Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: For my eighth birthday, in July of 1959, I received the 45 rpm of Johnny Horton's “The Battle of New Orleans.” Listening to Horton's raspy rockabilly voice really knocked me out!

Shortly thereafter, I heard on the radio a parody of “The Battle of New Orleans.” I don't recall much about this tune, other than they mention a Boy Scout Camp.

Near where we lived then, in upper Bucks County, Pa., there is indeed a Boy Scout facility named Camp Ockanickon. The camp named in the song is similar, so I'm wondering if this recording may have been made locally and played only in that area.

It is my hope that you can identify it
—Karl K. Sieger, Lancaster, Pa.

DEAR KARL: The only recording I know that matches your description is “The Battle of Kookamonga,” which came out just a few months after the Johnny Horton hit.

This humorous parody, recorded in Nashville by Homer & Jethro (RCA Victor 7585), became a Top 15 hit nationwide, so its popularity would not have been limited to the area around Camp Ockanickon.

DEAR JERRY: A topic of discussion in one of your recent columns was the album “Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall,” specifically that the year of the concert is not indicated anywhere on the cover.

For the front cover, Capitol reproduced the actual concert poster used outside the theater to promote the show, and these type posters never make mention of the year. It is not necessary since they are used in conjunction with a current concert.

This same poster art, but without the theater name and date, was also used on the cover of the souvenir program that was sold the night of the concert. That way they could use them at other venues across the country where Judy performed the same show.

I saw her seven times in New York and Chicago, and had the pleasure of meeting her once in Chicago.

By the way, those 1961 concerts featured Judy Garland at her very best.
—Patrick Farrell, Milwaukee

DEAR PATRICK: As always, it is nice to hear from you. Thank you so much for the additional information as to exactly what information is and is not on that placard.

DEAR JERRY: Growing up, I always liked the music of Buddy Knox, best known for “Party Doll,” and Jim Lowe, whose biggest hit was “The Green Door.”

Please tell me what ever happened to these two gentlemen.
—Pat McGahan, Lakeland, Fla.

DEAR PAT: I am sorry to report that cancer claimed the life of Buddy Knox on Valentine's Day (February 14), 1999. At the time, Buddy, 65, lived near Bremerton, Wash.

For lots more information about Buddy Knox, visit, a web site established by his five children: Wendy, Michael, Jesse, Ginger and Buddy Wayne Knox Jr.

Just last week, a few days before receiving your card, we reported that Jim Lowe is once again in radio and is working part-time at WRTN-FM and WVOX-AM, based in New Rochelle, N.Y.

IZ ZAT SO? Buddy Knox, whose “Party Doll” reached No. 1, in March 1957, is generally regarded as the Rock Era's first person to top the charts with their own composition.

The label on Elvis Presley's “Love Me Tender,” a No. 1 song that predates “Party Doll” by about four months, credits Presley as the writer; however, is incorrect. We just didn't know it for a couple of years.

In a January 1959 interview, when asked about his songwriting, Elvis replies: “I never wrote a song myself. I probably could have if I sat down and tried hard enough, but I never had the urge.”

Thus this honor passes to Buddy Knox.

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