Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne

FOR THE WEEK OF September 24, 2001

DEAR JERRY: For a great many years I have tried to find a recording of a song that was played extensively on the local stations in the Tampa Bay area in the '70s. However, they then stopped playing it quite abruptly.

Even at the time, this recording was not available in the record stores.

The title is, as I recall, “The Greatest Song I've Ever Heard.” I believe the artist to be either the Seekers or the New Seekers.

Was this ever on a commercially available recording? Do you know if it is available in any form? Just for the sake of curiosity, do you have any idea why it would have disappeared so quickly?
—Wade Downs, Clearwater, Fla.

DEAR WADE: First of all, Wade Downs sounds like a wonderful name for a race track.

Now about your mystery song. The title is indeed “The Greatest Song I've Ever Heard,” and the group is the New Seekers. You're right on both counts.

Flying in the face of its own title, “The Greatest Song I've Ever Heard” must have failed to impress listening audiences and record buyers at the time — 1973 to be exact — and that is why stations dropped it from their playlists.

Probably the easiest way to own this tune would be to buy the original single (MGM 14586). That should be possible for around five dollars. FYI: on its flip side you will find “A Woman Grows.”

DEAR JERRY: I am wondering which rock band had the most years between number one hits.

I believe it must be the Beach Boys, as they went from “Good Vibrations” (1966) to “Kokomo” (1988).

Am I correct?
—Tim Lindblad, Branford, Conn.

DEAR TIM: “Good Vibrations” reached No. 1 on December 10, 1966, and “Kokomo” on November 5, 1988 — a span of just under 22 years.

However, this interesting distinction is presently held by Cher. Her “Dark Lady” reached No. 1 hit in 1974, and she returned to No. 1 with “Believe,” in 1999.

This gives Cher a span of 25 years between No. 1 hits.

Cher is the only artist who has charted a Top 10 hit in four consecutive decades — the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s.

DEAR JERRY: Did the Platters ever issue a song with a title similar to “Am I Just a Dancing Partner”?

Also, is there a pop tune titled “Please Mrs. Avery”?
—David Gerhartz, West Allis, Wisc.

DEAR DAVID: Yes, and no.

“I'm Just a Dancing Partner” is the flip side of the Platters' first No. 1 hit, “The Great Pretender” (Mercury 70753) Though not nearly as popular as “The Great Pretender,” both sides did chart, in late 1955.

Dear Mrs. Avery is not included in the actual title, though she is mentioned frequently in the chorus of “Sylvia's Mother,” a 1972 Top 5 hit for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show (Columbia 45562).

She is, of course, Sylvia's mother, and, in the song, is screening young Sylvia's calls.

IZ ZAT SO? For those who remember “The Cover of the Rolling Stone,” Dr. Hook's follow-up hit to “Sylvia's Mother,” here is the rest of the story.

In the lyrics, the band's fondest wish is to be pictured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. With the tune sitting at No. 6 nationally, Rolling Stone gave in and featured their smiling faces on the cover.

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