Saturday, December 31, 2022

Phil Nee Interviews Randy Bachman

2022 draws to a close with one last interview by Phil Nee, who has graced this column nearly every Saturday this past year, sharing conversations from his archives of nearly forty years with WRCO Radio in Wisconsin.

We want to thank him again for allowing us to relive so many of these memories every week in Forgotten Hits.

And, appropriately enough, after kicking off our 2022 Series with Phil's interview of Burton Cummings, it only seemed fitting to close things down with his interview with Randy Bachman!

Together, these two became the foundation of The Guess Who's biggest hits, 1969 - 1970, writing songs like "These Eyes," "American Woman,""Laughing," "No Time" and several others.  Randy would go on to more success with Bachman-Turner Overdrive ... while Burton would enjoy a successful solo career.  (The two reunited last year for a special concert celebrating Manitoba's 150th anniversary ... and did a brief series of shows in Canada.  Unfortunately, the US leg of the tour was cancelled due to Covid restrictions.)

While we've seen Burton Cummings perform numerous times over the years (and have been to a couple of other Guess Who reunion shows), we have only seen Randy Bachman's solo show once ... but it really was quite amazing.  He is an incredibly talented songwriter and musician.

So, Phil ... run us thru the paces once last time for 2022!!!  (kk) 

It has been an honor to be included in Kent's Forgotten Hits this past year.  It was fun digging through the archives to find favorite moments from 36 plus years of my Those Were the Days radio show.  
This will be my last post ... however, we do take requests.  Just ask Kent to get in
touch with me if you are wondering about an artist or group that may have appeared on our airwaves.  Although it has been a year of interview highlights, we barely scratched the surface of my collection.

The first Those Were the Days / Forgotten Hits interview post happened on
December 30th of last year when we featured highlights of an interview
with Burton Cummings.  Today we have moments from a talk with Burton's
former band mate,  Randy Bachman.  
Randy joined me in 2002 and we talked about a recent release at that time called 'This Time Long Ago,' which was a compilation cd of early Guess Who tracks.
It was a great talk with Randy Bachman.  He has long been a favorite of mine.  He was very generous with his time and I was able to ask him many questions.  Randy provided great insight into his songwriting.
The Guess Who made the Billboard chart 21 times between 1965 and 1975. 
Randy Bachman was around for 'Shakin All Over' in 1965 through 'American
Woman / No Sugar Tonight' in 1970.  
I asked Randy about some Guess Who faves.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive charted 12 times in Billboard.  'Let It Ride' hit American radio in early 1974, followed by Takin' Care Of Business,' which went on to become a classic rock staple. There is quite the backstory to Takin' Care Of Business.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive was originally known as Brave Belt. When they
moved from a country/rock sound to more of hard driving style, they hit
it big and even accomplished a number one record in the States (You Ain't
Seen Nothin' Yet.)
During our 2002 interview, Randy Bachman talked with me about the legacy of BTO.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Today Chuck Buell Asks The Musical Question: What Are You Doing New Year's Eve???

Whatever your plans are for celebrating New Year’s Eve, going out, staying home or a combination of both …


( By the Way, nobody ever told me that 20-20 was going to be a Trifecta! )


I hope you and your baby have a Memorable Celebration as we bring in another go of it with 20-23!!


So, for every Forgotten Hitter who’s hoping for a better year, here’s my Special “Chuck Buell ‘My Baby’ New Year’s Eve Minute Medley - the 'Extended Director’s Cut'" to kick off my New Year’s Eve Extravaganza!


Starring ~~~ Chicagoan, Ken Nordine!  And his original composition about going out with his Special Someone, ‘My Baby!’


With opening acts, The Ronettes!  Be ‘My Baby!’


The Tremeloes!  Here Comes ‘My Baby!’


The Drifters!  There Goes ‘My Baby!’


Buddy Holly!  Maybe ‘(My) Baby!’


And Tommy James and the Shondells!  ‘My Baby’ Does the Hanky Panky!'


Happy New Year!

CB ( which stands for “Celebration ‘Baby!’”



So although the clock on the wall tells us that in a matter of just a few hours, 2022 is about to turn into 2023, I cannot help but ask myself ...



Part of that confusion may come from glancing at this week's Billboard Top 40 Pop Music Chart ...

Thanks to the way the charts are compiled and configured these days, this week's Top 40 contains songs by:

ANDY WILLIAMS - Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season (#40) and It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (#6)

JOHN LENNON - Happy Xmas (War Is Over) #38

CHUCK BERRY - Run Rudolph Run (#34)

THE JACKSON FIVE - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (#33)

PAUL McCARTNEY - Wonderful Christmastime (#32)

THE BEACH BOYS - Little Saint Nick (#30)

GENE AUTRY - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (#28) and Here Comes Santa Claus (#25)

ELVIS PRESLEY - Blue Christmas (#27)

PERRY COMO - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (#24)

FRANK SINATRA - Jingle Bells (#22) 

BING CROSBY - White Christmas (#18)

DEAN MARTIN - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (#17)

NAT "KING" COLE - Deck The Halls (#16) and The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) #11

DARLENE LOVE - Christmas Baby (Please Come Home) #15 

THE RONETTES - Sleigh Ride (#13) 

JOSE FELICIANO - Feliz Navidad (#8)

WHAM! - Last Christmas (#5)

BURL IVES - A Holly Jolly Christmas (#4)

BOBBY HELMS - Jingle Bell Rock (#3)

BRENDA LEE - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (#2)

and MARIAH CAREY - All I Want For Christmas Is You (#1)

That's right, folks ...

