Saturday, December 15, 2012


When we're in the midst of an on-going series (like we have been for the past few weeks), it's sometimes hard to "capture the moment" of a given event without disrupting the continuity of what we're promoting on the website.
We tried to offer a mixture of the best of both worlds by letting the Garage Band Series run its course on the site while sending out email blasts featuring some of our regular comments and announcements and, from the sounds of things, you guys enjoyed the mixture.   

One thing we couldn't fit into the schedule last week was the fact that it seemed (for me anyway) to be filled with some surprising duets ... and truthfully, we couldn't have been more pleased as it gave us a chance to hear a few things we haven't heard in a while.  (Just another one of those enjoyable oldies happenstances!)

For starters during this year's Grammy Nominations Celebration Concert, they ran a vintage clip of Johnny Cash presenting an award back in 1973 ... which was then run right into a live performance of one of Johnny Cash and June Carter's best known duets, "Jackson", a #2 Country Hit in 1967 that never officially crossed over to the pop charts, yet was part of our pop consciousness anyway.

If you're asking why we didn't simply feature the Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood version, it's because the SECOND surprise of the week was the Glee-rendition of "Somethin' Stupid", the #1 Hit by Nancy and her Dad, also from 1967. (Now don't get me wrong ... you can absolutely turn "Somethin' Stupid" into the mundane if you overplay it ... this one can getting pretty annoying if you hear it too often ... but, by the same token, here is yet another #1 Hit that doesn't get played at all.  Somewhere in between is the proper balance for this one ... because it really DID sound good to hear it again ... in small doses.The arrangement to "Somethin' Stupid" hooks you right from the word go ... with that little flamingo guitar riff opening (I wanna say done by Glen Campbell, but I suppose it also could have been Tommy Tedesco) and then the tight harmony duet (which, admittedly, is a little bit creepy when sung by father and daughter) ... yet somehow the whole thing seems to work. America certainly agreed, taking this song all the way to #1.

Finally, I couldn't believe my ears when we stopped into Arby's for a quick bite to eat one night when, over their in-house music system, "sandwiched" in right between all the Christmas songs and smooth jazz instrumentals, we heard Chad and Jeremy singing "If I Loved You", a #20 Hit in 1965. (When's the last time you heard THAT one on the radio?!?!? Probably 1965!!!) 

Anyway, ALL of these experiences made for pleasant surprises this past week ... so we wanted to share them with you, too! (kk)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wrapping Things Up With A Brief Garage Band History Lesson

Our Garage Band Series draws to a close today ... but FIRST we're going to spend a little bit of time setting the record straight ...
>>>Probably best known for being Rick Derringer’s teen band, the McCoys had a monster smash with ‘Hang On Sloopy’. The group was one of the few from Indiana that managed any type of chart success in the ‘60s. Although you would never know it if you believe their “one-hit wonder” classification. (Mike Dugo)
Ah, one of those studio musicians composed songs where vocals, not "The McCoys" were heard!!! No wonder why they only landed one hit!!! What "The McCoys" actually were, were studio musicians and a producer or more with a plan. I'm GUESSING, they had to find a decent guitarist to make this fabricated group believable, and that's where Rick Derringer came in. But, even stranger, when others went to license material by The Strangeloves, for a CD debut, it was nowhere to be found in Columbia's / Sony's vault. Even Steve Hoffman, claimed to be an audiophile, had to master from vinyl (for his boss). Oh, no!!! However, later, one of the producers of The Strangeloves walked in with the session tapes and "I Want Candy" was mixed to debut Stereo!!!!! Would sound great on radio, if radio had its act together! Anyway, let's hear it for The Strangeloves and their hit, "Hang On Sloopy"!!  We now return you to your favorite Reality TV show, where even more is staged!  

Well, at least I thought the above was interesting!! :-)

Interesting, yes ... except that nearly everything you've stated above is simply not true!  

The McCoys hit The Top 40 four times ... "Hang On Sloopy" was certainly their biggest hit, going all the way to #1 ... but the follow-up, "Fever", also made The Top Ten ... it peaked at #6 ... and their remake of the Ritchie Valens song "Come On, Let's Go" went to #17. Another single, "Up And Down" snuck in at #39 in Record World. In addition, six other singles also made Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart. RADIO may have since declared them to be a One Hit Wonder ... but it simply isn't true. (We featured "Fever" on the website as part of our salute to The McCoys ... and the flipside of that record is an EXCELLENT rendition of "Sorrow", a song later made famous by both The Merseys and David Bowie.)  

