Saturday, January 26, 2019


In a word:  OUTSTANDING!

I have raved about these guys before ... going so far as to say they sound better live in concert than Chicago themselves ...

And they proved me right again Friday Night (January 25th) at The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, IL.

Playing to a sold out house, they performed the second Chicago album (Chicago II) in its entirety, start to finish as their first set ... producing letter-perfect renditions of this landmark LP.  (And they didn't even have to change to Peter Cetera's new key to perform "25 Or 6 To 4"!!!)  Chicago did the same thing in concert a couple of years ago and it didn't come off anywhere near as exciting as this performance did ... simply amazing.

After a brief intermission, a second set concentrated on the hits ... including GREAT tracks like "Dialogue" (consistently one of their strongest live tracks), "Just You 'n' Me," "If You Leave Me Now" (Chicago's first #1 Record ... which, of course, I knew ... but nobody else in the audience guessed), "Questions 67 And 68," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is," "Saturday In The Park," "Beginnings," "I'm A Man," "Happy Man," the truly Forgotten Hit "Free" and "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" / "Getaway".

Now some cynics out there will criticize that this is "just a cover band" ... but The Chicago Experience is far more than that ... I would better define it as "The Ultimate Tribute" to an artist that revolutionized the music scene in the 1970's and '80's.

Between lead vocalists Brian Hemstock (covering the Peter Cetera vocals) and Jeff Anthony (who nails every Terry Kath growl with both the utmost precision and respect), they do a far better job of representing the Chicago sound we all know and love than anything the real band has put up on stage in over twenty years.  This is because they go out of their way to energetically present a loving tribute to that sound and work extremely hard to present it to their audience flawlessly in a live concert setting.  And let me assure you, they achieve this goal in every aspect.

Guitarist and Musical Director Ron Brandt wails on guitar, reproducing many of Terry Kath's finest licks in perfect fashion (while throwing in a few of his own for good measure.)  He also contributes both lead and backing vocals throughout their performance ... and is genuinely humbled by and appreciative of all the accolades the band has been receiving over the years.

And don't underestimate the contribution of bassist Tim Rutter for a minute ... besides providing a flawless bottom end (on some extremely difficult and complicated pieces), he, too, takes center stage for a couple of amazing lead vocals.  

A quick shout out, too, to Adam Cowger on drums and Paul Wood on keyboards ... both of whom fill their respective roles in fine fashion.  (And I would be remiss not to  acknowledge their sound man, who mixed the sound PERFECTLY ... one of the best, most balanced shows we've ever seen.  I will admit that I had some concerns about how over-powering things might be for a nine-piece band to be performing in what can best be described as a relatively small theater ... but you couldn't have asked for a more balanced blend of perfect sound.)

And last but certainly not least, the AMAZING Chicago Experience Horn Section ... 

Add your own superlative here ... it just doesn't get any better than the incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist Jim Massoth on a variety of saxes, oboe and flute, Steve Frost on trumpet and Terry Viano on trombone, all of whom capture the very essence of the Chicago sound ... and then kick it up another notch thanks to the energy and performance level of a live show.

It just doesn't get any better than this.

Not forgetting that the band Chicago in their early days was forced to present both Peter Cetera and Terry Kath singing live while playing their respective instruments (in this case, bass and lead guitar), the very fact that The Chicago Experience is staffed in a way that allows the lead vocalists to concentrate solely on their vocals while Rutter and Brandt are afforded the same luxury to fully devote their full attention to exploring and executing their instruments, is exactly what elevates these guys above and beyond your typical tribute band.  You are hearing each singer and musician afforded the freedom to perform at their very best ... and I can attest that EVERY show I have ever seen them do can boast of this excellence live on stage.

Five Stars ... check them out at their monthly gig at Venuti's in Addison ... and at some of these other upcoming dates (more shows added all the time ... so be sure to check the website before making any final plans)
Thursday, February 28th, at Venuti's (7-10 pm)
Thursday, March 28th, at Venuti's (7-10 pm)
Thursday, April 25th, at Venuti's (7-10 pm)
Thursday, May 23rd, at Venuti's (7-10 pm)
Sunday, June 23rd, at Homer Glen Fest (2-4 pm)
Thursday, July 11th, Palos Hills Friendship Fest, 8-10:30 pm
Saturday, August 3rd, The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI - 7-9 pm
Friday, August 23rd, Burr Ridge Fest, 7 - 8:30 pm

Thursday, January 24, 2019

James Frawley

The name James Frawley may not be immediately familiar to the casual television viewer ... but odds are each and every one of you out there (and nearly everyone else all over the country, for that matter, who grew up watching television in the '60's, '70's and '80's) are familiar with his work.

I first became aware of him thanks to the television series "The Monkees," where you regularly saw his name in the opening and end credits ... Frawley directed 28 of that program's 58 total episodes.  (He even won an Emmy for one of those episodes, "Royal Flush," in 1967.)

