IN THE CAN : DECEMBER 1956
December 1, 1956 : JAMES "SUGAR BOY" CRAWFORD records two singles at
Cosimo Studio in New Orleans : "She's Got A Wobble When She Walks"/
"You Gave Me Love" (Imperial 5424, February 1957) and Morning Star"/
"I Don't Need You Now" (Imperial 5441, May 1957).
Backing by Dave Bartolomew's band, probably : Herb Hardesty and Lee Allen
(tenor saxes) ; Dave Bartholomew (trumpet, producer) ; Walter Nelson
(guitar) ; Frank Fields (bass) ; Earl Palmer (drums).
December 1, 1956 : A Chicago session by MUDDY WATERS yields four
tracks : "Got My Mojo Working"/"Rock Me" (Chess 1652, March 1957),
"I Love the Life I Live" (Chess 1680, December 1957) and "Look What
You've Done" (Chess 1758, July 1960).
Personnel : Muddy Waters (vocal) ; James Cotton (harmonica) ; Otis Spann
(piano) ; Pat Hare (guitar) ; Andrew Stephenson or Willie Dixon (bass) ;
Francey Clay (drums).
Tuesday, December 4, 1956 : After CARL PERKINS has recorded "Your True
Love" and "Matchbox" for his next single (Sun 261, January 23, 1957),
Elvis Presley drops by the Sun studio in Memphis for a casual visit.
Also present are Jerry Lee Lewis (as the session pianist) and another
prominent Sun artist, Johnny Cash. The impromptu jam session of these
four artists has become known as the "Million Dollar Quartet" session,
although Cash had left before the recording (by Jack Clement) began
and Jerry Lee Lewis was still unknown at the time. Some of the tapes
were finally issued in 1990. "The Complete Million Dollar Quartet" was
issued in 2006 (RCA/Sony BMG 82876889352).
Personnel on "Matchbox" and "Your True Love" : Carl Perkins (vocals /
guitar); Jay Perkins (rhythm guitar) ; Clayton Perkins (bass) ; Jerry Lee
Lewis (piano) ; W.S. Holland (drums). Produced by Sam Phillips.
December 9, 1956 : Country singer WAYNE RANEY records his most rocking
single : "Shake Baby Shake"/"40th And Plum" (Decca 30212, February 1957)
at Bradley Studio in Nashville. Produced by Paul Cohen.
December 10, 1956 : HANK THOMPSON waxes the single " Rockin' In the Congo"/
"I Was the First One" (Capitol 3623, January 1957), as well as four tracks
for the LP "Hank!" (Capitol T 826, May 6, 1957).
Personnel : Hank Thompson (vocals / guitar, arranger) ; Merle Travis
(guitar) ; Bobbie White (steel guitar) ; Billy Briggs Stewart (bass) ;
Paul McGhee (drums) ; Amos Hedrick, Curly Lewis, Billy Peters (fiddles) ;
Donnie McDaniel (piano).
Produced by Ken Nelson at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood.
December 10, 1956 : ERNIE CHAFFIN records his first single for the Sun
label : "Feelin' Low"/"Lonesome For My Baby" (Sun 262, release date
January 23, 1957).
Chaffin (vocals / guitar) is supported by Ernie Harvey (steel guitar) ;
Peewee Maddux (fiddle) ; Leo Ladner (bass).
Produced by Jack Clement at the Sun studio in Memphis.
December 11, 1956 : BILLY RILEY records his second Sun single (but the
first one recorded at the Sun studio) : "Flyin' Saucers Rock 'n' Roll"/
"I Want You Baby" (Sun 260, January 23, 1957).
Billy is backed by his own group, the Little Green Men : Roland Janes
(guitar) ; Jerry Lee Lewis (piano) ; Marvin Pepper (bass) ; Jimmy Van Eaton
Produced by Sam Phillips.
December 11, 1956 is also the recording date of the BILLY MIZE single
"Solid Sender:/"It Could Happen" (Decca 30271, April 1, 1957).