Speaking of flipsides, DIDJAKNOW? that The McCoys took their name from the B-Side of The Ventures' hit "Walk Don't Run"? That track (another fun instrumental track) was called "The McCoy".   

The McCoys hailed from Union City, Indiana, and were a REAL band featuring brothers Rick and Randy Zehringer (on lead guitar and vocals and drums respectively) ... along with Dennis Kelly (replaced by Randy Hobbs) on bass and Ronnie Brandon (replaced by Bobby Peterson) on keyboards ... so Rick Derringer wasn't "brought in to make the group more believable" ... he was a founding member ... and, as I said, collectively they had nine Billboard charted hits ... which, simply put, means that as far these guys not being a real band, you're wrong there, too.   

After The McCoys fell apart in 1969, brothers Rick (now calling himself Rick Derringer) and Randy (now calling himself Randy Z) took a gig backing the legendary Johnny Winter ... which led to them backing Johnny's brother Edgar Winter in his band White Trash. Derringer stayed with The Edgar Winter Group for many years, appearing on all of their hit records and eventually recording a smash of his own called "Rock And Roll Hoochie-Coo". In the '80's, he produced Weird Al Yankovic, on whose records he also performed, most notably in the parody video for "Eat It", a take-off of the Michael Jackson hit "Beat It". Legend has it that the Steely Dan song "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" was written about none other than Rick Derringer!!!   

The fact that you brought The Strangeloves into the conversation is most interesting ... because this simply means that you've also got your "fabricated bands" mixed up, too! ... as in completely backwards.  

It is The Strangeloves who were a fabricated band ... and the brainchild of writers / producers Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, who wrote and produced The Angels' #1 Hit "My Boyfriend's Back" in 1963. They then also produced The McCoys' #1 Single "Hang On Sloopy" (which they also recorded themselves ... more on this later) ... and, moving ahead to the '80's, worked with the likes of Blondie and The Go Gos.  

Their own success as The Strangeloves is one of those crazy rock and roll happenstances.  They claim they did it all as a lark ... and took their name from the Peter Sellers movie "Dr. Strangelove, Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb". The trio passed themselves off as Aboriginal, Australian sheepherders Gils, Miles and Nigel Strange, and dressed in outrageous outfits trying to perpetuate the myth that they came from the land down under when, in fact, they were three Jewish songwriters who honed their craft hanging around The Brill Building in New York City the early '60's.  

Whatever the case may be, it worked ... and The Strangeloves managed three straight Top 40 Hits with "I Want Candy" (#6, 1965); "Cara-Lin" (#32, 1965) and "Night Time" (#18, 1966) ... not too shabby ... especially when one considers that "I Want Candy" has also been recorded by nearly 100 OTHER artists over the years!  

In 1965, The Strangeloves worked up an arrangement to "Hang On Sloopy" (a funky remake / take-off of The Vibrations' minor hit "My Girl Sloopy" that was a Top 40 Hit the year before) and recorded it for consideration as their next single. Reportedly The Dave Clark Five (for whom The Strangeloves were currently the opening act on tour) liked this new arrangement so much that they were planning to record it as their next single once they got back to England, which most certainly would have stolen The Strangeloves' thunder as, at the time, The DC5 were one of the hottest acts on the planet.    

The Strangeloves didn't want to miss the opportunity to release their own arrangement of the tune which THEY felt was a sure-fire hit. However, with "I Want Candy" still climbing the charts at the time, they also didn't want to halt the momentum of their current hit single ... so it was at that point that The Strangeloves decided to recruit The McCoys to rush release the single instead.   

All of that being said, this is the only part of your story / theory that holds water ... in order to get the single to market quickly, The McCoys were immediately flown to New York City where Rick Zehringer / Derringer laid down his lead guitar and lead vocal track to the already existing Strangeloves backing track ... and, nearly overnight, created the #1 Single.   

And THAT'S the facts, Jack!!! (kk)

Here's The Strangeloves' original recording of "Hang On Sloopy" ... note that the backing track is identical to The McCoys' #1 Hit version.

And here's their biggest hit, "I Want Candy", #6, 1965

And finally, their OTHER Top 20 Hit, "Night Time"
(Not bad for a group that didn't really exist!!!)


By the way, when we finally publish our list of Your Top 50 All-Time Garage Band Favorites (soon, I promise!), you'll find The Strangeloves holding down the #39 position.

Thanks again for all your Garage Band votes and comments ... things return to semi-normal again here tomorrow ... please join us!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Even MORE Of Your Garage Band Comments!!!

It's ALWAYS cool to hear from some of the artists who were such an important part of our musical education ... ESPECIALLY when they discover what we're doing, trying to help keep this great music alive.  