21 Vintage Artists ... singing 24 different Christmas songs (!) ... have taken over The Top 40 this week!!!  (That accounts for 60% of the entire chart!!!)

And there are more ...

The Eagles, Eartha Kitt, Donny Hathaway and The Vince Guaraldi Trio account for four of the next ten songs on the countdown ...

An unprecedented take-over of the charts!

(If somebody had posed the trivia question:  In what year did Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Jose Feliciano, The Beach Boys, Brenda Lee, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Chuck Berry ALL have Top 40 Hits during the same week, nobody could have EVER predicted that the answer to that question would be 2022!!!  And just watch ... this could very well BE a music trivia question a few decades from now!!!)

Pretty Amazing!!!  But true!!!

"Still listening to the hits of the '50's, '60's and '70's"???

You betcha!  (kk)

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Thursday This And That

Me-TV’s got a great programming idea planned for New Year’s Day …


An all-day salute to “Firsts on the First” … pilot episodes from some of your favorite television shows from the ‘60’s.  


These include the first episodes of “The Honeymooners,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Leave It To Beaver,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Gilligan’s Island” and more.


(You can see the whole schedule via the link below)  kk


They also pay tribute to some of the many stars we lost this past year …


We’ve all spoken out at one time or another about the complete saturation and repetition of Christmas Music being played during the holiday season (which now seems to kick off before the Halloween decorations have even come down.)


Well, Tom Cuddy sent us this article profiling The Lite, Chicago’s ratings leader for Christmas Music for over a decade now … and the results are quite shocking.  (They use the example that while many people claim they’ve heard Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” five hundred times, the TRUTH is (if they actually caught every time WLIT played it this year) it would only be 199 times … which isn’t even the top song played ... (so I guess there's SOME comfort in that!!!  lol)  


In fact, Mariah's chart-topping favorite doesn’t even make WLIT's Top Five this season!  For those of you keeping score (and who love this kinda stuff like I do!), The Top Five were actually:


“Carol of the Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller, which was played 224 times between November 1st (when WLIT kicked off their Christmas Music this year) and December 26th (when they wrapped things up) ... that was good enough for first place, followed by “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams (222); “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano (218); “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by LeAnn Rimes (215); and “Winter Wonderland” by Amy Grant (211).  Wow!


You can read the whole story here:


Meanwhile, Taylor Swift continues to break chart records … she has had a PHENOMONAL year!!!  Tom also sent us this ...

Taylor Swift's 'Midnights' Is the First Vinyl Record to Outsell CDs Since 1987

>>>If You Listen Close To The Start Of "ME & MRS JONES" -- Just Before Billy Starts Singing, Doesn't The Music Sound Like "ONCE I HAD A SECRET LOVE?"  Or Is It Just Me That Hears It?  (FB)

Mr. Buongervino is right. Even Wikipedia noted that "Secret Love" is referenced in the sax lines in "... Mrs. Jones." 

As a result, Gilbert/Gamble/Huff were sued (separately?) by Fain and Webster, who reportedly won a share of the song's royalties!

Bob Frable


Frank was also won over by Rewound Radio’s Top 77 Countdown this year …

kk …

Monday I Listened To & Wrote Down All 77 Songs In The Rewound Radio Countdown.

On Tuesday, I Requested A Platters Song. I Was Able To Send A Message To Allan Sniffen, In The Studio.

At 5:35 PM, He Played #710 - "WITH THIS RING" by Sonny Turner & Platters (1967)

Good Countdown ... But Not Enough 1950's Tunes To Suit Me.

I Liked It Better When "IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT" (Me & Glen Fisher Love This One!) Was Always # 1 … Instead Of "HEY JUDE"

And … Can Any Of Your Experts Explain How "MAC ARTHUR PARK" by Richard Harris Gets Enough Votes To Check In At #5???


LOL … it’s SO funny that you said this as we had a BIG discussion about “MacArthur Park” over the Christmas Weekend.  Honestly, I don’t get it either … and I tried REALLY hard to listen to it on Monday when Rewound hit #5 in the countdown … in fact, Frannie and Paige listened, too … they both LOVE the song.  (The whole while it was playing, all I kept thinking was “There’s seven minutes I’ll never get back!!!”)

Don't get me wrong ... I fully expected it to make the countdown … but #5?!?!?  Seriously!?!?

By the way, you don’t have to write down all the songs and artists …

The Top 77 are already posted on the site ...

