Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Sunday Comments ( 11 - 24 - 13 )

Whew!  Tough crowd lately!  (lol)  

In fact I  just received an angry email from a guy named Tom Apathy wanting to know why I ran HIS photographs on my website of The Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert!  

Sorry, Tom ... but I have absolutely NO idea what you're talking about!    

The photos we ran (including a brand new one posted today) all came from the artists themselves who performed that day.  

If, in fact, some of these are yours ... and you can verify this somehow ... and you want them taken down, I'll be happy to do so.  Then again, you may wish to reconsider ...   

They'll probably get FAR more exposure on my site than they will anywhere else.  Google "Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert" on ANY search engine and the Forgotten Hits Article pops up as #1.  

So may I suggest that you identify which photos are "yours" and have us add a by-line that reads "photos courtesy of ..." instead.  (Just a suggestion!)

Moving on, we caught a little flack over our Kennedy memories, too ... only THIS time, I think they're right.  It seems I was actually in the FIFTH Grade in 1963, not third grade as I had originally written. (I'll own up to this one ... although I wasn't aware of it until a couple of readers pointed it out ... I'm tellin' you, they'll call you on it EVERY time if you don't get it right!!!  lol)

And then there's STILL a little bit of mud-slinging going on over our recent Rascals review.  (And you guys thought running Forgotten Hits was all fun and games!!!  Ha!)
Honestly, it's gotten a bit ridiculous and out of hand ... so today we offer up "The Last Word on The Rascals".

A reader wrote in (anonymously by request):
You know, Kent, when I read someone attacking you and accusing you of "not giving the Rascals a good review because they didn't grant you an interview" I was going "What the hell is that all about?"  Having a different opinion of the show is one thing ... but because they had a different opinion of the show than you was certainly no reason for them to attack you personally or your credibility.   When I read that statement in your column, my initial reaction was you don't accuse someone of that because of a differing impression of an event -- all you have to do is state you had a different impression of the performance.  A different opinion is one thing but a personal attack because you had a different opinion is another thing.  Apparently they don't want honest opinions -- they just want opinions that agree with their own.
Do people such as that realize how much time and energy you put into Forgotten Hits?  You didn't deserve that and it speaks to their total lack of people skills.  
Amen ... and thank you ... 

and now on with the show.  

Last night, 11/20, the Rascals came to Rochester, NY, appearing at our sold out Auditorium Theatre. Maybe it was the fact that guitarist Gene Cornish is from Rochester and they tried harder than they did in the Sunday matinee show that you attended in Chicago, but I'm quite sure that a survey of the attendees here would have said that they loved the show. I thought it was wonderful but maybe I'm a little biased because Gene is a friend, but as you may recall, I gave a truly honest appraisal of his "New Rascals" a few years ago. They were part of the "Happy Together" tour and I said that they were quite bad as Bill Pascali, Vanilla Fudge organist and vocalist during the nineties, was an awful substitute for Felix.
My only disappointment last night was in Eddie Brigati's vocals. During most of his leads the three background singers, with occasional help from Gene, helped to the point of making his leads fine. The exception, for me, was "How Can I Be Sure". Eddie actually started his acappella intro a full note lower AND off key than when Felix's keyboards joined in, and had trouble throughout. Many in our vicinity (fourth row center) just looked at each other in the beginning and cringed throughout, and yet at the song's conclusion much of the audience stood and gave him a standing ovation. Maybe my wife and I, who have sung with groups for over 40 years, no longer can hear properly as our Rochester Music reviewer said that Eddie was spot on, hitting every note perfectly. Oh well, I was happy for Eddie that the song was well received but honestly thought that the audience was being courteous. Gene told me later that Eddie was having trouble with his ear buds, which I thought was nice of him.
Unlike you, we loved the background visuals blending with the music and didn't feel the least bit distracted or feel that we lost contact with the musicians or vocals. At one point, shortly into the second act at the conclusion of "Groovin", the background was disconnected and the curtain quickly came down. It took about 5 minutes to fix, during which time Gene and Felix continued to play a jazz-styled version of "Groovin", almost what Lee Ritenour might do ... very light ... and then Dino joined and eventually the background singers were ahhhing along. I thought it was great ... and then the curtain came up and the show continued.
A wonderful night, a great night for Gene, and also very gracious for the rest of the group to realize that this was his night.
Kent -- Dino must have also read your review as he never lagged all night and Felix easily hit his notes and had incredible energy, as did they all.
On another note, our reviewer, who was amazed at how well all the songs were performed, thought that more should have been made of the animus within the group, as well as how they were affected by drug use. He thought there should have been fewer songs so that they could have revealed more dirt.  Unfortunately, I think, that's the world that we live in with press always looking for the bad and not believing that something can be that good, if only for a night.
Danny Guilfoyle
PS -- I'd give it a 95, even though I also would have loved them to do "Mustang Sally" and "Midnight Hour". 

