Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Tuesday This And That

David Bowie’s catalog is the latest to go up for sale … his estate just sold his global publishing rights to Warner Chappell Music in a deal estimated to be worth more than $250 million.  (The company now owns all of Bowie’s output as both a recording artist AND a songwriter.)  The agreement includes songs from all 26 of his studio albums, dating back to his 1967 self-titled debut through his 2016 album “Blackstar,” released just two days before his death.

In what seems to be a fast-growing trend, Warner Chappell has now acquired (in addition to David Bowie’s complete output), the catalogs of Quincy Jones, George Michael, Bruno Mars and Cardi B.  (Yes, I’ll agree … those last two are a bit surprising!!!  But if the deal includes any FUTURE work recorded by these artists, it could be a goldmine.  As to any lasting longevity of these acts, this remains to be seen.  The music of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, ZZ Top, Jim Peterik, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, James Brown, The Beach Boys and many of the other acts whose catalogs have recently gone on the block have proven to be timeless in so many ways.  Will there really be a demand for Cardi B. music 50 years from now???  (kk)


Congratulations (again!) to Micky Dolenz …


David Salidor is reporting …




In 2016, Micky Dolenz topped Little Steven’s Underground Garage’s Coolest Song of the Year with “Birth of an Accidental Hipster” from the 2015 Monkees Good Times album – the song was written by Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller; and today it was announced that his re-imagined recording of Michael Nesmith’s “Circle Sky” topped the Underground Garage list for Coolest Song of 2021.

The track is from Dolenz’s mid-year solo album Dolenz Sings Nesmith (on 7a Records); a tribute to the songs of Mike Nesmith.

Here's Micky's Facebook post: 

Happy New Year!

I want to thank everyone for making Circle Sky from Dolenz Sings Nesmith the Coolest Song in the World for 2021.

Needless to say, that this comes at a bittersweet time is an understatement. But I know that wherever he is, he is thrilled to see his work being acknowledged.

I look forward to continuing the legacy of my band mates the best way I know how, by keeping the music alive.

Also, major kudos to Christian Nesmith for his vision and reimagination of these wonderful songs and thanks to 7A Records for making the project happen.

Let’s look forward to a safe and sound 2022 and I hope to see you all soon.

#LittleSteviesUndergroundGarage #UndergroundGarage #StevenVanZandt 

Hi Kent,  

Loved the story about the negative response to Gene Pitney's "She's a Heart Breaker"!

I saw an interview with Little Anthony, who said he did NOT want to record  "Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop."  He thought it was silly! 

The owner of the record company insisted they record it and it became a hit.  

Later Little Anthony commented, as Gene Pitney did about "She's a Heart Breaker," that you need an UPBEAT SONG to balance all the ballads.  How True!!!

I saw Little Anthony and the Imperials perform "Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop” and the

audience went wild … and sang along …


I’ve seen Little Anthony a few times recently and they STILL put on an amazing show.  His voice is in tip-top shape … and he tells the story on stage about how he didn’t want to record this song … he has even built it into part of his routine about how he doesn’t want to perform it that night either … but then admits that once he saw what a big hit it was (#19, 1960) and all the money started coming in, he grew to love it.  (I think it’s a GREAT track … and really does help to blend out their set … especially since their bigger hits … “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958), “Goin’ Out Of My Head” (#4, 1964) and “Hurt So Bad” (#10, 1965) are all ballads, as you stated.

Little Anthony and the Imperials also hit The Top 20 with “I’m On The Outside Looking In” (#15, 1964) and “Take Me Back” (#16, 1965) … not a bad little hit list for a group that’s still going strong … and putting on a Vegas-worthy stage show everywhere they perform.  (kk)

kk …

Here’s some more talk …

Gene Pitney wondered why "THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE" wasn't offered to Frankie Laine or Marty Robbins. They had a track record with Western Movie Themes. 

It probably was given to Gene because of his hit "TOWN WITHOUT PITY" in 1961. 

We know that the "LIBERTY VALANCE" song didn't make it into the movie. 

