Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: You've been asked thousands of questions over the years, but I'm wondering if you have ever posted a question for readers to answer? Whether it was something you didn't know, or something you did know that you used as a quiz.
—Tony Douglas, Orem, Utah

DEAR TONY: Surely I've asked questions for both of those reasons. Here is one from long ago that comes to mind:

DEAR READERS: About four weeks ago, this column posed the following three-part trivia question, inspired by Dennis Henkel, a reader in Richton Park, Ill.

There is a song from a 1960s film — one that is not the film's title song — that was on the Cash Box Top 100 charts for five different artists simultaneously. All five of these singles made the Top 30, but none reached the Top 10.

As for the Billboard Hot 100, four of the five records charted. Again, all entered the Top 30 but not one cracked the Top 10.

1. Identify the film and the hit song title
2. Name all of the artists who charted with this tune
3. Indicate which is the original version — the one actually heard in the movie

The film in question, a 1960 British-made release, is "Circus of Horrors."

Though somewhat disjointed, as far as any connection to the film plot, its melodious theme is the beautiful "Look for a Star."

The recording heard in "Circus of Horrors" is by Garry Mills (Imperial 5674). That single debuted on Billboard's Hot 100 the week of June 20, 1960. Three cover versions also charted that week, one of which by an artist with a stage name so incredibly similar to Mills that it caused considerable confusion: Garry Miles (real name: Buzz Cason) (Liberty 55261). Another fine hit vocal of "Look for a Star" came out by Deane Hawley (Dore 554), and Billy Vaughn scored with an instrumental rendition (Dot 16106).

Billboard and Cash Box magazines had strikingly different ways of listing the hits. Billboard assigned different chart spots to each individual release, whereas Cash Box lumped all the versions together at the same chart number.

In addition to the four recordings already mentioned, Cash Box also charted a vocal version by Nicky Como (Laurie 3061).

Other artists to release single versions of "Look for a Star" that summer are: Jericho Brown (Warner Bros. 5161); Buddy Chase (20th Century-Fox 205); and yet another "Gary," Gary Marlene (Maverick 591). None of these reached either of the charts.

Having eight different singles competing for sales surely worked against any of them landing in the Top 10. That many recordings, though, is proof of how highly industry people regarded this tune.

Congratulations to the following readers, listed alphabetically, who correctly answered all three parts of the question: Mark & Mary Cherwin (Mequon, Wisc.); Bob Diekfuss (Milwaukee, Wisc.); Bill Hauckes Jr. (Seminole, Fla.); Alan Hutchinson (St. Petersburg, Fla.); Don Kirsch (Tacoma, Wash.); Ruthann Kolowith (Greenfield, Wisc.); Denny Lambert (Bremerton, Wash.); Bill Mankin (Tacoma, Wash.); Jeff Pearlman (Lakeland, Fla.); and Jay Yardley (St. Petersburg, Fla.).

Also, honorable mention is extended to several readers whose answers were missing just one little detail: Ron Davis (Ashland, Ore.); Ken Konetzke (Menasha, Wisc.); Sandra Pietrzykowski (Milwaukee, Wisc.); Roderick Stouch (York, Pa.); Paul D. Webb (Evansville, Ind.).

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