The Stacks News

1954

Atlantic turns the top floor of a wood-framed brownstone at 234 West 56th Street into its headquarters, serving as office by day and studio by night. To record such artists as RUTH BROWN, BOBBY DARIN, JOHN COLTRANE, and RAY CHARLES, producer/engineer TOM DOWD stacks the desks and pushes furniture into the halls, while using the stairwell as an echo chamber.

BIG JOE TURNER’s timeless “Shake, Rattle And Roll” charts for 27 weeks, peaking at #1 R&B. Despite more successful covers that follow the original, TURNER’s version is still credited as the foundation stone for Rock n’ Roll.

THE DRIFTERS’ “Honey Love” is banned on several radio stations for ‘suggestive’ lyrics, but still stays on the R&B chart for five months, including eight weeks at #1.

In October, CLYDE McPHATTER cuts his last session with THE DRIFTERS before being drafted into the Army.

Having coined the phrase ‘Rhythm & Blues’ while at Billboard, JERRY WEXLER declares that the new Rock n’ Roll sound will be named ‘Cat Music.’ Atlantic promptly starts a new imprint and in July, Cat releases THE CHORDS’ seminal hit, “Sh-Boom.”

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Tags: The Drifters, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, CLYDE MCPHATTER, Bobby Darin, Tom Dowd, Timeline, Time Capsule, Jerry Wexler

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