Ask "Mr. Music"
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Somewhere along the way — probably in the 1950s — I heard a song that I think might have inspired Paul Simon's “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

As you know, the catchy part of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is the rhyming of the word before a name, with the name. Some examples that come to mind are: “get on the bus, Gus;” “make a new plan, Stan;” “slip out the back, Jack;” and “no need to be coy, Roy.”

When it came out, most people thought this to be quite an original piece of songwriting. However, I recall this other oldie that used nearly an identical gimmick.

About all I can remember is “you better pack, Jack;” “you better blow, Joe;” and “you better run, son.”

Every time I hear “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” I am reminded of this earlier tune. Of course, lacking proof, no one believes me regarding this. Do you know anything about this?
— Betty Murray, Winter Haven, Fla.

DEAR BETTE: Of course I do. It's my job to know these things. Or to put it another way: No need to fret, Bette. You shouldn't worry, Murray.

The year was 1954, and your mystery tune is “The Man from the Moon,” by Dean Barlow and the Crickets (Jay-Dee 795). It is the moon man that Dean Barlow is urging the likes of Jack and Joe to run from.

Since Newark-born Simon grew up in Queens, he would have been in one of the few radio markets playing “The Man from the Moon.” Perhaps its novel lyrics did inspire his 50 ways to leave either your lover, or extraterrestrial.

This group of Crickets is an R&B bunch, never to be confused with Buddy Holly's better-known Crickets.

DEAR JERRY: Please settle a controversy my wife is having about “Honey,” the '60s hit by Bobby Goldsboro.

It involves the part where “Honey” is taken by the angels. Exactly what happened to her? Did she die? Was she killed? Or does it mean she was taken by the Hell's Angels?

And if the Hell's Angels took her away, why did they?

This question has been a topic of discussion at her work place, and a girl she works with insists “Honey” was taken by the Hell's Angels.

DEAR VSHKY: While the exact fate of Bobby Goldsboro's “Honey” (actually written by Bobby Russell) is unclear from the lyrics, she absolutely did not ride off on a chopper with the Hell's Angels.

I believe the reference to “the angels came” to mean being heaven-bound.

If you don't already own it, an excellent collection of Goldsboro's goodies is “The Best of Bobby Goldsboro: Honey” (EMI CDP-7-96094-2).

Unlike most “best of” releases, this 22-track set really is. I can't think of anything from Bobby's United Artists years that they missed.

DEAR JERRY: Regarding CD-Rs and the Mac, I have no problem writing music CDs with my Mac and most of the software you mentioned for PC use is also available for the Mac. I also use Adaptec Toast on my Yamaha 4x2x6 CD-RW. Also, for all your readers who are Mac owners, there is a wonderful program called Astarte CD Copy.

This allows one to pull a whole track off a CD, still in the audio format, for rewriting back to CD in an audio format. This is important if you wish to combine a couple CD EPs onto one disk.
—J.P. Myrtle, St. Petersburg, Fla.

DEAR J.P.: I had no doubt that the PC CD-R software I use would also be available for Mac users. Thank you for the confirmation.

IZ ZAT SO? An agreement between Bobby Goldsboro and Bobby Russell required a two-week waiting period to see if the first recording of "Honey," by Bob Shane, clicked. When the track by Shane, the former Kingston Trio member, flopped, Russell gave Goldsboro's version the go-ahead. In just four weeks "Honey" sold a million copies.

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