Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Way back when I was young, I loved a song titled “Concrete and Clay.” I don't know the name of the artist, and they never play it on any of the oldies stations in our area. I would appreciate knowing who sang this song, and if it is available on any CDs.
—Darwin Zwieg, Willard, Wisc.

DEAR DARWIN: Often, even serious 1960s oldies devotees are surprised to learn there were two equally popular hit recordings of “Concrete and Clay.” Depending on where you lived in the spring of 1965, you could have heard the tune by either Pennsylvania's Eddie Rambeau (DynoVoice 204) or England's Unit 4 + 2 (London 9751). In some areas, both of these nearly-identical sounding hits got played.

So closely entangled are the two that both were announced by their respective labels the same week, and both made their chart debut May 1, 1965. Both peaked at No. 12 on Cash Box, and both remained on Billboard's charts for exactly nine weeks.

Finally, both are available on various artists compilation CDs. However, here is where the pair take opposite courses.

American Eddie Rambeau's “Concrete and Clay” is found on the British release, “Love Power” (Sequel 669).

Britain's Unit 4 + 2's version is on the American-issued “British Invasion, Vol. 6 (Rhino 70324). Go figure.

DEAR JERRY: I travel back and forth between Chicago and Tampa a lot, and am thrilled to be able to keep up with your weekly column in both cities.

I have never written you before, but now I need your sleuthing expertise.

I'm fond of many different styles of music, but have always liked the harmony of pop and R&B vocal groups — from Dion & the Belmonts and the Harptones to the Beach Boys and 4 Seasons.

On the TV news recently I caught a clip about a Hall of Fame, similar I suppose to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

What either I missed or they didn't give is the location of this new Hall.

Any chance you can fill in the blanks for me?
—Didiann, Berwyn, Ill.

DEAR DIDIANN: Nice to finally hear from you. I thought you'd never write.

To visit the Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum you'll need to veer a tad off your regular Illinois to Florida course.

This elaborate shrine “dedicated to honor the greatest vocal groups in the world” is located at 98 E. State Street, Sharon, Pennsylvania. Sharon is practically on the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, roughly halfway between Erie and Pittsburgh, not far from where Interstate's 79 and 80 intersect.

Co-founded by long-time Lettermen member Tony Butala, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum is now open and awaiting your visit. You may call them for directions and more information, (800) 753-1648, or get the lowdown by e-mail:

DEAR JERRY: I am having a real hard time understanding some lyrics in “Lodi,” as popularized by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The mystery lines are as follows:

After “I guess you know the tune;” after “I ran out of time and money;” and after “Looks like my plans fell through.”
—D. Manke, Tacoma, Wash.

DEAR D.: Following those three lines, here are the words as I hear them:

“I guess you know the tune. Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again.”

“Ran out of time and money. Looks like they took my friend.”

“Looks like my plans fell through. Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again.”

IZ ZAT SO? From the ashes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, two founding members - Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford - have formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Added are Steve Gunner and ex-Cars lead guitarist Elliot Easton, and a terrific John Fogerty soundalike, John Tristao.

Their debut two-CD set, “Recollection” (Fuel FLD2-1015), simply has to be heard to be believed. Incredible!

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