New Years and DICK CLARK – STILL GOING STRONG at 80

REMEMBERING  DICK CLARK…

Other than New Years, We don’t

hear much about Dick Clark

BUT the man once known as ‘America’s oldest living teenager’ who almost single- handedly carried rock and roll through the ages is very much alive and still putting in his typical long days at work. But other than his brief annual appearances on his New Years Eve ABC program, we seldom see Dick Clark in the news since he suffered a stroke in 2004. Though, today, many of his programs are still running, from ‘Rock, Roll Remember’ in radio syndication, to his award and game shows. Recently , the Emmys paid a well deserved tribute to Clark . Ryan Seacrest – who is said to be Clark’s eventual successor – MC’d the program; you can see Clark and his wife in the audience for a brief moment. For Clark’s daily blogs and recent activities go to DickClarkOnline.com Here, many of Clark’s proteges pay tribute, from Donnie Osmond to Barry Manilow, who wrote the lyrics to Clark’s American Bandstand theme. Clark , himself, makes an appearance;. Clark has come a long way since the diabetic stroke, which left him with impaired speech – but nothing will probably ever stop ‘America’s oldest teenager’ until his final breaths, which are, hopefully, many years away. Most or all of the syndicated Rock Roll and Remember is comprised of early interviews with the many stars Clark worked with – and there’s a llot of this in the vaults. Recent features include a clip on John Lennon, whose recent’30 year passing’ was honored and some clips and interviews with Neil Diamond, who talks about those early days working at the Brill Building. Clark has brought in veteran DJ GaryBryan to help out – check out the REWIND blog, where Bryan talks about then and now with the stars….

DICK CLARK PERSONIFIES ROCK AND ROLL PROBABLY MORE THAN ANYONE

By the way, REWIND is also the name of what we believe is the finest interview program today featuring ‘ the stars you grew up with,’ t syndicated and online from Jimmy Jay http://rewindshow.com For us, Jay is doing today what Clark has been doing for years… schmoozing with the rock and roll artists we grew up . Jay offers full length, hour long entertaining interviews now online and in syndication. …

BANDSTAND LIVES IN PHILLY

DICK CLARK MEETS JIMMY JAY

http://rewindshow.com Jay done interviews with virtually everyone from the era – even a touching tribute to Gene Pitney, done weeks after Pitney’s passing and what would have been scheduled live interview with Gene. HEAR great programs from Branson and Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre featuring artists like Bill Medley and Paul Revere. Jay has done over 100 shows , with some artists more than once. Here are just some of the stars Jay has interviewed and/or featured in programs: Gordon Waller (perhaps last interview with him), Bobby Vinton, Chubby Checker, Brian Hyland, Gary Puckett, BJ Thomas, Tony Orlando, The Turtles, Bobby Goldsboro, Connie Francis, The Skyliners, Maurice Williams, Kenny Vance, Kathy Young, Duprees, Marvelettes, Petula Clark, DeeDee Sharp, Stevie Wonder,Sam Moore, The Crests (Johnny Maestro?) Jay uses the program also to raise money for good causes including stars down on their luck and the MDA. He’s currently offering a spectacular tribute to Tony Orlando featuring a nultitude of stars…. all available at his website. There are also a few podcasts offered at Rewind.com including an interview with Peter of Peter and Gordon, perhaps the last interview Peter ever did, which became part of a touch tribute that Jimmy Jay has put together. Jay even interviewed the man, Dick Clark, himself, in 2008. Here’s what Clark and others had to say about Jimmy Jay and his Rewind Show… Dick Clark 4-3-2008: “Jimmy Thank you so much for having me on your show!” Tony Orlando (64th Birthday Party 2008): “Jimmy You are a master at making sure everything goes well, you are a talented and incredible host, you did a job there and I’ve never seen anybody quite steer a show like that! Again Mr Jay you are the man! God Bless You and your Family believe me when I tell you I will never forget that night.” Andy Kim (Rock Me Gently): “I am honored to finally do this with you cause you’ve been carrying all of us on your shoulders playing the greatest songs of all time from this wonderful era that we happened to have grown up in it’s just an honor to be on your show!” Jerry Lewis: “Jimmy thank you for all you do for MDA, and it’s a real nice thing you are doing for Tony Orlando. I Love You Back Jim.” Bobby Vee: “Great Show, and I Love your web site! I have it bookmarked in my favorite places, Keep Rockin’…” MORE DICK CLARK, BEATLES AND GREAT OLDIES From Wikipedia: Richard Wagstaff[1] “Dick” Clark (born November 30, 1929) is an American businessman;[2] game-show host; and radio and television personality. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Dick Clark Productions, which he has sold part of in recent years. Clark is best known for hosting long-running television shows such as American Bandstand,[2] five versions of the game show Pyramid, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Clark has long been known for his departing catchphrase, “For now, Dick Clark…so long,” delivered with a military salute, and for his youthful appearance, earning the moniker “America’s Oldest Teenager”, until he had a stroke in late 2004. With some speech ability still impaired, Clark returned to his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show on December 31, 2005/January 1, 2006. Subsequently, he appeared at the Emmy Awards on August 27, 2006, and every New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show since then. On November 30, 2009, disc jockeys throughout the U.S. paid tribute to Clark on his 80th birthday. Early life, education and early career Clark was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York, the son of Julia Fuller (née Barnard) Clark and Richard Augustus Clark. His only sibling, older brother Bradley, was killed in World War II. His career in show business began in 1945 when he started working in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station owned by his uncle and managed by his father in Utica, New York. Clark was soon promoted to weatherman and news announcer. Clark attended A.B. Davis High School (now A.B. Davis Middle School) in Mount Vernon and Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi Gamma); he graduated in 1951 with a degree in business. Clark began his television career at station WKTV in Utica and was also subsequently a disc jockey on radio station WOLF in Syracuse. His first television-hosting job was on Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders, a country-music program. He would later replace Robert Earle (who would later host the GE College Bowl) as a newscaster.[4] Main article: American Bandstand In 1952 Clark moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, more specifically to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania,[5] and resided within the Drexelbrook Community where he was neighbors with Ed McMahon. There he took a job as a disc jockey at radio station WFIL. WFIL had an affiliated television station (now WPVI) with the same call sign which began broadcasting a show called Bob Horn’s Bandstand in 1952. Clark was a regular substitute host on the show and when Horn left, Clark became the full-time host on July 9, 1956. The show was picked up by the ABC television network, renamed American Bandstand, and was first aired nationally on August 5, 1957. On that day, Clark interviewed Elvis Presley. Clark also began investing in the music publishing and recording business in the 1950s. In 1959, the United States Senate opened investigations into “payola”, the practice of music-producing companies paying broadcasting companies to favor their product. Clark was a shareholder in the Jamie-Guyden Distributing Corporation, which nationally distributed Jamie and other non-owned labels. Clark sold his shares back to the corporation when ABC suggested that his participation might be considered as creating a conflict of interest. In 1960, when charges were levied against Clark by the Congressional Payola Investigations, he quietly divested himself of interests and signed an affidavit denying involvement.[7] Clark was not charged with any illegal activities. Unaffected by the investigation, American Bandstand was a major success, running daily Monday through Friday until 1963, then weekly on Saturdays until 1987. In 1964, the show moved from Philadelphia to Hollywood, California. A spin-off of the program, Where the Action Is, aired from 1965 to 1967, also on ABC. Charlie O’Donnell, a close friend of Clark’s and an up-and-coming fellow Philadelphia disc jockey, was chosen to be the announcer, which he served for ten years. O’Donnell was one of the announcers on the 1980s versions of Clark’s Pyramid game show; he continued to work with Clark on various specials and award shows until his death in November 2010. Clark produced American Bandstand for syndicated television and later the USA Network, a cable-and-satellite-television channel, until 1989. Clark also hosted the program in 1987 and 1988; David Hirsch hosted in 1989, its final year. American Bandstand and Dick Clark himself were honored at the 2010 Daytime Emmy Awards.[8] [edit] Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Main article: Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest In 1972, Clark produced and hosted Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, the first of an ongoing series of specials still broadcast on New Year’s Eve. Segments of the first broadcast can be seen in the motion picture Forrest Gump. The program has typically consisted of live remotes of Clark in Times Square in New York City, New York, counting down until the New Year ball comes down. After the ball drops, the focus of the program switches to musical segments taped prior to the show in Hollywood, California. The special is live in the Eastern Time Zone, and it is delayed for the other time zones so that they can ring in the New Year with Clark when midnight strikes in their area. ABC broadcast the event on every New Year’s Eve since 1972 except in 1999 due to the airing of ABC 2000 Today, news coverage of the milestone year hosted by Peter Jennings. In the more than three decades it has been on the air, the show has become a mainstay in U.S. New Year’s Eve celebrations. Before then, Guy Lombardo (a.k.a. “Mr. New Year’s Eve”), along with his big band orchestra, the Royal Canadians, had long been the main draw for New Year’s Eve broadcasts for radio and, later, for television (on CBS). Watching the ball in Times Square drop on Clark’s show is considered an annual cultural tradition for the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day holiday. Twice, Clark was not able to host his show. The first time happened at the end of 1999, going into 2000, due to ABC 2000 Today’. However, during that broadcast Clark, along with ABC News correspondent Jack Ford, announced his signature countdown to the new year. He was a correspondent, according to the transcript of the broadcast released by ABC News. Ford had been assigned to Times Square during the broadcast and thus Clark’s role was limited. Nevertheless, he won a Peabody Award for his coverage. The second time happened at the end of 2004, as he was recovering from his stroke; Regis Philbin substituted as host. The following year Clark returned to the show although Ryan Seacrest served as primary host. From December 31, 2005, Clark co-hosted New Year’s Rockin Eve with Seacrest. [edit] Pyramid game shows Main article: Pyramid (game show) Before Pyramid, Clark had two brief runs as a quiz-show host, presiding over The Object Is and then Missing Links. In a near twist of irony, on Missing Links, he replaced his former Philadelphia neighbor and subsequent TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes co-host, Ed McMahon, when the game show switched networks from NBC to ABC; NBC replaced Missing Links with Jeopardy!. Continue reading “New Years and DICK CLARK – STILL GOING STRONG at 80”

Neil Sedaka Not Afraid to Look Back To Better Times in New Album

Do You Remember
picnics in the park
Do you remember
Dancing in the dark
Do you remember
Lying in the sand
All these special moments
We had in wonderland

If I could take these precious moments
Put them in a box
If I could feel these times once more
I’d turn back the clock
Wouldn’t it be wonderful
The way that things were then
I would like to turn back time
Live it all again

Do you remember
Stealing that first kiss
Do you remember
Falling in love like this
Time goes by so swiftly
Time goes by so fast
I want to have these good times
I want our love to last

[Spanish section]

Do you remember
the meaning of romance
Do you remember
when we took the chance
Wouldn’t it be wonderful
Not to think of sorrow
I want all my yesterdays
To be my bright tomorrows

If I could take these precious moments
Put them in a box
If I could feel these times once more
I’d turn back the clock
Wouldn’t it be wonderful
The way that things were then
I would like to turn back time
Live it all again

Times change, People change and Neil Sedaka remains one of the few consistencies in the world today. Yes, Sedaka is very much going strong -with a new album and live appearances- as he has been doing for over five decades..  While the music scene is vastly different today  Sedaka’s singing and playing i as good as ever.  ‘The Music of My Life,’ just released after over a year in the making, consists of original Sedaka material with an emphasis on looking back at his long, successful career.    ‘Music of my Life’ and is an eclectic mix of the many styles Sedaka drawn on in his storied career. The opener, ‘Do You Remember?’ has already become a hit in England  -yes, that’s right – make it five, no , that’s SIX DECADES of hits for Sedaka!. Anyway, Do You Remember is an infectious, Salsa-styled number that harkens back to the ‘good d old days.’ Unlike many vintage artists who will pass off the changing times as ‘Our parents said the same thing about our music and times’.  Sedaka seems more adamant. Listen to the lyrics closely – and not in just the opening song but many of them- and you will see that he is not  afraid to speak his mind. In other words, much of life today sucks (if you will)-  most of the  music, movies and TV.  Good for you Neil for telling it like it is. . If only more people would stand up and reject the status quo. Thankfully, we have Neil and scarily few other true ‘throwbacks’  still staying true to the good stuff.

There’s a little bit of everything on this  new CD, including a fine doo-wop effort and ‘You,’ a classic Sedaka ballad brought back from a few years ago. Though some of the old innocense may be gone from this CD, its still got its share of ‘Happy Days’ ; I like the patented Sedaka storybook lyrics like ‘wonderland’ included on ‘Do You Remember.’This is one of Sedaka’s strongest albums ever, we’ll let you discover the rest of it…. Go to this Amazon link for a nice price and ENJOY! Also, you can keep in touch with Sedaka and his busy schedule – TV appearances like Huckabee , below — and regular touring at: NeilSedaka.com  or listen here just for the melody of 01 Do You Remember but buy the entire CD !

Carmel Lucky to Have DORIS DAY – Pet Projects, Cypress Inn, Music, Films

In her quiet way, Doris Day continues to spread  joy  and not only with her music and films.  Residents and visitors  – two legged and four-legged – of  Carmel-By-The -Sea,  California are in for a treat as they reside or  visit in this beautiful beach  town near Monterey.   We were   unexpected recipients of  Day’s Happy Day Vibes  late January.

After dining at the excellent Grill on Ocean Avenue, we asked our waiter about any local spots where we could hear some music.  He said we were in luck, to walk down a couple blocks to the Cypress Inn.   Surprisingly  unfamiliar  with this place,  we came upon a beautiful 30s-era smalllish  Mediterranean   white stucco hotel.  Once inside the front door we were greeted by a small group of people and dogs(!) in a living-room setting with a pianist and flugelhornist playing jazz .   It was something rather unimaginable in this day an age.  The pianist, who turned out to be the well-known Dick Whittington and fellow musician , whose name we failed to write down, were  putting on what amounted to a private concert of world-class vintage  jazz as we reclined on couches, sipping drinks.  Everyone , both two legged and four legged , in the room couldn’t have been more friendly, including the artists themselves. The unplanned experience was like something from another time and place.  I can’t wait to go back to see what next time will have in store.  Whittington, a transplant from Berkeley, CA , plays every  Friday and Saturday with various renown guest artists.

Just experiencing the charming Cypress Inn was an experience in itself  but learning that Doris Day was part owner,  as was her late musical son, Terry Melcher, made it even more special. The retiscent Day was no doubt talked into allowing old movie posters (Pajama Game, etc.) and record  album covers to adorn the walls near ‘Terry’s Lounge,  an elegant classy but non-ostentatious bar which now serves tribute to Melcher, who had quite a remarkable, if under-appreciated career of his own as producer, musician and entrepeneur.   It’s obvious that   Day does not run the Cypress solely for profit , judging by the quality of music and charm we witnessed and not the number of  people who could squeeze into the place –  a gift for humans to enjoy with their  four-legged friends.  Their may not be another venue like it anywhere. Cats as well as dogs are welcome to stay overnight in the Inn along with their folks.

Usually one thinks of  Clint Eastwood as the person most synonymous with Carmel but that seems to have changed – at least for us…  Day is probably singly responsible  for making Carmel one of the most dog and pet-friendly towns anywhere.  Of course,  Doris Day is probably more famous today, especially among younger people, for her Doris Day Animal Federation, which helps rehabiliate and find homes for dogs and cats, most recently having sent relief help to Haiti for all the abandoned and injured pets in the earthquake.

Going from her  prototypical 50s image as the wholesome girl   next store to a later life filled with much sadness –  a number of failed marriages including brutality and the loss and associated tragedies involving   her devoted son Terry,  who, by the way , helped run DDAF,  Day no doubt takes solace in the animals and  in the contributions she has made.

Doris Day may be in her late 80s but, in our book its only a number and as one will witness at SeniorCountry.com ( to come) with  Jack LaLanne, Art Linkletter and others, people can be vibrant at any age while  others’ lives  are basically over at much younger ages.

Doris Day, we are told, rarely has made public appearances in many years.  Though we wish she did ,  for our own selfish reasons,  we can understand why this kind sole, who has helped so many others and not gotten back nearly what she deserves, must take life like the words of her signature song, ‘Que Sera Sera’.  We can only wish her the very best  for many more years doing what she does so well , while we continue listening  to her  beautiful music and watching those fun, uplifting movies. Perhaps this little mention will alert others to what Doris Day is about today, and perhaps bring some joy into their lives too, whether it be at the Cypress or somewhere in Carmel, or just enjoying the music and movies. Doris Day, one of a kind. Great to have her with us!

 

 

 

 

 

Unheralded Pentagon’s Joe C. Jones Still Sings Classic Doo-wop – A West Coast Rarity

Find one of the most under-rated doo-wop groups ever, which continues performing today in classic form. The Pentagon’s never had a hit go higher than #48 on the Billboard charts (‘To Be Loved,’ 1961) but they probably deserved alot better fate. Lead singer Joe C. Jones hails from the West Coast (San Bernardino) , which may be part of the problem, since the bulk of doo-wop comes from the East. Plus, when the song was recorded, in 1961. doo-wop was already fading from the music scene as surf and lighter sounds were taking its place.
We caught Jones and his new Pentagons at an a recent appearance in Livermore, Calfronial, after having seen him a few years earlier in Modesto. If there’s a better , more classic sounding ddo-wop group going today, hits or no hits, I’d like to hear them. ‘To Be Loved’ couild have gone Top 10 a few years earlier. Their other early songs, as found on their CD, Then and Now, are very strong, especially ‘I Wonder,’ ‘I’m In Love’ and ‘She’s Mine.’
The song writing is classic doo-wop, the singing impeccable.
Jones singing remains spectacular today; I can’t think of another lead singer who has maintained the quality and sound of his early records. He’s done well to find two backup singers that round out this talented trio. Why they haven’t been given a spot on PBS’ doo-wop series is a mystery. Will have to talk to that TJ Lubinski. Afterall, he’s all the way over in Pittsburg, which again, is part of the probelm. Anywy, check out this rare interview with San Bernardino-raised Joe Jones on LaneQuigley’s fine Rocket Radio show, then listen to a couple cuts before you go out and get the CD, Then and No w. Enjoy!  Now that you’ve got a sample you can find the Pentagons CD ‘Then and After’ at Amazon by clicking here

Canada’s BLAKE Emerging As Master Singer – Songwriter with Engaging New CD

BLUE RAIN: It’s not  your 50s/60s oldies per se, but in  Blake’s new CD he infuses  much of the  musical history he has witnessed since his breakout in 1964. Mister Blake, or Blake today,  of Vancouver, had a regional hit in 1964, covering Dusty Springfield’s ‘I Only Want To Be With You.‘  After that, the music scene changed and most artists including Blake’s Canadian compatriots like Bobby Curtola (Fortune Teller)  , Buddy Knox ((Party Doll) and even Paul Anka  had to take day jobs for awhile  to pay the bills. But,almost 5 decades later Blake has never forgotten his roots. He still would love nothing better than a hit record -er,  CD or download.  And, who knows. this could be the one…   ‘Blue Rain’ has a wide appeal as it covers the various styles he has grown up with, including disco, dance, electronica,  country and  a good bit of roots ‘oldies’ woven in. Order the CD and read more about Blake at MisterBlake.com . Hit Or MissBy the way, it’s interesting that Blake chose Blue Rain as the title song, Blake’s early hero, Roy Orbison, had a minor hit with Blue Rain in the 60s, but it is a totally different song. If you listen closely to the CD you may hear some Roy Orbison references or samplings. Experience has surely helped Blake grow over the years as both singer and songwriter. All songs – written by Blake and Andy Smyth, except Jubilation – are strong, especially the opening three, in this writer’s opinion, namely ‘Blue Rain’, ‘I’m in Deep’, ‘Sex, Lies and Changing Times,‘ the latter which interestingly chronicles  Blake’s and society’s wild ride  through the past several decades. Also of special interest are the last songs on the CD which include Blake’s version of fellow Canadian Paul Anka’s ‘Jubilation’ and, an updated remake of Blake’s biggest hit, ‘I Only Want To Be With You.’  Sample one of the many fine songs , ‘Hit or Miss’ , at Amazon by clicking here.