Saturday, November 26, 2022

Phil Nee Talks With David Gates of Bread

During Thanksgiving weekend we are here to put Bread on your table.  
David Gates has long been a favorite of mine.  He granted me a rare
interview on WRCO in 1994.  He was promoting the song 'Love Is Always 17'.  During that time, I had the chance to ask him about his songwriting process and his early years.
David Gates would have had a long career as a songwriter and producer
behind the scenes, however, in 1970 he formed the group Bread.

The song Make It With You hit number one in 1970.  It is rare for a new group to go right to the top.  With David Gates' songwriting ability, they would go on to chart 13 times as a group and he would chart 7 times as a solo act.  One of Breads' top 10 hits was Everything I Own.  That is a tune that still chokes me up after all of these years.
Several artists have covered the songs of Bread.  During the 1994 interview, David Gates gave me details on the top two most often covered tunes.

When I was first going on dates, the best tape you could have in the car was the first Greatest Hits album.  It appears I was not the only one that tried to use the music of Bread for a 'make out session'.

I have to tell you that one of my all-time favorite artists and songwriters is David Gates of Bread ... and have always dreamed of the chance to sit and talk with him.  (So I will admit to being extremely jealous and envious that you had the chance to do so, Phil!!!  lol)

Unfortunately, it just never happened for me (although an opportunity once presented itself that I still kick myself for not taking advantage of, all these years later)

Back in the early '80's, I went to a show at the old Holiday Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana, to see the Bread union tour.

We did it up right for this show, as the band was always one of my favorites ...

Booked the dinner, the show and the overnight stay (which guaranteed us excellent seats within the first ten rows)

The band was amazing that night ... and after the show we went out and sat by the hotel's indoor pool for awhile before heading back upstairs for the night.

On our way to the room, we passed an open hotel room door and there, in that room, were the four members of Bread, just hangin' out, sitting on the beds, playing their acoustic guitars.  It seemed that even after the show, they still wanted to play more music.

It never even occurred to me to pop my head in the door and tell them how much I enjoyed their show ... I guess I just felt like I would have been intruding on their private moment ... so we just went off to bed instead.

Imagine my complete surprise and disappointment when, the next morning, again sitting by the pool (the outdoor one this time!), we heard everybody talking about how the guys from Bread went down to the bar around 11:00 and entertained the small crowd that had gathered there for about 45 minutes.  A once in a lifetime opportunity, blown forever!!!

In hindsight, it's really quite amazing to think that these guys, who apparently weren't getting along and didn't stay together much longer ... still loved the music so much that they would gather in the most informal of moments to play even more of their hits ... especially after having just done a full concert.

David Gates is long retired now ... but the album Phil speaks of above ("Love Is Always Seventeen") was an EXCELLENT piece of work.  I thought for sure it would put Gates back on the comeback trail but unfortunately, it didn't happen.

"Love Is Always Seventeen" is a song EVERYONE can relate to as they grow older.  There are still certain times when I hear it that I feel emotional when I hear David sing some of those lyrics.  A VERY powerful songwriter ... and one who had a HUGE impact on my life as a listener and a fan.

Bread's hit "Everything I Own," written not about a lost lover as one might think at first, but actually  about David's father, is another one that can still pull at the heartstrings all these years later ... and I swear a whole movie plays out in my mind every time I hear "Diary," another personal favorite.  But then there are VERY few songs by this band that didn't strike a chord with me.

I was introduced to Bread by a friend in high school named Dennis Gilbert (who I believe is still a FH List Member some 50+ years later!!!  lol)  Hi Dennis, if you happen to be reading this!

I forget exactly what I did ... probably came home past curfew ... but as a result of my infraction, I was grounded for two weeks.  Dennis stopped by one day to say hello and brought me over the first Bread album, which went virtually unnoticed by the public at large until "Make It With You" became a #1 Hit off their second album.

I played the heck out this disk ... and learned every song on it ... until my Dad took my guitar and record player away, too.  ("Enjoying yourself listening and playing music isn't exact 'grounded,' now, is it???")

I got an eleventh hour reprieve, just in time to go to Homecoming (that Saturday was supposed to be my last day of my two-week grounding) ... and I think I can probably thank my Mother for that, convincing "by the book" Dad that I had to at least go to my High School Homecoming Game and Dance!!!  But there is no doubt in my mind that listening to that first Bread album helped me thru the agony of being confined to my room for two weeks!