This time around, we heard from a few we haven't heard from before ... so we wanted to share!  

Thanks for thinking of me. It was a great time in my life.
I had no responsibilities, I was making decent money and I was touring with John Fred and the Playboys "Judy in Disguise", Alex Chilton and the Box Tops "The Letter" and "Cry Like a Baby". However, Sly and the Family Stone also was touring with us and they had that big hit "Dance to the Music". Our song was all over the radio.
You're only that young once in a lifetime and I made it count.
Thanks for reminding me of some great personal memories.
Mike Appel: Lead singer, writer, lead guitar and leader of The Balloon Farm.
All the best,
Mike Appel   

We're all about the memories here in Forgotten Hits ... and these had to be some very special ones. Congratulations on making our countdown.    

Mike's done a WHOLE lot since The Balloon Farm ... his website points out some of the highlights:  

I started out writing, singing and performing in various bands. The guys that gave me my first big break were Hugo & Luigi. They were the producers of all Sam Cooke's hits, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and they wrote Elvis' "Can't Help Falling In Love With You". Bruce Springsteen even sings that song. In fact, I went to lunch with Luigi only a few months ago.

The first project I did for Hugo & Luigi was The Balloon Farm who had a Billboard Top 40 hit called "Question Of Temperature". I sang, played lead guitar, wrote and arranged it. I had also written several hits for David Cassidy and The Partridge Family. Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted went to number one and sold well over a million copies.

I then went on to produce and write all the lyrics for Sir Lord Baltimore a power trio on Mercury Records. They toured with Humble Pie (Peter Frampton & Stever Marriott) and Black Sabbath (with Ozzy Osbourne). I then discovered Bruce Springsteen and produced his first three records and managed his career as well. I was largely responsible for getting him on the covers of Time and Newsweek in the same week. No one ever duplicated that publicity coup to this day.

I have completed a musical entitled “In The Shadows Of The King”. The musical is broadly about how all of us young rockers, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Rod Stewart, myself to name a few, were all trying to emulate Elvis after his first string of successes. However, all of us realized that if we were to make a name for ourselves, we’d have to find our own original unique voice if we were ever to come out from the shadows of The King. It is also about everyone finding out what is unique about themselves and following that unique road wherever it takes them.

-- Mike Appel  

Despite all these career achievements, Mike is still VERY proud of his garage band roots with The Balloon Farm. Thanks again for taking the time to drop us a line here at Forgotten Hits! (kk)    

Mike Rabon of The Five Americans, who also made our Top 20 All-Time Favorite Garage Bands Countdown, has a new book out, available through ...

Michael L. Rabon was the lead singer and writer for the hit 60's group, The Five Americans. He is the co-writer of the million selling hit record Western Union, as well as the Top 40 charted Sound Of Love, Zip Code, Evol Not Love and I See the Light. He has been inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame History Exhibit located in the Oklahoma City next to the capitol building. He was recognized in 2008 by the Oklahoma State Senate, for contributions to music history internationally and to the State of Oklahoma. He is married with two sons and is currently a technology teacher in the Hugo City Schools system in Hugo, Oklahoma. He holds a Masters Degree in Administration. His website is

Click here: High Strung (9781608300471): Mike Rabon: Books  

We've already heard from a few of you who ordered Mike's book after our piece on The Five Americans ran.  You'll find some excellent reviews for this book on ... now I wanna read it!!! (kk)   

Good to hear other songs by ? other than 96 TEARS which the group did. I had to get out their version of DO SOMETHING TO ME and play it. Always did like that version better than Tommy James' version.
Larry Neal

Dave The Rave turned me on to this one a few years ago ... I missed it the first time around. Yes, it's a great version ... and I always liked this song ... and I always felt that it should have done better on the charts. (Tommy's version peaked at #24 ... and the ? and the Mysterians version didn't make Billboard's chart at all. [It DID reach #97 in Record World however.] This should have been a big hit for them ... and it kind of took them away from their "formula sound", too.) kk 

By the way, after our piece ran on ? and the Mysterians, naming them as your FOURTH All-Time Favorite Garage Band, we DID hear from ? by way of the maker of his documentary, Terry Murphy.  I'm hoping we can run a future conversation with ? on the site!  (kk)

OMG, the Standells! They deserve a spot but this high? 
Again, YOUR guys' call, not mine!  (kk)  

