This volume of Fats' US single releases covers his classic period 1956 to 1958. It was in March 1957 that I purchased a brand new gramophone and my first Domino record, the EP "Blues For Love Volume 2" on London which contained the first four wonderful tracks on this CD.
Thereafter my local record shop reserved a copy of every Fats single on release for me and I acquired some earlier tracks on other EPs. This period also saw the overlap of 78 rpm and 45 rpm releases, with only owners of the latest technology of cartridge, lightweight arm and the new turntable speed able to take advantage of the 7" single. The fairground, particularly the dodgems, was a good source to hear Fats, as was the coffee bar jukebox. After acquiring innumerable Fats singles, 12 would be placed on the record player's stacking system (officially it only took 10 but, by raising the setting of the playing arm height, two more could be accommodated). One side would be played, then the other, so 24 tracks could be played consecutively. We jived to these records at the Youth Club and on occasion would leave the player's stacking arm up and the 45 would automatically be replayed, sometimes repeatedly. Those around at the time may have had their memories stirred and will recall many of the tracks on this CD which contains probably the greatest, most uplifting series of consecutive releases ever. With minor exceptions, you will hear winner after winner: 30 numbers lasting 65 minutes, each track averaging just over two minutes - the length a single should be, retaining interest for its entire duration.
These tracks come in sparkling mono, directly from the original master tapes. Listen to the great piano opening to What Will I Tell My Heart-.-the ethereal feel of Valley Of Tears-.-the unfamiliarity of Yes My Darling/ Don't You Know I Love You which were not released in the UK-.-and to many other delights that may have been forgotten.
by Paul Harris