Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Regarding the recent item you ran about “I Put a Spell on You,” I watched that ice-skating routine, and I have no doubt that the recording played is by the Alan Price Set. That version was a Top 10 hit in England and reached number 80 in the United States (Parrot 3001) in 1966.

While I have your attention, here's a question that's been on my mind for over 35 years: Right after Kenny Ball's “Midnight in Moscow” was a hit in 1962, I recall hearing, on a New York radio station, a similar-sounding instrumental titled “Natasha.”

Over the years, I have searched every song directory I've encountered to find out who performed that song, but to no avail. Do you have any information on such a tune?
—Rick Emmer, Palm Harbor, Fla. (

DEAR RICK: Thanks for clearing up which version of “I Put a Spell on You” played during that televised skating routine. We were hoping to hear from someone who actually watched the program, since I did not.

As for “Natasha,” unlike “I Put A Spell On You” with several recordings from which to choose, I know of only one tune titled “Natasha.” And as a 1963 issue, its time frame fits your description.

This recording is by Eric and the Serenaders (KC 119). By the way, the flip side is “Tipsy Camel.”

DEAR JERRY: I am searching for a particular version of the “Colonel Bogey March,” the theme from the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” It is a very spirited marching-band-style rendition. I heard it several times on my car radio but never caught the name of the group.

I have a feeling it would have been available on a 45 rpm vinyl single. Can you identify this recording and help me to acquire a copy or two? It may have been twenty or thirty years ago that I heard it.
—Robert Gamble, Atlanta, Ga. (

DEAR ROBERT: It seems no one could agree on what to title this music, though it is best remembered as “March from the River Kwai and Colonel Bogey.”

Since I do not know which version you are thinking of, I'll tell you of four 45s that come to mind. Hopefully, one is your mystery tune.

The most popular recording of “March from the River Kwai and Colonel Bogey” is by Mitch Miller's Orchestra & Chorus. Their release (Columbia 41066) made the nation's Top 20 in early 1958. This is also the rendering found on the soundtrack album.

A cover version, one with the title that you suggest (“Colonel Bogey March”) came out about a month later, by Edmundo Ros & His Orchestra (London 1779). Because of the exact title match, this could be the one you recall.

Another cover with a slightly different title is “The River Kwai March and Colonel Bogey,” by Art Mooney and His Orchestra (MGM 12590). Next came “March from the River Kwai,” by Jack Marshall and His Orchestra (Capitol 4197).

Neither the Ros nor Mooney waxings made it into the Top 70. Marshall's release didn't chart at all.

As for finding a copy of this or anything else, for just $2.00 you can run a Want Ad at our popular collectibles site. That's how to find whatever you seek. See that link in box directly below.

IZ ZAT SO? Only two groups, the Rolling Stones and the Kingston Trio, had more Top 10 albums than Mitch Miller & the Gang.

Overall, Miller ranks in the Top 10 in LP sales — quite remarkable for someone whose name probably isn't known to many of today's music buyers.

From 1958 through '62, Mitch had 23 charted albums, 16 of which went Top 10. Interestingly, every one of them has “Sing-Along with Mitch” in the title. Some examples: “Sing-

Along with Mitch; More Sing-Along with Mitch; Still More Sing-Along with Mitch; Party Sing-Along with Mitch; Christmas Sing-Along with Mitch; Fireside Sing-Along with Mitch;” Sentimental Sing-Along with Mitch,” etc., You get the idea.

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