Saturday, December 9, 2023




12/9/63 – Hot on the heels of his Top Three Hit, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport," the REAL Rolf Harris stands up on “To Tell The Truth”


Friday, December 8, 2023

December 8th, 1963


12/8/63 – Frank Sinatra, Jr. is kidnapped at Harah's Lake Tahoe (Room 417.)  He is safely returned three days later after the ransom of $240,000 was paid.  (This is the equivalent of approximately $2.3 million in today's money)

Frank, Sr. reportedly offered the kidnappers $1 million for the immediate safe return of his then 19 year old son but the kidnappers turned it down, sticking to the lesser amount.  The three men involved (Barry Keenan, Johnny Irwin and Joe Amsler) were captured soon afterwards and convicted on kidnapping charges, for which they were each sentenced to long prison terms.  (Keenan, the mastermind behind this entire plot, was later judged to have been legally insane at the time of the crime and therefore not legally responsible for his actions.)

Here's a bit of trivia for you:

The kidnappers demanded that all communication be conducted only by payphone.  During these conversations, Frank, Sr. became concerned that he might not always have enough coins with him to carry out this requirement ... so he made it his personal policy from that point forward to ALWAYS carry ten dimes with him at all times ... FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE!  Sources say that he was even buried with ten dimes in his pocket.

Also on 12/8, all 81 passengers on Pan Am Flight 214 are killed when their plane is struck by lightning at an altitude of 5000 feet.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday This And That

We've got a little old AND new for you again today ... 

The Kennedy Honors took place on Sunday, December 3rd, and Billy Crystal, RenĂ©e Fleming, Barry Gibb, Queen Latifah and Dionne Warwick were recognized for their lifetime achievements in the performing arts.  It was a star-studded event of hosts and artists paying tribute.  (See article below)

The edited, televised version will air on Wednesday, December 27th, on CBS.  (kk)


The Glorious Corner has a GREAT piece on Chris Carter and Breakfast With The Beatles …

Lots of press for Chris of late in light of his 40th Anniversary of doing his Breakfast With The Beatles broadcasts  (kk)


And Tom Cuddy sent us this new Darlene Love interview - WOR Radio:

The other day we ran an interview with Brian Hyland that Tom Cuddy had sent in, during which he talked about his new take on his old hit “Sealed With A Kiss.” (#3, 1962)


Now this from Billy James, telling you how you can get a copy of Brian’s new release … 



Sixties Hitmaker Brian Hyland To Release “Sealed With A Kiss” 60th Anniversary Single

Legendary American Singer/Songwriter Brian Hyland has released two new special songs on Solar Music ...

The 60th Anniversary of “Sealed With A Kiss” and “A Little Bit of Christmas Time.”

Brian Hyland came to prominence during the early 1960s. The success of his song “Sealed with a Kiss” was worldwide. It has been recorded by hundreds of artists. His career has enjoyed an impressive string of hits with “The Joker Went Wild,” “Tragedy” and “Gypsy Woman,” all reached #3 as well. Hyland’s hit “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” went to #1.

Hyland continues to record, tour and release new music to an ever-loyal base. Solar Music is proud to release the 60th Anniversary digital single of “Sealed with a Kiss” (A-side) and the soon-to-be Christmas classic, 2023’s “A Little Bit of Christmas Time” (B-side).

To purchase:,
Available on Spotify, Distrokid, Apple Music, Amazon music.


“Sealed With A Kiss” 60th Anniversary:

“A Little Bit Of Christmas Time”:

For more information: Solar Music

Garth Brooks was excitedly talking about the new Spinal Tab sequel … and couldn’t be happier than to be involved … and in some pretty high-end company at that.  (Elton John and Paul McCartney have also been named by Director Rob Reiner as making cameos … along with a few other surprises.)  


During a livestream interview, Garth told the audience, in response to a question from a fan about the new film, “Oh, with McCartney, and who is it, Elton maybe? No. Can’t say anything about it.”

Laughing, he went on, “‘Cause it’s not my deal. If it’s my deal, I’d spill my guts, but it’s not, so they swear you to secrecy and to silence.”

He did elaborate a LITTLE further ‘tho by saying, “If you think you have laughed before, Jiminy Christmas … First of all, I was in love with Spinal Tap, in love with the original movie. The fact that it’s coming back, it’s gonna be neat to be a part of this. Because this is history, man.”


They don’t even start filming until February and ALREADY the hype is thru the roof!!!  (kk)

Hi, Kent -
Back about 20 years ago I picked this VHS tape up at a garage sale. It's fantastic - I thought it was MUCH better than the original film. Of course, that one was great to begin with.  The "Return" was more musical than comedy, but still an excellent film.
The one I have is the ONLY copy I've ever seen. And if you count garage sales, flea markets, and stores, that's one in thousands.

I was a fan of Norman Lear's work so was sad to hear of his passing ...

But the man lived to be 101 (and was sharp as a tac right up to the end!) 

He pushed television to new heights in the '70's and knocked down some of the walls and hidden taboos in the process.  We are all the better for it or, at the very least, much better entertained.

There'll be tributes to Norman for days to come ... television gets revolutionized once in generation ... and he led the way.  

