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Episode #567 – Atlantic Records, Pt. 7 – 1954, Pt. 1

Air Week: March 15-21, 2021

Atlantic Records, Pt. 7 – 1954, Pt. 1


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 seven, we take a look at the first half of 1954, one of the biggest years in Atlantic’s storied history. It was this year that Ray Charles scored his first hit for Atlantic with “It Should’ve Been Me.” It was his first hit after a 2 year dry spell. The Clovers and Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters continued to rack up best-sellers while The Diamonds, Professor Longhair and Hal Paige should’ve had hits this year. Big Joe Turner took a somewhat risque jump blues called “Shake, Rattle & Roll” and turned it into an early Rock n’ Roll anthem. At 43, Turner was the oldest Rock Idol. Next week, we’ll look at the second half of Atlantic’s great releases from 1954. 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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