Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Weekend Comments


We lost Moody Blues Drummer Graeme Edge on Thursday (November 11th)

Edge was with the band from their early blues bar band days, when Denny Laine was still onboard and they cut the Top Ten Hit “Go Now” in 1965.  He was also their go-to guy for all the voice over narration that The Moodies liked to include in their albums.


Forever Bandmates John Lodge and Justin Hayward shared these memories of Graeme …


To me he was the White Eagle of the North with his beautiful poetry, his friendship, his love of life and his ‘unique’ style of drumming that was the engine room of the Moody Blues … I will miss you Graeme …

John Lodge

It’s a very sad day. Graeme’s sound and personality is present in everything we did together and thankfully that will live on. 

When Graeme told me he was retiring I knew that without him it couldn’t be the Moody Blues anymore. And that’s what happened. It’s true to say that he kept the group together throughout all the years, because he loved it.

In the late 1960’s we became the group that Graeme always wanted it to be, and he was called upon to be a poet as well as a drummer. He delivered that beautifully and brilliantly, while creating an atmosphere and setting that the music would never have achieved without his words. I asked Jeremy Irons to recreate them for our last tours together and it was absolutely magical.

Graeme, and his parents, were very kind to me when I first joined the group, and for the first two years, he and I either lived together, or next door to each other – and despite us having almost nothing in common, we had fun and laughs all the way, as well as making what was probably the best music of our lives.

Graeme was one of the great characters of the music business and there will never be his like again.

My sincerest condolences to his family.

Justin Hayward

Harvey Kubernik sent us this snippet of an interview he did with Justin Hayward back in 2017.


In 2017 I interviewed Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. We discussed their epic "Days of Future Passed" album, a collaboration with the London Festival Orchestra, conducted by Peter Knight.   It was Decca Records Executive, A&R man, and Record Producer Hugh Mendl who had first championed their joint sound endeavor that was initially intended to showcase his new Deram progressive music record label, a Decca subsidiary.  The pairing would showcase the label’s new “Deramic Sound System,” expanded channel separation, for a combined rock version of Dvorak’s 9th Symphony.    


Mendl served as executive producer of the project and later penned the liner notes to the first pressing and reprinted for all subsequent editions.

The group agreed to participate but with no interference or session visits from the Decca executives, plus the guarantee of producer Tony Clarke and engineer Derek Varnals on their creative audio team.


Hayward’s principal songwriting contributions, “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin,” further helped propel the LP over the two million sales mark, and it is still considered to be one of the first and most influential symphonic rock albums.

Hayward’s haunting and memorable “Tuesday Afternoon” effort was originally coupled with John Lodge’s “(Evening) Time to Get Away,” of “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?).”


Q: Take me through the process of writing “Tuesday Afternoon” and then doing it for “The Days Of Future Passed” LP.     


A: We had the idea for a stage show and then it really came from Mike, who had written a song, ‘Dawn is a Feeling,’ which I really loved. And then we got round to sort of thinking about this would be quite a good idea for a sort of thematic stage show about the day in the life of one guy. And I just sort of chose, ‘I’m gonna do the afternoon.’  And I had already done ‘Nights in White Satin,’ written and recorded.  So I went back to where my parents lived in the west country in England with a guitar and went out that afternoon, sat in the side of the field and smoked a joint and then came back with ‘Tuesday Afternoon.’ That was about it. I thought it was kind of a cheeky little song that wouldn’t really mean much.  


Q: Did your early tunes like “Tuesday Afternoon” and ‘Nights in White Satin” even as you first wrote them and cut them with the Moodies always have such inherent cinematic qualities? Even without the orchestration, they are quite visual numbers. For example, your mono recording of “Nights in White Satin” is included in the bonus disc of the 2006 deluxe edition -2CD set of “Days Of Future Passed.”


A: I wish I could say I thought of it in those terms. But it was probably more to do with just the sort of, I hope this doesn’t sound too pretentious, I’m sure it is, the kind of search for enlightenment that young people do, and psychedelic experiences that I was going through. And it has more to do with that probably than thinking of it in a contrived way, you know, in a film sort of way. Interesting enough, Tony Clarke used to think like that all the time.  But in truth, I thought we were making a kind of arty album that I might get invited to a cocktail party and might meet some nice lady from ‘The Observer’ and that’s about it. That was as far as a thought. So I wasn’t completely overwhelmed by it. I thought it was a limited appeal album. And really, the people who were in charge of it were the Decca stereo people. It was their album. A demonstration record. And we weren’t even asked into the control room. 


Q: I always enjoyed that on your albums there were bits of spoken word and narration integrated in some of the songs. Recitation and talk. Was that part of the process when you were preparing the projects or doing pre-production? I know drummer Graeme Edge was a big part of the narrative segments. 


A: It wasn’t so much by design. It was Graeme wanted to contribute. He was a good lyric writer. He was good at spoken word. He was a poet. And we had to get it in there somehow. And he would often try and bring the whole album theme together with his spoken word stuff. And he did that very well. So that’s where that came from.  There was also that album called "The Zodiac Cosmic Sounds” on Elektra Records. (incorporating moog synthesizer from Paul Beaver and narration by Cyrus Faryar.)  That really turned us on. And we have to give that album some credit for really influencing us.       




This is a terrific review ... have just shared it with Joel and his publisher.  


Bob Merlis


Based on your rave review of "Hollywood Eden," it looks I'll be shelling out some more cash. 

Sam Tallerico


I want to read ‘Hollywood Eden’ after your glowing review.


David Salidor


I just finished reading a good book on the California Sound from the 50's and 60's called "Hollywood Eden" by Joel Selvin.  Very interesting stories about how some of the hit records became to be.  Much credit given to Jan and Dean for their contribution to Surf Music, before the Beach Boys ... Fun reading.



