Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I wrote you several months ago, but it seems my questions never made it to your column. Perhaps I'll have better luck this time.

In your recent book “The Money Records (The 1,000 Most Valuable Records),” you value the 45 rpm of “Secret Love” by the Moonglows (Chance 1152) at $1,000.

The book also has the red vinyl 45 of “Crying in the Chapel” by the Orioles (Jubilee 5122) for $6,000.

Well, I have a 78 of “Secret Love” by Helen Forrest and an LP of “Crying in the Chapel” by Darrell Glenn. Are these records of any value?
—Natalie Karns, Evansville, Ind.

DEAR NATALIE: Since pretty much the same kind of question, pertaining to different songs of course, has been asked by other readers recently, responding to your letter should serve you as well as those other curious folks.

The value of any collectible is based on two equally important parts: scarcity and demand.

Both must be present. The rarest items will have little value if no one wants them, and the most in-demand items will be economical if there are plenty to go around.

Country singer Darrell Glenn wrote and recorded the original of “Crying in the Chapel” in 1953. Sonny Til and the Orioles issued a cover version for the R&B market. Both are scarce — the Orioles to a greater extent — but it is demand that makes theirs worth big bucks while Glenn's fetches only $10 to $20.

Pretty much the same situation applies to “Secret Love.” Helen Forrest's waxing on a 78 is probably worth about five dollars.

Having the same song as one on a record of great value, by itself, means nothing. As you can now see, each item stands alone in the eyes of an appraiser.

DEAR JERRY: I'm looking for the song called “Blanche,” by a group from Brooklyn. It was popular in the early '50s. I don't know the name of the group but, it is “the story of a boy and a girl, the boy's name was Billy and the girl's name was Blanche.”

Can you help me to locate this record? I don't believe it ever made the Top 100.
—Vince Tesoro, Chapel Hill, N.C. (

DEAR VINCE: I'll help you by providing the details you are missing, which will make your search much more effective.

“Blanche,” a name you don't hear much any more (French for “white”), came out in 1956 (Lido 500). It is by three friends who, for lack of a better name, called themselves the 3 Friends. They are: Joey Villa, Frank Starro and Tony Grochowski.

It surprised me to discover that I do not yet have this classic track on CD, though it is on several various artists compilation vinyl albums — most of which will be more economical than the original 45, which sells for $50 to $100.

However, according to our Florida dee jay friend, Bob O'Brien (U-92), “Blanche” is included on the “Best of Tip Top Records,” available from Relic Records (201/ 342-4848).

DEAR JERRY: Regarding the recent letter from Patricia Wilson, of Madison, Conn., Jo Stafford's “No Other Love” is an overt adaptation of Chopin's “Etude in E Major (Opus 10, No. 3)” with completely different lyrics than the one recorded by Perry Como. Perry's was indeed a melody by Richard Rodgers that originally appeared in his “Victory at Sea” music.

Rodgers borrowed from himself, using that tango with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, for the musical “Me and Juliet,” which opened on Broadway in 1953 and ran for about a year.
—Barbara K. Nevers, Wauwatosa, Wisc.

DEAR BARBARA: I am grateful for the enlightened response. Thanks also to several other folks who sent along essentially the same information.

IZ ZAT SO? The Orioles and the Five Keys, two of R&B's most polished and prolific groups, each have 16 records on the Top 1,000 most valuable list, with prices ranging from $750 to the aforementioned $6,000 piece.

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