Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Ever since I first heard it, I fell in love with the music from the movie “Serpico.” What is played throughout the film, and especially at the end, is really beautiful.

I have searched everywhere for a soundtrack album, and have been told that none exists. I just find that hard to believe.

Perhaps you can confirm whether or not a “Serpico” soundtrack album ever came out.
—Edward J. Pokay, Brookfield, Ill.

DEAR EDWARD: If any of those folks you asked had simply checked “The Official Guide to Movie/TV Soundtracks & Original Cast Recordings,” rather than give you the brush off, they could have told you all about the “Serpico” soundtrack.

Issued in 1973 — the same year as the critically acclaimed film — the “Serpico” album is Paramount PAS-1016. The LP, which currently books for $25 to $35, features music written especially for the movie by Mikis Theodorakis.

For his dramatic portrayal of Frank Serpico, a New York policeman, Al Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category. He lost that year to Jack Lemmon (“Save the Tiger”).

DEAR JERRY: Who the heck is the singer Vince Everett? One of my ABC-Paramount 45s is by Vince Everett, and the songs are “Baby, Let's Play House” backed with “Livin' High.”

Everyone who hears these songs says the singer is Elvis Presley using the same name as the character he portrayed in the “Jailhouse Rock” film.

Can you settle this mystery once and for all.
—E.S. Seffren, Ashland, Wisc.

DEAR E.S.: Once and for all, or until the next time someone asks this question.

The singer known as Vince Everett is really Britain's Marvin Benefield, and he recorded for ABC-Paramount from 1962 through 1965. He chose that stage name strictly because of the “Jailhouse Rock” character.

There may not be a singer that has fooled more people than Vince, and that includes the great Ral Donner.

Another of Everett's amazing remakes of Presley hits is “Such a Night.” On it, Vince uses an identical arrangement and vocal approach to the song, including vocal backing that sounds just like the Jordanaires. I mention this because Presley's “Such a Night” is getting a lot of publicity lately since it is the featured track from the new Kevin Costner/Kurt Russell film, “3,000 Miles to Graceland.”

There is one more peculiar connection between Vince Everett and the object of his affection. If you look at those ABC-Paramount labels, you will see the tracks are produced by the late Felton Jarvis. Just a few years later, Jarvis began many years of producing sessions for the real Elvis.

In 1985, I unexpectedly ran into Vince Everett in London. Perhaps fittingly, he was selling Elvis souvenirs and records at a then popular but now vacated night spot named Presley's Pub.

DEAR JERRY: Like most everyone else who writes you, I too need some information about a song.

I believe it is titled “Just As Much As Ever,” and it is a beautiful love song that was quite popular during the 1959 to '61 time period.
—Dwight Wyant, Murray, Ky.

DEAR DWIGHT: Your recollection of the title and time is perfect. “Just As Much As Ever” is a Top 40 hit from the summer of 1959, by Bob Beckham (Decca 30861).

Did you know that an excellent remake of “Just As Much As Ever” came out in late 1967, by Bobby Vinton (Epic 10266)?

IZ ZAT SO? Al Pacino received a Best Actor nomination the year following “Serpico,” for “The Godfather II”. He lost to Art Carney (“Harry and Tonto”).

Between 1972 and '92, the Academy nominated Al Pacino eight times. He finally won in 1992 for “Scent of a Woman.”

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