Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: You have provided details of various ways the Beatles either set new, or broke existing, sales records in 1964.

What I have not seen covered is how many Top 10 songs they had for that whole year. Can you compile this info?

Has anyone ever had more than they in one year?
—Carl Davidson, New York City

DEAR CARL: Yes, but not in the past 70 years.

Combining data from the national charts, we credit the Beatles with 12 Top 10 hits in '64, and they are (in order of issue):

“I Want to Hold Your Hand”; “I Saw Her Standing There”; “She Loves You”; “Please Please Me”; “Twist and Shout”; “Can't Buy Me Love”; “Do You Want to Know a Secret?”; “Love Me Do”; “P.S. I Love You”; “A Hard Day's Night”; “I Feel Fine”; and “She's a Woman.”

Two decades before Beatlemania, and the British Invasion, the nation was similarly caught up in Big Band mania. One of the leaders of that pack was Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.

In 1940, Glenn's band chalked up 23 Top 10 hits, which eclipsed Bing Crosby's 1937 total of 18.

DEAR JERRY: In the late 1960s, around the time Jerry Lee Lewis successfully revived Jimmie Rodgers' “Waiting for a Train,” I heard a Jimmie Rodgers tribute song that I'd like to know more about.

The lyrics include the titles of many of Jimmie's famous songs, one of which is “Waiting for a Train.”

It must have not been a big seller, because I only heard it a time or two and then it disappeared forever.

Who is the singer, and what are the other titles he mentions?
—Lenore Post, York, Pa.

DEAR LENORE: The singer is Elton Britt, one of the top C&W stars of the 1940s. His biggest hit is the million-selling “There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere” (Bluebird 9000), a patriotic classic released in 1942, in the midst of World War II.

However, the recording you ask about, appropriately titled “The Jimmie Rodgers Blues” (RCA Victor 9503), didn't come along until 1968.

“Waiting for a Train” is one of 27 Jimmie Rodgers song titles interwoven into “The Jimmie Rodgers Blues.”

In the order mentioned or referenced, they are:

“Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)”; “You and My Old Guitar”; “Daddy and Home”; “Travelin' Blues”; “Waiting for a Train”; “Mississippi River Blues”; “Away Out on the Mountain”; “The Brakeman's Blues”; “T for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1).”

“Peach Pickin' Time Down in Georgia”; “My Blue-Eyed Jane”; “My Carolina Sunshine Girl”; “My Little Lady”; “My Little Old Home Down in New Orleans”; “The Land of My Boyhood Dreams”; “Lullaby Yodel”; “Treasures Untold”; “Those Gambler's Blues.”

“Jimmie the Kid”; “In the Jailhouse Now”; “My Rough and Rowdy Ways”; “Any Old Time”; “Train Whistle Blues”; “When the Cactus Is in Bloom”; “My Time Ain't Long”; “T.B. Blues”; and “Jimmie Rodgers' Last Blue Yodel.”

DEAR JERRY: Our family owned a record store in the 1970s, and we still have many items from those days.

One LP that might be collectible is a self-titled picture disc by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.

It is in a plain black cover, with a big hole to show the photo in the vinyl.

Do you know its value?
—Kristie Cromwell, Prescott, Ariz.

DEAR KRISTIE: This is just one of dozens of experimental picture disc albums made in 1978 and '79, as the various manufacturers tested and tinkered with the embedded photo process.

Yes, “Kenny Rogers and the First Edition” is shown on the album, but only to identify the artist. The correct title is “Backroads” (Jolly Roger 5001), and it originally came out in December 1972.

Most Pic-Discs were made in very small quantities, usually 10 or fewer, and all are collectible to some degree. The “Backroads” one usually sells for $50 to $100.

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