Saturday, August 13, 2022

This Week Phil Nee Talks About THE HOLLIES

Today we go back to the WRCO archives and feature highlights from a 1999 interview with Terry Sylvester of the Hollies.  He replaced Graham Nash when Nash left in 1968.  
Terry was a member of the Escorts, a group that appeared with the Beatles at some shows in the early 60's.  He was a later member of the Swinging Blue Jeans and appeared on the Hollies recordings in the late 60's and 70's.

I first heard Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) in the Summer of 1972. It was hard to believe that it was a Hollies record.  Terry talked to me about that memorable hit.
From Sorry Suzanne through The Air That I Breathe,  Terry Sylvester was a part of the Hollies and their many radio hits.  I spoke with him about the history of the group.
There was not a big learning curve for Terry Sylvester when he joined up with the other Hollies.


The Hollies consistently turned out top-notch records between 1964 and 1975.

Eleven of those made The National Top 40 here in The States ... (and at least half a dozen more deserved to!)

I was intrigued by Terry's comment about their chart success back home in England ... so I put together a comparison HOLLIES HIT LIST below.

I remember when "Long Cool Woman" first hit in 1972, everybody thought it was Creedence Clearwater Revival ... and it REALLY sounded like it could have been at the time.  But now, after hearing it thousand and thousands and thousands of time since, it sounds most definitely like a Hollies record.  (This is one of those rare ones that I NEVER turn off ... when we put together our list of Favorites Songs Of 1972, this one will DEFINITELY be on mine!!!)  

Incredibly, this US #1 Hit only made it to #32 in the UK.  (Guess they didn't like The Hollies' new, harmony-free sound!)  kk 

There is an EXCELLENT Hollies documentary that we have been HIGHLY recommending for YEARS now ... 

Definitely worth picking up.  (If you're anything like us, you'll wind up watching it again and again!)  And right now, you can pick it up for next to nothing!

Our original DVD review ...

And now, as promised ...


1963 - Ain't That Just Like Me (US - xx / UK - 25)

1963 - Searchin' (US - xx / UK - 12)

1963 - Stay (US - xx / UK - 8)

1964 - Just One Look (US - 83 / UK - 2)

1964 - Here I Go Again (US - 107 / UK - 4)

1964 - We're Through (US - xx / UK - 7)

1965 - Yes I Will (US - xx / UK - 9)

1965 - I'm Alive (US - 84 / UK - 1)

1965 - Look Through Any Window (US - 32 / UK - 4)

1966 - If I Needed Someone (US - xx / UK - 20)

1966 - I Can't Let Go (US - 42 / UK - 2)

1966 - Bus Stop (US - 3 / UK - 5)

1966 - Stop Stop Stop (US - 5 / UK - 2)

1967 - On A Carousel (US - 7 / UK - 4)

1967 - Pay You Back With Interest (US - 28 / UK - xx)

1967 - Carrie Anne (US - 9 / UK - 3)

1967 - Just One Look (reissue) US - 44 / UK - xx)

1967 - King Midas In Reverse (US - 46 / UK - 18)

1968 - Dear Eloise (US - 40 / UK - xx)

1968 - Jennifer Eccles (US - 37 / UK - 7)

1968 - Listen To Me (US - 129 / UK - 11)

1969 - Sorry Suzanne (US - 53 / UK - 3)

1970 - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (US - 7 / UK - 3)

1970 - I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top (US - 64 / UK - 7)

1970 - Gasoline Alley Bred (US - 113 / UK - 16)

1971 - Hey Willy (US - 110 / UK - 22)

1972 - The Baby (US - xx / UK - 26)

1972 - Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) US - 1 / UK - 32)

1972 - Long Dark Road (US - 24 / UK - xx)

1973 - Magic Woman Touch (US - 43 / UK - xx)

1973 - Jesus Was A Crossmaker  (US - 97 / UK - xx)

1973 - The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee (US - 76 / UK - 24)

1974 - The Air That I Breathe (US - 5 / UK - 2)

1974 - Don't Let Me Down (US - 114 / UK - xx)

1975 - Sandy (US - 85 / UK - xx)

1975 - Another Night (US - 71 / UK - xx)

1975 - I'm Down (US - 104 / UK - xx)

1976 - Write On (US - 127 / UK - xx)

1980 - Soldier's Song (US - xx / UK - 58)

1981 - Holliedaze (A Medley)* US - xx / UK - 28

*This medley consisted of Just One Look / Here I Go Again / I'm Alive / I Can't Let Go / Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress / Bus Stop / Carrie Anne, probably devised to cash-in on the hot new Stars on 45 phase music was going through!

