Friday, April 19, 2019

The Weekend Comments

More than enough here to keep you going throughout the entire Easter Weekend ... so take your time ... savor ... and enjoy!

Unfortunately, today's posting begins on a very sad note ... 

I got the devastating news via text Thursday Morning from Ron Onesti …

Chet Coppock was dead.

Further details revealed that he was seriously injured in a car accident near Hilton Head Island, SC, a week ago as the passenger in a car while on vacation.  His body finally gave out Thursday morning.  He was 70 years old.

I had known Chet personally for about twelve years … and as news spread across the country of his passing, so many of you wrote in to tell me how much you enjoyed his commentary featured frequently in our Forgotten Hits pages, both as random thoughts and in dedicated “Coppock’s Topics” pages.

We had just been out to dinner a few weeks ago … and yes, he WAS wearing his trademark full-length full coat … sharing a deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s before The Ides Of March show at The City Winery, discussing our upcoming co-hosting duties for a concert that was ultimately cancelled featuring Paul Revere’s Raiders and members of The New Colony Six, a band Chet once roadied for when he was still just a college student, dreaming of a career in broadcasting.  (He would go on to become a Chicagoland broadcasting legend.) 

It was through The New Colony Six that Chet and I first connected.  Several years ago we ran a month-long series profiling the band … and when we learned that Chet had, in fact, once worked as a roadie for the group, I reached out to him and invited him to participate in some of the conversations.

He LOVED it … and often shared memories of New Colony Six concerts at the peak of their career … recording at the infamous Chess Studios … and of even taking the stage himself every now and then, wearing a huge white pompadour, imitating one of his idols, Wayne Cochran, for comic relief during the band’s set.

(Here’s a photo of me, Chet and founding New Colony Six member, 
Ray Graffia, Jr., clowning around on The Arcada Theatre stage 
prior to another show we MC’d together a few years back)

Chet’s love for music … ALL music … was undeniable … but he never hid his feelings when it came to discussing something he DIDN’T like … and he shared those views and opinions often in our Forgotten Hits open forum, knowing full well that he’d have to deal with the abuse of fellow readers in the aftermath … and loving every minute of the wait and the debate he helped to create.

He was a character … and a HUGE presence in anything he was involved with.  (I remember teasing him after somebody at a sporting event clocked him and gave him a black eye … he didn’t care … his picture was in all the papers the next day … again decked out in that full-length fur coat!!!  Lol) 

He has written several books (and was putting the finishing touches on his latest when he died which, hopefully, will see release posthumously.)  Most are sports-related (naturally!) … not my normal cup of tea when it comes to reading material … but his auto-biography was a very insightful and enjoyable read.  (He even signed it for me … because he knew I’d never ask him to do so!)

Coppock believed in doing everything big … and was a firm believer that there was no such thing as bad publicity … make them notice you … that was the name of the game … but make them THINK.  He wanted to affect people … and he did.  No matter how you felt about him, he made you feel SOMETHING.  Coppock holds the unlikely (yet envious) distinction of being the only broadcaster in history to be voted Chicago’s Most Loved Sports Commentator … as well as Chicago’s Most HATED Sports Commentator … winning those titles IN THE SAME YEAR!!!  He split … and dominated … both ballots.  Like I said, no matter what you felt about him personally, he made you FEEL something.

There are so many memories … little moments where we’d be talking about just about anything and then end up playing off of each other to make the conversation that much more interesting and inspiring.

Among ALL my memories of doing Forgotten Hits these past twenty years, there are probably about FIVE that stand out head and shoulders above the rest … little things that let me know what I was doing was having an effect on people.

One such moment that I will never forget was the time that Chet contacted me from the broadcasting booth during a Bears game to tell me that he and all the other fellas in the booth were discussing that morning’s Sunday Comments Page and making their own lists of songs based on what ever criteria happened to be our topic of the day.

Can you imagine that?!?!  They’re in the middle of a televised event and rather than talking about the game stats of that afternoon’s game, they were debating what I had written that morning!!!  Unreal!

Chet, I will miss your humor and your insight … and your opinionated comments that always ended with a humble “I’ll sit down now and listen for my answer.”

You were one of a kind, Mister … and an inspiration to so many … they’re calling you “The Godfather of Sports Talk Radio” today … but heck, you already knew that!!!  All somebody had to do was ask you!  (kk)

“Your dime, your dance floor floor” was the catch phrase of the late great Chet Coppock, who lost his life after complications from an auto accident as a passenger.
Chet will always stand as an icon and pioneer in the field of talk sports and radio. The Ides of March were often invited to sit with Chet in the broadcast booth at Soldier Field after singing the anthem for a Bears game. He was always so warm and engaging with an outgoing personality that would light up the room - and any stadium.
At 6 ft 6, he was larger than life in every way.
The Ides recently hung out with Chet and Roe Conn when we played City Winery last month. He loved his rock and roll, especially the Chicago variety, having once roadied for the New Colony Six.
Even more recently I enjoyed viewing the rock and roll portraits of some of music’s finest, the life’s work of photographer Mike Bush. We strolled around the Bridgeport gallery telling each other stories about the stars we had met.
Here is a shot with Mike Bush, me and Chet standing in front of Mike’s shot of the Ides and many other Chicago rockers with Dick Biondi for his street naming ceremony a few years back.
I said “Chet, would you mind posing for a photo with us?”
He quickly answered, “Jim, have you ever known me to turn down an opportunity for publicity!” I loved that.
Chet, you will be missed by everyone within the sound of your booming, enthusiastic voice. Your knowledge of sports and rock and roll was encyclopedic.  And your shadow will always loom large in the halls of radio and tv greats.
Jim Peterik and the Ides of March

