CONTAINS 1958 SUN SESSIONS 1

Studio Session for Charley Pride, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Isle, 1957/1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Lee Mitchell & Curley Money, 1957/1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, 1957/1958 (1) / Sun Records
Studio Sessions for Sonny Burgess, 1957/1958 (2) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Wayne Powers (Cogswell), Various Dates
October 21, 23, 1957, May 17 & June 10, 19581958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for George Klein, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Allen Wingate (Allen Page), 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for John Tolleson, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, Probably 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Sunrays, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, Probably 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, January 4, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Roy Orbison, January 4, 10, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Danny Stewart, January 6, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ray Smith, Probably January 10, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, January 16-18, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Glenn Honeycutt, January 20, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, January 21, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Eddie Bond, January 25, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Edwin Bruce, January 26, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Red Williams, January 26, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mickey Gilley, February 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Dusty & Dot Rhodes, February 4, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Bill Pinky & The Turks, February 7, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ike Turner & Tommy Hodge, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Bill Justis & Sid Manker, February 13, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, February 14, 1958 / Sun Records (1)
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, February 14, 1958 / Sun Records (2)
Studio Session for Jack Clement, February 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jack Clement, February 17, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Warren Smith, February 23, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Barbara Pittman, February 24, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, February/March 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ernie Barton, Probably March 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Dickey Lipscomb (Dickie Lee), March 3-5, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tommy Blake, March 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tommy Black, March 15, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tommy Blake, March 16, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, Probably Mid-March 1958 / Sun Records (2)
Studio Session for Warren Smith, March 17, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ray Smith, March 19, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ray Smith, March 26, 27, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Pritchett, Probably April 1958 / Crystal Records
Studio Session for Eddie Bond, April 2, 1958 / Sun Records
Overdub Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, April 4 and/or April 8, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Cliff Thomas, Ed & Barbara, April 5, 12, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Rich, April 8, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, April 9, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Confederates, April 9, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Rich, Early 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Emerson, May 1958 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Buddy Blake Cunningham, May 3, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Eddie Bond, May 5, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ray Smith, May 13, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Rich, May 13, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, May 15, 1958 (1) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, May 15, 1958 (2) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, May 15, 1958 (3) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Riley, May 21, 1958 / Brunswick Records
Studio Session for Jesse Lee Turner, May, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, May 28, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Don Hosea, May 28, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for George Klein & Jack Clement, May 30, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Gloria Brady, Mid-1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Bill Justis & Johnny Ace Cannon, June 5, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Townsel Sisters, Probably June 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ernie Chaffin, June 9, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Vel-Tones, June 9, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Rich, June 16, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, June 23, 1958 / Mercury Records
Studio Session for Gene Simmons, June 25, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tommy Blake, 1958 / Recco Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, 1958 / Astro Records

Biography of Artists (See: The Sun Biographies)


1958

Bought Americans recession with a vengeance and large increases in unemployment over 7.0% (5.2 million) , inflation dipped below 2% in 1958 so those in work earning the average wages of $3,851 per year were quite well off, cars continued to get bigger and heavier with larger engines, but imports continued to grow now with the added Datsun and more Toyotas from Japan. Americas first satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral. This is also the year that the Microchip first developed which is the very early stages of PC's we all now use at work and at home. This was also the year of the Munich air disaster onFebruary 6 in which 7 Manchester United Players died.


The Ash Grove, 8162 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, California. >

1958

In 1958, Ed Pearl, a 21 year-old music enthusiast, opened a club in Los Angeles that became a Mecca for the emerging folk and rock musicians of the 1960s, and a focal point for the progressive cultural and political forces that shaped the times.  The original Ash Grove located at 8162 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, California, thrived for over 15 years, from 1958 to 1974.

A furniture factory and showroom was converted into the club, (now the site of The Improv).  No place in the world offered better blues or a wider variety of great blues performers. 

In 1958 Jerry Lee Lewis began with a full date book. There was to be an Allan Freed tour, a  Phillips Morris tour, and a tour of Australia and even England later in the year. Before Jerry  started on the promotional whirl, though, he was brought back into the studio to find a new  hit. Each of the co-writers of ''Great Balls Of Fire'' had submitted songs for consideration:  Jack Hammer had sent down a Chuck Berry-esque celebration of teenage life called  ''Milkshake Mademoiselle'' that substituted cliches for Berry's mordant wit, and Otis  Blackwell had sent down another song based on an exclamation, ''Breathless''.

Billboard magazine begins the Hot 100, expanding the Pop Charts to allow more records to  become certified hits.

Rock's songwriting connection to its audience becomes more apparent with the hits  "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran, "Sweet Little Sixteen" by Chuck Berry and Leiber &  Stoller's #1 hit for the Coasters "Yakety Yak", all focusing on teenagers struggles with  parental demands.

Chuck Willis's double-sided posthumous hit "What Am I Living For"/"Hang Up My Rock And Roll  Shoes" is the first rock record released in stereo, engineered by Tom Dowd of Atlantic  Records.

The power chord first appears in records by guitarists Link Wray and Eddie Cochran.

Distortion for electric guitar is first used by Lowman Pauling of The "5" Royales and a  primitive form of fuzz bass is found on some of their records of this time as well.

"Hard Headed Woman" by Elvis Presley becomes the first Rock Record to go "Gold", a new  designation for singles established earlier in the year.

It was probably in 1958 that former Sun recording artist Rudy Grayzell relocated to San Jose,  California, and signed with Award Records, a tiny offshoot of the Arrow records  manufacturing plant. Rudy's San Antonio buddy, Eddy Dugosh, already recorded there, and  his first recording was an unreleased cover of Wynoma Carr's 1956 Specialty recording of  ''Should I Ever Love Again''.

1958

Sun SLP 1225 ''Dance Album Of...'' by Carl Perkins issued. Reissued with different jacket as ''Teenbeat''.

Shreveport's Will ''Dub'' Jones joins The Coasters, with whom he goes on to sing ''Why's everybody always picking on me'' in their song ''Charlie Brown''.


1958

A new species emerged this year, as exemplified by the finger-snappin' Bobby Darin and the   highly emotive Connie Francis: fresh young singers who could appeal to a younger audience   without offending Mom and Dad. It was almost as if record execs had performed a lab   experiment, merging old crooners with new kids on the block for maximum profit. But the   real rockers would have none of it, and Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly kept pushing   the rollicking new sound.

1958

Phillips launches a new label, Phillips International, to be run in conjunction with Sun. He has already stopped using his Flip label.

Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash sign with Columbia Records. Perkins leaves Sun immediately   and Cash leaves in August when his contract is up, becoming the first big rockabilly artist on   the Columbia label.

Golden age of instrumental rock.

Jerry Lee Lewis hits later this year number 1 with "Breathless''.

Elvis is drafted into the Army.

Eddie Cochran overdubs all instruments and vocals on "Summertime Blues" and "C'mon   Everybody".

Lowman Pauling invents guitar distortion and feedback on the Five Royales' "The Slummer".

RCA introduces the first stereo long-playing records.

Don Kirshner opens offices at the Brill Building (See: May 1958).

David Seville's "The Witch Doctor" and the Tokens' "Tonite I Fell In Love" are the first novelty   hits.

Bobby Freeman's "Do You Wanna Dance" begins the "dance craze".

Little Richard quit rock and roll in 1958 to attend Bible college.

Dion and The Belmonts and Laurie Records both had their first hit when the band’s, "I   Wonder Why'', made the Top 40.

Jerry Lee Lewis had 34 of his 37 concert dates in the United Kingdom cancelled in 1958   when it was discovered that his new bride with him was also his 13 year old cousin.

Buddy Holly makes his final studio recordings " It Doesn’t Matter Any More," "Moondreams'',   ''Raining In My Heart" and "True Love Ways".

The Dick Clark Show TV Show began.


Jimmy Harrell with the Jim Bobs at the nightclub close to Smokey Roger's Music Store in El Cajon, California, 1958. From left: Bob Allen, Bob Coen, Jimmy Harrell. >

1958

After moved in 1947 to Hernando, just south of Memphis, future Sun recording artist Jimmy Harrell graduated from Hernando High School and then   enlisted in the United States Navy. Stationed in San Diego, California, he saw Gene Vincent, and formed an onbase band, the Jim Bobs, with two guys named Bob.

''I got out of the Navy, and there were no jobs'', he said. ''Then we had family get-together in Forest, and my Aunt Peggy said I should come to Jackson. Alton (Lott) lived there then, working at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, so we lived in the same household. Alton didn't care for singing. He just wanted to play the guitar'', said Harrell. 

Future Sun recording artist Alton Lott graduated from Forest Hill High School in Jackson,   Mississippi and he and Jimmy Harrell cut two songs for Ace entitled ''Looking For Someone''   and ''Got It Made In The Shade'' at Cosmo Recording Studio in New Orleans, Louisiana. Influenced by Scotty Moore and Chuck Berry, Alton remembered seeing Elvis, Scotty and Bill in their early days.

''After I moved to Jackson, Alton and I would sit around and come up with song ideas'', said Harrell. ''Alton had a group that played locally. Right down the street there were was a little recording studio, and there was a trailer outside that said 'Andy Anderson and the Rolling Stones'. We'd rehearse together. Andy had a recording contract, and we said that if he could do it, we could do it. We walked into Ace Records, did an audition, and Johnny Vincent took us to Cosimo's in New Orleans and recorded a joint session with Harry Lee. This would have been around 1957/58. Lee's single was released on Vin that year, but Alton and Jimmy's record went unreleased.


1958

Stax Records is founded in Memphis to promote black music, a name which is synonymous  with Southern soul music, began as Satellite Records in Memphis in 1959. Founded by Jim  Stewart, a former country fiddler, and Estelle Axton, whose son Charles "Packy" Axton was a  saxophonist with the original Mar-Keys, the company had its first Top Ten hit in 1961 with  "Gee Whiz" by Carla Thomas (below right with William Bell and Johnny Taylor). During the  next few years Stax developed a brand of music which was to have worldwide repercussions. 


Stax Studio, 926 East McLemore Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. ^

With its house rhythm section, better known as Booker T. & the MGs, its tight horn section,  which later became the Memphis Horns, and its gospel-rooted recording artists - Otis  Redding, Sam and Dave-Stax virtually created contemporary soul music, both on its own  records and as a Southern base of operations for Atlantic artists such as Don Covay and  Wilson Pickett.

The death of Otis Redding in 1967, following a triumphant European tour and a virtually  cataclysmic appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, signaled the end of the first Stax era.  Sam and Dave disbanded around the same time, and although they continued to record as a  unit, the members of Booker T. & the MGs did more administrative work than session  playing. It was left to a new generation of artists and producers to carry on the Stax legacy,  and the company did not find itself wanting in either department.

The most innovative and successful of the new breed of Stax artists was Isaac Hayes (left  with David Porter), who had been an important songwriter, producer, and session pianist  during the company's earlier period; with David Porter, he was responsible for writing and  producing Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Soul Man." On his own, Hayes  developed a unique blend, part jazz, part soul, part easy listening. He talked on his records  in a mellow, bantering manner, and he used an orchestra to provide instrumental cushioning.  In many ways Hayes was a founding father of the sweet soul of the 1970s.

But Stax's roster ran the gamut of black popular music. Albert King did his own funky thing,  playing his flying-V guitar with bluesy urgency. The Staple Singers were at their artistic peak  when they recorded for Stax during the late 1960s and early 1970s, turning out records that  blended a utopian social vision with rhythmic excitement. The great Johnnie Taylor was in  his prime, testifying on the ins and outs of falling in and out of love with intense passion.  Then there were the groups--the Soul Children, who said what was on their minds and  attracted a fanatical following in England as well as a large black following in the States, and  the smoother but still gritty Emotions. The music behind these singers was more varied than  in the early days, and some of it was recorded outside Memphis. But the spirit of Stax was  burning as brightly as ever.

