Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Biondi Bash

We attended the "Good Time Rock & Roll" event at 115 Bourbon Street, a pillar promoting community involvement located in Merrionette Park. 
The event served as a Fundraiser to help complete a documentary being filmed honoring Legendary DJ Dick Biondi. 
When finished, it's destined for PBS and other outlets. 
The successful day of non-stop music and never-ending buffet with an open bar was a result of the hard work of organizers Pam Pulice and Actor Joe Farina.  The MC for the afternoon was Scott Mackay from 95.9, The River. 
Scott kept the event Rockin' and Rollin', introducing five talented local bands. The billing included The Hundred Dollar Quartet with Scott May of The Ides of March on keyboards, The Cavedwellers, The Meteors, Bagshot Row and The Southside Exiles. 
Interspaced between performances of the previous bands were special performances by Ides of March / Survivor Founder Jim Peterik, Jay Reincke of Jay and the Americans and a well-received Dennis Tufano / Carl Giammerese reunion. 
Peterik treated the overflow crowd to his classics "Eye of the Tiger” as well as "Vehicle."  Dennis and Carl took to the stage twice, reuniting to sing The Buckinghams’ classics "Kind of a Drag," "Hey Baby" and others. When MC Scott Mackay observed the length of time that had passed since they had sung together, Dennis quipped "We just had to get past one little restraining order." 
Speaking of reunions, Jay Reincke reunited and played with his former group, The Meteors.  Jay began his performance with " Come A Little Bit Closer" before continuing with other crowd favorites. 
Fundraiser monies were generated by way of opportunities for attendees to win a myriad of collectibles and other rock memorabilia via auction and raffle. A couple of the most interesting items included a jacket belonging to Paul Shaffer as well as a pair of his glasses.  A sport coat owned by Tony Orlando was auctioned as well. 
Entertainment packages and memorabilia included autographed items by Tommy James,  Dick Biondi, Muscle Shoals, Tommy Boyce and many, many others as well as dozens of vintage 45's that were available for the right bid. 
An entire 50's Kitchen and Rec Room with an Oldies Entertainment Center were also auctioned. 
The Arcada Theatre’s and Onesti Entertainment’s own Ron Onesti said that he needed his passport to get from St. Charles to the venue on Chicago's southwest side. 
Ron, along with Jim Peterik, served as event auctioneers … exuding the familiar Onesti / Peterik enthusiasm, the duo was instrumental in getting generous contributions for three special autographed event played guitars. Signatures included those of Peterik, The Buckinghams, the rock group Chicago, and many of the artists who had performed at Ron's classic Cornerstones of Rock concerts. Ron even added his own  personal Arcada Box Tickets with each winning bid. 
During an afternoon filled with surprises, celebrated Chicago DJ and TV / Radio personality Bob Sirott stopped by to pay tribute to his friend and former colleague, Dick Biondi. 
Upon completion of the auctions, Chicago Rock Pioneers, The New Colony Six, performed. Their appearance punctuated a fitting ending to a memorable tribute to the Legend who is Dick Biondi. 
With documentary cameras rolling, the overflow crowd, prompted by a video of Dick, rose to sing "On Top Of A Pizza," footage from which will be used to close the film. 
What a finale! 
Jim Nowoc

Here is a short gallery of photos sent in by Jack Mongan, Jim Nowoc, Frannie and Pam Pulice … ENJOY!!!

Host-Master Scott Mackay 
A great shot of Dennis Tufano and Carl Giammarese
(the two voices of The Buckinghams)

L - R: Carl Giammarese, Dean Milano, Dennis Tufano and Jim Peterik
and L - R: Dennis Tufano, Carl Giammarese, Dean Milano and Jim Peterik

A couple more shots of Dennis and Carl ...

And then solo shots of Jim Peterik and Dennis Tufano

The legendary Bob Sirott, flanked by Sharon and Jim Nowoc

And then Jim and Dennis sharing a laugh

A couple of GREAT shots of Ray Graffia, Jr., 
leading The New Colony Six through their headlining set

A few shots of Auctioneer Ron Onesti and Joe Farina,
drumming up a few bucks toward the film-making budget
This particular guitar is signed by all of the members of The Buckinghams
Guitars were also auctioned off signed by the 
members of the rock group Chicago
as well as a special "Cornerstones Edition" guitar, signed by members of
all of the acts who perform during these sold-out appearances at 
The Arcada Theatre ... (next show November 30th) ...
Jimy Sohns of The Shadows Of Knight, Jim Peterik and the members of 
The Ides Of March, Ray Graffia, Jr. and Ronnie Rice of
The New Colony Six, Jim Pilster and Tom Doody of The Cryan' Shames
and the members of The Buckinghams


L - R:  Joe Farina, Pam Pulice and Ron Onesti

Be sure to stay tuned for more details as to when the first complete cut of the movie will be available for screening!!!   