Backing by John Barnett and Roy Nichols (guitars) ; Joe Walker (bass) ;
Gene McGraudy (drums) ; Jelly Sanders (fiddle) ; George French (piano).
Location : Decca Studio, Hollywood.
December 12, 1956 : HANK LOCKLIN waxes material for his next two singles
at Nashville's RCA studio. "By the Sweat Of My Brow"/"Fourteen Karat Gold"
is released on RCA 6778 in January 1957 and "Goin' Home All By Myself"/
"The Rich And the Poor" on RCA 6867 in March 1957.
The backing is provided by : Chet Atkins and Ray Edenton (guitars) ; Bob
Moore (bass) ; Floyd Cramer (piano) ; Buddy Harman (drums).
Produced by Chet Atkins.
December 12, 1956 : ERNIE CHAFFIN records his first Sun single, "Feelin’
Low"/"Lonesome For My Baby" (Sun 262, January 23, 1957).
Personnel : Ernie Chaffin (vocals / guitar) ; Pee Wee Maddux (acoustic
guitar) ; Ernie Harvey (steel guitar) ; Leo Ladner (bass).
Produced by Sam Phillips at his studio in Memphis.
December 12, 1956 : SAM COOKE records at Cosimo's Studio in New Orleans,
his only session there. Five tracks are recorded, enough to fill three (!)
singles. "Lovable"/"¯Forever" (Specialty 596, May 1957) is credited to
Dale Cook." Forever" is then reissued as the A-side on Specialty 619
(November 1957), this time coupled with "I'll Come Running Back To You"
and credited to Sam Cooke. "That's All I Need To Know"/"I Don't Want To Cry"
follows in March 1958 (Specialty 627).
Personnel : Warren Myles (piano) ; Edgar Blanchard (guitar) ; Frank Fields
(bass) ; Earl Palmer (drums, arranger).
Produced by Bumps Blackwell.
December 12, 1956 : THE FOUR PREPS record five songs in Los Angeles, four
of which are released on two singles. First issued is "Moonstruck In Madrid"/
"I Cried A Million Tears" (Capitol 3621, January 1957), followed by "Where
Wuz You"/"Falling Star" (Capitol 3699, April 1957). "Humble Pie" is an
The Four Preps are : Bruce Belland, Ed Cobb, Marvin Inabnett and Glen Larson.
Backing by Gus Levene and his orchestra. Arranged by Lincoln Mayorga.
Produced by Voyle Gilmore at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood.
December 13, 1956 : The three tracks that JOHNNY CASH records on this day
will not see a release until several years later, after Cash has left Sun
for Columbia. "Goodbye Little Darling" will be issued on Sun 331 (September
15, 1959), soon followed by "Straight A's In Love"/"I Love You Because"
(Sun 334, December 31, 1959).
Personnel : Johnny Cash (vocals / guitar) ; Luther Perkins (electric guitar) ;
Marshall Grant (bass) ; Jerry Lee Lewis (piano) ; Russell Smith or Jimmy
Van Eaton (drums) ; The Gene Lowery Singers (vocal chorus, overdubbed in
Produced by Jack Clement at the Sun studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
December 13, 1956 : THE CARDINALS enter a New York studio for a final
attempt to re-establish themselves in the charts. They record "One Love"/
"Near You" for release on Atlantic 1126 in January 1957, but the record
fails and the group will not record again. Unissued from this session is
"Let the Sunshine Shine On You".
December 14, 1956 : ROY ORBISON is back in the Sun studio in Memphis to
record his next single, "Sweet And Easy To Love"/"Devil Doll" (Sun 265,
January 24, 1957).
Personnel : Roy Orbison (vocals / guitar) ; Roland Janes (guitar) ;
unknown (bass) ; Jimmy Van Eaton (drums) ; The Roses (vocal group).
Produced by Sam Phillips.
December 14, 1956 : In Los Angeles, T-BONE WALKER records five tracks
for the LP "T-Bone Blues" (Atlantic LP 8020, 1959) : "Mean Old World",
"T-Bone Blues", "Stormy Monday Blues", "Blues For Marili" and "Shufflin'
the Blues". A sixth track, "Your Wig Is Gone" remains unissued.
