Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In the 1950s and early '60s, Jo Ann Campbell was quite popular, especially in the northeast.

I recall both Alan Freed and Dick Clark being quite fond of Jo Ann, and they promoted her often on their shows, sometimes referring to her as the “Blonde Bombshell.” As the nickname suggests, Jo Ann was gorgeous as well as talented.

With numerous traditional recordings to her credit (“Wait a Minute”; “Kookie Little Paradise”; “Motorcycle Michael”; etc.), it's odd that her biggest hit turned out to be a corny answer song: “I'm the Girl from Wolverton Mountain.”

In an interview with a New York radio station, back when the record was out, Jo Ann said the song she answered — Claude King's “Wolverton Mountain” — was based on a true story. Between then and now, however, I have never heard another word about such a story. Have you?

Didn't Campbell also have a part in one of those teenage movies?
—Len Cameron, Chicago

DEAR LEN: Jo Ann has only one solo hit not on your list: “Mother, Please!,” the follow-up to “I'm the Girl from Wolverton Mountain.”

In 1964, she and her husband, Troy Seals (as Jo Ann & Troy) made the charts with “I Found a Love Oh What a Love.”

Campbell appeared in two teen-themed films: “Go, Johnny, Go” (1959) and “Hey, Let's Twist” (1962).

The original “Wolverton Mountain” and “I'm the Girl from Wolverton Mountain,” shown on some labels as “(I'm the Girl on) Wolverton Mountain,” are both written by the team of Merle Kilgore and Claude King.

In the early '70s, I worked some shows with Merle Kilgore, then touring with the Duke of Paducah, and one of our backstage discussions touched on “Wolverton Mountain.”

Kilgore confirmed what you heard Jo Ann Campbell say about 10 years earlier. The story is based on facts, even if the key one is intentionally misspelled.

Though the mountain's true name is Woolverton, Merle and Claude titled their tune “Wolverton Mountain,” though we don't know why.

As for being historically accurate, much of the song is, with one certain exception — the wildlife alliance of bears and birds giving Clifton Clowers a heads-up whenever a stranger approaches.

For a closer look at the real Woolverton Mountain, here is a report from our famed Ozarks historian, John Lorenz:

“The most exciting part about this is that Woolverton Mountain is very close to where I live, only a couple of towns away. So we just had to see if this place was real and maybe find the grave of Clifton Clowers himself.

“I learned there really was a Clifton Clowers there, and he and his wife Esther had not one but two pretty young daughters to protect: Virginia and Burlene.

“Woolverton is a long, narrow mountain in the Ozarks. It starts just north of Center Ridge, where Arkansas State Highways 9 and 92 meet. The mountain stretches north six or seven miles, just past the tiny community of Austin.

“To get to Woolverton Mountain from Hwy 9, go to Austin, then travel west on Austin Road, an unpaved road that goes right to the top of Woolverton Mountain.

“About 1.5 miles up, on the left, is a blue sign reading “Woolverton Mtn Rd, Conway County.” Just past that is a white building identified as a “Milk Barn.” Next to the barn is an unmarked gravel road that, after about 300 feet, leads right to the Woolverton Mountain Cemetery.

“Stroll around and you'll soon spot the dual headstone and grave sites of Clifton, who nearly lived to 103 (October 30, 1891 - August 15, 1994), and Esther (August 4, 1897 - March 3, 1986).

“Visitors will also notice many graves for folks named Woolverton, which is surely the name of the family who first settled there.”

IZ ZAT SO? Claude King's “Wolverton Mountain,” a No. 1 C&W hit, went on to become the biggest Country crossover hit of 1962, as determined by their combined C&W and Pop success.

Using the same criteria, here are top crossovers for each of that decade's other nine years:
1960: “El Paso” (Marty Robbins)
1961: “Walk on By” (Leroy Van d**e)
1963: “Still” (Bill Anderson)
1964: “Dang Me” (Roger Miller)
1965: “King of the Road” (Roger Miller)
1966: “Almost Persuaded” (David Houston)
1967: “All the Time” (Jack Greene)
1968: “Harper Valley P.T.A.” (Jeannie C. Riley)
1969: “A Boy Named Sue” (Johnny Cash)

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

Top Selling Vinyl Records Sales at eBay - July 2010

Here is the month in review of the top selling ebay vinyl record sales, on a weekly basis, for July of 2010. First and foremost, a special thank you to Norm and Jane at  and Vinyl Record Talk for putting together this interesting data.