I just learned thru a WGN radio broadcast that our former roadie and noted author and sportscaster, Chet Coppock, who regularly contributed to FH, died yesterday from injuries received in a car crash down in Georgia.
I will miss him; he has emceed several Colony shows in the recent past.
Ray Graffia, Jr. 
Me, too, Ray.  This was a tough day.  (Check out the photo I ran above of the three of us doing our best White Doo-Wop thing to an empty house at The Arcada Theatre a few years back!)  kk 

OMG!  Ray, this is terrible news.  I am sure you are heartbroken, as Kent will be.
It's good that his book got out last year, but what a tough way to go.  He was a tough dude, too, from my readings.
We will miss him on FH and his gruff commentaries.  He always enlightened us with his stories.  So sad.
Thanks for letting me know. 
Clark Besch

I was shocked and saddened to hear about the loss of your good friend, Chet Coppock. He was an authentic Chicago original … intelligent and concise; he knew how to weave an engaging story out of just about anything. He was a true music fan and a friend to us all. He will absolutely be missed.
Tommy Schecke
Paul Revere's Raiders

Kent —
So sad to read about the passing of Chet Coppock. I truly enjoyed every time he posted something on Forgotten Hits as there was always food for thought in his posts. As far out as he could be at times, I usually agreed with him, by the way.
Much like the late Cub Coda (Brownsville Station) when he wrote for Goldmine and Discoveries, Chet had an unmistakable style all his own.
He will be truly missed by everyone who ever read one of his posts.
Prayers to his family and friends,  
Danny Guilfoyle

Numerous Chicago news outlets are reporting the death of Chicago sports media legend Chet Coppock.  WLS-TV is reporting that Coppock passed away yesterday (4/17) from injuries suffered in an auto accident near Hilton Head, South Carolina on April 11.  During his career, the Chicagoland native worked in television, radio, and print in Chicago as well as New York and Indianapolis.  Windy City media writer Robert Feder notes that Coppock “was a top sports anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 in the 1980s.  He segued to radio where he became known as the ‘Godfather of Sports Talk Radio.’ His colorful career included stints as an announcer for the Roller Derby and World Wrestling Federation.”  Coppock left his TV gig in 1984 to join WMAQ-AM to host his interview-driven sports talk show.  In 1988, he transitioned to WLUP-FM.  Read his official bio here  
Bill O'Reilly

RIP Chet Coppock  
Tom Diehl

I know Chet was a major contributor to your site.
This is very sad news
Rich Klein 
If you grew up here in Chicago, you grew up with Chet Coppock … EVERYBODY knew him.
Naturally it was as a legendary sportscaster that Chet will be remembered … but he also won over thousands of fans from coast to coast because of the comments he made in Forgotten Hits, sharing his love and appreciation of music.  (See Chet … we helped make you famous … to a whole new audience!!!)
I received too many emails to print but the general consensus was one of how much they enjoyed his commentary over the years.  (If you’re not familiar with some of his musings, do yourself a favor and type “Coppock’s Topics” into the Search Engine at the top of The Forgotten Hits Webpage and watch all the cool stuff that pops up!)
Funnily enough at our last get-together at The Ides Of March show at The City Winery, we sat with another very popular radio personality, Roe Conn.  It was my first time meeting Roe … and Chet introduced me “This guy has the most popular Oldies Music Website in Russia” … which TOTALLY cracked me up because that was just one of the topics we had covered in our pages recently.
Roe went on and on (and not in a patronizing way but with genuine affection) about the tremendous impact Chet had on the broadcasting industry, especially when it came to Sports Talk Radio, offering up the fact that Chet was a source of his OWN inspiration to get into radio and keep things “real.”  It was a totally unsolicited … and very heart-warming and sincere show of appreciation.  Coppock truly was one of a kind … and we’re all lucky to have shared even just a small part of his life with him.  (kk)

Rob Feder, who has known Chet for decades, devoted an entire column to him yesterday … 

A fitting quote from one of his interviews with Rob Feder … 

I’m the first to tell you, and you can put this on my tombstone: Love me, hate me, but please react to me ... How many people in this town do make people react? There are not too many who do.  
--Chet Coppock 

Chet’s daughter Lyndsey posted this on Facebook … 

We lost our father, Chet Coppock, on April 17th due to complications from injuries he sustained in a car accident outside Hilton Head, SC. His passing is untimely, unexpected and painfully sad, but all we can do at this time is remember how lucky we were to have such a unique and creative trailblazer help shape into the adults we know he was so incredibly proud of.
Our father’s wishes were to have a memorial service for friends and family to reflect on good times and to laugh, sharing memories of the past. When we have those details we will share them as soon as possible.
Life is too short and you are never promised another day. Tell your friends and family you love them, you never know when your last moments with them will be. We love you, Dad, and we are so proud of you.  
-- Lyndsey Coppock

Me and Chet, MC-ing a show at The Arcada Theatre.  
(Now some people will think this photo was staged ... because it shows me 
in an EXTEMELY rare moment, actually getting a word in edgewise ... 
but this was snapped from the audience during the actual event)

And, in other news ... 

