Friday, December 18, 2020

Concert Review

Hold up ...

Did you just read that right???

A review of an actual CONCERT?!?!?

Yes, sir ...

FH Reader Rich Turner turns in this report of a .38 Special show he saw last week in Clearwater, Florida.  (No concerts here yet ... Covid numbers are still extremely high ... and even shows that were originally rescheduled for next April are still suspect as to whether they'll actually come off on time or not.)

But it IS good to know that SOMEBODY out there is enjoying live music again.  (Pollstar reported last weekend that revenue was down THIRTY BILLION DOLLARS due to all of the shows cancelled in 2020 ... the results of this pandemic have been absolutely devastating.)


Hey Kent,   
I would like to submit an actual honest to goodness recent concert review of a show my girl friend and I attended this past week. 
As you know ever since Covid hit last March, the concert scene has completely gone away. Shows were postponed and then postponed again with a lot being totally cancelled.
Going to concerts has been a big part of my life since I was 14 years old (I am 66 now) and I'm hoping it will continue to be for some years to come. So not being able to attend any kind of a major headlining act for the last nine months has been disappointing. 
Well, that finally all changed last Wednesday (December 9) here in Clearwater, Florida, when .38 Special were allowed to finally perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall. 
They were originally scheduled to play last May, then postponed to August, then postponed again to October.
Ruth Eckerd Hall is one of the major concert venues here in the Tampa Bay area and, like all other venues, they have been almost completely void of shows since March. They have had a few very small acoustic shows on an outside patio (for less than a 100 people) but no major act in their 2,130 seat auditorium since last March 8, when REO Speedwagon played to a sold-out crowd (which I also attended.)  Every show since then was either postponed or completely cancelled.  
The Governor of Florida in October said he was permitting all venues and restaurants to open at 100% ... however, to the best of my knowledge, no venues or restaurants have actually let that happen. Most venues have basically remained closed although some football stadiums are running at about 20%. Ruth Eckerd finally decided to hold their first show at what they claim was 50%. 
So what precautions did they follow to hold a safe environment for their patrons? 
They had everybody line up in three different lines (one for each entrance door.) They asked for social distancing between parties as we entered. Everybody's temperature was taken by some sort of scanner at each entrance. Then you were wanded one at a time (still maintaining six feet apart.) And, of course, everybody wore a mask. Your ticket or phone was scanned and then you were permitted to enter the lobby. 
Once you were seated, there were two empty seats between parties in your row and the seats in the row in front of you and behind you were also empty as they tried to create a zig-zag effect. I hope I explained that well. 
I am guessing that there were maybe 700-800 in attendance in an auditorium that would hold 2,130 at full capacity. There were people in seats all the way to the last row, so about 30% capacity would seem right. 
I can only speak for the men's room but every other urinal was closed off as was every other sink. The only area that beverages were sold was outside in two spots. Once your ticket was scanned you were allowed to go outside to purchase a drink through a different door connected to the lobby. You could also purchase t-shirts and other concert memorabilia there. 
I think that covers all the Covid precautions and I think Ruth Eckerd Hall did an excellent job in trying to make you feel safe. Anyway on with the show!
The opening act was a local band that go by the name of The Greg Billings Band. Billings has been playing in the Tampa Bay area since the '70s and he seems to be the go-to guy if you need a concert opener for your headline act. His band is top-notch as they have been playing together for many years but for me, his talkative concert schtick has grown quite tiresome. 
I did enjoy his band's original classic southern rock repertoire, so his 45 minutes went by fairly quickly. After missing concert music for so long, almost anything would have sounded good (well not rap.) 
A few minutes after 9:00, .38 Special hit the stage. 
I have seen this band probably at least ten times since the '80's and have always enjoyed their brand of melodic southern rock. I have noticed that in previous .38 Special shows over the last ten to fifteen years that lead singer Don Barnes' voice (in my opinion) has deteriorated slightly. NOT TONIGHT! His voice sounded strong, crisp and on-key beautifully. 
In some of my other reviews I have mentioned the device called auto-tuning that a lot of singers are using now and Barnes had to be using this. Ruth Eckerd has always been known for having an excellent sound system and tonight was no exception. In fact, the equipment that the band brought in to augment Ruth Eckerd's sound made for an incredible listening experience. I have seen probably 50 shows in  this venue since the 1980's and the sound has never been better than it was this night. This right there was the high point of the night for me!
For this concert, veteran .38 Special has never played a better show than the one I saw tonight. Led by Mr. Barnes, they went through the whole history of .38 Special songs. The concert set list was the same basic one they have been using for years but if something is working, why screw it up? 
From the opener, "Rockin' Into The Night," to the end with "Caught Up In You" and "Hold On Loosely," they played every song with enthusiasm and high-energy. You could tell they love what they are doing and obviously have missed playing to live audiences of late. They played close to two hours and over twenty songs. 
Barnes did make a few references about being glad to be playing again and how 2020 has been one screwed-up year, but for the most part, he let the band do the talking by their outstanding playing. 
Yes, I know a lot of people consider this version of .38 Special to not be much better than a tribute band because Don Barnes is the only original member, but for me, as long as he is in the band they are .38 Special. After all, he wrote most of the music and sings almost all the songs and plays second lead guitar. 
I would be remiss if I did not mention the excellent job that keyboard player Bobby Capps does singing "Second Chance." Let me mention also that .38 Special routinely during their shows plays an eight song medley of some lesser-known hits with each one being about one minute in length. But not tonight! They played the usual medley but instead, each song was played to their full original length. Loved this also! 
They have a new guitar player named Jerry Riggs. He joined the band near the end of 2018, replacing Danny Chauncey, and he fits right in with the .38 Special sound. You would think he had been in the band for years. 
A mention should be made of bass player Barry Dunaway (in the band since 2014), and drummer Gary Moffatt (with the band since 1997), too. Moffatt had, for me, what I consider the perfect drum solo (short but sweet.)  
To sum it all up, for the first concert that my girl friend Alice and I have seen since last March, we could not have enjoyed ourselves more. A surprisingly (for me) outstanding show in a well-prepared safe venue. 
It was great to be rockin' to live music again! I can't wait for more! 
-- Rich Turner
We've seen .38 Special a few times now and, after reading your review, I wanna see 'em again!!!  Sounds like you guys were definitely rockin' into the night!!!  
Thanks so much for sending ... it's inspiring to think that we all may be enjoying live shows again in the not too distant future.  (kk)
Rich also sent us a handful of photos from the show ...

