Saturday, December 06, 2014

Record #0621: Rakas, rakas, rakas / Kylmät huulet – METRO-TYTÖT

Decca SD 5316 (original 78 rpm) Finland, 1955
Words & Music by:  Side A – Reino Helismaa (Orvokki Itä), Toivo Kärki (W. Stone); Side BErwin Halletz (Rene Roulette), Helismaa (Rauni Kouta)
Musicians: Anna-Liisa Väkeväinen (vocals), Hertta Väkeväinen (vocals), Tamara Dernjatin (vocals) and Decca Orchestra
Recording sessions: Helsinki (?), Finland, Sep. 2, 1955
Highest chart positions:  unknown

Metro-tytöt used to record harmony vocals for Finnish recording stars such as Olavi Virta in the 50's, but they also recorded about 200 songs on their own.
In May 1955 the group topped the Finnish charts with "Surujen kitara" ("Johnny Guitar"). I didn't find any chart information for this single.

Kärki and Helismaan were among the most productive and most successful songwriters in Finland at the time.
Helismaa was a look-alike of Tennessee Ernie Ford. :)

List price:  not listed

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Record #0620: Telegram Sam / Cadillac – T. REX

Reprise 1078 (original) USA, Jan. 22, 1972
Words & Music bySide AMarc Bolan; Side B – Bolan
Musicians: Marc Bolan (lead vocals, guitars), Steve Currie (bass), Bill Legend (drums), Mickey Finn (backing vocals, percussion), Tony Visconti, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (backing vocals) and an orchestra conducted by David Katz
Recording sessions: Produced by Tony Visconti at Rosenberg Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark, and at Chateau d'Hierouville Studios, Paris, France in 1971
Highest chart positions:  US #67, UK #1, Ireland #1, Germany #4, Norway #6, Finland #20

This was the first single release from T. Rex' 1972 album "The Slider". The single came out six months before the album.

In the UK this was the first single released on Marc Bolan's own label ("T-REX"). That release had two songs on the flip-side, the other one being "Baby Strange".

I remember recording "Telegram Sam" from a radio broadcast to a C-cassette when I was a kid. I often tried to sing along the song, though I didn't know any English. :) Still dig it!

List price:  Very Good+ is $3, Near Mint is $6

Record #0619: Even Tho / Sparkling Brown Eyes – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-29107 (original) USA, May 1954
Words & Music bySide A –  Willie Jones, Curt Peoples, Webb Pierce; Side B –  Billy Cox
Musicians: Webb Pierce (lead vocals), Side A - The Wilburn Brothers (backing vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Chet Atkins (guitar), Doyle Wilburn (rhythm guitar), Bud Isaacs (steel guitar), Ernie Newton (bass), Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Jack Kay (fiddle), Farris Coursey (drums); Side B -  Grady Martin (guitar), Bud Isaacs (steel guitar), Jack Kay (fiddle), others unknown
Recording sessions: Castle Studio at the Tulane Hotel, Nashville, TN, Side A - Nov. 29, 1953; Side B - Feb. 23, 1954
Highest chart positions:  US Country #1

This was the 6th time Pierce topped the US Country charts.

Paul Cohen was running the Castle Studio and he probably also produced these sessions.

Now, after eight back-to-back posts of Webb Pierce and old school country music, the next post will be something different. It's amazing how majority of country lyrics and Finnish schlager music lyrics are similar (ie. mostly sad & depressing). :)

List price
:  Very Good+ is $12.50, Near Mint is $25

Record #0618: It's Been So Long / Don't Throw Your Life Away – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-28725 (original) USA, Jun. 1953
Words & Music bySide A – Autry Grisham; Side B – Billy Wallace, Webb Pierce
Musicians: Webb Pierce (vocals), Grady Martin (guitar), Chet Atkins (guitar), Ray Edenton (rhythm guitar), Owen Bradley (piano), Ernie Newton (bass), Farris Coursey (drums), Dale Potter (fiddle), Tommy Jackson Jr (fiddle), an unknown steel player
Recording sessions: Castle Studio at the Tulane Hotel, Nashville, TN, Mar. 25, 1953
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US Country #1; Side B - US Country #9

This was Pierces fourth #1 hit. He had great guitar players in this session.

List price:  Very Good+ is $12.50, Near Mint is $25

Record #0617: Wondering / New Silver Bells – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-46364 (original) USA, Sep. 1951

I have two copies of the same pressing. The first post is here.

Record #0616: Any Old Time / We'll Find a Way – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-29974 (original) USA, Jun. 1956
Words & Music bySide AJimmie Rodgers; Side BWebb Pierce
Musicians: Webb Pierce (vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Sonny Burnette (steel guitar), Lightnin Chance (bass), Dale Potter (fiddle), Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Jack Kay (fiddle), Buddy Harman (drums)
Recording sessions: Music City Recordings, Nashville, TN, Side A - Mar. 8; Side B - May 16, 1956
Highest chart positions:  US Country #7

Webb Pierce is at the border of rockabilly on the A-side, but I guess the correct genre label for this is still western swing. His follow-up single "Teenage Boogie" was in the same area - maybe a bit closer to rockabilly.

Very often Pierce got both sides of the record in the charts, but not this time.

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Record #0615: I'm Tired / It's My Way – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-30155 (original) USA, Dec. 1956
Words & Music bySide A – Ray Price, Buck Peddy, Mel Tillis; Side B – Webb Pierce, Wayne Walker
Musicians: Webb Pierce (vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Sonny Burnette (steel guitar), Lightnin Chance (bass), Dale Potter (fiddle), Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Jack Kay (fiddle), Buddy Harman (drums)
Recording sessions: Music City Recordings, Nashville, TN, Nov. 6, 1956
Highest chart positions:  Both sides US Country #3

Buck Peddy also co-wrote Pierce's previous single "Honky Tonk Song", which was his last #1 hit. Young rockabilly and rock'n'roll stars were invading the charts and 35-year-old Pierce was not very hip anymore. Also, he resigned from the Grand Ole Opry in February 1957. That may also have taken the sharpest edge off of his success in the country music scene.
Anyway, Pierce didn't "disappear" overnight - his fade-out was pretty slow and he still scored Top 20 hits till the end of the 60's.

