Friday, March 8, 2019

THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION - Concert Review (Saturday, March 2nd, 2019)

After seeing so many concerts over the years, I have learned to never dismiss the opening act without first giving them the benefit of the doubt because some of these acts just may be right on the fringe of making it to the big time themselves despite their current “unknown” or “up-and-coming” artist status.

As such, I have witnessed Hall and Oates open for ELO in the late ‘70’s … Elton John as the opening act for headliners Three Dog Night … and even Jim Croce warm up the crowd for Jackson Browne. 

ALL of these artists were virtually unknown at the time … but right at the tip of future stardom.

Even a big name act like Burton Cummings had to open for Melissa Manchester and then, just a few months later, Alice Cooper (!!!) when he was trying to launch his solo career.

I saw England Dan and John Ford Coley open for both America and Neil Sedaka in the mid-‘70’s, right before they became headliners themselves.

The act that opened for The Atlanta Rhythm Section Saturday Night (March 2nd) at The Arcada Theatre were NOTHING like any of these examples.

In fact, Ask The Natives performed what can only be described as a muddy mix of unremarkable originals that left most of the crowd (other than their own fan base that they brought along to the show) bewildered by just what it was they were trying to achieve.

The set-up was somewhat unique … guitar, bass and drums performing behind an amazing violinist, who took the leads on every song they played.  Problem was, good as he was, you couldn’t hear him!

The mix was SO bad that the lead vocals provided by the guitarist were undecipherable due to the guitar and drums being SO loud that they simply overpowered and blocked out the vocals and the shining point of the band … the violin solos on every tune.

In fact, as a result of this performance I can only dismiss them as both unremarkable and unmemorable.

So why mention them at all, you may ask … why devote this much web space to an act you didn’t like and clearly can’t endorse?

Because there is a lesson to be learned here for other opening acts in the future.

These guys absolutely had their shit together in the way of marketing and fancy effects.  Their entire performance was video taped … they had their own merchandise table in the lobby selling t-shirts and cd’s … and the whole time they were playing these awesome video graphics were showing on the big screen behind them … yet they couldn’t “sell it” because of a bad mix.

That and the fact that they didn’t even seem to know (or show any respect for) the headlining act they were opening for.

When they announced their last song before “bringing out The ATLANTIC Rhythm Section,” the coffin was sealed for me.

Opening Acts everywhere … this message is for you …

Don’t blow your opportunity to make an impression on a new audience seeing you for the very first time.  You worked long and hard to earn this opportunity.  And show some genuine respect for the act that has afforded you this spot.  (When we saw Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra last summer, we were totally impressed with his warm up act, Dawes, who we had never even heard of before.  Yet they won us over, playing a strong set of good music that made us think we might like to see them again somewhere down the road … a pretty high endorsement for a crowd that 
was clearly there ONLY to see ELO!)

Was this a good mix … Ask The Natives and The Atlanta Rhythm Section?  An avant-garde rock band opening for southern rock legends?  Probably not.  But had they won over the crowd with their set, they just may have attracted a brand new group of fans who would seek them out again.
Instead the general feeling seemed to be that nobody was going to Ask The Natives much of ANYTHING after this performance.

And now on to the main attraction … The ATLANTA Rhythm Section.  (These guys are from Georgia … which, just for the sake of argument, DOES border on the Atlantic Ocean, I guess … but this is NOT the source of inspiration for their name.)

Sadly, they never received a proper introduction at The Arcada Theatre Saturday Night … host master Ron Onesti was evidently unavailable and, as such, I wish he would have invited me to present the band … but that didn’t happen … instead, one of their roadies simply said, “St. Charles, please give a warm welcome to The Atlanta Rhythm Section!” … and that was it.

There was so much more that could have been said.

From the very first time I heard the opening notes to “So In To You” back in 1977 I was hooked.

I hadn’t heard anything quite like that before.  I ended up buying all of their albums after that.  And their hit list was extensive:  “Doraville” (#35, 1974), “Jukin’” (#75, 1976), “So In To You” (#5, 1977), “Neon Nights” (#42, 1977), “Georgia Rhythm” (#68, 1977), “Imaginary Lover” (#7, 1978), “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” (#14, 1978), “Champagne Jam” (#43, 1978), “Do It Or Die” (#19, 1979), their incredible remake of “Spooky” (#15, 1979) … and the highlight of their live show for me … and their “comeback” hit “Alien” (#27, 1981) … all these tracks got extensive airplay on the FM dial at the time ... and you still hear quite a few of them today.  

The Atlanta Rhythm Section has gone through some hard times over the last couple of decades.  (For the best and most detailed and extensive history of the band, much of it told in their own words, I highly recommend the Jeff March and Marti Smiley Childs book “Where Have All The Pop Star Gone?, Volume 3,” available here:

In fact, this entire series provides in-depth looks at some of the biggest stars of the ‘60s and ‘70’s … and is highly recommended.)  

A band history / profile is also available both on the band’s website as well as in a new publication titled “The Atlanta Rhythm Section:  The Authorized History” by Willie G. Moseley.

So many members have passed through the revolving door that is The Atlanta Rhythm Section over the years … so many other key influential members have died … that I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the band took the stage.  

What we got was a GREAT mix of musicians … including TWO dueling lead guitarists, each of whom not only complimented each other (both literally and figuratively), but also captured most of the spotlight throughout the entire concert experience.  Several times the crowd awarded huge ovations mid-song due to the incredible playing that was going on on stage.

