Saturday, September 12, 2020


It’s hard to believe that an entire week has already passed by since we were fully entrenched in our LAST BLAST OF SUMMER Labor Day Weekend Special on The True Oldies Channel.  Hopefully, some of you were able to stop by and listen here and there.  (I’m guessing that more than a few of you did … our weekend traffic was up by about 14,000 visitors … so thanks again to Scott Shannon and Robby Bridges for getting the word out and steering some new oldies fans our way.)  
Speaking of which, imagine my surprise when I found out that Robby was filling in for Scott Shannon last weekend!!!  I had absolutely NO idea … you’d think that they might have mentioned it … especially since I promoted Scott hosting the weekend at least thirty times the week before!!!  And he and I talked several times along the way of putting this whole thing together ... but not even so much as a hint!
That being said, I have to say that they really did do an exceptional job of putting this whole thing together … there were times when I heard as many as FOUR Summer Favorites played back-to-back throughout the weekend.  (Saving the list as a Monday reveal also helped build anticipation, I think … especially with The Top Ten Summer Favorites Countdown just prior to both of us posting the complete list on our respective websites.  Special thanks to FH Reader Don Effenberger for pointing out a little glitch along the way in this regard, too … but it was fixed in literally MINUTES once we knew about it.)  And man, could we have asked for any more publicity for this?!?!  THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of new readers discovered Forgotten Hits for the very first time … and hopefully at least half a dozen or so will come back and check us out again.
Thanks again to everyone for voting and making this our most successful Summer Countdown yet.  (kk)

If somehow, someway, you missed The Top 200 Final List, you can see the whole thing (plus 80 Runner Up / Honorable Mention titles) here:

And watch the whole thing unveil here:

kk …
"SUMMER IN THE CITY" Is The Number One Song!
Ha ! HA !

Also from Frank …

You pointed out that John Phillips wrote "SAN FRANCISCO" for Scott McKenzie.
Later on, Scott McKenzie became a member of The Mamas & Papas.

Two ways to keep cool in the summer –
On Larry's Pub Jukebox, I always played these songs back to back:  "UNDER THE BOARDWALK" and "UP ON THE ROOF."
One extreme to another.
Scott McKenzie actually took John Phillips’ place in the band.  (The two went way back to The Journeymen folk music days, before the success of The Mamas and the Papas.)  I saw them in the early ‘80’s with Scott McKenzie, Denny Doherty, Spanky McFarland and MacKenzie Phillips at an outdoor fest held in Berwyn, IL, right behind my old high school.  At best, I’d have to say they sounded “jusk okay.”  Still, it was a shame, as there was virtually NOBODY there.  Years later, I saw them (with Phillips back onboard and in FINE voice) at The Drury Lane Theater here in Oak Brook … and they were outstanding.  It was a very entertaining show with lots of humorous storytelling by John, who also performed a song that has NEVER been released that just blew me away.  (I remember searching for it for YEARS … and thought maybe after his passing someone might finally release it … but it never happened.  The REAL shame is I could still hear the song in my head for years … but it’s long gone now … and I can’t even remember the title … but it was a “looking back” kind of song with very powerful lyrics and arrangement.  )  kk

Hey Kent: 
Speaking of one of your faves, Robin Ward, with “Wonderful Summer,” if memory serves, she is the female voice on your 2nd 45, Speedy Gonzales!!! 
Robin (whose real name was Jacqueline McDonnell) was Pat Boone’s labelmate on Dot Records … so that wouldn’t at all surprise me … and, according to Joel Whitburn, you are correct.  (kk)

>>>Brian Hyland has TWO songs in The Top 200 Summer Songs Countdown  (kk)
One of the writers, Vance and Pockress, of "ITSY BITSY TEENIE WEENIE YELLOW POLKA DOT BIKINI" said he got the inspiration from his daughter and it took him 25 minutes to write the song. 
Elvis and Priscilla used to exchange 45's when they were dating. When Brian met Elvis, he told him that one of the songs he sent to Priscilla was "SEALED WITH A KISS."
Also … I don't remember this one …
Stay And Love Me All Summer
Frank B.
This was a new discovery for me this time around, too … but it actually charted (at #69) in 1969, just three months before Brian’s big comeback record “Gypsy Woman.”  It ultimately finished at #489 in our Summer Favorites Poll (with just four votes ... I think it deserved better ... but then again how many people out there were even familiar with it?!?!)
I heard it for the first time on Sam Tallerico’s Lost And Found Oldies Show a couple of months ago … but liked it and immediately downloaded it for my own collection.
Another new one for me was Cliff Richard’s “Summer Holiday” which, if I remember correctly, was the theme song to one of his big movies in England at the time.  I’m guessing I was just a little bit late to the party on this one, as it earned 54 votes and made our Honorable Mentions list ... and I really do like the song.  (kk)
(You’ve got to remember that Cliff Richard was like Elvis over there … maintained (and STILL maintains!) a 50+ year career with success on both the pop charts and the silver screen.  How he was limited to just a few late ‘70’s / early ‘80’s hits here in The States is almost unthinkable.)  kk

Is it too late to vote for this song?
Maybe Scott will play it.

