Friday, July 5, 2019


Today we begin revealing The Final Ballot that will ultimately determine the ranking for  

Thanks to your support over the past 100 days, we have now received over 730,000 votes ... and nearly 4750 song nominations (by 950 different artists) ... and beginning today, Friday, July 5th, and running through Monday, August 19th, we will be posting a brand new daily ballot of finalists (listed alphabetically by song title) as determined by your nominations.  (Polls officially close on Wednesday, August 21st)

Please be sure to check the website daily ... and help us to spread the word by encouraging others to cast their votes, too.

When all is said and done, we fully expect to pass over 1,000,000 votes, making this the

Complete voting instructions can be found on the site ... 

Email your daily ballots to CLASSICROCKVOTE@YAHOO.COM ... and after the final ballot has been posted on Monday, August 19th, we will begin tabulating these new results along with the votes collected over the past 100 days in order to determine ... and then officially announce ... 

Look for the big winners reveal to begin right around Labor Day Weekend ... so keep watching the CLASSIC ROCK ESSENTIALS webpage for more details!

Thank you again for your help in determining, once and for all,

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Now does this sound like a great 4th of July Radio promotion or what???

97.1 The Drive is doing a "FOURS of July Weekend," featuring four songs each hour by your favorite Classic Rock Artists ... and check out the way they're advertising it ...

This weekend, it's all about Red, White and YOU ...
You told us you wanted more Classic Rock variety ...
So we're rolling out Four In A Row from the best classic rock artists of all time.
Plus inside each special four-song-set, we'll dive deeper into rarely played album cuts and lost classics you may not have heard in a long time ...
So if you're grillin',swimmin' or golfin', we're rockin' ... with four song sets from classic rock's best on The Drive's "Fours Of July."
So roll down the windows ... and turn up The Drive for a special "Fours Of July" Holiday Weekend on 97.1 FM The Drive, Chicago's Classic Rock.

(Man, I don't think I could have written better copy myself!!!)

It all kicks off later today at 4 pm.  (How about that ... another FOUR!!!)  
And you can listen live from anywhere here:

Meanwhile, our very first Final Ballot goes up at 5 am (Chicago time) on Friday, July 5th ... and we will continue to post a new ballot daily until every song you guys nominated has been listed.

Rules on how to vote are already posted ... so please plan to visit the Classic Rock Essentials website every day until we can tabulate the results and begin counting down  


And, in other news ...

Billy J. Kramer sent us a copy of this article that's running in the current issue of Beatlefan Magazine, sent in to him by a fan ...

Here’s a “Get Well Soon” to Robert Lamm of Chicago. Robert missed the band’s Saturday night concert at Summerfest here in Milwaukee due to vertigo. According to today’s Journal-Sentinel, Robert spent the day at Mt. Sinai hospital and was diagnosed with an inner-ear infection. 
Bob Verbos
Sorry to hear that ... get well soon indeed!  (As one of the last originals standing, he needs to get back up there on the stage!)
Meanwhile, we're still hoping to catch Danny Seraphine's show at The Arcada Theatre next Friday Night (the 12th) ... it sounds like this is going to be a very interesting show. 

And, from the Great Minds Think Alike bureau ...  

See ... I toldja I thought this was a great idea ... 

I KNEW I'd heard something like this somewhere before ... 

In fact, TECHNICALLY we have a Four-Day Weekend coming up right around the corner for The 4th of July …
Here’s a challenge for the deejays and programmers on our list …
Come up with a 4-Way / 4-Day 4th of July special …
Whether you go 24/7 or sprinkle in one 4-Play every hour, you can keep listeners tuned in all weekend long wherever they are and whatever they’re doing.  (Why not provide the perfect musical background for their 4th of July cook-out?)
Want help with this?  I’m happy to pitch in.
Kick it around … one 4-Play every hour for the entire 4-Day 4th of July Weekend!
VARIETY … that’s what’s missing these days … and I like variety … and I’d be willing to betcha MOST people listening to the radio do, too … but we’ll NEVER know if we don’t at least TRY it and see what kind of feedback you get.


Please check out The Sunday Survey as we go back 50 Years ago this week and see what tunes were playing on the WLS Hit Parade ...

