Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Due to our time-sensitive special ticket offers these past two days we were unable to acknowledge the death of Bobby Vee until now.  

Here are some of the comments we received from our readers ... as well as some of our own first-hand memories of this great entertainer.

Hi Kent ... 
My good friend Bobby Vee passed away last night. 
Josette and I send our condolences along with our thoughts and prayers to his wonderful family. 
Through the years Bobby and I did many tours together in the US, and we also toured many times in England. Bobby is one of the greats from our era and he will be missed by his many fans around the world, and his music will forever play in our hearts.
I wasn’t planning to say this, but since you brought up this year's nominees to the hall of fame, I must say that Bobby is also one of the greats who have been overlooked by the now, superannuated, R & R Hall of Dame.
I will miss my friend ... May he rest in peace.

I have just heard the sad news.  Bobby Vee has died at 73 of Alzheimer's Disease. 
He was an entertainer that I considered a friend.  
He had many friends because he was so nice to everyone. If he met you once, he would remember you years later. 
He was a walking rock and roll history book and a great on air interview because he could talk first hand about Bob Dylan, Dick Clark, Paul McCartney, and hundreds of celebrities.  
That damn disease has robbed us of another.
Phil - WRCO

I also heard from our FH Radio Buddy Citizen Bill down in Huntsville, Alabama, who was a MAJOR Bobby Vee fan.  Knowing this, I asked Bobby to record a couple of promo drop-ins for Bill's weekly "Remember Then" radio program a few years back, which he graciously did.  Bill loved these and still plays them from time to time. 
Naturally he was saddened by the news ... and is putting together a short tribute to Bobby to air on his program this Sunday Night.  (Listen Live link below).
He thought it was a VERY classy thing for Bobby to say there at the end when remarked "God brought me home." 

Kent ...
Do you know why this was the only Bobby Vee Hit that Dick Clark never played on "American Bandstand?"  Bobby Vee will give you the answer, before he sings the song.
Frank B.

Hi Kent - 
I was really saddened about Bobby Vee's passing. I loved his records and it was a thrill for me to work with him.  He was a real gentleman.
Before I met my wife, who was photographing Lou Christie at the time, she told me how she fell and got hurt and how he took her to the hospital and took care of her.
Billy J. Kramer

Rest in peace, Bobby Vee
Jim Holvay

What a great singer through the many years of hits.  Bob Dylan was in his band in 1959 and paid Bobby a big compliment on stage in 2013:

For those of you in the Chicago area, the legendary DJ, Herb Kent passed this week.  His last radio show was last Saturday and he just celebrated his 88th birthday earlier in the month.

Phil Chess of Chess Studios (and Herb's boss when at WVON) also passed away last week.
Clark Besch

Singer Bobby Vee, whose career began with an unpaid appearance in his native Fargo, North Dakota, as a local fill-in on Buddy Holly’s ill-fated Winter Dance Party, died himself Monday (October 24) in a hospice center in Rogers, Minnesota, from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 73. Continuing his career with his brother and friend as the Shadows (he was lead singer since he knew all the words), the group even hired a young Bob Dylan (calling himself Elston Gunnn) to play piano. But Bob’s piano skills were limited and pianos weren’t very portable in those days, so he soon left. The Shadows (with Bobby getting top billing) recorded a tune called “Suzie Baby” in 1959, which was released by Soma Records in Minneapolis and picked up for national distribution by Liberty Records. Though it only reached #77, it encouraged Liberty to continue working with the group. Their faith paid off the next year, when “Devil Or Angel” peaked at #6, It was followed by more hits — “Rubber Ball” (#6 - 1961), the Carole King composition, “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (#1 - 1961), “Run To Him” (#2 - 1961) and “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes” (#3 - 1963).
Though the British Invasion put a damper on Bobby’s career, he came back in 1967 with “Come Back When You Grow Up” (#3).  All told, Bobby charted 38 times in 12 years. He appeared as himself in films like “Swingin’ Along” (1962) and “Just For Fun” (1963). He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2011.
-- Ron Smith

Vintage Vinyl News published this very nice report ...

