CONTAINS

Sun 301-310 Audio Series 

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Narration by George & Louis
"RETURN OF JERRY LEE" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Jack Clement-Barbara Pittman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - By Authority Respective Publishers
Matrix number: - U 314
Recorded: - May 30, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 301-A mono
THE RETURN OF JERRY LEE / LEWIS BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
George Klein - Narration
Jack Clement – Narration

Narration by George Patrick Klein and Jack Clement, including extracts from previously recorded titles, ''Great Balls Of Fire'', ''You Win Again'', ''I'm Feeling Sorry'', High School Confidential'', ''Mean Woman Blues'', ''Don't Be Cruel'', ''Breatless'' and ''Crazy Arms''.

There's no need to recount the details of Jerry Lee's disastrous UK tour once again. We all know that the British sent him and his 13 year old bride packing, and that the reaction wasn't such warmer when he returned home. faced with an ugly situation, Sun tried to deal with it humorously by issuing this record. The idea of using clips of recorded performances within a narrative was hardly a Sun original. Buchanan and Goodman had already hit paydirt with their "Flying Saucer" series of record (1956-1958). The idea for this narrative (by local disc jockey George Klein) was conceived by the unlike tandem of Jack Clement and Barbara Pittman.

The top side was issued as George And Lewis. For some reason, the top side was also issued under the name George And Louis. (HD)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis
"LEWIS BOOGIE" – B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 315
Recorded: - June 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 301-B mono
LEWIS BOOGIE / THE RETURN OF JERRY LEE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums

"Lewis Boogie" (Sun 301) is written by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1956 and released as a single in June 1958 on   Sun Records and backed with "The Return of Jerry". The recording was reissued in 1979 as a 7" 45   single as Sun 29 as part of the Sun Golden Treasure Series. The song was also released in the United  Kingdom and Canada as a single. The first edition of the single listed "The Return of Jerry" on both   sides and was credited to "Louis" rather than "Lewis". The editing and recording of "The Return of Jerry   Lee" was done by Jack Clement and George Klein on May 30, 1958. The single of "Lewis Boogie" was also  released in the United Kingdom as a 45 single in 1964 on London Records as London HLS 9867 backed with   "Bonnie B". The song was also released in Canada in 1958 as a 45 single on Quality Records.

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a live version of the song with the British band The Nashville Teens on the   landmark 1964 live album ''Live At the Star Club, Hamburg'', regarded critically as one of the greatest live   albums in rock and roll history.

The track appeared on the 1984 Rhino Records collection 18 Original Sun Greatest Hits which featured the   most successful recordings by Jerry Lee Lewis on the Sun label. The song appeared in a new recording by   Jerry Lee Lewis in the 1989 Orion Pictures biopic ''Great Balls of Fire''! during the closing credits.  "Lewis Boogie" is featured in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic ''Walk The Line''. It was performed by Waylon   Payne in the film and its soundtrack. In 2007, the song was featured on the live album ''Last Man Standing   Live'', recorded in 2006 in collaboration with other musicians.

Robert Palmer writes that the song "was a mixture of local black influences, the hillbilly boogie and rhythm   and blues that were so popular on Southern jukeboxes when he was growing up, and--the most crucial   inregidient--the Killer's individual musical genius''. Charlie Gillett writes that at "his best-as in..."Lewis   Boogie (1958)"-Lewis epitomized the careless confidence that some people liked rock and roll for."

For this flipside (SUN 301), Sun resurrected one of Jerry Lee's throwaway studio jams from this summer. In retrospect, it is the unpretentious "Lewis Boogie" that has endeared the record to collector over the years.  (HD)(MH)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Charlie Rich-Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 316
Recorded: - July 10, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus (The Confederates)**
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 302-A mono
THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE - YOU'RE THE NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

** - Overdubbed session probably July 9, 1958, Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

The Confederates
were a barbershop quartet that performed in the 1950s and 1960s. The group formed in September 1953 at a SPEBSQSA chapter meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. 
They consisted of
George Evans - Tenor
Dave LaBonte - Lead
Bill "Bus" Busby – Baritone
Wally Singleton - Bass

The Confederates took first place in the 1956 SPEBSQSA International Quartet Championship after finishing second the year before. They were notable not only for their championship-caliber harmonies, but also for performing in Confederate officer uniforms. The group stopped performing in 1969. 

From a strictly technical point of view, the release of SUN 302 by Johnny Cash contained two of the strongest songs he ever recorded. It was also his last single as a contracted Sun artist, although far from his last Sun single. Lyrically and musically, these are highly competent examples of country music craftsmanship. That's the good news. The more realistic picture is that in keeping with the need to sweeten releases for the lucrative crossover market, the results were embalmed with choral overdubs that all but sank the proceedings.