Wow, what a GREAT record … and another one that I was COMPLETELY unaware of!  Thanks for sharing.
(It never would have made our list … but what a great new discovery!) 
The Gatlin Brothers have always had that family harmonizing ability … and, as a rule, don’t need ANY help in this area …
So it is REALLY special to see them allow a couple of “guest vocalists” share the microphone with them.
And check out the Traveling Wilburys video that follow it!  I’ve never seen this one before either … but it’s a keeper! (kk)

Great response to your Summer Top 200 … and a huge effort on your part.
Many thanks!
Phil Miglioratti

Congratulations on the Summer Favorites Weekend.  You handled it beautifully and kept up my interest in it with each installment.
Rick O’Dell
Rick also told me that NEXT WEEKEND (kicking off at 7 pm Chicago time on Friday, September 18th), Me-TV-FM will be running another Forgotten Hits inspired specialty weekend.
This time we’re calling it the "Eye Tunes Weekend" … with ALL kinds of songs about the eyes and everything else that goes along with this topic.  (We came up with SO many great titles for this one that Rick tells me Me-TV-FM will be playing several songs the station has NEVER played before … so be sure to tune in and listen, beginning THIS COMING FRIDAY NIGHT (9/18) and running throughout the weekend.
Your best Listen Live streaming option comes out of Milwaukee … so set a bookmark for this page now … because you’ll find an INCREDIBLE mix of music 24/7 here.  (kk)
“An Eye Tunes Weekend” will begin next Friday, September 18, at 7:00 pm, and run throughout the weekend.  There are several dozen songs we’ll be sprinkling in throughout the weekend, including a bunch we’ve never played before on MeTVFM.  It’s amazing, the number of songs about eyes and what we do with our eyes!
Enjoy your weekend.
Well, I can’t wait to see (hear?  Not sure since it’s all about Eyes ... so I guess technically it's BOTH!!!) what you’ve done with the concept!  The Eyes DEFINITELY have it … next weekend on Me-TV-FM, where they’ll be rolling out The Eye Tunes Weekend!  (Get it??? Rolling your eyes at that one, aren't you???)  kk

Well, it may have taken all weekend to do so, but I think we finally won over a few skeptical listeners with out Summer Countdown selections.  (Much as I did with our Top 3333 Most Essential Classic Rock Tracks list, I have always maintained that the results are YOUR choices … all I do is tabulate them.  So the songs that appeared on the Summer Favorites list are the songs that YOU GUYS determined to be the most representative songs of summer in YOUR minds.)
This is why I have always pooh-poohed some of these other lists put together by a handful of “hip” writers or a small assortment of critics that typically determine some of the other lists you see circulated all of the time.  OUR lists represent the choices of the people … the real oldies music fans and connoisseurs out there that live and breathe this stuff.

So, to prove a point … and, ultimately, MAKE a point … here are some of the “less than positive” comments we received … along with some amended commentary after the whole list (and the True Oldies playlist) ran its course …

Hi there, Kent,
While I'll agree that California Dreaming by the Mamas and Papas is an awesome song, with lush harmonies and a nice flute solo in the middle,
how the hell is it a summer song?  California Dreaming, on such a WINTER'S DAY!
On the other hand, the FH reader that said that Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks was not a summer song is simply wrong. 
In the song, Ray Davies sings the lyrics, "Lazing on a sunny afternoon, in the summertime, in the summertime, in the summertime." 
If that's not a summer song, I don't know what is. 
Admittedly the topic of separation is a bit on the heavy side, but it is still a fun song. 
I was twelve years old when that song was out in 1966, and I always thought the line "Now I'm sitting here, sipping at my ice cool beer" was pretty cool.  Nat King Cole just hints at the presence of beer in Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer, but Ray Davies is actually drinking one.  In fact, one day my Dad was with me and we were both listening to that song together, and I asked Dad if I could have a beer, and he gave me one.  That was the first time I actually drank an entire beer, and it was because of that song, Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks.
Sam Ward