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Thursday This And That

I think I have this one, Chuck and Kent! 


I loved some of Chuck Buell's Christmas Gift-Giving Ideas from earlier this week, all tied around Forgotten Hits product.  I think there may be a few good marketing items in there!


I loved it, too ... and I may have misspoke ... 

Chuck tells me that all of these items actually DO exist ... and many can be personalized (although it's already too late for THIS Christmas.)  Frannie says she DEFINITELY wants the Forgotten Hits face mask!

Which got me to thinking ...

After referring himself as a “Forgotten Hitter,” (I like that phrase!), it inspired me to think that maybe we should sponsor a softball team (you know, if things ever get back to normal again in this regard!) or, at the very least, come up with some kind of Forgotten Hitters baseball jerseys … something a step beyond the traditional t-shirt promotional idea that has been floating around here for many years now.

So I wonder …

What kind of creative design can you guys come up with that might lend itself well to this concept … something that would still tie into the whole idea into oldies music … yet create a fashionable statement that every reader will want to own and wear???


Let us know …

Send us your sketches …

Who knows … this just may be a new marketing idea for 2021.  (ANYTHING to put this past year behind us!!!)


Where will it go from here?  (kk)

(By the way, one of our readers actually made me this desk plate several years back, hand-crafted out of wood … it sits on top of my computer desk to this very day!  Thanks, Mark!)

And how about this one again from Bob Lind ... 
To my loved ones who may not frequent FaceBook ...
I post this every year ... and I send it to the people I care about.
Love to all of you,
Bob Lind

In looking at this week’s WCFL chart, I see Elton John’s Your Song jumped up from 35 to 29 yet didn’t get a star for being a “Big 10 Climber.”  I guess Super ‘CFL didn’t realize yet that Elton was about to become a huge superstar and Your Song one of his most beloved songs! We will see if he gets a star next week!  

