The Music of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
We ran our TOMMY BOYCE AND BOBBY HART Series for the very first time back in November of 2004. The goal at the time was tell the COMPLETE BOYCE AND HART story … beyond the hits written for THE MONKEES … beyond the hits they scored working together as a singing and songwriting duo ... because, although these were certainly important chapters in the story, they were NOT the WHOLE story.
It quickly became a VERY popular piece … SO much so, in fact, that by popular demand, we have rerun the piece more times than any other series we've ever done in FORGOTTEN HITS. As such, we've decided to permanently place it on our web page so new readers can continue to discover it ... and older readers can enjoy it again and again. (The most popular chapter in this series was the one dealing with the history of the song VALLERI!!! That one piece alone was picked up by a number of websites dedicated to MONKEES and BOYCE AND HART fans around the world, fueling even MORE requests for me to rerun the entire series.)
In 2008 we were thrilled to run the series again along with the personal commentary from MR. BOBBY HART himself!!! (For me, this was kinda like watching The Director's Cut DVD while listening the commentary track voiced by the guy who was actually there!!!)
I mean, think about it ... BOBBY HART was RIGHT THERE while all this great stuff was happening … in fact, HE was one of the people HELPING to MAKE it happen!!! We are VERY grateful to BOBBY for taking the time to participate in our piece.
I believe that this new one-on-one, play-by play version will only help to make this an even MORE interesting and unique piece. BOYCE AND HART still have an AWFUL lot of fans out there … their music is still played on the radio every single day and kids of EVERY generation since have memorized every word of these songs and sing along each time they hear them come on the radio. It's safe to say that the music created by the songwriting team of TOMMY BOYCE AND BOBBY HART TRULY transcends time.
When BOBBY and I first talked last year, he was working on a book deal ... my hope was that by the time this piece actually ran, we would be able to let our readers know how THEY might obtain a copy of BOBBY's new memoirs, “MY JOURNEY TO STARDOM AND BACK AND 101 FAMOUS PEOPLE I MET ALONG THE WAY.” He's also been working on a new musical called "UPRISING: THE MUSICAL", which I had hoped to be able to give you information about as well.
Based on a conversation I had with BOBBY HART just this past week, BOTH of these projects are still looking for a home ... he has been talking to publishers about his rock and roll memoirs as well as financiers regarding finding a permanent venue for his musical to call home. (Las Vegas perhaps???)
We were also able to top the whole thing off with an EXCLUSIVE FORGOTTEN HITS Interview with BOBBY HART, which is now also posted on The FORGOTTEN HITS Web Page. (It is suggested that you read the complete series FIRST as quite a few of the questions reference points made in the series.)
We hope that you, too, will enjoy this VERY special BOYCE AND HART Series.
TOMMY BOYCE was born on September 29, 1939 in Charlottesville, Virginia. We first learned of him here in Chicago back in 1962 when his solo hit I'LL REMEMBER CAROL went all the way to #9 on the WLS Chart. (Nationally, it stopped at #78.) At the time, BOYCE was pursuing a solo recording career. By this time, however, he had already experienced some songwriting success.
He placed his first chart hit record with 1950's rock and roll pioneer FATS DOMINO back in 1959 and BE MY GUEST went all the way to #8 on the National Charts. (BOYCE found that continued songwriting and chart success was not so easily coming ... he wouldn't hit The Top Ten again until he teamed up with singer CURTIS LEE to write PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES a couple of years later.)
BOBBY HART: A high school buddy introduced me to his college mate, Curtis Lee, and asked if I could help him break into the business. When I introduced him to my manager at a recording studio, we both met Tommy Boyce and we all became good friends. Tommy and I began writing together in 1960. Tommy, my first wife, Becky and I were involved in a freeway collision driving home from a Long Beach show where Curtis was discovered by Stan Schulman, signed to Dunes Records and summoned to New York. Once there, it didn’t take Curt long to convince Stan that he needed Tommy to write with. I tell the full story in my book.
In 1961, while still recovering from the injuries he suffered in a head-on collision in Los Angeles, TOMMY BOYCE was given the opportunity to go to New York and try to write a song for an up-and-coming young singer named CURTIS LEE.
