Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Together

Aurora, Illinois seems to have become the hotbed of ensemble entertainment of late.  

Last week, we saw the Sail Rock Concert at RiverEdge Park ... 

And next week, The Happy Together Tour rolls into the Paramount Theatre.

Happy Together, circa 2013, boasts an OUTSTANDING line-up of '60's artists ... The Turtles, Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders), Chuck Negron (of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett and the Union Gap and Gary Lewis and the Playboys ... all MAJOR hit-makers during our favorite decade of music.

This show promises to be a winner ... and we can't wait to see it.  (The concert takes place next Friday Night, August 23rd, and tickets are still available ... but you'd better move fast, because they won't last!)

Here's a bit of promo material they sent me to help support the show (along with a few comments of my own). Enjoy!

The Turtles, Gary Puckett, Chuck Negron, Mark Lindsay and Gary Lewis. 

AURORA, IL, August 8, 2013 - In the three years since The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie brought back some friends for the 25th Anniversary Tour in 2010, The Happy Together Tour has become one of the most successful summer tours in existence, celebrating the music of the 60s for thousands of "Happy" fans to enjoy across North America. 

This year's Happy Together Tour - with The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders and Gary Lewis & The Playboys - makes its third annual Chicago-area stop exclusively at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, Friday, August 23 at 8 p.m. 

Don't miss the original pop rockers playing songs you used to play on your car radio and sound-tracked your favorite memories, from "Happy Together," "Joy to the World" and "Young Girl" to "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" and "This Diamond Ring."

Tickets are $59.50. For tickets and information, go to, call the Paramount box office at (630) 896-6666, or visit the box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two hours prior to evening performances. 

Get Happy Before the Show at Paramount's Season Kick Off Party     

Just prior to The Happy Together Tour is Paramount's 2013-14 Season Kick Off Party from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Grand Gallery. Join fellow Paramount fans to sample amazing appetizers prepared by local restaurants and dining partners and enjoy a refreshing drink from the cash bar while you peruse silent auction items. This premier event always sells out, so reserve your tickets early. Tickets are $10. Tickets for The Happy Together Tour must be purchased separately.                                                                                                  

More about The 2013 Happy Together Tour    

"This year's Happy Together Tour will be the biggest and most successful tour we have done in the past seven years," said Mark Volman (aka "Flo") of The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie. "We're playing 54 cities over nine weeks, and the groups on this year's show bring with them hours of hit songs and memories certain to please every fan of the 60s." 

Hours of hit songs, indeed. In all, the five artists on this year's tour have over sixty Top 40 hits to choose from, including six number one songs. Half of those Top 40 hits were Top 10!
I can't see you loving nobody but The Turtles
singing "Happy Together," 1967  

"Happy Together" by The Turtles hit #1 on the charts in 1967 (displacing the Beatles' "Penny Lane") and remains a staple on classic rock radio to this day. Although their biggest hit and signature song, it's just one of their nine Top 40 hits, which includes such popular songs as "She'd Rather Be With Me," "Elenore," "You Showed Me" and "It Ain't Me Babe." For more information, visit

The Turtles (aka Flo and Eddie ... and occasionally even Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman) ALWAYS put on an entertaining show ... one of our all-time favorites to see live.  They keep their set contemporary with lots of pop culture references and really seem to enjoy what they're doing.  (kk)

Here are a couple of pictures from the last time The Happy Together Tour rolled through Aurora ... me and Frannie with the guys backstage after the show ...
"Young Girl"...get out of my mind...
Gary Puckett & The Union Gap

Gary Puckett & The Union Gap was one of the most successful musical groups of the 60s, boasting five Top 10 singles. Puckett's unmistakable signature voice garnered six consecutive gold records and top ten Billboard hits such as "Young Girl" and "Woman Woman." In 1968, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap sold more records than any other artist including the Beatles. For more, visit

Gary Puckett joined the tour last year.  (We also saw him as part of Paul Revere and the Raiders' Christmas Show) With seven Top 40 Hits (and five that made The Top 5) there is no shortage of hit material here!  (kk)
Feeling lonely? Click on Three Dog Night's "One"

Chuck Negron co-founded the hugely popular, multi-platinum band, Three Dog Night in 1967. The group went on to become one of the most successful bands of the late 60s and early 70s with 21 Top 40 hits and three number one songs including "Joy to the World," "Black and White" and "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)." The band's first gold record was "One," which featured Negron on lead vocals as did "Joy to the World" and many other of the band's biggest hits including "Old Fashioned Love Song."