For that we can thank Steve Stone and David Anderson, two incredibly talented and accomplished guitarists who love and respect this music … and each other’s ability to play it.

It was a pleasure to see original lead vocalist Rodney Justo back out front.  (Justo quit after the band’s first album … but returned for short stints with the banda in both 1983 and 2008 … and has been back for good since 2011.)

Rodney does a commendable job handling all of the leads … and has the right voice for this special brand of southern rock.  He’s a very personable spokesman for the group and did a great job of entertaining us by poking fun at both himself and the other band members.

Also on board is original keyboardist Dean Daughtry, who has essentially been with the band since their beginnings in 1971.  It is quite obvious that Dean has a very difficult time getting around these days … but once he was helped to his keyboard and propped up to play, he was just as into this music as we were.

Rounding out the current line-up are bassist Justin Senker and drummer Rodger Stephan.

They’ve got several more shows lined up thru the rest of the year … a complete touring schedule can be found here:  

If you get the chance to see them, go …

Release your inner Joe Dirt …

And enjoy the show!  (kk)

A couple of weeks ago FH Reader Frank B mentioned that Wild Wayne played a 45 by The Angels which, if played at its proper speed, showed a beautiful song by a girl doo-wop group … but if slowed down to 33 1/3, became a beautiful song by a GUY doo-wop group.
Well, several years ago, we took the opposite approach with one of The Atlanta Rhythm Section’s biggests hit “Imaginary Lover” … only in OUR experiment, we sped the album track up to 45 rpm … and discovered a brand new version of the song seemingly sung by Stevie Nicks!
Give it a listen … it’s quite uncanny!

The Atlanta Rhythm Section has their roots in the very successful 1960's band The Classics IV ...  

Former members Dean Daughtry, J.R. Cobb and Songwriter / Producer Buddy Buie started their own recording studio in the early '70's and it was during these sessions that The Atlanta Rhythm Section evolved.  Their remake of The Classics IV hit "Spooky" was a complete reimagining of the popular tune ... and became a hit all over again in 1979.

Thanks to Ron Onesti, we were able to do a last-minute ticket give-away to some of the "locals" on our list and invite about twenty of our Forgotten Hits Readers to join us for the show.  (Thanks, too, to Ron and Arcada House Photographer Lou Bilotti for allowing us to share some of these photos with you on our website!)

Here are reports from a few of them regarding their thoughts on the concert ...

Well, when Kent advised us that he had tickets and asked if we wanted to go and see ARS I figured, well, I have heard a few of their songs and I thought it will be fun. Plus, I got to sit right next to Kent and talk to him. 
Before I emailed Kent back I thought, wait a second ... the question most concert goers ask is who is left of the original members. Much to my satisfaction there was two. 
Most important was Rodney Justo, the lead singer and Dean Daughtry, the organist was still manning the helm.
I enjoyed the concert mostly because of Rodney. Great voice and you could tell that he enjoyed being out there.  l must admit, I didn't think I knew much of their material.Ya,  I knew "So In To You" and "Imaginary Lover."  Well, the old man was surprised when they performed "Spooky" ... hey, ya, I forgot the Classics IV connection with Dean and former guitarist JR Cobb, who were with the 4. Slowly but surely the old man (me) remembered and smiled when ARS performed "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight," "Champagne Jam" and "Do It Or Die."  Damn, they had more hits then I thought! 
The show was well done but here is my 2-cents worth. 
I don't dig excessive guitar jams. I thought there was too much for my taste. Also, I wish I had heard more of the organ in the blend. Lastly, I would have loved for them do a few of the classic rock songs like "Blue Suede Shoes" ... I think they could have kicked some ass on something like that.
A  special salute to Dean who has soldiered on. I don't know what happened but apparently he was in a wheel chair (during?) after the concert. Now here is a man that has not let a handicap get into his way of his love of performing.  God bless! 
Department of Accuracy ... Well, I found out that Rodney Justo sang on the 1st album (no hits) and Ronnie Hammond sang all of their hits. Still Rodney gave a great performance. Mike De Martino 

Thank you (and Ron!) again for the tickets to see The Atlanta Rhythm Section Saturday Night. I thought it was a great show.
I remember buying their albums when they came out ... always liked their music.  (In fact, I dug a couple of them out on Sunday after seeing the show.)  I knew they had a lot of hits but they played some I had forgotten all about.
I didn't realize that Rodney Justo wasn't the original singer on all these records.  (Well, I guess technically he WAS the original singer ... but left the band before they started having hits.)  He did a great job as far as I was concerned ... very personable and entertaining ... made us laugh several times.  And the song he sang after talking about being married to the same woman for 59 years was just beautiful.  He would have to say the Justo Gusto made the show everything it was.
And that's not taking anything away from the rest of the band.  Their two guitarists were just amazing ... I loved the way they played off each other.  And even though it was clearly hard for keyboard player Dean Daughtry to get around, it was obvious that he's still doing this ... at whatever personal inconvenience ... for the love of the music.
Yes, the crowd was small ... but they were very enthusiastic, rewarding the band with multiple ovations throughout their set.  I liked the "planned encore" piece at the end, too.
Thanks again ... we had a really good time.
John Edwards  
The "successful marriage" song you're referring to is called "Conversation" and I had never heard it before the show Saturday Night.  What a GREAT track!  I immediately downloaded it Sunday Morning!  (kk) 