Here's a little know fact for you and your readers ...
This is from a 1975 interview with Lowell George, founder of the world's greatest rock and roll band, Little Feat, and also the best slide guitar player of all time - regarding The Standells:
"I was in The Standells for about two months. I replaced Dicky Dodd, the lead singer, and then I found out that I feared for my life. All these young girls that he had gathered as an audience came looking for me after a gig one night to do me in. They thought that I was responsible for his demise, when in fact he quit because he couldn't stand it. And I finally quit because I couldn't stand it either. It was a very unusual organization. Actually I'm not very proud of that period, but it kept me out of school y'know. One would say that it kept me off the streets, but I have to say that it kept me out of school.
"In a way it was enlightening because it was a band that was on a real decline, and I was watching all the guys that had made all the money. Ed Cobb, their producer, was more responsible than anybody else for their success, by gathering all the material, putting the band into shape, and creating the sort of circumstances whereby the band could make the sort of money they did. And then as it began to decline I was watching the other guys in the band bring their hairdryers and their magnifying mirrors along to gigs – they used to fluff up before the gig. I was stunned. I couldn't imagine it and I still can't imagine it to this day. I mean many's the time I've caught a cold stepping out of the shower and walking to the gig or getting in a cab. I mean I know where a hairdryer fits in at this point, but for some reason I still haven't been able to take one with me on the road. I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but it was very interesting to see that band on its last legs, and the things that they went through. They also had a little money disappear from them for unknown reasons. People were wondering why the contract read $2500 and the band got paid $1800, A little shady. I didn't like that, and I think I precipitated the events that got the band to say 'oh forget it'. See I'd known the bass player from Hollywood High School and he knew that I wrote and sang and all, so he called me up and I auditioned and they liked the way I sang so I got the job. And then after I got it I didn't really want it".
Despite Lowell's comments, which I don't for one minute doubt to be perfectly valid, The Standells, in their heyday, were one of the great 'punk-rock' bands. Singles like 'Dirty Water', 'Animal Girl', and 'Riot On Sunset Strip' are classic punk records, and if you wish to learn more of The Standells and other groups musically related, you can do no worse than pick up the summer 1974 edition of Greg Shaw's Who Put The Bomp magazine, which is choc-a-bloc full of such fascinating grist. The aforementioned 'Dirty Water' is, you'll be delighted to know, available on the famous Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 album (Elektra) which is again strongly recommended, firstly because of the music, and secondly because of the intelligent and careful way in which it has been put together. And if you see any Standells singles knocking about, grab 'em'. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, Lowell George never recorded with The Standells, so we'll never know what we missed.
Thank you
Steve Sarley   

Judging by some of the feedback you received on The New Colony Six, it's apparent that many people just don't understand the "garage band" tag. All the arguments made also apply to, for example, The Seeds and ? & The Mysterians, yet nobody disputes they are "garage bands".
Bottom line: There was no such "garage" tag in the '60s. Today songs can be classified as "garage rock", whether or not they were recorded by groups currently designated as "garage bands". The "garage" label no doubt confuses or offends certain people.
Thanks, Kent.
Mike Dugo
We kicked off the series by stating that the line has become "blurred" because of this whole "nuggets" tag not attributed to much of this music. Nuggets USED to be "artifacts from the psychedelic era" ... but now the term seems to encompass the whole garage band sound as well. As we saw, a number of bands that made our All-Time Favorite Psychedelic Songs List ALSO made this All-Time Favorite Garage Bands List. Personally, I've always seen (and heard) a distinction between the two ... and there are quite a few bands on our final list (that did VERY well) that I might not necessarily have considered "garage bands" in my own mind. That being said, the results you saw are the way the fans voted ... and with just over 9000 votes, I've got to hand this one over to the majority.
I think I ran a couple of good examples in defense of the early edition of The New Colony Six. When Ronnie Rice first joined the group, they took on more of a contemporary "pop" sound with hits like "You're Gonna Be Mine". Then once they hit The National Top 20 with a couple of ballads they, like many others, got "typecast" in that role ... and, since it's the "best known" genre for the band, they haven't been able to shake it. But I can assure you that founding member Ray Graffia, Jr., is VERY proud of the band's garage band roots ... and their recent invitation to perform at Cave Stomp in New York, the ultimate garage band concert, only helps to make my point. (kk)    

