Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I am but one of millions of movie-goers who recently made “Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit” the No. 1 film in the land.

As hilarious and entertaining as it is, I was also thrilled with the soundtrack.

Like the infectious “Wallace and Gromit” theme itself, the film's music perfectly complimented the characters and situations. I would like to add it to my collection.

Will there eventually be a CD soundtrack of this music?
—Alice Bristow, Decatur, Ala.

DEAR ALICE: There is no waiting since this CD is already available.

Moreover, a cinematic escapade involving giant pumpkins seems a timely topic for Halloween reading.

Premier soundtrack source Varese Sarabande issued “Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit” in conjunction with the movie's October 14 nationwide debut.

Among its 19 tracks are some titles you'll not likely find on any other album: “Anti-Pesto to the Rescue; Fire Up the Bun-Vac; Brainwash & Go; Kiss My Arrrtichoke;” and “All Things Fluffy.”

However, this is not a collection of wacky tunes. Rather, it is a classical music lover's delight, evoking comparisons to Ferde Grofé's five-movement masterpiece, “The Grand Canyon Suite.”

As an added touch, the composers skillfully and subtly intertwined “The Wallace and Gromit Theme” into many of the tracks.

All in all, you can add me to the list of critics who consider “Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit” a shoo-in for an Oscar in the Best Animated Film category.

DEAR JERRY: As a fan of Hilltoppers, and their fine lead singer Jimmy Sacca, I have searched for years to collect all of their hits that I remember from my childhood.

But there is still one song I can't find, titled “I Found Your Letter.” Do you have any idea how I might find this one?
—Roger Searcy, Griffen, Ga.

DEAR ROGER: I'll bet when you bought the Hilltoppers' Top 10 hit, “Till Then,” you discovered it came with a pretty darn good B-side. Of course that is where you'll find “I Found Your Letter” (Dot 15132).

Obviously you no longer have that single or you would not have asked about “I Found Your Letter.”

I have just one of their CDs, “P.S. I Love You: The Best of the Hilltoppers Featuring Jimmy Sacca (The Original Dot Recordings).” It includes “Till Then,” but “I Found Your Letter” is not among its 18 tracks.

For this tune you'll probably need to locate the original 1954 single, which exists on both 45 and 78 rpm.

DEAR JERRY: What ever happened to Tommy Sands, who I recall seeing many times in movies and on TV in the 1950s and '60s.

What popular songs did he release?
—Sheri Shepard, Largo, Fla.

DEAR SHERI: A few years ago, I attended a music convention in Las Vegas and among the other guests were the Diamonds, Olympics, Sue Thompson, Mary Kaye Trio, and Tommy Sands.

Tommy looked great and came across as a genuinely nice person.

His biggest hit, “Teen-Age Crush” (Capitol 3639), made the Top 3 on all of the nation's charts in early 1957, kept out of a No. 1 slot by the sweeping success of Tab Hunter's “Young Love.”

For most of March '57, “Young Love” topped all five of the country's pop charts.

Tommy followed the splendid “Teen-Age Crush” with 10 more hits, though none nearly as popular. Best known among them are “Goin Steady; Ring My Phone; Sing Boy Sing; Blue Ribbon Baby” and “The Old Oaken Bucket.”

Now 68, Sands is enjoying his senior years while still finding time for an occasional personal appearance.

IZ ZAT SO? Before switching to Capitol and recording “Teen-Age Crush,” Tommy Sands spent two years with RCA Victor. There he was miscast as a C&W singer — a matter of timing in the industry and not because of any inability on his part. Thus, few customers were found for those country records released during the rock and roll explosion.

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