DEAR JERRY: I need you to tap into your vast source of musical knowledge and help us answer a couple of questions.
There is an instrumental I recall from the '50s, wherein a man occasionally asks: "Hey there! Got a match?"
I need any details you have about this recording.
George Schaetzle, Milwaukee
DEAR GEORGE: Got a Match? is a mid-1958 release that came out first by the Daddy-O's (Cabot 122), and was covered immediately by Frank Gallop, with Don Costa's Orchestra (ABC-Paramount 9931).
Both versions wound up in the Top 40.
Remember at the end of the record, when the voice, apparently fed up with asking for a match, simply gives up and says: "Never mind!"
Frank Gallop, referenced above regarding "Got a Match," had his biggest hit with a 1966 parody of Lorne Greene's "Ringo." Gallop's comical version of the old west cowboy story, titled "The Ballad of Irving," tells the story of "the 142nd fastest gun in the west."
Before making some zany recordings, Frank worked as a television announcer. In the '50s his was the emcee voice heard on the Perry Como show.
DEAR JERRY: My husband and I are both having a hard time deciphering a line in "Cara Mia," the '60s hit by Jay & the Americans.
The troublesome line is the one that follows the words: "Darling, hear my prayer."
Shirley A. Mingello, Pinellas Park, Fla.
DEAR SHIRLEY: The mystery line is "Cara Mia fair."
As you know, these words can be a bit difficult to understand in Jay Black's version, so I pulled out the original 1954 recording, by David Whitfield. On this one, the line clearly is "Cara Mia fair."