Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I got really excited when I read that a standard retail issue of "Baby I Want You" and "Pray for Me" (Hog 1000), by the Moments, sold for nearly $3,800. That's quite a bundle for a record from the 1970s.

My interest is because I have a Hog special promotional version specifically for radio station use. I'm thinking it is even rarer than copies made for retail sales in record stores.

Whether or not mine is in the same value range is a big question, because this special promo has "Pray for Me" on one side and nothing on the reverse. It is absolutely blank!

Was this done intentionally?

How does having just the one song affect the value?
—Mickey Jones, Medford, Ore.

DEAR MICKEY: The effect on value is huge, all because they chose only the B-side for that promo.

The A-side of the original Hog 1000 is clearly "Baby I Want You," and that is the side collectors want most.

The sole intention of single-sided promo records was to eliminate the possibility of dee jays playing a B-side, thus drawing attention away from the "plug" side.

About the only reason to put "Pray for Me" on a one-sided promo is if the record company wanted to flip-flop the sides, in hopes the B-side would become the A-side.

All of which in this case was moot, since neither side made anyone's chart.

Sorry to say, your excitement, though understandable, is probably overblown. The single-sided "Pray for Me" routinely sells in the $100 to $200 range, not exactly chump change but far less than store stock copies fetch.

For the record, these Moments are not the same as the hugely successfully gang who, in 1970, put "Love on a Two-Way Street" in the Top 5.

DEAR JERRY: One of the records I bought in the '70s is "Chick-A-Boom," by Daddy Dewdrop.

As was always my habit when I brought home a new record, I gave the B-side a spin.

It turned out to be what I would call a filler. It was nothing special but suitable for a non-hit side. What intrigued me more was the odd title, "John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith."

Has there ever been a song title with a person's name longer than this? I can't think of one.
—Anita Dashiel, Waukesha, Wis.

DEAR ANITA: For me, there is one tune whose title is memorable mostly because of its lengthy name: "Jose Villa Lobo Alfredo Thomaso Vincente Lopez," a 1968 single by Rex Allen (Decca 32322).

Whether we count the number of words (seven) or characters (38), this song tops "John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith," with its four words and 26 characters.

Unlike "Jingleheimer," a silly children's song, "Jose Villa Lobo Alfredo Thomaso Vincente Lopez" is a believable name. It is also an adventure story in which Lopez explains that his name wasn't always this long.

He reveals that during the Civil War, each of his three sons died in battle — Alfredo at Vicksburg, Thomaso at Bull Run, and Vincente at Gettysburg.

To honor his sons and their bravery, Jose added each of their names to his own.

Interestingly, the original 45 by the song's writer, Leon Payne (1963), is simply titled "Joe Lopez" (Starday 620). That same title is used for this track on Payne's "Americana" LP (Starday 236), also issued in '63.

Five years later, on Rex Allen's Decca release, Jose's full name is used: "Jose Villa Lobo Alfredo Thomaso Vincente Lopez."

We should mention an Eddy Arnold song with a long name for a title: "Mary Claire Melvina Rebecca Jane" (RCA Victor 8818). With five words and 28 characters it is longer than "John J.J. Smith," but shorter than "Jose V.L.A.T.V. Lopez."

As for "John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith," it existed long before Daddy Dewdrop gave it a "Chick-A-Boom" treatment and made it a rocker. Jim Lowe sang about this fellow in 1955 (Dot 15429), about one year before his first and most famous hit, "The Green Door" (Dot 15486).

Listen to Jim Lowe's charming version here.

IZ ZAT SO? Most post-'70s recordings of what we once knew as "John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith" have the title changed to "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt." This is true even when used in Sesame Street skits.

I have no idea why … unless they just wanted to increase their character count to 28.

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