Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


this is a continuation of a past Mr Music column

When “Diane in Milwaukee” wrote asking how many versions we knew of Dusty Fletcher's “Open the Door, Richard,” we had no idea the answer would — like Fletcher's recording — require two parts.

Last week we itemized the first 15 “Richard” records, all of which came out in either January or February of 1947. In case you missed it, they are:

1. Dusty Fletcher. 2. Jack McVea and His All Stars. 3. Bill Samuels and the Cats 'n Jammer Three (Vocal By Sylvester Hickman). 4. Dick Peterson and the Vocal Yokels. 5. Charioteers. 6. Three Flames (Vocal by “Tiger” Haynes). 7. Count Basie and His Orchestra (Vocal Refrain by Harry Edison & Bill Johnson). 8. Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five. 9. Pied Pipers. 10. Merry Macs (With Orchestra Directed by Sonny Burke). 11. Bill Osborne and His Heptette. 12. Tosh “One String Willie” and His Jivesters. 13. Hank Penny. 14. Big Sid Catlett Orchestra. 15. Walter Brown with Tiny Grimes Sextet.

Our Part 2 of “Open the Door, Richard” picks up right there with more on Walter Brown's recording, and the story behind this Billboard headline: “WOR Slams Door on Richard.”

In a press release dated March 1, 1947, WOR, flagship station of the Mutual Broadcasting Company, announced an immediate ban on Walter Brown's “Open the Door, Richard” (Signature 1006).

Referring to the song in general, and its widespread media attention, as “a nuisance,” WOR went so far as to advise their comedians to “lay off the Richard gags.”

That very same day, while admitting nothing, Signature Records president, Bob Thiels, announced a recall of the Walter Brown discs, “because of some allegedly blue lyrics.”

Thiels respected the might of the Mutual network, with their 400 nationwide affiliates, and knew ignoring their edict was not an option.

Interestingly, the Signature interpretation is the only one with Richard's side of the story. Turns out he wasn't exactly sleeping, as he admits when he opens his window:

“Okay, okay, what's all the excitement about down der man?”

A man in the crowd answers with a question of his own:

“Hey, who are you up der wit yo head stuck out da window?”

“I'm Richard!”

“You are Richard? Well get away from that window and come on down here and open this damn door.”

Richard's retort: “Now listen here. I'm in here havin' myself a ball! I got me a fine mellow little chickie, and the blue lights are on. My ol' wife's way down in Birmingham, Alabama. Then everybody starts hollerin' for me to open the door. Phil Harris wants me to open the door. Bing Crosby wants me to open the door. Jack Benny wants me to open the door. If I wouldn't open it up for them, damn if I'll open up for you. Why can't you give a man a little peace?”

“That's what you been gettin' [peace and piece being homophones]!

You come out here and open that door and give us a little. Hey, wait a minute. Man, this door ain't even locked. Hey, look out Richard. Here we come.”

Returning now to our count:

16. Hot Lips Page (Apollo 1041). Page joined 14 other locked-out roommates of Richard's on Billboard's Honor Roll of Hits. Whatever the ranking each week for “Open the Door, Richard,” they credited the song to 15 different artists — essentially, a 15-way tie.

17. The final 1947 entry came in March when Melo-Tone released an uncredited “Open the Door Richard,” backed with “The Old Rainmaker.” After many years dormant, numerous artists revived “Open the Door, Richard.” None became hits, but here are nine more who at least knocked on the door:

1959: Red Blanchard (Dot 15901); Ernie Barton (Phillips International 3541); 1960: Dusty Fletcher (Savoy 1585, a 45rpm reissue of National 4012). 1961: Bill Doggett (Warner 5502). 1964: Pigmeat Markham (Chess 1891). 1965: Lennie Roberts (Deck 926). 1966: Billy Adams (Sun 401). 2000: Cuban Boys (P&P 7002). 2001: Al Simmons (Casablanca Kids 13T7).

This brings our total to 26 different “Richard” recordings, in just the U.S. Many others exist from beyond our borders.

IZ ZAT SO? As happened with the Beatles album with the recalled Butcher Cover, 19 years later, the ban and recall made Walter Brown's record the most sought-after “Open the Door, Richard” by collectors. It is now valued at about $100, four to six times the other 1947 releases.


