Saturday, December 3, 2022

Phil Nee Talks to Mike Smith, Lead Singer of The Dave Clark Five!

Last week we expressed our extreme jealousy over the fact that Phil Nee had the chance to interview one of OUR dream interviewees, David Gates of Bread ...

But this week's piece may even outrank that ... 

As Phil ALSO had the chance to talk to Mike Smith, lead singer of The Dave Clark Five, when he did his American tour in 2003.

I had the chance to see Mike perform at The Holiday Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, Indiana, that same year.  There was NO way I was going to miss this concert!!!

I had been a Dave Clark Five fan from Day One ... and got to live thru the whole "rivalry" cooked up by the press between The Beatles and The DC5.  (I found room in my heart for BOTH bands!  lol)

One of the greatest thrills of my life was receiving "The Dave Clark Five's Greatest Hits" as a Christmas Present in 1965.  Man, I begged and begged for this album.

And what a Greatest Hits album is was, too.  All thriller, no filler ... ALL the big hits up to that point were on there, even their latest release (and only official #1 Hit Single) "Over And Over."  (The album was rounded out by "Glad All Over," "Bits And Pieces," "Do You Love Me," "Can't You See That She's Mine," "Because," "Everybody Knows (I Still Love You),""Any Way You Want It," "I Like It Like That" and "Catch Us If You Can."  Man, what a great LP!

And if that was one of the best Christmas presents I ever got as a kid, then seeing Mike Smith in concert was one of the greatest concerts I've ever seen as an adult ... and I've seen a LOT of concerts over the years.

After not touring for decades (especially here in The States), the news of him coming thru with a new tour came completely out of the blue ... like a dream from heaven.  The show absolutely blew me away ... truly one of my Top Ten Concerts EVER.

I hung around after the show to see if I might have the chance to talk with him a little bit ... but after waiting some 45 minutes, his security people came out and told us that Mike wouldn't be coming out to visit and asked if we would all please go home.  I was heartbroken, knowing full well that I would likely never have the chance again to speak with one of my all-time favorite lead singers.

And sure enough, it was right after his US tour, after Mike got home to Spain, that he fell and damaged his spinal cord, never walking again.  Thank God (for his sake and ours) he was able to enjoy that last round of applause.

So yes, Phil, I am EXTREMELY jealous and envious of you once again!!!

I want to thank you again for sharing that experience with us and all our Forgotten Hits Readers all over the world!!!  (kk)

Mike Smith was born December 6th, 1943, in Edmonton,  London.  He would grow up and become one of the greatest rock and roll singers of all time as a member of the Dave Clark Five.  
I was one of the lucky ones to see Mike back in 2003 when he played a few select dates here in the States.  

My luck began while dozing off while watching Letterman and I woke to hear Paul Shaffer and the band going to commercial break playing a DC5 song.  I later learned that Mike Smith was sitting in with the group that night.  
The next day I talked with a friend who said that he saw that as well and wouldn't it be cool to be able to see the Mike Smith Band live.  He called me back a moment later and said, "You are not going to believe this, but Mike Smith is playing in Dubuque, Iowa, tomorrow night!"
Normally my radio station knows about shows like these.  I immediately called the venue and told them that I would like to promote it.  They gave me Mike's manager's phone number and within minutes I was talking on the air to one of my all time favorites.  
Today I am pleased to share portions of that 2003 interview.
I loved the first wave of the British Invasion.  Several groups sounded similar, but the Dave Clark Five were unique.


The Dave Clark Five had many records that jumped out of the radio with an energetic sound.  Their 6th record to hit the Billboard chart was a ballad.  Of all of the group's hits, it has always been the most requested on my radio show.  I asked Mike Smith about 'Because'.