So thank you, David Gates, for that ... and for all of the great music you blessed our lives with over the years.  It still means as much to me today as it did then ... but that's just the power of good music ... it'll get 'cha every time.  (kk)

Be sure to listen to Phil Nee's THOSE WERE THE DAYS radio program tonight … and EVERY Saturday 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, November 25, 2022

THE FRIDAY FLASH ... And A Special Anniversary, Too!

Tomorrow (November 26th) marks the 23rd Anniversary of the very first issue of Forgotten Hits, an emailed news letter that I sent out to 35 people I had met in the AOL Oldies Music Chat Room.  

I remember asking the musical question at the time:

"If I wrote about some of these great songs and artists that we all know and love but just don't get to hear anymore, would you read it?"

You see, my thing, even back in 1999, was letting people know about all of the GREAT songs that radio wasn't playing anymore.  Back then, a typical radio station's playlist was about 200-300 songs ... and so you pretty much heard the EXACT same songs, over and over, day in and day out, day after day.  Internet Radio was still in its infancy ... and all we were asking radio, programmers and disc jockeys to do was push the envelope a little bit further.  Don't insult and underestimate your audience ... because we DO remember these tunes!!!  We grew up on them!

It took a little while ... and, in some cases, a LONG while ... but thankfully, radio began to expand their playlists ... and now some of the more creative stations boast a library of 3000 - 5000 songs ... a far cry from that old 200-300 song rut we all had to endure 23 years ago.

What was the very first song we ever featured in Forgotten Hits?

Oh c'mon, you guys know it ... we've been talking about it for the past 23 years!!!

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME by MAX FROST AND THE TROOPERS from the 1968 teensploytation film "Wild In The Streets" starring Christopher Jones ... 

The concept of which was wipe out everybody over the age of 30.  (Damn, some of us would have checked out nearly fifty years ago if that concept ever caught on!!!)

The idea back then was that we were the generation that was going to change the world ... and the truth is, we did ... just not necessarily in the way we thought we would.

Still, as we creep closer and closer to our 25th Anniversary ... and especially in light of the fact that this is Thanksgiving Weekend ... I just wanted to thank you all once again for sticking with us for all these years.

Some of you have been with us for over twenty years now ... and that's really saying something.

It's the love of this great music that binds us ... and we appreciate you!


Check out these guys!!! Pretty damn good for a neighborhood BBQ Band!!! 

Hi Kent ...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!    

I voted for my Top 10 Songs with Rewound Radio ... another exciting time of year for Allan Sniffen and friends.  

Big #23 coming up.  

Great job of keeping our  favorite music up front for all of us to remember.  Thanks for all you do ... I love this stuff!

Take care,
Wrap it up, Dano!
Nice conclusion-add to today's Jukebox story!
In fact, I was just doing some post-calculations to my Jukebox story ~~~
The first Jukebox was put into service 133 years ago to the day today, November 23, 1889!
AND, its first annual overall "take" of $4000 at five cents a play, comes to Eighty-Thousand nickels!
Or in the $125,000 conversion equivalent today, two million, five hundred thousand nickels!
CB ( which stands for "Cash Boy!")
First, let my say HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 
The first thing I thought of when reading CB's Jukebox info was, in addition to Perry Como's tune JUKEBOX BABY, JUKEBOX SATURDAY NIGHT (by Nino & the Ebbtones) in 1961 and an early Bill Haley tune, JUKEBOX CANNONBALL (1952). Now there were some other versions of JUKEBOX SATURDAY NIGHT, but Nino's version was the one I thought of first.
A few years ago I got a pool table for my living room area. I inquired about getting a jukebox for the same room. Then the company told me you couldn't buy jukeboxes anymore that played vinyl records, just those that played cd's, but mostly playing songs computerized. Somewhat reminds me of Ricky Nelson's 1958 song WAITIN' IN SCHOOL, where he sang "throw a nickel in the jukebox and then we start to rock".
Funny you should say that ... the first song that came to MY mind was "Music! Music! Music!" by Teresa Brewer.  ("Put another nickel in ... in the nickeoldeon") ... a four week chart-topper for Ms. Brewer back in 1950.
Back in the early '70's a high school friend and I wrote a song called "Nickelodeon" that got recorded by a group on Cash Records.  Apparently it got played a couple of times (but I never got to hear it!) because my then sister-in-law, who was working as a waitress at an all-night diner said she heard it.  She must have been right because a few months later I received a royalty check for 32-cents!!! (lol)  But hey, I was in the music business!!!  (lol)
I wish I could find MY copy of that song - I know I've got it on an old reel-to-reel tape buried in the garage somewhere ... but I'd love to hear it again ... and play it for you guys, too!  (kk) 
And then ...
Thanks for the pleasant Thanksgiving post (in a Sweet 16 sort of way) as you put it. Would you believe the first record I thought of was Brenda Lee's 1964 THANKS A LOT and, in a somewhat related manner, Little Eva's 1963 LET'S TURKEY TROT.
Larry Neal
I actually had "Thanks A Lot" on my list and then dropped it at the last minute because I wasn't sure how many people would actually remember it.  (Brenda's hit went to #33 in Record World in 1965 ... but stalled at #45 in Billboard ... but I kinda liked it at the time.)
I avoided the "Turkey Trot" route in favor of being thankful (since I knew that on Friday we'd be expressing our thanks for all of your support over the past 23 years of doing Forgotten Hits) ... but I guess I could have kept THAT theme going with "Mashed Potato Time" and "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" if I really gave it some thought!  
Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving Day.  (kk) 

