Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ask Mr. Music with 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: I realize opinions differ on which early recordings are rock and roll, and which are pure pop music. Still, I do value your take on such matters.

What then is your pick as the last week the nation's entire Top 10 was all pop music, with nothing reasonably considered rock and roll?

Also, when did the Top 10 contain nothing but rock and roll hits, without any entry of the purely pop variety?

I find this topic not only interesting, but one I don't think you've ever addressed.
—Elroy Ridgway, Terre Haute, Ind.

DEAR ELROY: Definitely two previously unasked questions.

The last all-pop Top 10, with nary a title to be challenged, is exactly 55 years ago, the last week of September 1954.

Though the chart positions vary slightly, both Cash Box and Billboard were mostly in agreement on which were the Top 10 tunes that week. These 11 titles, pretty much in this order, accounted for each magazine's Top 10:

1. “Hey There” ([Rosemary Clooney]); 2. “Sh-Boom” ([Crew-Cuts]); 3. “Skokiaan” (Ralph Marterie and [Four Lads]); 4. “This Ole House” (Rosemary Clooney); 5. “The Little Shoemaker” ([Gaylords]); 6. “I Need You Now” ([Eddie Fisher]); 7. “The High and the Mighty” (Victor Young and His Orchestra); 8. “In the Chapel in the Moonlight” ([Kitty Kallen]); 9. “Little Things Mean a Lot” (Kitty Kallen); 10 (CB). “If I Give My Heart to You” ([Doris Day]); or 10 (BB). “Hold My Hand” (Don Cornell).

Lurking just outside and ready to jump into the Top 10 on both charts was Rock Era classic “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” by [Bill Haley] and His Comets.

Part two of the challenge is not nearly as cut and dry, simply because the line between pop and rock ballads became much less definable in the later years.

Since any answer will be subjective to a point, I will support my choice by adding this guideline: any song that made the Top Pop (a.k.a. Easy Listening or Middle-of-the-Road) charts is not eligible for the all-rock Top 10.

The week of this unusual gathering at the top came exactly 10 years after the all-pop Top 10, the last week of September 1964:

1. “Oh, Pretty Woman” ([Roy Orbison] and the Candy Men); 2. “Bread and Butter” ([Newbeats]); 3. “The House of the Rising Sun” ([Animals]); 4. “G.T.O.” ([Ronny and the Daytonas]); 5. “Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)” ([Shangri-Las]); 6. “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” ([Manfred Mann]); 7. “Where Did Our Love Go” ([Supremes]); 8. “Dancing in the Street” ([Martha and the Vandellas]); 9. “It Hurts to Be in Love” ([Gene Pitney]); 10. “Save It for Me” ([4 Seasons]).

Again, chart positions vary slightly, but Cash Box and Billboard agree completely on these being the Top 10 hits.

Your question asks only about the Top 10; however, the next three tunes also qualify:

11. “Haunted House” ([Jumpin' Gene Simmons]); 12. “Maybelline” ([Johnny Rivers]); 13. “Baby I Need Your Loving” ([Four Tops]).

The following two do put an end to the rock list: 14. “We'll Sing in the Sunshine” ([Gale Garnett]) and 15. “Everybody Loves Somebody” ([Dean Martin]).

DEAR JERRY: From your archives I discovered Dolores Erickson is the girl on the cover of [Herb Alpert]'s “Whipped Cream and Other Delights” album.

What I cannot find anywhere is the name of the leggy flight attendant serving Alpert a drink, while sitting on the wing of a biplane, on “Going Places.”

Who is this dish?
—Mary Sterling, Austin, Texas

DEAR MARY: This model never received the publicity Erickson, probably because “Going Places” came out right after “Whipped Cream,” a tough act for any model to follow.

Herb's label name, [l=A&M], stands for Alpert and (Jerry) Moss, and, according to Dolores Erickson, the eye-catching attendant serving Alpert is another Moss — Sandra, then the wife of Jerry.

