Saturday, March 11, 2023

A Timely Offering from Our Forgotten Hits Public Service Director

My Semi-Annual CB Public Service Announcement is Attached.

Or maybe it's . . . my Bi-Annual CB Public Service Announcement.

But that's not important.  What is important is attached.

Immediate viewing is advised.

CB ( which stands for "Clock Boy!" )
 

 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Thursday This And That

Yesterday, we told you about the buzz surrounding the new Blood, Sweat and Tears documentary …

And got a couple of emails in response … including these …

“What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears” is a new documentary, shelved for decades about their tour that the State Department made them do in the Soviet Union. 

There is a trailer for the movie on YouTube:

Should be a good one. 

Keep up the good work!

Pete Heger

I sent a link to our coverage to Al Kooper … along with this message …

Hey we’ve got a lot of people talking about you again!

Just what I DIDN’T NEED …

ESPECIALLY after what BS&T became …………

AK

 

Yeah … but SOME of us know the truth …

(We just can’t change the past!)

 

Look what I got from Andrew Loog Oldham …

 

Somebody needed to offer reality and a proper history and tout the vision of Al Kooper. 

Andrew

 

EXACTLY … he saw the whole thing … and heard it in his dreams … and then they pulled the rug right out from under him.

(Not to discredit the band and their success in any way … they truly WERE amazing … but the vision was all Al’s.)  kk

Something ELSE that everybody is buzzing about is the new Amazon Prime series “Daisy Jones and the Six.”

It presents itself (quite authentically, I might add) as a documentary about a legendary ‘70’s band who had their biggest moment and then broke up, never speaking to each other again.

Most of the critics say it is loosely based on Fleetwood Mac and the “Rumours” album … but only three episodes have aired so far so we haven’t seen much interaction between the band members yet.  (The first three episodes dropped last Friday, the 3rd, with new episodes now airing every Friday for the rest of the season, beginning tomorrow night.)  Where things left off, their record producer was just trying out the idea of teaming up two of his artists, Daisy Jones … and a band called The Six … to see if together they might generate a little bit of magic.

The new music is actually quite good … the soundtrack is already selling well (and you can download additional tracks from each individual episode online as well.)  In between, they play a nice assortment of ‘70’s tunes from the era to help set the tone of the time period.  The whole thing comes off looking unbelievably real, a real credit to everyone involved.

The biggest buzz seems to be the fact that Daisy is portrayed by Elvis’ Granddaughter, Riley Keough, who is quite good at pulling this off in a most-believable way.  (She has a pretty good singing voice, too!)  It has to be rough launching this brand new series right after the death of her mother, Lisa Marie … but hopefully some of the good reviews will help ease just a little bit of the pain she must be feeling knowing that her mom … and grandfather … can’t be here to see it.

This in no way diminishes the rest of the cast ... EVERYONE involved is clearly up to the task ... and we are quite enjoying it so far.

If you haven’t already given it a try, we recommend you check it out.  (We watched all three episodes back-to-back-to-back on Sunday Morning … it moves rather quickly … and are now anxiously awaiting the next chapter.)  kk

Kent,

I really enjoyed the posting of the little GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY. Kind of reminded me of Danny & the Juniors ROCK AND ROLL IS HERE TO STAY. I've played that video over several times The Showmen were right in 1961 when they said that IT WILL STAND.

Larry

It’s a great clip … and I just LOVE the faces she makes when she really gets down with it … embodying Little Richard!  Lol  It's pretty amazing really in that it's quite likely she's never even seen him ... or any OTHER rockers for that matter ... yet still puts on her own rock and roll face during key moments of the song!  I love it.  (kk)

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat And Tears?

I’ve been hearing LOTS of good buzz about the new Blood, Sweat And Tears documentary “What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat And Tears?”

Our FH Buddy Harvey Kubernik first tipped me off to this film (he of “Docs That Rock” fame) … and then I started reading some of the glowing reviews … and now I can’t wait to see it!

Blood, Sweat and Tears seemed to come out of nowhere in 1969 … and then assumed total chart domination for the next two years.

For a while there, it seemed like they could do no wrong … a string of Top 20 Hits provided the soundtrack for the years 1969 – 1971:  “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” (#2), “Spinning Wheel” (#2), “And When I Die” (#1), “Hi-De-Ho” (#8), “Lucretia Mac Evil” (#17) and then one that just missed, “Go Down Gamblin’” (#21) … and then it was all over.

The band was the brainchild of another FH Buddy of ours, Al Kooper, who conceived the whole concept of putting together a rock band with horns, paving the way for all that followed (including our own pride and joy, Chicago … these guys were so big, they named a whole city after them!)

But Kooper was ultimately ousted from his own band.  (Too bad, too, because “I Can’t Quit Her” from his reign remains one of my all-time favorite rock tunes … and is second only to “Hi-De-Ho” on my list of BS&T favorites.)

This film tells the story of how Blood, Sweat and Tears became the first American band to perform behind The Iron Curtain … at a time where rock and roll music was absolutely taboo there.

Here are just a few quotes from some of the reviews I’ve read …

This is one of the best rock documentaries ever made.

