DEAR JERRY: As an Englishman with a home in Florida, I always read you in the St. Petersburg Times with great interest and enjoyment.
Seeing the many musical mysteries you have solved for others prompts me to ask for your help in tracking down a song, which I believe is titled “That Old Broken Bucket.” I have been trying for over 15 years and have had no luck at all obtaining a tape, record, or CD with this number.
I first heard this tune in the mid-'60s and thought it to be by Bobby Darin, but I find no trace of it on any of his records or compilations. Perhaps it is not by Darin. I may even be wrong about the title.
At any rate, just thinking of this song brings back good memories for me, but actually having it to listen to would really brighten my Christmas.
John Kirkland, St. Petersburg, Fla.
DEAR JOHN: A brighter Christmas you shall have. By the time you read this you should have already received a cassette from me that brings your long search to a happy ending.
You are pretty close on the title, but probably off enough to make finding it more difficult. It is “The Old Oaken Bucket” (Capitol 4405) and the singer is Tommy Sands.
It is understandable how you would confuse Tommy Sands with Bobby Darin on this track, as it is styled in the verse-by-verse build-up style used by folks like Bobby Darin (“Mack the Knife”) and Wayne Newton (“Danke Schoen”).
In the U.S., “The Old Oaken Bucket” hit the charts in the summer of 1960; however, it failed to make the New Musical Express charts in your homeland.
In early October, in Las Vegas, I visited for awhile with Tommy Sands, who still looks and sounds great. Had I known of your quest then, I would have had him autograph a picture for you to accompany your new tape.
When Edith and Archie Bunker sing their theme song, “Those Were the Days,” Edith sings one line that we just can't seem to understand.
It rhymes with “Everybody pulled his weight” and is right before “Those were the days.”
You have no idea how many people are waiting for your answer!
B. Kendall, Glendale, Wisc.
DEAR B.: Well then I want you to see to it that each and every one of those curious folks knows that Edith is saying: “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.”
Named after the French explorer Sieur de la Salle, Cadillac introduced their LaSalle model in 1927 billing it as “the first of the smaller and more maneuverable luxury cars built to traditional standards in an attempt to extend the prestige market.”
Though one of the most beautiful cars of its time, LaSalle sales as with most luxury cars suffered greatly during the depression. Most Americans then couldn't afford a Ford. Faced with stiff competition and sagging sales, Cadillac retired the LaSalle after the 1940 model year.
To learn more about the LaSalle, visit the Cadillac LaSalle Club's web site: http://www.cadillaclasalleclub.com
DEAR JERRY: Four young singers starred on “Your Hit Parade” during the 1940s and '50s. Would you please identify them for me?
Ester Craig, Lawrenceville, Ill.
DEAR ESTER: “Your Hit Parade,” which actually debuted on radio in 1935, successfully made the transition to prime time television in 1950.
The best-known regulars were Snooky Lanson, Gisele MacKenzie, Russell Arms, and Dorothy Collins.
Also, Polly Bergen, June Valli, and Eileen Wilson guested on the show from time to time.
IZ ZAT SO? Tommy Sands is best remembered for hits like “Teen Age Crush” (1957), and Disneyish films with co-stars like Annette. However, what is not widely known is that RCA Victor originally signed him in 1954 as a country and western artist.
For his publicity photos in the mid-'50s RCA catalogs, Tommy is pictured wearing the requisite cowboy hat.