Friday, April 5, 2019

Classic Rock Update #3

Hi Kent,
I truly appreciate your detailed and passionate response to my recent comments about your “Ultimate Classic Rock” project.  I’m very passionate about the subject, too, and just wanted to get some of my concerns out there.  It certainly wasn’t my intent to “rain on your parade” and I will be very interested in the final results.  If I can be of any help in the process, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
All the best.
No issues at all on this end … I appreciate the opportunity to reiterate our commitment to making this the most comprehensive list possible by enlisting not only our own readers but Classic Rock Fans from all over the country who are committed to the genre.  Again, this is why I believe OUR list can be come the definitive one, solely based on the input from such a wide poll base.  (Honestly, if the votes continue to come in at the rate they are now … and I fully expect them to escalate, once word starts to spread about our mission … I don’t know HOW I’m going to be able to keep up with it all … and may have to enlist some support in tabulating the results.  My only concern there is relinquishing any control as I fully intend to monitor this to ensure the best possible REAL results … without any ballot stuffing!!!  Lol)   Thanks, Paul. (kk)

Today is Vietnam Veterans Day.
Here are Ten Classic Rock Songs That Go Perfect With Vietnam Footage
All excellent choices … and I just cast a vote for each and every one of them in our Classic Rock Favorites Poll.  (Anybody else out there feel the same way???)
Some of these tracks receive virtually no airplay today … but are still perfect candidates for our list as they display all of the characteristics of the classic rock genre and the type of artists we’re looking for.  “Still In Saigon” is a GREAT example … so is Billy Joel’s “Goodnight Saigon.”  I remember featuring both of these on Jim Shea’s Y-103.9 Morning Show many moons ago.
Interesting to see two Creedence songs listed (out of ten) … “Who’ll Stop The Rain” would be another good one.  Also, a couple by The Stones.
The Buffalo Springfield track is a “gimme” … but “War” by Edwin Starr hadn’t been nominated yet … so it’s now on the list and open to your voting.  (kk)

Hi Kent –
Here are my offerings: 
No Time  - Guess Who
Down by the River - Neil Young
All Along the Watchtower – Hendrix
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Gimme Some Lovin - Spencer Davis Group
Can't Find my Way home - Blind Faith
Tangled Up in Blue – Dylan
Africa – Toto
Paint it Black – Stones
Day in the Life – Beatles
Ramble On – Zeppelin
There's a ton of stuff from the 80s I'd love to nominate - Aha, Duran Duran, New Order - but then I guess they're not rock, they're pop and that's another radio station.
R. Lovelock
I’ve received votes for Take On Me and about five or six Duran Duran songs - if you feel something belongs, vote for it!
(Heaven forbid some of our suggestions should shake things up a bit and make radio interesting again!)  kk

Had the TV on Wednesday night and couldn’t believe what I was hearing …
There are SO many great classic rock songs being used in commercials again right now.  Within the span of an hour I heard “Give A Little Bit” by Supertramp, Joe Cocker’s version of “Feelin’ All-Right,” “Walk This Way,” Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man” and “Me And Julio Down By The School Yard” … plus, on that new show “Whiskey Cavaliere,” foreign language versions of Lindsay Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” and the Ram Jam classic “Black Betty.”  With TV music THIS good, you almost don’t even have to turn on the radio!  

But we’re doing that, too!

We are now monitoring several different classic rock radio stations across the country ... our "radio partners" if you will ... tabulating their actual airplay in order to see just exactly what everybody’s been playing.  (Thanks to “recently played” lists and daily airplay logs, this is easier than ever to do.)  We’re also tabulating the tracks that we hear ourselves in order to better gauge the current trends in real time airplay.

As expected, most of these playlists are virtually the same … but every once in a while we’ll hear a REAL surprise come out … and some of the nominations you guys are sending in have REALLY helped us expand the nominees list.

In fact, as I type this, we have just over 2200 song nominations so far … that puts us at about two-thirds of the way to our goal of naming The Top 3333 Classic Rock Favorites of All-Time. 

What this ALSO means is that EVERY vote counts right now.  Since we’re still short of our target, even titles that have only received one vote are still eligible to make the final cut.  (And believe me, we’ve got a TON of them!!!)

Now odds are this won’t be the case as we get closer to our goal … especially once more stations get on board with helping us poll America for their Classic Rock Favorites. 

In another month or two, we’ll start to list ALL of the candidates, giving our readers additional chances to vote for some that may have slipped your mind … it’ll also be one more chance for you to show your love for your absolute favorites. 

I fully anticipate this to be the largest Forgotten Hits Poll we’ve ever done … with upwards of two million votes!  (That sounds like a pretty definitive list to me!)  Safe to say, the people will have spoken … and classic rock radio outlets are anxious to see the results.  (Who knows … we truly may help to change the landscape of what you hear on these stations moving forward!)

Let’s face it …

If you drove end to end across the country, I think we would all agree that there are about 500 songs that you are going to hear no matter where you go on a daily basis … but here is a chance for Classic Rock Radio to expand their “playing field” by adding some MAJOR fan favorites that they may not even be aware of.  Some of these results may surprise you.  (They’ve already surprised us … tracks that might not traditionally be taken as “classic rock oriented” are already making this list … what an interesting blend this will make when all is said and done.) 