And in another day or two, you’ll be able to see the entire list …

This means EVERY song that got voted for … typically somewhere around 3000 titles!

(Even 'tho Progressive Insurance keeps telling us that "you don't have to print the Internet," I still print it out every year … usually about 35 pages … and an entire ink cartridge!!!  Lol  But I’ve just GOTTA have it!)

Keep watching the Rewound Radio Website to see when it’s been posted.

(I also agree with you that it’s time for another song to top this chart … and said so when the voting for this year's countdown was first announced.)  If I’m not mistaken, the only song to ever reach #1 BESIDES “Hey Jude” was “Rag Doll” by The Four Seasons, which came in at #3 this year.  (I was happy to see how much “God Only Knows” has grown in stature.  It came in at #2.)  Still, this means that "Hey Jude" has topped Rewound's Top 77 Favorites Chart for 24 out of its 25 years!!!  (I am also from the listening era when "In The Still Of The Nite" topped the chart every year ... but I got tired of that monopoly, too, after a while.)

Another of the usual suspects, “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones was voted #4 … so there’s your Top Five.

I heard Allan say that the year with the most countdown songs this year was 1971 … which kind of surprised me.  I don’t know if that means the audience is getting a bit younger (?)

But in listening to the playback since Christmas Day, I also feel like there are a LOT more repeats this year for some reason.  One of the things I really enjoy about their programming the week between Christmas and New Year’s is that you’re going to hear around 3000 songs with VERY little repeats … but this year it seems I heard quite a few every time I turned it on.  (And, because of my new work situation, that meant typically on the way to and from work … and maybe a little bit at lunch time.  With that limited of a listening space, I’m not sure I should have heard ANY!!!)

Still, I put Rewound’s programming up against them all when it comes to musical variety.  You can listen for hours … and days on end … and still be surprised multiple times by what you’re hearing.  (kk)

By the way, FOUR of MY Top Ten Favorites made The Top 77 this year:

"Since I Don't Have You" by The Skyliners came in at #61, Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" was #54, "Cara Mia" by Jay and the Americans was this year's #52 song and "Because" by The Dave Clark Five ranked at #47. 

And once again disproving Jack Levin's theory that The Beatles' popularity was bought with Capitol Records' publicity dollars and they probably won't have made it otherwise, The Fabs have an incredible TWELVE of the Top 77 picks, including the #1 Hit (again, for those of you keeping score, that's just over 15%) some 58 years after the original hype of Beatlemania.  (I'd say that's money pretty well spent!!!)  kk

>>>At what time period was the song Lake Shore Drive considered to be at the height of its popularity?  (Ron Lange)

I considered that same question when I found it in your Top 3333 Classic Rock Chart.  I came up empty, almost.  It didn't chart in Billboard and it doesn't even appear in the ARSA database.

I finally found one sole mention of it in Billboard, where in showed up as a "Top Request / Airplay" on WZMF Milwaukee on page 86 of Billboard's August 16, 1975 issue … years after it was recorded, but that's all I found.

Ed Erxleben

Our Top 3333 Countdown shows it as 1971 because that’s when the album was released.  (Dann Isbell put together the extensive list of original LP’s and release dates to coincide with our list of favorites … an exhaustive search to say the least.)

One of the things I’m looking forward to doing in 2023 is updating our TOP 3333 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS OF ALL TIME List …

After receiving literally HUNDREDS of emails offering opinions about what really should and shouldn’t be on the list … and continuing to monitor the tracks and artists that Classic Rock Radio are actually playing, I can see that a bit of “fine-tuning” is in order.

Don’t get me wrong …

Part of the reason for doing the list was to show Classic Rock Radio some of the HUNDREDS of other great classic rock songs they are overlooking by concentrating on the same 300-500 again and again and again.  We rediscovered SO many great tracks once we opened it up to our readers to nominate their favorites.

But as much as we believe that Classic Rock Radio should also embrace some of the “Roots of Rock” artists who helped to pave the way, the general consensus seems to be that “That’s What Oldies Radio Is For.” 

There are a few other artists who, by popular opinion, really don’t belong on a list such as this … so, somehow, someway, we’re going to revamp/revise and update the list to be more Classic Rock friendly.

And then, once that's done, our main goal will be to find somebody to actually PLAY it … start to finish …

Count down all 3333 Tracks … IN ORDER … so that Classic Rock Music Fans can enjoy our efforts in their entirety rather than as just a random “surprise” track every now and then.  Hopefully, 2023 will afford us the time to do so. (Otherwise, we may not get around to this for DECADES … although I HAVE to admit that it would be pretty cool to count down The Top 3333 in the YEAR 3333!!!  Can you guys stick around long enough to listen?!?!)  kk




After a little bit of shuffling of our own, we've now got Chuck Buell's New Years Eve piece scheduled for tomorrow ...


Phil Nee's final interview in our year-long series (with Randy Bachman!) coming up on Saturday (which IS New Year's Eve!) ...

And THE TOP 72 SONGS OF 1972 going up on the site on Sunday, January 1st ... 

