Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I just discovered a wonderful video series online with excerpts of Billboard's No. 1 hits in order, from January 1955 through December 1979. For those 25 years, there are about 550 tunes. It's like the soundtrack of my life!

The artists and song titles in this “Time Tunnel Medley,” as it's called, are not listed, which means I need help identifying the instrumentals. The vocals are all pretty recognizable.

Are you able to name all of those No. 1 instrumentals?
—Tina Jean Carlson, Fredonia, Wisc.

DEAR TINA JEAN: Ready, willing, and definitely able. Here are the 29 No. 1 instrumentals in order, including a few with occasional vocal extras, such as “The Hustle” and “Fly Robin, Fly”:

1955: “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” (Perez “Prez” Prado & His Orchestra); “Unchained Melody” (Les Baxter His Chorus & Orchestra); “Autumn Leaves” (Roger Williams).

1956: “Lisbon Antigua” (Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra); “The Poor People of Paris” (Les Baxter His Chorus & Orchestra); “Moonglow and Theme from 'Picnic'” (Morris Stoloff).

1957: None.

1958: “Tequila” (Champs); “Patricia” (Perez Prado & His Orchestra).

1959: “The Happy Organ” (Dave 'Baby' Cortez); “Sleep Walk” (Santo & Johnny).

1960: “The Theme from 'A Summer Place'” (Percy Faith & His Orch.).

1961: “Wonderland By Night” (Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra); “Calcutta” (Lawrence Welk & His Orchestra).

1962: “Stranger on the Shore” (Mr. Acker Bilk with the Leon Young String Chorale); “The Stripper” (David Rose & His Orchestra); “Telstar” (Tornadoes). All three of these acts are English.

1963 - 1967: None.

1968: “Love Is Blue (L'amour Est Bleu)” (Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra); “Grazing in the Grass” (Hugh Masekela).

1969: “Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet” (Henry Mancini His Orchestra & Chorus).

1970 - 1972: None.

1973: “Frankenstein” (Edgar Winter Group).

1974: “Love's Theme” (Love Unlimited Orchestra); “TSOP The Sound of Philadelphia” (MFSB Featuring the Three Degrees).

1975: “The Hustle” (Van McCoy & Soul City Symphony); “Fly Robin, Fly” (Silver Convention).

1976: “The Theme from S.W.A.T. (Rhythm Heritage); “A Fifth of Beethoven” (Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band).

1977: “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from 'Rocky')” (Bill Conti); “Star Wars Theme / Cantina Band”; (Meco).

1978: None.

1979: “Rise” (Herb Alpert).

My review of this list inspired some gripping observations:

Only once did one instrumental replace another as the nation's top hit. In March 1956, when “Lisbon Antigua” (Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra) gave way to “The Poor People of Paris” (Les Baxter His Chorus & Orchestra). Equally unusual is these two titles held the top two chart spots one week, then merely reversed positions the next.

At the opposite extreme, over five vocally-abundant years (Dec. 1963 - Feb. 1968) separated “Telstar” (Tornadoes) and “Love Is Blue (L'amour Est Bleu)” (Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra).

In May 1956, two versions of “Moonglow and Theme from 'Picnic'” were in the Top 5, one by Morris Stoloff and the other by the George Cates Orchestra.

Twice, the No. 1 song of the entire year was an instrumental: “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” (Perez “Prez” Prado & His Orchestra) (1955) and “The Theme from 'A Summer Place'” (Percy Faith & His Orch.) (1960).

As for Perez Prado (“Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” and “Patricia”), he and Les Baxter (“Unchained Melody” and “The Poor People of Paris”) are the only ones with two tunes on the list.

Three versions of “Unchained Melody” ranked in Top 10 in May 1955: Besides the instrumental, there were two similar vocal versions, one by Al Hibbler and another from Roy Hamilton.

“Unchained Melody” is one of five songs on the list with a modicum of voices. The others are: “Tequila” (Champs); “The Hustle” (Van McCoy & Soul City Symphony); “Fly Robin, Fly” (Silver Convention); and “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from 'Rocky')” (Bill Conti).

Except for Silver Convention, all of the acts are males.

The only No. 1 instrumentals in 1977 are both film themes: Conti's “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from 'Rocky')” and Meco's “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band.”

Of these 27 artists, nine are foreign-born: Perez Prado (Cuba); Percy Faith (Canada); Bert Kaempfert (Germany); Mr. Acker Bilk (England); David Rose (England); Tornadoes (England); Paul Mauriat (France); Hugh Masekela (South Africa); and Silver Convention (Germany).

IZ ZAT SO? We must also acknowledge eight instrumentals from these same 25 years that didn't quite top the Billboard charts, but did reach No. 1 on Cash Box:

1955: “The Crazy Otto (Medley)” (Johnny Maddox & His Rhythmasters); 1958: “Topsy II” (Cozy Cole); 1961: “Exodus” (Ferrante & Teicher); 1965: “A Taste of Honey” (Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass); 1968 “Classical Gas” (Mason Williams); 1972 “Outa-Space” (Billy Preston); 1973 “Dueling Banjos” (Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell); and 1974 “The Entertainer” (Marvin Hamlisch).

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

Super Deluxe Edition of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Universal Music Enterprises and Universal Strategic Marketing have just announced the 4-CD/1-DVD Super Deluxe Edition of Nirvana’s Nevermind will be available globally on September 19, 2011. The CDs will include previously unreleased tracks, rarities, b-sides, BBC radio appearances, alternative mixes, rare live recordings and an unreleased concert in its entirety on DVD.

Released in September of 1991, Nirvana’s Nevermind garnered near-unanimous praise and rose within a few months to the #1 slot on Billboard’s US sales chart. Nevermind was propelled to #1 across the globe by their young fans worldwide that identified with the band and embraced their anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and its landmark music video. Since then, it has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

Universal is also planning to celebrate the anniversary with "various events and releases" throughout the year, according to a statement.


Judas Priest Single Cuts - The Complete UK CBS/Columbia Singles

Judas Priest and Sony Music are proud to announce the release of the complete CBS/Columbia singles collection, Single Cuts.

Few heavy metal bands have managed to scale the heights that Judas Priest has during their 40 year career. Responsible for not only issuing some of metal's all-time classic albums (British Steel, Screaming For Vengeance and Painkiller among them) and anthems ('Breaking The Law', 'Living After Midnight' and 'You've Got Another Thing Coming’), the group has been one of the leading arena rock acts for decades. To date the band have sold in excess of 30 million albums worldwide.

Single Cuts is not only a testament to Priest's enduring influence but also tells the story of why they are such a force in metal.

Boasting a massive 52 tracks across 20 discs the collection includes legendary cuts such as "Dissident Aggressor", "Living After Midnight", "Breaking The Law", "Turbo Lover" and "Painkiller". Also featured are much-loved tracks such as Priest's unique cover of "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)" plus a raft of live b sides.

Housed in a deluxe, numbered box, Single Cuts brings together the CBS/Columbia singles from 1977 to 1992, including 7" and 12" cuts. All singles are issued on vinyl replica CDs with original labels and 7" vinyl artwork wallets.


Diamonds and Rust
Dissident Aggressor

Better By You, Better Than Me

Evening Star

Before The Dawn
Rock Forever

Take On The World
Starbreaker (Live at the Agora Ballroom, Cleveland 1978)
White Heat Red Hot (Live at the Agora Ballroom, Cleveland 1978)

Evening Star
Beyond The Realms Of Death (Live at the Agora Ballroom, Cleveland 1978)
The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Pronged Crown)

Living After Midnight
Delivering The Goods (Live In Tokyo)
Evil Fantasies (Live In Tokyo)

Breaking The Law
Metal Gods


Don’t Go
Solar Angels

Hot Rockin' 3:03
Breaking The Law (Live)
You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise

You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Exciter (Live)

(Take These) Chains
Judas Priest Audio File

Freewheel Burning
Breaking The Law (Live from US Festival May 1983)
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) (Live)

Turbo Lover
Hot For Love

Locked In
Desert Plains (Live)
Freewheel Burning (Live)

Better By You, Better Than Me

A Touch Of Evil
Between The Hammer And The Anvil
You've Got Another Thing Comin' (Live)

Night Crawler
Breaking The Law (Live)
Living After Midnight (Live)


AC/DC and Metallica Editions of Monopoly Due This August

by Amy Sciarretto

An AC/DC-themed edition of the popular board game Monopoly is due out this August. A Metallica version is also on the docket. Key details have recently emerged about both editions.

For the AC/DC version, game pieces will include cannons (from 'For Those About to Rock'), dynamite bundles (from 'TNT), and the schoolboy hat favored by guitarist Angus Young. We'd love to see devil horns for 'Highway to Hell' and late singer Bon Scott, among other things.



VOLBEAT: '16 Dollars' To Be Released On Limited-Edition 7" Illustrated Vinyl

"16 Dollars" from Danish metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT is being released on a seven-inch illustrated vinyl in a very limited edition. In addition to the studio version, the single features a bonus track with live recordings from the Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The single will be made available on July 11 and can be purchased for 5,99 £ exclusively from U.K.'s What Records. (Note: Only 500 copies are being made available worldwide.)


AXEL RUDI PELL Pays Tribute To RONNIE JAMES DIO On 'The Ballads IV' 

SPV/Steamhammer has set a September 27 release date (one day earlier internationally) for "The Ballads IV", the new compilation from German guitarist AXEL RUDI PELL. In addition to all of the group's ballads since the release of "The Ballads III" (which came out in 2004), the disc includes three newly recorded songs.

"The Ballads IV" will be released as standard version, double gatefold LP in colored vinyl and as a digital download.

Read more at Blabbermouth


GRIMEY'S BEST SELLERS 6/13 - 6/19, 2011

Top 25 Vinyl:

1. The Flaming Lips w/ Prefuse 73 - The Supermoon Made Me Want To Pee 12"
2. Radiohead - Supercollider 12"
3. My Morning Jacket - Circuital
4. Eastern Block - Wing Walker 7"
5. KORT - Please Don't Touch 7"
6. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
7. The Flaming Lips w/ Neon Indian - Is David Bowie Dying? 12"
8. Black Lips - Arabia Mountain
9. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Rome
10. Neil Young & The International Harvesters - A Treasure
11. The Features - Rambo 7"
12. Vetiver - Errant Charm
13. Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong
14. The Head & The Heart - The Head & The Heart
15. Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
16. KORT - Invariable Heartache
17. Foster The People - Torches
18. Paul McCartney - McCartney
19. Paul McCartney - McCartney II
20. Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math
21. The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
22. Adele - 21
23. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
24. The Black Keys - Thickfreakness
25. My Morning Jacket - At Dawn


ZZ Top Releasing New Music

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top promises "The Little Ol' Band from Texas" will be releasing its first new album in seven years; hopefully by the end of the year.


amusing, but not really insightful:

Stephen Colbert Visits Jack White

Last night's "Colbert Report" is the first of a three-part series that will continue tomorrow and Thursday on the "Report".


and in music history for today:

In 1846, in Paris, France, 32 year old Adolphe Sax, a Belgian musician and musical instrument designer, patents the saxophone. Sax continued to make instruments throughout his life, however, rival instrument makers challenged the legitimacy of his patents and initiated a campaign of litigation against him and his company, driving him into bankruptcy twice, in 1856 and 1873.

In 1963, The Safaris' "Wipe Out" is released in the US, where it will enter the Billboard Hot 100 two weeks later and reach #2 by mid-August. The record would also reach #5 in the UK. The song would be re-issued in 1966 and climb to #16 on the Billboard Top 40 and again in 1970 when it failed to chart.

Also in 1963, 13-year old Stevie Wonder first entered the U.S. singles chart as Little Stevie Wonder with “Fingertips Parts One and Two.”

In 1964, the Beatles played their first ever show in New Zealand at Wellington Town Hall. The local Chief Constable refused a police escort for The Beatles leaving just two policemen to control over 5,000 fans.

In 1969, singer, actress, Judy Garland, died of a barbiturate overdose aged 47, she was found on the floor of her rented Chelsea home, in London, UK.

Also in 1969, Blind Faith's first and only LP was released.

In 1971, the seminal album 'Blue' was released by Joni Mitchell.

In 1974, Gordon Lightfoot started a two-week run at the top of the Billboard album chart with "Sundown". The title track reached #1 on the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts as well as #13 on the Country chart, while "Carefree Highway" reached #10 on the Pop chart, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #81 on the Country chart.

In 1981, Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to murdering John Lennon in December of 1980 and was sentenced to 20-years-to-life in prison. The most hated man in Rock and Roll history was denied parole at his first hearing in October of 2000 and again in October 2002, October 2004, October 2006, October 2008 and September 2010. He is still in New York's Attica state prison, right where he belongs.  let him rot!

In 1990, Kripp Johnson, a founding member of the Dell-Vikings, died of cancer at the age of 57. One of the first racially-integrated Rock 'n' Roll groups, the Dell-Vikings had two top 10 hits in 1957, "Come Go With Me" and "Whispering Bells".

In 1993, Ozzy Osbourne came out of retirement and announced he would tour with Black Sabbath.

In 1995, newsman Dan Rather performed What's the Frequency Kenneth? with R.E.M. during a sound check.

birthdays today include: Peter Asher (Peter & Gordon) (67), Kris Kristofferson (75), Howard Kaylan (Turtles) (64), Todd Rundgren (63), Cyndi Lauper (58), Gary Beers (INXS) (54) and Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies) (41), just to name a gew