Saturday, September 30, 2017

1967 BONUS #45

I heard back from Andrew Solt after our piece ran on Sunday about The Doors' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show ...  

As most of you know, Andrew's company, Sofa Entertainment, owns the rights to all of the old Ed Sullivan programs. 

You can read our tribute to The Ed Sullivan Show ... including commentary from several guests who appeared on Ed's program ... here:  
And our interview with Andrew Solt here):

This gave me the chance to ask about the episodes currently running on The Decades Channel as well ...  

ANDREW SOLT / SOFA ENTERTAINMENT:  Thank you for devoting space to our special 50th Anniversary.  I'm sure you saw that the Decades Channel ran The Doors / Ed Sullivan episode on Friday Night.  

KENT KOTAL / FORGOTTEN HITS:  Yes, I did.  I'm curious how that came to be ... the deal with The Decades Channel that is ... did they approach you or did you approach them? 

AS:  We have been in discussions with them for awhile and we came to an agreement to have them put Sullivan back on the air, which was the idea.  

kk:  How many segments will they have access to ... and how long will these run?

AS:  There are 115 half hours and three two-hour specials that we originally broadcast on CBS.

kk:  Man, with SO many hours available, it sure would be great to produce some new episodes, too, showing some things that haven't been circulated before.  (Funny 'cause some of this stuff looks really dated ... yet others are still every bit as fresh and exciting as they were when they first aired.) 

AS:  These are cut-down shows that are coming back to air again. Creating new programs is on the TO DO LIST for sure, but it takes sizable budgets to clear the music rights. That's the challenge and gaining financing for a show that went off the air almost 50 years ago is no easy feat. 

kk:  The Rolling Stones changing the lyric to "Let's Spend The Night Together" was part of the same Doors episode that they aired - unfortunately, neither had commentary on Ed's ridiculous demands. 

AS:  Commentary on content like you are suggesting is in our various specials and in the Sullivan 36 Rock n Roll Classics series. Decades is primarily running "The Best Of" half hours back to back. We're trying to keep them as they aired, more or less. 

kk:  People need to know how much television standards have changed ... today you can get away with saying just about ANYTHING!!!  Mick and the boys sure had fun mugging for the camera in such a knowing and telling way.  (But didn't he look ridiculous gyrating to the ballad "Ruby Tuesday"?!?!?  It was almost comical!)  Hopefully you will continue to mine the archives and bring this material to the public ... sadly, the generation who will most appreciate this material is dwindling ... but how cool to show new generations the excitement of live, variety television!!! 

AS:  Thanks, Kent.  By the way, I like the photo of you and your wife!  

kk:  Thank you - lol - not QUITE as vintage as The Ed Sullivan Show ... but probably from a good 15-16 years ago now!  (lol)  Please keep us posted as any new material becomes available.  

Meanwhile, readers can add to their home video libraries from

Some GREAT stuff here!!!  (kk)

Speaking of The Doors, they're celebrating the 50th Anniversary of "Strange Days" ...

And, after our piece ran on Friday about The Rolling Stones severing ties with their manager and record producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, we got an email from Andrew, reflecting back on those past fifty years.  Suffice to say it's short but sweet ... but ALWAYS cool to see who's reading Forgotten Hits!!!  (kk)  

I remain lit as to my contribution to our world via my work with the band ... the songs, the music ... the very idea .... all continue to resonate daily.   Feels more like 50 minutes ago.

One of the folks I work with saw a Summer Of Love Concert last weekend in Naperville, IL, and said it was a really good show, featuring a lot of the music you just don't hear bands attempt to perform in concert, including "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procol Harum along with material by Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills and Nash and more.  (Their forte seems to be on the music from The Summer Of Love, 1967, through Woodstock, 1969.)
The group, led by Glen Burtnik, hail from New Jersey and, unfortunately, don't have any other gigs lined up here in the Chicago area ... but a visit to their website lets you know when and where you CAN see them.  (Glen's had an interesting career ... everything from playing Paul McCartney in the stage show "Beatlemania" to co-writing the #2 Patty Smyth / Don Henley hit "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" to working with Styx, ELO and Randy Travis.)
Read more about the show via the link below ... and send us your review if you happen to catch the live show.  (kk)  

Two similar mixed race groups combining infectious pop and r&b with a hint of ska found major chart success in the UK in the late Sixties. They both featured West Indies immigrants with Caribbean accents on vocals.

The Foundations, led by Jamaican born Clem Curtis, took their name from the basement supports where they rehearsed. UK producer and songwriter Tony Macauley provided them with their first single release in late September, 1967. It went nowhere in the UK charts until Radio One presenter Tony Blackburn got behind it. By November 8th, "Baby, Now That I've Found You" was #1 in England. After it's late December release in the US it peaked at #8 (Cashbox) and #11 (Billboard)in early 1968. In 1995 Alison Krauss won the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance with a cover version of the song. The Foundations would chart six more times in the UK until the end of the decade. Who can forget "Build Me Up Buttercup" from 1968? 

The Equals got their name because the blacks and whites in the group considered each other as equals. "Baby Come Back" was first released as a b-side in 1966 but failed to chart. It was released again in 1967 but did zilch. When released for a third time in 1968 a West German deejay flipped the single over and, after becoming a big hit in Europe, it reached #1 in the UK. In the US it would reach #26 (Cashbox) and #32 (Billboard).  Seven other hits by the group would chart in the UK. If you lived in England, who can forget "Viva Bobby Joe" from 1969?

Lead singer Eddy Grant, originally from Guyana, would find even greater success as a solo act. His "Electric Avenue" single in 1983 would reach #2 in both the UK and US.
Mike G

While this isn't a radio station survey, it is a list of records from M.S. Distributors, from 5/8/67. They were an independent record distributor out of Chicago. Essentially they handled labels too small to be able to afford their own distribution network. Most of the records listed here never got within sniffing distance of airplay, let alone of a top 40 chart. By my count, just three of these appeared on a WLS survey, maybe a couple more in various other regions. If one is looking for obscurities, look no further. 
I would end up working for them a decade later. All these were long gone. Believe me, if they were still around, I would have found them. I certainly would have told you about them, Kent, when you had your business going. I've had a bunch of these sheets, from a two year period, mid 1966 to mid 1968, for a number of years, but never really looked at them.
I recognize a few of these titles ... but this list is chock full of obscurities.  Neat to see "The Pink Floyd" single we recently featured, "Arnold Layne" ... and how about "Hey Joe" by The JIM Hendrix Experience!!!  "Try It" would be a regional hit in other areas for The Standells ... but not here ... and The Hardly Worth-It Players (who had the hit with their novelty version of "Wild Thing" earlier this year) are still hanging on with something called "The Congressional Record" ... would love to hear that one! (Although another title grabbed my curiosity first ... anybody got a copy of "Two Bananas In Love"???  (lol)  
Thanks, Jack ... cool list!  (kk) 

"Flowers In The Rain" was the first record BBC presenter Tony Blackburn played when he signed on Radio One for the very first time at 7 am on September 30, 1967. He has since said things were so hectic in the control room that it was only by chance The Move's record was the first 45 he
picked up and placed on the turntable. But the song's place in British pop music history doesn't stop there. In fact it caused more notoriety than perhaps any other British single ever. 

At that time there were so many good rock bands in the UK that groups turned to gimmicks to stand out from the crowd. Tony Secunda, The Move's manager, had the group dress like 1930's Chicago gangsters and their lead singer (Carl Wayne) smash tv sets on stage with an axe. And then, without telling the band, he concocted a scheme that caused them much consternation and embarrassment. He sent out postcards promoting their latest release, "Flowers In The Rain", with a cartoon of then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson naked and in bed with his scantily clad secretary. The John Profumo - Christine Keeler sexual affair that brought scandal to the British government was still fresh in the public's mind. Wilson sued them in court for libel. The judgement had the group forfeiting the royalties from "Flowers In The Rain" and the b-side "(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree" in perpetuity, which the PM donated to charity. The band (especially songwriter Roy Wood) was infuriated and Secunda was fired. The publicity might have motivated record buyers to purchase the record and it reached #2 in the UK charts on October 7. Roy Wood's friend Jeff Lynne's group (The Idle Race) had wanted to release a cover of "The Lemon Tree" as their first single but it was withdrawn. It's estimated that Wood has lost a small fortune over the years from this event. In 1970 Lynne joined The Move and in 1972 the group was transformed into The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).   
50 Years In Broadcasting - A Tribute To Tony Blackburn:
Mike G

The "67" feature is definitely a touchdown with a two-point conversion!  
Keep up the GREAT work!
Tim Kiley