Friday, October 8, 2010

Lon Van Eaton: Making "Sweet Music"

When publicist / P.R. Guru David Salidor asked me if Forgotten Hits would be interested in running an EXCLUSIVE piece on Lon Van Eaton, former Apple Records Recording Artist who just happens to have a few NEW pieces coming up that are definitely worth talking about, too ... you can bet that there wasn't a moment's hesitation on my part to bring this piece to you.

And when he told us that celebrity biographer Mark Bego would be handling the interview, we said, "Bring It On!!!"

So today we get to share ALL of it with you ... right here in Forgotten Hits!

Lon Van Eaton

Although you might not instantly know the name of Lon Van Eaton, you soon will. Van Eaton, who is one half of the 1970s duo Lon & Derek Van Eaton, became one of The Beatles’ prime progété’s, when “The Fab Four” decided to run their own record label: Apple Records. Thanks to an exciting new October 2010 Apple album release, and several new projects, Lon Van Eaton is currently amidst a dramatic re-emergence in the entertainment world.

Back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, The Beatles had such a wealth of money and influence, they felt that could share their magic by discovering and signing new acts to Apple Records, and turn them into huge stars. In many instances, particularly the rock group Badfinger, they were correct. Amongst the other stars who were signed to Apple were Mary Hopkin, Ronnie Spector, James Taylor, Billy Preston, and Lon & Derrek Van Eaton.

In October of 2010, the new album, "Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records", will be released, including a lot of material that has never been available before on CD, or digital download. The album will include the biggest Lon & Derrek Van Eaton song, “Sweet Music.”

Together with his brother Derrek, Lon Van Eaton recorded a historic album called "Brother", which was released on Apple in 1972, produced by George Harrison, and including the expert drumming of Ringo Starr. Lon then went on to record with Harrison and Starr, on their solo albums, as well as appearing on albums by Carly Simon, Martha Reeves, Harry Nilsson, and several other huge stars of the era.

Far from the 1970s London music scene, Lon Van Eaton today lives in Colorado, where he continues to make music, and to plan new projects. Although the times have changed, Lon is someone who still has his Beatles-esque “Give Peace a Chance” theories intact, and he has a great sense of humor about his past, present, and future in the entertainment business.

Explaining how he and his brother ended up on Apple Records, Lon says, "Derrek and I were in a group signed to CBS called 'Jacob’s Creek.' The band later disbanded leaving Derrek and I alone with our manager, Robin Garb. We set to work writing and recording for the first time as a duo and produced a seven song demo. Robin sent it to record companies and three or four were interested. We decided to work with George and Apple.

"On September 15, 1971, Derrek and I signed a five year contract with Apple Records. Two weeks later we were at EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London, recording our first song for the label, ‘Sweet Music’ which George Harrison produced with us.”

In the middle of all of this activity, Lon found himself in legendary Abbey Road Studios, with George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Peter Frampton. “Abbey Road was a wonderful place with several differences from other studios I had recorded in,” says Lon. “The engineers and workers all wore lab coats, looking like scientists. I remember someone calling down to request the ADT machine. That is a device that doubles an instrument, getting that sound like on ‘When My Guitar Gently Weeps.’ A few minutes later the door opened and two ‘scientists’ wheeled in this huge contraption with dials and knobs. Looked like the controls from Young Frankenstein. ‘Bye-bye Marty Feldman. You are great!’

"Now you can get that sound with a tiny plug in on your music software. However, with all the new tricks and tech advances, you don’t get the genius of a song recording like ‘When My Guitar Gently Weeps.’ Bravo George!

"George produced the song ‘Sweet Music’ and I played this black Harptone during the recording session. George played the guitar but not while recording. Derrek and I and Peter Frampton were playing acoustic guitars on the basic track at Abbey Road. George was in the control room coming in and out to suggest things. He did ask for the guitar and played an E7 chord to use at the place right before the chorus. It was a very good musical idea, and we did it from then on. The album was an incredible dream to work on.”

Oddly, the Apple Records album, "Brother", has never been released on CD, yet in its vinyl version, it is still considered to be a highly desirable prize amongst record collectors. One of the reasons was the unique way it was packaged. Recalls Lon, “Interesting that you mention that as I just saw an ad on TV for a new album and they are using the Zoetrope carousel concept. It was fun!

"In our album there was a cardboard cut-out which you assembled and placed on your turntable. As it turns, you look through the slits and the pictures move like the original Thomas Edison moving picture experiments. This was back in an era in which all sort of promotional goodies were included in an album package. The Beatles had the money and creativity to do things like that — which they did in the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. With this assemble-it-yourself Zoetrope, our album benefited from it as well. These are all things that are lost on the new 'download generation.' Album packages were special and unique.

"I have had so many requests for the 'Brother' album to be released on CD, and it is a dream of mine to finally see it happen. Actually, George signed a new contract with us for the CD release in the early 1990’s.”

Lon also appeared on the George Harrison album, "Dark Horse", in 1974. “During that period in Los Angeles,” Lon says, “I remember being with George at a party before we left to go to the Charlie Chaplin lots on La Brea where A&M Records was located — and also where George housed Dark Horse Records. Poor George. He had eaten something that had meat in it that evening and several of the people at the party started talking and questioning ‘his Holiness’ for having eaten meat! That made for an uncomfortable but swift exit.

"We arrived at the A&M Records gate on La Brea in George’s Morgan convertible with iron chain steering wheel, and we were greeted by an officer not knowing who George was and refusing him entrance. George, who was a deep-thinking spiritual man and, for the most part, even-keeled and calm, went ballistic! I remember him standing up in his car and yelling , ‘Ever heard of the Beatles?’ It took a few minutes and another guard to arrive before recognition took place.

"George had magic. Another time he came into a session for Derrek and I in New York City and he was asked to play a slide guitar part on a track we were doing. Calmly and without losing concentration, he went over and over the track, transforming the sections with an amazing, quite magical sense of phrasing and harmony. He literally saved the song and created a masterpiece. I am so very lucky to have seen genius at work in person and the sense of it is beyond mere words.”

Lon also appeared on the exciting 1974 Martha Reeves solo album that Richard Perry produced, which was released on MCA Records. At the time that was known as “the most expensive album every recorded.” It was recently remastered and released by MCA’s label.

“Maybe it was so expensive because of my fee for playing those bits on ‘Wild Night!’” Lon laughs. “But seriously, everyone working on that record was striving to be as perfect as possible to honor the great Motown Diva, Martha Reeves. Ms. Reeves is such an amazingly gracious lady and great singer and performer. There were a lot of incredible performers on that album, including James Taylor and Billy Preston — both Apple Records alumni — like myself. That was a great album, and it was a lot of fun to be a part of the all-star band.”

Lon was featured on five different Ringo Starr albums: including: "Ringo", "Goodnight Vienna", "Rotogravure", "Ringo the Fourth", and "Bad Boy". According to him, “It was always a wonderful and exciting experience to be involved in recording with Ringo, whether at Cherokee Studios, Sunset Sound or even under Pseudonyms for the album we did in Vancouver, B.C. You always knew that you would be joined by great musicians and have brilliant songs to record. Everything was smooth and first class all the way. Plus, having the rock solid drummer, Ringo, and sometimes even two — when Jim Keltner would be on the sessions — you sensed the abilities of true pros and knew that the best drum sounds were second nature.”

One of the things that he seemed to share with The Beatles, is a “Zen” sort of “All We Need Is Love” type of credo. I wondered if this was a bonding “meeting of the minds” sort of a philosophy that he shared with George Harrison and Ringo Starr ...

Replies Lon, “Yes, what you focus on expands. I love Dylan, McCartney and other great writer artists who paint pictures that give you the feeling of actually being there like on recordings such as ‘Penny Lane.’ John Lennon and George Harrison took the art a step further in many ways by also depicting a possibility of how it could be. ‘Imagine’ is the best example. John was a house husband before the woman’s movement. This idea of creating reality through media was what I am learning and keeping alive with Imagine a Better World and the LIVIES™. George’s ‘Living in the Material World’ says much about that.”

In 1998 Lon and Derrek released an album called "Black & White". It was their first full album since the ‘70s. According to Lon, “I think the credit belongs to Matt Hurewitz, who was the publisher of ‘Good Day Sunshine.’ Matt called and mentioned through his connections the possibility of recording a Badfinger song on a tribute album. He sent some selections and I went to work at Angels Ranch. Matt came and visited for a couple weeks and recorded an amazing vocal on a song called ‘Gringoland.’ While recording the Badfinger song, ‘Apple of My Eye,’ a magical wind came just as the song ended and a huge door slammed. Angels Ranch is where we developed the concept and company, Imagine a Better World. I wanted to give back all that I had been given during the recording years and founded Imagine a Better World as a company dedicated to creating conscious change through media. The lessons from the Beatles and the effect and impact they had on society were inspirational for millions. Take just the song: ‘We Can Work It Out,’ need more be said? ‘All You Need Is Love’ is the truth!”

One of the Lon & Derrek Van Eaton tracks, the single “Sweet Music,” is on the new Apple Records compilation, "Come And Get It: The Best of Apple Records".

It sounds like a unique and exciting release to include Badfinger, James Taylor, Billy Preston, and Ronnie Spector. “It is a total and complete honor to be included and to have those great artists on the same recording,” says Lon. “By the way, James Taylor and I are astral twins, same day and year. I think I mentioned that to Carly Simon when I also had the great privilege of playing on some of her recordings. Those sessions came about because of the very underrated genius of Richard Perry, the great producer. Derrek and I also were blessed with Richard producing our A&M Album, "Who Do You Out Do" along with Bill Schnee. It was George who had originally introduced us to Bill Schnee and his genius.”

With regard to his move to Colorado in 1985, Lon explains, “When I moved out to Denver from Los Angeles 25 years ago, it was truly a matter of culture shock. It was like: ‘Hey, where’s the all-night Pink’s Hot Dogs? Where’s Sunset Strip?’ It took some adjusting to get used to a different pace. However I created ‘’ as a way to ‘give back’ some of the good karma that I had been given pre-1985, which was wonderful experience. I also had the chance to do some great non-profit recordings for The Boy Scouts, and I did some charity recordings with Zubin Mehta and Stevie Wonder as well.”

Most recently, Lon has been working on a new 3-D theatrical presentation called “Livies™.” As he explains, “I would humbly suggest it is beyond 3-D, some call it 4-D! We call it: “LIVIES™.” It is a new entertainment delivery system. First, there were Silent Films ... Movies. Then, sound ... Talkies. Many improvements came leading to the current 3-D craze. The next step in the future of entertainment ... LIVIES™—Live Interactive Visual Immersion Entertainment Shows!

"Imagine a theatre of breathtaking high definition images immersed in surround sound. A theatre where performances are projected onto awe-inspiring high-def virtual realities. A theatre designed to educate and entertain audiences of all ages. This is LIVIES™ Digital Theatre ... And you don’t have to imagine it: it is here! The first ever Live Interactive Visual Immersion Environmental Shows! We can safely guarantee that after experiencing a LIVIE show — your life will be transformed. It is an interactive journey to a brand new person that you will become.”

It is great to have Lon Van Eaton back in the forefront of the musical and entertainment scene with the new Apple album, a planned re-release of "Black & White", and his LIVIE shows projected in the future. According to him, “It feels great, like I have never been gone from the spotlight!”

This very special Lon Van Eaton Interview was prepared EXCLUSIVELY for Forgotten Hits by celebrity biographer Mark Bego, through an arrangment made with David Salidor. Mark Bego’s latest book is called Paperback Writer: A Memoir (Publish America) and it is a journey through his five decade career of interviewing rock, pop, and movie stars. He is also the author of Martha Reeves’ autobiography, Dancing in the Street: Confessions of a Motown Diva (Hyperion). His website is:

Thanks, Lon, Mark and David, for choosing Forgotten Hits to tell your story ... this was GREAT! (kk)

For more information, be sure to check out Lon Van Eaton's website:
Click here: Lon Van Eaton

Click here: Times Square Gossip: THE BEATLES INSIDER LON VAN EATON

I asked Lon if he had a new piece of music he might like to share with our readers ... and he sent me this ... yet ANOTHER Forgotten Hits EXCLUSIVE that you can hear HERE before you can even buy it!!!