(with our final Coast-To-Coast 1972 Survey posting on Monday, the 2nd ...

and this time we're going all the way up to Alaska!!!)

Good stuff to get you thru your holiday weekend ...

Right here in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Tuesday This And That

All hail to Kent, who makes this happen. Super Scribe!

Happy Holidays! And thank you for all you do!

Mike DeMartino


A great piece on the late Thom Bell …


And, from Tommy Roe …


Hi Kent …

My new CD, "From Here To Here," produced by Mike Franklin, will be released on January 5th.  Hope you enjoy it!


Can't wait to hear it, Tommy ... love the lead-off single!  So great to know you're still making new music!  (kk)


A Christmas Conversation with Frank B … who we haven’t heard from in a long time! …

kk …

First Time Hearing Larry Lujack … He's Pretty Good.

What's Going On The Rest Of The Week On "REWOUND RADIO?"

Didn't They Do An Oldies Countdown In Other Years?


During the entire week between Christmas and New Year's, they play back all of the songs that got votes for all-time favorites - probably close to 3000 songs in all - plus the Top 77 (based on the old WABC Countdown)

It all kicks off at noon (Eastern) tomorrow (Monday) and runs straight thru New Year's Day.

So many songs - with very few repeats - plus listener requests, too, to see where their favorites finished



On Saturday, The Third Item On Phil's List Was Barbara Harris.

My Pal DJ Ken "KOJAK" Is Very Close Friends With Her.

Over The Years He's MC'D Many Of Her Shows & She Did Many Charity Events For Him.

Kojak's Last Show Of The Year Will Be This Tuesday, December 27th From 8 - 11 PM On Remember Then Radio.

He Called His Listeners & Had Them Introduce Their Own Requests.

He Taped Me Saying " I'd Like To Hear 'Only You' By Tony Williams & Platters.

When They First Recorded It On The FEDERAL LABEL, It Was Not A Hit.

They Re-Recorded It When They Signed With MERCURY.

In 1955, It Became Their First Billboard Hit, Peaking At #5.

Play The Song, Kojak.”

He Hung Up On Me ‘Cause Larry Chance Was Calling About His Request.

I Wonder If He Picked One Of His Own Songs. I'll Have To Wait Till Tuesday To Find Out.

I’ve Also Got To Ask You About #52 On The WLS Countdown List …


Do You Know Anything About This Group?

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

By The Way, Tonight On The Ed Sullivan Show It’ll Be A Two-Hour Christmas Special.

One Last Thing …

If You Listen Close To The Start Of "ME & MRS JONES" -- Just Before Billy Starts Singing, Doesn't The Music Sound Like "ONCE I HAD A SECRET LOVE?"

Or Is It Just Me That Hears It?


If you scroll back to Friday’s post, you’ll find a link to tell you about this one …

“Birthday by The Underground Sunshine was a #2 Hit here in Chicago if you can believe it!!!  (kk)


And, speaking of the Rewound Radio rebroadcast of the WLS Big 89 of 1969 Countdown, I was able to listen to MUCH more than I expected ... so this was an especially nice treat for Christmas Day.

So now the question comes up ...

Did anybody record it???

See Phil Nee's note below ...


I have been trying to get a recording of the 1969 countdown since Reel Radio ran it years ago and I missed it then.  Yesterday I set up two different recording stations at the station so that if one failed the other would catch it.  Unfortunately, they both cut out at the same spot (after number 26.)  I am not sure if it was a Rewound glitch or something on this end.  Needless to say, it never came back and I was celebrating Christmas and was not there to refresh.  Did you record or know of anyone else that did?


Let's put the word out there and see if anyone responds ... I wouldn't mind a copy of this myself!

I know I had quite a bit of trouble with Alexa on Christmas Day picking up Rewound Radio ... they just couldn't seem to do it no matter how many times I tried ... I just kept getting caught in a repetitive ad for some Indiana Real Estate Company.  Each time the ad would end, it would just play over and over and over again, never connecting to the station.  Fortunately, I was able to listen to it on my desktop computer in the other room ... but never even thought to record it.  (But I'll betcha SOMEBODY did!!!)  Hang tight.  (kk) 

Just viewed this week’s Homeward Bound special on CBS spotlighting Paul Simon and his amazing songs. It was great to see him saluted, but until he came on at the end, it seemed a little lifeless. I mean, the Jonas Brothers performing “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover?” Sure Garth Brooks, Shaggy, Dave Matthews and Sting were there, but Simon’s songs to me always evidenced a mood and a location. Rhymin’ Simon was New Orleans; Still Crazy was Stuff. Graceland was, well Graceland. Actually, the standout number for me, besides Simon, was Suzanna Hoff’s brilliant “Hazy Shade of Winter,” from her Bangles catalog. Simon’s a poet; the voice of a generation and I think this show deserved something more … maybe Art Garfunkel?

G.H. Harding


Later this week, we’ll be running a special countdown of our own …

As we look back at the 72 Biggest Hits of 1972.

