Saturday, August 27, 2022

This Week Phil Nee Gives Us The Raspberries!!!

But in a good way!  (lol)

What a nice birthday surprise to be able to feature one of the great early '70's pop power bands.  

The Raspberries came along at the perfect time for me ... the pop charts needed a little shaking up ... and between these guys and Badfinger, they gave us a healthy dose of what The Beatles might have sounded like had they first started charting in 1972 instead of 1962.  Their music was super-charged with a strong dosage of '60's pop style ... and yet The Raspberries hailed from Cleveland of all places!  (lol)

[I actually had the chance to see a double bill of The Raspberries and Badfinger, performing together at The Rockford Armory in 1972 ... man, what a show.]

Take it away, Phil!  (kk)

Today we salute my favorite new band of 1972.  
The Raspberries first charted in the Top 100 with Don't Want To Say Goodbye in the Spring of 1972.  That song was quickly forgotten but the second single from their debut album first blasted out of the radio in the Summer.  It was different than anything on the radio at the time for the Ohio band. 
Lead guitarist Wally Bryson was a member of the Choir (who had a hit with It's Cold Outside, a great Forgotten Hit!!) prior to his Raspberries days.  He joined me on the air in 2004.


The second hit for the Raspberries was released late in 1972 and it was another radio friendly hit.  
It should have been bigger nationally as it only made it to #18 in Billboard.  The group made several tv appearances during this time.


Four albums were released by the band before they broke up and Eric
Carmen went on to become a household name as a solo artist.  
Songs such as Let's Pretend, Tonight, and Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) helped the group start what became known as 'Power Pop'.   
Wally Bryson went on to join another Forgotten Hit band,  Fotomaker, with former Rascals Dino Danelli and Gene Cornish.   
During the 2004 interview on WRCO, Wally talked about the Raspberries album legacy.


Be sure to listen to Phil Nee's THOSE WERE THE DAYS radio program tonight … and EVERY Satuarday Night on WRCO ... 6 pm – Midnight (Central):

WRCO AM FM Radio Richland Center Wisconsin

Just click on the 100.9 headphones and start streaming!

Friday, August 26, 2022


As we inch closer to Labor Day Weekend, here’s some more info from Ted Smucker about what to expect during their WLS / WCFL Rewound celebration … 66 HOURS of original air checks by some of the greatest voice talents to ever hit our airwaves …

Here is a list of some of the talent that will be heard over Labor Day Weekend:

Bill Bailey, Dick Biondi, Scotty Brink, Ron Britain, Dr. Brock, Chuck Buell, Dex Card, Paul Christy, Yvonne Daniels, Jeff Davis, Bob Dearborn, Johnny Driscoll, Tommy Edwards, Gary Gears, Jerry Kaye, Tom Kent, Steve King, Chuck Knapp, John Records Landecker, Larry Lujack, Larry O’Brien, Big Ron O’Brien, Barney Pip, Ron Riley, Art Roberts, Dick Sainte and Doug Dahlgren, Joel Sebastian, Bob Sirott, Kris Erik Stevens, Bill Taylor, Clark Weber, Fred Winston … and more.

We also plan on featuring a stereo recreation of the WLS Montage, with the years of 1955-1989 represented by WLS Historian, Scott Childers.  While the original montage ran through 1986, it has been modified to represent the final years of WLS as a music / personality station.  Many thanks to Tommy Edwards, Al Rosen, Jeff Davis and others who originally put this spectacular segment together.

Join us over Labor Day Weekend for WLS/WCFL Rewound, on Rewound Radio.

Ted Gorden Smucker

The WLS Montage that Tommy Edwards put together for New Year’s Eve was a remarkable piece of work … so hearing it again makes it worth the price of admission alone!  (If we can narrow down some type of listening schedule for you, we will … so stay tuned for more info as we get closer to the big ‘LS/’CFL Weekend … on Rewound Radio!)  kk

Kudos to Tom Cuddy …

Great praise for the Johnny Mathis concert review that we ran earlier this week.  (kk)


Have you ever seen Johnny Mathis in concert?  

Never (kk)

Well then it’s no wonder why Johnny is still out on the road …

He doesn’t want to retire until kk comes to a show!!!