Along the way, we’ll also be tempting you with “For Your Consideration” suggestions … it’s up to YOU to decide if these songs belong on the list or not.

So please, keep those votes coming folks … we’ve still got a LONG way to go before we hit the finish line … and right now EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!  (kk)

One last note ...

Not to pick on Ozzy again … it really is NOT our intention to single out any artists here … in fact, quite the opposite … if you guys feel somebody absolutely belongs, let’s get them on the list …

But in monitoring all these radio play logs … and listening to at least 50-60 hours of classic rock radio this past week alone … I can report that the ONLY place I hear Ozzy Osbourne songs being played is on Sirius / XM … and they play a lot of them.  Otherwise, this music doesn’t seem to fall into the “mainstream” of classic rock airplay.  (With Sirius / XM you have the ability to view dozens of music channels at once and see what each one of them are playing at any given point in time.  That being said, I have to admit that I was SHOCKED by how small their play list really is.  With literally hundreds of music channels to choose from, a good percentage of which feature tracks that are on our list, it is SO disappointing to see so many of the same tracks featured so many times spread across all of these stations … and sometimes even playing a track or two apart or even at the same time on two completely different “branded theme” stations!

You would think that in trying to capture the scope of so many different genres at once, we would be experiencing the ultimate in programming variety … but this is not the case.  (And, to top it off, we PAY to be fed the exact same diet all day long.)  Variety is definitely NOT on the menu!

But if you’re craving more Ozzy, AC/DC, a bit of Metallica and more Guns ‘n’ Roses than I’ve ever heard in the past twenty years combined, then THIS is the outlet for you.  (As such, many of these tracks have earned “airplay votes,” which has helped us expand the nominees list … but does not seem to accurately reflect what Classic Rock Radio is typically playing on a daily basis everywhere else across the country.)

And kudos to those of you out there who are pushing the envelope a little bit by naming some songs and artists that wouldn’t necessarily have been the first ones to cross my mind if compiling my own list.

This is going to be a VERY interesting blend of music when all is said and done.  And to reiterate … this is YOUR list … so please make your votes count.  When all is said and done, we want to present the ULTIMATE Classic Rock Playlist … so we’re counting on you to help make that happen!  (kk)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Tuesday This And That

To say that we're running just a bit little behind is quite the understatement right now ...

The volume of votes coming in for our Ultimate Classic Rock Hits list have been overwhelming.  (If radio stations across the country decide to partner with us on this, I'm not sure how I'll be able to handle the volume.  But, by the same token, the fact that readers are already responding to this degree is VERY encouraging, to say the least.  Makes me think that we're going to be able to come up with QUITE the list!!!)

As such, we've fallen behind on comments ... 

Here is what I've been able to put together for this week's Tuesday This And That feature ... some a bit more dated than others!  (kk) 

Happy 20th anniversary, Kent and Forgotten Hits!  
Because of you, no one who made a difference in the music world will ever be forgotten.
Ba Da ba ba Da! 
Your Vehicle -
Jimbo and all The Ides Of March
(Open this up, kk!)
Rock on!!  

And, speaking of The Ides Of March ... 

At least one or two other letter-writers mention an Ides song "One Hit Wonder" ...
Is it online anywhere?
"One Hit Wonder" is a GREAT track ... VERY cleverly written to include the titles and artist names of several records that bare that distinction.  
I know it came out on their Ideology 2.0 CD several years ago, which I'm sure you can get thru their website.
We have featured the track several times in Forgotten Hits ... and have even gotten it played on a couple of special Internet "One Hit Wonder" radio programs.
Definitely a fun track .. so we'll give it another spin here today. Enjoy!  (kk)

[This subject comes up AGAIN down below!]

The Rolling Stones have postponed their American / North America tour so that Mick Jagger can get the medical treatment he needs.  (Nobody from The Stones would elaborate on exactly what needed to be done ... but word is that Mick is expected to make a full recovery and the tour will resume as soon as his doctors give an "all clear" to proceed.  Meanwhile, hold on to your tickets ... as they will be honored for the new dates once they are announced.  
UPDATE:  It has since been confirmed that Mick is having a heart valve replaced.  Again, a full recovery is expected at which time the revised tour dates will be announced.  (kk) 

Have you seen any of the new Google commercials featuring The Beatles' "Help"?  
I can't even imagine how many kids are going to download this song when they discover it for the first time!
In fact, since the ad started running during the NCAA Finals, "Help!" now has received 33 votes for our Classic Rock List. (Prior to this week, it had four!!!)  kk  

I've seen a couple of different versions of this already ... including one where they actually show the "Help" album cover ... but this one is my favorite ...

And, just for fun ... 

