Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Biggest Movies of 1969

Yesterday we told you about all of the top TV shows of 1969.

Today we take a look at the big screen box office smashes ... 

And the Academy Awards (and Golden Globes) that followed.


Rank Title Studio Gross
1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 20th Century Fox $102,308,889
2. Midnight Cowboy United Artists $44,785,053
3. Easy Rider Columbia $41,728,598
4. Hello, Dolly! 20th Century Fox $33,208,099
5. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice Columbia $31,897,253
6. Paint Your Wagon Paramount $31,678,778
7. True Grit Paramount $31,132,592
8. Cactus Flower Columbia $25,889,208
9. Goodbye, Columbus Paramount $22,939,805
10. On Her Majesty's Secret Service United Artists $22,774,493
11. I Am Curious (Yellow) Janus Films $20,238,100
12. Winning Universal $14,644,335
13. Z Cinema V $14,283,305
14. The Sterile Cuckoo Paramount $13,982,357
15. The Stewardesses Sherpix Inc. $13,500,000
16. Run, Angel, Run! Fanfare Films $13,000,000
17. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Cinerama $12,600,000
18. A Boy Named Charlie Brown National General Pictures $12,000,000
19. The Wild Bunch Warner Bros. $10,500,000
20. Sweet Charity Universal $8,000,000
21. The Undefeated 20th Century Fox $8,000,000
22. Where Eagles Dare MGM $7,100,000
23. Alice's Restaurant United Artists $6,300,000
24. Take the Money and Run Cinerama $6,080,000
25. Topaz Universal $6,000,000
26. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 20th Century Fox $6,000,000
27. If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium United Artists $6,000,000
28. Once Upon a Time in the West Paramount $5,321,508    

Top Awards  

Academy Awards: 

Best Picture: Midnight Cowboy - Hellman-Schlesinger, United Artists 

Best Director: John Schlesinger, Midnight Cowboy 

Best Actor: John Wayne – True Grit 

Best Actress: Maggie Smith – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 

Best Supporting Actor: Gig Young, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 

Best Supporting Actress: Goldie Hawn, Cactus Flower 

Best Foreign Language Film: Z, directed by Costa-Gavras, Algeria   

Golden Globe Awards: 


Best Picture: Anne of the Thousand Days 

Best Actor: John Wayne – True Grit 

Best Actress: Geneviève BujoldAnne of the Thousand Days 

Musical or comedy: 

Best Picture: The Secret of Santa Vittoria 

Best Actor: Peter O'TooleGoodbye, Mr. Chips 

Best Actress: Patty DukeMe, Natalie 

Best Director: Charles JarrottAnne of the Thousand Days

Friday, December 27, 2019

12/27 - TV, 1969

With only three channels to choose from, did we have better television choices back in 1969?

A look at the Fall TV Schedule tells us this:

Sunday Nights: The Ed Sullivan Show was still required viewing back in 1969 ... it aired against The F.B.I. and Walt Disney's Wonderful World Of Color. (Earlier evening fare included Lassie, Land of the Giants, Wild Kingdom and The Bill Cosby Show. Depending on what time dinner was served on any given Sunday Night, I might have watched The Bill Cosby Show ... unless my younger sister had already commandeered the television set to watch Lassie.) Most likely after Ed I switched over to Bonanza (although by 1969 this program had pretty well run its course for me ... incredibly it would air for another four years and, by 1969, had already been a Sunday Night fixture for ten!!!) or The ABC Sunday Night Movie. I don't think I've ever seen an episode of The Leslie Uggams Show and wasn't a fan of The Bold Ones either. Most of my friends were hooked on Mission Impossible but, other than the ultra-cool theme song by Lalo Schiffrin, this one never really grabbed me either.

Monday Night we had Music Scene (which I did watch, naturally!), something called New People, Harold Robbins' "The Survivors" and Love, American Style on ABC, Gunsmoke, Here's Lucy, Mayberry R.F.D., The Doris Day Show and The Carol Burnett Show on CBS and My World and Welcome To It, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and The Monday Night Movie on NBC. I was still a big "Laugh-In" fan in '69 and, in that respect, I wasn't alone ... much of the country was ALSO tuned in and Laugh-In ended up being the #1 Television Show of the Year ... but I'll also admit to seeing more than a few episodes of "Love, American Style", too!

On Tuesday Night it was one of MY favorite shows, "Mod Squad" on ABC, followed by the Movie of the Week and then Marcus Welby, M.D., one of my Mom's favorite TV shows. (As "hip" as it seemed at the time, "Mod Squad" SURE looks dated nowadays!!! lol I guess it can best be described as television's version of what THEY thought was hip!!! These seemed to be a current trend, trying to lure in more younger viewers as programs like "Room 222" also tried to show the world through teen-aged eyes.) CBS gave us Lancer, The Red Skelton Hour, The Governor and J.J. and The CBS News Hour, which, at that time, incorporated 60 Minutes into their programming. Over at NBC we had I Dream Of Jeannie (starring Barbara Eden's well-hidden navel), The Debbie Reynolds Show, Julia (starring the beautiful Diahann Carroll ... I liked that one, too) and The NBC Tuesday Night Movie.

Wednesday Night on ABC gave us The Flying Nun and The Courtship of Eddie's Father ... I don't think I've ever seen a single episode of either of these two so-called television classics ... I was most likely tuned into The Glen Campbell Good-Time Hour on CBS, which is how I happened to be one of the ones that caught the video of The Beatles performing "Get Back" on the Apple Rooftop that we wrote about several weeks back. But after Glen, I DID switch over to ABC to watch "Room 222", another one of my then-favorite shows. (As mentioned above, I can only imagine how dated this one must look today!) Other Wednesday Night television fare included The Virginian, The Kraft Music Hall, Medical Center, The ABC Wednesday Night Movie, Then Came Bronson and Hawaii Five-O, whose theme song was a BIG hit for The Ventures that year.

On Thursday Nights I did a bit of channel surfing (and this was in the PRE-remote days, too, when you actually had to get up out of your seat to change the channel!!!) I'd start the night with Family Affair on CBS, then switch over to That Girl and Bewitched on ABC. Then we'd watch This Is Tom Jones, another one of my Mom's favorites before ending the night with The Dean Martin Show on NBC. If you didn't watch THESE shows, you were probably watching The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Daniel Boone, The Jim Nabors Show, Ironside, Dragnet, It Takes A Thief or The CBS Thursday Night Movie.

Fridays gave us Get Smart, The Good Guys and Hogan's Heroes on CBS before their Friday Night Movie, High Chaparral (another one of my favorites) on NBC, followed by The Name of the Game and Bracken's World or Let's Make A Deal (my Dad's favorite show), The Brady Bunch (brand new in 1969 and now a permanent, historic part of pop culture), Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Here Comes The Brides (starring new heart-throb Bobby Sherman, who was also tearing up the pop charts by this time with his hits "Little Woman" and "La-La-La, If I Had You") and Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters. (Really?!?!? In 1969?!?!?)

