January 2, 1961 : RAL DONNER, unaware of the success that the new year
will bring him, records "I Didn't Figure On Him (To Come Back)", which
will be released on Gone 5114 in September as the B-side of the # 39 hit
"Please Don't Go" (from a later session). One other track is laid down,
"Standing Here", but will be shelved until 1979, when it is included on 
the LP "You Don't Know What You've Got" (Pye NSPL 28269, UK).
The location is Bell Sound Studio in New York City.

Wednesday, January 4, 1961 : One week after recording "Saturday Night", 
WYNONIE HARRIS is back at the Roulette studio in New York City. Two tracks 
are committed to tape, "Josephine" and "Did You Get the Message", but they
will not see a release until 1994, on the Various artists CD "Roulette
Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 2" (Sequel NEM CD 670, UK).

January 4, 1961 : JOHN LEE HOOKER has a session in Chicago for Vee-Jay
Records. Of the six tracks recorded, "I'm Going Upstairs"/"I'm Mad Again"
is chosen for his new single (Vee-Jay 379, February). "Want Ad Blues" is
also released as a 45 (Vee-Jay 397, July, c/w "Take Me As I Am", recorded
on April 29, 1960). "Hard Headed Woman" will be issued on the LP "The Folk
Lore of John Lee Hooker" (Vee-Jay SR 1033) in June. "Will the Circle Be
Unbroken" stays in the can until 1974 (LP "John Lee Hooker In Person",
Dynasty LP 7301) and "I Left My Baby" will eventually appear in 1984 on
a Charly album ("Solid Sender", Charly CRB 1081, UK). 
Personnel : John Lee Hooker (vocals / guitar) ; Lefty Bates (guitar) ;
Jimmy Reed (harmonica) ; Quinn Wilson (bass) ; Earl Phillips (drums).

January 7, 1961 : FARON YOUNG cuts four tracks for the LP "Fan Club 
Favorites" (Capitol T 1528, February) : "Hello Walls", "Congratulations",
"Big Shoes" and "Believing It Yourself". "Hello Walls"/"Congratulations"
is also released as a single (Capitol 4533, March) and it becomes his
biggest hit (# 1 country for nine weeks, # 12 pop). 
Personnel : Bob Moore (bass) ; probably Floyd Cramer (piano) ; Buddy 
Harman (drums) ; The Jordanaires (backup vocals) ; more details unknown.
Produced by Ken Nelson at Bradley Studio in Nashville.

January 8, 1961 : In Cincinnati, OTIS WILLIAMS and his Charms record
the A-sides of their next two singles : "Little Turtle Dove" (King 5455,
February) and "You Know How Much I Care" (King 5497, May). The flip-
sides, respectively "So Can I" and "Just Forget About Me", were cut on 
September 15, 1960.
Personnel : Otis Williams (lead tenor) ; Rollie Willis, Matt Williams
and Winfried Gerald (vocals) ; Henry Moore and J.C. Davis (tenor saxes) ;
Jimmy Johnson (piano) ; Joe Swift (electric bass) ; Joe Hardwick (drums).
Produced by Henry Glover.

January 8-9, 1961 : BRENDA LEE records ten songs in two days at Bradley
Studio in Nashville. Only "You Can Depend On Me" will be released as a
single (Decca 31231, March, a # 6 hit). Six tracks will appear on the LP
"Emotions" (Decca DL 4104, April) : "Around the World", "Just Another
Lie", "Georgia On My Mind", "When I Fall in Love", "Cry" and "Will You
Love Me Tomorrow". "Fools Rush In" and "Someone To Love (The Prisoner's
Song)" will be used for later albums and "Zing! Went the Strings Of My
Heart" is first issued on the Bear Family 4-CD set "Little Miss Dynamite"
(BCD 15772) in 1995.
Personnel : Grady Martin, Hank Garland (guitars) ; Bob Moore (bass) ;
Harold Bradley (electric bass) ; Floyd Cramer (piano) ; Boots Randolph
(sax) ; Buddy Harman (drums) ; The Anita Kerr Singers (vocal chorus) ;
4 violin players.
Produced by Owen Bradley. 