I've been contemplating your review of the Rascals show.  I LOVED the show and wrote to you that I did.  I do have to believe that your expectations were probably through the roof.  In fairness to you, I have to agree that this was not a show that totally can blow you away.  It had its moments of greatness, and some slow parts as well.  I went on Friday night and How Can I Be Sure sounded perfect, so maybe I just was there on Eddie's good night.  Thursday was a day off for them and they seemed very rested and ready to go.  I think that made a difference.  
All in all, what a time of looking back for us baby boomers ... the 50th anniversary of Kennedy assassination, the arrival of the Beatles ... and, of course, the reunion of the Rascals! What's next?? 
Thanks again for all you do for our music,

Hi Kent,
I have been thoroughly enjoying the discourse on Forgotten Hits, it's "opinions o'plenty" and it makes for fun and interesting reading.  First of all, I love reading your reviews because you give your honest opinion come hell or high-water and in this the Rascal's review, your utmost respect for the group came through and so did your objectivity.  You described what you felt were the high and low points concerning the show, how the content and pacing of presentation helped the Rascals and how it sometimes hindered them, how their talent and legend has endured these some 50 years later, and yet due to time and other circumstances the highlights and sometimes limitations that came to the fore in the final product.  I have not had the pleasure of seeing the show but it has been really interesting reading all the differing reviews because as you know Kent, like pizza or chili, there is no shortage of opinions.  Sometimes when you get in a discussion with someone after a concert and you listen to what they have say about the show, you are tempted to say, excuse me were we at the same show?  That's what makes Forgotten Hits the GREAT publication that it is, you give your honest opinion and at the same time you are honest and fair in printing differing opinions that someone else may have and then you take the time to explain your reasons for how you felt.  It is such a nice departure from listening to tactics of the talking heads of today in the different media, you hear it all the time in talk-radio -- the talking head states his argument next thing the listener comes back with a different opinion, and next is the stock move by the talking head where he pots down the caller, and proceeds to marginalize them and more or less call them stupid and being now they are potted down and can't reply the listener is to believe that the talking-head is smart and the listener has been sent off into the sunset with their tail between their legs.  With Forgotten Hits, I feel it is the way it is meant to be, real freedom and fairness of the press.  Differing opinions are presented and explanations are given and it makes for fair and objective journalism.  Keep up the SPECTACULAR job Kent, Forgotten Hits is constantly evolving, never boring, and never short of surprises, and is consistently an ENTERTAINING read.
Tim Kiley

Thanks for the kind and encouraging words, Tim.  Clearly, you're one of the ones who "gets it". 
By design, Forgotten Hits (if nothing else) is HONEST ... that's what I've strived for from the very beginning.  My opinion is no more right than anyone else's published here ... all they are are opinions.  That's the great thing about music ... we all hear it a little bit differently ... and what works for some doesn't necessarily always work for others.  (Let me tell you, there've been a WHOLE lot of #1 Hits over the years that I couldn't stand ... and just sit here and scratch my head over their success ... but I've always believed "majority rules".)  As stated in the comments page, this difference of opinion was never more evident than at the concert itself ... in four consecutive seats at the same show, Frannie loved it, I had mixed emotions (more pertaining to VanZandt's presentation than anything The Rascals did) and the two people to my right got up and left halfway through the show.  Read again the varying degrees as to the success and impact of "How Can I Be Sure" if you're still not convinced. 
But that is exactly WHY I present all sides of the argument ... not because any side is "righter" than the other ... but rather to show that all of these opinions exist.  Like I've said so many times before, I'm not trying to SWAY anyone ... but as you read through the reviews and get a grasp of all the different perceptions, I think you may find yourself thinking "Well, I can sorta see his point there" ... or "Now that you mention it, I see what you mean."  That's all ... nothing more. 
By presenting ALL sides of the argument, we leave it up to the reader to decide "the most accurate truth" ... that's been our slogan and objective from day one.  We just ask that you readers be objective, too.  And I've said this to the artists before, too ... if you want a "puff piece", have your publicist write it ... but if you want to know how the fans REALLY feel, then you'd do well to read and digest Forgotten Hits ... who knows, it just might help you to do a better show!  (kk) 