And don't forget to start casting your votes on Friday for your All-Time Favorite Essential Classic Rock Tracks.  (kk)

Monday, July 1, 2019

A Monday Morning Quickie

Hi, Kent –
After seeing Danny Seraphine's name come up a few times this week, I thought I'd pass this tidbit along.
I suppose it's common knowledge, but Danny has a street in Chicago named for him, on the northwest side, near Belmont and Oak Park avenues.
Mike Wolstein
No, I did NOT know this … how very, very cool!
I met Danny when we working helping to promote the Marty Grebb Benefit Concert a few years ago … really nice guy.  Got to see him again as part of Jim Peterik’s World Stage, too … but this NEW venture (featuring Seraphine’s band CTA and the Russian Chicago Tribute Band Leonid and Friends) sounds like it should be AMAZING!  Looking forward to checking this out.
(I can also highly recommend Danny’s book “Street Player” … it’s a GREAT read and tells the history of the band Chicago, the death of Terry Kath and Danny’s ouster from the band.)  kk 

kk …
I don't know if you want the details of Cornell Gunther's murder, but here they are: 
That one time little bitty mention of the Drifters, the Platters and the Coasters got a lot of feedback, did you notice? Maybe you should do it more often.

Here is a sample of Cornell Gunther’s Coasters … 
(OMG, they sound AWFUL!!!)  kk 

Here’s Carl Gardner without the Coasters.  (I think this was a good idea ... each member of the audience got up and took turns singing.) 
Well, watching THIS clip I can only say that there was a VERY good reason why Carl Gardner was the lead singer of the group … and Cornell Gunther wasn’t!  (kk) 

This is the concert I went to … Charlie Thomas’ Drifters.
Too bad you don't live close by … I would've treated you to this FREE  concert.
Honestly, NONE of these clips would encourage me to go see ANY of these bands … even WITH the odd original member here and there … This one couldn’t be more out of tune!  Frank, you should have gotten up on stage and saved the day on this one!
What was that that Kenny Rogers used to say? …
You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em …
I think THAT window closed a couple of decades ago.  (kk) 

I have to connect the promotions of concert scammers and phone / email / mail scammers.
Scammers have been asked why they use poor grammar, misspellings and obvious flaws when pursuing victims. The unasked question being, “Why aren’t you more careful and make it appear more credible?”
They answer by explaining that this is purposeful. If a victim can ignore or excuse these obvious mistakes, and take the bait … then they KNOW they have a fish they can fry over and over.
A concert promotion that has information that is wrong or misleading is doing the same thing. They are after the quick readers and those who buy tickets on impetuous whim, to fill the seats and make their money. They know they do not have the originals. They don’t care. If you fall for it, you are out the price of tickets, at least one time. Remember that at every concert I attend, there are people who are new to attending that performance. Imagine the ones who are sitting at the bogus concerts, not knowing till they start (and maybe not even then!) that they have been “had”.
Truth In Music Laws were made to get a handle on this, just like other scammer laws, but trying to catch and prosecute the law breakers is an ongoing headache.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano 
Again, Buyer Beware … AND DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!  (kk) 

Regarding your post on the 50th Anniversary of the M’WOKY Festival, I found there to be a lot of additional information on the Wisconsin Rock Concerts from the 60s and 70s
You can start by checking out this Facebook page … 
And there, I have posted articles including: 
And others from the page: 
Jeff Ash (June 22, 2019 post): 
50 years ago today, on June 22, 1969, about 29,000 people came out for the M'WOKY Pops Festival on a cold, windy, rainy day at Milwaukee County Stadium.
Among the bands: The Monkees, Tommy James and the Shondells, the Royal Guardsmen, the Guess Who, the Buckinghams, Jay and the Americans, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, New Colony Six and the Classics IV. 
I can’t tell you how many searches I did in preparation for this anniversary … talked to many of the artists who were there that day (most of whom remembered absolutely nothing special about it) as well as FH Readers and Dee Jays who live (or lived) in Wisconsin at the time.  (A couple of the jocks even mentioned it on the air, trying to get listeners to contact me and share their memories … and we STILL came up with zippo!)
I don’t do Facebook so I never pursued these … but please send Jeff Ash a link to our anniversary coverage as I think he’d enjoy it.  (We also just recently received more comments from Tom Doody, lead singer of The Cryan’ Shames, who were there that night.)  Those were some pretty interesting line-ups for the follow-up concerts in 1970 and 1971!
Maybe we can continue to document these memories and have a better page to post for the 60TH ANNIVERSARY of this amazing concert!!!  (kk) 

