Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 01 - 27 - 13 )

re: SHINDIG:  
Kent ...  
I didn't realize that Jimmy O' Neill was at one time married to Sharon Sheeley. Sharon was Eddie Cochran's girlfriend at the time of his death. Sharon wrote Ricky Nelson's first # 1 Hit, "Poor Little

Yes, Sharon Sheeley was Jimmy's first wife ... I believe he was married a total of three times in all. (kk)   

Hi, Kent, 
The tributes you paid to Jimmy O'Neill were nicely done. The news of his death was sad.
I grew up in L.A. and listened to his KFWB program regularly. Back in the '60s and '70s, I used to record airchecks off the air because I regarded them as an "audio snapshot" of the times. I recorded them on open-reel tape, but several years ago I digitized all of the ones that I could (the tape on many had degraded over the years), and I have donated dozens of those digital files to Richard Irwin's Reel Radio website. Among the airchecks I recorded during those years were two of Jimmy O'Neill.
For my Facebook friends, I uploaded one of the Jimmy O'Neill airchecks to my EditPros website and posted a link:
It's a full hour, recorded on Dec. 30, 1966,
-- Jeff March  
Thanks, Jeff ... I bet a bunch of our readers will enjoy checking this out! (kk)  

And, speaking of "Shindig!" ...   

>>>Is there any way you could find Dino, Desi & Billy's appearance on Shindig? Thanks! 
(Billy Hinsche)  
Let me see what I can do. (kk) 
Hey Kent -
I have got Billy taken care of on The Shindig Show. I have the entire series on DVD. I sent him a message on Facebook and he was thrilled. He actually wanted three copies ... one for him, one for Desi, and one for his sister. 
I've got the complete collection on 30 DVD's that I got out of Canada for $260.00. The quality varies but for the time, its great. Most of the clips have the numbers running in one corner of the screen ... but its history that was live, not lip-sync! 
That's what it's all about ... Forgotten Hits Readers helping other Forgotten Hits Readers! I love it! (And sooner or later I'D love to collect the whole set, too ... but right now with The Video Beat at $299, that puts me about $300 short! (lol) kk 

Hi kk,
I came across your website when trying to find information about the Youngtones. I'm very impressed and added you to my favourites for a definite look back later in the week.
I have a track credited to the Youngtones entitled Come On Baby but can find no sign of it mentioned in any discography I have seen on the band. Do you have anything that you could help me with? I'm
researching for my weekly radio programme and thank you for any assistance you may be able to offer.
Many thanks
Kind regards,
Ian Bell

We heard from one of the original Youngtones after our piece first ran. I tried to locate him again in an effort to gather more information on this record ... but, as of right now anyway, still haven't heard anything back.  Then again, somebody on the list may already know ... so let's throw this one out to the list and see what comes back. Glad you're enjoying Forgotten Hits! (kk)  

There used to be a Saturday morning show on radio called "The Browsers" Do you know what ever happed to these guys? The guy leading the show was Eddie Hubbard. Dave Allison, Don Lucki and Ron Baxley was also on the show. Hubbard used to be the announcer for the Chesterfield Supper Club with the Glenn Miller Orchestra; top rated personality on WIND in Chicago. I just wouldn"t miss that show!! Joni  
I don't remember this one ... anybody else out there able to help? (kk)  

After a hurricane, freak snowstorm and school shooting, I have my first concert break this year. 
I have no illusions that the performers knew my situation, or even that I was there last night, but they put on performances that blew away my sorrows and woes. The thing that particularly struck me was that they did not compete with each other for style. I don't mean these musicians aren't competitive ... on the contrary ... they are where they are because they strive to be the best. But they never tried to copy another group's style to top them. The Buckinghams have the classy Chicago-originated delivery and friendly humor. Even though I have trouble with them keeping the name, the rock performance of Mark and Dusty labels them 'The Grass Roots Honoring Rob Grill' in my book. The Turtles (who missed being The Beatles by 3 letters and 17 bijillion dollars) opened with 'Gangnum Style', and slipped verbal slap-stick into their section bringing the crowd to loud sing-along laughter. And the finale of British wit and twit by Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone combines music, stage presence, fun and humility to the gleeful audience. An audience, by the way, who was unmatched in their participation, joy in being there, and love of 60's music. It would be difficult (not impossible gentlemen, so keep going) to find a better match than I saw, heard, and felt last night. Three and a half hour drive there yesterday, and back today? Phhhhtt ... worth it! 
Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits, The Buckinghams and The Grass Roots appeared here this past weekend, too. If any of our readers were lucky enough to have attended this show, please drop us a line ... we'd love to hear your review. (kk)

Hey Kent ...  
Wanted to share this poster of a show we have coming up at The Sunrise Theater in Ft. Pierce Florida on Feb. 1st. Looking forward to a rockin' show with the great Ron Dante, Joey Dee, and The Mystics ... and getting some Florida sun, too! 
Also, 2013 marks the 50th year of "Hey Little Cobra", and we'll be celebrating that fact at each show this year. Richie and Arnie will celebrate their 50th year onstage together and we plan some special surprises this Summer! I've attached a poster of the upcoming show, and our "Tour Laminate" for all of our Forgotten Hits friends to see. 
Talk soon ... 
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords

And check THIS out!!! Brian Wilson has just announced some summer concert dates ... that will include "special guests" Al Jardine and David Marks! Nice to see these guys sticking together after Mike Love put the kabosh on extending The Beach Boys' 50th Anniversary Reunion Show to go back out on the road as the "Mike and Bruce Show". (Now which show would YOU rather see?!?!?)  

