Saturday, February 5, 2022

PHIL NEE Remembers Buddy Holly ... And The Day The Music Died

February 3rd, 1959 has been forever immortalized as "The Day The Music Died" due to the plane crash that took the lives of three young up-and-coming stars ... Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.

Between them, they had already earned 21 chart hits in the two years prior.

Buddy Holly was easily the most proficient of the bunch, in that he also wrote his own songs.  He had already hit The Top Ten four times with early rock and roll classics like "That'll Be The Day" (#1, 1957), "Peggy Sue" (#2, 1957), "Oh, Boy!" (#7, 1957) and "Maybe Baby" (#9, 1958).  The song released right after his death, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" (ironically written by fellow teen idol Paul Anka), would go to reach #13 ... and then, sadly, he never hit The Top 40 again.  We will never know the untapped potential that might have been.  His songs, however, have lived on ever since, recorded by artists like Linda Ronstadt, Peter and Gordon, Blind Faith, James Taylor and more.

The Big Bopper (real name J.P. Richardson) was a disc jockey in Beaumont, Texas, when he hit The Top Ten with his novelty hit, "Chantilly Lace," in 1958.  And young Ritchie Valens was just starting to make his mark in 1958 with the hits "Donna" and "La Bamba."  He was only 17 years old when their plane went down near Clear Lake, Iowa.

Over the years, WRCO Disc Jockey Phil Nee has had the opportunity to interview various members of The Crickets, Buddy Holly's back-up band ... and today he shares a few of those memories with our readers.

Today from the WRCO archives I have sound bytes from a couple of Crickets who gave me first hand stories of the great Buddy Holly back in 2005.  

Sonny Curtis spoke about the early days with Buddy.


J.I. Allison helped write some of the most popular songs of the 50's. 

He talked with me about his songwriting credits.



J.I. Allison's drumming has been influential on drummers that have picked up sticks since the 50's.  I asked him about his memorable performance on Peggy Sue.

Be sure to listen to Phil Nee's THOSE WERE THE DAYS radio program tonight on WRCO ... WRCO AM FM Radio Richland Center Wisconsin

Just click on the 100.9 headphones and start streaming! 

Friday, February 4, 2022


Coming up this weekend (February 5th and 6th) on THE HISTORY OF ROCK 'N' ROLL: "Motown In The '70s."

The magic of Motown music continued into its second decade with these 24 unforgettable hits released between 1970 and 1979. Included: insightful interviews with Smokey Robinson, Mary Wilson (of The Supremes), Jermaine Jackson (of The Jackson Five), Otis Williams (of The Temptations), Lionel Richie (of The Commodores), Syreeta Wright (singing partner of Billy Preston), Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder. Also: a very special HRR Spotlight Profile of Isaac Hayes (“Shaft”).

Does your favorite radio station carry THE HISTORY OF ROCK 'N' ROLL? If not -- or you have a station which should carry this award-winning two-hour weekly series, simply contact G Networks for all the details!

Gary Theroux

(Pictured: The Jackson Five)

We listen on Me-TV-FM ... and you can, too.

They stream the program Saturday Mornings from 7-9 am (central) and then on Sunday Nights (from 10 pm - midnight) they run a replay of the previous week's show. (kk)

MeTV FM - Memorable Entertainment - LISTEN LIVE | Audacy

Here’s a link to a piece Harvey Kubernik did on the 60th Anniversary of The Day The Music Died a few years back …

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big ... - Ugly Things

February 3, 2019 is the 60th anniversary of tragic airplane crash that subsequently became known as “The Day the Music Died,” sadly referenced in Don McLean’s song, “American Pie.”

Harvey Kubernik


Also from Harvey …

It’s Groundhog’s Day … again!

30 years of a great movie!!  The snow storms wanna celebrate this year!!!  (Well, except in Lincoln, Nebraska, for some odd reason).


The movie was actually shot 30 years ago in Woodstock, Illinois just west of Chicago!  Big celebration will ensue:


A year ago, here is what they actually READ at this event and as predicted last year, winter (and the pandemic) NEVER seems to end!


And here’s a Comparison Chart of our own …


The official Billboard Top Ten from 6-6-66 …


Followed by the Top Ten from my OWN chart that year …


6-6-66:  (Billboard’s Ranking)

# 1 - WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN - Percy Sledge

# 2 - A GROOVY KIND OF LOVE - The Mindbenders

# 3 - PAINT IT, BLACK - The Rolling Stones

# 4 - DID YOU EVER HAVE TO MAKE UP YUR MIND? - The Lovin' Spoonful

# 5 - I AM A ROCK - Simon and Garfunkel

# 6 - MONDAY, MONDAY - The Mamas and The Papas

# 7 - RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 and #35 - Bob Dylan

# 8 - IT'S A MAN'S, MAN'S, MAN'S WORLD - James Brown

# 9 - GREEN GRASS - Gary Lewis and the Playboys

#10 - STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT - Frank Sinatra


MY personal station "III" (Hey, I gave my stations calls I wanted) on 6/6/66:


LW   TW    Title

 6       1      Green Grass – Gary Lewis and the Playboys

 4       2      Oh Yeah! – The Shadows of Knight

13      3      Paperback Writer – The Beatles

 5       4      Shape of Things – The Yardbirds

 7       5      Batman & His Grandmother - Dickie Goodman

 9       6      Monday, Monday – The Mamas and the Papas


 8       7      Gloria – The Shadows of Knight

22      8      Rain – The Beatles

10      9      It's Too Late - Bobby Goldsboro

15    10     Dedicated To The One I Love – The Mamas and the Papas

And check this out …

  1    22     Evol - Not Love – The 5 Americans  (WOW, that’s quite a drop!)

Clark Besch

Damn, Clark, you were charting “Dedicated To The One I Love” NINE MONTHS before it was released as a single!!!  How’d you manage that?!?!?

