IN THE CAN : APRIL 1961
April 3, 1961 : First of three April sessions for RICK(Y) NELSON. Both
"I'll Make Believe" and "Stars Fell On Alabama" are included on the LP
"Rick Is 21" (Imperial LP 9152, May).
Personnel : Ricky Nelson (vocals / guitar) ; James Burton (lead guitar) ;
Joe Osborn (bass) ; Ray Johnson (piano) ; Richie Frost (drums). Plus an
unidentified vocal chorus that probably includes Glen Campbell.
Arranged and produced by Jimmie Haskell at United Recording Corporation
See also April 10 / 17.
Wednesday, April 5, 1961 : CHET ATKINS records his next single, "Windy
And Warm"/"Man Of Mystery" (RCA 47-7891, May 16). The B-side is a cover
of the UK hit by the Shadows. A third track, "Always On Saturday" will be
included on the album "Our Man In Nashville" (RCA LPM 2616) in December
Personnel : Chet Atkins (guitar / producer) ; Bob Moore (bass) ; more
details unknown. Location : the RCA Victor Studio in Nashville.
April 5, 1961 : DON GIBSON is also at the RCA Victor Studio in Nashville
to cut his new 45, "Sea Of Heartbreak"/"I Think It's Best To Forget Me"
(RCA 47-7890, May). It will peak at # 2 on the country charts and # 21 on
the pop charts. The third track from this session, "That's How It Goes",
stays in the can until the release of Bear Family's 4-CD set "Don Gibson -
The Singer, The Songwriter, 1961-1966" (BCD 15664) in 1993.
Personnel : Don Gibson (vocals / guitar) ; Chet Atkins (guitar / producer) ;
Hank Garland, Haold Bradley (guitars) ; Bob Moore (bass) ; Floyd Cramer
(piano) ; Buddy Harman (drums) ; The Anita Kerr Singers (vocal chorus).
April 5, 1961 : In Cincinnati, FREDDY KING records eight tracks for the
instrumental LP "Let's Hide Away And Dance With Freddy King" (King LP 773,
December) : "Onion Rings" (Federal 12529), "Sen-Sa-Shun" (Federal 12432),
"Side Tracked" (Federal 12456), "The Stumble" (Federal 12450), "San-Ho-Zay"
(Federal 12428), "Wash Out" (the only track not also released as a single),
"Just Pickin'" (Federal 12470) and "Heads Up" (Federal 12443).
Personnel : Freddy King (guitar / leader) ; Fred Jordan (guitar) ; Sonny
Thompson (piano) ; Bill Willis (bass) ; Philip Paul (drums).
The album was reissued in 1963 as "Freddy King Goes Surfin'" (King LP 856),
with overdubbed audience noise.
April 5, 1961 : TEDDY RANDAZZO records four tracks which will be issued
on four different singles : "Let the Sunshine In" (ABC-Paramount 10228,
June), "Don't Go Away" (ABC-Paramount 10247, September), "Teenage Senorita"
(ABC-Paramount 10312, April 1962) and "It Wasn't A Dream" (ABC-Paramount
10377, November 1962).
Arranged and produced by Sid Feller in New York City.
April 6, 1961 : Another ABC-Paramount session by Jo-ANN CAMPBELL. Her
revival of "Eddie My Love" becomes the B-side of her new single in June
(ABC-Paramount 10224 ; for the A-side see April 14). "Dance With Me Henry"
is a track for the LP "For Twistin' and Listenin'" (ABC-Paramount ABC 393,
February 1962). "Last Day Of School" is consigned to the vaults.
Produced by Sid Feller at Bell Sound Studio in New York City.
See also April 14 and 27.
April 6, 1961 : JOE JONES is in the studio (probably Cosimo's Studio in
New Orleans) to record two parts of "The Big Mule". The first part will be
used for his last Roulette single (4377, July), coupled with "I Got A Uh-Uh
Wife" from a session on June 8, 1961. "The Big Mule, Part 2" has never been
Produced by Henry Glover.
April 6, 1961 : One-track session by drummer SANDY NELSON, who records
the A-side of his next single, "Get With It" (Imperial 5745, rush-released).
The reverse is "Big Noise From the Jungle", recorded on September 29, 1960.
