ll be up on that stage before the customer buys their tickets.  At least this way, that customer can decide if they still want to go or not.  My guess is that most will … because they just want to hear and enjoy the music … while many of us purists out there will choose to “sit this one out” and wait for the real deal to come around … if he ever does … or IS still around in order to come around!  (lol)  kk 

Loved the “Eli’s Coming” video clip … what a great find! It certainly breaks down the song according to vocals.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano 
Yeah, I love this one … and distinctly remember watching it when it first aired some FIFTY YEARS AGO!!!  (Man, some of you guys out there are getting OLD!!!)  kk

Now here’s a PERFECT example I can use about “false advertising” by bands still trying to connect to their audience … and I didn’t even think of this one until I saw Shelley’s email. 
How ridiculous was it for Danny Hutton and Cory Wells to continue as Three Dog Night when there were only two of them???  Well, pretty ridiculous … but not NEARLY as ridiculous as Danny Hutton continuing to use the name after Cory’s passing with one more single singer who had nothing to do whatsoever with the original band or its success!
At least Chuck Negron has the decency (and the legal obligation) to bill himself as Chuck Negron, Former Lead Singer Of Three Dog Night.  (Since Danny sang virtually NONE of the leads, he’d be hard pressed to do the same I guess.) 
Now THAT would be a band I could not endorse seeing … Three Dog Night, starring Danny Hutton along with somebody you’ve never even heard of. 
But it’s gotta be tough … Bill Medley (who I think could EASILY tour under his own name) is instead touring with a new Righteous Brother (the latest of quite a few from what I understand, including at one time former Paul Revere’s Raiders lead singer Darren Dowler).  Yeah, what do you do when you’re a duo and one half of the team is gone?  Garfunkel doesn’t bill himself as “And Garfunkel” when he does his solo shows, right?!?!?  Of course if you’re Peaches and Herb, you just keep replacing Peaches … how many did Herb go thru over the years?  At least FOUR, I think.  (He really loved his Peaches … so whenever he needed a new one, he just shaked the tree.)  kk

Here’s a Summer Tour that sounds amazing … 

The Doobie Brothers and Santana are teaming up to play a number of outdoor venues across The USA …  

Here is the concert schedule as it currently stands: 

Santana and the Doobie Brothers 
'Supernatural Now' 2019 Tour
 6/22 -- Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
6/23 -- San Diego, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
6/24 -- Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
6/26 -- Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
6/27 -- Wheatland, CA @ Toyota Amphitheatre
6/29 -- Seattle, WA @ White River Amphitheatre
6/30 -- Portland, OR @ Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
7/2 -- Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
7/3 -- Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
7/6 -- Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion
7/9 -- Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater
7/11 -- Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
7/12 -- St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/3 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
8/4 -- Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/6 -- Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
8/7 -- Cleveland, OH @ Blossom Music Center
8/9 -- Indianapolis, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
8/10 -- Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
8/11 -- Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/13 -- Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
8/14 -- Washington, DC @ Jiffy Lube Live
8/16 -- Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Amphitheater
8/18 -- Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
8/20 -- Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center
8/21 -- Hartford, CT @ XFINITY Theatre
8/23 -- Saratoga, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8/24 -- Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
8/25 -- Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater  

I’ve never seen Santana perform live … we just might have to hike it out there for this one!  (kk)

Speaking of upcoming shows …  

Hi Kent –
I was reading your blog today and saw what Shelley Tufano posted about the Nelsons show.
I actually have two shows with them in Ohio in September … September 6th in Findlay, Ohio, at the Marathon Center for Performing Arts and September 7th in Lorain, Ohio, at the Lorain Palace.  
The shows in Ohio will feature living members of the Stone Canyon Band who were with Rick almost 10 years … including Denny Sarokin, Jay White and Ty Grimes.  
Rocky Colletti

We’ve seen Nelson a few times now … including their Christmas Show, which was beautiful.  (Ordered their Christmas CD right after!)  I even got to meet them backstage at The Arcada after on of these shows (where they were backed up by The Cadillac Cassanovas, an OUTSTANDING rock-a-billy band, that I think may have disbanded since then.  You still out there, Karl???)
These guys rocked … and the Nelson Twins really enjoyed jamming with them live on stage.

