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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Wednesday, April 25 2001

Interchangeable performers

The joking statement a couple of days ago that actors Montgomery Cliff and Tyrone Power were interchangeable in the 1940s and early '50s suggested a similar phenomenon in music recording. Jay Leno often jokes that Nsync and the Backstreet Boys are the same group, or they're merging into one group. Apparently in that case there's some grounds for such claims, as I understand they were both created by the same music producer for the purpose of creating a certain sound in today's music marketplace. Members of the groups didn't even know each other before he found them and put them into their respective groups. His experiments have been quite successful commercially. So if you were trying to get all the best songs by one group on your play list, you'd be advised to check out the holdings of the other group, as they're easily confused. And don't forget Boys II Men, or is it Boys2Men?

There have been problems along that line throughout the history of pop recorded music. Do you want Tab Hunter's version of "Young Love," which was the most popular, or Sonny James', which probably had the better sound if not as much fan appeal? Ivory Joe Hunter had the same kind of competition on several releases covered by, or which he covered, with Pat Boone and one or more other higher-profile performers. Do you want the original Thomas Wayne release of "Tragedy," or one of several covers (one done a capella) by the Fleetwoods? And was it the Fleetwoods or the Skyliners who recorded "Since I Don't Have You"? (The Skyliners.) A lot of people think "Earth Angel" was one of the Platters' first hits and, to make it even more confusing, they did "cover" the Penguins' hit a couple of years later.

Are Bobby Vinton and Bobby Vee the same person? Which one of them recorded the hit "Honey" (neither one, that was Bobby Goldsboro). Rod Stewart has an inimitable voice, but I still get some of his songs confused with some by Eric Clapton; they have very similar appeal, using similar material, it seems to me. Skeeter Davis, not Patsy Cline, had the hit version of "The End of the World." To make matters even more confusing, there have been several competing groups both using the name "The Platters" performing the same songs and claiming it was they, not the other group, who had the hit records! Then of course there was Diana Ross's recent attempt to hire new backup singers and call them the Supremes but, fortunately, the public wasn't buying that scam.

The Sylistics or Simply Red? Ambrosia or the Doobie Brothers? Stevie Wonder or Smokey Robinson? Michael Jackson or Diana Ross? Vanilla Ice or Ice Cube? Paul Davis or Paul McCartney? Paul Anka or Neil Sedaka? Leslie Gore or Ronnie Specter? Dionne Warwick or Petula Clark? Judy Collins or Joan Baez? Johnny Tillotson or Roy Orbison? Roy Orbison or Elvis? And who is Eric Carmen? I didn't remember ever hearing of him, but he has a boatload of hit songs I've long appreciated and assumed by David Gates and Bread.

Are you now confused, or have you been? Which performers have you "interchanged"? This type of competition and confusion bodes well for Napster. As long as performers themselves can't sort out their confusion, the courts will be reluctant to make clearcut copyright and royalty decisions.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

20 Tests of True Texans (part 1)

1. It doesn't bother you to use an airport named for a man who died in an airplane crash.

2. You use the phrase "fixin' to" almost daily.

3. Someone you know has used a football schedule to plan their wedding date.

4. You've ever been excused from school because "the cows got out."

5. You can properly pronounce the towns Mexia, Waxahachie and Mesquite.

6. You can remember the name of the last state legislator to introduce a bill involving castration and he didn't mean farm animals.

7. You know exactly what calf fries are, and eat them anyway.

8. You can recall hot summers by the year they happened easier than you can remember your mother's birthday.

9. You think that people who complain about the wind in their states are sissies.

10. You know that the true value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door but by the availability of shade.

Sent by Mike Harrison


A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She didn't know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one, he placed carrots. In the second, he placed eggs. In the last, he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about 20 minutes he turned off the burners. He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her, he asked, "Darling, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

She humbly asked. "What does it mean, Father?" He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you," he asked his daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Sent by Zan
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