IN THE CAN : DECEMBER 1955
December 1, 1955 : ROY HALL's second Decca session, at Bradley Studio
in Nashville, yields three tracks. A cover of "See You Later Alligator"
is coupled with "Don't Stop Now" for the next single (Decca 29786,
first week of January 1956). The third track, "Christine", is first
issued on the LP "Diggin' the Boogie" (Charly CR 30227, UK) in 1984.
Roy (vocals, piano) is backed by Grady Martin and (probably) Hank
Garland (guitars) ; Lightnin' Chance (bass) ; Buddy Harman (drums).
Produced by Paul Cohen.
December 1, 1955 : In Cincinnati, HANK BALLARD and the Midnighters
record material for two singles : "Sweet Mama, Do Right"/"Partners For
Life" (Federal 12251, January 1956) and "Open Up the Back Door"/"Rock,
Granny, Roll" (Federal 12260, March 1956). Backing by Don Wilkerson
(tenor sax) ; Cal Green (guitar) ; Perry Deal (piano) ; Joe Williams
(electric bass) ; George DeHart (drums).
December 1, 1955 : THE FIVE ROYALES lay down four tracks for their
next two singles, also in Cincinnati : "Right Around the Corner"/"When
You Walked Through the Door" (King 4869, January 1956) and "I Could
Love You"/"My Wants For Love" (King 4901, March 1956). The Five Royales
are : Clarence Paul, Windsor King, Eugene Tanner, John Tanner and
Lowman "Pete" Pauling.
December 5, 1955 : The first recording session of FRANKIE LYMON and the
Teenagers results in their biggest hit, "Why Do Fools Fall In Love"/
"Please Be Mine" (Gee 1002, released January 10, 1956). Location : Bell
Sound Studio, New York City. Produced by George Goldner. Sax solo by
December 6-7, 1955 : LEFTY FRIZZELL records at the Jim Beck Studio in
Dallas. "First To Have A Second Chance"/"These Hands" is selected for
the next single (Columbia 21488, January 1956) and "Promises"/"Today
Is That Tomorrow (I Dreamed Of Yesterday)" for the single after that
(Columbia 21506, March 1956). Three tracks stay in the can until the
release of the CD-boxset "Life's Like Poetry" (Bear Family 15550):
"My Love And Baby's Gone", "You Can't Divorce My Heart" and "Treat Her
Right". Personnel : Lefty Frizzell (vocals, guitar) ; Jimmy Rollins
(lead guitar) ; Paul Buskirk (mandolin) ; Bob Meadows (steel guitar) ;
Buddy Brady (fiddle) ; Bill Simmons (piano) ; Paul Brawley (bass) ;
Bill Peck (drums). Produced by Don Law.
December 7, 1955 : BUDDY HOLLY records four acetates which will be sent
to U.S. Decca at their request : "Moonlight Baby" (aka "Baby, Won't You
Come Out Tonight"), "I Guess I Was A Fool", "Don't Come Back Knocking"
and "Love Me". Three of the four songs will be rerecorded for Decca in
1956. Buddy (vocal, acoustic guitar) is supported by Sonny Curtis (lead
guitar) ; Don Guess (string bass) ; Jerry Allison (drums).
Location : Nesman Recording Studio, Wichita Falls, Texas.
December 8, 1955 : WANDA JACKSON's final session for Decca yields four
tracks. "Wasted"/"I Cried Again" is released in January 1956 on Decca
29803. "You Won't Forget (About Me)" follows in December 1956 (Decca
30153). All three tracks, plus the fourth song, "I'd Rather Have A Broken
Heart" will also be issued on Wanda's LP "Lovin' Country Style" (Decca
DL 4224) in 1962.
December 12, 1955 : BILL HALEY and his Comets are responsible for this
month's second Decca cover of the Bobby Charles number "See You Later
Alligator". Coupled with "The Paper Boy (On Main Street, U.S.A.)", also
from this session, the single is already in the shops just after Christmas
(Decca 29791). Personnel : Bill Haley (vocals, rhythm guitar) ; Franny
Beecher (lead guitar) ; Billy Williamson (steel guitar) ; Rudy Pompilli
(tenor sax) ; Johnny Grande (piano) ; Al Rex (double bass) ; Ralph Jones
(drums). Produced by Milt Gabler in New York City.
December 12, 1955 : GUITAR SLIM (real name Eddie Jones) is in Hollywood
to record "Something To Remember You By"/"You Give Me Nothin' But The
Blues" for his next single (Specialty 569, January 1956), while "I Believe
In My Lover" and "Sometime He Don't" will stay on the shelf.
Personnel : Guitar Slim (vocal / guitar) ; Gus Fontenette (alt sax) ;
Joe Tilman (tenor sax) ; Clarence Ford (baritone sax) ; Lawrence Cotton
(piano) ; Lloyd Lambert (bass) ; Oscar Moore (drums).
