DEAR JERRY: I've been reading your column for years and am impressed that such a wealth of information exists on popular music culture and history. I have two questions I would like to pose; one completely obscure, the other more like those usually found in your column.
1. There was a seldom-played video on MTV in their early years (I'm guessing either 1982 or '83) by a duo who simply went by the name EBN/OZN. The song they did is titled A E I O U Sometimes Y.
Can you tell me who these guys were? Did they ever release an album, or just this one single?
2. A running argument with a friend revolves around the inspiration for the song by Terry Jacks, titled Seasons in the Sun.
My friend says he read this was written because Jacks was diagnosed with cancer. I had assumed, given the approximate time of release, it was related in some way to the Vietnam war. What's real the scoop on Seasons in the Sun?
A. Nixon, Huntsville, Ala.
DEAR A.: EBN/OZN, a mid-'80s duo comprised of Ebn Liben and Ozn Rosen, failed to make either the Top 100 singles or albums charts. They did, however, release an LP: Feeling Cavalier (Elektra 60319).
The track you recall seeing the video of, A E I O U Sometimes Y, did spend 10 weeks on the Dance & Disco charts in mid-'83.
The original hit of Seasons in the Sun came out in early 1964, by the Kingston Trio (Capitol 5166).
The song has nothing whatsoever to do with Terry Jacks, of Poppy Family fame. All he did was take the spirited Kingston Trio original and make it sluggish and boring.
Nor does it pertain in any way to Viet Nam.
Since neither you nor your friend are familiar with the Trio's version, pick up The Kingston Trio CD and see if you don't agree with me (Capitol Collectors Series CDP7-927102).
When I mention Night to the young people working in the music shops, they act like I am from another century.
Also, none of the music catalogs I receive have any Jackie Wilson CDs.
David C. Pierrepont, Palm Harbor, Fla. (St. Pete)
DEAR DAVID: You are looking for Night in all the wrong places.
Forget the shops with their mushbrain staff, and call Rhino and order Billboard Top Pop Hits of 1960 (Rhino 71581), which lists for $9.95.
Or, if you really want to stock up on Jackie Wilson oldies, consider the boxed, three-disc, 72-track set Jackie Wilson Mr. Excitement (Rhino R2-70775). Rhino's number is (800) 432-0020.
Yet another CD option is the 24-track Jackie Wilson Story (Epic-Brunswick EGK-38623).
In this tune, Abagail Beecher, our history teacher, drove the speedy Jag XKE.
IZ ZAT SO? Despite a lengthy and very successful career as a singles artist, nearly all of Jackie Wilson's albums were sales flops.
Only one, Baby Workout" (1963) even made the Top 100!