Ask "Mr. Music"
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I love "Ambrose" by Linda Laurie, the 1950s novelty song where her and Ambrose just keep walking in the subway.

I once heard that Linda provides the speaking voice of Ambrose, in addition to her own part.

But Ambrose sounds like a man's voice to me. Do you know if this story is true?
—Rob Balboni, Swampscott, Mass.

DEAR ROB: I do know, and it is. I state this because Linda Laurie, who has never lied to me, says so!

In this recent e-mail to me, she answers your question:

"Yes, I am indeed the voice of Ambrose!

"As a I child, I often played by myself in a very large closet. One of my little games was a talking shoe family, with the mommy shoes talking to the daddy shoes. I provided both voices, trying to sound like a woman then like a man.

"I never dreamed then I would one day make a hit record using two voices.

"Thank you for keeping the music history going strong!"

DEAR JERRY: Every year around Christmas, there is a British song that gets played a lot on the radio, titled "Stop the Cavalry." It is by the Cory Band and the Gwalia Singers.

It is one of the catchiest tunes ever written and the dee jays say the station is always flooded with calls when they play it, wanting to know how to buy a copy.

There is another version of the song by Jona Lewie, the song's composer, but it is not as good as the Cory Band version.

If there is a CD out there with the Cory Band-Gwalia Singers version on it, I would be thrilled to know of it.
—Adoree Day, Lakewood, Wash.

DEAR ADOREE: Those dee jays are telling it like it is. "Stop the Cavalry" is among the most requested of all holiday songs, with the most popular of the two in the US being the Cory Band-Gwalia Singers version.

However, it is Jona Lewie's original that reached No. 1 in the UK, in December 1980.

The Corey Band's single (Stiff-Sound of the Valley 133) came out about one year later there but did not chart.

Vinyl 45s of their recording are easy to find online (eBay, etc.), especially this time of the year. They are usually in the $4 to $8 range.

As for a digital track, a Cory Band-Gwalia Singers CD-single of "Stop the Cavalry" MP3 is available from Silver Platters.

Now for another topic with a British Cavalry connection:

DEAR JERRY: Your recent column about "The Marvelous Toy" reminds me of another toy song.

In this story, two boys in England play with toy guns when they were young, then grow up to be soldiers with real guns.

Can you identify this one?
—Sally Conrad, New Haven, Conn.

DEAR SALLY: Your mystery song is "Two Little Boys," a 1970 issue that held the No. 1 spot for six weeks in the U.K.

Written over 100 years ago (1903), this charming little tale is by Rolf Harris, he of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" (1963) fame.

Despite its popularity in Britain, "Two Little Boys" (MGM 14103) failed to chart in the states. It did, however, make the regional surveys in several radio markets.

Fortunately, there are no guns in this adventure, toy or otherwise. The boys go from riding wooden horse toys to real ones in battle.

Hopefully this info will help Sue Sette (York, Pa.), who also asks about "Two Little Boys."

IZ ZAT SO? "Stop the Cavalry" by the Cory Band and Gwalia Singers is probably the most popular song ever by an artist who never had a charted recording — be it a single, album, or otherwise.

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