Mike Hartman

“Your Song” will go on to peak at #7 on the WCFL Chart, one of 13 Top 20 Hits he’ll have at the station before they switched over to a “beautiful music” radio format.  Seven of those 13 will peak at #1, beginning with “Crocodile Rock” in 1973 and then a string of six in a row starting in 1974:  “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “The Bitch Is Back,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” and “Island Girl.”  He just missed with “Bennie and the Jets,” which peaked at #2 … but “The Bitch Is Back” bested its national showing, where it only managed to hit #4 in Billboard.

“Your Song” will, indeed, earn a bullet next week … and only for moving from #29 to #27!!! … so go figure.  Unfortunately, you won’t see it reach #7 because that won’t happen until next year, by which time The Super Charts will return to Forgotten Hits as we remember the biggest events of 1971!  (kk)

And, speaking of WCFL switching over to a “Beautiful Music” format …

Hi there Kent,

You wrote:

>>>Adult Contemporary Music seems to be making a mark this week with Ray Price's "For The Good Times" landing at #26 and Perry Como premiering at #37 with "It's Impossible."  (Hey, wait a minute ... WCFL wouldn't flip to a Beautiful Music Format until 1976!!!  What the heck is going on here?!?!)  kk

As Petula Clark sang in 1966, “It's A Sign Of The Times.”

Sorry Kent, but that's the first thing that popped into my head, grin.

(Sorry … I just couldn’t resist)

Sam Ward

>>>Then again, I can’t believe that ANYBODY would get excited about a song like “Honey” today … it would NEVER make it in 2020 … yet was the #1 Song in the Country for five weeks back in 1968 … and the ridicule began nearly overnight!  (kk) 

Indeed, this might be true, but I could probably sing the song completely still. 

I heard it so much and never really thought about lyrics and such in 1968 as a 12 year old, so the melody was kinda nice and after the intriguing hit "Laurie" from three years before, making it interesting in an odd sort of way.

Clark Besch

Ron Dante has the right answer …

Listing “the worst songs ever recorded” is like using negativity to raise children. Pointing out what you don’t like, rather than bringing attention to what you do like, is degrading, deflating, and serves no positive results. It is proven not to be an incentive to improve.

And in this case, the ability to improve has either happened already or the recorders moved on.

Last point … art is subjective. It is ALWAYS based on opinion in the final analysis.

If you have a radio show, it is your own opinion that is expressed. If you write a book, it is your own opinion expressed. I have no problem with that, just a problem with stating a negative opinion as a fact for all.

Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

Couldn’t agree with you more, Shelley.  (Besides, we ALL know that the only opinion that matters around here is MINE!!!  “Cause that’s the only one that’s correct!)  kk

kk …

WCBS-FM = Zero For Twenty Years

WABC-AM = Two Weeks In A Row, Cousin Brucie Played My Request.

This Week It Was "THE GREAT PRETENDER," The Platters’ First # 1 Hit - 1955.

Brucie encourages listeners to make requests.

He mentions the phone number and e-mail address every five minutes.

He spoke to Darlene Love on the phone.

You might remember that every year she would be on Letterman's Show to usher in the Christmas season.

This year, you can find her Christmas show, "LOVE FOR THE HOLIDAYS," at, streaming till Christmas.

There is also a NEW PROGRAM, starting tonight and running every Sunday Night from 10 PM till Midnight …

Joe Piscopo playing Frank Sinatra music on WABC-AM.

First it was Tony Orlando and now it’s Joe Piscopo. Station owner seems to find people who never worked in radio and turns them into Disc Jockeys.


Yes, but some very talented and knowledgeable people who know and love their subject matter.  Nothing wrong with that … and, I would imagine, quite entertaining to listen to their spin on things.

Frank Sinatra would have turned 105 this weekend!  Ron Onesti held a special streaming concert event featuring 28 artists performing 22 Sinatra classics last Saturday Night at 6 pm.

And then, in a COMPLETE turn of events, presented a live concert by The Pat Travers Band at 8:00 immediately after!  (Now if THAT ain’t variety, I don’t know what is!!!)

And, this Saturday Night, he’ll be presenting the Annual Ides Of March Christmas Show.  (This is always a VERY special event … and who couldn’t use a little bit of Christmas Cheer right about now???)  kk

And guess what ...

This year it's a FREE SHOW!!!  

All you have to do to see it is visit The Ides Of March Facebook Page at 8 pm (Chicago Time) THIS SATURDAY NIGHT ...  CLICK HERE TO WATCH SATURDAY AT 8PM

Hey everybody!  

Jimbo here of the Ides of March. 

