Saturday, December 2, 2023

Friday, December 1, 2023

Chuck Buell Wants To Know: How Was YOUR Thanksgiving Dinner?

Did you dine out for Thanxgiving this year!


You weren’t seen at THE Place to be seen!


Were you at the Forgotten Hits Café?


If so, you already know that while you were waiting for your Dessert to be served, an overhead ceiling mounted projector cast a video down upon your table where you saw just how my Second-In-Command Sous Chef was preparing your desert to which I’ve added a Favorite Forgotten Holiday Hit!


Pretty tasty concept!  Dinner and a ( Little ) Show!  And a tasty dessert, too!


If you missed it, here’s my Special Forgotten Hits Holiday Table Presentation Video!


CB ( which stands for “Chef Boy-R-Me!’ )








Full Disclosure: This Cool Table Top Video Concept is actually shown at several fine restaurants in major cities around the World!



12/1/63 – Wendell Scott becomes the first African-American to win a NASCAR Race

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Shelley and Chicago!

Me: I'm sorry, I can't tonight. I'm going to see Chicago.
Friend: You're going to Chicago? We have school tomorrow!
Me: No. Not the city, the band. Remember Chicago Transit Authority?
Friend: You're at the transit authority? I thought you just said you weren't going to Chicago?
Me: I gotta go. I'm late for my train. Emoji

I have no fears here. You ALL remember Chicago! (No, Chuck, NOT the musical)Emoji 
I am now just being silly. Toyota Oakdale Theatre is presenting the touring Chicago band and I just have to go check it out.

There are three founding members in the group: Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, and James Pankow. Pankow and Lamm are both in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. The stage is set with a two-tier platform that allows for fluid flow to mics, front of stage and top tier instruments. As you read on here, there is constant change in vocalists and change of instruments for our performers. Think of this ... when the songs were recorded, extra musicians could be added, several instruments could be played by one person, who would record with one and then record again with others, and vocals added before or after. When you perform live, it all has to be figured out as to which instruments will give you the sound desired, when you will change to a second or third instrument, and how and when you can jump on the vocal mic. Flower Power Videos, romantic scenes and photo shots from the past all play on the back screen throughout the show. 

Here is a list of all the players:

Robert Lamm - keyboards, vocals, composer
Lee Loughnane - trumpet, Flugelhorn, songwriter
James Pankow - trombone, Horn section arranger, composer
Ray Herrman - saxophones, flute, clarinet
Walfred Reyes, Jr. - Drums
Neil Donell - vocals, guitar
Ramon "Ray" Yslas - percussion
Tony Obrohta - guitar, vocals
Loren Gold - keyboard, vocals
Eric Baines - bass, vocals

Whew! Imagine all these players moving around the stage, up the tiers and down, while songs that have become the groundwork of the Chicago sound (YES, NOW I mean the city) blast out in joyous melody and harmony!

Dialogue / We Can Change the World Now
Together Again
Call On Me
Baby What a Big Surprise - AND a light show extraordinaire
If You Leave Me Now
Make Me Smile
Color My World
Now More Than Ever - the audience is up and running!

(OK, if I get to the ladies room quickly, do not stop to buy anything , especially a drink, I can make it back in time and enjoy the second act in its entirety.)

I'm back, seated and eager for the second act. 

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is - I could look, but I really don't care.
You're the Inspiration

Now comes the introductions of everyone. Each player comes out, one at a time, to hear their short musical biography. Then adding each instrument to the play - WHAM! Here it comes!

I'm A Man - A drum battle ensues that vibrates the theatre and gets the two percussionists running from kit to kettle to kit to metal drum and back again.

Flames shoot up on the video screen heralding the excitement emanating from the stage to the seats below and above. Five pieces of confetti start to float down from the catwalk; obviously left over from some other event. Why do they shake free now? EmojiWe don't know. One piece floats down toward me and suddenly when it is just above my head, shoots to the left and disappears. I guess it was not my time to receive it, or it is heralding a futuristic event.

Just You 'N' Me
Hard to Say I'm Sorry
Saturday In the Park

And we are (NOT) done....

The band leaves and returns and (of course) the night ends with:

25 Or 6 To 4

The people around me have actively enjoyed the night: drumming their fingers, patting their thighs, clapping their hands. The man to my left has stories about his Chicago 8-tracks and constantly shakes his head saying, "Wow!"

Time to sit in the car and reflect while we wait our turn to exit the parking lot. A Sunday night, so tomorrow is school and YIKES! Another concert mid-week! What a November!

Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
NE Correspondent
Forgotten Hits

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

It's Our Second Annual JOEL WHITBURN DAY

We lost Joel Whitburn a couple of years ago and have been celebrating his birthday to honor the man who started the Record Research Company, responsible for all the great chart books produced over the years.

The original proclamation, as created by Chuck Buell last year ...


I've stated numerous times in the past that not a day has gone by since I bought my first Whitburn book in 1972 that I haven't referred to at least one of his volumes of work ... they are an invaluable resource to me both in verifying and validating important chart information for Forgotten Hits as well as my own love of the charts.  (You'll see as our 60 YEARS AGO TODAY feature moves forward, that I heard my very first countdown shown in May of 1964 when Dex Card counted down The Silver Dollar Survey on WLS.  I was fascinated then and have remained a fan of countdowns ... as well as a survey collector ... ever since.)

