We'll be taking a short break for the holidays ... so enjoy what very well may be the last Sunday Comments Page of the year.
Merry Christmas to all ... and to all a good night!
re: LARRY LUJACK: Cheers and Kudos to Allan Sniffen, who did a GREAT job of saluting Larry Lujack on his Rewound Radio station Saturday ... vintage airchecks ran all afternoon long from various stages of Lujack's career ... it was SO good to hear Ol' Uncle Lar in his prime again ... not to mention the INCREDIBLE selection of music. SO much of which we NEVER get to hear anymore, despite being standard airplay fare at the time ... TONS of great forgotten hits and tracks. WTG, Allan ... Rewound Radio ALWAYS provides a GREAT soundtrack to the music we actually grew up with ... TONS and TONS of tunes that traditional radio has completely forgotten about. Nice job! (kk)
Hi Kent, Just in case you missed it, Larry "Superjock" Lujack had a national chart hit back in 1974. It was "The Ballad Of The Mad Streaker" on Curtom 1998. It was a fairly good novelty recording, as those type of songs go. It got as high as #125 and charted for 7 weeks on the Record World "101-150" chart. Play it and see if you remember it. Joel Whitburn Oh yeah, I remember it! (lol) Lujack was on WCFL at the time so the record got played sporadically on the station. Although it never officially charted here, it was shown on their survey as an "extra". Give it a listen ... it might provide a giggle or two. (kk)
>>>He was the hardest working radio person I ever met. (Little Snot-Nosed Tommy)
If you ever watched one of Art Vuolo's video airchecks, there is one where Art catches Lujack outside leaving the station (I think) and he really doesn't want to be on Art's video or interviewed, but what captured MY attention was the amount of "homework" he had under his arm! It was like me trying to tote school books every day a mile to school in High School! You KNEW and heard about how much he worked at his show and it did showup well on the air!
One of the Klunk Letters of the Day I recorded in 1973 off CFL pretty much said it all. It was from a young woman who wrote: "Mr. Lujack, I don't know what is wrong with you. People say they hate you and you laugh and degrade them And even when people say you are great, you still laugh and degrade them. Mr. Lujack, remember that it is the meek who shall inherit the earth." Larry, in his own great style replied: "Uh, I don't need that crap. You Biblical people can just save that stuff. 'Judge not, lest ye be judged!' Take that, kid!" and then he wadded up the letter and tossed it as always.
I hate to contradict FH, but there are five Animal Stories releases, not four.
My bad ... I must be missing one from my collection! (In fact, Amazon doesn't even include this one on their "Animal Stories" page ... but you CAN find it if you do a separate search for Volume 5.) And they're getting tougher and tougher to find ... but don't be surprise if these all become available again now that Uncle Lar has passed on. (kk)
I hate to speak badly about the dead, but I witnessed Lujack proving he was the gruff, mean-spirited guy he was sometimes known to be.
It was 1970 and I was a sophomore at St. Ignatius College Prep on Roosevelt Road on the near west side of Chicago. They had booked a concert to play in the gymnasium. It was the Cryan Shames and an opening act. There were two shows, 2 in the afternoon and 8 in the evening. I attended the afternoon show which only drew maybe 200 fans. The evening show sold out long in advance. Larry Lujack was to be the emcee.
After the opening act, Superjock walked out onto the stage and took a look around at the nearly empty house and shook his head. It was obvious that he was upset that the house wasn't packed with his army of fans.
Lujack was supposed to hand out autographed photos and give away some albums to the crowd. He walked up to the microphone and said, "Here's some photos." And he threw them out to the audience. The problem was that they were bound into packets with rubber bands and were pretty heavy projectiles. Then he said, "Have some records," and threw the albums out all at once like a stack of Frisbees. He then promptly walked off of the stage. I guess he never returned for the evening show. Quite a temper tantrum, I'd have to say!
Thank you -
I was as big a fan of Larry Lujack as I could be given that I was living in North Dakota in his WLS and WCFL days. I probably got to hear him most in the summers since I'd go to visit my Sister in Indiana and also in Wisconsin. I think from the time I first heard Dick Biondi through Larry Lujack, I wanted to be a jock. When I went to college I was a Speech Communications major with emphasis on radio broadcasting. Then I quit college to go on the road with a band and my radio dreams went out the window because I've been a full time musician ever since. If I really had a choice, I'd have picked radio in those 60's and 70's days. I taped Larry's shows every day and replayed them until the tapes all wore out years later. I remember one of his Klunk Letters of the Day was about Chuck Negron after he'd been arrested for heroin possession. The writer was trying to convince Larry that it was all a publicity stunt by Three Dog Night's Management. Their tune out at the time was Till the World Ends, which is still one of my favorite Dog tunes, and every time I hear it I'm still listening to Larry Lujack in my mind.