In today's time-challenged on demand I only do what I want culture, I'm stunned that I took two hours out of my day to watch this film, but I was just that interested. Furthermore, even if you've never even heard of Blood, Sweat & Tears you will dig this movie. You should see this movie!

It was pitched to me as a documentary based on footage shot during BS&T's Eastern European, i.e. Communist, tour back in 1970. You know, found footage resurfacing to make a buck.

But that's not what this is.

You have no idea how big Blood, Sweat & Tears was back in '68 and '69, even into the spring of 1970. They were everywhere.

Also, if you were not alive in the era, you have no idea of the sixties counterculture, the protests against Vietnam ... you've read about it, but you've never felt it.

You feel it in this movie.

So with Al Kooper out of the band, the hoi polloi embrace their new lead singer, David Clayton-Thomas … but the fact of the matter is, HE WAS A JUVENILE DELINQUENT! 

And as a result, the U.S. government wanted to deport him. So the band agreed to do this Eastern European tour in exchange for David's green card. That's how the world works, horse-trading.

And according to this film, when the band came back and said how bad it was over there, they were labeled tools of the administration, the hated Nixon administration, and were banned from the counterculture and the bad press ultimately led to the demise of the band.

Just one thing is left out. "Blood, Sweat & Tears 3" was a stiff. It was highly anticipated, and the band did not deliver. The third album was paint-by-numbers, more of what the audience wanted. Only the audience didn't want it anymore.

In the fall of '69, "Led Zeppelin II" expanded the boundaries of what was considered hit music. "Whole Lotta Love" was EVERYWHERE!

And at the same time "Blood, Sweat & Tears 3" was released, so was Traffic's reunion album, "John Barleycorn Must Die," Dave Mason's "Alone Together" and Eric Clapton's very first solo LP. Others were pushing the limits. BS&T were not.

And then there was the political thing.

BS&T were not cool. After all, their big hit album had come out over eighteen months before. In a fast-moving marketplace they shouldn't have waited that long. You don't milk every last dime out of the last album, you cut a new one.  Blood, Sweat & Tears were no longer cool, their moment had passed. Keep innovating or die. The public says it wants something new just like the old, but this is ultimately untrue.

Woven into the story of the band is the story of the Eastern European tour. And it is eye-opening. They're in Romania and the government throws a sh*t fit when the audience for the first night's show won't stop clapping, won't stop cheering for the U.S.A., they've gotten a taste of freedom and they LIKE IT!

Good for the U.S. Bad for U.S. / Romanian relations.

And this is one place where a picture tells a thousand words.

So you've got the story of politics, both in the U.S. and the Cold War, the story of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a visual representation of the temperature back then, what it was really like during the sixties and ultimately the dawn of the seventies.

The film is supposed to open in March. Meanwhile, the target audience doesn't even go to the theatre anymore. And documentaries can get lost on streaming television. But I think this one will have word of mouth, because it's visceral and real. And I know you can't see it now, but it affected me so much I wanted to write about it.

Bob Lefsetz

 

From Rock Cellar Magazine …

The internet has been buzzing lately regarding What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?, a new documentary film from director John Scheinfeld.

As its title suggests, the doc aims to tell the true, unadulterated story of the band, which was a huge deal in 1970 — and became caught up in some truly wild circumstances, the result of influence from the United States government.

Per a news release:

In 1970, Blood, Sweat & Tears became the first American rock band to perform behind the Iron Curtain, doing concerts in Yugoslavia, Romania, and Poland. The tour was sponsored by the U.S. State Department. A documentary film crew accompanied the band and shot over 65 hours of material for what was intended to be a theatrical documentary. The documentary was never released and the film footage disappeared. The music was also captured on tape but never issued or even heard by the band themselves. Upon returning to the states after the tour, the group became victim to the significant societal upheaval and culture wars that were polarizing America. The toxic environment found the band in a crossfire between the Right and the Left and the group suffered greatly as a result.

What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat & Tears? is a film about this tour, this journey and the discovery of the film and music that documented one of the world’s biggest bands at the peak of their powers. Award winning director John Scheinfeld (Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?), The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary) has once again captivated audiences with a thrilling story that contains amazing never-before-seen film footage and stunning musical performances. It also features interviews with five of the nine band members including distinctive lead singer David Clayton-Thomas, sax player and musical arranger Fred Lipsius, innovative bass player Jim Fielder, outspoken guitarist Steve Katz and drummer and band leader Bobby Colomby.

There will also be an accompanying soundtrack, slated for release on April 21.

The soundtrack album features ten previously unheard performances from the 1970 Iron Curtain Tour, including their biggest hits (“Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die,” and more) and music from their upcoming not-yet-released third album (Blood, Sweat & Tears 3). Lovingly produced and curated by the band’s founding member Bobby Colomby, this album is a tour de force that never stops surprising or pleasing the listener. Packaging includes liner notes from Scheinfeld and Colomby and photos from various members of the band.

As for the documentary release plan for What The Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?, there’s this from a news release:

What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat & Tears? will be released theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on March 24, 2023, before expanding across North America and Canada via Abramorama. It will include over 25 songs from the Blood, Sweat & Tears catalog, including the ten songs performed live that appear on Omnivore’s original song soundtrack and the nearly 20 minutes of original score that appear on What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat & Tears? – Original Score.

This definitely sounds like a must-watch … stay tuned!

