Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I'm writing about one of the most recent examples of advertisers using oldies but goodies in their radio and television commercials.

This approach has been used countless times, probably to connect with baby boomers by featuring music of the 1950s and '60s. And, except for that French song by Edith Piaf which you identified years ago, I almost always recognize the music.

Now I'm stumped by the song in the current Volkswagen 2010 Jetta TV spots. Sung by a man, the catchy line I can't get out of my head is “another day, another dollar.” I want this record for Christmas. Though I've never heard this number, it can't be completely obscure or they wouldn't be using it.
—Shawn Gillespie, Harrisburg, Pa.

DEAR SHAWN: Another day, another musical mystery to solve.

This clever commercial is unusual in that the song, “Another Day, Another Dollar,” is the only audio heard during the entire spot. The company's message is conveyed by the scenes and graphics in the video.

The singer, and writer of this infectious tune, is the brilliant Wynn Stewart. The single, “Another Day, Another Dollar” backed with “Donna on My Mind” (Challenge 9164), reached the C&W Top 30 in early 1962, so it is only slightly obscure.

Besides the original 45 rpm, “Another Day, Another Dollar” can be found on the 18-track CD, “The Very Best of Wynn Stewart: 1958-1962” (Varese Sarabande 3020662312).

There is still time to add it to your letter to Santa.

Oh yes, that French song by Edith Piaf is “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.” eBay used it last year in a TV ad campaign.

DEAR JERRY: One year, more than 30 years ago, our local radio station played an excellent Christmas song by Jerry Lee Lewis.

What amazes me is that I have never heard it played again, especially because it is his only Christmas song and came out at the peak of his career.

Every year around this time, I wonder about this heartfelt song that time seems to have forgotten. Hopefully, you know the one I mean.
—Melanie Rodgers, Garden Grove, Calif.

DEAR MELANIE: The year was 1970, making it 40 years ago this month when you and I last heard “I Can't Have a Merry Christmas, Mary (Without You)” (Mercury 73155) on the air.

What stood out to me about this recording is how unlike any other Christmas song it is, by anyone. It definitely contains all the illustrious Lewis idiosyncrasies that make him special, such as the cry in his voice when he laments, “I've kept the old tree a-burning, with the lights of pretty blue.”

Yet, in what at the time struck me as a blunder, Mercury designated the other side as the A-side.

That dreary selection, titled “In Loving Memories,” about the funeral of a loved one, is nowhere as strong and should have been the B-side.

Since you wrote via e-mail, you must have a computer. So you'll be thrilled to know you can enjoy “I Can't Have a Merry Christmas, Mary (Without You)” every day of the year on . YouTube

IZ ZAT SO? Fueled by million-sellers “Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On” and “Great Balls of Fire,” Jerry Lee Lewis became a first generation rock and roll superstar in 1957.

By mid-1958, after the media learned he married the teenage daughter of his first cousin, Jerry's bright star returned to earth and burned up upon re-entry.

Nearly 10 years later, Jerry returned as a country-rocker, or, as he describes himself in one of his hits, a “Boogie Woogie Country Man.” We think it means the same thing.

Between March 1968 and August '83, Lewis registered 55 hit singles, with one or more on the charts during each of those 16 years.

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

Rock & Roll Trivia

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine" has reached the Billboard Hot 100 six times in versions by Marvin Gaye (#1), Gladys Knight (#2), Creedence Clearwater Revival (#43), Roger Troutman (#79), King Curtis (#83) and The California Raisins (#84). The song has also been recorded by dozens of other artists including The Temptations, Ike and Tina Turner, Paul Mauriat and Elton John.

In a 2005 interview, Billy Joel said that during the recording of "We Are The World", most of the artists didn't like the song, but nobody would say so. Cyndi Lauper thought it sounded like a Pepsi commercial and Billy agreed.

The contract that made Brian Epstein the Beatles' manager was never really valid. Both Paul and George were under 21 at the time and needed a legal guardian to sign. Epstein himself never signed the document at all.

Rocker Neil Young arrived at Woodstock in 1969 with fellow musician Jimi Hendrix. When they realized that they had to travel several miles from the helicopter pad to the stage, they stole a pickup truck for the journey. Young calls the theft, "One of the high points of my life."

