CONTAINS 1957 SUN SESSIONS 1

Studio Session for Rosco Gordon, Unknown Date(s) 1956/1957 / Chess Records
Studio Session for The Miller Sisters, 1956/1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Little Milton, Unknown Date 1957 (1) / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Little Milton, Unknown Date 1957 (2) / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Haggett, Unknown Date Early 1957 / Meteor Records
Studio Session for James Howard Chandler, Probably 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, Probably 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Gwen McEwen, Probably 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for James Wood, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Unknown Artist, 1957 / Sun Records
Home Recordings for Carl Perkins, 1957
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, 1956/1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Gene Simmons, January 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, January 6, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, January 1957 / Venus Records
Studio Session for Eddie Bond, January 10, 1957 / Goldstar Records
Studio Session for Levester ''Big Lucky'' Carter, January 16, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ed Kirby, January 16, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jack Earls, January 19, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Junior Thompson, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Harold Jenkins (Conway Twitty), January 21, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, January 23, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Williams, January 25, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ernie Chaffin, January 29, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Riley, January 30, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Warren Smith, January or February 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, January/February 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, February 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, February 5, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Warren Smith, February 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Riley, February 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Dixieland Drifters, February 13, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Dick Penner, February 16, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Rudi Richardson, Probably March 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Buddy Blake Cunningham, Probably March 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Onie Wheeler,   March 14, 1957 / Columbia Records
Studio Session for Billy Emerson, March 27, 1957 / Vee Jay Records
Studio Session for Carl Perkins, March 28, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl Perkins, Probably Spring 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Four Dukes, March 29, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, Unknown Date 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl Mann, Probably Early 1957 / Jaxon Records
Studio Session for Hayden Thompson, April 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Levester ''Big Lucky'' Carter, April 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ed Kirby, April 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, April 4, 1957 Probably Other Dates / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, April 5, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Barbara Pittman, April 5, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ernie Barton, April 6, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ray Harris, April 7 / May 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Kenneth Parchman, April 10, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tommy Blake, April 15, 1957 / RCA Records
Studio Session for Hannah Fay, April or May 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Bill Justis, May 8, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Edwin Bruce, May 8, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl McVoy, May 12, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, May 13, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, May 13, 1957 / Mercury Records
Studio Session for Wanda Ballman, May 18, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, May 30, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Bill Justis & Sid Manker, June 5, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Barbara Pittman, June 5, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl McVoy, June 6, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Wanda Ballman, June 17, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Patsy Holcomb, June 17, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Harold Dorman,  March 16, 24 & 31 & June 17, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Carroll, June 23, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, June 1957
Studio Session for Barbara Pittman, June 24, 1957 / Sun Records

Biography of Artists (See: The Sun Biographies)


1957

Saw the continued growth of bigger taller tail fins on new cars and more lights, bigger with more powerful engines and an average car sold for $2,749. The Soviet Union launched the first space satellite Sputnik 1. Movies included "Twelve Angry Men" and "The Bridge Over The River Kwai", and TV showed "Perry Mason" and "Maverick" for the first time. The music continued to be rock and roll with artists like "Little Richard". The popular toys were Slinkys and Hula Hoops. The continued growth of the use of credit was shown by the fact that 2/3 of all new cars were bought on credit. Some of the areas that would cause problems later were starting to show South Vietnam is attacked by Viet Cong Guerrillas and Troops are sent to Arkansas to enforce anti segregation laws.

1957 was the peak of the Baby Boomer years.  Definition of Baby Boomer By United States Government: Demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964. World War II ends 1946. Hundreds of thousands of servicemen return home hoping to set up home with a loved one. Governments deal with this in differing ways. United States Passes the GI Bill or ( Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944). Provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans. Provided low interest, zero down payment home loans for returning World War II veterans. Provided one year of unemployment compensation for returning World War II veterans. Resulting from these measures tens of thousands of jobs were created for pent up demand in consumer goods, the construction industry, higher education etc. fueling a healthy economy which in turn helped the population to feel confident enough to have families. Great Britain built tens of thousands of low income homes for returning servicemen, increased nationalization and also provided education and unemployment for returning servicemen, this combined with the increased opportunity provided to export goods to the United States created a boom of children and the economy. Most Other Allied countries followed similar routes creating an environment where couples felt the confidence to set up homes and new families, the increased numbers of children helped to fuel the economic growth with even more consumer demand. 
 
Baby Boomers were born following the end of World War II due in part to couples ability to marry and set up some type of home although many were forced for some of the early years to share homes with older family members, The Baby Boom happened in most of the allied countries following the end of World War II and governments are now struggling with the retirement, health and other issues caused by such a large percentage of society requiring support and facilities for this large and important demographic in a short period of time ( Note from webmaster I am one of those Baby Boomers and can see both sides of the equation , I am at an age where I am not as healthy and approaching retirement age which will mean I will in many ways require financial support ( It should be remembered that myself and most of my generation paid taxes and social security for most of our working lives which means we should be getting back what we put in ). From the younger generation they may well see it differently when taxes etc. are forced to increase to pay for the increased number of baby boomers.

Martin Luther King Jr. becomes president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).



Martin Willis before he got so famous he played this little night club in downtown Memphis in a parking garage across from Court Square on Second Street, circa 1957. >

1957

Dale Hawkins recorded ''Susie Q'' in the studio of Shreveport's KWKH, and Jimmy C. Newman (the C stands for ''Cajun'') from Mamou charts on Billboard's pop, rhythm and blues, and country charts with ''A Fallen Star''.


In the considerable wake of Jerry Lee Lewis, Sun's last major rising star, two things happened. First, even more singers than before turned up at 706 Union Avenue - in person or on mailed-in tapes. Second, because Lewis had shown that the Sun sound could work with piano as well as guitars the onus was now on Sun's producers and session men to find the next big stylistic advance. By early 1957 the nucleus of the famous Sun houseband was in place.

Sam Phillips and Jack Clement had put together a session band based on Billy Riley's Little Green Men - Roland Janes played guitar, Jimmy Wilson played piano, Stan Kesler had switched from steel guitar to electric bass and Jimmy Van Eaton played drums. Increasingly, Martin Willis came in on saxophone and by 1958 Charlie Rich had started to replace Jimmy Wilson while Otis Jett was occasionally heard on drums. Jack Clement rather than Sam Phillips, was increasingly influential in the way songs were produced and recorded and it was Clement who worked with the established country-based artists and the doorstepping hopefuls. The musical director and arranger was Bill Justis. He can be heard on the session tapes coming down onto the studio floor between takes, chiding the musicians and getting them primed for yet another take.

1957

On his final Ed Sullivan appearance Elvis Presley is filmed from the waist up though the  screams from the studio audience only makes what the home viewer was missing even more  suggestive.

Bill Haley & The Comets tour Europe setting off riots and bringing rock and roll to that  continent for the first time.

An Australian tour featuring Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly follows making rock a  worldwide phenomenon. Lewis's performance of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" that July on  The Steve Allen Show brings rock music more reprimands as Lewis kicks over his piano stool  and plays the keyboards with disturbing wild-eyed intensity. The ratings however beat the  top-ranked Ed Sullivan Show for the first time that year.

Alan Freed has his short-lived televised rock and roll show canceled when complaints pour in  over seeing black teenage singer Frankie Lymon dancing on screen with a white girl.

In the first move to tame down rock and roll by society ABC television launches the national  version of a Philadelphia program called "American Bandstand" which winds up promoting  the more wholesome side of rock.

On a tour of Australia in the fall, Little Richard sees the Russian satellite "Sputnik"  descending to earth and takes it as a sign from God to quit rock and roll and join the  ministry.

1957

Lavern Baker begins a tour to start in Australia. She takes out a $125,00 life insurance policy  naming Georgia Gibbs as sole beneficiary. In a letter to Gibbs Baker writes that the policy is  to provide for her should she be deprived in the event of my untimely death "of the  opportunity of copying my songs and arrangements in the future" The letter closes ''Tra La  La'' and ''Tweedle Dee'', LaVern Baker.

Chuck Berry releases "School Day" and "Rock And Roll Music".

Golden Age of the teen-idols.

Link Wray's Rumble invents the "fuzz-tone" guitar sound.

Buddy Holly recorded, ''That’ll Be The Day'', at a Norman Petty's New Mexico studio.

Billboard begins the Hot 100 singles chart.

Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke made their first appearances on the same The Ed Sullivan Show.

1957

On one side, the mellow-voiced status quo heavyweights: Perry Como, Pat Boone, and  Johnny Mathis. On the other, the fresh-voiced gate crashers: Elvis Presley, the Everly  Brothers, Sam Cooke, and Chuck Berry. Who's going to win?

1957

"Raunchy" by Bill Justis, goes gold on the new Phillips International subsidiary, the very week  that Jerry Lee Lewis does the same with "Great Balls Of Fire".

Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" is published.

Jerry Lee Lewis' cousin and future Sun recording star, Mickey Gilley went to see Bill Quinn at the Gold Star studio in Houston, Texas, and he first appeared on records around 1957. He was on a dozen small labels from Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere before he made a small impact on Stan Lewis' Astra and Paula labels from Shreveport in the mid-1960s. His first disc was literally on a small label, Minor Records, featuring a pretty hesitant-sounding performance called ''Tell Me Why''.

The originally 10-inch EP (RCA 31077) ''Janis and Elvis'' issued.  Janis Martin was promoted as the “Female Elvis” (although she had more of Patsy Cline) and RCA South Africa decided to really promote her releasing this double feature which featured alternating Elvis and Janis cuts, four on each side. The Elvis cuts were "Baby Let's Play House", "You're A Heartbreaker", "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone", and "Milkcow Blues Boogie". Janis' contributions were "Ooby-Dooby", "Let's Elope Baby", "One More Year To Go", and "Barefoot Baby". All songs that capture the boy - girl issues from the mid fifties very well, fun to hear these lyrics compared to the explicit lyrics of today's music.

The 1995 bootleg edition of this release featured the additional ''My Boy Elvis''. According to history it was withdrawn the day after its original release on Colonel Tom Parker's instructions: "My boy don't share no record with a woman". Janis disappeared pretty quickly too. By the time she was 16 (she was signed to the label aged 15) she was married and pregnant … that ended a career real quickly in those days.

For Sun recordings on the His Master Voice EP HMV 7EG 8257 ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' by Elvis Presley issued in England.

EARLY 1957

Memphis reporter Bob Johnson wrote in his much-read Press-Scimitar column, ''Since May 1956, Bill Justis' orchestra has been playing a lot of rock and roll teen dances''. It was sometime in this period that Bill was hired, whether by Sam Phillips or Jack Clement, to arrange a session at Sun, and after hearing it, Sam complimented him on his work. Not long afterward he did, and Sam Phillips offered him early of 1957 a job at $90 a week as ''Musical Director'', which meant that mostly did arrangements and soon overdubbing as well, both voices and instruments, which suited Jack Clement's inclination toward novelty numbers and his ambition to expand the Sun sound.

Stan Kesler launches Crystal Records with money from Gene Luchessi and Drew Canale. The label is based at 1719 Poplar Avenue, Memphis. The second release, Don Hosea's ''Everlasting Love'', is covered by Barbara Pittman for Phillips International. The third release, Jimmy Knight's ''Hula Hop'', was recorded earlier by Smokey Joe Baugh for Sun. The fourth release is Jimmy Pritchett's ''That The Way I Feel'', also recorded at Sun.


Charlie Rich and Margaret Ann >

1957

Charlie Rich and his wife Margaret Ann were living in West Memphis, Arkansas with their  three children. Charlie was faming by day and hating every minute of it. Several nights a  week he'd drive into Memphis and play a gig at a jazz lounge like the Vapors. It was not just  the money they needed: those gigs were mental health for Charlie. Margaret Ann realized  something had to change.


''I knew that Elvis Presley had gone to Sam Phillips so I thought  maybe Charlie could try this luck there also. I left out three children at home with a baby  sitter, crossed the river, and went to Sun''.  ''I brought a tape of Charlie that we had made at  home. I can't remember which tunes were on it, or whether they were even originals.  Charlie wasn't doing much writing back then. That came later''.

Fortunately, it was Bill Justis who greeted Margaret Ann. Both she and Charlie were familiar  with Justis. They had met him at gigs as well as parties sponsored by the musicians union.  Had Margaret Ann run into Sam Phillips on that first visit, thing might not have gone so well.  Than, Charlie Rich is hired as a writer and sideman for Sun Records.

Margaret Ann recalls, ''Bill was very very hip. Truthfully, he was way too hip for Sun. I  remember him saying right at the start, 'What do you need me for? You're Rich already'.  Justis listened to the demos. He finally gave me some Jerry Lee Lewis records and sent me  home with the message that Charlie should come in when he could play that bad''.

''Bill and Charlie got to know each other better after that. They did some gigs together  around town. Bill really encouraged Charlie to start writing. Told him that's where the money  was. When Sam finally met Charlie, he told him the same thing. Charlie was so sophisticated  in his playing but Sam told him he needed material for his artists''.

In recalling Charlie's initation to Sun years later, Sam Phillips was struck by the similarity  between Rich and Elvis - not in their music or physical appearance, but in the fact that  neither would come right in and ask to be recorded. In both cases, the path was indirect and  somewhat tortuous.

Margaret Ann remains vaguely annoyed that Sun didn't want Charlie for what he could do  this point, but rather for how he could adapt his playing and writing to their artist roster,  which at the point included Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Smith. ''They didn't know  what to do with Charlie. They knew they had a very talented musician on their hands, but  they had no idea how to use that talent''.

Setting a pattern that would haunt him for munch of his recording career, Charlie followed  directions. He went home to ''get bad''. His first efforts were even worse than Bill Justis had  envisioned. Songs like ''Little By Little'', ''Rock And Roll Party'', and ''Donna Lee'' are vivid  reminders of Charlie's first flirtation with rock and roll. It wasn't a pretty sight. It wasn't  simply the age barrier: artists like Carl Perkins and Chuck Berry were turning out credible  tunes about teenage angst and hi jinx. Charlie's efforts sounded like an aging uncle  desperately trying to sound hip. Both Justis and Sam Phillips shook their heads. Bad is one  thing. This was really awful.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROSCO GORDON
AT  THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE(S)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - ''DO THE BOP''
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-2-7 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Internet ITunes-2 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS

02 - ''BOP WITH THE BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-1-7 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued:  - April 21, 2009  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-21 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS

03 - ''TIRED OF LIVING'' - B.M.I. - 3:30
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-2-4 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued:  - April 21, 2009  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-26 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS

04 - ''IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-2-5 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records Internet iTunes-6 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS

05 - ''LOVE WITH ME BABY''
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-1-6 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS

''If You Don't Love Me Baby'' is an alternate version of ''What You Got On Your Mind'' issued on RPM 365. ''Love With Me Baby'' is probably an alternate version of ''Love For You Baby'' issued on Sun/Flip 227. ''Do The Bop'' was probably recorded in 1956 in connection with the movie ''Rock Baby, Rock It''.

06 - ''NINETEEN YEARS'' - B.M.I. - 2:46
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - October 1993
First appearance: - Six Week Smile Internet iTunes-13 mono
ROSCO GORDON - JUST A LITTLE BIT
Reissued: - June 23, 2009 Burning Fire Internet i-Tunes-26 mono
ROSCO GORDON - ESSENTIAL MASTERS

07 - ''HEY, HEY GIRL'' - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Oririginally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records Internet iTunes-10 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS
Reissued: May 15, 2012 Sun Records Internet iTunes-8 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SUN RECORDS RECORDING ARTIST

08 - ''SHE'S MY BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Reissued:  - April 21, 2009  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-13 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS

09 - ''GOT ME A HORSE AND A WAGON''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

10 - ''I DON'T LIKE IT'' - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records Internet iTunes-9 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS
Reissued: - September 3, 2010 License Music Internet iTunes-11 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN CLASSICS

11 - ''MEAN WOMEN'' - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - April 21, 2009
First appearance: JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-13 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS
Reissued: - 2009 Goldenlane Records Internet iTunes-22 mono
ROSCO GORDON - PIANO BLUES ON FIRE

12 - ''DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON ME'' - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: -  April 21, 2009
First appearance:  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-13 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS
Reissued: - 2009 Goldenlane Records Internet iTunes-22 mono
ROSCO GORDON - PIANO BLUES ON FIRE

13 - ''SHE WANT'S EVERYBODY BUT ME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

14 - ''IF YOU WANT YOUR WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - May 1, 2009
First appearance: - Goldenlane Records Internet iTunes-32 mono
ROSCO GORDON - PIANO BLUES ON FIRE
Reissued: - October 1993  Six Week Smile Internet iTunes-30 mono
ROSCO GORDON - JUST A LITTLE BIT

15 - ''YOU'VE BEEN CHEATIN' ON ME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

16 - ''UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL'' (1)
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

17 - ''UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL'' (2)
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE MILLER SISTERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1956/1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01(1) - "GOT YOU ON MY MIND" - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Howard Biggs-Joe Thomas
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Long Version - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30117-A-6 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 10 - SUN COUNTRY
Reissued: - August 2002 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-2-22 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Although neither Millie not Jo were aware of it, ''Got You On My Mind'' had been a sizeable rhythm and  blues hit in 1951 by John Greer. In fact, the song has since become something of a standard with barely a  decade passing that doesn't see a handful of cover versions or revival attempts. Greer's own version was  redolent of Ivory Joe Hunter's style; an easy lilting melody, repeating itself through a 12-bar blues  progression and lending itself easily to two-part harmony. Interestingly, when the Millers recorded it, they  omitted the song's 8-bar middle segment and a piano-led instrumental break of Jimmy Wilson was  substituted for the song's release. Arguably, the song didn't really need a release and the version we hear has  not been weakened by its exclusion. Whether the Millers' non-release arrangement represented a conscious  decision on somebody's part, or a collective lapse of memory in the studio is another musical question that  the passing years have rendered unanswerable.

01(2) - "GOT YOU ON MY MIND" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Howard Biggs-Joe Thomas
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Short Version - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-6-12 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1959 - 1959

Gene Simmons' recording of ''Chains Of Love'' involves a connection to another Tupelo act who recorded for  Sun, the Miller Sisters. Working the same small southern venues, Gene crossed paths many times with the  Miller Sisters. In fact, he and Mildred went out together for a time. Gene was still working with the Miller  Sisters beyond their affiliation with Sun. In January 1960 they appeared as backup singers on a Hi session  that produced Gene's (Unreleased) track ''For No Apparent Reason''. The Millers recorded Gene's song  ''Chains Of Love'' on this one of their final session for Sun, although it has found its way into release during  the past half a century of Sun archaeology. Gene, himself, recorded at least two versions of the tittle during  his visits to the Sun studio as well. (Although the song is credited to Gene, Carl Simmons recalls it being ''an  old country song that we just kind of worked up''.)

02(1) - "CHAINS OF LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Gene Simmons
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104-A-6 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - August 2002 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-1-12 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

''Chains Of Love'' is not, of course, the old Big Joe Turner hit but rather a composition from the pen of Gene  Simmons. At that point, Simmons (who also hailed from Tupelo) was trying to get a recording career off the  ground. He had a number of songs at Sun during 1956 but none of them were released until 1958. In fact, his  version of this song was unreleased until 1986. The Millers' version probably dates from 1957 and features a  blend of old and new. Stan Kesler brought in his trusty steel guitar for the occasion but the drums and  boogie-piano licks point unerringly into the future. The results are a little ragged in place but quite pleasant.  The girls sound comfortable at this tempo but the material was probably not strong enough to merit much  more work.

02(2) - "CHAINS OF LOVE'' - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Gene Simmons
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-6-13 Mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-8 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1959 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elsie Jo Miller - Duet Vocal
Mildred Wages - Duet Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass & Steel Guitar
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LITTLE MILTON
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1957

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1746 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957 (1)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY LESTER BIHARI

Rufus Thomas introduced Little Milton to Meteor Records. It's important to note that the recordings of these  artists are important documents of their music in transition at a bleak point in Memphis blues recording  history. ''Let's Boogie Baby'' was the best-seller among this cache of records and firmly points the way to  Milton's classic Bobbin sessions that began in St. Louis in late 1958. Born September 7, 1934 in the small  Delta town of Inverness, Mississippi, Milton Campbell grew up in Greenville, where he met future associate  Oliver Sain. His first recordings were for Sun Records, the outcome of Ike Turner's appointment to an A&R  position at the end of 1953, which changed the course of that label for some months. Milton was young and  enthusiastic. He loved to take his favourite hit tunes and simply add new words to them, while thrashing out  on his guitar for all he was worth, almost outdoing Pat Hare on occasion. With Ike at the piano stool, the first  result was ''Begging My Baby'' a direct powerful steal from Domino's ''Going To The River'' with fabulous  rolling piano intro. His other early sides all mimicked B.B. King's hits: ''Somebody Told Me'' in primitive  fashion copied ''Woke Up This Morning'' and ''Alone And Blues'' was a clone to ''You Know I Love You''. ''If  You Love Me Baby'' was Milton's take on the Elmore James-inspired ''Please Love Me'' for which he turned  his guitar up ran an unprecedented level.

His early 1954 sessions gravited more towards straight blues and an ever-increasing ferocity in his guitar  work. Many great recordings survived and have finally been made available, but at the time he had to wait a  year for the release of his best Sun single, ''Looking For My Baby'' / ''Homesick For My Baby'' which  eventually appeared in mid-1955.

01 - ''LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT'' - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Milton Campbell
Publisher: - Tristan Music Limited
Matrix number: - MR 5066
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5040-A mono
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT / LET'S BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-21 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

By this time Milton had formed his Playmates Of Rhythm. It's apparent that Milton had matured and we   catch him in fine form for ''Let's Boogie Baby'' and ''Love At First Sight''. The poor balance is very apparent   with the opening of this number, where the guitar comes in almost inaudibly, after which the band's answer   comes in with full force. However, musically the performers are fine. Several musicians who would become   a mainstay at Bobbin make their appearance with Milton for this date. With Oliver Sain on alto sax, the rest   of the sax section is made up of C.W. Tate and Lawrence Taylor, both of whom had been present on Milton's   Sun recordings, plus Leon Bennett, piano; Willie Dotson, bass and Jerry Walker, drums.

02 - ''LET'S BOOGIE BABY'' - B.M.I. - 3:14
Composer: - Milton Campbell
Publisher: - Tristan Music Limited
Matrix number: - MR 5067
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5040-B mono
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT / LET'S BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-22 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Little' Milton Campbell - Vocal & Guitar
Playmates of Rhythm consisting of
Oliver Sain - Alt Saxophone
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Tenor Saxophone
Leon Bennett - Piano
Willie Dotson - Bass
Jerry Walker - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LITTLE MILTON
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1957

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1746 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957 (2)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY LESTER BIHARI

Uninspired and unsuccessful remake of SUN 194 with new lyrics. Probably different session but same  musicians as Meteor 5040.

01 – ''LET MY BABY BE'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Milton Campbell-Leslo
Publisher: - Meteor Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5076
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5045-A mono
LET MY BABY BE / OOH! MY LITTLE BABY
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-25 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Meteor 5045 is exceptionally rare, probably because Lester Bihari closed the doors at this point and the  record was only briefly in print. In the light of the previous release, it is a puzzling record; it is clearly from  another session. One can only assume that Milton was seeking a more pop-orientated approach. It is devoid  of guitar and actually reaches back to rework his first Sun record with ''Begging My Baby'' becoming ''Let  My Baby Be'' while ''Ooh! My Little Baby'' was very close to ''Somebody Told Me''. The sound is quite  sterile and Milton's sounds uncomfortable and subdued. Followed the move to St. Louis, Milton, together  with Oliver Sain, Willie Dotson, Jerry Walker, and other musicians, cut a demo with local disc jockey Bob  Lyons.

02 - ''OOH! MY LITTLE BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Milton Campbell-Leslo
Publisher: - Meteor Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5077
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5045-B mono
OOH! MY LITTLE BABY / LET MY BABY BE
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-26 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Little Milton Campbell - Vocal & Guitar
Playmates of Rhythm consisting of
Oliver Sain - Alt Saxophone
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Tenor Saxophone
Leon Bennett - Piano
Willie Dotson - Bass
Jerry Walker – Drums

When a deal with Mercury failed, the Bobbin label was born and ''I'm A Lonely Man'' went on to sell at least  60,000 copies. Milton became a staple of the label with many good sellers, until links with Chess ultimately  culminated with 1965s ''We're Gonna Make It'', which hit number 1 rhythm and blues. From then, success  continued as he joined Stax Records in the early 1970s, followed by a few slower years before a mutually  satisfying and successful relationship with Malaco Records. Little Milton Campbell died on August 4, 2005  in Memphis where he had been hospitalised after a stroke.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY HAGGETT
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1957

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1794 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE EARLY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - QUINTON CLAUNCH
AND/OR BILL CANTRELL

James Clecy Haggett was born on December 2, 1928 in Granite City, Illinois and played music as a kid  performer, before becoming a bandleader and then a disc jockey on Missouri stations in Poplar Bluff,  Farmington, and Kennett. He played nightclubs with his band, the Ozark Mountain Boys.

In 1955, Haggett booked Bud Deckelman into some shows in the Kennett area and Deckelman put him in  tough with Sam Phillips. Haggett's ''No More'' broke Phillips' usual rule not to record straight-ahead country,  but Haggett had been voted DJ Of The Year at the 1955 Disc Jockey Convention in Nashville and so his  record had a head start. It did not sell particularly well, though, and Haggett went back to Sun to record a  session of rudimentary rockabilly, though the session was not issued until the 1980s. ''The music was  changing and I was being left behind people like Carl Perkins'', Haggett told Colin Escott. ''But I was an  entertainer and I had to come up with something. I never felt comfortable with rockabilly. I never thought I  could do it justice''.

In the summer of 1956, Haggett and his band played several shows with Meteor label artists, including Bud Deckelman, Brad Suggs and Wayne McGinnis. Apparently, Lester asked him to record for Meteor then, but  he declined in the hope of further Sun releases. By 1957, Haggett was working at KWYN, Arkansas when he  received another visit from Bud Deckelman who again suggested he set up a session at Meteor next time. In  the early spring of 1957 Haggett worked up some new songs, wrote out the arrangements and headed to  Memphis. He remembered, ''I drove to the session with the car windows open, and all the new material blew  out of the window. When we got to Meteor I had to work up a couple of things right there in the studio. I just  scratched them down and that was what the guys played. It was just pitiful''.

01 - ''TELL HER TRUE'' - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - James Haggett
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - MR 5072
Recorded: - Unknown Date Early 1957
Released: - April 1957
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 45rpm Meteor 5043-A mono
TELL HER TRUE / GONNA SHUT YOU OFF BABY
Reissued: - 2003 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2 885-2-11 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR ROCKABILLY & HILLBILLY RECORDINGS

In fact, ''Gonna Shut You Off Baby'' turned out to be a very good, bluesy record reminiscent of Skeets  McDonald, though with a slightly muddy sound. Maybe dome of the lack of rehearsal showed too. Haggett  took virtually a talking vocal while he played acoustic guitar. Johnny Bernero on drums, Lee Adkins on  guitar, Jimmy Smith on piano, and ''Frenchy'' played saxophone. ''We called it 'Frenchy and his plastic sax',  his sound was so distinctive'', remembered Ronald Smith. ''I used to organise bands for Eddie Bond, and  Frenchy played with us for a time. He had a particular sound and style. He was from New Orleans, so we  called him Frenchy''. Lester Bihari remembered him in 1981: ''Oh, listen, we had a feller that worked down  the street for a pipe and supply company that used to come into my place. He was the damnedest saxophone  player you ever saw in your life. He was a young kid, about 19 years old, and we had a kind of a deal. He  would get on saxophone about an hour before the session and he'd blow himself out and I'd present him those  tapes to use as demos, And then he was so mellowed down that he would accompany these country and  western artists, you know, no cost to me''.

On ''Tell Her True'', steel guitarist Kenny Herman joins the group while Frenchy again provides the echoey  sax that underlines the vocal parts. Apart from the sax, this is a mainstream country record of the period.  Lester Bihari employed the name the daydreamers again on the record label, but this band appears to have  had nothing whatever to do with Bud Deckelman or his hit song.

Lester Bihari issued the single straight away in April 1957, and it was reviewed in May. It did not do well,  and Lester did not follow up on it. Haggett continued to be a disc jockey more than a singer. He moved to  KLCN, Blytheville and from there his band recorded again in 1957 for Fernwood Records in Memphis,  backing vocalist Buford Peak who Haggett used on live shows in preference to himself. In 1958 they  recorded for Caprock, followed by Vaden and K-Ark in the next few years.

By 1963 Haggett was the disc jockey on WELS in Pontotoc, Mississippi and in 1966 he bought a radio  station in Piedmont, Missouri. Haggett died there on January 30, 2000.

02 - ''GONNA SHUT YOU OFF BABY'' - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - James Haggett
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - MR 5073
Recorded: - Unknown Date Early 1957
Released: - April 1957
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 45rpm Meteor 5043-B mono
GONNA SHUT YOU OFF BABY / TELL HER TRUE
Reissued: - 2003 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2 885-2-12 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR ROCKABILLY & HILLBILLY RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
James Clecy Haggett - Vocal & Guitar
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jimmy Smith - Piano
Frenchy - Tenor Saxophone
Kenneth Herman - Steel Guitar
Johnny Bernero - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JAMES HOWARD CHANDLER
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE AND YEAR
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - "GOLDEN BAND" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Howard Chandler
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date And Year
Released: - 1996
First appearance: Charly Records (CD 500/200rpm CPCD 8181-28 mono
SUN HILLBILLY

Howard Chandler mailed a tape of his song "Wampus Cat" to Sun Records from his home at 1171 Central Avenue, Memphis. Presumably this was before he issued it on his own Wampus Records. The two versions aren't quite the same; the version mailed to Sun Records is a little more rural and slightly shorter. The Wampus cats were the Conway, Arkansas high school football team, but the name had additional meaning in Memphis because radio station WMPS called itself the "Wampus" station (detail hounds will know that when Bill Justis originally titled "Tuff", he called it "Cattywampus").

Despite the fact that Chandler's records commanded quite large sums at one time, little is known about him except that he went on to record for other small labels like Marble Hill, which he apparently co-owned with John and Margie Cook. He continued to live on Central Avenue until his death some years ago (1989).

02 - "WAMPUS CAT" - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Howard Chandler
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date And Year
Released: - March 5, 1996
First appearance: -  Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-1 mono
UNISSUED MASTERS
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-16 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howard Chandler - Vocal
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS PROBABLY 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

"Lovin' Memories" (aka "Three Time Loser") is the other of Mack's two sax-assisted records at Sun. It's not as country as most of his other tracks and comes closer to the structure and feel of pure rockabilly than just about anything but "Vibrate". Because there are so many takes of it, and so many that sound genuinely different from each other, we are digging in pretty deeply here with full takes and two false starts. The latter are particular fun for those who enjoy being a fly on the wall at a 706 Union Avenue session.

01(1) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 1:04
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-5 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

This take breaks down after just over a minute and we can hear someone (perhaps sax man Martin Willis) say "That was indirectly my fault". An interesting comment for a venue where guys don't usually discuss indirectly causality. Leave it to the philosophers, you might say. Then again, Martin Willis went on to earn a PhD degree.

01(2) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-6 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(3) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 1:12
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-15 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

On this false start, lasting almost the identical amount of time, there's a big empty space where none should be. That sounds like Mack reporting, "I thought you were gonna pick some". For the record, at the actual session there were two additional false starts occurring between these two, and three more immediately following the second one we present here. For whatever reason, "Lovin' Memories" posed considerable difficulties for the boys from Arkansas. Since the song was never released as a single, it's hard to know which two of the three takes we present were alternates, but we can point out that on one, Martin Willis is a bit more inspired on his saxophone.

On the other, the guitar player starts to rock up a storm with a pretty stinging guitar break. The session log list the picker as Roland Janes, although we're not convinced it wasn't Therlow Brown.

