CONTAINS

Sun 341-350 Series 

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Sonny Wilson
''THE GREAT PRETENDER'' – A.S.C.A.P. - 2:51
Composer: - Buck Ram
Publisher: - Panther Music
Matrix number: - U 400
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 341-A mono
THE GREAT PRETENDER / I'M GONNA TAKE A WALK
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-25 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Wilson – Vocal & Guitar

Probably The Following Musicians
Billy Robley – Guitar
Doc McQueen – Piano
Glenn Allen - Drums
Bill Black – Bass
Charlie Rich - Piano

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Absolutely nothing is known about Sonny Wilson or the session that produced this surprising rockabilly treatment of the old Platters hit. Perhaps there were death threats from desperate rockabilly collectors, and this recordings was offered up as a sacrifice to keep their loyalty. In any case, there was much to treasure here in the pale Sun summer of 1960.

From the outset, it's hard to know if Wilson is serious about his opening ''Wel..heh..heh..heh..heh..hell'' or whether he's torn a page from Elvis self-parody book.  Regardless, the artist tried his damndest to keep things on track here. There are a couple of timing fluffs, like the extra beat before the second release, but they're deftly wallpapered over.  Somebody takes a fine 16 bar guitar solo, which deserved to be retained despite that one muted clam in the 12th bar. The electric bass work when Wilson sings the release (''Too real is that feeling...'') is quite a delight. All things considered, the Gene Lowery Singers are less annoying here that usual because they're pretty much confined to imitating the Platters. (HD)

 
Sonny Wilson
''I'M GONNA TAKE A WALK'' – B.M.I. -2:08
Composer: - Dalahite
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 401
Recorded: Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 341-B mono
I'M GONNA TAKE A WALK / THE GREAT PRETENDER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-26 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Wilson – Vocal & Guitar

Probably The Following Musicians
Billy Robley – Guitar
Doc McQueen – Piano
Glenn Allen - Drums
Bill Black – Bass
Charlie Rich - Piano

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

This bluesy side, is highly similar to Billy Riley's work on ''One More Time; or, more recently, Tracy Pendarvis's effort on ''Is It Too Late''. There's nothing particularly striking or original here, and about the only insight we get into Wilson's vocal style is that he had obviously done a lot of listening to Conway Twitty. (HD)

 
Bobbie Jean
''YOU BURNED THE BRIDGES'' - S.E.S.A.C. - 2:08
Composer: - Walter Scott
Publisher: - Sage and Sand
Matrix number: - U 402
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 7, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 342-A mono
YOU BURNED THE BRIDGES / CHEATERS NEVER WIN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bobbie Jean Barton - Vocal
Ernie Barton Orchestra
Ernie Barton - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Vinnie Trauth's String Arrangements
Other Musicians Unknown

Bobbie Jean was actually the wife of Ernie Barton, who had become a jack of all trades in the new Sun operation. Barton was involved in everything from sales to production, and even appeared as a vocalist (on Phillips International), and as a session picker. His wife, Bobbie Jean Farrabee, was a Little Rock lawyer and there are letters from her in the Sun files demanding that Sam issue an album by Ernie. Obviously, she didn't know that Sun disdn't issue many albums by anyone whose first name wasn't Johnny and last name wasn't Cash.

This side of this commercial venture was an answer record (a practice that has all but died) to Jack Scott's 1960 megahit ''Burning Bridges''. String sections weren't the usual fare at Sun and this production raised a few eyebrows among Sun's distributors and faithful disc jockeys. (HD)

 
Bobbie Jean
''CHEATERS NEVER WIN'' - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 403
Recorded: Unknown Date 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 7, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 342-B mono
CHEATERS NEVER WIN / YOU BURNED THE BRIDGES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bobbie Jean Barton - Vocal
Ernie Barton Orchestra
Ernie Barton - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Vinnie Trauth's String Arrangements
Other Musicians Unknown

It is this side, ''Cheaters Never Win'', that warrants special attention, though. The song, itself is pretty, if undistinguished, but Vinnie Trauth's string arrangement is another matter. Rather than write a chart around Bobbie Jean's vocal line, this arranger has written a violin fantasy to the song's chord changes. It might as well have been released as a solo recording by strings, so irrelevant is Ms. Barton's smokey vocal. In fact, the violins kick off their own melody before Bobbie Jean has a chance to utter a single word. Taken on its own terms, this side works better that it has right to and serves its own little niche in Sun record history.

