Saturday, October 31, 2020
Friday, October 30, 2020
King B …
In a word: heartbroken.
I wrote to Ron back in '04 ... (Sent Thursday, 1/15/2004)
Been a fan since the old days at ‘CFL with you, Art Roberts, Barney Pip and the rest.
Great to have you back ... hearing your wonderful "shtick" gives me goose bumps and makes me feel like it's 1966 again!
Just one question ... how did you get the nickname "King B"? I've always wondered about that.
You are just the type of listener I like hearing from!
Every time some writes to me and mentions having listened to me at WCFL, it gives me a good feeling. Those days were magical, weren't they?
It’s interesting that you have compared the two because I haven't had this much fun on the radio since ‘CFL. Tells you something about radio management and music formats that were in between, doesn't it?
You asked about the name, "King B."
When I was first starting out in radio in Cincinnati, Ohio, I had an incredible rating of 72% listening to my show and a lot of those were teenagers. I was just in my early or mid-20's myself.
I decided to buy a nightclub, turn it into the first non-alcoholic teenage key club in the country (Life Magazine came into Cincinnati to do a story on it) ... and I have a very loyal group of teenagers who helped my wife and I get the club up and running.
We were doing all the painting, decorating, lettering, wiring, actually everything imaginable ourselves to convert it to a teen club ... and the teenagers who were working for me didn't want to call me Ron because back then (early 60's), teenagers called anyone who was over 21 years old, "Mr." or "Mrs."
I didn't feel comfortable with them calling me Mr. Britain ... so they themselves began calling me King B. It stuck. Soon everyone in Cincinnati was calling me that ... and the name was a natural by the time I reached Chicago. In fact, more people call me King B than Ron! I do like it, as I said, it feels natural.
So you are still a hippie, Mike. Me, too! This music does remind us of how carefree and simple life was back then, doesn't it? Hope you are getting some laughs out of my show.
Take care, Chico …
Thx for writing and, of course, wella, wella.
Country Singer / Songwriter Billy Joe Shaver passed away on Wednesday (10/28) after a massive stroke.
While his songs never really made any impact on the pop charts, several of his compositions were covered by some of country’s biggest stars, including Bobby Bare (who signed him to a songwriting contract in 1968), Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings, who recorded an entire album of Shaver’s songs called “Honky Tonk Heroes.” (Many consider this to be the first “outlaw” album.)
Shaver has been described as someone best known for writing songs about “sin and redemption.”
Elvis Presley recorded his “You Asked Me To” and The Allman Brothers Band recorded his “Sweet Mama.” Actor Robert Duvall performed Shaver’s “Live Forever” in the film “Crazy Heart.” (kk)
Having been a longtime friend and fan of Billy Joe Shaver’s, there was so much about him to love and enjoy. He was a great singer, songwriter and performer and, above all, a great storyteller. He will be missed.
- Billy F Gibbons
In a related story, FH Reader Bob Merlis sent us this news clip from CMT (circa 2008) …
Singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver married Wanda Lynn Canady, his most recent ex-wife, for the second time on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas. (Shaver married his late ex-wife Brenda three times.) ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons presided over the ceremony. Shortly after the wedding, Shaver cracked a vertebra while “Indian wrestling” with a friend but is expected to recover fully. He was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in August.
And I love this quote from Outlaw Country:
“His personal life was full of high drama: He married the same woman three times, survived a heart attack on stage, broke his neck on his wedding night, and was acquitted of a shooting incident in 2007, in which he reportedly asked the victim “Where do you want it?” However, Billy Joe Shaver was also a man of deep faith, and wrote and recorded many gospel songs.”
The “Wacko From Waco” indeed! (kk)
I found these vintage Forgotten Hits pieces from 2011 after running Mike Gentry’s salute to Hot Chocolate on Wednesday …
>>>Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing - Released in the US on Big Tree Records. It is written that it was an (unknown) American DJ who flipped the 45 RPM record over and spotted its potential. How he was able to persuade Producer Mickie Most abroad, to modify it and reissue it is also unknown. (John)
>>>Hard to tell ... this simply could be a case of the extended album mix vs. the punched-up hit single mix ... that sort of thing happened all the time, especially if the single was pulled from the album AFTER pressure to release it.
