Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Weekend Comments

From the little bit that I heard, it sounded like a pretty weak tribute to WLS yesterday on what was their 95th Anniversary of first signing on the air.

Sure, they played the obvious tapes (like the Hindenburg broadcast) but the era that defined the station as one of the biggest and best Top 40 stations in the country was barely acknowledged at all.  (For one thing, this wasn't like the WLS Reunion Shows of the good old days where much of the on-air staff reunited to reminisce about the glory days, filling air time with great behind-the-scenes stories.)  This time, other than John Landecker, the surface was barely scratched at all.  (Maybe it got better later on ... but two hours into Mancow's show ... an effort to listen to on even the best day ... I was already off to other things!)

And apparently I wasn't alone. 

Some reaction from Robert Feder's board ... and our own Forgotten Hits Readers ...

>>>I don’t see Dick Biondi’s name on this list of WLS celebs stopping by … which is just PURE insanity!!! Dick’s been with the station nearly every one of those 95 years!!!  (kk)
Sadly, Dick's health is not good.
Victor Drescher
I imagine they could have at least asked him to do some pre-recorded material that could have been done at his own pace.  Is Clark Weber still alive and, if so, is he capable of contributing some memorable moments to the WLS anniversary? What about his old frenemy Ron Riley? They, along with Biondi and many others, made WLS the rock-radio powerhouse of many a Boomer's memory. 
Nina D. Gaspich
I am having a hard time believing that these were the only people they could track down? I suppose it is possible that others just didn't want to be interviewed or participate at all ... but this is it? I know, part of it is they only have two live slots left in the day (something like this brings that into sharp focus) ... but some of these people I haven't even heard of. 
Eric Lorenz
And what of Chuck Buell and Dex Card?
Gustaf Rand
Heck, I believe Brant Miller is in the same building..."hey, can you come over for a few minutes and talk with us?"
Eric Lorenz  
I don't think there was enough notice (or effort ... or promotion) to entice anybody to participate with this 95th anniversary celebration ... actually, if you've been listening, it's hardly been acknowledged as a momentous occasion at all. WLS Talk Radio is barely a shadow of the greatness the station achieved during its 60s and 70s heyday.
For the record (and for the benefit of any new readers reading Forgotten Hits for the very first time), Clark Weber IS still alive ... as is Ron Riley ... I contacted both of them (along with Dex Card, Tommy Edwards, Bob SIrott, Bob Hale, Fred Winston, Chuck Buell and Kris Erik Stevens) to let them know what WLS was doing today ... as I doubt that anybody else cared enough to do so. 
Many of these jocks still participate with Forgotten Hits on a regular basis, talking about the fond memories and enjoyable time they spent on The Big 89.
A more full-blown, dedicated and devoted reunion special would have been more appropriate ... like they used to do in the past.  THIS is the kind of programming the people who grew up with the station plugged in their ear, 24/7, want to hear and remember and enjoy again.

Frankly, they blew it ... big time.  And now, if we wait until the station's 100th anniversary, we'll likely have an even smaller pool of talent to pick from! 
(By the way, if there are any Dick Biondi fans out there unaware, a documentary on Dick is in the works and near completion. There is a fund raiser coming up later this month ... April 28th ... where a trailer for the film will be shown.)
More information can be found right here on the Forgotten Hits website by typing Dick Biondi fundraiser into the search engine at the top of the page ... or visit for complete details.  (kk)   

I just saw your list of personalities participating in today's WLS anniversary special and NO ONE was of interest but Landecker.  Just another reason why WLS today sucks and internet radio is NOT for me, basically.  If I have to have some "app," I don't need them.
Clark Besch 

