Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Cornerstones Of Chicago Rock - Part 4

Kent ...  
Thanks for your continued flow of info. Someday they should do a show of Forgotten DJ's of Chicago (Well, Biondi will never be forgotten ... ) ... it might prove to be as dull a show as ever came out of Chicago :)  
Speaking of Biondi, they should have had him on the show to sing "On Top Of A Pizza"!  
Bob Hale  
You know that actually WOULD make an interesting show.  I'll bet we could round up about a dozen deejays from back in the day ... have them come out and each introduce one of the acts ... I think fans would get a real kick out of that, seeing the folks that provided the soundtrack narration of our youth.  (Hey, there was a time when the deejays were nearly every bit as popular as the groups and artists themselves!)  You may be on to something here, Bob!  (kk)  

By the way New Yorker Frank B sent me this YouTube link to one of those Rewind / Big 89 radio specials ...  

Kent ...  
I know you know some of these guys.  
Frank B.   

Hi Kent:   
Having a Record Store, I can tell you that in recent years if the Cryan' Shames' 45 of “Sugar & Spice / Ben Franklin” sells, ½ the time at least it is for Ben Franklin. If Young Birds / Sunshine Psalm sells, it is almost always that they ask for Sunshine Psalm. If they are chart / survey oriented collectors, then they want the A sides. I agree that Sugar & Spice is a Great 60’s Record. “Come On, Let’s Go” by The McCoys was a big hit here in Milwaukee. It is also an excellent version of Ritchie Valens’ Classic. “Sometimes Good Guys…”, was not played all that much here. Basically was an Up & Comer for a week or two.   
I remember hearing "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" a few times here on the radio ... and I liked it ok ... but it was hardly what you would consider a "hit".  (WLS charted it for three weeks ... and it peaked at #39!!!)  

Hey Kent!  
Jim Pilster here.  Man, you couldn't have been more spot on in your original assessment of this WTTW thing!   
Thanks Buddy!  
Jim (not Jimbo)      

Two different comments:    
A joy to read Chet Coppock's recollections of those days.  Even though I had already left the group for the particular session he mentioned, those sessions at Chess (both old and new) were amazing.  And all (at least when I was there) were true collaborations.  And he's right - I highly doubt if today's musicians will ever even have the chance to do the kinds of things we (all the Chicago groups) were able to do.   
And that's a shame.  
And that leads to Ray's comments -  
They are 100% right on.  The NC6 wasn't a "manufactured"group - we were just guys that went to school together and truly liked being together.  And many times, particularly in the early days, that was a challenge. But we did enjoy being together.  Breaking through (shameless album plug) the music blockade to put Chicago groups on the map, performing with all the other Chicago groups, hanging out together outside of the band - great memories.  And Ray's comments about "collaboration" are also right on - we did everything together - writing, arranging, rehearsing (ugh!) and ultimately performing. That closeness was our strength, and I think our live performances showed that.  And maybe we didn't get all the recognition and success some of the other Chicago groups did, but what we had was ours, and we couldn't wait to share it with our audience and fans. Well said, Ray.    
Do be Colony!  
Wally Kemp  
Founding member and Bass player  
New Colony Six  

Our FH Buddy, photographer / writer Jack Mongan, covered the show for dnainfochicago and filed this report:  
You'll find TONS of Jacks' great photos up on this site. (In fact, we even "borrowed" a few for our own use!)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  I was just informed that the photos used below were actually taken by Matthew Ramey at WTTW.  I was unaware of this at the time and certainly don't want to imply otherwise ... so I wanted to make this clear right away.  Jack Mongan's photos are the black and white shots used on the website link above.

 Jim Peterik, fronting The Ides Of March

 Three of the original Cryan Shames ...
(L-R) James Fairs, Tom Doody and Jim Pilster
(backed by The Ides)

 The New Colony Six, also backed by The Ides Of March
(Center, L-R:  Current Member Bruce Mattey, Founding Member Ray Graffia, Jr. 
and Mr. Jukebox Himself, Ronnie Rice, sandwiched in between 
Larry Milas (L) and Jim Peterik (R) of The Ides

 Our buddy Ray Graffia, Jr.

 SO good to see both of these guys smiling ...
Current Buckinghams front man Carl Giammarese (L)
and Original Buckinghams Lead Singer Dennis Tufano  (R)

There was LOTS of focus last week on The Ides Of March as part of our Cornerstones Of Chicago Rock coverage ... but now comes word that Jim Peterik's OTHER big band, Survivor, have just hired a brand new lead singer and are lining up dates for a 2016 tour.  