We just saw "Two Dog Night" a couple of weeks ago in Elk Grove Village and they put on a GREAT show (see concert review link below) ... so it'll be a REAL treat to see Chuck Negron (always our favorite) this time around.  (kk)
No reservations here re: embedding this video of
Paul Revere & The Raiders - "Indian Reservation"

Mark Lindsay is the former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders, whose "Indian Reservation" hit #1 on the charts in 1971 and sold over 4 million copies. This massive hit followed quite a few that came before it from the band including "Kicks," "Hungry," "Just Like Me" and "Good Thing" (as well as the Mark Lindsay Top Ten solo hit, "Arizona," from 1970). In all, the band would achieve no less than fifteen Top 40 hits, five going Top 10.

A couple of years ago when Mark Lindsay was on the program (he was replaced by Micky Dolenz last year because of scheduling conflicts), he single-handedly stole the show ... so we can't WAIT to see him again.  (Frannie even got a kiss backstage ... and we were able to quickly snap THIS shot!)  kk
Fast forward to 2012, Gary Lewis & The Playboys sing "This Diamond Ring" - (PBS Pledge Break)

It was the summer of 1964 when Gary Lewis & The Playboys were discovered by producer Snuff Garrett. By the following year, they had a song go straight to the top of the charts called, "This Diamond Ring." After the second hit titled, "Count Me In," went to number two, Lewis and the band proved they would be a continued success. They followed with more Top 10 songs such as "Save Your Heart for Me," "Everybody Loves A Clown," "She's Just My Style," "Sure Gonna Miss Her" and many more (seven in all). In 1965, Lewis, himself, was Cash Box magazine's "Male Vocalist of the Year," winning the honor over other nominees Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. He was the first and only artist during the 60s to have his first seven releases reach Billboard Top 10 on the Hot 100 chart.

Gary Lewis has become a recent friend of Forgotten Hits ... we've given him the spotlight treatment a few times now so it'll be great to finally say "hello" in person.  (kk) 

About The Paramount Theatre  
The Paramount Theatre is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named "One of Chicago's Top 10 Attended Theatres" by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty. 
The Paramount Theatre opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by nationally renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting portrayed in the art deco influence of the 1930s. The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered the public a variety of entertainment, including "talking pictures," vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for more than 40 years. 
In 1976, Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the Paramount and closed the theater for restoration. The $1.5 million project restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. On April 29, 1978, the Paramount Arts Center opened, offering a variety of theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added, with a new, state-of-the-art box office, cafe and art gallery. 
Today, the Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of President and CEO Tim Rater, Artistic Director Jim Corti, a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater professionals.  
Paramount's 2013-14 General Season is sponsored by the Daily Herald. The 2013-14 Paramount Broadway Series is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. The 2013-14 season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. For more, visit

The Paramount Theatre is a GREAT place to see a concert ... and this one promises to be a doozie!  Hope to see you there!  (kk)

Still lots of chances to see this year's line-up ...
Wednesday, August 21st - Effingham Performance CEnter - Effingham, IL
Thursday, August 22nd - Cardinal Stadium / Kentucky State Fair - Louisville, KY
Friday, August 23rd - The Paramount Theatre - Aurora, IL
Sunday, August 25th - Corn Palace Festival - Mitchell, SD
Monday, August 26th - Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN
Tuesday, August 27th - The Sanford Center - Bemidji, MN
Wednesday, August 28th - McPhillips Street Station Casiono - Winnipeg, MB
Friday, August 30th - Little River Casino Resort - Manistee, MI
Saturday, August 31st - Woodstock Fair - South Woodstock, CT
Sunday, September 1st - New York State Fair - Syracuse, NY
Friday, October 4th - Georgia World Congress Center - Atlanta, GA
Saturday, October 5th - Norsk Hostfest / All Seasons Arena - Minot, ND
Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th - The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre - Branson, MO
(featuring The Turtles, The Buckinghams, The Grass Roots, Chuck Negron and Mark Lindsay)
Saturday, October 29th, 2014 - Spotlight 29 Casino 
Showroom - Coachella, CA

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Paul Revere

We've been chasing this story all day long ...

