Saturday, February 25, 2023


George Harrison would have turned 80 today.



1970 - My Sweet Lord  (US - #1 / UK - #1)

1970 - Isn't It A Pity (US - #46 / UK - xx)

1971 - What Is Life (US - #7 / UK - xx)

1971 - Bangla-Desh (US #13 / UK - #10)

1973 - Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) US - #1 / UK - #8)

1974 - Dark Horse (US - #15 / UK - xx)

1975 - Ding Dong, Ding Dong (US - #36 / UK - #38)

1975 - You (US - #19 / UK - #38)

1976 - This Song (US - #25 / UK - xx)

1977 - Crackerbox Palace (US - #17 / UK - xx)

1979 - Blow Away (US - #12 / UK - #51)

1981 - All Those Years Ago (US - #2 / UK - #13)

1988 - Got My Mind Set On You (US - #1 / UK - #2)

1988 - When We Was Fab (US - #23 / UK -  #25)

2002 - My Sweet Lord (reissue) US - #94 / UK - #1)

2003 - Any Road (US - xx / UK - #37) 


Honorable Mention:

1988 - Handle With Care - The Traveling Wilburys  (US - #39 / UK - #21)

1989 - End Of The Line - The Traveling Wilburys (US - #53 / UK - #52) 

1990 - Nobody's Child - The Traveling Wilburys (US -xx / UK - #44) 

Classic Rock Tracks:  

All Things Must Pass / If Not For You / Beware Of Darkness / Wah-Wah / Awaiting On You All / Living In The Material World

Friday, February 24, 2023


Kudos to Ron Onesti, who scored a major coup by booking The Joe Perry Project into  both The Arcada Theatre and The Des Plaines Theatre in April!

The Aerosmith Guitarist’s side project (Aerosmith hasn’t been able to honor THEIR concert commitments of late due to health issues with front man Steven Tyler) is only doing a six show run … but Ron’s Chicagoland theaters were able to book TWO of them!

>>>Word of mouth can be a very powerful thing ... if the word is good.  (kk)

So much of the staying power of MeTVFM can be attributed to good word of mouth.  Through the years, we’ve learned that so many of our listeners are your site visitors and vice versa.  As a group, they’ve helped put both of us on the map, I’m sure.  We enjoy the compliments, of course, but we also take the suggestions and constructive criticisms seriously, too.  Quite a few of the songs we’ve added to the playlist over the years were suggested by our listeners / your readers, and several of our weekend features happen to be their brainchild also.  We appreciate being part of this sizable community that shares a common interest in the great pop songs of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Thanks again for your support over the years.  It was fun to revisit your comments on the station when it first launched.


Hey, Kent!


I found it interesting that in yesterday’s FHs, Rick O’Dell used that old newspaper expression “above the fold” which means a story printed on the top half of a newspaper's paper front page for your online Internet blog that’s read on a desktop, laptop or a smartphone screen!


>>>Thank you for the tremendous above-the-fold mention in your blog this morning.  (Rick O'Dell)


Then, it dawned on me! “Wait!  Rick's ahead of the Curve!  Again!”


 Smartphones are now available in "foldable" Models!'

And Tablets are also available in "foldable" Models!

Maybe THAT's where the mention he refers to appeared on those devices!

To channel Gildna Radner's Roseanne Rosannadanna . . . "Nevermind!"


CB ( which stands for "Circulation Boy!" )

Our FH Buddy Rich Appell counted down The Top 40 Favorite TV Themes (based on his own listener poll) last weekend and, much as we found, “Hawaii Five-O” topped the list.  (This is a popular theme … Gary Theroux recently did a two hour feature as part of his “History Of Rock And Roll” program … and counted down OUR Top Ten as part of the finale!)

Ross On Radio filed this report (which also shows The Top 15) …

Here are our two most recent poll results:

Scott Shannon counted down our complete Top 50 List on The True Oldies Channel when we first published that report back in 2013.

Looks like eight of our Top 15 picks match up with Rich’s findings …

In addition to “Hawaii Five-O” being #1 on both lists, “Cheers” (us #7 / him #2), “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (#4 / #5, “WKRP In Cincinnati” (#12 / #8), “The Beverly Hillbillies” (#9, #10), “The Monkees” (#6, #12), “Mission Impossible” (#3, #14) and “M*A*S*H (#8, #15) rank this high on both lists.

Rich’s “That Thing With Rich Appell” can be found on great radio stations all over the world …

Sean Ross also mentions that the polls are now open for Rich’s “WOW! Songs” (formerly the I.R.S. Countdown … as in It Really Shoulda Been A Hit) Favorites …

You can cast your votes here:

The Rihanna train keeps rolling …

It was announced on Thursday that she will be performing the Black Panther anthem “Lift Me Up” at the Oscar Ceremony on March 12th.  (And to think she became a billionaire thanks to her cosmetics line!!!)

