Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Saturday Surveys ( 07 - 19 )

Covering a couple of years we haven't looked at in a while this week in our Saturday Surveys feature.

First up, 1976 ... where Paul McCartney has THREE of the Top 13 singles this week!

"Silly Love Songs" is on its way down the charts, falling from #3 to #4 this week ... while his follow-up single, "Let 'em In" makes a huge leap from #20 to #9.

But the biggest surprise is this week's #13 Hit ... it's the re-release of The Beatles' track "Got To Get You Into My Life", a single pulled from their new "Rock And Roll Music" album.

Although the track peaked at #7 on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart, it would climb to #1 in several local markets (including here in Chicago) ... and sounded every bit as good in 1976 as it did when it was recorded for the "Revolver" album ten years earlier.  The Beatles had only been apart six years and they were already winning over a brand new audience.  (Ironically The Beach Boys are also charting this week with THEIR remake of the Chuck Berry classic, "Rock And Roll Music", a track The Beatles did to pure perfection on their "Beatles For Sale" LP in late 1964.)

Country Music seemed to have a pretty good hold on this 1976 Denver Chart ... Eddie Rabbitt's  got the #7 Hit with "Rocky Mountain Music",  a song that would score well on Billboard's Country Singles Chart but only reach #76 on the pop side.  The Bellamy Brothers also have a Top 40 Pop Hit on a chart that features disco (The Andrea True Connection, Silver Convention and Diana Ross), pop (The Starland Vocal Band, Elton John and Kiki Dee and Starbuck), soul (The Manhattans, War and Brothers Johnson), novelty (Cheech and Chong!!!) and rock (Queen, Thin Lizzy and Gary Wright) ... back in the day when you could play ALL of these different genres of music side by side and nobody found anything wrong with it!

In addition, America's "Today's The Day" and Chicago's "Another Rainy Day In New York City" both fare better here on this Denver chart than they did nationally.

We haven't featured a chart from 1968 in a while either ... Gary Puckett and the Union Gap have the #1 Single in Lincoln, Nebraska, this week in 1968.  In fact, MOST of the Top Ten this week is taken up with tracks that scored very well all over the country ... with TWO exceptions ...

What the heck are "All's Quiet On West 23rd" by Julie Budd and "Sally Had A Party" by Flavor?!?!  The Julie Budd single never even charted on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart ... and "Sally Had A Party' only climbed as high as #95!!!  Yet here in Lincoln, BOTH records are Top Ten Hits!  (Joel Whitburn's book refers to "Sally Had  A Party" as sounding very similar to the Spencer Davis Group hit "Gimme Some Lovin'" ... so I had to check that one out for myself!)

>>>Julie recorded the song "All's Quiet On West 23rd" at age 13 for MGM and was dubbed the "Young Barbra Streisand" at the time.  The 45 came with a pic sleeve.   To me, the male version of the song, by the Jet Stream, is a much better version, even tho her record was huge in Lincoln.  Flavor was a DC group who did well with the song "Sally Had A Party", but their followup, "Heart-Teaser" (also a pic sleeve 45), was much better, IMO.
-- Clark Besch

The Monkees sit just outside The Top Ten with their last big two-sided hit "D.W. Washburn" / "It's Nice To Be With You" ... and, speaking of The Monkees, The Stone Poneys must have been thinking "Why mess with success?"  when they cut "Some Of Shelly's Blues", another tune written by Michael Nesmith (which was also covered by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band).  It followed their successful take on Nesmith's "Different Drum" from a few months before.

Look how well The Buckinghams' single "Back In Love Again" did in Lincoln, Nebraska ... it's down from #12 to #27 ... while The New Colony Six are slowly creeping up the chart with THEIR latest, "Can't You See Me Cry".


And finally, another 1967 Chart from KYA in San Francisco where "Purple Haze" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience grabs the #1 Spot.

It's funny to see "Ode To Billie Joe", "Fakin' It" and "Heroes And Villains" show up on this week's chart as KYA Premiers ... as all three records were charting (and doing quite well) on the 1967 chart we featured last week.

