Friday, February 22, 2019


We lost another big part of our youth yesterday when Peter Tork of The Monkees passed away at the age of 77.  (Peter had just celebrated a birthday the week before.)

The Beatles first opened my eyes (and ears) to a whole new world when Beatlemania hit The States in February of 1964 ... the complete saturation of their material made them impossible to escape ... and they were just so much fun to watch and listen to.  The music was magically infectious ... and has endured for nearly sixty years now, attracting new fans every step of the way.

Great stuff ...

But it was The Monkees who made me want to play music.

By the time their TV show premiered on NBC in September of 1966, The Beatles were already off creating far more sophisticated music than my 13-year-old brain could process and embrace.

But The Monkees kept it simple ... they were having fun so WE were having fun watching them.  Oh, to be in a band and have that kind of camaraderie ... living out in a beach house ... enjoying each other's company ... playing music that other people loved, too.  It was something I wanted to feel ... something I wanted to be part of ... so in early 1967, I got my very first guitar and, a few months later, wrote my very first song.  (Some of you may remember it ... it was very, very deep ... with lyrics like "If I had a penny ... now what would I do ... I'd put it in my piggy bank and save it up for you" ... only to reach the punch-line ending of the last verse, "Who cares about that penny?  It's just waste of time.  Forgot about that penny ... 'cause I really got a dime.  Yeah, I really got a dime."  Look out,  Bob Dylan ... I'm comin' up behind you!)

But despite the mammoth amount of success these guys enjoyed in real life, The Monkees were not a successful group on TV ... they rarely got the gig ... and even when they did, they had to contend with all kinds of obstacles along the way ... everything from gangsters to pirates to monsters.  (And, truth be told, I don't think that there has EVER been a band that's had THIS much fun together in real life!!!)

And the hapless sad sack throughout all this pain and misery was Peter Tork, the "dummy," the butt of most of the jokes and the comic foil.  Things rarely went right for Peter ... (although he DID get to kiss Julie Newmar ... and learn to play the harp well enough to beat the Devil YEARS before the idea ever crossed Charlie Daniels' mind!)

Tork probably shared the smallest portion of the HUGE spotlight that was cast upon the group ... Davy was the teen heart-throb ... Micky was the guy with the INCREDIBLE voice who had the best chops both musically and acting-wise ... and Mike was the functioning brain and voice of reason behind the Pre Fab Four.  (Heck, he even ran for Mayor!!!)

Tork and Nesmith were clearly the most accomplished musicians hired for these roles.  Dolenz had to learn to play the drums and likened it to Leonard Nimoy actually having to fly a space ship when The Monkees went out on the road to perform live in front of their screaming teenage audience.  And Davy, a former horse jockey, was, at best, a cabaret singer whose strong suit was musical theater. (Tork was encouraged to audition by his buddy Stephen Stills, who had been turned down for the role, allegedly because he had "bad teeth" ... he told producers "I know a guy who looks just like me" ... presumably with better dental hygiene ... and he sent his buddy Peter over, who then nailed the part.)

Yet somehow it all gelled ... it's impossible to imagine anyone else in these roles today.

Mike, of course, became the accomplished songwriter in the group (and fought with Musical Director Don Kirschner every step of the way to allow the band to perform and produce their own material, at one point punching his fist through a wall and telling Donny "That could have been your face!")

Micky and Davy didn't want to do anything to upset the money cart ... The Monkees were running like a well-oiled machine, cranking out hit after hit after hit thanks to top-notch songwriters like Carole King, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart providing them material for their next record(s).  The Monkees were money makers, at one point outselling both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.  (For more on this, check out our Boyce and Hart series permanently posted on the other Forgotten Hits website, Chapters 5, 6 and 7:  

Tork just kind of rolled with the flow.  He, too, was an accomplished musician who wanted to perform on his own records ... but didn't have the vocal chops to sing the hits and, although he did provide some of the music recorded by the band, was never taken seriously by the powers that be ... although he DID write the song that became the closing credits theme for the entire second season, "For Pete's Sake" (which, for all of the reasons mentioned above, was given to Micky Dolenz to sing.)

Likely Peter's best know Monkees track came off of the group's second album (a record that topped Billboard's Top 200 Albums Chart for an incredible 18 weeks in 1967), "Your Auntie Grizelda."  The track was featured in a couple of TV episodes at the time and also garnered a fair amount of airplay at a time where nearly everything they recorded was being played on the radio in regular rotation.

