Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: We are in the process of binge watching Netflix's brilliant series, "Orange Is the New Black."

Near the start of the second season, the inmates have a Valentine's Day party. Softly playing in the background, and mostly drowned out by dialogue, is an old doo-wop style song. What is it?

Unlike most films, TV shows never identify the music used, which explains why people keep asking you for such information. Now it's my turn.
—Carmen Mendez, Canton, Ohio

DEAR CARMEN: Apparently, after hearing bits and pieces of "Do What Lovers Do," you did what people do, and with obvious success.

By Earl Lewis and the Channels, one of the 1950s premier doo-wop groups, "Do What Lovers Do" was not recorded until 1991 (Classic Artists 124).

Besides the single, this nifty throwback tune is also available on the 2000 CD album, "The Doo Wop Sound, Volume One" (Varese Sarabande 302 066 174 20).

That specific O.I.N.B. episode, "You Also Have a Pizza," is the sixth in the second season.

In an earlier episode, they really surprised me by playing "Crazy Eyes for You," a Top 40 hit from 1958 by Bobby Hamilton, and his only chart record. Even more shocking is they played it all the way through, as the credits rolled.

DEAR JERRY: When I recently heard the band named Alabama, I realized how few groups I know with the name of a state in their name, such as the New York Dolls.

Can you find one example for all 50 states?
—Claude Sanders, Brooklyn, N.Y.

DEAR CLAUDE: No wonder you knew one from the Empire State. Now, just to appear creative, I'll have to make different selections for both Alabama and New York.

With so much information to deal with, we'll have to do this in two parts: A-M and N-Z.

Here is each state with just one artist chosen whose name honors it:

ALABAMA: Alabama State Troopers (Introduced in 1972 with a self-titled LP on Elektra Records)

ALASKA: Alaska Troubadours (Recorded "Banoff Bounce" and "Sourdough Blues" for Royal)

ARIZONA: Arizona (Self-titled RCA Victor LP in 1976)

ARKANSAS: Black Oak Arkansas (Known for their Atco single, "Jim Dandy," a Top 30 hit in 1974)

CALIFORNIA: California Raisins (Only Claymation group on the list. Signature song was "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," from 1988. Surprisingly, they are the only "California ______" [fill in blank] act with a hit record on 45 rpm)

CONNECTICUT: Rudy Vallee and His Connecticut Yankees (Multi-talented superstar with many hits, especially in the 1930s and '40s)

DELAWARE: Delaware Valley U.S.A. West Featuring Ernie Walker (Issued "The Wreck of the Ninety 7" in 1961 on Kay-Y)

FLORIDA: Florida Hurricanes (Waxed "Just Another Day" for Hollywood Records in 1958)

GEORGIA: Georgia Satellites (Homegrown band whose Elektra single, "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," reached No. 2 in 1986)

HAWAII: Frank Ferera's Hawaiians (For the first half of the 20th century, Ferera was the Islands' preeminent guitarist, and the force behind hundreds of Hawaiian recordings.)

IDAHO: Idaho (UK band with the 1996 Caroline single, "Pomegranate Bleeding")

ILLINOIS: Illinois Speed Press (Chicago group whose self-titled debut LP for Columbia hit the charts in 1969)

INDIANA: Boys from Indiana (Among their mid-'70s King Bluegrass tunes is "I Miss My Indiana")

IOWA: Iowa Roxx with the OHS Madrigal Chorus (Hailing from the Hawkeye State, on the Action Sports label, and with "Hawkmania" for a title, make this 1984 single the perfect Iowa choice)

KANSAS: Kansas (This Topeka outfit had over a dozen hits, but are best remembered for their 1978 "Dust in the Wind")

KENTUCKY: Kentucky Headhunters (Award-winning country-rock band that landed in the Top 10 in 1990 with "Oh Lonesome Me," on Mercury)

LOUISIANA: Louisiana Rhythm Kings (New Orleans jazz band par excellence, with 34 terrific tunes from 1928 to 1930. Their 78s are usually in the $200 to $600 range)

MAINE: Maine (Five man Spanish band, now with two albums on Tralla: "Motor Home" [2000] and "A Moment Before" [2003])

MARYLAND: Marylanders with Buddy Lucas and His Band of Tomorrow (West Baltimore quintet that recorded for Jubilee in 1952 and '53, then evolved into the Stylists in 1959)

MASSACHUSETTS: Dick Madison and the Massachusetts Delegation (Artists with Massachusetts in their name are rare. Fortunately, this delegation made a single on Oracle circa-1969: "Give a Damn" backed with "Hey Jude")

MICHIGAN: Prince Arky and the Michigan Playboys (Arky implies from Arkansas, so he crossed the Mississippi River to Tennessee in 1963 to record "My Heart Would Surely Die" for Judd Records, in Memphis. Somewhere along the way, Arky acquired some Michigan Playboys)

MINNESOTA: Minnesota Marv and the Vanguards (These gophers made two singles for Cuca, both in 1961: "Nobody's Darling But Mine" and "Little Boy Blue")

MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi Blacksnakes (Only four 78s are known by this group, all from 1931, all for Brunswick, and none easy to find for under $1,000)

MISSOURI: Missouri (Recorded for Panama and Polydor from 1977 to '79, with singles and albums for both labels)

MONTANA: Patsy Montana and the Prairie Ramblers (Patsy's prime period is 1935 to '45, but her influence on latter day singing cowgirls and yodelers cannot be overstated. Patsy's signature song, "I Wanna Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," remains one of the most performed songs in western music history)

IZ ZAT SO? There are plenty of choices for areas like New York, California and Texas, but finding artists' names that include these states presented a much greater challenge:

Alaska; Connecticut; Delaware; Idaho; Iowa; Maine; Massachusetts; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Mexico; North Dakota; South Dakota; Utah; Vermont; West Virginia; and Wyoming.

Next week, Part Two: Nebraska through Wyoming.

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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