Lastly, give a listen to my favorite Stevie Wonder song of the '60's, "I Was Made To Love Her"

Friday, July 18, 2014

50 Years Ago This Weekend (July 18 / 19)

7/18/64 - Big news this week as the title cut from THE BEATLES' first motion picture, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart at a very healthy #21.  It's their second "real time" single release here in The States, following CAN'T BUY ME LOVE.  (I have to point this out because ALSO premiering on the chart this week was AIN'T SHE SWEET, a track recorded in Germany back in 1961.  It's a GREAT JOHN LENNON vocal … and it debuts at #90 … but it's also three years old at this point … and not indicative of the music the band is currently recording.)


On the WLS Silver Dollar Survey, The Beatles jump from #30 to #8 with their latest, "A Hard Day's Night" / "I Should Have Known Better", both tracks coming from their brand new film "A Hard Day's Night".  (It was also housed in one of my all-time favorite Beatles picture sleeves!)

Other British Acts in The Top Ten this week include "Can't You See That She's Mine" by The Dave Clark Five at #3, "Nobody I Know" by Peter and Gordon at #4, "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" by Gerry and the Pacemakers at #6, "Don't Throw Your Love Away" by The Searchers at #7 and "Little Children" by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas at #9 … giving British Invasion Artists SIX of The Top Ten positions once again on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.

"A World Without Love" is at #12 for Peter and Gordon, "Wishin' And Hopin'" is at #20 for Dusty Springfield, "I Believe" is at #23 for The Bachelors, and a brand new track by Gerry and the Pacemakers, "How Do You Do It", premiers at the #39 spot.

DIDJAKNOW? - After "Love Me Do" peaked at #17 on the British Charts, Producer George Martin brought The Beatles "How Do You Do It" to record ... he felt certain that this song could be a #1 Hit.  Written by noted British songwriter Mitch Murray, Martin felt this could be the boost The Beatles needed to make their mark on the chart ... and then, after establishing a little bit of success, they could try recording some of their own material again.  The Beatles (VERY) reluctantly agreed ... and cut a half-spirited version of the song ... but then protested that they really only wanted to record their OWN material for release as singles.  Martin's response?  "Then write me something as good as this one and we'll release it."

Inspired, John and Paul went back and dug out an old chestnut they had been working on called "Please Please Me".  They revamped the tempo and added the "call and response" feature so prevalent in the song and, having just toured Europe with Roy Orbison, gave the song what they called "The Roy Orbison feel" of the changley guitar.  They played it for Martin and he was knocked out by it.

"Boys", he said, "You've just cut your first #1 Record." ... and on MOST of the British Charts, that's exactly where this one went.  (On Great Britain's OFFICIAL chart, however, it peaked at #2 ... which is why it was left off The Beatles' "1" CD 35 years later.)  After that, George Martin never questioned their song-writing abilities again ... and the rest, as they say is history.

But on a side note, George Martin was RIGHT about "How Do You Do It" being a #1 song.  After The Beatles turned it down, he gave the track to Gerry and the Pacemakers to record, and they did, in fact, top the British charts with their version.

In addition to the Gerry and the Pacemakers' hit version featured above, we're also giving you a listen to the track The Beatles cut in late 1962 ... THEIR half-hearted attempt at "How Do You Do It".  (kk)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Guess We've Had A Pretty Good Run

