In 1958 or 1959 Ernie Barton recorded ''The Battle Of Earl K. Long'' b/w ''The Man With A Heart Of Gold'' for Honesty Records in Memphis. The record was designed to promote the gubernatorial ambition of Louisiana's Earl K. Long, who was serving his third term as governor, but considered resigning so that he could run a constitutionally prohibited fourth time. ''Ann Higdon was Earl Long's niece''. said Barton, ''and Long was trying to run for governor again. She'd written this poem, ''The Battle Of Earl K. Long''. It didn't really work until I changed it around. I already had this song, ''She's Got A Heart Of Gold'', and I changed that to ''The Man With A Heart Of Gold''. Sam put the deal together 'cause he got the publishing on both of them. It got played off loudspeakers and was given away in supermarkets and the like. I was young enough and stupid enough to get mixed up in Louisiana politics''.
The unemployment problems eased to 5.5%. Television programmes included "Rawhide", "Bonanza" and "The Twilight Zone", movies included "Some Like It Hot", "Ben Hur" and "North by Northwest". Alaska is admitted to the union and becomes the 49th state and Hawaii is admitted to the the Union and became the 50th State. The Boeing 707 Jet Airliner comes into service and little girls love the Barbie Dolls created by Ruth Handler and made by Mattel.
Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba. The Cuban revolution ends with Fidel Castro holding power following the defeat of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. 1959 - 1960 Cuba Declares It is a now a Communist country and Nationalizes Land and Businesses including U.S. assets totaling $1 billion.
Martin Luther King Jr. visits Gandhi's birthplace in India where he affirms his commitment to non-violent resistance and America's struggle for civil rights.
Lake Charle's Phil Phillips's ''Sea Of Love'' goes to number 2 on Billboard's pop chart. Lloyd Price's ''Personality'' tops the rhythm and blues chart.
Billy Riley stayed on at Sun Records until sometime in 1958 when his growing frustration with Sam Phillips putting all (or most) of his promotional resources behind Jerry Lee Lewis and not Billy Lee got the best of him. Several volatile encounters between Sam and Riley occurred. Riley recalled, ''Sam Phillips and I both had respect for each other, but we didn't get along too well at times. Mostly it was just words, but I did get a little riled one time and tore his studio up a little''. Sam sweet-talked Riley the first time, and the singer returned to Sun. Then it happened again. Things never got back to normal. The short version is that the multi-talented Billy Riley moved on.
Jerry Lee Lewis recorded probably on March 1959 a trio of fairly raw ''one-offs'', ''Release Me'', to the lack of sophistication of ''Shanty Town'' and Chris Kenner's ''Sick And Tired'', which collectively exemplify a very different technigue in the drumming. A not dissimilar sounding recording dating from this time, but distinguished from the aforementioned in having guitarist Brad Suggs taking a prominent part, is the high energy George Vaughn's ''Hillbilly Music'' also known as ''Country Music Is Here To Stay'', from March 22.
"(In A Shanty In Old) Shanty Town" is a popular song written by Ira Schuster and Jack Little with lyrics by Joe Young, published in 1932. Ted Lewis and His Band performed it in the film The Crooner in 1932. His version was released as a single and it went to number 1, where it remained for 10 weeks.
The Johnny Long and His Orchestra had a million seller of the song in 1946. This version was a slight revision of the Long band's 1940 version. Their version reached number 13. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a unfinished version here probably in March 1959. Somethin' Smith and the Redheads re-charted the song in 1956 where it reached to number 27.
In the contemporary ''stock'' dance-band orchestration published by B. Feldman & Co., sole agents for M. Witmark & Sons (arranged by Frank Skinner) credit is given thus: words by Joe Young and music by Little Jack Little and John Siras. Ira Schuster is not given credit. Ira Schuster is also not mentioned in the credits for the song in the 1940 film "Always A Bride" or in the 1951 film Lullaby of Broadway starring Doris Day.