FH Reader Tom Cuddy tells us:   

Survivor will be back on stage in 2016.   
The '80s hitmakers -- best known for "High on You," "The Search Is Over" and the Rocky movie anthems "Eye of the Tiger" and "Burning Heart" -- will have a new front man next year. Cameron Barton will take the place of the late Jimi Jamison, who died in 2014.   
Legendary rock band Survivor is embarking on their next chapter in 2016 with a new member who has seemingly given new life to one of rock ‘n’ roll’s preeminent bands. With 21-year-old Nashville resident Cameron Barton assuming lead vocalist duties, the group will take their trademark arena rock sound to their loyal and devoted fan base.      
Barton steps into the role of Jimi Jamison, who passed away in September of 2014.  Survivor is excited to have Cameron bring his powerhouse vocal style to the band’s live shows. “He’s great,” says the band’s Frankie Sullivan. “After hearing him, I was in Nashville within twenty four hours. I was in the studio with him about a day later. I stayed with him for about four days, and put him through the ringer. He just kept getting better and kept delivering.” Barton’s commitment to getting the job done is something that impresses his bandmate. “He’s a very focused guy. Most musicians aren’t that focused when they are that young. He learned twenty songs in about eight days.”   
Sullivan noted that there might be pressure of taking on the role of lead singer in a group with such a historic pedigree, but he says Barton doesn’t seem to be affected by the pressure. “He just wants to do what he does. You get new people in with new ideas, and usually that comes with a different vibe.”   
All in all, the band is hoping that 2016 brings more success with their impending tour and planned album, slated for later in the year. “I think it could be a year to remember.  He has a great work ethic.”    
Survivor released their first album in 1980 on Scotti Brothers Their first Top 40 on the Hot 100 came the next year with “Poor Man’s Son.” Their big break would come 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 – staying there for seven weeks, winning a Grammy for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, a People’s Choice Award, and an Academy Award nomination. The song came in at #18 on the “Top 100 Singles” chart in Billboard‘s 100th Anniversary issue and it’s well over the 300,000 mark on iTunes, where it’s currently holding strong at #9 on their “Top Soundtrack” chart. The band also struck paydirt as a result of a Stallone movie when “Burning Heart” appeared on the soundtrack of Rocky IV in 1985, hitting # 2 on the singles chart.    
The band’s VITAL SIGNS, was another huge success for the band, peaking at #16 on Billboard‘s “Top 200 Albums” chart thanks to the Billboard Top-20 hits "I Can't Hold Back" (#13), "High On You" (#8) and "The Search Is Over" (#4).   
Dates for 2016 will be announced soon. 
For more information about Survivor, log on to their

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Friday Flash

All kinds of good stuff today ... 

And, if everything goes according to plan, we'll have postings all weekend, too, so stay tuned!  

re:  Cory Wells:  
I'd seen them a couple of times over the years and they were always a fantastic live act. After one show we were behind the theater hoping to score some autographs as the band went past.  Michael Allsup stopped to sign just a few autographs, but Cory and Danny rushed right by everyone without even making eye contact. Regardless, they are definitely in my top 10 all time favorite concert acts.
-- Tom Diehl   

By the way, the death of Cory Wells pushed Three Dog Night's "The Complete Hit Singles" CD back into The Top Ten overnight.  (kk)   

Kent ...  
Scott Shannon was an MC for Three Dog Night as a young DJ.
Frank B. 
I think Scott used to warm up the crowd for Rudolph Valentino back in the day, too.  I swear, this guy has been EVERYWHERE and met EVERYBODY ... man, the stories he could tell ... if anybody should write a book, THIS is the guy  who should do it ... so many great adventures over the years with every rock star imaginable.  (I'm telling you, Scott, we can make a few bucks with this!!!)  kk  

Hi Kent -  
So sorry to hear of Cory Wells' passing. I wasn't a big fan of Three Dog Night for some reason, but my favorite song of theirs was "Mama Told Me Not To Come" ... and Cory sang lead on that one!  He is in Rock and Roll Heaven now!!! Carolyn
Yes, but NOT in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... where he and his compadres Danny Hutton and Chuck Negron most certainly belong.  
I'm still adjusting to the idea that Cory Wells is gone ... he was in SUCH fine voice the last couple of times we saw him.  And I still can't believe he was 74!!!  That puts him a year older than McCartney, whose career started a good five or six years sooner.
And once again I'm extremely bitter about The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ignoring Three Dog Night ... what other rock group had THREE exceptional lead vocalists and helped introduce the world to great songwriters like Randy Newman, Elton John and Laura Nyro ... all of whom are IN The ROck And Roll Hall Of Fame ... as well as Harry Nilsson, Russ Ballard, Hoyt Axton, Paul Williams, Dave Loggins, Leo Sayer, John Hiatt and Allen Toussaint, each of whom made a fortune when Three Dog Night covered one of their tunes.
And once again The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has let another member of rock royalty pass away, rather than honor and acknowledge them during their lifetime.  FAR too many were not considered until just after they'd left us, despite STELLAR careers in music ... and, on more than one occasion, passed away just prior to the induction ceremony after they'd FINALLY been recognized.
Stop worrying about the NEW acts ... most of whom have not sustained a career deserving of induction and recognition ... and start honoring some of those who came before ... many of whom most likely influenced some of these "newbies" to get into the music business in the first place.  (kk)   

And, speaking of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ...

re:  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
>>>I have been trying to vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees since you first posted the information. I have used the links provided. I have made my choices and upon submitting them I get this ... FORBIDDEN (403) ... CSRF Verification Failed ... Request Aborted.  I don't know what I am doing wrong.  (Stacee)  
>>>I had some difficulties, too ... I can only attribute this to the volume of people on the site at the same time.  Think about it ... the nominees were announced on Friday Morning ... and by 8:00 Sunday Night over 117 Million Votes had already been cast.  (Now THAT'S some heavy traffic!)    kk  
UPDATE:  Try this link ... it seems to be much more user-friendly:   

If the fans had their way, they would still induct Chicago, the Cars, Yes,Steve Miller and Deep Purple to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but what used to be less than 1% separating the five front runners is now a flat out runaway for Chicago.  The jazz-rock group now holds 23.52% of the total vote in which fans are able to select five out of the fifteen nominees. The other four in the upper tier of voting are in the narrow range of 16.19% to 15.95%. Then there is Janet Jackson with almost 6% of the votes and all of the rest of the field are below 1.3%. 
-- Vintage Vinyl News    

Hi Kent, 
I don't understand the criticism of the inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I have been to the Hall three times.  The Hall of Fame is a Profit organization, so the inductees are based on who will pay to go there  Most of these people are young and they never heard of the groups and artists that belong there.  They go to see the newer artists that they are familiar with.  The Hall of Fame exists only because of the young people that go there.  The owners could care less about who belongs in the Hall of Fame .., they just want the younger people to go see the artists that they remember ... and the Hall just wants to make money.  Hell, it's a miracle that Elvis made it.
Sorry, but that's the way it is. 
Arnold Kirkbride  
Well, I can honestly say that that's a perspective never heard before!  
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was founded under the notion of honoring those who made the greatest contributions and longest-lasting influences in the development and growth of rock and roll.  It was the first time rock and roll was ever truly recognized as an art form. 
The inaugural class included Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis Presley ... the Founding Fathers of Rock And Roll.  (If they built a Rock And Roll Mount Rushmore, all of these guys would be there!)  Over the next few years, The Coasters, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Bill Haley, Rick Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jackie Wilson, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, The Supremes, Dion, The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Bobby Darin, The Four Seasons, The Four Tops, The Kinks, The Platters, Simon and Garfunkel, The Who and Stevie Wonder all joined the ranks ... and this was all within the first five years!!! 
I guess one could argue that once all these folks got in, who else could possibly measure up and be deemed worthy.
By comparison, in the last five years we've seen Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, Dr. John and Tom Waits inducted.  Not that ANY of these artists didn't make their mark on the music scene ... but how can any of them POSSIBLY be compared to the original cast, if you will, for whom this foundation was started? 
It has NOTHING to do with drawing young folks out to the museum.  If anything, the museum caters to us "vintage rockers" by housing displays and tributes to all KINDS of great artists dating back to the '50's and '60's, many of whom have never been blessed with induction much less a nomination.  Simply put, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has lost its way ... and, in the process, all sense of perspective, importance and relevance.  This year (after a MAJOR shake-up on the nominating committee), we are FINALLY seeing long-overdue artists like Chicago, Yes, Steve Miller, The Spinners and Deep Purple enjoying their moment in the spotlight. 
Who'll get in?  We'll have to wait until December to find out ... but the very notion that "it's a miracle that Elvis made it" just speaks VOLUMES of how fucked up this entire process has become!  (kk)   

Speaking of Halls Of Fame, FH Reader Bob Merlis sent us this report from the recent Memphis Music Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony ...


This past weekend’s fourth annual Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony drew a sell-out crowd at the Cannon Center in downtown Memphis. Inductees included blues and jazz singer Alberta Hunter, original Elvis Presley band leader Scotty Moore, drummer Al Jackson, Jr., rock ’n’ roll/country/jazz icon Charlie Rich, soul greats Sam & Dave and contemporary pop giant Justin Timberlake.  Notables present included Keith Richards who accepted on behalf of Scotty Moore who was unable to attend.  He actually dropped the award which appeared to be undamaged; he apologized and quipped, “..but I dropped it classically, tastefully,” Jimmy Fallon presented the award to Justin Timberlake who noted, “This is the f**king coolest thing that has ever happened to me.” He was joined by Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul and Computer and Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, Jr. Timberlake’s wife, actress Jessica Biel was also in attendance. 
Tracy Nelson who founded the band Mother Earth sang Memphis Slim’s composition “Mother Earth” in honor of his induction while Reba Russell performed Alberta Hunter’s signature song “Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out.”  Al Jackson, Jr. was honored by a performance that featured drummer Steve Jordan and Jackson'sBooker T & The M.G.’s bandmate Steve Cropper.  The late Charlie Rich was inducted by Knox and Jerry Phillips, the sons of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and accepted by Rich’s son Charlie Rich, Jr. who performed his father’s classic hit “Behind Closed Doors.”  The evening concluded with a rousing performance by Sam Moore of Sam & Dave who was joined by Timberlake, Stax great William Bell, Cropper and others. Also on hand in speaking or performance roles were Jim Keltner, Preston Shannon, Amy LaVere, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton.
We’ve assembled a few photos shot backstage by Steve Roberts for the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

Bob also sent us some great photos of the event ...

Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Mike Conley, DJ Paul

   Keith Richards and Sam Moore 
 Justin Timberlake, William Bell, Steve Cropper, David Porter   
  Jimmy Fallon and Keith Richards

re:  This And That:  
From Vintage Vinyl News:   
David Cassidy has entered a not guilty plea in his recent arrest for leaving the scene of an accident. 
Cassidy was in a Florida courtroom on Tuesday to answer charges in a September 9 incident where he allegedly was was weaving in and out of traffic at a high speed before sideswiping a truck and the median. It is reported that he initially stopped at the scene but soon got back in his car and raced off. Police found his car a couple of hours later at Cleveland Clinic in Weston, FL where Cassidy claimed he had a preexisting appointment. He also told police that he did stop at the scene and exchange information with the truck driver.The eventual charges in the incident included leaving the scene of an accident, making an improper lane change, operating a vehicle with a suspended license and operating a vehicle with an expired registration. He was not tested for alcohol or drugs.Cassidy returns to court on November 11.Meanwhile, Britain's Daily Mail talked with truck driver Pedro Vargas about the incident. He said "I was driving at 60 maybe 65 miles per hour. For him to hit me like this he was coming at 80 maybe 90 miles per hour."Vargas injured his elbow trying to control the truck from rolling over after being hit. He also had trouble breathing after the incident, laying down on the pavement. The driver said Cassidy tried to tell him that the smashed light from his own car belonged to the truck, returning to his car which had a flat tire and fleeing the scene. "'His car was destroyed at the front on the left side and the right side tire had exploded. I remember how badly damaged it was and he ran like that."
A witness chased Cassidy for about a mile before he pulled over only to try and cover his license plate with a piece of clothing.  

Yep ... sounds "not guilty" to me!  (kk)

Kent ... 
Ron Smith's book says today (10/15) is the anniversary of Rick Nelson's Madison Square "Garden Party" in New York.  This concert was Rick's inspiration to write this Hit Song. 
I know its true 'cause I was there. = 10/15/1971.  
Frank B.  
Amazing how life experiences often become the best inspiration for a song.  Fact is you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself.  (kk)

One of the reasons I feel radio is doomed to just continue to make the same mistakes again and again and again came to light this past weekend when K-Hits announced their new contest. 
Now keep in mind that for the past sixteen years I have harped on relentlessly about how radio continues to drive listeners away by continuing to play the exact same crap throughout the day, day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.  We have stressed the importance of NOT insulting your listeners by force-feeding them the same crap because you don't feel they're capable of embracing more. 
So K-Hits has come up with the absolutely BRILLIANT concept of featuring "The Money Song Of The Day", which they announce every morning shortly after 8:00.  Then they tell you that they're going to play that song THREE TIMES later that day and that each time they play it, some lucky listener will have the chance to win $500. 
Which means (stick with me here) that the whole concept of this promotion is to get the listener to tune in all day long to hear the same crap they play all day long EVERY day anyway ... and then, as an extra added bonus, they get to hear this one particular piece of crap THREE times that day!!!  Listen to the same crap to get to the SPECIAL crap and then listen even longer so you can hear that SAME crap again and again. 
Hell, I'd give THEM $500 if they'd just expand their play list to about 3000 songs so that we didn't have to hear this same crap more than once or twice every couple of weeks ... instead of two or three times a day!!!  Unreal!  (And the saddest part of all is that there are consultants out there telling everyone who will listen that this is EXACTLY the type of programming the listeners want to hear!!!  And, somebody got PAID for coming up with this lamebrain promotion!!!)  kk   

Speaking of bad radio, long-time WLS-FM General Manager and Program Director Jan Jeffries is now out of a job ...  

Hey Kent -
Jan Jeffries, ex-WLS-FM program director who went back to one of his old haunts in Washington DC, has been shown the door at WRQX after only three months. It appeared he ran WLS-FM into the ground, from what I see on your site. Now he's lost his protectors in upper management in DC, what with all the corporate mess regarding Cumulus. 
Ahh, karma ... 
- Larry Cave

'Tis true.  Jeffries seems to have been "protected" by The Dickey Brothers, the higher echelon of Cumulus Broadcasting ... but after their ouster a few months ago, it looks like Cumulus isn't having any of Jeffries' recent track record on their resume.  Chicagoland Radio and Media is reporting:  