We were fortunate enough to have been selected to win tickets to the Atlanta Rhythm Section concert on Saturday night, March 2, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Thanks, Kent Kotal. It is always a pleasure to see you.
Unfortunately, the ticket sales were rather light. The hall was half-full, at best. Atlanta Rhythm Section’s performance certainly deserved better.
The opening act was “Ask the Natives,” a quartet composed of guitar, drums, bass and violin. The violinist was very competent. The sound mix was not very good and seemed a little distorted. The guitarist was very hard to hear on vocals. The drummer seemed to want to show off how hard he could beat the skins. I was not impressed.
Atlanta Rhythm Section contains two original members of the 1970 line-up, Dean Daughtry on keyboards and Rodney Justo providing vocals. Steve Stone and David Anderson on guitars, Justin Senker on bass and Rodger Stephan on drums round out the line-up.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Stone and Anderson were both incredible guitarists and my judgement of which was better changed from song to song.
It’s hard to watch my heroes from my younger years grow old. Justo joked about his pants falling down, “When you get old, your pants try to find the point of least resistance.”
Daughtry had a difficult time getting on stage to his seat behind his organ. As the show neared the end, Justo said, “You know how the band plays the last song and hopefully you like it enough to call us back for an encore? Well, we are going to play the last song and we’d like you to pretend that we walk off the stage and you can call us back up. We have a hard time getting Dean on and off the stage.” It was difficult to watch the roadies and band members load Daughtry into a wheel chair at show’s end.

The band played their hits and much more. Concert favorites “Homesick,” “Large Time,” and “Jukin” were played as well as the songs that made the charts. “Champagne Jam,” “Spooky (a Classics IV cover that charted for ARS), “I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “So Into You” and “Imaginary Lover” all sounded really good.
My wife, Joyce, thought the show was fine, but nothing more. She didn’t like “Ask the Natives” much more than I did. As far as ARS, she thought Rodney Justo was in very good form on vocals. She thought the two lead guitarists were extremely talented. She said there were far too many lengthy guitar solos for her liking. She said she outgrew that stage back in the 80’s.
At one point during the show after ARS played “Imaginary Lover” and “So Into You,” she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I feel like we are at the grocery store. I can’t believe the music of our younger days has become elevator music.”
I guess it has, but I still love it. I truly enjoyed the Atlanta Rhythm Section and would not hesitate to go and see them again.

Steve Sarley

Hi Kent!
Really enjoyed the Atlanta Rhythm Section at The Arcada last night ...THX for the tickets.
The Arcada was only about half full on a Saturday night with an enthusiasticand unusually well-mannered crowd, I thought.  
The band opened really strong with "Homesick," Champagne Jam" and "Spooky" ...and the hits kept coming ... "So Into You" and "I'm Not Going To Let It Bother Me Tonight" sounding unusually timely.  
Kind of fun to hear all the usual suspects arguing if their version of "Spooky" was better than The Classics IV's version.  We didn't think so - it needed much bigger keyboard and vocals. 
The stage was split by strong lead guitarists David Anderson and Steve Stone, who took turns blowing us away with amazing solos ... (practice obviously make perfect) ... and Dean Daughtry and Rodney Justo center. Rodney Justo did a good job as the lead singer / frontman ... had us laughing, too.
They played for about an hour and a half with a last song rolled into an encore ... yes, "Imaginary Lover."
Walking out next to a fellow rocker, he and I had the same thought that we missed "Another Man's Woman" and that the bass player was no Paul Goddard of course. 
Another surprisingly good Arcada Retro "Classic Rock" show of an underrated band.
Also really enjoyed the "Ask The Natives" warm up band formed in 2018, winner of a contest at the Arcada last year. Nice quartet switch up rock and blues with an electric violin and merciless drummer. Watch out for them. Maybe four songs and out, Perfect.
Happy Trailz,
Bill & Jan
The way they staged their "encore" was also quite comical.  Because it is SO difficult moving Dean Daughtry around on stage, Justo said that normally they would play one more song, leave the stage and then, hopefully, come back out to do an encore.  But since it was SO hard for Dean to move, they would instead do TWO songs, one of which we could consider the encore ... so that's exactly what they did, to a standing ovation as they ultimately left the stage and went out to the lobby to sign autographs and hawk t-shirts and cd's.  (We didn't hang around ... but I was able to catch Rodney Justo for just a second to tell him what a great job he did and how much we enjoyed the concert.)  Overall, a fun night of music ... that deserved a bigger crowd.  (kk) 

If you are a Forgotten Hits Reader and live in the Chicagland area and would like to take advantage of special concert announcements and ticket offers, drop us a line and we'll add you to our "Locals" List!  This week alone FH Readers won tickets to see The Atlanta Rhythm Section at The Arcada Theatre, The Ides Of March and John Sebastian at The City Winery and Paul Revere's Raiders at the Athenaeum Theater in Chicago.*
*NOTE:  The Paul Revere's Raiders show has since been cancelled. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thursday This And That

Due to some pre-scheduled pieces, we haven’t run a new comments page in about a week …  

So here is just some of what has been on your minds recently …  

Yesterday we gave you a "sneak peek" of two brand new Tommy Roe tracks ... 

And today we've got a short snippet to share from a brand new release recorded by our FH Buddies Freddy Cannon and Ron Dante!  (This one sounds like a winner ... I've already downloaded my copy ... and you can do the same on either Amazon or iTunes for just 99-cents!)