Hi Kent,
Many thanks for compiling and listing the readers’ favorite garage bands.
With the exception of the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & The Raiders, most of the bands had their hit making runs after the British Invasion. The conclusion being that they were likely inspired by British bands. However not one of the 20 garage bands listed in your survey comes from the UK. Back in the 60s, they had bands in the UK, for sure; they also had garages. So why no UK garage bands? I’d be interested in readers’ thoughts.
Thanks for all your continued hard and dedicated work,
Mike Edwards
The results published were a reflection "of the people, by the people and for the people" ... ALL of the nominations and ALL of the votes came from you guys out there. Artists like The Troggs and Them snagged "runners up" positions ... but that's about it. Maybe it's the fact that the garage band sound was more of a "home grown" thing ... our response TO The British Invasion. Yes, artists from across the pond may have inspired us to pick up our guitars here in The States, but keep in mind that a lot of that early British sound was just a reworking of good old-fashioned American Rock And Roll ... they were simply feeding it back to us with their own spin. (Look at how many of these early hits were simply remakes of US hit records.) That may be the key to your answer right there. The kids who started up bands in the mid-'60's were still trying to find their own voice ... and some of that teenage angst came out in the music. (kk)

Number 1 garage band song?

Yeah ... I can live with that! (kk)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More Garage Band Comments

That Blues Magoos clip was a classic for sure! The Trashmen at 20??? I don’t think so! Higher, Daddy, Higher!  
Hey, all we're doing is reporting the way YOU guys voted!!! Top 20 is still pretty damn impressive 'tho! (kk)

Not sure if you’re on Facebook (I’m not) but on the Raiders page Paul calls out Jack Black (for laughs) over a statement he made on the CBS morning show. He said that he’s seen guys in their 40s rock out, even guys in their 50s and 60s, but NEVER someone in their 70s! It got a huge response from people on Facebook. It’ll be interesting to see if Jack shows up on stage to duke it out in a Rock-Off with Paul. I love Jack Black and Tenacious D so I’d love to see that!
Keep up the great work, buddy, and have a great holiday season.
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Actually, I DID see that ... I think it was in the Pollstar Interview that we ran the other day ... funny stuff (and Paul can absolutely back up his claims on this one ... 'cause we've seen him do it ... and this guy rocks out with the best of them!!!)
I’d like to give a challenge to Jack Black. I saw him on “Sunday Morning” on CBS and he said, “Man, I’ve seen bands rock in their 30s, I’ve seen bands rock in their 40s, 50s and even 60s, but I’ve never seen a band rock in their 70s.”
And I’m going, “Whoa. Dude! You haven’t met Paul Revere & The Raiders! I’m going to be 75 in January and I’m on fire, baby!” I want to do a rock-off with Jack Black! We’ve gotta take him on, man. He obviously hasn’t seen us because then he’ll know people can really rock in their 70s.
A really close friend of mine is Dick Richards, the drummer for The Comets, and he’s going to be 90 this year and he still does a drum solo that would set your hair on fire. What Comets are left still tour over in Europe, and he’s an animal.
So, Jack Black: There are still old people out there who are rockin’ big time!
-- Paul Revere

Regarding the Favorite Garage Bands Countdown and Paul Revere and the Raiders' finish at #6 (for "Just Like Me") ... >ahem< WE'RE NOT WORTHY!!! WE'RE NOT WORTHY!!! WE'RE NOT WORTHY!!! 
And, speaking of other artists influenced by PR&R, have you ever heard Van Halen's pre-fame rendition of "Kicks" that's been floating around in the youtubes? Diamond Dave and the boys showed that one some r-e-s-p-e-c-t ... although there is no film for us to see if Eddie and Michael went in for any high-steppin' synchronized choreography. 
With garagiest regards,  
Click here: Van Halen - Kicks (1973) - YouTube

Hi Kent. 
"I Had Too Much To Dream" was co-written by Annette Tucker, from whom I took a songwriting workshop circa 1979. It was one-night a week for something like 6-8 weeks at her home in the Hollywood Hills, assisted by her man Arthur Hamilton ("Cry Me A River", later president of ASCAP and a very cool guy). Annette said that she had the Rolling Stones in mind for IHTMTD. 
BTW, there are at least a few bands on your list that I do not consider as garage in any way. 
And while I'm here, let me also put in a plug for my new CD, "Change Comin' On" by Gary E. Dave the Rave played my song "Can You Feel Me" on his syndicated show last week. gem  
It sounds like The Electric Prunes did a number of Stones songs in their act prior to hitting the big time ... actually it sounds like MOST of the bands in our countdown idolized The Stones. I don't necessarily agree with all of the nominees either ... but this is the way the readers have voted so we're going with it. With just over 9000 votes cast, I'd consider this to be a pretty fair and accurate representation of the favorites. (Did you vote?) kk  

I had forgotten all about The Leaves' version of 'Hey Joe' -- you're right, today we only seem to remember the Jimi Hendrix version -- but it was The Leaves who cut it first and had the hit.   
Everybody from The Leaves ... to Hendrix ... to Love ... to Wilson Pickett ... to CHER(!!!) ... cut this tune back in the '60's ... it truly IS a Garage Band Classic! (kk)

