UPDATED: 5-1-2016


The Premiers were the most prolific group that recorded for Johnny Otis's Dig Records in the mid-'50s. They consisted of lead tenor Sammy Hagan, tenor Donald Frierson, baritone Daniel Fields, and bass Charles Taggart. Their four singles for the label included 16-year-old Julie Stevens' “Blue Mood,” which was one of Dig's biggest sellers and a Southern California hit. The Premiers moved to Capitol records in 1957 to sing as Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts, but Charles Taggart left the ensemble to join The Hollywood Saxons. He was replaced by Kenneth Head. Sammy Hagan went on to cut solo singles as Little Sammy, Little Sammy Yates, and Count Yates for others labels, mostly under the auspices of producer/record company owner John Kriner. Sammy Yates died in April 2016.


Premiers (Band led by saxophonist Jackie Kelso)
Dig 106 "Baby"/"New Moon" Feb 1956
Dig 113 "Have A Heart"/"My Darling" June 1956
Julie Stephens & The Premiers (Band led by saxophonist Jackie Kelso)
Dig 115 "Blue Mood"/"Crazy Bells" July 1956
Eldo 107 (re-issue) "Blue Mood"/"Crazy Bells" Sep 1960
Julie Stevens (Premiers uncredited, band led by saxophonist Jackie Kelso)
Dig 129 "I Don’t Want To Know"/"Take My Heart" Jan 1957
Sammy Hagan & The Viscounts (The Premiers, but with Kenneth Head
replacing Charles Taggart; band led by saxophonist Plas Johnson)
Capitol 3722 "Out of Your Heart"/"Smoochie Poochie" 1957
Capitol 3818 "Don’t Cry"/"Wild Bird" 1957
Capitol 3885 "Tail Light"/"Snaggle Bunnie" Feb 1958
Little Sammy Yates (no group)
Genie 1003 "Comic Book Crazy"/"Dodge City Baby" Feb 1959
Little Sammy Yates (no group, but Fred Smith & Cliff Goldsmith sing
background on A-side)
Shade 1002 "Can You Love Me"/"Papa Did the Chicken" 1960
Count Yates (female group on A-side, not group on B-side)
Regis 1 "The Golden Key"/"Chimpanzee" Jan 1961
LPs & CDs
Relic LP 5052 Golden Groups Part 30: The Best of Dig Records
(Contains "Baby," "My Darling," and a formerly unreleased recording,
"Red Sails in the Sunset," all by The Premiers)
Ace CDCHD 569 Legendary Dig Masters Vol. 4: The Vocal Groups
(This CD contains "Have a Heart," an alternate take of "My Darling,"
and a formerly unreleased song, "Can It Be Real," all by The
Premiers; plus "Blue Mood," "Crazy Bells" and "Take My Heart"
by Julie Stevens with The Premiers)
Collectables CD 5496 Capitol Records Doo-Wop, Vol. 1
(Contains "Don't Cry"and "Out of Your Heart" by The Viscounts)
Collectables CD 5497 Capitol Records Doo-Wop, Vol. 2
(Contains "Tail Light"by The Viscounts)
A Premiers song from the Dig session, "Your Kiss," and several alternate takes of other songs
remain unissued.

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