DEAR JERRY: Being born in April inspired my name. Now I am on the lookout for songs about girls named April.
Though I have been to Paris (“April in Paris”) and in love (“April Love”), they, like most “April” songs, are really about the month.
My search has turned up two titles, neither of which I have heard. It is my hope you recognize them and can tell me what they are about: “April Again” and “April's Fool.”
April Boswell, Lancaster, Pa.
DEAR APRIL: Well, one out of two isn't so bad.
“April Again,” a Top 10 MOR hit in 1968 for Dean Martin, is about not being able to relive the month of April.
In “April's Fool,” which made the C&W Top 15 in 1969, Ray Price sings of being fooled by a lady named April.
Always with an eye on the calendar, it seemed appropriate to run your question this month.
DEAR JERRY: Among boxes of very old 78s my parents left me are two by the Americans Orchestra. Both are on a label whose name appears to be 100 Per Cent.
I have no way to play a 78, but these do look interesting. The titles are “Mystic City” and “Cross in the Wildwood.”
Do they have any value?
June Milton, Chicago, Ill.
DEAR JUNE: From April to June we jump, only because we have no mail from May this week. We did, however, get a nice note from “S.S.” (location unknown), asking about a 100% label 78 by the Rinehart Brothers.
All 78s made by 100% came out in the 1920s and '30s, and any of them can sell for $75 to $125.
DEAR JERRY: In 1962 I bought a 45 of the rockabilly ballad “Love's Gamble.”
The disc is long lost, but I am searching for more information about “Love's Gamble.” So far I have found nothing. I would like to know the singer, label, and flip side.
I believe this recording originated from the Bakersfield area, though it is definitely not country music.
Bob Catalvie, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
DEAR BOB: “Love's Gamble” is a 1961 release by Bobby Hollister and the Rialtos (Pike 5910). The flip side is “Ring Around Your Neck.”
You may be surprised to learn that Pike even issued “Love's Gamble” with a picture sleeve. They must have believed in its potential, though it did not become a hit.
The best known Bakersfield talent first reeled in by Pike is country-rocker Ronnie Sessions, who made two Pike singles in '61. Neither became a hit but Sessions did finally break through 11 years later, charting 15 hits during the '70s for MGM and MCA.
DEAR JERRY: One amazing fact I learned from you is that, before the Beatles, Ricky Nelson is the only rock artist besides Elvis to have a No. 1 album.
Now I'm wondering if, like those other two did so often, Nelson simultaneously held the No. 1 position on the singles charts.
Lawrence Parker, Deep River, Conn.
DEAR LAWRENCE: Ricky almost topped both charts in January 1958, when his LP “Ricky” reached No. 1. However, his hit single then, “Stood Up,” got no higher than No. 2.
“Ricky,” his debut LP, sold very well in spite of having only two hits: “Be-Bop Baby” and its flip side, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.”
That amazing fact you mention needs a little fine tuning. Only if you classify rock separate from soul, or soul stars singing C&W, is the statement accurate as quoted.
If consolidating the styles, then both Ray Charles and Little Stevie Wonder preceded the Beatles atop the LP charts. Ray reached No. 1 in June 1962 with “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,” and Stevie a little over a year later with “The 12 Year Old Genius.”
Coincidentally, both Ray and Stevie topped the singles charts at the same time as their albums ranked No 1.
IZ ZAT SO? All 10 of the No. 1 albums in 1970 are categorized as rock, making it the first full year ever specifically 1945 through '69 when the U.S. did not have a non-rock LP at the top.