Be sure to watch our free Christmas concert coming up this Saturday, December 19th at 8 pm cst.  

You will have a front row seat at a typical Ides of March rehearsal -  this one featuring Christmas songs, mostly original material and a few standards. You’ll see how much fun the Ides have when we are together making the music you love.  

Hope to see you there!  

Much love and good cheers!  


ALWAYS a special time ... and this is their 25th Anniversary Christmas Concert, too ... so a very meaningful and special event. 

For those of you who have never seen The Ides Of March before (you hear us talk about them all the time ... but at some point, you've just gotta see them for yourself!), here is your chance to share some holiday cheer ... along with many of their biggest hits.

Please plan on joining us THIS SATURDAY NIGHT for The Ides Of March Sharing Christmas Concert.  (kk)


Great interview with Geoff and Jimbo Peterik!  

Thanks for connecting them.

I'm looking forward to the Christmas Show ... and hope I win a copy of the new Pride Of Lions CD. 


One last thing before we leave The Ides ...

Tomorrow (December 18th) is your LAST CHANCE to bid on this guitar signed by all of The Ides Of March members, other Cornerstones Of Rock artists, Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad), David Pack (formerly of Ambrosia) and many others.

The proceeds raised will go toward the funding of the Dick Biondi documentary being put together by Pam Pulice and the current bid is right around $1200 ... a steal for such a collectible piece.

Send your bid (along with your name, telephone number and email address) to before 11:59 PM on December 18, 2020. The winner will be announced on December 23, 2020. 

Did you happen to watch the new Bee Gees documentary on HBO last weekend?  (I guess it's streaming now on HBO Max, too.)

It was better than I expected and (as noted earlier), I wasn't expecting much based on the previews that I had seen.  Still, there are better vehicles out there that show an overview of their remarkable career. (How many comebacks can one superstar artist have?!?!)

Regardless, I give it a 6 1/2 out of 10 ... and the music is great.  It stops a bit short for me ... The Brothers Gibb continued to make great music well beyond what is shown in this film ... and their hit songs recorded by other artists are merely glossed over in less than a minute (and some of these were HUGE hits.)  The "Sgt. Pepper" fiasco wasn't mentioned at all ... and yet Steve Dahl's Disco Demolition was given the spotlight treatment well beyond the allotment it deserved.

But the key, to me, has always been the music ... and we did see a few clips we hadn't seen before ... so I'll definitely be watching it again.  (In fact, maybe as soon as Christmas Day!)  kk

We enjoyed listening to Me-TV-FM’s salute to The Dave Clark Five on Dave Clark’s birthday this past Tuesday.

The group had an incredible 17 Top 40 Hits between 1964 and 1967 here in The States.  They were truly one of the leaders in The British Invasion, once The Beatles knocked the door down … and scored hits with both covers (“Do You Love Me,” “I Like It Like That,” “Over And Over” (their only official #1) and “You Got What It Takes) … and originals like “Because,” “Can’t You See That She’s Mine,” “Glad All Over,” “Bits And Pieces” and “Catch Us If You Can.”

Noted Rock Historian Jeff Tamarkin recently interviewed Dave Clark about the longevity of his music (despite the fact that it was kept off the market for at least two decades!!!)

I became a serious fan of Dusty Springfield’s music while I was putting together our special Forgotten Hits Series many years ago.  (It first ran in 2004 … but has been posted on our archive website for at least the past ten years.)

The series was originally intended to be a co-effort between me an long-time FH Reader M.F. Ping … but when Michael had to drop out at the last minute due to a family emergency, I went ahead and produced it on my own as, by this point, I was too far vested NOT to tell her story!

So it was a nice surprise to read this week that Real Gone Music is putting together a brand new release of ALL of Dusty’s Atlantic Records single sides on one compilation CD … 24 tracks in all, covering a good percentage of the time that she spent recording here in The States in Memphis, TN, exploring her soulful side.  (She was QUITE successful in this regard!)

Although only three of these tracks ever made The Top 40, there are several other gems here that probably deserved A-Side status rather than the other way around.

Here’s the complete run-down from The Second Disc …   

Ringo Starr has always gotten by with a little help from his friends …

And the first single release from his new album is no exception.

“Here’s To The Nights” was written by Diane Warren, who hand-picked Ringo to handle the honors.

