CONTAINS

Sun 321-330 Series 

This page is too long, so it may take long before he is loaded (15 sec)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"KATY TOO" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Jack Clement-Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 359 - Take 5
Recorded: - May 28, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 321-A mono
KATY TOO / I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-9 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

"Katy Too" stems from one of this marathon sessions Johnny Cash held at the end of his tenure at Sun in May, 1958. The song is co-credited to Jack Clement and has his stamp all over it. Most obviously, it is cute and clever, and, as much, diametrically opposite to the more brooding opuses normally associated with Cash. In truth, it is a fine piece of material, full of whimsy and downhome charm. Cash turns in a strong reading and the track is mercifully free of overproduction. (HD)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 358
Recorded: - July 17, 1958 - Overdubbed with Chorus before
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 321-B mono
I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET / KATY TOO
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-10 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

Overdubbed
Billy Riley - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Unknown Vocal Chorus

About the most interesting thing one can observe is that "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" is the last song Johnny Cash recorded at Sun Records. It appears that the search for material had come up dry. When in doubt, resurrect an old Hi-Lo copyright. Economically, this made sense, but artistically, it was not a happy moment. Cash virtually sleepwalks through the take. Instrumentally, it is Charlie Rich's piano and the Gene Lowery Singers that come to the fore. If nothing else, this undistinguished bit of saccharin was enough to keep disc jockey's spinning "Katy Too". (HD)

 
Bill Riley
"GOT THE WATER BOILING" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Bert Russel-Aaron Cornelius
Publisher: - Progressive Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 361
Recorded: - June 4, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 322-A mono
GOT THE WATER BOILIN' BABY / ONE MORE TIME
Reissued: - 1996 Bear family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal and Guitar Possible Bass Overdub
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Possible Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

"Got The Water Boilin'" was a cover version of a record by the Regals on Atlantic and features Riley in his Little Richard mode. As was the case with most Riley sessions, the material was not rehearsed prior to entering the studio. Consequently, both "One More Time" and "Got The Water Boilin'" were tried a number of different ways during the session.

This was Riley's final Sun single and it is also the first time he appears on a Sun label billed as "Bill". The man was a chameleon in both name and musical style. On this disc, he attacks two pieces of potent (and derivative) rhythm and blues material, one a rocker and one a deep blues. On "Got The Water Boilin'", Riley offers his version of a highly obscure Atlantic single by the Regals. The issued version has Riley in his Little Richard incarnation, shouting above Martin Willis' tenor sax. Jimmy Van Eaton's drumming is the highlight here. The man can barely contain his energy.  (HD)(MH)

 
Bill Riley
"ONE MORE TIME" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Paul Howard
Publisher: - Jay-Gee Music
Matrix number: - U 360
Recorded: - June 4, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 322-B mono
ONE MORE TIME / GOT THE WATER BOILIN' BABY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal and Guitar Possible Bass Overdub
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Possible Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

This title is a jewel in the crown of Riley's Sun titles - a judgement shared by fans, Sun studio musicians, and the singer, himself. The song's origins are a bit obscure. Its composer / singer was Carolina Slim a.k.a Country Paul a.k.a Edward P Harris. The version that found its way to Riley was recorded in New York either on July 24, 1950 or December is, 1951 (or both). One version appeared on Acorn 319 - a label not at the fingertips of many collectors. The 1951 version was released on King 4532. A side-by-side comparison of the two versions is not available to us. In any case, Riley described the recording as rough and out of meter. A sort of 'John Lee Hooker thing' in Riley s words. How it got to Riley or was transformed into this beautiful piece of decidedly in-meter performance is anybody's guess.
 