It all started with some sad news we heard a couple of days ago that our FH Buddy Paul Revere was battling some sort of serious, undisclosed health issues.  Former partner Mark Lindsay even went so far as to post something on his Facebook page about it yesterday ... and several other sources reported that Paul was looking frail during a concert last weekend in Reno, NV, sitting through the entire performance (which is not at all like Paul if you've ever seen one of his shows), walking with a cane and asking for prayers from the stage.  Some even said that he had also lost his hair (which is something that Paul was rightfully proud of at his age.  Hey, I can relate!)
This is a real shame ... Revere, who turned 75 earlier this year, has always displayed the boundless energy of a man half his age.  Here is a guy who has been performing his entire life and truly loves what he does.  And his audience loves him, too ... he's booked nearly a year in advance!!!  (Although not even officially announced on the Arcada Theatre website yet, Paul Revere and the Raiders are scheduled for a return performance next April!)  In addition, they just wrapped up a trip to London and are already planning this year's "Where The Action Is" Cruise, featuring Mary Wilson of The Supremes, B.J. Thomas, The Cowsills and Charlie Thomas' Drifters.  This is a man who LIVES to perform!!!

Mark Lindsay, currently touring as part of this year's Happy Together Tour (and coming to the Chicago area next week) posted: 
It now seems, unfortunately, that my old partner Paul Revere – with whom I used to share outrageous wild dreams of being a successful rock & roll band – is now fighting a tremendous health battle. Please keep Paul and his wife Syd in your thoughts and prayers, as it's a most difficult time for both of them and the whole Raider family.
~ Mark
Paul Revere and the Raiders put on one of the most entertaining shows I've ever seen ... ALWAYS a joy to be in the audience.  (Your face literally hurts afterwards from smiling and laughing so much!)  Here's hoping he is able to pull through whatever it is that is ailing him and continue to entertain us for a long time to come.  This man lives to perform ... and they just don't come any better.  (kk)
This morning we heard from Paul, who then posted this message on the Paul Revere and the Raiders web page as well as his Facebook and Twitter pages:

Hey kids, it’s me, Paul Revere!
That’s right, I’m still alive and still kickin’! The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated, but I won’t lie to you, I got my butt kicked but good. If you live long enough you’re going to get something, and over the past 75 years I've had just about everything you can get – 2 types of cancer (beat em both!), rotator cuff surgery (killed it!), hysterectomy (don’t ask) and on and on – there’s always maintenance and repair in this band, now it's my turn. Again!
I don’t want to get into the details but let’s just say, it ain't fun. It’s been rough getting through the last few shows but I would do whatever it takes to avoid missing a show. I'm giving it my all, and then some, and the band tells me I’ve been even more awesome than usual. Of course, I do have the gun.
I want to thank you all for the prayers, they’re working! You people must be in good with the Lord because I’m feeling better and stronger every day. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to all of our upcoming shows, it’s what I live for! I mean, performing for you is literally what I live for, and that’s no joke. So, keep the prayers coming, and keep me alive long enough to come to your town a couple more times. I promised my guys I was going to live to be 100 and to plan accordingly. Now I’ve got to keep my promise.
I love you all,
Here is a list of scheduled upcoming Raiders dates:
Friday, August 23rd - KOOL Deadwood Nights Festival - Deadwood, SD (with The Buckinghams and the Grass Roots)
Saturday, August 24th - Diamond Jo Casino - Northwood, IA
Sunday, August 25th - WinnaVegas Casino - Sloan, IA
Friday, September 27th - Star Plaza Theatre - Merrillville, IN (with Mitch Ryder)
Saturday, September 28th - Harvest Fair - Wisconsin State Fair - West Allis, WI
Friday, October 11th - Isle Casino Hotel Biloxi - Biloxi, MS
Saturday, October 19th - Pala Casino - Pala, CA (with Mary Wilson, The Association and Mitch Ryder)  
Sunday, October 20th - Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts - Cerritos, CA (with The Association and Mitch Ryder) 
Sunday, December 15th - Jackson Rancheria - Jackson, CA (The Rockin' Christmas Show)
Friday, January 10th, 2014 thru Sunday, January 12th -  South Point Casino - Las Vegas, NV 
January 18th, 2014 thru Saturday, January 25th - The Caribbean Party Cruise / "Where The Action Is" Cruise (with B.J. Thomas, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, The Cowsills and Charlie Thomas and The Drifters) - Part of the Concerts At Sea Series
Sunday, January 26th - Global Event Center at Winstar World Casino - Thackerville, OK
Friday, April 11th - Renaissance Theatre - Mansfield, OH
Saturday, April 12th - Palace Theatre - Marion, OH
Sunday, April 13th - The Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL
More information always on the Paul Revere and the Raiders website:
Get out and see these guys if you can ... you'll be glad you did!  (kk) 