Musicians : T-Bone Walker (vocals / guitar) ; Lloyd Glenn (piano) ; Billy
Hadnott (bass) ; Otis Lee Bradley (drums).
December 16, 1956 : Yet another Sun session : WADE AND DICK record their
only single for the label : "Bop Bop Baby"/"Don't Need Your Lovin' Baby"
(Sun 269, April 15, 1957). Wade (Moore) and Dick (Penner) are credited on
the label as "Wade & Dick, The College Kids".
Produced by Sam Phillips or Jack Clement in Memphis.
December 18, 1956 : MELVIN ENDSLEY, freshly signed to RCA, has his first
session for the label. The harvest is two singles : "I Ain't Getting Nowhere
With You"/"Bringin' the Blues To My Door" (RCA 6795, January 1957) and the
original version of "I Like Your Kind Of Love" c/w "Is It True" (RCA 6891,
Backing by : Chet Atkins (electric guitar, producer) ; Velma Smith (rhythm
guitar) ; Jimmy Day (steel guitar) ; Bob Moore (bass) ; Grady Martin and
Tommy Jackson (fiddles) ; Farris Coursey (drums).
Location : RCA studio, Nashville.
December 19, 1956 : AGGIE DUKES is at Master Recorders in Hollywood where
she records two singles : "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac, Parts 1 & 2" (Aladdin
3364, March 1957) and "John John"/"Come Back Baby" (Aladdin 3365, May 1957).
"John John" will be reissued on Aladdin 3388 with a different flip-side.
Personnel includes Plas Johnson on tenor sax and Buddy Colette on flute.
More details unknown.
December 19, 1956 : J.B. LENOIR does a five-track session at the Chess
studio in Chicago. Two singles are released in 1957 : "I've Been Down So
Long"/"Don't Touch My Head!" (Checker 856, February) and "What About Your
Daughter"/"Five Years" (Checker 874, October). The fifth track, "When I Am
Drinking" will not be issued until 1976, on the 2-LP set "J.B. Lenoir"
(Chess 2ACMB 208).
Personnel : J.B. Lenoir (vocal / guitar) ; Alex Atkins (alto sax, arranger) ;
Ernest Cotton (tenor sax) ; Joe Montgomery (piano) ; Willie Dixon (bass) ;
Al Galvin (drums).
December 20, 1956 : HAYDEN THOMPSON has his second session at the Sun studio
in Memphis, where only one track is recorded : "Love My Baby". The release
is postponed until September 23 1957, on Phillips International 3517, a new Sun
Personnel : Hayden Thompson (vocal) ; Roland Janes (guitar) ; Marvin Pepper
(bass) ; Jerry Lee Lewis (piano) ; Jimmy Van Eaton (drums).
Produced by Sam Phillips.
Friday, December 21, 1956 : Newcomer DON WOODY does a four-track session at
Bradley Studio in Nashville. "Bird Dog"/"You're Barking Up the Wrong Tree"
comes out on single (Decca 30277, in April 22, 1957). "Make Like A Rock And
Roll" and "Morse Code" are first released in 1975, on the MCA album "Rare
Rockabilly" (MCFM 2697, UK).
Backing by Grady Martin and the Slew Foot Five, plus Owen Bradley on piano,
who also acts as producer.
December 28, 1956 : In Memphis, GLENN HONEYCUTT has a session for Sam
Phillips. "I'll Be Around"/"I'll Wait Forever" will be released on single
(Sun 264, January 24, 1957), two versions of "Rock All Night" are selected
by Frenchman "Ding Dong" for the re-issue LP's "All Night Rock"(Sun CFM 504,
1985) and "Hot Southern Boppers" (UK Sun LP 1024, 1991). A fourth track,
"Lonely Days" will remain unissued.
Personnel : Glenn Honeycutt (vocals / guitar) ; Roland Janes (guitar) ;
Jimmy Van Eaton (drums) ; Jimmy Wilson (piano); Miller Sisters (vocal
December 28, 1956 : Same day THE GLADIOLAS record the original version of
"Little Darlin'", and its reverse, "Sweetheart Please Don't Go", released
on Excello 2101 in January 1957.
