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Big Ben
Big Ben, PO Box 1571, San Francisco 1, CA

-- Singles --

number unknown: artist unknown -- Jet Man (w: Ed Morley, m: Rikki Dawn) (1957)
1578: The Bay Boys -- My Geiger Counter Heart / I'm Gonna Sit Right Tight On My Satellite (1958)
101: Nervous Norvus & His Guitar -- Let's Worship God Each Sunday / Pure Gold (both wr. Ed Morley) (1960)
1614: Nervous Norvus & His Guitar -- Does A Chinese Have A Pigtail? / Rod Barton; orchestra, The Lincolnaires -- Dear Old San Francisco (both wr. Ed Morley) (1961)
1614: Rod Barton -- Dear Old San Francisco / Does A Chinese Chicken Have A Pigtail? (1961)
Note: Big Ben 1614 is a bit complicated, and we're not 100% sure there were actually two different versions released, despite the way we've got them listed here. The first version listed, the Nervous Norvus/Rod Barton one, we've seen with our own eyes, and therefore can attest to the accuracy of our information. The second version, the all-Rod Barton one, was taken from an issue of Billboard magazine, which for a few years in the late '50s and early '60s listed every record they received. However, whoever was transcribing the information from the records for them was clearly doing so quickly, because mistakes and oversights abound. A typical error would be when a single featured a different artist on each side -- a common occurence in the song-poem world -- but the transcribist would just write down the first name, thus mistakenly attributing both sides to the same performer. Were it not for one little thing, we would assume that the record sent to Billboard actually had Rod Barton on one side and, despite the omission of his credit in their listings, Nervous Norvus on the other, and was therefore identical to the copy we saw. That one little thing, however, is the fact that the record we saw lists the title of the Nervous Norvus side as "Does A Chinese Have A Pigtail?," when judging from the lyrics it's clear that it should have read "Does A Chinese Chicken Have A Pigtail?" (italics ours). The fact that Billboard lists the title with the word "Chicken" intact seems to indicate that they saw another version of the record where the title was printed correctly, and possibly sung by Barton rather than Norvus. Another possibility is that Billboard received the same version of the record as the one that we saw, got the correct title from an accompanying press release, but made a (typical) mistake in listing Barton as the singer of both sides when in reality he sang only the innocuous "Dear Old San Francisco." Perhaps the most likely scenario would be if Big Ben pressed the record twice -- originally with the incorrect title, then a quick reprinting with the word "Chicken" restored, to correct their error, but that both pressings featured Nervous Norvus singing "... Chinese Chicken ..." on one side and Rod Barton singing "Dear Old San Francisco" on the other. Like we said -- complicated.)
3261: Sammy Marshall -- Honey-Honey / Twistin' In His Kilt (1962)

Affiliated labels:
Air || As-Is || Bluemoon || Film City || Globe || Jerome || Lane || Vellez || Wanderlust

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Discography ©2004 Phil Milstein