Saturday, January 30, 2021


We have covered the rock group Coven a few times before in Forgotten Hits ... but always as more of a "One Hit Wonder" salute than anything deeper in the way of a profile of the band.  Their hit, "One Tin Soldier," title song to the cult film classic "Billy Jack," went all the way to #1 here in Chicago in early 1974 ... rather amazing in that this was the re-release of the song due to the re-release of the film.  It never charted at all here the first time around when it was released in September of 1971 and had its big national run, peaking at #18 in Cash Box and #26 in Billboard.  (The re-release charted at #73 in both publications in '74 ... yet THAT'S the one that caught fire here in Chicago, from where the group Coven hailed.)

You'll find '60's FLASHBACKS to a couple of those posts below ... but what started THIS new post was the email I received below from FH Reader Sam Boyd (aka Burton Cummings' road manager) about a week ago.  It seems there's a whole 'nother side to Coven that I wasn't even aware of ... and it makes for a pretty interesting story in light of ANOTHER band who became world-wide heavy metal demigods due to their own unique (???) approach to rock music.

Read on ...

As you know, I have been doing other things during the pandemic, but a friend of mine sent me this interesting story and it takes place in Chicago, so I thought you might find it interesting, although I know it’s not my or your cup of tea musically … but still interesting to learn. 

Hope you and yours are well.  


Sam Boyd

Subject: Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls - The Real Influencers of Black Sabbath & Heavy Metal


Black Sabbath is one of my favourite bands ... but I just discovered that their true influence was not a Boris Karloff movie titled Black Sabbath, but rather a little known band out of Chicago named Coven.


Their debut album, Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls, was released in 1969 whereas Sabbath's debut came out in 1970. 


And guess what …


They had a bass player in it named Oz Osbourn …


And get this …


The first track on side one of their album is named Black Sabbath (No Shit!)


Also on the inside gateway picture is members using the devil’s horns hands sign.


I included the album pictures front, back and center.


Here are some links for proof of this amazing but little known band ...


bio of band link:


second bio of band link:


link of Martha Quinn of MTV, 1986, surprising Tony Iommi with the Coven album:


a link to lead singer (Jinx Dawson) on her career 50 years with Coven:


here is youtbe link to Coven's full debut album:


Don’t get me wrong …


Do I still love Black Sabbath???


Of course I do!


But let's give credit where credit is due!




Wow, this is a VERY interesting take on perhaps the TRUE origins of Black Sabbath … and no, I had not heard ANY of this before.

Hard to believe that a virtually unknown band out of Chicago could have had any influence on a new band forming in Great Britain, but the drawing card here seems to be the uniqueness of the mutual subject matter and interest in the occult … if only as a gimmick to get one’s band noticed.

Oddly enough, that niche didn’t do much for Coven … despite their marketing scheme, it was a hit single that allowed them to leave THEIR mark on the musical landscape … not at all what they were shooting for (or, apparently, were all about musically.)

Still, this makes for some VERY interesting reading .. and that Martha Quinn interview (ambush?) with Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath doesn’t make for a very convincing or believable case when it comes to the band’s early roots.  (Coincidence?  Perhaps … but the fact that the lead track off Coven’s album just happens to be CALLED “Black Sabbath” REALLY makes one wonder!!!)  kk

Here are a couple of earlier pieces that we did on the band, all in conjunction with their #1 Local Hit, “One Tin Soldier” from 1974.  

This first one comes from 2010 ...


Does anyone know the back story to Coven's One Tin Soldier?  

I have two different copies of the song, one on Warner Brothers, the other one is on MGM. There are only slight differences between the two recordings. The Warner Brothers version was used in the film Billy Jack.
Thanks for your help
Vinny B.

We've covered this track a couple of times before in Forgotten Hits. Coven's "One Tin Solider" was a BIG #1 Hit here in Chicago back in 1974 ... which was actually the SECOND time around for this track on Warner Brothers Records. (Since Coven hailed from right here in Chicago, this may have had a little bit to do with their success here ... but we still hear this song fairly often in Chi-Town.) 

Here's the scoop:

The song "One Tin Soldier" was first recorded by a group called The Original Caste in 1969. Their version climbed to #34 in Billboard Magazine and went to #36 here in Chicago. Despite the group's misleading name, this is NOT the group that recorded the song for the movie "Billy Jack."

Instead, Tom Laughlin (the genius behind the film "Billy Jack" ... and also the actor who portrayed him) hand-picked Coven to record a NEW version of this tune to be used in the movie and, when the film was first released in 1971, it was the Coven version on Warner Brothers Records that quickly began climbing the charts. (It ultimately peaked at #18 in Cash Box Magazine and #26 in Billboard. Surprisingly, despite the fact that Coven came from Chicago, it didn’t chart here in 1971.)

Flash forward a couple of years and "Billy Jack" was back out in theatrical release, now a cult favorite and packing them in at the theaters ... including yours truly ... I probably saw this movie twenty times back in the day!!!  (It was also a popular "Midnight Movie" feature at a lot of the cool, old-time theaters downtown.)  