Instead of listening to WLS now, we can always watch this: 
Gary Bearman 
This is a GREAT clip … we’ve run it here before … but it seems even more appropriate now after last Friday’s fiasco.  Tribute?  Not so much.  Remember the golden days … along with the guys who were there!  (kk)

Hi Kent -
Great update.
Totally missed the WLS 95th “celebration”. Doesn’t sound like I missed much … that’s a shame.
We met Pam Pulice thanks to some of your Ides of March Tix at City Winery. Thx for the update on her fundraiser … we’re gonna try and make that.
Happy Trailz,
Bill & Jan

The Dick Biondi Documentary Fundraiser is being held on April 28th, which is now less than two weeks away.  Pam Pulice tells me that they need to sell 1000 tickets to this event in order to reach their goal in funds to have the film made.  (A trailer will be shown at this event, which will also feature performances by The New Colony Six, The Cavedwellers, Scott May’s Hundred Dollar Quartet, The Meteors and much, much more.  Festivities will be presided over by 95.9 The River’s Scott MacKay.)
The show runs from 2-6 PM and includes a buffet dinner, a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction that now includes signed guitars donated by The Buckinghams, Jim Peterik and The Ides Of March (signed by all of the Cornerstones artists) and the rock group Chicago!  (Thank you, Joe Farina, for the awesome photos shown below.)
Please come out and show your support for this broadcasting legend.  Let’s get this movie made!!!  (kk)

Hi Kent!
How awesome are these?
The Buckinghams have donated an autographed guitar for our auction portion of the Good Times Rock and Roll Event fundraiser April 28 at 115 Bourbon Street!! Here’s a picture of the great Carl Giammarese with the guitar he and The Buckinghams have donated!! Picture taken backstage at the April 14, 2019 Cornerstones of Rock concert at the Arcada Theatre. Fantastic!!
Jim Peterik got all of the amazing artists of the April 14, 2019 Cornerstones of Rock Concert to sign this black and white Fender Strat!!! Magnificent!!!
We are so grateful to all of these legendary and sensational musicians who donated these awesome autographed guitars!!! Thank you from the Dick Biondi Film and Fundraiser team!!!

And the band Chicago have donated this awesome autographed guitar for our fundraiser!!!


Great pics from last Sunday’s Cornerstones gig so thanks to “Photo Ninja Kristie Mayfair Schram” and to you for putting them up at FH!  See you at the Biondi Benefit in a couple of weeks.
Kent, be blessed (as you have blessed all of us who read FH – incredibly so in my case anyway) this Easter weekend and every day –  the Lord’s life and death and  resurrection serving as a reminder that existence is far more than rock and roll but as a professional (?) performer now for 55 years this summer, music has been such a part of my 73+ years --- even over the decade and a half I was active as a Roman Catholic Deacon when tunes and lyrics were often worked into my homilies. 
Love ya, man!  Say hey and give hugs to Frannie and Paige! 
Peace, brother Kent …
More Biondi Benefit information can be found above.
Man, I would LOVE to be able to help sell a thousand tickets to this thing and push this sucker over the threshold to finally get this motion picture made.
Appealing to ALL of our Forgotten Hits Friends and Family out there …
Come on out and enjoy the day with us … great music and for a great cause.
Plenty of food … and a chance to catch a sneak peek of the trailer.
And since the Cornerstones guys and The Buckinghams and the Chicago guys have all autographed guitars for the silent auction I have decided … at great personal expense to myself and my family … to PERSONALLY give out a FREE AIR GUITAR to EACH and EVERY Forgotten Hits Reader who comes out that day and comes up and introduces themselves to me.  (Now where else are you going to find an offer like this?!?!)
Come on out and have some fun with us … we’d love to see ya!   (kk) 

And, speaking of movies we can’t wait to see, a brand new film hitting theaters May 24th documents the California scene in the ‘60’s thanks to reflections on the era by artists like Brian Wilson, Tom Petty, Graham Nash, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and others.
The film explores the influence of “the definitive California sound” created by artists like The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas.
Throughout this trailer, songwriters “recall the sonic cross-pollination that occurred during this fertile period when bands showed up at each other’s houses, played in-progress songs and took inspiration from each other’s music.

And it sounds like another film spotlighting Laurel Canyon is also in the works …  

You might want to put the crowd-sourcing link on your site. Some of your viewers might have some items for this endeavor. (Your radio surveys might also be something to license to them as well.) 
I am quite fond of Laurel Canyon. As a native of Los Angeles, I graduated from Fairfax High School in West Hollywood and my Driver's Education class was taught in the hills of Laurel Canyon. Try learning how to parallel park in that region as the Mamas & Papas, Doors, Monkees, and Love were blasting on our AM and FM radio dials. 
Wanted to let you know I'm excited and happy to be working on a new and unique documentary on the musical legacy of Laurel Canyon. 
Allison Ellwood is directing it. The music documentary is from The Kennedy / Marshall Company, Amblin' Television, Warner Music Group and Jigsaw Productions, set for a late 2019 premiere on EPIX television channel.  
In addition, I'm excited about a crowd-sourcing website formed that is very receptive to interacting with devoted music fans and collectors of Laurel Canyon-related artifacts, memorabilia, photos, fliers, and film and movie footage. 
Please feel free to display this crowd-sourcing website. We're seeking archive and ephemera items to inform this celluloid journey.  
I've also enclosed a copy of the Epix press release below.  
Harvey Kubernik
I’ll betcha some of our readers may have some artifacts these folks might be interested in.  Feel free to submit … and keep us posted as things move forward with this project.  LOTS of great music documentaries coming our way!  Thanks, Harvey!  (kk) 

Hi Kent!
The Ides are preparing for our show at the Fab Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan, on Saturday, May 4th.   
If you’ve never been there, you in for a treat ...
Intimate, cozy theater with great sound. The Ides love playing there.
We will be doing a two-set format at 8 pm ... first set acoustic, second set electric. 
We will be featuring our classic hits as well as selections from our soon to be released album, Play On. 
More info here:
Rock on!!  Jimbo 

Fleetwood Mac has rescheduled their postponed concert dates due to Stevie Nicks’ bad bout of the flu … and even added a few shows … 
They first return to the road this summer for a massive tour of Europe and Australia that kicks off in June and stretches through September … and then perform these rescheduled / make-up dates here in North America:
October 28 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
October 30 – Quebec City, QC @ Centre Videotron
November 1 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena
November 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
November 7 – Winnipeg, MB @ Bell MTS Place
November 10 – Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome
November 12 – Edmonton, AB @ Rogers Place 

Speaking of big-time tours …

Can’t go see The Rolling Stones when their postponed tour kicks off in July?
No worries … you can watch a vintage live performance from 1997 on a brand new “Bridges To Bremen” DVD/BluRay release coming out June 21st.  

