Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne

FOR THE WEEK OF October 1, 2001

DEAR JERRY: Long ago I heard a song on the radio, titled. “One Has My Heart — The Other Has My Name.”

The singer sounded just like Dean Martin but I can't find any albums of his that include this song. Napster does have several versions available, and I downloaded two different ones. However, neither is the right song.

Any idea which is the one that sounds a lot like Dean Martin?

I have one other question: whose death do they refer to in “American Pie”? —Marilyn Bernd, via e-mail

DEAR MARILYN: First let us unjumble this title. It is “One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart).”

The version you recall has fooled a lot of listeners because it does sound so much like Dean Martin, but the soundalike singer of this tune is actually Barry Young.

Many have recorded this country-based standard, yet Barry Young is the only one to make the Pop charts with it. His 1965 release (Dot 16756) made it as high as No. 13 on Billboard.

There is another reason people are often confused by this track, besides Young's Dino-inspired vocal. The arranger on this session is Ernie Freeman, who is also the arranger for many of the mid-'60s Dean Martin Reprise sessions.

Your “American Pie” question is but one of many received in recent months asking roughly the same thing. “American Pie” is not a Buddy Holly tribute song, as some believe. This No. 1 song from 1972 — a very long song, to be sure — is one of both longing and disapproval.

For nearly nine minutes Don McLean sings as the voice of American rock and roll as he knew it in the 1950s. The first person “I” is the spirit of the '50s music and culture.

Thus, in lines like “I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people dance, and maybe they'd be happy for a while,” “I” is the music itself doing the singing.

When McLean sings “something touched me deep inside, the day the music died,” he refers not to the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and his companions, but to the death — as he views it — of conventional rock and roll music.

Listen to it with this notion in mind, and I'll bet it all suddenly makes sense.

DEAR JERRY: Now that I have a CD burner, I am trying to put together some custom compilations of things that none of the music companies have issued. And I need your help with one in particular.

Without regard to style of music, which would be your picks to be on my soon-to-be-made “15 Top Instrumentals of the '50s and '60s”? —Carmen Cummings, York, Pa.

DEAR CARMEN: Okay, as long as you understand that my selections are based on their overall success, and not on personal favorites.

Unfortunately, this criteria eliminates your namesake song, “Carmen,” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (1968).

Listed chronologically, each of these instrumentals reached No. 1. They had to make it that high to qualify for my list. Also, I have included only one track by each artist.

“The Third Man Theme” (Anton Karas); “Blue Tango” (Leroy Anderson); “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” (Perez Prado); “Autumn Leaves” (Roger Williams); “Lisbon Antigua” (Nelson Riddle); “The Poor People of Paris” (Les Baxter); “Moonglow” (Morris Stoloff); “Tequila” (Champs); “The Happy Organ” (Dave 'Baby' Cortez); “Sleep Walk” (Santo & Johnny); “Theme from a Summer Place” (Percy Faith); “Wonderland By Night” (Bert Kaempfert); “Calcutta” (Lawrence Welk); “The Stripper” (David Rose); “Telstar” (Tornadoes); “Love Is Blue” (Paul Mauriat); and “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet” (Henry Mancini).

I know you only asked for 15, but the blank CD will easily hold all 17 of these.

Think of me each time you play it.

IZ ZAT SO? Rarely in the mid-'60s did an instrumental top the charts. #Telstar+ reached No. 1 in December 1962, but not until February 1968 did another (“Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat) make it that high.

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