Saturday, June 10, 2023

June 10th: Another National Day of Celebration (That You Probably Knew Absolutely NOTHING About!!!)

But thanks to this Special "Note" from our In-Resident Forgotten Hits History Chronicler, Chuck Buell ...


We can now all enjoy it together.  (So click away!!!)  kk

Today, June 10, is National Ballpoint Pen Day to recognize the common writing instrument that we all use almost every day at least once!


"click-click-click-click ..."


The first patent for a basic ballpoint pen was issued on October 30, 1888 to John J. Loud, who was attempting to make a writing instrument that would be able to write on wood, leather, coarse paper and other rough surface articles which fountain pens could not.


John J. Loud


In 1950, credit for making the first pen with a retractable ballpoint tip” went to The Frawley Pen Company which, five years later in 1955, became “Paper Mate.”


We’ve come a long way since taking Flint to Stone to chisel out a simple message!



It’s been noted that when a person receives a new ballpoint pen, aside from squiggles, 95% of the time, the first word they write is their name. ( Just ask Frannie! )

So, in recognition of this day, why not sit down, take a ballpoint pen in hand, and write Kent a short note telling him how much you appreciate and enjoy Forgotten Hits!


Then, make a copy of it and send it to him at  .


How’s that for blending earlier technology with today’s tech?!


Now then with all that being said . . . ah rather . . . written, here’s my Special “Chuck Buell Ballpoint Pen Music Medley!”  ( Feel free to "Click" Along! )


CB ( which stands for “Cursive Boy!” )


The CB Minute Music Medley and other promotional considerations were NOT brought to you in part by ~~~


Nor by ~~~~


“Write On!”  John Denver, circa Mid-1970s


Thursday, June 8, 2023

50 Years Ago Today

Today (June 8th) marks the 50th anniversary of Bob Sirott’s premier appearance on WLS, The Big 89.

FH Reader Mike Wolstein sent us this reminder …

50 years!
On June 8th, 1973, at 10 PM, using a 1958 Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder, I airchecked Bob Sirott's first show on WLS-AM ("in marvelous mono") and then trimmed the recording down from 18:11 to about 17 minutes; I first uploaded it around 20 years ago, but it had to be cut down a bit in order to be uploaded.

Many years later, I dropped a copy off to Bob (he was at WMAQ at the time.)  Far as I know, I'm the only person who recorded the show.  I know my recording very well;  every one you find on-line is MINE, having the basic sound value of my tape machine and the "cuts and pastes" (some of which were kinda sloppy) are mine.  Most of the other versions on YouTube have been cut down to about 11:00.
Bob and I graduated from the same High School in the same year, but he was in the January class and I, in the June.  (Hi, Bob!)
One of the "shortened" versions (11 min) of the aircheck is at:

Mike also sent us this pic of Sirott with radio legend Dick Biondi … 

(We may have mentioned the new Dick Biondi Documentary a time or two in these pages over the past few years!)

Bob is also prominently featured in the film, talking about one of radio’s all-time greats.  (If you watch closely, you might even find ME making an appearance on screen, too!  Lol) 

Sirott was always a favorite of mine … I first discovered him on WBBM-FM when the station was trying to go “hip” with a new Top 40 format.  (Actually, it worked pretty well … and they offered up a much bigger playlist than the other competition in town, namely WLS and WCFL.  There was a stretch of time there where WLS wasn't even printing and distributing a weekly survey sheet anymore, for God's sake ... LONG a staple of the station ... and then when they did, only listing the Top 15 Hits ... a far cry from the station's Top 40 hey-day.)  Bob's slightly twisted sense of humor appealed to me and I felt an immediate connection to where he was trying to go creatively with his program.  In other words, I got it ... and I liked it.