Regarding your Rascals concert review ... and some of the comments concerning it ...
I was pretty much astounded to read caps guy MIKE BUSH's accusation that you gave a bitter review because you were "snubbed" for an interview. Firstly, there was no snub ... Felix is a friend of Forgotten Hits and had been quite accessible on several occasions. I can only assume that doing this reunion tour required intensive prep and did not leave him much time for anything else ... totally understandable. I purchased those tickets for an anniversary present to us. There was no expectation of front row comped seats. Quite often we receive such, but that is because there is a genuine respect for FH from the artists, not because they expect an ass kissing. Case in point: after Burton Cummings' recent concert, the venue security people were looking for you to escort you backstage at Burton's request. As soon as he saw you he jumped out of his seat to give you a big bear hug and thank you for coming to the show.  It was very cool to watch you and Burton chat and see him really enjoying your company. A couple of minutes later, caps guy came in the room, interrupted the conversation, and thrust two albums at Burton to sign. The change in Burton's demeanor was immediate. He was obviously annoyed ... awkward.
I have been a part of FH (small part, true ... but I'm sleeping with the creator) for 14 years now, and NOT ONCE have I ever seen you write any review out of spite or bitterness. You write from the all-in-one perspective of journalist, music historian, fan and consumer ... and you do it with intelligence, integrity and honesty. You make me proud to be associated with Forgotten Hits in any capacity.
(Or ... as Mike Bush might say ... aka "Yoko"!!! lol)  
Thanks, Hon ... meeting Burton backstage was tops in my book ... I've been a life-long fan and he's been a lifetime idol ... so it really meant a lot ... and knowing that he wanted to meet ME really put me over the top.  But the coolest thing of all was being able to just carry on a normal conversation with one of my heroes ... just two guys who LOVE music, talking about how much they love music.  The goal is to maintain a mutual respect ... so when it happens, it's very special.
We've been lucky to be able to attend some of these shows that we write about in Forgotten Hits ... and meeting some of these artists is definitely a perk.  As you mentioned, Felix has been very cooperative and supportive over the years ... he called in to the Dave The Rave "B-Sides" show we did a few years ago and gave me an exclusive FH Interview about the upcoming reunion before the four guys had even sat in the same room together.
Would we have loved to have had great, up-close seats for this?  Of course we would have ... and I do believe that the perspective of seeing the show from that vantage point may have altered my overall impression of the concert.  But, as I said in the review, the spectacle has to play to the WHOLE audience, not just the select few who shelled out mega-bucks to see it.
Do I believe that a week-long salute to The Rascals, featuring interviews with each of the guys, building up to the big event would have been a cool thing to do?  Absolutely ... and it might have even sold a few more tickets to the event ... but it didn't happen and that's all there is to it.  Did that make me love the show any less?  Absolutely not.  (A cynic would argue more their loss than mine ... I still got to see the show ... and the theater had to sell a bunch of discounted seats to fill the theater ... so I don't really feel like I lost that round ... I'm more about the win / win situation.)
Anyway, thanks for the kind and reassuring words, honey, I appreciate it.  I think the REAL fans out there get it and know that I would never be swayed into altering my review to present anything other than my honest and sincere feelings ... despite the fact that a FEW people out there might ask me to.  (kk)  

Third Grade?  I'm betting Fifth.
David Lewis  

Hey Kent,
Far be it from me to tell you about your life but ... I, too, was 10 when JFK was assassinated. As a matter of fact ... it was two days after my 10th birthday. I share a birthday with Robert Kennedy. Anyway ... your story of where you were and how that all unfolded was almost exactly what happened in my life except for the fact that I was in 5th grade. Didn't we both graduate in 1971?
I'm just sayin ...

I think you both may be right about that ... our teacher, Mrs. Arnold, USED to teach third grade ... and then she became our fifth grade teacher as well ... very odd in that her daughter was in our class ... first time I'd ever seen that.  (Normally you'd think the school would make sure that the mom couldn't teach her own kid!)  Ah, yes ... Beth Arnold ... I always thought she looked like "the white Diana Ross" back then!!!  lol  
I suppose I could have argued that I'd been held back a year ... or two ... actually, back then based on your birth date, I really DID start school a year later than nearly everyone else in my class ... I was always a year younger than my classmates ... as such even for prom senior year I was the only kid who had to be home before a specific curfew.  In this case, however, the math adds up ... so I think you're right.  (Hmm ... maybe my memory's not so vivid and clear after all!)  I'll concede ... with the understanding that five out of three people have problems with math.  (kk) 

I thought you might be interested in that WLS Silver Dollar Survey that was issued on the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. We all knew exactly where we were on that day 50 years ago. The music of that day reflects the mood of the nation on that sad Friday in Dallas.
John Bilas

First, I enjoyed the posting of the 
WLS survey on this day back in 1963 when JFK was assassinated and what records were being played at the time. Without actually going to check, as far as I remember, songs in position #,s 21, 26, 29, 31, 33, 38 - 40 never charted here in OKC.The version of HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF that was played here in OKC was the one done by Cab Calloway with a flip called AFTER TAXES on Boom Records.  I was not familiar with the Ben Colder novelty tune you posted, though I was / am aware of the other novelty records he made.
Larry Neal

In remembering JFK - assassination-related records:  Not to forget Connie Francis' "In the Summer of His Years," a song about the killing, cut by her after the assassination, released at Christmastime 1963, and peaking at #46 in late January, 1964, just as "I Want To Hold Your Hard" was making its meteoric rise.  
Henry McNulty  
Cheshire, Connecticut

Hi Kent,
Thanks for your memories of 50 years ago, during that horrible time when we lost our President.  Of course, we of a certain age, all remember where we were at that time.  I was in 3rd grade art class, making a book fair poster, sitting next to David Nieland.  I wonder if when he tells his story of remembrance, he remembers he sat next to me!  

I remember the day vividly. I was living in Syracuse, NY with my Mother at the time. My Grandparents had come up from Fulton, NY, for a visit ... we were all sitting around the big black and white tv (I was 7 at the time). Everyone had smiles on their faces ... and then, in an instant, the smiles turned to tears, and I didn't understand why. I remember Walter Cronkite, holding back tears, making the announcement that The President had been killed by an assassin, and I still didn't understand why or how. I also remember watching Oswald being escorted by Texas Sheriffs, and actually being shot on live tv. As I grew older, I was able to comprehend the horror of those few days 50 years ago. The day America lost its innocence, and I witnessed it live still gives me chills. And the innocence of Little Jon Jon with that salute ... what a brave woman Jackie was through this ordeal ... in deep mourning, but still elegant and strong for those around her ... I don't know how she did it.  
Jon-Jon giving that salute during the funeral procession melted the hearts of every living American at the time, young or old.  All of a sudden it wasn't about politics anymore ... somebody had done our country wrong and we didn't understand why.  It's a lot to take in for a seven year old ... or a ten year old ... but I was completely absorbed in it, as it touched emotions and feelings I didn't now I possessed at that young age.  50 Years Later it's as vivid as the day it happened.  (kk)  

I was a sophomore at New Trier H.S. when "innocence" and JFK were lost in Dallas. I remember an almost shrill sound of silence echoing through the halls of N.T. when the shocking news was announced.  Many of us had the immediate reaction that the Soviet Union was behind the assassination and that we would soon be involved in nuclear war.
Camelot was gone and with it, the world, to this day, was never quite the same. Cynicism became a way of life.
Of course, JFK along with the unspeakable racism in the south, and the dramatic changes about to occur with rock music, would soon launch us into the free love era.
I've spent a half century wondering just how much different the world would have been if JFK had served two full terms.
For example, Kennedy wanted to shut the door on 'Nam, much to the chagrin of the Pentagon. 
"Ah, but I was so much older then I'm younger then that now." Bob Dylan ... I'm really not so sure.
Chet Coppock
Host: Chicago Blackhawks Heritage Series
Host: Notre Dame Football, WLS Radio

For YEARS the idea had been ingrained in us that The Russians were our greatest enemy and fear ... their pursuit of world domination seemed a very real threat when you're only ten years old.  I believe this was considered a very "rational" fear at the time.  Heck, I remember air-raid shelters / bomb shelters and all of that ... I remember air-raid drills just like fire drills.  (How sad today that the kids are going through "armed assailant" drills?!?!?  It's downright scary what the world has become.) 
The whole Kennedy episode launched both the conspiracy epidemic that still plagues many of us ... as well as the idea that the government was keeping something from us.  (Remember Howard Miller going on and on for weeks about how Kennedy was really still alive and being kept alive as a vegetable, hooked up to all kinds of machines?!?!?)

Innocence was gone ... and so was trust.  I don't know that in fifty years we've ever really regained either.  (kk)  

For us there was an additional layer of fear involved with the events of November 22, 1963. I was 11 and in 6th grade at Immaculate Conception Catholic grade school on Talcott in Chicago. Some time before lunch, the school principal came on the school-wide PA system, and, with a quiver in her voice that we weren't used to hearing, asked us to stop and pray, because something terrible had just happened. That was it; nothing specific, just pray. It was an hour before they let us in on the truth, but during that hour my friends and I were dead sure that WWIII had just broken out, and that the nuclear ICBMs would soon be on their way. I'll admit with considerable guilt that I was relieved when we learned that it was "only" about the President getting shot. That says something about the era as well. I loved the music, but the Cold War, especially post Cuban Missile Crisis, was a *very* nasty business that I can only compare to a low-key continuing nightmare.
-- Jeff Duntemann
    Colorado Springs, Colorado 