I was fortunate enough to see their father perform several times including (ironically) on a New Year’s Eve here in Chicago at The Park West Theater, many, many years ago.  I was (and still am) a HUGE Rick Nelson fan … one of my all-time favorites. I see that they are booked back at The Arcada again on September 27th.  (kk) 

I just saw this in a Facebook announcement from Robert Stolzman‎ … 
For the show I put together at the Athenaeum Theater, featuring Paul Revere’s Raiders, Ronnie Rice and Ray Graffia, Jr., both one-time members of The New Colony Six, and Denny Sarokin, formerly of Every Mother’s Son and Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, I have added some additional Special Guests ... Chet Coppock, Kent Kotal of Forgotten Hits and Bruce Mattey will join me for this great fundraiser for Easter Seals! 
-- Ken Voss

Yes, I guess Chet and I are going to act as MC’s for this one.  (I'm trying to get him to agree to letting me get a word in edgewise every now and then!!!)
Hey, it’s all for a good cause and it promises to be a great night of musical entertainment … so we’re encouraging all of our “locals” to come out and see us that night.  Full details can be found in the poster above.  (I am really looking forward to seeing this theater … I’ve never been there before and hear it is very nice.  Lindsay Buckingham was booked there recently … and Todd Rundgren has just signed on to do a show there in April!)  kk 

Gladys Knight will sing The National Anthem at The Super Bowl on February 3rd.  The highlight (or me anyway) at the half-time show will be Maroon 5.  But honestly, daughter Paige is doing her last performance of “Silent Sky” at the Steel Beam Theatre that day in St. Charles, IL, so I’m not sure we’ll even be home to watch it!  (For the record … if I can just brag for a minute … she’s been getting RAVE reviews for this, her first professional performance since graduating college this summer.)  kk

The Mike and Micky Show is ready to head back out on the road.
Michael Nesmith (and his First National Band) kicked off shows this past Thursday Night (January 17th) in Seattle, WA … but come March (March Madness Indeed!) they’ll team up together again for a series of shows that will take them all over the place for the next several months.
(Many of these are make-up dates due to Michael Nesmith having to go in for emergency heart surgery last fall … but some new dates have also been added.)

Here is the updated tour schedule …

And, should you get a chance to see them when here they come … walkin’ down your street … we would love to hear from you to run a full review!  (kk)  

Michael Nesmith solo (performing his legendary songs from the 1970's like Joanne, Silver Moon, Some Shelley's Blues and Propinquity).
1/17/19--Seattle, WA-- Neptune Theatre
1/19/19--Grants Pass, OR-- Rogue Theatre
1/20/19--Sacramento, CA-- The Sofia, home of B Street Theatre
1/22/19-- West Hollywood, CA-- Troubadour
1/24/19-- San Juan Capistrano, CA-- Coach House Concert Hall
1/26/19-- Mill Valley, CA-- Sweetwater Music Hall

The Monkees' Micky Dolenz & Mike Nesmith March Madness Tour (performing the Monkees' greatest hits, plus deep cuts - everything from Last Train To Clarksville to Me & Magdalena - supported by a fabulous band)
3/1/19--Medford, MA-- Chevalier Theatre
3/2/19-- Atlantic City, NJ-- Ocean Resort Casino
3/3/19--Lancaster, PA-- American Music Theatre
3/5/19-- Red Bank, NJ-- Count Basie Center for the Arts
3/6/19--Glenside, PA-- The Keswick Theatre
3/8/19--Huntington, NY-- The Paramount
3/9/19--New York, NY-- The Beacon Theatre
3/10/19--Albany, NY-- Palace Theatre
3/12/19--Royal Oak, MI-- Royal Oak Music Theatre
3/14/19--Prior Lake. MN-- Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
3/15/19--New Buffalo, MI-- Four Winds Casino
3/16/19--St Charles, MO-- Family Arena

The Monkees' Micky Dolenz & Mike Nesmith in New Zealand & Australia
6/8/19-- Christchurch, New Zealand-- Isaac Theatre
6/9/19-- Auckland, New Zealand-- Great Hall
6/10/19-- Wellington, New Zealand-- Michael Fowler Centre
6/12/19-- Brisbane, Australia-- QPAC
6/15/19-- Melbourne, Australia-- Palais Theatre
6/16/19-- Perth, Australia-- Astor Theatre
6/18/19-- Sydney, Australia-- Sydney Opera House

Speaking of The Monkees, Micky was just in Canada this past week for a three show stand at The Avalon Theatre (at Fallsview Casino) in Ontario.  While he was there, he found time to do a guest spot on The Peet and Reet Show, on Tri-Stream Entertainment, with radio’s Pete Dychtiar and Rita Carrey. They also celebrated Rita’s brother Jim’s birthday at Ruth’s Christ Steak House in Ontario.