Seriously, this is one shrewd business woman … and this is a GREAT time to cash in on her newfound musical popularity, too.

(Not like she hasn’t enjoyed a little bit of chart success … according to Billboard Magazine, Rihanna has had 14 #1 Hits, 32 Top 10 Hits and 63 songs make their Hot 100 Chart since 2005.  Not too shabby at all!!!)

Her song “Lift Me Up” (from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) is nominated for Best Original Song this year.  It peaked at #2 in late 2022.  (kk)

A reminder …

Micky Dolenz makes a rare appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon next Monday Night (February 27th) – to promote his upcoming “Headquarters” Tour - airing at 11:30 pm Eastern on NBC  (kk)

I'll admit, the whole ordeal with the first play of "Please Please Me" can be confusing.
I remember hearing it when Dick played it on his show, but I couldn't remember the date if it killed me.
The bottom line is that I put together what info I could find, and it sounded reasonable, so I accepted it.
The only thing that doesn't jibe in this ordeal is that the two surveys that show the song (at # 40 and then #35) indicate that the song had been played for 3 weeks.  
Ummm ... that don't work. 
Using common sense (and math), I believe that the one that SHOULD have read "3" in the "weeks played" column should be the March 15th  (green) one. BOTH can't be correct. The first (PINK) one showing 3 weeks must be wrong, as it
would indicate that WLS received the record in mid-February.  <sigh> 
I give up.  ;-)
You are WAY over-thinking this ...
The dates make PERFECT sense.
If Biondi premiered the record on Friday, February 22nd (which is what we are suggesting), that would be Week 1.  
When the March 1st survey came out (the following Friday), even though the song wasn't listed, that would be Week 2 - meaning WLS was still playing the record ... it just hadn't charted yet.
Therefore, when the song finally premiered on their March 8th survey (shown below), that would be Week 3, which is exactly how they've shown it.  
The following week's chart (March 15th, when the record jumped to #35) would therefore be Week 4.

I remember seeing a YouTube clip a few years back where somebody claimed it was Dick playing the record for the first time ... but it was clearly a fake.
The fact that you say that YOU remember hearing him playing it sounds somewhat ludicrous ... because there was absolutely NOTHING noteworthy about this song in February, 1963, here in America ... it was just another flop single that the rest of the country ignored.
To prove a point even further, in 1963 there was a chart distributed in all of the record shops around Chicago and the suburbs called "The Top Tunes Of Greater Chicagoland."
Although at one time this chart was put out by WJJD when they were a rock and roll station in the mid-to-late '50's, it was no longer tied to any radio station by this time.  It simply tracked and measured each record's popularity as designated by record sales in those Chicagoland shops.
And, despite appearing on WLS' Silver Dollar Survey for two weeks ... and being played by Chicago's only  major Top 40 rock and roll station at the time ... it never even made so much as a blip on their chart ... no mention whatsoever ... and they charted SIXTY songs each week, twenty more than 'LS ... and it STILL never registered enough to make their list of "Up 'n' Coming" hits.  Zip!
I think there has been a tendency for the past couple of decades now to make more out of Biondi airing the tune than was really there.  It was just a record ... nothing more ... and he played it as a favor to a friend at Vee Jay Records.  He wasn't the first person in America to think The Beatles were going to be the next big thing ... they weren't even the next big thing in England yet (although they were certainly on their way.)
This is not to say that the fact that Biondi was the first to play it isn't a big deal ... it is ... it is definitely part of Beatles history and folklore and should be acknowledged as such ... and Dick should be recognized for having done so ... but the truth of it is, it was just happenstance at the time ... and nobody cared or noticed.  Even when The Beatles hit it big here the following year, nobody at WLS was coming forward and saying "Oh yeah, we were playing their records a year ago" ... because in all likelihood, nobody even remembered.  I just don't think it's fair to try and rewrite history sixty years later.  
As stated previously ... and as stated in our mission statement ... 
Our commitment here has always been to present The Most Accurate Truth Possible ... and these are simply the cold hard facts.  (kk)
And here's a shocking "real time" perspective for you ...
Frannie came across this clip yesterday ...

 Ouch!  (kk)

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thursday This And That

Today marks the EIGHTH Anniversary of Me-TV-FM Radio ...

After we made mention of that fact the other day, we received this nice note from Program Director Rick O'Dell, who I've had the pleasure of working with on a few projects now since the station launched in Chicago ...

Good morning, Kent:

What a nice surprise!  On behalf of Neal, Bill Cochran and Bob Lawson, thank you for the tremendous above-the-fold mention in your blog this morning. 

