Thursday, December 1, 2022

Thursday This And That

Our Wednesday started with some very sad news ...

After celebrating our very first JOEL WHITBURN DAY on Tuesday (Joel's Birthday), we learned Wednesday Morning that Joel's wife Fran had passed away.

Fran was paralyzed after a parasailing accident several years ago ... and had been in poor health recently.  Such a sad year for a family that brought us so much joy over the past 50+ years.  (I will forever regret not making the trip up to Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to visit with Joel and tour his incredible Music Vault ... both of us speculated how much "The Two Frans" might enjoy each other's company, even if it just meant a trip to the mall while us two Record Geeks talked shop.  Every year there was always a reason to put it off ... all on my end as Joel's invitation was an open-ended one to come up ANY time and tour the facility.)

Paul Haney of Record Research told us ...

Hi Kent,
I really enjoyed the Joel Whitburn Day tribute that you ran on Tuesday.
Sadly, Joel's wife Fran passed away this morning (11/30) at the age of 85.  As you know, Fran had been paralyzed from the waist down for the past few years and ever since Joel's passing in June, she had developed several other health issues.  This past week, her health took a final turn for the worse and she was admitted to a hospice facility.  Our tiny Record Research staff was with her for several hours last night, sharing memories and saying our final goodbyes.  Fran was one of the friendliest, kindest souls I've ever known and she fought hard right up until the end.  She will be greatly missed by many.  I've often said that Record Research has been family to me and this one really hurts, yet it's a blessing that she no longer has to suffer and can now be reunited with Joel.
Paul Haney 
Record Research
We certainly feel the pain and sorrow of ALL of the Whitburn Family during this very sad time ... but also take some comfort in knowing that Joel and Fran will now be able to spend the holidays together.  We all feel especially blessed with how Joel's life's work enriched us all.  (kk)
You'll find more on Joel below ... 
And then, after that morning jolt, the news came just a couple of hours later that Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac had also passed away that morning "after a brief illness."
McVie (79) had been trying to build a solo career (under her real name, Christine Perfect) before marrying Fleetwood Mac's bassist, John McVee, in 1968, joining the band a couple of years later as a key songwriter, singer and keyboardist.  (Christine briefly dated Beach Boy Dennis Wilson in the late '60's.)  In addition to her hits with Fleetwood Mac, Christine also enjoyed a Top Ten solo hit in 1984 with "Got A Hold On Me."  (My guess is that we'll be hearing her songs EVERYWHERE for some time to come ... including the non-stop advertising saturation of her song "Everywhere!")
Among Christine's best-known Fleetwood Mac tunes, you'd have to include "Don't Stop" (#1, 1977), "Over My Head" (#18, 1976), "Say You Love Me" (#11, 1976), "You Make Loving Fun" (#7, 1977) and "Hold Me" (#4, 1982.)  Christine also wrote the much-loved tune "Songbird" from Mac's incredibly successful "Rumours" album.  (kk)
We got this from FH Reader Timmy ...
Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie dies at age 79
Family say the musician, who was in one of the best-known rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, died after a short illness.
Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie has died at the age of 79, her family has said.  An official statement said: “On behalf of Christine McVie’s family, it is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine’s death.
“She passed away peacefully at hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, following a short illness. She was in the company of her family. We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this extremely painful time and we would like everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being, and revered musician who was loved universally. RIP Christine McVie.”
The British American rock band, founded in London in 1967, sold more than 100m records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups ever. Their best-known songs include Dreams, Go Your Own Way and Everywhere.
The band paid tribute to the singer-songwriter McVie in a statement on Wednesday night following news of her death. “There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie. She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure.
“She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life.
“We were so lucky to have a life with her. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”
Despite its tumultuous history, Fleetwood Mac became one of the best-known rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, comprising Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, as well as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
Originally known as Christine Perfect, her maiden name, she started out with the blues band Chicken Shack. They had a hit with a cover of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind, featuring McVie on lead vocals. After marrying John McVie in 1968, she left the band a year later and joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970.
After the lineup kept changing, in 1974 Nicks and Buckingham joined, an era that McVie called “pretty sensational”. She added: “We had our fights here and there, but there was nothing like the music or the intensity onstage. We weren’t doing anything in Britain, so just decamped to America and fell into this huge musical odyssey.”
Their 1975 self-titled album featured hits written by McVie: Over My Head and Say You Love Me. Christine and John McVie divorced in 1976.
Rumours, released in 1977, became one of the best-selling albums of all time and included hits such as Second Hand News and You Make Loving Fun. In addition to several multi-platinum tracks, the record sold more than 40m copies worldwide. Speaking of that particular period, McVie said to the Guardian that “we were having a blast and it felt incredible to us that we were writing those songs”.
McVie also released solo albums, the second of which, 1984’s Christine McVie, featured the hits Got a Hold on Me and Love Will Show Us How.
She took a hiatus from the band in 1998. “I just wanted to embrace being in the English countryside and not have to troop around on the road,” she said to the Guardian. “I moved to Kent, and I loved being able to walk around the streets, nobody knowing who I was. Then of course I started to miss it.”
In 2014 she returned and the band’s most recognisable lineup toured together, followed by an album with Buckingham in 2017 called Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie.
McVie’s death comes two years after Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green died at the age of 73.
And Harvey Kubernik chimed in with this ...

In the summer of 2019, I was a featured on-screen interview for director Matt O’Casey on his BBC4-TV digital arts channel "Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird." I also narrated a portion of the film. 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. The debut broadcast was on Friday September 20th of that year.