BOYCE was met at the airport by LEE, as well as recording artist RAY PETERSON (who we recently featured in FORGOTTEN HITS with his original version of the ELVIS tune THE WONDER OF YOU.) Both artists were looking for a hit (and were about to be produced by the legendary PHIL SPECTOR!)
After a few weeks without so much as a single inspiration, BOYCE's publisher gave him an ultimatum ... write a hit for CURTIS LEE NOW or accept a plane ticket back home to Los Angeles. Now under just a LITTLE bit of pressure, TOMMY BOYCE and CURTIS LEE moved in together as roommates in the publisher's living room so that, in the event an inspiration struck, they would both be there to capitalize on it. In his book HOW TO WRITE A HIT SONG AND SELL IT, BOYCE says he lived and breathed songwriting, turning in song after song after song, only to be turned down each time with a comment like "It's good ... but write me a hit for CURTIS." This went on for two more months!!!
While CURTIS LEE and RAY PETERSON went out on tour, TOMMY stayed behind trying to come up with that elusive hit. As LEE was leaving, BOYCE told CURTIS to just "think of a title while you're down there in Florida ... come back with that, and I'll write you a hit song." (This would be a trait TOMMY would carry on for the rest of his songwriting career, regardless of which other partners he may have been working with ... coming up with a good title first to help inspire the "groove" of where the song would go from there.)
When they returned, LEE told TOMMY of a girl he had met down in Florida who had the prettiest eyes he had ever seen. CURTIS even had a title for his idea: he called it "ANGEL EYES."
One of the most popular songs on the radio at the time was EBONY EYES by THE EVERLY BROTHERS. TOMMY started to play the chord progression of that tune, hoping for some spark of inspiration. When that didn't work, he began to play the chords to that week's Number One Song, BLUE MOON by THE MARCELS. BOYCE says that the accelerated tempo of THE MARCELS' song got them to singing their first lyrics: "Angel Eyes, I really love you so. Angel Eyes, I'll never let you go." They felt that they were on to something. By evening, the lyrics were nearly complete.
Feeling pretty good about what they had done, BOYCE decided to take a walk and, while passing a record store, heard the old CLEFTONES' hit LITTLE GIRL OF MINE coming out of the loudspeakers. As soon as he heard the beginning: "Little, little, little, little, lit ... yeah, little, little, little, little, lit," he knew that he had the intro for their new song. Quickly, the opening lyrics became "PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES, PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES" (and, ultimately, so did the title of the song!)
Amazingly, when they first performed the song for their publisher, he wasn't impressed. "I thought I told you to write me a hit!" he said again. But BOYCE and LEE were convinced that they HAD written a hit and decided to play it for their publisher's girlfriend, who immediately loved the song. She convinced her boyfriend that they had a smash on their hands and he finally gave the green light for CURTIS to record the tune. And a smash it was ... PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES shot up the charts to #6, becoming CURTIS LEE's only Top 40 Hit!!!
BOBBY HART: Meanwhile, in Hollywood I was missing my friend and writing partner. While my two buddies were making it big in Tin Pan Alley, I was stuck working at my day gig at Record Labels, Inc. where I printed the labels for their hits.
Early on, BOBBY HART was ALSO trying to make it as a solo recording artist. (HART was born ROBERT LUKE HARSHMAN in Phoenix, Arizona on February 18, 1939.) Back in the late '50's (after falling in love with the music of ELVIS PRESLEY and GENE VINCENT), BOBBY moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a career as a Disc Jockey. To help pay for his classes, he got a job in a print shop, printing record labels. On the way to work, he would pass a small record demo studio where, for ten dollars, you could "come in and hear what your voice sounds like." Pretty soon, he was stopping by every Saturday (often spending more money than he was earning), recording little demos of himself singing along with his own piano accompaniment.
As a Saturday "regular," HART began to be noticed by some of the music industry figures who also came by this studio. Encouraged by some of those "in the know" to see a producer / manager, BOBBY was introduced to JESSE HODGES, who told him at their very first meeting, "You sound pretty good, kid, but what we need is artists who have their own material." This was all the encouragement and inspiration that BOBBY needed to jump start his songwriting career. Before long, he cut a couple of rock-a-billy sides under his real name, ROBERT LUKE HARSHMAN. A single was released (STOP TALKING, START LOVING / LOVE WHAT YOU'RE DOING TO ME) and BOBBY immediately quit his job in order to promote the record. A quick run through the west coast radio stations left him unemployed and broke ... the record was NOT a hit ... and pretty soon HART was back working in the print shop.
