Friday, February 5, 2021





New East Coast Mix “Waves of Love 2.0” to be released February 12th, 2021

Al Jardine, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter and an original founding member of The Beach Boys, is releasing a new single called “Waves of Love 2.0” on February 12th, just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

The song, originally released as a bonus track on Al’s debut studio album, “A Postcard from California,” has been re-recorded by Al’s longtime producer and songwriting collaborator Larry Dvoskin, who resides in New York.

The new East Coast mix features classic Beach Boys-sounding vocal dit-dits that take the listener back to an earlier and more innocent age and the song offers a ray of sunshine and hope in a time when the world is deeply challenged.  “Waves of Love 2.0” also features one of Al’s last vocal collaborations with longtime friend and fellow Beach Boy, the late great Carl Wilson.

Says Al, “It’s exciting to share this great East Coast version of ‘Waves of Love’ with my fans.  Larry Dvoskin’s impeccable dit-dits do me proud and there will also be a new West Coast version on my soon to be re-released solo album ‘A Postcard from California’!”

“Waves of Love 2.0” will be released as a limited-edition CD single and will also be available on most digital music platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music and more.  The CD single will also contain a bonus track, “Jenny Clover,” about a beautiful little milk cow cared for by The Jardines and written by Al, his wife Mary Ann and Larry Dvoskin, who also produced the song.  It’s sure to mooooooove you!

For more info, please visit Al Jardine’s official website:

And yesterday, in honor of his 73rd birthday, Alice Cooper gave US a present …

It’s a brand new single called “Social Debris” and it comes from his forthcoming album “Detroit Stories.”  The new track is available as a free download here:  Cooper calls the offering “A gift to Detroit, to my fans and to myself.”

The album pays homage to Cooper’s hometown city, where he was born Vincent Furnier on February 4th, 1948.  It also features members of other prominent Detroit-based groups like The MC5 and The Detroit Wheels, both of whom were tearing up the charts in the ‘60’s. 

But most significantly, this particular track features original Alice Cooper Band  Members Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Michael Bruce.  (Original lead guitarist Glen Buxton died in 1997.)

Talking about the early days of the band, Cooper says, “Detroit was heavy rock central then.  You’d play the Eastown Theatre and it would be Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, the Stooges and the Who, for $4! The next weekend at the Grande, it was MC5, Brownsville Station and Fleetwood Mac, or Savoy Brown or the Small Faces. You couldn’t be a soft-rock band or you’d get your ass kicked.

“Los Angeles had its sound with the Doors, Love and Buffalo Springfield.  San Francisco had the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. New York had the Rascals and the Velvet Underground. But Detroit was the birthplace of angry hard rock. After not fitting in anywhere in the U.S. (musically or image wise), Detroit was the only place that recognized the Alice Cooper guitar driven, hard rock sound and our crazy stage show. Detroit was a haven for the outcasts. And when they found out I was born in East Detroit… we were home.”  (I don’t know … I think the Sound of Motown had a pretty hearty impact, too! - kk)

We cater to all different kinds of musical taste in Forgotten Hits.  (We recently had a discussion about the music of Glenn Miller, which ran side by side with another article about Jimi Hendrix!)

So, it is with THAT thought in mind, that we fill you in on a brand new collection of Louis Armstrong’s COMPLETE works from 1946 to 1966 on both Columbia and RCA Records.

Check out ALL the details here:

And for those of us who prefer something a bit more (ahem!) modern, how about this Collector’s Edition version of Al Stewart’s “Year Of The Cat” album!!! 

Al Stewart "Year Of The Cat" 3CD / 1DVD 45th Anniversary Limited Edition Box Set Available For Pre-order  (Released March 26, 2021)


Esoteric Recordings is proud to announce the release of a new re-mastered four-disc deluxe 45th anniversary boxed set limited edition (comprising 3 CDs and a DVD) of YEAR OF THE CAT the legendary 1976 album by AL STEWART.

Recorded in the early months of 1976 at Abbey Road studios (with some sessions and mixing taking place at Davlen Studios in Los Angeles), YEAR OF THE CAT was the seventh album by Stewart and was the second album on which he collaborated with the celebrated producer ALAN PARSONS.

The record was an album of immense musical inventiveness and creativity and was a triumph both in terms of Al Stewart’s song writing and the stunning and sophisticated production by Alan Parsons. Featuring such classic songs as ‘On the Border,’ ‘Lord Grenville,’ ‘Midas Shadow,’ ‘If It Doesn’t Come Naturally, Leave It,’, ‘One Stage Before’ and the classic title track.

YEAR OF THE CAT was a major commercial and critical success on its release, reaching the US Billboard Top Five and was a European hit, eventually earning platinum disc status in the USA by March, 1977. The single ‘Year of the Cat’ was also a Top Ten hit in the States and was a Top 40 hit single in the UK, establishing Al Stewart as a major artist.

This 45th Anniversary edition of this special album has been newly re-mastered for the very first time from the original first-generation master tapes by ALAN PARSONS and also features his stunning new 5.1 Surround sound mix from the original multi-track tapes. In addition, the set includes a complete, previously unreleased concert recorded at the Paramount Theater, Seattle in October 1976 on the YEAR OF THE CAT tour over two CDs and a new mix of the track ‘Belsize Blues’, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in September 1975.

This limited edition boxed set also features an illustrated 68-page book with a new essay featuring an interview with Al Stewart and a facsimile promotional poster and a set of four postcards and is a fitting tribute to a much treasured and legendary masterpiece by a consummate songwriter and performer.

Track Listing:










To pre-order:

So have you been vaccinated yet?  (We’re finding it difficult even to get an appointment!)

The Ed Sullivan YouTube Channel has just released this historic video of Elvis Presley receiving his polio vaccine backstage before one of his 1956 performances on the show … and encouraging OTHER young people to do the same.  (Honestly, I had mixed emotions about being one of the first guinea pigs to do so … but the more I think about it, the safer I think it probably is to just go ahead and get vaccinated, especially with all these new, stronger strands of the disease making their way thru America right now.)

