Friday, February 15, 2019

The Friday Flash

Man, we've had TONS of postings this week ... hope you guys have been following along.

Scroll back just to be sure you haven't missed anything!

Here's a brand new batch of comments to take you into the weekend ...

Dear kk,
The more I look at Kris Eric Stevens, the more I see a slightly funkier Danny Partridge. Always dug KES's work.

Imagine lining up a rocker today playing the 60's, 70's and 80's with Bob Sirott, Kris, Fred Winston and John Landecker. for openers. Smash time!
Do you agree that, once and for all, ME-TV Radio killed the jock just as video killed the radio star.
Anxious to share the mic with you and Ronnie Rice and Ray Graffia at the Paul Revere's Raiders show March 23.
See ya soon, double K. Hope people will come out in droves on the 23rd for Ronnie, Ray and the Raiders ...
You know it's gonna bring back a ton of great vibes.
Chet Coppock  

Happy Golden (50th) Anniversary to my WLS Chicago Broadcasting Brother, Kris Erik Stevens and Big 89 Valentine (who performed his first Windy City Radio Show on February 14, 1969!)  Pretty Cool Stuff from his collection he offered up to you yesterday!
Kris and I were playing Future Forgotten Hits On Air Back-to-Back in those days, ( I, 6 PM to 10 PM and Kris,10 PM to 2 AM. What great radio times for us!  

Some nights after I got off the air at 10 PM, I’d hang around the station's “Jock Lounge” until he got off the air at 2 AM.  I’d pass the time show prepping some for the following night or answering Listener Fan Mail (yeah, we used to get quite a lot of that then!)
The plan was that when he finished his show at 2 AM, and because Chicago bars and clubs didn’t close until 4 AM some nights, it gave us a rare chance to hang out together once in a while. Too Cool Kids loose late at night in the Big City! 
Now this Classic WLS Promo Photo is actually from a year later, February 12, 1970, after Kris and I were solidly established as the young night time duo on WLS. I don’t recall who came up with the idea, but it was inspired by Larry Lujack, who often referred to Kris and me on air as “The Kids” who could be heard each week night from 6 PM to 2 AM. (Well, we were early 20-something Hot Shots then!)   

Left to Right - Stevens, Lujack, Buell

CB ( which stands for “Crazy Boys! )
Chuck Buell

Cool to hear the Kris Erik Stevens clip.  Funny that he plays "Love Is Strange" from the "Wild Life" Wings album.  Never a 45, but WLS played it anyway.  Just shows that Paul and the fabs STILL had the power to get LP cuts on WLS. 
I listened to Kris quite a bit as a high schooler in Lincoln.  Of course, he plays some Ides of March song on that clip that we all know, as well!  Ides segueing into the  Partridge Family -- only in the early 70's!!! 
Does Kris wish to comment on his recording of the Jim Peterik song, "Training Wheels?"  It is reminiscent of "LA Goodbye" in ways.  Funny, but I think it was the swansong last release by Chicago's Sunlight label.  He did a cover of the great Carpenters' B side, "I Kept On Loving You" as the B side, which he did a credible job at as well.  The Carpenters version was one of VERY few to actually feature Richard singing, too, which is a very nice tune.
"Training Wheels" was included on his LP which was out on GRC Records. 
Clark Besch
I remember hearing Wings’ version of “Love Is Strange” quite a bit back in the day … it really SHOULD have been a single … might have helped to launch the band in a more positive light.  (It actually WAS a single in a number of other countries.)

As for “Training Wheels,” we did a piece on this some time back with commentary from both Kris Erik Stevens and Jim Peterik … 

Jim’s assessment of Kris’ recording is a little less flattering than yours (to say the least!)  You can check it out here …

I love this song! Training Wheels ... I wrote it for the Ides originally. After I played it for Frank Rand and Bob Destocki (our management), they had me play it live for buddy WLS Disk Jockey Kris Erik Stevens at a dinner party held by my brand new wife Karen at our tiny apartment in Riverside. 
Kris brought his stunning stripper girlfriend! Kris Erik Stevens had an opportunity to make a record for some investors. The Ides cut the demo at CBS studios at the tail end of an Ides session. The managers gave me the instructions to sing it poorly cause Kris could barely sing. 
Well, I couldn't sing it bad enough. Little did I know that Kris passed it off as his own voice to the company! When it came time to cut it, the results were disastrous. He tried his best but ... 
The record that came out is Kris's best attempt at copping my "bad" vocal. It's a cool tune out of the L.A. Goodbye / Landlady mold. I'd love to hear it as I have no record of it.
And then, after this piece first ran several years ago, we got this from Kris Erik ...