Al Kooper, founder of Blood, Sweat and Tears was a co-writer of the Gary Lewis and The Playboys' hit "This Diamond Ring". Although the song was a US number one smash, Kooper has said he was very disappointed at how the Playboys version sounded, and sheepish that it became such a hit. None of the Playboys actually played their instruments on the recording and Lewis' vocals were heavily supported by Ron Hicklin's overdubs.

The Academy Award winning score for the movie Fame was written by Leslie Gore's brother, Michael.

51 year old Lindsay Crosby, son of Bing Crosby, took his own life on December 11th, 1989, reportedly right after watching his father sing "White Christmas" during the television-airing of the classic Christmas movie, Holiday Inn. Lindsay was said to have suffered years of physical and verbal abuse inflicted on him as a child by his father. In May, 1991, Lindsay's 57 year-old brother Dennis would also commit suicide.

Elvis's middle name is spelled "Aaron" on his tombstone. According to his official web site, the name was spelled Aron at birth, but as an adult, Elvis planned to change the spelling to Aaron and the tombstone was designed to reflect that wish.

In 1967, under Britain's open-ended tax system, The Beatles were in the 96% tax bracket.

Before reaching the US Top Ten in 1980 with "Giving It Up For Your Love", Delbert McClinton played harmonica on Bruce Chanel's chart topping 1962 hit, "Hey Baby". While on tour, he also taught some harp licks to John Lennon, who was playing in a then unknown opening act called The Beatles.

"Sunday Will Never Be The Same" was first offered to the Left Banke, but they rejected it. The song was then given to The Mamas and The Papas but they also passed on it. Finally, Spanky and Our Gang recorded it and took it to # 9 in the US in 1967.

Cat Stevens' song "Morning Has Broken" was an adaptation of a hymn of the same name by Eleanor Farjeon, who wrote many stories for children.

From 1969 to 1970, Jimmy Buffett was a staff writer for Billboard magazine in Nashville.

The Temptations 1964 classic hit "My Girl" was written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White of The Miracles. Robinson wrote the lyrics, which he later said were inspired by his wife, Claudette. They divorced in 1986.

The so-called 'Prince of Darkness' Ozzy Osbourne certainly developed a satanic reputation over the years. But Ozzy never took it too seriously, stating: "The devil worship thing was a marketing invention of the record company. We played along to put dough in our pockets."

It is well known that Beatle George Harrison was spiritual and after reading about cosmic communication, Harrison climbed a mountain in hopes of receiving message from God. He waited and waited, but the only message he received was to climb back down the mountain.  Go figure.....

Although the concept of the "hit parade" goes back to the mid 1930s, the invention and naming of the Top 40 format is widely credited to Todd Storz, who was the director of radio station KWOH-AM in Omaha, Nebraska, in the early 1950s. Storz noted the great response certain songs got from the record-buying public and compared it to selections on jukeboxes. He expanded his stable of radio stations and gradually converted them to an all-hits format, pioneering the practice of surveying record stores to determine which singles were popular each week.

Steppenwolf's lead singer, John Kay is seldom seen without sun glasses due to the fact that he has been legally blind since childhood.

Before Bobby "Boris" Pickett released "The Monster Mash" in 1962, he was working as an actor, making appearances on the TV shows Bonanza, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.

Blood, Sweat and Tears concert contract stated that their shows are not to be advertised as a reunion concert, even though the band has split and re-united at least five times.

Buddy Holly asked his future wife for a date, 30 seconds after meeting her and proposed later the same week. Six months earlier, he had recorded a song called "Take Your Time".

In 1957, Frank Sinatra was quoted as saying "Rock 'n' Roll is phony and false, and sung, written and played for the most part by cretinous goons."

October 17th, 1990 marked the first time that the #1 album in the United States was only available on CD or cassette - and could not be found on vinyl. The album was Vanilla Ice's 'To The Extreme.' A sad day for music, if you ask me.....

Songwriter Tommy Durden showed his partner Mae Axton a newspaper story about a suicide victim who had left a one-line note that said "I Walk A Lonely Street". The pair added "Heartbreak Hotel" to the line and in 22 minutes had written Elvis Presley's first million seller.

Vaudevillian Jack Norworth wrote "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in 1908 after seeing a sign on a bus advertising BASEBALL TODAY - POLO GROUNDS. Norworth and his friend, Albert von Tilzer (who wrote the music) had never been to a baseball game before his song became a hit.