The Bridges To Babylon Tour lasted a year and was seen by over 4.5MM fans.  Start to finish, The Stones performed 97 shows over five legs and four continents.  It became the (then) second highest grossing tour ever behind their (previous) Voodoo Lounge Tour three years earlier. 

Bridges To Bremen  will be released on June 21st. Presented by Eagle Vision, the previously unreleased concert film has been completely restored, remixed and remastered and will be available on digital, DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, triple vinyl and digital audio (pre-order here).
Bridges to Bremen captures a complete show from the final leg of the Rolling Stones year-long tour in support of their Bridges to Babylon album, which achieved Platinum and Gold status in multiple markets upon the album’s original release in 1997. 

Ever the innovators, The Bridges To Babylon Tour was one of firsts – the first time the band went on the road with a permanent, and now infamous, B-stage, and also the first time that fans could vote on the band’s website for a track they wanted to hear at the show – “Memory Motel” in the case of the Bremen fans, making each show on the tour unique.

Opening with “Satisfaction”, a snake-hipped Jagger, sporting a bright yellow shirt and scarf, is a streak of canary-colored lightning, while Keith prowls the stage in a tiger print duster coat. Lisa Fisher accompanies Jagger on vocals for a storming version of “Gimme Shelter”, and Bridges single “Saint of Me” receives a rousing welcome. By Stones standards, Bremen was an intimate show, a 40,000 fan-strong hot ticket, for which the band enthusiastically kicked out 155 minutes of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll.

This concert film has been meticulously restored from the original masters, and the audio remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings. Four tracks from the band’s Soldier Field performances in Chicago are included as bonus features on all physical visual formats.

The release of Bridges To Bremen comes at a busy time for the band - Honk, a brand new Best Of compilation featuring 36 essential Stones tracks from 1971 to 2016’s Blue & Lonesome (with the deluxe also featuring 10 live tracks recorded at stadiums around the world) is released on April 19th by Polydor (full details here).  In addition, The Stones will soon be embarking on their tour of North America performing the postponed dates due to Mick’s recent heart surgery.
A complete track list (including the bonus footage shot here in Chicago) includes:
Satisfaction, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Flip The Switch, Gimme Shelter, Anybody Seen My Baby, Paint It Black, Saint Of Me, Out Of Control, Memory Motel, Miss You, Thief In The Night, Wanna Hold You, It’s Only Rock And Roll (But I Like It), You Got Me Rockin’, Like A Rolling Stone, Sympathy For The Devil, Tumblin’ Dice, Honky Tonk Women, Start Me Up, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Brown Sugar, Rock And A Hard Place, Under My Thumb, All About You and Let It Bleed. 

And, speaking of upcoming tours, FH Reader David Salidor sent us this recent article and interview with ‘80’s teen star Debbie Gibson … who is back out on the road with The New Kids On The Block as part of the Mixtape Tour.  (Salidor was the guiding force in Gibson’s career back in the late ‘80’s when Debbie scored eight straight Top 40 Hits, including two #1’s (“Foolish Beat,” 1988 and “Lost In Your Eyes,” in 1989 plus three others that made The Top Ten.) 

Some more sad news hitting close to home this week due to the recent passing of Joe Terry of Danny and the Juniors (Joe communicated with Forgotten Hits from time to time) and songwriter David White who, along with our long-time FH Buddy John Madara, penned a number of significant hits during the early rock era, including the Danny and the Juniors #1 Hit “At The Hop” as well as Len Barry’s “1,2,3” and one of my all-time favorites, “You Don’t Own Me.”

I received this acknowledgement from The Philadelphia Music Alliance: 

PHILADELPHIA (April 15, 2019) - "It is with great sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of two very deserving members of our Walk of Fame ― Joe Terry, who died this morning, and David White, who died in March," said Alan Rubens, Chairman of the Philadelphia Music Alliance. "They were two of the founding members of Danny & the Juniors, who recorded 'At The Hop,’ one of the most iconic songs ever to come out of Philadelphia. David was also the song's co-writer. They are true legends and true Philadelphians who were part of making our city's music heritage as great as it is."
Joe Terry (b. Joe Terranova, Jan. 30, 1941) was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame as a founding member of Danny & the Juniors in 1992. Danny & the Juniors shot straight to the top of the charts in early 1958 with their biggest hit ever, the gold-selling "At The Hop" (penned by the songwriting team of David White and John Madara), though they reached the charts again with eight more singles through 1963, notably the Top 40 charters "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay," "Dottie," and "Twistin' U.S.A." Terry and Frank Maffei have continued to rock and roll across the country as Danny & the Juniors, thrilling new audiences with old favorites. 
Our condolences to all who knew and loved them.  (kk)

