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Episode #570 – Atlantic Records, Pt. 10 – 1955-56

Air Week: April 5-11, 2021

Atlantic Records, Pt. 10 – 1955-56

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 ten, we’ll focus on the last half of 1955 and the beginning of 1956. Clyde McPhatter officially left the Drifters in July of ’55, but his first solo record, “Everyone’s Laughing,” was indeed a Drifters record from their last recording session together. McPhatter would have to wait until early 1956 to have his first solo hit with “Seven Days.” Ruth Brown continued to rack up the hits, including one with her then flame, McPhatter called “Love Has Joined Us Together.” During this time, Ray Charles scores another #1, giving him 3 #1 singles in just over a year. The Clovers, Joe Turner and LaVern Baker continue their hit-streaks, while Atlantic takes very few chances on new, unproven artists. They do groom The Cookies as backup singers to their stars as well as releasing singles on their own. “In Paradise” turns out to be a surprise hit of early 1956. They would soon embark on a new career singing backup for Ray Charles. 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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