FH Reader Mike Wolstein sent in this reminder of WLS’ Dick Biondi playing The Beatles for the very first time in America on February 23, 1963. (Of course, we know all about that … and ran our series tracking down “Who Played The First Beatles Record In America” several years ago … but it’s STILL good to remember where it all started … even if it DID go completely unnoticed!!!) kk
February of 1963, Vee Jay Records released "Please Please Me" by the
Beatles to Chicago area radio stations. It is said that Howard Bedno, probably
the most active promoter in the midwest, dropped off a few promo copies of the
disc to the WLS
studios on Michigan Ave. It is an accepted fact that Dick Biondi was the first DJ this side of the Atlantic to play it on the air, on February 23rd.
It hopped onto the Silver Dollar Survey for the week of March 8th at number 40, and then shot up to number 35 the following week. It didn't get a lot of notice. Later that year, when Dick was at KRLA in Pasadena, Vee Jay sent "From Me To You" to them and they didn't even want to play it, as Del Shannon's version was already a hit.
Thanks for posting Frankie Valli's singing of SILENCE IS GOLDEN. Made me realize how long it's been since I've heard the version by the Tremeloes.
I don't know offhand how the 4 Seasons' version did nationally … in fact, I hardly remember it being played here in the OKC area, it being the B side of RAG DOLL. One final thing about these records that mentioned other records in their lyrics, another melody record I always liked was Bobby Vee's 1968 melody of MY GIRL HEY GIRL.
“Silence Is Golden” didn’t chart as the B-Side to “Rag Doll” in 1964 for The Four Seasons … which is a real shame, because it’s a beautiful song.
As such, most of us heard it for the very first time when The Tremeloes released it as a single in 1967 … it went to #9, becoming their biggest hit single (just ahead of “Here Comes My Baby” from earlier that same year.)
It’s a GREAT tune and I think Frankie and his incredible army of back-up singers and musicians did an excellent job with it.
If you let the video play out, it likely took you to the same group of guys performing The Four Seasons’ hit “Let’s Hang On” … again, not bad (Frankie plays it safe several times during this one), but not as strong to my ears as their reading of “Silence Is Golden.” (kk)
Our radio buddy Phil Nee at WRCO will be counting down The Top 50 Favorite TV Themes from our poll last year on his program this Saturday Night.
You can listen live here: https://www.wrco.com/
Just click on the 100.9 headphones (kk)
After Mary Wilson’s passing, I re-read Mark Bego and Mary’s book, “Supreme Glamour,” that I was fortunate enough to have won last year on Forgotten Hits. Kudos to Mark and Mary for the many insights they provided. I thought I knew everything about The Supremes given everything that’s been written about the group over the years. But I didn’t realize that Berry Gordy effectively washed his hands of the group in 1970. And The Supremes had disco hits before they disbanded?!
I love that there is so much “new” old music for me to discover.
It is a BEAUTIFUL and very enlightening book … definitely coffee-table worthy!
Highly recommended. (kk)
Madison Square Garden is reopening this week at 10% capacity for sporting events only (at this time.) I’m also hearing that many artists are looking into touring Down Under, where somehow, someway, Australia has seemed to have virtually wiped out Covid. Share with us, PLEASE!!!) But truthfully, the best of plans means absolutely NOTHING if people don’t follow protocol to get things clean FIRST so that we can all enjoy the benefits. There are still just TOO many people who feel they’re above it all … and this will never change. As such, even with the new vaccine, I believe we’ll be living under SOME type of restrictions and safety considerations from this point forward. Too many stupid people out there who only care about themselves with no regard for others … and that’s a shame. (kk)
Lots of talk this past week about a brand new Sly and the Family Stone documentary in the works, being put together by Questlove … and I’m sure it’ll be a loving tribute to one of the all-time kings of funk music …
But whatever happened to the Sly doc that was supposed to come out in 2019?
I’ve been searching for this one for awhile … did it just fall apart or did it slip thru the cracks, meaning that most of us missed it?
(Here’s a link we ran on January 2nd, 2019, to a news article posted by Pitchfork.com about a brand new Sly pic … https://pitchfork.com/news/sly-and-the-family-stone-feature-documentary-set-for-2019/?platform=hootsuite)
Anybody know if this thing ever got made? (kk)
We ran a 50th Anniversary tribute to Sly Stone’s Chicago riot last year on July 27th …
There was, indeed, a riot goin’ on … https://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2020/07/july-27th-1970.html
As we continue to salute and remember 1971 on its 50th anniversary throughout the year … a brand new Super Chart every Sunday, which also features a weekly recap of “This Week in 1971” … and assorted special features sprinkled in along the way … we are reminded about just how much great music was released that year … and how well most of it has aged.