I used to LOVE “EVOL, Not Love” … and “Shape Of Things” by The Yardbirds was one of my favorites, too … but I could never find that record to buy it … (probably because I was looking for a song called “Come Tomorrow” … and ultimately ended up with a completely different song by THAT name from Manfred Mann!!!)

The Shadows Of Knight overtaking themselves on the chart is kinda cool, as is “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” both leaping into The Top Ten.  (Always loved Bobby Goldsboro’s “It’s Too Late,” too … and who could resist … at the tender age of 12 … Dickie Goodman’s “Batman and His Grandmother!!!”  (kk)

The only reason you didn't get excited about 'Davy Crockett' being a hit was that you weren't in the 5th grade and you didn't have a coon skin cap.  That was HUGE that year.  I sometimes wonder what happened to those little boys who idolized all things Davy Crockett.  I personally smile when I think of those days because I was a 5th grade girl. 


Although I was too young in '55 to watch it, I certainly do remember all the ruckus about Davy Crockett and those coonskin hats!  (I think I was probably more of a Mouseketeer kid once I started watching television a few years later!)

No question that it was all the rage ... and I have long recognized what a HUGE hit it was ... but when you're hearing THREE versions of the same song in a Top Ten Countdown, it does make things a little bit boring!  (You'll find a similar comment below regarding "Unchained Melody" ... but back then popularity was measured more by the song itself rather than the artist singing it.  That's why so many artists recorded the same tunes ... they were popular and they wanted their piece of the pie!!!)  kk


Regarding your chart from 5-5-55 …

Hi there, Kent,

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything to this blog, but at the moment, like Clarence Frogman Henry, I Ain't Got No Home.  (I am staying in a hotel for the moment, and am going to be moving around until the apartment complex that I am supposed to be moving into is finished around the end of this year.)

Anyway, these music surveys in which all the numbers are the same like 5-5-55 and 6-6-66 have always been really fascinating to me, but not 8-8-88 nearly as much. 

You wrote in your February 2nd blog post:

>>>Sound boring?  Well, this was pop radio as it existed BEFORE Bill Haley

rocked us around the clock and Elvis Presley took us for a stroll down

that lonely street to Heartbreak Hotel.  (kk)

That's because you are looking at the wrong charts!

I realize that your focus on this blog is Top 40 music and not the RNB charts ... and there is no question that the pop charts of 5-5-55 were indeed pretty

dull and boring … and that ended up being the case well into 1956.

But just for comparison’s sake, it would be fascinating to look at the RNB chart from the same week. 

I tried to find this exact chart on the net and although I could find the top 30 and the top 100 most popular RNB songs for the year 1955, I could not find the chart for  that particular week in that year. 

But based on a May 8, 1955, aircheck I have of George (the Hound) Lorenz on WJJL in Niagara Falls New York, I would imagine that songs like Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley, I Got A Woman by Ray Charles, Close Your Eyes by the Five Keys, Ain't That A Shame by Fats Domino, My Heart Beats For You by Johnny Fuller (which sounds so close to Pledging My Love by Johnny Ace that it's almost eerie), and My Babe by Little Walter would be some of the songs you'd find on that RNB chart for that week in '55.

The music that was on the pop charts at the time were stagnating.  Rhythm and Blues charts were where things were happening, and music was really changing.  White pop music hadn't changed much since the end of World War II.  After all, it was older men like Mitch Miller that were set in their ways, controlling major labels like Columbia.  Crooners were still singing those sweet, unoffensive love songs that they had been singing for decades. 

But black recording artists were much more hip, and they realized what kind of music both black and white teenagers wanted to hear. 

Since this is Black History Month, there is really no better time than right now to point this out. 

Black recording artists didn't just speak of love, they spoke of sex.  Mind you, in order to get their songs played on the radio they still had to disguise the subject matter and make the songs double entendre, so that they could be

interpreted as dealing with something else, like Laundromat Blues by the

Five Royales, for example. 

But as early as 1951, records like Sixty Minute Man by Billy Ward and the Dominos were much more cool and hip than Tony Martin's song from the same year, I Get Ideas.  While Tony Martin was singing "When we are dancing and you're dangerously near me, I get ideas," Bill Brown, bass singer of the Dominos was singing, "There'll be fifteen minutes of kissing, then you'll holler please don't stop.  There'll be fifteen minutes of teasing, and fifteen minutes of squeezing, and fifteen minutes of blowing my top."  (OK, so it's not I Want Your Sex by George Michael, but for the time, that was pretty descriptive, and that song went all the way to number 1 on the RNB charts in 1951.  There were certainly no white cover versions of that song, that's for sure!)

The songs got bolder and bolder through the early part of the decade, until the trilogy of Annie songs came along by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters.  I mean, Work With Me Annie was bad enough as far as parents of white teenagers were concerned, but to make it completely clear what they were talking about by releasing a sequel called Annie Had A Baby and then another record called Sexy Ways, well, that was just too much for these parents to handle, and there were senators that were being sent letters by concerned citizens, asking for them to look into having the FCC ban such filth from the air.  I know it's hard to believe now, but that's the way White America was. After all, all those couples like the Nelsons, the Cleavers, the Ricardos, the Stone family in the Donna Reed show and the Andersons in Father Knows

Best all slept in twin beds.

But getting back to black recordings artists and rock and roll, while it's true that white artists like Bill Haley, Elvis and Carl Perkins helped the music along and put their own country spin into this emerging rock 'N' roll, blacks were first to have the idea of emphasizing the beat, of having wonderful sax solos in the middle of songs, of having mass appeal to teenagers of both colors, and I personally think that Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, the Moonglows, the Penguins, Little Richard and Fats Domino had just as much to do with the development of rock 'n' roll as Bill Haley and Elvis did. 

