Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: When I was in my teens in the mid-'60s there was a rocking tune that I think is titled “You Comb Her Hair.” It got a lot of play at the time on the Top 40 (AM) stations.

Recently, while reading an article on George Jones, I learned that he did a song by that same title in the '60s. I even bought a CD of George Jones' greatest hits, and that song — while the words are the same — isn't the same as I recall.

Was I hallucinating, or was there a driving, more upbeat version of that song? Did George do it, or was there a cover version?

I have found in buying some of the greatest hits albums that their versions of songs aren't always the same as the ones we remember (or think we remember.) For example, on a cheap compilation of Conway Twitty hits, “Lonely Blue Boy” is rerecorded, and not the hit version.

And by the way, do you know where “Lonely Blue Boy” came from? This is a test.
—Marv Adams, Lancaster, Pa. (

DEAR MARV: George Jones had the original of “You Comb Her Hair” (United Artists), a Top 5 C&W hit in the summer of 1963.

A few months later, in early '64, a pop-rock version, by Joey Powers, came out (Amy 903), which is likely the one you heard played. Though it didn't chart nationally, it definitely became popular in some regional radio markets. In late 1963, Joey Powers found himself in the Top 10 with his only chart hit, “Midnight Mary” (Amy 892). Thus he is the definition of a one-hit wonder.

As those who regularly read this feature know, by coming out several months after the George Jones issue had ran its course, Joey's release of “You Comb Her Hair” is really a “remake” of the song, and not a “cover” version.

As for your test question: Conway Twitty's “Lonely Blue Boy” is a slightly reworked version of “Danny,” a tune recorded in 1958 by Elvis Presley for the film “King Creole,” but cut from the final edit. The track didn't become available on record for over 20 years — November 1978 to be exact.

Do I pass?

DEAR JERRY: Don't ever stop writing your column! I say this because we're all getting older, our memories are fading, and we need you so we can get some sleep instead of sitting up nights trying to remember the name and singer of songs like … “Jack! Jack! Jack!”

Every time we play Progressive Rummy — our favorite friendly card game — that old “Jack” song comes up, and I start singing it.
—Avis Thompson, Lakeland, Fla.

DEAR AVIS: While I know nothing about Progressive Rummy, I can confirm the significance of your three Jacks. The song is indeed “Jack! Jack! Jack!”

Interestingly, “Jack! Jack! Jack!,” a Top 20 hit (Capitol 403) in the summer of 1947, is by a real life Jack — Jack Smith, who had a dozen hits in the late '40s. His best known tune is “Cruising Down the River” (1949).

Thanks for the endorsement. It is nice to be needed for memory support and sleep disorder resistance, even if it means canceling my retirement plans.

IZ ZAT SO? After a few years of pop hits, Jack Smith started showcasing his tenor voice on the emerging new medium of the early '50s, television.

One TV appearance led to another for Smith, including landing the host gig for the 1953 quiz shot, “Place the Face.” Five years later, when Art Baker departed as host of the popular audience participation show, “You Asked for It,” Jack Smith stepped into that slot (1958). He also hosted “You Asked for It” reprisal in the '70s (1971 - 1977), and provided clip narration for a syndicated version of the show in the early '80s.

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