Having spent 1960 getting asquainted with the new facilities in Memphis, throughout 1961 Jerry Lee Lewis made several visits to Nashville to record at another studio Sam Phillips had taken on in his attempt to broaden Sun's commercial appeal. Yet as we have already heard, by something of the essence of Sun Records. The products of Jerry Lee's first session at the other end of Tennessee did, however, show much promise, including as they did the masterful ''What'd I Say'', which briefly offered hope of a return to pop music's upper echelons when issued as a single, Sun 356). The Ray Charles cover was backed with ''Livin' Lovin' Wreck'', a catchy pop song but arguably one of the less memorable accomplishments in Otis Blackwell's canon. The same date also gave rise to a very much more polished version of ''Cold Cold Heart'' that sounds light years away from Jerry Lee's earlier recording of the song. (*)
"Cold Cold Heart" here recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis, is a country song, written by Hank Williams. This blues ballad is both a classic of honky-tonk and an entry in the Great American Songbook.
Williams adapted the melody for the song from T. Texas Tyler's 1945 recording of "You'll Still Be In My Heart," written by Ted West in 1943. The song achingly and artfully describes frustration that the singer's love and trust is unreciprocated due to a prior bad experience in the other's past. Stories of the song's origins vary. In the Williams episode of American Masters, country music historian Colin Escott states that Williams was moved to write the song after visiting his wife Audrey in the hospital, who was suffering from an infection brought on by an abortion she had carried out at their home unbeknownst to Hank. Escott also speculates that Audrey, who carried on extramarital affairs as Hank did on the road, may have suspected the baby was not her husband's. Florida bandleader Pappy Neil McCormick claims to have witnessed the encounter: "According to McCormick, Hank went to the hospital and bent down to kiss Audrey, but she wouldn't let him. 'You sorry son of a bitch,' she is supposed to have said, 'it was you that caused me to suffer like this'. Hank went home and told the children's governess, Miss Ragland, that Audrey had a 'cold, cold heart,' and then, as so often in the past, realized the bitterness in his heart held commercial promise''.
The first draft of the song is dated November 23, 1950 and was recorded with an unknown band on May 5, 1951. Like his earlier masterpiece "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'', it was released as the B-side (MGM10904B) to "Dear John" (MGM-10904A), since it was an unwritten rule in the country music industry that the faster numbers sold best. "Dear John" peaked at number 8 after only a brief four-week run on Billboard magazine's country music charts, but "Cold Cold Heart" proved to be a favorite of disc jockeys and jukebox listeners, whose enthusiasm for the song catapulted it to number 1 on the country music charts. Williams featured the song on his Mother's Best radio shows at the time of its release and performed the song on the Kate Smith Evening Hour on April 23, 1952, which ran from September 1951 to June 1952; the appearance remains one of the few existing film clips of the singer performing live. He is introduced by his idol Roy Acuff. Although a notorious binge drinker, Williams appears remarkably at ease on front of the cameras, with one critic noting, "He stared at the camera during his performance of ''Cold Cold Heart'' with a cockiness and self-confidence that bordered on arrogance''.
The song would become a pop hit for Tony Bennett, paving the way for country songs to make inroads into the lucrative pop market. In the liner notes to the 1990 Polygram compilation Hank Williams: The Original Single Collection, Fred Rose's son Wesley states, "Hank earned two major distinctions as a songwriter: he was the first writer on a regular basis to make country music national music; and he was the first country songwriter accepted by pop artists, and pop A&R men''.
That same year, it was recorded in a pop version by Tony Bennett with a light orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. This recording was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39449. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on July 20, 1951 and lasted 27 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 1. The popularity of Bennett's version has been credited with helping to expose both Williams and country music to a wider national audience. Allmusic writer Bill Janovitz discusses this unlikely combination: "That a young Italian singing waiter from Queens could find common ground with a country singer from Alabama's backwoods is testament both to Williams' skills as a writer and to Bennett's imagination and artist's ear''.