Another personal favorite of mine that showed off Peter's comic skills was this one, used as a brief interlude on their "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd." LP, leading into their hit single "Pleasant Valley Sunday" ...

The one thing I have read again and again in all the news reports covering Peter's death is that "he was like the Ringo of the group."

First of all, that's a huge insult to Ringo, who played a big part in the early success of The Beatles and, at one point, had the largest fan base here in America of The Fab Four.  (A similar comment was made during the stage production of "Jersey Boys" where Nick Massi referred to himself as "the Ringo of the group," The Four Seasons.  Even Lorne Michaels, when he offered The Beatles $2000 to reunite to perform live on "Saturday Night Live" made some type of comment about splitting the money any way they liked, even if that meant giving a smaller share to Ringo.)  ENOUGH ALREADY!!!  I'll tell you what ... I defy ANYBODY out there to compare bank books with Mr. Richard Starkey ... I think the lad's done all right for himself!!!  So enough with the put-downs!)

Naturally, every music and news publication from coast to coast covered Peter's death yesterday ... but after reading most of them, I don't think anybody covered it as thoroughly and accurately as Ultimate Classic Rock ... so if you only read one report, make it this one ...

You'll also find interesting side stories in the Rolling Stone piece ... as well as "Five Things You Didn't Know About Peter Tork" in the piece done by Death Beeper.    

Micky Dolenz issued this early statement on his Facebook Page (and promised to say more later) ...

There are no words right now ... heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork
-- Micky Dolenz 

And then this from Mike Nesmith (who is currently back touring with Micky again) ... 

Pardon me if I am being dogmatic -- but I think it is harder to put together a band than a TV show -- not to take anything away from TV shows. These days I watch MSNBC -- mostly aghast at what I see -- and what I am missing is "madcap".
Peter Tork died this AM. I am told he slipped away peacefully.
Yet, as I write this, my tears are awash, and my heart is broken. Even though I am clinging to the idea that we all continue, the pain that attends these passings has no cure. It's going to be a rough day.
I share with all Monkees fans this change, this "loss", even so.
PT will be a part of me forever. I have said this before -- and now it seems even more apt -- the reason we called it a band is because it was where we all went to play.
A band no more -- and yet the music plays on -- an anthem to all who made the Monkees and the TV show our private -- dare I say "secret" -- playground.
As for Pete, I can only pray his songs reach the heights that can lift us and that our childhood lives forever -- that special sparkle that was the Monkees. I will miss him -- a brother in arms. Take flight my Brother.

One cannot help but wonder if Peter's health is what kept him from joining Micky and Mike for this latest tour.  But then again, also keep in mind that the first leg of that tour had to be cut short when Nesmith had a heart attack!  With half of The Beatles and half of The Monkees gone now, it's really starting to hit home how all of this that we've been enjoying for so long has a very real expiration date.  These are the two groups that meant the most to me and inspired me during my most formative years.  It is sad to feel any sense that it may all be coming to an end. 

I have been fortunate enough to have seen some version of The Monkees perform at least thirty times over the years ... and Peter was there for the great majority of those shows. I also saw him perform here locally at a couple of unusual venues with his Shoe Suede Blues band ... first at the Old Chicago Amusement Park (where he signed a couple of napkins for me in green marker!) and then again at a club called Haymakers, typically more of a hard rock venue, which was packed to the gills that night to see the former Monkee.

Incredibly, Peter was the first to leave the group, buying his way out of his contract after the television series was cancelled and their movie "Head" and TV special "33 Revolutions Per Monkee" bombed.  The group carried on as a trio for a couple more albums before finally calling it a day.    

When the band got hot again after MTV started airing their '60's television series, I caught up with them at The Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, Indiana, where I was able to thank the three of them (Mike was missing in action for most of the reunion years) for all the joy they had given me over the years.  I told Micky flat out that night, "You're the reason I play music." 