Produced by Eddie Ray in Los Angeles.
April 8, 1961 : PAT BOONE records what will be his sixth and last # 1
hit : "Moody River" (Dot 16209), released in the third week of April.
The flip-side, "A Thousand Years", was recorded on February 27, 1961.
One other song is laid down : "That's My Desire", which will be used as
the B-side of "Big Cold Wind" (from a session on June 15) and released
on June 28 (Dot 16244).
Personnel : Al Henderson, Tommy Tedesco (guitars) ; Larry Breen (bass) ;
Ernie Hayes (piano) ; Dick Shanahan (drums).
Arranged and conducted by Billy Vaughn. Produced by Randy Wood at Radio
Recorders in Hollywood.
April 10, 1961 : THE COASTERS do a four-track session in Hollywood (Gold
Star Studio). "Teach Me How To Shimmy" ends up on the B-side of "Ridin'
Hood" (recorded on December 7, 1960) in February 1962 (Atco 6219). "Hongry"
is another B-side (of "Lady Like", recorded on February 26, 1960) and has
to wait until March 1965 for a release (Atco 6341). The two other tracks,
"Giving Up" and "I'm A Hum Dinger", have never been released.
Personnel : Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Cornel Gunter, Will 'Dub' Jones
(vocals) ; Michael Adams (guitar) ; Llevellyn Klassy (bass) ; Steve Douglas
(tenor sax) ; James H. Davids (electric piano) ; Sandy Nelson (drums).
Produced by Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood.
April 10, 1961 : RICKY NELSON continues to record tracks for the album
"Rick Is 21" (Imperial LP 9152, May). On this day he waxes "Oh Yes I'm
In Love" and "Lucky Star. The latter is also released as a single in June
1964 (Imperial 66039, c/w "Everybody But Me" from a session on March 6,
1961). The final track for the LP, "That Warm Summer Night", is recorded
on April 17 and overdubbed (with a vocal chorus) two days later.
Personnel, producer and studio are the same as on April 3, except that
Ricky doesn't play rhythm guitar on April 17 (replaced by Tommy Tedesco).
April 11, 1961 : THE MARCELS record five tracks in New York City, all of
which will be released on 45s. "Summertime" becomes the follow-up to
"Blue Moon" on Colpix 196 in May (c/w "Teeter Totter Love", laid down on
March 16). A # 78 hit. "You Are My Sunshine"/"Find Another Fool" is the
subsequent single (Colpix 606, September). "Footprints in the Snow" will
serve as the B-side of "Twistin' Fever" (from a later session) in February
1962 (Colpix 629). "Hold On" is another B-side (of "Flower Pot"), issued
in May 1962 on Colpix 640.
Produced by Stu Phillips.
April 11, 1961 : The instrumental group THE PILTDOWN MEN records a new,
completely different version of "Gargantua", after the first version (cut
on March 10) was rejected. Release on Capitol 4581 in May, c/w "Fossil
Rock" from the March session.
Personnel (probably) : Bob Bain (guitar) ; Tommy Tedesco (bass) ; Jackie
Kelso, Scott Gordon (saxes) ; Lincoln Mayorga (piano / arranger) ; Earl
Produced by Voyle Gilmore at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood.
April 12, 1961 : LITTLE WILLIE JOHN is back in King's Cincinnati studio.
Six tracks are released both as singles and LP tracks : "(I've Got) Spring
Fever" (King 5503, late April), "Now You Know"/"Take My Love" (King 5516,
July), "The Masquerade Is Over" (King 5602, March 1962), "Every Beat Of My
Heart" (King 5641, May 1962) and "Rock Love" (King 5870, March 1964).
The seventh track, "Like Boy, Like Girl", will stay on the shelf until the
release of the CD "Heaven All Around Me: The Later King Sessions 1961-63"
(Ace CDCHD 1221, 2009).
Personnel unknown. Produced by Henry Glover.
Thursday, April 13, 1961 : THE FLEAS are a "supergroup", consisting of
Ricky Nelson, Jerry Fuller, Dave Burgess and Glen Campbell. On this day
they record the single "Scratchin'"/"Tears" (Challenge 9115, July), at
Gold Star Studio in Hollywood. Both numbers were previously attempted on
March 28. This session uses the instrumental backing track from that date,
but with new vocals and a different mix.
