IN THE CAN : JULY 1954
July 1, 1954 : THE FIVE KEYS record four tracks for the Groove label in New
York City. "Lawdy Miss Mary"/"I'll Follow You" is released on Groove 0031 in
August (promo only).
The other two tracks, "Teeth And Tongue Will Got You Hung"/"When Will My
Troubles End" are first issued in 1989 on the Detour LP "The Five Keys & The
Nitecaps : The Best Of Doo-wop Classics, Vol. 2".
Personnel : Mickey Baker (guitar) ; Lee Stanfield (bass) ; Sam Taylor (sax) ;
Kelly Owens (piano) ; Marty Wilson (drums).
July 1, 1954 : HARMONICA FRANK (Frank Floyd) records a single for Sun Records,
"The Great Medical Menagerist"/"Rockin' Chair Daddy" (Sun 205), for release
later in the month. There are no backing musicians : Harmonica Frank sings and
plays harmonica and guitar.
Produced by Sam Phillips at the Memphis Recording Service.
July 1, 1954 : In Chicago, LITTLE WALTER and his Jukes record the classic
"My Babe", which will be released on Checker 811 in February 1955 (c/w the
instrumental "Thunder Bird", recorded on January 25, 1955). It will top the
R&B charts for five weeks. One other track is laid down, "Last Night" (Checker
805, November), which will precede "My Babe" on the charts, peaking at # 6.
The other side is "Mellow Down Easy", from a session on October 5, 1954.
Personnel : Little Walter (vocals / harmonica) ; Robert Lockwood Jr., Dave Myers
(guitars) ; Willie Dixon (bass) ; Fred Below (drums).
July 2, 1954 : One-track session by BILLY WALKER, who records "Going - Going -
Gone!" (Decca 21290, first week of August). The flipside is "I'm A Fool To Care",
which was laid down on March 15, 1954.
Backing by six unknown musicians.
Produced by Don Law at the Jim Beck Studio in Dallas, Texas.
July 2, 1954 : SLIM WHITMAN is at KWKH Radio Station in Shreveport, Louisiana,
where he records three tracks. His new single is "Singing Hills"/"I Hate To See
You Cry" (Imperial 8267, August). "Haunted Hungry Heart" is saved for release
until October 1959, when it is used as the B-side of an overdubbed version of
"Indian Love Call" (Imperial 8323).
Personnel : Sugarfoot Collins (guitar) ; Tinker Fry (steel guitar) ; Curly Harris
(string bass) ; Sonny Harville (piano).
July 3, 1954 : SMILIN' JOE cuts the single "ABC's, Part 1 and Part 2" (Imperial
5304, September). The artist is also known as Pleasant Joseph and Cousin Joe.
Also recorded is "In the Morning", which is still lingering in the vaults.
Produced by Dave Bartholomew in New Orleans.
July 3, 1954 : BLANCHE THOMAS also records a single for Imperial on this day
(maybe it was a split session) : "You Ain't So Such A Much"/"Not the Way That
I Love You" (Imperial 5302, August).
Backing by Cosimo's Matassa's studio band.
Produced by Dave Bartholomew.
July 5-6, 1954 : Around 8:00p.m. on July 5, ELVIS PRESLEY arrives at the Memphis
Recording Service, unaware that he is about to write history. Also present are
guitarist Scotty Moore, bass player Bill Black and producer/engineer Sam Phillips.
First recorded is "Harbor Lights", which will make its first appearance on the
album "Elvis - A Legendary Performer, Vol. 2" (RCA CPL 1-1349) in 1976. Next comes
"I Love You Because", which will be included on Presley's debut LP, simply titled
"Elvis Presley" (RCA LPM 1254, March 1956). The Arthur Crudup song "That's All
Right Mama" is initially approached as a slow blues number, but Elvis sounds
laboured. After a break, the three musicians start to fool around with the song
at a faster pace and take 4 will become the master take. The other side, "Blue
Moon Of Kentucky", is recorded the next evening. The single is released on Sun 209
on July 19 and will bring Elvis regional fame.