Today, we share a couple of comments from our readers as well as some personal memories and photos collected by Paul Haney, who has worked for Record Research for over thirty years.

Thank you, Joel ... we couldn't do what we do without you!


Kent Kotal 

Forgotten Hits

The current Record Research staff now running the company ... 

(L-R):  Paul Haney, Kim Bloxdorf [Joel's daughter] and Brent Olynick


I’m a big fan of Joel Whitburn and own several of his books.  In fact, I use Joel’s Top Pop Singles 1955-2018 to get a lot of my chart data.

I am formerly a commercial DJ with stations that include my last stations here in San Diego, Ca … KyXy and Magic 101 fm …

I shifted to the internet around 2014 and am currently with Memory Lane Oldies.  My program, Hot Wax and Doo Wop Memories, runs Saturday Nights at 10pm eastern and you can listen here:

That program is then rebroadcast on Mondays at 2 pm Pacific, 5 pm Eastern; Wednesdays at 8 am Pacific, 11 am Eastern and Fridays at 9 am Pacific, Noon Eastern.

Cal Lynch

I've been a record chart fanatic since 1968 when I acquired my first CKLW Big 30 record survey. I eventually learned about Billboard, et al, and positively geeked out when I found a copy of "Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990."  What a treasure trove! And I love the additions made to subsequent editions, like songwriter credit in the most recent volume I have. I've since added Record Research's other genres to my library, but the book I've been using most often for my radio show lately is The Comparison Book. 

My life is so much better with the Whitburn!

Sam Tallerico


And here's a photo of Paul, holding their latest publication, Top Pop Singles, 1990 - 2022 ...

The data has become so extensive, they've had to split it into two volumes!!!

And finally, these kind words and great memories from Paul ...

Hi Kent,


In honor of the Second Annual Joel Whitburn Day at Forgotten Hits, I thought I'd share a couple of personal stories, both of which happened in during my first year as an employee of Record Research in 1992.


I was hired in March of 1992 and moved from my hometown in Minnesota clear across the state of Wisconsin to Menomonee Falls (which is a suburb of Milwaukee.)  I was a huge fan of Joel and his books for many years and frankly was a little intimidated to work for him after admiring his work for so long. 


I remember it was on a chilly Wednesday afternoon in early April when Joel buzzed over to my office and asked me to come over to his house as he had a surprise for me.  He knew I was a big Minnesota Twins fan, and he asked me if I wanted to go with him to the game scheduled that night between the Twins and his beloved Milwaukee Brewers.  Of course, I said yes, and he asked if I would also like to have supper with him and his wife Fran before we left for the game. 


Fran cooked us a nice meal and afterwards Joel drove us to County Stadium, where the two of us settled into his seats right behind the Twins on-deck circle.  I got to see all of my favorite players up close as I rooted for the Twins and Joel rooted for the Brewers.  Thankfully, the Brewers won that night as Joel (I think jokingly) told me during the game that if the Twins won, I would have to find another way home!  I can't express how much that whole experience meant to me and made me feel a part of the Record Research family.  Joel would treat me to many more Brewers and Bucks games over the years, but none were as memorable as that first one.


As the years went by, I became more and more involved with doing research and putting the Record Research books together.  Every project has its challenges, but probably the biggest ones came with the Top Pop Albums book that covered 1955-1992.  This was the first edition to include every track from every album.  Joel's sister Joyce is the one who entered most of the cuts into our computer system.  Then Joel informed me that he wanted me and my co-worker Troy to proof what Joyce had entered.  That meant that every single album had to be hauled from the record vault in Joel's house up to the fourth floor of the Record Research offices down the street.  We were also on a tight deadline, which meant that Troy and I would have to work extra hours to finish the project.  So, we proofed every single album against the printouts and made corrections where necessary.  Even though it was a lot of work, it was also cool to study each album, many of which I'd never seen before.  Even with all the extra hours, the book was still coming out about six months later than Joel had originally planned, but that's how determined he was to make sure everything was as correct as humanly possible ... a lesson I never forgot.


These are just a couple of the many stories I have accumulated over my nearly 32 years at Record Research.  As I've said many times, I will be forever grateful to Joel Whitburn for giving me my dream job and I hope to be working at it for many more years to come.


Paul Haney

Record Research


Some great shots of Joel, furnished by Paul Haney ...

Joel with Bill Withers, holding the first Country and Western book published by Record Research

 Joel with a very young Donny Osmond


 Joel with the great Johnny Mathis (one of his favorite singers)



And finally, Joel with Stevie Nicks

(no official word yet as to whether or not we'll ever see a Joel Whitburn Ken Doll)


Thanks for everything, Joel ...


We love ya!


11/29/63 – A Trans-Canada Airline plane crashes in a field shortly after take off from Montreal en route to Toronto.  All 118 people on board are killed in the crash.   

This will remain the worst air disaster in Canada’s history until December 12, 1985, when 256 persons on board are killed in an accident at Newfoundland.