Saturday Single No. 490

Following on yesterday’s success in checking a date through the years, we’re going to go looking this morning for tunes recorded on April 2. There are a just a few for which we have that information, so we’ll see what we want to choose for a featured single.

Andy Kirk was a multi-instrumentalist band leader who formed his Clouds of Joy in 1929 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He moved the band’s headquarters to Kansas City in 1936, and five of Kirk’s recordings showed up in the 1940s on what would now be considered the Billboard R&B chart. On April 2, 1936, Kirk & His Twelve Clouds of Joy recorded the familiar tune “Until The Real Thing Comes Along.” Based on what I see at Second Hand Songs, Kirk was among the first to record the song.

Still in the 1930s, we land on “Aces’ Breakdown” by a Cajun band called the Four Aces, recorded on April 2, 1938, at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans. The track came my way as part of the lost fourth volume of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, released in 2000, finishing the work Smith had started after the release of the first three volumes in 1952. “Aces’ Breakdown,” writes Dick Spottswood in the liner notes, “includes an old polka, usually called ‘Flop Eared Mule,’ as part of a dance medley.”

Staying in the South but moving ahead eighteen years, we learn that it was on this day in 1956 that Johnny Cash recorded perhaps his most famous record, laying down “I Walk The Line” at Sun Studios in Memphis. The record spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart and went to No. 17 on the pop chart. Cash also recorded the B-side to the single, “Get Rhythm” the same day.

That’s not a lot to choose from, of course, and I see no point in featuring “I Walk The Line” this morning. Kirk & His Clouds of Joy did a nice smooth job on “Until The Real Thing Comes Along,” but it doesn’t scratch any itch this morning, and Cash’s B-side is just okay.

So, perhaps by default but also because I’m in the mood for old and raw this morning, here are Boyce Jones on the violin, Floyd Shreve and Dewey Landry on guitars, Tony Gonzales on drums – the Four Aces – supplemented by, perhaps, Robert Thibodeaux on piano with “Aces’ Breakdown,” today’s Saturday Single.

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