I will always remember her kindness in my handful of encounters with her ... initially at some of the recording sessions for "Rumours" at Larabee Studios in Hollywood, record shopping with her and beau Dennis Wilson at Tower Records, and even at my father's office, who was a stock broker. She really laughed when I mentioned, "If I knew you were on Wilshire and La Cienega talking financial investments, I would have brought my Chicken Shack LP to autograph!"  As a weekly columnist for UK's "Melody Maker," she was always delighted to discuss UK music and we made efforts to find a great Indian restaurant in town. Thankfully, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar recommended one literally next door to Doug Weston's Troubadour.   



More Joel Whitburn memories from Clark Besch ...


One more Joel Whitburn info tribute ...  
I bought my first Record Research book in 1970 -- his first Billboard chart book covering all the chart records for the previous 15 years of 1955-1969.  I was thrilled.  We had many Billboard issues by then, but at age 14, I now had ALL the chart record positions for my entire life!  I had that book at school and every afternoon study hall in Dodge City, Kansas Jr. High, you could see me studying ... the RR BOOK! 
A chart fanatic since I got my first WLS Silver Dollar Survey in 1962 at age 6, I was finally a church member by 1969 and now I had TWO Bibles! 
Over the decades, I have bought so many RR books, much like many of you.  After the first 1970 book purchase, I received the below flier for Book 2, which I also bought.  I sold my first book a couple years later for $10 to a high school buddy in 1974.  It had become unmanageable due to pages pulled out due to overuse and I had a newer version now.  The second one was an inch think and pages would come out of it in clumps, due to a more rigid glue spine.  As I kept buying books, I started to hold onto Joel's fliers he sent to me.  I pulled them out and there must be 30 or more here.  Don't ask me why ... I have no answer.
BELOW is the flier I got prior to Book 2 (1972) and I did buy it.  It's fun to see Joel now as a "boy" of 33 years!  I love these photos!  So cool to see photos of him with his Billboard Hot 100's laid out in front of him, his turntable and headphones on, adjusting his tuner.  Also sifting thru his 45s and on the phone talking while checking a chart position.  I could probably be seen doing all these same things 50 years later, easily!
As mentioned below, that first book was $50!  I think I bought the new Gavin book pre-pub for $60, so you cannot say RR is gouging us, I guess! With today's inflation, $50 in 1970 is worth $384 today!  (Maybe I should not be telling Paul that! Smile )  As I remember the first book, it was a basic chart peak song listing with no frills other than label and number, maybe alphabetized at end(?)  By this flier, Joel had lots of books already and was starting his new "added features" things!  

This thing above says Joel's collection of just 45s is worth over $50,000 -- again, $384,000 today.  Of course, back then, he was still missing a lot of his collection and I would increase mine as well exponentially, too.  Paul Haney says he started working at RR in 1992.  The below is something Joel started adding occasionally to his mail outs.  He had a WANT LIST and he would trade books for records he still needed to complete his collection.  THIS is the oldest flier with his list I could locate, from 1991 before Paul worked with RR.  How many do YOU have that he needed 31 years ago?  (Just perusing thru above, I notice a few I have today, but not many I had back then.  I think I have eight 45s on the list above , just at a glance ... and three more in the revamped list below that was within a year of the above in a new flier.
Note that the phantom "D.A." single is one of those listed.  $100 bounty on its head!!!  Paul, did you collect it??

I had forgotten all about when Joel used to send out copies of his Want List to all of the people who bought his books, trying to fill in all of the gaps in his collection!  This early one shows several titles I could have helped him out with over the years!  lol  (Problem was, I didn't want to part with MY only copy either!!!  And, as I recall, he was offering top dollar for any and all records that we fellow collectors could come up with.)  It was all about the love of the chase back then ... and trying to build the most complete collection imaginable.  As his book topics grew, so did his library, expanding to cover ALL genres of music that Billboard covered.  This even included VHS video tapes and such when that market exploded.


His first want list he had printed and sent out I cannot find, but maybe because I had TWO on it (1980's flier, likely.)  I know I had never seen him ask for any records and when I had two on the first list, I contacted Joel and we made arrangements for a new book for the two pic sleeves 45s he needed.  It makes me feel good to know that two of MY pic sleeves are in Joel's' collection today.  
They were:

I have now replaced the Chad & Jeremy one, but not the WHITE cover Tin Soldier variation which he expressly wanted.
A 1994 flier took a buyer poll below:

Finally, a Christmas 1992 flier color photo wishing buyers a Merry Christmas!  30 years ago!  I am guessing Paul Haney is in here as this would have been his first year with RR (?)  
Which YOUNG MAN are you, Paul????
Clark Besch

Boy, SO much of this stuff I had but just never held on to ... never enough space (and no idea that I'd ever be referring back to any of it way back then!) 
I don't know HOW on earth you've been able to organize all this stuff to know ... and FIND ... what you're looking for.  I only know that I could NEVER have done it! 
Thanks, Clark ... LOTS of memories these past few days.  (kk) 

An All-Star Cast has recorded a version of Tom Petty's hit "I Won't Back Down."  Featuring Country Superstar Blake Shelton on lead vocals, the track also includes Joe Walsh on lead guitar, along with fellow Eagle Timothy  B. Schmit.  You can hear the track here:

Today's planned feature (another installment of Henry Diltz's Journal) will run on the site tomorrow (Friday, December 2nd) due to the impromptu rescheduling required after we received the sad, sad news of the passing of Fran Whitburn and Christine McVie.

And, we also want to let you know that this Saturday we'll be running excerpts from Phil Nee's 2003 interview with Mike Smith, lead vocalist of The Dave Clark Five.

And then on his THOSE WERE THE DAYS program Saturday Night, Phil will be playing outtakes and never-before-aired interview segments with Mike ... as well as more clip from the outstanding interview he did with David Gates.  (We ran clips from that one last Saturday!)