Hello Kent:
The votes have been tabulated and RULES is choosen.
We hope you have a laugh with us.
It will be on the new album tentatively entitled: "Stubborn Chickens".
Thanks again very very much!

By the way, Forgotten Hits will be giving away a copy of the brand new Apple Records "Best Of" CD, featuring long out-of-print tracks by Apple Artists like Badfinger, James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, Billy Preston, Lon and Derrek Van Eaton, Ronnie Spector, The Radha Krishna Temple and more!

Have you registered to win YOUR free copy yet? Just send us an email to and tell us that you'd like your name entered in the drawing. Later this month, we'll be giving away an autographed copy of the hot new CD!

And, Apple Record is waging a full-blown reissue campaign later this month ... complete album / CD reissues are on the way from Badfinger ("Magic Christian Music", "No Dice", "Straight Up" and "Ass"), Mary Hopkin ("Post Card" and "Earth Song, Ocean Song"), James Taylor's Apple debut (titled simply "James Taylor" and featuring his ORIGINAL recordings of "Carolina In My Mind" and "Something In The Way She Moves"), Billy Preston ("That's The Way God Planned It" and "Encouraging Words"), Jackie Lomax ("Is This What You Want?"). The Radha Krishna Temple's self-titled LP, Doris Troy's self-titled CD, "Under The Jasmin Tree / Space" by The Modern Jazz Quartet and "Whale / Celtic Requiem" by John Tavener. Many of these releases feature the involvement of The Beatles in some capacity (whether as songwriters, producers, studio musician sidemen or all of the above) and ALL have been LONG out of print ... so here's your chance to snatch up copies NOW in pristine CD sound.

And, while we're on the subject, watch for a HUGE wave of John Lennon reissues and collectors' sets, too, in honor of what would have been John's 70th Birthday tomorrow. His entire solo catalog is being re-released along with a new Greatest Hits Package, a "stripped down" version of his "Double Fantasy" comeback LP, and three brand new CD Box Sets.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Together Again ... Some Of Your Final Thoughts And Comments

We got ALL kinds of comments after our Happy Together Again Tour Wrap-Up ran last week ... here are just a few:

First off, here's a very nice note from Mark Lindsay ... unfortunately, we didn't receive it in time to include with those of all of the other artists performing on the bill the other day (scroll back to Friday, October 1st, for a GREAT recap of The Happy Together Tour, courtesy of The Buckinghams, The Turtles and Micky Dolenz), so I wanted to lead off today's with Mark's recent email (kk):

I first hit the road to make music when I was 15. In all my decades of touring, I don't think I've ever had a better time than on Happy Together 25th Anniversary.
To share the stage with these rock and roll icons of the 60s, and night after night watch the audience come alive as they remember hit after hit after hit from the songbook of their lives, was a gratifying experience. All the artists got along like brothers, and the overall feeling I came away with was "All for one and one for all." The Happy Together Tour was well-named. I hope you had as much fun as we did.
Mark Lindsay

We heard NOTHING but GREAT reviews about Mark's performance on the tour ... it truly was like he was reborn and revitalized again ... and by all accounts, had a GREAT time performing all of The Raiders' biggest hits again ... to a VERY enthusiastic crowd. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with our readers, Mark! (kk)

Of course for every GREAT letter we get like the one above, we also get at least one (or TEN) like the one below. Grrrrrrrrrrr ... and you guys thought putting Forgotten Hits together was easy and nothin' but good times!!!! (lol) kk

Yeah, Flo & Eddie.
Buy their "endorsed", recent "Remastered" CD, and it sounds no better than it did years ago!!! Even some hit songs are NOW mixed to ancient mono!!!
Flo & Eddie had Bill Inglot do the "remastering" for The Turtles' latest CD. As usual, since Bill doesn't know how to improve sound, he immediately mixes what's above his abilities to Mono.
They don't even answer e-mails.
Yeah, like they deserve fans. Keep 'em in California!!!
Thanks! ;-)
- UnHappy Together with The Turtles
Not knowing the circumstances regarding the remastered CD's, it could be that the mono take was the "best" of what was available ... or simply a way of preserving the sound the way their fans will best remember it.
I will say that Howard Kaylan has participated with Forgotten Hits for YEARS now ... Mark Volman, too, from time to time ... so they DO answer MY emails. (On the other hand, if YOURS to them are as negative as your comments above, it stands to reason that they wouldn't respond ... what would you have preferred ... a "Fuck Off, Asshole" message instead?!?!?) kk

Kent --
I'm so glad that all acts on the Happy Together Tour were well received this year. It is so nice to hear that they did well this year and I was sorry that Rochester was skipped ... who knows, maybe next year they'll come back our way again.

>>>But I can't believe they announced the act as "The Grass Roots, featuring Rob Grill", knowing that he really wasn't there to perform ... now that's just WRONG!!! (kk)
It maybe a legal thing ... if Rob Grill does not own the rights to the name Grass Roots, then he must bill his group as "The Grass Roots featuring Rob Grill" like "Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone" cannot call themselves "Herman's Hermits." The real Hermits still exist in England.
Looking at the various booking sites, like this one,, you will see that this looks like the official name of the group regardless of who is in it that night.
Paul Urbahns
Radcliff, Ky

Hi Kent
The same thing happened when they played Atlanta ... Rob Grill was not there. I found out at the merchandise table before the show.
I also thought it was in bad taste they did not let people know and went on like nothing was wrong.
It was a great show. Still, the people that came just to see Rob were let down.
I have been to other shows like this and they posted it at the box office outside if someone was not there and you could get a refund on your ticket if that was who you came to see.
Honestly, I think with a stellar line-up this strong, NO oldies fan could go wrong by seeing the other artists they put up on the stage each night. But I DO believe that something should have been communicated to the fans upfront rather than have all this disappointment, anger and resentment after the fact. We're not even involved with the tour and yet I received close to 60 emails complaining about Rob Grill being "missing in action" without any forewarning or explanation.


Speaking of which ...

I got this note from Howard Kaylan of The Turtles after he saw our Forgotten Hits posting the other day:
Just a quick note, Kent ...
Rob Grill's name was removed from Shadoe Steven's stage announcements the minute we learned he would not be singing with the Grass Roots on the final leg of this summer's Happy Together Tour.
Never was it announced that the act about to be seen and heard was The Grass Roots Featuring Rob Grill. His name was meticulously removed, using Protools, from the prerecorded band introductions.
The tour's producers are very careful and intend only to present the genuine artists who recorded the hits that make up our memories.
Mark Dawson, the very talented gentleman who filled in for Rob in his absence did a stellar job and the audiences reacted warmly to his vocals and stage presence. We are all hoping that Rob will be a part of next summer's Happy Together Tour.
No disappointments were intended.
Howard Kaylan

Here are some comments I found very interesting about Rob Grill.
Thought you might find it interesting too.
The Grass Roots Tour Dates Pollstar - The Concert Hotwire
Thanks, Carrie. We've reprinted a couple of these comments below as they pertain to the final California show that closed out The Happy Together Tour. Despite Howard Kaylan's comments to the contrary (and I believe him when he says they went through the editing process of removing Rob Grill's name from the announcements ... I'm just not so sure the audience ever actually got to HEAR these revised announcements ... I would certainly think not, based on the tremendous volume of mail WE received stating otherwise), here are a few more comments pertaining to the final performance of The Happy Together Again Tour (kk):

This is the second time I have gone to see The Grass Roots 'Starring Rob Grill' only to have Rob Grill not show up. While I love the songs of The Grass Roots, what I really want is to see Rob Grill perform. At the very least, there should be an acknowledgement that Rob, for whatever reason, is unable to perform, and that the singer filling in is doing just that - filling in. Otherwise, the band needs to stop billing itself as The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill and just acknowledge that it's a Grass Roots cover band. To do otherwise is not only deceptive advertising, it is really disappointing and hurtful to those of us who go to concerts like this to see the original members of the group, especially the lead singer. We don't really care how they sound or how they look ... just knowing that they were there, like we were, and to hear their memories of those times. That's special and priceless! Don't keep cheating us. Bring Rob back or at least acknowledge that he isn't there.
Where's Rob?

I totally agree with "Where's Rob". A band should at least always perform with the original lead singer if nothing else. Same goes for The Buckinghams. Nice to have a couple original members but I felt cheated not hearing the real voice on the records, Dennis Tufano. I was very disappointed in both acts. At least we got to hear, Howard Kaylan, Mark Lindsay and Micky Dolenz. While the voices aren't exactly the same as they were when they were young men, you can still hear the true voice. I did enjoy the concert overall but noted the same disappointments as "Where's Rob" pointed out. People just want to hear the real voices no matter how good the replacements sound.

Wow, lighten up people. The Grass Roots sounded fantastic! Rob Grill wasn't there - so what?! Micky Dolenz sang Davy Jones songs, The Buckinghams didn't have their original lead singer. Just enjoy the MUSIC!! Most of these hits were written outside the bands - what are we talking about here? It was all presented well and everyone around us had a great time. I'd see The Grass Roots again in a heartbeat, as I would the other performers on the bill.
Midnight Run

Regarding Rob Grill, that's his business and not ours.
Nick Fortuna / The Buckinghams

It was one of the best tours I was ever part of and we hope that next summer to do it again. Rob Grill was missed and for all that know him, they should know he is doing well. The Grassroots sounded great on the tour and people loved hearing their great songs and we all hope that Rob will be able to rejoin them for Happy Together 2011. See you next year!
Mark Volman / The Turtles

Rob Grill has come under quite a bit scrutiny and criticism lately from FH readers who have gone to his shows expecting to hear him sing The Grass Roots' biggest hits ... only to find that he spent the whole evening sitting in a chair, often screaming the lyrics (or asking the audience to sing them) ... or simply not showing up at all.

It's been pretty well reported that Grill has had some serious health issues of late ... we've heard that he's gone through as many as four hip replacement surgeries (followed by a battle with dependency on pain medication) ... but based on a couple of reports that we just received, it sounds like Rob Grill may have been hurting in more ways than one might have expected ... please read on ...

Rob Grill's son Christian had been seriously ill with cancer for quite awhile and, unfortunately, passed away during The Happy Together Tour. There is a memorial service this weekend for Christian, and I think that between his own health issues and his son's passing, we need to give Rob a break.
As far as the truth in advertising problems go: I agree. Just be honest and let people know Rob is not present at this time. I don't think reasons, or excuses need to be made. Just give out the fact that Rob is absent.

Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
And that's REALLY all we've been saying ... the fans have a right to know if the artists they shelled out money for are really going to be appearing on the bill for the tickets they bought.

Of course we are saddened to hear the news of the passing of Rob's son. Having just lost a brother to cancer last year, I know all about the grieving process ... and had to take some time off myself to get my head around the fact that he was no longer with us.
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Remembering Mark Kotal

Frannie and I have also lost a child ... it is never an easy thing to see your child go before you ... so I really do get all of that ... and perhaps a simple explanation was in order. (I don't know how well publicized this news was ... I hadn't heard ANYTHING about it and consider myself to be pretty in tune with the oldies community. Even this morning, well after the fact, a quick Google search turned up NOTHING on this ... what I found instead were all kinds of angry and negative reviews of the show, published for all the world to see ... not exactly the best "PR" a performing artist needs or wants circulating out there.

I'm just saying that it seems to me that things could have played out differently (read: better) than they did ... simply by issuing a brief statement, asking for fans to respect Rob's wishes during this time of grief and move on. Instead, we're left with nothing but bad vibes and bad reviews This isn't to say that one excuses the other ... only to suggest that a whole lot of this negativity probably could have been diffused, were it handled differently.

