Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: A fellow in Wales sent me an audio disc he burned from a cassette recorded at a Connie Francis concert she did in the UK, probably not too long ago. 

I especially enjoyed the portion of her show featuring a medley a some of her oldies but goodies. It is fairly long as medleys normally go. 

Unfortunately the sender didn't provide specific titles of the songs. There are obvious ones of course, but also several that I can't properly identify. 

It's a long shot, but can you find out more about this part of her performance. It begins with "Stupid Cupid" and ends it with a couple of her Italian songs. 
—Pauline Chambers, Vineland, N.J. 

DEAR PAULINE: Thanks to your excellent clues, this long shot was merely a short shot.

In order heard, here are the 14 tunes in what is indeed a lengthy medley, running over 22 minutes, nearly half of the entire concert:

"Stupid Cupid" (1958); "Lipstick on Your Collar" (1959); "Robot Man" (1960); "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" (1960); "Vacation" (1962); "Among My Souvenirs" (1959); "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You" (1962); "Carolina Moon" (1959); "My Happiness" (1958); "Together" (1961); "Who's Sorry Now" (1958); "Where the Boys Are" (1960); "Al Di La" (1962); and "Mama" (1960).

If "Robot Man" is one of the tunes you didn't recognize, that's because it was never issued as a single in the U.S.

Connie once explained to me that, for the American release of "Mama," she had to choose between two songs she had in the can: "Robot Man" and "Teddy." She wasn't real crazy about either number, but disliked "Teddy" less than "Robot Man," and that's why there was no U.S. single of "Robot Man."

We simply did not agree on "Robot Man." She thought it was silly, but I liked it a lot and felt it to be very commercial, especially at the dawn of the space age.

"Teddy," written by Paul Anka, did okay, reaching No. 17 on Billboard and No. 31 on Cash Box.

Meanwhile, "Robot Man" was a smash hit in every country where it was issued. In England it peaked on the New Musical Express chart at No. 3.

Because this concert took place in England, reportedly at the London Palladium, Connie acquiesced and included "Robot Man" in the set.

Stateside, Jamie Horton's waxing of "Robot Man" (Joy 241) became a regional hit in 1960.

As for the other stray in the herd, "Carolina Moon," this is the flip side of "Stupid Cupid," and also appeared on some of the national charts.

DEAR JERRY: Maybe if the television producers read your column they will eventually begin identifying the recordings they use, but that won't help me now. But you can. 

On Showtime's hit series, "Nurse Jackie," the season two finale ends with Edie Falco (Jackie) saying "blow me," and a song begins as the credits roll. 

Name that tune and I'll go get it! 
—Ritchie Mescudi, Reno, Nev. 

DEAR RITCHIE: Many folks refer to this song as "You Make Me Nervous," but it really is just "Nervous," and is by Melissa Etheridge.

Issued in 2010, the same year as "Nurse Jackie" wrapped up season two, "Nervous" is one of the tracks on the "Fearless Love" album (Mercury 602527326429).

Now go get it.

IZ ZAT SO? Edie Falco has been nominated 52 times, with 20 wins!

Among those are Prime Time Emmys; Golden Globes; Screen Actors Guild Awards; Satellite Awards; and even a Tony Award.

Most of these are for her work as Carmela Soprano on "The Sopranos" (1999-2007) or as "Nurse Jackie" (2009-2014).

It is a certainty that there will be more awards in the years ahead.

On another front, Edie Falco and Stephen Wallem (Thor Lundgren on "Nurse Jackie") headlined their own Broadway cabaret show in 2011.

Cleverly titled "The Other Steve and Edie," their concerts revealed a little-known fact — this Soprano can really sing!

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:

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