Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I desperately need your help. I remember a song from the summer of 1974 that absolutely no one else seems to recall.

I know the title is “It Could Have Been Me,” and it was a country-pop crossover. I do not remember the name of the lady who sang it, but she had a sound similar to Tammy Wynette.

Can you identify the singer?
—George Cundari, Chicago, Ill.

DEAR GEORGE: “It Could Have Been Me” (MGM South 7034), indeed a summer '74 release, is by Sammi Jo (a.k.a. Sammi Jo Cole).

With this week's column, it seems one thing leads to another. And since you mentioned Tammy Wynette:

DEAR JERRY: When a recording artist dies, as with Tammy Wynette recently, is there a general rule as to how the value of their records is affected?
—Patrick Farrell, Milwaukee, Wisc.

DEAR PATRICK: No general rule exists regarding how the marketplace responds to a recording artist's death, though far more often than not there are no significant changes. Since you asked specifically about Tammy Wynette, there has been no change in the demand for her records, nor have their values increased.

The buying frenzy and market gains the followed Elvis Presley's death — and to a lesser degree John Lennon's — is quite the exception. Now that the topic of deceased singing stars has been raised:

DEAR JERRY: I have paid virtually no attention to any of the popular music of the '80s and '90s, though I have long been a student of pre-1980 music.

So when Tex-Mex star Selena's murder made big news a couple of years ago, I had no idea who she was. To this day, I have never heard a single one of her songs — outside of those featured in the movie about her life, “Selena.”

I really enjoyed this film, and feel her senseless death to be a terrible tragedy. During her lifetime, did Selena have any big hits in the U.S.?
—Carla Morganstern, Harrisonburg, Va.

DEAR CARLA: Selena (Quintanilla-Perez) had no singles hits before her death, on March 31, 1995.

While she lived, only one LP, “Amor Prohibido” made the Top 30 — that coming in mid-'94. Four others did chart in the weeks following that fateful day, when her trusted friend-fan club founder killed young Selena.

Continuing now with Texas-related matters:

DEAR JERRY: Need you to settle a debate for us about the Sex Clark Five.

My friend insists they are the same band as was known in the '60s as the Dave Clark Five.
—Rob Wilson, Ft. Worth, Texas

DEAR ROB: Your friend is mistaken. All these two bands have in common is two-thirds of a name.

Now that you have brought the subject of sex to the table:

DEAR JERRY: I say that in “Sally Was a Good Old Girl,” Sally is a prostitute. My wife disagrees. Who's right?
—Andy & Sherry Jones, New Harmony, Ind.

DEAR JONESES: I am not convinced that “Sally Was a Good Old Girl,” a 1962 Top 20 hit for Hank Cochran, is about a working girl, though it is a song whose meaning is open to more than one interpretation.

This also answers Karen Stransky's (Tacoma, Wash.) question as to who sang “Sally Was a Good Old Girl.”

What's it Worth? Get fast appraisals by e-mail!

IZ ZAT SO? In 1956, years before either became famous, Hank Cochran and Eddie Cochran recorded as the Cochran Brothers.

Teaming two talented Cochrans makes sense, except that they were not brothers, nor were they related at all.

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