Look for the Johnny Mathis Hit List below!  (kk)


Never saw Johnny Mathis … but I always wanted to.

Great review by Mr. Cuddy.

I had Micky Dolenz go see him years ago and he told me it was amazing!

David Salidor


Johnny Mathis is one of my mom's top two singer / performers. When my parents downsized six years ago, they gave me all their vinyl record albums as I always insisted on keeping my turntables working. So now I have all the Johnny Mathis albums and vinyl records have resurged for everyone. I WIN!!


Honestly, I guess I’ve never really considered going to see him … I think he just seemed to be someone more my parents would like, especially my mom.  I feel quite certain that she and my dad must have seen him at some point in time, as they loved to go see these big names when they came thru Chicago.  (And we had SO many great clubs and venues back then to see these artists.)

We kids would have to make it thru a night of babysitting, but I would hear stories the next day about how great Redd Foxx or The Checkmates or Frank Sinatra was the night before.  There was probably a part of me that felt like it wouldn’t be cool for ME to like them if my PARENTS liked them, too!  (Then again, my mom was also a big fan of Elton John, Harry Chapin, Elvis, Rod Stewart and *** so I grew up listening to THEIR music playing around the house all the time, too!)  kk


Ahhhh, reading Tom Cuddy’s great story in Forgotten Hits about Johnny Mathis brought back some great Forgotten Memories for me, too!

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was in High School, ”When I’d See a Certain Smile,” I’d just get “Misty!” And “Chances Are,” if it was going to be a beautifully quiet and romantic night, my go-to make-out music was definitely my Johnny Mathis albums!

Now, “It’s Not for Me to Say,” but in those days, I could be passionate until “The Twelfth of Never!”  It was “Wonderful, Wonderful!”

Thanx for your reflections and interesting facts about a truly memorable artist, Tom!  You certainly did not give us “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late!"

CB ( which once stood for “Cuddly Boy!” )

Well, gee … now I don’t have to do my Johnny Mathis Hit List!!! (lol)

[That’s OK … I did it anyway!]  kk


We actually received several other emails from readers, all essentially saying the same thing …


“I’ve always wanted to see him” … or “I have often thought about going to see him” … “but just never did.”


It’s amazing to me that his voice is still that solid … and it’s a very distinctive voice, too.  (kk)


Can you think of any other artist of that age that still has that type of range?

The only other singer of that age I can think of is Frankie Valli … but Frankie has The Four Seasons …

Johnny has no background singers on his tour.

Tom Cuddy


Here are a couple of cuts from J.I. Allison if you would like to use them. 

I interviewed him a few times. 

This cut is from 2005 when the Crickets were touring with Bobby Vee.  We talked about that connection and the songs that he helped write.

His drumming influenced many.  I have always loved his work on records such as Peggy Sue.

Phil Nee

Peter Jackson is pushing hard to get another 5-6 hours of Beatles “Let It Be” / “Get Back” footage released … he’s says there are at LEAST that many good hours of material that still deserve to be seen … so he’s trying to work out some kind of deal with Disney+ or with Apple for home video release.  (He’s also committed to doing another, all-new Beatles film, which he’s hoping to start early next year.)

Jackson says, “I know that there’s five or six hours of fantastic material that we didn’t include, and I don’t want it to go back into the vaults for 50 years."

He says that he has also been speaking regularly with Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who directed the original 1970 “Let It Be” film.  “I just wanted to honor the footage that was shot," Jackson says.

It’ll be a tough sell, however … Disney is saying that there simply isn’t any market for “extended cut” films anymore … and sadly, it sounds like even talks about rereleasing the original version of the “Let It Be” film have been tabled.

Well, speaking for me personally, I don’t know that I really need to see another six hours of Beatles / “Get Back” / “Let It Be” footage … I honestly had a hard time making it thru the first eight … and I consider myself to be a mega-Beatles fan.  (Honestly, I’d rather watch the “Anthology” series and see more of an overview of their entire career!)

