Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I once heard that the singing group known as the Royal Guardsmen changed their name because they didn't want to be stereotyped for only doing Snoopy the dog songs.

Is this true? If so, what new name did they choose?
—Sharon James, Grand Rapids, Mich.

DEAR SHARON: While the Royal Guardsmen are best remembered for “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron,” and the follow-up, “The Return of the Red Baron,” Snoopy songs made up only half of their total chart hits.

In fact, the song many feel to be their best, “Baby, Let's Wait” (1968) has nothing whatsoever to do with Snoopy.

The Royal Guardsmen formed in 1966 in Ocala, Florida, and included Barry Winslow, Chris Nunley, Tom Richards, Bill Balogh, Billy Taylor, and John Burdette.

Rather than change their name to anything, the Royal Guardsmen simply disbanded in 1968.

DEAR JERRY: Roy Drusky once had a hit that I think is titled “Mr. Peters.” Joining him on this tune is a woman whose name I would really like to know.

It sounds to me like Helen Cornelius, but it may be someone else.
—Jo Ellen Truchan, St. Petersburg, Fla.

DEAR JO ELLEN: A very big hit at that — reaching No. 1 on the C&W charts in the summer of 1965.

The title is “Yes, Mr. Peters” (Mercury 72416), and the part of Mr. Peters' sensual secretary is played by Priscilla Mitchell. Apparently she never said no to Mr. Peters.

These two had so much fun slipping around that their follow-up single turned out to be, you guessed it, “Slippin' Around.”

Now what is that old saying about not fishing off the company pier?

DEAR JERRY: It's not the typical music question you get, but I do hope you have the answer.

While listening to Little Richard's hit of “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” the subject of this being a very old song came up.

I decided to look into it and found it was written about a hundred years ago, and that the publishing connection is ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers).

All of which raises the question, how did this happen when ASCAP didn't exist at the time?
—Martina Simon, Paducah, Ky.

DEAR MARTINA: You have all of the facts pretty well in order.

Edward Madden and Gus Edwards wrote “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” in 1909 — well before 1914 when Victor Herbert organized ASCAP.

Earlier famous songs by ASCAP members — ones written between 1892 and 1913 — were then added to their ASCAP ledger.

You could say they were grandfathered into the fold.

It is nice to see Little Richard getting some good exposure in one of the currently-running Sprint television commercials.

DEAR JERRY: I remember a song from the 1960s titled “Handsome Guy,” by a singer named Dick Laurie, but I cannot seem to find any references anywhere to either this artist or this song. Can you help?
—Reginald Bruce, Akron, Ohio

DEAR REGINALD: The obstacle here is the spelling of the singer's name.

Released in 1962, “Handsome Guy,” backed with “Pain Is Here,” is by Dick Lory (Liberty 55415).

Between 1956 and '64, Lory had many recordings for labels like Liberty, Columbia, and Dot.

His 1956 Dot single, “Cool It Baby” (“15496), is hot among rockabilly collectors, usually selling in the $50 range.

IZ ZAT SO? Another Royal Guardsmen's tune, with no cartoon beagle connection, is the bouncy “Airplane Song (My Airplane).”

Suprisingly, the writer of this 1967 hit is Michael Martin Murphey — about eight years before his monster hit, “Wildfire.”

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