Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 16 - 15 )

re:  On The Radio:  
Hi, Kent - Been meaning to send this "international invitation" earlier to you and all your FH readers that my radio show, "Uncle T. Jay's Vinyl Arkhives", will be celebrating our 6th anniversary on the air playing the Billboard hits from the First 25 Years of Rock & Roll.  My 6th Anniversary show will be this Wednesday Night, from 9 PM - Midnight-ish (Mountain Time or 11 PM Eastern /8 Pacific) on or just search for KAFM on the TuneIn Radio app.In addition to our normal features (tune in to find out what those are!!!), we will be predominately playing the Billboard songs that peaked at the #40 position on the Hot 100 Pop Charts.  Everyone plays the #1 songs, but nobody pays homage to the songs that barely cracked the national Top 40 Charts, usually only for a week or two ... the first songs that Casey Kasem would play on AT-40 shows in the 70s.  
It's guaranteed to be a good night of music -- much has long been forgotten on the radio for decades.  A few surprises and a few klunkers as well.  Again, listen LIVE Wednesday Night at via the ON-AIR tab.   (Unfortunately, we cannot podcast, so get your recording devices ready, like we did in the olden days). Regards,"Uncle T. Jay
"The Vinyl Arkhives
KAFM Radio / 88.1 FM  
Grand Junction, CO  
Happy to pass the info along Uncle T. Jay!  Many years ago when I used to go in the AOL Oldies Music Trivia Room, we would play Top 10 ... and then one night one of the players (you know who you are, Allan!) said:  "C'mon ... EVERYBODY knows The Top Ten ... Let's do The BOTTOM Ten and see who the REAL players are!!!"  So we did ... only songs that peaked between #91 - #100.  Needless to say, Allan was in a class by himself on this one ... but ANYTHING that breaks the "norm" of radio programming earns high marks from me!  (kk)   

re:  First 45's:  
I believe my first 45 RPM was by The Pineapple Heard in 1967. The A-side was 'Valerie" and the B-side was "Old Man River" on Diamond Records. This version came out in late '67, about six months before The Monkees' had a major hit with it in '68. They were from Upstate New York and considered as a very good regional group at the time.  
Jim Vona  
Actually The Monkees recorded this first and performed it a couple of times on their TV show.  It SHOULD have been a HUGE hit single in '67 ... but this was right around the time Don Kirshner was fired and The Monkees took control of their own recordings.  (I remember it coming in as the #1 Most Request Song night after night after night on WCFL, who was airing a copy taped off the television program ... as were many other radio stations across the United States.) The original track was written and produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart ... but The Monkees re-recorded a version in '68 as contractually they now had to have their own names on their releases.  They tried to faithfully reproduce the sound as close to the original as possible ... and it was their last really big hit before the television series was cancelled.  
You can read all about the TRUE story behind The Monkees' hit "Valleri" here ...  (Chapter 6)  
Bobby Hart also covers this in his recently released biography "Psychedelic Bubblegum".  (kk)   

Here's the very rare Pineapple Heard version:

Speaking of First 45's, Chicago's Me-TV-FM recently polled their audience on what they remembered about their first vinyl purchase ...   

Several years ago when we first began posting our readers' responses to this popular feature, Scott Shannon and The True Oldies Channel turned it into a daily feature, reading listeners' emails about their First 45 purchases ... and then playing that record on the air.  Who knows ... maybe we can get Me-TV-FM to follow suit and pick up this series once again for all the oldies fans here in Chicago!  (kk)

re:  Charlie Gracie:
A couple of weeks ago Charlie Gracie, Jr., reported about recent meetings his dad had with British superstars Paul McCartney and Graham Nash.  Today he's got some pictures to share from these events ...    

CHARLIE GRACIE is the ONE Philly Artist whose musical connection to PAUL McCARTNEY and the BEATLES goes back to the very beginning when a teenaged Paul sat in Charlie's audiences at the Liverpool Empire.  Paul also covered one of Charlie's hits: 'Fabulous.'
HEARTFELT THANKS   to SIR PAUL for his contribution to the Foreword in CHARLIE's autobiography: ROCK & ROLL's HIDDEN GIANT (Alfred Music Press) ( ... or check your local Barnes & Nobles book retailers.

6/14/15:  Charlie presented Paul with a signed copy of his book at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia.

