1957 Lloyd Price – Just Because
Art Rupe started the Specialty Record label in the mid-forties, initially specializing in gospel music. He late became interested in the piano music played by Fats Domino in the band led by trumpet player Dave Bartholomew. He took a trip to New Orleans in 1952, and while he was there, he listened to an audition by 19 year-old Lloyd Price.
Lloyd had written the song Lawdy Miss Clawdy. Art hired Dave Bartholomew and his band to create the arrangements and play the backing music for the single, which also included Fats on the piano.
The single was a massive hit, selling over a million copies and topping the R&B chart. Lloyd had four more top ten hits before the army drafted him and sent him to Korea. Before he left, he encouraged Little Richard to audition for the record label.
When Lloyd returned from his stint in the army, he discovered that Little Richard had successfully taken his place at the label. Even Larry Williams, his former chauffeur, had recorded some hit records for his former label.
Lloyd eventually signed with the ABC Paramount label instead and began recording again. In 1957, he wrote and recorded the single Just Because.
The single peaked at #3 on the R&B chart. It also became the first time Lloyd reached the pop charts, making it up to #29 on the Hot 100 in 1957.
The next year, Lloyd released his version of another old New Orleans standard, Stagger Lee. His single reached the top of the Hot 100 and kicked off a series of hit records on both charts.