That being said, I don't know that anyone from Big Tree Records (or American radio for that matter) had to convince anybody to release "You Sexy Thing" as a single ... it debuted on The British Singles Pop Chart a week after it premiered in Billboard here in The States. It peaked at #2 in its U.K. showing and reached #3 (for three weeks!) in Billboard in early '76. (It also peaked at #2 on the Cash Box Chart.)
By 1976, Hot Chocolate had already racked up nine British Top 40 Hits, so they were no strangers on the charts. Here in the States, "Emma" (#6, 1975) and "Disco Queen" (#21, 1975) were already proven hits before "You Sexy Thing" first hit the charts. Again, an established chart track record would indicate that they knew EXACTLY what song to release as their next single.
Once they signed with Mickie Most's RAK Records label, they earned their first British Top Ten Hit with "Love Is Life" (#36, 1970). Early Hot Chocolate recordings of '70's hits like "You Could Have Been A Lady" and "Brother Louie" went on to become bigger hits for April Wine and Stories respectively here in The States, but they would earn a total of 13 Top Ten British Hits under their own name between 1970 and 1987 (including a remix of "You Sexy Thing" that went to #10 in 1987.)
Having checked a number of reference sources, I can't find ANYTHING stating that it was an American deejay who prompted the success of "You Sexy Thing" (or its release as a single) ... as I said, Hot Chocolate had already scored two U.S. hits prior to its release on Big Tree Records. Honestly, I think by this point they were pretty well recognized as world-wide hit makers. (kk)
Hi Kent -
Just been reading the newsletter dated November 8, 2010, and would like to clarify things regarding Hot Chocolate.
Written by Phil Hendriks, the following comments come from the sleeve notes of their As, B's and Rarities cd released in 2004:
"The morose 'Blue Night' single issued in April 1975 was a fairly blatant attempt to re-create 'Emma' in a bid to revive the group's fortunes. It failed to catch the imagination of radio producers and with little airplay or promotion failed to chart. Once again it appeared that success was deserting the band, yet hidden on the B side of 'Blue Night' was a hint of glories to come, a song entitled 'You Sexy Thing'. Hindsight reveals that Mickie Most's decision to make 'You Sexy Thing' the B side could have been a major blunder, had it not been for an American DJ flipping the record over and spotting it's potential."
So you see Kent, we do have an American DJ to thank for bringing us this classic, even though it was completely re-worked for release later in the year.
It went on to reach number 2 then and number 10 when re-mixed in 1987. It then reached the top 10 for a third time in 1997, making it their most successful hit ever. Cheers!
You Sexy Thing (1975) - Hot Chocolate. Stereo.
First known as The Hot Chocolate Band, in 1969.
After charting records in the UK, but while their chart success was fading, this song was released in the UK on RAK Records, #199, B Side, with "Blue Night" as the A (Plug) Side. Maybe also released in the US on Big Tree Records.
It is written that it was an (unknown) American DJ who flipped the record over and spotted its potential. How he was able to persuade Producer, Mickie Most (known for his diehard mono Herman's Hermits mixes, now deceased), abroad, to modify it and reissue it is also unknown. It is certainly a different "mix" with a noticeable rhythm guitar, in long form, clocking in at 4:00, with double tracking on lead vocals in spots. Some verses were later edited out in the US Hit version ...
Well, we certainly gave them their due this week, running SEVEN cuts by Hot Chocolate on Wednesday, encompassing both US and UK hits in the process.
(Now I wanna hear somebody play “Emma” on the radio … I toss the baton to you, Scott Shannon!!!) kk
And Scott Shannon rose to the challenge!
Here’s a clip from The True Oldies Channel that aired earlier this week …
2 NEIL's FOR THE PRICE OF 1 …
NEIL DIAMOND & NEIL SEDAKA - Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen (Live - 1993)
And, speaking of cool duets, how about this one, featuring Karen O (from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Willie Nelson … doing the Queen / David Bowie classic “Under Pressure!!!”
The official press release states that the cover was “inspired by the looming presidential election.”