The new Stax producers were at least as important as the artists in determining the Stax  sound. One of the most resourceful and versatile was Don Davis, who began a fruitful  association with Johnnie Taylor which still continues. Al Jackson, Jr. the great soul drummer  who was the backbone of Booker T. & the MGs, became a canny, astute producer, working,  often in collaboration with Jim Stewart or other company personnel, with Albert King, the  Staple Singers, and the Emotions. Jackson was still heard on drums on many Stax releases;  other session musicians included guitarists Vernon Burch, now a recording artist in his own  right, and Michael Toles, and keyboard player Marvell Thomas. Al Bell was an important  creative force as well as an administrator.

The thing that made Stax go was teamwork. When you visited the studio, which was a  converted movie theater on East McLemore, you could feel it. The carpeted halls were  always full of groups of people, who seemed to be going to and fro at will, dropping in on  friends in their offices, heading down to Studio A to check on the progress of a mixing  session, or out to the parking lot where Isaac Hayes's Rolls-Royce sat glittering in the sun.  The cooperation between white and black musicians and producers was practically  unprecedented; it was one of the secrets of the company's across-the-board success. But it  would never have worked without that spirit, and although the spirit was beset by the blows  of circumstance, it was in the music until the end, when Stax was adjudicated a bankrupt, in  1975.

But by June 1977, virtually all Stax assets, including all masters, both completed and  unfinished recordings, together with all Stax contracts, were purchased by a group which  then licensed Fantasy Records to handle all Stax product.

1958

Recording session for Charley Pride at Sun. The tapebox called it ''There My Baby'', but it was heavily based on ''The Stroll'', a recent hit and dance craze. It was sung by a local baseball star with the Memphis Red Sox who harboured a desire to sing. If he had been chosen for a release on Sun, there's no telling how the career of Charley Pride might have developed. Certainly, he wouldn't have been announced to the world as the first black country singer though, oddly enough, he was covering a white record in a foretaste of his career as a black man working in a white idiom.


Charley Pride >

Strangely, it doesn't rate a mention in his autobiography or his official website but it is   a fact that Charley Pride, one of RCA's biggest-selling artists of all time, who registered 36 number 1 country   hits, made his first recording for Sun Records. It's strange because most singers are keen to be associated   with Sun, whether their records were released or not (and Charley weren't). Stranger still because Sun was   just the sort of quirky label where Pride might have thrived eight years before he did make it into the big   time.


The official story prefers to highlight that Pride was ''born to poor sharecroppers, one of eleven children   in Sledge, Mississippi; a timeless everyman, revered by his musical peers and adored by countless millions   of fans around the globe. His golden baritone voice has transcended race and spanned the generation''.  Maybe so, but being on Sun never hurt anybody's reputation.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLEY PRIDE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ERNIE BARTON
AND/OR STAN KESLER

Charley Frank Pride was twenty years old when he auditioned at Sun. But, when Charley Pride's   breakthrough   came in 1966 it was organized by Jack Clement, the same producer who had been at Sun. Whether   Jack Clement was there on the actual day, sometime in 1958, when Pride came into 706 Union Avenue is   unknown.

1 – ''(THERE'S MY BABY) WALKIN' (THE STROLL)'' - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - C. Otis-N. Lee
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-11-16 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS - YOUR LOVIN' MAN
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-8-11 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

Whoever was there captured Pride singing a song logged as ''There's My Baby'', and sometimes referred to   since as ''Walkin' (The Stroll)''. It opens with someone making a sound like footsteps before a basic rhythm   set up by guitars and maracas becomes the backdrop to a minimal lyric about walking in the door and   walking in the wonderland. Pride sings in an understated way with just a hint of the ubiquitous post-Elvis hot   potato style. The song must have been inspired by ''The Stroll'', a hit in the early part of 1958 for a white  group, The Diamonds, who specialized in covering rhythm and blues songs.

2 - ''DON'T LET GO''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued - Incomplete
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charley Pride - Vocal
Unknown – Guitar & Maracas

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 1958

Carl Perkins signs with Columbia on January 25th. Having secured themselves a bona fide  rock and roll act, Columbia Records were at something of a loss to know what to do with  Carl. Their engineers could never capture the funky, bluesy bottom end of Perkins' sound  that Sam Phillips had perfected. For his part, Perkins could never recapture his muse. He  tried once again to become a teen poet, writing or recorded such songs as ''Pop Let Me Have  The Car'' and ''Pink Pedal Pushers'', but those songs sounded nowhere near as convincing as  the grim backwoods humour of ''That's Right''.

Carl Perkins plugs his first Columbia record ''Pink Pedal Pushers'' b/w ''Jive After Five'' (Columbia 4-41131) released March 10, 1958. >

Shortly after Carl Perkins signed with Columbia, one of the Sun session pickers, Roland  Janes, went to Nashville to cut a session. He found himself in the same studio as Perkins and  cared little for what he heard: ''Carl had got rid of his Gibson'', recalled Janes, ''and bought a  Strat. The Gibson had a much better sound for what he was doing. He'd also bought one of  those Echoplex Amp that sounded great when Scotty Moore used them but didn't suit Carl's  style at all. Then they were recording in Bradley's studio where you could take the Sun  studio, put in a corner and not even notice it was there. The sound of Carl's band was  leaping around the room. He needed the intimacy of the Sun studio.


1958

Jud Phillips departs to set up his own label and Cecil Scaife takes over his role as   promotion manager.

Johnny Cash signs with Columbia on August 1st, the same month that   Roy Orbison relocates to RCA Victor. Ernie Barton becomes an in-house producer.

After Hayden's Phillips International record had been out for some months, and he realised   that ''Love My Baby'' wasn't going to be a hit, he found that he had a decision to make. The   first flush of mid-South rockabilly was over and by early 1958 there were now many other   singers like him trying to make their way in the path of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee   Lewis and the few successful ones. The performing and recording options in Memphis were  limited and so when Hayden was offered a regular gig in Chicago in May 1958, he took it.   ''This guy said that he wanted me to work regularly at a new club that was starting up, the   Tally Ho Club out in Highwood to the north of Chicago. I wasn't doing too much in Memphis,   and so I said I would move up there. I worked four or five nights a week there at the Tally Ho   and I played other clubs also in the circuit between Milwaukee, Detroit and Indianapolis. I  played with different people for a while but mostly played with a guitarist and drummer I   had met at the Tally Ho. Travis Westmoreland played electric lead guitar Bob Miller was on   drums, and I played acoustic guitar. They were professional musicians and they helped me   make one hell of a sound for three pieces''.

JANUARY 1958

The singles PI 3421 ''Treat Me Right'' b/w ''I'm On The Way Home'' by Cliff, Ed and Barbara Thomas and PI 3526 ''You Are My Sunshine'' b/w/ ''Tootsie'' by Carl McVoy issued.

The U.S. launches the Explorer 1 satellite during January of 1958. Explorer 1 was first the satellite to be launched by the United States. The Soviet Union had already launched the world’s first satellite with Sputnik 1 in October of the previous year. The Explorer 1 was launched on a Jupiter C rocket and was used to measure the radiation in Earth’s orbit. The satellite successfully orbited Earth over 58,000 times before it re-entered the atmosphere in 1970. The success of the Explorer 1 satellite was an important milestone in the earliest years of the space race between the United States and Soviet Union.


Jimmy Isle >

Jimmy Isle and his brother Ronnie grew up in Nashville. They wrote many songs  together: Jimmy has 39 entries in the B.M.I database (almost all of them co-written with his  brother) and Ronnie 69. As a singer, Jimmy first appeared on the scene in 1957, with "Stay  By My Side"/ "Baby-O" on the Chicago-based Bally label. The next year he recorded what is  probably his best rocker, "Goin' Wild" for Morris Levy's Roulette label (4065).



Written by  Ronnie Isle, "Goin' Wild" featured a group called The Southlanders on vocal backup, as well  as some excellent work from the lead guitarist. A few months later, Ronnie Isle came up with  an interesting rocking instrumental, "Wicked"/"Bad Sunburn" on MGM 12682, credited to Ron  Isle and the Blisters.

At some point in 1958, Jimmy recorded "Diamond Ring" and "I've Been Waitin'" at a demo  studio, Fidelity Recording, in Nashville. Fidelity was owned by Gary Walker, a songwriter  from Springfield, Missouri. Walker leased these masters to Sun Records in October 1958, and  Sun picked up Isle's contract. The most obvious selling feature of "Diamond Ring" (Sun 306)  and Isle's other releases was a rhythmic hook.

After being signed to Sun, Jimmy was brought to Memphis to record one session (produced  by Jack Clement) from which two singles were drawn. The backing was supplied by Billy  Riley (guitar), Pat O'Neill (bass), Tommy Ross (drums), Charlie Rich (piano) and Martin Willis  (sax). "Without A Love"/"Time Will Tell" (Sun 318) was released in March 1959 and, like  "Diamond Ring" was geared to the white teenage market. Billboard assigned both sides a  three star rating, crediting Isle with singing "with spirit and style". In honesty, Jimmy's three  Sun singles were not among the greatest music the legendary label released, and the third  one, "What A Life"/"Together" (Sun 332) was easily the least effective of the lot, softened as  it was by sweet girl voices. It stiffed big time, thereby ending Isle's one y ear association  with the label. Jimmy moved to the Everest label, on which he had three singles released  (1959-60). After a slight lull, he turned up on Mala in 1963 and on Diamond in 1964, after  which he disappeared. His brother Ronnie had releases on Metro (1959), Image (1960) and  Warwick (1961) and later died in a car wreck. According to Hank Davis, Jimmy is still living  in Nashville.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY ISLE

DEMO STUDIO,  FIDELITY RECORDING, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: 1957 / 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER: GARY WALKER

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

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

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

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

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR LEE MITCHELL & CURLEY MONEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957-1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957/1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - "CHAIN GANG CHARLIE" - B.M.I. - 1:28
Composer: - Curley Money
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-4 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-12 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

02 - "STOP YOUR KNOCKIN'" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Curley Money
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1979
First appearance: - Bison Bop (LP) 33rpm BP-LP 2003-1 mono
CURLEY MONEY
Reissued: - 1985 Buffalo Bop (LP) 33rpm BP-LP 2003-1 mono
CURLEY MONEY

Didn't record for Sun, unless you count a namecheck on Phillips International 3530 beneath Lee Mitchell's name. One of the songs that Mitchell recorded but didn't release was "Chain Gang Charlie", a song Curley Money had recorded for his company, Rambler Records in Columbus, Georgia. Its Curley's original we have here, and it sits at Sun in a Rambler Records tape box.

03 - "THE FROG" - B.M.I. - 1:48
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 327   - Master   - Instrumental
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3530-A mono
THE FROG / A LITTLE BLUE BIRD TOLD ME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-7 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5


Lee Mitchell >

Now this should have been the real follow-up to Bill Justis' "Raunchy". Slap Bill Justis' name on it and you're set to go. I mean, hell, that's Justis playing sax on "The Frog". Why not just credit him and be done with it? Ironically, the formula here is closer to the original record of "Raunchy" than anything subsequently issued under Justis' name. Even beyond the saxwork, we have that weird hoedown guitar (courtesy of Billy Riley) and a guitar break that lies strikingly close to the original Justis record.


