Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I am new at dealing with and looking for records, and I have frequently seen a statement which I do not know the meaning of. When someone states a record is or is not a “cut out,” what do they mean.?
—Bill via e-mail

DEAR BILL: With some record companies, when an album stopped selling well enough to be kept in their standard catalog (not discounted), any returns and unsold stock would be redistributed at a greatly reduced price. To easily identify this inventory, known as “cut outs,” the labels permanently altered the covers in some manner.

Usually one of the four corners would be cut at roughly a 45-degree angle, for which we have another common term: “cut corner.” Cut out albums with cut corners have the obvious cover defect, but the discs inside are not affected by the cut.

Another frequently used tactic is the drilling, or punching, a small hole through the cover. This does not cause much concern if done in one of the corners; however, some companies drilled right through the cover and the area of the disc where the label is. This approach is not one popular with collectors.

Other methods of identifying cut outs exist, though these two are the most prevalent.

DEAR JERRY: While playing golf this weekend, my partners and I found ourselves three down with four to play. We won the next hole and then the next, then someone said “We are chip, chip, chipping away.”

That reminded me of a '50s tune that included a hammer and chisel striking stone or metal.

Will you help us with the title and artist?
—D. Hewins, Evansville, Ind.

DEAR D: I think I'll get you out of the rough on this one.

You are surely thinking of “Chip Chip,” a Top 10 hit in early 1962 by Gene McDaniels (Liberty 55405). This tune, which followed two others that went Top 5 for McDaniels (“A Hundred Pounds of Clay” and “Tower of Strength), has the lyrics you cite.

DEAR JERRY: I have a question about a '70s album, which I think is titled “The Masked Marauders.” That is also the name of the group.

There was a rumor at the time that this group was really John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Donovan, and some other well-known stars then. Is this true?
—Jerry Stasiak, Milwaukee, Wisc.

DEAR JERRY: Yes it is true … true that such a rumor existed. However, it was merely a rumor. The Masked Marauders did such a fine job masquerading as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan, that many swallowed the myth.

According to our friends at Rhino Records, here are the real Masked Marauders: Langdon Winner (piano, vocals); Annie Johnson (percussion. vocals); Phil Marsh (guitar, vocals); Brian Voorheis (guitar, harmonica, vocals); Vic Smith (bass); Anna Rizzo (drums); Mark Voorheis (drums, vocals); Gary Salzman (lap steel guitar); and Allen Chance (vocals).

What's it Worth? Get fast appraisals by e-mail!

DEAR JERRY: Some pals and I were recently debating over what would be the shortest hit song title ever. We decided to let you settle it for us. We await your verdict.
—Kharlena Lange, Southern, Conn.

DEAR KHARLENA: First, lovely name you've got there. Now down to business. Disregarding parenthetical sub-titles, the answer is “I.” This one will be hard to beat since no title could contain less than one letter.

“I” first became a hit in 1963, for Ben E. King, with remakes scattered over the next 16 years. Those who later scored with “I” include: Terry Knight & the Pack (1967); Tom Jones (1970); Liquid Smoke (1970); and Sylvester (1979).

For the record, with sub-title this one reads “I (Who Have Nothing).”

IZ ZAT SO? Two Grand Funk Railroad stars, Mark Farner and Don Brewer, made up “The Pack,” that backed Terry Knight on their 1967 hit, “I (Who Have Nothing).”

Just to keep things in the family — or in this case Pack — Terry Knight managed and produced Grand Funk Railroad.

Return to "Mr. Music" Home Page