Monday, April 30, 2007

The Turtles - Voice Your Choice

The Turtles formed in Los Angeles, California in the mid-sixties. The core of the band was the duo of Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. The rest of the group consisted of Jim Tucker (guitar), Al Nichol (keyboards), Chuck Portz (Bass), and drummer Don Murray, who passed away at age 50 on March 22, 1996.

In five short years together, they had 17 singles on the charts including 5 Top Ten hits and a Gold record for Happy Together. They had quite a tumultuous career, as you saw on the video clip here at the Blog a couple of weeks ago. In case you didn't see it, click here then scroll down.

After the breakup of The Turtles, Volman and Kaylan became Flo and Eddie and joined Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights two songs by The Turtles, their debut single, It Ain't Me Babe, written by Bob Dylan, and Elenore.

Come to the Voice Your Choice page and make your selection for the song you prefer. We'll play the hit with the most votes in Hour 3 of this week's 10th Anniversary Special.

The Beatles Roll Over Beethoven - Song of the Week

The Beatles sounded great on this remake of the Chuck Berry classic, Roll Over Beethoven. This clip is a live performance in Treslong, Hillegom, The Netherlands; and sadly, the venue is no longer in existence. George Harrison sounds great on his live vocals, sung over the record. They look like they're having fun.



Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bobby Boris Pickett The Monster Mash Man Dead at 69

NEW YORK (AP) -- He does the "Monster Mash" no more.

Bobby "Boris" Pickett, whose dead-on Boris Karloff impression propelled the Halloween anthem to the top of the charts in 1962, making him one of pop music's most enduring one-hit wonders, has died of leukemia. He was 69.

Pickett, dubbed "The Guy Lombardo of Halloween," died Wednesday night at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital, said his longtime manager, Stuart Hersh. His daughter, Nancy, and his sister, Lynda, were at Pickett's bedside.

"Monster Mash" hit the Billboard chart three times: when it debuted in 1962, reaching No. 1 the week before Halloween; again in August 1970, and for a third time in May 1973. The resurrections were appropriate for a song where Pickett gravely intoned the forever-stuck-in-your-head chorus: "He did the monster mash. ... It was a graveyard smash."

The novelty hit's fans included Bob Dylan, who played the single on his XM Satellite Radio program last October. "Our next artist is considered a one-hit wonder, but his one hit comes back year after year," Dylan noted.

The hit single ensured Pickett's place in the pantheon of pop music obscurities, said syndicated radio host Dr. Demento, whose long-running program celebrates offbeat tunes.

"It's certainly the biggest Halloween song of all time," said Demento. The DJ, who interviewed Pickett last year, said he maintained a sense of humor about his singular success: "As he loved to say at oldies shows, 'And now I'm going to do a medley of my hit.' "

Pickett's impression of Karloff (who despite his name was an Englishman, born William Henry Pratt) was forged in Somerville, Massachusetts, where the boy watched horror films in a theater managed by his father.

Pickett used the impersonation in a nightclub act and when performing with his band the Cordials. A bandmate convinced Pickett they needed to do a song to showcase the Karloff voice, and "Monster Mash" was born -- "written in about a half-hour," said Dr. Demento.

The recording, done in a couple of hours, featured a then-unknown piano player named Leon Russell and a backing band christened The Crypt-Kickers. It was rejected by four major labels before Gary Paxton, lead singer on the Hollywood Argyles' novelty hit "Alley Oop," released "Monster Mash" on his own label.

The instant smash became a sort-of Christmas carol for the pumpkin and ghoul set. In a 1996 interview with People magazine, Pickett said he never grew tired of it: "When I hear it, I hear a cash register ringing."

While Pickett never re-created its success, his "Monster's Holiday," a Christmas follow-up, reached No. 30 in December 1962. And "Graduation Day" hit No. 80 in June 1963.

He continued performing through his final gig in November. He remained in demand for Halloween performances, including a memorable 1973 show where his bus broke down outside Frankenstein, Missouri.

