DEAR JERRY: I know about the hit “Ambrose (Part 5),” by Linda Laurie. Then came the follow-up, “Forever Ambrose.”
What I'd like to know more about are Parts 1 through 4 of the story. What happened to them, if there are such recordings? Or did she just begin with Part 5?
Did Linda Laurie ever have any other hits? Did she have an album to go along with the Ambrose series?
Any information about this would be greatly appreciated as I have wondered about “Ambrose” for many years.
Robert Baldwin, New Hartford, N.Y.
DEAR ROBERT: The musical adventures of Linda Laurie and Ambrose, really did begin with Part 5. Though they are no longer walking in the subway, and it isn't marked as such, I suppose “Forever Ambrose” (Glory 290) could be thought of as Part 6.
Four years later, Linda did reconnect briefly with Ambrose in “The Return of Ambrose” (Rust 5061).
Neither “Forever Ambrose” (Glory 294) nor “The Return of Ambrose” charted, but (“Ambrose (Part 5)” ranked in the Top 60 in early 1959 (Glory 290).
Linda Laurie did make other recordings, as is usually the case with one-hit wonder artists.
From 1960 through '64, she waxed the following: “Stay with Me” (Andie 5015); “Chico” (Keetch 6001); “Lucky” (Recona 3502); “Prince Charming” (Rust 5022); and “Stay-At-Home Sue” (Rust 5042), a musical rejoinder to Dion's “Runaround Sue.”
DEAR JERRY: I was born in 1962, and my mother claimed she named me Pamela because of a song with the lyrics: “When Pamela has a party.” She could not recall the singer or band, or any other lyrics.
Despite mother mentioning the song over the years, I have never taken the time to investigate it. Then I saw your feature and thought you may have this kind of information.
My mother passed away nearly six years ago. It would be nice to learn about the song that led to her
naming me Pamela.
Pam Prosser, Neenah, Wisc.
DEAR PAM: The tune that inspired your name came out five years before you did. It is “Pamela Throws a Party,” a Top 60 hit in 1957 for Joe Reisman and His Orchestra (RCA Victor 6826).
Now that you know the rest of the story, throw yourself a party.
DEAR JERRY: I have recently seen a TV commercial for the Land Rover vehicle. The portion playing is a '60s sounding tune, probably titled “Have Love, Will Travel.”
I believe this is because of a popular TV show from that era, of the same title, and it sounds a lot like the Sonics, a popular Tacoma band in the early-to-mid-'60s.
I went to school with two Sonics members, Jerry Roslie and Bob Bennett.
Please satisfy my curiosity.
DeWayne Iverson, Tacoma, Wash.
DEAR DEWAYNE: I can offer a confirmation, and the source of the track, but everything you have stated is correct.
Written and first recorded by Richard Berry (Flip 349), in 1960, “Have Love, Will Travel” is definitely inspired by Richard Boone's hit TV Western, “Have Gun, Will Travel.”
It is also one of the mid-'60s tracks made by the original (1964-'67) Sonics, and is one of 16 songs on the easily available compact disc, “Here Are the Sonics” (Norton 903).
Though issued six years ago (1999), I still find copies on Amazon.com for about $14.
Of course “Here Are the Sonics” includes their two biggest hits: “The Witch” and “Psycho.”
Besides Jerry Roslie (lead vocals, keyboard) and Bob Bennett (drums), that band included Andy Parypa (vocals, bass guitar), Larry Parypa (vocals, lead guitar), and Rob Lind (vocals, sax, harmonica).
This quintet scattered in late 1966 and a completely different group became the Sonics in 1967.
IZ ZAT SO? After nine years away, Linda Laurie returned to the recording studio in the summer of 1973, with “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)” (MCA 40119) being the result of that session.
It did not become a hit for Linda, but a few weeks later Helen Reddy recorded the tune, and that version became a Top 3 hit.
Occasionally it is written that Linda wrote “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)” for Helen Reddy. As you now know, she wrote it for herself.
Helen's choosing to cover Linda's recording worked out very well for both ladies, with Laurie happy to be on the royalty-receiving end of such a big hit.