Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne

FOR THE WEEK OF November 5, 2001

DEAR JERRY: I enjoyed reading recently in your column about Cher's accomplishments.

I am a big fan of hers, and would like to know where I can find a very rare record she made in 1964, for which she used the name Bonnie Jo Mason.

It is a Beatles novelty, titled “Ringo, I Love You” with “Beatle Blues” on the flip side. It was not a hit at all, which makes it even harder to find since not many sold. I want it!

—Vincent DeLucia, New Haven, Conn.

DEAR VINCENT: It looks like one of our readers has come to your rescue, and has something to Cher with you. Read on:

DEAR JERRY: I read your column in the St. Petersburg Times, and saw the letter from Vincent DeLucia. Well, I have a great copy of Cher's “Ringo, I Love You.”

It's not mint but I would say it's about VG to VG+ with no skips and only a very few faint marks.

Vincent can e-mail me any time, and we'll try to work out something.
—Bob Biddle, Palm Harbor, Fla.

DEAR JERRY: I am desperate to know the singer of “Smile for Me, My Diane,” a very popular song in the mid-'60s.

Was it Al Martino? Jerry Vale? John Gary? Tony Martin?
—Margaret Brunjes, Homosassa, Fla.

DEAR MARGARET: The full title is just “Diane,” and since it made the Top 10, in mid-1964, it is possible any number of different artists may have performed it — either in concert or on an album.

However, there is only one hit version from the '60s, and that is by an Irish trio named the Bachelors (London 9639). I doubt any other version would have been played on the radio at the time.

The Bachelors did not have the original hit version, as they simply remade this smooth oldie. It first became popular in the late 1920s, by Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra. You remember him, right?

DEAR JERRY: Considering that the era of the vinyl album is long past, which artists ended up with the most hit LPs, in each of the major fields of music?
—Melinda Isbell, Franklin Park, Ill.

DEAR MELINDA: Good question, and one I have not received before.

Here they are, listed according to number of titles to reach Billboard's Top LPs chart, as shown in Joel Whitburn's “Top Pop Albums” book:

Rock and Roll: Elvis Presley (93).
Pop and Easy Listening: Frank Sinatra (69).
Soul and R&B: James Brown (49).
Instrumental: Mantovani (45).
Country and Western: Willie Nelson (44).

While on the subject, let's throw in some interesting bonus categories (not listed above):
Female Vocalist: Barbra Streisand (45).
Vocal Group - Rock: Beach Boys (43).
Vocal Group - R&B: Temptations (41).
Instrumental - Rock: Ventures (37).

IZ ZAT SO? If you are curious as to why the Beatles are not on the above lists, it is because they were edged out by the Beach Boys in the Vocal Group caregory. Their 40 charted albums is the runner-up to the 43 from the Beach Boys.

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