Beside his daughter and sister, Pickett is survived by two grandchildren.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Expo 67 40th Anniversary Memories Podcast

This Friday, April 27, marks the 40th Anniversary of the Opening Day of Expo 67 in Montreal, one of the most successful and biggest world fairs in history.

I reminisced about Expo 67 on my Treasure Island Oldies radio show this week, and that show segment is now available as a podcast. To hear it, click here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Carly Simon - Voice Your Choice

Carly Simon was born June 25, 1945 in Manhattan, New York, of "blue blood" heritage. Her father is the co-founder of Simon & Schuster Publishing. She and her sister Lucy were in a folk duo, The Simon Sisters, and had a modest hit in 1964 with Winkin' Blinkin' And Nod. She was married to James Taylor from 1972 - 83.

After the first record with her sister, it wasn't until seven years later in 1971, that Carly returned to the charts, this time as a solo artist. Her very first solo hit was Top Ten. Overall, she appeared on the Billboard charts 25 times between 1964 and 2001.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights Carly Simon and her first two consecutive solo hits: That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be and Anticipation.

Come to the Voice Your Choice page and make your selection for the song you prefer. We'll play the winner in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dobie Gray - The "In" Crowd - Song of the Week

Dobie Gray, who later went on to have a Gold Record with Drift Away, had his first big hit single in 1965. The "In" Crowd became a Top Twenty hit for the man from Brookshire, Texas, and is this week's Song of the Week. You'll note that this is a live performance with the band and background singers, and not lip synched to the record.



Treasure Island Oldies World Map

In less than ten days, we've had 29 listeners place their location on the Treasure Island Oldies World Map. Let's get it up to 50 this week! It's so easy, just click here and then add your name (if you prefer, your first name only is fine) and your city. And voila! You'll be joining the other "Islanders" to populate the World Map. Let's show the world you're a part of Treasure Island Oldies!

Expo 67 - 40th Anniversary This Week

This Friday, April 27 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Official Opening Day of Expo 67 in Montreal. It was the largest world's fair ever at the time and over 50 million people visited the fair site, situated on two existing islands in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, Ile. Ste. Helene and Ile. Notre-Dame, plus the man made Terre des Hommes (Terre means Earth). The Montreal Metro (subway) was built in time for Expo and the earth dug up from construction as well as from all other construction sites in Montreal was used to build the man made island.

You could buy individual day tickets or a "passport" for the entire duration of the fair, which closed in October. I was fortunate to grow up in Montreal and to be able to go visit Expo 67 often, using my Passport.

Join me now on a tour of Expo 67...

Expo 67 was held to coincide with Canada's Centennial Celebration. We were still a young country back in 1967 and only had 20 million people at the time, but we sure knew how to throw a good party!

Please join me on Treasure Island Oldies today, Sunday, April 22nd, for the live show. (If you aren't able to hear the live show, then enjoy the Archive.) I will play the official Expo 67 theme song, Hey Friend Say Friend by Donald Lautrec, which was not without controversy. Some people criticized the song for having no reference to Montreal or Expo itself. Or way or another, it still brings back wonderful memories of one the greatest world's fair in history, Expo 67!

For more wonderful memories of Expo 67, here are two great sites to visit:
Collections Canada
CBC Archives

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

24/7 Request Line Number Changed

I wanted to let you know this immediately: The Treasure Island Oldies 24/7 Request Line telephone number has changed.

Effective immediately, the NEW number is 206-312-5229.

I am sorry if you have been trying to leave a message on the old number. All you would have heard is "please send your fax now".

So I'm glad to have the problem fixed, although it did require a new number to be put in place.

I sure look forward to receiving your voicemail messages in time for our 10th Anniversary Special, coming up on Sunday, May 6. I'll pay back as many as possible on the 10th Anniversary Special.

