"THE CHICKEN (DANCE WITH YOU)" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 182
Recorded: - Probably February 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 237-A mono
THE CHICKEN (DANCE WITH YOU) / LOVE FOR YOU, BABY
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-1-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION -
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Billy Duncan - Alto Saxophone
Charles Taylor - Alto Saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Sax
Wilkes - Tenor Saxophone
Foree Wells - Guitar
Tuff Green - Bass
John Murry Daley – Drums
Although Sun collectors usually fail to give it much attention, Rosco Gordon claims that ''The Chicken'' was the biggest selling record of his Sun career. In a 1980 interview, Rosco repeatedly referred to it as his ''million seller''.
According to Rosco, ''The Chicken'' was a ''spot record'', breaking in one regional rhythm and blues market after another, and taking a long time to run its course.
Although it never blazed a trail on national charts, the record stirred up enough regional attention to garner Rosco a movie deal (the notorious ''Rock Baby,
Rock It!''). His performance of ''Chicken In The Rough'' is captured forever on celluloid, along with his trusty rooster dancing on the piano while Rosco pounded away on the ivories. ''They used to call me Rosco 'Chicken' Gordon. man, that record was so big!;;
Rosco claimed that the rooster remained part of his act for quite a while, giving added credence to his version of the record's success.
For his part, Sam Phillips must have had an interesting view of ''The Chicken''. It was released on both the Sun and Flip labels, although the significance of that strategy remains unclear.
Perhaps more tellingly, Phillips did not simply see this release an an rhythm and blues contender. Original versions of the ''Chicken's'' record label plainly say ''Rock & Roll Vocal''. In simple terms, that meant crossover potential. By 1956, Sam Phillips
was not releasing much black music anymore. What little appeared on the Sun label had better have some potential to sell to white kids. (HD)