Pat Boone was a semi-finalist on the TV talent show Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, but before the finals, he appeared on a similar show called Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, for a fee of $600. Ted Mack's show then disqualified him, as he was no longer an amateur, costing Pat a chance at a $6000 scholarship.

In 1972, Keith Richards and his girlfriend at the time, Anita Pallenberg, rented a lavish palace on the French Riviera while the band was recording the LP "Beggar's Banquet." Included in the household budget was $1,000 for food, $1,000 for alcohol, $2,500 for the rent and $2,500 for drugs.

Two of Jim Croce's biggest hit songs were inspired by real people. Leroy Brown was a fellow member of the Air National Guard who had gone AWOL and Big Jim Walker ("You Don't Mess Around With Jim") was a pool shootin son-of-a-gun from south Philadelphia.

Brenda Lee's 1960, US number one hit, "I'm Sorry", was recorded at the tail end of a recording session with just five minutes of studio time left. It was intended to be the "B" side of a 45 that featured "That's All You Gotta Do", but disc jockeys flipped the platter over and "I'm Sorry" soon shot to the top of Billboard's Hot 100.

Jim McGuinn of The Byrds changed his middle name to Roger and began using it as a stage name after becoming interested in Eastern religion. A guru had told him that names starting with the letter "R" would vibrate better with the universe.

When Paul McCartney wants to play some of his old Beatles' hits in concert, he must pay a royalty fee to Michael Jackson, who bought the publishing rights for $47.5 million in 1985.

In 1929, American Paul Galvin, the head of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, invented the first car radio. Consumers had to purchase the radios separately as they were not available from carmakers. Galvin coined the name Motorola for the company's new products, combining the idea of motion and radio.

When Richard Penniman was asked how he came by his stage name, he said that in his childhood neighborhood, there were only two nicknames used, 'lil and bro. That's when he became Little Richard.

When John Lennon's Aunt Mimi bought him his first guitar in the summer of 1956, he practiced constantly. As she watched him play hour after hour, day after day, she finally remarked "The guitar's all very well John, but you'll never make a living out of it."

Music News, Year End Album Cover Art Lists

Vinyl Record Talk Has New Batch Of Vinyl Records For Sale

Looking for some fresh, clean Beatles LPs? Norm over at Vinyl Record Talk Store has some great vinyl for sale. Stop on by!!


R.E.M Announce New Album Release Date And Free Download

R.E.M have announced details of their new album as well as offering a free download.  The album 'Collapse Is Now' is now scheduled for release on March 7.

The first release 'Discover' is available as a free download from the band's website

'Collapse Now' features a number of collaborations including Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith and Peaches.

The tracklisting:
'All The Best'
'Oh My Heart'
'It Happened Today' (featuring Eddie Vedder)
'Every Day Is Yours To Win'
'Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter' (featuring Peaches and Lenny Kaye)
'Walk It Back'
'Mine Smell Like Honey'
'That Someone Is You'
'Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I'


Dungen, First Aid Kit Join Third Man Records' Blue Series Roster

Third Man Records will add two new additions to its Blue Series of vinyl releases early next year: singles from Swedish psych-rock troupe Dungen and highly buzzed-about sister duo First Aid Kit.

Dungen's release, which was recorded here in Nashville in September at Third Man kingpin Jack White's studio with White at the helm, will be released on January 11. It features two new tracks: "Oga Nasa Mum" and instrumental "Highway Wolf."

First Aid Kit recorded two covers — "Universal Soldier," written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, and blues tune "It Hurts Me Too" — in October as they rolled through Nashville on tour. Their Blue Series single is set for release on January 18.

The two acts join a cast of Blue Series alums that includes rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, sibling country duo the Secret Sisters, Nashville garage-punks PUJOL and many others.


The Best Album Covers Of 2010

Gigwise’s end of year features continue with a look at some of the best album covers of 2010.

This year has seen another slew of intriguing artwork - ranging from Kanye West’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’, which featured five covers, to Black Key’s minimalistic ‘Brothers’.


The 25 Best Album Covers of 2010

Album art has had a rough go of late. Big vinyl cover art got reduced to little CD cover art which got reduced to pixels on a screen. Fortunately, bands continue to do great things with those pixels, as you can see by The 25 Best Album Covers of 2010.


The Best Album Covers Of 2010


Revolutionary Hall of Fame: The Beatles is pleased to present the inaugural class of the Gibson Revolutionary Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors musical artists whose contributions went beyond mere entertainment and actually altered the art form, the business or the technology of popular music.