Several other songs were attempted, but these tapes have not survived.
Personnel : Elvis Presley (vocals / acoustic guitar) ; Scotty Moore (electric
lead guitar) ; Bill Black (upright bass).
Produced by Sam Phillips.
July 7, 1954 : JIMMY HEAP records four songs that will be released on two singles,
"I Told You So"/"Sharpshooter" (Capitol 2990, November) and "Just For Tonight"/"My
First Love Affair" (Capitol 3253, October 1955). The location is an unknown studio
in Texas. Label credit goes to Jimmy Heap and the Melody Masters with Perk Williams.
Personnel : Jimmy Heap (vocals / lead guitar) ; Perk Williams (vocals / fiddle) ;
Horace Barnett (guitar) ; Butterball Harris (steel guitar) ; Bill Glendening
(bass) ; Arlie Carter (piano).
Produced by Ken Nelson.
July 10, 1954 : While touring on the West Coast, FATS DOMINO records three tracks
with his road band. "I Lived My Life" is selected as his new single (Imperial 5301,
August, c/w "You Can Pack Your Suitcase", recorded on March 14, 1954). "I Know" will
be released in December (Imperial 5323), coupled with "Thinking Of You", from a
session on December 14, 1953. "Little Mama" will eventually be issued on the LP
"Walking To New Orleans" (Imperial LP 9227) in January 1963.
Personnel : Fats Domino (vocals / piano) ; Walter Nelson (guitar) ; Billy Diamond
(bass) ; Buddy Hagans (tenor sax) ; Wendell Duconge (alto sax) ; Cornelius Coleman
Produced by Dave Bartholomew at Master Recorders in Hollywood.
July 10, 1954 : THE PLAYBOYS record a single for the Atlantic subsidiary Cat :
"Rock, Moan And Cry"/"Tell Me (Are You Really Mine)" (Cat 108, August). Unissued
from this session is "Pretty, Pretty Girl".
Personnel : Charlie White (lead vocals) ; The Cues (background vocals) ; Harry Van
Walls (piano) ; Sam Taylor (tenor sax). More details unknown.
Produced by Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler in New York City.
July 13, 1954 : LONNIE DONEGAN, then a member of Chris Barber's Jazz Band, records
four tracks at Decca Studio Two in London. "Rock Island Line" and "John Henry" are
first released in November on a 10-inch, eight-title LP called "New Orleans Joys"
(Decca LF 1198), credited to Chris Barber's Jazz Band. The two tracks are coupled
for single release (Decca F 10647) in November 1955. The single peaks at # 8 in
both the UK and the USA (on London 1650). Two other tracks are recorded, "Nobody's
Child" and "Wabash Cannonball", both first released (in these versions) in 1994 on
the 8-CD set "More Than Pye In The Sky" (Bear Family BCD 15700).
Personnel : Lonnie Donegan (vocals / guitar) ; Chris Barber (double bass) ; Beryl
July 14, 1954 : Second record date for LITTLE WALTER this month, again a two-track
session. "You'd Better Watch Yourself" is coupled with "Blue Light" for release on
Checker 799 in August. The location is the Chess studio in Chicago.
Personnel : Little Walter (vocals / harmonica) ; Robert Lockwood, Jr., Dave Myers
(guitars) ; Willie Dixon (bass) ; Fred Below (drums).
July 14, 1954 : Four-song session by WEBB PIERCE at the Castle Studio in Nashville.
Both "I'm Gonna Fall Out Of Love" (Decca 29391, December) and "Your Good For Nothing
Heart" (Decca 29480, March 1955) will be used as B-sides of future # 1 country hits
("In the Jailhouse Now" and "I Don't Care" respectively). "Just Imagination" and
"I Love You Dear" make their first appearance on the album "Just Imagination" (Decca
DL 8728) in August 1958.