I’ve heard about this book but never in the detail that you described it.  Now I can’t wait to read it.  (I love how you stir our interest without giving too much away … so that we can enjoy and discover these stories just as you did when you read it!)


There are SO many great stories in this book.  (Not even in the wildest episode of "The Twilight Zone" ever could I imagine Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis, Jr. entertaining at Nancy Sinatra's Senior Dance!!!)

You'll meet the REAL Gidget ... you'll observe a lifestyle that only exists in movies ... unless, of course, you actually live in Hollywood, too!

Highly recommended.  (Scroll back to see our full review from earlier this week.)  kk



>>>I COULD be encouraged to listen to novelty Christmas songs  (Clark Besch)

I agree. 

In the days of Real Oldies in Chicago, Ron Smith had a Christmas Countdown for which he took requests ... I submitted "Snoopy's Christmas," "Monsters' Holiday" and "Santa Claus Is Watching You."

All three made the countdown.  Ron played them, but he was mocked mercilessly for this by "Superjock" Larry Lujack.

So it seems, Clark, that Uncle Lar deemed our favorite Christmas songs "lame." 

Makes you rethink everything, doesn't it?

Uncle Lar also used to protest the 50's and 60's only playlist of Real Oldies by occasionally playing a particular 70's song.  The song he always chose was "Dead Skunk," so I don't know what to make of that.

Ed #1

Hmm … other Lujack favorites seemed to be “The Water Was Red” by Johnny Cymbal, a song that never even made The Top 100 on any of the national charts (although it WAS a #12 Hit here in Chicago, albeit YEARS before Uncle Lar ever hit town) and Walter Brennan’s “Old Rivers,” which he always referred to as “the first rap song.”  (kk)


Chuck Buell brings us this Holiday Update from Mariah Carey!


“All I want for Christmas is . . . a McDonald’s Cheeseburger!”


Cuz it’s FREE!  Kinda.


Beginning December 13th, McDonald's begins their "Mariah Menu" in which you spend a Buck on something and then you can get another different select menu item for FREE each day between the 13th of December through Christmas Eve.


"Some of my favorite memories with my kids are our family trips to McDonald's, and of course, each of us has our go-to order. Mine is the cheeseburger, and I get it with extra pickles," --- Mariah McCarey


Then there’s Kent!


CB ( which stands for “Cheeseburger Boy!” )                                             


[Yeah well, believe it or not, when Buell goes to McDonald’s, he almost always gets a … Filet-o-Fish Sandwich!  I’m NOT Kidding Here!!!]  kk

Full Disclosure ...

Actually after Chuck first told me about this new Mariah / McDonald’s promotion and the idea that EVERYONE has a “go-to” order when it comes to McDonald’s, he said, “What do YOU get every time you go to McDonald’s???  And you can’t pick the fries, because, EVERYBODY gets the fries.  So what do you get whenever you go there?” ... to which I had to answer, truthfully … Diarrhea!!!   (It’s just not my favorite … although as a kid I swear I would have eaten there every day if only I could.)  Watching “Super Size Me” didn’t help to paint a prettier picture for me either and I have to admit that these days I would probably go to White Castle for essentially the same end result but a better taste going in!!!  (Honestly, I try to avoid White Castle, too … but I absolutely get “The Crave” a couple of times a year.)  

I have decided that the best time to eat White Castle is the night before your colonoscopy … it’ll clean you out better than ANYTHING your doctor might give you.

I’ve also learned that the best and most economical and efficient way to eat them is to just sit right on the pot while dining nd let ‘em just pass right on through!  

(OK … enough “dirty talk” for one day!!!)  kk



The Monkees Farewell Tour wraps up this weekend at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles.  It’s been one heck of a ride for these guys.  Micky and Mike may be the last two standing but their music still shines all these years later.  (Would love to see their full band reunion at The Greek several years ago … decades really … released on high-quality dvd/blu-ray at some point in time.  What an incredible keepsake that would be for all us die-hard fans!)  I’m sure we’ll have new reviews to post next week once the guys take their final bows.  (kk)


And, as always, you can’t talk about The Monkees and NOT talk about Jimi Hendrix!!!  (lol)  Look for a great review / interview with Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik about their new “Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child” book in the latest edition of Record Collector News.  (This book looks absolutely amazing!!!)  Harvey assures me that my copy is on its way so I’m looking forward to reading that.    (kk)

(All of a sudden I have about 60 pounds of books stacked up to read!!!)  Lol 

Everything seems to be a massive, oversized, hard-cover edition these days and I’m working through them as best I can.  Right now I’m heading deep into the new book about The Carpenters, which is already WAY better than I expected it to be.  (I’ve never been a big fan of Richard Carpenter … always felt he was taking a little more credit than he deserved for the duo’s success … but I’ve got to tell you that so far this book is just as engaging and entertaining as hell … and Richard is an AMAZING story-teller.  I swear he has kept every piece of memorabilia throughout their career … the most complete “scrapbook” ever … and it truly was an incredible journey as their careers just exploded practically overnight. (The Carpenters had a total of twenty Top 40 Hits between 1970 and 1981, including 17 that made The Top 20, seven of which went all the way to #1.)

If you’re a collector like me, you’ll want to pick up a copy of this one …

Carpenters: The Musical Legacy: Lennox, Mike Cidoni, Lennox, Mike Cidoni, May, Chris: 9781648960727: Books

Thanks to all of you who "attended" my FaceBook concert on Sunday. More than 500 views so far if you count the scads of shares. And a whole mess o' likes, loves and comments. More responses continue to come in as more and more people catch it on the rebound. (They tell me that more people tend to catch these things after the fact than watch them live ... so I'm looking forward.)

