Friday, September 01, 2006

Who Wants To Be A SUPERHERO?

When I first heard about this show on the Sci Fi channel I thought they had to be kidding. They weren't. I could not figure out how they were going to turn ordinary people into superheroes. Well they did. By focusing their efforts on the values of honesty, integrity, courage etc. They showed what it took to make a person a superhero. It is your morales and values not your superpowers. Along the way they also made it fun. They started out with their real names but eventually used their code names for most of the series. Stan Lee would give them a series of challanges and the person who he thought did not preform up to superhero standards would be asked to turn in his or her costume. Now you would think that this would all be filled with comic book geeks who want to be in a comic book. Well they were represented very well but there was also Fat Mama a woman who wanted to send a positive message to children. Major Victory who was trying to get back in touch with his daughter by becoming a hero to her. There was also Levity a toy maker who wanted to win to get the toy manufacturing contract and Monkey Woman who was an actress who wanted to win the prize of starring in the movie made on her character to jumpstart her career. Both of them were asked to turn in their costumes when this was found out about them as superheroes are to be selfless not selfish. The one who did win was Matthew aka Feedback. He was big comic book fan who said that when his Father died he felt that Stan Lee helped to raise him by concentrating on the values that the Marvel comics characters that Stan created had. He eventually installed them into himself. Were all these people on the level about the selfless reasons they were on the show or were they just better actors then Levity and Monkey Woman? I hope they were telling the truth. Still it was a fun show to watch. Each week when they met to confront Stan about who was about to be booted from the show I felt like I was watching a comic book come to life. Like I was at a meeting of the JLA or the Avengers. For the most part I have stopped buying new comic books but I will look for this one and the made for TV movie that will come out based on Feedback. I just hope this was all done months ago so that the book and movie are ready to come out anytime now so they will be a hit. If they wait too long the audience may cool off and forget. For now congratulations to Matthew aka Feedback. It is nice to see that one comic book fans dreams came true. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Biggest Two Sided Hit of All Time

The people at have done a survey on the best two sided hits of all time. After a long search this is the #1 two sided hit. If you would like to subscribe to their newsletter you can write to them here Tell them Rick Phillips sent you.

In Billboard Magazine, HOUND DOG hit the charts first. Always a fan favorite, it debuted at #24 on the chart for the week ending July 25, 1956. ELVIS already had three other records in The Top 100: I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU was perched at #3, HEARTBREAK HOTEL was still holding on at #38 and MY BABY LEFT ME (featured earlier in this countdown) was in at #59.
The following week, HOUND DOG shot up to #11 and DON'T BE CRUEL debuted at #28. For the week ending August 8th, HOUND DOG rose to #6 and DON'T BE CRUEL hit #17. Next week, HOUND DOG moved to #3 and DON'T BE CRUEL joined it in The Top Ten at #6. A week later, HOUND DOG went to #2 and DON'T BE CRUEL to #4. The following week, HOUND DOG held the #2 spot (kept out of the #1 position by THE PLATTERS' hit MY PRAYER) and DON'T BE CRUEL crept up a notch to #3. For the week ending September 5th, DON'T BE CRUEL leap-frogged to #1 and HOUND DOG fell to #3. Both records held those positions for the following two weeks. Then on the chart dated "Week Ending September 26th," HOUND DOG moved back to the #2 spot, right behind DON'T BE CRUEL, which was now in its fourth week at #1. The following week, DON'T BE CRUEL held on to its top spot, but HOUND DOG fell to #6. A week later, HOUND DOG was down to #9 but DON'T BE CRUEL was still poised at #1, now for the sixth consecutive week. Both titles held their positions the following week. For the week ending October 24th, DON'T BE CRUEL finally fell from #1 (replaced by THE GREEN DOOR by JIM LOWE) and HOUND DOG fell out of The Top Ten to #12. Both recordings then began their descent down the charts, replaced by a brand NEW ELVIS PRESLEY hit, LOVE ME TENDER.
By all appearances, DON'T BE CRUEL was the clear-cut winner, holding down the #1 Spot for seven consecutive weeks. In addition, it spent a total of 16 weeks in Billboard's Top Ten. However, over at Cash Box Magazine, a slightly different scenario occurred. (It should be pointed out that in 1956, Billboard Magazine ran SEVERAL different charts. HOUND DOG DID go to #1 on both Billboard's Sales Chart and their Jukebox Chart. Officially, however, based on Billboard's Top 100 Chart, it peaked at #2.)
For the week ending July 28, 1956, HOUND DOG debuted at #50 on the Cash Box Best-Selling Singles Chart. A week later, it shot all the way up to #6 and DON'T BE CRUEL was shown for the first time as a "tag-along" B-SIDE. The following week, HOUND DOG went to #2 and DON'T BE CRUEL debuted on its own strength at #29. For the week ending August 18, 1956, HOUND DOG was OFFICIALLY The Number One Record in the Country according to Cash Box Magazine. DON'T BE CRUEL, at this point, was still climbing the charts at #13. A week later, HOUND DOG held the top spot while DON'T BE CRUEL rose to #5. HOUND DOG spent its THIRD week at #1 the following week, while DON'T BE CRUEL crept to #4. A week later, HOUND DOG was still the #1 song in the nation while DON'T BE CRUEL moved up a notch to #3. The following week (on the chart dated "Week Ending September 15, 1956), DON'T BE CRUEL finally reached #1 on the Cash Box Chart and HOUND DOG fell to #2. DON'T BE CRUEL held the #1 position for the next five weeks while HOUND DOG bounced around The Top Ten. (#3, #2, #5, #6 and then down to #14.) Ironically, ELVIS replaced himself at the top of the heap when LOVE ME TENDER went to #1 for the week ending October 27th. It stayed on top for five weeks, giving ELVIS PRESLEY the Number One Record In The Country for 15 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS, spread out between those three titles! Add in HEARTBREAK HOTEL's four weeks at #1 and ELVIS PRESLEY held down the top spot in Cash Box Magazine for 19 WEEKS in 1956 alone!
That makes DON'T BE CRUEL / HOUND DOG without question the BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HIT OF ALL-TIME. NO other record EVER had BOTH sides hit the #1 spot during the rock era. (Remember that we eliminated ROSEMARY CLOONEY's 1954 Hit HEY THERE / THIS OLE HOUSE at the outset of this special new series.)
So there you have it ... THE TOP 200 BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HITS OF ALL-TIME. Some surprises? Some disappointments? For Sure ... but we believe that we came up with the FAIREST way to rank these records, setting all personal prejudices aside ... you know, other than all of our own biting commentary!!! (lol)
We hope you have enjoyed this very special countdown ... certainly the most ambitious we've ever undertaken here in FORGOTTEN HITS. Thanks for stickin' with us! I also want to pass along my HIGHEST thanks to RANDY PRICE, without whom this list may have never seen the light of day (as I'd still be bouncing off the walls in some rubber room somewhere, trying to rationalize how on earth THE CREW CUTS could have a couple hits bigger than ELVIS, THE BEATLES and THE BEACH BOYS!!!) Thank you from the bottom of my heart, RANDY ... I couldn't have done it ... and passed this list along ... without you.
What's next??? How about our long-delayed interview with PETER NOONE. (It's coming up right after our Annual Labor Day Vacation.) And then, the much-anticipated FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES SERIES. There's plenty more to come in FORGOTTEN HITS ... those of you who need to use the bathroom should probably go now!!! Posted by Picasa
Don't Be Cruel

Hound Dog

Rest In Peace Glenn Ford

Not long ago I wrote a couple of pieces on Glenn Ford's television career with such shows as Cades's County and the Family Holvak. I did not realize that in a few weeks I would be reporting that he died. I don't have much to say but the man who brought happines to generations to those who watched those shows and those who saw him in Blackboard Jungle and other films will miss him. To many people he was Pa Kent as he was the most famous actor to play the character when he took on the role in Superman: The Movie. To Mr. Ford's family and friends you have our deepest sympathies. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Birthday Party Time!

Well today is August 29th my birthday. Welcome to the party. As you can see Hugh Downs is here. He is over in the corner reminding everyone that it is also the 45th anniversary this week of when he appeared on the cover of TV Guide. Booksteve is taking people’s coats while telling them that yesterday was Jack Kirby's birthday. If you want to see who might have been born on this day you can go here. I say might as they have Jack Kirby being born today but he was born on the 28th. Our local politician Randy Blankenship is in the dining room handing out drinks from the punch bowl as well as talking politics. My friend Paul from Comic Book World is taking care of any gifts that you might have brought. I said gifts weren't necessary but you know some people can't come to a party without gifts. My pastor friends Dan Francis from Erlanger Baptist Church, Joel Urshan from First Apostolic Church of Cincinnati and Fred Hartley from Lilburn Alliance Church have said they might stop by. You might even run into Fred Hembeck, Marv Wolfman, or Mark Evainer. In a few minutes my wife will be bringing out the cake. Later,Joe Dowell will take the stage to sing us a song. What? You don’t know who Joe Dowell is? Well read below and I will fill you in. Posted by Picasa

This Day In Music History: Joe Dowell and Wooden Heart

I have a book as I posted earlier that tells of what songs were #1 on the charts called The Billboard Book of #1 Hits. Sometimes I have looked up what the #1 hit song was on the birth date of friends and family members. For today I looked up my birthday. Did I get The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Elvis or even a one hit wonder that was so huge that you still know the song to this day? No I got Joe Dowell with his version of Wooden Heart (Muss I Denn). I sort of came close to having an Elvis song as a hit on my birthday as Elvis sang the song in the movie G.I. Blues and it was a hit overseas. That’s Joe pictured above in what looks like it was taken from his high school yearbook. Joe was born in January of 1940 in Bloomington, Indiana but raised in Bloomington, Illinois. Joe learned to play the guitar and sang and wrote his own songs. He made his first public performance in the 9th grade when he preformed in a talent show. He competed in contest while majoring in radio and television at the University of Illinois. With the dream of being on radio he drove to Nashville and rented a room at the YMCA. On his last day he went to see Teddy and Doyle Wilburn who were regulars on the Grand Ole Opry show. They liked him and introduced him to Shelby Singleton Jr. of Mercury Records. He liked Joe’s voice and his all-American boy look. Joe went back to school to finish his studies then returned to Nashville where he recorded songs that were released on Smash Records. He had 3 songs that entered the hot 100 so he is not a one hit wonder. The songs were The Bridge of Love that reached #50, Little Red Rented Rowboat at #23 and his biggest hit Wooden Heart reached #1.
Joe recorded Wooden Heart because his producer Shelby Singleton Jr. had seen the movie G.I. Blues and heard the Elvis version. He noticed that Gus Bacchus had a hit with it in Germany. Elvis had the song I Feel So Bad on the charts already and thought RCA would not release the Elvis version of Wooden Heart. He decided to have Joe cover the song.
Part of the song is in German and Joe had to be taught how to sing the German lyrics and Joe said he didn’t know what he was singing. A tuba and an accordion were used in the original version. To update the sound Jerry Kennedy played the bass guitar for the tuba part and Ray Stevens played an organ to sound like an accordion. Joe was then sent out on a barnstorming tour. It was a good thing too as it turns out that not only had Elvis covered the song but Joe had 4 others who had also recorded the song. With the tour Joe helped to send the song to #1.
Joe completed his education. When his recording career ended he found a new career in writing commercials. He had his own local radio show and wrote jingles for his sponsors. Later he was a spokesperson for financial institutions. When the 80’s came Joe gave up advertising and devoted his time to writing a book and recording songs that he wrote.
You can go to his site by clicking here Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Jim Nabors Hour

This is the last in the series of cast members of the Andy Griffith Show who got their own variety series. Of the three Jim Nabors was the most successful. On the Andy Griffith Show Jim astounded the world when he opened his mouth to sing and out came this great baritone voice. It added a new depth to his character Gomer Pyle and to his spin off show Gomer Pyle USMC. Whenever Gomer or any of his friends needed money and he wanted to help he could always sing and someone would pay him. In the 60’s it seemed like people couldn’t get enough of Jim Nabors. He had two hit shows under his belt by 1969 and had started a recording career. Just as Gomer Pyle USMC was canceled in September of 1969 Jim Nabors new variety show first aired on September 25, 1969. It didn’t leave him much time to shift gears from a sit-com mentality to start thinking of how to host a variety show. However, he had familiar company as Frank Sutton and Ronnie Schell came along with him. On the show Jim had a segment, like many variety show hosts did, where he took comments and questions from the studio audience. The only part of this that I remember is when Jim seemed almost embarrassed when a young girl said how happy she was for him that his Christmas Album went gold. Back then that was the highest that an artist had ever gone till they started giving out platinum records. One of the best continuing sketches from the show was the Brothers-in-Law. The three of them were the brothers-in-law when Frank married Jim’s sister played by Karen Morrow. Frank was always trying to tell his wife and Jim that the world was an eat or get eaten world and Jim always did better then Frank when he smiled and treated others the way he would want them to treat him. Ronnie was the brother-in-law who drank too much and would stumble in drunk. He made a lot of noise trying to get upstairs and thought no one saw or heard him. Usually Frank and Jim did see him. Ronnie Schell deserved a hit show with him as the star. He was a good mimic. Almost as good as Rich Little or Frank Gorshin. He proved he could do physical comedy and also was a good straight man when he played Duke on Gomer Pyle. After this variety series he was hardly seen. He did show up in a few movies from time to time. I remember seeing him in the Disney movie the Devil and Max Devlin but nothing after that. The Jim Nabors Hour fared better then Don Knotts or Ken Berry did with their variety shows. His was renewed for a second season. I don’t know if the ratings were bad or if Mr. Nabors wanted out of the show but it ended its run on May 20, 1971. On June 28, 1974 Frank Sutton passed away of a heart attack. In August a pilot for a new TV show that he was to be in aired. It was called Ernie, Madge and Artie. Also, in September of that year the last TV movie he stared in, Hurricane, was aired. It was the last time his fans would see him. Click here to see a fan site for Frank Sutton. Posted by Picasa

God's Promise: God will help you understand His Word!

How well do your undersand God's Word?
But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them, and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. I will be their God, and they will be my people!
Hebrews 8:10 NLTAbove all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.
2 Peter 1:20-21 NLT
About this week's promise:How remarkable that the God of the universe would actually want to communicate with us! We are creatures of a material, physical world to which we relate through our five senses. God is a spiritual being. We in our physical state cannot see him, hear him, or touch him, so how can he communicate with us? Through the Bible. Over several centures, God inspired a select number of people to write down what he felt we needed to know about him and how he expects us to live. These writings have been collected into this book, called the Holy Bible. In a miraculous way, the Bible speaks to each of us. Its truths apply across generations, across cultures, across all life experience. When it comes to reading the Bible, most of us read just enough to get by. Read God's Word daily so you can thoroughly understand all God wants you to know. Posted by Picasa