Friday, May 22, 2020

This Week In 1970

May 22nd – Naomi Campbell is born

May 23rd – The Grateful Dead play their first British concert ever at The Hollywood Rock Festival.  Prior to their four hour set, the opening act for this event was Mungo Jerry, currently riding high on the charts with their big One Hit Wonder Hit “In The Summertime”

Also on this date, Paul McCartney’s first solo album (titled simply “McCartney”) reaches the #1 Spot on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart.  It will stay there for a total of three weeks.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the #1 Album in Great Britain is “Let It Be” … by McCartney’s former band, The Beatles.  (You may have heard of them … it’s the band he was in before Wings!!!)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thursday This And That

Thanks for all the great content ... it has been keeping me sane!
Ron Onesti
Can’t WAIT for things to get back to normal so we can come out and see some shows again!  To see all of these dates being rescheduled to 2021 with better than half of 2020 still ahead of us is quite disheartening for sure … I feel for you, buddy.  (kk)    

Hi Kent,
I just have to say that I love reading all the comments from the great musicians and the listening audiences - shows how relevant the music of the 60s still is ... we think all upcoming musicians should take a course on the history of rock n roll before determining that they know it all.
What is even more pleasing to us is the constant request internationally  for Tommy James to do interviews talking about his music and career and asking his advice for kids today who want to be in 'the music business.'
The classic songs continue to remain relevant - how many songs of today will you remember in 10 years???????
Carol Ross
For decades they said that rock and roll would never last … and for decades we have proven them wrong.  The music of the ‘60’s sounds every bit as good today as it did back then and is constantly winning over new fans each time somebody new discovers it.  And, between its use in television, movies and tv ads, new people ARE discovering it all the time.
We’ve said for years that we can’t even imagine 25 years from now today’s 18-25 year olds yearning for a lot of what passes off as music today.  (Yeah, I SURE do miss them bleeping out all the words to MY favorite songs from the 2010’s!!!)
And to use an analogy we’ve used time and time again … and to help keep things in perspective as to just how timeless and memorable this music really is … Tommy James’ first big hit came in 1966 when “Hanky Panky” went all the way to #1.  That makes it 54 years old today.  Can you imagine ANYONE in 1966, even for a second, longing to hear, sing along with and dance to a song from 1912, 54 years earlier in time???  I’d venture to say that not even our GRANDPARENTS felt this way, much less the 20-somethings that are diggin’ the hits like “Hanky Panky,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Mony, Mony,” “Crimson And Clover,” and “Crystal Blue Persuasion” today!  And many of these tunes are still being remade all these years later … and have BEEN remade and will continue to be remade because they’re just good songs … FEEL Good songs.  (kk)  

Hey Kent - 
Yet another project Jim Peterik is involved with is Dennis DeYoung's latest album. Dennis gave us a rather entertaining interview for Songfacts where he talked about the project and explained why "Mr. Roboto" will be the defining Styx song. Here's the link:
Appreciate all the updates on Forgotten Hits as this quarantine rages on.
Carl Wiser
I still haven’t heard the whole album yet (it's officially available tomorrow), but I like what I have heard so far … I know Jim that was pushing him to do this for quite a while.
I’ve seen more and more sources quoting Songfacts lately … so congratulations on that!  Folks visiting the site would do themselves well to browse around for a bit to get more stories behind the songs … as well as other great interviews.  (kk)

And, speaking of Dennis DeYoung interviews, it seems he’s been making the rounds of late in a push to get the word out about his new solo LP.
This link will take you to an interview he just did with Radio Presenter Geoff Dorsett in the UK …

Geoff tells us:

