Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ask Mr. Music by 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: Several years ago after Ray Charles died, one of his albums reached No. 1on the national charts.

Somewhere along the way, I heard or read that if Ray had lived to see his LP hit No. 1 he would have been the oldest living person to accomplish that.

Since Brother Ray didn't quite make it, who is the artist holding this distinction?
—Richie Johansson, York, Pa.

DEAR RICHIE: Yours is an interesting question; however, in Ray's case the scenario you suggest may not have occurred had he lived.

Charles died of liver failure, June 10, 2004, and in a little less than three months “Genius Loves Company” (Concord 2248) entered the charts.

Had Ray lived at least until March 5, 2005, when this collection of a dozen duets reached No. 1, he would have been 74 — and the oldest living artist topping the album charts.

Still, sales of “Genius Loves Company,” as well as two other Top 10 compilations: “The Very Best of Ray Charles” (Rhino 79822) and “Ray Charles Anthology” (Rhino 75759), were clearly fueled by Ray's passing.

So the reigning chart-topping senior citizen is Bob Dylan, who, for one week earlier this year (May 9-16), held the No. 1 position with “Together Through Life” — not just in the U.S., but in at least 18 countries spanning the globe.

Dylan was 67 during his week at the top, though he turned 68 a mere eight days later (May 24). By then, his album dropped to No. 5 after holding the top spot for just one week.

Bob Dylan has many enduring claims to fame; however, he wore this fleeting crown for just four months.

On September 19, in a surprise as shocking as anything the music world has seen, “We'll Meet Again - The Very Best of Vera Lynn” took over the No. 1 spot in the UK.

Though a British icon, Vera Lynn is also well known in the USA, with several stateside hits to her credit, from as early as 1948 (“You Can't Be True Dear”) through '67 (“It Hurts to Say Goodbye”), including the top-selling record of the summer of 1952, “Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart.”

Inconceivably, the 23-track “We'll Meet Again - The Very Best of Vera Lynn” CD does not include her worldwide smash, “Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart.” Arrgh! How is her most famous song not among her “very best”?

Oh yeah, my favorite Vera Lynn tune, “It Hurts to Say Goodbye” isn't on that “Best Of” album either.

To be clear, I am not confusing “We'll Meet Again” with “Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart,” simply because the latter makes prominent use of the line “we'll meet again.” They are two completely different recordings.

Born March 20, 1917, this spry 92-year-old sitting atop the albums chart could easily have a son older than Bob Dylan, now with runner-up status in Britain, but not the U.S. Vera's album has yet to be issued here.

In 1975, long before compact discs and a return to chart supremacy, knighthood called and Vera was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, by Sovereign of the Order, Queen Elizabeth II.

As for Dame Vera Lynn's recent sales achievement, it is not likely to be topped by anyone, unless Bob Dylan is both alive and on the charts in 2033, or later.

IZ ZAT SO? In 1952, Vera Lynn's “Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart” made history on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here, Vera became the first British born singer to top the American charts. Meanwhile, in her homeland, she was the only Brit in Britain's Top 10!

Lynn is also the first person ever to have more than one single in the UK Top 10, a somewhat common event years later for acts like Elvis and the Beatles.

Vera's 57-year chart span (1952-2009), from first appearance to most recent, is one more accomplishment not likely to ever be equaled.

Considering Vera's popularity began in 1935, the only reason Lynn's span isn't 74 years is that Britain did not have a top hits survey until the New Musical Express debuted, November 12, 1952

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Arctic Monkeys release ‘Cornerstone’

Arctic Monkeys will release "Cornerstone," the second single from their recent, #1 album 'Humbug’ on Monday the 16th of November 2009.

After the great success of the 'Crying Lightning’ Oxfam collaboration, we are pleased to announce that we will be joining forces once again with Oxfam on this release. The single will be backed with 3 brand new b-sides – "Catapult," "Sketchead," and "Fright Lined Dining Room."

Currently on tour in America, Arctic Monkeys will be return to the UK and Ireland in November for a sold out arena tour.


Neil Diamond holiday collection to be released

Columbia Records announced the release of "A Cherry Cherry Christmas," the new Neil Diamond holiday collection, available in stores and online Tuesday, October 13.

The title song, "Cherry Cherry Christmas," is filled with references to many of Diamond's greatest hits. Newly written and recorded by Neil Diamond for Christmas 2009, it is destined to become a new Christmas standard.