Some feel that John Ford didn't want a pop song in his Western Movie and think that he didn't even listen to it.

I bet you think that Jimmy Stewart shot Liberty Valance (?)

Look closer … It was John Wayne.


True story … and another little-known fact from my bizarre childhood.

My Dad was a BIG fan of Western Movies.

In what can only be described as a one-of-a-kind memory that just may qualify as the STRANGEST memory a kid could have growing up (I told you guys previously how he bought one of those transparent color screens to tape to our black and white console tv to show blue, red and green in color strips, regardless of what was actually on the screen at the time … yeah, that was weird … but LOTS of people bought these) …

No, MY Dad bought a fake fireplace … that looked JUST like a fireplace when it was up against the wall … but in reality was a pull-out bed!!!  (Now who else out there can claim to having grown up with one of THOSE?!?!?)

And, in fact, for its first night’s use, he let me and my two brothers lie in the bed with him while we all watched “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” which was like the 11:00 Movie or something like that … and didn’t end until 1:30 or 2:00 am.

It was the first time I’d ever seen it (I’ve watched it several times since … it really IS a pretty good movie) … I couldn’t have been more than maybe 10-12 years old … and I was TOTALLY captivated by this film.  (I’m sure he counted on all of us drifting off immediately so that he could watch his movie in peace … but the excited of three kids SLEEPING INSIDE A FIREPLACE was just too much to contain us!!!)

Anyway, I loved the film … so yes, I knew it was John Wayne who shot Liberty Valance … and years later when I became the music nut that I still am today … I often wondered why Gene Pitney would record what would most definitely seem to be the perfect theme song for this movie … I mean, where ELSE could you use it?!?! … and yet it didn’t appear at all in the film, not even in the opening or closing credits.

The story I remember hearing at the time was that the song was submitted too late … and may have even been inspired by the film, meaning it wasn’t written until after Burt Bacharach and/or Hal David had seen the movie.  (Today, this all seems pretty implausible … I mean Bacharach and David were MONSTER songwriters already, even by 1962, so I’m sure they were commissioned to write the song for the film.  Imagine, then, telling this prolific duo that their song wouldn’t be used!!!)  kk

On the website The New Frontier (a tribute site to the films of John Wayne, that highly emphasizes the music used in Wayne’s movies), these comments are made:

“Though it shares a title with a 1962 John Ford western with the same title, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, starring John Wayne, the song (written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach) was not used in the film because of a publishing dispute between Famous Music and Paramount Pictures. The song became a Top 10 hit for Gene Pitney. The chorus of the Pitney recording features two hard strikes on a drum in order to represent the shots that were fired. 

Gene Pitney himself later said: "The song 'Liberty Valance' was written for the movie but for some strange reason never was put in the soundtrack. Because of the prior success with 'Town Without Pity,' I was paid a bundle to record the song, and Burt Bacharach produced it. He wrote the song with Hal David.”

Regrettably, the film’s actual soundtrack has never been put on vinyl or CD, for sale to the public. The film's dramatically hard-driving music score was composed by Cyril J. Mockridge. In certain scenes involving the character of Hallie, Ford used part of Alfred Newman's "Ann Rutledge Theme" from his earlier film Young Mr. Lincoln. Ford told Peter Bogdanovich in the latter's book John Ford that the theme evoked the same meaning, lost love, in both films.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - The New Frontier - JWIDb (weebly.com)

UPDATE:  This isn’t the kind of song that you would typically lend itself well to cover versions … yet over the years everybody from James Taylor, The Greg Kihn Band and our FH Buddies The Royal Guardsmen took a crack at it.  (They Royal Guardsmen actually did a pretty nice version of this tune as witnessed below.)

None of these other versions charted … but I asked Barry Winslow of The Royal Guardsmen about their decision to cut the tune …

Hey Kent,

Yes Sir, we had a great Christmas ... with the kids and grandkids over this year, it made it all most enjoyable ... just wasn't long enough.  Hope your Christmas was nice as well.