Author and music historian Joel Selvin just emailed me and let me know guitarist and vocalist Gary Duncan, featured on the first three Quicksilver Messenger Service albums, passed on Thursday.  (June 27th)
I highly recommend the albums "Quicksilver Messenger Service," "Happy Trails" and "Shady Grove." I love "Dino's Song," "Pride of Man" and the band's cover of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love."
In 2007 I asked Gary to reflect on the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival.  QMS are glimpsed in the 50th anniversary edition DVD of director D.A. Pennebaker's "Monterey Pop."
GARY DUNCAN: It was an event to be sure.  It was the first event I ever attended, not to mention that I actually got to participate in.
Before  'Monterey,' there were no large venue festivals as people refer to them.  After Monterey there were many ... but Monterey was the Alpha and Omega of them all ... not because of the size of the show ... I suppose it was the "Cosmic Timing" of the event which gave it gravity.
It was the first time that a show of that magnitude had been attempted and I'm sure the first time that much money had been invested in a musical event. Woodstock is famous for its size ... Altamont was infamous for obvious reasons ... and, at the age of 61, I have played music at more than a hundred 'festivals' ... but Monterey was ... what can I say? ... it was Monterey ... it was the first and last, which is probably as it should be.
My memories of Monterey are vivid ... I remember Otis Redding’s performance ... Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar fifteen feet away from me ... The Who smashing their instruments ... I remember that it wasn't quite 'complete' without James Brown, Ray Charles or Bobby Bland ... but the most moving moment of all was Ravi Shankar on Sunday afternoon …
After the mayhem and chaos of the previous night ... after taking Acid with Hendrix and jamming for what seemed like years ... to listen to Ravi Shankar drifting across the audience was an experience I cannot describe ... all the electric music ... all the lights ... all the drugs ... were nowhere close to the intensity and meaning of his music.
As far as Quicksilvers' performance, we were scared ... I was scared.  I had never been in front of that many people in my life ... the whole set went by in a flash and it was finished.
Backstage was like magic to me ... brick pathways with bars and restaurants for the artists only.  I was sitting in a small restaurant, eating a burger and looked up to see Otis Redding, Duck Dunn, Steve Cropper and the entire Memphis Crew eating burgers looking at me and smiling.  They were my heroes and I was there eating with them ... That's what I remember the most.
I wasn't aware until later that there was that much media / label attention on the show ... I don't know if we got signed because of our performance or not ... I would assume not because we didn't play that well in my opinion ... but It was evident that someone had spent a lot of money to put it all together ... every band had a brand new set of Fender amps ... which immediately went into our own trucks and we kept them ... along with Hammond Organs and whatever else we could 'liberate' from the stage after our set ... there was a new back-line for every act ... and nobody seemed to care where the other stuff went ... that is a lot of gear that just 'disappeared' ... the cost of that gear alone should be an indication of the gravity of the event. 
Within three years, ALL the Major Players in the show were dead ... but I got to see them perform and eat with them ... that's what I remember forty years later.
Gary Duncan / Quicksilver Messenger Service 
Quicksilver Messenger Service were some “heady” rock for sure … very much album-oriented stuff best appreciated in an altered state of mind … yet I absolutely LOVE their song “Fresh Air” and have never grown tired of hearing it … I think it’s just an incredible recording … and it’s scoring very well in our Top 3333 Most Essential Classic Rock Songs Poll right now, too … 292 votes as I type this this morning.  (They also have another track nominated … “What About Me” … which currently only has its initial nominating vote at this time.  But that’s ALL about to change once the final ballot starts posting THIS FRIDAY (July 5th).
We’ve done the math … ballots will post for 45 consecutive days, beginning on Friday, July 5th and running through Monday, August 19th.  Approximately 100 songs per day will be listed (alphabetically) and you’ll have three days to vote for each ballot (meaning that the polls will officially close on Wednesday, August 21st.)
We’ll then compute the final tallies and begin to review your Top 3333 Favorites right around Labor Day Weekend.  (If by some miracle I can get all of this work done in time, I’ll launch it on my birthday, Tuesday, August 27th, as that would just be a really cool thing to do!)
Keep checking the site for updates … 
We promised to deliver the most accurate, comprehensive countdown possible … and with over 730,000 votes BEFORE THE POLLS HAVE EVEN OFFICIALLY OPENED YET, I’d say we’re well on our way to representing the world’s Most Essential Classic Rock Tracks.  (We should be well over a million votes by the time this thing wraps up!)
Please bookmark this site and visit daily to cast your votes for your favorites and undeniable essentials.  (kk) 

Surprised you didn't give any coverage to the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame induction ceremony last Sunday.
Ken Voss 
For the very reason stated above, we’ve fallen behind (in a MAJOR way!) with some of our usual Forgotten Hits coverage.  (Still, this is our ninth straight day of postings on the FH site … so, in light of everything else that's been going on, that’s pretty damn impressive in my opinion!)