Looking back, maybe we've been pretty lucky after all.
Think about it ... we've been listening to and enjoying rock and roll music for nearly 60 years now.
At no other time in pop music history has this been the case.
When Elvis first crashed on the scene in 1956, his music didn't replace the music of 1896 ... it just replaced the contemporary music of the day.
When The Beatles invaded America in 1964, we were listening to American Rock and Roll Music ... not the music from 1914, fifty years earlier.  Yet 50 years later there have been countless anniversary celebrations of the momentous event.
When Disco hit it big in 1976, there wasn't anybody out there filling up the clubs dancing to the music of 1916 ... or 1926 ... or 1936 ... in fact, you couldn't find an outlet to hear this music, even if you wanted to!
And when Madonna became the latest rage in the '80's, there weren't music fans out there clamoring for more music from the 1930's, fasinated by its ageless appeal.
Yet here we are ... sixty years later ... and rock and roll music is still the preferred choice of the day.
Sure, it's evolved and changed over the years ... sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse ... but the basic root of rock and roll music is still with us today ... and, even after sixty years, the faithful Forgotten Hits readers only want more, more, more.
No other music has ever sustained an audience and continued to grow the way rock and roll music has.  We live and breathe it.  It's been with us every step of the way and gotten us through every life crisis and event ... and it's still going strong.
And, for the most part, the majority of this music still holds up well today ... still impacts and affects new listeners all the time, winning over new fans on a daily basis ... yet radio doesn't want to "time stamp" this music ... or offer a playlist larger than two or three hundred songs.
Don't they get it???  (Clearly they don't ... we've been singing this same song for nearly fifteen years now and lately, it's only gotten worse!!!)
Rock and Roll Music isn't going anywhere ... unless the greatest source of its growth simply abandons it all together.  PLEASE don't do this.  Radio gave rock and roll music life ... it brought it to every corner of the world and, as a result, reaped the benefit of billions of fans and listeners.  Don't turn your back on us now!
Looking back, maybe we've been pretty lucky after all. 
But we're not giving up without a fight.
re:  What Do You Want From Oldies Radio?:
Hi Kent -
Very interesting debate on that 50 year question.  To me it is exactly what we are discussing with some magazines and writers who are helping us promote all the new / old Fifth Estate material we have out just now. But to me anyway, I think David there in what you wrote has it about right - just mention the year - instead of stressing how long ago it was!!!  THAT makes perfect sense to me.
I like much music from the 1940s and 50s ... BUT I don't really care to hear how long ago that was.  But then again I like a lot from the 1600s and 1700s, and I don't mind hearing that it was 300 and 400 years ago.  In fact, I like that. 
Maybe if it's during our lifetimes, then it's the "avoidance factor" on the mortality issue I guess. So it seems to me mentioning just the year does AVOID all that.
Also, there have been several mentions about radio station WTAD lately.  A great our music station!!  I've been called to be on the Bill and Ed show a number of times. It's a Saturday night blast.  Wide open - great jocks - anything goes and usually does. Much more than old radio. They often have me, Furvus of The Fifth Estate, and say Moltey of The Barbarians on at the same time and Moltey always jokes with me about, "ah all you two-handed drummers, etc." But even better than that, if you can imagine, they just play great music!  They seem to have given the jocks free reign AND these guys just have great musical "taste."  That's what matters and what is most often missing now.  Another great thing these days is that with it being online as well as the radio, they don't just get out to Mass. and Rhody but "everywhere" it seems.  And the call-ins were immense from places like Oregon, Georgia, and London!   
Thanks -
Furv -  
Yeah, the sky's the limit these days when it comes to reaching an audience ... so why would you put anything other than your best foot forward when programming these stations?  Sadly, music fans have had to turn to the internet to find the music they really want to hear, simply because terrestrial radio isn't feeding it to them.  It's not unlike cable vs. network tv ... more and more of tv's best dramas are now produced by the "premium channels" and not the stations limited by content.  (Plus, of course, we get to see boobies ... but I digress!)
You bring up a good point, however ... back in the early days of radio, a lot of the jocks programmed their own music ... even brought in their own records to play on the air ... and, as a result, many a hit was born as this music found a new audience.  Today everything is so regimented that the jocks themselves don't even listen half the time.  (Let's face it ... how many times a day ... a week ... a month ... can you listen to "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel?  I'll bet even Billy himself turns it off these days!  And if not that one, then most certainly "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me"!!!)  kk