From a soundtrack perspective, we’ve got this from Joe Marchese of The Second Disc ..

What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears?  That's the question posed by award-winning filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Herb Alpert Is...) in an upcoming documentary film exploring the band's controversial State Department-sponsored trip behind the Iron Curtain in 1970.  On April 21, Omnivore Recordings will release the soundtrack to the film on CD and digital formats as well as a digital-only companion of its instrumental score.

Though the horn-rock band founded by Al Kooper, Steve Katz, Bobby Colomby, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan, Randy Brecker, and Jerry Weiss produced some of the most enduring singles of the late 1960s and early 1970s - songs still played on the radio today - the group has long lingered in the shadows of rock's back pages.  Eclipsed in fame by Columbia Records labelmates Chicago, plagued by a series of acrimonious departures from the ranks, and pilloried over the Nixon-sponsored tour, BS&T never earned the classic rock status many felt they deserved.  Scheinfeld's documentary aims to change that.

When the U.S. State Department approached the band in 1970, they were on top of the world.  Their eponymous second album, introducing lead singer David Clayton-Thomas' deep, resonant vocals, yielded three smash singles in "You've Made Me So Very Happy," "And When I Die," and the DCT-penned "Spinning Wheel" and bested The Beatles' Abbey Road for the Album of the Year Grammy Award.

Then BS&T was invited to become the first American rock band to perform behind the Iron Curtain (the political boundary dividing Europe into two areas, in place from 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991).  Concerts were staged in Yugoslavia, Romania, and Poland, and a film crew accompanied the band with the aim of producing a documentary film.  More than 65 hours of footage were captured, but the film never materialized.  The band members never saw the footage, and upon their return to the U.S., were caught in the middle of a political fracas as the youth movement saw them as puppets of the Nixon administration.  BS&T endured numerous personnel shifts and continued to record for Columbia through 1976, for a total of nine albums - two more would arrive on the ABC and MCA labels in 1977 and 1980, respectively - but never recaptured their early glory.

Though the band's history has been plagued by acrimony over the years, Scheinfeld's documentary tells the story with the interview participation of five band members including David Clayton-Thomas, saxophonist/arranger Fred Lipsius, bassist Jim Fielder, guitarist Steve Katz, and drummer/bandleader Bobby Colomby.  Omnivore's soundtrack premieres 10 previously unreleased live performances from the Iron Curtain tour including "You've Made Me So Very Happy," "Spinning Wheel," "And When I Die," "Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)," and "I Can't Quit Her."  Other than the band's Woodstock set (released for the first time on the 2019 Rhino mega-box), this marks the only live document of this era of the group; Columbia didn't release a live BS&T album until 1976.

The album has been produced and compiled by Bobby Colomby, who joins Scheinfeld to provide the liner notes.  Colomby has also co-composed the film's original score with David Mann which Omnivore will release as a digital-only title.  The score (amounting to roughly 20 minutes of music) is performed by the current 2023 lineup of Blood, Sweat and Tears, in essence amounting to the band's first studio release since 1980.  (No CD or LP has been announced for this short program.)

What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears?  arrives in theatres on March 24 in New York and Los Angeles before expanding nationally from Abramorama, with the soundtrack and score release coming on April 21 from Omnivore.  You'll find pre-order links below.

I’m told that Al Kooper’s presence and contribution to the development of Blood, Sweat and Tears is pretty much glossed over in the film (if not completely ignored all together.)

Instead, the film concentrates on the “hit era” when the band was led by Canadian lead singer David Clayton-Thomas.  (While Kooper maintains that he was kicked out of his own band … his biography “Backstage Passes And Back-Stabbing Bastards” is one of the best I’ve ever read! … the film implies that Kooper was invited to stay … just not as lead singer.  Kooper has always maintained that they never liked his singing!) 

Either way, Al Kooper was gone by the second album … which is when everything exploded for the band.

Al has made numerous contributions to Forgotten Hits over the years … his quote “Thank you for spreading the truth” still adorns the cover page of the other Forgotten Hits website at www.forgottenhits.com … to this day, I consider it one of the highest compliments I have ever been paid for my efforts. 

Meanwhile, Harvey Kubernik had the opportunity to interview Kooper in 2007 on the 40th Anniversary of the release of the only Blood, Sweat and Tears album he ever appeared on, “Child Is The Father To The Man” … and he has shared this with our readers today … along with the update he did for the 50th Anniversary release …

Here’s another perspective on BS&T – and its forgotten leader (seriously … it’s like they’re trying to erase him from the history of the band that he founded!!!)  kk

Blood, Sweat & Tears Child Is the Father to the Man Celebrates 50th Anniversary 

By Harvey Kubernik ©2018 

The epochal and musical genre-breaking Al Kooper-led Blood, Sweat & Tears 1968 debut album Child Is the Father to the Man was released on February 21, 1968.

When KPPC-FM in Pasadena, California first spun the disc, I quickly bicycled over to Wallichs Music City in Hollywood to get a copy.

In addition, a retail climate and receptive music press existed for BS&T’s Child is the Father to the Man sonic expedition in February, 1968 forged by groups like The Buckinghams, who implemented brass in their recordings.   