Hi Kent ...
Thanks for remembering ...
Really takes me back to see and hear my record “Training Wheels” again. You can obtain more about my career path from my web site ... ... but briefly, following my radio career in Chicago WLS & WCFL I did a stint at KODJ and KIIS-FM here in LA ... and then went on to open my own business ... KRIS STEVENS ENTERPRISES, INC. in Los Angeles ... which was a success story unto itself ... and I loved that aspect of my life as well.
Today I continue to perform Voiceovers for clients worldwide ... as my voice remains my instrument ... and my talent lies in speaking rather than singing :) 
I had a rock band prior to getting into radio --- so making a record was a must for me. I went on to do an album as well --- which never really saw the light of day ... but consisted of songs I’d written and recorded ... and Jimmy Peterik and the Ides of March performed most of the music trax for me on the album as well. It was entitled Kris Erik Stevens – “Feelings”. We recorded most of it in Chicago at Universal and RCA recording Studios.
As I understand it Training Wheels went Top 5 in Detroit --- and did well in Miami and various other large and medium market cities ... but either way ... the reality is ... I had fun recording it ... and was blessed to have the opportunity and some exposure with that single nationwide.
Life continues to be colorful!
Hope this gives you a bit of insight for your Forgotten Hits site ... which BTW I think is a great site!
My best ...
Kris Erik Stevens
Los Angeles, CA

We heard from Kris again yesterday after our Valentine’s Day piece ran … 

Can you believe that was the 50th Anniversary of his debut on the air at The Big 89, WLS?!?!  (kk)

Hey Kent …
I just checked out the goodies …
Thanks so much!!
Fun stuff and great memories.
You’ve got a super site!  

Thanks for sharing "Training Wheels" by Kris Erik Stevens. Beautiful tune with kind of a Bob Lind feel to it. I don't remember the record but no one will forget Kris on WLS during the latter half of the "glory days!"
Interesting to read the stuff about Kris Erik Stevens in Thursday's FH. We were flying into Denver on Thursday morning (yesterday as I type) and as we were about to land I said to my wife "I wonder if Kris Erik Stevens is still making the train announcements at the Denver airport." We got off the plane, walked to the shuttle train, and heard his fantastic voice once again. I also remember being in my car listening to WLS one night when Kris announced it was his final night as a WLS DJ.
David Lewis
It's great to hear that Kris Erik Stevens is doing well. I always enjoyed his radio show at WLS. "Training Wheels" could easily have been a great song for the Ides I think, if done like LA Goodbye with their harmonies and better production. In fact, I wish they'd record it new now! C'mon, Jim!  
It's funny that Kris says he fronted a rock band back then. I am guessing more of a lounge act pop band instead figuring the song we are talking of and B side "I Kept On Loving You," which is also done much like the Carpenters’ version without the lush production. He says the name of his album was "Feelings" so I am guessing THAT would have been the Jim Webb song that the Lettermen did an absolutely GREAT job with as an A side. Webb also released this as a 45. I wonder if that LP exists or if it was recorded and shelved. Would be great to hear if the Ides did the backing on the LP, too.   
With Landeceker, Lujack and Winston getting all the hype back then, it is easy to overlook some of the other great jocks of that era like Kris, Chuck Buell, Jerry Kaye, Steve King and the even faster revolving jocks door at 'CFL.
I had my tape rolling often in 1970 during Kris' shows.  This was the time of "five in a row."  Kris had a great personality … another great voice from the Big 89.
Clark Besch

Already have my tickets for the Athenaeum, Kent … see you there! 
Getting to The City Winery on a Monday is unlikely to work for me because of my regular work activities but I'm certain one of my kids or friends would be thrilled to see John Sebastian, so enter me please.
We did a few gigs with the Lovin' Spoonful "in the day" … but I doubt that J.S. would remember The New Colony Six, let alone me!
P.S.  Much appreciation for keeping those of us musicians whose past was stellar (or at least pretty good and whose current is extremely surprising) in FH every so often.  You have been doing a wonderful job promoting the Easter Seals' concert; kudos once again to you for THAT support as well!!

