Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Are any of the current Country hits available on vinyl, especially by someone well known?

I ask because I would like to give the gift of a 45 single to a record loving friend who swears vinyl is extinct.
—Doreen Alvarado, Rosemont, Ill.

DEAR DOREEN: I can suggest one that now ranks among the Country Top 10.

This vinyl single is “Picture to Burn,” the latest hit for Taylor Swift (Big Machine 1008).

Making this record twice as nice is the B-side. It is “Bad for Me,” a hit just a few months ago for Danielle Peck (Big Machine 1009).

Swift, at just 18, and Peck, age 29, join Carrie Underwood (25); Kellie Pickler (21); Miranda Lambert (24); and Ashton Shepherd (21) in a bevy of attractive Country hit makers under 30.

The talent and beauty of each of these is most effectively showcased in their glitzy music videos.

With her American Idol journey over (except the tour), expect 24-year-old Kristy Lee Cook to take her place among Nashville's singing supermodels.

Also, should any of the film studios choose to make a feature film on the life of Grace Kelly, Kristy Lee would be a natural for the starring role.

DEAR JERRY: I've been trying what seems like forever to identify a song called “Rasputin.” It's about some cool cat that's hot for all the chicks.

Do you know of such a song?
— Steve Salter, Whitehall, Mich.

DEAR STEVE: Several completely different tunes titled “Rasputin” exist, but only the one by Boney M seems to match your smooth feline clue.

Boney M's “Rasputin” is one of the tracks on the popular 1978 LP, “Nightflight to Venus” (Sire 6062).

There are no hit singles of “Rasputin,” but this album, boosted by their biggest hit, “Rivers of Babylon,” did get significant radio play at the time. Perhaps that's where you heard “Rasputin.” It was also issued as a single in Canada and in Europe.

Some are instrumentals, but none of the other “Rasputin” vocals come anywhere as close to your description.

Most “Rasputin” compositions are loosely based on the adventures of Grigoriy Yefimovich Rasputin, a real person.

A mysterious (some suggest possessed) 19th century fellow, Rasputin benefited from some inexplicable power over the Russian Royal Family, especially the queen.

Thus the chorus in Boney M's “Rasputin” (pronounced Ras-pu-teen to rhyme with queen and machine):

Rah rah Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Rah rah Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine
It was a shame how he carried on

DEAR JERRY: Though I didn't submit the recent question about KBD, I am glad someone did. I never knew what that meant until you explained it.

But there is another similar term common in record listings, especially on eBay: TMOQ, or sometimes just TMQ.

What does it mean?
—Conrad O'Brian, Lakeland, Fla.

DEAR CONRAD: With the number of characters in the item description limited to 55 (including spaces), eBay sellers tend to abbreviate when possible.

In this case, either three or four letters sufficiently identify Trademark of Quality, an underground record company in the early '70s.

Known for bootleg albums of superior quality, often equal to or better than legit commercial product, this outfit truly lived up to their name: Trademark of Quality.

TMOQ focused on releasing otherwise unavailable tracks by the Rolling Stones, but their brand can also be found on LPs by Jimi Hendrix; Pink Floyd; Yes; T-Rex; Paul Simon; Roxy Music; Sex Pistols; the Who, and others.

IZ ZAT SO? Nearly all the vinyl records made in the U.S. are produced by Nashville-based United Record Pressing company.

Their vinyl customers tend to be either independent labels wanting small quantities for sale to the direct market, major labels needing promotional records, or anyone wanting 12-inch vinyl for club dee jays.

United can, and sometimes does, produce up to 14,000 singles and 10,000 albums per day!

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