The group includes future hitmaker Maurice Williams ("Stay").
December 30, 1956 : In Philadelphia, CHARLIE GRACIE has his first session
for Bernie Lowe's Cameo label at the Reco-Art Sound Recording studio,
resulting in "Butterfly" b/w "Ninety Nine Ways" (Cameo 105), a Billboard
top five hit (April, 1957), despite an even more succesfull cover by Andy
Personnel : Charlie Gracie (vocals / lead guitar) ; Joe Sgro (rhythm guitar) ;
Joe Macho (bass) ; Jerry Kilgore (drums) ; Bernie Lowe (piano) ; Dave Appell
and the Applejacks (backing vocals). Produced by Bernie Lowe.
December 1956, unknown date : BOBBY CHARLES does another session at Cosimo
Recording Studio in New Orleans. "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey" is selected
for the next single (Chess 1647, January 1957). "I'll Turn Square For You",
"Lonely Street" and "Mr. Moon" are first released in 1984, on the LP "Chess
Masters" (Chess LP 9175). "I'm A Fool To Care" and "Over Yonder" will finally
see a release in 1996, on the Japanese CD "Chess Masters" (MCA Victor
Personnel : probably Lee Allen (tenor sax) ; Red Tyler or Clarence Ford
(baritone sax) ; Edward Frank (piano) ; Justin Adams or Ernest McLean
(guitar) ; Frank Fields (bass) ;Earl Phillips (drums) ; Waldron Joseph
(trombone). Produced by Paul Gayten.
(Probably) December 1956, unknown date : CURTIS GORDON's penultimate
Mercury session yields four tracks. "So Tired Of Crying"/"I Know My Baby's
Gone" (Mercury 71037, January 7, 1957), "Out To Win Your Heart" (Mercury
71097, April 12, 1957) and "One Blue Moon, One Broken Heart", first released
on Bear Family LP "Rock Roll Jump & Jive" (BFX 15181, 1985).
Personnel : Curtis Gordon (vocals / guitar) ; Eddie Hill (guitar) ; Noel
Boggs (steel guitar) ; Dusty Harrell (bass) ; Charles Mitchell (fiddle) ;
Produced by Pappy Daily, probably at Gold Star studio in Houston.
Mid-December 1956 : HOWLIN' WOLF pays another visit to the Chess studio in
Chicago and commits four tracks to tape. "Going Back Home"/"My Life" is
chosen for his next single (Chess 1648, February 1957). The other two songs,
"Bluebird" and "You Ought To Know" stay in the can until 1979, when they are
released on the LP "Heart Like A Railroad Steel" (Blues Ball LP 2001).
Personnel : Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett) (vocals / harmonica) ; Billy Dockins
(tenor sax) ; Hosea Lee Kennard (piano) ; Willie Johnson, Smokey Smothers
(guitars) ; Alfred Elkins (bass) ; Earl Phillips (drums).
December 1956, unknown date : EARL KING records the single "You Can Fly High"/
"Those Lonely Lonely Feelings" at Cosimo Studio in New Orleans. Released on
Ace 529 in June 1957.
Personnel : Earl King (vocals / guitar) ; Frank Fields (bass) ; Curtis Mitchell
(piano) ; Nat Perilliat (tenor sax) ; Julius Shakesnider (baritone sax) ;
Dalton Rousseaux (trumpet) ; Worthia Thomas (trombone) ; Charles 'Hungry'
Williams (drums). Produced by Johnny Vincent.
December 1956, unknown date : SANFORD CLARK waxes his next 45, "9 Lb. Hammer"
(or "Nine Pound Hammer", if you prefer) c/w "Ooo Baby" (Dot 15534, December 18).
Backing personnel includes Al Casey on guitar and possibly Jimmy Troxell on
Produced by Lee Hazlewood at Audio Recorders in Phoenix, Arizona.
With thanks to Steve Walker and Henk Gorter.
Additions and corrections welcome.
In the can index