Newly included with the re-mastered classics are a transcendent "Amazing Grace"; another new Neil Diamond original, "Christmas Dream"; and a party-time version of Adam Sandler's comedic "The Chanukah Song," produced by DJ Ashba (Guns N' Roses).

Neil Diamond – A Cherry Cherry Christmas

Cherry Cherry Christmas
Sleigh Ride
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
White Christmas
Christmas Dream
The Christmas Song
Deck The Halls / We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Jingle Bell Rock
You Make It Feel Like Christmas
Winter Wonderland
Joy To The World
Amazing Grace
Meditations On A Winter Night (Instrumental)
The Chanukah Song

Across a musical career spanning nearly five decades, Neil Diamond has sold more than 125 million albums worldwide.


Metallica to offer live downloads

Metallica will make available single song downloads from every show on their upcoming North American tour.

Full shows can also be downloaded within hours of each show ending and single songs from each show will also be able to be downloaded for 99c a track.

"This is the next logical step in a process that began back in 1991 when we first implemented the 'Taper Section' at our shows, where our fans were encouraged to bring in their own gear to record the show, and then take home their very own 'bootleg’ of the concert they had just seen," stated Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. "This technology will enable our fans to get the best possible recording of the show, without having to hold a microphone in the air for the entire night!"

This next leg of touring will see Metallica heading outside North America to perform the songs from Death Magnetic.

The North American dates started on October 3rd in Tampa, Florida.


Weird Al Children's Book?

HarperCollins Children's Books has acquired "When I Grow Up," the first book by Weird Al Yankovic. Per the press release, "With gleefully dizzying wordplay, an exuberant eight-year-old tells his patient teacher and amazed classmates about the astonishing variety of humorous and inventive careers he plans to pursue when he grows up." The book will be out in the Winter of 2011.

"Al is a brilliant writer with proven cross-generational appeal and marked staying power," said Anne Hoppe. "I’ve been a fan of his fresh, funny, carefully-crafted work for decades, and am thrilled to see him bring his considerable authorial and comedic resources to bear on this new venture."

"I’ve always wanted to write children's books," said Yankovic. "And now, it’s not only a goal, it’s a contractual obligation.”


Rolling Stones To Reissue Five Live Albums In November

The Rolling Stones are set to reissue five live albums recorded between 1975 and 2002. The albums - 'Love You Live', 'Still Life', 'Flashpoint', 'Stripped' and 'Live Licks' – will be released on November 9.

They include some of the band's biggest hits – "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Start Me Up" and "Brown Sugar" – as well as covers. Each album will retain its original tracklisting and artwork.

The tracklistings are as follows:

'Love You Live'
Disc 1

'Intro: Fanfare For The Common Man'
'Honky Tonk Woman (Live)'
'If You Can't Rock Me/ Get Off of My Cloud'
'Hot Stuff'
'Star, Star'
'Tumbling Dice'
'Fingerprint File'
'You Gotta Move'
'You Can't Always Get What You Want'

Disc 2
'Mannish Boy'
'Crackin' Up''
'Little Red Rooster'
'Around And Around'
'It's Only Rock 'n' Roll'
'Brown Sugar'
'Jumpin' Jack Flash'
'Sympathy For The Devil'

'Still Life'

'Take The A Train'
'Under My Thumb'
'Let's Spend The Night Together'
'Twenty Flight Rock'
'Going To A Go-Go'
'Let Me Go'
'Time Is On My Side'
'Just My Imagination'
'Start Me Up'
'(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'


'Continental Drift (Intro)'
'Start Me Up'
'Sad Sad Sad'
'Miss You'
'Rock And A Hard Place'
'Ruby Tuesday'
'You Can't Always Get What You Want'
'Factory Girl'
'Can't Be Seen'
'Little Red Rooster'
'Paint It, Black'
'Sympathy For The Devil'
'Brown Sugar'
'Jumping Jack Flash'
'(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'
'Sex Drive'


'Street Fighting Man'
'Like A Rolling Stone'
'Not Fade Away'
'Shine A Light'
'The Spider And The Fly'
'I'm Free'
'Wild Horses'
'Let It Bleed'
'Dead Flowers'
'Slipping Away'
'Love In Vain'
'Sweet Virginia'
'Little Baby'

'Live Licks'
Disc 1

'Brown Sugar'
'Street Fighting Man'
'Paint It Black'
'You Can't Always Get What You Want'
'Start Me Up'
'It's Only Rock N' Roll'
'Honky Tonk Women'
'Gimme Shelter'
'(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'

Disc 2
'Monkey Man'
'Rocks Off'
'Can't You Hear Me Knocking'
'That's How Strong My Love Is'
'The Nearness Of You'
'Beast Of Burden'
'When The Whip Comes Down'
'Rock Me, Baby'
'You Don't Have To Mean It'
'Worried About You'
'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love'


Previously Unheard Jackson 5 Song Released On iTunes

A previously unreleased Jackson 5 song is now available to download from iTunes.

The track, "That's How Love Is," is lifted from an upcoming rarities album 'I Want You Back! Unreleased Masters' released on November 10 to celebrate the Jackson 5's 40th anniversary.

The family group made their Motown chart debut 40 years ago this week with the smash hit "I Want You Back."

Bruce Resnikoff of Universal Music Enterprises said of the album: "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to bring these exciting recordings to the public in such a special package.

"We are amazed by the quality, and we know the many Michael Jackson fans all over the world will be too."

This Date In Music History-October 7


Crooner Al Martino (1927)

Colin Cooper - Climax Blues Band (1939)

Martin Murray - Honeycombs (1941)

Tony Silvester - Main Ingredient (1941)

Kevin Godley - 10CC (1945)

David Hope - Kansas 1949)

Rocker John Mellencamp (1951)

Ricky Phillips - Bad English/Styx (1951)

Tico Torres - Bon Jovi (1953)

Yo-Yo Ma (1955)

David Taylor - Edison Lighthouse (1959)

Simon Cowell (1959)

Toni Braxton (1967)

Thom York - Radiohead (1968)

Taylor Hicks - 2006 American Idol winner (1976)

They Are Missed:

Early British rocker Johnny Kidd was killed in a car accident in Lancashire, England in 1966. He led the Pirates, the first truly raunchy band in British rock history. Their big hit was 1960's "Shakin' All Over."

Operatic pop vocalist Mario Lanza die in 1959 (age 38).

Smiley Lewis, New Orleans R&B singer, died of stomach cancer in 1966. Wrote "I Hear You Knocking" (covered by Dave Edmunds).


In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first black singer to be hired by New York's Metropolitan Opera Company.

RCA Victor had all ready received a half-million advanced orders for Elvis Presley's Christmas album in 1957. So far only 200,000 copies had been pressed.

The Rolling Stones recorded the Lennon/McCartney penned song "I Wanna Be Your Man" at De Lane Lea Studios in London in 1963.

In 1964, the Beatles appeared on an episode of "Shindig!" taped on location in London. They perform "I'm a Loser," "Kansas City" and "Boys."

Cass Elliot of the Mama's & Papa's spent the night in a London jail in 1967 after a dispute over a hotel bill.

In 1967, the Beatles rejected an offer of $1 million to play Shea Stadium from promoter Sid Bernstein. He orginally brought the group to Shea in August 1965.

In 1975, John Lennon won his lengthy fight to stay in the US when the three judge US Court of Appeals in New York ruled that his 1968 arrest in Britain for possession of marijuana was contrary to US ideas of due process and is invalid as a means of banishing the former Beatle from America.

Toto's "Hold The Line" was released in 1978.

Janet Jackson scored her second #1 single in 1989 with "Miss You Much."

Jefferson Airplane played a concert in 1989 where admission was a can of food for the San Francisco Food Bank.

"Brave And Crazy," from Melissa Etheridge, entered the US album chart in 1989. It stays on the survey for 58 weeks.

Alanis Morissette went to #1 on the US album chart in 1995 with "Jagged Little Pill." The album went on to become the biggest selling album ever by a female artist with sales over 30 million.

Ja Rule started a two-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 2001 with "Pain Is Love."

Faith Hill was at #1 on the US album chart in 2002 with "Cry."

In 2004, it was announced that Melissa Etheridge had cancelled her tour and would undergo surgery and treatment for breast cancer.

In 2006, Lynyrd Skynyrd shared the stage with several Country acts at a fund-raising concert in Atlanta. Proceeds go toward a memorial at Fort Benning, GA, honoring the 173rd Airborne Brigade. "It's the least we can do to help build a memorial for the 173rd Airborne who have lost so many and helped protect this country," says Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant. Brigade soldiers fought in World War II and Vietnam. 2006

Rascal Flatts were at #1 on the US album chart in 2007 with "Still Feels Good" the American country pop bands fifth studio album and third #1.