01(4) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-16 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Al Hopson - Lead Guitar
Sid Manker - Rhythm Guitar
Will Hopson - Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums
Martin Willis - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR GWEN MCEWEN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERIVE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

01 - "STEADY FREDDIE" - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - Gwen McEwen
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-10 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS


Barbara Pittman recalls, "Gwen was my closest friend in the whole world. I  met her when I was still a teenager. She took under her wing and we stayed very close right  until the time of her death from cancer several years ago. She was a fantastically talented  person but, like so many Memphis women, she just fell between the cracks. Gwen was best  known as a comedienne. She appeared all over, traveled for many years with Pappy Graves,  made movies. She never made a career for herself in music, although she was a really good  singer. She had worked as a jazz singer before she took up comedy.
Gwen McEwen >

Gwen wrote a lot of songs, often with her husband Tiny. She used to make demos of Sun,  which is probably those tapes that is found.  The guitar behind her was probably either Tiny  or her son, Gary. Gary had a career of his own. His group The Hombres had a hit record ("Let  It Out (Let It All Hang Out, 1967)".  Gary is now a minister in a small town outside of Nashville.

02 - "WE'LL HAVE A BALL" - B.M.I. - 0:59
Composer: - Gwen McEwen
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-20 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Gwen McEwen - Vocal & Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The Rock And Roll Rockets on stage: From left, John Gassaway, James Wood, Vircil Hutchinson, Bill Farrar, Bozy Hutchinson.

James Wood made a demo tape in Houston, Mississippi and brought it to Sun Records in 1957. He and his and were sophomores in Satillo, Mississippi at the time, and they were playing in the Tupelo area with Jimmy Wages. They'd started as Big Joe Turner fans, and were playing rhythm and blues for dances some time before rock and roll erupted.

The band was in and out of Memphis for several years. Someone at one of the Memphis stations took an interest in them, and they dropped off tapes at Sun and Hi Records and recorded at Pepper studios, but never quite landed a deal.

John Gassaway played piano on some of the Jimmy Wages sides at Sun Records, then quit the line-up in 1960 to go to the Medical School at Ole Miss. His brother worked with James Wood for a while, and Wood got a record out on Kid Glove Records, "Bo Diddley, Nothing Takes The Place Of You", around 1967. James Wood  went into the business end of the music business, working for the local Liberty/UA distributor and then for Warner Brothers Records in Nashville and Atlanta. James Wood eventually returned to Tupelo-Saltillo and opened a photo shop.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JAMES WOOD
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OF STAN KESLER

01 - "GONNA GIVE A PARTY" – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - James Wood
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1036-12 mono
MORE SUNDOWN ROCKERS
Reissued: -  August 1997  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-15 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

02 - "LOCK YOU IN MY HEART" – B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - James Wood
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released:  - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1036-13 mono
MORE SUNDOWN ROCKERS
Reissued: - 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL - VOLUME 2

03 - "HEY MISTER BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - James Wood
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released:  1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1036-10 mono
MORE SUNDOWN ROCKERS
Reissued: - 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL - VOLUME 2

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
James Wood - Vocal and Guitar
John Gassaway - Piano
Virgil Hutchinson - Guitar
Bozie Hutchinson - Bass
Billy Farrar - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR UNKNOWN ARTIST
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS PROBABLY 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

These guys aren't the tightest or slickest band in the south, but there's something engaging about this little tape fragment that appears unannounced and uncredited in the middle of a Sun out-take box. Who were they? Its anybody's guess, its obviously a man having fun with the high end of his Stratocaster in ways that - in better hands - have provided the high points to some rockabilly records. If someone told you this was a garage tape Roy Orbison made when he was 15 years old, you'd probably believe it. After all, the beginning isn't that far from the opening to "Go! Go! Go!". It even sounds a bit like that wild picker on Dick Penner's "Cindy Lou". If this guitarist kept practicing, there's no telling who he might turn into.

01 - "SNAKE DANCE" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-12 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

02 - "LOVE SO TENDERLY" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
EARL RAY'S LOVE SO TENDERLY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Unknown Artist
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


There is every indication that Carl Perkins recorded some of this tracks at home, perhaps to test or demonstrate his home tape recorder. His young children can be heard in the background of various points, and of course, there was never any intention of releasing this little jam session

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

HOME DEMO & CLUB RECORDINGS FOR CARL PERKINS

SESSION: PROBABLY 1956-1957 UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
REEL TO REEL WECOR RECORDING
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN

01 - "YOUR TRUE LOVE" - B.M.I. - 0:26
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Fragment 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/1957
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-1 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

02 - "PINK PEDAL PUSHERS" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Carlin Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - March 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-13 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

03 - "LISTEN TO THE MOCKINGBIRD" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Richard Milburn-Septimus Winner
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-8 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-19 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''LISTEN TO THE MOCKINGBIRD''

For years title was mis-identified as ''Redwing''. It isn't. Right genus, wrong species. This is an entirely different song called ''Listen To The Mockingbird''. It has an extensive history (worthy of its own page on Wikipedia) and goes back to the mid-19th century. In fact, it was popular during the Civil War and was reportedly a favorite of Abe Lincoln.

It's hard to now exactly which version Carl heard, but it was hard not to cross paths with one of them. The melody appeared as background music to ''Looney Tunes'' cartoons and was adapted as the Three Stooges theme song. Davy Crockett plays it on the fiddle in the landmark film ''The Alamo''. Recordings were made in the 1950s by pianist Del Wood (who Carl's biography mis-identifies as Dale Wood), Louis Armstrong, Arthur 'Guitar Boogie' Smith and (with new lyrics) Louis Prima and Keely Smith. And let us not forget Sons Of The Pioneers who had their own version 20 years earlier (BCD 16194). In short this traditional melody was hard to miss. The tune in the chorus shows up in ''With A Little Bit Of Luck'' from my Fair Fair Lady. Even Chet Atkins recorded a version with Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1963.

04 - "THE WAY THAT YOU'RE LIVING (IS BREAKING MY HEART)" - B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Jimmy Swan
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-16 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2--20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

''THE WAY THAT YOU'RE LIVING''
(Is Breaking My Heart)

This home tape recording by Carl is based on his recollection of a Jimmy Swan record from 1956 (MGM 12348). Carl rearranges Swan's verses and adds some new lyrics of his own. The truth is, as good as Swan's original is (you can hear it on BCD 15758), Carl's version is better. At least his stark, acoustic performance is. The recording itself leaves a lot to be desired, which should surprise nobody. Carl Perkins' son Stan Perkins, who was a toddler when many of these home recordings were made, remembers his father sitting in front of the microphone of his tape recorder and picking and singing his heart out.

''My daddy bought that tape recorder about same he hot his first Cadillac in March or April 1956. It was about the best home tape recorder you could get at the time, but that we probably none too good. He had it set up in the den, right near the piano, just off from the kitchen''.

''Our mother used to tell me and my brother to be quiet 'cause daddy's singing in the other room. But we were kids. You can hear us playing in the kitchen behind him''

W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland also recalls the home tape recorder located in the denn. ''I can close my eyes and picture it as clearly as I can see anything in this room. He was living in a house over on Park Street in Jackson. In the den of the house, on a little table, I can see that recorder sitting there. It was a Wecor, one of those old reel to reel machines''.

If you had told young Stan Perkins that his youthful squeals would be digitally mastered and heard by a generation of his daddy's fans half a century later, it might have triggered some confusion. Today, he understands it perfectly. ''I'm proud of my daddy music'', he says, ''although I never thought those recordings would be part of what people still listen to''.

05 - "OLD SPINNING WHEEL" - B.M.I. - 1:28
Composer: - Billy Hill
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released:  - 1990
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-12-20 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''THE OLD SPINNING WHEEL''

This song was written In 1933 by Billy Hill. It was quickly recorded by, among many others, Paul Whiteman, Fred Waring, Bing Crosby, the Boswell Sisters, and Frances Langford. It was later recorded by Slim Whitman in 1961 (BCD 16214), and as an instrumental duet by Chet Atkins and Hank Snow (BCD 15714 and BCD 15476). Not surprisingly as things have gone in this boxed set, the Ink Spots also performed it on the radio in 1935. (Songwriter Billy Hill, by the way, also wrote ''The Last Roundup''. ''In The Chapel In The Moonlight'' ''Glory Of Love'', and under the name George Brown, ''That's When Your Heartaches Begin'').

This little minute-and-a-half home recording again shows Carl's admiration for Chet Atkins' guitar style. Carl almost certainly heard Atkins perform the song when RCA released a single (RCA 47-5995) in 1954 featuring the Atkins/Hank Snow duet. It's a pretty song prettily played by both Atkins and Carl, and the fluent guitar picking serves to complement the simple tune rather than to obscure or complicate it. The song and Carl's approach to it were apparently special to him – he performed it again in much this style as a member of Johnny Cash's band at the 1968 Folsom Prison concert 9finally released in 2008 on the Sony Legacy complete edition of that concert).

06 - "POOR PEOPLE OF PARIS" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Billy Hill
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-5-16 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

''POOR PEOPLE OF PARIS''

This recording owes its origin to the home tape recorder in the Perkins family den and remained squirreled away on a 5-inch reel until very recently. Undoubtedly, Carl would have been surprised to find it issued – for the first time – over half a century later for fans, collectors and historians.

It is another of Carl's informal sitting-at-home recreations of a Chet Atkins performance. Chet's record (RCA 47-6366; it appears on BCD 16539) came out in December 1955. It is clearly the model for Carl's work here - not only does Carl pick like Chet, he changes keys a few times mid-song like Chet. Recording at home left the taping process vulnerable to some technological problems that you can hear easily in this track. Carl plays the song passably well, though there are some rough spots that more rehearsal could have ironed out if this had been for public distribution. Carl surely liked out these Atkins-like-arrangement.

The song soon became hugely popular. In March 1956, Les Baxter s orchestral instrumental version of ''Poor People Of Paris'' reached number on Billboard' and stayed there for six weeks. Several more recordings of song made it into Billboard' Top 100 during that stretch and Chet's now 'old' record even made it to number 52. Also that same year, Winifred Atwell's ragtime piano version went to top of the charts in the United Kingdom. This song was very big, and Chet proves to have been a little ahead of to curve with his late-1955 release.

The song title on Chet s record is ''Poor People Of Paris (Jean's Song) and there's a story in that. The tune was written by Marguerite Monnot, a noted composer of both classical and popular music in France. She wrote several songs collaboratively with Edith Piaf, and wrote others (with a variety of lyricists) that Piaf made popular. One of those was ''La Goualante de Pauvre Jean'' (roughly ''the ballad of poor John''), a big hit for Piaf in 1954. But when, it came time to make an English version, the U.S. publisher phoned Jack Lawrence (the lyricists, abut whom we'll say more shortly) and said it was called ''Pauvre Jean de Paris''. Lawrence misheard ''pauvre Jean'' as ''pauvregens'' (poor people). He started writing the lyric, and we wind up with an old song with a new title. Chet's record lists both titles - something related to the original French and the new English one.

Taking us even further from Carl Perkins, for a moment, Jack Lawrence, who wrote the English-language lyrics for the song, also wrote year ''Yes My Darling Daughter'' (Dinah Shore's first record), ''All Or Nothing At All'' (Frank Sinatra's first hit record as a solo performer rather than a big-band singer), and (the reason we
go on about Lawrence here), ''If I Didn't Care'' - the first hit for the Ink Spots who show up often in these liner notes as a mayor influence in Carl's musical life.

07 - "TAKE BACK MY LOVE" - B.M.I. - 3:37
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-15 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-5-18 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

''TAKE BACK MY LOVE''

Just when you think you know Carl Perkins' music, along comes something like this. If the track hadn't been  sitting squarely in the middle of a Perkins reel, we might have had some trouble identifying the singer.

''Take Back My Love'' is three and a half minutes of acoustic guitar-based drama. Sure, it's got that edge of  sloppiness that most home demos have, but it's also a hell of a performance. The vocal is adventurous; the  chords are tense and jazz-influenced, and that bolero rhythm anticipates Roy Orbison's ''Running Scared'' by  a good five years.

The real question is what might have prompted this excursion into a style far removed from Carl's usual  niche. We can thank of two possibilities. The first is Clyde McPhatter's ''Treasure Of Love'', which hit the  charts In May, 1956 and was hard to miss in the summer of that year. In case you've forgotten, McPhatler's  record features an acoustic guitar and an incessant bolero rhythm. If that wasn't enough in the way of musical  influence, consider Elvis's first album which hit the stores in April, l 956 and sold a cool 300,000 copies  during its initial chart run. We know Carl had a copy because the LP featured his composition ''Blue Suede  Shoes''. But the song in question wasn't Carl's, it was Don Robertson lovely ballad ''I'm Counting On You''.  Like ''Treasure Of Love'', the release to ''I'm Counting On You'' had a strong bolero rhythm performed by the  backup vocal trio, adding a distinctive touch to the arrangement surrounding Elvis.

Between Elvis and Clyde, Carl had plenty of inspiration when it came to composing ''Take Back My Love''.  In truth, Carl's entry into the bolero sweepstakes was not among his best work. The problem lies with its  lyrics, which are rather self-piteous. If Carl ever played this one for Sam, it would probably have been nixed  fast.

08 - "SILVER BELL" - B.M.I. - 1:33
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2-15 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-12-20 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''SILVER BELL''

This track has eluded identification for decades but we thank we now know what it is. This is Carl, sitting around at home with his brother Clayton in front of the tape recorder, having just recorded ''Old Spanning Wheel'' in the style of the 1955 Chet Atkins/Hank Snow duet release. And now they're just improvising with whatever half-remembered melodies come to mind.

It's likely at some point that one of those musical ideas might come from the flip side of that Atkins/Snow record Carl admired so much. It was called ''Silver Bell''. It's quite possible that Carl didn't know ''Silver Bell'' nearly as well as he knew ''Old Spinning Wheel'' and so he reconstructed what he could and improvised the rest. The result Is a song that has a lot in common with ''Silver Bell'', but is not identical to it. Certainly that would help it elude identification over the years since this is not a complete version of any known song. Yet, all you have to do is flip ''Spinning Wheel'' over and the similarities to this piece are quite clear.

''Silver Bell', the actual song that Chet and Hank recorded, has a nice pedigree. The music was written by Percy Wenrich (with words by Edward Madden) in 1 911 - that's one century ago as we write this. Wenrich was one of the early 20th century's more successful tunesmiths. He was also responsible for the music of such big and stillfamiliar hits as ''Moonlight Bay'', and ''When You Wore A Tulip'' and ;;I Wore A Big Red Rose''. Hank Snow was apparently a big Percy Wenrich fan; he recorded another Wenrich megahit, ''Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet'' (BCD 15488).

09 - "SOMEBODY TELL ME" - B.M.I. - 4:20
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - March 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-16 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''SOMEBODY TELL ME''

When Adam Komorowski included this track on 1997s ''The Unissued Carl Perkins'', he rightly observed that  the quality of this track was 'pretty dire' and acknowledged it was ''for complements only''. Suffice it to say  that it's taken some engineering know-how to get it even tills good, which begins to suggest how bad the  original was. It is plainly not a Sun recording. In fact it is a matter of some speculation as to where or under  what conditions this track was cut. Although it has been suggested that Carl occasionally brought his home  tape recorder to club dates, W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland maintains that was not the case. He does recall the band, drums  included, setting up in the living room and performing into the little single mike home recorder. Predictably,  the results were none too professional. In any case, they do give us a glimpse of the Perkins Brothers band  sometime around 1956. The band's earlier country sound is all but gone here.

The truth is, this isn't a bad song, whether written by Carl or borrowed from another source. The discography  accompanying BCD l 5494 credits it to Carl, but that may have simply been a matter of default. It's got some  clever lyrics and a good stop rhythm. You've got to wonder - if this truly was Carl's compositions why not  bong it to a session at some point?


''DRINK UP AND GO HOME''

Here's another one of those home recordings of marginal quality. We can tell you where the song came from: Freddie Hart wrote and recorded it in 1956. In some ways, this version is actually better than his - the three part harmony on the chorus is an improvement. But there's an odd lyric change here that doesn't help things. Hart sings (and wrote) ''I'm fresh out of prison/six years in the pen''. That works well and rhymes with ''friend'' in the next line. For some reason Carl's recording changes the word to ''can''. Although ''can'' is occasionally used as slang for ''prison'', it doesn't scan as well in this song.

But by far the bigger problem, however, is the identity of the lead singer. It's hard to imagine the vocal is by Carl. Our money is on brother Jay.

It's best to view this track as an inferior quality documentary of what the Brothers sounded like at their neighborhood honky tonk some time in 1956. As for the sound quality, it's probably no worse that what you would have heard from the rest room if you excused yourself in the middle of a set.

10 - "DRINK UP AND GO HOME"** - B.M.I. - 3:37
Composer: - Freddie Hart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Vocal James Buck Perkins - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - March 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-12 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

11 - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 1:24
Composer: - Public Domain
Publisher: - Charly Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-20 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-5-25 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

10 - ''BREALIN' MY HEART"* - B.M.I.
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-17 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
Valda Perkins - Vocal*
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar**
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956/1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1956/1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT
AND/OR SAM C. PHILLIPS

Few folks within the company realized what a commercial clarion call for rock and roll lovers there was, tucked away on the flipside of Sonny Burgess' second Sun single. Judging by their sense of urgency the players knew differently, and with Kern Kennedy as the focal point at the studio upright they created a track that truly motors along.

A note inside the tape box indicate that "Ain't Gonna Do It"- 1, "Fanny Brown" and Daddy Blues" were recorded at the same session.

01 – "RESTLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Mitt C. Addington
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 238 - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - January 24, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 263-B mono
RESTLESS / AIN'T GOT A THING
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-3-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Restless" was Sonny Burgess his first stab at a balled. The lyrics were written by Mitt Addington, a consulting pyschologist in Memphis who had demo'd a number of songs at Sun over the years - and even had two cut by Big Memphis Marainey, and another by RCA artist Wade Ray. Jack Clement handed Sonny a little sheet of paper with Addington's lyrics, and Sonny Burgess set them to music, for which he thought he would receive a fifty percent share of the song, a share that never materialised. The record died on the vines, and Burgess was disappointed - but there was worse in store.

Perhaps there was even greater sales potential on the lilting flipside "Restless". Sonny Burgess' whistling, the subdued and effective male chorus, and a rolling tempo might have made for big crossover sales, but nothing materialized. Burgess would take two more shots at fame and fortune on the Sun label, but this defeat was dispiriting for everyone involved.

02 - "AIN'T GOT A THING" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Jack H. Clement-Sonny A. Burgess
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 239 - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - January 24, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 263-A mono
AIN'T GOT A THING / RESTLESS
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-3-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Sonny Burgess still rocked on "Ain't Got A Thing", although not at the frenetic pace of his previous outing. In addition, the track featured a clever, not to mention intelligible lyric. The key modelation during the instrumental break lets Burgess soar during the final verse.

03(1) - "DADDY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30147-4 mono
SUN SOUNDS SPECIAL - RAUNCHY ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-14 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

03(2) - "DADDY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: -  1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-11 mono
SONNY BUIRGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959
Reissued: - 2005 Emusic Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sun 10932977-25 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

03(3) - "DADDY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 2005
First appearance: - Emusic Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sun 10932977-26 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

04 - "AIN'T GONNA DO IT" - B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Dave Bartholomew-Pearl King
Publisher: - EMI Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Mistitled "Goin' Home"* - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 028* mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 4 - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-13 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Sonny Burgess believed that his second record, "Ain't Got A Thing", would break through. The lyrics had the anarchic throwaway humor of Chuck Berry and Louis Jordan: "I got a check, but it won't cash. I hot a woman, ain't got no class". It was catchy and melodic, featuring a nicely worked up modulation during the break, but all to no avail. Sonny Burgess later thought it might have flopped because it was a little too fast for dancing.

05(1) - "FANNIE BROWN" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Roy Brown
Publisher: - Len Friedman Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Mistitled "Sally Brown"* - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 028 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 4 - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-15 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

05(2) - "FANNIE BROWN" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Roy Brown
Publisher: - Len Friedman Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-12 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959
Reissued: - 2013 Railroad Records Internet iTunes MP3-12 mono
SONNY BURGESS - ROCK WITH ME VOLUME 1

06 – "YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Charly Music - Fuse Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30136-11 mono
SONNY BURGESS – THE LEGENDARY SUN PEWRFORMERS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-16 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
Joe Lewis - Guitar
Johnny Ray Hubberd - Bass
Russell Smith - Drums
Ray Kern Kennedy - Piano
Jack Nance - Trumpet
Band Chorus

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Billy Riley and Jimmy M. Van Eaton on stage, Ellis Auditorium, Memphis, Tennessee.

JANUARY 1957

Sun star Billy Riley hit the road. For the most part, the band concentrated on the South.  With everyone but Riley attired in green suits ("pool table material", asserts Riley), they  were quite a sight. "We were wild. We were crazy", said Riley, eyes gleaming, "but I think  most of my antics were trying to hide the fact that I was scared to death on stage''.


''On stage  in the 1950s I never saw anybody. My eyes were shut. I couldn't look at the audience. They  should have given me courage - they were screaming and shouting and tearing my clothes  off. That band was the best. We had everything".

Surprisingly, when the band played club dates, Billy Riley concentrated mostly on covers of  current hits by Fats Domino, Little Richard and Elvis Presley. In fact, Riley claims that until  he toured England in the mid-970s, he had only played "Flying Saucer" a handful of times. "I  was ashamed of my songs", he says today.

JANUARY 1957

Johnny Cash appears on the Jackie Gleason network TV show. Cash's "I Walk The Line" had   been voted Best Seller in country and western for 1956. His "Train In Love" is already   climbing to number 2 on the Country charts.

Future (1959) Sun recording artist, Mack Allen Smith, in January 1957, Mack Allen joined the   Marines and left for a two-year tour of duty in California. After three months of boot camp at   San Diego, Mack Allen was transferred to Camp Pendleton at Ocean Side, California, where   he was stationed until completion of his tour of duty in January 1959. While in the Marines,   Mack Allen sang some weekends at the USO Club in Ocean Side, California. He also sang with   a Black band at the Figure-Eight Club in Los Angeles.

JANUARY 1957

If Luke McDaniel hadn't been so hard-assed, he might have seen a record on Sun, but he wasn't as naive as most of those crossing Phillips' threshold, and wasn't putting up with Phillips' way of doing business. McDaniel feel for the new music was so on-the-money, you'd never guess he'd made a clutch of stone hillbilly singles dating back to 1952. Nearly every one of the songs McDaniel left at Sun would have slotted perfectly into Sun's late 1956 release schedule, but they had a await the archivists.


EARLY 1957

Carl Perkins had started off on an equal footing with Elvis Presley. They had both played for  pennies off the back of a truck on Bob Neal's forays into the Mid-South and they had both  shot up the charts with heir 'mongrel music'. However, by 1957 Carl Perkins was competing  with Bill Haley to become rock and roll's first casualty. He had sold one million copies of  "Blue Suede Shoes" and then slipped into almost total obscurity. Elvis Presley went on to sell  12.5 million singles and 2.75 million albums in 1956.

Castin around for scapegoats, Carl Perkins would occasionally blame the automobile accident  or Sam Phillips, but the truth was that Perkins was essentially a folk artist in the broadest  sense of the term. His country roots ran too deep for him to stand a chance at sustained  success in the pop charts. It was simply impossible to take the country out of Carl Perkins -  but that same hillbilly edge has enabled his music to weather the years with aplomb.

EARLY 1957

Sonny Burgess maintains that the original Pacers were the hottest working band in the   vicinity. He maintains that the only acts who dwarfed them on-stage were Elvis Presley and   the Collins Kids. "You can't upstage kids", says Sonny. "Tougher's appearing with dogs. We had   a real good show, boy. Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee had nothing on us back then - visually or   musically. We could go all night long - we'd sometimes play one song full blast for an hour an   the end of the night".


JANUARY 1, 1957 TUESDAY

Starday Records officially becomes an affiliate of Mercury. The association lasts a mere 19 months.

Capitol released Faron Young's first album, ''Sweethearts Or Strangers''.

JANUARY 2, 1957 WEDNESDAY

A discouraged and overworked Patsy Cline writes to fan club president Treva Miller with thoughts of retirement: ''Sometimes I believe if I was out of debt, I'd just stop singing all together. I've never been so sick of singing in my life''.

JANUARY 3, 1956 THURSDAY

Brenda Lee recorded her first country hit, ''One Step At A Time'', at the Pythian Studios in New York.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR GENE SIMMONS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY JANUARY 3, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
OR JACK CLEMENT OR STAN KESLER

What a wonderful way for Sun to wind up its release schedule in the 200 series. SUN 299 was a throwback in every sense of the word. Originally recorded January 3, 1957, the record was scheduled for release with SUN 255 and 256. For some reason, it was held back. A year and a half later, a well lubricated Sam Phillips found himself at Hi Records party along with Gene Simmons. He announced, "Gene Simmons was the most patient man I ever had under contract". After extolling Simmons' virtues as a human being as well as a rockabilly singer, Phillips reportedly went back to the studio and replayed the results of that early 1957 session. He liked what he heard and called Simmons in Tupelo to come to Memphis to sign some contracts.


It is also quite possible that while at that very same party, Phillips learned that some material cut by Simmons for Hi Records ("Going Back To Memphis") had just been leased to the Checker label. Not wanting to be undercut by his own discovery, Sam Phillips may have felt persuaded to get his own Simmons product on the market in case the Checker record hit it big.

Whatever the reason, Phillips arguably chose the best of what Simmons had left in the can at Sun. While these sides are an utter delights to fans of raw bluesy southern rockabilly, they stood utterly no chance of success in any segment of the record business in the fall of 1958. But, like the best records Sun ever released, these two titles by Gene Simmons have an undeniable and timeless energy about them that continuet to render them as lovable as they are uncommercial.

01(1) - "DRINKIN' WINE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2554 - Alternate Take 1 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957

01(2) - "DRINKIN' WINE" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2554 - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30123-12 mono
THE BEST OF SUN ROCKABILLY – VOLUME 1
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-3 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

The A-side of Gene's only Sun release was "Drinkin' Wine". This, too, is an interesting story. The song began life as "Drinkin' Scotch" but within several takes Scotch had morphed into Wine. Gene jokingly suggested that Sam's taste in beverages might have had something to do with it. Carl suggests, "Wine was a gentler image and they may have been concerned about radio play in those days". That may be closer to the truth, but the sentiment seems laughable now. Even when you remove the scotch in favor of a chilled class of Chardonnay, you're still stuck with a guy drinking bourbon while he's "sipping along slow on my bottle of brew". Now to mention the threat of violence against his two-timing woman. All in all, it's a delicious slice of southern lowlife that wasn't going to become a mainstream hit even if the scotch had been phased out.

01(3) - "DRINKIN' WINE" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 214 - 2555 - Master
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - April 9, 1958
This single was released around 1958 when Connie Francis's "Who's Sorry Now",
the Chordettes' "Lollipop" and Perry Como's "Catch A Falling Star"
were in the Top 10.
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 299-A mono
DRINKIN' WINE / I DONE TOLD YOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

SUN 299 was originally scheduled for release with SUN 255 and 256, but was held back for 18 moths.

Not a lot of rockabilly records begin with a walking bass solo. The most famous is of course Elvis Presley's "My Baby Left Me", but that little bass run by Bill Black follows a couple of bars of solo drum work. On "Drinkin' Wine", Jessie Carter's bass run is the very first thing we hear. "That was my idea", Jessie recalls. "The first time I did that, Sam didn't seem to like it too much. The problem is, my old bass had those cat gut strings on it. Sam came walking out of the control room and said 'Them old strings ain't no good". He was right. But once I changed them and got some decent strings on the bass. Sam liked the idea just fine".


After changing Scotch to Wine, Phillips was still not happy with the result and brought in drummer Jimmy Van Eaton. The change in sound is telling, especially when Van Eaton decided or was told to play through the stops. As originally conceived by Gene, this was a stop-rhythm talking blues. It sure didn't end up that way. Surprisingly, at the end of "Drinkin' Wine", a piano can be suddenly heard in the mix. Has it been there along? Aural evidence suggests not, but when the dust clears during those final drumbeats, there is the unmistakable sound of a piano. Session logs are imprecise but Carl Simmons remembers recording several sessions with  Charlie Rich present on piano. However, Rich had not yet joined the scene in January 1957, when this session is suggested to have occurred. In any case, "Drinkin' Wine" is a hell of a special record. A very southern 12-bar talking blues about a guy who's been done wrong by his woman and is getting drunker by the minute and thinking about killing her. On the other hand, it's a showcase for some fine, fine musicianship and unbridled energy in an era when such expression was quickly becoming verboten.

02(1) - "I DONE TOLD YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 215 - 2556 - Master
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 299-B mono
I DONE TOLD YOU / DRINKIN' WINE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

02(2) - "I DONE TOLD YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2557 - Alternate Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-7-6 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS - THE CHAINS IN LOVE
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-2 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

02(3) - "I DONE TOLD YOU" – B.M.I. - 1:22
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Incomplete Take – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-21 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

03(1) - "CRAZY WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2558 - Alternate Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-10 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

03(2) - "CRAZY WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2559 - Alternate Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-7-7 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS - THE CHAINS IN LOVE
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-24 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

Sometime around 1956 things changed quite dramatically. It may have been a combination of events, but the most obvious catalyst is Carl wrapping his mandolin around a telephone pole and buying himself an electric guitar. Carl made the transition from mandolin to guitar in record time, and he didn't just become competent. He became great. "I always did like playing chords. A lot of guys back then were soloing with single notes or two note runs. I really liked the sound of chords", recalled guitar player Carl Simmons. There is no record of what Sam might have said the first time he heard Carl cut loose with one of those inspired guitar breaks on tracks like "Crazy Woman" or "Drinkin' Wine", but it is hard to imagine that Phillips was not deeply impressed. He knew he had something by the tail if he could just tame it.

If the amount of tape he invested in titles like "Crazy Woman" is any indication, Phillips really believed he was dealing with the contender. "Did we record that at Sun?" Yeah', I tell Jessie Carter. "About twenty takes". "Wooo! Man, man, man. We sure did a lot of recording there" he replies. It's true. There really are close to 20 takes and false starts of "Crazy Woman" and when and for whatever reason they gave up on it, its godchild "I Done Told You" became the focus of their attention.

04 - "I DON'T LOVE YOU BABY" – B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2560 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm CFM 504 (10) mono
ALL NIGHT ROCK
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-1 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

"I Don't Love You Baby" is one of the stronger and more polished unissued titles in the Gene Simmons Sun catalogue. The song is driven by a tense and insistent guitar figure that is not unlike the sound on the classic Sun blues "I Feel So Worried" by Sammy Lewis (SUN 218). Hayden Thompson worked the same grounds in his 1956 recording of "Love My Baby" (PI 3517).

05(1) - "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2561 - Alternate Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1025-13 mono
HOT FLOP AND FLY
Reissued: -  February 18, 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8317 mono
ESSENTIAL SUN ROCKABILLIES - VOLUME 5

"Money, Money, Money" stood a more realistic chance of success in the marketplace, circa the mid to late 1950s. Once again featuring a vocal chorus by Jessie and Carl, the song owes an obvious debt to Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" (issued on Chess Records in Fall 1956).

05(2) - "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" – B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2562- Alternate Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-7-9 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-14 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS - THE CHAINS IN LOVE

05(3) - "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" – B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2562 - Alternate Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-22 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

By now, Sam Phillips had decided to supplement the little trio's sound to include a young Jimmy M. Van Eaton on drums. The songs takes on new life with the addition of the drummer but brother Carl's guitar work is really the highlight. His first 12-bar break really deserves attention. It could have been non-memorable bluesy filler. That's all the songs required. But instead we get some pretty heady stuff, and not just for a converted mandolin player. It goes by really quickly, but listen to those first four bars. There is simply nothing like them in all the guitar solos on all the Sun rockabilly records ever released. Carl's words, "I really like playing chords" loom large here. What follows for the balance of the solo is a run of single notes that remove any cues about whether this songs is in a major or minor key. It isn't until the end of the 12-bar break that the songs gathers its mooring again and anchors itself in a major key. If you're a musician, you understand what I'm talking about. If you're not, you can probably feel the impact of this solos, although the words you use to describe it may be a bit less technical. Even the second guitar solo, far more conventional in structure, involves some chord inversions that are more than a cut above the ordinary.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Gene Simmons - Vocal
Carl Simmons - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Unknown – Piano

As "Jumpin'" Gene Simmons, he progressed to nudging the US Top 10 in time of Halloween celebrations of 1964 with "Haunted House".