Their ridiculous little TV show has played non-stop for nearly sixty years now ... The Monkees are, for all intents and purposes, frozen in time.  They will always be the young, exuberant, playful group of musicians performing their timeless hits for countless generations to come.  And the coolest part of all?  When we watch these episodes again, NONE of us have gotten any older.  And ain't that great???  (kk)

Sad to hear about the death of Peter Tork.  He was relegated to being #4 in importance (ala Ringo) in the group, yet he did a great job on the TV series, sang some cool and fun songs for the band and was HIMSELF when it came to doing what he wanted, whether it affected the band or not.  
"Your Auntie Grizelda" is crying today.  :(
Clark Besch  

It is very sad to hear about Peter Tork's passing.  
I have been to a few of the Monkee reunions.  A few years ago I saw Nesmith, Dolenz, and Tork in Milwaukee.   Peter impressed me with his guitar playing and his joking with the audience that night. 
Another hero from my childhood is gone. 
Phil - WRCO  

This is a very sad day in the world of rock & roll with the sudden death of Peter Tork of The Monkees.  
For over 50 years Peter was one of the most loved personalities to not only the television screen but on the music charts as well.  In the 1960s, The Monkees were brought into the crazy world of rock & roll, and in the beloved quartet, Peter was a true original.  On TV he often played the hapless but lovable clown, but in real life was a deeply talented musician who was as warm and good-natured as the character he portrayed.  
Peter Tork, you will always be remembered fondly by your millions of fans.  Your passing makes today shrouded only in "Shades of Gray."
Mark Bego   

I was broken hearted today to receive the announcement of the passing of Peter Tork. Loved him as a Monkee. Loved him in Shoes Suede Blues. Loved seeing him in concert. 
His family confirmed he died this morning at his home, here in CT, after battling adenoid cystic carcinoma for a decade. I must say that we were blessed to have had those 10 years with Peter. He was SOMETHING ELSE.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thursday This And That

Just in case you happened to miss the complete media blitz of the past 24 hours, it's official ...

Queen will open The Academy Awards Oscar Ceremonies on Sunday Night.

(What made them change their minds?  Who knows ... perhaps the opportunity to be seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world in the year of the Queen Comeback?  Perhaps the honor of opening the ceremony?  Perhaps some assurances that their film "Bohemian Rhapsody" is going to be honored in some fashion throughout the night?)

All I know is that this promises to be the most rockin' Oscar Ceremony ever.  (Add Lady Ga Ga into the mix and this year's ceremony might just prove that the Oscars don't need a host after all!)

Has there ever been any ceremony like this before ... for such a sophisticated event???  We can't wait!

And what a great spot for Adam Lambert to find himself in.  (Queen continued to perform for years after Freddie Mercury's death with Paul Rodgers out front on lead vocals ... but between the success of the biopic, and all the accolades afterwards ... plus a brand new US tour just months away ... 2019 just may be The Year of Queen!)  kk

I thought Adam Lambert's performance of Blue Suede Shoes on the Elvis special the other night was the highlight of the program.  He can just flat out sing ... any style.
And Carrie Underwood just may have the most beautiful voice ... and most beautiful legs(!) ... in show business today.
I thought the special was very well done.  Sure, it dragged in spots ... and I agree that Blake Shelton was the least exciting performer of the night ... but I enjoyed it.  And SO good to see Mac Davis perform again. Keith Urban rocked.  Definitely a fitting tribute to the King.
Lambert and Underwood prove again the impact that American Idol has had on the music scene over the past two decades.  The continued success of Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson drives the point home even further.  We haven't watched it in years ... and I know their new season is about to start ... but there is no denying the talent they have showcased, bringing us vocalists we may never have discovered otherwise.  Check out the YouTube clip of Adam Lambert performing "Believe" at the recent Kennedy Center Honors in front of Cher ... it'll bring a tear to your eye ... much as Carrie Underwood's reading of "How Great Thou Art" would have brought Elvis to tears had he only been able to see it.  (I say that only because most Burger Kings and donut shops don't have tv screens on the premises.)  kk