Hi there folks,
This is Sam Ward here in Ontario Canada, and I would just like to congratulate Kent for all the hard work that he has put into compiling this top 200 summer songs list for 2020, while at the same time, maintaining this blog as well. 
There were a few surprises for me on the list.  It's nice to see that so many of you still love some of those classic fifties summer songs enough to vote for them, and that even now, they have still found their rightful place on the list.
I was quite pleased to see that Summertime Summertime by the Jamies got as high as number 38.  That's obviously down from its position of
number 10 a decade ago, but that still puts it in the top forty. 
There's a bit of a funny story about this song.  I thought that one of the lines in the song was, "It's time to head straight for the mills" and I remember thinking, "What would kids be doing heading for the mills during the summer?  Were they going to a summer job or something?" 
Well, come to find out, the lyrics were, "It's time to head straight for them hills."  <grin>
Likewise, I was glad to see that Here Comes Summer by Jerry Keller earned the number 27 spot on this year's list.  (That's down from number
10 on Kent's last poll in 2010.)  That's always been one of my favorite summer songs.  I have a disc jockey friend that absolutely loves that
song, so I gave him an mp3 file of the song in stereo, and he was put off by that version, because he was so used to hearing the song in mono.
Because it is definitely a doo-wop song, I was really afraid that One Summer Night by the Danleers might not make the list at all this year, and I'm so glad that it did.  Although it didn't make the top forty, at least it made the top one hundred at number 67. I've always loved that song, and the ending of that song is a carbon copy of the ending of The Great Pretender by the Platters.
I was also very happy to see that Eddie Cochran's Summertime Blues was number 10 on this year's list.  This one is another classic summer song, and although many other groups have covered this song including the Flying Lizzards, to me, Eddie Cochran has the definitive version of this summer classic.
But perhaps most surprising to me, was Percy Faith's Theme From A Summer Place, which came in at number 13. 
Don't get me wrong ...
It's a beautiful song … and sometimes when I'm in a rather melancholy mood, this song can actually bring tears to my eyes. 
I certainly remember hearing this song a whole lot as a six year old, that's for sure. 
This song is in the beautiful music category although, more often than not, people refer to this music now as elevator music, and yet no elevators or grocery stores or dentist's office play this type of music any more. 
The sound of Percy Faith and Andre Kostelanetz and Mantavani and the Hollywood Strings have totally disappeared from not only the radio airwaves, but from public places as well.  Nobody likes this music much anymore, although my Mom loved it, and kept our beautiful music station in Columbus Ohio, WBNS FM, playing from morning till night on our stereo.  I mean, you just don't hear this type of music at all!  Even big band
music can be heard on some audio streams and a few radio stations in communities where there is a large population of senior citizens.  And
yet, despite the passage of 60 years, and the fact that I'm sure a whole lot of younger people cast their votes on this list, this beautiful summer classic still held its own at number 13, and that really surprised me.  It was a very pleasant surprise, actually. 
Believe it or not, Percy Faith recorded a disco version of that song toward the end of 1975, and it was called Summer Place '76. 
Anyway, overall, I found the list very interesting as I'm sure most of the rest of you did as well. 
Once again, I would like to thank Kent Kotal for his hard work in making this happen. 
You sir, are to be congratulated for your hard work and true dedication.
Sam Ward
Ontario, Canada

I think any song to be listed as a "Summer Favorite" should at least have some lyrical (or, if instrumental, emotional) connection to the season.   That means classics like "Beach Baby," ""Surfer Girl," "Remember Walkin' in The Sand," "So In Love," "Summer Sand," "Surf City," "Palisades Park," "Summer In The City," "Green Grass," ""Summer (The First Time)," "Wipe Out," "California Sun," "All Summer Long," etc. would all qualify.  A single that just happened to be released during the summer but does not at all evoke the season ("It's Too Late," "Sukiyaki," "Lonely Boy," "Morning Train," etc.) would not.
Gary Theroux
The History of Rock 'n' Roll

I LOVED your summer song countdown.  Perhaps my favorite of the 30 new two-hour History Of Rock And Roll episodes I've written is entitled "The Super Summer Song Collection," which, oddly enough, was the title of a 3 CD box set I developed for Reader's Digest Music which was never released, to my huge dismay. I still think it would be a big seller today. 
Gary Theroux

Congratulations on the great work, Kent, on the Summer Song countdown.
At the risk of prolonging a never-resolved debate, I wanted to suggest another project for you to tackle in your "leisure time," hah, when things calm down, hah.
While the debate probably will never end on whether the focus should be on summer-season or summer-related songs, I'd love to see an "isolated" list of the top 200 songs that are really about summer or summer activities like beaches, surfing, cruising, parks and other summer fun. Just the barebones list culled from your master list of vote-getters.
I get the argument about the memories and impact of summer monster hits, but it seems a unique one.
In all the lists I've seen over the years on top Christmas season songs, for example, I've never seen one that included "Turn! Turn! Turn!" or "Good Vibrations" or "Daydream Believer" or other major chart hits as seasonal faves! So sometime if possible, I'd love to see a more "summer activities"-specific list pulled from your rankings for us few (?) "purists." Just a thought.
One other thing: I bow to no one in my admiration for the power and influence of Forgotten Hits!
So I may be wrong, but I do wonder if there isn't the slight possibility that in addition to FH exposure, the relative powerhouse showing of "Lake Shore Drive" also might have a little bit to do with its inclusion on the soundtrack of "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," which grossed more than $389 million in the U.S. I never saw  the sequel, and I only made it through about 30 minutes of the first one,  but I hear some folks actually liked the films and may have been introduced to it there.
Keep up the great work!
Don Effenberger