To those of you who missed it and would like to see it, it's still up and will be for some time. So stop by and watch it and leave me a "reaction" or comment so I know you were there.

Just go to my FaceBook Page, scroll down if you have to, and click on the icon.

Love to you,


We heard from a few people who were there and enjoyed it … and even ran a couple of versions of “Truly Julie’s Blues” the other day!  Scroll back if you missed it.  (kk)


Lots of buzz this week about this “newly discovered Beatles song” from 1968 … except that it’s not a Beatles song at all … it’s just a track that George and Ringo sat in on during the record of The White Album and The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” single.  They were just session guys on this track, things they both did all the time back then, especially after The Beatles officially split.  (Heck, by this time Ringo was already off making movies and George was about to go out on tour with Delaney and Bonnie … so this is hardly what I would consider to be a revolutionary discovery!)

But it’s SURE being played up as one.  (There didn’t seem to be this much fuss when George and Ringo contributed tracks to Cheech and Chong a few years later!  Nor was that considered to be “a Beatles record.”)

Anyway, if you want to hear it, you can do so here …

Radhe Shaam - YouTube

If anything, it makes me wonder if recording this track in some way inspired Harrison to write “My Sweet Lord.”  (No wait, he copped the melody from “He’s So Fine” for that one!!!  Lol)  kk


Speaking of The Beatles, there were some interesting observations being discussed on Chris Carter’s Breakfast With The Beatles the other day on Sirius / XM’s Beatles Channel …


Things that I have often thought about (or given some thought to) … but not the kind of thing that typically comes up in Beatles conversations.


For example, because the US versions of the albums were always different than the UK versions, I always found it odd that on OUR version of “Revolver,” John Lennon only had to tracks.  (“She Said, She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” … both OUTSTANDING cuts … but it almost implies that John was either absent or not particularly inspired at the time.)  I mean, even GEORGE had three cuts on this LP!  (“Taxman,” “Love You To” and “I Want To Tell You”) meaning that Paul had the lion’s share of material represented.  (And not a dog in the bunch either:  “Eleanor Rigby,” “Here, There And Everywhere,” “Good Day Sunshine,” “For No One” and “Got To Get You Into My Life” … all outstanding tracks.  (Ringo was represented as well with the big hit single from the LP, “Yellow Submarine.”)  That put Ringo at 9%, John at 18%, George at 27% and Paul at 45%!  (Of course, John actually had a few more tracks on the British version of the LP … but those cuts … “And Your Bird Can Sing,” “Dr. Robert” and “I’m Only Sleeping” … had been advance-released here in The States on Capitol Records’ “Yesterday … And Today” album.  (Still a pretty amazing concept when you think about it … you’ve really got to wonder how that decision was made … and whose decision it was to select those three tracks … ALL John tunes.

Still, things seem a little more balanced out now, don’t they, with Lennon represented with FIVE of the LP’s 14 tracks (36%), now equaling Paul’s diminished tally, while still holding three for George and one for Ringo.  (Due to the extra tracks, their percentages fall slightly … George to 21% and Ringo to just 7%.)


Displaying the exact OPPOSITE statistics, consider The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” album as it was released in Great Britain.  (Here in The States, these tracks were distributed between the official movie soundtrack album and Capitol’s “Something New.”


For starters, did you know that “A Hard Day’s Night” is the ONLY album The Beatles ever released that featured all Lennon and McCartney songs?  (True, after “Beatles For Sale” they stopped doing covers … but this distinction is made because while their other LPs throughout their careers included nothing but original material, these tracks now incorporated the songwriting talents of George Harrison and Ringo Starr!


“A Hard Day’s Night” featured John Lennon singing NINE of the album’s thirteen tracks!  (That’s 69%!)  George sang one (that John wrote), “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You” (7.5%) and Paul sang the other three (again, not a dog in the bunch … “And I Love Her,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Things We Said Today,” good for 23%.


Anyway, I just found it interesting that somebody else picked up on this.  (In all fairness, I wouldn’t have had the vaguest clue as to where to go to pick up an import pressing of “Revolver” back in 1966 … and although WLS Disc Jockey Ron Riley always made it a point to play the “discrepancy tracks” on his program … this is how I first fell in love with The Beatles’ version of “Kansas City” before “Beatles VI” was released … I was otherwise constricted by the US pressings of all of these albums.  (Hey, it’s the way we heard these tunes here in America … the US sequencing is forever burned into my brain … as is the added echo on “I Feel Fine” and “She’s A Woman” … they just don’t feel right any other way!


And, because I know I’ll get asked if I don’t tell you, John’s nine contributions to the “A Hard Day’s Night” LP were the title track, “I Should Have Known Better” (the B-Side to the US single … in Great Britain, “A Hard Day’s Night” was backed with “Things We Said Today”), “If I Fell” (an absolute classic), “Tell Me Why,” “Any Time At All” (another favorite of mine), “I’ll Cry Instead” (released as a US hit single), “When I Get Home,” “You Can’t Do That” (B-Side to Paul’s “Can’t Buy Me Love”) and “I’ll Be Back,” which wouldn’t come out on a US LP until the end of the year when Capitol stuck it on “Beatles ’65.”  (And now I wanna go out and listen to ALL of these tracks!!!)  kk


After all the fuss of Benny and Bjorn explaining that “this is it” for ABBA … the tracks that they never completed will REMAIN unfinished … Anni-Frid Lyngstad is saying that she might not be opposed to continuing the sing with the group and explore the magic a little bit further.  (The feeling was always that it was the women who wanted no part in revisiting their past … but now that the album is complete … and selling better than any of their previous efforts … I can see how this might give one pause to reconsider!!!)

