Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I vaguely remember a song from the late '50s or early '60s, something about a “little space girl.”

One line I remember has her asking: “Will you please marry me?”

Do you know the name? Is it still available?
—J. Evans, Evansville, Ind. (

DEAR J.: You've got the title right. It is “The Little Space Girl,” an early 1959 hit for Jesse Lee Turner (Carlton 496).

As for availability, a copy of the original single can probably be had for around $10 to $15. If, however, you are thinking of its being on an authorized compact disc — probably not any time soon. (We specify “authorized” since there is a reportedly unauthorized, or bootleg, import CD from Canada that includes this track.)

Unlike the Cameo-Parkway masters, whose whereabouts are known but other issues are blocking their reissue path, this is one of those tracks whose owner has neither been determined nor located.

I even have a recent experience regarding “The Little Space Girl.”

Several months ago, reissue label Varese Sarabande asked me to select some tracks for a various artists concept CD collection of wacky tunes about space ships, aliens and assorted extraterrestrial situations. The very first track I suggested is one I felt essential to this compilation, namely “The Little Space Girl.”

After weeks of searching in vain for whomever holds the rights to this tune, Varese gave up and moved ahead with other selections more easily available for licensing.

Titled “They Came from Outer Space,” the CD came out sans “The Little Space Girl,” but with other galactic favorites, such as “The Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2)” (Buchanan & Goodman); “The Purple People Eater” (Sheb Wooley); “The Martian Hop” (Ran-Dells); “The Blob” (Five Blobs) and “Flying Saucer Rock & Roll” (Billy Lee Riley & His Little Green Men) (Varese Sarabande VSD-5882).

If someone reading this knows the whereabouts of Jesse Lee Turner, please share that information with us. There may be hope for a properly-licensed “The Little Space Girl” reissue yet. Surely the truth is out there.

DEAR JERRY: The oldies stations here constantly play “Wooly Bully,” by Sam the Sham. In it is a line that I haven't been able to decipher, despite having heard it a bazillion times.

The line is among the things Hattie told Mattie, right before “come and learn this dance.” To me it sounds like “let's not peel seven,” but that makes no sense. Peel seven what? Oranges? Apples? Help!
—Larry Evers, Bridgeport, Ala.

DEAR LARRY: There is no fruit being peeled in “Wooly Bully.”

The puzzling line is “let's not be L7, which, in case you don't already know, is a hipster's way of saying “let's not be square.” (When used with digital letters, an “L” and a “7” together look similar to a square.)

Now we jump from fruit to rabbits and steam:

DEAR JERRY: A couple of decades ago, I had a steamy affair with a married man. I was single at the time, and there were a couple of songs popular that seemed to be written specifically for me, both by women.

One is “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right,” by Barbara Mandrell. But it's the other one I'm writing you about.

Along the lines of “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right,” this tune has the singer repeating “I Can't Say Goodbye to You” to her married lover.

One of its poignant lines is something like: “who knows why we choose the ones we choose to love.”

I know it's now much to go on, but, hey, that's why you are “Mr. Music.” Please pull a rabbit out of a hat for me.
—Rose Rucker, Billerica, Mass.

DEAR ROSE: The swinging single lass who couldn't say goodbye is Helen Reddy, and the title is indeed “I Can't Say Goodbye to You” (MCA 51106). Though this 1981 tune didn't fare well on the charts, many rank it as Reddy's finest recording. I cannot disagree.

IZ ZAT SO? Despite several fine country-styled releases, Melbourne-born Aussie Helen Reddy managed only one C&W chart hit — a French rendering of “Let the Good Times Roll” titled “Laissez Les Bontemps Rouler.”

Return to "Mr. Music" Home Page