Hi Kent,
I didn't watch the entire Elvis Tribute as I didn't know it was going to be on and I stumbled across it, so I caught a few acts, tuned out and clicked back.  
My overall view from what I saw was it made me realize what a real talent Elvis was.  Not only did he have incredible talent and innumerable classics, and not only did he have some great material, but also when some of the other artists performed his songs it was karaoke, and to me again, it just showed me what a great artist Elvis was.  Some of the artists I saw did a great job, with others performing his material, it was "just a song."  
Due to Elvis' personal problems, his later career left so much of us with almost a parody of his earlier work, and a false impression of his overall career.  Yes, he had drug and  weight problems, made B-movies, recorded inconsistent material, and had poor career management ... but, when I saw some clips of his overall career performances, it made me realize again what a huge talent and influence he was -- and how much I had forgotten.  
Yes, there was some good performances on the show, and others could have just as well have been on American Idol.  Personally, I liked Kelsea Ballerini's version of "Can't Help Falling In Love."  I liked that she wasn't trying to mimic Elvis' performance ... in fact she made it Country, and you have to admit Elvis definitely had a Country side. 
Yes, I can say Jennifer Lopez was all choreography, and John Fogerty doesn't have the timbre in his voice he delivered on "Born On The Bayou' some 50 years ago -- but I am not the one drawing huge checks today from Planet Hollywood and Wynn-Encore.  
We all have our personal opinions -- let's face it, like chili, music and performers are subjective and so is their ability to replicate their work years later.  
Burton Cummings said one time:  "A song is a photograph" and let's face it, the vocal cords, the artist, the tastes, and times change.  Some artists are able to replicate their work for years, and with others that isn't always the case.  And, you don't realize the difference until you listen to the original "photograph."  
Let's face it, some music is timeless and endures the changes in time and tastes, some not as well.  Some artists have the challenge of their original material later in life, that made them a star.  Singing "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" is a little easier to sing when you are 80 than singing  Elvis' "Hound Dog"  or Frank Valli's "Sherry."  And, I am not taking away from Tony Bennett.  
This Elvis Tribute showed me what a one-of-a-kind, iconic talent Elvis was, and some of the less-than-stellar performances validated that fact. 
Tim Kiley  
I've seen hundreds and hundreds of live shows over the years ... and I can say without a moment's hesitation that NOTHING was ever as electric as the first time I saw Elvis take the stage.  It was just a charge that went through you ... partly because of who he was, partly because of all he had done, partly because the music we know and love may not have existed without him, as he inspired SO many that came after him ... but mostly because he just commanded the moment.  I can feel it again just writing about it!
When all was said and done, I saw Elvis a total of three times ... all during the "comeback" years ... 1972 and 1976.  Even the two 1976 shows couldn't compare with that very first time ... but I will never forget it.
I've told the story before that I only watched the Elvis TV Special back in 1968 because I had read in some magazine that Ringo Starr was going to join him on stage to play drums.
I watched the show to see Ringo!!!
I had no history with Elvis ... was too young to appreciate him the first time around ... and, other than a few albums that my mother had (all soundtracks), I had no real feel for his music.  (I remember sitting in the folded-down back of the family station wagon, in my pajamas (!) watching "G.I. Blues" at the drive-in with my parents because my mom wanted to see it.  As such, it's probably still my favorite Elvis soundtrack today!)
But seeing that '68 Special was an education and a revelation.  I was COMPLETELY blown away.  No joke ... I went out the very next day ... rode my bike up to Kral's Record Shop in Cicero and bought the 45's for every song he sang that night, just so I could hear the originals.  Each and every track became an immediate favorite, especially "Can't Help Falling In Love" and "One Night."
It was nothing short of magic ... and I have been a fan ever since.  (The '68 Comeback Soundtrack CD is playing in my car right now!  And it still sounds great fifty years later.)
He was one of a kind.  (kk)

>>>There’s a great book called “Swingin’ Chicks of the ‘60’s” that’s been in my collection for some time now.  (Unfortunately, it’s long since out of print so commanding some pretty ridiculous prices on Amazon) kk  
There are also several "Used" copies available on Amazon for around Five Bucks (conditions vary, of course.) So, I'll give you Six Bucks for yours!
CB ( which stands for "Chicks 'n' Babes!" )
No way I’m parting with mine ... it’s been required bathroom reading material for years now! 
In today's FH, you mentioned the film "Green Book," along with the Don Shirley Trio. 
Thought you might in be interested to know that WATER BOY made it to #1 here in OKC back in September of 1961. You know, looking over this survey from top to bottom, I noticed that Jimmy Dean's record made it's initial appearance on the survey at song position #15. #28 was one of the earlier songs by Tony Orlando. You'll also notice that at the bottom of the survey is Dion's RUNAROUND SUE. That song now a days is being used in the background of a commercial of which I don't remember. (I believe it's a car commercial but don't know for sure.) 
Speaking of car commercials with our songs being used in the background, you'll notice that song #23, MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC (the old Teresa Brewer tune), is by the Sensations. Their song of LET ME IN is also being used in the background of a car commercial. 
I saw the "Runaround Sue" commercial for the first time the other night ... and yes, "Let Me In" has been playing for awhile now.
"Water Boy" did pretty well here in Chicago, too, peaking at #7 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... pretty surprising for a song that you wouldn't think would "fit" into the Top 40 sounds of 1961.  (Then again, "Take Five" by The Dave Brubeck Quartet premiers on this week's chart, too.  It definitely was a different time!)  kk