1 - "INTERVIEW GENE SIMMONS" – 2:18
Gene Simmons could wear a pompadour along with the best of them - indeed his credentials for assuming a role in the fraternity of Delta rockabilly were spot on. "I Done Told You" epitomises his unmistakable Mississippi patois, which hadn't altered one bit when we spoke at the time of his British debut in the fall of 1987. Backwoods to a tee, and with a wry smile on his face, the earnestly recalled the route taken from Tupelo home, in his quest for the glamour of Sun in Memphis.
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-7 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

2 - "INTERVIEW GENE SIMMONS" – B.M.I. - 9:55
This interview features excerpts from a July, 2006 telephone conversation between Gene Simmons and producer Hank Davis. Since it turned out to be the last interview ever done with Gene, we've included some of these informal moments in which Gene recalled his life in the music business.
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-33 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 4, 1957 FRIDAY

Patty Loveless is born in Elkhorn City, Kentucky. A didtant cousin of Loretta Lynn, Loveless' pure, powerful style leads to membership in the Grand Ole Opry and 1996 recognition from the Country Music Association as Female Vocalist of the Year.

The Memphis draft board gives Elvis Presley a pre-induction physical examination, which he passes.

RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''Too Much'' backed with ''Playing For Keeps'' (RCA Victor 47-6800)

Fats Domino recorded ''I'm Walkin''' at the J&M Studio in New Orleans, Within months, Ricky Nelson launches a singing career with his version of the song.

JANUARY 5, 1957 SATURDAY

Patsy Cline shows up late for her weekly TV appearance on Jimmy Dean's ''Town And Country Jamboree'' in Washington, D.C. Dean fires her.

Kenny Parchman and his band returned to Sun for a second session. They laid down the first version of Kenny's self-penned ''Treat Me Right'' and a second version of ''Love Crazy Baby''. Still no release. There were several more sessions in 1957, either to cut new songs or rework earlier ones. Most of the songs Kenny recorded at Sun were his own compositions but one tune was not. 


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY JANUARY 6, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

The problems began for Luke McDaniel when the sessions ended. McDaniel expected to get AFM scale for the sessions but Phillips didn't work that way. He regarded the sessions as demos. He paid the backup musicians on an hourly basis (usually $2.00 per hour) and would not file the session with the AFM unless the results were destined for release. Upon release, Phillips would log a session with AFM members so that the titles could be cleared. McDaniel was probably expecting approximately $80 if not $160 as session leader and was told by Phillips that he was getting nothing unless the records were released. ''When I came out of the studio Sam Phillips was there and I was expecting to get paid for the session's'', he told Derek Glenister. ''I needed the money! Sam looked at me and said, 'We don't pay any pf the artists for the sessions. We take care of the musicians and then it's taken out of any money that is due to you''. I said, 'What do you mean you don't pay 'em? We're entitled to union scale'. That made me mad and Sam knew it. We just didn't see eye-to-eye at all and I let him know. And Sam let me know! He said, 'Well, if we can't come to an agreement then we just won't put the record out'. And that was that''. And so Luke McDaniel's affiliation with Sun Records ended on the sidewalk  outside 706 Union. McDaniel was bitterly disappointed because he had broken his contract with Mel Mallory to sign Sun. The sidewalk outside Sun was the place to be in 1956 or 1957, but only if you were walking in, not if you were walking away pissed off.  He went later on to record the hillbilly classic "You're Still On My Mind" for Venus Records.

01 - ""MY BABY DON'T ROCK" - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 6, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1025-6 mono
HOT FLOP AND FLY
Reissued: - 1999 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16311-1 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 16

"My Baby Don't Rock" sounds like a Sonny Burgess track with Martin Willis' sax to the fore and a firecraker solo from Roland Janes. "High High High" is another high class song in the best traditions of Sun.

02 - "HIGH HIGH HIGH" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 6, 1957
Released: - October 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30116-B4 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 9 - MORE REBEL ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - 2008 Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD 24-13 mono
MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

Four boppers and a ballad are put down live, all in one or two takes with the Sun house   band, including guitarist Roland Janes, saxophonist Martin Willis, and drummer Jimmy Van   Eaton. There's the amazing aforesaid "High,   High, High'' and, the best of the bunch, perhaps, "My Baby Don't Rock'', defined by Luke's   hair-raising yells and squeals, Willis's wailing sax, and a frantic guitar solo from Janes. The   country-tinged "That's What I Tell My Heart'', sees a change of pace; an exquisite ballad, it   shows there's more than one side to McDaniel at Sun.

When the session is over, Luke goes over to Sam. "Can I get my union fee?", he asks. Sam   shakes his head. He doesn't pay union fees. Sparks fly, and the songs are put in the can,   where they remain. Luke McDaniel's career at Sun Records was over just as it was beginning.

03 - "THAT'S WHAT I TELL MY HEART - 1" - B.M.I. - 3:06
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 6, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1030 mono
ROCKIN' ROLLIN' COUNTRY STYLE
Reissued: - 2008 Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD 24-19 mono
MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke Jefferson McDaniel - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Marvin Pepper - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

At the ''Four Walls'' session in February 1957, Jim Reeves recorded a song that Luke McDaniel had recorded for King in 1954, ''Honey Won't You Please Come Home'', but Reeves banished it to an album.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©



After the breakdown with Sun, a very frustrated Luke McDaniel carried on with his night club, radio and TV work along with working on the Grand Ole Opry Big Tent Show in 1957, with artists like the Everly Brother, Jimmie C. Newman and Bill Monroe. The Everly's had just released "Bye Bye Love" and it was this promotional tour that propelled them to stardom, despite competition from Webb Pierce, who covered the song.

Tired of touring, Luke went home and formed Venus Records with a friend, John Russell. Only one single was issued but a very significant one in that "You're Still On My Mind"/''Homeward Mule'' would come to be regarded as a country standard with a significant cover by George Jones.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
FOR VENUS RECORDS 1957

BARLEY'S RECORDING STUDIO
219 SOUTH CRAFT HIGHWAY, MOBILE, ALABAMA
VENUS SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

01 – ''YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND'' - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: Luke McDaniel-Cecil Smith
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Venus Records (S) 45rpm standard single Venus 667-A mono
YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND / HOMEWARD MULE
Reissued: - 2008 Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD 24-34 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

McDaniel next venture into record business marked a sweet return to the bar-rooms. He recorded ''You're Still On My Mind'' and released it on Venus Records, a label he co-owned with John Russell in Prichard, Alabama. In may 1959, Big Howdy Records in Bogalusa reissued it coupled with ''Switch Blade Sam''. The publishing on ''You're Still On My Mind'' was assigned to Big Howdy's bayou State Music, but Starday crash-printed its Starday Publishing logo over the top. The reason for Starday's interest was that their franchise act, George Jones, recorded it in 1960, transforming it into a honky tonk classic. In Jones' wake, it has been recorded by Johnny Paycheck, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, the Byrds, and others. Still recording as Jeff Daniels, McDaniel issued a single on Astro Records coupling Carl Perkins' ''Foxy Dan'' with a song that Lillian McMurry had written or bought from McDaniel, ''Some Day You'll Remember''.

02 – ''HOMEWARD MULE'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Venus Records (S) 45rpm standard single Venus 667-B mono
HOMEWARD MULE / YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND
Reissued: - Hydra Records (LP) 33rpm Hydra BLK 7715-13 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - DADDY-O-ROCK

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke McDaniel - Vocal & Guitar
Dusty Harrell - Lead Guitar
Henry Bostick - Piano
Cecil Smith - Bass
Frank Stucky - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 6, 1957 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley makes his final appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show", singing seven songs, ''Hound Dog'', ''Love Me Tender'', ''When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again'', ''Heartbreak Hotel'', ''Peace In The Valley'', ''Too Much'' and ''Don't Be Cruel''.   He is photographed from the  waist up.

JANUARY 7, 1957 MONDAY

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''You Can't Hurt Me Anymore''.

Songwriter/producer Carson Chamberlain is born. He plays steel guitar in Keith Whitley's band, writes George Strait's ''The Best Day'' and Alan Jackson's ''Love;s Got A Hold On You'', and produced hits for Billy Currington and Easton Corbin.

On this day, Johnny Cash's ''I Walk The Line'' sold 750,000 copies, the Memphis Press-Scimitar reported in a half-page story as, ''the magic door swings open for still another young Memphis singer''. Cash seemed poised for the same kind of mass crossover success that Elvis had achieved over the past twelve months, wrote Bob Johnson.

JANUARY 8, 1957 TUESDAY

As Elvis Presley celebrates his 22nd birthday at home, the Army announces that he has passed his pre-induction physical exam.

Bill Haley and His Comets begin first overseas tour in New Castle, Australia.

JANUARY 9, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Richard A. Clark Jr. is born in Philadelphia. Better known as RAC, he succeeds his father, Dick Clark, as a producer of the Academy of Country Music awards.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR EDDIE BOND
FOR MERCURY RECORDS 1957

GOLDSTAR RECORDING STUDIO
3104 TELEPHONE ROAD, HOUSTON, TEXAS
MERCURY SESSION: THURSDAY JANUARY 10, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PAPPY DALLY

As Bond's natural inclination was towards country, his next two sessions for Mercury focused more on country material than the previous two studio forays. With the then current tie-up of Mercury and Starday, Pappy Daily of the latter company was at the helm. Daily was then steering George Jones through his initial success period, so was well placed to watch over Eddie Bond's Houston sessions which were held at the Goldstar recording studio. The material was supplied by Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell, Darrell Edwards, and Roger Miller, as well as Eddie Bond himself; ''You're Part Of Me'' was tagged with ''They Say We're Too Young'', ''Lovin' You, Lovin' You'' teamed up with ''Hershey Bar'' and ''Backslidin''' ended up being the final Mercury release when backed by ''Love, Love, Love''. ''One Step Close To You'' was held over until 1960, when it was used on a collection featuring Louisiana Hayride stars, leaving ''King On Your Throne'' to make its debut on Zu Zazz Z 2005. The fourteen Mercury titles represent the essence of rockabilly and authentic fifties country music.

01 – ''YOU'RE PART OF ME'' – B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - D. Scaife-G. Scaife
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14714
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Mercury Records (S) 45rpm Mercury 71067-A mono
YOU'RE PART OF ME / THEY SAY WE'RE TOO YOUNG
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-11 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

02 – ''KING ON YOUR THRONE'' – B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Gladys Bond
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14715 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Zu Zazz Records (CD) 500/200rpm Zu 2005 mono
MEMPHIS SATURDAY NIGHT
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-12 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

03 – ''THEY SAY WE'RE TOO YOUNG'' – B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Bill Cantrell
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14716
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Mercury Records (S) 45rpm Mercury 71067-B mono
THEY SAY WE'RE TOO YOUNG / YOU'RE PART OF ME
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-13 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

04 – ''BACKSLIDIN''' – B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Bill Cantrell
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14717
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - November 14, 1957
First appearance: - Mercury Records (S) 45rpm Mercury 71237-B mono
BACKSLIDIN' / LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-14 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Bond - Vocal & Guitar
Phil Baugh - Lead Guitar
Hal Harris - Rhythm Guitar
Herb Remington - Steel Guitar, Bass,
Unknown - Drums,
Link Davis - Fiddle
Doc Lewis - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 11, 1957 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley arrives in Los Angeles via train to begin filming his second movie, ''Loving You''.


JANUARY 12, 1957 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''All Shook Up'' and ''Tell Me Why'' at Radio Recorders,  7000 Santa Monica Boulevard  in Hollywood, California.

Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper join the Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

JANUARY 14, 1957 MONDAY

Elvis Presley consults with the makeup artist a week before filming starts for ''Loving You'' and decides to dye his hair black. It's a change that remains throughout his life.

Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''Rockin' In The Congo''.

Drummer Steve Jordan is born in New York. Known for his work with Keith Richards, John Mayer, Don Henley and Sheryl Crow, he handless the kit for Cam's debut country single, ''My Mistake''.

JANUARY 15, 1957 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''Party'' at Hollywood's Radio Recorders for the ''Loving You'' soundtrack. Wanda Jackson will recorded the definitive version of the song, which becomes a hit for her in 1960 under the title ''Let's Have A Party''.

JANUARY 16, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Little Richard recorded the rhythm and blues hit ''Lucille'' in Washington, D.C. Twenty years later, Waylon Jennings recorded a country version of the songs.

Johnny Cash makes his first network TV appearance, on CBS' ''The Jackie Gleason Show'', where he sings, ''I Walk The Line''. Also appearing on the broadcast, Johnny Horton and Marty Robbins.

Studio session with Big Lucky Carter and Ed "Prince Gabe" Kirby at Sun Records, Memphis,  Tennessee.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUCKY BIG CARTER & ED KIRBY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 1: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 16, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CHARLES UNDERWOOD
AND/OR SAM PHILLIPS

Levester Carter's recording is a throwback to the early 1950s era of jump blues and illustrates exactly the style from which soul emerged.


This track: Not really blues, not really doo-wop, and not really rock and roll, but an appealing blend of all three. Add a touch of barrelhouse. Carter and his cousin, Ed Kirby, in company with pianist Lindberg Nelson had a group that tried to stay abreast of what was happening... hence another of their songs ''Diggin' The Calypso''. With a sad touch of irony, they called themselves the Millionaires; other times, they were the Rhythmaires.  From extant tapes, it seems as if they recorded three sessions at Sun in 1957. This song comes from the first session, according to the date in the tape box. The last, in July that year, earned them fifteen dollars a piece, but none of the sessions earned them a release. 

01 – ''GONNA BREAK THAT LOCK*'' - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Levester Carter
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Nor Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 16, 1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30106-A-5 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 6 - SUNSET SOUL
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-8-16 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Doo wop on Sun? Although the archives have yielded some unissued treasures (by the Vel-Tones, Ed Kirby and Hunki Dori, to name a few).   ''Troubled'' is credited to Ed Kirby, is also in effect a group vocal. Nothing is known of the recording, except that it is a worthy addition to the released album.

02 - ''TROUBLED**'' – B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Ed Kirby
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 16, 1957
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126-B-6 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 11 – MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS
Reissued: - 2013 X5 Music Group Internet iTunes MP3-6 mono
RARE PIANO BLUES

More songs were recorded.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Levester Carter - Vocal* & Possibly Guitar
Ed Kirby - Vocal** & Saxophone
Lindberg Nelson - Piano
Clarence Beaton - Electric Bass
Charles Ballard - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Jack Earls said they could have cut more for Phillips, but Warren Gregory had a habit of missing appointments. After the June 1956 session, Earls didn't reappear until January 1957 when he cut ''Take Me To That Place''. Earls wrote the song after driving a truck route that passed the grounds of the West Tennessee mental hospital just outside Bolivar. ''I saw the people walking around the grounds, down there'', said Earls, who was moved by the sight. His curiosity about the inmates inspired him to write lyrics about someone whose lover was living behind the gates of an institution based in an unknown or unknowable locale.

It was ten years ago,
when they took my baby from me
It was ten years ago,
when they took my baby from me
They took her to a place,
somewhere down in Tennessee
Take me to that place,
where my baby stays
Take me to that place,
where my baby stays
I wanna be there when I'm old
I wanna be there
when my hair is turning gray

Although the music rocked, this was not a typical rock and roll song. Perhaps one could call it a country blues, for Earls vocal sounds like he is living the heart-rending frustration depicted in the rather dark song lyrics. If Johnny Cash had the ability to sing rock and roll in 1957, instead of a decade later, he might have made a similar recording. Gregory's funky, hypnotic guitar lick, suggestive of the repetitive thoughts the insane have been known to suffer, suited the song. The addition of an unknown piano pounder brought the arrangement current with 1957 rock trends. Earls said it might have been Billy Lee Riley, but a closer listen to the left hand's clever boogie raised the possibility that Jerry Lee Lewis may have worked the session. It could have been Jerry Lee, ''cause he was there (at Sun) by then, or it might have been Billy Lee Riley, ''cause he could play anything'', said Earls. "I don't remember". (I f Johnny Black was still working with the Rock and Roll Trio, then Riley might have played bass at the session.)

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACK EARLS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JANUARY 19, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - SAM C. PHILLIPS AND/OR STAN KESLER
RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

It was Jack Earls last Sun session when he was trying to interest Sam Phillips in potential follow-ups to "Slow Down". A solitary single ensued, whilst the esoteric "Take Me To That Place" represents the conclusion of his  efforts.

This final session from Jack Earls for Sun Records, included 2 takes of "Take Me To That Place". "That was written while I was driving for the Bambi Pie Company. I used to drive by this home for retarded and crazy folk and you could see them walking around. This was out in Bolivar, Tennessee. We worked on the song for a while but it never came out on Sun".

01(1) - "TAKE ME TO THAT PLACE" – B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1024-4 mono
HOT SOUTHERN BOPPERS
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-18 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

"Take Me To That Place" was inspired by a chronic care home for the mentally infirm on Jack's rounds for the Bambi Pie Company.

01(2) - "TAKE ME TO THAT PLACE" – B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2
Recorded: - January 19, 1957
Released: - 1996 - Not Originally Issued
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-17 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-3 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(3) - "TAKE ME TO THAT PLACE" – B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1957
Released: - 2010
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-25 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Earls - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy M. Van Eaton or Johnny Bernero - Drums
Warren Gregory - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Jerry Lee Lewis - Piano

Jack Earls said Sun producer Jack Clement visited the band at the Palms Club several times after January 1957, but failed to convince them to return to the studio. Earls was invited to record at Meteor Records. His buddy Charlie Feathers had his first rockin' release on Meteor (''Tongue-Tied Jill'' b/w ''Get With It''), and Bud Deckelman, another friend, had a country hit with ''Daydreamin'''. One visit to the studio convinced Earls to look elsewhere. ''It was a horrible-looking place: dirty floor, egg crates hanging down all over the walls'', he said. Then Johnny Black got in touch with a representative of King Records (the label Feathers signed with after Meteor). "Johnny got the man down from Cincinnati. When he got there, me and Danny and Johnny showed up, but Warren didn't even show up for the audition''. Later on, an independent agent offered to send Earls' song demos to contacts in Nashville, but Earls didn't follow through. "Back then, I was afraid that somebody was gonna steal my songs''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JUNIOR THOMPSON (JIMMY HAGGETT)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Other figures who fleetingly glide through of rockabilly, to be once again swallowed up by anonymity, include Junior Thompson who bot only recorded for Sun but also Meteor. He is represented here by a recently discovered recording of "Rabbit Action" that stands a favourable comparison with his previous claim to fame on Meteor, "Raw Deal".

01 - "RABBIT ACTION" – B.M.I. - 1:39
Composer: - Junior Thompson
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 16-8 mono
THE BEST OF SUN ROCKABILLY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Junior Thompson - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 20, 1957 SUNDAY

Willie Nelson has a daughter, Susie Nelson. In 1987, she writes a biography of her father, ''Heart Worn Memories''.

Sonny James performs ''Young Love'' on CBS-TV-s ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. Also appearing is rhythm and blues singer Ivory Joe Hunter, who renders ''Since I Met You Baby'', which James will cover a dozen years later.

JANUARY 21, 1956 MONDAY

Waylon Jennings' first son, Terry, is born.

Patsy Cline nets first price on the weekly CBS-TV show ''Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts'' with her performance of ''Walkin' After Midnight''.

Decca released Bobby helms' first hit, ''Fraulein''.

Capitol released Ferlin Husky's ''Gone'', and The Louvin Brothers' ''Don't Laught''.

1957

While still hanging around Sun, Conway Twitty management was taken over by Don Seat. In the big band are, Seat had been a pianist (tutored he said by Count Basie). Later, he became an agent (Seat says a partner) with General Artists Corporation (GAC), one of the largest artist management companies in the United States. He worked with Johnnie Ray, Nat King Cole, Desi Arnaz, and many others. Twitty said that he got a letter from Seat, who'd been told him by someone who'd served with him in Japan. ''Seat wanted to know if I was doing this new rock and roll music that was happened down around Memphis'', Twitty said later. ''I wrote back and told him I was. He wrote back and asked for a demo tape, so I sent him a copy of two or three things I had done at Sun. A couple of weeks later I got a letter back saying that he could get me a contract with any label I wanted. I said, I want to go with Sun'. He said, 'No, not Sun. They're just a small label'''. Completely untrue, insisted Seat. He'd known Sam Phillips from the time when there had been plans to move Elvis from Sun to Columbia Records. He said he went to Memphis with Columbia's cheque for $25,000 in his pocket, and ''as soon as I saw Sam Phillips' face, I knew we didn't have a deal''. Seat said he was on his way back from another visit to Memphis when he met someone in Cincinnati who had a letter from Twitty in which Twitty said that he had written some songs for Elvis. Seat flew to Memphis, driving on to Helena to meet Twitty. This, he said, was around the time that Twitty was getting married for the second time, in other words October 1956. Seat sent him a tape recorder. A tape arrived from Twitty, and, in Seat;s account, he took it to Bob Shad, Mercury Records' New York head of A&R, and landed a contract. Around the same time, Harold Jenkins became Conway Twitty (needless to add, Seat and Twitty couldn't agree on how that came about, either).

The other members of Conway Twitty's band, the Rockhousers heard on these songs went their separate ways. Jimmy Luke Paulman went to Canada, first with Twitty and then Ronnie Hawkins. After a dispute over a girlfriend, Hawkins banished Paulman to Arkansas vowing that he would never work in Canada again. Hawkins' band, of course, became The Band, and drummer Levon Helm said that the character Luke in their song ''The Weight'' was based on Paulman. Bill Harris quit the line-up soon after Seat took over and became a merchandising manager for Quaker Foods. He later bought a large chunk of shares in Conway Twitty Enterprises. Billy Weis was too young to go to Canada and worked as a session drummer around Memphis. Many years later, he wrote a book, ''Rock-a-Billy''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR HAROLD JENKINS (CONWAY TWITTY)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERIVE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY JANUARY 21, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

Its hard to know how many of Conway Twitty's tapes were recycled at Sun Records. Certainly very few remain, and if Sam Phillips really had the machine switched on hour and hour, week after week then most of the tapes were recorded over. Sam Phillips seemed to think that "Born To Sing The Blues" held the most promise. There are several versions of it remaining. Twitty is almost audibly trying to get out from under his debt to Elvis Presley, and not entirely succeeding.

01(1) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-6 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(2) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES – B.M.I. – 2:23
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-16 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(3) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-17 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(4) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-18 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(5) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. – 2:20
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-19 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harold Jenkins - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Guitar
Bill Harris or Jimmy Evans - Bass
Billy Weir - Drums
Unknown - Piano

Years later, after Twitty became successful, Twitty met Sam Phillips again. "I know you were disappointed that we didn't release a song on you", Phillips told him. Twitty said that he really wanted to be on Sun when the label was hot, so Phillips invited him to look in at Sun the next time he was in Memphis, and they'd listen to the old tapes. Twitty took him up on the offer and was amazed that they were so much worse than be remembered. ''I never really did write the right song at Sun, although there were times when I thought I had'', he said. ''I really felt that Sam Phillips didn't treat me right - that I had something to offer that he didn't see, but I found out I was wrong. Sam said, ''I knew you had something or I wouldn't have spent as much money as I did recording you all these hours, week after week but it just didn't come together for you and I''. The spark of originality wasn't there. The striking similarity of the alternate takes alone showed a dearth of creativity. Twitty was so in thrall of Elvis Presley that virtually all of his vocal mannerisms were caricatures of Presley. Perhaps the most affecting performance he left behind is the demo ''Just In Time'' when the rockabilly vocal tics fall by the wayside for a few precious moments and we hear a beautiful phrased and executed hillbilly ballad.

Returning to Nashville from Branson, Missouri, Conway Twitty took ill from a ruptured aneurysm in his stomach and died in Springfield, Missouri on June 5, 1993.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©



JANUARY 21/22, 1957 MONDAY/TUESDAY

Elvis Presley begins shooting his second movie, and his first in color, the 1957 Paramount film 'Loving You'. Elvis Presley felt more comfortable in the role of Deke Rivers in Loving You than he had as Clint Reno since the role was based on his real-life career experiences. The musical drama opens as Deke -- a truck driver with a natural talent for really belting out a song -- teams up with press agent Glenda Markle, played by Lizabeth Scott, in hopes of becoming the next singing sensation. Deke begins his new singing career as the opening act for a down-and-out country-and-western band headed by Glenda's ex-husband.

It soon becomes apparent that the female faction of the audience just can't get enough of Deke either on stage or off. Glenda capitalizes on Deke's sensual appeal by providing him with customized costumes and arranging publicity stunts. Deke is torn between the attraction he feels toward Glenda and the genuine affection he has for the band's lead singer, Susan, played by Dolores Hart in her film debut. When Deke discovers that Glenda has been manipulating him personally and professionally, he becomes confused and runs away. A wiser and more mature Deke returns just in time to perform at a major televised concert, which serves as his introduction to the big time. 'Loving You' was originally titled 'Lonesome Cowboy' and then changed to 'Running Wild'. Ed Sullivan referred to this title when Elvis made his last appearance on his show, January 6, 1957.

Production began on January 21, 1957 and was completed in early March. Finally, 'Loving You', the name of a song Leiber and Stoller wrote for Elvis for the movie, became the title.

'Loving You' premiered in Memphis on July 10, 1957 at the Strand Theater. Elvis didn't go to that showing. Instead, he took his date Anita Wood and his parents to a private midnight screening. The film opened nationally on July 30, 1957 and peaked at #7 on the Varierty National Box Office Survey.



Narvel Felts Band at KBOA radio station, Kenneth, Missouri.   From left: J.W. Grubbs, Leon Barnett, Narvel Felts, Bob Taylor, and Jerry Tuttle. >

NARVEL FELTS: HIS OWN WORDS ABOUT SUN RECORDS - ''On my Sun recordings Jack  Clement was the producer. We went in with the band, the first time was in January 1957  when we did five songs, then we came back for another session in April. I had felt like there  were three sessions, but the Sun session book doesn't confirm that''.


''They say that the  following session was in early April of 1957 and it would probably have been the one that  produced ''My Babe''. I remember at the first session Roy Orbison was in the control room  with Jack Clement. Conway Twitty was still Harold Jenkins and had a chair pulled up by my  microphone in the studio listening to me''.

''I had met Jerry Lee Lewis at Taylor's cafe next  door that morning, and Johnny Cash came in at the front office and watched us for a little  while that day. I remember that at the session when I recorded ''My Baby'', I said the line,  ''when she's hot, there ain't no coolin''', I remember Jack Clement and Roy Orbison had their  heads popping around, looking at each other kind of in surprise when I said that, like it was a  sort of shocking line at that time''.

''After I'd finished the last session at Sun, Jack Clement said ''well think we've got a record  here. It may take about a year to get around to releasing it because we've got so many in  front of you''. At the session when Conway Twitty was also there, Roy Orbison called Conway  and myself off in a corner, and said, ''Boys, if I were you, I would look elsewhere for a label.  That's what I'm going to do when my contract's up, because Sam's not interested in me, he's  not interested in you, he's not even interested in Perkins. He's only interested in Cash and  this new kids, Jerry Lee Lewis''.


On the strength of an audition for Sun producer Jack Clement, Narvel Felts and his guitar-player, Leon Barnett, returned to their native Missouri and rounded up a full blown band. Six months later they were back in Memphis where a half dozen sides found their way onto a reel of stock studio tape, from which "Did You Tell Me" is derived. A further offensive in the spring of 1957 proved fruitless, so Narvel would have to wait until Mercury came a-calling before he'd make his debut on record.

Terrace Lounce, East St. Louis, Missouri, February 1957. From left: J.W. Grubbs, Jerry Tuttle, Narvel Felts, Leon Barnett, Bob Taylor. >

There were strange parallels between Narvel Felts early career and Conway Twitty's earlier career. They both began recordings at Sun Records but never saw a release on the label. They then migrated to Mercury and MGM, were managed by Don Seat, worked long stints in Ontario, and eventually found success in the country music. There are also a million differences between Narvel and Twitty they're dollars, and Twitty made them.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR NARVEL FELTS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERIVE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 23, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

01 - "DID YOU TELL ME (YOU DON'T CARE)" – B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CFM 510 mono
ROCKABILLY FEVER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-1 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

02 - "LONESOME FEELING" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - J.N. Calvin Richardson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-14 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1 997  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-7 mono
DID YOU TELL ME



Jack Clement, who engineered Narvel's sessions, promised to release something in a year or so, but Roy Orbison, who was also at the session, told Narvel to look elsewhere. A month after his second Sun session, he was on Mercury Records.

The full story of his early career has been told in the notes of his second Sun session in 1957. The story of his post-MGM career is taken up on "Memphis Days" a compact disc of recordings for Roland Janes's labels, and on "Drift Away" - The Best Of Narvel Felts 1973-1979".


Narvel Felts at KBOA radio staion, Kennett, Missouri. ^

03(1) - "LONELY RIVER" – B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Gene Autry-Fred Rose-Ray Whitley
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1956
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-12 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-8 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

03(2) - "LONELY RIVER" – B.M.I.
Composer: - Gene Autry-Fred Rose-Ray Whitley
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1956
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-16 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

04 - "FOOLISH THOUGHTS" – B.M.I. - 1:38
Composer: - Leon Barnett-Jerry Tuttle
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-13 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-5 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

05 - "CRY BABY CRY" – B.M.I. - 1:51
Composer: - Narvel Felts-L.V. Bryant
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: – None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - March 5, 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-11 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-3 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Narvel Felts - Vocal and Guitar
Leon Barnett - Guitar
J.W. Grubbs - Bass
Bob Taylor - Drums
Jerry Tuttle - Steel Guitar and Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 23, 1956 MONDAY

The singles Sun 260, Billy Riley's ''Flying Saucer Rock And Roll'' b/w ''I Want You Baby''. The record is ranked in 2003 among country's 500 greatest singles of all-time in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number. Sun Records also released, double-sided   "Matchbox" b/w  ''Your True Love'' (Sun 261) by Carl Perkins is released along with "Feelin' Low" b/w ''Lonesome For My   Baby'' (Sun 262) by Ernie Chaffin. Billboard says of Chaffin: "Sun Records may have another bit time artist.   He warbles well in the earthy Presley groove with plenty of feeling. Interesting phrasing and spontaneous   sounding vitality".

Gerald Cline files for divorce from Patsy Cline.

JANUARY 24, 1956 THURSDAY

The singles, Sun 263, Sonny Burgess ''Ain't Got A Thing'' b/w ''Restless''; Sun 264, Glenn Honeycutt ''I'll Be   Around'' b/w ''I'll Wait Forever''; Sun 265, Roy Orbison ''Sweet And Easy To Love'' b/w ''Devil Doll'' are   released.

Mel Tillis has his first recording session for Columbia Records. It yields his first single, ''Honky Tonk Song''.

Ivory Joe Hunter recorded ''Empty Arms'' in New York. Fourteen years later, Sonny James released his own version a s a country hit.

Elvis Presley recorded ''(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear'' at Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard   in Los Angeles, California

JANUARY 25, 1957 FRIDAY

Marty Robbins starts an overnight session at the Columbia Studio in New York that yields three singles, ''Please Don't Blame Me'', ''Teen-Age Dream'' and ''A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)''.

Jim Williams recorded two groups of sessions that could almost be different guys. First time at Sun in 1956, Williams was in a Freddie Bell showroom rock and roll groove. His band, the Dixielanders, played society functions, as if you couldn't tell. Back again in January, May and June 1957 with the Little Green Men, he finally recorded two sides that Phillips liked enough to release. One released cut, ''Please Don't Cry Over Me'', bore a striking similarity to Elvis Presley's version of ''How Do You Think I Feel'', but didn't sell sufficient copies to get lawyers excited. Williams had dual careers in music and aviation. At the time of his Sun recordings he was living in Little Rock, Arkansas, and recorded there for Foster Johnson's Dub International Records in 1958, but was last heard in St. Louis.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY WILLIAMS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY JANUARY 25, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - "TOMORROW" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Jimmy Williams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 25, 1957
Released: - May 29, 2013
First appearance: -   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-3-26 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

02 - "PLEASE DON'T CRY OVER ME" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Jimmy Williams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 236   - Master
Recorded: -   January 25, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 270 mono
PLEASE DON'T CRY OVER ME / THAT DEPENDS ON YOU
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-9 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

For some reason Jimmy Williams has never grabbed his share of mythic status given most minor Sun artists.  Perhaps the vocal gimmick on "Please Don't Cry Over Me" was enough to alienate most Sun fans, who  wanted a bit more bite to their music. But that doesn't explain why the flipside hasn't become more of a  collectable item.

