DEAR JERRY: I found a cassette tape hand-labeled “Doo-Wop Collectors Classics,” which provides no information about any of the songs or artists.
Surprisingly, all but one of the 20 or so tunes are ones I am completely unfamiliar with, by anyone. The one I do know is “Just One Look,” a hit in the '60s by Doris Troy, the Hollies, and then later by Linda Ronstadt.
Any chance you know the name of the group singing “Just One Look”?
Mario Cassell, Corpus Christi, Texas
DEAR MARIO: It is a certainty. This is in fact the original May 1963 release of “Just One Look,” by Andy and the Marglows (Liberty 55570). Their record preceded Doris Troy's version by about two weeks.
This group recorded only four songs (issued on two singles), all of which are on a 25-track CD album that you seem to have on tape: “Doo-Wop Collectors Classics, Volume 6.”
Having recently been in contact with Lamont Russell on another matter, he is the perfect person to enlighten us on the brief recording history of Andy and the Marglows:
“I sang with Andy and the Marglows in 1963, when we recorded for Liberty Records.
“Other members of our group were Andy Huff, his brother Terry, and Mickey Freeman. We all lived in Washington D.C. at the time.
“The first single was “Just One Look,” backed with “Symphony,” on which I sang the lead. Background vocals are by Doris Troy and two other ladies whose names I don't recall.
“Our manager drove us to Liberty Records in New York, a Los Angeles label with an office in N.Y. There, in the office of Ed Silver, our producer at Liberty, is where we first heard Doris Troy's “Just One Look” demo tape.
Though we begged Ed to let us record the song at the same tempo heard on Troy's demo, he kept saying that he needed it to be funky.
“Doris Troy, who also wrote “Just One Look,” wanted it recorded at Liberty the way it was on her demo, and not at the upbeat tempo that Ed had us using.
“Upon release in Detroit, one radio station selected our “funky” version as the Battle of Sounds best Rhythm and Blues Recording of the Month. Stations were playing our song like crazy, but only for about two weeks. That is when Doris Troy's version (Atlantic 2188) came out … and we were history.
“I think that if we had recorded “Just One Look” just as we heard it on the demo, there would have been no reason for Doris Troy to record the song herself. Her eventual release for Atlantic sounded just like her original demo.
“Though Doris Troy made the Top 10 with “Just One Look,” she never had another Top 100 hit.
“Our second and last single, “I'll Get By,” backed with “Superman Lover” (Liberty 55623), came out in October 1963.
“A dozen years later, the summer '75 chart hit, “The Lonely One” (Mainstream 5581) came out credited to Special Delivery Featuring Terry Huff. This outfit includes brothers Terry, Andy (half of Andy and the Marglows) and Jimmy Huff.”
DEAR JERRY: Like many teenage boys in the 1960s, I had a huge crush on Annette (Funicello).
Now, 45 years later, many have forgotten just how popular Annette was at the time.
This international superstar had hit records, popular TV shows, and major motion picture films, all going at the same time.
In one show I saw on television back then, Annette is cast as a dance hall girl in the old west. As such, she sings a song or two, much to the delight of a saloon full of rowdy cowboys.
Do you know these songs, and if they were on records. Also, what is the name of the movie?
George E. Culley, Milwaukee
DEAR GEORGE: Let's begin with that made-for-television movie. It is “Golden Horseshoe Revue,” a Frontierland feature on Walt Disney's Sunday night series “Wonderful World of Color.” This episode aired on September 23, 1962.
At first Annette bores the local dudes with the Gay '90s-type ballad, “Hang a Lantern in Your Window.” As the cowboys get up to leave, Annette turns on the charm and sings the up-tempo “Mister Piano Man.” The men quickly return to their seats.
A single of “Mister Piano Man,” with a gorgeous photo sleeve picturing Annette festooned in her character's showgirl costume, (Buena Vista 405) came out in the summer of 1962.
I know of no issued recording of the 54-second “Hang a Lantern in Your Window.”
IZ ZAT SO? With a career that began in 1956, Annette became the Rock Era's first single-name star, years before Dion left the Belmonts, Cher sang apart from Sonny, and Donovan made every effort to “Catch the Wind.”