Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I just noticed something odd in the Captain & Tennille's “Love Will Keep Us Together” that I never noticed in over 30 years of hearing the song.

Near the end, as the music begins fading, Toni Tennille kind of half-sings and half-speaks something that sounds to me like “my daddy is bad,” or my daddy is back.”

She seems to be off-mike, which, coupled with the relative volume of the music, makes it difficult to decipher.

What is she saying? Could this just be an inside joke between Toni and the Captain?
—Darcy Garza, Hampton Roads, Va.

DEAR DARCY: It could be, but it isn't.

Toni's mysterious line, in the coda about 15 seconds before the audio ends, is an acknowledgment to the writer of “Love Will Keep Us Together,” the legendary Neil Sedaka.

After 11 years without a Top 40 hit, Neil stormed back in late 1974 and '75 with the No. 1 hits, “Laughter in the Rain” and “Bad Blood,” along with writing “Love Will Keep Us Together,” also a No. 1.

That is why, near the end of the track, Toni proudly declares “Sedaka is back!”

Coincidentally, Neil is set to make yet another return. Read on:

DEAR JERRY: Years ago, you wrote about what a surprise it was that Neil Sedaka's “Same Old Fool,” a traditional country song, came out in 1960 right in the midst of all those huge teener hits: “Oh Carol”; “Calendar Girl”; “Little Devil”; “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen,” “Stairway to Heaven;” etc.

When I finally found this single, oddly enough on the flip side of “Calendar Girl,” I couldn't believe how very country it is, complete with Nashville twang and a steel guitar.

Is there another hit song that surprised you more, in terms of being something you would never imagine being recording by that particular artist? For me, “The Same Old Fool” is the biggest shocker?
—Ronnie Whitcomb, Dallas, Texas

DEAR RONNIE: Only because I have yet to hear a Led Zeppelin remake of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” my most memorable surprise in this category came when I first heard the Mills Brothers cover record of “Get a Job” (Dot 15695).

Issued in mid-January 1958, with the Silhouettes' waxing already in the Top 10 and headed for No. 1, the Mills Brothers stood no chance of overtaking the original.

This unanticipated song choice, their first release for Dot after 26 years with Brunswick and Decca, still managed to spend a couple of weeks in the Top 25 tunes, according to disc jockeys.

For those who haven't heard the short-lived doo-wop side of the Mills Brothers — likely about 99% of readers — their version is nearly identical to the Silhouettes, right down to all the yip-yip-yips and mum-mum-mums.

IZ ZAT SO? From “Tiger Rag” (1931) to “The Jimtown Road” (1969) the Mills Brothers chalked up over 70 hit records — an impressive output made even more so by the 38-year span covered, the most ever by any Pre-Rock Era vocal group. No other groups are even close.

One novelty part of their act was surprising listeners who thought the boys were accompanied by a guitar, trumpet, saxophone, and string bass. Those folks would later discover the only real instrument to be a single acoustic guitar, with all those other sounds convincingly produced vocally by the brothers.

Not many singers were so well-equipped to subsist during a musician's strike.

For the non believers, each of the Mills Brothers 78s on Brunswick prominently displayed this statement on the label: “No musical instruments or mechanical devices used on this recording other than one guitar.”

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

This Date In Music History-April 7


Ravi Shankar (1920)

Charlie Thomas - Drifters (1937)

Alan Buck - Four Pennies (1943)

Mick Abrahams - Blodwyn Pig, Jethro Tull (1943)

Bill Kreutzmann - Grateful Dead (1946)

Patricia Bennett - Chiffons (1947)

Florian Schneider- Esleben - Kraftwerk (1947)

Carol Douglas - Chantels (1948)

John Oates - Hall and Oates (1949)

Janis Ian (1951)

Mark Kibble - Take 6 (1964)

Victoria Adams Beckham - Spice Girls (1975)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1915, Billie Holiday, (Elinore Harris), the greatest female jazz singer of all time. Made over 100 records, worked with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, numerous arrests for drugs possession. Died on 17th July 1959 from liver failure, aged 44.

The late Percy Faith ("Theme From A Summer Place") was born in 1908. He died on February 9, 1976

In 1981, producer and manager, Kit Lambert died of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs at his mother's home in London, England. Lambert managed The Who from 1964-1967 and produced the 'Tommy' album. Also produced Arthur Brown's 1968 hit 'Fire'.