Personnel : Grady Martin, Harold Bradley (guitars) ; Teddy Wilburn, Doyle Wilburn
(guitar / harmony vocals) ; Sonny Burnette (steel guitar) ; Lightnin' Chance (bass) ;
Jack Kay, Tommy Jackson (fiddles) ; Owen Bradley (piano).
Produced by Paul Cohen.
July 15, 1954 : THE TRENIERS record the single "Out Of The Bushes"/"Say Hey (The
Willie Mays Song)" (Epic 9066, end of July). The latter, probably the A-side, is
credited to "Willie Mays of the New York Giants with the Treniers". The location is
the Columbia Studio in New York City.
Personnel (15 musicians) includes Danny Perri on guitar and Boomie Richman on sax.
Arranged by Quincy Jones, produced by Marv Holtzman.
July 22, 1954 : JOHNNY ACE records three tracks with the Johnny Board orchestra in
Los Angeles, all of which will be released after his untimely death on December 24,
1954. All three will be coupled with tracks recorded on January 25, 1954. "How Can
You Be So Mean" (Duke 144, July 1955) is used as the B-side of "Anymore". "I'm
Crazy Baby" is a January 1956 release (Duke 148, c/w "So Lonely"). "Don't You Know"
will follow in August 1956 (Duke 154, c/w "I Still Love You So").
Produced by Johnny Board.
July 26, 1954 : SONNY JAMES does two three-hour sessions on this day, resulting in
eight tracks. First released is "Ocean Of Tears"/"She Done Give Her Heart To Me"
(Capitol 2906, September). "I Forgot To Remember Santa Claus"/"Christmas Is My
Hometown" follows in November (Capitol 2958). "This Kiss Must Last Forever" is a
January 1955 release (Capitol 3025, c/w "Lovin' Season" from a session on December
19, 1954). "'Til the Last Leaf Shall Fall"/"You Don't Have To Walk Alone" appears
in June 1955 on Capitol 3163. A first attempt at "Just Ask Your Heart" will remain
Personnel : Neal Jones (guitar / harmony vocals) ; Harland Powell (steel guitar /
harmony vocals) ; Slim Harbert (bass / harmony vocals) ; Bill Simmons (piano) ;
Buddy Brady (fiddle) ; Mollie Ann Harbert (harmony vocals).
Produced by Ken Nelson at the Jim Beck Studio in Dallas.
July 27, 1954 : LUKE McDANIEL does his third and last session for the King label
in Cincinnati. Two singles are the result : "Money Bag Woman"/"Hurts Me So" (King
1380, September) and "One More Heart"/"Living In A House Of Sin" (King 1426, February
Personnel : Luke McDaniel (vocals / guitar) ; Floyd Robinson (lead guitar) ; Noel
Boggs (steel guitar) ; Louis Innis (string bass) ; Ernie Newton (fiddle) ; Freddie
Produced by Bernie Pearlman.
July 29, 1954 : FERLIN HUSKY records his next single, "King Of A Lonely Castle"/
"Very Seldom, Frequently Ever" (Capitol 2914, September). Credited to Ferlin Husky
and his Hush Puppies. A third track, "I Might As Well Stop Living", has never been
Produced by Ken Nelson at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood.
July 30, 1954 : THE MIDNIGHTERS record a sequel to their big hit "Work With Me Annie"
: "Annie Had A Baby" (Federal 12195, August). Again a # 1 R&B hit. The other side,
"She's The One", also stems from this session.
Personnel : Hank Ballard (lead vocals) ; Charles Sutton, Henry Booth, Sonny Woods
(background vocals) ; Arthur Porter (guitar) ; Clarence Moten (bass) ; Arnett Cobb
(tenor sax) ; Florence Pleasant (piano) ; Nooruddin Zafar (drums).
Produced by Ralph Bass and Sydney Nathan in Washington, D.C.
July 1954, unknown date : The vocal group THE CADILLACS undertakes their first
session, resulting in the single "Gloria"/"I Wonder Why" (Josie 765, August). Both
sides are written by Esther Navarro, their manager, who also produces the session
(in New York City).
