Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Friday Flash

An extremely LARGE Edition of THE FRIDAY FLASH today ...

We're out of town again this weekend so please enjoy!  

Sweet 16:
What a great surprise this morning to see an unexpected Sweet 16 songs. This is something to look forward to when I get home from work today. I'll try to see what song or songs if any were left off your list and I am sure there were a few. Got a question though for you.
Do you happen to have any readers in KISSimmee Florida? Have a great day.
And then later (after work) ...
Thanks again for the unexpected "kiss" songs today. How about KISS AWAY, KISS ME SAILOR, KISSIN' TIME, KISSIN' ON THE PHONE by Ronnie Dove, Diane Renay, Bobby Rydell, Paul Anka respectfully? I remember a record that Jane Morgan came out with in 1965 on Epic called KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE which made our local survey. Have a good day.
Actually, believe it or not, after Illinois, the state with the SECOND most Forgotten Hits readers is Florida ... and has been for quite some time.  (I'm not exactly sure why ... former Illinois residents who retired there perhaps?!?!?)
See below regarding the "selection process" for this week's special SWEET 16 piece.  (kk)

Hola Kent,
Obviously you hadn't had your first cup of coffee when you whipped together your spontaneous "Wet Kiss Songs" list.
How else can you explain leaving off Exile's 'Kiss You All Over' or the Casinos 'Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye' ?
Loved the Michael Landon oldie ... thanks ... and La La Brooks' 'And then he kissed me' is a personal favorite.
Keep 'em coming,
Again, within the SWEET 16 format, I'm limited to posting just sixteen songs.  As this one came to me completely out of the blue that morning, I simply made a list of the first twenty "kiss" songs that popped into my head and then edited it down to sixteen from there.
The Michael Landon track was a "MUST" to include - that's why I picked it to kick things off.  (This was actually a Top 40 Hit here in Chicago ... and I've always thought it was a fun record ... and NOT something you're likely to ever hear on the radio again!)
I don't quite get the Casinos tie-in (other than the first line) ... but I DO love that song!
As for "Kiss You All Over", that was the last track eliminated ... I absolutely intended to include it ... but when I realized that I could kill two birds with one stone by going with Kiss' "Christine Sixteen" it became no contest.  (Besides, we still hear the Exile hit every single day on the radio anyway!)  "Christine Sixteen" allowed me to capture both KISS AND SIXTEEN within the context of one track ... it was just too good to pass up.  (You'll find it again in our final SWEET 16 posting this year, hitting the site on December 29th.  That one'll be called The Sweet 16 Sixteen and wrap up our year-long series spotlighting 2016.)
And then we're off to our brand new 1967 feature.  (This will kick off with a pre-show promo on the 28th and then in earnest on December 30th, running EVERY SINGLE DAY until January 1st, 2018!!!  Whew!)  Again, if anyone hasn't signed up for the mailing list yet, please do so as a lot of "bonus" material will go out via email during the next year.
But before all of THAT happens we've got one more regular SWEET 16 feature planned for (of course) December 16th ... so be watching for that next Friday!)  kk

Hello Kent, 
I just want to be sure I'm registered for your 1967 feature. This is going to be just great and I want to be part of it! Thank you!
Jim Hill
You are definitely on the list ... but the rest of you won't be if you don't subscribe NOW!
Keep in mind, this will be a DAILY FEATURE, posting every single day from December 30, 2016 thru January 1, 2018, at 6 am Chicago time.  You will NOT be receiving reminders ... so you'll have to bookmark the site and check yourself each and every day.  Make it part of your daily routine ... and start your day with Forgotten Hits!
The emails will be supplemental pieces that will NOT appear on the website ... your comments and memories and other special events ... but the only way to see them is to sign up for the email list.  If you haven't already done so (Jim, you're covered!) do it now while it's fresh on your mind.  Just shoot me an email at either or and ask us to add your name to the 1967 mailing list.
Thanks, All!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
Please add me to the '67 list. That year, my garage band was cranking out the top 40 and FM rock hits playing frat parties and record hops for deejays from KQV, WAMO and WZUM, where we performed with other Pittsburgh acts including the Marcels, Fenways and Johnny Daye.
Ed Salamon

Please sign me up for the 1967 festivities.  I was 12 years old in 1967, and that was the first year I really got into Top 40 music.  I wholeheartedly agree that ‘67 was by far the best 12 months of the rock era.  “Windy,” “Daydream Believer,” “Light My Fire,” “Groovin’,” “The Letter,”  “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “To Sir With Love,” “Kind of a Drag,” just to name a few.  Cannot do better than that. Looking forward to your series, and thanks in advance.
Ian Berger
It's a highly-anticipated series for sure ...
We've already heard:
1967 was the year I got married!
1967 was the year I went into the Army!
1967 - Oh My Gosh -- The Association, The Cryan' Shames, Ode To Billie Joe, The Turtles, Tommy James and the Shondells - I can't wait for this thing to start!
1967 - That's the year I got into much heavier music!
(Did the Year of The Monkees drive you away?!?!)
It's comin' folks!  A couple more "teaser" promos to entice you to sign up for the mailing list and then, before you know it, we'll be reliving 1967 all over again, from start to finish.  Stay tuned to Forgotten Hits ... and tell everybody you know to check us out as well!  (kk)