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

I very much agree with you on the Elvis special.  Blake Shelton was the weak link compared to most of the other performers.  Keith Urban performing Burning Love, and Carrie Underwood's How Great Thou Art were among the best.   I was surprised how well Mac Davis sounded on Memories.   The All Star Jam was weak.

When Blake first announced the All-Star jam as being completely unrehearsed my first thought was “Yeah, right” … and then when I saw how badly falling apart it was at the beginning I thought “Well maybe they should have rehearsed at least a little bit!!!”

Keith Urban’s “Burning Love” gave me a glimmer of hope there at the beginning that this tribute might be all-right … and then when he teamed up with Post Malone to do “Baby What You Want Me To Do” I was completely knocked out.  There isn’t a chance in the world I’d listen to Malone under any other circumstances (especially after seeing him perform at The Grammys) but I think he killed it on this cut.

I have found that although I am not familiar with any of Keith Urban’s work, every time I’ve ever seen him perform, he has blown me away.  I feel a need familiarize myself with some of his stuff because I’ve enjoyed all of it.

Speaking of The Grammys, hopefully Jennifer Lopez will fare better than she did for her sultry “Heartbreak Hotel” performance than she did for her Motown Tribute on the Grammys.  I thought she did a fine job … and most of the backlash hasn’t been so much about her personally as that she was simply the wrong choice to represent Motown.  Tell you what … what the Grammy Salute To Motown airs in a couple of months, you’re going to find ALL kinds of people up there performing that may not necessarily be who you’d expect for such a gala event.

What made Carrie Underwood’s performance so powerful for me was the fact that she just came out there alone and did it … no fancy gimmicks … just pure, raw talent.  (A full choir had to be brought out to support the next two gospel entries … but Carrie just went out there and nailed it on her own … taking vocal risks that easily could have destroyed the performance with even the slightest waver … yet she came out and owned it every step of the way.)  She is an incredible vocalist … and I dare say The King would likely have been moved to tears had he seen her perform one of his all-time favorites.  (kk)  

Hey Kent,
Thought I'd get my two cents in about Sunday night's Elvis TV special.
When I first read it was going to be on, I was excited, until I read the list of some of the performers. Why are they there? What do THEY have to do with Elvis? Later, I found an expanded list with Mac Davis' name on it. "That's it. I'm watching it!"  Overall, I was pleasantly surprised, even with the artists I thought shouldn't be there.
I agree with most of what you said about the special, and how it dragged a bit. Two-hour specials can be quite a commitment these days. What ever happened to ninety-minute specials? That would have been perfect.
One thing I really liked was that they recreated the "ring" stage from Elvis' original special. I loved it when he and all his music buddies jammed all those old tunes on that tiny stage. The only thing I didn't like back then was that the tambourine was a little overpowering.
I'm with you in that the gospel part of the tribute seemed like the Gospel HOUR! When it dragged on, I went to the kitchen, and made myself a snack.
My favorite artist in the show was, of course, Mac Davis. It was so good to see him again, and it brought back memories of the time he played at my college, all by himself, back in '71, a full year before he became famous, with "Baby, Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me". He performed many songs from his first album, "Song Painter," which every Mac Davis fan should own. One of the songs, "Home," in my opinion, is the best song ever written about that stinking Vietnam War. I wish Mac would have been given the time to share more stories about his experiences with Elvis, especially the one about him falling in love with Mac's curly hair!
One other highlight for me was the flawless harmonies of the Pistol Annies. I thought the special kind of ended with a thud, but overall, I was satisfied.
- John LaPuzza 