L-R: Pete Dychtiar; Coco Dolenz; Micky Dolenz and Rita Carrey

kk …
I read in yesterday's newspaper that there will be two 50th Anniversary Woodstock Concerts at the same time.  One will be at the original site and one close by.
It sounds like the final line-up of acts won’t be announced until sometime in February when the tickets go on sale … but there are expected to be as many as 40 acts performing on three stages.  I’m not sure how many “original hippies” could handle this at this age, some 50 years later … especially if the line-up is stacked with mostly modern acts that most of us won’t know.  (And I would think it would be a totally different drug scene this time around, too … although hopefully mudslides will be optional.)  Watch for our Forgotten Hits coverage of the ORIGINAL Woodstock Festival as our salute to 1969 continues throughout the year.  (kk)

Talking about anniversaries, February 3rd marks the 60th Anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.  Besides the annual Winter Dance Party held in Clear Lake, Iowa, FH Reader Frank B. tells us about another planned event …  
Also celebrating their 60th Anniversary this year is Motown Records … and there is a big deal planned up in Detroit this year, where The Motown Museum will be displaying all kinds of artifacts from the label’s glorious history.  (kk) 
More information here: 

And, if a 60th Anniversary isn’t big news enough for you, how about the launch of the 100th Anniversary campaign launched by Capitol Records to celebrate the birth of Nat King Cole!!!  
Cole was born on March 17th, 1919, in Montgomery, Alabama, but was raised right here in Chicago.  Sadly, he died in 1965 at the young age of 65, due to lung cancer.  But in between, he placed an incredible 110 songs on Billboard’s Pop Singles Chart between 1943 and 1966.  Two more hits charted after that … the digitally constructed duet with his daughter Natalie on a remake of his 1952 Hit “Unforgettable” and a re-charting of “The Christmas Song” in 2014.  Since we already know this Christmas “chestnut” charted again this holiday season, let’s call it at least 113 chart hits in all.  (My Whitburn Top Pop Singles Book stops at 2015 … so if it charted again between 2016 and last year, this would add to the overall total.)

FH Reader Bob Merlis tells us more about what they have planned to celebrate to momentous event … 


New ‘Ultimate Nat King Cole’ and Limited Edition 

International Nat King Cole’ Collections to be Released March 15 by Capitol / Ume

Marvin Gaye’s ‘A Tribute To The Great Nat King Cole’ Album Expanded for New Digital Edition to be Released March 15 by Motown / UMe 

