Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I have listened to oldies radio for about 20 years, but there is one record in particular that no one ever plays.

Even commercial-free satellite and internet stations able to play anything they want don't seem to have the one I would like to hear again.

Here is what I know about this mystery recording:

It must have been a hit because it got played so much. Another one from the same time is “My Happiness,” by Connie Francis. That will give you the approximate time.

The word “nag” might be in the title, though everyone I mention this to immediately thinks it is “Nag,” a hit by the Halos. It is not.

Nor is it “Yakety Yak,” by the Coasters.

However, the lyrics are about a man whose wife nags him over every little thing. Wish I could recall some of her do-this, do-that complaints, but I can't.

Lastly, it has sort of a polka feel, a bit similar to “Peanuts,” by the Sunglows.

Please help me, as this wacky song has been nagging me long enough.
—Christian Boswell, Plant City, Fla.

DEAR CHRISTIAN: Now that you mention it, even though this tune made the nation's Top 25 I can't recall hearing it on any radio station in the past 30 years.

The hit that will no longer nag you is “I Got a Wife,” by the Mark IV (Mercury 71403). It maintained a chart position for three months in the spring of 1959.

Oh yes, I do agree about it being a polka.

While never using the word “nag,” there is enough of that from this Mrs. to last a lifetime:

“Hang your clothes up, wipe your feet off, goodness sake don't slam the door.
Fix the socket, dry the dishes, can't you do a single chore.
Hang the pictures, set the table, don't drop ashes on the floor.
Heat the bottle, change the baby, you don't love me anymore.
Tack the shade up, wash the windows, wipe the hand prints off the door.
Change the light bulb, scrub the bathtub, pick the toys up from the floor.
Tape the lamp cord, make some coffee, burn the garbage, oil the door.
Get the kids and call my mother, you don't love me anymore.”

For the sake of geographical balance, let's now solve a mystery for a west coast reader;

DEAR JERRY: Along with the British Invasion, 1963 and '64 also seemed a time when we had a lot of foreign language hits.

Along with “Sukiyaki” (Kyu Sakamoto); “Dominique” (Singing Nun); “Al Di La” (Connie Francis); “Angelito” (Rene & Rene); and others, is one sung partly in German.

It's unusual in that the lead voices — sounding like the Paris Sisters — sing in English.

The backup singers are male and they sing in German.

I am certain I have not heard this hit once since the '60s. Can you identify it?
—Misty Wallace, Pittsburg, Calif.

DEAR MISTY: You description narrows it down to only one choice.

Popular in late 1963 and early '64, it is “Baby I Do Love You,” by the co-ed group, the Galens (Challenge 9212).

The simultaneous singing of two completely different songs, one in German and one in English, is very unusual indeed. I don't know of another like it.

The German number is “Du, du Liegst mir im Herzen (You Live in My Heart),” a 19th Century folk song, first issued in the U.S. around 1920 as a soprano and tenor duet by Alma Gluck and Paul Reimers (Victor 87182).

IZ ZAT SO? Frequently accompanying Alma Gluck in the early 1900s, on violin and piano, is Efrem Zimbalist, whom she married on June 16, 1914.

No doubt better known is their son, popular actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Born November 30, 1918, Efrem Jr is the award-winning star of TV shows “77 Sunset Strip” and “The F.B.I. Story,” along with many others.

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