Hi Kent -
Did a great interview with Dennis DeYoung yesterday.  (I'll send you a copy.) 
He was wonderful.
We covered anything and everything:
The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
Styx’s success
The demise of rock radio in the US
Working with his friend, Jim Peterick
His new album 
Working with Julian Lennon
Forgotten / and you
Power Ballads on Rock albums 
Loss of great radio in Chicago 
Working when you're 73
Great humour and super stories.
And don’t forget Chicago PD (which is also one of Frannie’s favorite shows!)  I can’t believe that you’re watching this series, filmed right here in Chicago, unfold thousands and thousands of miles away across the pond … and that it’s actually of interest to you and you’re enjoying it.  (She likes Chicago Med, too.)
SO very cool to hear yourself mentioned in another interview … quite unexpected, I might add … but good to know that our efforts here are being recognized in SOME fashion around the world.
Read Carl Wiser’s interview via the link above … and then listen to the clip of the interview Dennis did with Geoff … and be sure to stick around long enough to hear the collaboration with Julian Lennon.  (This seems to be the song that’s getting most of the attention right now … although “With All Due Respect” is generating some buzz, too.)  kk   

We got bombarded last week with emails about a new Buddy Holly movie that’s going into production called “Clear Lake” …
But Forgotten Hits Readers have known about this film since last year, thanks to our buddy L J Coon, the same guy who has been trying for years now to get them to reopen the investigation into the circumstances of the plane crash that took Buddy’s life (and several others) back on February 3rd, 1959.  (In fact, LJ’s been pushing to have one of his songs, “Pretty Blue Eyes,” written in the style of a Buddy Holly tune, included in the film … and has even talked to Buddy’s widow Maria Elena about this.  We featured that tune last year, too!)  

Here's a synopsis of everything we’ve received over the past few days, bringing things a bit more up to date as this project moves forward …

CLEAR LAKE - A new Buddy Holly Film
Director: Bruce Beresford
Producer: Stuart Benjamin 
Assistant Producer: Maria Holly
Casting: Presser / Well
Veteran creative executives Rick French and Patrick Shanahan are partnering with Buddy Holly’s widow on the movie “Clear Lake.”  French is the chairman and CEO of the North Carolina-based marketing firm French / West / Vaughan and Shanahan is the founder and president of Denim Buffalo Films. They have teamed to form Prix Productions, with French serving as managing partner focused on IP acquisition, financing, and production, and Shanahan focused on writing and directing.  
“Clear Lake” is being produced in association with Holly’s widow, Maria Elena Holly and The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.
The film will follow Holly’s “Biggest Show of Stars Tour.” Shanahan and French are collaborating on the story with Shanahan writing the screenplay.  Prix Productions is planning a $15 - $20 million budget for  “Clear Lake.”  
The film will focus on Holly’s death in a plane crash outside Clear Lake, Iowa, following his final concert at the Surf Ballroom. Pilot Roger Peterson, Ritchie Valens, and JP Richardson, known as the Big Bopper, also died in the crash.
Fall Production Planned.
About 'Pretty Blue Eyes'
(written and performed by L J Coon)
Patrick Shanahan:  "Honestly L J, I think the song is absolutely beautiful. Very Buddy Holly!"  
Rick French:  "L J, Nicely done."

While Ultimate Classic Rock ran this piece: 
And then this from The Hollywood Reporter:
(Yep, the rest of the world finally caught up over the weekend … but once again, thanks to LJ Coon, Forgotten Hits scooped ‘em all!)  kk  

Last weekend "WILD WAYNE's MEMORY MACHINE" / did a tribute to Little Richard. (The week before, he did a tribute to Bobby Lewis.) Not much to work with for Bobby Lewis ... but he did play an early tune from Bobby that I never heard before.
Lots of material to work with for Little Richard, so this should be a good one.
Here’s a link to listen to the broadcast: 
Frank B. 

