Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: To this day, when pop music documentaries recap the 1940s, '50s and '60s, they invariably devote a segment to the payola scandals. Alan Freed is often the payola poster boy, though Dick Clark and other big names are sometimes mentioned.

Regardless of those under discussion, it always is about dee jays being paid to play records on the air. Stan Freberg even spoofed the practice in his 1960 hit, “The Old Payola Roll Blues.”

But wasn't there a slight variation of payola, where, instead of money, dee jays got the artists to give personal performances for little or no pay?
Genevieve Espinosa, Beaumont, Texas

DEAR GENEVIEVE: This certainly is an overlooked slice of Rock and Roll history, one even I had forgotten about.

However, during the course of an interview I once published, Bobby Vinton shared his opinions and reflections on these forms of payola:

“It was just a way of life at the time. In fact, life itself is a form of payola — you do something for me and I'll do something for you. That's certainly how the politicians and lobbyists work.

“Basically, there's no harm to it but the record industry had to take the brunt of the criticism. Still, no one ever forced anyone to buy a record they didn't want to own.

“I used to come to a city to do a record hop, put on by a local dee jay. The disc jockey would ask me to sing at the record hop in exchange for him playing my current record, especially in the week leading up to the hop.

“The dee jay was there to make money, from the kids (his listeners) who bought tickets to attend, which they did because I was there live performing my record, which was being played on the dee jay's radio show.

“I was happy; the record company was happy; the dee jay was happy; and the kids were happy. Everybody wins. What's wrong with that?

“It was better in those days, when all of this was out in the open.”

Good ol' quid pro quo: something for something.

DEAR JERRY: Just read your column about Chubby Checker having so many different hits with “Twist” titles. He definitely made a career out of hit songs based on teen dances.

Besides “The Twist,” I recall the pony, the fly, and the limbo, but I'm pretty sure he didn't stop there. Can you name them all?
—Zoni Hamilton, York, Pa.

DEAR ZONI: Of course, and it may surprise you to know Chubby (who never was) has danced his way right into the 21st century, as you shall see from this chronological dance-a-thon:

“The Twist” (1960 & '61); “The Hucklebuck” (1960); “Pony Time” (1960); “(Dance the) Mess Around” (1961); “Let's Twist Again” (1961); “The Fly” (1961); “Twistin' U.S.A.” (1961); “Teach Me to Twist” (1962) (with Bobby Rydell); “Slow Twistin' (1962) (with Dee Dee Sharp); “La Paloma Twist” (1962); “Limbo Rock” (1962); “Popeye the Hitchhiker” (1962); “Let's Limbo Some More” (1963); “Birdland” (1963); “Twist It Up” (1963); “She Wants T' Swim” (1964); “Let's Do the Freddie” (1965); “Hey You! Little Boo-ga-loo” (1966); “The Twist (Yo, Twist!)” (1988) (with Fat Boys); “Doin' the Zombie” (2008); and “The Texas Twist”(2009) (with Texas Radio).

If we were compiling a concept album of Chubby's dance songs (umm, not a bad idea), to these 21 we would add two “bonus tracks,” both about dancing in general: “Dancin' Party” (1962) and “At the Discotheque” (1965).

All of these are single releases. Checker's albums include numerous other dance tunes.

Remarkably, over half of his 38 chart hits have a dance theme and title.

IZ ZAT SO? Though Chubby Checker is the best known artist with the same hit twice — “The Twist” in 1960 and '61 — with the exact same recording, he was not the first.

Two years before “The Twist,” Johnny Tillotson hit the charts in 1958 with “Dreamy Eyes,” then scored again in 1961 with the exact same recording. This tune is not the same song popularized by the Four Preps, Youngsters, Viceroys, and others.

Fortuitously for Chubby, his career skyrocketed on the wings of a cover version. His “The Twist” charted just two weeks after Hank Ballard's original recording, and it soon became THE version.

Things didn't work out too badly for Ballard, though. Since he wrote “The Twist” he collected kagillions in royalties.

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

Toby Keith Releases Cover Art For ‘Bullets In The Gun’23

Toby Keith’s fifteenth full-length studio album called 'Bullets In The Gun' will also be available as a Deluxe Edition upon its October 5 release, even adding four live tracks to the standard album.

