DEAR JERRY: Having read many times how you have solved musical mysteries for others, it is my turn to come in for some counseling.
The standard, “I'll Buy That Dream” includes a line that has kept me flummoxed for many years. The lyrics are “honeymoon in Cairo, with a brand new auto gyro.”
I have never been able to figure out what an auto gyro is, and the usage offers absolutely no clue. I don't know if they are honeymooning with an automobile, a compass, a kitchen appliance, or a balancing instrument.
Perhaps it is something unique to Egypt assuming the happy couple are not honeymooning in Cairo, Ill.
Can you explain what this really means?
Pamela Stoneback, Joliet, Ill.
DEAR PAMELA: Glad you asked, as we very rarely get questions about flying machines.
An auto gyro (sometimes shown as one word) bears no resemblance to an automobile, a compass, or a toaster for that matter.
Auto gyros take flight somewhat like helicopters, using rotary wings rather than the fixed wings found on airplanes.
However, these gizmos also differ from helicopters, in that their rotors are powered by the wind and not an engine.
As for “I'll Buy That Dream,” three different versions crowded the Top 10 in the fall of 1945: by Helen Forest & Dick Haymes; Harry James & His Orchestra; and Hal McIntyre & His Orchestra.
By 1945, and “I'll Buy That Dream,” auto gyros had already been flying worldwide for 25 years.
DEAR JERRY: Back in the day when instrumentals were king, I bought a Dolton label 45 of “Walk, Don't Run,” by the Ventures.
I also remember the reverse side being “The McCoy,” also a pretty good tune.
Later, I bought another copy, seemingly identical, of “Walk, Don't Run” to give to a friend, but was surprised to find this one had a completely different B-side, the title of which I don't remember.
Do you know the name of the alternative flip side instrumental? Why two different versions?
Barry Scholles, Dover, Ohio
DEAR BARRY: The sequence of events you describe is the opposite of what actually happened with “Walk, Don't Run,” one of 1960s top instrumentals.
When first issued on Blue Horizon (before Dolton), the tune found on the back side of “Walk, Don't Run” is “Home.”
Blue Horizon, the Ventures' own label, did not have the resources to handle a national break-out, so they struck a deal with Dolton, a subsidiary of Liberty Records, to pick up the tracks for national distribution.
The first Dolton release of “Walk, Don't Run” is coupled with “Home,” just like the Blue Horizon single; however, the Ventures apparently didn't care much for “Home.”
Subsequent Dolton pressings, including the one you first bought, have “The McCoy” in place of “Home.”
Nationally, Dolton's “Walk, Don't Run” single made it as high as No. 2. For the last week of August 1960, only Elvis Presley's mega-hit, “It's Now Or Never” held a higher chart position.
DEAR JERRY: I am a collector of records, and I am curious about the effect of labeling mistakes on value.
In two other fields of interest to me, stamps and baseball cards, production errors can make the item many times more desirable than ones that are error free.
Andrew Richmond, Eddyville, Ky.
DEAR ANDREW: The amount of flawed stamps making it into general circulation is far less than with sports cards (“error cards”), but the number of records with labeling blunders is immeasurably greater then we find in either of those other fields.
Exceptions do exist, but most records with erroneous labels are of no greater value than a corrected reissue though some companies with tight budgets may not have bothered to fix their flubs.
One exception is Elvis Presley's 1963 hit “Please Don't Drag That String Around,” some copies of which are mistakenly labeled “Please Don't Drag That String ALONG.”
Records with “Around” sell for about $10, but ones with “Along” can fetch closer to $800.
Another example is the 1958 Danleers hit, “One Summer Night,” some pressings of which mistakenly credit the Dandleers.
Copies labeled correctly bring about $30, whereas ones misspelling the group's name are in the $100 to $150 range.
The number of collectors who are attracted to labeling errors is probably no greater than those who want their labels to be correct, thus the market doesn't move much based strictly on production slip-ups.
IZ ZAT SO? Ventures' producer, Bob Reisdorf, was so anxious to have the band's first LP, “Walk, Don't Run,” in distribution, that he rounded up a few Liberty Records workers to pose as the Ventures for the photo used on that cover.
Incredibly, not a single member of the Ventures appears on the cover of their debut album.