Saturday, January 9, 2021

More 1971 Goodies

Remembering The Music of 1971:

LOTS of attention being paid to 1971 since we flipped the calendar page last week … Me-TV-FM has been running special 1971 features, Sam Tallerico is going to do a salute to 1971 on his program this Saturday (including shining the spotlight on The Super Charts, which just may turn into a new weekly feature for … as he describes it … “as long as I feel like it!”  lol)  Even Bob Stroud did a 10 at 10 salute to 1971 this week … and the general consensus seems to be that there was some REALLY great music released that year.  (1971 also marked my high school graduation … and I’ve often thought that if I ever had to program a four hour class reunion party, I’d have to leave at least that much great music at home because there wouldn’t be enough time to fit it all in!)

Here are a couple of your comments, kicking off with Sammy’s latest announcement …

Happy New Year, Kent!

I've heard about these Super Charts for a few years now. What a treat that I'll get to see at least one year's version online. 

Kudos to you for posting and especially Randy Price for undertaking this labor of love. 

Contrary to another writer's opinion, I think 1971 was an exceptional year for pop music. To make my case, I'm going devote at least an hour of all future Lost And Found Oldies Shows to these '71 Super Charts starting this weekend until ..., well, until I change my mind. 

Give a listen and maybe I'll express my shock that "I'll Be There" could be the FIRST J5 single you actually liked. Really? Curious if you came to your senses by the time the equally upbeat "Mama's Pearl" and "Sugar Daddy" came around. I'll assume you DID like "Got To Be There"?

Thanks, Kent, for Forgotten Hits and YOU!

Sam Tallerico

Lost And Found Oldies Show  Saturdays LIVE 1-3 pm EST


Requests and suggestions:

I misspoke earlier ...

I actually did really like "I Want You Back," too ... a TOTALLY new sound for its time … but found the next batch of bubblegum soul just too hard on these 16 year old ears ... “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” “Mama's Pearl,” “Sugar Daddy” … even “Dancing Machine” … were just not my thing.

But I DID love “I'll Be There,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “I Am Love” (who out there remembers THAT one?!?!)  Now THERE'S a Forgotten Hit for you ... and #15, too, in 1975!  I even liked their remake of Little Bitty Pretty One.

As for Michael's solo stuff, I again seemed to prefer the ballads ...

I remember driving around at night with two or three of my high school buddies, trying to hit every note Michael sang on "Got To Be There"!!!  (It was a REAL hit or miss situation ... and sometimes downright painful!!!)  “Rockin' Robin” was, for me, OK at best ... and I liked "Ben" initially, but grew tired of it VERY quickly.  (Although even after all these years I still find the idea of  writing and singing a love song to a rat pretty incredible!!!)

That would be great if you could feature info from the Super Charts on your show each week ... that's something I could definitely get behind and promote.  (Listen Live links are above … and Sam’s show comes on at 1 pm Eastern every Saturday.)  Who knows, if it's a success, maybe Randy and I could even call in one Saturday! 

I love SO many of your obscure choices and, as I've told you before, RARELY does a week go by without me downloading at least one or two for my own collection. 

Anyway, thanks, as always, for your support.  Our musical outlets complement each other well … and we’ll continue to get the word out on your new Super Charts feature … you know, for as long as they last anyway!!!  (kk)

I would like to back you up on the music of 1971.  That is also one of my favorite music years.  Yes, there were plenty of Osmonds and other songs that have not aged well ... but that is the case for nearly every year of the '70s.   

I used to listen to the New Year’s countdowns and write down every song.  It was disappointing when The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Killing Me Softly, The Way We Were or You Light Up My Life were declared number ones for their respective years. 

If you go by the year end countdowns, most music years in the '70s are pretty sad … however, there are still a good number of very good songs each year. 

The Top 20 songs of 1971 include:  Go Away Little Girl and One Bad Apple.  It also

includes: What's Going On, Brown Sugar, It's Too Late, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) and the number one song of the year (according to Billboards' Pop Annual), Joy to The World. 

Artists that debuted with first hits include:  Cat Stevens, Alice Cooper, Lobo, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart and the Stylistics. 

It was a solid year for James Brown, Chicago, Jackson 5,  Bread, and the Chi-Lites.   

While it is not as good as my fave music year (1967), it is still worth paying tribute.

Phil Nee – WRCO

I agree completely … I think as you see the year unfold, you’ll be reminded as to just how great a year it really was.  (And while “One Bad Apple” and “Double Lovin’” were definitely NOT my cup of tea, by year’s end The Osmonds were rockin’ out in FINE form with two EXCELLENT pop hits, “Yo Yo” (#1, 1971) and “Down By The Lazy River” (#3, 1972)

Memo to FH Reader Sam Ward:  Stay tuned … I think you’re going to be surprised by just how much great music there really was in ’71!  (kk)

P.S.  Hey Phil – maybe THIS year we can count down some of our 1971 favorites since we never got the chance to do so for our 1970 salute.  (Honestly, I don’t know  how I'll possibly be able to narrow it down to just a Top Ten Favorites list!)  kk

Listen to Phil's "Those Were The Days" radio program every Saturday Night (beginning at 6 pm Central Time) here:

I'll betcha he'll be playing some favorites from 1971 this evening, too!  (kk) 

It just so happens that I am featuring 1971 this weekend!  So thanks for the plug!


Phil does a GREAT oldies show ... tune in and listen ... and maybe shoot him a request or two as well!  (kk)

January 9th, 1971 – Elvis Presley is named one of the Jaycee’s Ten Outstanding Young Men In America.  (He had just turned 36 the day before.)

Friday, January 8, 2021

A Forgotten Hits Classic: Our Salute To NEIL DIAMOND (circa 2001)

Way back in 2001 (OMG, has it REALLY been twenty years?!?!) we did a short piece on Neil Diamond that has remained a list favorite ... in fact, I believe that this is the at least the fourth or fifth time we're rerunning it now.

The piece kicked off with the quote:

"There are two types of people in the world ... those that like Neil Diamond's music ... and those that don't."
-- Bill Murray in "What About Bob"





NEIL DIAMOND Music Is Being Featured 



The very first concert I ever took a date to was Neil Diamond at the Chicago Civic Opera House in the Summer of 1970. (While that in and of itself is pretty hard for me to admit, Frannie's first concert was The Osmond Brothers, teamed up with Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods ... so I don't feel TOO bad! I guess I could have done worse!) Besides, you've got to remember that back in 1970 Neil was still SINGING his songs instead of narrating them!

Anyway, "I Am, I Said" hadn't even been released as a single yet and he did it that night. In introducing the song, he walked to center stage, paused and then VERY dramatically said: "There are songs....and then there are SONGS" .... a pretty egotistical assessment of his musical talents, I thought. It's a shame, too, because I really did think "I Am, I Said" was one of his greatest achievements .... but that type of comment really should have come from the listener, not the artist ... it should have been OUR assessment, not his ... and I have to admit that I was pretty turned-off to Neil after witnessing that.

After the concert, my date and I were waiting for her parents to come pick us up (being all of 16 at the time, I wasn't driving on dates yet ... or at least not downtown!) when some homeless, very drunk old black man came up to us begging for money. Needless to say, being quite naive and having led very sheltered lives, we both freaked.

After stumbling around and hassling us for about ten minutes, he said:

"I have a problem and I don't know what to do.

I have six children at home and I only have five apples.

What do you think I should do?"

"I don't know," I said, slowing inching away.

"Make applesauce!" he laughed.

Scared as we were, WE laughed, too!!! When our ride FINALLY showed up, I gave him a couple bucks and quickly pushed my date into her father's car! Ahh, America.

"I Am, I Said" eventually peaked at #4 on both the Billboard and the Cash Box chart, and went all the way to #2 here in Chicago in the Spring of 1971. The Neil Diamond album "Gold" (recorded live at The Troubadour and released in August of 1970) was pretty much the concert that I saw that night, just a few weeks earlier. Naturally, I bought it as a memento. Two years later, the same thing would happen with "Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden" ... that LP came out two weeks after I saw him perform the exact same show live at the Chicago Stadium.


Noted Humorist / Journalist Dave Barry says that the inspiration to write his "Book Of Bad Songs" came from one of the newspaper columns he had written regarding songs he didn't particularly care for, which generated such an incredible response that he knew he had tapped into a nerve. The catalyst of all of this was none other than Neil Diamond.

Dave writes: It would not trouble me if the radio totally ceased playing ballad-style songs by Neil Diamond. I realize that many of you are huge Neil Diamond fans, so let me stress that, in matters of musical taste, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and yours is wrong.

He goes on to say: Consider the song 'I Am, I Said,' wherein Neil, with great emotion, sings: 'I am, I said, to no one there. And no one heard at all, not even the chair.' What kind of line is that? Is Neil telling us he's surprised that the chair didn't hear him? Maybe he expected the chair to say, 'Whoa, I heard that!' My guess is that Neil was really desperate to come up with something to rhyme with 'there' and he had already rejected 'So I ate a pear,' 'Like Smokey The Bear,' and 'There were nits in my hair.'

Apparently, the response of hate-mail to his derogatory comment was so overwhelming that he combined them all into one all-purpose-irate-Neil Diamond-fan hate letter:

Dear Pukenose:

Just who the hell do you think you are to blah blah a great artist like Neil blah more than twenty gold records blah blah how many gold records do YOU have, you scum-sucking wad of blah. I personally attended 1,794 of Neil's concerts blah blah What about 'Love On The Rocks,' huh? What about 'Cracklin' Rosie'? blah blah. If you had ONE TENTH of Neil's talent blah blah. So I listened to 'Heartlight' forty times in a row and the next day the cyst was GONE and the doctor said he had never seen such a rapid blah blah. What about 'Play Me'? What about 'Song Sung Blah'? Cancel my subscription if I have one.

(In all fairness, Dave DID finally admit to liking one line of "Play Me": "Song she sang to me, song she brang to me." THAT'S a lyric!)

The piece apparently enticed SO many people that, when all was said and done, he had to write a public apology to all the Neil Diamond fans he offended:

Please stop writing! You have convinced me! Neil is a music god! I worship Neil on a daily basis at a tasteful shrine to him erected in my living room! I love ALL the songs Neil sang to us! Not to mention all the songs he brang to us!

GREAT stuff!


We even found a couple of the original comments that we received when our Neil Diamond piece first ran, way back in 2001!:

Kent ...

Where did you find that Dave Barry article? I remember reading that some 10 years ago! That was hysterical, I loved reading it again. I'm sitting here totally shaking with laughter. Kristy (CGals)

Kristy, we received a number of comments about the Dave Barry article .... personally, I think it's just HYSTERICAL! So did VAGUEMEMORY, AJKARR, SPNNRN, SAYNOCANDO and LUVMYCHAIR.

During the course of our series, we found out that "Brooklyn Roads" is ROXIE1971's favorite Neil Diamond song (it happens to be one of MY favorites, too ... and Scott Shannon recently remarked that HE'S a big "Brooklyn Roads" fan as well ... but so far only FLMYST has admitted to the whole "throwing the panties" thing ... but, hey, it's early! (kk)

Meanwhile, DOMINOGAL blamed it all on her mother:

Now that I'm older I understand why momma liked Neil Diamond so much.

I favor the theory that Neil was captured by aliens about 1973 and replaced by a pod. Only a pod could have come up with the likes of "September Morn" and "Yesterday's Songs."


And "Be" ... and "Skybird" ... and "Longfellow Serenade" ... and "Desiree" ... and "You Don't Brint Me Flowers" ... and "Love On The Rocks" / "Hello Again" / "America" from his "Jazz Singer" movie ... and "Heartlight" (cyst or no cyst!).

It's kinda hard to believe that this guy did some great songs in the '60s when you listen to this dreck! Good news is that songs like "Solitary Man", the huge Monkees' hit "I'm A Believer", "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon", "Holly Holy", "Cracklin' Rosie" and some of the others still get played ... and really DO rank amongst his "classics". (kk)

I'm on a Neil Young list, as you know i'm a huge Neil Young fan, anyway, on the list we refer to Neil Diamond as the 'Anti Neil'. nuff said ... hahahaha!


Yeah, I don't think you'll get TOO many people confusing those two! (kk)

I admit to really liking Cherry, Cherry, although nothing Neil's recorded himself since. OK, I thought I'm A Believer was a good Monkees song.

I also had a personal brush with Mr. Diamond when he cut me off on the Santa Monica Freeway in a Porsche bearing the license plate, "NDLRR." (Neil Diamond loves rock 'n roll? HA!)

I knew a musician -- a man in his late 50's -- who really loved Diamond and was always trying to get me to play his songs on the piano. Two years ago, I heard this man was arrested for counterfeiting, and a few months ago I heard he died. I've tried not to infer a cause / effect relationship.

In any event, thanks for the warning!


"Neil Diamond loves rock and roll?" OK ... sure .... fine ... whatever you say! (Although who REALLY would have thought that he would have done a movie like "The Jazz Singer" in the first place?!?! And, would we REALLY have been any worse off if he hadn't?!?!?) kk

LITTLE KNOWN FACT #1: THE MONKEES almost didn't get to record I'M A BELIEVER, their biggest hit ever. NEIL DIAMOND had planned on releasing it as his own single. His career was just starting to take off after CHERRY CHERRY made the Top 10 and he figured that this song just might be the one to put him over the top. DON KIRSCHNER stepped in and made him an offer he couldn't refuse ... if he let THE MONKEES release I'M A BELIEVER as their next single, he would guarantee NEIL the follow-up single as well ... and, as a result, A LITTLE BIT ME, A LITTLE BIT YOU, another NEIL DIAMOND composition, became their third single. I'M A BELIEVER went straight to #1 and stayed there for 7 weeks ... he made MILLIONS in royalties ... A LITTLE BIT ME, A LITTLE BIT YOU went to #2 in Billboard but #1 EVERYWHERE else ... and, instead of I'M A BELIEVER, NEIL's next single became I GOT THE FEELIN' (OH NO NO) ... OK ... so maybe it WASN'T the greatest deal for NEIL, but I still think he did all-right!

LITTLE KNOWN FACT #2: The single A LITTLE BIT ME, A LITTLE BIT YOU ultimately got DON KIRSCHNER FIRED as THE MONKEES' Musical Supervisor! In fact, a Canadian single version of A LITTLE BIT ME, A LITTLE BIT YOU had to be pulled off the market. Just as it was being released, THE MONKEES gained control of their musical output and had final say on what was being released. The B-SIDE of the Canadian single was SHE HANGS OUT, a song that THE MONKEES would not "officially" release until nine months later on their PISCES, AQUARIUS, CAPRICORN AND JONES album. The single featured a completely DIFFERENT version with a very funky R&B feel to it; THE MONKEES would eventually re-record this track and release the "pop / doo-de-ron-ron" version we've all come to know and love! They instead substituted MIKE NESMITH's composition THE GIRL I KNEW SOMEWHERE as the B-SIDE, and that's the way the single was released all around the world. (Part of their new deal with COLGEMS RECORDS guaranteed them say-so on their next release ... which HAD to be a MONKEES production! KIRSCHNER's jumping the gun with the SHE HANGS OUT track is what ultimately got him fired!) The R&B version of SHE HANGS OUT became a highly sought-after collectible on vinyl; it has since been released on some of their compilation CDs. 

THE GIRL I KNEW SOMEWHERE charted on its own, making it to #39 in Billboard. And, by the way, NEIL DIAMOND's version of I'M A BELIEVER NEVER would have made it to #1 for seven weeks ... in comparison, it's a pretty tame version. THE MONKEES simply had SO much momentum going for them at this time that their second single simply couldn't miss ... it became their biggest hit of all-time!


And, finally, DANDYRUBE had a Neil Diamond story of her own to tell:

As Gomer Pyle would say: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Finally a topic in which I can provide YOU with some extra trivia.

I grew up in Brooklyn in a neighborhood near Neil's family. His parents owned a store named "Diamonds" on Brighton Beach Ave. They were also members of "Brighton Beach Baths," a landmark beach club.

When Neil performed in Carnegie Hall when I was 14 years old, I sat in the FRONT ROW, MIDDLE SEAT. Neil's father gave those 4 tickets to my brother and I (he was friendly with my parents). It was an experience we'll never forget. He stood at the tip of the very low stage - I could have literally stood up and grabbed his leg (no, I didn't).

Most of my Neil Diamond music is on vinyl and I haven't hooked up my turntable since I moved many months ago. It'll be great having some of his songs on the computer and I REALLY appreciate it.

Neil's dad passed away a few years ago, but I bumped into his mom here in Florida a couple of years ago. THANKS AGAIN!!!!


Here ya go ... 'cause I just KNOW you're dyin' to hear 'em!!!

I Am, I Said

Play Me

Brooklyn Roads


Hanky Panky

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Dumbest Songs Of All Time

With recent talk of selecting The Worst Songs Of All Time (a topic we ultimately decided to avoid), it was interesting to then get this piece from long-time FH Reader Clark Besch ... especially since it dates back to 1974.

And, since it is a previously published piece ... by someone other than me ... and features collected input from people other than YOU ... which means that it can now be considered part of "documented history," I figured I'd just run with it!!!

Have fun tearing it apart!

I thought you might enjoy this 1974 offering from The Chicago Daily News (!) 
Columnist Norman Mark asks for and receives submissions FROM CHICAGO PEOPLE about their choices for dumbest records ever.   
#1 ??? - "Transfusion"
What???  That's a GREAT record!
I guess the article is right in saying it is a "controversial" list.
Norman makes up "the rules" and wanted "I Want My Baby Back" at #1 which again, is a great record. 
My fave DJ, Uncle Lar Lujack, as well as former friend and original "Svengoolie" Jerry G were some of the judges.  Jerry G even picks his way cool 1967 45 "She's Gone" as a candidate.  Even current WGN'er BOB SIROTT was a judge!!!  All are 1970's Chicago media people.
Check out Dick Biondi with a top 5'er still!!!
Funny to see "Dead Skunk" in there, as I have Lujack on tape talking it up when it was a hit.  Altho not on this list, Ohio Express' "Cowboy Convention" was never a WLS chart rider, yet Lujack played it for awhile.  I think his love of animals and the outdoors made him actually like such.  
Of course, he loved the unconventional, like playing Todd's "Slut" on AM drive time in '86.  Actually, I have NO idea why Uncle Lar did not nominate HIS OWN 45, "Ballad of a Mad Streaker," which SOMEHOW got airplay on WCFL for a month just three months before this article ran in '74!  It reached #96 on the 'CFL TOP 40!  
The whole crew of WXRT-FM sent in "Rock & Roll Part II".  That station was "out there" and shoulda loved that song!
Anyway, fun and games and trivia!!

Seriously???  There are some GREAT songs on that list!!!

Of course, all of this talk has prompted me to do a little archive digging of my own ...

Do NOT miss tomorrow's issue of Forgotten Hits ...

And our tribute (well, sort of) to Neil Diamond!!!