>>>WLS Radio celebrates 95 years on the air (kk) 
Well, their “Celebrity” Lineup, with only a couple (read: two) exceptions, is pretty sad.
While WLS had several notable and respected broadcast epochs throughout its ninety decades of radio notoriety, one of the Biggest, Most Successful, Best Representative Big 89 Eras was the mid-1960s through mid-1970s, after which, beginning with a small glimmering spark that quickly ignited and burst into the station’s well-documented, 50,000 watt, full-blown flameout.
Even before those tumultuous years, where was a representation of Dick Biondi?!  Does today’s ‘LS no longer have the modern technology of obtaining “pre-recorded” soundbites from Mr. WLS Icon himself?
What about Ron Riley?  Or Clark Weber, who is still right in their backyard!  Was the crack investigative news department on North City Front Plaza not skilled enough to uncover a local phone number for Weber?!
How about former nighttime teen heartthrob Kris Erik Stevens?!
Where were Honorable Mentions via even brief segments from highly obtainable airchecks of Larry Lujack, Art Roberts, Joel Sebastian, Gary Gears, Chuck Knapp, Yvonne Daniels, the first Bill Baily, and others who all, during one historical Big 89 moment in time, truly defined the Personality of WLS? 
95 years to Celebrate ... and they chose one tiny pinhole to focus on?
Chuck Buell
It was a pathetic representation honoring a one-of-a-kind radio station that dominated the airwaves during their hey-day.  (At night, you could pick up WLS in 40 states ... even some foreign countries reported getting the signal!!!)
Obviously, this fell WAY short of the typical reunion shows they have done in the past.  (Heck, WE could put on a better reunion show right now than they did ... and we SHOULD!!!  Dick Biondi, Clark Weber, Ron Riley, Dex Card, John Landecker, Bob Sirott, Bob Hale, Fred Winston, Tommy Edwards and, of course, you and Kris Erik Stevens have all been valuable contributors to Forgotten Hits for YEARS now!  Couple with vintage on-air recordings of the legends you mention above would make for a weekend full of nostalgia marking the greatest era in modern-day radio. (By the way, WLS-AM came in at 22nd place in the latest ratings book with a share of 1.7 ... a FAR cry from the ratings they used to achieve in their glory days.  There are four other station in town offering some format of talk that rank higher ... so straying from the formula could only have helped their cause.  Seriously, why do a tribute at all if thiwas all of the effort you were going to put into it.)  kk  

Congratulations in order for former Y103.9 Morning Man Jim Shea, who has now completed all of his studies and been decorated as a doctor of podiatry!!!

Jim sent us this update a year and a half ago ...  

Hey Kent, 
Thought I'd check in and give up an update. The crazy dream transitioning from DJ to doctor is very much alive at this point. 
I am now a third year student of podiatric  medicine at Barry University in Miami, Florida. I just passed my board certification and was awarded my white coat. I now enter the clinical phase of my education. 
To all Forgotten Hits readers with big dreams: Go for it!! Like Chicago said: "We can make it happen!!!" 
Jim Shea 

And now this very exciting announcement yesterday ... 

Hi Kent, 
Well they weren’t kidding ... the hat really is funny. Next Halloween I can go as Galileo.  
The Mission From God continues. 
From this point on it is Doctor Shea. 
Well, MAJOR congratulations to you for proving once and for all that there IS life after being an oldies deejay ... and for letting all of us know What's Up, Doc!!!   
While Doc Rock and Doctor Love may have a catchier ring to them, those names are already taken ... so Dr. Shea it is!!! Knowing how hard you worked your butt off for this, congratulations again on a job well done!  (kk)     

Mick Jagger posted a photo of himself that he titled “A Walk In The Park” yesterday, showing the rock legend up and about after having surgery just a week ago. (Incredibly The Stones still plan to resume their US / North American tour in just a couple of months!) 

