DEAR JERRY: My question will be a real stumper, but it has been driving me crazy for many years.
In 1964, I heard a song by Mantovani and His Orchestra that featured a woman named Patricia Clark, not to be confused with Petula Clark. She had the most beautiful voice I have ever heard, and it sent shivers down my spine!
Is what I heard a track from one of Mantovani's album? If so, which one? What might be the song by Patricia Clark?
Dick Fuller, Rochester, N.Y.
DEAR DICK: The lush orchestration and overall style you recall is very reminiscent of Annunzio Mantovani, but he is not a part of the answer to your musical mystery.
The maestro you seek is Britain's Norrie Paramor, and it is very likely a track from his 1964 album “In London - In Love Again” (Capitol ST-2071), that you heard. This LP does feature the soaring soprano tones of Patricia Clark.
Not knowing which track you heard, I'll list them all:
“When I Fall in Love; Love Walked In; As Time Goes By; Moonlight Becomes You; All the Way; My Heart Stood Still; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; True Love; Isn't It Romantic; These Foolish Things; We'll Gather Lilacs;” and “Body And Soul.” As the use of “Again” in the title suggests, “In London - In Love Again” is a sequel to an earlier release titled “In London - In Love” (Capitol T-10025).
This 1956 collection is also with Patricia Clark, though here she is not credited. It is Paramor's best-selling album and contains mostly standards.
The tracks are: “Embraceable You; The Touch of Your Lips; The Nearness of You; Stairway to the Stars; Stardust; Someone to Watch Over Me; Deep Purple; I'll Get By; The Very Thought of You; Dearly; Stars Fell on Alabama;” and “All the Things You Are.”
A 24-track CD of two Norrie Paramor LPs, “In London - In Love” and “Autumn” is easily available online, usually for under $8.00.
I believe the Paramor-Clark teaming is appropriately described in this one sentence from the “In London - In Love” liner notes: “The Thames, the fog, and an almost embarrassingly intimate voice slipping in and out of the Paramor violins, like a sexy Ariel or Tinkerbell. This is the music of London ... and Love!”
DEAR JERRY: No one I have asked has been able to tell me the real name of the theme song of “The Golden Girls” TV show. Do you?
May Gleason, Huntsville, Ala.
DEAR MAY: Yes, and not just for you but also Carmen Nation, of Tacoma, Wash., who wants the same information. “Thank You for Being a Friend” is the song that became “The Golden Girls” theme.
Written and first recorded by Andrew Gold, it made the Top 25 in 1978, seven years before the TV show. The version you hear on The Golden Girls is by Cynthia Fee.
I answer perhaps to your second question because the Andrew Gold track is easily available on vinyl (Asylum 45456) as well as a CD, “Thank You for Being a Friend: The Best of Andrew Gold” (Rhino 73511).
If it matters, this CD also has another memorable TV tune, “The Final Frontier (Theme from Mad About You)”
As for Cynthia Fee's version, I have yet to find any commercially issued recordings. You may just have to record it off of one of the broadcasts, if that is the one you need. Golden Girl reruns are on the Lifetime cable network at least five days a week.
IZ ZAT SO? Norrie Paramor (1913-1979) produced what many consider Britain's first homegrown Rock & Roll hit single, “Teach You to Rock” backed with “Short'nin' Bread Rock,” by Tony Crombie and his Rockets.
Both sides made their New Musical Express chart debut October 20, 1956, one week before Tommy Steel, England's first rock star, charted with “Rock with the Caveman.”
Two years later, Paramor produced the first recordings by soon-to-be-superstar Cliff Richard.