Listen closely and you’ll hear Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, Lenny Kravitz, Dave Grohl, Eric Burdon, Chris Stapleton and Ben Harper (amongst others) helping out on vocals, backed by a band that includes Steve Lukather of Toto and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.

More info (and a video sneak peek of the track) can be found here:

When Ringo was first presented with the song, he released this statement:

When Diane presented this song to me, I loved the sentiment of it. This is the kind of song we all want to sing along to, and it was so great how many wonderful musicians joined in. I wanted it out in time for New Years’ because it feels like a good song to end a tough year on. So here’s to the nights we won’t remember and the friends we won’t forget – and I am wishing everyone peace and love for 2021.  

- Ringo Starr

In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has announced a six part documentary on his life that is being produced by Rick Rubin.

McCartney will also be interviewed by this evening at 10:45 PM (Central Time) by Chris Rock as part of YouTube’s on-going “Released” series.  The interview will conclude with the world premiere of a video of a song from Paul’s new album, “McCartney III,” which arrives on Friday.  (Busy week for Macca!)  kk    

On Wednesday, December 23rd, at 9:00 p.m. ET, I'll be presenting my Randy on the Radio Pop / Rock Christmas Special on Top Shelf Oldies (

The first half of the 2-hour show features mostly rock Christmas songs from the '70s, and it then transitions to more-traditional pop (and R&B) Christmas songs, mostly from the '50s and early '60s.

The second hour includes many new or recent stereo mixes of songs previously available only in mono.

After the December 23rd streamcast, the show will be archived at and at  

–Randy Price 

Christopher Cross Releases Limited Edition Box Set  

In a career spanning four decades, Christopher Cross has sold over 10 million albums and been awarded five Grammys, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and five Top 10 singles.

This year, Christopher Cross celebrates the 40th Anniversary of his musical journey with a spectacular box set, Christopher Cross: The Complete Works. The set contains 13 CDs – 12 previously-released albums plus a bonus CD of 15 rare tracks. All the tracks have been digitally remastered by Bernie Grundman.

Each set includes a special gift: a pink vinyl LP with one cut from each of Christopher’s albums. Each track was chosen by Christopher and digitally remastered for vinyl.

Christopher Cross: The Complete Works is elegantly bound into a stunning collector’s edition, a work of art beautifully designed by Gary Dorsey of Pixel Peach Studios. This special release is limited to 1000 copies and each box set is personally autographed by Christopher.

Says Cross, “I am very excited to release this set which embodies the work of a lot of wonderfully talented people and represents my legacy of which I am profoundly proud.”

To view the box set, please go to:


With all of the info you gave today on the recording success of CCR, I wanted to point out that in 1971 when they came out with the PENDULUM album, there was a cut on side one called MOLINA. This song got a tremendous amount of air play here in OKC, and even made the weekly survey. This was somewhat unusual in that the song wasn't released as a single (to my knowledge) but was played and surveyed as an album cut. I don't really remember if the DJ's said on air that if it was an album cut or not.

Larry Neal

It was always a very popular album cut (quite reminiscent of “Hey Tonight” to my ears,” which was a bit unusual since it came from the same LP!)  A good track for sure!  (kk)

Mariah Carey is back on top of Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart again this week with her perennial Christmas Favorite “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” 

Having topped the chart last year as well (something it was never able to do during its first chart run in 1994 … or in the other ten times it charted again in re-release), naturally they now want to elevate the song to “Twist” status as being the SECOND song to reach #1 twice in two separate chart runs.  (For the record, ANOTHER Christmas Record also accomplished this feat BEFORE the start of The Rock Era … Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”)  

But is it even still “The Rock Era” anymore?  I’m not so sure.

And the criteria on which these Hot 100 Pop Charts are based is SO drastically different these days, who really knows how to compare apples to apples at this stage of the game.

Still, proper props are due, so congratulations Mariah, on a job well done.  (kk)

But Mariah’s hit wasn’t the only seasonal tune to stir up a fuss this past week … 

In fact, this week’s chart brings 28 holiday songs into the mix …

(Probably why for decades Billboard kept a separate holiday chart to track these things, helping to ensure that these sudden bursts of sales should be taken solely as such … something else they apparently now what to throw out the window, too!)

This week’s Top Ten alone show “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee at #3, “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms at #5, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Andy Williams at #6 and “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano at #10.  (That makes HALF of The Top Ten Singles this week Christmas tunes!)