Jan Jeffries Forced Out From Cumulus  
Former Chicago radio programmer Jan Jeffries exited Cumulus Media today after over 18 years with the company. The exit was not Jeffries' decision, but was expected.
Jeffries served a Senior Vice President of Programming for Cumulus, and
since this past July, as Program Director for WRQX-FM in Washington, D.C., going there after nearly four years in Chicago as WLS-FM Program Director.
Jeffries has been with Cumulus since its start in 1997 and been SVP of Programming since 2007.
Despite questionable results, Jeffries continued to prosper within Cumulus, with almost no chance of being fired. This was due mainly to a very close, personal relationship he held with Cumulus President and CEO Lew Dickey and Cumulus Media Executive Vice President of Content & Programming John Dickey, as well as with the entire Dickey family.
Although in July he was demoted away from Chicago and to a smaller market, there was no concern he would exit Cumulus.
However in September, the Cumulus Board of Directors revolted,
ousting the Dickey brothers from the company. Without Lew Dickey to protect him, it was just a matter of time before Jeffries was also removed from the company. That finally took place this week, with the company confirming the news this morning.
Jan Jeffries first came to Chicago in the mid-1980s, working as a programmer and midday DJ at the former WAGO-FM/G106 (later WCKG-FM and then WCFS-FM). From there, he took a programming job at WLS-FM/WYTZ-FM, before moving on to Atlanta, GA.
Even though he held a corporate programming position with Cumulus Media, Jeffries chose to personally oversee WLS-FM as soon as Cumulus completed their takeover of Citadel Media. He and his family relocated to the Chicago area in 2011 so that he could set up his office within the WLS-AM / FM headquarters on Chicago's State Street.
Jeffries made his presence known fairly quickly at his second round at WLS-FM. Highly successful Operations Manager Michael La Crosse was forced out within a month, as was numerous producers, sales managers, web people, and even the station's longtime receptionist and mail room coordinator. Famed DJ names from WLS-AM's past were rehired to help "revitalize" a station that was already in the Top 10, but these famous DJ names were ordered to only speak for no more than a few seconds at a time, frustrating listeners and fans of these talents. The station eventually dropped its affiliation with Scott Shannon and his True Oldies Channel, fired its morning show host Dave Fogel, shoved beloved Chicago DJ Dick Biondi (who was working without a contract) into the overnight hours, and flipped the playlist to a Classic Rock-heavy version of Classic Hits.
Under Jeffries' oversight, WLS-FM saw its ratings sharply fall, but slowly build themselves back up... until this year. In 2015, WLS-FM's ratings have been trending downward, as listeners have been choosing Classic Hits rival WJMK-FM / 104.3 K-HITS, which is now a Top 10 station (and features former WLS-FM morning host Fogel), while WLS-FM fell out of the Top 10, with ratings and shares at about half of what they were in 2014.
Because of that, a change at the top of WLS-FM was not unexpected. That change came this summer, with Jeffries shipped to Washington, D.C.
Jeffries was
quickly replaced by Brian Thomas, who so far, has not yet made any impact at the station. Outside of opening up the playlist slightly and adding more songs from the late 1970s Disco era, very little has changed and the missteps of Jeffries' continue on. There remains a nighttime vacancy which has been there since the end of July, living legend Dick Biondi remains disrespected and placed in overnight hours, the on-again-off-again morning host duties of Brant Miller continue, DJs are still not allowed to speak much, voice-trackers are heard on-air, and ratings remain well out of the top 10.
WLS-FM's latest ratings are down to a 2.9 share, ranked at #13 (Nielsen Audio's "September" period for ages 6+). That is down from the July ratings if 3.2 and the August ratings of 3.0.

Jan Jeffries may be gone from WLS-FM, and now Cumulus as a whole, but his presence can still be felt there.
Something the station REALLY needs to disassociate itself with quickly.  Time to get back to taking advantage of the long-standing legacy of WLS.  (kk)  

'50's Crooner Pat Boone is back with a brand new R&B Album of Duets.  Most famous as the guy who homogenized rock and roll and made it safe for White Middle America in the '50's and early '60's, this guy's record sales were second only to Elvis himself back in the day. 
He has tongue-in-cheek dabbled with other rock and roll genres in the past ... most notably his foray into Heavy Metal in the '80's. 
Well, now the white buck-shoed Boone is back with a series of R&B Duets with the likes of James Brown, Sam and Dave, KC and the Sunshine Band, Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind and Fire, Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave), The Four Tops, Ray Parker, Jr., Kool and the Gang and more.  (Hey, let's face it ... he launched his whole career recording whitebread versions of the most popular R&B tracks of the day ... at a time when most of radio wouldn't play them.) 
Odds are nobody's going to play this one either ... as it's pretty much out there for novelty purposes more than anything else ... but here's the official release from Cleopatra Records ...     