We did it, everybody!!!

Thank you all SO much for your on-going support!  (kk)

Friday, May 3, 2019



Well ... it's official!!!

Hi Kent,
Hi Everybody!
You read it here first on … 
Due to the success of the Good Times Rock n’ Roll Fundraiser, we expect to screen our first cut of the completed documentary in June, 2019.  That’s right folks — in just two  months!
Keep in mind, this will be the first cut, followed by a second cut, and then a third and final cut later this year.  After five years, we are over the top excited!   
The Voice That Rocked America: The Dick Biondi Story is a 56 minute documentary that will be broadcast on WTTW in Chicago and on PBS stations around the country.  
To become a sponsor, please contact us at
Stay tuned to our progress by subscribing on the Dick Biondi Film website:  This would not be happening without the support of so many people — crew, volunteers, supporters, sponsors, media, and entertainers like Ray Graffia and The New Colony Six, Jim Peterik, Larry Millas, Carl Giammarese, Nick Fortuna, Dennis Tufano, Jay Reincke, Jimy Sohns, Scott May, Tom Doody, Ron Onesti, Bob Sirott, the Meteors, the Cavedwellers, the Hundred Dollar Quartet, Bagshot Row, The South Side Exiles, Ronnie Rice, Scott Mackay, John Landecker, Mike Dempsey, Scott Childers, Greg Brown, Dan Wolf, Tony Lossano, Stephanie Serna, Pat Wisniewski, Bev Boynton, Steve Zagata, Brian Kallies, Joe Farina, Susan Rakis, Carolyn Wheeler, Dean Milano, Jack Mongan, Pete Weldon, Al and Delores Weissman, Phyllis Spizzirri, Connie Jeffrey, Mike Wolstein, and you, Kent.  
Thank you for believing in my dream. 
I am SOOOOOOOOOO happy for you, Pam!!!  Can’t wait to see the follow up steps before this thing airs on PBS!  
Thank you for always believing and never giving up … and we’ve got to get Dick out there to see the full screening!  (kk) 
What a blast we had! People are already asking when’s the next one?
It’s all over social media and we are ecstatic.
I’m glad you and Frannie could make it out.
Thanks, everybody, for supporting the Dick Biondi project.
We did it!  

I was out there on Sunday for the Dick Biondi benefit fundraiser … lots of highlights. Spent a bit of time with Ron Onesti, as well as organizers Joe Farina and Pam Pulice.  
As an aside , Dennis Tufano was able to find literally the last open space on THE GUITAR and became the 120th signee.
After watching Ron and Jim Peterik auction off three signed guitars that brought a few hundred dollars, I kiddingly asked Ron what he felt mine was worth.
His answer - Priceless. 
Jim Nowoc


We’ve put together a short photo gallery from The Dick Biondi Fundraising Event last Sunday at 115 Bourbon Street.  Thanks to Jack Mongan, Frannie, Jim Nowoc and Pam Pulice for sending these to share with our readers.  
Be sure to check out The Forgotten Hits Web Page tomorrow to relive the experience or join in the celebration!(kk) 

kk ….
4/30/1943 = The Late Bobby Vee Was Born.
This Was Bobby Vee's First Billboard Hit (1959).
Bob Dylan Played Piano On Bobby Vee's First Recording.
July 10, 2013 = Dylan Sings Song With Bobby Vee In The

You forgot to mention three Chicago area performers …
Little Walter 5/1/30
Nick Fortuna (Buckinghams) 5/1/46
D'arcy Wretzkey (Smashing Pumpkins) 5/1/68   

And since today is now May 3rd, here are a couple of more (again, all from Ron Smith’s book):
Frankie Valli (May 3, 1934) … now that’s a big one!  Happy 83rd, Frankie!
James Brown (May 3, 1933) 
Mary Hopkin (May 3, 1950)
Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919)
Dave Dudley (May 3, 1928)
And, also on this date, Gerry and the Pacemakers make their US television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show  (May 3, 1964) 

So after no sooner than posting the notice that Woodstock 50 had been cancelled, word came out that the show would go on as planned, with only the financial backers pulling out.  Since then there’ve been updates and new speculation nearly every single day as to whether or not they can actually pull this thing off.