You can check it out here:

I wondered if Freddy and Ron had planned on getting together for the specific purpose of writing and recording something together or if it just sorta happened.  (I figured they had probably known each other for a long time ... and wondered if maybe this was something they had always talked about doing.)  All I know is that they both sound really great on this record. 

RON DANTE:  I've known Freddy since our days on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars 1965. We became fast friends on the tour and over the years did many shows together including the Rocky and The Rollers Cruise last year. Freddy came up with the idea to write a cool song about Beale Street and we got together and wrote it. 


kk:  Is this song part of a bigger project?  A new album perhaps? 


RD:  It was such an honor to be in the studio with a legend like Freddy. His voice and mine just clicked.
I always wanted to sing with Freddy and writing this song was a great opportunity to unite both our vocal sounds on record. Thanks for asking about it.  It's available now on Amazon and also on iTunes ... so please direct any of our fans to this link.  


kk:  Well, I think it's a fun new track.  Here's hoping that oldies radio will pick up on it and let the folks know that you guys are still out there kickin' up a storm!  (Ron:  Now we've just got to get Freddy on the Happy Together Tour ... he'd have the fans on their feet for his whole set!)
It is SO great to see artists like Tommy James and Tommy Roe and Freddy Cannon and Ron Dante still taking the time to make new music for their fans.  Their energy level hasn't waned at all ... and this is good music!  I am very proud to be one of the first ones to bring it to you!  (kk) 

And, speaking of Tommy Roe ...   

I really enjoyed the piece about Dizzy ... what a classic that is.  I like all of Tommy Roe's songs.  I have great memories of sitting back stage with him and the Crickets at a show.  The first hand experiences with legendary rock and rollers that they were talking about that night was incredible.
Phil - WRCO   

Tommy Roe has been in the studio here in Nashville recording some new stuff and re-recording some of his classics over the past few weeks. 
Here are a couple of shots of him with some fabulous local studio guys at Wayne Moss's "Cinderella Sound," which is now the oldest studio in Nashville in the same location. That's Wayne on the left, who played the major lick in Tommy's hit "Sheila" way back when. Wayne also played the super-identifiable riff on Orbison's "Pretty Woman," which was picked up by some English guys and appeared in 'Day Tripper." 
In black wearing the hat is local awesome picker John McDaniel, who recently played on the complete note-for-note re-recording of the Byrds LP "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" along with some of the same musicians who played on the original. 
David Lewis

Yes, we featured a couple of Tommy's brand new tunes yesterday in Forgotten Hits ... be sure to scroll back if you happened to miss it.  (kk)    

Lou Gramm seems to be modifying his retirement plans a little bit to state something more to the effect of “Other than doing a few things tied to the Foreigner reunion …” … which is GREAT news for all us Foreigner fans out there.  (We told you last week about a new music that premiered in Canada called “Juke Box Hero” that will feature (depending on which source you choose to believe) either 16, 18 or 22 Foreigner songs as its soundtrack.  They are looking to launch the musical here in The States.  (Both Gramm and co-founder Mick Jones showed up for the final performance and jammed with the actors on stage for the grand finale!) In addition, it sounds like four very early tracks written by the duo may be resurrected as part of a special “comeback” LP of some sort.

Survivor Bassist, Stephan Ellis, Dies 
Former Survivor bass guitarist Stephan Ellis has died.
The news was revealed by the band’s guitarist Frankie Sullivan via a February 28, 2019, post on the group’s Facebook page. The cause of death, the precise day, and Ellis’ age were not revealed. 
Ellis joined the band in 1981, some three years after the band was formed in Chicago, and performed on Survivor’s five Top 10 singles, none bigger than 1982’s “Eye of the Tiger.” The classic rock anthem, #1 for six weeks, was the theme song for the box-office hit, Rocky III.
Ellis remained with Survivor until 1987. He returned in 1996, though the second stint ended in 1999.
Sullivan’s tribute to his former bandmate:
“We are devastated to hear that Stephan Ellis has passed away. Steph was the guy who was only interested in the music. He absolutely had a special charm with the fans and within the band. I loved much when it came to Steph.
“What I remember most and clearly recall is the day when we cut ‘Keep It Right Here’. The Bass part and lines in the intro just folded into the mix and it was the bass part that inspired me to reach higher on my guitar. We cut our tracks together, live in the studio. Steph’s runs on the neck of that blue bass are as memorable as the song itself.
“The guitar player / bass player vibe has been around for a long time and Stephan and I had our thing as well. We fed off each other a lot and I think it was simply his calm ways that not only presented him to me in the beginning, it was also Steph’s calm ways that often helped most. He was always good for some adventurous storytelling that the censorship of today has removed, never to be told by this band reporter. But I learned a few things, we all did…!!!! 
“I will miss Stephan, we all will. We can talk for years about how much he’d cause us to laugh and most importantly to a rock n’ roll band at that time, the infamous “ice” lesson he passed on to us all one day that stuck for a long while. 
“We Love you Steph!”  

My condolences to you and the band. 
Clark Besch 

Jim Peterik wanted to share a few words on Stephan, too … 

The message on my Facebook page from Stephan Ellis’ cousin, Jessica Joy, hit me like a shot. She told me that Stephan had just passed away. 
Thinking of him onstage with Survivor I was sure he was bulletproof, immortal. That’s the way he came off.
Stephan was the genuine rock & Roll article: he had the look, the attitude and his aggressive style on his Fender Precision bass that helped define what would become the signature sound of Survivor.  
When Frankie and I traveled to the west coast soon after our first album in late 1980 to audition a new rhythm section, our pal, the late great Fergie Fredericksen suggested we cool our heels at Flipper’s Roller Disco on La Cienega just off of Sunset Strip. As we had a beer and watched the gals in satin short shorts skate around, we noticed a band playing in the center of the rink. It was a band called Baxter playing good original music.  
Frankie leaned over to me and said “That’s the kind of bass player we need”. I said “How about that bass player?” 
We waited till Baxter took a break and I dodged the skaters to reach the band. I introduced myself to the blond bass player who was taking off his bass. I told him that me and Frankie were holding auditions for Survivor at SIR tomorrow morning and asked him if he would like to come.  He had never heard of us but when I told him we were signed to Scotti Brothers / Atlantic he readily agreed. He mentioned that he had just auditioned for the Babys but “there was not enough pixie dust on it” and he didn’t get the gig.
Next morning he showed up promptly at 9:30 along with the drummer Frankie had set up to audition - Marc Droubay. What a fortunate coincidence because from the downbeat of a new song we were working on called "Hearts of Stone" we knew we had found in this rhythm section the sound we were looking for: solid, pounding and totally locked as a unit. We soon started working up songs that became the pivotal album in Survivor’s history, the one that famously caught the attention of one Sylvester Stallone. It was called 'Premonition'. It was indeed. 
Stephan was a true rocker. Nothing mattered to him as much as his bass guitar and a cold Heineken in his hand. His unflappable countenance was a lesson to us all. He weathered every storm with us through the next five Survivor albums playing on our biggest hits including “Eye Of The Tiger," "I Can’t Hold Back," "Burning Heart," "The Search is Over" and "High On You."
He will be remembered for his musicianship, his dedication to the art of Rock & Roll, his mischievous smile and the friend he was to so many.
Stephan Ellis - you are a classic.
Rock in Peace.
Jim Peterik 

Jerry Lee Lewis suffered what his representatives are calling "a minor stroke" on Thursday, February 28th, but everyone seems to feel optimistic that “The Killer” will recover in time to make his next scheduled performance on April 28th at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  (There are no plans at this time to cancel that appearance.)
Here’s one of those guys who probably should have died a dozen times by now based on his outrageous and rambunctious life style.
Lewis was one of Rock And Roll’s original architects, scoring big with Top Ten Hits like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (#3, 1957), “Great Balls Of Fire” (#2, 1958) and “Breathless” (#7, 1958) … but his career was seriously side-tracked when news was leaked of marriage to his 13-year-old cousin.  (There’s really no telling how big he might have been had it not been for this.  Some would argue “bigger than Elvis” … but Lewis was quickly blacklisted from the airwaves and never really recovered, although he would have some success in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s as a country artist.  His last big pop hit came in 1973, thanks to a remake of the oldies chestnut “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee,” which reached #25 on the Cash Box Chart.
I’ve never seen him perform live but have heard that back then it was an incredible experience to do so.  (Both times that I had tickets to one of his shows, he never showed up and the venues had to give everybody a refund.  He was notorious for this behavior for a good stretch of his career.)
Despite being described as a “deeply religious man,” Jerry Lee Lewis had some personal demons of his own that always seemed to get the better of him.  Perhaps the original “Wild Man of Rock And Roll,” there’s still no denying his impact on the early days of Rock And Roll.  (He was one of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’s inaugural inductees back in 1986.)
Still, I have never been able to get past the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of one of his many wives.  (Check out this Rolling Stone article from 1984 … it’s long … and it’s chilling … and the story it tells will never leave you.)  kk  

>>>I got a brand new report from Blogger last week that shows that more people in RUSSIA read Forgotten Hits last month than in the US!!!  (How is this even remotely possible?!?!)  kk 
Lots of Beach Boys fans in the old USSR ... (:>) 
Beatles fans, too, I would imagine!  (kk)   

Kent - 
Just having one reader in Russia is amazing but to outpace your U.S. readers is truly stunning.  Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to our music from the 50s ,60s and 70s ... 
I have learned over the seven years I have been doing my Doo Wop Ramblings newsletter that the Doo Wop genre is Global. As you can see by the graphic, I have readers in 34 countries. We just got India last week. But so far, none in Russia. Any suggestions? 

Keep up the good work. Love the blog.
I can honestly say that I have absolutely NO clue as to how folks in other countries are discovering our publication ... just good word of mouth, I guess, because I've certainly never done anything to solicit it ... but it IS pretty amazing.  (Seeing my column translated into other languages really flips me out ... ALL without my permission, of course ... but I guess it might all be worth it some day if I ever become world famous!  Just never dreamed that I'd one day be advertising myself as "The #1 Oldies Website in Russia!!!)  kk 

Chuck Buell would like to offer these insights regarding Forgotten Hits' sudden International acclaim!
Forgotten Hits, March 1, 2019, wrote --- “. . . a brand new report from Blogger this week (showed) more people in RUSSIA read Forgotten Hits last month than in the US!!!  (How is this even remotely possible?!?!)” - kk 
Well, Kent, I think it quite possibly might be a case of confirmed “Collusion” with Russia! 
FH --- “. . . according to this report, we are EXTREMELY popular in Russia, The United States, Belgium, Romania, Canada, Germany, The United Kingdom, The Ukraine, France and “other regions” . . .  (Now what could these folks possibly care about our old WLS Surveys . . . ?) - kk

One has to remember that during those Great Chicago Radio Heydays of the 1960s, the WLS Signal could be picked up in approximately 40-plus countries or more, so they in those countries mentioned may be just as interested in WLS Surveys as those here in the US are today.