"Release Me" (sometimes rendered as "Release Me (and Let Me Love Again)"), is a popular song written by Eddie Miller and Robert Yount in 1949. Shortly afterward it was covered by Jimmy Heap, and with even better success by Ray Price and Kitty Wells. Subsequently a big seller was recorded by Little Esther Phillips, who reached number one on the Rhythm And Blues chart and number eight on the pop chart. A version by Engelbert Humperdinck reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
The Engelbert Humperdinck song has the distinction in the UK of holding the number-one slot in the chart for six weeks during March and April 1967, and preventing The Beatles single, "Penny Lane" backed with "Strawberry Fields Forever", from reaching the top. "Release Me" was also the highest selling single of 1967 in the UK, recording over one million sales, and eventually became one of the best selling singles of all time with sales of 1.38 million copies.
Although Miller later claimed to have written the song in 1946 and only being able to record it himself in 1949, he co-wrote it with Robert Yount in 1949. As they were working at that time with Dub Williams, (a pseudonym of James Pebworth), they gave him one-third of the song. The song was released with the writing credited to Miller-Williams-Gene, as Yount was using his stage name of Bobby Gene. Although owner of Four Star Records, William McCall, would usually add his pseudonym "W.S. Stevenson" to the credit of songs he published, he failed to do so in 1949. However in 1957, Miller and Yount entered into a new publishing agreement with Four Star Records, in which "W.S. Stevenson" replaced Williams as co-writer.
Yount signed away his royalty rights to William McCall in 1958, after which the credits to the song officially became "Miller-Stevenson", although multiple variations also existed. Engelbert Humperdinck's version, for example, is credited to Eddie Miller, Robert Yount, Dub Williams and Robert Harris. That last one, however, turned out to be also a pseudonym for James Pebworth.
With the bankruptcy of Four Star’s successor in interest, the copyright to the song was acquired by AcuffRose Music. When the initial term of copyright ended in 1983, it was renewed for a second term. Between 1983 and 1985 Acuff-Rose paid royalties to Yount, until they were notified by the family of the deceased William McCall of the 1958 assignment. Acuff-Rose then suspended payments until the dispute between the claimants was resolved. On December 24, 1996 the United States Courts of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, upheld the claim of the McCalls.
In country music, "Release Me" became a hit for Jimmy Heap, Kitty Wells, and Ray Price, all in 1954. Even though Price had several major hits beforehand, "Release Me" is sometimes considered his breakthrough hit. The song had elements of the 4/4 shuffle, Price's signature sound that would become more evident on future successes such as "Crazy Arms''. Price's version was part of a double-A sided hit, paired with another song that introduced fans to the 4/4 shuffle: "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)''. Both sides went on to become major hits for Price, with "Release Me" peaking at number 6 and "I'll Be There" stopping at number 2. Elvis Presley recorded ''Release Me'' on February 17, 19, 1970 live on stage at the International Hotel in Las Vegas for his live album ''On Stage''. This album was released in June 1970 and reached number 13 on both the Billboard 200 and country musc charts. It was certified Gold on February 23, 1971, and Platinum on July 15, 1999, by the Recording Industry Association of America.
''Sick And Tired'' recorded here on this session by Jerry Lee Lewis was written by Chris Kenner and was a New Orleans rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, best known for two hit singles in the early 1960s that became staples in the repertoires of many other musicians.
Born on December 25, 1929 in the farming community of Kenner, Louisiana, upriver from New Orleans, Kenner sang gospel music with his church choir, and moved to New Orleans in his teens. In 1955 he made his first recordings, for a small label, Baton Records, without success; and in 1957 he had his first taste of success when he began working with Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew a year later at Lew Chudd's Imperial Records label, hitting the charts briefly in August 1957 with "Sick and Tired," a song he had written with help from the other two. Fats Domino covered it the next year and the song became a hit. "Rocket to the Moon" and "Life Is Just a Struggle", both cut for the Ron Records label, were other notable songs from this period.
Moving to another New Orleans label, Instant, he began to work with pianist and arranger Allen Toussaint. In 1961, this collaboration produced "I Like It Like That", his first and biggest hit, peaking at number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart (covered in 1965 by The Dave Clark Five) and "Something You Got", covered by Wilson Pickett, Alvin Robinson, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Chuck Jackson, Earl Grant, Maxine Brown, Bobby Womack, The Moody Blues on their 1965 debut album, The American Breed, Fairport Convention and Bruce Springsteen. "I Like It Like That" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
In 1962 he produced his most enduring song, "Land Of A Thousand Dances", which was covered by various artists, including Cannibal and the Headhunters, Thee Midniters, Wilson Pickett, The Action, and Patti Smith. Kenner continued to record for Instant and for various other small local labels, including many of his lesser-known songs from the 1960s, such as "My Wife", "Packing Up" and "They Took My Money". He released an album on Atlantic Records in 1966; the Collectors' Choice label reissued the LP, Land Of A Thousand Dances, on CD in 2007.
In 1968 Kenner was convicted of statutory rape of a minor, and spent three years in Louisiana's Angola prison. Chris Kenner was found dead in his apartment at the age of 46 in New Orleans on January 25, 1976. The cause was a heart attack, triggered by his alcohol problems.
Barbie is the figurehead of a brand of Mattel dolls and accessories, including other family members and collectible dolls. Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for over fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle.
Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, making it the company’s largest and most profitable line. However sales have declined sharply since 2014. The doll transformed the toy business in affluent communities worldwide by becoming a vehicle for the sale of related merchandise (accessories, clothes, friends of Barbie, etc.). She had a significant impact on social values by conveying characteristics of female independence and, with her multitude of accessories, an idealized upscale life-style that can be shared with affluent friend.
Williams cut ''I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You'' at his last recording session in Nashville at Castle Studio in the Tulane Hotel, with Fred Rose did the producing. By this point, the singer had been fired from the Grand Ole Opry for drunkenness and had returned to Shreveport to play the Louisiana Hayride. Although he was in terminal decline, the quality of the songs Williams recorded at his final session was astonishing, "I Could Never Be Ashamed of You'', "Take These Chains From My Heart'', "Kaw-Liga'', and "Your Cheatin' Heart''. As biographer Colin Escott marvels, "Most singers hope to hang their careers on one or two classics; Hank cut four classics between 1:30 and 3:40 on the afternoon of September 23, 1952...". Williams was backed by Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Chet Atkins (lead guitar), Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), and Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance (bass). A demo version of Williams singing this song with just his guitar, likely recorded in 1951, is also available.
Jerry Lee recorded two versions of "Near You" as a sort of warm-up, a popular song written and originally recorded by Francis Craig in 1947, with lyrics by Kermit Goell, that has gone on to become a pop standard.
The recording by Francis Craig (the song's composer) was released by Bullet Records as catalog number 1001. It first reached the Billboard Best Sellers chart on August 30, 1947, and lasted 21 weeks on the chart, peaking at number one. On the "Most Played By Jockeys" chart, the song spent 17 consecutive weeks at number one, setting a record for both the song and the artist with most consecutive weeks in the number-one position on a United states pop music chart. In 2009, hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas surpassed Craig's record for artist with most consecutive weeks in the number one position with the songs "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling". However, their record was accomplished with combined weeks of two number 1 songs, one succeeding the other in the top position. Billboard ranked it as the number 1 song overall for 1947.
In 1977, "Near You" became a number one country hit for the duo of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, one of the more unlikely compositions the two country legends ever sang together. Recorded in the winter of 1974, its atypical arrangement showed that country fans still had an appetite for any music performed by the estranged couple, who had been country music's "First Couple" in the early seventies. In fact, it was their second consecutive number 1 single since their divorce in 1975; they had only managed to top the charts once during their six year marriage with "We're Gonna Hold On" in 1973.
It took a great deal of largely fruitless experimentation to settle on the right arrangement for ''Let's Talk About Us''. After as many as thirteen takes involving a rigid, drumled pattern, in which Lewis sounds inhibited, increasingly frustrated and eventually bored, they take a break from the endeavour. Returning to it afresh at a later session, the earlier template is abandoned and Otis Blackwell's latest commission to furnish Lewis with another hit to complement ''Great Balls Of Fire'' and ''Breathless'' is reinvented with a striking boogie-woogie introduction. (*)
Reassembling into a logical order the various alternates produced at the first, ultimately unproductive session, scattered as they were across a number of tape boxes, proved to be a painstaking process. Given the homogeneity of the musical arrangements across the piece, the analysis here relied much more upon the variations in Jerry Lee's efforts to learn, then master, and finally invest some interest in the lyrics. Notice how he stumbles in his first, uncertain foray, misreading the lyrics as ''...if you're not just a friend'' (at 1:010 and ''...if you just, just a friend'' (at 1:32) and towards the end of the take is clearly ad-libbing, having disregarded the script. (*)
In the second alternate, again there are clumsy ''if it's just want to be your friend'' (at 0:59); he's having to concentrate on his playing rather than the vocal to be sure of keeping in time. Greater confidence is palpable from take 3 onwards, with some command of the words finally in evidence, the phrase ''if you just want me for your friend'' being sung cleanly for the first time. That's probably the wording that was printed on the lead sheets. As matters progress, however, Jerry Lee brings his own twist to the lyric and from take nine onwards the passive resignation of ''if you just want me for your friend, has given way to the rather more assertive challenge ''...if it's just to be a friend'', the phrase that would become familiar courtesy of the master take. The latter doesn't appear to have been the final attempt; a forceful alternate with a rather more rousing last few bars closes the sequence. (*)
STUDIO SESSION FOR BILL JUSTIS
"Little Queenie" of course, is a song written and performed by Chuck Berry. It appeared on the 1959 album ''Chuck Berry Is On Top'' and was released as a double A-side with "Almost Grown" (Chess 1722). The song peaked at number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Berry performed the song in the movies ''Go, Johnny Go!'' (1959) and ''Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll'' (1987). It has been covered by many artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and REO Speedwagon. One year earlier a Christmas song using the same melody had been released by Berry with the title "Run Rudolph Run".
Allmusic calls the song an "incredible rock and roll anthem" and "one of the greatest dance and sex ritualistic classics''. It is included on many of Berry's greatest hits compilations, including ''The Great Twenty-Eight'' and ''Chuck Berry's Golden Decade''.
According to eminent author Mark Lewisohn in "The Complete Beatles Chronicles" (p. 363) The Beatles performed "Little Queenie" live from at least 1960 till 1963 (in Liverpool and Hamburg and elsewhere) with Paul McCartney on lead vocal. An audience recording of it was made (in December 1962) and is on live at the Star-Club in Hamburg, West Germany; 1962. Per author Doug Sulpy in "Drugs, Divorce And Slipping Image" (sec. 22.26) during the massive ''Get Back'' sessions John Lennon did lead vocal on a fairly brief version of it. Paul McCartney and Wings guitarist Denny Laine recorded a loose jam of it the early 1970s.
The Rolling Stones also frequently performed the song live, and a version recorded in November 1969 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, appears on ''Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert''. Other artists who have covered the song include Jerry Lee Lewis for Sun Records, the Kinks, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, the Velvet Underground, Eric Burdon, Johnny Moped, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Johnny Thunders, Savoy Brown, Jan Berry and REO Speedwagon.
'Little Queenie" is mentioned in "Dance Franny Dance", a regional hit in 1964 for the Texas band The Floyd Dakil Combo, "She's Our Little Queenie, Princess of the U.S.A.". The song helped to inspire Marc Bolan to write the T. Rex song "Get It On", which quotes "Little Queenie" as it fades out, "And meanwhile, I'm still thinking...".