Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Is there a simple, non-technical explanation as to why vinyl sounds richer than the same music played on CD or in a digital format?
—Alex Rausch, Grapevine, Tex.

DEAR ALEX: The simplest, non-technical explanation is IT JUST DOES!

Okay, I suspect you want something just a wee bit more technical.

When plastic records are stamped, embedded in the grooves is the full reproduction waveform of the original master recording.

This analog waveform is picked up by a stylus-cartridge, or phonograph needle, then sent to an audio amplifier which drives the speakers.

In the simple analog process, virtually no information (sound) is lost, presumably making the output as rich and warm as the original session itself. From start to finish everything is analog.

Digital recordings provide several advantages over analog, especially when it comes to editing and restoration; however, faithfully reproducing sound is not one of them.

This shortcoming is inherent because the digital sampling rate is predictably unable to keep pace with the rapidly changing inks and oinks, or varying tones, of the recording.

Ultimately, the job of those digital players is to convert the signals to analog anyway, then feed it to an amplifier and speaker system.

The loss is even more understandable for audio originally in analog then converted to digital, only to be returned to analog for playback.

In summary, changing horses midstream is rarely a good idea.

DEAR JERRY: I have read online that the Beatles and Elvis both had No. 1 hits on Cash Box that perhaps only made it to No. 2 on Billboard.

I have the Billboard list, but would like to know their No. 1 songs on Cash Box only. Then the sum of the two would be the grand total.
—Roy McMillan, Lincoln, Neb.

DEAR ROY: Good question, one we have never been asked. Here they are, with Billboard's peak number in parenthesis:

For the Beatles, “Twist and Shout” (BB#2) and “Yellow Submarine” (BB#2), making their total 22.

For Presley, “Return to Sender” (BB#2); “In the Ghetto” (BB#3); and “Burning Love” (BB#2), making his total 21.

And there you have the all-time top two artists in almost every category.

DEAR JERRY: You recent column about answer songs got me thinking about two that I have never been able to find, or even get the details for.

They are the ones that came out in answer to “Big Bad John” (Jimmy Dean) and “Girl on the Billboard” (Del Reeves).

Any assistance will be appreciated.
—Gordon G. Sharp, Greenfield, Wisc.

DEAR GORDON: At the time “Big Bad John” was No. 1 (December 1961), “Small Sad Sam,” by Phil McLean (Versatile 107) made its chart debut. Eventually it would be in the Top 25, which is very good for a response record.

It may seem like splitting hairs, but “Small Sad Sam” is not really an answer song. Obviously inspired by Jimmy Dean's hit, and with similar orchestration, it is a completely different story and in no way answers anything. It is simply a parody.

In 1962, Jimmy himself issued two sequels to “Big Bad John.” In chapter two, “The Cajun Queen” picks up where John and Queenie left off. Chapter three is “Little Bitty Big John,” the first-born son of this happy New Orleans couple with 110 grandchildren.

Both a Pop and Country hit in 1965, “Girl on the Billboard” (United Artists 824) motivated Del Reeves' label mate Joyce Paul to record a real answer song.

A few months later, Joyce's reply, “I'm the Girl on the Billboard” (United Artists 902) came out.

IZ ZAT SO? The girl on the billboard in these songs is the young lady in widespread Coppertone suntan oil ads at the time, seen in the print media as well as on billboards.

Because a playful dog is pulling her shorts, or towel, down, the difference between the tanned and pale portions of her back side are unmistakable.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.  Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368  E-mail:  Visit his Web site:  

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

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats


For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of “the Savory Collection.” Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.

After 70 years that wait has now ended. This year the National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the entire set of nearly 1,000 discs, made at the height of the swing era, and has begun digitizing recordings of inspired performances by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bunny Berigan, Harry James and others that had been thought to be lost forever. Some of these remarkable long-form performances simply could not fit on the standard discs of the time, forcing Mr. Savory to find alternatives. The Savory Collection also contains examples of underappreciated musicians playing at peak creative levels not heard anywhere else, putting them in a new light for music fans and scholars.

