Ask "Mr. Music"
Jerry Osborne

In syndication since 1986, and now in our 29th year — Over 2,900 questions answered
Most recent column here — 17 years of archived ones are linked below


DEAR JERRY: I don't usually get hooked on a song from hearing only a few seconds, but I just did.

It's the music from the current Geico Insurance commercial, the one with the hitchhiking chicken.

From just the lyrics heard, the title could be any of these: "Ride the Highway," "Goin' My Way," or "Story Untold."

Of course the title and singer are not identified.

Where do I find the complete song?
—Paula Shipley, Hammond, Ind.

DEAR PAULA: The infectious 15 seconds of music accompanying the nomadic hen is "Ride Away," by Roy Orbison.

Since the entire spot is only :30, we don't get to the part in the song where Roy sings the words "ride away."

In July 1965, after over five years with Monument Records, Orbison signed with MGM, and his first single for them was "Ride Away" (MGM 13386).

This Orbisong reached the Top 20 nationally, as well as the Top 10 on numerous regional charts.

Now that you know the artist and title, you should be able to find "Ride Away" right away.

DEAR JERRY: As you know, Cilla Black died on the first of August.

In the obituary I read it mentioned that she was the top-selling British female recording artist of the 1960s.

If so, I must have missed a bunch of her hits. In fact, the only one I ever recall hearing on the radio by Cilla is "You're My World." I can't even name another song by her.

Granted, "You're My World" was popular, but I doubt it was ever close to being No. 1.

Will you please set the record straight?
—Marvin Kenwood, Queens, N.Y.

DEAR MARVIN: To straighten out the record all we need do is move the Brit reference a wee bit.

It should read "Cilla Black was Britain's top-selling female recording artist of the 1960s."

Not being familiar with any of Cilla's recordings, other than "You're My World," is completely understandable.

That single made the Top 40 on both Billboard (#26) and Cash Box (#38), but it was her only U.S. hit of any consequence.

It was a much different story in the UK, where Cilla, just from 1963 through '69, had 17 Top 40 hits, nine in the Top 10, and two reaching No. 1.

All of Cilla's UK records in the '60s were on the Parlophone label. Most of those were also released in the U.S. by Capitol, though a few came out here on DJM and Bell.

DJM even issued two singles that do not have a UK counterpart. All of this is itemized on the list below.

Peak chart positions are shown for the UK and U.S., even including the "Bubbling Under" (Billboard) and "Looking Ahead" (Cash Box) charts for songs just outside of the Top 100. "NA" (Not Applicable) indicates a non-charting single:

"Love of the Loved" (#35) Parlophone 5065
No U.S. single

"Anyone Who Had a Heart" (#1) Parlophone 5101
No U.S. single

"You're My World (Il Mio Mondo)" (#1) Parlophone 5133
"You're My World" (#26) Capitol 5196

"It's for You" (#7) Parlophone 5162
"It's for You" (#79) Capitol 5258

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (#2) Parlophone 5225
No U.S. single of this side

"Is It Love?" (B-side of Parlophone 5225) (#133) Capitol 5373

"I've Been Wrong Before" (#17) Parlophone 5269
"I've Been Wrong Before" (NA) Capitol 5414

"Love's Just a Broken Heart (L'Amour Est Ce Qu'il Est)" (#5) Parlophone 5395
"Love's Just a Broken Heart" (NA) Capitol 5595

"Alfie" (#9) Parlophone 5427
"Alfie" (#95) Capitol 5674

"Don't Answer Me" (#6) Parlophone 5463
"Don't Answer Me" (NA) Capitol 5763

"A Fool Am I (Dimmelo Parlami)" (#13) Parlophone 5515
"A Fool Am I" (NA) Capitol 5782

"What Good Am I?" (#24) Parlophone 5608
No U.S. single

"I Only Live to Love You" (#26) Parlophone 5652
No U.S. single

"Step Inside Love" (#8) Parlophone 5674
"Step Inside Love" (#95) Bell 726

"What the World Needs Now Is Love" (#107) DJM 70,007
No UK single

"Where Is Tomorrow?" (#39) Parlophone 5706
No U.S. single

"Without Him" (#134) DJM 70,011
No UK single

"Surround Yourself With Sorrow" (#3) Parlophone 5759
"Surround Yourself With Sorrow" (NA) DJM 70,012

"Conversations" (#7) Parlophone 5785
"Conversations" (NA) DJM 70,014

"If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind" (#20) Parlophone 5820
"If You Should Ever Change Your Mind" (NA) DJM 70,015
Slightly different title on U.S. issue

IZ ZAT SO? According to the New Musical Express and BBC Radio, Cilla Black's "Anyone Who Had a Heart," a cover of Dionne Warwick's U.S. hit, became the UK's biggest selling vinyl single by a female artist.

In addition to her substantial singles sales, Cilla Black (née: Priscilla White) also had 10 LPs in the UK Top 40. Her one U.S. album, "Is It Love" (Capitol 2308) failed to chart.

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