Harvey Kubernik tells us of another untimely death … 

Requiem For A Mench 
by Harvey Kubernik © 2019
I am so deeply saddened by the death of Gary Stewart, a veteran music and recording executive who had a lifelong devotion of service to the music in any capacity he held.
In 1976 I first met Gary when he was a student at Cal State Northridge. He politely asked to use my name as a reference on his first job resume in 1978 when I was West Coast Director of A&R for MCA Records. In 1982 I recorded him for an album I produced.
One time in the mid-eighties I had a backstage pass for an Elvis Costello show at a theater in Beverly Hills.  Gary came up to me in the lobby and said, "I know you can bring any girl or A&R guy in this place backstage to meet Elvis, but can you try and introduce me to him? I've never met Elvis and have a business proposal regarding Rhino Records and his catalog that I want to speak to him about.” 
I took the laminate off my jacket and immediately gave it to Gary. 
He then asked for Costello's management contact information. Gary had a Mel Torme box set he wanted to send him.
How many box sets over decades did Gary Stewart constantly give to people?   
Weeks later, Gary called and said he was on his way to Ireland to meet Elvis Costello at a hotel. Months later Gary arranged a catalog deal for Costello to the label. When the Costello recordings were eventually reissued, he sent me the initial copies. My name was the first one in his thank you credits.     
After ownership changes at Rhino, Gary went out of his way to ask me to write the liner notes for a 2002 Rhino reissue of the Phil Spector-produced Ramones' End of the Century album. He knew I was present at the recording sessions as food runner and a percussionist on some tracks.
Gary promised no usual machinations at the label, editing behind my back, and the names I wanted included in the musician credits, which were deleted when the LP was first released.
He tripled the offer fee beyond the usual payment and doubled the allotment of promotional copies once he realized I went to college in the seventies with a Democratic Congresswoman he was currently campaigning for re-election in his district.
"Consider some of this reparation,” he joked. I replied, “I’m taking this deal because you went to Venice High School with Teena Marie!”
Gary knew her as Mary Brockert and remembered when she had a lead role in a production of The Music Man. He then told me a wonderful story decades later re-connecting with her in his job at iTUNES.     
Gary Stewart was a person who truly supported the arts and deeply cared about other people. Gary constantly demonstrated that it could be about the music and not exclusively about the music business.
Somehow he still managed to blend his fandom with a keen sense of retail reality that informed the work we will always enjoy and cherish.  
But how do we collectively process his global impact and physical departure?
Maybe the Elton John / Bernie Taupin lyric “Where To Now, St. Peter?” can provide some sort of revealing and healing?         
So now we sit shiva for a remarkable person whose vision is documented in our record and compact disc collections. Perhaps these quotes from interviews conducted with Gary might possibly underscore the feeling of loss that so many of us are feeling.

I am thankful Gary participated in my book Turn Up The Radio! Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956-1972. 

GARY STEWART: I do think a lot of the 1956 – 1972 music remains popular throughout the work of new artists like the Fleet Foxes, White Stripes, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, the Strokes, Amy Winehouse, Adele. There’s a lot of harkening back to earlier forms. In the nineties, there wasn’t so much drawing from that previous period.
There is another thing about the popularity of this period — they got there first, just as in the early days of rap and that sort of second period. The possibilities for experimentation become narrower. They aren’t gone, but a lot of the stretching has been done. That period usually comes, not during a birth of a form — that’s there — but comes right after the birth of a form, when there’s money in it and enough support for taking risk. Then the money often takes over as record companies become profit centers. You’ve created this machinery you can’t get out from under. If you look at the sixties, there were so many great records, because there was enough money for them. Part of the reason was that there were enough people who had grown up with rock ’n’ roll for the previous ten years, so you had teenagers or early twenty-somethings to support it.
Three Dog Night’s legacy was having both the AM and the FM radio world. Look at their first four albums — you can see tracks by Moby Grape, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, the Band, and Argent. The songwriters that they introduced, as well — Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Laura Nyro, Hoyt Axton, Neil Young, and Randy Newman — they were selling out seventeen-thousand-seat arenas, like the Forum, at a time when AM artists weren’t able to sell out big gigs.
Listening to Leiber and Stoller, their non-Coaster records often get missed. Their records had this great sense of humor, but clearly were about teenage identity. They even worked in politics and race. If you hear their song ‘What About Us,’ it can work as an Occupy Wall Street song. There are bits of that in ‘Riot in Cell block #9’ and ‘Shopping for Clothes.’
My mission at Rhino Records was to turn people on to artists that they didn’t know, songs they didn’t know in general, or to artists that people knew only for the three to five songs they had heard from oldies radio or wherever exposure they got. It was to give people a deeper experience, and make a case for that. I was going on instinct. Once we started to grow and get a brand, we found ourselves competing with ourselves. When box sets came out, the major labels started to take catalogs more seriously and develop these elaborate packages, trying to beat us."

I’m extremely grateful Gary also contributed to my 1967 The Complete Rock History of the Summer of Love. 

GARY STEWART: Prior to 1967 (with some infrequent exceptions in 1966), everything under the banner of rock ’n’ roll was made for money for sheer purposes of commerce . . . not for art.
That changed with the emergence of the Doors, Love, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, and the Velvet Underground. They not only took this rock ’n’ roll beyond its three-minute limit and added eastern Indian sounds, jazz tones, folk, and elements of classical in search of something beyond the hit single. Even though most of them didn’t know what they were doing at the time—in the best sense of the word.
I look at the rock ’n’ roll of the sixties as puberty. The birth of the form happened in the fifties, and that was great, but the most interesting phase and the richest period of any movement comes after that formative period when the possibilities inherent in growth exploration and experimentation get realized.
That’s what happened after the Beatles and the British Invasion. And by 1967, many of those that might have sought purity in poetry, jazz, folk, other credible forms of expression, found those possibilities in rock ’n’ roll, and this extends to soul music.’
In came the sitar, the horns, jazz, and classical elements and Tin Pan Alley, along with ideas, forms, and concepts that were previously or primarily relegated to jazz, folk, or other forms that were practiced as art. And you have this room to grow that you haven’t seen since then. Because you can’t. That’s that one great period in 1967 that marks rock as art form and a focus on the Summer of Love.”
A Teddy Bears’ recording describes Gary Stewart the best: “To Know Him Is to Love Him.”
-- Harvey Kubernik 

Harvey also sent me these words of praise from Elvis Costello … 

Amid the many touching tributes to former Rhino and Apple Music executive Gary Stewart, who died on Thursday at the age of 62, there is one in particular that would have meant a great deal to him: A long and heartfelt post from Elvis Costello, one of Stewart’s all-time favorite artists and one who was a close personal friend. 