Like most everyone, I remember the date well ... my experience centered around WLS and the London House.  I usually wasn't downtown that early in the day,  unless we happened to have a morning meeting - apparently that was the case - I recall that I was sitting in a booth with someone having lunch just a few feet away from the Liars Poker round of promo people slowly getting together.  Suddenly all heads snapped to the black and white TV on the nearby wall and we all remained immobile and stunned as we watched the on-going reports.  No one finished their lunch that afternoon and Liars Poker gamers never got underway as we were all absorbed in our in individual thoughts and sorrow ... disbelief ... that night Gene Taylor switched the station to a very solemn music format - dropping all spots - we aired people only interacted with time, weather, newscasts.  
It was personally very difficult for me days later on that evening following the JFK funeral when I was the first DJ to go back on the air with our personality rock format ... a very challenging task after so many days of sorrow and the lingering pervasive sorrow throughout the country. 
Ron Riley

Bob Stroud did a nice One 45 at 1:45 salute to his memories of Kennedy's assassination.  He was twelve at the time and explained how difficult it was to comprehend and understand all that was going on, only to add that it didn't matter ... it was television at its finest and you couldn't turn away.  He played "In My Room" (which was on the charts that fateful day) by The Beach Boys, while we chose to feature "The Warmth Of The Sun", a song Brian Wilson and Mike Love both say was inspired by that day's tragic events.  (See, great minds really DO think alike!!!) 

Stroud also made the observation that it's tough to imagine being old enough to remember so vividly an event that happened "fifty years ago today."  (Think how the survivors of the Titanic must have felt!!!)  

Well, we've got another one right around the corner ... the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show is just eleven weeks away. 

And, speaking of The Beatles ...  

DIDJAKNOW?:  November 22nd is ALSO the anniversary of the release of The Beatles' White Album (which is actually called "The Beatles").  You can check out our look back at this classic LP here:  
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Forgotten Hits Salutes The 40th Anniversary Of The Beatles' White Album

Have you seen the "new" video for The Beatles' version of "Words Of Love", released to coincide with the second edition of their "BBC Sessions" CD that came out a few days back?  Incredibly, this album debuted in The Top Ten!  (Who said oldies are dead?  Well, it sure wasn't ME!!!) 
I always liked their take on the Buddy Holly tune ... this one's a remake recorded especially for radio broadcast and, as such, isn't as "polished" as the version released on "Beatles For Sale" ... but it still shows you some GREAT Beatles harmony.  (kk)  
Click here: VVN Music: Watch: The "New" Beatles Video For "Words of Love"

We've been really focusing on the concert scene lately ... reviews of The Rascals and Gino Vannelli ran recently on the site ... as did information about The Sonny Geraci Benefit Concert ... speaking of which, several readers have written in to ask how THEY can make a donation toward Sonny's medical bills. 
Well, here's the scoop from Dennis Tufano, former lead singer of The Buckinghams, and one of the organizers of this recent very special event ...
Kent -  
Thanks for asking!!!
The Benefit went very well, but they can use all the help they can get to defer Medical costs.
Make checks payable to: Streetsboro Family Days.   In the lower left corner memo, you must write in SONNY GERACI BENEFIT.
Benefit For Sonny Geraci,
PO BOX 5266,
Willowick, OH 44095
For information email at:
Thanks again Kent.
Still hoping to put another show together in Chicago, too! I'll be in touch.
Be well.

Hi Kent,
Mick here from the 1910 Fruitgum Company. What a wonderful show with some of the nicest people I have ever worked with.
The show went on for two days without any problems. Dennis, Rae and their entire crew did an outstanding job with this event.  The acts were all very enthused and the audience loved every minute of it. I hope  we all get the opportunity to do it again for Sonny. What a great person and talent he is. We all got on stage and sang Time Won't Let Me  and Sonny was thrilled. His son and daughter also performed and it is easy to see where they get their talent from.
A terrific weekend for everyone.
Mick Mansuetto 
The 1910 Fruitgum Company

Meanwhile, here's the latest word on a couple of other recent or up-coming shows ...   

I'm gonna see Michael Nesmith Friday night at The City Winery, so I'm looking forward to that!
For me it was a good summer for concerts: caught Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, David Marks and the band at Ravinia; saw the band Chicago for the first time (same venue), The Buckinghams (where I encountered The Danzman, lol ) and some other Joisey band called Bon Jovi (I treated Sheri to them on her birthday)… I'll take The Rascals over 'em any day!!  I guess The NC6 have all but retired -- I'm aware of only one show they did in the spring.
Not retired by choice ... just tougher and tougher to get gigs.  Most of the summer venues now hire "copy bands" instead at a fraction of the cost.  Please report back to us about the Nesmith concert ... he's the only Monkee I've never seen live.  (Had the chance about 20 years ago when he was playing up in Wrigleyville but I couldn't go at the last minute.)  He actually had a return engagement this weekend to close out his solo tour, which quickly sold out.  Thanks, Bob!  (kk)
And, speaking of Michael Nesmith, here's a GREAT interview put together by Jeremy Roberts, who had the chance to talk recently with The Nez ...
Click here: Still rollin' with the flow: Twists and turns with songwriter Michael Nesmith - National Pop Culture |    

Experience Hendrix is coming to Chicago on March 14th and we've heard from lots of folks who are looking forward to this show.  (And no, for the record, I did NOT smoke dope with Jimi Hendrix back in the '60's!!!)
I did, however, write a pretty good piece profiling Jimi's career ... which you can check out here:
Experience Hendrix 2014 Tour Dates: 
March 11 Dallas, TX – Verizon Theater
March 13 St. Louis, MO – Fox Theater
March 14 Chicago, IL – Chicago Theater
March 15 Ames, IA – Stephens Auditorium
March 16 Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
March 18 Louisville, KY – Whitney Performing Arts Center
March 19 Charleston, WV – Clay Center
March 20 Pittsburgh, PA – Benedum Theater
March 21 Glenside, PA – Keswick Theater
March 22 Atlantic City, NJ – Harrahs
March 23 Wilkes Barre, PA – Kirby Performing Arts Center
March 25 Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theater
March 27 Hampton, NH – Hampton Beach Casino
March 28 Albany, NY – Palace Theater
March 29 Waterbury, CT – Palace Theater
March 30 Washington, DC – Lincoln Theater
April 1 Buffalo, NY – Center For Arts
April 2 Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Theater
April 3 Detroit, MI – The Fox Theater   

Journey and The Steve Miller Band (along with Tower Of Power) will be touring together next summer.  Thankfully there IS a Chicago stop on the itinerary ... because you hardly EVER hear any of their music here in Chi-Town.  (kk)
Journey, the Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power will be on the road together from mid-May through early August of 2014 all across the U.S.
The tour dates: 
05/15 - Chula Vista, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
05/16 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
05/18 - Phoenix, AZ - Ak-Chin Pavilion
05/20 - Albuquerque, NM - Isleta Amphitheater
05/22 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
05/23 - The Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
05/25 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
05/27 - Pelham, AL - Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
05/29 - Raleigh, NC - Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
05/30 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
06/01 - Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live
06/10 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
06/11 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
06/13 - Mansfield, MA - Comcast Center
06/14 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center
06/16 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
06/17 - Bethel, NY - Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
06/19 - Toronto, ON - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
06/21 - Virginia Beach, VA - Farm Bureau Live At Virginia Beach
06/22 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
06/24 - Darien Lake, NY - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
06/25 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
06/27 - Burgettstown, PA - First Niagara Pavilion
06/28 - Noblesville, IN - Klipsch Music Center
07/08 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - Blossom Music Center
07/09 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
07/11 - Maryland Heights, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
07/12 - Tinley Park, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
07/14 - Kansas City, MO - Starlight Theatre
07/16 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
07/17 - West Valley City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre
07/19 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre
07/20 - Ridgefield, WA - Sleep Country Amphitheater
07/23 - Paso Robles, CA - Mid-State Fair
07/25 - Wheatland, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
07/26 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
07/29 - Concord, CA - Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord
08/01 - Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay Events Center   

We also heard from The Orchestra, presenting "An Evening of ELO's Greatest Hits Performed LIVE".
Orchestra features former Electric Light Orchestra members Mik Kaminski and Louis Clark along with Eric Troyer, Parthenon Huxley, Gordon Towsend and Glen Burtnik, all former members of ELO Part 2.  
Click here: The Orchestra Official Website
They've got a return engagement coming up at Walt Disney World in March ... meanwhile, they've been touring the world!  Check out the "Gigs" link on their website for more details. 

Speaking of ELO, you're not going to find a better performance than this one ... take a look at ELO Founder and Leader Jeff Lynne performing "Mr. Blue Sky" at a fund-raising benefit concert from about a week ago ...

It just doesn't get any better than this!  (kk)   

And check out this list of new dates booked for The Arcada Theatre for 2014 ... some GREAT acts have been added to the line-up!
Saturday, January 18th - Queensryche with Quiet Riot
Saturday, January 25th - An Acoustic Night of Triumph, featuring Rik Emmett
Friday, February 7th - Cheap Trick ... Check this out ... this show sold out in 45 minutes!!!
Friday, February 14th - Groovin' The '60's featuring The Buckinghams and Gary Puckett (with a full symphony orchestra)
Saturday, March 29th - Eddie Money
Sunday, April 13th - Paul Revere and the Raiders (we are DEFINITELY going to this one!!!)
Friday, April 19th - Foghat
Saturday, April 26th - The Surf City All-Stars  (always a fun show)
Saturday, May 17th - Blue Oyster Cult
and Saturday, June 7th - Lou Gramm of Foreigner
(Hmm ... wonder if this will turn into a Foreigner show???  There's been LOTS of talk of late of Lou Gramm wanting to put the band back together ... stay tuned!)
Check back often as new shows are being added all the time ... or just visit the OShows website:  
Click here: oshows
By the way, there are still seats available for some of the special holiday shows coming up this year:
Sunday, December 1st - Michael Bolton
Friday, December 6th - It's "Singer / Songwriter" Night with Don McLean and Judy Collins
Saturday, December 7th - Jim Peterik and The Ides Of March
Sunday, December 8th - The Lettermen Christmas Show
Thursday, December 12th - A Ho! Ho! Hoey! Christmas with Gary Hoey
Friday, December 13th - Wynonna Jdd and The Big Noise - A Simpler Christmas Show
Saturday, December 14th - Trans Infinity Orchestra - A Tribute To Trans Siberian Orchestra
Monday, December 16th - A John Tesh Christmas  