We have shied away from any lengthy discussion on the “Leaving Neverland” documentary exposing Michael Jackson’s private life.  Suffice to say it is pretty disturbing (to say the least) as two of the under-age boys he manipulated back in the day tell their stories (in graphic detail) about what life was like behind closed doors with The King Of Pop.  
Incredibly, despite all the backlash, Jackson isn’t having to deal with the complete black-listing that several other very prominent artists had to contend with during this whole new “Me, Too” era … but I doubt that many of us will ever look at him or think of him in the same way. (For whatever reason, his talent and all the joy he brought to millions of fans around the world seems to be outweighing any wrong-doing he may have done.
Two celebs who DID speak out this past week (and have come under scrutiny for doing so) are Barbra Streisand (who defended Jackson’s “sexual needs”) and Paul McCartney (who said that he never saw any evidence of Jackson’s “dark side” and preferred to just remember him as a great artist.) Hmmm … could a Streisand / McCartney duet be in our future???  And as for Michael Jackson’s “dark side,” he did his best to cover all of that up with both bleach and multi-million dollar pay-offs!
You don’t need to watch all four hours of the HBO film to get the drift of all that was going on here … in fact, once they get to the heart of the matter, it gets pretty nauseating after about the first twenty minutes of details … but people DO deserve to know just exactly what this guy was all about … and how he manipulated those in his inner circle to fulfill those “needs” Babs seems to feel can somehow be justified.  
If you haven’t yet seen it, it is definitely worth investigating … if, on the other hand, you’ve already read all that you can stomach, don’t put yourself thru any additional torture … it’s tough enough to see our icons fall as it is without digesting every single gory detail.  (kk)  

Hi Kent -
As you know, I visited Hal Blaine at his home in Palm Desert in 2016. 
Last week following his death, I recorded this radio show which is syndicated to 64 stations in 21 countries. 
Hope you and your readers like it!
Regards -

Denny Tedesco has also put out this loving tribute to Hal via his Wrecking Crew website ...
Check it out here if you haven't already seen it.  (kk) 

Dear Wreckie friends and Family, 
If you haven't heard already, Hal Blaine passed on March 11 at 90 years old. Words can't describe what Hal meant to me personally and to his family and friends. 

When musical legends pass on we are reminded of their careers they leave behind. But with Hal he leaves so much more. 
Just listen to the hits and imagine if Hal never touched a drumstick. American pop music would be very different today. Hal turned 90 on February 5th. There was a birthday party for him at the Baked Potato. We thought Hal would last maybe 90 minutes. But he closed the place. Don Randi and I left him signing autographs at 12:30. 

Another surprise that night, he sat in with Don's band and they played "Be My Baby" and "These Boots Are Made for Walking" with Leah Randi singing. Everyone went crazy and he loved it. 
I think we knew then this could be the last event, but with Hal you never knew. 
Like other loved ones that pass, you always wish you could have said more to them. One more word, one more thank you, one more kiss goodbye. Below is my 'one more' note to Hal today. 
Make today a day to reach out to someone that you want to say thank you to or just hello. You won't regret it. 
* * * * *
Dear Hal, 
There are no words to express how much joy you brought to all of us in our lifetime. At any moment we could listen to the radio and know within a few minutes we would hear a Hal Blaine fill. For those of us that knew you personally, you filled our lives with love, encouragement, and laughter. 
You had such respect for the art and the artist and you always spoke about how you were not a soloist but an accompanist. You were there to make the artist and the song shine. My father would talk about you in the seminars with such praise and love. "There is no one like Hal Blaine. He treats every session as if he is trying to make a hit. Didn't matter if it was Frank Sinatra or John Doe". 
Over the last 23 years, my father's friend became my friend as well. You were always there in helping and encouraging me to tell the story of the Wrecking Crew. I will cherish the times we travelled to various cities around the country and seeing the standing ovations as you walked down the theater aisle when the credits finished. I was honored to be in that shadow walking behind you. 
The jokes never stopped. Sure there were jokes that I had heard at every screening, but they were always new to that audience. And then there were the jokes that made me sit at the edge of the seat wondering if we were going Blue that evening. (sometimes). (video attached is a little blue) 

In 2004, you and I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. They asked me to share 30 minutes of the film in the making. I was very nervous about sharing it. I wasn't worried about the audience but what you might think. At that point, you had only seen 10 minutes of footage. 
So after the 30 minute screening was finished, they announced your name and they gave you that standing ovation. 

Then the moderator started asking you a question. You started to answer but then you started crying. At first I thought you were putting us on but realized you were emotionally touched by what you saw. Behind those oversized sunglasses, there were crocodile tears. 
"I'm sorry, I just saw all my friends who I haven't seen in years. So many have left". At that point I saw something in your eyes and knew we needed to keep going and never stop until your story would be told. 
In 2008, we were at the Seattle Film Festival. You and my mom were traveling with me. I remember trying to find seats for both of you. You were 81 (youngster) and my mom was 79. In my frustration at the moment, I turned to both of you with a stern voice, 'Dad, Mom, please sit down". It was an odd moment but it felt right. With my dad gone, you stepped in. 
You spoke about your friends and family with such pride. Spoke about how Michele was an amazing cook and how Andy could do anything on the computer and you were so proud that Michael your nephew was a great drummer. There was nothing better than hearing you speak in adoring terms about other drummers and musicians.
I know you are heaven looking down and seeing the tears and love that your fellow musicians and the artists shed today. For the rest of the world, you gave us a beat that will live beyond all of our lives. 
Here is one joke that you told me many years ago and I'm sure when you get to heaven you'll have a whole new audience that hasn't heard the Hal Blaine joke repertoire. But I know they've heard your music. We miss you already. 

Three departed souls appeared before St. Peter at the pearly gates. 

St. Peter asked the first one, "What was your last job and annual salary?"

