Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Four Shells

Artist:The Four Shells
Song:Hot Dog (My Baby's Comin' Home)
Album:The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968 Vol. 5

Here's a one off single that was released by Stax Records in 1966. The Four Shells were from St. Louis. They are not to be confused with the 50s doo wop group The Shells and a Stax discography site actually mis-identifies the Four Shells as The Shells. The Four Shells were brothers Charles and James Calvin, Willie Exon and Billy Harper. At first they were called The Shells which explains the confusion. They were discovered by Chicago R & B legend Jerry Butler and recorded the single Whiplash on his label Conlo in 1965. Conlo released a few singles through Cameo-Parkway. Though the single was recorded and produced in Chicago, The Four Shells were from St. Louis. When Butler noticed the confusion with the doo wop group The Shells, he changed the group name to The Four Shells for the second single. Hot Dog was licensed to Stax and released on Volt in 1966. That was the final single for The Four Shells. Of course now when music fans hear this song, they don't understand why it wasn't a big hit. The answer was Stax wasn't going to push a song licensed from a Chicago label over their in house product. You can get Hot Dog on The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 9CD box set which I recommend to everyone anyway. And the song is available on mp3. The Calvin brothers and Billy Harper still live in St. Louis. Guitarist Willie Exon moved to Texas and was in Albert King's band at one time. Here's a video for Hot Dog (My Baby's Coming Home) by The Four Shells.

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