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

Record #0614: Love, Love, Love / If You Were Me – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-29662 (original) USA, Sep. 1955
Words & Music bySide ATed Jarrett; Side B – Webb Pierce, Frank Miller
Musicians: Webb Pierce (vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Sonny Burnette (steel guitar), Lightnin Chance (bass), Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Jack Kay (fiddle), Buddy Harman (drums)
Recording sessions: Bradley Studio, Nashville, TN, Jul. 6, 1955
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US Country #1; Side B - US Country #7

"Love, Love, Love" spent eight weeks on the top of the US Country charts. It was the third #1 single for Pierce that year.

Frank Miller's biggest success as a songwriter came when he co-wrote "Memories Are Made of This", which Dean Martin got to #1 in both the US and the UK.

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Record #0613: I Ain't Never / Shanghied – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-30923 (original) USA, Jun. 1959
Words & Music bySide AMel Tillis, Webb Pierce; Side B – Tillis, Marijohn Wilkin
Musicians: Webb Pierce (vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Owen Bradley at Bradley Film and Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, Side A - May 15, 1959; Side B - May 19, 1959
Highest chart positions:  US #24, US Country #2

This single spent nine weeks at US Country #2, but just couldn't top the chart. Mel Tillis' 1972 cover version was able to do that, giving Tillis his first #1 hit as an artist.

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Record #0612: Yes I Know Why / Cause I Love You – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-29805 (original) USA, Feb. 1956
Words & Music bySide AWebb Pierce; Side B – Pierce, Denny Hill
Musicians: Webb Pierce (vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Sonny Burnette (steel guitar), Lightnin Chance (bass on side A), Bob Moore (bass on side B), Dale Potter (fiddle on side B), Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Jack Kay (fiddle on side B), Buddy Harman (drums)
Recording sessions: Bradley Studio, Nashville, TN, Side A - Nov. 18, 1955; Side B - Dec. 16, 1955
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US Country #2; Side B - US Country #3

When an artist has 52 Top 10 songs during his career, it may happen that there isn't much info available even for a record that has two of those songs. Session information is in the web, though (thanks to Prague Frank).

As usual, Pierce was backed by the Nashville A-Team and the session was recorded in Owen Bradley's studio.

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Record #0611: Wheel of Fortune / Heart of a Clown – BOBBY WAYNE

Mercury 5779 (original) USA, 1952
Words & Music bySide A –  Bennie Benjamin, George David Weiss; Side B –  Frances Kane, Jack Rollins, Steve Nelson
Musicians: Bobby Wayne (lead vocals), orchestra and chorus conducted by Joe Reisman
Recording sessions: New York, NY, 1952
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #6; Side B - US #29

It's hard to find much info about this artist in the web, but apparently this was his only US Top 10 single.

List price:  not listed

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Record #0610: Sugar Shack / My Heart Is Free – JIMMY GILMER AND THE FIREBALLS

Dot 16487 (original) USA, May 1963
Words & Music bySide A – Keith McCormack, Jimmy Torres; Side B – Mike Hawker, Marty Wilde
Musicians: Jimmy Gilmer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), George Tomsco (lead guitar), Stan Lark (bass), Doug Roberts (drums), Norman Petty (Solovox keyboards)
Recording sessions: Produced by Norman Petty at Norman Petty Studios, Clovis, NM, Apr. 1963
Highest chart positions:  US #1, US R&B #1, UK #45

This was a huge hit for the group. In addition to the chart success (5 weeks at US #1), the record also sold 1.5 million copies.
Billboard also ranked "Sugar Shack" as the #1 song of 1963.

Reportedly Petty added the keyboards to the track without asking the group first. Initially they were upset about it. But it seems he knew what he was doing this time, as the neat keyboard riffs and sound seemed to be the gimmick that got the hit going.
I think that Petty didn't know what he was doing when he had his wife to play celeste on Buddy Holly's "Everyday". Honestly ... celeste!  :)

The flip was co-written by a British rock'n'roll star, Marty Wilde.  This was still before the British Invasion - it was fairly unusual for an American rock/pop artist to cover a British rock/pop song at the time.

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Record #0609: When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes / Standing at the Crossroads of Love – THE SUPREMES

Motown 1051 (original) USA, Oct. 31, 1963
Words & Music bySide ABrian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland; Side B – Holland, Dozier, Holland
Musicians: Diana Ross (lead vocals), Florence Ballard (vocals), Mary Wilson (vocals), The Four Tops (additional vocals), Holland-Dozier-Holland (additional vocals), The Funk Brothers (instrumentation)
Recording sessions: Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier at Hitsville U.S.A. Studio A, Detroit, MI, Oct. 1, 1963
Highest chart positions:  US #23, US R&B #2

This was the Supremes' first US Top 40 and US R&B Top 10 entry. (29 and 20 more were to come later on correspondingly.) It was also their first record produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland.

Both tracks were included on their 1964 album "Where Did Our Love Go" (US Album #2, US R&B Album #1). The album also included three US #1 hits, "Baby Love", "Come See About Me" and the album's title song.

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

Record #0608: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Loving You – ELVIS PRESLEY

RCA Victor 47-7000 (original) USA, Jun. 11, 1957
Words & Music bySide AKal Mann, Bernie Lowe; Side BJerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Musicians: Elvis Presley (vocals, rhythm guitar on side B, percussion on side A), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass), D.J. Fontana (drums), Dudley Brooks (piano), The Jordanaires (backing vocals), Hilmer J. Timbrell (rhythm guitar on side A)
Recording sessions: Side A - Produced by Walter Scharf at Paramount Scoring Stage, Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 16, 1957; Side B - Produced by Steve Sholes at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA, Feb. 24, 1957
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #1, US Country #1, US R&B #1, UK #3; Side B - US #20, US Country #15, UK #24

Both tracks are from Elvis' 1957 movie and album "Loving You". This single came out about 3 weeks before the album did. The movie was released on July 9, 1957.

Elvis played the belly of his guitar as a percussion on "Teddy Bear". He did the same also in the movie scene, which is about in the middle of the movie. The scene where he performs "Loving You" is about five minutes before the end.

"Teddy Bear" required 13 takes and "Loving You" was nailed on the 4th take in the studio.