DUFF MCKAGAN On 'CD Vs. Vinyl' Debate

Former GUNS N' ROSES and current VELVET REVOLVER bassist Duff McKagan was asked by a reader of his column, which appears on Reverb at, what his take is on the analogue vs. digital debate.

This Date In Music History - December 15


Jerry Wallace (1938)

Cindy Birdsong - Supremes, Labelle (1939)

Dave Clark - Dave Clark Five (1942)

Harry Ray - Moments (1946)

Carmine Appice - Vanilla Fudge, Beck, Bogart and Appice, Rod Stewart (1946)

Don Johnson (1949)

Paul Simonon - Clash (1955)

Doug Phelps - Kentucky Headhunters (1960)

Tim Reynolds - Dave Matthews Band (1957)

They Are Missed:

Jazz musician, singer and composer, Fats Waller died in 1943 of pneumonia on a train trip near Kansas City, Missouri. Wrote many songs including "Ain't Misbehavin," "Your Feet's Too Big" and "The Reefer Song." In 1926 Waller was kidnapped at gunpoint in Chicago and driven to a club owned by gangster Al Capone. Inside the club he was ordered to perform at what turned out to be a surprise birthday party for the gangster.

Born on this day in 1922, Alan Freed, American DJ. The man who gave 'Rock 'n' Roll' its name. Died January 20, 1965.

Born today in 1919, Max Yasgur, owner of the Woodstock farm where the 1969 festival was held. Yasgur died of a heart attack on February 8, 1973 (age 53).

Funk and soul singer Rufus Thomas died of heart failure in 2001 (age 84). Recorded on Sun Records in the 1950s and on Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. Scored the 1963 US #10 single "Walking The Dog" and the 1970 UK #18 & US #28 single "Do The Funky Chicken." (Yes, there really is a song by that name!) A street is named in his honor, just off Beale Street in Memphis.

The co-founder of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun died in 2006 (age 83). Ertegun who founded Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson in 1947 helped make Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin stars and signed the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in the early 70s. He suffered a head injury when he fell at a Rolling Stones concert at New York's Beacon Theatre in October, and died after slipping into a coma.

John Byrne, the lead singer of The Count Five and writer of their 1966 hit "Psychotic Reaction", died in 2008 following kidney and liver failure. He was 61.


In 1944, a single-engine plane carrying US Army Major Glenn Miller disappeared in thick fog over the English Channel while en route to Paris. The true fate of the plane and its passengers has never been determined.

In 1956, Elvis Presley gave his final performance on Louisiana Hayride, a live radio program that was broadcast on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana. Presley made 50 appearances on the show. At the end of the show, Horace Logan first made the now legendary phrase "Elvis has left the building."

In 1957, Sammy Davis Jr. hosts a syndicated radio talk show with a round-table discussion of Rock 'n' Roll. His guests are Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller and MGM Records president Arnold Maxim. When Davis and Miller blast Rock 'n' Roll as "the comic books of music," Maxim takes an opposing viewpoint and says, "I don't see any end to Rock 'n' Roll in the near future." And we Rock On...

In 1962, the Beatles played two separate shows at the same venue, the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead, Merseyside. First they played a standard Majestic booking then at midnight, the first-ever "Mersey Beat" poll awards show took place. As poll winners, The Beatles closed the show (at 4:00 am).

Dusty Springfield was deported from South Africa in 1964 after performing in front of an multiracial audience at a show near Cape Town.

The Beatles' 'Magical Mystery Tour' LP went Gold in 1967. The album contains “I Am The Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” It is, in part, the soundtrack for The Beatles’ ill-conceived TV special, of the same name, that aired the day after Christmas.

Also in 1967, the Beach Boys met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Paris and learn transcendental meditation.

While performing with the Jefferson Airplane on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968, Grace Slick appeared in blackface and raised a black-leather glove in a power salute at the conclusion of "Crown of Creation." The incident was one of several which led to the show's cancellation the following season.

In 1969, Eric Clapton joined John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band as part of Peace for Christmas, a benefit concert for UNICEF. George Harrison, Delaney and Bonnie, Billy Preston and The Who's drummer, Keith Moon also took part. The concert was the last live appearance that Lennon ever made in his home country.

Charlie Rich started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1973 with "The Most Beautiful Girl." the singers only #1 single. ,

Aerosmith perform "Dream On" on American Bandstand in 1973.

In 1977, just two days before they are due to appear on NBC'S Saturday Night Live and start their first US tour, the Sex Pistols were denied visas to enter the country. Johnny Rotten was refused because of a drug conviction, Paul Cook and Sid Vicious because of 'moral turpitude' and Steve Jones because of his criminal record.

"Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid entered the UK chart at #1 in 1984 and stayed at the top for five weeks. It became the biggest selling UK single of all time with sales over 3 and a half million. Band Aid was masterminded by former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, who had been moved by a TV news story of famine in Ethiopia. Geldof had the idea of raising funds with a one-off charity single featuring the cream of the current pop world. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Culture Club, George Michael, Sting, Bono, Phil Collins, Paul Weller, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo and Bananarama all appeared on the recording.

In 1988, soul singer James Brown was sentenced to six years in prison for various offences including possession of weapons and resisting arrest. 1988 - James Brown was sentenced to a six-year jail term for leading police on a late-night, two-state car chase. He was released on February 27, 1991.

1989 Billy Joel had his last number one album when "Stormfront" reached the top of the US charts in 1989. The LP also contained his final number 1 hit, "We Didn't Start the Fire", along with the singles, "I Go to Extremes" (#6) and, "And So It Goes" (#37).

Rod Stewart married New Zealand super model Rachel Hunter in Beverly Hills in 1990. He was quoted saying "I found the girl that I want, I won't be putting my banana in anybody's fruit bowl from now on." Ironically the couple split in 1999.

Nirvana released 'Incesticide,' a collection of b-sides and rarities, in 1992.

Dr. Dre's debut album 'The Chronic' was released in 1992.

'Spice World The Movie', featuring The Spice Girls premiered at The Empire, Leicester Sq, London in 1997. The following year it was nominated for the 'worst film' at the Golden Raspberry Awards.

Backstreet Boys roadie Michael Barrett filed a $3 million lawsuit against the group in 1998 claiming damages after a 50-pound cannon fell on his head during a show. A connon? ...Cool

In 1999, Posh Spice Victoria Beckham knocked a crazed fan to the ground after he tried to grab her baby son Brooklyn as she left Harrods in London. Good...

Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh was given an honorary Doctorate of Music from Kent State University in Ohio in 2001.

In 2003, Courtney Love was sentenced to 18 months in drug rehabilitation after she admitted being under the influence of cocaine and opiates. She was banned from taking non-prescription drugs, drinking alcohol or being in places that serve alcohol.

B.B. King received the Medal of Freedom, from President George Bush in 2006, in recognition of his musical accomplishments.

In 2007, Alice Cooper participated in a dedication ceremony for The Rock, a music-themed youth center that's to be built at Phoenix's Grand Canyon University. The $7 million project is being spearheaded by Cooper's Christian nonprofit the Solid Rock Foundation. "I hope that in years to come, The Rock will be the first of many such teen centers in Arizona and around the country," says Cooper.

A modest, one-story, red-brick house in St. Louis where Rock 'n' Roll pioneer Chuck Berry lived for eight years in the 1950s was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Berry, who now lives in Wentzville, Mo., about 40 miles west of St. Louis said "Many of my favorite songs came about while in that house. It's good to know that my music and now that house will always be a part of St. Louis' history."

ABBA is in but KISS is still out. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced in 2009 that Genesis, The Stooges, the Hollies and ABBA will be inducted in 2010. It’s hard to believe ABBA gets the nod at all, much less before KISS. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are also passed over, although there are still many classic artists (Neil Diamond and others) who have been bypassed for years.

With U2 leading the way by making over 311 million dollars in 2009, several classic rockers were among the top earning touring acts of the year, including Madonna ($222 million), Bruce Springsteen ($156 million), AC/DC ($135 million), Billy Joel and Elton John ($90 million) and Tina Turner ($86 million).

The soundtrack to the film Nowhere Boy, which chronicles John Lennon’s teen years, was issued in 2009. The two-disc collection features Jerry Lee Lewis ("Wild One"), Gene Vincent And The Blue Caps ("Be-Bop-A-Lula"), Big Mama Thornton ("Hound Dog" – the original version), Little Richard ("Rip It Up") and Elvis Presley ("Shake, Rattle & Roll" and "Baby Let's Play House" – it’s from the latter that Lennon lifted the opening line to The Beatles "Run For Your Life").