Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: While watching a “Seinfeld” rerun $#151; one about saying “yada, yada, yada” $#151; I had a flashback to a long-forgotten song from my high school years. The time period would be between 1959 and '62.

Lest anyone think saying “yada, yada, yada” instead of “etc., etc., etc.,” is a '90s thing, I contend those words figured prominently into this old song.

Since I recall no other details, my argument is lame. You can save my reputation if you are able to tell me the title, singer and year of what must have been the first “yada, yada, yada” song.
—Marcia Hendricks, Lowell, Mass.

DEAR MARCIA: There are no releases titled “yada, yada, yada;” though given your description and a time frame, I suspect you are referring to Austin Taylor's 1960 hit “Push Push” (Laurie 3067).

Several times in “Push Push,” Taylor clearly sings “yada, yada, yada” $#151; two pushes and three yadas at a time.

DEAR JERRY: In “Afternoon Delight,” by the Starland Vocal band, there is a line that has driven many a listener, including me, crazy $#151; trying to figure out what is being said.

The phonetic pronunciation of this line might be ”...I always thought a fish could love because it didn't bite.” Though rather silly, something similar to this interpretation may even be correct. Or it could be something altogether different that just sounds like this when listening to the record. Can you tell us what the real words to this line are?
—Rick Boling, from Fla. via the internet

DEAR RICK: Going strictly from memory (didn't resort to playing the song), I recall the line as “… I always thought a fish could not get caught that didn't bite.”

I am sure you will agree that the line, as I perceive it, does indeed make sense: a smart fish tends to keep its mouth closed.

DEAR JERRY: I am trying to organize a Memorial Day Program at our Church. I plan to feature a song from each of the major wars (that I know of) being sung, interspersed with letters from those wars being read.

For example, we have: (WW1) “Over There;” (Korean) “Red Sails in the Sunset; (WW2) “I'll Be Home for Christmas;” and (Gulf War) “God Bless the USA.” Get the idea?

Problem is, I have become totally stuck on one for the Vietnam War. To be honest with you, I can't think of any Vietnam-related songs.

This has really been a struggle! If you could give me any ideas, I sure would appreciate it. I know this might not be your line of work, but, I'm hoping you'll help me.
—Becky Huber, Pequea, Pa.

DEAR BECKY: This is precisely my line and I shall work for you.

Your program seems to have a 'pop' theme; however, if you'd like to add a touch of country to the show I have a solution.

Just one Vietnam song made it to No. 1, “Hello Vietnam,” a 1965 release by Johnny Wright (Decca 31821). Continuing his patriotic roll, Wright followed “Hello Vietnam” with “Keep the Flag Flying.”

As you probably know, the number of songs protesting America's most unpopular war far outnumbered those urging the nation to keep the flag flying in southeast Asia.

I find your Korean war choice of “Red Sails in the Sunset” curious. There are no versions of this 1935 tune that became popular during the Korean war (1950 $#151; 1953). Two significant replacements come immediately to mind: “Harbor Lights” (Sammy Kaye & His Orchestra, 1950) and “Auf Wiedersehn, Sweetheart” (Vera Lynn, 1952).

IZ ZAT SO? Johnny “Hello Vietnam” Wright is merely the second most successful recording artist in the Wright home. His wife since 1938 is Country Hall of Famer, Kitty Wells.

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