1983 - Stop In The Name Of Love (reunion single) US - 29 / UK -xx

1988 - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (reissue) US - xx / UK - 1

1988- The Air That I Breathe (reissue) US - xx / UK - 60

1993 - The Woman I Love (US - xx / UK - 42)

Friday, August 12, 2022


More Livy …

And Lamont Dozier ... from Harvey Kubernik …

The last time I saw and spoke with Lamont Dozier was when we were in an Encino, California Chinese restaurant called Healthy Wok.

I complimented on his catalogue, cited his lyrics, and his debut solo LP "Black Bach." He put his fork down, extended his hand, knew I was a "Motown Baby," and smiled. "I'm a part of three different stage plays around the world."      


In a 1995 interview I conducted with Berry Gordy, Jr. inside his Bel-Air mansion, we talked about the monumental songwriting and production team of Holland, Dozier and Holland. 


"H-D-H was phenomenal. They came up with hit after hit. They started a thing. They had a lock on the Supremes and they took them, and did stuff on Marvin, too. H-D-H was absolutely brilliant. The three of them were different and they all complemented each other. Eddie (Holland) did mostly vocals, Brian (Holland), I thought was the most talented, creative person. He was my protégé for many years. I thought Lamont (Dozier) was also a good writer, and he was good on backgrounds and this and that and so forth. But Brian would do something like he would play and sing and create something and all he would give ‘em was, like, “sugar pie honey bunch,” and pass it on. So, they had their own assembly line. And they were tremendous.” 


In 2002 I interviewed Mary Wilson of the Supremes and she touted H-D-H. 


"In the middle of the sixties, 1966, and ’67 we had the number one albums "Supremes A Go Go’ and ‘Greatest Hits” and a huge hit with “Reflections” with producers Holland-Dozier-Holland. Our songs from 1964, ’65 and ’66 were heard in 1967. Berry Gordy and the A&R department knew what was happening. And we didn’t have to think about that. But we were happy for it. And as a group, it took us into areas we wanted to go. Which is great. I’ve never ever been the kind of person that compares. I never have. Because I’m just so fortunate to have known so many brilliant people. However, just to talk about H-D-H was such a wonderful experience for our growth and journey. They took us through the times that was going on in the world. Each time they would bring us to another level. The records show this. We did ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ and ‘You Keep Me Hanging On.’ Those were great albums. That’s why we had wanted them in the beginning. We had to grow into that." 

The Britney Spears / Elton John remake of “Tiny Dancer” is the real deal …

It’ll be retitled “Hold Me Closer” … and while we haven’t heard so much as a sneak peek yet, the buzz seems to be pretty good overall.  John made the charts again this past year with another reworking of one of his previous hits … FOUR of them actually … in the hands of Dua Lipa.  “Cold Cold Heart” (from a line in his hit “Sacrifice”) topped the charts in Great Britain and was a smash here in America, too … so I wouldn’t rule ANYTHING out as far as his star-power is concerned.  (kk)

Paul Anka returns to The Arcada Theatre on October 25th with a new show … “Greatest Hits, My Way.”  (Well, I have to admit that I would much rather see Paul Anka singing his own hits than doing a whole show of singing Frank Sinatra’s hits!!!)

This might actually be a good one to go to.  (We saw Anka at The Arcada several years ago and it was quite a show.  Truth be told, I have always been a fan.)  I know this was a big coup for Ron Onesti … and he’s had him back several times since … but we’ve never been back.  THIS one sounds like it just might be the perfect time to check him out again.  (kk)

Micky Dolenz talks about five albums he just can’t live without …

And some of his choices may surprise you!

