Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In the summer of 1963, a song was played on our local radio stations, the artist and title of which have long since left my mind. Even so, I have kept searching for many years.

A few friends also recall the song, but they too know nothing about it.

I even asked a some dee jays from that era, but they don't even remember it.

Part of the chorus is “early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Please help me if you can.
—Bill Becker, Evansville, Ind.

DEAR BILL: Receiving a question like yours, where the clues are remarkably accurate, makes my job easy.

You not only nailed the time of release (July 1963), but you provided more than enough of the title.

It is simply “Early to Bed (And Early to Rise),” and is by Quantrell Rader (RCA Victor 47-8213). It also happens to be the first of two Rader singles on my ever-growing “How Could This Not Have Been a Hit?” list. The second is Quantrell's “Early to Bed” follow-up, titled “I Lose More Girls That Way” (RCA Victor 47-8317), a 1964 issue.

Morning or night, you can enjoy “Early to Bed (And Early to Rise)” on YouTube. Just enter these two key words in their search box: quantrell 1963. Your long lost song should appear right at the top of the search results.

Against all odds, about one week after receiving your letter, Larry Brewer (Milwaukee) wrote asking pretty much the identical question. Perhaps he is one of those “few friends.”

DEAR JERRY: Even though it's not my kind of music, I am curious about the noisy song played near the beginning of each episode of “Whale Wars.”

Apparently titled “The World Is a Vampire,” it seems to have nothing at all to do with the task at hand: saving the whales from being harpooned and turned into sushi by a Japanese whaling fleet.

Where did they come up with this music? Wouldn't Michael Jackson's “Free Willy” song be more appropriate?
—Carla Damon, Columbia, S.C.

DEAR CARLA: Whale Wars,” one of the Animal Planet channel's top rated shows, is never lacking when it comes to real-life, good vs. evil adventure.

Yet, as you say, the five lines played fail to connect in any way to the Sea Shepherds' attempt to end commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean:

The world is a vampire, sent to drain
Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get …. for my pain
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

This 40-second sliver comes from “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” by the Smashing Pumpkins, a Top 30 hit and RIAA certified gold single that also won the Best Hard Rock Grammy for 1995.

Michael Jackson's “Will You Be There,” from “Free Willy,” is not necessarily more appropriate, but it would be easier on the ears.

IZ ZAT SO? Keeping with the oceanic theme, has there ever been a more perfect match of music and film sequence than John Williams' score for “Jaws”?

Deservedly, this masterpiece won the Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score of 1975.

Seeking a second opinion, I asked good friend and award-winning filmmaker Robert Alaniz for his favorite musical moment in a movie.

He agreed about “Jaws,” but with that one already taken, Robert then chose the terrifying shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's “Psycho” (1960).

Bernard Herrmann is the genius behind those unforgettable shrieking violins, screaming in perfect counterpoint to each slash of the knife, seemingly killing Janet Leigh.

Hitchcock originally envisioned the scene with no music, but he loved Herrmann's score much he later admitted that “one-third of the effect that “Psycho” had on people was due to the music.”

Decades after “Psycho,” Janet Leigh revealed how Hitchcock created the sound effect of a knife piercing her body by repeatedly stabbing a defenseless casaba melon.

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