Sam Phillips cuts ''Ouch! Pretty Baby'' b/w ''Saddled The Cow'' (RPM 324), another
Rosco Gordon session for RPM Records at Memphis Recording Service in Memphis (Session details unknown).
Modern Records releases Walter Horton's first single "Now Tell
Me Baby" b/w "Little Boy Blue" ( Modern 809), under the pseudonym "Mumbles".
Chess Records releases Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" b/w "Come Back Where You Belong" (Chess
1458). Brenston forms a touring band with Wilbur & Luther Steinberg, Narvel Campbell, and Calvin Newborn.
The Biharis release Rosco Gordon's first record ''Roscoe's
Boogie'' b/w ''City Woman'' (RPM 322).
Six European nations sign the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community during April of 1951. The treaty
was signed by Italy, France, Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The six countries joined together in an economic union in what was a precursor to the creation of the European Union. The treaty came into effect during July of the next 1952
and it remained in effect until 2002.
APRIL 1, 1951 SUNDAY
Hank Williams and
Lefty Frizzell kick off the only concert tour they will work together in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Pop singer Henry Gross, best known for his 1976 hit ''Shannon'' is born
in Brooklyn, New York. In 1969, he co-founds the 1950s revival group Sha Na Na. In 1996, he had a country hit as a songwriter on BlackHawk's ''Big Guitar''.
Steve Gatlin, second of The Garlin Brothers, is born in Olney, Texas. Along with brothers Larry and Rudy, their tight harmonies propel them to a Grammy
award for ''Broken Lady'' and three trophies from the Academy of Country Music.
APRIL 7-8, 1951 SATURDAY/SUNDAY
This weekend, the ''Delta Cats'' label disappeared altogether when the band debuted for two nights at the W.C. Handy Theatre, 2353 Park Avenue, the Orange Mound neighborhood in Memphis, where B.B. King had first stayed with
his cousin Booker White. ''First Time In Memphis'', the handbill announced, with the kind of staggered layout and alternating script, typeface sizes, and dramatically placed stars that the times favored.
Sam Phillips invited Mike McGee, the fill-in music editor for the Commercial Appeal, to see the show, sitting up in the balcony with Mike and his wife in the only seating available to whites. Sam had no idea how Mike was going
to like the show, but the figured it was worth a shot. ''Mike was a man in his mid-fifties, he was anything but a music connoisseur, he had been in real estate, at the paper, and I think he went out there with me more or less, out of, curiosity. But Ike Turner
and Jackie Brenston put on a helluva show'', said Sam
And so did Rufus and Bones duo, with Robert "Bones" Couch, the comedy team who MCed the weekly amateur show at both
the Handy and the Palace theaters. It was a memorable evening in every respect, the house was packed, and people were lined up around the block. But Sam still wasn't sure of Mike's reaction until his story came out the following week.
He had been a little ''hazy'', McGee confessed to the good people of Memphis, about ''just what ''Rocket 88'' might be, but, that no longer is true. It is, we must report, like two tomcats
meeting on a tin roof.
McGee wrote, ''Sam Phillips of the Memphis Recording Co., who recorded the number for Chess Records, took us around to the Handy the other night
to hear the recording orchestra from Greenwood, Miss., do the number. John Brochstein, more accurately, of course, Jackie Brenston, does an extremely capable job with the vocal but what was impressive was the performance of Ike Turner and His Rhythm Boys,
the recording orchestra, also from Greenwood. Folks who have wondered if the Negro race would ever produce another pianist of the Fats Waller caliber can stop wondering. Ike Turner is the hottest piano player in many a day. He's not only all over the keyboard
like a blanket over a baby's crib, he's one of the few who attemps it who can really play a piano and tap dance at the same time. In fact he can even get on top of the piano and play the thing upside down''. The Handy theatre was demolished in December 2012.
APRIL 7, 1951 SATURDAY
Restless Heart drummer John Dittrich is born in Batavia, New York. He provides
harmonies on a strong of 1980s hits sings lead on ''When She Cries'' in 1992. Dittrich also co-founds the short-lived group The Buffalo Club.
Pop singer and songwriter
Janis Ian is born in New York. Best known for her recordings ''Society's Child'' and ''At Seventeen'', she gains a country hit as a songwriter when she co-writes the 1988 Judy Rodman single ''I Want A Love Like That''.
APRIL 8, 1951 MONDAY
''Thunder In God's Country'' debuts in theaters, with Rex Allen and Buddy Ebsen. Allen sings ''Molly
Bass player Mel Chacher is born in Owosso, Michigan. As a member of Grand Funk, he plays on the 1973 hit ''We're An American Band'', referenced in the lyrics
of The Eli Young Band country hit ''Always The Love Song''.