List price:  Very Good+ is $20, Near Mint is $40. Two other variants known; both of them have parenthesis around "Let Me Be Your" and one of them has a horizontal line on the label. Those variants are listed $30 in a Near Mint condition.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Record #0607: Drip Drop / Moonlight Bay – THE DRIFTERS

Atlantic 1187 (original) USA, May 1958
Words & Music bySide AJerry Leiber, Mike Stoller; Side BPercy Wenrich, Edward Madden
Musicians: Bobby Hendricks (lead vocals), Gerhart Thrasher (tenor), Jimmy Millender (baritone), Tommy Evans (bass vocals), Jimmy Oliver (guitar), others unknown, including an unknown group of white singers (vocals on side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by Leiber & Stoller in New York, NY, Apr. 28, 1958
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #58; Side B - US #72

The Drifters had gone through many line-up changes by this time, and this was the first session for this particular line-up. It also ended-up being the last one.

Side A is a good rocking Leiber-Stoller tune, but you may say what the <bleep> when you hear the flip-side. It sounds like a totally different group ... and that's because it mostly is. The recording of it was supposed to be an experimental session. Supposedly it was that in some sense. Evans and Trasher showed up drunk. The group did some 30 takes and at the end Hendricks started to lose his voice. None of those takes were good, and it didn't really help that the engineer had tried out some multi-track recording, which didn't quite go as planned. Afterwards Leiber and Stoller brought in a group of white singers to "patch" the vocals.  At least to me it sounds like they patched the whole thing - all I can hear on the track are honky vocals.

Soon after this session Hendricks and Oliver left the group and their manager George Treadwell fired everybody else. Treadwell hired a group called "The Five Crowns" and renamed them "The Drifters". That line-up had Ben E. King singing the lead.

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

Record #0606: I Want To Be Wanted / Just a Little – BRENDA LEE

Decca 9-31149 (original) USA, Sep. 19, 1960
Words & Music by:  Side A – Kim Gannon, Pino Spotti, Alberto Testa; Side B – Betty Logan Chotas
Musicians: Brenda Lee (lead vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Grady Martin (guitar), Harold Bradley (bass guitar), Bob Moore (upright bass), Buddy Harman (drums), Floyd Cramer (piano), Boots Randolph (sax), Anita Kerr Singers (chorus), plus a strings section
Recording sessions: Produced by Owen Bradley at Bradley Film & Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, Side A – Aug. 16, 1960; Side B – Mar. 28, 1960
Highest chart positions:  US #1, US R&B #7, UK #31, Australia #10

I already got this far when I noticed that I already posted one copy of this record here. :)

Record #0605: Tupelo County Jail / Falling Back To You – WEBB PIERCE

Decca 9-30711 (original) USA, Aug. 1958
Words & Music bySide AWebb Pierce, Mel Tillis; Side B – Pierce, Bill Phillips
Musicians: Webb Pierce (vocals), Hank Garland (guitar), Mel Tillis (guitar), Sonny Burnette (steel), Lightnin Chance (bass), Morris Palmer (drums), Tommy Vaden (fiddle on side A), Tommy Jackson (fiddle on side A), Dale Potter (fiddle on side B), Owen Bradley (piano)
Recording sessions: Bradley Film and Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, Side A - Jul. 8; Side B - Jul. 5, 1958
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US Country #7; Side B - US Country #10

Webb Pierce had 52 songs in US Country top 10 in his career; here are two of them.

As usual, he is backed by some Nashville A-Team musicians on this record.

Mel Tillis, who co-wrote the title song, is a country music star, but also a notable songwriter. He has written and co-written many hits of country music, rockabilly, rock'n'roll and pop. Songs like "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" by Kenny Rogers, "Detroit City" by both Bobby Bare and Tom Jones, "Emotions" by Brenda Lee and "Bop-a-Lena" by Ronnie Self.

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Friday, November 14, 2014

Record #0604: Don't Stand So Close To Me / A Sermon – THE POLICE

A&M 2301-S (original) USA, Jan. 1981
Words & Music bySide A – Sting; Side B – Stewart Copeland
Musicians: Sting (lead & backing vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitars, guitar synthesizer), Stewart Copeland (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by The Police and Nigel Gray at Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands, summer 1980. Not sure if side B production & recording session details are same as the A-side's.
Highest chart positions:  US #10, US Rock #11, UK #1

This was the group's first US Top 10 single. In the UK "Don't Stand So Close To Me" was already their third #1 song.

I've never been a big fan of The Police, but I have to say that I have to admire their talent. Many of their songs are very challenging to play and they nailed them like there's nothing to it. Hats off.

List price:  Not listed.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Record #0603: Mother's Little Helper / Lady Jane – THE ROLLING STONES

London 902 (original) USA, Jul. 2, 1966
Words & Music bySide AMick Jagger, Keith Richards; Side B – Jagger, Richards
Musicians: Mick Jagger (lead vocals, percussion on side A), Keith Richards (guitars, backing vocals on side A), Brian Jones (12-string guitar on side A, dulcimer on side B), Bill Wyman (bass on side A), Charlie Watts (drums on side A), Jack Nitzche (harpsichord on side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham at RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA , Side A - Dec. 3-8, 1965; Side B - Mar. 3-6, 1966
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #8; Side B - US #24

Both tracks are from the Rolling Stones' 1966 album "Aftermath". This was the second single release from the album ("Paint It Black" was the first one). The entire album was recorded in the States - that was the first time the group did that.

The title song deals with the popularity of Valium at the time.

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Record #0602: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / March With Hope – HUGO MONTENEGRO, HIS ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS

RCA Victor 47-9423 (original, promo) USA, Jan. 1968
Words & Music bySide AEnnio Morricone; Side B – Morricone
Musicians: Tommy Morgan (harmonica), Art Smith (ocarina), Elliot Fisher (electric violin), Manny Klein (piccolo trumpet), Muzzy Marcellino (whistling) and others in an orchestra & chorus conducted by Hugo Montenegro
Recording sessions: Produced by Neely Plumb at RCA Victor's Music Center Of The World, Hollywood, CA, 1967 (?)
Highest chart positions:  US #2, US AC #1, UK #1

The title song is a cover of Ennio Morricone's theme from a 1966 Spaghetti Western "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" starring Clint Eastwood. Personally I think this is a very good cover, but still I prefer the original one with Pino Rucher's crisp & raw guitar sounds.

Both tracks appear on Montenegro's 1968 album "Music from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More", where he had music from the entire "Dollars Trilogy". He also released singles with the other two theme songs, but those didn't do as well in the charts as this one.