Billy Riley had first heard "One More Time" on an old blues record: "I listened to that thing and it was real raw", he recalled. "It was like John Lee Hooker, out of meter and everything. It just sounded so good to me I wanted to do it. It happened. Its a great song, man". Quite where or how Riley came to hear "One More Time" is something of a mystery. It was a wholly obscure single by Country Paul (a.k.a. Carolinea Slim and Eddie Harris) issued on King in 1952 and owing, as Riley said, a considerable debt to John Lee Hooker. Riley's performance truly is a masterful. He turns in a plaintive reading of the lyric complemented by responses on both the guitar and sax. The record is capped by a beautiful understated sax solo by Martin Willis. Riley's chameleon-like ability to alter his voice has been evident throughout his career, and has been as much of an impedance as it has been an advantage. "It was the mood of the song", counters Riley. "To me a song like "Red Hot" was screaming but then "One More Time" was a laid back saxophone song. I thought I was a saxophone on it. I don't think I really had control over it. It just happened. That's the only way I could sing "One More Day". I just did it natural. The way the song told me to do it. It goes back to what Sam and Judd both said about me: 'I'm not a voice, I'm a saxophone".  (HD)(MH)

 
Alton & Jimmy
"NO MORE CRYING THE BLUES" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Jimmy Harrell-Alton Lott
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Cajun Publisher
Matrix number: - U 363
Recorded: - April 5, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 323-A mono
NO MORE CRYING THE BLUES / HAVE FAITH IN MY LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Harrell - Vocal
Alton Lott - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

If someone told you that "No More Crying The Blues" was cut bu a garage band in 1991, you might not bat an eye. In some ways, Alton and Jimmy were ahead of their time. Certainly, this is not the kind of rockabilly Sun is famous for. Yet, by 1959, this was all that was left of the vintage Sun sound. Assisted by Billy Riley (bass) and Jimmy Van Eaton, this was as close to the old days as anybody was likely to get in a changing marketplace. Truly, what we have here is a countryside vocal duet over intense guitar-driven rock and roll. (HD)

 
Alton & Jimmy
"HAVE FAITH IN MY LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Alton Harrell-Jimmy Lott
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Cajun Publisher
Matrix number: - U 362
Recorded: - April 5, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 323-B mono
HAVE FAITH IN MY LOVE / NO MORE CRYING THE BLUES
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Harrell - Vocal
Alton Lott - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

On this side, "Have Faith In My Love", is an almost uncanny cross between Mack Self's glorious "Easy To Love" and Riley's "One More Time", recorded just 24 hours earlier at 706 Union!. This hybrid is obsoletely clear during the solo guitar intro.

Alton and Jimmy were clearly among the few keepers of the flame that had burned so brightly in the mid-1950s and drawn aspiring Elvises to the label. (HD)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"LET'S TALK ABOUT US" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - U 364 - Overdubbed Master
Recorded: - June 25,26, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 324-A mono
LET'S TALK ABOUT US / BALLAD OF BILLY JOE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Russel Smith - Drums

Overdubbed
Gene Lowery Singers
 
Still attempting to revive his career, Jerry Lee Lewis went back to the source of two of his biggest hits: composer Otis Blackwell. Everyone hoped that the magic that had struck on "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Breathless" would again on "Let's Talk About Us". This is a powerful piece of material that went beyond the teen market. Blackwell has created a lot of tension by holding the verses in one chord for 12 bars. Jerry, Roland and Jimmy Van Eaton worked long and hard on the arrangement (numerous outtakes remain in the vaults). Even a discreet female chorus was added to sweeten the arrangement. Neither Jack Clement nor Bill Justis were involved with the overdub session (both had recently been fired by Sam Phillips), and Ernie Barton had persuaded Sam Phillips that he was a producer. Clearly, there was indecision about how or whether to sweeten this pie. Some of the discarded outtakes include a male chorus. (HD)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"BALLAD OF BILLY JOE" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 365
Recorded: - June 25,26, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 324-B mono
BALLAD OF BILLY JOE / LET'S TALK ABOUT US
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Russel Smith - Drums

Charlie Rich took control of this side as both pianist and composer. Jerry's reading is fine, but Rich has contributed a very strange piece of material, attempting to 'Cash in' on the success of "Don't Take Your Guns To Town". Johnny Cash's gunfighter ballad had a poignant, almost mythical quality: a wannabe tough kid rides off into town, takes on some anonymous cowpoke and, it turns out, fools with the wrong guy. He is pointlessly gunned down in an event that never should have happened. It would have made a fine, almost metaphysical western. Charlie Rich, speaking through Jerry Lee, says, "No, wait. It wasn't like that. It turns out that the young cowpoke really 'knew' the cowboy who shot him.  It was all over a girl named Mary Ann. It wasn't a senseless shootout in a tavern. It was pre meditated murder; or at least would have been if the young cowboy had been a faster draw".  So Cash's fine piece of existential mythology is turned into a third rate crime of passion. It isn't Jerry Lee's fault that this doesn't work. He's given some pretty stilted dialogue to read, including one memorable howler of a line. After reviewing all the wrong this cowpoke has done him, Jerry concludes he had "to kill that little rat". It may rhyme with "Get away with that", but the line is better suited to James Cagney in a 1930s gangster movie, not a ballad of the old west.