What's unclear at this point is what role Mitchell played in all this. In a recent interview with Colin Escott, Mitchell disavowed any involvement in "The Frog". Despite the label credit to the Curley Money Combo, it was Sun session guys all the way. Money had done no more than bring Mitchell to Sun Records.

It's hard to figure out Curley Money's involvement in Lee Mitchell's Phillips International record. His name is on the credits, and its possible that his band worked with Mitchell on "Blue Bird". At some point, Mitchell drove to Sun with Helms, and its possible that Curley Money went with them.

04 - "A LITTLE BLUE BIRD TOLD ME" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - G. Bozeman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 328  - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3530-B mono
A LITTLE BLUE BIRD TOLD ME / THE FROG
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-8 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lee Mitchell - Vocal
Curley Money Trio

Billy Riley - Guitar
Jack Clement - Bass
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Grover C. Mitchell >

UNTOLD SUN STORIES BY LEE MITCHELL -  "I was born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1936. Grover C. Mitchell is my real name. I worked  sideshows in Fort Benning, Georgia, national Guard Armories, skating rinks... that sort of  thing. I played drums and sing. I had a good feel for making up songs, and I'd sing 'em on the  bandstand right after I'd made 'em up. If the people liked 'em, I'd go home and write down  the lyrics. "Blue Bird" was recorded at WRBL-TV Columbus by Ben Parsons, who ran a talent  programma and was on radio too. 


We used a vocal group from Phoenix City, Alabama, the  Charmettes, who were twelve, thirteen and fourteen year old. I had a manager then, Bob  Helms. You can jerk a manager out of the bushes if it looks like you're gonna make it, and  this guy latched onto me''.

''He worked for Dixie Distributing and he took the master to Sam  Phillips and Sam liked it. Helms never done anything else for me, though. I got a lot of bad  advice. I still got a lot of stuff lingering out there in the dark somewhere".

"After Sun, I recorded for some hometown outfits. Got a lot of records out on Curley Money's  Rambler Records. I wrote some more songs. All the time I was working in a steel mill in  Atlanta, but I'm retired now".


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957/1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATES 1957/1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

The rhythm and blues charts provided a regular source of material for sequestering by rockabilly performers during the fifties, and it was to Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters that the astute Sonny Burgess looked for "What'cha Gonna Do". Even with all of the Sun trappings in place a single didn't materialise, yet on the plus side pianist Kern Kennedy underwrote the track with an early slab of the blues-driven "Memphis Beat", a figure that would become par for the course during the sixties.

01 - "OH MAMA" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1022-2 mono
SONNY BURGESS - WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-3 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

02 - "TRUCKIN' DOWN THE AVENUE" - B.M.I. - 1:49
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1027-3 mono
SONNY BURGESS AND THE PACERS
Reissued:- 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-4 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

03 - "WHAT 'CHA GONNA DO" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Ahmet Nugetre
Publisher: - Carlin Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Mistitled "Higher"*.
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1982 - Not Originally Issued
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CFM 508-5 mono
DIXIE BOP
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-6 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1959

04 - "SO GLAD YOU'RE MINE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Arthur Crudup
Publisher: - Elvis Presley Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Labelled "Oo-Wee" on tape box; piano intro.
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1027-9 mono
SONNY BURGESS AND THE PACERS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-5 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

05 - "SO GLAD YOU'RE MINE" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Arthur Crudup
Publisher: - Crudup Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - Unknown - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Labelled "Changed My Mind" on tape box; guitar intro.
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - 1978 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-4 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-8 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

06 - "FEELIN' GOOD" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Herman Parker
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - Unknown - Mistitled "Feel So Good".*
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30136-10 mono, dub off disc
SONNY BURGESS - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-7 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

07 - "ONE NIGHT OF SIN" - B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - Dave Bartholomew-Pearl King
Publisher: - Travis Music - EMI-United Artist Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-5 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-9 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

08 - "ALWAYS WILL" - B.M.I. - 3:12
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1039-2 mono
V' 3 - SONNY BURGESS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-10 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

09 - "LITTLE TOWN BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records 1978 (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-6 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-11 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

10 - "YOU'RE NOT THE ONE FOR ME" - .M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30136-7 mono, dub off disc
SONNY BURGESS – THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-12 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

11 - "MR. BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-3 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-13 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
Possibly J.C. Caughron - Guitar
Johnny Ray Hubbard - Bass
Kern Kennedy - Piano
Bobby Crafford – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957/1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATES 1957/1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

With the exception of Jerry Lee Lewis, Sonny Burgess probably left more prime material unreleased in the Sun vaults than any other artist. Even given the high stabdard of what Burgess left behind, the next track is a gem - eminent worthy of release back in 1957 or so when it was recorded. What stands out for us today is the wonderful Chuck Berrysque lyric (rhyming radio stations with U - nited nations); the great instrumental sound, and, not least, Roy Orbison's vocal support behind Burgess. Any student or Orbi's career will recognize that its a short distance between the "bop bop badi do wah's" here and "Dom dom dom dombie doo wah's" - that began Phase 2 of Orbison's career in 1960 with "Only The Lonely". The great chord changes here are anchored by an all but ordinary flatted 6 chord - a touch introduced to rockabilly by Carl Perkins in "Honey Don't". And that memorable guitar figure that drives this record also makes a brief appearance in Joe Maphis's stellar guitar solo on Rockey Nelson's "Waitin' In School".

01(1) - "FIND MY BABY FOR ME" - B.M.I. - 0:28
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - 2x False Start - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: -   1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-14 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1959

01(2) - "FIND MY BABY FOR ME" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30136-5 mono, dub off disc
SONNY BURGESS – THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-15 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1959

01(3) - "FIND MY BABY FOR ME/
SADIE BROWN (SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN) (INCOMPLETE)" - B.M.I. - 3:24
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - November 1986
First appearances: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-6-7 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Record (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-4-18 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

02 - "TOMORROW NIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Bourne Company - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/58
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-8 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-16 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Both of the titles above are on the same session reel.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
J.C Caughron - Guitar
Johnny Ray Hubbard - Bass
Kern Kennedy - Piano
Bobby Crafford - Drums
Unknown - Vocal Chorus include Roy Orbison

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©   

STUDIO SESSION FOR WAYNE POWERS (COGSWELL)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: VARIOUS DATES
OCTOBER 21, 23, 1957 / MAY 17 & JUNE 10, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

Here's Wayne Cogswell, whom he first encountered playing lead guitar for Ray Harris. If the best Sun records are hybrids, then this one should be on anybody's Top Ten list.

01 - "POINT OF VIEW" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 316   - Master
Recorded: - Various Dates
October 21, 23, 1957 / May 17 & June 10, 1958
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3523-A mono
POINT OF VIEW / MY LOVE SONG
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-15 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5



"Point Of View" keeps an aggressive rhythm guitar at its center, adds some melodic high string picking by either Roland Janes or Sid Manker, and caps the whole thing with a doo wop chorus featuring the Memphis version of Jimmy Jones (who was singing doo wop much like this in New York at the time prior to his solo hit "Handy Man" in 1960). Stan Kesler misses a few of the changes on his bass and sounds quite tentative throughout, which suggests that a few more takes might have taken this otherwise strong record to perfection.


Wayne Cogswell's solo record was a Cash Box ''Pick Of The Week''. ^

Cogswell comes even closer to crooning on this side. Listen to that voice. Could this really have been the guy wailing away on guitar behind Ray Harris on Sun 254. The answer is yes, suggesting that Phillips International was, on some occasions at least, being used to explore the "pop" niche of the marketplace, while Sun Records remained the haven for unrepentant wildmen.

02 - "MY LOVE SONG" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 315  - Master
Recorded: - Various Dates
October 21, 23, 1957 / May 17 & June 10, 1958
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3523-B mono
MY LOVE SONG / POINT OF VIEW
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

03 - ''NO LOVE IS MINE''
Composer: - Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Various Dates
October 21, 23, 1957 / May 17 & June 10, 1958

04 - ''WHAT WILL I DO?'' - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Various Dates
October 21, 23, 1957 / May 17 & June 10, 1958
Released: -   1999
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8353 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL – VOLUME 3

05 - ''BALLAD OF A TEENAGE QUEEN''
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Various Dates
October 21, 23, 1957 / May 17 & June 10, 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Wayne Powers - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Robert Talley - Drums

The Montclairs - Vocals

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


UNTOLD SUN STORIES BY WAYNE POWERS – "I was born in Maine about two miles from the  Canadian border, but we moved to Rhode Island when I was young. Got my start playing  nightclubs there. I moved to Memphis in 1955. My sister Louise lived there, and my brotherin- law's daddy awned a stockyard. I wanted to start a business hauling cattle''.  ''First time I  went I was selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door. Sold one to Sam Phillips. Cost him  $285.00! Then I started Cogswell Livestock Trucking Company. I was picking up cattle in  Texas and Missouri and hauling them to Nashville. Then I went into business with my  brother-in-law, still hauling cattle".

"I went to Sun, met Sam, and he mentioned to me that Ray Harris was looking for a guitar  player, so I went and worked with Ray. We went back to Sam, auditioned and cut those  records. Then I took him two songs, "Point Of View" and "My Love Song". I think he heard  something in them. He said they needed something to fill out the sound, so I put an ad in the  paper and four guys responded. They were maybe 13 or 14 years old. Black guys. I called  them the Montclairs. We all went to Sam and auditioned again and Sam was real enthused.  He was the one that changed my name from Winston Cogswell to Wayne Powers. He thought  my real name stunk. The first time I used the new name was on Wink Martendale's television  show".

"Then around 1959 I wrote "Tennsville". I recorded it for Sun, but I wouldn't let Sam put it  out. I sent it to Chet Atkins at RCA, and he recorded it, and it was a hit. The last part of  1959, I left Memphis for Rhode island and started Wye Records with another guy named Ray  Petersonn. The president was a guy named Kenneth Dutton who owned the studio. Me and  ray Peterson wrote and recorded an instrumental called "Night Theme". We issued it as by  the Mark II, and it was a Hot 100 hit. It started to break and we got offers from Warner Bros.  and Roulette. We went with Roulette, cause they were in New York. Big mistake. So many  people have recorded that tune. Al Hirt, Ernie Freeman, Bob Crosby, 101 Strings. I ran Wye  Records for a while, and carried on making demos. I wrote "Someday, Someday" that was a  hit for Skeeter Davis, and I'm still kinda in the business".


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

George Klein at WMC radio. >


George Klein was a long-time Memphis disc jockey and member of Elvis Presley's inner circle. Klein actually had two releases on Sun Records - one the Jerry Lee Lewis novelty record ("The Return Of Jerry Lee") created to make light of his 1958 British tour debacle. Klein's second Sun release was the forgettable  March 1961 ''U.T. Party''. 


What we have here is an entirely different matter. Although it may have been something of a theological stretch for him, Klein performs a traditional southern Baptist hymn in the very style that served as nightly entertainment at Elvis' house. In all likelihood, Klein has simply taken a bit of Graceland and transported it to 706 Union.

This tape fragment, probably a spontaneous warmup track, also features the dynamic piano work of Ed Thomas, another Memphis media personality, whose records with younger brother Cliff were released on Phillips International.

