Saturday, January 18, 2020

Some Of Your Weekend Comments

Ron Smith: Quiet, friendly, knowledgeable, great smile and a good source of knowledge.
RIP @ 45 rpm.

I'm sorry to hear that Ron Smith has passed away.
Before he started cutting down on the "Trivia" segment of his website, he gave me a lot of support, posting one of my "Rockword" crossword puzzles every month.
Mike Ogilvie
Mississauga, ON

As the first of four Jerrys at Ron’s Oldies Music website, I was devastated to see the posting notification at Jack Levin’s Facebook page.
At first glance, I saw a picture of the cover of Ron’s book, “WCFL Top 40 1965 to 1976.” I thought Jack was maybe plugging it until “I read the news today, Oh Boy.”
I owe so much to Ron who, thru his Oldies Music site introduced me to many music lover friends, history of music and as a matter of fact, Forgotten Hits and you, Kent.
Even after the shutdown of Oldies Music, we kept in touch thru emails and Facebook.
After reading the sad news of Ron’s passing, I notified Linda, Karen, John, Mark The Shark and Frannie because I didn’t know if you knew or not.
I, like you, Kent, never really had any one on ones that weren’t about Oldies. I do remember the thrill I had many years ago during a trip back home to Chicago.
Coming from the airport, I started playing with the radio dial and lo and behold I came across Chicago DJ Ron Smith at Real Oldies 1690 on your dial. Here was Ron, introducing one of my favorite all time oldies “You Wouldn’t Listen To Me” by Chicago’s own Ides Of March.
At that time, I knew for sure I was listening to an Oldie that I had not heard on the radio since my cruising high school days of 1966. I also knew that there was a good chance I would never hear this song again on the radio or the song that followed, “I Call Your Name” by The Buckinghams.  I can say that was the last time I heard these two song with an intro by a DJ.
Yes, Ron,  Rock N Roll Never Forgets! And we will never forget you, my friend.
Jerry Kamper

Ironically, the copy of “WCFL Chicago Top 40 Charts, 1965 – 1976” sitting next to me as I type this was ALSO signed by Ron in 2007!
When Ron’s book “Eight Days A Week – Births, Deaths And Events Each Day In Oldies History” first came out in 2011, he sent me an advance copy to review.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that the book contained a foreword written by Dick Biondi, and quotes on the back cover by Tommy Edwards and Clark Weber, both Radio Royalty, and yours truly, who wrote “A fascinating day-by-day recap of all of the notable and memorable rock and roll-related events.  Smith’s book is the definitive calendar covering any and all of rock and roll’s biggest events.”
In fact, I have to admit that I felt a little bit guilty for even being included in the company of some of the other incredible names he thanked and mentioned in the book … former WCFL Disc Jockey Bob Dearborn (who ran his own “This Day In History” / “Disc Jockey’s Almanac” web page for AGES), Robert Feder, Bob Sirott, Scott Shannon, Greg Brown, Scott Childers, John Geron, Art Roberts and even our own Clark Besch.
So thank you, Ron, for sending MANY Forgotten Hits Readers our way over the years.  (Over the years, we found that our Oldies Community is a very loyal bunch … and if they were reading Forgotten Hits they were likely regular visitors to Ron’s website as well … and vice versa.)  Now in our 21st year, it’s pretty humbling to see our audience continuing to grow as more people discover this great music from the ‘50’s, ‘60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s that we pay tribute to on a daily basis … especially in light of all the followers and artists we’ve lost during those past 21 years.
Ron’s death drove this point home for me in a very big way … so I thank you again, my friend, for helping us all keep the music alive.  (kk)
Hi Kent,
The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame has become a FARCE!
They don’t seem to care about all the singers and groups from the 50's and 60's.
Rock n Roll started in the 50's and the 60's reinforced the power of Rock n Roll to keep it going.  I know a lot of fans agree with me. But we will always have the memories of those fine entertainers that gave us the Roots of Rock n Roll.
I rest my case.

This is why I decided to never, ever go to the ROF.

At the beginning, when it first opened, I told my now late husband that I wanted to go to Cleveland. NOT ANY MORE! I'm finished with the b.s. and them overlooking the really great recording artists for lame brain, not so good artists.

Rock And Roll Biographer Mark Bego has another new book, out now … it’s a newly updated and revamped edition of “Elton John: The Bitch Is Back,” originally released in 2009, taking us through last year’s popular (and Golden Globe Award-Winning) film “Rocketman,” which also serves as the title of this new edition.
Mark’s been all over our pages this past year. Thanks to the releases of his “Eat Like A Rock Star” Cookbook (from which there is now a TV pilot in the works … wouldn’t THAT be cool to see some of these recipes come to life with the actual rock stars behind them!), the incredibly beautiful coffee table book “Supreme Glamour,” written with Mary Wilson of The Supremes (who also shows off her amazing collection of gowns worn by the girl group trio) and another revamping, “Aretha Franklin: The Queen Of Soul,” updated through her death in 2018.  (We gave away copies of all three of these books to lucky Forgotten Hits Readers … and may have a few copies of Mark’s new book, “Rocketman,” to give away, too … stay tuned!)
“Rocketman” delves into Elton’s life from the perspective of first-hand observations into several personal moments with the rocket man, his friends, associates, and former lovers. 
“I have met Elton several times, including attending his annual Oscar viewing party in Hollywood with Mary Wilson,” Bego tells us.  “I have actually been following Elton’s career since the 1960’s, before the release of his debut American album.  I fell in love with his composition ‘Your Song,’ via the Three Dog Night version of it.  Based on my love of that song, I bought the first Elton John album the week it was released.  I have been an avid fan and follower ever since.  I even reviewed his album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ for my college newspaper, making Elton one of the first rock stars I ever wrote about.”
Rocket Man marks Bego’s 66th published book … and it also coincides with Elton John’s ongoing international Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert tour.  (Bego’s Michael Jackson biography sold over eight million copies internationally and spent six weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.)
In the book, Bego includes new insights into the making of the hit biographical movie Rocketman, and the critical response to it, which was nominated for three Golden Globe nominations: Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy; Best Performance by an Actor in a  motion Picture/Musical or Comedy (Taron Egerton); and, Best Original Song-Motion Picture – “I'm Gonna Love Me Again” written by Elton John, Bernie Taupin. 
“Elton is a one-of-a-kind rock star,”  Bego continues.  “There is no one in the rock world who has had such critical acclaim, and whose list of hits spans so many decades.  Rocket Man’ is one of the most fun and fascinating books I have ever written!”
Advance reviews of the book are good …
“Bego discusses John’s extensive recording output as well as his drug addiction and various health issues, his failed suicide attempt, his coming out, his forays into musical theater (Aida, The Lion King, Billy Elliot), his marriage to David Furnish, and the making of Rocketman ... Elton fans won't want to miss this.” 
---- Booklist
“The life and times of Elton John are explored in this fascinating read — and no details are left uninvestigated”
“Bego narrates the ups and downs of musician Elton John’s career and music. In breathless prose, Bego cheerleads for John.”
---- Publishers Weekly
“Celebrity-author Mark Bego released his Rocket Man book; his take on the whole Elton-phenomena. We've read it and it’s just a terrific take on Elton. Inspiring; revealing; heartfelt and fun ... a terrific read.”
---- Times Square Chronicles

The new release should make the perfect companion piece for Elton’s OWN book, now in bookstores everywhere, “Me.”

Can you believe it?
Christopher Cross is heading out on tour in celebration of the 40TH ANNIVERSARY (!!!) of his debut album!  (How is this even possible?!?!?)  The Multi-Grammy Winning Album spawned the hits “Ride Like The Wind” (#2), “Sailing” (#1), “Never Be The Same” (#10) and “Say You’ll Be Mine” (#20) … not a  bad way to break into the business, eh? 
He hits The Genesee Theatre here in Chicago (Waukegan) on April 17th … and also does a three day stint at Epcot in Walt Disney World.  (kk)  

Christopher Cross Celebrates 40th Anniversary With 2020 Tour 
Christopher Cross made history with his 1980 self-titled debut album, winning five Grammy Awards, including — for the first time in Grammy history — the “Big Four” most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year (also “Sailing”), and Best New Artist.
In a career spanning over five decades, Cross has sold over 10 million albums. His music has garnered five Grammys, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and five Top 10 singles.
This year, Christopher Cross is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his breakthrough debut album with a major tour featuring songs from his debut album: “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind,” “Say You’ll Be Mine,” and more.
Says Cross, “This tour celebrates the first chapter in what has been my life’s journey. I look forward to seeing everyone on the road.”

Tour dates*:
April 1, 2020 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre
April 3, 2020 - Dallas, TX - Majestic Theatre
April 5, 2020 - Nashville, TN - Schermerhorn Symphony Center
April 7, 2020 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Center for the Arts
April 9, 2020 - New York, NY - The Town Hall
April 10, 2020 - Atlantic City, NJ - Sound Waves @ Hard Rock
April 11, 2020 -Westbury, NY - NYCB Theatre
April 13, 2020 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere Music Hall
April 17, 2020 - Waukeegan, IL - Genessee Theatre
April 18, 2020 - Welch, MN - Treasure Island Event Center
April 21, 2020 - Orlando, FL - Epcot / Walt Disney World Resort
April 22, 2020 - Orlando, FL - Epcot / Walt Disney World Resort
April 23, 2020 - Orlando, FL - Epcot / Walt Disney World Resort
April 26, 2020 - Clearwater, FL - Capitol Theatre @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
*More dates announced soon


Follow Christopher on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 
Instagram & Twitter:

>>>You’ll find LOTS of great undiscovered Lesley Gore songs out there if you search for them.  (The girl could sing!!!)  kk

Great timing ...
I had just been thinking of her - one of the great loves of my life - and listening to
this "undiscovered" tune she did after her stretch with Mercury ... 1975, on A&M Records.  (Herb Alpert knew a winner when he heard one!)
Gives me gooseflesh - listen closely to the lyrics. (1975)
Rest in peace, Lesley.  ;...-(

Lesley continued to record some GREAT music long after the hits stopped … I regret never having the chance to see her.  (She toured with Lou Christie for a good number of years … and they even recorded a few tracks together.)  Watch her performance of “You Don’t Own Me” on The T.A.M.I. Show … it absolutely takes your breath away!  (kk)

Hey Kent,
Every true Beatles fan remembers when Ringo had to have his tonsils taken out! Here is the story I found about his fill-in, on tour.
John LaPuzza

Poor Ringo!  The guy gets asked to join what will ultimately become the most popular band in history … and then Producer George Martin brings in and uses a stand-in drummer (Andy White) on their very first recording session, just in case Ringo didn’t have the chops to get the job done.  (Martin was previously concerned about the drumming abilities of former Beatles Drummer Pete Best … and didn’t want to take any chances regarding the talent of their thus far unproven replacement, Ringo.)
Then, The Beatles become the biggest phenomenon the world has ever known … and right in the middle of it, at the onset of a world tour, Ringo has to go in for a tonsillectomy … and rather than postpone or reschedule the tour, they hire Jimmy Nicol (also at George Martin’s urging) to fill in on the drums while Starr is laid up in the hospital!  (It’s almost unthinkable … and would NEVER happen with ANY band today, much less a band of this caliber … and yet that’s what they chose to do, rather than risk disappointing their fans by cancelling or postponing their concert tour.)
Jeez … no WONDER the poor guy had a inferiority complex (which they then played to the hilt in their first film, “A Hard Day’s Night”!!!)
Ah, it just made us love him all the more. 
(On the plus side, Nicols’ short time with the band DID inspire one of their tunes years later on their “Sgt. Pepper” album.  Whenever John would ask him how he was getting along and holding up under the pressure of filling in on drums before a sell-out, Beatlemania-infused crowd, Nicols’ standard reply was “It’s getting better all the time.”)  kk

Here's a rare shot of The Fab Four ... with Ringo AND Jimmy Nicols ... after Ringo rejoined the lads on tour in Melbourne, Australia