45 RPM Discography 1955-1957

1955 Releases for Coral Records

1. Black Denim Trousers/Nip Sip

Recorded in New York at the Pythian Temple. Session arranged by Dick Jacobs. Black Denim Trousers was a cover version of The Cheers hit earlier in the year. The song was also recorded by Vaughn Monroe and French singer Edith Piaf. Nip Sip was a cover of The Clovers' original. The Clovers recorded for Atlantic Records in New York.

2. Smooch Me/Be My Lovin' Baby

Two original songs that didn't strike up the band as far as sales were concerned. The sides were notable in that Tedd Kowalski sang lead. Coral did not renew The Diamonds contact after these two singles flopped, but it did choose to re-release the four tracks again in 1957 on a Brunswick EP after The Diamonds struck gold with Little Darlin' in 1957. Very few copies of the Brunswick record survive.

1956 Releases for Mercury Records

3. Why Do Fools Fall in Love ? / You Baby You

Cleveland DJ Bill Randle of WERE presented a copy of Frankie Lymon's "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" to The Diamonds and told them that if they could do a good recording of it, he could make it a hit. Randle had contacts at Mercury Records who signed The Diamonds in late 1955. Their recording of the song was a good sized hit and launched their successful recording career. The flip side of the single, "You Baby You" was a cover of The Cleftones original.

4. The Church Bells May Ring/Little Girl of Mine

"The Church Bells May Ring" was a cover of The Willows original and was a substantial hit in the fall of 1956.The song was also recorded by The Cadets on the east coast. For the flip side, The Diamonds covered another Cleftones original - "Little Gril of Mine". the Willows were owned by Alan Freed. When Nat Goodman turned up with the Diamonds recording, Freed physically threw Goodman from his office. record.

5. Love Love Love / Ev'ry Night About This Time

"Love love love" was a cover version of The Clovers' original and gave The Diamonds their third consecutive hit for 1956. "Ev'ry Night About This Time" was a revival (as opposed to "cover") of a song by one of The Diamonds early influences - The Inkspots.

6. Ka-Ding-Dong/Soft Summer Breeze

This was a two-sided hit for the group. "Ka-Ding-Dong is pure vintage rock and roll/doo-wop and was a cover of the GClefs' original. "Soft Summer Breeze" was a vocal re-working of a tune that had been a hit on Mercury Records for pianist Eddie Heywood. The Diamonds vocal version was the only vocal version that made the charts.

7. My Judge and My Jury/Put Your House in Order

This disc was the first commercial failure for The Diamonds on Mercury. The original "My Judge and My Jury" was a bit jazzy and a bit "big band" - but not exactly rock and roll. The flip side, "Put Your House in Order" is a traditional Western/Gospel number that also didn't register with the buying public.

8. A Thousand Miles Away/ Every Minute of The Day

The Diamonds cover of the Heartbeats' "A Thousand Miles Away" was completely eclipsed by the original. The Lieber/Stoller composition was "Every Minute of The Day" was another cover that never gained the impetus to become a hit.

1957 Releases for Mercury Records

9. Little Darlin'/Faithful and True

The song "Little Darlin'" was recorded as the fifth song on a (four song) session in January 1957. The Diamonds had been presented with the song on the afternoon of the very day it was to be recorded. "Little Darlin'" had been written by Maurice Williams and recorded by his group "The Gladiolas" (later to become The Zodiacs that would have the million selling record "Stay") and released as a single on Excello Records. Following a few rehearsals in their hotel room, the group left for the studio in the evening where they recorded four songs - including the ballad "Faithful and True". In the early hours of the morning on the following day, The Diamonds recorded "Little Darlin "(The song was done once through in its original key of F, and then the master was done in one take in the key of F#). "Little Darlin'" was initially picked as the B side to the disk, with "Faithful and True" being the hit pick.

10.Words of Love/Don't Say Goodbye

"Words of Love" was a rearranged version of the ballad by Buddy Holly. Whilst it did not achieve the same success as "Little Darlin'", it enjoyed a few weeks on the US hot hundred - and was the first hit for Buddy Holly - as a song writer. "Don't Say Goodbye" was a worthy B side and the first release that was written by members of The Diamonds.

11. Zip Zip/Oh How I Wish

"Zip Zip" and "Oh How I Wish" were both featured on The Diamonds first Mercury LP record which was released shortly after the success of "Little Darlin'", but sans the hit track. "Zip Zip" was the only real hit from the album, which is a shame given the artistic quality of the songs. "Zip Zip was written by Barry Kaye - a Pittsburgh disc jockey - it was a Diamonds original.

12. Silhouettes/Daddy Cool

"Silhouettes" was a million seller for The Diamonds. It was a slow burner - the million sale not being reported by Mercury Records until 1972. Both "Silhouettes" and "Daddy Cool" were written by Frank Slay and Bob Crewe. Crew and Slay had a group called The Rays record what were believed to be demos of the songs. These songs were presented by the songs as demos (but they were actually masters) Both sides were recorded by The Diamonds and released at exactly the same time as the Rays' version. In October 1957 there were two records racing each other up the charts with the same two sides - The Rays and The Diamonds recordings of "Silhouettes" and "Daddy Cool". For Australian readers, this is the same "Daddy Cool" that was released by the band Daddy Cool (Ross Wilson) in the early 1970s. This record is notable in that it was the first release that baritone Mike Douglas can be heard on.

13. The Stroll/Land of Beauty

"The Stroll" was The Diamonds second biggest hit and second million seller. It was an original song written by Clyde Otis and Nancy Lee - it was successful in promoting a a dance craze that had begun on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Dave Somerville was coached by Brook Benton, who would often attend recording sessions by The Diamonds.The song was taught to The Diamonds. "Land of Beauty was a latin flavoured song and a revival of the Revelaires original. This group had mentored The Diamonds early in their career.

14 Straight Skirts/Patsy

The first (and only) non-hit single from 1957. "Straight Skirts" had been a rockabilly hit for Gene Summers earlier inthe year. "Patsy" was another Clyde Otis composition and a revisitation of "The Stroll".

Brunswick Releases in 1957

When "Little Darlin' " was riding the top of the charts in the spring and Summer of 1957, the folk at Coral realised that they had four songs in the can by The Diamonds that were recorded in New York in late 1955. Coral released "Black Denim Trousers"/"Nip Sip"/"Smooch Me"/"Be my Lovin' Baby" in 1957 on a Brunswick EP (two tracks per side). The record was no more successful than the original releases eighteen months earlier.