Saturday, January 27, 2024



The Beatles hold on to the #1 spot ... but they are challenged this week by the up and coming new hit by Lesley Gore, "You Don't Own Me," which leaps from #10 to #2 in its sixth week on the chart.

But that move is nothing compared to the 49 point jump that "She Loves You" makes this week, climbing from #67 to #18!

And The Beatles now have a THIRD record on the charts ... "Please Please Me," the first Beatles record played in America by Chicago Dee Jay Dick Biondi nearly a year ago on WLS with virtually no fanfare, makes its national debut at #84.  (Actually, all three hits appear on different labels ... Capitol Records, the US sister company to Great Britain's Parlophone label, who The Beatles record for in England, passed on the first four Beatles singles offered to them last year ... they didn't hear any "hit potential" ... so now Swan Records ("She Loves You") and Vee Jay Records ("Please Please Me"), who also have the "Introducing The Beatles" album out right now, are CAPTIOLizing on Capitol's error in judgement.  Before the year is up, Beatles records will also appear on Tollie, Atco , MGM and United Artists Records here in The States before Capitol can enforce an injunction to stop any further releases by any other labels.


Dusty Springfield continues her climb up the charts as "I Only Want To Be With You" moves from #74 to #59 ...

While long-time British Pop Star Cliff Richard is having a little bit of US chart success right now, too ...

His remake of "It's All In The Game" sits at #28.


1/27/64 – Actress Bridget Fonda is born ...

Her dad was rather famous, too!

Friday, January 26, 2024


Remembering a couple of the talented ladies we lost this past week …

Hey Kent –

Like you, I'm shocked and saddened to hear about Melanie's death. Loved reading about her Ed Sullivan Show experience.

We interviewed her for Songfacts just a few years ago, and she was as kind, generous and insightful as you'd expect. Here's a quote I love relating to Woodstock and "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)":

"I think the best way to help people alleviate the pain and frustration is to live a good example and do as much as you can creatively if that's what you do. And if you do that, then hopefully that will translate into something better than, rather than through hate.

“You know, I think they did a great job capturing that period in Forrest Gump. There's the hippie girl who believed in all the ideals and people and humanity. And then there were the angry political types. I was always suspicious of people who didn't have a good sense of humor. I think humor and art are the first to go once people become fanatics."

The full interview is here:

Be Well,

Carl Wiser


Hey Kent, 

Thanks for the wonderful tribute to Melanie Safka. When I was younger and first beginning to discover and enjoy oldies, I bought a multi-cassette compilation of 60s and 70s music. Among the tracks were three from Melanie - "What Have They Done To My Song, Ma," "The Nickel Song" and I think "Mr. Tambourine Man."

Among all the songs on that compilation, hers stood out to me the most because of her unique voice and her style. I started finding more of her music shortly afterwards and soon became a fan. Songs like "Lay Down," "Good Book," "I Really Loved Harold" are on my "favorites" playlist to this day. 

Recently, I watched some online concerts she performed along with her son Beau, including one where she ran through all of the songs in her Woodstock set. 

She'll be missed for sure, but she's leaving behind some incredible music.  

Colin Donahue

Listening back to some of her music these past few days, I was reminded of how much joy she brought to her songs.  They were relatively simple tunes with “feel good” themes … and very clever lyrics … most of which would work as fun, sing-alongs.  I think this is one of the reasons her audience loved her so much … she brought them in and made them feel right at home as part of the show.  (kk)


Hey Kent,

With the passing of Melanie on Tuesday, it made me think back just two short years ago when my girlfriend Alice and I had the privilege of catching Melanie in concert at a very intimate show at the Safety Harbor Music And Art Center here in Safety Harbor, Fl. The date was March 27, 2022. The setting was outdoors in a temporary stage setup for maybe a 100 fans. They closed off the road in front of the center and put up a stage and a bunch of folding chairs. I think the cost was maybe $50.

Melanie was seated in a chair with her guitar with her son Beau to her right with a guitar. Another gentlemen (I forgot his name) was on her left also playing some on the guitar. She played for about an hour and a half, probably about 15 to 18 songs, and told a lot of cool stories about her past. She sang most of the hits you would expect with A Brand New Key being last, but also played some stuff that she said she had just wrote and was hoping to have on an upcoming album. Some of the songs were about the covid pandemic that at the time we were just coming out of.