Despite his rapidly budding radio career at WBBM-FM, WLS was always the golden rainbow in the sky when it came to broadcasting.  If you had aspirations of being on the air (and Bob did, inspired at an early age to follow in the footsteps of some of the legendary disc jockeys HE listened to growing up as a kid), you just couldn’t rise any higher than WLS … the AM giant that represented the landmark of broadcasting.  When the opportunity presented itself, Bob came running, joining the long list of celebrity jocks who have adorned the station over the years.  (Larry Lujack used to take great joy in reading a letter that Sirott had written to him as a teenage fan, telling him how much he admired him and hoped to pursue a career in broadcasting as well.It was touching that Uncle Lar … who never really came across as the sentimental type of the air … would hang on to such a thing … and once Bob joined him at the station, it had to be the crowning achievement for him at the time.  (By all appearances, the two simply clicked, offering up another huge burst of pride and confidence for Bob, knowing he could hold his own against radio royalty.)

WLS always stressed "Personality Radio" ... and Bob exuded that in spades.  Life just couldn’t get any better than this!

But, of course, for Bob, it did …

He branched out into television and was soon doing features not only on our local newscasts (usually entertainment profiles) but on a national level as well.

Bob’s career continued to skyrocket as he became both a national broadcasting hero and radio and television legend as well, inspiring others to follow in HIS footsteps, much as he had been inspired as a young man.

Today, Bob is back on the air, mornings at WGN Radio, 720 on the AM Dial here in Chicago (and streaming worldwide)

Happy Anniversary, Bob!!!


One of my favorite Bob Sirott memories was this PBS Program he did, spotlighting the great music that came out of Chicago during the 1960's.

We've run it several times before ... but I never get tired of watching it!  (kk)

Bob's first WLS Photo Survey, 1973

The WLS Line-Up, circa 1973

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A Few More Mid-Week Comments and Announcements

The 2023 Happy Together Tour is officially underway.

They kicked things off with a show Monday Night (June 5th) in Durham, North Carolina … and there are LOTS more shows coming up this summer.

Don’t miss your opportunity to catch some REAL ‘60’s Gold.

On the bill this year are (of course) The Turtles (or at least Mark Volman of The Turtles, performing along with Ron Dante again, who also does a couple of his own hits from the ‘60’s), Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, The Cowsills, The Vogues, The Classics IV and first-timers Little Anthony and the Imperials.

The complete list of concert appearances can be found below. 

(Hey Shelley … can we look forward to a Westbury concert review???)  kk

June 5th – Durham, NC – Carolina Theatre
June 7th – Englewood, NJ – Bergen PAC
June 9th – Morristown, NJ – Mayo PAC
June 10th – Westbury, NY – NYCB Theatre at Westbury
June 11th – Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
June 13th – Hyannis, MA – Cape Cod Melody Tent
June 14th – Cohasset, MA – South Shore Music Circus
June 15th – Jim Thorpe, PA – Penn’s Peak
June 16th – Staten Island, NY – St. George Theatre
June 17th – Lancaster, PA – American Music Theatre
June 18th – Lowell, MA – Lowell Memorial Auditorium
June 20th – Alexandria, VA – Birchmere
June 21st – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre
June 22nd – Union Hall, VA – The Coves Amphitheater at Smith Mountain Lake
July 8th – Coachella, CA – Spotlight 29 Casino
July 9th – Beverly Hills, CA – Saban Theatre
July 11th – San Diego, CA – Humphreys Concerts By the Bay
July 12th – Prescott Valley, AZ – Findlay Toyota Center
July 13th – Ojai, CA – Libbey Bowl
July 14th – Scottsdale, AZ – Talking Stick Resort
July 15th – Las Vegas, NV – The Smith Center
July 16th – Costa Mesa, CA – Pacific Amphitheater
July 27th – Red Bank, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at the Count Basie Center For the Arts
July 28th – Atlantic City, NJ – Ovation Hall
July 29th – Wallingford, CT – Toyota Oakdale Theatre
July 30th – Lynn, MA – Lynn Auditorium
August 1st – Albany, NY – Palace Theatre
August 2nd – Utica, NY – Stanley Theatre
August 3rd – Rochester, NY – Kodak Center
August 4th – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theatre (with Badfinger’s Joey Molland filling in for The Vogues)
August 5th – Owensboro, KY – RiverPark Center
August 6th – Northfield, OH – MGM Northfield Park
August 8th – Wabash, IN – Honeywell Center
August 9th – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
August 10th – Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavilion
August 11th – New Buffalo, MI – Silver Creek Event Center (without the Cowsills)
August 12th – Manistee, MI – Little River Casino Resort and Hotel
August 13th – Aurora, IL – Paramount Theatre
August 15th – Appleton, WI – Fox Cities PAC
August 17th – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
August 18th – Waukegan, IL – Genesee Theatre
August 19th – Saint Charles, MO – Family Arena
August 20th – Peoria, IL – Peoria Civic Center
August 22nd – Louisville, KY – Kentucky State Fair
August 23rd – Effingham, IL – Effingham Perf. Center
August 24th – Shipshewana, IN – Blue Gate PAC
August 25th – Wisconsin Dells, WI – Crystal Grand Music Theatre
August 27th – Deadwood, SD – Deadwood Mountain Grand
August 28th – St. Paul, MN – Minnesota State Fairegrounds
August 29th – Fish Creek, WI – Door Community Auditorium
August 30th – Wausau, WI – Grand Theater
August 31st – Des Moines, IA – Hoyt Sherman Place
September 1st – Evansville, IN – Victory Theatre