Pat Boone Duets With Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind & Fire, KC & The Sunshine Band, Sam Moore and More on R&B Duet Hits Album  
Nashville, TN – With a career that has spanned over sixty years, Pat Boone has achieved an amazing number of accomplishments. He has been a successful singer, composer, actor, writer, television personality, motivational speaker, and spokesman. He is one of rock & roll’s best-selling artists and has sold over 45 million albums, had 38 Top 40 hits, and appeared in more than 12 Hollywood films. He still holds the Billboard record for charting consecutive weeks by spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts with one or more song each week. He has hosted his own TV show and has written a number of books including 2 million - plus sellers that have been translated into many languages. Currently, he continues to perform for an audience of millions on both TV and radio, has just completed two films and is still recording. 
"This classic, ultimate party record fulfills a career long desire to record with many of my most favorite artists, bringing me back full circle to my first R&B million sellers,” say an enthusiastic Boone. 
Not one to rest on his laurels, Pat Boone decided to expand his horizons by recording his first ever R&B album. And not one to do things in a small way, he was thrilled to work with some of the genre’s biggest superstars of all time! He has powerful duets with James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind & Fire, The Four Tops, and KC & The Sunshine Band plus members of Kool & the Gang, and Sister Sledge and even Hip Hop legend Kool Moe Dee. By joining with Cleopatra Records, this stunning album now has national distribution is available to his legion of fans worldwide.  

Pat Boone R&B Duet Hits  
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag with James Brown 
Soul Man with Sam Moore 
Get Down Tonight with KC & The Sunshine Band 
Tears of a Clown with Smokey Robinson 
Celebration with Robert “Kool” Bell of Kool & The Gang 
I Can’t Help Myself with The Four Tops 
A Woman Needs Love with Ray Parker Jr. 
We are Family with Joni Sledge of Sister Sledge 
Shotgun with Geraldo Albright 
That’s The Way Of The World with Earth, Wind & Fire Backbone with Kool Moe Dee 
Released October 16, 2015 on Goldenlane Records – a division of Cleopatra Records
We're still having all kinds of issues posting music on the site ... so I'm unable to feature a track this morning.  Hoping to have a new source soon (and open to any suggestions any of YOU might have regarding embedding music files on the website again.)  kk   

Speaking of legendary crooners, Frank Sinatra is getting the Box Set Treatment from Eagle Rock Entertainment. 
Much has been made about this being the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Ol' Blue Eyes ... and Eagle Rock has put together the perfect set to commemorate the event ... more details below.     

Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release Frank Sinatra ~ Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All” ~November 20, 2015~

New York, NY—(October 19, 2015) On November 20, 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All from the legendary Frank Sinatra. Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All is the definitive account of the life, music and career of Frank Sinatra, the greatest entertainer of the 20th century. This release is available on 2DVD, 2Blu-ray, Deluxe Edition and digital formats [MSRP $29.98 Blu-ray, $29.98 DVD, $69.99 Deluxe].  Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All features clips from many Sinatra classics including: “My Way,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” “All Or Nothing At All,” “The Lady Is A Tramp,” “Nancy (With The Laughing Face),” “That’s Life,” “Luck Be A Lady Tonight,” “New York, New York,” “(Love Is) The Tender Trap,” “Love And Marriage,” “Night And Day,” “Stardust,” “Young At Heart,” “Angel Eyes” and many more! 
Told in his own words through extensive archive interviews, along with commentary from those closest to him, the film weaves the music and images from Sinatra’s life together with rarely seen footage of Sinatra’s famous 1971 “Retirement Concert” in Los Angeles. The film’s narrative is shaped by Sinatra’s song choices for that concert, which director Alex Gibney interprets as the singer’s personal guide through his own life. With the participation of the Frank Sinatra Estate, family members and archivists, Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All is an intimate portrait of the singer, the actor and the man. Focusing on Sinatra’s first 60 years – beginning with his birth in Hoboken, New Jersey and meteoric rise in his 20s – and drawing on comments from friends and family, as well as never-before-seen footage from home movies and concert performances, this unprecedented tribute to the beloved showman follows Sinatra’s growth from roadhouse performer to global singing sensation. 
The Deluxe Edition Box set contains the All Or Nothing At All documentary on 2DVDS, the full Retirement Concert from 1971 on 1 DVD and on 1 CD, the 1965 Walter Cronkite CBS TV interview on 1 DVD, 2 booklets, one of which is a reproduction of the 1971 Life magazine article on the Retirement Concert and 6 art cards in an envelope.  
All Or Nothing At All was directed and produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney. Executive producers are five-time Oscar nominated producer Frank Marshall, Charles Pignone and Sharon Hall, and Alcon Television Group’s Co-Founders and Co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.   
With December 12, 2015 representing the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth, what better time to look back on an unsurpassed performer?    

The Wages Of $pin drama continues ... 
Here's "the first compelling" trailer from Wages Of $pin III:   

Harvey Kubernik sent me an advance pressing of his brand new Neil Young coffee-table book ... absolutely BEAUTIFUL as always, Harvey!  I have to ask you the question that I get asked at least six or seven times a week ... how on earth do you find the time to do this?!?!  You could literally start your own Book Of The Month Club ... except that EVERY book would be written by YOU!!!  Nothing short of amazing!  (With five or six books now waiting for my review, I am happy to add you to the list ... hardest part for me is that if I'm writing, I'm not reading!!!  But I promise to get to it as soon as I possibly can.) 