Read the rest here:

Legendary Record Store Fat Beats Closes Retail Locations

Yet another legendary music retailer is preparing to shut its doors.

Hip-hop vinyl retailer/distributor Fat Beats announced the closing of its last two retail stores in New York and Los Angeles today, shutting doors on a hip-hop institution that championed independent music and culture for more than 16 years.

Though Fat Beats will continue business as an online retailer and record label, the closing of its retail shops marks the true end of an era. Fat Beats was at once a performance space and sanctuary for hip-hop heads, hosting countless in-store appearances and ciphers.

"The closing of Fat Beats is just like one of my friends passing away," lamented DJ Premier. "They promoted vinyl at its highest degree for the culture of good music and that makes it more difficult to say goodbye." The shop also employed future industry leaders, MC's, DJ's and producers, from DJ Eclipse, DJ Eli, Babu, J.Rocc and Rhettmatic to Ill Bill, Breeze Brewin and Cipha Sounds.

"Anyone that's ever been to Fat Beats knows that it was much more then a record store," longtime manager and underground hip hop king DJ Eclipse told The BoomBox. "Other places claim to host 'where hip-hop lives,' but we really did live, eat and breathe Hip Hop. It was a meeting place for artists, DJs and customers alike. We took pride in promoting and pushing the indie artist that the average person may not have known about. Unfortunately in these times we are suffering from both the state of the music business and the economy. As sad as I am to see the retail portion of the company close I'll always remember the great in-stores we had here and fun times working with the staff."

While Fat Beats owner Joe Abajian claims to be "exploring options for alternate retail locations in the future," and the label will continue to release albums by its artists, including Black Milk, Ill Bill, Tru Master & KRS-One, former Fat Beats A&R Bill Sharp contends that the retail store's closing is indicative of a much larger issue for record sales.

"Record stores -- especially vinyl-driven shops like Fat Beats -- had the power to validate new artists and act as an incubator for new acts to grow into something bigger," Sharp told The BoomBox. "They also acted as community centers where people could meet each other and find out what else is going on within that scene or subculture. Now all of that has migrated to the internet and it's really sad."

"Stores with very storied pasts are closing all over the world, and at an unforgiving pace," Sharp continued. "There used to be over a dozen great shops in London's Soho district, and now there are only a couple. In New York City, even a few years ago, there used to be specialty stores all over the East Village that sold reggae or house or drum&bass or all of the above -- they're all gone."

Visit Fat Beats and support your favorite artists while you still can. Fat Beats NYC closes doors Sept. 4. The Los Angeles location closes on Sept. 18.


This Date In Music Histoyr - August 19


Don Fardon ("Indian Reservation") is 67

Ginger Baker - Cream (1940)

Johnny Nash - 1972 #1 single "I Can See Clearly Now" (1940)

Roger Cook - Blue Mink (1940)

Billy J Kramer (1943)

Ian Gillan - Deep Purple (1945)

Deana (Dina) Martin - Singer, actor, daughter of Dean Martin (1948)

John Deacon - Queen (1951)

Joey Tempest - Europe (1963)

Lee Ann Womack (1966)

Missy Higgins - Australian singer-songwriter (1983)

Lil’ Romeo (1989)

They Are Missed:

Rockabilly singer Dorsey Burnette died from a heart attack at his home in Canoga Park, California in 1979.

Soul singer Betty Everett died in 2001 (age 61). She had the 1964 US #6 single "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss')."

Saxophonist LeRoi Moore, a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band, died in 2008 (age 46). Publicist Ambrosia Healy said he died from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident in June on his Virginia farm.

Wayne Wadhams, lead singer of the Fifth Estate ("Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead") died in 2008.


Pat Boone appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1957.