David Salidor has been feeding us updates and photos of Micky Dolenz's trip to London to participate in the Tribute to James Burton Concert ...

But evidently yesterday's shot fell off the page somehow!

So today, we recap some real rock royalty ...

Micky with Brian May of Queen ...

With Ron Wood ... 

And rehearsing with (from left to right Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, the legendary James Burton, Brian May and Albert Lee.

(Micky performed "I'm A Believer," "Randy Scouse Git" ... how appropriate for a British audience ... and "Daydream Believer")

Astrud Gilberto, the Girl from Ipanema, goes walking no more. She died Monday at age 83. No other details at this time.
And it's a Two For Tuesday RIP.  
While George Winston is known primarily as a instrumental jazz pianist, he has sold in excess of 15 million albums since his solo debut in 1972. He lost a ten year battle with cancer on Sunday. He was 73.
Jack (The Duke Of Death)
"The Girl From Ipanema" was a massive hit in 1964, making The Top Five in Billboard and Cash Box ... and winning over OUR hearts in the process.  (It was just such an unusual track to come out during the early onslaught of The British Invasion, introducing us all to a whole new genre of music in the process.  This is another track I have never grown tired of.)
And can you believe that this song is the very first song that Astrud Gilberto ever sang and recorded???
Incredibly, she just happened to be along at her husband's recording session with jazz great Stan Getz, who started off singing the song in Portuguese.  Midway thru, they thought it might be interesting to hear a girl's voice sing a verse in English ... so Astrud stepped up to the mic and, in a sultry, whispering voice, began to sing the English lyric.  Before you knew it, her husband's voice was wiped off the recording, Astrud sang a bit more and a million seller was born.  (One report I read today said that, next to "Yesterday," "The Girl From Ipanema" is the second most-recorded song in history.  I find that to be a bit hard to believe ... but it sure is a good one!)  The success of the record also helped to launch a movie career ... Astrud starred in "Get Yourself A College Girl" in 1965.  (It also went on to win the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year that same year.)  kk

Joni Mitchell’s appearance at The Newport Folk Festival last year was headline making news …

And next month you’ll be able to enjoy that performance on the brand new “Joni Mitchell At Newport” CD, produced by Brandi Carlile.  (Also available on vinyl, this concert album will be released on July 28th)

The Fugees’ planned reunion tour a few years ago was cancelled due to Covid … but last Saturday (June 3rd) they made a surprise appearance at The Roots Picnic in Philadelphia and performed a set of sixteen songs from both their album “The Score” as well as Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”  (It was only their second live appearance since 2006.

The event was planned as a Lauryn Hill concert … but after performing ten songs from her solo album, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel came out to join her on stage and, all of a sudden, The Fugees had reformed!  (It was quite the surprise!)  No other planned appearances have been announced at this time … but it is clear that they all seem anxious and excited about working together again.

