IN THE CAN : MARCH 1955
March 1, 1955 : RUTH BROWN is in the Atlantic studio in New
York City. Producers Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler select
"As Long As I'm Movin'" and "I Can See Everybody's Baby" for
Ruth's next single (Atlantic 1059, first week of May). "What 'd I
Say" (not the Ray Charles number) is released on Atlantic 1072
in August. There is also a first attempt at "I Want To Be Loved"
Personnel includes Sam "the Man" Taylor on tenor sax and Mickey
Baker on guitar.
March 2, 1955 : First recording session by BO DIDDLEY, at
Universal Recording Studio in Chicago. "Bo Diddley"/"I'm A Man"
is chosen for Bo's debut single (Checker 814, April). The other
two songs recorded, "Little Girl" and "You Don't Love Me (You
Don't Care)" will be included on Bo's second LP "Go Bo Diddley"
(Checker LP 1436) in 1958.
Personnel : Bo Diddley (vocals / guitar) ; Otis Spann (piano) ;
James Bradford (bass) ; Billy Boy Arnold (harmonica) ; Clifton
James (drums) ; Jerome Green (maracas).
March 2, 1955 : CHARLIE FEATHERS lays down two titles at
the Sun Studio in Memphis. "I've Been Deceived" is issued as
the flip of "Peepin' Eyes" (recorded two weeks earlier) on Flip
503 at the end of April. (Also released as Sun 503.) "Runnin'
Around" is first released on Bear Family BFX 15211 (10-LP
box-set "Sun Records : The Country Years, 1950-59") in 1986.
Charlie Feathers (vocal / guitar) is accompanied by : Quinton
Claunch (guitar) ; Stan Kesler (steel guitar) ; William Diehl
(bass) ; Bill Cantrell (fiddle).
Saturday March 5, 1955 : Also at the Sun Studio, ELVIS PRESLEY
records "I'm Left, You're Right, She' Gone", which will be released
on Sun 217 in late April, coupled with "Baby Let's Play House",
recorded exactly one month earlier. Personnel : Elvis Presley
(vocal / rhythm guitar) ; Scotty Moore (lead guitar) ; Bill Black
(bass) ; Jimmie Lott (drums). Produced by Sam Phillips.
According to drummer Jimmie Lott, "How Do You Think I Feel"
and "You're A Heartbreaker" were tried out at this session. It's
rather strange if "You're A Heartbreaker" was rehearsed two
months after it was issued as a single.
March 10, 1955 : The second Mercury session for THE PENGUINS
(Cleve Duncan, Curtis Williams, Dexter Tisby, Bruce Tate) yields
two singles : "Be Mine Or Be A Fool"/"Don't Do It" (Mercury 70610,
April) and "Walkin' Down Broadway"/"Don't Be A Fool" (Mercury
70654, July). Studio unknown, probably in Los Angeles.
March 14, 1955 : Recording date of the fourth and last single on
the Sun subsidiary Flip : "Someday You Will Pay"/"You Didn't
Think I Would" by THE MILLER SISTERS. First released by Sam
Phillips on Flip 504 at the end of April, then on Sun 504, after legal
action from the Flip label in Los Angeles. Also recorded that day
is "Look What You Done To My Heart", which will remain unissued.
Personnel : Elsie Jo Miller and Mildred Wages (vocal duet) ; Quinton
Claunch and Roy Miller (guitars) ; Marcus Van Story (bass) ; Bill
Cantrell (fiddle). On "Someday You Will Pay" Charlie Feathers
can be heard playing spoons.
March 15, 1955 : First of two March sessions for FATS DOMINO.
Recorded are "Ain't It A Shame" (Imperial 5348, April), "All By
Myself" (Imperial 5357, August), "Oh Ba-A-By" (Imperial LP 9239,
May 1963) and "Help Me" (first issued on the LP "New Orleans
Bounce", Imperial LM-94004, in March 1970).
Personnel : Fats Domino (vocals / piano) ; Walter 'Papoose' Nelson
(guitar) ; Billy Diamond (bass) ; Cornelius Coleman (drums) ; Herb
Hardesty (tenor sax) ; Buddy Hagans (tenor sax) ; Samuel Lee (sax).
Produced by Dave Bartholomew at J&M Studio in New Orleans
(or Master Recorders in Hollywood, according to Bear Family).
March 15, 1955 : In Chicago, BIG JAY McNEELY records "Big Jay's
Hop" and "Three Blind Mice" for his next single (Vee Jay 142, July),
while "Jay's Rock" will be used for a future single (Vee Jay 212, Sep-
tember 1956). A fourth track, "All Night Long", will not see a release.
Personnel : Big Jay (tenor sax) ; Bob McNeely (baritone sax) ; Earl
DeWitt (piano, organ) ; Cecil E. Harris (bass) ; Johnny Walker (drums).
March 15, 1955 : THE COOKIES (Dorothy Jones, Beulah Robertson
and Darlene McCrea) record "Precious Love"/ "Later Later" for release
on Atlantic 1061 in May.
March 16-18, 1955 : Almost a year after his final session for Aladdin,
LOUIS JORDAN is in New York to record for his new label X (an RCA
subsidiary). After several first takes on March, 16 (all unissued), two
days later "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" and "It's Been Said" are
put on tape for his new single (X 0116), while "Baby Let's Do It Up"
and "Bananas" will be used for a follow-up single (X 0148). A fifth
track, "Slow Smooth And Easy", will stay on the shelves until 1986
(LP "Rock And Roll Call", Bear Family 15247).