STUDIO SESSION FOR GEORGE KLEIN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

01 - "POCKETFUL OF SNOW"
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1958

02 - "LORD LEAD ME HOME" - B.M.I. - 1:11
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1958
Released: - 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16387-16 mono
SUN GOSPEL
Reissued: - December 16, 2008 Licensemusic (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - CHRISTMAS GREATS - VOLUME 2

03 - "OH, LORD, REMEMBER ME"
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
George Klein - Vocal
Ed Thomas - Vocal and Piano
Probably Elvis Presley - Off Mic

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Allen Wingate >

Allen Wingate, who game to Tennessee from De Land, Florida, had some  measure of success not with Sun Records, but rather with the Moon label in Memphis, owned   by Cordell Jackson.  Wingate recorded for Moon Records under the name Allen Page and was   a member of The Big Four, who served as the label's de facto house band. Page or Wingate   had at least five records appear under his name for Moon and wrote several songs recorded   by other artists for the label.



Other than his connection with one single by Ernie Barton, it   seems that Alan Wingate had far more impact on Moon Records than its better known   celestial rival across town.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ALLEN WINGATE (ALLEN PAGE)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

Allen Wingate saw his name on one Sun? Phillips International single - as composer of both sides of Ernie Barton's 1958 "Rainin' The Blues" (PI 3528). That label actually reads "Al and Jo-Ann Wingate". As these demos reveal, Wingate was a competent composer and performer with a genuine feel for the darker, more sullen side of rockabilly. 

01 - "WHAT ELSE COULD I DO" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Allen Wingate
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Nor Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1958
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-5 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

"What Else Could I Do?" features s string bass and some Sun-sounding echo. The opening to this track recalls the sintrumental figure used by Barton his version of "Rainin' The Blues". The lead guitar provides some countryish licks in a style not unlike Scotty Moore's on Elvis earliest recordings. Of Wingate's three demos, this one alone sounds as if it might have been recorded at Sun. Certainly, it embodies the best of understated rockabilly - a sparse instrumental track (acoustic guitar, lead electric and heavy slap bass to drive the rhythm). The vocal is sexy and understated, and the overall effect is quite hypnotic in a style that finds expression today in some of Chris Isaak's recordings.

The remaining two demos have a different recorded sound and are more likely to have been mailed in from home. Wingate's version of "Rainin' The Blues" is far sunnier than Barton's released version. Despite a fine lead guitar track, the absence of vocal echo and slap bass on this demo show just how important these elements were to the overall mystique of rockabilly. Despite these lacks, it is interesting to hear how Barton's memorable record began life as a mailed-in demo. "Should Be You" features a stop-time rhythm and fine performance by Wingate, again revealing his affinity for this music.

02 - "SHOULD BE YOU" - B.M.I. - 1:43
Composer: - Allen Wingate
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1958
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-17 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

03 - "RAININ' THE BLUES" - B.M.I. - 1:41
Composer: - Allen Wingate-Jo Ann Wingate
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1958
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-29 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Allen Wingate - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHN TOLLESON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

The Sun Vaults seem to hold an inexhaustible supply of material like this. It is almost certain that John Tolleson recorded these demos around 1958 and mailed them into Sun. That interested somebody enough to keep them for future reference, neatly filed away with Tolleson's name misspelled. Unfortunately for the artist, that magic phone call or letter never came. And when John Tolleson still lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas,  he never had had the thrill of seeing his name on a yellow Sun label.

These release of this material would no doubt have pleased him, although there was no shortage of material out there bearing the names John Tolleson or Johnnie Tolleson or Tommie Tolleson - all of which appear to  have been moms du disque for our man, John.

"Searchin' For My Baby" shows that Tolleson could rock his way around the keyboard, although he saddles himself with some stilted lyrics when he starts rhyming "gaj" with "pal". Those kinds of lyrics were at home on a Jimmie Rodgers record thirty years before Tolleson walked into a studio.

01 - "SEARCHIN' FOR MY BABY" - B.M.I. - 1:27
Composer: - John Tolleson
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-6 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17
Reissued: - May 28, 2009 Burning Love Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROCKABILLY ON FIRE

"Hickory Nut Mountain" features a Bo Diddley rhythm - a less ordinary approach to rockabilly that will be familiar to Sun fans from Billy Riley's "No Name Girl" and Tommy Blake's "Sweetie Pie". Buddy Holly fans will think of "Not Fade Away". And on the more obscure front, there's Jody Reynolds' "Daisy Mae".

02 - "HICKORY NUT MOUNTAIN" - B.M.I. - 1:23
Composer: - John Tolleson
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-15 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17
Reissued: - May 28, 2009 Burning Love Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROCKABILLY ON FIRE


"Rocky Road Blues" was probably learned from Ronnie Self's 1957 single, although its possible that Tolleson also know Bill Monroe's original.

03 - "ROCKY ROAD BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 1:48
Composer: - John Tolleson
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-25 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17
Reissued: - May 28, 2009 Burning Love Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROCKABILLY ON FIRE


"Don't Sweetheart Me" surely represented one of the more creative titles in the demo in-basket, although it features some odd rhyming patterns.

04 - "DON'T SWEETHEART ME" - B.M.I. - 1:21
Composer: - John Tolleson
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-33 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17
Reissued: - May 28, 2009 Burning Love Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROCKABILLY ON FIRE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
John Tolleson - Vocal and Piano
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE FEATHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: POSSIBLE 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

Charlie Feathers and an unidentified second guitarist (probably Quinton Claunch) turn their hands to one of the mellowest and most affecting ballads in the Sun vaults. It was a demo that was pitched to Tommy Tucker who recorded it for Hi Records in 1959. Claunch claims to have written the song single-handedly and then given 33% to Cantrell because of their longstanding agreement and another 33% to Feathers in exchange for singing the demo. Jim Denny at Cedarwood Music in Nashville reportedly offered to get a major artist to cut it if he could get the publishing, but Hi's Joe Cuoghi turned him down. Feathers' vocal is noticeably free of the vocal gimmickry that became his trademark when the results might be destined for release. This is simply a wonderful performance with a plaintive, almost folky quality.

01 - "MAN IN LOVE" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Bill Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Possible 1958
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm LP 126-14 mono
COTTON CHOPPER COUNTRY
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311 3-20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal and Guitar
Quinton Claunch – Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE SUNRAYS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - STAN KESLER

How many Sun fans bought this record back in 1958 and wondered what had hit them? No review in Billboard. No advance publicity. Virtually no air play north of the Tennessee state line. Who were the Sunrays? That mystery stayed pretty well intact until recently (even the redoubtable Sun Records Discography by Escott and Hawkins came up empty. "Unknown vocal group. Unknown date. Possibly 706 Union".

In a 1989 interview with Barbara Pittman, all was revealed. "Stan Kesler had in mind that he wanted to put together a vocal group, an Anita Kerr type of thing. He got us all into the studio. It was horrible. The voices just clashed. It was real difficult. The arrangement was all Stan's. Elsie Sappington sang that little solo on there. I was just a kid and my voice hadn't developed enough for me to hit those high notes. I sang lead all the way through until that part of the song". The Sunrays consisted of Barbara, along with Elsie Sappington, Hank Byers and Jimmy Knight.

01(1) - "LOVE IS A STRANGER" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 300   - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 293-A mono
LOVE IS A STRANGER / THE LONELY HOURS
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-5 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

In truth, "Love Is A Stranger" isn't that bad a record. The instrumental backing track is particularly solid and  driving. The lyric is servicable, and the key modulations provide a fair amount of tension. Probably the  worst thing about SUN 293 is that it appeared on a Sun label. The expectations were just too high.

01(2) - "LOVE IS A STRANGER" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-2-12 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

02 - "THE LONELY HOURS" - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 301   - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 293-B mono
THE LONELY HOURS / LOVE IS A STRANGER
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-6 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Sunrays consisting of
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
Elsie Sappington - Vocal
Jimmy Knight - Vocal
Hank Byers - Vocal

Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar
Jimmy Knight - Guitar
Clyde Leoppard - Drums
Hank Byers - Trumpet
Smokey Joe Bauch – Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY JACK CLEMENT

Session dated to 1958 because "Skinny Ginny" cloned from Larry Williams' "Bonie Maronie", a hit in the early months of 1958. Possible recorded with "Mama Loochie" next session below. 

01(1) - "TOMORROW NEVER COMES" - B.M.I. - 0:14
Composer: - Ernest Tubb-Johnny Bond
Publisher: - Hill and Range Songs Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: -   1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-17 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

01(2) - "TOMORROW NEVER COMES" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Ernest Tubb-Johnny Bond
Publisher: - Hill and Range Songs Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1039-11 mono
V' 3 - SONNY BURGESS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-18 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

02 - "SKINNY GINNY" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - Unknown - Mistitled "Sweet Jenny" - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-17 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959
Reissued: - 2005 Emusic Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sun 10932959 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS - VOLUME 2

03 - "SO SOON" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-7 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-18 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal, Guitar
Chatter references to J.C. Caughron
J.C. Caughron - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Kern Kennedy - Piano
Bobby Crafford – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE - PROBABLY 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY JACK CLEMENT

01(1) - "MAMA LOOCHIE" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Lee Diamond
Publisher: - Regent Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Mistitled "Oochie Coochie" - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date - Probably 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1037 mono
AFTER THE HOP
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-21mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

01(2) - "MAMA LOOCHIE" - B.M.I. - 0:43
Composer: - Lee Diamond
Publisher: - Regent Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Breakdown - False Starts - Mistitled "Ootchie Kootchie"*
Recorded: - Unknown Date - Probably 1958
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1039 mono
V'3 SONNY BURGESS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-22 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

01(3) - "MAMA LOOCHIE" - B.M.I. - 2:53
Composer: - Lee Diamond
Publisher: - Regent Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Complete Take 3 - Mistitled "Ootchie Kootchie"*
Recorded: - Unknown Date - Probably 1958
Released: - 1987
First appearance: -   1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-23 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass or Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Unknown - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

Billy Riley and James M. Van Eaton identified in session chatter.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©



JANUARY 1958

Shortly after Roy Orbison's "Chicken Heart" was flopped, Orbison returned to Texas with his  new bride, Claudette Frady, from Odessa. She had joined him in Memphis; for a while before  their marriage in 1957, they chastely slept in separate rooms at Sam Phillips' house at 233  North Waldran in Memphis.




Claudette Frady (September 5, 1941-June 6, 1966), son Roy Dewayne Orbison (April 18, 1958 - September 15, 1968), and Roy Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988), photos circa 1959. ^

Johnny Cash's Sun single "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" was picked by Billboard as a "dual  market contender" in January 1958.

Carl Perkins, having left Sun, cuts his first session for Columbia. Johnny Cash tours the midwest  with Roy Acuff and the Wilburn Brothers. Jerry Lee Lewis tours Australia with the  Crickets and Paul Anka.

JANUARY 1958

Glenn Honeycutt hung around Sun for another year or so. On one occasion, he walked in on Johnny Cash talking to   Phillips; on another, he sang a sausage commercial while Roy Orbison played harmonica. There was a   session in January 1958 but the songs weren't developed for release. As far as he can remember, Honeycutt   never joined any package shows. He played in bars and clubs around Memphis and the Tri State area but   never went on the road. ''The first time I was ever on radio was with Roland Janes, Billy Riley and J.M. Van  Eaton. It was a live broadcast from some little town in Arkansas one Sunday afternoon. I didn't realize that I   was supposed to talk between songs so I'd sing then take a break and there was all this dead air. The radio   people were real upset. I remember that I'd brought my own band but I begged and pleaded with Roland and   Jimmy to back me because they'd done such a good job on the record''.

In 1958 Honeycutt joined the United States Post Office as a letter carrier, a job he held until retirement.

JANUARY 1, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Johnny cash gives his first New Year's performance at San Quentin prison in California. He does several more in ensuing years.

