Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I love music as well as word games, and was therefore motivated to combine the two and create a fascinating challenge.

Using the names of recording artists, goal number one is to follow each name with another artist whose first name or word is the same as the last word of the preceding name.

Goal number two is to have at least one name for each letter of the alphabet. Turns out that part is far more difficult than I expected. After many attempts, the most I can account for is 22 out of 26 (Q, X, Y, and Z are brutal).

If you have the time and inclination, please give it a shot. I'm not sending you my list because I know you will create your own.
—Carrie Darlington, Nashville

DEAR CARRIE: The degree of difficulty is high and the amount of time required is substantial. Congratulations on aligning all but the brutal four.

However, to elevate the level of difficulty even more I have added a third goal — to make the last name on the list cycle right back to the first one (i.e., Queens of the Stone Age to Age of Chance).

Since it didn't seem complete to list only a name, I have added one of the better known songs for each artist.

Many groups are shown as The so-and-sos on their records, but for this game we omit the "The."

In many ways this challenge is similar to chess, in that one benefits by always thinking two or three moves ahead.

For this go-round, getting the 26 (A-Z) desired names required using 62 total entries:

Age of Chance ("Kiss")
Chance Eden ("You Better Go")
Eden & John's East River String Band ("Some Cold Rainy Day")
Band of Joy ("3 a.m. in the City")
Joy Dawn ("First Time for Tears")
Dawn Sisters ("Silly Little Love Notes")
Sisters of Mercy ("Body Electric")
Mercy Boys ("Mercy Mercy")
Boys from Indiana ("Santa Got Picked Up for D.U.I.")
Indiana Five ("Sweet Georgia Brown")
Five Knights ("Take Me in Your Arms")
Knights of Day ("Everybody Needs Somebody to Love")
Day Brothers ("A Thousand Miles Away")
Brothers of Soul ("I Guess That Don't Make Me a Loser")
Soul Children ("Hearsay")
Children of the Night ("World of Tears")
Night Walker ("Sticks and Stones")
Walker & Johnny ("Sunset to Dawn")
Johnny & Jack ("Stop the World [And Let Me Off]")
Jack Brand ("Elvis, We're Sorry We Fenced You In")
Brand X ("Sun in the Night")
X Lincoln ("You're Everything")
Lincoln Black ("Famous Last Words")
Black Velvet ("Please Let Me In")
Velvet Underground ("I'm Waiting for the Man")
Underground Sunshine ("Birthday")
Sunshine Kids ("Love One Another")
Kids from Ohio ("I Can't Explain")
Ohio Express ("Yummy Yummy Yummy")
Express Band ("You Never Can Tell")
Band of Gold ("Medley: Love Songs Are Back Again")
Gold Stars ("Hideaway")
Stars on 45 Featuring Sam & Dave ("Sam & Dave Medley")
Dave Clark Five ("Glad All Over")
Five Flights Up ("Do What You Wanna Do")
Up 'N' Adam ("Rainmaker")
Adam Wade ("Take Good Care of Her")
Wade & Jamie ("Send for Me")
Jamie (Gene Pitney) & Jane ("Strolling")
Jane Harvey ("The Kiss That Rocked the World")
Harvey and the Seven Sounds ("New York City")
Sounds of Time ("Sunshine Baby")
Time of Your Life ("Ode to a Bad Dream")
Life Force ("Life Force" LP)
Force of Nature ("Do It")
Nature Zone ("Porcupine")
Zone V ("Black Jacket Woman")
Five Hearts ("Please, Please Baby")
Hearts of Stone ("It's a Lonesome Road")
Stone Country ("Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde")
Country Paul ("Your Picture Done Faded")
Paul Hampton ("I'm in Love with a Bunny!")
Hampton Sisters ("My Heart Tells Me")
Sisters of Righteous ("My Man Is Gone")
Righteous Brothers ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'")
Brothers Four ("Greenfields")
Four Hits and a Miss ("She Wobbles")
Miss Dee ("Sexarama Joe")
Dee Dee Young ("Too Little in Common to Be Lovers")
Young Men Four ("Davey Jones")
Four Queens ("Black Stockings")
Queens of the Stone Age ("No One Knows")

IZ ZAT SO? For easy reference, here are 26 names from the above list that represent each letter of the alphabet:

Age of Chance
Band of Gold
Chance Eden
Dave Clark Five
Eden & John's East River String Band
Five Flights Up
Gold Stars
Hampton Sisters
Indiana Five
Jamie & Jane
Knights of Day
Lincoln Black
Mercy Boys
Nature Zone
Ohio Express
Paul Hampton
Queens of the Stone Age
Righteous Brothers
Soul Children
Time of Your Life
Underground Sunshine
Velvet Underground
Walker & Johnny
X Lincoln
Young Men Four
Zone V.

IZ ZAT SO? When Tom T. Hall wrote "Harper Valley P.T.A." he could never have imagined what a cultural phenomenon he'd created.

Not only did Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 recording top both the pop and country charts in the U.S. and Canada — the first time ever accomplished by a female — but that one little phonograph record inspired a feature film (1978) AND a TV series (1981). That too had never happened before.

Return to "Mr. Music" Home Page