Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: During an evening with some music-loving friends, someone challenged the group to name a well-known Rock Era artist for each letter of the alphabet. Groups don't count.

We learned it is not as easy as one might think.

There are even a few letters, such as Q and U, for which we couldn't come up with anyone at all.

We'd love to see your list, not only to compare with ours but to have names for the letters we left blank.
—Brandy & Richard Cooper, Clinton, Iowa

DEAR BRANDY & RICHARD: Too bad you eliminated groups, as Queen and U2 would have made a good Q and U selections.

Because there are always others nearly as deserving as the top choice, in parenthesis you'll find my Honorable Mention recipient.

Based on a dubious evaluation and opinion system that assesses each individual's overall contributions, here is the A-Z list:

A: Paul Anka (Herb Alpert); B: James Brown (Chuck Berry); C: Ray Charles (Mariah Carey); D: Neil Diamond (Bob Dylan); E: Duane Eddy (Sheena Easton); F: Aretha Franklin (Connie Francis); G: Marvin Gaye (Bobby Goldsboro); H: Whitney Houston (George Harrison); I: Billy Idol (James Ingram); J: Elton John (Michael Jackson); K: Gladys Knight (B.B. King); L: John Lennon (Brenda Lee).

M: Paul McCartney (Madonna); N: Ricky Nelson (Olivia Newton-John); O: Roy Orbison (Tony Orlando); P: Elvis Presley (Gene Pitney); Q: Suzi Quatro (Queen Latifah); R: Diana Ross (Kenny Rogers); S: Frank Sinatra (Rod Stewart); T: B.J. Thomas (Conway Twitty); U: Usher (Keith Urban); V: Frankie Valli (Bobby Vinton); W: Stevie Wonder (Dionne Warwick); X: Xzibit (X-Con); Y: Neil Young (Timi Yuro); Z: Frank Zappa (Warren Zevon).

DEAR JERRY: I have searched everywhere but cannot find it a Jerry Jeff Walker song. In it he talks and sings about the moon.

Unfortunately I do not recall the title but it has to do with a large full moon and the effects it has on various people.

I would really appreciate you telling me the name of this song and any album containing it.
—Billy Ray Richter, Kinard, Fla.

DEAR BILLY RAY: “A Man Must Carry On,” the summer '77 album which just happens to be Jerry Jeff's all-time best-seller, contains “Luckenbach Moon,” which I believe is the song you seek.

Besides the two-disc vinyl original (MCA 2-6003), this collection is also on two CDs. The one you would want is “A Man Must Carry On, Volume 2” (MCA 008811156626).

DEAR JERRY: In the pre-Rock years, it seems there were a million Blues songs with titles ending with the word “Blues.”

By the mid-'50s they had all but vanished, never to return.

For example, how many “Blues” titles reached No. 1 after 1952?
—Clyde Milton, Vincennes, Ind.

DEAR CLYDE: Very few, regardless of which field of music you're surveying.

On the Rhythm & Blues charts — the logical abode for Blues hits — there are only two: “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler),” by Marvin Gaye (1971) and “The Blues,” by Tony! Toni! Tone! (1990).

From the Pop & Rock side, we find just three: “Learnin' the Blues,” by Frank Sinatra (1955); Guy Mitchell's “Singing the Blues” (1956); and “Wedding Bell Blues,” by the 5th Dimension (1969).

Ironically, not a one of these five tunes could accurately be categorized as Blues.

IZ ZAT SO? I have been doing this feature long enough to know that today's A-Z solo artist list will inspire many requests for a similar listing of groups.

There is simply no reason to postpone the inevitable:

A: ABBA; B: Beatles; C: Chicago; D: Doors; E: Eagles; F: 4 Seasons; G: Grateful Dead; H: Hollies; I: Isley Brothers; J: Jacksons; K: Kiss; L: Led Zeppelin; M: Monkees; N: New Kids on the Block; O: O'Jays; P: Pink Floyd; Q: Queen; R: Rolling Stones; S: Supremes; T: Temptations; U: U2; V: Ventures; W: Who; X: Xscape; Y: Yes; Z: ZZ Top.

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