Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I have a friend who is looking for a song he thinks came out sometime in the 1950s.

He says it is kinda country and also Alaskan, with lyrics like: “eka mega muska, when we rub noses it means I like or love you.”

I told him I'd apologize to him for thinking he's crazy if you say there is such a song and if I can hear it once.
—Ronnie, Lakeland, Fla.

DEAR RONNIE: Given that your friend is obviously not an Eskimo, his recollection of this tune is not bad. Though I'm not certain about the spelling, the line is more like “ooga ooga mushka, which means that I love you” (no mention of noses).

All of this comes from “Squaws Along the Yukon,” a huge C&W hit — it reached No. 2 - in 1958 for Hank Thompson (Capitol 4017).

One humorous line from “Squaws Along the Yukon,” penned by the always-clever Mr. Thompson, is “her skin I love to touch, but I just can't touch as much, because her fur-lined parka's in the way.”

The easiest way to verify “Squaws Along the Yukon” is to hitch up the dog team, mush your way to the music shop and pick up the compact disc titled “Hank Thompson” (Capitol CDP7 92124 2).

DEAR JERRY: I remember reading somewhere that “Unchained Melody” was written by a man in prison for killing his wife, or lover. Is this true? Several of us are awaiting your answer.
—Mary Ann Flores, Woodbridge, Conn.

DEAR MARY ANN: Egad! I don't know where you read this story but it seems highly unlikely.

Well-known film music composer Alex North wrote the music for “Unchained Melody.” He also scored the 1955 film, titled “Unchained,” from which the “Melody” comes.

Hy Zaret, who also wrote “No Other Arms, No Other Lips” for the Chordettes, added the lylrics to North's “Unchained Melody.”

While neither man appears to have spent any time in the Joint, the movie, “Unchained,” centers on life at a prison farm. Could that be the source of your confusion?

DEAR JERRY: I am hoping you can help me find a song. My stepmother has had me searching for the last 25 years for a song by Dean Martin called “You're the Right One.” She said it was on the flip side of “Thats Amore,” on the juke box of her favorite restaurant.

I have looked everywhere, but to no avail. I wonder if maybe she has the title wrong. Can you help me?
—David Morgan, York, Pa. (

DEAR DAVID: Stepmom is right on, 'cause “You're the Right One” is right on the flip of the original 1953 release of “That's Amore” (Capitol 2589).

I know of no single-disc CDs containing “You're the Right One,” so locating the Capitol 45 may be the best bet. If, however, there is a couple hundred dollars in the budget for music, you will find “You're the Right One” included in the lavish, eight-disc boxed set, “Dean Martin: Memories Are Made of This” (Bear Family 15781).

What's it Worth? Get fast appraisals by e-mail!

DEAR JERRY: How do you account for the popularity of songwriter Jim Steinman? His songs all have the same melody, the same tempo, and the same tone.

Compare “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” (Air Supply) with “It's All Coming Back to Me Now” (Celine Dion) and “Bat Out of Hell” (Meat Loaf).

Whenever a song he has written is played on the radio I cringe! Why is he so popular?
—Stan McCormick, Brookfield, Wisc.

DEAR STAN: Perhaps he has a good agent?

IZ ZAT SO? When Capitol issued “Hank Thompson at the Golden Nugget (in Las Vegas),” in 1961, they broke new ground. It then became history's first country music album of a live performance.

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