"Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:42 am

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Did you know that Elvis' great recording of "Crawfish," from the "King Creole" soundtrack, was issued on single by another RCA artist in the summer of 1958?

It was by The Stone Crushers, and the label on the 45 cheekily implied the recording was included in the Paramount film.


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The Stone Crushers was led by legendary songwriter, arranger and bandleader, Jesse Stone, and the RCA single was a mostly-instrumental re-do of the classic Presley master.

The A-side was not a hit, but the B-side, "Tadpole Wiggle," did make the charts on WBNY Radio in Buffalo, New York in August 1958.


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Although "Crawfish" was credited to songwriters Fred Wise and Ben Wiseman, it seems likely Jesse Stone played a hand in the creation of the song, albeit anonymously.

Did Elvis ever hear it? Who knows?


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King Creole (BMG, 1997)



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"Crawfish" sheet music, 1958



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Essential Elvis, Volume 3 - Hits Like Never Before (RCA, 1990)


I found a lot more information online, including mp3s of the single, and it's all below.

Enjoy!


Crawfish, Crawfi-i-i-ish

mp3: The Stone Crushers - Crawfish
mp3: The Stone Crushers - Tadpole Wiggle

After chasing this 45 for some time, I'm tickled pink to have finally caught it. It goes something like this: In 1958, Elvis Presley starred in the movie King Creole, set in New Orleans. In it, in duet with Kitty White, he sings an ode to the humble Crawfish – which is a lot steamier than it sounds. Musician and songwriter Jesse Stone, who wrote such hits as Shake, Rattle & Roll and Money Honey – both of which Elvis recorded – must've played some part in The King's version of Crawfish. I suspect he was the arranger or band leader or both. Under the name The Stone Crushers, Stone released another version.

What stands out about his own arrangement, and what made me need it so, is that it's much, much rhythmically heavier. Although there's some backing vocals, it's basically an instrumental. A sleazy saxophone takes on the lead role and the tune doesn't lose any heat whatsoever. The record's label indicates that The Stone Crushers' recording is also featured in King Creole. I have it, but my DVD player's broken, so if anyone can verify that point, I'm sure we will all rest slightly easier.

http://diddywah.blogspot.com/2010/11/crawfish-crawfi-i-i-ish.html



The A-side, "Crawfish," is also up on YouTube:



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And one may also enjoy both tracks on this excellent compilation:


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Jesse Stone Alias Charles "Chuck" Calhoun (Bear Family, 1996)

30 orig. RCA, US Decca & Atlantic recordings including "An Ace In The Hole", "Mister Jelly Fingers", "Hey Sister Lucy", "The Donkey & The Elephant" (tracks from 1947-58).

Jesse Stone wrote some brilliant and enduring songs -- "Shake, Rattle and Roll," "Good Golly Miss Molly," "Lipstick, Powder and Paint" -- and has been inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, but his name is generally unknown except to historians and collectors.

Jesse Stone Alias Charles "Chuck" Calhoun documents the recording career of this talented songwriter, bandleader, and music industry figure, spanning the years 1949-1958 and following Stone's evolution through a variety of musical styles. Stone's late-'40s recordings, which comprise half the set, are jazzy vocal numbers with a pronounced novelty streak. Then there is an odd pop single from 1954 and a few vocal R&B cuts from 1955 that are the highlights of the set (even though Stone's vocals are merely adequate).

The remaining tracks are mostly instrumental R&B/rock & roll sides. The original records were credited variously to Jesse Stone, the Stone Crushers, and Chuck Calhoun & the Atlantic All Stars, and were released on several different labels. There are many fascinating trivia facts and tidbits to be gleaned from the package, but it is primarily of historical rather than musical interest. ~ Greg Adams

Personnel: Jesse Stone (vocals, piano); Millie Bosman (vocals); Mickey Baker (guitar); Everett Barksdale, Wally Richardson (electric guitar); Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis , B. Bairbay (saxophone); Al Sears (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Dave McRae (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Sam "The Man" Taylor (alto saxophone); Bud Johnson, Hal Singer (tenor saxophone); Chris Griffen, Money Johnson, Nathaniel Williams, Pee Wee Erwin, Taft Jordan (trumpet); Lawrence Brown (trombone); Al Williams, Ernie Hayes, Bert Keyes (piano); David "Panama" Francis, Joseph "Kaiser" Marshall (drums); Walter Spriggs (bongos).


http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1051561/a/Jesse+Stone+Alias+Charles+%22Chuck%22+Calhoun.htm




Inspired by a post on another topic from member Bob-Holland.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:53 am

Doc, You rule !!!