Here's a review of the Micky Dolenz Concert from last Sunday Night at The Des Plaines Theater by our old FH Buddy Andy Argyrakis.  

(How's it going, Andy?!?!  We haven't run into you at a show in a long, long time!  Great review of a great show.  We were there that night, too, and Micky was in fine form.  With the sell-out crowd, it would have been hard to find you!  lol  This was especially satisfying to see since Micky had just played the nearby Arcada Theatre the night before!)

I like the way the new show interweaves video of all four Monkees from back in the day ... and Micky's storytelling has become much more interesting and on point ... and, quite honestly, more truthful ... it REALLY used to bug the shit out of me when he would talk about visiting The Beatles in the studio in 1967 while they were making their "Sgt. Pepper" album and then go on to perform the song he heard them do that night ... "Oh! Darling" (from "Abbey Road" ... which came out over two years later!!!)  At least this time he did a short segment of the "Sgt. Pepper" title tune!!!  lol)

And I'll tell you, I have seen Micky probably at least thirty times over the years ... and this is the first time I have EVER heard him perform "Don't Do It" live on stage!  ("Don't Do It" was an attempt by Challenge Records to cash in on Micky's newfound Monkees fame by releasing a record he recorded a couple of years earlier before anybody had a clue who he was.  Nationally, it charted at #75 in 1967 ... and got played here for about a week on WCFL ... but I sure remember it!)

Micky played to a full house and got a number of standing ovations throughout the night, including one for just taking the stage.

As the last Monkee standing, he has taken on the task of performing ALL of their hits ... and is still in fine voice.  (He's a natural born performer and genuinely loves every minute he's on stage.) Next year he'll be performing The Monkees' complete "Headquarters" album on stage to help celebrate the brand new release of the Deluxe Edition, just out this past week.

Andy's full review ... and a few concert pics ...

Because apparently charging $5000 for a concert ticket isn't a quick enough way to make money, Bruce Springsteen is releasing a five album set of previously unreleased material that he recorded in the '90's.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bruce said "I have a box set of five unreleased albums that are basically post-1988.  People have always wondered ... people look at my work in the '90's and they go 'The '90's wasn't a great decade for Bruce.  He was kind of doing this and he wasn't in the E Street Band ...'  I actually made a lot of music during that period of time.  I actually made albums.  For one reason of another, the timing wasn't right or whatever.  I didn't put them out."

Springsteen explained that he recently "cleaned out the vault" and would be putting the collection out shortly.  Meanwhile, don't forget to catch his very revealing and in-depth interview with Howard Stern, airing this Sunday, the 27th.  (kk)

And publishers Simon and Schuster are in a bit of trouble after advertising 900 copies of Bob Dylan's new book as "personally signed" by the author ... when, in fact, the signatures were computer-generated.  Each and every consumer who purchased a copy will be receiving a full refund.  (Simon and Schuster?!?!  Really?!?!  Aren't they one of the most reputable book publishers of all time?  Or let me rephrase that ... WEREN'T they one of the most reputable book publishers of all time???  Jeez ... is nothing sacred anymore???)  kk

Did anybody watch Elton John's US Farewell Concert at Dodger Stadium the other night???