This side was written by Sun session guitarist Brad Suggs. ''I originally wrote it for Nat Cole'', Brad Suggs recalls. ''It had a kind of Frank Sinatra-ish feel. The singer got to sing behind the beat and do some fancy phrasing''. (HD)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"THE STORY OF A BROKEN HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 404
Recorded: - May 15, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 343-A mono
THE STORY OF A BROKEN HEART / DOWN THE STREET TO 301
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

Possibly Overdubbed on May 27, 1958
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus

Tommy Blake (who recorded two singles for Sun and a plethora of singles for labels great and small - mostly small) wrote "Story Of A Broken Heart" for Johnny Cash. An awful lot of work and numerous takes were attempted but the results seem to have ultimately disappointed Sam Phillips and the project was scrapped. It finally saw release under fairly anonymous conditions, dumped on the marked some two years after Cash's departure. By then, Sam Phillips had bought the copyright from Blake in one of Blake's many moment of need. The delay in issuing "Story Of A Broken Heart" is something of a surprise. The material itself was ideally suited to Cash's style and persona: the long suffering loser, humming his way through simple chord changes. The record buying public had plenty of Cash records to choose from in the summer of 1960, and this one slipped into undeserved obscurity. (HD)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"DOWN THE STREET TO 301" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 405
Recorded: - July 17, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 343-B mono
DOWN THE STREET TO 301 / THE STORY OF A BROKEN HEART
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Possibly Overdubbed on May 27, 1958
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus

This contain some vintage Jack Clement material. Its apparent that had things worked out better, this song would have captured the momentum of "Teenage Queen" and taken Cash for a posthumous payday at Sun. But such things were not in the cards. Although the production is classic middle America-friendly Clement, the material just doesn't pack the punch of "Teenage Queen". The record caused barely a stir. Sadly, this title was the last thing Cash recorded for Sun before departing for greener pastures at Columbia Records. (HD)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
''JOHN HENRY'' - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 406
Recorded: - Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 344-A mono
JOHN HENRY / HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
J Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Martin Willis or John Ace Cannon - Saxophone
 
 
''John Henry'' is what they mean by an artist getting into a groove. Admittedly, this particular groove owed a lot to the fact that Don Hosea was generating a lot of local attention with his own version of ''John Henry'' on Roland Janes's Rita label. The folks at Sun figured they's better get on the bandwagon while the pickings were good, and who batter to call upon than Jerry Lee. The groove Jerry found here owed a lot to Ray Charles, but it was a fine one nonetheless. As Jerry, himself observed mis-session, it was ''too good to stop now!''. In fact, Jerry's music would soon result in his first bona fide hit in years.

It's also clear that Jerry had been doing some hard partying prior to this session, and was singing his heart out during the date. His vocals have rarely sounded more hoarse. There was probably some discussion about whether Jerry's performance was over the line here. Plainly, it was on the cusp, but fortunately, the decision was made to release the track as is. Nearly four decades later, Jerry's vocal state seems to add to the authenticity of the disc.  (HD)(MH)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
''HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES'' - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Chuck Willis
Publisher: - Rush Music
Matrix number: - U 407
Recorded: - Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 344-B mono
HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES / JOHN HENRY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Martin Willis or John Ace Cannon - Saxophone

''John Henry'' was the strongest release by Jerry Lee in quite a while. To his credit, the man never failed to surprise. He's turn his hand to a maudlin pop ballad, a vintage hillbilly weeper, or – as he does here – to decidedly bluesy material. ''Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes'' features Jerry's attempt at Chuck Willis's swan song. To add authenticity, Jerry is joined by a honking sax, played either by Ace Cannon or Martin Willis. (HD)

 
Tracy Pendarvis
''SOUTH BOUND LINE'' - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Tracy Pendarvis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 409
Recorded: - Early Summer 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 15, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 345-A mono
SOUTH BOUND LINE / IS IT ME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tracy Pendarvis - Vocal and Guitar
Johnny Gibson - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar or Bass
Merrill "Punk" Williams - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