Give the other "Islanders" a chance to hear your voice! Call the Treasure Island Oldies 24/7 Request Line now at 206-312-5229 and leave your message for our 10th Anniversary.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Neil Sedaka - Voice Your Choice

Neil Sedaka was born March 13, 1939 and began studying piano in elementary school. He was on the path of pursuing classical music when he was in Lincoln High School until he met Howard Greenfield. From then on it was classical music's loss and pop music great gain! They formed a songwriting team, with Neil composing the music and Howard as the lyricist, and their highly successful partnership lasted over 20 years. They scored ten Top Twenty hits, six of them in the Top Ten and one #1!

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights Neil Sedaka with two songs from the great Sedaka/Greenfield writing partnership, Let's Go Steady Again and Little Devil.

Come to the Voice Your Choice page and make your selection. The song with the most votes will be played in Hour 3 of this week's show.

The Buckinghams - Song of the Week

The Buckinghams exploded on the music scene on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1966, when their debut single was released. It soard up the charts all the way to #1!

Here is the Treasure Island Oldies Song of the Week, Kind Of A Drag by The Buckinghams.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Don Ho - R.I.P.

Don Ho, known throughout the world for the classic Hawaiian song, Tiny Bubbles, has passed away.

Here is the full story.

HONOLULU, Hawaii (AP) -- Legendary crooner Don Ho, who entertained tourists for decades wearing raspberry-tinted sunglasses and singing the catchy signature tune "Tiny Bubbles," has died. He was 76.

He died Saturday morning of heart failure, publicist Donna Jung said.

Ho had suffered with heart problems for the past several years and had a pacemaker installed last fall. In 2005, he underwent an experimental stem cell procedure on his ailing heart in Thailand.

Ho entertained Hollywood's biggest stars and thousands of tourists for four decades. For many, no trip to Hawaii was complete without seeing his Waikiki show -- a mix of songs, jokes, double entendres, Hawaii history and audience participation.

Shows usually started and ended with the same song, "Tiny Bubbles." Ho mostly hummed as the audience enthusiastically took over the song's swaying, silly lyrics: "Tiny bubbles/in the wine/make me happy/make me feel fine."
"I hate that song," he often joked to the crowd. He said he saved it for the end because "people my age can't remember if we did it or not."

The son of bar owners, Ho broke into the Waikiki entertainment scene in the early 1960s and, except for short periods, never left. Few artists are more associated with one place.

"Hawaii is my partner," Ho told The Associated Press in 2004.
Donald Tai Loy Ho, who was Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and German, was born August 13, 1930, in Honolulu and grew up in the then-rural countryside of Kaneohe.

In high school, he was a star football player and worked for a brief time in a pineapple cannery. After graduating in 1949, he attended Springfield College in Massachusetts on an athletic scholarship. He grew homesick, returned to the islands and ended up graduating from the University of Hawaii in 1953 with a degree in sociology.

Inspired by the U.S. military planes flying in and out of Hawaii during World War II, Ho joined the Air Force. As the Korean War wound down, he piloted transport planes between Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Tokyo, Japan.

When he returned home and took over his parents' struggling neighborhood bar, Honey's, he put together a band and started performing at his father's request.
"I had no intention of being an entertainer," Ho said. "I just played songs I liked from the radio, and pretty soon that place was jammed. Every weekend, there would be lines down the street."

Honey's became a happening place on Oahu, with other Hawaiian musicians stopping in for jam sessions. Ho began to play at various spots in Hawaii, and soon, he was packing places such as the Coconut Grove in Hollywood, California, and the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Stars such as Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra were known to be in the audience for Ho's shows.

Ho also became a television star and hosted the "The Don Ho Show" on ABC from 1976 to 1977. One of Ho's most memorable TV appearances was a 1972 cameo on an episode of "The Brady Bunch."

"I've had too much fun all these years," he said in the 2004 interview. "I feel real guilty about it."

Besides "Tiny Bubbles," his other well-known songs include "I'll Remember You," "With All My Love" and the "Hawaiian Wedding Song."