With the direct participation of the Nat King Cole Estate, and as part of the celebration of the global entertainment legend’s centennial year, Capitol / UMe will release two new collections showcasing Cole’s music on March 15: Ultimate Nat King Cole (CD and digital; 2LP vinyl to follow June 14) and International Nat King Cole (CD). The former includes an exclusive new duet of “The Girl From Ipanema,” pairing Cole’s original vocals with newly recorded vocals by GRAMMY®-winning Blue Note Records artist Gregory Porter, whose much lauded 2018 album tribute to Cole, Nat King Cole and Me, is GRAMMY-nominated this year. On the same date, a newly expanded edition of Marvin Gaye’s 1965 album, A Tribute To The Great Nat King Cole, will be released by Motown/UMe for download purchase and streaming.
The releases are among a host of special events, projects and programs commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nat King Cole, widely acknowledged as one of the most honored and iconic performing and recording artists of all time. Born March 17, 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama, the masterful pianist and vocalist’s initial focus was the jazz idiom, having formed the Nat King Cole Trio while in his 20s. The group was an almost immediate sensation and proved influential to the extent that no less an authority than Count Basie marveled, “Those cats used to read each other’s mind -- it was unbelievable.” Ray Charles inducted Cole into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and readily admitted to Cole’s monumental influence on him.
Cole was signed to Capitol Records in 1943 and The King Cole Trio, his initial album released in 1945 at the dawn of the LP format, topped Billboard’s inaugural album chart. He went on to record nearly 700 songs for Capitol, including 150 singles that charted on Billboard’s Pop, R&B and/or Country charts. That phenomenal success led to Capitol’s iconic round building on Vine Street in Hollywood to be informally known as “The House That Nat Built.” Preorder Ultimate Nat King Cole 
Preorder International Nat King Cole: 
Ultimate Nat King Cole features 21 tracks, including the aforementioned new duet with Gregory Porter as well as 20 classic Nat King Cole hits and favorites, including “Unforgettable,” “Mona Lisa,” “Straighten Up And Fly Right,” “L-O-V-E,” “The Very Thought Of You,” “Stardust,” and “Nature Boy.” 
International Nat King Cole is exclusively available for preorder from The limited-edition CD presents 14 beguiling songs Cole recorded in languages other than English at Capitol Studios in August 1964, including “L-O-V-E” in French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian; “Muetterlein” (“Answer Me, My Love”) in German; and “Autumn Leaves” in French and Japanese. Ultimate Nat King Cole and International Nat King Cole both include newly-written essays by actor and award-winning writer James Ritz.
Nat King Cole’s huge influence is evident in the new expanded edition of Marvin Gaye’s A Tribute To The Great Nat King Cole. In addition to album’s original mono mix, which is making its digital debut, the new edition features more than a dozen bonus tracks, including six alternate takes from the studio sessions. 
Along with his trailblazing musical career, Cole is recognized for his contributions to the struggle for civil rights and racial equality. His efforts were done in his own unique style. In 1946, Cole broadcast a 15-minute national radio program, “King Cole Trio Time,” the first of its kind to be hosted by an African American musician. In 1956, he also became the first major African American entertainer to host his own national network TV show. NBC’s “Nat King Cole Show” aired weekly from November 1956 to December 1957, the cancelation of which was caused by a paucity of sponsors since marketers were afraid to offend white viewers with a program hosted by an African American. Cole also appeared in several films, including his top-billed portrayal of W.C. Handy in 1958’s St. Louis Blues and his final big screen star turn as Shouter / Sunrise Kid in 1965’s Cat Ballou.
In 1948, Cole purchased a house for his family in the all-white Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Ku Klux Klan burned a cross on the family’s front lawn, and members of the neighborhood’s property owners association told Cole they did not want any "undesirables" moving into the neighborhood. Cole responded, "Neither do I. And if I see anybody undesirable coming in here, I'll be the first to complain." He helped overturn the 1920s Los Angeles statute that had kept the neighborhood segregated. The KKK targeted Cole and struck again in 1956 when Klansmen rushed the stage and beat Cole at a concert performance in Birmingham, Alabama. He would never perform in the south again. 
In 1959, Cole won the GRAMMY Award for Best Performance by a "Top 40" Artist for “Midnight Flyer.” In 1963, he was honored with a Special Achievement Award from the Golden Globes.
Cole’s final album, L-O-V-E, was recorded in December 1964 and released in January 1965, just before his untimely death on February 15 at the age of 45. The album reached No. 4 on the Billboard albums chart. At the time, it was reported that Capitol Records had sold more than nine million Nat King Cole records. From “Mona Lisa” to “Unforgettable,” Nat King Cole’s songs are incomparable; it is difficult to contemplate a holiday season without the warmth of Cole’s evergreen rendition of “The Christmas Song.”
In 1990, Cole was posthumously awarded the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has four recordings in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame: "The Christmas Song" (1946), "Nature Boy" (1948), "Mona Lisa" (1950), and "Unforgettable" (1951). Cole’s 1944 hit, “Straighten Up And Fly Right,” and the Jazz at the Philharmonic album series in which he is a featured artist have been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, which honors "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" American recordings.
In 1991, Cole’s daughter Natalie Cole released Unforgettable: With Love, featuring her virtual duet of “Unforgettable” with her father. The album topped charts around the world and won the coveted Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award. Just three years thereafter, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Nat King Cole commemorative stamp in its "Legends of American Music" series. In 2000, Nat King Cole was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Established in 2008 by his twin daughters Timolin and Casey Cole, Nat King Cole Generation Hope honors the legacy of their father and mother, Maria Cole. The 501(c)(3) organization dedicates their resources to build sustainable music programs for schools across the United States.
Interest in Nat King Cole’s story continues to grow as each new generation discovers his music, as well as his trailblazing, catalytic role in several important cultural and sociopolitical advancements, including the U.S. civil rights movement. The arc of Cole’s life is a study in success despite adversity, and the triumph of civility, respect and talent married with political, cultural and business savvy. | |

Ultimate Nat King Cole [CD; digital; 2LP vinyl]

1.  (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 

2.  Straighten Up And Fly Right 

3.  (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons 

4.  Sweet Lorraine 

5.  Unforgettable 

6.  Walkin' My Baby Back Home 

7.  Mona Lisa 

8.  Pretend 

9.  Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps) 

10. Love Me As Though There Were No Tomorrow 

11. Stardust 

12. Orange Colored Sky 

13. When I Fall In Love 

14. The Very Thought Of You 

15. Perfidia 

16. Let There Be Love 

17. Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer 

18. L-O-V-E 

19. Smile 

20. Nature Boy 

21. The Girl From Ipanema (with Gregory Porter)

International Nat King Cole [CD]

1.  L-O-V-E (French Version)

2.  Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves / French Version)

3.  Crois-Moi Ca Durera (You’ll See / French Version)

4.  Le Bonheur C'est Quand On S'aime 

5.  Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir (Passing By / French Version)

6.  L-O-V-E (German Version)

7.  Muetterlein (Answer Me, My Love / German Version)

8.  L-O-V-E (Japanese Version)

9.  I Don't Want To Be Hurt Anymore (Japanese Version)

10. Kareha (Autumn Leaves / Japanese Version) 

11. L-O-V-E (Spanish Version)

12. Tu Eres Tan Amable 

13. L-O-V-E (Italian Version)

14. Tu Sei Cosi Amabile

Marvin Gaye: A Tribute To The Great Nat King Cole (Expanded Edition) [digital]