But if the original print of “Let It Be” isn’t getting any closer to coming out on its own … and Jackson and Lindsay-Hogg can come up with some was of presenting all of that material from the original filming with more bonus footage that we haven’t seen, I’m all for it … especially in the clean-up, digitally enhanced version that we enjoyed in the Disney+ series.  (I just don’t need to see or hear eight more takes of “Don’t Let Me Down” or “I’ve Got A Feeling” … the first Peter Jackson film already did me in on those two tracks!)  The fact remains that Paul and Ringo don’t feel that “Let It Be” presents The Beatles in the best light … many reviewers have labeled it as a film documenting the break-up of the band … whereas “Get Back” was given a very brightened-up, light-hearted look at the fact that The Fab Four were still enjoying each other’s company … at least when it came to making music.  (It was, after all, the business end of things that really did them in.)  I guess I’ll just have to continue to watch my bootleg copy!  (kk)

Have you guys been watching this new "My Life As A Rolling Stone" series on Epix?  VERY well done.  (Funny because this week's episode featuring Ronnie Wood was the one I was looking forward to the least ... and right now I'd say it has been the best of the bunch ... which is high praise indeed as the entire series has been excellent.)

Check it out if you get the chance ... also available On Demand.  (kk)

America's Rolling Stone ... Jimy Sohns, lead singer of The Shadows Of Knight, who we lost just a few weeks back, would have turned 76 this past Tuesday (August 23rd) … we’ll miss him.  (kk)

We heard from a few readers that the links to Micky Dolenz’s appearance on CBS Morning were pulled moments after we posted them.  I’m not sure I understand why …

The article AND the YouTube video (first two items you listed) are gone, and there are only two explanations for this:

-- Micky's management made a deal with CBS to only allow viewing of the video for a specific period of time after the show aired in all parts of the US, or

-- CBS couldn't / wouldn't licence something contained in the clip

Here's basically a transcript of the interview from one of CBS's local-news sub-sites:


Well, those links came from Micky’s PR Guy so HE wouldn’t have pulled them … he wanted them posted so that Micky’s fan could see a great appearance if they happened to miss it when it first aired. 

Maybe CBS Morning does this daily to make sure viewers are only watching their latest episode, I don’t know … but there’s absolutely NO reason why YouTube should have pulled it … unless the Monkees TV clips weren’t licensed or something.  Still, I can’t believe ANYBODY connected with The Monkees not wanting the free publicity something like this generates!  (And Micky was in fine form Monday Morning, too!)  kk

Anyway, THIS one’s still working … as I type this anyway!

(213) CBS This Morning - Micky Dolenz Feels a Responsibility to Keep The Monkees Alive - YouTube

From Micky’s Manager, David Salidor …

It was a great, great spot I felt. Micky even mentioned Kirshner ... and that was pretty awesome. 8 1/2 minutes of prime-time - you can't beat that.


>>>Chuck and Kent KILL Chuckago!

Looks as if a great time was had by all! Sorry to hear you have both been banned from future visits together.



With Shelley's Skill Set in writing her very detailed “Reviews,” too bad she couldn’t have been with us on this particular Adventure of ours to record and help protect our otherwise fragile reputations!

Chuck Buell

Yeah, we really need to put together a Forgotten Hits outing …

For years, we’ve talked about doing a big meet-up at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland –

But I’ll tell you what … a trip downtown to see the sites in Chicago and a fun dinner at Ed Debevic’s would be an absolute BLAST!!!  (kk)


>>>According to Joel Whitburn’s ever-reliable Chart Comparison book, Betty Wright charted a total of 21 between 1968 and 1981  (kk)

In 1978 Betty Wright released "Tonight's The Night," which did not chart nationally but made the WLS survey.  In the 8 minute long live recording of "Tonight's The Night," she talks about her mother's reaction to the song, quoting her as saying "I know you're not gonna sing that song!"

That sound bite was sampled ... repeatedly ... in the Color Me Badd hit "I Wanna Sex You Up," which reached #2 nationally for four weeks in 1991.

So, thanks to sampling, that would be the highest charting song in which Betty Wright appears.

Ed #1



Heard a couple of WOW! Songs this weekend …

“Witch Doctor” by David Seville on Sirius XM’s 50’s Gold channel …

And “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” by Charley Pride on the new “Tales Of The Walking Dead” television series (they played it a few times in fact!)

And, speaking of Wow! Songs …

At the DJ Forum we attended last weekend Tommy Edwards mentioned the new Oh Wow! radio station down in Phoenix (but as having a negative effect on radio … although I’m not sure why … after all, WE’VE been pushing radio to step outside the comfort box for nearly 25 years now!) so I decided to check them out.

Looking at their play list for the last hour, I can’t say that any one of these songs would have made MY WOW! list … they’re pretty much the same oldies you hear everywhere these days …

A Groovy Kind Of Love – The Mindbenders / The Load Out – Jackson Browne / Along Comes Mary – The Association / Ramblin’ Man – The Allman Brothers Band / Last Train To Clarksville – The Monkees / Lonely People – America / These Eyes - The Guess Who / Beginnings – Chicago / For All We Know – The Carpenters / Baby I Need Your Lovin’ – The Four Tops / We’ve Got Tonight – Bob Seger / Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash / Lookin’ Out My Back Door – Creedence Clearwater Revival / It Ain’t Me Babe – The Turtles / Long Cool Woman – The Hollies / Thank God I’m A Country Boy – John Denver / Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens / Stop! In The Name Of Love – The Supremes / Your Wildest Dreams – The Moody Blues / Help! – The Beatles / Just My Imagination – The Temptations / Wild Thing – The Troggs / Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee / Long Time – Boston / If You Could Read My Mind – Gordon Lightfoot / 96 Tears - ? and the Mysterians / Lola – The Kinks / Respect – Aretha Franklin / You Are So Beautiful – Joe Cocker

Ironically, their stream was down when I tried to tune in so I couldn’t even listen to hear how the music is being presented … but are there really any surprises after this???  (kk)

I’ve been listening more to Rewound Radio every chance I get, leading up to the big WLS / WCFL Labor Day Weekend bash … and it is SO cool to hear the little promo drop-ins we’ve recorded along the way.

But it has also driven home the point yet again what an INCREDIBLE mix of music this station plays on a regular basis.

Wednesday (August 24th) on my 45-minute commute to work I heard this mix of tracks …

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (by The Rolling Stones), You’re Only Lonely (by J.D. Southern), A Girl Like You (by The Young Rascals), Albert Flasher (by The Guess Who … how often do you hear THAT one on the radio?!?!), I’d Really Love To See You Tonight (by England Dan and John Ford Coley), Signs (by The Five Man Electrical Band, Blue Moon (by The Marcels), The Stroll (by The Diamonds … pretty rare to hear two ‘50’s songs back to back … and yet they blended together perfectly), Cherry Cherry by Neil Diamond, Da Doo Ron Ron by The Crystals, Get On The Good Foot by James Brown (what year was it when you last heard THIS song played on the radio?!?!), Old Time Rock And Roll by Bob Seger, We Built This City by Starship, Sing A Song by Earth, Wind and Fire, I’ve Got The Music In Me by Kiki Dee (still a favorite of mine) and My Girl by The Temptations.  A play list like that makes it almost impossible to even THINK about changing the station!!!  Kinda blows Oh Wow Radio away, don’tcha think???  (kk)

Billboard Magazine released a list this week of all the songs that have debuted on their Hot 100 Chart at #1 … 63 titles in all (so far, counting next week’s #1 Hit “Super Freaky Girl” by Nicki Manaj.)  Michael Jackson was the first to do it when “You Are Not Alone” premiered at #1 on Billboard’s September 2, 1995 chart.

You can see the whole list here:

Really feeling the buzz for David Leaf’s newly updated Beach Boys biography to come out.  (I think I’ve had this thing on preorder since April or May!!!)

LOTS of press this week as we draw nearer to the US release date … including an email from David himself, asking us to help to spread the word!  (kk)

Harvey also released an interview he did with David Leaf this past week which I would have LOVED to have run here on the site … but it’s over fifty pages long and it just isn’t practical.