The honor of our top seller for the month of July 2010 goes to, what seems like a monthly trend lately, a Beatles 45 rpm record "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You" (Parlophone UK Promo) which came in at a little under 10 grand ($9,788.13). The Fab Four keep it going, attaining the next spot with a rare sealed LP 'The Beatles vs The Four Seasons' ("self titled" Vee Jay Sealed) which sold for $5,858.99. Next up is a 78 rpm by Robert Johnson "Come On In My Kitchen"/"They're Red Hot" (Vocalion 03563) selling for an even $5,000.00

'The Beatles' make the list again with the LP "Please Please Me"( Parlophone UK Gold Black label 1st Stereo) which went for a shade under five thousand ($4,929.28). Another 78 rpm record made the list with a cut by Willie Harris "Never Drive With A Stranger"/"Lonesome Midnight Dream" (Brunswick 7149) which heard the hammer at a shade over forty-four hundred ($4,449.99).

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 07/3/2010

Two garage 45's make the list this week, making all the more conspicuous the lack of Northern Soul 45's showing up on the list for many weeks.

1. 45 - Piece Kor "All I Want Is My Baby Back" / "Words Of The Raven" Laray - $3,785.00

2. LP - The Beatles & Frank Ifield "On Stage" VeeJay Portrait Jacket - $3,000.00

3. LP - Brimingham Sunday "A Message From" - $2,850.00

4. LP - The Doors "self titled" Mono Promo - $2,576.28

5. 45 - The Elite U.F.O. "Now Who's Good Enough" / "Tarantula" MAI - $1582.77

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 07/10/2010

78 RPM records are continuing to make a stand on the Top 5. Soul has returned with two entries for this week, one of them on the most sought after label in record collecting, Shrine. This copy of The Cairos record sold for a respectable price, but still below the two previous sales of this record.

1. 78 - Willie Harris "Never Drive With A Stranger" / "Lonesome Midnight Dream" Brunswick 7149 - $4,449.99

2. 78 - Dusty Brooks "Tears And Wine" / "Heaven Or Fire" Sun 182 - $3,056.00

3. 45 - The Cairos "Don't Fight It" / "Stop Overlooking Me" Shrine 111 - $2,283.00

4. 45 - High Powered Spirit Band "Be A Winner" / "I Know You Can" Spirit - 2,247.00

5. LP - Sonny Rollins "Saxophone Colossus" Prestige 7079 - $2,125.00

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 07/19/2010

Northern Soul makes its return to the Top of the list, though at $2k less than the last sale of this Walter Wilson record in December of '09. Still, it shows that a nation can't live on Beans On Toast alone (ok, I have no clue if this record sold to a buyer in the UK, but that's the case 90% of the time a Northern Soul record gets big buck). A genuine copy of the most bootlegged record of all time, The Beatles "Introducing The Beatles" on VeeJay made the list. This one was the "blank back" version.

1. 45 - Walter Wilson "Love Keeps Me Crying" / "Not Now But Later" Wand - $4,155.00

2. 45 - Elvis Presley / Jaye P Morgan EPA-992 EPA-993 EP - $3,500.00

3. LP - Michele Auclair "JS Bach Sonates pour clavier et violon" Les Discophiles Francais - $3,205.00

4. LP - The Beatles "Introducing The Beatles" VeeJay Blank Back - $3,000.00

5. LP - Arthur Grumiaux "Bach 6 Sonaten Un Parttien Fur Violini Alllein" Philips Hi Fi Stereo - $2,856.00

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 07/24/2010

All LPs on this week's Top 5, with The Beatles taking the top two spots. The sought-after private press jazz/funk record from Uncle Funkenstein is the only non-rock record on this week's list.

1. LP - The Beatles vs The Four Seasons "self titled" Vee Jay Sealed - $5,858.99

2. LP - The Beatles "Please Please Me" Parlophone UK Gold Black label 1st Stereo - $4,929.28

3. LP - Led Zeppelin "I" Test Pressing - $4,153.00

4. LP - Uncle Funkenstein "Together Again" - $4,000.00

5. LP - George Harrison "Concert For Bangladesh" Sides 5/6 Acetate - $3,702.00

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 07/31/2010

The Top 5 is a Beatles sandwich with the UK Promo of the Love Me Do 45 at the top of the list and a Butcher Cover at the bottom. A rare punk 45 from Detroit band The Fix makes it to the middle of this week's list.

1. 45 - The Beatles "Love Me Do" / "P.S. I Love You" Parlophone UK Promo - $9,788.13

2. 78 - Robert Johnson "Come On In My Kitchen" / "They're Red Hot" Vocalion 03563 - $5,000.00

3. 45 - The Fix "Vengence" / "In This Town" - $4,250.00

4. 45 - Elvis Presley "That's All Right" / "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" Sun 209 - $4,000.00

5. LP - The Beatles "Yesterday And Today" Second State Butcher Stereo - $3,800.00