Singer/songwriter Jim Photoglo is born in Los Angeles. Following a career as a pop artist, he moves to Nashville,
where he pens Alabama's ''Hometown Honeymoon'' and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's ''Fishin' In The Dark''.
APRIL 9, 1951 TUESDAY
Songwriter Bob Corbin is born in Butler, Pennsylvania. He joins Dave Hanner to form The Corbin/Hanner Band but finds his largest success by writing Alabama's ''Can't Keep A Good Man Down'' and ''(There's A) Fire
In The Night''.
Decca released Red Foley's ''Hobo Boogie'', and The Weavers' only country hit, ''On Top Of Old Smokey''.
APRIL 14, 1951 SATURDAY
Bill Monroe is served a court summons in a lawsuit brought by songwriter Tomie Thompson, who claims Monroe has
not properly credited him for the lyrics to ''Kentucky Waltz''. Monroe admits Thompson wrote them, but insists he bought them.
APRIL 15, 1951 SUNDAY
Texas Playboys guitarist Junior Barnard dies a Fresco Country General Hospital in California after a car crash. He played on ''Bob Wills Boogie'', ''Brain Cloudy Blues'' and ''White Cross
On Okinawa'', as well as Johnnie Lee Wills' ''Milk Cow Blues''.
APRIL 16, 1951 MONDAY
Arnold recorded ''Call Her Your Sweetheart'' at RCA's New York studio.
Gene Autry sings songs written by Acuff-Rose founder Fred Rose in the debut of ''Whirlwind'', also
featuring Smiley Burnette and Frankie Marvis.
APRIL 17, 1951 TUESDAY
recorded ''Heart Strings'' and ''Bundle Of Southern Sunshine'' at RCA's New York studio.
At the radio station the gibes just kept on coming, in fact, if anything, they
came at an even more accelerated pace, now that Sam Phillips' secret was out. He continued to send sides to Modern, five by Rosco Gordon on this date (including two cut numbers, ''Ouch! Pretty Baby'' and ''Sadled The Cow (And Milked The Horse'' and five more
by Joe Hill Louis two weeks later. It does not seem to have dawned on anyone yet, neither Sam nor the Bihari brothers, for that matter, how the altogether unanticipated success of ''Rocked 88'' might imperil their relationship.
APRIL 18, 1951 WEDNESDAY
Eddy Arnold recorded ''I Wanna Play House With You'', ''Trouble In Mind'' and ''Somebody's Been
Beating My Time'' at RCA's New York studio.
APRIL 19, 1951 THURSDAY
Turner recorded the rhythm and blues hit ''Chains Of Love'' in New York City. More than 25 years later, it's is re-recorded as a country hit by Mickey Gilley.
general Douglas MacArthur addresses a joint session of Congress, saying, ''Old soldiers never die, they just fade away''. Inspired by the statement, Gene Autry writes ''Old Soldiers Never Die'', which he recorded the next day.
APRIL 20, 1951 FRIDAY
Gene Autry recorded ''Old Soldiers Never Die'', a song inspired by a Douglas MacArthur speech, to
honor those who served in World War II and the Korean War.
APRIL 22, 1951 SUNDAY
guitarist Reuben Gosfield Gosfield is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Using the stage name Lucky Ocean, he joins Ray Benson in founding Asleep At The Wheel, a western-swing band best known for its 1975 hit ''The Letter That Johnny Walker Read''.
APRIL 23, 1951 MONDAY
Decca released Red Foley and Ernest Tubb's ''The Strange Little Girl''.
APRIL 27, 1951 FRIDAY
Paul ''Ace'' Frehley is born in New York. He becomes the space-garbed guitarist
for Kiss, a rock band that influences Garth Brooks' concert performances. Brooks remakes the group's ''Hard Luck Woman'' for a 1993 tribute album, ''Kiss Mt Ass''.
released a two-sided Hank Williams hit ''Howlin' At The Moon'' backed with ''I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)''.
Johnny Cash completes training at Keesler
Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he's learned to intercept Morse code from Soviet transmissions.
APRIL 29, 1951 SUNDAY
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt is born in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He's name checked in the 2003 Chris Cagle single ''Chicks Dig It'' and the 2009 Tim McGraw hit ''Southern Voice''.
APRIL 30, 1951 MONDAY
Columbia released Ray Price's debut single, the Lefty Frizzell-penned ''If You're Ever Lonely Darling''.
Studio session with Joe Hill Louis at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.