Future projects allowed him to inject a little bit of humor into even the most serious of dramas.  Besides 36 acting credits of his own, Frawley has nearly one hundred IMDB directing credits ... and, as such, you could find his name associated with popular television programs like "That Girl," "Magnum P.I.," "Scarecrows And Mrs. King," "Cagney And Lacey," "Columbo" (six episodes), "The Father Dowling Mysteries" (ten episodes), "Law And Order" (five episodes), "Melrose Place," "Pickett Fences," "Chicago Hope," "Judging Amy" (fifteen episodes!) and "Grey's Anatomy."  He also directed the very first Muppets movie.

Although Jim may have passed away this past Tuesday (January 22nd), his fine catalog of work will live on long behind him.  (kk)

Mourning the passing of James Frawley.  

Probably unbeknownst to many, Jim Frawley was profoundly  instrumental in crafting what was to become the Emmy award winning show, The Monkees.

He not only coached us in the art of improvisation but brought to the party a brilliant sense of humor, a dazzling intellect, and the patience of a saint when it came to dealing with the completely off the wall antics of the improvisational, spontaneous monster that they had created...  “They” being, Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, and, Jim Frawley.

And, believe me, at times we were, indeed, literally bouncing off the walls. 

I remember moments when they had to shut down the set because the spur-of-the-moment monster that they had created was about to go ballistic.

I liken it to a fission reaction… If you keep the lid on too tight, the fire goes out.  If you take the lid off, it burns a hole through the center of the earth.

To the credit of the producers, the writers, and largely to Jim Frawley, they somehow managed to sustain the reaction, control it, contain it, and use it to create a show that I feel blessed to be a part of and through the hard work of many, lives on to this day.

Micky Dolenz
Los Angeles, California

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Some Of Your Mid-Week Chatter

The list of this year's Oscar Nominees came out yesterday ...

And "Bohemian Rhapsody" scored FIVE nominations ... include TWO of the biggies ...

Best Picture ...

And Best Actor for Rami Malek's portrayal of the incomparable Freddie Mercury.

We are SO glad that this film is being recognized.  (Think Borat is crying in his cornflakes this morning???)

You can actually buy a digital download of the movie right now ...

But if you want a physical "hard copy" on BluRay or DVD, you've got to wait until February 12th to get it.  (We told you a a couple of weeks ago about all the special packaging options that are available depending on where you choose to purchase it.) 

We can't wait.  (I'm most likely to pick up my copy at Target where it comes with a companion booklet.) 

Malek won The Golden Globe for Best Actor ... but there's some pretty stiff competition in this category in this year's Oscar race.  (The film also garnered nods in the Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Film Editing categories.)


Funny Facebook post making the rounds yesterday pertaining to Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders) and Dino, Desi and Billy (who guested on Mark's "Where The Action Is" television program several times.)

Our good buddy Mark Lindsay shares this hilarious story (Billy Hinsche)

Image may contain: text
(Both Mark and Billy have been long-time friends of Forgotten Hits ... but this piece was submitted by Frank B)

I don't know if everyone in the country had a copy of the LP THE FIRST FAMILY, but you are probably correct in that the vast majority of people in the country did. I do have a copy of the LP but it was bought by my parents when I was a kid. I don't really remember it at all being played on our local top 40 radio station(s) here in OKC, but it probably was. 
Reading about THE FIRST FAMILY reminded me of another LP that came out shortly thereafter. It was called THE OTHER FAMILY, which was about JFK's counterpart living over in the Kremlin. It featured the voices of Larry Foster, Marty Brill, and Tory Deane. I do have a copy of that LP and again, it was probably bought by my parents. It came out on Laurie Records.
I forgot all about that one ... but I think we had it, too!  (kk)