The Eagles

After reading Jim Shea's look back at the music of The Eagles, I felt inspired to jot down a few of my own thoughts and favorite memories of this great, great music ... so here goes!  (kk)
We've seen it happen SO many times over the years.
A band hones its craft for 10-12 years ... thousands and thousands of hours rehearsing, out on the road, building a following, fine-tuning their sound and their presentation, distinguishing what works and what doesn't ... before it finally lands a record deal, scores a hit and becomes classified as an "overnight success" by the media when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Because they've had all this time to prepare and weed out their weakest links, their first LP is a bonafide smash ... every track's a winner.  But now they've shot their wad right out of the gate and there's nothing left.  The record label wants a follow-up release to cash in on the success of the first one but now, instead of having ten more years to prepare, they're lucky if they get ten months ... and the well is dry.  So (most often at the record label's urging) they try to clone the first release. (Boston anyone?)  "Well, we'll need one of those ... and then something that sounds like this" ... etc, etc, etc. ... and then, when the experiment fails, the media is quick to dismiss it as part of the music industry's "sophomore curse".  Again, nothing could be further from the truth ... but it doesn't really matter ... because we all love the hype ... and we all love seeing these artists crash and burn.
It's a shame, really ... but it has unfortunately become the norm for a great percentage of the music industry.
But then every once in a while a band comes along who actually builds on their momentum ... improves in the studio and makes each new release a huge step forward in their overall development as artists.  It doesn't happen very often ... but when it does, lifelong careers are born.
The Beatles certainly did it ... they went from "She Loves You" to "Rubber Soul" to "Sgt. Pepper" to "Abbey Road" ... they may be the prime example of what is clearly the exception to the rule.
So did The Eagles.  Their first couple of releases really haven't held up very well.  Their self-titled debut gave us a few hit singles, which allowed a follow up LP to be made.  But then they decided to get all "artsy" on us by creating the "Desperado" concept album.  I bought both of these albums when they first came out, largely because of a solitary song on each ... "Witchy Woman" on the first and "Desperado" on the second.  The truth is I rarely played many of the other tracks these two LPs contained because they just didn't hold up.
I was VERY fortunate in that I was turned on to The Eagles very early in their career.  I had the enviable distinction of seeing the band when they were still backing up Linda Ronstadt on tour, just prior to their first record being released.  (My girlfriend at the time bought us concert tickets to see Blood, Sweat and Tears for my birthday ... they were the headliners and riding high on a crest of hits ... a VERY hot ticket at the time ... and the warm-up act that night was Linda Ronstadt, still several years away from crashing through the charts with her own parade of hits.  Back then she was still doing a lot of country / folk material and only had a couple of hits.  I specifically remember "Different Drum", "Long, Long Time" and "Rock Me On The Water" being performed that night.
About halfway through her set she announced that a few members of her band would be leaving ... they had just signed a record deal and would be releasing their first album soon ... and then she left the stage so that the "about to be hatched" Eagles could perform two songs on their own ... "Take It Easy" (ironically, like "Rock Me On The Water", another Jackson Browne song, both of which were performed that night before anybody in the audience had a clue as to who Jackson Browne was ... or would become) and "Witchy Woman".
I didn't particularly care for "Take It Easy" ... in fact, I still consider it to be one of The Eagles' weakest singles ... but there was no mistaking the fact that these guys could play and sing.  "Witchy Woman" on the other hand put things over the top for me ... I absolutely LOVED it (and still do).  There was something eerie and mysterious about that whole "swamp rock" sound ... and even then they nailed it with note-for-note perfection in a live setting.  I waited for their first album to be released ... couldn't wait to buy it ... and was then disappointed to hear that, other than "Peaceful Easy Feeling" nothing else quite measured up to the two tracks performed that evening.
"Desperado" was even worse.  Yes, it contained "Tequila Sunrise", another radio hit ... and the outstanding title track ... but beyond that it just wasn't happening for me.  Too countrified maybe?  Trying to hard to stick to the concept perhaps?  I don't know ... but even today, some 40 years later, it remains the least likely Eagles album for me to play.