And, believe it or not, Elk Grove Village has already announced their Summer Concert Series ... and man, what a line-up this is for next July!!! (I think we'll be going every week!)  Check this out (courtesy of Bill Hengels):
July 1st - America
July 8th - Survivor
July 15th - Kenny Loggins
July 22nd - John Michael Montgomery
July 29th - Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo
UNREAL!!!  America and Kenny Loggins both recently performed sold out shows at The Arcada ... so this is a real coup of the village of Elk Grove ... who are shelling out BIG BUCKS next summer to please the very loyal fans who come back every week to see these shows.  (Kinda puts Schaumburg to shame, doesn't it?!?!?)
Here's more: 
Elk Grove Village officials say the sixth annual Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series next July is their biggest lineup yet. 
And it's likely they were able to secure the likes of '70s and '80s classic rock superstars like America, Survivor, Kenny Loggins, Pat Benatar and country artist John Michael Montgomery due to extra funding that became available with the discontinuation of the Tour of Elk Grove. 
Village officials decided last August to cease operations of the cycling event, held for the past eight years along village streets, because of a scheduling conflict with USA Cycling and the International Cycling Union. The race was partially funded by a 1 percent village hotel-motel tax, but some of that money will now be dedicated to funding the village's contribution to the summer concert series, Mayor Craig Johnson said.  The 2014 lineup, finalized this week, runs over the course of five Tuesday evenings in July. Concerts are held at the Village Green, which is located between the Charles J. Zettek Municipal Complex, at 901 Wellington Ave., and the Elk Grove Library, at 1001 Wellington Ave.
The lineup includes America on July 1, Survivor on July 8, Kenny Loggins on July 15, John Michael Montgomery on July 22, and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on July 29
"It's going to be our biggest concert series that we've had yet," Johnson said. "We're excited about it. We know it's going to be a lot of fun for the community." 
While the concerts are free to attend, the village and Elk Grove Park District foot the bill to pay musicians' fees, purchase insurance and install banners. 
A total of $130,000 was spent last year on four concerts, which featured Three Dog Night and Blood, Sweat & Tears, among others. The village contributed $80,000, and the park district contributed $50,000. 
This year, the park district is contributing the same amount, but the village will contribute $260,000, for a combined total of $310,000. 
That compares to $40,000 spent during the first year of the concert series, in which BJ Thomas was the premier act and most of the other performers were cover bands. 
Johnson said the hotel-motel tax is relatively stable, with revenues having gone down some in 2010 and 2011, but are now on the upswing again. There's 13 hotels in Elk Grove Village where overnight guests are charged the tax on the cost of a room. 
Officials are projecting a total attendance of 50,000 for the five concerts next summer. 
There were about 25,000 people at the four concerts last summer — the largest of which was 9,000 to see Three Dog Night.
Kudos to the folks who put on these fine shows in Elk Grove Village.  Bensenville and Schaumburg USED to book big name acts like this, too ... but the last couple of years there wasn't even anyone interesting enough to get us to attend.  This is BIG news ... especially in the land of "free" concerts!  (kk)   