I agree with reader Phil's comments in that years ago the oldies station I was working for had a consultant who told the station not to mention the year the song came out.  I don't really remember the reason he said to do this.  He also told the station, for all practical purposes, not to backtrack or forward announce the name of the song which was to be played or had been played. One could do this but not every time.
That is where my problem has been through the years.
I like to think my knowledge of this music is a little above average. So when a song is not being told by the DJ or announcer what year it came out, I really don't care because I, for all practical purposes, know the year of its release. What I have a problem with is not telling the listener the name of the song and or the artist / group doing the song.
I can just imagine someone driving in his or her car listening to their favorite (?) oldies station on the radio. A song is played, an instrumental which is very familiar to the listener but they can't quite remember the title or group or artist. When said record is done, nothing is said about the title, artist or group. The listener is going bonkers for the rest of the day trying to remember the name of the song and or the artist / group.
The times in the past when I have listened to Sirius on my car radio (when they have free trial weeks), a few times they will play a song I simply can't remember or don't know. Usually it is of the doo-wop type which was played primarily back East.
Again, I think the year should be given out, maybe not every time, but surely most of the time.
I hate it when I hear an oldie on the radio and can't think of the name of the artist or group and title. One of those situations where it is right on the type of my tongue but can't think of it.  I know it just like I know my own name.
Yeah, instrumentals are the toughest.  MOST radio listeners don't have the background or musical knowledge of our Forgotten Hits readers ... and would be greatly helped by knowing this information, especially on some of those "ear worms" that drive you crazy all day long.  At least then they have the option to do the research and seek this music out.
And that JUST may be the biggest problem with oldies radio today.  Back in the hey-day of Top 40 Radio, radio was the GREATEST means of selling a record ... and the record companies knew this ... and depended on it.  Today, most couldn't care less about their "catalog artists" ... which is a shame ... because there's gold in them there hills if it's mined properly.  As discussed before, especially in this day of online music purchasing, there's literally NO expense attached to making this music available ... and promoting the hell out of it.
Perhaps if the record labels got behind this great catalog music ... and realized they could make a fortune by selling what they already have in their vaults ... radio would FINALLY expand and start playing more than the same 200-300 songs every day.  And, for a small investment, these record companies could advertise some of this product on the air, thus enticing listeners to call in and request hearing some more of this great music.  Sounds like a win / win situation to me!  (kk)
Good Morning, Kent,
Shout out to Jimmy Jay!  I had to respond to his mention of the 27 year old DJ being groomed at WATD 95.9 Marshfield, Mass. My favorite 'Oldies Station' primarily Saturdays noon to Midnight, and several after Midnight slots during the week.  The show can be streamed and they are archived to listen to 'on demand' from your 'online device'.
I also wish to complain for the very first time about the unnecessary 'details' relayed in the 'Rolf Harris' story.  Better to offer a link to the sordid details than to diminish the FH Blog's high standards to date by putting them in the body of the Blog. 
Regarding the mentioning of the release dates of songs, our lives and experiences are intertwined with music we listened to as we reached 'benchmarks' in our development so they are an important feature of the playing of them. I also think that cars are an important part of that development and memory making. I attended a great 'car show' this weekend with 'the oldies' blaring over loud speakers and getting a 'rush' from seeing all the great cahs (intentional inflection) we had the opportunity to enjoy ... it was like a live American Graffiti experience. I took special care to check out the back seats to recall great moments in my development, so maybe I shouldn't complain so much about the Rolf Harris article. 
Have a great Week,
No doubt about it, the Rolf Harris article went on WAY too long.  But the cool thing about Forgotten Hits is we put it all out there and you pick and choose what you want to read or spend time with.  Every piece isn't going to grab your attention and spark a memory ... but hopefully we get it right most of the time!  Will have to listen to WATD 95.9 this weekend and see what all the fuss is about!  Thanks, Charlie!  (kk)
Thank-you for your continued campaigning for the Oldies format despite, I'm sure, feeling like Benny Goodman at a Def Leppard concert!  We all know the music from our youth is timeless and continues to hang on by it's fingernails on the edge of the cliff while corporate and time march on.  Don't try to figure out the  current metamorphosis of radio, you won't ... it's changing faster than Joan River's face.  
I see the Jersey Boys movie is already out on DVD.  I still haven't seen it yet and though I have seen the stage show version in Vegas and it was excellent, I wish Clint Eastwood would have gone with the original Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons versions.  It would have been great to hear their music in a movie after having been brightened, remixed, and restored in the hands  of a digital wizard.  With Franki's voice and the Four Season's harmonies in the hey-day, I certainly think it would have turned the movie from a triple to a home-run.  
