DEAR JERRY: I have been pleasantly surprised several times when someone primarily known as an instrumentalist suddenly displayed a good singing voice.
Boots "Yakety Sax" Randolph, legendary trumpeter Al Hirt, and clarinetist Mr. Acker Bilk are three that come to mind; however, none of their vocals were hits.
Is there an established instrumentalist who really scored with a vocal?
Eddie Dillinger, Indianapolis
DEAR EDDIE: The ultimate example of an instrumentalist who scored big time with a vocal is when, after 23 consecutive Mexican flavored instrumental hits, Herb Alpert sang "This Guy's in Love with You."
When his vocal reached No. 1, in June 1968, he became, and still is, the only entertainer ever to top the Pop charts with both an instrumental ("Taste of Honey," 1965) and a vocal ("This Guy's in Love with You").
For those who pointed out that "Taste of Honey" was No. 1 on Cash Box but not on Billboard, Herb responded with "Rise," an instrumental that both magazines ranked No. 1 (October 1979). "Rise" also spent four weeks at No. 1 on both charts, thoroughly negating the need for an asterisk.
DEAR JERRY: I read your story of when Elvis and Rick Nelson each had 17 different songs on the charts in one calendar year.
I know that all 17 of Presley's hits were on RCA Victor (1956), and Rick's were pretty much evenly split between Imperial and Decca (1963).
Fascinating as this info is, what intrigues me now is what happened in 1964 in this regard.
How many songs charted for the Beatles, for all labels combined as well as for just Capitol, their official U.S. label then?
I would like to see a listing similar to the one you did for Rick.
Fran Clee, Morehead City, N.C.
DEAR FRAN: Believe me, I could see this one coming from more than one reader. It just happens that you are the first to ask … and, Fran Clee my dear, I do give a damn!
In chronological order, they are:
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Capitol)
"I Saw Her Standing There" (Capitol)
"Please Please Me" (Vee Jay)
"She Loves You" (Swan)
"Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You)" (Swan)
"My Bonnie (My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean)" (MGM)
"From Me to You" (Vee Jay)
"Ain't She Sweet" (Atco)
"Twist and Shout" (Tollie)
"There's a Place" (Tollie)
"Roll Over Beethoven" (Capitol of Canada)
"All My Loving" (Capitol of Canada)
"Can't Buy Me Love" (Capitol)
"You Can't Do That" (Capitol)
"Do You Want to Know a Secret" (Vee Jay)
"Thank You Girl" (Vee Jay)
"Love Me Do" (Tollie)
"P.S. I Love You" (Tollie)
"A Hard Day's Night" (Capitol)
"I Should Have Known Better" (Capitol)
"And I Love Her" (Capitol)
"If I Fell" (Capitol)
"I'll Cry Instead" (Capitol)
"I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" (Capitol)
"Slow Down" (Capitol)
"I Feel Fine" (Capitol)
"She's a Woman" (Capitol)
Having 29 songs on the charts in one year is unimaginable, but that was Beatlemania.
Of those, 14 came from Capitol U.S., and the other 15 are from these companies: Vee Jay/Tollie (8); Swan (2); Capitol of Canada (2); MGM (2); and Atco (1).
Since Tollie was a subsidiary of Vee Jay Records, their totals are combined.
Beginning in the summer of '64, all of the non-Capitol releases had run their course, and once those recordings belonged to Capitol, they quickly appeared on Capitol singles and LPs.
Almost immediately, the number of chart hits for the Beatles began to resemble those of many other popular artists.
The post-'64 totals are: 1965 (13); 1966 (8); 1967 (6); 1968 (4); 1969 (4); and 1970 (3).
IZ ZAT SO? For a different perspective on the 29 charted Beatles tunes in one year, consider that many hugely successfully artists didn't have 29 U.S. chart records in their entire career.
A sampling of some names in that category are: Animals (20); Dave Clark Five (27); Alice Cooper (21); Creedence Clearwater Revival (20); Doobie Brothers (28); Doors (18); Duran Duran (22); Eagles (20); Genesis (20); Herman's Hermits (23); Hollies (28); Jay and the Americans (23); Journey (26); Kinks (28); Kiss (26); Carole King (19); Kingston Trio (23); Mamas and the Papas (17); Petula Clark (22); Queen (26); Seals & Crofts (13); Searchers (14); Del Shannon (29); Styx (23); B.J. Thomas (27); Three Dog Night (22); Turtles (18); Van Halen (23); Ventures (25); Who (28); and ZZ Top (18).