[Phil is right about that ... The Dave Clark Five singles were recorded SO loud that they had built-in distortion, which, I thought, took a little bit away from just what GREAT records these were.  That was another reason their Greatest Hits album meant so much to me ... the sound was much cleaner ... and as their material was sporadically re-released over the years (Dave Clark kept a good portion of their catalog out of print, something I NEVER understood), the sound only got better and better. - kk]
[As a side note, the record label fought Clark on releasing "Because" as a single in America ... they didn't want to break with the formula.  In this instance, Dave was proven right ... "Because" became a #3 Hit, second only to their chart-topper "Over And Over" on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.  It was NOT released as a single in Great Britain. - kk]

Mike Smith sounded as good as he did in the '60's when we saw him in concert in Iowa in 2003.  He was born to be the lead singer of a rock and roll group.

[My feeling was Mike Smith never really got his due as a singer.  The band was named after its leader, Dave Clark, and unless you were REALLY into the music, I'd venture to say that most listeners really didn't have a clue who the guy with those great vocal chops really was.  Sadly, ALL of the members of The Dave Clark Five ... even Smith ... were simply hired hands, paid a salary to perform in Dave's band.  A guy with THIS much talent deserved a better fate ... AND a bigger piece of the pie.  He was the key element to The Dave Clark Five Sound. - kk]

Glad All Over debuted in mid-February of 1964 and quickly rose toward the top here in America.  Just as the Beatles were welcomed in a frenzy, the Dave Clark Five were overwhelmed when they arrived in New York. Mike Smith talked to me about how life quickly changed for the band in one weekend.

GREAT interview, Phil ... would LOVE to hear the whole thing some day. 
(Maybe you can do a Dave Clark Five Night on Those Were The Days one of these weekends!!!)

Of all the British bands, The Dave Clark Five graced The Ed Sullivan Show more than any other ... Ed loved these guys, too ... a very clean-cut, professional outfit.  (kk)



Phil WILL be featuring portions of his Mike Smith interview on tonight's show, including previously unaired segments and other pieces he hasn't run since his interview first ran nearly twenty years ago.

In addition, he'll also be featuring more from his David Gates interview, which we featured last week in Forgotten Hits.  (Scroll back to last Saturday's post, November 26th)

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, December 2, 2022

HENRY DILTZ's JOURNAL (December 1st, 1974)

Hello Kent,

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Here is the next Henry Diltz Journal installment.

There are also a couple of links to the actual show Talk About Pictures! that was taped at NBC in Burbank.


Thursday, December 1, 2022

Thursday This And That

Our Wednesday started with some very sad news ...

After celebrating our very first JOEL WHITBURN DAY on Tuesday (Joel's Birthday), we learned Wednesday Morning that Joel's wife Fran had passed away.

Fran was paralyzed after a parasailing accident several years ago ... and had been in poor health recently.  Such a sad year for a family that brought us so much joy over the past 50+ years.  (I will forever regret not making the trip up to Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to visit with Joel and tour his incredible Music Vault ... both of us speculated how much "The Two Frans" might enjoy each other's company, even if it just meant a trip to the mall while us two Record Geeks talked shop.  Every year there was always a reason to put it off ... all on my end as Joel's invitation was an open-ended one to come up ANY time and tour the facility.)

Paul Haney of Record Research told us ...