Recorded during his “Incognito Bandito” show at The Fillmore in Manhattan, the four songs feature Keith on lead vocals backed by an A-list band of session players assembled exclusively for the rare club performance. Johnny Paycheck’s “11 Months And 29 Days,” Waylon Jennings’ “I’ve Been A Long Time Leaving (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone),” Roger Miller’s “Chug-A-Lug” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” are the additions.

Those recordings bring the Deluxe Edition’s track list to 14. Keith produced the album, joined by Mills Logan and Kenny Greenberg for the live session. He also wrote or co-wrote all 10 new songs, six with Bobby Pinson, one with Scotty Emerick and Dean Dillon and the title track with Rivers Rutherford. Toby also wrote two songs by himself, including the lead single “Trailerhood,” which is shooting quickly to the top of the charts.

Track Listing:
1. Bullets In The Gun
2. Somewhere Else
3. Trailerhood
4. In A Couple Of Days
5. Think About You All Of The Time
6. Kissin’ In The Rain
7. Drive It On Home
8. Ain’t Breakin’ Nothin’
9. Is That All You Got
10. Get Out Of My Car

Deluxe Edition tracks:
11. 11 Months And 29 Days
12. I’ve Been A Long Time Leaving (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone)
13. Chug-A-Lug
14. Sundown


INTERMENT's 'Into The Crypts Of Blasphemy' Released On Vinyl With Bonus Track

Cyclone Empire Records has released "Into The Crypts Of Blasphemy", which is the debut album from reactivated Swedish old-school death metallers INTERMENT, on limited-edition 180-gram vinyl (limited to 500 copies), featuring a lyric sheet and a cover version of the CARNAGE song "Torn Apart" as a bonus track.

"Into The Crypts Of Blasphemy" will be released in North American on August 31 via Pulverised Records. The CD, which came out in Europe on August 2, was recorded at Erebos Studios with Peter Bjärgo (TYRANT, CRYPT OF KERBEROS). The cover artwork was created by Polish artist Rafal Kruszyk.


KYLESA: New Album Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

KYLESA, the psych-rock Georgians, have revealed the cover art (illustrated by Santos) and track listing for their fifth album, "Spiral Shadow". The band, who recently wrapped up a European tour with CONVERGE, recorded the CD earlier this summer at the Jam Room in Columbia, South Carolina with band member and renowned producer Phillip Cope (BARONESS, WITHERED) once again at the helm.

Due on October 26 via Season Of Mist, "Spiral Shadow" will be made available as a regular CD as well as a limited edition digipak with 3D cover art packaged with a bonus DVD.

"Spiral Shadow" track listing:

01. Tired Climb
02. Cheating Synergy
03. Drop Out
04. Crowded Road
05. Don’t Look Back
06. Distance Closing In
07. To Forget
08. Forsaken
09. Spiral Shadow
10. Back And Forth
11. Dust

KYLESA's 2009 album, "Static Tensions", was one of the most critically acclaimed metal LPs of last year.


CANDLEMASS's 'Nightfall' Gold-Colored Vinyl Reissue To Include New Liner Notes

"Nightfall", the classic 1987 album from Swedish doom legends CANDLEMASS, will be reissued by Peaceville Records on September 20. This special vinyl edition of "Nightfall" features new liner notes from bassist/songwriter Leif Edling. It is limited to just 2,000 numbered copies and comes presented on heavyweight (180-gram) gold-colored vinyl with gatefold sleeve. "Nightfall" is often regarded as the definitive CANDLEMASS album, and the pinnacle of the epic doom scene.


Vanna Post New Song, Artwork from Upcoming Album

Boston post-hardcore/screamo act Vanna have released the cover art from their upcoming EP “The Honest Hearts”. The album is due out October 12th on Artery Recordings and follows their 2009 album A New Hope that was released through Epitaph Records. The artwork can be seen below.

The band is also streaming a new song off the album titled “Passerby” on their MySpace page.