Oh forgot to mention, one of my best friends bought Larry's book when it came out, and loved it.
Did I read that WLS flyer correctly? Was the Larry Lujack Show on seven days a week in Chicago?
Highly unusual. Most DJ's worked 6 days a week.
There were probably short periods of time when this was the case ... if you noticed one of the other letters we received last week, they saw Lujack at a live event on a Sunday and then came out to also hear him on the radio when they got to the car. That's because Sunday's show was pre-taped for weekend airings. It was also fairly common here to have a "best of" clips show run on the weekend for some of the more popular jocks so that listeners had the chance to catch up on anything they may have missed during the week ... and, believe it or not, we tuned in to listen ... because we didn't want to miss a THING!!! So much exceptional radio talent has passed through our city over the years, often presenting "must hear" radio ... again, this was a time when jock personality reigned supreme ... you were genuinely afraid to tune out, for fear you might miss something! ... not like now where they're barely allowed to give more than the station call letters, time and temperature. A different era ... and a FAR more entertaining one to be sure ... and a MAJOR reason why radio is in the tailspin that it has been in for the last couple of decades. (kk)
People remember where there were when they heard John Kennedy, Elvis, John Lennon, and Buddy Holly died and they will remember where they were when they heard Larry Lujack died. His legend and influence went far beyond Chicago.
I never had the pleasure to listen to nor meet Mr. Lujack, but it seems to me you have all given him as memorable a tribute as he gave Mother Teresa.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano
re: THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME:
If there’s ANY group the deserves to be in the Hall, it’s the Doobie Brothers! So one of the members might’ve ticked off somebody that has power in the selection committee. That was a long time ago. Let those feelings go away and give the Doobies their rightful place in the RRHOF.
Reaction and media coverage to this year's selection has been outstanding ... maybe The Rock Hall Nominating Committee will take note and make it a point to select more "deserving and denied" induction-worthy artists in the future ... mix it up a little bit. This may be the strongest over-all class in 20 years! (Now make things right and induct Chicago, The Guess Who and The Moody Blues next year!!!) kk
And FH Reader Bob Rush (who was about to launch a petition campaign on behalf of recognizing Beatles Manager Brian Epstein) was quite pleased to see Epstein's name on this year's list of inductees ...
See?! It worked! :))
I just spoke to Billy J. Kramer - he found out at 4:00 this morning and is thrilled. Good new and much deserved!
I'd like to say Billy J. Kramer's and my petition worked, but I didn't even submit it yet!
Andrew Loog Oldham is also being inducted, which is also deserving.
So, thanks to everyone for signing the petition, and yay, etc!
Meanwhile, The Pop Music Hall Of Fame HAS inducted Chicago ... along with The Monkees, The Bee Gees and eleven others (including The Carpenters, Buddy Holly, Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel and The Supremes.)
Incredibly NOT making the cut were Pat Boone, Dion, the Everly Brothers, the Four Seasons, Connie Francis, Ricky Nelson, Gene Pitney, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Three Dog Night, Dionne Warwick and Andy Williams. (Like we always say, NO Hall of Fame will ever please EVERYBODY!!!) kk
featuring Dion, Brenda Lee, The Temptations, Peter Noone, Jay Black, Dean Torrence, Martha & The Vandellas, The Duprees, comedian Joe Piscopo, Rick Nelson Remembered featuring Matthew & Gunnar Nelson and more.
WOW! Some amazing line-ups for these cruises! Check out the links for more information. (kk)
Paul Revere and the Raiders and Three Dog Night are both coming to The Arcada Theatre next year ... and we can't wait! Drummer Tommy Scheckel tells us that Paul is doing GREAT ... which is SO good to hear! (kk)
Thanks for the nice words about our show, that was very cool of you! I just shared it with Paul, hope to see you at the show. We just played our Christmas show a couple nights in Atlantic City and will play it again in Jackson, CA, two sold out shows in NJ, and then hoping for another in CA. Man, we all love playing that show so much ... we’d like to start Christmas the day after Halloween (like they do in Branson). I used to see the Brain Setzer Christmas show every year in Chicago, it was one of our family traditions. That’s our goal for our show ... have it become a holiday tradition for people around the country.