IZ ZAT SO? In recent years, most of the best-selling hits are some form of modern rock or urban sounds. Still, something from another genre occasionally sneaks into the Top 10.

This week's stray in the Top 10 herd is country singer [Taylor Swift], with “You Belong with Me.”

It is also the only one of the bunch I could suffer through long enough to be categorized.

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission


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AC/DC: 'Backtracks' Ultimate Box-Set Details Revealed

Columbia Records and Albert Productions has announced the release of "Backtracks", the ultimate AC/DC collector's experience, available Tuesday, November 10.

Arriving in two distinctly different fan-friendly editions, "Backtracks" spans the length and breadth of AC/DC's career, bringing together rare songs, hard-to-find live performances and the long-awaited debut of "Family Jewels Disc 3", a DVD showcasing the group's music videos, live performances, and promotional clips from 1992-2009. (The original double-disc "Family Jewels" was named 2005's "DVD of the Year" by the U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine while the RIAA certified the collection 10x platinum for sales in excess of 1 million copies in the U.S. alone.)

Manufactured in an exclusive run limited to 50,000 pieces, the deluxe collector's edition of "Backtracks" includes a CD of studio rarities, two CDs of live rarities, the "Family Jewels Disc 3" DVD, the "Live at the Circus Krone" DVD, a front-row immersion in the band's scorching 2003 club show in Munich, Germany, and a 12" long-playing album, struck in 180 gram vinyl, of hard-to-find studio tracks. The limited-edition "Backtracks" includes a five-disc media carrier to house and transport the set's three CDs and two DVDs.

In addition the deluxe collector's edition comes with a 164-page coffee table book and an Original Memorabilia Reproductions Envelope containing an astounding array of facsimiles including the "I DO IT FOR AC/DC" button (the band's very first tour merch), the 1976 "Lock Up Your Daughters" tour flyer, the "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" recording track sheet, a 2' x 3' 1977 "Let There Be Rock" European tour poster, a Bon Scott parrot tattoo replica, an AC/DC logo guitar pick, an Australian "Money Talks" dollar, three black-and-white fine art lithographs of never-before-seen photos of the band in the Alberts Studio in 1977 and more.

The AC/DC deluxe collector's edition of "Backtracks" comes housed in a fully operational AC/DC guitar amplifier. The limited and numbered deluxe collector's edition of "Backtracks" will be available direct-to-consumers exclusively through the web site with full details on pre-ordering going live on the site on Tuesday, September 29.

The three-disc standard version of "Backtracks" distills the electrifying essence of the deluxe set into one CD of studio rarities, one CD of hard-to-find live tracks, and the indispensable "Family Jewels Disc 3" DVD.

AC/DC Backtracks Sneak Peek Sept. 29

What you get with AC/DC "Backtracks" Deluxe Collector's Edition:

Collector's Edition Box-Set:

The 12"x12"x4" (30cm*30cm*10cm) exterior box is designed to resemble a vintage AC/DC guitar amp — complete with the original logo that was spray-painted onto the rear of Angus and Malcolm Young's speaker cabinets in 1975. The "head" of the amp has a handle that lifts the top off to reveal the contents housed within. Oh yeah, the head is also a WORKING GUITAR AMPLIFIER! That's right, one watt of pure AC/DC makes this box a truly unique collector's item. You can PLAY the box set while LISTENING TO the box set! Check out the videos of Angus using the amp.

3 CDs:

CD 1 – Studio Rarities

This CD, for the first time, collects AC/DC's studio rarities, many on CD for the first time. These are all of the songs that the band recorded throughout their career that appeared on Australian-only LP releases, movie soundtracks, 7" and 12" single releases, and CD "tour editions", etc. 12 of the 18 tracks are completely unique songs that have all been remastered to match the unparalleled sound quality of the rest of the Columbia AC/DC catalog reissues. The other 6 tracks are the original versions of classic AC/DC songs previously only available on the original Australian albums. Some restore seconds to the original fades, others restore guitar solos and choruses. All are highly sought-after collectibles and have never sounded this good!

