Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: There are two different instrumental versions of “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” both quite popular in the 1960s.

The differences between them are so slight that I can never tell which one is being played (I listen to a jazz channel without dee jays). They both feature a piano.

Who does these? Is there any way to put into words how to identify which is which?
—Jolene Boyd, Milwaukee

DEAR JOLENE: With these recordings being so similar, knowing which one you are hearing can be a challenge, but I found one way.

The first release of “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” came out in late 1962, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio (Fantasy 563). Guaraldi, who wrote the song and plays piano, is accompanied by Monte Budwig (bass) and Colin Bailey (drums). Those are the only instruments used.

In 1964, UK-Pye record producer John Schroeder assembled a British trio in the Guaraldi mold. Named Sounds Orchestral, they feature Johnny Pearson (piano), Kenny Clare (drums), and Tony Reeves (bass).

But unlike the Vince Guaraldi Trio, this threesome is not alone. Sounds Orchestral also included, of all things, orchestral sounds — which makes it easy to distinguish this “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” from the other.

This is most apparent on the Sounds Orchestral track by the string section, with violins especially prominent around the 1:24 mark.

After ranking among the Top 5 hits in England, their U.S. single (Parkway 942) nearly did as well, landing in the Top 10. Worldwide sales eventually topped one million, earning these Brits a gold record.

When Sounds Orchestral entered the Billboard Top 10, May 8, 1965, with “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” they gave British Commonwealth artists an unprecedented 90% of the Top 10. Only “Count Me In,” by Gary Lewis and the Playboys, saved the U.S. from being counted out:

1. “Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter” (Herman's Hermits).
2. “Count Me In” (Gary Lewis and the Playboys).
3. “Ticket to Ride” (Beatles).
4. “Game of Love” (Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders).
5. “I'll Never Find Another You” (Seekers).
6. “I Know a Place” (Petula Clark).
7. “Silhouettes” (Herman's Hermits).
8. “I'm Telling You Now” (Freddie and the Dreamers).
9. “The Last Time” (Rolling Stones).
10. “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” (Sounds Orchestral).

One week earlier, Cash Box also showed Gary Lewis as the only American artist in their Top 10; however, the other nine differed slightly from the Billboard survey above.

“Tired of Waiting for You” and “Go Now” are still hanging around though “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” and “Silhouettes” will replace them a week later:

1. “Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter” (Herman's Hermits).
2. “I Know a Place” (Petula Clark).
3. “Game of Love” (Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders).
4. “I'm Telling You Now” (Freddie and the Dreamers).
5. “Tired of Waiting for You” (Kinks).
6. “Count Me In” (Gary Lewis and the Playboys).
7. “I'll Never Find Another You” (Seekers).
8. “Go Now” (Moody Blues).
9. “Ticket to Ride” (Beatles).
10. “The Last Time” (Rolling Stones).

IZ ZAT SO? In the 14 years from 1950 through 1963, only four British artists topped the U.S. charts. They include one female and one male vocal, and two instrumentals: Vera Lynn (“Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart”) (1952); Laurie London (“He's Got the Whole World in His Hands”) (1958); Mr. Acker Bilk (“Stranger on the Shore”) (1962); and the Tornadoes (“Telstar”) (1962).

Then came 1964.

During the last six years of the decade, 40 British acts reached No. 1 in the U.S. Nearly half of those (18) are by the Beatles. None are instrumentals.

Now you know why they call it the British Invasion!

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