Backing by members of the Champs. Produced by Dave Burgess.
April 13, 1961 : First Capitol session for IVORY JOE HUNTER. "Because I
Love You"/"I'm Hooked" is released in June on Capitol 4587. Both songs are
his own compositions. Hunter accompanies himself on piano ; more personnel
Arranged by Stan Applebaum in New York City.
April 13, 1961 : EARL KING is at Cosimo's Studio in New Orleans to record
four tracks. "Come Along With Me"/"You're More To Me Than Gold" is issued
in May on Imperial 5750. "My Mother's Love" and "Nervous Breakdown" are
first released on the CD "Come On : The Complete Imperial Recordings" in
2003 (Okra-Tone 4970).
Personnel : Earl King (vocals / guitar) ; Dave Bartholomew (trumpet /
producer) ; Wardell Quezergue (trumpet) ; Waldron 'Frog' Joseph (trombone) ;
Morris Bechamin (tenor sax) ; Carl Bluin (baritone sax) ; George French
111(bass) ; James Booker (piano) ; Robert French (drums).
April 14, 1961 : Second session of JO-ANN CAMPBELL this month. "It Wasn't
Right" is selected as the A-side of her next single (ABC-Paramount 10224,
June, c/w "Eddie My Love", recorded on April 6). The other three tracks
will all get a place on the LP "For Twistin' and Listenin'" (ABC-Paramount
ABC 393) in February 1962 : "Johnny B. Goode", "Willie and the Hand Jive"
and "Mr. Lee".
Produced by Sid Feller at Bell Sound Studios in New York City.
See also April 6 and April 27.
April 14, 1961 : SAM COOKE cuts his biggest hit of 1961, "Cupid", released
on May 16 (RCA 47-7883, # 17 pop, # 20 R&B). The other side is "Farewell
My Darling" from a January session. Cooke also records a second version of
"Tenderness", which stays in the vaults until 2000 (4 CD-set "The Man Who
Personnel : Rene Hall (guitar / arranger) ; Cliff White (guitar) ; Joseph
Gibbons (guitar / banjo) ; Cliff Hills (bass) ; Earl Palmer (drums). Plus
Produced by Hugo & Luigi at RCA Victor Studio in Hollywood.
April 14, 1961 is the date of HAROLD DORMAN's first Sun session. The
single "There They Go"/"I'll Stick By You" is released on May 21 (Sun
362). A first version of "Wait 'Til Saturday Night" is shelved until
1976, when it will be included on the LP "Sun - The Roots Of Rock, Vol. 1"
(Charly CR 30101, UK). (Dorman will cut the song again in March 1962.)
"Let 'em Talk" is first released on the CD "Sun Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 1"
(Charly CPCD 8277) in 1997.
Personnel : Hank Garland, Kelton Herston (guitars) ; Junior Huskey
(bass) ; Floyd Cramer (piano) ; Buddy Harman (drums) ; Millie Kirkham,
Dorothy Ann Dillard, Gordon Stoker, Louis Dean Nunley (vocal chorus).
Produced by Sam Phillips at Sun's new Nashville studio.
April 17-18, 1961 : WANDA JACKSON records eleven tracks for the LP
"Right Or Wrong" (Capitol T 1596, October). "Why I'm Walking", "So Soon",
"The Last Letter", "I May Never Get To Heaven" and "The Window Up Above"
will get a place on Side 1 of the album, along with the title track,
which was recorded on October 28, 1960.
Side 2 is the rocking side with "Sticks And Stones", "Stupid Cupid",
"Slippin' And Slidin'", "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", "Who Shot Sam" and
"My Baby Left Me".
Produced by Ken Nelson at Bradley Studio in Nashville.
See also April 20.
April 17, 1961 : THE LETTERMEN record their first hit, "The Way You
Look Tonight"/"That's My Desire" (Capitol 4586, June, # 13). "Valley
High" is a track for their first LP ("A Song For Young Love", Capitol
T 1669, January 1962). "Heart And Soul" remains in the vaults.
The Lettermen are : Jim Pike, Tony Butala and Bob Engemann.
Arranged and conducted by Jimmie Haskell at the Capitol Tower in
April 17, 1961 : JOHN D. LOUDERMILK returns to the RCA Victor Studio
in Nashville to record five tracks. "The Great Snowman" and "Blue Train
(Of the Heartbreak Line)" are included on the LP "Language Of Love" in
October (RCA LPM 2434). "He's Just A Scientist (That's All)", "The Little
Bird" and "Rhythm and Blues" will appear on the subsequent LP, "Twelve
Sides Of Loudermilk" (RCA LPM 2539) in August 1962. "Blue Train" and
"Rhythm and Blues" are coupled for single release in February 1964
(RCA 47-8308) while Teldec in Germany will release "The Great Snowman"
on single (RCA 47-9381, December, b/w "Language Of Love", recorded
the previous month).
Personnel : John D. Loudermilk (vocals / guitar) ; Henry Strzelecki
(bass) ; Norro Wilson (piano / harpsichord) ; Charlie McCoy (harmonica) ;
Buddy Harman (drums) ; The Anita Kerr Singers (vocal chorus).
Produced by Chet Atkins.
April 19, 1961 : THE JOHN BARRY SEVEN (Plus Four) are at EMI's Abbey
Road Studio in London for a two-track session. "A Matter Of Who" (from
the film of the same name) will end up as the B-side of "Starfire" (cut
on July 31, 1961), which is released on September 1 (Columbia DB 4699).
"Dark Rider" is first released on the CD "John Barry - The EMI Years,
Vol. Two : 1961" (EMI CD EMS 1501).
Produced by Norman Newell.
April 19, 1961 : Three-track session by MARTY ROBBINS at Bradley Studio in
Nashville. His next single is "Jimmy Martinez"/"Ghost Train", released on
May 1 (Columbia 42008, # 24 country, # 51 pop). "You Told Me So" is used as
the B-side of the subsequent 45 (Columbia 42065, July 29) c/w "It's Your
World" (a # 3 country hit, also # 51 pop), recorded on March 10, 1961.
Personnel : Jack Pruett, Hank Garland (guitars) ; Bob Moore (bass) ; Floyd
Cramer (piano) ; Louis Dunn (drums).
Produced by Don Law.
April 20, 1961 : The ERNIE FREEMAN COMBO cuts their next single, "Warsaw
Concerto"/"Theme From 'Return To Peyton Place'" (Imperial 5752, May).
Two other tracks are recorded : "The Freeloader", which is saved until
October 1962 for release on Imperial 5883 (c/w "Say It Isn't So" from a
session on August 23, 1956) and "Slow Motion", which has never been
released. Produced by Jerry Wald in Los Angeles.
April 20, 1961 : WANDA JACKSON continues her sessions at Bradley Studio
in Nashville. Four tracks are recorded, which will be used for forthcoming
singles : "In the Middle Of A Heartache"/"I'd Be Ashamed" (Capitol 4635,
September 25, a # 6 country hit) and "I Don't Wanta Go"/"A Little Bitty
Tear" (Capitol 4681, December).
Produced by Ken Nelson.
April 20, 1961 : CHRIS KENNER does his second session for the Instant
label. "A Very True Story"/"Packin' Up" will be released in August on
Instant 3234. A third track, "Come See About Me", ends up on the B-side
of "Something You Got" (from a later session, on September 12) in late
October (Instant 3237).
Personnel includes Allen Toussaint on piano and Roy Montrell on guitar ;
more details unknown. Location is Cosimo's Studio in New Orleans.
April 20, 1961 : LLOYD PRICE cuts six tracks in New York City, but only
two of them will be released, on the single "Mary And Man-O"/"I Ain't
Givin' Up Nothin'" (ABC-Paramount 10221, June). The unissued tracks are :
"Only Night", "Worried", "Tryin'" and "I'm Gonna Take Back My Heart".
Personnel : Wallace Davenport, Tommy Purkson (trumpets) ; Wade Marcus,
Sam Hurt (trombones) ; Chuck Reeves (alto sax) ; Charles McClendon,
Danny Turner (tenor saxes) ; more details unknown.
Produced by Sid Feller.
April 20, 1961 : THE SHADOWS record three tracks for their first album,
simply called "The Shadows" (Columbia SX 1374, September) : "Shadoogie",
"Sleepwalk" and "That's My Desire". The latter features a vocal by Bruce
Welch ; the other two tracks are instrumentals.