Personnel : Louis Jordan (vocal / alto sax) ; Bert Payne and Thurber
Jay (guitars) ; Dave McRae (bass) ; Jerome Richardson, Lowell Hastings,
David McRae and Maurice Simon (saxes) ; Bob Mitchell (trumpet) ;
Chester Lane (piano) ; John Kirkwood (drums).
The session is produced by Jimmy Hilliard.
Thursday March 17, 1955 : JESSE BELVIN is at Master Recorders
in Hollywood where he lays down material for two singles : "Gone"/
"One Little Blessing" (Specialty 550, Aprl) and "Where's My Girl"/
"Love, Love Of My Life" (Specialty 559, October).
Backing by Hubert Myers (tenor sax) ; Clifton White (guitar) ; Ernie
Freeman (piano) ; Adolph Alsbrook (bass) ; Charles Blackwell (drums) ;
Bobby Relf and the Laurels (vocal group).
Produced by Bumps Blackwell.
March 18, 1955 : MAGGIE SUE WIMBERLY records "Daydreams Come True"
at the Sun studio. Backed with "How Long" from an earlier session
this becomes her sole release for Sam Phillips (Sun 229, December).
On this session Maggie is supported by : Quinton Claunch (guitar) ;
Stan Kesler (steel guitar) ; Marcus Van Story (bass) ; Bill Cantrell
March 21, 1955 : On this day, BIG MAYBELLE records her version
of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" (Okeh 7060, August), in New York
Personnel : Billy Byers (trombone) ; Jerome Richardson (alto sax) ;
Budd Johnson (tenor sax) ; Heywood Henry (baritone sax) ; Ernie Hayes
(piano) ; Mickey Baker (guitar) ; Lloyd Trotman (bass) ; Herbie
Arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones.
March 21, 1955 : THE FLAMINGOS hold their first session for Chess'
Checker subsidiary, in Chicago. "(Chick-A-Boom) That's My Baby"/
"When" is released in April on Checker 815, and "Need Your Love"
in January 1956 on Checker 830.
March 23, 1955 : THE MARIGOLDS are a group formed by Johnny Bragg,
the ex-lead singer of the Prisonaires. This is their first session,
held in Nashville at the Tennessee State Penitentiary. The single
"Rollin’ Stone"/"Why Don’t You" is released on Excello 2057 in April.
The A-side will peak at # 8 on the R&B charts. The third song from this
session, "Don’t Say Tomorrow", will stay in the vaults until 2011, when
it is included on a CD by the Prisonaires called "Only Believe" (Bear
Family BCD 16893).
Personnel : Johnny Bragg (lead vocals) ; Ed Thurman, Harold Hebb, Willy
Wilson (background vocals) ; William Stewart (baritone vocal / guitar) ;
L.B. McCullough (guitar) ; Henry ‘Dishrag’ Jones (piano) ; Hubbard Brown
(drums) ; Unknown (maracas).
Produced by Ernie Young.
March 23, 1955 : Five-song session by ELLA MAE MORSE at the Capitol
Studio in Hollywood. "Smack Dab in the Middle"/"Yes, Yes I Do" will
be released in April on Capitol 3105. "Heart Full Of Hope" (Capitol
3167, June 1955) and "Won't You Listen To Me Baby" (Capitol 3320,
January 1956) are also released as singles. "Afraid" is first
released on the 5-CD set "Barrelhouse, Boogie and the Blues" (Bear
Family BCD 16117) in 1997.
Personnel : Bob Bain (guitar) ; Red Callender (bass) ; Plas Johnson,
Babe Russin (tenor saxes) ; Henry Gruen (alto sax) ; Butch Stone
(baritone sax) ; Ray Johnson (piano) ; Don Robertson (organ) ; Roy
Harte (drums). Plus a male vocal group.
Arranged and conducted by Dave Cavanaugh.
March 24, 1955 : WANDA JACKSON records four songs that will be released
on two singles : "Tears At Grand Ole Opry"/"Nobody’s Darlin’ But Mine"
(Decca 29514, May) and "It’s the Same Old World"/"Don’t Do Things He’d Do"
(Decca 29677, November).
Personnel includes Chet Atkins (guitar) and Jerry Byrd (steel guitar).
More details unknown.
Produced by Paul Cohen at Bradley Studio in Nashville.
March 26, 1955 : IVORY JOE HUNTER and his Ivorytones do a four-song
session in New York City. "Heaven Came Down To Earth"/"I Need Somebody"
is issued on Atlantic 1066 in June. "I Need You" and "That's Why" will
be included on the LP "Ivory Joe Hunter" (Atlantic LP 8008, 1957),
along with the other two tracks.
Personnel : Ivory Joe Hunter (vocals / piano) ; Mickey Baker (guitar) ;
Sam Taylor (tenor sax) ; The Gliders (aka The Cues, vocal group). More
Produced by Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler.
March 28, 1955 : Recording date of SAMMY LEWIS's "I Feel So
Worried"/"So Long Baby" (Sun 218, end of April). Sammy Lewis
is the vocalist and harmonica player, Willie Johnson plays guitar.
A third track from this session, "Gonna Leave You Baby" was first
issued on the 9-LP set "Sun Records : The Blues Years, 1950-1958"
(Sun Box 105) in 1984.
March 28, 1955 : In New Orleans, SHIRLEY AND LEE record one of
their biggest hits, "Feel So Good" and its flip "You'd Be Thinking Of
Me". Released on single (Aladdin 3289, May 18).
March 30, 1955 : Second FATS DOMINO session this month (same
personnel and studio details as March 15). "La La" will become the
B-side of "Ain't It A Shame" (Imperial 5348). "Blue Monday" is held
in the can until December 1956, when it comes out on Imperial 5417.
With thanks to Henk Gorter and Steve Walker.
Additions and corrections welcome.
In the can index