Bobby Vee, the teen idol who hit the top 20 ten times in the early 60's, died on Monday from advanced Alzheimer's disease at the age of 73. 
Vee was born Robert Velline on April 30, 1943 in Fargo, ND.  In a family that played many different band instruments, he was more interested in rocking.  Bobby's musical fate was set on February 4, 1959 when, at the age of 15, he filled in along with his brand new band, the Shadows, for Buddy Holly in Moorehead, ND after Holly's death in a plane crash.
His voice, which had many of the same qualities as Holly's, did not go unnoticed and, by mid-year, he recorded his song Suzie Baby for Soma Records out of Minneapolis. The record became popular enough locally that it was picked up by Liberty for national distribution where it peaked at number 77 on the Hot 100. Two more very minor hits followed, What Do You Want (1960 / #93) and One Last Kiss (1960 / #112).
Vee began to tour around his first few charting songs with a band that included Elston Gunnn [sic] whose real name was Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan. Dylan has acknowledged Vee on many occasions, paying him numerous compliments for his friendship and place in his early career. Rumor says that it was Dylan who suggested Velline change his name to Vee.
While he was slowly gaining fans, it wasn't fast enough for Liberty Records and Bobby's fourth single, Since I Met You Baby was looking at the same fate when a Pittsburgh DJ turned the record over and started playingDevil or Angel.  The new side quickly picked up steam and shot to number 6 on the Hot 100, crossing over to the R&B charts where it went to 22.
Before the end of the year, he did it again, hitting number 6 with Rubber Ball, a song that had a big pedigree, written by Gene Pitney and Aaron Schroeder, arranged by Ernie Freeman and produced by Snuff Garrett. Along with being an American hit, it was also the song that broke Vee in Britain where it went to number 4.
Vee and Liberty released numerous singles each year, some becoming major hits and others peaking in the lower two-thirds of the chart. In 1961, he put together two hits in a row with Take Good Care of My Baby (1961 / #1) and Run to Him (1961 / #2). He followed with three that made the top twenty but failed to break the top ten until late in 1962 when The Night Has a Thousand Eyes went to number 3 on the Hot 100 and in the U.K., 2 on the Adult Contemporary and 8 on the R&B Singles.
In 1963, music was beginning to go through changes.  Surf music had its short but bright heyday and the British Invasion was starting to gain steam.  Vee and other teen idols' music suddenly became passe and, after an early 1963 hit with Charms (#13 Pop / #5 AC), he went on an almost four year drought where none of his records went above number fifty.
Liberty Records stuck with Vee this time around and it paid off in early 1967 when Vee once again reached the upper reaches of the charts with Come Back When You Grow Up (1967 / #3). It would be Vee's last top thirty hit.

Bobby continued recording to the mid-70's and toured in both clubs and on the oldies circuit, especially in Europe, throughout the rest of his career.
In 2011, Vee retired after learning he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. His final album came in 2014 inThe Adobe Sessions, a recording by Vee and his family recorded in their garage in Arizona. 
Vee's wife of fifty years, Karen, died in 2015. He is survived by their four children.
Johnny Tillotson commented on Vee's passing: 
It is so sad to write and to say that I was heartbroken today to learn of the passing of Bobby Vee. May god rest his soul. I have known him almost all my career which is to say over 50 years and we have toured together so so many times. I continue to work with his very talented sons Jeff and Tommy on the Legends of American Bandstand and admire the talents of his other children musician Robby and daughter Jenny. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to them and the entire family and grandchildren.
He had a legion of fans that I know are heartbroken today as are so many of his peers and others in the music community. I learned of his passing from my dear friend Tommy Roe, and also heard from dear friend Wink Martindale, Rocky of Rocky and the Rollers, so many musicians and artists who are so saddened by this news.
It is very hard to see the passing of so many truly great talents from our generation of hit makers. And to say goodbye to so many friends that have been part of our lives since we were really just
such young men, some in their teens.
Bobby Vee was a huge talent, they just don't make em like that anymore. 
We all know Bobby Vee's incredible accomplishments, but his true legacy lies with his wonderful and talented family he's left behind - his three sons and his daughter and grandchildren. He's now "Taking Care of His Baby Karen" in Heaven. It's a very sad day. I'll miss him. #RIP Bobby Vee ~ Fabian

When Forgotten Hits was brand new back in 1999, Bobby Vee was one of the first musical celebrities to discover us.  Apparently one of our regular readers (who just happened to know Bobby) told him how we had featured his hit "Hickory, Dick And Doc" in our newsletter that day ... and Bobby wrote in personally himself to tell me how much he appreciated that.  We talked back and forth for awhile and he absolutely LOVED the idea of a "Forgotten Hits Radio Station" that would play and remember all of these great songs that the rest of the radio world had forgotten all about.  ("Hickory, Dick And Doc" was a Top 20 Hit here in Chicago despite never making The National Top 40 ... and I loved it!)