We couldn’t have made it this far without the support we’ve received from you and so many Chicago area listeners.  You’ve all helped to reaffirm the faith that MeTVFM creator Neal Sabin had in a format based on older songs that “Big Radio” had willfully been ignoring for many years. 

It’s been a pleasure working with you on a number of special feature concepts you’ve suggested to us.  And, whenever a listener has us stumped with a question about a song, artist or album, we know a message to you will generally provide us with an answer within 24 hours.

Thanks so much, Kent.  You and Me have a lot in common.  Through hard work, determination, faith in our judgment about the loyalty of oldies fans and a little luck, we’ve carved out a nice little niche for ourselves.

Rick O’Dell

Program Director

MeTVFM Chicago

It took me a little bit of digging, but believe it or not, I found the very first post I ever did after Me-TV-FM launched eight years ago today.  (Rick hadn't joined the station yet ... and my observations were based solely on my first couple of days of listening ... but it's still fun to read them back now, after all this time ... and bask in all the glory that Me has achieved since then in this relatively short period of time) ...


This was the lead story in Forgotten Hits on February 26th, 2015 ... three days after Me-TV-FM first signed on the air ...

Keep in mind, NOBODY really knew what to expect just yet ... 

And I'd venture to say that the station itself was still trying to find its way ...

But these were my initial reactions after a couple of days of listening.

(I do remember telling Neal afterwards that I couldn't turn the station off at the beginning ... keep in mind there was NO advertising then ... I just couldn't bear the thought of missing whatever song they might be playing next ... or worse yet, not knowing what it was going to be!!!  [I had to wait for a real "dud" to come on, just to be able to go back into the house!!! lol])

Me-TV-FM can STILL draw that reaction ... you just don't want to miss what might be coming up next!

Chicago's Got A New Radio Station

Chicago's newest radio station signed on shortly after noon on Monday by playing two Chicagoland standards ... "Lake Shore Drive" by Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah and "Take Me Back To Chicago" by Chicago.

Me-TV-FM can best be described as soft rock / easy listening oldies from the '60's, '70's and '80's.

There are no live dj's yet ... and no commercials ... right now they're simply setting the tone for the type of music you can expect to hear from the station, located at 87.7 FM ... so it's an excellent time to listen.

(My initial reaction:  I hate the name ... I mean, I understand that they're trying to capitalize on the success of Me-TV resurrecting some vintage television shows not normally found in mass circulation in the world of syndication, by following the same mind-set that this station will be playing music long-absent from the standard, repetitive programming found everywhere else up and down the dial ... and they obviously feel the need to establish a connection between the two in order to help reinforce their mission statement ... but I'm hoping they eventually break from this pattern and allow the station to establish its own identity ... TV is TV and radio is radio.  Their slogan of playing "Me-zy" Listening Music was already stale the second time I heard it!)

I listened the entire way to and from work yesterday to try and get a feel of where they're headed ... and it DEFINITELY is a soft rock mix.  (Suggestion:  An up-tempo tune here and there might liven things up a bit ... and help keep your audience awake!)  They're taking requests and suggestions at their website: ... it's not really clear yet as to how much impact this will have on their future play list ... but it certainly is a nice gesture ... and a great way to draw listeners in early and make them feel part of something new.

I am happy to report, however, that I heard some things that I haven't heard on the radio in a long, long time.  (Honestly, the mix may not be for everyone ... but I'm one of those who simply enjoys hearing something DIFFERENT and out of the norm, regardless of whether or not I happen to be in love with the tune ... rather than feeling the constant need to turn off the same music that we're being force-fed everywhere else.)  That being said, I'm not sure how many people out there have been craving a John Denver or a Helen Reddy tune ... but both were significant artists of this era and it's nice to hear them FINALLY represented on the airwaves again.  This is something Forgotten Hits has been fighting for for a long, long time.  (A few years back K-Hits counted down The Top 40 Artists of every decade for the '60's, the '70's and the '80's and left The Carpenters off the list ... today I got to hear The Carpenters back where they belong ... on the radio.  With twenty National Top 40 Hits, it's flat out WRONG that radio today ignores them ... and the same can be said for both Reddy and Denver, too ... in moderate doses ... it comes across as a nice change of pace ... and certainly helps break the monotony of what has come to pass as "classic hits" radio today here in Chicago.)

Here is a recap of what I heard both to and from work today ... give it a once-over and if it sounds interesting, tune in to 87.7 FM and check it out for yourself.  (Note:  the station is not yet streaming ... but I expect that they will be soon.)