I am trying to write this from memory so I am fuzzy on some details and song selection but what I do remember was her incredible stage presence. She told about how she used to live in our area (Tampa Bay), but had moved back to Nashville when her husband died, but was hoping to come back to the Tampa area in the future. 

I loved hearing her reminisces about Woodstock and all her details about the festival. I was most impressed by the fact that you could tell that she was not in the best of health, but she made every attempt to entertain. Her son Beau was at her side, helping her every step of the way. Me and Alice got to speak with both of them after the show and she could not have been more gracious and accommodating towards us and other fans. Alice sat down next to her for a few minutes as she told her even more stories about everything under the sun.

Most impressed by her son Beau, who you could tell loved taking care of his mom. He would help her get around (unfortunately she was in a walker), helped bring her on to the stage, got her anything she needed and played guitar at her side.

Melanie is and unfortunately was a true class act!

Rich Turner

Largo, Fl



Hi Kent –

Thanks for getting Mark Bego’s statement in.

So sad ... the first lady of Woodstock!


This Pic of Mark and Melanie is from 2006 at NY's Cutting Room

- Derek Storm Photos



As usual, a great tribute from Joe Marchese of The Second Disc …


I'm hoping that Cleopatra Records will find a way to release whatever Melanie had in the can on her planned next album, "Second Hand Smoke," so we can hear some of her interpretations to some of these great classics.


Between the new live 2-CD set and re-release of her Buddah / Neighborhood recordings, here will be ALL kinds of Melanie music to listen to in the near future.  (kk)


Here are a couple of video clips sent in by FH Reader Gary Maurer, remembering the late Mary Weiss, lead singer of The Shangri-Las …


Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand) from the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, hosted by none other than Tony Orlando!

(Despite the rave reviews below the clip, I personally found this one a bit cringe-worthy!)


And “You’re Never Gonna See Me Cry” from her then-new album “Dangerous Game” …

Sounding a bit better here!

(Man, what a husky voice she developed over the years!)


And, after all, this WAS a huge week for The Beatles …


So this from Jennifer Vanderslice of Moon Glow Public Relations, featuring a new piece from our former FH Buddy Garry Berman …


The Beatles’ Invasion: 60 years and counting!

As 2024 begins, we come to yet another (round number) anniversary marking the Beatles’ historic invasion of America, during which they did nothing less than turn our popular culture upside down. 
Even with their astounding success in Britain and Europe by the end of 1963, the Beatles were adamant about going to America only after they first had a #1 record in the States. They had seen other British singers try to make a name for themselves here, such as Cliff Richard, without first securing a #1 hit, only to be placed third or fourth on concert bills, resulting in lackluster support from American audiences and record buyers. Their manager, Brian Epstein, needed to stay ahead of the curve. He had booked the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show back in November 1963, getting them top billing for their three appearances in 1964. Epstein also told promoter Sid Bernstein, who wanted to book them into Carnegie Hall, that the group would have to receive heavy radio airplay first. In fact, the idea of touring America at all as a top-of-the-bill act was, in Epstein’s mind, contingent on the kind of substantial airplay and exposure they would receive in the weeks leading up to the Sullivan show.
The waiting ended when the January 25 issue of Cash Box magazine placed I Want to Hold Your Hand in the #1 spot, giving it the honor of becoming the first Beatles single to do so in America. By February 1, the song reached #1 on the more prestigious Billboard chart as well. It was everything the Beatles had been hoping for.
The stage was now set. The final bookings were made. The invasion of America was next.
With their much-anticipated appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show fast approaching, the accompanying hype and building excitement would continue to increase until reaching critical mass.
On Friday, February 7, 1964, the Beatles arrived in New York’s newly named John F. Kennedy International Airport at 1:20 p.m. aboard Pan Am flight 101, to the welcome of 3,000 screaming fans. As they stepped off the portable stairway ramp from the plane, John, Paul, George and Ringo secured their foothold for their invasion of North America.
In 1964, there were three major New York AM stations that found themselves salivating at the opportunity to promote themselves on the backs of the Beatles: WINS, WMCA, and WABC. Much has been written and discussed about where and when specific Beatles songs first made it onto the airwaves in U.S. But as the first year of Beatlemania progressed, each New York station devised ways to cozy up to the Fab Four (both figuratively and literally) and promote itself as the Beatles station in the city. The competition among the three stations became red hot, and it’s difficult to proclaim an ultimate winner. Each of them had its moments, but it soon became necessary to do more than just play the newest Beatles songs as they became available. And young fans of the group indulged in every bit of information — reliable and otherwise — about the Fab Four’s activities and plans during their visit.
The Beatles arrive at JFK
February 7, 1964
The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
February 9, 1964

