JANUARY 1, 1956 SUNDAY
Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes"/"Honey Don't" is released. His "Sure
To Fall"/"Tennessee" is held back because Sam Phillips probably does not want to risk splitting airplay.
After the "Blue Suede Shoes" release it was a massive chart success.
In the United States, it went to number 1 on Billboard magazine's country music charts (the only number 1 hit he would have) and to number 2 on Billboard's Best Sellers pop music chart.
Elvis Presley performs two shows with Hank Snow and Webb Pierce at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis. It kicks off the year that Presley is transformed from a regional act to a superstar.
JANUARY 2, 1956 MONDAY
Decca released the double-sided Kitty Wells and Red Foley single ''You And Me'' and ''No One But You''.
JANUARY 4, 1956 WEDNESDAY
Merle Travis is arrested at his home, at 12406 Chandler Boulevard in Los
Angeles, after pistol-whipping his wife during a drunken rage.
Hank Thompson recorded ''Anybody;s Girl'', ''I'm Not Mad, Just Hurt'' and ''The Blackboard Of My Heart''
during a morning session at the Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
JANUARY 7, 1956 SATURDAY
Johnny Cash begins regular appearances on The Louisiana Hayride at Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium.
Columbia Pictures begins production on "Rock Around
The Clock" featuring the song of the same name by Bill Haley and His Comets. Alan Freed is also featured and serves as a technical consultant. It was also announced that Freed had made a deal with Columbia Records and WINS to take packaged rock and roll shows
cross country to appear in local movie theaters.
JANUARY 9, 1956 MONDAY
Wagoner recorded ''What Would You Do (If Jesus came To Your House)'' and the Bill Monroe song ''Uncle Pen'' during an evening session at the RCA Studios on McGavock Street in Nashville.
JANUARY 10, 1956 TUESDAY
Elvis Presley's first recording session for RCA Victor produces ''Heartbreak Hotel'' and ''I Got A Woman'' among other tracks.
“Heartbreak Hotel” soon became the number one song on the Billboard pop charts for eight weeks after its release, it also hit number one on the country singles chart. This was also his first single to sell over one million copies. During the month
of January he also had his first network TV appearance on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey’s "Stage Show''. Later the same year his ''Love Me Tender'' is the first disc to have advance orders of more than 1 million copies.
Red Sovine recorded ''If Jesus Came To Your House''.
JANUARY 10, 1956 TUESDAY
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love" the first single of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers issued. Franklin Joseph "Frankie" Lymon was born on September 30, 1942 was an American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and
songwriter, best known as the boy soprano lead singer of the New York City-based early rock and roll group, The Teenagers. The group was composed of five boys, all in their early to mid teens. The original lineup of the Teenagers, an integrated group, included
three African American members, Frankie Lymon, Jimmy Merchant and Sherman Garnes, and two Puerto Rican members, Herman Santiago and Joe Negroni.
The Teenagers' first
single, 1956s "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", was also their biggest hit. The song went to number one in England and number six in the United States, and the group followed it with three more hits, ''I Promise To Remember'', ''I Want You To Be My Girl'', and
''The ABCs Of Love''. After Lymon went solo in mid-1957, both his career and those of the Teenagers fell into decline. On February 27, 1968 Franklin was found dead at the age of 25 in his grandmother's bathroom from a heroin overdose. His life was dramatized
in the 1998 film ''Why Do Fools Fall In Love''.
JANUARY 11, 1955 WEDNESDAY
Presley recorded ''I Was The One'' at the RCA Studios in Nashville.
In his first session for Columbia, Johnny Horton recorded ''Honky Tonk Man'' and ''I'm A One Woman
Man'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.
Singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen is born in Houston, Texas. His rough-cut sound and unique songwriting
make him a favorite on the Texas red-dirt circuit, and he appears in the soundtrack to ''Happy Texas''.
JANUARY 12, 1956 THURSDAY
Carl Perkins contract with Sun Records is renewed for a 2 year term.
JANUARY 14, 1956 SATURDAY
Little Richard's ''Tutti Frutti'' is released. "Tutti Frutti" (means "All Fruits" in Italian) is a song written by Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman) along with Dorothy LaBostrie that
was recorded in 1955 and became his first major hit record. With its opening cry of "A-wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-lomp-bom-bom!" (a verbal rendition of a drum pattern that Little Richard had imagined) and its hard-driving sound and wild lyrics, it became not only
a model for many future Little Richard songs, but also a model for rock and roll itself.
Jimmie Davis guests on ABC's ''Ozark Jubilee''.
JANUARY 15, 1956 SUNDAY
The singles, Sun 230 ''There's No Right Way To Do Me Wrong'' b/w ''You Can Tell Me'' by The Millers
Sisters and Sun 233 ''Little Fine Healthy Thing'' b/w ''Something For Nothing'' by Billy Emerson issued.
JANUARY 17, 1956 TUESDAY
Blues singer Blind Afred Reed dies. His performance of ''How Can A Poor Man Stand Times And Live'' is ranked in 2003 among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The
JANUARY 18, 1956 WEDNESDAY
Mark Collie is born in Waynesboro, Tennessee.