"The Ways Of A Woman In Love" comes closer to the mark, but even here, something has gone wrong. For one thing, Luther's guitar lines need vocal enhancing like a fish needs a bicycle. For another, Jimmy Wilson's piano removes whatever edge this song might have had. It wasn't until later when composer Charlie Rich included this song on his first RCA album that we got an insight into how bluesy and powerful the material could be. (HD)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"YOU'RE THE NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Johnny Cash-Hoyt Johnson-Jimmy Atkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 317
Recorded: - May 15, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus (The Confederates)**
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 302-B mono
YOU'RE THE NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN / THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

** - Overdubbed session probably July 9, 1958, Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

The Confederates
were a barbershop quartet that performed in the 1950s and 1960s. The group formed in September 1953 at a SPEBSQSA chapter meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. 
They consisted of
George Evans - Tenor
Dave LaBonte - Lead
Bill "Bus" Busby – Baritone
Wally Singleton - Bass

The Confederates took first place in the 1956 SPEBSQSA International Quartet Championship after finishing second the year before. They were notable not only for their championship-caliber harmonies, but also for performing in Confederate officer uniforms. The group stopped performing in 1969. 
 
Its hard to listen to "You're The Nearest Thing To Heaven" and not come away with the impression that this is poetry. Someone, actually three someones, sweated over these lyrics. The images are sharp and fully expressed, but the song is perhaps too romantic, too positive for Johnny Cash. His best work for Sun remains in the stark, moody, melancholy mold. There's no longing here, no pain. This is a deeply romantic love song. It is not an ideal vehicle for Johnny Cash or his instrumental sound. (HD)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
''BREAK UP" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 318
Recorded: - July 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 303-A mono
BREAK UP / I'LL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-25 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Billy Riley - Guitar or Bass
Jack Clement - Guitar and Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

The effect of the scandal on Lewis' record sales was devastating. The virtual airplay backout ensured that records already out in the marketplace would come back by the truckload, and that new ones would be hard to move. After "Break Up" fell stillborn from the presses, Jud Phillips tried to spark some action on the next single, a revival of Moon Mullican's "I'll Sail My Ship Alone", by offering the first 100,000 at the royaltyfree price of 16c, but there were few takers.

"Break Up" was a particularly potent item for the back-to-school crowd; without explicitly pandering to teenage problems, it managed to deal with the fate of many summer romances. Billboard of September 1, 1958 liked both sides "Break Up" and "I'll Make It All Up To You", calling "Break Up" "a rocker that Lewis sells with great drive and spirit". The ballad side was described as "a strong contender and a likely tri-market click". That either side of this disc might have nestled on the Rhythm and Blues charts tells us how far music culture has changed since the fall of 1958. (HD)(MH)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"I'LL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU" - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 319
Recorded: - July 9, 1958 – Overdub July 21, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 303-B mono
I'LL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU / BREAK UP
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-26 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano on "I'll Make It All Up To You"
Otis Jett - Drums
 
 
Charlie Rich took over the helm on "Break Up" and "I'll Make It All Up To You", both sides of Jerry Lee's make-or-break single (SUN 303) which appeared in August, 1958. There is no selfconscious gimmickry here or leftover studio jam boogies. These are both solid outings geared for the marketplace Jerry had been establishing before personal disaster overtook his fortunes.

''I'll Make It All Up To You" worked the adult country and western style Jerry Lee Lewis was progressively carving as his niche. The ballad featured some unusual modulations that are now recognizable as the trademark composer style of Charlie Rich. The piano work here was provided by Charlie Rich himself, thus allowing Jerry Lee to concentrate on his impassioned ballad style. (HD)(MH)

 
Sonny Burgess
"ITCHY" - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 321
Recorded: - July 22, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 304-A mono
ITCHY / THUNDERBIRD
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Guitar
Billy Riley - Harmonica
Johnny Hubbard or Jack Clement - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson or Charlie Rich - Piano
J.C. Caughron - Guitar

Billy Riley is featured on what is probably his strongest instrument, harmonica. On "Itchy" he exhibits a fair amount of Little Walter's influence while Burgess' guitar work on sections of the more laid back "Thunderbird" (named after the wine that flowed during the sessions) is somewhat reminiscent of Link Wray's "Rumble".

"Every session we got drunk", asserted Riley to Bill Millar. "It was fun getting in there and getting drunk. Sam usually got tight with us. We had respect for each other, but we never did get along too well. I didn't appreciate the lack of promotion, but I appreciated his talent. He knew I had the band that could work with anybody, and he needed us".