Check out this link from Me-TV, celebrating the upcoming 50th Anniversary of several items familiar to all of us!
I just got back from a month's wander (including ten days in Chicago doing Thanksgiving with relatives) and am just now catching up on emails.
Please add me to the list, using the address above.
1967 was a great year for me: In the fall of that year I got my first girlfriend, after a couple of false starts.
I think it was also the year that Riverview shut down. I remember seeing the Parachute Drop ride in operation that spring, from the top floor of Lane Tech while I was in biology class. I had only been to the park twice, and never took that particular ride. I believe it closed at the end of summer '67.
Good luck with it. I'm looking forward to this a LOT.
-- 73 --
-- Jeff Duntemann K7JPD
    Phoenix, AZ
Yep, the Riverview announcement came on October 3rd ... the park had been sold to investors who tore it down to build a shopping center (they weren't called malls yet back then!)  You'll find this coming up in our brand new 1967 calendar.  This going to be a really fun series!  (You should have told me you were going to be in Chicago ... maybe we could have met up somewhere.  Of course, being 1967, you'll also get to hear the first song you ever wrote me about ... The Riddles' version of "Sweets For My Sweet"!!!)  kk

Hi Kent -
I've sent you several History of Rock and Roll episodes dealing with 1967.  Hope you can work them into your brand new series.
Gary Theroux
Thanks, Gary!  I'm probably going to run them as "teasers" between now and then.  The new emails won't include music as the files will be too large to manage easily ... still trying to figure out how we're going to handle the responses ... guess it all depends on how much participation we get ... but if artists willing to contribute can send info in advance, we should be able to paste it into the daily postings.  We'll get these up there one way or another 'tho ... too much good stuff to pass up here!  Thanks for sending.  (kk)

Hi Kent: 
It's a BRILLIANT idea for you to highlight the music of 1967 throughout the coming year. Please count me in!  That year is probably the first year of my life that I remember with any clarity (although it's a bit faint).  I turned six years old in April of that year, and I was fast becoming a music fan, especially by listening to WABC in New York, with legends like Cousin Brucie and Dan Ingram. I know there's a book out devoted to 1966 and how that was the milestone year of pop music, but to me, '67 was just overflowing with wonderful hits that bring back fond, early memories.
Good luck with this exciting project!
-- Garry Berman
Thanks, Garry.  I've seen that book you're referring to (quite a huge volume in fact) and a case could be made when considering things like "Rubber Soul" kicking off the year, followed later by "Revolver" ... The Beatles seemed to "mature" overnight.  "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys certainly was innovative ... and who could forget "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!"  (lol)
The thing that most amazes me about 1967 is the HUGE variety of styles that coexisted on the charts at the same time ... SO much experimentation going on ... each new release sparking other artists to try harder to top it ... turning on the radio and hearing The Beatles and The Rolling Stones played side by side with Chicago's New Colony Six and The Buckinghams ... the teeny-bopper sounds of The Monkees ruling the charts that year, alongside feel good pop by The Turtles, Tommy James and the Shondells and Paul Revere and the Raiders ... the great Motown and Atlantic Records sounds, played right alongside Nancy and Frank Sinatra, The Happenings redoing songs from the '30's and Don Ho!!!  Follow those tracks up with The Blues Magoos, The Electric Prunes, Jimi Hendrix, The Strawberry Alarm Clock ... and The Cowsills!!!  Cream, The Association, Buffalo Springfield, The Doors and Engelbert Humperdinck!  Talk about your melting pot of music!!!  Yet it all coexisted and nobody ever even gave it a second thought.  In 1967, it was Anything Goes (and I don't just mean the Harpers Bizarre / Cole Porter revival!)  The Fifth Estate could resurrect a song from The Wizard Of Oz and Bobbie Gentry could captivate the entire country with her sad tale of Billie Joe McAllister.
I'm really excited about the new series (can you tell?!?!?) and can't wait to kick things off on December 30th.  If you haven't signed up yet, get on the list NOW!  This is gonna be a good one!  (kk)
This And That:

The legendary Greg Lake sadly passed away on Wednesday, December 7th. 
As a founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Greg Lake has been a major force in music for over 40 years. He has long been considered a legendary voice and musical powerhouse whose impact changed the landscape of rock and roll. Many simply refer to him as “The Voice”.
Greg was just finishing his autobiography titled “Lucky Man”, which is  scheduled for release in 2017.
Says his long time manger and friend Stewart Young, “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. Despite his illness which he knew to be terminal he always took the view about his life, career and family that he was indeed a lucky man ... His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief. Many thanks.”
Billy James

Now that we've lost the "E" and "L" we're only left with the "P" ... and one less King Crimson-ite
R.I.P. Greg Lake

As the Rock world mourns the deaths of Emerson, Lake & Palmer legends Greg Lake, who passed away from cancer yesterday, and Keith Emerson, who passed away last March, the remaining member of the band, drummer Carl Palmer has announced a very special show saluting the legacy of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.  It is a full band show with a special tribute to his fellow band-mate brothers.  Emerson, Lake  Palmer is one of the most successful Progressive Rock bands of the 1970s, making the hook "Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends.  We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside" one of the most famous rock lyrics in history.