Certainly Rob Grill has the right to choose how to deal with this in his own way ... and it sounds like the others on the bill did their best to honor and respect Grill's wishes. But unfortunately saying NOTHING only served to piss off many of his most loyal fans.

Even if Rob wasn't seeking a little sympathy, there had to be a better way to play this. Being upfront and honest with the fans who bought tickets (even if no explanation whatsoever was given, they certainly should have been informed that Rob Grill would not be appearing that night) would have gone a LONG way to appease those who, instead, have been left with a bad taste in their mouths.

All that being said, our condolences go out to Rob Grill and his entire family over this very sad and tragic loss. We COMPLETELY understand your needing and taking the time to deal with this and it was NEVER our intention to personally criticize or attack you ... rather to simply point out the proper courtesy of informing your fans that you would not be appearing on any given evening. I am 100% confident that the fan reaction would have been one of both disappointment and understanding ... rather than just anger at feeling deceived ... had they simply been better informed of the circumstances.

Now according to Howard Kaylan, the fans WERE informed at the start of each show that Rob Grill would not be performing that evening ... but according to close to sixty FH readers who attended these shows and left disappointed, they were not. It's hard for me to believe that they ALL missed the announcement ... so the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

We hope you can be strong through all of this, Rob ... and we would still love to hear from you as a means to address your many, many fans. Meanwhile, we can't wait to see you back up on the stage again doing what you do best. (kk)
Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits

Kent -
Rob Grill did not appear at the later shows because of the death of his son. Here is a posting I just received from a Yahoo Groups Grass Roots Fan Forum Message Board.
Hi Everyone,
Just a reminder that the memorial service for Rob Grill's son Christian is this Saturday, October 9th. I know most people cannot attend; however you and all Grass Roots fans can help by donating to the Account: ... set up in the name of Christian's wife, Carla ... please know that any amount will be appreciated.
Also on Saturday please say a prayer or light a candle in Christian's memory. Please continue to keep Rob and his family in your prayers.
This is going to be a rough time for Rob as Christian was his only child and he needs our support not only to get his own health restored but to heal from this terrible loss of his son.
So be kind out there and continue to support The Grass Roots on their upcoming dates.
Please do not ask me what show Rob will be back at and just give him some space.
Group Moderator,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Helping Out Our Readers

Got a musical mystery that you can't solve? Why not run it by our team of oldies experts here at Forgotten Hits? You'd be AMAZED by how many of these we've solved over the years. Check out some of the recently received queries below!

Hey Kent,
Do you know of any site or place I could find out how many sales a song sold?
Like Up Up and Away?
I could have sworn that we ran a link for a site like this before that showed ACTUAL sales for all of the big hit records ... but I can't find it anywhere in the archives. Let's see if we get any response by running this in our "Helping Out Our Readers" feature.
The thing you have to remember is that a lot of the record companies misrepresented the actual sales of a record to avoid having to pay royalties ... according to the "official statistics," Motown Records NEVER had a million seller ... they didn't want their artists knowing how well their records were doing because then they'd come asking for more money!
According to Joel Whitburn's latest book, "Up, Up And Away" sold UNDER half a million copies ... which is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to believe. It was a HUGE hit and a National Top Ten Record. Anybody out there aware of an accurate site that'll give us these figures? (kk)

Recently I was putting together an MP3 disc of the top 100 songs for 1966. I also was trying to figure out other songs that were popular that year. One list I ran across listed that I Feel Good was also popular that year as well as You Don't Try Too Hard by the DC5. I looked at the top 100 for 1965 and noticed that I Feel Good By James Brown actually was in the top 100 for that year. I was curious just how much it may have overlapped in to 1966 and was the DC5 tune a charter that year? Oh yes I'm asking these partially because I don't have direct access to any of the Whitburn books. I have one, but unfortunately for me it's not in Braille.

Can, or has a song, made the top 100 in two consecutive years?
A number of songs have made The Top 100 Year-End Countdowns more than once, depending on WHEN during the year they were released. (I suppose "I Feel Good" could be one of them, debuting on the charts in mid-November of 1965 ... but "Try To Hard" by The Dave Clark Five came out in April of '66!!! So that one's gotta be a mistake!)
Typically, Billboard cut off their qualifying period to make the Year End Chart at the end of November ... that gave them time to calculate the necessary statistics in order to compile the chart in time for their year end issue. As such, songs that began climbing the charts in December spilled over into the following year's statistics. (Typically, a song first climbing the charts in December wouldn't peak until January or February anyway, so I pretty much agree with this method ... and it's the one they've used all along.)
Consequently, a song that was already doing well in October and November ... as well as December and January ... COULD theoretically make the Year-End Chart for BOTH years.
Where things go astray sometimes is when you look at some of these "hindsight" charts ... not necessarily the most accurate means of measuring music popularity unless you clearly establish the criteria used upfront ... and, even then, somewhat debatable.
For example, I have NEVER agreed with The Record Research Chart that puts "I'm A Believer" by The Monkees as the #1 Record of 1966 ... because it simply isn't the case ... but because Joel Whitburn established this information based on the date that a record first reached its peak on the charts, it has greatly distorted reality here.
"I'm A Believer" was a HUGE #1 Hit ... it topped Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart for SEVEN WEEKS ... but it REACHED #1 on December 30, 1966 ... that means that out of the 49 days it held down the top spot on the charts, only TWO of those days occurred during 1966! Everywhere ELSE on the planet at the time, it was considered to be one of the largest records of 1967 ... as it should be ... but because Whitburn's books have been cited as "The Music Bible" for the past 40 years, most statistics circulating since place "I'm A Believer" as a 1966 hit. (Reality check: "I'm A Believer" debuted on Billboard's Chart on December 10, 1966 ... and stayed on the chart for 15 weeks. That means it spent 21 days on the chart in 1966, two of which were at #1; the other 84 days (including 47 of which were ALSO spent at #1) occurred in 1967.
Confusing things even further, Billboard established what they called a "frozen chart" in the '70's ... meaning that because their year-end issue was now a "double issue", no new chart was issued for the last week of every year, thus giving all of these records an extra week at their previous week's chart position. Eventually that changed and an "unfrozen" chart was published on Billboard's website ... but for a few years there, records were earning extra "unqualified" points for their appearance on what was really a non-existent chart. (I know this is WAY more information than you asked for ... but I was on a roll!!! lol) kk

FOLLOW-UP re: I GOT YOU (I FEEL GOOD): Checking the Billboard Year End Charts for both 1965 and 1966, I don't see "I Got You" by James Brown appearing on EITHER Year End Chart!!! Which only goes to prove that a record released at the wrong time of the year could also be PENALIZED by not earning enough points in either half of its eligibility periods to qualify for a year-end chart position ... which REALLY sucks if you think about it because "I Got You" was a #3 Billboard Smash ... and is probably Brown's best-known track today ... but because its chart points were defused, having been split between November of '65 and December and January of '66, it ends up not showing up on the chart at all ... and THAT ain't right!!! (kk)
"I Got You" does not appear on the Top 100 for either 1965 or 1966, probably because it hit its peak near the end of the year. (Billboard's chart year was December - November).
-- Randy Price

Here's James Brown's all-time biggest pop hit ... if it makes you feel any better, play it TWICE!!! (kk)

I was reading the Trade Martin section today and in it, Trade mentioned his Coed Record days.
When I was a kid living near Toronto, I sent a letter to Coed Records in New York asking about one of their songs (99.9% of all U.S. releases were available in Canada on only a handful of labels owned by a very small number of companies)
Anyway, Coed sent me the record and several other 45's. One of them was called "Flying Blue Angels" by George, Johnny & The Pilots (Coed 555). I no longer have those 45's. Do any of your readers have a copy of "Flying Blue Angels"? Apparently it used to be on You Tube but has been taken down.
Thanks Kent.
Still readin'
Doug Thompson
We can all thank Tom Diehl for a copy of this one! (I had never heard it before ... it actually "bubbled under" in Billboard at #108 back in 1961 but (according to the CHUM Chart Book you were kind enough to send me), never charted there in Canada. I imagine it'll be a real pleasure to hear THIS obscure track after all these years! (kk)
I actually have this 45 ... a neat tune that I picked up for a quarter a couple of years ago ...
Hooray for Forgotten Hits. My trip back to memory lane is complete (at least this time).
Thanks to you and your list members ... or in the case of "Flying Blue Angels", your flight crew. Doug Thompson

Hi Kent,

In my never ending quest to convert my vinyl to digital, I was doing some internet search on some 50's groups. One of the songs I converted was by a group called the G-Clefs. The song is called "Ka-Ding-Dong",and supposedly features Freddy Cannon on guitar. I believe the song went to #24 on Billboard.I was just wondering if Mr. Cannon would verify the fact that he played on it? If so it's another cool piece of trivia to store away in my memory banks.

Freddy Cannon, DID, in fact, play lead guitar on this track ... which got me to thinking ... The G-Clefs' record came out in 1956 ... about three years BEFORE Freddy had his OWN very first hit ... so I wondered if there was any OTHER session work he might have been involved with that our readers might be familiar with.
Freddy told me:
I had a doo wop group called the Spindrifts right after the G-Clefs.
Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon
After that, Cannon (whose REAL name is Frederick Picariello, btw) began performing with a group he called Freddy Karmon and the Hurricanes. The story goes that Freddy was spotted by Disc Jockey Jack McDermott while performing with his group in Boston and that McDermott encouraged Freddy to pursue a solo career. (It was also then that he became Freddy Cannon ... the "Boom Boom" came later, thanks to the driving, pulsating beat of his music ... and, most likely, because his new last name was "Cannon"!!!)

The very first song Freddy recorded as a solo artist, "Tallahassee Lassie", was written by his mother! The tape was sent to Swan Records in Philadelphia where Frank Slay and Bob Crewe began adding production elements to the raw, original tape. When they pressed a few copies on vinyl, Freddy took one to WMEX DJ Arnie Ginsberg in Boston, who immediately played it on the air. The response was unbelievable! Freddy quit his job as a truck driver and has been a rock-and-roller ever since!
His biggest hits include "Tallahasee Lassie" (#6, 1959); "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" (#3, 1960); "Palisades Park" (also a #3 Hit in 1962); "Abigail Beecher" (#16, 1964) and "Action" (#13, 1965, which was used as the theme song for Dick Clark's after-school rock and roll television show, "Where The Action Is".) In fact, speaking of Dick Clark, Cannon logged more appearances on Clark's "American Bandstand" than any other artist ... 110 appearances in all!
Freddy told me recently that he owns ALL of his own masters ... and would like to eventually put together a COMPLETE career retrospective that delves deeper into his catalog than the usual Greatest Hits packages. Here's hoping that somebody out there will grab the baton and run with it on this one ... Freddy Cannon is a Rock And Roll Institution and he deserves the artist recognition that goes along with that. (Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nomination, anybody?!?!?) kk

P.S. You'll find out more about Freddy Cannon in this Boston Herald article ... you'll also get the latest run-down on Freddy's recent show (featuring none other than Bobby Vee and Jack Scott ... amongst others ... on the same bill!):

Hi Mr. Kotal,

I sent this email to Jersey John through a link on oldies music. He replied that this is not his forte and referred me to you and said to say that Jersey John sent me.

Would you have any information on this? I can find sketchy info that these two had dealings together when Boyce was with Hart but nothing solid as to actually cutting a record together. My brother is not real sure of the actual label spelling, but when it comes to the music and who sang it, he is usually pretty acurate. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Joann K and Sans A Atlanta GA

Here's a copy of Joann's original email to Jersey John ... thanks for the referral, Jersey John ... we've got this one covered!!! (kk)


I am trying to find music for my brother in his attempt to recreate some of a large vinyl collection that he had some 35 years ago. I have become stalled on a few obscure ones and wonder if you would have any information on, or know where to look for, a Bruce Johnston and Tommy Boyce "Love's Been Good To Me" single. My brother says the 45 was on the Gre(a)y Wynn(d) ?? label and does not remember what was on the flip side. He said he found it at a garage sale and, being a collector, bought it because of the odd label and because Boyce and Johnston together was also unusual.

I have not been able to track this label down, nor have I been able to find this song credited to either artist or even Boyce and Hart. Possibly a demo or studio session? Or a small or single pressing?

Would you have any idea as to where I might find information on this label, and / or the song? My brother is / was the collector and this would be easier coming from him since he had the record and knows the backgrounds on oldies music, but he knows nothing about computers and so I end up being an intermediary since I do the computer searches.

Any information would be greatly appreciated, even a point in a different direction from the blind alley that I seem to have ended in.

Many thanks for your time,

Joann K and Sans A

Atlanta GA

Hi Joann!

I've done some pretty extensive research into the songwriting careers of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and have never come across such a recording so your email intrigued me. Having read Tommy Boyce's biography and personally interviewed Bobby Hart, I was somewhat skeptical that NEITHER artist would have mentioned such a collaboration so my first instinct was that the recording simply didn't exist ... especially since I DID find a connection between Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys and Boyce and Hart.

Here (from our in-depth profile of "The Music of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart", available on the OTHER Forgotten Hits Website here: Click here: Forgotten Hits - THE MUSIC OF TOMMY BOYCE AND BOBBY HART) is a little known fact that we turned up along the way:

One of my favorite chart hits by Boyce and Hart bordered on some of the psychedelia that was so popular in the music being released in late 1967 / early 1968. GOODBYE BABY only went to #52 but I think it's one of their better produced tracks. According to BOBBY HART, THE BEACH BOYS agreed. Shortly after the aborted SMILE album, BEACH BOYS' mastermind BRIAN WILSON retreated to his room. "BRUCE JOHNSTON approached me at the point where BRIAN WILSON wasn't producing THE BEACH BOYS anymore and asked if TOMMY and I would be willing to produce their next session." It never happened ... but give a close listen to GOODBYE BABY and see if you don't hear just a little bit of what must have caught BRUCE JOHNSTON's ear.

I asked Bobby about this again during our interview:
FORGOTTEN HITS: I think one of your greatest recordings is Goodbye Baby ... … it has a sound to it that perfectly defines the ‘60’s to me … yet it wasn’t as big a hit as some of the others. If I’m not mistaken, this recording also led to you guys being approached about producing The Beach Boys. What can you tell us about this period?

BOBBY HART: It was a keyboard driven song start that I came up with as opposed to Tommy’s starts, which were mostly guitar driven. Bruce Johnson approached me in the men’s room at a function at our mutual publicists. Unfortunately, we were too busy with our own careers.

So I dug a little bit deeper ... and I'm sorry to report that you're not going to find a record called "Love's Been Good To Me" by Bruce Johnston and Tommy Boyce because such a record simply doesn't exist. Your brother's memory is a little bit distorted after all these years.

The record he's referring to WAS released on Graywin Records (101) ... but is a guitar instrumental recorded by a duo called Johnson (not Johnston) and Harte (not Boyce ... or Hart for that matter!) It's a non-charting single (the B-Side is something called "Pick Rickin'") and if he'd REALLY like to pick up a copy of this single, he can find one here: ... and pretty reasonably priced, too!

Sorry to burst his bubble ... but hopefully we ALSO saved you a TON of time searching for a record that doesn't really exist!!! Thanks! (kk)

Hi Kent,
I'm still amazed that your readers manage to come up with these wonderful, but obscure songs and I get to discover them myself for the first time ... and often from the most obscure clue!! I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I look forward to reading it every time.
Thanks AGAIN for all your great work,
Eddie Burke,
Orange, CT
Thanks to our incredibly knowledgeable readers, we've established quite a track record with our "Helping Out Our Readers" feature. A few more great examples can be found in THIS issue, too! Keep it goin', gang ... you're AMAZING!!! (kk)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Forgotten Hits (and The True Oldies Channel) Congratulates NEIL DIAMOND on His Nomination for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!!!

Be listening today as Scott Shannon counts down

NEIL DIAMOND's Top 20 Greatest Hits

on The True Oldies Channel.

(You can "Listen Live" here):

Congratulations to Neil Diamond on his long-overdue nomination for inclusion in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!

Today, between 10 am and 3 pm Chicago Time, Scott Shannon will be playing Neil's 20 Greatest Hits (along with a few "extras" and surprises thrown in along the way!)
In fact, it sounds like Scott has expanded his official Neil Diamond coverage to spill over until tomorrow, too ... so we don't know WHAT kind of other features he's got planned ... but we DO know that you'll hear plenty of Neil Diamond Music over the next 48 hours!!!

Meanwhile, you can follow along with the countdown
right here on The Forgotten Hits Website:


1. Cracklin' Rosie
2. Song Sung Blue
3. Sweet Caroline
4. You Don't Bring Me Flowers (with Barbra Streisand)
5. Holly Holy
6. Love On The Rocks
7. Hello Again
8. America
(all three of the above selections are from the
soundtrack to Neil's film "The Jazz Singer")
9. I Am, I Said
10. Cherry Cherry
11. Thank The Lord For The Night-Time
12. September Morn
13. Desiree
14. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
15. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon
16. Solitary Man
17. Stones
18. Longfellow Serenade
19. Forever In Blue Jeans
20. Cherry Cherry (Live "Hot August Night" version)

According to The Billboard Charts, Neil Diamond hit The Top 100 an incredible 56 times between 1966 and 1986. 37 of those records reached The Top 40, 13 made The Top 10 and THREE went all the way to #1!!!

In addition, songs written by Neil Diamond have ALSO topped the charts for The Monkees ("I'm A Believer") and UB40 ("Red Red Wine")

Neil's first chart hit came courtesy of Jay and the Americans, who reached #18 in 1965 with their rendition of "Sunday And Me" (a Forgotten Hit to be sure!)

Neil's OWN career took off the following year when "Solitary Man" became his first chart hit. (It stopped at #55 when it was first released during The Spring of 1966 ... but would go all the way to #21 when it was re-released four years later after Neil left Bang Records for greener pastures on the Uni Records label.)

His first Top Ten Hit, "Cherry Cherry" came three months later. (Ironically, it, too, would re-enter the charts a few years later, albeit in a "live" version, recorded as part of Neil's classic "Hot August Night" package.)

Just as Neil's career was starting to take off, he was approached about giving his song "I'm A Believer" to The Monkees. Neil had been planning to make this track his own new single ... but was ultimately convinced that if The Monkees recorded it, it would become a much bigger hit. It proved to be a good decision ... The Monkees were at the top of their game in late 1966 / early 1967 and "I'm A Believer" went on to top The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart for seven straight weeks and sell millions of copies ... in fact, it became the biggest hit of their career. (Truth is Neil Diamond probably earned more money from the royalties of The Monkees' record than he made on all of his OWN record sales combined that year!)

A little known fact is that, as part of the deal in giving up this song, Neil was also promised that another one of his compositions would be used on The Monkees' follow-up single. So, after "I'm A Believer" ran its course on the charts, their next single became "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", which went all the way to #2.
(I guess that's what you'd call a REALLY good decision!!! A real "win-win" for all parties concerned!)

Congratulations, Neil, on your Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nomination ... and thank you for entertaining us for the past 45 years with your great music!

NEIL DIAMOND's Top 40 National Hits
(Based on the record's peak performance in either Billboard or Cash Box Magazine)
NOTE: Top 10 Records are shown in BLUE; #1 Records are shown in RED

1966 - Cherry Cherry; I Got The Feelin' (Oh No No)
1967 - You Got To Me; Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon; I Thank The Lord For The Night Time; Kentucky Woman
1968 - New Orleans
1969 - Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show; Sweet Caroline; Holly Holy
1970 - Shilo; Soolaimon; Solitary Man; Cracklin' Rosie; He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother; Do It
1971 - I Am, I Said; Stones
1972 - Song Sung Blue; Play Me; Walk On Water
1973 - Cherry Cherry (Live); Be
1974 - Longfellow Serenade
1975 - I've Been This Way Before
1976 - If You Know What I Mean
1978 - Desiree; You Don't Bring Me Flowers (with Barbra Streisand)
1979 - Forever In Blue Jeans
1980 - September Morn
1981 - Love On The Rocks; Hello Again; America
1982 - Yesterday's Songs; On The Way To The Sky; Be Mine Tonight; Heartlight
1983 - I'm Alive
THIS JUST IN: Scott Shannon will be featuring Neil Diamond music throughout the day both today AND tomorrow on The True Oldies Channel ... a full-blown tribute to Neil's music ... so if you're a fan of this music ... or know somebody who is ... be sure to tell them to tune into The True Oldies Channel!

And, Neil's got a brand new album coming out next month, too!
According to reports, Neil's new LP, "Dreams" will be released on November 2nd on Columbia Records ... featuring an entire album of Neil interpreting the songs of others!
Diamond says: “You never know how long you’ve got and a lot of these songs have been waiting for me to record them for 40 years.”
The 14 songs on "Dreams" include Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and “Yesterday,” Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and The Eagles’ “Desperado.” Diamond also re-makes one of this own songs — “I’m a Believer,” which became the biggest of The Monkees’ hits after the group and its producer Don Kirshner were impressed by Diamond’s 1966 demo.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Of Your Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Comments

Every time we mention The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, we get HUNDREDS of comments from our readers regarding the whole nominating / selection process ... so naturally last week was no exception.

Here are just a few of the more thought-provoking things you guys had to say:

Hi Kent:
I'm amazed that any Oldies Fans can have a conversation about who should be in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ... and not mention Jack Scott.
The Problem with the choices made for induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ... and most other Hall of Fames ... comes down to one simple thing ... Criteria.
They don't have one.
Let's see if we can come up with Criteria For PERFORMERS:
1) Career Dates: The earlier you began your success, the more points you achieve. Making Rock and Roll Records in The '50s when many churches were burning them and many radio stations were breaking them ... did not appear to be a long term career option.
5 points for Pre-1955 (true pioneer)
4 points for 1956-1959 (Elvis takes it Mainstream)
3 points for 1960-1963 (post payola.)
2 points for 1964-1975 (contributing to The Beatle Wave or succeeding in spite of it)
1 point - 1975-Present (being inspired by Everyone)
2) Number of Top 40 Chart Records (Billboard) One point for each record.
3) You ALSO wrote / co-wrote (one point for each Top 40 record)
4) You ALSO Produced (one point for each Top 40 record )
5) You ALSO played a Musical Instrument (one point for each Top 40 record)
The Next Step is to decide how many "points" are required to be inducted. I'd suggest it might be between 10 and 15. We would have to establish a different Criteria for nominees who were exclusively writers, producers etc.
What do you think Kent?
Warren Cosford
Co-producer The Story of The Beatles (12 hours 1970)
Production Manager The Elvis Presley Story (12 hours 1975)
Production Manager The Evolution of Rock (64 hours 1977)
Manager: CHUM / CHUM-FM Toronto, WDRE New York, CJBK / BX-93 London, CKLW / 89X / CKWW / 93.9 THE RIVER, Windsor / Detroit
P.S. I almost forgot ... my purpose was to make an argument for Jack Scott. With 19 Billboard Charted Records in the 41 months between June 1958 and November 1961, I think he'd make it under the "Chart Criteria" alone.
That he wrote all his Chart Records with the exception of 1 ... I think he'd make it as a writer.
That he produced all his Chart Records on the Carlton Label ... I think he'd make it as a producer.
Scroll down to see Dick Clark introduce Jack Scott on American Bandstand singing The Way I Walk. Jack felt he hadn't finished the song but label owner Joe Carlton convinced him to record what he had done so far ... and then, to Jack's surprise ... released it as a single.
Robert Gordon's version was ... somewhat notoriously ... featured in Natural Born Killers (at the 2:20 mark of this clip from the movie)
And then ... of course ... there was The Cramps
And for The Last Word on the earliest days of U.S. Rock and Roll check the attached

As you know, my BIGGEST beef with The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame all along has been their failure to determine a criteria for consideration regarding induction to their hallowed halls. Your point system seems to make perfect sense ... but The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame seems to go out of their way to tell us that popularity and chart success carry absolutely NO weight with their choices ... and, to their credit (or would that be DIScredit) they successfully continue prove this point year after year after year.
Actually, I am of the belief that they really DO have a point system ... they just don't publicize it.
For example, if Jann Wenner likes you and wants you in, you earn forty points ... and an immediate spot on the ballot, forcing all voting members to consider you, whether they actually believe that you're worthy or not.
If you were at one time an Atlantic Records recording artist (this was particularly true when Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame co-founder Ahmet Ertegun was still alive), that earns you twenty points. (And the ghost of Ahmet still holds some clout ... witness this year's nominees Joe Tex, Chic, Chuck Willis, Dr. John and The J. Geils Band!)
And, if you're willing to shell out $10,000 a piece for a table or two at the induction ceremony, you can probably get one of YOUR label artists on the ballot, too.
Of course NONE of this has anything whatsoever to do with talent, artistic achievement or inspiration ... or furthering the genre known as "rock and roll" .. all of which was supposedly the very foundation the museum was reportedly built on in the first place ... but trust me ... there IS a criteria point system in place ... they just don't like to talk about it! (kk)
P.S. While Jack Scott put together an impressive run of hits in the late '50's and early '60's ... and he has been mentioned by a few of our readers in the past as being worthy of consideration ... he is hardly what we'd consider a "front runner" in the over-looked, Deserving And Denied category ... not based on the opinion of the "masses" out there anyway. Besides, how many Canadian Artists does The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame really need?!?!? They continue to ignore the likes of The Guess Who, Paul Anka, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot and Bachman-Turner Overdrive on a regular basis ... why on earth would they consider Jack Scott??? (In fact, is there ANY Canadian Artist in The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame other than Neil Young???) kk

Here are a few of my Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame comments:
Bon Jovi -- I am not a fan. I consider them to be lower class Springsteen. However they have legions of fans, sell out arenas and are definitely RRHOF worthy.
Neil Diamond -- wrote and sang many classics -- a definite YES.
Donna Summer -- don't tell me disco is not rock and roll. I definitely consider her to be more rocking than let's say James Taylor. I see disco as a late 70s extension of Motown and Philly soul. Donna, along with KC and the Bee Gees, was one of the three dominant disco artists. She rocked out on Hot Stuff -- definite YES.
The rest are either cult artists [Dr. John, Tom Waits], writers [Laura Nyro], minor Atlantic artists [Chuck Willis, Joe Tex] or second tier rockers [J. Geils, Alice Cooper] or others.
I'm a huge fan of Darlene Love. Her solo hits should have hit #1 but they didn't come close. She did great backup work with the Blossoms, especially on the Johnny Rivers records. I'd consider her.
Chic had a four hit career [two #1s] and the nucleus was involved in many big disco / dance hits of the 70s and 80s including We Are Family, I'm Coming Out, Upside Down, the entire Bowie Let's Dance album, and the Honeydrippers album.
I hate rap but it is included and LL Cool J was a big 80s artist. I guess I'd include him.
Mark the Shark
While I do believe Darlene Love belongs in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I really have to question how HER name made the ballot before Johnny Rivers' did, especially in light of the fact that you cite her as worthy for her background vocal work on Rivers' hit records!
Overall, I think it's a pretty good list this year ... as I mentioned the other day, we've seen more and more of our Deserving And Denied Artists making the ballot since we started publicly bitching and complaining a few years ago. (Not that I believe for a millisecond that Jann Wenner has ever read a single word I've written ... but The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Museum in Cleveland certainly knows who we are ... we got all kinds of correspondence from them when our big Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Series ran a few years ago! Museum President Terry Stewart even cancelled his scheduled Forgotten Hits Interview after we published the Fox News Report regarding The Dave Clark Five being snubbed in favor of a Rap Act ... and when we started appearing on a variety of oldies radio shows around the country, letting fans know who ISN'T in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I don't think we won over any RRHF staff or supporters! (kk)

Hi Kent:

Do they really pay some fool $400,000 to make up the finalist list for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame? That seems completely insane, being that almost anybody could do it in a half hour with a six pack! Sounds like a Government job!
Hey, on numerous occassions I've offered to take on the job for HALF the money ... but still no takers! (kk)

Hey Kent ...
Have you seen this article?
Hall of fame should consider Spaniels, Vee Jay matriarch :: Entertainment :: Post-Tribune
I say YES to the Spaniels ... what do you say ?
If they ever recorded an album with Joe Cocker, they'd be known as The Cockerspaniels. Lol!
Sorry about that one.
Frank B.

Now THAT's a show I would pay to go and see! (kk)

IMHO, the most overlooked group that doesn't even make the overlooked list is Jan & Dean. They had solid (and #1) hits in several eras and styles. Baby Talk. Surf City. Their comedic approach (T.A.M.I. and the Batman comedy album) . . .
Actually, there have been quite a few votes cast for Jan and Dean amongst our readers ... and personally, for all that's been written over the years regarding Jan Berry's "musical genius", I'm a little surprised that they HAVEN'T been inducted yet. (Maybe it's the novelty songs that have made their rightful place there seem a little bit doubtful??? I believe this factor has also drastically hurt The Monkees in this regard.)
I, for one, absolutely agree that there should be a spot for these guys in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. (kk)

I thought I'd send along a little Neil Diamond stuff after reading how he was on the "sick list" of possible Hall of Fame inductees.
I am certainly happy with Donovan and Alice Cooper, while Bon Jovi and J. Geils would deserve consideration if there were about 100 more deserving in there already.
The rest?
Some are good writers or R&B or rappers or whatever, but not really rock 'n roll. Donovan deserves it mainly because he was a huge influence on the 60's rock scene, even if most of his songs were more folky.
That brings us to Neil Diamond.
Personally, I am sick of this guy's departure from his 60's roots. In the 70's, he went all mellow on us. "Forever in Blue Jeans" was his most upbeat song? He did good songs in the 70's and 80's, but what happened to "Brother Love" and "Cherry, Cherry"?? Oh yeah, the great "Crunchy Granola Suite" was 70's, so he did one, right?
And Please, NO MORE "Sweet Caroline" at sports events!
Neil had great music in the late 60's and great music in the 70's, too, but it was just too much mellow stuff.
Bang actually helped us believe in the early 70's by re-releasing old rock songs to battle the new Uni "Walk On Water". It's no wonder "Do It" almost over took the new track, "He Ain't Heavy" when they were released simultaniously.
Bang should have warned us of the upcoming schmaltz by reissuing "I Got the Feelin' (Oh No No)".
Neil deserves Hall of Fame votes, but for his 60's days only.
The 80's? He was "Headed for the Future and the future was BAD!"
Don't get me started on his screaming live concerts today.
Maybe you'll "laugh when it (is) all done, for (him) being done to soon"??
Clark Besch
When we put together our list of Top 20 Greatest Neil Diamond songs for The True Oldies Channel (airing tomorrow, by the way, all over the world thanks to their online streaming ... and on about a hundred terrestrial radio stations around the country, too ... check the website for complete "Listen Live" details or a radio station near you) ... I was AMAZED by how Neil's Top 20 Biggest Hits actually fell when put in "hit order" ... I ultimately had to RE-DO the list to better reflect the music that made him Hall Of Fame-worthy in the first place. (That's why we're calling it Neil Diamond's 20 GREATEST Hits instead of his 20 BIGGEST Hits ... an actual list of Neil Diamond's Top 20 Biggest Hits puts his duet with Barbra Streisand, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" at #1 ... and also includes schmaltz like "Love On The Rocks", "Hello Again" and "America" from "The Jazz Singer" Soundtrack, his tribute to E.T. "Heartlight", "Longfellow Serenade", "September Morn", the aforementioned "Walk On Water", "Play Me", "Desiree" and "If You Know What I Mean".
Factor in dreck like his "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" hits "Be" and "Skybird", along with often over-the-top ballads like "Play Me", "Soolaimon", "Until It's Time For Me To Go" and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" and pretty soon all you've done is built an iron-clad case as to why he should NOT be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!!!
And that's the LAST thing we want to do ... we've campaigned for Neil's rightful inclusion for YEARS now ... and we heartily congratulate him on FINALLY making the ballot!
Our purpose tomorrow is to salute the songs that got him there in the first place. (As far as I'm concerned, most of Neil's post-1975 recordings seem to fall into the "Spoken Word" category rather than the "Rock And Roll" category!)
But we have to remember that along the way Neil ALSO gave us GREAT rock and roll tracks like "Solitary Man", "Cherry Cherry", "I Got The Feelin'", "You Got To Me", "I Thank The Lord For The Night Time", "Kentucky Woman", "Red Red Wine", "Two Bit Manchild", "Sunday Sun", "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show", "Shilo", "Cracklin' Rosie", "Do It", "Crunchy Granola Suite", "Done Too Soon", "Song Sung Blue", "I'm A Believer", "Sweet Caroline" and "Forever In Blue Jeans". His early ballads "Holly Holy", "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" "I Am, I Said" and "Stones" spoke to us in a very special way. Then he went all theatrical on us, leaving all of his '60's rock fans behind and building instead an audience of screaming, panties-throwing blue-haired ladies!!!
Tomorrow's Top 20 Countdown encompasses the best of BOTH worlds ... yes, you'll still find tracks like "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" and "Love On The Rocks" on the list ... because there's simply no denying that these were HUGE hits in their own right ... but you'll also find some of the "rockers" that you just don't hear on the radio all that much anymore, too ... and, depending on how many "extras" Scott Shannon is able to slip in along the way, maybe even a few surprises.
So please tune in tomorrow to The True Oldies Channel and listen to our very special Tribute To Neil Diamond ... Click here: True Oldies Channel

Even better ... now we'll get an even BIGGER variety of Neil Diamond hit music (including a few of my obscure favorites like "Brooklyn Roads", "You Got To Me" and "Kentucky Woman"!) kk

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Sunday Comments ( 10 - 03 - 10 )

Welcome to another Super-Sized Edition of The Sunday Comments Page!

Hi Kent ...
I just checked Ron Smith's Music Calendar. Today, (10/3/10), is Alan O' Day's 70th Birthday. It wasn't long ago we were dissecting his hit "Undercover Angel". Are you going to wish him a Happy Birthday or should I?
Why don't we do it together.
Frank B.

Happy Birthday, Alan! In fact, picture this if you will ...
Nearly 2000 Forgotten Hits Readers ... all up early on a Sunday Morning ... most of us still in our pajamas ... (or less since Frank just HAD to mention "Undercover Angel"!!! lol) ... arm in arm ... singing and swaying in unison ...
"Happy Birthday To You ... Happy Birthday To You ...
Happy Birthday, Dear Alan ...
Happy Birthday To You ....
I say, Oooo-oooo-oooo-weeee!!!"
Have a GREAT one, my friend!


Lon Van Eaton was one of the first singer / songwriters signed to The Beatles’ historic music company, Apple Records in the 1970s. One of his songs, “Sweet Music,” which he recorded with his brother Derrek, will be featured on a new compilation album, entitled Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records, due in stores on October 26, 2010.
The Lon & Derrek Van Eaton hit song “Sweet Music” is culled from the highly acclaimed album — Brother — which is now in high demand by Apple-era vinyl record collectors. It was produced by George Harrison, and features Ringo Starr on drums.
Lon and Derrek’s song will be in very good company on Come and Get It, as the album also includes exciting Apple tracks by James Taylor, Badfinger, Mary Hopkin, Billy Preston, and Ronnie Spector.
Since his days at Apple Records, Lon appeared on hit solo albums by Martha Reeves, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Harry Nilsson. According to Lon, “Even though I have had a multi-media career in the entertainment business that spans four decades, I will forever be associated with The Beatles, which is a great distinction. Hopefully this long-awaited Apple compilation album is going to help launch several new projects I have up my sleeve!”

