DEAR JERRY: While cleaning out my attic, I found among my old 45s one of my favorites, “Hey Paula.” However, my copy is by Jill & Ray (LeCam 979), and I could swear that this record was made by Paul & Paula.
Did they release “Hey Paula” under a different name? I do know that this is the exact same song!
Janet Wagner, DeBary, Fla.
DEAR JANET: That they did, my bewildered friend.
Several weeks before Hey Paula hit the charts and eventually shot straight to the No. 1 spot in the nation, the same song came out by Paul & Paula using their real names: Jill (Jackson) & Ray (Hildebrand).
It is great that you saved this disc, as copies of the Jill & Ray original now bring $50 to $100, compared to $5 to $10 for the smash hit that credits Paul & Paula (Philips 40084).
You'll be pleased to know that Paul & Paula are still very active in the entertainment business, and they welcome your letters. Paul tells me that you can write to them in care of: Speckle Music, PO Box 9358, Shawnee Mission, KA 66201.
On the first three choruses, the band does say “we are billion year old carbon,” but on the forth chorus they sing “we are caught in the devil's bargain.”
As for Joni Mitchell's recording, although she doesn't include either line in her printed lyrics, Joni does in fact sing both lines in the final chorus of her original version.
I would also like to commend your ear. How you could pick out “billion year old carbon” is quite amazing. Without Joni Mitchell's version I never would have guessed it. In fact, all these years I thought it was “caught in the devil's bargain” throughout the whole song that is until your response.
Since I follow your column each week and the wide range of artists and music styles you handle, I am curious about your collection. Is it as varied as your resources?
Finally, is there any chance you might someday list for us readers some of your own favorite artists, or songs?
Cory Rowell, Milwaukee, Wisc. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DEAR CORY: Thank you for the results of your in-depth carbon-bargain investigation. Yours is but one of dozens received in response to this intriguing slice of Woodstock history.
My music collection includes about every style and artist you could imagine. I stockpile all known speeds and formats from 78s and tapes to CDs though some items I file strictly for reference and not for listening.
Arrgh! As far as a personal favorite song, there are about a thousand that are tied for first place on my ever-changing list.
Some performers who are always high on my list are (in no particular order): Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Marty Robbins, Ray Price, Nana Mouskouri, Gene Pitney, Patsy Cline, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jackie Wilson, Rick Nelson, Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Hank Thompson, Joni James, Beatles, Kay Starr, Roy Orbison, countless R&B groups, many jazz and classical artists, etc., etc., etc.
Now aren't you glad you asked?
DEAR JERRY: Who were the members of the Five Blobs?
Joe Proud, Casper, Wy. (email@example.com)
DEAR JOE: The record label may indicate Five Blobs, but you are really only hearing one Blob. One overdubbed Blob that is.
“The Blob,” the theme song for the 1958 film of the same title, is by Bernie Nee. The overdubbing process makes him sound like more than one singer.
What with so many hit songs and standards to their credit, the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David might not list “The Blob” among their personal favorites. It is, however, one of their earliest Top 40 hits.
IZ ZAT SO? Steve McQueen's first starring film role came in “The Blob,” in which he played a blob busting teenager.