In 1964, The Beatles kicked off a North American tour at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California, to a crowd of 17,130. Playing 12 songs which made up their repertoire for the entire tour: ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘You Can't Do That’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Things We Said Today’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Can't Buy Me Love’, ‘If I Fell’, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, ‘Boys’, ‘A Hard Day's Night’, and ‘Long Tall Sally’. Supporting acts were The Righteous Brothers, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, and Jackie DeShannon.

The High Numbers, (The Who) played at The Scene in Soho London, England in 1964.

During a US tour in 1966, the Beatles appeared at the Sam Houston Coliseum, playing two shows to over 25,000 fans. Tickets cost $5.00.

The Beatles scored their 14th US #1 single in 1967 with "All You Need Is Love." Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, Marianne Faithfull and Walker Brother Gary Leeds all sang backing vocals on the track.

The final "Monkees" TV show aired on NBC in 1968.

In 1969, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Jefferson Airplane all appeared on the ABC TV Dick Cavett Show from Television Center in New York City.

Led Zeppelin kicked off a North American tour at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada in 1971. The band played to a sold out crowd of over 17,000 fans, another 3,000 fans outside the venue who didn't have tickets started a battle with local police.

Chicago started a nine-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1972 with 'Chicago V'.

In 1972, NBC-TV presented "The Midnight Special" for the first time with John Denver as the first host.

A riot broke out in 1980 after Alice Cooper cancels a Toronto concert due to an asthma attack.

In 1988, "Crazy" by Patsy Cline, and Elvis Presley’s, "Hound Dog" were announced as the most played jukebox songs of the first hundred years. The jukebox had been around since 1906, but earlier models had been first seen in 1889.

In 1996, James Brown appeared in Montauk, New York, as part of his Back at the Ranch tour. Brown who had a history of beating his wife, offered money that was raised at the event to an anti-violence organization called The Retreat, but was turned down.

Fleetwood Mac's reunion album "The Dance" was released in 1997.

In 1999, Lauryn Hill won New Artist Of The Year and Album Of The Year at the US 'Source Hip Hop Music Awards' in Los Angeles. R. Kelly won R&B Artist of The Year; DMX won Artist Of The Year and solo and live performer Of The Year.

In 2003, a man from Nottinghamshire who sent threatening emails to S Club singer Tina Barrett was jailed for six months. 41 year-old Steven Hindley, showered the singer with roses, chocolates and teddy-bears. But when the messages were ignored, he began to mention threats to the band, including a potential sniper attack. One email begged Miss Barrett to visit him at his home, claiming he was the victim of an incurable brain-tumour and had just three weeks to live.

A suitcase thought to contain Beatles memorabilia and recordings discovered at an Australian flea market in 2004 turned out to be a hoax with many of the items mere photocopies or phonies. There are no recordings.

A life-size bronze statue designed by Paul Daly of Phil Lynott was unveiled on Harry Street in Dublin in 2005. The ceremony was attended by his former Thin Lizzy band members Gary Moore, Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham.

In 2006, VH1 Classic broadcasted the final episode of the legendary BBC music program Top Of The Pops with performances by the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. The program includes rare footage of John Lennon, T. Rex, U2, Elton John and Rod Stewart.

In 2007, the surviving founding members of Boston play Come Together, a concert in Beantown paying tribute to late frontman Brad Delp. Extreme and Godsmack (playing mostly acoustic) also perform. The show culminates with an introduction of the past and present Boston members in attendance and a performance of "Don't Look Back."

Elvis Presley went to #1 on the UK album chart in 2007 with 'The King.'

Lady Gaga's album "The Fame" was released in 2008.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum benefit begins in Cary, NC in 2008. Performing during the two-day event are Cream's Jack Bruce, Jefferson Starship, former Styx singer-keyboardist Dennis DeYoung and one-time Traffic guitarist Dave Mason. Concert proceeds also go to the John Entwistle Foundation, a charity named for the late Who bassist.