Anyway, check out this special Public Service Clip, provided by The Ed Sullivan YouTube Channel …

More on Hilton Valentine of The Animals, who we lost last month …

Singer/Songwriter Jim Weatherly joins the list of artists we’ve lost already during the first 35 days of 2021 …

Jim wrote Gladys Knight’s #1 Hit “Midnight Train To Georgia” as well as her hits “Neither One Of Us” and “Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.”  All three songs reached the top of the charts in 1973.

In addition, Jim scored his own pop hit with “The Need To Be,” a #11 record a year later.

His songs were recorded by a widely diverse list of artists, including Glen Campbell, Neil Diamond, Vince Gill, Hall and Oates, Etta James, Dean Martin and The Temptations, along with many others.

He is a member of the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and, thanks to his old star quarterback days, the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame.

His song “Midnight Train to Georgia” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, and it was ranked at #29 on the RIAA’s list of The Top 365 Songs of the Century.

Weatherly joins Home Run King Hank Aaron, James Purify, Actor Hal Holbrook, Talk Show Host Larry King, Actress Cloris Leachman, Actress Cicely Tyson, Hilton Valentine (founding member of The Animals and referenced above), Dustin Diamond (Screech on Saved By The Bell) and Rennie Davis (one of the Chicago Seven), all of whom have passed within the past two weeks.  (kk)


From a "Stories Behind The Songs" piece we did several years ago …

Singer / Songwriter Jim Weatherly was visiting his friends Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett-Majors one night in the early '70's in L.A. when Farrah had to leave for a trip to Houston. In fact, she was taking the midnight plane to Houston.
Something about that phrase clicked with Weatherly and he put his thoughts to music ... in fact, he recorded "The Midnight Plane To Houston" on his next LP. It wasn't a hit ... and not too many people ever got to hear his rendition.
Apparently a record producer by the name of Sonny Limbo (who was working with Cissy Houston at the time ... she's Whitney's Mom ... and Dionne Warwick's Aunt!!!) heard Jim's version and thought it'd be perfect for Cissy to record. He wanted to make a minor change however ... instead of "The Midnight Plane To Houston", he asked permission to change the lyrics to "The Midnight Train To Georgia."  Weatherly reluctantly agreed, with the stipulation that he leave the REST of the song intact as it was written.
Thanks to a much more gospel arrangement, Houston turned an otherwise pretty wimpy sounding folk song into a much fuller arrangement ... but it STILL failed to make the charts. Enter Gladys Knight and the Pips (who just happen to BE from Georgia … and felt an immediate connection to the song) and BOOM!!! A #1 Record! Houston became Georgia ... the plane became a train ... and the song became an absolute SMASH!!! (In fact, Gladys Knight and the Pips admired Jim's work so much, they went on to cut his compositions "Neither One Of Us" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" with great success ... as well as "Between Her Goodbye And My Hello," "Where Peaceful Waters Flow" and "Love Finds Its Own Way.")
Weatherly went on to have one major hit on his own ... "The Need To Be" went to #11 in 1974 ... but it was Gladys Knight's version of "Midnight Train To Georgia" that helped to pay for quite a FEW of his airline tickets along the way!!!  (kk)

Here's the original Jim Weatherly version:


Here's the latest on longtime Buddy Holly researcher Sevan Garabedian's plans -- a 20-part video series on the doomed Winter Dance Party Tour.

(I got to help Sevan during his 2009 research on the St. Paul concert.)
Here are some of the documentary details regarding Buddy Holly's final tour … and the St. Paul concert. 


Here’s a trailer for a new music documentary airing on PBS that I think most of us would agree we would have NEVER expected to see coming …

Harvey Kubernik fills us in on some of the details regarding this new film …

Billy Stewart (1937-1970) is considered one of the most prolific and stylish rhythm and blues singers of the 1960s, although his career was cut down in its prime when he passed away in an accident. Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story, a documentary produced for PBS, is the first to tell the story of this exceptional but unsung talent.

Stewart’s electrifying and unique style of singing was untouchable as he mastered word doubling and scatting throughout his songs and performances. His original hits included “I Do Love You,” “Sitting in The Park” and his masterful remake of the DuBose Heyward/George and Ira Gershwin standard “Summertime,” from the opera Porgy & Bess, which peaked at #10 on the Billboard pop chart in 1966.

Produced and directed by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Beverly Lindsay-Johnson, with major funding provided by Humanities DC, Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story explores the journey of this singer from his days as a young piano player discovered by rock and roll legend Bo Diddley, to a famous R&B balladeer.

The documentary is filled with imagery and footage from Stewart’s early years, including special interviews with his Chess Records label mates Mitty Collier, Curtis Prince, session musicians Raynard Miner and Willie Henderson, and blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto.

A rare interview with Anthony “Little Anthony” Gourdine, of doo-wop legends Little Anthony and the Imperials, recounts the 30-day cross-country concert tour he and Stewart performed on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars in the 1960s.

Never-before-seen clips of 16mm films of Stewart — with his family, performing in various night clubs, as well as his funeral — are included. A special bonus segment titled “Keeping the Legacy of Billy Stewart” describes the influence Stewart and his music have had on contemporary artists.

Stewart was tragically killed on January 17, 1970, in Smithfield, N.C., en route to a performance in Columbia, S.C. He and three of his band members plunged into the Neuse River in Smithfield, killing all occupants as the car sank.

Lindsay-Johnson’s documentary made its broadcast premier in October 2020 on WHUT in Washington, D.C. Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story will now air on over 100 PBS stations nationwide during February beginning today, Feb. 3, 2021.


Other than Billy’s monster hit recording of “Summertime” (#7, 1966), the music of Billy Stewart didn’t really make much of a long-lasting impact on the pop charts, despite earning three other National Top 40 Hits:  “I Do Love You” (#22, 1965), “Sitting In The Park” (#19, 1965) and “Secret Love” (#29, 1966, styled very much like his interpretation of “Summertime.”)

The new documentary began airing earlier this week.  Check your local listings for PBS airtimes near you.  (kk)

>>>I was absolutely AMAZED by the Coven / Black Sabbath connection ... how can it NOT be true?!?!  Just WAY too many coincidences.  And that Martha Quinn interview is to die for!  (kk)

The Black Sabbath thing was also new to me. Who'd a thunk that?  How cool to get some of this so far down the line. 

David Lewis

Fascinating about Coven and Sabbath..


Yeah, obviously people have been buzzing around about this connection for a while now … so weird to just first be hearing about it now in our world!  Especially since Coven hails from right here in Chicago.

I tried to call Jim Pilster (Hooke from The Cryan’ Shames) the other night to talk to him a little bit about Jinx Dawson … he was involved with Coven’s first album and I remember it coming up before in one of our conversations … but he didn’t answer the phone.  (Pick up the phone, Jimmy!!!)  Was wondering if he might still be in contact with her, as I’d like to talk to her about, too.  I know she’s still around because she was already planning shows with her new band after the Covid ban was lifted.  Stay tuned … it could still happen.  (kk)

kk …

I never thought you'd be able to better Wild Wayne's Jimmie Rodgers story … but you got a lot more from Jimmie’s son Michael. I passed it on to the others I originally sent it to.

Wild Wayne also said the cops got suspended for a couple of weeks. That was because they left him in the car when he was injured. They couldn't prove anything else. 

He said that Jimmie got $200,000 from lawsuit. Do you know if that's true?


There were a lot of VERY mysterious circumstances surrounding Jimmie Rodgers being pulled over that night.  Speculation for years was that Morris Levy was behind it in some fashion, because Jimmie had moved on to A&M Records and was currently having a hit with “Child Of Clay,” his last Top 40 Record.  (In fact, Tommy James pretty much says as much in his book “Me, The Mob And The Music.”)

More information has come out over the years (and since our piece first ran back in 2007) that cast some doubt on these “presumed” facts.

Still, if you want to read more, be sure to check out:

Please keep implementing the baseball action on your site.

The Hank Aaron loss hits me hard. 

During 1957, in downtown Los Angeles at Coliseum Street Elementary School, my kindergarten teacher was Miss Haney, daughter of Fred Haney, who managed the Milwaukee Braves. She let us hear the entire '57 World Series on her radio! Recess on the playground was three hours. Plus, she had a TV set on her desk. When the Braves won the championship, she cried. I did not realize what was happening at that moment.  We thought something was wrong with her. 

In 1958, the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn and were now were in Los Angeles and my father and I went to the Coliseum to see the Braves and Dodgers play. Hank, Del, Eddie and Warren Spahn.  The Braves were the only team I knew of as major league baseball came to the west coast. I was sort of into the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League because they were on television and on our home radio.  

In 1959, I figured out why my teacher cried that day in front of us in 1957 when the Dodgers beat the Braves in a playoff game to go to the World Series.  That’s when I connected the name Haney to Fred and his daughter. Announcer Vin Scully made some sort of reference to Fred's daughter living in Los Angeles. We were glued to the TV watching that playoff series. When the winning run crossed the plate, Vin exclaimed, "Hodges scores and we go to Chicago!" The Dodgers beat the Chicago White Sox for the crown. My dear friend David Wolfe in 1960 was the first guy in the neighborhood to buy the LP "Dodgers '59," which contained the radio highlights of that cherished season.  

I have a fond memory of Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle, circa 1960, on TV for "Home Run Derby," that was filmed in Los Angeles at Wrigley Field, probably in 1959.  Mark Scott was the announcer, who was a voice of the Pacific Coast League. I think Hank won. Maybe the prize was 500 dollars or a thousand. My dad said, "Look at the way he uses his wrists when swinging." I wasn't a hitter. I wanted to pitch like Sandy Koufax and Larry Sherry, who went to Fairfax High School, where I later attended. It was Larry's brother Norm who played a pivotal part in shaping the early career of Koufax with some tips when he was a catcher on the Dodgers. 

In 1961, Fred Haney became the first general manager of the Los Angeles Angels American League team. But I'm a National League guy. Besides, the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Dick Dale, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Don & Dewey, Dion, and Elvis were all over my new transistor radio dial and I had to make constant decisions about buying 45RPM's weekly or attending a baseball game on a homestand.    

Jackie Robinson will always be my main man. Hank was number two. Jackie graduated UCLA and was a local product from Pasadena. He went to Pasadena City College before UCLA. I worked for a year at the PCC radio station. 

Even to this day I cannot believe the shit these two people endured just trying to play a game on the diamond and they still delivered. Inspiring.     

Harvey Kubernik

I think most of us boys grew up in similar situations, regardless of where we grew up.  I loved music and baseball during this era, too, and alternated between the latest Top 40 Hits on WLS and WCFL and the White Sox games being broadcast on ‘CFL at the time.  I collected the Top 40 Charts … and the baseball cards.  (Never put ‘em in the spokes of my bike ‘tho ... FAR too precious to me to see them eaten up that way!)  And let’s not forget comic books … just HAD to have the new Superman and Batman magazines each month!

Our tastes in music may have varied some … you were hearing much heavier sounds out San Francisco way while I remain, to the day, a sucker for a great pop song melody … but there remains a common bond between ALL of us that read, write and enjoy Forgotten Hits … so yeah, since we’ve branched out and begun covering more ground in our annual looks back, it’s allowed us to cover a little more ground … and I, for one, actually enjoy writing about something other than music once in a while … even if it does require a considerable amount of research since it isn’t quite as familiar and second nature to me.

Hank Aaron was a big one for everybody … the guy stood like a giant among all the other players of his era … but he never really got the FULL respect he deserved.

History has shown him to be one of the all-time greats … and THAT is the way he should be remembered.  (kk)

AND ANOTHER THING:  I think you’ll like our piece on Satchel Paige going out next week.  Talk about playing baseball at an oppressed time!  This guy was King of The Negro Leagues, for God’s sake!  (kk)

Thursday, February 4, 2021


One of the biggest (and most pleasant) surprises of 1971 had to be the completely unexpected release of Carole King’s landmark “Tapestry” album.

Harvey Kubernik (who penned the liner notes for the special re-release version of this great CD) has put together a very interesting retrospective of not only Carole’s album but also many of the players who were “instrumental” in pulling the whole thing together.

If you’re a fan of this LP (and who isn’t), I think you’ll find Harvey’s piece (currently running in Music Connection) very interesting …

And you may also find this piece on “A Boy Named Sue” interesting, too …

You can check out the full story and video on the very first edition of The Coda Collection, coming to Amazon Prime on February 18th.  (kk)

Best Classic Bands celebrated the anniversary of The Beatles' first US #1 Record on February 1st, 1964, declaring it the first of SEVEN singles to top the chart that year, and holding on to that position for an incredible seven weeks.

This is true if one considers only the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts (which is, admittedly,  considered to be The Music Bible.)

But a look across ALL the charts shows an even MORE amazing story.

"I Want To Hold Your Hand" first hit #1 the week before in Music Vendor (making this again an ambiguous anniversary date) ... and then stayed there for NINE weeks.  (It also topped the chart for eight weeks in Cash Box in addition to the seven it ruled the roost in Billboard.)

Other #1 Singles that year included "She Loves You," "Twist And Shout" (#1 everywhere BUT Billboard), "Can't Buy Me Love," "Love Me Do," "A Hard Day's Night" and "I Feel Fine" ... so THIS tally of SEVEN #1's includes all of the charts mentioned above.

(Because America was late to the party ... "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was actually The Beatles' FIFTH single in the UK ... and because several labels were releasing early material originally rejected by Captiol Records ... record labels like Capitol, Swan, Vee Jay, MGM, Atco and Tollie Records were able to flood the market with "new" Beatles releases.)

As such, The Fab Four placed in unmatched THIRTY FOUR hits on the chart in 1964 alone.  (Of course, today, this sort of thing happens all the time when, thanks to downloads, EVERY song on an artist's new LP will chart for a week or two ... but this was back in the day when you actually had to get up out of bed, get into your car and drive to a record store and physically buy the singles that you wanted ... and ONLY the singles that were commercially available, and NOT every LP track that you were hearing on the radio, even 'tho some of those were played just as often as the hits!)  Yes, it was a different world indeed.

In 1964, The Beatles charted with: "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (#1), "I Saw Her Standing There" (#14), "She Loves You" (#1), "Please Please Me" (#3), "From Me To You" (#41), "My Bonnie" (with Tony Sheridan, #26), "Twist And Shout" (1), "There's A Place" (#74), "Roll Over Beethoven" (#30), "All My Loving" (#31), "Can't Buy Me Love" (#1), "You Can't Do That" (#48), "Do You Want To Know A Secret" (#2), "Thank You Girl" (#35), EP: "Souvenir Of Their Visit To America" (#130), "Love Me Do" (#1), "P.S. I Love You" (#10), "Why" (with Tony Sheridan, #88), EP: "Four By The Beatles" (#86), "Sie Liebt Dich" ("She Loves You" sung in German!, #97), "Sweet Georgia Brown" (with Tony Sheridan, #120), "Ain't She Sweet" (#13), "A Hard Day's Night" (#1), "I Should Have Known Better" (#43), "And I Love Her" (#12), "If I Fell" (#53), "I'll Cry Instead" (#22), "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" (#91)' "Ask Me Why" (#132), "Matchbox" (#17), "Slow Down" (#23), "I Feel Fine" (#1) and "She's A Woman" (#4).  (Things would slow down a bit in 1965, when they only hit the charts THIRTEEN times!!!  lol)  kk

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is expected to announce the nominees for The Class of 2021 later this month.  (Actually, any time now!)  Newly eligible candidates most often being thrown about these days as likely candidates are The Foo Fighers, Jay Z, The Chemical Brothers, Garbage and Incubus.  (I know all of these artists certainly changed and influenced MY life when it comes to music!)

Ironically, The Future Rock Legends Website recently posted THEIR list of Top 20 Nominees … and I doubt that a single one of these will make the real ballot.

Still, I think you’ll find some of these names more in line with our usual “Deserving And Denied” list …

01. Ben E. King

02. Mary Wells

03. The Spinners

04. The Marvelettes

05. Chubby Checker

06. Carole King

07. Diana Ross

08. Tina Turner

09. Phil Collins

10. Joe Cocker

11. Willie Nelson

12. Dionne Warwick

13. Harry Belafonte

14. Judy Collins

15. Mariah Carey

16. Jethro Tull

17. King Crimson

18. The Commodores

19. The Monkees

20. The B-52’s

>>>A Boston radio station began playing RUBY, DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN as an album track while BUT YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU was still on the charts.  To avoid confusion, the record label decided to issue it as a single under the new moniker KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION in an effort to avoid competing with themselves on the charts!  (kk)

While there may be some small kernel of truth in the above statement, according to Ken Kragen, who was Rogers' manager, the label was trying out different lead vocalists within the group with each new release.  They noticed that the songs sung by Rogers were always more popular with crowds at live shows and generated more airplay from radio.  It was for that reason that they decided to force the name change to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, even against Roger's wishes.

As I stated in the beginning, I'm not totally discounting your story.  I'm sure that if you could actually talk with all of the players today, you'd probably get a slightly different story about it from each of them. 

Thanks for the very informative pages.