Daniel by Elton John / In The Ghetto by Elvis Presley / It's Sad To Belong by England Dan and John Ford Coley / The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson / Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac / This Girl Is A Woman Now (my all-time favorite song by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap ... and one you NEVER hear) / Galveston by Glen Campbell / Carefree Highway by Gordon Lightfoot / Sooner Or Later by The Grass Roots / Kiss On My List by Hall and Oates / You And Me Against The World by Helen Reddy / A Little In Love by Cliff Richard (when's the last time you heard THIS one?!?  And just try NOT singing along!) / Make Me Lose Control by Eric Carmen (another personal favorite) / A Taste Of Honey by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass / Listen People by Herman's Hermits (another seldom-played gem) / On A Carousel by The Hollies / How Sweet It Is by James Taylor / I Got A Name by Jim Croce / I'm Happy That Love Has Found You by Jimmy Hall (I'll bet I haven't heard this one played on the radio since 1980) / Follow Me by John Denver (evidently an album track I wasn't familiar with) and the Judy Collins version of In My Life


Another Park, Another Sunday by The Doobie Brothers (NOT one of their WAY over-played hits for a change) / Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is by Chicago / Beautiful by Carole King (which sounded great, by the way!) / Yesterday Once More by the Carpenters / Never Be The Same by Christopher Cross / Three Times A Lady by The Commodores / You're All I Need To Get By by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell / A Groovy Kind of Love by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders / I'm A Believer by The Monkees / Shilo by Neil Diamond / King Of The Road by Roger Miller / Leader Of The Band by Dan Fogelberg / Diary by Bread (another long lost favorite) / Moonshadow by Cat Stevens / Handy Man by James Taylor / The Longest Time by Billy Joel / Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles and Taxi by Harry Chapin

Chicago radio veteran Mark Zander (late of The River, one of Chicago's better Classic Rock stations, which broadcasts out of the suburbs ... and a guy who really knows his stuff) is helping the station take shape ... and Mark, if it's an eclectic mix of hits and FORGOTTEN HITS you're looking for, we are more than happy to help lend a hand.  Chicago's been in need of a GOOD oldies station for awhile now and while we're optimistic that the station will find its way with the right mix of easy listening and up-tempo tunes to perk up listeners and get them singing along, (hopefully pleasing them along the way by FINALLY playing some tracks they haven't heard for awhile ... Lord knows, there are hundreds if not THOUSANDS of legitimate Top 40 Hits that don't get played anymore to choose from), a station concentrating ONLY on the soft rock / pop hits risks branding itself as the 2015 version of "elevator music" ... if you're not careful, it can get kinda boring rather quickly.  At this point, it's still VERY early in the game ... hopefully they can steer the course and draw a substantial number of listeners to jump on-board who are fed up with  hearing the same 200 songs and artists on nearly every other radio station in town.  Word of mouth can be a very powerful thing ... if the word is good.  (kk)

Me and Rick O'Dell a couple of years ago at 

The Micky and Mike Show at The Copernicus Center

We had another anniversary of sorts to celebrate this week … or, at the very least, the approximation of one.

The other day we ran Mike Wolstein’s comments about Dick Biondi being the first deejay here in America to play “Please Please Me.”

But then, after running his post, we got this from Mike the other day …

Something that I just learned, by accident …

A reader of the 'Biondi Film FB page' wrote in saying that "Please Please Me" wasn't played for the first time on WLS on the date that I specified, February 23rd, and I was pretty sure I'd gotten it all cleared up before I responded to him.
However, after doing some more calculation, it appears that the number shown in the "weeks played" column on the March 8th survey is wrong. It shows THREE weeks, which would have required PPM to have been played around the 15th of February. That's a week before WLS received the record.
Now I'm really confused.

Several things come into play here … (trust me, I went down SO many avenues trying to nail down and verify the timeline that proved that Biondi was the first to play The Beatles in America that I can assure you, it’s a tangled path, especially trying to reenact it some sixty years later!)

First of all, WLS routinely claimed they’d been playing a record longer than they really had … it was part of their way of taking credit for being the first radio station in Chicagoland (and often The Midwest) to debut a record on the air.  In all fairness, most of the time it was true … but sometimes they stretched the truth a little bit.

As to the exact date it first aired, my guess would have been the 22nd of February and NOT the 23rd, because the 23rd would have been a Saturday in 1963.  The new survey came out on Fridays and Biondi would have been the most likely jock to premier any new music featured on the station for any given week as he was their top-rated jock.

As I explained to Pam recently (after we watched the full screening of her new Dick Biondi film), Biondi played this record more as a favor to a friend, not because he had this unparalleled believe that The Beatles were going to be the next big thing here in The States.  (Truth is, there was no reason to think that at all!)

