Monday, February 26, 2007

The Doors - Voice Your Choice

The Doors were one of the hottest, and at times, most controversial rock groups of the late '60s and early '70s. Jim Morrison (vocals), Ray Manzarek (keyboards), Robby Kreiger (guitar) and John Densmore (drums) were from Los Angeles, California.

They were considered controversial due to the onstage performances by Jim Morrison, which caused several arrests and cancellations of shows. Sadly, and with continuing controversy, Jim Morrison died of heart failure in Paris on July 3, 1972. The group disbanded two years later. They appeared 16 times on the Billboard chart, debuting with Light My Fire in 1967, which stayed at Number One for three weeks and was a Gold Record as well. Some may have thought they could never match that level of success again, but were proven wrong when they scored two more Top Ten hits and two additional Gold Records with Hello, I Love You and Touch Me.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights The Doors with Hello, I Love You and Love Her Madly. Which song do you prefer? Come to the Voice Your Choice page and select your favourite. We'll tally up all the votes and play the winning song in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Dusty Springfield - Song Of The Week

Dusty Springfield, what a voice! I know you will enjoy this clip of Dusty performing I Only Want To Be With You.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Donnie Brooks - R.I.P.

Donnie Brooks, who had the big hits Mission Bell, Doll House and Memphis in the early '60s, passed away in California on February 23 after a heart attack that followed a lengthy illness. He also appeared in movies such as A Swingin' Summner with Raquel Welch and Get Yourself A College Girl with Nancy Sinatra.

I saw Donny perform a few years ago in the Vancouver area when he was MC for an oldies show at the Cloverdale Fair Grounds that included Dick and Dee Dee. He was a good entertainer. R.I.P.


Monday, February 19, 2007

The Main Ingredient - Voice Your Choice

The Main Ingredient were Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons and Tony Sylvester, an R&B vocal trio from the Bronx, New York.

Sadly, Donald McPherson died of leukemia on July 4, 1971 and was replaced by Cuba Gooding whose son Cuba Gooding Jr. became a prominent movie actor.

During their run on the charts between 1970 and mid-1975, they had 11 singles, 2 reaching Top Ten, and a Gold Record.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights The Main Ingredient with two of their hits for your votes: Everybody Plays The Fool and Just Don't Want To Be Lonely. Which song is your preference? Come to the Voice Your Choice page and make your selection. We'll play the winning song in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Seekers - Morningtown Ride : Song of the Week

Here's a hard to find, rare oldie, or what I call another Lost Treasure from Treasure Island Oldies. Our Song of the Week is Morningtown Ride by The Seekers.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

James Brown and Pavarotti

You just GOT to see this. Turn it up and be prepared to give your own standing ovation by the end!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Enjoy internet radio without a computer

I was just sent this item from popgadget and thought it would be in interest to you as an Intenet radio listener.


Sometimes, all you want is a little music, without too much technological hassle. That’s when the Acoustic Energy Wi-Fi Internet Radio comes in handy. Designed to work right out of the box, all it needs is a little AC power and a wireless signal --- no computer connection required!

The radio comes with 5,000 stations on its broadcast list, which are automatically uploaded once it’s tapped into the wireless signal. It lists the stations alphabetically by country and category, making it easy to find a favourite station or browse through the selection to try out a new one. Of course, you can add your own stations, if they aren’t already there.

The device can also be hooked up to a computer to play MP3, Real Media, and other WMA compatible audio files from the hard drive.

The only catch is that at $299.95 (available from C. Crane), it seems a little pricey for something that doesn’t have any other music features. Nevertheless, this might be something for those who like their radio, plain and simple, in the kitchen or the bedroom.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Shawn Hlookoff Live Performance

I am excited to let you know that Shawn Hlookoff will join me in the studio for a Live Performance in the first hour of Treasure Island Oldies this coming Sunday, February 18 at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

You'll recall Shawn was a guest on the show last November and we chatted and played a few songs from his debut album. He promised to come back and perform live. Fortunately. his schedule has made it possible to happen this coming Sunday.

Be sure to catch Shawn live on the show; you'll be able to say you heard him before he broke into the big leagues.

Visit Shawn on the web either at his site or at MySpace. And be sure to check out his Podcasts.