January 8/9/10/11/12, 1961 : DUANE EDDY starts work on a new album,
"Girls! Girls! Girls!", which will appear in July (Jamie JLP 3019).
Four tracks are laid down on one or more of these five days : "Tuesday",
"Sioux City Sue", "Sweet Cindy" and "Connie". Also recorded is a first
attempt at "Dixie" (unissued and lost).
Personnel : Duane Eddy (guitar / producer) ; Donnie Owens (guitar) ;
David Campbell (bass) ; Larry Knechtel (piano) ; Jim Horn (sax) ; Jimmy
Troxel (drums). Location : Audio Recorders, Phoenix, Arizona.

January 10, 1961 : HUEY 'PIANO' SMITH and the Clowns have their second
session for Imperial. "Snag-A-Tooth Jeanie"/"Don't Knock It" is chosen
for (belated) single release (Imperial 5789, September). Two other songs, 
"Able Mabel" and "The Hill Ain't Far" remain in the can until they are 
issued on the LP "The Imperial Sides, 1960-61" (Pathe Marconi 1546731, 
France) in 1983.
Arranged by Huey Smith, produced by Dave Bartholomew at Cosimo's Studio
in New Orleans. 

January 10-11, 1961 : First US session for GENE VINCENT since August
1959. On the 10th, Gene records "Crazy Beat", "I'm Gonna Catch Me A Rat",
"It's Been Nice" and "That's the Trouble With Love", all of which will 
be shelved until March 1963 for the LP "The Crazy Beat Of Gene Vincent"
(Capitol T 20543, UK). The next day, he lays down another four tracks.
"If You Want My Lovin'"/"Mister Loneliness" is chosen as the new single
(Capitol 4525, February). "Good Lovin'" and "Teardrops" also end up on 
the "Crazy Beat" album.
Personnel : Allan Reuss, Scotty Turner (guitars) ; Cliff Hills (bass) ;
Ray Johnson (piano) ; Allen Reid Breneman (drums). Plus an unknown
female chorus and a string section on January 11. Bill Pitman replaces 
Allan Reuss on guitar on that day.
Arranged and conducted by Jimmie Haskell, produced by Klaus Engermann 
at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood.

January 12, 1961 : CHRIS KENNER records his biggest hit, "I Like It 
Like That, Parts 1 & 2", in New Orleans. The record is first released 
on Valiant 3229 in March, then on Instant 3229 in May. It will reach 
# 2 on both the pop and the R&B charts.
Personnel : Allen Toussaint (piano / organ / producer) ; Roy Montrell
(guitar). More details unknown.

January 12, 1961 : Time for a new RAY PRICE single. "Heart Over Mind"/
"The Twenty-Fourth Hour" is released on February 9 (Columbia 41947).
Both sides will make the country charts, peaking at # 5 and # 13
respectively. A third track from this session, "I'm Walkin' Slow (And 
Thinkin' 'Bout Her)", is shelved until the release of the Bear Family 
10-CD set "Honky Tonk Years" (BCD 15843) in 1995.
Personnel : Harold Bradley, Johnny Paycheck, Pete Wade (guitars) ; 
Jimmy Day (steel guitar) ; Joe Zinkan (bass) ; Hargus Robbins (piano) ;
Shorty Lavender, Tommy Jackson (fiddles) ; Steve Bess (drums).
Produced by Don Law at Bradley Studio in Nashville.

Friday, January 13, 1961 : The final session for the Aladdin label 
results in the last single to be released in the label : "One Scotch, 
One Bourbon, One Beer"/"Send Me Some Loving" by THURSTON HARRIS (Aladdin 
3468, February). Harris cuts six other tracks, possibly divided over two
sessions. "Cross My Heart" and "Fine Fine Frame" will eventually be
released in 1986 on the LP "Little Bitty Pretty One" (EMI America SQ 
17237). "Got You On My Mind" was scheduled for release on Imperial 5928 
in 1963, but was withdrawn. Unissued from this session are "She's All 
Right", "Lovesick Boy" and "My Heart Stood Still".
The location is Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California.

