• Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts (1) aka The Premiers (1)

    The Premiers (1) (Los Angeles)
    aka Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts (1)


    Personnel :

    Sammy Hagan (Lead)

    Donald Frierson (Tenor)

    Daniel Fields (Baritone)

    Charles Taggart (Bass)


    Discography :

    The Premiers (1)
    1956 - Baby / New Moon (Dig 106)
    1956 - Have A Heart / My Darling (Dig 113)
    Unreleased :
    1956 - Red Sails In The Sunset (Dig)
    1956 - Your kiss (Dig)
    1956 - Can It Be Real (Dig)

    Julie Stevens & The Premiers (1)
    1956 - Blue Mood / Crazy Bells (Dig 115/Eldo 107 (1960))

    Julie Stephens bb The Premiers (1)(Uncredited)
    1957 - I Don’t Want To Know / Take My Heart (Dig 129)

    Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts (1)
    1957 - Out Of Your Heart / Smoochie Poochie (Capitol 3722)
    1957 - Don't Cry / Wild Bird (Capitol 3818)
    1958 - Tail Light / Snaggle Bunnie (Capitol 3885)

    Little Sammy Yates
    1959 - Comic Book Crazy / Dodge City Baby (Genie 1003)
    1960 - Can You Love Me / Papa Did The Chicken (Shade 1002)

    Count Yates
    1961 -The Golden Key / Chimpanzee (Regis 1)


    Biography :

    Johnny Otis his Dig label, including a small recording studio, in his home in Los Angeles in late 1955. He shut down the label in 1957 when his Johnny Otis Show signed a contract with Capitol Records. In the interim, he released 42 singles and 4 LPs, including such talent as Arthur Lee Maye And The Crowns, Tony Allen And The Night Owls, Mel Williams And The Jayos, the Johnny Otis Orchestra and The Premiers.

    Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts (1) aka The Premiers (1)   

    The Premiers consisted of Sammy Hagan (aka: Little Sammy Yates "Hagan", Donald Frierson, Daniel Fields, and Charles Taggart. Johnny Otis released their first release, "Baby" and "New Moon" in March 1956. The former side, a mid tempo rocker with Yates fronting a unison group chant, Yates referred to as a countermelody. Though The Premiers' first release didn't make much noise. Johnny Otis issued a second pairing by the group In June 1956. "My Darling" and "Have a Heart". Supported by an able studio band led by saxophonist Jackie Kelso (who shared writers' credits with Yates on both sides of the release). Like the first release, however, "My Darling" didn't go anywhere and neither did the group until Johnny Otis decided they should back new singer Julie Stephens, an 18-year old recent high school graduate from Santa Barbara California.

    Julie wrote "Blue Mood" and we went in to rehearse it with her, She was in a blue mood when she wrote the song, but when she recorded it, it came out beautiful during the summer of 1958". "Blue Mood" became the biggest hit Dig Records ever had, even though it tailed to make the national charts. With the flip side rocker "Crazy Bells," Otis subsequently reissued it in 1960.  After backing Stephens again on "Take My Heart" in 1957 it was time for The Premiers to move on. "After we left the Johnny Otis Show we went to Capitol Records and managed by Effie Smith and John Criner".

    Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts (1) aka The Premiers (1)

    Kenneth Head replacing original bass Charles Taggart. The group now became known as Sammy Hagan & the Viscounts.  Working with guitarist-arranger Jack Marshall and sax man Plash Johnson, among other backing musicians, the group turned out two outstanding ballads, "Out of Your Heart" and "Don't Cry' in 1957, followed by "Tail Light" in February 1958. The latter, which billboard described as a wistful rock ballad told of a guy who trails a car because he thinks his girl is in it with another guy. The tune has touches of the hit "Silhouettes". Unfortunately, the record buying public passed up "Tail Light," Which proved to be the final release for Hagan arid his group.


    In 1960 Nagan recorded for John Criner as Little Sammy on the standout ballad "Can You Love Me" and ‘Papa Did the Chicken". According to Hagan, the voices heard in the background of "Can You Love Me" belong to Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith, the songwriting. Arranging team known for their work with The Olympics. According Hagan the backing musicians included Don & Dewey, while Hagan himself played piano. Sammy later continued to record as Count Yates and the Rhythm Crusaders.


    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    The Premiers (1)

    Baby / New Moon                             Have A Heart

    My Darling  / Your kiss           Red Sails In The Sunset

    Can It Be Real

    Julie Stevens & The Premiers (1)

    Blue Mood                               Crazy Bells

    Julie Stephens bb The Premiers (1) (Uncredited)

    I Don’t Want To Know                             Take My Heart       

    Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts (1)

    Out Of Your Heart                            Smoochie Poochie

    Don't Cry                                         Wild Bird

           Tail Light                                    Snaggle Bunnie

    Little Sammy Yates

    Comic Book Crazy                           Dodge City Baby

    Can You Love Me

    Count Yates

    The Golden Key                                   Chimpanzee

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