(Our chart is an accumulation of all of the national chart data available, coupled with the Super Charts from that year, Joel Whitburn’s tabulation and the book “Ranking The ‘70’s,” compiled by Dann Isbell and Bill Carroll.


Meanwhile, FH Reader Clark Besch sent us this information …


50 years ago, the end of 1972!  This is a scan of my original American Top 40 countdown show list they printed up then and played over two weeks, 40 songs per week, 80-41 and then 40-1.  It's kinda lackluster to look at some of these titles (from what I liked as the best of 72), so I have my own chart I made IN 1972 as a 16 year old below the AT40 one.  Check out Casey's afro-type (?) look!


Fast forward a year to the end of 1973 and catch a tape I made on the last day of 1973 from NBC Monitor on KFAB Omaha, Ne.  You'll note that KFAB reports the Lincoln temp as -17 before midnight.  The tape here is the last minutes of 1973 with new Monitor NBC syndicated national New Year’s Eve broadcast with new weekend hosts Wolfman Jack and Don Imus!  Wolfman has most recently been at KDAY in LA and now was joining Imus at WNBC in NYC!  Imus had been at WNBC for a couple years and his fame was still somewhat infant as he became a shock jock.  You'll find some politically incorrect comments in the show here, while Wolfman was Wolfie, loveable and never abusive to his guests.  I thought they made a good tandem team as "biting" and "loveable" hosts on NBC weekend Monitor stations across the US, but then, I WAS 16.  The break in the tape two minutes in is from my reel to reel ending one side, so I had to flip it over.

You'll hear both DJs' theme songs in this show.  Wolfman's being 1962 King Curtis' "Soul Twist" while Imus played 1972's Crusaders' "Put It Where You Want It."  When this ended, on came midnight's Guy Lombardo live program in NYC, playing his signature song and more bubbly music for the New Year.  Just shows how NBC did things, I guess.


IF you know what KFAB has been over the decades, it will sound VERY off to have these two goofballs on that news station.

Clark Besch


Clark sent us a clip from the Don Imus / Wolfman Jack broadcast but it runs about 17 minutes long (and is of various quality), so a bit too long and tedious to post here.  However, if you’d like a copy, just shoot me and email and I will be happy to send it along.  (kk)



… and my year end chart:


A couple of months ago, Phil Nee and I counted down each of our Top 40 Favorites from 1972 on his Those Were The Days radio program.  We’ve done that for every year dating back to 2017 when we looked back at our favorite year in music, 1967.

These were our favorites, mind you … they had absolutely NOTHING to do with how this music or these songs actually performed on the charts that year.  (We’ll be running THAT list … The Top 72 of 1972 … later this week.)

Here’s how Phil and I each ranked our Top 40 Favorites of ’72 …

Phil’s choice are on the left … mine are on the right …

with one slight qualifier …

I realized after the program aired that I had left off one of my very favorites from that year …

“Stay With Me” by The Faces!!!

In fact, I liked it enough to have probably included it in my Top Ten …

But then EVERY time I look at this list, I shuffle several of the titles around in my mind.  (I think I really came up with about 75 tracks that I would consider “favorites” from that year!) 

So this chart shows EXACTLY how we ranked ‘em and counted them down.  (kk)


Clark also let us know about a Bob Sirott New Year’s Eve Radio Special airing on WGN …

On New Year’s Eve, Bob Sirott revisits morning show interviews with musicians and singer-songwriters from 2022 featuring Graham Nash, Tommy James, Mike Love, Smokey Robinson, Peter Asher, Dion DiMucci, and more. “Bob Sirott’s Musicpeople Memories” airs Saturday, December 31st from 9 pm to Midnight.


Bob then emailed me directly to let me know about some other guests who’ll be making appearances …


ALSO … Just added …

Gene Chandler, Lee Loughnane of Chicago and Paul Muldoon, who edited the Paul McCartney book “The Lyrics.”



Those are some pretty cool “adds”!!!

Folks can listen here:


Here’s an interesting marketing concept …


When Bruce Springsteen goes out on tour next year, he’s going to record all 31 performances … and then make those shows available for purchase in both CD and MP3 format.  (It’s a subscription series … and it’ll cost ya about $600-$700 depending on which package you go to.)

Now granted, some of The Boss’ shows go on for 3-4 hours … but how many copies of these songs do you really need???  (Didn’t The Grateful Dead do a similar “bootleg series” years ago where you could get a copy of every show they did?)

Anyway, if you’ve got an extra $600 bucks burning a hole in your pocket after the Christmas presents have been paid for, here are some more details …

Howard Dewitt wrote a glowing review of David Leaf’s new Brian Wilson / Beach Boys book “God Only Knows:  The Story of Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys an The California Myth” … 


"Brian Wilson is an enigma. He is a genius with symphonies in his head. He is the most interesting, if elusive, of rock ‘n’ roll composers He is part Bob Dylan. He is part the Beatles. He is so original it makes one think he is the Beethoven of rock music. No one has explained him. No one has understood Wilson. That is until David Leaf added the last 60,000 words to “God Only Knows: The Story of Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys And The California Myth.   

