Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Record #0530: Rambling / Devil Train – THE RAMBLERS

Addit 1257 (original) USA, Jul. 1960
Music by:  Side A – Burton, Mike Borchetta, Vince Rissolo, Mike Anthony; Side B – Kip Martin, Borchetta
Musicians: Kip Martin (lead guitar), Mike Spremulli (sax), Larry Robertson (rhythm guitar), Chuck Tenney (bass), Vince Rissolo (drums)
Recording sessions: CT (?), 1960
Highest chart positions:  US #73

It was fairly hard to find information about this group and this record. Apparently they were all school kids, teenagers, when they released this. Three different listings show that this was the only record they made.

The group toured for a while with Chuck Berry, The Tokens and Dion & The Belmonts. They also performed in American Bandstand on Sep. 27, 1960.

Kip Martin later became a TV producer and a theater director.

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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Record #0529: Because You're Mine / I'm Never Satisfied – NAT KING COLE

Capitol F2212 (original) USA, Sep. 1952
Words & Music bySide ASammy Cahn, Nicholas Brodsky; Side B – Herb Perry
Musicians: Nat Cole (vocals), Robert Lawson (sax), Pete Candoli & Carlton McBeath (trumpets), Francis Howard, Paul Tanner, Ed Kusby & Si Zentner (trombones), Ann Mason Stockton (harp), Buddy Cole (piano), John Collins (guitar), Charlie Harris (bass), Lee Young (drums), Jack Costanzo (bongos) and a string section. Orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle.
Recording sessions: Capitol Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA, Jul. 31, 1952
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #16, UK #6; Side B - US #22

The title song was taken from a 1952 musical film "Because You're Mine". Two versions of the song were recorded and released that year; one by Mario Lanza and one by Cole. Lanza's version did a bit better in the charts (US #7, UK #3). Lanza had an advantage as he starred in the movie.

Sammy Cahn wrote and co-wrote many hit songs. One of the best known of those is "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!".

List price:  Very Good+ is $5, Near Mint is $10

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Record #0528: Jambalaya (On the Bayou) / Window Shopping – HANK WILLIAMS

MGM K11283 (original) USA, Jul. 1952
Words & Music bySide AHank Williams; Side B – Marcel Joseph
Musicians: Hank Williams (vocals), Samuel "Sammy" Pruett (lead guitar), Eddie Hill (rhythm guitar), Don Helms (steel guitar), Ernie Newton or Cedric Rainwater (bass), Fred Rose or Owen Bradley (piano), Jerry Rivers (fiddle)
Recording sessions: Castle Studio, The Tulane Hotel, Nashville, TN, Jun. 13, 1952
Highest chart positions:  US #20, US Country #1

This was Hank Senior's biggest hit. "Jambalaya" was one of the 11 songs he had at the top of US Country chart. It also got him his highest chart position in Billboard's Hot 100. Furthermore, it is probably his most covered and internationally best known song. The cover versions that had the most chart success were recorded by Jo Stafford (US #3, UK #11 in 1952), Fats Domino (US #30, UK #41 in 1961), John Fogerty (US #16, US AC #11, US Country #66 in 1972) and The Carpenters (UK #12 in 1974). In Finland it was a hit for Brita Koivunen in 1959. :)

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

Record #0527: Settin' the Woods On Fire / You Win Again – HANK WILLIAMS

MGM K11318 (original) USA, 1952
Words & Music bySide A – Ed G. Nelson, Fred Rose; Side B – Hank Williams
Musicians: Hank Williams (vocals), Samuel "Sammy" Pruett (lead guitar), Eddie Hill (rhythm guitar), Don Helms (steel guitar), Ernie Newton or Cedric Rainwater (bass), Fred Rose or Owen Bradley (piano), Jerry Rivers (fiddle)
Recording sessions: Castle Studio, The Tulane Hotel, Nashville, TN, Side A - Jun. 13; Side B - Jul. 11, 1952
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US Country #2; Side B - US Country #10

This was Williams' second last single release in his lifetime.

The record is a country classic where the Drifting Cowboys provide a solid backing for Hank, Sr.
The title song was later covered by George Jones, Johnny Burnette and few other artists. The most successful covers of "You Win Again" have been recorded by Tommy Edwards (US #13 in Dec. 1952), Jerry Lee Lewis (US #95, US Country #4 in 1958), Fats Domino (US #22 in 1962) and Charley Pride (US Country #1 in 1980).

"Settin' the Woods On Fire" was recorded in the same session as Williams' biggest hit, "Jambalaya". That single will be the next post in the blog.

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Record #0526: This Year's Santa Baby / Hey Jacque – EARTHA KITT

RCA Victor 47-5914 (original, promo) USA, Nov. 1954
Words & Music bySide A – Tony Springer, Philip Springer, Joan Javits; Side BWayne Shanklin, Eden Ahbez
Musicians: Eartha Kitt (vocals) and an orchestra conducted by Henri René
Recording sessions: RCA Studios, New York, NY, 1954
Highest chart positions:  did not hit Top 100 in national charts

RCA tried to repeat the success that Kitt had with "Santa Baby" the year before, but that didn't quite work. There's nothing wrong with the performance, though. The old bag just didn't deliver the goods anymore.

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to all!