January 13, 1961 : CLYDE McPHATTER records his next single, "Tomorrow
Is A-Comin'"/"I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home", for release on
Mercury 71783 in February. The third track from this session at Fine
Recording Studio in New York City is "A Whole Heap Of Love", which will
appear on Mercury 71809 in May (c/w "You're Movin' Me" from an earlier
session). "What Went Wrong" is consigned to the vaults.
Arranged and conducted by Belford Hendricks, produced by Clyde Otis.

January 13/14/15/16/17, 1961 : DUANE EDDY continues to record tracks
for the "Girls! Girls! Girls!" LP : "Big Liza", "Mona Lisa", "Mary Ann",
"Annette" and "Brenda" (medley of "I Want To Be Wanted"/"That's All You
Gotta Do"/"I'm Sorry"). 
Personnel and location are the same as on the previous session(s). All
tracks for the LP will be overdubbed in February with vocal choruses 
(The Anita Kerr Singers, Jordanaires) and some tracks also with strings, 
at Bradley Studio in Nashville.

January 14, 1961 : BILLY STORM records material for two singles in
Los Angeles : "Dear One"/"When You Dance" (Atlantic 2098, March) and
"A Kiss From Your Lips"/"I Have My Tears Out To Dry" (Atlantic 2112,
Personnel includes Plas Johnson (tenor sax), Phil Spector (guitar /
producer) and Earl Palmer (drums). More details unknown.

January 16, 1961 : BOBBY DARIN is back in the studio for two songs.
"Oo-Ee Train" becomes the B-side of "Lazy River" (recorded on August
18, 1960) and is rush-released on Atco 6188. "Look For My True Love"
is also used as a B-side, for "Nature Boy" (to be recorded on March
26), released on Atco 6196 in May.
Personnel : Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, Phil Spector (guitars) ;
Red Callender (bass) ; Ernie Freeman (piano / arranger) ; Al Porcino,
John Anderson (trumpets) ; Plas Johnson, Johnny Rotella (saxes) ; 
Earl Palmer (drums) ; Larry Bunker (percussion) ; Unknown (female 
vocal chorus, strings).
Produced by Ahmet Ertegun in Los Angeles.

January 16, 1961 : DALE HAWKINS cuts three tracks for Checker at A&R
Recording Studios in New York City. "Should I" and a new version of 
"Someday, One Day" have never been issued. "Everglades" was eventually 
released on Dale's album "Daredevil" (Norton ED/CED 256) in 1997.
Backing musicians and producer unknown.

January 16, 1961 : BUCK OWENS records two duets with ROSE MADDOX,
"Mental Cruelty" and "Loose Talk", which are released back to back
on Capitol 4550 on April 10. Both sides will make the country charts,
peaking at # 8 and # 4 respectively. Owens also cuts two solo tracks,
"We're the Talk of the Town" and a first attempt at "Under the 
Influence of Love", which are unissued and lost.
Personnel : Buck Owens (vocals / guitar) ; Rose Maddox (vocals) ;
Ralph Mooney (steel guitar) ; Al Williams (bass) ; George French
(piano) ; Don Rich (fiddle) ; Pee Wee Adams (drums).
Produced by Ken Nelson at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood.

January 17, 1961 : COWBOY COPAS has a recording session in Nashville at
the Starday Sound Studio. "Flat Top" becomes the A-side of his next single
(Starday 542, March, c/w "True Love (Is The Greatest Thing)", recorded
December, 1960)". "New Filipino Baby" and "Signed Sealed and Delivered"
will be used for a future single (Starday 559, August). "A Tragic Romance"
and "The Beginning Of The End" both find a place on his LP "Songs That
Made Him Famous" (Starday SLP-144, June), and "Now That You're Gone" will
be included on the LP "Opry Star Spotlight On Cowboy Copas" (Starday SLP
157, December).
Produced by Tommy Hill. 

January 17-18, 1961 : FREDDY KING does another session at the King
Studio in Cincinnati. All four tracks recorded will be released as
singles. "Lonesome Whistle Blues"/"It's Too Bad Things Are Going So 
Tough" hits the market in April (Federal 12415). "I'm Tore Down" will
come out in September (Federal 15432) and "If You Believe (In What You
Do)" in November (Federal 15443).
Personnel : Freddy King (vocals / guitar) ; Fred Jordan (guitar) ; Bill 
Willis (bass) ; Gene Redd, Clifford Scott (saxes) ; Sonny Thompson 
(piano) ; Phillip Paul (drums).

January 18-20, 1961 : During three days of sessions in New York City,
LLOYD PRICE records the LP "Lloyd Price Sings the Million Sellers"
(ABC-Paramount 366, March). Tracks : "Ain't That Just Like A Woman",
"Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "Save the Last Dance For Me", "Shop
Around", "At Last", "Corrine Corrina", "The Hoochie Coochie Coo",
"He Will Break Your Heart", "I Count the Tears", "Spanish Harlem",
"Once In A While" and "C'est Si Bon".
Orchestra arranged and directed by Gil Askey. Produced by Sid Feller.

January 19, 1961 : In between trials, CHUCK BERRY manages to record
three songs in Chicago. "I'm Talking About You" becomes the new single
in February (Chess 1779), coupled with "Little Star" from the marathon
session in April 1960. "Route 66" and "Rip It Up" will appear as album
tracks, on the LP "New Jukebox Hits" (Chess LP 1456) in the summer of
Personnel : Chuck Berry (vocals / guitar) ; Reggie Boyd (electric bass) ; 
Lafayette Leake (piano) ; Philip Thomas (drums).

January 19, 1961 : LULA REED cuts six tracks in Cincinnati, released
on three singles. "Puddentane"/"I Got A Notion" comes first (Federal
12416, April). "You Gotta Have That Green"/"Know What You're Doing"
follows in July (Federal 12426). The third singles couples "What Makes
You So Cold" with "Ain't No Cotton Pickin' Chicken (Gonna Break This
Chicken Heart Of Mine)" (Federal 12440, October).
Backing by Sonny Thompson and his band : Fred Jordan, Lawrence
Frazier (guitars) ; Bill Willis (bass) ; Osborne Whitfield (tenor
sax) ; Sonny Thompson (piano / arranger) ; Phillip Paul (drums).

January 20, 1961 : Another Era session by DORSEY BURNETTE. "Hard Rock
Mine"/"(It's No) Sin" is chosen as his next single (Era 3041, February).
"That's Me Without You" will be used as the B-side of "Great Shakin' 
Fever" (from a later session) in April (Era 3045). A fourth track,
"The Rains Came Down", is first issued in 1962 on the LP "Rainin' In 
My Heart" (Dot DLP 3456).
Produced by Joe Saraceno at United Recording Corporation in Hollywood.

January 21, 1961 : DEL SHANNON's second recording session results in
his first and most famous release. "Runaway"/"Jody" is issued on Big Top
3067 in February and will hit the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 on
April 24, staying there for four weeks. Also a # 1 in the UK. 
A different (and stereo) take of "Runaway" will be used for his first
album "Runaway With Del Shannon" (Bigtop 1303, August 1961).
It is a split session with Max Crook, who records the instrumental
single "The Snake"/"The Wanderer" (Big Top 3068, February), credited
Personnel : Al Caiola (guitar) ; Milt Hinton (bass) ; Bill Ramal (sax 
/ arranger) ; Max Crook (musitron / piano) ; Joe Marshall (drums).
Handclaps on "The Snake" by Del Shannon's wife, Shirley Westover, and
Max Crook's wife, Joann, plus one other, male clapper, literally
dragged off the street for the session.
Both singles produced by Harry Balk at Bell Sound Studio in New York

January 22, 1961 : AMOS MILBURN (vocals / piano) and CHARLES BROWN
(vocals / organ) record another duet single : "I Wanna Go Back Home"/
"My Little Baby" (King 5464, March), in Cincinnati.

