DEAR JERRY: A musically informed friend was quizzing me recently, and here is the question he put forth:
“What group name did Ronny and the Daytonas use when they returned to the charts with a big hit in 1966?”
I answered that I never heard of Ronny and the Daytonas recording under any name other than their own.
My buddy then said that the Hombres, who had the offbeat hit, “Let It All Hang Out,” were made up of Ronny and the Daytonas members.
Whether or not this is true is my question to you, but I will say there is no similarity between the singers and the overall sound of the two.
Louie from St. Pete (Florida)
DEAR LOUIE: I don't know about the rest of your trivia game but in the category of Other Names Used by Mid'-60s Groups, you are more informed then the quiz master.
While I can confirm your hunch the bands are not the same, wouldn't you rather have some assurance from “Ronny” himself? Plus, there actually is a Daytonas-Hombres connection that needs explaining.
“I am John 'Buck' Wilkin, the original lead singer (“Ronny”), writer, and co-producer of Ronny and the Daytonas.
“The Hombres were a local Memphis band that worked out of the office of booking agent, Ray Brown (now deceased). He booked me and whoever I could get for a road band during 1964 and '65.
“Bill Justis was my producer and put me in touch with Brown. I was enrolled at New York University in the Fall of '64 and could not go on the road.
“Ray Brown suggested I let the touring band they who would eventually become the Hombres go on the road and perform as the Daytonas, and then also perform with me as Ronny and the Daytonas when I was available. I worked a few times with them and then gave them permission to book out as the Daytonas, since there was no set group, and Brown agreed to send me 10% of the earnings in return.
“When I once caught them calling themselves 'Ronny' and the Daytonas, I terminated the arrangement. I don't mind them claiming to have once been my road band, but anything beyond that is all made up. They had their own success anyway and they are all talented guys.
“But none of the Hombres played on any of the Ronny and the Daytonas recordings. There has been some confusion over the years about this so I hope this sets it straight.
“In 1997, a very nice Ronny and the Daytonas CD reissue package came out on the Sundazed label. Fortunately, I have also been doing some oldies gigs from time to time. Hey, life is good!”
This got me wondering about who can claim the most chart singles after their death, 2Pac or Jim Reeves?
Then let me ask essentially the same question, but about albums.
Jamie Lee Rake, Waupun, Wisc
DEAR JAMIE LEE: By far, Jim Reeves leads in the singles category.
Since his death in an plane crash, July 31, 1964, Gentleman Jim has chalked up 33 charted hits., more than many artists in their entire career.
2Pac, gunned down September 13, 1996, has less than one-third as many posthumous hits as Jim Reeves.
Your question probably the only one I'll ever get that mentions 2Pac and Jim Reeves in the same sentence asked specifically about those two. I should point out, however, that Elvis Presley has 18 chart hits since his death, August 16, 1977, twice as many as 2Pac but still well behind Reeves.
As for posthumously issued hit albums, credit Jim Reeves with 28, and 2Pac with nine. Elvis, who would have been 68 this week, leads in this category with 30 albums, and still counting.
Do you know that, unlike most popular songs, no two lines of this one rhyme?
Larry Dick, Toronto, Ontario
DEAR LARRY: If you meant to say no two successive lines rhyme, then you would be correct.
However, the song is filled with alternating lines that rhyme exactly in the manner intended by the writers.
For example, consider the four lines that make up the first verse:
“I can't begin to tell you how much you mean to me
My world would end if ever we were through
I can't begin to tell you how happy I would be
If I could speak my mind like others do”
Note that lines 1 and 3 rhyme, as do lines 2 and 4.
IZ ZAT SO? In September 1964, Ronny and the Daytonas' “G.T.O.” ranked in the nation's Top 5. But they weren't the only ones selling tons of vinyl to hot rod and motorcycle music lovers.
In what is widely known as the year of the British music invasion, there isn't a single month in 1964 when there isn't a car or bike hit in the Top 10.
In order of release, they are:
“Hey Little Cobra” (Rip Chords); “Drag City” (Jan & Dean); “Fun, Fun, Fun” (Beach Boys); “Dead Man's Curve” (Jan & Dean); “I Get Around” (Beach Boys); “No Particular Place to Go” (Chuck Berry); “The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena) (Jan & Dean); “G.T.O.” (Ronny and the Daytonas); “Leader of the Pack” (Shangri-Las); and “Little Honda” (Hondells).