Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy

The Millionaires

(Do The Cocaminny)

Ann Curry, Stinson Music BMI

Cadillac 163

The previous release on Cadillac was the R'nB sounding "Arkansas Jane"  also by The Millionaires, oddly enough a cover of a  Dallas Frazier-penned song first recorded by Elwood James on the tiny Robie Lester's Bonanza Records, a Los Angeles concern.  Here, "Shimmy" is obviously sung by a white group. But perhaps the Millionaires were an "integrated" group after all ? I don't known.

Anyway, for want of any better regarding the Millionaires story or line-up ,  I made some progress in my research regarding the quite obscure Cadillac label, and was able to fill some gaps in the label discography that I've tried to compile.

Cadillac Records was founded in 1949 in Detroit as a subsidiary of Park Avenue Music publishers headed by songwriter, vocalist and former orchestra leader  Jerry Harris as president.  

The label moved to New-York in 1951,  a move mentionned by Billboard in their September 15, 1951 issue.   Graham Prince is then designed as the owner of the firm.   I've seen mention of another owner, Charles Boulanger, who like Graham Prince, was a band director.  One of the first release on the new New-York label was Ruth Casey's "Hold Me Just A Little Bit Longer" and "Cry" on #103. The ballad "Cry" was soon covered for Columbia Records on its subsidiary label Okeh, by Johnny Ray and became a national sensation, a big hit.     

The less obscure artist on the label is perhaps Charlie Graci/Gracie whose first three records were on Cadillac Records.  

I've not be able to found any trace of activity (release) on the label between 1955 and 1960, except the mention of a Cadillac recording artist performing in front of the inmates at the Detroit House of Correction.  One of another artists of this 1956 Yule confined show was Jack Scott and His Rock-A-Billies,  well before his very first record on ABC.

In the early sixties, there were new releases out of Detroit,  still produced by Graham Prince on Cadillac, and on S.A.K. Records  and Go-Gee Records as well.

Graham Prince (1904-81) started out in the 20s with Whitey Kaufman's band. He is credited with quite a few publishers' arrangements and some co-credits on songs.

In compensation for the lack of a Millionaires picture, please find below one of Ruth Casey. It's so cold and rainy tonight.


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