All opinions are mine, Gary. I am far from an expert, but I love the music and the era.
Lost Songs from the Radio / 1955
I listen to Classic Radio and Sirius 50’s on 5 and do hear some great music, but they do not play ALL of the music. This year 1955, would be the start of the Break Out year. Elvis would record Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s All Right Mama” (in my opinion Arthur’s is still the best version) and the rest is history. He would do his best work at Sun Records in Memphis (and again in my opinion) the songs that I will list will not be the one’s that are played on the airwaves or everyone’s favourite’s, but are, (again in my opinion), his best songs. Fat’s Domino would have a great year, but the songs that I like from that year are not, again, the top 10.
Why do we ignore the great music and only play top 10 or 20? Why? MONEY. I was 15, just survived a car accident that darn near eliminated me from the planet, but I recuperated, went back to school, got a job as an usher and tried to meet girls.
Now these are some of my favourite Elvis songs.
Maybe, the song,”Baby Let’s Play House” is my favourite
But “Mystery Train” and “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone“, are close.
But then there is “I Forgot To Remember To Forget“.
I just love this music, it had far more soul that the Pop Music that made him the King of Rock and Roll.
These would be my all-time favourite Fats Domino songs.
I guess “All By Myself” is my favourite
But Poor Me and I Cant’ Go On are real close.
Now we get to a song that is very seldom ever played, one of the best, from a great Harp player who had a troubled life, but came out of the Chess/Checker family. Little Walter played harp on a lot of cuts, but when he wrote and recorded “My Babe” he did not realize just how many different versions there would be.
Bo Diddley, I guess was the first artist to really infuriate Ed Sullivan, he did not play what Ed asked him to play, but played “Bo Diddley” instead.
Now did anybody turn that record over, because “I’m a Man” was on the flip side and Who do you love would be a great song, but never received the play that “Bo Diddley” the song did.
Smiley Lewis would record a classic that year, that was covered by Gail Storm of TV Fame and Fats, Smiley was the best and unfortunately forgotten. “I Hear You Knocking” would be a big hit, but by the wrong person.
Again, all of this is my opinion and I am far from an expert, Russ and I disagree from time to time. One of the more significant songs, that I have “never heard” played anywhere, would be a moderate R&B Hit for Young Jessie, he wrote it and recorded it. Now just in my teenage years it would be recorded by Buddy Knox in 1957 and would be a # 26 hit for Ronnie Hawkins in 1959. The Song “Mary Lou“
A song that would come from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, would eventually be made into a Broadway Musical. In 1955 a group called The Robins would record that famous song “Smokey Joe’s Cafe“.
My Partner, Russ, is the Sax man for a very prominent group in Ontario called the Martels. He also plays in other groups. So with that in mind, I would be remiss if I ignored an infectious recording from 1955 by Red Prysock called Hand Clappin‘.
I’m sure most radio stations have lost their copy.
This is a record I have not heard in over 40 years, by the originators.
This will be a song I really enjoy and also one of Elvis’s favourites. It was almost impossible to hear or find, but as imaginative teenagers, we found a way. I would take a wire and attach it to the Stove Pipe and then to my old tube AM Radio. I did not grow up with wealth or money just the opposite, but I had fantastic parents who gave me what they could and let me listen to the new music. The Rhythm part of my body and soul is directly inherited from my Dad, he was the greatest. The song I am talking about is “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby” by the great Jimmy Reed.
In 1957 Jerry Lee Lewis would take this song into the top 10 and on to Steve Allen’s TV Show. Jerry was from Sun Records, a white southern boy.
But in 1955 “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” would be recorded by Roy Hall a white piano player
and Big Maybelle a black woman, but these recordings we never hear.
There is some dispute about this, but James Faye “Roy Hall” was the writer.
Chuck Berry would be introduced to the world with a #5 hit “Maybellene”, but nobody plays the best song from 1955 “Thirty Days”
which Ronnie Hawkins would add 10 days to the song in 1959 and have a top 40 hit.
This song has been recorded by many artists, but no one plays it anymore.
The great Tony Williams and the Platters would race up the charts, Frankie Lymon would be one of the first Black Artist’s to be on Ed Sullivan, he was sweet and innocent looking and only 14. The Rock and Roll Genie was getting out of the bottle and there was no putting in back. Yes we hear some of the great songs from that year, but there are many more than the one’s I have brought attention too, that have just been forgotten. Yes, I love “The Great Pretender”, but so is “Feel So Good” by Shirley and Lee, but that one I never hear. I am sure that I have missed some great songs, but I am only one person and it is just my opinion. Russ told me that he would add the songs he could remember enjoying.