1. Archive

Dealing with that "Deck of Cards'

Question: I desperately need music info that I can't find on my own.

In the old country hit, Deck of Cards, by Tex Ritter, a deck of cards carried by a soldier is equated with a prayer book and an almanac.

Would you kindly list the cards mentioned and provide the reference made in the song to each? _ Roger Smith, York, Pa.

Dear Roger: We have had many questions about this recording, a hit not only for Tex Ritter (1948), but also by "T." Texas Tyler (1948), Wink Martindale (1959) and Bill Anderson (1991). All will now be answered.

As the story goes, during a church service when it came time for the congregation to open their prayer books, one soldier, who had neither Bible nor prayer book, spread out a deck of playing cards. He was taken into custody for playing cards in church. When brought before the provost marshal, he accounted for his action with the following rationale:

"When I see the ace, it reminds me there is but one God.

The deuce reminds me that the Bible is in two parts _ the old and the new testaments.

The trey reminds me of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The four reminds me of the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The five reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps.

The six reminds me that in six days God made this great Heaven and Earth.

The seven reminds me that on the seventh day He rested.

The eight reminds me of the eight righteous persons (Noah and his family) God saved when he destroyed this Earth.

The nine reminds me of the nine lepers our Savior cleansed, and that nine of 10 didn't even bother to thank Him.

The 10 reminds me of the 10 Commandments.

The king reminds me that there is but one king _ God almighty.

The queen reminds me of the queen of heaven, the Virgin Mary.

And the jack or knave is the Devil.

There are 365 spots in a deck, the number of days in a year.

There are 52 cards, the number of weeks in a year.

There are four suits, the number of weeks in a month.

There are 12 picture cards, the number of months in a year.

And there are 13 tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter."

Though not covered in the recitation, we are left to conclude that the charges against the soldier were summarily dismissed.

Question: In the early '70s, I worked as an all-night disc jockey at a station in Lakeland. While there I came across a radio station (promotional) copy of a Who album titled Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy. Was this LP ever released to the public? _ Michael D. Varnum, Lakeland

Dear Michael: Certainly. Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy narrowly missed the Top 10, peaking at No. 11 in early 1972. Besides the original vinyl LP (Decca 79184), this collection is also available on compact disc from MCA (MCAD-37001).

IZ ZAT SO? It's time to answer last month's trivia question. We asked you to name the only rock era song to have been a Top 10 hit by four different artists _ only one of which is a cover version.

This must have been a toughie, as only three people gave the correct response: Anthony McCullough (Lancaster, Pa.), Cindy Kelly (Fort Worth, Texas) and Craig Johnson (Tacoma, Wash.) Congrats to all three whiz-kids.

The tune turning this amazing trick is Only You (and You Alone), a Top 10 hit by four different performers: Tony Williams and the Platters (1955), a cover version by the Hilltoppers (1955), and remakes by Franck Pourcel (1960) and Ringo Starr (1975).

1996 World Features Syndicate Inc.