He scores two Top 10 singles, ''Even The Man In The Moon Is Crying'' and ''Born To Love You'', during the 1990s and becomes a spokesman for diabetes.
The Wilburn Brothers
recorded ''I'm So In Love With You''.
JANUARY 19, 1956 THURSDAY
recorded ''I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night'', ''Turn Her Down'' and ''You're Still Mine'' in Nashville.
JANUARY 20, 21, 1956 SATURDAY/SUNDAY
Based on local airplay, Sam Phillips suspects that there will be a heavy demand for Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and he instructs Superior to ship stampers to Paramount in Philadelphia
and Monarch Manufacturing in Los Angeles. "We anticipate that this number will be very bis", adds Sam Phillips.
Billboard review "Blue Suede Shoes" in their country music
review section: "Perkins contributes a lively reading on a gay rhythm ditty with a strong rhythm and blues styled backing. Fine for the jukes". The rating is 76/100.
21, 1956 SATURDAY
Ten years after making a pair of country hits with Red Foley, Lawrence Welk rates the cover of TV Guide.
JANUARY 23, 1956 MONDAY
Singer/songwriter Harley Allen is born in Dayton, Ohio. He writes Alan Jackson's ''Between The Devil And Me'',
Darryl Worley's ''Awful, Beautiful Life'' and Blake Shelton's ''The Baby''. He also sings harmonies on The Soggy Bottom Boys' ''I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow''.
26, 1956 THURSDAY
Buddy Holly's first professional recording session for Decca Records in Nashville at Bradley's Barn, a studio owned and operated by Owen Bradley. Buddy
cutting ''Blue days, Black Nights'', and his f irst single to be released in April 1956.
JANUARY 27, 1956 FRIDAY
RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's first single ''Heartbreak Hotel'' backed with ''I Was The One'' (RCA 47-6420).
JANUARY 28, 1956 SATURDAY
Elvis Presley makes national television debut as a guest on "Stage Show" on the CBS-TV network. The show is produced by Jackie Gleason and stars The Dorsey Brothers. He sings ''Heartbreak
Hotel'' and ''Blue Suede Shoes''. "Heartbreak Hotel" races up the charts neck and neck with his former Sun Records cohort Carl Perkins "Blue Suede Shoes" as they claim the number 1 and number 2 spots on the charts.
Coasters sign with Atco, an Atlantic Records subsidiary.
JANUARY 30, 1956 MONDAY
Bass player Doug Kahan is born in Detroit, Michigan. He replaces Bryan Grassmeyer in The Gibson/Miller Band in 1992, playing on their album ''Red, White And Blue Collar'' before the group breaks up. He co-writes
Trick Pony's ''On A Night Like This''.
Elvis Presley recorded an cover version of Carl Perkins' ''Blue Suede Shoes'' at RCA's New York recording studio.
Columbia released Carl Smith's ''I've Changed''.
Wynn Stewart holds his first Capitol session, recording
the Harlan Howard song ''You Took Her Off My Hands (Now Please Take Herr Off My Mind)''. A Ray Price version of the title becomes a hit six years later.
Little Richard performed at the Nat Ballroom, 508 George Avenue, Amarillo, Texas. Admission $2.50 per person, Tax included. Upstairs Reserved for Color Patrons, Private Intrance.
Columbia Pictures announces a deal to rent its pre-1948 features to television, to be followed shortly by Warner Bross.
Johnny Cash's Sun single "Folsom Prison Blues"/"So Doggone Lonesome" raced up the country charts alongside Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes". Within a few weeks it was obvious that "Blue Suede Shoes" was also selling well in the pop and rhythm
and blues markets. Unable to handle the vocal demands of rock and roll, Johnny Cash seemed to be doomed to the country charts. He did make his attempts; trying to corner a small role in the new market, he started composing rock and roll songs.
END JANUARY 1956
At the end of January, Elvis Presley had the first of four consecutive appearances
in the "Stage Show". Already in these early live recordings everyone realized that Elvis was a real phenomenon. The first time was visually demonstrated the nation his unique style of rhythm and blues, coupled with a spunky touch.
On the next following Saturday, after his 4th appearance at the Dorsey "Stage Show" (February 18, 1956) Elvis came back to the Louisiana Hayride. He sang "Heartbreak Hotel" and the audience was thrilled as always.
The crowd exploded like never before and you felt the enormous enthusiasm that went through the auditorium. Elvis was about to be ripped from "The Cradle of the Stars" and thrust into the international spotlight. The next Hayride stars were George Jones and
Johnny Cash, but no one would be a next Elvis Presley.
When the TV and movie offers began to pour in, it was incredibly difficult for Elvis and the band to come back
every Saturday to Shreveport. Colonel Tom Parker, by now in complete control of Elvis career, tried everything in his power to relieve Elvis of his Hayride obligations At one point, Parker offered to buy into the show, but he let the thought go, because the
Hayride management did not come down with his demand of the final say in the decision making process. The management of the Hayride would not, could not, afford to surrender control of the program at any price. Frank Page: “Ultimately, we knew we could
hold this rising star no longer, so in early April of 1956 Elvis was allowed to buy out the remaining six months of his contract for the sum of 10,000$''.