Things sound pretty spontaneous and chaotic here, except for the fact that two sessions were actually held during the summer of '58, about a month apart. The master versions of "Itchy" and "Thunderbird" were recorded during July. Billboard was pretty impressed with both sides of this outing by "the Burgess combo" and cautioned to "Watch this one. Either side can click". It was wonderful advice but, unfortunately, a poor prophecy. (HD)(MH)

 
Sonny Burgess
"THUNDERBIRD" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 320
Recorded: - July 22, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 304-B mono
THUNDERBIRD / ITCHY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Guitar
Billy Riley - Harmonica
Johnny Hubbard or Jack Clement - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson or Charlie Rich - Piano
J.C. Caughron - Guitar

Jack Clement, Billy Riley, and Sonny Burgess were sitting around the Sun studio and the wine was flowing. We can only surmise from the title that it wasn't an important Chardonnay. (Thunderbird was available in supermarkets in quart bottles for under a dollar in 1958). Jimmy Van Eaton and Charlie Rich, rarely an abstainer in those bygone days, joined them for the session. Riley provided the harp; Clement the bass, and Burgess the stinging guitar solos. (HD)(MH)

 
Rosco Gordon
"TORRO" – A.S.C.A.P. - 2:40
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Freddie Tavares
Publisher: - Jerry Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 323
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 305-A mono
TORRO / SALLY JO
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Freddie Tavraes - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

The arrangement on "Torro" is quite strange and might not have been talked through too carefully. In fact, if Rosco Gordon had anything to do with this recording, it is unclear what he might have contributed.

Sam Phillips has already begun his fadeout during the last four bars when Freddy Tavares ends cold. Billboard described the sides as "background music for a bullfight", which isn't a bad call. Tavares' brief vocal describes just that ("El amigo de la tarde... / The friend of the afternoon").

"Torro" is a strong contender in the strangest Sun record ever released sweepstakes. Even without Rosco Gordon's name on the label, this tune just has no business on a Sun label. Years later, Gordon revealed that "Torro" was the creation of his guitar player, Freddy Tavares. Sam Phillips was intrigued by the whole idea, and figured he had little to lose by throwing the concoction out on the flipside of "Sally Jo". (HD)(MH)

 
Rosco Gordon
"SALLY JO" – B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 322
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 305-B mono
SALLY JO / TORRO
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Freddie Tavares - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

If you listen closely to the sound of the guitar on "Torro", you'll hear the same musicians who drove the batterly bizarre and delightful "Sally Jo". Here, Rosco's contribution is obvious. No wonder Phillips was willing to issue yet another record by Rosco after all this time. Seven years on, and Sam Phillips was still recording him. What did Phillips visualize as the fate of this record? Was this his or anybody's idea of rhythm and blues, circa 1958?

"Sally Jo" has been called an example, maybe even the first example of black rockabilly. Rosco, of course, never saw it that way. He was just making music, which is as it should be. The genres and categories were somebody else's problem. Billboard, for its part never even realized they had an oddity on their hands. Perhaps no one knew that they were describing a black singer, much less one with an impressive list of rhythm and blues credits, when they observed "The artist uses a listenable shoutin' approach on this vigorous rockabilly. Typical Sun string sound is prominent in support". Some typical rockabilly! A black vocalist and a Latino guitar player. One more example of hybrid vigor at 706 Union. (HD)(MH)

 
Jimmy Isle
"DIAMOND RING" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Kenny Mark Music
Matrix number: - U 325
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Demo Studio, Fidelity Recording
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 306-A mono
DIAMOND RING / I'VE BEEN WAITIN'
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Isle - Vocal and Guitar
Ronnie Isle - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Jimmy Isle and his brother Ronnie were from Nashville, Tennessee, and, at some point in 1957 or 1958 Jimmy recorded these compositions at a demo session at Fidelity Recording in Nashville. Fidelity was owned by Gary Walker, a songwriter from the Springfield, Missouri area, who had come to Nashville in the  wake of his biggest hit, Jim Reeves' "According To My Heart". He later ripped Lowery Music, and later still started Nashville famous used record stores, the Great Escape. (HD)

 
Jimmy Isle
"I'VE BEEN WAITIN'" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 324
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Demo Studio, Fidelity Recording
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 306-B mono
I'VE BEEN WAITIN' / DIAMOND RING
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Isle - Vocal and Guitar
Ronnie Isle - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Gary Walker leased these masters to Sun Records in October 1958, and Sun picked up Isle's contract. If these sides ever contained any bite or trace of southern music, they were obscured by the hovering presence of the chorus. Isle's music is essentially geared for the white teenage market. Its most obvious selling feature, here as on his other releases, was a rhythmic hook.