1.  Goodbye

2.  I Wish You Love

3.  If I Had To Go

4.  So In Love

5.  The End Of A Love Affair

6.  The More I See You

7.  Violets For Your Furs

8.  You're All That Matter To Me

9.  Nature Boy / original mono LP mix

10. Ramblin' Rose / original mono LP mix

11. Too Young / original mono LP mix

12. Pretend / original mono LP mix

13. Straighten Up and Fly Right / original mono LP mix

14. Mona Lisa / original mono LP mix

15. Unforgettable / original mono LP mix

16. To the Ends of the Earth / original mono LP mix

17. Sweet Lorraine / original mono LP mix

18. It's Only a Paper Moon / original mono LP mix

19. Send for Me / original mono LP mix

20. Calypso Blues / original mono LP mix

21. Unforgettable / original California version, take 2

22. Send for Me / original California version, take 1

23. Send for Me / original California version, take 3

24. Ramblin' Rose / alternate vocal

25. Too Young / alternate vocal, take 1

26. Send for Me / alternate vocal, take 1 

And, as if all of this anniversary stuff isn't already enough to make you feel old ... here's yet another excuse to make you feel even older! ...
This week marks the 20th Anniversary of Britney Spears' first record, "... Baby One More Time" going to #1 on the Billboard pop charts.  (How can that possibly be?!?!)
Spears would earn three more #1 Singles in Billboard ("Womanizer," 2008, "3," 2009 and "Hold it Against Me," 2011) ... as well as place another 19 tracks into Billboard's Top 40.  She'll turn 38 later this year.  (kk)  

Starting tomorrow (January 20th), Bob Stroud’s Chicago Institution “Rock And Roll Roots” will now air TWICE every Sunday on WDRV.  You can catch it at both 7 – 10 am AND 7 – 10 pm.  ALWAYS a great show.  Listen Live link here: 

And, if you read this early enough to catch it, this sounds like an interesting program … 
This weekend on Saturday, January 19th, from 11 am – 1 pm Eastern, Michael Shelley welcomes three authors to discuss their recent books: Harvey Kubernik on "The Story Of The Band," Ian Rusten on "The Rolling Stones in Concert, 1962-1982: A Show-by-Show History," and Tom Smucker on "Why the Beach Boys Matter" … with lots of related music! 
You can listen live via any one of these links below … WFMU-FM 91.1/Jersey City, NJ; 90.1/Hudson Valley, NY – We're an ... 
Michael Shelley's show 

Here's a clip I recently pulled from our radio tapes in Dodge City.  Note concerts from the Fugs, Spirit (yet to have a big hit) AND TRAVIS PIKE TEA PARTY!!!  It's WBZ Boston from 1-20-1968!  51 years ago THIS WEEK!!!

Also, I think I've sent this before, but this is a wonderful site on the BOSSTOWN sound. 
Clark Besch

>>>The Elegants did a song called Spiral - think it was a dance - like The Twist.  (David Cousins)
>>>I think the Elegants tune is probably the one Jack is looking for ... Jack, can you please confirm?  I would love to chalk up another "mystery solved" to our collective belt.  (kk)
It is indeed the Elegants. I actually had the answer before you went to press … but decided to wait for the confirmation anyways. Unlike various news sources, I wait for a positive confirmation.
Thanks to all.
PS - You didn't mention that David Cunningham, lead singer of the Floaters, has floated on to his next life. He was 65.  

Hmm ... I hadn’t heard about that one.  
“Float On” was one of those bizarre ‘70’s soul tracks that was both cheesy and kinda cool at the same time.  It was also the very definition of a true One Hit Wonder ... it peaked at #2 in 1977 ... and then The Floaters never hit The Top 100 ever again.  I can certainly handle listening to it again today … especially since there’s such a cool video to go along with it!  (kk)

Hey, didn’t Cheech and Chong do a parody of this song, too?

Oh yeah … here it is … 

Incredibly, this one just missed The Top 40, peaking at #41 in Billboard in late 1977 / early 1978.  (kk) 

