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Episode #562 – Atlantic Records, Pt. 2 – 1949-50

Air Week: February 8-14, 2021

Atlantic Records, Pt. 2 – 1949-50

Atlantic Records was the most influential, significant and important independent record label to come out of the late-1940s, during a time when there were many great, small indie labels being born. What gave Atlantic the advantage over Specialty, Chess, Modern, Vee-Jay, Exclusive, King, etc is the breadth of material, variety of music styles and the sheer number of hit records that led to the Rock n’ Roll explosion of the mid-1950s. Matt The Cat and the “Juke In The Back” present this behemoth series celebrating the first 10 years of Atlantic’s existence: 1947-57. This week in part two, we’ll see how Atlantic continued its sporadic hit streak with a few charting instrumentals from saxophonist Frank “Floorshow” Culley as well as Professor Longhair’s debut record for the label. Ruth Brown, who had a pretty quiet start to 1950, ends the year with the biggest hit of her career and one of Atlantic’s best selling records of all-time. “Teardrops From My Eyes” hit #1 in early December and remained there for 11 weeks, carrying it deep into 1951. This was the beginning of Brown’s decade-long reign that earned Atlantic the nickname, “The House That Ruth Built.” This program is highlighted by excerpts of an interview Matt The Cat conducted with Atlantic’s co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, a few years before his death in 2006. So buckle in and prepare yourself for an in-depth, multi-part look at the history of Atlantic Records, which could also be described as a look at the history of American Music itself.

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