In 1959, he met the man with whom he would enjoy his greatest songwriting success. TOMMY BOYCE had already scored a Top Ten Record when FATS DOMINO recorded his composition BE MY GUEST and, at first I'm sure BOBBY looked up to TOMMY as a success he, himself, might aspire to. In 1960, HART released another single called GIRL IN THE WINDOW (on which TOMMY BOYCE actually played guitar)! It, too, flopped, but this was the first time he used the name BOBBY HART. His then-manager LEE SILVER told him "By the way, your name was too long to go on the label, so I've shortened it to Bobby Hart."
Shortly thereafter, HART scored his first major recording placement. Teen heart-throb TOMMY SANDS cut his composition DR. HEARTACHE and, although it, too, bombed, HART now had some credibility as a songwriter.
BOBBY HART: As a result of GIRL IN THE WINDOW making the charts of the two top forty stations in Los Angeles, I began doing weekend shows for KFWB and KRLA. I met another singer at one of these hops and the two of us decided to put a band together and try to actually make some money doing what we were already doing every weekend. When the BARRY RICHARDS & BOBBY HART twist band was a hit, I quit my day gig and played the L.A. area club scene. On a recommendation from Nino Tempo, I was signed as a writer/artist to DON COSTA and in 1963 I was finally able to join Tommy in New York, which, at the time, (thanks to the likes of THE BRILL BUILDING) was the American songwriting capital.
Coming up next in FORGOTTEN HITS: THE MONKEES Connection ... Three Chapters of TOMMY BOYCE / BOBBY HART hits as performed by THE MONKEES!!!
BUT FIRST ... ANOTHER FORGOTTEN HITS EXCLUSIVE BONUS!!!
With FREDDY "BOOM BOOM" CANNON now on our FORGOTTEN HITS Mailing List, I couldn't help but ask him about his record, ACTION, the theme to the brand new DICK CLARK Teen Television Series, WHERE THE ACTION IS!
FORGOTTEN HITS: This was a HUGE hit for you, coming at a time when things HAD to be on the quiet side after THE BRITISH INVASION. How were you first approached about recording this tune? I mean, PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS were the ones performing the song on the television show ... how was it that you ended up scoring the hit single? And how did this hit revive your career? Suddenly you were HOT again! Was this a bit like deja vu or just more of a huge relief???
FREDDY "BOOM BOOM" CANNON: YES, IT WAS A GREAT HIT FOR ME AND IT DID VERY WELL IN 1965. DICK CLARK HAD PAUL REVERE CUT THE SONG FIRST BECAUSE THEY WERE THE HOSTS OF THE TV SHOW. BUT DICK DID NOT LIKE THEIR VERSION AND THOUGHT THAT FREDDY CANNON WOULD BE THE RIGHT SINGER FOR THIS SONG, SO HE SENT IT OVER TO WARNER BROS RECORDS. THAT'S WHEN DICK GLASSER GOT THE DEMO FROM DICK CLARK'S OFFICE. THEY TOLD HIM TO PLAY IT FOR ME AND THEY ONLY HAD TEN DAYS BEFORE THE SHOW AIRED, SO IT HAD TO BE DONE REAL FAST! DICK GLASSER CALLED ME TO HIS OFFICE AT WARNER BROS AND HE PLAYED ME THE DEMO OF TOMMY BOYCE AND STEVE VENET ... THAT'S WHO WROTE THE "ACTION"' SONG ... BOBBY HART HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT SONG ... ANYWAY, WHEN HE PLAYED IT FOR ME, THE SECOND TIME HE PLAYED HE SAID, "FREDDY CAN YOU DO THIS SONG?" I TOLD HIM TO BOOK STUDIO TIME FOR THE NEXT DAY HE DID. AND HE CALLED ALL THE MUSICIANS AND SET IT UP. HERE'S WHO PLAYED ON THAT SONG:
GLEN CAMPBELL, CAROL KAYE, JAMES BURTON AND LEON RUSSELL. THEY CUT THE TRACK IN TWO TAKES AT THE STUDIO. I SANG IT IN THREE TAKES ... THAT'S HOW FAST THIS SONG WAS READY FOR DICK CLARK'S SHOW! IN JUST THREE DAYS IT WAS MIXED AND SENT TO HIM! TO THIS DAY WHEN I SING THIS SONG ON SHOWS THE PEOPLE GET UP AND DANCE. I AM VERY LUCKY TO HAVE GREAT SONGS LIKE THIS TO SING LIVE. THANKS TO ALL THE FANS AND RADIO D.JS AND PROGRAM DIRECTORS FOR PLAYING AND BELIEVING IN THE RECORD.