List price:  Promos not listed. For original release, Very Good+ is $4, Near Mint is $8

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Record #0601: Mr. Blue / You Mean Everything To Me – THE FLEETWOODS

Dolton 5 (original) USA, Aug. 1959
Words & Music bySide ADewayne Blackwell; Side B – Tommy Kaspar
Musicians: Gary Troxler (lead vocals), Gretchen Christopher (vocals), Barbara Ellis (vocals), Si Zentner (trombone), possibly Bonnie Guitar (guitar), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Kearney Barton at Northwest Recorders, Seattle, WA and in Los Angeles, CA in 1959
Highest chart positions:  US #1, US R&B #3

The Fleetwoods had two US #1 hits, "Mr. Blue" being the second one. The first one was "Come Softly To Me", which I already posted here.

The group had an interesting way to put their first recordings together. They recorded the vocals acappella in Seattle, then Bob Reisdorff (co-owner of Dolton) took the tapes to LA, where the instrumentation was added

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

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Record #0600: The Way I Walk / Midgie – JACK SCOTT

Carlton 514 (original) USA, May 1959
Words & Music bySide AJack Scott; Side B – Scott
Musicians: Jack Scott (lead vocals), Stan Getz (upright bass), Dave Rohilier (lead guitar), Dominic Scafone (drums), The Chantones (backing vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Joe Carlton at Universal Sound Studio, Detroit, MI, summer 1958
Highest chart positions:  US #35, UK #30

This is a true rock'n'roll classic and my favorite record by a Canadian artist. :)

The backing group was called "Stan Getz and His Tom Cats". This Getz is not to be mixed with the famous jazz sax player.

The Cramps covered "The Way I Walk" on the flip of their 1978 debut single ("Surfin' Bird"). This song has been covered by many others as well. I also played this on my first gig in 1984. :)

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

Record #0599: Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me) / Did You Ever Go Steady – THE CHIFFONS

Laurie 3301 (original, 1st pressing) USA, May 1965
Words & Music bySide ABrute Force (Steve Friedland); Side BPhil Margo, Mitch Margo, Hank Medress, Jay Siegel
Musicians: Judy Craig (lead vocals), Patricia Bennett (vocals), Barbara Lee (vocals), Sylvia Peterson (vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Bright Tunes Productions Inc. at Capitol Records Studio (?), New York, NY, 1965
Highest chart positions:  US #49

The Chiffons were most famous for their 1963 hits "He's So Fine"  and "One Fine Day". The former became even more famous when George Harrison recorded "My Swee Lord" in 1970 and The Chiffons' producers filed a copyright infringement suit against Harrison.

After this single the group still had one US Top 10 hit with "Sweet Talking Guy" (US #10, UK #31). When that was re-issued in the UK in 1972, it climbed all the way to UK #4.

Laurie's second pressing of this record had "The Real Thing" as the flip-side. The catalog number was still the same.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12. The second pressing has the same list prices.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Record #0598: Too Much / Playing For Keeps – ELVIS PRESLEY

RCA 47-6800 (original) USA, Jan. 4, 1957

Apparently I have three copies of the same release & pressing. I posted the other two here and here.
Looks like this one has been played a bit more than the others. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Record #0597: Cathy's Clown / Always It's You – THE EVERLY BROTHERS

Warner Bros. 5151 (original, 2nd pressing) USA, Apr. 1960
Words & Music bySide ADon Everly, Phil Everly; Side BBoudleaux Bryant, Felice Bryant
Musicians: Don Everly (vocals, guitar), Phil Everly (vocals, guitar), others are probably: Hank Garland (guitar), Chet Atkins (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Ray Edenton (guitar), Lightnin' Chance (bass), Floyd Cramer (piano), Buddy Harman (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Wesley Rose (?) at RCA Victor Studio, Nashville, TN, Mar. 17-18, 1960
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #1, US R&B #1, UK #1; Side B - US #56

The Everly Brothers had just left the Cadence label and signed for Warner, where this was their first single release. They could not have had much better start with the new label.

Based on the chart success, "Cathy's Clown" was the duo's biggest hit. It also stands at #149 in Rolling Stone Magazine's "500 Greatest Songs".

Phil Everly died on Jan. 3, 2014.
R.I.P.

List price
:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15. First pressings have pink labels; those are $20 for NM. Stereo release (S-5151) is $50 for NM.

Record #0596: I'll Bring It Home To You / I Can't Take It – CARLA THOMAS

Atlantic 45-2163 (original) USA, Sep. 1962
Words & Music bySide ASam Cooke; Side B – Carla Thomas
Musicians: Carla Thomas (lead vocals), others unknown, but may include one or more of the following: Steve Cropper (guitar), Booker T. Jones (piano), Lewie Steinberg  (bass), Al Jackson, Jr. (drums)
Recording sessions: Nashville, TN, Sep. 4, 1962
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #41, US R&B #9

This was Thomas' second US R&B Top 10 entry. The first one was "Gee Whiz", which I already posted here.

This is one fine piece of early 60's female R&B/Soul.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12

Record #0595: The River and the Mountain / This Hotel – DORSEY BURNETTE

Era 3033 (original) USA, Nov. 7, 1960
Words & Music bySide ADorsey Burnette, Barry De Vorzon; Side B – Burnette, Bob West
Musicians: Dorsey Burnette (lead vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: United Recording Company, Hollywood, CA, Sep./Oct. 1960
Highest chart positions:  Didn't hit top 100 in any national charts

Burnette had four fairly successful songs in 1960, but neither of these two were in that league. I think this record isn't among his finest moments either.

Dorsey was the elder brother and former bandmate of Johnny Burnette, who recorded his biggest hit "You're Sixteen" in the very same studio on Sep. 19, 1960. He's also the father of Billy Burnette.

List price:  Very Good+ is $8, Near Mint is $16

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Record #0594: I'll Cry Instead / I'm Happy Just To Dance With You – THE BEATLES

Capitol 5234 (original) USA, Jul. 20, 1964
Words & Music bySide AJohn Lennon, Paul McCartney; Side B – Lennon, McCartney
Musicians: John Lennon (lead vocals on side A, backing vocal on side B, rhythm guitar, tambourine on side A), George Harrison (lead guitar, lead vocal on side B), Paul McCartney (bass, backing vocal on side B), Ringo Starr (drums, African drum on side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by George Martin at EMI Studios (Abbey Road), London, UK; Side 1 - Jun. 1, 1964; Side B - Mar. 1, 1964
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #25; Side B - US #95

These songs were not released on a single in the UK.