Hey Kent
It has been awhile ... SO much stuff going lately so I have a lot to catch up on.
Anyway the last few concerts I have been to were enjoyable. Saw Tommy James at the Genesee ... a great show although I wish he would change up and throw a few different hits that we haven't heard like 'Get Out Now."  The TJ fans are hard core.  I met a few at a restaurant in Gurnee before the concert. They were from all over ... PA., MN, IND and WISC. They had pics, scrapbooks, etc. Tommy is always gracious after the concert and he signed my copy of Hanky Panky (on the original Snap label) and a program I had from when he had a concert at Luther North High School in Chicago back in 1967!
I believe you realize that Elk Grove have their summer concerts but they always have a free show the day after Thanksgiving, too. They have a Christmas tree lighting ceremony with fireworks and entertainment. Previous years they had the Bucks, Gary Lewis and, in 2018, had Gary Puckett.  He is still in good voice and had more hits than I thought. I forgot his thought provoking song 'Home'. Hope I have the money to see him with the Happy Together Tour this year. 
Oh, and before I forget, Happy 20th!  You, sir, are one in a million. We appreciate all your hard work. 
Speaking of hard work anything new with the Chicagoland Rock and Roll Museum?
As far groups without the originals, all I have to say is check their web site and decide for yourself. I have seen groups with no originals give a great show like the Raiders ... and others ... well, I'd rather not say. 
I agree, Kent ... I saw the Chicago Experience at the Marty Grebb Benefit Concert and they blew me away ... yes, better than the current Chicago. 
Now I hear the Raiders have a new lead singer or am I dreaming? I hope not!
Lastly ... thank you, Jim Peterik!  Where is there another city that has anything like the Cornerstones of Rock! 60's rock in Chicago was fantastic! 
Mike De Martino
Wow!  Good to hear from you, Mike, but lots to cover here!  (Some of your inquiries are so timely I'll try to cover them all!)
In order ... Tommy James ALWAYS puts on an incredible show.  (Believe it or not, I'm actually scheduled to talk with him tomorrow night!)  There are other hits I would love to see him mix in from time to time, just to shake things up a bit.  He had SO many great hits that some just fall thru the cracks sometimes.  In addition to "Get Out Now," I would LOVE to hear "She," one of my all-time favorites by him.  "Nothing To Hide" was another big hit here in Chicago (but it didn't do as well in other parts of the country.)  And his new stuff is just as good as his old stuff ... would LOVE to see him slip in a couple of new tracks every now and again, especially since he has a brand new album coming out real soon.
I've never been to Elk Grove's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony but hear it's a real good time.  Their summer concert series has gotten crazy-packed ... but we just may have to head on up there to see Boz Scaggs this year ... his was one of the best shows we saw a couple of years ago when he performed at The Arcada.
We mentioned the other day that Ron Dante will be filling in for Howard Kaylan again this year when The Turtles perform their annual Happy Together Tour.  Would love to see a return performance at The Genesee Theatre this year if it can be worked out.
Thank you on the congrats ... I can't believe it's been 20 years!
As for the latest status on our new tribute to the great music that came out of the City of Chicago, it's actually called The Chicago Music Hall Of Fame ... and has run into a few snags along the way.  (One major one is that the intended building site has just been sold!)  Ron Onesti is currently scouting other locations and several of us are chomping at the bit to get things up and running.  I'm hoping to have more information on this soon so stay tuned.
And yes, The Chicago Experience is the bomb!  We're seeing them at The Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights Friday Night and we can't wait.  ALWAYS an amazing show.  (Hopefully the weather will cooperate somewhat because we are in for what looks to be a long stretch of snow, sleet and bitter cold temperatures!)
The Raiders do indeed have a new lead singer ... Dave
Huizinga, who used to front the '60's band Generation.  We're actually going to help MC a show in March featuring Paul Revere's Raiders and Ray Graffia, Jr. and Ronnie Rice of The New Colony Six ... with other surprise guests expected to be added.  It's a benefit concert put on by Dynasty Entertainment to help raise money for Easter Seals ... and all of the details can be found in the poster below ...
And finally, they don't come any better than Jim Peterik!  The guy is an INCREDIBLE performer, songwriter, arranger, promoter, producer ... he does it all ... and despite all of the success and accolades that have come his way, he deserves ten times more recognition than he has ever received.  He's a Chicago treasure ... no, it goes even deeper than that ... a national music treasure.  The guy is one of a kind ... and we feel fortunate to even be allowed to step into his world from time to time.  
Hope to see you at some of the aforementioned shows!  (kk)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday This And That

Sam Cooke would have been 88 today.
Chuck Buell
Good one!  HUGE Sam Cooke fan here ... I have always wanted to do an in-depth profile of Sam ... and have started it several times but have never been able to finish it.  (Quite extensive, too!  But I think I just got frustrated after I lost ALL of it in a computer crash back in 2002 and just never resumed working on it after that.)  

FH Reader Bob Benham wrote a VERY nice piece for us several years ago that is well worth checking out ...     

We also featured an amazing piece written by Brian Leli ...    