Billboard gave SUN 324 a "pick Hit" but Jerry Lee's name was still poison in the marketplace. It would be a while before he enjoyed his next hit record. (HD)

 
Vernon Taylor
"MYSTERY TRAIN" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Herman Parker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 367
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 16, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 325-A mono
MYSTERY TRAIN / SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 157803 DI-4-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Sax
Charlie Rick - Piano
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums

One of Sam Phillip's favorite copyrights was trotted out yet again on Vernon Taylor's second Sun release. One more time, Taylor shows off a fine voice, ideally suited to the kind of rockabilly Sun is famous for. One can only wish he had been in town during the golden era. Unfortunately, Taylor also reveals that his sense of timing was a tad less than stellar. He tacitly recognized as much by given up the music business after this single.

Although there is nothing technically wrong with his playing, Martin Willis' saxophone was becoming in 1959 what the Gene Lowery Singers had been two years earlier. Ironically, we had temporarily dispensed with annoying choral overdubs only to find ourselves surrounded by omnipresent sax licks. At its best, as on "One More Time", Willis' playing made some restrained and meaningful contributions. But too often, the obligatory appearance of Willi's madly hopping sax suggests that whoever was twiddling the knobs at Sun had listened to too many Coasters' records. They assumed that King Curtis spelled a one way ticket to sales. They were wrong. If you can listen through all the manic sax intrusions, the instrumental bed track to "Mystery Train" is damn fine. (HD)

 
Vernon Taylor
"SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 366
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 16, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 325-B mono
SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE / MYSTERY TRAIN
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Sax
Charlie Rick - Piano
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums

The world is still awaiting a definitive version of "Sweet And Easy To Love". Gone is the obnoxious barbershop-quartet that marred Orbison's original version (one almost hears a distant "do de wada wada wah" during Taylor's version). Also, the chord structure has been changed here, providing some pleasant 6- minor/2- minor chords in place of Orbison's original conception. But once again, the sax riffing all but sinks this outing. The attempted guitar-sax harmony during the solo is particularly dire. Even the redoubtable Charlie Rich seems curiously lost. (HD)

 
Jerry McGill & The Topcoats
"LOVESTRUCK" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 369
Recorded: - January 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 326-A mono
LOVESTRUCK / I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry McGill - Vocal
Jim King - Lead Guitar
Bobby Scott - Rhythm Guitar
Frank Thomas - Bass and Keyboard
Ronnie Rich - Drums
Dwayne Fowler - Tenor Saxophone

Or Sun Studio Musicians
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Bill Black - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

Vocal Chorus:
Opal Green, Twila Taylor, 
Nanci Drake, Carolyn Marharrey

On this side, "Lovestruck", McGill seems to be more enamored of teen idols like Bobby Rydell than Elvis Presley. Our best guess as to the identity of the label- billed "Topcoats" seems to be the little girl-sounding chorus on this side. One thing is for sure: this wasn't Gene Lowery.

According to Colin Escott's bio-notes in Charly SUNBOX 109, McGill was a wannabe rockstar 'cum' ganster. He appears to have had more success at the latter than the former. Even by Southern good ole boy standards, Jerry McGill still carries a somewhat inglorious reputation. Brandishing pistols, passing bad cheques and experiencing all kinds of run-ins with the law came naturally to this onetime road manager Waylon Jennings. (HD)

 
Jerry McGill & The Topcoats
"I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Branson-Burt-Klein-McGill
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 368
Recorded: - January 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 326-B mono
I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE / LOVESTRUCK
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry McGill - Vocal
Jim King - Lead Guitar
Bobby Scott - Rhythm Guitar
Frank Thomas - Bass and Keyboard
Ronnie Rich - Drums
Dwayne Fowler - Tenor Saxophone