Both tracks were included in The Beatles' 1964 album "A Hard Day's Night" and their debut movie of the same name.

I'd regard "I'll Cry Instead" one of the best rockabilly tracks The Beatles ever recorded.

Lennon & McCartney wrote the flip specifically for George Harrison to sing.

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

Record #0593: A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You / The Girl I Knew Somewhere – THE MONKEES

Colgems 66-1004 (original) USA, Mar. 18, 1967
Words & Music bySide ANeil Diamond; Side BMike Nesmith
Musicians: Side A - Davy Jones (lead vocals), Al Gorgoni (guitar), Don Thomas (guitar), Hugh McCracken (guitar), Louis Mauro (bass), James Tyrell (bass), Herb Lovelle (drums), Stan Free (piano), Arthur Butler (organ), Thomas Cerone (tambourine); Side B - Michael Nesmith (lead vocals, lead guitar), Micky Dolenz (drums), Peter Tork (rhythm guitar, harpsicord), Davy Jones (tambourine), John London (bass)
Recording sessions: Side A - produced by Jeff Barry at RCA Studio B, New York, NY, Jan. 21 & Feb. 4, 1967; Side B - produced by Chip Douglas at RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, CA, Jan. 1967 (multiple sessions)
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #2, UK #3; Side B - US #39

"A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" was initially pressed as Colgems 66-1003 in Feb. 1967 with "She Hangs Out" (another Neil Diamond song; also recorded in NYC) as the flip, but the single was withdrawn and never released. The reason was that The Monkees project had a "50% Monkee-control rule" and the release was breaking it. Don Kirshner (musical director), who was pushing for the release, got fired from the project.

The web sessionographies are a bit vague on the flip-side; which version was released on the single, who played on it, which date was the session on and was it at Goldstar or RCA studios. What I put in the details above is just "one possible scenario".

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15. Even though release 66-1003 doesn't exist, the picture sleeve for it does. It is very rare and listed at $1000 for a Near Mint.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Record #0592: Mutant Rock / The Hills Have Eyes – THE MᴲTᴲORS

WXYZ ABCD 5 (original) UK, Aug. 1982
Words & Music bySide A – P. Paul Fenech; Side B – Fenech
Musicians: P. Paul Fenech (guitar, vocals), Woody (drums), Russell Jones (vocals), Mick White (bass)
Recording sessions: London (?), UK, 1982
Highest chart positions:  unknown

Here's my post for Halloween ...

Here are The Meteors, the true pioneers of psychobilly with their third single, I think. I also think these were the only songs released by this particular line-up. Fenech pretty much is the Meteors - other members come and go. :)

Russell Jones is credited for vocals, but it's clearly Fenech who is singing the lead on both sides. Maybe Jones delivers the frequency modulated vocals in the chorus of the flip. :)

List price:  Not listed. These go for 10-12 EUR in ebay

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Record #0591: Honey Love / Warm Your Heart – THE DRIFTERS FEATURING CLYDE McPHATTER

Atlantic 45-1029 (original) USA, May 1954
Words & Music bySide AClyde McPhatter, Gerald (Jerry) Wexler; Side BTom Dowd, Nugetre (Ahmet Ertegün), Wexler
Musicians: Clyde McPhatter (lead tenor vocals), Bill Pinkney (bass vocals), Andrew "Bubba" Thrasher (baritone), Gerhart "Gay" Thrasher (tenor), Jimmy Oliver (guitar), Sam Taylor (sax on side B), Harry Van Walls (piano on side B), Mickey Baker (guitar on side B), others unknown
Recording sessions: Atlantic Studios, New York, NY, Side A - Feb. 4, 1954; Side B - Nov. 12, 1953
Highest chart positions:  US #21, US R&B #1

This was The (first) Drifters' second US R&B #1 and their first US Top 40 entry.

Honey Love became a classic in R&B / doo-wop and it has since been covered by quite a many groups.

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Record #0590: Thirty Days (To Come Back Home) / Together (We Will Always Be) – CHUCK BERRY AND HIS COMBO

Chess 1610 (original) USA, Oct. 1955
Words & Music bySide AChuck Berry; Side B – Berry
Musicians: Chuck Berry (vocals, lead guitar), Johnnie Johnson (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), Jasper Thomas (drums), Jerome Green (maracas)
Recording sessions: Chess Studio, Chicago, IL, Sep. 1955
Highest chart positions:  US R&B #2

Here's Berry's second single featuring an uptempo rockabilly track on the A-side and a mellow slow number on the flip. Reportedly Berry wrote "Thirty Days" as a tribute to Hank Williams' music.

Jerome Green is more famous for playing maracas on Bo Diddley's records. Bo even wrote a song about him ("Bring It To Jerome").

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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Record #0589: You Never Can Tell / Brenda Lee – CHUCK BERRY

Chess 1906 (original) USA, Aug. 1964
Words & Music bySide AChuck Berry; Side B – Berry
Musicians: Chuck Berry (lead vocals and lead guitar), Side A - Willie Dixon (bass), Odie Payne (drums), Johnnie Johnson (piano), James Robinson (sax), others unknown; Side B - Willie Dixon (bass), Odie Payne (drums), Lafayette Leake (piano), James Robinson (sax) and an unknown chorus
Recording sessions: Produced by Leonard Chess and Philip Chess at Chess Studio, Chicago, IL, Side A - Jan. 14, 1964; Side B - Feb. 25, 1964
Highest chart positions:  US #14, UK #23

After doing some 20 months in prison, Berry was released in October 1963. He returned with a bang; loads of new Berry originals were released soon after. The songs also did very well in the charts; much better than the ones he had released before his prison time.

"You Never Can Tell" was recorded in the same session as Berry's single "Nadine (Is It You)" / "O Rangutang", which I have already posted in this blog before.

"Pulp Fiction", a 1994 movie, has a scene where "You Never Can Tell" is played while Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) dance in a Twist contest. That would have actually been a good time for Berry to re-release the single, but he didn't.