Here's the official word from WCBS-FM, by way of FH Reader Frank B. ... and Brian Wilson's website: 
Brian Wilson has just announced, via his website, an upcoming concert at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio, on July 25. Interestingly, the post also mentions that “special guests Al Jardine and David Marks will be performing with Brian.”

Wilson, Jardine and Marks, of course, were part of last year’s Beach Boys reunion tour. But Mike Love owns the license to the group’s name, and late last year, he announced that the reunion tour had run its course, and that the group would continue with its pre-reunion incarnation.

Wilson, Marks and Jardine expressed disappointment with that development, with Jardine going so far to start a Facebook petition to get Love to change his mind (he didn’t).

While only one Wilson/Jardine/Marks show has been scheduled, it seems like the trio of former Beach Boys could bring more “good vibrations,” sans Mike Love, to fans in 2013.

Tickets for the Fraze Pavilion show go on sale on January 26 at 9:00 a.m.

By the way, I finally had a chance to watch the live video concert from the reunion / anniversary tour and it is OUTSTANDING!!! The Beach Boys have never sounded better ... and it was great to hear a couple of live, in-concert surprises like "Marcella" (always one of my favorites) and "This And That", a great LP track. The new material sounded even better live than it does on the record ... absolutely a great show from start to finish. One MAJOR disappointment: they eliminated the tributes to Dennis and Carl Wilson, a key part of the reunion show ... and something that REALLY should have been there as part of the whole "50th Anniversary" theme. As you watch this video, you cannot help but wonder how ANY idiot could be dumb enough to walk away from the magic these guys displayed on stage ... but far greater and bigger than the talent of The Beach Boys is the self-serving ego of Mike Love ... and that's exactly what he chose to do. SO great to hear that Brian is keeping the summer alive with a little help from Al Jardine and David Marks ... and his incredible back-up band. THIS is the show to see! (kk)  

The Sundance Film Festival has always been known for its documentaries, but the lineup for the 11-day run that kicked off Thursday rocks especially hard.
The Eagles get their own documentary treatment; Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl directs and produces a tribute to a legendary recording studio; heavyweights such as Mick Jagger, Bono, Bette Midler and Bruce Springsteen appear in works about backup singers and the spiritual home of classic rock and soul music; and music mixes with politics in a film about feminist punk rockers Pussy Riot.
Saturday features the world premiere of History of the Eagles, Part One by director Alison Ellwood, the first half of a two-disc DVD package (no release date yet). The four current members of the band, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, are expected to attend.
Part One follows the group from its beginnings in the early-'70s Los Angeles music scene, when Henley and Frey left as backup singers to Linda Ronstadt to start their own band, and ends with their 1980 breakup. Part Two follows the various members' solo careers and the re-formation of the band in 1994, and brings viewers to the present, where the band reigns as a successful touring act.
The films feature interviews with current members (and past ones such as Don Felder), plus Ronstadt and California governor Jerry Brown. They're accompanied by a treasure-trove of home movies and unseen footage from early interviews and concerts.
"The myth about the Eagles is that they were constantly squabbling, and there is some of that," says Ellwood. "But there was a lot of camaraderie, love for one another and the music. And that comes across in the footage."
Friday sees the premiere of Sound City, which features Grohl directing, producing and appearing in a look at the fabled Van Nuys, Calif., recording studio Sound City Studio, whose 41-year run as a commercial recording center ended in 2011 — a victim to the digital music age. Among the notable albums recorded there: Neil Young's After the Gold Rush,1975's Fleetwood Mac and Nirvana's Nevermind.
For the film, Grohl pulls together musicians such as Stevie Nicks, Young, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Rick Springfield and Paul McCartney to create a new album at the studio.
Among the other musical documentaries scheduled for later in the festival:
Muscle Shoals, a portrait of the small Alabama town that was home to recording studios that produced hits by the Rolling Stones, Lynryd Skynyrd, Wilson Pickett and many others. Director/screenwriter Greg Camalier solicits reminiscences from a number of stars, including Jagger, Bono, Gregg Allman, Percy Sledge and Aretha Franklin.
Twenty Feet From Stardom, which explores the personal stories of some of pop music's best backup singers. Springsteen, Darlene Love and Midler are among those who share stories with director Morgan Neville.
"It's a very good year for music," says festival director John Cooper. "It really shows that documentary filmmaking is really turning to that area of interest."
-- submitted by Tom Cuddy
Look for more on The Eagles ... and Timothy B. Schmit ... in the "This And That" section below.  (kk)

Just a reminder that we will performing a 69th B'day Celebration at BB Kings club in NYC on February 7th and 8th, 2013. Tix are already on sale and going quickly so enough said. I have also added a Mike Bloomfield Tribute featuring Jimmy Vivino on March 16th, at The Egg in Albany, NY. Tix are on sale at:
Al Kooper 

Ron Onesti has added some more interesting shows to the line-up at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL ... check out this list:
February 2nd - Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience
March 13th - HelenReddy
March 23rd - War and Tower Of Power
April 12th - Boz Scaggs
April 19th - Echoes of Pompei (a Pink Floyd Tribute Show)
April 20th - Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy
April 26th - Michael McDonald (doing all of his Doobie Brothers and solo hits)
April 27th - Dennis DeYoung (the original voice of Styx)
May 4th - Frankie Avalon
May 11th - The Buckinghams and The Grass Roots
May 31st - A Nite of the band Chicago (with Bill Champlin, Danny Seraphine, Dennis Tufano and 25 or 6 to 4, the premiere Chicago tribute band)
September 21st - Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited
September 28th - Three Faces of the King - An Elvis Tribute Show featuring Shawn Klush, Rick Alviti, Cody Slaughter and The Ambassadors
October 5th - America
October 12th - Rick Springfield
December 8th - The Lettermen Christmas Show  

>>>Would you believe the other day I felt like going in to my kitchen and pouring me a cup of Folger's coffee (a beverage I don't drink at all) after thinking of another record I haven't heard in many years, also out of the year 1962. Know which one I'm talking about? (Larry )
Could it be this one ... the Percolator Twist by Billy Joe and the Checkmates, a Top Ten Record in 1962? But you know, the more I thought about it, the more I think it was Maxwell House ... and not Folgers ... that used the little percolator jingle. Anybody out there know for sure? (kk)
You guessed right. Since I have never drank coffee, Folger's was the first brand I thought of. I believe you are right about Maxwell House.