Psychedelic Rock Legends The Chocolate Watchband Release New Album “This Is My Voice” 
Iconic California psychedelic rock legends The Chocolate Watchband celebrate the release of their new album “This Is My Voice” (released by Dirty Water Records), led by founding and current members, vocalist David Aguilar and guitarist Tim Abbott, plus Gary Andrijasevich on drums. Second generation fans, guitarist Derek See and bassist Alec Palao (Grammy-nominated producer/ historian ), bring their enthusiasm and love for the music to the table to help weave THE sound which both faithfully recreates the sonic energy and tone of the original recordings, as well as giving a rare edge to new material that is a logical progression to the bands legacy.
Documented as influencing legendary bands far and wide within the psych, garage, and punk scene for the past 50 years, their live performances sizzle with the same outrageous audacity of the late 60s scene they helped usher into the San Francisco Bay area ballroom scene. The group was also seen as featured bands in the 1967 cult films “Riot on the Sunset Strip” and “The Love-Ins”, and their powerful stage presence continues to the present day in a timeless stage show which is oozing electric cool-aid energy. Critics have noted the Chocolate Watchband was America's answer to the Rolling Stones!
While the band’s music was a cherished secret of record collectors for many years, the music is now available to be heard by everyone, which has ushered in a new fourth generation of fans around the world, who hear the Watchband sound as it has reverberated into the psyche of the class of 2018 psychedelic bands.
Their newest songs resonate with genuine political rebellion in our current times, which can be heard in the lyrics of the new song “Judgment Day”.“I wrote 'Judgment Day' as the country was still in recovery,” says lead vocalist and founding member David Aguilar of the days following the 2008 market crash. “Families were living in their cars. It was a terrible time for the American dream. It resulted in the anger that put the current president into the White House. The Who were wrong, Americans can get fooled again!”
The band will be hitting the road in 2019 in support of their new album “This Is My Voice” with plans for a string of European tours and select US dates. Are YOU gonna be there?
Here's what the press has said about The Chocolate Watchband's new album:
“This is the revival band you’ve been looking to add to your rotation” - Pittsburgh Magazine
“Together they've created a record that deviates from the Watchband's first phase of raunchy groovers and tender space-outs, opting for a more modern rock sound, yet without sacrificing their keen ear for anthemic songwriting and memorable melodies”-  The Stranger
“This is My Voice isn’t so much a comeback as it is a continuation; the sound of one of the psych-rock era’s most dynamic outfits rolling its sleeves up, stirring its creative juices, and getting down to business” - Artist Home

Pre-Order The Chocolate Watchband's “This Is My Voice”: 

I am a bit worried about stealing too much space in FH lately, but this is really time sensitive stuff for me and FH, so I figured I'd put it together and send out to you to post.  As you know, I am VERY passionate towards my 60's radio love from my childhood … and these are just further illustrations of that fact.

The winter of ’68 / ‘69 was possibly the period when me and my brother Steve were most prolific at AM radio DX'ing and recording on reel to reel.  As I did previously for 1967, I have put together a montage of what radio sounded like from November, 1968 to February, 1969, growing up in Dodge City, Kansas DX'ing the great AM radio stations and great tunes and DJ's of that winter.  If you wish to download, do so at the below site.  It is 34 minutes and this time, guaranteed that every piece is from my brother Steve and my recordings made as it happened.  Most of the music is edited to show how we spun the dial endlessly looking for that great tune or DJ.  You'll even hear then-current Beatles song rendition hits by Arthur Conley, Wilson Pickett and Joe Cocker!  A couple of the clips have been featured in FH previously.

WARNING:  This montage is filled with good and bad quality recordings featuring speed and volume variation, AM static and fading, dropouts, distortion and TV interference common to AM long distance listening.  This is NOT for the "Reel Radio" site perfect aircheck listener.  That said, sit back and relive top 40 radio 50 years ago this month.  I’ve listed a little more info below.  The file is 31 mb and lasts 34 minutes.

Here's what you'll hear IF you listen closely:

MUSIC:  RNB, "flower child music," ELVIS comeback, oldies (souvenir weekends), folk, pop, rock, soul, bubblegum, psychedelic, foreign language and more -- some songs, you'll even hear TWICE.  IF you thought "Beatlemania" ended with 1964, think again.  The "White Album" (or as our FH star Chuck Buell correctly calls "The Beatles") is very prevalent in this tape including some confusing November, 1968 pre-release airings of "Hey Bulldog" and "You're Too Much" (released in February ‘69 as "It's All Too Much") giving the Besch brothers a four month exclusive before it finally showed on the "Yellow Sub" album.  Chuck Buell even joins in on a song! 

You'll get "exclusives" and premiers like Joe South's new song being glorified on KIMN Denver.  It would win the Grammy for "Song of the Year."

JINGLES:  Those great radio jingles always made us sing them back to the radio we were listening to.  Some sound a bit dated at times even for 1969, such as a KIMN and WNOE one.  Some enhance the station greatly, IMO.

FH ARTISTS:  I'm hearing Ron Dante, the Royal Guardsmen, Tony Hatch (song), the Lettermen and lots of Tommy James, including his first self-produced 45 in hearing the B side, a great newly echoed 45 "Gingerbread Man" mix from the previous album!  Chicago-wise, you'll hear the American Breed and NC6 TWICE and mention of the Joe Kelley Blue Band!

RADIO STATIONS:  You'll hear clips from mostly from WLS and WCFL in Chicago and WKYC Cleveland, but also bits from local KLEO Wichita, Kansas and KLIF Dallas and ...

KIMN - Denver, who Chuck Buell had left less than a year before for the Big 89, WLS.

WNOE - New Orleans, who is still sticking with the echoes DJ sound of early 60's AM radio.

