Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Saturday Surveys (May 31st)

A little something different this week ...

Three charts from the same week in 1970 ... with completely different #1 Records!  (This is what made our local charts so exciting!)

The KAAY Chart out of Little Rock, Arkansas, listed "Vehicle" by The Ides Of March at #1 this week.  (You'd expect to see that in Chicago, where it also topped the chart ... albeit a full month earlier!)  Incredibly it doesn't make the KAKC chart at all and lists at #22 on the L&H Chart!

This second chart comes from the Lyon and Healy Store ... now my recollection of Lyon and Healy was that they sold pianos and organs ... and sheet music ... and gave lessons on this equipment.  I never really thought of them as a source to buy the latest hit records ... but maybe that's because the small branch I used to visit in Hillside, IL, just wasn't set up for these things.

Then again, their chart may have been published a bit earlier ... "Let It Be" by The Beatles was still showing up at #27, some two months after it peaked nationally ... their follow-up single "The Long And Winding Road" was already climbing the charts everywhere else.  (KAAY shows it premiering at #25 this week while the KAKC Chart shown below already shows it slipping from #7 to #8 in its fourth week on the chart.)  The Lyon and Healey Chart posts it at #9, designating it as the Hit Of The Week.

KAKC (The Big 97) was based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma ... they had Blues Image on top of their chart with "Ride Captain Ride".  (It was #3 in Little Rock and WAY down at #54 on the L&H Chart).

Three Dog Night took a HUGE leap this week from #13 to #2 ... and the latest hits by Steppenwolf, Melanie, Paul Davis, Leon Russell and The Sandpipers also saw a significant upward movement.

Elvis' latest, "The Wonder Of You" was all over the place based on these charts ... premiering at #30 in Tulsa, OK, up five points to #16 in Little Rock, AR and #19 on the "Midwestern Chart" published by Lyon and Healy.

It's charts like these that show you why we all remember how big any given record was based on where we grew up hearing it.  KAKC shows Paul Davis' version of "A Little Bit Of Soap" as a big hit ... yet it only peaked at #52 in Billboard ... and it doesn't even show up on the other two charts posted today.

Note some of the "local hits", too ... "Friends" by Feather, "My Wife, The Dancer" by Eddie and Dutch and "Genesis - Last Chapter" by Terry McGovern are all titles that leave most of us scratching our heads.  (Meanwhile, look how well The Gentrys' version of the Neil Young classic "Cinnamon Girl" was doing ... #14 (down from #3) in Oklahoma and #29 on the Lyon and Healy Chart ... yet another #52 peaker in Billboard.

Below is a recap of some of the most popular music of the day ... as well as a few more surprise appearances:

VEHICLE - The Ides of March - #1, xx, #23
EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL - Ray Stevens - #2, #20, #3
RIDE CAPTAIN RIDE - Blues Image - #3, #1, #54
PUPPET MAN - The Fifth Dimension - #4, xx, #52
WHICH WAY YOU GOIN', BILLY? - The Poppy Family - #5, #16, #1
LAY A LITTLE LOVIN' ON ME - Robin McNamara - #6, xx, #79
FOR THE LOVE OF HIM - Bobbi Martin - #7, xx, #12
DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS - Tom Jones - #9, #23, #11
MISSISSIPPI - John Phillips - #11, xx, #68
IT'S ALL IN THE GAME - The Four Tops - #13, #18, xx
HEY MISTER SUN - Bobby Sherman - #14, xx, #38
BABY HOLD ON - The Grass Roots - #15, xx, #40
THE WONDER OF YOU - Elvis Presley - #16, #30, #19
TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME - Tyrone Davis - #17, xx, #33
TENNESSEE BIRD WALK - Blanchard and Morgan - #18, xx, #15
HITCHIN' A RIDE - Vanity Fare - #19, xx, #5
TIGHTER, TIGHTER - Alive and Kicking - #20, xx, #80
COME SATURDAY MORNING - The Sandpipers - #21, #19, #17
GIMME DAT DING - The Pipkins - #23, xx, #14
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD - The Beatles - #25, #8, #9
MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME - Three Dog Night - xx, #2, #62
MISSISSIPPI QUEEN - Mountain - xx, #3, #63
HEY LAWDY MAMA - Steppenwolf - xx, #4, #26
THE LETTER - Joe Cocker - xx, #5, #25
QUESTION - The Moody Blues - xx, #6, #37
LAY DOWN (CANDLES IN THE RAIN) - Melanie - xx, #9, #20
UP AROUND THE BEND - Creedence Clearwater Revival - xx, #10, #13
LOVE ON A TWO-WAY STREET - The Moments - xx, #11, #28
MY BABY LOVES LOVIN' - White Plains - xx, #13, #4
CINNAMON GIRL - The Gentrys - xx, #14, #29 
GET READY - Rare Earth - xx, #17, #23
GO BACK - Crabby Appleton - xx, #26, #53
UNITED WE STAND - Brotherhood of Man - xx, #22, #34