It’s all in the new issue of Spin Magazine …

And you can view it here:


MORE MICKY; MORE CBS – FYI - The CBS Morning News profile on Micky Dolenz (with Anthony Mason) has been set August 22nd. More time: more play with Micky and Mason (check your local listings).  

David Salidor


Have you ever seen this? 

This You Tube contributor has edited together a montage that supposedly has every #1 Billboard song of the rock era.  Talk about a project that would take a huge amount of time, patience and research!

-Tom Cuddy

I haven’t seen this particular clip before but I’ve seen others like it … and they typically cut in British only #1’s, too … from the little bit that I skipped around on this one (it does run for over two hours after all!), it seems to be the real deal … and it runs thru all of 2021.  (The note at the end promises to update it every year … so that’s pretty cool, too!)

You might have to watch it in stages to get thru it all … but it certainly captures the history of popular music over the past 64 years.  (And so timely, too, since The Billboard Hot 100 just celebrated its 64th anniversary on August 4th!)  kk


From the Chuck Buell Music Library!


What a Great (Old Fading Color!) Historical “Joel Whitburn Record Research” photo you posted! (circa mid-1960s?)



I don’t know if I should feel Bad or feel Proud seeing that picture!


Feel Bad because ~~~   


I had forgotten about the very early editions of his “books” I had in my Music Library.  Seeing the one he’s holding reminded me I have a copy of the one he's holding!  



Feeling Proud because ~~~


With it, I also found a couple of his follow-up Supplement publications, his “1970 Supplement” and his “1971 Supplement” that I also didn’t remember I had!


Talk about “Forgotten Hits!”


So, while I don’t have every single Edition he’s released over the years, at the moment, I do have a few that bookend from 1969 to 2022!



And Record Research has always been a “weighty” publication. His first, the Paperback Edition, weighs less than an ounce!


His latest, the Hardbound, “17th Edition,” weighs in at just under Six Pounds!


And within them all, there’s “Tons” of invaluable ”Top Pop Singles” Information!


CB ( which stands for “Curator Boy!” )


The vintage photo has to date from 1969 or later as that’s when his first book came out.  (How primitive looking it is!!!  Lol)  But the idea then was just to capture the chart information … it has grown by leaps and bounds since then!)


As for the “weight” of collection, it’s why Joel finally had to split the Pop Singles book into two editions … it was just too cumbersome to maneuver otherwise!  (It also makes for a logical split in the way the charts were calculated … back in the day when after an artist recorded and released a single, a FAN of that single had to get up and out of their house, DRIVE to the nearest local record store and BUY that single with their hard-earned cash.  During this era, the only way a song could chart was to have been commercially released as a vinyl single (ultimately giving way to cassette and CD singles over time)


Today, the minute an artist (like Drake) releases a new album, EVERY song on the album is eligible for charting the moment it is downloadable … and streaming counts the way radio airplay used to count … so do things like YouTube views.  That’s why an artist (like Drake) can quickly assemble a chart history of over 300 tracks in such a brief period of time.)


The last edition of Top Pop Singles PRIOR to splitting into two volumes (the 1990 – 2022 edition will be available early next year) came in at just over 1200 pages.  The new 1955 – 1989 edition is now 850 pages all on its own … and I’d be willing to bet that when the new 1990 – 2022 edition does come out, it will be well over a 1200 page count as well, giving you effectively over TWO THOUSAND PAGES of chart information at your disposal.  (Imagine carrying THAT sucker around with you!!!)


The first edition of Joel’s book that I owned came out a couple of years after yours … 1955 – 1972 … but it looked very similar in size, shape and content.  And I have owned every single edition since.


A lifetime of work well spent … it’d be impossible to ever calculate how many lives Joel’s books have touched.  As I’ve said many times before, not a day has ever passed where I didn’t refer to at least one of them … and often more. 