Anyway, if anyone actually has a Billboard RNB chart from this week in question, 5-5-55 I hope they will post it here, because it will be really interesting to see the difference between that chart, and this bland pop chart that Kent offered us.

As I stated before, even the first third of 1956 was pretty bland with number 1 songs like Memories Are Made Of This by Dean Martin, Lisbon Antigua by Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra, The Poor People Of Paris by Les Baxter and his Orchestra and Rock And Roll Waltz by Kay Starr, which she didn't even want to record, by the way.

Anyway, just food for thought here.

Sam Ward

All good points … and an accurate depiction of the music scene, circa 1955.

To show how much music changed during the decades of the ‘50’s, the ‘60’s, the ‘70’s and the ’80’s, we had to go with the Pop Charts … but you’re right, more and more teenagers were starting to discover R&B records and artists at this time … and the “racier” disc jockeys (no pun intended) were playing this music and getting these kids up and dancing (even if it was often only behind closed doors!)


For the record, here are The Top Ten Records from Billboard’s R&B Chart covering 5-5-55 …


#  1 - MY BABE - Little Walter

#  2 - WALLFLOWER - Etta James

#  3 - I'VE GOT A WOMAN - Ray Charles

#  4 - DON'T BE ANGRY - Nappy Brown

#  5-  WHAT'CHA GONNA DO? – The Drifters

#  6 - UNCHAINED MELODY - Al Hibbler

#  7 - FLIP, FLOP AND FLY - Joe Turner

#  8 - UNCHAINED MELODY - Roy Hamilton

#  9 - PLEDGING MY LOVE - Johnny Ace

#10 – THE DOOR IS STILL OPEN – The Cardinals

>>>Four other tracks were instrumentals (including two versions of "Unchained Melody")  kk
Al Hibbler was a singer and I would consider his version of "Unchained Melody" as the definitive one until the Righteous Brothers came along.  Bandleader Les Baxter's version also had vocals.
Ed #1
Wow, I really blew it on this one ... and I certainly know better ... we have run the history of "Unchained Melody"  a couple of times now here in FH.  (Can I plead Covid Loss Of Memory on this one???)
We'll recap the history once again for the benefit of anyone who may have missed it ... but I certainly feel pretty stupid right now!!! (kk)

The song first saw life in the movie "Unchained," released in 1955.  
Original Forgotten Hits list member Hil (TheOneBuff ... and QUITE the movie buff he is!!!) sent us this review AGES ago (probably at least 15-20 years back) ... and reveals that the famous "lonely rivers flow" middle-8 didn't yet exist at the time ...


>>>Unchained, a 1955 low budget movie, is about a man imprisoned. I have seen the movie and I have it on DVD and VHS but neither is a copy to make a fuss over. It is blurred and shaky. I bought it from one of those online "hard to find" movie places, mainly to get the song. The movie stars Chester Morris, a tough guy type from early 30s films and into the 70s. He plays a warden trying to create a model prison where the inmates are treated decently with the hopes of rehabilitation. The focus is on an inmate played by Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, a football player with Hollywood ambitions that never materialized. The theme is by Alex North, on of Hollywood's finest composers, whose work can be heard in such movies as Viva Zapata and The Long Hot Summer. While the theme is played throughout, the song is in the hands of one of the most cliched characters in movie history, the black prisoner with a guitar. Here he is played by one time Porgy actor Todd Duncan. In the movie itself it is sung without the famous bridge beginning with "Lonely river flows ... ". It was nominated for Best Song Oscar and lost to the highly popular but not long-standing "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing". Time and countless artists recordings have demonstrated over time which is the better song. Here's an mp3 I made. You now have the original version of Unchained Melody. Take my word for it. It is a classic song. It is NOT a classic movie. I feel its low budget, lack of star power and absence of any studio push kept the song from winning an Oscar.
Link to the movie for more information is below.  (Hil)

Hil's review was less than flattering ... but it IS interesting to see where this song got its origins.  (kk)

When "Unchained Melody" composer Hy Zaret died a few years ago, we ran thru the complete scenario again ... (I actually found comments dating back to 2011 regarding the chart history of this song!)

‘Unchained Melody’ lyricist Hy Zaret dead at 99
Song was one of the most frequently recorded of the 20th century
Hy Zaret died at his home Monday, about a month shy of his 100th birthday, his son, Robert Zaret, said Tuesday.
He penned words to many songs and advertising jingles but his biggest hit was “Unchained Melody,” written in 1955 for a film called “Unchained.” It brought Zaret and Alex North, the composer, an Academy Award nomination for best song.
Zaret refused the producer’s request to work the word “unchained” into the lyrics, instead writing to express the feelings of a lover who has “hungered for your touch a long, lonely time.”
The song was recorded by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Lena Horne, U2, Guy Lombardo, Vito & the Salutations and Joni Mitchell, who incorporated fragments into her song “Chinese Cafe / Unchained Melody.”
An instrumental version was a No. 1 hit in 1955 for Les Baxter, while a vocal version by Al Hibbler reached No. 3 the same year.
But most baby boomers remember the song from the Righteous Brothers’ version. The record, produced by Phil Spector, reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart in 1965, and was a hit again 25 years later when it was used on the soundtrack of the film “Ghost.”
In all, it was recorded more than 300 times, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which listed it in 1999 as one of the 25 most-performed musical works of the 20th century.
Among other songs Zaret co-wrote were “My Sister and I,” a hit in 1941 for Jimmy Dorsey; “So Long, for a While,” the theme song for the radio and TV show “Your Hit Parade”; “Dedicated to You”; and the Andrews Sisters’ novelty song “One Meat Ball.”
“He had some big, big hits,” said Jim Steinblatt, an assistant vice president at ASCAP.
In later years, Zaret had to fend off the claims by another man, electrical engineer William Stirrat, who said he wrote the “Unchained Melody” lyrics as a teenager in the 1930s and even legally changed his name to Hy Zaret. Robert Zaret and Steinblatt both said the dispute was resolved completely in favor of the real Zaret, who continued to receive all royalties. Steinblatt said Stirrat died in 2004.
-- submitted by Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano

A few years ago, Bill Medley told Forgotten Hits that HE produced the original Righteous Brothers' version of "Unchained Melody" and not Phil Spector because Spector couldn't be bothered to oversee the B-Sides!  "Unchained Melody" was the original flip side of The Righteous Brothers' single "Hung On You," but it quickly surpassed the intended A-Side on the charts, ultimately peaking at #4 in Billboard in 1965, eclipsing "Hung On You"'s #47 chart showing.  Much like the proper songwriting credit, the dispute as to who really PRODUCED this song has also raged for years ... as once it became such a mammoth ... and timeless ... hit, Phil Spector ALSO claims ownership of this production!)  kk

With multiple mentions of "Unchained Melody" in FH recently, I'm reminded that it was on this day in 1955 that two versions of "Unchained Melody" first appeared on the Billboard charts. These were performed by Les Baxter's Orchestra and Chorus and Al Hibbler. The movie had premiered on January 19, with its first showing in Chino where it was filmed. Opera singer Todd Duncan performed the song in the flick.
On April 23, Roy Hamilton's cover made the chart - and a few weeks later, on May 14, we see June Valli's brief appearance.
This was one of those rare situations where four versions of the same song were on the charts at the same time. And, as you have often mentioned, this is a perfect example of the time when the song was more important than the artist(s).
I found a source that had a nice clean copy of the flick "Unchained".
It's not bad, but it's not great. The melody plays on and off throughout, and there are interesting appearances by Jerry Paris (of Dick Van Dyke fame), Barbara Hale (youngest I've ever seen her), and a young Tim Considine.
Musical highlights are Todd Duncan's vocal and a nice instrumental at the close.
David Lewis

There are reportedly over 300 known recordings of "Unchained Melody", making it one of the most recorded songs in pop history.  Joel Whitburn's latest "Top Pop Singles" book also says it's the song with the most charted versions:  13 at last count!  (kk)

Here's the original:

The two big hit versions from 1955 ...

The definitive hit version that set the benchmark for all that followed ...

(Although they weren't ALL particularly great!!!) ...

And then, Redemption!

Look for lots more ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME comments on Sunday in our Sunday Comments Page ... 

And be sure to check out FH tomorrow when Phil Nee remembers Buddy Holly!  (kk)

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Thursday This And That

Nominees for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Class of 2022 were announced yesterday ... SEVENTEEN in all!  (That's gotta be some kind of new record!)  And, as usual, you'll find the annual head-scratchers on the list once again.

The Fan Vote has already started ... and you can vote once a day for your favorites here:  Fan Vote 2022 (

I cast my votes for the only two artists that I can justify in my own mind as being worthy as soon as the nominees were announced ... and I'm sure I'll vote again at some point in time ... and might even ultimately vote for the five nominees that you're allowed to vote for ... but for right now, I'm content with casting my votes for Pat Benatar and Eminem.

Pat Benatar is deserving and long overdue for recognition.  (How on earth Joan Jett got in before her makes absolutely NO sense at all.  Now consider that Bonnie Raitt was inducted YEARS ago!!!)

My endorsement of Eminem may come as a surprise to some of you ... but for the first time in a LONG time, Marshall Mathers represents the criteria upon which The Rock Hall was founded.  He brought something new to the game and single-handedly took the rap genre to a whole new level, in the process, establishing a new standard for others to aspire to.

The truth is, The Rock Hall has been pushing for Rap Artists to get in for some time now ... and quite a few have made it ... but to my ears, NONE of them have ever been as clever, talented and original as Eminem ... he redefined the genre.  

Think about this for a second ... 

When Eminem first reached the masses on the mammoth level that he did, the world experienced a phenomenon it had never seen before.  For the first time in music history, the best Rapper in the World was WHITE!!!  (And, as if that wasn't crazy enough, at the very same time, the best GOLFER in the world was Black!!!)  It was unheard of ... and for that reason alone, he is Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame worthy.

As for some of the others, I can make borderline cases for a few of these artists ... but NONE of these musicians, talented as they may be, deserve entry before some of the DOZENS of artists that have already been overlooked for decades.

As I type this, The Top Ten shapes up as follows:

# 1 - Pat Benatar (39,000 votes)

# 2 - Dolly Parton (34,000 votes)

Dolly Parton???  Seriously??? Rock and Roll???

Don't get me wrong ... she's an AMAZING entertainer ... and has been a music icon for over fifty years ... and it's GREAT to see The Rock Hall finally branching out and recognizing Country Music's contribution to the development of Rock.

But how do you pick Dolly Parton over all of the other great female country artists who have come before her and helped to pave the way?  Roots Artists like The Carter Sisters ... revolutionary artists like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette ... even "trendier" artists like Emmylou Harris, Patsy Cline or Reba?

# 3 (tie) - Eminem and Duran Duran (32,000 votes each)

Duran Duran strikes me as more "pin-up rock" than actual rock ... and I've already told you how I feel about Eminem (By the way, he is the ONLY nominee making the ballot in his first year of eligibility this time around.)

# 5 - Eurythmics (24,000 votes) 

When I expand my own ballot to allow for five candidates, I could see myself voting for them - they offered up a different enough sound

# 6 - Lionel Richie (23,500 votes)

Rock and Roll?  Songwriters Hall Of Fame, yes ... Soul Hall Of Fame for sure, if only for his work with The Commodores ... but Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame???  I just can't justify it.  (Let's face it, nearly every successful Motown act is already in The Rock Hall ... perhaps a nomination for The Commodores would have been a more logical way to go.)

