Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ask Mr Music by Jerry Osborne

I am continuing our feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 23rd year of syndication (1986-2009), 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'm a long-haul trucker and one of my 2002 trips took me across Wyoming.

A radio station there played a song that I have been unable to identify, mainly because I lack the details. There was no announcer, and the station seemed automated.

As a Marty Robbins fan, I have the “El Paso” trilogy, but I nearly drove off the road when I heard this fascinating song.

By a woman with guitar accompaniment, using Marty's original “El Paso” melody, the lyrics tell the story from Feelena's point of view. It has nothing to do with Marty's “El Paso” prequel, “Feelena (From El Paso).”

Sorry I have no other clues for you.
—Rick Whittaker, York, Pa.

DEAR RICK: Just don't jackknife the rig!

No other clue is necessary, as I know of only one female response recording to “El Paso.”

Plus, you hearing it in 2002 confirms it to be “Red Velvet Slippers,” an award-winning 1999 release with a title seemingly unconnected to “El Paso.” More on that later.

Written and recorded by Juni Fisher, “Red Velvet Slippers” is the lead track on her debut album “Tumbleweed Letters,” and it tells a slightly different story than Marty's familiar saga.

For example, killed at Rosa's Cantina in place of the “dashing and daring” cowboy shot in 1960, is Feelena's brother, Roberto.

It seems her love interest (Marty's character) mistakenly thought Roberto was wooing Feelena, thus the shootout.

An angry Feelena then picks up Roberto's gun intending to shoot his killer, but reconsiders when realizing his death won't bring Roberto back.

A Marty Robbins fan myself, I became curious as to Fisher's inspiration to write this song. And, thanks to cell phones, I caught up with Juni just after her November western tour, along with an appearance at the Western Music Association Awards in Albuquerque.

We talked while Juni drove, on her way home to Tennessee for Thanksgiving.

She recalls: “My father loved Marty's music, and it definitely rubbed off on me. In fact, “El Paso” is the first 45 I owned.

“Then in the early '90s, while I was in El Paso, I saw the building that was the real Rosa's Cantina. All those images in the song started running through my head, which led to my writing the story as told by a much older Feelena (i.e., “when I was a young girl I lived in El Paso, I danced at Rosa's Cantina at night”).

“I substituted my brother for the “handsome young stranger,” to better justify my anger and desire for revenge.

“Regarding the title, I wrote “As I headed back to Rosa's that night, I let the pistol slip out of my hand. I stopped and took off my red velvet slippers, and left them to fade in the El Paso sand.”

“Feelena discarding the slippers she wore when dancing at Rosa's is a metaphor for her leaving the life of the foolish young dance hall girl, whose flirting caused her brother's death.”

Juni didn't mention it, but at the aforementioned Western Music Association Award Showcase, she won in two key categories: Female Performer of the Year, and Traditional Album of the Year, “Gone for Colorado.” This brings to six her total of WMA awards since 2005.

Congratulations Juni!

DEAR JERRY: I have Phil Spector's “A Christmas Gift for You,” but there is one song, “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,” that must have been cut from the final album. I've only heard it online but it sure sounds like a 1963 recording.

This is a duet by two of the stars on the original LP, Ronnie Spector (of the Ronettes), and Darlene Love.

I was surprised to see neither Ronnie's nor Darlene's web site mentions this record at all.
—Mindy Olsen, Orem, Utah

DEAR MINDY: Though made many years after “A Christmas Gift for You,” Ronnie and Darlene truly capture the distinctive Spector sound on their revival of Brenda Lee's “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.”

My source for this 1992 gem is the CD, “A Very Special Christmas 2” (A&M 731454000321), a 19-track various artists compilation.

Issued in A&M's series to benefit Special Olympics, this disc can usually be found online for less than five bucks.

IZ ZAT SO? “A Christmas Gift for You” is not only the title of one of the most important albums ever, it is also the name of an exciting new stage show, starring Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love.

This event, a benefit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, is set for Thursday, December 17, at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, N.J.

Ronnie routinely performs at clubs in the tri-state area, but this Christmas Gift promises to be something special. They'll do the pop hits of the Ronettes, Crystals, and Darlene Love, as well as those on “A Christmas Gift for You,” plus “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.”