HUM A SONG - Lulu - #8 on KAAY (#54 in Billboard)
GENESIS - LAST CHAPTER - Terry McGovern - #10 on KAAY (nationally a non-charter)
THANK YOU GIRL - The Street People - #12 on KAAY  (#96 in Billboard)
COTTONFIELDS - The Beach Boys - #22 on KAAY (for lack of a better word, IGNORED nationally ... reaching #103 in Billboard)  
TICKET TO RIDE - The Carpenters - #7 on KAKC  (a Top Ten Hit here in Chicago, too ... but #54 in Billboard)
A LITTLE BIT OF SOAP - Paul Davis - #12 on KAKC  (#52 in Billboard)
ROLL AWAY THE STONE - Leon Russell - #15 on KAKC  (#109 in Billboard)
FRIENDS - Feather - #25 on KAKC (#79 in Billboard)
WITCHI TAI TO - Today's Tomorrow - #16 on the Lyon and Healy Chart  (this version didn't even chart nationally!)
MY WIFE, THE DANCER - Eddie and Dutch - #32 on the L&H Chart (#52 nationally)

Some of these others had probably already peaked and fallen off the charts in most cities ... but Lyon and Healy continued to list these as Top Hits:
CECILIA - Simon and Garfunkel - #2 on the L&H Chart but not listed on either of the other surveys
LITTLE GREEN BAG - The George Baker Selection - #6 on the L&H Chart but not listed on either of the other surveys.
This is also true of:
MAKE ME SMILE - Chicago (#8)
SPIRIT IN THE SKY - Norman Greenbaum (#10)
SOMETHING'S BURNING - Kenny Rogers and the First Edition (#21)
AMERICAN WOMAN - The Guess Who (#24)
LET IT BE - The Beatles (#27)

So how do you determine the REAL, legitimate hits with this kind of discrepancy amongst the charts?

Well, I figure if two out of three of these charts listed a song in The Top 20, it was pretty much a national hit.  But doing a quick recap, that only allows for 14 titles ... leaving six spots open for your own local favorites ...

And that's what made radio so fun and exciting back in the day ... as we can see by just scanning these random charts, that meant that the other six could be almost ANYTHING!!!

"Mississippi Queen" by Mountain or "Ticket To Ride" by The Carpenters.

"Cinnamon Girl" by The Gentrys or "Witchi Tai To" by Today's Tomorrow

"Gimme Dat Ding" by The Pipkins or "Question" by The Moody Blues

"Hey Lawdy Mama" by Steppenwolf" or "Puppet Man" by The Fifth Dimension.

Whichever way the station decided to go was totally fine by us ... we loved it ALL!

Friday, May 30, 2014

50 Years Ago This Weekend

THE BEATLES regained the top spot this week on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart when LOVE ME DO hit #1.  A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE by PETER AND GORDON climbed to #7 and LITTLE CHILDREN (by BILLY J. KRAMER AND THE DAKOTAS) to #8 … and that wrapped up the British control of The Top Ten.

Sitting just outside (at #11) was P.S. I LOVE YOU and DO YOU LOVE ME (#12).  THE BEATLES and THE DAVE CLARK FIVE  also had other hits in The Top 20 this week ... BITS AND PIECES was right behind at #14, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET was at #19 and DIANE by THE BACHELORS sat at #20.  Those eight hits reflected the least amount of British occupation in The Top 40 in quite some time.