Not EXACTLY the commercial I was looking for ... but I found this one pretty fast ... and it gets the idea across. (kk)  
Click here: classic TV Commercials - Maxwell house coffee - YouTube  

Meanwhile, FH Reader Dann Isbell came up with a whole bunch of Maxwell House percolator videos!  

Hi kk,  
Lots of versions of the Maxwell House percolator in this YouTube video.  

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past few days, the news cycle has been getting lots of mileage out of Manti Te’o and his “girlfriend” who died of cancer. The “girlfriend” in question turns out, never actually existed.
Kent ...
I thought it might be fun to see if your readers can add to this list.
Frank B.

Click here: A Manti Te’o Top 5 Playlist « WCBS-FM 101.1  

Best Wishes and Happy Days to Liz and Lou Holly who, for the past several years have been publishing "Keep Rockin'" Magazine. In what looks to be their final issue released within the past week, they have announced that they have decided to close up shop for right now ... (sounds like they're hangin' up their rock and roll shoes) ... but we have extended an invitation to them (and all their readers) to join us here in Forgotten Hits and continue to share our mutual love and appreciation for all of this great music. Here's hoping that this will be the start of a great and fulfilling long relationship. (kk)   

NEW YORK, NY (January 22, 2013) – On March 12, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment will issue the 2-DVD and Digital Video release of Queen Live at Wembley Stadium. A new edition of the 25th Anniversary DVD of Queen’s legendary 1986 concerts, the 2 disc set comes with previously unreleased footage and brand new bonus features.
Over one remarkable summer weekend, on Friday, July 11th and Saturday, July 12th 1986, Queen performed two sell-out shows at Wembley, concerts which have been widely acknowledged as two of the most incredible rock events ever staged.
Now, both the Friday and Saturday night concerts can be seen in their entirety on the Anniversary edition DVD, highlighting that no two Queen shows were ever the same. The driving rain of the Friday night show presented its own challenges but failed to dampen the mood or the music, presenting Freddie Mercury with some perfect opportunities to amuse the crowd. The sun shone on Saturday, making it a magical summer’s evening, as the band showcased everything that made Queen brilliant live.
The DVD footage has been restored for the Anniversary edition and the sound has also been remastered with a brand new stereo mix and 5.1 sound.
Extras on the DVD include ‘The Magic Tour’, a short feature containing brand new interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor filmed in 2011. They reflect back on what was to be their final tour with their familiar intelligence, honesty and brilliant wit and humor. They explain in depth how they would approach planning their concerts and they also reflect on the poignancy of the shows which were to become among the last few performances with Freddie.
“The Wembley concerts in 1986 were the pinnacle for us” says Brian May. “We were at our height band-wise, and Freddie had developed this phenomenal way of dealing with stadium audiences. Being back home in London playing two sell-out nights was such a big, big occasion for us. None of us realized that this would be almost the last time we played together…”
Queen’s 1986 Magic Tour had been their most successful to date. Regenerated and reinvigorated by their triumph at Live Aid almost exactly a year earlier, the band were on a 26-date tour of the UK and Europe and after a month out of the country returned home to London to play two defining concerts at the ‘place of champions’, Wembley Stadium.
These were to be Queen’s biggest stage, their biggest lighting rig, the biggest screen that not only Queen had performed with, but also that Wembley Stadium had ever seen. For director Gavin Taylor, filming it involved the unprecedented use of no less than 15 cameras and a helicopter to capture the aerial shots.
For Freddie it was the start of one very long party. Friends were flown in from New York and ferried from his London home to Wembley in special coaches. It was one of the proudest days of his life.
The Saturday show saw a previous wet day turn into one of the sunniest of the year. “It was a perfect day,” says director Taylor. And the Wembley roar went up as Brian, Roger, John and Freddie arrived on stage to the synthesized opening chords on One Vision.
For the next 110 minutes Queen played what was undoubtedly one of their most potent concert performances. The two Wembley concerts, along with a hastily added final date at Stevenage’s Knebworth Park a month later, were among Queen's finest moments.
“Wembley Stadium was such a special place,” says Roger. “Having played it as part of Live Aid and to come back and play it again was such a blast.”
It’s perhaps no surprise that Queen’s hit musical, We Will Rock You, sees the show’s heroes end up at Wembley Stadium, ‘the place of living rock’ for the storming finale where the roots of rock are rediscovered and the rebellious bohemians find their way to recreating the music of the Mighty Queen.
Towards the end of Queen’s performance on the DVD, Freddie Mercury addresses the audience: “There’ve been some rumors we’re splitting. They’re talking through their *****,” Freddie says. “We’ll be together forever.”
“And in a way,” says Brian, “I guess we were. We might not have been a touring band much longer, but we were together as a band right until the end.”
“I don’t think anyone expected the Magic tour to be the band’s last dates; things had gone so well and we were already planning the next one,” says Gerry Stickells, Queen’s tour manager. “There was no sense of anything coming to an end”.
But as things turned out, Queen only ever played two further UK concerts, in Manchester on July 16 and that final concert at Knebworth on August 9.
But if ever a reminder was needed of why Queen earned themselves the mantle of best stadium rock group in history, then you only have to turn to this DVD to see Queen live, uncut, and at their ferocious, majestic, best.  

