Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mr. Music ~ Jerry Osborne

I am continuing our new feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 23rd year of syndication (1986-2008), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on. Be sure to stop by Jerry's site ( for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.


DEAR JERRY: As a University of California Davis student during the Summer of Love (1967), I heard a lot of San Francisco-based singers and groups.

Sometimes, after being inundated with Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and the Doors, I would switch over to a Sacramento C&W station (KRAK) for some variety. I may have been the only student hip to current hits by both Jim Reeves and Jim Morrison.

KRAK played a song then by Sonny James in which he mentions their station, along with something about Sacramento's history, such as the gold rush and the Mother Lode.

Would it be correct to assume this recording existed only as a tape recording? I doubt they would make a record that couldn't be played on any other station.

Might you know the title, and if this tune is on any of Sonny's albums?
—Tony Palmieri, Milwaukee

DEAR TONY: You're in luck. I also spent the summer of '67 in both San Francisco and Stockton, well inside KRAK's 50,000 watt coverage area.

Like you, I heard this song at that time and it immediately piqued my curiosity.

Fortunately, I knew one of the dee jays (KRAKer Jacks) and he gave me the inside scoop, then sent me a copy. Titled “Salute to KRAK,” written by Sonny James and Carol Smith, half of it honors Sacramento's past and present, and half salutes KRAK radio, northern California's “Country Giant.”

With Sonny James being a Capitol megastar, having 23 No. 1 hits including 16 consecutive, Capitol would be the one to press the records. Also, record companies are always anxious to please broadcasters.

Under their Capitol Custom imprint (WB 2535/2536), they made a few thousand copies and sent them to KRAK for use as giveaways.

You could even say they went directly from Capitol to capitol, bypassing the capital. (I've always wanted to use all three of those words in one sentence.)

This provided them with a quality recording, one that not only extols the station and city but holds its own with other mid-'60s hits.

KRAK played it often at the time, but not to a point of being too self-serving. Most of the records went to listeners via various promotions and contests.

I am not aware of any Sonny James LP or CD containing the atypical “Salute to KRAK.”

This KRAK track is scarce but not especially pricey, usually in the $15 to $25 range.

DEAR JERRY: Neither of us watched much late-night TV, but my husband says he once saw Johnny Carson singing.

Whether on his own talk show or elsewhere, he does not recall.

I know he chatted for a living, but I don't recall ever seeing him sing. Could he? Can you either confirm or refute hubby's claim?
—Marianne Dunlap, San Jose, Calif.

DEAR MARIANNE: Hubby is right. Maybe you retired early that night.

Johnny made his fame and fortune talking, frequently introducing stars whose primary craft was singing. Yet, on rare occasions, he did join some very famous singers with a song.

Carson more than held his own vocally, as we know from his in-tune performances with Dean Martin; Frank Sinatra; Sammy Davis Jr.; and non-rat Pearl Bailey, just to name a few.

Not only did he sing on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” he also sang a bit on stage with stars whose concerts he emceed, but always at their invitation.

IZ ZAT SO? Though “Salute to KRAK” is still affordable, there are two other Capitol Custom records with prices in the $750 to $1,000 range:

1. “Spirit of America” backed with “Boogie Woodie” by the Beach Boys (Capitol Custom 50367/50368). The paper sleeve for this item explains its purpose: “I Was There KFWB Day! Wallichs Music City South Bay Store Opening Nov. 16, 1963.”

Merely for showing up at the event, many took home a tremendous souvenir.

2. “Music City KFWBeatles - The Beatles Talking” backed with “You Can't Do That” (Capitol Custom RB-2637/2638). This June 1964 issue also promoted Wallichs Music City record stores and KFWB radio.

The close relationship between Capitol and Wallichs Music City was because Clyde Wallichs, owner of the music stores, was the brother of Capitol Records co-founder, Glenn Wallichs.