Isle is still in Nashville, and a person less interested in his past life as a Sun recording artist would be hard to find. A wannabe teenage idol fourty-five years on is not always a pretty sight. His brother, Ronnie, later died in a car wreck. (HD)(CE)

 
Ernie Chaffin
"BORN TO LOSE" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Frankie Brown
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - U 327
Recorded: - June 9, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 307-A mono
BORN TO LOSE / (NOTHING CAN CHANGE) MY LOVE FOR YOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Probably Ernie Harvey – Steel Guitar
More Details Unknown

After Sun 275, it took over eighteen months for Sun to release another singel on Ernie. Unfortunately, the product was not worth the wait. granted, ''I'm Lonesome'' was a tough act to follow but this represents an artistic lowpoint in Chaffin's Sun career. There was certainly nothing wrong with the song. Ted Daffan had composed it during the early years of the Second World War and later copyrighted it under his mother's maiden name. ''I always loved the song'', recalled Ernie. ''Even when I was a young kid I used to sing it in clubs around Gulfport and I thought it would be a good time to bring it back. But as soon as we released it Johnny Cash came out with it and so Ray Charles and Dean Martin. Ray Charles' record was copied almost to a 'T' from mine. I felt he heard my version, recorded it and knocked me out of the saddle''. It is just conceivable that Charles heard Ernie's version but it strains credibility a little to suggest that he stole the thunder. Sun 307 was issued in October 1958 and Ray Charles did not have a hit with ''Born To Lose'' until the late months of 1962. (HD)(MH)

 
Ernie Chaffin
''(NOTHING CAN CHANGE) MY LOVE FOR YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Helen Hall
Publisher: - Glendell Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 326
Recorded: - June 9, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 307-B mono
(NOTHING CAN CHANGE) MY LOVE FOR YOU / BORN TO LOSE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Probably Ernie Harvey – Steel Guitar
More Details Unknown

This was another maudlin excursion that probably said a lot about the way Jack Clement perceived the country market in 1958. Unfortunately, it has not survived the years nearly as well as the stark underproduced recordings that still retain their elemental charm, regardless of season. Ernie recalled, ''I understand that Helen Hall was from Texas. We were recording and I think Bill Justis asked me to listen to this song and I loved it. He asked me if I would record it and I said 'yes'. So, he called Texas and got permission from Helen Hall to use the song. She had heard some of my records and she said she'd be thrilled. I think we could have done a better job on it than we did. I was disappointed. I had so many people trying to tell me how to sing it and you know that if you don't sing it from your heart, it doesn't work''. Hall was a performer on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas who recorded briefly for Coral Records in 1955, but she'd been dropped. And it wasn't permission to record the song that Justis was after so much as permission to copublish it.  (HD)(MH)

 
Ray Smith
"WHY WHY WHY" - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 328
Recorded: - September 13, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 308-A mono
WHY WHY WHY / YOU MADE A HIT
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ray Smith - Vocal
Dean Perkins - Guitar
Stanley Walker - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Gary Diamond - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Ray Smith's second Sun record was enough to restore some of the faith of Sun fans who had been traumatized by the last two releases. Smith delivers on both sides (SUN 308). "Why, Why, Why" confirms that the word 'ballad' does not spell disaster. Nor does the addition of a chorus necessarily undercut a recording's power. Billboard had it right when they described this track as a "deeply felt ballad effort by Smith. A soulful delivery in a slow tempo. Worth spins". Like Elvis Presley, whose ballad style has plainly influenced these proceedings, Ray Smith was also influenced by Dean Martin. It seems a curious observation, but after his move to Ontario, Canada, Smith got plenty of work in local clubs alternating his Presley repertoire with "Dean Martin impersonations", as the local media called them. (HD)(MH)

 
Ray Smith
"YOU MADE A HIT" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Walt Maynard
Publisher: - Buna Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 329
Recorded: - May 13, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 308-B mono
YOU MADE A HIT / WHY WHY WHY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Ray Smith – Vocal
Dean Perkins – Guitar
Stanley Walker – Guitar
James Webb – Bass
Gary Diamond – Drums
Charlie Rich – Piano

Ray Smith had two stints at Sun; the first consisting of a series of sessions at 706 Union during 1958 and the other, three years later, in Nashville. The assertively-titled "You Made A Hit" resulted from one of the earlier Memphis sessions and was supplied by Walt Maynard, a jobbing songsmith from the Claunch/Cantrell writing camp - a team who regularly supplied material to Memphis-based recording artists. The session itself combined Smith's own guitarist, Stanley Walker and Dean Perkins with Sun's house rhythm section.
 