And here’s an impressive list, sent into us by FH Reader Tom Cuddy …
These 18 Songwriters Have Written More No. 1 Hits By Themselves Than Any Other Songwriters in Hot 100 History
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
With the temperatures already dropping ...
And our first round of snow flurries these past few days ...
(C'mon ... it's not even Halloween yet!!!)
We thought we'd offer up a little bit of HOT CHOCOLATE this morning, courtesy of FH Reader Mike Gentry ...
After getting dropped from the label's artistic roster during Allen Klein's takeover of Apple Corps' operations, two acts would come to somewhat dominate record charts for the next decade and beyond.
Jamaica born Errol Brown was lead singer of a south London band that started out doing reggae covers of UK hits of the day. Songwriters Brown and Tony Wilson wanted to make some changes to the lyrics of "Give Peace A Chance" and asked for John Lennon's permission. The Beatle was so impressed he decided to let them release their version on Apple Records. An Apple press secretary even suggested a name for the group, The Hot Chocolate Band. The single failed to chart. And, like James Taylor, Hot Chocolate became victims of Klein's belt tightening moves.
When A&R man Peter Asher was fired, he took his protege Taylor to Warner Brothers. Then legendary UK music producer, Mickie Most, claimed Hot Chocolate for his new RAK music label. Klein had been Most's US business manager for several years.
On August 15,1970, Hot Chocolate's first RAK rock/soul single, the
optimistic "Love Is Life", was released and peaked at UK#6 on
September 19. In 1973, Stories' sanitized cover of Hot Chocolate's
controversial tale of an interracial romance, "Brother Louie", topped
both Billboard and Cash Box in the US. Two years later, Hot Chocolate's mildly
suggestive "You Sexy Thing" was released and became an international
smash hit. This catch phrase from the song, "I believe in miracles",
has been used in numerous tv commercials over the years. That single reached
the UK top ten in three successive decades. Hot Chocolate was the only band to
have a UK chart single in every year of the Seventies. In fact, for 15 straight
years! In America, James Taylor also had a chart hit for every year in the
Seventies. But Taylor's 1968 eponymous Apple debut album had flopped. His lone
Apple single release was "Carolina In My Mind". I only remember a
cover by Marmalade getting some UK radio airplay. The Beatles' brainchild,
Apple Corps, gave both JT and Hot Chocolate their first big breaks, but let
them get away.
THE HOT CHOCOLATE HIT LIST
1970 - Love Is Life - (US - xx / UK - 6)
1971 - You Could Have Been A Lady (US - xx / UK - 22)
This was a hit here for April Wine
1971 - I Believe In Love (US - xx / UK - 8)
1972 - You'll Always Be A Friend (US - xx / UK - 23)
1973 - Brother Louie (US - xx / UK - 7)
This was a hit here for Stories
1973 - Rumours (US - xx / UK - 44)
1975 - Emma (US - 4 / UK - 3)
1974 - Cheri Babe (US - xx / UK - 31)
1975 - Disco Queen (US - 21 / UK - 11)
1975 - A Child's Prayer (US - xx / UK - 7)
1975 - You Sexy Thing (US - 2 / UK - 2)
1976 - Don't Stop It Now (US - 42 / UK - 11)
1976 - Man To Man (US - xx / UK - 14)
1976 - Heaven Is In The Back Seat Of My Cadillac (US - xx / UK - 25)
1977 - So You Win Again (US - 31 / UK - 1)
1977 - Put Your Love In Me (US - xx / UK - 10)
1978 - Every 1's A Winner (US - 6 / UK - 12)
1979 - I'll Put You Together Again (from Dear Anyone) US - xx / UK - 13
1979 - Mindless Boogie (US - xx / UK - 44)
1980 - No Doubt About It (US - xx / UK - 2)
1980 - Are You Getting Enough Of What Makes You Happy (US - xx / UK - 17)
1981 - Love Me To Sleep (US - xx / UK - 50)
1982 - Girl Crazy (US - xx / UK - 7)
1982 - It Started With A Kiss (US - xx / UK - 5)
1982 - Chances (US - xx / UK - 32)
1983 - What Kind Boy You Looking For (US - xx / UK - 10)
1983 - Tears On The Telephone (US - xx / UK - 37)
1984 - I Gave You My Heart (Didn't I) - US - xx / UK - 13
1987 - You Sexy Thing (reissue / remix) US - xx / UK - 10
1987 - Every 1's A Winner (reissue / remix) US - xx / UK - 49
1993 - It Started With A Kiss (reissue) - US - xx / UK - 31
1997 - You Sexy Thing (reissue) US - xx / UK - 6
1998 - It Started With A Kiss (reissue) US - xx / UK - 18
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
The last remaining original WCFL jock, Ron Britain, has committed suicide, just days after his wife Peaches passed.