This special show will take place at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Saturday, June 3 at 8PM.  Seats are limited.  Tickets begin at $39 and go on sale to the general public this Saturday, December 10 at noon.  Tickets are available at or by calling 630.962.7000

We lost Astronaut / Senator John Glenn yesterday, too ... the monuments of our youth are all slipping away, one by one ... all the more reason to reflect fondly as we begin recreating 1967 in just a few days.  (kk)

Vintage Vinyl News is reporting that Journey and Electric Light Orchestra are the clear leaders in the public vote thus far for induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next year.  Here's their recap as of December 5th, the original voting deadline.  (They have since extended this date to December 15th) ...  
The voting has been extended until December 15 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame public vote.  
Nineteen artists are nominated for what is normally five slots for actual induction into the hall in 2017 and there are two clear leaders, at least as far as the public is concerned.  
Journey leads the poll with 227,600 votes with the Electric Light Orchestra following at 194,600.  
The balance of the public's ballot at this time, which counts as one vote in the final tally, includesYes (169,900), Pearl Jam (140,900) and The Cars (135,800).  
One that is missing from the public's choice is expected inductee Tupac Shakur who is in ninth place with 83,900 votes. Rolling Stone gave Shakur even odds of being inducted along with fellow first-time eligible group Pearl Jam.There has been on-going controversy about the inclusion of Hip-Hop artists in the Rock Hall, a situation which the organization tried to address earlier today on Twitter, saying "There are many opinions out there on what or who is considered "rock & roll." We believe that it's more than just a single sound. There's a spirit to rock & roll that our Inductees embody and that's what sets them apart."
Also not faring well with the public but high on Billboard's list is Janet Jackson who the magazine put at 2-to-1; however, she is currently in 11th in the voting with 68,400.
At the bottom of the public's poll is eleven time nominee Chic with 33,300 votes, Bad Brains with 30,700 and Joe Tex with 17,800.You can vote through December 15 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's site.

Here's a great Monkees Concert Review from THE AUSTRALIAN - 12/5/16
David Salidor
The Monkees in Australia: spirited resurrection  
Half a century after their commercial heyday the Monkees are enjoying a second coming. Earlier this year the band pulled off the remarkable feat of releasing a new record, Good Times!, that was accomplished enough to stand alongside the band’s first four albums. That’s no mean feat.
The critical and commercial success of the work, which hit the upper echelon of charts across the world and is now routinely appearing on critic’s end-of-year lists, has provided the Monkees with that rare opportunity to put on a live show that brims with both nostalgia and currency.
Since the death of Davy Jones in 2012 and the recent retirement of Mike Nesmith, the prefab-four are now down to two: Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork.
Dolenz still possesses what is possibly the greatest surviving American pop voice of the 1960's. Tork’s musicianship is superb as he moves from keyboards to guitar and banjo. The latter admirably subs on vocal parts left vacant by Jones and Nesmith.
The show, a 30-song multimedia event, begins with Listen to the Band. It takes a verse or two to get the mix right and then we’re in sonic heaven. The band pulls off that mid-to-late-60s American west coast sound with aplomb. The presence of Micky’s sister Coco Dolenz on backing vocals adds to the aural bliss.
The set list is a mix of hits, tunes from the margins and new material. Early highlights include Dolenz singing lead on Last Train to Clarksville, Saturday’s Child and two new songs, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo’s She Makes Me Laugh and Andy Partridge’s (XTC) She Brings the Summer. Tork impresses with Your Auntie Grizelda and sings lead on the Jones hits Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) and A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You.
The night was peppered with good humour, dad jokes, the odd false start and a lot of love from the audience.
Tork, who remains an eccentric subversive (that’s a compliment), explained that the band were dialling up the “way back machine” to feature the vocal of the Jones on Shades Of Gray. He added that the moment had been going down so well that when he sees Jones next, he’d tell him. Talk about holding an audience spellbound — “Jones” and the Monkees did just that.
Dolenz and Tork performed a mesmerising take on their new song Me & Magdalena. The timpani drum was wheeled out for Dolenz’s Randy Scouse Git.
Dolenz continually displayed his gifts for pop, jazz and R&B. The set list is almost peerless, with a second half featuring Mary Mary, Circle Sky, Porpoise Song and Words.
Salutations are offered to Nes­mith, whose influence runs deep through the set list.
Daydream Believer raised the proverbial before the band closed with two of the best pop songs of the 20th century, Pleasant Valley Sunday and I’m a Believer.
In rock ’n’ roll terms, the Monkees have a pulled off the greatest comeback since Lazarus — a feat for which any lover of the three-minute pop song will be forever thankful.