Williams subsequently telephoned Bennett to say, "Tony, why did you ruin my song''? But that was a prank, in fact, Williams liked Bennett's version and played it on jukeboxes whenever he could. In his autobiography ''The Good Life'', Bennett described playing "Cold Cold Heart" at the Grand Ole Opry later in the 1950s. He had brought his usual arrangement charts to give to the house musicians who would be backing him, but their instrumentation was different and they declined the charts. "You sing and we'll follow you'', they said, and Bennett says they did so beautifully, once again recreating an unlikely artistic merger.
The story of the Williams-Bennett telephone conversation is often related with mirth by Bennett in interviews and on stage; he still performs the song in concert. In 1997, the first installment of A&E's Live By Request featuring Bennett (who was also the show's creator), special guest Clint Black performed the song, after which Bennett recounted it. A Google Doodle featured Bennett's recording of the song on its Valentine's Day doodle in February 2012.
Other siginificant recordings there are including Louis Armstrong recorded "Cold Cold Heart" on September 17, 1951, and released it on Decca Records; Donald Peers recorded it on October 5, 1951, released EMI via His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10158; Dinah Washington recorded it in 1951; Petula Clark and Gene Autry sang the song in the 1952 movie Apache Country; Jerry Lee Lewis released the song as a single on Sun Records in 1961 and included another version on the 1969 LP ''Sings the Country Music Hall of Fame Hits, Volume 2''; Jazz singer Norah Jones included a sultry swing version on her 2002 album ''Come Away With Me'', which was seen as "reintroducing" modern audiences to the song.
He was unsuccessfully defended by prominent attorney P. Basil Lambros in what was the longest case in county history at the time; and was convicted of first-degree murder by a Kern County jury on August 21, 1961 after unexpectedly withdrawing an insanity plea. He was spared death in the gas chamber and sentenced to life in prison.
Decca released Brenda Lee's pop hit, ''You Can Depend On Me''.
''I Love You Because'' was likewise rejuvenated in a pop-country vein at a second Nashville date on June 12. This session saw Lewis record the ''A'' sides of two attempts to repeat the success of ''What'd I Say'' with material aimed squarely at the pop market, ''It Won't Happen With Me'', which was coupled with the aforementioned ''Cold Cold heart'' on Sun 364, and ''Save The Last Dance For Me'', paired for a release, Sun 367), with one of numerous recordings of ''As Long As I Live'', the latter having been taped eighteen months earlier in Memphis. Notwithstanding the very strong qualities of Jerrty Lee's interpretation of ''Save The Last Dance For Me'', which surely deserved widespread recognition, its chances of success were blighted by the song's familiarity in the wake of The Drifters' version; though might it have fared better if the exuberant ''I Love You Because'' had been selected for the flip? And despite Jerry Lee's spirited approach, ''It Won't Happen With Me'' suffered from being exactly what it was; a rather silly pop song. Neither release made an impression in terms of the hoped-for chart action. (*)
"Save The Last Dance For Me" is the title of a popular song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, first recorded in 1960 by The Drifters, with Ben E. King on lead vocals. In a 1990 interview songwriter Doc Pomus tells the story of the song being recorded by the Drifters and originally designated as the B-side of the record. He credits Dick Clark with turning the record over and realizing ''Save The Last Dance'' was the stronger song.
The Drifters' version of the song would go on to spend three non-consecutive weeks at number 1 on the U.S. pop chart, in addition to logging one week atop the U.S. Rhythm and Blues chart.In the UK, the Drifters' recording reached number 2 in December 1960. This single was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two noted American music producers who at the time had an apprentice relationship with a then-unknown Phil Spector. Although he was working with Leiber and Stoller at the time, it is unknown whether Spector assisted with the production of this record; however, many Spector fans have noticed similarities between this record and other music he would eventually produce on his own.