Thank you, Joel Whitburn, for enriching our lives.  And thank you, Record Research, for keeping the tradition going.  (kk)



Reading the FH comments on the passing on Tony “Wally” Dow, brought to mind that history indicates that no actors have played brothers longer on TV than “Leave It To Beaver”’s Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow. 

The show has never left TV since it was filmed. It’s been in syndication — non-stop — since 1964. The first run episodes ran from 1957 - 1963. 

In my job as a NYC radio programmer, I last had a chance to work with them promotionally in October, 2017.  The duo had stopped by iHeart Radio’s NY cluster to be interviewed on WOR and WLTW to promote a NYC autograph show they were appearing at. 

The two of them were exactly what you would hope for.  They were very friendly and outgoing, plus they treated each other like brothers, poking fun at each other one moment and complimenting the other a minute later.

-Tom Cuddy

L-R:  Jerry Mathers, Tom Cuddy and Tony Dow

The Eagles have added six more dates to their Hotel California Tour, all lumped together at the end of the month of November …

11/15 — St. Louis, MO Enterprise Center
11/17 — Des Moines, IA Wells Fargo Arena
11/19 — New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Center
11/21 — Birmingham, AL Legacy Arena
11/23 — Kansas City, MO T-Mobile Center
11/25 — Fort Worth, TX Dickies Arena

Good Reviews for Shelley Sweet-Tufano’s Review of The Happy Together Show the other day …

So how could we possibly not run another?!?!  (kk)

>>>Congratulations, Shelley ... I think we've made you a star!!!  (kk)


*TWINKLE TWINKLE* from me Kent!


And I can carry this one further ...


A review of the reviews of my review ...


I'm glad you could all come with me.


And now … Billy J!!!

Billy J Kramer has had more than a little set-back during covid lock downs. We have all suffered when it comes to theatres, musicians and performers. Add to that personal health issues and the loss of his darling wife, Roni who, at the time, had to be the major bread winner - coming back into the performance arena can't have been easy.


Billy gets questioned about his own health now, and says he is very healthy ... it's just that he's always been crazy! He has slimmed down considerably and cut his hair. OK, I liked it long, but it is kind of a throw-back to his 60's style.


Where am I and why am I bringing all this to the forefront?


Because Billy is appearing at DARYL'S HOUSE!


Yes, Daryl's back in business, not only with local bands and customers, but bringing in MY favorite names. 


The trip is an hour and a half for me ... a very nice drive that only includes highway for eleven miles. I remember back to the times when all my family travel was like this. I sit back, actually open the windows a bit as there is a beautiful breeze coming in, and enjoy the scenery of the trip. My friends and I can't remember the last time we (together or separately) were at Daryl's. It doesn't seem like a long time ago, but it must have been. A dinner and an intimate show on a Saturday night ... Dreams are coming true again.


The band steps out onstage. Billy refers to them throughout tonight as "his friends from NY."  You've got some great friends there, Billy. On guitar (and set list prompter) is Peter Calo. On keyboards (and visual antics) we have Andy Burton. (Steve) Muddy Shews has been with Billy on bass for "a long time" my friends tell me. Now wait for it: On drums he has Liberty DeVitto. I have often seen Liberty with Ringo, but as stated before, this is an intimate setting, and we are at a table right next to the stage. OH, dinner just arrived. A little later than we wished. I need to prioritize! Taking notes, listening, clapping, and finally ... take a bite. That works. I will use this throughout the show.


Billy presented a new segment to open this show. He calls it the "Storytellers Segment" It is not just stories. It is not just Billy and the Band reminiscing musically. It is a combination of Billy's Liverpool memories enhanced by the songs he listened to, his sisters listened to, and the early ones he performed as covers.


'Let's Have a Party' opens the show because that is the idea here; to have a party together tonight.  Billy's initial music listening leaned toward American Country and Western. Hank Williams was a favorite and they jam a little of 'You Win Again' and 'Why Don't You Love Me.'  Billy's sisters swooned and screamed for Paul Anka. Gotta do 'Diana' then.