Meanwhile, Harvey ALSO sent me these links surrounding a brand new radio special that sounds absolutely AWESOME ... all being built around the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles' "Rubber Soul" album.  (Can you believe it?!?!  50 Years since "Rubber Soul was first released?!?!?  And just last year we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first coming to our shores singing the catchy but nowhere near as sophisticated tracks "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You" and "Love Me Do"!!!  Check out the "preview link" below ...  

Check out the premiere of AUDIO trailer for the radio special, "Isn't it Good: The Beatles' Rubber Soul."  
The two hour program will be available to public radio stations in November.  (also available in a one-hour version)   Writers, musicians and fans lead a tour through The Beatles' 1965 landmark LP on the 50th anniversary of its release (December 3, 1965).   
Pass along this sample to any public radio station folks you know and tell them,  “Available at PRX in time for Thanksgiving Weekend and December."
Produced by Paul Ingles.  
Hear his other Beatles programs at PRX:
Heard in trailer:  
Harvey Kubernik, author, record producer
John Kruth, author, musician
Scott Freiman, Beatles Lecturer
BJ Leiderman, musician
Rob Martinez, musician
Shawn Colvin, musician
Ann Powers, NPR Music
Paul Zollo, writer, musician
Jon Spurney, musician
Jim Fusilli, writer, musician
Anthony DeCurtis, writer
Also in the program
Peter Mulvey, musician
Scott MacNicholl, public radio DJ
Sara Angharad (Schaefer Jones) Bishop, licensed music teacher
And, speaking of The Beatles, check out this hot new auction item ...

Morning Kent got a few dollars to spare?

Take care,
Rockin’ Lord Geoff (in England)   

Here's a new book some of you Beatles fans might be interested in ...  

Just Released: ‘From Me To You’ – a novel set to the hysteria of Beatlemania!   
Garry Berman and Kelly Marie Thompson as excited to announce the release of their first novel written via email about 1960’s pen pals during the British invasion. 
From Me To You is a lighthearted coming-of-age story, placed against the backdrop of the Beatlemania era, written by two actual transcontinental internet pen pals – Garry Berman of the U.S. and Kelly Marie Thompson of the U.K.  
“Garry and I wrote this novel set around Beatlemania in the 1960s,” says Kelly Marie Thompson. “The story follows two trans-Atlantic pen pals, one from Liverpool and one from New Jersey, as their lives, friendship and fanaticism develop to the backdrop of the Beatles' historic moments.”
The story opens in the summer of 1963 when pen pals Ricky Kramer in New Jersey, and Maggie Carter in Liverpool, have been sharing their enthusiasm for the Beatles. Maggie has delighted Ricky with her stories of seeing the group at the Cavern club, and has sent him the Beatles’ early records. 
From Me To You follows their often comic transition to young adulthood on both sides of the Atlantic as their friendship begins to flourish into something deeper. 
For more information about From Me To You, go to:
Kelly Marie Thompson, who writes comedy, sci-fi and scripts, lives in South Shields, England. Garry Berman, a pop culture writer and lifelong Anglophile, lives in Westampton, New Jersey. Kelly and Garry have been collaborating on comedy scripts by way of e-mail since 2011.  In 2013, they co-wrote a six episode original sitcom Barkers Upon Tyne that has been published as a book.  From Me To You is their first novel.
We had some fun with Garry Berman a few years back when his "We're Going To See The Beatles" book came out ...

Wanna feel old???
Can you believe it's already been 40 YEARS since "Bohemian Rhapsody" came out?!?!  (see article below)
Last week also celebrated the anniversary of Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane crash (38 years) and the release of Led Zeppelin II (45 years!) SO hard to believe that this much time has passed. (Of course there was lots of "Back To The Future" coverage last year as the date they set their DeLorean to finally came to pass ... October 21, 2015!!! If you saw Jimmy Kimmel's show that night, you caught Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Huey Lewis helping to celebrate. (Ironically it's also the night The Cubs were eliminated from post-season play thanks to their four game Mets sweep debacle!!!)

Speaking of Huey Lewis, here the talks about how he came to be involved with the film's soundtrack ... and even won a cameo role in the movie:

While "The Power Of Love" became Huey's first official #1 Hit, I always preferred "Back In Time" which was also written for the movie but never released as a single.

