Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne

Now in our 34th year (1986-2020) with over 3,500 questions answered! Most recent column here — 22 years of archived ones are linked below


DEAR JERRY: The people where I work think I'm crazy because I claim there is a song from the 1950s titled "A Rose and a Baby Ruth." Everyone at work tells me I am confused and that I am really thinking of "A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)." Tell them I'm not crazy. I'm not, am I?
—Twana Mrocka, Evansville, Ind.

DEAR TWANA: Before ruling on your sanity, I must tell you that you are the only Twana I have ever known.

Now to the case at hand. If you are crazy, it's not because you lack rock and roll smarts.

The first hit for George Hamilton IV was indeed "A Rose and a Baby Ruth." It peaked at No. 6 on all three of the Top 100 charts, from late 1956 (ABC-Paramount 9765).

Also a smash hit that peaked at No. 2 was "A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)," by Marty Robbins. That came out a few months after "A Rose and a Baby Ruth."

Guess what? You're right and they're wrong. I think you deserve a raise.

DEAR JERRY: Around 1965, I heard a tune about T.J. the dee jay, who missed a curve while driving in a rush to work.

Can you help me find the title and artist of this song?
—Ken Beach, Kaukauna, Wisc.

DEAR KEN: You are close, though the exact title is "B.J. the D.J." Recorded by Stonewall Jackson (Columbia 42889), this one came out in 1963, a couple years earlier than you thought.

Two interesting tidbits about Stonewall Jackson: 1) That's his real name. 2) He is a direct descendant of Confederate commander General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

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Jerry Osborne: Background and Publishing History

2020 columns

January 6 January 13 January 20 January 27
February 3 February 10 February 17 February 24
March 2 March 9 March 16 March 23 March 30
April 6 April 13 April 20 April 27
May 4 May 11 May 18

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Includes some sample tracks from the "Lost and Found" VINYL LP!

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