Hello Kent! 
I've started the petition "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Posthumously induct Jim Croce into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014" and need your help to get it off the ground.
Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now?
Here's the link:
Here's why it's important:
Jim Croce (1943 - 1973) was a talented musician and songwriter who was taken from us way too soon. His hit songs, such as "Time in a Bottle" and "Bad Leroy Brown" have lived on and withstood the test of time. He is a member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame and won Favorite Male Artist - Pop / Rock at the 1973 American Music Awards. Jim has four Gold Albums: You Don’t Mess around with Jim, Life and Times, I Got a Name, and Photographs and Memories. Give Jim Croce the honor he deserves by putting him amongst his peers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
You can sign my petition by clicking here.
Jennifer Vanderslice
I'm happy to let folks know about your cause ... but, as we've covered time and time again, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame doesn't care one iota about what the fans think ... we've seen petitions submitted that have had over 10,000 signatures on them ... and these artists have STILL never so much as made the ballot. They don't care WHAT you think ... and they will be the first ones to tell you that only THEY are qualified to determine who does and doesn't belong in their hallowed hall.  (As such, you'll see revolutionary, timeless, mega-stars like Afrika Bambaataa on the ballot instead of nobody, also-ran artists like Jim Croce, Chicago, The Guess Who or The Moody Blues ... I mean what did THESE guys ever do that anybody noticed?!?!?)
That being said, I am a HUGE Jim Croce fan and have been since Day One. I was fortunate enough to have seen Jim in concert half a dozen times and bought EVERYTHING he did the minute it was released. I, too, have campaigned for his inclusion in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... and he has made our "Deserving And Denied" List numerous times ... but all to no avail.
While I whole-heartedly support and agree with your assessment, I would be remiss in not pointing out that, no matter how well-intended it may be, your petition will go absolutely NOWHERE ... a real shame ... but the simple facts of life. (kk)   

Here are some GREAT out-takes to The Wrecking Crew documentary ...    

Hopefully most of these will find their way as DVD Extras once the film is officially released to the public.     
Click here: The Wrecking Crew | Movie | Thank You    
Meanwhile, you can still catch a viewing at any of these upcoming screenings:  
January 27th - NAMM 2013 - Anaheim, CA 
February 7th - LOFT CINEMA - Tucson, AZ 
February 9th - SABAN CANYON CLUB - Beverly Hills, CA 
February 17th - ACE HOTEL - Palm Springs, CA 
March 1st - STATE THEATRE OF MODESTO - Modesto, CA  

I watched some of the out-takes and was surprised to see that Petula Clark had recorded some of her tracks here in America ... and with The Wrecking Crew no less! I asked Songwriter / Producer Tony Hatch about this:  

Hi Kent,  
Petula's recording career covers several decades. I was involved in two of those decades and several times we recorded in LA (with the Wrecking Crew), producing singles and album tracks and also in New York where we recorded COLOR MY WORLD.With other producers I'm sure she recorded in LA and NY and other places as well. 
All the best, 

WWW.INDEPENDENTMUSICNETWORK.COM Currently booking 2013 and beyond ... planning UK and Germany shows in the fall of 2013  
WTG, Tommy!!! (kk)  

>>> Jan and Dean are being inducted in The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame ... but STILL haven't made the ballot for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame! (kk)
Well, finally Quincy got in -- that's a step in the right direction but so many are still snubbed. 
I haven't had time to read FH this week -- have been under a few deadlines plus we had two "Legitimate RRHOF" members in Treasure Isle this past week, "Donovan" and the great John Sebastian. Donovan came over this past summer -- enjoyed working with the Nashville musicians -- as Nashville's Hickory Records, owned by Acuff-Rose Music -- gave him his start with his first hit, "Catch The Wind." Epic got the rest of 'em! 
Will have to do some catching up later in the week! Fred Vail 

This morning when I got up and I don't know why, I began to think of songs which have come out through the years in which the LP version is somewhat different than the single, 45 version. For example, LIGHT MY FIRE edited down for radio from the LP version, IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA edited down from the LP version, etc. Incidentally for those who don't know, the single version on 45 of Iron Butterfly's song is 2:52 in length. Normally, I guess the LP version is somewhat longer. 
Keep up the good work.  
We've covered this topic before ... it was pretty common practice to edit down the singles to better hit the "under three minutes" criteria of Top 40 Radio back in the day. "In A Gadda Da Vida" may be the PREMIUM example, however. Yes, the single was only 2:52 ... but the LP track was something like 18 Minutes!!! It took up the entire side of the album! No way Top 40 Radio was going to play THAT one!!! (kk)

Eagles member Timothy B. Schmit has been battling throat and neck cancer since October but the prognosis is looking good.  
His struggle with the disease was first made public in late-December by his assistant, Julie, who told fan site Timothy B Schmit On-Line that:
In October, Timothy was diagnosed with throat and neck cancer. He flew to New York right after the 11/17/12 Las Vegas show for surgery with a top surgeon. He was only in the hospital for three days.
The good news is that the surgery was successful and Timothy has received a clean bill of health. The final pathology report stated that he appears to be cancer free, both in his throat and neck. He does not need to have chemo or radiation. Now he just has to keep an eye on things every month for about a year to be sure it stays away, and then not so often.
Last week, Schmit posted his own update and thank you on his website: 

