Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Vinyl Record Day is here again (August 12), the eighth year for this event.

What began in 2002 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. has spread across North America, and overseas.

Vinyl Record Day is a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation and the first vinyl related tax-deductible organization, as deemed by the IRS.

Preservation of the cultural influences found on recordings and their cover art are important goals of Vinyl Record Day. Future generations should have recorded historical speeches; soundtracks; radio broadcasts; and obscure music by artists whose work would otherwise be lost if not preserved on records.

We also recognize album cover art for its creativity and its influence on fashion, lifestyles, and social values.

One way to celebrate Vinyl Record Day is simply to enjoy your favorite music. Little else connects us to friends, family, and special times as the songs of our personal soundtrack.

As Jimi Hendrix once said: “Our LPs are like our personal diaries.'”

Many more VRD details can be found are found at, including suggestions for having your own Vinyl Record Day party.
—Gary Freiberg, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

DEAR GARY: Thank you for the update. It thrills me to see how VRD is growing.

Music has always been my life, and it brought about nearly every meaningful relationship I've known, including the one which brings people to this feature in the first place.

I have countless memories of hearing a song for the first time, then rushing to a record store to add it to my precious vinyl collection.

Once home with my latest treasure, I held it while reading the label, sleeve or cover, then carefully laid it on the phonograph or turntable to enjoy.

After repeated plays, my new flat friend would be returned to its cover and tucked into a plastic bag, then filed away with others of its kind.

In this day and age, most of the music I acquire is the result of a few mouse clicks — an unemotional course of action with nary a wisp of the enchanting experience just described. Arrgh!

On VRD I'm going to unearth my original black and silver Decca 45 of Bill Haley's “Rock Around the Clock,” and pretend I just brought it home.

DEAR JERRY: Since you answered a question about the music on Mad Men once before, that makes you the most likely to clear up something for me.

In the closing moments in the final episode of season three, when Betty Draper (January Jones) is shown on the plane to Reno, a very interesting song plays in the background.

Though I never heard this haunting, addictive tune before, I instantly became attached to it. Now I need your help to find it. No mention of it appears anywhere in the closing credits.

The message in the lyrics is that “the future is much better than the past,” which perfectly fits the scene because Betty is going to Nevada to get a divorce from Don and begin a new life.

Silly as it seems, in another part of this song is what sounded to me like “shot a robot.”

What can you tell me about this?
—Darlene Washington, Terre Haute, Ind.

DEAR DARLENE: Most importantly, I can assure you that no artificial life forms were harmed during the filming of this Mad Men episode.

As hilarious as “shot a robot” sounds, it is completely understandable how you came to that conclusion. The similar sounding one-word title is “Shahdaroba,” and the singer is Roy Orbison.

Within its lyrics, written by the prolific Cindy Walker, “Shahdaroba” defines itself:

“Shahdaroba means the future is much better than the past. In the future, you will find a love that lasts.”

The producer's selection of this tune was brilliant. Others who have inquired about “the mysterious song heard on Mad Men” were certain it was written especially for use in the show.

Hardly, since Orbison released “Shahdaroba” in early 1963, as the B-side of the million-selling “In Dreams” (Monument 806).

Love this show, but ... several readers have written to report a major gaffe in the Christmas Party episode that kicked off Season 4.

At this 1964 event, Don holds a few 45s in his hand. One record very clearly seen is on the Eric label, a reissue company that didn't begin until 1969.

Why don't these filmmakers have someone like us on hand, who would have replaced this disc with ANYTHING that came out before 1965?

IZ ZAT SO? Cindy Walker (July 20, 1918 - March 23, 2006) is routinely included in any discussion of music's greatest songwriters. Walker's success rate may never be matched. Of her 500-plus recorded compositions, more than 400 ranked in the nation's Top 50, at one time or another, by a virtual who's-who of popular music.

“You Don't Know Me,” for example, became a chart hit eight times: Eddy Arnold (1956); Jerry Vale (1956); Lenny Welch (1960); Ray Charles (1962); Elvis Presley (1967); Ray Pennington (1970); and Ray Charles with Diana Krall (2005).

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