CAN'T BUY ME LOVE fell to #42, GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY (by THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS) sat at #46, DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING (by GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS) climbed to #47 (up 40 points!), THE SEARCHERS' original version of of SUGAR AND SPICE jumped to #50 and I KNEW IT ALL THE TIME (another DC5 hit) sat at #54.

Meanwhile, a GREAT new song by THE SEARCHERS, DON'T THROW YOUR LOVE AWAY, premiered at #69 and BAD TO ME, the flip-side of BILLY J. KRAMER's hit LITTLE CHILDREN debuted at #71.  (BAD TO ME was a stand-alone #1 Hit in the U.K.  It's another one of those songs written by … and given away by … LENNON and McCARTNEY.)  CHAD AND JEREMY's version of YESTERDAY'S GONE leaped from #92 to #72 while THE OVERLANDERS' take moved to #87.  Meanwhile, THE ROLLING STONES held steady at #82 with NOT FADE AWAY.

Here in Chicago, it was mostly the same line-up as last week on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey chart ... "Love Me Do" / "P.S. I Love You" was at #1, "Yesterday's Gone" came in at #4, "Little Children" / "Bad To Me" at #5, "Diane" climbed to #8 and Peter and Gordon jumped to #10 with "A World Without Love".

"Do You Love Me" held steady at #17 (after such a dynamic start), "Good Golly Miss Molly" was back up on the charts at #21, "Not Fade Away" sat at #23 and "I Only Have Eyes For You" by Cliff Richard was at #24.

On television, The Dave Clark Five were back on The Ed Sullivan Show on May 31st, performing their latest hits, Do You Love Me and Can't You See That She's Mine.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

#1 On This Date (May 29th)

As May draws to a close, let's take a look back at some of the records that topped the charts on this date over the past 60 years!

In 1955, it was Cuban Band Leader Perez Prado with his monster instrumental hit (#1 for ten weeks!) "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White".  (The "Dawn of Rock And Roll" was still six weeks away ... Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" had just premiered on the chart two weeks earlier ... and wouldn't reach the #1 position until July 9th.)

However by 1956 Rock And Roll had its first major superstar ... Elvis Presley sat on top of The Billboard Best Sellers Chart with his first big break-out hit "Heartbreak Hotel".

Elvis would be back on top a year later with "All Shook Up", winding up its eight week run at the top of the charts.  (In fact, Elvis would have five other #1 Records during that one year span ... "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You", "Don't Be Cruel", "Hound Dog", "Love Me Tender" and "Too Much" all reached the summit on Billboard's Best Sellers Singles Chart, making "All Shook Up" his SEVENTH #1 RECORD in the span of a year!!!)

Moving ahead to 1958 we find The Everly Brothers on top with "All I Have To Do Is Dream", another record that would hold down the top spot for several weeks.  (Four to be exact!)

#1 on May 29th, 1959 was "Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison.  The Everlys were back on top the following year as "Cathy's Clown" ushered in a new decade ... and new record label ... for the Dynamic Duo.

In 1961, Ricky Nelson sat on top with "Travelin' Man", a song we featured recently in our Saturday Surveys feature.  1962 brought us the instrumental hit "Stranger On The Shore" by British Import Mr. Acker Bilk ... two years before The Beatles officially ushered in The British Invasion.

1963 brought us the novelty hit "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul, a record that STILL sounds catchy as hell 51 years later!  And in 1964 it was Motown's Mary Wells who held down the top spot with her timeless classic "My Guy", written by Smokey Robinson.  (To show no gender prejudice whatsoever, a year later he'd write another #1 Hit for The Temptations called "My Girl"!)  And, as you'll see tomorrow in our "50 Years Ago This Weekend" feature, The Beatles would take over the top spot on May 30th with "Love Me Do", a record first released back home in England 20 months earlier!

On May 29th, 1965, The Beach Boys sat on top of The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart with "Help Me Rhonda", a song they re-recorded for single release.  In 1966 it was Rock And Roll Hall of Famer Percy Sledge with his biggest hit "When A Man Loves A Woman".  (Yep, that's right ... Percy Sledge is in The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame ... but Chicago, The Guess Who, The Moody Blues, Paul Anka and Chubby Checker are not.  Don't EVEN get me started!!!)