Saturdays kicked off with either the back-to-back hits The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game or, depending on the guests, we might instead watch The Andy Williams Show. (Typically, we skipped the competition, which on CBS was The Jackie Gleason Show.) Then came My Three Sons, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and Mannix on CBS or The Lawrence Welk Show and Hollywood Palace on ABC or Adam-12 and The Saturday Night Movie on NBC.

Emmy Winners for the 1969-1970 Television Season were:

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES: My World And Welcome To It (Sheldon Leonard, Executive Producer, Danny Arnold, Producer)

OUTSTANDING DRAMATIC SERIES: Marcus Welby, M.D. (David Victor, Executive Producer, David J. O'Connell, Producer)

OUTSTANDING VARIETY OR MUSICAL SERIES: The David Frost Show (Peter Baker, Producer)










As for the actual television ratings for the '69 season, THESE are the shows that finished in The Top Ten:

2. GUNSMOKE (CBS) 25.9
3. BONANZA (CBS) 24.8
4. MAYBERRY R.F.D. (CBS) 24.4
6. HERE'S LUCY (CBS) 23.9
8. MARCUS WELBY, M.D. (ABC) 23.7

Other notable programs with 20 million or more viewers: The Bill Cosby Show (22.7), The Jim Nabors Show (22.4), The Carol Burnett Show (22.1), The Dean Martin Show (21.9), My Three Sons (21.8), Ironside (21.8), The Johnny Cash Show (21.8), The Beverly Hillbillies (21.7), Hawaii Five-O (21.1), The Glen Campbell Good-Time Hour (21.0), Hee Haw (21.0), The ABC Movie Of The Week (20.9), Mod Squad (20.8), The NBC Saturday Night Movie (20.6), Bewitched (20.6), The F.B.I. (20.6), The Ed Sullivan Show (20.3), Julia (20.1), The CBS Thursday Night Movie (20.0) and, just missing, Mannix (with 19.9)

Thursday, December 26, 2019


Over the next several days we'll be looking back at some of the "Best Of" lists that best exemplify 1969 ... movies ... tv ... and today, music.

While most will agree that The Grammys are not a very good barometer when it comes to measuring GOOD music (aka "Hit" music ... or reflecting the sounds of the times), they seemed to do all-right in their awards honoring the music of 1969.  

The Record Of The Year Award went to Producer Bones Howe and the Fifth Dimension for their chart-topping hit "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In," a song that held down the #1 spot for six weeks that year. (We covered "The Story Behind The Song" in one of our earlier salute pieces that showcased the music from the hit Broadway Musical "Hair," which made quite a mark on the pop charts in 1969.)

The Album Of The Year was awarded to James William Guercio (Producer) and Blood, Sweat and Tears for their self-titled LP, which spawned the hit singles "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "Spinning Wheel" and "And When I Die", all of which reached the #2 spot on The Billboard Chart that year.

Song Of The Year was a bit of a surprise ... this honor went to Joe South for his Top Ten Hit "Games People Play".

And Crosby, Stills and Nash were named "Best New Artist" that year as well.

Other significant award winners that year were Harry Nilsson (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male, for "Everybody's Talkin'"), Peggy Lee (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Female, for "Is That All There Is"), The Fifth Dimension (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group for "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In"), "Color Him Father" by The Winstons (Best Rhythm and Blues Song), Joe Simon (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Male, for "The Chokin' Kind"), Aretha Franklin (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Female, for "Share Your Love With Me"), The Isley Brothers (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Group, for "It's Your Thing"), "A Boy Named Sue", which won honors for both Shel Silverstein as the songwriter (Best Country Song of the Year) and Johnny Cash, who took home the honors for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male. (Cash won an additional Grammy for writing the liner notes to the Bob Dylan album, "Nashville Skyline"!) Tammy Wynette won the Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for her big hit "Stand By Your Man" and The Edwin Hawkins Singers won Best Soul Gospel Performance for their recording of "Oh, Happy Day". Best Instrumental Arrangement went to Henry Mancini for "Love Theme from 'Romeo And Juliet'" and Burt Bacharach won for Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture for his work on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Finally, Art Linkletter won Best Spoken Word Recording for his very moving "We Love You, Call Collect" and Bill Cosby took home the honors for Best Comedy Recording ... all in all, a pretty spot-on year when it came to recognizing these achievements.

Meanwhile, on The Pop Charts, Billboard Magazine declared "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies to be the biggest single of the year.  

Lead Singer Ron Dante remembers:

1969 was an incredible year for The Archies.
Archies Fun House was the number one Saturday morning show that year and our music was everywhere.  "Sugar, Sugar" was the number one record of the year and the cartoon was even played on The Ed Sullivan Show.  
I remember the "Sugar, Sugar" recording session was really cool with the legendary Don Kirshner, Jeff Barry, Toni Wine and Andy Kim all present.  Don put the whole thing together, getting Archie comics to let him choose the songs, producer and singers.  Jeff and Andy were terrific at coming up with great songs and hooks for the group. Andy even played guitar on "Sugar, Sugar," using a matchbook instead of a pick. 
Jeff worked the musicians a little harder than usual, giving the bass player ideas that took some time.  After I did my lead vocal, Toni Wine and I did all the background vocals and she added her wonderful voice to the "I'm Gonna Make Your Life So Sweet" line.  
In 1969 everything changed ... 
Woodstock, The Moon Landing, The Mets and The Archies.
A perfect year.
Ron Dante    

Some found the unexpected surprise of a bubblegum / pop record earning The Single Of The Year Award a bit dumbfounding, especially in light of some of the other musical trends of that era. Music had definitely taken on a harder edge by 1969 with the formation of new super groups like Led Zeppelin, Blind Faith and Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young) releasing their first LPs.  

Here are a few of the comments we received on this topic when our 40th Anniversary Salute to 1969 ran in 2009:

Was "Sugar Sugar" by the unforgettable Archies really the number one song in '69? No big deal. Hey, the hooks were kind of catchy.
I couldn't get enough of Creedence, Tommy James, Rush Street, Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders or anything via Stax, Volt or Motown. Rush Street, in particular, was just too much fun. The Street had yet to go corporate, so my haunts were Rush Up, Rush Over, Mother's, Butch's and Puncinellos.
Rush Up was the apex of boy - girl attraction. If you couldn't find a babe in that joint by 10 pm you just weren't trying. There was also a tonk bar on Broadway avenue called "The Do It Lounge" which really should have been outlawed.
We just danced until we passed out ... and then danced again. Thank God the place had a 4 A.M. license.
My man Wayne Cochran was appointment entertainment. He was running a band with at least a dozen musicians. They were so damn tight it hurt. The Riders always drove home the point with the heaviest of jazz-funk bass lines and horn sections that were overwhelming.  Wayne, of course, was a handbook on showmanship. I would love to get in contact with him.
Kids today think they're having fun. Forget it. We put a copyright on fun in 1969.
We were doing the popcorn and the funky chicken.
Had to make a few bucks and I was truly blessed. I'd hooked up with WFLD - now Fox 32 - and was working a variety of jobs: news writer, on-camera sports reporter, etc. It was a wonderful rush for a 21 year old kid. 21 years old? Actually on the tube? Couldn't happen today ...No News Director would have the guts.
Here's the deal ... TV, especially UHF, was still very embryonic. I wound up doing all those gigs at 'FLD because the station was running on a short leash budget. My salary was about 200 bucks a week. That wasn't bad since I never spent more than about 300 dollars a week.
Chet Coppock  
LOL ... good stuff, Chet ... I can TOTALLY relate to spending 50% more than what you're earning ... and STILL have that problem today!!! (lol) kk  

Hey Kent,
1969 was the year that I graduated from Falconer Grammar School in Chicago. It was also the year that I discovered bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Three Dog Night, Jimi Hendrix, Elephants Memory and one hit wonder The Bubble Puppy (who I was surprised to see in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame One Hit Wonder Exhibit).
I grew up listening to my older brother's music collection (10 Years Older) ... Elvis, the Crewcuts, the Everly Brothers, Roger Miller, West Side Story soundtrack, etc. It was a great foundation to Rock N Roll. But when I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, at 8 years of age, I ran out and bought Meet The Beatles on vinyl and my whole world changed. (Although I have always been an Elvis fan).
1969 was also the year that I began my High School Years at Prosser Vocational. That opened up my eyes and ears to many different types of music ... Santana, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, and many non-white bands, being that Prosser was a non-district school. You could live anywhere in the city, and attend Prosser. I made many friends of all different races and religions during that time, and still have many friendships from that era.
Mark Zimmerman
Hayward, CA

'69 MEMORIES: What a great year. I spent most of that year in the 8th grade or Junior High (when did it become middle school? lol) and had a newspaper route. I used to build plastic model cars and the entire line-up of '69 Chevrolets became my favorite cars and remain so to this day (a few years later my best friend bought a '69 Chevelle SS396 and taught me to drive standard shift with it). That year I decided to go to Trade School to learn the Printing Business after getting a sampling of it in the Jr. High Print Shop, so that year had a big effect on my life because I worked as a Printer from 1973 up until 2008.
So much great music that year ... the Beatles, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Motown still cranking out great songs and The Rolling Stones, which you mentioned and always kind of makes me chuckle that Honky Tonk Women got knocked out of the #1 spot by Sugar, Sugar although I do love both songs.  (Side-note:  a few years ago I had the good fortune to meet and talk with both Ron Dante and Andy Kim at different times and found them both to be excellent performers as well as very nice people.)  It shows what a wide variety of music was on the radio back then.
I certainly remember the moon landing because our entire extended family was at a barbecue and everybody went inside to watch on TV. My youngest brother was born five days later on the 25th, he just turned 40 (Happy Birthday, Charlie!) and my cousin got married that summer, 1st wedding I ever went to, and she and her husband are celebrating 40 years of marriage this year.
Of course, I watched all the news reports about Woodstock, but at 13 years old, no way could I have gone, although I live about two hours drive from the site.  (I did manage to go to Woodstock '94 ... lots of fun).
My summer ended on a bad note when, in late August, I was nearly killed in a car accident with my brother, cousin and 16 yr old next door neighbor in his brand new '69 Volkswagen Fastback (remember those?). Fortunately, we all survived, but I spent four weeks in the hospital (riding shotgun without seatbelts) and started High School in October instead of September and walked around with two black eyes for about six months.
Anyway, lots of great music including the now much over-played Suspicious Minds and the DJs on WABC playing around when the song faded out and then came back again. I used to love that and nowadays I never hear that version anymore even though the song gets played several times a day by every station in my area.  (I know, we don't need to hear it, but I would love to hear that version on the radio once in awhile)
That's about it for me on 1969 (please excuse the rambling!)
Thanks, Kent, for all you do
Orange, CT

69: Those numbers are not JUST for what some of you are thinking.‘69 the year is indelibly etched in MY mind due to many of the things that a lot of you have mentioned this year in the Forgotten Hits salute. 
For ME, it was when I realized that (during that summer and fall) all types of music clashed and collided to become the true soundtrack of the end of our collective adolescence. Think about it. A WHOLE generation had known about ELVIS and bad movies. Some of his songs were sorta relevant … and then “Suspicious Minds” came out … a career rejuvenator for sure. The Beatles hit their peak (some suggest two years prior) with the release of Abbey Road that fall. CCR was becoming the biggest American rock band. The Stones had “Honky Tonk Women” even with the erased tracks of their founder Brian Jones. Motown was still making relevant music, although NOW mostly influenced by what Sly Stone was up to. Stax was still puttin’ down the grooves … although they maybe had peaked the year before … (Don’t count “Shaft” later, as that was the beginning of the end for the Stax empire.) Bubblegum was still in the mix with Bobby Sherman’s “Little Woman” … although the best true bubblegum was gone already. The ROCK of The WHO, Janis, Jimi, The DOORS were all at the peak of their powers then. The SOUL was still magnificent from Detroit, Memphis, NY … not yet morphing into Disco … although SOME of the roots of Disco CAME from that year … (Listen to the rhythms and beats in Soul songs from ’69.) Folk singers could still sell records … Dylan, Baez, Arlo, Simon & Garfunkel, etc … PURE POP FUN was still available from The Turtles (although their peak was in ’67 & 68.) Lou Christie was a hit-maker from another era … (only gone for two or three years!) And there were STILL a lot of regional hit records in each major city. Just look at all of the WLS surveys that Kent has been posting recently. Even WABC was still playing some regional faves, even at THAT late date. Some records I heard on WFIL and WIBBAGE in Philly were LOCAL records that NEVER made it to NY or Chicago … and could only BE played in Philly today! But … just what WAS the commonality of all this music?? We loved almost ALL of it! And several songs could be played by ONE station. Not all, mind you … the really esoteric tracks were played by the AOR stations … the POP stuff on AM … but for ONCE, AM played a lot of “heavy” hits and a LOT of black music that was only played on “SOUL” stations just a year before … when CHAOS ruled the airwaves … the killings of very popular figures, and not ONE of our generations MUSIC LEGENDS had yet croaked. It’s not because I was 16 in ’69 that made me superior in my tastes in music (which entailed ALL of the above in some magical place in my head) … no. It was the fact that it all was HEARD by the masses.
Today, there is no such thing as a MASS appeal station for ANY genre. Perhaps COUNTRY is close, but even THEY are broken up by niches and old vs. new country. And OLD means the 90’s. I also think THIS is why Classic Hit stations of today that actually PLAY a little of ALL that we remember are doing so WELL in most cities. We didn’t stop liking music in ’69. I know I didn’t. But by ’89, I was gone. New music didn’t cater to ME anymore. BECAUSE much of it was only played on SELECT STATIONS. They were already sliced and diced into little corners of the FORMAT world of consultants and certain programmers. THAT’S when it all went bad. 
It’s not a recent thing. It started in the 80’s ... or maybe even the late 70’s!!!!!!! So my memories of ’69 are VERY fond. I was able to deliver my papers on my bike still, and STILL have time to head to the beach in a nearby Jersey Shore town. I was TETHERED to my earpiece on my paper route (so much so, that a customer asked my mom if I was DEAF! Mom laughed and she thought the woman was gonna hit her. She explained that it was a pocket RADIO that I had in my ear from morning ‘til night!) I didn’t NEED it at the beach that summer, as almost EVERYONE had on either 77 WABC or 102.7 WNEW-FM. There was a chasm already developing between the freaks and the straights … but I was a little of BOTH; musically anyway.
All I know is what I feel NOW. I feel like it was a special time when the stars DID align and the moon was in the seventh pass ... and Jupiter was aligned with Mars. We THOUGHT peace would guide the planet. Alas it didn’t … but musically MILLIONS of us were on one or maybe only TWO wavelengths. And THAT was very special. It will NEVER happen that way again. 
I didn’t get to Woodstock, as my liberal MOTHER wouldn’t let me go. My CONSERVATIVE father said, “Let him go.” Mom won out … as SHE was listening to the MOR station on the radio describing what was about to happen, and SHE didn’t want her oldest being exposed to that “crowd.” Little did she KNOW I knew the crowd. I wasn’t a 100% freak, nor was I a 100% geek.  I knew HOW to get there, and I had a ride!!! But I didn’t go. I savored the MOVIE the following year. I bought BOTH albums … and even got the 4 CD set a few years back … with songs NOT in the movie. I play it once a year around that time JUST to try to LIVE it for real. Then we became adults VERY quickly as a generation, and it all seemed like a dream. It wasn’t. It was a very REAL … but somewhat SURREALISTIC time for ALL of us middle Boomers.
Thanks for reading my thoughts! ‘69 indeed!
Big Jay Sorensen

By 1969, the LP was quickly becoming the preferred way to purchase and listen to music. This trend is clearly in evidence as you look at some of the Biggest LPs of 1969 (according to Billboard Magazine ... you'll find OUR list coming up in the next day or two):

1) In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfuly
2) Hair - Original Cast
3) Blood, Sweat And Tears - Blood, Sweat and Tears
4) Bayou Country - Creedence Clearwater Revival
5) Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
6) At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
7) Funny Girl - Soundtrack (huh?!?!?)
8) The Beatles (White Album) - The Beatles
9) Greatest Hits - Donovan
10) Greatest Hits - The Association

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" coming in as the biggest album of the year was a bit of a surprise ... it debuted on the charts in July of 1968 ... but rode the chart for 140 weeks, or nearly three years!!! Incredibly, it never reached the #1 spot yet still earned enough points during the year to finish on top of Billboard's LP list. Their follow-up LP, "Ball", also finished in the year-end Top 20.

Three Dog Night's debut album made the year-end chart as did classics like "Nashville Skyline" by Bob Dylan, "Cheap Thrills" by Big Brother and the Holding Company and "Stand" by Sly and the Family Stone. And who could forget the cult-classic "Switched On Bach" by Walter Carlos and Benjamin Folkman?!?! (After all kinds of media coverage, it finished up as the 21st biggest album of the year!)

For a look back at another classic album released in 1969, please visit our other web page and click on the Dusty Springfield link ... "Dusty In Memphis" is regarded as one of the best albums of all-time today ... yet upon its original release it only managed a #99 showing on The Billboard Chart.
Click here: Forgotten Hits - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD

Other '69 albums classics include the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album and the first and only Blind Faith LP. Creedence Clearwater Revival would release THREE LPs that year!!! ("Bayou Country", "Green River" and "Willie And The Poorboys" were virtually NEVER off my turn-table in 1969 or 1970!) "Abbey Road" was released too late in the year to make 1969's year-end chart (but wound up as the #4 album of 1970.) Other notable releases include "Let It Bleed" by The Rolling Stones, "Tommy" by The Who, (the first Rock Opera), "In The Court Of The Krimson King" by King Krimson, the self-titled album releases by The Band, The Chicago Transit Authority, Blood, Sweat and Tears, The Allman Brothers Band, It's A Beautiful Day and Santana, the first two Led Zeppelin releases, "Hot Buttered Soul" by Isaac Hayes and "Volunteers" by The Jefferson Airplane. Good stuff ... and necessary components of ANY complete record collection.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


courtesy of Chuck Buell  (CB ... aka Chrismas Boy!)



Monday, December 23, 2019

Just Another Manic Monday ...

… as we get ready for the holidays.

No new postings on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (other than our holiday greetings to all) …
But we kick off a flurry of posts to cap off the year (and our on-going salute to 1969), beginning on Thursday, December 26th … and running straight thru to January 5th (so far!) 

So please make plans to join us then … and throughout 2020!

Meanwhile, we got this from Mark Lindsay’s wife Deb after she read Rich Turner’s concert review of Mark’s show down in Clearwater, Florida …

Thanks, Kent!
But Mark never has and never would use auto tune. He has perfect pitch and does vocal exercises 365 days a year for at least an hour a day ... unlike some artists, he does it the old-fashioned way ... talent and practice.

I don't want to sound rude, but 'Start Me Up'!!! Top Ten???
Wow, you lost me there, Kent!
The Stones got redundant and boring after the mid-70's, and this coming from a youngster who started buying them way before 'Satisfaction'!
I just sold 1500 old LP's, but kept the first two Stones albums.
Yep - I love the old Stones!!
Keep up the wonderful work keeping our 'old' music in the ears of new listeners - and us old listeners!
Owen Mahon
Lewisburg, PA

Remember … not my call where everything finished … this list was left entirely up to the classic rock music fans out there (with airplay and downloads factored into the mix.)
I always looked at “Start Me Up” as a bit of a “comeback” record for The Stones in the sense that it returned them to that classic opening guitar riff that set them apart from all of the other bands over the years.  (After “Brown Sugar” in 1971, we got ballads like “Angie” and “Fool To Cry” and “Miss You,” which was damn near disco … “Start Me Up” represented a return to their old rockin’ sound again … and I loved it.  (As I recall, they had the basic track in the can for years but didn’t finally getting around to finishing it until a new album was needed.)
There are still a couple more great Stones tracks coming up in The Top Eight … so stay tuned!  (kk)

Checked out latest in the countdown.  Of the two songs that get played endlessly on classic rock or anywhere, two that I never tire of are "Satisfaction" (which I THINK must still be coming up) and "Dream On" at #9. 
The biggest surprise in The top 60 or so for me is "Already Gone."  It wasn't a huge hit and altho it gets played some on stations, I just am amazed by its high status here.  Maybe it is the "anti-Eagles hits" methodology that I go thru with many bands like the Eagles and Journey and ELO.  I REALLY don't care to hear "Hotel Cal," "Don't Stop Believing'" (Wow, amazed it was so low) or "Evil Woman."  I'd much prefer hearing some of the lesser played tracks by these bands.  It's not that many of us dislike the songs, we just tire of them all the time when so many others should get same play.  It's like when oldies stations became popular in the 80's and we heard the Supremes nonstop.  NOW, I never hear them and it is a breath of fresh air hearing those classics again.
Clark Besch

That’s been our biggest beef over the twenty years of doing Forgotten Hits.  Radio has ruined songs that we absolutely LOVED thanks to over-saturation and repeated airplay.  There are certain artists I can’t even listen to anymore as a result of this … and these were songs and artists that were among my favorites.
Yet I have also found that if I turned off “Jack And Diane” or “Night Moves” or “Brown Eyed Girl” every time it came on for a couple of years, it became a pleasure hearing them again … in moderation.  The love for the music is still there … but these short 250-300 song play lists have made listening to some of it insufferable. (kk)

kk …
I'm saving up to play your countdown in the JUKEBOX.  Can you lend me a few $100?
The Rolling Stones seem to be beating the Beatles.   Or am I wrong?
Frank B
The Beatles had more total songs ... but The Rolling Stones kicked ass on the top end, earning FIVE of the Top 13 spots to The Beatles' two Top 20's ...
Without question, it was The Rolling Stones who dominated the top end of our survey, even surpassing many of the obvious classic rock favorites like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Aerosmith, The Who and The Eagles. 
Radio airplay may not reflect it ... but The Stones were the hands-down favorites once we hit the nitty gritty part of the countdown.  (kk)

There was a possibly a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' moment in the first ten
minutes of the Kennedy Center Honors show … an apparent visual cheap shot by someone against Linda Ronstadt.
Variety originally broke the story of a photo of her (still very cute) album cover from "Living In The U.S.A.," digitally altered to remove the title, replaced with the words "ROLLERSKATE HOOKER."
It's likely that this part was never shown at the Center during the live ceremony, but added in post-production before its airing on CBS. The network said it would replace the doctored image, but I'd have to go find the online stream of the program to verify if it had been.
Bob Frable
(experiencing a Chicago-esque Arctic blast in Pennsylvania)

Wow, I’d not heard anything about this (nor did I notice it in what had to be a split second photo montage) … but here’s the story Bob is referring to from Variety …

Linda Ronstadt ‘Rollerskate Hooker’ Graphic Slips Into ‘Kennedy Center’ Telecast

Of all the plaudits Linda Ronstadt expected to receive when she was bestowed with kudos at the Kennedy Center Honors, “Rollerskate Hooker” was probably not among them. Yet that was one of the captions in a Ronstadt photo montage when CBS broadcast an hour of highlights from the annual Washington, D.C. ceremony Sunday night.
The modified image took the iconic album cover photo of Ronstadt standing in a hallway on a pair of rollerskates — from “Living in the USA,” a No. 1 LP in 1978 — and replaced the album title with the none-too-flattering moniker in question.
As of Tuesday morning, the image was still in the version of the show streaming on the CBS website, but that will quickly change. Now that it’s been brought to light, the errant cover image will be replaced in the master tape as well as the streaming version. The Kennedy Center Honors are produced by CBS and White Cherry Entertainment. CBS has yet to comment on the situation.
Assuming that the vandalized image was probably retrieved in error off the Internet, it’s not clear where anyone involved with supplying resources for the production would have come across it. When Variety did Google searches for the phrase “rollerskate hooker” and for images of Ronstadt on skates after the broadcast, the fake cover in question did not show up in any initial lists of top search results.
Among the eagle-eyed viewers who spotted the bizarre “cover” as it appeared on screen Sunday during Don Henley’s introductory narration was Portland writer and radio host Jeff Rosenberg. “Seriously, #KCHonors?” Rosenberg tweeted. “You let some dumb intern assemble graphics for the #LindaRonstadt tribute, and instead of Living in the USA’s cover, show a meme where someone’s replaced the album title with ‘Rollerskate Hooker’?! #qualitycontrol #sorryLinda #KCDishonor #rollerskatehooker”
Ronstadt being the subject of a Photoshop prank could have been random, but her outspokenness might also have made her a target for trolls, as the singer has rarely been shy about speaking up on social and political issues over the decades.
At a dinner for Kennedy Center honorees Dec. 7, Ronstadt responded to a quip made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that referenced one of her signature hits:  “As I travel the world, I wonder when will I be loved” Later in the dinner, Ronstadt got up and said, as her sole remarks for the evening, “I’d like to say to Mr. Pompeo, who wonders when he’ll be loved, it’s when he stops enabling Donald Trump.”

Hi, Kent!
When I saw that Christmas cartoon about the air guitar, I decided that I HAD to send this one in.
This roo really knows how to rock!
Happy holidays to you and yours!
Mike Wolstein


Here are a few more holiday cartoon funnies, courtesy of the ALWAYS funny Chuck Buell ...

Once Upon a Time in Christmas Fantasy Land Circa the 1960s!  
The Kotals Strolling Chicago’s Magnificent Mile During the Holidays!

You’ll find a very interesting profile of our FH Buddy David Salidor, who handles PR for Micky Dolenz, in this write up we just found …

Hi Kent –
I just finished a superbly researched book with a long title: "The History of Rock & Roll, Vol. II, 1964 – 1977 (The Beatles,The Stones & The Rise of Classic Rock" [Ed Ward, 2019].
This highly enjoyable, tightly written book covers the waterfront: most sixties artists (and quite a few Forgotten Hits / Artists), Woodstock and other festivals and the record biz way back then.
The only glaring omission -- no mention of our great Chicago bands (other than Chicago (one paragraph) and H.P. Lovecraft (one-half sentence)!
Still ... highly recommended.
Clive Topol
I haven’t seen or heard about this one … thanks for the info!  (Obviously, Volume I is still available, too.)  kk

Here's something all you Jack Scott fans out there may find interesting:

And a great last minute gift idea from Chuck Buell ... 

For Forgotten Hitters who Dream of a White Christmas!
How about a Beatles White Album Cover on a Metal Lunch Box!
Raised Lettering on the Front.

Photo Pictures and Song Titles on the Back like the Album Sleeve.

Metal Latch Closure and Collapsible Plastic Handle.

Carry Lunch anywhere or put it on Display.
9 Inches Wide by 7½ Inches High by 3½ Inches Deep.

Size Suitable to Store CD’s, Cassettes, or Forgotten Hits 45’s.
Number 11221968 on the Front is the Original Album's Release Date.
Genuine, Officially Licensed by Apple Corps.
Limited Edition with its Hand Numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
CB ( which stands for “Chuck BeatleBoyBuell!” )
Cool - and I’m sure very expensive -
But shouldn’t the ad company more appropriately have filled the box with green apples for the photo shoot?
(Not LITTLE green apples, mind you - ‘cause then it would be an OC Smith lunch box)  kk
HA!  I get it!  And it's presently priced at a very reasonable five bucks ... not a vintage box or anything ... brand new product.
It WOULD make a nice display piece.
I actually DO own this lunch box ...

And this one, too!

We told you last week about Me-TV's Sweet 16 Countdowns to determine the 16 Favorite Songs, Movies and TV Shows of the '60's.  ("California Dreamin' won for Best Song ... and "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" for Best Movie.)

Well, now they're down to the last round in order to determine The Best TV Show ... and it's been a neck-and-neck battle between "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Star Trek," who have fallen within just a couple of percentage points between the two.  (They've changed leaders numerous times already ... but as I type the, "Star Trek" has a slight edge.)

With that thought in mind, here are The Top 16 as determined by Me-TV Viewers as they current stand.  (NOTE:  Only positions #1 and #2 are yet to be determined ... all other positions are final):   


I really enjoyed the Bowzer piece!  Talk about a talented guy - he also plays concert piano and I believe he even writes music.
In 1990, my girlfriend asked if I'd like to go to Beloit Fest, on the Rock River.  She told me who was playing, and I was ready to go in three seconds.  Turns out she was close friends with Jon.  
He put on a great show, doing lots of classic 50s and early 60s tunes.

Afterwards, we met up with him outside his dressing trailer, where I just HAD to do his famous "Bowzer pose" with him.

We met up at the restaurant in the motel where he was staying and chit-chatted for about three hours.  He's a great guy … and very intelligent and talented.
And I don't want to forget his great opening act!   Everyone recognize this gentleman?  One of the greats!

Happy holidays to all!
Mike Wolstein
Although we've communicated numerous times over the years via email, I've never had the pleasure of meeting Jon "Bowzer" Bauman ... I was introduced to the early days of rock and roll thanks to groups like Sha Na Na and films like "American Graffiti" (which you'll also find referenced in one of the emails below.)
I grew up in the '60's during The Beatles / British Invasion era ... and each week brought new trends in music, along with brand new favorite rock and roll artists ... but I grew up too late to enjoy and appreciate the music that started it all.  It was Sha Na Na (who I also saw live in the mid-'70's durin gone of their rare Chicagoland appearances) and the soundtrack to "American Graffiti" (as well as an incredible 4-record '50's album collection that was advertised on TV that soon made its way into my personal collection) that opened this door for me and allowed me to love all this great music that came BEFORE The Beatles hit our shores.
This sounds like an EXCEPTIONALLY fun night!!!  Thanks so much for sharing with our readers.  (Love the Bowzer pose picture, by the way!!!)  kk

>>>How can anyone in the music business not think that TOMMY JAMES qualifies for the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME  (Carol Ross)

>>>Many people in it wouldn’t know Rock ‘n’ Roll if it reared up and bit their arse.  I’ll state my case (of which I’m certain) … Why the hell is Freddy the great Boom, Boom Cannon not in this shambles of an organization? (Rockin’ Lord Geoff in England)

I agree on BOTH Tommy James and Freddy Boom Boom Cannon.  They are totally different, but BOTH are totally ROCK 'N ROLL thru and thru!  I will give my old buddy Morris Levy a call about this travesty!  He can get some strong arm tactics going on Jon Landow.  Then, I'll call Abigail Beecher and have her give Jon a lesson on the history of RNR!
Clark  Besch

Hi, Kent ...
Funny you should mention Tommy James being snubbed.  Found this in some old stuff I had laying around – coincidence that it's almost exactly 53 years old.
Notice the top entry of biggest selling records.

Hi there everyone,
First of all, I would like to wish all of you the happiest holidays possible, whatever your beliefs are.  To me, it's a real shame that political correctness has gone so far overboard that nobody dares wish anyone a Merry Christmas anymore. 
When I was growing up, clerks never hesitated to wish me a Merry Christmas as I was leaving their department of their store.  Now, because I might be Jewish or some other religion, and might not believe in Christmas, the best I can hope for is "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" … and that really is sad to me.
Well, enough about that. 
I want to emphasize first that, while it may seem like I am defending the organization’s decision not to induct Tommy James into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, I don't feel that I'm doing that at all.  I just hope I am able to give you a slightly different view of things here, which might perhaps help give you a bit more of an understanding of what might be going on here.  I'm not saying it is, but it is a possibility.
Let's face it, rock and roll has been around for a very long time now, although much of society has only enjoyed the last thirty or forty years of this music, if that.  It isn't called rock and roll anymore and hasn't been called that for decades.  Sometime during the mid-sixties, rock and roll was shortened to just rock, and as time has continued passing on, rock historians, many of whom weren't even born yet when the music they are writing about were hits, keep rewriting rock music history and categorizing the music into more and more narrowly defined categories. 
It started with the split between AM and FM stations.  AM rock stations played the top forty, while FM stations played the longer album cuts that might even have some naughty words in them, and weren't suitable for the AM top forty format.  This music heard only on FM stations was first called underground music or psychedelic music if you will. 
Since that original split around 1966 or '67, people have been inventing more and more sharply defined categories of rock music. 
Unfortunately, songs like Hanky Panky, I Think We're Alone Now and Mony Mony have been placed in the bubblegum music category, and for people that grew up on Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, they are not going to have much use for bubblegum music.  Sure, it was great for nine to twelve year old girls, but not the kind of music you would want to have to listen to a lot.
Of course, not everything that Tommy James recorded could be placed in the bubblegum music category.  Certainly Crystal Blue Persuasion is a nice ballad, and Crimson And Clover is Tommy's attempt to get into the psychedelic mold of music.  But perhaps because it was so different from his other hits, the people at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame felt that he was just trying too hard to get in a genre of music that didn't fit him, that he didn't really belong in.  In any case, certainly with his great success, Tommy James should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But I am just looking at the question perhaps from their viewpoint.
This, of course, is by no means the first rock artist that has come up about being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  One artist in particular that caused a really hot debate on Jerry Osbourne's Ask Mr. Music column was Connie Francis.  Now, whether you like her music or not, you have to admit that both Connie Francis and Brenda Lee were real trail blazers in their day, and no other female artists before them had anywhere near the amount of success in such a totally male dominated industry that they did.  And yet, I found some of the responses to this Connie Francis debate very interesting and revealing. 
One person wrote that Connie Francis should NEVER be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because she never recorded any rock music at all ... all of her
songs were pop.  But, back then, she was definitely a singer in the rock and roll field because she was a teenager, and pop songs were recorded by older, more established singers like Kay Starr, Teresa Brewer, Doris Day, Gail Storm, Eddie Fisher, Frankie Laine, Perry Como and the Ames Brothers.
Anyway, obviously the age of the person in question has a lot to do with how they view rock music at any given time in its history.  Of course, Happy Days hasn't done a whole lot to contribute to the early days of rock and roll in a very positive manner.  To avoid the cost of using the original versions on the show, the jukebox on Happy Days always played some bogus cover of the hits they were supposed to be playing. 
I have quite a few friends that lost their interest in rock and roll when the Beach Boys started having hits on the charts because to them, rock and roll was the wonderful harmony heard on doo-wop tunes, and increasingly sax solos were being replaced by guitar solos, and these folks didn't like the direction that rock music was going, and just hated it when the Beatles spearheaded the British Invasion. 
Now, that's pretty early to lose interest in rock music, but by 1969, I sort of lost interest in it myself. 
I just couldn't understand or identify with Jimi Hendrix, I hated Janis Joplin's voice, and Iron Butterfly didn't do a thing for me. 
In February of 1969, I had just heard the Drake Chenault History Of Rock And Roll on WRKO in Boston, and that got me into a period of time in which I totally immersed myself in the music of the fifties. 
I hated so many songs that came out in the summer of 1969.  The song that spoke
the loudest to me was Good Old Rock And Roll by Cat Mother And The All Night News Boys.  But then later, I suffered through disco, I suffered through punk, I actually embraced new wave but didn't like rap music at all.  So now, fifty years after I rejected so many songs from the summer and fall of 1969, they are sounding pretty good to me again, compared to all the crap that's passing for music now.  Of course, I guess this is what our parents felt about Little Richard, Fats Domino and Elvis.
I must admit though, that I was really disappointed when the number 1
song on WDRC in Hartford Connecticut during the week I graduated from
high school, was The Candy Man by Sammy Davis, Jr. I was hoping so much
that it was going to be School's Out by Alice Cooper.  But that song
didn't come even close to being number 1 on the charts.  Oh well, you
can't fault a guy for dreaming!  (grin) 
Anyway, I hope in these ramblings that I've given you some things to
think about. 
Think about the fact that in the fifties, the Platters were considered a rock and roll group, but by the nineties, if they were played on radio stations at all, they were usually being heard on the nostalgia radio stations that were playing the second generation of the music of your life.  Here again, this was people re-inventing the
history of rock and roll music, years later, and deciding that the Platters should be designated as a pop group, and not a rock group. 
Anyway, just some things to think about.
Sam Ward
There are several points I want to address here …
Tommy James transcends any specific genre with this music … he’s done it all.  “Hanky Panky” and “Mony Mony” are just flat out, feel good rock and roll … “Crimson And Clover” took the new element of psychedelia to a whole new level. (When we did our Top 20 All-Time Favorite Psychedelic Songs Poll back in 2005, it came in at #9.)  “Crystal Blue Persuasion” is in a league of its own … I don’t know that you can classify it as any particular type of music.  “Sweet Cherry Wine” has gospel influences while “I Think We’re Alone Now” is feel good pop.  (I’ve never heard Tommy’s music referred to as bubblegum before … but if that’s the way you wanna go, I can accept that for this one and maybe a few others like “Say I Am” and “I Like The Way.”  And, by the way, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has previously held spotlight exhibits saluting Bubblegum Music … yet we all know they wouldn’t DREAM of ever honoring and inducting any of these artists … which goes COMPLETELY against their original credo of saluting artists who took rock and roll to new levels and dimensions.  (By the same token, I can assure you that Tommy’s music appealed to a MUCH wider audience than just “9-12 year old girls”!!!  Tommy is respected by fans and artists of every age and gender.  And his music has proven timeless, with new acts like Billy Idol and Joan Jett loving it enough to record their own versions some twenty years later.
“Hanky Panky” was a complete flop upon first release … but when Tommy James and the Shondells reinvented it, it became a #1 coast-to-coast smash and launched their career.  Every garage band in America went on to learn that song and add it to their repertoire!
For as long as we’ve been doing Forgotten Hits, we’ve heard from the original rock and roll purists that The British Invasion killed rock and roll.  Your Beach Boys example above became a major part of the plot in “American Graffiti” when John Milner proclaimed “I hate that surfin’ shit!”  Disc Jockey Steve Dahl rocketed his career into the stratosphere when he launched his Anti-Disco campaign … and many of us felt (and still feel) the same disdain for rap music.
But The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was designed to honor ALL kinds of music … all new expressions and all new avenues taken to advance the concept of rock and roll to new levels of acceptance.  They may not call it “rock and roll” anymore, but that’s the very foundation of all of the music that has come since.
The Connie Francis / Brenda Lee debate has existed ever since Brenda was inducted and Connie wasn’t.  The two posted nearly identical stats in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s and music’s two premier female artists.  Both certainly belong in The Rock Hall and when we ran our big 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Series, declaring the first of many Top 40 Deserving and Denied Artists, Connie was right up there near the top of the list.
But in several conversations with the folks who ran The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at the time, the point was made that inducting Brenda Lee was a mistake … and inducting Connie Francis behind her would only further the mistake.  You can’t “un-induct” somebody, so they felt it best to just leave things along as they were.  (Keep in  mind, there was quite a bit of outrage when Bobby Darin was inducted, too … he was a “lounge singer” … not a rock-and-roller (even though that was the music he used to launch his career, feeling he had  his best shot at reaching a much larger and accepting audience by recording what he considered “drivel” like “Splish Splash.”  To a degree, he was right … it allowed him the opportunity to record timeless pop classics like “Mack The Knife” and “Beyond The Sea” a few years later … and become one of the top drawing acts on The Las Vegas Strip.  (Does THAT qualify for Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction?  Not in the minds of many … but can you even imagine him NOT being in there???)
As for me, I think Bobby DOES belong, as does Connie Francis, if only because of the TREMENDOUS impact she had on music at the time.  Brenda Lee may have rocked a little harder on some of her early tracks but these two ladies DEFINED rock and roll from the female point of view.
I also believe Pat Boone belongs in there … because HE brought rock and roll into homes that never would have accepted artists like Elvis Presley, Fats Domino and Little Richard that he was covering, making rock and roll acceptable for pure, white bread America.  (By the same token, how is it even REMOTELY possible that Ed Sullivan has never been inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?!?!?  This guy brought every major rock act into our living rooms for 21 years!!!  And he’s never been inducted?!?!  Further proof that something is VERY wrong with The Rock Hall’s selection process.)
Ditto for Chubby Checker (who we have also campaigned for for twenty years) and Freddy Cannon … Checker launched a worldwide sensation with “The Twist” … no, maybe it wasn’t Beatlemania … but for it’s time, it was pretty damn close!  And Freddy represents The Sound Of Philadelphia and early television giant “American Bandstand.”  (Dick Clark is in The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and Ed Sullivan isn’t???  What’s wrong with THAT picture?!?!)
As for The Platters, “pop” as they may be, they WERE inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame … and deservedly so.  They brought a whole new element to the sound of rock and roll … and had a VERY successful career doing so.
As you can see, I’m pretty passionate about this whole process … and will say that since we first went head-to-head with The Rock Hall in 2008, about half of the artists that made our original Top 40 Deserving And Denied List have since been inducted.
But there are still a lot of “wrongs” that need to be righted … and now, with SO many of these artists being gone, we may be enjoying the last wave of enjoyment and appreciation for this music.
Our commitment here in Forgotten Hits is to never let this music die … to prove that it really IS timeless and transcends all ages and generations.  Go to a Peter Noone concert and you’ll find an audience filled with 6-60 year olds, all singing along with every word.  It’s FEEL GOOD Music … and we haven’t seen or heard the likes of it ever since.
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame needs to wake up and make things right.  I have said for YEARS now that they need to do a special induction ceremony where they mass induct all of the artists that they have so wrongfully overlooked over the years … because let’s face it, with all the focus on the “new eligibles” each year who are reaching their 25-year recording milestone, there is absolutely NOBODY on board thinking about the artists who paved the way for these new acts to have careers.
Seriously … Soundgarden, MC5, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Thin Lizzy and Motorhead ahead of Tommy James, The Guess Who, Chubby Checker, Connie Francis and Freddy Cannon?!?!?  In what universe does THAT make sense?!?!  (kk) 

A direct yes or no question ...
Have you ever seen the MC5 live and in person?
My guess is that you have not primarily because they had a short-lived regional career and most of the people who actually saw them are most likely in their late 60s or possibly early 70s.
In addition, due to poor recording quality, but not poor songs, they were never properly captured on audio or video.
I was amazed to read that they charted so much as one song. But then again, I never cared whether the music I enjoyed charted or not.
The only MC5 song that was every properly captured was “Sister Ann,“ which was on their third album. But then the recording engineer had to screw that up with a “Susan” styled psychedelic interlude at the end. If you skip that, it’s a great song.
Based on the format the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame uses, they will never be inducted. The only people voting would be the ones who actually saw them, and that is a small minority. But they still deserve to be in there. You just have to take our word for it. We have no valid recorded proof, but we are “ready to testify”.
Now I am 100% behind you when it comes to Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Guess Who. The Raiders put out some of the best, quality, hard rocking records ever recorded in the mid-‘60s. I would like to see a “sea of hands” of bands from the ‘60s, including those in the HOF, who did not cover a Paul Revere song at one time or another. It would be more like a dry creek.
And it all comes down to integrity, which apparently there is little of in this institution.
About a week ago one of my favorite basketball players, Bill Russell, finally got around to accepting his basketball Hall of Fame ring in a private ceremony. Now how can a player with his accomplishments, on and off the court, not be in the Hall of Fame? 
The answer is that he refused to enter due to the fact that there were lesser known, deserved black players at the time who had not been inducted. He was not going in prior to these players going in. Now he did not publicize this or take a knee. He just wasn’t going in until things were right. That’s the integrity that it’s going to take to correct this wrong and get these deserving bands in. And I don’t think it’s there. Surprise me.
I also think there should be a new category. Due to poor record management available to Chicago bands in the mid-‘60s The Ides, The Shadows Of K, The Flock, The New Colony 6, The Cryan’ Shames, The American Breed, etc., will never get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But I think they collectively deserve to be inducted as the Cornerstones of Rock.
What other city in the world has put together an all-star team of their best bands from the ‘60s and put them out on the road to perform studio quality music 50+ years later? The answer is none. United I say, they all go in as The Cornerstones of Chicago Rock.
Robert Campbell
A direct answer to a direct question ...
No, I have not ... but here’s the thing about the MC5 … 
They’ve had FIVE chances to get in … and nearly every time (if not EVERY time), they’ve finished dead last in the voting ... which means that even their own team of so-called experts doesn't think they deserve to get in.
It’s time to step over the body and move on … and open up a spot that will give another far more deserving artist a chance to, at the very least, make the ballot.
Nobody ever thought The Doobie Brothers were ever going to get in … yet we’ve campaigned for them for over a decade.  This year, they FINALLY made the ballot (and are currently in third place.)
Maybe someday artists like The Guess Who, Tommy James and the Shondells and Paul Revere and the Raiders will FINALLY get the recognition they deserve … and then earn their well-deserved spot within those hallowed Hall of Fame walls.
(Let’s not forget the Dave Clark Five story … and how, at Jann Wenner’s insistence, they were passed over to allow a rap act to get in instead, figuring that they’d just induct them the following year instead.
And then guess what … Mike Smith died and yet another artist in what’s becoming and increasingly long list of artists wasn’t around to accept their award or reap the glory of FINALLY being recognized.
I say enough already …
I’ll betcha we could EASILY come up with a dozen well deserving acts that could be mass-inducted during a special ceremony …
Air it on HBO (or PBS as a fundraise for that matter) and make things right.  (Sometimes you just have to own up to the error of your ways and apologize to the music fans out there in order to earn back and shred of credibility again.)  kk 

A suburban Chicago tradition dating back to 1995 continues. 
“A Hometown Holiday” airs Christmas Day 7 am – 4 pm on WLTL-FM 88.1 and streams at  Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s hosts the annual Christmas special with favorites from the golden age of top-40
First heard on the Chicago AM dial, the holiday broadcasts also includes groups and artists whose only hit single is a Christmas song.  This list is available at
Mike Baker
WLTL-FM 88.1 

LOTS of cool radio specials kicking off at and around the holidays …

Me-TV-FM will be broadcasting Wink Martindale’s Top 100 Christmas Classics all day long, beginning at 8 am on Christmas Eve and running straight thru midnight Christmas Night.

The Drive will kick off their latest addition of their enormously popular A to Z list, featuring THOUSANDS of songs from their extensive radio library (including numerous classic rock favorites that made our Top 3333 list) at 6 am on December 26th.  The special will run for over a week (and each night they'll pause it at midnight and resume things again the following morning at 6 am, so that you don't have to miss any of your favorites while you're sleeping!)

Rewound Radio will be broadcasting the results of their own annual Top 77 poll … which in and of itself is a bit misleading … 
'Cause it's really a WHOLE lot cooler than that!
Yes, they WILL be counting down The Top 77 …

But they’ll ALSO be playing ALL of the songs that got nominated … some 3000+ in all, running the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s, which makes for the widest variety imaginable as there are no limits as to what might get played during this annual event.

And while we’ll personally be taking a break on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, our own Top 3333 Most Essential Classic Rock Songs Of All-Time Countdown will continue with The Top Five beginning on December 26th and running thru the 30th … 

And we can ALSO promise you brand new Forgotten Hits postings every day from December 26th thru January 5th!

Plenty of opportunities to enjoy the holidays … AND the music!

Coming up in Forgotten Hits …

We wrap up our salute to 1969 with a flurry of special posts, beginning on Thursday, December 26th … and running straight thru to the end of the year.

Be sure to stop by as we salute the biggest music, movie and tv shows of 1969 …

And then help us flip the calendar page on Wednesday, January 1st, as our Fifty Year Flashback Salute begins for 1970.

And don’t forget to catch the remaining tunes on our TOP 3333 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS OF ALL TIME Countdown as we unveil The Top 5 beginning on December 26th as well!