Hi Kent,
I really enjoyed the Joel Whitburn Day tribute that you ran on Tuesday.
Sadly, Joel's wife Fran passed away this morning (11/30) at the age of 85.  As you know, Fran had been paralyzed from the waist down for the past few years and ever since Joel's passing in June, she had developed several other health issues.  This past week, her health took a final turn for the worse and she was admitted to a hospice facility.  Our tiny Record Research staff was with her for several hours last night, sharing memories and saying our final goodbyes.  Fran was one of the friendliest, kindest souls I've ever known and she fought hard right up until the end.  She will be greatly missed by many.  I've often said that Record Research has been family to me and this one really hurts, yet it's a blessing that she no longer has to suffer and can now be reunited with Joel.
Paul Haney 
Record Research
We certainly feel the pain and sorrow of ALL of the Whitburn Family during this very sad time ... but also take some comfort in knowing that Joel and Fran will now be able to spend the holidays together.  We all feel especially blessed with how Joel's life's work enriched us all.  (kk)
You'll find more on Joel below ... 
And then, after that morning jolt, the news came just a couple of hours later that Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac had also passed away that morning "after a brief illness."
McVie (79) had been trying to build a solo career (under her real name, Christine Perfect) before marrying Fleetwood Mac's bassist, John McVee, in 1968, joining the band a couple of years later as a key songwriter, singer and keyboardist.  (Christine briefly dated Beach Boy Dennis Wilson in the late '60's.)  In addition to her hits with Fleetwood Mac, Christine also enjoyed a Top Ten solo hit in 1984 with "Got A Hold On Me."  (My guess is that we'll be hearing her songs EVERYWHERE for some time to come ... including the non-stop advertising saturation of her song "Everywhere!")
Among Christine's best-known Fleetwood Mac tunes, you'd have to include "Don't Stop" (#1, 1977), "Over My Head" (#18, 1976), "Say You Love Me" (#11, 1976), "You Make Loving Fun" (#7, 1977) and "Hold Me" (#4, 1982.)  Christine also wrote the much-loved tune "Songbird" from Mac's incredibly successful "Rumours" album.  (kk)
We got this from FH Reader Timmy ...
Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie dies at age 79
Family say the musician, who was in one of the best-known rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, died after a short illness.
Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie has died at the age of 79, her family has said.  An official statement said: “On behalf of Christine McVie’s family, it is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine’s death.
“She passed away peacefully at hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, following a short illness. She was in the company of her family. We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this extremely painful time and we would like everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being, and revered musician who was loved universally. RIP Christine McVie.”
The British American rock band, founded in London in 1967, sold more than 100m records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups ever. Their best-known songs include Dreams, Go Your Own Way and Everywhere.
The band paid tribute to the singer-songwriter McVie in a statement on Wednesday night following news of her death. “There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie. She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure.
“She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life.
“We were so lucky to have a life with her. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”
Despite its tumultuous history, Fleetwood Mac became one of the best-known rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, comprising Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, as well as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
Originally known as Christine Perfect, her maiden name, she started out with the blues band Chicken Shack. They had a hit with a cover of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind, featuring McVie on lead vocals. After marrying John McVie in 1968, she left the band a year later and joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970.
After the lineup kept changing, in 1974 Nicks and Buckingham joined, an era that McVie called “pretty sensational”. She added: “We had our fights here and there, but there was nothing like the music or the intensity onstage. We weren’t doing anything in Britain, so just decamped to America and fell into this huge musical odyssey.”
Their 1975 self-titled album featured hits written by McVie: Over My Head and Say You Love Me. Christine and John McVie divorced in 1976.
Rumours, released in 1977, became one of the best-selling albums of all time and included hits such as Second Hand News and You Make Loving Fun. In addition to several multi-platinum tracks, the record sold more than 40m copies worldwide. Speaking of that particular period, McVie said to the Guardian that “we were having a blast and it felt incredible to us that we were writing those songs”.
McVie also released solo albums, the second of which, 1984’s Christine McVie, featured the hits Got a Hold on Me and Love Will Show Us How.
She took a hiatus from the band in 1998. “I just wanted to embrace being in the English countryside and not have to troop around on the road,” she said to the Guardian. “I moved to Kent, and I loved being able to walk around the streets, nobody knowing who I was. Then of course I started to miss it.”
In 2014 she returned and the band’s most recognisable lineup toured together, followed by an album with Buckingham in 2017 called Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie.
McVie’s death comes two years after Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green died at the age of 73.
And Harvey Kubernik chimed in with this ...

