Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers

>>>My first 45 was Robot Man by Jamie Horton, in about 1958 or ‘59.  My second 45 is one that I’ve been trying to figure out for years now.  I can remember a light-blue label, and the song had something to do with a soldier sitting under a tree reading a letter.  Or maybe it was a girl sitting under a tree reading a letter from her soldier boyfriend.  Not sure, but I’d love to know what it was.  (Kathy Reilly)

It could be the Tassels “To a Soldier Boy” on Madison 117.  The time period is right since it first charted July 13, 1959 and would have in stores just before Jamie Horton’s records.
Rick Tharp

I considered this one, too, but wasn't sure about the "light blue" label ... blue, yes ... but not LIGHT blue.  Let's give it a spin and see if Kathy recognizes it.  (kk)

There was no stab of recognition when I listened to “To a Soldier Boy.”  Can you tell me if the label was light blue and what was on the flip side?  I have no memory of the flip side, but I thought if I heard the name of the song it might trigger something.  I feel very strongly that the record I’m looking for was recorded by a male artist on a light blue label.
Thanks again, and I’m so glad I found you online.
Kathy Reilly
A photo of the single is above (more of a dark blue label actually).  Doesn't sound like this is the one you've been looking for (but the flipside was a song called "The Boy For Me", just in case!)  If anybody else out there has any suggestions, please let us know!  (kk)
First of all, Kent, this was so extremely kind of you to take the time to hunt for the 45 then turn it into an mp3.  Thank you so much!

Does anybody have an MP-3 of Cara Mia by The Bob Knight Four?????

It was recorded before Jay and the Americans version.
Sadly John Roper who started the group doesn't have a copy of it.
We'd both love it.
Stu Weiss
Pop Shoppe
Friday nights from 7 PM till 3:01 AM
If you've got a copy to share, please contact Stu Weiss at:
>>>For Marsha Ahrenkiel, who asked about it in July 2010, the cologne was Bravura. My band, the Honus Huffhines, played it live a couple of times.
No one seems to know who actually recorded this, but there's a fairly lengthy reference to it here:  

Apparently Ellie Greenwich was involved with the writing of the song. Several years ago I asked the then-president of her fanclub (Joe Somsky) about the record, he didn't know much about it, but he assumed she was also performing on it somewhere (obviously not on vocals, though). Sadly Joe passed away not too long after Ellie, and I had never gotten around to asking her directly about it when she and I had corresponded in emails a few months prior to her passing.
While I've got your attention talking about unknown performers, I'm sending you another one. I have a songwriter acetate of a song called Shy Boy. It was recorded by George McCannon III on Mercury records but this is a demo version done by a different singer. I have had this on youtube for a while and am still trying to find out who is performing it ... a friend of mine thinks it might be Ray Hildebrand (Paul from Paul and Paula) but I think the song is too early (1961 or so) for him to have found himself in a New York studio cutting the demo ... so if anyone out there knows who might be performing it, I'd love to know (I have some other demo acetates I'd love to eventually ID as well). Tying this disc into the "Different Drummer" tune, I have heard that it is possible Ellie Greenwich is among the background vocalists for my Shy Boy acetate, as well.
Tom Diehl

Love the Forgotten Hits site!  I have a 45 that has been in my possession over 35 years and I have never been able to find out who did it.  It is Point Me In The Direction of Albuquerque, but definitely not the Partridge Family version unless David sounded a bit like Wayne Newton.  The only number I can find on the disc is AQ-607AM engraved in the vinyl and the label just says test pressing. Any help or point me in the direction of help would be appreciated.
Patrick Smiley
Is it the same SONG as the one by The Partridge Family?  I'm wondering if perhaps it's a demo version of some sort.  Not much here to go on but maybe this will ring a bell with somebody out there.  (kk)
It is the same song as the Partridge Family done in a country style.
I was doing some more searching last night and found a UK site that lists old records for sale and found a match after all these years.  It was done by Larry G. Hudson of Macon, GA.  I don’t know if it was ever released as a commercial single as the other one I found was also a demo.
I was hoping it would be an artist a bit more popular. Sometimes mysteries should stay that way, but it’s still neat to have found out who it is after all this time.
Patrick Smiley
Larry G. Hudson placed a few songs on Billboard's Country Singles Chart in the late '70's (but this wasn't one of them).  His biggest country hit came in 1979 when "Loving You Is A Natural High" peaked at #31.  Three other singles ("Just Out Of Reach Of My Two Open Arms", "I Can't Cheat" and "I'm Still In Love With You") also made Billboard's Country Top 40.  (kk)

>>>I heard one time that Millie Small's version of "My Boy Lollipop" features a very young Rod Stewart on the harmonica. Is this true?  (Ken)
>>>While that rumor circulated for many, many years ... and was even printed as "fact" in numerous publications ... it apparently was NOT true.  Interestingly enough, I did a quick search after I received your email.  ClassicBands.com still gives Rod Stewart credit (although Rod has reportedly stated on the record that he did NOT play harmonica on this track ... and also states that he never claimed he did.)  Meanwhile, both Pete Hogman and Jimmy Powell are credited on different websites as insisting that THEY played harmonica on the track ... and both artists have taken credit for doing so ... so perhaps we'll never know once and for all definitively who did ... other than it WASN'T Rod Stewart.  (kk)
The released 45 rpm version has Pete Hogman on harmonica. A backing track was issued on a Best Of Millie cd a few years ago with Jimmy Powell's original harmonica solo on it. Producer Chris Blackwell was unsatisfied with the first solo cut by Powell, a musician with Ernest Ranglin and His Orchestra (the group that performed the music track for My Boy Lollipop) so he brought in Pete Hogman, a local Jamaican musician, to redo the solo.
Tom Diehl