In an interview last week with BBC 2, Anni-Frid said:

“I have learned never to say never.  This year we have probably said this must be the last thing we do because … [we’re] thinking of our ages, you know. We are not young any longer, but I’m saying you never know. So don’t be too sure.

“I want the band to be remembered as a band who made people feel something in their hearts.  I want to be remembered as a member of a band [of] people that gave them comfort, that gave them happiness, that we were there for them – and for ourselves as well, of course. I’m so happy that people are so touched by what we do.

Lyngstad admits that she felt “a little bit tense” when ABBA gathered in the studio to start working together for the first time since 1982, but then remembered that “It’s always fun to work together with them. It’s always magical to sing [with Agnetha Faltskog] … we have something special, as you know – not only voice-wise but also as friends. Once we closed the doors behind us in the studio, we felt at home, both of us. What can I say? Coming back home again, having fun with my little sister. That’s how it felt.”

And let’s face it … eventually those avatars are going to need some new material!!!  (kk)

You don’t see THIS every day!!! 





The Fabulous Bud E. Luv, a/k/a 
The World’s Greatest Entertainer™ has come to the “taking stock” part of a career that has seen him perform before potentates, princes and and pashas in showrooms, lounges, palaces and Moose Lodges from Monte Carlo to Winnemucka.  He is, of course, the best selling author of You Oughta Be Me: How to Be a Lounge Singer and Live Like One (St. Martin’s Press), a reflection of his years in front of adoring audiences throughout the known world. 

Accordingly, he’s consigned some of the garmentry that has set him apart from run-of-the mill show people, decade after decade, to be sold at auction so “the little people” have a chance to experience what it’s like to be Bud E. Luv from the inside. Literally, from the inside of his pants, jackets and also to be able to know what time it is, specifically from fabulous wristwatches actually worn while Mr. Luv has kept audiences waiting for him to finish playing blackjack before taking the stage. 

Julien’s is renowned as the auction house that the stars prefer and Bud E. Luv shines brightest among them.  He commented, “My closets were overflowing so I thought I’d let my millions of fans and followers have a chance to acquire some the trappings that put the ‘fab' in fabulous and generate some additional space for newly acquired threads purchased, I hasten to add, at full retail." 

Those wishing to bid on such items as a suits and outfits custom made by famed “rodeo tailor” Nudie including Bud E. Luv’s celebrated Porter Wagoner ensemble embroidered with actual wagon wheels plus a one-of-a-king Corum Bud E. Luv Royal Flush Special Edition “bubble watch” are urged to check out the on-line catalog in advance of the November 19th auction that will start at 10 AM/Eastern at New York's Hard Rock Cafe. 

Link to Bud E. Luv’s goodies offered at Julien’s Icons & Idols (Bud E. Luv is, of course, both) Auction:

Making the rounds to promote her new book (written with Mark Bego), Freda Payne made an appearance on “The View” last Friday to sing her #1 Hit “Band Of Gold” to Whoopi Goldberg on the occasion of her birthday.  (kk)

PHOTO: dis Company

Friday, November 12, 2021

A Special Edition

I received this email recently from a long-time Forgotten Hits Reader.  (If she wasn’t one of the first 35, she had to be pretty darn close … maybe #37 or #38!!!)

I don’t think she necessarily sent it to me with the intention of sharing it with everyone else … but it’s such a powerful story … and proves once again the healing power of music … that I just wouldn’t feel right keeping it all to myself.


Hi Kent ...


I know … "long time no hear." 

I have been away from my computer.  A lot of stuff going on here.  Hope you are well. 


On a personal note, I was involved in an auto accident in late September out in Hershey Pa.  This is over two hours away from where I live.  I was the passenger in the vehicle, at the mercy of my husband's driving. 


While he was not under the influence, I was injured when a speeding Camaro ran a light and plowed into the front of the car (passenger side) as my husband attempted to make a left turn on a yellow. Awful.  I've never broken anything. 


The impact of the crash spun our car around and my foot slammed against the hump underneath the dash, causing me to break three bones in my foot and ankle.  I was rushed to the trauma center and they tried to fix my foot but the bones were too unstable and so I had to stay a week at the hospital for the swelling to go down.  The team of surgeons were excellent and set the bones in place with an external fixator.


Later that week, I had a second operation.  I am ok, but not able to walk.  I am in a wheelchair and use a walker to get around my living room, wearing a boot.  My husband suffered minor injuries and the kids in the Camaro that ran the red light are ok, too. 


I will go back to Hershey because the doctors were amazing. You would be very interested to know that one of the anesthesiologists there was a DJ at one time.  This doctor was brilliant. 


Before my second surgery, he asked if I liked any of the songs from the 1960s.  (He was around my age.)  He commented that it was a time of Viet Nam War conflict ... and I agreed. He reminded me of a Navy Seal.  He asked if I lost anyone during the Viet Nam War and I responded, Yes. I think he asks everyone that. Maybe he lost someone very close to him. 


Surprisingly, he next asked if I like 60's music. YES!  I couldn't figure out why he would be asking me this at the time.  It seemed to not gel with the situation at hand, preparation for surgery and pain.  He then asked me if I had a request for any songs from the ‘60’s.  I said yes, I like the Grass Roots.  Mind you, I was scared and anxious right before the surgery. 


Well, he started singing Midnight Confessions and asked how I liked his singing.  I said it sounds good.  But it didn't end with that.  He asked if I had a request!  I said, "Temptation Eyes" by the Grass Roots. Then he played it for me on his iPhone as he prepared me for some pain blockers to dull the nerves in my foot after the surgery by connecting pain blockers to some nerves in my leg.  This was all foreign and new to me.   


After that, he asked if I like to play Name that Tune.  I said, “Sure.”  He was on a roll as he worked with his staff to prepare me for surgery.  He played the first note of "Cherish" by the Association.  He was pleased with me that I knew it immediately.  I saw now that there was a method to his madness.  And it was brilliant. 

So we really connected, BIG TIME. He started singing and asked me to sing.  Then he played "Never My Love" and I was singing almost the whole time. 


This doctor was AMAZING. It was a spiritual experience.  Not of this world.  His method transcended my pain and uneasiness and fear about the surgery.  It was miraculous.  He completely took my mind off my operation and USED MUSIC to do so. 


When he left, I broke down and wept. Very emotional.  As he left, I quickly said, “THANK YOU for making me feel like I was 18 again." It was astonishing how he was able to do this and still remain professional as his staff helped work on my foot and leg with his guidance   Beautiful person, brilliant man. Wonderful spirit.   


I wanted to share this story with you because I know that you could appreciate it.  Music continues to be a huge part of my life. And I THANK GOD for that and for this wonderful doctor. I am telling everyone I know what a great person he is. I have connected with something greater than myself through the oldies music which is so much a big part of me and my life.  As I know that it is for you as well. 


Thanks for reading this email.  I hope you like my story.  God Bless.



So sorry to hear about your accident ... but it sounds like you couldn't have been in better hands when it came to the healing department.


Music is the universal language ... and its healing powers are second to none.  Just taking your mind off of everything else that was going on in your body at the time is really saying something.


Hope you're on the mend and start feeling better soon.  What's the prognosis for getting out of the wheelchair and being able to walk again?


A coworker of mine was in a MAJOR car accident over the 4th of July Weekend - got hit broadside by a truck that ran a red light - plowed into him and rolled HIS truck over twice.  They had to airlift him to a hospital in Milwaukee for surgery.  And he's nowhere near done yet ... he's about to have this third since being released.


Yet it really IS a miracle what doctors can do today in putting the body back together again.


Hang in there ... and keep those oldies playin' ... in your mind and in your heart!  (kk)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thursday This And That

It's November 11th ...

Happy birthday to all-time Chicago music legend Jim Peterik!

Mike Wolstein

Happy Birthday, Jimmy!  You've been entertaining us now for 55 years ... and it all still feels as new and exciting as ever.  Thank you for that!  (kk)


Yours was a heartfelt, honest and brilliant review of The Monkees concert …

Thank you!



A timely submission from Chuck Buell …


Chuck Buell bringing one back from Fifty Years ago Today!

"Theme from 'Shaft,' Number One on this date, November 11th, 1971

CB ( which stands for "CRASH Boy!" )


The debate over when to start playing Christmas music is another polarizing topic. 

We have listeners wondering why we are not already playing any holiday music on one of our stations.  When we do start, we always seem to get a few complaints. 

Our sister station usually starts playing Christmas music on December 1st and goes to 100%  in the second week of December.  The FM 100.9 format usually features about one Christmas song per hour, beginning December 1st, and that increases to about 50% in mid-December and 100% a couple of days before the holiday.  

Another complaint is that Christmas music stops after Christmas Day.  There are those that wish it would keep playing for a few more days. 

As a jockey of these songs, I feel like Scrooge.  Having no choice but to hear these holiday classics over and over, I am very tired of them before Christmas and can't wait to go back to the regular formats on December 26th. 

A clergy person once told me that in their opinion, Christmas music should be played over the 12 days of Christmas.  It should start at Christmas and should end with the epiphany on January 6th!

Phil – WRCO

My personal feeling is that Christmas / holiday music has become SO overdone it is no longer enjoyable to listen to … I’ve OD’d after a couple of hours, especially once the repeats kick in (which they do FAR too often in my opinion.)  There are others who listen to holiday music all year long … and as long as stations are providing this option, the faithful will come.  (O Come All Ye Faithful!)

I grew up with a Christmas song per hour beginning the Day After Thanksgiving when all the shoppers started the venture in earnest, which typically continued thru to about the second week of December.  Then, for the two weeks before Christmas, it would escalate to maye two or three songs per hour.  By Christmas Eve (and maybe even after 6 pm the day before that … on Christmas Eve Eve), a lot of stations would go full-bore Christmas Music … and continue right thru to about 6 am the Day After Christmas, where either regular music would resume ... or the station would start plugging their Year-End Countdown by featuring a song per hour from whatever (The Big 89 of 1969!)

This was always enough for me (and I didn’t feel like I was being pummeled the entire time.)

That being said, there are over 20 Holiday Channels on Sirius XM alone … so if you WANT to hear Christmas Music … even for just a song or two … the option always exists to click over and hang around as long as you like (or until the second of the eight Feliz Navidad’s they’re going to play that day … and EVERY day for about 45 days straight ... comes around again!  To me, that’s the best of both worlds … A True Listeners’ Choice!  (kk)


I COULD be encouraged to listen to novelty Christmas songs, which was the main character in many of the 60's late December occasional Christmas "extras" that we heard like The Chipmunks, Bobby Boris Pickett and the great "Snoopy's Christmas” by The Royal Guardsmen.  Between all of these current holiday stations, they seldom play the 45s that were novelty tracks that we LIKED hearing back when.  Maybe throw in some OBSCURE Christmas songs that programming SHOULD play because they are great but were not hits.  Saturday's Children had two Christmas songs, The Blues Magoos, The Beatles’ Christmas Records or Three Wise Men by Gene Cotton (my fave.)

Clark Besch

There certainly were a lot of novelty Christmas songs around when we were growing up.  Today you only hear but a few of them.  (This is where a program like the Gary Theroux / Wink Martindale annual Top 100 Christmas Songs Countdown are so entertaining.  You won't find a wider variety of Christmas music anywhere else.)  I've always loved the Dr. Demento Christmas albums … they offer a great variety of tracks in this regard … everything from “I Wanna Hippopotamus For Christmas” (which you DO hear now and again) to The Three Stooges’ “Wreck The Halls” (which you don’t!)  kk


Incredibly, it looks like ABBA will have their first US Top Ten Album EVER when the new Billboard Chart comes out next week!

Despite regular Top Ten showings around the world, it just never happened here in America for some reason.  (Even their #1 Hit “Dancing Queen” couldn’t help them turn the trick.) 

ABBA had six Top 10 albums in Australia, including two number ones, five number one albums in the UK and seven number one albums in Sweden but failed to ever make the Top 10 in the USA.

Their previously highest charting LP here in The States was an album that was actually called “The Album,” which peaked at #14 in 1978.  (The biggest hits from that LP were “Name Of The Game” and “Take A Chance On Me.”)

Their new LP, “Voyage,” is expected to come in at #1 on the British Chart as well, where it outsold the balance of The Top 40 Best-Selling LPs COMBINED!!!  Advance sales were phenomenal … and downloads of the first three pre-released “singles” tracks passed 50 million combined.  Quite amazing for a band that hasn’t existed for the past 40 years!!! (kk)


Hey Kent!

I just got my copy of Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles 1955-1989" and the enhancements are fantastic! And thanks to FH, I knew about it in advance, so saved some bucks by pre-ordering.

Based on your rave review of "Hollywood Eden," it looks I'll be shelling out some more cash. Hey, save some pennies for the upcoming release of my own book, a partially obscured back cover tease attached in the photo below. 

Title: "Who Does He Think His Grandfather Is?" 

Also, I love reading the readers' comments and agree that there's been a noticeable decline in variety on Sirius' 'Decades' channels. Same ol' same ol'. The countdown shows are mostly the only things worthwhile on the platform lately.

FH has helped me find some worthwhile internet programming, I'm particularly liking Jeff James' "Windy City Wednesdays" on Huntley Community Radio.  In a pinch, there's rebroadcasting old 'oldies' shows. LOL 

Thanks, Kent Kotal, and keep up the good work!

Sam Tallerico

Hey, I listen to nearly every single one of those LAFOS rebroadcasts!!!  SO much variety and ALWAYS good for a second spin!

Now I can’t wait to read your new book!!!  (You’ll have to send me a personally autographed copy!)

“Hollywood Eden” is worth every penny you’ll spend on it … and the new Whitburn book is OUTSTANDING as well!  (I bought both the color and black and white version.  I thought about buying only the black and white book and then hanging one of those transparent color screens over each page like they used to make for our old TVs, where you had a strip of blue for sky, a strip of red for facial skintones and a strip of green for grass that you taped right on to the glass … and which worked GREAT for about four minutes of Bonanza every week (and then made you absolutely nauseous if you tried to watch anything else!!!)  But Top Pop Singles was absolutely worth springing for the one-of-a-kind deluxe edition.

Thanks Sam … great to hear from you!!!  (kk)

Kent -

I thought I'd pose this trivia question for you.  It was today's Final Jeopardy question, and the category was 1970's pop songs.  Slam dunk, right?  Not so much.

What song followed "Bohemian Rhapsody" at #1 on the UK charts and had a title that was contained in the lyrics of that song?

The answer was "Mamma Mia" by Abba.  I didn't know that. but neither did any of the contestants.

Jeopardy is getting hard.  I guess they're tired of all those huge payouts.

Ed #1

I wouldn’t have guessed that either … and had to look it up just to be sure it was true … and it is.

1975 was a strange year for #1’s in The UK, who have always embraced reissued tracks … they rank right up there at the top of the chart when competing with the current flavors of the week when it comes to pop music trends.

So “Bohemian Rhapsody” topped the charts for nine consecutive weeks beginning on November 29th, 1975, and was then knocked out of the #1 spot by ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” on January 31st, 1976, which remained at #1 for the next two weeks.  (ABBA would have two more #1 Hits in 1976 with “Fernando,” two weeks at #1 and “Dancing Queen,” six weeks at #1.)

Earlier in 1975, “Stand By Your Man,” a 1968 Hit by Tammy Wynette, re-entered The British Chart and went all the way to #1 for three weeks in May.  David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” topped the chart for two weeks in November.  Elsewhere during the year, The Bay City Rollers had two #1 Hits (“Bye Bye Baby,” their remake of The Four Seasons classic, which spent SIX weeks at #1 and didn’t even make a dent on the US charts, and “Give A Little Love,” which held down the #1 spot for three weeks in July.)

And when I say diversity, I mean diversity … ALSO #1 that year was Telly Savalas’ version of Bread’s hit “If” ... while Bread's OWN version failed to chart!!!  (kk)


Best Classic Bands did a nice tribute to Johnny Rivers for his birthday on November 7th, after which Harvey Kubernik sent me this …






Johnny Rivers on The Monterey International Pop Festival   

© Harvey Kubernik 2007 and 2021

Johnny Rivers: Driving north on Highway 101 I had never seen so many VW buses
painted with paisley and flowers, cars, trucks, and lots of out of state license plates.
People were from everywhere. The vibe was very mellow and kind of the theme of 
the whole thing. It was a gathering of tribes and hadn’t really gotten to the wild hippie
stage yet. The ‘Summer of Love’ was the summer that came after that. It wasn’t going
to be frantic, out of control, but everyone digging on the music. Because there was such
a variety of music. Six weeks before Monterey I had done the Hollywood Bowl with 
Buffalo Springfield, the Seeds and the Supremes. 
Jimmy Webb was in my band for Monterey on keyboard and we worked on my set 
and the charts before we went up there. Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn and Larry Knechtel 
were not available for rehearsal ‘cause they were booked up. But what we did do was
stay at the Highlands Inn just south of Carmel, and got one of those banquet rooms 
the day before, and it was the first time we ever played that stuff. They just clicked 
and the first time they ever played together earlier in the studio was my record ‘Mountain 
Of Love.’ After that they started working together all the time. 
The Friday lineup was the Paupers, The Association, myself, Eric Burdon and the Animals,
Lou Rawls, and Simon and Garfunkel. Paul Simon came around in the evening just before
the Paupers played to all the performers asking everyone to make sure they did not go
over their allocated time limit because he didn’t want to cut his own set with Art short,
because of curfew.  
At Monterey I knew a lot of people like Bones Howe, with the Association, who was also
my engineer. Lou Adler introduced me. I opened my specially constructed 45-minute set
for the festival with a slow version of the Beatles’ ‘Help.’ I felt a spiritual connection with
John (Lennon). At the festival I also did ‘Memphis,’ ‘Mountain Of Love,’ ‘Midnight Special,’
two Jimmy songs, ‘Do What You Gotta Do’ and ‘Tunesmith,’ and we ended the set with
‘Baby, I Need Your Lovin’,’ ‘Poor Side Of Town’ and ‘Secret Agent Man.’      
I had a bunch of Ravi Shankar’s album because the record labels World Pacific and 
Liberty shared the same offices. After listening to part of Ravi Shankar’s performance,
a friend of mine suggested we have lunch, and we then drove 26 miles to a restaurant
Nepenthe in Big Sur. The coastline drive was spectacular.  
At Monterey I saw Clive Davis jump out of his seat watching Janis Joplin. I was standing
in the wings of the stage, and after that, man, he was on her like a cheap suit.  
Backstage there were several long picnic tables that had food where we all sat around
and talked. What’s interesting is that Otis Redding was so soft-spoken and low key, so
were Booker T and all the MG’s, but when Otis hit that stage, he exploded like an atomic
He literally reached out and grabbed the audience. Show-wise he was my favorite of 
anybody on that show. He was wearing a green suit and tie, such a contrast from all 
the hippie stuff everyone wore. 
When Jimi Hendrix came out, I was standing in the wings next to Lou Adler, and the 
fire marshal was there, and that whole entire stage is made out of wood. The walls, 
ceiling, floor, wood. It’s still exactly the same. When Jimi pulled out that lighter fluid, 
threw his guitar down, pulled out these matches, the fire marshal started to run out 
on stage, and Lou actually grabbed him by the arm, and told him ‘It’s OK, it’s just part
of his act.’ 
Lou calmed him, because the guy was just gonna grab Jimi on stage, And, the guy kinda
stepped back, for a split second, and thought Jimi was gonna fake lighting the guitar,
but then when it actually went up in flames, he flipped out! He went running looking
for a fire extinguisher. Jimi kind of sat over it like he was having sex with the guitar, 
and a roadie came out with a big towel and threw it over the guitar and dosed the guitar
After the Monterey International Pop Festival everyone ran to San Francisco after that.
It was almost too late. I mean, there were a lot of interesting groups coming out of there
… Quicksilver Messenger Service. I had scouted Big Brother before the event. A&R man
Nik Venet, who produced my first album, was at Capitol and had something to do with
Quicksilver signing to the label. 
But I wish there had been more of the blues, and the Motown element, John Lee Hooker
and people like that featured at this thing. When you got down to it, the highlights were
the acts that were still playing the blues. Otis Redding, Janis Joplin and Big Brother. I loved
Lou Rawls. He was always great. Again, Lou came out with a suit and tie, kind of an old
jazz and blues guy. How can you not love him? He was always a great entertainer. 
Blues Project were excellent. 
John Phillips and Lou Adler worked well together, and you have to give them credit. 
Not only did they pull it off but they did it in good style. It came off without a hitch, 

High on my list of books I need to read is the Paul Evans autobiography, “Happy Go Lucky Me.”

Paul just sent me this review written by our FH Buddy Gary Theroux, who Paul says helped him get some of his fact straight while writing his book …


I just got through reading Paul's book -- which is probably the best musical autobiography I have ever read. Not used to crafting prose, Mr. Evans wasn't quite sure if he could even author a book -- but after pouring his heart and soul into this effort, the resulting volume is proof positive that Paul Evans is a first-rate and totally honest storyteller.

The book is packed with first hand and thoroughly researched insight into New York's legendary Brill Building songwriters and publishers; how timeless hits came together; the eye-opening adventures of a jingle writer/singer/producer; various ventures into rock, pop, country and jazz plus a whole lot more. "Happy Go Lucky Me" is an essential addition to the libraries of anyone seeking insight into what life was like and remains for anyone fully committed to a career in popular music.

Gary Theroux


I am humbled by Gary’s remarks


Can’t wait to read it, Paul!  (kk)


Terence “Astro” Wilson, lead singer of the reggae / pop band UB40, passed away on Saturday, November 6th, after a short illness.  UB40 topped the US charts twice with their remakes of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine” in 1988 and the Elvis classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love” in 1993.  Scoring primarily with remakes of older songs, they also hit The Top Ten with their versions of “The Way You Do The Things You Do” (#6, 1990, first done by The Temptations) and “Here I Am” (#7, 1991, originally a hit for Al Green.)  “Red Red Wine” was first released in 1984, when it went to #34.  It was a longer mix of the tune that topped the chart four years later.  In between, they also charted with Chrissie Hynde doing a cover of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.”  (kk)


Paul McCartney is out everywhere promoting his new Lyrics books.  (I guess he was on Howard Stern’s show yesterday, although I didn’t hear it) … but nearly daily one of Paul’s memories makes the music trades.

One that caught my eye (I haven’t started reading these books yet … still too many ahead of it, including Paul Evans’ bio mentioned above) was for his song “Too Many People,” always one of my favorites and the lead-off track to Macca’s “Ram” album.

It’s never been much of a secret that the track was designed to take a jab at his former songwriting partner, John Lennon … John had gotten a few digs of his own in along the way after the break-up of The Beatles (although the best one, “How Do You Sleep,” hadn’t come out yet as it was Paul’s “Too Many People” that fueled that one … even in dispute, the two inspired one another in a “friendly competition” sort of way … but Paul’s explanation kinda cracks me up … especially the part about the “piss off cake!!!”  (Now that’s better than Jimmy Webb and Richard Harris leaving THEIR cake out in the rain!!!)


Paul told BBC 4:


“This song was written a year or so after the Beatles break-up. At the time, John was firing missiles at me with his songs, and one or two of them were quite cruel. I don't know what he hoped to gain, other than punching me in the face … the whole thing really annoyed me. I decided to turn my missiles on him, too, but I'm not really that kind of writer, so it was quite veiled. It was the 1970s equivalent of what might today be called a diss track. 


"The idea of too many people preaching practices, it was definitely aimed at John telling everyone what they ought to do.  I just got fed up being told what to do, so I wrote this song.  The first verse and the chorus have pretty much all the anger I could muster, and when I did the vocal on the second line, 'Too many reaching for a piece of cake,' I remember singing it as 'piss off cake,' which you can hear if you really listen to it.”

In the interview, McCartney also admitted that some of the lyric was directed at Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, too … You took your lucky break and broke it in two” reportedly started life as "Yoko took your lucky break and broke it in two" before being changed. Again, it was the couple’s perceived preachiness that irked McCartney.

"The thing is, so much of what they held to be truth was crap.  'War is over' … well, no it isn't. But I get what they were saying … war was over if you want it to be. So, if enough people want war to be over, it'll be over? I'm not sure that's entirely true, but it's a great sentiment.

"I had been able to accept Yoko in the studio sitting on a blanket in front of my amp … I worked hard to come to terms with that, but then when we broke up and everyone was now flailing around, John turned nasty. I don't really understand why. Maybe because we grew up in Liverpool where it was always good to get in the first punch in the fight.”

Looking back all these years later, McCartney says that his rivalry with Lennon after The Beatles' breakup was “a bit weird and a bit nasty,” stating that his “heart wasn't really in it” when it came to the diss track.

Referring again to “Too Many People,” Paul said "It's actually a fairly upbeat song … it doesn't really sound that vitriolic.  If you didn't know the story, I don't know that you'd be able to guess at the anger behind its writing.”

Harvey Kubernik tells us …


By Harvey Kubernik  (© Copyright 1978 and 2021)

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced this summer the selection of five Honorees who will receive the 44th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements. 

Recipients to be honored at the annual national celebration of the arts in Washington, D.C. are: operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz, Motown founder, songwriter, producer, and director Berry Gordy, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, legendary stage and screen icon Bette Midler, and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates luminaries whose art and creativity have enriched us beyond measure,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. 

“An artistic tour de force and America’s Divine Miss M, Bette Midler has enjoyed an unrivaled and prolific career, entertaining millions with her wondrous voice and trademark comedic wit.” 

“This year’s Honorees represent the unifying power of the Arts and surely remind us of that which binds us together as human beings. These artists are equal parts genius, inspiration, and entertainment,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. 

“On December 5th, feting these extraordinary people and welcoming audiences back to our campus. We look forward to shaping an even more exciting Honors program and broadcast with CBS-TV and the producers based on the success and newfound innovations of our 43rd Honors earlier this year.” 

“I am stunned and grateful beyond words,” said the Divine Miss M. “For many years I have watched this broadcast celebrating the best talent in the performing arts that America has to offer, and I truly never imagined that I would find myself among these swans.”

As one of the world's most beloved entertainers, Bette Midler has garnered accolades across all facets of show business. Midler’s expansive body of work has spanned nearly six decades across different genres, eras, and media. She has been recognized with four Grammy Awards®, two Academy Award® nominations, three Emmy Awards®, two Tony Awards®, three Golden Globe Awards, and nine American Comedy Awards. One of the best-selling female singers, her albums have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

Bette Midler performed in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on March 11, 1973, as part of The Divine Miss M Tour. Additionally, she was among the guest cast appearing in a video tribute for 43rd Kennedy Center Honoree, Midori.

In addition to her career as a performer, Bette Midler is active in various social causes and in 1995 founded the New York Restoration Project, an open space conservancy and New York City’s largest private land trust. NYRP is dedicated to protecting and preserving community gardens and other green spaces throughout all five boroughs, and in collaboration with the New York City Parks Department, has planted over 1,000,000 trees in New York City.

With her fresh and audacious perspective, Bette Midler is a living legend.

You can read Harvey’s complete article and interview here:

Bette Midler — SSDL (

Looking over some of the stuff you’ve covered recently …

Turning back the clock to 1971?  MAN, I would LOVE to relive the days when a new Stylistics 45 was hitting the AM airwaves.  What great music!

Jethro Tull's new song that you featured is a bit boring.  Ian's voice has certainly changed quite a lot with age (as expected).  However, that Steppenwolf package looks more complete than MOST boxes like that.  Looks awesome!

When one watches the Sonny and Cher ‘Beat Goes On’ video, imagine how great that song is and yet they use ONE camera (not very well shot, either, as they have it on wrong person singing often) to make this???  Imagine the expensive videos today and still something as simple as THIS one was effective, IMO, back in 67 just as much.

Clark Besch


Hard to believe but …


Vinyl Outsells CDs for the First Time in 35 Years


I would like to take at least PARTIAL credit for that … 

It's ALL in the marketing strategy ...