Saturday, January 6, 2024



You'll find The Beatles "bubbling under" for the first time at #107 on this week's SUPER CHART!  (This is due to the record's premier at #80 on The Cash Box Chart.)  Cash Box is the only national trade charting this record at this point in time.  However, things are about to change forever in the blink of an eye.  (kk)


1/6/64 - The Rolling Stones kick off their first tour as headliners with a show in Harrow, England

Also on 1/6, Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City Athletics, announces that he wants to move the A's to Louisville.  (It never happens ... but The A's WILL relocate to Oakland in 1968.)

Friday, January 5, 2024

The Friday Flash

Heart finally did their first series of concerts last week, including a show on New Year’s Eve in Seattle.  (I thought it was hysterical when Ann Wilson told reports she and Nancy were going to stage a fight during their first show together, just to get the newspapers talking!)


They’ve got four shows under their belts already … with a couple more scattered dates scheduled for this summer … and more (including some foreign dates) are expected to be added soon.


Here’s their set list (glad to see they got the led out for the encores!)  That meant THREE Led Zeppelin covers (along with a David Bowie track!):

Bebe Le Strange (from Bebe Le Strange, 1980)
Never (from Heart, 1985)
Love Alive (from Little Queen, 1977)
Roll the Dice (new track)
Magic Man (from Dreamboat Annie, 1976)
Little Queen (from Little Queen, 1977)
Straight On (from Dog & Butterfly, 1978)
Let’s Dance (David Bowie cover)
These Dreams (from Heart, 1985)
Drum Moment
Mistral Wind (from Dog & Butterfly, 1978)
The Ocean (Led Zeppelin cover)
Alone (from Bad Animals, 1987) / What About Love (from Heart, 1985)
Barracuda (from Little Queen, 1977)
Crazy on You (from Dreamboat Annie, 1976)

The Battle of Evermore (Led Zeppelin cover)
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover)

[They added Auld Lang Syne to their New Year’s Eve show]  kk

Well, it’s happening folks …


Pretty soon you’ll be able to see avatar versions of many of your favorite acts performing on stage again!


Thanks to the success of the ABBA shows in England, other artists are getting into the act.


KISS has already announced their next phase, now that they’ve stopped liver performances … and it has officially been announced that there will soon be an Elvis avatar show, portraying The King in all phases of his career (whether he was performing live during these eras or not!


Now they’ve done this before …


A hologram Elvis concert (with a live band on stage) made a run for it a short while back … and people have seen both Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash in is really just a very elaborate and convincing light show.


But AI is here … and it ain’t going away!


Now these are VERY expensive shows to produce … so people have got to flock to see them or they’ll just stop doing them.  (Maybe NOW it makes sense as to why all the huge corporations have been investing literally BILLIONS of dollars in purchasing artist copyrights and catalogs … what a field day they’re going to have, licensing these things back!)


Here's more on the new Elvis launch … it’s happening worldwide!  (Just not everywhere all at once)

The creators of an AI-powered Elvis Presley avatar announced that virtual performance shows will commence in London this year, with dates in Las Vegas, Berlin and Tokyo to follow.

Titled Elvis Evolution, the digital version of the King is being created by Layered Reality, after the success of ABBA’s Voyage production and Kiss’ announcement that the retired band will continue in avatar form.

“The show peaks with a concert experience that will recreate the seismic impact of seeing Elvis live for a whole new generation of fans, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy,” read an announcement on the company’s website.


Man, Rich Turner's reviews are great! Thanks, Rich!

And thanks to Shelley as well.

We love reading about the shows we can't attend in person.

David Lewis


I think Jay Siegel is one of the most gifted singers I've ever heard. Amazing how that guy can sing at his age!  ;-)))

In June of 1990, I received a call from a lady I was seeing, who asked me if I'd like to take a ride up to Beloit, Wisconsin, to attend "Beloitfest."  She said the "main act" was a friend of hers. I was bowled over when I saw who it was.  And the opening act was the great Bo Diddley!