DEAR JERRY: Loved your recap of all those records Simon and Garfunkel made before they started using their real names, and gained fame.

You list four singles Paul Simon made for Amy Records, issued as by Tico and the Triumphs but with writing and production credit to Jerry Landis, another of Simon's pseudonyms.

I don't have any of those but I do have “I Wrote You a Letter” by Dotty Daniels, written by D. Goodman. This one says “Produced By Jerry Landis” (Amy 885). Surely this is another of Paul Simon's early works, but since you didn't mention it, I just ask.

Also, are Dotty Daniels and D. Goodman the same person?
—Vince Delmonico, Bakersfield, Calif.

DEAR VINCE: You are correct, the Jerry Landis who produced the Dotty Daniels sessions is Paul Simon wearing one of his many different hats.

We did not mention it because the focus of that piece was limited to Paul and Art's own recordings. Perhaps the label on the A-side of the Amy disc is worn or torn, but I can tell you it is “Play Me a Sad Song,” written by “Jerry Landis.” His original recording of this song came out in 1961 (Warwick 619), and he thought it would be a good choice for Dotty's first record.

Her's is the same basic song, but Simon's new arrangement and production give it a contemporary 1963 girl group sound.

As you suspect, Dotty Daniels is really Dotty Goodman, and “I Wrote You a Letter” is indeed one of her originals, and a good pick for the B-side.

Thanks to my old pal, Kent Kotal, we connected with Dotty. This delightful lady has vivid memories of being a teenager who suddenly found herself and her first session to be the focus of a star-studded gathering at the Amy studio in New York:

DEAR JERRY: I am the artist formerly known as Dotty Daniels, who, as a teenager in 1963, was produced by Paul Simon for Amy Records.

Our first and best-known record is “Play Me a Sad Song,” and while it didn't make the national charts it still sold quite well in some areas.

For example, I know it went to No. 1 on WAVZ, New Haven, Conn., and was a Jack Walker Pick Hit on WLIB in New York.

I don't know if Billboard ever mentioned my record, but Cash Box magazine did make it a Pick of the Week. They even sent someone to interview me, and that meeting was set up at a place right around the corner from the Brill Building. Because I was just a kid, Amy Records asked Paul Kaufman, a songwriter and my friend, to chaperone me at the meeting.

I don't have a copy of whatever they ran, but would love to see it.

Besides Paul Simon's involvement with the session that produced “Play Me a Sad Song” and “I Wrote You a Letter,” we had Cissy Houston, Valerie Simpson, and the Sweet Inspirations (Doris Troy and Dee Dee Warwick) all providing the background vocals.

I specifically recall Cissy being about six months pregnant with Whitney when we recorded those songs.

Whitney Houston wasn't singing on the session, at least not to my knowledge, but she was definitely in the studio with us, albeit still in the oven.

Also, Big Dee Irwin and Freddie Scott were in on that session as music directors. I believe Freddie recorded “Hey Girl” later that same night, after we finished.

Another thing I don't have a copy of is our follow-up single, “A Casual Look” (Amy 891).

Thank you for your interest in my brief recording career.
—Dotty Goodman

Paul Simon circa 1997
DEAR DOTTY: You have some wonderful memories, and we are grateful you shared them.

I spoke to Cash Box's Archivist, Randy Price, who searched but cannot find an interview-based story in any of their issues from the spring and summer of 1963.

However, Randy did find, in the May 11 issue, their selection of “Play Me a Sad Song” as a Newcomer Pick of the Week.

Regarding your first record, they offer this glowing comment:

“It's more than likely that Dotty Daniels' name'll be a topic of disk conversation in the near future. The thrush's bow [songbird's debut] on Amy has that hit stamp notched into every groove. It's an emotional beat-ballad weeper that the chorus-backed songstress waxes with loads of feeling.”

You were in good company in that issue, as another Newcomer Pick was the Tymes' “So Much in Love,” a No. 1 hit that summer.

One month later, Billboard gave you and Big Dee Irwin a brief plug, both coincidentally in the same paragraph.

