Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: As I browse the albums at our local record shows, I rarely find LPs by artists with only one big hit. One that I never find for sale is Cathy Jean and the Roommates, of "Please Love Me Forever" fame. Since it's listed in your "Rockin' Records" guide, I assume it does exist. Before writing you, I checked eBay and there isn't a single copy of that LP, in any condition.
—Bill Kennedy, New Haven, Conn.

DEAR BILL: Not just one, but two versions exist of the 1961 LP by Cathy Jean and the Roomates, occasionally shown as "Roommates" on their singles. The first issue is Valmor #78. It has a plain white cover with black print. There is no photo of Cathy Jean and the Roommates, who had not yet become well known. Not only that, but the LP title "Great Oldies" is at the top in bigger and bolder type. Below that is the list of the 12 songs, followed by "...with Cathy Jean and the Roomates."

By February of 1961, one of the songs on the LP, "Please Love Me Forever," as a single began climbing the charts on its way to the nation's Top 10.

Valmor then came up with a somewhat improved cover, with poor quality color photos, one of Cathy Jean and another of the Roommates. They also changed their catalog number from #78 to #789. Valmor also gave it this new, yet weird, title: "At the Hop! ...with Cathy Jean and the Roomates."

I say weird, since "At the Hop" is not one of the tracks on the LP, and "Please Love Me Forever," their Top 10 hit, is the first cut. Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to title the LP "Please Love Me Forever ...with Cathy Jean and the Roomates."

Both issues have the same contents, with Cathy Jean on side one, and the Roomates on side two. Near-mint copies of either issue sell in the $450 $550 range.

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