Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#781 (2/16/13 - 3/1/13)


"That's What Makes My Baby Fat"
by Joe Morris Blues Calvacade
(Fay Scruggs And Joe Morris)
on Atlantic 985
released in 1953

"Shake A Hand"
by Faye Adams
(Joe Morris Orch.)
on Herald 416
released in 1953

"Somebody Somewhere"
by Faye Adams
on Herald 429
released in 1954

Above: August 1953 advertisement for Faye Adams's first record on the Herald label. Mike Sweeney's book "Single Artists Groups..." has The Echoes backing her on "Shake A Hand," but this could not be confirmed. The only "Echoes" group listed in Ferdie's "Disco-File" from this time period had one record released on the Rockin' label in 1953.

Click HERE for an article about Faye Adams by J.C. Marion.
(Will open in a separate window)

Above Left: Faye Adams (known as "Fay Scruggs" on the Atlantic label).

Above Right: Clipping from Baltimore Afro-American newspaper dated 9/5/53.

Additional Reference Links: The Swallows.

Makes Star of Faye Adams
Above: Column from (National) Afro-American newspaper dated 9/5/53.

Additional Reference Links: Phil Moore.

Above: Faye Adams and Joe Morris.

Trade Magazine Article (SEPTEMBER 1953):
“SHAKE A HAND” BOOSTS MORRIS’ CAREER: “Shake a Hand,” Faye Adams’ and Joe Morris’ first cutting for the Herald label, is now in the top spot on both the best-selling and the most played in juke box charts. The record has only been out about five weeks. Morris’ recent career indicates the power of a hit record in restoring an artist to top demand in night clubs. Morris, who had had a number of strong records on Atlantic a few years ago, had a rough time breaking thru with any disk during the last year. Before “Shake a Hand” came out, Morris was booked for two dates during September. Since the record broke open, Morris has been booked right thru September and now has only three open dates for October.

Above Left: Atlantic advertisement from The Billboard dated 1/17/53.

Above Right: Label image of Atlantic 985 released in January 1953.

Additional Reference Links: Ruth Brown ; Ray Charles.

Trade Magazine Article (FEBRUARY 1953): ....Fay Scruggs, new chirp with the "Joe Morris Blues Calvacade" show, creating a tremendous stir with her appearances....

The Billboard Review (1/31/53):

That’s What Makes My Baby Fat.....75
ATLANTIC 985—Fay Scruggs and Joe Morris duet neatly on this novelty platter, selling the melodic ditty brightly.
Ork rocks smoothly behind the pair. Should garner coins.
Reviewer's comment about flip-side ballad: "Thrush has an attractive voice and bears watching."

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 as "good.")

Above: Label images of Herald 416 released in August 1953 and Herald 429 released in May 1954. Per The Billboard dated 4/24/54, Faye's "Shake A Hand" was the the #2 best selling r&b record of 1953 (#1 was Ruth Brown's "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean").

The Billboard (8/15/53): NEW RECORDS TO WATCH Faye Adams—Shake A Hand—Herald 416—There's very good action already reported from Philadelphia, Cleveland and Durham on this side.

The Billboard (8/22/53): THIS WEEK'S BEST BUYS Faye Adams—Shake A Hand—Herald 416—Spotted as a "New Record To Watch" last week, this record has literally zoomed in the last week picking up strength to make the national r&b chart. A definite "must."

Trade Magazine Article (AUGUST 1953): ....Recent artist-label switches in the r&b field: Joe Morris, formerly on Atlantic Records, is now on Herald.... Fay Adams, formerly Fay Scruggs on Atlantic, is now with Herald Records....

Trade Magazine Article (SEPTEMBER 1953):
Faye Adams Disk Released by Atlantic
NEW YORK, Sept. 5—A new Faye Adams slicing was announced this week by Atlantic Records. Miss Adams, who is currently one of the hottest properties in the rhythm and blues field with her “Shake a Hand” on the Herald label, was signed by Atlantic Records with Joe Morris and his Blues Cavalcade. When both Miss Adams, who was Fay Scruggs at the time, and Joe Morris moved over to Herald, Atlantic had several unreleased etchings in the can. Joe Morris authored "Shake a Hand" and provided the orchestral backing on the platter. Disk is stirring up loads of action around New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Points south are beginning to report the disk and indications are that the tune will be breaking nationwide before long.

Bobby Shad at Decca also has covered the tune with Savannah Churchill with a slightly different treatment. While the Adams etching has a shade of the religious kick, the Churchill version reportedly leans more to the R&B with a pop possibility.

Faye Adams is currently under the management of Phil Moore, who also handles Columbia Records’ Helene Dixon.

Trade Magazine Article (SEPTEMBER 1953):
Record Companies Clash Over "Shake A Hand" Thrush
Herald Record Company executives threatened to file legal action against Atlantic Records charging that Atlantic illegally published and "over-sexed" a record by Faye Adams, rising singing star, whose record "Shake A Hand" is a national hit. Herald executives said Atlantic, which once had Miss Adams under contract, released a record she had made for them called "Sweet Talk" after dubbing in "sizzling love words" by a New York disc jockey.

Trade Magazine Article (OCTOBER 1953): ....The Joe Morris - Faye Adams cutting of "Shake A Hand" is still in first place on both the best-selling and the juke box r&b charts of The Billboard after three months.... Dinah Washington and Faye Adams are the only two thrushes represented on the r&b charts over the past month....

Trade Magazine Article (OCTOBER 1953): ...."Shake A Hand," the Joe Morris - Faye Adams smash selling cutting on the Herald label, is still holding its own as the top-selling record in the r&b field on The Billboard charts. The disk has been on the best-seller list for 11 weeks and on the juke box chart for 10....

Listen to this week's selections featuring Faye Adams (Fay Scruggs) and Joe Morris:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. That's What Makes My Baby Fat
          2. Shake A Hand
          3. Somebody Somewhere
          ALL THREE played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
          1. That's What Makes My Baby Fat
          2. Shake A Hand
          3. Somebody Somewhere

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
          1. That's What Makes My Baby Fat
          2. Shake A Hand
          3. Somebody Somewhere

(Clipping From Afro-American newspaper dated 12/5/53)

     [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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