[The Buckinghams helped to pioneer the horn sound in rock and roll … their producer, James William Guercio, then took that experience with him to his next big music project … the group Chicago! Incredibly, The Buckinghams NEVER performed live once with a horn section in concert during their repeated climbs up the pop charts back in the '60's! Pretty incredible when one considers that it was such a major part of their sound! – kk]

Keyboardist Ray Manzarek talked about all the Doors seeing Al’s new band at the time, Blood, Sweat & Tears, in ‘68 at The CafĂ© Au Go-Go in New York, “and it was probably the best use of horns we’d ever seen up to that point in rock and roll or since then. He captured the essence of the four horns with guitar, bass, drums and keyboard absolutely superbly. I play at the end of my piano solo on ‘L.A. Woman,’ my homage and tip of the hat to Al Kooper. I play a musical quote from ‘House in the Country.’”

In 2007, I conducted an interview with Kooper when the 40th anniversary edition of Child Is the Father to the Man was issued by the Sony Music/Legacy label.

HK (Q): How did you get the idea or concept of putting brass instruments in to rock and roll that gave us Blood, Sweat & Tears? Was it during the Maynard Ferguson on Roulette Records period that blew your mind?   

AK (A): Yeah. That was an immediate transference. I just said, ‘Man, would I love to have a band that could, and I remember the exact words, that could put dents in your shirt from 15 yards.’

They just blew … It was just the most amazing thing I ever saw. It wasn’t like Count Basie or Duke Ellington. It was like modern … almost rock ‘n’ roll. It was fantastic. It was an incredible experience. I was sort of like a groupie. I knew some of the guys in the band and they treated me nicely. I was only about 15 and it was just fantastic. I turned 20 when it was over and Maynard left the country. So I spent from 1959 to 1964, really every time they were in the area of New York, I went to the gig. I hung out. I was friends with the drummer. People were nice to me.

In New York in those years, Birdland was a big deal and one of the great things about Birdland was the best seats in the place were for underage people. They were just to the left side of the stage. And they were the best seats in the house. So you had to be 18 to drink, but somehow, probably because the mob owned it, you could go in anytime. They let underage people in, which was fantastic anyway, just in principle. But not only could you come in, but you had the best seats in the place. So, that was not wasted on me.

Q: You met bass player Jim Fielder at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival, who was playing with Buffalo Springfield at that event, and invited him to be in Blood, Sweat & Tears.

A: I was the assistant stage manager at the festival. Two things came out of Monterey ... Jim Fielder. I knew him because of Tim Buckley and Mothers of Invention. These are things that first took place in New York. When I went out to L.A., I was looking for musicians for my new band. I bumped into him and ran it by him. He procured a drummer, Sandy Konikoff, and we played together.

Directly after Monterey, I went to the Big Sur Folk Festival on the grounds of the Esalen Institute and played with Sandy and Jim. We performed some of my new songs — “I Can’t Quit Her” and “My Days Are Numbered.” Then, the Blood, Sweat and Tears album, Child Is the Father to the Man.

I came to Columbia Records in 1967, after the June Monterey International Pop Festival. I assembled BS&T and joined the label as a staff producer. I single-handedly brought BS&T to Columbia.

I went to Jerry Wexler, Mo Ostin and Bill Gallagher at Columbia, because Clive Davis wasn’t in power yet. And I got turned down by Jerry Wexler and Mo Ostin and Bill Gallagher liked it.

So I went to follow it up and Bill Gallagher was gone. And so I ended up with Clive. I played it for Clive, ‘Well, what did Bill say?’ ‘That we were going to have a deal.’ And Clive said, ‘I agree with that.’ ‘Oh fabulous. Great.’ And Clive took me to breakfast and we closed the deal.                  

Q: What did you learn from John Simon as a producer who did your BS&T LP? 

A: In answer to that question, I would honestly have to say … everything. I learned how to be a record producer. I mean, if I go in to produce a record, it’s really based on what I learned on those sessions from him.

Q: But I know you were active in the music world from 1958-1968 before John Simon, who co-produced produced Songs of Leonard Cohen and Bookends for Simon & Garfunkel and produced Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company, entered your action.  

A: I know, but John just had it all together. He was perfect. He just couldn’t have been better.

John Simon. The thing that he did that helped the most was the person he chose for the engineer, Fred Catero.  When I became a producer there, I used that guy whenever I could. When I watched John Simon produce the Blood, Sweat & Tears album, I learned everything there was about producing. I didn’t know a fuckin’ thing until I watched him work. He was fantastic. And that album could not have been as good as it was without him.  The most important thing for me was he understood how deep my involvement was in terms of writing the songs and singing the songs, arranging the songs. And he worked with me.

He didn’t work with the band. And we made that record together. To the point where I brought that ‘Modern Adventures of Plato,’ when I brought that in the band, under the direction of Bobby Colomby, refused to record that song. And we had a big fight at my house. And then there was a band meeting the next day. And he stupidly let it be decided by John Simon whether we recorded the song. And John said, ‘Not only should we do this song I’ll write the string arrangement.’

This is the telling moment in the whole thing. I went to visit Paul Simon, as you know I sort of grew up with Paul. So, I went to visit Simon and Garfunkel at the Bookends session and John said to me, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Well, I’ve written a bunch of songs that are screaming to me to have horns on them.’