Just going thru more tapes and found a 2002 KOMA Oldies Station in OKC show that FH'er  Larry Neal hosted called the "Saturday Morning Countdown show" that I would get up weekly to listen to and often record parts of.  Larry was great on KOMA in the early 2000's and this show was circa early 1969 that we are giving tribute to on FH, so seemed timely.  Just a snippet of Larry's 17 year old show remembering 33 years ago from THEN.  THAT makes me feel old!!!
P.S.  You can really hear the fading that KOMA listeners put up with willingly in the 50's, 60's, 70's and even in the 2000's just to hear OUR songs on the AM airwaves!
Clark Besch

This And That: 
By now I’m sure you’ve heard that Queen WILL perform at The Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday Night after all.  (They had reportedly originally turned it down … but evidently had a change of heart.)  With no host this year, there’s a fair chance they may actually open the show … and what a way to kick off the program that would be!  "Bohemian Rhapsody” (already available on home video) has gathered all kinds of accolades this past year … how fitting it would be to see the film honored with an award or two Sunday evening.

And, speaking of The Academy Awards and nominated films, we saw “Green Book” last weekend.  VERY well done and both lead actors (Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali) are very deserving of their nominations for Oscars.

I really had no idea what the film was about before we saw it … just heard it was good.  We had seen previews and my immediate reaction was “Oh, so it’s ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ with a piano” … and there is some of that element in the film … but it also depicts the way things were (especially in the south) in the 1960’s … an era America cannot be very proud of today.

I also didn’t know it was based on the true story of The Don Shirley Trio (although the family has contested just how accurate some of this information has been portrayed).  Although primarily more of a jazz-oriented combo, Shirley enjoyed one Top 40 Hit in 1961 with “Water Boy.”

The soundtrack is interesting and both characters shine throughout.  recommended.  (kk)

And, since we’re talking about jazz, I would be remiss without mentioning the recent passing of Ken Nordine, a bit of a local legend here in Chi-Town.

I will admit that I was unfamiliar with his work … but after receiving three emails in a row the other day about his passing, I definitely need to do a bit more investigating of my own. 

R.I.P. Ken Nordine
Ken Voss 

Chicago word-jazz legend Ken Nordine passed away this week at 98.  He recorded MANY commercial voice overs and was a Chicago jazz legend of different style for sure.  He had a single on Dunwich and Dunwich produced his "Colors" album that is often regarded as his best "word jazz" recording, it seems.  His voice is incredible for sure, even if you are not a word jazz fan.  Of course, in 1966, he wrote and recorded the Tommy James classic "Crimson & Olive" too.   OK, that was NOT Tommy's song after all.  Ken was a unique talent for sure.
Clark Besch 

It’s no exaggeration to say that the great Ken Nordine was “one of the finest voice-over artists ever to work in the history of broadcasting” (as Steve Edwards described him in this 2010 studio tour). But Nordine may have been even more famous for “Word Jazz,” his influential series of albums and popular programs on Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM and public radio nationwide for more than 40 years. He also recorded with Jerry Garcia, David Bowie, Tom Waits and others. And for the Chicago Blackhawks, he made the words “cold steel on ice” pure poetry. Nordine died Saturday at his home in the Edgewater neighborhood at 98.
Rob Feder 

Frank B sent us this one to celebrate President’s Day on Monday …  
I'm Playing The Presidents on "PRESIDENTS  DAY"
Boy, talk about your Forgotten Hits!!!  When’s the last time anybody’s heard THIS one?!?!  Yet, incredibly, a Top Ten Pop Hit back in 1970.  (I couldn’t have sung a line of this if a million dollar jackpot was on the line!)  Hopefully it’ll jar a memory or two for some of you out there, too … ‘cause that’s what Forgotten Hits is all about!  (kk)

Although I’m not quite sure why anybody would want it, John and Yoko’s Wedding Album is being re-released on CD and vinyl on March 22nd.  (I remember buying this thing when it first came out in 1969 as more of a collectors’ item than anything else because of all the goodies that came inside the box … because there sure wasn’t anything worth listening to on the record!!!  I can’t believe there’s a market for it now, some fifty years later!)

However, if you’re one of those who must have everything, here’s the scoop … 

OK, so maybe I should have angled the arrow a little bit!!!

A few of you were challenged by the challenge … which was never the point …

But for those of you having difficulties, the search engine is in the upper most left-hand corner, above the yellow FORGOTTEN HITS Banner … you’ll see a little search box with a magnifying glass …

That’s where you type in your topic and then hit “Enter” and off you go.

And, after you first page pops up, you can scroll down thru that page to the bottom and, if you see “Next Posts” notice at the bottom (after the last post in the lower right hand corner), click on that and it’ll take you to more pages pertaining to the same topic.

