01. Go! Go! Go!
02. Rocking On Sunday Night
01. Rockin' Is Our Bizness
02. This Is It
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We rejoin the story of The Treniers with their recordings for Columbia R&B subsidiary Okeh for whom they started recording in May, 1951. The 7" EP (Extended Play) format appeared in 1951 when the boffins at RCA Victor found a way to extend the running time of a 45 rpm disc beyond five minutes and soon all the major companies started issuing 4 track "extended play" 7 inch 45 RPM records which, with their thick cardboard sleeves, resembled "mini-LPs."
This Epic (another Columbia subsidiary) EP was reviewed in the 2nd January, 1954 issue of Billboard, so its date of release is either January 1954 or perhaps even December 1953. Either way, it is probably the first "rock and roll" EP.
The tracks were originally released on Okeh singles as follows:
"Go! Go! Go!" was recorded at the first Okeh Treniers session on May 21st, 1951 and released on Okeh single 6804 in June 1951. The B-Side was a brilliant blues sung by Claude Trenier, "Plenty Of Money."
"Rocking On Sunday Night" and "This Is It" were both recorded on January 9th, 1952. "Rocking On Sunday Night" was released on Okeh 6904 (b/w "Cheatin' On Me") in September 1952. "This Is It" was released on Okeh 6984 (B-Side of "I'd Do Nothin' But Grieve") in July 1953.
"Rockin' Is Our Bizness" was recorded on October 22nd, 1952. It was released on Okeh 6960 (b/w "Sugar Doo") in April 1953. This track continues The Treniers connection to the Jimmie Lunceford band as it is an adaptation of Lunceford's 1935 hit "Rhythm Is Our Business."
Probable personnel on these sides is - Claude Trenier and Cliff Trenier (vocals) with Gene Gilbeaux (piano and direction); Don Hill (alto sax); Charles Drayton (bass); Henry "Tucker" Green (drums). It is likely that Buddy Trenier and Milt Trenier are also on vocals on some or all of the tracks.
Of all the Treniers Okeh singles, only "Go! Go! Go!" had a brush with the R&B charts. The reason is probably that it was impossible to capture the intensity of the Treniers live act on sound recordings. The sides on this EP feature lots of whoopin' and hollerin' which would be the point where The Treniers would launch into some athletic stage moves or other "business."
Fortunately there is film and television footage of the brothers' live act which you can easily find on YouTube. Perhaps the most intriguing clip is from "The Colgate Comedy Hour," a TV show hosted by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This clip dates from May 1954 and may well be the first performance of rock and roll on national television.
"Stick around, folks! We'll be back in the next post!"
Thanks to Joan K for the front cover scan and label shots. The back cover shot is from www.45cat.com via a Google image search. This post is a "reconstruction" of the original EP with the audio taken from various sources.