After the show, we met up with Jon in the restaurant at his hotel, where we spent a couple of hours chatting.  That was one of the coolest experiences I'd ever had.  Jon is a super-nice, very talented guy.
I'd like to meet up with him again someday if he's in this area.

So when they said "Assume The Position," you just went for it!  (lol)

When Jon was first soliciting votes for his Truth In Music Act (requiring that any performing band using the original band’s name must ALSO have at least one original member), he approached me about helping to get the word out.  (I can’t say for certain, but it was SO early in his campaign that there may have only been four or five states at the time who had passed the bill into law.  Now it’s almost universal … although there are still plenty of scammers out there taking advantage of misinformed music fans.)


It's getting tougher and tougher with less of these original artists still with us …

Many of these acts now are more or less tribute bands, which I’ve come to accept as long as they treat the music respectfully and embrace it as much as we do.  (I mean, let’s face it … we can’t ALL become avatars … who’d be left to watch the shows?!?!)


I haven’t talked to Bowser in ages … but I know he still puts on these rock and roll revival shows and I say more power to him.  (I do believe he’s been in pretty poor health of late ‘though … so I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be able to do so.)


But the very fact that HE stood up there on stage singing some of these oldies but goodies is all I’ve gotta hear to give him kudos for keeping the music alive.


Sha Na Na had some fun with the music as part of their act … but there was NEVER any doubt about how much these loved it … and loved sharing it. 


I finally got to meet Jay Siegel a few years ago at a show he did at The Arcada Theatre … VERY nice and appreciative guy.  I know he reads Forgotten Hits from time to time … and even contributes on occasion.  Glad to hear he’s still knockin’ ‘em dead on stage!  (kk)


Here's Jay at The Arcada



Please let us 99%ers know what is up with the Bonanza photo.

Also, is it just me, or does everyone have to sign up for a Box account to be able to hear all your audio posts?


Jon M

People seem to be having much more difficulty playing the music of late – and I’m not exactly sure why.  (I can only assure you that if something changed, it changed on Box’s end, not mine … I’m still posting the same way I have been for the past 25 years!)  Whenever that happens, try refreshing your screen (F5) – I think you’ll find that that usually works.

As for the Bonanza photo, look closely and you’ll see that all of the Cartwrights (each major cast member) is flipping off the camera man!  Pretty funny, really, for 1964!  (kk)


>>>Every year, Barack Obama posts his lists of favorite songs, usually a “song I’m listening to on my iPod” sort of thing) … but this year he has posted his list of his favorite songs from the past year, 2023 (which means I likely won’t know a single one of them!  Lol)  How many did you add to YOUR iPod???  (kk)

None of them. 

My 2023 playlist contains "Try That In A Small Town" on repeat.  The song finished the year at #2 in digital sales behind an inevitable Taylor Swift song, but radio wouldn't touch it.  Sort of like Barry McGuire's "Eve Of Destruction" or Janis Ian's "Society's Child" in the '60's.

Ed Erxleben


If Easy Listening’s your thing, you might enjoy this upcoming release …


Decca Records is celebrating what would have been Bert Kaempfert’s 100th Birthday by issuing a deluxe 24-CD set of his collected works, 1960 – 1970.


These are the American releases of Bert’s album catalog in what looks to be a beautiful set.


Kaempfert recorded The Beatles’ first professional recording sessions in Germany … and wrote ‘60’s classics like “Strangers In The Night,” “L-O-V-E” and “Spanish Eyes” …


But he ALSO recorded a few Top 40 Hits of his own, including the #1 Hit “Wonderland By Night” from 1960.  (He actually had six National Top 40 Hits in all, including his version of the Top Ten smash “Red Roses For A Blue Lady” in 1965.)


Author Mark Bego talks up his new Joe Cocker book in Goldmine Magazine …


And how about this …


Our FH buddy, PR-pasha David Salidor (who just happens to represent Mark Bego) is penning his autobiography:


From his stint at London Records (Moody Blues; Al Green; Rolling Stones) in the late 70’s; to repping the likes of Run-DMC; Debbie Gibson; Jellybean; Madonna; Kid Creole & The Coconuts; Mark Bego; The Fantasticks; ZE Records; RFC Records; Rockers On Broadway; and Micky Dolenz and lots more. Salidor tells us the book starts off with a performance by The Who in 1971 at the Lido Beach Club – complete with Keith Moon and day-glo drumsticks. That convinced him to enter the biz.  Stay tuned for more on this.


Word is that Elton John and Brandi Carlile have recorded a few new tracks together …

And possibly enough to fill an entire album.

Although Elton himself hasn’t said anything yet about this, his buddy Pete Townshend of The Who has been talking it up a bit of late.

Townshend told Clash “Elton is so fraught with loss at not knowing what to do next. He’s just gone over to LA to make an album with Brandi Carlile. They made an album together in two weeks. He says it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done.”

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!  (kk)


From Timmy ...

A photo he dubbed "Smother Monkees"


And, speaking of The Smothers Brothers …

To acknowledge the passing of Tommy Smothers, I played the full version of Jenny Brown by the Smothers Brothers, including the back and forth banter before the song on my radio show last Wednesday.

I had to do a double take when I saw that in my Joel Whitburn book, Jenny Brown made the Hot 100 charts in SEPTEMBER of 1963 ...


One of the first things The Smothers Brothers were talking about in the full version of Jenny Brown was that they wanted to start catering more to the younger crowd and were trying to outdo the Beatle Wigs that were sweeping the nation -- this would have been recorded in late summer, 1963!   (They were thinking Smothers Ears, BTW.)

I didn't realize the Beatles had that much attention (and especially by the "older" crowds) already in America 3-6 months before their first charted Billboard US hit in 1964, and their subsequent appearance on Ed Sullivan.

-- Uncle T. Jay

Yeah, obviously something is wrong with this timeline.  There is absolutely NO way The Smothers Brothers were paying attention to The Beatles yet in September of ’63 when “Jenny Brown” first came out as a single.

The rap around the album version HAD to be recorded much later …

Beatles wigs first came out in February of 1964 here in The States … so I did some digging.  (Great catch, btw … I never put those two pieces of information together when we ran the full-length version of “Jenny Brown” in Forgotten Hits the other day!)

The long version comes from The Smothers Brothers’ fifth comedy album, “It Must Have Been Something I Said,” released on April 15th, 1964 … which jives with the Beatles wigs timeline.

Although the single "Jenny Brown" had peaked at #84 in Billboard on the Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart in October of 1963, the recording on the album is a completely different, "live" version.

The album was recorded at The Ice House in Pasadena, California … and obviously they did a bit of updating to make their performance a bit more relevant to the times.  (Talk about having your pulse on the nation!!!)  Don’t forget The Beatles had The Top Five Singles in America that same month!

So THAT’S why we’re seeing the time discrepancy we’re seeing.  (By the way, this album went to #23 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart.) 

Great observation, Uncle T. Jay!!!  (kk)


Enjoyed viewing the clips of the Beatles displayed and I would be remiss if I didn't add that today (January 3rd) is Sir George Martin's birthday.

I met Sir George Martin at The Hollywood Bowl last century. I talked to him again in 2006 at Capitol Records Studio B in Hollywood about a Frank Sinatra recording session he witnessed in this very same room on his first visit to Hollywood in 1958.

The EMI label sent him over the pond after Martin was invited by Capitol executive Voyle Gilmore to visit the American division. Martin described that date when Sinatra was backed by Billy May’s orchestra while actress Lauren Bacall was in attendance. The songs were eventually placed on Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me LP.

I thanked Martin for discovering and signing the Beatles to their British record label deal. I complimented his persistent determination, along with Brian Epstein, in prodding Capitol Records to have faith in Martin’s groundbreaking Parlophone / EMI recordings with the boys in 1963.