Brian McNeal

Former Air Personality

KNIX – Phoenix

According to Kenny Rogers, in his EXCELLENT autobiography (or as HE called it, “A Memoir”) “Luck Or Something Like It,” here’s how he remembers the circumstances regarding his name being pulled out front of the band’s name …

It seems that First Edition band member Mike Settle had written a song called “Once Again She’s All Alone” that the band had planned to release as their next single … the FOLLOW-UP to “But You Know I Love You,” also written by Settle.

According to Kenny, it was after this song was released and was starting to get some airplay and climbing the charts that he discovered the tune “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town,” thanks to a recording that Roger Miller made of the song.

Rogers approached the band’s new producer, Jimmy Bowen if he could record the song.  Bowen told Kenny, “Because of the depressing lyrics, you will never get that song played on the radio” … to which Kenny replied, “Yeah, but if we do, it could be huge.”  They nailed it in twenty minutes.

While “Once Again She’s All Alone” was starting to make some headway on the country charts, pop, rock and underground radio stations had picked up on “Ruby,” thanks to its mention of “this crazy Asian war.”  (At the time, The War in Viet Nam was in full swing … and finding more and more detractors here stateside.  In truth, the song, written by country star Mel Tillis, was actually written about the KOREAN War … but that didn’t matter … it clicked with the audience and was soon getting more airplay than the intended next single.)

In Kenny’s own words, “The record company started to get excited.  We went from no airplay to two records on the air at the same time.  Whenever a situation like this arises, there comes a point where one record has to be sacrificed for the sake of promoting a potentially bigger record.  No station is going to play two songs at the same time by the same artist … unless, of course, you have someone around who thinks outside the box … and that was Jimmy Bowen.  Jimmy came up with the idea of putting my name in front of the group on ‘Ruby” so as to separate the records from each other.  ‘Once Again’ was by The First Edition.  The label for ‘Ruby’ would now read Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.”  While Kenny acknowledges that having his name out front was “not something I fought for or particularly wanted,” it stuck … and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” became a #2 smash.  “Once Again She’s All Alone” was never heard from again.

Now in all honesty, I don’t know how much momentum “Once Again” had really built up to this point … it bubbled under in Billboard for exactly one week, peaking at #126 … and never charted at all on their Country Chart … so I think it’s safe to say that Kenny may have embellished this story just a little bit.  Still, there’s no denying the huge hit that “Ruby” became … although it never really made it to #2 either, peaking instead at #6 on the pop chart and #39 on the country chart.

The versatility of this band (starting with a song that was PURE psychedelia, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” … and then moving into country and pop, with their heaviest roots in country music, was really quite remarkable.

If you read our online piece (now posted permanently here:, you’ll learn that after original female vocalist Thelma Camacho decided to leave the band, Karen Carpenter was one of the girls who auditioned to replace her … but was turned down in favor of Mary Arnold … who just happened to be Camacho’s roommate!  It’s a fascinating story.  (kk)

Billboard Magazine looks at an interesting spin on Oscar Winning Music this past week, citing a number of films whose songs won Academy Awards used in movies that received no other nominations!  (I never would have thought of this one!!! Lol)

A few examples:

“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing”

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”

“Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile”

“You’ll Be In My Heart” from “Tarzan”

“I Just Called To Say I Love You” from “The Woman In Red”

“Last Dance” from “Thank God It’s Friday”

“You Light Up My Life” from “You Light Up My Life”

“The Shadow Of Your Smile” from “The Sandpiper”

“Call Me Irresponsible” from “Papa’s Delicate Situation”

“High Hopes” from “A Hole In The Head”

“All The Way” from “The Joker Is Wild”

“Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” from “The Man Who Knew Too Much”

“Mona Lisa” from “Captain Carey USA”

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from “Neptune’s Daughter”

And how about “Thanks For The Memory” from “The Big Broadcast Of 1938,” which starred W.C. Fields and a young Bob Hope.  “Thanks For The Memory” would go on to serve as Hope’s “theme song” for the next sixty years!  (kk)

Paul McCartney posted some very cool lyric videos on YouTube for all the tracks on his new “McCartney III” album … each a little bit different in style, but all quite clever.

You can check them out here:

Last week popular Rock & Roll singer Jimmie Rodgers died. He was 87 years old.
Last night Wild Wayne did a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers during the second hour of his show ... played his music and told a few stories.
On June 28, 2007, Jimmie Rodgers was to have a serious operation ... a metal plate implanted in his head, to replace damaged skull ... a very serious operation ... six specialists ... and a five hour operation.
Just by chance, the day before the operation Wild Wayne was visiting Sister Dolores Hart.  (For those of you who don't know, Dolores Hart was a talented actress. She was in a few Elvis movies. She quit show business for the Church.)
Wild Wayne asked Sister Dolores Hart to offer up some prayers for Jimmie  Rodgers ... and she said she would.
When the doctors operated, they found a full skull in Jimmie's head ... there was no need for the metal plate.
The operation took 28 minutes and Jimmie spent one day in the hospital.
One doctor said in 35 years, he hadn't seen anything like it.
The Power of Prayer


We covered Jimmie's situation and operation in great detail in Forgotten Hits at the time, as it was happening, with full reports coming in from Jimmie's son, Michael.

Your facts are a little bit scrambled, but essentially correct.  The operation wasn't to install a metal plate but rather to REMOVE one that had been there for forty years.  When they went to do so, a newly formed skull was found underneath.

But perhaps they key to it all was, as you suggested, the power of prayer ... which went FAR beyond those of Sister Dolores Hart.

Check out this '60's FLASHBACK below for more details, as they happened, at the time ...

A greater outpouring of love, appreciation and prayer for an artist throughout the oldies community would be hard to imagine ... and to this day Michael Rodgers believes that it was the combination of this love and prayers from all of his Father's friends and fans that pulled him through this very critical time.

