Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne

I am continuing our feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 24th year of syndication (1986-2010), 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: In 1959 or '60, I heard a song on the radio, but never once heard it again. The title may be something about a lovers hymn.

Believe me, I have checked everywhere but can find no mention anywhere of such a tune. I recall it has an R&B flavor to it, with a male lead voice and a female group backing him.

Did I really hear this? I'm beginning to wonder if all of this is only in my mind. You are my last resort.
—Jim Goyette, Ft. Myers, Fla.

DEAR JIM: After trying so hard on your own to solve this mystery, you deserve an answer. Even if it is from your last resort.

Your recollection of the facts is excellent, it is indeed “A Lovers Hymn” issued in April 1959 (Dot 15943), by the Fontane Sisters.

Though this single did not make the national charts it did get some regional air play, which you obviously know.

You even describe accurately the male lead singer and the female backup; however, just from seeing the record label you could not know anyone other than the Fontane Sisters is involved.

The male singer you hear is Charlie Singleton, who is also the writer of “A Lovers Hymn.” Strangely, Singleton is not credited as a performer anywhere on the label — this despite his being the primary voice on the session.

Not crediting a backup singer or orchestra is not uncommon. Failing to even make mention of the lead singer is practically unheard of.

A scattered few records exist with no artist credit whatsoever, but I do not recall one like this Dot single.

Granted, the Fontane Sisters were the bigger name act, but at least something like “The Fontane Sisters with [or Featuring] Charlie Singleton” should have been used.

Now you'll be pleased to know you can easily listen to “A Lovers Hymn” on YouTube. Even the inexplicable label is pictured. Click here:

DEAR JERRY: Last month when I heard Dean Martin singing “June in January” I thought how very unusual it is hearing two different months mentioned in a title.

Might there be one with three? I can't think of any.

Also, is each of the 12 months represented in at least one song title on records? For example, I do not know of any title including February, March, August, or November.

March is a near-impossible one, as all of those I find are about marching, such as “March from the River Kwai” and “March of the Penguins.”
—Marcy Galloway, Green Bay, Wisc.

DEAR CALENDAR GIRL: By answering the second question, your first one shall also be satisfied.

The names of all 12 months can be found in song titles, and I will provide one hand-picked example of each as proof:

“June in January” (Dean Martin, 1959); “February Sunshine” (Giant Sunflower, 1967); “Winds of March” (Journey, 1978); “April Love” (Pat Boone, 1957); “First of May” (Bee Gees 1969); “June Night” (Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, 1957); “July 12, 1939” (Charlie Rich, 1970); “June, July, and August” (Freddy Cannon, 1962); “September in the Rain” (Dinah Washington, 1961); “October” (U2, 1981); “November Rain” (Guns 'N Roses, 1992); “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)” (4 Seasons, 1976).

IZ ZAT SO? Over the past 70 years (1940-2009) only twice did the nation's No. 1 Pop song have a month in the title: Pat Boone's “April Love” (1957) and “December 1963 (Oh What a Night),” by the 4 Seasons (1976).

“November Rain,” by Guns 'N Roses, reached No. 3, as did Freddy Cannon's “June, July, and August,” but only because its flip side is “Palisades Park.” “June, July, and August,” a tune about summer vacation (“gonna shout … school is out”), is also the answer to your first question.

Special thanks to Kenneth Atlas, of Cashbox magazine, for assistance in preparing this feature

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 2010 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Pelican's "What We All Come To Need" To See Vinyl Release

Pelican's Southern Lord Recordings debut full-length "What We All Come To Need" - originally released in October - will be issued in double-LP format on February 23rd. The deluxe vinyl version bears a heavyweight gatefold jacket, and the fourth side of the release contains three bonus tracks not available on the CD version. In celebration of the vinyl release of the album Pelican will play a hometown show in Chicago on March 12th alongside Pinebender and Follows (ex-Russian Circles).

This record release show will also be the sole location to purchase Pelican's Ephemeral Bean Blend; the band's own limited edition collaboration with Intelligentsia Coffee of Chicago. The band states, "The richest, most complex flavors take patience and skill to craft and are over far too quickly. In that spirit we are proud to present this blend of coffee beans, who have known artisan care from their moment of inception at the farms at which they were grown to the roastery where their delicate nuances were honed to perfection by the skilled craftsmen at Intelligentsia. Enjoy the moment while it lasts."


Dylan, Cole, Mellencamp & Robinson to Perform at White House

Bob Dylan, Natalie Cole, John Mellencamp, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Smokey Robinson are all headed to the White House to be part of In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music From the Civil Rights Movement. The show will be aired live on PBS from the East Room on February 11 at 8 PM. Others performing include Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Seal. While Dylan has been to the White House before, this is his first time performing.


Lady Gaga Raises $500,000 For Haiti Earthquake Relief

Matching Radiohead's figure...

Lady Gaga raised over $500,000 for Haiti on Sunday, matching the impressive figure amassed by Radiohead.

All proceeds from Gaga's show at the Radio City Music Hall show, plus all the merchandise profits on the singer's official website went to the relief effort in the earthquake ravaged Caribbean nation.

The singer said: "On Gaga For Haiti day, in just 24 hours, with very minimal marketing and planning, all the little monsters all over the world made over half a million dollars for Haiti relief.

"I know Bravado fell off their chair, that's who sells all my merchandise - they couldn't believe it!”