I know I am bouncing all over the place but I playing catch-up.  I did enjoy the "CNN-Sixties - British Invasion but trying capture that musical era in about 42 minutes (the show minus commercials), though it was good, didn't come close.  So many groups and performers in this abbreviated show didn't see the light of day -- this era certainly, as you mentioned, would have been better served in at least two hours and could have easily covered two or three shows.  
I remember playing the Mob's hit "I Dig Everything About You" in about 1970 ... it was about the same time as Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is."  Didn't know the Mob were the innovators and so influential in the Windy City's Horn Sound.  I could be wrong but I would swear the Mob played the Merry-Go-Round Nightclub in Colorado Springs in the early-70's. 
And, speaking of great blue-eyed soul horn bands I am sure Larry Neal of KOMA can tell of the Fabulous Flippers out of Hays, Kansas, that traveled the Midwest, played to packed houses and had a regional hit in 1965 with "The Harlem Shuffle." Another great horn band, The Boogie Kings out of Eunice, Louisiana, were also spectacular.  Enclosed is a video of the Flipper's "Harlem Shuffle" and a video of G.G. Shinn that used to sing with the Boogie Kings (though his video has less-than-perfect sound it captures the soul-horn sound that permeated the mid-60's -- give it a minute to play past his introduction as it is worth the wait).  
Best Regards,  
Tim Kiley  
We had a very soulful "show band" that played around Chicago for quite a few years in what would have probably been the mid-to-late '70's called "Stop" ... GREAT bunch of guys playing some great music. They'd even come back and do an all-oldies set, much like Sha-Na-Na, vamping it up and just have a great time with the music.  I believe they traveled all over, too, and played Vegas every now and then.  I don't know if they ever did any recording or not ... but they were always fun to see in concert.
I've heard a lot about The Fabulous Flippers from many readers over the years ... sounds like these guys were YOUR local heroes back in the day.  So many REALLY great acts that never caught on nationally ... what a shame ... shows you just how competitive things really were at the time. 
As for "Jersey Boys", I don't think it's out on DVD just yet ... maybe available for pre-order?  (It's still playing in theaters all over Chicagoland ... we talked about seeing it again but consistently find better things to do ... how sad.  We looked forward to this movie for SO long.  (Meanwhile you'll find several four and five star reviews for the film on Amazon!)  kk
I almost always announce the year of the records I play on my FLip Side Radio show each week.  I say "almost" because sometimes I forget, LOL.  I guess I'm lucky because I get to choose my own playlist. 
The feedback I get from my listeners is that they like to know the date; it instantly transports them through time, back to when that song was released.  They even tell me where they were when they heard the song!  
My humble opinion is:  keep on announcing the date of the songs!
Mr. C.
I think it' a great barometer to transport you back in time ... and was surprised to hear these know-it-all consultants discouraging (and forbidding) it!  The way listeners are being driven away in droves certainly speaks volumes about who right they are.  (Why would ANYBODY listen to a radio consultant today ... when their best advice is:  Play exactly what the other guy is playing.  It must be working ... EVERYBODY'S doing it!!!)  Morons!!!  (kk)
I host karaoke. If one sings an oldie [50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s] I usually give the year of the song as well as some trivia.  There is always someone who appreciates this knowledge at a gig.  I love the fact that I have people born in 1990 choosing to sing 1960s era songs. It would be like someone my age choosing to sing Bing Crosby [which never happens].
Is there even such a thing as "Bing Crosby karakoke"?!?!  I agree ... seeing these young kids today get up there and belt out a song from the '60's and '70's is always fun ... it makes ME feel proud (and I had nothing to do with it!!!)  Then again, I've also seen the kids performing on American Idol having to pick a Motown Song or a hit from the '60's and '70's and, despite being very talented singers, having absolutely NO connection to it ... it's so foreign to them they can't do it justice ... which is just weird to me because this is the catchiest music around!  (kk)
Hey, if you love FUN SUMMER MUSIC, my Buddy TED BELL and 94.9 FM in Myrtle Beach is the place to dial up.  I hired him at WORG in 1962 and he is still spinning Great Music!
THIS is where you should be listening.
Marty Green
Mama Green's Favorite Son  {yes, I stole that from Clark Weber of WLS}
Betwixted and Between the Turntables Playing The Top 60 in Dixie  on WORG
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
Clark Weber
Actually, we've plugged this station a few times before ... in fact, I listened for a half hour after you sent me the link again.  A nice mix of "beach music" ... not the constant stream of the same old oldies ... but quite a bit off the beaten path, too.  Still, it was an enjoyable listen.  (kk)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Helping Out Our Readers