Best Classic Bands ran a feature on Friday saluting The Top Selling Albums of 1971 …
The obvious ones are there, of course (although how “Tapestry” did NOT rank as the #1 Album Of The Year is beyond me) … you’ll also find FOUR albums in the year’s Top 20 by former Beatles (two by John Lennon: “Plastic Ono Band,” his primal scream album and “Imagine,” his greatest solo effort, George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass,” still selling significantly as a carry-over from December of 1970 and Paul McCartney’s “Ram,” still one of my all-time favorites by him … despite the fact that it never officially reached #1), James Taylor’s “Mud Slid Slim And The Blue Horizon,” “Who’s Next” by The Who, “Abraxas” by Santana, Rod Stewart’s “Every Picture Tells A Story,” “Tumbleweed Connection” by Elton John (kind of a surprise because I didn’t think that this one caught on until later and built up its momentum over time), Janis Joplin’s “Pearl” and another one that I thought should have been right up there at the top of the list, “Sticky Fingers” by The Rolling Stones. (Will anybody out there ever forget the media blitz that album cover caused when it first came out??? It HAS to rival “Pepper” in that regard … at least as far as inventiveness and creativity are concerned.)
But also in The Top 20 are some unexpected surprises that REALLY make you wonder how these LPs measured up against the biggest pop hits of the day …
TWO “Love Story” LP’s??? Really?!?! The Carpenters and the soundtrack to “Shaft”??? And “Jesus Christ Superstar” outselling them all??? (I mean, I know it was big … and, now that I think about it, I don’t think I knew anybody who DIDN’T have the album … but this was the year of “Tapestry” in every way, shape and form!)
You can see the whole list … and read their 20/20 hindsight critique … right here:
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has posted a new website featuring music from all of this year’s nominees … in fact, in their own words, here is your opportunity to …
Explore more than six hours of great music with 80 songs from the 2021 Nominees. Hear some of your favorites and discover songs that may be new to you from these impactful artists.
Meanwhile, you can continue to vote for your favorites here:
The Top Five Artists as of 5:00 this morning were Fela Kuti (incredibly, still in first place!) with 167,000 votes, Tina Turner second with 149,500 votes, Foo Fighters third with 111,000 votes, Iron Maiden fourth with 100,000 votes and Carole King fifth with 92,500 votes.
Mary J. Blige just passed 50,000 votes ... but four other acts have yet to reach this plateau: Jay-Z, LL Cool Jay, The New York Dolls and Kate Bush. (That alone should send SOME kind of message to the nominating committee regarding the “rock street cred” of rappers like Jay-Z and LL Cool Jay … even soft-rock songstress Dionne Warwick has more votes than these guys. Plus there really ought to be some kind of a rule that, should there ever come a time to do so, only ONE Jay can get in at a time!) kk
Fantastic info as always from your site.
I feel like the Rock N Roll annual conversation is fruitless overall as they clearly have some very strange criteria for who gets in. Having said that, the omission of the Guess Who is humongous. How can they not be on the ballot? Huge hits, huge songs.
But Bachman Turner isn’t in either, correct? Again, huge hits and band. How is this possible? I would also mention Free and Humble Pie. Very big bands and influential.
And what they call “rock” sure seems like a VERY broad area. Just the fact that it took until last year for the Doobies to get in says a lot. There needs to be a true ROCK institution and not this hodge-podge.
Far be it from me to suggest that there seems to be a VERY distinct bias toward Canadian acts, no, neither the Guess Who or Bachman-Turner Overdrive have ever made the ballot. (I’d suggest that Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman are very worthy inductees, too, since The Rock Hall seems to prefer to double and even triple induct the same artists, why not let these guys get in at least once?!?!) kk
A nice plug / endorsement for The Go-Go’s place in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame by Belinda Carlisle’s son, James Duke Mason ran in Billboard Magazine last week … https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/awards/9527758/go-gos-rock-hall-fame-overdue/
They also ran a nice tribute to Dionne Warwick … but you can’t read it unless you’re a Billboard Pro Subscriber … so no point in posting the link here! (kk)
Hi there Kent and other FH readers -
Kent's mentioning of the song Dedicated To The Songs I Love by the Three Friends in his Wednesday, February 17th, post made me think of a list that I put together of songs that mention other songs, and there are quite a few of them.
