Duane’s next US single was ‘Gidget Goes Hawaiian’ (the theme tune from the latest edition in the popular film series Gidget), backed with ‘Theme From Dixie’, a Duane Eddy adaptation of the old Southern campaign song. After ‘Gidget Goes Hawaiian’ had flopped, the single was reversed and ‘Theme From Dixie’ rose to No.39 in the US chart.
In Britain, the record buying public knew nothing of ‘Gidget Goes Hawaiian’ so ‘The Battle’ replaced it and ‘Theme From Dixie’ became the official A-side. Due to Eddy’s tremendous popularity, it rose to No.7 on the UK chart.
‘Dixie’ was perfect for Duane’s twanging guitar sound, and the re-write of the ‘Battle Hymn Of The Republic’ on the reverse made for a very nice two-sided hit.
This has been discussed a few times in the past, see this.
Basically the matrix numbers are assigned in the order recorded not in the order released. Most times the artist would enter the studio knowing what would be the a side and this was recorded first hence the normally lower matrix number.
In this records case it points to The Battle being recorded prior to Dixie. I can only assume that once both tracks were recorded then the powers that be decided Dixie would be the a side even though The Battle was recorded first.
Is "Theme From Dixie" definitely the "A" side?
Reason I ask is, from my time working in record shops I was always taught that the "A" side of a record would be the lower of the two numbers showing
(in this case 4392.."The Battle" is lower than 5114 "Theme from Dixie"),
Can someone please enlighten me?