Bob Dylan's The Witmark Demos Set for October 19 Release Along With First Re-Release of the Original Mono Recordings

Forty-Seven Original Demos Recorded For Dylan's Early Music Publishers Highlight First New Volume In Famed Bootleg Series Since 2008

Artist's First Eight Groundbreaking Albums Available In Limited Edition Box Set of Newly Mastered Mono Versions

Available For First Time On Compact Disc and 180-Gram Vinyl

NEW YORK, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Records will release Bob Dylan's The Bootleg Series Volume 9 – The Witmark Demos on Tuesday, October 19th, in conjunction with Columbia/Legacy's release of the artist's first eight long-playing albums in a box set titled Bob Dylan – The Original Mono Recordings. Both sets have been long sought-after by collectors and fans worldwide, with The Witmark Demos seeing their first commercial release nearly five decades after they were first recorded, and The Original Mono Recordings returning to the marketplace for the first time ever on Compact Disc, as well as on fully analogue 180-gram vinyl. Both The Bootleg Series Volume 9 - The Witmark Demos and Bob Dylan - The Original Mono Recordings are available for pre-order now at and

The Witmark Demos features 47 Bob Dylan songs recorded by the artist – accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, harmonica and occasionally piano – for his first music publisher, Leeds Music, in January 1962, and for his second publisher, M. Witmark & Sons, between 1962 and 1964. Listening to these recordings, one can trace Dylan's dramatic growth as a songwriter from early traditionally-styled songs like "Man On The Street" and "Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie" through the social commentary of "Blowin' In The Wind, "The Times They Are A Changin'" and "Masters Of War", and the groundbreaking lyrical genius of "Mr. Tambourine Man." All of these songs, and all the others on The Witmark Demos, were written – and their subsequent demos recorded – before Bob Dylan turned 24 years old.

Among the many gems found on The Witmark Demos are 15 Bob Dylan songs that were recorded by the artist only for these sessions, and which have never been officially released to the public until now. These include the plaintive "Ballad For A Friend," the civil rights era-inspired "Long Ago, Far Away" and "The Death Of Emmett Till," and the poignant "Guess I'm Doing Fine."

While many of these early songs on The Witmark Demos found their way onto Bob Dylan's own albums, much of the world's first exposure to them was through their recordings by others, including Peter, Paul and Mary and Stevie Wonder ("Blowin' In The Wind"), Judy Collins ("Tomorrow Is A Long Time") and The Byrds ("Mr Tambourine Man"). It's a testament to the lasting cultural impact of these songs that they have been covered by more than a thousand artists in the nearly fifty years since these demos were created.

The Witmark Demos also features a deluxe booklet featuring in-depth liner notes by noted music historian Colin Escott, as well as rare photographs of Bob Dylan captured during the same period as these early recordings.

The Original Mono Recordings is comprised of Bob Dylan's first eight long-playing albums, painstakingly reproduced from their first generation monaural mixes as the artist intended them to be heard: One channel of powerful sound, both direct and immediate. While stereo recordings had been available as early as the mid-1950s, mono was still the predominant – and often preferred – mode of recording and mixing by the top artists of the 1960s. As a result, artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan devoted their attention to the mono mixes, leaving the stereo mixing process to studio engineers.

The Original Mono Recordings are accompanied by a deluxe booklet, featuring vintage photographs of Bob Dylan and an expansive essay from renowned author and critic – and longtime Dylan aficionado – Greil Marcus. Each disc in the set comes in its own individual jacket which faithfully replicates the original album artwork, complete with labels and stickers that were found on the original 1960s releases.

These eight albums – spanning the artist's self-titled debut in March 1962, through John Wesley Harding released on December 27, 1967 – are universally regarded as some of the most important works in the history of recorded music. Together with The Witmark Demos, they provide the public with a wide-ranging view of Bob Dylan's work during the 1960s, and chronicle his amazing evolution from fledgling songwriter to one of the world's most inventive and singular recording artists.

The complete track listing of The Bootleg Series Volume 9 – The Witmark Demos is as follows:

Disc 1:

1.Man On The Street (Fragment)
2.Hard Times In New York Town
3.Poor Boy Blues
4.Ballad For A Friend
5.Rambling, Gambling Willie
6.Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues
7.Standing On The Highway
8.Man On The Street
9.Blowin' In The Wind
10.Long Ago, Far Away
11.A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
12.Tomorrow Is A Long Time
13.The Death of Emmett Till
14.Let Me Die In My Footsteps
15.Ballad Of Hollis Brown
16.Quit Your Low Down Ways
17.Baby, I'm In The Mood For You
18.Bound To Lose, Bound To Win
19.All Over You
20.I'd Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day
21.Long Time Gone
22.Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues
23.Masters Of War
24.Oxford Town

