Saturday, April 9, 2022

PHIL NEE - April 9th

Today we head to the tape archives to share the backgrounds of two of the 'kookiest' records to come out of the Midwest in the 1960's.   

With Easter approaching, I thought it might be appropriate to pay tribute to Peter Rabbit.  This song was played at live shows by several bands before 
Dee Jay And The Runaways ran with it into the Top 50 in 1965. 

The Iowa group was led by 'Dee' Denny Storey and 'Jay' John Senn.   John joined me on WRCO in the early 2000's to talk about the song and the group that  actually started its own record company. 

Well, Phil, you actually stumped me with this one!!!

"Peter Rabbit" didnt chart here in Chicago ... and I'd never heard the song before today!

Although it only peaked at #45 in Billboard, it DID sneak into The National Top 40 in Record World Magazine, peaking at #39 in the Summer of '65.

The duo of Phil Humphrey and Jim Sundquist formed the Fendermen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  They somehow took an old Jimmie Rogers tune that they were playing in the bars all the way to number five on the Billboard survey in 1960.  

The original version was recorded on a portable reel to reel tape recorder and pressed at Cuca studios in Sauk City, Wisconsin.  That record caught on in some areas of the Badger State and a later re-recording at Soma studios in  Minneapolis made history.   

In 1993, I had the chance to quiz Jim Sundquist about one of the most unlikely hits of all time.


A Top Five One-Hit Wonder that you rarely hear anymore today ... maybe because it is such an unusual recording ... but hey, this is Forgotten Hits ... and Those Were The Days ... so the chances of US playing it is a Sure Fire Bet!  (kk)

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!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Reader Concert Review: DARYL HALL and TODD RUNDGREN

Daryl Hall – Todd Rundgren review

I was pleasantly surprised last Thursday to find that my wife had just purchased tickets to Friday night’s Daryl Hall – Todd Rundgren concert at the Auditorium Theater in downtown Chicago. I really like both legendary musicians and the acoustically perfect Auditorium is the finest place to attend a concert anywhere.

I checked the Internet for information and found that the Chicago stop was the first on a very limited 14-date tour by Hall and Rundgren. The tour’s purpose was to promote Hall’s newly released album, “Before After,” which is a compilation of songs from his six solo records recorded between 1980 and 2011 and songs from his wildly successful “Live from Daryl’s House” television show. Uh oh! No music from the incredible Hall and Oates catalog? A feeling of trepidation came over me.

We settled into our seats and Todd Rundgren hit the stage with a very tight six-piece band that did a great job backing him. He played for 65-minutes and did every single hit from the deep Rundgren catalog including his work with Nazz and Utopia as well as his solo hits. I realized that as much as I like Todd, I do not own a single Rundgren recording. That will be remedied when the Amazon truck arrives at my home on Monday.

It should be illegal for a man who is 72 years old to be able to hit all the high notes and not miss a beat like Todd Rundgren did. His voice is as good as it ever was. He did a rendition of “Ooh, Baby Baby,” that would have made Smokey Robinson proud.

Although Rundgren is a very talented multi-instrument virtuoso, he only played the guitar and only for a couple of songs. His lead guitar work was phenomenal. He played a brand-new electric guitar for the first time that he had just purchased earlier that day. I closed my eyes and swore I was listening to Eddie Van Halen ... that’s how good Todd was.

Rundgren put on a great show, skipping and bopping across the stage like a man half his age. I’ll be in the crowd the next time Todd Rundgren comes to play in Chicago for sure.

After a short intermission, Daryl Hall hit the stage that was decorated with the neon sign that is normally displayed on his hit television show, “Live from Daryl’s House.” Hall was accompanied by a six-piece band that was supposedly the group who backs him on his television show. I can’t vouch for that because Hall, like Rundgren before him, never introduced the members of their bands, which I thought to be odd.

Daryl Hall is 75 but doesn’t look a day over 50. Hall began to play, and the first five songs were from his Oates-less solo albums. I had never heard any of them before. The couple sitting next to us actually got up and left, disappointed in the song selection. Someone down front was yelling “Maneater” over and over. Hall grinned and responded, “Sorry man! Maneater is a Jonathan song. Not gonna happen.” He then said, “Let’s mix it up a little.”

He then played the H & O hit, “Every Time You Go Away,” which was fervently received and calmed the demands of the crowd. Hall then went back to his solo material and also played the Eurythmics hit. “Here Comes the Rain Again,” which is on his new album and had been played on “Daryl’s House” with Dave Stewart. Damned good cover!

Hall made a great call and went back to the Hall and Oates songbook. He played “Sara Smile,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” and “You Make My Dreams Come True.”

Rundgren then came on stage to join Hall and they took turns playing each other’s songs, the same way Hall does it on his television show. They were a phenomenal duo. A highlight for me was their rendition of Todd’s “Can We Still Be Friends.” They finished the mini-set by paying tribute to their mutual home town of Philadelphia by covering the Soul Survivor’s hit “Expressway to Your Heart.” Fantastic!

Rundgren left the stage and Daryl Hall finished the ninety-minute concert with the amazingly provoking and sentimental “What’s Gonna Happen To Us?” It was the perfect song for the wacky and tragic world we are living in today.

I’ll give the Daryl Hall – Todd Rundgren show my highest recommendation. It was worth every penny and I am glad I was there. Thanks to my wife, Joyce, for surprising me with the tickets. Good call! (By the way, when the Amazon truck arrives on Monday with my new copy of Todd Rundgren’s “Anthology,” it will also be delivering a brand-new copy of Daryl Hall’s “Before After.”) I can’t wait!

Thank you
Steve Sarley

Great review, Steve, of what sounds like a great concert!  (We had talked about going numerous times but never actually pulled the trigger when it came to getting tickets ... now we get to live vicariously through YOUR experience ... so thank you so much for sharing.)  kk

Wednesday, April 6, 2022



So sad to just learn that Bobby Rydell passed away.  He was a youthful fave for ALL of the Besch Boys.  :(




You probably already know this, but I just got an emergency text that Bobby Rydell has just passed away due to covid. I just last night played one of his records.

I don't do this all that often, but I just got through playing all my 45's of Bobby Rydell that made the national charts for him, the major and also minor hits. Enjoyed hearing them again. I also played his first record, I believe, and that was FATTY FATTY from 1957, a record one could not play today on the radio because it wouldn't be politically correct. Incidentally, on the network news tonight, there was no mention of his passing. I also expect the same tomorrow on the network news. Maybe a very small notice in our paper tomorrow, but I doubt it. Obviously, there will be notices tomorrow in Philadelphia's papers.

Not only are the HITS FORGOTTEN, but nowadays the singers and groups are also forgotten.


The news of Bobby Rydell’s passing yesterday rocked the oldies world … he was one of the original teen idols from the late ‘50’s … one of The Bandstand Boys and then one of The Golden Boys … who, like Frankie Avalon, crossed over to the movie screen as well.  (Who can forget his starring role in “Bye Bye Birdie”???)  He and Ann-Margret stayed tight for the rest of their lives.  I remember him asking her, when both were in their 70’s, “How come we never got married?”  It was always playful banter between these two ‘60’s icons.  They even named the high school in the hit musical “Grease” after him!!!  I think you’ll find that there will be quite a bit of coverage over the next several days.

(Here’s what the New York Post had to say after the death announcement was made public: … Bobby passed away just three weeks shy of what would have been his 80th birthday.)

The truth is that Bobby has had any number of health scares over the last several decades … he had multiple organ transplants (I used to tease him about being the real-life Bionic Man!) as well as a long-standing drinking problem that he went public with … but it was pneumonia that finally did him in this time around.  (Early reports of Covid apparently were not accurate … or at the least real cause of his death.)

Bobby Rydell and I had a very odd relationship.

When we first hooked up to do an interview to help promote his new autobiography, the deal was he was only going to give me fifteen minutes … that was his standard time allowance as he was talking to any number of media outlets that might help him to get the word out about his book.  (Honestly, I've never understood what kind of in-depth interview can be accomplished in just fifteen minutes ... it forces every interviewer to ask only the most obvious questions, making virtually every interview read the same way by the time it finally goes out to the public.  Even if those time-restraint rules are mandated by the artist, it ultimately does a disservice to the artist in the long run, who will then usually complain about why everybody always asks them the same questions!!!)

As luck would have it, we hit it off and ended up talking for over an hour … by the time we were finished, it was like we were old friends … and this was the first time we had ever spoken.

But when I went back to him a few days later to tie up some loose ends with a few follow-up questions, he just about took my head off, telling me that he had already given me three times as much time for an interview as he had afforded anyone else.

I explained that I just wanted to do it right … and that NOBODY was going to give him the kind of coverage, attention and exposure that I was putting together for our piece.  After answering a few more of my questions (VERY few!), he ended our conversation by telling me not to contact him anymore.

My plan all along was to run a week-long series, not only giving him a chance to push the new book, but also a chance to talk about his entire career.  I knew that Forgotten Hits could provide the perfect forum and audience ... an opportunity to reach the fans who stayed with him throughout his entire career.  (One reader even commented that he met Bobby at a Meet and Greet after a concert several years ago and that he had brought along a stack of albums he was hoping Bobby would sign.  When one of the security people told him that Bobby would sign only one album and then he’d have to move along, Bobby interrupted him and said, “No … he BOUGHT all of these albums … and I am going to SIGN all of these albums!!!”)

And, quite honestly, virtually everything I've ever heard about Bobby Rydell was about what a great guy he was ... SO fan-friendly and appreciative ... which was much more in keeping with our original conversation.

But let’s face it … in 2016 when Bobby’s book “Teen Idol On The Rocks” came out, he wasn’t exactly a household name anymore … but I was hell-bent on affording him more press than he had had in years.  (And, truth be told, I really enjoyed his book!)

Yet here we were, after one EXCEPTIONALLY great first meeting, Bobby was refusing to answer any more of my questions or clarify any other points that I wanted to make sure were accurately clear in the final piece.

Determined, good guy that I am, I polished things off as best I could and went ahead and ran the series … and even promoted the heck out of it.  Bobby Rydell was, after all, a MAJOR star in his day, enjoying cross-over success in music, television and movies … I knew he likely had a legion of fans who had stuck with him since the very start that would be interested in reading this piece if it were done right.

The series got a very positive response and I was quite proud of how it all came out … although I will admit that virtually ANYBODY I told about how hard it was trying to pry answers from him there at the end told me to just write him off as a complete asshole once they’d heard the story!  (lol)  Some even suggested that I not run it at all!

And then, perhaps even MORE amazingly, I even got him booked to perform at The Arcada Theatre … first time he’d played Chicago in DECADES!  And yet when I went backstage afterwards to say hello, he pretty much blew me off again and barely said a word.  (And most certainly not a "thank you.")

And then, all of a sudden, I started hearing from readers all over the country who were listening to Bobby do radio and newspaper interviews in their area while he was on his book promotion tour and telling some of these other jocks and reporters to check out the piece Forgotten Hits did on him, how good it was and how we had pulled out all the stops to really showcase him as an artist.  In fact, even a couple of the DJs on the list who did interviews with him told me that they had NEVER had an artist refer them to somebody ELSE’s interview before!!!

So OBVIOUSLY he liked it … but was just never a big enough man to admit it or say thank you.  Too bad … we delivered on our promise and were only too happy to share the story Bobby wanted to tell.  (And the truth is, it’s a really good book!)

The reason, I believe, that MY piece stood out over all the others that ran literally around the world during this time period, is because EVERY other reporter from coast to coast simply took the approach of referring to Bobby Rydell as “the Justin Bieber of his day” … I swear it was part of every single headline I could find! … whereas I took the time to talk to Bobby about his ENTIRE career.

We covered the movies and the TV spots … the records and the Teen Idols Tours … heck, we even talked about him coaching his own kid’s baseball team!

In fact, you can still read the entire series on the Forgotten Hits web page …

I have always wished that we would have parted on better terms and stayed in touch …

I held up my end of the bargain and I have to believe that Bobby was very pleased with what I wrote … even if he never told me so.  I heard it from enough other people to know it to be true.

In hindsight, I’m glad I never called him out on the whole thing … and am proud that I took the high road and gave him a bang-up piece that we BOTH could be proud of.

Goodbye, Bobby ... it was fun while it lasted ...

And thank you for taking so many people on a life-long pleasure ride.


The Bobby Rydell Hit List:  22 Top 50 National Hits, 1959 - 1964

1959 - KISSIN' TIME  (#11)


            WE GOT LOVE  (#2)


            I DIG GIRLS  (#44) flip side of WE GOT LOVE


1960 - WILD ONE  (#2, and Bobby's biggest hit)


            LITTLE BITTY GIRL (#19)  flip side of WILD ONE


            SWINGIN' SCHOOL (#5) from the movie "Because They're Young" -- 

  it has been reported that Lennon and McCartney were thinking

  about this song and its structure when they wrote "She Loves You" ...

  but the same has also been said about "We Got Love."  In 1964,

  Bobby’s version of the Lennon-McCartney tune “A World Without

  Love” competed with Peter and Gordon’s version for a few weeks on

  the pop charts.  Peter and Gordon eventually went to #1 with their

  rendition … while Bobby’s version topped out at #71 in Record World

  … and only made it to #103 in Cash Box.


            DING-A-LING (#17)  flip side of SWINGIN' SCHOOL


            VOLARE  (#4)


            SWAY (#12)  in 1976, Bobby recorded and released a very good

  disco version of this song (it "bubbled under" at #114)


1961 - GOOD TIME BABY  (#10)


            THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC  (#17)


            THE FISH  (#16)


            I WANNA THANK YOU  (#21)


            JINGLE BELL ROCK (#20)  duet with Chubby Checker


1962 - I'VE GOT BONNIE  (#17)


           LOSE HER  (#49)  flip side of I'VE GOT BONNIE


           I'LL NEVER DANCE AGAIN  (#14)


           THE CHA-CHA-CHA  (#10)


1963 - BUTTERFLY BABY  (#22)


 WILDWOOD DAYS (#17)  This one became an East Coast’s anthem ...

 Bobby refers to the beaches and nightllife in Wildwood, N.J.


           FORGET HIM (#4)  my personal favorite ... written by Tony Hatch, who

           also wrote "Downtown" and most of Petula Clark's key hits.  The flip

 side was the spoken word track "Message from Bobby, in which he

 talks about "Bye Bye Birdie" and promotes "Forget Him."  I also have

 always loved Bobby's versions of "Sway" and "Volare."  (kk)


1964 -MAKE ME FORGET  (#43)

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Chuck Buell Here ... And I've Got A Thing Or Two To Say



What an all-around, jam-packed Edition of Forgotten Hits today!


And I agree when you wrote ~~~  


“I am the first to admit how TOTALLY out of touch with ( today’s Top 40 ) I am.  Unless a record creates a particular level of buzz, I likely won't know anything at all about it ... or, in most cases, the artist who recorded it.”


Then, that must make ME second!  Although, occasionally a song does come along that I somehow become aware of and enjoy.  Like “Call Me, Maybe!” as does “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Again!” and “Rollin’ in the Deep.”  They all do sound pretty fun to me and particularly seem to relate realistic life situations for today!


You also said ~~~  


“Early on, when music became such a HUGE part of my life, I vowed to always stay with it … keep current no matter where the trends went, without ever losing sight of the music that I truly love.  But at some point, I gave up … “


I, too, can remember “back then” when listening to, and really liking, the soundtrack of our younger days, I actually said the same thing!  


“I love this music and I always will,” I naively said! Top Forty Music was such a major part of my reasons for getting on the radio in Junior High and being able to play that great hit music every day!


Then you observed, 


“Back in our day we had to physically get up and leave the house, travel to the local record store and BUY the latest records … and then rush home in the height of wonderment as to what else we might find on the B-Side!”


I would doubt that any Forgotten Hitter could not recall the first, or one of the first, such 45s bought doing exactly that.  I’m pretty sure my first was actually running to my local record store ( too young to drive! ) to buy “Banana Boat (Day-O!) by Harry Belafonte after just hearing it on the radio!



You then confessed,  


“For me, pop has always been king … nothing beats a good, catchy melody. I can even stand to listen to about 50% of those '70's disco songs now … and that’s REAL progress for me!


Welcome to the “CB International 70s and 80s Music Appreciation Seminars!” Never thought I would either, but I can now, too. For instance, there are more than one of Donna Summer and Bee Gees Forgotten Hits that I can listen to now and again. And the likes of Gloria Gaynor singing about surviving and how can we get back into some of these “Can’t Sit Stillables” without a good ole “Disco Inferno!”


Then you questioned,  


“How much of today’s music do you think will still be getting played fifty years from now?  TEN years from now???”


I really can't imagine much! But Music Awards WILL live on. Hence, my Chuck Buell adaptation ... the esteemed “Forgotten Hit Award!”


And the Forgotten Hit Award goes to your first nominee ~~~


“Drake, even if he charts 300 tracks during his career ...

Can you Hum three!” you challenged!!!

And the next Forgotten Hit Award Goes to your next nominee ~~~

“A “Fest for Britney Spears?!” you asked!


And now, with all due respect, here are these Honorary Forgotten Hit Awards presented to two of my WLS Broadcast Brothers “For Effort” because, after all, they actually released a record or two, whereas I did not even record one!


First for the Song, on which a notation printed on the record label funnily enough says “DJ Copy.” For a DJ?!  

And the Forgotten Hit Award goes to “Training Wheels” by Kris Erik Stevens!


Then, for the Spoken Word Recording, on which a notation printed on its label “Not For Sale” was apparently taken literally! 

And the Forgotten Hit Award goes to, "The Ballad of the Mad Streaker" by Larry Lujack!


But, in fairness to Lujack, his famous “Animal Stories” spawned four albums which did sell respectfully!


And with those, that concludes these “Forgotten Hits Forgotten Hit Award Acknowledgements!”

CB! ( which stands for "Confirmation Boy!" )


Thanks, Chuck ... you made my day!!!  (kk)



By the way, we've been collecting FIRST 45's Memories for decades now ...


Make sure YOURS gets on the list by dropping me a line at!


And then check out some of the others we've received here ...