The Summer of Love was only weeks away ... and in 1967 we were "Groovin'" to the sounds of The Young Rascals.  A year later kids were dancing to "Tighten Up" by Archie Bell and the Drells.  (Archie was in Viet Nam the first time he heard his first hit record!)  And in 1969, The Beatles closed out the decade with their latest, "Get Back".

The '70's began on a rockin' note with "American Woman" by The Guess Who holding down the top spot on May 29th, 1970.  And a year later The Rolling Stones proved they were no "flash in the pan" rock act when their latest, "Brown Sugar" topped the charts.  (44 years later they're still able to sell out stadiums around the world!)  You still hear BOTH of these songs on a daily basis all these years later.  (I'm seeing Burton Cummings tonight as a matter of fact at The City Winery ... but he won't be performing "American Woman" ... this is one of his Up Close solo performances, featuring just Burton at the piano ... and its hard to rock out to "American Woman" under those parameters!)

1972 brought us the second big hit for The Chi-Lites, a group out of Chicago, this time with "Oh Girl".  By 1973 many of us felt that rock was dead ... but The Edgar Winter Group proved us wrong with their smash hit "Frankenstein"!  Who would have thought that a year later the biggest record in the country would be "The Streak" by novelty king Ray Stevens?!?!  (Don't look, Margaret!)

Another Chicago-based group would top the chart in 1975 ... the #1 Record in America on May 29th, 1975 was "Shining Star" by Earth, Wind and Fire.  In 1976 Diana Ross would have one of her biggest solo hits when the disco-tinged "Love Hangover" became the biggest hit in the nation.  Motown labelmate Stevie Wonder had the top honors a year later when "Sir Duke" topped the chart.

Paul McCartney had the #1 Record on May 29th, 1978, with "With A Little Luck", a record you don't hear all that much anymore.  In 1979, the reunited Peaches and Herb (actually just Herb with a brand new Peaches) held down the top spot with a song appropriately titled "Reunited".

The 1980's began with New York / New Wave punk rockers Blondie at #1 with "Call Me", a song featured in the Richard Gere film "American Gigilo".  In 1981 Kim Carnes was two weeks into her ten week run on top with her landmark hit "Bette Davis Eyes".

In 1982, previous May 29th chart-toppers Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder teamed up to give us "Ebony And Ivory" ... not the strongest outing for these two mega-artists.  A year later another movie tune topped the charts ... this time it was "Flashdance - What A Feeling" by Irene Cara.  Another year later and it was "Let's Hear It For The Boy" from "Footloose" that topped the chart (a #1 Hit for Deniece Williams) and in 1985 the top honors went to Wham! (featuring George Michael and Brian Dunkelman ... no wait ... that was the forgettable cohost of "American Idol" the first season ... I'm thinking of the just as forgettable Andrew Ridgeley ... which would make that the first time that ANYBODY has thought of Andrew Ridgeley since ... oh, about 1985!!!) for their hit "Everything She Wants".

1986 gave us the incredible voice of Whitney Houston at #1 (with yet another movie song), "The Greatest" (from the Muhammad Ali bio-pic of the same name).  Rock supergroup U2 was already making their mark in 1987 when "With Or Without You" topped the Pop Singles Chart.  And in 1988, George Michael was back on top (as a solo artist this time) with "One More Try".

Speaking of "American Idol", original judge Paula Abdul had her second straight #1 Record (out of an incredible six in a row!) when "Forever Your Girl" topped the charts on May 29, 1989.  And in 1990, it was Madonna on top with "Vogue".

Is there much point in covering the '90's???  Or did we already lose our "core audience" ten year ago???  The only tracks I see worth mentioning are "I Swear" by All-4-One, Number One on May 29th, 1994, "MMMBop" by Hanson, #1 in 1997 (another catchy tune that I'll admit to enjoying, only because of the pure, sheer "pop" of it all!) and "Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin in 1999.  (Just TRY getting THIS one out of your head today!!!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

e:  The Saturday Surveys:  
Keep the Saturday surveys.... I don't often get to them due to lack of time but they're a neat feature...and unique (you want to stand out from the crowd, right?)  