Sorry, Kent ... I can't agree with you on Hey Joe. Hendrix rules.
On the Knickerbockers, they were hugely popular in the AlbaNY area. Besides being great Beatles imitators they had some early hits in AlbaNY. All I Need Is You sounded like the Skyliners. Jerk Town sounded like Major Lance.
Mark the Shark
To each his own ... I think if The Knickerbockers could have gotten their hands on more commercial music they could have been more than just a one-hit wonder. Let's face it ... they WERE the "sound of the day" back then. (kk)
We're really enjoying the countdown this week, Kent. I've mentioned this to some friends who don't normally read FH, so hopefully some newbies will be clicking and reading.
Great info and a good selection of tracks.
This Love track is a serious departure from the two you featured, and it's the one that has staying power, in my opinion. 

David Lewis
David sent us a copy of "Along Again Or", a minor chart hit for Love in the late '60's. (It "bubbled under" in 1968 at #123 ... then climbed to #96 a couple of years later when it was re-released.) This one has a more acoustic sound to it ... and reminds me a little bit of The Moody Blues in the vocal department, too. (kk)

Hey Guys:
Great web site and even more great memories. Is it possible to place the link of our mid 1960's garage rock group's site on your site. We were called The Brymers and mainly known for "Sacrifice" and "I Want To tell You." On The Brymers web site I have also compiled over 300 photos and 150 tracks of great rock-n-roll bands from the California San Joaquin Valley (1960 - 1970). Many of the tracks were never released but reflect the explosion of of the 60's sound. Some of the groups include Jim Doval and the Gauchos, The Roadrunners, and The Brymers. The Brymers web site link is:
Keep Rockin,
Dick Lee, drummer
The Brymers

Hi Kent, 
I have to admit I did not know "The Seeds" were as popular as they apparently were. Back in the late 60's down here in Springfield, Mo., my siblings and I used to listen to the top 40 countdown on Saturday mornings and write all the songs and artists down because the radio station, KWTO, would run contests throughout the day and week. You had to be the correct number caller and then tell them where the song they played ranked on the top 40. If you won, you went by the station and they gave six 45's to you. One of the many times I won, among the six was "I Can't Seem To Make You Mine" by the Seeds. I had never heard it before but I instantly liked it. The flip side is "I Tell Myself". I still have it. And with that six-pack I also got "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" but not by the "Hollies". Mine is by "Kelly Gordon". I really like it better. 
Loving the Garage Band Countdown! 

Kent, My Old Friend, 
Give a hug to {{{{Frannie}}}, as well. 
I was playing name that tune in an internet room the other day and a guy says ... hey, if you guys like the oldies, a guy named Kent Kotal does a great job on his website. I had to tell him that I knew you when and that we even sat next to each other at a wedding done by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas! LOL. 
I'm really enjoying the garage band series and had to have a look at the videos to each. 
Keep up the good work, my friend.   
Mike Schooler(MSchoBlue)
Wow! Been a long time, Mike ... great to hear from you ... and great to hear that the chat rooms are buzzing about our series. Good word of mouth to be sure ... and EVERYBODY seems to have loved the videos. (First time we've really gone that route ... but these vintage clips are priceless!!! And, as mentioned before, quite addictive ... NOBODY can watch just one!) kk   

Loving the garage band series and especially the videos. I've watched every one -- and then probably at least half a dozen more after that, thanks to all the "similar" links offered at the end. Seen some great clips I've never seen before. Great job on the series -- keep up the good work.

Totally Cool Kent - this is simply great. Been really enjoying the series, especially since we knew and played with most of these great groups. Been I touch with some of them again in the past few years, particularly due to your FH Newsletter putting us in touch again. Can't thank you enough for that.
Ken Evans
The Fifth Estate
And thank YOU, Ken, for sending us a few copies of the brand new Fifth Estate "Anthology Volume 1" CD to give away to some of our readers. This is a recently released 2-CD Set featuring over tracks of The Fifth Estate from the various stages of their career. (You even get the rare Italian Version of their biggest hit "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead"!!! lol)
Interested in winning a copy? Just drop us a note and we'll throw your name in the hat. And ONE lucky winner will not only win the 2-CD Anthology set but will ALSO win a copy of The Fifth Estate's latest album, "Time Tunnel", a great CD tha they released earlier this year. (kk)   