This comes across the A.P. Entertainment History DJ prep every year on September 15th.
In 1969, Ed Sullivan released "The Sulli-Gulli," his first and only rock record. He was hoping it would create a new dance. 
I have never heard the record.  I am sure it is really bad.  Do you have a copy of it?
Phil Nee - WRCO
I don't ... but I'll betcha SOMEBODY out there does!!!  (Send it along and we'll give it a spin in our next "Helping Out Our Readers" column!)  kk

>>>I was surprised to see Joel Whitburn describing the Ronettes as a "black girl group" cuz I had always considered them to be of Puerto Rican descent ... so I consulted the book, "He's a Rebel: Phil Spector, Rock and Roll's Legendary Producer" by author Mark Ribowsky, who also calls the Ronettes a black group. This was starting to gnaw on me, as Ronnie Spector does not appear to be black on the picture sleeve of her Apple single "Tandoori Chicken / Try Some, Buy Some."  And so, on my first day back at a computer (the fall semester started this week at Santa Rosa JC) I had the opportunity to research the Ronettes ancestry and learned that: To begin with, all three were of mixed-race decent; all young beauties.  Ronnie and Estelle were the children of a white father and a mother of African-American and Cherokee descent.  Nedra Talley was black, Indian and Puerto Rican.  Another biographical website also referred to the Ronettes as "multi-racial." Whitburn's and Ribowsky's credentials are now being questioned. As is my memory.  (Dave Barry)
>>>I forwarded your email to Steve Knuettel, who wrote the Phil Spector Series that ran in Forgotten Hits a few years back.  (I figured that with the amount of research he did on this subject, he might be able to shed some definitive insight on this most unusual topic!)  kk

Here's what he came back with:

Hey Kent, good to hear from you.
As far an the ethnicity of the Ronettes, I believe (as the reader found on the internet) that Ronnie and Estelle were the children of a white father and a mother of African-American and Cherokee descent.  Nedra Talley was black, Indian and Puerto Rican.
In her book Be My Baby - How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts and Madness Or My Life As A Fabulous Ronette, Ronnie wrote in the third paragraph of Chapter one "My mother, Beatrice Bennett, is black and Cherokee, and my father, Louis, was white, which makes me a half-breed." The same was true of Estelle.  Later in the same chapter, Ronnie writes of Nedra "Her father was a Spanish man, which made her a half-breed like me."
Regarding questioning the credentials of Whitburn or Ribowsky, the Ronettes were as black as Obama.

>>>Here's a piece submitted by FH Reader Ken Voss that could make our whole "Helping Out Our Readers" segment obsolete and unnecessary!!!  (Gee, thanks a lot, buddy!)  kk

I don't know that this long, detailed article will completely replace what you do, Kent. 
There will always be people who come to you after exhausting the given searches, even as good as Google is in that regard.
Well, hopefully our "personal touch" counts for something!!!  (lol)  Thanks, Bob!  (kk)

Wow, that was quite a detailed piece from Ken Voss a couple of days ago, on where to find different types of information on our beloved oldies.
Another on-line site that I use regularly when I’m compiling my Oldies crossword puzzles (“Rockwords”) is www.discogs.com.  Accessing this site allows you to view images of an extensive database of singles and albums, and get information on everything  printed on the label.  In most cases images of B-sides are provided as well as images of different published versions of records from the same artist / title combination, as well as versions of the same artist / title combination released in the U.K and other foreign markets.   
If I may, a big thanks also to Ron Smith for continuing to publish a new Rockword each month on his site www.oldiesmusic.com/crossword.htm.  The puzzle on the site this month is titled “The Brits Are Coming” covering the music of the groups who were part of the British Invasion in the mid 60’s.
Mike Ogilvie
Mississauga, ON
If you KNOW the name of the song and / or artist you're looking for, it makes things a whole lot easier. (I'd recommend GEMM.COM as well, which also shows the A-Side and B-Side of each single it lists ... Joel Whitburn's books do that, too, provided it was a CHARTED single ... but in ALL cases you need to kind of know what you're looking for.)  Googling a specific lyric or line from the song will most often turn up an answer (or at least some song choices), but our list seems to dwell on some of the more obscure music out there ... and, as such, we've all made some interesting discoveries (and new favorites) over the years.  Yes, it was long-winded (not Ken Voss' fault ... he just sent the link from All But Forgotten Oldies!), but if you've been searching for YEARS and exhausted all other avenues, this might help out a reader or two ... so I thought it was worth running.  (Besides, it gave ME a day off from having to come up with something new to write!!! lol)  kk

I guess quite a few of you thought that whole "Help!  I Cannot Remember The Band or Song Name But The Words Go Something Like This ..." dissertation was just a little bit long-winded ... (kk)
WOW!! Will there be a test on this??
Maybe I should just make a copy ...
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano