“Sixty Minute Man” Performed by The Dominoes (1951)

June 25, 2008


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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame lists this song as one of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”. Give it a listen and you will see why. This is one of, if not the first, novelty pop songs of the modern era.

“It reached #1 on the R&B chart in May 1951 and stayed there for a 14 weeks. It was an important record in several respects – it crossed the boundaries between gospel singing and blues, its lyrics pushed the limits of what was deemed acceptable, and it appealed to many white as well as black listeners, peaking at #17 on the pop charts. In later years, it became a contender for the title of “the first rock and roll record”.

The group toured widely, building up a reputation as one of the top R&B acts of the era, and an audience which crossed racial divides. However, Ward’s strict disciplinarian approach, and failure to recompense the singers, caused internal problems. The name “The Dominoes” was owned by Ward and Marks, who had the power to hire and fire, and to pay the singers a salary. Clyde McPhatter was being paid barely enough to live on, and often found himself billed as “Clyde Ward” to fool fans into thinking he was Billy Ward’s brother. White and Brown both left in 1951 to form The Checkers, and were replaced by James Van Loan and David McNeil (previously of The Larks).” (SOURCE)

Billy Ward and the Dominoes was initially comprised of: Billy Ward (a.k.a. Robert Williams 1921-2002) as songwriter, arranger, singer and pianist; Clyde McPhatter (Clyde Lensley McPhatter 1932-1972); Charlie White (b.1930) second tenor; Joe Lamont (baritone); and Bill Brown (bass) who sings lead on “Sixty Minute Man”.

Billy Ward, a child musical prodigy, studied his craft at Julliard and it showed in his arrangements and writing. Billy and Rose Marks wrote this song that was recorded in December 1950 on the Federal Label.

The Dominoes group (aka Billy Ward & The Dominoes) also served as the catalyst for the musical careers of singers Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson who both were lead singers in the Dominoes early on in their careers.

Hope you enjoyed listening.

Keeping the Oldies alive I remain,

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Filed under:Billy Ward & Rose Marks,Federal,Fifties,Guy Groups,Number Ones,Pop/R&B,Sixty Minute Man,The Dominoes

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 elena672 June 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm

I always loved this song! Everything about it rocks, the guitar, the baritone lead, the lyrics. My mom had the vinyl collection of the “Oldies But Goodies” and I knew all the lyrics and would sing along which is really scary when you consider that I was 6 or 7 at the time. When I got older and realized what the song was about, I loved it even more. ;) LOL

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2 elena672 June 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Oops, the bass lead!! :) LOL

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3 sondan June 30, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Hi elena672,

I didn’t really know what the song was about either but as a wee one I know my Dad would play it and sing along so I did too – just like you.

All of the music of that era was fun to listen to. Even when it was full of double entendre it was never smarmy and sleazy like the stuff that they call music today.

That’s why I love the Oldies and listen to them almost exclusively. It is feel good music in a time of much stress and strain that I find so very therapeutic. Don’t you?

Gotta love the Oldies forever! Thanks for sharing you memories of the song. I love to hear from others.

SonDan

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4 Ron August 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I was in high school in Wilmington, NC in 1951 and this was the top dancing hit of that time and remains as probably the top “Shag” dance song of all time. It was constantly played on juke boxes at dance joints at Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, NC and at Myrtle Beach, SC. It really never grows old but rather grows on you whatever age you may be and can still be found on juke boxes today. I have the original 78 RPM record as one of my prize records. Thanks for the Web site. Ron

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5 sondan August 16, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Hi Ron,

Oh my Mom used to do the “Shag” ;-)

I agree that this song never gets old. Most of the popular songs of that era are now classics and I pretty much love them all. This is feel good music — don’t you agree? Great memories are a treasure and music can invoke them for us.

Wow that 78 is a treasure too! You should frame it if you haven’t all ready. That way you can look at it daily for good feelings. ;-)

I am very glad to meet you and am so glad you enjoyed your visit. Please drop by and share memories whenever you want. I love to hear how everyone reacts to this wonderful oldies music.

All the best,
SonDan

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6 Nannies in Raleigh February 16, 2011 at 12:22 am

This is one of my favorite songs to shag to. Got to love The Dominoes!

Clint

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7 SonDan February 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Thanks for making me blush Clint. :-). And welcome to OSML. Your input is truly appreciated! Hugs. SonDan

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8 Michael July 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

There was an “out take” of this song that was considered too risque for the radio. Does anyone know how to access this version?

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9 SonDan July 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Kewl. I was unaware of this Michael but I am going to go on a hunt for it.
Hope you have enjoyed your visit here at OSML.
Check back often to see if anyone is able to help you with your request.

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