For more information, visit

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368, e-mail:, or visit his Web site:
All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Reprise Records to Release Original Soundtrack to Feature Film Book of Eli on January 12th, 2010

BURBANK, Calif. - (Business Wire) Reprise Records will release the original motion picture soundtrack to the Hughes Brothers-directed feature film Book Of Eli on January 12th, 2010 — three days before the film hits theaters nationwide on January 15th, 2010.

The Book of Eli Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features an original score by composer/musician/producer Atticus Ross, marking his third collaboration with the Hughes Brothers and his first feature film score. Ross’ music is a unique hybrid score of electronic and organic elements; writing with his wife (Claudia Sarne) and brother (Leopold Ross), the basic tracks were recorded at his studio in Los Angeles before departing to London where it was finished in Abbey Road Studios with a full 80 piece orchestra.

Ross’ other film credits include co-writing and producing “Go All the Way (Into the Twilight),” the Perry Ferrell single for the hit film Twilight, the score for the Allen Hughes’ vignette for the film New York, I Love You, as well as the music to the Hughes Brothers TV show 'Touching Evil." Ross has also incorporated his musical style into collaborations and productions of such major artists as NIN (the albums With Teeth, Year Zero, The Slip, and the Grammy-nominated Ghosts), Jane's Addiction, and Korn.

The Book of Eli stars Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, and Gary Oldman in a post-apocalyptic tale in which a lone man, Eli (Washington), fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

The soundtrack will be released in four configurations: standard CD, a digital version available through all digital service providers, and a special exclusive iTunes edition that will feature a remixed track by Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio). A vinyl version will be released in February.

Book of Eli is being distributed domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The track-listing for The Book of Eli Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is as follows:

The Journey
The Convoy
Solara Violated
Meant to be Shared
The Passenger
Den of Vice
Blind Faith
Convoy Destruct
Carnegie's Demise
The Purpose

Music News & Notes

Bachman, Turner shifting into overdrive
Aging rockers working on new album, planning to head out on world tour

You ain't seen nothing yet from Randy Bachman and Fred Turner.

The former members of Bachman-Turner Overdrive are teaming up for the first time since 1991, but the reunion isn't just a trip down memory lane: the duo are working on a new album and planning a 2010 world tour.

"The great part about it is we've got new songs. That's the kicker. That's what brought me back," Turner said yesterday at a press conference, confirming the reunion three months after it was first reported in the Winnipeg Free Press.

"I was retired for five years and I thought, 'It's over. This is done, just enjoy yourself (and) go fishing.' I'm surprised to be back. It's like being reborn. It feels really good."

Because of legal issues surrounding the old name, the pair will tour as Bachman & Turner. They are in the process of recording about 16 songs for a new album, which will be released by E1 Records (formerly Koch) on vinyl, CD and MP3. They hope to have the album finished in January before heading out on the highway for tours of North America, South America and Europe. They will be backed by Bachman's regular band.


U2 Could Gross $750 Million From Tour

Paul McGuinness, manager for U2, has told the Financial Times that he expects the 360 Degree tour to gross around $750 million by the time it ends later next year. To date, the band has played 44 sold out dates for 3.2 million people and grossed $320 million.

The Vertigo tour brought in $389 million, so 360 Degree will almost double the amount grossed. Much of this is due to the "claw" which allows most venues to seat 20% more people. Unfortunately, tour costs, mainly because of the staging, runs around $750,000 per day (EVERY day), so the amount the tour will profit is still way up in the air.


McCartney Writes Song for DeNiro Movie

Paul McCartney has written and recorded a song for the new Robert DeNiro film Everybody's Fine. McCartney felt compelled to write the song after seeing a preview screening of the movie. "The De Niro character inspired me. I can very much relate to a guy who's got older children, who happens to have lost his wife, the mother of those children, and is trying to get them all together at Christmas. I understand that."


Bruce Springsteen Pledges Support For Gay Marriage Bill
In home state of New Jersey...

Bruce Springsteen has pledged his support to a gay marriage bill in his home state of New Jersey. Politicians are due to vote on the bill on Thursday, but Democrats fear it could fall short of the 21 votes needed to pass the Senate.

In a message on his website, Springsteen said he agreed with Governor Jon Corzine that the marriage-equality issue should be recognized as a civil rights issue.

“I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples,” Springsteen said.

He called on “those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard”.