I have been loving this garage band series and have sent the links to several friends who were not Forgotten Hits readers before. I especially like the video clips ... but I've found it impossible to watch just one. Every time I click on one and the song ends, it offers up several other suggestions of songs from this era ... and I've seen some great clips. This is one of your better series ... are you going to run some kind of a recap listing all the artists in order when you're done?
Actually, Bill, that's EXACTLY what we're going to do. Once this series runs its course, we're going to permanently post The Top 50 All-Time Favorite Garage Bands on The Forgotten Hits Website where folks can continue to discover it for years to come. (It won't have any music ... and will be a somewhat "stripped down" version of the two week series ... but the basic bios will be there ... and fans will get the chance to see which acts finished between numbers 34 and 50!)
Yeah, those YouTube clips are addictive ... you can spend a couple hours here before you even know it ... but it is SO good to see some of this stuff again ... or for the very first time. I especially love those clips where our previous generation's heroes ... Jack Benny ... Steve Allen ... Dean Martin and so many others ... try to stay "hip" with their audience by featuring the latest "fad" sounds in music. (That Blues Magoos clip of "Tobacco Road" may be the ULTIMATE example!) Glad you're enjoying the series. (kk)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Of Your Garage Band Comments

What a great way to get up in the morning and to really waken up. I play snippets of your songs which really get me going before I go off to work. I play them in their entirety later on in the day. SURFING BIRD did make it to number one here in OKC.
Larry Neal

Have you considered the early Beach Boys catalog? While they came out of the gate with an harmonic California sound, their early instrumentation was the sound of a garage band. Listen to Carl Wilson's lead and David Marks' rhythm guitars, especially on the instrumental cuts on the Beach Boys first three albums (instrumentals were a high percentage of their early albums).
Actually, no less an authority than Fred Vail nominated The Beach Boys early on ... but unfortunately they barely earned enough votes to register. (Obviously they started there in the garage ... or The Wilson's music room ... but who didn't??? And some of their earlier album tracks may have had that garage band sound ... but that would never outweigh the path they blazed with their distinctive surf rock and their exquisite harmonies.)  kk

Speaking of The Beach Boys, Carl Wilson's former brother-in-law Billy Hinsche was also nominated for his work with Dino, Desi and Billy ... (they, too, missed the final countdown.)   

Here's a recap of a previous discussion we had on their garage band roots ...  

'60's FLASHBACK: I asked Billy Hinsche (who was nominated for his work as part of Dino, Desi and Billy) if they considered themselves to be essentially a garage band when they were first starting out. (Of course, I had to kid with him a little bit first ... as I imagine theirs must have been was one HELL of a garage ... probably not too made bands had to have their parents pull the Ferrari and the Rolls Royce out of the way in order to set up their drum kits way back when!!!) Anyway, good sport that he is, he sent me a GREAT response ... so please read on! (kk)

My best friend Dino Martin and I began singing songs as a duo at the age of 13 in 1964, playing non-amplified nylon-stringed acoustic guitars and covering the songs of Chad & Jeremy, Peter & Gordon, The Everly Brothers and some of the simpler Beatles' tunes. At some point we decided it would sound even better and look even cooler if we played electric guitars and had a drummer. We knew that our younger school mate, Desi Arnaz, Jr., was already an accomplished drummer and he seemed like the perfect choice. He accepted our invitation without hesitation one day on our lunch break on the playground of our grammar school, Good Shepherd aka Beverly Hills Catholic School.

The next step was for us to find a place to rehearse. Up until that point, Dino and I had just practiced at the Martin's home and it was fairly easy for us to pack up our guitars and carry them wherever we needed to go; but Desi's drums weren't quite as mobile so we decided the best place for us to get together was where his drums were already set up and ready to play - at his mother's house. His mother being Lucille Ball. We weren't old enough to drive, so my dad (Otto Hinsche) would usually be the one to drive Dino and I over to Desi's and then either pick us up later or have Frank Gorey (Lucy's driver and all-around right hand man) drive us both home at the end of our rehearsal. 

Lucy lived at the corner of Roxbury and Lexington with her second husband, comedian Gary Morton, in a home purchased for her by former husband, Desi Arnaz. The two-story home (which no longer exists in its original form) had a lovely front lawn, parallel hedges leading to the front door, and a driveway along the North side of the property next to Jack Benny's home. Beyond the black, cast iron gates of the driveway was a three-car garage on the right where you might see the family station wagon or Lucy's powder blue Rolls Royce.