He met with Ewart Abner of Vee Jay Records for lunch that afternoon and Abner handed him a stack of new releases and asked him to give this one a listen and see what he thought.  (He told him that The Beatles were all the rage in England … which wasn’t exactly 100% true yet either … their first single, “Love Me Do,” topped out at #16 … and most of its sales came from Liverpool, where The Beatles, their families, friends and fans who watched them perform regularly at The Cavern Club, bought up most of the copies trying to get them on the charts.)  “Please Please Me” was released on January 11th in Great Britain … and on the 7th of February here in The States, which was just about the time it had made its way up to the top of the charts back home.  As such, asking Biondi to check it out on the 22nd of February meant that it was now an established hit back in the UK.

Capitol Records who, as a division of EMI, had first rights to this record, had taken a pass on The Fab Four, finding nothing magical about them at all.  Vee Jay, a predominately black record label, used to promoting black artists, figured they’d give it a shot since they had scored the year before with a white group out of New Jersey called The Four Seasons.  (You may have heard about them … those Jersey Boys scored #1 Hits with their first three major Vee Jay releases … “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like A Man” … and as a result, Vee Jay had picked up quote a few WHITE customers along the way … why NOT take a chance on another white group???)

Airing the record on the 22nd lines up with its Silver Dollar Survey chart debut on March 8th … that would have been its third week on the air … although I don’t know how much WLS really played it prior to it making their survey list.

But once it did, it got played at least once every day when they counted down the list every Monday thru Friday afternoon.  It charted for two weeks and then disappeared for a year!

Dick told me he really didn’t give it a second thought … it was just another new release … The Beatles’ novelty at the time was their hair, not their music … and Vee Jay thought so little of the release, they misspelled the band’s name on the label as Beattles!  (Bruce Spizer reports that the single only sold between 5000 – 7000 copies nationwide during the first half of 1963 … and only TWO copies during the entire second half of the year!)

Clark Weber told me any number of times over the years that The WLS Silver Dollar Survey really only reflected The Top 20 Best-Selling and Most-Popular songs in Chicago … the bottom 20 were songs records they were giving a shot to (or doing a favor for!) and if they happened to click with their listeners, all the better.  (Think about it … six months later Dick Clark played “She Loves You” on American Bandstand and it got a mediocre rating at best … and HE had a reason to push it … that record was released on Swan Records, a label that Clark had a stake it!  And even THAT didn’t make it a hit.)

It all boiled down to timing.

But back in February of ’63, there was nothing definitive to officially mark the date of “Please Please Me” … because it was completely inconsequential at the time. There was absolutely nothing significant about it ... and nobody thought any more about it than hearing a new song on the radio with kind of a catchy beat.

Best we can surmise is that Biondi played it the evening of the 22nd … (and our purpose here has always been to print THE MOST ACCURATE TRUTH we can find) … so THAT’S the anniversary we’re also celebrating today.  (kk)

Ultimate Classic Rock traced some of these steps this week in their 60th Anniversary Tribute to The Beatles’ first US airplay …

You can read their accounting here:

And, of course, OUR accounting as well, which was the first major step in putting Forgotten Hits on the map …

Speaking of The Beatles, George Harrison has been all over the music news this past week.  (His 80th birthday would have been this Saturday, the 25th.  OMG … the “Baby Beatle” is turning 80!!!)

A new deal was struck for Harrison’s back catalog, all reverting to BMG.  Although it is not his COMPLETE collected works (“The Concert For Bangladesh” and two Traveling Wilbury CD’s are not part of the arrangement), everything else George recording, dating back to his earliest Beatles solo album “Wonderwall” are included, as is all of the material he released under his own Dark Horse record label.)  kk

Harvey Kubernik shared this piece he had written about the relationship between George Harrison and Phil Spector …

53 Years Ago Today When George Harrison Taught Us How To Listen to What He Played.

By Harvey Kubernik © Copyright 2023 

George Harrison would have been age 80 on February 25th.  According to his sister Louise, I share the same birthday as fellow Piscean.

Harrison’s debut solo album All Things Must Pass was recorded May – October, 1970 in London at the Abbey Road, Trident and Apple studios. It was co-produced by Harrison and Phil Spector, with assistance from engineers Ken Scott and Phil McDonald.

Contributing to the sessions were musicians Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, Gary Wright, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Pete Drake, Dave Mason, Gary Brooker, Jim Price, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, Bobby Keys, Ginger Baker, Peter Frampton, Tony Ashton, Jim Gordon, Alan White, members of Badfinger, and John Barham, who provided the orchestral arrangements.

Upon initial release on November 27, 1970, the triple-LP topped the sales charts around the world and George became the first Beatle to have a solo number one single in both UK and America with the album’s initial single, “My Sweet Lord.” Harrison penned the album’s opening track, “I’d Have You Anytime” with Bob Dylan, who also wrote another song on the album, “If Not For You.”