You can catch his Instagram posting here: 

I would like to be entered in the giveaway for the World Stage cd. 
I saw you at this year's World Stage show in January since we were sitting a couple of rows behind you but never got a chance to say "Hi". 
This was my 15th World Stage show.  Already looking forward to next year's show!!! 
Robert Coleman 
Plainfield, IL 60544 
Wow!  Only my second show but I don’t plan on ever missing another one! 
This should be an awesome CD, featuring guest artists performing brand new material. 
Other readers can register to win a free copy of either the World Stage CD or Davie Allan’s brand new “Retrophonic 6” … just shoot me an email, tell me which CD you’re interested in, and we’ll put you in the running!  (kk) 

Hi all, 
With the pending release of a new CD release by Chicago's newest "duo" of rock, Dennis DeYoung and Jim Peterik, it made me delve back into my radio tapes to December 18, 1978.  On that date, Styx played a concert at Chicago Stadium that was broadcast LIVE on WLS Chicago.  I recorded the concert that night off AM in Lincoln.  The reception came and went, unfortunately, so the cassette varied in sound a lot, but they did all their classics (to that time).  First, let me say that the new song from Jim, Dennis and World Stage below, "Proof of Heaven," that Jim debuted to Forgotten hits a couple days ago, tells me that BOTH of these guys haven't missed a step in all the years and Dennis' voice is so good to hear again for a guy far away from Chicago.  It sounds as it did three decades ago.  The song is an awesome throwback to those glory years as well, even if it has a meaning that fits today. 
Now, remember what it was like some 40+ years ago ... 
Here's a snippet of the tape I recorded off WLS that night featuring an elongated "Lady" and edited to also add the opening to "Midnight Ride" that seems to sound like an idea Jim Peterik had for a song many years previous??? 
Clark Besch

I’m pleased to see the video has now passed 40,000 views … at the point I received it, it had 7600 views … so great to see that people are discovering this new tune.  (kk) 

And on a related note (sorta), the new “Eye Of The Tiger” / New Found Glory is back up again … not quite sure what happened there the other day! 
Still sounds like Survivor on speed to me!  (kk)

Television has found another spot for John Madara’s all-time classic “You Don’t Own Me” … it’s now being prominently featured in the promos for the new season of “The Bachelorette” … man, this is just such a powerful song … and I never get tired of hearing it … one of my all-time favorites for sure.  (kk)

Hi Kent,
Ran across these "good vibrations" on the internet and thought you, Brian Wilson, and Forgotten Hits fans of Hal Blaine would enjoy a moment in time.
Tim Kiley

Me-TV-FM is saluting “the man with the most unusual career in popular music, a career that will likely never be equaled” tomorrow in honor of “ghost singer” Tony Burrows’ birthday.  Burrows was the lead singer for four one-hit wonder bands … and an argument could be made that that number should actually be five. We’ll review his remarkable resume in pop music on Sunday, April 14th, his 77th birthday.  (This is an annual event at the station!)  kk

During the early ‘80’s Country Music boom, I fell in love with the music of Earl Thomas Conley.
Earl never crossed over to the pop charts … which is a real shame because I believe some of these records could have been hits in this market.  (Nine of his records went to #1 on Billboard’s Country Chart.)
Sadly, Conley passed away on April 10th.  Country Superstar Blake Shelton said “Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest...”
If you get a chance, give a listen to some of his music and see what you think.

Here is one of my favorites …

We’ve been saluting 1969 this year in Forgotten Hits … the latest chapter of our great 50-Year Anniversary Celebration.  (In fact, watch for another WLS Hit Parade Chart on Sunday!)
Meanwhile, Billboard Magazine has been spending the last week looking back twenty years to 1999.  Recent spotlight features have included a profile of The Backstreet Boys’ big hit “I Want It That Way” as well as a Critic’s Picks List of The Best 99 songs of ’99.  (This is not a mathematical countdown but rather a “Critics’ Choice” listing of the music that their experts feel has held up the strongest over the past twenty years.)
I was a little apprehensive checking out this list … honestly, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these songs I would even recognize … I just don’t recall listening to a lot of current “modern day” music twenty years ago … but it turns out I was familiar with most of them.
That’s most likely due to the fact that, having kids who were turning 14 and 11 that year, I was listening to a lot of THEIR music right along with them.
All the biggest stars of this era are represented here (including the first big hits for several of them) … The Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, Destiny’s Child, TLC, J-Lo, Shania Twain, Ricky Martin, Missy Elliott and The Foo Fighters … and that’s just in The Top 20!
You can check out the complete list here:   
What’s #1?  Well, “Oops, I Did It Again” by Britney Spears of course!  (I can’t imagine a person alive who doesn’t know THAT one!!!)
We even found a few songs on this list that have been earning votes in our Classic Rock Countdown, including “Smooth” by Santana (#5) and Blink 182’s “All The Small Things” (#8)
Have YOU voted yet?
We are closing in on our target of 3333 titles so if there’s something that you’d like to see make the list, now would be a good time to submit your nominations.
Just send an email to to vote for YOUR favorites now!  (kk)

And finally … 

Hey, Kent!
Chuck Buell Here!
As you probably know, National Record Store Day this year is this Saturday, April 13, 2019, a day to celebrate the culture and support of independently owned record stores both domestically and internationally.
A number of records encompassing a wide genre of music are pressed specifically for this special day, and I’m excited to announce that on that day my Vinyl Album of personally selected Oldies will drop!
I wanted to give an Exclusive Special Sneak Preview to Forgotten Hits!
I hope you enjoy these Great Songs as much as I did selecting them!
CB ( which stands for “Collector Boy!” )

Got time for one more smile … 

Frannie sent me this …

Friday, April 12, 2019

Tune in to WLS Today!!!

Nothing like giving us notice!!!  

Robert Feder has just posted that WLS will be celebrating their 95th broadcasting anniversary all day today with special guests stopping by along the way.  (Incredibly, I don’t see Dick Biondi’s name on this list … which is just PURE insanity!!!  Dick’s been with the station nearly every one of those 95 years!!!)

More info here:

On April 12, 1924, Sears, Roebuck and Company officially began broadcasting its new radio station from the Sherman House Hotel in Chicago, naming it WLS (for “World’s Largest Store”). To mark its 95th year on the air, WLS 890-AM — now a conservative news/talk station owned by Cumulus Media — will host a daylong celebration on the air today. It will feature audio highlights from the station’s illustrious past (“Oh, the humanity!”) and interviews with former personalities and station bosses, including John Records Landecker and Roe Conn with morning host Mancow Muller, and John Gehron, Mick Kahler, Jeff Davis, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Phil Duncan, Tim Sabean and Landecker with late-afternoon host Big John Howell.

You can listen live here:

In a cruel twist of fate, the man who wrote the book on WLS just lost his job. Scott Childers was cut Thursday after 15 years as program director and afternoon personality at WSSR 96.7-FM, the Alpha Media southwest suburban station known as Star 96.7. “The sharp knife of radio strikes again,” he told Facebook friends. A familiar voice on multiple stations and traffic services over his exemplary three-decade career, Childers is the author of Chicago’s WLS Radio, a critically acclaimed illustrated history of The Big 89, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2008. He also created a tribute website on the station at

Feder is also reporting that

Roz Varon, who segued from radio to TV as traffic reporter for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, will moderate a panel of Chicago radio pros Cheryl Corley, Catherine Johns, Turi Ryder and Wendy Snyder Sunday at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street. “She Said What? The Women of Chicago Radio” will run from noon to 3 p.m. The event coincides with the release of Ryder’s “fictionalized memoir” of her radio career, titled She Said What? (Here is the link for tickets.)
-- Robert Feder

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A Few Of Your Mid-Week Comments

Been awhile! 

Since we last talked Mick Jagger has already had his heart replacement valve surgery and is already on the mend.  In fact, it sounds like The Stones are expecting him to be back in action pretty quickly … they’ve already begun rescheduling their postponed shows for July!

All in all, this is pretty miraculous … The Stones typically perform a very long show, during which Jagger still puts on a very strenuous, high energy performance … not to mention the rigors that go along with a tour of this nature to begin with.  He really needs to be in tip-top shape prior to taking this on … and I’m not sure this represents a sufficient recovery period.

Because several of these shows were scheduled to take place at outdoor football stadiums, they now need to figure out a way to wrap things up before the new football season kicks into high gear!