At a Kmart in Macon, Ga., as a kid, I purchased my first 45, the Beatles “Yesterday”. 
I remember it because, that same day as my family and I visited another store, I left the 45 in the back (deep well) of the car and the penetrating sun melted it to non-usage.  A real bummer!        
Mark Stevens,
Marietta, Georgia
I love it ... First 45 memories are still coming in as new people discover the website.  Thanks, Mark!  (kk)

With the anniversary of John Lennon's passing yesterday, your timing is perfect to feature this today, Billy.  I'm guessing this was filmed in beautiful Santa Fe ... it's just gorgeous!
Let's make it a point to meet up next year.  Best to you and yours for the holiday season too. (kk)

The Grammy Museum screening of “BANG! The Bert Berns Story” was a big success.  The film was very well received and the post-screening panel was terrific.  The announced panel ... co-director / editor Bob Sarles, Mike Stoller, Jeff Barry, Brooks Arthur, Joel Selvin, director Brett Berns and the moderator (that would be me) ... was joined before the screening by the one and only Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las.  The panel was augmented by Jerry Goldstein of the Bang Records artists The Strangeloves.  The audience included Melissa Manchester, Ron Dante (the guy who sang “Leader of the Laundromat” was in the same place at the same time as the girl who sang “Leader of the Pack!!), Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag / Goldberg - Miller Band / KGB who wrote and recorded the film’s score),  Shindig’s own beach movie beauty and “Dr. Pepper Girl” Donna Loren, Andy Paley, one half of the Paley Brothers, among others. It was such a thrill for me to be up on that stage with a veritable Mt. Rushmore of Brill Building / 1650 Broadway legends. 

From left:  Bob Sarles, Mike Stoller, Jeff Barry, Mary Weiss, Brooks Arthur, Joel Selvin, me (Bob Merlis), Brett Berns.
Photo by Ben Edge
Man, I wish I could have been there for this ... sounds like a great time.  Thanks for sharing.  (kk)

2017 ... the first BOX TOPS date of the year ... our 50th anniversary year ...
A great indoor venue in the historic area that originally was home of blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel!
Rick Levy

Listen to my latest posting ... Christmas in New York - The Coldest Night of The Year ...
It Should Have Been a Hit!
Lou Christie

How about these for underrated songs?
Morning Girl – Neon Philharmonic
   Can’t Find the Time – Orpheu   
   Temptation Eyes – Grass Roots
-  You Know What I  Mean – Turtles
-  Pretty Flamingo – Manfred Mann
Ian Berger
Thanks to Me-TV-FM, we're hearing ALL of these songs on the radio again.  "You Know What I Mean" by The Turtles is a personal favorite of mine ... but NOT of Howard Kaylan, who won't perform it these days.  It WAS, however, a HUGE hit in 1967 ... so you can be sure THAT one'll make our brand new series.  I've heard "Temptation Eyes" played to saturation levels over the years ... but "Morning Girl", "Can't Find The Time" and "Pretty Flamingo" are ALL great tracks that have been ignored by radio for years.  (kk)

FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this link to an article about The Brooklyn Bridge's big hit "The Worst That Could Happen" ... it was a HUGE hit in 1969, first recorded by The Fifth Dimension on an album of Jimmy Webb songs but brought home to perfection when Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge cut the track.  You can read all about it here:
Kent ...
Scott Shannon just announced that today (December 8th) is the 40th anniversary of the release of the "Hotel California" album.  
I just thought I'd warn you.
Because of that fact, they'll probably be playing it a few extra times today.
Frank B.

OK, so here's my way around that ... (kk)


December 6th is usually a somber day for the Orbison family insofar as Roy Orbison passed away on that day in 1988 and Barbara Orbison, his widow, departed exactly 23 years later in 2011.  
In an effort to bring joy to this typically sad day, Roy Orbison, Jr and his fiancée Åsa have chosen December 6 this year to announce a blessing: the birth of Roy Orbison 3rd, who was born in Nashville on March 2.   
The happy, healthy baby boy is Roy Orbison Jr’s first child and the late Roy Orbison’s first grandson.  The beaming new dad commented, ”Becoming a father has changed my life. I love him so much and everyday I see elements of big Roy and Barbara’s spirit in him. He looks a lot like his grandfather and already loves guitar. We wake him up each morning playing music like ‘Oh, Pretty Woman' and 'You Got It.’"  
Apart from managing the estate of his father, Roy Jr co-owns a successful publishing company, Still Working Music, and is working on far reaching projects including a symphonic album, a hologram event and a museum. And he is currently working on his first album that he is recording at his Pretty Woman Studio in Nashville.  
Åsa, a former marketing director, recently moved from her native Sweden to start her new family and raise baby Roy 3. 
To quote the lad’s storied grandfather, “MERCY!!!” 

The other day you mentioned a third British Geoff you are right ... he is Geoff Barker, a BBC DJ, and he can be heard every Saturday night live or anytime up to thirty days after his programme has been transmitted on BBC I player. I have mentioned to you in the past and you did pass the following information on to your readers but with all the chat regarding lack of oldies on radio, you might want to tell the readers again.
The first link is to Geoff  Barker is
Log in and find last Saturday’s Geoff Barker programme and click on it to bring up the listen to box. Don’t forget you can now listen on line for thirty days after the transmission.
The second link is a gent named Bernie Keith, who is also a BBC DJ, and he can be listened to, on
Log in and find last Saturday’s Bernie Keith programme and click on it to bring up the listen to box. Don’t forget you can now listen on line for thirty days after the transmission.
Both of these two guys, eat sleep and drink the music of the fifties.
Rockin’ Lord Geoff 