Lauryn and The Fugees both earned Top 40 Hits in the 1990’s with a couple of remakes of classic hits from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s …

The Fugees scored first with their #2 version of Robert Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” in 1996, while Lauryn reached #38 a couple of years later with her hip hop reading of the Frankie Valli hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”  (She earned a #1 Record with “Doo Wop [That Thing]” later that same year.)  kk

I am taking any interested riders back to the late 60's this Saturday (June 10th) at 5 PM for an hour again on my WFMU drop in radio show, "Strictly 60's II." 

If you wanna go back with me, jump on the ride here by clicking on this pop-up here at the below site at 5 PM Central time and pushing play button!:

IF you missed show #1 on Jan 7, you can still listen here:

A Chicago slant always …

Clark Besch


Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Tuesday This And That

I was surprised and pleased to hear Harvey Kubernik with George Noory on Coast to Coast AM overnight ... they even promoted your blog on the air and on their website.  Nice!!!

On another musical note ...

Things are looking good for the upcoming WLS/WCFL Rewound, to be heard for the second straight year on  I have been working almost daily with Bill Shannon in acquiring and restoring old WLS and WCFL Shows.  There have been a number of people who have contacted us with something "new" to offer.  It is amazing how many good quality shows are out there still, almost five to six decades later.  We have also heard from a number of former D.J.s and News People, and Steve Brelsford has been putting some outstanding promos together for this year's event.  Thanks Bill and Steve.

So the call to action is this: If you, or someone you know, has any "undiscovered" WLS or WCFL airchecks that they would like to submit for our Rewound, please contact me at  We are constantly digitizing, filtering, restoring, equalizing and processing new-found material to bring you the best quality shows possible.  We understand that many of these programs were recorded at home, sometimes a great distance from the transmitter, and on marginal quality tape and equipment ... but, we can listen and see what we can do with these archived relics gathering dust in the basement.

All in all, we can't wait to bring you this year's edition of WLS/WCFL Rewound, heard for three big days over Labor Day Weekend.  If you missed it last year, don't miss it this year, because radio will never be the same as it was in the 60s, 70s and early 80's in Chicago.  Tune into and judge for yourself.

Ted Gorden Smucker

Man, I can’t wait to hear this year’s edition of the WLS/WCFL Rewound!  (I wish I had even the SLIGHTEST amount of time to help out with this this year … but my schedule of late has been completely out of control and unmanageable.  Meanwhile, I will continue to spread the word and, hopefully, get you some new material to air both this Labor Day Weekend (which is a WHOLE lot closer than you may think!) as well into next year’s WLS/WCLF Rewound Radio THREE!!!

Please, contact Ted at the email address above if you’ve got quality airchecks to share.  (Personally, I would LOVE to hear more ‘60’s clips this year if we can come up with them … that’s when WCFL first signed on as a Top 40 station and REALLY gave WLS a run for the money.  Of course the ‘70’s competition was fierce, too … with jocks jumping ship from one station to the other trying to keep them at the top of the heap.)

Top 40 Radio didn’t get any better than what we got to hear here in Chicago … and music and radio fans all over the country were tuning in by whatever means possible to hear these great sounds in every other state across the nation.

More programing information as it becomes available … but please, join in on the fun and help make this year’s edition even brighter than last year’s runaway success!  (kk)

Last week we told you about the newly updated and greatly expanded edition of Ranking The ‘70’s put together by William Carroll … and it sounds like a few of you have already ordered your copy of this research delight.

Along the way, I wondered if there were any plans to revamp the '60's book in similar fashion … and also talked about perhaps being able to incorporate some of this information from both decades into my own chart-tracking research in the way of establishing a "hit index" so that songs from different eras can be accurately compared to one another.  (Of course, I’ve been working on THAT theory for about 40 years now!!! lol)

Bill came back with some comments of his own in this regard …

Nice article, Kent.  Thanks very much.  And you're right -- the trivia quiz is hard.  I hope the hints page helped a little.

As to Ranking The 60s, I have most of the data that would allow for a similar revision.  Of course, albums weren't anywhere near as big a presence in the '60s, particularly not before the British Invasion.  In fact, I spent about a year harvesting all the albums and all the cuts from everything that charted between 1961 and 1972.  It's a huge amount of data, but the short takeaway is you can see a linear change in genres between "adult" music -- virtually everything in 1962 -- and "kid" music -- virtually everything in 1972.  The crossover point is 1/1/1967.