This book initially arrived in 1978 as the best Beach Boy work in a large format laden with pictures and brilliantly produced. Then there was an update in 1985 and, finally, the last addition. The wait has been worth. The Brian Wilson mystery is solved. Leaf takes the reader inside the creative genius creating Pet Sounds, Smile and the Beach Boys hits. 

What is it that makes this book not only the best on Wilson and Beach Boys? Leaf was Wilson’s best friend. He was there when Mike Love was terrorizing eight wives, the group, the producers and even the fans. Leaf was there when Dr. Eugene Landy came in to take over Murray Wilson’ s role of hollering and berating Brian. Finally, when Brian married Melinda, Leaf was there to watch his long time friend ease into the first signs of normalcy in his long and brilliant musical life. That normalcy led to touring and a string of brilliant albums.

While a lifelong friend to Brian, David Leaf is a seasoned observer with a penchant for honest evaluation. He chronicles the ups and downs of Brian’s musical career with clarity while explaining his genius. Leaf’s “Author’s Note To The 2022 Edition” explains everything. Leaf confessed to a lack of knowledge concerning songwriting, his apologized for not understanding the turmoil of fame when he wrote his first Beach Boy book. I hate to disagree with Leaf but he did a marvelous job in his first book. The 1985 additions matured the story and analyzed the forces behind Wilson’s creative genius. The additions in this release are chilling concerning how and why Dr. Landy was allowed to virtually capture and contain Wilson’s creativity. 

Leaf wrote he was a “na├»ve, idealistic kid” when the first book was published in 1978. I saw it as a multi layered look into a brilliant artist while considering the force of the industry and fame upon Wilson’s psyche. This is what made the 1978 edition special. I used that book in my History of Rock ‘n’ Roll course until it went out of print. Why? It came with unvarnished truth. That is Leaf chronicled not only how and why a songwriter who seldom surfed became a rock ‘n’ roll genius. He had an eye toward Brian’s genius while never excusing his faults.

Pet Sounds and Wilson’s subsequent tours provides a centerpiece to the book. The odds that Brian would overcome his mental difficulties and re-emerge as a triumphant singer-songwriter on tour were minimal. Yet, Wilson did so and inaugurated a second phase of his career thanks to Leaf, the Wondermints, label heads and a legion of fans looking for his re-emergence.

The key to this book is the California Myth. Those of us who arrived in California, I came to teach at the University of California, Davis, from 1963 through 1965 while finishing a PhD in history, experienced that myth. When I saw the Beach Boys in Sacramento I was amazed at Brian’s skill. I believed he was the entire group. Over the years I have watched Mike Love tell the world he is solely responsible for the Beach Boys continued success. This narcissist who sings lead has turned off generations of Beach Boy fans. How does Leaf handle Love? He does with dispassionate analysis pointing to Love’s ability to keep the Beach Boys on the road during tough times. In his prose Leaf is a brilliant facilitator of the atmosphere in and around Brian Wilson.  The decade of Dr. Landy’s so-called therapy is covered with precision, insight and careful analysis. Leaf was there. He is fair in his assessment of Landy. He is also critical pointing out how and why his treatment led to Landy losing his license to practice and how and why Brian emerged from this living hell to eventually go on the road with his seminal Pet Sounds tour. Leaf wrote and produced the “All Star Tribute to Brian Wilson” in which he helped Brian return to performing at New York ‘City’s famed Radio Music Hall on March 29, 2001. 

Leaf’s book concentrates on the three brothers. Dennis has a solo album that Leaf highlights and he points to the drummer as keeping the ladies happy while having a creative life. I never fully appreciated Carl Wilson’s vocals and contributions to their music until I read Leaf’s book. The early death and accidental drowning of Dennis are trauma periods in Brian’s life. Leaf covers with class dignity and careful analysis these down periods. You will understand Brian and Leaf’s writing makes you feel like you are sitting in the room with them. 

Simmering throughout the book is the broken dreams that run through the California music business. The re-emergence of Brian as a creative artist, his triumphant Pet Sounds tour and his marriage to Melinda create a heart breaking story with a happy ending.. With the adoption of children, a normal life, a string of solo albums and an adoring fan base, Brian Wilson was explained. He was also back. 

This is not a typical rock ‘n’ roll biography. David Leaf was there every step of the way with Brian. For the reader the bonus is the story is interesting, well told and poignant."

Howard Dewitt


When I got home from work the other night the Brian Wilson biopic “Love And Mercy” was just starting on TV so I decided to leave it on while I ate my dinner … it had been a while since I’d seen it …

And I can only say that I STILL cannot accept John Cusack as Brian Wilson in this film.

(Paul Dano, yes … there are SO many mannerism similarities … but Cusack doesn’t even come close to nailing it … and looks absolutely NOTHING like him, something else that Dano excels at.  And I’m not so sure about Elizabeth Banks as Melinda either, for that matter.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Banks is a beautiful and talented actress … although today’s she’s most visible as a frickin’ game show host … so explain THAT one to me!!!)

Anyway, it made me look back at what I originally wrote when the film first came out in theaters in 2015.  (I remember being at an event a week or two later and both Bob Sirott and Bob Stroud giving me grief about what I had written … but I swear, even some seven years later, I still feel the same way … they should have let Dano handle the entire role.  There was no reason to switch off pre and post Landy.  (Speaking of which, I think Paul Giamatti is EXCELLENT in the Dr. Eugene Landy role!!!)  kk


You’ll find OUR review in Part 2 …


How wild to get all of these Monkees photos in the same week …

And NONE of them were from Gary Strobl, who has kept our readers entertained with his MAGICAL MONKEES MEMORIES all year long!


First up, two shots of Micky Dolenz performing at the Beatles On The Beach Fest held last week in Delray Beach, FL.

According to Micky’s PR Guy David Salidor, Dolenz closed out the year in front of a SRO crowd of 3000. 

Dolenz and his band delivered with a bevy of Monkee-hits and Beatle hits like "Oh Darling."


Photos by Meagan Pease


And then these from Timmy Manocheo


First a shot of Mike Nesmith and Frank Zappa, swapping roles at the end of a Season Two Monkees episode.  (It always killed me that for all the flack they took for being a “manufactured” band, The Monkees got to hang out with the COOLEST people of the time … and were TOTALLY accepted by folks like Frank Zappa, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Mama Cass and The Mamas and Papas, Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix and so many others.  Maybe it’s time The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame recognized their contribution to “Good Time” Rock and Roll … and Rock And Roll on TV!!!)


And then this shot from the “And then there were THREE” period in the band’s career …

The full clip …


And finally, this from Mike Wolstein …


Gwen Stefani has been openly “hinting” that she wouldn’t be opposed to a No Doubt reunion tour.

Between 1996 and 2003 (and then again with a comeback single in 2012), No Doubt hit Billboard’s Top 40 nine times, including FOUR Top Ten Hits (“Don’t Speak,” #1 for SIXTEEN WEEKS in 1996, “Hey Baby” (#5, 2002), “Underneath It All” (#3, 2002) and “It’s My Life” (#10, 2004).

Now married to Country Superstar Blake Shelton, Gwen has had a few SOLO smashes a well …

2005’s “Hollaback Girl” also went to #1, 2007’s “The Sweet Escape” hit #2, “Rich Girl” reached #7 in 2005 and “Wind It Up” was a #6 hit in 2006.  (kk)


Will we finally get to see some Dick Biondi documentary screenings in 2023?

It sure sounds like it!

While Pam is still raising funds to get this thing into syndication, she’s going to start doing some public showings to help build some buzz for the film … and we can’t wait!

Dear Kent, 

Thank you for another great year of Forgotten Hits and for keeping the great music alive. For everyone who's been waiting for" The Voice That Rocked America: The Dick Biondi Story," we have some great news. Finally, at long last, we have a film! 

He called himself The World's Ugliest Disc Jockey. The Screamer. The Super Sonic Spaghetti Eater. But we knew him as The Wild I-Tralian, the crazy deejay whose voice we grew up listening to. We laughed at his corny knock-knock jokes and ate pizza with peanut butter and sauerkraut on top. It was awful, but we'd do anything for Biondi. Dick introduced us to the greatest hits. A rock and roll pioneer, Dick nurtured many artists' careers, from Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bobby Darin to our own Chicago artists. At WLS-AM, Dick was the first DJ in the U.S. to play a Beatles record, "Please Please Me," in February of 1963. Dick slurped his coffee, made fun of his boss, and adored his teenage audience. We adored him right back. There was no one like him. Dick's unique personality changed the sound of radio here in Chicago, and across the nation. Dick's untold story will introduce audiences to a superstar jock and a kind and humble man who never let fame get in the way of his humanity. 

What an honor it has been for me to tell Dick's story, and to announce our documentary will be screened in and around Chicago in 2023 and beyond. It has been 8-1/2 years of labor of love, and while we don't yet have funding for broadcast, we cannot wait to share the film with all of you! In the film you’ll see many of Dick's famous friends -- Frankie Valli, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, Paul Shaffer, Tony Orlando, Chicago’s Walt Parazaider, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Tom Dreesen, Jim Peterik, Carl Giammarese, Ray Graffia Jr., Ronnie Rice, Tom Doody, Bob Sirott, John Landecker, Bob Hale, and Scott Childers -- even a guy named Kent Kotal. Thanks, Kent, for being part of our salute to Dick Biondi. 

To be notified of screenings, we encourage you to sign up for our newsletter at And if anyone is interested in hosting a screening or becoming an official sponsor of our national production, please contact Pam (at)

Lots of love to you all.