Bobby Rydell - Voice Your Choice

Bobby Rydell was one of the late 50s and early 60s Teen Idols. He was born Robert Ridarelli on April 26, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was a regular performer on Paul Whiteman's amateur show on TV between 1951-54. Along with Frankie Avalon who played trumpet, Bobby was the drummer for Rocco & His Saints in 1956.

Not only did he have a successful recording career, he was also an actor, and appeared in the movies Bye Bye Birdie and That Lady From Peking. Between 1959, when he appeared on the charts for the first time with Kissin' Time up to his last single, Diana, in 1965, Bobby Rydell, one of the top Cameo-Parkway Records artists, had 30 songs hit Billboard's Top 100. He scored 5 Top Ten hits and one Gold Record.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Bobby Rydell is in the spotlight for Voice Your Choice with Volare and Sway. Which song do you prefer? Come to Treasure Island Oldies and cast your vote. We'll play the winner in Hour 3 this week.

A Lover's Concerto - The Toys: Valentine's Song of the Week

In celebration of Valentine's Day for our Song of the Week, here's one of the great Girl Groups, The Toys with their classic A Lover's Concerto. By the way, that's Petula Clark doing the introduction.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ben Kaye - Montreal Music Industry Figure Passes

Sadly, another music industry figure has passed away. Ben Kaye, well known and highly respected music industry artist manager and producer in Montreal, has died at age 68 from cancer. I have known Ben since I was in my late teens, just getting my own career underway, and even worked for him for a short while on a freelance basis in the early 70s. When I began my radio career as music director, Ben would often come by the radio station to promote his latest record production.

Here is the story from National Post.

Ben Kaye, one of the driving forces behind Quebec's pop music scene in the 1960s who later latched on to Celine Dion's rising star and went on to become one of her most trusted advisors, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Westmount. He was 68.

"I have always believed in one goal: fame and the fortune that goes with it," Kaye boasted in a Montreal Gazette interview 40 years ago when he was hustling to break in to show business. "I concentrate on the two most important factors: sound and sight.

"Everything starts with the song. If it's good, the sky's the limit. If you can't come up with a song, no matter how good the band, you're history."

****Benjamin Kushnir, a house painter's son, was born in Montreal on Dec. 12, 1938, and grew up in Plateau Mont Royal. While at Baron Byng High School, he wrote songs, skits and revues.

At 17, he was writing jokes for stand-up comics who played the El Morocco and the Bellevue Casino in Montreal. In the 1950s, he was the lead singer of a short-lived local band, the Four Kools.

At 20, he went to work as a promotion assistant to talent scout Ziggy Wiseman, who worked out of the Show Mart on Berri Street, then a venue for rock 'n' roll road shows.

Kaye's big break came in 1961 when he signed Les Baronets, a quartet who covered Beatles songs in French, and became full-time manager of the group.

One member of Les Baronets was Rene Angelil, who would one day manage and marry Celine Dion.

Kaye successfully promoted another Quebec group, Les Classels (Class Sells), who dressed in white, played all-white instruments and dyed their hair tomatch and went on to become a hit in the United States.

He also wrote two of their hit tunes, Le sentier de neige and Ton amour a change ma vie.

Brash and energetic, Kaye became a show-biz salesman representing Ginette Reno, Patsy Gallant, Michel Pagliaro and Roger Doucet.

When Angelil signed 12-yearold Dion in 1980 and made her an international star, Kaye went on to become a senior consultant in her production company, Les Productions Feelings, negotiating the diva's contracts, including her most recent three-year stint at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

"He was fearless, and what's more he had a terrific sense of humour," Dion writes in her biography, My Story, My Dream.

"One of his most amazing stunts was to form a chorus with everyone who happened to be in a particular restaurant. He'd have them all sing, even the waiters. If anyone refused to sing, he'd have them make noises with their mouths or play percussion. The result was tremendous."

In recent years, Kaye divided his time between Paradise Island in the Bahamas and Montreal.

© National Post 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Frankie Laine - R.I.P.