# 7 - Judas Priest (22,000 votes)

Now there's no disputing the fact that they're rock and roll ... and I've heard a lot of rock purists advocating these guys for years ... the thinking seems to be that The Rock Hall has ignored Heavy Metal Bands ... but if they're going to start acknowledging them now, is this really the best and most deserving one to pave the way?

# 8 - Carly Simon (21,500 votes)

Love Carly ... but what new element did she bring to the game?

# 9 - Rage Against The Machine (19,000 votes)

Again, they have their legion of fans ... but have they really earned a spot in these hallowed halls?

#10 (tie) - Devo / Dionne Warwick (15,000 votes each)

Devo put on a great presentation and looked new, fresh and entertaining ...

But so did Freddie and the Dreamers ... and is there a single person on earth who thinks they're Rock Hall worthy?

As for Dionne, she's been nominated before ... again, not Rock And Roll ... and incredible artist for sure ... but this is not her wheelhouse.

As for the others, A Tribe Called Quest, Kate Bush and Beck (???)

Fela Kuti is back on the list again ... right now he's dead last in the voting ... but he actually led the pack for a good long stretch last year.  Still, that wasn't enough to get him in.

And what's the deal with The New York Dolls and MC5??!??  How many times can these guys be nominated?!?!  The fan votes have never supported either of them ... the voting committee has never seen fit to induct them (what is this, the sixth try for MC5) ... why do THESE guys continue to make the ballot while deserving artists like The Guess Who and Jethro Tull and so many others never get the nod?

If The Rock Hall wants MC5 in there so badly, then just induct them in some other "special" category and get it over with!  Stop wasting a spot on the ballot for an artist that NOBODY seems to feel deserves a spot in The Hall!

The Class of 2022 will be announced in May.  (kk)

I will assume that we'll be seeing your annual rant about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this week.  
[Yes, we truly ARE that predictable ... and readers expect us to wig out at least once a year about The Rock Hall ... and some of them even respect us for it!!! - kk] 
Therefore, I will add my two cents worth as well.  
For reasons you have put forth for years, I don't think any of them belong. Most shouldn't even be considered for the simple reason of their music is not Rock and Roll. I will steadfastly defend Rap music as a music form, but it ain't what they call Rock And Roll. Dolly Parton is one of the major talents of all time, but she's not Rock And Roll. You have three acts ... Judas Priest, MC5 and Rage Against The Machine ... who qualify on the rock and roll requirement and as such, I think a case can be made. I can see Priest, Rage and MC5 getting in.  (Why isn't Priest in already?)
Maybe Beck. I'm on the fence with that. 
For Carly, Pat, and Dionne, throw each name against the wall and see what sticks. All three are pop music, as is Duran Duran and Lionel Richie.
In the end, though, until some of the major acts that you name every year get in, no one should be inducted.
Jack Levin
This is MC5's SIXTH time on the ballot ... can't you guys take a hint??!  (And I don't mean the band ... I mean the idiots running The Rock Hall who keep trying to shove these guys down our collective throats!)  Like I said earlier, if you REALLY want them in that bad, just induct them and get it over with ... move on and then consider some of the other deserving and denied artists that you've been ignoring for decades and make things right!
(By the way, this is the third nomination for Judas Priest and fourth for Rage Against The Machine!  It's also the third for The New York Dolls.)  I say it's about time to move on and give somebody else a chance to get in!  (The people have spoken!)  kk

Billboard Magazine handicaps the nominees here, showing which artists THEY believe have the best chance of becoming inductees this year.  (Odds are shown for each candidate ... and I can't really say I agree with some of them ... but a good debate is half the fun of ripping The Rock Hall apart every year!  They've got Dolly Parton, Beck, Eminem, Duran Duran and Pat Benatar as the most likely ones to get in this year.)
Although there is no set number of inductees etched in stone, my guess is that at least six of these artists will make it.  (kk)

Today, of course, marks the anniversary of the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper … rock and roll’s first great tragedy, February 3rd, 1959. 

It’s now been 63 years …

Here is how we remembered them last year:

FORGOTTEN HITS: Remembering Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper - On The 62nd Anniversary Of The Day The Music Died (

Speaking of anniversaries, we also mentioned the 50th Anniversary re-release of the first Wings album, “Wild Life,” earlier this week.  (The new collectors’ edition comes out tomorrow, 2/4)

Paul recently did an interview where he talked about the closing track, “Dear Friend,” quite obviously written about his relationship at the time with John Lennon, admitting that he finds it difficult to listen to today without getting a bit choked up every time he hears it … which he had to do numerous times while putting the new anniversary release together.

He had this to say:

“With ‘Dear Friend,’ that’s sort of me talking to John after we’d had all the sort of disputes about The Beatles break up. I find it very emotional when I listen to it now. I have to sort of choke it back. 

“I remember when I heard the song recently, listening to the roughs in the car. And I thought, ‘Oh God’. That lyric: ‘Really truly, young and newly wed’.

“Listening to that was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s true!’ I’m trying to say to John, ‘Look, you know, it’s all cool. Have a glass of wine. Let’s be cool.’

“And luckily, we did get it back together, which was like a great source of joy because it would have been terrible if he’d been killed as things were at that point and I’d never got to straighten it out with him.

“This was me reaching out. So, I think it’s very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt.”

Regarding the Wild Life LP, “Some People Never Know” is the best for my money on that disappointing LP.


If Paul was trying to knock our socks off with the first release by his new band, it was (in the infamous words of Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys) “a bunt rather than a home run.”

The tracks were very  basic … I think Paul was trying to get back to his roots and, if you recall at the time, Wings was showing up unannounced at various college campuses and putting on a show, just to gain experience playing together.