Damita Jo had a hit with one of the answer songs of this era called "I'll Save The Last Dance For You". In the song, the narrator tells his lover she is free to mingle and socialize throughout the evening, but to make sure to save him the dance at the end of the night. During an interview on Elvis Costello's show ''Spectacle'', Lou Reed, who worked with Pomus, said the song was written on the day of Pomus' wedding while the wheelchair-bound groom watched his bride dancing with their guests. Pomus had polio and at times used crutches to get around. His wife, Willi Burke, however, was a Broadway actress and dancer. The song gives his perspective of telling his wife to have fun dancing, but reminds her who will be taking her home and "in whose arms you're gonna be''. Musicians on the Drifters' recording were: Bucky Pizzarelli, Allen Hanlon (guitar), Lloyd Trotman (bass), and Gary Chester (drums).
Emmylou Harris covered the song in a country/bluegrass style in 1979, including it on her ''Blue Kentucky Girl'' album. Also released as a single, her version reached the top-ten on the U.S. country singles chart in mid-1979. In late 1983, Dolly Parton recorded "Save The Last Dance for Me", releasing it as a single in late December; the song subsequently appeared on Parton's album of 1950s and 1960s covers ''The Great Pretender'', released in January 1984. Reaching the top ten on the country singles chart in late February, the single also crossed over, reaching number45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
''Save The Last Dance For Me" was later covered by Canadian crooner Michael Bublé, and released as the third and final single from his second major-label studio album, ''It's Time''. The song was heavily remixed for its release as a single. For its release as a single, the song was heavily remixed, with mixes from producers including Ralphi Rosario and Eddie Baez. All of the chart positions for the single are for each of the remixed versions of the song respectively. The single first peaked at number 22 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart in September 2005. After Bublé performed the album version of the song during the closing credits of the film ''The Wedding Date'', this version was released to radio, peaking at number 5 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart, as well as reaching number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for the track was once again directed by Noble Jones, who directed the videos for both of the album's previous singles, ''Home'' and ''Feeling Good''. The music video was choreographed by Raymondo Chan, a Salsa Latin dance coach and performer. It was shot in Vancouver, Canada.
Other significant recordings, Jay and the Americans released a cover version of the song on their 1962 album, ''She Cried''. In 1960 Polydor Records published a German cover version with lyrics by Kurt Schwabach and singer Ivo Robić and the German text is no translation. In 1961 Ivo Robic did a German song to this tune called "Mit 17 Fangt Das Leben Erst An" (Live begins at 17). Buck Owens released a cover version in 1962; it peaked at number 11 on the US country charts and appeared on the album ''Together Again.'' The Swinging Blue Jeans recorded a version in 1964 for their first UK studio album ''Blue Jeans A Swinging'' on HMV 1802. Ike and Tina Turner recorded and released a cover version of the song on their 1966 album, ''River Deep - Mountain High''. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a two different versions of the song during his later years on Sun Records on June 12, 1961, in Nashville's Sam Phillips's studio. The Swedish group the Spotnicks had an instrumental version of the song, called "Valentina" on their 1964 album ''The Spotnicks In Spain''. Billy Joe Royal released a version of the song on his 1967 for his album, ''Billy Joe Royal Featuring Hush''.
During the Get Back/Let It Be sessions of January 1969, the Beatles played a short, impromptu variation of this song. It was in the original lineup of songs to be included on the album that would become ''Let It Be'', although it was later scrapped. However, their version has appeared on many bootleg releases, including 2 LP set "The Black Album" (not to be confused with their official released ''The White Album'' issued before). In 1969, John Rowles recorded a version arranged and conducted by British arranger, bandleader, Johnny Arthey, released on 7" vinyl by MCA-UK the following year. Harry Nilsson covered the song, in a rather dark fashion, on his 1974 album, ''Pussy Cats'', which was produced by his friend and drinking buddy John Lennon. The Walkmen did a cover of ''Pussy Cats'' which included "Save The Last Dance For Me". Also in 1974, the Canadian group the DeFranco Family reached number 18 on the Billboard pop chart with their version of "Save The Last Dance For Me", with lead vocals sung by the 14-year-old group member Tony DeFranco.