To address our nay-sayers regarding the content of The Summer Songs Countdown List inclusions, stating that the list should only contain songs specifically songs ABOUT summer, I can only offer up the explanation that this is the way we’ve always done it.
In our final posting listing the complete list of Top 200 Summer Favorites, I wrote:
The criteria was simple:  What songs best evoke the feeling of summer in your mind?
That means they can be songs about summer, songs with summer in the title, songs about hot fun in the summertime or lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer ... Happy Summer Days ... or Summertime Blues ... Summer activities like surfin' and cruisin' ...dancin' in the street … California Girls, Surfer Girls, Girl Watchin' ... Summer places ... Whether it be under the boardwalk or up on the roof drinkin' summer wine ... Summer lovin' ... saying goodbye for the summer ... And then seeing you again in September ... The sun and sunshine ... a walk along the beach ... twistin' the night away ... Singin' in the sunshine ... or walkin' in the summer rain ... Or simply the biggest songs of summers past ... Songs that take you back to a particular place in time with indelible memories.

There is something about Summer Memories that seem to stand head and shoulders above many others … and the music we were hearing during those fun in the sun summer months had a lot to do with that.

I made a comment previously about “How can you hear ‘Satisfaction’ and NOT think of summer?  It was the biggest song of The Summer of ’65 … and, eventually, the #1 Song of the entire year.  

I’ve given some more thought to that statement …

Sure, if you were THERE, growing up during The Summer of ’65, this would be the case …

But what about all the new readers who weren’t even born yet in 1965?

How could THEY possibly relate to this being a summer song?

So for a moment, I started to question my own justification.

And then THIS year, “Satisfaction” moves UP our Summer Favorites Chart from #19 to #5 … 

So how does THAT happen?!?!

Sure, it’s a great rock song … a classic to be sure … but what ties it to summer for SO many people?

As for the Christmas comparison, I get what you're saying ... but I think Christmas Music has always revolved a specific list of songs, often covered (and featured) by DOZENS of artists.  A countdown of Top 100 "Christmas Favorites" that features eight versions of some of these tunes would really limit its appeal.  (Gary Theroux syndicates a Top 100 Christmas Songs list every year … but it’s a stretch to include everything to fill out a list that long ... so he expands the criteria as necessary so as t be able to feature the widest variety of holiday music possible.)

But this seems to be the exception to the rule ...

Typically, we’re subjected to a dozen different versions of “O Holy  Night,” “White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” and “Jingle Bells” instead … hardly the stuff that makes for an interesting countdown. (And don't even get me started as to how "Baby, It's Cold Outside" always made the holiday playlist until about a year ago when our new-found political correctness seemed to banish it from the airwaves forever more!)

Summer encompasses an entire feel of the season (and all that goes along with it.) 

How is “California Dreaming” NOT a summer song?  Sure, they’re singing it “on a winter’s day” … but what is it they’re singing and dreaming
about???  The warmth of the sun in sunny California … ANYTHING to take them away from the cruel, rough reality of a winter’s day!  (And, by the way, you'll see that we DID acknowledge Lake Shore Drive's inclusion in the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack as well … although WE were promoting the song for twenty years to a national audience before that film was ever even made.)

A more theme-specific list could probably be compiled out of the 600+ nominations we received (some of which, quite honestly, I've never even HEARD before!!!) ... so maybe a Top 50 or Top 100 would be in order to pacify like-minded readers and music fans who felt that we missed our mark with this one.  Let me see if I still feel inspired enough to do so, now that this series has run its course.

But I can tell you right now the challenge will be WHAT to include … and what to omit.  And ultimately, who makes this decision???  (This is why I've always left the choices up to YOU ... what songs constitute summer for you in YOUR world ... and that's what our Top 200 List reflects ... not MY choices ... not MY criteria ... but YOURS.)

Does “California” not constitute the whole “good vibrations” of Summer?  If not, then there goes your #2 All-Time Favorite pick!  (Which would also mean that about 650 of you out there were WRONG for selecting it … and I don’t buy that for a minute!!!)

What about other “sunny places” like Hawaii and San Francisco and Kokomo and Margaritaville?  “Wipe Out” doesn’t mention summer … heck, it doesn’t mention anything at all because it’s an instrumental … does that mean that “Wipe Out” NOT a summer song but “Theme from ‘A Summer Place’” IS simply because it’s got the KEY word in the title?

