Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: As a lyricist and co-writer for the group Mr. Mister, I can provide some additional information along with a correction about our hit “Kyrie,” the topic of a reader's question that you recently featured in the column.

Richard Page did write the music and melody, but I am the one who wrote the lyrics. I got the inspiration from singing it as a kid in an Episcopal church in Phoenix, Arizona.

It was Richard and myself who were the team, not Richard and Steve George. In fact, Richard and I had been writing together since we were in our teens. Steve came along later.

Such is the spin record companies can put on the truth if the facts prove unwieldy. Having to factor in a lyricist who's not actually in the band can get clumsy when they're shooting for soundbites.

Also, “Kyrie” had nothing to do with Richard being assaulted, for it was not Richard who was assaulted. It was me, but that happened three years before writing “Kyrie,” and it had nothing to do with that song.
—John Lang, Malibu, Calif.

DEAR JOHN: We are thrilled to receive your letter as well as the opportunity to put the proper spin on some erroronous info — portions of which are unfortunately posted on some Mr. Mister-related web sites.

Thank you for the interesting background and valuable factoids.

DEAR JERRY: There are many versions of the theme from “The Young and the Restless,” also known as “Nadia's Theme.”

But is there any current compilation that has the original version of the song that was released in 1966 after Nadia Comaneci made it more famous in the Olympic Games?
—Steve Shoulta, Paducah, Ky.

DEAR STEVE: Nadia was indeed young, just 14, when she became the first gymnast ever to receive a perfect score of 10. The year, however, is 1976.

Born November 12, 1961, Nadia was but five in the summer of '66.

The origin of what we now know as “Nadia's Theme” is a piece of music composed by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jr. for “Bless the Beasts and Children,” a 1971 film.

Barry and Perry first wrote it for a scene involving Cotton, a character played by Barry Robins, and appropriately titled it “Cotton's Dream.”

Two years later, “The Young and the Restless” became one of televison's hot new daytime soaps, with “Cotton's Dream” as its theme but with a new title that matched the name of the show.

Though somewhat known among soap opera fans, “The Young and the Restless” became famous when played to most of the world in prime time as Nadia chose it to accompany one of her routines.

Approximately one month after Comaneci made history in Montreal, “Nadia's Theme (The Young and the Restless)” made its chart debut, eventually to land in the Top 10.

While everyone remembers “The Young and the Restless,” Nadia actually used “Yes Sir, That's My Baby” during her bronze-medal winning floor exercise.

IZ ZAT SO? Barry De Vorzon's name, or should we say his full name, may not have been known to record buyers before “Nadia's Theme (The Young and the Restless),” but that is not because he was a newcomer.

In the fall of 1963, De Vorzon, Terry Smith and Bodie Chandler, recording as Barry and the Tamerlanes, made the Top 25 with “I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight.”

Two of their follow-ups, “Roberta” and “I Don't Want to Be Your Clown” (1964), made numerous regional charts.

Four years after Barry and the Tamerlanes' hit, a completely different song with a nearly identical title, “I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite,” became a Top 10 hit for Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.

Return to "Mr. Music" Home Page