Here is a portion of Michael’s original email, explaining the circumstances, followed by his report immediately after his father’s surgery … simply amazing.  (kk)

In 1967, when he was 33 years old, my Father was injured in what is now known as a road rage incident. He suffered severe head injuries and underwent three brain surgeries. During one of those surgeries, he lost 28 square inches of his skull on the right side of his head. Since 1968, he has carried what is considered to be the largest steel plate ever implanted in someone's head.
It took Dad nearly 15 years to recover from the last surgery in 1968, as he had to learn to walk, speak and regain his motor skills. He was not supposed to live more than 10 years with this steel plate in his body, as the body continually tries to reject these kind of implants. Over the years as he has gotten older the skin on his scalp has gotten thinner and the remaining bone continually cuts his scalp. If left this way, this situation will eventually lead to his death.
Over the last 15 years he has had over 60 different skin graphs and other surgeries. The last such surgery was 18 months ago and it nearly killed him. He now has a hole in his head the size of a half dollar and it has been this way since February.  

My Dad is tough. He is the definition of the word. He has avoided what is about to take place and tried everything imaginable to live with the constant pain and discomfort and he has now made a decision that will define what will be the rest of his life. On Thursday, June 28, 2007, a team of Brain Surgeons in Hot Springs, Arkansas, will remove the steel plate that he has carried with him for 39 years. They plan to remove the outer layer of skin and lift the plate away from the position it has held covering the outer layer of his brain. If successful, they will replace the plate with a new material that has been developed that will recreate the skull bone and will not be rejected by the body.
If this surgery works he will have the chance to live what is left of his life without pain. Dad has made the decision. The doctors feel confident that all will be fine and we are stepping out on faith that this is the right course of action.

*** Please pray for my Father that his surgery and recovery will be successful and that his health will be completely restored.
*** Please pray for the team of doctors and nurses that will be performing the surgery so that they might have guidance and wisdom during this time.
*** Please pray for our family that we might have strength and courage to face the days ahead in helping Dad with his recovery.
*** Please put my Father, Jimmie Rodgers, on your prayer lists at church or through an email request such as this one. (Feel free to copy and send). All of us are connected in this life in some way. I believe there is power in prayer and power in positive thought. I believe that together all of us, through prayer and positive energy and thinking, can help that to happen.
Thank you all for being a part of and playing a part (large or small) in my life.
Name: Jimmie Rodgers
Date of Surgery: June 28, 2007
My family and I thank you. And my Father thanks you and will be most appreciative to you for your thoughts and prayers.
God Bless,
Michael Rodgers

As soon as a copy of this letter ran in Forgotten Hits, we received a flood of prayers and well-wishes for Jimmie Rodgers. Several of the deejays on the list picked up the story and went on the air with it the very same day.  (We got reports of over a dozen jocks covering Jimmie’s story, asking for prayers on the air, including this one from a FH Reader who just happened to hear Scott Shannon on The True Oldies Channel WHILE he was reading our post!)

Hey Kent,
What could be weirder than this:

As I started to read today’s post regarding Jimmie Rodgers, what should Scott Shannon be saying on the air but a plug for Forgotten Hits, mentioning the website and your email address, along with a quick review of the letter from Michael Rogers.  And then he played Honeycomb. It just finished.

Go Kent and Scott!

Guy Arnston in Algonquin

Here is what Michael told us, just hours after his father's surgery ...

Miracles do happen and one happened this morning. The surgery began this morning with a group prayer with the doctors and family. About four minutes after beginning, the doctors pulled back the scalp to reveal the plate. When they did that, the plate literally jumped up away from his head. The doctors, five in all ... a Neuro Surgeon, two Plastic Surgeons, two Stem Cell Specialists and the rest of the team ... began to clean the plate and lift it away from the head. It released itself and came away clean. On the video, we could hear the Neuro Surgeon say "Oh my God, look at that. How did that get there?"
Under the plate was revealed a complete and intact skull bone where three months ago there was none. The entire hole in the bone which was an eight inch by six inch oval had grown completely closed with a new skull bone which was smooth and shaped to match the existing skull. It was perfect in every way and was the same thickness as the other bone.
The doctors said that in 35 years of surgery they had never seen anything like it. They did not need to recreate a new skull bone at all. Dad was completely healed and made whole again after 40 years.
The stem cell doctors sprayed a stem paste made from Dad's blood over the skull bone and onto the skin flap and the Plastic Surgeons closed him up. The stem paste will keep him from swelling and will encourage skin growth onto the bone. The entire procedure took about 28 minutes and after one hour in recovery, Dad walked out of the room on his own, much to the anger and dismay of the nursing staff. He is coming home tomorrow.

And then this ...

He spent one night in the hospital and was released yesterday.
When we left the hospital yesterday, he was hungry, so we went to a nearby Olive Garden restaurant for lunch. You should have seen everyone's face when Dad walked in with this turban bandage on his head. It was very funny.
As of this morning, June 30, 2007, he went bass fishing and, when I spoke to him about an hour ago, he had landed two.
My Father and our family want to personally thank everyone who has sent emails and well wishes from around the world. Your prayers and positive thoughts were heard and all of our lives have been changed in such an amazing way. We cannot thank you enough.
So if anyone asks you how Jimmie Rodgers is doing, please tell them that he is completely healed and is in perfect health.
God bless you all and thank you again so very much.
Michael Rodgers

Michael also told us that, thanks to a blitz of publicity surrounding his father's upcoming surgery ...

Within a 48 hour period I received emails from Honduras, Germany, South Africa, England, France, Denmark, Sweden, the Philippines and Italy. As well as from nearly every state in the union, including North Pole, Alaska.
Dad was placed on the Australian Prayer Network which reaches over 10,000 prayer partners worldwide. He was also placed in dozens of prayer chains throughout the US and abroad and prayer groups were held the morning of the surgery while it was in progress. Also, I received word that 14 Catholic Churches around the country held a special mass for Dad the morning of the surgery.

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Like a said, a FEW more folks than Sister Dolores Hart were praying for Jimmie!!!  lol -kk]

On XM Satelitte Radio, a DJ named "Matt the Cat," who hosts the 50's on 5 show, paid tribute to Dad the night before the surgery. Dad called in to thank him and Matt said "Jimmie, we are going to make you a miracle" and then he played Dad's record of the same name. It was very touching and Dad teared up a little on that one.
Also on XM Radio, the Rollye James Show had a tribute program for Dad as well and fans from all over the country called in and said that they were praying for him. This is just an example of the response one email request for prayer can receive when sent to such a limited group of people.
I firmly believe that Dad was healed and given a new skull bone because of the faith of Dad, our family, and so many people throughout the world. Please never forget that prayer works. Prayer is powerful. God is Great!
Please forward this letter to everyone that you might have sent the prayer request to so that they may know the outcome as well.
It was an amazing day.
Prayer is so powerful.
Much Love to you all,
Michael Rodgers

The "Oldies Community" really jumped on the bandwagon on this one ... our sincere thanks to EVERYONE on the list who said a prayer or helped us put the word out to other music fans out there regarding Jimmie's recent battle. (Boy, it SURE is nice to get GOOD news once in a while, isn't it?!?!?) To all the jocks who went out on the air with this ... to EVERY fan who whispered something to The Big Guy Upstairs ... sincere thanks from Jimmie and his family. In a world filled with so much BAD news, this truly is an ASTOUNDING story.
Thanks so much for sharing it with our group, Michael ... many of whom are amongst your Father's biggest, concerned, and loving fans. (kk)

Two years later, we couldn't help but wonder how Jimmie was doing with his recovery ... so we spoke with his son Michael last week for a follow-up report … and he told us:

Dear Kent,
So nice to hear from you.
Dad is doing great and enjoying life to the fullest. He is still busy with writing projects and playing golf most days. Currently he is on a road trip and is expected here in Nashville sometime next week. When I see him, I will tell him of your email and your request to speak with him.
Thanks again and please thank everyone with your group for the love and support that you have all shown my father.
Michael Rodgers

kk …

If you want to listen to Wild Wane’s Jimmie Rodgers Tribute, it’s the second hour of the show.

WARNING:  You'll have to listen to some DOO - WOP first.


If I do that, I’ll be asleep before the second hour even starts!!! 

Just kidding … thanks for sending, Frank!  (kk)


So sad to hear about the escalating of Tony Bennett's battle with Alzheimer's.   The 94 year old pop star has been battling the disease for four years ... but he and his family come clean about its effects in this month's AARP Magazine.

More about this heartbreaking news here:


Your mention of some of the hits of James and Bobby Purify brought to mind the original "Let Love Come Between Us."  It was released at the end of 1966 by a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, seven piece group calling themselves The Rubber Band. It was only a regional hit and one we played at the Florida radio station where I was working. It was actually in area charts at the same time as the Purify's "I'm Your Puppet," nine months before they covered it.

The song was written by Joe Sobotka and John Wyker of The Rubber Band. On keyboards was Johnny Townsend. He would later form the Sanford/Townsend Band with Eddie Sanford and score a national top ten hit in 1977 with "Smoke From A Distant Fire" (recorded at Muscle Shoals).
Back in the day, you wouldn't believe all of the cover versions of then current hits by unknown bands that radio stations received from record distributors. Very few of them ever made playlists.  Some 45's came with the same song on both sides. I assume this was to prevent a deejay from flipping them over and not playing the preferred tune. The vinyl of some radio station only copies would come in colors like red or blue to make them stand out from others.

1966-67 was a magical time to be in radio. It was always exciting to get the latest releases and play for the first time the songs many of us now consider the sweet spot of popular rock music.
Mike Gentry

This one evidently got enough sales and airplay as a local hit to bubble under in both Record World and Cash Box for a couple of weeks at the end of 1966, peaking at #125 in the former and #130 in the latter. (kk)

Although Save Our Stages (SOS) successfully passed, theater owners are still waiting for their first relief check to show up.  The hope is to have everyone who qualifies for funds to help keep their doors open during this incredibly difficult time will start to see some of this funding during the month of February.  (A Billboard article published this week wonders if 2021 will also be written off as a “No Concerts” situation again as the country struggles to properly distribute and vaccinate everybody, all the while fighting a couple of new strands of stronger variations of the Corna Virus.  Still rather bleak right now, despite some relaxing of restrictions as we move forward.  (kk)

And now for something completely different …

(No, it’s not Monty Python … but it’s an unusual album nonetheless, featuring random “drop-ins” from Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Mike Bloomfield, Frank Zappa and Mitch Mitchell!)

Read on … 

Beautiful People “If 60’s Were 90’s” Box Set

Featuring Sampled Guitar Riffs, Lead Vocals & Word Raps From Guitar God Jimi Hendrix (FIRST RELEASED IN 1993 )

The cleverly titled “If 60’s Were 90’s” by the band Beautiful People, is a truly unique and seminal record. 

Beautiful People are a bunch of movers and shakers from London's Acid House Scene, who have a highly developed fascination with the music of Jimi Hendrix, emphatically not a ‘Tribute’ band in the style of the Bootleg Beatles or the Australian Doors, Beautiful People have used sampling technology to virtually recruit Hendrix into the groups line up.” - David Sinclair, Billboard Magazine

Consisting of over fifty guitar riffs, vocal cut outs, out- take lead breaks, and word raps from guitar god Jimi Hendrix, “If 60’s Were 90’s” also features spoken steals from Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, 60’s blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield and a party called the “Milky Way Express” that included the one and only Frank Zappa. Like some Groovy Psychedelic time-machine cruising the Hendrixphere, Beautiful People pluck from over 30 different Hendrix recordings, writing nine new songs creating an... “Ambient Dance Dream Tribute” (Kris Needs, NME) … of … “Super Psychedelic Baggy Indie dance with Orb like overtones ...” (Ian McCan, VOX) creating a sound that arguably helped kick off the rock dance crossover phenomenon of the early 90’s, bringing guitars back into dance music while still retaining the psychedelic rock majesty of one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th Century.