However, by now Coven had left Warner Brothers and were signed to MGM Records. Thinking that this was a quick way to cash in on a "sure thing," MGM had the band re-record "One Tin Solider" for their label and then rush-released it to take advantage of this newfound interest. When THAT version began climbing the charts, Warner Brothers quickly released the ORIGINAL Coven movie version again ... and THIS is the one that ultimately topped the charts here in Chi-Town. (Incredibly, the re-release didn't fare as well on the national charts, petering out at #73. The MGM recording topped out at #68.)  

That means that in all, the song "One Tin Soldier" hit the pop charts an incredible FOUR times between 1969 and 1974!  

BTW: That great lead vocal is handled by Jinx Dawson, who caused quite a stir when she posed naked on the inside album cover spread in what looked like some sort of satanic witchcraft / Devil worship ceremony. (kk)

DIDJAKNOW? - 1:  The Warner Brothers / Soundtrack version features Coven Lead Vocalist Jinx Dawson, but she's backed by an orchestra and studio band of musicians and not her actual band.  Regardless, she insisted that the record pressing show the name of her band, Coven, on the label, and NOT release the song as a solo single under her name.  Warner Brothers obliged.

When MGM got the idea to re-record the song and cash in on the film’s new popularity, the entire band Coven was brought into the studio to create the sound of the original.

DIDJAKNOW? – 2:  Lead Singer Jinx Dawson was reportedly born on a Friday the 13th … and was thusly given the REAL first name of “Jinx” … which she says appears on her birth certificate!  (However, WE have found her listed as “Esther” in various other publications.)


(pretty clever actually ... even looking back at it some 19 years later!!!  Lol)

Bernard ...

I want you to know ...


That I try


When Jean and the kids at the school tell me that I'm supposed to control my violent temper and be passive and non-violent like they are ...


I try ...


I  REALLY  try ...


But when I see this girl ... of such a beautiful spirit ... so degraded ... 


And when I see this boy that I love sprawled out by this big ape here ... 


And this little girl ... who is so special to us

That we call her "God's Little Gift of Sunshine" ...


And I think of the number of years

She's gonna have to carry in her memory

The savagery of this idiotic moment of yours ...









... And, with that, BILLY JACK begins to kick some SERIOUS butt (literally) at the ice cream shop!!!

The TOM LAUGHLIN film BILLY JACK was a cult-favorite of the early '70's, released and re-released over and over until it spawned a couple of sequels.  The hit song from this movie, ONE TIN SOLDIER by COVEN, was ALSO released a few times before it went all the way to #1 here in Chicago.

When the film first came out in 1971, ONE TIN SOLDIER raced up the National Charts, peaking at #18 in Cash Box and #26 in Billboard.  It never charted here in Chicago.  Over two years later, in re-release, it petered out on both National charts at #73.  Amazingly, THIS is when it took off here in Chicago … and went all the way to #1!   

COVEN was hand-picked by LAUGHLIN to re-record the tune originally done by THE ORIGINAL CASTE back in 1969.  (The ORIGINAL CASTE version got as high as #34 in Billboard and went to #36 here in Chicago.  Despite their misleading name, they did NOT record the song for the movie.)  Warner Brothers, who released the movie, also released the single the first time around in 1971. 

When the movie became successful a second time in 1973, COVEN (who were now signed to MGM Records) recorded a NEW version of the tune ... and IT charted, too, stopping at #68.  Warner Bros. quickly re-released their original version and this is the one that topped the charts here.  In all, the song ONE TIN SOLDIER hit the pop charts an incredible FOUR times between 1969 and 1974!

BTW:  That great lead vocal is handled by JINX DAWSON.


A short time later, we got this from Marlene O'Malley, one of the best authorities on the local Chicago rock scene of this era ...

Hi Kent,
I just looked at the credits again to the Coven album “Witchcraft,” and it's almost like a who's who of Chicago bands back in the day.  Since I'm not into black magic, I don't get all the titles they give people, but among the credits are Tom & Jim Donlinger, Jim Nyeholt and Mike Bean from Aorta (earlier from the Exceptions), Dan Baughman from Shadows of Knight, Al Dawson from Saturday's Children and Cryan' Shames, and Jim Pilster (JC Hooke) from the Cryan' Shames.  It also includes Bill Traut, Jim Golden and Fred Bohlander, who were all associated with management or production of some of those early groups, and Joel Sebastian from WCFL, and it lists "Oz Osbourne" ... don't know if that's the same one we all know and love!(?)!  The lead singer was Jinx Dawson (is she related to Al?), and there's an interesting biography on her and the band's formation at this link:  

I'm sure there are more links to follow up on this early "underground" lp!


Spurred on by this new information sent into us by Sam, we decided to do a little more investigating ...

While Coven adopted a persona of occult and devil worship and went to great lengths to project that image, it had to be difficult for them at times to be saddled with such a sizeable pop hit!  This was not at ALL the image they were striving for ... yet it allowed them to make the Pop Music History Books nonetheless.

As for the Black Sabbath connection, there almost seem to be TOO many coincidences here for there not to be at least SOME validity to these claims …

Their first album (“Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls”) was released in 1969 on the Mercury Record Label and was produced by Chicago legend, Bill Traut, who helped launch MANY a music career here in The Windy City.  Tom and Jim Donlinger of Aorta wrote, played on and produced many of the tracks from this LP, which really didn’t do much of anything at the time attentionwise …

So how did it makes its way across the ocean and catch the eye and ear of guys like Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi, who were forming their own band (and perhaps looking for an “identity” as well) a year later.

Dawson said she learned the “devil’s horns” hand signal from her occult family.  (She very well may have been the first "black magic woman," having been exposed to this whole devil's worship cult thing since 1965.)

Here's a shot of her performing on stage in 1967, two years BEFORE the "Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls" had been recorded and Coven were on their way to appearing with some of the biggest names on the music scene at the time.

Ironically, although the FAMOUS Ozzy Osbourne used the "devil's horns" symbol religiously (pun intended) in Black Sabbath, Gene Simmons of Kiss fame has also taken credit for "inventing" it, saying at one point that he was going to TRADEMARK the horns.  When Jinx Dawson saw this, she immediately posted on her Facebook Page that if he even so much as tried, she would sue him.  It worked … Simmons never followed through.)

From Jinx in 2017:

I did the Sign of the Horns when Coven started in late 1967 (see photo above)

Again, this sign was also pictured on our first album, released in 1969, and on our 1971,1974, and 2013 albums. 

This information is in more than 25 books ... and also mentioned at our Wikipedia Coven page.

I never trademarked MY sign because it was meant for all to do, ‘tho it is legally 'grandfathered in' to me for use in music by all the history.

Gene Simmons does not even DO the sign properly ...

He is doing the deaf sign for 'love'.

LOL ... I LOVE it ... sorry, Gene, but you're not even DOING it right!!!

Jinx continues to perform today (at the age of 70) when her new band, still named Coven, but featuring musicians in their 20's and 30's.  She is hopeful that once Covid passes and allows for live performances again, she can get back out there and entertain her fans again. 

Jinx Dawson's and Coven's musical roots date back to the mid-'60's ...

In the mid-to-late ‘60’s, Jinx, teamed with bassist Greg “Oz” Osbourn in the band Him, Her And Them.  Adding other players that went on to form the nucleus of the band, Him, Her And Them morphed into Coven ... and offered a unique spin on what was quickly becoming a growing underground, heavy rock movement.  (Honestly, I think their whole scene had more to do with their own personal religious beliefs than being just a "gimmick" to get noticed ... although they were certainly one of the first "theatrical" rock bands out there, putting on a pretty elaborate show!)

We were completely unaware of the “dark side” of Coven when we first covered them in Forgotten Hits … ours was more a case of One Hit Wonder status and covering a song that went all the way to #1 here in Chicago, while never making anywhere NEAR that far on the national charts.  (Even more amazingly is the fact that this happened during the record’s SECOND release in 1973, when it never climbed any higher than #73 in Billboard … in 1971, the record peaked at #26 in Billboard, and #18 in Cash Box, yet didn’t chart in Chicago at all!)

Perhaps even MORE amazingly than our previously mentioned “more amazingly,” is the fact that Wayne Jancik didn’t even consider the song important enough to include in his book “The Billboard Book of One Hit Wonders,” released in 1990 … this despite the fact that “One Tin Soldier” had actually charted THREE TIMES by Coven between 1971 and 1974, only reaching The Top 40 once and thus qualifying it for its inclusion in Jancik’s book.  (They are mentioned in the “also ran” category at the back of the book so he obviously was aware of the record … but just didn’t find it important enough to include in the main body of the book.)

Norm N. Nite even mentions them in his “Rock On” book (although he manages to get a few facts wrong), but mentions nothing about their affection for the occult.

Was it all a gimmick to set them aside from the other heavier bands that were bursting on the music scene in 1967 – 1969?  On the surface, it may seem to be … but in interviews I’ve read with Jinx Dawson since, this whole fascination with devil worship seemed to be a very real part of her life … yet nobody in “the general public” seemed to pick up on it at the time.  Instead, we were all captivated by their “catchy hit single” and the fact that it was being used as the theme from the new “Billy Jack” movie!

Now, however, some fifty years later, the true aspirations of Coven seem to be on everybody’s radar.  There are literally dozens and dozens of internet articles posted about the band … and their revolutionary contribution to the theatrical rock scene, circa the late ‘60’s.  In fact, if anything, their chart success is downplayed if covered at all!

VERY Special Thanks to Sam Boyd for enlightening us on this unusual and unique back story.  (And shame on the members of Black Sabbath for not at least acknowledging in SOME small way that Chicago's very own Coven may have inspired and impacted their own career.)

By the way, the song “One Tin Soldier” was written by the hit songwriting team of Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, who also composed the hits “Ain’t No Woman Like The One I’ve Got” for The Four Tops, “Country Boy” by Glen Campbell, “Don’t Pull Your Love” by Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, “It Only Takes A Minute” by Tavares, “It’s A Cryin’ Shame” by Gayle McCormick, “Once A Fool” by Kiki Dee and “Two Divided By Love” by The Grass Roots.


Black Sabbath

The Martha Quinn Interview  (this alone is worth the price of admission!!!)