Their June 22, 1963 issue ran this regional action comment from their Philadelphia correspondent:

“A&L Distributors, Inc. promotion chief, Harry Fink, reports a sleeper in “Play Me a Sad Song” by Dotty Daniels on the Amy label, with a big start for Dimension label's Little Eva and Big Dee Irwin for “Swinging on a Star.”

IZ ZAT SO? That Paul Simon flourished after producing Dotty Daniels is well-documented. However, all of those involved in that session did quite well.

As lead singer of the Pastels, Big Dee Irwin enjoyed one hit, “So Far Away” in 1958, but “Swinging on a Star” became the first hit to credit him by name.

Freddie Scott's “Hey, Girl” became a Top 10 smash, and kicked off four years of charted singles.

After 10 years of singing with Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson married him (1974) and, as Ashford & Simpson, enjoyed a string of hits in the 1970s and '80s, as singers as well as writers.

Cissy Houston delivered Whitney August 9th. In 1967, after three years of full-time mom duty, she became the lead singer of the Sweet Inspirations.

As for eventual superstar Whitney, she has logged far, far more time atop the albums charts than any female ever.

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

love the cover art!
Misfits Announce New Album Details & Tour Dates

The Misfits have announced some of the details surrounding their forthcoming album, 'The Devil’s Rain,' including the artwork and release date (October 4 via Misfits Records).

The band is heading out on a massive tour starting in September.

Misfits Tour Dates:
(All dates w/JuiceheaD as direct support except for *)

09/16: Rome, Italy @ Piper Club
09/17: Harelbeke, Belgium @ Rat Rock Festival
09/23: Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar*
09/24: Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club*
09/29: Santa Clara, CA @ The Avalon
09/30: Ventura, CA @ Majestic Ventura Theater

Get more tour dates at


a reunion or not?

BLACK SABBATH Guitarist Says There Has Been No Official Confirmation Of Reunion

BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has recently released the following statement regarding the reports of a reunion of the band's original lineup:

"I'm saddened that a Birmingham journalist whom I trusted has chosen this point in time to take a conversation we had back in June and make it sound like we spoke yesterday about a BLACK SABBATH reunion.

"At the time I was supporting the Home Of Metal exhibition was merely speculating shooting the breeze on something all of us get asked constantly, 'Are you getting back together?'

"Thanks to the Internet it's now gone round the world as some sort of 'official' statement on my part; absolute nonsense. I hope he's enjoyed his moment of glory, he won't have another at my expense.

"To my old pals, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill, sorry about this, I should have known better."


PROFANE OMEN: New Album Track Listing, Artwork Unveiled

Finnish metallers PROFANE OMEN have set "Destroy!" as the title of their third album, due on September 28 via Spinefarm Records. The CD was produced by Ville Sorvali (MOONSORROW) and Mikko Herranen (RUST) and was recorded in part at Petrax studios in Hollola, Finland. The effort was mastered at Chartmakers in Helsinki.


1. A Force To Be Reckoned With
2. Wastehead
3. Predator
4. Feed On The Wasted
5. Escape / Traceless
6. Bad Dreams
7. Acedia
8. Bound To Strive
9. Zombie Riders

Read the rest at Blabbermouth


this from our friends at

Weatherbox EP Pre Order

Youth Conspiracy Records have announced the pre order for Weatherbox’s new 12″ EP , “Follow The Rattle Of The Afghan Guitar. The vinyl will be limited to 500 copies. The record will be pressed on a variety of randomly colored vinyl. Pre orders are available at ShopRadioCast as well as the label directly, Youth Conspiracy Records. Shop Radio Cast is offering a free patch with pre order as well as an exclusive mystery color.

ShopRadioCast wil have an exclusive limited mystery color! Each pre order will also receive a Weatherbox patch.

