Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ask Mr. Music By Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Regardless of the style of music or when recorded, who do you think released the most singles without ever having a best seller?

It would be interesting to know how long the record companies would stick with someone whose records were not selling.
—Anthony Veltri, Hollywood, Fla.

DEAR ANTHONY: Fascinating question, and very similar to one sent by Thomas Boggs, of Belpre, Ohio.

I always welcome topics not covered in any of our previous 1,300 columns, and this one qualifies.

Allowing for differing definitions of a “best seller,” here is my pick in the perseverance category:

The Original Memphis Five, a prolific jazz band in the 1920s, have over 250 individual singles to their credit. Only one of these sold well enough to appear on a survey, though after just one week it vanished, making it difficult to call it a best seller.

This 1923 single (Victor 19052) is a lively instrumental rendition of “Who's Sorry Now” (35 years later a hit for Connie Francis), featuring trumpeter Phil Napoleon.

Such a quantity of releases may seem unbelievable by modern era standards, but is not unheard of for the early part of the 20th century.

Other examples from the same period include the Golden Gate Orchestra (over 200 singles), the Dixie Jazz Band (over 150), and Uncle Dave Macon (over 150). Of course, all play at 78 rpm.

In the 1960s, many a recording artist got but one or two singles to prove themselves. Failing to achieve some degree of success often meant no more chances with that label.

Surely the most memorable instance of this happened in March 1962, about two months after the UK release of “My Bonnie,” by Tony Sheridan & the Beatles (Polydor NH-66833).

Decca Britain's A&R chief, Dick Rowe called Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, to inform him the boys would not be offered a contract.

Rowe simply said, “Sorry, but groups with guitars are on their way out. Besides, we were not pleased with their sound.”

Decca and Rowe made this atrocious decision even though they knew the Beatles topped the Mersey Beat popularity poll a few weeks earlier.

Ouch! Imagine how that choice soon came back to haunt them.

On the flip side, there is an amazing story where the record company, MGM in this case, believed so strongly in a promising young singer that they stuck with her through the lean times.

From mid-1955 to November '57, MGM issued 10 consecutive singles by Connie Francis. Several of these could easily have been hits, but none made much of a splash.

Attempt number 11, “Who's Sorry Now,” came along in December 1957, and the rest is history.

For their resolve and perseverance, both MGM and Connie were truly rewarded.

DEAR JERRY: Now that Tony Bennett is back on the charts, this time joined in song by the late Amy Winehouse, how many years has it been since his first hit?

I'm also curious as to how many recording artists popular in the 1950s and '60s had a song in the Top 10 this year.
—Sally Kingston, Port Orchard, Wash.

DEAR SALLY: From Tony Bennett's chart debut in June 1951, with “Because of You,” to his and Amy's current tune, “Body and Soul,” spans 60 years and three months — unmatched longevity.

“Body and Soul” is only in its first week on the chart, and while it likely will rise from its current spot (No. 87), I would not expect to see it in the Top 10.

If I'm wrong, Tony would then be the first 1950s or '60s artist to do so this year.

IZ ZAT SO? When it comes to pre-1970s performers, the Top 10 albums charts have been nearly as inhospitable as those ranking singles.

There are but three all year: Barbra Streisand, the Beatles, and Paul Simon.

The year and debut LP for each is followed by their 2011 entry:

1963 “The Barbra Streisand Album”
2011 “What Matters Most”

1964 “Meet the Beatles”
2011 “Beatles 1 (27 No. 1 Singles Remastered)”

1966 “Wednesday Morning, 3 AM” (Simon & Garfunkel)
2011 “So Beautiful or So What”

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

Metal Hammer To Issue Limited Edition Machine Head Vinyl

Metal Hammer is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a limited edition Machine Head vinyl release later this month.

The track will feature the band's single, "Locust" from their current album 'Unto The Locust' and two B-sides "Beautiful Mourning" (live) and "Bite The Bullet" (live) – which were first released for Record Store Day earlier this year. Cover art has been created in collaboration with the band and the magazine and this will be the only release of the music in this format which will take place.

“Metal Hammer writes about a genre image of music which has been around for 40 years. Machine Head are a very symbolic band, one who personifies heavy metal while at the same time straddling the old and new cultures. The bow down at the feet of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden whilst still appealing to new fans,” said Metal Hammer editor Alexi Milas – who noted that vinyl had a collectability surrounding it that even readers who did not own record players would find appealing.

“By releasing it on a classic format, we are joining up the last 25 years with the next and assures everyone that Metal Hammer is a heavy magazine,” he added.

Alongside the release, Metal Hammer will also feature a retrospective of the last 25 years of its existence – retracing the history of the magazine and looking at some of the key stories it has covered. It will also host an anniversary celebration at the 02 Academy in Islington, featuring metal act Male Face, stoner metal group Orange Goblin and AC/DC tribute act, Dirty DC on October 24th.


Tom Petty to Release Live Album, Play Benefit Concert

'Live Heartbreakers' LP will come out on Record Store Day's Black Friday

By Patrick Doyle

Tom Petty famously railed against the corporate takeover of the record industry with his 2002 album The Last DJ, and he hasn’t stopped fighting. Rolling Stone has learned that to mark Record Store Day’s Black Friday on November 25th, which supports independent record stores, Petty and the Heartbreakers will release a live vinyl LP consisting primarily of tracks from last year’s Mojo. It will also include a new version of his obscure "Sweet William," a heavy blues stomper that was a originally a B side to 1999’s Echo track "Room at the Top." Petty revived the track on the road in 2008.

Read the rest at


Proclaimers To Reissue First Three Albums

Scottish duo the Proclaimers are set to release remastered versions of their first three albums - including previously unreleased bonus material on October 31st.

The Proclaimers, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid, originally released their debut album ‘This Is The Story’ on Chrysalis in 1987. The album was produced by John Williams and, bar co-write ‘Misty Blue’ and a cover of George Jones’s ‘(I’m Gonna) Burn Your Playhouse Down’, the album’s songs were all written by the Reid brothers, showcasing their songwriting prowess, particularly in their timeless UK no.3 single ‘Letter From America’ (the ‘band’ version was produced by the late, great Gerry Rafferty and Hugh Murphy), which was a hit in December ’87.

As well as the original remastered album, ‘This Is The Story’ comes with an accompanying bonus disc featuring live versions of ‘(I’m Gonna) Burn Your Playhouse Down’ and ‘Throw The R Away’, as well as that single’s B-sides ‘A Train Went Past The Window’ and a cover of Hank Williams’ ‘Long Gone Lonesome Blues’. Additional covers – Eddie Cochran’s ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ and Merle Haggard’s ‘I Can’t Be Myself’ – reveal the roots and influence of the Reid Brothers’ songwriting. The disc is completed with a previously unreleased Charlie Gillett Show radio session.

Released in 1988, ‘Sunshine On Leith’, in part inspired by their hometown of the same name, is considered the Reid Brothers greatest album, particularly as it includes the no.11 hit single and much-loved song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, as well as a cover of Steve Earle’s ‘My Old Friend The Blues’. In addition to the remastered album, the album’s bonus disc features six b-sides, and three previously unreleased BBC radio sessions: a Nicky Campbell session from 1989, a BBC Radio 1 Christmas Extravaganza from December 1990 featuring a cover of ‘Blue Christmas’ and BBC Live at Glastonbury from 1989.

Not released until six years later, ‘Hit The Highway’ was the Reid Bothers’ third album and went Top 10. Recorded with a full horn section, it has a Stax feel in places. The bonus disc includes covers of ‘Invitation To The Blues’, Gentle On My Mind’ and ‘Waiting On A Train’, Otis Redding’s ‘These Arms of Mine’ (remix) and ‘Bye, Bye Love’ from the film of the same name. The disc is completed by previously unreleased BBC Radio 1 sessions


ANDROMEDA: New Album Details Revealed

Swedish progressive metal band ANDROMEDA are scheduled to release their new album, 'Manifest Tyranny,' this November 25th in Europe via Inner Wound Recordings and November 21st in North America through Nightmare Records. The effort will be made available as a regular CD version, in digital formats, as well as a very exclusive wooden box edition, strictly limited to 400 copies worldwide. A digital single for the track "Lies 'R' Us" will be released on October 28.

1. Preemptive Strike
2. Lies 'R' Us
3. Stay Unaware
4. Survival Of The Richest
5. False Flag
6. Chosen By God
7. Asylum
8. Play Dead
9. Go Back To Sleep
10. Antidote


Black Keys Reveal New Album Details

The Black Keys have recently announced the release of their new album, 'El Camino,' via their website. 'El Camino' is due out December 6 via Nonesuch worldwide. It was co-produced by the Black Keys and Danger Mouse. The first single and leadoff track called "Lonely Boy" is due out October 26th.

To promote the release of the new record, the Keys have created a fake website and a car commercial starring Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, Breaking Bad). Check out the ad below.

