Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: My favorite James Bond has always been Sean Connery, and my favorite Bond composer is John Barry. Both men made “Goldfinger” my favorite Bond film.

How many films are now in the series? I've lost track. How many different actors played Bond? Other than “Goldfinger,” how many Top 60 hits are there? How many Bond films have scores by John Barry?
—Linelle Fossett, Fresno, Calif.

DEAR LINELLE: I think you now own the record for most questions in one paragraph.

Okay, hold onto your martini. Here we go, in order asked:

From “Dr. No” (1962) through “Quantum of Solace” (2008), there are 22 Bond films.

Six men have thus far starred as Agent 007:

1. Sean Connery: “Dr. No” (1962); “From Russia with Love” (1963); “Goldfinger” (1964); “Thunderball” (1965); “You Only Live Twice” (1967); “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971).

2. George Lazenby: “On Her Majesty's Secret Service” (1969).

3. Roger Moore: “Live and Let Die” (1973); “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974); “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977); “Moonraker” (1979); “For Your Eyes Only” (1981); Octopussy (1983); “A View to a Kill” (1985).

4. Timothy Dalton: “The Living Daylights” (1987); “License to Kill” (1989).

5. Pierce Brosnan: “GoldenEye” (1995); “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997); “The World Is Not Enough” (1999); “Die Another Day” (2002).

6. Daniel Craig: “Casino Royale” (2006); “Quantum of Solace” (2008).

Here are the Top 60 songs, chronologically: “Goldfinger” (Shirley Bassey [vocal], Billy Strange [instrumental]); “Thunderball” (Tom Jones); “You Only Live Twice” (Nancy Sinatra); “Diamonds Are Forever” (Shirley Bassey); “Live and Let Die” (Wings); “The Spy Who Loved Me” (Carly Simon's “Nobody Does It Better”);

“For Your Eyes Only” (Sheena Easton); “Octopussy” (Rita Coolidge “All Time High”); “A View to a Kill” (Duran Duran).

Though it did not do well in the U.S., reaching only No. 81, Alicia Keys and Jack White's “Another Way to Die,” from “Quantum of Solace,” made the Top 20 in Canada, Great Britain, and several other countries, and even No. 1 in Finland. We'll give it honorable mention.

John Barry, the ultimate Bond composer, scored a dozen of these films: “From Russia with Love”; “Goldfinger”; “Thunderball”; “You Only Live Twice”; “On Her Majesty's Secret Service”; “Diamonds Are Forever”; “The Man With the Golden Gun”; “The Spy Who Loved Me”; “Moonraker”; “Octopussy”; “A View to a Kill”; “The Living Daylights.”

DEAR JERRY: Some people ask you to decipher or interpret song lyrics, but I have a bit of a different request.

I would like you to shed some light on exactly what is going on at the beginning of “Wipe Out.” If this were recorded in recent years, I would write it off as a computer generated sound, but that could not have been the case in 1963.

So just what is being used to make those crackling sounds that begin the recording, just before the guy starts laughing?
—Sam Maris, Vincennes, Ind.

DEAR SAM: Would you believe me if I said it involved the willful destruction of a discarded cedar shingle?

I didn't think so, which is why I will turn you over to Bob Berryhill, rhythm guitarist of the Surfaris, for the answer:

“Most instrumentals at the time had a gimmick at the beginning. Jim Fuller, another guitarist in our band, suggested we use the sound of a switchblade opening, and call the song “Stiletto.” However, Dale Smallin, our manager, suggested we use a laugh and breaking boards and call it “Wipe Out.”

“We decided to go for it and we all ran outside looking for something to use to make a breaking board sound. We found a old wooden shingle that worked just fine. The gimmick would be the sound of a crashing surfboard followed by the laughing of a surfer as he fell off his board. Smallin did the breaking of the board sound then followed it up with his witch laugh. We completed “Wipe Out” in just two takes — about 10 minutes later.”

This is an interview excerpt from “Surfin' Guitars - Instrumental Surf Bands of the Sixties,” a 1988 book by Robert J. Dalley.

IZ ZAT SO? For 1966 films, John Barry won two Oscars, one for Best Original Music Score and another for Best Original Song, both for “Born Free.”

The event marked the first time a British nominee won in either of those two categories.

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