This release by Tracy Pendarvis is about as raw as anything that appeared on the Sun label in 1960. It was a   rare when we heard a vocalist accompanied only by bass, drums and guitar, which is what ''South Bound   Line'' is all about. It's also about a guy with a mighty shaky sense of time, as Perdarvis extends verses and  vocal lines almost arbitrarily. The song is borrowed quite liberally from Jimmie Skinner's ''Doin' My Time'',   which Johnny Cash recorded for Sun two years earlier for his first LP. Cash, too, struggled with the song's   meter. (HD)(MH)

 
Tracy Pendarvis
''IS IT ME'' - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Tracy Pendarvis
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 408
Recorded: - Early Summer 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 15, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 345-B mono
IS IT ME / SOUTH BOUND LINE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tracy Pendarvis - Vocal and Guitar
Johnny Gibson - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar or Bass
Merrill "Punk" Williams - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

''Is It Me'' has a lot to recommend it. Yes, it's a teen pop outing with more than its share of 6-minor chords,   but the record might have been released awash in choral overdubs. To its credit, Sun let things stand and   there's nothing here but the simple rolling sound of Pendarvis's band. The title provides a marvellous vocal   'hook', compressed into a single beat at the end of each verse. Very catchy stuff that deserved a serious look   in the pop marketplace. When Tracy voice breaks, probably unintentionally, in the first line, the record  becomes all the more endearing. (HD)(MH)

 
Bill Strength with The Gene Lowery Singers
''SENORITA'' - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Don & Gladys Scaife
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 411
Recorded: - July 19, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 12, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 346-A mono
SENORITA / GUESS I'D BETTER GO
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Strength – Vocal & Guitar
Scotty Moore – Guitar
R.W. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson – Bass
D.J. Fontana – Drums
Larry Mohoberac – Piano

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

 
Bill Strength with The Gene Lowery Singers
''GUESS I'D BETTER GO'' - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Cecil Scaife-Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Up Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 410
Recorded: - July 19, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 12, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 346-B mono
GUESS I'D BETTER GO / SENORITA
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Strength – Vocal & Guitar
Scotty Moore – Guitar
R.W. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson – Bass
D.J. Fontana – Drums
Larry Mohoberac – Piano

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Strength had a strong singing voice rooted in the mainstream of country music styles and his ''Guess I'd Better Go'' was a strong contender on Sun in 1960 although ultimately his association with the label went nowhere. He recorded one or two interesting songs that were not issued at the time, particularly Stan Kesler's ''Call Of The Wild'' which Warren Smith turned into a hit on Liberty Records on become a Top 30 country hit.

Sam Phillips has often stated his reluctance to record artists whose careers and styles were already established. It was obviously more rewarding to find a piece of raw granite and shape an Elvis Presley or a Johnny cash or Jerry Lee Lewis. In such a context, it is hard to imagine what Texas Bill Strength was doing at 639 Madison Avenue on the afternoon. The result, especially ''Guess I'd Better Go'', represented credible country/pop ,material circa 1960, but in the cold light of nearly four decades it is clear that these efforts did nothing to elevate the fortunes of Strengths sagging career or the legacy of Sun Records.  (HD)(MH)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"PORT OF LONELY HEARTS" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 412 - Take 2
Second vocal and harmony overdubbed by Johnny Cash
Recorded: - Mid 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 347-A mono
PORT OF LONELY HEARTS / MEAN EYED CAT
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant – Bass

Cash was represented by a two-sided gem. Even Billboard got on "Port Of Lonely Hearts", calling it, in essence, a diamond in the rough and extolling its singalong qualities. Sam Phillips had to dig deep for this; it was a 1955 demo, and the fact that it was issued at all spoke volumes about Sun's dependence upon Cash and about the timelessness of his music. Somehow the marketplace failed to grasp the song's subtle charms. Sam Phillips must have been wondering whether the jocks and distributors were conspiring to stay off Cash's old product, even when it stacked up well against his more recent work on Columbia in the early 1960s. (HD)(MH)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"MEAN EYED CAT" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 385
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 347-B mono
MEAN EYED CAT / PORT OF LONELY HEARTS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant – Bass

"Mean Eyed Cat" was a delight to rockabilly fans everywhere as they witnessed Cash's closest flirtation with their favoured craft. This track had a backwoods charm and energy that went beyond commercial concerns. In fact, the song lacked even a rudimentary 'hook', that simple device aimed at keeping a song in memory. Even the title seemed to have been pasted on after the fact. In place of such commercial artifice were some of the sweetest rural images this side of the Appalachians. Line like "He spit his tobacco, said I'll be dad blamed, I believe I 'did' see her leaving on a East bound train".