In the summer of 2019, I was a featured on-screen interview for director Matt O’Casey on his BBC4-TV digital arts channel "Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird." I also narrated a portion of the film. The cast includes Christine McVie, Stan Webb of Chicken Shack, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Christine’s family members, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Mike Campbell, Neil Finn, and producer Richard Dashut. The debut broadcast was on Friday September 20th of that year.

I will always remember her kindness in my handful of encounters with her ... initially at some of the recording sessions for "Rumours" at Larabee Studios in Hollywood, record shopping with her and beau Dennis Wilson at Tower Records, and even at my father's office, who was a stock broker. She really laughed when I mentioned, "If I knew you were on Wilshire and La Cienega talking financial investments, I would have brought my Chicken Shack LP to autograph!"  As a weekly columnist for UK's "Melody Maker," she was always delighted to discuss UK music and we made efforts to find a great Indian restaurant in town. Thankfully, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar recommended one literally next door to Doug Weston's Troubadour.   



More Joel Whitburn memories from Clark Besch ...


One more Joel Whitburn info tribute ...  
I bought my first Record Research book in 1970 -- his first Billboard chart book covering all the chart records for the previous 15 years of 1955-1969.  I was thrilled.  We had many Billboard issues by then, but at age 14, I now had ALL the chart record positions for my entire life!  I had that book at school and every afternoon study hall in Dodge City, Kansas Jr. High, you could see me studying ... the RR BOOK! 
A chart fanatic since I got my first WLS Silver Dollar Survey in 1962 at age 6, I was finally a church member by 1969 and now I had TWO Bibles! 
Over the decades, I have bought so many RR books, much like many of you.  After the first 1970 book purchase, I received the below flier for Book 2, which I also bought.  I sold my first book a couple years later for $10 to a high school buddy in 1974.  It had become unmanageable due to pages pulled out due to overuse and I had a newer version now.  The second one was an inch think and pages would come out of it in clumps, due to a more rigid glue spine.  As I kept buying books, I started to hold onto Joel's fliers he sent to me.  I pulled them out and there must be 30 or more here.  Don't ask me why ... I have no answer.
BELOW is the flier I got prior to Book 2 (1972) and I did buy it.  It's fun to see Joel now as a "boy" of 33 years!  I love these photos!  So cool to see photos of him with his Billboard Hot 100's laid out in front of him, his turntable and headphones on, adjusting his tuner.  Also sifting thru his 45s and on the phone talking while checking a chart position.  I could probably be seen doing all these same things 50 years later, easily!
As mentioned below, that first book was $50!  I think I bought the new Gavin book pre-pub for $60, so you cannot say RR is gouging us, I guess! With today's inflation, $50 in 1970 is worth $384 today!  (Maybe I should not be telling Paul that! Smile )  As I remember the first book, it was a basic chart peak song listing with no frills other than label and number, maybe alphabetized at end(?)  By this flier, Joel had lots of books already and was starting his new "added features" things!  

This thing above says Joel's collection of just 45s is worth over $50,000 -- again, $384,000 today.  Of course, back then, he was still missing a lot of his collection and I would increase mine as well exponentially, too.  Paul Haney says he started working at RR in 1992.  The below is something Joel started adding occasionally to his mail outs.  He had a WANT LIST and he would trade books for records he still needed to complete his collection.  THIS is the oldest flier with his list I could locate, from 1991 before Paul worked with RR.  How many do YOU have that he needed 31 years ago?  (Just perusing thru above, I notice a few I have today, but not many I had back then.  I think I have eight 45s on the list above , just at a glance ... and three more in the revamped list below that was within a year of the above in a new flier.
Note that the phantom "D.A." single is one of those listed.  $100 bounty on its head!!!  Paul, did you collect it??