But then came "On The Border" ... and everything changed.  Almost overnight, The Eagles evolved in the studio.  (In hindsight, a lot of this had to do with them taking control of their sessions and switching producers.  In fact, the excellent "History Of The Eagles" documentary addresses this very era in excellent detail.)
I bought the LP for "Best Of My Love", their first official #1 Single ... but the moment I put it on, I knew things were going to be different.  "Already Gone" (a bigger radio staple now than when it was out in 1974 and peaked at #17), "You Never Cry Like A Lover", the title track "On The Border", "James Dean" (which sounded a whole lot like "Already Gone" but I didn't care), "Ol' '55", an even better ballad than their #1 Hit ... and still one of my all-time favorites by the band ... yes, The Eagles had matured and new producer Bill Szymczyk (no, not the backwards guy that used to drive Superman crazy ... but pretty darn close!) captured the sound that the band always knew they had inside (and needed to come out!).  Previous producer Glyn Johns was gone and the band was all the better for it.  This was an album I could finally play all the way through ... even some of my lesser favorites (like "Midnight Flyer", "My Man", "Is It True" and "Good Day In Hell") were still better than some of the stuff used as filler on their other LPs.
Then, just when I thought it couldn't get any better, out came "One Of These Nights", the album Jim Shea was talking about yesterday.  The title track immediately became my new all-time favorite Eagles song ... and "Hollywood Waltz", "Lyin' Eyes", "Take It To The Limit", "After The Thrill Is Gone" and "I Wish You Peace" weren't far behind. I probably sang "I Wish You Peace" at four or five weddings that year ... a BEAUTIFUL song ... written ... INCREDIBLY ... by President Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis.  (Seems she was dating Eagle Bernie Leadon at the time, who helped her finish the song which, despite strong objections from bandmates Don Henley and Glenn Frey, ultimately closed out the album.)  What an amazing record.  In my mind The Eagles had peaked.  Where could they possibly go from here?
They disappeared for awhile, crafting their latest creation.  To fill the void, Asylum Records put out The Eagles' Greatest Hits, 1972 - 1975.  It went on to become the Biggest Selling LP of the 20th Century ... and their best known work was yet to come!!!
Imagine my complete surprise (and pleasure) when The Eagles turned the music world upside down a year later with the release of their masterpiece, "Hotel California".  This was it ... it didn't get any better than this.  (I thought the addition of Joe Walsh spelled the end of the band ... instead, it revitalized them once again.)  There may not be a more perfect record ever made than "Hotel California" ... everything about it ... especially the timing ... was right.  It went straight to #1 and stayed there for eight weeks, ultimately selling upwards of 30 million copies and spawning three hit singles, including two that went to #1 ("New Kid In Town" and "Hotel California") ... "Life In The Fast Lane", a song that seems to play CONSTANTLY on the radio today, stalled at #11, just missing The Top Ten.  What band peaks with their FIFTH album?!?!?  And yet they did.  (Most artists lucky enough to get to a fifth album are already on their way DOWN the ladder of success, about to be dropped from their label ... these guys just kept ascending higher and higher and higher with each new release.  It was unheard of!)
In fact, it became nearly an impossible act to follow.  Day-to-day life as The Eagles became increasingly difficult to bear ... and it ultimately did them in.  Their final release (for Phase One anyway ... the era BEFORE Hell Froze Over) was "The Long Run" (or, as they liked to call it "The Long One" because it just seemed to take forever to finish.  This time the record label stalled for time by releasing a double live LP!)
Yes, there were hits ... the title track, "Heartache Tonight" and "I Can't Tell You Why" all made The Top Ten ... but it was over ... there would be no more new music for fourteen years.  Unlike The Beatles analogy earlier, they just couldn't top their masterpiece.  (The Beatles last LP released as a group was "Let It Be" ... but that album was actually recorded BEFORE "Abbey Road".  The "Let It Be" sessions ultimately did in the band and much of that was filmed and sprinkled throughout the theatrical release.  Rather than go out with a whimper, the fabs decided to regroup one last time and go out with a bang ... and "Abbey Road" was the result ... the ultimate swan song to an incredible catalog of music.

Don't get me wrong ... "The Long Run" by ANY other standards would have been the kind of album that makes careers ... but for the Eagles, it went down as a disappointment.  The truth is, at this point The Eagles simply didn't care anymore ... it was over and that was that.  I still defy you to find any other artist who developed at the pace (and to the degree) that The Eagles did ... a truly amazing career.
The recent "History Of The Eagles" Documentary has made them the hottest ticket in town again ... and I am SO happy to report that we will catch this tour when it passes through Chicago in October.  But I expect this will be it ... I don't know if they have another "reunion" in them.  Thankfully we've got this incredible legacy of music to enjoy for the rest of time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Forgotten Hits Exclusive -- Jim Shea Looks Back At The Music That Changed His Life

As promised, here is an EXCLUSIVE First Look at a brand new Classic Music Essay Series put together by Jim Shea, former Y103.9 FM Morning Man here in Chicago.  (Jim has just inked a deal with Prime Magazine, a Wisconsin Publication, that will be running the entire series ... more info here: 
 ... check back often to catch all of the latest installments.)
But before they run their series, the very FIRST one is running right here in Forgotten Hits ... enjoy Jim's look back at The Eagles, circa 1975 ...
The first in a series of essays devoted to first impressions of classic music
It was the first few days of June, 1975. It had to have been, because senior year of high school in suburban Cleveland was over, which is to say that classes were over, but the commencement ceremony was not until Sunday June 8th. The summer which would follow would be the stuff of legends: long, steamy, succulent nights of smoke and rum; nights you could actually taste. These were nights when I still trusted my emotions; when I accepted my Ali Baba hallucinations as fact. These were nights when absolute belief was always one drink ahead. They generally ended around 4 am, then we were up for summer jobs by 7 am.
But in these first few days of June my friends and I were temporarily, hermetically sealed between final exams and summer jobs; between the world of being together every day and that other world that was waiting out there, where we would not.
We were invited to spend those few days at a friend’s parents’ cottage in the Lake Erie Islands. The only thing we had to do all week was spread a bit of gravel in the back yard. We did not mind. The time was spent in swimsuits, drinking beer and playing cards, incredulous at our own sudden weightlessness.
At sunset of the last day we headed back to Cleveland on the Ohio Turnpike and endured a bit of static until we were able to tune in Denny Sanders' evening show on WMMS. He said he had in his hand a brand new album from the Eagles. It was called One of These Nights and it was not even out in the stores yet. He said he had listened to the whole thing and decided to play his favorite cut. The opening notes were majestic and sad, then came the vocal: “All alone at the end of the evening, and the bright lights had faded from view”
The song was a natural road song, but more than that. Its texture conveyed the exact mood of pulling away from one sweet known thing and heading toward an unknown other. Like Plato’s cave, the real sunset was at our backs as we headed East. The true magnificence of it was merely reflected in the oncoming Westbound cars.
“I was thinking ‘bout a woman I loved but I never knew”. Wow. Is this not what sets us apart from the other species, this longing for the mythical? Doth the mighty king of the jungle yearn for some lioness of his own imagination? Does the chimp survey the moment and feel sadness for moments that will never be?
“And when you’re looking for your freedom, nobody seems to care”. Yes. True. “Put me on a highway”. Check. “Show me a sign and take it to the limit one more time”. Yes Lord, whisk us away as fast as heaven will allow. Send us hurtling into this magical dusk. Let summer begin.
Nothing was said at the time about how perfect that song and the moment were. This was an age when nothing needed to be said. It was all about living then. You weren’t constantly playing journalist, providing color commentary for your own life. No texting. No pics. We just kept rolling, waiting for the next great song, the next great moment.
Maybe artists like the Eagles realized how deeply they were able to touch us. They surely knew that every newly finished album enjoys a brief state of grace before it reaches the stores and the critics and the charts. Maybe they knew that in our young lives we too were celebrating the high of having made something (of ourselves), while not yet knowing quite what we had made.
I have heard Take It to the Limit 3,926 (rough estimate) times since and I would be lying if I said it had the same sublime feel every time I hear it. Likewise, daily life pollutes us and wears us out. But there was a moment in early June 1975 when we were hanging between being and becoming, and a song on the radio made it all hang together beautifully.
-- Jim Shea (August, 2013)

Tomorrow ... some of my own Eagles memories ... stay tuned!  (kk)