“This morning’s brief promise of Spring was punctured by the news of the passing of Gary Stewart,” Costello wrote in a Facebook post today. “It is rare enough to find people of insight, kindness and loyalty but Gary had all these qualities in abundance. Friends have called or written all today trying to make sense of the impossible and the inexplicable.
“As the vocation of criticism has become more fragmented, spiteful and distracted, so people with Gary’s gift for advocacy needed to be valued,” he continues. “His appreciation of our work was immensely generous and deeply informed by personal emotion. With his help, I was encouraged to tell a broader tale as we compiled my catalogue for release on Rhino Records, augmenting the original albums with every outtake, sketch and mistake that I could find, all annotated until I’d run out of paper and ink. Our work together was clearly superior to both prior and subsequent editions.”
He also wrote about Stewart’s well-known habit of buying up a block of tickets for concerts he was particularly excited about, and then giving them out to friends he thought would enjoy them. “As an illustration of Gary’s generosity, when the Imposters and I brought our ‘Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers’ tour to the Greek Theatre [in Los Angeles], Gary didn’t seek a place on the guest list to which he would have always been welcome but rather bought a stash of tickets to give to friends as that record had meant a lot to him and he wanted his pals to hear what we were up to with the songs after all these years. I even had to decline his offer of hosting a reception after the set, as I knew I had to sing the next night and talking into the small hours would be unwise. I know that when we return to the Greek in July, the band and I will pour a chaste glass and raise a toast to our friend.”  

And this bit of sad news, too, regarding our FH Buddy Freddy Cannon, who called me up on stage when he appeared at The Arcada Theatre last year!!!  (Could I look any happier to be there, decked out in my ... as Chuck Buell so eloquently put it ... DOC uniform?!?! lol)

kk …
One of my FACEBOOK friends told me that Freddy Cannon had to cancel his Las Vegas shows due to poor health.

I contacted Freddy and, unfortunately, it’s true. 


So sad -
You had a hell of a run -
And I’ll tell you what … that show you did in Chicago was like watching a man half your age up on stage!
Sadly, we see it every day … we’re all getting older … and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
You should take this time to update your book … talk about the heart surgery, the healing process and the comeback … the Svenghoulie Stomp, the new record with Ron Dante … finding that acetate you recorded from back when you were just a kid … I’m sure there are lots more stories you can tell from back in the day … I know I’d sure wanna read it!
Are you still doing your charcoal drawings?  More time for that … plus the chance to still be creative with new projects.
Try to look at this as just one chapter coming to an end … but several more chapters still to write.
Hang in there Freddy - we love ya!


Wanna send some Get Well Wishes to Freddy?
Drop me an email and we’ll collect a batch and send them off.
Freddy had a GREAT career … and was still kickin’ butt right up to the end.
It was clear how much he loved performing … so I know this will be hard for him …
But our thoughts are with you, Freddy.  Take care.  (kk)

Here’s about as unlikely pair of rockers as you’re ever going to see together … 

Charter-Hollywood Vampire members Micky Dolenz and Alice Cooper will be together for Cooper’s  Solid Rock Foundation next week.
Dolenz will also participate in a karaoke-event, with 100% of the proceeds going to Make-A-Wish.
Cooper will be joined by original drummer Neal Smith, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer, Slash guitarist Frank Sidoris , Chicago’s Danny Seraphine, and Dolenz at Alice Cooper's Rock & Roll Vampire Bash on Sunday, April 24th.
The event, running from 4:30 - 10 p.m. in connection with Alice Cooper’s Rock & Roll Golf Classic, includes a cocktail reception, a silent auction, a live auction, dinner and live entertainment, which includes comedian Jeff Allen.

THE BOX TOPS' manager and guitarist, RICK LEVY's memoir HIGH IN THE MID 60s has just been released in AUDIOBOOK.  (It is also available in Print and Digital formats.)
Rick's story of falling in love with music at an early age, and navigating thru the music business to work with many of the biggest 60s music artists is a true inspiration. Filled with humor, tragedy, success and failures, HIGH IN THE MID 60s is a must read for music lovers and fans of Forgotten Hits.
Available at and 
"Rick is one of those lucky people who has made his love his life … and his vocation ... and it shows in the way her performs and respects the artists and music ... and he does it damn good!"
Dick Clark Productions

I don’t know if this has been submitted before or not but here is a real interesting video of Status Quo (Instrumentals and vocals) and The Beach Boys (Vocals and Harmonies) doing Fun Fun Fun. I believe this was at some show in Europe where both groups were performing.
Status Quo only had one real hit in America, Pictures of Matchstick Man, but they have been popular and successful in the UK and Europe since then. They have still been playing all this time.
The video appears to be recorded in 1996. All of the original Beach Boys are in it except Dennis. Even Brian and Carl appear in the video, which would have taken place a couple of years prior to Carl’s death.
Status Quo recorded Fun Fun Fun for one of their later albums. They actually put together proficient instrumentals on this video.
Robert Campbell

I remember covering this way back when … and clearly recall ordering the import CD single because you just couldn’t get it here in The States.   I had never seen this video before, however … how cool to see ALL of the Beach Boys performing together.  And they obviously did their part to help promote the release, even appearing on tv to perform it.  (See Below)
You’re right about Status Quo … in fact, I thought I had read that they just recently officially retired.  (Can’t find any confirmation of that online however.)
Despite only one major US Hit (“Pictures Of Matchstick Men” is one of my all-time favorites from this era … it peaked at #11 on the national charts but went all the way to #2 here in Chicago), the band had 51 Top 40 Hits in the UK between 1968 and 2002.  “Fun Fun Fun” peaked at #24 in 1996.  (kk)

Winter’s not the only thing coming on HBO …
While I personally have never seen a single episode of “Game Of Thrones,” it’s one of Frannie’s all-time favorite shows.  She’ll sometimes watch the same episode two or three times in order dissect every little nuance.  (Too much work for me!  Lol)
I honestly don’t know how much of this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony I’ll watch … but there are certain artists I’d like to see … so I’ll most likely be in and out on that one!  I’ve seen Stevie Nicks’ acceptance speech, which I’m told is one of the show’s highlights.  (kk)

Billboard Magazine was reporting last week that the animosity between the founding members of Creedence Clearwater Revival seem to finally be on the mend after decades of “failure to communicate.”

