DEAR JERRY: Last year around this time you wrote about Adele's amazing accomplishments, especially with her “21” album. How long did it stay on the charts?
Alissa Thorpe, Vincennes, Ind.
DEAR ALISSA: Adele's “21” is not only still on the charts, but, as of this writing (March 11), is perched at No. 10.
This blockbuster has been on the charts over two year's worth of weeks (106), and is likely to remain there for many more.
According to Billboard, Adele's “21” is the first one to top the global albums chart for two consecutive years, since the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) began reporting global best-sellers in 2001.
“21” is also the first album since 1983-'84 (“Thriller”) to be the No. 1 seller two years in a row in the U.S.
Adele was Billboard's Artist of the Year for 2011 and 2012, making her the first artist ever to earn both honors in two consecutive years.
Oh yeah, she also gave birth to a son, born Oct. 19, 2012.
So what has Adele done so far this year?
In February, her live version of “Set Fire to the Rain” claimed the GRAMMY for Best Pop Solo Performance, bringing her collection of golden gramophones to 10.
Also last month, Adele's recording, co-written with producer Paul Epworth, of the latest James Bond film theme, “Skyfall,” won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
“Skyfall” continued its winning ways Feb. 24, earning Adele an Oscar (Best Original Song) at the 85th Academy Awards event.
DEAR JERRY: Since they began tracking sales by computer coding, what are the Top 10 selling movie soundtrack albums?
Jill Breckenridge, Crescent City, Calif.
DEAR JILL: With the estimated current total of units sold in the U.S., they are:
“The Bodyguard” (1992, over 12 million)
“Titanic” (1997, over 10 million)
“The Lion King” (1994, nearly five million)
“City of Angels” (1998, over four million)
“Armageddon” (1998, over three million)
“O Brother Where Art Thou” (2001, over three million)
“High School Musical” (2006, over three million)
“High School Musical 2” (2007, nearly three million)
“Hannah Montana 2” (2007, over two million)
“Hannah Montana” (2006, nearly two million)
“Hannah Montana: The Movie” (2009, nearly two million)
Since there is very little difference between these last two, our Top 10 has 11 entries.
DEAR JERRY: My favorite instrument is the tenor saxophone, and Mildred Bailey's “Emaline” has some killer sax accompaniment.
The rest of the horn section is also excellent, as is Mildred, but who is playing that sax?
The record label merely credits Benny Goodman and His Orchestra.
Ralph Kimberly, Syracuse, N.Y.
DEAR RALPH: Producers of big band and swing recordings often used the two-thirds instrumental, one-third vocal model, with the vocal segment sandwiched in the middle.
To handle those vocal interludes, all of the top bands employed one or more singers. But the band was the star of the show, with the vocalist getting second billing.
On “Emaline,” for example, Mildred's vocal uses just 58 seconds of a 3:24 total running time.
Having approximately two-thirds of the session for the instrumentalists to shine, gave selected players some time in the spotlight.
The four-song session that included “Emaline” (em-a-line, not em-a-lin), held February 2, 1934 at Columbia's New York studio, included these brass and woodwind all-stars: Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax); Sonny Lee (trombone); Charlie Margolis and Mannie Klein (trumpets); and of course Benny Goodman on clarinet.
Keeping the beat for everyone that day was drummer extraordinaire, Gene Krupa.
IZ ZAT SO? The exposure gained as a big band's featured vocalist kick-started some hugely successful solo careers.
Here are 21 prime examples of legendary artists, and the bands that launched them, though not always their first:
Louis Armstrong (King Oliver)
Mildred Bailey (Paul Whiteman)
Rosemary Clooney (Tony Pastor)
Perry Como (Ted Weems)
Bing Crosby (Paul Whiteman)
Doris Day (Les Brown)
Eddie Fisher (Buddy Morrow)
Ella Fitzgerald (Chick Webb)
Merv Griffin (Freddy Martin)
Dick Haymes (Harry James)
Billie Holiday (Teddy Wilson)
Kitty Kallen (Harry James)
Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman)
Ella Mae Morse (Freddie Slack)
Patti Page (Benny Goodman)
Dinah Shore (Xavier Cugat)
Frank Sinatra (Tommy Dorsey)
Jo Stafford (Tommy Dorsey)
Kay Starr (Glenn Miller)
Dinah Washington (Lionel Hampton)
Margaret Whiting (Freddie Slack)