Patti LaBelle included a disco-flavored cover of the song as the lead track on her 1978 album, T''asty''. In 1978, country music singer-songwriter Ron Shaw recorded the song on Pacific Challenger Records; this version reached the Top 40 on the Billboard country music chart. In 1979, Marcia Hines covered the song for her album, ''Ooh Child''. The Forgotten Rebels recorded the song on their 1981 album ''This Ain't Hollywood''. The song was covered by Mud in 1982. In 1983 Herbie Armstrong included a haunting version of the song on his solo album ''Back Against The Wall''. Mort Shuman himself endorsed it, certain it would be a hit. Sadly the distribution company went bust and only 800 copies of the CD were ever distributed. The song was translated into French by André Salvet and François Llenas and recorded by, among others, Petula Clark, Dalida, and Mort Shuman himself.
Geno Delafose recorded the song as a zydeco version on the CD ''LaChason Perdu'' in 1998 on Rounder Records. Bruce Willis released a version which appears on his 1989 album, ''If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger''. ''An Intimate Evening With Anne Murray'' is a live album by Canadian singer Anne Murray, recorded December 18, 1986 performed on MTV, released in 1997 and features the song. In 2000, Japanese band The Neatbeats recorded the song for their album ''Everybody Need!''. Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell recorded it on his 2003 album, ''Daniel In Blue Jeans''. In the 2000s, UK musician and ex-band member of Fox, Herbie Armstrong, recorded a slower, minor version of the song and released it as a single from his album, ''Last Dance''. In 2003, the Troggs recorded their version of this song on an album with rerecorded songs, called "Wild Thing". In 2010, Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town performed this song on the second season of the album ''Sing Off''. In 2012 Leonard Cohen performed this song as a part of his Old Ideas World tour. In 2010, Matchbox 20 lead singer Rob Thomas performed a live acoustic version at the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. In 2012, the Bally Ramblers recorded it for their debut album, and in 2012, American composer and producer Kramer covered the song and included it on his sixth album ''The Brill Building''.
In the meantime, Jerry Lee's only registered day of work in 1961 at the Madison Avenue studio, on June 14, saw him getting the measure of a couple of numbers associated with Fats Domino, at least two more readings of ''My Blue Monday'' adding to those recorded back at 706 Union in 1959, together with a single take of Fat's own ''My Girl Josephine''. The latter was the sole product of this session to be released during the currency of Lewis's contract at Sun, when included on ''Jerry Lee's Greatest''. Both this song and a rival candidate for that exercise, his first attempt at Chuck Berry's ''Sweet Little Sixteen'', would be returned to a year or so later. At one stage Jerry Lee takes something of a back seat to allow sax player Ace Cannon to lead on a ''jam'' instrumental which, since its first outing in 1975, has been graced with the rather unimaginative title ''Lewis Workout''. On its first release in 1983 this anonymous tape was attributed to a session at the 706 Union Avenue studio in 1959. However, on the strength of the similarity of the arrangement both to the intro of ''High Powered Woman'' and the fade-out of ''Hello Josephine'', it is believed that its rightful place in the continuum is alongside these titles. (*)
"My Girl Josephine" is a song written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Domino recorded the song on Imperial Records (Imperial 5704) in 1960, and it charted number 7 on the Billboard Rhythm And Blues charts and number 14 on the Billboard pop charts. The song is also listed and recorded as "Josephine" and "Hello Josephine" in various cover versions. According to AllMusic, the song has also been performed by Bill Black's Combo, Curley Bridges, Van Broussard, Snooks Eaglin, Chris Farlowe, the Flamin' Groovies, Michael Herman, the Holmes Brothers, Jerry Jaye, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sandy Nelson, Tracy Pendarvis, Queen Ida & Her Zydeco Band, Noel Redding, Warren Storm, Super Cat, Them, and Billy Vera, among others.