Redoing RT60s would be Dann's call.  We worked on it a little a few years ago, but he really doesn't have the energy for it and I won't push him.  I owe him tremendous props for getting me into this enterprise nearly ten years ago.

Good luck with the hit index.  Normalization for me was the computationally simplest approach that takes into account the most important fact: More records on the chart means less time for each.  You can't score if you're off the chart, so you can't compare raw scores over time.

But there are things I either never figured out or never figured out how to explain ... 

Acceleration: How do you reward the fastest to the top? 

Peak performance:  six consecutive weeks at number 1 has to be cumulatively bigger than 1 week -- and two consecutive weeks bigger than two non-consecutive weeks -- but how much bigger? 

Even the absolute scale itself: How much more valuable is number 1 than number 2, 3 or 10? 

And finally, what is the experimental error: Is number 57 for the decade really different than number 58, especially given Billboard's fast and loose approach to the underlying data?

I've come to the conclusion you just take your shot and understand that this is a relative business, not absolute.  This system is one lens to see through.  There are an infinite number of others.  Pick one and be consistent.

Thanks again for your constant support over the past decade, Kent.  FH is a bigger resource than even you may know.


The fun thing about the charts is that there are so many different ways to analyze them … which is also the most FRUSTRATING thing about the charts!!!

Now factor in the two competitive business trades at the time … Cash Box and Record World … and the discrepancies we write about every day in Forgotten Hits, sometimes as many as 20 chart places different from one publication to the next.  (Some of this is because each used their own set of research to collect their data, some of which overlapped.  And, as we’ve learned over the many years of doing this, NONE of these publications were immune from “outside influences” in spiking chart performances.)

This is why I always point to our Super Charts as being the most accurate representation … because they take into consideration all of the cumulative research in order to build the most comprehensive result.

And then there are the exceptions to the rule … the anomaly I always cite is “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!” which had the most rapid rise to the top before it was banned on a number of stations and the novelty of the track wore off, causing it to plunge to oblivion as fast as it rose.  Still, in its seven week chart run, it would have scored a higher hit index than most of the biggest hits of the decade … and we all know that THAT isn’t true!!!

SO many different ways to look at these things … and every time you think you’ve got it figured out, something else sways you in another direction.  (Look how many times we’ve talked about hits that would have been MUCH bigger on the charts had the momentum been all at the same time rather than spread out over three or four months as it became a regional hit in different parts of the country … by which time it had already dropped in favor of where it first ignited.  Absolutely NO way to measure that … but we’ve seen it when we’ve run our weekly charts from all over the country … records that have made The Top Five week after week after week no matter where you go … yet still barely registered as a Top 40 Hit in Billboard at the time (keeping in mind that Billboard’s list only reflected what our local lists were showing a couple of weeks sooner … the national charts were always playing catch-up in this regard.)

As you can see, we could go on for hours and hours on this topic (or, in the case of putting together a book like yours, years and years!!! Lol)

But I can assure you that us chartaholics LOVE this stuff … and we thank you and appreciate you for all that you’ve brought to the game! (kk)


Speaking of which …


The Dusty Rhodes Show is on Sundays at 5 cdt

Here is his Facebook page: 

Where were you in ’62?

Recapture the rapture tonight (6/4) 6pm – Midnight on Cincinnati and Dayton’s great new radio station.  105.9 FM “The Oasis” and Delhi Township’s WDTZ 98.1 FM and  We’re on at 9 pm, too (6/4) on WMKV 89.3 FM and WLHS 89.9 FM and

Bill in Dallas / Fort Worth

Micky Dolenz, in London this past Sunday for the James Burton One Night Only event (at The London Palladium) is shown here in rehearsal with (sitting) L-R: Jeff “Skunk” Baxter; James Burton; Brian May; and Albert Lee.

Dolenz performed “I’m A Believer,” “Randy Scouse Git” and “Daydream Believer.”

His Micky Dolenz Celebrates The Monkees tour picks up Thursday, 6/8, at The Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah.

David Salidor

The "Forgotten Hits Cinema Corner with Chuck Buell!"