JANUARY 3, 1958 FRIDAY

Lyricist Richard Adler marries actress Sally Ann Howes, known for her work on Broadway in ''My Fair Lady''. Seven years earlier, Adler had a country hit as a songwriter with Ernest Tubb and Red Foley's version of ''The Strange Little Girl''.

JANUARY 4, 1958 SATURDAY

Bob Wills gives his blessing to rock and roll in The Tulsa Tribute, ''Why, man, that's the same kind of music we've been playin' since 1928! It's just basic rhythm and has gone by a lot of different names in my time''.

Former country hitmaker Lawrence Welk appears on the cover of TV Guide.

Rhythm and blues artist Little Willie John recorded ''Talk To Me, Talk To Me'' in New York City. The song becomes a country hit twice, once for Freddy Fender, and once for Mickey.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The traditional circuit of regional radio in rural Arkansas, was the route taken by Mack Self to lay his musical credentials in front of Sam Phillips. As so often happened at Sun, when he was invited to the studio, Mack had to accept there'd be a good deal of hanging around whilst he waited his turn at the mike. A pair of true blue country sides released over two years apart was the total sum of his efforts, whilst the peppery "I Vibrate" languished undeservedly for the next two decades.


"Vibrate", "I just got thinking about how some people start jumping up on tables, just carrying on. Just don't know when to quit. They're just shakin' all over. Excited. That's what I was singing about".

Mack concludes with laughter, "The song just turned out to be a masterpiece. Conway Twitty heard me sing it in a club one time and thought it was a good song. I think he might have recorded his own version, but nothing happened with it" recalled Mack Self.

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JANUARY 4, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Actually, the story is a bit more complicated. It appears that Twitty (still Harold Jenkins at the time) did like the song, but he was more taken with the title than the lyrics. He and his drummer Jack Nance wrote their own version called "I Vibrate (From My Head To My Feet)". The song was included in the May, 1958 session that also yielded the mega-hit song "It's Only Make Believe". Twitty's own "vibrating" song appeared on his first LP and was the basis of a stage routine during which Twitty stood stock still while "vibrating" Shades of the lyrics to Jerry Lee's "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". There is one other interesting similarity between Mack's original "Vibrate" song and Conway's "I Vibrate". In Mack's hands the title becomes a three-syllable word - "Vi-er-ate". Conway pronounces it exactly the same way. Maybe it's an Arkansas thing.

01(1) – "VIBRATE" - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 4, 1958
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30128-A-6 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - ROCKABILLY SUNDOWN
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-9-6 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5-24 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Getting back to Mack's version, there's no denying the whole idea sounds rather sexy. The thought of your woman vibrating - that's got to be good news, right? Mack sure seemed to think so, considering the list of things (including a bed of rattlesnakes) he was willing to take on for the simple pleasure of watching it happen. The track features a wonderful two-note guitar figure (3-1 or C#-A since Mack sings it in the key of A). That little guitar figure works as a powerful hook for the song, although there's no shortage of appeal here. For one thing, this is pretty straight-ahead rockabilly and surely as close to the genre as Mack ever got at Sun. For another, there's that great confusion between the 4- and 5-chord in each verse, which actually becomes quite endearing after a while. And just in case you're listening to lyrics (admittedly, not a favorite sport among rockabilly fans), you've got a great collection of images telling you just how much seeing this  woman "viberating" means to Mack. "Climb a tree bare footed". Wow? Now there's a though. You gotta be from the country to have dreamed that up!

01(2) - "VIBRATE" - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 4, 1958
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-13 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

It was very different from Mack's sole Sun single, which was pure unadorned hillbilly music, and very different from his sole Phillips International single, which was a Tom Dooley soundalike number.

03 - "LITTLE ONE" - B.M.I. - 1:00
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 4, 1958
Released: - 2007
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-9 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

"Little One", this is as close to a pop ballad as Mack came at Sun. Although the song is easy to underestimate at first hearing, the melody can creep into your memory and haunt you for days. The simple 1-5-1-5 chord changes (and the waltz tempo) set the stage for a fine piece of crossover pop/country. Remember, this was recorded circa 1957, the year that records like Ferlin Husky's "Gone" hit the charts. "Little One" is certainly the least appreciated (and least re-issued) title in Mack's Sun catalogue. To make it a bit more interesting, we managed to locate a false start to give the performance a little more depth.

04 - "LITTLE ONE" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 4, 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-9-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311 FK-5-25 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

''Little One'' a beautiful country ballad seems to be no more than an early run-through. The song was never worked up for release, perhaps because it is essentially just rejuggled cliches. It certainly lacks the stunning images of ''Easy To Love'' and in comparison it is easy to see why Sam Phillips decided to leave it on the cutting room floor. Nevertheless, it provides a welcome addition to the small legacy of Mack Self recordings.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Therlow Brown - Guitar
Jimmy Evans - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 1958

As much as Barbara Barnes her restorative weekend, she could hardly wait to get back to Sun on   Monday to see what was going to happen next. Jack Clement and Regina Reese were already there   when Barbara arrived, and she confessed to them her confusion and difficulty getting the hang of   things at Sun. ''There doesn't seem to be any order here'', she said. ''I never know what to expects''.   ''That's it, B.B. And you never will. I used to feel that way, but you have to go with it, relax. Just   look upon it as your own three-ring circus'', Jack advised.

Regina had been listening, at the same time opening the mail. In the stack of letters she found and   handed to Barbara a little flat package that turned out to hold a nice surprise. It was a type of   recording never seen before, but with two tunes on each side. It was what they called an Extended   Play album, or EP. This one was from the European partner, London Records. The flexible plastic   cover had an orange background and showed a fellow lounging on a haystack, with the title   ''Hillbilly Rock'' (RES 1089). The singer, Roy Orbison, was one of the guys who played shows in   the mid-South with Sun's other artists, so he was in town often and came to hang around   occasionally. The next time he showed up, Barbara Barnes was eager to let him see it. To her   surprise, he wasn't thrilled with his release.

''I don't like that cover too much'', Roy said softly. He had a country and western band at home in   West Texas, but being depicted as a hillbilly offended his dignity. He represented the western part of   country-western music, and he had changed his band's name from the Wink Westerners to the Teen   Kings, in hopes of becoming a rock star. He had grown up more urbanized, and he'd been to   college.

''But Roy, this means you are popular enough in Europe to warrant this EP. You be happy. The liner   notes were very complimentary'' said Barbara. The featured tune was ''Ooby Dooby'', one of his four   Sun releases thus far and his biggest hit. It was described as an up-tempo rock and roll number that   had nonsense lyrics. The rhyming title reminded to Little Richard's ''Tutti Frutti'', and songs like   these were a reason that condescending critics said rock and roll was juvenile.

''Ooby Dooby'' was a good record'', Roy had to admit. ''It was number 59 on the Billboard pop   charts and sold a quarter of a million records''. Roy liked the feeling of having a successful record,   and he was impatient for another. Instead of goofing around or shooting the breeze with Billy Riley   or the other guys, he seemed to be working when he came in, sitting in the studio playing his guitar,  at times just sitting and thinking writing down a line or two, or occasionally coming the the studio   office to talk about his career aspirations. He seemed very focused on success and was frustrated   Sam Phillips wasn't paying more attention to him. On the day he was looking at his EP, he seemed   friendly and inclined to chat, so Barbara Barnes asked for a favor.

''Roy, I need to stop by the printer's for a minute'', she said. If I catch the bus, it will take me all   morning. Would you mind driving me there and back if you have time''?, I asked. He said he would   and very politely opened the door for me to climb into his sleek, finned white Cadillac. I was   thinking, ''By the looks of this car, he's doing pretty well. Why isn't he happy''”?

''This is a really comfortable car, Roy, Barbara said. ''You must be very proud of it''. He replied,   ''This is my ''Ooby Dooby'' car. When I bought it I thought I could afford it. Last year I made   $50,000 but by the way things are going now, I'll be lucky if I make $3,000 this year. I've had one   release since ''Ooby Dooby'' and I don't have much hope for it''. He said it with a sense of despair, as   if fearing that his luck might never change. The odd tune that Bill Justin had written for him,   ''Chicken Hearted'', seemed like a loser to me, too. Roy's voice sounded thin and had a little quaver   on this one, and I didn't like the lyrics. Neither did Roy''.

''How did you get to Sun'', Barbara Barnes asked. ''Well, the long way around, I guess. I found out   about Sun when I saw Elvis in Dallas in 1954'', Roy said. ''I was doing country at the time, but when   he sang ''Maryellen'', the crowd went wild''. Roy said he decided he wanted a crowd to respond to   him that way, and that's why he came to Memphis. In effect, he wanted to be the next Elvis. Roy  dropped Barbara off at the studio and glided away in his big machine. When Barbara had a chance   to talk with Jack Clement, she asked him about Roy.

''It too a while for Sam to get interested in him, but he has hopes for Roy as an artist and especially   as a songwriter. He likes his picking, too. When he and his girlfriend Claudette came to town, Sam   and Becky put them up for a while''. Jack added that Sam sometimes found it frustrating to work   with Roy, because he didn't sing loud enough and was always bugging them with these ballads he  wanted to sing. ''Sam wants everybody to stick with rock and roll. That's what's commercials'', Jack   concluded.

Roy had a bit of an identity problem when it came to rock, because he wanted to be a star like Elvis,   but he didn't have love for rhythm and blues that came out in the music of Elvis Presley, Carl   Perkins, Jerry Lee, and others. Maybe he hadn't drunk Mississippi River water growing up. ''But   Sam likes Roy. One time they were having a session and Roy's band walked out on him. I would   have thought Sam would blow up about that, but he just told Roy to forget it, there were other   bands'', said Barbara.

Listening later to the four tunes on the EP, the music was good, but wondered if Roy Orbison   wouldn't be a hard sell in the teen market. It hadn't hurt Buddy Holly's career that he, like Roy, wore   glasses, but Buddy Holly was better looking than Roy, who had a plump face with no jaw line to   speak of. He was sort of on the pudgy side, plus he seemed to carry a gloomy air around with him.   The only way he compared with Elvis was the pompadour.

Still, Jack Clement had said he was a pretty good showman, despite seeming so introverted. Sam   had got him the bookings through Bob Neal's agency, which Sam had some connection with or   maybe a business interest in. When Roy was booked on shows with Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash,   he had held his own because of his experience on radio and in the bands he had had ever since he  was about fourteen years old.



Roy often talked about being out of the business for seven months and those could be the months between this last known Sun session in January 1958 and his first trip to Nashville in July.

At Sun, Roy Orbison was only one of a stable of young rockabillies, one who became easily lost in the shuffle after his first hit. It was a legacy that Orbison would be eager to disown after his huge success on Monument, but one from which he drew in subtle ways throughout his career.


"Neither Elvis nor I though our work for Sun was any good", he was fond of saying. "Then, around 1970, the era of instant history come along. Everybody saw it as a beginning".

In one of the least commercially astute moves of his career, Sam Phillips had kept Roy Orbison on a steady diet of rock and roll. Phillips golden ear told him once again that he had heard something unique; yet in Orbison's case, he didn't know what to do with it. "Roy had a definite feel for rock", claims Phillips. "I think that if we had been able to keep his band together I would not have let Roy go''.