We haven't done one of these in awhile!

Here are some of the questions that have come up recently in Forgotten Hits ... 

I remember the old radio ads for rock n roll shows in Charlotte.  I often went to the Coliseum or Park Center. Can anyone post any of these radio ads?  Not necessarily from Charlotte, anywhere else is good, too.  They were well produced spots with snippets of songs.  This type of show was common in the 50's to the mid 60's.  
Any help from your readers would be appreciated. 
Charlie Miller, 
KPOO FM Autumn King Show

Check out this Summer of Stars poster from Chicago, circa 1966!  And look at some of these prices!  Incredibly Tony Bennett and Bill Cosby had a higher top line ticket price than The Beatles!  And Andy Williams topped them both!
(Anybody know the inflation rate for 1966?  Seeing headliners like these for about five bucks still blows my mind!)  kk 

OMG - I just found a calculator rate online ... $6.50 in U.S. Dollars in 1966 only comes out to be $48.00 in today's money.  (How can that be???  Wouldn'tcha think it'd be at least 10-20 times more?)  But even so, doing the math, you can't find a $65 ticket to see Paul McCartney these days ... much less all four Beatles!  And back in '66 you had a ticket price range of $3.75 - $5.75.  (kk)  

Hello Kent, 
I just read your piece on Do The Bop / At The Hop. 
I've been doing a little research of my own regarding this song and I have heard a very interesting story that may or may not interest you. 
If you are familiar with West Philly High and several doo-wop groups that came from there, I know of one little known group called "The Gems" that Danny Rapp was closely associated with along with a man name Harvey Reed. This story also eludes to the fact that "Do the Bop" may have been a project of "The Gems" before it was reassigned to Danny and the Juniors.   
This story also alleges that Danny also knew Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble back in West Philly High, along with a Ronald Sellicks. 
Would you happen to know the real truth about this song? And was it stolen from a group because the promoter at that time wanted an all white group and not the mixed race group called "The Gems"? I'm just trying to get the story straight because I know songs were stolen back then and I am certain despite the reasons the true song writer did not pursue legal action is because the song wasn't copywritten until way after it became a hit. 
If some one has this evidence what would you do with it? Sincerely 
I put your inquiry to John Madara, one of the cowriters of the #1 Hit "At The Hop" but never heard anything back regarding these specific circumstances.  He has told his story numerous times over the years, including right here in Forgotten Hits in a series we ran several years ago spotlighting some of the hit records he wrote and/or produced.  (Including "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore, "1,2,3" by Len Barry and others.) 
I asked him if the song had been pedaled around prior to Danny and the Juniors recording it ... not at all an uncommon practice back in the day of placing the right song with the right artist.  (Actually we even ran an early demo of "Do The Bop" on the site way back when ... and are running it again today for the benefit of those who may have missed it.)  

It was Dick Clark who told them that "the bop" was on its way out ... "kids today are going to the hop" ... so Madara and songwriting partner David White (who was a member of Danny and the Juniors) reworked their lyrics to reflect the latest trend ... "let's go to the hop" ... and boom!  Straight up to #1. 
When they went to publish their song, publisher Artie Singer put HIS name on the copyright, claiming to be both the cowriter and producer of the hit record.  Madara and White were told, quite simply, that this is how it was done ... and that if they ever wanted to work in Philadelphia again, they needed to get with the program.  (Welcome to show business, guys!) 
You can read our full accounting here:  Click here: Forgotten Hits - John Madara's Greatest Hits   

I enjoy your site and when I clicked on the link to see Honey House from the Smother Brother's show it showed that the video does not exist anymore.  If you do find it please contact me, that was a funny skit. 
Thank you.
It is a VERY funny skit ... but apparently those in control of the CBS / Smothers Brothers material didn't authorize it to be posted ... so it's actually been missing for a very long time.  (It doesn't appear on either of the two commercially released "best of" DVD box sets either ... anybody out there have ANY idea why Season One has never seen the light of day?  For some goofy reason, they released these BACKWARDS ... Season Three first, followed by Season Two ... but it's been YEARS now and Season One has never come out.)  It would be nice to have them all ... and by that I mean much more COMPLETE programs than just these edited "favorites".  (kk)   