Personnel : Hank Marvin (lead guitar) ; Bruce Welch (rhythm guitar /
vocals) ; Jet Harris (bass) ; Tony Meehan (drums).
Produced by Norrie Paramor at EMI's Abbey Road Studio in London, England.
April 21, 1961 : RAY SHARPE is now contracted to Atlantic, but none of
the four songs from this session will see a release : "Hey Little Girl"
(Sharpe will record this for the Garex label in 1963), "When I Danced the
Mashed Potatoes With You", "Your Kisses" and "I'm Too Much".
Personnel : Everett Barksdale, Richard Ziegler (guitars) ; Milt Hinton
(bass) ; Doc Severinsen, Joe Wilder (trumpets) ; Urbie Green (trombone) ;
Sam 'the Man' Taylor, Walter Levinsky (tenor saxes) ; Stan Webb (baritone
sax) ; Mike Spencer (piano) ; Phil Kraus (vibraphone) ; Gary Chester
(drums) ; The Helen Way Singers (vocal chorus).
Arranged and conducted by Fred Norman in New York City.
Monday, April 24, 1961 : DUANE EDDY visits United Recorders in Hollywood
to cut another single for the Jamie label, "Ring Of Fire"/"Bobbie" (Jamie
1187, May, a # 84 hit). "Ring Of Fire" is a film theme ; a separate movie
version was recorded at MGM Studios in Hollywood in March or April.
Personnel : Duane Eddy (guitar / producer) ; Barney Kessel, Howard Roberts
(guitars) ; David Campbell (bass) ; Larry Knechtel (piano) ; Jim Horn
(sax) ; Jimmy Troxel (drums) and a vocal chorus of four male and four
female vocalists. Strings (12 violins) arranged by Bob Thompson.
April 25, 1961 : KING CURTIS records the 10-track LP "Trouble In Mind :
King Curtis Sings the Blues" (Tru-Sound LP 15001, August), in Englewood
Cliffs, N.J. Tracks : "Trouble In Mind", "Bad Bad Whiskey", "Don't Deceive
Me", "But That's Alright", "I Have To Worry", "Nobody Wants You When You're
Down And Out", "Woke Up This Morning", "Ain't Nobody's Business", "Deep
Fry" and "Jivin' Time". Two singles are drawn from the album : "Trouble
In Mind"/"But That's Alright" (Tru-Sound 401, August) and "Twistin' &
Jivin' (an edited version of "Jivin' Time") /"I Have To Worry" (Tru-Sound
406, February 1962).
Personnel : King Curtis (vocals / tenor sax / alto sax / guitar) ; Al Casey,
Mac Pierce (guitars) ; Jimmy Lewis (bass) ; Paul Griffin (piano) ; Belton
Evans (drums) ; The Cookies (vocal chorus on three tracks).
Produced by Esmond Edwards.
April 25, 1961 : BOBBY HELMS arrives at Bradley Studio in Nashville to cut
four songs. "How Can You Divide A Little Child"/"My Greatest Weakness" is
released in August (Decca 31287). "I Can Take It Like You Can" and "Teach
Me" will have to wait until 1992 for release on the double CD "Fraulein :
The Classic Years" (Bear Family BCD 15594).
Personnel : Grady Martin, Hank Garland, Harold Bradley (guitars) ; Bob
Moore (bass) ; Floyd Cramer (piano) ; Buddy Harman (drums) ; The Jordanaires
Produced by Paul Cohen.
April 26, 1961 : The final Atlantic session of RUTH BROWN produces only
two tracks, one unissued ("Naturally"). "Anyone But You" will come out on
Atlantic 2104 in May, coupled with "It Tears Me All To Pieces", recorded
on August 30, 1960.
Personnel : Bill Suyker, Richard Ziegler (guitars) ; Abie Baker (bass) ;
Mike Spencer (piano) ; Joe Venuto (vibraphone) ; Gary Chester (drums) ;
Unknown strings and unknown vocal group (overdubbed).