On the same night, Radiohead's one-off show at The Music Box Theater in Hollywood amassed $572,000 for Haiti after fans bought tickets via an online auction. Hollywood stars Charlize Theron, Daniel Craig, Rosanna Arquette and Justin Timberlake were just some of those in attendance.

This Date In Music History-January 27


Bobby "Blue" Bland (1930)

British rock songwriter and singer Kevin Coyne (1944)

Nick Mason - drummer for Pink Floyd (1945)

Nedra Talley - Ronettes (1947)

Brian Downey - Thin Lizzy (1951)

Seth Justman - J. Geils Band (1951)

Richard Young - The Kentucky Headhunters (1955)

Margo Timmins - Cowboy Junkies (1959)

Gillian Gilbert - New Order (1961)

Mike Patton - Faith No More (1968)

Mark Trojanowski - Sister Hazel (1970)

Mark Owen - Take That (1974)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1918, Elmore James, US blues guitarist, singer, wrote "Shake Your Money Maker," covered by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Influenced Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Keith Richards. James died 24th May 1963.

Mahalia Jackson, who once remarked that she sang "because I was lonely," died in 1972. The gospel singer had been in ill-health ever since her heart attack in 1964. She was 60 years old.

Born today in 1919, David Seville, creator of The Chipmunks, (1958 #1 single "The Chipmunk Song") Seville died on January 16, 1972.

Gene McFadden, R&B vocalist and songwriter, best known as half of the Philly soul team McFadden & Whitehead, died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 56. The duo had the 1979 hit "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," which sold more than 8 million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award.


In 1956, Elvis Presley's single, "Heartbreak Hotel" was released by RCA Records, who had just purchased Presley's contract from Sun Records for $35,000. The song sold 300,000 copies in its first week and would eventually sell over a million, becoming Elvis' first Gold record.

Little Richard entered Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama in 1958. It's a school for blacks run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Little Richard explained while flying over the Philippines on tour, the wing on his plane caught fire and his prayers that the flames go out were answered. As a result, he says he's giving up rock & roll so he can serve God. Amen...

Johnny Horton recorded "The Battle Of New Orleans" in 1959.

In 1961, Frank Sinatra played a benefit show at Carnegie Hall in New York City for Martin Luther King.

Joey and the Starlighters started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1962 with "Peppermint Twist, part 1."

In 1962, the Beatles appeared at Aintree Institute in Aintree, Liverpool. The group had played here many times before but this was their last performance at the venue. Brian Epstein became infuriated when the promoter paid The Beatles' fee (£15 pounds) with handfuls of loose change. Epstein took this as an insult to the group, and made sure that The Beatles never played for that promoter (Brian Kelly) again.

Also in 1962, Elvis Presley received his 29th gold record for "Can't Help falling in Love," just weeks after getting one for the soundtrack to his seventh movie, "Blue Hawaii."

In 1964, the Rolling Stones appear as judges on the British "rate-a-record" TV show "Juke Box Jury." Their somewhat impolite behavior on the set causes a furor in the British press.

Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was released in 1968, 6 weeks after he was killed in a plane crash.

The Bee Gees make their U.S. debut in 1968 with two concerts at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. They put $50,000 in their pockets and immediately head back to England without appearing elsewhere in the states.

David Bowie arrived in the US for the first time in 1971; he couldn't play live because of work permit restrictions, but attracted publicity when he wore a dress at a promotion event. That'll teach them!

The New Seekers received a gold record in 1972 for "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." It's a tune that will be better remembered as the music for the Coca-Cola commercials.

Originally given to guitarist Jeff Beck but not immediately released, Stevie Wonder’s cut at his own song, “Superstition,” was a chart topper in 1973; his second #1 single in the US, 10 years after his first #1.

In 1976, a $2 million suit was brought against attorney Micahel Lippan by his former client, David Bowie. Bowie charged that Lippman took a 15-percent agent's fee instead of the customary ten percent and that he withheld $475,000 after being dismissed by Bowie.

Rod Stewart's album Blondes Have More Fun becomes number one on the Billboard chart in 1979. Sales of the album are spurred by the insipid single "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?," and the success representes a comeback for Stewart.

Madonna made her first appearance in the UK in 1984 when she appeared on C4 TV music program The Tube performing "Holiday." The show was broadcast live from the Hacienda Club in Manchester.

In 1984, Michael Jackson's hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi TV commercial.

In 1993, Warner Brothers announced it will release Ice-T from his recording contract. The company cites "creative differences" for the decision, which followed the previous year's controversy over Ice-T's "Cop Killer."

James Brown was charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a firearm in 1998 after police were called to his South Carolina home. Brown later clamed the drugs were used to help his 'eyesight.' Um Ok....

Alan Jackson started a three week run at #1 on the US album chart in 2002 with ‘Drive.’

U2’s Bono joined British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in 2005 to address the issue of poverty in Africa. "(I) encourage people to do the right thing on the global stage," says Bono.

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen released “Working On A Dream,” his 16th studio album. Produced by longtime collaborator Brendan O'Brien, the set was recorded with the E Street Band during downtime on their tour. "All the songs were written quickly [and] we usually used one of our first few takes," says Springsteen. The album contains "The Last Carnival," a song that pays tribute to late E Street Band member Danny Federici. "It started out as a way of making sense of his passing," says Springsteen. "He was a part of that sound of the boardwalk the band grew up with."