REMINDER:  Jim Shea will be taking part in the Open Mic Program this Sunday, August 18th, at the Longshot on Route 120 in Lakemoor.  It runs from 3 - 6 pm and Jim will be performing a bit of music and comedy.  Hope to see you out there!  (kk)

Nice to hear Jim Shea will be in our neck of the woods. I didn't think anybody knew of Lakemoor until I found out one of the station's board of directors lived there. Let Jim know that there's always an open mic here at WRLR for him and his friends. Kent, now get outside and enjoy what's left of summer!
- Bish
WRLR 98.3 FM
Wouldn't it be awesome if Forgotten Hits could, in some fashion, help facilitate Jim Shea's return to the airwaves?!?!  He was always one of our favorites and I swear that not a week goes by without some Chicagoland reader bemoaning the woes of losing a couple of their radio favorites, Jim Shea and Jeff James.  Never Say Never!  (kk) 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Some Tuesday Treats

Just got this one from legendary Chicagoland Jock Chuck Buell ... would love to get him this information if anyone on the list happens to know ...  
Hey, Kent,    
Hope this finds things going well for you!  
Here's a "Forgotten Hits" question from me!  
Do you have, or do you know where one could find, a list of the Radio Guys who tagged or introduced the famous Coca Cola Pop Singers and Groups Radio spots of the 1960s and 1970s?  
Appreciate any info.  
Chuck Buell 
I know we've got a ton of Coke Ad Commercials Collectors out there ... anybody able to help out with this one?  (kk)   

Hey Kent,
I am saddened by the passing of Eydie Gorme. I used to get a big kick out of her "Tonight Show" appearances, when she'd get the giggles before singing a song with the band. Sometimes it would take five or six starts! Her other Bossa Nova song, besides "Blame it on the Bossa Nova", that I enjoy, is "Can't Get Over the Bossa Nova".  My favorite of all her recordings is "I Want You to Meet My Baby". I wonder who played sax on the track. I really don't know how far the two songs charted. And, about her husband, Steve Lawrence, you can't really appreciate his voice until you hear him live. He sure has a great, deep, vocal resonance. When I saw him, he performed his own great styling of Michael Jackson's, "She's Out of My Life".
- John LaPuzza

"Can't Get Over The Bossa Nova" (obviously an attempt to cash in on the success of her Top Ten Hit) peaked at #87 in Billboard Magazine.  The flipside of that record is "I Want You To Meet My Baby", which fared a little better, peaking at #43.  (kk)   

re:  SAIL ROCK:  
Hi Kent
Thanks for supporting this tour. It's our first year out and we hope we get to do it again.  Thank you for the very nice review.
Lance Hoppen

Hi Kent;
Glad you enjoyed the show.  We do have a fun time. Thanks for all the kind things you had to say.
John Ford Coley   

I wish I could have seen the Sail Rock concert - it just sounds like such a great time.  Your review made me feel as though I was there, all the way down to the drunk couple dancing in front of you.  (Been there, seen that)  Seriously though, your descriptive commentary and recap of the set list was the next best thing to being there.  Thank you.
It was a great show ... non-stop fun from start to finish.  And, if you read Lance Hoppen's comment above, they're all hoping to keep it going ... so get on on to support this show ... lots of great dates are still coming up.  (kk)   

Tonight (Tuesday, August 13th) - Mayo Performing Arts Center - Morrisontown, NJ 
Tomorrow Night  (Wednesday, August 14th) - The Indiana State Fair
Thursday, August 15th - The Family Arena - St. Charles, MO
Wednesday, August 21st - Sandy City Amphitheater - Sandy, UT
Saturday, August 24th - Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion - Citrus Heights, CA
Friday, September 20th - Starlight Theatre - Kansas City, MO
Tuesday, October 8th - Norfolk County Fair - Simcoe, ON, Canada   

Thank you so much for your review and set list - I was there Saturday Night and couldn't hear a thing. We were out on the lawn with a blanket and the echo was so bad I had a headache afterwards.  I'm not sure what the sound was bouncing off of but it was like hearing the show on a seven-second tape delay, only to have those sounds played back to you two or three more times on top of the new sounds that were just first reaching you.  I have to say that it was a very disappointing experience.  It sounds like your seats were MUCH better than ours!
Jim Nash
Wow, I'm really sorry to hear that.  I can only speak from my own personal experience (and yes, my seats were AWESOME ... dead center, four rows back, right in front of the stage ... had my arms been six feet longer I could have reached out and touched the lead singer of every act that performed that night!!!)  That's discouraging to hear as the venue was beautiful ... everything is so fresh and new ... and the staff that I talked to Saturday Night are quite proud of their new concert park.  (I have had that echo experience however ... the worst is at the Elk Grove Village concerts ... if you don't get there early and get stuck between the buildings, the echo will literally drive you nuts ... it truly renders the concert unlistenable.  Truth be told, I've gotten up and left a couple of time simply because the sound was so bad.)  From my vantage point, however, I can only give RiverEdge Park the highest marks for cleanliness and hospitality.  (You may want to invest in the VIP seats next time around!)  kk   