Good Afternoon Kent,
My wife and I would really love to see Paul Revere's Raiders.  Loved their music back in the sixties and have never had the opportunity to see Paul Revere and the Raiders or Paul Revere's Raiders.  So sad about the passing of Paul Revere. 
We understand the new front man for the band is Dave Huizenga. We know Dave and he is a very good friend of ours.  He is a local talent and we’ve loved his singing with first The New Invaders and then Generation.  Both bands are amazing and really know how to do the oldies. 
It would be an amazing treat to win a couple of tickets for the show on Saturday, March 23rd ... so if you could place our name in the drawing, we would be most grateful. 
This is our first attempt at winning tickets through Forgotten Hits. 
Keep up the good work and really enjoy your site. 
Thank you for the opportunity to win tickets.
Best Regards,
Jeff & Joyce Lazzari
Wood Dale, IL
Well, good luck to you, Jeff … and even if you don’t win, please come on out and see the show.  We promise you’ll be entertained by these guys … and all of the money goes to a really good cause.
We would love to see as many of you out there as possible … great entertainment while raising money for Easter Seals … what could be better than that???  (kk)

Hi Kent,
Happy Valentine to you and yours! 
Thank You so much for listing all the up coming shows!
What is the latest with Bachman and Cummings touring this year and being on Soundstage???
I notice that Burton is on his own at the Genesee Theater.
Keep Up the Great Work and please investigate about Bachman/Cummings –
When in doubt ask the Master.
Burton Cummings has a solo show (with his band) coming up in May at The Genesee … and Randy Bachman just played a solo gig at The City Winery in January.
Although I have it on good authority that the two will be teaming up together later this year I can’t get ANYBODY to etch this in stone for me.  (Right now it sounds like a Soundstage taping would be more likely than a tour … but never say never!)
As soon as we know, we will let EVERYBODY know.  (Are you kidding me?!?!  I want to be in the front row for this one!!!)  kk

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, Billboard Magazine was really sharin’ the love …
They ran a list of EVERY song title to hit The Hot 100 Chart during the millennium with the word “love” in the title …
Well over three hundred and fifty songs to choose from.
(Imagine if they went back to cover all of the songs during the rock era … heck, you could program a station for an entire month with that kind of list … and all without a single repeat!) 
You can check out the results here: 

>>>While transferring tapes today I ran across this ad for 7-Up that I am 95% sure must be Ron Riley for 7-Up AND I THINK is Freddy Cannon singing to a Beatles type track from the fall of 1964, taken from Chuck Buell's KIMN when he was still on KIMN.  (Clark Besch)
>>>I'm not convinced that's Freddy Cannon so much as someone trying desperately hard to SOUND like Freddy Cannon ... but perhaps he can confirm it for sure.  (Not sure I'm making the Chuck Buell / KIMN connection either ... help please!)  kk
Sorry … the Cannon 7-Up ad was clipped from an aircheck of KIMN when Buell was still a DJ there in Denver, but it was NOT taken from HIS show.  Sorry for the confusion.
As to the question of is that Freddy Canon doing a Seven Commercial, that was tge year that Coke started using pop singers introduced by WLS jocks. We drew straws and I got Etta James, who was well known in R&B but not so much on Top 40! Then Seven Up countered with their own commercials so that could well be “Boom Boom” Cannon. 
Clark Weber

I’m thinking this response will be the deciding factor!  (kk)

I think the answer to THAT question may be well beyond the scope of Forgotten Hits!  (lol)
But I had a feeling it wasn’t you … they probably found a jingles singer willing to work for a whole lot less!  (lol)  kk

And finally Frank B. gets in the last word on the 45-Adapter discussion from yesterday ...

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day, 1969

Hi Kent ...  

I’ve been meaning to send you select Chicago Radio items and info, photos, airchecks, and fun stuff for you and Forgotten Hits ...

And am finally getting around to it ... 

Since my first show ever on WLS was on Valentine’s Day Night in 1969!

Kindest regards ...

Kris Erik Stevens 

I've gotta tell you Kris sent along SO much cool stuff to share that we'll be spreading it out throughout the rest of the year.

Congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of your first WLS broadcast!  (We're running EVERY WLS Hit Parade Chart of 1969 each and every Sunday this year ... so be sure to check back each week to see where your favorites fell ... Fifty Years Ago Today!)

Can’t believe it’s been that long ago -- seems like yesterday!
Kris Erik    

Here is just the first batch of "keepers" ...

Some early photos from "back in the day" ...


An early '70's Kris Erik Stevens air check ...

A couple of shots of Kris Erik today ...

Here are a few “current photos” ...

You can hear me wrinkling in these pix ... 

Just as long as the “voice” holds up, I’m fine. 

Thanks, Kent!
Kris Erik     

Kris continues to do voice-over work ... and has racked up quite a few credits over the years ...

You can check out his website here:

And here's a short clip from an interview he did a short while back, talking about the good ol' days ...

I think you’re gonna like this presentation! 

It’s a fun quick trip back in time of my Windy City adventures ...

Ya had to be there!