Once during my early evening show on the Big 89, I received a phone call from some industrious Naval Guys assigned to the radio shack of a US Aircraft Carrier positioned off the coast of Viet Nam! They told me they had rigged up their own special antenna system so that they could actually receive powerful US-based AM radio signals such as the 50,000 watt clear channel signal of WLS and listen to stateside radio! 

I could barely hear them over the phone with its loud static, and they me, as we literally had to shout to hear each other as we “talked” between their ship to shore, shore to a military communication center, to trans-oceanic cable(!), to US shore, to another communication center, to domestic landline, to Chicago’s telephone exchange system, to the radio station and back system!
It was pretty wild!
CB (which stands for "Collusion Boy!”) 
I don’t mind being popular in Russia … as long as Donald Trump isn’t getting a piece of the action!  (kk) 

And, in other incredible radio news, Happy Anniversary to our buddy Scott Shannon, celebrating FIVE YEARS at WCBS-FM already!

kk …
Seems like only yesterday you were telling us that Scott Shannon left WPLJ-FM for WCBS-FM.
Congratulations, Scott … you’re like the Energizer Bunny … or that Timex watch that just keeps on ticking … couldn’t be happier for you.  (And remember, too, Frank, how much I told you you’d enjoy him if you’d just give him a listen??? I’d say you’ve turned into both a major fan and a major Scott Shannon supporter!)  kk

Look for a PBS Special coming soon celebrating the words of Hal David, lyricist to all those great Burt Bacharach songs that made just a major impact on the soundtrack to all of our lives.
Called simply “Words by Hal David,” check your local listings for air times.  (Can’t wait to see this one!  Their profiles of Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick were both outstanding.  This should complete the trilogy!)  kk

The other day I heaped more praise on Harvey Kubernik's book about The Doors.  Well, I guess I'm not alone with this endorsement.  Check this out ...   

I am very pleased to inform you that the Otherworld Cottage Industries title The Doors: Summer's Gone by Harvey Kubernik has been nominated for the 2019 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. 
The goal of the ARSC Awards program is to recognize and draw attention to the finest work now being published in the field of recorded sound research.  We thank you for your participation and support, and invite you to refer to this nomination in any future publicity concerning this text.   
The winners will be announced by September, and the awards will be presented during a banquet at ARSC’s annual conference in May, 2020. Additional information about ARSC, the awards, and this year’s conference may be found on the ARSC website at  
Congratulations, Harvey ... well deserved.  (As a non-voting member I can only offer you our continued support.)  Other Doors fans would do well to check this book out! (kk)
>>>”A Moment Ago” is another great B-Side by The Angels.  (I just downloaded it to my own collection!)  My favorite track by them is “Thank You And Good Night.”  They could have easily extended their hit list had they saved some of these for follow-up A-Side single releases!  (kk)
Kent –
I agree with you concerning the Angels "Thank You and Goodnight” … I used that as my sign off at WHK . Great song!  
Johnny Holliday   

You may have already seen this …
Al Jardine is being inducted into the Rochester Music Hall Of Fame! 
Wow!  That's a bit of a stretch, me thinks, but still another honor for one of The Beach Boys founders.  (It almost feels like we're getting to the point where the criteria is now down to “so and so drove thru Rochester in 1966 and stopped to eat at this diner … can’t we induct him, too???)  kk

Hi Kent - 
The other day you mentioned Todd Rundgren's new Utopia Live At The Chicago Theatre dvd upcoming release.  
FYI, Cable Channel AXS-TV is premiering the show next week! PREMIERE Sun, Mar 17th9:00 PM ET
Todd Rundgren's Utopia - Live at the Chicago Theater
Todd Rundgren's Utopia, starring founding members Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton and Willie Wilcox and featuring Gil Assayas, recently reformed for a 33-date North American tour. Captured live in concert on May 22 at the historic Chicago Theater, "The Road To Utopia" chronicles the iconic band's musical evolution from its seminal mid-70s prog-rock origins through its power-pop hits of the 80s.   
This isn't the first time this has happened.  (Usually it's PBS that's the culprit!)  But still, this is a deluxe DVD package with (I'm sure) all kinds of extras that won't be shown on the AXS broadcast.  (I know of a few Forgotten Hits Readers who have already ordered this set ... this might be a good way to get a "sneak peek" of what you can expect when your deluxe package finally arrives.)  kk 

Our FH Buddy LJ Coon takes issue with the video posted on the Smithsonian Institute website for the way it portrays the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and Pilot Roger Peterson.  LJ has been asking the National Safety Transportation Board to reopen the investigation for a couple of years now … and reiterates some of his points below explaining why he feels we need to take another look at all of the evidence.  (Coon maintains that the pilot was 'unfairly blamed for crash that killed Buddy Holly and should be hailed a hero for trying to avert disaster')

Watch this clip: 