When we were starting out with the Beatles, the music coming over from America was magical to us -- and one of the artists who epitomized this magic was Charlie Gracie. The spirit of the times was captured beautifully by one of his big hits 'Fabulous' and I loved it so much I used perform it live with the boys. For me, those were times which were truly FABULOUS!
-- Sir Paul McCartney

Charlie and Paul ... with wife Joan and son Charlie, Jr.

GRAHAM NASH greets CHARLIE GRACIE with great affection after a magnificent Keswick Theater concert Saturday night outside Philadelphia.
Graham expressed a desired  to record with Charlie again, too -- so stay tuned!
Graham's special commentary can be found in Charlie's autobiography: ROCK AND ROLL's HIDDEN GIANT.
Look for an exclusive interview with GRAHAM on Charlie's weekly radio show in Philly:  'A FABULOUS HOUR' this Sunday at 3:00 pm (EDST) on CRUISIN' 92.1 FM -- WVLT😎 or at

Charlie Gracie's  concerts in the late 50's in Manchester helped me become the man I am today!
-- Graham  Nash

re:  This And That:  
Kent ...
Check out the Elvis auction.  Do you want the jumpsuit or the gold pendant ?
Frank B.
Here's a site with musical history - daily chronology
Another great source for this is Ron Smith's book "Eight Days A Week - Births, Deaths and Events Each Day In Oldies History", which FH Reader Frank B quotes from quite often.  (See below)
Maybe one of these days we'll do a full week salute featuring tidbits from Ron's book.  (kk)

Kent ...
8/14/1956 = A Washington DC disk jockey forms the "National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Elvis"
Frank B.

Scanning the August 15th list (as I start pasting this week's edition of The Sunday Comments), I find that August 15th was a pretty important date indeed ...   

1955 - Elvis Presley attended a meeting in Memphis with his manager Bob Neal, Colonel Tom Parker and Vernon Presley, at which a new contract was signed that named Colonel Parker as "special advisor" with control of virtually every aspect of Elvis' career. Parker was not really a Colonel at all, but a Dutch immigrant named Andreas Cornelius van Kujik.

1960, Elvis Presley started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'It's Now Or Never', also No.1 in the UK. The song which was based on the Italian song, 'O Sole Mio', gave Presley his first post-army No.1.

1965, The Beatles set a new world record for the largest attendance at a pop concert when they played in front of 55,600 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City. The Beatles were paid $160,000 for the show, the set list included: ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘She's a Woman’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’, ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘Can't Buy Me Love’, ‘Baby's In Black’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘A Hard Day's Night’, ‘Help!’, and ‘I'm Down’. Two of the Rolling Stones were among the audience, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard and later that evening; Bob Dylan visited The Beatles at their hotel. 

1969, Woodstock Festival was held on Max Yasgur's 600 acre farm in Bethel outside New York. Attended by over 400,000 people, the event featured, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Santana, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, Melanie, Ten Years After, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shanker, Country Joe and the Fish, Blood Sweat and Tears, Arlo Guthrie, and Joe Cocker. During the three days there were three deaths, two births and four miscarriages.

Ron Smith's book adds the following details:

The late Bobby Helms was born in 1933
Johnny Thunder is born in 1941
Bobby Caldwell is born in 1951
The late Jackie Brenston ("Rocket 88") is born in 1930
The late Bill Pinkey of the original Drifters ("Money Honey" is born in 1925
Songwriter Jimmy Webb is born in 1947.
Thomas Wayne ("Tragedy") dies in a car crash near Memphs, 1971
Norman Petty (who produced Buddy Holly, Buddy Knox and the Fireballs) dies of leukemia in 1984
Producer Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records dies in 2008
Buddy Holly marries Maria Elena Santiago in Lubbock, Texas, in 1958
Paul Simon gives a free concert in New York's Central Park, 1991
George Harrison's autobiography "I, Me, Mine" is published in 1980
MGM signs The Dave Clark Five to an exclusive film contract in 1964
And Bobby Darin records "If I Were A Carpenter" in 1966

Vintage Vinyl News is reporting that a coroner's inquisition has determined that British singer and TV Host Cilla Black died from a traumatic head injury after a fall in her home in Spain on August 1st.

When I saw the video you posted of Jimmy Durante introducing the Grass Roots, I thought immediately of the record Durante made in 1963, SEPTEMBER SONG, on Warner Brothers. Got a lot of airplay here in OKC and I can only imagine it received the same amount in Chicago.
Larry Neal
I wasn't listening to Top 40 Radio yet in 1963 ... but a quick check of Ron Smith's book shows that the Durante record never charted on WLS.  I also scanned the Top Tunes Of Greater Chicagoland Charts and see that it charted for five weeks but only reached #34 on the survey.  One of his follow-up records, "One Of Those Songs" was listed as an "extra" for two weeks as well in 1966.
Nationally "September Song" peaked at #47 on the Music Vendor Chart (#51 in Billboard).  "Hello, Young Lovers" charted for two weeks in Music Vendor only, reaching #141 and "One Of Those Songs" bubbled under for exactly one week in Billboard at #135.  (Joel Whitburn's Chart Comparison Book provides INVALUABLE information for this sort of thing!)  kk

This is not what our studio really looks like.  This was a promo shot for my show from a while back.  Note the 45 on the near side is a station promo copy for the New Colony Six song I Want You To Know, released in August of 1969.  The other turntable features Respectable by the Outsiders! 
Phil - WRCO

A couple of GREAT tracks, to be sure.  Thanks for sharing, Phil!  (By the way, BOTH of these songs are getting airplay again here in Chicago thanks to Me-TV-FM!)  kk

Hi Kent.
I saw Dennis Tufano in Moreno, Michigan last night ... review and photos to follow.
Needless to say, he rocked the sold out venue ! 
Yes, please do send us a review of the show ... and some photos, too!

Meanwhile, Frannie sent me this picture of another recent Dennis Tufano gathering.

I want to see Tony Burrows now that he's out touring and performing all of the hits he "ghost sang" on in the late '60's and early '70's.  Many of these are "package" shows featuring other artists like Tufano, Ron Dante and others.  (We've got a '70's Pop Fest happening at The Arcada Theatre later this month featuring Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, The Ohio Express and The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, as well as members from Looking Glass and The Bay City Rollers.  (Although advertised, Ron Dante has told us that he will NOT be appearing at this show as he already had a prior-booked engagement in the UK.)

Speaking of great concerts, Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana, has just announced a couple of superstar shows coming up in the next several months.
First up ... Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Review on Friday, November 27th, part of the long Thanksgiving Weekend, with special guests The Spinners, The Dramatics, The Manhattans and Enchantment.  It's all part of The Thanksgiving Soul Jam!
And then, on January 30th, it's the annual Salute to the '60's show, starring Herman's Hermits featuring Peter Noone, The Buckinghams and The Grass Roots.
Tickets for both event are available through the box office website: 
And don't forget that the reunited Zombies are appearing there on October 16th!  (And check this out ... The Zombies are releasing a brand new album on October 9th!!!  Incredibly, this will mark their SIXTH LP release [not counting compilation albums released over the years])  kk

Speaking of new albums, this should make for an interesting combination ... Jeff Lynne of ELO is producing the new Bryan Adams album!  These two guys are amongst my favorites ... so I can't wait to hear what this one sounds like!  (Lynne also produced albums for Tom Petty, George Harrison and Roy Orbison, all bandmates of his with The Traveling Wilburys!)  kk

Kinks Legend Dave Davies To Release New Live Album “Rippin Up New York City: Live at the City Winery”
NYC - Much to the excitement of music fans worldwide, Kinks legend Dave Davies will be releasing a new live album titled “Rippin Up New York City: Live at the City Winery” on September 4, 2015, on Red River which is distributed by Sony / RED. The recordings were culled from two exciting live performances by Dave and his band in NYC in November 2014.
Says Dave, “I'm very excited about the live album and the band sounds great. My son Simon did a great job helping me with the production. I look forward to seeing you all on the road this fall.”
In 1964, Dave Davies of the Kinks single-handedly made rock history when he sliced his little green Elpico amp speaker with a razor blade. Little did he know he was creating the 1st heavy metal guitar tone and riff in rock n roll, which he played on his band The Kinks' world wide hit “You Really Got Me”.
Nearly fifty years after influencing generations of guitarists, Dave continues to rock and tour. His 2013 return to the U.S. to support the album “I Will Be Me” was a triumph both creatively and spiritually as he found new inspiration for his soon to be follow up album, the highly acclaimed, “Rippin Up Time”. Released in 2014, Dave embarked on yet another U.S. tour to support it. He was joined by Jonathan Lea on guitar, Tom Currier on bass and keyboards and legendary drummer Dennis Diken of the Smithereens.
The tour swept through venues in Milwaukee, Chicago, New Jersey, NYC and many more. Jim Sclavunos played drums for one gig in Bethlehem, PA. On every date Dave Davies and band played a highly charged set of solo album favorites, Kinks classics and new tracks. At the City Winery NYC on November 24 and 25, 2014, Dave and band put on an amazing concert to an audience of new and longtime Kinks fans, music industry stars and legends. They delivered two exhilarating nights of performances that rocked and ripped up the city’s nightlife. “Rippin Up New York City: Live at the City Winery” captures the live electricity of turbo charged rockers along with delicate and sensitive versions of acoustic favorites from past and present. A true genius who never fails to deliver, this Dave Davies live recording expresses the power, sensitivity, magnetism and creative expression of a seasoned yet spontaneous rock-n-roll visionary.
1. Intro
2. Rippin' Up Time
3. I’m Not Like Everybody Else
4. I Need You
5. Creepin’ Jean
6. Suzannahs Still Alive
7. See My Friend
8. Strangers
9. Flowers in the Rain
10. Front Room
11. King of Karaoke
12. Death Of A Clown
13. Livin' On A Thin Line
14. Where Have All the Good Times Gone
15. All Day and All of the Night
16. You Really Got Me
Dave Davies tour dates:
Oct 2nd, 2015 - The Court of Honor Stage, The Big E, West Springfield, MA. 3 pm and 8 pm shows. Free with fair admission.
Oct 3rd, 2015 - The Court of Honor Stage, The Big E, West Springfield, MA 3 pm and 8 pm shows. Free with fair admission.
Oct 4th, 2015 - The Court of Honor Stage, The Big E, West Springfield, MA. 3 pm show only. Free with fair admission.
Oct 8th, 2015 - The Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA
Oct 9th, 2015 - Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH
Oct 10th, 2015 - Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH
Oct 11th, 2015 - Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH
Oct 13th, 2015 - Musikfest Café, ArtsQuest Center, Bethlehem, PA
Oct 20th, 2015 - The Howard Theatre, Washington D.C.
Oct 22nd, 2015 - The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
Oct 23rd, 2015 - City Winery NYC
Oct 24th, 2015 - Narrows Center, Fall River, MA
Oct 26th, 2015 - The Egg, Albany, NY
Oct 27th, 2015 - Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT
Oct 30th, 2015 - Uptown Theatre, Napa, CA
Nov 1st, 2015 - Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA
Nov 3rd, 2015 - The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, CA
Dec 18th, 2015 - Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK
We just watched "The Sapphires" again (fourth time for me!)  It's been airing on Oxygen (along with some VERY annoying commercials).  Check your local cable network, too, to see if it might be available On Demand or thru Netflix.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (I like it more and more each time I see it.)  If you're a fan of '60's Soul Music, you will, too ... but be sure to catch it from the beginning and stick with it through the end credits.  Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, a tear to your eye and a boogie to your dance step!  (kk)

Here's a link to a Bobby Whitlock interview sent into us last week ...

And finally, another reminder to cast your votes in the Oldies Music Labor Day 500 ... 

Here are all the details from Ron Smith ...

A reminder --
Balloting has begun for this year's bi-annual Labor Day 500 -- the first since 2013 and fourteenth overall. Yes, we were Oldies when Oldies wasn't Old.
Once again this year, we've expanded the ballot to your 15 favorite songs from the '50s, '60s and '70s. So please spread the word!
Vote now at: 

Voting runs through Sunday, August 30 and those who request it will get a copy of the full list when it's out Labor Day weekend.
Need some memory joggers? Here are the songs that have made the list in the past 13 surveys:
- Ron Smith

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bolingbrook is billing it as "The Concert To End All Concerts" ... 

That's because it IS ...

And also because contractually they can't call it anything else!!!  (Actually the official announcement finally hit their website TODAY!!!)

The 2015 Happy Together Tour makes its way to Chicago this weekend with the first of TWO Chicagoland area performances ...

Sunday Night, August 16th, at The Bolingbrook Performance Arts Centre, capping off their 50th Anniversary Jubilee Weekend at 7 pm, hosted by the legendary Dick Biondi ...

And then again next Friday, August 21st, at The Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

That gives Chicagoland '60's Music Fans TWO opportunities to see some of the biggest names in '60's Rock ... The Turtles, The Association, The Buckinghams, The Grass Roots, The Cowsills and Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Between them, these artists racked up over 70 Top 40 Hits ... and these shows will be hit-packed from start to finish.  We hope you can make it out to at least one of these great  shows.  
The 2015 Happy Together Tour stars 
(top, from left): The Grass Roots, Mark Lindsay, The Buckinghams, 
(bottom) The Cowsills, The Association and Flo & Eddie of the Turtles. 

The Happy Together Tour has played to a capacity crowd at Aurora's Paramount Theatre for YEARS now.  (We've covered it the previous seven here in Forgotten Hits)  You can order tickets to the Paramount Theatre performance through their website:, call the box office at 630-896-6666, or stop by in person at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The Bolingbook show is a special added bonus in that this is a free concert celebrating the village's 50th anniversary.  (Other acts this weekend include The Chicago Experience tonight and the midwest's premier Beatles tribute band, American English, on Saturday.)  All shows will take place at The Bolingbrook Performing Arts Centre at 375 Briarcliff Road in Bolingbrook.

From The Paramount Theatre Press Kit ... 

The Happy Together Tour 2015 - 
Meet the Bands
 Watch The Turtles sing "Happy Together"

The Turtles, featuring Flo and Eddie, saw their debut single, Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe," hit the Top Ten in 1965 and launched the band on a brief string of hits: "Let Me Be," "You Baby," "Grim Reaper of Love" and "Can I Get to Know You Better." The Turtles weren't content, however, and were about to break up; but first they released "Happy Together," which proved to be their biggest hit and one of 1967's Top Ten records. With their career reinvigorated, "She'd Rather Be with Me," "You Know What I Mean," "Elenore" and "You Showed Me" were their last single releases. More:
Everyone Knows its "Windy" by The Association

It all started in 1965 with the breakup of one of the first folk rock ensembles called The Men. What was originally an 11-member singing group ultimately became the six-man band The Association. In 1967, The Association made history being the first band anywhere to open a rock festival - the now historic Monterey Pop Festival. Popular hits include "Windy," "Never My Love" and "Cherish."
Mark Lindsay performing the Paul Revere & The Raiders hit "Kicks" in 2013

In addition to being the lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders, Mark Lindsay was the very image of the band. In 1965, The Raiders owned the 1966 charts with hits like "Just Like Me," "Kicks," "Hungry" and "Good Thing," which Lindsay also wrote. During that time they were the top-earning artists for Columbia Records. In 1970 after he left The Raiders, Mark had a very successful solo recording career with a pair of top 40 hits "Arizona" and "Silver Bird" as well as three best-selling albums. Lindsay has sold over 50 million records. More:
Jimmy Durante introducing The Grass Roots. Because why not?

The Grass Roots had a series of major hits - most notably "Let's Live for Today," "Midnight Confessions," "Temptation Eyes" and "Two Divided by Love" - that help define the essence of the era's best AM radio. Although the group's members weren't even close to being recognizable, The Grass Roots managed to chart 14 Top 40 hits, including seven gold singles and one platinum single, and two had hits collections that effortlessly went gold.
It'll Be Kind of a Drag if you don't click this Buckinghams link

The Buckinghams pack power into 60s pop rock. Their #1 song "Kind of a Drag" is the standout favorite that first made them famous. Since then came seven national chart hits, 15 singles and eight acclaimed albums. The Buckinghams enjoyed phenomenal success with hit singles including the powerful "Don't You Care," the soulful "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," and the national anthem of teenage love, "Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song," on the national charts simultaneously.
Trippiest for Last? 
The Cowsills deconstruct their hit "Hair"

The real-life inspiration behind the hit television series The Partridge Family, The Cowsills were one of the biggest pop acts of the late '60s, distinguished by their angelic harmonies and sun-kissed melodies. The group's origins lie with brothers Bill and Bob, who as children began their singing careers covering the Everly Brothers. Their hits include "Take A Letter to Maria" and "Hair." 

Upcoming shows at The Paramount Thatre include their Broadway musical series: Oklahoma (Sept. 16 - Oct. 18); A Christmas Story - The Musical (Nov. 25 - Jan. 3), Hairspray - The Broadway Musical (Jan. 20 - Feb. 21) and West Side Story (Mar. 16-Apr. 24).  

 In addition to its Broadway series, Paramount's 2015-16 season also boasts Chicago frontman and solo vocalist Peter Cetera (Sept. 4), The Duke Ellington Orchestra (Sept. 5), Chicago's own Jersey Boys Under The Streetlamp (Oct. 25), Jay Leno (Oct. 30), Peter & Paul of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary(Nov. 8), country music hunk Josh Turner (Nov. 12), Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis (Nov. 14), STOMP (Feb. 26 & 27), I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (A Salute to Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Patsy Cline), (Feb 28) and Donny & Marie (May 25-29.) Visit for more information.