Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: When my family came to America from Denmark, they also brought along their small record collection, mostly by European jazz artists.

Since you recently wrote about Jutta Hipp, the German pianist with high values given for her LPs, I am wondering about two of ours, and if they are of interest to collectors.

One is by Bent Jadig, titled “Danish Jazzman” (Debut Records 1149), and the other is “Shihab Shihab,” “by the Danish Radio Jazz Group (Oktav 111). Neither of these names are the least bit familiar to me, or anyone I know.

Might their obscurity and overseas origin increase their values?
—Eva Hoglund, Solvang, Calif.

DEAR EVA: Ah, picturesque Solvang, the city whose motto is “Velkommen! No passport needed to visit our little Danish replica village.” A village in which its two most valuable record albums are likely to be yours.

Bent Jadig's “Danish Jazzman,” which he definitely is, came out in 1967. The label name is appropriate, since it is indeed his debut album.

The most recent sales of Debut 1149 have seen prices in the $2,000 to $3,000 range paid by eager collectors.

Even a Japanese reissue on CD (Debut/Think THCD-088) sells for around $100.

There is some understandable confusion on your Oktav LP. It is actually a self-titled item, “Sahib Shihab and the Danish Radio Jazz Group,” released in 1965, and only in Scandinavia.

Georgia-born Shihab (nee: Edmund Gregory), left the U.S. in 1959 taking up residence in Copenhagen.

Buyers of this recording have been paying in the $1,500 to $2,500 range.

Selling either of these two LPs would surely keep you in Danishes for quite awhile.

DEAR JERRY: I am looking for the name of the movie that contains the song “If You Were the Only Girl in the World.”

I saw this movie in 1951, about two teenagers who lived next door to each other and fell in love.

It seems to me the male star was Roddy McDowell, but that may be wrong. Can you fill in the blanks for me?
—Alfred Cloum, Evansville, Ind.

DEAR ALFRED: I'm not certain I can, only because I can't match your recollection to any information in my files.

What we do know is “If You Were the Only Girl in the World” is one side of a big hit single for Perry Como (RCA Victor 1857) in the summer of 1946. The reverse side, “They Say It's Wonderful,” was actually the more popular of the two.

The only film from the early '50s with “If You Were the Only Girl in the World” in its soundtrack is “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” but co-stars Doris Day and Gordon MacRae do the singing. Plus, this is a 1953 (not '51) movie in which Roddy McDowell has no part, and the storyline bears no resemblance to your description.

Cross-checking McDowell's acting credits shows nearly all of his roles in the 1950s being for television, and none of those episodes include the song in question. It is likely they contain no singing at all.

In the 1957 biographical film, “The Helen Morgan Story,” star Ann Blyth lip-synchs “If You Were the Only Girl in the World” (vocal provided by Gogi “The Wayward Wind” Grant), but nothing about this movie corresponds to your memories.

Write again if you come up any new clues.

IZ ZAT SO? There may never be a more appropriate opportunity to mention four other European jazz albums from the '60s, all sought-after by collectors and each selling in the $1,500 to $2,500 range. Two more are from Denmark, and two hail from Italy:

Both Danish albums are self-titled “Jazz Quintet 60,” one on Metronome (MLP-15124), the other Fontana (TL687.527). They are completely different collections.

From Italy comes “Franco Cerri International Jazz Meeting” (Columbia 33QPX 8018), and “Peter Pietra and His Orchestra” (Embassy ER8031).

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