03 - "THAT DEPENDS ON YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jimmy Williams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 237   - Master
Recorded: -   January 25, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 270 mono
THAT DEPENDS ON YOU / PLEASE DON'T CRY OVER ME
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-10 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"That Depends On You" offers a lot to love. The song is bluesy and surprisingly melodic, despite its  conventional 12-bar structure. A deeper look at the melody reveals that Williams has borrowed liberally from  "I Almost Lost My Mind", marking the second time Ivory Joe Hunter's classic has been co-opted by a Sun  artist. The first was Walter Horton's instrumental gem, "Easy". Jimmy Williams voice may be thinner than  most rockabillies, but there is an undeniable tension and broodiness to this side that might have won  Williams more fans, if not commercial success.

Quite apart from the vocal, the instrumental work on this quiet; understated side is to kill for. Roland Janes'  guitar and J.M. Van Eaton's drumming are thoroughly engaging, even in their minimal roles. In fact, the  Little Green Men turned a throwaway B-side into an undiscovered Sun treasure.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Williams - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Marvin Pepper - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
Jerry Smith - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©



JANUARY 25, 1957 FRIDAY

Little Richard and  his ten piece band play for a week at the Apollo Theater in New York.

JANUARY 28, 1957 MONDAY

Stonewall Jackson recorded ''Don't Be Angry'' during his first recording session for Columbia Records, although it takes another seven years before a second recording of the song becomes a hit. On hand to observe: Ernest Tubb.

Decca released Brenda Lee's first country hit, ''One Step At A Time''. 

JANUARY 29, 1957 TUESDAY

Irlene Mandrell is born in Corpus Christi, Texas. The youngest member of the Mandrell family, the drumming sister gains prominence through the TV show ''Barbara Mandrell and The Mandrell Sisters''.

Porter Wagoner recorded ''I Thought I Heard You Call My Name'' in an afternoon session at RCA's Nashville studios on McGavock Street.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ERNIE CHAFFIN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY JANUARY 29, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT & BILL JUSTIS

In the mid-summer of 1957, Sun released a most unexpected trio of country records: Mack Self's "Everyday", Carl Perkins' "Forever Yours", and this recording, the most beautiful and haunting of all. This is without doubt Ernie Chaffin's two-sided masterpiece.

After listening to Chaffin's first Sun outing (SUN 262), it was hard it imagine that room remained for improvement. But Chaffin has bettered his best here. And, true to logic, he never approached this standard again, at Sun or elsewhere.

01(!) - "I'M LONESOME" – B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Murphy Maddux
Publisher: - Singing River Music
Matrix number: - U 260   - Master
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - August 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 275-A mono
I'M LONESOME / LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN'
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Once again, the success of this record is built upon the unusual 1 - flatted 7 chords sequence and Chaffin and company (and what a company!) deftly mine these changes for all they're worth. As we learn, they are worth a lot, at both dirge-like and mid-tempos. The first 8 bars of "I'm Lonesome" are particularly powerful. The instrumental intro has an almost dreamlike quality; it is literally difficult to become oriented and know what key the song is in. Chaffin's voice is a sheer delight here. What a fine country singer the man was! And not since Luther Perkins adorned Cash's best work has there been such a simple solo on a Sun record. Only this single note picking is done on a steel guitar! And finally, there's the fade. Not many Sun records feature studio fades, but this is the best ever. The simple instrumental work as those slide back and forth is a moment to cherish.

It is not clear what marketplace this record was originally slated for but, categories be dammed, this is one of the undeniable gems in the entire Sun catalogue.

Once again, these brief glimpses of what two Sun masterpieces sounded like as works-in-progress are revealing. The differences were sometimes subtle, but they're worth listening for. Sam had reasons to select the takes for release that he did.

01(2) - "I'M LONESOME" – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-17 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

The verses of "I'm Lonesome" alternate between the 1-chord and a flatted-3 (between D and F). The first four bars are particularly powerful. The instrumental intro, shuttling between a 1- and flatted-7 chord (D and C), has an almost dreamlike quality; it is difficult to become oriented and know what key the song  will be in. Chaffin's voice is a sheer delight. What a fine country singer the man was!. And not since Luther Perkins adorned Cash's best work has there been such a simple solo on a Sun record. Such was the influence of Luther Perkins/Johnny Cash at Sun. In Luther's case, solo like this were a matter of necessity. Here, the single-note picking is done by a steel player (Ernie Harvey) who was as technically proficient as anyone in Nashville. And finally, there's the fade ("End it cold", Sam used to say). But this is the best ever. The simple instrumental work as those two chords slide back and forth is a moment to cherish. Two alternate takes reveal the evolution of this song.

On alternate 1, Ernie's phrasing of the title is notably different. The second alternate is much closer to the issued take. We can once again hear that Ernie Harvey made each take an adventure. His harmonic fills on the steel during Ernie's final wordless chant are quite striking and utterly missing from the issued version of "I'm Lonesome".

01(3) - "I'M LONESOME" – B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-26 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

02(1) - "LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN'" – B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Murphy Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 261   - Master
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - August 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 275-B mono
LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN' / I'M LONESOME
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Laughin' And Jokin'" repeats the 1-flatted 7 sequence used on "Lonesome For My Baby" and Chaffin and company deftly mine these simple changes for all they're worth. Only a 46-sec fragment remains of an alternate take of "Laughin' And Jokin'", but it couldn't be more revealing. The entire feel of this performance is   different from the released version. This is basically a western swing dance record that would have been at home on the stage of Sy's Place in Biloxi, Mississippi. The difference is not subtle and is most obvious in Ernie's vocal and Harvey's steel. If Ernie Chaffin had recorded this song at Hickory, it might have sounded very much like this. At Sun, takes like this were discarded or recorded over.

02(2) - "LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN'" – B.M.I. - 0:46
Composer: - Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-18 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux - Acoustic Guitar
Ernie Harvey - Steel Guitar
Leo Ladner – Bass

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY RILEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 30, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Riley returned to the studio to start work on a rockabilly version of an old Sun copyright, Billy "The Kid" Emerson's "Red Hot". As always, the rhythm section, featuring Roland Janes and drummer James M. Van Eaton, played with teletathic cohesion. Win, lose, or draw, Riley always had one of the hottest working bands in the Mid-South. By the end of 1957, "Red Hot" had sold only thirty-seven thousand copies, and Riley was furious.

Billy Riley's third instance in the studio represents one of the last times when Jerry Lee Lewis would muster as a sideman.

This incandescent recording reading of Billy "The Kid" Emerson's "Red Hot" based on a cheerleaders' chant, "Our team is red hot..."). It was the closest Riley came to scoring a hit in the 1950s. The band was essentially the same, except that Jimmy Wilson had become the permanent pianist and Johnny "Ace" Cannon had been added on saxophone. The song was suggested by Sam Phillips (the fact that he owned the publishing probably accounted for some of his enthusiasm). The original version had appeared on Sun Records in June 1955.

Billy Riley is absolutely frantic. Whether his gal is "red hot" or not becomes a matter of life and death. He sounds as though he is pushing the recording needle well into the red as he does permanent demage to his larynx. "That's what the song needed - and that's what I gave it", Riley asserted.

James M. Van Eaton and Jimmy Wilson are extremely prominent, the former nearly maniacal, continually walloping the backbeat and thundering through bars three and four of each verse, creating a much heightened sense of tension. All the instruments are pushing, playing slightly ahead of the beat. The song actually has a relatively complex structure as Emerson mixes 6/4 and 4/4 bars in the chorus. Riley smiles, "That's what makes it happen. Most bands get it wrong". The whole song verged on hedonistic, almost violent chaos but Billy Riley and his band had crafted a truly definitive rockabilly performance.

01(1) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 265   - Master
Featured Overdub Handclaps
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 277-A mono
RED HOT / PEARLY LEE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-23 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

If there were even a little justice in the record business, this song would have been a massive hit, thereby establishing the international stardom of Billy Riley. But as we all know there is no justice and the disc enjoyed what can best be described as moderate sales. Riley, on the other hand, cemented his relationship with Sun fans and rockabilly collectors, while slipping further into the obscurity that continues to dog his career to the present day.

Sam Phillips got his eternal wish here: one of his white rockers updated an rhythm and blues tune from the early days of his publishing catalogue. Billy Emerson couldn't have been all that disturbed as well to see his tune (which he, in turn, had cribbed from a schoolyard cheer) turned into a rock and roll anthem that would continue to generate royalties to the present day. Riley's treatment is an utter joy: his Little Richard voice is framed by some of the finest 12 bar solos in the Sun catalogue, including a romper by pianist, Jimmy Wilson. According to Riley, they could not get everything properly miked to cut it in one shot. "Red Hot" looked set to become Riley's meal ticket. Alan Freed jumped on the record and Freed apparently wanted him for a package show with Fats Domino, Little Richard and Chuck Berry.

Meanwhile, Jerry Lee Lewis had cut "Great Balls Of Fire", which was released just as "Red Hot" was breaking. According to Riley, Sam Phillips told him to come off the road and start working on an album. Phillips then convinced Freed to take Lewis on the tour in place of Riley.

01(2) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15444-2-7 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1960
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

The Little Green Men were real close to nailing it on the above track. But there are still differences, and its fun to hear all those subtle changes in vocal intonation or phrasing, and instrumental chops. Admittedly, it is a bit of a disappointment to hear Riley sing "Sleeps in the kitchen with her feet out the door". Feets was so much classier. Guys like Roland and Jerry Lee never really played it the same way twice and that works to our benefit 43 years later which, incredibly is how long its been since this track was recorded.

Listening to a tape full of "Red Hot" outtakes reveals that the original 45 was overdubbed - which was something you'd never have expected. Of course, Sun's idea of overdubbing in 1957 didn't mean sweetening with strings and voices. Rather, it was a bunch of wild men gathered around a mike-enunciating the immortal words "Your gal ain't doodley squat".

01(3) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(4) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 5 - Not Originally issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(5) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 6 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(6) - "RED HOT" – B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 7 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

''RED HOT''

Red Hot is as close to a national hit as Billy Riley ever came. Fans and historians will tell you that it should have come a lot closer. The sad fact is that younger rockabilly fans are more likely to have heard Robert Gordon's versions of the song, the first of which was released about 20 years after Riley's. At least we can say without fear of contradiction that Robert Gordon, like any good student of vintage rockabilly, was listening to Billy Riley. And we can add that Link Wray and Danny Garton, Gordon's sidemen, did their share of listening to Roland Janes, Sun's unsung guitar hero.

Gordon wasn't the only rock n roll hero who cut his musical teeth on Red Hot. In 1992 when Billy Riley was enjoying something of a comeback (a European tour, a new record), there was a memorable moment at Carter Memorial Auditorium in Little Rock, Arkansas. On September 8, Bob Dylans tour took him to that city. Dylan stopped his performance mid-concert and called Billy Riley up onto the stage. Dylan took Riley's hand and told the audience, ''this man is my hero''. The two singers then performed ''Red Hot'' together.

Most Billy Riley fans know that he did not write ''Red Hot''. That honor belongs to Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson, one of Sun's early rhythm and blues artists. Undoubtedly, Sam Phillips - who owned the copyright - introduced Emerson's version ''Red Hot'' (released on Sun 219) to Riley during one of their meetings. It's like the idea took root in Riley's mind and morphed into the rave-up that even surfaced in September, 1957. Even that development, as we shall see in a moment, was anything but straight-forward or instantaneous. Riley's version of ''Red Hot'' is decidedly different from Emerson's original, which itself was based on a schoolyard cheer ("Our team is Red Hot / Your team ain't doodly squat'). At the leas energy level Riley brings to the proceedings leaves Emerson in the dust. This is not to cast Billy Emerson in a bad light. His early sides for Sun have a place on any self-respecting "Roots Of Soul" compilation.

The differences between Riley's and Emerson's versions of ''Red Hot'' are almost startling. To begin with, Billy Emerson's record has the rough, unfinished feel of some of the Riley alternate takes. There were only two years between Emerson and Riley, although you'd be tempted to guess that as much as much as a decade had passed. What makes Emerson's version sound so rough? First, Emerson blows some of the lyrics, confusing whether its lovin' or money she's got a lot of there's the matter of the response "Your gal ain't doodley squat."Both Riley and Emerson use it, but only Riley's version was overdubbed to give a full onmike choral effect. On Emerson's, the response sounds like what it was: one off-mike voice shouting from across the room.

But the biggest difference between Emerson and Riley is in the lyrics. You might notice, for example, that Emerson's gal is five feet tall ("she's a little bitty mama'), whereas Riley's is 6'4". The lady has grown more than a foot between the two records. But there's an even bigger difference. When his band responds "Your gal ain't doodley squat," Billy Emerson immediately replies, "Yes she is!" He's telling them and us, "My gal is Red Hot. You guys are wrong!" That's a pretty important piece of the picture. The singer brags on his girlfriend. The band tells him he's wrong, and the singer comes right back to say, ''No I'm not!" But Riley lets the putdown stand. He doesn't get the last word. The final verdict is that his girl is not Red Hot. Or at least there's a group of folks out there who disagree with him.


Back row, from left: Jimmy Wilson, Billy Riley, and Jimmy Van Eaton. Front row, from left: Pat O'Neill, Martin Willis, Starlight Club, Memphis, 1958. >


Here seven alternate takes of ''Red Hot'' (excluding She's My Baby). Bear Family's 'That'll Flat Git It, Volume 17' (BCD 16405) also contains an alternate take of ''Red Hot'', the one we refer to here as Alternate Take 6. There is one additional alternate take available on The Classic Recordings 1956-1960, BCD 15444, Disc 2, track 7 that we have also elected to use.


This version (labeled Alternate Take 1 here) is worth including despite the duplication. It has perhaps the most country feel of any of the ''Red Hot'' takes Riley left behind. Part of that is the slightly slower tempo. But also listen to Roland's guitar breaks, particularly the second one. Keep reminding yourself that this is a rock n roll record. You sure couldn't tell from that guitar solo.

This alternate also showcases the unique sound Jimmy Van Eaton got on his snare drum, sounding like something tuned between a snare and a tom tom. Van Eaton used the old drummer's trick of taping a wallet to his snare in order to deaden the sound. Thirdly, the timing irregularities that Riley took some pride in during subsequent interviews, loom larger than life here in the absence of an overdubbed chorus. And by the way, Riley has confirmed on numerous occasions that the piano player here, as on ''Pearly Lee'', was Jimmy Wilson.

There is also some controversy over the opening lyric. Admittedly, Riley sometimes sounds like a star graduate of the Jimmy Reed School of Diction. That doesn't help matters. But is he really singing 'My girl is red hot''? We can grant him some latitude with "Mah girl...". But some of these lines sound curiously like "Bop girl is red hot''. After a half a century, we'll probably never know for sure.

01(7) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 8 - Not Originally issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(8) - "RED HOT" – B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 9 - Not Originally issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

02(1) - "PEARLY LEE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Billy Riley
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Undubbed Master Without Overdubbed Chorus And Handclaps
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15444-2-6 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1960

02(2) - "PEARLY LEE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Billy Riley
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 265 - Master
Featured Overdub Handclaps
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
"Pearly Lee" meanwhile, was furnished with handclaps and a chorus overdub to
arrive at the kind of gloss normally lavished on a A-side. 
That distinction went to   "Red Hot"
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 277 mono
PEARLY LEE / RED HOT
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Marvin Pepper - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
John "Ace" Cannon – Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR WARREN SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JANUARY OR FEBRUARY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

With the momentum of his career sagging a little, Warren Smith returned to Memphis early in 1956 to work on his third single. Roy Orbison pitched a song called "So Long I'm Gone" that - in Smith's hand - effortlessly crossed between country and pop. However, for many it was eclipsed by the 'B' side to end all 'B' sides, "Miss Froggie".

01 - "I HAD A DREAM (THE DARKEST CLOUD)" - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Jimmy Swan
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - False Starts - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date January/February 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-8 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-24 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1952

For a song that wasn't a hit, ''I Had A Dream'' got around. In 1961, Elvis Presley was recording is Nashville when he spontaneously began singing the bridge. At the time of its release by composer Jimmy Swann in 1952 it was covered by Billy Walker, Ann Clark, and Jean Chapel. Warren Smith's hauntingly lovely version dates to around 1957. Swan was a dee-jay in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and recorded for Trumpet Records in Jackson, and Smith lived a few miles outside Jackson. He almost certainly heard ''I Had A Dream'' on the radio when it came out. The three-part harmony on the chorus was ragged but haunting in its way. Only the guitarist can be identified for certain on this track (and the earlier version of ''So Long I'm Gone''). Smith identifies Al Hopkins in the session chatter, but the others can not be identified with certainly.

02(1) - "SO LONG I'M GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Roy Orbison-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date January/February 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-9 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-25 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1952

This alternate take 1 is a fair distance from the issued version, both in terms of arrangement and instrumentation. Simply put, this is country music whereas the issued version was rockabilly. It provides as clear a statement of the difference between the two as you could hope to find. Either the composer, Roy Orbison, or Smith himself changed around the lyrics a little bit before the song finally hit the streets in the spring of 1957. This version almost certainly dates from the preceding year and shows Smith's high, pure country tenor to great advantage. Sam Phillips was obviously correct to try the fuller instrumentation but this is a lovely version nonetheless.

02(2) - "SO LONG I'M GONE" - B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Roy Orbison-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - False Start - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date January/February 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-10 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-26 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1952

For many years it had been assumed that Warren Smith's sole chart entry on Sun sported some piano work from Jerry Lee Lewis to help it along. However, there was never a piano solo to really put the matter beyond doubt. Finally, here a take that does indeed contain a piano solo and it is so fair distance from even Jerry Lee's most uninspired work. The most likely conclusion is that, as Al Hopson said, it is Jimmy Wilson on piano. The confusion may have arisen because Phillips had arrived at a very distinctive way of mic-ing the piano so that the basic boogie riff that Lewis and Wilson employed sounded fairly similar no matter who was playing it.

02(3) - "SO LONG I'M GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Roy Orbison-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 248 - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date January/February 1957
Released: - April 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 268-A mono
SO LONG I'M GONE / MISS FROGGIE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-5 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

With its quasi-military marching band beat, takes a simple Roy Orbison composition to unexpected heights. "So Long I'm Gone" sat just behind "Gone" and "White Sport Coat" on the Memphis charts in June, and actually made it to the pop charts in that far off summer of 1957, thus giving Smith a passing taste of fame. Unfortunately for him, Sun's meagre promotional efforts were redirected into the whirlwind success of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On". In any case, the final sustained 1-7 chord of "So Long I'm Gone" is a stroke of understated brilliance and retains its power nearly four decades later.

"So Long I'm Gone" made a fleeting appearance in the Hot 100 but had the misfortune to start breaking at the same time as Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On". Sam Phillips placed his eggs in one basket, much to Smith's disgust. There was now constant squabbling on the Stars Incorporated, tours about who should top of the bill. Jimmie Lott remembered: "Warren and Carl Perkins constantly fought Jerry Lee Lewis. They'd sit around in the dressing room before the show on steel chairs with a fifth of Old Crow. Jerry would say, 'I got a big record out now. I'm going on last'. Clayton Perkins would stick his jaw out and say, 'If you're going on last, we're gonna fights".

03 - "WHO TOOK MY BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Warren Smith
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date January/February 1957
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-B-6 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-12 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-28 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1952

''Who Took My Baby'' has a very early sound to it and may even date from Smith's association with the Snearly Ranch Boys. The drummer, probably Johnny Bernero or Clyde Leoppard, announces the guitar solo with some well-timed gun raps on the snare. The overall performance is quite accomplished. In fact, it gives the song a touch of class that is slightly more than its due.

04 - "MISS FROGGIE"* - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Warren Smith
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 249   - Master
Recorded: - February 1957
Released: - April 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 268-B mono
MISS FROGGIE / SO LONG I'M GONE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-6 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

The group had concocted this song while driving back from Dallas one night, although Smith took sole composer credit. Both Al Hopson and Jimmie Lott were on sparkling form. "I always had problem unknowns playing the shuffle that Johnny Bernero used on "Rock And Roll Ruby", asserted Lott, "and my drumming on "Miss Froggie" was almost unsyncopated. The inspiration for my playing as Al's guitar. The kick-off was unbelievable. I could have put Bo Diddley out of business". For his part, Smith hardly appeared to strain. The energy that flowed from the record bordered on maniacal but appeared totally effortless.

With lines like "She oughta been a go-rilla, boy, she sure is wild", the song was hardly calculated to win awards for profundity, but as Phillips would be the first to say, it was sound and the feel that were important, and he caught Hopson's lightning in a bottle. There was no contrivance in his style, the energy flowed from the song rather than being imposed upon it.

Warren Smith cuts loose here with a two-sided gem. "Miss Froggie" has virtually become a rockabilly anthem. In retrospect, it is as close to rock and roll as Smith ever came, bordering on the vocal territory staked out by Billy Riley. The song is just a string of blues cliches, into which new life has been breathed. Al Hopson, glimpsed in the Sun Records Discography with a country fiddle in his hand, cuts loose with some fine guitar work here. Curiously, things start rather slowly: Hopson's 4-bar intro is followed by one of the least assertive drum entrances in Sun history. But Jimmie Lott more than finds his way and by the last 30 seconds has contributed one of the most memorable single stroke drum rolls in rockabilly history.

"The first record I wrote", recalled Warren Smith, "was "Miss Froggie", even though a few verses were borrowed from another song (like "Drinking Muddy Water" and "Sleeping In A Hollow Log"). Yea, the Sun days were real good days and there'll never be any more like that. I had some real good times with some of the people who were on Sun. When I was there Sun was strictly a rock and roll label, with the exception of Johnny Cash".

THE REAL STORY ABOUT MISS FROGGIE   This was the B-side of Warren Smith's only Hot 100 entry but the generations of rockabilly fans it was the A-side to end all A-sides. To the question what is rockabilly? this is the answer. Smith could sing uptempo numbers such as this without coarsening his voice or screaming. His deftly controlled excitement is matched note-for-note by Al Hopson's dazzling guitar and Jimmie Lott's drumming. Hopson's solos are truly lightning in a bottle. The man was possessed on the day he cut this side. The group concocted the song while driving back from Dallas one night, although Smith took sole composer credit. Both Hopson and Lott were on sparkling form. ''I always had problems playing the shuffle that Johnny Bernero used on ''Rock And Roll Ruby'', Lott told Colin Escott, ''and my drumming on ''Miss Froggie'' was almost unsyncopated. The inspiration for my playing was Al's guitar. The kick-off was unbelievable. It could have put Bo Diddley out of business''. One can trace the lyrics back to a clutch of blues standards but, in the final analysis, it doesn't matter because Smith and his group had come up with something stunningly original that is an entire dimension beyond its roots and head and shoulders above its derivatives. Classic then, classic now.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Warren Smith - Vocal and Guitar
Al Hopson - Guitar
Marcus Van Story - Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums*
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Johnny Bernero - Drums
Roland Janes - Guitar
Wil Hopson - Bass

The royalty calculations show payments to Roy Orbison, Stan Kesler, Roland Janes, James Wilson and J.M. Van Eaton for sessions preceding the release of SUN 268. These may refer to SUN 268 or to aborted sessions.

Jerry Lee Lewis' success galled Warren Smith. Not only was a monster unleasing itself from the bottom of the bill but a monster ego was unleasing itself too. Smith had no shortage of egotism and the two were destined to lash. Smith smashed Lewis records whenever he found them but that act could not disquise the hurt and upset that he felt when he heard those records rather than his own on the car radio. "Warren was an egotist - the biggest egotist I've ever met", asserted Jimmie Lott. "A caring man and a good man but an egotist. Warren wanted recognition. He painted 'Warren Smith - The Rock And Roll Ruby Man" on the back of his car - a seven or eight thousand dollar Cadillac sedan".

One of Warren Smith's diversions on the road was practical jokes. Eddie Bond recalled Smith substituted urine for whiskey in the little flask that the group hid on stage for a surreptitious nip. Smith remembered setting off cherry bombs along the road. He and Johnny Cash blew an unfortunate man off the toilet after they flushed four bombs into a hotel's sewage system. Jimmie Lott remembered that "Al Hopson was often the butt of the jokes. One time we were playing West Virginia and Warren waited for Al in the motel room with a set of vampire's teeth and a scary wig and Al really shit his pants". The stunts helped to break the monotony of travel in the days before there were too many interstates and gigs might be as much as five hundred miles apart.

After Johnny Bernero quit Warren Smith, Sam Phillips recommended Jimmie Lott whom he'd used on Elvis Presley's first session with drums in March 1955. ''I had a knock on the door one night'', recalled Lott, ''and three dubious looking guys were there. They identified themselves as Warren Smith, Marcus Van Story and Al Hopson. They said, 'We're looking for a drummer and Sam Phillips said you might be interested'. I said I might and we were over to Warren's attorney's house in east Memphis. We had an audition in the den and Warren hired me. One of the first gigs we played was at the Club Zanzibar in Hayti, Missouri. The place was full of rednecks and I was maybe seventeen years old, hanging onto Warren's coat-tail. I said, 'Are we gonna be alright tonight'? Warren said, 'Don't worry 'bout it, drummer'. He was raised in Greenwood, Mississippi and had a real good rapport with these people. He was one of them''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

There is virtually nothing left to say about this session. On only his second release, a   young Jerry Lee Lewis produced the cornerstone of his recording career. Sam Phillips had already learned  that the best way to record young Jerry Lee was to turn him loose in the studio, asking him to reach his  archival memory and play whatever came to mind. Jack Clement hit the big time by placing his composition on this flipside of Jerry Lee's second single (Sun 267). "It'll Be Me" is rockabilly's ode to reincarnation. A comparison with other known takes of this song  reveals just how different and truly unusual the arrangement of the issued version is. All it took was a life  performance during the summer of 1957 on Steve Allen's network TV show, and the Killer's career was up  and running. In Billboard's words, "This platter by Lewis is taking off like wildfire".

During the course of recording the early takes of ''It'll Be Me'', Jerry Lee concurrently toyed with his own arrangement of a number he'd come across a couple of years earlier while learning his trade at the Blue Cat Club in Natchez. The genesis of ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'', which had already been a modest hit for rhythm and blues songstress Big Maybelle, remains the subject of argument to this day, what is certain is that Lewis made the song his own, rendering such debate almost irrelevant. Whereas the development of ''It'll Be Me'' had been meticulous, with subtle refinements being introduced into successive takes, Lewis simply launched into what was destined to become his magnum opus with characteristic abandon. In so doing, he put to good use the opening riff employed both in ''End Of The Road'' and in ''It'll Be Me'', albeit for the latter he had it moved a couple of notches up the keyboard. Four takes, spearheaded by an eight-bar snipped of fifth, survive of the early run-throughs of ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'', all of which are solid enough but lack the magic ingredient. (*)


1(1) - "IT'LL BE ME"* - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Slow - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January/February 1957  - Not Originally Issued
Released: -   September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-31 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-18 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(2) - "IT'LL BE ME"* - B.M.I. - 1:09
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – 4 False Starts
Recorded: - January/February 1957  - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-2-11 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rom BCD 15420-2-2 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

This is an instance where it may be helpful to give close consideration to certain aspects of the recordings to help determine their dissimilarity. After a number of false starts, the first two complete takes of ''It'll Be Me'' have distinctive openings that make them readily identifiable. By take 3 the jaunty eight-bar introduction has been settled upon but there are still sufficient variations in Jerry Lee's delivery of the first line in each recording to tell them apart with some ease. Notice how, in take 3, the word ''hear'' is, ironically, almost inaudible, while in take 4 there is an emphasis on the word ''knocking'' and finally, in the master of the single version, it's on ''somebody''. (*)


1(3) - "IT'LL BE ME"* - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Fast - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January/February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - March 1987
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD Charly 70-19 mono
RARE AND ROCKIN'
Reissued: - September 1989  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-3 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

1(4) - "IT'LL BE ME"* – B.M.I. - 3:06
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Chatter – Unknown Take - Chatter
Recorded: - January/February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-2-16/17 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-21 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(5) - "IT'LL BE ME"* – B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - January/February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1995
First appearance: - Sun International (CD) 500/22rpm SRC-CD-7002-10 mono
GREATEST HITS - FINEST PERFORMANES
Reissued: -  October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-22 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(6) - "IT'LL BE ME"* - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 246 - Master
Recorded: - January/February 1957
Released: - March 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 267-A mono
IT'LL BE ME / WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOING ON
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

This songs has the distinction of being the very first to be issued in two different versions (unless we include   the extremely rare ‘Jamboree’ movie soundtrack album which featured an alternate version of ‘Great Balls  Of Fire’). The faster and superior version was issued as the flip of Jerry’s 2nd single ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’  Goin’ On’, while a quite different slower alternate version from a later session was issued the following year  on his 1958 debut album ''Jerry Lee Lewis''. I’ve always thought it a little strange that this wasn’t re-recorded  for ''Golden Hits'' in 1963, as all A and B sides of his first 5 Sun singles (plus his 7th Sun single) were cut  with the exception of this song.

On the single's release, Sam Phillips had higher hopes for the other side, "It'll Be Me", a song that Jack   Clement had concocted on the toilet while contemplating the possibility of reincarnation. Before recording,  the line, "If you see a turd in your toilet bowl, baby, it'll be me and I'll be starin' at you" had become "If you  find a lump in your sugar bowl"; sex may have been in, but scatology was definitely out. Released in mid- March, the record wasn't fully promoted until Jerry returned from the tour in May, and by that time, Sam Phillips had ascertained that "Shakin'" was the side to watch. With Dewey Phillips behind it, "Shakin'" was  sitting atop the local charts in Memphis, and on June 12 it entered the national country charts. Two weeks  later, it entered the Hot 100 at number 70.

Sam Phillips achievement was simply to turn on the tape machine and let his boy go, hoping to hear   something he could sell from the reliquary of forgotten hits and misses in Jerry's head. On this night, Jerry  Lee recorded the song that Ray Hall had probably taught him, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On". Sam  Phillips initially had little faith in it, sensing that it was too suggestive. As usual, Jerry had a hard time  recalling the original version and, running out of lyrics before the song was much over a minute long, he  eased the band down and inserted a talking segment he had worked up on club dates, before storming back  for a climactic finale, ending with a triumphant glissando.

Jerry would later record songs that were demonstrably lascivious ("Big Legged Woman" and "Meat Man", to   name two). "Shakin'" has formidable energy behind it - and a suggestive tone in the talking segment - but it  isn't explicitly obscene. In contrast, Bill Haley thought he had excised all the objectionable passages of  "Shake, Rattle And Roll" when he rewrote out the lines, "You wear them dresses, the sun comes shining  through / I can't believe all that mess belongs to you". With charming naivete, he left the line "I'm like a oneeyed  cat peeking in a seafood store"; when one considers that "seafood store" was black slang for female  genitalia, it doesn't take too much imagination to figure out the identity of the one-eyed cat. Intent counts for  a great deal, though, and Jerry imbued "Shakin'" with implicit sex. The record was banned in many cities.

2(1) - "WHOLE LOT SHAKIN' GOING ON"* - A.S.C.A.P. - 0:14
Composer: - Dave Curley Williams-Sunny David (aka Ray Hall)
Publisher: - Robert Mellin Music
Matrix number: - None – Fragment - Unknown Take
First part of Take recorded over
Recorded: - January/February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-24 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

In Nashville back in 1955, Lewis had played at the Musicians’ Hideaway bar owned by Roy Hall, and it was   after hearing Hall perform ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ that The Killer adapted and incorporated the  number into his own live act. Now fast-forward to February 1957, and a Sun session that commenced with  Jerry Lee and the boys working on one of Jack Clement's own compositions, ''It'll Be Me''.

''It just wasn’t jiving at that time'', Clement recalls, ''so I went into the studio and said, 'Why don't we get off   this for a while and do something else'? That's when Jerry's bass player, J.W. Brown, who was also his first  cousin and would soon become his father-in-law, said, 'Hey, Jerry, do that thing we've been doing on the road  which everybody likes so much'. Jerry said, 'OK', so I turned the tape machine on and he did ''Whole Lotta  Shakin' Goin' On'' in one take. No dry run, nothing. That was the first time I ever heard it''.

During an era when most studios' modus operandi was to record three or four tracks in as many hours, no   such time constraints were enforced at Sam Phillips' facility.  ''The musicians weren't quick enough to work that way'', Clement says. ''These were often guys who hadn't   made records before. But they were good. The thing about Jerry Lee is that you could give him a piano and  an audience of one or more people and he would give you the whole show. That’s what was so great about  him''.

