DEAR JERRY: You may not remember me, but four years ago you solved a major musical mystery of mine.
I asked you what song includes my uncommon name (Gwenevieve) in the lyrics, along with quite a few other names for girls.
You correctly told me it is “Girls, Girls, Girls,” a 1960 hit for Steve Lawrence.
A year or two later, there was a similar novelty, one with lyrics mostly made up of assorted titles of then-current hits. I don't know the title or group, but I recall they used “Rama Lama Ding Dong” more than once. That could be part of the title.
What are all of the song titles they used, and who recorded each one?
Gwenevieve Mason, Everett, Mass.
DEAR GWENEVIEVE: I remember you well. I have heard from Gwens, Gwendolyns, and one Genevieve, but you are the only Gwenevieve I know.
As with you, I would think anyone who ever heard this unique recording would not forget it. Released in July 1961, it is “Dedicated (To the Songs I Love)” (Imperial 5763), by the 3 Friends.
There are similar songs that mention other titles, such as Jimmie Beaumont's “Ev'rybody's Cryin'” (19 titles) and Bob Luman's “Let's Think About Living” (three titles) but I can't think of another one that references 41 contemporary songs! Every one of them came out, and charted within the past year (1960-'61).
In order heard, here are the titles (and artists) these three friends love. Seven are repeated (shown with asterisk), but we list those only the first time used:
“Dedicated to the One I Love” (Shirelles)
“Rama Lama Ding Dong” (Edsels)*
“Daddy's Home” (Shep and the Limelites)
“Runaway” (Del Shannon)
“Mother-in-Law” (Ernie K-Doe)
“A Hundred Pounds of Clay” (Gene McDaniels)
“What'd I Say” (Jerry Lee Lewis)
“That's It - I Quit - I'm Movin' On” (Sam Cooke)
“Walk Right Back” (Everly Brothers)
“Spanish Harlem” (Ben E. King)
“Just for Old Time's Sake” (McGuire Sisters)
“Lil' Ole Me” (Cornbread and Jerry)
“Travelin' Man” (Rick Nelson)
“Halfway to Paradise” (Tony Orlando)
“Mama Said” (Shirelles)*
“Ling-Ting-Tong” (Buddy Knox)*
“Stand By Me” (Ben E. King)*
“You Can Depend on Me” (Brenda Lee)
“Find Another Girl” (Jerry Butler)
“Some Kind of Wonderful” (Drifters)
“Bye Bye Baby” (Mary Wells)
“The Continental Walk” (Rollers)
“Where the Boys Are” (Connie Francis)
“One Mint Julep” (Ray Charles)
“Peanut Butter” (Marathons)
“The Second Time Around” (Frank Sinatra)
“Foolin' Around” (Kay Starr)
“A Million to One” (Jimmy Charles)
“At Last” (Etta James)
“Surrender” (Elvis Presley)
“Trust in Me” (Etta James)
“Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)” (Carla Thomas)
“Cupid” (Sam Cooke)
“Saved” (Lavern Baker)
“Little Boy Sad” (Johnny Burnette)
“Funny” (Maxine Brown)
“Little Devil” (Neil Sedaka)
“Little Miss Stuck Up” (Playmates)*
“Sleepy-Eyed John” (Johnny Horton)*
“Together” (Connie Francis)*
The last three are followed with brief mention of U.S. Bonds, one of the top recording artists in the early '60s: “Little Miss Stuck up and Sleepy-Eyed John are now back Together buying U.S. Bonds.”
These 3 Friends, Julius Brown; Walter Hammond; and Clay Hammond, are in no way connected to the 3 Friends who, in 1956, recorded “Blanche”: Joey Villa; Frank Stropoli; and Tony Grochowski.
Knowing how many ladies you've made curious as to whether or not their name is in Steve Lawrence's “Girls, Girls, Girls” (1960), we have gathered them here for a reunion. In the order acknowledged, they are:
Donna; Peggy Sue; Susie; Mary Lou; Sheila; Shirley; Catherine; Tina; Lena; Marilyn; Toni; Joni; Mary Jean; Janet; Mary; Francine; Phyllis; Connie; Gwenevieve; Lilly; Molly; Joyce; Eve; Carol; Jane; Joanne; Darlene; Lorraine; Mona; Rona; Natalie; Sunny; Bunny; Beverly; Brooke; Eve; Hazel; Ruth; Adele; Doris; Iris; Michelle; Debbie; Brenda; Arlene; Audrey; Eydie; Maxine; Judy; Annie; Helen; Sandy; Corky; Bunky; Vicky; Bobbie; Nancy; Dottie; Etta; Ruthie; Peggy; Rosie; Karen; Alice; Lindsay; Zelda; Phyllis; Marsha; Myrna; Terri; Lucy; Rhoda; Flossie; Clara; Ethel; Lois; Mina; Nana; Mattie; Lana; Patty; Lizzy; Betty; Zsa Zsa; Dora; Becky; Billie; Eva; Gertie; Anna; Sadie; Minnie; Angie; Shelly; Bessie; Sharon; and Barbara.
DEAR JERRY: Isn't all the excitement over the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones one year too early?
I seem to recall them arriving on the scene after the Beatles, several months into 1964.
Right or wrong?
Terrence Moore, Columbus, Wis.
DEAR TERRENCE: Right you are, but only if you're talking about their arrival on the U.S. scene, and charts.
The Stones made their first record in the UK in June 1963, a revival of Chuck Berry's “Come On” (Decca 11675) almost exactly 50 years ago.
Their first U.S. hit, “Not Fade Away” (London 9557), made its chart debut 49 years ago this month.
IZ ZAT SO? Stones fans with a taste for 180-gram audiophile pressings will delight in a planned series titled “The Rolling Stones Clearly Classic.”
In conjunction with their 50th anniversary, this ABKCO series premiers this week with clear vinyl editions of three of the band's legendary albums: “Beggars Banquet”; “Let It Bleed”; and “Hot Rocks 1964-1971.”