Friday, October 26, 2012

Kapp Records: Fireball

In 1958, The Fireballs issued their lone single on the Kapp Record label “I Don’t Know” backed with “Fireball.” “I Don’t Know” included Chuck Tharp on vocals; however, the flip was an instrumental that featured the guitar work of George Tomsco who wrote the tune. While neither side charted, we will concentrate on the “B” side as it led the way for other Fireballs’ instrumentals including “Torquay” which did chart in 1959 at #39.

The single was recorded in Norman Petty’s studio in Clovis, New Mexico. This was the same studio where Buddy Holly and The Crickets recorded their early string of hits. Other artists that recorded with Petty include Roy Orbison, The String-A-Longs, Buddy Knox, Waylon Jennings, and others.

Both songs from this Fireballs’ single were published by Petty’s company, Nor-Va-Jak – a company that was originated to publish the original songs for the Norman Petty Trio that featured Norman Petty, Vi Petty, and Jack Vaughn. Petty originally published the early Holly material as well until Paul McCartney bought the rights for his MPL Music Company. While Petty often credited himself as a co-writer of a number of hits his published, he did not do this with “I Don’t Know” and “Fireball.”

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