I’m way past due in expressing my sincere gratitude for the outpouring of get well wishes I’ve received over the last few weeks. They have come in various forms, like the great e-card that was signed by many, many people through the L & M’s Eagles Fastlane website, as well as all the touching cards I’ve received via snail mail. I very much appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers regarding my health. But, let me give you a brief update. Although my issues were disheartening, and I went through what the doctors called, “major surgery”, the truth is I was only bedridden during my three night stay in the hospital. I was up and about right after, starting with daily walks on the streets of Manhattan. After another week I received a clean bill of health and headed for home on the west coast. My voice is coming along nicely, and as many of you know, I was able to perform with the Eagles just before the new year. So … All is good. The brief synopsis is: I discovered a problem and took care of it; simple as that.  
So, not to worry … I love my work, and plan on doing it for as long as possible. I’m chipping away at a new solo album, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear of more Eagles action in the near future.  
While I’m at it, I would also like to thank the Feed the Fire group for their generous holiday donation in my name to both the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Sandy and The American Cancer Society.  
Again … Thank you all so much for your concern, and for reaching out to me in such a kind and giving manner. 
The documentary The History of the Eagles Part I premiered during the Sundance Festival and both Part 1 and 2 will air on Showtime on February 15 and 16. 
-- submitted by Tom Cuddy  
In addition to the new documentary (which I can't WAIT to see, by the way), I have also heard that we can look forward to a new "live" DVD as well as some new music ... more details to come ... but the GOOD news is that clearly, these guys aren't quite ready to hang things up yet! (kk)

Hey Kent, 
So after all the radio rants about the music and formats, we finally see what the industry is spending it's time on. See attached memo. 
No doubt about it ... crucial, critical stuff that needs addressing!!! (lol) Without question, it's well thought out plans like THESE that are going to bring the listeners back.  
Thanks, Steve! (kk)

While searching for some of the Chicago area’s big groups from the 60s, I happened to come across your website and just wanted compliment you and thank you for creating such a great website ... it really brought back a lot of good memories. I will definitely be checking your site out regularly and also telling
all my old friends about it. Keep up the great work!
Thank you so much,
Larry Wickett
Thanks for the kind words ... and welcome aboard!  (kk)   

Over the years, James Taylor recorded some GREAT remakes ... and, by and large, they did very well on the charts.  "Handy Man" (#2, 1977); "How Sweet It Is" (#5, 1975) and duets with his wife Carly Simon ("Mockingbird", #3, 1974, and "Devoted To You", #36, 1978) all helped to solidify his career as a proven hit maker.  But he also wrote a good number of his own hits, including early charters like "Fire And Rain" (#3, 1970); "Country Road" (#25, 1971) and Today's Forgotten Hit, "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight", a record that went all the way up to #14 in 1973, yet rarely if ever gets played today.
We're here to fix that.  (kk)

Last Kiss

In his new book "Rockabilly Heaven - West Texas in the '50's ... The Untold Story of The Cavaliers, 1956 - 1964", original Cavalier Sid Holmes recalls the recording session that produced their #1 Hit "Last Kiss" ...  

The script couldn't have been written any better; over in San Angelo, Ron Newdoll had visions of recording something important in his brand new studio, while across town Lewis Elliott was keeping The Cavaliers' name alive. Down in Corpus Christi, I had written an official letter to Lewis Elliott that would re-instate J. Frank Wilson as the lead singer for The Cavaliers. Three hundred miles away in Lufkin, Texas, J. Frank Wilson was packing up his belongings and heading for San Angelo, not knowing he had a date with destiny.  

Sonley Roush had gotten the brainstorm for recording "Last Kiss" after hearing Wayne Cochran's King #5856 demo 45 record played weekly on an Odessa radio station. The station had added the song to their weekly "Record Challenge", where new releases would go up against one another and then listeners would call in, make comments about the song, and vote. When Wayne's record continued getting good responses from the young girls, Sonley Roush (who liked the song but not Wayne Cochran's vocal performance on this particular record) remembered Frank Wilson, lead singer for The Cavaliers from San Angelo, Texas from 1962. Roush had previously approached a rock band from Abilene he had been producing called The Chevelles to record "Last Kiss", but they turned it down.  

When Sonley Roush finally made the decision to move forward with his idea, he was faced with numerous challenges. The most important one was that singer J. Frank Wilson was still involved with The Cavaliers, and he wasn't sure if he'd be available. After learning that Frank was available, the next challenge for Roush was his very limited funds. Roush approached Ron Newdoll, owner of Accurate Sound Recording, and convinced him that "Last Kiss" with J. Frank Wilson as the vocalist, could be the stuff dreams are made of.  

Roush's final challenge was finding a band that would play on the recording without getting paid. In the beginning, Lewis Elliott said he was under the impression that the band was going to record some demos at Accurate Sound Recording Studio in order to get more bookings. In time, Roush revealed his "idea", offering The Cavaliers a contract that would pay a small percent in royalties.  

Sonley Roush's secretive plan was to record "Last Kiss" in Ron Newdoll's new studio in San Angelo, at no charge, copying Wayne Cochran's 45. Since Wayne had a three-girl backing group on his record, Sonley tried to round up some girls who sang in church. The girls failed to show. Sonley contacted Jim Wynne, from the 1962 Cavalier group, by phone, and asked him to play piano on the recording in which he agreed. Ron Newdoll contacted local musician Marilyn Massey, offering her son, Lynn, to play drums, but she wouldn't let him skip school.  

