Issue #272 - “Lola” by The Kinks has the highest debut this week at No. 23. Next week it was gone. I assume KHJ pulled the record due to its controversial lyrics.
I always wondered by KHJ pulled "Lola," and no doubt Ray is right -- it was the lyrics. It's as if someone called KHJ and said, "Uh, you guys DO know that Lola is a guy, right?" And then the station scrambles. The song clearly had budding popularity, and it went Top 10 nationally.More fine songs debut this week. "Indiana Wants Me" still makes me smile. And "It's a Shame" is probably my favorite Spinners record (with "I'll Be Around" a close second).I remember being surprised to find out that Bobby Bloom was white, after seeing this photo back then.And Jimi Hendrix died this week.
Steve, I too always enjoyed "Indiana Wants Me". I was surprised to learn a few months ago (don't know why, but I didn't know) that R. Dean Taylor had a lot to do with Motown (songwriting, producing, etc) and Holland Dozier Holland specifically. I think i came across that info when i was researching the Funk Brothers, (The Motown "house" band) after seeing "Standing In The Shadows of Motown". If you've never see it, try to catch it as it (and the Funk Brothers) was amazing.
I saw "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" when it came out in theaters a few years ago. Great documentary. I also recently watched a documentary on DVD about the Wrecking Crew. It's a good companion piece to the Motown film -- both are about incredible backing "bands." The other one is called simply "The Wrecking Crew," and it's got all of them -- Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Glen Campbell, Tony Todasco (I'm sure I'm misspelling his name), etc.
"Lola" was pulled because of its lyrics. My late brother David Grossman, was interning there at the time, and although the song had local supporters in house, the powers that be (RKO/General) banned it. The song was just made to disappear and the audience was never told why. About one dozen years later, when "The Boss Is Back" format was put onto 93/KHJ by the people at KRTH/101, David was the Assistant Program Director and Music Director. As such, his job became to simultaneously program both KRTH and KHJ--no stinking computers for David (G-d rest his soul). I was interning at KRTH, and I distinctly remember he and I discussing "Lola", which was memorable to us for being the only song that we knew of that was dropped by KHJ when it did not deserve it. David made sure that "Lola" was played on 93/KHJ once more on the first day of "The Boss Is Back", maybe even in the first hour. David never received any extra pay or credit for his KHJ work, and this led him to move on to program stations across America before falling ill.
Ah, so this confirms what we had long suspected. There really couldn't have been any other explanation, but it's good to have someone with in-house knowledge let us know.
I remember being aware of this situation too but not at all iunderstanding why (because as a chart follwing 10 year old I didn't even know what a transvestite was. I remember buying the single and still hearing it on KRLA for a few weeks after it was removed from the KHJ playlist , but then it was removed from their list as well. It was years before I undestood this story (and before I understood the words to the song…)
Robert W. Morgan made a comment one day when playing the song, something to the effect of "We all know what this song is REALLY about" in his smirking way. I don't recall the exact wording, but the song disappeared from KHJ very soon after. I remember being surprised when it didn't show up on the Boss 30 the following week.
Another song which had been abruptly dropped by KHJ several years earlier was "Let's Spend the Night Together" by the Rolling Stones. At first, KHJ not only played that song but openly promoted it, interrupting the Big 93 of 1966 playback to introduce what they called "the first hit of 1967". Then just when I started to like the song, it suddenly disappeared from the playlist without any explanation.
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