Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I have a box of approximately 100 albums, all being on 78 rpm. Some are by Guy Lombardo. I am not sure of the artists on the rest, but all are from that same (Guy Lombardo) era.

If I were to offer these for sale, what might I expect to receive? I am guessing I wouldn't get a worthy price by offering them at auction.
—Larry LaRoy, Evansville, Ind. (

DEAR LARRY: Once or twice each year I select a letter, from hundreds received asking essentially this same question, hoping all those who are curious about “old 78s” will be enlightened.

Probably 90% of all the 78rpms found in the average home — not to be confused with experienced record dealers and collectors — have very little value. Many end up being given away.

Among those that are more in demand, and likely to fetch higher prices, are blues, country and western, and rock and roll. Most folks do not have 78s of these types of music, and the few who do usually have them in worn condition. Their scarcity, coupled with an active marketplace, creates high value.

We routinely receive mail from readers who have really old 78s — many from the early 1900s — and they believe that by being 100 years old their value must be high.

The reality is that just because something is old does not make it valuable. A significant number of people have to want it in order to create a marketplace, and it is extremely difficult to find buyers for those turn-of-the-20th century Caruso records.

Considering the scarcity of buyers for items such as the Guy Lombardo 78s you mention, I believe that auctioning them would be the best bet. That way, you may find that elusive customer which otherwise you wouldn't know to contact.

Anything over a buck or two each would be a windfall.

DEAR JERRY: I need some details about a song that I believe came out in the late '50s. The title is “Hey Boy, Hey Girl,” but I don't have any idea who recorded it.

My mother, who just turned 70, tells me that when she and dad were dating, this tune was “their song.” Now, I would really like to surprise her with it, but I need you to fill in the blanks.
—Jennifer Fischer, Sauk Village, Ill.

DEAR JENNIFER: You have the principal players transposed — it's “Hey Girl, Hey Boy” — but I know exactly which tune mom means.

Popular during the summer of 1958, by the duo of Oscar McLollie and Jeanette Baker (Class 228), it sounds like “Hey Girl, Hey Boy” may very well have figured into your existence.

DEAR JERRY: Right before Christmas last year we heard a song, played several times, which mentions “Baby's First Christmas.” Is this a recently recorded song? Who sings it?
—Ms. Jude Wallace (

HEY JUDE: Though I can't guarantee it's the tune you heard, the perennial favorite of “Baby' First Christmas” is by Connie Francis (MGM13051).

First issued in late 1961, on the flip side of the Top 10 hit, “When the Boy in Your Arms,” it is appropriately played every year about this time.

IZ ZAT SO? The two all-time double-sided hit queens are Brenda Lee and Connie Francis. Brenda, with 16, ranks slightly ahead of Connie, who charted with 13 two-sided hits.

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