Still, if you’d like to read it for yourself, I’d be more than happy to send you a copy …

Just drop me a line and I’ll forward it along.  (kk)

More here:

(Didja ever notice how Al Jardine is missing from this picture on The Beach Boys’ “Summer Days And Summer Nights” album???  Guess Al was sick that day and, rather than reschedule, they just went ahead and took the photo without him!  Now that seems a little bit harsh!!!  I guess since Al didn’t appear on a couple of other albums … David Marks posed for those photos … they just didn’t consider it to be all that big a deal … but it really makes you scratch your head in hindsight!)  kk

Hi Kent:

Meant to comment on your 7-14-67 WLS Survey article.

Milwaukee’s Messengers only have one 45 on the USA label. “Midnight Hour” became a huge hit in Milwaukee and Chicago and a few other areas, and this prompted Motown to sign them up. Meanwhile, USA Records, after the loss, wanting to capitalize on Midnight Hour’s success, signed a group out of Boston to come to the Midwest and take up as Michael and the Messengers. So, Romeo And Juliet is not the Milwaukee Group, nor are any of the later releases.

The Milwaukee Messengers released “Window Shopping / California Soul” on the Soul label in the late Summer of ’67. It did OK here, but not much else. By the way, their “California Soul” is the first version of this song which became a big hit for the 5th Dimension. Motown never really knew what to do with the band, so they basically languished there until 1970 when they released an LP on Rare Earth label, and the chart 45 “That’s The Way A Woman Is” in 1971. In the interim, they had legal battles with Motown. What looked to be a bright star in 1967 faded away.

Ken Freck

We have covered the story of The Messengers / Michael and the Messengers a few times before in Forgotten Hits … a strange legacy to be sure … but despite them being TOTALLY different groups, their chart history is based on what records were released under that name … so different group or not, “Romeo And Juliet” still counts as a Michael and the Messengers hit record.  (The term “Hit Record” is used loosely here … NEITHER of these records, despite being huge hits here in Chicago, made The National Top 100 … “In The Midnight Hour” peaked at #102 in Record World, #116 in Billboard and #148 in Cash Box.  “(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet” only climbed as high as #121 in Cash Box and #129 in Billboard … despite both records enjoying much success on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey in 1967. (“Midnight Hour” peaked at #5 and “Romeo And Juliet got as high as #12.)

Thanks to input from you … in fact, you’ll find a nearly identical response from you from about seven years ago reprinted below! … Jean Theel, Gary Myers, Phil Nee and more, here is a brief history of the band as presented in Forgotten Hits over the years …

Michael and the Messengers: 
>>>I found you on the web when I went looking for forgotten songs of the 60's, and in the section titled, The Greatest Garage Bands ... I see that at #48 ... Michael and the Messengers ... had a hit with Romeo And Juliet.  I had never heard that version of the song before. I had thought that the one hit wonder group, the Reflections, had the mega-hit, Romeo And Juliet.  Anyway, your site is amazing; will keep me occupied for hours. Thanks!  (L.C.) 
>>>The Reflections had the big national hit (#6 in 1964) with "Romeo And Juliet" ... so that's the one that everybody knows.  But here in Chicago, our neighbors to the north (Wisconsin) provided a Summer of '67 Hit for Michael and the Messengers with their remake of this track.  It rose to #12 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... and will be featured in our upcoming salute to 1967 which kicks off on December 30th.  (kk)   

Hi Kent -
The group that had the "Just Like Romeo And Juliet" remake was the replacement for the Messengers. It's a long and complex story (covered in my first book), but the Milwaukee band was NEVER known as Michael and the Messengers. They were simply the Messengers. 
When they refused to tour with their USA 45 hit of Midnight Hour (because they were courting Motown), USA added the "Michael and the" on the later pressings and brought in a band from Leominster, MA, to take that name and do the tour. That's the band that cut "Just Like ...". (And my books are still avail for those who'd like the whole story, which I think is kind of fascinating). 
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem 