For the record, I look forward to the Saturday Surveys every week.  As a long time radio station survey collector, I find the various stations, many of whom I am previously unfamiliar with, to have interesting and fascinating information especially regional and local records that I was previous unaware of.  Please keep this feature!   
Clay Pasternack   

I do not get the chance to study each Saturday Survey, but I enjoy perusing them and getting a feel for each time-frame represented.  Carry on if you will.  If you choose not to ... I will still be on your site daily. 
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano  

Hi Kent,
I love the Saturday surveys and hope you keep them going.
I hate the Saturday Surveys 'cause I'm blind and I believe they are scanned images and screen readers can't read them. <grin> 
How's that? 
I don't wanna create more work for you by transcribing them to text though, so keep those comments on them coming on Saturdays. It's a great feature and Oldies freaks should love them. 

Keep 'em.  I scan each day's report, but spend more time looking at the old charts ... it's an emotional experience.
BTW, the old adage may be true about not appreciating things in one's own back yard.  I live about five blocks from the Arcada Theatre and rarely get there. It's too claustrophobic for me.  I used to be friends with the son of one of the owners back in the 60s and had many backstage tours then, even operated the projection booth a few times.  

Radio. It's a sound idea! 

Hey Kent,
Please keep the Saturday surveys! I really enjoy being able to see where a song was at a given time. Songs always evoke memories and having that info really enhances the reminiscing.
Eddie Burke
Orange, CT

I can see where the survey feature can get boring for those who aren't into it. But for those of us like you and I, and mutual friends, it's interesting to see what songs were huge hits, when they were mere blips in our respective towns. And what songs were blips everywhere but in Chicago. I just got is about 180 charts the other week and just when you think you've seen every variation there is, up pops a survey like the one from KING Seattle, which I sent to you, that had features I had never seen before. I think as long as you don't over do it and try to space out the years, I think you should keep on doing the feature, or switch to another day and take Saturday off.  

First, I personally like you posting surveys from various radio stations from 50 (plus or minus) years ago. I really like to see what records were played in other markets that weren't played here in the OKC area. However, if the majority of your readers take somewhat a negative feeling
on it and you have to drop it, then I for one would understand.  

Your posting of Seattle's KING radio survey showed that song position #20 was Tex Ritter's (I DREAMED I WAS IN ) HILLBILLY HEAVEN. That record was big also here in OKC but I remember that Tex Ritter re-recorded it using names of the various DJ's who were working here in OKC at the time on the station that was playing it. I assume he did this as well for other stations around the country. I of course do not have a copy and really don't know of anyone here in OKC who does.  
Yeah, we covered this one a long time ago in Forgotten Hits ... and, believe it or not, somebody sent in the WLS version at the time!  (kk)

I think the Saturday Surveys function as the perfect time capsule for revisiting that moment in time.  I enjoy seeing which songs made the list each week in the various cities that you feature - and watch for those that were much bigger hits in other parts of the country than they were at home.  I also enjoy your music clips as they often feature tracks that you won't hear anywhere else - not even on the best oldies stations because the local / regional aspect of radio has disappeared forever from the airwaves. I'm one of those who looks forward to this feature each week - so I hope you'll continue to make this a part of our weekend - even if it may not be your most popular feature.  (As you said, those who enjoy it are REALLY into it!) 

re:  This And That:  
Hey Kent,  
I watched the CBS Sunday morning show this morning and they had a segment about Barry Gibb. He is touring solo for the first time. What I liked about the story is that one of his sons ... a heavy metal guitar player ... and Maurice's daughter are touring with him. Barry and Maurice's daughter sang "The First of May" together and it was fantastic. Seeing this helped take some of the sadness out of the loss of Robin and Maurice. Barry seemed happy, too.  
Wish I could have seen that.  Barry was here this week (Tuesday Night) and, from the looks of things, good tickets were still available.  (Maybe that's because Main Floor seats were going for something like $375 apiece!!!  I think that would be a tough sell even if it was the original Bee Gees performing together again!)  Too bad ... as I would have loved to have seen this show ... but add in parking and dinner and you're up to about a $900 night ... I can buy The Bee Gees' complete album collection for that kind of money ... TWICE!!!  (What are some of these promoters thinking?!?!  And then these artists end up playing to half-full houses!  It just doesn't make sense!)  kk   