When one considers that “Red Rose Speedway” was supposed to be a double album and Captiol told him they didn’t think he could sell enough copies of a double album, I think it probably hit home that Wings had to pay their dues before they’d be taken seriously.  (Singles like “Hi Hi Hi” … a GREAT tune … and “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” … a real dog … getting banned for various reasons didn’t help his cause.  Neither did a recording of “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” which I personally liked.)

However, once “My Love” was released (and went straight to #1), McCartney had earned back his street cred … and “Band On The Run,” released later that same year, put him over the top.

As much as I love McCartney’s music, I find it difficult to listen to quite a few of his albums these days … but the earlier stuff like “Ram,” the first “McCartney” album, “Band On The Run” and “Venus And Mars” still rank amongst my favorites.  (kk)


A couple more Beatles-related comments …

It sounds like both the DVD and Blu Ray releases of The Beatles “Get Back” film have been delayed.  No new release date has been announced yet … but if you’re among the millions who have already ordered copies, you may want to check with your distributor for more details and updates.

>>>Here's a great Cher tune (as Bonnie Jo Mason, 1964, on Cameo).  I've only seen ONE copy of the record in my life; borrowed it from a collector friend so I could record it, about 45 years ago. That 45 will bring about $1000 today.  (Mike Wolstein)
Actually better than many of those 1964 tribute songs, IMO.


>>>And now, many of those same artists are getting together to perform selections from both “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” live in concert! 

But can these guys still sing?  I'm a little scared by this below.  Looks like Ringo's All Starr Band without Ringo?  By what I read, will we be hearing "I’ve Just Seen a Face" followed by "I Saw The Light In Your Eyes" OR "Ride Like The Wind" followed by "Run For Your Life" … OR "No Matter What" and then "Think For Yourself" OR "Go Now" and "Wait"???  The list is endless with these guys, but is it GOOD????

Clark Besch

I saw the White Album anniversary show twice a couple of years ago and it was VERY good.  (Concert review link below)

What’s cool is you not only get to hear interpretations of Beatles classics (Christopher Cross was AMAZING … that show also included Jason Scheff, Joey Molland and Todd Rundgren … as well as  Micky Dolenz), but to hear these artists perform two or three of their OWN biggest hits is a nice bonus treat.  (Jason doing “25 or 6 to 4” was a concert highlight … the guitar solo was nothing short of incredible!  And having Denny Laine on board this time around is an added incentive to go.)

I’ll definitely be attending this … if only because songs from “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul” aren’t typically performed!  (I’m SURE Ron Onesti will be bringing this show to either The Arcada and/or The Des Plaines Theater soon.)  kk


From Mark Lapidos and The Fest For Beatles Fans …

Just read that the Sunday Get Back: The Rooftop Concert  IMAX event sold out nationwide! And what an event it was.

We saw it in Paramus, NJ, and it was a theater full of many fans we knew from past FESTs. It has been almost three years since our last NY METRO FEST and fans were excited to be in a theatre full of fans.

It began with a Live Zoom with Peter Jackson, with a Host in front of a live London audience. He fielded many questions and Peter (a huge Beatles fan himself) revealed his takeaway from all the sessions, was that they were truly a great tight band, got along with each other, and loved one other. The Beatles did what they had to do in the time they had and WOW, did they ever pull it off. The Rooftop Concert we saw on IMAX truly brought it to life. The sound was incredible and, once they got past the first version of Get Back, they clicked and we saw why they were the greatest band ever. This version showed many shots we had never seen before in numerous multi-screen images. The Beatles were on screen all the time! You could see the pure joy in their expressions.

If you missed this special showing, it will be in IMAX Theatres the weekend of February 11-13. Some IMAX Theatres are starting on February 9th, so check your local IMAX theatre. Tickets are selling very quickly. Get all your Beatles friends together and purchase your tickets ASAP so you don't miss it. We do hope this version get a home video release of its own.

 CLICK HERE for IMAX Tickets.

Peace and Love,

The Fest also put the word out about the delay in the releases of both the DVD and Blu Ray versions of Peter Jackson’s complete 8-hour “Get Back” film that began airing on Disney+ over the long Thanksgiving Weekend …



Disney has delayed the release of these much anticipated releases. As soon as we get the official word, we will let you know when they will be coming out. We are making an assumption, that they will be manufacturing a lot more copies of both formats, now that they see the high demand for them. 

We are offering both of them at this time.

Reserve your copy now via the link above!

Here’s one for you …

Have you ever heard a song called "Hi, Hi Hazel"?

It was done in the 60's by a group of brothers called Gary and the Hornets.

They were just kids.  It got quite a bit of airplay in Seattle back then.

Chuck Anderson

Here's a piece we did on Gary and the Hornets from 2012 ...

Different song ... but same group.

("Hi Hi Hazel" charted for a couple of weeks in late 1966, peaking at #92 on the national charts.  Their version of "Kind Of Hush" bubbled under at #114 ... and only reached #127 in Billboard.  Their last chart entry, "Baby It's You," hit #138 in 1967.)