KFWB landed a geographic connection, with their 6419 Hollywood Boulevard studio just a two-minute walk to either the Capitol Tower or Wallichs Music City.

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Michael Jackson Thriller on Vinyl LP Record

Michael Jackson's album Thriller was his sixth studio album. It has sold over 100 million copies. It was released on November 30, 1982 on the Epic Records label, a division of Columbia records. There were 7 top ten singles and it won 8 grammy awards. It was 1 of 3 albums to stay on the top 10 for over a year.

It featured guests like Paul McCartney on their duet The Girl Is Mine, Eddie Van Halen doing a guitar solo on Beat It, Vincent Price doing a voice over on Thriller and his sisters Janet & Latoya singing backup on PYT (pretty young thing)

The original vinyl jacket had a gatefold cover with a picture of Michael laying down on the front and inside with a baby Tiger. The inner vinyl sleeve was white with a drawing of Michael & Paul struggling with a girl like she is a wishbone on one side. The other side had a drawing of a couple watching TV while monsters like Frankenstein and others were all around them.

In 2001, the album was re-released titled Thriller: Special Edition and in 2008, a deluxe 25th anniversary version was released with extra tracks.

1.I Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
2.Baby Be Mine
3.The Girl Is Mine with Paul McCartney
5.Beat It (single version) with Eddie Van Halen on guitar
6.Billie Jean (single version
7.Human Nature
8.P.Y.T. (pretty young thing)
9.The Lady In My Life
10.Vincent price exerpt
11.The Girl is Mine 2008 with
12.P.Y.T. 2008
13.Wanna Be Startin' Something 2008
14.Beat It 2008 with Fergie
15.Billie Jean 2008 with Kanye West
16.For All Time (unreleased track from the original Thriller sessions
17.Got the Hots (released only in Japan

After Michael Jackson's death Thriller set additional records. Songs from Thriller also helped Jackson to become the first act to sell over 1 million song downloads in a week.

Buy Thriller Here


Vinyl's uptick is evident in sales of old and new records

By Brett Johnson

Almost a decade into the 21st century, Scott Freeman plunked down his money at the Record Outlet register in Thousand Oaks and walked out clutching two pieces of prized, ancient booty.

It was as if the Simi Valley teen had stepped into a time warp. There in his hands were Harry Chapin’s 1974 album “Verities & Balderdash” and a Pink Floyd “Echoes” compilation album, both on vinyl. There wasn’t a cell phone, MP3 player or computer anywhere in sight.

“It’s better than digital stuff,” said the 18-year-old Freeman, who is studying film at Moorpark College. “It’s not as compressed. It’s better quality. Sure, you are sacrificing portability and convenience, but on vinyl, there’s also more of a connection to the artist. ... It’s something we never grew up with; it’s something new for us.”

Vinyl, that retro darling from a few years ago, is still riding the surge, remaining popular with everyone from young people to high-end audiophiles willing to pay $300 to $800 for a pristine-sounding record. Vinyl shipments more than doubled from about $23 million in 2007 to almost $57 million last year, its highest level since 1990, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Market players have noticed. Internet retail giant has had a vinyl-only music section since fall 2007. Now, when huge acts such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen or the Dave Matthews Band release new material, it also comes out on vinyl.

Read the rest of the article here:

Vinyl Is Groovy Again

More Music News

New Jim O'Rourke Album, Visitor, Releases August 31 on Drag City

A disco ball melting into a kitchen chair seems appropriate enough cover art for the eclectic Jim O’Rourke’s new album, set to release on August 31. He is also a guitarist, mixer, experimentalist and producer, but this Drag City release will spotlight his songwriting. It is his first release on the label since 2001, when he released I’m Happy, And I’m Singing, And a 1,2,3,4. The new album is entitled Visitor, and is more of the instrumental vein according to the label. It consists of a single track.

O’Rourke was a bassist and guitarist for Sonic Youth, and he also helped with Wilco’s legendary Yankee Foxtrot Hotel. He has worked with Thurston Moore, Joanna Newsom, Smog, Beth Orton, Merzbow and Fennesz. He recorded Visitor from Tokyo, where he lives.


Vinyl Collective Update


THE FLAMING TSUNAMIS “Zombies Vs Robots” LP green/grey vinyl

THE FLAMING TSUNAMIS “Zombies Vs Robots” LP collector’s edition green/grey vinyl

Asbestos just sent us a box of records including some Two Cow/Jr Jugg under the influence 7″s which were accidentally shipped to him. In that box are records from The Flaming Tsunamis who I here were Connecticut’s ska-core kings. This is a vinyl re-issue of “Zombies vs Robots” and you can either get the green/grey vinyl (pictured) which is out of an edition of 300 copies or you can purchase the collector’s edition which has 1 record on green, 1 record on grey and there are 2 different silk-screeened covers (one of a zombie, one of a robot). Flood tells me that we are the only retailers selling these sets and we have 7 sets coming. Check em out. We should have vinyl by mid week next week.

Buy awesomw vinyl at Vinyl


Great Marketing Plan, I Say Boycott EMI

EMI Spurns Independent Record Stores

The music giant EMI is attempting to solve its financial difficulties by, um, selling its product to fewer places. Independent record stores have received calls from EMI, whose website lists Darius Rucker as a "Breakthrough Artist," telling them that if they want to stock EMI merchandise they will have to turn to third parties. This added expense will keep EMI albums off more shelves at indie outlets, which tend to cater to fans fetishistic enough to actually want to purchase a physical object that contains music.

This counterintuitive move may make sense to those more familiar with the distribution costs of global companies, but it doubles down on the industry's already failing strategy of dictating buying habits and taste to consumers who are willing and able to find their own way.

Yeah, this will work......


Kyp Malone Prepares Solo Album

If you listened to TV on the Radio's latest, "Dear Science," it certainly seemed like guitarist Kyp Malone's voice was in the forefront of that album's tracks a lot more than he was for "Return to Cookie Mountain." It looks like Malone's not done singing lead because in the fall he'll be releasing the self-titled debut album for his solo project, "Rain Machine." So far, he's basically just working with awesome album art, but any album whose cover bears women with flaming lion vaginas is usually worth at least a quick listen.

Rain Machine is out on Anti- Sept. 22. Here's the album art.


iTunes goes retro with digital 45s

As a throwback to the old days of the two-song 45 rpm vinyl record, the iTunes Store launched a new “D45” section yesterday, featuring discounted prices on packs of two digital song downloads.

Just like old 45s, the iTunes D45 selection includes a popular single accompanied by a B-side song. Prices on the D45s range from $1.49 to $1.99.

“iTunes is bringing this concept to a new age with D45s – two great tracks at an equally great price,” the iTunes Store reads.

Music company EMI announced Tuesday that the release of D45s marks the 60th anniversary of the 45 single record.

The digital bundles will be sold exclusively by iTunes through July 27. After that, they will be available for purchase from “all major digital service providers.”

“More than 35 digital singles will launch the campaign,” the EMI press release states, “including original 45 single A-sides and B-sides and top hits by Coldplay, David Bowie, R.E.M., Poison, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dean Martin, Duran Duran, Nat King Cole, Blondie, and Billy Idol, among others.”

The D45 section represents another opportunity for record labels to to restructure pricing on music sold on the iTunes Store. Last year, through negotiations, the record companies leveraged flexibility on pricing.

Then, earlier this year, Apple removed restrictive digital rights management fingerprints from all of the songs it sells, allowing consumers greater flexibility as well.

" Just like the old 45's" One thing, IT"S NOT A 45RPM RECORD- DON'T MARKET IT AS BEING ONE, Here are some 45 RPM records.......Duh !

Beatles reunion halted by Yoko Ono

This is off the newswires, although I doubt that it was all Yoko's fault. Another 'new' book, what's it been 40 years? Like her or not, she gets a bad rap.....

YOKO ONO was the reason Paul McCartney and John Lennon never reunited to make music again.

The two Beatles had planned to reform the band in 1974 until Yoko once again came on the scene, according to a new book.

Writer Peter Ames Carlin said McCartney really missed working with his legendary songwriting partner so he flew to New York to see him.

In his book, Paul McCartney: A Life, Carlin says that he made a surprise midnight visit to the Burbank studio where a coke-fueled Lennon was recording.

John reportedly said: "Someone give me an E. Or a snort."

The book claims that along with Stevie Wonder on electric piano, Lennon and McCartney jammed until the small hours that night in the Spring of 1974.

The session went so well that Lennon invited McCartney and wife Linda to join him and then-girlfriend May Pang at his rented home in Malibu.

Pang told Carlin she heard Lennon talk about getting "the guys back together" for a concert.

But the reunion dream died as soon as Lennon confided to McCartney that he had recently met his estranged wife Yoko and that she wanted to see him.

The book claims that that conversation led to Lennon getting back with Yoko - and the concert that fans around the world would have dreamed of never happening.

Music News & Notes

Usher releases new single "Certified"

Usher has been hard at work with his brand new album and has released the single to prove it. Hooking up with producers The Neptunes, Usher released "Certified", his first single off of his album Monster. The release date for Monster is set for later this year.


Daughtry, "Leave This Town" (19 Recordings/RCA)

Lead-off single "No Surprise" was co-written with Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger and got a major profile boost in early May when "American Idol" brought them on to play it live. The single made its chart debut at No. 15, Daughtry's highest debut ever on the Billboard Hot 100. The band's first album is the fastest-selling rock debut in Soundscan history, but Daughtry promises more "grit" on this one, once again produced by Howard Benson.


Hypocrisy reveals details about new album

Melodic death metal band Hypocrisy is nearly finished recording and mixing their new album titled A Taste of Extreme Divinity, according to record label Nuclear Blast. It is set to be released on October 23 in Europe.

Here is what mainman Peter had to say:

"Hey, it's about time for an update now. We have a title for the new album now: A Taste Of Extreme Divinity! I'm at the end of the recording 'n mixing, a few songs left to sing on. The rest are done mixing wise. It's just been too busy with touring and recording bands, and I didn't wanna burn myself out totally. We're happy of the result so far, it's got everything a Hypo album should have in our own point of view. We will release it October 23rd and start touring in the USA November 5th, supporting ENSIFERUM, then in January 2010 we do a headline tour in Europe, after that we'll try to hit rest of the world, stay tuned for more updates in a few weeks!"


MJ Sales Slowing Overseas

While sales of Michael Jackson product seems to be ebbing a bit overseas, Billboard is reporting that he had his best sales week yet last week. Preliminary figures show he moved 1.1 million albums, up 37% from the previous week. For the third week in a row, Number Ones will be the biggest selling album in the country with 349,000 copies. Thriller sold 264,000 while Essential was at 149,000. Plus, for the first time, Jackson has four albums over the hundred thousand mark ad Off the Wall moves 107,000, more than doubling its previous week's total.


Shudder to Think to Release Live Album

Fans of yelpy-voiced, painstakingly structured indie-prog, you are having a banner year! And once you get done picking apart Bitte Orca for the billionth time, we've got something new for you: A live album from the recently reunited DC art-punk greats Shudder to Think!


Sufjan Stevens Comes Out of Hiding With Run Rabbit Run

Long-waiting Sufjan Stevens fans frustrated by the artists’ lack of new material and live performances are getting some payoff for their patience, as Stevens announces both a remix album entitled Run Rabbit Run and an appearance at All Tomorrow’s Parties New York, America’s version of the perennial British music festival.

Run Rabbit Run is due out October 6 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.


Trent Reznor Explains the State of NIN

"I'd never want to be Gene Simmons, an old man who puts on makeup to entertain kids"

Earlier this year, Trent Reznor revealed that after his current tour with Nine Inch Nails, "it's time to make NIN disappear for a while." And he announced his forthcoming small-club "Wave Goodbye" tour, Reznor made sure to point out that "this is it." But what does it all mean? Are Nine Inch Nails over now or what?

In an email interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Reznor makes things a little less vague. Nine Inch Nails will no longer be a road-dog touring entity. But that doesn't mean we've heard that last of him.



Former AP cover stars Saosin have their hotly anticipated sophomore album, In Search Of Solid Ground, dropping Sept. 8 on Virgin. Saosin are currently on the Hurley stage of this summer's Warped Tour.

This Date In Music History-July 15


Ray Toro - My Chemical Romance (1977)

John Dolmayan - System of a Down (1973)

Phillip Fisher – Fishbone (1967)

Joe Satriani (1956)

Marc Bell – Ramones (1956)

David Pack - Ambrosia (1953)

Alicia Bridges (1953)

Jeff Carlisli -38 Special (1952)

Trevor Horne – Buggles (1949)

Artimus Pyle - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1948)

Roky Erickson - 13th Floor Elevators (1947)

Linda Ronstadt (1946)

Peter Lewis - Moby Grape (1945)

Millie Jackson (1944)

They Are Missed:

Johnny Thunders - The New York Dolls (June 15, 1952 – April 23, 1991) Died of a drug overdose.

Born on this day in 1956, Ian Curtis - Joy Division. Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield, England at the age of 23. Curtis had the Iggy Pop album “The Idiot,” playing on his stereo and left a note that said, “At this very moment, I wish I were dead. I Just can't cope anymore.” Idiot.

Troy Dixon from Heavy D and The Boyz died in an accidental fall in 1990.

Bill Justis ("Raunchy") died in 1982.

Sad Cafe singer Paul Young died of a heart attack at his Manchester home in 2000 (age 53). Also member of Mike and the Mechanics.


In 1952, 8 year-old Gladys Knight won $2000 on Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour a US television show after performing the song “Too Young.”

"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" enters the Top Forty in 1957, remaining there for 20 weeks. The song got a boost when Jerry Lee Lewis performed it on The Steve Allen Show on July 28. It peaked at #3 and topped the country and R&B charts.

In 1958, John Lennon's mother Julia was killed by a car driven by an off-duty drunken police officer named Eric Clague (Clague was later acquitted of the offense). John was 17 at the time.

Filming began in 1963 for the movie "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret.

This weeks US Top three singles in 1965, #3 The Byrds, “Mr Tambourine Man,” #2 The Four Tops, “I Can't Help Myself” and at #1 The Rolling Stones with “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.”

Percy Sledge's first and biggest hit, "When A Man Loves A Woman" earned him his first and only gold record in 1966.

Creedence Clearwater Revival released their self-titled debut album in 1968.

Elton John started a five week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1972 with “Honky Chateau,” his first US chart topper.

Elton John re-signed with MCA in 1974. Elton would receive $8 million for delivering his next five albums to the record label.

The Rolling Stones started a two-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1978 with “Some Girls,” the group's seventh US #1 album.

In 1986, Columbia Records dumped Johnny Cash after 28 years. Cash hitched up with Polygram and later American for an artistically rewarding period in his lengthy career.

In 1989, Pink Floyd performed in Venice on a floating stage. But the 200,000 people who gathered to see them ended up causing damage to the city's bridges and make marble crumble from centuries-old buildings. Residents complained about the noise, littering and drug use. What did they expect?

Neil Young, with Pearl Jam as his backing band, released “Mirror Ball” in 1995.

In 2007, over 10,000 people applied for a job with P Diddy after the rapper posted an advertisement on Youtube looking to find a new personal assistant. He warned applicants that the job would be far from easy and would involve everything from getting him ready for the red carpet to aiding in billion dollar deals to helping him jump out of planes in movies. And I missed it…..