We've run this request several times before in Forgotten Hits / Helping Out Our Readers ... but have never been able to come up with an answer before ... till now! 
We've even asked Harvey Kubernik, who is often in touch with Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas, if maybe HE could help us out securing this answer so we could share it with our readers!  (kk)  
Ok, here is the song I'm looking for (to the best of the info I have on hand) ... I know Michelle Phillips would know exactly what this song is.  If you need an actual video recording of this, I have something saved in my phone. I'd be happy to meet you to play this (or if you could record this on your i-Phone as well?)  One would be hard pressed to believe that if Michelle heard this, she would not know right away what this song is and if there is an actual recording of it.  
1. It was featured in the documentary Straight Shooter about the Mamas and Papas 
2. It featured Denny, John and Michelle (it was a folksy type of song) from BEFORE they were the Mamas and the Papas 3)  I will "attempt" to put as many words from the song as I can.  (I thought that maybe it was called "Rake and Ramblin' Boy" or "Cumberland City" based on the lyrics ... but the title doesn't appear in the end credits for the documentary film ... so I've been trying to find it ever since.  
Here goes: 
I am a rake and a ramblin boy, many a city I have been 
The Cumberland City I've made my way, just to spend my money on the balls and play 
Well, the Cumberland City yes, I married me a wife ...  Loved her better than I did my life 
She treated me kind by night and day, and she caused me to ride on this high-a-way 
Well a pretty little girl, 17 years old ... hair just as yellow as the shining gold 
Prettiest face and the neatest hands ... God Bless the ground on where she stands. 
I'm not ashamed or afraid to die, but I hope I meet you by and by 
This song has haunted me ever since I first watched and heard it.  There has to be SOMEONE who knows this song.. My fear is that Michelle might be the only one left who could know! 
Please, anything you can do would be wonderful!  
Thanks -
Loyal Reader of Forgotten Hits -
Bob Morrow   

Do you remember off the top of your head ...
Was there ever a 60s pop duo that lived briefly in or near the Palatine, Arlington Hts, Des Plaines area?  Perhaps someone who sounded like Dick & DeeDee or Paul & Paula or someone of that vintage.  I remember one of the WLS DJs talking about it back in the mid-80s and can't remember anything more specific about it.  I can't even remember if they lived there during the 60s or much later. 
No need to put this question on your site, just a passing curiosity. 
Jon M  
Off the top of my head, no ... it doesn't ring a bell ... but we've got a LOT of experts on the list who may be able to help you answer this question ... so we're running it up the flagpole in this installment of "Helping Out Our Readers".  (Guy Arnston of The Illinois Entertainer and Dean Milano, who has written a book about all of our local talent, immediately come to mind as folks who may be able to help you solve your mystery.)  kk  
Could it have been Friend and Lover ... or Family? 
I believe it was just one member of a duo.  The more I think about it, it might have been Ray Hildebrand that was mentioned having lived there for a very short time, but I can't find any proof of it.  I mentioned it to my boss and he challenged me to find out for sure.  Since I asked you the question, I did find on an old census website that a Ray Hildebrand had lived in Palatine at one time, but it was a different guy.  Perhaps it confused more than just me.  
Jon M  
Anybody else out there got any ideas on this one?  (kk) 

Hello Kent Kotal,
I hope that this e-mail still works.  My name is James Moniz.
I came across your blog and e-mail while trying to search for a way to contact anyone who used to talk to (or work with) Joe Somsky. 
I am attached to a re-issue CD project and I know that shortly before Joe Somsky died he was readying a CD project that included the master tapes to some songs I need.  I am desperately trying to track down the tapes and when I saw on your blog that you spoke to him sometimes, I thought you might know how to get me in contact with some of the people who worked with him on reissue projects.  I do not know if Somsky had the actual tapes or if he simply just knew where the tapes were located.  Perhaps someone close to him knows.  If you can think of anyone, please introduce me. I am trying every avenue to solve this mystery.  I sincerely appreciate any help you can give me.
Hi James!
I'm sorry but I don't recognize the name Joe Somsky at all!  (If you can tell me in what context we referred to him that might help me remember something ... but off the top of my head, it's not at all familiar to me.  Sorry!)
But that's not to say that someone else on the list might not still be able to help you.  Let's run your inquiry here and see if we get any nibbles.  (kk)

Hi Kent, 
I'm trying to trace a b-side I think was called 'Walk With Me, My Sherilee'.   It may have been by Tab Hunter, 1950s. Can you help?
And then, before I could even publish her inquiry ...
Found out it was Tommy Steele, 1957 .. number 11 in the charts. From the film of the same name.
A British Hit then, I take it.  We may not have found this one!  Thanks, Pauline!  (kk)

Here it is for all the curious out there!