And the hit ...

One Tin Soldier

Friday, January 29, 2021


>>>As most of you already know, we just LOVE 1967!!!  We even devoted an entire YEAR to celebrating the sights, sounds and events of our all-time favorite year in music.  (Scroll back to the last couple of days of 2016 and you can catch this series in its entirety simply by clicking on the “Newer Posts” button at the bottom of each page … it will literally take you day by day thru the entire year!) 

Here’s a quick link to get you started:  (kk)

All right, Kent Kotal ...

Your Love Jones for the sights and sounds of 1967 is legendary 'round these here parts so LAFOS is gonna give you what you want this Saturday from 1 - 3 pm ET at or (later that same day). Two solid hours of January '67 Super Chart hits and oh, so much more -- just for you. 

And, hopefully, some of your FH followers, too … many of whom have been making my day lately with their contributions.

Those Tom Jones / Jennifer Hudson clips had me grinning from ear to ear!

The "Good Vibrations" vids were interesting. Have you ever checked out any of the Fendertones' Beach Boys covers on YouTube? Superb!

And, speaking of "forgotten," I played Bobby Fuller Four's "Never To Be Forgotten" last week that came  from a 2010 I-Tunes download with a really distorted sense of audio separation. Checking other versions on YouTube, they all seem to be that way. Does anyone know if there's a "clean" version of that song?

Thanks, kk, for all you do and "see" you Saturday, January 30.

Sam Tallerico

We’ll be there, Sammy … Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!

Sounds like another great show in the making!  (kk)


Regarding Chubby Checker’s appearance at Mohegan, yes, that was his last concert and the last “big name” concert at The Wolf Den in Mohegan Sun.  We were shocked that he showed up. Connecticut was closing down and things had begun to be dicey all around. And then … we became shut ins. 

Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

I’m trying to remember the last concert we saw before the pandemic shut everything down.  (I’m not 100% positive but I think it may have been America with The Buckinghams at The Genesee Theatre … and a GREAT show it was, too!)

I DO remember that we had tickets to see The Bay City Rollers at The Arcada Theatre … but that concert was cancelled / postponed once the “stay at home” order was declared.  Our grand daughter was staying with us for spring break and she had never seen a concert before … so we thought this would be a fun one to take her to.  Ron Onesti had even made arrangements for her to meet and get her picture taken with the band … and, prior to the show, we were playing their music for her in the car so that she would at least be somewhat familiar with their biggest hits.

It was odd because we were able to go out and do something every day until the day she was due to fly home, which is when everything was shut down.  We weren’t even sure if they were going to let her travel.  Dinner out every night she was here … hanging out at places like Dave and Buster’s, the adult arcade, and doing a bit of sight-seeing at a time when we could all still walk around open and free … and maskless!

God, it seems like so long ago, doesn’t it???  They’ve started relaxing things here in Chicago again, with restaurants being allowed to reopen (at 25% capacity anyway) and a big battle regarding whether or not the kids should be returning to their classrooms or not … all kinda crazy and premature in MY mind, seeing that the number of cases continue to rise daily and the vaccine, while now available, seems to be in very short, limited supply.  (Do we REALLY want to go thru lockdown, phase three again … or does it just make more sense to wait for this “return to life” until we actually have things a bit more under control?)

Not my call … and, quite honestly, even choosing not to participate doesn’t help reduce my risk of catching this by much if everyone around me IS going back out in public and exposing themselves to the bug … but I think I’m going to just play it safe for a little while longer, especially since many of the news broadcasts this week seem to be focusing on a newer, stronger strand that has already been found present in our area and is killing a bunch more people in Africa and The UK.  (kk)

Were you able to see Chubby’s show at The Wolf Den, Shelley?

I was completely blown away when I saw him New Year’s Eve Weekend a few years ago.  (kk)

Unfortunately, neither myself nor my friends made it there.

I was notified that his appearance was still scheduled but uncertain. Then I received notice that he, indeed, had arrived at Mohegan, but whether he would perform, given his age and covid, was still in question.

By the time I received the “He’s going on!,” he was close to walking on the stage.

I was never in doubt that he would draw a large crowd anyway, as Mohegan draws many of the same people daily, and being able at the last minute to secure a seat in The Den is a memory in itself.

By the way, the same person who did the YouTube video you provided has a string of them from that night: Henry LaPierre.



Chubby appeared as part of a concert billed as Three Legendary Voices of the ‘60’s …

Also on the bill were Martha Reeves (of The Vandellas) and Mary Wilson (of The Supremes.)

This was a very difficult review to write as the event lived up to its promise in name only … and that’s a shame … as I was REALLY looking forward to this show … not only as our last concert of 2017 … but also the chance to see three legendary artists that I greatly admire but had never seen before.

The highlight for me all along was the opportunity to FINALLY see Chubby Checker in concert.  We have LONG been advocates of Chubby’s rightful place in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and for as long as we’ve been doing Forgotten Hits, Chubby’s name comes up near the top of every “Deserving But Denied” list.  This was our chance to show our support.  (I’ve heard that he still puts on a great show … and wanted to see him for myself.)

