Saturday, August 6, 2022

Phil Nee - AUGUST 6th

Today we go back to the early days of rock and roll.  
Released originally in 1954,  Rock Around The Clock would eventually become a big hit a year after it was recorded after it was used in a movie.  
In the process, Bill Haley and His Comets became the hottest band in the land.  
Their bass player, Marshall Lytle, was there from the days when the group was a cowboy band through the time when they became movie stars.  
Marshall was my guest in 2001.

Marshall Lytle died in 2013.  He played the stand up bass at many shows and rockabilly celebrations after his days with the Comets. 
During our talk on WRCO,  he spoke about the group's history.

Rock Around the Clock was written by Max C. Freedman and Jimmy De Knight (a.k.a. James Myers.)  It was the first rock and roll song to reach number one.  
It was originally recorded by Sonny Dae and the Knights.  
James Myers told me that it was intended to be a Bill Haley song.  
James joined me on the phone in the late '90's.


Listen to Phil Nee's THOSE WERE THE DAYS radio show every Saturday Night on WRCO ...

Friday, August 5, 2022

Great TV Themes

This weekend, THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL is saluting some of The Greatest TV Themes of All Time.

Forgotten Hits has polled our audience a couple of times now on this topic ... and come up with some pretty amazing candidates.  (So much so that after running your Top 50 Favorites in 2013, we had to expand the list to The Top 100 when we ran the poll again in 2020!)

You can view the results of both of polls here:

And, to tie in with this special programming, Me-TV-FM will be saluting TV Themes all weekend long ... along with songs that made the pop charts recorded by some of our favorite TV Stars.

It all kicks off at 7 pm Central Tonight ... and runs right thru Midnight on Sunday Night.

(The History Of Rock And Roll TV Themes program airs from 7 am - 9 am Saturday Morning ... and you can listen to ALL of it right here via this Listen Live link:

While contractually we're not allowed to bring you this countdown on the website, I can tell you that the program ends with a countdown of The Top Ten TV Theme Favorites, hosted by legendary broadcaster Wink Martindale, as determined by The Forgotten Hits Top 100 All-Time Favorite TV Themes Poll.  That means that in order to hear it, you'll just have to tune in and listen for yourself ... either tomorrow morning at 7 am ... or next Sunday Night, August 14th, from 10 pm - Midnight when Me-TV-FM presents an encore presentation.

THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL is written by music historian Gary Theroux, who also wrote the ORIGINAL full-length series that ran in syndication several years ago ... and can be heard around the world ... but WE suggest you listen on Me-TV-FM because you'll hear a lot of OTHER great music there every time you turn it on as well.

Be sure to tune in and listen every weekend for another exciting chapter spotlighting the music of our lives.

[A new episode of THE HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL airs every Saturday Morning from 7 - 9 am Central time ... with an encore presentation of the previous week's program each Sunday Night from 10 pm - Midnight] 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Thursday This And That

I'm a big fan of many forgotten hits (lower case) and, of course, Forgotten Hits. I usually listen to hundreds every week - but every now and then one pops up that I can't recall hearing since it was popular.

That's the case with Flash's "Small Beginnings." It was aired often here, especially by the AOR guys, but I can't say I've heard it once since '72. Looking at these old charts from different states is lots of fun, Kent. This is a great feature. Thank you! 

David Lewis

That's not one that’s immediately familiar to me … it peaked at #26 nationally and only WCFL played it here in Chicago, where it went to #23, and I honestly don’t remember ever hearing it on the radio at the time … yet Phil Nee selected it as one of his 40 Favorite Songs of 1972, so it must have been big just across the border in Wisconsin … although Ken Freck’s WRIT Chart Book for Milwaukee only shows it at #36 for a week and then it was gone.  Maybe an early FM hit perhaps???  (kk)

A lot of nice photos in today’s post so I thought you might like a poor quality vintage photo. This is a publicity photo for a show in Rockford, IL, on 3/18/66 that could have almost been the first Cornerstones of Rock show. It included The New Colony Six, The Shadows of Knight, Baby Huey and the Babysitters and The Flock. Also on the bill were local bands The Grim Reapers and The Komans.