Original bassist Stu Cook (who for the past 35 years has worked with Creedence Clearwater Revisited, along with original drummer Doug Clifford … but minus the vocals of head chef and bottle water John Fogerty) … says “We’re focused on the good things about Creedence, which is where I think we should be.”  Cook also said the he and Clifford planned to retire after their current commitment of dates have been fulfilled.

Part of the focus on the three working together (off stage anyway) is the goal of FINALLY getting the recording of their performance at the Woodstock Peace Festival out on CD.  (This has been a goal for decades now.  When the original soundtrack and film were released in 1970, there were no CCR tracks to be found.  This remained the case until an anniversary box set was released several decades later where, for the first time, a few Creedence tracks were included … “Commotion,” “Green River,” “Ninety-Nine-and-a-Half Won’t Do” and “I Put A Spell On Your” all appeared on the 25th Anniversary CD released in 1995.)

Hopefully, working together on this project will help to mend the long-standing feud between the three surviving members.  (John’s brother Tom Fogerty passed away in 1990.)  You may remember that Fogerty refused to play with is former bandmates at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction.  Without question, Fogerty was the driving, creative force for the band … HE was the guy writing and singing all the hits … but Cook and Clifford sought to wrangle some of that control for what proved to be CCR’s final album, “Mardi Gras.”  The experiment failed miserably.

You can find OUR account of the history of Creedence Clearwater Revival (along with a TON of comments after the series ran) here:

UPDATE:  John Fogerty is implying that things are quite as “buddy buddy” as Stu Cook might have one believe … this is simply a business arrangement between the three originals to better marked “the brand” of Creedence Clearwater Revival moving forward.  In fact, Fogerty finds it a bit odd (read: suspicious) that Cook is announcing the retirement of Creedence Clearwater Revisited on the heels of the new partnering venture … thinking that perhaps his former bandmates are riding on his coattails once again now that a Las Vegas residency has been cemented for Fogerty and this new licensing / marketing arrangement is moving forward.

Meanwhile, here’s Cook’s take on all of this.  (Drummer Doug Clifford seems to be suspiciously quiet during all of this!)

Speaking of Las Vegas, Journey has just announced THEIR residency at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace for October.  (Tickets are on sale now)
Show dates include October 9th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 25th and 26th.  

>>>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, MAJOR congratulations on a job well done … and a major life goal met, 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!!!  (kk)  
Thank you, Kent … Dr. Shea sure does sound good.

Commencement is May 4th here at Barry University in Miami, Florida.
If anybody reading FH has a goal and a plan, YOU CAN DO IT!!
It is never too late to amaze yourself. 
Dr. James Shea  

Motown and R&B Legends The Commodores Receive Honors From Two Alabama Cities!
7 #1 HITS!
One of the greatest Motown and R&B / funk artists of all time, The Commodores' Walter “Clyde” Orange, James Dean “JD” Nicholas and William “WAK” King have influenced both artists young and old and in all genres with their classic songs. The Commodores brand is bigger than ever as they continue to blaze trails all over the world.
Two Alabama cities recently honored the music legacy of the Commodores! Tuskegee declared Friday, March 29, 2019, to be Commodores Day, and Montgomery declared the band members to be honorary residents, receiving keys to the city!
A celebration was held at the Commodore Museum, the site of the Commodores' former rehearsal and recording studio in Tuskegee. The Commodores was originally formed by a group of college students at Tuskegee Institute just over 50 years ago.
“It is really great to see the place where the group was born! It still feels like home 50 years later, to the point where we didn't want to leave!” - The Commodores
In 1968 the group was formed while all the members were in college at Tuskeegee Institute. After being discovered by Berry Gordy, the Commodores went on to sell over 60 million records for Motown. With hits like “Machine Gun” and “Sail On,” the Commodores became proven artists. For five decades, the Commodores have remained a force in the music industry. The Commodores aren't just any group. They have staying power. Just like their hit song “Brick House,” the Commodores have created a foundation that just won't budge.
Don't miss your chance to feature one of the most successful vocal groups of all time in 2018 and beyond as The Commodores continue to thrill audiences with their Greatest Hits Tour – Live!
Upcoming Events
MAY 24 - Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno, NV
JUN 01 - Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA
JUN 14 - San Mateo County Fair, San Mateo, CA
JUL 12 - IP Casino Resort Spa, Biloxi, MS
JUL 16 - Village Green, Elk Grove Village, IL
AUG 10 - Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center, West Allis, WI
AUG 18 - Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
AUG 25 - Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego, CA
AUG 30 - Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center, Salem, OR
FEB 10 - Ultimate Disco Cruise, Miami, FL

75 Million Albums Sold Worldwide
7 - #1 singles
5 - #1 Albums
20 - Top 10 Singles
15 - Top 10 Albums
1985 Grammy Award - “Nightshift”
1987 Antwerp Diamond Microphone Award
Vocal Group Hall of Fame Inductees
The 58th AutoZone Liberty Bowl Outstanding Achievement Award (2016)
2018 Casino Entertainment Awards “Musical Artist of the Year”

