Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: My wife and I now come before your honor, as many before us have, and ask you to settle a musical debate we're having.

From our teenage years (late '50s), we both remember the big hit of “Cherry Pie,” by Skip & Flip. Though neither of us remembers it being popular, we both have heard Marvin & Johnny's original version many times.

Now here is where we differ. She claims that another version came out in the '50s, one with the title changed from “Cherry Pie” to “Sherry Pie.”

Not only do I not recall such a recording, the title sounds absurd and makes no sense whatsoever. I say she dreamed this one up. She claims she is not dreaming and that you will prove her right. We await your decision.
—Will & Tammy Greco, Monterey, Va.

DEAR WILL & TAMMY: Judged solely on what is heard when listening, Tammy is right. Technically, though, she is not, therefore I must declare a mistrial and send both parties to this action home to discover new pastry debates.

To the surprise of many music lovers — even students of rhythm and blues — Marvin & Johnny's original “Cherry Pie” is merely the uncharted B-side of their 1954, Top 10 hit, “Tick Tock.”

Half a decade later, buoyed by remakes as well as airplay as an oldie-but-goodie, “Cherry Pie” took on R&B classic status. Meanwhile, the hit side, “Tick Tock,” was all but forgotten.

The first remake came in 1959, by the Tri-Lads (Bullseye 1003). Though clearly labeled “Cherry Pie,” let the record reflect that it sounds far more like they're singing “Sherry Pie.”

The Tri-Lads disc received regional attention, especially on the west coast, but it failed to chart nationally.

A few months later, in early 1960, Skip & Flip's polished waxing came out and became a huge hit.

DEAR JERRY: Who would you choose as the ONE country artist who did the most, worldwide, to hoist the C&W music flag in the 20th century?

Really, many folks contributed (Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, Marty Robbins, Eddie Arnold, Jim Reeves, etc.). Yet which person would you rank as No. 1?

For me, it is a tie between Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. I can't pick one over the other.

Also, can we invite your many readers to cast a vote in this matter? The opinions would be fascinating. My only motivation is curiosity.
—Michael Morelos, Evansville, Ind.

DEAR MICHAEL: I too would be interested in reading what our audience has to say about this. Rather than sway opinions, I'll withhold my own answer until we have some others to share. Readers: what say you?

DEAR JERRY: One of my records is “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” the theme from the popular TV show that aired in the early '60s.

In the song, they refer to Jed as “a poor mountaineer,” but there is no indication as to exactly where the Clampetts lived before striking it rich and moving to Beverly Hills.

Can you possibly tell me where their previous home was located?
—Donald B. Davis, Madisonville, Ky.

DEAR DONALD: I rounded up and viewed the first three “Beverly Hillbillies” episodes, thinking the earliest shows the most likely place to find a mention of the Clampetts' poor mountaineer days.

It is told that their isolated mountain cabin is about 40 miles from a town named Oxford. Not once do they mention a particular state, nor is a specific mountain range

Perhaps, among our family of readers, a Beverly Hillbilly trivia expert will further enlighten us.

IZ ZAT SO? Marvin Phillips, who, along with Johnny Perry comprised the Marvin & Johnny duo, had previously been half of Jesse & Marvin. This pair's release of “Dream Girl” landed in the Top 10 in early 1953.

As for Jesse, he is none other than Jesse Belvin, whose hits “Goodnight My Love” and “Guess Who” are pop classics.

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