And then read LJ’s commentary below ...  
March 1, 2019 
The Smithsonian Documentary Video of  'The Plane Crash That Claimed Three Rock Legends' is Historically Incorrect.
It Wasn't Snowing:
a)  It wasn't “snowing lightly” during the departure phase February 3, 1959. 0058Z (In fact, it did not snow until the next morning, which was historically recorded by The Corner’s report)
This observation was confirmed by five adults that were present during the departure as well as the flight proceeding northwest bound, leveled at 800 feet. 
b)  The Historic Flight was for 3.5 minutes and 4 Miles to The Northwest of The Mason City Iowa Airport.
They did not fly into a pending storm.  There was no pending storm moving in that affected or was weather related for this 3.5 minute flight
There was no Hollywood Snow Storm.
A 'Slow Descent' of N3794N was witnessed by the aircraft owner (Jerry Dwyer) and the tower operator.  They were on the roof of The Mason City Iowa Airport and witnessed the 'Slow Descent'. 
c)  Visibility was reported by The Mason City Iowa Airport as six miles for February 3, 1959 0055Z 
d) The Mason City Iowa Airport reported the ceiling was 3,000 feet (The aircraft N3794N climbed to only 800 feet and leveled off) 
e) N3794N level at 800 feet proceeded visually to the Northwest.  This began a witnessed 'Slow Descent'.
The landing light was witnessed  as 'turned back on'.
The landing gear was left retracted.
The Power Source (The Magneto Switch) was found in the OFF position  (3- Key notched positions to reach the OFF position)  Turning The Magneto Power Switch to OFF is indicative of preparation for a 'Forced Landing'.
(The Coroner would indicate that Pilot Roger Peterson's right thumb was freshly amputated at the first interphalangeal joint (Distal Thumb Tip) and the right index finger tip area with a curved dorsal laceration)
The Right Wing Tip touched the farm field first, with the nose lower slightly.
In the next three seconds, as N3794N continued its forward momentum, the aircraft made a right 180 degree turn and ended up 588 feet tail first against the six strand barb wire fencing at approximate airspeed of 133 MPH (ground speed of 105 MPH) with a linear deceleration speed to 47 MPH ending (tail first, against the strands of barb wire fencing).
('The low-wing design and strong crash-resistant cabin compartment would protect passengers during a 'forced landing'.) according to Beech Aircraft Corp.
In My Opinion:
'The Mason City Iowa Accident February 3, 1959' (The 'Tragic Airplane Crash' that will forever be remembered as 'The Day The Music Died') was actually what is called in aviation as a 'Forced Landing'  3.5 minutes after departure.
'There was no Hollywood Snow Storm' … in fact, five adult witnesses offered that it was not snowing and that it did not snow until the next morning.
(This historic information lends itself to providing a witnessed depiction of the weather at Departure 0058Z February 3, 1959)
This historic flight lasted 3.5 minutes for a distance of four miles to the Northwest of The Mason City Airport.
The Aircraft climbed to 800 feet and leveled off.
A slow descent was then witnessed by the owner of the aircraft (Jerry Dwyer) and the tower operator.
a). The Mason City Airport reported visibility as six miles
b). The Mason City Airport reported the ceiling as 3,000 feet
N3794N a 1947 Beech Bonanza-35 V-Tail: 
'Safety studies of the Beech Bonanza-35 V-Tail were conducted by Beech Aircraft and Cornell University prior to the 1947 production.  ('The low-wing design, and strong crash-resistant cabin compartment would protect passengers during a forced landing'.) 

Some thoughts if I may on last Friday's FH.
I agree with Chet and what he said about Jerry Butler. Thanks for posting Make It Easy On Yourself. In my opinion, Andy Williams’ version of Moon River doesn't even come close to Jerry Butler's.
His mention of The Flamingo's recording of I Only Have Eyes For You is one of those songs that to this day I still get goose bumps and chills whenever I hear it.
Johnny Holliday gave his memories of the Monkees when he was at San Francisco's KYA. I wonder (and he probably is) if this is the same Johnny Holliday who is featured on the Crusin' LP Albums. He was featured on the one spotlighting the year 1964 with WHK, Cleveland.
I am looking forward to Sunday's survey as usual. FYI, here in OKC the #1 record was Build Me Up Buttercup on March 3. On same survey making its initial appearance is a song by a group called Thee Prophets with a song called Playgirl. Never hear than one.
Larry Neal 
He is, in fact, one and the same Johnny Holliday … (check out his mention of WHK above) … for the past fifty years, Johnny has left his indelible mark on sportscasting … but yes, he was originally a Top 40 Dee Jay back in the most exciting days of rock and roll!
We have featured Thee Prophets’ recording of “Playgirl” a few times now in Forgotten Hits.
Although it only made The National Top 40 in Cash Box Magazine (#39, 1969), it was a Midwest Favorite thanks to the band hailing from Milwaukee (actually West Allis), Wisconsin.
The record failed to chart here in Chicago but was a Top 15 Hit on Milwaukee’s WRIT.  FH List Member Gary Myers has written extensively on the group … and we recently supplied the track to Program Director Rick O’Dell to feature on Milwaukee’s streaming version of Me-TV-FM (which we strongly encourage you to listen to via this Listen Live link since the Chicago version still isn’t streaming online):  

And I want to put in another plug for both Rewound Radio ( and (, both of whom are playing the BEST mix of oldies music on the web today … you truly NEVER know what you’re going to hear next … and they cover the full gamut of music styles on a daily basis. 
Trust me … this is the BEST music on the radio today.  (kk)

As for Neil Diamond's "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" on WLS exactly fifty years ago, why are they showing it on BANG label?  It was on UNI.
Frank Merrill
Force of habit and laziness I imagine.  It is unreal how many mistakes were printed on these weekly survey charts all over the country.  (You should know better than anybody ... you've got MILLIONS of them in your collection! lol)  kk 

And, speaking of survey collectors ...