Although the biography of Barry Fey only lists three shows in Rockford in the summer of 1965, I get the feeling that this could have been a Barry Fey show as well. It was a good show.

Robert Campbell

Well, you're right about one thing ...

This is an EXTREMELY low-quality photo!!! (lol)  kk

Joe Walsh is reforming The James Gang for a special appearance at VetsAid2022.  On board will be original founding member Jimmy Fox as well as Dale Peters, who joined the band in time for their second album.  (Peters and Fox kept the band going for six more albums after Walsh left the band to join The Eagles.)  Oh yeah … they’ll have a NEW member up on stage with them for this very special performance … some guy named Dave Grohl (who seems to be the most sought-after, in-demand musical artist out there these days!)  It should be a good set … and it’s definitely for a good cause.  The show will take place November 13th in Columbus, Ohio.  (kk)

More info on the Creedence Clearwater Revival live album and concert film …

In September, the newly mixed tapes (by Giles Martin, no less!) will finally see their official release.  “Creedence Clearwater Revival At The Royal Albert Hall” was recorded back in 1970 when the band still had all four of its original members.  (John Fogerty’s brother Tom would leave the following year.)

A concert film of the same performance (and also including a history of the band and their meteoric rise to fame … it only took them about NINE YEARS to catch on!!!) … narrated by Jeff Bridges will also be released the same day.  (September 16th)

In the film, Bridges recounts their remarkable achievements, which include charting with FIVE Top Ten Singles and THREE Top Ten albums in 1969 alone.  In Bridges’ own words, “In only 12 months, the band had achieved five Top 10 singles and three Top 10 albums on the American charts, outselling the Beatles.  They had appeared on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show and played to over a million people across America, including the hundreds of thousands gathered at Woodstock. 'John, Tom, Stu and Doug' may not have had the familiar ring to it of 'John, Paul, George and Ringo,' but Creedence were challenging the Beatles for the title of the biggest group in the world."

That they were … but it would all be over just a couple of years later.

This film has been talked about for quite some time … so this should really be something to see.

(You can read OUR version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival story here:  kk

Look for a new book by Bruce Spizer spotlighting The Beatles’ albums “Rubber Soul,” “Revolver” and the American release of “Yesterday … And Today.”  Due out October 10th, it’ll make for another nice edition to his on-going series spotlighting their recorded … and released output over the years.  (It also begs the question “Will Apple Records FINALLY put out some type of deluxe box set commemorating these two albums?”)

It certainly was a turning point in The Beatles’ recording career … it is essentially where the concept of recording an album’s worth of material took on a whole new meaning.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Bruce’s book coincided with a special year-end release??? (And wouldn’t it be even nicer if Apple FINALLY released the “Let It Be” film the way it was originally shown in theaters???)  kk

In a new Paramount+ television documentary, Don McLean talks about the back story of his #1 Hit “American Pie,” now celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  (You might be surprised by the clarification of some of his long, misinterpreted lyric references.)

Tom Cuddy sent us this …


‘I said, Don, it’s time for you to reveal’: 50 years later, the truth behind American Pie | Music | The Guardian

A few days ago, Chuck Buell mentioned having Patience ... as in being Patient with a Girl, with a Song and with a Steak!


He continues …


A couple of other examples have since surfaced about episodes that tried our Patience many years ago.


Did this ever happen to you after you were exercising the ultimate in Forgotten Hits Patience and Waiting ~~~ ?


Or, this ~~~ ?


Thirty-nine years?!  I wonder if that’s even close to completing its download yet!

Anyway, on a related subject, I got to thinking ~~~ 


Why is one who sees a Doctor called a “Patient?”


“Patient” comes from the Latin “patiens,” from “patior,” meaning to suffer or bear. The “Patient, in this language, is truly passive, or being patient by patiently bearing whatever is necessary and patiently tolerating the interventions of an outside expert, a Doctor, to give of his or her skill. Hence, being “Patient!”


Conversely, there are Doctors who have said that, at times, they need to be Patient with their Patients.


And there you go!  Two words spelled the same with two different meanings! And thanx for being Patient with my view of being Patient, particularly a Patient Patient!

Now, here's my "ChuckBuell Patience-Waiting Minute Medley.''


