DEAR JERRY: In the late 1970s, when I made the rounds of the Phoenix disco clubs, one of the dee jays at the Jockey Club played a song I never ever heard again.
It has a typical thump-thump disco beat, but with beautiful, full orchestration. Most of the singing is by a woman, but a man is also heard here and there.
As I recall, the lyrics were mostly about the pros and cons of making out in public (not that I would do such a thing).
Have you ever heard of such a recording? No one else I ask has.
Louise Gallagher, Chandler, Ariz.
DEAR LOUISE: Your secrets are safe with me.
Proper song identification can be futile when you lack both title and artist. Fortunately, your clues pointed specifically to "Let's Make Love in Public Places," by the Love Symphony Orchestra, featuring vocals by Diva Gray and Neil Shepard.
That 13 minute tune is the lead track on the album "Penthouse Presents Pulsating Disco and Romantic Moods for Loving and Dancing" (Talpro 100), issued in the summer of 1978
Mitch Farber produced the LP, wrote most of the music, and directs the appropriately named Love Symphony Orchestra on this very unusual album.
Issued in conjunction with Penthouse Magazine, and sold only by mail order, the packaging features a gallery of models exactly as they could be found on the pages of Penthouse mostly nude.
The front cover proudly announces a "Bonus 12" x 12" Penthouse Pet Inside."
Of course the actual Pet was not inside, but her glamour shot was.
From the days when the Mickey Mouse Club was on TV, its title is "Walt Disney's Annette: Songs About the Famous Mouseketeers, Sung By Jimmie Dodd."
The four tracks included are: "Annette"; "Karen"; "Hey, Cubby Boy" and "Banjo Joe."
This EP is almost never listed for sale, but on those rare occasions when it was, asking prices ranged from $100 to $1,000.
To what do you attribute such a huge variance?
Harvey Borensen, Timonium, Md.
DEAR HARVEY: More often than not, a noteworthy price discrepancy for the same item reflects a significant difference in their condition. Another possibility is that one seller simply has either more or less invested in acquiring the merchandise in the first place.
Though these considerations may figure into the pricing, with this specific EP there is an enormous premium attached to copies with the original cover.
Both versions are identified as Disneyland DBR-69, and both came out in 1957, but you can instantly tell them apart if you know where to look.
First issue front covers show the title as "Walt Disney's Annette (Sung By Jimmie Dodd)" These slicks are four-color, including a color photo of Annette in ballerina attire. Here she is larger than the TV screen behind her, as though she were standing in front of it. This cover also has "As Featured on Your TV Screen!" at the lower left corner.
In a mysterious move, one reminiscent of the Beatles butcher cover boondoggle of 1966, the Disney folks quickly replaced the color cover with a duotone one.
The revised title even more prolix than the Penthouse LP above is "Walt Disney's Annette: Songs About the Famous Mouseketeers (Sung By Jimmie Dodd)."
Annette is now shrunk to about half her former size and merely part of a black-and-white screen grab of the actual TV episode in which she does a ballerina routine to Jimmie Dodd's recording of "Annette."
The area at the lower left now has songwriting credits instead of "As Featured on Your TV Screen!"
The records themselves, whether 45 or 78 rpm (it came both ways), are the same regardless of which cover is used.
As much as $1,000 has indeed been paid for this EP with the original cover; however, in auctions where anything is possible, a few have sold for much less.
Relatively speaking, the second cover is much more common, but still fetches from $100 to $200.
IZ ZAT SO? For many of the charter Mouseketeers (1955-1959), the astonishing exposure from their time with Disney served as a launching pad for show business careers.
Of the 39 original mouse-ear wearers, these 22 continued to work in the entertainment industry:
Bonnie Lynn Fields
Don Grady (née Agrati)
Mickey Rooney Jr.
Though most of these Mouseketeers are living and now in their late 60s or early 70s, six are no longer with us:
Dick Dodd (not related to Jimmie Dodd)
Bonnie Lynn Fields
Don Grady (née Agrati)
Tim Rooney (brother of Mickey Rooney Jr.)
IZ ZAT SO? When Tom T. Hall wrote "Harper Valley P.T.A." he could never have imagined what a cultural phenomenon he'd created.
Not only did Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 recording top both the pop and country charts in the U.S. and Canada the first time ever accomplished by a female but that one little phonograph record inspired a feature film (1978) AND a TV series (1981). That too had never happened before.