No doubt, one of my all time favorite Elvis Presley recordings !!!

So much awesome information, much of it, I never knew.

That "King Creole" Lp is still one helluva soundtrack, and the photo that graces the cover is bad ass !!!

Again, many thanks.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:58 am

Fantastic stuff Doc,always great to have info on one of my favourite Elvis LP's

cheers

norrie

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:16 am

The A-side was not a hit, but the B-side, "Tadpole Wiggle," did make the charts on WBNY Radio in Buffalo, New York in August 1958.


Being from and still living in Buffalo, this put a broad smile on my face.Doc, thanks for the ongoing education and now I will celebrate by listening to this gem of a soundtrack.

JosephC

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:34 am

Great job Doc!! You're the man!!

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:09 am

Many thanks to Bob-Holland for first bringing this to our attention

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:09 am

This was already posted. Please read with care before wasting everyone's time.

drjohncarpenter wrote:Inspired by a post on another topic from member Bob-Holland.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:33 am

Very interesting topic - thanks!

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:54 am

Thanks Doc!

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:56 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:This was already posted. Please read with care before wasting everyone's time.

drjohncarpenter wrote:Inspired by a post on another topic from member Bob-Holland.



That's not a thank you!

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:31 am

Doc what a fantastic story lawdy miss clawdy. Great history. Very much appreciated.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:01 am

Hello,

Being that the B-side charted in August, 1958 (Buffalo) and both the soundtrack album and the second volume extended play of "King Creole" came out that same month, I would have to think that this is simply a case of the Wise/Weisman team submitting the song to another artist, who recorded it prior to Elvis putting it out. Probably once it was seen that it wasn't chosen as a single side for release in June '58 (Hard Headed Woman / Don't Ask Me Why), they probably had the okay to put it out themselves as a single, with the byline that it was featured in "King Creole." Either the songwriters, the artist or the producer asked that the byline be added or RCA took note themselves and added the byline about it being featured in the film "King Creole." Who knows, it may have even been the Aberbachs or Freddy Bienstock who got wind of the cover on RCA and asked for the by-line. The producer of the single, Herman Diaz, Jr. also produced parts of Harry Belafonte's 1956 "Calypso" album. One of the songs off of Belafonte's 1958 album, "Belafonte Sings The Blues" was written by Jesse Stone ("Losing Hand"). Is it possible that "Crawfish" was first submitted to Belafonte's production team, it was rejected by Belafonte, submitted to Elvis, and accepted and somehow between all that Jesse Stone got ahold of it and recorded it as well?

Daryl

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:31 am

Nice conjecture, but without any facts that's all it is.

The Bear Family CD might list a specific recording date for "Crawfish," and that would be a start.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:50 am

Thanks Doc, for opening a new topic for this.
I must say I'm amazed to learn nobody had noticed it before.

Earlier this year (or was it in 2009?) even a homemade 4-track compilation that included The Stone Crushers surfaced on the concert download sites, an online 'release' only.
This cover accompanied that download:

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Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:43 pm

If a song originates from a musical or movie, the title of the movie is usually mentioned after the song title, like "from Carousel" on Elvis' "You'll never walk alone", see http://www.elvisrecords.us/youll-never- ... ll-on-him/

To my knowledge Elvis never was in that musical. Therefore it is not necessary the intention of the Crawfish single to suggest it is featured in "King Creole" but to indicate that is a song "from King Creole".

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:10 pm

Time changes things, as mentioned on the movie poster: Not Suitable For Children. On the back of my (Dutch) DVD it says: All Ages. Besides that this is a very interesting topic. After all those years since the movie i never knew this. It's a nice bluesy version.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:31 pm

Great post and great track.

Love this version.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:50 pm

KiwiAlan wrote:Many thanks to Bob-Holland for first bringing this to our attention

Indeed. That was a nice find from Bob. :smt006
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=55630&start=25

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:38 pm

Very interesting. Thanks for this informations !

But what's the evidence on this ?

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Although "Crawfish" was credited to songwriters Fred Wise and Ben Wiseman, it seems likely Jesse Stone played a hand in the creation of the song, albeit anonymously.




In it, in duet with Kitty White, he sings an ode to the humble Crawfish – which is a lot steamier than it sounds. Musician and songwriter Jesse Stone, who wrote such hits as Shake, Rattle & Roll and Money Honey – both of which Elvis recorded – must've played some part in The King's version of Crawfish. I suspect he was the arranger or band leader or both. Under the name The Stone Crushers, Stone released another version.