"You Made A Hit" is a fine, energetic rockabilly performance. The vocal bristles with energy and the instrumental work is especially memorable. Because Smith often used his touring group on sessions, it has become difficult to identify musicians on his record. Whether the lead guitar here is by Stanley Walker or Dean Perkins, the style gets rave reviews from the rockabilly cognoscenti. There sure is a lot of energy and interplay, whichever it is.
 
One final curio: if you want to hear what this song sounded like in its original version, check out Hi 2005 by Joe Fuller. We'll save you the suspemse. You won't find a more insipid piece of pop drive. Kudos to Smith, Walker and company for turning it into a rockabilly showcase. (HD)(MH)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"IT'S JUST ABOUT TIME" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 331
Recorded: - July 17, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus before release
Released: - November 12, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 309-A mono
IT'S JUST ABOUT TIME / I JUST THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rom BCD 15803 DI-3-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

Jack Clement's "It's Just About Time" is dominated by piano and on the released version features an overdubbed chorus which added little to the recording. The various undubbed version show how well crafted the song was. It was considered good enough to release, along with "I Just Thought You'd Like To Know", as a single and just scraped into the top thirty on the country charts.  (HD)(MH)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"I JUST THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 330
Recorded: - July 17, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus before release
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 12, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 309-B mono
I JUST THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW / IT'S JUST ABOUT TIME
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

At this point in his career with Sun, Johnny Cash's sessions were in the hands of producers Jack Clement and Charlie Rich. Each has contributed a song here and, in Rich's case, the piano work as well. In fact, Charlie Rich's piano is the dominant force on "I Just Thought You'd Like To Know". Luther's guitar is barely audibly, and what there is of it has been co opted by the bass singer in the chorus. Thankfully, the choral overdub is restrained here, and the bleating soprano seems to have stayed home. (HD)

 
Vernon Taylor
"BREEZE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:05
Composer: - MacDonald-Joe Goodwin-James Hanley
Publisher: - Shapiro Berhstein and Company
Matrix number: - U 332
Recorded: - October 27, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 12, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 310-A mono
BREEZE / TODAY IS A BLUE DAY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Jack Clement - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

But all is not lost. This side is unexpectedly good. Given that Clement's tune was the focus of most promotional effort, it is curious that Sam Phillips would allow a song he did not own, "Breeze", to be used in a supporting role. It was Taylor's choice, he had first heard "Breeze" on Cowboy Copas' 1948 hit recording, although it was a pop song principally authored by James (Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart) Hanley and Joe (When You're Smiling) Goodwin. Taylor made in the centerpiece of a wonderfully understated arrangement.

There is a marvellous bluesy tension to this side. the 1-4 chord shuttling between verses creates a fine groove and Taylor's vocal is just right, avoiding all the pitfalls for over-emoting. The guitar work during the chorus ("It's an ill wind...") is striking and moody.

Billboard got on the case in short order, giving this record a Pick Hit in November, 1958. They said that Taylor had a "refreshingly distinctive style" and predicted that "with exposure, the lad could have himself a two sided winner". Those are strong words, but the marketplace turned a deaf ear, and so have Sun fans. It may by time to reassess. True, this is no "Miss Froggie", and Taylor's isn't Warren Smith, but "Breeze" is a damn fine record in its own right. (HD)(MH)

 
Vernon Taylor
"TODAY IS A BLUE DAY" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 333
Recorded: - October 27, 1958 - Vocal Chorus Overdub
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 12, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 310-B mono
TODAY IS A BLUE DAY / BREEZE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Jack Clement - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Perhaps more than anything else, these recordings by Vernon Taylor help define the kind of music Sun was contributing to the pantheon of rock and roll in late 1958. Sam Phillips had seen Taylor, then based in Washington, D.C., on American Bandstand and brought him to Sun records, and that in itself was an indication of changing times at Sun. Gone is the frenetic energy pf previous years. In its place is a more controlled kind of enthusiasm. There is something about Taylor's voice to suggest he might have been a wildman under different circumstances, but there was nothing about this October, 1958 date organized by Jack Clement that would coax any wildness from Taylor.
 
On "Today Is A Blue Day", Jack Clement has written his own entry in the Don Gibson sweepstakes, emulating such hits as "Blue Blue Day". You can hear the quirky edge to Jimmy Van Eaton's drumming and wish it were more prominent, but its too deep in the mix to offset the effects of Clement's high string guitar (another bow to Don Gibson's record), and the choral overdub. This is just going to be a pop record, no matter how much you wish it would cut through and rock. (HD)(MH)

 


 

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