>>>Now that you're a Doo-Wop fan, I figure you want to know about this show.  (FB)
>>>Bowzer’s Ultimate Rock ‘n’ Doo Wop Party January 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena featuring Little Anthony & Imperials, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Jay Siegel & Tokens, The Chiffons, Willie Winfield & Harptones, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Kathy Young, Johnny Contardo (Sha Na Na), Bowzer & Stingrays and special guest 9/11 NYC Firefighter Frank Pizarro  (Wild Wayne)     
Ice storm yesterday! Knowing the weather uncertainty, my friend cancelled her tickets and I cancelled the hotel. Turned out to be a good decision. Fatalities from falling trees and downed live wires occurred. We were actually hoping for it to be postponed.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
We had MAJOR snow here, too ... and bitter cold temps (with more on the way).  Our daughter was trying to fly in from Texas to see our OTHER daughter in her starring role in "Silent Sky" ... after two flights were cancelled, then re-routed for a connecting flight ... that was ALSO cancelled ... then a connecting flight that had to circle back to the gate because of an ill passenger ... she got in too late to see the show ... but the theater was kind enough to exchange our Saturday Night tickets for three to the Sunday Matinee where they once again rocked the house.  (Proud Papa here ... but it ain't just me ... the whole cast has been written up to glowing reviews in the local papers here, with photos of Paige in every one, including the cover story on the Weekend Entertainment Section!!!  Whoa!!!)  kk
From Chuck Buell ...
Last Sunday’s “WLS Sunday Survey” from January 20, 1969 ranked The Brooklyn Bridge and BJ Thomas songs one after the other at Numbers 4 and 5.   
As you are aware, this was during the period of time that Coca Cola created so many special 30, 60 and even some 90 second radio commercials featuring a wide variety of Hot Singers of the Day singing stylized custom versions of the “Things Go Better With Coke” campaign based on their hit songs. Each spot ended with a spoken tag line voiced by one of several of leading On Air Radio Personalities of the Day.   
I was chosen to tag some of those spots, two of which were for The Brooklyn Bridge and for BJ Thomas. Here are their Hit Songs and Hit Coke Commercials inspired by those Chicago Top Five songs just for Fun! 
CB  ( which stands for “Commercial Boy!” )

Mike Wolstein indeed sounds like a clone of me and my brothers!  Where was HE that he picked up the west and east coast, too?  How funny that HE was on a Hallicrafter as well!  I never wrote for QSL cards, but sure listened a lot to hard to hear stations waiting for a call letter or city name.  WBZ was indeed a killer.  It's amazing that we listened about the same years and WE also DX'd FM when skip was coming in.  I have a few tapes when FM skip was coming in.  Certainly, KIXZ at 940 in Amarillo was part of MY listening day, sandwiched in the PRIME zone of 890 to 1000 with almost every frequency between offering top 40 to Dodge City.  WHOT also offered up Barney Pip in 1964! Indeed, I have listened to the Zoomer at 740 a few times when DXing late night on AM.

You may remember that we told you several months ago about a rare health disorder that had sidelined Huey Lewis.  (In fact, he had to cancel a 60-city tour as a result of what was diagnosed as Meniere’s disease, which can cause hearing loss, balance issues and inner ear pressure problems.  By all accounts, it was debilitating.
But Huey was optimistic ... “It can get better," he said ... "it just hasn't yet. I haven't come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again. I'm still hoping I'm gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.” 
But now comes the announcement that Huey Lewis and the News have recorded a brand new album!
Lewis says that there are no tour plans to support the new cd for these same health reasons ... but adds “We’re very excited about our new album, and honestly feel that it’s among our best work – we cannot wait to get it out to fans!”
Plans are for this to be a spring release.  (kk) 

If you did not see CBS Sunday Morning yesterday, they had a story about Mo Rocca's new podcast site, "Mobituraies," in which he tells stories of once famous people who have died, but their story hasn't been told well.  
In 1962/3 Vaughn Meader was a huge star as a President Kennedy impersonator due to the overnight success of his album "The First Family."  It seems like every family in the US had this album when it came out.  It was #1 for 12 weeks on Billboard's Top LP charts and left the chart a week before Kennedy died after 48 weeks and being a million seller AND winning 1962 Grammy for Album of the Year.  
At the site below, you'll hear a LONG story on Meader's life.  Sad but interesting.  
When listening, remember that both Andy Williams and the Everly Brothers had gotten their record selling start with Cadence Records, but both had left by mid-1962, leaving the roster pretty low and re-issuing old songs by these two  acts.   
Here where I live, you'll find the KLMS / Lincoln's "Nifty Fifty" chart with the album tied at #1 on the singles chart!  This was the ONLY time an album ranked #1 on the KLMS 45 chart and an explanation is in the opening at the bottom.

1.  The Hot 100, second week on the chart, reaching #1 just before Christmas 1962 

2.  The SECOND First Family album peaking at #4 in Hine, 1963 with first album still in the 40's

3.  Oddly enough, the first album re-charted in Cash Box at #95 even AFTER Kennedy's death with 1/4/64 chart.  There was two-page ad for "Beatlemania" in this issue as well.
Clark Besch
You are right when you say every family in America had a copy of Vaughn Meader's "First Family" album ... or at least it sure seemed like it. (I know WE did!)  Years later I bought the "Welcome To The LBJ Ranch" album, which completely cracked me up.  (To this day I can remember certain lines from that LP that'll make me smile when they cross my mind.)
I wish I would have seen the CBS Morning News segment ... they seem to have some REALLY good music / pop culture segments every week.  (I did find it on YouTube so those of us who missed it can now all enjoy it together.)
I haven't listened to the Mobituaries thingy yet ... but remember doing a fairly extensive piece on "The First Family" many years ago in Forgotten Hits.  (Will have to see if I can find that in the archives.)
I remember hearing Lenny Bruce making a comment about Vaughn Meader's career being over after the Kennedy assassination in a long, extended bit that came down hard on Jackie for trying to climb out of the car when, in fact, she was trying to recover the part of JFK's head that had been torn off by the assassin's bullet.  (Of course Senator Bobby's career ended rather quickly after RFK was taken down in Los Angeles a few years later.) 
Several years ago Collectables put out a CD featuring BOTH of the Vaughn Meader "First Family" albums on one disk.  (A 50th Anniversary 3-CD Set is also available)
Listening to them again, they're just not that funny ... and not just because they're terribly dated ... they're just not funny.
But because nobody had ever done anything like this before ... and because the Kennedys were held in such high esteem (as the epitome of the PERFECT life), it clicked ... and the first LP topped the chart for three months!  
On the other hand, I do still find the "Welcome To The LBJ Ranch" album funny, however ... perhaps because it's done more "Dickie Goodman-style" with reporters posting questions and then the answers coming from the actual political figureheads by way of "drops-ins" from previous speeches or interviews.  (Lady Bird taking us a tour of The White House, for example, with all her southern hospitality.)  kk 

Chuck Buell Remembers an Early Nat King Cole ... 
Your Forgotten Hits Feature on Nat King Cole was wonderfully comprehensive!  He was truly one of the Unique All Time Greats and one of my Favorites, too.  
I first became acquainted with him when I was a very young boy when one of my favorite songs was by the “Nat King Cole Trio” from one of my first record albums that my Mom and Dad bought for me called, King Cole for Kids!

The “song?” 
Well, it was actually more of a story called “The Three Trees!”
If you’ve never heard it before, here it is!

CB ( which stands for a former “Cole Boy!” )

Monday, January 21, 2019

A Monday Morning Quickie!

We've already heard from enough of you to fill another Comments Page!!!

So let's get to it ...  

Hi Kent - 
Regarding bands who continue to perform without the original lead singer, many years ago I saw Guess Who (along with Strawberry Alarm Clock). I did not have high expectations, as I knew that Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman were both long gone. But they had the drummer and bass man from all the big hits and they set an instant groove. The lead singer sounded great and had a lot of showmanship, so it was an excellent show. 
Gary Myers
Like I said, find what works for you and if you’re entertained by that and the music is properly presented, I say go for it.  For me personally, I’m going to pick Burton Cummings every time … because NOBODY can sing ‘em like he does.  (A few years ago The Guess Who, with drummer Garry Peterson and bassist Jim Kale, who own the rights to the name, were performing here about two weeks before Burton hit town to do his own show.  I asked Burt if there was any chance he could come in early so we could check out this other show together … but he was unable to do so.  In nearly immediate hindsight, I thought better of the whole idea as absolutely nothing good could possible come from that sort of confrontation!) 
That being said, I cannot WAIT for Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman get together later this year to film a new Soundstage episode … because those are the two names most closely associated with the group and their legacy.  (Here’s hoping they decide to film this at The Arcada … because no how, no way do I want to miss this show!!!)  kk  

UPDATE FROM RON ONESTI:  Workin’ on it, Brother! 

Enjoy reading the back-and-forth comments regarding "originals" in groups from days gone by. I'm in the corner of preferring the "original" lead in a group.
With that in mind, I've wanted to see The Mystics since being a 16-year-old in Texas. Finally, the wish came true on January 11th in Leesburg, Florida, with two of the "originals" in the group. 
With Phil Cracolici singing lead once again on "Hushabye" alongside nephew George Galfo, they were simply superb -- along with the vocal stylings  of Rocky Marsicano and Ralph Varrone.
It makes no difference that both Phil and George are around the age of 80. They were brilliant, and with The Mystics band adding great instrumentation, it was a two-hour performance that went by much too quickly.
In summary, I feel very fortunate to have heard them just as I'd hoped they'd sound as the 60th anniversary of "Hushabye" approaches in May.
As a bonus, they were very friendly to talk to both before and after the performance!
Thank you,
Ron Spain
I think ALL of us would prefer to see and hear the original voice that was on the hit records we all know and love … but that is becoming more and more difficult as time marches on.  If the option is available, I say by all means, go for it.  If not, just make sure the guys up there recreating this music is doing it justice … and pays their respects to those who created it in the first place.  (kk)