We talked several times about doing a FH Interview but it never happened.  (The first time, he had to leave for a tour of England right after I sent him a batch of questions ... the second time, after I worked diligently to recreate those original twenty questions ... plus about two dozen more ... he lost the list!!!  lol)  It became a running joke in the newsletter for the next two years about the interview that was never to be ... and sadly, it never was.
I've heard only the nicest things about Bobby Vee over the years ... the fans loved him and so did all of his contemporaries.  I know he's been through some very rough health issues over the last several years and it's really sad to see one of the good ones lose go through something like this, only to have it all played out publicly in front of the eyes of the whole world.
Still, he left us with 16 National Top 40 Hits.  Leo Sayer once said that after finishing up a concert, he went back to his hotel room, turned on the TV and heard a late night television commercial for a Bobby Vee's Greatest Hits album and, when they played a clip from Bobby's "More Than I Can Say" (a #48 B-Side from 1961), was inspired to record it himself.  (It went all the way to #2!)

Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits liked Bobby's B-Side "Walkin' With My Angel" so much, that they cut it as a B-Side as well!
His career began with a tragedy ... Bobby pinch hit for Buddy Holly at a concert in Fargo, North Dakota, after Buddy's plane went down on February 3, 1959, and his career took off from there.  I remember asking him about that early on ... what it was like to owe your big break to such a tragic event ... it had to be the ultimate example of mixed emotions ... and he admitted that it was extremely difficult ... he LOVED Buddy Holly's music and was honored to perform in his honor after the fatal crash but also felt the deep sadness and loss of one of his own personal idols.  (Bobby's vocal style was often compared to Buddy's in the early years.)
A few years later he picked up a young Minnesota piano player by the name of Robert Zimmerman (then working under the stage name of Elston Gunn) ... he didn't last very long, but it was Bobby Vee who gave a young Bob Dylan one of his very first big breaks in the music business.  (And legend has it that it was Bob Dylan who told Bobby to adopt "Vee" as his own last stage name.)
Vee signed first with the tiny Soma Record Label in 1959 ... in fact, his "confidential" email address at the time I first met him was!!!  This tells me he never forgot his roots.
Eventually he brought his boys into the band and they toured for years successfully as The Vees.
Although it's been awhile since we last talked (it was shortly after he gave up performing for good, during the increasing stages of Alzheimer's), he has always been in my heart as one of the "good ones".   

Thanks for all the great music and memories, Bobby ... we'll miss you.  (kk)

FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this article from The Associated Press ...

Bobby Vee and Bob Dylan at a Minn concert   


By Associated Press  
Posted Monday, October 24, 2016 at 9:30 am  
Pop idol Bobby Vee, the boyish, grinning 1960s singer whose career was born when he took a Midwestern stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, has died. He was 73.  
Vee, whose hits included the chart-topping “Take Good Care of My Baby” and who helped a young Bob Dylan get his start, died Monday of advanced Alzheimer’s disease, said his son, Jeff Velline. Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and performed his last show that year. 
Born Robert Velline in Fargo, North Dakota, Vee was only 15 when he took the stage in Moorhead, Minnesota, after the Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash in Iowa that killed Holly, Valens and Richardson on their way to the concert. That dark day in rock history was commemorated by singer-songwriter Don McLean in his 1972 pop song “American Pie” as “The Day The Music Died.” 
The call went out for local acts to replace Holly at his scheduled show at the Moorhead National Guard Armory. Vee and his 2-week-old band volunteered, along with three or four other bands. The show’s emcee, Charlie Boone, then a disc jockey at KFGO Radio, turned to Vee and asked him the name of his band. Vee looked at the shadows of his bandmates on the floor and answered: The Shadows. 
“I didn’t have any fear right then,” Vee recalled in a 1999 interview with The Associated Press. “The fear didn’t hit me until the spotlight came on, and then I was just shattered by it. I didn’t think that I’d be able to sing. If I opened my mouth, I wasn’t sure anything would come out.” 
Vee called his debut a milestone in his life, and “the start of a wonderful career.” 
Within months the young singer and The Shadows, which included his older brother Bill on lead guitar, recorded Vee’s “Suzie Baby” for Soma Records in Minneapolis. It was a regional hit, and Vee soon signed with Liberty Records. 
He went on to record 38 Top 100 hits from 1959 to 1970, hitting the top of the charts in 1961 with the Carole King-Gerry Goffin song, “Take Care Good of My Baby,” and reaching No. 2 with the follow-up, “Run to Him.” Other Vee hits include “Rubber Ball,” ‘‘The Night Has A Thousand Eyes,” ‘‘Devil or Angel,” ‘‘Come Back When You Grow Up,” ‘‘Please Don’t Ask About Barbara” and “Punish Her.” 
Besides his clear, ringing voice, Vee also was a skilled rhythm guitarist and occasional songwriter. He racked up six gold singles, but saw his hits diminish with the British Invasion of The Beatles and other English groups in the mid-1960s. 
Vee kept recording into the 2000s, and maintained a steady touring schedule. But he began having trouble remembering lyrics during performances, and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. He performed his last show that year, billed only as his retirement, during an annual community fundraiser that his family holds near their home in St. Joseph, Minnesota, about 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis. But he didn’t announce his diagnosis until a year later on his website.  
In a 2013 interview with The Associated Press, Vee said he knew his abilities were diminishing and he didn’t want to put his family through a public decline. “It’s not getting any better, I can tell you that,” Vee said. “But I’m doing the best I can.” 