J. Frank Wilson (vocalist), Gene Croyle (guitar), Roland Atkinson (drums), Lewis Elliott (bass), me (Sid Holmes, playing the studio piano), Sonley Roush and Ron Newdoll (studio owner) were all at Accurate Sound Recording studio around 1:00 pm in early August, 1964.   
(What?!?!?  Are you telling me that Leo Lucas wasn't there?!?!? Who'dathunk!?!?!) kk   

Sonley Roush began the session by holding up a 45 copy of Wayne Cochran's teen tragedy ballad, "Last Kiss". He said "You guys are here in order to copy this record by Wayne Cochran, who also wrote the song, and I have confidence that you are going to do a much better job." (Please note: It is not illegal to copy another band's recording as musical arrangements cannot be copyrighted.)  

The session began with Sonley Roush playing the 45 record a couple of times through the speakers in order for each player to hear it and to concentrate on their part. When everyone felt somewhat comfortable with the song, Roland Atkinson began the drum intro, followed by Lewis Elliott's bass riff, in which he had some difficulty. After a couple of false starts, I left the piano stool, walked over to Lewis, and offered him some assistance. In order to help, I took the electric bass from Lewis, put the strap over my shoulder, and played the tricky bass riff showing him some positions and technique. 
(Maybe Leo ran out to get everybody coffee???) kk  

The actual recording of "Last Kiss" went like this:  

With Sonley Roush giving the instructions through the monitor speakers, we began recording the song over and over, with few pauses, for three straight hours. The few pauses that were made Sonley would play the record over again through the monitor speakers. Most of the time, if there was a goof-up, we just kept on playing and then we would begin over, starting from the top. At around 4:00 pm, we were up to around "Last Kiss" take #62 and most everyone was about shot. We did two more attempts, "Last Kiss" #63 and finally Sonley called out to us "Last Kiss", take #64, which probably was the best of the lot.  

Since he did not sing, write arrangements, play an instrument, provide any monetary funds or have any connection with The Cavaliers, the only thing Sonley Roush brough to the table that day was an "idea".   
(Maybe Leo Lucas drove Sonley to the session???) kk  
Since Frank Wilson seemed to be familiar with the song, it's likely he was the only one given a cassette practice tape in advance. (Sonley Roush had not provided any previous practice cassette tapes of Wayne Cochran's "Last Kiss" 45 for the players; it's not surprising that it took so long to record. Perhaps no cassette practice tapes were made and sent out before the recording session because Roush was being overly cautious, not wanting anyone to steal his "idea".)  
Despite the fact that no one had a chance to practice beforehand, the final track turned out well. The name of the lone female back-up singer who was brought in at a later time is unknown.   
(Maybe THAT'S Leo Lucas!!! Damn it, Leo, you might have gotten away with this one ... telling everybody that you were brought into the session to sing those high female parts!!!) kk   

It was thought to be Gwen Coleman, but upon interviewing her, she said the rumors were false.   
(OMG ... Gwen may be the first person EVER to claim to have NOT played on "Last Kiss"!!!) kk

The teen tragedy ballad "Last Kiss" was perfect material for J. Frank Wilson; his voice was always crisp and clear with a slight hint of pain.  
And then the record was a hit, right??? Well, not exactly. To see how this record was bootlegged by other record companies ... how an alternate version was released on another label ... how J. Frank Wilson was ousted from the band ... and much, much more, order Sid Holmes' book here: Click here: Rollercoaster Records  

At some point in time shortly thereafter, Sid Holmes signed away his rights to any future royalties for the record for $100.  

We had about three more pages of "Last Kiss" comments ready to go when we experienced our big computer crash of 2012 ... as a result, we lost virtually all of it ... except the few comments shown below that I was able to resurrect thanks to still being in my "live" active mail file. 

In addition, we received several NEW comments after yesterday's piece ran ... we've saved those for the end.

I think Sid Holmes' account closes the last chapter on this once and for all. He was there ... and his book outlines, in great detail, all the various ways The Cavaliers were screwed and abused ... but it ALSO tells the true, complete story of this landmark recording session ... and that's good enough for me! (kk)  

Meanwhile, here are the last of your surviving comments ...  

Have you published the last chapter on The Last Kiss?
I doubt it ... it seems that every time this topic comes up, we get a great response ... including some of those featured below. (kk)  

Hi Kent,
Interesting story about "Last Kiss" and all the Cavaliers claims. I can add two more versions of "Last Kiss" recorded by Wayne Cochran himself, including one of the earliest:
Last Kiss / Edge of the Sea (Aire 150)  

Released in 1962, which makes it the second version of the song recorded by Cochran. It's completely different from all the other takes, with Cochran sharing vocals with an unnamed male vocalist - possibly Loyd Thunder, whose 45 on Aire was released at the same time. This 45 is not listed in any Cochran discographies and was pretty much unknown until two copies turned up in a private collection a few months ago.  
Last Kiss II / Hey! Baby (Boblo 101)  
Yet another take with different lyrics, released on Bobby Smith's label out of Macon, GA.   
I've attached scans of the labels, and mp3's of both versions for you to share.  
Jeff Lemlich  


Reading your coverage on "Last Kiss," I was reminded of this quote from a great movie called "The Kid Stays In the Picture": There are three sides to every story: Your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently.
The more stories I cover, the more I see the wisdom in this statement.
Carl Wiser 
Don Henley sang the same thing on his first solo album ... "There's three sides to every story baby ... there's yours and there's mine and there's the cold, hard truth". I've found that in some instances memories fade ... in some instances people literally convince themselves that it happened the way they said it did (simply because they've told the story so many times now that in their own mind, it's fact) ... and in virtually ALL instances, there is an element of truth in each version of the story. The challenge is picking the parts that make the most sense ... which is why we always strive to present "The Most Accurate Truth" whenever possible. (Of course they also say when in doubt between the truth and the legend, print the legend ... simply because it's usually FAR more interesting!!!) kk  