Hi Kent: 
A little history for you on Michael and the Messengers. 
The group that did “Romeo and Juliet” is not the same group who had a big hit in Milwaukee and in Chicago with “Midnight Hour.”  That is the Milwaukee Group. 
Once “Midnight Hour” broke regionally, they left USA Records and signed as the first Rock Band for the Motown Label. They released their first record on Motown’s “Soul” label at the end of the Summer in 1967. It was “Window Shopping / California Soul” which charted Top 20 in Milwaukee. Incidentally their version of “California Soul” is the first recording of the song which would go on to be a hit for the 5th Dimension. 
Meanwhile, USA Records, fearing the loss of a possible Hit Group after “Midnight Hour” had success, imported a group from Boston which became Michael and the Messengers. 
That is the “Romeo & Juliet” Group. Plus all later USA releases are this group. 
Ken Freck 

Here's an article we ran dated January 1st, 2007!!!  Incredibly Gary Myers (whose comment you see above) had just joined the Forgotten Hits List at this time!!!  (How wild is this?!?!?)  It actually references an even earlier piece we did on the group back in 2004!!!  (Man, we've been doing this a long time now!!!)


Read on for more info on The Messengers (with and without Michael ... actually there never really WAS a Michael!!!) ... which makes this an even more interesting tale!


According to the GARY MYERS book DO YOU HEAR THAT BEAT:  WISCONSIN POP/ROCK IN THE '50's/'60's (as well as articles appearing in RHINO's excellent NUGGETS BOX and an online MSN ENTERTAINMENT article (both, apparently, HEAVILY influenced by MYERS' report) there were, in fact, two completely separate, distinct groups involved.


The original band was called simply THE MESSENGERS and they did, in fact, hail from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In 1967, their popped-up version of the soul classic IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR was released on USA RECORDS, home of THE BUCKINGHAMS, thus leading many to believe that they, too, were a Chicagoland band.  Their record did VERY well here in Chicago, rocketing all the way up to #5 while never denting either of the national charts.  (It did "bubble-under" on Billboard, peaking at #116.)  Reportedly, this is where the confusion sets in.


It was Milwaukee DJ PAUL CHRISTY who persuaded the group to cut the single in the first place and he was instrumental in getting it released on Chicago-based USA RECORDS.  When the record became a huge hit in Chicago, he wanted them to go out and promote the record with appearances throughout the Midwest.  THE MESSENGERS, however, had only cut the record as a favor to CHRISTY and had no interest whatsoever in promoting it.  In fact, they were about to sign a deal with MOTOWN RECORDS instead!  So, CHRISTY and USA RECORDS had to put together a group of musicians to tour and promote the single in the Chicagoland area.  (And THIS is how they became known as a Chicago-based band!)


As IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR continued to sell well in Chicago, a second pressing was released, now showing the band as MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS (despite the fact that NO ONE in the group was actually named MICHAEL!)  In the meantime, a group out of Leominster, Massachusetts, called THE DEL MARS were recruited (and renamed) MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS and it was THIS group of musicians who recorded the follow-up single JUST LIKE ROMEO AND JULIET, which became ANOTHER huge Chicagoland hit, peaking at #12.  (It stopped at #129 in Billboard.  Hey, doesn't that mean that there were really THREE versions of the same band?!?!?)  THE DEL MARS simply followed the organ-based, sped-up technique used on IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR to recreate the "MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS sound" that made both records Midwest successes.


A variety of musicians came through the MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS revolving door over the next couple of years before they disappeared completely from the music scene.  As for the REAL original MESSENGERS, they DID sign with MOTOWN RECORDS and became one of the very first white acts to do so.  (According to their members, they were the VERY first white act signed, but that's been a long standing matter of debate.)  Like RARE EARTHR. DEAN TAYLOR and our recently featured KIKI DEE, they were assigned to RARE EARTH records, but never had a chart hit, making the "fake" MESSENGERS more successful than the real deal!

BTW:  Despite ALL of the musicians who at one time can claim to have been a member of MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS, not one single member was ever really named MICHAEL!!!  In fact, it sounds like ALL of the members shared an inside joke, taking turns at "being MICHAEL" when asked by the media "So which one's Michael?"  (LOL)


DIDJAKNOW?:  The original MESSENGERS landed their MOTOWN recording contract after a MOTOWN label scout saw them open for THE DAVE CLARK FIVE back in 1966!


