Please Mr. Postman — The White Album, Peter and The Wolf, The Raindrops, ZZ Top and more

Picking five faves is no easy feat

It’s really difficult whittling down to my five favorite albums. (I think 20 would be a number much more fascinating for a cross view). However, I will choose five (and another five for a backup): 1. Living in the Material World (George Harrison); 2. Hope (Klaatu); 3. Ass (Badfinger); 4. The Early Beatles (The Beatles, American LP); and 5. The Prison (Michael Nesmith).

Since I’d hate to be trapped with only five albums (as much as I love them), if I could have five additional albums, they would be: 6. Curtis (Curtis Mayfield); 7. Idea (Bee Gees); 8. Sunflower (Beach Boys); 9. Chicago III (Chicago); and 10. Mind Games (John Lennon).

I’d also like to agree with Dave Thompson’s point about bootlegs. As a collector, I find that the extra-legal recordings (concerts, alternate takes, etc.), only feed my desire for the legitimate issues. I have several books that document the progression of The Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Fascinating to have, but doesn’t detract from the brilliant released take (of which I have more than my fair share). All bootlegs do is provide a more comprehensive view of the artist’s work, some of which is in my case with The Beatles’ creative journey — a progression that is, in and of itself, intriguing.
P.S. Could I add #11 — The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle?

— Nicky D’Andrea
Port Townsend, Wash.

Anyone know the third Raindrop?

In the Ellie Greenwich article (Issue 730), who is the other woman in The Raindrops photo? She is in other photos I’ve seen of them, but never gets mentioned in stories of them. Did she also record or perform live or on TV with them? Ellie didn’t mention her either (July 18, 2008 issue). Quite pretty!

As for the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, I agree that Wanda Jackson should be there. How do readers and you feel about Jack Scott, Sandy Nelson, Brook Benton, Johnny Burnette Trio (or Johnny himself) and The Crests (or Johnny Maestro himself)?

Also, if Johnny Cash can be there for his rockabilly, how about Patsy Cline and Johnny Horton? And maybe the hall can look the other way and let in Pat Boone, Connie Francis and Link Wray. For the sidemen category, how about Joe Maphis, Boots Randolph, Mickey Baker? Under early influences, how about Perez Prado or Dinah Washington?

The former Discoveries magazine ended just before they were going to end an article on Jack Scott. Will Goldmine ever run it? I’d like to see one on Johnny Horton, my favorite country artist. (His death makes for an eerie story!)

— Joe Ottaviano
New London, Conn.

Peter and the Wolf, and 007?

I’m submitting this letter about an LP I came across and bought a while back. Some of your readers might be interested in this.

One side of the album is the (Sergei) Prokofiev musical story “Peter and The Wolf.” The other side is (Benjamin) Britten’s “A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.”On both sides, Antal Dorati conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The person who narrated both of these musical stories was Sean Connery. The album was released on the London Phase 4 label.

According to the picture of Sean Connery that was used for the album cover, and in the liner notes, the person who wrote these liner notes said (at that time), Sean Connery had recently gained a lot of fame as an actor by portraying James Bond. That means this album was recorded in the early to mid-1960s.

— Harvey Alter

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