40th Anniversary of
Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen - A Night At The Odeon, Live At Hammersmith ’75
The First Tour Bohemian Rhapsody Was Ever Performed On
Super Deluxe Box Set, CD (Hollywood Records), DVD & Blu-Ray
(Eagle Rock Entertainment)
for release on November 20
Bohemian Rhapsody To Be Released on 12 inch For The First Time Ever
With Original B-side November 27th 2015
Queen honored At The Q Awards
With Bohemian Rhapsody collecting the Classic Single Award
New York, NY (October 20, 2015)-- ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was the song that changed everything, a song that resonates through time, a special moment in music history that has yet to be repeated. At The Q Awards yesterday, Queen were presented with the Classic Single Award, marking the 40th anniversary of song which was originally released on October 31, 1975.
To mark the occasion for the first time ever, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ will be released on 12 inch Black vinyl with the original B-side ‘I’m In Love With My Car’ on November 27, 2015. Alongside this, Queen, A Night At The Odeon, Live At Hammersmith ’75, is set for release on CD (Hollywood Records), DVD & Blu-Ray (Eagle Rock Entertainment). This show was a culmination of the 26-date ‘Queen Invite You To A Night At The Opera’ UK tour and the first tour that they had ever performed Bohemian Rhapsody on.
The CD, DVD & Blu-Ray package features the band’s full live show, complete with a never heard before ‘second encore’ of ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’ and ‘See What A Fool I've Been’. The DVD and SD Blu-Ray versions also contain two special bonus features – 'Looking Back At The Odeon’, a brand new 22-minute documentary featuring a previously unseen interview with Brian May and Roger Taylor by Old Grey Whistle Test presenter Bob Harris about the 1975 Hammersmith Odeon show, plus the rarely seen Live At The Budokan – Japan 1975 footage, featuring three songs (Now I'm Here, Killer Queen and In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited) recorded during their legendary tour of the Far East.
Spirits were high within the band for this show; ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ - universally hailed as one of the most ground-breaking ‘pop’ songs ever released – was in the middle of its record-breaking nine week run at Number One in the UK charts. Their fourth album, A Night At The Opera (the most expensive record ever made to that point) was climbing the album charts on its way to No 1, which it achieved three days after this concert.
With over 6.5 million copies sold worldwide, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is one of the world’s most well known and well loved songs. To this day, it continues to top ‘favorite song’ opinion polls and be discovered by new generations of music fans over and over again. Freddie wrote the whole song – including the composite harmonies – on telephone books and scraps of paper.
Brian May recalled recording ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’; “That was a great moment, but the biggest thrill for us was actually creating the music in the first place. I remember Freddie coming in with loads of bits of paper from his dad's work, like Post-it notes, and pounding on the piano. He played the piano like most people play the drums. And this song he had was full of gaps where he explained that something operatic would happen here and so on. He'd worked out the harmonies in his head."
Queen spent days overdubbing the vocals in the studio using a 24 track tape machine. By the time they were done, about 120 vocal tracks were layered together. The opera parts alone took longer than 70 hours to complete. At the time, it was the most expensive single ever made and upon presenting it to their record label, they were told by various executives that 5 minutes 55 seconds was too long and the song would never be a hit. But after the song was played by DJ and friend of Freddie, Kenny Everett, 14 times in two days before its official release, the song was only ever destined to be a hit. Hordes of fans attempted to buy the single only to be told by record stores that it had not yet been released. Over in the US, it was the same. American radio RKO managed to get a copy of the tape and started to play it in across their network, which forced the hand of Queen's US label to release the song in its entirety.
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was Queen's first ever number 1 single and the 1975 UK Christmas number one, holding the top position for nine weeks. It is the first song ever to get to number one in the UK twice with the same version, and is also the only single to have been Christmas number one twice with the same version. The second was upon its re-release (as a double A-side single with ‘These Are the Days of Our Lives’) in 1991 following Mercury's death, staying at number one for five weeks, eventually becoming the UK's third best-selling single of all time.
The single has sold in excess of 6.5 million copies worldwide and has been covered by everyone from Kayne West during his 2015 controversial Glastonbury headline slot, Axl Rose, Elton John and Pink to The Flaming Lips and Elaine Paige and forever immortalized again by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in the smash hit 90’s film, Wayne’s World.
Queen - A Night At The Odeon, Live At Hammersmith ’75 released November 20th
12-inch Black Vinyl Version released November 27th
Full Track Listing (CD/Vinyl/Digital)
1. Now I'm Here
2. Ogre Battle
3. White Queen (As It Began)
4. Bohemian Rhapsody
5. Killer Queen
6. The March Of The Black Queen
7. Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
8. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
9. Brighton Rock
10. Guitar Solo
11. Son And Daughter
12. Keep Yourself Alive
13. Liar
14. In The Lap Of The Gods... Revisited
15. Big Spender
16. Jailhouse Rock Medley
17. Seven Seas Of Rhye
18. See What A Fool I've Been
19. God Save The Queen
*DVD and SD Blu-ray formats do not include Seven Seas Of Rhye or See What A Fool I've Been.

re: Diggin' Forgotten Hits:
Once again my past catches up with me ... as it always does when I scroll ever so slowly through your site. Incredible research; outstanding clarity of thought; astounding memory ... and just darned good radio history. While I spent more time in TV than radio, it, of course, was radio that set me on my course in Chicago media. So, I obviously read with eagerness almost anything that kindles memories of the "Good Old Days" at WLS ... and a few grand days at WMAQ-AM when it tried to brighten its image. And, I learned a ,lot of the era just by reading the comments of the editor and exchanges with those who really know the era. So, many thanks for keeping it alive, and refreshing my memory about some very GOOD Old Days!
Hale and Farewell (For Now)
Bob Hale
Thanks, Bob ... coming from you that means a lot! (kk)