At the very end of the driveway and attached to a guest house was another garage that had been converted into a room for Desi Jr. and his older sister, Lucie, to stage plays and performances; at the back of the room was a short riser with a curtain, and tiny dressing rooms on either side. This room would later transform again and would include a small billiard table in the middle of the room. On center stage were Desi's Pearl Gray Gretsch drums and Ziljan cymbals (Desi told me he still has them and thinks they're the best cymbals made) and that's where Dino and I set up our small amps - Dino hadn't even started to play bass yet and we were both playing our new electric guitars and strumming in unison, so you can imagine how it sounded! 

One day, we were surprised and delighted to see Chad & Jeremy standing in front of us at the entrance of the "garage" watching our rehearsal - they were going to appear on both Lucy's and Dean Martin's television shows and had dropped by to check us out. What a thrill meeting a couple of our heroes from The British Invasion - I'll never forget it and we remain friends to this day. 

It wasn't long before we outgrew Lucy's place, eventually setting up shop at Dean's home though not in a garage; it was a room that was a combination of a large den, pocket pool table room and projection room all rolled into one. Dino and I now had new Super Beatle Vox amps and were playing Hofner bass and 12-string electric Rickenbacker guitars respectively, and Desi would simply leave his drum kit on the small riser on the "stage" underneath where the movie screen would lower and raise from the ceiling. It is here that we honed our skills every day after school and where Jeanne Martin (Dean's wife) would hear us practicing and thought enough of us to call family friend Frank Sinatra to give us an audition for his label, Reprise. 

Well, we passed the audition, were signed to Reprise, officially became known as Dino, Desi & Billy, recorded four albums with the label and, as they say, 'the rest is history' - and it all started out in a converted garage."

-- Billy Hinsche

(Left to right): Billy Hinsche, Desi Arnaz, Jr., Dino Martin

Caption: Dino, Desi & Billy use Vox Amplifiers

Photo: Billy Hinsche Archives / used with permission

Billy also sent me a couple of links regarding a brand new video release he has coming out just in time for Christmas ... assembled from the home movie archives of both the Billy Hinsche and Carl Wilson families, here is a ton of never-before-seen footage of live in the '60's ... check out the trailer here:

and full information here:

Here's their most-famous hit ... "I'm A Fool" ... which DEFINITELY has that "garage band feel", courtesy of the familiar "Louie Louie" / "Hang On Sloopy" opening guitar riff!  (kk)

When Davie Allan saw that he and The Arrows made the list, he was direct and to the point ... 
Davie Allan

(No wasted words there!  lol)  Thanks, Davie!   (kk)  

Kent ...

I've been following the Garage Band series, and it's great! I love all of the bands listed. I wanted to share a Garage Band with everyone here that no one here has heard of, except for Mike Dugo maybe. My 1965 band,"The Legions", who were truly a Garage Band ... because we never made it out of the garage! Well, we did play some WIBG and WFIL dances and a few School hops, but success never found us. We covered almost every band listed in the Garage Band series,and we did record one record called "She's Gone" (not the Hall & Oates hit) with our parents' money. It was written by me and our Guitarist Jeff Chadrow. "The Legions" were in hot competition with another local Garage Band called "Thuh Squamps" ... featuring Dr. Bob Rush! (Yep, "Thuh", not "The" ... it was always good to be different in those days!) Anyway, I've attached an MP3 of our single along with a photo. I'm the one sitting on the bottom step. The photo was taken in 1966 and I'm wearing my Nesmith Woolhat!
It's all good, because it gave me an education I could never have gotten in school, and it prepared me for what was to come for me later in The Rip Chords.
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords  

VERY Cool, Mitch! Mike Dugo knows garage bands better than anybody including a whole bunch that pooled their own money to lay down tracks and press their own records. Readers who enjoyed our series should check out Mike's website as well ... (kk)


Even Mike Dugo (of dug our series ... and he helped write all of the bios!!!  (kk)   

I am definitely enjoying the series, Kent. I hope you're getting some good feedback as well. I know, of course, the groups that are in the countdown, but you never did give me the final tally so I'm also looking forward to seeing the final placements right along with everybody else. I am really enjoying your comments on each group as well. The radio program sounds cool. It will be a great tie-in.

I had no idea Mike Rabon wrote a book about The Five Americans. I just ordered it!
Mike Dugo
Mike and I have decided to expand the list to include The Top 50 Vote Getters ... with new bios on some of these additionsLook for it to show up soon on the other Forgotten Hits website ...!
As for my comments, just to keep things interesting, I wrote all of MY comments before reading any of yours ... I was curious to see where we'd cross paths and on a number of occasions we both chose to highlight certain career milestones for the artists ... which I thought was kinda cool (in a "great minds think alike" kind of way.)
More Garage Band Comments tomorrow ... stay tuned!