On KMOX last week, Charlie Brennan interviewed the old music duo Chad and Jeremy. To learn about their songwriting, he played short segments of their old hits. But when he played "Sealed With a Kiss," they said they had nothing to do with that song. Then, they said it was so long ago, maybe they forgot. I'm thinking they said this as a face-saving gesture for the host. So, did someone make a boo-boo or was this really a C&J hit? -- B.R., of Belleville
Let me ask you: Would you have forgotten the biggest hit you ever wrote -- even if it were 50 years ago? Didn't think so. Neither did Chad & Jeremy. Charlie is one of my favorite radio hosts, but this was a KMOX 50,000 red not-so-hot watts flub. I only hope it wasn't Johnny Rabbit gathering those clips, or we might have to box his fluffy ears.
You obviously remember Chad Stuart (actually David Stuart Chadwick) and Jeremy Clyde as sort of the mellow side of the British Invasion of the mid-60s. Although quickly shunned by the English, their mellow vocals caught on in the U.S., where listeners propelled "A Summer Song" to No. 7 in late 1964. That was followed quickly by "Willow Weep for Me" from the 1930s, which hit No. 15.
They rode their popularity onto American TV, where they helped Dick Van Dyke satirize Beatlemania and sang a trio of songs for Patty Duke. They later appeared on an episode "Laredo," which some speculate was designed as a spinoff for their own show a la "The Monkees."
It never materialized. The popularity of C&J, Peter & Gordon, etc. (at least among teens) soon went the way of older easy-listening groups like the Four Lads and the Four Aces. By 1968 they were history, although they did reunite for a new album in 1983 and have been doing nostalgic golden-oldies tours since 2003.
But one song you won't find on their greatest hits album is "Sealed With a Kiss." Written by Peter Udell and Gary Geld, it first was recorded by The Four Voices in 1960 and went nowhere. It probably would have died a quick death had it not been for teen phenom Brian Hyland.
At 16, Hyland had recorded the monster "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," which hit No. 1 on Aug. 8, 1960, despite record company fears that it was too risque. Then, Hyland returned to the spotlight in 1962 with "Sealed With A Kiss," which he rode to No. 3 that summer. What's more, the song was re-released in the United Kingdom in 1975, when it zoomed to No. 7.
So, no, I don't think Chad & Jeremy would have forgotten that song, so perhaps some KMOX producer or researcher received a good talking-to after the show. In any event, Chad & Jeremy both will be 72 before the year is out.
I was watching "Family Feud" recently, and one of the questions was "For what things does the queen take her crown off?" So I was wondering why wasn't the queen wearing her crown while in the stands watching the Olympics? -- W.S., O'Fallon
According to British royal-watching experts, a better question might be: When does the queen wear a crown?
I know, many think of monarchs wearing this massive hood ornament and sitting on ye royale throne, contemplating the future of the realm. But can you imagine the discomfort for an 86-year-old woman, both from the weight and the constant worry it might slip off in front of a thousand cameras?
Accordingly, the word is that a crown -- and, much more often, just an elegant tiara -- is reserved for high state functions. Otherwise, she usually dons one of her famous hats. I suppose if she was sporting enough to jump out of a helicopter with James Bond without a crown, she probably didn't want one in the stands. Perhaps after 60 years as queen, she tires of the trappings that set her apart from her subjects just as I can't see a king wearing a crown at a Cardinals game.
However, the queen never fails to wear a crown and ceremonial robes for the start of each new session of Parliament. In a ceremony dating back to medieval London, Elizabeth sits on a throne in the House of Lords and reads the Queen's Speech. She reportedly has done this every year except 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant.
Why did Russians once call their leaders "tsars/czars"?
Answer to Saturday's trivia: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes? Sounds like something you might find near Winston-Salem, N.C., right? But, no, from June 6-8, 1912, Alaska witnessed what is believed to be the largest volcanic eruption (by volume) of the 20th century. The ash flow covered a valley in what became Katmai National Park and Preserve at the upper end of the Alaskan peninsula, across from Kodiak Island. After the eruption, thousands of small holes vented steam from the ash, leading the National Geographic Society's Robert Griggs to christen it the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in 1916. The volcano was called Novarupta (New Eruption), and, in 60 hours, it spewed 30 times more material than Mount St. Helens in 1980.
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.