DEAR JERRY: My Dad asked me to find out some information from you about this girl duo from the '50s. He said they only released one single, with the song “I Got Along Without You Before I Met You” on one side. He says they never released anything else, and while there were lots of rumors about how they really were two famous singers, he never heard anyone tell the real story. Do you have any information on who those two singers really were?
Bruce Dries Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DEAR BRUCE: Dear dad has his duet wires crossed. Patience & Prudence (McIntyre), two sisters from Los Angeles, were exactly themselves not a pair of otherwise well-known singers harmonizing incognito.
He is also wrong about “Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now” being their only single. This tune, a Top 15 hit from 1956, is the follow-up to their even greater hit, “Tonight You Belong to Me,” which made the nation's Top 5.
The girls did have some other singles, though none of them charted.
At the time of their two 1956 hits, Patience was 11 years of age and Prudence a ripe old 14.
Interestingly, Jan & Dean, in their 1964 hit “The Anaheim, Azusa & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review and Timing Association,” refer in the lyrics to “Patience proper and Prudence prim.” Perhaps this is one duo's thinly-veiled salute to another.
DEAR JERRY: Please settle a lunch bet I have with a friend. I say Mick Jagger sings in the background on Carly Simon's “You're So Vain.” My friend says no way.
Who is right?
Dennis C. Kennedy, Clearwater, Fla.
DEAR DENNIS: Pick a nice place to have lunch, your friend is treating.
On “You're So Vain,” Simon's biggest hit and a former No. 1, that is indeed Mick Jagger you hear singing along with Carly.
DEAR JERRY: In a TV movie recently I heard a bit of a song the seems to be titled “Morris Code.” Though I don't recall the name of the film, which indicates it didn't leave much of an impression, I really liked this song, done is a doo wop style of sorts.
From this tidbit of information, can you possibly tell me more about “Morris Code”?
Shawna George, Arlington, Ky.
DEAR SHAWNA: Yes, but first you need to know that the time-honored code of dots and dashes has nothing to do with either the cigarette or the famous cat that appeared in those cat food commercials. It is “Morse” Code, named after its founder Samuel Morse, and not Morris.
The song is no doubt “Morse Code of Love,” a 1982 release (Ambient Sound 2697) by the Capris, a Queens, N.Y. group that is best known for the million-seller “There's a Moon Out Tonight.”
You might locate an original 45 of “Morse Code of Love” for around five bucks, but also keep an eye open for the Capris' Ambient Sound LP (FZ-37714).
Also a 1982 issue, this album can be had for about $10, and it does contain “Morse Code of Love.”
DEAR JERRY: A song from the mid-'60s about a “bottle of wine, fruit of the vine” has been driving me and my co-workers crazy. No one I ask is able to recall the singer, though nearly all of them remember hearing the song at the time it was popular.
Many of us are retiring soon, and we'd like to sing this song at our retirement party. Can you imagine a bunch of fat, bald-headed old men singing this in harmony?
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with those of us who can only wish and remember our youthful days.
Rickie E. Dalton, Athens, Ala. (email@example.com)
DEAR RICKIE: Your gang remembers this tune, by the Fireballs and titled “Bottle of Wine,” because it was so popular, making the Top 10 in late 1967 (Atco 6491).
This band's only tune that outsold “Bottle of Wine” is the 1963 mega hit, “Sugar Shack.”
Don't fret my aging friend, for very few retirement party participants are youthful looking.
IZ ZAT SO? Between 1959 and 1961, the Fireballs put together a little string of successful instrumental releases; however, only after vocalist Jimmy Gilmer joined them did they become household names. Besides “Sugar Shack” and “Bottle of Wine,” they churned out “Daisy Petal Pickin'; Ain't Gonna Tell Anybody; Come On, React”; and the beautiful “Goin' Away.”