WOAI - San Antonio, whose "Legendary" Larry Kent lets the White Album track run a bit long lending to the opening piano notes of "Don't Pass Me By" being heard!

WABC - New York City.  It was a great thrill when we were able to pull in the Number One Top 40 station in the nation and you will hear how hard it was to receive this long distance station.

FEATURES:  Do you remember all those things radio gave us back then?  Here, you'll relive things like box tops mail ins, school closings, events emceed by the jocks, high school homecomings, football and basketball, upcoming concerts, the weather, countdown shows, "3rd of 8 in a row" and other BOSS radio-type format comments, cash calls, "Win a Mink!," spelling bees, movie ads, a Coke commercial featuring Ray and Aretha.  How about an ad for learning computers in 1969 by graduating from a four year computer training college.  This ad was on KIMN in Denver and the college was in Delaware!!  Quite a musical ad it is, too.  I checked into this and I found some people DID graduate in four years from this school!

On a local slant in Chicago, many of us remember all the T-A-C-K-L-E acne commercials that aired in the 60's nationally, but by ‘69, the women's movement is forefront in the new ads!  Who knew??  How about the annual Goldblatt's year end record sale with 45's for 49 cents and MONO LPs at $1.49?  There's an ad for WLS' FIRST bridal fair.  An ad for WCFL's new "Big 10 Summer Gold" various hits album and Ron Riley gives a long car ad for Mr. Norm's.  Some great cars in THIS ad!!  There's a WCFL plug about playing the second Blood, Sweat & Tears album in its entirety soon, also. 

DJ's:  The DJ's in this piece are some of the most awesome I ever had the pleasure to hear.  Luckily, I have been able to talk with or communicate with several of them, making for a great time for ME!  Some of the DJ's heard or mentioned include Steve Brant, Charlie Greer, Chuck Dunaway, Larry Kent, Jim Clark, Bobby Shannon, Don Kelly, Scotty Winter and Fred Winston (when at WKYC before venturing to WLS stardom years later).

Oh yeah, there LOTS of clips of fave Chicago DJ's from the giants, WLS and WCFL.  You'll note in listening that WLS almost always sounded like a local, while WCFL was a distant attempt.  STILL, these great competing jocks were ALL great in their own ways.  Ron Riley and Larry Lujack are my two all time fave DJ's and it's sometimes hard to believe they were only on the same WLS staff for a year and a half.  There's no way to describe Larry, as he changed with the times while on WLS and WCFL each for two different eras.  He was simply great.  Ron had the best radio voice and delivery I have ever known.  He was full of energy and it just flowed out of the speaker into your ears.  Oddly enough, Ron was often up against another Ron … Ron Britain blasted the airwaves from WCFL in the 6-9 PM slot for years as America's "First Psycho-delic Disc Johnny!"  With constant drop-ins and a humor that was unmatched, you really had to LISTEN close to catch what was going on.  I have been friends with both Rons over the years and it's been great knowing both.  By late 1968, Ron RILEY had moved to late night on WLS and in early 1969 moved over to ‘CFL with Clark Weber.  I was friends with Barney Pip before his death many years ago and you'll hear the DJ shift switches at 9 PM and at midnight on ‘CFL as the shows transition from Britain to Pip to Jerry G Bishop.  Of course, Jerry was also the original "Svengoolie."  In the clip you'll hear, Jerry chastises Barney for not saying goodbye and finally quips, "Oh well, they all look the same."  What a great time for radio in the Windy City!  You'll also hear clips featuring the "young new guys" at the Big 89 in 1968/9:  Jerry Kaye and some guy named Chuck Buell.  I gotta say that Jerry had a smooth late night style and Chuck identified with every youth who listened, LIKE ME!  The ending clips are the close of a Chuck Buell show and Barney Pip's Christmas night show of 1968.

BTW:  You'll hear 9 of the top 10 songs on FH's recent January 6, 1969 Hit Parade and 27 of the top 40 hits on that chart!  You'll hear WKYC agreeing with the Big 89, that the #1 song is "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me."  Hope you enjoy it! 

WLS Clark Besch 


We used our dad's 1940 Hallicrafter receiver (below) with all kinds of gadgets like tuning (big left knob) and "FINE TUNING (right big knob), fine or broad band settings, tone control.  LOTS of things not available to most people recording off radio then.

The reel to reel recorder was the Bell one below. 

The left "handle" was speed setting.  When I was low on reel space, I could switch between 7 1/2 all the way to 1 7/8 changing available space and cutting sound quality.  The right one was the one I waited with hand ready to throw it the second the promised new Beatles tune was starting or all the other recordings as well.  The red button, one had to push down at same time as the play arm I just spoke of.  Doing both was TRULY a pain on the thumb, as the record button pushed very hard.  Our dad attached a swinging arm that would hold the record button down so all we kids had to do was fling the play arm into motion and we were on our way to recording AM glory.  The lower left lights lit the thing up like Christmas!  The yellow came on when we powered it up and the red when recording and the white one varied in lighting to show when your level was too high or low.  On the right, you could plug in one or two mics or the radio direct!  The 2 round buttons were fast forward and fast reverse.  That helped when I was in a hurry to record over something that I quickly deemed as not "save-able."
In comparison to FH's January 6, 1969 WLS chart, I'll offer MY pretend radio KLGR chart from same week.  23 of my top 30 tunes can be heard in the montage, so the reel to reel recordings were QUITE important to me.  We were now getting free DJ 45 copies form our Dodge City country radio station, allowing for many songs to chart that got little airplay like #3, 4, 13, 30 and 46.  On the back side of this chart, I listed the top 10 songs for that week in previous year on my charts.  The January 8, 1967 and 1968 charts had #1's by the Buckinghams, so it was good to see them charting in ‘69 with their new 45 at 30.  This year would begin my transition from MONO AM to STEREO FM listening and in mid-June, I would start listing (with *) the songs "heard in stereo on KLGR."

Clark Besch

This file is too large to post but if you are interested in hearing it, just drop me an email and I’ll send it along.  (It is a pretty low-quality collection but definitely gives you a feel as to what radio sounded like circa late-1968 / early-1969.  (kk)

>>>You may have featured this film from years past, but here’s a look at 1968 at the Big 89 with John Rook running things.  This film makes WLS sound like an MOR station to my ears … what do you think???  
(Clark Besch) 
>>>I couldn’t agree more … WLS didn’t sound ANYTHING like this in 1968-1969 … clearly developed for the advertisers and not the 18-49 demographic that was actually listening to the station.  (Honestly, I don’t think anybody OUR age would have been inclined to listen to the station based on this boring clip!)  kk 
I have a reel of the original 16mm film version of this, marked “WLS".  Any idea what I could do with this?
Kevin Killion
(the other KK) 
Happy to put it out there to see if anyone has an interest in purchasing this film … I’ll let you know if we get any takers.  (kk)

A quick favor for a friend … 

I ran into Mario Novelli at a dinner function the other night and he told me about his band’s new single, “River Grove” … which just happens to be the village where he and I first met some thirty years ago.
Mario is a member of The PondHawks, a group whose sound is deeply rooted in the ‘60’s.  They’ve been together for several years now and have already released three albums and a series of videos.  There has also been a whole lotta great press written about these guys … so you should take a minute and check them out here:
The PondHawks River Grove:  
The PondHawks:  
The band also includes Jorie Gracen, who wrote the book “I Saw Him Standing There,” covering Paul McCartney’s tours of The States back in 1976, 1989 and 1993.  (I was fortunate enough to see Paul a total of eight times during those three tours … and have known Jorie for years through Beatlefest and our Old Rockers Club.)  Now available in paperback, you can order copies thru here:

I also trust people over 30.
(Even my kids are crossing that threshold)
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano 

Be sure to check out the Sunday Survey tomorrow … and EVERY Sunday this year … as we look back Fifty Years Ago This Week in our year-long salute to 1969.  (kk) 

We’ve run this link before but not for a while … and long-time FH Reader Frank B just sent it to us to share …
Check out the #1 Song on YOUR Birthday right here: 

Frank also sent us this clip from The British version of The Voice … where skiffle great Lonnie Donegan’s son was a contestant. I had NO idea that Lonnie had a hand in writing Tom’s big 1969 hit “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” … but Tom was so moved, he sang the song with him.
Check out the story here:

And finally, this from FH Reader John LaPuzza …

Ain’t it the truth???

And all these stations that pride themselves on presenting the “No Repeat Workday,” guaranteeing that you will not hear the same song twice between 9 am and 5 pm … allowing the listener to leave the station tuned in for their entire work day.

I just know that secretly after the promo runs and the next record starts, the people at the station are whispering “But you WILL hear all of these same songs tomorrow between 9 and 5 … and the day after that … and the day after that … and the day after that (and sometimes even in the same order!) … and the day after that … etc., etc., etc.

Just beef up the play lists so you don’t have to torture the listeners or the people working at the station with the same old same old, day in and day out, day after day after day.  Give the listener a reason to tune in every day … and they will!  Let’s put an end to the current mind set of “short attention span radio” where, now thanks to computerized automation, much of the same deejay patter is ALSO repeated a couple more times throughout the day because the geniuses that program this stuff figure that there is NO WAY the guy listening at 7:30 on his way to work is still listening at 7 PM that night.  Don’t sell yourself short … give us a reason to listen, and we’ll stay tuned in.

End of Radio Rant #4,163.  (kk)