The London American Label Year By Year 1956 Various Artists (London American)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1347

Most Ace customers will know by now that both my grandfather and father had general (and considerable) influence on my collecting habits, thanks to the records they introduced me to even before I was old enough for school. Needless to say, I’m eternally grateful to them for showing me the value of music at an incredibly early age.

Grandad bought 78s up to the point where the major labels announced their imminent discontinuance in late 1959. He then continued to buy two 45s each week from theUKcharts, all the way though to 1980 when he turned 78. Dad was somewhat quicker to adapt to the newer medium; the first 45 that ever came into our house arrived three years earlier. It’s almost inevitable somehow that said 45 was on London.

Andy Williams’ ‘Canadian Sunset’ joined 78s by Tennessee Ernie, Hank Williams, Bill Haley, Guy Mitchell, Frankie Laine and other family favourites in 1956, and was quickly followed by others that fascinated me almost as much for their size and for their tri-centres as for the music they contained. The family Dansette regularly rocked to the sounds of ‘Rip It Up’, ‘When My Dreamboat Comes Home’ and other great records. I’m not sure where ‘Canadian Sunset’ fitted into all this – it may have been a purchase for my mum – but I liked it as much as anything else from Dad’s fast growing collection of 45s by Fats Domino, Little Richard and that bloke with the crazy name of Elvis something.

More than 50 years later I still like ‘Canadian Sunset’, and it’s pleasing to be able to include it on the latest in our London American series. which overviews 1956. It’s also good to include the aforementioned Fats and Richard singles, as well as others that a number of Ace buyers will also have grown up on – plus even more that most of us didn’t hear until long after the event, thanks to the limited exposure pop music received in the UK in the mid-50s.

Many of the greatest rock’n’rollers debuted on London during 1956, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and Mr. Penniman being just three. It was also the year that the London A&R team slipped the likes of Werly Fairburn and Faye Adams past their bosses, who may have been less pleased with those sales than with ‘Rip It Up’ and the ubiquitous ‘Davy Crockett’!

As ever, most of our inclusions sound as they did on their original London releases, having been mastered from the same tapes. Several have never been legally reissued in the UK before, and others have never been reissued at all. Ace’s beloved founder Ted Carroll shares his own memories of London’s musical impact on his youth and life in the foreword, and as always there’s copious track-by-track annotation and at least one scan of every 45 (or 78) featured in our programme.

Move over London 2012 – here comes London 1956!

By Tony Rounce


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Rip It Up - Little Richard

  • 02 Preview Soldier Of Fortune - The Drifters

  • 03 Preview All The Time - Werly Fairburn & the Delta Boys

  • 04 Preview The Chicken And The Hawk - Joe Turner

  • 05 Preview The Downbound Train - Chuck Berry

  • 06 Preview See You Later Alligator - Bobby Charles

  • 07 Preview One Night - Smiley Lewis

  • 08 Preview Theme From The Threepenny Opera (Moritat) - Billy Vaughn & His Orchestra

  • 09 Preview The Ballad Of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes

  • 10 Preview I'll Be True - Faye Adams

  • 11 Preview Seven Days - Clyde McPhatter

  • 12 Preview From The Bottom Of My Heart - The Clovers

  • 13 Preview Chain Gang - Bobby Scott

  • 14 Preview Daddy-O - The Fontane Sisters

  • 15 Preview Honey Don't - Carl Perkins

  • 16 Preview The Wilder Your Heart Beats, The Sweeter You Love - Jim Reeves

  • 17 Preview Baby Baby All The Time - Julie London

  • 18 Preview Gee Whittakers - Pat Boone

  • 19 Preview Walking The Blues - Willie Dixon & The All Stars

  • 20 Preview Fireball Mail - Mac Wiseman

  • 21 Preview Trying - The Hilltoppers

  • 22 Preview When My Dream Boat Comes Home - Fats Domino

  • 23 Preview Get Up! Get Up! (You Sleepy Head) - LaVern Baker &The Gliders

  • 24 Preview Underway - Tom Tall

  • 25 Preview Ivory Tower - Cathy Carr

  • 26 Preview Hen Pecked - Larry Evans

  • 27 Preview Canadian Sunset - Andy Williams

  • 28 Preview Out Of This World With Flying Saucers Pts 1 & 2 - Dave Barry & Sara Berner

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