This Apple compilation is LONG overdue ... this stuff has been out of print for DECADES. It'll be really nice to have pristine copies of this material after all this time. (kk)
Check out the tracks on this new CD ... it's a collector's dream!
Click here: Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records: Various Artists: Music

Be watching next week for an EXCLUSIVE Forgotten Hits Interview with Lon Van Eaton. (In fact, if YOU have a question that you'd like us to ask, shoot me a quick email and I'll see what we can do!)
And, not only will we be talking with Lon but, thanks to David Salidor, we'll ALSO have a free, autographed copy of this new Apple CD to give away to one lucky Forgotten Hits Readers!!!
So PLEASE stay tuned ... and get your entry in now!!! (kk)


That Philly Sound is proud to announce that our newest CD, THE SPOKESMEN--THE DAWN OF CORRECTION has just been released and is available for the first time on CD to purchase through CD Baby.

In the mid '60s, John Madara, David White and D.J. Ray Gilmore formed a group called The Spokesmen. They released "The Dawn Of Correction," an answer song to the enormous hit "Eve Of Destruction" by Barry McGuire. The song was very controversial. Time Magazine did an article on the two songs, comparing The Spokesmen lyrics with the Barry McGuire lyrics. In some cases they were not permitted to sing the song on the air and had to replace it with another song.
The LP was recorded in October of 1965 and reached #21 on the National charts. This is the first time that it has been released on CD. The CD includes all 12 songs from the LP, including "The Dawn Of Correction."
Click here to preview and purchase this CD and individual songs
Also, please go to THAT PHILLY SOUND to purchase other rare Philly CDs, and learn more about the artists and people behind the Philadelphia music scene.
Click here to go to THAT PHILLY SOUND.
THAT PHILLY SOUND is presented by songwriter / record producer, John Madara, who co-wrote and co- produced with partner, Dave White, such timeless classics as AT THE HOP (Danny and The Juniors), ROCK AND ROLL IS HERE TO STAY -- Producer (Danny and The Juniors), THE FLY (Chubby Checker), 1-2-3 (Len Barry, who also co- wrote the song with Madara & White) and YOU DON'T OWN ME (Leslie Gore). These and countless other hits helped to make up "The Sound Of Philadelphia."
The recent That Philly Sound reissue features the entire Spokesmen LP in its entirety ... but no bonus tracks. Thanks to our many conversations with John Madara over the years, we've got a rare track to share with you today ... it's The Spokesmen doing THEIR cover version of The Beatles' classic "Michelle"! (kk)

Endless Summer Quarterly Celebrates Summer With A New CD
With The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary over six months away, Endless Summer Quarterly (now celebrating its 23rd year) is pleased to be bringing subscribers of the fanzine the Fall 2010 edition featuring interviews with Brian Wilson, Alan Jardine and The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz on their new album releases.

The rest of 2010 looks great for subscribers of ESQ, with an upcoming special edition on the 40th Anniversary of Sunflower … as well as a new ESQ pod-cast series titled ESQcast. Subscribers of ESQ can look forward more quality reading and fun online, and that’s what each edition delivers for the fans in celebration of The Beach Boys’ amazing legacy.
Endless Summer Quarterly was established in 1987 by editors emeritus Rick Edgil and Phil Mast in San Diego. Editor emeritus Lee Dempsey and current editor David Beard began publishing in Charlotte, NC with just over 200 subscribers in the summer of 1993. Within a few years the East Coast team had established a new following of readers with an incredible increase of over 1,000 readers. With the passing of Carl Wilson in February of 1998, ESQ maintained its focus on the band’s history as well as covering the group’s individual endeavors. Considered the world’s leading Brian Wilson / Beach Boys / Jan & Dean publication by the group members, their associates and historians worldwide, ESQ continues to create historically memorable editions with its positive vision and celebration of The Beach Boys’ great legacy. now includes a complete back issue order form (dating 15 years back to 1993) with a breakdown of every edition as a downloadable PDF file.

Hi Kent
Davie Allan has a new cd coming out Tuesday 10-05-10.
I did the design and layout for him want to send you the front and back covers'
Mickey Cooksey

I've mentioned the new Bob Lind DVD "Perspective" a couple of times now in the newsletter ... but FINALLY had a chance to watch it this weekend. It's a VERY interesting, appropriately titled piece ... introspective, candid, honest and entertaining, all at the same time ... guaranteed to hold your attention (and make you both smile and cringe) for 93 straight minutes!

It's also a GREAT chance to hear some of Bob's newer material ... (no, as he points out in the video, he did NOT die in 1969 ... he's been doing ... and is STILL doing ... the same thing ... making music ... and observing and relating life's experiences for the entertainment and enjoyment of us all. Unfortunately, it just hasn't always been out there and accessible for many of us ... but this new release helps get us all up to date!)
In addition to his musical stories (and there are plenty ... my personal favorite is a piece called "Looking For You" ... and you'll find a video clip for this one on Bob's website), Bob also shares some of his own life stories and experiences. (His remembrance of his time spent working as a staff writer for The Weekly World News is priceless!)
There are moments where his soul is stripped naked for all the world to see ... and we get a much better understanding as to just what makes up the man as well as the "tortured artist" ... and we're all the richer for it.
(By the way, Bob, for ANY paranoia you may have experienced while putting together the band for the concert sequences, you needn't have worried ... you couldn't have assembled a better group of musicians to bring to life your musical visions. Kudos to ring-leader Jamie Hoover on lead guitar, Matt Cook on keyboards, Dave Carpenter on bass and Kevin Jarvis on drums ... they truly do bring your thoughts and dreams to life on stage.)
All in all, an interesting and enlightening way to spend an hour and a half.
You can pick up YOUR copy at Bob's website: ... and also find out where to catch Bob in concert (where copies of the DVD are also made available.) kk

HEY KENT ... get a load of this ...
I left my mp3 player home (big rain) and listened to (gasp) non-satellite radio ... 4 years later and like I never gave it up ...
same music, same talk ... same playlists?
ANYWAY ... a commercial on NJ101.5 FM happened to be advertising an appearance by NANCY SINATRA at a local liquor store (a big one) ...
Call ahead to reserve your bottle of SINATRA VINO ($113 per) and she will sign it for you ...
NANCY, NANCY, NANCY ... what hath god wrought? has it come to this?
I have a feeling that the supply of wine is NOT as limited as they imply ...

I met Nancy at one of those celebrity shows here a few years back ... really strange to see her "live" (and in an "unretouched photo" sort of way!!! ... as evidenced by this newspaper clipping photo that Gary sent me!) kk

Hi Kent,
My friends found this link which included one of our songs " I'll Never Tell" by Tony and the Daydreams. I don't have any idea where they got our record from it or why they even know about the record ... it was not a hit.
They have tons of recordings on the link!
Best wishes ~
Don "Young" Albano
Thanks, Don! (We'll have an exclusive interview / feature on Don Albano's career coming up soon in Forgotten Hits, too ... if I can ever free up enough time to finish it!!! Thanks, too, Don, for being so patient!) kk

Hi Kent,
I just found the Jimi Hendrix piece you did on your website. Very interesting read with very few spelling and grammatical errors, a real surprise these days. I got a good laugh with the Fighting Irish little league team mention.
All the disparaging remarks about the Monkees all these years really get old. Despite them being dubbed the "Pre-Fab Four" and despite studio musicians providing the music on their albums, despite the fact that they were created by TV producers, they were all very good musicians in their own right (Davy played a mean tambourine!) and each hasdistinctive vocals that I can still recognize after 44 years of their existence. They had great live shows even in the early years.
I took my 8 year old daughter to see them in 1988 and she loved them. They were apop / cultural phenomena, like it or not. They just happened to be liked by screaming teeny boppers back then. They actually made some very cool psychedelic music in their day.
I was always a Hendrix fan *AND* a Monkees fan. Once I heard Hendrix's guitar solo on Watchtower, I was hooked. And you mentioned Stephen Stills and the Monkees, but unless I missed it, you didn't mention that, ironically, Stephen Stills (along with John Sebastian, among many others) auditioned for the Monkees but didn't make the cut. But then, your article was about Hendrix, not the Monkees, so maybe it wouldn't be appropriate.
And not only did the Beatles love Hendrix, they also were fans, to some degree, of the Monkees. And despite, Chas and Jimi being ashamed of the Monkees coming to the UK, there had to have been a huge demand or they wouldn't have went there.

Bill Smith
You're preaching to the choir, Bill, when it comes to The Monkees ... I've always been one of their biggest fans. (In fact, if anything, I was more of the opinion that it was HENDRIX who was over-rated!!!)
And you're also right about why so little of this other stuff was mentioned ... the whole focus of this piece was to spotlight Jimi Hendrix and not The Monkees. (We've covered them HUNDREDS of times over the past twelve years of doing Forgotten Hits ... for another interesting read, be sure to check out our Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart piece ... it can ALSO be found on the website ... and there's a FH Exclusive Interview with Bobby Hart on there, too!)
The whole purpose of our Hendrix piece was to "discover" TWELVE THINGS YOU PROBABLY NEVER KNEW ABOUT JIMI HENDRIX ... we probably named two or three TIMES that many, figuring that the real die-hard fans would know too many of the obvious ones! (lol)
Anyway, I'm glad you liked the piece ... and hope that you will take time to browse around the site a little bit longer ... and check out our OTHER site, too, where we publish all of our NEW postings ... including your letter here today! (kk)
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Jimi Hendrix


My "retirement" is officially over. It was really more of a sabbatical than a true retirement and the fact is I posted three interview shows (Susan Jacks, Mike Clifford, author Stanley J. Blitz) during my "time off.
"Since my "time off" is now OFF, this is my first post-sabbatical interview. And it's only the second one that I've done for the Jersey Girls Sing website that is with a primarily-70s act. The previous one was with the "Rubber Duck," C.W. McCall.
Kent, you were so nice giving me that wonderful tribute page. With that in mind my next retirement will probably be right before next summer.
My latest interview subject, Walter Egan, is best-remembered for singing and writing the 1978 smash hit "Magnet And Steel." But he also had three others which made the national chart and you'll hear all four of them on this show.
He was born in Jamaica, NY. Though he is primarily considered a 70s act, he cut his musical teeth in the 60s, first surfacing with a surf-rock band dubbed the Malibooz (pun intended!) which earned a devoted local following and performed at the 1964 New York World's Fair. He eventually formed a folk-rock group called Sageworth and became a big fan of the rock and roll supergroup the Byrds. Little did Walter know that several years later one of the members of that group would record one of his songs on what would become a legendary album.
It wasn't until 1977 that a good portion of the musical world became aware of Walter Egan, the recording artist. His single "Only The Lucky" peaked at #82 on the Billboard Hot 100. The following year "Magnet And Steel" became a giant hit, peaking at #8 and staying on the chart for 22 weeks. It was one of the backup singers who was the "magnet" who inspired him to write that song. He followed up with another original composition, "Hot Summer Nights," which missed the top 40 but peaked at #18 the following year in a version by a group called Night. And, oh yes, rapper Eminem got into the act in 2009 when he used so much of the essence of "Hot Summer Nights" in his new song "We Made You" that Walter was given one-fifth songwriter credit on the Eminem hit! Yes, you'll hear a small portion of that (but only a few lines) and they are rated G.
There's a lot more but I'll let you and others who choose to listen be surprised. This was a fun show and it was a joy for me learning so much more about the artist whom I previously knew only from "Magnet And Steel."
This Walter Egan radio interview show, recorded exclusively for the Jersey Girls Sing website is on this page: Ronnie's Radio Page
Coming attraction: my next radio interview show to be posted is with a man who had a monster hit and whose professional last name is almost always mispronounced. Let the guessing begin!Ronnie Allen
Glad to have you back, Ronnie! (It brings to mind that old saying "How can we miss you if you never really go away?!?!?" lol) And you know, a plug or two on your show and website for Forgotten Hits would be kinda nice, too!
BIG fan of "Magnet And Steel" ... one of the ones I used to sing back in the day ... looking forward to many more interviews in the future. (kk)

Now this is just WAY too cool!!!
How cool was it this week when David Letterman and Paul Shaeffer mentioned Dick Biondi on the Late Show during a Top 10 about Rahm Emanuel? I saw this live and about fainted when they were trying to remember who had been a Chicago mayor besides the Daleys and said one was DICK BIONDI! Obviously, Dave and Paul both grew up hearing him! Certainly, Dave must have heard him and was on the air at ball State when Dick was at WCFL. Here's the cool tribute. I'll try to send some scans of stuff from my collection to go along with "the Man the Street is named after."