Stay tuned for a complete, updated list of appearances.  (If you already have tickets, they will be honored for these new show dates.  And, if people opted to take a refund instead, it just may free up some additional seats for several of these appearances!)  kk

FH Reader Frank B suggests that THIS might be a good track to honor The Mickster’s recent surgery …

Because of Mick’s little health set-back, The Stones had to cancel their appearance at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival scheduled for May 2nd

No worries … Fleetwood Mac steps in to cover the gig …

Until Stevie Nicks had to bow out because of a bad case of the flu. (As a wise man once said, “What a drag it is getting old.”)  The remaining dates of their tour will need to be rescheduled while Stevie recuperates.

Luckily she was in fine form at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony, where she stole the show with her acceptance speech.  (You can catch the ceremony highlights on HBO beginning on Saturday, April 27th)

I guess we can expect to see more of this sort of thing … the last decade has not been good to rock and roll … and it’s really painful for all of us to see our heroes getting older, having health issues and leaving us.  All of a sudden, they’re human, rolling out of bed with the same aches and pains and ailments that many of us are suffering as we get older.  (It ain’t as easy as it used to be!!!)

Also sidelined ... for the rest of 2019 (!) is Ozzy Osbourne!
Ozzy released an official statement explaining that he's recovering from an injury that was "sustained while dealing with his recent bout of pneumonia." Osbourne had previously postponed his entire UK and European tour while he was recovering in the hospital from pneumonia and a hand infection that sidelined him last year.  

"I can't believe I have to reschedule more tour dates," Osbourne said in his new statement. "Words cannot express how frustrated, angry and depressed I am not to be able to tour right now. I'm grateful for the love and support I'm getting from my family, my band, friends and fans. It's really what's keeping me going. Just know that I am getting better every day. I will fully recover ... I will finish my tour ... I will be back!" 

And talking about upcoming exciting concerts, The Eagles have announced that they will only be performing TWO SHOWS in North American during 2019 … and they’re both going to be held at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas!

Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 12th, to the general public … but once again American Express card holders were able to take advantage of an earlier presale that began on Monday, April 8th.  (This would be an AWESOME show to see … and a GREAT way to cap off the year … and they’re not all that expensive, comparatively speaking … of course that doesn’t include what you’ll lose at the tables and the slot machines!!!  Show dates are scheduled for September 27th and 28th.) 
More info here:

The other day we ran the brand new video by Dennis DeYoung and Jim Peterik for their song “Proof Of Heaven” from the forthcoming World Stage CD (due out on the 26th of this month.)  

Love that ‘Proof Of Heaven’ video … just sensational!
David Salidor 

Jim is especially proud of the lyrics to this song, which he sent me to post:

Proof Of Heaven 
Tell me all you know
Whisper in my ear
The secrets of the universe
We’re dying all to hear

I promise not to tell
Well, maybe just my wife
Please explain the mystery
They call the afterlife

’Cause I believe, I believe
I tell myself everyday
When I look around, I see
A world in disarray
But I keep on hoping, I keep on hoping

We search for proof of heaven
We seek the sacred light
We kneel with saints and sinners
Hoping for the black and white

We look for guardian angels
We pray for saving grace
We search for proof of heaven
In every stranger’s face

And tell me one more thing
Why all this mystery
Are there any more like us
Out in distant galaxies

‘Cause everyone I know (everyone I know)
From here to who-knows-where
Wants to know the reasons why
Oh, life can be unfair

But I believe, I believe
I tell myself everyday (everyday)
But when I look around, I see
A world that’s gone astray
Still, I keep on hoping, living, coping

We search for proof of heaven
We seek the sacred light
We kneel with saints and sinners
Hoping for the black and white

We look for guardian angels
We pray for saving grace
We search for proof of heaven
In every stranger’s face

Can you see the signs of heaven
Right before your very eyes
Can you feel the hope inside us
Shining, shining

Can’t you hear the sound of music
Through the streets of paradise
Can’t you hear the bells of freedom
Chiming, chiming

We search for proof of heaven
In each and every face
We look for signs of mercy
And pray for saving grace

I swear by all that’s holy
If we’re to rise again
We’ll find that our salvation
Is always found within