In her Country Music Newsletter, Diane Diekman tells of Brenda Lee’s reaction to hearing about the death of Little Richard …

“The last time I saw Little Richard was at Tennessee Governor Bill Lee's Nashville residence, where we both received the Distinguished Artist Award at the 2019 Governor's Arts Awards.  I knew he was sick.  I was surprised that he was there to receive the accolade. I didn't think that he would be able to show up, but he did. By the time I saw him last October, we all knew it was just a matter of time. He was very quiet and calm. I hugged his neck, and I said, ‘I'm so glad to see you.' And he said, 'I'm so glad to see you, too.' I think we were seeing, without knowing it, the winding down of his life.  When I first started performing, I used to do a lot of Little Richard songs in my show: 'Tutti Frutti' and stuff like that. All of us did."

And more from Pat Boone (who certainly took HIS crack at “Tutti Frutti!”) …

Hi there Kent,
I'd really like to thank you for pointing out the two Billboard articles on Sunday's blog, the interview with Pat Boone, and the article about recording artists from the fifties that are still around even today.
I'm not sure though that I agree with Pat Boone about Little Richard actually appreciating the fact that he did white, pop style cover versions of his songs.  Naturally because of the times back then, Boone's songs always landed higher on the pop charts than the original versions.  Now, of course, just about everyone finds these Pat Boone covers as being laughable and not even worth listening to, except, perhaps, for their historical value.  But I've heard Little Richard telling the story in numerous interviews, about how he purposely spit out the lyrics of Long Tall Sally just as quickly as possible, and then said, "There Pat, try to cover that."  I can see Little Richard doing that, and it sounds to me like Pat Boone totally glossed over that fact, despite the fact that the story has been told hundreds of times in many interviews including the original Drake Schinault 48 hour History Of Rock And Roll that all the Bill Drake stations ran for the first time during Washington's Birthday Weekend in 1969.
Sam Ward
I think there was a little bit of light-hearted kidding back then between artists like Little Richard and Fats Domino, who saw their compositions reach a FAR greater audience when covered by the likes of Pat Boone and Ricky Nelson.  (Let’s put it this way … I’ll bet no matter how cheated they may have felt that another artist … and a WHITE artist at that … was getting airplay with a lame remake of their own R&B Classic … it never ONCE stopped them from cashing the royalty checks that came along with that honor.  I remember seeing Fats Domino and Rick Nelson doing a concert together one time in the early ‘80’s, where they traded off vocals on Rick’s first hit, “I’m Walkin’.”  As part of the intro to the duet, Fats flashed this MAMMOTH diamond ring for the television cameras and said, “You see this ring?  Ricky Nelson bought me this ring” … and that’s probably a WHOLE lot closer to the truth in the way the royalties paid out!)  kk

Hi Kent: 
I see some of the recent deaths being mentioned today. I would like to include Phil May, the leader of The Pretty Things, a great UK R&B based Rock n Roll Group to this list.
If you love early Rolling Stones, these guys should be up your alley. Great Stuff! They had UK hits but not anything here. They got caught up with touring/Visa problems in the day and weren’t able to tour in the US, partially because of the Musician Unions getting a clampdown on some British acts getting into the US. Their 1st LP on the Fontana label is a lost 1964-65 Gem. Their later psychedelic-influenced material was cool as well. Also, Ian “You Turn Me On” Whitcomb has passed away. Sad how we are losing so many of the greats from our youth.
Ken Freck
We covered Ian Whitcomb right after it happened … but didn’t see anything on Phil May … probably because the band did really receive much recognition here in The States.  But you’re right … over across the pond, The Pretty Things had SEVEN Top 50 Hits, the biggest among them being “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#10, 1964) and “Honey I Need” (#13, 1965)  kk