There are recurrent and still relevant lyrical themes on All Things Must Pass reflecting Harrison’s spiritual quest: “Isn’t It a Pity, “My Sweet Lord,” “What is Life,” “Hear Me Lord,” ‘Wah-Wah’ and “Beware of Darkness,” his ongoing devotion in Hindu religious mythology, the Hare Krishna movement, Indian classical music, and southern gospel, gleaned from George’s relationship with members of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends.

It was in January, 1970, when Harrison extended an invitation to record producer / songwriter Phil Spector to participate in the recording of John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band single “Instant Karma!”

This association subsequently led to Spector being asked to salvage the Beatles’ Get Back rehearsal tapings, eventually issued in 1970 as the Let It Be album, and then co-producing All Things Must Pass, after Phil heard Harrison’s demos at George’s Friar Park home.

The black and white album cover photograph was snapped on a lawn at Friar Park by Barry Feinstein.

All Things Must Pass was shipped to retail outlets the last week of November, 1970.

Reviewer Richard Williams in Melody Maker enthusiastically touted the endeavor as “the rock equivalent of the shock felt by pre-war moviegoers when Garbo first opened her mouth in a talkie: Garbo talks! - Harrison is free.”

In addition, Williams wrote another review for The Times, suggesting that of all the Beatles’ solo releases available, Harrison’s album “makes far and away the best listening, perhaps because it is the one which most nearly continues the tradition they began eight years earlier.”

“When All Things Must Pass came out I sat down and listened to it for three days,” record producer / author / and deejay Andrew Loog Oldham told me in a November, 2020 telephone call. “It was the first album that sounded like one single.”

The collection of Harrison compositions spawned the hit singles “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life.”

I was given a limited edition copy of the promotional album A Conversation With George Harrison February 15, 2001 where Harrison cited Spector’s work with the Beatles and how he came to be the producer of both Lennon and his first "proper" solo albums.

"Well, we knew him a little bit. He needed a job (laughs). And Phil was around, if you remember he was brought into London by Allen Klein when we had done the record Get Back or Let It Be, it became the Let It Be record.

Let It Be was supposed to be just a live recording and we ended up doing it in the studio and nobody was happy with it. But, it was troubled times. Everybody listened to it back and didn't really like it and we really didn't want to put it out.

“So, later down the line Klein, this guy Allen Klein brought in Phil Spector and said, 'Well, what do you think about Phil Spector looking at the record?' So, at least John and I said, 'Yeah, let's see.' We liked Phil Spector; we loved his records. So, let him do it and he did what he did and then you know everybody knows the rest. And so he was around and one day I was with Phil and I was on my way to Abbey Road to do 'Instant Karma.' And so I made Phil go with me and that's how he got to do that record as well. This is how we first started working with him."

The roots of All Things Must Pass stem from the Spector sonic tree and the implementation of his groundbreaking Wall of Sound production techniques.

Spector’s hit tune “To Know Him is To Love Him” was covered by the Beatles on their Decca Records audition recording session on January 1, 1962, and performed when the band were booked at the Cavern in Liverpool, and later recorded at their BBC Radio broadcasts.

Spector, as a session guitarist for the Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller songwriting and production team, worked with Lavern Baker and the Drifters at Atlantic Studios. He later co-produced with Jerry Wexler the original studio version of the Bert Berns and Phil Medley-penned “Twist and Shout,” by the Top Notes, subsequently re-worked by Berns, which became a hit record for the Isley Brothers, then landing in the Beatles’ stage and recording repertoire.

On January 28, 1964, the Beatles encountered Spector and the Ronettes at a party at the Green Street home of deejay and Decca Records promoter, Tony Hall. By next month Phil was a passenger on the airplane with the Beatles when they landed in New York on February 7, 1964.

“We met a few people through Phil Spector,” remembered Paul McCartney in the Beatles’ Anthology. “We met the Ronettes, which was very exciting, and various others, such as Jackie DeShannon, a great songwriter, and Diana Ross and the rest of the Supremes. They were people we admired and as we went on, we met them all - all the people who were coming up as we were coming up. It was a matey sort of thing.”

George Harrison in March,1966, provided a sleeve endorsement for the Spector-produced Ike & Tina Turner River Deep, Mountain High popular 45 RPM in the UK when it first charted.

"It is a perfect record from start to finish. You couldn't improve on it." John Lennon called it a “masterpiece.”

In the May 31, 1975, issue of Melody Maker I published an interview with Phil Spector, culled from a series of conversations, in Hollywood at the Sherwood Oaks Experimental College.

“I like to have all the musicians there at once,” explained Spector about his recording process. “I get everything on one track that I need. I put everything on 24 tracks just to see if it’s plugged in. The finished track never ends up on more than one track. I don’t wear a ‘Back To Mono’ button for no reason at all. I believe in it. I can make quad, it’s easy.

“I record in a strange way. I haven’t changed. I go from the basic track and put it onto 24. Then I have one track and 23 open. That’s the difference between having 24 filled or 19 filled. Which means, I can get 23 string players and overdub them 10 times and have 200 strings then I put them on one track. Do you know Ray Conniff uses more tape echo than I ever used in my life? That’s a fact.

“I record basic tracks and then put it all onto one track or maybe two. Then I condense. I put my voices on. The better the talent is around you, the better the people you have working with you, the more concerned, the better you’re gonna come off as a producer, like a teacher in a class.

“The musicians I have never outdo me. I’m not in competition with them. I’m in complete accord with them. You need the ability, so you hire the best. I have the creativity. I know what I want.”

In a 1977 interview with me for Melody Maker Spector one afternoon, talked about employing singers on sessions.

"When you see a (Stanley) Kubrick movie, you tell me how many names you immediately remember in the cast. One, two? It's the same with Fellini, and that's what I wanted to do when I directed a recording. Singers are instruments. They are tools to be worked with.

“It was very easy to work with John Lennon. There was no problem working with him. I think he is one of the greatest singers in music. I honestly believe that. I feel the same way about Paul (McCartney) as a singer. They are in a league with few others. I don’t feel the same way about George (Harrison) or Ringo (Starr). John and Paul are great rock and roll singers.”

Ken Scott first started engineering for the Beatles in the middle of their Magical Mystery Tour album and was behind the board on the mix for “I Am The Walrus.” He then EQ'ed the master mix tape of “Hey Jude” and subsequently engineered the Beatles’ White album.

“I know one of my own original things going into engineering is that I wanted to be a backroom boy,” Scott reminisced to me in a 2011 interview.

“I didn’t have the confidence or the desire to sort of be in the public eye or to be known or anything like that. I know it was a conscious effort on my part to do it that way. When I was at school, working with the drama society, I didn’t want to be on stage. I wanted to be in the back helping to move everything along.

“Yes, there were some blowups on the Beatles’ White album, but not as many as people believe. There really weren’t. But the majority of the time, it was fine.

“On that album, George Harrison was really coming into his own. During that period, they were laying down the tracks and playing together, sorting out the arrangements together. It was all good. Obviously, whoever wrote the song had more sort of sway over ideas than the others did. It was very much a group effort.

“Generally speaking, the others would filter out whilst whoever’s song it was worked on the finished thing. And it was like that for all of them. You knew that it would go a lot quicker with John than it would with Paul or George. Vocals would take the longest with Ringo. (laughs). Especially ‘Good Night.’

“It was pretty much the same for all of them. I think very much the difference, writing wise, for George, was that he was on his own. Even during the White album, there were times when Paul and John would interact on how a song should be. But George didn’t have any of that. It was all him. And he didn’t initially have the confidence in his songs. Even at the White album stage. Yes, he was coming up with incredible stuff. He didn’t know it yet. He was writing more for other people,” volunteered Scott.

“If you think about it, he gave ‘My Sweet Lord’ away to Billy Preston. There was something he wanted to give away to Jackie Lomax. He didn’t have the confidence within himself to do those songs. Like ‘Not Guilty,’ even then, we never completed it. We never really got it to the point where it was even sort of even considered going on the album.

“And the fact that Trident had 16-track. There was a technical side to it as well. ‘I don’t want to work at Abbey Road studios. I want to work with Ken …’  It wasn’t quite like that. It worked out very well for both of us I think,” added Ken.

“Like Abbey Road, the control room at Trident was still above the studio where we were looking down. So, it was very much like Abbey Road number 2 studio in design. They were both great studios. There was something for me about number 2, the history of it. The whole thing. No matter how many times I go there, I would stand at the top of those stairs and the hairs on the back of my neck would stand up. For me personally it has such a feeling. It’s amazing.

“Comparing the two studios … Trident was much more laid back. It was young people. It wasn’t the old people who ran Abbey Road. For musicians, Trident was a place to hang out. Whereas Abbey Road you only went in there when you had to kind of thing.” 

As far as the reason George Harrison titled his album All Things Must Pass, in a December, 2000, interview with Billboard Editor-In-Chief Timothy White, Harrison disclosed the origins of the phrase “All Things Must Pass.”

“I think I got it from Richard Alpert / Baba Ram Dass, but I'm not sure. When you read of philosophy or spiritual things, it's a pretty widely used phrase. I wrote it after [The Band's 1968] Music From Big Pink album; when I heard that song in my head I always heard Levon Helm singing it!”

