Sammy Masters Q. & A.

Courtesy: Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ - February 3, 2004

           I have just done a search on Sammy Masters for no reason other than as an out-of-time rock and roll and rockabilly enthusiast here in England in the early 1970s, I used to encourage boys at school to sell off any old 45s their parents had grown tired of. As well as a huge collection of standard stuff such as Duane Eddy, Chuck Berry, the Pildown Men etc I collected a few corkers, none of which I paid more than two shillings for (about 10cents in US I think) including a clean little copy of a Warner 45 - Rockin' Redwing, by Sammy Masters.
           I had never heard of him, and in those pre-internet days when few others over here had ever heard of rockabilly, there was little more I could do but just enjoy it. As I find from your website it only made no 64 in the States, I am now amazed that it was ever released here. I used to trawl the junk shops, mainly in the hope of finding a London pressing of Sonny Burgess's Sadie's Back in Town, which really did come out over here, but with no luck. I do have some other good Londons though. Leroy by Jack Scott (and his orchestra, as the label informs his English audience) plus some Junior Thompson and the Meteors and Charlie Feathers on American labels.
           I still keep an eye open in junk shops for 45s and 78s, and found an English His Master's Voice cutting of Presley's I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine only last year - but such gems are few and far between nowadays. Oh, and Big Joe Turner singing Morning, Noon and Night.
           But I digress; it was great to find out not only who Sammy Masters was but not only that, he fit and well and recording. Fantastic.
Crispin Whiting

           Hi Crispin, Thanks for your interest in "Rockin' Redwing".I wrote the song in 1958 and recorded it on Lode Records in Norwalk,California in 1959....I did it on Dick Clark's American Bandstand in early 1960 It did very well in several big markets like Chicago, Los Angeles, California, New York City, and several mid-west cities. It was also on London Records in UK... You would probably like a song I wrote in 1956 titled Pink was released on 4-Star Records in Pasadena, California it was also a regional hit. I had four other 4 Star singles that reached regional charts.
           I came to England in 1998 and did the Hemsby Rockabilly Festival ... we had about 3,500 fans there from all over the world ... it was a gas!!
           I am still playing with my own 4 piece band around Southern California..We do 4 or 5 gigs per month ... I'm still writing mostly Country and an occasional rockabilly song. I have had good luck over the years to get songs recorded by artists like Bobby Darin, Patsy Cline, Glen Campbell,Wayne Newton, and Lawerence Welk's Big Band and Sonny Curtis ... I had the first single on the Sonny Curtis song "I Fought The Law and the Law Won" it was doing well until Bobby Fuller covered my record and the rest is history.
           Thanks again Crispin, for your interest. Perhaps I will make it back to the UK somewhere down the road.
Best Regards, Sammy Masters

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