''I really have to take the blame for not bringing Roy to fruition. Its still my regret that I didn't do more promotion for him". Orbison knew that his talent was being misdirected at Sun, and events to come would prove it. As he returned to Texas though, he was beginning to question whether he wanted to continue as a performer at all. He admitted to a measure of jealousy over the fact that Buddy Holly, a fellow Texas who had joined Norman Petty's musical frontier in Clovis a year after Orbison had left, had started to score heavily, while his own career seemed hopelessly roadblocked. Buddy Holly had recorded two of his songs and Jerry Lee Lewis had recorded ''Go! Go! Go!'' as ''Down The Line''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROY ORBISON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JANUARY 4 &
FRIDAY JANUARY 10, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OF JACK CLEMENT
MUSICAL DIRECTOR - BILL JUSTIS

01 - "YOU TELL ME" - B.M.I. - 1:31
Composer: - Johnny R. Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 1958
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDX 4-D1 mono
ROY ORBISON - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-1-18 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

02 - "I GIVE UP" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 1958
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDX 4-D2 mono
ROY ORBISON - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-1-19 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

03 - "ONE MORE TIME" - B.M.I. - 1:15
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 1956
Released:  - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15461-25
mono
ROY ORBISON - THE SUN YEARS 1956 - 1958
Reissued: -  2001  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-1-20 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

04 – "LOVESTRUCK" - B.M.I. - 1:21
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - January 1958
Released:  - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15461-22 mono
ROY ORBISON - THE SUN YEARS 1956 - 1958
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-1-21 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

05(1) - "THE CLOWN" - B.M.I. - 1:42
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 1958
Released: -  2001
First appearance Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-1-22 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

05(2) - "THE CLOWN" - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 1958
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15461 AH-26 mono
ROY ORBISON - THE SUN YEARS 1956 - 1958
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-2-7 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

06(1) – "CLAUDETTE" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Roy K. Orbison
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music Limited
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 1958 - Vocal Guitar Demo
Released: - 1974
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm 6641 180-24 mono
THE SUN STORY
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-1-23 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966


In January or February 1958, Roy Orbison worked a show in Hammond, Indiana, to pitch some songs to the Everly Brothers. ''I just said hello and headed for the door when they asked if I had any material'', Roy said later. ''I said I had one song and played them ''Claudette''. They said, 'Write down the words, Roy', so I tore off this cardboard box top and wrote down the words''.

Years later, in a deposition taken in conjunction with his lawsuit against Acuff-Rose, Orbison recalled that the Everly's manager, music-publisher, Wesley Rose of Acuff-Rose, had sent him a contract for ''Claudette'' in care of Sun Records. ''Sam Phillips got onto the phone'', Roy said, ''and it was a three-way conversation. I remember Sam saying that he wanted to get something out of it because I was his artist. But, I wasn't signed as a songwriter to Sam Phillips. I remember Wesley Rose saying, 'Why do you want part of Roy's money'? And that impressed me. The next morning, I signed the contract for ''Claudette''. 

Sam Phillips remembered it differently, insisting that he had the publishing on ''Claudette'' and was being asked to surrender it. If true, that would be because Roy had signed a music publishing deal with Phillips' Hi-Lo Music at the same time he has signed a recording contract with Sun, and this was almost certainly not the case because Roy had written songs that had been demo'd at Norman Petty's studio on which Petty not only half of the composer credit but all of the music publishing. Songs like ''An Empty Cup'' and ''You've Got Love'', both recorded by Buddy Holly in September 1957, would have been co-published by Hi-Lo Music if Roy had been signed to an exclusive Hi-Lo contract.

''The next thing I know'', said Phillips, ''Roy came to me like a gentleman and said he had an opportunity to record for someone else if it was alright with me. Well, we had to sit down and have a little prayer meeting. I considered everything in my interests and hopefully in his and we worked out a deal on the songs which enabled him to do this''. In all likelihood, the discussion played out in a far less friendly fashion. During the threeway conversation with Wesley Rose, Phillips used the threat of dropping Roy from Sun, but when Roy seemed very interested in that prospect, Phillips decided to hold Roy to his Sun option. As part of the deal under which Roy eventually left Sun, he had to sign away the composer's royalties on all the Hi-Lo songs he had written, the most lucrative of which was ''Down The Line (Go! Go! Go!).

06(2) – "CLAUDETTE" - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Roy K. Orbison
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music Limited
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 1958 - Vocal Group Demo
Released: - June 1988
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (CD) 500/200rpm Z 2006 mono
PROBLEM CHILD
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-1-29 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

One of his infrequent outings took him to Indiana for a concert appearance with The Everly Brothers, and it was there that he played Don and Phil the basis of "Claudette", a eulogy to his then-new wife. As the flipside to their multi-million selling "All I Have To Do Is Dream" it became Roy's dream ticket into Nashville. His full band demo is presented here.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Roy Orbison - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Talking later about his dealings with Sam Phillips, Roy said, ''Sam taught me a lot about business and contracts... afterwards''. While Perkins, Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others came to look back fondly on their days at Sun, Roy remained ambivalent. ''Sam was pretty much full of himself'', he told Joe Smith. ''He seemed to know what he was doing, but, as it turned out, I don't think he did. But he lived his life the way he wanted''. When Roy found fame on Monument Records, Sam Phillips released a compilation of his old stuff titled ''At The Rockhouse''. Roy went to Sun on one occasion around 1960 or 1961. Phillips told him he'd want to return to Sun eventually. Jud Phillips was in the office and said, ''The hell he will''!

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 5, 1958 SUNDAY

The notes in the frustratingly incomplete Sun files say, Tommy Blake was back again at Sun.   This time, his partners, Hall and Adams were absent, and Blake recorded with drummer Van   Eaton, guitarist Ed Bruce and Sid Manker, bassist Stan Kesler, and pianist Jim Wilson. All   were paid $11.25. Phillips also paid four vocalists three dollars a piece.

The Everly Brothers perform ''Wake Up Little Susie'' in New York on CBS' weekly program ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. The episode also features pop singer Johnny Ray.

JANUARY 6, 1958 MONDAY

Barbara Barnes parttime employee for Sun Records went to work fulltime and she was feeling pretty confident. She had already gotten familiar with the office during the six months she had freelanced, and she had gotten to know Sam, Jud Phillips, and Sally Wilbourn and had met Jack Clement a couple of times. Sam had given the key to the door in case she needed to open up. When she arrived she was happy to see Sun´s receptionist Regina Reese, already sitting ad her desk, all fresh and perky.

Jerry Lee Lewis moves into a new house at 4752 Dianne Drive, Whitehaven, Mississippi.

Chuck Berry recorded ''Johnny B. Goode'' at the Chess Studio in Chicago. The song has a future as a country hit, when Buck Owens remakes it in 1969.

Jerry Lee Lewis sews up the number 1 spot on the Billboard country singles chart with ''Great Balls Of Fire''.

JANUARY 1958

Local boy Danny Stewart had something, and it wasn't just the Sun sound. His voice was just different enough and adaptable enough to have made it, but Stewart had ephemeral involvement in the music scene and he became a newsman on local television and started his own real estate business.


Danny Stewart is a household name in Memphis – and not on the strength of his solitary Phillips   International single which sank without a trace in the early months of 1959. He was the former president of  Dan Stewart Realtors and his name can still be seen in front yards throughout Memphis, even though he sold  the company in 1997 and retired to Atlanta.  At one point, he had over 120 agents reporting to him.    In 1958, Stewart, newly arrived in Memphis from his native Jackson, Tennessee, gigged around town with a    band that included Richard Paige.
Danny Stewart >


They worked as backup musicians for Dickey Lee and the Daydreamers  and played their own gigs. Bill Justis invited them to audition at Sun but, by the time Sam Phillips decided that they had some potential, Justis had quit and it was Ernie Barton who engineered the session.

The    swamp-poppy ''Somewhere Along The Line'' was seen as the A-side and ''I'll Change My Ways'' was a song    that Stewart concocted in the studio. But it was the split-tempo ''I'll Change My Ways'' with that grabbed    some airplay in Memphis and parts of Texas. Some, but not much.

Soon after his sole Phillips International single disappeared from view, Stewart married and phased out the  band. He worked as a disc jockey and moved into television (Channel 4 in Dallas and Channel 13 in  Memphis) before starting his real estate business in 1974. And from that modest beginning sprang a very different kind of success story.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DANNY STEWART
AT MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY MONDAY JANUARY 6, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - BILL JUSTIS
RECORDING ENGINEER - ERNIE BARTON

Baby-faced Danny K. Stewart, from Jackson, Tennessee, got his initial look in at 706 Union after Bill Justis spotted his band working the Memphis clubs behind Sun artist, Dickey Lee. In terms of influences it would be fair to say that Elvis figured big in Stewart's life, a fact borne out by the vocal mannerisms on his "Somewhere Along The Line". After a spell working in TV and radio he set up a highly lucrative real estate business, selling property in Shelby County.

01 - "SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE" - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Don Padgett
Publisher: - Knox Music Limited - Copyright Control
Matrix Number: - P 388  - Master
Recorded: - Probably January 6, 1958
Released: - August 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3561-A mono
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE / I'LL CHANGE MY WAYS
Reissued: - 1999 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-2-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

"Somewhere Along The Line" sounds more like swamp pop than typical Memphis fare. On the flip-side "I'll Change My Ways", all that we're missing is the "Hold it fellas, that don't move me. Let's get real real gone for a change" line. The resemblance to vintage Elvis stops there, however, as this tune might have appeared in a film like "King Creole".

02 - "I'LL CHANGE MY WAYS" - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Danny Stewart
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 389  - Master
Recorded: - Probably January 6, 1958
Released: - August 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3561-B mono
I'LL CHANGE MY WAYS / SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE
Reissued: - 1999 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-2-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

03 - ''SCROUNGIE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Bill Justis-Sid Manker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued

04 - ''LITTLE BY LITTLE
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued

05 - ANOTHER DAY'' - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Danny Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet sample mono
ROCK CLASSICS - AMPHETAMING ANNIE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Danny Stewart - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Scotty Moore - Bass
Lee Cornello - Drums
James Terry or Jerry Smoochy Smith - Piano
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone
Vernon Drane - Tenor Saxophone
Nelson Grill - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 1958

Sam Phillips apparently signed Ray Smith without seeing him in person. It appears as if there was a demo  session on January 10, 1958, followed by three sessions that year. A few Sun session guys, notably Charlie  Rich, augmented Smith's group. The Rock And Roll Boys' lead guitarist, Stanley Walker, was originally from  Grand River, Kentucky, and he'd met Smith at a skating rink in Metropolis, Illinois. To that point, Walker had  only played with a gospel group, the Rambos. His uncle walked up to Smith after the show and asked him to  take a listen to the kid.

Ray Smith (left) signed a recording contract with Sun Records. With Smith is Charlie Terrell of Sikeston, Missouri. >

''First he took me by a club where a band was plying. He had me sit in with that  band'', Walker told Sheree Homer. ''Then he took me in to live with him and his family. He gave me three  dollars a night. He fed me, clothed me, and gave me a place to sleep. We were as close as brothers''.


JANUARY 1958

As Sun's golden era receded into the past, there were still some artists whose style and approach harked to earlier times. Chief among these was Ray Smith. Armed with as music talent and ambitions as anyone who ever walked into the Sun studio, Smith saw scant success on Sun. Sometimes, as on ''Right Behind You Baby'' (Sun 298), he rocked like a wonderful confluence of Elvis Presley and Billy Riley; other times he sang ballads with mannered but enthralling gusto. On leaving Sun for the first time - he was one of the few to come back - he went to Jud Phillips' Judd label where ''Rockin' Little Angel'' gave him a taste of real chart success, peaking just below the national pop Top Twenty. But then he lost his way and seemed incapable of sustaining a relationship with any label that extended beyond a few singles.

JANUARY 7, 19558 TUESDAY

RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's two-sided hit ''Don't'' and ''I Beg Of You'' ( RCA Victor 47-7150).

