Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: John Erickson, of Tacoma, Wash., recently wrote seeking any songs made with the girl's name Janice in the title.

One I have on tape is titled just that, “Janice.” By a Canadian singer named Ina Harris, I believe it came out in the mid-to-late '70s.. I no longer have the record, but I am enclosing a cassette of it for Mr. Erickson.
—Don Allen, St. Petersburg, Fla.

DEAR DON: Thank you for the information and especially for sending the tape. This is an excellent song, which I sure will thrill Mr. Erickson. From listening, the possibility exists this one might even have a subtitle, such as: “Janice (Don't Go Chasing Rainbows).”

John, if you will contact me and provide your address I'll forward the tape to you. But wait! Don't call yet! There's more:

DEAR JERRY: For John in Tacoma, I have a Milwaukee-issued 45 rpm single from 1966 titled “Janice Everywhere,” by Joseph Pauelka Jr. The flip side is “Once Again in Wisconsin.”
—Jan McFall, St. Petersburg, Fla.

DEAR JAN: Thank you for your “Janice” contribution. Now, lest everyone think all the Janice records now reside in St. Petersburg:

DEAR JERRY: As a 45 rpm dealer and collector of early '60s white doo wop and teen sounds, I taped two “Janice” tunes for John Erickson: “Janice,” by Alan Roberts (Spotlight 101) and also by Eddie Robbins (David 1001). Both are hard to find. Since we live in the same town, John can contact me or you can forward the tape to him.
—Bob Pegg, PO Box 7851, Tacoma, Wash.

DEAR BOB: Sending the tape was very nice of you. Thanks so much! If I hear from John I'll see that he gets it.

DEAR JERRY: Perhaps the first of the “Janice” songs is by Marc Haven & Aquarians (Villa-Yore 201). I know I have had this record, titled just “Janice,” for over 30 years. Why — because I am one.

Any idea of the exact year of release? And maybe of its value, if any?
—Janice McCorkle, Fayetteville, Tenn.

DEAR JANICE: In this case, your name has brought you good fortune. Issued in 1961, yours is the most valuable of all “Janice” records. It now books for $250 to $350.

DEAR JERRY: Your column made me think of an old single my wife has. It's on the Hit Records label and credited to the Boll Weevils, with “My Bonnie (Lies Over the Ocean)” on one side and the Beatles' “Please Please Me” on the other.

Obviously there is some connection between this record and the Beatles, but how much.

Can you tell me more about this record?
—George (not Harrison) Talmadge, Clinton (not Bill), Conn.

DEAR GEORGE (NOT HARRISON): The only connection to the Beatles is that both of these songs are ones they recorded early in their career. “My Bonnie (Lies Over the Ocean),” credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beatles (or Beat Brothers), is their first appearance on record ever (July 1961), and “Please Please Me,” a Lennon-McCartney composition, is their second single (January 1962).

What you and your wife have is what is known as a “ghost” record, not to be confused with a cover record.

A cover is released strictly for the purpose of competing with an original for sales and popularity. A ghost record is one with already popular songs — but versions recorded by completely unknown artists — designed for sale at a budget price, usually about half the cost of regular singles.

Until the mid-'60s, ghost records were very common. The success of the Beatles sparked a few in 1964, when yours came out, but after that they were few and far between.

Based mostly on the Beatles connection, that Boll Weevils disc is now worth from $10 to $15. Many other ghost records are close to worthless. Yours truly, Jerry (neither Lewis nor Lee Lewis)

IZ ZAT SO? After the disappointing sales response to“My Bonnie (Lies Over the Ocean), Decca (U.K.) decided not to offer the Beatles a recording contract. When informing their manager, Brian Epstein, of this decision, Decca's Dick Rowe said: “Sorry Mr. Epstein, but groups with guitars are on their way out.” Decca opted instead to sign Brian Poole and the Tremelos, another band that auditioned at the same time as the Beatles.

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