Congratulations to Scott Shannon of The True Oldies Channel. The other night during the presentation of the 2010 Marconi Radio Awards, The National Association of Broadcasters named Scott Shannon, midday host on Citadel Broadcasting Oldies outlet WLS-FM 94.7 here in Chicago, (and syndicated around the entire globe via The True Oldies Channel streaming worldwide Internet broadcast from The TOC Mothership), Network / Syndicated Personality of the Year. Winners were announced Thursday night at the annual NAB Radio Show in Washington, D.C.
(For news about our next Forgotten Hits / True Oldies Channel feature, be sure to check out the Neil Diamond article below!) kk

>>>When I was 13 in the summer of 1965, my friend Art and I built a "wireless broadcaster" out of some radio parts we bought at the Six Corners Olson Electronics, all screwed to a piece of scrap 1 X 6. We hooked it up to his shortwave listening antenna (about 30 feet of wire strung from his house to his garage) connected it to his record player, and grabbed a 45 from the pile of records he had just sitting on a basement shelf. Then we took a transistor radio and ran around the neighborhood seeing how far away we could hear it. When the 45 ended, we went back to the basement and put it on again and then ran in the other direction. You could literally hear it a block away, west past Overhill and east past Oriole. It was a fun stunt and I've always wondered if anyone else in the neighborhood swung past the frequency then and heard it too.

(Jeff Duntemann)
You too, Jeff? Some pals and I did the same thing. We could be heard about a block away when we transmitted from the back yard SWL antenna. Interesting thing is, we all became ham operators like you, worked in radio a while and eventually were forced to go straight and ended up in technology jobs too. And just to close the loop, my gal and I danced a stroll to a Pat Boone tune at a party last weekend.
David Lewis

Ahh, I love it ... Pirate Radio (without the boats!!!) kk

re: 1969:
Kent --
I listened to "1969" by Ross Hannaman ... Terrific record!!!
From the ongoing dialogue, I gather she was Canadian, not being familiar with New Rose Records. Great voice and great arrangement. Another would-have-been from my favorite music genre.
"Hey....I hate to picture.....1969..... (clap of thunder)"
If she only knew!!!!
Bob Rashkow

I just listened to 1969 by Ross Hannaman. Imagine my surprise to find out it is Beethoven's Fur Elise!! Gotta love the world of music!
I know, isn't that AWESOME?!?!? I love it! (kk)

Hey Kent,
I like that "1969" song. It's amazing how people can find these songs with only a few clues. Your readers are the best!
Thanks for your help,
Eddie Burke,
Orange, CT
Here's something REALLY amazing ... when you consider the tens of thousands of songs we've all been exposed to over the past 40-50 years, you need to ALSO consider the fact that probably less than 2% of the music recorded ever gets heard! If a track doesn't catch an immediate audience ... or the ear of a deejay or record producer or promotion man, it probably went unnoticed by the majority of us out there. That's why it's such a treat to discover a "brand new" track like 1969 ... something that never even made the charts at all but still has an immediate hooking appeal.
And you're right about our readers ... I am amazed time and time again. (Honestly, I believe our hit-ratio is well over 90% ... not quite 100%, but damn close!!!) We have an absolutely AMAZING group of readers out there and their passion for this music shows each and every day. It's all what makes doing this so worthwhile. (kk)

P.S. Watch for a brand new edition of "Helping Out Our Readers" later this week!

>>>What's the weather look like outside? (kk)
When I saw this topic line I started hearing the WLS weather jingle that sang "What's the weather for the weekend gonna be ... will it be hot, cold, rain, snow, ooohh" Haven't heard that in well over 40 years, but some of those jingles still play clearly in my head. Just don't ask me the name of a person I met last week, or what I was looking for when I opened the refrigerator a few minutes ago ....
David Lewis
lol, I hear that!!! My mind is chock-full of useless information!!! (kk)
And here's that weather jingle you're referring to, courtesy of Clark Besch (aka WLSClark!)
Those WLS Anita Kerr jingles are just so good! Put em in the RNR Hall of Fame too! Here's a comp of thru the years WLS Jingles including that weather jingle. They also used one with DJ voice over like this one that sang ""Temperature" (DJ says temp), "Time" (DJ again with time) and then "That's the time and the temperature in Chicago ... WLS"
That's why I am Sparticus, err, I mean WLSClark

>>>You remember Chi Coltrane's "Thunder & Lightning" from '72? Well, Columbia didn't record it, others did and all Columbia / Sony has is the master tape, not the session tape - so it can't actually be "Remastered". Would love to find who actually holds the session tape(s), if they still exist!!! (John)
>>>According to Wayne Janck's book "The Billboard Book Of One Hit Wonders", Chi Coltrane caught the attention of talent scouts for Columbia Records while performing in a variety of local clubs in and around Chicago. Contracts were signed, arrangements were made, and songs were recorded. But, with the exception of her lone tuffy, 'Thunder And Lightning', Chi's self-titled debut disk featured only humdrum hoofers. The LP did place on Billboard's top pop albums chart, and 'Thunder' rumbled the airwaves, but lightning did not strike twice for Chi. Based on THAT information, I would have to say that if anybody has or owns the master, it would be Sony Music / Columbia Records / Legacy. (kk)
As Bob Irwin (AKA Sundazed) wrote, "Columbia / Sony may have the (existing) master, but nothing to remaster." Obviously, others recorded it, not a Columbia production, in other words.
Let me explain, if I may. When collecting those things called vinyl records, I came across The Marcels record. It had an early take with studio talk with at least "Blue Moon", as heard below. But even though Rhino scarfed up The Marcels recordings to get rich, I do not think they have this particular Take in their archives, others do. I have yet to find it on CD ...
Thanks, Mr. Kent!!!! You're wonderful! :-)

I still have the original copy of "Thunder and Lightning" that I bought back in late 1972 or early '73. I still had to listen to this attachment TWICE! I thought it was a great, innovative and original song back then and I still do today. GOOD STUFF! Narvel Felts' "Rocket Ride" was a cool listen too.

Yep, "Thunder And Lightning" sounds good EVERY time it comes on the radio ... which, unfortunately, isn't very often. Hopefully some of the jocks on the list will give it a spin after this little FH nudging!!! (kk)

Hi Kent,
It seems a little strange to me that you consider Chi Coltrane a one-hit wonder. In my part of the world she has an almost legendary status ... Could it be that she was more successful in Europe than in the US? I dunno ...
The good news about Chi is however that she is alive and kicking and has just re-signed (for a second spell) with Sony, which will give her the opportunity to release her first record for more than two decades ... exciting prospects!
Then she must have been bigger in Europe ... 'cause Stateside she had EXACTLY one Top 100 Hit. ("Thunder And Lightning" peaked at #15 in Cash Box Magazine ... and was a #4 Hit here in Chicago where, by 1972, Chi Coltrane was calling home.) While I don't have a reference source citing German Chart Statistics, I see that Coltrane never hit the charts at all in Great Britain!
Checking Chi's website, there's complete information to be found about the new release you mentioned ... and, apparently she's still doing very well in Europe ... there's even a Holland / Germany link showing her upcoming tour dates! (kk)
Click here: Chi Coltrane's Official Website
Dave featured some Chi Coltrane coverage on HIS website last week as well ... here's a link to his new "Music Movement" feature:
Click here: The Music Movement » Blog Archive » Chi Coltrane signs with Sony
I did a short feature on Chi Coltrane's comeback on my new blog "The Music Movement" only a couple of days ago, so the timing is great. The idea behind this venture is to make people aware of the state of the recording industry and the effects it has on artists that aren't young, beautiful and who shun commercialism. Especially our heroes from yesteryear are finding it difficult (as you well know of course)
The English version of the blog is still very new, so its maybe a little early to plug it, but for anyone who is interested (there are a couple of interesting features) here's the link: ...
or, for the German speakers amongst us:

>>>Have you ever done a comparison between the My Sharona picture sleeve and the cover for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass' Whipped Cream And Other Delights to try to figure out which one was better? (Tom Diehl)
Ah, kids stuff, Tom. For the real deal, look-up Joey Heatherton on CD!!! A naturally nice cover - I think that may be part of the Bonus!!!!!
Go on, Kent, put THAT one up ... I dare you! :-)

We've run some pretty hot pictures of Joey Heatherton over the years ... but then she was an INCREDIBLY hot woman!!! (One of my brother's all-time faves, in fact ... and sometimes the ONLY reason we watched The Dean Martin Show!!!) But DIDJAKNOW? that Forgotten Hits Regular John Madara DATED Heatherton for quite some time during the '60's???? (Obviously, this ISN'T the way her album was originally released but rather a "sex sells" tactic for the compilation CD advertised on eBay ... but it certainly caught our attention ... and evidently has YOU "standing at attention", too! (kk)

HEY, you put Sharona vs. Whipped Cream photos, but what about that FH girl logo you sent in your email recently? Her too? :)
Clark Besch

Oh yeah, she's a hottie all right!!! (If you look REAL close, you can even see her knees peaking out underneath that skirt!!! lol) kk

I have to hand it to Charles Rosenay ... this guy sure knows how to throw one hell of a party!!! Charles is the guy who puts together all those Beatles conventions and U.K. tours ... and recently staged the very first RockCon out on the East Coast, assembling over 100 recording artists for a weekend of fun, autographs, meet and greets with the fans and on stage jams and performances. Check out the line up he's put together for this year's Beat Expo! (
Come celebrate the music of The Beatles and 60's pop music at Liverpool Productions’ "BEATexpo 2010," a convention for fans on Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28th, 2010 at the Holiday Inn Downtown Stamford, 700 E. Main Street in Stamford, Connecticut.
After a 12 year hiatus, the convention returned to Connecticut last year where it was such a resounding success that it is back again in 2010 with a great line-up of very special guests of honor and speakers, concerts by tribute bands, a rock & roll flea market / memorabilia marketplace; rare video shows and feature-length films; special exhibits and displays; art galleries and many other features, events and attractions.
In the 80’s and 90’s, Liverpool Productions’ shows were the first (and, in some cases, only) U.S. conventions to host such Special Guests as original drummer Pete Best, John’s first wife Cynthia Lennon, John’s sister Julia Baird, “Love Me Do” drummer Andy White, “A Hard Day’s Night” actor Norm Rossington, Brian Matthews and Bernie Andrews, Joey Molland of Badfinger, early Beatles promoter Sam Leach, Woodstock legend and George Harrison’s friend Richie Havens, Davy Jones and Peter Tork of The Monkees, Beatles bodyguard Horst Fascher, Liverpool’s Billy J. Kramer, Hamburg’s Tony Sheridan, Lennon associate May Pang and many others. This year, once again there are some guests appearing who have never been to a convention before.
Special guests of honor at BEATexpo includes:
TOMMY ROE: Tommy Roe played on the same bill as The Beatles and he is coming out of retirement to join us at BEATexpo. This isn't only his first BEATexpo -- it's the first convention he's appeared at -- ever! The international hit-maker wrote or co-wrote and recorded six Top 10 hits between 1962-69, more than any other single artist/songwriter during this period of the sixties. Four were certified gold records. Two of his hits, "Sheila" and "Dizzy," topped the Billboard chart at #1. "Sweet Pea," "Hooray for Hazel" and "Jam Up & Jelly Tight" were his other pop rock classics. On March 9, 1963, The Beatles began their first British tour opening for Tommy Roe (and Chris Montez). In that month, they played 21 dates throughout England, including a showcase concert at Liverpool's Empire Theater. Tommy is coming out of retirement to make this very rare appearance to meet fans, talk onstage, sign autographs and play a few songs.