Just wanted to let you know that we have a couple of shows coming up in mid-February ... first on the 11th (the Saturday before Valentines' Day) when The New Colony 6 will be playing at Durty Nellies and the a few nights later on Valentines' Night for the Cornerstones show at the Arcada.
Further note ... I am sending along a track that was just put out on a CD by a super fan of the band (unsure if he is on FH or not), Ron Baker, who has traveled from over in OH many times to see NC6.  He does a bit of dabbling musically himself and just released “Cardboard & Illusion” in some manner; he’s on Facebook, so perhaps Frannie can fill in the blanks here.  Anyway, when he told me about going down to Nashville to record his latest tunes, he asked if I had ever written anything that was never released -- long story short is I sent him lyrics that he put to music and added to his CD.  The tune is called “With Regrets” and while it is weird hearing it with his music, which differs from what I had in mind, it’s a nice effort and cool to have a “new release” albeit only with writers’ credits ~52 years after the last ones by New Colony Six (with the exception of the SIDES’ tunes from RJM, the Graffia Brothers and alternate takes from NC6 -- and, of course, the A-Live & Well CD compilation with the current iteration of the Colony!

I'll see you for sure at the Cornerstones Show ... enjoy the holidays between now and then.  And be prepared to see all kinds of New Colony Six goodies in our brand new 1967 series when it launches in a couple of weeks.  (BIG year for you guys that year!!!)  Hoping all the guys will participate and share their memories with our readers.  Thanks, Ray!  (kk)
This one's been missing in action for awhile ... but I see that it's back up on YouTube again so catch it while you can!

The other day we told you that The T.N.T. Show was finally being released on home video.
Here's a report filed by noted writer (and Forgotten Hits Reader) Harvey Kubernick, telling us about this hot new release ...  

The T.A.M.I. Show (1965) and The Big T.N.T. Show (1966) — two concert films that captured dozens of the 1960s’ most popular musical performers from Ray Charles to The Rolling Stones — have been released on Blu-ray disc. Together the shows create an essential musical time capsule of their era.
Fans of classic rock and soul rejoiced when the legendary concert Steve Binder-directed film T.A.M.I. Show made its DVD debut on Shout! Factory in 2009.
Now that landmark film made its Blu-ray debut, along with its long-lost — and much requested follow-up — The Big TNT Show, directed by Larry Peerce, on December 2, 2016, as part of the 2-disc Blu-ray set T.A.M.I. Show/The Big T.N.T. Show Collector’s Edition, from Shout! Factory. The Big T.N.T. Show was also released as a standalone DVD.
The package contains all the bonus features from the T.A.M.I. Show DVD, plus new interviews with The Big T.N.T. Show performers Petula Clark, Henry Diltz and John Sebastian. The product is mastered from a High-Definition transfer.
The Big T.N.T. Show was filmed in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. on November 29, 1965 and stars some of the biggest acts of the day, including the Byrds, in their original line-up of Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke, and Roger McGuinn, who perform two #1 hits, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season.)”
One of the most acclaimed rock events ever captured on film, the 1964 concert known as T.A.M.I. Show[Teenage Awards Music International] presented a lineup like no other, the Rolling Stones, James Brown, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, the Supremes, Chuck Berry, Lesley Gore and other acts took the stage one after another rehearsed and recorded over two days and nights on October 29 and 30th on Pico Blvd. at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. David Winters and Toni Basil served as choreographers. Marshall Berle, Howard Wolf, John Landis and David Cassidy were in the audience.
I was literally across the street, with my surfer pal Peter Piper during one afternoon at the Con Surf Board shop and too busy buying paraffin wax for my skateboard to even realize what was happening inside that venue.
Aside from the five rock groups, all the performers were backed by a band assembled by musical director Jack Nitzsche. Including Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, Tommy Tedesco, Don Peake, Barney Kessel, and Leon Russell, along with Fanita James, Jean King, and future solo star Darlene Love, billed as the Blossoms, provided backing vocals.
Director Steve Binder, a native of Los Angeles, departed the University of Southern California just before graduating to apprentice under host Steve Allen, who pioneered a variety show.
Binder, barely in his twenties, then took on Jazz Scene USA, bringing live performances by musical masters to a network audience. Binder understood the unique requirements of lighting and blocking for musicians in an optimal setting. Once The T.A.M.I. Show was screened in Britain and the United States theatrically in 1965, the flick informed every subsequent rock concert feature film. [It had a very brief December 1964 exclusive run in Los Angeles area movie houses].
“Going back to Steve Allen and Hullabaloo where I was collecting people all the way through my career that I wanted to have in my team and work with,” Binder explained in a 2008 interview.
“And in those days, technically, union wise, you unless you had a union card you weren’t supposed to participate. I learned together the difference between making records and television audio. It was a perfect marriage. Even in lighting I would bring in rock ‘n’ roll guys who did concerts with guys bred on television and movies. All of a sudden they were learning about the contemporary music business.”
Binder would go on to direct many music TV specials, including the seismic Elvis: The ’68 Comeback Special.
“I met the Stones in 1964,” Jack Nitzsche told me in a 1988 interview.
“Andrew Loog Oldham called me up. He and the group had met Phil Spector and Andrew and the Stones wanted to meet me. A little later, the Stones started working at RCA.
“I got them into The T.A.M.I. Show. I put the band together and did all the arrangements. I was the musical director. I had told the producer, Bill Sargent, the Stones were going to be big. I felt the Stones could close the show.
“Bill said ‘James Brown is going to close the show.’ We all stood at the side of the stage watching James Brown do his act. People were standing and screaming for James. (Legend has it that James told the Stones, ‘you’ll never be able to follow this.’). Then the Stones came out and all the girls started crying. It was a whole new emotion!