1 Lonely Boy
2 Dead and Gone
3 Gold on the Ceiling
4 Little Black Submarines
5 Money Maker
6 Run Right Back
7 Sister
8 Hell of a Season
9 Stop Stop
10 Nova Baby
11 Mind Eraser


OZ: 'Burning Leather' Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

Legendary 1980s Finnish/Swedish heavy metal band OZ are set to release their new album, 'Burning Leather,' on November 18th via AFM Records.

1. Dominator
2. Searchlights
3. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
4. Fire In The Brain
5. Seasons In The Darkness
6. Turn The Cross Upside Down
7. Burning Leather
8. Gambler
9. Enter Stadium
10. Total Metal
11. Third Warning


Iron Savior Reveals New Album Artwork

German power metal band Iron Saviour, recently signed to AFM Records, have unveiled the cover art for the upcoming album 'The Landing.' The artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco. The album is scheduled for release on November 18, 2011.


Theocracy To Release New LP

US based Christian power/progressive band Theocracy are set to release the band's third LP 'As The World Bleeds' through Nightmare Records on November 21, 2011 (North America) and November 25, 2011 (EU).

1. I Am
2. The Master Storyteller
3. Nailed
4. Hide in the Fairytale
5. The Gift of Music
6. 30 Pieces of Silver
7. Drown
8. Altar to the Unknown God
9. Light of the World
10. As the World Bleeds


Smells Like Teen Spirit’ And Other Cuts Covered By The Muppets In New Film

Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords has four original songs in the Disney film "The Muppets," which features special appearances by Feist, Joanna Newsom and Nathan Pacheco. McKenzie is the film's music supervisor.

McKenzie has written "Life's a Happy Song," sung by Jason Segel, Amy Adams and new Muppet Walter and then as a full cast finale; "Let's Talk About Me," which Chris Cooper sings; "Man or Muppet," a duet between Segel and Walter; and "Me Party," a collaboration between Adams and Miss Piggy. Feist and Mickey Rooney add vocals to "Life's A Happy Song," Newsom is guest vocalist on Jim Henson's "The Muppet Show Theme" and Pacheco, Disney Music Group artist, appears on "Let's Talk About Me."

The soundtrack to ‘The Muppets’ is due out via Walt Disney Records on Nov. 21, according to Billboard.

In the film, Walter, who is the world’s biggest Muppets fan, his brother Gary (played by Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (played by Amy Adams) enjoy a vacation in Los Angeles when they inadvertently discover that oilman Tex Richman (played by Chris Cooper) plans to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil. Once the trio uncovers this dastardly plot, they offer their services to help Kermit reunite the Muppets for a telethon to raise $10 million to save the theater.

Soundtrack Tracklist:
"The Muppet Show Theme" - The Muppets
"Life's a Happy Song" - Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter
"Pictures in My Head" - Kermit and The Muppets
"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" - Paul Simon
"Rainbow Connection" - The Moopets
"We Built This City" - Starship
"Me Party" - Amy Adams and Miss Piggy
"Let's Talk About Me" - Chris Cooper
"Man or Muppet" - Jason Segel and Walter
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" - The Muppets Barbershop Quartet
"Forget You" - Camilla and The Chickens
"Rainbow Connection" - The Muppets
"The Whistling Caruso" - Andrew Bird
"Life's a Happy Song" - Finale Entire Cast
"Mahna Mahna" - Mahna Mahna and The Two Snowths


GRIMEY'S BEST SELLERS 10/03 - 10/09, 2011

Top 25 Vinyl:

1. Wilco - The Whole Love
2. Feist - Metals
3. Kenny Vaughan - V
4. JEFF The Brotherhood - Whatever I Want 7" (Third Man Blue Series)
5. Wolves In The Throneroom - Celestial Lineage
6. Stephen Malkmus - Mirror Traffic
7. Dreamers Of The Ghetto - Enemy / Lover
8. Bonnie Prince Billy - Wolfroy Goes To Town
9. Nick Lowe - The Old Magic
10. St Vincent - Strange Mercy
11. Beirut - The Rip Tide
12. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
13. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
14. The Strokes - Is This It
15. Insane Clown Posse - Leck Mich Im Arsch 7"
16. Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose (extended version) 7"
17. Dinosaur Jr - You're Living All Over Me (reissue)
18. Dinosaur Jr - Bug (reissue)
19. Nirvana - Nevermind (expanded reissue)
20. Hawkwind - Doremi Fasol Latido (reissue)
21. Zola Jesus - Conatus
22. Boots Electric - Honkey Kong
23. JEFF The Brotherhood - We Are The Champions
24. Pavement - Quarantine The Past
25. J Dilla - Donuts


today in music history for october 12th:

In 1955, the Chrysler Corporation introduces high fidelity record players for their 1956 line-up of cars. The unit measured about four inches high and less than a foot wide and mounted under the instrument panel. The seven inch discs spun at 16 2/3 rpm and required almost three times the number of grooves per inch as an LP. A set of 35 classical recordings were available that provided between 45 and 60 minutes of uninterrupted music. The players would be discontinued in 1961.

