Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: On the Beatles “Please Please Me” CD it is stated in the liner notes that the lead vocal on “Do You Want to Know a Secret” is by George Harrison.

Well, I am an avid Beatles fan and have no trouble whatsoever distinguishing each of their voices, and I argue their claim. I insist that the lead on “Do You Want to Know a Secret” is by John Lennon.

Is there any way you can research this, and settle what has turned into a long-standing debate between two Beatles fans?
—R. Edwards, Puyallup, Wash.

DEAR R: I don't blame you for questioning what is often stated as fact in LP and CD liner notes. One sometimes wonders if the notes writer has any familiarity at all with the music being discussed.

However, in this case it is you who is mistaken.

During Beatlemania, I too paid close attention to which member sang lead on each song. Even then I had no trouble recognizing George's lead on “Do You Want to Know a Secret.” And as you probably know, unlike with CDs, the LP notes never identified who sang what, so it became a game of sorts with each new album.

No further research is necessary. Just as surely as John sings “Anna; Baby It's You; and There's a Place;” it is absolutely, positively George on “Do You Want to Know a Secret.” All of these tracks were recorded February 11, 1963, along with “A Taste of Honey” and “Hold Me Tight.” (Paul McCartney), and “Boys” (Ringo Starr)

Now, one more from the Beatles bin:

DEAR JERRY: If “The Long and Winding Road” was the last hit single for Beatles as a group, which of the Fab Four was the first to have a hit as a solo artist?
—Julie Morrales, Huntsville, Ala.

DEAR JULIE: By the end of July 1970, “The Long and Winding Road” had dropped from the national charts. Surprisingly, one year earlier (July 1969), “Give Peace a Chance,” by the Plastic Ono Band — with John Lennon — became a hit and is therefore the first hit by one of the Beatles apart from the group's releases.

In February 1970 “Instant Karma (We All Shine On)” came out, and is technically the first hit single by John. It was also the first solo hit by any of the four Beatles.

The first solo hits for the other four members are: “Beaucoups of Blues” (Ringo Starr, November 1970), “My Sweet Lord” (George Harrison, November 1970), and “Another Day” (Paul McCartney, March 1971).

DEAR JERRY: I have a collection of over 800 albums, which I would now like to sell. I have no idea if they have any value or not, but would like to learn more about their worth. Does a price guide exist? Any help will be appreciated.
—Jean Storniolo, Milwaukee, Wisc.

DEAR JEAN: Not a day passes when at least one letter with a variation of your question does not arrive. Today, yours and one from John W.G. Bertram arrived.

Once or twice a year we simply must address this popular issue, and this is one of those times. Even if the information is not relevant now, bookmark the site. You or someone you know may need it later.

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IZ ZAT SO? Though written and recorded by the Beatles, as a track on their first LP, the single release of “Do You Want to Know a Secret” went to Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.

Their fine version went to No. 1 in the U.K. on June 1, 1963, and followed a five week run at the top for the Beatles' “From Me to You.”

Kramer also had the first U.S. single of this track.

It is quite extraordinary for an artist to yield the No. 1 spot to a song which they wrote, yet is

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