FH Reader Ken Voss also submitted this piece on The Pretty Things …  

Lots of “They always die in threes” comments last week after losing Jerry Stiller, Fred Willard and Eddie Haskell … EDDIE HASKELL?!?!?
Remember when the big rumor going around was that Ken Osmond grew up to be Porn King Johnny “Wadd” Holmes??!!? 
And what was it with the “Leave It To Beaver” cast anyway …
First we heard that Jerry Mathers died in Viet Nam … then that he exploded when he mixed Pop Rocks with Soda Pop … meanwhile, the guy’s still kickin’ and going strong.
But Eddie Haskell WAS one of the more iconic tv characters from our youth … the “best friend” you couldn’t STAND … Mr. Sugar And Spice and All Things Nice … and he played it PERFECTLY!!!  Even us kids saw thru his act!!!
Fred Willard was a long time favorite … he was one of the most natural buffoons ever.  I think I first came across him on “Ferwood Tonight,” playing opposite Martin Mull.  The complete, clueless lovable foil.
And Jerry Stiller did SO much more in his career than Seinfeld … but yes, he was great on that, too.  Thankfully their work lives on forever by way of timeless reruns.  (kk)

Fred Willard passed away today.  So many of us have laughed to Fred Willard's comedic antics a million times over the years.  His humor was music to so many of our ears and eyes for decades.  Rest In Peace, Fred Willard.
Tim Kiley

>>>Seriously?  The surviving Beach Boys are considering a 60th Anniversary for next year that would include Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks … after the way the 50th Anniversary reunion went down?!?!?
Why on EARTH (other than purely for the money) would ANY of them consider such a venture?  By all appearances, they blatantly hate each other … and the last tour ended as a complete disaster.  (kk)
THE BEACH BOYS must all be millionaires by now.  How could you do anything just for the money ?

Our latest Surf's Up: a Beach Boys Podcast Safari posting ~ Mark Dillon and me with Geoffrey Cushing-Murray, co-writer with Carl and Dennis Wilson on The Beach Boys' L.A. (Light Album).  
New episode: Geoffrey Cushing-Murray on Co-writing L.A. (Light Album). Geoffrey Cushing-Murray co-wrote four tracks for The Beach Boys' 1979 L.A. (Light Album), including fan favorite "Angel Come Home," "Full Sail," "Goin' South" (all with Carl Wilson), and "Love Surrounds Me" (with Dennis Wilson).   
In this interview he lets us in Carl's music room, recalling the process and inspiration behind these tracks, and how Brian Wilson would walk away whenever he saw him.  Listen at:
• Rare Beach Boys videos @
• Our Prayers for The Beach Boys @
Surf's Up: A Beach Boys Podcast Safari THANKS!

Phil Miglioratti

And don’t forget about Endless Summer Quarterly’s 50th Anniversary Salute to the “Sunflower” album … mailing any day now … 

Celebrity-scribe Mark Bego has spent some of his stay-at-home time (in his Tucson, Arziona home) working on organizing his record collection.
During a break, Bego snapped this photo which contains a clue about the subject of his next book - about to finished and targeted for release later this year. Can you guess who it is?
Also in the picture is Bego's “Eat Like A Rock Star” recipe-book, written with Surpeme Mary Wilson. In the coming weeks, Bego will be cooking remotely with some of the stars in the book; including Joey Fatone; Debbie Gibson; Tiffany; Rita Coolidge, and Wilson. 
-- David Salidor

Is it Stevie???  Man, I hope it's Stevie!!!  This guy is SO deserving of a Bego Book!  Please keep us posted ... I would LOVE to read this one.  (kk)

>>>Can you also ask your followers if anybody remembers hearing "A Wednesday In Your Garden" on WCFL in 1969.  I certainly remember hearing it.  Randy Bachman told me it was going to be released as a single but it never happened.  Do you remember hearing it?  (Gary Strobl)
>>>I do NOT remember hearing this song on the radio.  I heard it for the first time when I bought the “Wheatfield Soul” album after “These Eyes” became a hit.”  But let’s see if anybody else does!  (kk)
I can tell you this … a cover by a band (group) called The Invitations was released in the US at some point in the middle of 1971and because of Can Con, it was hitbound on CKLW! 
A year earlier, a version was out as a single on the UNI label by Barry Allen and, according to various music surveys it was a moderate hit in a couple of major Canadian cities (Winnipeg, specifically)
There are also covers found on YouTube by R&B hitmakers Ronnie Dyson and The Staple Singers, but no one has ever or probably will ever sing it as well as Burton Cummings did!
Marc Nathan
Nashville, TN

I find that listening to Sirus / XM late night, from about 11pm CST - on, you will hear the greatest variety of songs that are generally never played.  I think the DJ is Tom "Shotgun" Kelly.  He digs pretty deep for some of his music.  It is always nice to hear those obscure songs, that are truly obscure.