January 22, 1961 : TOMMY TUCKER (the "Hi Heel Sneakers" guy, not the
Memphis artist) has his only session for Atco Records, in New York City.
"Rock & Roll Machine"/"My Girl (I Really Love Her So)" is issued on
Atco 6208 in September and credited to Tee Tucker. Two other songs,
"Wha Aha" and "When the Deal Goes Down" have never been issued.
Personnel : Billy Butler (guitar) ; Paul 'Hucklebuck' Williams (bass) ;
Hal Mitchell (trumpet) ; Buddy Bell (tenor sax) ; Unknown (piano, vocal
chorus) ; Lee Ousley (drums).

January 23, 1961 : THE CHAMPS do a four-track session at Gold Star
Studio in Hollywood. "Hokey Pokey"/"Jumping Bean" is selected as their
next single (Challenge 59103, March). "Sombrero" is the subsequent 45
(Challenge 9113, June, c/w "The Shoddy Shoddy", to be recorded on 24th
March). "Third Man Theme" is first released on the CD "Tequila : The
Very Best Of the Champs" (Music Club MCCD 283) in 1996. "Hokey Pokey"
features vocals by the group, "Sombrero" has a few vocal interjections.
Personnel : Glen Campbell, Jerry Cole (guitars) ; Bob Morris (bass) ;
Jimmy Seals (sax) ; Dash Crofts (drums).
Arranged by Dave Burgess, produced by Joe Johnson.

January 24, 1961 : At Reco-Art Sound Recording Co. in Philadelphia,
DANNY AND THE JUNIORS record "Pony Express" and "Daydreamer" for their
next single (Swan 4068, February). A # 60 hit.
Instrumental accompaniment is provided by the Frank Slay Orchestra.
Produced by Frank Slay and Bob Crewe.

January 27, 1961 : Two-track session by the British instrumental
group THE SHADOWS. "Kon-Tiki" is saved until September 1 for release
on Columbia DB 4698 (c/w "36-24-36" from a later session). A # 1 hit
in the UK. The Fireballs number "Find Me A Golden Street" will be
included on the group's first album, simply called "The Shadows"
(Columbia SX 1374, September). The same goes for "Baby My Heart"
(with a vocal by Hank Marvin), recorded on January 28.
Personnel : Hank Marvin (lead guitar) ; Bruce Welch (rhythm guitar) ;
Jet Harris (bass) ; Tony Meehan (drums).
Produced by Norrie Paramor at the EMI Studio in London.

January 28, 1961 : CLIFF RICHARD does a four-track session at EMI's
Abbey Road Studio in London. "Theme For A Dream"/"Mumblin' Mosie" is
chosen as his new single (Columbia DB 4593, February 24). "A Girl Like 
You" is the subsequent single (Columbia DB 4667, June 16, c/w "Now's
the Time To Fall In Love", recorded on September 20, 1960). Both 45s
will reach # 3 on the UK charts. The fourth track, the Johnny Otis
number "Tough Enough", will be included on the LP "21 Today" (Columbia 
SX 1368, October 14).
Produced by Norrie Paramor.

January 30, 1961 : SAM COOKE records the A-side of his next single,
"That's It, I Quit, I'm Moving On" (RCA 47-7853, February, # 31 pop,
# 25 R&B) and "Farewell My Darling", the B-side of the subsequent 45,
"Cupid" (to be recorded on April 14), issued on RCA 47-7883 in May.
Two other songs were recorded during this month, possibly on the same
day : "What Do You Say" (the reverse of "That's It, I Quit, I'm Moving 
On") and "Hold On" (first released in 2000 on the 4-CD set "The Man 
Who Invented Soul").
Orchestra conducted by Sammy Lowe on January 31 and by Ralph Burns
on the other date. Production in both cases by Hugo & Luigi at RCA 
Victor Studio A in New York City.