On the one hand, I can honestly say that I'm not surprised –
Everybody handles grief in their own way … and this is certainly not the first (or last) time we’ll see this happen when someone THIS close to you … so much a part of your very being … passes.
It also doesn’t help that he has not been mentally stable for a long time –
Decades even –
(Some might argue his entire career … but that was all part of his charm!)
And my first thought when I heard of his wife's death last week was that he would probably die shortly thereafter, which so often is the case when literally your other self is gone. She was such a HUGE part of his life and they spent literally every moment together, married for 62 years.
Even so, I really didn't expect the suicide thing ... but like I said, I can't say that I'm surprised by it either.
Still, some VERY sad news to report. (kk)
Robert Feder shares these memories:
Britain’s departure at Real Oldies was another sad event. You don’t bring in a guy like Ron Britain, whose whole schtick was stream-of-consciousness broadcasting, and then try to confine him and prevent him from doing exactly what you hired him for! The whole concept of WRLL was to bring on disc jockeys who we listened to growing up to here in The Windy City and having them play the music they played during the peaks of their careers again as oldies, sharing memories with the fans and listeners. The signal was always too weak (and some radios didn’t even go up that far on the dial … Me-TV-FM anyone???) but we suffered thru the static just to listen to Uncle Lar and Little Snot-Nosed Tommy in the mornings again. These guys were REAL pros … and even ‘tho their broadcasting manner may have seemed a bit dated to anyone who didn’t live thru it originally, they were the very essence of what radio sounded like in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s … and, as such, created some of our strongest and most vivid memories.
In this regard, Ron Britain was in a class by himself. The double-teaming of Britain and Barney Pip in the evenings on WCFL was unlike anything else you were likely to hear on the radio dial.
Crazy as he may have been, he will be missed. (kk)
Never be another another "King B," Tulu Babes.
Somehow I missed running this shot of Micky Dolenz and Spencer Davis together, circa 1967, when we reported of Spencer’s passing last week.
(Lately I feel like Ron Smith’s Grim Reaper around here … SO much sad news to report of late. This has been a very tough year in SO many ways, not the least of which is the recent spike in Covid numbers. And some of these names are really hitting close to home … including Ron himself last year.) kk
Here’s a salute to the #1 Hits from our favorite year in music history, 1967.
You’ll see that this list contains quite a few titles that didn’t reach the summit in Billboard Magazine … it represents the Record World charts … and, as such, several deserving tracks are noted for their contribution to the Best Year Ever in Music!!!
You can follow along with our salute to 1967 by beginning here:
And then just tabbing forward at the bottom of each page by clicking the “Newer Post” link.
And this is new ...
Here’s the official trailer for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame “remote” induction ceremony …
Did The Cartwrights REALLY flip the bird in that ViewMaster shot?
Or was this something that was photoshopped years later?
Apparently, it’s for real … and it sounds like Michael Landon may have been behind it. This topic has evidently come up before … but I’d sure like to see the original reel for myself just to be sure. (Odds are I probably owed it back in 1964!)
I do believe than Ben Cartwright who, as you know, was virtually the same age as all three of his sons (!) had quite a sense of humor as well, as did the other cast members. (kk)
The ages of The Cartwright Family has been the butt of many jokes over the past eight decades … so here’s the REAL deal.
Lorne Greene was, in fact, the oldest … but had to be
made up to look even older to have any chance as being believable as Pa
Cartwright. (Some of his many flashback scenes were likely filmed WITHOUT all of the additional "aging" make-up.)