Hi Kent, 
You recently mentioned a guy who would go to an "oldies" show only if at least one of the singers/musicians was a member of the original group.  I feel the same way. 
About 10 years ago, I went to a Lettermen concert. At the time, they had one member of the original group.  The three singers did an excellent job of presenting the "Lettermen sound". I was pleased with the first half of the concert.  I anticipated that the second half would include some of the lesser-known Lettermen songs, e.g. album cuts, that devoted fans would know.  Instead they used the second half to sing songs made famous by OTHER singing groups. That's not what I paid for. I was disappointed.  When I buy a ticket for a Lettermen concert, I want to hear Lettermen songs in Lettermen style.  
-- Chris Astle, Jr.
Newport News, VA
We’ve seen too many shows lately where the headline artist does only a handful of their own hits and then performs other hits of that era for the rest of the show.  I agree … we wanna hear the hits.  (But I can also see the other side … if you’ve been singing the same 20 songs for 40-50 years, you probably want to mix things up for your own sanity a little bit, too!)
That being said, I believe there is a happy medium that can be reached … but if you’ve had 20 Top 40 Hits and only plan on singing three or four of them … or cramming six or seven in a poorly put together medley, you’re really not doing right by your audience … or accurately representing your legacy that drew them there in the first place.  (kk)

kk …
Now that you're a Doo-Wop fan, I figure you want to know about this show.
Bowzer’s Ultimate Rock ‘n’ Doo Wop Party tomorrow January 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena featuring Little Anthony & Imperials, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Jay Siegel & Tokens, The Chiffons, Willie Winfield & Harptones, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Kathy Young, Johnny Contardo (Sha Na Na), Bowzer & Stingrays and special guest 9/11 NYC Firefighter Frank Pizarro
Hope to see you there!
Wild Wayne
This is why we love lists …
Because unless they’re mathematically calculated, they’re all based on personal preference … which means they're truly subjective ... and nothing more.
Case in point …
Last week Ultimate Classic Rock listed THEIR choices for best and worst track on every Eagles album.
Then, later the same week, Rolling Stone Magazine posted THEIR choices for the 40 Best Eagles songs ever …
And the discrepancies abound.
Most obvious: 
Among their “Worst Song” picks, Ultimate Classic Rock lists “Outlaw Man” from the “Desperado” album, “New Kid In Town” from “Hotel California” and the title track of their “On The Border” album.
Meanwhile, ALL of these songs make Rolling Stones’ list of Best Eagles Songs Ever.
“Outlaw Man” comes in at #36 on RS’s list … “On The Border” is listed at #19 and “New Kid In Town” is all the way up at #5!
I have always had a hard time picking my favorites for ANY artist … and, for the most part, I love nearly the entire output of The Eagles throughout their illustrious career … but I will say that nearly HALF of Rolling Stones’ list of 40 Favorites would NOT make mine … and some that are on their list would rank considerably higher if I were to do my own tally.  (“Please Come Home For Christmas,” “Ol’ ’55” and “Those Shoes” are among my very favorites … yet they rank in the lower 15 on the RS list.)
You can read both charts for comparison’s sake here:
Thanks for the overall positive review ... ‘cept for Toby’s shirt.  
One correction ...
The World Stage album coming out on April 26 is all new music collaborations with the artists you mention. Incredible co-writes with the best of the 80s best. 
It’s called Winds Of Change - after the song I wrote with Don Barnes and Danny Chauncey Of .38 Special. Also a music video nearly done (by Greg Bizarro) on my collaboration with Dennis DeYoung called Proof Of Heaven. I’m really excited about this Frontiers release.
Thx again!  
Just havin’ a little fun with Tubby … I mean Toby!!!
As a guy who deals with busting out of his own shirt on a daily basis, I can TOTALLY relate!  It wasn’t mean-spirited … just a fun comment (with perhaps some constructive criticism to be applied to the next show.)
I don’t even know where you begin to find a guy who sings like that … his voice is simply incredible.  As mentioned before, he doesn’t LOOK like a rock star … more like “The Singing Accountant” … but with a voice like his, he needs to “dress it up a bit” to look the part on stage.  There are few singers out there who can compete with him vocally … he SOUNDS like a star … now he just needs to LOOK like a star.  I truly do believe that Toby Hitchcock should be a household name … and you are the “vehicle” to put him there.
Sorry about the mis-info on the new World Stage CD … I was only going from your original notes so ASSUMED it was a collection of past performances with perhaps some new tracks mixed in.  This sounds even better (although I also firmly believe that a 20 Year World Stage Compilation album and dvd are well worth looking into … plus you could sell them at future shows!)
Thanks for the update.  By the way, Chet Coppock wants me to join him at City Winery for The Ides’ March 6th performance so I may see you there after all!)  kk

Since we are talking about the Ides a lot this week, how about this new stereo creation my friend Mike Hartman made recently for "You Wouldn't Listen"?  I think it's a pretty good mix considering it was created from mono original.
Clark Besch

Thanks for running the Nat King Cole news.  
Fact: The post office that serves our zip code (90004) is the Nat King Cole Post Office.  
No wonder we got the job! 
Bob Merlis

We love reading FH cover to cover, and still don't know how you find the time to do it. 
Just so you know we're paying attention: 
>>>>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.   (kk)
Nat’s age was 45.
David Lewis
My bad.  Yes, Nat was only 45.   
I think one of two things likely happened …
I had just typed that he died in ’65 and picked up on that number again … or I had just written the bit about recording the electronically produced duet with his daughter Natalie … who actually DID die at the age of 65.  (Yeah, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!  Lol)
Thanks, David.  
“The Most Accurate Truth” … that’s what we strive for here in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)

And, speaking of Nat King Cole, here’s a piece that we ran WAY back in 2005!!!  It ran as part of our Month Of Sundays feature … and has always been one of my favorites. (kk)

was a merry old soul...
(and a merry old soul was he)!
He was loved by the blacks, he was loved by the whites
And he started the KING COLE THREE.