One of Martin’s productions by the Beatles started playing. Try hearing their sound over custom TAD monitors inside Capitol Records …

George autographed a solo album, put his arm around me and observed, “Pretty good stuff. Don’t you think?”

Harvey Kubernik


The special Beatles Get Back / Let It Be Exhibit closes at The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland next week (January 10th) … I can’t believe I never got the chance to see it.  (Who out there wants to do something COMPLETELY spontaneous and hop on a flight to Cleveland this weekend so we can catch this before it’s gone for good?!?)  kk


Wow Kent!  I haven’t unpacked all of this yet, but did you mention that Jack Parr aired some grainy BBC footage of the Beatles playing She Loves You that had me running to Balkan Music on Cermak Road in Berwyn to ask the woman in charge “Do you have ‘She Loves You’ by The Beatles?”  She laughed and said “No.” 

I said, “Well get ready!!!”  

Rock on!!  


Man, we used to stop by Balkan Music every week to get our WLS Silver Dollar Surveys right after school!  (The new charts came out on Fridays!)

Not much else there to entice a budding musician … it was pretty old school … but they DID have a small in-store recording studio where a number of my friends went in to cut demos for themselves.  (I’m betting you probably did, too!)  kk


Our piece on The Beatles clip running during Jack Paar’s Tonight Show sixty years ago this week got picked up by a couple of other sources …


And radio/tv giant Bob Sirott will be looking back at the impact of The British Invasion on his morning program on WGN Radio starting later this month.


Having recently spent some time in London interviewing a variety of local folk regarding this exciting time in music (from the OTHER perspective, that is “across the pond” as they say), we’re looking for him to bring some new insight into the phenomenon as well as recap many of the highlights that saw its impact here in America, too.  (Some of these features will coincide with exactly what WE’VE been doing here in Forgotten Hits in our 60 YEARS AGO TODAY feature.)


You can listen to Bob anywhere in the world right here:


From Bob …


Starting around the end of January, I’ll be playing back Beatle-related interviews I taped in England a few months ago ...

Probably one segment a week thru February at least.

(Naturally, WE’RE pushing him to do more!  Lol 

Can you imagine …

MUSIC on WGN Radio again?!?!  I shudder to think!)  kk

And finally, is Chuck Buell’s credo, always leave ‘em laughing …

(I don’t know if you know this or not, but HE’S the guy who once told Jerry Maguire “Show Me The Funny!!!”  Then Jerry got all the credit for changing just one word.)

One day, a long time ago, behind the scenes, at Forgotten Hits!


Here’s just one Fleeting Forgotten Hits Moment as to why 1967 is Kent’s favorite year.


Even though it’s difficult to imagine a modern home kitchen today without a dishwasher, it wasn't until the mid-1960s, around 1967 or so, that these time-saving appliances began to be commonly found in American households. Even then, not all newly built houses or apartments included dishwashers.


Which leads to why this might have been a scene if Buell and Kotal had shared a Bachelor Apartment together in those mid-1960s days and why it isn’t hard to imagine why they, along with the Ancient Greeks, would have been terrible at loading a dishwasher!


“OK, Kent!  Again!  Lower shelf!  Go!"

Can you imagine the eye-rolling from Shelley J Sweet-Tufano if she unexpectedly stopped just to say, “Hi,” to the Guys?!! 

CB ( which stands for “Cleaning Boy!” )

LOL … ok, I really like this one!


While I’m doing my best to get the plates and cups into the dishwasher, Chuck is just standing by watching as HIS cup is clearly running over … so the look on “Sweet” Shelley’s face would have been quite a sight to behold indeed!  


(On the plus side, while honing my skills, I was ultimately able join The Gladiators, perhaps the greatest bowling team in the history of all mankind.  We not only performed before thousands at The Coliseum, but my abilities won me an appearance on the VERY popular Roman Television Game Show “Bowling For Denarii!!!”)  kk