Paul’s doing amazing, by the way. He’s an animal!!
Merry Christmas to you and yours. And be careful driving (sorry dude, I’m a dad, I have to say things like that).
Among the cool things I've come across at Amazon this week was this package of the top 100 songs from 1955. Kind of nice to have a year's worth of tunes in one place. Wish someone would do this in an affordable box for every year.
Yes, we've talked about this one before ... but to be clear, it's not The Top 100 Songs of 1955 ... but rather ONE WEEK of 1955 ... or, more specifically, the very FIRST week that Billboard published a Top 100 List. (Year End Charts would be even more fascinating.)
It's a different set of rules in Europe regarding copyrights and, as such, compilations like this can be put together very cheaply without heavy royalty penalties. Randy Price's collection of 1960's Instrumentals falls into the same category ... he's been releasing, year by year, literally EVERY instrumental hit to chart on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart. (I believe he's made it through 1962 at this point.) As most of you already know, instrumental hits became scarcer and scarcer as the decade wore on ... but there were still a TON on instrumentals hits that floated around the bottom region of the chart ... and it's AWESOME to be able to collect them all in one place ... and in pristine sound.
I enjoyed looking through the surveys you posted from the Philippines. When I saw that Tammy Wynette's song APARTMENT #9 charted, it reminded me of another version. Now to be honest with you, I am not familiar with her version. However, in 1967 on our local top 40 radio station's weekly survey, local group Jim Edgar & the Roadrunners had a version that peaked at #4 in February of that year. What a group that was.
>>>One of our local DJ's would turn the New Christy Minstrels record over and play the flip side, THEY GOTTA QUIT KICKIN' MY DOG AROUND. Always liked that tune over the "A" side of the record. (Larry) Larry and Kent,
I recorded this off KOMA or WKY at the time, but it took a few years before I knew who sang it. Eventually, I tracked it down because it was a song I always remembered from my childhood that made me sing a long. It reminds me of another novelty B side of the era I liked. The B side of the Glencoves hit "Hootennany" was "It's Sister Ginny's Turn to Throw the Bomb". I never heard it on radio like the Minstrels song, but when I saw that title on the B side, I just HAD to play it!
It's like seeing the below B side when I got "Deep Purple" as a kid too. Ya gotta play this and see what is going on with this title! Anaheim, Jeremy Peabody, here's another one ...
FH Reader sent us this vintage article regarding Dave Clark ... written by none other than FH Reader (and noted author) Bob Greene ... way back in 1987!
Thanks to some of your research, I was able to clear up some misinformation this week about the first radio station to play the Beatles in America. Ultimate Classic Rock (which does good work generally) posted that WWDC in Washington was the first, with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in December, 1963. This sent me to the chart database at ARSA and to a recent post at your site, and I was able to clear it up. The people at UCR were kind enough to update their post with my info.
My post: http://jabartlett.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/who-played-the-beatles-first/ Couldn't have done it without you.
Merry / Happy
The Hits Just Keep on Comin' jabartlett.wordpress.com
Hi JB ... thanks for the plug. It was the repeated misinformation that kept circulating that prompted me to do my research in the first place. When a legitimate Beatles biography ("Shout") gets published crediting the Washington DC station as being the first station in The States to play a Beatles record ... or when a legitimate radio station like Sirius / XM touts Murray The K for being the first when he played "She Loves You" (despite the fact that Dick Clark ALSO featured "She Loves You" on American Bandstand ... where it pretty much tanked), I just felt that the REAL facts deserved to be out there. There's been about a dozen years of research since mine, which is why these other "Please Please Me" chartings are now showing up. (Credit Beatles historian Bruce Spizer for a lot of that work ... after he first published my findings, he did some serious digging of his own and came up with, I believe, FIVE stations in all that played "Please Please Me" in 1963, although none as early as WLS did. I still believe that's because VeeJay Records was based here and a relationship was already established between the label and Dick Biondi. And let's face it ... VeeJay was hot at the time, scoring several hits by The Four Seasons at this point.)