Wow, “Liberty” … I think that was Gernhard's call. "They" (Phil and Laurie Records) were scrambling to get an album out in a hurry. Snoopy was really flying then ... lol.

I guess they just didn't have time to let us create.  So when I realized "they" really didn't care about us as a promoted artist, (even though we were writing new stuff), it was too late.

I remember Gene's version, of course … (I hope he liked our version) … but didn't hear James Taylor's or Greg Kihn's versions ... I was hoping to meet them, but like a lot of other artists, our gigs hardly ever allowed us time
to see if we could get on a show with them. And thanks for the kind words, my friend ... I appreciate it.

The first show with Tommy James, Sam the Sham, and Keith was the longest we had. We mainly just crossed paths with a bunch of folks.  Sometimes, we'd get to play like a "Toys for Tots” show, but that was about it.  I did love every minute of it though. That package show did wind up out west and we gigged with the Beach Boys in three cities … so that was great fun.

The strangest one was in Melborne, FL ... with "The Who!!!"  (I know ... lol) This was huge for me. I thought we played loud ... LOL. They were cool people, but the Roadie "Foot" was a hoot. They said he had a bad foot that gave him a limp. Funny guy.

Thanks for asking about the song ... it did bring back a memory or two.

Thanks for keeping all the music from our era alive. You are awesome!

God bless ya -

Also, in the new David McGrath book “Gene Pitney: The Singer, The Songs, The Songwriters” (boy, we sure have been plugging THIS one quite a bit lately!!!), McGrath offers up other opinions and theories as to why Gene’s recording wasn’t used in the movie.  (Again, please keep in mind that these are ONLY opinions and theories.)

GENE PITNEY:  “The movie’s director, Hollywood legend John Ford, didn’t want some crummy pop song in his movie that starred John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Lee Marvin.  I knew this song came to me because I had just had a hit with another movie theme, “Town Without Pity.”  Paramount wanted to piggyback on that.  They paid me quite a bundle to do this song.”

Pitney goes on to say that apparently the left hand at Paramount didn’t know what the right hand was doing …

“While I was recording the song at Bell Sound in New York, Paramount in Hollywood released the movie.  It was a big oops.”

In the book “Always Magic In The Air,” author Ken Emerson wrote that “either the 74-year old Ford failed to appreciate the song’s humor, or he didn’t cotton to greenhorns” (referring to showbiz rookie Gene Pitney)

HAL DAVID (who wrote the lyrics to the tune):  “We were asked to write it for Paramount.  They were called exploitation songs in those days.  The film companies had you do those songs to have a song come out and perhaps become a hit and exploit the film.  Every time the title song was played (on the radio), people would hear the title and think of the film.  The song turned out to be a rather good song, and we and the Paramount Publishing Company made every effort to try to get the song into the film.  John Ford resisted it because he didn’t conceive of a song being in the film at that point.  As much as Paramount pressed him to put it in, they were not successful, and we were not successful.  So the song came out, Gene Pitney had recorded it, did a very good record, ant it became a big hit.  And I suspect Mr. Ford might have been a little regretful that he didn’t have it in the film.

BURT BACHARACH (who wrote the music for the tune):  “Love that record.  Gene’s splendid on it.  I was not at all surprised it became a hit.  There are maybe only two or three other singers who could have recorded that song and done as good a job as Gene.  That song proved to me that he was a star.  We gave him a good song, and he gave us back a great record.  I’ve worked with many, many talented singers over the years, but there is only one Gene Pitney.

And finally, ABBY SCHRODER (wife of Gene’s Manager and Record Label President Aaron Schroeder):  “It was plain and simple.  John Ford did not want a pop song in his movie.  There is no more to the story than that.  He likely never even listened to Gene’s record.”

Ouch!  (Well, it WAS his movie after all … but you would think if nothing else it would have been added at some point in time over the past sixty years … even after the end credits they could have run a clip of Gene performing the song.  Oh well … I guess we’ll just have listen to it here instead!)  kk

Order David McGrath’s book here:

Gene Pitney: The Singer, the Songs, the Songwriters: McGrath, David: 9781956503371: Amazon.com: Books

I remember hearing stories of The Buckinghams being part of The Gene Pitney Tour back in 1967 ... sounds like Gene was quite the prankster and instigator back then.

And, speaking of The Buckinghams, Carl Giammarese has a brand new single out called "I Will Love Your Forever."  

It's another duet recorded with Lisa McClowry ... an original tune this time.  (You may remember their emotional reworking of The Buckinghams' hit "Don't You Care" from last year.)

Carl has given us a copy to share with our readers today.


And then this from Frank B, with whom we've been having an on-going conversation about David McGrath's new book ...

kk ...

Last Night Wild Wayne Played Gene Pitney's First Recording ... 

"SO TIRED" by Gene Pitney & THE EMBERS.


Four Cuts Off An Album Of Local Connecticut Talent.

Check It Out On You Tube.

I Didn't Read About This In The Book.


David's book was built around very specific titles, many of which weren't even US hits for Gene Pitney.  Once I read the whole book, it made a lot more sense ... the title really says it all:  "Gene Pitney: The Singer, The Songs, The Songwriters" ... 

It's not so much a biography (as it really does delve very deeply into Gene's life as an artist at all ... in fact, I'd venture to say that your friend Wild Wayne could write a better and more definitive biography just based on all the conversations he had with the man over the years.)  

I guess I was hopeful that McGrath, who WORKED for Pitney for two decades might had shed a little more light on the man's career ... but again, in hindsight, the title tells it all ... these are back stories about the songs Gene chose to record ... and are specific to that regard only.  Having now read David's book, suffice to say that a true Gene Pitney biography is DEFINITELY something that needs to be done.  (Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed that David's "bonus chapters" revolved around a work of FICTION that he was writing next about Pitney mentoring new talent ... we don't need a FICTIONAL account when Gene's REAL story is likely ten times more interesting and exciting!!!)  A real biography would have gone into the fact that prior to making it as a solo artist, Pitney took a crack at a career as part of the doo-wop group The Embers.  (kk)

Hi Kent –

Status Quo Alan here ...

Thanks for the two videos you posted by SQ ...

I wanted to tell you something about the Fun Fun Fun story ...

Status Quo had met the Beach Boys at the Allied Forces concert in 1993 in Germany, where each country had a representative for the show ... i.e., America had the Beach Boys, the UK had Status Quo, Canada had Bryan Adams, Germany had the Scorpions, etc.  They decided to someday record a song together ... and in 1995, SQ was celebrating their 30th anniversary in music and recorded an album called "Don' Stop," which hit #2 on the UK albums chart.

On that album, SQ recorded "Fun Fun Fun" with the Beach Boys and invited the Beach Boys to do a few TV shows to promote the new album. They also did a huge concert at the Brixton Academy and the Beach Boys showed up for the gig.

What's the big deal, you may wonder?

This was the first time Brian Wilson did a concert or a video with his old bandmates in THIRTY years since 1965 when he left for mental health issues. 

When asked by the UK media why Brian decided to do these shows and concert, Brian Wilson said (at the interview w/ Status Quo) … "When a band like Status Quo, a group with such an enormous following and have the most hit singles in British chart history, call you to record one of your songs, and appear a few times on TV and their sold out gig,  you go!"

Mike Love was sitting next to Brian and echoed the sentiment by saying "Exactly ... Status Quo have an amazing group of fans, the likes which we've never seen before ... amazing fans," he said.

Wow, what a compliment! 

Alan Benson 

I’ve gotta tell you, I was SHOCKED to see Brian participating in the video, especially based on the timeframe that all of this took place.  Seeing Brian, Carl (still with us then), pony-tailed Al, Mike and Bruce up there singing together on a revitalized version of their 1964 hit was quite a thrill … so cool to know that The Beach Boys themselves perceived it as such as well!  (For me, this was cooler than seeing their 50th Anniversary Tour!) I also came across a couple of tv appearances that the two bands did together in supoort of this single.

