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"Oz' album has no big payoff

Published Oct. 13, 2005

Question: I have a four-78 rpm single set of The Wizard of Oz (Decca Album 74). Can you tell me when it came out and what it is worth? _ Angie Pighetti, Highland Park, Ill. Dear Angie: Issued in conjunction with the 1939 film of the same title, this album commands only $20 to $25, proving that just because something is old it is not necessarily valuable.

Question: This will be one of the strangest requests you've ever received.

In August of 1969, when Sweet Caroline and A Boy Named Sue were popular, there was also a very hot song with a title that began with the letter H. Any idea what it may have been? What were some other best-sellers then? _ J.P. Foley, Tequesta

Dear J.P.: An unusual question, to say the least. For the week ending Aug. 23, 1969, the No. 1 song, Honky Tonk Women, by the Rolling Stones, is an H title. The only other Top 50 H hits that week were Hurt So Bad, by the Lettermen, and Hot Fun in the Summertime, by Sly and the Family Stone.

Question: While listening to one of my scratchy Platters albums, Encores, I became taken with The Mystery of You. This is easily as good as anything this group ever recorded, yet this song was not a hit single. Was it even considered for 45 release? Can it be had on compact disc? _ Sharon Case, Salem, Ohio

Dear Sharon: I share your fondness for The Mystery of You. Clearly one of the finest tracks by Tony Williams and the Platters, it was indeed released on a single in 1957 (Mercury 71184). Unfortunately, most attention went to the flip side, Only Because, leaving The Mystery of You mostly unnoticed.

As of this writing, I know of no CD with this track. There isn't even an acceptable Platters Greatest Hits collection available on compact disc. (Mercury/Polygram, are you listening?)

Question: Many years ago I picked up an album by the Silke, which has John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison pitching in on a song they wrote for this group. When were these recordings made, and what is this LP's current value? _ James Nicholas, Milwaukee

Dear James: Despite the three Beatles' involvement, this 1965-issued album brings only about $25 _ not much more than any other release from that period.

Question: Your answer to the following question will settle an argument between myself and a friend. What is the name of Frankie Lymon's brother, who also recorded? Did he, like Frankie, sing with the Teenagers? Did he have any hits? _ George Lewis, San Diego

Dear George: Frankie's singing brother's first name is the same as your last. Lewis Lymon did not croon with the Teenagers; however, he did have his own group, the Teenchords. Though they had no nationally charted hits, their 1957 remake of Too Young received some attention in the Northeast.

Question: There is a line in Roy Orbison's recording of Mean Woman Blues that stumps me. He sings: She's got ruby lips, she's got shapely hips, boy she makes . . . . The remainder of this sentence has always mystified me. I have checked the sheet music for Mean Woman Blues, but it is not the same version as Roy's. _ Paul Rudolph, Coralville, Iowa

Dear Paul: The mystery line is unique to Roy Orbison. He sings: Boy she makes ol' Roy flip.

1991 World Features Syndicate