The first soul replied, "$200,000; I was a trial lawyer." St. Peter asked the second one the same question. The soul answered, "$95,000; I was a realtor." 

St. Peter then asked the third soul the same question. The answer was "$10,000." 

Before he could go on, St. Peter immediately said "Cool! What instrument did you play?"
Hal, I'm sure you'll tell St Peter and the others some great jokes.

RIP. Love you. 

Here's Hal on a panel at Chapman University [PG-13]

The love and respect of Hal Blaine from Drummers around the world could never be measured. Here are a couple of clips that shows that.  Sticks N Skins honored Hal a few years ago with this video:
Sticks and Skins Tribute 

Last year, Hal received a lifetime achievement award from the Grammy Foundation.  I asked drummers to send me a note of congradulations to Hal.  In no time, this came together!
Hal Blaine receives Lifetime achievement award. 

Some of Hal's Hits

Six more influential rock songs were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at this year's ceremony ... including "Gloria" by Chicago's very own Shadows Of Knight!!!
Also making the cut this year:
"Tequila" by The Champs, "Twist And Shout" by The Isley Brothers, "Leader Of The Pack" by The Shangri-Las, "Money" by Barrett Strong and "Maybe" by The Chantels.
While I'm not certain that these represent the "cream of the crop" when one considers ALL of the eligible candidates, it IS nice to see some of these lifetime gems like "Gloria" and "Tequila" final earn some level of recognition.
Congratulations to ALL of the artists, songwriters and producers involved with the making of these timeless classics. (kk) 

kk ...
I know we're supposed to be talking about Classic Rock ---
but I had to send you this one.
Frank B.
This is actually a GREAT list!  (And our FH Buddy John Madara will be VERY happy to see what song came out on top!)
Still, even a list this short is bound to provoke controversy ... so now we'll have to deal with all of THOSE emails, too!!!  (No "In The Still Of The Nite"???  No "I Only Have Eyes For You"???)  Thanks a lot, Frank!  (kk
Hi Kent,  
Well, shortly after putting the word out, we’ve already tracked down nearly 120 issues of The Gavin Report, including all but one issue from 1976!  However, there’s still A LONG way to go.  Again, any help would be greatly appreciated.  
As for the Variety charts, we haven’t had much discussion about them yet.  We’re just not sure how authoritative they actually were at the time.
Thanks for helping us spread the word!
Paul Haney
Record Research 
If ANYBODY out there is able to help us with our search for issues of The Gavin Report dating back to the '60's, please let us know ... this is a book that needs to be made!  (kk)

In case you did not see this ... 
It looks like we’ll have to wait longer than expected to read the memoirs of Chicago radio legend Tommy Edwards. Eckhartz Press announced in August that it signed Edwards to publish his autobiography this year. Now comes word that this may not happen. “It has been a wonderful experience and I am very proud of what I’ve written,” Edwards said Monday. “This is a new experience for me and I want to make sure I do it right. It is taking more time that I imagined.” 
Edwards, long known as the late Larry Lujack’s “Animal Stories” partner Lil’ Tommy, retired from the former WJMK in 2014, capping a 54-year career as a major market star. Phil

Speaking of legendary Chicago disc jockeys, here's another reminder about the fund-raiser for the Dick Biondi Documentary.
Pamela Pulice has worked diligently to get this film made and they're getting closer and closer to making it happen.
And now some special goodies and incentives have been added into the mix to try and get more people out for these festivities, happening on Sunday, April 28th, from 2 - 6 pm.

More details below ...   

Hello Friends! 
I am excited to tell you that actor Joe Farina and I will be on the TV show, 'Windy City Live', talking about the Dick Biondi project and fundraiser-- and we hope you'll join us!  
The show is being recorded on April 4th and will air the following day on April 5.  Tickets are FREE!!  
Good Times Rock and Roll Fundraiser 
There are only 30 days left to get your tickets to the Good Times Rock and Roll Fundraiser April 28 at Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park!  Included in the ticket price is a buffet dinner, beer, wine, and soda, (cash bar available), screening of the official Dick Biondi Trailer, incredible Live and Silent Auctions, Raffle and Split the Pot.  Along with the New Colony Six and an array of fabulous rock groups, Jim Peterik of the Ides of March will be performing Vehicle AND donating an autographed guitar to our Live Auction!  The band Chicago is ALSO donating an autographed guitar!  Many artists have donated numerous rock and roll memorabilia and collectors items, including autographed Beatles books, CDs, photographs, and more.   
Proceeds will go to complete our film tribute to the first DJ to play a Beatles record on the radio in the U.S. and the most lovable DJ on the planet, The Wild I-Tralian, Dick Biondi.
So bring your friends and family to a rockin' Sunday afternoon of food, drink, music, and fun!  Just click the button below.
Come Join the Fun!

