DEAR JERRY: In the 1960s I amassed quite a collection of singles by the great Connie Francis.
There is, however, one Connie tune I heard on the radio in Phoenix. It is possible the title is "Now That You've Broken My Heart." This was around the same time as "Where the Boys Are." I thought it might be the flip side, but discovered "Where the Boys Are" is backed with "No One."
If you know anything about this elusive song, you would be the first person I've found who did.
Cleo Thurman, Manteca, Calif.
DEAR CLEO: Your recollection of hearing "Now That You've Broken My Heart" is 100 percent accurate, but you're missing the first four words of that verse, which also happens to be the title. The complete line is: "Give me a break now that you've broken my heart."
Hindering your search considerably is that the singer of "Give Me a Break" is Jodie Sands, not Connie Francis.
I'm sure you weren't the only one fooled by this recording. It really does sound like it could have been written with Connie in mind.
The vocals of Jodie and her backup singers, plus the overall arrangement, make for a record that any Connie Francis fan would enjoy.
"Give Me a Break," backed with "Love Me Forever" (Paris 45-551), came out in January 1961, and both sides promptly received four stars from Billboard, an indication of "strong sales potential."
Their glowing review of "Give Me a Break" reads:
"This bright hunk of material is sung with gusto by the attractive Miss Sands, aided by strong support. Has a chance for the big time."
Unfortunately, neither side came anywhere near the big time. The record did not chart anywhere we know of, not even on that Top 40 station (KRUX) in Phoenix, where Jodie did at least get a few spins.
DEAR JERRY: I'm a lifelong Bob Dylan fan who has often wondered which of his songs, when recorded by someone else, charted the highest.
I have never seen such a listing.
Jimmy Riley, Newark, Ohio
DEAR JIMMY: Well then it's time you did.
The desire by other musicians to record Bob Dylan compositions, for release as singles, began in January 1963, with the Chad Mitchell Trio's "Blowing in the Wind" (Kapp K-510).
Their lively, banjo-driven version did not chart, but six months later Peter, Paul & Mary's treatment sold over million copies, and is the earliest entry on our list.
Songs are shown according to peak chart position on the Top 100 in either Billboard or Cash Box, whichever is higher.
They are found as low as No. 95 and as high as No. 1.
All are written or co-written by Bob Dylan:
1. "Mr. Tambourine Man" Byrds (1965)
2. "Blowin' in the Wind" Peter, Paul & Mary (1963)
4. "Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)" Manfred Mann (1968)
8. "It Ain't Me Babe" Turtles (1965)
9. "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" Peter, Paul & Mary (1963)
9. "All I Really Want to Do" Cher (1965)
9. "Blowin' in the Wind" Stevie Wonder (1966)
10. "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" Wonder Who? (4 Seasons) (1965)
18. "All Along the Watchtower" Jimi Hendrix (1968)
23. "If Not for You" Olivia Newton-John (1971)
26. "My Back Pages" Byrds (1967)
30. "She Belongs to Me" Rick Nelson (1970)
40. "All I Really Want to Do" Byrds (1965)
49. "It Ain't Me, Babe" Johnny Cash (1965)
57. "Lay Lady Lay" Isley Brothers (1972)
65. "Ballad of Easy Rider" Byrds (1969)
67. "I Shall Be Released" Box Tops (1969)
71. "Lay Lady Lay" Ferrante & Teicher (1970)
74. "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" Byrds (1968)
76. "Love Minus Zero-No Limit" Turley Richards (1970)
95. "One Too Many Mornings" Beau Brummels (1966)
IZ ZAT SO? Of the above 21 Bob Dylan tunes that reached the Top 100, only six came out as a single by Dylan himself:
"Blowin' in the Wind" (Columbia 42856) 1963)
"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" (Columbia 42856) (1963)
"She Belongs to Me" (Columbia 43242) (1965)
"Lay Lady Lay" (Columbia 44926) (1969)
"All Along the Watchtower" (Asylum 45212) (1974)
"It Ain't Me Babe" (Asylum 45212) (1974)
Of these, only "Lay Lady Lay," which peaked at No. 7, made the charts.