New York – Actor, writer, director, performer MICKY DOLENZ (of The Monkees) has been confirmed for the lead role in Mike Reiss’ new play Comedy Is Hard! , premiering Wednesday, September 24, at The Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, Connecticut.   
Dolenz, who just began a tour with The Monkees last week, has delighted audiences with his performances in such theatrical productions as the Elton John/Tim Rice production of Aida; Grease; Pippin’;  A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum; and, most recently Hairspray in the West End playing Wilbur Turnblad. 
Reiss’ play is set in a home for retired actors and the play takes an affectionate look at the relationship and rivalry between a retired stand-up comedian and a classical actress.  
A renaissance-artist of the highest order, Dolenz has continued his recording career as well, most recently with a solo album entitled Remember, released last year. He’s also participated heavily in the several Broadway charities; most notably for Rockers On Broadway. In fact, he was just announced as recipient for their yearly award; to be presented in November. 
Said Dolenz, “The opportunity to originate this role in Mike’s new play is terrific. I am ready to un-leash my inner-comedian.”  
Reiss, the acclaimed writer of I’m Connecticut and writer and producer for the animated series The Simpsons; also created the animated series The Critic. He’s also written the webtoon Queer Duck and worked on the screenplays for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Horton Hears a Who!; The Simpsons: The Movies; and, My Life In Ruins.


>>>Is there a different mix of "Satisfaction" that's making the rounds at stations where no one knows the music? I was listening to the radio last week and heard the beginning of "Satisfaction" and cranked it up to listen more closely. The vocals sounded softer (less edgy) and there was some extra reverb that doesn't appear on the mix we all know inside out. I called and asked what that mix was from, and of course the DJ had no idea since "we outsource the music".   (David Lewis)  
>>>I think I've noticed a cleaner, clearer mix of "Satisfaction" the past few years but just attributed that to some better technology on one of the reissue CD's ... the one I heard actually sounded pretty good.  (kk)  
Well, there are at least two different stereo mixes of the song that Abkco has released ... the more recent one was remixed to sound more like the original mono 45, but in stereo. Perhaps after hearing the 1980's stereo mix for so long, you've forgotten what the original 45 version even sounds like ... so a remix that is closer to it than the original mix might not sound right to you. 
Tom Diehl  
That's the downside of radio not always playing the correct version.  (Bob Stroud recently played the single version of the Loggins and Messina hit "Thinking Of You" and it just sounded wrong ... we've heard the LP version for so long now that it most of our minds, THAT has become the accepted, definitive version.)  
The version of "Satisfaction" that I've heard seems to be much "cleaner" ... you can hear a lot more detail in the mix ... I noticed things I hadn't heard before, even after 50 years of repeated listening ... so to me, that's a good thing ... it's probably closer to what The Stones heard in the studio when they recorded the song.  (I know all The Beatles reissues from a few years ago touted the same philosophy ... but quite honestly I've noticed VERY little that I didn't hear the first time around.)  kk  

The New York / New England regional Beatles festival, "Danbury Fields Forever," will "come together" Saturday, July 26 & Sunday, July 27, 2014 at Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut. Doors will open at noon, and the music will continue until 8 pm daily.  
The Music, Foods & Arts Festival is in its third year, with 10 bands per day playing the music of The Beatles, solo material and songs from the 60s. The full line-up of performers has been announced. Acts include The Hofners, The Oh-Nos, The Mystery Tour, AfterFab, Fools On The Hill, Charlie Guitar, Studio Two, Beatlehead, Thunder Road, The Way-Back Machine, Rotary and the national touring group Beatlemania Again. There will be live tributes to George Harrison by Pete Santora (formerly of Broadway's "Beatlemania"), Sir Paul McCartney by Mike Miller's "One Sweet Dream," John Lennon by Dave Pal in his "Lennon Legacy" show and to Elton John by Bill Connors. Students from School of Rock in both New York and Connecticut will have their star students performing sets of Beatles classics. Also, the winners of the web talent search project will be performing. 
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles' U.S. arrival in 1964, one-day "Ticket to Ride" admissions to the Festival start at only $19.64, but these special discounted early-bird advance prices are only good until May 31st. Advance ticket available at: There are also V.I.P. tickets available, discounted two-day passes and hotel packages. Tickets will be higher at the door.  
Ives Concert Park is located at 43 Lake Avenue Ext. on the campus of Western CT State University in Danbury, CT. This year there will be more Beatle and memorabilia dealers and vendors, exhibitors, along with a larger variety of food options available. For guests staying overnight, there is a reduced rate hotel package which includes accommodations and breakfast for only $79 per night. Visit and check the FAQ page for hotel info.  
The weekend's MCs are Ken Michaels of the "Every Little Thing" radio show and Gary Theroux of's "History of Rock 'n' Roll."  
"Danbury Fields Forever lll" is presented by Charles F. Rosenay!!!'s Liverpool Productions, the same company that presented "NYC FAB 50," The Beatles' 50th Anniversary Celebration in New York City in February, and organizers of the annual Magical History Tours to Liverpool & London ( A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit a designated charity.  
For further info, visit website:
or phone (203) 795-4737.  
As The Beatles sang, "It's guaranteed to raise a smile."