CB ( which stands for “Constrained Boy!” )

This WLS / WCFL Rewound Radio Labor Day Weekend Special has really taken off by leaps and bounds this past week.  We have heard from SO many jocks who were part of our daily routine back then, and I can promise you occasional promos until the show actually hits the air.  (The goal at the onset was to come up with 66 hours of programming to fill The Labor Day Weekend.  My understanding is that they now have over 150 HOURS of material, with more coming in every day!  That’s a lot to weed thru and select the best of the best … or, in many cases, the cleanest copies to air.  Much of these will be presented exactly as you heard them on the air way back when, with cleaned-up, higher quality music tracks dropped in wherever appropriate.  In addition to dozens and dozens (and DOZENS!) of familiar voices, you’ll also hear vintage commercials, news broadcasts and much, much more.  I’m telling you, this thing is going to be a blast … and not just from the past.  Many of these DJs have recorded new drop-ins and promos just like the ones we’ve been airing that’ll pepper the broadcast throughout the entire weekend.

Here in a nutshell is a better description of what’s taking place, courtesy of Ted Smucker, one of the guys who’s been putting in countless hours trying to put this whole thing together for our enjoyment …


Hi Kent -

Here's some more info on the Labor Day Weekend Special on Rewound Radio. 

Allan Sniffen, a radio enthusiast from NY, has been a lifelong fan of MusicRadio WABC.  He was involved in the on-air WABC Rewound, in which they remembered the golden days of Top 40 as it was originally heard.  It was much like WLS Rewind of 2007 and 2008, but they focused a lot more on old airchecks.  When that went away, Allan began running WABC airchecks all weekend long on Memorial Day Weekend on his own Rewound Radio.  In addition, he has run WOR-FM on Labor Day Weekend, and does a Dan Ingram Special on Independence Day Weekend.  

Being from the Midwest, about a year ago I asked Allan about featuring WLS and/or WCFL.  He said he needed airchecks.  That was all I needed to begin assembling the very best airchecks of those two stations I could find.  I had recorded a number of shows myself growing up, but the quality was marginal in some cases.  I digitized everything, and then began to filter out the bad where I could.  I have also been a long time friend of Tom Konard, and he and I remained in contact until shortly before his death in Belgium this last year.  Before he passed, he sent me a boatload of Larry Lujack airchecks on a thumb drive, direct from his collection.  I held onto that closely until his passing, as he asked me to, but since then, I have wanted to honor Tom and his love for radio by sharing his work with others.  I have also scoured the Internet for Chicago airchecks, contacted friends like Art Vuolo, and received some airchecks from collectors via email from John Troll, Mark Yurko, Steve Brelsford, Greg Barman, Bob Bresse-Rodenkirk, Bob Jones, Rob Frankel, Dave Gross, Bill Shannon, Rick Rumick, Scott Childers, Jeffrey Leonard, Pete Battistini and some others.  In addition, there has been some sharing by Tim Brown and Don Beno on Facebook that are included in this project.  Thanks everyone for your generosity!

Another part of the process is cleaning and clearing these airchecks.  John Troll has worked for years in curating airchecks for the Rewound Radio DJ Hall of Fame, and he has been my mentor in this process, showing me how to take marginal tapes, and present them as they were originally aired.  We have tried to maintain as much consistency with the original presentation as possible, restoring music that may have fallen below the quality bar, or had been edited in the past.  We don't add to or change the playlist in any way ... just restore the full version of songs that may have been affected.  If there is a bad spot in the tape, or extended newscasts, we may take editing liberties for content, but we never insert songs or elements that were not on the air in the first place.

Our original goal was to have 66 hours of content to present, but we have been fortunate, as we have over 150 hours amassed at this time.  The hard part is selecting which shows to include over the three day weekend.  As one of the producers, I am trying to balance a number of things, such as the dates of the broadcasts, the quality of the airchecks, music variety, and naturally DJ popularity and aircheck availability.  There are a few jocks that I don’t have much workable material for, but I am still researching sources. 

We have also received wonderful response from true professionals who helped to shape the Top 40 landscape those many years ago.  Jon Wolfert, owner of JAM Productions in Dallas, was instrumental (no pun intended) in creating so many of the WLS jingles, and is working with us in finding the best PAMS and JAM jingles to represent the era.  On a side note, Jon has a weekly program on Rewound Radio in which he shares interesting stories on jingles and the industry from a unique perspective.  Jon is also the force behind all the tremendous jingles heard on Rewound Radio.  Some of the original air talent from the 60s, 70s and 80s have offered their voice to the promos and liners we will be running to promote WLS / WCFL Rewound, and they include Chuck Buell, John Records Landecker, Tom Kent, and Jeff Davis.  There are some others in the wings sending things our way. 

From one Radiohead to another …

Ted Gorden Smucker


We’re not attending the Happy Together Tour this year … so thankfully, FH Correspondent Shelley Sweet-Tufano has stepped in to bring us all up to speed.


Take it away, Shelley!






Wait … what?!?!?  A Happy Together show without a single Turtle in the line-up?!?!

Now THAT's gotta be a first!!!

Did Ron Dante still do their hits?  Antics-less I assume!

This whole tour EXISTS because of their 1967 mega-hit!!!  How do you do a Happy Together Show without a Turtle?!?!  (Dylan was right … the times really ARE a-changin’!!!)  kk

[Oh you just can't wait for the second act! It was difficult for me, too.

Spoiler alert: The names Ron, Godfrey and Susan.] - Shelley


Well! What a statement ten minutes before the show begins! I am hoping he is alright and also still feeling the sting of trying to get into this theatre. Only clear bags are allowed to be brought in or small clutches. My clutch is 1 inch too long and is rejected for entry. I go back to my car. The only things in my clutch are my cell phone, wallet and car keys. The clutch size was selected because the size of these three things fit it.

Soooooooo .....


Well, I have to bring my phone. The tickets are virtual and only sent to smartphones; not printable. I can't leave my wallet because I may need identification if my virtual ticket doesn't work (per the website) … and the car keys? Obviously necessary. So I carry all three and my notebook into the venue. I am mumbling, "Just WHY did I save THIS theatre?"


Sitting down, I start getting excited. My key chain hooks on my thumb comfortably and I am able to put a summer throw across my lap and easily balance phone, wallet and open notebook.




Countdown! For those who are new to this show, there is a roar of laughter as the minutes have shorter intervals and 2 minutes, 1 minute, and 30 seconds come within a 45 second time slot.




The Rain, The Park and Other Things

We Can Fly

Indian Lake

Love American Style



During their second number, the latecomers are seated. The good news is that the seats are now packed! The bad news is that the people who just came in behind me have one lady who is loudly talking about The Partridge Family connection and shows no sign of stopping soon. NOW I know why they want clear plastic bags or very small clutches. It is so weapons cannot be used when the surrounding audience gets fed up with the talking. Ah good! During the third song, someone in her party says something to her and she stops talking. 


The Cowsills come out jumping, running and joyous to begin this evening. Granted, I have selected my seat to have good acoustical balance but even so, they sound amazing! Joking is always welcome in a concert, but Happy Together DEMANDS it! Going overboard is expected. Susan, Paul and Bob compete for best joke deliveries and joke qualities. Let's just hear the last one:

Susan: "Paul, knock knock!"

Paul: "Who's there?"

Susan: "Control Freak."

Paul: "Control Freak"  Susan: "STOP!"

Paul: "What's the matter?"

Susan: "NOW you can say 'who'"


A good knock knock joke for the times.


For 53 years they have been singing and performing together. Incredible, and others tonight have been around for the same or longer lengths of time. I love them! As I answer questions behind me (it's ok, they were asked during intermission) I realize all that they have gone through individually and as a family unit, and they still give us a joy and love that reinstates the value of music. Particularly the music of the pop/rock era; diverse and creative.




5 O'Clock World

You Are My Special Angel

Turn Around, Look at Me

You're The One


For the 2022 version of Happy Together, The Vogues are represented by Troy Elich, Royce Taylor and Shawn Stevens. I see Troy and Royce, but 'Shawn' looks more like Bill Cunningham of The Box Tops. I know that The Box Tops were on the bill last night in Pittsburgh and I could be entirely wrong (it happened once.)  I was quite a distance away, although in centered seating. Troy, jump in on this topic! 