(As KING COLE'S TRIO and then THE KING COLE TRIO, NAT, OSCAR MOORE and WESLEY PRINCE first hit BILLBOARD's Pop Charts in 1943 with the #19 hit ALL FOR YOU.  14 other TOP 40 HITS followed, included the ORIGINAL version of THE CHRISTMAS SONG, NAT's holiday classic, that has remained a "chestnut" for the past 60 years!!!  NAT would re-cut the tune in 1954 as a solo artist and that's the one you generally hear to this day.)

had his very own show
on and off for a year on NBC
But the ratings were poor,
sponsors boycotted the show
'cause they weren't ready for "colored" TV.

(In 1956, NBC gave NAT KING COLE his own television show ... it started out as simply 15 minutes ... truly his "fifteen minutes of fame," I guess ... which ran as part of NBC's MONDAY NIGHTLY NEWS Program.  This format allowed him only enough time to sing a song or two ... there was rarely a guest star ... and then sign off the air. The program was later expanded to 30 minutes and moved to Tuesday nights in July of 1957 and NAT had a virtual "Who's Who" of black guest performers on his program ... COUNT BASIE, PEARL BAILEY, BILLY ECKSTINE, SAMMY DAVIS JR., ELLA FITZGERALD, HARRY BELAFONTE, THE MILLS BROTHERS, MAHALIA JACKSON and CAB CALLOWAY all appeared during the program's short six month lifespan, as did premier WHITE performers like MEL TORME, PEGGY LEE, TONY BENNETT and FRANKIE LAINE.  Despite all this talent ... and the fact the COLE was LOVED by blacks and white alike ... the show never registered higher than a 19% audience share.  It aired opposite ROBIN HOOD, which commanded 50% of the viewing audience.)

had his first hit solo
way back in the year 1950 ...
and the hits kept on comin' ... MONA LISA was next ...
By the end, he had had 103!

(Between 1943 and 1966, NAT KING COLE hit BILLBOARD's Jukebox, Disc Jockey and Best Sellers Pop Chart an incredible 103 times!!!  This total includes his 15 KING COLE TRIO hits as well as his 88 solo chart entries.  By comparison, during that same timeframe, he hit BILLBOARD's R&B Chart just 47 times, proving once again his undeniable, universal across-the-boards music appeal.  In fact, at the time our piece first ran, CAPITOL RECORDS had just released a 4-CD Box Set featuring 100 of NAT's Singles releases!  His first solo hit, I ALMOST LOST MY MIND, was released in 1950 and went to #26 on BILLBOARD's "Disc Jockey" Chart.
It was HIS version of the IVORY JOE HUNTER hit, a #1 R&B Record, that would also be covered by PAT BOONE six years later and go on to hit #1 on the Pop Charts.
His follow-up hit was the classic MONA LISA, Number One on the Charts for five weeks.

He had four #1's, he had two #2's
and had one song that peaked at #3.
He was in CAT BALLOU, and in ST. LOUIS BLUES
and a daughter that was named NATALIE.

(NAT "officially" hit the Top Spot four times on BILLBOARD's Pop Chart:  I LOVE YOU FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS (in 1946), NATURE BOY (#1 in 1948) ... both of THESE hits were with the KING COLE TRIO ... and again as a solo artist in 1950 with MONA LISA and TOO YOUNG in '51.  His two #2's include A BLOSSOM FELL (1955) and the eternal RAMBLIN' ROSE (1962).  PRETEND was his one #3 hit in 1953.  NAT was one of the singing narrators in the popular movie CAT BALLOU starring JANE FONDA and LEE MARVIN and starred in his own right in ST. LOUIS BLUES.  COLE also had the lead-role in an All-Star Black cast that included a very young BILLY PRESTON playing COLE's character as a child!  His daughter, NATALIE COLE, would go on to have a dozen pop hits of her own in the '70's and '80's.  In 1991, she released a digitally produced duet with her father on his classic hit
UNFORGETTABLE, which went all the way to #14. (Believe it or not, NAT's original version peaked at the same position in 1952!)

And today's SUNDAY song,
was released back in 1963.
It stopped at #12 and (for now anyway)
Ends this poem and all your misery.

