Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: The first pop song I ever heard that was dedicated to the hits of the past was "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me of You)," by Little Caesar and the Romans. That was in 1961, and it's the one that got me collecting songs of that type.

It seems many other tunes were inspired by this hit. I have dozens now, from '61 to as late as 1986 (Journey's "Raised on Radio"). Still, there is one I need but don't know enough about.

I heard it in the '70s, possibly around the time of "American Pie," and the title might be "Welcome Home," or something similar.

Two oldies mentioned in it are "Devil Or Angel" (Clovers) and "Only You" (Platters).

Is this enough info for you to pull another rabbit out of the hat?
—Freddie Jurgensen, Omaha, Neb. 
Little Caesar and the Romans
DEAR FREDDIE: You were not the only one motivated by "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me of You)." Several other songs about songs came out that summer, among them: "Dedicated (To the Songs I Love) (3 Friends); "Play It Again" (Tina Robin); "Juke Box Saturday Night" (Nino and the Ebb Tides); "More Money for You and Me" (Four Preps); and of course, "Memories of Those Oldies But Goodies" (Little Caesar and the Romans).

Unlike many latter day oldies tributes, "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me of You)" (Del-Fi 4158) salutes the genre as a whole, without referring to any specific titles or artists.                                                                                                                                                                          
Not so with Caesar's sequel, "Memories of Those Oldies But Goodies" (Del-Fi 4166). This track is filled with direct references to these 14 oldies but goodies:

"Over the Mountain, Across the Sea" (Johnnie & Joe); "Stranded in the Jungle" (Cadets); "In the Still of the Nite" (Five Satins); "Oh, What a Night" (Dells); "Tonite, Tonite" (Mello-Kings); "Story Untold" (Nutmegs); "Heaven in Paradise" (Little Julian Herrera); "Earth Angel" (Penguins); "White Cliffs of Dover" (Checkers); "The Glory of Love" (Velvetones); "I Only Have Eyes for You" (Flamingos); "Love You So" (Ron Holden); and "Donna" (Ritchie Valens). They conclude the tribute with the most recent "oldie," the one that, just two months earlier, started it all for them, for you, and for many others: "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me of You)."

Little Caesar's nod to the Five Satins' "In the Still of the Nite," in "Memories of Those Oldies But Goodies" is well-timed, since it is the Five Satins Featuring Fred Parris whose 1973 recording of "Very Precious Oldies (Welcome Back Home)" (Kirschner 4251) is the record you still seek.

DEAR JERRY: Just before Beatlemania, the whole world was twisting. And for a couple of years there were plenty of "twist" hits.

Can you review twist mania music as you did with the British Invasion?
—Kyle Slocumb, Upper Darby, Pa.

DEAR KYLE: The best way to recap this story, one with more twists than a Hitchcock thriller, is to develop a twist timeline.

Using mostly Cash Box charts (they are the most search friendly), we'll list the songs according to their Top 100 debut dates. This accounts for 33 twist titles over about 44 months.

July 23, 1960: "The Twist" (Hank Ballard and the Midnighters) and "The Twist" (Chubby Checker)

Though both versions of "The Twist" debuted in the Top 100 on July 23, 1960, Ballard's single actually came out in late 1958, or very early in '59, making this a reissue.

Sept 24: "Twistin' U.S.A." (Danny and the Juniors)
Nov. 5: "Kissin' and Twistin' (Fabian)
Dec. 10: "Twistin' Bells" (Santo & Johnny)
Jan. 14, 1961: "(Let's Do) The Hully Gully Twist" (Bill Doggett)
June 24: "Let's Twist Again" (Chubby Checker)
Nov. 18: "The Peppermint Twist (Part 1)" (Joey Dee and the Starliters) and "The Twist" (Chubby Checker) (Reissue of his 1960 hit.)
Dec. 2: "Let's Twist Again" (Chubby Checker) (Reissue of his June 24th entry.)
Dec. 11: "Twistin' U.S.A." (Chubby Checker) (Flip side of "The Twist." Charted by Billboard but not Cash Box)
Dec. 9: "Rock-a-Hula Baby (Twist Special)" (Elvis Presley)
Dec. 16: "Twist-Her" (Bill Black's Combo)
Dec. 23: "Dear Lady Twist" (Gary [U.S.] Bonds)
Jan. 20, 1962: "Percolator (Twist)" (Billy Joe and the Checkmates) and "Oliver Twist" (Rod McKuen)
Jan. 27: "Twistin' Postman" (Marvelettes)
Feb. 3: "Twistin' the Night Away" (Sam Cooke)
Feb. 10: "Hey, Let's Twist" (Joey Dee and the Starliters)
Feb. 17: "Soul Twist" (King Curtis and the Noble Knights)
March 3: "Slow Twistin'" (Chubby Checker & Dee Dee Sharp)
March 10: "The Alvin Twist" (David Seville and the Chipmunks)
March 31: "Twist, Twist Senora" (Gary [U.S.] Bonds); "Ev'rybody's Twistin'" (Frank Sinatra); and "Twistin' Matilda" (Jimmy Soul)
April 21: "Meet Me at the Twistin' Place" (Johnny Morisette)
April 28: "Teach Me to Twist" (Bobby Rydell & Chubby Checker) and "(Twistin') White Silver Sands" (Bill Black's Combo)
May 12: "Bristol Twistin' Annie" (Dovells)
June 2: "Twist and Shout" (Isley Brothers)
Sept. 22: "Twistin' with Linda" (Isley Brothers)

"Twistin' with Linda" dropped off the chart after seven weeks, effectively ending the twist craze — which is not to say we'd heard the last of twistin' songs.

Here are two more for the collection:

July 20, 1963: "Twist It Up" (Chubby Checker)
March 7, 1964: "Twist and Shout" (Beatles)

IZ ZAT SO? The twist's peak week began March 31, 1962, when these 13 twist tunes occupied a Top 100 spot:

4. "Slow Twistin'" (Chubby Checker & Dee Dee Sharp)
6. "Twistin' the Night Away" (Sam Cooke)
29. "Soul Twist" (King Curtis and the Noble Knights)
33. "The Twist" (Chubby Checker)
41. "Percolator (Twist)" (Billy Joe and the Checkmates)
44. "Dear Lady Twist" (Gary [U.S.] Bonds)
54. "The Alvin Twist" (David Seville and the Chipmunks)
58. "Hey, Let's Twist" (Joey Dee and the Starliters)
64. "Twist, Twist Senora" (Gary [U.S.] Bonds)
68. "Peppermint Twist (Part 1)" (Joey Dee and the Starliters)
73. "Twistin' Postman" (Marvelettes)
95. "Ev'rybody's Twistin'" (Frank Sinatra)
99. "Twistin' Matilda" (Jimmy Soul)

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. 

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