Hi Kent,
When I was a teenager in the 60’s, I collected the weekly radio station surveys from a handful of cities. So I have several hundred of them.
I was living in San Antonio, so a large percentage of them are from KTSA and KONO. But I sent self addressed stamped envelopes to a couple of other cities. As a result, I have quite a few of different years from WLS in Chicago. One of those is a special edition of all-time great hits. I also have year-end top hits of the year from a few other cities. 
Since I am now 71 years old, I would not mind selling these surveys to an individual collector or to a music memorabilia company. Do you have any ideas on how I would go about selling these? Most of them are in very good condition. They are arranged in chronological order, and resting comfortably in a box in my closet.
My old 45’s are probably not worth much, since they are not in mint condition. But I do have a modest selection of picture sleeves that are in very good condition. 
Bill Oakey
We have a number of survey collectors on the list ... many of whom also sell their wares on eBay and at record shows ... but they won't likely give you "market value" for yours as they'll need room to make a buck turning these over to their regular clientele. 
I would suggest first making a list of everything you've got so we can circulate it to a few interested parties who may see this on our site.  And then establish a "value" as to what you're looking to get for them.
We'll be happy to turn over any leads that come our way.  (kk) 

It won Peter Sarstedt the UK's prestigious 1969 Ivor Novello Award for songwriting. With accordion for atmosphere, the acoustic ballad "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" was a huge hit in the UK, spending four consecutive weeks at #1 there in March 1969. 
The fictional song was about a boy growing up poor in Naples with a girl (Marie-Claire) who escaped poverty after blossoming into a young woman whose beauty attracted rich and powerful suitors.
There's a lot of Continental name checking as he ponders if the improbable socialite's opulent lifestyle has brought her peace of mind or if she is still haunted by their past. It's apparent he still has feelings for her. 
I can remember watching Sarstedt perform the song on TOP OF THE POPS sporting his trademark Zapata moustache. The single topped charts in 14 countries but was only a minor hit in the US. This, his signature song, became the catalyst for a decades long career as a regular on the pop-revivalist British SOLID SILVER SIXTIES package tours until a few years
before his demise in 2017. 
Mike G

Wow ...  I can honestly say that I don't understand how THIS song could have been a #1 Hit ANYWHERE (much less in fourteen different countries!!!)  It's awful!!!  
But what do I know!  Perhaps it will ring a bell with some of our other readers who may consider it among their long-forgotten, all-time favorites.  (kk) 

Hi Kent,
Your readers might enjoy this blog piece that I wrote about Charlie Rich. You are welcome to use all or part of it, or just include the link. 
Bill Oakey 

I just ordered and received four tickets for the April 28th Biondi Fundraiser.
Literally FIVE minutes after their arrival, my buddy Jack Dresnes, owner of Beverly Records, contacted me and told me he had booked a table for us.
Long and short of it I have four tickets { $37 Dollars Each }. There's a great deal of time before the event. We know it will be a sell out. If you know of any of your friends or readers who would be interested in purchasing them, let me know.
We can follow up on the logistics required for payment and mailing the tickets.
Jim Nowoc   
Can somebody on the list help Jim out?  (Of course that $150 also makes for a VERY generous donation toward getting this movie made … but we’ll do our best to take these off your hands.)
As for the mini-New Colony Six appearance at the Athenaeum Theater with Paul Revere's Raiders, scheduled for March 23rd, I have just been informed that this show has been cancelled.  Unfortunately, ticket sales were MUCH slower than any of us thought they would be … and that's a real shame because this concert was put together with the idea of featuring two of the biggest acts of the ‘60’s … The New Colony Six and Paul Revere’s Raiders (along with special guest Denny Sarokin of Every Mother’s Son) … and, on top of all of that, it was for a good cause.
(I’m told this is a BEAUTIFUL place so I was really looking forward to seeing it.  Plus, they have more shows coming up featuring Todd Rundgren, Graham Nash and more ... so it just may be a great new venue to catch some of our favorite acts!)
Ticket refunds are being handled as credit card reimbursements thru the theater box office.  If anyone who purchased tickets is having any difficulty in this regard, please give the theater box office a call at 773 - 935 - 6875  

Disappointing ...
Of course, the TRULY disappointing thing here is we won't get a chance to see you try to "wrestle" the M.C mic. from Chet!
Clive Topol  
Yeah, and I was gonna wear a Raiders jacket, too! (Who knows when I'll get the chance to do THAT again!!!)  kk

Michael Bush's first-ever photo exhibition kicks off next Friday Night, March 15th, at The Zhou B Art Center at 1029 W. 35th Street in Chicago.  (The exhibit will be housed on the second floor)  Free admission and free parking.
Mike'll be there Friday Night for the opening from 7 - 10 pm as well as again on Saturday the 16th from 10 am - 5 pm (and every Saturday throughout its run ending on April 5th.)
This guy has shot EVERYBODY over the years and 61 of his favorites will be on display for this very special showing.  (In fact, the exhibit is called "61 At 61" and will be, we hope, the first of many.  Hey, I'm still trying to get him to do a coffee table book!)
Hope to see some of you out there ... it will truly be "a work of art."  (kk)

Here is one of my all-time favorite Michael G. Bush photographs ... this one will also be on display at his upcoming exhibit ...

And finally ...  
Rolling Stone recently ran this clip after announcing the upcoming Jonas Brothers reunion.  (I remember running this when it first aired … because it completely blew me away … and gave me all new respect for the JB’s!)  kk