What about all the other things that go along with summer?  Cruisin’ … The Beach … Surfin’ … cars and girls and bikinis.  Does this mean that “All Summer Long” counts but “Fun Fun Fun” doesn’t?  Summer vacation counts ... but "See You In September" doesn't???  Seriously, who’s going to set the criteria that we can ALL agree on?

I’m being facetious, of course, but you can see how too many filters could make this a pretty boring list.  But seriously, to be clear, who out there is prepared to determine what counts and what doesn’t?  Is “Dancing In The Street” a summer song?  (We know “A Summer Song” is because it tells you so right in the title!)  But “Light My Fire,” “Windy,” “Born To Be Wild,” “Saturday In The Park” (which mentions The 4th of July in the lyrics but not in the title), “Miserlou,” “Barbara Ann,” “Rag Doll” and “Brandy” would all have to come off the list ... and I just don't think that's right.

On the other hand, we also heard from several disc jockeys and radio programmers who LOVED the idea that our list includes these songs.  (Our 2010 List has probably been counted down on over two dozen radio stations over the past ten years, none of whom questioned the content ... but rather EMBRACED it enough to want to share it with their listeners.)

And then how do you handle a random vote like this one?:

Vehicle - Ides of March - Not sure if this qualifies, but I know I first heard it on the beach, and from the sound of the opening horns it blew me away! Still does.

That’s why we’ve always said “It’s What Songs Evoke The Spirit Of Summer For YOU???”  “Vehicle” got votes … and so did “Eye Of The Tiger.”  Maybe part of a Feel Good Summer Song is one that makes you feel energized.  Quite honestly, I’ve always trusted YOUR judgement on this … this is, after all, YOUR list of Summer Favorites … all I do is tally up the votes!  (kk)

One other quick clarification …

We also got mail saying that Summer doesn’t really end until September 21st … which is true … but for US … and I think MOST of us who grew up during the same era and marked your summer by Memorial Day thru Labor Day (and this is also the criteria we have always used for our countdowns), ALL of our Summer Countdowns shown on the Forgotten Hits Website feature the Biggest Songs of June, July and August … that’s OUR Summer timeframe … and you’ll find Summer Countdowns for EVERY year, 1955 – 1980, on The Forgotten Hits Website:

And finally ... 

If you want a great Fall / Autumn song, try “Autumn” by The Thomas Group from 1966 on Dunhill ... it’s a great “forgotten” PF Sloan-Steve Barri song. It was also a Gary Lewis LP cut. Either one is excellent. Should have been a hit. (Although it makes Top 5 in Louisville!)  It’s on YouTube. 
I’m not familiar with that one … but I absolutely LOVE “Autumn” by The Edgar Winter Group … shows just what a wide range of talent these guys actually had.  (kk)
(Quite honestly, I don’t know that I'm prepared to go the “Autumn” song route ... but it certainly is the most ignored season!  An Autumn Favorites List?!?!  Forget about it!!!  Lol)

By the way, be sure to watch for a brand new Sunday Comments Page tomorrow, too …
And please join us for the Dick Biondi Birthday Celebration.  (Scroll back to Friday’s post for more information)

Friday, September 11, 2020



Hoping that some of you will join us for Dick Biondi’s Birthday Bash THIS SUNDAY at 2 pm Central Time … it should be a blast!

Featuring appearances by The New Colony Six, Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams, Jim Peterik of The Ides Of March, Dennis Tufano, original lead singer of The Buckinghams, Jimy Sohns of The Shadows Of Knight, Marshall Thompson and The Chi-Lites, The Chicago Experience, American English, Ronnie Rice, Frankie Avalon, Tommy James, Tommy Roe, Neil Sedaka, Tony Orlando, Bill Medley, actor Joe Montagna, Tom Doody of The Cryan’ Shames and Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane and Jimmy Pankow of Chicago … and many, many more. 

Join your hosts Pam Pulice, Joe Farina, Scott Mackay, John Records Landecker, Ron Onesti and more here:

Dick Biondi turns 88 years young on Sunday, September 13th!  Still waiting for good news regarding the biography film.
Hopefully, it'll be out by early spring.  Keep your ears to the ground!
Happy birthday, Dick!  And many, many more!

Mike Wolstein

(Dick Biondi, Ronnie Rice, Mike Wolstein)

When I decided to do a short Dick Biondi video tribute, my only challenge was how to keep it under three hours! Lol! 

I had ten minutes to pay homage to one of my all time heroes ... hope you enjoy it.

I’m proud to be a part of the Sunday celebration with so many others that owe Dick so much. Please tune in.

Thanks, Kent, for getting the word out. You’re the best!



Dick is still with us, right?  I only say that because I haven’t heard one word nor seen the wild guy in years! 

He seemed to just drop off the radio … no word … no reason … just poof! And he was gone.

Jeff James

Dick is still with us … although in failing health these past few years.  (All the more reason to get this film out there NOW while he's still around to enjoy it ... and all the attention it will likely generate.)

