Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I know you are familiar with the singer Bertell Dache, but how much do you know about him?

I ask this because for as long as I can remember, music books, magazines, album liner notes, and more recently web sites, indicate Bertell Dache is merely a pseudonym used by Tony Orlando in the early 1960s.

As the story is sometimes told, Orlando was under contract at the time with Epic Records, and, as was somewhat common in those days, concealed his identity by using another name.

In fact, using fake names on records is something Orlando did on other occasions.

While not an exact vocal match, Bertell Dache sounded enough like Tony Orlando to float the claim.

Further fueling the story is that Carole King wrote, played on and sang on songs for both Orlando and Dache.

Then I ran across a recent (March 16) blog entry from “palawanabe” which says:

“For 47 years, record collectors have claimed Bertell Dache is Tony Orlando, and radio DJs who specialize in artist bios have perpetuated that myth.

“In my endless quest to collect those rare songs I recently came across a copy of “Not Just Tomorrow, But Always” (a 1961 answer to the Shirelles'

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”) along with a picture of Bertell.

“He is definitely not Tony Orlando, but a demo singer for Carole King and Gerry Goffin, as was Orlando at that same time. They did sound very similar and when Tony became popular a few years later, the rumor was off to the races.”

Can you settle this conundrum once and for all?
—Maurice Loveless, Carlisle, Pa.

DEAR MAURICE: With absolute certainty!

First, palawanabe is not alone. By way of Mitch Mitchell comes this very interesting take on the Dache story:

“My name is Tom Diehl and I am a historian for the Diamond record label.

“Diamond had an artist named Bert Dache who released one single in 1966, “Don't Stop the World for Me” (Diamond 202).

“Bertell was indeed a real person, and a demo singer for Gerry Goffin and Carole King. He passed away in 1987. I have spoken to his nephew, his aunt and his mother, who have all confirmed that he was not Tony Orlando by providing copies of recording contracts, photos, etc. Some of my friends in the music industry also worked with Bert and confirm he was not Tony.

“Session musician Artie Kaplan played saxophone on all of the Dache sides and songwriter Artie Wayne co-wrote some songs with Bert in the early '60s.

“FYI: Carole King added her background vocals live to the mono mixes of his songs in a later session. She was never actually in the studio with Bert.”

Thank you Tom and Mitch.

This case of mistaken identity — however believable it may have been — is an example of how an untrue story, if repeated often enough, can eventually be regarded as fact.

Count me among those who had no reason to doubt the legend, until just a few days ago I came across some very recently posted online photos of the late Dache. I knew immediately he and Tony Orlando were not the same person because Bertell was a black man.

Case closed!

IZ ZAT SO? Brief reference is made above to times when Tony Orlando really did record using a nom de guerre.

In 1969, using the name Billy Shields, Tony had a regional hit with “I Was a Boy” (Harbour 304), then as Wind, a Top 30 item titled “Make Believe” (Life 200).

Orlando returned in mid-1970 as Dawn, and scored four consecutive huge hits, “Candida”; “Knock Three Times”; “I Play and Sing”; and “Summer Sand.”

After those, the billing changed, first to Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando, then Tony Orlando & Dawn.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. 

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site:

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Glen Campbell to Release Final Album, Do Last Tour

It's being reported that pop legend Glen Campbell is recording a new album and also planning to tour one last time before he retires. The album, which will be all new material, is being produced by Julian Raymond who told Billboard that all of the basic tracks have been laid down and the orchestral backgrounds will be recorded next week.

Raymond said "It's not your mother's Glen Campbell. He's playing guitar better than ever, singing and writing better than ever. It's really going to be a great final statement from him."

Guests on the album is Jakob Dylan, Chris Isaak, Paul Westerberg (who wrote the title track, Ghost on the Canvas), Bob Pollard, the Dandy Warhols, Steve Hunter, Wendy Melvoin (Prince) and drummer John Freese.

A release date for Ghost on the Canvas will be announced once a label deal is confirmed.


Crystal Castles Return With Ultra Limited, 12" Vinyl Only Single Next month...

Crystal Castles are set to return next month with an ultra limited edition single. 'Doe Deer' will be released on April 17th via Fiction Records / Lies Records on exclusive 12” vinyl only which will be limited to 500 copies around the globe. Billed as a “typically abrasive and sonically arresting” track, there will be no CD or download release of 'Doe Deer'.

The Canadian electronica duo's second album is expected to follow in June. The group will also play a live show at London's Heaven on April 20 as part of a string of low key worldwide dates. All tickets are completely sold-out.

The 'Doe Deer' track-listing is as follows:

A1 - 'Doe Deer'
A2 - 'Mother Knows Best' (2004 guitar version)
B1 - 'Insectica' (2004 guitar version)
B2 - 'Seed' (2004 guitar version)


Green Day Go 'Back To Basics' For New Album

Green Day have begun working on their new album, one which singer Billie Joe Armstrong has described as “back to basics." The band recorded demos for the follow-up to 2009's '21st Century breakdown' during their recent world tour.

In an interview with MTV, Armstrong said it was “too early” to know whether the new album would follow their punk past.

"It's just been songwriting right now,” he said. “Instead of doing it later on, we decided to start doing stuff now. “It's all back to the basics again. Just getting in a room together and start jamming.” Cool....


R.E.M. 30th Anniversary

Athens, Georgia will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of R.E.M.'s first performance as a band this coming weekend. Included will be bus tours visiting important sites in Athens' Music History, a three day retrospective of R.E.M. concert films and rarities and a tribute concert. Although R.E.M. announced the weekend on their website, there in no mention of them making an appearance. I would think that they will, just a hunch....