Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I have come up with a dandy music trivia question, but before I start winning bar bets with it I'd like to try it on you.

Besides the obvious — all being artists with hits to their credit — what do these folks have in common: Harptones, Cheers, Billy & Lillie, and Danny & the Juniors?
—Chuck Jeffries, Huntsville, Ala.

DEAR CHUCK: This is a senior level question with a degree of difficulty that will likely mystify most of your marks.

So as not to instantly spoil the fun for readers, I will hold the answer until the end of today's feature.

DEAR JERRY: You are the only one who can settle an ongoing dispute between me and some friends, regarding the '70s group Heatwave.

To the man, the rest of the group claims Heatwave made only two vinyl albums, “Too Hot to Handle” and “Central Heating.” My position is that they made a third LP, which I think may simply be titled “Heatwave.”

We have asked several radio stations and two music magazines, but no one seems to know the answer.

All of us anxiously await your reply.
—John L. Taylor, Waynesburg, Pa.

DEAR JOHN: When it comes to Heatwave albums, you are not only more informed than your gang but, apparently, more than the local music media.

Still, even you underestimate Heatwave's LP output.

Besides “Too Hot to Handle” (1977) and “Central Heating” (1978), on which you all agree, this group released “Hot Property” (1979); “Candles” (1980); “Current” (1982); and a “Greatest Hits” (1984) collection.

Those are just the US vinyl issues. There are also a couple of British albums to add to the list — “Power Cuts” and “Maximum Heat” — along with several CDs.

This bunch did have the self-titled EP “Heatwave” (1982), but it is not a full-length LP.

DEAR JERRY: Could please let me know what UK chart placing Pat Boone achieved with “Love Letters in the Sand”?

Also I'd like to know who else made that song popular.
—Patricia in Birmingham, England.

DEAR PATRICIA: Let us then return to those musically thrilling days of 1957.

On this side of the Atlantic, after nine weeks at No. 1, “All Shook Up” relinquished the top spot to “Love Letters in the Sand.” Pat Boone then spent seven weeks atop the charts, with what would become his all-time biggest hit.

Because of slightly different release dates in the UK, Boone's and Presley's songs came out at approximately the same time, and climbed the NME charts together.

“All Shook Up” held the No. 1 position there for seven weeks, with “Love Letters in the Sand” peaking at No. 2. Coincidentally, Boone maintained the No. 2 spot for seven weeks, but could not dislodge “All Shook Up” or “Diana” — another No. 1 hit that kept “Love Letters” in quicksand.

Though no one else charted in the US with “Love Letters in the Sand,” Vince Hill did manage a two-week stay in the UK Top 30, in October 1967.

IZ ZAT SO? What the Harptones, Cheers, Billy & Lillie, and Danny & the Juniors have in common is that none of these groups were deemed worthy, by their respective record labels, of a long playing album at the time of their singles hits.

Here are a few of their most memorable songs:

Harptones: “A Sunday Kind of Love; Since I Fell for You; Forever Mine; My Memories of You;” and “What Will I Tell My Heart.”

Cheers: “Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots; Bazoom ( I Need Your Lovin');” and “Chicken.”

Billy & Lillie: “Lucky Ladybug” and “La Dee Dah.”

Danny & the Juniors: “At the Hop; Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay; Dottie;” and “Twistin' USA.”

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