We TRIED ... but for whatever reason, every time we put on Disney+ it played for about a minute and a half and then went dead ... I'll betcha we tried it fifteen times before finally giving up.  I even called the cable company, who admitted that they were having "interruption and outage issues." (Yeah, but I'll betch they have no plans of refunding our eight bucks for this month's Disney+ subscription!)  I guess now we'll have to watch it On Demand ... which kind of defeats the whole idea of a "last live performance" ... but maybe we can do that this weekend.

And even here there's a bit of back-pedaling going on ...

Now Elton's Husband/Manager David Furnish is saying that while Elton won't be TOURING anymore, he WILL still be performing this one-off concerts ... and maybe even some residencies in the future ... 

He just doesn't want to be away from his family for long periods of time anymore.

Here's the set list ...

Bennie and the Jets
Philadelphia Freedom
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Border Song (Dedicated to Aretha Franklin)
Tiny Dancer
Have Mercy on the Criminal
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
Take Me to the Pilot
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Candle in the Wind
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Burn Down the Mission
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (with Brandi Carlile)
The Bitch Is Back
I’m Still Standing
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Elton John & Kiki Dee cover) (with Kiki Dee)
Crocodile Rock
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting


Cold Heart (with Dua Lipa) (PNAU remix)
Your Song
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Introduced his family and Bernie Taupin)

Best Classic Bands remembers the night Jerry Lee Lewis crashed (literally!) Graceland, trying to see Elvis ...

Love that Billy Hinsche Danelectro guitar! My all-time second favorite!

David Salidor

Speaking of Dino, Desi and Billy (which I guess we kinda are!), I'm still making my way through the 67 hours of WLS/WCFL/Rewound broadcast and I heard a 1967 Dino, Desi and Billy tune that WCFL played that I had never heard before called "Kitty Doyle."  It was never a hit (#98 in Cash Box, #108 in Billboard and #117 in Record World ... but 1967 they were pretty much an after-thought) ... but it's not a bad tune ... so I'm sharing it with you today.  (By the way, you'll find in the new Gavin Report book published by Record Research, that Bill Gavin thought enough of "Kitty Doyle" to list it for a week at #33!)  kk


REMINDER:  And, speaking of the new Gavin Report book and Record Research, The Joel Whitburn Trivia Contest ends at NOON on Sunday, November 27th, so get your answers in quickly in order to be a contender to win a copy of the Record Research book of your choice!  (kk)

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Giving Thanks ... (in a Sweet 16 sort of way!)


Hope you all have an awesome 

Thanksgiving Weekend!


From Chuck Buell ...

OK, so this is a Parody of a Number One song in 1985, 
"Don't You Forget About Me" ...
but I thought you guys might enjoy another original great production from this couple anyway, all the way to the 
Turkey Microwaving Tip ending!!

This is the couple who won Season 33 of "The Amazing Race" 
a year or so ago.  I think, aside from being very talented, 
they work so well together in whatever they choose to do!
Happy Thanxgiving!



Me-TV-FM is doing their Annual Thanksgiving Musical Turkeys ... All day long on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and Friday, the 25th, they'll be featuring novelty songs (musical “turkeys” ... get it?) ...

And then, of course, Me-TV will be airing the classic WKRP In Cincinnati "Turkey Drop" episode ... 



And you can't celebrate Thanksgiving without a trip to Alice's Restaurant ... 

So we've got Arlo Guthrie on hand for that, too ... 


Along with John Candy and Steve Martin, starring in 

"Planes And Trains And Automobiles"

Here's Adam Sandler doing ANOTHER one of his big 

"Holiday Hits!!!"


Plus one more round of Thank You's ... And Good Night



Wednesday, November 23, 2022

According To Chuck Buell ... Who Keeps Track Of This Sort Of Thing For Us ...

Today, November 23, 2022, is Officially ~~~~~


With the invention of the jukebox over a hundred years ago, people could begin to enjoy music in restaurants and bars. And today, some fortunate Forgotten Hitters now have their own vintage Jukebox at home!  It might be an AMI, Rock-Ola, Wurlitzer or a Seeburg, but the odds are, it’s a very colorful phonograph player! With all the songs they can play, they’re kind of like an 300-pound, non-portable iPod!