JUNE 14, 1961 FRIDAY
Patsy Cline is seriously injured in a head-on collision in Nashville. Two passengers in the other car die, while Cline receives a dislocated hip and a cut across her forehead.
JUNE 15, 1961 SATURDAY
20th Century-Fox offers a sneak preview of Elvis Presley's ''Wild In The Country'' in Memphis. Viewers can choose between two endings, deciding whether Hope Land dies at the end. The viewers choose for her to live.
JUNE 17, 1961 MONDAY
With Patsy Cline in the hospital from a car accident, Loretta Lynn dedicates ''I Fall To Pieces'' to Cline on Ernest Tubb's ''Midnite Jamboree'' radio show. Cline's husband, Charlie Dick, asks Lynn to come meet Cline in the hospital the next day.
Lawrence Welk, who appeared on the country charts with Red Foley, makes the cover of TV Guide.
JUNE 22, 1961 SATURDAY
''Wild In The Country'' opens, with Elvis Presley, Hope Lang, and Tuesday Weld.
JUNE 24, 1961 SUNDAY
Rollin ''Oscar'' Sullivan, of Lonzo and Oscar, marries Geneva Busby.
JUNE 25, 1961 FRIDAY
Sun 361 ''I'll Wait Forever'' b/w ''I Can't Show How I Feel'' by Anita Wood issued.
JUNE 26, 1961 SATURDAY
Elvis Presley recorded ''Little Sister'' ( RCA Victor 37-7908) at Nashville's RCA Studio B. ''Little Sister" is a rock and roll roll song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Schuman, who enjoyed a number 5 hit with it on the Billboard Hot 100. The single (as a double A-side with "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame'' also reached number 1 in the United Kingdon Singles Chart. Lead guitar was played by Hank Garland, with backing vocals by the The Jordanaires featuring the distinctive bass voice of Ray Walker.
Presley performs the song as part of a medley with "Get Back" in the 1970 rockumentary film ''Elvis: That's the Way It Is''. The song would later be covered by such artists as Dwight Yoakam, Robert Plant, The Nighthawks, The Staggers, Pearl Jam, Ry Cooder and Jesse and the Rippers. The song lyric makes mention of "Jim Dandy" which was the title of a 1956 song "Jim Dandy" by LaVern Baker. An answer song to "Little Sister", with the same melody but different lyrics, was recorded and released under the title "Hey, Memphis" by Baker on Atlantic Records (Atlantic 2119-A) in September 1961.
Decca released Brenda Lee's pop hit ''Dum Dum'', and The Wilburn Brothers recorded ''Trouble's Back In Town''.
JUNE 29, 1961 THURSDAY
Skeeter Davis recorded ''Optimistic''.
''The Ford Show'' an NBC variety program starring Tennessee Ernie Ford and Molly Bee, ends its run in prime-time.
The singles, PI 3569 ''If I Could Change You'' b/w ''I Ain't Got No Home'' by Carl Mann and PI 3570 ''My Greatest Hurt'' b/w ''Nothing Down (99 Years To Pay)'' by Jean Dee issued.
Jerry Lee Lewis plays in Florida and Tennessee.
JULY 1, 1961 SATURDAY
''Buffalo Gun'' debuts in movie theaters. The picture stars Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce and Carl Smith.
Michelle Wright is born in Chatham, Ontario. She nets a Top 10 single in 1992 with ''Take It Like A Man''.
Elvis Presley's friend Red West marries Pat Boyd in Memphis, Tennessee. Presley is to late to the wedding, and Joe Esposito has to fill in as best man.
JULY 2, 1961 SUNDAY
Ernest Hemingway commits suicide.
Acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway dies of a self-inflicted gun shot at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. He's namechecked 44 years later in the Brad Paisley hit ''Alcohol'' and again in Keith Urban's 2015 single, ''John Gougar, John Deere, John 3:16''.