Share our social media content on Facebook and Twitter — just add your personal touch! 
By spreading the word, you'll help us bring this story to PBS, film festivals, streaming, and DVD. By sharing our Facebook and Twitter posts, we'll help drive people to to subscribe for film updates and get them interested in the film — and our Good Times Fundraiser! 
Thank you again 
Thank you all again for your support. Your generous contributions  help us get one step closer to funding the efforts needed to finish our script and edit a 56 minute PBS documentary. 
And because of your help, we are going to make this movie for Dick.  He’s earned a place in rock n’ roll history and he’s the reason this story must see it’s audience.
Stay tuned,
Pamela Enzweiler-Pulice
Director, The Dick Biondi Film

Hey Kent,
You might have missed this one -- Diana Ross turned 75 today (March 26).
Here is a thread about it -- 
Hope this triggers great memories (and music),
Joe Cantello 
Roswell, Ga
What a remarkable career she has had ... one of the all-time greats for sure.  A new documentary is being released commemorating her Concert in Central Park from 1983, where over 800,000 people showed up to see the Motown Diva perform in a non-stop downpour of rain and thunderstorms.  In addition to the full concert, previously unseen bonus footage will be aired.  It's all part of a year-long 75th birthday celebration.  (The film, shown for two nights only in theaters on March 26th and March 28th, will also be released on home DVD and BluRay ... although no official release date has been announced yet at this time.)  kk

Due to overwhelming demand, Mike Bush's "61 At 61" will extend their exhibit hours this Friday, April 5th, at the Zhou B Art Center from 10 am until 10 pm.
This is closing night ... so if you haven't seen it yet (or want to see it again) please be sure to stop by and congratulate the photographer who took all these great shots over the years. (I may swing by one more time on Friday, too!)

And you can catch Michael on the boob tube here, too ... 
ABC 7/Windy City Live: Video/Interview 
WTTW 11 Chicago Tonight:  Video/Interview    Video/Interview 
Illinois Entertainer  Go to the top of page six 
Block Club/Chicago Sun-Times 2/3 of the way down the page

Hi Kent,
Just a brief note to tell you that the legendary Liverpool Mersey-beat group, The Searchers, are making their final appearance this Sunday night at the Stables Theater in Wavendon, England.  
John McNally founded the group exactly 60 years ago this year with Frank Allen joining the group in 1964.  As you know, they had a ton of hits that include "Needles & Pins," "Love Potion Number 9," "When You You Walk In The Room," "Someday We're Gonna Love Again," "Don't Throw Your Love Away" and "Sugar & Spice."  
As you remember, "Sugar & Spice" was also a hit for Chicago's Cryan' Shames and was written by the Searchers' producer, at the time, Tony Hatch, under the pseudonym Fred Nightingale.  
Though I was a huge fan of so many of the British Invasion groups, this band remained my favorite and I saw them in Vegas about 15 years ago.  They still sounded great and still do to this day.  I have enclosed a video of them rehearsing for this their last tour and you will hear how great they still sound. 

I'll bet Tony Hatch could give us insight as to the early days of the British Invasion.  It's too bad the Searchers never fell under the management of the Beatles manager Brian Epstein, as I understand that "was an almost."  
The Searchers really were a talent and you can hear their jangly-Rickenbacker guitar sound influence (which I am guessing they heard on the Buddy Holly songs such as "Words Of Love") in songs by the Byrds, Tom Petty, and others. Their albums were loaded with great music and energy.  Congratulations to John McNally, Frank Allen & The Searchers for all their hits, talent, energy, and influence in the world of Rock & Roll and a spectacular 60-year run.  And, who could forget this one!

Tim Kiley 
Although they never fully got the recognition they deserved, The Searchers proved to be a HUGE influence here in The States (and in Chicago in particular, with SO many of our local groups incorporating their songs and harmonies into their own acts.)

To coincide with the 60th anniversary and their retirement from performing, Cherry Red has collected their COMPLETE Pye recordings for a special cd release called "When You Walk In The Room: The Complete Pye Recordings, 1963 - 1967," a 6-CD set of all their original albums, single sides, foreign recordings, outtakes and more.  (This one sounds like a "must have" to me!!!)
We've talked to Tony Hatch several times in the past about his involvement with the early stages of The Searchers' career.  When it came to presenting them with "Sugar And Spice," he used the pseudonym Fred Nightingale because he didn't want them to think he was forcing one of his own compositions on them.  As I recall, studio time was tight at the time and the record company needed a new release ... so this was the quickest way to get them that result.  (Tony didn't have a lot of love for "Sugar And Spice" at the time ... but it has definitely grown on him in the years since!  We shared The Cryan' Shames version with him a few years ago ... he hadn't heard it in ages ... and admitted that it was a "great recording of a mediocre song."  (LOL!)
Here in The States, The Searchers hit The National Top 40 seven times.  (Incredibly, their recordings of "Sugar And Spice" and "Sweets For My Sweet," a song recorded by the Chicago group The Riddles, are not among that total.)
Back home in Jolly Ol' London (where England swings like a pendulum do), they enjoyed a dozen Top 40 Hits ... and "Sweets For My Sweet" (their debut single) went to #1 while "Sugar And Spice" peaked at #2. (kk)

My friend Rich in England went to see the last Searchers show on March 30th.  
Here's a video of their medley performed.  It includes "Sugar & Spice" which, of course, the Cryan' Shames used to get on the map two years after the Searchers' hit.  Makes me think the Shames may outlast the Searchers as a stage act??? 
Clark Besch
Well, I've gotta tell ya ... they still sound pretty damn good to me!!!  Really hate to see them hang it up when they're still able to perform their hits in this fashion.  What a killer show that would have been to see ... anybody know if it might have been taped for future video release?  (kk)

OK, I TOTALLY love this!!!
In nearly every newsletter of late, Ultimate Classic Rock ranks SOMETHING ... it could be ANYTHING ... but THIS one TOTALLY cracked me up when I saw it.
(And I can't wait for the countdown coming up next!!!)
Meanwhile, don't forget about OUR countdown for The Greatest Classic Rock Songs Of All Time ... watch for another update on Friday.
But first, you've GOT to check this out!!!  (kk)
April Fool here!
I mean, April BUELL here!
Wow ...
Exclusive Featured Forgotten Hits Story Today!
Thanx for the Spotlight, Kent!