The Vogue songs represent the best in harmonic detailing. You cannot help but become romantic when you hear 'You Are My Special Angel' ... or remember the crush that never knew how much you cared when you listen to 'Turn Around, Look at Me.'  I see the audience cuddling up and hear ooohs and ahhhs behind me. When The Vogues were announced, this audience went into high gear, evidence that people have come to see more than just one act tonight. It is almost as if any name will draw enthusiasm. Well, we shall see.


After two songs, Troy points out to people down front: "Are you all in your proper seats? We have done two songs and you were all trying to find out where you belong. I know, I know! You came in late and someone from the back had moved up front because no one was sitting there. Are we done?" The words may seem caustic in print, but the audience is in belly laughs. Just Happy Together humour. Looking around, I see the full audience. 4,803 is capacity ... we may be three short. (rofl!)  A standing ovation for both The Cowsills and The Vogues. I am in Heaven again.




Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna enter from different sides uniting center stage. I want to shout I'M HERE, GUYS! Yeah, you're right. It would NOT make their tour, or even their night, but it is doing so much for me to be here. 


Don't You Care

Hey Baby

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy


Kind of a Drag


This faux British (explained later) Chicago band is no stranger to Forgotten Hits. There have been articles here about the Chicago sound and the many bands that emerged from this area in the 60s / 70s. The only horns here come from the keyboards but the hype is strong and Carl and Nick are strong in vocals and enthusiasm that tickles the audience to a higher level of thrill. Nick's Ed Sullivan simulation truly becomes a spot-on impression tonight. In telling the story of their appearance on The Smothers Brothers Show, his reaction to being given fish and chips for lunch instead of the much more desirable pizza or sausage and peppers that a group of Italians from Chicago would prefer brings strong laughter from the crowd. Well ... producers of The Smothers Brothers ... Beatles haircuts, Edwardian suits and a name from English history ... how were you to know? Hence, my use of 'faux British' at the beginning of the paragraph.


From the back I watch the performer / artist interaction that goes on with Carl, Nick and the fans. Thinking about it, these acts are all seasoned manipulators, knowing how to bring more into their musical performances. At some point tonight, I mentally note that this is not just original artists performing strings of hits to move your head to, but artists who are enthralled with their songs and performing them in a way that will capture an audience and bring them in to a world only achievable with a live performance. Otherwise, we could stay home and simply listen to whatever songs we wanted to hear. A little over an hour has passed. Is it really time for INTERMIISSION? Yes, after the standing ovation.





There are several incarnations this year of The Happy Together Tour. Acts are fluidly moving in and out at each concert. Participants of the groups also need to be fluid for various reasons. Jim Yester is still not up to touring, but there are three strong representatives appearing on the tour: Del Ramos, Jules Alexander and Paul Holland. I needed to ask for help on identifying Paul as I did not hear his name clearly. Paul returned to the group after the loss of Larry Ramos. Del is Larry's brother and Jules is the group's forever poet laureate. Always in white suits, they pop out from others on stage. (It doesn't hurt that the band wears black lol)



Never My Love


Along Came Mary


BMI designated 'Never My Love' as the second most played song in the 20th Century. According to Del, they have now promoted it to first place in the 21st century. Del dedicates it to his 102-year-old mother. Huge applause again greeted this group when they were announced. I am so gratified by the love that the audience gives back to each group here. There are favorites for everyone. Audience knowledge of group facts varies, but the dedication toward the groups and particularly their songs never lowers. What you would expect from The Association: vocal harmonies, instrumental talents and individual memories floating on air, arrives. A great opener to the second act that brings romance and renewed longing into our lives.




The women are on their feet, screaming! Have I fallen through a time warp? No, thankfully the rebellion and release to make change from the 60s has been continued into the present era ... at least through the music and concerts. Many in the audience bought tickets through their corporations who have sponsored this tour and while the offices may not be loud and wild, these are the creative people who tried to open up portals of acceptance and variances. We / they are not perfect, and not all has been good. Drugs, alcohol misuse, impatience, and outside pressures have side-lined many an effort. Music brings back the dreams and visions and just may put us back on a more productive course. After covid, we need this.


