Thursday, August 31, 2006

Jumpin' Gene Simmons

Jumpin' Gene Simmons, Rockabilly singer and songwriter from Tupelo, Mississippi, has died at age 69 after a long illness. He was signed to the legendary Sun Records, owned by Sam Phillips who launched the careers of other Sun recording artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He was born in Itawamba County in 1937, and while he lived in Memphis for a short time, spent most of his life in Northeast Mississippi.

He wrote many rockabilly songs including Peroxide Blonde In A Hopped Up Model Ford, a version of which was recorded in later years by former Stray Cats lead singer Brian Setzer on his Rockabilly Riot Vol.1: A Tribute To Sun Records.

His best known recording was the 1964 Top 20 hit Haunted House, which has become a "standard" on the annual Treasure Island Oldies Halloween Spooktacular.

Gene Simmons R.I.P. - Keep on Jumpin' Gene!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Gary U.S. Bonds

Gary U.S. Bonds was born Gary Anderson June 6, 1939 in Jacksonville, Florida, and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. He was signed to the independent label, Legrand Records, and charted seven singles between 1960 and 1962. Out of those seven, 5 were Top Ten hits, and one reached Gold status (Quarter To Three)!

He disappeared from the charts until 1981, when Bruce Springsteen took him under his wings, and along with Miami Steve Van Zandt (aka Little Steven), produced three singles, most notably This Little Girl, which peaked at #11 in 1981.

This week on the Back To School Labour Day Special on Treasure Island Oldies, we spotlight Gary U.S. Bonds on Voice Your Choice with School Is Out and School Is In. Which song do you prefer? Come to the Voice Your Choice page and make your selection. The song with the most votes will get played in Hour 3 this week on Treasure Island Oldies.

Incidentally, this could possibly be the first time the same song gets played twice in one show; School Is Out will be part of the Top Five Countdown this week as we run down the five biggest songs this week in 1961. Will it also get played as the winner on Voice Your Choice? Be sure to listen and find out!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bobby Vinton

Bobby Vinton, one of the most successful male singers of the 1960s, is the featured artist on Voice Your Choice this week on Treasure Island Oldies.

Stanley Robert Vinton was born on April 16, 1935 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in a musical family; his father was a bandleader. That was such an influence on him that he started his own band while in high school. He later toured as the leader of the "house Band" for Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars in 1960, which he left to begin a singing career.

He recorded several sides for Epic Records, but nothing charted and was about to be dropped from the label when, as a last ditch effort, he recorded a song written by Paul Evens (Happy Go Lucky Me, Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat). That song turned out to become a career saver and launcher, his first hit single, first Gold record and his first number one song, Roses Are Red (My Love). And in this case, the expression "and the rest is history" is very apt indeed.

Throughout his recording career, he charted an astounding 47 records on the Billboard chart between 1962 and 1980. During that time he attained four Number One hits, three Gold records, and 10 Top Ten hits. He even had his own musical variety series on television from 1975-78.

This week on Voice Your Choice, we spotlight two 'colourful' hits by Bobby Vinton: Blue On Blue and Roses Are Red (My Love). Which song do you prefer? Come to the Voice Your Choice page at Treasure Island Oldies and select your preference. We'll play the song with the most votes in Hour 3 this week on the show.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Barbara George

Oh dear, we have lost another one!

Barbara George, who topped the R&B and Pop charts in 1962 with I Know (You Don't Love Me No More), has passed away in Chauvin, Louisiana at age 63. She was born Barbara Ann Smith in Smithridge, Louisiana August 16, 1942.

She was discovered by performer Jessie Hill (Ooh Poo Pah Doo) and brought to the attention of Harold Batiste at AFO Records, distributed by Sue Records. I Know went to the Top of the R&B chart on January 20, 1862, where it remained for four weeks at #1. It peaked at #3 on the Pop chart.

Two subsequent records, You Talk About Love and Send For Me (If You Need Some Lovin), were released as follow-ups to I Know, and while they reached #46 and #96 respectively, they failed to make the impact of her debut hit single. Her final recordings for the Hep' Me label took place in the 1980s.

Please join me this Sunday, August 20, when I will play all three of her hits records in Hour 4 on Treasure Island Oldies.

Barbara George, R.I.P.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas, best known for having one of the first daytime talk shows on television, The Mike Douglas Show from 1961-1980, has passed away at age 81. He started his career as a singer with the Kay Kyser Band from 1945 to 1950.