Hi Kent,
Reading the April Fools WLS Survey was well worth the price of admission. Heck, I'd pay double!!
How Can You Mend A Broken Hip ... Solid Gold. 
Thanks to Chuck B for what will probably be the best laugh I'll have all day.
Sam T

I'm an April Fool! ...
Ok, not really, but some would think I'm a fool for releasing another CD! I did this album "Retrophonic 6" (and last year's album "Retrophonic 5") on disc so that all six of the "Retrophonic" titles would be on CD for the 10th anniversary of my "Retrophonic" series (2009 - 2019).
Having said that, this is my last CD.  I will be doing "Download only" recordings from now on.
The CD is $12.00 (that includes autograph, U.S. postage and mailer). Send a check / money order payable to me or use PayPal. 
"Retrophonic 5" is still available at the same price, etc., as "Retrophonic 6".
Hear samples of "Retrophonic 6 and 5" at the links below.
Davie Allan
12100 Coventry Way
Unit 306
Tustin, CA 92782

Check this out ...
Me-TV brings you up to date on The New Monkees ...
Yes ... incredibly, back in the '80's the geniuses that run TV thought it would be a GREAT idea to resurrect The Monkees with an all new cast.  (Hey, it worked before, right?!?!)
The results were both dismal and devastating.
This article will bring you up to date ... and even tell you about a crossing of an OLD Monkee and a NEW Monkee many years later.  (I didn't even know THIS story!!!)
Read all about it here:
70 Years ago on March 31, 1949, the first vinyl 45s were made available to the US public!
Happy birthday to my 7" vinyl friends.
I wondered what all the celebrating noise was from my basement!
It was a bunch of "one hit wonders" (check out the Ides of March song of same name) being heard for the first time, I think!  They easily made more noise than the stars on this day (in MY basement).

Just by chance, I am going to a record convention in Omaha on Sunday to celebrate with even more of the birthday kids
than the ones in my basement!  
YEP, that's one of those OLDEST early RCA "Red Seals"!  The offspring still keep comin'. 
"Life is a Rock (but Radio Rolled me)"
Clark Besch 

We ran the celebratory news back on March 16th because that was the date that Rolling Stone Magazine said the first batch of 45 RPM singles were released.  (Hmm ... now I'm going to have to do some checking of my own!!!  And, naturally, doing so produced about eight completely different answers to this question ... so does anybody REALLY know for sure?  It would seem like RCA themselves would be the most authorative source on the subject ... but I can't seem to find a definitive answer from them either!)
But hey, I'm all for ANY celebration ... so Happy Birthday, 45s!!!  (And look ... there's that Ides Of March / "One Hit Wonder" reference again, too!  You can hear their track above.)  kk

Here's a great look back (courtesy of FH Reader Harvey Kubernik) at the recording of the very first Crosby, Stills And Nash album ... fifty years ago ... 

It looks like the Roy Orbison Hologram will have some company when it goes out on tour next time ... a Buddy Holly Hologram has been added into the mix! 
kk ...
Maybe they should add Elvis.

Is this whole Hologram thing going to be the next big concert craze?
They've already done with Elvis (footage and simulations of The King performing to music provided on stage by a live band) ... and the ABBA Hologram Tour is a much-anticipated event for 2019 ... but now even Frank Zappa is getting in on the action! (Frank Zappa?!?!?)
Check out Harvey Kubernik's article below ...

I am sending an obscure track from the Dairyland for the first full day of Spring.   
The Molly Maguires released this on the Transaction label out of La Crosse, Wisconsin.  It was the same label that the Unchained Mynds first released We Can't Go On This Way.  Both records were released in 1969.
As a record collector, I am always looking for a better copy (this one is a bit scratchy). Perhaps somebody out there has one available?  
I hope you enjoy First Spring Rain by Molly Maguires!
Phil Nee