I don’t know if he’ll be taking part in some fashion on Sunday or not … but it WOULD be nice for him to see the great turn-out and praise heaped upon him!!!

After all those years at WLS, they just cut him loose without even the chance to say goodbye to all his devoted fans and listeners.  Downright cruel and insensitive.  (This after delegating him to an on-air shift that was WAY past all of our bedtimes, never even giving him a chance to reach his most devoted audience.  This whole experience REALLY soured me on WLS and what it has become vs. the station that Biondi helped build into what it once was.)

Dick LIVED to be on the air.  (I swear, he told me one time, that he wanted to die on the air … he just never wanted to leave.  It’s all he knew and it’s all he loved.)  A real shame.

So all the more reason to celebrate all that he gave us before the Corporate Big-Wigs got in the way!  Hope you can be there on Sunday for the big celebration.  (kk)

Your last sentence sums it up and you’re right on … Corporate Crap-Ola!!!!!

Hell, I make fun on the air of those so called “Radio In Charge People” all the time … useless!


Hi Kent,

Thanks so much for being part of the Dick Biondi day celebration and for getting the word out for us. You’re always a great supporter and friend to the Dick Biondi project and we appreciate you so much.

To all the people whose lives have been touched by Dick Biondi, please join us to celebrate Dick‘s 88th birthday this Sunday at 2 PM until the music ends. To keep up with our progress on the film, subscribe to our newsletter at

We are truly excited to share a very special afternoon of music, radio memories of Dick Biondi, and more.

Pam Pulice

Director of “The Voice That Rocked America: the Dick Biondi Story”

Music fans can connect via the link above.  (kk)


I couldn’t have been more pleased than to have heard from Ron Riley, another WLS Radio Legend, this week who will be taping a short testimonial for the Biondi Bash.  (Ron has worked successfully in broadcasting ever since leaving the radio airwaves … for the past 30-something years as a TV weatherman, first in Baltimore and, for about 26 years now, in Washington, D.C.  WLS Jock Brant Miller has made a very similar transition here in Chicago!)

Ron was always my favorite WLS Jock during my formative AM Radio years in the mid-‘60’s … and has participated with Forgotten Hits from time to time over the past four or five years.  SO glad that we were able to help make this connection for Pam’s birthday celebration.  (kk)

And, as it turns out, King B, Ron Britain, ALSO celebrated a birthday milestone recently … and FH Reader and regular contributor Clark Besch is hoping to send some birthday greetings his way as well.

If you got some Ron Britain memories to share, please drop Clark a line at this special email address:

Britain ruled the Chicago evening airwaves in ’66 and ’67 with his irreverent style of broadcasting … perhaps Chicago’s first psychedelic (or woud that be PSYCHO-delic???) deejay of this era.  (kk)

Hey Tulu's, they are having a big Dick Biondi 88th birthday party this Sunday.  I don't want to take away from that, but WCFL's Ron Britain is also having a birthday this week and I was hoping to get some birthday wishes for HIM as well.  IF you have some specific HAPPY memories of Ron or his show or some FUN interaction with him, please tell it to me and I will pass all along to him.  Please include your name and location if possible.  Apologies if you did not know him or remember his shows.  I have been friends with Ron and Peach for several years now and just wanted to give him a special greeting a bit smaller than Dick Biondi's one, I guess.  haha

Here';s a list of the stations he was on in his long career.

Thank you all for reading and HAPPY BIRTHDAY RON AND DICK and many more!!!!

P.S.  Your email will not be given out to anyone.  :)

Ron Britain
WHAS [Louisville KY] 1949
WKLO-TV [Louisville] 1953 - ancr
WINN [Louisville] 1953
WKAY [Bowling Green KY] 1954
WIEL [Elizabethtown KY] 1955
WSAZ-TV [Huntington WV] 1956 - ancr/on camera
WFMT-TV [Ft. Monmouth NJ] 1957 - ancr/on camera
WLBS [Monmouth/Ocean NJ] 1957
WKAZ-TV [Charleston WV] 1959 - ancr/on camera
WSAI [Cincinnati OH] 1960
WHK [Cleveland OH] 1964
WCFL [Chicago] 1965
WIND [Chicago] 1970
KCMO [Kansas City MO] 1974
WLS-FM [Chicago] 1974
WKRC [Cincinnati] 1976


[Chicago] 1978
Satellite Music Net [Chicago] 1980 - ancr/on camera
WJMK [Chicago] 1984
WTMX [Chicago] 1992-1994
WRLL [Chicago] 2002-2003


Clark also tells us ... 

“Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll” was Steve King's opening bumper music on WLS in the early 70's, but I THINK he played John Baldry's version.  That would be odd since Crow's version charted on WLS and not the original, but I THINK he used Baldry's for his show opener.