Vinyl Color: Mystery Exclusive Color

Track Listing
Secret Muslim
My Head
Heavy Map
Broken Glowsticks
The Bullets


GRIMEY'S BEST SELLERS 8/08 - 8/14, 2011

Top 25 Vinyl:

1. The Flaming Lips w/ Lightning Bolt - I'm Working At NASA On Acid 12"
2. D. Watusi - Slave Walls 7"
3. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
4. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
5. My Morning Jacket - Circuital
6. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
7. Natural Child - 1971
8. The Features - Rambo 7"
9. JEFF The Brotherhood - We Are The Champions
10. The Remains - The Remains
11. Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
12. July - July
13. The Flaming Lips w/ Prefuse 73 - Supermoon Made Me Want To Pee
14. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
15. Steve Cropper - Dedicated
16. Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
17. Lindi Ortega - Little Red Boots
18. The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
19. Radiohead - Morning Mr. Magpie remix 12"
20. The Remains - Let Me Through 7"
21. Diarrhea Planet - Yama-Uba 7"
22. The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee
23. Cults - Cults
24. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
25. T.Rex - The Slider


and in music history for today, August 17th:

In 1955, Elvis Presley released his first number 1 hit, “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” / “Mystery Train.” It hit the top of the country charts several months later and stayed there for 5 weeks.

In 1960, The Beatles begin their first Hamburg engagement at the Indra Club, Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, West Germany, playing the first of 48 nights at the Club. The owner, Bruno Koschmider, asked The Beatles to "Mach Shau", or really put on a show, which led to the band screaming, shouting, and leaping about the stage and sometimes playing lying on the floor.

The Kinks "You Really Got Me" was released in 1964.

Also in 1964, the council in Glasgow, Scotland announced that any person with a "Beatles cut" would have to wear a bathing cap in municipal pools because their hair was clogging the filters.

In 1966, as if he hadn't said enough already, John Lennon makes another controversial statement when he expresses his admiration for American draft dodgers.

In 1967, Gary Puckett and The Union Gap recorded "Woman Woman". The song would break first in Cleveland in November and would rise to #4 on the US national charts, but could only manage #48 in the UK.

Deep Purple's "Hush" was released in 1968.

The Doors started a four-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1968 with 'Waiting for the Sun.'

In 1969, the final day of the Woodstock Festival featured the Grease Band, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, Ten Years After, the Band, Blood Sweat & Tears, Johnny Winter featuring Edgar Winter, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sha-Na-Na and Jimi Hendrix.

Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970.

In 1973, Paul Williams (Temptations) was found dead by police. It was ruled a suicide.

In 1974, Nottingham England's Paper Lace had Billboard's top tune with a song about a gangster shootout called "The Night Chicago Died". After the song became a hit, the band's manager contacted Chicago's mayor Richard Daley, hoping for a civic reception. What they got instead was 'a rather rude letter', ending in ...are you nuts?' Adding to the band's woes, they were forbidden to perform the song 'live' in America at the height of its popularity because of contract issues.

Eric Clapton started a four-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1974 with '461 Ocean Boulevard.'

Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough" was released in 1974.

In 1977, florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) reported that in one day the number of orders for flowers to be delivered to Graceland had surpassed the number for any other event in the company's history.

Also in 1977, the day after Elvis Presley's death, President Jimmy Carter issues the following statement, "Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable. More than twenty years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense and he was a symbol to people the world over, of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of his country."

In 1984, Motley Crue gave its performance debut at the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington, England.

In 1986, Rick Allen of Def Leppard performed his first concert since losing his arm in a car accident.

A riot between two rival gangs occurs at a Run-D.M.C. concert in Long Beach, CA in 1986. 42 people were beaten or stabbed.

In 1991, Nirvana shot the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in Culver City, CA.

In 1995, on the last night of the Lollapalooza tour, guards remove Courtney Love from the stage after she yelled at Hole fans for not cheering loud enough.

In 1999, Led Zeppelin topped a chart of Britain's most bootlegged musicians, compiled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), after identifying 384 bootleg titles featuring Led Zeppelin performances. The bootleg chart was complied from the BPI's archive of some 10,000 recordings seized over the past 25 years. The Beatles, came in second with 320 entries, other acts listed included The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd.

In 2004, after thirteen years, General Motors stopped using Bob Seger's "Like A Rock" in their ads for the Chevy Silverado pickup.

In 2008, Jackson Browne sued presidential candidate John McCain for his unauthorized use of Running on Empty.

Birthdays today include Gary Talley (Box Tops) (64), Sib Hashian (Boston) (62), Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses) (49), Belinda Carlisle (Go-Go's) (53)