As performed by Lewis, a catchy but fairly standard rhythm and blues number was transformed into just   under three minutes of rock and roll magic. OK, so he only sang a small portion of the ''Whole Lotta Shakin''  lyrics, but the power of his playing and suggestiveness of his vocal delivery were nothing short of transformative, culminating in the sedate yet leering spoken passage, '' shake it, baby, shake it, all you gotta  do honey is kinda stand in one spot, wiggle around just a little bit...'', that is followed by the rousing finale  and closing glissando.

''I knew it was a hit when I cut it'', Lewis would later say. ''Sam Phillips thought it was going to be too risqué,   it couldn’t make it. If that’s risqué, well, I’m sorry''.

2(2) - "WHOLE LOT SHAKIN' GOING ON"* - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:40
Composer: - Dave Curley Williams-Sunny David (aka Ray Hall)
Publisher: - Robert Mellin Music
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - January/February 1957  - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-2-A9 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-29 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

To discriminate between the complete raw takes of ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'', it's easiest simply to take note of Jerry Lee's lustful invitation to the subject of his attention once he's uttered the proposition that she should ''stand in one spot'' during the ''easy now'' passage. In succeeding takes he asks her either to ''...bop a little'', ''...wiggle around a little''', ''...twist around a little'' or ''...wiggle around a little bit''. The remnant of a fifth take which, in view of the slightly slower pace, is believed to represent Lewis's earliest recording of the song, is distinguished by the clipped pronunciation of the word ''shakin''', it being related in this instance as little more than a single syllable. (*)

The recording that would launch Lewis's career as a rock and roll icon appears, however, to have been an isolated addendum to a later session on February 5, 1957. On the playback of this cut of ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'', all involved must have quickly realised they had struck the mother lode, this was to be the ''A'' side of Jerry Lee's second disc, Sun 267.


2(3) - "WHOLE LOT SHAKIN' GOING ON"* - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:42
Composer: - Dave Curley Williams-Sunny David (aka Ray Hall)
Publisher: - Robert Mellin Music
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - January/February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-26 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(4) - "WHOLE LOT SHAKIN' GOING ON"* - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:44
Composer: - Dave Curley Williams-Sunny David (aka Ray Hall)
Publisher: - Robert Mellin Music
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - January/February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - March 1987
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD Charly 70-12 mono
RARE AND ROCKIN'
Reissued: -   October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-27 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(5) - "WHOLE LOT SHAKIN' GOING ON"* - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:47
Composer: - Dave Curley Williams-Sunny David (aka Ray Hall)
Publisher: - Robert Mellin Music
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - January/February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: -   Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-8-1 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN'
Reissued: -   October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-28 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jay W. Brown – Bass *
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

The other and maybe the true story about ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'' by Peter Guralnick.

Billy Riley and his band played a little club in Blytheville, Arkansas, called the Twin Gables, on the way  down. It was just Jerry, his cousin Jay Brown, who had accompanied him to the studio when they cut ''Crazy  Arms'' on November 14, 1956, and had by now acquired an electric bass, Roland Janes, Jimmy Van Eaton,  and the club was barely big enough to accommodate a group of even that size. In fact there was just room for  Jerry and Jimmy. van Eaton on the bandstand, Jay and Roland Janes had to stand on the floor, and every time  Jimmy Van Eaton socked the drums, dust sifted down from the heavy draperies tacked up on the ceiling to  deaden the sound, coating the new jackets they had bought to play the Jamboree.

It was a four-hour job, so you really had to throw just about every song you might be able to play together as  a band into each set, and then some. Not long into the evening Jerry Lee Lewis played a boogie-woogie  figure to introduce a song he said he used to sing when he was down in Ferriday, and the band fell in behind  him. Before he had even gotten halfway through, Roland Janes said, the people just started going crazy,  ''bopping all over the floor, you know how they do in Arkansas''. And as soon as they finished, the audience  wanted to hear it again. ''Play that ''Shakin'' song'', they kept calling out. ''They just loved it, man, they  insisted on hearing it over and over''. And the same thing happened when they played the Big D Jamboree the  next night and then an upstairs club nearby after the show. The song was ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On''.

It had first been recorded in 1955 without any real chart success, or anything like the boogie-woogie  approach that Jerry Lee brought to it, by rhythm and blues belter Big Maybelle. Jerry had first heard it  performed by a Natchez disc jockey named Johnny Littlejohn at the little club across the river from Ferriday  where he ordinarily performed. According to Jerry, ''and he was playing drums and singing, and I stood there  and listened, and I said, 'Man, that is fantastic'. I said, 'That's a hit'. And I started doing it pretty close to  exactly they way he done it. Word for word. The way he would say, 'Easy, Let's get down real low. Stand it in  one spot, and wiggle it around a little bit'. I picket it up from, I didn't steal it. I just kind of took it''.

When they played it for Sam Phillips, he didn't hesitate for a minute. Memories differ, but if they didn't cut it  on the spot, they went back into the studio the next day, and after four or five takes they had it.

There has never seen a more breathtaking iconic moment. Jerry Lee kicked the rhythm off, just the way he  always did, it was at heart a boogie-woogie number after all, with Jimmy M. Van Eaton on drums and  Roland Janes' muted guitar coming in close behind. But where in the early takes the vocal is mannered,  almost as if the singer is not fully committed to a consistency of approach, with tempo flirting with the  frenetic, and the piano wavering in its attack, the final take exudes a sense of pure command and rumbling  authority that, as brilliant as all of his previous studio extemporizations may have been, had never been  altogether realized before.

This sence of authority is unmistakably aided by the liberal application of slapback not just to the vocal but  to the piano as well, and by the almost total eradication of Jay W. Brown's electric bass, which had been  disconcertingly present in earlier takes. Most of all, there is a sence of sheer uninhibited fun, underscored by  a selective use of glissando and the controlled variations of tone archieved in both the recordings and  performing process. When Jerry Lee swings into his first solo with an ''Aww, let's go'', the record takes off,  though nothing physically changes, and then when he calls out, ''Ro, boy'', to invite Roland Janes' stringbending  solo, there is simply no turning back.

The record concludes with the Johnny Littlejohn spoken passage that may well take its original inspiration  from Clarence ''Pine Top'' Smith's 1929 classic, ''Pine Top's Boogie Woogie'', in which the singer is directing  similar double entendres at an unseen audience, who are bidden to dance to the music at his direction. ''Now  when I say, 'Hold yourself''', says Pine Top. ''I want you get ready to stop / And when I say, 'Git it', I want you  to shake that thing''. In this case Jerry Lee, after directing the band to ''get real low one time now'', turns his  attention to one particular, imagined girl, whom he exhorts to ''kind of stand in one spot, wiggle around just a  little bit'', before concluding, ''That's when you got something''. At which point he turns his attention back to  the band, delivering a single irrefutable command (''Now let's go one time'') before capping the exuberantly  throbbing finale with yet another glissando.

Neither Jimmy Marcus Van Eaton, nor Roland Janes had any point of comparison in their musical  experience. They were, unquestionably, participants in the process, they were undeniably contributors, but  there was no doubt in either of their minds that, without in any way underestimating their own contributions,  they had never encountered such genius before, and they doubted that they ever would again. To Sam  Phillips, what it all came down to was that Jerry Lee had found his voice, that, for all of the insecurity that  Sam suspected lay just beneath the swagger, ''he had that basic sureness about what he was doing. And he  believed that what he was doing was good''. For Jack Clement, whose recollection of the moment was as  poetically true as it was factually fogged, ''We'd been working and working on a song I wrote called ''It'll Be  Me'', and it was getting a little stale, and the bass player spoke up and said, 'Hey, Jerry, let's do that song  we've been doing on the road that everybody likes so much. So I said, 'Okay, ell, let me go turn on the  machine'. So I walk in the control room and sit down, just as, they're playing the chord, and we did it. No dry  run, no nothing, just blap, there's ''Whole Lot Of Shakin''. One take. Now that was fun''.

Maybe that's the best description of how it actually happened, even if there were in fact at least three or four  alternate takes, because that's what it sounds like. For all the discipline that was required, for all the careful  attention to feel and sound, it came out as pure and unself-conscious as if it were a first take, as if it could  never have been anything but what it was. It was the perfect definition of everything that Sam Phillips strove  for in his ''little laboratory of sound''; a thoroughly professional recording that sounded as if it had been put  together with a minimum of polish and maximum of spontaneity.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY FEBRUARY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

1(1) - "OLE PAL OF YESTERDAY" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Gene Autry-Jimmy Long
Publisher: - Songs Of Universe
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-7-3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-29 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Jerry Lee Lewis like wise treated ''Ole Pal Of Yesterday'' with a great deal of respect and left us with little to help in distinguishing one from any other of four very similar takes of the song. Let's start with the easy one. The first of the four to be issued, though the last in the sequence presented here, fortuitously serves up a classic default marker; a glissando, executed only in this take, is heard at 1:55 during the course of the solo. (*)


1(2) - "OLE PAL OF YESTERDAY" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Gene Autry-Jimmy Long
Publisher: - Songs Of Universe
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-11-8 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-30 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

 Next, consider take 2; this can be eliminated from the discussion by reference to the final line of the song, which is alone in not being prefaced with the word ''yes''; as is the case with the remaining two, take 1 and 3, while take 4 features a more casual ''yeah''. To split takes 1 and 3, listen carefully at around 1:05 to 1:10 in both; in the first, the line ''does your memory stray'' is anticipated by the word ''well'' while ''stray'' is delivered conventionally; in the second there's no ''well'' and the word ''stray'' is stretched on a rising inflection into two syllables. There's not much to pick between any of these alternates, but the clues are there. (*)

1(3) - "OLE PAL OF YESTERDAY" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Gene Autry-Jimmy Long
Publisher: - Songs Of Universe
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-2-B1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -  October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-1-31 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(4) - "OLE PAL OF YESTERDAY" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Gene Autry-Jimmy Long
Publisher: - Songs Of Universe
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957  - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-A8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-5 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

2(1) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 2: 30
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-2-B2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-30 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Jerry Lee Lewis took an extended break from the studio work throughout April and May 1957, during which he toured extensively in the mid-west and in Canada. But before leaving Memphis he worked on a second, so-called ''slow'' arrangement of ''It'll Be Me'' would itself in due course reap further rewards for Clement when it found a place on Lewis's first album and/or EP that year or so later. Again, successive takes demonstrated steady progress until the LP/EP master was settled upon. With the exception of the initial pair and the last of the seven, these takes are not that easy to differentiate but there are some useful pointers. The opener is straightforward, as it is missing the emblematic ''knock on the door'' drum intro. Take 2, once it is underway following a false start, establishes the template for what is to come but this effort is set apart by Jerry Lee's vocal histrionics as they come out of the instrumental break. In take 3, during the same passage, the phrase ''in the night\\ is noticeably hurried compared to the norm. Take 4 alone features, in the fourth verse, the idea of ''something funny'' as opposed to ''a funny face'' being seen ''in a comic book''. In take 5 an untypical piano break confirms that we're on new ground. The second, LP master then follows; the main point of reference is simply that this is the most recognisable take, against which the variations perceptible in the others can be measured although one vocal nuance which can be highlighted is the clipped way in which the term ''sugar bowl'' is sung in the penultimate line. Take 6 has been presented as a postscript here because it presents a change of tempo that isolates it from the mainstream development of the song. (*)


2(2) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 0:21
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – 3 False Starts
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(3) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(4) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(5) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 0:32
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – 4 False Starts
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(6) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(7) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957  - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April  1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-9-3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(8) - "IT'LL BE ME" – B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – EP/LP Master
Recorded: - February 1957
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 110-B2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-11 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

2(9) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - March 1987
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD Charly 70-18 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - RARE AND ROCKIN'
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-9 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(1) - "ALL NIGHT LONG" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Traditional Arranged by Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Chatter - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released:  - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-3-A3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -  October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-10 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(2) - "ALL NIGHT LONG" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Traditional Arranged by Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-A9 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-12 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

4(1) - "OLD TIME RELIGION" - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - Traditional-Tillman Franks
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-1-B8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-13 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"(Give Me That) Old Time Religion" recorded here by Jerry Lee Lewis, is a traditional gospel song dating from 1873, when it was included in a list of Jubilee songs, or earlier. It has become a standard in many Protestant hymnals, though it says nothing about Jesus or the gospel, and covered by many artists. Some scholars, such as Forrest Mason McCann, have asserted the possibility of an earlier stage of evolution of the song, in that "the tune may go back to English folk origins" (later dying out in the white repertoire but staying alive in the work songs of African Americans). In any event, it was by way of Charles Davis Tillman that the song had incalculable influence on the confluence of black spiritual and white gospel song traditions in forming the genre now known as southern gospel. Tillman was largely responsible for publishing the song into the repertoire of white audiences. It was first heard sung by African-Americans and written down by Tillman when he attended a camp meeting in Lexington, South Carolina in 1889.

A popular version of "Old Time Religion" was done by The Caravans in 1954 with a young James Cleveland singing lead. Vocals in the group also included Cassietta George, Albertina Walker, Louise McDowell and Johneron Davis.


4(2) - "OLD TIME RELIGION" – B.M.I. - 1:35
Composer: - Traditional-Tillman Franks
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 1957  - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1970
First appearance: Sun International (LP) 33rpm Sun 119-B2 mono
JOHNNY CASH & JERRY LEE LEWIS - SUNDAY DOWN SOUTH
Reissued: - October  2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-13 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5 - "WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHIN' IN" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Traditional-Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - R&H Music
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Master
Recorded: - February 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-1-B9 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-14 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"When The Saints Go Marching In", often referred to as "The Saints", is an American gospel hymn. Though it originated as a Christian hymn, it is often played by jazz bands. This song was famously recorded on May 13, 1938 by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra. The song is sometimes confused with a similarly titled composition "When The Saints are Marching In" from 1896 by Katharine Purvis wrote the lyrics and James Milton Black composed the music.

The origins of this song are unclear. It apparently evolved in the early 1900s from a number of similarly titled gospel songs including "When The Saints Are Marching In" (1896) and "When The Saints March In for Crowning" (1908). The first known recorded version was in 1923 by the Paramount Jubilee Singers on Paramount 12073. Although the title given on the label is "When All The Saints Come Marching In," the group sings the modern lyrics beginning with "When the saints go marching in...". No author is shown on the label. Several other gospel versions were recorded in the 1920s, with slightly varying titles but using the same lyrics, including versions by The Four Harmony Kings (1924), Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers (1924), Wheat Street Female Quartet (1925), Bo Weavil Jackson (1926), Deaconess Alexander (1926), Rev. E. D. Campbell (1927), Robert Hicks (aka Barbecue Bob, 1927), Blind Willie Davis (1928), and the Pace Jubilee Singers (1928). The earliest versions were slow and stately, but as time passed the recordings became more rhythmic, including a distinctly up tempo version by the Sanctified Singers on British Parlophone in 1931. Even though the song had folk roots, a number of composers claimed copyright in it in later years, including Luther G. Presley and Virgil Oliver Stamps, R.E. Winsett, and Frank and Jim McCravy. Although the song is still heard as a slow spiritual number, since the mid-20th century it has been more commonly performed as a "hot" number. The tune is particularly associated with the city of New Orleans. A jazz standard, it has been recorded by a great many jazz and pop artists.

Both vocal and instrumental renditions of the song abound. Louis Armstrong was one of the first to make the tune into a nationally known pop tune in the 1930s for Decca Records. Armstrong wrote that his sister told him she thought the secular performance style of the traditional church tune was inappropriate and irreligious. Armstrong was in a New Orleans tradition of turning church numbers into brass band and dance.

5(d) - "WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHIN' IN"** - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Traditional-Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - R&H Music
Matrix number: - None – Overdubbed LP Master
Recorded: - February 1957
Released: - May 1958
Fist appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm SLP 1230-B4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-4-6 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

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

** - Overdubbed Session   April 4 and/or 8, 1958
Vocal Chorus Overdubbed
Ed Bruce, Vernon Drane, Charlie Rich,
Lee Holt, Bobby Thompson,
Ben Strong and Alive Rumple

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 2, 1957 SAURDAY

Ernest Tubb and The Wilbuen Bothers recorded ''Mister Love'' in the early evening at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville's Music Row.

Singer-songwriter Ashley Cleveland is born in Knoxville, Tennesee. Married to guitarist Kenny Greenberg, the Grammy-winning Christian artist back up Reba McEntire on ''Why Haven't I Hear From You'' and Martine McBride on ''Wild Angels''.

Carl Perkins and his band plays ''Blue Suede Shoes'' and ''Matchbox'' as a guest performer on ABC-TV's ''Ozark Jubilee''.

Fats Domino appears on "The Perry Como Show'' and sings ''Blue Berry Hill'' and ''Blue  Monday''.

FEBRUARY 4, 1957 MONDAY

Columbia released Mel Tillis' first single, ''Honky Tonk Song''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY TUESDAY FEBRUARY 5, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

1(1) - "IT ALL DEPENDS" B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Billy Mize
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Master
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-6-A3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-27 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

1(1d) - "IT ALL DEPENDS"** B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - Billy Mize
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Overdubbed LP Master
Recorded: - February 5, 1957
Released: - May 1958
Fist appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm SLP 1230-A4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-4-8 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

Recorded on this session and (along with 3 other songs) overdubbed in April 4 and/or 8, 1958 with a male   vocal chorus for inclusion on Jerry’s first album, this is one of his finest early country-pop ballads. The 1979  re-cut (released under the alternate title ''Who Will Buy The Wine'' on the mostly brilliant ''When Two  Worlds Collide'' album the following year) is given the full Nashville treatment of fiddle, steel guitar, strings  and girly backing vocals. Despite (or because of) this, it’s a more than worthy remake. However, for some  reason is Jerry more “innocent” younger vocals more appealing on this particular song.

2(1) - "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" - B.M.I. - 0:24
Composer: - James H. Davis-Charles Mitchell
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - None – 2 False Starts - 1st False Start Unissued
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-3-A8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-16 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

This standard, Jerry here cut three superb (but similar) takes during his early months at Sun, both performed   fairly fast and with the trademark ''pumpin'' piano much in evidence. One take was issued on ''Olde Tyme  Country Music'' in 1970, while the alternate take was first issued on ''The Sun Years'' in 1983. The re-cut is  performed much slower, the prominent harmonica gives it a similar feel to his 1975 ''Odd Man In'' album and  for once the overdubbed duet vocal (by Sheryl Crow) probably genuinely enhances what was a more than  OK track beforehand. Released on the ''Mean Old Man'' EP in 2009 and again on the album of the same  name this year, it’s an undoubted highlight of both the EP and the album.

2(2) - "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - James H. Davis-Charles Mitchell
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-3-A8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-17 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

2(3) - "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - James H. Davis-Charles Mitchell
Was first heart in the 1940 film "Take Me Back To Oklahoma",
sung by Tex Ritter.
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1970
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm LP 121-B3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - OLE TYME COUNTRY MUSIC
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-24 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

"You Are My Sunshine" is a popular American song and it was first recorded in 1939. It also happens to be   one of Louisiana's state songs. The songwriters for this song are Charles Mitchell and James Davis. While  Jimmie Davis who sung the 2nd version of this song used his association with this song for immense political mileage when running for governorship of Louisiana.

This song is soaked in history and it has been featured in numerous films, television shows, television   commercials, and radio commercials additionally numerous sporting teams, such as Wigan Athletic Football  Club too have used this song. Today this song is a extremely well known song and is a standard for traditional country music and traditional jazz performers. The song "You Are My Sunshine" is frequently called "The Sunshine Song".

3(1) - "I DON'T LOVE NOBODY" - B.M.I. - 1:23
Composer: - Elizabeth Cotten
Publisher: - Traditional
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April  1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-9-4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-19 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten (née Neville) born on January 5, 1893, was an American blues and folk musician, singer, and songwriter. A self-taught left-handed guitarist, Cotten developed her own original style. Her approach involved using a right-handed guitar (usually in standard tuning), not re-strung for left-handed playing, essentially, holding a right-handed guitar upside down. This position required her to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb. Her signature alternating bass style has become known as "cotten picking".

Elizabeth Nevills was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to a musical family. Her parents were George Nevill (also spelled Nevills) and Louisa (or Louise) Price Nevill. Elizabeth was the youngest of five children. At age seven, Cotten began to play her older brother's banjo. By eight years old, she was playing songs. At the age of 11, after scraping together some money as a domestic helper, she bought her own guitar. The guitar, a Sears and Roebuck brand instrument, cost her $3.75. Although self-taught, she became very good at playing the instrument. By her early teens she was writing her own songs, among ''I Don't Love Nobody'' voiced here twice by Jerry Lee Lewis with his pumping piano style with the sharp guitar accompaniment by Roland Janes and the drumming of Jimmy Van Eaton, but one of which, "Freight Train", became one of her most recognized. Cotten wrote "Freight Train" in remembrance of the nearby train that she could hear from her childhood home.

Around the age of 13, Cotten began working as a maid along with her mother. On November 7, 1910, at the age of 17, she married Frank Cotten. The couple had a daughter named Lillie, and soon after young Elizabeth gave up guitar playing for family and church. Elizabeth, Frank and their daughter Lillie moved around the eastern United States for a number of years between North Carolina, New York, and Washington, D.C., finally settling in the D.C. area. When Lillie married, Elizabeth divorced Frank and moved in with her daughter and her family.

Cotten had retired from the guitar for 25 years, except for occasional church performances. She didn't begin performing publicly and recording until she was in her 1960s. She was discovered by the folk-singing Seeger family while she was working for them as a housekeeper.

While working briefly in a department store, Cotten helped a child wandering through the aisles find her mother. The child was Penny Seeger, and the mother was composer Ruth Crawford Seeger. Soon after this, Elizabeth again began working as a maid, caring for Ruth Crawford Seeger and Charles Seeger's children, Mike, Peggy, Barbara, and Penny. While working with the Seegers (a voraciously musical family) she remembered her own guitar playing from 40 years prior and picked up the instrument again to relearn almost from scratch.

In the later half of the 1950s, Mike Seeger began making bedroom reel to reel recordings of Cotten's songs in her house. These recordings later became the album Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar, which was released on Folkways Records. Since that album, her songs, especially her signature track, Freight Train, which she wrote when she was 11, have been covered by Peter, Paul, and Mary, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Devendra Banhart, Laura Gibson, Laura Veirs, His Name Is Alive, Doc Watson, Taj Mahal and Geoff Farina. Shortly after that first album, she began playing concerts with Mike Seeger, the first of which was in 1960 at Swarthmore College.

In the early 1960s, Cotten went on to play concerts with some of the big names in the burgeoning folk revival. Some of these included Mississippi John Hurt, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters at venues such as the Newport Folk Festival and the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife.

The new-found interest in her work inspired her to write more material to play, and in 1967 she released a record created with her grandchildren, which took its name from one of her songs, Shake Sugaree. Using profits from her touring, record releases, and from the many awards given to her for her own contributions to the folk arts, Elizabeth was able to move with her daughter and grandchildren from Washington, D.C., and buy a house in Syracuse, New York. She was also able to continue touring and releasing records well into her 1980s. In 1984, she won the Grammy Award for "Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording" for the album on Arhoolie Records, ''Elizabeth Cotten Live''. When accepting the award in Los Angeles, her comment was, "Thank you. I only wish I had my guitar so I could play a song for you all." In 1989, Cotten was one of 75 influential African-American women included in the photo documentary, ''I Dream A World''. Elizabeth Cotten died in June 29, 1987, at Crouse-Irving Hospital in Syracuse, New York, at the age of 94.


3(2) - "I DON'T LOVE NOBODY" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Elizabeth Cotten
Publisher: - Traditional
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm Sun NY-6-A1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - COLLECTORS EDITON
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-28 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

4 - "LONG GONE LONESOME BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-B7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-16 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Long Gone Lonesome Blues" is 1950 song by Hank Williams played on this session by Jerry Lee for Sun Records. The song was Hank Williams' second number one on the country and western chart. "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" stayed on the charts for twenty-one weeks, with five weeks at the top of the country and western chart. The B-side of the song, entitled "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy," peaked at number nine on the country and western chart.

"Long Gone Lonesome Blues" is quite similar in form and style to Williams' previous number 1 hit "Lovesick Blues." Biographer Colin Escott speculates that Hank deliberately utilized the similar title, tempo, and yodels because, although he had scored five Top 5 hits since "Lovesick Blues" had topped the charts, he had not had another number 1. Williams had been carrying the title around in his head for a while but it was not until he went on a fishing trip with songwriter Vic McAlpin that the inspiration to write the song took hold: "They left early to drive out to the Tennessee River where it broadens into Kentucky Lake, but Hank had been unable to sleep on the trip, and was noodling around with the title all the way. As McAlpin told journalist Roger Williams, he and Hank were already out on the lake when McAlpin became frustrated with Hank's pre-occupation. ''You come here to fish or watch the fish swim by''? he said, and suddenly Hank had the key that unlocked the song for him. ''Hey''! he said. ''That's the first line''!

As he sometimes did, Williams bought out McAlpin's meager share in the song and took sole credit. The tune was recorded in Nashville at Castle Studio with Fred Rose producing on January 9, 1950 and featured Jerry Rivers (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Bob McNett (lead guitar), Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), and Ernie Newton (bass). The song's bluesy guitar intro, high falsettos, and Hank's suicidal yet irresistibly catchy lyrics, sent it soaring to the top of the country charts on March 25, 1950.


5(3) - "IT'LL BE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-2-22 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

At a later stage here, Lewis entertain everyone in the studio with a casual yet innovative third version of ''It'll Be Me'' which, unaccountably, has been overlooked in any re-issue programme until now. This shows Jerry Lee a tad irreverent, and quite what Jack Clement would have made of it can only be guessed at. For all one knows, he may have been disappointed that Lewis didn't pick up on the original analogy and replace the line about u lump in a sugar bowl with an explicit reference to the scatological inspiration, although there's certainly a hint in the final refrain that Jerry Lee almost did exactly that. The rest of us can simply celebrate the fact that in 2015, fifty-eight years after this light-hearted gem was recorded, it's finally available for us to enjoy. (*)


Winner and first runner-up in the Lewd and Lascivious category, "Shake Rattle And Roll" and "Whole Lotta   Shakin' Goin' On" are the two strongest arguments for the idea that prudes really did have something to fear  from rock and roll. Both, Big Joe and Jerry Lee leer and drool with an indelicacy that would be comic if it  weren't so intense. If there's a way to impute more pure, dripping lust into the word "Shake", no one has ever  fount it, even though Lewis and Turner doubtless inspired many a search. A side from that, the records are opposites. Turner's never made the pop charts, although its wonderful, witty lyrics was bowdlerized and  turned into a multi-million seller by Bill Haley later the same year; Lewis got a number one Rhythm and  Blues hit to go with the pop success, even though rhythm and blues shouter Big Maybelle (Perhaps the closest thing to a distaff equivalent of Turner) had flopped with the same song in 1955. There's a kind of  double whammy here because "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" began its life as a collaboration between a  black man, Williams, and a white one, Hall (Jerry Lee apparently worked from Hall's country version, even more obscure than Big Maybelle's). The contrast is greatest when it comes to the piano playing.

Forty-three-year-old Turner, who'd been making records since the late thirties when he came East from   Kansas City as part of the boogie-woogie boom, got his most famous hit with an arrangement driven by  lovely triplets that wouldn't have been out of place on his first sides. Lewis, like the twenty-two-year-old hothead he was, simply guns it from the first notes, playing a cross between honky-tonk and blues shuffle at  an impossible tempo, which he was the audacity to speed up after the first verse. Turner is commanding  because he remains dignified even while exorcising his lust. Lewis is in charge because he's tough and  arrogant enough to back up every claim his romp over the keyboards makes. in a way, this only restates the  obvious: Big Joe Turner was a blues shouter who had rhythm and blues hits in the rock and roll era. Jerry  Lee Lewis was a rock and roller. Still, their finest records live on, side by side.

6(2) - "WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOING ON" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Dave "Curly" Williams-Sunny David (aka Roy Hall)
"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" was written by Dave Williams and Roy Hall
while both were in Pahokee, Florida, in 1954. Hall had been Webb Pierce's
piano player. The song has been variously copyrighted through the years as
"Whole Lot-ta Shakin' Goin' On", "A Whole Lot Of Ruckus", and
"Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On".
Publisher: - Marlyn Music - Robert Mellin Music
Matrix number: - U 247 - Master
Recorded: - February 5, 1957
Released: - March 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 267-B mono
WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOING ON / IT'LL BE ME
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

The master take is, readily set apart from its forebears by the introduction of the ''slapback'' echo that invests the performance with its distinctive and memorable character. This process was never better illustrated than by the words of hank Davis, in his 1983 essay ''The Sun Sound'', published in association with the Charly box sets, viz; ''...the driving, pounding sound came from miking the piano just right and feeding the sound back on itself at just the right rate in order to fatten it up. By the time the drums join and Jerry Lee begins to sing, the record id throbbing with its own hypnotic life. Words like ''pounding'' or ''incessant'' don't even scratch the descriptive surface. In a sense, the entire record is the rhythm section. No wonder Jerry Lee's vocal or piano glissandi work so well, anything that moves in counterpoint to or breaks the underlying tension is bound to succeed''. (*)


Rockabilly pianist Roy Hall, who, under the pseudonym of Sunny David, wrote ''Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’   On'' with black musician Dave Williams, also recorded his own version, before Lewis inspired a generation  of teens by injecting the song with his inimitable brand of boogie-woogie, country, gospel and rhythm and  blues-infused hellfire. Released in May 1957, the single rose to number eight in the United Kingdom,  reached number three on what was then known as the Billboard Top 100, and became an rhythm and blues  and country chart-topper. In the process, it launched the career of the piano-pounding, rocket-fuelled  wildman whose manic, overtly sexual live performances provoked parental nightmares. As it happens, the  self-described ''Killer'' only enjoyed four Top 20 hits before the scandal of his marriage to a 13-year-old cousin brought the successes to a screeching halt. Yet, courtesy of a wide-ranging career that has now  spanned seven decades and comprised an impressive body of work, Lewis’s legend has remained intact, and  the tale of how he first came to prominence is, like the man himself, quite unique.

After four recordings, disc jockey Johnny Littlefield received Roy Hall's latest Decca release in the mail in   the fall of 1955. He immediately began playing the record in the air. He also began singing the song in his  nightclub, the Wagon Wheel also called the Music Box in some sources). One of the members of his house  band was piano player Jerry Lee Lewis. Reportedly, Lewis began begged Littlefield to allow him to sing the  song in the club. Lewis has said that he first remembers hearing "Big Mama Thornton's recording of "Whole  Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" sometime in 1955. Obviously, Lewis meant Big Maybelle, not Willie Mae Thornton.  In any case, Jerry Lee Lewis incorporated "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" into his act. On April 15, 1957,  Jerry Lee Lewis appeared "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" on the Steve Allen show.

Jerry Lee didn't write many songs but he sure did breathe new life into virtually everything he performed.   "Whole Lotta Shakin'" is a case in point. Listen to earlier versions of the song by Roy Hall or blues shouter  Big Maybelle. What Jerry Lee has brought to this massive hit is truly worthy of composer credit.

7 - "MY CAROLINA SUNSHINE GIRL" - B.M.I. - 1:51
Composer: - Jimmie Rodgers
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-B8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-15 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Jimmy Rogers (aka "The Singing Brakeman", "The Blue Yodeler", and "The Father of Country Music" recorded ''My Carolina Sunshine Girl'' on October 20, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia, backed with ''Desert Blues'' for Victor (V-40096).

8 - "SHAME ON YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Spade Cooley
Publisher: - Hill and Range Songs Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-A5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-22 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Shame On You" performed here by Jerry Lee Lewis is a western swing song written by Spade Cooley and became Cooley's signature song. The title comes from the refrain that starts each verse: ''Shame, shame on you. Shame, shame on you''. In the song, the singer is rebuking his straying girlfriend.

First recorded by Spade Cooley, it was released January 15, 1945 (OKeh 6731). With vocals by Tex Williams, it reached number 1 spending 31 weeks on the charts. The "B" side, "A Pair Of Broken Hearts", also a hit reached number 8. The recording was Cooley's first after taking over the band from Jimmy Wakely, and the first of an unbroken chain of six hits which led to him being on the cover of Billboard in March 1946. "Shame On You" was the first song whose rights were owned by the Hill & Range publishing company, which later grew to become a dominant force in country music.

Later in 1945, "Shame On You" was recorded by The Lawrence Welk Orchestra with Red Foley. Their version also went to number one on the country charts. The B-side of the song, entitled, "At Mail Call Today" went to number three on the country charts. Coast Records, based in Los Angeles released a version by Walt Shrum and His Colorado Hillbillies. "Shame On You" has also been recorded by several other western swing bands.


9(1) - "DRINKIN' WINE SPO-DEE-O-DEE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Stick McGhee
Publisher: - Leeds Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 5, 1957   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1971
First appearance: Sun International (LP) 33rpm SUN 124-B3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - MONSTERS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-17 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

''Drinkin' Wine'' a long-time favourite of Jerry’s (legend has it that this was the first non-religious song he   ever performed in public way back in circa 1949), and every version is great in it’s own way. The first  version from 1957 has a very memorable piano intro (I wish he’d recreate it ‘live’) though due to the subject  matter (getting paralytic drunk) it had to wait until the 1971 ´Monsters’ album before it was released. The  1958 version (actually 2 takes) wasn’t released until the 1983 ''The Sun Years'' box-set, and the 1963 Smash cut was one of the highlights of the 1966 ''Memphis Beat'' LP. Lastly, the 1973 cut from ''The Session'' was  also released as a single (times had changed since 1957), deservedly reaching the United States pop top 40.  The song is still more often than not part of Jerry's stage show today.

Granville ''Stick'' McGhee, in the military, Granville often played his guitar and one of the songs, that McGhee was best known for his co-written song "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee". The original lyrics of the song were as follows: ''Drinkin’ that mess is our delight, and when we get drunk, start fightin’ all night. Knockin’ out windows and tearin’ down doors, drinkin’ half-gallons and callin’ for more. Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine! Goddam! Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine! Goddam! Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine! Goddam! Pass that bottle to me''! This song was one of the earliest prototypical rock and roll songs and was covered by Jerry Lee Lewis for his Sun International LP ''Monsters'' (Sun 124, April 1971) and Mike Bloomfield's Electric Flag (as "Wine"). The song lent its name to the alcoholic fruit drink, spodi.

In 1946, Granville and Brownie McGhee collaborated and modified the song into a clean cut version for Harlem Records. The song was released a year later in January 1947 at the price of 49 cents. The song did not get much airplay time until two years later, when Granville recreated the song for Atlantic Records. As a result, it rose to number 2 on the Billboard Rhythm And Blues chart, where it stayed for 4 weeks, spending almost half a year on the charts overall.

His songs attracted countless covers over the years. The first cover was by Lionel Hampton featuring Sonny Parker, then Wynonie Harris, and lastly, Loy Gordon and His Pleasant Valley Boys with their hillbilly-bop rendition. His song "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee" maintained its popularity throughout the 1950s by various artists, including Malcolm Yelvington, recorded on October 10, 1954 for Sun Records (Sun 211), and Johnny Burnette (Coral 9-61869) in 1957.


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

** - Overdubbed Session   April 4 and/or 8, 1958
Vocal Chorus Overdubbed
Ed Bruce, Vernon Drane, Charlie Rich,
Lee Holt, Bobby Thompson,
Ben Strong and Alive Rumple

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Roy Hall (Sonny David) one of the composers of ''Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On''. >

WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOIN' ON'' STORY TOLD BY ROY HALL
In the summer of 1954, soon after he joined Sun Records, Elvis Presley entered the Music Box Night Club also named  Hideaway, located at Commerce Street in Nashville, looking for a job. Future Sun recording artist Roy  Hall, and owner of the club recalls, "I was drunk that night, I didn't feel like playing piano, so I told him to  get up there and start doing whatever in hell it was that he did''.


''I fired him after just one song that night. He   wasn't no damn good".   It is an interesting story but doubtful, since Elvis Presley was living and working in Memphis at the time. It   seems to be popular among rockers who didn't make it big to claim they fired Elvis Presley from their acts or   clubs. Singer Eddie Dean also claimed to have fired Elvis Presley.

There is one segment of Hall's story that   might be credible - that he gave Jerry Lee Lewis a job at his club in 1956, and it was there that Lewis first  learned Hall's song "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". Jerry and Hall were more like-minded and they had the   musical bond of the piano. ''I hired him for fifteen dollars a night'', Hall told Toshes. He kept Lewis on for   several weeks apparently, playing while the club was open illegally after hours. ''He'd play that damn piano   from one in the morning until daylight. We did a lot of duets together too. He was still a teenager, and   everybody figured that when we got musted he'd be the one that the cops let go; so everybody gave him their watches and jewellery to hold for them case the cops came. We got hit one night; he must'a had fifteen   wristwatches on his arms. Sure enough he was the only one didn't get searched''.

By the time Roy Hall turned up for his Decca session in September 1955, both he and Paul Cohen had   figured Roy could do something leaning towards the new rock and roll end of the marked. Roy Hall made   four sessions in all for Decca, and summarised his Decca period like this, ''yeah man, I was hot in those days.   I recorded four million sellers for Decca, ''See You Later Alligator'', ''Whole Lotta Shakin''', ''All By Myself'',   and ''Blue Suede Shoes''. He omitted to mention that these songs were million sellers for someone else. When  pressed, he clarified the hype a little, ''Well, yes, Ok, but see, that was part of the plan. Cover records were a   big thing in the early days of rock and roll. And then, ''Whole Lotta Shakin'''was my song, after all. Jerry Lee   learned that song from me in my club. When I cut it, he wasn't even recording. That song was a sleeper. It   was made up of parts I put together with another feller, and he sung it as blues and I sung it as myself in the   club. It was recorded all kinds of ways before Jerry Lee Lewis got to it''. He later told Nick Tosches: ''Me and  a coloured guy name of Dave Williams put it together. We was down in Pahokee, Florida, out at Lake   Okeechobee. We was drunk, writing songs. We was out there fishing and milking snakes. Drinking wine.   This guy had a bell out there and he'd ring us to get us to come in for dinner. And I call over there to the  other part of the island, I say 'What's going on'? Colored guy said, 'We got twenty one drums, see, they's all   drunk. We got an old bass horn, and they even keeping time on a ding dong. 'See, that's the big bell they'd   ring to get us to come in''. When they returned from the swamps, Williams apparently started pitching their   song to black singers in New York while Hall started playing it in the honky tonks of Nashville. The song   was first copyrighted by Marlyn-Copar Music, Decca producer Paul Cohen's company, in New York early in   1955 under the title ''Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On'' and credited to Dave Williams and Sunny David. Roy   Hall was Sonny David: ''When me and Curlee Williams copyrighted the song I used a pen name, Sunny   David. I had me a lot of pen names, I was trying to get away from the income tax. They finally caught my  ass, too''. The first to record ''Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On'' was blues shouter Big Maybelle who recorded   the song in New York in March 1955 with a band led by Quincy Jones. It was issued on the Okeh label that   summer, credited only D.C. Williams as the writer. Presumably Williams, who was based in New York,   facilitated the recording. In October 1955 David Williams copyrighted the song through Village Music   Company under the name of ''A Whole Lot 'O Ruckus''. The final version was never copyrighted until August  1957 after Jerry Lee Lewis hit with it on Sun. Currently it's registered in Williams' name only.

When ''A Whole Lot Of Ruckus" was copyrighted, Roy Hall's own version of the song had been cut on   September 15, 1955, and it appeared as the B-side of Decca 29679 within just a few days. On October 8,   1955, it was reviewed in Billboard: ''Webb Pierce's pianist takes a stab in the vocal field and shows a highly   distinctive, flavorsome voice, showcased in two rock and roll type entries''. Like Maybelle's record, Hall   opens with the ''Twenty one drums... beating on a ding dong'' before venturing into the more familiar ''come   on over baby... whole lotta shakin'... chicken in the barn... bull by the horns'' lines so familiar to the world   from Lewis's later version.


FEBRUARY 1957

SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRISONAIRES - When John Drue (member of the Prisonaires and   Marigolds) was paroled for the last time, just Johnny Bragg was left inside from the original   Prisonaires. He continued to sing with an ever-changing line-up of Marigolds and, as he told   Colin Escott, ''the Prisonaires had engagements stacked up too, so the original ones in the   free world would meet up with us and we sang, we went to Texas and Georgia, like that''.   There were to be no further recording sessions for Excello, though.


Ernie Young did not issue   anything more by the Marigolds after ''Juke Box Rock And Roll'' failed to sell and in 1957 he   launched his pop-oriented Nasco label and probably had plenty to occupy him without   negotiating with the penitentiary for access to Bragg and the Marigolds.

Throughout the Marigolds era, of course as far as the state Governor and the prison warden   were concerned, Bragg and his group were still called the Prisonaires and always would be.   It was the brand name that went with their rehabilitation programme. Though 1955, 1956,   and 1957 the warden's office continued to act as a part-time talent agency and to book the   Prisonaires to sing at civic events, radio programmes, and the Governor's mansion. In April  1955 Governor Frank Clement had them sing for former president Harry Truman and a   number of senators while at one point Truman's wife, Margaret, played piano as the   Prisonaires sang the ''Old Rugged Cross''. It seems that Ed Thurman had kept a log and this   had been the Prisonaires 294 visit to the Governor’s mansion. The shows were not always for   politicians, and over the years Bragg and the group sang there for singing stars including   Dinah Shore, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Roy Rogers and Elvis Presley. According to Jay Warner it
was December 21, 1957 when Elvis Presley sat at the Governor's piano and played ''Just   Walkin' In The Rain'' with the vocal group behind him comprising on that day Johnny Bragg,   Henry Jones, Harold Hebb, Willie Wilson and Alfred Brooks.

The Prisonaires were still appearing on WSOK and other radio stations, too, through this   period. It was part of the continuing rehabilitation project started by Governor Clement and   Warden Edwards in 1953. The project had its supporters and its detractors, depending on   their alignment or not with the governor or with social reform generally. At the height of   Johnny Ray's success, a trade press report of September 8, 1956 noted that Sun Records had   reissued the Prisonaires original version of ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' and that ''Sam Phillips,   Sun Records chief and owner of WAGI in Memphis, Tennessee, used most of the profits from   the record to aid a prisoner-rehabilitation project in Tennessee''.

By now there was a new man in charge at the penitentiary. James Edwards left in February   1956 and was succeeded on March 1 by Lynn Bomar whose aim was to enhance further the   rehabilitation efforts at the prison. Bomar was a former star college football player at   Nashville's Vanderbilt University. He was known as The Blonde Bear, and went on to play for   the New York Giants from 1925. He became a deputy U.S. Marshall in 1934 and was later   police and fire chief in Knoxville, and Commissioner of Safety for Tennessee. He had been   Nashville's Superintendent of Public Works since 1953 and he remained prison warden until   his death on June 11, 1964. He was proud of his role in encouraging and supporting talented   prisoners and those who wanted to improve themselves. At the same time, he operated in a   harsh environment. A WSM reporter once wrote that Bomar would always invite him to   witness executions at the prison. The reporter refused these early morning events but knew   he would get the story soon enough. ''It wouldn't take long for the warden and the others  involved in the execution to get back to the dining room. While eating their breakfast. I got   all the grim details, nothing held back''. The last execution Bomar president over was that of   William Tines in November 1960. Tines had killed two men in a gun battle in Knoxville in   1945, an era when even his own lawyer referred to his black client at trial as ''boy'', but it   was for attacking and raping a white woman that he was sentenced to death. ''His voice   didn't quiver or anything'', Lynn Bomar told the press. ''He acted as if he was ready''.

One of the innovations Warden Bomar extended was the programme of sponsorship of   inmates to undertake civic duties. He openly courted the great and the good of Tennessee to   donate and to support the activities at the penitentiary. One of the criticisms of allowing the   Prisonaires and other inmates to travel outside the prison was that it wasted public money.

Bomar sought to use the group to add to the prison's budget instead. He asked people to   sponsor particular events and he used the Prisonaires to reward the best sponsors by singing   for them and composing songs about them. Governor Clement also used these customized   songs with his political visitors, many of whom left the mansion with a song of praise for   them ringing in their ears. Some of the sponsors even received a specially made tape or a   custom-pressed LP disc of the Prisonaires singing to them.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR WARREN SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY FEBRUARY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OF JACK CLEMENT

01(1) - "RED CADILLAC AND A BLACK MOUSTACHE" - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Lilly May-Wriston Auguste Bea Thompson
Publisher: - EMI United Partnership Limited
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date February 1957
Released: - May 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 025-B7 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-15 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-31 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

In terms of Sun's chart legacy, "Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache" was unquestionably the Warren Smith success that got away. Its vacuous relegation to the back burner can be part-explained by the presence of Bob Luman's rival version on Imperial, but only just. Originally entitled "Who You Been Lovin' and written by amateur tunesmith Lilly May, with cursory help from one Wriston Auguste Thompson, the song was hookfilled and brimming with hit potential: It was not meant to be. Quintessential rockabilly. Smith really excelled at this breezy mid tempo; the quality of his voice shone through. The guitarist, probably Al Hopson, covers a lot of ground and takes a solo that veers back to his fingerpicking roots. A fair amount of the tape was expended on this title but it was ultimately abandoned.

01(2) - "RED CADILLAC AND A BLACK MOUSTACHE" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Lilly May-Wriston Auguste Bea Thompson
Publisher: - EMI United Partnership Limited
Matrix number: - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date February 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm CDX 23-25 mono
WARREN SMITH - REAL MEMPHIS ROCK AND ROLL
Reissued: -  August 2000   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-11 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

This is an alternate to the better known version of this rockabilly anthem. Smith undoubtedly learned the song from Bob Luman, who recorded it for Imperial at his second session on February 27, 1957. Whether Smith heard Luman's record, which was a sizeable regional hit, or learned it from performing with Luman on some shared venue (Luman was largely a West Coast artist in early 1957) is unknown. Also a mystery is why the track was never issued by Sun at the time. Perhaps the simplest reason has nothing to do with the quality of the song or Smith's performance. It is simply that Sam Phillips did not own the copyright to this title, and preferred to release singles that contained Hi Lo/Knox material. Each of Smith's first three singles featured compositions by Sun alumni, published by Sam Phillips.

Whatever its origins, the track contains some of what makes rockabilly special. Warren's vocal reveals a fine combination of swagger and country stylings; Guitarist Al Hopson manages to return to his roots and work in some fine fingerpicking rather than depend on stinging high string work; and drummer Jimmie Lott finds good use for his cowbell - a part of the drum kit all too rarely used in rockabilly. (It was put to best use on Dale Hawkins' "Susie Q"). Smith's performance, not to mention the song's construction, produce what sounds like a vocal duet between an alto and a tenor. Each couplet starts with a high line, and is answered in the second by the lower half of the vocal range. You can find another instance of this kind of songwriting on Don Gibson's "Sea Of Heartbreak", 1961 hit. This song might have been a natural for an act like The Everly Brothers. Phil sings the top lines, Don follows with the low part, and the brothers harmonize on the chorus. Warren had a lot of ground to cover here and handless himself admirably.

The writer(s) on ''Stop The World'' is/are unknown, but it was a polished performance ready for release. The song is of uncertain provenance but the idea at least seems to owe a debt to the Carl Belew-W.S. Stevenson composition ''Stop The World (And Let Me Off)'' which dates from early 1957. This song and the arrangement needed a little more work but it is hard to see they gave up on it. It was an ideal vehicle for Smith's vocal talents and the backing bristles with energy. There is a piano buried deep in the mix although it is hard to see how Phillips could mix any instrument so far back when he was working in such cramped surroundings. Lost for upwards of thirty years in an outtake box, this track surely deserved a better fade.

02 - "STOP THE WORLD"* - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date February 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1025 mono
HOT FLOP AND FLY
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-14 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-30 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Warren Smith - Vocal and Guitar
Al Hopson - Guitar
Marcus Van Story or Will Hopson - Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums
Unknown – Piano*

Warren Smith quit Bob Neal's Stars Inc. and started booking through G.D. Kemper in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kemper had the group set for an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show but Smith managed to alienate Kemper by booking his own gigs. Marcus Van Story quit and was replaced by Al Hopson's brother Will. Jimmie Lott packed his bags and headed back to Memphis. After more disappointment with the final single, Smith and his family went to Jackson, Mississippi before deciding to try California. They settled in Sherman Oaks, near Johnny Cash who'd moved to Van Nuys a few months earlier. The contrast between Smith's hard-nosed Sun singles and his cloying Christmas record on Warners that followed them couldn't have been greater. But soon enough, Smith finally found chart success on Liberty.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY RILEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE FEBRUARY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – UNKNOWN

''SHE'S MY BABY''

What is the status of ''She's My Baby''? Is it just a primitive cousin of ''Red Hot'', a forerunner that eventually morphed into its better known and more polished relative?

Surely, the music we present here as Alternate Take1 and Alternate Take 2 was not destined for mainstream airplay in 1958. Hell, there were spoons on it! The possible progression of ''She's My Baby'' into ''Red Hot'' is a great story, but it doesn't happen to be the truth. The Escott/Hawkins discography says that ''She's My Baby'' was recorded after ''Red Hot'', which is correct. But the liner notes for BCD 15444 contain a discography (credited to Escott) that claims ''She's My Baby'' was recorded before ''Red Hot''. How this erroneous switch got made is anyone's guess, but the truth is now unmistakable. Riley, himself, has confirmed that ''She My Baby'' came after the fact. The guys were sitting around the studio, having fun, extremely well lubricated, and they decided (probably too strong a word) to mess around with ''Red Hot'', offering a primitive, back-country take on the more sophisticated released version that was already in the can. There was no expectation that the evening's festivities were destined for release. The fact that the tape was running was hardly a singular occurrence. Perhaps the guys were in the studio to back up somebody else's session. For example, in February, 1957 (just after ''Red Hot'' was cut), Jerry Lee recorded ''Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On'', using Roland Janes, Jimmy Van Eaton and unknown group.

Finding unself-conscious treasures like ''She's My Baby'' some 50 years later complicates things for Sun archaeologists. We'll probably never know exactly this recording came to be, but one thing is for sure. It bears a remarkable similarity to ''You're My Baby'' (Sun 251), recorded by Roy Orbison. The title, the rhythmic pattern, and the strong guitar hook (from E to G) are all strikingly similar. How, might this have happened? After all, Orbison's session probably predates Riley's by at least six months. One answer lies in the fact that Riley and Orbison toured together in late fall/winter 1956. Riley would have heard Orbison singing Sun 251 on stage every night as well as over the miles as they drove long miles together. All told, that's a lot of exposure to ''You're My Baby''.

01(1) - "SHE'S MY BABY (RED HOT)" - B.M.I. - 1:33
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date February 1957
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - 2011
Reissued: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(2) - "SHE'S MY BABY (RED HOT)" - B.M.I. - 1:44
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date February 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1024-6 mono
HOT SOUTHERN BOPPERS
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(3) - "SHE'S MY BABY (RED HOT)" - B.M.I. - 1:16
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date February 1957
Released: - 1974
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-B-4 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15444-2-5 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1960

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley – Vocal & Guitar
Roland Janes – Guitar
Marvin Pepper- Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 1957

Jerry Lee Lewis appears on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas, for the first time, and is   booked to return in March.

Johnny Cash tours Ohio, Texas and California with Marty Robbins   and Ray Price.
 
Andrei Gromyko was appointed as the Soviet Union’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in February of 1957. Gromyko had worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy having previously served as an ambassador to the U.S. and U.K., and a UN Security Council representative during the 1940s before his appointment to the Foreign Ministry. Gromyko was considered a skilled negotiator and trustworthy diplomat but it was unclear if he had any political or personal agenda and the scope of his influence on Soviet policy was unknown. He would often accompany Soviet leaders on their foreign visits and was a proponent of disarmament. Gromyko held his position until 1985 after which he was given the title of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, a mostly ceremonial but honorable position as the Head of State, which he held until 1988.

FEBRUARY 6, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Bill Haley and his Comets become the first American act to tour the United Kingdom.

FEBRUARY 7, 1957 THURSDAY

Drummer Jerry Marotta is born in Cleveland, Ohio. As a member of Orleans, he appears on the 1976 pop hit ''Still The One'', remade for the country audience by Whisperin' Bill Anderson.

Jim Reeves recorded ''Four Walls'' during the evening at the RCA Studios in Nashville.

FEBRUARY 9, 1957 SATURDAY

Patsy Cline is a guest on the ABC music series ''Ozark Jubilee''.

FEBRUARY 10, 1957 SUNDAY

''Little House On The Prairie'' author Laura Ingalls Wilder dies in Mansfield, Missouri, following a battle with diabetes. She's referenced in 2005 in the lyrics of Jason Aldean's first hit, ''Hicktown''.

FEBRUARY 11, 1957 MONDAY

Decca released Patsy Cline's ''Walkin' After Midnight'' and ''A Poor Man's Roses (OR A Rich Man's Gold)''.

FEBRUARY 12, 1957 TUESDAY

The King Sisters' Yvonne King marries Delmore Courtney, a decade after the pop group earned its only country hit, ''Divorce Me C.O.D.''.

FEBRUARY 13, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Doris King is born in Nashville, Tennessee. She joins the female vocal quartet The Girls Next Door, who make a Top 10 appearance for Mary Tylor Moore's MTM label with 1986s ''Slo0w Boat To China''.


The Dixieland Drifters >

This is the first of two recordings by the Dixieland Drifters in the grand tradition of Sun's hybrid music. Just as Sam Phillips moulded Elvis Presley's style from elements of country music, blues, gospel and pop, here Jack Clement has encouraged an unusual hybrid of bluegrass and rock. These were seen by both Clement and the group as finished masters, not simply experiments.   They had arrived at the invitation of Jack Clement who had worked in a bluegrass unit during his military service and retained the light folky feel in his own music.

He wrote a little note for the tape box saying that the band could be reached c/o their manager R.L. Blake (Norman's brother, Rufus, who played guitar with the Drifters on occasion) at Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga.   Jack Clement then presumably played the results of the afternoon's work for Sam Phillips who decided that it was not an experiment he wanted to back commercially.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE DIXIELAND DRIFTERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 13, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

The Dixieland Drifters were a group of young bluegrass-based musicians who operated out of the Chattanooga area. The Drifters made several records on the BB, Do-Ra-Me and Hap labels in the late 1950s and early 1960s, some of which displayed the same mix of traditional country music and rock and roll influences pioneered on the Sun tapes.

The Drifters have remained a fairly obscure outfit and more research is needed before their story can be told fully. They would have been more obscure still were it not for the fact that dobro player Norman Blake has gone on to become a renowned picker in the country music world. The Memphis connection is not absolutely clear. Certainly the band comprising Norman Blake on dobro, Hal Culpepper vocal, Robert Johnson on guitar and banjo, Harold Bradford on fiddle and guitar, and Cecil Powell on mandolin. They came to Sun in 1957 to work with Jack Clement, himself a former bluegrass musician. This was apparently their first recording work. Less certain is whether or not they were introduced by Memphis radio singer Buck Turner. Although Turner does not appear on the Sun session, he does appear on their Hap and Do-Ra-Me singles under the name Buck "Houston" Turner delivering such titles as "How Big A Fool" and "Uncle John's Bongoes".

Try an exercise in imagination. Remove the banjo figure and replace it with the identical figure played by Roland Janes on lead guitar. Reinforce the acoustic guitar/mandolin backing with Jimmy Wilson's piano. What do you have? A fairly anonymous but quite accomplished Sun rock-a-ballad from 1957. It is really the banjo and the gentle, understated bluegrass harmonies that make this experiment stand out.

01 - "MAYBE TOMORROW" – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 13, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-10-20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-21 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Although several takes were made of "I'm Gonna Find Her" and "Maybe Tomorrow", and Sun session drummer James M. Van Eaton was brought into the action, it appears that these sides were never scheduled for release. 

They remain just one of the very many examples of the demo and demo-plus standard session tapes that remained in the Sun vaults. Until the best of them were uncovered for issue. 

02 - "I'M GONNA FIND HER" – B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - February 13, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-10-19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

There is an interesting footnote to ''I'm Gonna Find Her''. Norman Blake was obviously disappointed that these tracks never found their way onto a Sun single around 1957 and, several years later, a record appeared on the obscure Do-Ra-Me label featuring a Norman Blake group called the Dixielanders. The A-side, ''The Trot'' sported an identical musical riff to that used on ''I'm Gonna Find Her''. That record barely sold a copy but it found its way into the hands of Chet Atkins who promptly recorded a cover version by the Browns for RCA. Thus, in barely five years, an unissued Sun session began a chain of events leading to a mainstream Nashville release and a solid career for Norman Blake.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Hal Culpepper - Vocal
Norman Blake - Dobro
Robert Johnson - Banjo
Cecil Powell - Mandolin
Harold Bradford - Fiddle
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 14, 1957 THURSDAY

Payment royalties  settlement for Rosco Gordon's three singles: Sun 227, Sun 237, and Sun 257.

Webb Pierce recorded ''Honky Tonk Song'' and ''Someday'' in Nashville during an afternoon session at the Bradley Recording Studio.

FEBRUARY 16, 1957 SATURDAY

Sonny James hits number 1 in Billboard with his signature hit, ''Young Love''.


Although mos Sun artists came from the Tri-State area (Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas), the label's allure brought Roy Orbison from west Texas, and, in Orbison's wake came Wade Moore and Dick Penner, the pair who'd written Orbison's first hit, ''Ooby Dooby''. There's no better illustration of the studio at work than the two very different takes of Penner's ''Don't Need Your Lovin' Baby''. Another Penner song, ''Cindy Lou'', sported a guitar lick curiously similar to Tommy Blake's ''Lordy Hoody''. Guitarist Don Dow Gililland (yes, it's spelled that way) earns an occasional mention in vintage guitar mags for his work on Penner's recordings. It was exotic, spooky stuff for 1957. Partially sighted since birth, Gililland cowrote Sid Kings'''Sag, Drag And Fall'' and became a jazz guitarist in Dallas while holding down a day job at Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Trivia note: he was in ''Rock Baby, Rock It'', the movie that starred Johnny Carroll and Rosco Gordon.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DICK PENNER
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Sam Phillips invited one half of 'the College Kids' back to the studio in an attempt to work up some of the elusive magic he had heard during the session for Sun 269. In truth, Phillips succeeded, although the rewards were not financial, and spelled an end to Penner's association with Sun.

01 - "CINDY LOU" – B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Dick Penner
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 279  - Master
Recorded: -   February 16, 1957
Released: - November 3, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 282-A mono
CINDY LOU / YOUR HONEY LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-7 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Dick Penner seemed to gravivate to eerie, soaring minor key mid-tempo ballads with a decidedly romantic cast. "Cindy Lou", an ode to the woman he would eventually marry, is one such case. In fact, it is more than that. This is a really extraordinary record that has been overlooked in the reissue sweepstakes. There's a lot going on here and there are only three people doing it. The lead guitar work is incredibly assertive and its interplay with Penner's gentle understated vocal is brilliant. The drumming is restrained, although its use of the cowbell is quite unusual for 706 Union.

The electric bass player has the easiest job in town, and for a very special reason. "Cindy Lou" may be the only Sun record that never changes chords. This entire song is performed in a single chord. The bass player could have earned his fee by simply alternating two notes for the whole session. He adds a couple of grace notes here and there, perhaps to stay awake, but they were technically unnecessary. Not surprisingly, this limited structure creates a heap of tension, which the strident guitar player continues to punch at throughout the recording. This is a fine, fine record.

02 - "YOUR HONEY LOVE" – B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Dick Penner
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 278  - Master
Recorded: -   February 16, 1957
Released: - November 3, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 282-B mono
YOUR HONEY LOVE / CINDY LOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-8 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

The structure of "Your Honey Love" is a lot more conventional and again, the three musicians make a lot of music. The bass player is finally free to do some playing and uses the opportunity well, providing a fat sound to underpin the bluesy changes. The lead guitar is as strident as ever (where did this guy go?), and Penner's voice is, once more, disarmingly gently.

Whilst his partner Wade Lee Moore continued his studies, the somewhat more ambitious Dick Penner returned to Memphis to try his luck as a solo performer. Surmounted by a primitive combo whose guitarist toted a razorsharp Fender Telecaster, he managed to find an edge in what was essentially a crooner's lilt, for the soon-to-bestowed "Fine Little Baby". Overshadowed by the coming might of Jerry Lee Lewis, he headed for a career of a different tack entirely - high order intellectualism.

03 - "FINE LITTLE BABY" – B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Allen Richard Dick Penner
Publisher: - Carlin Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 16, 1957
Released: - 1978
First appearance: – Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30147-13 mono
RAUNCHY ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-4-20 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

03 - "MOVE BABY, MOVE" – B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Dick Penner
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   February 16, 1957
Released: - October 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30116-7 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 9 - MORE REBEL ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-2 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

04 - "SOMEDAY BABY" – B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Dick Penner
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - February 16, 1957
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-26 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Dick Penner - Vocal and Guitar
Don Gililand - Guitar
Unknown – Bass

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Photograph of Dick Penner a student at North Texas State College, Denton, Texas. He stands behind a piano holding a microphone June 19, 1958. >

TRUE STORY DICK PENNER - Allen Richard (Dick) Penner was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1936 shortly   before his family moved to Texas. As soon as 1953, he started having local gigs with a   musical partner named Dave Young. Together they performed at the Big D Jamboree doin'   some Johnny and Jack songs. Dick enrolled into North Texas State University in Denton,   Texas where he met, in 1955, Wade Lee Moore.


Wade was born in Amarillo in 1933. Soon   they found their way to The Big D Jamboree were they sang June 25, 1955, two classic  rhythm and blues songs "Hey, Miss Fanny" and "Dance with Me Henry". That day they shared   the stage with Charline Arthur, Sonny James and Jimmy Patton to name a few. One week   earlier, they were probably there too as Dick remember well Elvis coming late on stage after   a date in West Texas. They also played various dates in Hope, Arkansas, Little Rock   (Arkansas) and Dallas (Texas).

The North Texas State University was a real cradle of rock and roll singers. Among the pupils   were Roy Orbison, The Strikes, Bob "Git It" Kelly and even, Pat Boone. In February 1955,   Wade and Dick composed "Ooby Dooby", in fifteen minutes on the roof of the frat house, but   nothing happened even when Roy Orbison recorded the song. That demo was sent to Don   Law, a Columbia Records representative, in vain with "Hey, Miss Fanny" as B-side. However,   Roy and The Teens Kings keep faith on the song and they will often perform it on stage. Soon   Weldon Rodgers, himself a great singer, wanted to set a up session in Norman Petty's studio   in December 1955. "Ooby Dooby" b/w "Tryin' To Get to You" was issued on JE-WEL 101. That   label was named from the first letters Jean Olivier (daughter of Weldon's label associate)   and Weldon. The record was manufactured in Phoenix, Arizona and, in spite of good sales,   Roy Orbison was still lookin' around for fame and fortune on a major label.

At last, Roy's demo/record came between the hands of Sid King and The Five Strings who   recorded the song for Columbia, on March 5, 1956. The session in Dallas and worked fine.   One month earlier, as the same band had covered Carl Perkins "Blue Suede Shoes". Sam   Phillips should have watching for them next record. In spite of the JE-WEL contract, Sam   Phillips took on Roy and his band. A battle followed in court and the JE-WEL contract was   cancelled as not signed by Roy's folks because he was still underage. The JE-WEL records had   to be released from the records shops too. That's now a real rare record often gets  bootlegged. So be aware if you are looking for one vintage copy.

On March 27, 1956, a Roy Orbison's session was at 706 Union Avenue. Sam Phillips was   disappointed by the result and gave a phone call to Weldon Rogers in order to buy the JEWEL   master. Weldon asked for a so high price than Sam Phillips issued what he got on the   Sun 242.

In June 1956, "Ooby Dooby" climbed to number 59 in Billboard's Hot 100 and quickly sold   over 500.000 copies. Some covers followed, the better being recorded by Rockabilly Queen   Janis Martin for RCA records.

The "Ooby Dooby" success led Sam Phillips to sign Dick Penner and Wade Moore on his label.   On September 10, 1956, a composer contract for two songs was signed between Sam and   Dick Penner. On the same date, an artist contract was signed between Sam and Dick & Wade   for one year with an option and eight sides to be recorded. That contract offered 3% royalty   to the artists. On December 16, 1956, they recorded "Bop Bop Baby" issued on Sun 269 b/w  "Don't Need you Lovin'". The record was on the market in April 1957 becoming the release   on Sun Records after Warren Smith's "Miss Froggie". That's "Bop Bop Baby" you heard in "Walk   The Line"! Other songs from the session were a solo version of "Don't Need Your Lovin' Baby"   by Dick and "Wild Woman", a song they often did on stage. On those four recordings the   backing is provided by The College Kids (often spelled The Kollege Kids) the incisive guitar is   played by Bob Izer with the support of Don Hicky (bass) and Roger Berkley (drums).

A solo session for Dick Penner was on February 19, 1957 and "Cindy Lou" b/w "Your Honey   Love" (Sun 282) would be his last record on the legendary Memphis label. That record was   issued November 3, 1957, the same day than Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Ball of Fire" single (Sun   281).   In the mid 1970's, two unissued songs "Fine Little Baby" b/w "Move Baby Move" were legally   issued in France from the famous Sun label (Sun 615). Since then Dick Penner's recorded
work is featured in countless Rockabilly records and even a new vinyl singles. The Norton   label released "Move Baby Move" in 2005. For that session, the only member change was Don   Gilliland on guitar instead Bob Izer.

In 1958, Dick Penner, then with a record on his own, appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, at   The Big D Jamboree and even on Dick Clark's show. But, after a six month stay in the army,   he made the choice to get back at the University and to become literature professor at the   University of Tennessee.

Dick Penner's longterm friend, Susan, is a retired Professor of History and an artist. His older   son, Richard, is a sales engineer for Trane Co., and will compete in the Ironmay triathalon in   Austria, in July, 2007. His younger son, Gregory, is co-owner of a busing company, and is an   accomplished song writer, vocalist, and guitarist. Dick is grateful to have five grandchildren.

Now Dick is retired, travelling around the world and taking very artistic pictures, but his   music is still played worldwide. "Ooby Dooby" is a classic song and was even covered by   "Creedence Clearwater Revival" in the late 1960's. Recently, Jerry Naylor (a former member   of The Crickets) released a set a wonderful collection of CD's and a double DVD titled "The   Rockabilly Legends: A Tribute to My Friends". Here you will find first class stuff from Carl   Perkins to Gene Vincent via Roy Orbison to name few of the performers featured. And, guess   why ... you will heard loud and clear "Ooby Dooby" by Roy but also performed by Jerry   Naylor, as tribute. Backed by first class musicians, Jerry offers a great and fresh rendition of   that classic ... Wade & Dick song!

It was cool to heard them on "Walk The Line" 'cause behind the Sun's Kings there was a lot of   foot soldiers who deserve more recognition for their valuable work. Among them Billy Lee   Riley, Mack Self or Kenny Parchman to name a few. Let's enjoy the musical work of those   "unknown legends" and Rock for one more century.

Camille Daddy
Brest Rock And Roll Appreciation Society


FEBRUARY 17, 1957 SUNDAY

Billboard was clearly impressed with Ernie Chaffin's first record "Feelin' Low", review they   observed, "Sun Records may have another big time artist in Ernie Chaffin. He warbles in the   earthy Presley groove, with plenty of feeling, interesting phrasing and spontaneous sounding   vitality". Knowing what we do today, it is a bit hard to see the Presley connection, but on all   other counts it is clear that Billboard' saw the virtue in this Mississippi singer.

FEBRUARY 19, 1957 TUESDAY

Lorianne Crook is born in Wichita, Kansas. She co-hosts a series of TV and radio shows with Charlie Chase in syndication and on TNN, including ''Crook and Chase'' and ''Music City Tonight''.

Webb Pierce quits the Grand Ole Opry for the second time in two years. The Opry chides his ''Unwillingness to conform''; Pierce says he's tired of paying to play on the Opry, and of the Opry's parent company using his likeness to sell insurance polices.

FEBRUARY 20, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Del Reeves holds his first recording session for Capitol Records.

FEBRUARY 21, 1957 THURSDAY

Webb Pierce leaves Nashville for Los Angeles, where he films scenes for ''Buffalo Gun'', co-starring Carl Smith and Marty Robbins.

Buck Owens sings a recording contract with Capitol Records in the middle of a session with The Farmer Boys, a Capitol act for whom he is playing guitar.

FEBRUARY 22, 1957 FRIDAY

Billy Riley and his band played a little club in Blytheville, Arkansas, called the Twin Gables, on the way down. It was just Jerry, his cousin Jay Brown, who had accompanied him to the studio when they cut ''Crazy Arms'' on November 14, 1956, and had by now acquired an electric bass, Roland Janes, Jimmy Van Eaton, and the club was barely big enough to accommodate a group of even that size. In fact there was just room for Jerry and Jimmy. van Eaton on the bandstand, Jay and Roland Janes had to stand on the floor, and every time Jimmy Van Eaton socked the drums, dust sifted down from the heavy draperies tacked up on the ceiling to deaden the sound, coating the new jackets they had bought to play the Jamboree.

It was a four-hour job, so you really had to throw just about every song you might be able to play together as a band into each set, and then some. Not long into the evening Jerry Lee Lewis played a boogie-woogie figure to introduce a song he said he used to sing when he was down in Ferriday, and the band fell in behind him. Before he had even gotten halfway through, Roland Janes said, the people just started going crazy, ''bopping all over the floor, you know how they do in Arkansas''. And as soon as they finished, the audience wanted to hear it again. ''Play that ''Shakin'' song'', they kept calling out. ''They just loved it, man, they insisted on hearing it over and over''. And the same thing happened when they played the Big D Jamboree the next night and then an upstairs club nearby after the show. The song was  ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On''.

It had first been recorded in 1955 without any real chart success, or anything like the boogie-woogie approach that Jerry Lee brought to it, by rhythm and blues belter Big Maybelle. Jerry had first heard it performed by a Natchez disc jockey named Johnny Littlejohn at the little club across the river from Ferriday where he ordinarily performed. According to Jerry, ''and he was playing drums and singing, and I stood there and listened, and I said, 'Man, that is fantastic'. I said, 'That's a hit'. And I started doing it pretty close to exactly they way he done it. Word for word. The way he would say, 'Easy, Let's get down real low. Stand it in one spot, and wiggle it around a little bit'. I picket it up from, I didn't steal it. I just kind of took it''.

FEBRUARY 23, 1957 SATURDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis with the band of Billy Riley, makes his first guest appearance on the "Big D Jamboree" broadcast from the   Dallas Sportatorium, Dallas, Texas.

Newly formed Roulette Records is sued by Monte Carlo Records which contends that   Roulette's use of the roulette wheel logo infringes on Monte Carlo's label style.

Porter Wagoner joins the Grand Ole Opry,  at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Elvis Presley recorded ''One Night'' and ''I Beg Of You'' during a late-night session at Hollywood's Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.

FEBRUARY 24, 1957 SUNDAY

Seven months after he recorded an unreleased version of ''That'll Be The Day'' in Nashville. Buddy Holly recorded the definitive version of the song in Clovis, New Mexico.

Elvis Presley recorded ''Loving You'' at Hollywood's Radio Recorders,  7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.

Warner Mack recorded ''Is It Wrong (For Loving You)''.

Brenda Lee performs ''One Step At A Time'' on ''The Steve Allen Show'' on NBC.

FEBRUARY 25, 1957 MONDAY

Don Gibson holds his first RCA recording session with producer Chet Atkins at the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission on McGavock Street in Nashville.

FEBRUARY 26, 1957 TUESDAY

Sonny James recorded ''First Date, First Kiss, First Love''.

FEBRUARY 28, 1957 THURSDAY

Kitty Wells recorded ''Three Ways (To Love You)'' and ''Your Wild Life's Gonna You Down'' at Nashville's Bradley Film and Recording Studio.

END FEBRUARY 1957

After many arguments and disagreements with Sam Phillips,  Marion Keisker leaves Sun Records and the radio station, with no more idea of what do next than she had when she and Sam Phillips first entered the storefront location some seven and one-half years earlier. Without the cause of Sam to dedicate herself to the drifted around for the next six months. She got another job in radio, but her heart wasn't in it. But then, as Bob Johnson reported in his August 21 column in the newspaper, Marion joined the Air Force to see the world, and she was soon dispatched to Germany, where she served as information officer in charge of the Armed Forces television station at the Ramstein  Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state in South-Western Germany,  where she was stationed. It would be another twelve years before she returned to Memphis, with a renewed commitment to feminism and acting (she was a founding member of the Memphis chapter of the National Organization for Women and one of the leading lights in Memphis professional theater), as well as a concern for the first time for her own place in history.


MARCH 1957

Carl Perkins "Your True Love" is number 1 on the Memphis charts. Johnny Cash is announced   as the top seller in country and western for the first quarter of 1957.

Roy Orbison's single ''Sweet And Easy''/''Devil Doll'' released by Sun Records.

MARCH 1957

Back in Texas former Sun artist Dean Beard hung out some more with producer Slim Willet, and pitched him another song he'd written with Ray Doggett, ''On My Mind Again''. ''Slim really loved that song'', Beard told Wayne Russell. ''We needed something for the back side, and I got hold of Jimmy Seals and James Steward. I had met Dash Crofts over in Cisco. I liked the way he played drums. We recorded in Slim's garage''. The record came out on Willet's Edmoral Records in March 1957, and the response was good. ''Everyone was calling about ''On My Mind Again'', trying to buy the master'', Dean told Russell. ''Lew Chudd called Slim from Imperial. I think Columbia called and Gale Storm on Dot covered ''On My Mind Again'', but it was the flip-side, ''Rakin' And Scrapin''', that would have collectors emptying their pockets in years to come.

That first Atlantic singles created sufficient buzz for the label to pick up two more Dean Beard singles via Willet. One of them, ''Party, Party'' had the grungy, garage feel of the best rockabilly. ''It almost took off real big, Dean told Russell. ''I still have telegrams from places like Cleveland, Atlanta, Mobile. It looked like it was gonna break''. Beard thought the big time had arrived, and bought an old transit bus, refurbished it, and painted ''Dean Beard and the Crew Cats'' on the side.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Sun's 200 series is sacred, and justly so. It contains early and wondrous recordings by Elvis Presley, Jerry   Lee Lewis, Johnny cash, Carl Perkins, Billy Riley, Sonny Burgess, Warren Smith, as well as several blues   classics and one-off rockabilly jewels. Two records, one by Jean Chapel and another by Rudi Richardson,   never seemed to belong in that fabled sequence, and with good reason: neither was a Sun recording.

Acetate of Rudi Richardson >


A couple   of other leased-in productions from Hardrock Gunter didn't sound nearly as incongruous as Richardson's and   Chapel's records.   It seems as if Sam Phillips was hung up a song called ''Fools Hall Of Fame''. Written by Texas rockabilly   singer Danny Wolfe, it was published by Gene Autry's Golden West Melodies.

Both Johnny Cash and Roy   Orbison recorded it at Sun, but the first version was Rudi Richardson's. A year or two earlier, business-savvy   Gene Autry had done well with ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'', a song originally recorded by the Prisonaires on   Sun. He'd acquired the music publishing, and his partner, Joe Johnson, placed the song on a Dick Richards   hillbilly session. Johnson had once worked as an intern to Richards' producer, Don Law, and it was Law who  handed the song to his A&R counterpart, Mitch Miller, who in turn produced Johnnie Ray's record. Ray's   single netted Autry around $58,000, prompting him to fund Johnson’s dream of a record label. They wanted   to name it Champion Records after Autry's wonder horse, but Decca owned that name so they chose  Challenge Records. Be fore Challenge was launched, it's likely that Johnson produced a session by Rudi   Richardson comprised of four songs that he and Autry owned. Two of them, ''Fool's Hall Of Fame'' and   ''Teenage Hangout'', were Wolfe's (''Teenage Hangout'' was recorded by Mac Wiseman in April 1957 during   his mercifully brief career as a rock and roll singer). The B-side of ''Fool's Hall Of Fame'', ''Why Should I   Cry'', was written by Autry's Nashville song-plugger Troy Martin (aka Jerry Organ), Joe Johnson, and Wayne   Walker. The fourth song, ''Not Until I Pray For You'', was written by Leon Cole and Jeanne Stevens, and was   first recorded by Richardson but first released by Dick Richards, the singer who'd recorded ''Just Walkin' In   The Rain'' before Johnnie Ray.

It was probably either Joe Johnson or Troy Martin who pitched Richardson's session to Sam Phillips in late   1956 or early 1957.An acetate shows that the original master numbers were U-238 and U-239, numbers   eventually reassigned to Sonny Burgess's ''Restless''/''Ain't Got A Thing'', released in January 1957.  Challenge was launched in March 1957, and Richardson's record was finally released in July or August. The   recordings were probably made in Nashville. It's possible that Troy Martin, who spent many nights drinking   in nightclubs, might have seen Richardson, who performed often Nashville, and brought him to Johnson's   attention.


STUDIO SESSION FOR RUDI RICHARDSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY MARCH 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

The first person to wonder what Memphis-born Rudolph Richardson Riles moved to Chicago and debuted on   the Miracle label in 1946. He was back in Memphis a decade or so later, is doing in the middle of the Sun   release schedule for Spring, 1957. This record is a total anomaly. Taken on its own merits, it is not a bad  record. Smooth, modern black vocal harmony: a latter day Ink Spots or Four Knights with a slight   doowopping nod toward 1950s rhythm and blues. This is the kind of backup singing that Roy Orbison might   have achieved on "Devil Doll" had his singers not been so, well, white.


Whatever the charms of this recording, it is hard to understand what its doing rubbing shoulders with "Miss   Froggie" on one side and "Red Hot" on the other. The redoubtable Sun session file offers only 'unknown'  next to the date, backing group or location of these recording.  It seems clear that Rudi Richardson was black,  and that he, his quartet, and instrumental combo (piano, guitar, bass and drums) were tight. It also seems a   safe bet that these sides were not recorded at 706 Union. Six months after Rudi's single was released, Rudi   died of drug and alcohol abuse in a Memphis hotel room.


01 - "FOOL'S HALL OF FAME" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - J. Freeman-Danny Wolf
Publisher: - Golden West Music - Warner Chappell Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 252  - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date / Probably March 1957
Released: - April 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 271-B mono
FOOL'S HALL OF FAME / WHY SHOULD I CRY
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-11 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

To further complicate the puzzle, we also know that Johnny Cash, of all people, attempted a version of   "Fool's Hall Of Fame" while at Sun, and so did Roy Orbison. After the Cash session, Sam Phillips wrote   across the tape box "Never To Be Released", although his words later went unheeded. Even Elvis Presley  wanted to record it.

02 - "WHY SHOULD I CRY" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Jerry Organ-Joe Johnson-Wayne Walker
Publisher: - Golden West Music
Matrix number: - U 253  - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date / Probably March 1957
Released: - April 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 271-A mono
WHY SHOULD I CRY / FOOL'S HALL OF FAME
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-12 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

03 - "TEENAGE HANGOUT" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Danny Wolfe
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 239 - Demo
Recorded: - Unknown Date / Probably March 1957
Released: - Sun Unissued

04 - "UNTIL I PRAY FOR YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Leon Cole-Jeanne Stevens
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date / Probably March 1957
Released: - 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16387-9 mono
SUN GOSPEL

05 - "FOOLS HALL OF FAME" - B.M.I.
Composer: - J. Freeman-Danny Wolf
Publisher: - Golden West Music - Warner Chappell Music limited
Matrix number: - U 238 - Demo
Recorded: - Unknown Date / Probably March 1957
Released: - Sun Unissued

Rudi Richardson remains an enigma to Sun Records fans. His 1957 release ("Fools Hall Of Fame") seemed   stylistically out of place at the time, although 50plus years have allowed a more charitable view of   Richardson's music. With some hindsight, it is easy to see how Sam Phillips was drawn to the slick rofessionalism and retro (1940s) sound he heard here.

Whether recorded at Sun or bought from outside production, Richardson's tape box contains four titles. This   marks the first time an additional title has been released. It is a sweet and loving ballad - a secular song with   a religious twist, crooned in the smooth style associated with pop black quartets of the 1940s.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rudi Richardson - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians
Vocal Chorus - Jimmy Hart, Steve Spear, Mike Gardner,
James Tarbutton, David Beaver

Note: What little know of Rudi Richardson's life is recounted in the biography bloc. It seems likely that ''Fools Hall Of Fame'' was recorded in Nashville (perhaps that's Hank Garland on guitar) and leased to Sun. Clearly, Sam Phillips loved the song because he encouraged Roy Orbison and Johnny cash to record it without owning the publishing. Richardson, whose career dated back to the 1940s, turned in a blithely swinging performance that didn't belong on Sun but certainly belonged somewhere.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BUDDY BLAKE CUNNINGHAM
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY MARCH 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

The first Phillips International release extended the Sun career of Buddy Blake Cunningham. Blake had been last heard from three years earlier on SUN 208, a record most collectors remember with a shudder. The deservedly rare "Right Or Wrong"/"Why Do I Cry" makes most short lists for the least favorite and most anomalous early Sun release. For whatever reason, Blake's style held considerable appeal for Sam Phillips, who worked overtime with the local singer, scheduling sessions at 706 Union in March, April, May and June 1957. Blake left more that a dozen unissued sides from these dates which a quarter of a century of Sun archaeologists have never deemed worthy of resurrection. "Right Or Wrongly", Buddy Blake has never been the poster boy for Sun record collectors. 

After his final session at 706 Union, the by now well-versed Blake departed to set up his own Cover Records operation.

01 - "PLEASE CONVINCE ME" – B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Bettye Maddox
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - P 302  - Master
Recorded: - March 1957
Released: - September 23, 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3516-B mono
PLEASE CONVINCE ME / YOU PASS ME BY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5


If Blake's vocal style is hard to measure on this side, you need only turn the record over to understand what he, Sam Phillips and Jack Clement had in mind. "Please Convince Me" is a pop record by any standard relevant to 1957. From the piano triples and "doo doo wah" chorus, this is white pop music, and a pretty trite example at that.   The last eight bars tell you everything you need to know about Blake and his roots. When evaluating the gentle acoustic feel of these sides, it's important to remember that Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin'" and Warren Smith's "Miss Froggie" were recorded during exactly the same time period.


Buddy Blake Cunningham ^ 

02 - "YOU PASS ME BY" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Hank Snow-E. Nesbit
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 301  - Master
Recorded: - March 1957
Released: - September 23, 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3516-A mono
YOU PASS ME BY / PLEASE CONVINCE ME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

This time, Blake left his big band, night club crooner roots behind in favor of a gentle pop/country approach. "You Pass Me By", recorded and co-written by Hank Snow in 1950, is a curious piece of material structurally. It retains an odd tension and manages to violate most rules of traditional country songwriting. Cunningham's arrangement features strong yet subtle interplay between Roland Janes' electric guitar and Jack Clement's acoustic picking. There is a clippity-clop western rhythm that almost suggests a horse loping across the prairie.

03 - "HITCH MY WAGON TO A STAR"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

04 - "HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL"
Composer: - Wayne P. Walker-Webb Pierce
Publisher: - Gedar Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

05 - "I'M GONNA FIND HER"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

06 - "LORENA"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

07 - "MAYBE TOMORROW"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

08 - "YOU DON'T WANT TO BE TRUE"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

09 - "HOW DO YOU THANK AN ANGEL"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

10 - "DREAM OF YOU"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Buddy Blake Cunningham - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


WEEK OF MARCH 10TH-16TH, 1957

Tulsa'a Top 50 Tunes, according to Record and Sheet Music
Sales, coin machine   operators and radio requests 
as determined   by on accurate KTUL survey

01. Flying Saucer Rock & Roll - Billy Riley - Sun
02. Party Doll - Buddy Knox - Roulette
03. I'm Walkin' - Fats Domino - Imperial
04. Teen Age Crush - Tommy Sands - Capitol
05. Butterfly - Charlie Gracie - Cameo
06. Marianne - Hilltoppers - Dot
07. Too Much - Elvis Presley - RCA
08. Banana Boat - Harry Belafonte - RCA
09. Lucille - Little Richard - Specialty
10. Walkin' After Midnight - Patsy Cline - Decca
11. Young Love - Tab Hunter - Dot
12. Only One Love - George Hamilton IV - ABC-Paramount
13. Fools Fall In Love - The Drifters - Atlantic
14. Lucky Lips - Ruth Brown - Atlantic
15. Blue Monday - Fats Domino - Imperial
16. I'm Sticking With You - Jim Bowen - Roulette
17. Love Is Strange - Mickey & Silvia - Goove
18. Jim Dandy - La Verne Baker - Atlantic
19. I'm Wating Just For You - Pat Boone - Dot
20. Almost Paradise - Norman Petty Trio - ABC-Paramount
21. I'm Sorry - The Platters - Mercury
22. Sittin' In The Balcony - Johnny Dee - Colonial
23. Just Because - Lloyd Price - ABC-Paramount
24. Tricky - Gus Jinkins - Flash
25. Little Darlin' - The Diamonds - Mercury
26. Bad Boy - Clarence Palmer & Jivebombere - Savoy
27. Don't Forbit Me - Pat Boone - Dot
28. A Poor Man's Roses - Patti Page - Mercury
29. Who Needs You - The Four Lads - Columbia
30. The Man In The Phoone Booth - Big Bob Kornegay - Herald
31. Round And Round - Perry Como - RCA
32. Knee Deep In The Blues - Guy Mitchell - Columbia
33. Dreamy Eyes - The Four Preps - Capitol
34. Ram-Punk-Shush - Bill Doggett - King
35. Without Love - Clyde McPhatter - Atlantic
36. He's Got Time - McGuire Sisters - Coral
37. Ballerina - Nat King Cole - Capitol
38. I Need You So - Jessie Belvin - Modern
39. Gone - Ferlin Husky - Capitol
40. A Thousand Miles Away - The Heartbeats - Rama
41. Wringle Wrangle - Bill Hayes - ABC-Paramount
42. Come Go With Me - The Federals - DeLuxe
43. You Don't Owe Me A Thing - Johnny Ray - Columbia
44. One Love - The Cardinals - Atlantic
45. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody -Jerry Lewis - Decca
46. I'm A Country Boy - Clarence Henry - Argo
47. Calypso Melody - David Rose - MGM
48. Teenage Crush - Frankie Lymon & Teenagers - Gee
49. Una Momento - Cathy Carr - Fraternity
50. First Impression - Eddie Gorme - ABC-Paramount


MARCH 1, 1957 FRIDAY

Etta James begins a lengthy tour in Columbia, Georgia.

The Everly Brothers recorded ''Bye Bye Love'' and ''I Wonder If I Care As Much'' at the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission in Nashville.

MARCH 2, 1957 SATURDAY

Jimmy Wakely and Patsy Cline appear on ABC-TV's ''Ozark Jubilee''.

MARCH 3, 1957 SUNDAY

Chicago's Catholic Diocese bans rock and roll from all school functions. Within days sales of r ock and roll records in Chicago go through the roof.

MARCH 4, 1957 MONDAY

Patsy Cline's husband-to-be, Charlie Dick, reports for service with the U.S. Army in South Carolina.

Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)''.

Decca released the Kitty Wells and Webb Pierce duet ''O' So Many Years''.

MARCH 5, 1957 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley is parodied as ''Elvin Pelvin'' on CBS-TV's ''The Phil Silvers Show''.

MARCH 7, 1957 THURSDAY

Ray Price recorded ''I'll Be There (When You Get Lonely)'' and takes his first swipe at ''My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You'' during a five-hour session at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

MARCH 9, 1957 SATURDAY

''The Badge Of Marshall Brennan'' premieres in American movie theaters. The picture features Carl Smith and Marty Robbins.

Faron Young recorded ''The Shrine Of St. Cecillia'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville's Music Row.

Jerry Lee Lewis appears on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas.

MARCH 10, 1957 SUNDAY

Osama bin Laden is born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A leader of the terrorist Al Qaeda organization, he oversees the attacks on American on September 11, 2001, and ends up referenced in Darryl Worley's song about the incident, ''Have You Forgotten?''.

MARCH 11, 1957 MONDAY

Decca released Webb Pierce's ''Honky Tonk Song''.

MARCH 14, 1957 THURSDAY

Johnny Horton makes contact with Shreveport psychic J. Bernard Ricks, beginning a friendship that lasts the rest of his life. The relationship hones Horton's own psychic abilities, and he eventually predicts, with accuracy, his own death will be violent.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The last Columbia single appeared in May 1957. It couplet the rockabilly flavoured ''Going Back To The City'' with ''Steppin' Out''. One of only two non-originals that future Sun artist, Onie Wheeler recorded while he was with Columbia. The rockabilly recordings were fine in their way, but Onie functioned best at a slower or mellow mid-tempo. It allowed all the subtle shadings in his voice to come to the fore. Somehow, there was a more compelling drive to the mid-tempo ''Run 'En Off'' than to the faster numbers.


Billboard's obituary called Onie, ''one of the pioneers of rockabilly'', but even though he was quick to spot the potential in Elvis Presley, his heart lay where it always had, in stone country music.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR ONIE WHEELER
FOR COLUMBIA RECORDS 1957

BRADLEY FILM & RECORDING STUDIO
804 16TH AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
COLUMBIA SESSION: THURSDAY MARCH 14, 1957
SESSION HOURS: 19:30-22:30
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – DON LAW

01 – ''GOING BACK TO THE CITY'' – B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Jean Wheeler
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : OB 1316 / CO 57635
Recorded: - March 14, 1957
Released: - May 1957
First appearance: - Columbia Records (S) 78rpm standard single Columbia 40911-4 mono
GOING BACK TO THE CITY / STEPPIN' OUT
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-6 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP

02 – ''LONG GONE'' – B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Onie Wheeler
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : OB 1317 / CO 57636
Recorded: - March 14, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-11-13 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-7 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP

03 – ''STEPPIN' OUT'' – B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Starr
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : OB 1318 / CO 57637
Recorded: - March 14, 1957
Released: - May 1957
First appearance: - Columbia Records (S) 78rpm standard single Columbia 40911-4 mono
STEPPIN' OUT / GOING BACK TO THE CITY
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-8 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP

04 – ''I'LL LOVE YOU FOR A LIFETIME'' – B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Onie Wheeler
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : OB 1319 / CO 57638
Recorded: - March 14, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-11-15 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-9 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Onie Wheeler – Vocal, Harmonica, Guitar
Harold Ray Bradley - Guitar
Ray Edenton – Guitar
Floyd T. ''Lightnin'''Chance – Bass
Farris Coursey – Drums
Floyd Cramer – Piano

Onie Wheeler had quit playing with the Nelson brothers again at some point in 1956 because Charlie Terrell had landed him a gig with Flatt and Scruggs who were hosting a syndicated television show and travelling far and wide. Terrell lent Onie a truck for the move to Nashville, and found him a house near the Cumberland River. It could have heralded a very successful period for Onie, but he did his best to self-destruct. ''He was getting calls from all kinds could move back to Sikeston and handle his career out of there. When he appeared at my door with all his stuff in a U-Haul, I gave up. I was looking for bigger things''. Terrell soon took over the management of Ray Smith, another Missourian with bags of talent and self-destruct buttons implanted all over him.

By the time the Columbia deal ended in 1957, Onie Wheeler was steppin' out with some of the most  unregenerate rockabillies to walk the planet. Starting in March that year, Bob Neal had booked Onie and the Nelson Brothers onto his Stars Inc. package shows with Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Riley, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. By the end of 1957, Onie Wheeler was pretty tight with the Memphis crowd and went to Sun Records to cut a record that November.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©



From ''Country Music Reporter''. >



MARCH 15, 1957 FRIDAY

"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" b/w ''It'll Be Me'' (Sun 267) by Jerry Lee Lewis is released, entering the local   charts in May and hitting nationally throughout the summer.

MARCH 16, 1957 SATURDAY

Concurrently a move to develop links with radio were set up when the Eddie Bond Show was   transmitted on KWEM, beginning a relationship with the airwaves that continues today. So   now touring was joined by broadcasting as well as recording in the continually broadening of   Eddie Bond's career.

At the same time Eddie signed with Bob Neal's Stars Inc., then looking   after the interests of Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash with Warren Smith and Roy Orbison soon   to be added to the ranks.

Other developments during this time included appearances on the Louisiana Hayride   alongside Johnny Horton, Elvis Presley and Sonny James, and further touring alongside Carl   Perkins, Johnny Cash, Harold Jenkins (later to become Conway Twitty), and Charlie   Feathers.

''The dyed-in-the-wool country musicians would look down at us and say, 'There's one of THEM'', Eddie Bond told Raiteri. ''I was ashamed to do rockabilly, but not so ashamed I didn't want to make a livin' at it. We'd play schoolhouses, little theaters, honky tonks, and bar-rooms. Played on top of every drive-in movie theater from Texas to Arizona. Bob Neal would keep you real busy like that. Little school houses would fill up with people come to see Eddie Bond, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison''. Bond doubled as a disc jockey on KWEM, West Memphis from 2:30 until 4:30 every afternoon and, from April 28, 1957, he was a featured performer on the Louisiana Hayride. If not in the charts, he was busy.

MARCH 19, 1957 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley purchases a 18 room, $100,000 in Memphis. The house will be known as  Graceland Mansion.

By the beginning of 1957, bitter disillusion was setting in for Carl Perkins. He had started off   on an equal footing with Elvis Presley: they had both played for pennies off the back of a   truck on Bob Neal's forays into Mississippi, and they had both shot up the charts with their   ''mongrel music''. By 1957, however, Perkins was competing with Bill Haley for the honor of   becoming rock and roll's first casualty. He had sold 1 million copies of ''Blue Suede Shoes'',   only to slip into almost total obscurity. Elvis Presley went on to sell 12.5 million singles and   2.75 million albums in 1956.

MARCH 20, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Roni Stoneman, of The Stoneman Family, has her first child, Eugene Cox Jr.

MARCH 22, 1957 FRIDAY

A teenage marine accuses Elvis Presley of pulling a gun on him in Memphis. Three days later, Presley sends an apologetic six-page telegram, and the incident is brushed aside.

RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''All Shook Up'' backed with ''That's When Your Heartaches Begin'' (RCA Victor 47-6870).

MARCH 23, 1957 SATURDAY

Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper finish a 10-year run on ''The Wheeling Jamboree'' in West Virginia, in preparation to move to Nashville, where they've already joined the Grand Ole Opry.

MARCH 24, 1957 SUNDAY

Singer/songwriter Carson Robison dies in Pleasant Valley, New York. A recording artist for four decades, he wrote many of his songs from the national events of the day. His hits included ''Hitler's Last Letter To Hirohito'' and ''Life Gits Tee-Jus Don't It''.

MARCH 25, 1957 MONDAY

Ricky Nelson holds his first recording session, singing ''I'm Walkin''', which he later lip-syns in an episode of ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.

Don Everly elopes with Mary Sue Ingraham, marrying in Ringgold, Georgia.

Broadway performer and rhythm and blues artist Shorty Long portrays a theater-goer in an episode of CBS-TV's ''I Love Lucy'' Long played piano during the Elvis Presley session that yielded ''Don't Be Cruel'' and ''Hound Dog''.

The Treaty of Rome was signed by West Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands establishing the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union. The Treaty of Rome created a common market to be shared between the six countries and was one of the main documents used to create the European Union in the 1990s. The European Atomic Energy Community Treaty was also signed at the same time with the goal of establishing peaceful atomic energy programs.

MARCH 26, 1957 TUESDAY

With a tour of U.S. military bases in Germany set to begin April 1, Jim Reeves, The Browns, Hank Locklin, Del Wood and Janis Martin appear on NBC-TV's ''The Tonight Show'' in a special installment from Nashville.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
FOR VEE JAY RECORDS 1957

UNIVERSAL RECORDING STUDIO
46 EAST WALTON STREET, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
VEE JAY SESSION: WEDNESDAY MARCH 27, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CALVIN CARTER

01 – ''SOMEBODY SHOW ME'' – B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-656
Recorded: - March 27, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 247 mono
SOMEBODY SHOW ME / THE PLEASURE IS ALL MINE
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-20 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

By March 27, former Sun recording artist Billy Emerson was back in Chicago recording a second session for Vee-Jay. He made four titles including one that still stands out in his mind. ''My best record'', he told, ''was ''The Pleasure Is All Mine'', a city blues that thought came out real well''. Although ''Pleasure'' is a crisp, uptempo song with rock and roll riffs and chorus, it is nevertheless based on the familiar melody of ''When It Rains''. There is a good interplay between sax and horn solos and this recording was indeed a contender. In ''Somebody Show Me'', Emerson is looking to find the way to go home to make everything alright with his baby. It features a rock and roll piano figure and sax solo and with the female vocal chorus it also had all the hallmarks of a potential cross-over hit.

''The Pleasure Is All Mine'' and ''Somebody Show Me'' were issued in the summer of 1957 on Vee-Jay 247 and by May Emerson was appearing with The Spaniels at the Liberty Theater in Philadelphia showcasing his new songs. In August Billboard caught him on stage in Gary, Indiana at a celebration for disc jockey Vivian Carter, the wife of Vee-Jay Records president Jimmy Bracken.