Clark Besch

I don’t really recall that … so I asked Steve … and this is what he told me …

Hi Kent,

The version of "Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock & Roll" that I used a snippet of in my WLS show intro was Long John Baldry's.  Even though it was rarely played in Chicago, I was familiar with it from my days at WNAP, in Indianapolis.  With all due respect to Crow, I just loved Long John's version and thought it had the punch I wanted to start the show.

Stay safe,

Steve King

So I guess now MY next most obvious question would have to be was “The KING of Rock And Roll” specifically selected for the Steve KING Show???  (Inquiring minds want to know.)

In all these years, this was my first one-on-one encounter with Steve King!  Hoping to hear more from Steve (and Johnnie) in the future here in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)

Cousin Brucie with Lou Christie

In case you haven't heard yet, Cousin Brucie is back on 77WABC radio.

When, you ask???

Tonight's the Night!!!
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm EST
Be There or Be Square!

Unfortunately "tonight" was last SATURDAY Night.  (Sorry we missed it … well, not really) 

But you’ll get your chance to tune in and listen again TOMORROW night (9/12).

Bruce Morrow quit Sirius / XM several weeks ago but is now back on the air on WABC in New York City.

Great news for some of you out there.  (As for me, I’ve never been much of a fan … but am happy to pass along this info for all of you out there who are!)  I’ve been told by a few people that you had to hear Cousin Brucie back in the day to truly appreciate him and his impact on the early rock and roll scene … and I get that.  One could certainly say the same about Dick Biondi, probably the first most relevant rock and roll jock in Chicago back in the early ‘60’s.  I’m just not convinced that EITHER jock should have continued on beyond the point their talents had clearly diminished on the air … and listening to Brucie these days … for ME anyway … is just plain painful.  (kk)


From Frank B, your FORGOTTEN HITS East Coast Reporter

After 46 years, Cousin Brucie returns to WABC-77 AM in New York.

He said that every time he arrives at a new station, “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry is always the first song he plays. Not a bad choice.

He opened the show with this jingle Frankie Valli & Bob Guadio made for him in 1965.

He talked to the station owner and wished him a Happy Birthday.

Then a bunch of congrats and welcome back phone calls.

The whole thing seems to me like an odd combination –

Talk shows all week and then on Saturday night you get three hours of Rock & Roll.

If anybody is interested, a replay of "COUSIN BRUCIE's ROCK & ROLL PARTY" airs tomorrow night (Sunday) from 6 to 9 PM.

He'll be on Saturday nights in his new, regular time slot of 6 - 9 PM.

Frank B.

kk ...

Rich guy John Catsimatidis bought WABC about a year ago.

This is strictly a long shot guess on my part ...

I think signing Cousin Brucie was the first step  to turn the station from talk back to music.

About a month ago, they did a charity music event that did well.

From listening to them talk, it was John who approached Bruce.

If you own a talk radio station, why would you want to play music only once a week?

Let’s see if I'm right.

Frank B.


Due to our Summer Countdown and a series of pre-posts, we fell a bit behind again last week in the way of current news …

But did you see what vandals did to Graceland?

Got these photos in Geoff Lambert’s weekly newsletter and couldn’t believe my eyes!

Frannie and I drove thru this section of Memphis a couple of years ago and couldn’t believe how seedy the neighborhood has become …

Downright scary looking in parts.

You would think that a bit of policing might help to clean things up there … and prevent things like THIS from happening!

Truly a shame … but hopefully they’ll have things restored to order soon.  (kk)

It sure is a shame ...

But looting and defacing property is not the answer to our problems and will never be. Peaceful protest is the answer, or the other side will say "See, see they are savages."

It is tragic moments like these that remind me of parallels to the late 60's ...

Peaceful protest of the war with hundreds of thousands were marred by the actions of a few thousands.

While most of us left after the marches, these asses (I am being nice now) marred it for all of us by defacing property and looting and throwing bottles at the police. How do I know?  I was there and saw it all in our great town.

Love and peace, Kent!

Mike De Martino





Insanity in action.  

Gary Theroux



Man, I tell ya, Kent ... the lack of respect from little pukes like this bunch is sickening ...

I guess as long as the criminals everywhere are coddled, and never have to be held accountable for their actions, this kind of crap will go on.

I know in my area, it won't be tolerated ... the first and second amendment are honored and enforced here ...

Just sayin'. 


"By the people ... for the people."
Stay safe and well my friend.

YES, I SAW IT. It’s already been cleaned.

Frank B.

Frank sent me a video after the cleaning so that’s good news.

Still I don’t get the point of all of this.

In what corner of the twisted minds of the people who do these sorts of things do they feel that their point is being made in a positive way that can actually help to change things by doing something like this?  (And seriously, what did Elvis ever do to you???  Why are you destroying HIS property???)