From Forgotten Hits, August of 2012:

>>>I remember years ago running a story about Herman's Hermits' hit "There's A Kind Of Hush" ... the record label was concerned that another version by a teeny-bop boy band might steal some of The Hermits' thunder on this one ... so they released "No Milk Today," a previous Top Ten Hit in Great Britain, as the B-Side here in The States, just in case the other version of "Hush" eclipsed Herman's Hermits' version ... this way, radio could simply flip the record over and The Hermits would still be represented on radio. Of course, the concerns were completely unfounded ... nothing could have been further from reality ... Herman's Hermits scored yet another Top Five Smash with "There's A Kind of Hush" and the competing version was delegated to complete obscurity. Meanwhile, "No Milk Today", another sure-fire hit, was wasted as a B-Side. (kk)
You are talking of Gary and the Hornets' Smash 45 which was plugged in Chicago, as Smash was a Chicago label. Actually, "No Milk Today" was released in England in September, 1966, while "Hush" was released here in the States and UK as a single in January, 1967. "Milk" would have no doubt gone top 10 by itself if released here when it was in the UK. By the time the US 45 came out, number one, "Hush" was even better than "Milk" as a song and #2, "Milk" was already past much of its' airplay height. KIMN Denver charted it into the top 15 in 1966 as an "exclusive" without anyone being able to BUY it. I taped it off KIMN as an exclusive in November. The DJ talks in the middle just like stations did when they had an exclusive, even tho we now know in hindsight that they had just imported the UK single and were playing that as the new release. No doubt that "Milk" airplay must have hurt sales of "East-West" (which was a GREAT tune reaching only #27 during the "Milk" early airplay days) in some markets. Hermits songs were huge exclusives when stations got them in advance. In the summer of ‘65, many stations had "Wonderful World" and "Silhouettes" when airplay demanded "Henry VIII" to become a massive release, causing three top hits at once on some stations. In early ‘66, the "When the Boys Meet the Girls" movie and soundtrack came out, "Listen People" became a huge airplay hit before an inferior version was recorded and released as a 45. I still believe that the changed recording made the song that charted week one at #41 stop at #3 only a few weeks later in Billboard. Yet, it was the early airplay that caused its release as a 45. This airplay hurt "A Must to Avoid" sales most likely at the time.
Yet, when the Hermits records (and their B sides were TERRIFIC, too) seemed to be instant successes into 1967 in the States, by 1968, it was all over, much like the Monkees' 45s from 1968 into 1969. I loved the later Hermits hits, but again, time had passed them by. I wonder if Mickie Most saw this and tried to change things a bit for the US market. I never thought about this before, but I taped the early 1968 hit "I Can Take or Leave Your Loving" off radio when it came out and the DJ announcing made the comment that it seemed to him that this was the first time he had heard Peter Noone's vocal not sounding of such an English accent. If you listen, it does kind of sound that way. However, the follow-up, "Sleepy Joe," goes back to his normal voice again. Think so?? In the UK, the hits kept coming into the 70's.

Clark Besch

The Gary and the Hornets version (titled simply "Kind Of Hush") "bubbled under" on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart for three weeks, ultimately petering (get it?) out at #127. By then, Herman's Hermits were well on their way to their 13th US Top Ten single.

When I interviewed Peter Noone a few years back for Forgotten Hits, we ran a Herman's Hermits Hits List ... and you're right ... the hits in Great Britain kept coming long after they stopped here in The States ... but Herman's Hermits had BIGGER hits here in America than they were having back at home. (In fact, THREE of their U.S. #1 Singles, "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat", "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry The VIII, I AM", were not even released as singles in the UK!)

If you haven't already seen it, it's a pretty entertaining read ... and has been picked up by numerous other publications over the years as well. Peter was quite forthcoming (and perhaps a little annoyed) throughout the interview process ... but we continue to hear comments about it all these years later! (kk)

Click here: Forgotten Hits - Forgotten Hits Interviews Peter Noone


Here's a short excerpt of Peter Noone talking about "No Milk Today" being delegated to a B-Side here in The States:

"No Milk Today" was released as a single in its own right back home in Jolly Ol' England back in October of 1966 ... four months before "There's A Kind Of Hush" hit the British Chart. It rose to #7 in the U.K. and, in Peter Noone's own words, is one of his favorite Hermits recordings. (He told me "No Milk Today is the PERFECT Hermits record.") Ironically, in concert, Noone most-often cites their version of "The End Of The World” as his favorite ... and he really DOES like their recording of this tune ... but he confided to me that, next to "I'm Into Something Good" for its pure pop genius, "No Milk Today" is his absolute FAVORITE Herman's Hermits recording. We also uncovered this little bit of Herman's Hermits / "No Milk Today" trivia during our talks:

FORGOTTEN HITS: The only "charted" Herman's Hermits B-Side here in America was No Milk Today", which was a BIG hit in its own right in Great Britain ... it's also one of my favorites. Would you have preferred that this was released as a single on its own here in the States?

PETER NOONE: "No Milk Today" was Herman's Hermits' best single and was put together by John Paul Jones, Mickie Most and me with Keith and Karl doing the backgrounds. It was our biggest selling record worldwide and was a B-side in the US because some boy band covered "There's A Kind Of Hush" and put it out in Ohio so we were afraid the radio wouldn't play "There's A Kind Of Hush" by us and we threw away No Milk in the US.

(EDITOR's NOTE: We later learned that the Ohio band Peter was referring to was a pre-teen trio of brothers called Gary and the Hornets. Ironically, THEIR version of "There's A Kind Of Hush" never even charted!!! As such, "No Milke Today" was wasted here in The States as a B-Side, ultimately peaking at #33 while "There's A Kind Of Hush" went all the way to #3.)

PETER NOONE: "No Milk Today" became a B-Side because Mick most didn't actually like the song that much. It had been turned down by The Hollies, so he thought it had something missing. Personally, I think it is Herman's Hermits best recording, and perfectly captures the moment and the feel of Manchester terraced houses and what was the end of a British era. I recall it was made at Lansdown Studios and that we recorded a few other songs that day ... probably "There's A Kind Of Hush," "Dandy" and "No Milk Today." This was in the period where we (Mick and I) had just stopped using The Hermits on the recordings and were using the best musicians available to us to try to keep up with what had suddenly become The British Invasion. We were supposed to deliver 48 tracks a year to MGM so we were always scrambling to catch up. I recall that John Paul Jones played bass guitars (an upright and a fender bass) on the tracks and was also responsible for the arrangements, which I dare say are brilliant on all three tracks … but I know he liked "No Milk Today" and I would suggest that his arrangement turned this perfect Graham Gouldman song into a hit. I think that after we had the tracks down, then I did the lead vocal and then Karl Green, Keith Hopwood and I did the backgrounds. The songs were mixed and that was it.

