Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In 1959, as a 16-year-old sophomore, I had my first date with a wonderful girl from my school.

Even with trillions of informative pages on the internet, the answer to my question cannot be found.

What I did get from Bing and Google is a way to contact you, which may be all I need.

I'm trying to identify the specific songs where Elvis hits his lowest and highest notes, which would also provide his range.

With about 700 songs, it would be like finding a needle in a haystack for me, and would take years.

Please help me if you can.
—Vickie Payson, Bloomington, Ind.

DEAR VICKIE: As of now, thanks to your curiosity and my good friend Terry Mike Jeffrey, this information will forever be available online.

Terry is the only singer-musician I personally know who can identify any note by simply hearing it, or in many cases, from just his amazing memory!

Of what exists on recordings, Terry Mike's low-note pick is the live version of “I Got a Woman,” the second track on “Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis.” Specifically it is the first of five wells (“well, well, well, well, well”) that precede Elvis' comment about an ecstatic fan, “she's louder than I am, but I've got the microphone.” On that “well,” Elvis hits an E2, or the second E below middle C (C4).

The other extreme is on the “America” CD, at the very end of “America the Beautiful.” Elvis' usual note at this point is a G4, but for this performance he soars to a C5, a full octave above middle C.

This of course is in full voice and not falsetto, though in “Blue Moon” he hits this same note (C5) in falsetto.

I then double-checked these findings with another professional pianist, Lisa Lanza, who said Terry Mike's note analysis was exactly correct.

This establishes Presley's range (E2-C5) as just two notes shy of three full octaves (E2-E5), and more expansive than most pop singers.

We know thousands of Elvis books and magazines exist, yet I believe this is the first time in print for such a noteworthy examination.

DEAR JERRY: Having abandoned new music over 20 years ago, I doubt I would even recognize more than just a few of the artists currently in the Top 100.

Once the rap crap became popular, I couldn't get away fast enough.

Which makes me wonder how many, if any, of those pre-1990 stars have a hit song or album now?

Might there even be someone from the 1950s-'70s?
—Harold Jones, Biloxi, Miss.

DEAR HAROLD: The answer is either none or 11, depending on which format we examine.

Using the most recent charts available as of this writing (May 14), among the current Top 100 singles are a few names you might recognize, though more from being in the tabloids than for their music. One is Britney Spears.

This former Mouseketeer's first hit, “...Baby One More Time,” came along in November '98; however, two others have seniority over Spears: Usher and Kenny Chesney.

Usher (one man, not a group) first made the Top 100 (singles and albums) in September 1994, and precedes Kenny Chesney's LP chart debut by two years (September 1996).

Now for some more familiar names. There are 11 in the Billboard Top 100 albums that you should recognize.

In order of their first chart hit (with significant earlier appearances noted), they are:

1955: Elvis Presley; Johnny Cash; 1968: Creedence Clearwater Revival; 1970: Eric Clapton (1965 with Yardbirds; 1967 with Cream; 1969 with Blind Faith); 1972: Paul Simon (1957 as Tom & Jerry; 1962 as Tico and the Triumphs; 1963 as Jerry Landis); 1973: Lynyrd Skynyrd; Aerosmith; 1974: Bad Company; 1975: Willie Nelson (1962 on C&W charts); 1975: Emmylou Harris; 1977: Foreigner.

IZ ZAT SO? Here are the current (May 14) rankings and titles of the pre-'80s stars. Only the Paul Simon and Emmylou Harris albums are newly recorded. The others are repackages of 20th century recordings.

10: “So Beautiful or So What” Paul Simon
18: “Hard Bargain” Emmylou Harris
56: “VH1 Storytellers” Johnny Cash / Willie Nelson
74: “The Best of Eric Clapton - 20th Century Masters (The Millennium Collection)
75: “The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd - 20th Century Masters (The Millennium Collection)
82: “Extended Versions” Bad Company
88: “An Afternoon in the Garden” Elvis Presley
90: “Extended Versions” Creedence Clearwater Revival
92: “The Best of Aerosmith - 20th Century Masters (The Millennium Collection)
97: “Extended Versions” Foreigner

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 2011 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Exclusive Permission

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

John Lennon's 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' Lyrics Sell at Auction

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" have recently sold at auction for $237,132. The single sheet also contained the opening words for 'She's Leaving Home,' another track from the Beatles' 1967 album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.'