I had forgotten all about when Joel used to send out copies of his Want List to all of the people who bought his books, trying to fill in all of the gaps in his collection!  This early one shows several titles I could have helped him out with over the years!  lol  (Problem was, I didn't want to part with MY only copy either!!!  And, as I recall, he was offering top dollar for any and all records that we fellow collectors could come up with.)  It was all about the love of the chase back then ... and trying to build the most complete collection imaginable.  As his book topics grew, so did his library, expanding to cover ALL genres of music that Billboard covered.  This even included VHS video tapes and such when that market exploded.


His first want list he had printed and sent out I cannot find, but maybe because I had TWO on it (1980's flier, likely.)  I know I had never seen him ask for any records and when I had two on the first list, I contacted Joel and we made arrangements for a new book for the two pic sleeves 45s he needed.  It makes me feel good to know that two of MY pic sleeves are in Joel's' collection today.  
They were:

I have now replaced the Chad & Jeremy one, but not the WHITE cover Tin Soldier variation which he expressly wanted.
A 1994 flier took a buyer poll below:

Finally, a Christmas 1992 flier color photo wishing buyers a Merry Christmas!  30 years ago!  I am guessing Paul Haney is in here as this would have been his first year with RR (?)  
Which YOUNG MAN are you, Paul????
Clark Besch

Boy, SO much of this stuff I had but just never held on to ... never enough space (and no idea that I'd ever be referring back to any of it way back then!) 
I don't know HOW on earth you've been able to organize all this stuff to know ... and FIND ... what you're looking for.  I only know that I could NEVER have done it! 
Thanks, Clark ... LOTS of memories these past few days.  (kk) 

An All-Star Cast has recorded a version of Tom Petty's hit "I Won't Back Down."  Featuring Country Superstar Blake Shelton on lead vocals, the track also includes Joe Walsh on lead guitar, along with fellow Eagle Timothy  B. Schmit.  You can hear the track here:

Today's planned feature (another installment of Henry Diltz's Journal) will run on the site tomorrow (Friday, December 2nd) due to the impromptu rescheduling required after we received the sad, sad news of the passing of Fran Whitburn and Christine McVie.

And, we also want to let you know that this Saturday we'll be running excerpts from Phil Nee's 2003 interview with Mike Smith, lead vocalist of The Dave Clark Five.

And then on his THOSE WERE THE DAYS program Saturday Night, Phil will be playing outtakes and never-before-aired interview segments with Mike ... as well as more clip from the outstanding interview he did with David Gates.  (We ran clips from that one last Saturday!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

What's On Your Minds???

The Illinois Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has run a special “Story Behind The Song” on their website, featuring Jim Peterik telling the tale about The Ides Of March’s #1 Hit “Vehicle.”

You can view the whole thing here …

I was sad to hear that guitar whiz James Burton fell and broke his hip on Thanksgiving morning.  (In the early years, Burton was Ricky Nelson’s guitarist … and even appeared on his television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  Years later, when Elvis returned to the concert stage in Las Vegas, Burton was hand-picked by The King to be part of his TCB Band.)

A hip replacement surgery was done immediately at Vanderbilt in Nashville and the surgery was deemed successful ... however, James is far from out of the woods at this time.  Just seven weeks earlier, Burton was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had one of his kidneys removed.  According to reports published by his family, his remaining kidney is struggling to process all the heavy medication that he has been given through three surgeries and his condition is now considered close to critical.  They are asking for your prayers at this critical time.  (kk)

A film documentary of the 1969 Live Peace In Toronto Concert (featuring John Lennon and a hastily assembled version of the Plastic Ono Band) premiers in theaters in Canada on December 16th.  (At present, there are no plans for a US release … but I’m sure it’ll be turning up somewhere in the not-too-distant future.) 

Lennon flew to Toronto to participate along with a make-shift band consisting of Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman and Drummer Andy White.   (In fact, they learned and rehearsed their set list on the plane ride over!)  Lennon and Ono were first asked to MC the event … but then decided to perform as well.

The film was shot by D.A. Pennebaker and also includes performances by many of Lennon’s heroes, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.  Also on the bill:  Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent (backed by Alice Cooper’s Band, who also performed with Alice), a brand new band out of The Windy City called Chicago and the originally perceived headliners (until Lennon’s name was added to the bill), The Doors.

It was originally billed as a “rock and roll revival concert” … hence the rock royalty on board … and over 20,000 fans showed up.  Lennon kicked off his set with a rousing rendition of “Blue Suede Shoes” … and also included a couple of his early rock favorites, “Money” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” both previously covered by The Beatles.  John then performed The Beatles’ “Yer Blues” (which he had also done on The Rolling Stones’ Rock And Roll Circus television special the year before) and his first two solo releases, the current hit “Cold Turkey” and “Give Peace A Chance,” which closed the show.  (Fans also had to endure an 18-minute version of Yoko shieking “Don’t Worry Kyoko” and “John, John (Let’s Hope For Peace),” which I’m sure had early rockers like Berry, Lewis, Vincent, Diddley and Little Richard scratching their heads thinking “We helped to inspire THIS?!?!?”

Meanwhile, Harvey Kubernik sent us this official press release …

New Documentary: 1969 John Lennon Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band Debut with The Doors 

Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World | Hot Docs

The legendary music festival in Toronto that featured John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, with Eric Clapton, headlining a lineup with other rock legends, including the Doors.

The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival was a one-day event held on September 13th, four weeks after Woodstock. Lennon’s appearance was not publicly revealed until the last moment. The documentary, from director Ron Chapman, features never-before seen footage of the concert shot by renowned filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. Following several film festival screenings, the film opens in Canada on December 16th. It screens on the 17th-20th.

From the November, 2022 announcement: "REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked the World is a behind-the-scenes story of how a little known, but life-altering music festival came together — against all odds. Young, scrappy concert promoter John Brower worked to make his Toronto Rock and Roll Revival into a one-day event, later coined in rock mythology as “the second most important event in rock & roll history.” And it almost didn’t happen. “The week before the show, tickets weren’t selling,” he says in the film. “All of a sudden the show is gonna be canceled.” Lennon’s appearance saved the day.

"The festival featured such rock legends as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, the Alice Cooper Band backing Gene Vincent, and The Doors. But it was the 11th hour arrival of Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band that ignited a truly seminal moment for the 20,000 fans at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium." 

Chapman lensed exclusive conversations with musicians Alice Cooper, Robbie Kreiger, Alan White, Geddy Lee, Chicago’s Danny Seraphine, Klaus Voormann, and additional interview subjects concert promoter John Brower, film consultant Harvey Kubernik and festival attendee Rodney Bingenheimer, with over 60 minutes of archival footage and audio tapes. His documentary reveals the whirlwind chaos leading up to the festival — the biker gang, threat of cancellation, a mid-flight band rehearsal, and inexplicable luck that culminated in Lennon shedding the mantle of the Beatles and nervously taking the stage with Yoko Ono, Clapton, Voormann, and White.

The film offers rare, recently discovered behind-the-scenes Super 8 verité footage, and including never-before seen 16mm film of the concert shot by D.A. Pennebaker and his crew, told through the eyes of those who were there: the musicians, the mavericks behind the scenes, and other eyewitnesses.

Distribution outside of Canada has yet to be announced.

Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World | Hot Docs

Buy Tickets Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World Skip to tickets Directed By: Ron Chapman 2022 Canada, France 97 minutes


If any of our Canadian readers happen to attend one of these showings, we would love to hear from you!  (kk)


Motown Records Founder Berry Gordy celebrated his 93rd birthday this week … 


And Harvey Kubernik sent along this article to share …


Along with this preface …


Of the 2,000 interviews I've conducted over the last 49 years, my 1995 visit to Berry Gordy's mansion in Bel-Air, Ca. ranks right at the top. It was a delightful, empowering experience. To discuss the origins of his Motown/Gordy/Tamla record labels and for him to answer any and all questions I had about his awe-inspiring life and career was thrilling.

