DEAR JERRY: The hit song “Look for a Star” appears on a Tony Hatch compilation album that supposedly consists of songs he wrote. It is the same song popularized by both Garry Mills and Garry Miles, in the early '60s.
Another reference source, “The MusicWeb Encyclopedia of Popular Music,” also states that Tony Hatch wrote “Look for a Star,” which served as the theme for the film “Circus of Horrors.”
However, when looking at the sheet music for “Look for a Star,” I see that it credits someone named Mark Anthony as the songwriter.
Now I'm wondering if Tony Hatch and Mark Anthony are one and the same.
B.J. Almond, Houston, Texas
DEAR B.J.: Right you are. At the time of “Circus of Horrors” and “Look for a Star” (1960), Anthony “Tony” Hatch used the nom de plume of Mark Anthony.
Though not known at all in the USA then, Hatch soon became quite famous as the producer and/or writer of countless hits by
British acts such as the Searchers and Petula Clark.
Among his hundreds of familiar songs are these award winners: “Downtown; Call Me; Don't Give Up; I Know a Place; Don't Sleep in the Subway; Look for a Star; Who Am I;” and “My Love.”
Many of these songs are on one CD or another, but there are a few that I absolutely cannot locate. Unfortunately, one of those in that category is the most important song of all to me.
I know it is by Teresa Brewer, but I am not sure of the correct title. It may be “Skinny Minnie.” I am desperate for a copy of this song!
Another is “Western Union,” by the Five Americans. Is it on any CD at all?
Finally, do you know of “Silver Moon,” by ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith? I know I once had a copy, and I'm pretty sure of the title.
However, a friend who prides himself as a knowledgeable Monkees fan told me that no such song exists by Nesmith.
I would really appreciate any help or information on these three recordings.
Cheryl Hepp, Greenfield, Wisc.
DEAR CHERYL: You are about to have three less musical millstones to bear.
The tune for which you are most desperate is “Skinny Minnie (Fish Tail),” a summertime hit for Teresa Brewer in 1954 (Coral 61197). This of course is a completely different song than the “Skinny Minnie” that became a hit in 1958 for Bill Haley and His Comets.
A fairly easy CD to purchase is “The Five Americans Western Union” (Sundazed 090771-10042-9). As the title indicates, “Western Union” is among its 20 tracks and finally in true stereo.
Perhaps your Monkees fan friend doesn't keep tabs on the solo tracks made after the boys in the band went their separate ways.
“Silver Moon” is one of Michael Nesmith's 1970 hits (RCA Victor 0399), a worthy follow-up to his great “Joanne.”
DEAR JERRY: After reading about the first two-disc rock album sets, Jimmy Clanton's 1960 “Jimmy's Happy Jimmy's Blue” came to mind.
This one predates “The Beatles vs. the Four Seasons” by about four years.
Bruce in Tacoma, Wash.
DEAR BRUCE: You are correct on all counts; however, the Jimmy Clanton LP did not chart. Surprisingly, Clanton never had an album on the national charts.
What with being a chart hit as one of the requirements of that particular question, we have yet to learn of one issued earlier than October 1964.
But that does not mean we won't, so stay tuned!
IZ ZAT SO? Since Michael Nesmith and the Monkees came up today, I got to thinking how rare it is for ALL of the members of any group, having four or more original members, to also hit the singles charts as solo acts.
Monkees Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Mickey Dolenz did, but Peter Tork did not, for example.
Amazingly, among the Top 75 rock-era groups, I can't think of any other the Beatles whose members accomplished this feat. If you can, please let me know.
This includes many famous groups that came mighty close, such as the Beach Boys, Eagles, Jackson 5, and Rolling Stones.
The Bee Gees, a trio, would qualify had younger brother Andy Gibb been a member.