The Commodores official website:

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top are celebrating their 50th year with a massive North American tour this summer. Kicking off the 50th Anniversary Tour August 16, the real Tres Hombres will play coast to coast and border to border.   Cheap Trick and Southern rock stalwarts Lynyrd Skynyrd will also join the tour as it snakes through the country into late October. 
ZZ Top still maintains the most consistently stable lineup in the history of rock music: Billy F Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard. In 1969, BFG formed ZZ Top with drummer Beard and bass-guitarist Hill, in Texas.  15 studio albums, 30 million record sales and five decades later, “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” is still going strong, playing timeless hits like “La Grange,” “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Tush” to audiences the world over.
Billy Gibbons looked back at the history of the band, while also looking forward to the 50th Anniversary tour dates. “It’s been five decades, and I think we’re starting to get pretty good at all this!  We’re truly excited to be appearing across the continent this summer and fall, playing our bluesy kind of rock like we started in ’69. The beards, Frank's excepted, are perhaps a bit longer, yet nothing else has changed.  We're keeping it that way.” 
ZZ Top’s 50th Anniversary Tour - 
Tickets for newly announced dates go on sale starting Friday, April 12 at 10 AM

Aug 16 – Ridgefield, WA – Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre*
       17 – Airway Heights, WA – Northern Quest Casino
       20 – Yakima, WA – Yakima Valley SunDome
       21 – Woodinville, WA – Chateau Ste. Michelle*
       23 – Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre**
       24 – Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion**
       25 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre*
       27 – Santa Barbara, CA – Arlington Theater
       28 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air
              Theatre at SDSU*
       29 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre*
Sept 01 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theatre*
        04 — Milwaukee, WI - BMO Harris Pavilion"
        06 – Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino
        07 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre*
        08 – Sterling Heights, MI–Michigan Lottery
              Amphitheater at Freedom Hill*
        10 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at The
        11 – Burgettstown, PA – KeyBank Pavilion*
        13 – Ocean City, MD – Ocean City BikeFest
        14 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion*
        18 – Boston, MA – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion*
        19 — Wamtagh. NY — Northwell Health at Jones Beach
        21 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*
        22 – Louisville, KY – Champions Park
Oct   05 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at
              Walnut Creek Amphitheatre*
        06 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion*
        09 – Charleston, SC – Volvo Cars Stadium*
        11 – Cherokee, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee – Event Center*
        12 — Manchester, TN - Exit 111 Festival 
        13 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Amphitheatre*
        15 – Augusta, GA – The James Brown Arena*
        16 —St. Augustine, FL — St. Augustine Amphitheatre*
        18 — Estero FL - Hertz Arena*
        19 – Tampa, FL – MidFlorida Credit Union
        20 — West Palm Beach, FL — Coral Sky Amphitheatre*
* with Cheap Trick
**with Lynyrd Skynyrd

You’ve been a busy blogger of late!  I know how much time that takes.  You’re putting in a lot of hours — I can tell.  The results have been worth it, though.  Lots of very interesting posts. 
Have a good week.
Rick O’Dell
Program Director

And finally, some food for thought …

When all fails ask the expert ...
I always thought that a One Hit Wonder meant having only one Top 40 single.  Now I'm seeing on the web that One Hit Wonders are folks that had one Top 20 single. 
Maybe I'm just old.
Clarification needed from the masters at FH.
This has been a point of contention for as far back as the term One Hit Wonder has existed.
Purists insist that a TRUE One Hit Wonder is the ONLY song by an artist to crack The Top 100 … which, as you can imagine, REALLY narrows the playing field!
Over time, to allow for a better variety of music, things were scaled down to a far more manageable Top 40 ranking … and even that was somewhat discriminating.  (One of the very first Forgotten Hits interviews I ever did was with Beverly Bremers, who scored the #15 Billboard Hit “Don’t Say You Don’t Remember” back in 1971.  During the course of the interview she mentioned that she was NOT a One Hit Wonder because her follow-up single, “We’re Free,” peaked at #40.  Technically, this is true … but I wonder if there is a single FH Reader out there who can sing a verse of that tune … I know I can’t!)  With that thought in mind, One Hit Wonder artists then had to have one (and only one) MEMORABLE Top 40 Hit.  (As radio playlists continued to shrink, this became even easier to accommodate!)
I’ve never heard the Top 20 rule before … theoretically this would allow a lot more artists to be included who, in our book, would NEVER have been considered One Hit Wonders before as our readers would most likely be quite familiar with their hits that peaked at #21 - #40.  Likewise, can an artist that charted a dozen times (or more) but only had one Top 20 Hit truly be considered a “One Hit Wonder”???  (I remember when The Ides Of March released their single “One Hit Wonder’ Jim Peterik, in referencing his own band, made the comment “C’mon … we had to have had at least one-and-a-half hits!!!”)
We’ve helped put together several One Hit Wonder radio shows before … and hold our criteria to the “one memorable Top 40 Hit” rule … thus Ms. Bremers would make our program. (Sorry, Beverly!!!)
I have often thought about doing a TWO Hits Wonders list.  Let’s face it … a lot of One Hit Wonder artists were studio creations, assembled simply to get a good pop song out there, often by “bands” that never really existed.  Imagine being a REAL band or artist and having that first big hit … and then following it up with another big smash … certainly at this point you’ve felt you’ve made it and are now well on your way to establishing yourself as an artist to contend with … and then NEVER hitting the charts again … it has to be the ultimate crash down.  Sometimes the pressure is just so great that you can’t compete with yourself … sometimes it’s so much that the band splits up or the singer decides to go solo.  But to me the idea of a Two Hits Wonder has always been intriguing … and would make for some GREAT radio programming.  (You know what I always say … “Bring back the Twin Spins!!!”)  kk