AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JUNE 20, 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR BILL CANTRELL
''Curl my britches up to my knees/Mama, mama play house with me...
Gone go fishin', have a goof time/Git you a woman and a gallon of wine''. That was rural and then some. That was Ray Harris. His two luminous Sun singles are just about a working definition of rockabilly. In fact, ''Come On Little Mama'' might just be the
first psychobilly record. If for nothing other than releasing ''Come On Little Mama'', Sam Phillips earns his place in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. ''Greenback Dollar'', like ''Crawdad Hole'' and ''Black Jack David'', was an old mountain song that adapts
surprisingly well to its rockabilly makeover. During the 35 years that hillbilly music had been recorded, it had never been this unfettered. This was something new.
Tall and imposing, with sharp, angular features, Ray Harris carries about him
a frightening intensity, and speaks with an impenetrable accent that almost demands subtitles for a listener not from Mississippi. He sat in his wife's Chrysler one humid summer night a few years ago, holding a cassette of a band he had just recorded. As it
played, his eyes burned as it reached the parts he liked. He stabbed at the cassette deck. "There! There! I tell you, them boys have got it!. As abruptly as it had arise, though, the energy subsided.
Ray Harris' unbridled
enthusiasm comes through on both sides of his debut Sun single. The instrumental work on these sides, while spirited, is thin - even by Sun's spartan standards. If there was a bass player on this session, he might have been in Taylor's Cafe next door when
they nailed these takes. There is a priceless anecdote about Ray Harris, practicing his vocal craft in a non-air conditioned Memphis apartment in July, standing in his overalls, dripping with sweat, bellowing his
heart out to his undeserving neighbors. Folks living blocks away got to preview an a cappella version of these sides, which Billboard later called "dangerous".
All the practicing apparently
paid off for Harris, whose voice Billboard described as "extreme" and "emotion packed". In his more staid later life, Ray Harris spent years as the resident engineer at the Hi Records studio across town.
In its original 45rpm form "Come On Little Mama" proved to be a serious challenge
for the avid listener as the single was pressed on particularly low grade vinyl. Only in recent years, with the advent of the digital format, has it been possible to soak up the full impact of what Ray Harris first set out to archieve. As a point of interest,
his right hand man was a fine guitarist by the name of Wayne Gogswell who saw success of his own when he penned "Teensville" for Chet Atkins.
"COME ON LITTLE MAMA" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Ray Harris-Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U
200 - Master
Recorded: - June 20, 1956
Released: - September 24, 1956
appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 254-B mono
COME ON LITTLE MAMA / WHERE'D YOU
STAY LAST NIGHT
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-3-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2