DEAR JERRY: I have a question about the '50s hit song, “Love Potion No. 9.”
I could swear that there is both a long and a short version of this song, but have never been able to find anyone who can support my recall. On the other hand, I have yet to have anyone refute my thinking on this.
Please Mr. Record Guru, shed some of your wisdom on my humble query.
Bob in St. Pete, Fla.
DEAR BOB: There are indeed two versions on record of “Love Potion No. 9,” the 1959 Top 25 hit by the Clovers (United Artists 180). However, the difference is less about playing time and more about lyrics.
The LP version has a verse at the end that says, “I had so much fun that I'm goin' back again. I wonder what will happen with love potion number 10.” On the 45 rpm single, this line does not appear. Instead we hear, “but when I kissed the cop at 34th and Vine, he broke my little bottle of love potion number 9.”
Because the LP rendition has always been easily available in true stereo, many radio stations chose to play it instead of the original single hit. Thus a lot of folks mistakenly think of the “love potion number 10” version as the hit single.
Both of the “Love Potion No. 9” tracks, along with 21 others from circa 1959-'60, are available on “The Best of the Clovers” compact disc (EMI CDP-7-96336-2).
DEAR JERRY: Authorities identified the alleged gunman in that recent Detroit area shooting as Kenneth Miller. He is frequently described as being a 56-year-old retired country music singer-guitar player, as you may have seen.
I have never heard of any singer by either that name, or anything similar, such as Ken or Kenny Miller. Did this guy ever make any memorable recordings?
Valerie Solomon, Bridgeport, Ala.
DEAR VALERIE: Just because someone is described as a singer does not mean they ever recorded. Many a singer and musician carved out a career at their craft without ever seeing the inside of a recording studio, my own father Phil Ryan Osborne being one who did. You'll find these folks performing worldwide in nightclubs, restaurants, and assorted private functions.
As for this Miller fellow, there certainly are no, as you say, memorable recordings. We also know of none in the non-memorable category. If, by chance, some obscure Ken Miller record does exist, its value will surely skyrocket as a result of him being a newsmaker of the worst kind.
DEAR JERRY: I recall a song titled “Wet Dreams” being played on some progressive stations in the mid-to-late '80s.
The lyrics were a play on words regarding anything from the ocean, such as assorted fish and seafood names.
Can you tell me who the artist is, and if this song is still available?
Allen Margerum, via e-mail
DEAR ALLEN: While a minor point, the correct title of this tune is “Wet Dream,” not Dreams. It is a 1984 track, by Kip Addotta (Laff 320), that did not chart but received a lot of exposure on shows featuring novelty records.
“Wet Dream” can be found on the 1991 CD, “Dr. Demento's Greatest Novelty Records of All Time” (Rhino R2-70743).
IZ ZAT SO? The Ken Miller story reminds us that memorabilia collectors usually place a premium on artifacts of the infamous.
One example of this phenomena is Charles Manson's album, “The Love and Terror Cult” (Awareness 2144). This would probably be a $20.00 LP if Manson hadn't become the wicked person he did. Now, this album can fetch in the neighborhood of $300.00.