EDITOR'S NOTE: After this piece first ran, I found a quote from BOBBY that he had given to another publication. By 1967, WORDS had already been recorded and released by THE MONKEES (the only HIT version of the song), THE LEAVES and THE BOSTON TEA PARTY. Then, in 1970, BOYCE AND HART received a call from RCA RECORDS ...
BOBBY HART: In 1970 we got a call from RCA saying that Elvis Presley had cut it. We each ordered 500 copies of Elvis' "From Memphis To Vegas" LP. We played it and, of course, it turned out to be the Bee Gees song! We were very popular in those days. RCA thought we wrote almost everything!
DIDJAKNOW-3: Both TOMMY BOYCE and BOBBY HART have since stated that their inspiration for the popular MONKEES’ tune I WANNA BE FREE was a song by country singer ROGER MILLER called ONE DYIN’ AND A-BURYIN’ … a song about SUICIDE believe it or not!!! In the song, a #30 pop hit in 1965, MILLER sings the line “I wanna be free” and BOYCE AND HART built THEIR song around that whole line. In hindsight, it’s almost creepy that TOMMY BOYCE would later go on to take his own life.
A few years back (when this BOYCE AND HART Series first ran in FORGOTTEN HITS), FH List Member (and DIAMOND RECORDS collector) TOM DIEHL sent us a copy of VALLERI as recorded by a group called THE PINEAPPLE HEARD. Apparently, sometime between the time that THE MONKEES' episode featuring VALLERI first aired ... and the thirteen month gap that COLGEMS RECORDS waited to release this song as a single ... another group called THE PINEAPPLE HEARD recorded a version of the song. Had DIAMOND RECORDS’ Marketing Department been on the ball, they just may have stolen the thunder away from THE MONKEES’ version. (In hindsight, probably not … if THE PINEAPPLE HEARD single truly DID start to make some noise, COLGEMS would have most likely released THE MONKEES’ single even earlier … which means that we would all now have the TV version instead of the re-recorded 1968 version in our record collections!!!) Although THE PINEAPPLE HEARD version was never a hit, it was suspected for quite some time that BOYCE AND HART may have been involved with this other recording … but, prior to now, we were never able to confirm any connection. Since this time around we had the advantage of working with BOBBY HART, we asked him!!!
BOBBY HART: We had nothing to do with this version.
So there you have it!
WERE THE MONKEES REALLY BIGGER
THAN THE BEATLES AT ONE TIME?!?!?:
For a brief moment in time, yes, they were! THE MONKEES' first album spent 13 weeks at #1 beginning in November of 1966. It was knocked out of the #1 spot by their SECOND album (MORE OF THE MONKEES) which spent 18 additional weeks at #1!!! That one-two punch accounted for 31 consecutive weeks of THE MONKEES topping Billboard's LP chart. In addition, THE MONKEES would place two more albums at the top of the chart during 1967: HEADQUARTERS (#1 for 1 week) and PISCES, AQUARIUS, CAPRICORN AND JONES, LTD. (#1 for 5 weeks). That's a total of 37 weeks at Number One out of a possible 60!!! (During that same timeframe, THE BEATLES topped the charts just once with what is considered to be their landmark album of all time, SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, which spent 15 weeks on top of Billboard's LP Chart.) In addition, THE MONKEES rang up eight Top 40 Hits during that 60 week period (vs. THE BEATLES' five.) It can be argued that THE BEATLES lost some of their younger fans who were not yet ready to follow their leaders down the much more sophisticated path of RUBBER SOUL, REVOLVER and SGT. PEPPER ... let alone their newly embraced drug culture ... some of us still wanted the fun, happy, carefree mop-tops and suddenly THE MONKEES better fit that bill. (THE BEATLES were growing mustaches for God's sake!!!) But the truth is that no other BEATLES album ever spent more time at #1 than SGT. PEPPER's 15 week run ... in fact, even when compared to their biggest year ever (1964, when they, too, knocked themselves out of the #1 spot on the album chart ... THE BEATLES' SECOND ALBUM replacing MEET THE BEATLES at the top of the heap for a combined consecutive total of 16 weeks ... along with a mass saturation of product hitting the marketplace never before seen in the music industry), THE MONKEES certainly gave THE BEATLES a run for the money in terms of overall short-term popularity.
This wraps up THE MONKEES portion of the BOYCE AND HART story ... I hope you've enjoyed it! Stick Around ... LOTS More Great Music and Info to Come!!!
BOYCE AND HART appeared first on the I DREAM OF JEANNIE episode JEANNIE, THE HIP HIPPIE, back in 1967. It seems that MAJOR TONY NELSON (LARRY HAGMAN) was recruited by DR. BELLOWS to find a musical group to perform at MRS. BELLOWS' charity bazaar. (Otherwise, both men would have to give up their vacations.) Always eager to help her master, JEANNIE (BARBARA EDEN) decides to put a band together herself ... after all, ANYBODY could play and sing in a rock and roll band! (That's her on the drums in the photo above!!!) BOYCE AND HART (along with a couple of other "mod" looking young hipsters) are "blinked" into an audition but, until JEANNIE magically blinks them some musical ability, the band can't play a note! Once they've been blessed with some genie-given musical talent, they launch into a perfect version of the new BOYCE AND HART single OUT AND ABOUT, a song we talked about yesterday in our special BOYCE AND HART / FORGOTTEN HITS series.) A short instrumental version of LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE, BOYCE AND HART's #1 MONKEES' hit, even plays in the background in one scene ... and, in fact, THE MONKEES' HEADQUARTERS album is prominently displayed on the wall of a record shop in another! By the way, famed record producer PHIL SPECTOR (who was also recently featured in a FORGOTTEN HITS Series a while back) also has a small role in this episode!!!
You can watch a scene here ... BOYCE AND HART singing OUT AND ABOUT (with PHIL SPECTOR listening in ... and JEANNIE on drums!!!)
It was their appearance on BEWITCHED, however, that garnered the most attention! On SERENA STOPS THE SHOW (1970), SAMANTHA's beautiful twin cousin SERENA (hey, wasn't that the whole concept behind THE PATTY DUKE SHOW ... and didn't JEANNIE have an "evil-twin", too?!?!?) wants to hire BOYCE AND HART (appearing as themselves) to perform at THE COSMOS COTILLION but the guys inform her that they're already booked through 1976!!! (Keep in mind that this was WAY before reality TV took hold!!!) SERENA then casts a spell that basically makes them suck!!! Once they're deemed "unpopular," (and no longer in demand ... at one point, their manager complains "They haven't sold a record in three days!") she persuades them not only to appear at the ball but also to perform her newly written song I'LL BLOW YOU A KISS IN THE WIND. We're featuring THIS favorite again today, too, as part of our special BOYCE AND HART feature! (Frannie and I just had the opportunity to watch BOTH of these classic TV episodes ... it's sometimes hard to believe that BEWITCHED and I DREAM OF JEANNIE were two of the most popular shows of the '60's!!!)
MOVIE MADNESS-1: According to BOBBY HART, QUENTIN TARANTINO wanted to use the BOYCE AND HART track I'LL BLOW YOU A KISS IN THE WIND (first performed on the BEWITCHED television series) in his cult-favorite motion picture PULP FICTION ... but a suitable master could not be found in time for inclusion in the film. There may be some truth to this statement ... when he hosted SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, TARANTINO said (in his opening monologue), "Serena singing 'I'll Blow You a Kiss in the Wind' is the greatest event in the history of television."
INCREDIBLE!!!: It is just AMAZING sometimes what you can find on the Internet!!! Here's a link that'll take you to THREE performances of I'LL BLOW YOU A KISS IN THE WIND ... one by SERENA as performed in the aforementioned episode of BEWITCHED ... one by BOYCE AND HART (from the same episode) and yet ANOTHER by director QUENTIN TARANTINO from his above-mentioned SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE monologue!!! TOO MUCH!!!!!
Click here: Lyrics - Bewitched @ Harpies Bizarre
Or, watch it here:
Click here: YouTube - BEWITCHED - I'LL BLOW YOU A KISS IN THE WIND
Click here: YouTube - Boyce & Hart - I'll Blow You A Kiss In The Wind
Click here: YouTube - Quentin Tarantino Sings on SNL
MOVIE MADNESS-2: According to TOMMY BOYCE, their biggest hit I WONDER WHAT SHE'S DOING TONIGHT was supposed to appear in the monster-hit movie FOREST GUMP but was cut from the soundtrack at the last minute. Too bad ... not only did this movie introduce a whole new generation to some of the greatest music of the '60's, but it also went on to sell about 25 Million Copies!!!
DIDJAKNOW?-1: Once they were established recording stars in their own right, TOMMY BOYCE AND BOBBY HART made LOTS of television appearances in FRONT of the camera ... prior to their own chart success, MOST of their musical contributions were behind the scenes. Not only did they write the theme song for WHERE THE ACTION IS, but they appeared on the program (and its follow-up series HAPPENING '68) EIGHT times!!! They also guested on THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE (on an episode hosted by their A&M record label-boss HERB ALPERT) and made several appearances on AMERICAN BANDSTAND (four times as a duo, once as part of DOLENZ, JONES, BOYCE AND HART and ... way back in 1962 ... TOMMY BOYCE appeared as a SOLO artist performing I'LL REMEMBER CAROL, one of the very first songs that we featured in this special BOYCE AND HART tribute series!)
SCREEN TEST: We ALSO told you that at one point TOMMY BOYCE AND BOBBY HART believed that they were going to have key roles on THE MONKEES' television series as kind of the LENNON AND McCARTNEY of the group ... well, it also seems that their appearances on some of the other popular television shows of the day (I DREAM OF JEANNIE, BEWITCHED, THE FLYING NUN) were sort of "acting lessons / screen tests" to see if they could hold up starring in their OWN television music / comedy series. Unfortunately, no such program ever materialized.
BY THE WAY: We've mentioned throughout this series how THE MONKEES' television series was supposed to be America's answer to THE BEATLES ... we've even cited some examples of how THE BEATLES' music influenced some of BOYCE AND HART's compositions featured on the show. However, BOBBY HART says that THE THEME FROM "THE MONKEES" was actually inspired by the 1965 DAVE CLARK FIVE hit CATCH US IF YOU CAN! ("Here we come again" ... "Here we come, walkin' down the street").
DIDJAKNOW?-2: The theme to the daytime soap opera drama THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES may be BOYCE AND HART's crowning achievement as songwriters ... as we said earlier, it's aired five days a week for well over forty years!!! When they were first approached to write the theme, they were asked to come up with something that sounded like SUNRISE, SUNSET from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. After submitting several different pieces for the theme (all of which were quickly rejected), they came up with the theme you still hear today. However, according to BOBBY HART, even though he and TOMMY wrote the theme together, when the copyright was belatedly registerd by the publisher in 1976, the name CHARLES ALBERTINE was added to the songwriting credits. (ALBERTINE had written several other pieces of television music and nobody seems to know for sure just how this turn of events happened ... however, at the same time, BOYCE AND HART's names were also added to several pieces of music that ALBERTINE had written that they had absolutely NOTHING at all to do with!!!) BOBBY says that ALBERTINE has been cut in for 12 1/2% of the royalties since 1976 and, when TOMMY was still alive he never really wanted to rock the boat. "ALBERTINE's widow is probably living on that money and we should just be thankful that we're getting what we're getting." After TOMMY died in 1994, BOBBY decided to honor his partner's wishes and the publishing arrangement has never been challenged nor altered.
WHAT'S THE NAME OF THAT SONG?!?!?: Hey check out these picture sleeves ... what was the CORRECT name of this song??? I mean, they SING "I'm Gonna Blow You A Kiss In The Wind" but the OFFICIAL title of the song is supposed to be I'LL BLOW YOU A KISS IN THE WIND." Looks like even the record company was a little confused ... they actually printed two DIFFERENT picture sleeves for this record!!!
BOYCE AND HART were contracted to perform the title track for THE AMBUSHERS. (This was one of their rare recordings that they DIDN'T write themselves.) There were evidently SUCH high expectations for this track that it was stuck on the B-Side of I WONDER WHAT SHE'S DOING TONIGHT where it could wallow in obscurity for all its remaining days!!!
(In fact, it's SO obscure, that it never even appeared on a BOYCE AND HART album and, as such, is considered to be one of their rarest tracks ... despite the fact that I WONDER WHAT SHE'S DOING TONIGHT was a huge single success!)
BOYCE AND HART also performed the title track from the film WHERE ANGELS GO, TROUBLE FOLLOWS, (starring ROSALIND RUSSELL, STELLA STEVENS and SUSAN SAINT JAMES.) In fact, THIS time both TOMMY BOYCE and BOBBY HART appear briefly in the movie, singing the title track in the opening sequence.
LEONARD MALTIN describes this film as "For FLYING NUN fans only." (Ironically, BOYCE AND HART also appeared on the television series THE FLYING NUN, starring SALLY FIELD. The episode was titled WHEN GENERATIONS GAP and they performed two songs!!!) WHERE ANGELS GO, TROUBLE FOLLOWS was the sequel to the 1966 film THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS, which also starred ROSALIND RUSSELL along with HAYLEY MILLS and GYPSY ROSE LEE.
AN OSCAR NOD: Speaking of non-charting movie theme hits, in 1983, BOBBY HART was nominated for an Academy Award for his composition OVER YOU from the Oscar-winning film TENDER MERCIES. (He wrote the song with AUSTIN ROBERTS who had a hit with HART's SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH ME back in 1972.) Although it didn't win the award, (it lost to the Theme from FLASHDANCE), it's a beautiful song that deserved a better showing. (The "hit" single version by LANE BRODY never even made the pop charts ... but was a #15 Hit on Billboard's Country Chart. It's a beautiful song that should have crossed over to the Adult Contemporary Chart, too, but didn't ... and that's a shame ... other than in a forum like FORGOTTEN HITS, it's just another one of those great songs that'll go unknown and unheard, never to be discovered unless you happen to watch the film.)
BOBBY HART: In my book, I tell the whole story of how Tommy and I were introduced to the Let Us Vote movement by Joey Bishop and came to be their national spokespersons, stumping across the nation, personally lobbying Congress, promoting the cause at our shows and in endless interviews, and finally prevailing when in 1971, the states promptly ratified the Twenty-sixth amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
In late 1975 / early 1976, thanks to a surge of interest initiated by a large number of MONKEES fans in the Far East (where their popularity has never really waned), a ten-year anniversary tour of THE MONKEES began to be discussed.
(NOTE: In the brand new liner notes for THE MONKEES' CD INSTANT REPLAY, TOMMY BOYCE is quoted as follows: "I always thought that should have been more popular than it was, but the group was split up by then. We wrote that one day in a park. We were walking down Lankershim Boulevard and we just sat down on a bench with the guitar and started playing the riff. At that particular time, I recall explicitly that Bobby was having trouble with his girlfriend, Francine ... a few tears here and there. We decided to write that about Bobby and Francine.")
Our last song I'd like to talk about in this special B&H feature is MR. WEBSTER, recorded by THE MONKEES for their 1967 HEADQUARTERS album ... the first album on which they played all their own instruments. It is one of the darkest tunes THE MONKEES ever recorded. (Give a listen to these lyrics ... they're awesome ... this just may be some of BOYCE AND HART's BEST work as well as their LEAST known and appreciated!)
THE MONKEES first attempted to record this song for their second album (MORE OF THE MONKEES) but didn't like the original BOYCE AND HART arrangement. They resurrected the tune and then cut it with their own haunting arrangement featuring PETER TORK on piano, MIKE NESMITH on pedal steel guitar and DAVY JONES on tambourine. (Next to little TRACY of THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY, DAVY JONES just may be the most famous tambourine player there ever was!!!) This is a GREAT, under-appreciated track ... and it concludes our very special BOYCE AND HART feature in FORGOTTEN HITS.
Mr. Webster Lyrics:
(by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart)
and then ...
Copyright Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits, 1998 - 2015 ... All rights reserved