A brand new edition of Ken Voss’ Jimi Hendrix Newsletter “Voodoo Child” is available now … let me know if you’d like me to send you a copy.

>>>However, I got pulled over on the way and was given my first-ever speeding ticket … on Thanksgiving Day, if you can believe it!!! … so we never made it to the show  (kk)   
Talk About Your Well-Known Thanksgiving Day Arrests …
Bet you could have written a really long song about that!
David Lewis

Why does every Police version of “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” I have ever heard sound like the vocals are totally too low in the mix?
It renders the song hard to listen to.
Am I the only one who noticed this?
Just wondering ...
Bill Mulvihill
I never have … probably just the final mix???  But I’ve never found it bothersome.  Anybody else out there care to weigh in on this one?  (kk)

Hi Kent,

I would love a copy of the Top 3333 list spreadsheet!

On a fun note relating to the Eagles, this year in January I visited the Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja Mexico … and just last week I Stood on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona!

Thanks for all your hard work on the 3333 list and this site.  I try not to miss a single day!

Matt Phillips
Just a reminder that we'll be kicking off The Top 50 Countdown of The Most Essential Classic Rock Songs Of All Time TOMORROW Afternoon beginning at 3 pm Chicago time on our Classic Rock Essentials Website ...
Bookmark it now if you haven't already done so ... and then spend some of your Memorial Day Weekend with us as Phil Nee counts them down. 

Phil sent us a couple of comments that he received after this program aired live on WRCO a couple of weeks ago ...

I enjoyed the show (5/9).  Every song was a winner.  It was like the best mixtape ever!

The Essential Countdown that was featured on your show last Saturday night is the best I have ever heard.  I am a Stones fan and was impressed to see others agree how good they were (are).
Bob in Baraboo

The classic rock countdown on your show was such a blast.  I used to play in a cover band and we tried to play many of those songs. Those clearly were the songs that we used to get the most response from.  I enjoy your show each week, but that was one of your best!

And we've even prepared a Forgotten Hits Cheat Sheet to give you some idea as to what will be playing when.  
All weekend long, we will be counting down THE TOP 50 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS OF ALL TIME, taken from our TOP 3333 List of the same name.
New postings will go up throughout the long holiday weekend … and will remain posted so that interested fans can scroll back to hear anything they may have missed along the way.
For the most part, new postings will go up every three hours (but with nothing posted between Midnight and 6 am).

3 pm:  #50 - #47  (plus #3333)
6 pm:  #46 - #43
9 pm:  #42 - #40

6 am:  Extras
9 am:  #39 - #36 (plus a few more extras)
NOON:  #35 - #31
3 pm:  Extras
6 pm:  #30 - #29
9 pm:  #28 - #25

6 am:  Extras
9 am:  #24 - #22
NOON:  #21 - #19
3 pm:  Extras
6 pm:  Extras
9 pm:  #18 - #16

6 am:  Extras
9 am:  #15 - #14
NOON:  #13 - #11
3 pm:  #10 - #8
6 pm:  #7 - #5
9 pm:  #4 - #1

Remember, it all kicks off tomorrow (Friday, May 22nd), beginning at 3 pm.
And you can order your own personal copy of THE TOP 3333 List now by simply emailing ... to give you another way to follow along!  (kk) 

And finally, here is Uncle T. Jay’s Musical Question Of The Day …