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Record #0525: Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On / It'll Be Me – JERRY LEE LEWIS

Sun 267 (original) USA, Mar. 15, 1957
Words & Music by:  Side A – Dave Williams, Sunny David (=James "Roy" Hall); Side B – Jack Clement
Musicians: Jerry Lee Lewis (vocals and piano), Roland Janes (guitar), Jimmy Van Eaton (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Sam Phillips and Jack Clement at Sun Studio, Memphis, TN, Feb. 1957
Highest chart positions:  US #3, US R&B #1, US Country #1, UK #8

This classic single was the breakthrough for Jerry Lee. It was the first of his five US Country #1 hits and his only US R&B #1.

Jerry Lee's version of "Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On" was elected to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Legend has it that only one take was needed to get this hit song done. Well, that could be, but Jerry Lee had played it before in at least two other studio sessions.

The song was originally recorded by Big Maybelle in 1955.

List price:  Very Good+ is $20, Near Mint is $40

Record #0524: I Hear You Knocking / Black Bill – DAVE EDMUNDS

MAM 3601 (original) USA, Dec. 1970
Words & Music bySide AEarl King, Dave Bartholomew; Side B – Dave Edmunds
Musicians: Dave Edmunds (everything except the bass), John (David) Williams (bass)
Recording sessions: Produced by Dave Edmunds at his 8-track home studio, Rockfield, Monmouthshire, Wales, 1970
Highest chart positions:  US #4, UK #1

This was Edmunds' debut solo single. He had had a taste of success already with his band Love Sculpture and their single "Sabre Dance" (UK #5) in 1968.

The title song is a Smiley Lewis original from 1955. The flip is a nice roots instrumental.

List price:  Very Good+ is $4, Near Mint is $8

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Record #0523: Move It On Over / (Last Night) I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep – HANK WILLIAMS

MGM K10033 (original 7") USA, 1950
Words & Music bySide AHank Williams; Side B – Williams
Musicians: Hank Williams (vocals), James "Zeke" Turner (lead guitar), Louis Innis (rhythm guitar), Dale Lohman (steel guitar), Bronson Reynolds (bass), Tommy Jackson (fiddle)
Recording sessions: Castle Studio, The Tulane Hotel, Nashville, TN, Apr. 21, 1947
Highest chart positions:  US Country #4 (in 1947)

"Move It On Over" is one of my favorite Hank Williams songs. Absolutely great! Many elements of rock'n'roll music can be heard in this song and it's widely considered to have been very influential to the early steps of the genre.

The session was run very early in Williams' recording career; his first session with a full band was just about four months before this. Yet, that doesn't show in any way here. It's like Hank was a full pro from the get-go.

Gotta love the slap bass during the first solo! :)

The original 78 rpm issue of this record came out already on Jun. 6, 1947. It was the first US Country Top 10 hit for Hank Senior.

A cover by Travis Tritt & George Thorogood went to US Country #66 in 1999.

List price:  Very Good+ is $25, Near Mint is $50

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Record #0522: Stop Beatin' Round the Mulberry Bush / Real Rock Drive – BILL HALEY WITH HALEY'S COMETS

Essex 310 (original, first pressing) USA, 1952
Words & Music bySide A – Bickley Reichner, Clay Boland; Side B – Bill Haley
Musicians: Bill Haley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Danny Cedrone (lead guitar), Marshall Lytle (upright bass), Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Johnny Grande (piano) Billy Gussak (drums)
Recording sessions: WVCH Radio Station Studio, Chester, PE, Nov. or Dec. 1952
Highest chart positions:  none in national charts

These two tracks were recorded about 6 months before the group's first hit, "Crazy Man, Crazy". This is the first release to title Haley's backing as "Comets". In the preceding releases they were "The Saddlemen".

The title song is based on a 19th century English nursery rhyme "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush".

This is a fairly rare piece. Too bad that my copy is a tad worn-out, but it's a little blue gem anyway.

List price:  Very Good+ is $75, Near Mint is $150. Orange label is listed at $80 for NM.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Record #0521: Silhouettes / Daddy Cool – THE RAYS

Cameo 117 (re-issue) USA, 1963?
Words & Music bySide A – Frank Slay, Bob Crewe; Side B – Slay, Crewe
Musicians: Harold Miller (lead vocals), David Jones (tenor), Walter Ford (tenor), Harry James (baritone), others unknown
Recording sessions: New York, NY, 1957
Highest chart positions:  (for the original release in 1957) US #3, US R&B #3

The original release of this was the debut single of The Rays.
It was also the first chart success for the songwriters Slay & Crewe, whose later hits included "La Dee Dah" (US #9 for Billy & Lillie in 1958) and several hits for Freddy Cannon, like "Tallahassee Lassie" (US #6 in 1959), "Jump Over" (US #28 in 1960), "Buzz Buzz A-Diddle It" (US #51 in 1961). It seems that the two writers split in 1962 and Crewe started writing songs for The Four Seasons with Bob Gaudio. Crewe & Gaudio wrote many of the group's biggest hits in the 60's, including the US #1 hits "Big Girls Don't Cry" (1962), "Walk Like a Man" (1963) and "Rag Doll" (1964).

"Silhouettes" was covered by Herman's Hermits in 1965 (US #5, UK #3). "Daddy Cool" (as a medley with "The Girl Can't Help It") was covered by The Darts in 1977 (UK #6). It was also covered by a Finnish singer, Tapani Kansa in 1978 ("Rokkivaari Hotanen" ... Finnish lyrics, generic session musicians). :P

List price:  This early re-issue is not listed in Goldmine's catalog.