Speaking of '60's FLASHBACKS, here's what we were covering the first week of February, 2002 ... TWENTY YEARS AGO ...

That week, we spotlighted THREE different Forgotten Hits artists …


Here they are again, via one of our trademark


Over all the years and all the people that have been blamed for the break-up of THE BEATLES (most commonly YOKO ONO, LINDA EASTMAN and ALLEN KLEIN), I've never seen today's artist mentioned as a possible culprit. However, in 1968, at a GEORGIE FAME concert at a club called THE BAG OF NAILS, PAUL McCARTNEY met his future-wife LINDA EASTMAN for the first time. (Sounds suspicious enough to me ... had that not happened, who KNOWS how differently things may have turned out!!!) GEORGIE was hot at the time, having just scored a Top Ten Hit with his bouncy account of the careers of BONNIE AND CLYDE. Prior to that, however, he hit the Top 20 in 1965 with today's Forgotten Hit, YEH YEH, #17 in Cashbox in the spring of that year. (It hit #10 here, but stopped at #21 in Billboard.) It has become yet another hit song making the rounds in a current car-commercial, but you rarely hear this one on oldies radio. GEORGIE was born Clive Powell and got his start as the keyboard player for Britain's famed BILLY FURY AND THE BLUE FLAMES band. (In fact, THE BLUE FLAMES shared label credit with GEORGIE FAME on his first three Imperial releases here in the States.) Once FAME took over fronting the band, they moved into a very soulful/R&B groove and, in fact, became the house band at The Flamingo R&B Club in London. They even recorded and released a live album from there at the club. YEH YEH was originally done by soul artist MONGO SANTAMARIA and was a #1 hit in England for FAME where he charted a dozen times, three of which hit the top spot. (The aforementioned BALLAD OF BONNIE AND CLYDE and GET AWAY, a #58 U.S. hit were the others.) In the early '70's he teamed briefly with former ANIMAL ALAN PRICE with limited success. 

This one should get you going this morning ... it's a great upbeat tune that just may have you dancing all the way to work for a change!

I'm not really sure why this song has stuck in my mind the way it has since I first heard it back in 1969 ... but at almost any given moment, I can start to hear JESUS IS A SOUL MAN ... a #28 Pop Hit ... for One Hit Wonder LAWRENCE REYNOLDS. I can't find any information listed about this guy at all. I do know that JOHNNY RIVERS also cut this song (it was the B-Side to his minor 1970 hit INTO THE MYSTIC) and that whenever I've mentioned it to anyone, if they recognize it at all, the one they're likely to acknowledge is generally the JOHNNY RIVERS version. JESUS IS A SOUL MAN was a #11 hit here in Chicago and I've yet to find it on CD. (Today's track was made from the original 45 recording.) Contrary to what some people believe, it is NOT a JOHNNY RIVERS composition ... LAWRENCE REYNOLDS wrote this one himself with Jack Cardwell. I'm curious to know if anyone else out there remembers this tune. As I said, I've sung this one in my head now for over 30 years ... and I've got a hunch it'll stick in your head, too! Give it a listen.

Here's a track that's been recorded by a number of different artists over the years ... yet never really achieved "Hit" status on the charts.

Written by ARTHUR ALEXANDER in 1963 (who didn't release his own version of this song as a single until 1975), it came the closest to making the Top 40 when it was covered by STEVE ALAIMO.  His version of EVERY DAY I HAVE TO CRY SOME peaked at #45 on the Cashbox Chart in 1963. 

(ALEXANDER's version also peaked at #45.  In 1966, THE GENTRYS' version stopped at #77.)  Along the way, artists as diverse as RICK NELSON, IKE AND TINA TURNER, THE BEE GEES, THE McCOYS and DUSTY SPRINGFIELD have also covered ... but not charted ... with versions of this song.

According to JOEL WHITBURN's book, STEVE ALAIMO is the artist to have hit

Billboard's Charts the most times (9) without ever having a Top 40 hit.  This one was his biggest.

Yet it seemed that back in the mid-'60's, this guy was ALWAYS on TV!!! 

He was a regular on ABC's WHERE THE ACTION IS and it seems to me he was

featured on some other DICK CLARK shows as well.  (I also seem to remember him from the old LLOYD THAXTON Show.)  He was "Teen Idol" cute and hung out with MARK LINDSAY and PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS quite a bit.  (In fact, with his own group THE UNKNOWNS, he actually charted with a RAIDERS' instrumental track called MELODY FOR AN UNKNOWN GIRL ... a very pretty song.)

DIDJA KNOW:  PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS first recorded MELODY FOR AN UNKNOWN GIRL on their album MIDNIGHT RIDE and even included it on their first GREATEST HITS LP.  It was, other than a spoken recitation at the beginning and end of the song, a beautiful "saxy" instrumental.  The RAIDERS started their career as an instrumental group with the cult-hit LIKE LONG HAIR, which went all the way to #4 here in Chicago.  By the time they caught on nationally and had their own TV series (and a pin-up lead singer), it wasn't cool for them to release an instrumental as a single.  MARK LINDSAY (who co-wrote MELODY with PAUL REVERE) believed in this song, however, so recording under the name THE UNKNOWNS (to avoid a conflict with his own record label, Columbia Records), he, STEVE ALAIMO and RAIDERS bandmate KEITH ALLISON released a nearly identical version on the Parrot label.  It didn't do very well ... stopping at #74 on the charts.)


STEVE ALAIMO cowrote the classic ALLMAN BROTHERS song MELISSA along with GREGG ALLMAN.  He also was a founding member of TK Records, who launched the VERY successful career of KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND in the mid-'70's.