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Episode #565 – Atlantic Records, Pt. 5 – 1952-53

Air Week: March 1-7, 2021

Atlantic Records, Pt. 5 – 1952-53

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 five, we’ll pick up in late 1952 and hear Ray Charles’ first release for Atlantic, “The Midnight Hour.” It didn’t chart, but it marks a very important time for both the singer, who would soon find his voice and style and begin racking up hits, and the label, who bought his contract from SwingTime Records and invested in his development. The Clovers continue to score huge records as we make our way into 1953. Along with more hits from Ruth Brown, we’ll also dig up a few one-off singles that have been lost to history from The Tilters, Eunice Davis and guitarist Chuck Norris. This program is highlighted by an excerpt from 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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