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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Record #0588: The Lovebug Itch / A Prison Without Walls – EDDY ARNOLD

RCA 48-0382 (original, 1st pressing) USA, Sep. 1950
Words & Music bySide A – Jenny Lou Carson, Roy Botkin; Side B – Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins
Musicians: Eddy Arnold (vocals), Side A - Chet Atkins (lead guitar), Loren Otis "Jack" Shook (guitar), James "Guy" Willis (guitar), Roy Wiggins (steel guitar), Chuck Wright (upright bass), Anita Kerr (organ), Vic Willis (piano), Skeeter Willis (fiddle); Side B - Danny Perri (guitar), Roy Wiggins (steel guitar), L.Braun ( upright bass), Vic Lewis (piano), Skeeter Willis (fiddle), Buck Lambert (fiddle)
Recording sessions: Produced by Steve Sholes, Side A - at Brown Radio Productions, Nashville, TN, Aug. 20, 1950; Side B - at RCA Victor Studio 1, New York, NY, Apr. 26, 1950
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US Country #2; Side B - US Country #10

In his career, Eddy Arnold had 91 songs in US Country Top 10! Here are two of those.

"Frosty the Snowman" is probably the most famous song written by Nelson and Rollins.

A bit worn silver print on a green label is pretty hard to capture in a photo ...

List price:  Very Good+ is $25, Near Mint is $50. Second pressing was made on black vinyl; those are half the price of the first pressing.

Record #0587: Baby Talk / Jeanette, Get Your Hair Done – JAN & DEAN

Doré 522 (original) USA, Jun. 1959
Words & Music bySide A – Melvin Schwartz; Side BJan Berry, Dean Torrence, Donald Altfeld
Musicians: Dean Torrence (lead vocals on side A, backing vocals on side B), Jan Berry (backing vocals on side A, lead vocals on side B), Plas Johnson (tenor sax), others unknown ... probably few members of the Wrecking Crew
Recording sessions: Produced by Lou Adler and Herb Alpert; recorded partially in Jan Berry's garage, Bel Air, Los Angeles, CA, and partially at Radio Recorders (?), Hollywood, CA, 1959
Highest chart positions:  US #10, US R&B #28

Here's the first single release of the duo, four years before they joined the Surf Craze with "Surf City". Berry had already released three singles "Jennie Lee" (US #8, US R&B #4), "Gas Money" (US #81) and "I Love Linda" with Arnie Ginsburg as "Jan & Arnie" before this single. Very early pressings of Doré 522 were incorrectly credited for Jan & Arnie. If you happen to own such a copy, it's a keeper ($600 for a NM).

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

Record #0586: Twist and Shout / Boys – THE BEATLES

Parlophone 45-DPY 654 (original) Finland, summer 1963
Words & Music bySide APhil Medley, Bert Berns; Side BLuther Dixon, Wes Farrell
Musicians: John Lennon (lead vocals on side A, backing vocals on side B, rhythm guitar), Ringo Starr (lead vocals on side B, backing vocals on side A, drums), Paul McCartney (bass, backing vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Recording sessions: Produced by George Martin at EMI Studios (Abbey Road), London, UK, Feb. 11, 1963
Highest chart positions:  Finland #1 (Nov. 1963, Iskelmä Magazine's chart), US #2, not released as a single in the UK,

This was The Beatles' first chart entry in Finland - and what a way to do it.

Both tracks were included in the group's debut album "Please Please Me". Both tracks were also recorded in single takes; no multitrack gimmicks or anything; just playing it live in the studio. For the A-side there was also a practical reason for it. John had a cold during the sessions and his voice was simply gone after this shouter. They did do another take on it as well, but he had nothing left. Ringo delivered his first lead vocals in The Beatles on the flip.

As a single of The Beatles, this release is a bit peculiar as both sides are cover songs. Side A originally recorded by The Top Notes and side B by The Shirelles correspondingly.

The US release (Tollie 9001) had "There's a Place" on the flip-side.

List price:  Finnish release ... no price lists. A fairly rare piece, though.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Record #0585: How Do You Do It? / Away From You – GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS

Columbia DB 4987 (original) UK, Mar. 1, 1963
Words & Music bySide AMitch Murray; Side BGerry Marsden, John Chadwick
Musicians: Gerry Marsden (lead vocals, guitars), Freddie Marsden (drums), John "Les" Chadwick (bass), Les Maguire (piano)
Recording sessions: Produced by George Martin at EMI Studios (Abbey Road), London, UK, Jan. 22, 1963 (2.30pm - 5.30pm)
Highest chart positions:  US #9, UK #1, Australia #3

Here's the debut single of Gerry and the Pacemakers.

This was also their debut in the States. Wikipedia claims that the US release came out on July 5, 1964. That is false information. Laurie Records released this (Laurie 3162) already in April 1963. Then later, when the British Invasion had started, they released "How Do You Do It?" again (Laurie 3261) in July 1964, this time with "You'll Never Walk Alone" as the flip. This re-release was the one that climbed the US charts and that's probably the reason why there is incorrect info about the first US release date of the song.

The Beatles also considered (read: pushed by Brian Epstein) to release "How Do You Do It?", but insisted releasing "Please Please Me" instead. After that Epstein offered the song for Gerry and his group.

List price:  not listed in Goldmine's catalog

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Record #0584: What In the World's Come Over You / Baby, Baby – JACK SCOTT

Top Rank RA-2028 (original) USA, Dec. 1959
Words & Music bySide A – Jack Scott; Side B – Scott
Musicians: Jack Scott (lead vocals, guitar), The Chantones (backing vocals), and an orchestra arranged by Bill Sanford
Recording sessions: Produced by Sonny Lester at Bell Sound Studio, New York, NY, Nov. 25, 1959
Highest chart positions:  US #5, US R&B #7, UK #11

Jack Scott moved from Carlton label to Top Rank in 1959 and this single was recorded in his first session for the latter.
It seems he made a good move as both this and his next single "Burning Bridges" / "Oh, Little One" reached US Top 10.
Unfortunately those were his last singles to do so.