Two other guys are credited with writing it and another version (Presley's) appeared before Stone's. Without anymore info there is no reason to think he had a hand in writing/arranging Elvis' song.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:10 am

Bob-Holland wrote:Thanks Doc, for opening a new topic for this.
I must say I'm amazed to learn nobody had noticed it before.

You're very welcome, Bob. I make a point of thanking you for the inspiration in my original post.


Luuk wrote:If a song originates from a musical or movie, the title of the movie is usually mentioned after the song title, like "from Carousel" on Elvis' "You'll never walk alone", see http://www.elvisrecords.us/youll-never-walk-alone-we-call-on-him/

To my knowledge Elvis never was in that musical. Therefore it is not necessary the intention of the Crawfish single to suggest it is featured in "King Creole" but to indicate that is a song "from King Creole".

Great point!


Rocker wrote:Two other guys are credited with writing it and another version (Presley's) appeared before Stone's. Without anymore info there is no reason to think he had a hand in writing/arranging Elvis' song.

Stone often worked behind the scenes. The implication is that he cut "Crawfish" because he had some prior connection to it. There are not too many other examples of him doing other people's songs just for the heck of it.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:36 am

In trying to get a possible release date for Stone Crushers 45, Elvis' 1958 singles appear as follows:

April
RCA 47-7240 (20-7240) - Elvis Presley - Wear My Ring Around Your Neck b/w Doncha' Think It's Time

June
RCA 47-7280 (20-7280) - Elvis Presley - Hard Headed Woman b/w Don't Ask Me Why

October
RCA 47-7410 - Elvis Presley - One Night b/w I Got Stung



And we see the record numbers immediately surrounding RCA Victor 7309:

July
RCA 47-7310 - Jesse Belvin - Volare b/w Ever Since We Met

September
RCA 47-7303 - Ray Peterson - Patricia b/w The Blue-Eyed Baby

October
RCA 47-7311 - The Browns - Would You Care? b/w The Trot

http://www.electricearl.com/dws/belvin.html
http://www.rocky-52.net/chanteursb/belvin_j.htm
http://www.globaldogproductions.info/r/rca-47-7000.html


So perhaps August 1958 is as close as we can pinpoint right now.

Anyone else?
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:53 am

Looking at this puzzle from a different direction.

Consider this timeline.

Hard Headed Woman/Don't Ask Me Why single released June 10
Extended Play King Creole released July 1
Extended Play King Creole Vol 2 released July 29
Long Play album released September19

Crawfish by Elvis first appeared on the second EP

A song once recorded and released may be used by any other artist as a right. No permission is required from anyone. A song recorded but not released requires permission from original artist if someone else wants to record it.

Now, as per Elvis request, there was never any intention to release a LP of King Creole. The feeling was that the single and one four track EP covered all the "worthwhile" tracks.

Note that there is no mention of vol 1 on the first EP, implying that a second vol was not considered.

I speculate that the Stone Crushers recorded Crawfish well prior to July 29 which would have required permission. The Colonel would give the OK as there was no intention to release the track and the added publicty would help the film if it became a hit. Gladys Music would have been happy to shop Crawfish for the same reason.

Part of the permission would be to ensure that film credit was on the label.


As we now know the success pf the single and first EP led to the second EP and eventually the LP


Just a possible scenario.

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:22 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:So perhaps August 1958 is as close as we can pinpoint right now.

Shouldn't that be October 1959 since it has the number that precedes Jesse Belvin's October release?

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:39 am

Mister Mike wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:So perhaps August 1958 is as close as we can pinpoint right now.

Shouldn't that be October 1959 since it has the number that precedes Jesse Belvin's October release?


Don't you mean October, 1958 Mister Mike?

I feel like Alpa Chino correcting Kirk Lazarus in "Tropic Thunder"

Daryl

Re: "Crawfish" --> Mystery 1958 Single Revealed !

Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:39 am

Mister Mike wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:So perhaps August 1958 is as close as we can pinpoint right now.

Shouldn't that be October 1959 since it has the number that precedes Jesse Belvin's October release?

It has been well established that the chronology of record releases seldom follows the numerical pattern of record numbers.

And I already noted that the B-side, "Tadpole Wiggle," made the charts on WBNY Radio in Buffalo, New York in August 1958.