Both Mary and Marth failed to win us over with their performances that night … both were lack-luster and severely out of tune.  (In Mary’s defense, she was clearly ill that night and shouldn’t have tried to perform … but Martha’s voice has become so deep and throaty that it was literally unrecognizable as the same voice that sang all those hits so many years ago that we all know and love.)

After a brief intermission when Mary and Martha both went out into the lobby to sign and sell product, Chubby Checker finally took the stage … and, unlike the two ladies from Motown who, for the most part, shared the same backing musicians,   Chubby brought along his own, self-contained band … and let me tell you something … Chubby has got himself a REAL rock band … these guys were smokin’ and not in ANY way, shape or form slighting the presentation of Checker’s music … these guys ROCKED with some incredible guitar and sax solos thrown in throughout the performance.

Chubby Checker turned 76 years old last October and I swear he looks, sounds and moves like a man less than HALF that age on stage.  (He has obviously taken VERY good care of himself!!!)  Truth be told, he looked and sounded AMAZING and, paired with this killer back-up band, COMPLETELY turned the show around in all the ways I truly hoped he would.

His set moved rapid fire, at first with very little conversation, as he ran through a few of his hits and other hits from that era (including a nice tribute to Fats Domino, who recently left us.  By now I’m sure you’re all familiar with the story of how Dick Clark’s wife renamed former chicken plucker Earnest Evans “Chubby Checker,” making a play on Fats Domino’s name and the rest, as they say, is history.)

Checker was a HUGE part of the Philly scene and, thanks to Dick Clark and shows like “American Bandstand,” was quickly piped into living rooms all over America.  (Even today, the bulk of his back-up band hail from Philadelphia as Chubby remains true to his roots some sixty years later!)

Early on in the set, Chubby ventured out into the audience to sing and twist with a few of the spectators while he performed "Slow Twistin'" … and he held court over the crowd throughout the evening, having us sing the missing lines in at least a dozen tunes … everything from his biggest hits … to the closing theme of The Mickey Mouse Club!!!

It made for a fun night of entertainment (although for me the sing-along thing wore a little thin pretty quickly … as stated here many times before, we came tonight to hear YOU sing … not provide half the vocals for you!!!)

He poked fun at his early 1964 Hit “Hooka Tooka” when, after singing a couple of choruses, admitted “That’s a dumb song.”  (It is … but he made it fun all over again!)

Since it was the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I thought he might bring out his version of “Jingle Bell Rock” out of the mothballs again but that didn't happen.  He did, however, offer words of encouragement to the audience as one year ends and another one begins to “fight the Devil every day … every time you see him in the mirror,” suggesting that rather than “turn over a new leaf” for 2018, “FIX the leaf you’ve currently got … and make things right.”  It wasn’t done in a preachy way and truly felt sincere.  Chubby is a very “likeable” character … and I do believe he may have gotten thru to a few people in the audience.

He brought a young girl up from the audience to “shake what you’ve got” during his version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (although I think she was willing to do a WHOLE lot more shakin’ that Chubby may have bargained for!) and a couple of other times, pulled girls from the front row up on stage to dance with him.

It was a great show (which even featured a new track called “Changes” that really showcased Chubby’s voice and the band’s ability as musicians … I downloaded it immediately as soon as I got home.  With a rock band that strong, I wish he would have also done “Harder Than Diamond,” a track that got some FM Rock Radio airplay back in the ‘80’s.)

Naturally he closed the show with “The Twist,” which he then rolled into “Let’s Twist Again,” a solid one-two punch to end the show.

The crowd loved him … and when he went out into the lobby to sign autographs and pose for pictures, the line of fans was ridiculous!  EVERYBODY wanted to meet and shake hands with Chubby Checker, who promised he would stay till the very end … “until EVERY fan got what they wanted in the way of a picture or an autograph” … “I’ll be here till they lock the doors ‘cause that’s what I do for my fans” … and I believe he did just exactly that.

This was a GREAT show that easily could have stood alone without the disappointing downer of the two opening acts.  Chubby's still got it ... and he knows EXACTLY what to do with it.  Highly recommended if he happens to be coming out your way!

I MUST CONFESS:  Coming into the show, I knew I had an issue with one thing … and all I can say again is WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE???

Martha and the Vandellas were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995 … The Supremes in 1988 … but the guy who HEADLINED the show … the ONLY guy in the history of The Pop Charts during the Rock And Roll Era (now 60+ years strong) to hit #1 on the charts TWICE with the same record … the guy who launched a National Dance Sensation … ALSO TWICE … has never even been nominated.

Now how can that be???

Of course, I'm talking about Chubby Checker … who had 24 Top 40 Pop Hits of his own (including his comeback “duet” with The Fat Boys) and Five National #1's … yet has never even made the ballot!!!

Watching this show, the wheels started turning … we have GOT to get this guy the recognition he deserves … somebody like Bruce Springsteen needs to come out on stage with him and do a couple of tunes (much like he did several years ago with Gary “US” Bonds) and let the rest of the "modern world" know who this guy is ... and what he has done!

Radio has to start playing his biggest hits again now that they’re FINALLY back in print.  Several of these (“The Twist,” “Let’s Twist Again,” “Slow Twistin’,” and “Limbo Rock” still sound great today.)

A documentary needs to be made … not only showcasing Chubby Checker, but also explaining the whole phenomena of how his hit, “The Twist,” launched “The Discotheque Era” here in America back in the early ‘60’s, catching on first with the kids and then again with the hip, club elite who pushed it back into The #1 Spot all over again when anybody who was anybody was out trending at all the hot clubs, doing The Twist.

Places like The Peppermint Lounge and dozens of others just like it sprang up to accommodate the demand for a place where young, hip adults could hang out and dance the night away.  Joey Dee and the Starliters also hit #1 with their “Peppermint Twist” and dozens and dozens of “twist” songs soon filled the charts … it just may be the single biggest dance sensation in history, Macarena be damned!  (Hell, even The Four Seasons first asked “Sherry” to come out to their twist party … and The Beatles covered an old Isley Brothers song and made “Twist And Shout” their very own!)

Chubby seems pretty humble about it all ... Billboard Magazine has declared "The Twist" to be the Biggest Song In The History Of Popular Music, simply by reaching the top of the charts on two separate occasions.  Chubby shrugs that off by saying, "Well, SOME song had to be #1 ... had to be the biggest record of all time ... and it just so happens that it's mine."  [Of course in the new video featured earlier this week, Checker can now be seen doing a little bit of bragging of his own!  Lol]

When you consider every other fad and phenomena that has passed thru music over the past 65 years, it's a pretty incredible feat indeed.  (Think about it ... all Chubby did was rerecord a Hank Ballard B-Side in essentially the same manner that Hank had done it ... and it proceeded to light the world on fire.  Fueled by the likes of Dick Clark and American Bandstand and deeJays across the country, the dance craze took off and make Checker an overnight superstar.  But the record speaks as much to Chubby's charm and charisma as it does to the innocence of the era ... this was nothing short of an overnight sensation ... a phenomenon personified.

So I’m appealing to guys out there like Shawn Swords and Paul Russo who read Forgotten Hits and have dedicated a good portion of their lives to preserving this era of music and The Sounds of Philadelphia … other Bandstand-Era folk like Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, Fabian and more who were THERE at the time and LIVED this experience … Danny Tedesco who put together that GREAT Wrecking Crew documentary … Carolyn Travis who did the excellent “Airplay” documentary … Pam Pulice, who is putting together the new Dick Biondi documentary … publicist Bob Merlis and Jody Klein (who controls the rights to Chubby’s Cameo / Parkway catalog of music and recently did the documentary tribute to Sam Cooke) … Gary Theroux, who co-wrote The History Of Rock And Roll … and deejays and radio programmers like Scott Shannon and Tom Cuddy and so many others out there that have graced our list over the years …

Let’s make this happen … in Chubby’s lifetime …

Let's pool our efforts and get him the credit he deserves … get him into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame … and preserve this very special moment in music history when the latest dance craze was something EVERY kid in America wanted to learn!

And be sure to check out these EXCELLENT photos sent in by FH Reader Tom Apathy, who saw essentially the same show WE did a few weeks before …

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


I don’t know if we’ve ever started a posting with The Clip Of The Week before or not … but THIS one’s just TOO good to pass up!  (kk)

Hi Kent,

With all the deaths lately, be it Covid, other illness, or natural causes, I wanted to send you a video I ran across this evening of Tom Jones, who you can see is still very much alive at 80! 

In the words of comedian Steven Wright:  "I'm gonna live forever ... so far, so good!"

Take Care,

Tim Kiley

Now THIS is an example of just pure, raw talent and control …

Check out Tom Jones, sitting in his chair, just as relaxed as can be, breaking into song to cover the Solomon Burke song “Cry To Me.”  Frickin’ AMAZING!!!  (kk)

Hi Kent,

Just a brief follow-up, when it comes to talent and longevity, there is no expiration date on Tom Jones' milk carton!

Take Care,

Tim Kiley

Again, absolutely AMAZING!!  (It doesn’t take much to egg him on, does it?!?  Lol) 

At least this time, he gets up out of his chair!

You mentally associate Tom Jones’ singing with all of his body movements …

So to see him just sitting in a chair and STILL turning out a performance like these two above is a TRUE testament to this man’s talent.  (kk)

One more …


I would kick myself if I didn't send you and Forgotten Hits this video of Jennifer Hudson and Tom Jones.  It completes the trifecta!

I got the chills when I listened to it and I'm not even in Chicago in January!  This performance is flat-out stellar!  I'm sure Aretha would give this her stamp of approval.  Get ready, this one is a killer!

Take Care,

Tim Kiley

Not bad …

But check out THIS one …

It's the sheer, raw talent that gets me ... and it's here in abundance with Tom Jones and Jennifer Hudson ... 

Heck, I think I'd be watching The British edition of "The Voice" more to see THEM than for any of the competing contestants!!!

I've told the story before of how many years ago we were invited over to Ray Graffia, Jr. of The New Colony Six's house for a brief party and band reunion.  Seems they were all being honored at a special ceremony at St. Pat's, where the band first formed way back when and decided to just all get back together for a very informal jam in Ray's basement, just for the fun of it ... no pressure, no audience ... just all of the guys (well, MOST of the guys ... noticeably absent was co-founder Pat McBride) relaxin' and chillin' on a Saturday afternoon.

Ronnie Rice, who joined the band during their second album, but went on to become the most recognizable  "sound" of The Six, was just lying on the couch when all of a sudden he burst into song ... and that VOICE just came out of nowhere and blew us away.

Ronnie had been performing for decades as a solo act, sort of "The Human Jukebox," playing all of the hits that HE grew up loving as a kid and, for the most part, getting the audience to sing along with him for the bulk of the show.  As such, he grew a bit "lazy" ... it wasn't about the sound of the music so much anymore (it was, after all, just him and his guitar ... no band) ... it was ALL about "throwin' the party" that the audience could enjoy as much as he did.  The whole show was played for laughs, all about having a good time.

Hearing that voice come out of nowhere ... for literally the first time since these records were first hits just blew us away.  All I kept thinking was, "Boy, if he would just go out there and do THAT on stage, there'd be a brand new sheriff in town!"  (Thankfully, some of that energy and excitement level has been restored thanks to all these Cornerstones Of Rock shows, featuring all of our "Local Heroes" representing the era of Chicago Rock from the '60's.)

That's the magic of having the talent and the voice that I'm talking about.  It's just there ... whether you're sitting in a chair, being prompted to sing one of your biggest hits ... or just lying on your back on the couch in a completely relaxed, no pressure moment ... the true talent and gift come out.  (kk)

You can read all about that VERY special reunion event here ...

Since we’re already top-heavy with videos this morning, check out these two, sent in by Al Jardine’s personal assistant, Spud …

It’s a couple of brand new covers of The Beach Boys’ classic “Good Vibrations” …

They call this one The Social Distance Sessions, featuring Minhee Jones and Jesse Hernandez …

And this one's done by Ashley Campbell (Glen’s daughter) …

Glen, of course, played on any number of Beach Boys sessions … and even toured with the group for a short while … before, you know, he became Glen Campbell!!!  (lol)

While there’s been some talk of a 60th Anniversary Beach Boys Reunion Tour (aka A Disaster Just Waiting To Happen!), Al Jardine suggest that maybe something like a TV Special or live concert that could be watched by millions from home would be a bit more appropriate, especially in light of these challenging times.

Let’s hope so … I’d love to see them one more time … and who knows … as a one time event, we may even catch them on their best behavior!!!  (kk)

As most of you already know, we just LOVE 1967!!!  We even devoted an entire YEAR to celebrating the sights, sounds and events of our all-time favorite year in music.  (Scroll back to the last couple of days of 2016 and you can catch this series in its entirety simply by clicking on the “Newer Posts” button at the bottom of each page … it will literally take you day by day thru the entire year!)

Here’s a quick link to get you started:

Best Classic Bands ran a salute to 1967 this week as well … it’s not the first time they’ve run it … and it captures the majority of the highlights from this incredible year.

If you’ve only got time for the Cliff Notes edition, you can check out these articles:


You have had some excellent posts on Hank Aaron ... except he has been depicted in the wrong uniform.

I was fortunate to see the Braves play in Milwaukee County Stadium two or three times in the late ‘50s. Our Cub Scout troop organized a bus trip up there every year.

My most memorable game, however, was on 8/2/61, at Wrigley Field.

My family piled into my dad’s ‘57 Studebaker and we drove into Chicago. We booked a room at a downtown high-rise hotel and took our first subway ride to Wrigley Field. We arrived late at the bottom of the first inning. For some reason, I remember walking down to our seats just as the Braves launched a good hit, or a home run and the bases were clearing. I always thought that this was Hank Aaron hitting a grand slam.

As it turns out, my memory was slightly off, as it turns out he actually hit the grand slam in the 7th with two outs. That’s a good two-out rally.

I also don’t remember which game he hit it in, as this was a double header.

The Braves won the first game 4-2 and the second game ended in a 7-7 tie as the sun went down. My guess is that it must have been the second game.

From that day on, and for the rest of the season, the Cubs and Braves had a -1 at the end of their won loss record. The game was never completed.

I was absolutely devastated when the Braves were ripped off from Milwaukee and I walked away from the game. I have never caught on or followed a baseball team since.

I have been to Cubs, Sox, Cardinals and Brewers games, but none of these teams caught on. I even attended the infamous “Dime Beer Night” in Milwaukee in 1972, which has to rank right up there with “Disco Demolition” as far as disastrous promotions go. Although in 1972, I loved that kind of disaster.

I refused to watch the Braves after they left Milwaukee up until the last several years in the event that they were playing another team I am watching.

When I retired about five years ago, I joined the Senior Softball League and started watching games again on TV just to pick up pointers. We primarily watch the Cubs as that’s what’s on in our neck of the woods and I am actually starting to enjoy baseball games again.

When folks ask me who my team is, I respond ... “It’s a real sad story and your probably too young to understand. I’m a Milwaukee Braves fan.”

And I take that to my grave.

Robert S. Campbell


The Braves have the unique and remarkable distinction of playing in THREE different cities during their history and winning over brand new fans (while retaining the old ones!) everywhere they go.