Disc 2

1.Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
2.Walkin' Down The Line
3.I Shall Be Free
4.Bob Dylan's Blues
5.Bob Dylan's Dream
6.Boots Of Spanish Leather
7.Walls of Red Wing
8.Girl From The North Country
9.Seven Curses
10.Hero Blues
11.Whatcha Gonna Do?
12.Gypsy Lou
13.Ain't Gonna Grieve
14.John Brown
15.Only A Hobo
16.When The Ship Comes In
17.The Times They Are A-Changin'
18.Paths Of Victory
19.Guess I'm Doing Fine
20.Baby Let Me Follow You Down
21.Mama, You Been On My Mind
22.Mr. Tambourine Man
23.I'll Keep It With Mine

The eight albums in The Complete Mono Recordings are as follows:

•Bob Dylan – 1962
•The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan – 1963
•The Times They Are A-Changin' – 1964
•Another Side Of Bob Dylan – 1964
•Bringing It All Back Home – 1965
•Highway 61 Revisited – 1965
•Blonde on Blonde – 1966
•John Wesley Harding – 1967

SOURCE Columbia/Legacy Recordings

Look for some exciting news on the CVR blog very soon about an upcoming Bob Dylan contest!

This Date In Music History - August 25


Wayne Shorter - saxophonist, Miles Davis, Weather Report (1933)

Walter Williams - O'Jays (1942)

Henry Paul - Blackhawk (1949)

Gene Simmons - Kiss (1949)

Rob Halford - Judas Priest (1951)

Elvis Costello (Declan McManus) (1955)

Billy Ray Cyrus (1961)

Vivian Campbell - Dio, Whitesnake, Def Leppard (1962)

Candida Doyle - Pulp (1963)

Norman Rogers - Public Enemy (1966)

Luke Scott - Babybird (1969)

Jo Dee Messina (1969)

Amy MacDonald - Scottish singer/songwriter (1987)

They Are Missed:

Hip hop star Scott la Rock was shot dead in New York in 1987, the latest victim in the Brooklyn, Bronx street war.

Born today in 1918, composer, pianist, conductor, Leonard Bernstein. Composed music for 1957 'West Side Story', 'On The Waterfront', conducted the New York Philharmonic at age 25. Died on October 14, 1990.

Bass player Doug Stegmeyer shot himself dead in 1995. He'd worked with many artists including Billy Joel Hall and Oates and The Carpenters.

In 1995, Dwayne Goettel (Skinny Puppy) was found dead of an apparent heroine overdose at the home of his parents in Canada.

Robert Fisher from New Romantic duo Naked Eyes and Climie Fisher died of cancer in 1999 (age 39). Wrote songs for Rod Stewart, Milli Vanilli, Fleetwood Mac and Jermaine Jackson. Fisher also worked as a producer, working with various acts including Eric Clapton.

Academy Award-winning film score composer and record producer Jack Nitzsche died of a heart attack in 2000. Produced The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield and The Walker Brothers. Musical scores including The Exorcist, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, co-wrote ‘Up Where We Belong with Buffy Sainte-Marie' from 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman.

In 2001, American singer, actress Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas (age 22). The small Cessna plane crashed a few minutes after take off killing everyone on board with exception to four passengers who were pulled from the wreckage but later died. Aaliyah had been filming a video for her latest release ‘Rock The Boat’ on the island.

Born on this day in 1950, Willy DeVille of Mink DeVille. Died of pancreatic cancer on 7th Aug 2009.


Canadian singer, songwriter Paul Anka was at #1 on the UK singles chart in 1957 with "Diana" (written about his brother's baby-sitter). His only UK #1 as an artist, Anka was the first teenage solo act to reach that plateau.

Staten Island, New York doo wop group The Elegants went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1958 with their re-worked version of the Mozart lullaby, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" re-titled "Little Star". The Elegants would be around in one form or another until the 1980s, but never had another hit record.

Little Eva went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1962 with "The Loco-motion." The Carole King and Gerry Goffin song was offered to Dee Dee Sharp ("Mashed Potatoes"), who turned it down. The writers had their babysitter record it who took it to #1.

In 1965, two female Beatles fans hired a helicopter to fly over the house the Beatles were renting in Beverly Hills, California and jumped from the helicopter into the swimming pool. Cool....

Bobbie Gentry started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1967 with "Ode To Billy Joe."

Brian Wilson returned to performing live with The Beach Boys in Honolulu in 1967 after a 2 year hiatus. The group had just released ‘Heroes and Villains’ in the US.