Arranged by Fred Norman, produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in New
April 26-27, 1961 : JOHNNY CASH records songs for the LP "Hymns From the
Heart" (Columbia CS 8522, June 1962) : "I Got Shoes", "Let the Lower Lights
Be Burning", "If We Never Meet Again", "When I Take My Vacation In Heaven",
"When He Reached Down His Hand For Me", "Taller Than Trees", "I Won't Have
To Cross Jordan Alone", "My God Is Real" and "These Hands".
Personnel : Johnny Cash (vocals / guitar) ; Ray Edenton, Luther Perkins
(guitars) ; Marshall Grant (bass) ; Floyd Cramer (piano) ; Bill Pursell
(organ) ; Marvin Hughes (vibes) ; W.S. Holland (drums) ; Unknown (vocal
Produced by Don Law and Frank Jones at Bradley Studio in Nashville.
See also April 28.
April 27, 1961 : JO-ANN CAMPBELL records more tracks for the album "For
Twistin' and Listenin'" (ABC-Paramount ABC 393, February 1962) : "Donnie",
"Goodbye Jimmy Goodbye" and "Duane". The latter is first issued in October
as the B-side of "Mama Don't Want No Twistin'" (ABC-Paramount 10258, from
a session on February 24). Two other tracks, "Dear Al" and "Freddie", were
intended for an album on ABC-Paramount ABC 386, of which no traces can be
found and which has probably never been released.
Produced by Sid Feller at Bell Sound Studios in New York City.
April 28, 1961 : Third day of sessions by JOHNNY CASH. "Mr. Lonesome"
and "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know About Her" will be included on
the LP "The Sound Of Johnny Cash" (Columbia CS 8602), released in August
1962. Four other tracks - "There's A Mother Always Waiting" and remakes
of "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Hey Porter" - remain in
the vaults until Bear Family releases the 5-CD box-set "The Man In Black,
Vol 2 : 1959-1962" in 1991 (BCD 15562).
Personnel : Johnny Cash (vocals / guitar) ; Tompall Glaser, Luther Perkins
(guitars) ; Floyd Cramer (piano / vibes) ; W.S. Holland (drums) ; Unknown
Produced by Don Law and Frank Jones at Bradley Studio in Nashville.
April 28, 1961 : BILL HALEY and his Comets record their next single at
Bell Sound Studio, New York City. "Flip, Flop and Fly" is coupled with
the instrumental "Honky Tonk" for release on Warner Bros 5228 in June.
Personnel : Bill Haley (vocals / rhythm guitar) ; Franny Beecher (lead
guitar) ; Johnny Kay (guitar) ; Al Rappa (bass guitar) ; Billy Williamson
(steel guitar) ; Johnny Grande (piano) ; Tony Lee and Rudy Pompilli
(tenor saxes) ; Dave Bates (drums).
April 1961, unknown date : DORSEY BURNETTE cuts three tracks at United
Recording Corporation in Hollywood. "Great Shakin' Fever" is chosen as the
new single (Era 3045, third week of April, c/w "That's Me Without You",
from a session on January 20, 1961). "Good Good Lovin'" and "It Could 've
Been Different" are first released on the Bear Family CD "Great Shakin'
Fever" (BCD 15545) in 1990.
Personnel and producer unknown.
April 1961, unknown date : DALE HAWKINS does his first post-Checker
session, at Bradley Studio in Nashville. Two singles are the result ;
"Money Honey"/"The Same Old Way" (Tilt 781, May) and "Forbidden Love"/
"Wish I Hadn't Called Home" (Tilt 783, July).
Personnel : Fred Carter Jr (guitar) ; Floyd Cramer (piano) ; more details
Arranged by Cliff Parment.
April 1961, unknown date : GENE SIMMONS is in Memphis at Royal Recording
Studio to record his next single "Your True Love"/"Teddy Bear" (Hi 2034,
early May), followed by a surprising Belgian release (London 9.5.272, July).
"From Warm To Cool To Cold" and "Again" remain unissued.
Personnel : Gene Simmons (vocals / guitar) ; Reggie Young (lead guitar) ;
Mike Leech (bass) ; Carl McVoy (organ / piano) ; Ace Cannon (tenor sax) ;
possibly Wayne Jackson (trumpet) ; Jerry Arnold (drums) ; unknown chorus.
With thanks to Tapio Väisänen, Steve Walker, Jarle Jensen, Mike Thompson
and Henk Gorter
Additions and corrections welcome.
In the can index