On a break, I played him a couple of things. Maybe ‘I Can’t Quit Her’ and maybe ‘I Love You (More That You’ll Ever Know.’

And I said ‘I had to leave the Blues Project because they wouldn’t let me have horns on the songs. The songs are screaming, ‘we want horns.’ So he said, ‘Well, if you get a deal, let me know. Those are great songs. I’d like to be involved them.’ ‘Really?’ ‘Yeah!’ And that’s what happened. And he had an understanding of the singer / songwriter.

He was an erudite musician. And that was the important thing. That was the thing I learned from him. How to use that in the production of the record. And I couldn’t have made that record without him.

When we did ‘Without Her,’ I didn’t even think twice about, ‘You should play piano on this.’ He said, ‘You don’t want to play piano?’ ‘No, I do, but you can play this much better than me.’ And he did and he’s credited for it. There was no question in my mind he could do what I couldn’t do.

We made Child is the Father to the Man in three weeks from start to finish. However, we were very rehearsed. But the first thing did was he took us in the studio and he said, ‘Play every song you are considering recording.’ And he recorded it, I think in mono, and he took those tapes and he picked the songs that would be on the album.

Q: You found the Randy Newman tune, “Just One Smile’, “Without Her” by Harry Nilsson and Tim Buckley’s “Morning Glory.”  

A:  Well, first of all, Randy Newman and I wrote for the same publisher, January Music, and I played on a version of ‘Just One Smile’ (Gene Pitney), and so I knew the song very well. And I knew all of Randy’s songs by the demos I’d get up at the publisher. I knew Randy Newman way before you did, or anybody did. And I never met him but the demos were so wacky, it was just compelling, because his voice was so strange, and the whole conception was so strange. I just was really floored by it. So, I always wanted to do that song. So that was my chance.

Q: “Without Her” from Harry Nilsson?

A: At the time that we did the album that was my obsessive song, ‘Without Her.’ His version. I played it all the time. I could not get sick of it. It was incredible. And I wanted to record it and so I had to write another arrangement because, you know, ‘cause his was fantastic. So, I made it into a bossa nova.

Q: And what about “Morning Glory” from Tim Buckley?    

A: That was just a question of finding a song for (guitarist) Steve (Katz) to sing, so I suggested that to Steve and he bought it.

Q: It seems like you were playing team ball.

A: I might disagree with you. When I started with the band, I said, ‘Listen, I have this idea. I know what to do.’ I said, ‘You guys just got to let me do it.’ They said, ‘Yeah, Al. Right on, we’re with you. Yes Al.’ Like that.  And then, you know, all of a sudden, they were saying, ‘Get lost.’

So, I really stink at politics. So my thing was I was just into the music and I just wanted to do the music, I knew what to do, just leave me the fuck alone and let me do what it is that I do. And they couldn’t do that. They really couldn’t do that and so it became very unpleasant for me and I walked. They made it unpleasant for me and I walked with no regrets.

Because I had had similar problems with the Blues Project and I just said to myself ‘This is not what you should do. You should not be in bands because there’s a problem.’ And so that was it.

Now the good part is that it helped me tremendously as a record producer when I worked with bands to understand how a band worked, because I already knew, because I had been in two really horrible situations and it helped me tremendously to understand how to deal with bands when I was producing them. So it was not a wasted bad thing. I learned from it and used it for good.

So in retrospect, it’s OK. Getting out of Blood, Sweat & Tears at that time really preserved my reputation. What they did after that I did not want to be involved with. So everything worked out for the best. They had their thing. And the first thing I did after that was Super Session, which was very successful, and it worked out great for both of us.

Q: “I Can’t Quit Her” … Did you always have such a hard percussive piano style?

A: No. I was just really a heavy-handed piano player. That’s what it was.

Q: Where did you write this terrific song? Not in New York!      

A: I wrote it in Hollywood at the 9000 Building on Sunset Blvd. in a songwriting office. And I remember I stopped in the middle when I was writing the bridge because I came up with the thing ‘proselytized,’ and I didn’t know what it meant so I had to go find a dictionary in the building and looked it up and it meant exactly what I wanted it to mean. It was serendipitous.

Q: And one of your co-writers on “This Diamond Ring,” Irwin Levine, you co-wrote “I Can’t Quit Her” with. 

A: That started as a girl group song, ‘I Can’t Quit Him.’ ‘I Can’t Quit Him. No No No…’ And then it went into something else that had nothing to do with that. So I wrote a new song that really just had the melody of the title, ‘I Can’t Quit Her,’ which is from ‘I Can’t Quit Him,’ and so I gave him 25 per cent of the song for that, although he was not there when I wrote it. So that was a moral generosity on my part. I could have just done that and I don’t think there would have been any repercussions. I could have like taken it 100 percent but I felt guilty. So I didn’t do that.  

Q: I’ve heard Donny Hathaway covering your tune “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know,” and your original is contained your collection Rare and Well Done. Talk to me about the genesis of the tune from the writing, to the demo, and how that specific song came together?