The Cadillacs are : Earl Carroll, James Clark, Laverne Drake, Bobby Phillips and Gus
July 1954, unknown date : ALVADEAN COKER records two singles with her relatives,
the Sandy Coker Band. "I Sold Out My Heart"/"Crying Heart" is released in August
(Abbott 169), followed by the instrumental record "Meadowlark Melody"/"Toss Over"
(Abbott 171) in October. The latter is credited to the Sandy Coker Band.
Personnel : Alvadean Coker (vocals) ; Al Coker, Sr. (guitar) ; Sandy Coker, Jr.
(guitar / fiddle) ; possibly Jimmy Day (steel guitar) ; Geraldine Coker (bass) ;
possibly Linda Coker (piano).
Produced by Fabor Robinson in Shreveport, Louisiana.
July 1954, unknown date : The female vocal group THE DREAMERS records their first
single, "Bye Bye"/"At Last" (Flair 1052, early September), with singer Richard Berry,
who gets a label credit. It is a split session with THE CHIMES (a.k.a. the Flairs),
a group that still included Richard Berry at that time. Their two numbers are "My
Heart's Crying For You" and "Love Me, Love Me, Love Me" (Flair 1051, also September),
with background vocals by the Dreamers.
On this record the Dreamers are still a sextet : Annette Williams, Nanette Williams,
Gloria Jones, Fanita Barrett, Jewel Cobb and Pat Howard.
Arranged by Maxwell Davis in Los Angeles.
(Circa) July 1954, unknown date : JIMMY AND JOHNNY re-record both sides of a single
they made for the Feature label in 1953 : "If You Don't, Somebody Else Will" and "I'm
Beginning To Remember". The results are issued on Chess 4859 in late August. A # 3
country hit. Early pressings credit "Jimmy Lee and Johnny Mathis", later changed to
"Jimmy and Johnny". Jimmy's full name is Jimmy Lee Fautheree. Johnny Mathis became
Country Johnny Mathis when another Johnny Mathis achieved fame as a pop singer.
The recording location is Shreveport, Louisiana.
(Circa) July 1954, unknown date : EDDIE NOACK records four tracks at the Gold Star
Studio in Houston. "Don't Trade"/"Take It Away Lucky" is released on Starday 159 in
September. "Fair Today, Cold Tomorrow" is saved until November 1955 for release on
Starday 213 (c/w "Don't Worry About Me, Baby" from a session in October 1954).
Unissued from this session is "The Last Word" (probably lost).
Personnel : Eddie Noack (vocals / guitar) ; Blackie Crawford (lead guitar) ; Joe
Callahan (bass) ; Curley Chalker (steel guitar) ; Pee Wee Reid (bass) ; Jerry
Desmoreaux (piano) ; Olen 'Big Red' Hays, Kenneth 'Little Red' Hays (fiddles).
Produced by Pappy Daily.
July 1954, unknown date : DOCTOR ROSS is at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis,
where he records the single "The Boogie Disease"/"Jukebox Boogie" (Sun 212), which
will be released on November 10. Also recorded are "Doctor Ross Boogie", "Feel So
Sad" and "Downtown Boogie"), which will be releaded on the LP "His First Recordings"
(Arhoolie LP 1065, 1972).
Personnel : Isaiah Ross (vocals / harmonica / guitar) ; Tom Troy (guitar) ; Roosevelt
"Barber" Parkes (drums).
Produced by Sam Phillips.
July 1954, unknown date : The first session by BILLY VAUGHN and his orchestra will
produce a million seller in the shape of "Melody Of Love" (Dot 15247, October, a # 2
hit). The flip-side, "Joyride", is also laid down at this session. "Silver Moon" is
the A-side of a later single (Dot 15347, March 1955), while "Drifting On A Cloud" will
serve as a track for Vaughn's first LP, "Sweet Music and Memories" (Dot DLP 3001).
Arranged and conducted by Billy Vaughn at an unknown studio.
With thanks to John Klompenhouwer and Henk Gorter.
Additions and corrections welcome.
In the can index