Adam and Hoss (Pernell Roberts and Dan Blocker) were both thirteen years younger than Greene … so he would have had to have them pretty early in life! And Michael Landon was just a baby comparatively … but still only 21 years younger than his TV Papa. (kk)
New Supergroup THE RISE ABOVE (featuring JAY DEMARCUS of RASCAL FLATTS, DEEN CASTRONOVO of JOURNEY and JASON SCHEFF of CHICAGO) Come Together With Their First Live Show to Benefit The ACM Lifting Lives COVID Relief Fund
From Rock & Roll to the Broken Roads, The Journey that led them to become, THE RISE ABOVE. Made up of Music Legends, 2 time Grammy Award Winning JAY DEMARCUS of RASCAL FLATTS, former lead singer and drummer of JOURNEY, DEEN CASTRONOVO, and JASON SCHEFF, lead vocalist and bass player for the multi-platinum band Chicago for over 30 years. Joined by, CHRIS RODRIGUEZ and TOM YANKTON.
In the beginning of 2020, the band got together with the intent to form a supergroup with a purpose, to bring 80’s Rock and Classic music back to life. The group has spent the past 9 months in the studio working on their debut album set to release in 2021.
WITH A SUPER HIT HEAVY
ANY WAY YOU WANT IT - JOURNEY
STAY THE NIGHT - CHICAGO
THESE DAYS - RASCAL FLATTS
SEPARATE WAYS - JOURNEY
25 OR 6 TO 4 - CHICAGO
BROKEN ROAD - RASCAL FLATTS
OPEN ARMS - JOURNEY
WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME - CHICAGO
WHAT HURTS THE MOST - RASCAL FLATTS
LIFE IS A HIGHWAY - RASCAL FLATTS
DON'T STOP BELIEVIN' – JOURNEY
THE RISE ABOVE ALBUM COMING 2021
October 28, 2020 - Marathon Music Works - Nashville, TN
All proceeds benefit The ACM Lifting Lives COVID Relief Fund
For more information:
A couple of years ago we gave away several copies of Mark Bego’s book “Eat Like A Rock Star,” featuring celebrity recipes by several of our favorite music artists.
Well, that book has FINALLY made its way to paperback …
And here are all the details …
MARK BEGO’S BEST-SELLING “EAT LIKE A ROCK STAR” PAPERBACK EDITION
TO BE RELEASED NOVEMBER 24, 2020
We would all like to live like a rock star, but now you can cook, eat, and drink like one thanks to the ultimate rock & roll cookbook: Eat Like a Rock Star by Mark Bego! The new paperback version of the best-seller will be released November 24, 2020 by Skyhorse Publishing.
Who knew that Mary Wilson (The Supremes) loves a Caviar Omelet, that Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) loves Pasta with Ham and Parmesan Cheese, that Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones) makes an amazing Lamb Chops with Endive and Blue Cheese Salad, or that Boz Scaggs cooks Tuscan Grilled Chicken?
New York Times best-selling author Mark Bego, along with ‘Supreme’ singing star Mary Wilson, have gathered beloved recipes from legendary rocker friends and invites the ultimate music fan to put on an apron and join them at the table. Eat Like a Rock Star gathers together more than a hundred recipes from seven decades of rock & roll, pop, country, R&B, and disco.
According to Bego, “I was working with Mary Wilson on a magazine project, and I asked her if she had a couple ‘Supreme’ recipes to contribute to the magazine, she gave me two, and all of a sudden, I had this idea: a rock & roll cookbook, that’s what I want to write next! And, Eat Like a Rock Star was born.”
Adds Wilson, "I loved the idea of this cookbook from the moment Mark mentioned it to me. He not only gathered recipes from our rock star friends, but he also proves that he can cook as well, and every chapter of this book contains some of his favorite recipes."
Featuring each rock star’s biography, their favorite recipe, and other fun facts, Eat Like a Rock Star is a must-have for every die-hard rocker-at-heart who loves to cook and eat.