JULY 4, 1961 TUESDAY
''Don't Fence Me In'' songwriter Cole Porter ends an eight-month stay at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
A semi-private feud becomes public when Carter Stanley tells a crowd in Luray, Virginia, that Flatt and Scruggs refused to play the All Day Bluegrass Festival because The Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe were there.
Seven-year-old Larry Franklin plays his first fiddle concert. He goes on to become a Nashville studio musician appearing on hits by Shania Twain, Deana Carter, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson, among others.
JULY 7, 1961 FRIDAY
Kitty Wells recorded ''Day Into Night'' and ''Unloved Unwanted''.
JULY 8, 1961 SATURDAY
Toby Keith is born in Clinton, Oklahoma. The former semi=pro football player emerges in 1993 with ''Should've Been A Cowboy'', becoming a brash hitmaker, label owner and entrepreneur. He also joins the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.
Ray Charles is arrested in Chicago during a heroin bust. The following year, he connects country and rhythm and blues through the landmark album ''Modern Sounds In Country And Western''.
JULY 9, 1961 SUNDAY
Bluegrass vocalist and bass player Ronnie Bowman is born in North Carolina. After a stint in The Lonesome River Band, he co-writes Brooks and Dunn's country hit ''It's Getting Better All The Time'' and Kenny Chesney's ''Never Wanted Nothing More''.
JULY 10, 1961 MONDAY
Spade Cooley's murder trial, in which he's accused of killing his wife, begins in Kern County, California. He's sentenced to prison the following month.
JULY 11, 1961 TUESDAY
While watching baseball's annual All-Star Game on television, Bill Anderson gets a phone call asking him to join the Grand Ole Opry. Anderson, of course, whispers yes. The National League, meanwhile, beats the American League, 5-4.
Elvis Presley begins filming ''Follow That Dream'' in Crystal River, Florida. During the next month of shooting, he meets an 11-year-old named Tom Petty.
Chet Atkins plays a concert in the rain in Nashville's Centennial Park without telling the audience of 10,000 that very time he touches the guitar, he gets shocked. The closest he comes to letting on is telling the audience ''I'm real brave tonight''.
JULY 12, 1961 WEDNESDAY
Ferlin Husky recorded pop star Wayne King's ''The Waltz You Saved For Me''.
JULY 13, 1961 THURSDAY
Ray Price recorded ''Soft Rain''.
JULY 15, 1961 SATURDAY
Bill Anderson joins the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
JULY 17, 1961 MONDAY
More than a month after she was injured in a car accident, Patsy Cline is released from the hospital.
Capitol released Buck Owens' ''Under The Influence Of Love''.
JULY 18, 1961 TUESDAY
Bill Anderson recorded the Fred Rose song ''Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain'' some 14 years before Willie Nelson turns it into a hit.
JULY 19, 1961 WEDNESDAY
Johnny Cash recorded ''Tennessee Flat-Top Box'' in Hollywood at the Columbia Studios.
Faron Young recorded ''Backtrack'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
JULY 22, 1961 SATURDAY
Patsy Cline comes on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in a wheelchair to assure fans she'll return to performing soon, following her June car accident.
Webb Pierce recorded ''How Do You Talk To A Baby'' and ''Walking The Streets''.
JULY 24, 1961 MONDAY
Capitol released Rose Maddox' ''Conscience, I'm Guilty''.
JULY 27, 1961 THURSDAY
Spade Cooley suffers a heart attack in his holding cell at the Kern County Jail in Bakersfield, California, after his 14-year-old daughter, Melody, testified against him in a trial for the murder of his wife. He is transferred to Kern County General.
JULY 28, 1961 FRIDAY
Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''It's Your World''.
Patsy Cline returns to the concert trail at the Cimarron Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, six weeks after a serious car accident. Cline uses crutches to make it on stage and sits on a stool for the entire show.
JULY 30, 1961 SUNDAY
Brenda Lee sings the national anthem at the opening of the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Jack Smith wins the Volunteer 500.
JULY 31, 1961 MONDAY
Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''Hangover Tavern''.
AUGUST 3, 1961 THURSDAY
Mary Carlisle, the mother of Bill and Cliff Carlisle, dies.
AUGUST 4, 1961 FRIDAY
Merle Travis gives away the bride as his daughter, Pat Travis, marries Gene Eatherly.
Spade Cooley, who has already suffered two heart attacks since April, is taken to Bakersfield's Kern County General Hospital, suffering from chest pains. It causes a delay in his trial for the murder of Wife Ella Mae Cooley.
Barack Obama is born in Honolulu, Hawaii. During his presidency, he gets White House visits from Clarley Pride, Dierks Bently and Brad Paisley, whose ''Welcome To The Future'' is inspired by Obama's election.
AUGUST 5, 1961 SATURDAY
Fiddler Mark O'Connor is born in Seattle, Washington. He wins the Country Music Association's Musician of the Year award six times, appearing on more than 450 country recordings, and wins a Grammy for ''Restless''.
Jackie Phelps debuts as a guitarist with Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys during a show in Altamont, Illinois, remaining with the band for nine years.
Comedian Tim Wilson is born in Columbus, Georgia. In addition to doing stand-up, he co-writes Toby Keith's 2007 hit ''High Maintenance Woman''.
''Ramblin' Rose'' has been identified in some earlier discographies as having been recorded three times, once more than the evidence to hand indicates, a misconception now shown to be the result of the post-production manipulation of tape speeds. The good news is that this makes available an extension to take 1 serving up more than twenty extra seconds of the cut to add to what has hitherto been made widely available. These recordings date from this session in September 1961 when Sam Phillips pushed out the boat in trying to find a new sound. An eight piece horn section was in attendance to help generate the big brass sound, as Sam described it in the liner notes of the second LP (Sun LP 1265), on Jerry Lee's version of ''Money''. As we can hear in the concluding moments of the complete performance, greatly extended beyond the original fade out point at 2:22, in the end it all fell apart. But the suitably truncated ''Money'' was nonetheless good enough for a single release, (Sun 371), coupled with the best of the six takes of ''Bonnie B'' held over from January 1960. (*)
"Money (That's What I Want)" is a song written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy Jr. and Janie Bradford that became the first hit record for Gordy's Motown enterprise. The song was recorded in 1959 by Barrett Strong for the Tamla label, distributed nationally on Anna Records. It went on to be covered by many artists, including the Beatles in 1963 and the Flying Lizards in 1979.
The song was originally recorded by Barrett Strong and released on Tamla in August 1959. Anna Records was operated by Gwen Gordy, Anna Gordy and Roquel "Billy" Davis. Gwen and Anna's brother Berry Gordy had just established his Tamla label (soon Motown would follow) and licensed the song to the Anna label in 1960, which was distributed nationwide by Chicago-based Chess Records in order to meet demand; the Tamla record was a resounding success in the Midwest. The song has Strong curtly insisting that money is what he needs, more than anything else.
In the US, the single became Motown's first hit in June 1960, making it to number 2 on the Hot Rhythm and Blues Sides chart and number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was listed as number 288 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time''. Greil Marcus has pointed out that "Money" was the only song that brought Strong's name near the top of the national music charts, "but that one time has kept him on the radio all his life''. Piano and lead vocals were supplied by Barrett. Guitar on the track was played by Eugene Grew. Virtually all of the records issued were 45's, the 10" 78 format, issued by Anna, is described as "extremely rare''.
Singer Barrett Strong claims that he co-wrote the song with Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford. His name was removed from the copyright registration three years after the song was written, restored in 1987 when the copyright was renewed, and then excised again the following year. Gordy has stated that Strong's name was only included because of a clerical error.