re:  ON THE RADIO:  
BIG news over at WLS-FM this past week.  Not only did Robert Murphy join the staff (as reported about ten days ago) but there's been a big shake-up in the music programming department as well.  Jan Jeffries has been relieved of us duties as program director ... those decisions are now being made out of state by a national syndication company that programs the "classic hits" format.  As such, we'll now start to hear a wider mix of variety.  
Chicago Radio and Media reports:  
Since dropping the Oldies format and adopting a Classic Rock / Classic Hit hybrid format a little over one year ago, WLS-FM has seen its ratings slip away, overall. In the last week, numerous changes have been made to try and help change the radio station's declining situation.
The most noticeable change took place last Monday. Veteran Chicago radio personality
Robert Murphy was added to the lineup, taking the newly-created 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm weekday shift. This caused the station to alter and shorten the shifts of almost all of the other weekday radio hosts.
The new weekday schedule is now ...
Brant Miller: 5:30 am - 9:00 am (formerly 5:30 am - 10:00 am)
Greg Brown: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (formerly 10:00 am - 3:00 pm)
Danny Lake: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm (formerly 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
Robert Murphy: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm (new shift)
John Records Landecker: 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm (formerly 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm)
Dick Biondi: 11:00 pm - 2:00 am (no change)
There is far more happening behind the scenes at WLS-FM than just the changing around of voices, though.  Jan Jeffries, the WLS-FM Program Director and Cumulus Media Senior Vice President of Programming, has had his duties dramatically changed by his Cumulus corporate bosses. Jeffries' music programming of WLS-FM duties have been stripped away from him.
Instead, all music programmed on WLS-FM is now being decided upon by a national corporate-chosen programmer outside of Chicago, who is in charge of all Classic Hits programming. Listeners will be able to notice a decided difference in the station's music. The frustratingly tight playlist has been greatly expanded in the last few days. Songs by older acts such as The Beatles (together and solo), Three Dog Night, and The Four Seasons are back part of the programming, after being sparse for many months. There are more 80's songs by artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, U2, and Huey Lewis and the News added. Different songs and slightly deeper tracks by some more familiar rock artists like Elton John, Hall and Oates, and Creedence Clearwater Revival are part of the mix, as well.  

So how does it sound?  Honestly, I haven't listened much ... kind of got out of the habit of tuning in this station.  (WTG, Jan Jeffries!)  And the few times I have turned it on, I'm hearing exactly the same stuff I was hearing a few months ago.  Maybe the change will be gradual ... and maybe some folks will start to come back ... but right now I've found a better mix of music in my own CD library, coupled with a bunch of button-pushing between The Drive, The River, The Loop and a few others.  (Trust me, K-Hits isn't any better ... you can almost predict what they're going to play next by clockwork it's so damn repetitive.  Looking for creative and unique  programming?  You won't find it in Chicago ... or anywhere else for that matter.  All the really GOOD stuff is on the Internet now where they actually mix things up a little bit.)  Isn't it funny how in one night I can see three commercials on television played back to back that feature songs by The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley and The George Baker Selection's "Little Green Bag" and it sounds SO refreshing ... yet radio won't play ANY of these anymore.  Jeez, guys ... get a clue!  (kk)   

Sunday's Chicago Trib reported on the death of Cy Gold, age 83, who died last week from complications of a stroke. You may recall that Cy was a record promoter who worked for Paul Glass who owned Allstate Records. He worked labels such at Roulette (Mob owned out of Philly and used to bring some of the beefiest looking guys to my office) Atlantic, Chess and Motown. (Also worked with Howard Bednoe / Pete Wright) back in the 60's and 70's. I recall Cy as a gentleman who worked in a tough industry in which to make a living.  Not many of us from that era still around! Clark Weber

Elton John will be at Rosemont’s Allstate Arena on Saturday, November 30th.  
The live show will feature hits spanning his entire career. The Soundtrack Of Elton John” will air  Sunday, December 1, 2013 -12 - 4 pm CT on WLTL-FM 88.1 with Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s. 
Followed by “The History Of Rock And Rollfeaturing a chapter on Elton John 4 - 5 pm CT  
Streaming on

The Soundtrack Of Elton John” will feature a music timeline of Reginald Kenneth Dwight forty-fives.
The History Of Rock And Roll is the original Drake-Chenault syndicated program ... in this one hour chapter, Elton reflects on his music through the decades.  

Be sure to tune in to Top Shelf Oldies ( for a special Thanksgiving Eve edition of Randy On The Radio, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 9 - 10 p.m. ET. I'll be featuring an eclectic mix of uncommon oldies, including a lot a rare stereo, as well as a Mystery Oldie (an easy one this time). My show follows the Real Deal with Tom Diehl, 8-9 p.m. ET that evening. (All Randy On The Radio shows are archived at 
– Randy Price   


Nowadays you never know what's going to trigger a hit song, even if it's just a new discovery of an old classic.  (A couple of months ago people went crazy downloading Badfinger's "Baby Blue" after it was used in the final episode of "Breaking Bad"!)
But this one takes the cake ...
This video (already viewed by over TWELVE MILLION PEOPLE ... and counting) has pushed Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" back on to the pop charts ... TWENTY SIX YEARS after it first charted!  (Billboard listed it at #25 this week!)  Hmm ... wouldn't it be something if this record became the SECOND single to top Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart?!?!  Fifty years AFTER Chubby Checker first did it with "The Twist"???  (You never know ... look how long it took to beat Babe Ruth's home run record!!!)
Check it out ... and thanks to FH Reader Frank B for sending this one in!