“I put Leon Russell in The T.A.M.I. Show band. He’s all over the soundtrack. I met him with Jackie DeShannon; she introduced me,” explained Nitzsche.
“Leon at the time was playing piano in a bar in Covina. He was an innovative piano player. He was good. I heard him on a Jackie DeShannon record. In those days it was real hard to find rock ‘n’ roll piano players who didn’t play too much. Leon talked the same language.
“I had met Don Randi a long time ago. He was a pianist at a jazz club on La Cienega,” recalled Nitzsche. “He was cool. He looked like a beatnik. His hair was right. He had the attitude. He didn’t smile when he played.”
“In a stunningly monochromatic case of Life imitating Art imitating Pop and Soul. The TAMI Show is the living, beating, in-the-flesh reincarnation of all those cavalcades of stars Alan Freed would assemble during the closing reels of most each and every Fifties B-flick beginning with the word ‘Rock.’ Indeed, in TAMI we can still see Gerry Marsden in a guitar duet to the death with none other than Chuck Berry, Mick Jagger wisely conceding to take on the blue-flaming Butane James Brown, the Barbarians’ five-fingered drummer practically inventing Garage Rock, Marvin Gaye hitch-hiking after Diana Ross’ supreme eyeful, and to top it all — to HOST it all, no less — those Clown Princes of Surf ’n’ Roll themselves, Jan and Dean!
“Steve Binder recorded absolute history with this screaming little film; even the briefest glance towards Dennis Wilson’s mop top during ‘Surfin’ USA’ will tell you why,” is how music journalist Gary Pig Gold described the legendary sight and sound collaboration in 2005.
In 2004 I interviewed Andrew Loog Oldham, the manager / producer and publicist for the Rolling Stones, and I asked him about The T.A.M.I. Show.
“Why it works for me is the fear and loathing in Santa Monica There you go. Come on man, it’s a magic moment.
“Seeing the Motown acts was terrific. Seeing Jack Nitzsche and Dave Hassinger. It was the film within the film. ‘Isn’t it nice to be in this business? Everyone is working together for one thing. The Beach Boys’ shirts were horrendous. Isn’t it nice we’re all here?’ The Stones were becoming successful, and getting good, and wait a minute, we gotta follow James Brown?
“Bill Sargent did The T.A.M.I Show and the black and Electronovision Harlow with actress Carol Linley.”
In the early sixties, engineer Sargent with Joseph E. Bluth developed an electronic camera system with better resolution than traditional television cameras known as Electronovision technology. Bluth served as technical director on the Los Angeles television station KTTV 1950-1951 TV series, The Buster Keaton Show.
In November of 1974 for Melody Maker, I interviewed Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the Miracles with his sister Claudette Rogers, Ronnie White, Pete Moore, and William “Smokey” Robinson.
“I really loved touring with the English groups, back in 1963 and 1964. We used to tour with the Rolling Stones and people like Georgie Fame. During the breaks from touring, a lot of the groups would ask questions about certain songs on our albums. I remember when we filmed The TAMI Show, Mick Jagger would ask me about what I’d thought of the album James Brown Live At The Apollo, which was his favorite LP. One time on a tour he mentioned that he’d like to record a Marvin Gaye song for the next Stones album. A month later, ‘Hitch Hike’ was being played all over Detroit radio,” marveled Rogers.
In According to The Rolling Stones, published by Chronicle Books in 2003, Keith Richards remembered The T.A.M.I. Show as “really kaleidoscope. It had never been done before, and it’s never been done since.”
In a 2001 interview I had with Bill Wyman, I asked about The T.A.M.I. Show and the stage presence of the Rolling Stones.
“The band was great live always. Always. The Stones were a better live band than any other band at that time. I’m not saying they were the greatest songwriters or the greatest recording artists, but they were the best live band wherever you went. You could go up on stage and blow everybody away no matter who they were.
“As long as me and Charlie could get it together, then the rest of the band could do what they’d like and it worked. And that’s what happened in the studio, and that’s what happened live. Me and Charlie were really always on the ball, always straight, always together and had it down.”

