DEAR JERRY: While flipping through some old Los Angeles Free Press newspapers, I found one from 1969 with an interesting full-page ad announcing the new Beatles LP, “Abbey Lane.”
That's right, “Abbey Lane.” Not “Abbey Road.”
This publication, dated Friday, Sept. 26, also proclaims “Now Available at All American Record Stores” and “Shipment Expected Friday.”
Did they mean Friday the 26th, or Friday Oct. 3rd? One seems too early, the other too late.
My online searching indicates “Abbey Road” came out September 26th in the UK, then in the U.S. on Tuesday, Oct. 1st.
What's the story on this puzzling ad and “Abbey Lane”?
Larry Brewer, Milwaukee
DEAR LARRY: To be clear, that American Record Stores ad is solely for five stores in California (Pasadena; Gardena; Goleta; Tarzana; Costa Mesa) named American Records, rather than record stores across America.
Before release of the Beatles' “Abbey Road” album, many outside the UK knew neither Abbey Road, the Westminster thoroughfare, nor EMI's Abbey Road Studios, where this and countless other famous recordings were made.
American Record Store's likely unfamiliarity with Abbey Road including an LP not yet in hand plus the potential for mixing up two words commonly used to identify streets, accounts for their use of “Abbey Lane” in their ad.
Probably unrelated but worthy of mention is that in Leicester, about 100 miles NW of Abbey Road, one of the main streets is Abbey Lane.
It may be an even greater stretch, but I can't categorically dismiss the possibility that the company's copywriter had “Penny Lane” running through his or her mind when preparing the advert.
Since American Records could not expect their “Abbey Road” inventory six days before the U.S. release (Oct. 1), “Shipment Expected Friday” leads me to believe they would have them Oct. 3, two days after the official on-sale date.
DEAR JERRY: Every year around this time, when ol' man winter comes calling, a '60s song about a young couple on a snowy day, either waking or sleigh riding, keeps running through my mind. One line haunting me is “get on your overcoat with the big fur collar.” I have one of those.
I thought it was by the Beach Boys, but it's definitely not on their Christmas album.
Having not heard it since back then, I had given up hope of enjoying it again. Then I discovered your wonderful service.
Solve this 50-year-old mystery and I will buy it and think of you when it's played.
Lisa Dryden, Hartford, Conn.
DEAR LISA: By not taking advantage of this wonderful service 25 years ago, you have doubled the term of torment.
But, better late than never I guess.
Sounding very similar to a Beach Boys effort, this infectious tune is “Winter Weather,” by Ronny and the Daytonas (RCA Victor 47-9022). This 45 is often found on eBay for under $10.
If a CD is your preference, look for “Beachland” (Surf 0648K9), a 32-track disc with all of Ronny and the Daytonas' 1964-1967 recordings.
“Winter Weather” came out in Nov. 1966, right when “Good Vibrations” held the nation's No. 2 spot, on the way to No. 1.
This chilly weather selection starts with “put on your old coat with the big fur collar,” and ends with sleigh bells jingling, reminiscent of how “Donde Esta Santa Claus” (Augie Rios) fades out. These clues definitely helped close the deal.
Asking how “Winter Weather” missed being a hit is appropriate, but it was not helped by RCA's blunder of making the flip, “Young,” the “Plug Side.” As such, neither side succeeded at the time, though “Winter Weather” is now on many radio year-end playlists.
I know it's one I can't do without, regardless of the climate.
Listen to it here!
IZ ZAT SO? Ronny and the Daytonas are best remembered for their car songs: such as “G.T.O.”; “Hot Rod City”; and “Bucket T,” but they also scored off the track with “California Bound,” “Sandy,” and “Diane, Diane.”
“Winter Weather,” like most of the group's music, was written by John “Bucky” Wilkin, and co-produced by Bucky and the late great Felton Jarvis.
Jarvis produced countless hit singles and albums, especially in the 1960s and '70s. A few of the names on his client list are: Elvis Presley (1966-'77); Willie Nelson; Fats Domino; Carl Perkins; Michael Nesmith; Charley Pride; John Hartford; Gladys Knight; and Skeeter Davis.
As a performer and writer, Bucky had it in his genes. His mother, country singer Marijohn Wilkin, also wrote or co-wrote many big hits for country as well as pop/rock stars. A few of those are: “One Day at a Time” (Marilyn Sellars and Christy Lane); “Cut Across Shorty” (Eddie Cochran and Rod Stewart); “Long Black Veil” (Lefty Frizzell); “I Just Don't Understand” (Ann-Margret and Beatles); “P.T. 109” (Jimmie Dean); “Waterloo” and “Mary Don't You Weep” (Stonewall Jackson); and “Weep No More My Baby” (Brenda Lee).
Bucky and Marijohn even teamed with Kris Kristofferson to write the poignant “Delta Day (No Time to Cry),” recorded by Merle Haggard, Iris DeMent, and others.