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Lyrics keep repeating mystery song's title

Like many other music lovers, I have been copying songs from my old analog tapes and LPs to CD. There is an R&B doo-wop-type song that a friend taped for me about 15 years ago that I cannot identify. This mystery track might be titled Which One Will It Be, since that line is a familiar refrain throughout. It sounds like a late '50s or early '60s issue, much like something by the Earls, or a similar-sounding group.

Your excellent recollection and instincts make this an easy one. It is definitely Which One Will It Be, and it is, as you suspected, a 1959 recording. The group is the Valaires. Though both sides are good, Which One Will It Be is the B-side of this single. The A-side is the oddly titled Launie, My Love. You'd almost think it is a typo, and should be "Laurie, My Love."

First released on the tiny Willet label (No. 114), in late 1959, it was quickly picked up for national distribution by Decca and issued on its Coral subsidiary (No. 62177) in early '60. For the Coral reissue, the group name is changed slightly to Val-Aires. Still, neither side made the charts. The big bucks required to buy the Willet single _ about $500 to $750 _ reflect its extreme rarity. A Coral copy can probably be found for one-tenth that amount ($50 to $75). I did find one CD in my collection, 30 Original Historic Doo-Wop Classics (Lost Gold 3475) with Launie, My Love, but it does not include Which One Will It Be.

Maybelline, yes ...

I have been stuck with a very unusual name _ Malverine. I have never known of anyone else with this name. Yet, while I was hospitalized recently, a nurse noticed my name and asked me if I'd ever heard the song Malverine. She said that a recording by that title inspired her mom's neighbor to name a daughter Malverine. Do you know of the song the nurse had in mind? Or any song by this title?

It is possible someone in the past 100 years recorded your namesake tune, but I find no Malverine references. If Malverine were popular enough to motivate the naming of a child, you'd think it would have made one of the charts, but it didn't. At least not with that title. Perhaps there is, among our vast readership, someone who can help solve the Malverine musical mystery.

Iz zat so?

On the Willett issue of Launie, My Love and Which One Will It Be, mention is made in tiny print of Vogue Terrace, McKeesport, Pa. While most folks would dismiss this text as either perplexing or unimportant, or both, it is significant. Opened in 1951, the Vogue Terrace became a popular nightclub in McKeesport. The Valaires, a local group (Turtle Creek), plucked its new name, the Vogues, from the Vogue Terrace. From 1965 through '69, the Vogues ran off 14 chart hits, including four that made the top 10: You're the One, Five O'Clock World, Turn Around, Look at Me and My Special Angel. As for the Vogue Terrace, it burned to the ground in the mid '60s.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368, or visit his Web site:

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