Originally billed as a companion piece to The T.A.M.I. Show after that event’s success, The Big T.N.T. Showholds up as an essential time capsule from its day.
David McCallum, a rising star appearing in the new TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., was tapped to emcee. Footage also includes shots of the Hollywood haunts Chateau Marmont, Ben Frank’s coffee shop, and fleeting hot spot The Trip nightclub.
Don Randi was the musical director for The Big T.N.T. Show that Phil Spector produced and Larry Peerce directed, who would eventually helm the feature movie Goodbye Columbus.
The Big T.N.T. Show set location at the Moulin Rouge was where portions of the Ross Hunter-produced and Douglas Sirk directed Imitation Of Life motion picture starring Lana Turner, Sandra Dee and Susan Kohner were lensed.
Many girls in my Los Angeles junior high school homeroom class were invited to the affair while the boys were encouraged not to attend.
One afternoon in 1976 at Phil Spector’s mansion in Beverly Hills while doing an interview with him for Melody Maker, I asked Phil about his monumental catalog as well as the music he produced in live settings as exemplified in The Big T.N.T. Show.
“The musicians I have never outdo me. I’m not in competition with them. I’m in complete accord with them. You need the ability so you hire the best. I have the creativity. I know what I want.
“I always thought I knew what the kids wanted to hear. They were frustrated, uptight. I would say no different from me when I was in school. I had a rebellious attitude. I was for the underdog. I was concerned that they were as misunderstood as I was.”
During The Big T.N.T. Show, Ray Charles gives a rousing performance of “What’d I Say” and “Let the Good Times Roll.” A sultry performance by the Ronettes on “Be My Baby” is met with impassioned screams from the audience; the Lovin’ Spoonful perform their Top 10 hits “Do You Believe in Magic?” and “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice;” and Bo Diddley delights the crowd with “Bo Diddley” and “Hey, Bo Diddley.”
To close the show, the Ike & Tina Turner Revue give an electrifying recital, spotlighting “I Think It’s Going to Work Out Fine” and “A Fool in Love.”
Also on the stage that evening was Petula Clark, performing her #1 hit “Downtown;” Roger Miller, playing his biggest hit, “King of the Road;” Donovan, opening his set with Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier;” and the reigning queen of folk, Joan Baez, reflecting the continuing popularity of the genre as the Vietnam War escalated. Phil Spector also played piano for Joan Baez’s rendition of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”
Donovan would remain in Hollywood after the taping, and soon record “The Trip” and “Season of the Witch” at the Columbia studios on Sunset Blvd. later sequenced into his Sunshine Superman album.
Performing to the side of the stage in between acts, but not seen in The Big T.N.T. Show film, was the Modern Folk Quartet. Made up of songwriter/producer Chip Douglas, Lovin’ Spoonful member Jerry Yester, rock photographer Henry Diltz, and songwriter/musician Cyrus Faryar, with session player “Fast” Eddie Hoh on drums, the band closed the evening with the show’s Harry Nilsson-composed theme song “This Could Be The Night.”
To this day, Nilsson’s song is the opening theme to the weekly DJ Rodney Bingenheimer’s Rodney on the ROQ radio shift on KROQ-FM 106.7.
Frank Zappa, Sky Saxon, Mary Hughes, Rodney Bingenheimer, Johnny Legend and Ron and Russell Mael [later of Sparks] are shown on screen in The Big T.N.T. Show audience.
“I went to the taping. There was an open-door policy,” volunteered Bingenheimer. “I might have gotten tickets at Wallach’s Music City on Sunset and Vine.
“Phil Spector was around. Backstage there was food and all the cool bands from the Sunset Strip were there. This was the event of the sixties in a theater with a revolving stage.
“I spent some time with David McCallum. We talked about music. His father was a classical musician in England. I was introduced to Donovan. And I sat in the middle of the audience when he sang on a stool. It was cosmic!
“The Ronettes were amazing. I loved Ray Charles. To this day, his LP, Ray Charles Sings Country and Western is one of my favorites,” Rodney enthused.
“We were watching this mind-blowing show in color but we knew the movie from it was going to be in black and white. What was really nice about the whole thing, and this what Hollywood was like during 1965-1967, was that many of the acts at the show hung out in the lobby and talked to fans and signed every autograph. I had already seen the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and this event was just as incredible.
“Man, I have been waiting a long time for this official retail release.”
This sanctioned commercial Big T.N.T. Show product has been hailed as one of the definitive music flicks from the coast with the most.
“We did The Big T.N.T. Show with Phil,” offered Don Randi in a 2008 interview I conducted with him. “And, on all our dates, we all could read, except maybe a few of the guys who were brought in as players and specialists. All the guys could always read chord charts. That’s for sure. I had Barney Kessel on The Big T.N.T. Show.
“My guys in the studio could play live anywhere,” stressed Randi. “They were capable musicians. The Big T.N.T. Show was fantastic because of Phil. And he gave me the opportunity, ‘cause otherwise I could have taken another date. But when Phil calls, he was ‘first call’ for me. If I were going to do something else many times I would move things around to accommodate him.
“You’ve got to remember that most of the guys that were in ‘Phil’s band’ especially were all jazz players and rock ‘n’ roll was a living for them. And a lot of them didn’t like it as much as I did. I have to be very frank about it. I always liked the rock ’n’ roll part of it. I thought it was great fun and sometimes very musically interesting. Not all the time. 80 percent of the time. We got to do some things on rock ‘n’ roll dates we could not do in jazz and studio settings. It’s an interesting concept but those guys were very capable. They were the best musicians and still are the best musicians,” Randi boasted.
Randi’s principal stagehand was Robert Marchese, a record producer, who later won a Grammy for producing the first live Richard Pryor comedy album from The Troubadour. Marchese previously engineered some sessions for Spector.
At the taping, Marchese observed a conversation between Spector and Ray Charles.
“Don Randi got me the gig as his assistant,” recalled Marchese. “I was setting up the stage and working with the orchestra in the pit,” Marchese relates from Pittsburgh, PA.
“The arranger/producer) Arif Mardin was there and gave me a copy of the Otis Redding album, Otis Blue. I saw Joe Adams, who was a well-known radio DJ in L.A. (The Mayor Of Melody) and an actor (Carmen Jones).
“He was also Ray’s right hand man. I told Joe I wanted to shake hands with Ray Charles. He said ‘sure.’ I said hello to Ray, and then he motioned to Joe and me to take him to ‘meet’ Phil Spector, who was overseeing the whole ball game. The Byrds were setting up. Ray says to Phil, ‘Are you Mr. Phil Spector?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Are you the Boy Genius?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Are you the inventor of the Wall Of Sound?’’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Are you the guy who had over 20 hit singles in a row?’ ‘Yes’” ‘Then Mr. Spector, how come there’s no toilet paper in the bathroom?’”
"The then King-Of-All-Media-in-waiting Phil Spector not only fully launches action with the ultra-Modern Folk Quartet’s ‘This Could Be The Night’ — setting composer Harry Nilsson’s career on its way in the process,” underscores writer and archivist Gary Pig Gold, “not at all coincidentally — but stuck all the way round to produce the T.N.T. to boot; glimpse his ivories right beside righteous Joan Baez, f’rinstance.
“Uncle Phil also graciously allowed Ronnie out to front her fabulous Ronettes … while keeping both ears keyed onto Ike and especially Tina Turner too, you can bet.
“Meanwhile, a still freshly-flying Byrds were counseled backstage by no less than Roger Miller to stick to their countrypolitan guns, Petula Clark can be seen serenading Sky Saxon (as a somewhat dejected F. Zappa sulks elsewhere within the Moulin Rouge), and ingenious-as-ever Ray Charles adds full frug to his American International Ingredients for Soul. Dump into the gloriously mono mix Donovan, Diddley, Illya Kuryakin and a positively scene-stealing —thanks to Canucklehead-in-residence Zal Yanovsky, naturally — Lovin’ Spoonful and, lighting its stick and letting off one brash bang indeed, The Big T.N.T. Show in many ways somehow even managed to one-up its big T.A.M.I. brother!”