A: I pretty much wrote it about my second wife, who I was married to at the time. I wrote it in my apartment on Waverly Place on a piano. It was pretty much musically influenced by the song ‘It’s Man’s World’ by James Brown. And lyrically it was inspired by the song ‘I Love You More Than Words Can Say’ by Otis Redding. So, it’s kind of an amalgam of those two songs, neither of which I had the nerve to sing, so I had to write my own.     

Q: “My Days Are Numbered” is a song on the first BS&T LP. Lovely tune.

A: Well you know, there’s a really good cover of it on my solo album Soul Of A Man. Actually, I even like it better than the original. It’s a live version from The Bottom Line in New York.

Q: Did you originally bring it in as a demo and do it with BS&T?

A: These songs were all, with the exception of ‘The Modern Adventures of Plato, Diogenes, and Freud,’ which I wrote during the session, all these songs were written and they were the reason why I formed the band because I had this group of songs that needed horns.           

I’m really not happy with the vocals on them. Really not happy with the vocals on that. The singing at that point in my career was my weakest card and it hurts me to hear my singing until about maybe five years ago. It’s tough for me. I’m very self-critical.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this one!  (kk)

 

My two favorites ...

 

And two that have definitely become Forgotten Hits ... 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Tuesday This And That

The last remaining founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd has just passed away …

Gary Rossington had been battling health issues for the last several years … and while no official cause of death was given, his family released this statement:

It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today.

Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does. Please keep Dale, Mary, Annie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time.

Rossington has been part of every Skynyrd band line-up, dating all the way back to 1964 when they were all still in junior high school (and named the band after their gym teacher, Leonard Skinner!).  They led the pack when it came to Southern Rock in the late ‘70’s, getting their biggest break (and exposure) when they were invited to open for The Who on their 1974 tour.  After the tragic plane crash in 1977 that took the lives of fellow band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines (along with Steve’s sister, Cassie), Gary formed The Rossington-Collins Band with Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins in 1980, which lasted two years and yielded one hit single, “Don’t Misunderstand Me” (#55, 1980).  (Skynyrd members Billy Powell and Leon Wilkeson were also members.)  Rossington survived the plane crash but had to have steel rods inserted after breaking both legs, both arms, both wrists and his pelvis.  (Rossington also survived a heart attack in 2015.)

In 1987, the band reformed (with Johnny Van Zan, Ronnie’s younger brother) on lead vocals in what was billed as “The Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour.”  Various previous members and a revolving door of new members have come and gone ever since.

The Lynyrd Skynyrd hit list is a relatively short one … but some of their album tracks are timeless … and they scored very well on our TOP 3333 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK TRACKS OF ALL TIME List a few years back.  See their rankings below, showing their Top 3333 position as well as their peak chart position.  (kk)

4

Sweet Home Alabama  (CHART PEAK = #7)

NOTE:  This was a #1 Record here in Chicago

Lynyrd Skynyrd

18

Free Bird  (CHART PEAK = #19 studio / #31 live)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

464

What's Your Name  (CHART PEAK = #7)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

616

That Smell  (DID NOT CHART)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

976

Gimme Three Steps  (DID NOT CHART)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

1264

Saturday Night Special  (CHART PEAK = #27)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

1403

Call Me The Breeze  (DID NOT CHART)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

2064

You Got That Right  (CHART PEAK = #68)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

2631

Don't Ask Me No Questions  (DID NOT CHART)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

2854

Simple Man  (DID NOT CHART)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

3164

Gimme Back My Bullets  (DID NOT CHART)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Skynyrd songs that charted but did NOT make our TOP 3333 List:

Double Trouble (#80) and Down South Jukin’ (#103)

David Lindley of Kaleidoscope (who you likely know passed away Friday) is also known for his work with Jackson Browne, whose albums he also played on. 

David plays on my fave JB song from the little thought of  "Late For The Sky" album. 

In 1974 when the LP came out, I was working part time at a warehouse job and just starting college.  There was a coworker that was maybe five years older than me and a very mellow pothead that told me about this LP.  I knew "Doctor My Eyes," but also knew the new LP had nothing I had yet heard on radio -- maybe a failure for him, I thought?  My friend said to listen to this LP.  I did. I bought it and just couldn't get enough of "The Late Show" song.  It is still a huge fave today -- so well-crafted and just the type of song I love that creates a picture in the mind.  I try to do that with my radio shows. 

IF you haven't heard it, here it is: https://www.discogs.com/master/22491-Jackson-Browne-Late-For-The-Sky

Clark Besch

While I don’t consider myself much of a Jackson Browne fan (and can’t say that I’m familiar with very many of his “deep cuts”), I do know the hits … and like a few of them.

WAY back in 1972 when Jackson was just starting out, I had the chance to see him at a Chicago club called The Quiet Knight.  It was like a Tuesday Night Special where they would showcase new and up-and-coming talent … and for $5 and a two drink minimum, you got a seat in this very small and intimate club.

Browne came out and did his entire set alone, unaccompanied by anyone else.  I don’t remember much about the music that night, other than him playing “Doctor My Eyes,” which by then I had already heard on the radio a couple of times.  I can only describe the experience as unmemorable.

After Jackson finished his set, the next act came on … again, a “new discovery” … and this guy COMPLETELY blew me away.  I was all in … and couldn’t wait to go out and pick up HIS first LP in order to be able to relive the experience.

His name was Jim Croce … and it was just Jim and Maury Muehleisen … and they completely captivated the crowd.

I would hear “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” on the radio for the first time a couple of weeks later … Big Jim was on his way.

I was fortunate enough to see him about six times, the last time with a 4th row pavilion seat at Ravinia … and he never failed to create that same magic every time I saw him perform on stage.  He just knew how to capture the crowd.

A lasting memory … and to date, still one of my favorite performers of all time.  (kk)

 

I thoroughly enjoyed your “Remembering Andy Gibb” blog today, and I’ve recommended it to several people already.  There’s so much I didn’t know about Andy — just from your blog.  I’m going to have to get the book now.

Have a good week.

Rick

I enjoyed your piece on Andy Gibb this weekend.  I hadn’t received an email from you in quite some time and wasn’t sure you were still posting – but I see now that I have missed a considerable amount of information!  Are you not send out email blasts anymore?

Jim

Unless it’s some special event that we want to draw attention to, we very rarely send out email notices anymore … at this point, we just trust our readers to check the site on a regular basis.

While we’re not always posting every day these days, we DO post new material at least 3-4 times a week … so please make it a habit to check in whenever you can.  (We’ve always said “Make Forgotten Hits part of your daily routine” … because even if we haven’t posted something new that particular day, odds are you’ve got hundreds (if not thousands) of old postings to catch up on that you may have missed along the way … which I’m guessing was YOUR case when you went to view the site on Sunday!  (lol)

Thanks, Jim.  (kk)

Several months ago, we let you know that ‘60’s sex kitten Ann-Margret was recording a new album … and even shared a track with you.

Well, the album is now finished … and she’s got a Who’s Who of artists onboard to support her with this new effort.

This track was leaked last week …

It features Pete Townshend and country artist T.G. Sheppard.

Townshend released this statement:

“Being offered an opportunity to work with Ann-Margret, especially on an Everly Brothers song, was just too romantic to pass. 

Ann-Margret’s work on the “Tommy” movie back in 1974 (when she was most certainly not old enough to pretend to be Roger Daltrey’s mother) was a joy from beginning to end. Her sonorous voice, her Scandinavian beauty, her sense of humor, her stamina and her strength all shone through.”

To which Ann-Margret replied:

"I am very honored and proud to have had this opportunity to record Born to Be Wild for Brian Perera’s Cleopatra Records.  What fun I had – and then to find all of the great artists that lent their support for this project!

Reading the quote from my dear friend Pete Townshend brought back such great memories. Thank you all.”

Due out April 14th, the album also features Pat Boone, Steve Cropper, Mickey Gilley, Linda Gail Lewis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Cliff Richard, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats, Paul Shaffer, T.G. Sheppard, Pete Townshend and Rick Wakeman.

(A complete track listing is shown below) kk

Ann-Margret, 'Born to Be Wild' Track Listing
1. “Rock Around the Clock” (feat. Joe Perry & Jim McCarty)
2. “Bye Bye Love” (feat. Pete Townshend & T.G Sheppard)
3. “Son of a Preacher Man” (feat. Steve Cropper & Brian Auger)
4. “Earth Angel” (feat. The Oak Ridge Boys & Harvey Mandel)
5. “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (feat. Robben Ford & Chip Z'Nuff)
6. “The Great Pretender” (feat. Paul Shaffer, Danny B. Harvey & Adam Hamilton)
7. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (feat. Cliff Richard & Rick Braun)
8. “Born to be Wild” (feat. the Fuzztones)
9. “Splish Splash” (feat. Mickey Gilley, Linda Gail Lewis & The Rockats)
10. “Somebody’s In My Orchard” (feat. Don Randi)
11. “Teach Me Tonight” (feat Pat Boone, Rick Wakeman & Damiano Della Torre)
12. “Volare” (feat. Lee Rocker & Slim Jim Phantom)
13. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (feat. Sonny Landreth)

Speaking of new releases, we saw this posted by Joe Marchese in The Second Disc about the collected works of Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello …

https://theseconddisc.com/2023/03/03/review-burt-bacharach-and-elvis-costello-the-songs-of-bacharach-and-costello/

>>>Just saw this 44 minute clip of The Dick Cavett Show that ran the day after Woodstock with many of those stars on the show!  Crazy cool.  Some incredibly cool performances and chat.  (Clark Besch) 

>>>I'd never seen this, Kent. Thanks for passing on the link. What a fabulous snapshot in time.  (David Lewis)

>>>Cavett was considered to be “the hip dude” at the time … but this was still quite an accomplishment!  (I’m surprised that many were able to dig themselves out of the mudslides!!!)  Over the years, Cavett had people like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix as his guests, just enjoying, as they used to say, “the art of conversation,” showing them to be just regular people under the surface.  (You wouldn’t catch these folks talking to Johnny Carson or Joey Bishop!  Lol)  kk

 

I just watched it again …

Pretty heavy on The Jefferson Airplane when it comes to performances (which is ESPECIALLY cool since, due to label conflicts, they weren’t featured in the film or the original soundtrack album at the time … so VERY cool to see them performing live on The Dick Cavett Show.)  Joni Mitchell also did a couple of songs but, in my opinion, it was Stephen Stills’ solo performance of “4 + 20” that topped off the night.