All Things Must Pass. Incredible,” enthused Jim Keltner in a 2004 interview we conducted. “Jimmy Gordon and Ringo played great on the record. Ringo is one of rock’s all-time great drummers. All you have to do is listen to the Beatles records, of course, especially, the Live at the BBC. Rock and roll drumming doesn’t get any better than that. Earl Palmer, Hal Blaine, Gary Chester, Fred Below, David ‘Panama’ Francis, great early rock and R&B drummers, and Ringo fit right in there with those guys. Listen to the BBC tapes and you’ll hear what I’m saying.

“Klaus Voorman was the principal bass player on the Concert For Bangladesh. Phil loved the way Klaus played. He had a great way of stretching the time. Klaus is one of the greatest bass players I’ve ever played with. His playing was always just exactly right for the song. He didn’t have that much in the way of chops, but he made up for that with his great musical sense.”

To mark the 30th anniversary of All Things Must Pass, Harrison supervised a remastered edition of the album, which was issued in Januar,y 2001, less than a year before his death from cancer at the age of 58.

This configuration implemented five bonus tracks including two Spector-supervised songs “Beware of Darkness” and “Let It Down” done at Abbey Road.

On the disc A Conversation With George Harrison February 15, 2001, George further described the All Things Must Pass recording, and working with Phil Spector on the production of his post-Beatles' solo outing.

"Well in those days it was like the reverb was kind of used a bit more than what I would do now. In fact, I don't use reverb at all. I can't stand it. But at the time I did the record with Phil Spector and we did it like Phil Spector would do it. You know, it's hard to go back to anything 30 years later and expect it to be how you would want it now. I'd dare say if I did a record today, in 30 years I'd probably want to change it. That's the only thing about the production. It was done in cinemascope and it had a lot of reverb on it to what I would use now, but that's how it was and at that time I really liked it."

Talk of a new Rolling Stones album (and likely a tour) this year have been rampant of late …

And now Variety is reporting that both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will appear on the new LP.  (While some of the basic tracks date back decades, these would be fairly recent overdubs … Mick and Keith have been seen studio-hopping in both LA and NYC of late.  In fact, late Drummer Charlie Watts is expected to appear on at least half of the new album once it’s released.  It will be the first new Stones album of original material since 2005’s “A Bigger Bang.”

More info as we get it!  (kk)

I couldn’t help but smile at this story, thinking back to all the fuss McCartney caused a short while back when he referred to The Stones as “a blues cover band.”  Lol  (kk)

Sony Music is looking to purchase 50% of Michael Jackson’s estate … but the “asking price” seems to be a little up in the air right now.  (Jackson’s most successful solo work was all released under the CBS banner … and reports say that his estate is still earning at a rate of about $75 Million a year!  So while this is expected to be a sizeable investment on Sony’s part, the long-term dividends could be huge!)  Guesstimates put the purchase price at right around $2 Billion.  (kk)

Streaming of Rihanna’s music catalog continues to soar post her Super Bowl appearance.  (I remember when an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show Sunday Night pretty much guaranteed a move up the charts of 20 spots in the week to follow … but we’re talking MILLIONS and MILLIONS of streams here!)  kk

My first introduction to the song “Any Day Now” came by way of the B-Side of Elvis’ 1969 Hit “In The Ghetto.”

My Mom had the 45 (with a picture sleeve!) and I used to play both sides of this record all the time.

Elvis’ version never officially charted, but I know I’ve heard it on the radio from time to time over the year.

The BIGGEST hit version of the song was done by Ronnie Milsap.  Ronnie’s version topped both of Billboard’s Country and Adult Contemporary charts … and was a #14 pop hit as well (that’s nearly ten places higher than Chuck Jackson’s record went in 1962.)  It just offers further proof once again of the perfect blend of country and rhythm and blues music.  (kk)

The other day we told you about the new 12-CD Del Shannon CD Box Set, released to tie-in with the Del Shannon Weekend that Frank B. told us about last month.

Now, more info from Harvey Kubernik.  (Are you gonna be there, Harvey???)  kk

Here are the direct links to for the Battle Creek events thus far ...

Friday, June 23rd, 2023 - Concert: Brian Hyland and James Popenhagen

Saturday, June 24th - First Annual "Del Shannon Car Show" in Battle Creek

Sunday, June 25th - Del Shannon Historic Legacy Event at the Battle Creek Museum (memorabilia display, some speeches, etc)

One more page will be created shortly for Sunday's Museum event:


Brian Young / 

Del Shannon Appreciation Society

This photo cracked me up earlier in the week …

Especially when it arrived under the banner heading:

Ladies & Gentlemen - - - CREAM!

(sent in by FH Reader Timmy C)

Oh yeah … I remember this tour …

The audience kept screaming “Look at the grouse, look at the grouse!!!”  (kk)