Vee still released a new album, The Adobe Sessions, a loose jam session recorded with family members in Vee’s adobe garage north of Tucson, Arizona. The 2014 album featured some of Vee’s favorite songs from Townes Van Zandt, Gordon Lightfoot and Ricky Nelson. It was released on the 55th anniversary of the Holly plane crash. 
The album also included Vee’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me,” a nod to the folk-rock legend who got his start in Vee’s band in Fargo. 
Dylan grew up in Hibbing, a town on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, and briefly played with Vee’s band. Although their time playing together was short, Dylan had a lasting effect on Vee’s career: It was Dylan who suggested Vee, going by the name Elston Gunn when he hammered on the piano at a couple of The Shadows’ gigs, change his last name from Velline to Vee. 
In his “Chronicles: Volume One” memoir, Dylan recalled that Vee “had a metallic, edgy tone to his voice and it was as musical as a silver bell.” When Dylan performed in St. Paul in 2013, he saluted Vee in the audience and performed “Suzie Baby.” 
Vee and his wife, Karen, were married for more than 50 years. She died of kidney failure in 2015 at age 71. The couple had four children, including sons who performed with Vee. 
Family members said Vee’s memory wasn’t affected so much by Alzheimer’s as his speech. During the AP interview in 2013, he answered questions but would become tongue-tied searching for the right word. Vee tried unconventional methods to alleviate his Alzheimer’s symptoms, from chiropractor visits to acupuncture, and also renewed his passion for painting. 
And while he sometimes wished he could do the things that once came easily, Vee said he was “not going to cry about it.” 
“God brought me home,” he said. “And that’s the deal.”  

Here's a recap of Bobby's seventeen Top 50 National Hits:

1960 - Devil Or Angel (#4)

1960 - Rubber Ball  (#5)

1961 - Stayin' In  (#20)

1961 - More Than I Can Say  (#48)

1961 - How Many Tears  (#39)

1961 - Take Good Care Of My Baby  (#1)

1961 - Run To Him  (#2)

1962 - Please Don't Ask About Barbara  (#15)

1962 - Sharing You  (#12)

1962 - Punish Her  (#20)

1962 - The Night Has A Thousand Eyes  (#3)

1963 - Charms  (#13)

1963 - Be True To Yourself  (#33)

1967 - Come Back When You Grow Up  (#2)

1967 - Beautiful People  (#22)

1968 - Maybe Just Today  (#29)

1968 - My Girl / Hey Girl  (#17)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Half-Price Culture Club Tickets Are Now On Sale!

As promised, here is your chance to purchase half-price tickets to the Culture Club show at The Genesee Theatre on Thursday, November 3rd.
Just click the link below ...
And then enter BOGO2016 in the Special Offer Code Box above the seating chart.  Then go down to the chart and select your seats ... it's that simple!
Tickets MUST be purchased in pairs but both tickets will be sold at half-off the regular ticket price. 
(A Ticketmaster service fee will be added to your order at check out.)
Don't miss your chance to see one of the biggest groups of the '80's, live in concert!
Please send us a review if you are able to attend the concert.

Did You Rock The '80's?

Well, here's a chance to relive those days. 
'80's Rockers Survivor, John Waite and A Flock Of Seagulls will all be performing together on the same stage this Saturday Night (October 29th) and, thanks to our friends at The Genesee Theatre, we've got a very special ticket offer to pass along exclusively to our Forgotten Hits Readers.