You're right about that Firefall record, 'tho it does sound far different than their other songs.

Excellent review!  Other than Dupree, these were all favorites of mine, especially Player’s This Time I’m In It For Love, which spent that summer fighting with Heatwave’s The Groove Line for my #1. 
CW Martin
As for the King Harvest thing, Wiki says this:
Drummer Wells Kelly first met John Hall, an in-demand session player and member of the group Kangaroo, in the late 60s when he played with him in a group called Thunderfrog and later played on John's first solo album, Action, released in 1970. In 1969 Wells joined the first incarnation of King Harvest, who would have a hit a few years later, in 1973, with the song "Dancing In The Moonlight", a song written by Wells' brother, Sherman Kelly, and first recorded by Boffalongo, a group Wells joined in 1970 after leaving King Harvest.   
I knew that some of the members of King Harvest were tied in with Mike Love's band "Celebration", who had the minor hit "Almost Summer" back in 1978.  (The song went to #28 in Billboard and was the title track to the movie of the same name starring Bruno Kirby.)  Celebration included Ron Altback and Doc Robinson, both members of King Harvest during their "Dancing In The Moonlight" period.  In fact, if I remember correctly, King Harvest used to open some show for The Beach Boys back then.  (kk)

Sounds like Sail Rock was a great show.  While I may never have been interested enough in any of these acts to shell out my hard-earned money to go and see them during the hit years, I will admit that the idea of having all of these artists together in one setting is somewhat appealing ... and it sounds like you witnessed a non-stop hit assault of music.  Now I'm wishing I would have sprung for the tickets!
I'll tell you what ... these guys played for two hours straight, non-stop ... 24 legitimate hits in a row ... and I'm not talking hit medleys here ... you got the full-length (and, in some cases, expanded length) edition of every hit record ... and it was all songs you know by heart.  I was lucky enough to have seen Christopher Cross and John Ford Coley before ... so I pretty much knew what to expect in concert ... but the bonus addition of Orleans, Firefall, Gary Wright, Player and Robbie Dupree was the icing on the cake.  It was a GREAT show ... and one well worth seeing if it hits your area.  (kk)

Kent ...
This one should start a few debates.
Frank B.

Click here: Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs | Billboard
Yes, we ran this list a week ago.  Scroll back to August 5th to get my take on the results.  (See, this is why you have to read Forgotten Hits EVERY day!!!)  kk

Kent ...
Don't know how you feel about Larry David (Seinfeld & Curb Your Enthusiasm) but I watched his new HBO movie "Clear History." It's a little bit on the dirty side (Sex Talk).  Very funny. They talk about Chicago (The Band) throughout the movie.
Opening scene = Cop stops Larry for drunk driving. His car was weaving.  He wasn't drunk ... he was singing along with "25 Or 6 To 4."
Some Chicago members make a brief appearance in this movie. (Not Singing).
If you watch it, let me know what you think.
Frank B.
Our FH Buddy Tom Cuddy has been talking about this one for months now ... we finally had a chance to see it Sunday afternoon and it's a very funny movie (in a typical low-key / Larry David sort of way).  Great Chicago music throughout ... in fact, the film presents sort of an "oral history" of the band.  (lol)  Funny stuff.  Check it out if you get the chance ... running now on HBO and HBO On Demand.  (kk)   

Did any of you stick it out to the finale of "Magic City" on Starz???  The crime drama left a lot of balls up in the air at the end of its second season ... but over the closing credits they blasted Wayne Cochran's "Goin' Back To Miami", which is were the whole late '50's / early '60's drama takes place.  Another strong season ... but the inclusion of one of Chet Coppock's favorites is what brought a smile to my face.  Where on earth are you EVER going to hear THAT one?!?!?  (kk)