WHO'S WHO:  It would be impossible to list ALL of the musicians who, at one time or another, were members of some version of MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS ... check out the info supplied by FORGOTTEN HITS List Member JEAN THEEL below for even more details.   But here's what we've been able to come up with so far:


The group was founded in 1962 in Winona, MN, by GREG JERESEK (aka GREG JENNINGS) and also featured guitarists GREG BAMBENEK and ROY BERGER, keyboardist CHIP ANDREWS, bassist TOMMY CICHANOWSKI (aka TOMMY CHICK) and drummer JIM MURRAY ... this version of THE MESSENGERS released a single in 1965 called MY BABY on the Soma label.  BAMBENEK left the group first to go to college and was replaced by JOHN CADER.  When leader GREG JERESEK moved to Milwaukee to pursue HIS college degree, he formed a NEW band consisting of lead singer JEFF TAYLOR, guitarist PETER BARANS, keyboardist JESSE ROE and drummer AUGIE JURISHICA.  This is the group of musicians who recorded IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and eventually signed with MOTOWN.  (Keyboardist JESSE ROE dropped out of the group at this time as his parents wouldn't let him sign the MOTOWN contract.  By the way, at various times, THIS version of the group was billed as "THE MILWAUKEE MESSENGERS“ to avoid ... or add to ... further confusion!) 


The line-up for THE DEL MARS that became MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS consisted of lead vocalist WAYNE BECKNER, guitarist TOM FINI, bassist RON GAGNON, keyboardist JACK DeCAROLIS and drummer PAUL COSENZA.  These are the guys who recorded the follow-up hit JUST LIKE ROMEO AND JULIET.  (I found one website that said that once THE DEL MARS became THE MESSENGERS, they re-recorded IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and THAT is why the single was re-released as MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS ... however, I don't have any reason to believe that this is true ... it appears that USA RECORDS simply reissued the original recording with a new name on the label.)  Other names that have come up during the research for this article include MIKE MORGAN (hey, if NONE of the band members were ever named "MICHAEL" then who's this guy?!?!?  LOL), RICK CIERGARY ROZENMEIER and BOB CAVALLO.  (Jean Theel, who sent us a bunch of early photos of the band when we first featured them back in 2004, used to date Mike Morgan briefly and, as such, had “privileged” access to their rehearsal space, which she also sent us pictures of at the time.  Unfortunately, thanks to a series of numerous computer crashes over the years all of this material is now lost in the Forgotten Hits ashes of our earliest work.)  kk


Ya gotta watch this.  It has a terribly long URL, but that's the only way I could copy the filespec.
It's called "Gotta Love the Millennials". To the tune of "Obla-di Obla-Da"

VERY well done … with perhaps a certain element of truth to it, too!  Thanks, Mike!  (kk)


Between 1957 and 1980, Johnny Mathis placed an incredible 69 songs on The National Pop Charts.  25 of those placed high enough to make our JOHNNY MATHIS HIT LIST.

1957 – Wonderful! Wonderful! (#12)

1957 – It’s Not For Me To Say (#2)

1957 – Chances Are (#1)

1957 – The Twelfth Of Never (#9)

1957 – Wild Is The Wind (#14)

1958 – No Love But Your Love (#21)

1958 – Come To Me (#22)

1958 – Teacher, Teacher (#20)

1958 – All The Time (#21)

1958 – A Certain Smile (#11)

1958 – Call Me (#12)

1959 – Let’s Love (#40)

1959 – Someone (#33)

1959 – Small World (#19)

1959 – Misty (#12)

1960 – Starbright (#24)

1960 – Maria (#50)

1960 – My Love For You (#35)

1962 – Gina (#6)

1963 – What Will My Mary Say (#8)

1963 – Every Step Of The Way (#30)

1963 – Come Back (#47)

1964 – Bye Bye Barbara (#46)

1978 – Too Much, Too Little, Too Late (#1) with Deniece Williams

1978 – You’re All I Need To Get By (#47) with Deniece Williams

Hope to see some of you out at The Prairie Center For Performing Arts tomorrow night in Schaumburg for The Chicago Experience concert.

It's going to be a great night of great music and we'd love to see you there!  (kk)