No one was going to make much money on this tune, and it was unlikely to be covered by other acts, but for Cash's diehard fans, it was just what the doctor ordered. For his part, Cash maintained that "Mean Eyed Cat" was an unfinished song, and in 1996 he wrote another verse before recording it for his "Unchained" album.  (HD)(MH)

 
Lance Roberts
''THE GOOD GUY ALWAYS WINS'' - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Bill Husky
Publisher: - Rise Music – Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 413
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Service
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 348-A mono
THE GOOD GUY ALWAYS WINS / THE TIME IS RIGHT
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lance Roberts – Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano
More Details Unknown

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Things don't improve much on the uptempo side. In fact, if you can get through the first four bars of ''The Good Guy Always Wins'' without losing your cookies, you're made of sterner stuff than most Sun fans. Again, blame the chorus who must have thought they were accompanying a Wagnerian opera.

Roberts himself is another of the unknown artists who seemed to populate Sun's 300 series. His contracts were mailed to a town called Norman Park, Georgia on May 12, 1960, but beyond that little is known. (HD)(MH)

 
Lance Roberts
''THE TIME IS RIGHT'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Charlie Feathers-Jerry Huffman
Publisher: - JEG Music Publishers - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 414
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 348-B mono
THE TIME IS RIGHT / THE GOOD GUY ALWAYS WINS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lance Roberts – Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano
More Details Unknown

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Let's start out with a simple point. ''The Time Is Right'' is almost a great song, a perfect example of that gospel-tinged Elvisy ballad that Memphis labels cranked out effortlessly in their heyday. Indeed, Lance Roberts seems to have had a knack for the genre and turns in a hell of a performance.

Moreover, Charlie Rich, although uncredited in the session logs, seems to have a dominant force at this session. Still, something keeps this from being one of Sun's latterday masterpiece. The most obvious problem is the chorus. Not their presence per se, because this arrangement surly needed some vocal support, but rather ''this'' chorus. 
 
It is possible for a vocal group to take itself and its lines too seriously. These folks bring just a bit too much fervor to their reading, and the result is overblown, even comic, which is hardly the effect they were after. Wa ha ha hoo, indeed. (HD)(MH)

 
Tony Rossine
''I GOTTA KNOW (WHERE I STAND)'' – B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Dan Padgett
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 415
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 349-A mono
I GOTTA KNOW / IS IT TOO LATE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tony Rossine – Vocal
More Details Unknown

''I Gotta Know'' (not to be confused with the Elvis hit from 1960) is in the grand tradition of Jealousy-song, the biggest selling example of which is ''Suspicion''. Sun didn't really have the experience or connections necessary to break an artist in this style. ''That first release got played pretty strong around Memphis'', says Tony. ''I was doing shows with Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison, but I was like the added attraction because I didn't have any hits''. (HD)

 
Tony Rossine
''IS IT TOO LATE (TO SAY I'M SORRY)'' – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Dan Padgett
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 416
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 349-B mono
I GOTTA KNOW / IS IT TOO LATE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tony Rossine – Vocal
More Details Unknown

Like it or not, Tony Rossini made as many Sun singles as Elvis Presley, Billy Riley, Warren Smith and Sonny Burgess. One listen to this record tells you that Tony was a schoolkid; he was in fact just barely thirteen. His father, who was a schoolteacher in Memphis when Tony recorded for Sun, had once played in orchestras. It wasn't his father who led him to Sun, though; it was a blue collar worker at Memphis's Firestone plant, Dan Padgett, who fancied himself as a songwriter. Padgett had seen Tony at high school hops and asked him to demo some songs. He ten took the demo's to Scotty Moore, newly installed as the studio manager at Sam Phillips' Madison Avenue studio, and Scotty came to see Tony at a junior high school hop and signed him. 
 