Starting in Boston, The Boston Braves first launched in 1912 … and remained in Boston thru 1952 … or forty years.

From 1953 – 1965, The Braves played out of Milwaukee, another twelve year stretch.

And then in 1966, they moved to Atlanta, where they still reside today.

Hank Aaron started his career with The Milwaukee Braves in 1954 … and made the move with the team to Atlanta in 1966.  For his final two seasons, he went back to Milwaukee to close out his career where it started, this time playing for The Milwaukee Brewers.  (So TECHNICALLY, he played more games in Atlanta than he did in Milwaukee, meaning the photo WE ran was more accurate from a historical point of view) … but hey, I get it … it’s the team that YOU grew up with and fell in love with that will stay with you forever … and for anybody out there thinking “So what does any of this have to do with music?,” the answer is NOTHING … but EVERYTHING … because Forgotten Hits has ALWAYS been ALL about the Memories, whatever they may be.  And any kid growing up pledging his allegiance to The Milwaukee Braves … or any other major league team for that matter … knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

For as long as I followed Major League Baseball, MY team was The Chicago White Sox.

I certainly admired others … The Dodgers, The Miracle Mets (half because of the INCREDIBLE season they pulled off and half because that performance displaced The Cubs in the process!), The New York Yankees in their 1960’s hey-day with Mantle and Maris … and any other exceptional athlete who won us over with his super-human abilities to rise above all others and dominate the game.  (Sadly, we’ve lost too many of these lately … much like our musical heroes who seem to disappear every time we turn around.)

So while I grew up wanting to be “just like Pete Ward” (and the rest of the country wondered “Who the heck is Pete Ward?!?!”), I can totally relate.

But there was NOBODY like Hank Aaron … so we tip our cap one more time to salute his greatness.  Thanks for the memories, Hank!  (kk)


Thanks for posting the digitized version of IN THE MOOD. As I said in a previous email, Glenn Miller's version of IN THE MOOD is the only song from the days of "big band" music that I ever liked.

Going back to Amazon's using Chuck Berry's IT WASN'T ME in their commercial, the first and or second time I heard it, I thought it might be a Chuck Berry sound-a-like. I agree with Mike's assessment of how it probably came about being used in the Amazon commercial.

I knew a couple of things about the record ...

I knew that personally I did not have a copy here at home and had to do some research to when it was released. It was released after DEAR DAD in 1965, which I have.

I had an afterthought. I wonder if the Chuck Berry estate gets some sort of royalties off that song? Probably so.

I did not know until I read it in FH that James Purify had passed away. I always did like their SHAKE A TAIL FEATHER, the remake of the 5 Dutones 1963 song.

Thanks for posting Chubby Checker doing The Twist among other things.

There has been a commercial running here in OKC (don't know if it's a local or national ad), but in the beginning, it shows a woman starting to dance under the limbo stick. Now there's a tune, LIMBO ROCK, by Chubby I haven't heard in a while!


My first gut reaction to this 1965 Chuck Berry track was that he certainly must have fallen out of favor at this point in his career, due to the complete take-over of the charts by The British Invasion … MANY of whom (The Beatles and The Rolling Stones included!) were issuing new recordings of themselves playing songs that Chuck Berry had written in the first place!

But the truth is ol’ Chuck was holding his own (and no, I don’t mean his Ding-A-Ling) back in ’64 and ’65.  “Nadine” (#23, 1964), “No Particular Place To Go” (#6, 1964), “You Never Can Tell” (#14, 1964, “Little Marie” (#51, 1964) and “Promised Land” (#35, 1965) were all radio hits during this time … so “It Wasn’t Me” (released in November of 1965) had as good a chance as any to follow suit.  Truth is that after “Dear Dad” peaked at #82 in 1965, Chuck wouldn’t have another Top 100 Hit until the aforementioned “My Ding-A-Ling” went all the way to #1 in 1972, his only OFFICIAL #1 Record.

Still, it’s nice to see some appreciation for some rare Berry, no matter WHAT the circumstances are that brought it to all of our attention.  (I doubt that there are too many on the list who knew THIS one by heart before Amazon Prime resurrected it!) 

“Limbo Rock” was a #1 Hit for Chubby Checker in 1962 (in Cash Box … it peaked at #2 in both Billboard and Music Vendor.)  I’ll betcha I say “How LOW can you go???” at least once a month to SOMEBODY!!! (lol)

And James and Bobby Purify hit The Top 40 FOUR times between 1966 and 1967.  “Shake A Tail Feather” peaked at #23 in ’67 … but their BIGGEST Hit, “I’m Your Puppet,” went all the way to #5 the year before.  Falling in between was “Let Love Come Between Us” (#21, 1967) and “Wish You Didn’t Have To Go” (#35, 1967).

For the record, Bobby (whose real name was Robert Lee Dickey … and was James’ cousin) died in 2011. 

After Dickey retired from show business in 1971, James teamed up with singer Ben Moore, who assumed the name of Bobby Purfiy for performing purposes.  The two continued to perform until the mid-‘80’s.  (kk)

A closer from Frank B …