Historically, the Pacific Phonograph Company created the first jukebox calling it a “Nickel-in-the-Slot Phonograph” and it was put into operation on November 23, 1889. It was an instant success making over $4000 in its first year, the equivalent of over $125,000 today!


The name ‘jukebox’ is believed to be derived from the slang word ‘juke,’ meaning ‘to dance and act wildly.’


So, in honor of today, here’s my “Chuck Buell Nearly Two-Minute Jukebox Minute Medley!"

CB ( which stands for Coin-operated Boy!"


Jukeboxes were so popular in the '50's that Billboard used to run a weekly "Most Played In Juke Boxes" chart.  Between January of 1955 and June of 1957, Billboard tabulated (by actual spins) the most popular songs as determined by those dropping their money into the slot!  (I know from personal experience that well into the '70's and early '80's, jukeboxes were still a popular feature at a lot of the restaurants I would frequent.  Just by my own personal observation, the two most-played songs I heard consistently no matter where or when I went, came out a few years after Billboard stopped publishing these stats.  Hands down, the universal and unanimous juke box favorites ... and we're talking by a LONG SHOT here ... seemed to be "Beyond The Sea" and "Mack The Knife" by Bobby Darin.)

As a result of this different source of data tabulations, several songs made it all the way to #1 on Billboard's Jukebox Chart that DIDN'T make it to #1 on their Best Sellers or Top 100 Chart.

Here is the complete list (in chronological order) of Billboard's #1 Jukebox Hits:


Let Me Go, Lover - Joan Weber (4 weeks)

Hearts Of Stone - The Fontane Sisters (3 weeks)

Sincerely - The McGuire Sisters (7 weeks)

The Ballad Of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes (3 weeks)

Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado (8 weeks)

Dance With Me Henry (Wallflower) - Georgia Gibbs (3 weeks)*

*a Number One Jukebox Hit only

Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley and his Comets  (7 weeks)

The Yellow Rose Of Texas - Mitch Miller (6 weeks)

Ain't That A Shame - Pat Boone (2 weeks)*

*a Number One Jukebox Hit only

Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing - The Four Aces (3 weeks)

Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford (8 weeks)


Memories Are Made Of This - Dean Martin (4 weeks)

Rock And Roll Waltz - Kay Starr  (6 weeks)

The Great Pretender - The Platters (1 week)

The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter (3 weeks)

Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley (8 weeks)

The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant (4 weeks)

I Almost Lost My Mind - Pat Boone (4 weeks)

My Prayer - The Platters (1 week)

Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley (11 weeks) / Hound Dog - Elvis Presley (11 weeks)

Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley (1 week)

The Green Door - Jim Lowe (3 weeks)

Singing The Blues - Guy Mitchell (10 weeks)


Too Much - Elvis Presley (1 week)

Don't Forbid Me - Pat Boone (1 week)

Young Love - Tab Hunter (5 weeks)

All Shook Up - Elvis Presley (9 weeks)

Butterfly - Charlie Gracie (1 week)*

*a Number 1 Jukebox Hit only

[last chart published 6-17-57]

A few years back, I drove down to Normal, IL, for the weekend.  It was a multi-purpose visit to see Paige, who was going to school there ... we had a nice dinner together at one of our favorite restaurants, Lucca's, and then walked up the block a bit to catch the Cornerstones Of Rock concert in the park.

Back at my hotel room, there was a BEAUTIFUL Juke Box display going on in the lobby, along with a record and collectors show in a couple of the meeting rooms.  Another meeting room housed a live concert by Rick "Elvis" Saucedo, which I also attended.  I wish I would have thought to snap a few more pictures of the jukeboxes, because these were vintage pieces in mint condition ... and priced accordingly!  


How important was the jukebox to The History Of Rock And Roll?

Well, legend has it that radio programmer Todd Storz was sitting in a malt shop, waiting for somebody to show up for a meeting appointment when he noticed that over the course of the next few hours, the kids visiting the shop (an ever-changing crowd) continued to play the same forty records on the jukebox.  The idea struck him that a Top 40 list of the most popular tunes with kids might make for an interesting radio concept.

Programmer Gordon McLendon ran with that concept and soon had radio stations all over the country programming their city's Top 40 Favorites.  These two men are credited with launching the most popular concept of broadcasting during "the teenage era" ... BEST known as The Top 40 Era.  By 1970, Casey Kasem had turned the concept into a multi-million dollar franchise.  (kk)