This promises not only to be a great night of music ... but also loads of fun ... as, in addition to the concert, they'll also be hosting an '80's "costume contest" ... it IS, after all, the weekend before Halloween ... where you can win some great cash prizes.
Hey, if you rocked the '80's, you've probably still got some of this stuff!  (In fact, I happen to know a few of you who are STILL dressing that way today) ... so why not whip out a few of those treasures from the back of the closet ... and maybe even win some money in the process!!!
All ticket prices (seats range from $39.95 to $69.95 each) will be discounted to HALF PRICE EXCLUSIVELY for Forgotten Hits Readers ... so come on out, have some fun, win some prizes and enjoy a great show!  (Because this is effectively a "Buy One, Get One Free" offer, tickets MUST be purchased in pairs ... and a Ticketmaster Service Charge will be added to all purchases.) 
More details below ...
Legendary rock band, Survivor, made famous by their Rocky III hit “Eye of the Tiger” is embarking on their next chapter with a new lead vocalist and a new attitude. Joined by John Waite and A Flock of Seagulls, prepare yourself for a night of rock and roll you’ll never forget!
Survivor's big break came in 1982 when the band was asked by Sylvester Stallone to provide the theme song for Rocky III.  That single, "Eye Of The Tiger", hit #1 and stayed there for six weeks, winning a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, a People's Choice Award, and both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
But the hits didn't stop with "Eye Of The Tiger" ... Survivor scored seven other Top 40 Hits between 1981 and 1987 with songs like "I Can't Hold Back", "High On You", "The Search Is Over", "Is This Love" and "Burning Heart", which was featured in Rocky IV.
British Rocker John Waite first rocketed to success as the bassist and lead vocalist of The Babys, who had the Top 20 Hits "Isn't It Time" and "Every Time I Think Of You" ... and then he went on to top the charts on his own with his 1984's #1 Hit "Missing You", followed by other Top 40 Records like "Tears" and "Every Step Of The Way".
And A Flock Of Seagulls may be best remembered for their Top Ten Hit "I Ran (So Far Away)" ... or would it be those bizarrely teased haircuts (?) ... but they, too, hit Billboard's Top 40 Pop Singles Chart a couple more times with "Space Age Love Song" and "Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)".  It was sleek dance-pop music all the way. 
Looking to make your Halloween weekend totally choice? Come relive the most excellent '80s on Saturday, October 29th, as The Genesee Theatre presents three musical acts that helped define the decade:  SURVIVOR, JOHN WAITE and A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS
And, to make the evening even more righteous, you can win prizes by entering our 80s Costume Contest!

We're looking for the most glam, preppy or bodacious Dude, Dudette and Couple who best capture the look of that decadent decade. Opportunities to be anything from a dexter or a rocker are endless:  
Parachute pants • Ray-Bans • acid wash anything • neon everything • leggings • lace accessories • fat lace or no lace sneakers • Jams shorts • Swatches • keyboard ties • the "Miami Vice" look • sweaters around the neck • and those hair styles! 
Judging takes place between 5:00 and 6:30 PM at the north end of the Jack Benny lounge inside The Genesee on the day of the concert. At 7:00 PM, the top three finalists in each category will be brought on stage, where the winners will be announced.
Best Dude: $250
Best Dudette: $250
Best Couple: $500

All finalists receive a wicked Genesee ticket prize package to future shows.

Rules:  Contest is open only to patrons with a valid ticket for that night's show. Contestants must be 18 years or older. 

Don't be a dweeb! and hang out at the mall food court for another Saturday night.

Join us as we take this party to the max – fer sure, fer sure!
Here's a link to buy tickets ... and here's the way it works.
When you get to the site, click on the "SPECIAL OFFERS" tab and enter the code FHITS ... this will automatically cut all of the ticket prices in half!!! 
Select the seats you want and then complete your offer.  (Remember, tickets MUST be purchased in pairs in order to qualify for this very special pricing.)
And there are lots MORE great shows coming to The Genesee Theatre in the weeks to come ...
Talk about The '80's!!!  CULTURE CLUB appears at The Genesee on Thursday, November 3rd!
(Keep watching this page as we are hoping to have a special Culture Club Ticket Offer for you, too ... so stay tuned!  We could have an announcement as early as tonight!)
The Monkees 50th Anniversary Tour (starring Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork) stops by the following night, Friday, November 4th ...
On November 9th, it's The Goo Goo Dolls ...
Then be sure to check out Styx on November 10th, more '80's rock with The B-52's on November 11th, and the legendary Peter Cetera, former lead singer of Chicago, on November 12th.
Chris Isaak does a holiday show on November 18th, as does Ronnie Spector on December 1st and LeAnn Rimes on December 2nd.
Morris Day and the Time appear on December 29th ... and then next year the '80's hits just keep on coming with a special double bill of Air Supply and The Romantics on January 21st.
I know you'll want to check out some of these ... tickets for ALL of these great shows can be purchased thru their online box office here: