1. Archive

Guilty of singing "I Confess'

Question: I have an unusual record titled I Confess (RPM 472). It says on the label that the singer is Paul Anka, but upon playing it I must say the singer _ a young boy for sure _ doesn't sound like the well-known Paul Anka. Is this the Paul Anka or another singer with the same name? _ Ruth Witsitt, Norman, Okla. Answer: I must confess, I Confess is by the very same Paul Anka who is probably headlining in Las Vegas as you read this. He recorded this tune in 1956, at the age of 15. The following year his first hit, Diana, became a million-seller and, as they say, the rest is history.

On a 45, I Confess is a $25 to $35 disc. Oh yes, the vocal group backing Anka on I Confess is the Jacks, of Why Don't You Write Me fame. It was an unusual pairing.

Question: Over 20 years ago I was given a recording of Eddie Fisher's Oh My Papa. When I played it I broke down and cried for hours over the loss of my own wonderful father.

Recently, my father's nephew died and the daughter who took care of him is taking it very hard. I feel this song would help her, but I have long since lost the record.

I would love to have Oh My Papa again. Is it available somehow, hopefully for under $10? _ Joan Dunn, West Bend, Wis.

Answer: You are in luck. Oh My Papa is one of 20 fine tracks on the recently issued compact disc, Eddie Fisher: All Time Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 (BMG/RCA 9592-2). This CD is easily available and fortunately specially priced within your budget.

Question: While growing up in the early '50s, there were two novelty tunes on the juke box where we used to go. One was It's in the Book and the other was titled Grandma's Lye Soap. Do you have any information on these songs? _ Murry Kandel, West Palm Beach

Answer: Memories of It's in the Book abound in the Sunshine State _ an identical question came from fellow Floridian, Bob Perras, of Clearwater.

A No. 1 hit in 1952 by Johnny Standley, It's in the Book (Capitol 2249) is a two-part novelty, the second segment of which is devoted to the story of grandma's lye soap. In other words, there were not two separate records, just two parts (sides) to It's in the Book.

Question: While rummaging through a box of old stuff that belonged to my late mother, I found what must be one of the most unusual records ever made.

This disc, titled Camelot, is only three inches in diameter. It has grooves on one side only, the flip being just smooth plastic. Besides the title, the only other information on the label is the number KOL-5620, and "Columbia Records Original Cast Recording." How old is this record? I can't play a 3-inch disc, so what purpose did this item serve and what's it worth? _ Alex Jodorowsky, Harrisonburg, Va.

Answer: Those Columbia mini-discs were actually gift certificates. Anyone wishing to give the Original Cast album of Camelot (Columbia KOL-5620) could purchase the mini-disc for about four dollars, which entitled the bearer to the LP.

Side two originally had a label with the gift-giving information and location for redemption. Apparently this label is missing from your copy.

Issued for the holiday season in 1960 in conjunction with the Broadway show and LP release, the mini-disc even came with a paper sleeve. Together they are valued at $8 to $10.

1990 World Features Syndicate Inc.