I have visited your site before and enjoy it. Hopefully you'll continue to check out ours as well ... there is ALWAYS something interesting going on here. (kk)
We heard from a couple of other readers who saw or heard our name mentioned in conjunction with this "special anniversary" ... evidently several radio stations and music blogs across the country were celebrating the first airing of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" last week ... most often incorrectly referring to this event as the first time The Beatles were played in America. (Of course Forgotten Hits Readers know better ... and have known better for about twelve years now!)
Anyway, here's another shout out to our article ... as well as a link to the original piece as well ...
Good News! Looks like I'll finally get the chance to see "20 Feet From Stardom" after all. If it ever played in Chicago, we missed it ... but it is coming back for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Tuesday, January 7th, at The Lake Theater in Oak Park. It's supposed to be a magnificent film, spotlighting the background singers who just never seem to get the proper recognition for helping to make our superstars sound so amazing live on stage. Gonna have to make it a point to get to this one! More details here: Click here: Classic Cinemas MovieTime Email(SM)
12/20/1973 = On the 40th anniversary of Bobby Darin's death, this might be a good time to look back. The start of his career.
I know, I know ... we STILL haven't posted our Bobby Darin Web Page. (There just isn't the time in the day to do so ... that series ran for a full month ... to edit it all back down now to fill a web page is an insurmountable amount of work ... but I still plan on getting to it SOME day!!!) Meanwhile, you can enjoy this look back at the early days of Bobby's career. (kk)
After reading about the passing of Jack Reardon, who wrote "The Good Life", FH Reader Clark Besch felt compelled to write Paul Evans this email:
I read about your friend who wrote "The Good Life". What a GREAT song that was! Your songs will always be memorable for me and my brothers as well. I thought of something to ask you. Back in say, 1968 or so, when Bobby Vinton was a long time star as was his music, did you ever think there would be a time when radio would NOT be playing "Roses are Red"?? I am guessing NO. I used to hear it as oldies for so many years that I would have thought YOU would never think of it as one not remembered by the public. Of course, old timers like me still remember how BIG it was, but now, many don't even know who Bobby Vinton is, let alone his music. I also wondered if you were ever contacted for a follow-up, since "Blue on Blue" is great, too, but not written by you, yet with a similar theme.
Have a great holiday season!
I wondered what Paul might have said on this (as I wanted to share it with our readers.) Here's the reply he sent me: I did respond to Clark's question: I'm always amazed at how my songs have gone on and on. It's an honor and and it comes with a bit of pride. After "Roses Are Red (My Love)" became the monster that it was, there was a great deal of competition for the follow-up for his next record. By the way, Kent, I had one more song recorded by Bobby and released in an album. "Life Goes On" (Evans / Parnes) was submitted directly to Bobby after being accepted by his producer, Bob Morgan, but it was turned down by Bobby who told me that it was a terrific song but not a number one song. (Who could argue with his string of number ones?) I don't think I mentioned to Clark that so many people told me that the song would NOT be forgotten, that I always had confidence that it would always be there. And it has always been very, very good to me. Paul Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you as well ... speaking of which ...
re: MERRY CHRISTMAS:
How about a list of favorite Rock Xmas 45’s / songs??
Not enough time to pull it together now ... maybe we can do it justice next year. Actually, I'm going to take some time off here at the holidays to "regroup" a little bit. But I'll bet our readers could come up with one heck of a list! (kk)
Hi to my "Oldies" friends,
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a warm holiday season and a happy and healthy 2014.
LONG MAY ROCK LIVE AND PROSPER!
By the way, my "Santa's Stuck Up In The Chimney" video has now gotten over 1,365,000 views on You Tube. And now teachers are writing to let me know that their students will be singing "Santa" at their Christmas concerts. So check it out (and bringyourkids) http://www.youtube.com/watch?=557tQC86thA
Well, first I'd like to say thanks again to the person who gave the Forgotten Hits List the Christmas and Then Some program last year. Between it, and all the other Christmas music I own, I haven't had to turn on the awful Christmas programming that radio has been offering. The playlist gets smaller and worse each year. Sheesh. Those damn consultants.
My favorite new Christmas album of the year is the Kelly Clarkson Unwrapped album. I always thought she had a great versatile voice and this album shows all her styles from the traditional things, a little big band, and some darn good new things. There are even a couple nods to Phil Spector. In a sea of dull Christmas albums this year I thought this one is a keeper.