The first part of the show continues with skiffle music that came from Lonnie Donegan, Michael Holliday, a merchant seaman turned songster, and Elvis with his 'Hound Dog.'  I was thrilled to hear a favorite song of mine: 'The Story Of My Life.'  I have covers of it, but never knew that Michael Holiday made it a big hit first. So, we were 'Shaking All Over,' 'Moving and A Grooving,' had some 'Summertime Blues,' went 'Be Bop A Lula-ing' and ended with 'A Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On.'  Yeah, the band went wild with keyboards and drums, and I wanted a dance floor! Ooops! I forgot about eating. But I did great on notes, listening and clapping.


Phase two is Billy at his finest, doing old and new songs of his own writing and those of that famous duo ... gosh I keep forgetting them. Hold on! it's on the tip of my tongue ... YES! GOT IT! Lennon and McCartney. 


I Won the Fight

Do You Want to Know a Secret

Best Part of Me is You (a dedication to Roni Ashton)

I'll Keep You Satisfied

From a Window

I Call Your Name

Sunsets of Santa Fe

You're Right I'm Wrong

Little Children

I'm Just a Jealous Guy

Bad To Me


In the Storytellers Segment Billy was either seated or standing playing a guitar. In part two, this is Billy with no guitar, standing and rocking with the band. I could give you a paragraph on each song, but you have to go to bed sometime so I will control myself.


'Sunsets of Santa Fe' was composed by Billy while shut-in in New Mexico. Good use of time, I say. Beautiful and melodic. His opener is 'I Won the Fight,' also written by him and chronicles his struggles to the top and beyond.  Billy's book is titled DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET and although John Lennon never thought much of this composition, it changed Billy's life and opened up the door for future Kramer hits of Lennon/McCartney songs. I was on edge waiting for 'Little Children' and 'Bad to Me.'  Can it get any better?


Billy thanks us all for coming to see him and we are all on our feet thanking him back. WAIT!! Liberty is starting a drum riff! 'To Liverpool With Love' explodes from all sides of the stage and from that we segue into 'Glad All Over!'  We are for sure GLAD ALL OVER!


I don't know Billy's feelings when he first entered the stage tonight. It was a new idea of story-telling he was going to begin with, and he seemed a bit sedate or unsure. Peter Calo coaxed him with a few requests for stories and as the stories began to unfold, so did Billy J Kramer. It is now afternoon of the following day, and I am still saying, "What a wonderful night." The good news is - DARYL'S HOUSE IS OPEN AND BILLY J KRAMER IS BACK!

Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

Northeast Correspondent/ Representative (pick one ... hahahaha)


Billy J. Kramer will be back here in Chicago this weekend, performing as part of this year’s Beatlefest (sorry, I will never call it anything else!!!)

The last time he was in town, we went as his guest to The Fest For Beatles Fans (there, happy???) and it was great to visit with him.  (This was a couple of years ago before Covid forced the cancellation of the last two Chicagoland shows.)  We’ve run the picture before of me with Billy J., Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde, who also entertained that day.


This has been a tough couple of years for all of us … and Billy in particular … so hopefully getting out on the road and visiting with some old friends and an enthusiastic crowd of fans will serve as good therapy for him.  We only wish him the very best … what a great guy!

Thanks, Shelley!  (kk)


I bought his book and had him sign it at The Fest for Beatles Fans (I just like being wordy! ) here in the Northeast, a million years ago now. (It seems like it!) I haven't gone in a few years. The spring timing is not always good for me, nor is covid upticks. My friends told me he would be at the Chicago Fest. He mingled with the crowd afterward and there was more banter during the show. His song 'You're Right I'm Wrong' brought verbal reactions from the men in the audience. " That was my wedding song." "That was my divorce song. I'm two and 0." Then Liberty quipped, "My wedding song was 'It's My Party and I Can Cry if I Want to'." Billy said he was sorry for them all.


I spoke with Billy J. for the first time after writing the review for his book and we just really seemed to hit it off.  He has been a staunch supporter of Forgotten Hits ever since … and who didn’t love his British Invasion hits?!?!  (kk)