From an oldies music fan's perspective, he is remembered for his spoken word hit record, The Men In My Little Girl's Life. Released on Christmas Day, December 25, 1965, this recording reached Number Five on the charts nine weeks later in 1966. As listeners of Treasure Island Oldies know, this songs gets played every year on the Father's Day Special.

During his highly successful TV show, he hosted a vast number of celebrities, including a young pre-teen Tiger Woods, as well as legends like Bob Hope, Barbra Streisand, and even John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who co-hosted the show with Mike for an entire week.

His friends in showbusiness have said that Mike Douglas was one of the nicest and friendly men they ever met.

Mike Douglas, R.I.P.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Fleetwoods

The Fleetwoods were a pop vocal trio from Olympia, Washington and were the only pop group from the Rock and Roll era to have two Number One hits in the same year, 1959. The trio consisted of founder Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis and Gary Troxel. They were considered by many to be ahead of their time with their intimate harmonies, intricate counterpoint and vocal arrangements.

Between 1959 and 1963 they charted 11 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including three Top Ten and two Gold Records.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents The Fleetwoods, featuring their two Gold records for your votes: Come Softly To Me and Mr. Blue. This is going to be a tough decision and I am sure it will be a very close vote outcome.

Come to Treasure Island Oldies and cast your vote for the song you prefer. We'll play the song with the most votes in Hour 3 on the next edition of Treasure Island Oldies.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Treasure Island Oldies "Shop The Island" Store

Want to look cool during these hot summer days? Need a new BBQ apron? Have you worn out your old mouse pad? Trying to keep on time and not be late for your appointments?

The answers to these and other questions are at the Treasure Island Oldies Shop The Island Store. Get your Treasure Island Oldies "souvenirs"- T-shirts, sweat shirts, coffee cups and mugs, mouse pads, BBQ aprons, wall clocks, and more, all reasonably priced from $2.99 to $26.99 and all proudly wearing the beautiful image "You And Me And The Big Palm Tree" from the Treasure Island Oldies website.

It's a fun way to own a 'piece of the island' and a great way to help support the show.

Shop till you drop from the comfort of your own home.

Disclaimer: Shoplifters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. LOL

Pop Quiz

Got a couple of minutes? Take the Treasure Island Oldies Pop Quiz. It's not a contest and there's no prize, just a chance for you to check out your music knowledge from the Rock and Roll era.

It's a bit of trivia and some fun, and something to do while waiting for the next Treasure Island Oldies show! LOL

I'd sure appreicate your feedback and comments as to whether you'd like me to continue updating the Pop Quiz on a regular basis.


Pat Boone

Pat Boone has had one of the most amazing careers of anyone from the Rock and Roll era. Here's a few stats for you: he is the artist with the longest chart career of anyone - he had songs on the chart from 1955 to 2003. He is the #2 male artist of the rock era, right behind Elvis Presley (who said in an interview that Pat Boone was his favourite singer), he's the #10 artist with the most charted hits; of all recording artists, he is #6 with the most Top Ten hits, he even had 21 double-sided hits. What a career!

Some people have criticized Pat Boone for 'stealing' hits from artists such as Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ivory Joe Hunter, and others. The fact is that these R&B artists recorded at the time for small regioinal labels with very limited distribution and airplay, certainly not on a national basis. Were it not for white artists such as Pat Boone, there is a good chance the rock and roll era would have turned out completely different. By recording these R&B hits, the white listening audience was exposed to some exceptional music, which opened the door to the black R&B artists getting the opportunity to have their own hit records from coast to coast. There is no denying the success and impact Pat Boone has had on the Rock and Roll era.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights two of Pat Boone's biggest hit songs: Don't Forbid Me and Love Letters In The Sand. Come to the website and click on the Voice Your Choice button, then make your selection. The song with the most votes will get played in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


This is post #101 of the Treasure Island Oldies Blog. I'd like to thank you for both the feedback and comments, as well as for the amount of traffic you have generated for the blog since the very first posting back in March.

I make every effort to generate at least one new posting per week, with additional ones for upcoming specials. Of course, any breaking news relating to a recording artist of the Rock and Roll era is posted as soon as I get the information.

I look forward to continuing with the Blog and I thank you once again for coming back again and again for the latest news of interest to you, the Treasure Island Oldies listener.

Have a great weekend and see you tomorrow at 6 p.m. Pacific for our annual Instrumental Gems - Worldess Wonders Special on Treasure Island Oldies.


Arthur Lee R.I.P.

Arthur Lee, the founder of the Los Angeles psychedelic group Love, has passed away at age 61 from leukemia.

He formed Love and and his group was among the first to be signed to Elektra Records. Their most famous album, Forever Changes, released in 1968 is considered by many to be a classic album of the '60s rock era. Their two big hits were My Little Red Book and 7 & 7 Is.

A benefit concert was held in June in Los Angeles and organized by former Led Zeppelin front man, Robert Plant. The funds were raised to help pay for medical expenses Arthur Lee needed, a bone marrow transplant. "But for this disease I would never have known I was loved this much", said Lee from his hospital bed in May.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Richard Barrett R.I.P.

I am very sorry to report the passing of Richard Barrett, the legendary singer-songwriter-producer who was responsible for literally hundreds of classic vocal group harmony sounds from the 1950s and 1960s.

The original lead singer of The Valentines, Barrett was among the most creative and talented individualsof the era, and was instrumental in the careers of the many talented artists that were signed to GeorgeGoldner's plethora of successful labels including the Chantels, Dubs, Teenagers, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Flamingos, Cleftones, and others.

He served as a producer, A&R director, manager, and successful songwriter well into the 1970s, working with artists including Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and the Three Degrees. Richard died early this morning of prostate cancer at age 70. He passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.

My thanks to Wayne Cosford and Wayne Baptista for passing on the sad news to me.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Fun Little Quiz

I have come up with a very short quiz, just for something fun to do. Here is the link to "How well do You know your oldies?"


There is NO brain surgery involed with this one, let me tell you. Just a minute of fun. If you enjoy completing the oldies quiz, please let me know and we'll do it again.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Name Game

I have had many listeners asking for another Name Game special, so here it is! Coming to Treasure Island Oldies Sunday, August 13th, it's the return of The Name Game.

If you are a new listener to the show, here's how it works. Every song played throughout the four hour show will have the name of a person in the song title.

So for example, you could hear Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce, Paul Anka's Diana, Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sherry by The Four Seasons, The Four Tops' Bernadette, etc. You get the idea.

If you'd like to hear a special "name" song, be sure to call the Treasure Island Oldies 24/7 Request Line at 206-202-2866 and leave your name and city where you're calling from, and a short message with the song you'd like me to play on The Name Game Special.

Oh, if you've always wondered about the lyrics for The Name Game by Shirley Ellis, here they are:

The Name Game - Shirley Ellis

The name game!
Shirley!Shirley, Shirley bo Birley Bonana fanna fo Firley
Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley!
Lincoln!Lincoln, Lincoln bo Bincoln Bonana fanna fo Fincoln
Fee fy mo Mincoln, Lincoln!
Come on everybody!
I say now let's play a game
I betcha I can make a rhyme out of anybody's name
The first letter of the name, I treat it like it wasn't there
But a B or an F or an M will appear
And then I say bo add a B then I say the name and Bonana fanna and fo
And then I say the name again with an F very plain
and a fee fy and a mo
And then I say the name again with an M this time
and there isn't any name that I can't rhyme

Arnold, Arnold bo Barnold Bonana fanna fo Farnold
Fee fy mo Marnold Arnold!

But if the first two letters are ever the same,
I drop them both and say the name likeBob, Bob drop the B's Bo ob
For Fred, Fred drop the F's Fo red
For Mary, Mary drop the M's Mo ary
That's the only rule that is contrary.

Now say Bo: Bo
Now Tony with a B: Bony
Then Bonana fanna fo: bonana fanna fo
Then you say the name again with an F very plain: Fony
Then a fee fy and a mo: fee fy mo
Then you say the name again with an M this time: Mony
And there isn't any name that you can't rhyme

Every body do Tony!
Pretty good, let's do Billy!
Very good, let's do Marsha!
A little trick with Nick!
The name game

Join me live Sunday, August 12 for The Name Game Special on Treasure Island Oldies. And remember, if you can't listen to the live show, you can always enjoy the archive.

Bye for now,
Michael Posted by Picasa

Song Requests

Here at Treasure Island Oldies, I love playing the songs you want to hear; it gives me great pleasure to know I am playing something special for you.

Now there are two ways to send in your song requests. You can come to Treasure Island Oldies and click on the Requests button. It will open your email program and pre-address your email to me.

The second way is a lot more fun. Just call the Treasure Island Oldies 24/7 Request Line at 206-202-2866. You'll hear a message from me then all you do is leave your first name and the place you're calling from, along with the song you'd like to hear. You can also leave a short message or comment about the show if you like. I will do my best to play back your phone message and song request on the show. As the old TV ad went, "So you don't forget, call before midnight tonight". LOL That number again is 206-202-2866.

Hope to hear from you soon.