Thank you, Norman ... for making us laugh, making us cry and making us think.  (kk)

Hey Kent, 

I watch Ed Sullivan’s Rock & Roll Classics every week on ME-TV. We all know how Sullivan’s  censors would go over the lyrics before hand with the bands. The most infamous censor was with the Doors (Jim Morrison), who did not change the “GIRL, WE COULDN’T GET MUCH HIGHER”” line. As a direct result of that decision, Sullivan banned the Doors from any future appearances on the show. 

The Rolling Stones did give in and changed their lyrics to “Let’s spend some TIME together,” rather than, “Let’s Spend the NIGHT together. On this week's show, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap performed, “Lady Willpower.”  They also changed the lyrics from “Did no one ever tell you the FACTS of life” to “Did no one ever tell you the WAY of life.”  I wasn’t aware of this. 

How many others bands were forced to change their lyrics?  I’ll keep watching to find out. 

P. S. The Chambers Brothers did a killer version of “Time Has Come Today.” Thanks, 

Gary Maurer

Remembering Denny Laine with this great shot ...

Now, our Forgotten Hits Professor of Historical Happenings, Chuck Buell, shares with us this bordering on “REALLY?!” correspondence event …


A little over a hundred years ago, within a historical letter written in 1917, were three individual letters, written all in a row, one directly after the other, by 70-year-old John Arbuthnot Fisher, who was, at the time, the highest-ranking officer of the British Navy.


In a rather sarcastic letter to Winston Churchill, he questioned the creation of a new order of Knighthood that was likely to become a reality. As expressive and understandable his expression is to us today, at the time, neither Churchill nor the British people adopted it into usage in everyday language.


It wasn’t until much later, around the late 1980s, that for some unknown reason, his three-letter acronym was discovered and rapidly started to become increasingly common in daily communications, both verbal and written. So much so that, in 2011, it was actually added to the Oxford English Dictionary!


To mark Fisher's famous expression now generally used for sudden enlightenment, here is my Chuck Buell Excited-Three Letter-Amazed-Surprised-OMG! Minute Medley.



CB ( which stands for Words “Condensing Boy!” )


And a quick review from Shelley ...

Happy Anniversary to Forgotten Hits!


Coincidentally, I am attending two concerts this weekend of the band who became my first review. As a matter of fact, the lead singer was the one who introduced me to the, at that time, email page fathered by Kent Kotal. You've come a long way baby!


I am compelled to write a quick review of the two concerts in a combined manner. I think my first reviews began about 20 years ago. Jack Levin, Scott Shannon and Kent pushed and encouraged me along the way to keep going and it has been FUN! I have to move into the review now as tears are forming and threatening to run down my cheeks with the happy memories.


Milford Performance Center had to bring back Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone again this year by the demand shown after last year. Look for the same to happen for a few more of our favorite bands as Milford, having restored the performance hall, is bringing fun to the small city with the big heart. The acoustics are wonderful. I notice the difference from the Toyota Oakdale Theatre. Maybe a smaller auditorium or theatre is better for this element. The Paramount Theatre in Peekskill, NY, on the following night has the same positive quality. 


I will use only sight and hearing in Milford. NO NOTES. In Peekskill, my notebook will make an entrance. The set lists are similar, but not exactly the same. In Peekskill, Peter Noone was having fun beginning to introduce one song and then switching to another, thus keeping the four band members on their toes. However, at one point, Billy Sullivan began to play a song that had already been performed, out of normal order, which caused giggles from the audience and a smirk from Peter. Peter's voice was powerful and clear. No matter how good a performer you are, you can't be wonderful every time. It is just impossible. This weekend though, the vocal and instrumental sound was more than on point.


The set list from Peekskill follows:


I'm Into Something Good

Wonderful World

Love Potion #9

Ring of Fire


A Must to Avoid

Listen People

Ferry Across the (Housatonic-Milford) / (Hudson-Peekskill)

Doo Wah Diddy

Daydream Believer

Sea Cruise

All My Lovin'

Leanin' On a Lamp Post

For Your Love

Just A Little Bit Better


Travelin' Light-(lyrics rewritten for each city)

No Milk Today

End of the World

Can't You Hear My Heartbeat

Mrs. Brown (You've Got a Lovely Daughter)

I'm Henry the VIII, I Am

There's a Kind of Hush


I am laughing trying to type out the set list. I have stars and arrows all over my notes from the changes made in the set list. I would hear what I knew was the intro to one song, only to change my notes when another song was introduced or sung. Hey, maybe the changes were to keep me on my toes as well. Well, Vance, Rich, Billy and Dave-good job. Lesson learned; one cannot assume anything, even with a pre-written set list.


That is six concerts in two weeks! Am I done? NO!!!! One more coming up this Friday and then a total desert of a dry spell till the middle of January.  Well I can't be maudlin yet. Friday is still ahead of me. We will talk again next week. I hope Thanksgiving was a blessing to all of you.


Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

NE Correspondent

Forgotten Hits



12/7/63 – The Beatles appear on “Jukebox Jury” in the UK, during which time they declare Elvis Presley’s new single “Kiss Me Quick” a “hit”

(You decide ... #14 UK, #29 US)


[Actually, "Kiss Me Quick" wouldn't come out here in The States until April of 1964 ... and then as an "RCA Gold Standard" single ... so the Brits got a jump on us with this one!]