Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: It seems like there are a lot of dancing contest shows on TV now, and the whole dance scene raises a music question for me.

There have been plenty of No. 1 hits about dances, but it seems most have titles referring to the dance, without actually using either “dance” or “dancing.”

Some that come quickly to mind are: “The Twist;” “Mashed Potato Time”; “Monster Mash”; “The Hustle”; The Loco-Motion”; “Pony Time”; and “Tighten Up.”.

But how many No. 1 hits from the 20th century actually contain either of those two words” in the title? Not many, I think.

On another matter, in “Pink Shoe Laces,” by Dodie Stevens, how could they go “deep sea fishing in a submarine”? It doesn't sound possible.
—Cindy Hernandez, Fond du Lac, Wisc.

DEAR CINDY: Music certainly has a long history of inspiring people to dance. Still, considering the overall number of dance hits, your observation is very accurate. Surprisingly, only a dozen chart-topping titles include either of the D-words.

For the first half of the 20th century, only four qualify: “Uncle Josh's Huskin' Bee Dance” (Cal Stewart, 1901); “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes” (Nat Shilkret, 1930); “The Continental (You Kiss While You're Dancing)” (Leo Reisman, 1934); and the anti-dance tune, “I Won't Dance” (Eddie Duchin, 1935).

Jumping into the Rock Era, we have “Dance with Me Henry (Wallflower)” (Georgia Gibbs, 1955), then, “Save the Last Dance for Me” (Drifters, 1960).

Next, from the beginning of the Disco craze, is “You Should Be Dancing,” by the Bee Gees (1976). In '77 there are two: Leo Sayer's “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” and ABBA's “Dancing Queen.”

Wrapping up the Disco decade is Andy Gibb's “Shadow Dancing” (1978).

The final two of the 1900s are “Let's Dance” (David Bowie, 1983), and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Whitney Houston, 1987).

Two No. 1s that didn't make the cut are “Flashdance … What a Feeling” Irene Cara (1983), and “Batdance” Prince (1989). Neither shows dance as a separate word.

Regarding your nautical query, perhaps they did their fishing off the deck, before the sub submerged.

DEAR JERRY: I'm beginning to think I am the only person who remembers the original release of “Come and Get It.”

Everyone knows the Badfinger hit, but it was first released by the Magic Christians. For awhile their version got lots of airplay in Philly, but then was suddenly dropped in favor of the Badfinger version.

No one I know has any idea what I am talking about, though I trust you will.

Also, I can't find any information whatsoever on the Magic Christians.
—John B., Clementon, N.J.

DEAR JOHN: For the very reason you state — Top 40 radio jumping quickly on Badfinger's version — “Come and Get It” by the Magic Christians is known by very few.

Written by Paul McCartney for the film “The Magic Christian” (the name of the oceanliner in the script), the first record out in the UK (Major Minor 673), as well as the U.S. (Commonwealth United 3006), is indeed by the Magic Christians.

Their version failed to chart on either side of the Atlantic.

Both came out in 1969, but two weeks later Apple, the Beatles' label, issued Badfinger's single.

This would be the group's first release as Badfinger (Apple 1815). Their one previous single, “Maybe Tomorrow” (Apple 1803) credits the band as the Iveys.

“Come and Get It” by the Magic Christians is produced by Gary Wright, later of Spooky Tooth. Paul McCartney produced the Badfinger session, a connection which, along with the Apple label, probably influenced radio programmers. It eventually made the Top 10.

Before discovering the truth, some Beatles fans thought “Rock of All Ages,” the flip side of Badfinger's “Come and Get It,” is sung by McCartney. I'll admit it does have a “Back in the U.S.S.R.” feel to it.

The only Magic Christian we know is Trevor Burton. He is best known as a co-founder-guitarist for the Move, the British band the spawned the Electric Light Orchestra.

IZ ZAT SO? When released in Britain by the Magic Christians, the song we know as “Come and Get It” first came out titled “If You Want It,” which is just another line from the song.

After a few weeks they changed it to “Come and Get It,” but not before giving collectors a vinyl variation to pursue.

Neither of these attempts charted, yet Major Minor still issued an album, but only in Britain. This obscure self-titled collection (“The Magic Christians” - SMLP-71) now fetches $40 to $60.

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