Actually, the practice of either mentioning of singing bits of other songs goes back much further than some of you might think.
In 1942, Glenn Miller recorded a song called Jukebox Saturday Night. in which some recent songs of the day were sung. In 1953, country legend Eddy Arnold recorded a song called Eddy's Song in which he crammed as many of his earlier song titles into the song as possible. But these songs are outside of the scope of Forgotten Hits. So let's look at the pop and rock songs that mention other songs. When I had my Audioldies website on the net, I devoted a month to this very theme of songs that mention other songs, and here are some of the songs that I came up with.
Johnny Has Gone by Varetta Dillard mentions many Johnny Ace song titles including Cross My Heart, The Clock, Never Let Me Go (although she sings Never Let You Go) and she also mentions Pledging My Love, although she sings "Pledging his love."
Jukebox Baby by Perry Como mentions his own earlier hit Tina Marie, plus I Hear You Knocking by either Smiley Lewis or Gale Storm, and See You Later Alligator by Bill Haley and the Comets.
Chinese Rock and Eggroll by Buddy Hacket mentions We're Gonna Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets, Seventeen by Boyd Bennett and Dungaree Doll by Eddie Fisher.
Rockabilly Party by Hugo and Luigi mentions All Shook Up by Elvis
Short Fat Fannie by Larry Williams mentions numerous songs including Slippin' and Slidin', Long Tall Sally, Tutti Fruitti and Rip It Up by Little Richard, Heartbreak Hotel and Hound Dog by Elvis, Fever by Little Willie John, Blue Suede Shoes by Carl Perkins, Honky Tonk by Bill Doggett, Jim Dandy by Lavern Baker
Dee Dee Dinah by Frankie Avalon mentions Bony Moronie by Larry Williams and Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Splish Splash by Bobby Darin mentions Lollipop by the Chordettes, Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly and the Crickets and Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard.
Queen Of The Hop, also by Bobby Darin, mentions The Yellow Dog Blues, which was recorded by both Joe Darensbourg and Johnny Maddox. It also mentions The Stroll by the Diamonds, Good Golly Miss Molly and Peggy Sue are mentioned again as is Mary Lou done by Young Jesse, and Short Shorts by the Royal Teens is mentioned along with Chuck Berry's Sweet Little Sixteen.
Lucky Ladybug by Billy and Lillie mentions many songs including Stupid Cupid by Connie Francis, Fever by Little Willie John, Itchy Twitchy Feeling by Bobby Hendrix, The Green Mosquito by the Tune Rockers, Rockin' Robin by Bobby Day and Splish Splash by Bobby Darin.
The All American Boy, supposedly by Bill Parsons but actually recorded by Bobby Bare, mentions Johnny B. Goode.
The Mummy by McFadden and Dor mentions Kookie Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb by Connie Stevens and Edd Kookie Byrnes
Let's Think About Living by Bob Luman mentions El Paso by Marty Robbins and Cathy's Clown by the Everly Brothers
In Having A Party, Sam Cooke mentions many songs including Soul Twist by King Curtis, I Know by Barbara George and I think it also mentions Mashed Potato by Dee Dee Sharp
The Mashed Potato itself by Dee Dee Sharp also mentions quite a few songs including Please Mr. Postman, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Dear Lady Twist.
Dedicated To The Songs I Love by the Three Friends is totally based on earlier song titles.
Nino and the Ebb Tides present bits and pieces of early rock songs from the past in a song called Jukebox Saturday Night. They present portions of Book Of Love by the Monotones and Get A Job by the Silhouettes.
Play Those Oldies, Mr. Deejay by Anthony and the Sophomores mentions many
fifties oldies including Earth Angel by the Penguins, In The Still Of The Night by the Five Satins and Tonight, Tonight by the Mellow Kings
Mr. Songwriter by Connie Stevens mentions Bless You by Tony Orlando and I Don't Wanna Cry by Chuck Jackson
Shout, Shout, Knock Yourself Out by Ernie Maresca mentions Runaround Sue by Dion
Shelly Fabares' version of The Things We Did Last Summer mentions The Locomotion by Little Eva
A Letter To The Beatles by the Four Preps mentions I Want To Hold Your Hand by the Beatles
Under The Boardwalk by the Drifters mentions their earlier song Up On The Roof and Sand In My Shoes mentions The Boardwalk.