My thanks to Treasure Island Oldies listener, Fred Waterer, for passing on this sad news.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How The Turtles Got Screwed By The Music Business

The Turtles, one of the top pop vocal groups of the 1960s, broke up, not because Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan couldn't get along. They broke up because of an ongoing series of lawsuite.

Have a look at their story. It is presented humoursly, but it is still very sad how they were so unfairly taken advance of.

My thanks to Artie Wayne for bringing this to my attention.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Turn your 45 into an iPod case

Now I've seen everything! You can now take any old vinyl 45 and have it turned into an iPod case. Check this out for yourself at iPodcases The neat thing is the centre hole of the 45 is exactly where the iPod wheel is located for access to all of your mp3 files.

The only drawback I can think of is it should never be a rare collectors item as it'll never be the same again. LOL

Now which 45 to choose...


Martha & The Vandellas - Voice Your Choice

Martha & The Vandellas have quite a history with Motown Records. Martha Reeves worked as a secretary for the A&R (Artist & Repertoire) department and also sang backup vocals on various recording sessions. The Vandellas, Annette Beard and Rosalind Ashford, sang backup on several of Marvin Gaye's hit songs.

They had an amazing string of hits, including six in the Top Ten and a Gold record for Dancing In The Streets. Martha & The Vandellas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights Martha & The Vandellas with two of their most loved songs: I'm Ready For Love and Nowhere To Run. Which song do you like better? Have your say by coming to the Voice Your Choice page and placing your vote. We'll play the winning song in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Jack Scott - Song of the Week

Jack Scott, the pride of Windsor, Ontario had 19 hit singles, including four in the Top Ten. Our Song of the Week is one of his biggest hits, What In The World's Come Over You. Check out the audience reaction to his great performance and handsome looks.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Jerry Lee Lewis - Last Man Standing Live - Contest

Following up the highly successful Last Man Standing album last fall by Jerry Lee Lewis, "The Killer" has now released a special DVD, Last Man Standing LIVE. A series of private shows were held in both New York and Los Angeles with friends, family and many Rock 'n Roll icons including Solomon Burke, Buddy Guy, Tom Jones, John Fogerty, Chris Isaak, Ron Wood, Kris Kristofferson, Norah Jones, Don Henley and others. The performances were captured and assembled on this concert DVD.

Treasure Island Oldies
is pleased to present a new contest. You can be eligible to win a copy of the the Jerry Lee Lewis Last Man Standing LIVE DVD.

To enter the contest, send an email with "Jerry Lee Lewis Contest" in the Subject line, along with your full name and postal mailing address to

All winners will be announced on the Treasure Island Oldies 10th Anniversary Special on Sunday, May 6, 2007. One entry per person please. Good luck!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers - Song of the Week

Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers broke out big in the 50s just as Rock and Roll music was becoming established. Frankie Lymon was only 14 years old when Why Do Fools Fall In Love hits the top of the charts.

Our Song of the Week is a clip from the Frankie Laine TV show and you'll see a young Frankie interviewing the group. By the way, you'll note that they were really good singers together as on this clip they performed their big hit live.


Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds - Voice Your Choice

Although their name could have been suggested a law firm, Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds were actually a pop vocal trio. Dan Hamilton, Joe Frank Carollo and Tommy Reynolds were originally members of The T-Bones who had a huge instrumental hit, No Matter What Shape You Stomach's In, which was first used as a TV commeercial jingle for Alka Seltzer. Reynolds left the group in 1972, but they continued to use the group's full name until July 1976 when Alan Dennison joined and they then became Hamilton, Joe Frank and Dennison.

In the relatively short time they appeared on the Billboard charts, they scored eight singles, with two in the Top Ten and both Gold records.

This week on Voice Your Choice on Treasure Island Oldies, we feature Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds with two of their biggest hits: Don't Pull Your Love and Fallin' In Love. To vote for the song you prefer, come to the Voice Your Choice page and make your selection. The song with the most votes will be playes in Hour 3 of this week's show.