''Scotty produced the first session, and Sam helped'', is the way Tony remembers it. ''I don't really know what Sam was shooting for when he signed me. It was out of character in terms of what motivated and excited him. I was just thirteen, going to Colonial Junior High. Brenda Lee was big then, and so was Eddie Hodges, so maybe Sam thought it was a trend''. Sam was right; it was a trent, but one he should have left alone. (HD)

 


 

The next record (Sun 350/1960) was released on regular yellow and brown or special white and green labels (with and without reindeer and santa) as a red and black issue, where the artist name is changed to The Rockin' Stockin'.


 
The Rockin' Stockin'
"ROCKIN' LANG SYNE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - M 20 - D.J. Copy
Recorded: - Probably November 17, 1959
Probably Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Produced for Billy Riley's Mojo label and
shipped to Sun Records on November 17, 1959
Released: - November 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 350 / SUN 1960-A mono
ROCKIN' LANG SYNE / YULEVILLE U.S.A.
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis – Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson - Organ
 
This record has often appeared in label lists as SUN 350,
no copies bearing that number have ever been found.
It only appears to have been issued as SUN 1960

Presumably every label, even Sun, is to be forgiven some seasonal music. So here is Sun's foray into the Christmas marketplace, courtesy of Billy Riley, entrepreneur. These two sides (Sun 1960) were produced for Riley's Mojo label, and taken over by Sun on November 17, 1959. That made it too late for Christmas 1959, but Sam Phillips had it out in plenty of time for Christmas 1960.

Riley and company (the usual Little Green Men cast of Roland Janes, Jimmy van Eaton, Martin Willis) tear a page from the Bill Black Combo songbook, which was thriving across town at the Hi Studios. Notably, Jimmy Wilson's keyboard work on ''Rockin' Old Lang Syne'' is a little more skating rinky than anything Carl McVoy ever attempted for Bill Black. (HD)

 
The Rockin' Stockin'
"YULEVILLE U.S.A." - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - The Rockin' Stockin'
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - M 21 - D.J. Copy
Recorded: - Probably November 17, 1959
Released: - November 14, 1960
Probably Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Produced for Billy Riley's Mojo label and
shipped to Sun Records on November 17, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 350 / SUN 1960-B mono
YULEVILLE U.S.A. / ROCKIN' LANG SYNE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis – Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson – Organ
 
This record has often appeared in label lists as SUN 350,
no copies bearing that number have ever been found.
It only appears to have been issued as SUN 1960

You would't want a fixed income based on this record's sales in July. In fact, you'd have had a pretty spartan existence based on its sales in December as well. (HD)

 
The Rockin' Stockin'
"ROCKIN' LANG SYNE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - M 20 - D.J. Copy
Recorded: - Probably November 17, 1959
Probably Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Produced for Billy Riley's Mojo label and
shipped to Sun Records on November 17, 1959
Released: - November 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 350 / SUN 1960-A mono
ROCKIN' LANG SYNE / YULEVILLE U.S.A.
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis – Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson - Organ
 
DJ Copy Without Reindeer

 
The Rockin' Stockin'
"ROCKIN' LANG SYNE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - M 20 - D.J. Copy
Recorded: - Probably November 17, 1959
Probably Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Produced for Billy Riley's Mojo label and
shipped to Sun Records on November 17, 1959
Released: - November 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 350 / SUN 1960-A mono
ROCKIN' LANG SYNE / YULEVILLE U.S.A.
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis – Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson - Organ
 
DJ Copy With Reindeer

 
The Rockin' Stockin'
"YULEVILLE U.S.A." - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - The Rockin' Stockin'
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - M 21 - D.J. Copy
Recorded: - Probably November 17, 1959
Released: - November 14, 1960
Probably Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Produced for Billy Riley's Mojo label and
shipped to Sun Records on November 17, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 350 / SUN 1960-B mono
YULEVILLE U.S.A. / ROCKIN' LANG SYNE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis – Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson – Organ
 
DJ Copy Without Santa

 
The Rockin' Stockin'
"YULEVILLE U.S.A." - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - The Rockin' Stockin'
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - M 21 - D.J. Copy
Recorded: - Probably November 17, 1959
Released: - November 14, 1960
Probably Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Produced for Billy Riley's Mojo label and
shipped to Sun Records on November 17, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 350 / SUN 1960-B mono
YULEVILLE U.S.A. / ROCKIN' LANG SYNE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis – Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson – Organ 
 
DJ Copy With Santa

 


 

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