DEAR JERRY: As a child, I would often listen to my dad's old Victrola, that was stored in grandma's attic.
I was especially fond of a song titled “Papa, Don't Preach to Me,” by a woman vocalist whose name I don't recall. Every time I mention “Papa, Don't Preach to Me” to anyone, they think I'm talking about the 1980s Madonna song with a similar title.
If you can identify this recording, I'd be forever grateful.
Diane Ciambrone, Chicago
DEAR DIANE: Since you do not indicate the approximate time you cranked up dad's Victrola, there is no way to be certain of what you heard. But if those music sessions in grandma's attic took place after 1947, we may have the answer.
Singer-actress Betty Hutton had a 78 rpm single of “Papa, Don't Preach to Me” in early '47, a version that many would consider the most memorable. It is backed with “Rumble, Rumble, Rumble” (Capitol 380).
Fortunately, “Papa, Don't Preach to Me” is on at least two readily available compact discs: “Betty Hutton - Hollywood's Blonde Bombshell” and “Spotlight on Betty Hutton.”
For the record, neither Hutton nor anyone else ever charted with “Papa, Don't Preach to Me,” whereas Madonna's “Papa, Don't Preach” reached No. 1 in 1986.
DEAR JERRY: Recently, you wrote about Roberta Flack and U2 winning consecutive Record of the Year Grammy Awards.
Roberta Flack won in 1972 and '73 with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” and U2 did so with “Beautiful Day” (2000) and “Walk On” (2001).
Now I have a somewhat similar question, one I have never seen written about by anyone:
For the second half of the 20th century (1950 through 1999), how many times, if ever, did the same recording artist have the top single of the year for two consecutive years?
Shannon Tremont, Milwaukee
DEAR SHANNON: As you suspect, we have never been asked this one before, but it's a great question.
This trick has been turned only twice:
Elvis had the top single of 1956, “Don't Be Cruel” backed with “Hound Dog,” and again in '57, with “All Shook Up.”
Roberta Flack also did it two years in a two, with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1972); and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” -- both of which are the Record of the Year award winners you mention.
Since Flack had only three No. 1 hits in her career, it is quite remarkable how well two-thirds of them did. (The third one is “Feel Like Makin' Love,” from 1974.)
For that 50-year span, only Elvis and Roberta had the year's top single hit in consecutive years.
Here is the next chapter in the effort to alphabetically document many of the 1950s and '60s record labels named after individuals behind the company.
The quantity of information requires we present this feature in segments. This week we have K through P: Kapp (Dave Kapp); KayDan (Stacy Keach & Dana Tasker); Keen (Bob Keene); Ken (Ken Charles); Khoury's (George Khoury);
L&M (Lalo Guerrero & Manuel Acuna); LHI (Lee Hazlewood); Lee Int'l (John Lee); Lowe (Bernie Lowe); Lummtone (Lummie Fowler).
M-G-M (Metro Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn, Louis Meyer); M-J-C (Lloyd McCraw, Will Jones, Aaron Collins); Macy's (Macy Henry); Mad (Thomas “Mad Man” Jones); Maunay (George Maunay); Mayhams (Norris Mayhams); Mercer (Mercer Ellington); Miltone (Roy Milton); Miranda (H.L. Miranda); Montilla (Fernando Montilla).
Norgran (Norman Granz); Nor-Va-Jak (Norman Petty, Violet Ann Petty, Jack Vaughan); Oliver (Oliver Hunt); Pavis (Phil Davis); Petsey (Norman Petty); Phillies (Phil Spector); Phillips Int'l (Sam C. Phillips); Phillipson (Larry Phillipson); Philmon (Hiram Philmon); Pierce (Webb Pierce); Pinky (Herb "Pinky" Pinkert); Porter (Frank Porter).
IZ ZAT SO? In a surprising twist, neither of the U2 Record of the Year Grammy winners, “Beautiful Day” (2000) and “Walk On” (2001), did as well on the singles charts as one might think.
“Beautiful Day” peaked at No. 21, and “Walk On” did not even make the Top 100.
A Grammy Award for Record of the Year is based on artistic or technical achievement, as selected by the voting members of the Recording Academy. Unlike a [top selling] Single of the Year, the Grammy is not reflective of sales or chart success.