Kent wrote:


>>>We went to see the new live action version of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” over the Memorial Day Weekend and were blown away … absolutely magnificent …!  (kk)


OK then Kent, this is for you!


He continued with: 


>>>I took my then four year old daughter Nicki to see the animated version in 1989, and she was completely mesmerized!  (kk)


Well then, this is for Nicki!


Now, with those two movies in mind, here’s my Special “Chuck Buell Mermaid Music Melody” briefly highlighting “Under the Sea,” Then and Now! First the Original; Second the Current. 


(They’re separated by a Mermaid Splash because, basically, staying true to the original, it’s really a bit difficult telling those two versions apart!)  


And, of course, as long as we're on the musical portion here, here’s a Top Three Forgotten Hit from late 1963 – early 1964 from . . . The “MURMAIDS!”.




“Today’s Chuck Buell Forgotten Hits Movie/Music Feature has been brought to you by the Choice of Forgotten Hitters Everywhere ~~~ “

[ circa 1965 ]


WHOA!  I love their slogan, “It’s water-active just like me!”  


"Man the Water Buckets, Men!”


CB ( which stands for Cecil B. DeBuell!” )

The Murmaids’ hit “Popsicles And Icicles” went all the way to #1 in Music Vendor Magazine, the precursor to Record World, back in 1963.  (It peaked at #3 in both Billboard and Cash Box.)

It also spelled an early round of success for a young songwriter named David Gates … about seven years before he hit major pay dirt with Bread.  (That’s right, folks … he made MAJOR bread with Bread … until they were toast.)

Three years after his success with “Popsicles And Icicles,” Gates scored a track on The Monkees’ first album (“Saturday’s Child’), which sold about a gazillion copies and kept those songwriters royalties coming in for decades to come.

But it was while he was leading Bread that his career really took off … and made him a household name.  (Between 1970 and 1976, Bread scored seven Top Ten hits … plus three more that just missed when “Diary,” “Sweet Surrender” and “Aubrey” all peaked at #11.)

“Make It With You” (#1, 1970), “If” (#4, 1971), “Baby I’m A-Want You” (#3, 1971) and “Everything I Own” (#5, 1972) all made The Top Five while “It Don’t Matter To Me” (#6, 1970), “The Guitar Man” (#9, 1972) and “Lost Without Your Love” (#9, 1976) round out their Top Ten Hit List.

I kinda get Nicki’s objection to seeing the remake … when something is perfect just the way it is, there is really no reason to mess with it.  Disney built their business in top shelf animation … and “The Little Mermaid” was a HUGE comeback for the company.  Redoing some of their big second wave hits in live action films (“The Lion King,” “The Jungle Book” and, more recently, “Pinocchio” with Tom Hanks as Geppetto) just don’t measure up to the classic originals … and odds are every new generation of kids to come along are going to fall in love with the cartoon versions just the way we did.

But I’ve got to tell you, they did a stellar job with this “Little Mermaid” redo … it is BEAUTIFULLY filmed and sung … and remains faithful to the story we all know and love.  (Even, as Chuck mentions, remaining faithful to the music … along with a new hip-hop tune called “Skuttlebutt!”)  I can’t help but highly recommend it … as I truly did find it quite enjoyable.  (kk)

OK, now this one is REALLY bothering me!!!

Why is it when I look at that last photo that Chuck sent in, the first thing that pops into my mind is "They're not looking for tuna with good taste ... they want tuna that tastes good!"  (Something's just not right there!!!)  kk

Or worse yet ...

Remember the whole scandal surrounding the VHS release of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" a couple of decades back??? 

Another important day in June ... 

Breaker 1-9!

It was the dark of the moon, on the sixth of June.
10-4, Good Buddy!  (kk)
>>>I was going to ask you if listening to those records in your car was what earned you the nickname “Skippy” … but that one was just too obvious!  (lol) kk
Yeah, "Scratch" that! Because, for a while, I was pretty much "In the Groove" with that idea! 
So, got any more puns up your "Sleeve?" 'Cuz if if do, tha'd be a "Record!" And you'd just be "Needling" me!
CB ( which stands for Turntable "Cartridge Boy!" )