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Episode #568 – Atlantic Records, Pt. 8 – 1954, Pt. 2

Air Week: March 22-28, 2021

Atlantic Records, Pt. 8 – 1954, Pt. 2

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 eight, we take a look at the last half of 1954, one of the biggest years in Atlantic’s storied history. It was during the last six months of the year that Ruth Brown scored her 4th and 5th #1 records with “Oh What A Dream” and “Mambo Baby” respectively. “Mambo Baby” would end up being Brown’s final #1, though she would still rack up hit records over the next 5 years. LaVern Baker and Ray Charles released career defining records at the very end of 1954 that would make an even greater impact in 1955, just as Rock n’ Roll was beginning to enter the mainstream. We’ll also dig on a killer New Orleans instrumental from Tommy Ridgley and Ivory Joe Hunter’s first release for Atlantic. 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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