The Beatles ... with Tommy Roe and Chris Montez, circa 1963

DENNY LAINE: Originally with the Moody Blues (“Go Now”), Denny Laine is beloved by fans as the longest member of WINGS along with Paul and Linda McCartney. He co-founded the band in 1971 and stayed with Paul for 10 years, along the way co-writing one of the largest-selling singles of all time, “Mull of Kintyre.” Albums included “Red Rose Speedway,” “Band on The Run,” “Venus And Mars,” “Wings at the Speed of Sound,” “Wings Over America,” “London Town” and “Back to the Egg.” Denny was scheduled to make his first-ever convention guest appearance in Trumbull, CT back in the mid-80’s and couldn’t get into the U.S. at the time, but his ex-wife, Jo-Jo, and his children Laine and Heidi attended. After several convention appearances in Liverpool and at such shows at ROCK CON, it is an honor to have Denny finally make his first Connecticut convention appearance where he will meet fans, talk onstage, sign autographs and play a few songs.

Denny Laine today ... did he REALLY name one of his kids Laine Laine?!?!?

RICHARD LANGHAM: Richard Langham was the Second Engineer at EMI / Abbey Road Studios where he worked with The Beatles on their “Please Please Me’ album, the “From Me To You” single sessions and so many more. All the way from his home base in London, we are delighted to have Richard join us for his first-ever convention appearance - anywhere! He is looking forward to telling stories and reminiscing about The Beatles’ early EMI recordings, meet fans and sign autographs.

CARLOS ALOMAR: Carlos Alomar is the guitar virtuoso who co-wrote "Fame" with John Lennon and David Bowie. He has performed or recorded with Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Chuck Berry, James Brown and others. In all, Alomar has played on a total of 32 gold and platinum albums, including John's "Double Fantasy" and Paul's "Press to Play." This is his first-ever appearance at a convention for Beatles fans, and he will meet fans, talk onstage, sign autographs and hopefully jam on a few songs.

JULIE GRANT: Julie Grant is a special addition to BEATexpo, and this is her first-ever convention appearance ever! Julie was signed to Pye Records in England and toured with many stars of the time including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals, Searchers and Yardbirds. Julie also appeared on "Top of The Pops," "Ready Steady Go" and “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” She released 15 singles, 5 of which made the top 20. Julie befriended the Beatles in 1963 and became a back-stage staple and part of their inner circle. Julie was a guest at countless Beatles shows and has endless stories to tell, including the performance where Julie watched the lads from behind the scenes accompanied by Paul's Dad. Julie dated Mike Pinder of The Searchers and they double-dated with Paul when he was together with Jane Asher. She was close friends with The Beatles, but because she was managed by The Rolling Stones' manager at the time, professionally Julie was to the Stones as Cilla Black was to The Beatles. She will tell stories of The Beatles’ earliest years, meet fans and sign autographs.

SID BERNSTEIN: Sid is the legendary promoter who worked with Beatles' manager Brian Epstein to bring The Beatles to America. He produced their historic 1964 Carnegie Hall concert and both their 1965 and 1966 Shea Stadium shows, the first stadium concerts in history. He imported the British Invasion to the shores of New York City and helped build the dreams of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, the Moody Blues, the Kinks, James Brown, Ray Charles, John Denver, Joan Baez, Miles Davis, the Rascals, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, Barbara Streisand, ABBA, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the list goes on and on. He is always happy to meet fans and sign autographs.

GARY VAN SCYOC (ELEPHANT'S MEMORY): Gary's professional performances, experience & knowledge of the music / recording industry has continued for over forty years. His concert and recording credits include such notable artists as John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, Neil Sedaka, Keith Moon, Paul Simon and others. He is featured in John Lennon’s “Live in NYC,” and TV performances with John include the Mike Douglas show and the Dick Cavett show as bassist for John’s 70’s NYC band, Elephants Memory. He will talk about his time with John, meet fans and sign autographs.

DENNIS FERRANTE: Grammy award winning recording engineer returns to BEATexpo to talk about his years of producing and engineering John Lennon's albums from "Imagine" thru "Rock n Roll." Ferrante worked closely with Lennon throughout the '70s on such classic albums as "Imagine," "Some Time in New York City," "Mind Games," "Walls and Bridges," and "Rock 'N' Roll." He will meet fans, answer any questions and sign autographs.

JUMA SULTAN: Juma Sultan was Jimi Hendrix' percussionist (Juma played at one of the most historic concerts in history, Woodstock!). Hendrix was the 1st artist to cover "Sgt. Pepper" live onstage, which blew away The Beatles. It's Jimi's birthday on 11-27-42, so the timing couldn’t be better for Juma’s first BEATexpo appearance. He will be more than happy to meet fans and sign autographs, and perhaps play some bongos.

LADA EDMUND: The lovely Lada is the famed 60's Hullabaloo TV "Caged Go-Go Dancer." She was a pop sensation and recording artist who posed in photos with The Beatles and sang on the bill for Murray The K's show at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre. She will be on hand to talk about the sensational 60s, meet fans and sign autographs, including a great shot of her with The Beatles.

Special Guest authors include JUDE KESSLER, who penned the historical fiction book “Should Been There” and the brand-new “Shivering Inside;” DAVID BEDFORD, author of the great Beatles book on Liverpool called “Liddypool,” and fellow Liverpudlian KEVIN ROACH, author of “The McCartneys: In The Town Where They Were Born.”

There will be a video room where rare films and footage will be screened, including a new feature-length film on John Lennon making its New England premiere, “Let Him Be.”

Performing both on Saturday night and Sunday as official convention band will be the New York Beatles tribute group“The MerseyBeat,” making their first-ever BEATexpo concert appearance. Also performing a set of Beatles music will be the team of Ian Lloyd and John Ford. Ian Lloyd was the lead singer of The Stories ("Brother Louie") and John Ford of The Strawbs. who lived at - and recorded at - John Lennon's Tittenhurst Park for two years.

Advance tickets available online at
There will also be a Special Pre-Show Concert Event where Tommy Roe and some of the other special guests will be performing live on stage in the ballroom.For updates and further information, call (203) 795-4737. You may also e-mail
Website is:

Oh, I see how it is, the females get the free autographed CDs and LPs, while us males get a hard time. That does it, I'm changing my name to Joan, not John!!! LOL!!
Thanks, John ... err, Joan ... I mean, John!

What a great story!!
Phil Beckman

The autographed material went out in the mail yesterday. Should arrive next week.

Lanny / The Tygers

Hey Kent,
Thank you for the follow up with The Tygers and the way you put the whole story together. That was really nice. I look forward to owning their new album and it just so happens that I have a turn table.
Well, as you can see from Lanny's note above, it's on its way to you ... enjoy! And thanks again for sharing your memories with our readers! It's what we're all about! (kk)

Forgotten Hits congratulates Neil Diamond on FINALLY being nominated for consideration into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame! This honor is RIDICULOUSLY long overdue ... and well-deserved.
Next week Forgotten Hits teams with Scott Shannon and The True Oldies Channel to bring you Neil Diamond's Top 20 Greatest Hits (with a few surprise "extras" thrown in along the way, too!) Watch the web page for more details (and a "Listen Live" link!)
We'll also be bringing you some of your Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Comments again, too ... so stay tuned! (kk)

Thank you for featuring "You Little Trustmaker" ... I love this song!!
I always thought it was called You Will Trust Me Girl, until a couple years ago!
It's a goodie ... and one that went all the way to #4 here in Chicago!
I always thought The Marshall Tucker Band were singing "Pretty Little Love Song" rather than "Heard It In A Love Song" ... and I STILL sing it that way most of the time. (kk)

I always enjoy reading FH and thinking "If only I had time to find and send ..."
Just reading it tonight and thought about a tape I have of Wolfman Jack talking with Daddy Dewdrop, but have no time to search these days.
Then, Neil Diamond in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame brought up thoughts of my tapes of Ron Riley doing his best Carl Bonafede impersonation intro-ing "Two Bit Manchild," a brilliant Diamond classic that was a hit in Chitown.
Then all the talk of the Ides of March. LOVE all their records!! I just read on another site yesterday about someone thinking "Melody" should have been a hit. Agreed! "Melody" got airplay on KEYN-FM Wichita when I lived in Dodge City, Ks.
Always want to comment on FH topics, but no time at present, so THANKS for keeping me updated on stuff!
Clark Besch
Keep reading and you'll see that Scott Shannon and I are doing a little tribute to Neil Diamond FINALLY being recognized by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Unfortunatley, "Two Bit Manchild" WASN'T one of his biggest hits, so it's unlikely you'll hear it played on The True Oldies Channel that day ... that's why I'm featuring it here today. See if THIS one doesn't ring a few memory bells along the way!!! (I actually heard Jeff James play this track on Y103.9 not too long ago ... and you're right, it WAS a big hit here in Chicago, where it went all the way to #24, despite a #66 Billboard showing.) kk

The B side is a real kick too! Non-Lp (but is on CD now) track that is obviously a demo recorded at 6 AM and finds Neil not at his optimum time of day for hassling with singing a finished track. It's a lot of fun, as it is 1968 studio nonsense that reminds one of all the same era Beatles demos that are out there. "Artie" and "Tommy" his other "Wrecking Crew-like" members are told to "keep it groovin'" while he eventually comments "If you think I'm putting my name on this, you're outta your mind!" Just a fun track for B side to "Two-Bit Manchild"!!!
Kinda sounds like Neil's fun interpretation of "Hanky Panky" ... "I don't care WHO wrote it!" lol Thanks, Clark ... we'll feature "Broad Old Woman 96 AM Insanity)" here today, too! (kk)

And, there was JUST enough time this morning to include Clark's Wolfman Jack / Daddy Dewdrop clip, too!

Good morning Kent,
First just wanted to make an observation about you these days -- don't worry, it's a positive one.
A while back you seemed to be getting very worn down by all the maintenance regarding the list. Of course that is understandable, but I was worried that the whole thing might be going away so you could, in Commander Kirk's words, "Get A Life!!"
Now you seem to have gotten a new energy for all things oldies. If that's true, I'm glad that things are smoothing out for you We really would miss what you do if you weren't doing it. I know you hear this all the time, but just thought you should hear it once again.
Thanks, Bill ... and you're right, it doesn't hurt to hear it once in a while!
There are ALL kinds of things in "the real world" that drag me down from time to time ... this hasn't been the easiest of the past two years (not by a long shot!) ... but hopefully Forgotten Hits provides a few minutes of "escape" for everybody each day (myself included) ... so it's good to know that we're appreciated! Thanks again. (kk)

Tony Curtis was one of my most admired Actors, and each time an icon leaves us it brings home the reality of time and the fortunes of our Era.
I dread the day you will no longer be here, Kent ... surely then the music will die and most likely be forgotten.
Dreadful as it sounds, it's the truth ... so saddened to know that this millennium generation will lose our time capsule forever.
Thanks, Bag ... I don't know whether to feel depressed or flattered! (lol)
Hopefully, this will prove NOT to be the case ... the best of this music will live on forever (and I TRULY believe that.) I'm just glad to be able to do MY part to help keep it alive while I'm still here, too! (kk)