Sunday, December 30, 2012

Record #0223: Sixty Minute Man / I Can’t Escape From You – THE DOMINOES

Federal 12022 (original) USA, May 1951
Words & Music by:  Billy Ward, Rose Marks
Musicians:  Bill Brown (bass vocals, lead on side A), Clyde McPhatter (tenor, lead on side B), Billy Ward (vocals and piano), Charlie White (tenor), Joe Lamont (baritone), others unknown
Recording sessions: New York, NY, Side A – Dec. 30, 1950; Side B – Jan. 27, 1951
Highest chart positions:  US #17, US R&B #1 (for 14 weeks!)

Rock’n’Roll was born 62 years ago today, at least if one thinks (and many do think) that “Sixty Minute Man” was the first recording in the genre.

Later in 1953 when McPhatter left the group to form The Drifters, he was replaced by Jackie Wilson. What a group of aces this was.

List price:  According to “American Premium Record Guide” by Les Docks, this is about $50-$80.

Record #0222: Honky Tonk Man / I’m Ready If You’re Willing – JOHNNY HORTON

Columbia 21504 (original) USA, 1956
Words & Music by:  Side A – Johnny Horton, Tillman Franks, Howard Hausey; Side B – Vernon Claud, Jerry Organ
Musicians: Johnny Horton (vocals and guitar), Grady Martin (lead guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Bill Black (bass)
Recording sessions: Produced by Don Law at Owen Bradley Studio, Nashville, TN, Jan. 11, 1956
Highest chart positions:  US Country #9

This was Horton’s first Columbia session and what a session it was. Backed by two members of the Nashville A-Team and Elvis’ bass player, the outcome was nothing less than a rockabilly classic.

Elvis and his guys happened to be in town for their first RCA recording sessions on January 10.-11. During these two days they recorded songs “I Got A Woman”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Money Honey”, “I'm Counting On You” and “I Was The One”. Apparently Bill Black had time on the second day to join Horton’s session

List price:  Very Good+ is $15, Near Mint is $30

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Record #0221: Venus / I’m Broke – FRANKIE AVALON

Chancellor 1031 (original) USA, Jan. 1959
Words & Music by:  Side A – Ed Marshall; Side B – Joe Shapiro, Jack Keller
Musicians: Frankie Avalon (vocals) and an orchestra conducted by Peter De Angelis
Recording sessions: Produced by Peter DeAngelis in Philadelphia, PA, 1958?
Highest chart positions:  US #1, US R&B #10, US Adult Contemporary #1, UK #16

This is Frankie Avalon’s biggest hit and one of the two US #1 singles he has had (I posted the other one here).

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20; the stereo release is twice the price.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Record #0220: Donna / La Bamba – RITCHIE VALENS

Del-Fi 4110 (original) USA, Oct. 1958
Words & Music by:  Side A – Ritchie Valens; Side B – adaptation by Ritchie Valens
Musicians: Ritchie Valens (vocals and guitar), René Hall (guitar, 6-string bass guitar on side B), Carol Kaye (rhythm guitar), Buddy Clark (bass), Ernie Freeman (piano), Earl Palmer (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Bob Keane at Gold Star Studio, Hollywood, CA, Side A – Oct.? ; Side B – Sep. 23, 1958
Highest chart positions:  Side A – US #2, US R&B #11, UK #29; Side B – US #22, UK #49 (in 1987)

This was Valens’ last single that was released in his lifetime.

The musicians were really top notch in all Valens’ sessions.

“La Bamba” is ranked at #345 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, where it’s the only song that is entirely not in English.

List price:  Very Good+ is $15, Near Mint is $30

Record #0219: 16 Candles / Beside You – THE CRESTS

Coed 506 (original) USA, Oct. 1958
Words & Music by:  Side ALutherDixon, Allyson Khent; Side B – Bert Keyes, Billy Dawn Smith
Musicians: Johnny Mastrangelo (lead vocals), J.T. Carter (vocals), Talmoudge Gough (vocals), Harold Torres (vocals), Patricia Van Dross (vocals), others unknown.
Recording sessions: New York, NY, Side A – Aug. 12; Side B – Jun. 25, 1958
Highest chart positions:  US #2, US R&B #4

“16 Candles” was initially the flip side of the record, but very soon Alan Freed and Dick Clark flipped the record over and started pushing the song which became the biggest hit of The Crests.

Patricia Van Dross was the elder sister of Luther Vandross.

List price:  Very Good+ is $15, Near Mint is $30