For further insights into both of these history-making game and frame films, bundled together on Blu-ray, I readily suggest reading Rock ‘N’ Film: Cinema’s Dance With Popular Music, a terrific book penned by Dr. David James, published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.
In addition, there is also my own 2005 examination, Hollywood Shack Job Rock Music In Film and On Your Screen, published by the University of New Mexico Press.

Harvey Kubernik has been a music journalist for over 44 years and is the author of 8 books. During 2017, Sterling will publish Harvey Kubernik’s 1967 Complete Rock Music History on the Summer of Love.
Hey Kent,
Now the Christmas season is upon us. The other day, out of the blue, I thought of the 1961 hit, "Nut Rocker". I hadn't heard the record in DECADES! It was done by B. Bumble and the Stingers. The song is a hip, uptempo version from "The Nutcracker".
If you search this online, you will find that many sites say it's a fast cover of "March of the Wooden Soldiers" (or "...Tin Soldiers", or "...Toy Soldiers"). "March of the Toys" was from the operetta, "Babes in Toyland", which later became "The March of the Wooden Soldiers", from the Laurel and Hardy movie, "Babes in Toyland". Having been in both productions of "The Nutcracker" and "Babes...", myself, I can tell you that this really is a cover of "Children's Galop" from "The Nutcracker" ballet. Ok, now we have that straight.
The piano solo was supposed to be played by Ernie Freeman, who was featured on "Bumble Boogie", but he was out doing some heavy partying the night before they had the studio reserved, and couldn't get out of bed, so pianist Al Hazen was brought in at the last minute, to play on the recording. It was done in one take, but Hazen wanted to do it again. It was decided that the take was "good enough", and I agree with that decision.
- John LaPuzza

Kent ...
Here's a list of the Top 5 Elvis Christmas songs.  (I'm sure you can guess #1.)
#3 is a new favorite of mine.
Frank B.
I'll bet it's not "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer!"  I'll agree that "Blue Christmas" is the hands-down, landslide winner ... but my other favorites fall a little further down this list ...
I really like his versions of "Merry Christmas, Baby", "Santa Claus Is Back In Town", "If Every Day Was Like Christmas" and "Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me". 
And here's one you might not hear this Christmas ...

Years ago, I would have never thought a device such as this would be widely available in 2017!

Then, on further research, I find that this, and machines like it, have been around for some time now!
Vinyl was a big part of my life when I was a kid!  And now today I'm out of touch about vinyl?!
What's next? A Captain Midnight Secret Decoder Ring?!
Warmly, Chuck!
(Warmly. Get it? The special sound a vinyl aficionado believes to be of a superior quality
over audio tape and CDs! )
Chuck Buell
We could use some "warmly" here in Chicago right now, where we're going thru the deep freeze again ... windchill right now at 3 degrees (and I don't mean the "When Will I See You Again" kind) ... and REAL temperatures dropping below zero for a good chunk of next week!  (kk)