Frankie Laine dead at 93

By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Frankie Laine, the full-voiced singer who became one of the most popular entertainers of the 1950s with such hits as "I Believe," "Jezebel" and the theme to the TV Western "Rawhide," died on Tuesday at 93.
Laine, part of a generation of great Italian-American crooners whose peers included Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, died of a heart attack after hip-replacement surgery at the Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, said his longtime producer, Jimmy Marino.
Laine had otherwise been in good health in recent years, and his last public performance was at the age of 92, singing the first big hit of his career, "That's My Desire," on a public television special, Marino told Reuters.
He tallied 21 gold records and dozens of songs on the singles charts in the United States and abroad, selling roughly 250 million albums.
Laine proved particularly popular in Britain, where his 1953 rendition of "I Believe" topped the charts for a record 18 weeks. Three decades later, a collection of his greatest hits, "The World of Frankie Laine, topped the British charts.
"He was huge abroad," Marino said. "He might have been bigger abroad than he was here, and he was huge here."
He is perhaps best remembered by a younger generation of American fans for his recordings of the theme to the hit television Western "Rawhide" and the theme to Mel Brooks' 1974 big-screen western spoof "Blazing Saddles."
Born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio to immigrant parents in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood in 1913, Laine began singing as a choir boy and performed at a local ballroom before leaving home as a teenager during the Great Depression to try his luck as a marathon dancer.
According to his official biography, Laine and his partner ultimately set the all-time marathon dance record in Atlantic City, New Jersey, staying on their feet for a total of 3,501 hours over 145 consecutive days and shared a $1,000 prize.
Laine also worked as a dance instructor, singing waiter and nightclub performer before getting his big break in the mid-1940s, when Hoagy Carmichael heard him sing one of Carmichael's own compositions, "Rocking Chair."
That discovery led to a steady job at Billy Berg's jazz club in Hollywood and a recording contract with Mercury Records. His first studio session yielded a recording of the ballad "That's My Desire," which became a No. 4 hit on the American charts in 1947.
Two No. 1 hits followed the next year, "That Lucky Old Sun" and "Mule Train," and after a third chart-topper in 1950, "The Cry of the Wild Goose," Laine signed with Columbia Records.
It was there that Laine shifted toward more country & western songs and pop tunes, scoring a string of hits with "Jezebel," "Hey, Good Lookin'," "Jealousy," "High Noon" and "Tell Me a Story."
As his popularity faded at home following his last U.S. top-10 hit, 1957's "Love Is a Golden Ring," Laine turned to international cabaret circuit with performances that included an increasing number of inspirational and religious tunes. In the 1980s he had been mostly retired.

Barbara McNair R.I.P.

Barbara McNair, singer who found success in Hollywood, dies at 72

By JACOB ADELMAN, Associated Press Writer
Monday, February 5, 2007
(02-05) 13:56 PST Los Angeles (AP) --