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Record #0583: School's Out / Eighteen – ALICE COOPER

Warner Bros. 8607 (original) USA, Jun. 1978
Words & Music bySide A – Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith; Side B – Cooper, Bruce, Buxton, Dunaway, Smith
Musicians: Alice Cooper (lead vocals), Side A - Steve Hunter (guitar), Dick Wagner (guitar, vocals), Prakash John (bass), Fred Mandel (keyboards), Whitey Glan (drums); Side B - Glen Buxton (lead guitar), Michael Bruce (rhythm guitar, vocals), Dennis Dunaway (bass, vocals), Bob Ezrin (keyboards), Reggie Vincent (guitar and vocals on side A), Neal Smith (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Bob Ezrin, Side A - live at The Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, Aug. 19 or 20, 1977; Side B - at RCA Mid-American Recording Center, Chicaco, IL, 1970
Highest chart positions:  This release didn't hit Top 100 in national charts

The original single version of "School's Out" was released by Alice Cooper in May 1972 (with "Gutter Cat" as the flip). Here the A-side is from  Here the A-side is from Cooper's 1977 live album "The Alice Cooper Show". (I couldn't find that in Youtube, so I put the 1972 album version for a sample.)

The flip was originally released as a single by Cooper in 1970. The flipside of that single was "Body". That single was Cooper's first US Top 40 hit.

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Record #0582: They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa! / !aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT – NAPOLEON XIV / VIX NOELOPAN

Warner Bros. 5831 (original) USA, Jul. 1966
Words & Music bySide A – N. Bonaparte (Jerry Samuels); Side B – etrapanoB .N
Musicians: Jerry Samuels (vocals, snare drum, tambourine, variable-frequency oscillator, sound effects)
Recording sessions: Associated Recording Studios, New York, NY, 1966
Highest chart positions:  US #3, UK #4   (yes, it did!)

This is one of the wackiest and weirdest novelty pieces ever recorded.

Jerry Samuels,  a recording engineer and songwriter, was the man behind the name "Napoleon XIV", a one-hit-wonder.  As a songwriter he also had a hit with a "real" song, as he wrote "The Shelter of Your Arms" (US #17, US AC #6, US R&B #3) for Sammy Davis Jr. in 1963.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12

Record #0581: Pik-pik-pikku tyttönen / Sun tahdon tähtiin johtaa (My Special Angel) – LASSE LIEMOLA

Columbia 45-MY 55 (original) Finland, Sep. 1959
Words & Music bySide ALaLa (La Forrest Cope); Side B – Jimmy Duncan, Orvokki Itä (Reino Helismaa & Toivo Kärki)
Musicians: Lasse Liemola (vocals) and Pentti Lasanen Orchestra
Recording sessions: Helsinki (?), Finland, 1959
Highest chart positions:  Unknown - probably didn't hit the Finnish charts as this is one of Liemola's lesser known singles.

Liemola is one of the early pioneers of rock'n'roll in Finland. His peak success was in the late 50's and early 60's. His 1959 LP "Anna pois" is still the 16th most sold album in Finland. Both of these songs appeared on that album.

List price:  Not listed. These sell for 10-15 EUR in the web.

Record #0580: Bop With Beaver Jeans / Twenty Flight Rock – TEDDY & THE TIGERS

Beavers BB 001 (original) Finland, Mar. 21, 1978
Words & Music bySide A – Johnny Flight (Kari Heimonen); Side BNed Fairchild, Eddie Cochran
Musicians: Aikka "Teddy Guitar" Hakala (vocals, guitars), Antti-Pekka "AP" Niemi (bass), Pauli "Pale" Martikainen (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Kari Heimonen at Microwox Studios, Lahti, Finland, Feb. 12, 1978
Highest chart positions:  unknown  (probably none)

Teddy & The Tigers was the leading band in the Finnish rockabilly revival boom in the late 70's and early 80's.  I think they had better moments than the A-side of this record.

This record was distributed as a freebie to advertise Finnish "Beavers" brand of jeans.

List price
:  Not listed - with a picture sleeve this would be about 15 EUR in the web.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Record #0579: Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody / Operation Heartbreak – ARETHA FRANKLIN

Columbia 4-42157 (original) USA, Sep. 1, 1961
Words & Music bySide A – Jean Schwartz, Joe Young, Sam M. Lewis; Side BAl Kasha, Alan Thomas, Curtis Williams
Musicians: Aretha Franklin (lead vocals, piano), possibly with the Ray Bryant Combo
Recording sessions: Produced by Al Kasha at Columbia Recording Studios, New York, NY, Aug. 16, 1961
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #37; Side B- US R&B #6

Franklin had already had two US R&B Top 10 hits by this time, but this was her first US Top 40 entry with an international distribution (I couldn't find international chart info for this, though).

Though just 19 years old, Franklin delivers like a pro with a voice that would be topping the charts six years later.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12

Record #0578: The Train Kept a-Rollin' / Honey Hush – THE JOHNNY BURNETTE TRIO

Coral 9-61719 (original) USA, Oct. 1956
Words & Music bySide ATiny Bradshaw, Louis Mann, Howie Kay; Side BLou Willie Turner
Musicians: Johnny Burnette (vocals), Dorsey Burnette (upright bass), Paul Burlison (guitar), Grady Martin (lead guitar), Farris Coursey (drums on side A), Buddy Harman (drums on side B)
Recording sessions: Produced by Henry Jerome at Bradley Film & Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, Side A - Jul. 2; Side B - Jul. 3, 1956
Highest chart positions:  Didn't hit any national charts

Here's one of my all-time favorites and a milestone in rock music history.

This is (arguably) the first hard rock record ever made. Packed with such an energy and distortion guitars, the record was years ahead of its time. This made Elvis look like a pop singer. Actually, the same day when this Trio was recording "The Train Kept a-Rolling" in Nashville, Elvis was recording "Don't Be Cruel" in New York City (well, ok he did "Hound Dog" in that session, too).

Though distortion guitar sounds had already been recorded by some blues artists before, this was definitely the first time they appeared in rock music.

It's a pity that apparently Coral didn't quite know how to promote the Burnette Trio's records. The group was in high demand for tours, made TV appearances and had some local hits, but nationally they flopped in records sales.


The flip was actually written by Big Joe Turner, though it was credited for his wife.

Johnny didn't get his breakthrough until he went into manstream pop in 1960 with his hit single "Dreamin'" (US #11, UK #5). The same year Dorsey got his first hit with "Tall Oak Tree"  (US #23).