But the list doesn’t stop there.  You’ll find “Last Christmas” by Wham at #11, “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives at #14, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Dean Martin at #15, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” by Nat “King” Cole at #16, “Sleigh Ride” by The Ronettes at #20, “Underneath The Christmas Tree” by Kelly Clarkson at #25, “Happy Holidays / The Holiday Season” by Andy Williams at #29, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love at #31, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby at #32, “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Buble at #33, “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry at #34, “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como at #35, “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Gene Autry at #36, “(There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays” by Perry Como at #37, “Santa, Tell Me” by Ariana Grande at #39 and “Run, Rudolph, Run” by Chuck Berry at #40.  (That’s 21 out of 40 so far!)  

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney re-enters the chart at #45, “Under The Mistletoe” by Kelly Clarkson and Brett Eldredge is at #59, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Justin Bieber is at #71, “Oh Santa!” by Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson is new at #76, “Favorite Time Of Year” by Carrie Underwood comes in at #80, “Take Me Home For Christmas” by Dan and Shay is #88 and “Silent Night” by Carrie Underwood brings up the rear at #100.  (All told, that makes 28% of this week’s chart Christmas tunes … and there are a good number of these that we hear every day … “Happy Xmas” by John and Yoko, “O Holy Night” by Celine Dion and “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys immediately come to mind … not to mention “The Little Drummer Boy,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Merry Christmas, Baby,” “Blue Christmas” by Elvis, “The Chipmunk Song,” “Snoopy’s Christmas” … and SO many others that evidently have registered enough sales or airplay to make the list … yet.  (Don’t forget … Christmas is still another week away!!!) 

And where are The Carpenters (“Merry Christmas, Darling”), Johnny Mathis, some of Elvis’ other seasonal hits, “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt and/or Madonna, Cheech and Chong, Elmo and Patsy, The Drifters’ version of “White Christmas” … the list goes on and on (and the “I would never be caught dead playing so and so” mantra goes on the shelf for eight weeks or so, so that (as we point out every year) all of these artists who can’t seem to get ANY airplay during the rest of the year at all, no matter HOW many hits they may have had, now fall on to the “completely acceptable” list according to these same programmers for a few weeks, this time of the year. (Keep in mind, too, that Christmas music used to air sporadically for about three weeks … and then heavy duty for 48 hours … now we’ve got stations kicking off the holiday spirit by the end of October!!!)  

The truth is, MOST of us LOVE Christmas Music … it’s just the same old “beat you over the head with it” saturation that turns us off.  (To quote Me-TV-FM … “Not the MOST Christmas Music … just the BEST Christmas Music.”  I wish a few more stations would adopt that philosophy.  (kk)   

Lately I’ve been thinking ...

Which do I hate more ... the current Covid Virus or the 55 mph speed limit enacted on New Years Eve, 1973/74?

This virus looks like it’s going to run its course in about 12 - 18 months … but that damn speed limit just seemed to last forever.

My vote is that I hated the speed limit more.

How does this relate to music?

Well, when I was driving over the 55 mph speed limit, which I did all of the time, I was always listening to music, and we got one great song out of it.

With the virus there’s hardly any music and I have yet to hear one “I hate the virus” song, let alone a good one. There’s a lot of musicians on this site … get busy!

And it’s got to have that “raw power” of hate … like the example I’ve included below.

Robert Campbell

>>>Legendary recording artist, producer, songwriter and tech pioneer Todd Rundgren has announced his 2021 Clearly Human virtual tour, featuring 25 performances, each geo-fenced and tailored to a different US city. With each performance emanating from a Chicago venue.

Gotta believe Bob Stroud might be up for this(???)  Bob???? 

Todd is a true music legend, in my mind, as well.


I like this marketing campaign …

Sent in my PR Guru Bob Merlis … 


The Old Man Dinner Band announces the release of Blue Plate Special, its first recorded endeavor.  The limited edition 45 rpm 10” EP, pressed on blue vinyl, is a six-song collection that reflects the band members’ fixation with the superannuated and the super soulful.  The songs they chose to record are associated with the repertoires and/or compositional talents of the Rolling Stones, Arthur Alexander, Little Richard, The Drifters, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Chris Kenner, the Dave Clark Five and Rosco Gordon, among others. Blue Plate Special took shape at Redstar Recording in Los Angeles with Tim Sonnefeld producing, along with The Old Man Dinner Band.