On February 9, the Beatles made their historic first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, with 728 audience members in the theatre experiencing the event in person, and an estimated audience of 73 million watching at home. Sullivan was in his 16th season on the air, and his program had long-ago become a staple of American viewing habits on Sunday evenings. But this night was to be very different. It quickly became an entertainment event famous for having not only generated unprecedented anticipation, but for surpassing even the highest of expectations.
The reverberations felt throughout millions of households across the country that Sunday evening were immediate. For most parents watching the Beatles’ performance, it was in parts laughable, cacophonous, unseemly, or worse. For their children, however, it was nothing short of electrifying. By the time that single hour-long program began rolling its closing credits at 8:58 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the Beatles had generated an emotional shock wave of such intensity that it instantly sent an entire generation of American teenagers into a state of sheer exhilaration. An overstatement, perhaps? Not according to those who experienced it and who can still recall that night in vivid detail, and with that same youthful passion.
Just two examples:
Janet Lessard watched from home near Boston: “By the time they were on The Ed Sullivan Show, that was just — I can’t even compare it to anything right now. It was just fantastic. We were literally gathered in each other’s homes. We would sit there from six o’clock waiting for that show to come on at eight, in groups of fives and tens. We were just amazed…. The tears. We would watch them and just dissolve into tears. I can’t describe it. It was something that just came over us. All of a sudden, these four guys come around with their charm, their music, their witty remarks, and it just kind of hit us like a ton of bricks!”
Charles Pfeiffer watched with his family in Kansas: “On that Sunday night in February of ’64, we gathered around the black & white Zenith…and gosh, when the struck that first chord it just sent something through me. And I was a 12-or 13-year-old boy with a crew cut, and I remember I turned around and said, ‘I’m growing my hair out.’ That was the first thing I was gonna do, which I started to do. And just the minute they started to play, I thought, ‘Gosh, this is what I want to do.’ ”
The next day, the Beatles took a train from New York to Washington, D.C. for their first American concert, then continued south to Miami, where they’d appear again on The Ed Sullivan Show.
And that was just the beginning.

 Want to read more?
You can read more stories from forty first-generation Beatles fans from all over the U.S., who found themselves swept up in Beatlemania as teens, in We’re Going to See the Beatles!: An Oral History of Beatlemania as Told by the Fans Who Were There.
You can read more articles from Garry Berman on his website.
Garry Berman is available for interviews. Inquiries should be sent to:

(I say “former” because Garry jumped ship after we ran some negative comments on the Peter Jackson / Beatles film “Get Back” and the poor job Apple did putting together their “Let It Be” box.)


As Jack Nicholson so famously said, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!”


Oh, and speaking of Jack …


Got this cool shot from Timmy …


Heeeeeere’s Mikey!


One more reminder from Bob Lind ...

(the gig is next weekend!)

And those who may be in Florida in early February:
By now, most of you know that in just over a week from now (Saturday, February 3rd), I will be the headline act at the SOUTH FLORIDA FOLK AND ACOUSTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL.
But for those who don't, now you do.
I go on at 8 p.m.
But this isn't just a "Lind gig." 
It's a three-day event featuring some of the best acoustic music south of Georgia. Florida favorite Amy Carol Webb is the headliner on Friday night. And the phenomenal Dave Nachmanoff closes the Sunday show. 
Hoping to see a whole teeming mob of you there.
And be aware: if it should rain, so what? The entire area is covered.
You can get tix through the link on my website here:
Just click on the Broward Folk Club link.

Here's the official poster ...

And one more from Timmy ...
Thank GOD for McCall's Magazine, helping to keep our parents clear on the terminology of the day ...