List price:  This is quite rare and in high demand.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Record #0577: (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone / Ain't No Way – ARETHA FRANKLIN

Atlantic 45-2486 (original) USA, Feb. 9, 1968
Words & Music bySide AAretha Franklin, Ted White; Side BCarolyn Franklin
Musicians: Aretha Franklin (lead vocals, piano on side B),Side A - Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Bobby Womack (guitar), Spooner Oldham (electric piano), Tommy Cogbill (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums), Melvin Lastie, Joe Newman, Bernie Glow (trumpets), Tony Studd (bass trombone), King Curtis, Seldon Powell, Frank Wess (tenor saxophones), Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone) The Sweet Inspirations, Carolyn & Erma Franklin (background vocals);
Side B - Warren Smith (vibraharp), Tommy Cogbill (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums), Melvin Lastie, Joe Newman, Bernie Glow (trumpets), Tony Studd (bass trombone), King Curtis and Seldon Powell (tenor saxophones), Frank Wess (tenor saxophone and flute), Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone), Carolyn Franklin and The Sweet Inspirations (background vocals), Cissy Houston (vocal obbligato)
Recording sessions: Produced by Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Studios, New York, NY, Side A - Dec. 16 & 17; Side B - Dec. 19 & 20, 1967
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #5, US R&B #1; Side B - US #16, US R&B #9

Here's a suberb piece of 60's soul / R&B by the Queen of Soul.

Both of these tracks appeared on Franklin's highly acclaimed 1968 album "Lady Soul", which also included hits  "Chain of Fools" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".

Backing vocals were provided by Aretha's elder sister Erma and younger sister Carolyn and by the Sweet Inspirations, which was led by Cissy Houston, who is the mother of the late Whitney Houston.

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

Record #0576: Be True To Yourself / A Letter From Betty – BOBBY VEE

Liberty 55581 (original) USA, Jun 22, 1963
Words & Music bySide AHal David, Burt Bacharach; Side B – Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer
Musicians: Bobby Vee (lead vocals), The Johnny Mann Singers (backing vocals) and an orchestra (likely included many members of "The Wrecking Crew") conducted by Ernie Freeman
Recording sessions: Produced by Snuff Garrett at United Studios (?), Los Angeles, CA, 1963
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #34, US AC #14; Side B - US #85

About 6 months before the release of this single, Bobby Vee got one of his biggest hits "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes". Sounds a bit like the label was riding on the same formula here - this time with a David & Bacharach song.

Around the time Vee was also recording with The Ventures and released an album "Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures" in June 1963. It's a shame they didn't release any of those tracks as a single instead of this one ...

Jerry Lee Lewis once said "Thank God for the Beatles. They god rid of all the Bobbys; swept them aside like wheat before the chaff." :)  At the time of this single, that was just around the corner in the States.

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

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Record #0575: What's New Pussycat? / Once Upon a Time – TOM JONES

Parrot 45 PAR 9765V (original, 1st pressing) USA, Jun. 5, 1965
Words & Music bySide AHal David, Burt Bacharach; Side BGordon Mills
Musicians: Tom Jones (lead vocals) and an orchestra conducted by Charles Blackwell (side A), unknown instrumentation on side B
Recording sessions: Produced by Peter Sullivan, Side A - at Cine Tele Sound Studio, London, UK; Side B - at Decca Studios (?), London, UK, 1965
Highest chart positions:  US #3, UK #11

The A-side was the theme song in a 1965 movie "What's New Pussycat?" starring Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole and Romy Schneider. It also appeared on Jones' 1965 album with the same title.

Initially, upon hearing a demo of the song, Jones was not at all impressed about "What's New Pussycat?" and described it as "Humpty Dumpty" music. His manager, Gordon Mills persuaded him to take the job and sing the song.

The flip of this US release was the A-side of a UK single released already in April 1965 (Decca F 12121, UK charts #32). It was included on Jones' debut album "Along Came Jones" (UK title) / "It's Not Unusual" (US title)

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Record #0574: Would You Believe It (I Have a Cold) / Genevieve – HUEY SMITH AND HIS CLOWNS

Ace 562 (original) USA, May 25, 1959
Words & Music bySide A – Huey Smith; Side B – Smith
Musicians: Huey "Piano" Smith (piano), Bobby Marchan (lead vocals), Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax), Frank Fields (bass), Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums), The Clowns (backing vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Johnny Vincent at Cosimo Recording Studio, New Orleans, LA, May 1959
Highest chart positions:  Didn't hit Top 100 in any national charts

Huey Smith played piano on many other artist's records, but scored only two hits for his own group. Those two were "Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" in 1957 (US R&B #5) and "Don't Ya Just Know It" in 1958 (US #9, US R&B #4).

In 1959 he wrote and recorded one of his biggest hit songs, "Sea Cruise", but the record label erased his vocals from the track and over-dubbed it with Frankie Ford's vocals. The song went US #14 and US R&B 11 and it was afterwards covered by artists/groups such as The Hondells, Ace Cannon, Johnny Rivers, Billy Crash Craddock and Dion.

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

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Record #0573: In the Wee Small Hours part 3 (EP) – FRANK SINATRA

A1 “Deep In a Dream”,  A2 “Mood Indigo”, B1 “Glad To Be Unhappy”, B2 “Ill Wind

Capitol EAP 3-581 (original) USA, Apr. 1955
Words & Music by:  A1 - Jimmy Van Heusen, Eddie DeLange; A2 - Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Barney Bigard; B1 - Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart; B2 - Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler
Musicians: Frank Sinatra (lead vocals) with Nelson Riddle's orchestra, including: George Van Eps (7-string guitar), Bill Miller (piano), Bill Stephens (bass), Lou Singer (drums), and strings & horns
Recording sessions: Produced by Voyle Gilmore at KHJ Studios, Hollywood, CA, A1 - Feb. 24; A2 & B2 - Feb. 16; B1 - Feb. 8, 1955
Highest chart positions:  The charting of this EP is unknown. The album LP peaked at US Album #2

"In the Wee Small Hours" was Frank Sinatra's 9th studio album. It was released as an LP and as a set of four EPs, this being part 3 of the latter.

Sinatra really hit the jackpot, when he signed with Capitol. His first 7 albums went to US Top 10. Then he had one miss ("only" US Album #18) and then the next 6 were in the Top 10 again.

List price:  Very Good+ is $10, Near Mint is $20. I think I have the sleeve for this, too. I'll add a photo later.