The Beatles
at 78 RPM

Main Page
The Indian 78s
The Argentine 78
The Colombian 78
Philippine's 78s
A USA 78?
The first Beatles 78
BBC Transcription 78
Cool 78 of the Month April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
Fun and Nonsense
Cool Links

E-Mail me

Cool 78 of the Month

December 2005

Emile Ford and the Checkmates
What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?
Pye Nixa N.15225(UK)
October 1959

As the decade of the 1950s drew to a close, Joe Meek would have a substantial list of hit productions to his credit. As the nascent sound of the British Invasion would begin to stir in 1959, Joe worked at a frenetic pace, often fueled by pep pills, to sharpen what would become his unique RGM sound.

It was in Landsdowne Studios in Arundel Gardens that Joe produced another man with a sound system of his own. Emile Ford (real name Emile Sweetman) was born in St Lucia in the West Indies. He had ambitions to be an engineer and along the way developed his own unique sound. Backed by the Checkmates, a group that included his two step brothers George and Dave, he entered a talent contest sponsered by Pye records. Their win secured them a contract and the production talents of Joe Meek.

The powers that be had originally chosen the Don Gibson track Don't Tell Me Your Troubles as the a-side of Emile's first release and three hours was spent getting it just right. It was on the slow shuffle of What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For that the true genius of both producer and artist came together. With Joe in the booth, and Emile on his guitar, an instrument he claimed to have learned in 1 week, it took two takes and 15 minutes for a hit to be born. Pye, hearing the results, flipped the a and b sides, and Emile went on to become Britian's first million selling artist.

Eyes went on to hit the number 1 slot in December of 1959 and stayed in the charts for 25 weeks. A 1960 release in the USA on the small Andie label (catalogue 5018) saw no action. Hits continued into 1961 for Emile, but eventually he returned to engineering. He moved to Scandinavia for a while before settling in California.

This release is a part of the wind down of Pye's 78 rpm releases in the UK. Pye's 78s from the late 50s are fantastic as they were pressed on vinyl. This fact allows the bass line to burst through and brings wonderful clarity to Emile's guitar playing. And while no doubt most buyers opted for the 45, they didn't know what they where missing by skipping over this cool 78.

B Side
Emile Ford and the Checkmates
Don't Tell Me Your Troubles