Barbara McNair, the pioneering black singer-actress who hosted her own TV variety show and starred in Hollywood with Sidney Poitier in the early 1970s, has died, her sister said Monday. She was 72.
McNair died Sunday after a battle with throat cancer in Los Angeles, sister Jacqueline Gaither said.
"She was very family oriented," Gaither said. "She was more than just a star or a famous personality. She was a person of her own."
Gaining fame in the 1960s as a nightclub singer, McNair graduated to film and television as opportunities were opening up for black women late in the decade. She made her Hollywood acting debut in 1968 in the film, "If He Hollers, Let Him Go."
She later starred with Elvis Presley in his 1969 film "Change of Habit" and as Poitier's wife in the 1970 film "They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!"
She found movie acting "a more rewarding kind of work than singing," she told The Washington Post in 1969. "When I'm working in a club, I must go from one song to another rapidly and I don't have much time to express myself emotionally. In a movie, you can concentrate on one scene at a time."
She hosted television's "The Barbara McNair Show," a syndicated musical and comedy program, from 1969 to 1972.
As a singer, one of her biggest hits was "You Could Never Love Him." She started out as a jazz singer but later branched out, adding show tunes and the Beatles'"Yesterday" to her repertoire.
During her early attempts to break into Broadway, McNair said she was thwarted by an entertainment establishment that had few opportunities for black performers.
"I went to New York and made all the rounds of the casting offices, looking for chorus work," she told The Associated Press in 1970. "It never occurred to me that they wouldn't hire me because I was a Negro ... But I found out that was true."
Even after her career had taken off, she found it difficult to navigate through the world of show business as a black woman.
"I don't want someone else's way of how I am to project myself as a black person forced on me," she told Jet magazine in 1969. "I want to do it the way that is me."
Gaither said her sister seemed headed for a career in show business from the time she was a girl in Racine, Wis.
"She sang from the time she was 5 years old in churches and then at school," Gaither told the Racine Journal Times. "We always encouraged her."
McNair went to the University of California, Los Angeles, before moving to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming an entertainer.
An engagement in 1957 at the Village Vanguard earned her the notice that would lead to her first Broadway performance in the play "The Body Beautiful" a year later. She went on to star on Broadway in the musical "No Strings" in 1963.
Reviewing a nightclub appearance in late 1965, a New York Times writer commented that the "strikingly beautiful" McNair "does not have to depend on looks alone. She is a highly knowledgeable performer who projects an aura of beauty, a warm personality and an appealing sense of fun."
As she gained notice in Hollywood in the late 1960s, she told the Post that a steamy 1968 photo spread she did for Playboy "helped my career immensely."
Also around that time, she joined a Bob Hope tour to entertain servicemen in Vietnam, saying she was thrilled to later meet men who had seen her there.
"I don't believe in war for any reason," she told the Post. "I went over there to see what war was like and to comfort the men and I was appalled."
Her career was hampered in 1972, when she was accused of drug possession after she signed for a package delivered to her dressing room. She was later cleared.
"You can spend all this time building something, and it can be destroyed in a minute," she told the Post in 1979.
McNair's television career continued into the 1980s. She appeared on such shows as "The Jeffersons," the "Redd Fox Show" and the "Gong Show."
"She had a great resume, she could have ended up conceited, but nothing ended up that way," her current husband Charles Blecka said. "She had a special quality that was infectious, that everybody loved."
McNair continued to sing professionally as long as she could, Gaither said, but the cancer that started in her throat and then spread eventually hurt her ability to perform.
"She sang until the middle of last year," Gaither told the Journal Times. "At that time she thought that would be her last. The audience enjoyed her, but she did not think she was really doing well at that time. She said that if she couldn't sing any better than that, that would be the last one."
Along with Gaither, McNair is survived by Blecka. Funeral arrangements were pending.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Stevie Wonder - Voice Your Choice

Stevie Wonder, was born Steveland Morris on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan and blind since birth. He was only 13 at the time of his first hit Fingertips Pt 2. He was signed to Motown Records as a backup singer when he was only 10 years old! He was named Little Stevie Wonder by Motown owner Berry Gordy Jr.

Stevie has been lauded with many awards, including his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and in 1996 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Awards.

Since his first charting single, Fingertips Pt 2, a number one record for three weeks in 1963 through 1997 1997, he appeared a total of 65 times on the Billboard chart. He has had an astounding 28 Top Ten hits, including 10 Number One songs!

It was no easy task trying to select just two songs from his increbible repertoire for Voice Your Choice this week on Treasure Island Oldies. Here they are: Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday and Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day. Do you have a preference for once of these top ten songs? Come to Treasure Island Oldies and cast your vote. We'll play the song with the highest results in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Martha and the Vandellas - Song of the Week

As a tribute to the late Joe E. Hunter, the founder of The Funk Brothers who passed away this week, here is one of his most memorable performances. Listen to him playing the keyboards on Heatwave by Martha and the Vandellas, our Song of the Week.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Radio Caroline's Keith Hampsire Interviews Terry Sylvester of The Hollies part 2

A few months ago, I presented part one of the interview with Terry Sylvester from The Hollies. Keith Hampshire was one of the many legendary DJs with Radio Station on Radio Caroline. In later years, Keith came to Canada and settled in Toronto. He was a disk jockey at CKFH and later had a recording contract with A&M Records, which was how I got to know him.

I am pleased to have Part Two of the interview Keith did with Terry Sylvester of The Hollies.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Funk Brothers' Joe Hunter Passes Away

Joe Hunter has died in Detroit, having just returned from European gigs with the Funk Brothers' Jack Ashford. Joe was the first of the Funk Brothers recruited by Berry Gordy when he founded Motown. He was piano player on some of the most memorable Motown tracks - from the first hits - Come To Me by Marv Johnson, Money (That's What I Want) by Barrett Strong, Heatwave by Martha & The Vandellas, Pride & Joy by Marvin Gaye among them. He left the company in 1963 when Earl Van Dyke took over keyboards. He was a 3 Grammy Award winner.