Summer Rain by Johnny Rivers mentions Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles
Cat Mother and the All Night News Boy's Summer of 1969 hit, Good Old Rock And Roll is a tribute to the songs of the fifties including Sweet Little Sixteen by Chuck Berry, Long Tall Sally by Little Richard, Chantilly Lace by the Big Bopper, Whole Lot Of Shaking Going On by Jerry Lee Lewis, Blue Suede Shoes by Carl Perkins and Party Doll by Buddy Knox.
Back When My Hair Was Short by Gunhill Road mentions When You Dance by the Turbans
Radar Love, Golden Earing mentions Brenda Lee's Coming On Strong
Life Is A Rock But The Radio Rolled Me, by Reunion mentions many songs including Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Sugar Sugar, Tighter and Tighter and Yummy Yummy Yummy
If anyone can think of even more songs to add to this list, it would be great.
I find this to be a very fascinating topic!
There are a TON more … I know that for a fact. I’ll bet there are HUNDREDS … especially from the beginning days of rock and roll.
I remember being disappointed when The Beatles also took this approach, referencing their own songs on a couple of cuts from The White Album. John Lennon mentions “Fixing A Hole,” “I Am The Walrus,” “Strawberry Fields,” “Lady Madonna” and “The Fool On The Hill” … and then George Harrison references “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” in “Savoy Truffle.” I guess I just expected more from The Fabs. (kk)
I have reason to believe that Rod Stewart's EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY and Long John Baldry's IT AIN'T EASY were recorded concurrently between November, 1970 – February, 1971, at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London. They featured a lot of the same session musicians. The Baldry album was co-produced for their mentor by Stewart and Elton John, each doing one side. It was a return by Baldry to his blues roots since having success in the UK charts as a pop singer. After months of mixing, the Stewart album was finally released on May 28, 1971, and Baldry's in June.
Since Kent has featured Baldry's "Don't Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll" several times in the past, I thought I'd spotlight another one of the standout tracks, "Black Girl, Where Did You Sleep Last Night," an old traditional folk song, dating back to Reconstruction Days of the nineteenth century in America. In 1941, it was made into a bluegrass standard by Bill Monroe, as "In The Pines." Later in that decade Huddie Ledbetter, a.k.a. Lead Belly, recorded several different versions of the song, one being "Black Girl." Bob Dylan once revealed that he decided to pursue a folk music career after listening repeatedly to Lead Belly recordings. It is said that John Lennon started The Quarry Men as a skiffle group after hearing Lonnie Donegan's hit cover of Lead Belly's "Rock Island Line." Ledbetter's 1940's country blues' repertoire might make him the godfather of skiffle, a UK phenomenon. Many British Invasion favorites started in skiffle bands, wanting to be like Donegan. One wonders if any of it would have happened without Lead Belly, who died from ALS in 1949. Ronnie Wood, guitarist on both albums, has said as much. Other credible devotees, like George Harrison, have made that claim, too. Baldry's "Black Girl" was a duet with Stone The Crows lead singer, Maggie Bell. She was known as Scotland's answer to Janis Joplin. Stewart produced the track. Baldry played the 12-string, Sam Mitchell the dobro, and Ray Jackson the mandolin. Jackson, a member of Lindisfarne, can also be heard on Stewart's chart topper, "Maggie May." Bell also shared vocals with Stewart on the title track "Every Picture Tells A Story," with Baldry on "It Ain't Easy."
In early 1972,
Stewart was voted Best UK Male Vocalist in the annual NME pop polls. Bell won
Best Female Vocalist. In 1993, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain introduced "Where Did
You Sleep Last Night" to a new generation during an MTV Unplugged concert
and subsequent #1 album. Baldry released his final LP, REMEMBERING LEADBELLY,
in 2001. Ledbetter, "King of the 12-string Guitar," was inducted into
the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 under the early influences category (it
was the centennial year of his birth.) How
ironic it was that Bob Dylan and The Beatles entered in the same class!
Elton John tells some great Long John Baldry stories in his autobiography “Me,” a VERY entertaining read. Elton writes with great humor and extreme candor … it’s one of the best rock star biographies I’ve ever read. (kk)
Taking the rest of the week off (barring any unforeseen tragedies!) to work on the Phil Spector Series. (I really want to get this thing resurrected and back up and available for viewing again.) Maybe by concentrating solely on that this week, I can get a little bit closer to that goal. We’ll keep you posted. (kk)
Meanwhile, we’ll leave you with a smile …
And this one sent in by Chuck Buell totally cracked me up …
So we’re naming it CLIP OF THE WEEK