Kent --   
Had a chance to read the latest Last Kiss epistle more closely and wanted to compliment you on the detective work. I got a real kick out of Leo's latest, of course -- how he didn't discuss band business with fill-ins like myself, repeating that lie, and acknowledging that I'm a real nice guy who just likes to feel important. And it was just priceless that he used his good friend Sid Holmes as a "verifier."  
I have to admit that this whole Leo thing has REALLY stuck in my craw. I just haven't been able to shake my anger about being accused of lying and misrepresenting myself and the group. He not only changed his story about his involvement with the song, contradicting how he's represented himself to producers and audiences alike, but everything he said about my involvement with the group was a lie that could easily be disproved. I was a full-time member of group for years, despite my discomfort about the "Last Kiss lie," and was always introduced by Leo as his music director. He has lied about the group and song with impunity for literally decades and obviously felt no compunction about lying even more in his unverifiable defense. To me, the most telling thing that happened with Leo is when he cited Sid Holmes as someone who'd back up his story ... and there was Sid's post calling Leo an imposter. I don't think he realizes that there is a record of how this song was written, recorded, released and rendered hit-bound, and none of it involves him.   
I don't claim to be the world's greatest keyboard player. I'm a decent player who knows a lot of songs, has a good ear and can fit into a solid pocket, whether it's a ballad or a funk tune. But one thing that I've really taken pride in is that I'm a straight shooter, an honest guy, reliable and dependable. I played my first paid gig when I was 11, 48 years ago, and in all that time I've missed exactly one gig -- on the night that my wife got into a fairly serious car accident. I have no stories to retract and no apologies to make, including anything I shared with you about the Cavaliers and Leo. I have been fortunate, in the aftermath of my involvement with Leo, to go on to work with many really good bands under much more friendly, positive circumstances. And you won't find anyone who's ever played with me or "in front" of me with a bad word to say about my musicianship or integrity ... at least besides Leo.   
What this really shows me is that the eternal separation between people who are into music for the music and those who are into it for the money seems ... those principally involved in the quest for joy and those principally involved in the quest for cash.   
Thanks again for the venting opportunity! I'm still deciding whether to contact Leo and confront him about all this directly. But honestly -- I think any contact with him would kind of give me the creeps.  
Meanwhile, it occurred to me that I probably had a copy of Leo's Cavaliers singing Last Kiss with myself in the backline. And I do. So attached you will get to hear Leo Lucas making his bogus claims, as he always did, and then launching into his off-key lead vocal. My favorite part is after the singers leave and the band is just jamming -- even if you can't bear to listen to Leo's singing, be sure to catch Ed Merin's excellent solo after the singers depart. (It kicks in about 3:30. Ed is one fantastic guitarist and had a hard time containing his blues and rock tendencies as we slogged through the doo-wop swamp.)   
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what you'll hear here has to be worth several hundred.  

I enjoyed your article about J Frank Wilson.  
I can certainly tell you Leo Lucas is full of shit.  
You see, I am J Frank's son - his only son.  
One would assume I am the owner of J Frank Wilson's name.  
I have found Leo's trademark paperwork and am thinking about pursuing it.  
Have a good day  
Interesting! Certainly you must have known about this then for several years ... can you provide some verification for our readers? Thanks, Rodney. (kk)  
Here's a copy of an article you can read.  
Click here: Marjorie Andersen Mayer (1924 - 2003) - Find A Grave Memorial

Survivors include her husband, Jack Mayer, Sr., of Lufkin; son and daughter-in-law, Jack, Jr., and Judy Mayer of Deer Park; daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Steve New of Lufkin; grandchildren, Resa Neel and husband, Richard of San Antonio, Rodney Swearingen of San Angelo, Julie Mayer of Texas City, Jamey.
I am the Rodney, Frank's son.
You can ask all of the original Cavaliers - they will all tell you that I am his only son!
My sister Resa is not interested in involvement although she gets some small checks from (small) record sales - Kathy (Frank's sister) got them after Marjorie died and my sister took them from her - cost her a little so I just let her keep the small sums). I am not interested much either but will explain things to you if you wish.
One thing that really pisses me off is the attitude of Leo - I do not like liars and theifs and I know he is both - just to prove a point, I am considering pushing the issue - I talked to him a year ago and my thoughts were he is an arrogoant lying s.o.b.
I did enjoy your article
My last name is different as my mother divorced Frank when I was young and I have a wonderful father whom I do not wish to hurt his feelings - although I am aware he most likely would never know and if he did, would support me getting the truth out as he is the one who taught me my beliefs. I cannot believe Leo actually got a trademark.
There is an organization that punishes such persons and there is always the opportunity of a lawyer as I am sure he has made some money on his lies - money is not the point to me but it actually seems everyone I know loves Last Kiss and I think Frank deserves the recognition - he never really got anything else.
Have a good day.

Hi Kent -
The series of articles about "Last Kiss" were pretty amazing.
I did not know that the 1964 Josie version was cut here in NY ... it does not sound like a typical NY production of the time. I'm wondering if Don's studio was primarily a Demo studio and that's what gave the record that sparse sound. I'm also curious if it was done on a multitrack deck, or if it was recorded "live" right onto a mono 15 ips Ampex machine ... almost every studio in NY had an Ampex deck, they were the studio standard at that time.

Kent - 
Very interesting! And a bit of vindication in that everything I ever told you on Leo and the NY group has pretty much been substantiated. I don't claim to know much, but all I've told you has been true. Hope things are going well. Regards to Frannie! 