Again, if you find something you feel is worth sharing with the other readers, please send along the links and we’ll post them every now and again to see what else might be out there that you haven’t seen yet.  (With literally THOUSANDS of post, there really is no telling just what you’ll find!!!)

For example, when I got this email from Carl Wiser of Songfacts, I wasn’t sure what to think … but I guess this sucker will search down to the word!!! 

I tried "dungeon". Got a result. This should be fun.
Carl Wiser 
What the heck could THAT be?!?!  Well, let’s find out!  (I didn’t think we’d get so word-specific but hey, if it works and you’re enjoying yourself playing around with it, who am I to talk???)   

Anyway, here's what it turns up: 

Admittedly, this one’s a bit like spinning the wheel and seeing where it lands … which could be fun, too, in that you never know what might turn up.  But if you search for something specific, odds are you’ll be amazed by all the entries you’ll find on any given topic, song or artist.  Give it a try and see for yourself.  (kk) 

Don't want you to think I'm denying your request ... but I can't get it to work.  Trying to punch in my favorite group, Tony Williams & The Platters, but I'm not able to punch in anything.
The Platters were the most popular group during the 1950's.  I think I told you before, I have a FACEBOOK group called I Love The Platters.
It absolutely works … I just typed in Platters and got DOZENS of pages featuring articles and/or comments about the group.

Here are just the first three:   

(Remember … when you get to the bottom of the page if it says anything like “Next Post” or “Older Post,” click on it and more pages will come up.  In this case, many of the comments you find may be your very own!)

Play around with it and have some fun … and let us know what new discoveries YOU make along the way.  (kk) 

Here’s what I found …
What a blast to see one of my Beach Boys heroes live, thanks to kk and FH! 

Hi Kent,
I always enjoy reading Forgotten Hits and catching up on all the news! 
I am excited to hear the great Tony Orlando is the subject of a new Broadway show about his life!  It’s got to be an incredible story of a guy who sang on the rooftops of New York and dreamed of the big time.  I get goose bumps remembering this story told to me backstage at the Arcada Theatre during our interview about Dick Biondi.  Tony is a great interview. This man has a beautiful heart and a personality to match.  And he ADORES Dick Biondi!  He had a lot to say about Biondi’s influence on music and what he’d meant to his career.  Great stuff!  Tony's story will be part of our tribute to the Wild I-Tralian, which, by the way, will be a national PBS documentary when complete! 
“The Voice That Rocked America: The Dick Biondi Story” is currently in post-production.  When finished, the program will air on WTTW in Chicago (Chicago is where Dick introduced the Beatles to the U.S.), WNEO / WEAO in Youngstown / Akron / Cleveland, Ohio (Youngstown is where Dick introduced rock and roll), WNED Buffalo (Buffalo is where Dick owned the Eastern Seaboard), South Carolina ETV (Myrtle Beach is where Bob Sirott found him after a ten year hiatus and Chicago got Biondi back!).  With Dick’s national exposure, we expect wide distribution on PBS stations so if anyone is interested in becoming a sponsor, please get in touch! Our sponsors are so awesome! 
A big shoutout to IAET (Italian American Executives of Transportation), Paul Shaffer, Onesti Entertainment, VC Plumbers, and Haggerty Insurance!
So when Tony heard we are having a big fundraiser on April 28th he donated a custom made tuxedo to our Director of Communications and Marketing, Joe Farina.  Joe has been reaching out to artists and entertainers for tax-deductible donations to help us finish the documentary.  Joe is a super nice guy and we are lucky to have him on board helping to make this dream a reality.  So many good people have come forward to enable this dream that sometimes I have to pinch myself that it’s really happening.  It’s been almost five years since I began the project with nothing but a hope and a prayer.  Now, it’s REALLY HAPPENING!
Kent, you are invited to come to the fundraiser and so is everybody reading this. You’re in for a real treat with performances by some of Chicago’s greatest rock bands, led by the incredibly talented New Colony Six!!!!  That alone is worth the price of the ticket. 
But there’s more! 
Scott MacKay from 95.9 The River will emcee, with performances by The Hundred Dollar Quartet with Dean Milano and friends and Scott May from the Ides of March on keyboards, The Cave Dwellers, the Meteors, Bagshot Row, Southside Exiles, Pete Weldon who is Dick Biondi’s exclusive sock hop DJ, and Actor Joe Farina. 
And this all takes place on a Sunday afternoon from 2:00 PM - 6:00 pm at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park on Chicago's South Side. 
This place is awesome, wait until you see the stage! 
We’re keeping ticket prices low — only $37 plus service fees which includes a buffet dinner, beer and wine, Silent Auction / 50/50 Raffle, and a screening of the Dick Biondi Trailer!  I’m attaching a poster and hope everybody comes out.  We are expecting several surprise guests.
Tickets are on sale now – 
Please help us spread the word and bring your kids and grandkids.  All ages are welcome.
Let's rock and roll for the Dick Biondi documentary!  Thanks everybody.
Pamela Enzweiler Pulice