Lady Willpower

Over You

This Girl is a Woman Now

Woman, Woman

Young Girl


Wearing a representative Civil War cloak, this man commands a take-over of the stage. Women continue to swoon, even as he talks about being the senior representative on the tour. He will be 80 in October as opposed to Susan Cowsill's age of 63. WAIT! SUSAN COWSILL IS 63??? More power to us folks!! We got this!! I had planned on seeing Gary earlier this summer, but a covid uptick in my school changed my mind. I just sit, watch and let him work his magic. When I first arrived tonight, I thought this audience was more food and friends oriented. You know, self-centered and deserving. But they have proven to me that no matter what was presented outwardly at first, their hearts are here for the music and the performers. I cannot give up on them now. I feel some vindication. Thank you, Gary, for showing me what a 60s audience should look like when their kids and grandkids aren't looking.






Here were my assumptions when I heard Mark was out sick (or has been exposed.)

I know that Ron Dante is here. I know that Ron has been filling in for Howard Kaylan, who no longer tours. I know that Ron does present some Archies or Cuff Links songs on Happy Together tours. So, I believe he will perform. I believe he will do Turtles songs. BUT will he do more Archies / Cuff Links / Detergents renditions tonight? Is he now a solo act? What will he say to justify doing songs by The Turtles? And finally ... does the audience even know the names and faces of those who perform in any of these groups, including The Turtles? This last question comes from me overhearing conversations and misstatements around me.




There is a very lengthy introduction on all The Turtles credits. I see Ron, in darkness, putting on a guitar. Music starts and he jumps to one of two microphones placed upfront. Who is at the other mic? Godfrey Townsend, leader of The Happy Together Band and one time member of The Association. 


She'd Rather Be with Me

You Baby

It Ain't Me Babe

You Showed Me

Sugar, Sugar


Happy Together


As you now can see, all but one song is from The Turtles repertoire. The audience is delighted, but they do seem puzzled. After the fourth song, Ron says to Godfrey, "Maybe you better introduce me and tell them who I am." The introduction is given, the audience applauds and screams in delight and Ron explains that he has been a Turtle for five years now. He gives more history on The Archies, not mentioning any other of his incarnations and then sings 'Sugar, Sugar' to the crowd, who also jumps in singing and waving arms. Another discovery from Ron: "Godfrey, the band hasn't been introduced and they have been great all night." Sheepishly, Godfrey apologizes and introduces the band ... to each other! "Tom, this is Manny. Manny, this is Chris. Chris, this is Tom." "NO, NO! Introduce them to the audience!" (Dante)

They are - Drums: Chris Camilleri, Keyboards: Manny Focarazzo, Bass: Tom (?) from NYC (Godfrey, jump in here) The announced bass player for the tour was not there last night and yes, Godfrey gave Tom's last name, but applause was continuing at this part in the program, and I missed it. The other two ARE correct. I heard them announced. OH I have missed telling you about an important addition to The Turtles. 'She'd Rather Be with Me' requires a cowbell, played always by Mark Volman. The band could have easily picked this up, but isn't it more fun to know that Susan Cowsill became the cowbell instrumentalist? 


Twice this summer covid has impacted my concerts. Peter and Jeremy became Peter Asher Remembers when Jeremy became sick. Now, Mark Volman is affected. Did I miss them? Absolutely. Was I disappointed? Yes, especially upon first hearing of it. Did it diminish my enjoyment of the shows? No, because the remaining performers were insistent that we be fully entertained. I know that Jeremy Clyde is up and sending out videos of songs he wishes to perform, and I pray that Mark Volman will soon be back and healthy.


The only way to end this review is with...




Traditionally, we start over again, bringing each act back onstage to enjoy a last moment of audience adoration. And they do! And they clapped! And they cheered! Standing ovations for each act … and nobody wanted the evening to end. Well, except those ten people who had to leave before the show was over so they could be first in line leaving the parking lot. It took less than 20 minutes for the entire parking lot to empty out after the show really ended. These attending parking directors are fully trained everyone, and the staff inside were truly friendly and eager to please. I had a wonderful time, and Oakdale Theatre, I am now glad we saved you. Next time I put everything in a baggy. Little problem.


Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

Northeast Representative