DEAR JERRY: I'm looking for a song from the mid-'70s that goes something like this: "You're an uptown, uptight girl, and I'm a downtown, down beat guy."
Is that enough for you to identify it?
Ed Faron, Lombard, Ill.
DEAR ED: More than enough, since the part you remember is extremely close to the correct title. It is "The Uptown, Uptempo Woman (And the Downtown, Downbeat Guy)," written and recorded by Randy Edleman.
You don't say where you heard this tune, but its only release in the U.S. was as a cut on Randy's 1976 LP, "Farewell Fairbanks" (20th Century T-494).
"The Uptown, Uptempo Woman," often shown without the subtitle and sometimes without the "The," was a single issue in the UK (20th Century BTC-2225). There it reached the Top 25 in 1976, with "Farewell Fairbanks" as the B-side.
Spoiler alert: "The Uptown, Uptempo Woman (And the Downtown, Downbeat Guy)" can be likened to a play in three acts: boy meets girl, boy moves in with girl, boy moves out.
DEAR JERRY: It seems that beginning in the 1960s, more and more recording
artists stuck with their birth names, no matter how unconventional, and
eschewed adopting a stage name. Would you agree?
John Smith (my real name), Pittsburgh
DEAR JOHN: I do agree that there were many more unconventional names in the '60s, especially when it comes to group names.
Before the mid-'60s, we had the Pied Pipers; Ink Spots; Mills Brothers; Ravens; Orioles, Drifters; etc., etc.
Then we could not imagine groups named the Electric Prunes; Holy Modal Rounders; Mothers of Invention; Strawberry Alarm Clock; Ant Trip Ceremony; Queen Nectarine Machine; and Mystic Astrological Crystal Band.
As for solo artists from the 1940s through the '80s, I find very little difference in the percentages of birth names used vs. stage names.
I divided the years covered into three groups, and alphabetically listed by first name most of the top-selling singles artists using a professional name, followed by their birth name.
Regardless of the decade, there was never a shortage of artists who wanted to be known by something other than the name they had at birth. Using only instances where the stage name varies significantly Marty Robbins born Martin Robinson doesn't qualify here are 100 examples:
Al Dexter (Clarence Albert Poindexter)
April Stevens (Carol Lo Tempio)
Artie Shaw (Arthur Arshawsky)
Betty Hutton (Elizabeth June Thornburg)
Blue Barron (Harry Friedland)
Buddy Clark (Samuel Goldberg)
Dinah Washington (Ruth Lee Jones)
Don Cornell (Louis Valaro)
Doris Day (Doris Kappelhoff)
Elton Britt (James Elton Baker)
Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio)
Georgia Gibbs (Frieda Lipschitz)
Glen Gray (Glen Gray Knoblauch)
Guy Mitchell (Albert Cernik)
Johnny Desmond (Giovanni Alfredo De Simone)
Johnny Otis (Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes)
Joni James (Joan Carmella Babbo)
Kay Starr (Katherine Starks)
Les Paul (Lester Polsfuss) & Mary Ford (Colleen Summers)
Mel Tormé (Melvin Howard)
Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield)
Patti Page (Clara Ann Fowler)
Paul Weston (Paul Wetstein)
Pee Wee King (Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski)
Peggy Lee (Norma Jean Egstrom)
Roy Rogers (Leonard Franklin Slye)
Ruth Brown (Ruth Alston Weston)
Tony Martin (Alvin Morris)
Tony Pastor (Antonio Pestritto)
Vic Damone (Vito Farinola)
Al Martino (Alfred Cini)
Andy Kim (Androwis Jovakim)
Bo Diddley (Ellas Otha Bates)
Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman)
Bobbie Gentry (Roberta Lee Streeter)
Bobby Darin (Walden Robert Cassotto)
Bobby Day (Robert Byrd)
Bobby Rydell (Robert Ridarelli)
Brenda Lee (Brenda Mae Tarpley)
Brook Benton (Benjamin Franklin Peay)
Cathy Carr (Anglela Helen Catherine Cordovano)
Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian)
Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans)
Cliff Richard (Harry Rodger Webb)
Connie Francis (Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero)
Connie Stevens (Concetta Ingolia)
Conway Twitty (Harold Lloyd Jenkins)
Dave "Baby" Cortez (David Cortez Clowney)
Dean Martin (Dino Paul Crocetti)
Del Shannon (Charles Weedon Westover)
Dodie Stevens (Geraldine Ann Pasquale)
Dottie West (Dorothy Marie Marsh)
Dusty Springfield (Mary Isobel O'Brien)
Engelbert Humperdinck (Arnold George Dorsey)
Freddy Cannon (Fredrick Anthony Picariello)
Gale Storm (Josephine Cottle)
Gary U.S. Bonds (Gary Levone Anderson)
Gene Chandler (Eugene Dixon)
Gogi Grant (Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg)
Jack Scott (Giovanni Domenico Scafone Jr.)
James Darren (James William Ercolani)
Jerry Vale (Genaro Vitaliano)
Johnny Rivers (John Henry Ramistella)
Kitty Wells (Ellen Muriel Deason)
LaVern Baker (Delores Evans)
Lesley Gore (Lesley Sue Goldstein)
Little Eva (Eva Narcissus Boyd)
Lou Christie (Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco)
Patsy Cline (Virginia Patterson Hensley)
Ray Stevens (Harold Ray Ragsdale)
Roger Williams (Louis Weertz)
Skeeter Davis (Mary Frances Penick)
Sonny James (James Hugh Loden)
Steve Lawrence (Sidney Leibowitz)
Stevie Wonder (Stevland Hardaway Judkins)
Tab Hunter (Arthur Gelien)
Tony Bennett (Anthony Dominick Benedetto)
Vikki Carr (Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona)
1970s & 1980s:
Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier)
Barry Manilow (Barry Alan Pincus)
Billy Idol (William Michael Albert Broad)
Billy Ocean (Leslie Sebastian Charles)
Cal Smith (Calvin Grant Shofner)
Carole King (Carole Klein)
Cat Stevens (Steven Demetre Georgiou)
Christopher Cross (Christopher Charles Geppert)
Connie Smith (Constance June Meador)
Crystal Gayle (Brenda Gail Webb)
David Bowie (David Robert Jones)
Donna Fargo (Yvonne Vaughan)
Donna Summer (LaDonna Adrian Gaines)
Dr. John (Malcolm John Rebennack)
Eddie Money (Edward Joseph Mahoney)
Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight)
Elvis Costello (Declan Patrick McManus)
Freddie Fender (Baldemar Garza Huerta)
Freddie Hart (Frederick Segrest)
George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou)
Gloria Estefan (Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo)
Jessi Colter (Miriam Johnson)
John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf)
Johnny Paycheck (Donald Eugene Lytle)
Mama Cass Elliot (Ellen Naomi Cohen)
Margo Smith (Betty Lou Miller)
Pat Benatar (Patricia Mae Andrzejewski)
Rick James (James Johnson)
Rick Springfield (Richard Lewis Springthorpe)
Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey)
Sheena Easton (Sheena Shirley Orr)
T.G. Sheppard (William Neal Browder)
Tammy Wynette (Virginia Wynette Pugh)
When someone's birth name is shown more than one way, as is not uncommon, I went with the variation given by the most sources.
IZ ZAT SO? Rarely does an entertainer go through the process to lawfully make their stage name their legal name.
Rare indeed, but not unheard of. Of the 100 artists listed above, we know of two who did exactly that:
Circa-1945, as Dino Paul Crocetti was embarking on a show business career, and about to sign with Diamond Records, he legally changed his name to Dean Martin.
Circa-1973, Vincent Damon Furnier officially changed his name to Alice Cooper.