Plasmatics’ lead singer and guiding force, Wendy O. Williams, commited suicide in 1998.

In 2000, Heinz, bass player and singer with The Tornadoes died (age 57). The group had the Joe Meek produced 1962 UK & US #1 single "Telstar," making them the first UK group to score a US #1 single. Heinz had the 1963 solo hit "Just Like Eddie," a tribute to Eddie Cochran, (which featured future Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore).

Born today in 1938, Spencer Dryden, drums, Jefferson Airplane. Died of cancer on January 10, 2005.

Born today in 1952, Bruce Gary, The Knack. Was best known as the drummer for the music group The Knack. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards as a stage performer, producer, and recording artist. He died on August 22, 2006 at the age of 55 at the Tarzana Regional Medical Center in Tarzana, California of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.)


The musical "South Pacific" by Rogers and Hammerstein debuted on Broadway in 1949.

In 1956, The CBS Radio Network premiered the first regularly scheduled national broadcast rock & roll show, Alan Freed's 'Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party.'

Little Richard’s classic “Long Tall Sally” was released in 1956.

In 1958, the Alan Freed’s Big Beat Show played two shows at the Memorial Hall in Canton, Ohio, featuring, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon, The Diamonds, Billy Ford, Danny & The Juniors, The Chantels, Larry Williams, Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Pastels and Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

Marty Robbins recorded "El Paso" in 1959.

Shelley Fabares started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1962 with "Johnny Angel."

While at Ealing Jazz Club in 1962, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met Brian Jones for the first time. Jones was calling himself Elmo Lewis and was playing guitar with Paul Jones.

The Beatles played at the Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool in 1962, without George Harrison who was ill. This was the group’s last performance before leaving for their third extended engagement in Hamburg, West Germany.

Working at Abbey Road studio’s in London in 1966, the Beatles recorded overdubs on the new John Lennon song "Tomorrow Never Knows" and the new Paul McCartney song "Got to Get You Into My Life" for the forthcoming 'Revolver' album.

This week's US Top 5 singles chart in 1970; #5, "Bridge Over Trouble Water" by Simon and Garfunkel, #4, "Spirit In The Sky," Norman Greenbaum, #3, "Instant Karma" by John Lennon, #2, "ABC" The Jackson Five and at #1, "Let It Be," The Beatles.

"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" from "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1970.

Vicki Lawrence started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1973 with "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia."

Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore quit Deep Purple in 1975 to form his own band Rainbow. Tommy Bolin replaced Blackmore.

Aerosmith, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, The Boomtown Rats and Ted Nugent all appeared at the California Music Festival in 1979.

The Doobie Brothers went to #1 on the US album chart in 1979 with 'Minute By Minute', the group's only US chart topper.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off their first full-scale tour in Hamburg, Germany in 1981. This was Springsteen's first tour outside North America, which would take in 10 countries.

In 1984, a record 40 British acts appeared on the US top 100 singles chart.

In 1985, Wham! became the first western pop group to perform live in China, when they played at the workers gymnasium in Beijing.

During a European tour in 1988, Alice Cooper accidentally hung himself in a rehearsal when a safety rope snapped; he dangled for several seconds before a roadie saved him.

Farm Aid IV in Indianapolis in 1990 had Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Don Henley, Guns N’ Roses, John Mellencamp and the ever crusty Willie Nelson. There's even a surprise performance by Elton John.

Bonnie Raitt started a three-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1990 with 'Nick Of Time.'

Taylor Dayne went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1990 with the Diane Warren song "Love Will Lead You Back."

In 1994, Courtney Love was arrested on drugs and theft charges after a reported overdose. At this time, Love was unaware that her husband Kurt Cobain was dead at their home, (his body wasn’t discovered until April 8, by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system at their house).

In 1997, an Amsterdam university began offering a course entitled "Madonna 101."

Panic At The Disco were at #1 on the Australian album chartin 2008 with their second album ‘Pretty Odd.’

Neil Young's “Fork In The Road” was released in 2009.

Green Day perform their "21st Century Breakdown" album in its entirety at a 500-capacity club in San Francisco in 2009. The trio is augmented by two extra guitarists and a keyboardist at the surprise show.