The lyrics for "Lucy" were apparently a work in progress, with plenty of crossings out, though there is no word on whether they help solve that eternal question for conspiracy-seeking fans -- that in the song title, was Lennon making a sly reference to the drug LSD, something he always denied. The editing supports the idea that, while the song was originally inspired by a drawing by Lennon's four-year-old son Julian, 'Lucy' was composed over several hours in the studio with some input from Paul McCartney.

It is intriguing to have lines from "She's Leaving Home" on the same page, as that song was mainly McCartney's composition and recorded after "Lucy." Also, rather than a piece of Lewis Carroll-style whimsy, the other tune is based on the true newspaper story of a girl running away from her parents.


Alice Cooper Plots New Nightmare

Michael Leonard

Alice Cooper is 63, loves to play golf and is looking forward to grandchildren. But he is not done with rock ’n’ roll horror just yet. He is working on a sequel to his best-selling 1975 solo album Welcome to My Nightmare… with three guitar players.

“What would Alice’s nightmare be 35 years later?" Cooper asked the Vancouver Sun. “Well, there’s technology. Alice is a technotard. Disco is still a big enemy of his, so disco would be in there. But I allowed this album to have a great sense of humor, even though there’s some very, very dark moments.”

Read the rest at


nice review and opinion of this famous lp

Only Rock 'n Roll

“Melodic. B” – 40 years of Bridge Over Troubled Water

Mervyn Dendy

A few weeks ago, late in March, a 40th anniversary edition of Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel was released. The package incorporates a copy of the original album, beautifully remastered, together with the separately available Live 1969, culled from the duo’s November 1969 series of concerts, and a DVD containing Simon and Garfunkel’s hour-long TV special Songs of America, which aired on the CBS network in 1969 and has been unavailable until now, and a documentary filmed in 2010 about the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water, featuring new interviews with Paul Simon, Arthur Garfunkel and co-producer Roy Halee, none of whom (it must be said) have aged as well as, say, contemporaries Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger.

Read the rest at


POWERWOLF: New Album Title, Artwork Unveiled

Multinational metallers POWERWOLF have set "Blood Of The Saints" as the title of their fourth album, due in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on July 29; and August in the rest of Europe via Metal Blade Records in Europe. The CD will be released as a regular CD, a limited-edition digibook 2-CD (exact content to be revealed shortly) and on vinyl. The cover art was created by POWERWOLF guitarist Matthew Greywolf.

Read more at Blabbermouth


Paul McCartney to release covers album early next year

Paul McCartney is scheduled to release a covers albums in early 2012. It was recorded in Los Angeles and he has said it is comprised of covers from the "pre rock" era.

Speaking to Rolling Stone about the release, he said: "It's my dad's style of music. I've wanted to do that kind of thing forever, since The Beatles days. But then Rod went mad on it. I thought, 'I have to wait so it doesn't look like I'm trying to do a Rod.'"

The album, which does not yet have a title, will feature a number of songs with jazz singer Diana Krall and McCartney has said each song is one "He admires" and that the album is "Get-home-from-work music."

He said: "They're just songs I admire. I'm trying to steer away from the obvious ones. It's get-home-from-work music. You put it on and get a glass of wine."


Rhino Remasters Ramones Vinyl at Bernie Grundman's

Analog Master Tapes Used for Albums from the Seventies & Eighties

Rhino Records has booked the cutting room at Bernie Grundman Mastering for the vinyl reissue of classic Ramones albums from the late 70s and early 80s. Included in the first series are "Ramones" (1976), "Leave Home" (1977), "Rocket to Russia" (1977), and "Road to Ruin" (1978). Release date is July 19, 2011.

Rhino Records' Asset/Media Supervisor Charles Benson joined mastering engineer Chris Bellman in the disc cutting studio to cut lacquers from the original 1/4" analog Dolby stereo masters. Songs to be reissued include "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Beat on the Brat," "Pinhead," "I Wanna Sniff Glue," and "Teenage Lobotomy."

"There has definitely been a renewed interest and resurgence in vinyl releases," remarked Benson. "The young audience is happy to have something they can hold onto in this analog format with large graphic album covers, and something that gives you more of an experience than an mp3 file."



After 12 months of tweaking, Brisbane’s Ben Craven is finally ready to release his new album with the finishing touches being made by renowned UK artist Roger Dean.

Craven’s new album, entitled “Great & Terrible Potions” is a modern day progressive rock album that has been 5 years in the making. However like all good prog-rock (progressive rock) albums, the final touches are vital.

Enlisting the assistance of Roger Dean seemed a natural progression given the heavy influences of 70’s prog-rock bands within Craven’s music.

Roger Dean, who rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s through his designs for prog-rock band “Yes” is credited with transforming the status of album covers from mere packaging to works of art.

Uncovering and updating an unreleased piece of art, Dean has provided a cover that will go down in the halls of prog-rock history alongside his most famous work for musicians and bands such as “Yes”, “Asia”, “Uriah Heap”, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.

Dean, whose bubble logo for the band “Yes” is part of rock history, also designed Craven’s new logo. Craven said, “It is an honour to be working with an artist whom I’ve grown up with and surreal to believe that he appreciates my work enough to put his name (in art) to it”.

To celebrate the release, Craven and Liquid Online Media will also be selling limited edition vinyl copies of the album complete with a traditional gatefold sleeve featuring the Roger Dean artwork.


i'm always on the look out for new, catchy music. well, this from the band, i'm from barcelona, fits the bill. an infectious cut, you'll be hooked after the first listen! for more info on the band go to

Always Spring



1. Adele :21
2. Beastie Boys :Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
3. Various :Now 38
4. Fleet Foxes :Helplessness Blues
5. Jennifer Lopez :Love
6. Stevie Nicks :In Your Dreams
7. Sade :The Ultimate Collection
8. Musiq Souchild :musiqinthemagiq
9. Mumford and Sons :Sigh No More
10. Sixx: A.M. :This Is Gonna Hurt

1. Adele :Rolling In The Deep
2. Katy Perry feat. Kanye West :E.T.
3. Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull :On The Floor
4. Black Eyed Peas :Just Can't Get Enough
5. Bruno Mars :The Lazy Song
6. Britney Spears :Till The World Ends
7. Lady Antebellum :Just A Kiss
8. Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer :Give Me Everything
9. Rihanna :S&M
10. Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes :Look At Me Now

1. Adele :21
2. Hugh Laurie :Let Them Talk
3. Adele :19
4. Bruno Mars :Doo-Wops & Holligans
5. Fleet Foxes :Helplessness Blues
6. Jessie J. :Who You Are
7. Glee Cast :Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers
8. Sade :The Ultimate Collection
9. Chase & Status :No More Idols
10. Rihanna :Loud

1. Bruno Mars :The Lazy Song
2. LMFAO :Party Rock Anthem
3. David Guetta :Where Them Girls At
4. Snoop Dogg Vs. David Guetta :Sweat
5. Chris Brown feat. Benny Benassi :Beautiful People
6. Lady Gaga :The Edge Of Glory
7. Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull :On The Floor
8. Snoop Dogg Vs. David Guetta :Sweat
9. Aloe Blacc :I Need A Dollar
10. Jessie J :Nobody's Perfect

1. Take That :Progress
2. Rihanna :Loud
3. Bruce Springsteen :The Promise
4. Shakira :Sale El Sol
5. Pink :Greatest Hits ... So Far
6. Bon Jovi :Greatest Hits
7. James Blunt :Some Kind Of Trouble
8. Susan Boyle :The Gift
9. Kings Of Leon :Come Around Sundown
10. JLS :Outta This World

1. Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull :On The Floor
2. Rihanna :S&M
3. Adele :Rolling In the Deep
4. Lady Gaga :Born This Way
5. Black Eyed Peas :Just Can't Get Enough
6. Jessie J. feat. B.o.B. :Price Tag
7. Katy Perry :E.T.
8. Snoop Dogg Vs. David Guetta :Sweat
9. LMFAO :Party Rock Anthem
10. Bruno Mars :Grenade


GRIMEY'S BEST SELLERS 5/09 - 5/15, 2011

Top 25 Vinyl:

1. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
2. Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math
3. Antlers - Burst Apart
4. El Obo - Oxford Basement Collection
5. Tyler The Creator - Goblin
6. Cy Barkley & The Wayoutsiders - Rock Together 7" EP
7. Explosions In The Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
8. Radiohead - King Of Limbs
9. The Cars - Move Like This
10. Booker T. Jones - The Road From Memphis
11. Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania
12. Man Man - Life Fantastic
13. Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
14. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
15. Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin'
16. Adele - 21
17. Natural Child - 1971
18. Tune-Yards - WHOKILL
19. The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
20. The Black Keys - Brothers
21. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
22. Wax Idols - All Too Human 7"
23. Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
24. Paul Simon - So Beautiful Or So What
25. Terry Malts - I'm Neurotic 7"


and in music history for today:

In 1959, Wilbert Harrison's recording of Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City" rose to the top of the Billboard singles chart. Cover versions by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters, Rocky Olson, Rockin' Ronald & The Rebels, and Little Richard all appeared in March of 1959, but the Harrison version was by far the most popular. Further success for Harrison would have to wait until 1970 when "Let's Work Together" made it to number 32 in the US.

In 1963, after hitting #22 the previous year with "Twistin' Matilda", Jimmy Soul reached #1 on the Billboard chart with "If You Wanna Be Happy", a song about the benefits of marrying an ugly woman. It would prove to be his final entry as the follow-up "Treat 'Em Tough" flopped completely, after which Jimmy entered the US Army.

A riot broke out at a Rolling Stones concert in Scotland in 1964 after 4,000 fans showed up with forged tickets.

In 1966, the Castiles (with Bruce Springsteen on vocals) made their first recordings at Mr. Music Inc in Brick Town, New Jersey. They cut two Springsteen songs, “Baby I” and “That’s What You Get.” The songs were cut directly to disc, of which seven or eight test pressings of the studio takes were made.

In 1967, the Beatles were selected to represent the U.K. for the first-ever global-wide satellite broadcast. The group agreed to be shown in the studio recording a song written especially for the occasion, scheduled for June 25. John Lennon wrote “All You Need is Love,” which was thought to sum up the 1967 “Summer of Love” and The Beatles' sympathies. With the satellite broadcast being transmitted to many non-English-speaking countries, the BBC asked The Beatles to “keep it simple.”

In 1968, the North California Rock Festival was held with the Doors, the Grateful Dead, the Steve Miller Band, Taj Mahal, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Country Joe & the Fish and the Jefferson Airplane.

In 1975, country singer Tammy Wynette was at #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “Stand by Your Man.” Originally recorded and released as a single in 1968 in the U.S, it proved to be the most successful record of Wynette's career and is one of the most covered songs in the history of country music.

The movie The Buddy Holly Story with Gary Busey premiered in Dallas, TX in 1978.

In 1980, Joy Division singer Ian Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield, England at the age of 23. Curtis had the Iggy Pop album, The Idiot, playing on his stereo and left a note that said, “At this very moment, I wish I were dead. I just can't cope anymore.”

In 1985, the Scottish rock band Simple Minds make their breakthrough in North America when "Don't You (Forget About Me") tops the Billboard singles chart. The song was written specifically for the film The Breakfast Club and was only the second tune recorded by the group that they did not write.

In 2006, Freddie Garrity, the lead singer of the 1960s band Freddie and the Dreamers died at the age of 65 after receiving treatment for what were described as circulation problems.

birthdays today include Albert Hammond (1944) and Rick Wakeman (1949), among others.