Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I have a question regarding the hit from the '40s, “Linda,” by Buddy Clark. Your answer will settle a long-running discussion.

Supposedly, this inspiration for this song was none other than Paul McCartney's wife, the late Linda McCartney.

Can this be true?
—Artie O'Laughlin, Inverness, Fla.

DEAR ARTIE: Since the death of Linda McCartney — born September 24, 1941, died April 20, 1998 — many stories and tributes have appeared, yet I have never seen one that mentions a connection between her and the 1947 hit “Linda.”

I even scoured the Internet but could find no reference to the matter, which, in my opinion, should be one of the highlights in any of her biographical sketches, as well as included in her obituary. Lacking irrefutable evidence one way or the other — such as confirmation from Jack Lawrence, writer of “Linda” — I tend to side with the believers. Here's why:

When written in late 1946, Linda Eastman would have been five years old and no doubt cute enough to inspire a song. Jack Lawrence, also a New Yorker, was reportedly a client of Linda's father, a New York attorney. Finally, the publishing rights for “Linda,” also a Top 30 hit in 1963 by Jan & Dean, are now owned by Paul McCartney.

According to a note just received from Daphne-Ann Haynes, of Parrish, Fla.: “Around the time of Linda's death, one newspaper carried a story about Jack Lawrence being a houseguest of her parents when Linda was five, and her father asking Lawrence to write a song about her.”

DEAR JERRY: I just purchased your recent book “The Official Guide to the Money Records (The 1,000 Most Valuable Records)” and now I have a question.

In it you say that many or most of the world's most valuable records have been counterfeited. While I don't know how sophisticated record counterfeiters are, I am wondering if any fakes exist of the Elvis Presley RCA Victor Compact 33 Singles, and their distinctive picture sleeves.

Since most of them are worth many thousands of dollars, they would seem likely prospects. On the other hand, how easy could it be nowadays to create a Compact 33 Single?
—Mark Walden, Cleveland, Tenn.

DEAR MARK: I have only seen one of those ultra-rare Compact 33 Singles counterfeited, the most valuable one of course: “Good Luck Charm” backed with “Anything That's Part of You,” which now sells for over $20,000.

You are correct about it being extremely difficult to duplicate an early-'60s-style Compact 33 Single; however, in the case of the one I saw only the picture sleeve had been faked. Inside was an authentic disc.

In this example, the counterfeiter sought to get double the value of what the disc without a sleeve might fetch. Fortunately, recreating one of these picture sleeves is also extremely difficult. At a glance, one could easily spot the flaws and imperfections. It appeared to have been made on a laser copier.

I have yet to learn of the existence of fakes for any of the other four Elvis Compacts with sleeves.

DEAR JERRY: We heard Randy Travis sing “King of the Road” on the Rosie O'Donnell TV show. Since then, I've been going nuts trying to remember who originally recorded this tune. His inflections and phrasing is almost identical to the original.

I'm sure you must know who the first king of the road was.
—Pat Guidry, Spring Hill, Fla.

DEAR PAT: The road's first king is Roger Miller, who wrote “King of the Road” in 1965, then watched his recording of it zoom to No. 1.

For the remainder of his career, “King of the Road” served as Roger's signature song.

IZ ZAT SO? Inexplicably, Paul McCartney has yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course the Beatles, as a group, are inductees (1988); however, John Lennon has since made it in as a solo (1994). How could McCartney not have been so honored at the same time? How is it he still has not been?

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