Ken sent us this press release / announcement for his obvious favorite: 

Band of Gypsys – Purveyors of Funk, Soul, & Rock, to be Inducted into R&B HOF 
The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame has announced its 2019 class that will be inducted at its 8th annual ceremony. The event will be held at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, MI, on Sunday, June 23rd.
The Band of Gypsys consisted of Jimi Hendrix on guitar / vocals, Buddy Miles on drums / vocals, and Billy Cox on bass / vocals. Although this talented group was short-lived, they left a colossal footprint on the world of music. Their four live performances on Dec. 31st, 1969 – Jan. 1st, 1970 at the Fillmore East in NYC, ushered in a new era of funk and fusion, which changed the way people composed and listened to music. No group had ever mixed R&B, soul, funk, and rock into such a seamless blend. The BOG LP peaked at #5 Pop / #14 R&B and spent over a year on both the Pop / R&B Top 50 Billboard Album Charts. P-Funk, Isley Brothers, Slave, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, and so many others, have cited the BOG’s as a major influence. 
William “Billy” Cox, the last surviving member of the group, had this to say: 
“As artists and musicians, our duty is to regard, express, and to paint pictures that do the telling through our music. Jimi, Buddy and I locked into each other because we knew our assigned musicianship was greater than ourselves. We loved each other and trusted each other to do what we knew we were created to do.” 
The full list of inductees can be found on the official website: 

We also slighted coverage of the East Coast Music Hall Of Fame Awards a couple of weeks ago … so let me bring you all up to date on this ceremony (just in case you don’t already know!)  Wow!  What a night of music and honorees THIS was!!! 

No sooner did we "post" this "Post" on Forgotten Hits on Saturday, June 29, 2019 ~~

~~  than Chuck Buell dug into his infamous Archives for this!  (On a Saturday Evening yet!)

Early 1960s Prom Night!  When Forgotten Hits were new!
This illustration was done by Ben Kimberly Prins who, like Norman Rockwell, also contributed his Americana interpretations to the Saturday Evening Post.
(It wouldn't surprise us if Chuck was also wearing his vintage "white sport coat and a pink carnantion!")

And finally, this from kk’s RESALE SHOP … 

Hoping you remember me ... Bob Morrow from Bolingbrook.
We met in Indiana at a Monkees concert a few years ago.
I'm selling my 1971 Jukebox.
It's a Rock-Ola (picture attached) and I thought it would be best served to first see if one of the many loyal Forgotten Hits Readers would like to have the first crack at this.  (I'm really not much of a Craigslist person.)
Wondering if you have a way of posting this on your site for all to see?
Maybe someone that has a 50's theme style restaurant or someone looking to play their favorite 45's might be interested!
I bought it for $800 about 22 years ago.  Everything works great and it plays 45's for that oldies enthusiast.
I just spent $200 to have it greased, lubed, tuned up ... whatever you would call that for a jukebox … amazingly by the same guy who used to work at the Home Arcade in Lisle where I bought it from!!!
ALL of the lights work … all new bulbs were just replaced.  (The person who greased and changed the bulbs lives in Romeoville and, as he was employed by Home Arcade, he has extensive knowledge on these items!
We never did activate the coin operation - they told me that unless you are looking to turn a profit, it's one less thing that you don't need to malfunction. So, we never had it deployed.
This is in rare shape, for many of these type of Rock-Olas's typically have had the acrylic circle with the different colors broken from guys punching it when they have had too much to drink.
It also has small steel wheels that allows it to roll.
I have no problem having anyone come to the house to see it in person.
I’m looking to sell for $1,000 of Best Offer. Of course I will help them move if needed.
Bob Morrow
Bolingbrook, IL 
Boy, I wish I had the money and the place to put it in order to take this off your hands … it looks BEAUTIFUL!!!
Any interested parties can contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Bob.  (YEARS ago we listed Ray Graffia, Jr.’s car for sale in these pages … and maybe even his house, too!  So these unusual opportunities do come up from time to time!)
Give me a shout if you’re interested in seeing or purchasing this beautiful jukebox.  (kk)