On March 29, 1969, the sixteenth annual European Song Contest was held in Madrid, Spain. Although oblivious to most Americans, it is a really big deal in Europe. Each of the sixteen participating countries sent an artist to compete and it became one of the most widely viewed tv shows in Europe. The competition began in 1954 and the UK won for the first time in 1967 with Sandie Shaw's "Puppet On A String". 
For 1969 Lulu (real name Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie) represented the UK. A child singer and a recording artist by age fourteen, she was dubbed the Scottish Brenda Lee. Her manager, Marion Massey, commented that she was "a real lulu of a kid" and the name stuck. 
Massey was married to Mark London, who co-wrote "To Sir With Love". Lulu herself married Bee Gee Maurice Gibb in February, 1969, and had her own British tv variety show, HAPPENING FOR LULU. 
The way the ESC preliminaries worked was that she performed one of six submitted songs each week on her tv show and viewers would vote. She would sing the winner at the ESC. One of the losing entries, "I Can't Go On Living Without You", was written by a couple of unknowns, Elton John and Bernie Taupin. 
"Boom Bang-A-Bang", the song chosen, was not the one Lulu herself favored. At the ESC that year there was a tie for first place, a four way tie (France, Spain, the UK, and
the Netherlands). After that year the rules were changed to prevent a re-occurrence. Nevertheless Lulu's song was the biggest international seller of the four winners as she recorded and released the single in several languages. It was even the biggest UK hit of her career as a solo artist reaching #2. It was also a major hit in Europe, but I don't believe it was released in America. Could it be because of the similarity to The Archies' US hit "Bang-Shang-A-Lang" from the year before? "To Sir With Love" had been one of the biggest US hits from 1967, but was relegated to a b-side in the UK. 
For many years Lulu was a fixture on British television, has been a stage and film actress, and was a radio presenter (deejay) in London. She is the only artist besides Cliff Richard to appear on TOP OF THE POPS with current hits over five decades.
Mike G

Congratulations to The Hit Men for their upcoming award presented by The Musicians Hall Of Fame And Museum




 Unique Touring Supergroup to Celebrate

‘Road Warrior” Award with Special 

NYC Homecoming Concert

The Hit Men, L-R: 
Jeff Ganz, Jimmy Ryan, Lee Shapiro, Russ Velazquez, Steve Murphy
(credit: Bobby Bank)
THE HIT MEN are being recognized by the Nashville museum that honors the talented but often overlooked musicians who played on the greatest recordings of all time. For decades, this unique Supergroup’s members have recorded or performed with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and members of The Who, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, Toto, Journey, The Ramones, and dozens more.
“The Hit Men are musicians in a class all their own” – M Music & Musicians Magazine
WATCH & LISTEN: The Hit Men’s Jimmy Ryan on The Beatles Channel/Sirius XM 
THE HIT MEN, classic rock’s unique Supergroup of legendary side men, have been selected by the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™ in Nashville to receive a special award “for their years of dedication to the music, and the countless miles … that they have traveled in delivering so many hits throughout the world.” 
THE HIT MEN will be celebrating their receipt of the prestigious Road Warrior Award from the Nashville institution with an especially intimate New York homecoming show Saturday, April 27 at the Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St., NYC. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets $35-$75 at 
After decades recording or performing with classic rock superstars Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and members of The Who, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, Toto, Journey, The Ramones, and dozens more, THE HIT MENLee Shapiro (keyboards/vocals, and Frankie Valli’s former musical director), Jimmy Ryan (lead guitar/vocals, and Carly Simon’s former musical director), Russ Velazquez (keyboards/percussion/vocals), Jeff Ganz (bass/vocals), and Steve Murphy (drums/vocals) ― are being recognized by the Nashville museum that honors the talented but often overlooked musicians who actually played on the greatest recordings of all time.
What the Wrecking Crew meant to the pop music revolution of the ‘60s, THE HIT MEN have meant to some of the most indelible hits of the ‘70s, ‘80s and beyond. A Supergroup like no other, it’s only now that the evolution of THE HIT MEN’S story – fueled, in part, by their countless first-hand experiences as eyewitnesses to rock history – has become a revelation.
And now the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™ has made it official. 
Joe Chambers, founder and CEO of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™, notes that the Road Warrior recognition “is different from the honors we normally present to the musicians who have spent most of their careers in the confines of the studio.”
“The Road Warriors, in addition to their work in the studio, also take the music to the people,” says Chambers. “Night after night, month after month, year after year, they are out there keeping the music alive and keeping it real, seldom getting the recognition that they all richly deserve. The Musicians Hall of Fame takes great pride in recognizing THE HIT MEN for their years of dedication to the music, and the countless miles ― which nobody sees that they have traveled in delivering so many hits throughout the world.”

The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™, a premiere Nashville attraction, is the one and only museum in the world that honors the talented musicians who actually played on the greatest recordings of all time. Some, like Jimi Hendrix, are well known, while others, like L.A session drummer Hal Blaine, are not as well known to the public but have played on hundreds of hit records from Elvis, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, The Byrds, The Mamas and The Papas and The Beach Boys, just to name a very few. Studio-based session groups inducted include the Wrecking Crew (LA), the Funk Brothers (Motown), the Stax-Volt Studio Band (Memphis) and the Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section (Philadelphia). The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™ has on exhibit the very instruments that these musicians used to record many of these classic hits.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for the work we’ve each put into our careers supporting the greatest names in the music industry,” says founding member Lee Shapiro. “Hitmakers from every style of music have seen it desirable to book us on their sessions and tours – everybody from classic rock to pop to disco has used THE HIT MEN on their recordings and performances and we’re forever grateful that this prestigious institution would honor us in this way.”
True to the spirit of the Road Warrior Award, classic rock’s unique Supergroup of legendary side men are currently on their 2019 U.S. tour, aimed at delivering even more of the hits they first played with the original superstars, with additional classics emerging in their shows as the tour marches on.
From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CD's, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, THE HIT MEN have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it! 
THE HIT MEN continue to recreate their classics while proving again and again that you absolutely can teach old dogs new “tracks.” 
March 23: The Rialto Theater, Loveland, CO
April 7: Lock One Community Arts, New Bremen, OH
April 10-12: Artis/Naples, Naples, FL
April 19: The Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, FL
April 20: Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ
April 27: The Cutting Room, NYC
May 10: Blue Gate Theater, Shipshewana, IN
June 13: The Paramount, Huntington, NY
June 15: Broadway Theater, Pitman, NJ
July 13: Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, ME 
More dates to come!

The RAZ Band Featuring Badfinger Legend Joey Molland To Release New Album “#9” on March 30th

(Featuring Joey Molland of Badfinger!

For the last thirty-five years, The RAZ Band has been recording and performing their own brand of original songs, entertaining audiences across the US and globally.
On March 30, 2019, Gonzo Multimedia will release the much anticipated new RAZ Band studio album “#9”. Produced by Badfinger legend Joey Molland, “#9” features eleven new RAZ Band songs. The first 1000 copies include a limited edition live EP, recorded in Los Angeles on December 8, 2018.
This past December 2018 The RAZ Band recorded their first live album performing songs from the upcoming “#9” album as well as their most recent albums “Madison Park” (2015 Roadie Crew magazine album of the year) & “The Best of RAZ 1984-2015”. The live performance will be included as a bonus disc with the release of their new studio album “#9”.
As Michael Raz Rescigno states: “I'm excited that our first live album will be released with our new studio album. Our '#9' album was a great recording experience and was recorded, mixed and mastered in ten months from the end of 2017 through Sept 2018. We're also very excited that Joey Molland sings lead vocals on two of the songs on #9, one of which, 'Breadline Love' will be the first single off of #9. This is the first RAZ Band album featuring Joey singing lead vocals.”
Featuring tremendous production by band member Joey Molland, The RAZ Band is looking forward to sharing “#9” with the world.
“I Met Raz back in the late 70's. I've played with The Raz Band for about 40 years, whenever I've had the opportunity, and I've played here and there on all the The Raz Band albums. It was great this time to join them in LA for the rehearsals before going in the studio and doing the tracks. We took a short break and went back in to do the overdubs and it was during those sessions I started to get a feeling about actually mixing and producing the album. I talked with the guys and they were cool about it so off I went. I hope you like what happened.” - Joey Molland
The RAZ Band members are Michael 'Raz' Rescigno on guitar & vocals, Jeff 'Hutch' Hutchinson on drums & vocals, Jim Manzo on bass & vocals, and Joey Molland on guitar vocals & production.
In November of 2015, Gonzo Multimedia released The RAZ Band's award-winning album “Madison Park”. Madison Park won the 2015 Album of the year award by Roadie Crew magazine editor Airton Diniz. In May of 2016 Gonzo released “The Best of RAZ 1984 - 2015”; both albums received rave reviews around the world.
The RAZ Band has opened for Badfinger, Missing Persons, Berlin, Marky Ramone, Bill Ward, Iron Butterfly and others. In 2019 The RAZ Band will be performing in the United States as well as abroad. Tour dates are being booked.
Breadline Love | I Got This | Curveball | In The Meantime | Coming at You | The Winds of Time | Let Me Tell You | Call Me Raz | The Times Together | Nipple Town | Dirt
Musicians who The RAZ Band has worked with on albums or shows:
Joey Molland, (Badfinger)
Joe Vitale, (Joe Walsh, C, S, N & Y, Frampton, Eagles)
Gary Duncan, (Quicksilver Messenger Service)
Gilby Clarke, (Guns & Roses)
Stu Cook, (Creedence Clearwater Revival/Revisited, Southern Pacific)
Randy Castillo, (Ozzy, Lita Ford)
Marc Droubey, (Survivor)
Rick Bozzo, (Meatloaf, The Frost, Sabu)
Carla Olson, (The Textones, Mick Taylor, Gene Clark)
Preston Epps, (Bongo Rock, Bongos, bongos, bongos) plus...
Ed Cassidy (Spirit), Buddy Miles & Billy Cox (Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies), Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag), Harvey the Snake Mandel (Canned Heat), Steve Gunner, Mark Healy, Randy Anderson, Joe Vitale Jr., & Gordon Copley.
Raz Nasty “Criminals Off The Streets” 1984
The Best of Los Angeles 1987
RAZ “1988” 1988
The Raz Band “Listen” 1994
RAZ “Tough Love” 1997
RAZ “Razfinger” 2000
RAZ “It's All About Me” 2003
The RAZ Band “Madison Park” 2015
The RAZ Band “The Best of RAZ” 2016
The RAZ Band “#9” 2019
For more information:
Follow The RAZ Band:
Facebook: The RAZ Band
Twitter: @band_raz
Instagram: The_raz_band

3/31/1935 =  Happy Birthday, Herb Alpert! 
Please don't repeat that story about this not being real WHIPPED  CREAM.

It's been driving me crazy all day ...
I SWEAR I've seen this cover somewhere before ...
Now where the heck was it?!?!  
Happy Birthday, Herb Alpert!
He's back at The City Winery in May for another sold out show (which means we don't get to go this year.)

Still an amazing performer and story-teller ... this guy has seen and done it all over the years.  (kk)