(Upon review, I see that I was right about a couple of other things in my off-the-cuff comments, too … Stills showed up with mud still on his jeans from the Woodstock performance and mud slides … and Cavett name-dropped both Janis Joplin AND Jimi Hendrix during the course of his program!)

If you missed it, here’s the link one more time …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzq8LZKdilQ

 

Timmy C sent us this article about AM Radios being removed from the electric cars of the future:  https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/guest-commentaries/who-benefits-by-removing-am-from-cars

 

Kent,

Enjoyed the posting of Oreo cookies. Offhand, there was just one recording group and song that came to my mind. However, I would like to say this ... "DON'T SAY NOTHING BAD" about those cookies.

Larry

Wait … I just remembered something else.

I don't know if you are familiar with the group and song but in 1959 there was a group called Cookie and the Cupcakes who had a record called MATILDA which made it to #1 here in OKC.

When Barry Manilow was first starting out, he had three female background singers … two black and one white … and when they performed behind him, the white girl always stood in the middle.

At one point, he started referring to them as The Oreos … which I thought was pretty funny … but the girls evidently objected and settled on the name The Flashy Ladies instead … which then morphed into Lady Flash.  (Reparata Mazzola, Monica Pege and Debra Byrd.)  Reparata (formerly of Reparata and the Delrons) still sings with Barry from time to time … and Debra Byrd was a vocal coach and musical director/arranger for American Idol for ages, before moving over to “The Voice.”  Monica Pege was the very first female vocal champion on “Star Search” back in 1984!

I remember buying one of their 45’s, “Street Singin’,” which actually made The Top 40 in Billboard, peaking at #27.   (Now how do you like THEM cookies??!!?)  kk

 

Hey, Kent!  

Being the Buckinghams fan that you are, I think you'll enjoy this interview with Dennis Tufano that a listener alerted me to since he talks a lot about Bobby Darin. The host was more than competent so I might check out those links to other Oldies acts as well. 

Take Care,

Sam Tallerico

http://www.mixcloud.com/LAFOS

Original Solid Gold Weekend - Radio Kingston, | Radio Kingston | Radio Kingston

https://radiokingston.org/en/broadcast/original-solid-gold-weekend

 

Dennis Tufano performed his Tribute to Bobby Darin for almost 20 years ... and he still slips in a Bobby tune (or three) into most of his live performances today. 

He's still got a great voice ... and was backed by a small orchestra combo the few times we saw him do it.  (He even had a stand-up comic open his show so it would feel more like a Las Vegas nightclub.)

 

It actually took him a little while to put some Buckinghams hits into his repertoire … as I think he genuinely wanted the Darin Tribute to be his next show biz move.  (kk)

 

Now here’s a double bill that definitely sounds worth seeing …

 

Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind and Fire!!!

 

They’re calling it SING A SONG ALL NIGHT LONG … and announced the new tour on Monday …

 

And here are the 20 dates booked so far:

 

Friday, August 4th – St Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
Saturday, Aug 5th – Chicago, IL – United Center
Tuesday, August 8 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
Wednesday, August 9th – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Friday, August 11th – Boston, MA – TD Garden
Saturday, August 12th – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Tuesday, August 15th – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
Friday, August 18th – Washington, DC – Capital One Arena
Saturday, August 19th – Baltimore, MD – CFG Bank Arena
Tuesday, August 22nd – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
Friday, August 25th – Fort Lauderdale, FL – FLA Live Arena
Saturday, August 26th – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
Tuesday, August 29th – Austin, TX – Moody Center
Friday, September 1st – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
Saturday, September 2nd – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
Tuesday, September 5th – Denver, CO – Ball Arena
Friday, September 8th – San Francisco, CA – Chase Center
Monday, September 11th – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena
Tuesday, September 12th – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
Friday, September 15th – Los Angeles, CA – Kia Forum

 

A couple of clips from Chuck Buell that’ll make you smile …

 

“How Low Can You Go???” …

 



… and “This Is Why Rock And Roll Will Never Die”

 


 

As A Former Sock Hop Dance MC, I have got to say that The Youth of America seems to be getting into the Great Forgotten Hits you and I grew up with much as you've often said!  And I think you're right about that!

 

In this attached Sixty-second Clipped Clip ( sorry about that! ), I still think we can see why Rock ‘n’ Roll will never die!

 

And back in our much, much younger days, if we were in a Dance-off competition with this young lady, she would have out danced us handily!

 

So, Good Golly! It’s Miss Molly!

 

CB ( which stands for No-“Competition Boy!” )

 

Funnily enough, I literally JUST finished watching an episode of The Ed Sullivan Show where Chubby Checker closed the show by singing (AND LIMBOING TO) “Limbo Rock,” his #1 Hit from 1962.  AND … Chubby will be appearing at The Des Plaines Theater on Sunday, April 2nd, for a 3 pm Dance Party.  (Ron Onesti has removed some of the seats to create a dance floor right up front … and there are still plenty of great seats available.)  I saw Chubby a couple of years ago and he’s still got it.  (kk)

 

Ticket information can be found below:  https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/6987315/chubby-checker-dance-party-des-plaines-des-plaines-theatre?_ga=2.197922735.1889652766.1678158412-565059049.1678158412