December 13, 1955 : GUY MITCHELL has a recording session at the Columbia
studio in New York. He's looking for a comeback after disappointing
recordsales during the last two years. The C&W flavored "Ninety Nine Years
(Dead Or Alive)" b/w "Perfume Candy And Flowers" becomes his next single
(Columbia 40631, February 1956), and brings Guy in the charts again.
"I Used To Yate Ya" will be used for a subsequent single (Columbia 40700,
June 1956), while "Five Little Fingers" remains unissued.
Personnel : Guy Mitchell (vocal) ; Al Caiola (guitar) ; R. Banzer and
William Versaci (saxes) ; D. Hyman (piano) ; Frank Carroll and A. Fishkind
(bass) ; R. Rosengarden (drums) ; L. Altpeter, N. Debase and Al Godlis
(trombones). Leader : Jimmy Carroll.
December 14, 1955 : Drummer CHARLES 'HUNGRY' WILLIAMS records his only
vocal single, "So Glad You're Mine"/"Mary Don't You Weep, Mary Don't You
Cry" (Checker 831, January 1956). Personnel : Charles Williams (vocals,
drums) ; Edgar Blanchard (guitar) ; Frank Fields (bass) ; Paul Gayten
(piano, producer) ; Lee Allen (tenor sax) ; Red Tyler (baritone sax).
Location : J&M Studio, New Orleans.
December 19, 1955 : CARL PERKINS records his biggest hit, "Blue Suede
Shoes" as well as the flip, "Honey Don't" (Sun 234, rush released just
before the end of the year). Intended as Sun 235 was the coupling "Sure
To Fall"/"Tennessee" from the same session, but this single was withdrawn
and both tracks had to wait until Carl's first LP ("Dance Album of Carl
Perkins", Sun LP 1225, 1958) to see a release. Carl (vocals, guitar) is
supported by his brothers Clayton (bass) and Jay (guitar, lead vocal
on "Sure To Fall"), as well as W.S. Holland on drums. Produced by Sam
Phillips at the Sun studio in Memphis.
December 20, 1955 : CHUCK BERRY's third recording session results in six
tracks. "No Money Down"/ "Downbound Train" is selected for the next single
(Chess 1615), released at the end of January 1956. "You Can't Catch Me"
will also be issued as a 45 (Chesss 1645), but not until December 1956.
"Berry Pickin'" and "Roly Poly" end up on Chuck's LP "After School Session"
(Chess LP 1426) in 1957 and "I've Changed" is first released on Reelin' LP
001 in the 1970s. Musicians : Chuck Berry (vocal, guitar) ; Otis Spann
(piano) ; Willie Dixon (bass) : Ebby Hardy (drums).
December 21, 1955 : Four-track session for LaVERN BAKER in New York City.
"My Happiness Forever" comes out on Atlantic 1087 in February 1956. "Fee
Fee Fi Fo Fum" is released on Atlantic 1093 in the first week of May 1956.
"Mine All Mine" ends up on LaVern's first LP (Atlantic LP 8002). The best
track, "Jim Dandy" is held in the can until November 1956 (Atlantic 1116).
Personnel unknown. Produced by Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler.
December 22, 1955 : At Jim Beck's studio in Dallas, SONNY JAMES records
"For Rent"/"My Stolen Love" for his next single (Capitol 3337, February
1956), while "My God And I" and "May God Be With You" will find a place
on his first album "Southern Gentleman" (Capitol LP 779).
Personnel : Sonny James (vocal / guitar) ; Neal Jones (rhythm guitar) ;
Paul Buskirk (electric mandolin) ; Harland Powell (steel guitar) ; Paul
Brawly (bass) ; Bill Simmons (piano) ; William Pecchi (drums).
Producer : Ken Nelson.
December 23, 1955 : Eighth and final 1955 session for FATS DOMINO at J&M
Studio in New Orleans. "My Blue Heaven" is released in March 1956 on
Imperial 5386, coupled with the previously recorded "I'm In Love Again".
"I Can't Go On This Way" is finally released in July 1963, after Fats had
left Imperial, overdubbed with a female chorus (Imperial 5980).
Personnel : Fats Domino (vocals, piano) ; Ernest McLean (guitar) ; Frank
Fields (bass) ; Cornelius Coleman (drums) ; Lee Allen, Herb Hardesty and
Buddy Hagans (tenor saxes) ; possibly Clarence Ford (alto sax). Produced
by Dave Bartholomew, as usual.
December 30, 1955 : Recording date of the BOYD BENNETT single "Right
Around the Corner"/"Partners For Life" (King 4874, last week of January
1956). Backing by the Count Basie Orchestra.
December 1955, unknown date : LITTLE WALTER records four tracks in
Chicago, all released on singles. "Who?"/"It Ain't Right" is chosen for the
next single (Checker 833, end of February 1956). "One More Chance With
You" comes out on Checker 838 in May 1956 and "Boom Boom Out Goes
the Light" is released on Checker 867 in August 1957.
With thanks to Steve Walker and Henk Gorter.
Additions and corrections welcome.
In the can index