John Fogerty (who says he got his money up front before he agreed to sign up and play) is planning on recreating Creedence Clearwater Revival’s exact set that they performed back in 1969 if the show goes on. (In fact, he said that he will even be using the exact same guitar he played on stage that night back in ’69!)
One of the reasons he, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford have signed an agreement to keep the CCR “brand” going together is to get video footage and audio released of Creedence’s performance at the original Woodstock Festival back in 1969.  It has sadly been excluded from nearly all releases since, save a few scattered tracks that have shown up here and there on anniversary compilation releases.
They want their entire performance released and are working together in this direction to make that happen.
Sadly, Fogerty would be performing that Creedence set list with his new band at Woodstock 50 if they’re able to pull it off.  (Would have been nice to see the three original guys reunite for something as special as this, especially since it would help their show of unity toward any future Woodstock-related projects.  Just one more time for the fans … 50 years later … what a way to go out on a high note, now that Creedence Clearwater Revisited is calling it quits after this final round of show commitments is over.)

Here is Creedence’s original set list as performed at Woodstock.  (The band got started later than originally expected as The Grateful Dead’s set ran long before they took the stage.  Unfortunately, this put them at performing around 2 am when a good percentage of the crowd was already falling asleep!)
I would love to hear the COMPLETE performance of their show … and it sounds like this is now much closer to happening thanks to this new pact and commitment by all three surviving members to make this happen.  (kk)

1.        Born on the Bayou

2.        Green River

3.        Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do)

4.        Commotion

5.        Bootleg

6.        Bad Moon Rising

7.        Proud Mary

8.        I Put a Spell on You

9.        The Night Time Is the Right Time

10.       Keep on Chooglin'

11.       Suzie Q 

Russ Gibb, the Detroit disc jockey who captured the world’s attention back in 1969 when he began giving clues that “Paul Is Dead” on his radio program, passed away on April 30th
The way this story spread in the pre-Internet days is really quite amazing.  And fans across the country started scouring every Beatles album looking for more possible clues until Paul himself did his Life Magazine cover story to let the world know that he was still with us.  (At one point, Gibb got Eric Clapton on the phone on the air and asked him point blank about the whole McCartney thing.  After a long pause, Clapton said, “Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Paul in a while.”  Lol) 
In 2009 during an appearance on The David Letterman Show, Paul said that he just sorta laughed it off at the time … "But it was a little strange because people did start looking at me like ... 'Is it him or a very good double?'"  (too funny!) 
What I didn’t know was what an impact Russ made to the Detroit community by way of his club, The Grande Ballroom, which hosted some of the biggest names in rock in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s.  (The MC5 was the “house band’ at The Grande!)
Billboard gives Gibb a fitting send off here: 

The Chicago Tribune ran this blurb about Chet Coppock’s Memorial Service on Monday … 

What you wrote about Chet was so nice.  Thank you.

FH Reader Frank B. sent us this vintage Freddy Cannon clip from the old Sha Na Na television show …

I really enjoyed the back history you did on WLS radio in today's FH.
When you said that you couldn't substantiate the playing of ALLEY OOP for some 24 hours continuously on WLS, that reminded me that in the summer of 1958 while on vacation, in our car we picked up a station somewhere in the Arizona region, I believe. They were playing TEQUILA by the Champs over and over again. My parents eventually tuned to another station. Of course, I didn't know then why a station would do that, but they probably were in the early stages of changing their format, too.
The only other time that I remember a record being played over and over again for at least 24 hours happened here in OKC back in 1960.
One of the DJ's for radio station WKY 930 played the record PSYCHO by Bobby Hendricks for an entire weekend at a downtown OKC department store window where passersby could see and watch him. He supposedly didn't sleep for the period he did this, that being Friday evening beginning at 6 pm and going straight thru to Sunday night at midnight.
You also mentioned the helicopter crash of station WGN with pilot Len Baldy who was killed. Len Baldy has a son who, for the past 40 some odd years, has been one of the top rated DJ's here in the OKC area.
And finally, FYI, the song RUBY DUBY DU was on our local survey for some five weeks, peaking at #38. I had to go get out my copy of the record because I remembered that the song was from a movie, that being KEY WITNESS.
Again, thanks for an excellent FH today.
Larry Neal 
I really want to believe that WLS launched the station by playing “Alley Oop” for 24 straight hours … I really do … ‘cause it’s SUCH a cool story … but I need something concrete to verify it, because the comments mentioned in our piece by the people who were there at the time don’t allude to it at all.  In fact, I don’t remember that becoming the story of the launch until the early ‘80’s … so it also seems like I would have heard something about this being the case much sooner than that!
If ANYBODY out there has material to absolutely substantiate this, I would LOVE to hear from you so we can set the record straight once and for all.  (kk)

REMINDER:  Be sure to check The Forgotten Hits Web Page tomorrow for some exclusive photos from The Dick Biondi Bash last weekend.  WE DID IT!!!  (kk)