Our conversation was taped for the Motown Museum in Detroit, MI. 

Plus, I got to meet and talk to Ewart Abner, the legendary record man and Vee-Jay Records executive about Dee Clark, Nolan Strong and the Diablos! 

In 2023, Gordy and William "Smokey" Robinson are being honored by the Recording Academy as MusicCares 2023 Persons of the Year. 

Imagine a world without the music of Motown …

Happy birthday BG … from HK.


57 Years On …

And the cast of “Alice’s Restaurant” reunite for a Thanksgiving Dinner (that can’t be beat!!!)


From FH Reader David Lewis …


Kent –

Today, I read the recent note you received, from Steve Jarrell, about being part of the stage band at the Sonny Geraci Concert.

I, too, was part of that weekend event in Ohio.

Inside my solo CD, there's a photo, on the left side. It is from the benefit concert's finale.


On stage are musicians from Herman's Hermits, The uckinghams, Gallery, The Archies, The Rip Chords, The Diamonds, Badfinger, The Hollies, Roy Head, Santo & Johnny, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Dickey Lee, Spiral Staircase, Frank Stallone, Steam, Billy Joe Royal, The Shadows of Knight, The Outsiders, The Raspberries, The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, The Toys and Steve Jerrell.

Sonny Geraci, Roy Head, Billy Joe Royal, Gary DeCarlo and Jimmy Sohns have all passed since this finale photo was taken ... maybe others, as well … but it was a great moment in time. (The hotel was crazy!!!)

-      Bobby Scammell

Man, what a show that would have been to see!

Totally dug your CD, too, by the way … we’ll have to talk more about that later!

What a great night for music … and what a good cause as well.  (kk)


Hey Kent:

I have a copy of that Brenda Lee 45, and have had it since 1965.  "Thanks A Lot" is a decent up-tempo song of its time and genre.

But ... if you turned it over and played the "B" side, you found a little tune called "The Crying Game."  And yes, it's the same tune covered years later by Boy George and used in a 1980's movie. 

I have always liked Brenda's take on that song - long before the film came out.  My guess is over the years I have played "The Crying Game" 15 or 20 times more often than "Thanks A Lot."


Would LOVE to hear this … can you please send it along so we can share it with our readers?  Thanks, Brad!  (kk)

Here you go …

I have always thought that Brenda sang the hell out of this one.

I also have three other versions of it ... the Boy George one from the 1980's, and two British versions that I imagine Boy George was familiar with from his youth.  They are by Ian and The Zodiacs and Dave Berry. 

I can honestly say "Thanks A Lot" isn't a forgotten hit to me, but the flip side I like a lot more - and searched around for other versions of the song a number of years ago.



I've NEVER needed the email reminders ... another (old, from like 1999 or 2000) reminder app from many computers ago, which still works on the Windows10 box I have now, opens the site at the same time every morning (right now it's at around 10:15 am local)

-- Bob Frable

Actually, I think the site itself offers a notification every time something new is posted … but it looks like only a handful of people have ever taken advantage of it.  (To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure exactly how you would sign up for this service … but I know that it exists because I get a “subscribers” report as part of my stats.  (kk)


Very nice Whitburn page today!  Interesting stuff about Joel!



Today, Joel Whitburn was given an official "Joel Whitburn Day" on the Forgotten Hits blog.  He passed away this past summer, but when he passed away, I had not much time to ever give tribute in any way.  Upon reading all the nice messages on Joel, I KNEW I had a video I don’t think anyone else had.  I had some time today to look for the tape.  It was one of the early BETA tapes I still had held onto. 

I mentioned it in my email tribute I eventually sent out after his passing, but thought it was from the 80's and on the Dinah Shore show.  WRONG! 

I searched my notes and located the tape.  I had not used my BETA machine in a few years, so that was a question mark, but plugged it in and it worked like a charm! As I look around within five feet in every direction, I have 13 Whitburn books currently and one has been open beside me for months.  I sold or traded probably 10 more, including the very first one I ever had, the 1970 first RR book.


This TV show Joel appeared on was October, 1990 ... so old that even Paul Haney had not started working at Record Research yet!  The show was the midday network syndicated "The Home Show," hosted by Gary Collins and Dana Fleming!  I think I knew Joel was to be on and got the tape rolling just a day or two after I had taped the "Story Behind John Lennon's Death" as told by the guy who took the last photo of John alive, Paul Goresh.  You'll see the end of the show on the video below.

On the Home Show, Joel was a young 51 with 100,000+ records already!  I THINK you will see RR's Paul Haney's FIRST book he bought from the company, the 1986 Top Pop Singles book sitting on the table in front of the hosts.  Later, you see Joel moving aside his 1970 book, I believe!!  Nice job placing it in the way.  STILL, he never gets to really plug his books properly.  Maybe he did at beginning and I missed taping that. 

He DOES get to tell his story nicely and also show off his ORIGINAL and UNPEELED mint "Butcher Cover" LP.  When the hosts ask about it, I could tell his mind was saying "Oh man, do I really have time to tell this story?" 

He talks about his record collection and his tools of the trade.  It is like a time machine when he talks of Osborne and Goldmine price guides and "Discwasher"!!!  I still have all of those within five feet! 

He speaks of his radio show with Bob Barry at WZTR-FM at the time.  Flashing back, Bob was a co-DJ with my hero, Ron Riley in Milwaukee days of the 50's!  I hope my pic of Bob and Ron gets in the documentary on Ron's life in the making right now.

Joel tells how to keep your records in good shape and, of course, I didn't do great at it then.  Anyway, Joel gets tested with a one minute limit to find 45s from the hosts and even MTV rap show hosts, Ed Lover and Dr. Dre (???) of the show "Yo!  MTV Raps."  Hmm, musta missed that one.  haha

Anyway, here's the blast from 32 years ago past and thanks to Joel for giving us so many great books of history!  Not bad for a VERY old BETA tape, right? It’s on my youtube channel now, but who knows how long??



Also …



Many congrats on that impossible test kk put you thru!  Could not believe the story of DA.

Winner Winner D.A. Dinner!

Clark Besch


And now that "phantom record" is on YouTube for all to hear. 

It's great that future generations will be able to hear the music that we remember (or in this case don't even remember.)

Ed Erxleben


Would you happen to know …

Did JOEL do these?  I never bought one, but this from Oct 1971 BB looks like it is likely FROM Joel's research, at least.


I don’t think so … Billboard always kept their own archives … they were just a complete mess (and Joel showing them how unorganized their own charts were helped sell them on the idea of letting him maintain the library.)

But way back when I remember that you could purchase copies of certain charts directly from Billboard.  (I always went for the Year End Charts first!)  I think these VERY expensive collections may have been a way for Billboard to cash in on all of Joel’s research by cutting out the middle man!  (lol)  kk


From The Wisconsin State Journal 3-27-1988. 

I enjoyed the last sentence ... 

He SHOULD be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame … AND should be on that cover he mentions but for his books!



With Joel’s credentials … plus the fact that he was a voting member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for YEARS … I agree that he belongs there.  (Joel confided in me that he ultimately quit The Rock Hall because of the way the voting was run … or perhaps more accurately, manipulated.  What a shame.  Great Idea … Best of Intentions … they just let the politics of it all get in the way of allowing The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to serve its true purpose.  (kk)


Billboard Magazine remembers and salutes Irene Cara …

And her #1 Smash “Flashdance … What A Feeling!”  (kk)


Actress / singer Irene Cara poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, 1983. (Photo by Harry Langdon / Getty Images) Getty Images