It all began when Singer/ Guitarist turned Acid House promoter Duncan Elder AKA Du Kane teamed up with Keyboardist/Studio Tech Whizz Luke Baldry, and created a one-off Hendrix sampled house track that found its way to Eric Clapton. Eric initially wanted to release the track but on managerial advice generously passed it on to Alan Douglas, (who ironically had been looking for an “environment” for the sampling of Hendrix at that time.) Douglas gave the gig to Kane and Baldry, the boys decided to name the band after Kane’s Acid House promotion company “Beautiful People” a name inspired by and attributed to author Ken Kesey and his team of 60’s Merry Pranksters. The album was completed in July 1992 with live drums recorded by Robin Goodridge (later of BUSH fame) and first released in 1993 on Castle Communications Essential label with remixes by Killing Joke bassist and Legendary producer YOUTH (Pink Floyd, Verve, U2.) The album was generally well received even if the idea of it did freak out some purists, but it proved to be a grower. The New York Post called it “An inspired bit of Grave Digging.” In 1994 Beautiful People toured Europe supporting HAWKWIND then on the personal request of Noel Gallagher toured the UK on the OASIS “Definitely Maybe” tour.  

After securing an American deal with Continuum records Beautiful People racked up a number #1 and number #3 in the US dance chart with “If 60’s Was 90’s,” and “Rilly Groovy” (the former with accompanied video featuring Jimi’s son James Sunquist, aka Jimi Hendrix Jnr,) “Rilly Groovy” which was also placed in the opening credits for the movie “P.C.U” (a Grunge Era National Lampoon’s Uni flick starring Jeremy Piven and David Spade), as well as “If 60’s Was 90’s” being added to the movie soundtrack of “Prefontaine” starring Jared Leto... With a huge American Tour booked and the single about to be released to the mainstream chart, everything was looking good when out of the blue their American Label Continuum went bankrupt ...everything halted and the album was frozen.  

... And this Cult favorite was lost in a 90’s ethereal mist ...

That is... until now...Out on Gonzo MultiMedia in box set form, and for the first time on (Purple) Vinyl is the whole remastered album, a triple CD selection of the best remixes by YOUTH, PM DAWN, Ben Mitchell, and Astralasia amongst others, a remastered CD of the album, also a DVD of all the bands Live TV performances, music videos, an interview with Alan Douglas, as well as a scrapbook coffee table book put together by Ian Brown and Fall. Producer Mike Bennett, with Du Kane telling the whole story with pictures and testimonials from members of the Darkness, Happy Mondays, The Fall, Sub Sub, Wishbone Ash, Sisters of Mercy, Oasis, Spiritulised, Steve Etherington, BUSH, Primal Scream, blues guitarist Will Johns, Fuzz Box, The Dust Junkys, and Hendrix photographer Karl Ferris commenting on how much influence “If 60’s Were 90’s” had on them personally, and on the music that followed, proving that Jimi Hendrix was still showing the way to another generation twenty five years after his tragic passing, and still inspiring future generations.

It’s an album to dream to ... or just play spot the lick ... and the closing ‘The Sea’ ... Eventually incredibly combines the beautiful intro of ‘Hey Baby’ with those stoned vocals of Electric Ladyland. It’s as if Jimi just got up and walked into the studio yesterday.” - Record Collector

“Listening to this album it is obvious it was made with the utmost respect ... in fact somewhere or other Jimi is probably smiling” - Guitarist magazine

“Mixing previously unheard slabs of Hendrix into an Ethereal Post Rave haze will appeal to psychedelic warlords of all ages” - Melody Maker

“Sounds like the ghost of Jimbo is its executive producer”- SELECT MAGAZINE

“The fact that Jimi’s 60’s freakouts are still lightyears ahead of what passes for rock in the 90’s is not wasted on this group ... An ambient dance dream tribute” – NME

“You get the sense Beautiful People do actually know and love Hendrix’s music ... it’s a great record both cheeky and elegant” - TIME OUT

Loved if 60’s Were 90’s a hidden Gem...and a welcome relief from Brit Pop” - Billy Duffy (Guitarist - The Cult, Dead Men Walking)

“One of my favorite bands of the 90’s. It’s great to hear If 60’s Were 90’s is out again... Historic!” - Kenney Jones (Drummer - Small Faces, The Faces, The Who and Jones Gang)

“A right Royal Hendrix Groovathon!” - Toby Toman (Drummer - Primal Scream, Nico)

“Beautiful People were massive in Manchester...It was Perfect as purist Hendrix fans loved it and another generation in the indie scene lapped it up too... and not a duff track on it!” - Nicky Tunes (Dust Junkys and collaborator with the Fun Lovin Criminals)

“I played all the Live drums on this Jimi inspired dance /rock crossover record... I gave a copy to Gavin Rossdale and he was so impressed he called me early the next morning about doing an audition for BUSH!” - Robin Goodridge (Drummer - Beautiful People, Spear Of Destiny, BUSH, Ellis)

“When I first heard the ‘Beautiful People - If 60’s was 90’s’ album,

I was Blown Away with how they respectfully fused Jimi Hendrix’s music with their modern Electronic Beat and played along perfectly with him as if he was there in the group! And therefore, I absolutely know that he would have loved it and would have wanted to Jam with them ...” - Karl Ferris (Photographer & Designer of “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” 1967-1968 US Album Covers:“Are You Experienced?” and “Electric Ladyland”)

“Wow when of my favorite remixes, I remember hearing it as the closing track on a beach on a 20k rig with 2000 freaks going crazy just after dawn, dolphins were flippin, naked beautiful people in the waterfall ... Certainly one of the best and most memorable experiences I’ve ever had ...” - Youth (Bassist for Killing Joke and Producer for Pink Floyd, The Verve, Paul McCartney and many more.)

To purchase: