DEAR JERRY: In the 1970s, the Osmonds and the Jacksons were the top family singing groups.
Now that it's ancient history, which family had the most members issue solo records?
Also, is Randy Jackson, of American Idol, really one of the Jackson family.
Gilbert Silva, York, Pa.
DEAR GILBERT: Interesting questions, so let's first look at both families by the numbers.
By year of birth, here are the seven performing Osmonds: Alan (1949); Wayne (1951); Merrill (1953); Jay (1955); Donny (1957); Marie (1959); and Jimmy (1963). All were born in Ogden, Utah, except Jimmy (Canoga Park, Calif.).
Though Merrill was the lead vocalist, they all sang and played instruments. Still, only Donny, Marie, Donny & Marie (as a duet), and “Little Jimmy” made recordings apart from the group, and only Donnie and Marie became upper echelon stars.
Eventually, Marie ventured outside the family for duet partners, resulting in No. 1 country hits for her and Dan Seals (“Meet Me in Montana”), and then Paul Davis (“You're Still New to Me”).
At one time or another, all nine children performed in the Jacksons: Rebbie (1950); Jackie (1951); Tito (1953); Jermaine (1954); LaToya (1956); Marlon (1957); Michael (1958); Randy (1961); and Janet (1966). All were born in Gary, Ind.
All six boys and three girls (Rebbie, LaToya, and Janet) made the charts as solo artists.
As with Donny and Marie, Michael and Janet turned out to be the superstar Jackson kids.
Yes, Idol judge Randy Jackson (1956) is definitely a member of the Jackson family! However, his Louisiana Jacksons are not at all related to the Jacksons of Indiana, whose Randy is about five years younger.
DEAR JERRY: I know mistakes on records, whether factual flubs or just carelessness, are not rare. But here's one that has my head spinning:
My original 1964 “A Hard Day's Night” LP (UAS-6366), mistakenly shows “I'll Cry Instead” as “I Cry Instead.” Also, both cover and label give 2:06 as the running time.
I didn't notice anything odd about the time until a few years ago when I bought a remastered CD of “A Hard Day's Night.” It has “I'll Cry Instead” (correct title) as running only 1:44.
Curious as to where, and why, they trimmed :22 from the original, I played it. Turns out I couldn't detect anything missing. Sounds exactly like the 2:06 version on my vinyl original.
Why did a huge company like United Artists have so much trouble with one little song?
Henry McCarthy, Wheeling, W.V.
DEAR HENRY: Size doesn't matter, at least not when it comes to blunders. Every company occasionally slips up. Your “I'll Cry Instead” investigation uncovered only part of this muddled mess.
Having only the stereo soundtrack (UAS-6366) severely limited your research, as you will see.
The story really begins with the monaural “A Hard Day's Night” (UAL-3366), issued simultaneously. First pressings of both formats list “I Cry Instead,” merely a typo which they corrected on subsequent releases.
Unfortunately, especially for those paying a dollar extra for stereo, is that all eight Beatles songs are nothing more than the mono mixes, enhanced to simulate stereo.
The real mystery, however, is a 22-second chunk that's missing from stereo pressings, a complete verse that is heard only on mono copies! Stereo labels and covers do not reflect the difference, as both have the running time of the mono version (2:06).
In another plot twist, the true original (1:44) as heard in the film is only on the stereo albums, minus the fake stereo enhancements.
The mono tampering begins at approximately 1:13, when John Lennon repeats the entire first verse (“I got every reason on earth to be sad,” etc.). It is flawlessly edited, then followed by a second chorus (“Don't wanna cry when there's people there,” etc.). For the average listener, detecting this insertion is nearly impossible.
IZ ZAT SO? A few weeks after United Artists issued “A Hard Day's Night,” Capitol released “Something New,” with five “A Hard Day's Night” selections.
Unbelievable though it seems, Capitol repeated most of U.A.'s “I'll Cry Instead” mixing mix-ups, both in the studio and at the typewriter.
“Something New” mono (T-2108) has the same extended track, but now labeled 2:04. The Capitol stereo (ST-2108) plays the 1:44 original, still erroneously listed at 2:04.
One important difference is that “Something New” really offers something new the first true stereo recordings of those tracks.