Kelly says it's her best work. (And it sounds like she finished it just in time ... morning sickness has her barfing about twelve times a day right now!!!) I enjoy most of it ... her Christmas television special, not so much ... but she always sounds amazing. One surprise I saw on the new CD ... she credits "Run Rudolph Run" to Johnny Marks as the songwriter. Most will argue that while Marks wrote the original "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Run Rudolph Run" was all Chuck Berry's doing. But the fact is, it's simply not true!
While Berry is most definitely the one who made it a hit, Marks co-wrote the song with Marvin Brodie, very much in the musical style of Chuck's rock-and-roll pattern. Incredibly, when the record was first released in 1958, it was Chuck Berry who shared song-writing credit on the label with Brodie ... story goes that at the time the label and publisher were concerned that the black R&B stations wouldn't play the song if it was written by a "standards" Christmas composer like Johnny Marks ... so they tried to "hip things up" a bit by putting Chuck's name on the label. (Actually the OFFICIAL wording was "Chuck Berry Music" ... although the song was actually published by St. Nicholas Music.)
From Willowdale Ont Canada, I wish you and your American readers a great CHRIST /mas
(Happy Holoday's is for summer vacations) and a great 2014.
Kind of a Christ / masie pic for you, 'stead of a card . Next years Olympics, refing in the hockey, NHL refs and one is Kevin Pollock, from????? KINCARDINE. HIS DAD is my Sis's husband's brother
Kincardine & Willowdale
The annual “A Hometown Holiday” with Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s will air Christmas Day December 25th from 7 am - 4 pm on WLTL-FM 88.1 and stream.
Mike Baker And The Forgotten 45s broadcast the first "A Hometown Christmas" on Christmas Day, 1995. Carol and Joe Gentile on WJJG-AM 1530 brought the holiday special to listeners commercial-free. The annual special included Christmas one hit wonders, holiday hits from the golden age of top-40 and more. The holiday music oldies show was all live and local, year after year for 16 years.
(Sweet Angie) The Christmas Tree Angel - Fran Allison (host of Kukla, Fran & Ollie)
Pretty Little Dolly - Mona Abboud
At the above website is a list of Christmas one hit wonders that was originally published by Jerry Osborne in the Chicago Sun-Times.
MERRY CHRISTMAS BUDDY !!!!!!!!!!!!
ASCAP has just released their list of The Top Ten Most Popular, Most Played Christmas Songs for this holiday season. (It should be noted that all of the songs on this list are published by ASCAP ... no BMI Titles are listed ... so this is probably better reflected as a popular songs list rather than an absolute assessment.) I don't know about you but I don't need to hear "Happy Xmas" by John and Yoko ever again any time soon. I swear I've turned this song off at least 200 times these past few weeks! (Hmm ... must be a BMI title! lol) kk
Here are the top ten Christmas songs for the year with the composers and the most popular version.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Written by Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne (Dean Martin)
Sleigh Ride - Written by Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish (Leroy Anderson)
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Written by Meredith Willson (Johnny Mathis)
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Written by Johnny Marks (Brenda Lee)
Jingle Bell Rock - Written by Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe (Bobby Helms)
Winter Wonderland - Written by Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith (Amy Grant)
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Written by Edward Pola and George Wyle (Andy Williams)
Do You Hear What I Hear? - Written by Gloria Shayne Baker, Noël Regney (Whitney Houston)
Frosty the Snowman - Written by Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins (Jimmy Durante)
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - Written by Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie (Bruce Springsteen)
Check out this kid. Elvis lives on ... in the form of a 16 year old Canadian Dude! Frank B.
Time again for a visit from that old guy in the beard.
I hope your other bearded visitor brings you lotsa goodies ...and that you enjoy good health throughout the new year!
And, in light of all the controversy going on this past week, our buddy Renfield may be going out on a limb here with this statement ... but this week's R.I.P. Renfield newsletter proclaims ... I'm not looking to start any
trouble ... but ... FROSTY
the SNOWMAN is WHITE !!!
re: DIGGIN' FORGOTTEN HITS:
The bullet info was most interesting! And I love how you tied in the other bullet-related tracks. FH just can't be beat.
Hey Hits! (et al):
Great site; great recollections and collections! Makes me want to
turn around and do a few more WLS Silver Dollar Survey gigs! Keep
WLS 1960 - 1964