Jerry Lee Lewis recorded in September 1961 ''Money'' for his Sun single (Sun 371), backed with ''Bonnie B'' and released on November 21, 1961, but didn't the charts. Even the Beatles recorded "Money" in seven takes on July 18, 1963, with their usual lineup. A series of piano overdubs was later added by producer George Martin. The song was released in November 1963 as the final track on their second UK album, ''With The Beatles''. According to George Harrison, the group discovered Strong's version in Brian Epstein's NEMS record store (though not a hit in the UK, it had been issued on London Records in 1960). They had previously performed it during their audition at Decca Records on January 1, 1962, with Pete Best still on drums at the time. They also recorded it six times for BBC radio. A live version, taped at a concert date in Stockholm, Sweden in October 1963, was included on ''Anthology 1''.
In July 1979 British band the Flying Lizards released a new wave version of the song. An unexpected hit, this version peaked at number 5 in the UK chart and at number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at number 22 on the US dance charts.
The song has been covered by many artists, with several of the versions appearing in a variety of charts. For example, the Kingsmen reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 in the US Rhythm and Blues charts in 1964. Jennell Hawkins hit number 17 in the Rhythm and Blues charts with her recording in 1962. Junior Walker and The All Stars reached number 52 on the Hot 100 and number 35 on the Rhythm and Blues charts in 1966 and Bern Elliott and the Fenmen reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1963.
The song was a staple for British beat bands, including the Searchers, the Undertakers, Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes and the Rolling Stones. It was also covered by Freddie and the Dreamers and John Lee Hooker. The song was covered during live performances by the Doors and appears twice on their 2009 released album ''Live In New York'', which covers four sets from January 1970. It also appears on their live album Live in Vancouver 1970 and the bootleg album ''Boot Yer Butt: The Doors Bootlegs''.
During Presley's late 1960s and 1970s live performances, the song was performed as the show's finale. Most notably, it was also sung in the live segment of his 1968 NBC television special, and as the closer for his 1973 Global telecast, Aloha From Hawaii. A version with a faster arrangement was used as the closing for Presley's final TV special, ''Elvis In Concert''.
NOVEMBER 22, 1961 WEDNESDAY
Paramount released Elvis Presley's movie ''Blue Hawaii''.
With 250,000 people watching from the sidewalk, Gene Autry serves as grand marshall of the Santa Claus Lane parade in Hollywood. Others taking part include Shelley Fabares, Robert Stack and Kris Kringle.
NOVEMBER 24, 1961 FRIDAY
The Everly Brothers are officially enlisted in the military for six months. They report to Camp Pendleton, California.
Columbia released Marty Robbins '''Sometimes I'm Tempted''.
Gene Autry pleads guilty in Los Angeles to driving drunk, receiving a 30-day suspended sentence, a $500 fine and three years probation.
NOVEMBER 25, 1961 SATURDAY
Disc jockey Eddie Stubbs is born in Bethesda, Maryland. A musician with the bluegrass group The Johnson Mountain Boys, he works with Nashville's WSM Radio, where he announces the Grand Ole Opry and becomes a voice for the genre's heritage artists.
After The New York Journal American's Dorothy Kilgallen referred to a Carnegie Hall lineup of country stars as ''Carnegie Hillbillies'', Patsy Cline shoots back on a stage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, referring to her as ''the wicked witch of the east''.
NOVEMBER 28, 1961 TUESDAY
Jimmie Rodgers' widow, Carrie, dies of cancer in San Antonio, Texas, 25 days after his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame''.
NOVEMBER 29, 1961 WEDNESDAY
The Grand Ole Opry comes to Carnegie Hall, with Patsy Cline, Grandpa Jones, Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl, Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, Faron Young and The Jordanaires. The performance benefits the Musicians' Aid Society. In the crowd, Jimmy Dean and comic Jack Benny.
Guitarist Duke Levine is born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He works with Mary Chapin Carpenter, backing her on ''Somewhere Down Below The Mason Dixon Line'', her contribution to the 1997 album ''The Songs Of Jimmie Rodgers - A Tribute''.