Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I think there was a single by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles that was somewhat similar to their earlier hit, "Going to a Go-Go." I'd say it came along a year or two later, and it was definitely played locally, but not nearly as often as "Go-Go."

I don't remember the title, but there is a reference in the lyrics to a love-in.

Either my memory needs defragmenting, or this record I'm looking for does not exist.
—Gabriel Cassell, Arlington, Va.

DEAR GABRIEL: In my professional opinion, once we defrag your hippocampus everything should fall into place, and you will easily find the mystery recording.

Thinking back to the post-"Go-Go" (1966) years, there were no noteworthy "love-in" singles by the Miracles; however, the metro D.C. area did have a Top 20 hit in the summer of '68 titled "Everybody's Goin' to the Love-In."

Completing your defrag is the knowledge that this tune is by Bob Brady & the Con Chords, a renowned blue-eyed soul band from Baltimore who can — and in this case do — sound enough like Smokey Robinson and the Miracles so as to fool anyone.

Fortunately, "Everybody's Goin' to the Love-In" (Chariot 526) is one of Brady's more affordable records, usually in the $20 to $30 range (Chariot 100). Be glad you aren't looking for "Goodbye Baby," a 1966 issue that can fetch $100 to $200.

As for the real Smokey and the Miracles, their hit at the time of Brady's "Love-In" was "Yester Love."

DEAR JERRY: I am exclusively a collector of seven-inch 45rpm records, and that includes multi-track extended plays (EPs) as well as the standard 45s with either one or two cuts.

As such, I have often wondered which artists during the original 45 era (1949 through 1989) had the most nationally charted songs, regardless of whose survey they were on. Not all but perhaps just the Top 10 names?

Of course a song can only be counted once, since there is bound to be a lot of crossover tunes.

I have searched and am certain this information does not yet exist anywhere.
—Neal Hickman, Covington, Ky.

DEAR NEAL: What I think you mean is that even though the many bits and pieces necessary to compile the totals you seek can in time be found, it is the putting it all together that no one has undertaken … until now.

And am I ever glad you asked only for the Top 10.

Though I have tried to cover all the bases, this is not an exact science, and numerous variables do remain.

Remember, these are charted SONGS, not individual records. If both sides of a single charted, that adds two to the count. Tracks on an EP that also charted as a single, as well as a reissue of a previous hit, are only counted once.

Each artist is followed by the years during which they accumulated their total charted songs.

Other than No. 1, it is doubtful very many music lovers could have accurately predicted the order of the Top 10:

237: Elvis Presley (1955-1982)
141: Ray Charles (1951-1989)
133: Frank Sinatra (1949-1984)
119: James Brown (1956-1989)
116: Aretha Franklin (1961-1989)
107: Fats Domino (1950-1968)
106: Nat King Cole (1949-1966)
83: Pat Boone (1955-1980)
87: Connie Francis (1955-1983)
80: Beatles (1963-1982)

IZ ZAT SO? Even with the many facts and figures already used to quantify Elvis Presley's impact on the record world, we continue coming up with new examples without even trying.

While scanning through some 1956 radio station surveys, looking for a completely different artist (Mona Carol), I was flabbergasted by a chart from WORC, Worcester, Mass.

For the week of October 6th, their Top 15 contains seven Presley records, five of which are in the Top 6 slots:

1. "Don't Be Cruel" (Elvis)
2. "Love Me Tender" (Elvis)
3. "Love Me" (Elvis)
4. "One-Sided Love Affair" (Elvis)
5. "Teen Age Goodnight" (Chordettes)
6. "I Love You Because" (Elvis)
7. "Honky Tonk" (Bill Doggett)
8. "I Miss You So" (Chris Connor)
9. "The Green Door" (Jim Lowe)
10. "See Saw" (Moonglows)
11. "True Love" (Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly)
12. "Trying to Get to You" (Elvis)
13. "Blueberry Hill" (Fats Domino)
14. "St. Therese of the Roses" (Billy Ward and the Dominoes)
15. "Hound Dog" (Elvis)

Below the Top 15 is a short list of tunes "On the Way Up," including two more Elvis titles: "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Anyway You Want Me (That's How I Will Be)."

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.

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