We search for proof of heaven (proof of heaven)
In each and every face
We look for signs of mercy
And pray for saving grace

I swear by all that’s holy (this I swear)
If we’re to rise again (we’ll rise again)
We’ll find that our salvation
Is always found within

We’ll rise again 

The duo are finishing up a new CD’s worth of material as well … and some vintage Jim Peterik music made the “New Releases” list this week as the video was also released for the brand new New Found Glory version of “Eye Of The Tiger.”  (Think Survivor … with a little too much sugar!) 
The brand new video was released yesterday … but when I went to post it this morning, I noticed that the clip has been pulled from YouTube … so not quite sure what’s up with that.  Let’s just say it’s pretty intense.  (If it becomes available again, we will definitely let you know!)  kk 

We will have a copy of the new World Stage CD to give away to a lucky Forgotten Hits Reader … you can register now by dropping me an email.

And, Davie Allan is also sending us a copy of his brand new “Retrophonic 6” CD to give away.

Interested in winning a copy?

Drop us a line with “CD Giveaway” in the subject line, specify which CD you’re interested in winning and we’ll throw your name into the proverbial Forgotten Hits Hat!  (kk)

FH Reader Ken Voss tells us that an original founding member of The O'Jays has passed away ... 

Hi Kent,
What an Extra Fabulous Edition of Forgotten Hits!
Great to hear about the Dick Biondi Documentary that will soon be seen!  A great tribute to a man that made ALL things happen with Rock and Roll.  Thank you, Pam, for all your dedicated work!
So glad to see that Jimy Sohns / Shadows of Knight's “Gloria" made it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  And in my Top Ten of Favorites, "Money" will be honored too!  What a line:  "Your Love Gives Me Such a Thrill, But Your Love Don't Pay My Bills ... Give Me Money!!!
The Searchers, one of my favorite British Invasion Groups, will be missed, but what wonderful memories they gave us.  Along with the "Chicago Groups Invasion," the "British Invasion" was the BEST!!!
Keep Up the Great Work, Kent ...
And isn't it nice to hear "I Got You Babe" on a recent commercial? Sonny Bono would be proud.
There are SO many great songs being used in commercials again right now.  The other night while I was tabulating more votes for our Classic Rock Countdown, within the span of an hour I heard “Give A Little Bit,” Joe Cocker’s version of “Feelin’ All-Right,” “Walk This Way” 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!  (kk)

We evidently posted a bad link to the article about the Frank Zappa Hologram Show coming up … so here it is again for all of you who wrote in asking for more information … 

And, speaking of hologram tours, the new music recorded for the ABBA tour is expected to be released in September of this year.  (They apparently have run into numerous delays prepping this … jeez, it might have been easier to put together a REAL tour instead!!!)  kk  

Hey Kent,
I just heard my favorite Grass Roots song on an oldies station today.
"Lovin' Things" was written and first recorded by Artie Schroeck back in '68. The Marmalade recorded the first cover of it, which was never heard in the US, back then. It sounds quite a bit like The Grass Roots' version. I like the original lyrics and key change towards the end of The Marmalade's recording, but you can't beat Rob Grill's vocals, Hal Blaine's drums, and the brass section for the great sound of the Grass Roots' release. What a shame it only made it to #49 on the charts! Bobby Rydell also recorded the song.
 - John LaPuzza  

John also sent us this article on Blood, Sweat and Tears' rightful place in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ...  

Hey Kent,
Here is a good article from a few months ago.
- John LaPuzza  

Hi Kent,
Really liked the Searchers piece ... I always thought they deserved more attention, too ... great band.
Keep hammering, my friend.  I do enjoy the blog.
Blessings - 

And finally, here's a shot of Micky Dolenz committing the ultimate no-no ... sitting in Sheldon's chair on the set of The Big Bang Theory!

As Micky Dolenz preps for a series of solo shows and a Mike & Micky tour of Australia and New Zealand this June, he visited the set of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory last week – one of their last tapings and sat in Sheldon’s chair for a photo.
Any follower of the show knows, sitting in Sheldon’s chair is a no-no.