Don't forget to get your entry in for the brand new Two-CD Collection of Greatest Hits by ZZ Top ... (they're bad ... and nationwide ... and Forgotten Hits is giving away THREE copies of the new double CD, courtesy of Bob Merlis Promotions.)  Wanna a shot at winning a copy?  Just drop us an email (with ZZ TOP in the subject line) and we'll throw your name in the hat!  (kk)   

Hey Kent ...  
Speaking of Shawn Swords' great Documentary, "Wages Of Spin II", you'll find lots of great music on the soundtrack ... including a bunch of my original instrumentals performed by me!  I'm honored to be a part of Shawn's great project.  Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords  
Shawn is sending me a "screener" copy this week for review purposes ... and I can't wait to see it.  The YouTube clips look amazing!  Guess now I'll have to listen closely to the background, incidental music, too!  (lol)  Thanks, Mitch!  (Now if they'd only send me a screener copy of "Jersey Boys" ... and that new Boyce And Hart documentary!!!  We are ALWAYS happy to review these films in advance to let other oldies music fans around the world know of their existence.)  kk    

And, speaking of "Wages Of Spin II", here's MORE buzz on this hot new film ...    

A lot of people have been calling and emailing about where they can get a copy of the "The Wages Of Spin II - Bring Down That Wall" DVD. 
Well, I am happy to report that you can pre-order  it thru our company site for delivery this Summer at   
We have industry screenings coming up at The Great Minds Salon Series in Beverly Hills and Film Media (L.A.) in late June.  We will be meeting industry reps at the screening in June and will probably decide who is going to distribute the film during that week.  There is a lot of media coming up over the course of the next several weeks. 
Here is the link to The Daily Mail News Site (U.K.) Feature on Wages of Spin II "Bring Down That Wall": The Daily Mail News Site is the most visited News Site in The World taking 11.7 Million Hits Daily.   
Wages of Spin II-Facebook Fan Page:          

>>>Wow, I didn't know about the Johnny Mathis version of "Love Never Felt So Good" ... will have to search that one out!  The stripped down "vocal, piano, finger snap" version that Michael did is very powerful in its own right ... really shows off the strength of both the artist and the song.  (kk) From the biggest Mathis fan on the planet directly to you. Hil  
Actually, I think it's a great arrangement ... but another "undiscovered gem" from Johnny.  Maybe now that Michael's version has drawn some attention to it, folks will take the time to investigate the original.  Johnny Mathis recorded another GREAT single in 1984 called "Simple" that absolutely should have been a hit ... but I guess radio considered his 1974 comeback hit "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" (recorded with Deniece Williams) his limit.  And that's a shame ... because "Simple" is a great recording, too!  (kk)

Kent ...
I know you're not a Facebook guy ... but TJ Lubinsky recently started posting Doo-Wop Wednesday.
Here's one featuring The Four Tops:
And this was the first one ... Herb Cox and the Cleftones:
Frank B.  

And this is a real shame ... it sounds like Ron Riley had to bow out of his Hard Rock hosting duties on June 24th due to health reasons back home in Baltimore.  (His wife is ailing and he wants to be there with her during this time.)  Meanwhile, Clark Weber assures us that he will soldier on alone ... and believe me, he'll have some GREAT stories to tell from the podium that day!  
More details are still to come ... but all of this ties into Ringo Starr's brand new Art Exhibit which will be on display (free of charge) at The Hard Rock Cafe Chicago.  Ringo caps off the week-long event with his concert at The Chicago Theater on June 28th (with his All-Starr Band).