Hey, Kent!
I have been having a lot of fun listening to Bill Drake's excellent series "The History of Rock and Roll", both the 1978 and 1981 versions.  The '78 I have been listening to is on one web site, but the other with the '81 has been taken down.  
There have been a few sites on the web that have been streaming Bill Drake's legendary masterpiece, "The History of Rock and Roll" .  One is .  The other is at .  Sadly those who have been at the second site have found that the latter has been taken down as of 6/17.  This is because the domain license has expired.
The first site is streaming the 1978 version of THORR.  The second, the one that was taken down, streamed the '81 edition.  I hope someone out there can find a site that I missed that is streaming the '81 version so I can hear it for comparison, or at least lead me to someone that has this version.
It is the granddaddy of all radio documentaries.  I hope this spirit never dies.
I have been using software to record material from both versions for my iPod.  But now I can't find the '81.  Do you know somewhere or someplace I can find anything to hear or even obtain the ' 81? Thanks.
Joe Campas
Quite honestly, I'm not sure ANYONE out there has the necessary licensing required to broadcast either of these programs ... but in the sickly state of oldies radio today, it's no wonder fans of the "real deal" are out there searching for quality programming out.  I'm happy to run your inquiry but I'm not real optimistic that anything will come back.  Meanwhile, it'd be nice if one of the producers of this great series, Gary Theroux (a Forgotten Hits regular) could drum up a market to legitimately dedicate a station to airing this again ... even on some type of a time-loop that played continuously so that you could click it on whenever you wanted to in order to hear all of the chapters that make up the entire piece.  Meanwhile, Gary's 2 1/2 minute spotlight pieces run daily (Monday - Friday) on Rewound Radio ... so you might be able to get a "temporary fix" there!  (kk)

For a few days here in OKC, they have been running an Arby's roast beef commercial spotlighting an Hawaiian BLT. You probably have seen it on your television. In the background is an instrumental which I am somewhat familiar with, but can't quite name. Have you seen the commercial and do you happen to know what instrumental they are playing in the background ... or perhaps this is something new?
Sorry but I can't help you out with this one ... as I've never seen this commercial ... but maybe somebody else out there has.  Anybody able to help Larry out with this one?  (Instrumentals are the toughest to track down ... but knowing absolutely NOTHING about it, I can't help but wonder if they didn't take something like "Hawaii Tattoo" by The Waikikis or something like that if they're pushing a Hawaiian sandwich!  (If not, it probably would have been a pretty clever choice!  Damn, I should have gotten into marketing!)  kk

Looking for a song by the Seventh Sons back from the mid 60's (maybe "I Live In Fantasy" or "Baby, Please Come Back")
I checked the usual sources ... can't find anything charting in Billboard ... didn't see anything on YouTube or on the Gemm website ... hoping somebody out there will be familiar with these.  (kk)

Before the group Salt and Peppa of the 90's, there was another group called Salt and Pepper. I don't think they were well known but they did have an instrumental soul song called Salt and Pepper. When I was in high school it was used for one of the dance pieces in our music program and I have never forgotten it. I have tried to find it but every time I do research, I keep on coming up with the updated group. Is it possible for you to find out any information about this group that performed around 1973-75?
Charmin Wells
Unfortunately, I hit the same dead end with this one.  I don't see anything charting for either a group called Salt And Pepper OR a song called "Salt And Pepper" so I'm afraid I can't be of much help here.  (Again, nothing on YouTube or Gemm for this track either.)  However, we're always amazed by what our readers come back with, especially now that you've narrowed down the field a little bit to the early '70's.  Let's see what we get.  (kk)

Hi ~ 
I have spent the last hour or so looking for a song that was an instrumental from the 1960's ... and I cannot locate it anywhere.  The name of it is "More".I saw your list that you shared of songs from 1959 - 1970's, but it's not there.  I was sure it was a hit.  Maybe with your field of expertise, you can assist me?Thanks for your feedback,
Mary Anne Haskins  

This was an easy one, Mary Anne ... (FINALLY!!!) ... 
Kai Winding scored a #7 hit with his 1963 version of "More", originally from the motion picture "Mondo Cane".  Honestly, I was surprised not to see it on either of our Top 50 Instrumentals lists either ... because it was a HUGE favorite.  We'll right that wrong by featuring it today!  (kk)

Oh my gosh!
Kent!  How can I thank you for this??
This was such a favorite song of mine and do you realize I have not heard it since the 1960's?
I have to ask someone how to get this on my iPod!
I just found it on You Tube Emoji
You have rekindled the most wonderful childhood memories for me.
Thank you for replying so quickly to my email!
Mary Anne