...an advice column, information hotline and radio show rolled into one.
Make a note to check your listings because it starts soon
right here at Shady's Place on S-P-M-M Retrosonic Radio.
I'm your hostess with the mostest...
answering questions from you, the listener, about popular songs
of the past. There are two ways for you to submit a question.
One way is to mail your question to our offices here in
Shady Towers West. I'll give you the snail mail
address at the end of the show.
As you can see, we get a ton of male mail every day, and we love our work.
The other way to get your question to me is simply
pick-up the phone and call our toll free question-line.
It is also very much a "party line"... because, as you can tell
by now, I always play a song or songs that correspond to
your question and my answer. Dancing is encouraged!
What are you waiting for? Go to the phone and dial
1-800-555-2-ASK. CALL NOW!
Virginia B. is on the line with the following question:
Hello, Abigail! I hope you can settle a friendly argument I've been
having with my husband. He says Dusty Springfield is the
only diva that recorded "Wishin' And Hopin'"...
...but I seem to recall years ago hearing Dionne Warwick sing
a version of the song. Hubby thinks I'm crazy. Who's right?
Hi, Virginia! Thanks for calling.
Tell your husband that you are
correct and Abigail Ambrosia
says so. While it's true that
Dusty Springfield sang the
best known version of
"Wishin' And Hopin'"...
the English blue-eyed
soul singer was not the
only one to wax the
girl pop gem, nor
was she the first.
In February, 1963, Dionne Warwick
released her original version of the
"This Empty Place." A great
recording, Dionne's single
nevertheless stalled at #84
on the pop chart. The record
is noteworthy for its B side,
the original waxing of another
Bacharach-David song, "Wishin'
and Hopin'," which was covered
by Dusty Springfield and became
a top 10 U.S. hit for the English
songstress in the summer of '64.
Here now is sultry soul sister
Dionne singing "This Empty
Place (between Shady's ears)."
"This Empty Place" - Dionne Warwick
(Feb. 1963, highest chart pos. #84 Hot 100/#26 R&B)
Now, here's the version of
"Wishin' And Hopin'" that
you remember, Virginia,
Dionne Warwick's great
but overlooked original
recording of the song.
It went to waste on
the B side of that
"Wishin' And Hopin'"
- Dionne Warwick
(Feb. 1963, B side of
"This Empty Place")
Larry K. called
with this question:
Dear Abigail, I know Chubby Checker
for "The Twist" and other dance craze
songs, and I also vaguely recall him
singing a folk type song that asks
the question: "Does your mama
chaw tobacca?" What's the
name of that song?
Hi, Larry! Thanks for calling. The ditty you have in mind is "Hooka Tooka,"
a folk song associated with Chubby Checker and with folk/pop singer
Judy Henske. "Hooka Tooka (My Soda Cracker)" is based on a
children's jump rope rhyme. As the story goes, children in
days of old sang the song outside brothels where
their mothers were working to warn them
that police were on the way.
Released by Chubby Checker
on the B side of "Loddy Lo,"
another folk song cover,
"Hooka Tooka" made a
run at the top 15 on the
pop charts at Christmas,
1963, and the early
weeks of 1964.
"Hooka Tooka" -
(Dec. 1963/Jan. 1964,
highest chart pos.
#16 Cash Box, #17
Hot 100/#20 R&B)
That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at my new Q & A
style series coming soon to Shady's Place. Stick around. Coming up
on the flip side of Gary Owens' news, it's the next exciting
edition of Shady's epic 36-part series
Now this is advice columnist Abigail Ambrosia saying
so long and inviting you to join me next time for more
Q's & A's and more great sounds of the past on
And remember, there's nothing trivial
about your love of music. See you soon!
If you have a musical question for Abigail Ambrosia...
call our 24-hour toll free question-line at
...or mail your question to:
Shady Towers West, 24221 Hollywood Blvd,
Suite 5, Dept. 3-C, Los Angeles, CA 90901.
Who knows, Abigail might answer your question on her show!