CDs 2 & 3 – Live Rarities

Like CD 1, this is a collection of the band's live rarities from singles, CD pros, compilations and other oddities. All have been remastered from original sources for optimum sound quality.

2 DVDs:

"Family Jewels" Disc 3

Picking up where the original 2DVD "Family Jewels" set leaves off (1991), "Family Jewels" Disc Three begins with "Big Gun" the theme song to the motion picture "Last Action Hero" — itself a rarity on CD 1 – the first time on any AC/DC album! You also get all three music videos from the "Ballbreaker" album, three from "Stiff Upper Lip" and the most recent clips for "Rock N Roll Train" and "Anything Goes" from the #1 album "Black Ice". But there's more! Several clips from the original "Family Jewels" set actually had more than one promotional clip. Here are the alternate versions of those classic videos – all on DVD for the first time.

Live At The Circus Krone 2003:

2003 was a banner year for AC/DC. From their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to massive European dates with THE ROLLING STONES, the band made several high-profile public appearances (including the SARS concert in Toronto for 200,000!). One run of shows found the band returning to their roots – playing clubs and theaters where they thrilled fans with sweaty, stripped-down shows and even throwing in some rarities they hadn't played in years. This show from Munich, Germany is the epitome of an "inside" look at how powerful the AC/DC show is — without all the bells and whistles of the big arena and stadium shows (well, they did bring the cannons…).

164-Page Coffee Table Book:

164 pages of rare and unseen photos spanning 1974-2009 plus full-size re-prints of original press releases, tour itineraries, tour books, test pressing labels, advertisements and much more. A real history of the band from the inside out. Rare photography includes never-before-seen shots of the band recording at the Albert Music studio on King Street in Sydney with legendary producers Harry Vanda and George Young in 1977. Also tons of unpublished live shots from all over the world.


The 12 unique studio rarities from CD 1 presented on 180-gram audiophile vinyl, mastered specifically for LP. A classic album in its own right!

For complete track listings, video clips, photos and extensive information, visit

Vinyl Collective News

Help Invest in Vinyl Collective/Suburban Home’s Future

from Virgil Dickerson

Truth be told, 2009 has been a tough year for our small, independent business. I guess every business in America can say the same thing. Instead of scaling things back and burying our heads in the dirt, we have figured out ways to take our business to the next level and make moves that will not only ensure we are around for another 14 years but position ourselves in a manner to help every small band and label help find their releases homes around the world.

This isn’t the first time we have found ourselves in a tough situation and as such, we have constantly evolved what we do at Suburban Home/Vinyl Collective to make things work. How else have we found a way to have been around for 14 years? We are developing a number of new projects that will ensure Vinyl Collective and Suburban Home a long future, but we could use your help in the short term. For a quick word on these projects, we are currently working on:

1. Our equivalent to CD Baby where we help every small band and label out with International distribution. We will soon be in a position to help artists who have a demand for their releases find distribution all over the world (U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan). We are working out the kinks and getting all of our ducks in a row, but this could be one of the biggest deals in independent music (no exaggeration).

2. Digital Retail Store in the Vinyl Collective store. Our buddy Robb from Limbeck has developed tools that will allow us to sell digital albums in our online store. We plan to launch the store this week and will be offering Flac as well as MP3 Albums at a much lower price than Itunes/Amazon. Expect a huge announcement this week.

3. The Mary Kay / Pampered Chef Pyramid Scheme at Vinyl Collective – I jokingly call it a pyramid scheme as this idea was inspired by Mary Kay and Pampered Chef where people help sell Vinyl Collective/Suburban Home titles in their community to make extra money. It won’t be a scheme though. Do you remember when distros would set up at shows? We want to see this again and will soon be calling upon people all over the world to help us sell our records as well as non-exclusive releases. Can you imagine having 50 to 100 Vinyl Collective representatives selling our records and those of the small labels we buy from? It could revolutionize and uplift our small scene. Sam from Goodcore and I are bouncing ideas off each other to make this work.

4. Used Vinyl Sales in the VC store – this project was put on the back burner for a little while, but we will soon be launching this. The integration of Google Docs into the VC site will help make this run very smoothly.

We need your help. We have come up with a number of ways you can help. Understand that we would love to figure out an easy way to offer stock in Vinyl Collective/Suburban Home so that our friends through music could also be part owners in VC/SH making Vinyl Collective a true Collective. Because of all the red tape involved with the SEC, we are not ready to make that plunge just yet (but maybe sometime in the future). We did, however, come up with a bunch of ways to help us out while helping yourself out:

Vinyl Collective For Life - for $1,000, you will receive every piece of vinyl that we release for as long as we exist. The 10 people who take advantage of this will receive the rarest variant of every 7″, 10″, LP, double LP, and/or boxset we release from here on out. These 10 people will also automatically receive one year’s membership to the VCCC (more on this later) and be enrolled in Suburban Home for Life (more on this later).

Suburban Home For Life – for $100, you will receive every digital release we put out for as long as we are a record label. We tend to release 10 to 12 albums a year so if you think about it, this could pay for itself in one year considering albums cost $10 on Itunes.

Under the Influence subscriptions – I said in the past that I really didn’t want to offer subscriptions of the Under the Influence series as it is a pain in the ass to keep up with, but the more we thought about it, we figured out an organized way to implement this. We will offer 100 subscriptions of the rarest color of volumes 15 through 24 (picked these volumes since we sold subscriptions of 5 through 14 previously).

Vinyl Collective Club Card (the VCCC) – Kind of like how a Costco or Sam’s Club membership works, you become a member of the club which entitles you to special pricing and offers. For $75 per year, you will become a member which entitles you to a VCCC Card, a unique coupon code entitling you to 10 percent off of every order for one year, and special offers for only VCCC members. If you don’t spend over $750 in a calendar year (amount to make the $75 VCCC pay for itself), we will give you a gift certificate for the difference so this will pay for itself no matter what.

I Celebrate Their Entire Catalog Sale (CDs/T-shirt) – We have offered this deal for quite a while but for those of you who prefer their music on CD, you get every in stock CD that Suburban Home has released, an I Celebrate Their Entire Catalog T-shirt, and our next 10 CD releases mailed to you over the course of the next year.

1 of every record we currently carry (a Raffle) – Enter to win 1 copy of every single 7″, 10″, LP, and double LP we carry at Vinyl Collective. This is between 3,000 and 4,000 records valued at between $40,000 to $60,000 depending on the number of records we have in inventory at the time, we select a winner. Instantly have one of the biggest record collections around. We will set up a Kickstarter project as we will need to reach a certain threshold in order to make this work. $3 is the cost of a raffle ticket.

We are hoping to raise over $100,000 to cover some debt, to help us launch these new projects, and to hire a full time music buyer for Vinyl Collective. There comes a time when most small businesses need help to get to that next level. That is where we are right now, but I assure you that this will not only help us, but it will help everyone around us as it is our goal to help the independent music community any way we possibly can.

I feel as though I was put on this Earth as an Independent Music Evangelist. It is hard-wired into my DNA and I cannot imagine doing anything else. I would appreciate your support in helping our little company raise these funds. Please pass this onto others, please post this on your blog or on your Facebook/Myspace pages.

Thanks for your consideration and support of what we do. Your friend through music, Virgil Dickerson


Music News & Notes

McCartney CD/DVD Coming In November

Paul McCartney christened Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets, with a sold-out three-night stand in Flushing, Queens. Those shows will be the focus of an upcoming 2CD/1DVD set titled "Good Evening New York City." Each night’s 33-song, two-hour-and-40-minute hits-filled set was filmed with 15 high-definition cameras, plus an additional 75 flipcams were distributed to the audience to capture all angles of McCartney’s performance. "Good Evening New York City" will be released on November 17th via Hear Music.

The deluxe edition of "Good Evening New York City" will feature both expanded packaging and a bonus DVD of McCartney performing atop the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York on July 15th. While the performance was filmed for Late Show With David Letterman, the DVD will include the performance of some songs that weren’t broadcast.


Wolfgang's Vault to Make Over a Thousand Concerts Available For Purchase

Six years ago, a small website launched that streamed concerts from the archives of the late Bill Graham. Wolfgang's Vault came under attack from a number of major artists over the rights to make their performances available over the internet but, over time, the site was able to strike deals with companies and artists.

Since then, Wolfgang's Vault has added the libraries of the King Biscuit Flower Hour, the Silver Eagle Cross Country archive and catalogs from the Record Plant, Dawson Sound, Daytrotter and Noise Pop. Almost every major artist is represented in the archives and, on occasion, shows are made available for download at a reasonable price.

Bill Sagan, CEO and founder of the Vault has now told Billboard that, as of November 1, the concerts available for purchase will grow from the current 500 to over 1,500, including 160 shows by the Grateful Dead along with concerts from artists as diverse as Jimi Hendrix to Aretha Franklin to Dolly Parton.

Sagan told Billboard that the change is "the result of negotiating agreements with performers and record labels that not only acknowledge our ownership of this material but gives us rights to exploit it. The objective is that just about everything we stream we'll be able to download. When we hit November 3, more than half the concerts...will be available for download. By Christmas or slightly after Christmas we'll be closer to three-quarters."

Prices for MP3 files of the shows will be $7.98 and $8.98 while lossless Flac recordings are $11.98 and $12.98. The site will also offer a $48 a year membership that comes with a $50 gift certificates, other discounts and the ability to stream concerts at a higher quality bit rate.


U2 Concerts Costly

U2 has sold $300 million in tickets on its current tour but is yet to generate a profit. That's what happens when you are dragging multiple giant claws around the world. According to Pollstar, the tour costs $750,000 a day to keep on the road, even on the days when the group is not performing. There are three complete claws and stages, with one being disassembled in the previous city, one ready for the current show and one being assembled at the next tour stop.

It is expected that the profit point will be reached sometime during the current sting in the U.S.


IMMORTAL: 'All Shall Fall' Title Track Available For Streaming

Reunited Norwegian black metallers IMMORTAL have posted the title track of their new album, "All Shall Fall", on their MySpace page.

Pictured below is the limited-edition, box-set version of "All Shall Fall". This box set is only available through Nuclear Blast's mailorder. Here

The box is made of iron, and it's HEAVY! It is limited to 1,000 copies, and contains the digipack, four picture-disc 7" vinyls, a poster flag, a patch and a button.

"All Shall Fall" will be released in North America on October 6 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD, which was issued in Europe on September 25, was recorded at Grieghallen and Abyss studios in Norway and Sweden, respectively.

"All Shall Fall" was made available in the following formats:

* Standard jewelcase CD
* Limited-edition digipack
* Limited-edition 180g vinyl
* Limited-edition picture disc
* Limited-edition box, only available through Nuclear Blast webshop.


RJD2 Announces New Album Details

The hip-hop instrumentalist RJD2 hasn't released a solo album since 2007's ill-fated indie pop move The Third Hand, and lately he's mostly been entering our living rooms via his earwormy "Mad Men" theme. But that's about to change. Last month, we reported that RJ has started his own label, RJ's Electrical Connections, and he's in the process of reissuing his back catalog. And come January 19, he'll release his fourth official album, The Colossus, via RJ's Electrical Connections.

The Colossus will alternate between the sample-based approach of his classic debut Deadringer and the live instrumentation of his more recent stuff. And while some tracks are instrumental, he's also recruited a few guest vocalists, including Little Brother rapper Phonte Coleman and Kenna, Malcolm Gladwell's favorite would-be pop star.


Cooper Halloween Single

Shock rock veteran Alice Cooper is going to treat us this year with a Halloween single. Keepin' Halloween Alive along with a Karaoke version (Cooperoke). It was scheduled to be made available through iTunes yesterday (Tuesday).