The Beatles traveled to Bangor, Wales in 1967, to attend the Spiritual Regeneration League conference and to study meditation with Marharishi Mahesh Yogi. So begins the group’s relatively brief flirtation with Eastern mysticism.

Steppenwolf’s landmark single “Born To Be Wild” peaked at #2 on the U.S. pop chart in 1968 (behind the Rascals “People Gotta Be Free”). The song was written by Mars Bonfire (aka Dennis Edmonton, the brother of Steppenwolf drummer Jerry Edmonton).

In 1970, a party was held to celebrate the official opening of 'Electric Ladyland' studios in New York City, New York. Artists who went on to record at the studio include: Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, AC/DC, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa and Guns N' Roses.

Elton John made his US live debut in 1970 when he kicked off a 17-date tour. He opened for David Ackles at "The Troubadour" in Los Angeles, CA. In the audience that night were Don Henley, Quincy Jones and Leon Russell. Elton’s latest single "Border Song" had just debuted at number 92 on the US chart.

Also in 1970, Emerson Lake and Palmer made their live debut at The Guildhall, Plymouth, England.

One hit wonders, Stories started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1973 with "Brother Louie."

The Allman Brothers' "Ramblin' Man" was released in 1973.

Bobby Darin performed his final concert, at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1973. He died at the age of 37 on December 20, 1973 following open-heart surgery.

Bruce Springsteen's album "Born to Run" was released in 1975.

Boston released its self-titled debut album in 1976. It becomes one of the all-time best selling albums

Gary Numan released "Cars" in 1979.

The Knack started a five week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1979 with "My Sharona," the group's only US chart topper. Lead singer Doug Fieger said he was inspired to write the tune by Sharrona Alperin, a 17 year old senior at Los Angeles' Fairfax High.

R.E.M. appeared at The Scorpio, Charlotte, North Carolina in 1981. This show was billed as "Charlotte's First Gay New Wave Disco and Costume Party", with the $3 tickets benefitting various gay-lesbian charities.

The Time's second album "What Time Is It?" was released in 1982.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed a contract with Columbia Records in 1983. The deal provides the Rolling Stones $28 million for four albums.

Paul Simon's "Graceland" was released in 1986.

In 1993, Snoop Doggy Dogg was released on $1 million bail after being accused of being involved with the murder of a member of the By Yerself gang during a shooting in Los Angeles. He was acquitted of the charges in 1996.

In 1994, Jimmy Page and Robert plant recorded their MTV unplugged set at London's television centre. The show was called "Unledded."

Jimmy Buffett crashed his Grumman G-44 Widgeon seaplane on take-off in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1994. Buffett swam away from the wreckage.

A deranged man who had escaped from a mental institution near Helsinki Finland in 1997 was arrested. The man had planned to set fire to the stage that Michael Jackson was performing from was arrested before he was able to light the gasoline he had put on the stage.

Dolly Parton released the album "Hungry Again" in 1998.

During Metallibash 2001 in San Francisco, Metallica cover band Creeping Death is joined onstage (for a half-dozen songs) by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett.

In 2004, Alice Cooper, criticized the near countless number of Rock musicians supporting Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry. Cooper, a Republican, tells Canadian Press that fans shouldn`t get their political views from musicians. "Why are we Rock stars? Because we`re morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night."

In 2005, the war of words continues between Sharon Osbourne and Iron Maiden following the group's final Ozzfest appearance five days earlier. In the latest missive, Sharon Osbourne admits that she cut Iron Maiden's sound during the band's set, maintaining it was in retaliation for on stage remarks singer Bruce Dickinson made criticizing her husband, Ozzy. The ever charming Dickinson says he doesn't hold a grudge against Ozzy or Black Sabbath over the incident.

Also in 2005, two former members of Guns N' Roses were suing singer Axl Rose for allegedly naming himself sole administrator of the US rock band's copyrights. Slash and Duff - otherwise known as Saul Hudson and Michael McKagan, accused Rose of "arrogance and ego". The legal action claimed the singer "was no longer willing to acknowledge the contributions of his former partners".

In 2007, Arthur Brown accidently set himself on fire while singing his big hit, Ironically called "Fire." Oops....

"Halloween II" soundtrack was released in 2009. The Moody Blues' "Nights In White Satin," Rod Stewart's "(I Know) I'm Losing You" and Foghat's "I Just Want To Make Love to You," are on the soundtrack. The film, in theaters three days later, was written and directed by Rob Zombie.