Ask "Mr. Music"
Jerry Osborne

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DEAR JERRY: In a recent column you mentioned Judy Garland's great double album where she sings live at Carnegie Hall.

Has anyone noticed that on the cover (album or CD) it says, “Recorded Live and Complete at Carnegie Hall Sunday, April 23 at 8:30 p.m.,” but makes no mention of the year?

Is this a Capitol Records goof?
—Chisel McSue, Paducah, Ky

DEAR CHISEL: At least one observant person has noticed it — you!

Often, record companies manufactured covers so far in advance of the discs that the exact tracks are not known, and thus cannot be printed on the covers.

One example is “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite.” When the first issue covers were made, the song lineup had not been decided.

RCA's solution was to apply stickers, easily printed in a matter of hours, to the covers. The sticker lists all the tracks and most consumers didn't even notice anything unusual.

But for a detail such as the year, it is unimaginable they did not know that at the time covers went to press. Making this even more likely is a concert in April. If the Carnegie date were near the beginning of the year, then I could see a chance of uncertainty.

“Judy at Carnegie Hall” held the No. 1 chart spot for 13 weeks and won the Grammy for Album of the Year.

So I tend to agree that it is probably a proof-reading flub on Capitol's part.

Oh yes, this memorable concert took place in 1961.

DEAR JERRY: Please help me and identify a title and the artist of a song I believe to be “Love Among People.”

I used to love this tune because of its inspiring message, and would really appreciate your help.
—Rudeley Herron, Chicago

DEAR RUDELEY: The only “Love Among People” I can locate is by Carla Thomas, and it is readily available on her 1994 CD “Sugar” (Stax 025218-85872-4).

This track first came out as a single for Carla in 1973 (Stax 0173), though it did not chart.

I hope this is the inspirational tune you seek.

DEAR JERRY: On a recent Trio (cable) channel music special, they mentioned that Shania Twain has the biggest selling album in country music history by a female vocalist.

They also talked a lot about Faith Hill, and how their being beautiful has made these two careers so successful.

This got me thinking how vocally average these women are, especially compared to, say, Patsy Cline. Cline was very plain looking, as were most of the other female C&W stars of the '50s and '60s. How well would she have done is she had supermodel looks?

Would either of these newbies fare as well with just average looks?
—Carissa Landsbury, Lakeland, Fla.

DEAR CARISSA: Living when she did, I'm not sure that being a goddess would have made a significant difference in Patsy Cline's career. In those days, entertainers simply did not have the multi-media, music video exposure now available. One of her early '60s contemporaries, Connie Smith, was a real beauty and that didn't seem to translate into greater sales.

However, if Patsy were alive and performing today, looking like either Twain or Hill, the only close race would be for second place. None of the current crop can match her extraordinary vocal skills.

DEAR JERRY: Read your answer a question about the oldest living person having a had a No. 1 hit, and you named Artie Shaw's “Begin the Beguine,” which was a fabulous hit.

You are probably correct but the amazing thing is that I am a big band musician — have been since the 1940s — that is presently expanding Artie Shaw's arrangement of “Begin the Beguine” for a full-sized swing band.

While working an Artie Shaw concert in Ventura, California in 1980, Artie provided me with a copy of the original 1938 “Begin the Beguine” arrangement and I have kept it all these years.

So you see, you never know who's reading.
—Donald R. Fleischner, Boise, Idaho

IZ ZAT SO? Wile not having quite the duet resumé as Willie Nelson, Carla Thomas has paired up with an impressive list of R&B stars:

Carla recorded hits with Otis Redding, William Bell, Johnnie Taylor, and her father, Rufus Thomas.

At just 16, Carla wrote “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes),” a Top 10 hit in 1960. An original 45 of this tune (Satellite 104) can now fetch over $100.

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