Bobby Helms recorded ''Just A Little Lonesome'' in Nashville at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio.

JANUARY 8, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis perform on TV ''Big Record Show'', hosted by Patty Page, filmed in New York City.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

One of Ray's early line-ups featuring a very young Stanley Walker on lead guitar. >

Ray Smith arrived at Sun Records in Memphis in 1958 with a lot of talent and a lot of hope. He was on the label in the critical years just behind the first wave of artists who defined the rockabilly sound. The label needed someone to take it on another notch when Johnny Cash left and Jerry Lee Lewis's career hit the press barrier.


Ray Smith had the voice and the desire to have been that man. His songs underlined it: ''So Young'', ''Willing And Ready'', ''Rockin'Bandit'', and ''You Made A Hit''.

But he didn't make a hit, to everyone's frustration - that of his manager Charlie Terrell, that of Sam and Jud Phillips of Sun, and not least his own. Instead, Ray Smith mace his mark on popular music history with his big hit, ''Rockin' Little Angel'' on Jud Phillips' Jud Records.

After his brief period as a successful rock and roller, Ray Smith made a good living at times on the night club circuit, the country circuit and later the the revival circuit. He was a really good singer but never managed to recreate the almost magic formula of the Sun and Judd years.

STUDIO SESSION FOR RAY SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: EARLY 1958 / PROBABLY FRIDAY JANUARY 10, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - CHARLIE RICH
MUSICAL DIRECTOR - BILL JUSTIS

The precise date on Ray's recording at Sun is far from clear. Five songs not released at the time, "Life Is A Flower", "Little Girl", "I Wanna Be Free", "Two Pennies And A String", and "The Girl Meant For Me" were ultimately found in a tapebox that bears the legend "Ray Rockin' Smythe & The Rockin' Rockers". They may have been demos submitted by Terrell in order to obtain Ray's contract, or alternatively they may have been recordings made at a demo session which was logged as taking place on January 10, 1958.

01(1) - "I WANT TO BE FREE" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller
Publisher: - Jerry Leiber Music - Mike Stoller Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958
Released: - 2009
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16936-19 mono
RAY SMITH - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(2) - "I WANT TO BE FREE" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller
Publisher: - Jerry Leiber Music - Mike Stoller Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1009-11 mono
I'M RIGHT BEHIND YOUR BABY
Reissued: - 1991 Sun England (CD) 500/200rpm Sun 32-8 mono
RAY SMITH - ROCKIN' WITH RAY 

02 - "FOREVER YOURS" - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-10-8 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKIN' YEARS - WILLING AND READY
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16936-20 mono
RAY SMITH - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03(1) - "LITTLE GIRL" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Charly International APS
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958

03(2) - "LITTLE GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Charly International APS
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958
Released: - 2002
First appearance: -2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16936-21 mono
RAY SMITH - THE SUN YEARS PLUS


Ray Smith >

"Little Girl" is one of the rarest titles in the Ray Smith Sun catalogue. Like much of the Smith session file, it is all but impossible to determine information about date and personnel. Having said this, aural evidence strongly suggests that this is a tune written by Charlie Rich. 

Listen to the first line of the release. It is virtually identical to the melodic line in "Breakup" - "Don't you remember the time we were so true". It is also probably Rich playing piano on this date.

In fact, there was a strong tie between Charlie Rich and Ray Smith at Sun. Rich wrote (and played on) four of the first six titles Smith recorded for Sun. There is also a wealth of unissued material by both Rich and Smith revealing their connection.

The Charlie Rich tape vault at Sun contains demos like "Deep Freeze" written and or recorded specifically for Smith, and Smith himself, recorded more tunes written by Charlie Rich than by any other Sun composer. The performance here is even more enthusiastic than previously issued versions and shows once again that Stanley Walker was one fine guitarist.

03(3) - "LITTLE GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Charly International APS
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1009-7 mono
RAY SMITH - I'M RIGHT BEHIND YOU BABY
Reissued: -  August 2000  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405 AH-13 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

04 - "WHY WHY WHY" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958

05 - "BREAK UP" - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably January 10, 1958
Released: - 2009
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16936-23 mono
RAY SMITH - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


TRUE STORY ABOUT RAY SMITH

Raymond Eugene Smith was born on 30 October 1934 in Melber, Kentucky not far from the   town of Paducah. He once described his childhood as, "happy, very sad, poor, and a will to   rise above it''. He told: "I was born in the midst of nowhere, thirteen miles west of Paducah   out in the country. My dad was a sharecropper and a sheet metal worker. He also worked for   the atomic bomb plant in Paducah, organised by former Vice President Barkley. As a kid. I  delivered Barkley's newspapers the 'Paducah Sun Democrat'''.

Ray was the seventh child in a large family but somehow his mother found the time to teach   him the rudiments of piano playing and to encourage an interest in music. When he had first   started school, he went with a recommendation from his mother that he could sing: soon he   was persuaded to get up and sing in class, at age six. He later told interviewer Dave Booth. ''I   didn't want to do it. Felt like a goddamn fool''.

He didn't have a long or very consistent schooling: "My family and I moved from Melber to   County Line Road where we lived at Mr Dowell's farm and from there we moved out in the   country close to Mayfield. Kentucky, then to St. John's and another farm on Highway 45   halfway between Paducah and Mayfield. At that time I was nine years old. From there we   moved to Lone Oak, west of Paducah, where I attended school for the fourth to eighth   grade. My father bought a farm called Pepper's Farm seven miles north of Lone Oak, but by   then I had left home - at the age of twelve. After that, my father sold the farm and moved to   Paducah. I visited there frequently while working as a helper on a Coca-Cola truck.

Somehow his reputation as a singer stayed with Ray throughout his disrupted and troubled   formative years, and not only in school. It followed him through his after-school job as a   waiter at Price's Barbecue, through his early employment in the local Coca-Cola bottling   plant, to the International Shoe Company where his job was to stick the soles to the uppers.   Tired of these kinds of tasks, and not yet thinking of music as a career, Ray Smith the  reluctant singer decided in 1952 to join the Air Force. He said, "I joined on July 22, 1952,   and had my basic training at Sampson Air Force Base and then transferred to Fort Knox, KY".


Ray Smith at George Air Force Base, Victorville, California. > 

After initial training in Kentucky, Smith was posted to California in 1953. His girlfriend.  Lillie, followed him west and they were married there in 1953, moving into married quarters  at George Air Force Base, Victorville, California. Once again, the story that he was a  musician and singer followed Ray Smith, and by now he was taking a real interest in the idea  himself. He recalled that his first paid singing job was in Nora's Desert Inn near Barstow in  1953 where he formed a little group in which he played guitar and sang country songs. 

Band  members included Armand Whitman, brother of the emerging singing star Slim Whitman, and  Lee Standerford. Soon the men in his unit encouraged Ray to compete in a forces talent  show. He sang ''Lovesick Blues'', and won. He told Dave Booth, "I was strictly a country music  fan. I loved Eddy Arnold, Marty Robbins, Faron Young''.

He may even have been a fan of country singer Ray Smith, a Californian twenty years older  than our Ray, who became a radio star in New York in the 1940s and who recorded on the  major label, Columbia, as well as on Coral, London (as Hank Dalton), National, Continental,  and other smaller labels. Our Ray would not, though, have heard of a a young Oklahoman  about to embark on a career under the names of Ray Smith and David Ray, known for his  rocking recording of ''Jitterbuggin' Baby''. So there was more than one Ray Smith. but no  others with the talent of our man.

The early days of rockabilly and rock and roll almost passed our Ray Smith by. He was posted  to Chambley Air Force Base near Metz in northeastern France in 1954 for a year and a half,  where he lived off base with Lillie and would play country music on weekends and in the  evenings. Eventually someone brought a copy of an unusual record to his attention: Ray  remembered, "When I was in Metz. I heard Elvis Presley's first record. thought it was shit; I  wasn't used to that kind of material, I guess''.

What Ray was used to, apart from Eddy Arnold and Hank Williams and the sounds of Nashville  as filtered through Paducah radio, were jazzy popular songs of the kind he heard performed  over the radio by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He found that his relatively deep voice was  more suited to the relaxed style of Eddy Arnold than the keen strains of Hank Williams and,  even within country music, he was developing a style based around heavy ballads. At the  same time, though, he was also becoming converted to the new sound of rock and roll and  trying to figure out how he could be picked up and carried to success by its developing  momentum.

Returning to Paducah as a civilian in June 1956 with the aim of starting a career in music, he  formed Ray Smith and the Rock & Roll Boys and played in clubs around the Paducah area.  The Boys were James Webb, a bass player from Bardwell, Kentucky, Dean Perkins, a guitarist  and steel player from Mayfield, Kentucky, guitarist Raymond Jones from Bardwell, and Henry  Stevens from the small town with the big name, Metropolis, Illinois on drums.

Sandy Smith, a hometown friend of Ray's wife, said: "I have known Lillie since I was a  teenager and Ray was playing every Friday night at the National Guard Armory His nickname  for me was 'Bones' because I was so skinny Ray was also very thin''.

Ray Smith remembered the early days. ''We did mostly one-nighters, concerts and night  clubs in Kentucky Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee. Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma,  California, as many states as there are in the USA ... we worked them all. My first radio show  was on WMOK, Metropolis, IL. Ed Hills was the announcer and it was the original Ray Smith  and the Rock and Roll Boys''. Then I had a radio show in Benton, KY. I also had my own TV  show for two and a half years on WPSD, channel six, in Paducah. My announcer was Bill  Green. My original sponsor was Beardsley Chevrolet, of Bardwell, KY. We aired every Monday  night from 7:00-7:30pm and later on Wednesday from 8:00-8:30: also I was contracted to do  my own show on Channel seven in Evansville, Indiana on Saturday afternoons''.

So Ray Smith was an emerging star on his own terms in his own local world. Enter the man  with the big cigar. In Ray's case, the catalyst who took him from Metropolis to national TV  and from small clubs to Sun Records was Charlie Terrell, the owner of C. W. Terrell Lime  Corporation of Sikeston, Missouri. Terrell had his fingers in pies other than lime, and he was  always keen to make a buck in a new venture. Not a stranger to controversy - he took out an  ad in the 'Sikeston Herald' of July 22, 1954 disassociating himself with a former employee -  Terrell was also something of a local patron of good causes, and he soon decided that Ray  Smith was a really good cause who could make them both some money.

Charlie Terrell told: ''I had a trucking business, and my involvement in the music business  came about gradually. One of my truck drivers, Onie Wheeler, was a budding musician and  singer and he came to me and needed some financial help to get on in the music business. I  helped him with that and we got him onto OKeh Records, and I just sort of became his  manager. Eventually I started to promote shows for him and for other performers. I booked  Onie out with Elvis Presley and I booked Presley into shows here in Sikeston. Gradually it all  became a bigger deal than it started out to be. I was supposed to be the lime man''.


''One day I saw Ray Smith on a local TV show out of Paducah. He was playing guitar and   singing and he had a little band over there. I thought he had talent, and the next week I   drove up there and asked him if he had a manager and whether he wanted to get on in his   career. He said, sure, did you eversee anybody that wouldn't. 'So I signed him right there at   the TV station'', recalled Terrell.

Ray Smith didn't recall it being such a cut and dried deal. He was busy with radio and TV   work even without a proper manager. He described how Terrell, ''kept asking me 'When can I   meet you for discussion regarding management and a recording contract' and he came to my   home three times, and on the third time I drove into my driveway and there was a car sitting   in front of my home. The man got out of the car with an attache casein his hand, walked up  to me and said 'Are you Ray Smith? I'm Charlie Terrell and this is the third time I've been   here. 'We talked business and he said 'If I can get you a contract on a leading label, will you   sign with me as your manager? 'I said 'Yes', and just three days later he returned from   Memphis, Tennessee with a contract from Sun Records signed by Sam Phillips. I thought, 'this   is my man''.

