DEAR JERRY: As a pre-teen in the '50s, I faithfully watched the Mickey Mouse Club on TV. Long after the Mouseketeers grew up and went off in different directions, I tried to keep up with their various entertainment-related adventures. Of course Annette Funicello was the biggest star and the easiest to keep track of. It is very sad to see the health problems (MS) she is now having.
Johnny Crawford and Paul Petersen are two others that had a good singing and acting careers.
Some of the cast have passed away, and some (Darlene) have had their troubles with the law.
About 20 years ago I read that Cubby (O'Brien) was playing drums for the Carpenters, but never a word about him since. Can you tell me if he is still performing?
Also, while on the subject, when did Karen Carpenter die?
Kim Carlisle, New Haven, Conn.
DEAR KIM: Cubby is still pounding out a beat, but now it's for Bernadette Peters. Cubby accompanied “Broadway Baby” Bernadette on her most recent west coast tour.
Karen, the velvety voice of the Carpenters, died of anorexia nervosa complications on February 4, 1983.
DEAR JERRY: While reading your weekly feature in the Evansville (Indiana) Courier, I often see questions from folks from around here.
Do you write the answers to many questions at one time and let the newspapers pick and chose which questions they print? Or do you choose them and it's just that there are there just a lot of curious music lovers in this area?
Dottie Burke, Evansville, Indiana
DEAR DOTTIE: Each week's column is delivered separately and individually to the papers.
Why there is such a heavy concentration of the musically curious in southwest Indiana is one of the unsolved mysteries of the universe.
DEAR JERRY: I have a 12-year-old son who has just become interested in the older James Bond movies. He especially enjoys the theme songs and I am wondering if there is a compilation CD of the James Bond film songs, performed by the original artists?
Pete, via the Internet
DEAR PETE: You and that young double agent will be pleased to know that EMI has issued “The Best of James Bond: 30th Anniversary Collection,” a 19-track Bond blast. Nearly all the tunes are by the original artists.
Among the many essential Bond themes included are: “The James Bond Theme” (Monty Norman Orchestra); “Goldfinger; Moonraker” and “Diamonds Are Forever” (Shirley Bassey); “Nobody Does It Better” (Carly Simon); “A View to Kill” (Duran Duran); “For Your Eyes Only” (Sheena Easton); “Live and Let Die” (Paul McCartney); “All Time High” (Rita Coolidge); “License to Kill” (Gladys Knight); “From Russia with Love” (Matt Monro); “Thunderball” (Tom Jones); “You Only Live Twice” (Nancy Sinatra); “Man with the Golden Gun” (Lulu).
DEAR JERRY: I heard a song titled “Sugar Plum” in the late '50s or early '60s, but have never ever heard it again. I wonder now if it it really exists. Its a doo-wop tune and very melodical. I would appreciate your expertise on this.
Doug Hale, Palm Harbor, Fla.
DEAR DOUG: “Sugar Plum” (Mercury 71975) is a summer '62 hit of sorts, by Ike Clanton. Nationally, the tune didn't do very well, charting for just two weeks and getting no higher than No. 95. Regionally, however, “Sugar Plum” did make the Top 40 in a number of areas, including Los Angeles where I lived in 1962.
IZ ZAT SO? Ike Clanton is a brother to pop star and one-time teen idol, Jimmy Clanton. Among Jimmy's best known hits are: “Just a Dream; Go Jimmy, Go;” and “Venus in Blue Jeans,” the latter being charted at the exact same time as Ike's “Sugar Plum.”