I think your video information is incorrect, however … Brian appeared in the band’s video for their version of “California Dreamin’” in 1986, or nearly ten years before this Status Quo clip was filmed.  You’ll also find him in the Fat Boys’ “Wipe Out” video (1987) … and let’s not forget their “Endless Summer” summer replacement television series!  (Or the whole "Brian Is Back" campaign in the mid-to-late '70's.)

We’ve spoken before about how long Status Quo’s success extended beyond “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” in 1968.  Based on my “British Hit Singles” book (the equivalent of the Joel Whitburn “Top Pop Singles” book here in America), Status Quo enjoyed 58 British Chart Hits between 1968 and 2002 (which is when my edition of this book ends … my guess is they continued to chart beyond this point.)  This includes 51 British Top 40 Hits … and accounts for 22 Top Ten Hits (including the #1 Hit “Down Down” in 1975.)

We’ll be running your piece tomorrow, Alan, so you’ll want to let all of the SQ fans know.  Thanks again for sending it.  (kk) 


Here is the latest Status Quo chart information ... singles and albums, right next to each other ... it runs thru 2010.  The recap shows that the band charted with 57 Top 40 Hits, nine more of which made The Top 75.



They were no slouches on the UK Album Charts either, logging 500 WEEKS on the British Charts with 48 different album titles, including four #1’s.  Impressive indeed!  (And hardly “status quo”!!!)  kk)


Alan and I will have to draft you to join us next time we go to the UK for one of Status Quo’s tours, post-COVID. It’s an experience you will never forget! We generally attend two concerts -  one in London and another in a city such as Brighton or Cardiff, Wales. Or maybe Liverpool - a MUST SEE if you’ve never been!  And Quo always has great opening acts - such as Joe Browne, REO Speedwagon, 10CC, etc. Plus you get to take in all the great scenery and activities such as the pubs, Harrods, London Eye, etc. 

Happy New Year!

Nick Frankart

Sounds like an amazing trip … always wanted to see Liverpool and London.  (Of course so far I’ve never made it past Berwyn, IL, so I’m not all that confident regarding the odds of this actually happening … but hey, I can dream, can’t I???)  kk

STATUS QUO UPDATE:  I found a 3-CD set on Amazon that includes 28 of their 57 Top 40 British Hits ... so I'll be discovering all of these for myself very soon.  (Here in The States, they only charted twice ... "Pictures Of Matchstick Men," the one that everyone remembers ... and MY asbolute favorite song at the time ... 11, 1968 and "Ice In The Sun," #54, 1968.)  I'm looking forward to this new discovery.  (Did the same thing MANY years ago with a box set of all the Cliff Richard UK singles!)

Look for Alan's Status Quo piece tomorrow!  (kk)

Why not give this one a shot ...

FH Reader Ken Rappaport hosts '60's Jukebox Review on Tuesday Nights (as in tonight) from 8 - 11 pm (Eastern) on:

John Records Landecker playing full 70's hits for New Year's Eve on WGN?  After you get used to his current voice compared to 70's, he sounded like the old WLS 70's John we knew. We need to get this show permanent with him playing those old hits and doing his old shtick.  
It was pretty funny to hear some songs he played last night.  Of course, he was not trying to emulate his 70's WLS era, but it was funny to hear the rewrite of AM radio history in Chicago at one point.  He played "Mamma Mia" followed by "Mr. Blue Sky."  NEITHER got an airplay on WLS in 70's when they were out, yet due to movies and commercials now, they are popular tunes.  Before "Mr. Blue Sky," John ran his finger over the turntable needle and plopped on the record for a second to prove he was playing a RECORD on radio.  It was funny.  John's still got it.
Clark Besch

Rick Springfield, a member of The Go-Go's touring company and yours truly are the latest to test positive for Covid-19.  Is there no end in sight for this crazy nonsense?!?!  (kk)