Each of the Old Man Dinner Band’s members comes to the group from show biz careers that have been marked by scores of accolades. The O.M.D.B. crew includes an Emmy nominee, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a Grammy-nominee, a Grammy winner, an Indie International Songwriting Contest winner and a BMI Award winner. These much lauded and awarded players are, in alphabetical order, Peter “Petey” Andrews (guitar), Sam Graham (guitar), Randy Poe (bass), Harvey Shield (guitar and vocals) and Pete Thomas (drums). 

In the pre-pandemic time, they found themselves eating together for ten years of Tuesdays at The Park, a now defunct restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in LA’s Echo Park neighborhood. What brought them together so regularly, along with quite a few other enthusiasts, was an abiding passion for music that dates back more than six, and in some cases, seven decades. 

That weekly gathering at The Park was dubbed “Old Man Dinner” by the young twin sons of one of the regular attendees and the handle stuck.  One evening in 2018, a side conversation between Harvey Shield and Pete Thomas resulted in the latter turning to Randy Poe, and contending, “You look like a bass player.”  As it happened, Randy did own a bass which qualified him to be one half of the band’s rhythm section.  Randy, a leading music publishing executive and author (Skydog: The Duane Allman Story) hails from Muscle Shoals so it only stood to reason that he was up to the task thrust upon him by Pete and Harvey. The drummer/recruiter is, of course, an enduring member of Elvis Costello and the Attractions and/or Imposters as well as Jack Shit, the LA-based countrypolitan trio. Harvey has fronted The Mighty Echoes, LA’s premiere acapella doo-wop group, for thirty years and was part of Episode Six, the ‘60s British band that included Ian Gillan and Roger Glover in their pre-Deep Purple days.  Pete, Harvey and Randy immediately asked Peter Andrews to join up. Petey, another OMD regular, was mentored in his youth by Tiny Moore of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys and by jazz great Barney Kessel. Of late, he’s performed with Carlene Carter, Coco Dolenz and Tammy Faye Starlite. The lineup was completed with the inclusion of Sam Graham, another multi-dimensional talent who is not only a string slinger of great note(s), heading his own Sam Graham Trio but, like Poe, is an author (Fleetwood Mac: The Authorized History).

For their debut, the band chose to record songs at least 50 years old, most of which are rooted in America’s south, a region that all agree is a wellspring of soulfully honest expression.  Voluminous liner notes for Blue Plate Special were written by Bob Merlis, co-author of Heart & Soul: A Celebration of Black Music Style In America 1930 – 1975. 

To purchase your copy of Blue Plate Special, playable in mono and stereo (when you turn on both hearing aids), please go to PayPal: and send a total of $20 ($15 for the platter, $5 for shipping) with your mailing address to  OldManDinnerBand @ gmail (dot) com

The Old Man Dinner Band

Blue Plate Special 

Side 1 

You Better Move On – written and recorded by Arthur Alexander; also recorded by the Rolling Stones, Dean Martin and The Hollies 

Just A Little Bit – written by John Thornton, Piney Brown, Ralph Bass and Earl Washington as recorded by Rosco Gordon; also recorded by Little Milton and Roy Head 

Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave Me – written by Leo Price as recorded by Little Richard; also recorded by Ian Gillan & Roger Glover with Dr. John 

Side 2 

Sweets For My Sweet – written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman as recorded by The Drifters; also recorded by The Searchers and C.J. Lewis

It’s Raining – written by Naomi Neville, a/k/a Allen Toussaint, as recorded by Irma Thomas; also recorded by Shakin’ Stevens and Freddy Fender

I LIke It Like That – written by Chris Kenner and Allen Toussaint, as recorded by Chris Kenner: also recorded by the Dave Clark Five as well as The Nashville Teens and Brinsley Schwarz

A couple of smiles ...


(Man, we're getting old!!!)

And Finally …

This was just WAY too cool not to share!

It’s The Beatles … on Shindig! … from 1965 … IN COLOR!!! … with the original advertisement intact as well!  And in pretty darn good quality, too!


On This Date in 1970:  December 17th – 

The Beach Boys play a Command Performance for Princess Margaret at London’s Royal Albert Hall