DEAR JERRY: While serving in Berlin during the post-war Berlin Blockade from 1948 through 1951, My Happinessr was very popular at the USO facilities. It became a special favorite of my future wife and myself.
I do not remember the artist at the time, but I recently heard this same tune on a Tampa radio station (WFLA) by Connie Francis. I don't know if Connie is old enough to have recorded this in the late '40s.
Will you please list all of the popular recordings of this song? The version by Connie Francis is excellent, and I heard one several years ago by Freddie Fender that was good.
Oh yes, we are still married after 46 years and still enjoying every day together. We married in Berlin in 1951.
Thomas G. Langford, Tampa, Fla. (email@example.com)
DEAR THOMAS: An easy request. Here is the history of My Happiness:" Betty Peterson (words) and Barney Bergatine (music) wrote My Happinessr in 1948. Quickly, three versions hit the charts; first by Jon & Sandra Steele (their only hit), then by the Pied Pipers and next by Ella Fitzgerald.
Since all of these made the Top 10 that summer, you could have easily heard any or all of them.
The easiest one to locate on CD is on The Pied Pipersr (Capitol 95289-2). And, in case you forgot, the lead singer on many of those early Pied Pipers tracks is the legendary Jo Stafford. On My Happiness,r however, it's June Hutton.
In 1953, Elvis Presley sang My Happinessr as one side of his first disc (acetate) recording, though his version didn't come out until 1990. Connie Francis had the only post-'40s hit of My Happiness,r a 1959 release that reached No. 2.
DEAR JERRY: I am trying to find a copy of an album by the Kingston Trio. Produced by Voyle Gilmore, it is titled The Last Month of the Year.r
I actually have a copy but is very scratchy and I need it transferred to a CD. If I can find a better one, or find who has the master, maybe I could. But no one seems to know where to look.
Lyle Foreman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DEAR LYLE: If you have been following this column lately, you have read a great deal in recent weeks about the ease with which one can create CDs at home. Using a home PC, you can readily dub vinyl records to compact discs.
In this case, however, why bother? The Last Month of the Year is already on a commercially-issued disc (Capitol CDP 7 93116-2). Just go get it.
DEAR JERRY: My question regards Bob Seger's Old Time Rock & Roll.
I know it is heard in the movie Risky Business, from 1979, and that they reissued Old Time Rock & Roll in 1983. But, it seems to me that the song did not become real popular until much later.
There is another explanation - that I am just loosing track of time. Which is it?
Del Bates, Spanaway WA. (email@example.com)
DEAR DEL: You are losing track. You have the key dates right, it's just that the events are mixed up.
The first release of Old Time Rock & Roll came in mid-'1979, and it made the Top 30. When Risky Business came out, in the summer of '83, having Seger's tune in the film generated renewed interest in Old Time Rock & Roll.
The second release did not fare quite as well as the original. It barely made the Top 50.
IZ ZAT SO? One of the surprise treats of The Last Month of the Year is the Kingston Trio's use of a Greek Bouzouki.
This unique instrument sounds somewhat similar to a mandolin, or lute.