The Spitfires - Catfish (Jaro Int. J-77004), 1959
The Spitfires - Fireball Mail (Jaro Int. J-77004), 1959
Another bobsluckycat post presented by Mellow's Log Cabin
Actually, the Spitfires were nothing else than a pseudonym used by Billy Lee Riley for one single release on the Jaro International label. It was Riley's first release after "One More Time" b/w "Got the Water Boiling," his last record on Sun Records (Sun 322, ca. June 1959). Riley was possibly still under contract with Sun when recording for Jaro but knew his contract wasn't renewed. Though, he had to use a pseudonym for releases on other record labels since he was tied to his Sun contract.
|Newspaper article from 1957|
|Riley and his band at the Sun Studio, ca. 1957. From left to right:|
Jimmy Van Eaton (drums), Martin Willis (sax), Pat O'Neill (bass),
Jimmy Wilson (piano), and Riley
"Fireball Mail" and "Catfish" were cut in 1959 in Memphis, Tennessee, likely in one of the many independent recording studios like Fernwood. Both sides were instrumentals and still had the "Little Green Men" sound, which suggests that they also recorded these sides with Riley. It's sure that Roland Janes played guitar with possibly Riley on guitar or bass, Jimmy Van Eaton on drums and Martin Willis on sax, leaving only an unknown piano player.
How these cuts ended up on Jaro is not quite clear. Riley started to produce his own records from 1959 onwards and used several pseudonyms on small labels in the following years. Jaro was a subsidiary of Top Rank Records from New York City. The Spitfires' single was one of the first to be released on the label. In August 3, 1959, Billboard gave "Fireball Mail" b/w "Catfish" a promising review but the single failed to chart.
|"Very Strong Sales Potential" - Billboard pop review of Jaro 77004 on August 3, 1959|