And, speaking of The New Colony Six … 

I've already "networked" more than two hours playing around with the new "Wayback Machine" tool this morning, Kent, so shame on me for not tending to Arbortech's needs and shame on you for enabling us "FH-ers" to have such a marvelous gizmol.  Love it and love ya for creating and making it available to the masses who are fans of your stellar work in Forgotten Hits, like me!  Back to work, errr, probably back to searching the archives!    

This past Saturday night, my listeners voted on their favorite 'Most Beautiful Women Of 1960's Television'.
Barbara Eden from I Dream Of Jeannie was the top vote getter.  Linda Evans from the Big Valley was 2nd followed by Agent 99 Barbara Feldon from Get Smart,  Ellie Mae Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies and Diana Rigg from the Avengers rounding out the top five.
The Petticoat Junction girls got a few votes.  Someone even voted for Jethrine Bodine from the Beverly Hillbillies!
This might be a good poll question in Forgotten Hits.  My childhood was spent way to close to our new Curtis Mathes color television set watching those ladies.
Phil Nee

What?!?!  No Mary Ann?!?!?  (kk) 

She had a couple of votes.  Ginger was shut out!  Jethrine got more than Ginger!

Of course, that was the big debate back in the ‘60’s …

Who’s Hotter???

Ginger or Mary Ann?
Jeannie or Samantha?
Betty or Wilma?

OK, well maybe not so much on that last one … (but my vote goes to Betty)

It’s funny because Gilligan’s Island was written to portray Ginger as the ultimate dream girl … every man’s fantasy … but Mary Ann was just drop dead gorgeous and regularly comes out on top whenever we’ve mentioned a poll such as this.

Hey, I’m game if readers want to send in their choices.

There’s a great book called “Swingin’ Chicks of the ‘60’s” that’s been in my collection for some time now.  (Unfortunately, it’s long since out of print so commanding some pretty ridiculous prices on Amazon) 

It lists several great choices … but encompasses all media, not just TV … thus you get chapters like “The Bond Beauties,” “The Elvis Girls! Girls Girls!,” “Songbirds” like Cher, Michelle Phillips and Nancy Sinatra and, believe it or not, even a couple of “Cartoon Cuties” (Judy Jetson and Veronica Lodge).

In the TV category, they nominate Judy Carne, Diahann Carroll (strikingly beautiful in my opinion … a totally different class than the “hot chicks” we’re talking about), Donna Douglas, Patty Duke, Barbara Eden, Barbara Feldon, Peggy Lipton (how did SHE rank on your list?), Sally Field, Carolyn Jones, Tina Louise, Elizabeth Montgomery, Mary Tyler Moore (Laura Petrie style), Julie Newmar, Nichelle Nichols, Melody Patterson, Pat Priest, Inger Stevens (one of my faves), Marlo Thomas (ditto) and Dawn Wells.  (What?!?!  No Honey West???  Ahh, she was never my type anyway.  But how can Diana Rigg possibly not be on this list???  What about Batgirl, Yvonne Craig?  I don’t see Linda Evans listed here either … and, quite honestly, she wouldn’t have even crossed my mind … so I’m shocked to see her come in at #2 in your radio poll.)

That should be enough choices to get the ball rolling.  If you folks wanna write in to cast your votes for YOUR favorites, we’ll keep tabs for a couple of weeks and see who comes out on top.  And, per Phil’s instructions, we’ll keep this strictly about the TV chicks!  (kk)

And, as a reminder of just how hot some of these women really were, here’s a replay of that cool ‘60’s Dance Video Chuck Buell sent us a couple of weeks ago …