When the hardcover edition of the book was first released, in 2017, it immediately shot to the Top Ten on the Amazon charts as well as becoming a must-have item for rock-music reviewers across the country. It was so successful that Skyhorse Publishing decided to release it to a wider audience in this new paperback edition of the hardcover classic.
There is nowhere else you will find Thelma Houston’s “Better Than Sex” Cake, Rita Coolidge’s Collard Greens, Rickie Sambora’s (Bon Jovi) Mint Julip, Ray Parker Jr.’s Salmon and Eggs, Joey Fatone’s (’N SYNC) Rice Balls, Micky Dolenz’s (The Monkees) Micky ‘D’ Cocktail, Randy Jones’ (Village People) Bruschetta, and Freda Payne’s amazing Gumbo all in one book.
Whether it’s brunch, lunch, dinner, or desert, learn to cook:
• Michelle Phillips’s (The Mamas & The Papas) Organic Lemon Chicken
• Lou Christie’s Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes
• Marilyn McCoo's (The 5th Dimension) Leg of Lamb
• Jimmy Greenspoon's (Three Dog Night) Leg of Lamb
• Glen Campbell’s Favorite Mexican Chicken Casserole
• Sarah Dash’s (Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles) Peach Cobbler, and more!
With a chapter of head-spinning cocktails, full menu suggestions, as well as author Mark Bego’s own culinary concoctions such as classic French Macarons, Spicy Szechuan Sesame Noodles, and Boozy Banana Cream Pie, look no further for the all-in-one cooking and rock ‘n’ roll companion. As Martha Reeves says about her recipe for Smoked Turkey Necks & Lima Beans, “Honey, this is real soul food!”
Chef Bego made and created all of the food featured in Eat Like a Rock Star, and took all of the accompanying food photographs himself as well, including the cover pizza photo.
From 2018 to 2019 Mark Bego racked up three consecutive Number One books on the Amazon.com best-seller list. They are: Supreme Glamour with Mary Wilson (Thames & Hudson Publishers / 2019), Living the Luxe Life with hotel owner Efrem Harkham (Skyhorse Publishing / 2019), and Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul / Tribute Edition (Skyhorse Publishing / 2018). With his new 2020 paperback edition of Eat Like a Rock Star, Bego continues his winning streak!
If you don't already own a copy (Shame on you!!!), you can preorder the paperback edition here:
LOTS of great ideas are to be found between these pages! (kk)
Finally got off the Honey Do list long enough to read a bit ... lol.
When you were talking about tunes in commercials and movies, I'm still blown away that Leonardo DiCaprio sang Snoopy vs the Red Baron with me in "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood." I can see where it could be quite lucrative if one could land a few of those a year. :O) Truly is an incredible business.
Have a great Halloween weekend, my friend. Try to keep the candy intake down ... lol
Stay safe and well.
I love how these songs keep coming back around … and in virtually any and every context. While “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” takes place in 1969 … by which time music had taken a MUCH heavier turn (as reflected on most of the soundtrack), it was SO cool to hear our ol’ buddy Snoopy making a surprise appearance. (kk)
Earlier in today’s post, we sent you Best Classic Bands’ look back at 1967, our all-time favorite year in music.
Well, they’ve also just released a 1970 calendar recap, too, pinpointing specific musical events from exactly fifty years ago. (Hey, we’ve been doing that on a day-to-day basis all year long, too!)
Three reasons OUR look back is better than theirs (???)
#1 – By spreading it out throughout the course of the year, we can take a much more in-depth look at many of these events.
#2 – We run weekly charts, showing The Top 40 biggest hits for EVERY given week of 1970 (rather than an alphabetical recap of some of the most notable)
#3 – OUR calendar features my birthday … and their doesn’t (and likely never will!!!)
Still, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to size up the competition! (lol)
Just kidding, of course … I read their posts every single day and they are ALWAYS extremely well done …
And (as I’ve been told numerous times over the years in regards to my notorious ramblings), sometimes short is sweet.
So check out their 1970 recap here:
Hey, does this clip get you in the mood to vote???
Even JEOPARDY had a TV Themes Category!!!
(And right now the JEOPARDY theme song already has more votes than ANY of the candidates shown in this clip.) kk
You can cast YOUR vote …
Right here … Right now …