And, speaking of age, how cool is THIS little tidbit that DJ Phil Nee just sent us …

I have had a couple of people send this to me. 
The younger set wound not get this.
I love it!!!  (kk)

Hi Kent –
Attached is an MP3 of my song "Calling From A Star" with a spacey intro from the new U.K  compilation release "Eklectia."  The 2 CD set contains seventeen bands from U.S, UK  and Canada that feel their music is influenced by ET's and UFO's.  My song leads off disc one.  The album cover is a parody of The Beatles’ "Sgt. Peppers" cover.  I'm in the upper left corner below Neil Young. Down below where The Beatles stood are three gray aliens!
The album is available at online sources everywhere.
All My Best, 
Merrell Fankhauser

HI, Kent –
Reading that piece that Mr. Besch sent gave me goosebumps. 
Between 1963 and 1970 (especially 1963 - 67) I was involved in exactly the same activity, sitting up nights, sometimes until 3 AM, scanning the AM dial on my Hallicrafters HQ-105 short wave receiver for DX, sometimes recording the really rare stuff.  I'm glad that I kept my logs and QSL card collection from back then, as it brings back fantastic memories of those great times when we could pick up stations from LA to Boston (WBZ was a killer!), sometimes on our transistors radios! 
In the late 60s and early 70s, as FM rock became more prominent on FM, I began searching for new and obscure stations.  It was quite challenging, as FM is "local", and doesn't "skip", except for those times when we experience atmospheric events such as temperature inversions which will carry VHF signals much further than we would expect. 
I've verified reception by US stations from coast to coast, a bunch of Canadian provinces, Costa Rica on 622 KHz after WTMJ Milwaukee shut down one night, and even a mega-station on 800 KHZ in the Netherlands Antilles, off the coast of New Guinea. 
It's sad that over the past few decades,, so many stations are networked and play the same stuff, so the thrill of hearing a far-off station has all but disappeared. 
I still treasure my QSL cards from stations like KIKZ ("KICKS") in Amarillo (250 watts), WHOT in Campbell (Youngstown), OH, which, the night I heard it, was running at about 25 watts power.  I just learned that Dick Biondi did a stint there back in the late 1950s. 
I still DX on the car radio when I get chance.  And anyone who would like to relive the old AM sound, I highly recommend 740 KHz, CZMR in Toronto (Zoomer Radio), after dark.  They have a different selection of music every evening, and you never
know what you'll hear next.  One night it'll be all Frank Sinatra, the next will be Elvis, or female vocalists, or comedy, or ??? 
And I'd love to receive that file that Mr. Besch made!
Mike Wolstein
It’s on its way to you … and who knows, you may have some old files that Clark would love to hear, too!  That’s what we’re all about here in Forgotten Hits … keepin’ those memories alive!  (kk)  

Hello, Kent! 
Chuck Buell Here ~~~  
Regarding the 1968 WLS Promo Film about which Clark Besh recently wrote in Forgotten Hits that made “WLS sound like an MOR,” you were absolutely correct in saying “it was clearly developed for advertisers and not the 18 - 49 demographic that was actually listening to the station.” 

That was the whole marketing thrust of the production that was directed solely to the Chicago Advertising Community to help position the station as NOT totally being a “Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll Teeny-bop Radio Station.”  
At least in the Mornings.   
In those days of Music “Dayparting,” a station such as The Big 89 could sound almost like two different radio stations starting in the mornings with a calmer less rock, “more adult” sound transitioning through the middays with a bit “more upbeat” music becoming more “rock infused” in the afternoons to “full blown, no-holds-barred Rock ‘n’ Roll” music and presentation at nights.    
So the focus was only on the "Adult Listening Morning Hours" with Clark Weber and not on the rest of the day and night times all of which collectively, as the film proclaims,
"delivers the largest audience in Chicago Radio." 
Maybe if the younger rock 'n' roll programming that steadily built a strong listener foundation following mornings wasn't talked about, perhaps the older advertising buyers could avoid acknowledging those "dayparts," too , thereby defending their buys on a "young adult" station to their equally older clients. 
But then, maybe also it was because those later times of the day, from Art Roberts, to Larry Lujack, Chuck Buell, Kris Erik Stevens and Jerry Kaye, were pretty much automatically and already sold out. 
BTW, I don't know what year this film was actually made and released; some say 1968.  Kris Erik Stevens, who was mentioned as part of the On Air lineup, joined WLS on Valentine's Day the following year.  In 1969.  
CB ( which stands for "Clearing-It-Up Boy!" )
The promo was clearly built around Clark Weber's slot ... and I certainly don't remember EVER hearing WLS playing tracks like The McGuire Sisters' version of "Sincerely"!!!
I can only surmise that the campaign wasn't very successful if only because Clark didn't make it thru the whole year at the station.
(And let's face it ... once the typical morning man became more of the Larry Lujack / Fred Winston ilk, radio was never really the same again!)
Did you see that one of our readers came up with a 16mm copy of this film?  (Everything I've seen pegs it as late '68 ... but if you say it mentions Kris Erik Stevens, I could be wrong.  Honestly, I don't think I watched it long enough to hear that part!  lol)  kk