02 – ''THE PLEASURE IS ALL MINE'' – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-657
Recorded: - March 27, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 247 mono
SOMEBODY SHOW ME / THE PLEASURE IS ALL MINE
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-21 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03 – ''DO THE CHICKEN'' – B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-658
Recorded: - March 27, 1957
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CFM 602 mono
BILLY THE KID EMERSON – CRAZY 'BOUT AUTOMOBILES
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-22 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

This other two sides from this session remained unissued at the time. One was ''Do The Chicken'', a dance craze song cloned from the Sun recording of ''Shim Sham Shimmy''. This is a tighter production, but no less raucous and it could have done juke box business if it had been released. The other unissued song was ''Don't Be Careless'', a gospel-based song with a repeating lyric and Emerson preaching his secular love while a vocal group takes the part of the congregation.

04 – ''DON'T BE CARELESS'' – B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-658
Recorded: - March 27, 1957
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CFM 602 mono
BILLY THE KID EMERSON – CRAZY 'BOUT AUTOMOBILES
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-23 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Robert Emerson – Vocal & Piano
William ''Lefty'' Bates – Guitar
Quin Wilson – Bass
Al Duncan – Drums
McKinley Easton – Baritone Saxophone
James ''Red'' Holloway – Tenor Saxophone
Hobert Dotson - Trumpet

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


MARCH 28, 1957 THURSDAY

Patsy Cline's divorce from Gerald Cline is finalized.

Elvis Presley wears a $2,500 gold lame suit, inspired by Liberace, for the first time during a concert at the International Amphitheater in Chicago. The suit is designed by hillbilly fashion specialist Nudie Cohn.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY MARCH 28, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

''FOREVER YOURS''

Back In March l957, George Hamilton IV's hit record ''A Rose And A Baby Ruth'' was stall on the charts when Carl recorded this. If this was the era for candy-bar inspired love songs, Carl wanted a piece of the action. ''Forever Your'' bars may be all but forgotten now, but these ''vanilla Milky Way'' bars were once quite popular. They disappeared from the candy counters of America abut 20 years later in 1979, but this was Carl Perkins attempt to continue the candy bar trend in American popular music. Commercial tie-in or not, this is a damn fine ballad and, needless to say, light years away from the ballad style we've heard previously on ''Turn Around'' or ''I'm Not Sorry''. One aside about the original single record: When original released on Sun 274, ''Forever Yours'' was coupled with that nasty little opus called ''That's Right''. It was an odd paring to say the least.

We're going to go out on a limb here and say that ''Forever Yours'' is the most beautiful song Carl Perkins recorded for Sun. It's true that most of what fans value about Perkins' work isn't tied up in ballads, but this one is a stunner. Arguably, the big selling point is that flatted VI chord (C in the key of E) in the release. It's beautiful and unexpected. According to his bio, Carl nearly had a mutiny on his hands when he taught the song to brother Jay. It's also not the first time Carl worked that territory. The same chord change appeared in ''Honey Don't'', when Carl was in his more accustomed rockabilly mode. But here, in a ballads he adds a 4-note to the chord making it a little softer and warmer than the straight version of the chord that appeared in the uptempo ''Honey Don't''.

Another feature that takes ''Forever Yours'' into a very special realm is the recording mix. For this, we have Sam to thank. The slap bass is miked so prominently, it's almost shocking. Forget the drums; this one is driven by Clayton's bass. When is the last time you heard a ballad recorded like this? It was one thing on ''Blue Suede Shoes''. But a percussive bass on a ballad? You betcha, and it works like a charm.

Sadly, we were only able to find one outtake of ''Forever Yours'', and it's not all that different from the issued version. The bass is every bit as percussive as on the single, sometimes startlingly so. The reverb on the vocal gives it an unearthly quality. If you want to understand the difference between Sun reverb and regular studio echo, just listen to this record.

W.S.'s drums are more clearly recorded here than on the issued version. Listen to them especially during the first release Carl's guitar solo is just lovely In fact, this is a fine take of the song, arguably superior in some ways to the single. What sabotages this outtake is the ending, which is weak enough for Sam to call of for a second recording. That one turned into the master.

In order to give a little more dimension to Carl's issued performance, we have included a live version from a TV show taped just months after ''Forever Yours'' was released. Obviously the sound quality is a step down from the master tape, but it's still quite revealing. Carl's vocal is really beautiful – both soulful and expressive. Just listen to him wail during the second released tempo! The tempo is a bit brisker than the single and Carl concentrates on playing triplets on his guitar. What the live version brings home is that Carl was the real deal. There he stands in front of the mike, facing the studio audience, performing the song. No lip-synching for our man Carl. Every guitar note and word are simultaneously performed right on the spot. In fact you can barely hear anything but Carl singing and playing and the drums. Ultimately, Carl depended on little more than himself to write and perform these songs.

01(1) - "FOREVER YOURS" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-15 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

01(2) - "FOREVER YOURS" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 258   - Master
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - August 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 274-A mono
FOREVER YOURS / THAT'S RIGHT
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Forever Yours", named after a popular American candy bar, is quite a beautiful country ballad, delivered by Perkins in an affecting emotional style. This is gorgeous acoustic country music, made all the more appealing by its prominently miked slap bass. Make no mistake: despite the absence of a chorus or other pop trimmings, this is very sexy music that had every right to compete for the backseat sweepstakes in 1957. And if all else failed, it had that marvelously unexpected sharped-5 chord to take it a cut above the ordinary.

Carl Perkins made two more singles before his divorce from Sun Records. The first coupled another gritty honky tonk number, "That's Right", with a country ballad, "Forever Yours". The coupling even failed to make the country charts. "That's Right" was a grim song, laced with threats and delivered in the vernacular of the bar-room: "If what they say is true and there is another joker. We'll use a number five in this game of poker, When I find the cat that's been gettin' my sugar. Its gonna be rough when I catch that booger. And That’s RIGHT!...". That entire verse was excised before the song was issued in England. With even less regard for the creative process, Quality Records in Canada only took out the line containing "booger".

''THAT'S RIGHT''

If there was a lesson to be learned from ''Dixie Fried'', you'd think it would have been that little slices of Southern low-life wouldn't burn up the national charts. But Sam didn't get it and Carl is back with another bit of borderline violence that was selected for mass market release. Some 30 years later, this storyline would have been at home on the Jerry Springer TV show.

Maybe Sam was more interested in the catchy rhythm than the lyrics. That bass drum-driven backing track is certainly arresting, but once Carl started telling his mean-spirited tale of revenge, it's hard to keep dancing. This story of infidelity would go down easier with a dollop of humor, but there's none to be found. He's a hard working man who gets off from his shift around 4pm and is home by 4:05 sharp. He's warning his wife Lucy that her daytime lover better be out the back door and gone by the time he gets home. He's ready for the night shift with her and she better be ready to party with him.

''It's gonna be rough when I catch that booger''. Aside from its threat of violence, that line had bigger problems, all of which seem pretty funny today. The word ''booger'' (as in ''sugar booger'' - see ''Lend Me Four Comb''). is too close to ''bugger'' and is thus an evil term in commonwealth countries and beyond. The line or the record itself was banned outright in the United Kingdom and Canada! Can you imagine that? That ban turned up in Spain as well. Each of these markets took pains to keep that hideous, horrible offending word away from its citizens, thus avoiding fornication in the streets. Sometimes they censored Carl's voice with a bleep, other tames with a razor blade, ridding the tape of the offending word or the entire line of lyrics. Prudery and art have never been close friends.

Carl plays a different guitar intro to the first of four outtakes and the drums are a bit out of meter but everyone gets together by the 6th bar Actually. it's surprising that Sam let this take continue past the instrumental intro. The case against it gets even stronger when Carl botches up the opening lyrics. His vocal on the second verse is way out of sync with the instrumental backing. In short, this initial version of the song is a mess. It's not lacking in feeling, however: WS.. is perky with his single stroke rolls and Carl shouts to himself (''Now let's play one!''). but doesn't seem to respond to his own encouragement. The take is mercifully brought to an end around 2:34. For you numerologists in the crowd, that also happens to be the release number of ''Blue Suede Shoes''.

The second outtake starts out more cleanly. This time around Carl gets home by 4:35 sharp. Apparently the commute takes him a half hour longer in this early version. W.S. is kicking that bass drum here. Jimmy M. Van Eaton may have had this approach in the back of his mind when he tackled ''Lonely Weekends'' two and a half year later. Carl's vocal phrasing is pretty rough and his vocal barely keeps pace with the music in the second verse. There's a clever line here that alludes to the title (''There's one way to live and That's Right!) It would have been even more clever if the notion of ''living right'' were not so at odds with the life style portrayed in the lyrics. In any case, that bit of lyric disappeared before the final take was hatched.

It sounds like Sam who tries to spur the boys on to a usable master at the start of the third outtake when he says ''We got it going our way now'' but the first four bars suggest otherwise. First the first four lanes go awry. Things briefly settle down but get all out of sync during the 12-bar instrumental break. With just 12 bars and three chords, it's surprising things can go so far astray.

The frustration is running high at the start of the final outtake. The first thing we hear is ''Damn! And then ''Let's get this son of a bitch''. Within 35 seconds, Carl has blown the lyrics beyond repair. At the used 44-sec mark Carl hits an uncharacteristic guitar clam. You can smell the aroma of Early Times whiskey rising off the tape on this one. It's strange to think that the boys went from this outtake to the masters, although no intermediate versions of the song have surfaced.

02(1) - "THAT'S RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-3-6 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: - April 27, 2012  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-21mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

02(2) - "THAT'S RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-3-6 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: - April 27, 2012  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-22 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

02(3) - "THAT'S RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: -  April 27, 2012 
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-23 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

02(4) - "THAT'S RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released:  - April 27, 2012 
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-24 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

02(5) - "THAT'S RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 259 - Master Take 5
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - August 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 274-B mono
THAT'S RIGHT / FOREVER YOURS
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Anybody who thought "That's Right" was going to be a teen hit was in serious need of a reality check. Not since "Dixie Fried" had Carl Perkins come through with such a slice of southern lowlife. Precious few urban white teens were going to connect with the sentiments and moods of this ol' disc. In truth, its a menacing, rather mean spirited lament delivered in a slurred, palpably drunken style. How many 16 year olds could identify with the singer's life?. A mean, short tempered guy, suspicious of cheating, both at cards and love. And then there was that word "booger" which was just a little too close to "bugger" for comfort in Canada (where the line was excised) and in England (where the entire verse ended up on the cutting room floor). This has made British and Canadian pressings of this record perversely collectable.


''I CARE''

Why or how Carl got his teeth into this one is anybody's guess. Carl's falsetto-laced vocal bears a strong resemblance to the style of Bill Kenny of the Ink Spots. The similarity doesn't stop there. That memorable four bar instrumental figure that opens things here is lifted straight from the Charlie Fuqua's guitar intro to numerous Ink Spot hits including ''My Prayer'' (revived by the Platters in 1956).

Although the Ink Spots never recorded Carl s song, it's probably no coincidence that the title of their fist and most famous big hit was ;;If I Didn't Care''. Subconsciously or otherwise, Perkins homage to the Ink Spots is almost complete here.

Just to show that inspiration comes from many quarters, there also that little snatch of lyric (''Now you got me started/ Don't you leave me brokenhearted.. '') which is taken directly from Elvis' record ''Too Much'', that just happened to be a smash hit in early 1957 (spending 17 weeds on the charts).

We've got two takes of ''I Care'' (along with a little pre-take chatter). Because neither one was released, it's not clear which is the ''outtake'', although the second is clearly more polished. It's also not clear how seriously this song was ever a contender for release. One thing for sure: If Sam thought Carl was in a rut, this song on a Sun 45 would have broken him free of it. The section of the song beginning with the 1-7 chord (''It's the way I feel'') just cries out for a vocal chorus to bring it to life. Perhaps that would have been the next step had the song in taken more seriously, but Carl was providing Sam with more than enough releaseable material as it was. ''I Care'' never made it out of its tape box until decades later.

03(1) - "I CARE" - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28. 1957
Released:  - April 27, 2012 
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-25 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

03(2) - "I CARE" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28. 1957
Released: - 1979
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 300 003 mono
ROCKING GUITAR MAN 1955 - 1958
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-3-10 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS


''Y.O.U.''

This song is a considerable departure from most of what Carl Perkins did at Sun. There's only one guitar and it's acoustic. The production ls a generally laid back arrangement with occasional intense vocal moments from Carl. It's got a chorus going ''wah wah wah wah'' and (in two the three takes) a recitation by Carl in the middle. In all, it's a late-1950s period piece, what sometimes got called a ''rock-a-ballad'' in those days. Although no versions of it were released, there is a notation on a tape box that the song was slated to be the side of ''That's Right''. It seems that Carl may have sung this song, among others, in a Philippines movie called ''Hawaiian Boy'' (which also featured Roy Hamilton). Although posters publicizing the film appear on the web, there's no indication the film was ever released in the United States, Canada or Europe. It featured Eddy Mesa (''the Elvis of the Philippines'') and involves a plot that might have been drawn from a dozen Elvis movies of the era; a pineapple worker gets fired and rises to fame as a singing boxer. Carl Perkins' son, Stan Perkins reports that no member of the Perkins family over owned or saw a copy of the film.

''Y.O.U'' was written by George Bain, the husband of Carl's cousin Martha. The song and its performance are a wonderful amalgam of musical ingredients of the era. When Carl took this song into the studio, there had been two number 1 hits within the last six months that had a vocal surrounded by harmonizing voices with  acoustic guitar; Elvis' ''Love Me Tender'' and Sonny James' ''Young Love''. The backing ''wah-wah-wah-wah'' much like what the Jordanaires sang behind Elvis on ''Playing For Keeps'' which arrived on the charts only a month or so before this recording date. Ending a record on a high note was a common maneuver for Tony Williams of the Platters in those days, and Carl had already followed Williams up into falsetto at the finale of his LP version of ''Only You''. Carl's recitation between verses came only a week or two after Elvis' release of That 'When Your Heartaches Begin'' which included a recitation between verses, as had the Ink Spots' original recording of the song. (It's interesting, by the way, that ''Y.O.U'' was recorded at the same session as ''I Care'', another song with strong connection to the Ink Spots. The Ink Spots were more of an inspiration to the Memphis rockabillies than we customarily acknowledge).

Let us make clear that were not saying that ''Y'.O.U'' is stolen from other successful sources. Rather we're saying that it is firmly rooted in the popular music styles of its time and has lots of ingredients that were commonplace and familiar to both buyers and producers back then.

We have three outtakes of ''Y.O.U''. The first and the third are what happened in the Sun studio. But the second, the one without a recitation, is not. It is a product playing with the first outtake. It's easiest to hear that the two have identical performances in the last few seconds - listen to the bass notes after Carl goes up to the high note on the final ''you''. One obvious change is that the recitation in the first outtake has been removed. There are other smaller changes, harder to hear in real time. One involves the simple seven-note guitar run that plays behind ''it's you (guitar run), 'Y.O.U'' that occurs about 52 seconds into the first outtake and 46 seconds into the second one. Someone spliced an additional copy of that run into the second 9and you can hear a click just before it, where the splicing was done). Perhaps Sam thought that recitations weren't marketable since ''All Shook Up'' was by far the hotter side of Elvis' new record.

Both of the actual versions (and all three outtakes) are admirably and appropriately simple performances of a simple and heartfelt song. The melody and Carl s vocal intensity are what make it such a beautiful and emotionally honest piece of music. Carl hits the final top note in a way that is at once strong and plaintive. The whole thing is a nice reminder of how little machinery is needed to make a good record - less can be more. And it's also a reminder that records don't have to be innovative to be good; they just have to be good. 

04(1) – "Y.O.U." - B.M.I. - 3:31
Composer: - G. Bain
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released:  - April 27, 2012 
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-27 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

04(2) – "Y.O.U." - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - G. Bain
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30152 mono
SUN SOUND SPECIAL
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-3-9 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

04(3) – "Y.O.U." - B.M.I. - 3:19
Composer: - G. Bain
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - With Narration - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - November 1987
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) BFX 15211-11-3 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-24 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Notes in tape box indicate that "Y.O.U." originally scheduled as flip side of "That's Right".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS
LOS ANGELES 1957

SUN SESSION: PROBABLY SPRING 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN

01 - "FOREVER YOURS" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Spring 1957
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-20 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY MARCH 28, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

"Everyday", for too long has this track been overshadowed by its gorgeous flipside, "Easy To Love". "Everyday" is a fine country song in its own right. It reveals Mack as a songwriter with a penchant for country waltzes as well as a deft melodic touch and a gift for imagery. In addition to the release version, we   have two previously unissued alternate takes that are quite different from each other. Serious listening is rewarded here. Jimmy Evans (or perhaps Stan Kesler on steel) provides a highly unusual bass figure, sliding up to the target note. Either Van Eaton or Holland provides some interesting drum work, accenting on the cymbal during the guitar break. This is a simple country song with relatively few musicians in the studio. But  Lord, Lord, there sure is a lot going on here.

01(1) – "EVERYDAY"** - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 257  - Master
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - June 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 273-A mono
EVERYDAY / EASY TO LOVE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

01(2) – "EVERYDAY" - 1  - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-12 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(3) – "EVERYDAY" - 2  - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 28, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-20 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

This record falls in the cracks in so many ways. It is too country for pure rockabilly collectors, and it was too country for the crossover country market in 1957. To its credit, it was even rather raw for the country charts back in 1957. Nearly 40 years later, it sounds just right.

"Mad At You", this delightful slice of rural life dates from Mack's earliest session at Sun and continued appearing on the session logs almost until the end. Dueting with bass player Jimmy Evans, Mack gives us a comic version of his troubles. He's mad at everything in sight - including both his girl and the world. His cow's gone dry, the hens won't lay, his tires are flat and he's got a hole in his Sunday hat. Those last two lines, by the way, came to Mack courtesy of Jack Clement. Clement had a listen to what Mack was working on, jotted the "ties are flat/Sunday hat" couplet down on a piece of paper and handed it to Mack in the studio. Two great minds worked together. All the complaining is quite good- natured and the song is wonderfully picked and sung.

02 - "MAD AT YOU"* - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - P 359  - Master
Recorded: - Probably March 28, 1957
Duet vocals by Jimmy Evans
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3548-B mono
MAD AT YOU / WILLIE BROWN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-1-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6



Jimmy Evans (left) and Paul Ray Paulman (right). >

"Mad At You" offers a vivid glimpse at the identity of the elusive Mack Self. The verdict comes in Country. Country to the core. And back country at that. This record is a delight.

Listen to those verses during the "mad at the world" segment. Cows, chickens, and a Sanday hat. How much further back into the country can you get? Self seems lost in another time zone. 


In fact, he kept making music that truly belonged in another decade (both this track and "Easy To Love", issued on SUN 273, are fine examples) and Sam Phillips, bless his heart, kept putting it out. Note that this track sat in the can for over two years before being released in October, 1959. The master was recorded in March 1957 and there are demos of "Mad At You" dating from February 1956, if not earlier.

"On my first sessions at Sun, I had Therlow Brown playing hot guitar", recalled Mack Self, "and Jimmy Evans on upright bass. That was our band. Sam Phillips added Stan Kesler on steel and Carl Perkins' drummer W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland. Around that time, we cut "Goin' Crazy" and "Mad At You" but they were not released then. Around 1956 we cut some other songs, "Vibrate" was one. It was several years before Sam Phillips put out another record, which was "Willie Brown" and "Mad At You" on Phillips International".

"Mad At You" was recorded back in 1956 or 1957 with some other tunes. We tried it on several occasions right from my first session. The record had myself and Jimmy Evans singing. Jimmy played upright bass too. Roland Janes and Therlow Brown played guitar and Billy Riley too I think. But that was the flipside, an old recording pulled out to back up "Willie Brown" was made in 1959. That had Roland Janes on hot guitar, me on rhythm, Martin Willis on sax, Jim Wilson on piano and either Carl Perkins' or Warren Smith's drummer. We just cut the song that time. Sam Phillips and Ernie Barton Artist and Repertoire’s that one".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Therlow Brown - Lead Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Rhythm Guitar
Jimmy Evens - Bass and 2nd Vocal*
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

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© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

One of Sam Phillips' most commendable qualities was his willingness to appraise little league acts, especially at a time when Sun was enjoying regular hits on an international basis. With the advent of bequiffed rockabillies gibel a profound new identity, black performers had become sparsely represented in the company catalogue. "Baby Doll", from a scratch tape by The Four Dukes, offers a rare excursion into the vocal group stylings that were then flooding out of the east coast.
The Four Dukes >

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE FOUR DUKES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MARCH (15) 29, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "BABY DOLL" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 29, 1957
Released: - January 1, 1997
First appearance: -    Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8277 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL - VOLUME 1
Reissued: 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-4-25 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

02 - ''ANNIE'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Unknown
Publishers: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 29, 1957
Released: 1996
First appearance: - Collectables (CD) 500/200rpm COL 5810 mono
SPOTLIGHT ON SUN RECORDS - VOLUME 2

03 - ''WALKING ALONE''
Composer: - Unknown
Publishers: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 29, 1957

04 - ''ANGEL DEAR''
Composer: - Unknown
Publishers: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 29, 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Four Dukes
Members Probably
Billy Dawn Smith - Lead Vocal
Donnie Sehested - Tenor Vocal
Tommy Smith - Baritone Vocal
Edward "Sonny" Benton - Bass Vocal

Roland Janes - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Smokey Joe Baugh - Drums (March 15)
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

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MARCH 31, 1957 SUNDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis begin a tour in Little Rock, Arkansas that would last until May 5, 1957, supporting Johnny   Cash, Carl Perkins, Onie Wheeler, and others who came and went as the troupe slowly made its way up into the frozen North. From the subarctic springtime in Sault St. Marie, Ontario, they trekked across the prairies, ending up in Billings, Montana.

According to Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, it was during the long haul that Lewis developed   his stage act. Not content to remain chained to the piano stool, Lewis started clowning and   expending some of the frightening energy he possessed.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT
AND/OR SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "ONE BROKEN HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Hayden Thompson
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-17 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

02 - "AIN'T GONNA DO IT" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Dave Bartholomew-Pearl King
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Mistitled "Goin' Home"* – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - 1985 Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1022 mono
WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-18 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Sam Phillips or Jack Clement got as far doing vocal overdubs before the idea was scotched.

03 - "HAND ME DOWN MY WALKING CANE" - B.M.I. - 1:49
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Mistitled "All My Sins Are Taken Away"* 
Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - October 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30116-2 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 9 - MORE REBEL ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-19 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

"Ain't Gonna Do It" 2 and "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" are on the same session reel. Rockabilly icon Sonny Burgess invested one take on "Hand Me Down My Walking Gane" or "All My Sins Been Taken Away" on this traditional gospel song in 1957. This is obviously a very rough recording and for from Sonny's best work for Sun, but it marks the only time he ever veered in the general direction of gospel music. The song, which renounces worldly goods and rejoices in imminent death and rebirth, was also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis. Like Sonny, Jerry Lee also gave the song one take before moving on to other material.

04 - "GONE" – B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - 1990 Rounder Records (LP) 33rpm SS 36 mono
WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-21 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

05 - "PLEASE LISTEN TO ME" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Dave Bartholomew-Pearl King
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Recording - Mistitled "Don't Be That Way"*.
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-20 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

"Gone" and "Please Listen To Me" are on the same session reel.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
Joe Lewis - Guitar
Johnny Ray Hubbard - Bass
Kern Kennedy - Piano
Jack Nance - Trumpet
Russell Smith – Drums

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© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Carl Mann age 15, 1957. >

Brought up in Huntingdon, it's small wonder that Carl Mann was rooted in country music, but his vision of music didn't begin and there. ''I listened to all types of music'', he says, ''but country is what I was raised up with. I remember hearing Piano Red doing ''Rockin' With Red'' around 1952. I would call that the first rock and roll record''.


''I never used to sing the song, but my brother would take me around and he would sing it sometimes. And I'll certainly never forget hearing Elvis doing ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky''. I jumped right on that stuff. sang every song he did as soon as it was released''.

By the time Carl was thirteen, he had three ''live'' radio shows on local radio stations. ''I formed my own group, and we played on a station in Milan, another in Lexington and another in McKenzie. All the shows were on Saturday morning and we couldn't play all three at once so we'd tape a couple of them on Thursday night. After about three years, this disc jockey in Milan named Bill Haney set up an audition with Jimmy Martin in Jackson''.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL MANN
FOR JAXON RECORDS 1957

UNKNOWN STUDIO LOCATION
JAXON SESSION: POSSIBLY EARLY 1957

Carl Mann's first Sun sessions gave us everything we could expect from him during the course of his Sun recording career. There was a mixture of pre-rock standards and originals, mostly delivered at a rolling midtempo.

That's not where it begin, though, Carl Mann's first records was for the Jaxon label. It pre-dated his first Sun session by a year-and-a-half, and it was an inauspicious debut betraying Carl's tender years (he was probably all of fourteen or fifteen). There is none of the striking originality we would expect from Carl Mann and his guitarist Eddie Bush, if indeed it is Bush we hear on the Jaxon single.

Jimmy Martin was a local musician and man about the music scene in Jackson, Tennessee. There was no great distinction to what he played, but, like many people with little or no talent, he had a good ear for it. He also had an entrepreneurial streak, and seeing the success of Sun Records in Memphis, Martin started the Jaxon label. The label was mostly a vehicle for artists who were part of the Jimmy Martin Combo. Reinforcing the connection to Sun, Martin also arranged for the earlier Jaxon sides to be publishing through Sun's publishing affiliates. This might have been because Martin wanted to get his show on the road and didn't want to wait for BMI to screen and register his own publishing company, or it might have been because he hoped that Sun might lease his records or re-record the songs, and he knew there would be a bigger incentive for Sam Phillips at Sun to do so if he owned the publishing.


Carl Mann's first single on the Jaxon label (Jackson 502). >


Coincidence or not, some of the artists that Jimmy Martin featured on Jaxon had already been turned down by Sun Records. Ramsey Kearney, the first vocalist with the Martin Combo, had already been nixed by Sun with good cause. Still, two very mediocre Kearney songs, "Rock The Bop" and "Red Bobby Sox" were copyrighted by Sun's Hi-Lo Music in December 1956 and subsequently issued under Martin's name on Jaxon.


Martin also recorded Kenny Parchman who tried desperately hard to get a record released on Sun, and came very close; his songs "Feel Like Rockin'" and "Love Grazy Baby" were actually assigned an issue number but the record was canned at the last minute. Like Kearney, Parchman ended up on Jaxon Records.

Jaxon 502 featured Carl Mann, and it was issued in April 1957. "Jimmie Martin contacted me about forming a band that would be a mixture of my band and his band", recalled Carl. "Each of us would let a one or two men go. So that's what we did". Jimmie Martin played drums or bass, and Eddie Bush played guitar. Bush was just in from Texas after a stint on the Louisiana Hayride; in fact, a 1959 Hayride Yearbook showed him still in the staff band, although he had probably been gone for a year or so. He had been in the service in Hawaii with Ramsey Kearney, and had come to Jackson, Tennessee to visit Kearney after his discharge. Jimmie Martin liked his playing and invited him to stay, and Eddie Bush - the inveterate drifter - had no problem in accepting.

01 - "GONNA ROCK AND ROLL TONIGHT" – B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Carl Mann
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated – Distributed by Sun Records
Matrix number: - J 12 - Master
Recorded: - Early 1957
Released: - April 1957
First appearance: - Jaxon Records (S) 45rpm standard single Jaxon 502-A mono
GONNA ROCK AND ROLL TONIGHT / ROCKIN' LOVE
Reissued: - 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15713-1-1 mono
CARL MANN - MONA LISA

It didn't take Carl Mann long to realism that he was heading nowhere on Jaxon Records, but before the disillusionment set in there was the thrill of seeing your name on your first record. "I can't even explain how good it felt. I paid for that record and we got 350 copies. We thought we was in the big time - for a couple of weeks".


The Jimmie Martin Band: from left: Tony Moore, Carl Mann, Eddie Bush, and Jimmie Martin. >

The arrangement with Jimmie Martin quickly fell apart, and Carl Mann formed his own combo with Eddie Bush, Robert Oatsvall on bass and Tony Moore on drums. He had switched from guitar to piano soon after he joined Martin. "We needed a little more rhythm, so I learned the piano. I put some tape on the keys and marked the notes on there. I learned enough to play a little rhythm. We had an old piano at home that was half out-of-tune, but I'd thump around on it".


The logical next step for Carl Mann and his new combo was to approach Sun Records, then very much the label to be with in that area. It might not have panned out for Ramsey Kearney or Kenny Parchman, but it had worked for another local boy, Carl Perkins. When Perkins came back to Jackson it was in a late model powder Cadillac Fleetwood, and just a few months earlier he had been dodging bottles at the beer joints and cracker barrels around Jackson.

02 - "ROCKIN' LOVE" – B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Carl Mann
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Distributed by Sun Records
Matrix number: - J 11 - Master
Recorded: - Early 1957
Released: - April 1957
First appearance: - Jaxon Records (S) 45rpm standard single Jaxon 502-B mono
ROCKIN' LOVE / GONNA ROCK AND ROLL TONIGHT
Reissued: - 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15713-1-2 mono
CARL MANN - MONA LISA

"I found out later that Sam Phillips wanted to lease my Jaxon record", said Carl, "but Jimmie Martin never did tell me anything about that. Eddie Bush and I just kept going to Sun Records. We took 'em demo tapes and worried 'em down. Never got anywhere, though, 'til we hooked up with W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland. He started coming around the local clubs and he took an interest. Then it was another six or eight months before a regular session was fixed up. I seem to recall that Jack Clement cut the audition tape and produced "Mona Lisa".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Jimmie Martin - Bass
Tony Moore – Drums

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APRIL 1957

And then, Hayden Thompson's ''Rock-A-Billy Gal'' earns a mention as one of the very few 1950s song with  ''Rock-A-Billy in the title. Set to a light mambo rhythm, the original was a west coast record by Jonathan  Craig with the Colby Wolf Combo that had as little connection with rockabilly as Guy Mitchell's song  ''Rock-A-Billy''. Sam Phillips left Thompson's ''Rock-A-Billy Gal'' on the shelf. Trivia note: Colby Wolfe's  original record was released at the same time and the same label as Richard Berry's original ''Louie, Louie''.

APRIL 1, 1957 MONDAY

Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two performed at the High School Auditorium in West Monroe, Louisiana on 8:00p.m. show, and were sponsored by KUZN and West Monroe Jaycees. Appearing with Johnny Cash on this show were Jerry Lee Lewis, Onie Wheeler, and Paul Douglas.

A group of RCA recording artists departs for a tour of U.S. military bases in Germany. making the trip, Jim Reeves, The Browns, Hank Locklin, Janis Martin and Del Wood.

Merle Haggard's first daughter, Dana, is born. He misses the event, serving nine months in the Ventura County Jail for stealing a 1952 Oldsmobile.

Cadence released The Everly Brothers' ''Bye Bye Love''.

Jimmy Dean's recording contract with Columbia takes effect, though it takes another four years before he finally earns the label a hit.

Columbia released Ray Price's ''I'll Be There (When You Get Lonely)''.

APRIL 2, 1957 TUESDAY

Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis played at the Community Center in Sheffield, Alabama, just across the river from Florence. Perkins' record at number 82 on the pop charts and Jerry's still waiting to be released.


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Hayden Thompson & The Slim Rhodes Band. From left, John Hughey, Jimmy Van Eaton, Hayden Thompson, Spec Rhodes, Slim Rhodes. >

Sometime around March 1957, Flip Records of Hollywood issued a jazzy disc by the Colby Wolf Combo with vocalist Jonathan Craig. It was about a girl who became enthralled by the new rocking music and set off in pursuit of "the crazy rhythm" and the man who performed it.


Bob Colby and Jack Wolf's song ''Rock-A-Billy Gal'' was reviewed in the trade press in mid-April 1957 by which time it had already found its way to 706 Union Avenue in Memphis and a Slim Rhodes' recording session on April 3.

It is unclear who picked the song up, but the title was crying out to be given the Sun treatment. Surprisingly few songs from the 'rockabilly' era had that word in their title: although the phrase had been coined by record reviewers at the trade paper 'Billboard' around 1955, the performers from the mid-South who from left; Billy Hurt, Bill Gunter, Jimmy Hill were at th