Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.


• Jack Turner recordings available here.
• Update on Les Randall acetate.
• Thanks to Bob more info on Bill Harris.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Billy Riley - Wouldn't You Know

Billy Riley / The Little Green Men - Wouldn't You Know (Sun 289), 1958

"Wouldn't You Know" was penned by famous songwriter John S. Marascalco (born 1931 in Grenada, Mississippi). Before his affiliation with Art Rupe's Speciality label, Marascalco tried his luck as a songwriter first with Sam Phillips and his Sun Records - unsuccessfully, though. He saw Elvis Presley performing in 1955 and presented him his composition "Rip It Up" backstage. Although Presley wouldn't record it after Little Richard's hit version came out, it was through this connection that Marascalco came to Sun. 

Unable to come to an agreement with Phillips about a songwriting contract, the only two songs Marascalco penned for Phillips were "Wouldn't You Know" and "Dance with Me Honey." Both songs were recorded by Billy Riley but only "Wouldn't You Know" saw release on the yellow Sun label. It was recorded by Riley and his Little Green Men on November 25, 1957 at the Sun Studio with Riley on vocal and guitar, Roland Janes on lead guitar, Martin Willis on sax, James Paulman on piano, and Jimmy Van Eaton on drums. Released in February 1958 with Riley's own "Baby Please Don't Go" on the flip (Sun #289), it was his next single after his claim to fame "Red Hot" b/w "Pearly Lee" (Sun #277). Unfortunately, it sold less than "Red Hot," which had been dropped by Phillips in order to finance the promotion of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire."

Craig Morrison wrote in his book "Go Cat Go!" about "Wouldn't You Know":
'Wouldn't You Know,' the fourth single, never quite seem to gel, at times veering to one style and then to another. "
Marascalco began a new relationship with Specialty Records and penned such hits as "Ready Teady," another version of "Ript It Up," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and others. In the early 1960s, he owned a couple of record labels and worked as a songwriter and producer.

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