I’m all for having a voice and being heard … but damaging and destroying property that isn’t yours … breaking out store windows as an excuse to steal … how does THAT portray your cause in a brighter light?  Can you REALLY not see how ridiculously wrong this is?  The motto you're preaching is One Wrong Deserves Another ... is that REALLY the message you're trying to send?  Because that's the way it's coming out!

You want our attention?  Fine.  Then organize an event where you can speak your voices clearly and intelligently as to the need for change.  Things are so COMPLETELY out of hand right now I think you’ll find that the majority of your audience AGREES with you … we need to DO something to stop this violence and reel in the crazy.

But acting MORE crazy accomplishes NOTHING … and most will find your process SO out of balance as to NOT want to stop and help support your cause.  Crazy breeds crazy … and accomplishes NOTHING … except more hatred and violence.  (kk)

Elvis protecting his wall …

From Frank B by way of Wild Wayne


With all the Jimi Hendrix milestones making our Fifty Years Ago Today Calendar of late, we thought this would be a good one to share …

It’s Jimi making an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show … and looking totally fit and in control.

It’s actually a VERY good, light-hearted interview that touches on Jimi’s military career, his playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock and also how he views himself when it comes to “superstar guitarists.”  Quite entertaining.

This episode first ran on September 9th, 1970 … so pretty much EXACTLY fifty years ago today.  Incredible to think that just nine days later he would be dead.


Read the full Best Classic Bands article here:

And watch for a brand new, deluxe Jimi Hendrix “Live In Maui” box set coming out on November 20th.

The set consists of both audio and video recordings of this event, described by Sam Stone as “near mythic.”

More details here:


Bill Pursell passed away over the weekend.  He scored The Top Ten Instrumental Hit “Our Winter Love” in 1963. He was 94 and succumbed to complications tied to Covid-19 and pneumonia. 

We also lost Ron Bell, founding member of Kool and the Gang, on Wednesday …

And, of course, Emma Peel … the incredible Mrs. Peel, Diana Rigg, yesterday …

Probably just as well known today for her role on “Game Of Thrones” as she was for OUR memories of her in “The Avengers” back in the ‘60’s.

(In between, she also became the ONLY “Mrs. James Bond” in the film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”


Tying in nicely with our recent mention of Bill Carroll’s new book “Ranking The Albums:  The Stereo LP Era:  1963 – 1989” comes this report from Billboard Magazine showing the list of artists who posted 26 or more weeks at #1 on their Top 200 Albums Chart.

Incredibly, only 22 acts have done it, with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass kicking things off with 26 weeks on top (I would have thought more … true of a few names on this list, such as Led Zeppelin with 29, The Eagles with 30, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac, each with 38 … especially considering that their “Rumours” LP alone accounted for 31 of those weeks! … Elton John, 39.)

Then again, there are several acts whose numbers are staggering … The Kingston Trio placed fifth with 46 weeks at #1?!?!  Michael Jackson had 51 weeks on top, one shy of Garth Brooks’ 52 weeks (???)  And, of course, some of the recent acts who have certainly reaped the benefit of albums staying on the chart longer due to less competition:  Taylor Swift (46 weeks), Adele and Eminem (34), Drake (27).

Then there are a few head-scratchers like Harry Belafonte and The Monkees each logging 37 weeks on top … The Monkees I remember … between the end of 1966 and the end of 1967, their first four LPs sat on top for 37 weeks out of a possible 60.  One of those LPs, “More Of The Monkees,” was #1 for eighteen weeks all on its own … that’s three more weeks on top than The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” released that same year!!!

Prince with 35, compared to Bruce Springsteen’s 29?  Meanwhile, Michael Jackson logged 51 weeks on top.

The top two acts???  Not too hard to figure out …

Elvis came in at #2 with 67 weeks at #1 … while The Beatles scored nearly TWICE that many, earning 132 weeks in the #1 position.  The previously mentioned “Sgt. Pepper” LP was their longest running #1 hit, spending fifteen weeks on the top of the chart.

You can check out the complete list (with more commentary) here:

And, speaking of Bill Carroll’s new book, my copy came yesterday … and it’s massive!!!

While I haven’t really had a chance to dig in yet (although Bill did send me some preliminary pages along the way), the amount of detail here is staggering. 

And it’s almost impossible to argue with the methodology he used to come up with the list of the biggest and the best … if only because it’s nearly impossible to decipher what any of this really means!!! (lol)

Bill’s background in the field of science inspires him to create charts and graphs to track the trajectory of all these hit LP’s … and, simply put, it’s a lot to digest, even for the most serious and ardent fan of the charts.

But there is no denying the amount of research that went into determining the final results.  (And virtually ALL of it is cross-referenced in every conceivable way to allow you to find EXACTLY the information you’re looking for.)

You can order your copy thru Amazon:

And get perhaps a better overview of the book here:



Hope to see you then …

AND at the Biondi Bash on Sunday!  (kk)