Pam Enzweiler-Pulice




Author and Music Historian Harvey Kubernik Returns as Guest Interview on Coast to Coast AM with Host George Noory, Friday, December 30, 2022, 10:00 pm - Midnight (PST); The Popularity of Fifties and Sixties Recordings, Documentaries Discussion and Musician Passings in 2022

Coast to Coast AM with George Noory is the most-listened-to overnight talk radio program in North America, which has 2.5 million listeners, and is estimated to be carried over 500 AM affiliates, a number of FM stations, is streamed on the station’s website, and also broadcast by 12 Clear-Channel stations, including KFI (640 AM) in the Los Angeles market.

Each night on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, listeners are captivated with discussions on news and current events, conspiracy theories, UFOs, life after death, and all things curious and unexplained. 

Harvey Kubernik is the author of 20 music and pop culture books over a 50 year career as a music journalist, documentarian, television host, record producer, film consultant, and is a former West Coast Director of A&R at MCA Records, now Universal Music Enterprises.

Recent Kubernik book titles are 2020’s Docs That Rock, Music That Matters and 2021’s Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child. Harvey’s earlier book on music documentaries, Hollywood Shack Job: Rock Music In Film and On Your Screen was published in 2006.

Harvey Kubernik has been a yearly guest on Coast to Coast AM this decade. George and Harvey will discuss the ongoing popularity of fifties and sixties rock music and recordings on radio, in television and movie soundtracks, stage shows, the continued production of musical documentaries and biopics theatrically released and streamed. They'll also comment on the musicians and recording artists who passed during 2022.     

Harvey is the Head of Editorial at Record Collector News magazine and a regular contributor to websites,, and and website: Kubernik’s Korner at   

During 2022, he served as film consultant and interview subject for Revival69 about the landmark music festival in Toronto, Canada where John Lennon/Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band debuted. The Doors, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley were also lensed by D.A. Pennebaker, executive producer. The film premiered in mid-December, 2022, at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto.  

During 2007, Kubernik appeared as an on-screen expert in the deluxe edition 40th anniversary DVD of Jailhouse Rock (MGM), starring Elvis Presley. Kubernik served as Consulting Producer on the 2010 singer-songwriter documentary, Troubadours, directed by Morgan Neville. The film was shown at Sundance Film Festival (2011), and on American Masters (PBS-TV). 

Harvey was an interview subject in director Matthew O’Casey’s 2012 Queen at 40 BBC TV documentary and released on DVD as Queen: Days Of Our Lives in via Eagle Rock Entertainment. Harvey was also interviewed in the BBC-TV documentary on Bobby Womack, Across 110th Street (2013), directed by James Maycock, which featured Bobby and Regina Womack, Barney Hoskyns, Ronnie Wood, Damon Albarn, and Antonio Vargas. 

In 2014, he was a consultant and interview subject for an hour-long examination of the musical legacy of Los Angeles for the Australia television series Great Music Cities for Australian subscription television broadcaster XYZ networks Pty Ltd ( au). Slash, Brian Wilson, Steve Lukather and Keith Richards were also lensed by producer Wade Goring. 

Filmmaker Matt O'Casey in 2014 recorded Kubernik in his BBC-TV documentary, subsequently broadcast on Showtime television about singer/performer Meat Loaf, titled Meat Loaf; In and Out Hell, now in retail outlets as a DVD via Universal.   

During 2019, Harvey served as the consultant on the two-part documentary Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time, directed by Alison Ellwood. Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time debuted in 2020 on the network television channel EPIX. 

In 2019, Kubernik was a feature on-screen interview for director Matt O’Casey on his BBC4-TV digital arts channel Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird. The cast includes Christine McVie, Stan Webb of Chicken Shack, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Christine’s family members, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Mike Campbell, Neil Finn and producer Richard Dashut.


Hi Kent,

At what time period was the song Lake Shore Drive considered to be at the height of its popularity?


Ron Lange

That’s a tough one … because the song just continued to grow in popularity as more and more people became aware of it … yet despite all this following and airplay, it never actually charted and Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah are barely a footnote outside of Chicago.

My initial gut reaction when I read your question was to say that I thought I first became aware of it in 1971 … and that that’s when it first started getting airplay … but apparently this is incorrect information as Skip Haynes (who wrote the song) says the band first recorded it on New Year’s Eve, 1971, and New Year’s Day, 1972 … so the soonest it would have hit the airwaves was sometime in 1972.

The continued to grow in popularity (especially on the FM dial) and this trend continued throughout the ‘70’s … which makes it difficult to pinpoint a “peak” popularity point when there is nothing to substantiate it.  (Had it actually charted, I might be able to be a bit more specific … but Skip also told us, as the band continued to tour and perform across the country, how amazed they were to find out how many cities they visited had a Lake Shore Drive … making the song that much more relatable to their audience.

As recently as a few years ago, the song was picked up for one of the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” soundtracks … so a whole new generation was exposed to this tune. 

Several years ago, Skip broke down the tune’s origins for our Forgotten Hits Readers … and even recorded a special “Forgotten Hits” version of the tune! 

You can read the whole story … in Skip’s own words … right here: (kk)