In 1956, a motion picture called 'Don't Knock The Rock,' featuring Little Richard and Bill Haley And His Comets, opens in US theatres. The movie tells the story of a disc jockey, Alan Freed, who tries to prove to teenagers' parents that Rock 'n' Roll is harmless and won't turn their kids into juvenile delinquents.

In 1957, Johnny Mathis had the best selling song in America with "Chances Are", which would sell over two million copies.

Also in 1957, while on tour in Sydney, Australia, Little Richard denounces Rock 'n' Roll, saying "If you want to live for the Lord, you can't take Rock and Roll too. God doesn't like it." When his sax player, Clifford Burks, dares Richard to prove his "faith in God," Little Richard tosses four diamond rings, valued at $8,000, into Sydney's Hunter River and soon after launches a Gospel career. Five years later, he would switch back to Rock.

In 1963, "Sugar Shack" by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It would go on to be the best selling single of the year.

Also in 1963, the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" peaked at #2 during its ten week chart run in America. Producer Phil Spector wasn't satisfied with his results until the 42nd take and engineer Larry Lavine would later recall, "The things Phil was doing were crazy and exhausting, but that's not the sign of a nut. That's genius."

In 1965, at Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles record "Run For Your Life" and "Norwegian Wood" for their upcoming "Rubber Soul" album.

In 1966, the Jimi Hendrix Experience play their first major concert at the Olympia Theatre in Paris in front of an audience of 14,500. The British press call Hendrix "the wild man of Pop."

In 1968, Big Brother and the Holding Company went to #1 on the US album chart with 'Cheap Thrills.'

John Sebastian left the band Lovin' Spoonful in 1968 to start his solo career.

In 1969, the "Paul is Dead" craze began when a radio DJ played "Revolution #9" backwards.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Jesus Christ Superstar" debuted on Broadway in 1970.

In 1971, Gene Vincent died from a perforated ulcer at age 36. He had the 1956 US #7 and UK #16 single “Be Bop A Lula.” He appeared in the film, The Girl Can’t Help It with Jayne Mansfield. In 1960, while on tour in the UK, Vincent and songwriter Sharon Sheeley were seriously injured the car crash that killed Eddie Cochran.

In 1973, Elton John was awarded a Gold record for his two disc set, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", his third straight number one album.

In 1978, while living at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, Sex Pistol Sid Vicious called the police to say that someone had stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. He was arrested and charged with her murder and placed in the detox unit of a New York prison.

In 1980, seven people were stabbed during a fight at a Blood, Sweat And Tears concert in Los Angeles.

In 1985, Ricky Wilson of the B-52’s died of complications from AIDS.

In 1991, Mariah Carey breaks The Jackson 5's record of four straight number one hits when "Emotions" becomes the fifth of her first five singles to reach the top of the Billboard chart. In April, 2008, she would pass Elvis Presley's record when she achieved her 18th Billboard chart topper, second only to The Beatles 20.

In 1996, Farm Aid '96 was held in Columbia, SC with Hootie and the Blowfish, Marshall Chapman, Beach Boys, Son Volt, Robert Earl Keen, Martina McBride, John Conlee, Jewel, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young.

Also in 1996, the film documentary The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was released. It had been taped in December 1968, but was held back for nearly 28 years, allegedly because The Stones felt that The Who had upstaged them.

In 1997, John Denver was killed when the handmade, experimental airplane he was flying ran out of gas and crashed off the coast of Monterey Bay, CA. The 53 year old star of the 1977 film Oh God had placed 15 songs on Billboard's Top 40 Pop chart, ten of which reached number one on either Billboard's Adult Contemporary or Country chart.

In 2002, twenty-five years after his death, an album of Elvis Presley's best selling songs entitled "Elvis - 30 #1 hits", tops the Billboard album chart.

birthdays today (among others) include: Sam Moore (76), Rick Parfitt (Status Quo) (63), Jeff Keith (Tesla) (53) and Pat DiNizio (Smithereens) (56)