January 30, 1961 : Pianist FLOYD CRAMER cuts nine tracks for the LP
"On the Rebound" (RCA LPM 2359, March) : "Wonderland By Night", "Two 
Of A Kind", "Danny Boy", "Tammy", "First Impression","Let It Be Me", 
"Faded Love", "Corrine Corrina" and "San Antonio Rose". The latter is
also released as a single (RCA 47-7893, May, c/w "I Can Just Imagine" 
from a session on December 10, 1960) and reaches # 8 on both the pop 
and the country charts.
Personnel : Floyd Cramer (piano) ; Hank Garland, Ray Edenton (guitars) ;
Bob Moore (bass) ; Howard Carpenter, Dorothy Walker, Lillian Hunt,
Brenton Banks (violins) ; Buddy Harman (drums) ; The Anita Kerr Singers
(vocal chorus).
Arranged by Anita Kerr, produced by Chet Atkins at RCA Victor Studio 
in Nashville.

January 31, 1961 : First Nashville session by CONNIE FRANCIS, at Bradley
Studio. "Someone Else's Boy" will appear in March, on the B-side of the
# 7 hit "Breakin' In A Brandnew Broken Heart" (MGM 12995, recorded on
October 18, 1960). One other track is recorded, "Let the Rest Of the
World Go By", which is held in the can until it is included on the Bear
Family 5-CD box-set "Kissin', Twistin', Goin' Where the Boys Are" (BCD
15826) in 1995.
Personnel : Bob Moore (bass) ; Buddy Harman (drums) ; and other, unknown
members of the Nashville A-Team. Background vocals by Millie Kirkham and
the Jordanaires.
Arranged by Cliff Parman, produced by Jim Vienneau.

January 31, 1961 : JOHNNY KIDD and the Pirates record two songs at 
EMI's Abbey Road studio : "More Of the Same" and "I Just Wanna Make 
Love To You", a full three years before the Rolling Stones popularized
this Willie Dixon/Muddy Waters classic. Both masters were shelved until
the release of the LP "Rarities" (See For Miles CM 120) in 1983.

(Circa) January 1961, unknown date : First post-Roulette session by JIMMY 
BOWEN. "It's Against the Law"/"Teenage Dreamworld" is released in March,
on Capehart 5005 (a subsidiary of Crest Records in Hollywood).
Produced by Jerry Capehart.

(Probably) January 1961, unknown date : BOBBY EDWARDS records his only 
major hit, "You're the Reason"/"I'm A Fool For Lovin' You". It comes out 
in February (Crest 1075), but doesn't chart until August (# 11 pop, also
# 4 country). Edwards is backed by THE FOUR YOUNG MEN (Wayne Moore, Ernie 
Williams, Floyd 'Gib' Guilbeau, Darrell Cotton), who also record a single 
in their own right : "You Been Torturing Me"/"See Them Laugh" (Crest 1076, 
also February).
Location is Gold Star Studio in Hollywood.

(Probably) January 1961, unknown date : MIRRIAM JOHNSON (soon to be Duane 
Eddy's wife) records material for two singles : "The Lonesome Road"/"Young
And Innocent" (Jamie 1181, February) and "I Cried Long Enough"/"Making
Believe" (Jamie 1193, June). In the 1970s she would achieve success in the 
country field under the name Jessi Colter.
Produced by Duane Eddy, who also plays guitar. Location is probably Audio
Recorders in Phoenix, Arizona.

January 1961, unknown date : Saxophonist RED PRYSOCK records the single
"Charleston Twist"/"Bony Moronie" (Mercury 71786, February), along with 
two unissued tracks, "Whispering Grass" and "No Man's Land". Location
is New York City.

With thanks to Mike Thompson, Jim Bartlett, Fred Rothwell and Henk Gorter.

Additions and corrections welcome.

In the can index