Hi, Kent,  
Great take on the Sid Holmes book and story.   
If you talk with him again, I wonder if you could ask him about another act the late Sonley Roush produced. Granger Hunt & The Believers, also on Josie, had a novelty / ballad combo with "Motor Mouth" / "Love Wasn't Real" (Josie 925, I think) that shared the same (lack of) production values. I know Roush died shortly thereafter in a car crash (how ironic) with some band members of either The Believers and/or The Cavaliers. Could he clarify this for me, please?
BTW, I've discovered that, after another 45 or two, Hunt (now spelled Grainger) became a Nashville songwriter (he had a hit for Jim Ed Brown, which I think was "Regular on My Mind") and subsequently got a Ph.D. and is a highly-respected ornithologist (bird expert) out west. 
By the way, I've been busy on the music front. My doo-wop group, The Fabulous Dudes, just released our debut CD, "The Kids Would Go Wild!", and we're still working the long lost tracks by Benefit Street / The American Dream. Both albums and more are detailed at   
I don't comment as often as I'd like to, but I do check in and I do care! Thanks for all your research and hard work.  
Best to you and all,  
(Country) Paul Payton
I will forward your email to Sid regarding Granger Hunt and the Believers.  I don't recall them being mentioned in Sid's book (although an incredible amount of "side players" are.)  As for the car accident that took Sonley Roush's life, J. Frank Wilson was also in that vehicle and suffered some serious injuries as a result of the crash.
Here is Sid Holmes' account of the incident: 
On October 23rd, 1964, J. Frank Wilson (solo artist) and the touring group were traveling in a caravan on State Route 32 around 5 am from Parkersburg, West Virginia, to Lima, Ohio, for a performance at the Candy Cane Club.  Sonley Roush, driving a station wagon, momentarily dozed off, hitting a trailer-truck head-on, dying instantly.  J. Frank Wilson, sitting in the front seat, and Bobby Wood (vocalist / piano) from Memphis, sitting in the back, suffered serious injuries. 
Holmes goes on to explain ...
On this date, October 23rd, 1964, "Last Kiss" had stalled at #3 in Billboard and, after the wreck, moved up a notch to #2.  After many years of recuperating, Bobby Wood played piano on Garth Brooks' numerous hit recordings.

I seem to recall J. Frank Wilson making television appearances after the accident in a cast.  How ironic that their biggest hit was about a car crash ... and then, at the peak of its performance on the charts, they were in one ... that also killed their manager.  (kk)

The fact that Wayne Cochran never had a song that charted is truly a shame. Honest to gosh, I don't think the record labels he was with had any idea how to sell him.  
I'd kill to go back to the Happy Medium one more time and hear him cut loose on "You Don't Know Like I Do" or "Goin' Back to Miami." His band, the air tight C.C. Ryders, were just tremendous. At his apex with synchronized drums, Wayne was running a 14-15 piece orchestra. His bass
player Chester Mass is still the best bassist I've ever seen or heard.
Do you know if Wayne made any bread on "Last Kiss' or did he get ripped off on publishing
Chet Coppock

As I understand it, Cochran's greatest source of income has always come from the royalties for "Last Kiss".  When Pearl Jam remade the song in 1999, Wayne reportedly earned enough to build his own church.  As you know, he has been a minister for many, many years now ... and really doesn't talk about his early rock and roll days anymore.  From everything I've heard and read, he was the ULTIMATE performer live on stage ... but no record label was ever able to capture that and transfer it effectively to vinyl.  I also seem to remember one of his biggest supporters being Jackie Gleason, who had Cochran on his television show numerous times.  Even that didn't help.  His best-known single, "Goin' Back To Miami", never even officially charted ... and the one that did ... Wayne's version of "Harlem Shuffle", only managed to "bubble under" at #127 in 1966.  (kk)
Fascinating read today, Kent. I'm home sick today so I got to read the whole page at my leisure.  Thank you for all you do to keep us informed of the music we love.
I really don't have much to offer in the "Last Kiss" story, but I was a DJ on KTEO in San Angelo, TX, from 9/62 to 10/63. I was in the USAF at the time, but worked the evening shifts (6-9 or 9-12) every day during that stretch. I knew J. Frank a bit since I dropped in to hear him and the band now and then, and I also had hung out just a bit with one of the band members ... name forgotten but I think his nickname was Spider.  
KTEO was always in a weak financial situation and always behind two weeks or more in cashing paychecks. But I was living on base and had no debt so I didn't care and I was playing the hits on a real radio station ... that was all that mattered.  
I had moved on to KXLF in Butte, MT, when Last Kiss came out and an old friend from San Angelo had alerted me to the song, so it was my "personal pick" and it reached #1 on our chart.  
I know this isn't much of a help, but you might ask Sid if he remembers "Jim Southern" on KTEO.

Hi Kent, 
I remember my wife telling me about driving our daughter and one of her friends to some function.  At the time, my daughter and her friend were about 16. Pearl Jam's version of "Last Kiss" was less than a week old when it came on the car radio. My daughter started singing the words and her friend was amazed. "How do you know the words?" she said. My daughter still prefers the good stuff in my collection to most of the unimaginative music of today that lacks creativity and innovation. 
Oh, by the way, I played triangle on the Cavaliers' original recording. I think I was 10 at the time. 
Makes sense ... renown triangle player Tracy Partridge would have been too young at the time to make this session.  Thanks, Dube!  (I was there, too ... The Cavaliers went through something like 65 takes that day before they recorded the version of "Last Kiss" that made the record.  If you listen REAL closely on Take 43, you can hear me clearing my throat in the background.  Sadly, left on the cutting room floor once again.)  kk