Or Sun Studio Musicians
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Bill Black - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

There is a whole generation of Sun performers who seems to be well versed in the atmospherics of rockabilly rather than the music. Even Elvis Presley began to imitate himself later years. It is not clear whether Jerry McGill's ambitions in recording "I Wanna Make Sweet Love" were fueled by listening to Elvis records or looking at Ersel Hickey's publicity photo. In any case, he seems to have learned his lessons. And, unlike most, he has a Sun release to show for it: a perfectly pedestrian one, but nothing to be ashamed of. (HD)

 
Johnny Powers
"WITH YOUR LOVE, WITH YOUR KISS" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Johnny Pevlik
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 370
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 327-A mono
WITH YOUR LOVE, WITH YOUR KISS / BE MINE, ALL MINE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Powers - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Tenor Saxophone

Johnny Pavlik from Detroit City turned in a real two-sided barn burner on his sole Sun single. Powers is a highly energetic vocalist, to say the least. The highlights on the bluesy "With Your Love, With Your Kiss" include the rather unorthodox use of a 3-chord during the verse, and the kick-ass drumming of session stalwart Jimmy M. Van Eaton. Martin Willis, who seemed to be spending more time at 706 Union than at home, reprises his sax solo from "One More Time". It was beautiful the first time, so why not repeat it?.  No one has ever discovered what happened at the end of this recording. The original 45 was released with the final note awkwardly cut off.  Subsequent reissues have sounded as if attempts were made to edit the ending to sound intentional, or fade it altogether. At this point, no tape with a clean ending exists. (HD)

 
Johnny Powers
"BE MINE, ALL MINE" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Johnny Pevlik-T. Moers
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 371
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 327-B mono
BE MINE, ALL MINE / WITH YOUR LOVE, WITH YOUR KISS
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Powers - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Tenor Saxophone

Powers shifts gears on "Be Mine, All Mine", using a sneering talk/sing approach that just drips with good natured menace. The song rests on a gimmicky yodel during the release, under which Jimmy Van Eaton inserts some fine bass drum work. In fact, it is Van Eaton's assertive accenting on the snare, and lively right foot on the bass drum that propel this record. Powers seems to have borrowed a line of melody from his hero Elvis' "Too Much". Happily, Martin Willis' sax solo sounds like it actually belongs here. (HD)

 
Sherry Crane
"WINNIE THE PARAKEET" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - John Smith-Bonnie Smith
Publisher: - Zest Music Company
Matrix number: - U 373
Recorded: - Unknown Date June 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 328-A mono
WINNIE THE PARAKEET / WILLIE WILLIE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sherry Crane - Vocal
More Details Unknown 
 
This is it. The moment we've all been dreading. Let's try to stay calm. Nobody quite knows why this happened, but we've got to deal with it. Up until now, the youngest woman to record for Sun was 13 year old Maggie Sue Wimberly. But Maggie Sue sang some pretty credible country music that didn't upset anybody's ideas about Memphis music or Sun Records. This time, we've added an eleven year old vocalist to the Sun rooster: the aptly named Sherry Crane singing about "Winnie The Parakeet". Most Sun fans are very upset about this. Mercifully, this is Sun's only entry into 'cagin' music. Despite all the bird content, Charlie Feathers was now where around when we needed him most. (HD)

 
Sherry Crane
"WILLIE WILLIE" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - John Smith-Bonnie Smith
Publisher: - Zest Music Company
Matrix number: - U 372
Recorded: - Unknown Date June 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 328-B mono
WILLIE WILLIE / WINNIE THE PARAKEET
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rom BCD 15803 DI-4-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sherry Crane - Vocal
More Details Unknown

Trivia freaks may care to know that this was recorded in stereo. Sun was no more capable of recording in stereo in mid-1959 than in 48-track digital, so its possible the recording was made elsewhere. There is, however a photo of Sam and Sherry appearing to be mid-session at 706 Union. (HD)

 
Will Mercer
"YOU'RE JUST MY KIND" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Smith-Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 374
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 329-A mono
YOU'RE JUST MY KIND / BALLAD OF ST. MARKS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Will Mercer - Vocal
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Unknown Musicians
 

Most Sun fans will agree that this record by Will Mercer is a vast improvement over its immediate predecessor, "Winnie The Parakeet". On the other hand, Mercer's solo release on Sun is not about to overshadow the best of Sonny Burgess.

Mercer offers serviceable readings of music from two entirely different genres. "You're Just My Kind" is a routine up tempo piece of teen fluff, the highlight of which is probably Martin Willis' raspy sax work. (HD)(CE)

 
Will Mercer
"BALLAD OF ST. MARKS" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 375
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 329-B mono
BALLAD OF ST. MARKS / YOU'RE JUST MY KIND
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Will Mercer - Vocal
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Unknown Musicians

On this side, Mercer provides some grist for the folk/country crossover mill. There was a big market for story songs with a folkie feel and this one, awash in tragedy and untimely death, had what it took for contention in the far-off Fall of 1959.
 
Mercer himself remains something of a shadowy figure. His contract was mailed to Jubilee USA, the Springfield, Missouri television show that had started as The Ozark Jubilee and was about to pas into history. Then in June 1960 - some nine months after this record was released, Billboard reported that Mercer was doing promotional work for the Sheraton Hotel chain in French Lick, Indiana, and had just performed a showdate for the Shriners in Cincinnati and another at the National Folk Music Festival in Washington. Very few performers were doing shows for Shriners and folkies on successive weekends, and sandwiching a week of promotional activities for a hotel chain in-between, so that brief news item raises many intriguing questions about Will Mercer, all so far unanswered. (HD)(CE)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"LITTLE QUEENIE" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Chuck Berry
Publisher: - Arc Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 376 - Master
Recorded: - Probably May 28, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 330-A mono
LITTLE QUEENIE / I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

There were some monumental battles of ego whenever Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry appeared on the  same bill during the 1950s. Their nightly dispute usually centered on who was the "real" headliner and who  would get to close the show. On those nights when the nod went to Chuck, Jerry Lee would do his damndest  to wear out the audience before turning them over.

Chuck Berry's version of "Little Queenie"" had just risen to its rather lowly peak of 80 when Jerry Lee  scheduled a session especially to record it. A few weeks earlier, Jerry's wife Myra, had written to the fan club  secretary, Kay Martin, asking her to find a copy of Chuck's record for Jerry's mother, Mamie. "I suppose you  know", Myra wrote, "that next to Jerry, Chuck Berry is her very favorite". On May 25, three days before  Jerry's session, Myra wrote back to Kay, Thanks loads for "Little Queenie". Mrs Lewis is just mad about  Chuck Berry... (but) ever since he tried to beat up Jerry I haven't liked him a bit. If I'm not mistaken, Jerry  wrapped a chair around his head... Don't get me wrong, I think Chuck is a very talented Negro. Have you  ever seen him put on a live show? That is one Negro that can flat put on a show!. Apparently, "Little  Queenie" was heard so often around the Lewis household that Jerry decided to record it so that his mother  would play something by a very talented white boy.

Egotism is one thing, but commercial exigencies are another, and its hard to fathom the reason for releasing a record that had already failed within recent weeks. One can only assume that if it had succeeded it would have been a big metaphorical finger in the face of a certain very talented negro. And if there had been any justice, it would have succeeded. Jerry hits a fine groove, and resurrects the voice-over narrative technique ("Meanwhile, I's still thinkin'") he had used to great effect on "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". And how ironic that girls who weren't "a minute over seventeen" would prove the undoing of both Jerry and Chuck. (HD)(MH)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 377 - Master
Recorded: - December 1958/January 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 330-B mono
I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU / LITTLE QUEENIE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

On this side, Jerry Lee Lewis dips into the Hank Williams songbook for a powerful reading of the country classic. All things considered, this is a pretty stripped down version, with Jerry's piano handling all the solo chores and Roland Janes' guitar buried deep in the mix. Ironically, Jerry has taken such liberties with the lyrics that he's   managed to soften, if not alter the impact of Williams' original intent. There's a hell of a different between singing "Makes no difference what you used to do" and "Makes no difference what they say or do". Given the well-known litany of sexual accusations Jerry put childbride Myra through, its not surprising his version of the lyric seems a lot more forgiving of his buddies than his girlfriend. (HD)(MH)

 


 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©