Terrell explained: ''I decided to take Ray Smith to Sam Phillips at Sun because knew Sam   through booking Elvis and Onie Wheeler. I knew his label was hot and working in the big   time. I thought that he would promote Ray Smith well. So I took an audiotape from one of   Ray's TV shows to play for Sam. It was some Elvis songs and some other rock and roll and   ballads. It was just before Christmas and one of Ray's songs was ''Christmas Time Pretty   Baby'', and Sam just flipped over that. Sam was smart - he knew when he heard talent, and   he signed Ray to Sun straight away on the first visit''.

It was probably in January 1958 that Ray Smith first set foot in Memphis and in the Sun   studio. It was a strange day - Ray had signed for a label he'd never visited and Sam Phillips   had signed an artist he'd never met - and it culminated with the two men turning up at a   demo session not being able to recognise each other. Charlie Terrell laughed at the memory:   ''At that first session, neither knew who the other was. I had taken Ray down to Memphis   shortly after getting him signed, with his band, and we did some songs as a run-through to   show Sam exactly what Ray could do. One was ''I Want To Be Free'- that was an early one Ray   did''.

By now, Ray Smith was a paid-up convert to the Presley style of rock and roll. He told Dave   Booth, ''I got to like his music. Even got to meet him. Played pool at his house''. This   definitely had an influence on the sort of music Smith recorded at Sun during 1958 and   1959. Apart from the unissued attempts at a Presley song, ''I Want To Be Free'', written by   Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for the movie ''Jailhouse Rock'' and issued by Presley on an   extended play disc in October 1957 - the influence was more in Ray's vocal delivery and, like  Presley, he proved very adept at recording both fast, wild songs and more measured   rockaballads. Like everyone else at Sun, Ray was subjected to the Sam Phillips lecture about   the importance of feeling over pure technicality, and he was asked to record songs by Sun's   in-house group of engineers and musicians; particularly Charlie Rich, Jack Clement and   Stanley Kesler.

Charlie Terrell confirmed the sequence of events: ''Along with ''I Want To Be Free'', Ray had a   song called ''Little Girl'' that he wanted to record. But we were down there for two or three   days, and the next day Sam brought in Charlie Rich to play piano and Jack Clement to make   the recordings. Charlie Rich had some songs and they all wanted Ray to do his songs. There   was ''Break Up'' and ''So Young'', and some others. Then, after that they brought in Stan  Kesler to play on sessions. We had met Stan a little earlier when we recorded Onie Wheeler,   and soon Stan was our buddy, and he had some songs for Ray ''Two Pennies And A String'' was   his song, an early one that I thought was going to be a record''.

As far as can be pieced together from Sun's recording logs and tape boxes, Ray Smith made   recordings in January and March 1958 and from these emerged his first record, the classy   rocker ''So Young'' coupled with the all-out screamer ''Right Behind You Baby'', issued on April   9, 1958 on Sun 298.


Ray Smith and Stanley Walker. >

The initial demo sessions of January 10, 1958, featured Ray's own band, Stanley Walker and  Dean Perkins, guitarists, James Webb on bass, and drummer Gary Diamond, along with Sun's  staff pianist Charlie Rich. Webb and Diamond had replaced Jones and Stevens in the band.  The earliest surviving Ray Smith recordings seem to be a version of Carl Perkins' ''Forever  Yours'', where Ray's vocal performance hovers somewhere right in between Presley, Perkins,  and Buddy Holly, and where Dean Perkins plays steel guitar, ''I Want To Be Free'', and ''Little  Girl''.

These were followed within a few days by the Charlie Rich songs ''Why Why Why'' and  ''Breakup''.  Lead guitarist Stanley Walker was the main man in the band and remained present through  all Smith's early Sun sessions, The other musicians were also fairly constant but (here were  some changes in personnel with Stan Kesler and Jimmy Van Eaton taking bass and drums  from Webb and Diamond on occasion.

After the January sessions, those of early March 1958 seem to have focused on yet more  cuts of ''Break Up'' along with ''So Young'', ''Right Behind You Baby'', and the storming  threesome of ''You Made A Hit'', ''Willing And Ready'', and ''Shake Around'', all with a  shooting, steely guitar sound effect. They probably also included Stan Kesler's song, ''Two  Pennies And A String'', found on its own in a tape box marked 'Ray Rockin Smythe and his  Rocking Rockers'. The box - but not the contents - could have been the one in which Charlie  Terrell submitted Ray's TV show demos, and on which the name of Ray and his band had  been recorded wrongly, but more likely the phrase was a kind of joke by Sun's engineers and  producers Jack Clement and Bill Justis.

Ray Smith enjoyed the loose and jokey atmosphere at Sun. He told Dave Booth: "On ''So  Young'' I remember Charlie Rich was on piano. The intro and the ending was the same and I  remember we faded out on that damned thing. After we'd faded, Charlie was still sitting  there playing his lick. Everybody had done stopped and Sam yelled; Charlie, we're done.  We're finished!' Charlie was feeling good. He'd reach up, get a drink, never miss a lick'''.

Considering that it was issued in a batch of discs that included Jerry Lee Lewis's ''High School  Confidential'' and Johnny Cash's ''Guess Things Happen That Way''. Ray's first Sun disc gained  good reviews and good publicity. Billboard said of So Young that it was, "a good, robust sound  on a rockabilly tune with typical 'Sun sound" by a strong talent''. The review compared  ''Right Behind You Baby'' to Presley's discs and said it was "another fine side by a talented  newcomer."


There had been some confusion about what the first Ray Smith record would be. Masters of   ''So Young'' and ''Break Up'' were pulled from the session tapes, placed in a separate box, and   marked for release on April 10, but these were not in fact issued and ''Right Behind You   Baby'' was substituted for ''Break Up''. Charlie Terrell remembered: ''Ray did ''Break Up'' and   it was all ready for his first single release but then Jerry Lee Lewis heard Ray's tape and he   decided that he wanted the song. He had some influence there with Sam, and Sam let Jerry   Lee have it. We were ticked off about that I can tell you''. Lewis's version was issued that   August, and it was also recorded by its writer, Charlie Rich.

But Ray was satisfied with ''So Young'' in the end. He said: "So Young'' put me on the 'Dick   Clark Show' at the Little Theatre in New York City, which lead to other TV shows such as   'American Bandstand' and other shows all over the nation''. To be more precise, it was Jud   Phillips who put Ray on those shows.

Charlie Terrell said: ''As soon as Ray had made his first sessions, we met Sams brother, Jud,   who was in charge of promotion for the label. He was a wonderful promotion man and he got   Ray onto the Dick Clark TV show in Philadelphia, 'Dance Party', before anyone had ever   heard of Ray Smith. He promoted his first record, ''So Young'', on that show. Jud just had a   way about him when it came to getting people to take notice''.

So, too, did Ray Smith have a way about him. Don Hindman, his stepbrother recalled: ''I was   home from the Air Force on leave. I had a red and white 1957 Chevy with red and black   interior back then, and had bought a new red and black shirt with ruffles on the front to go   with the interior of the car. Well, when I returned to Andrews air force base. I looked for my   shirt and could not find it. I had left it at home right? Not. Ray showed tip on 'American   Bandstand' and guess what he was wearing? Yep, my shirt''.

A more important prop for Ray's live appearances and TV slots was his bandleader, Stanley   Walker. Charlie Terrell confirmed: "Ray always had his guitar player. Stanley Walker with him   on shows, even things like Dick Clark's show in Philadelphia. Stan was the basic of the band   and he was always there with Ray, always''. It was Walker who contributed the zippy guitar   runs and figures on many Ray Smith recordings, including the rockers ''Willing And Ready''   and ''Shake Around'', unissued back at the time, recorded in March 1958.

In May, another Ray Smith session yielded a range of different styles but little that saw the   light of day at the time. Further recordings of a ballad, ''Why Why Why'' were made at the   time. along with a northern-influenced pop-rocker, ''Life Is The Flower''.

Ray Smith recalled those sessions fondly. They would often last all night. He told Dave Booth,   ''I won $100 off Sam Phillips one time. This was four or five in the morning and we were   betting on the first song Hank Williams ever sung on the Opry. I told him it was ''Lovesick   Blues'' and Sam said, 'Hell no, It was Mansion On The Hill''. I said, Bullshit! Sam said, ''I'll bet   you $100' and I said, 'You're on.' So Sam goes and phones Audrey Williams in Nashville. I said,   'I'm gonna get on the other extension', because I knew Audrey and had backed her up on   country shows. Sam said 'Audrey, I'm sitting here with Ray Smith and we got $100 bet on the   first song Hank ever sung on the Opry''. She said it was ''Lovesick Blues'', 'and Sam said   'Godamn it, Audrey, you just cost me &100 and he told Sally to go write out a cheque for   $100. I shoulda taken that son-of-a-bitch and framed it. But I didn't - I spent it! But Sam is a hell of a guy. Crazy! He'd go a week without shaving. Damned nice guy, though. Started us all".


JOHN WILLIAM (JUD) PHILLIPS - was born in 1921 and lived his early life in Alabama before  joining the Marines where he served as a Master Sergeant in the South Pacific for four years  during the Second World War. After the war, he stayed on the west coast for a while and  worked in artist promotion with a number of big names including Jimmy Durante. Eventually  he found his way back home, and by the time Sun Records was formed in 1952 and then  relaunched in 1953 he was on hand to help get the label off the ground. Sam Phillips said:  ''Jud played a very important part in the early stages of Sun Records.


He kidded everybody  about being the world's greatest promotion man, and that wasn't altogether incorrect. But  Jud had a versatile mind. He would love to get too many things going at the same time for  his own good''.

In 1953, Jud and Nashville music businessman Jim Bulleit each put up a third share in the  capital that enabled the relaunch of the Sun label, and they both went on the road  promoting records and artists while Sam Phillips concentrated on recording them. Jud and  Sam had a close but combative relationship. They both believed in the concept of Sun and  their religious upbringing found expression in how the label promoted the underdog a lot of  times, Jud wrote in a letter to Sam from Nashville on July 28, 1953, about the singing group,  the Prisonaires, that recorded for Sun even while they were inmates of the state  penitentiary: ''I get a great joy out of helping people that I think really appreciate it, and I  know you do too'. But business was always business, and in another letter written on August  23, 1954, from radio WJOI in Florence, Alabama - on a letterhead with the slogan 'almost  everyone under the Sun listens to... .WJOI'' - Jud was seeking $800 owed to him by Sam. Jud  wondered: "Perhaps you have overlooked it? I'm going to the bank in the morning to borrow  enough to get by on until I hear from you". A year later, the exchange was still continuing,  and Sam wrote to Jud: ''I will pay when I can, even though I know there is no way to get out  with a dollar".

That conviction proved incorrect, of course, when Sun was able to pay its debts with the  sale of Elvis Presley's contract and to start to develop into a big player on the recording  scene with the likes of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Jud Phillips was  involved in transporting all of these artists way beyond their rural routes and onto national  TV and international music sales. In particular, he worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, whom he  saw as a major star. Jud was responsible for the promotion strategy that led to Lewis's  success, and he later advised and helped manage Lewis for many years in the 1960s and  1970s. He stood by Lewis after the teenage bride scandal and, according to his nephew,  Johnny Phillips: "Uncle Jud was maybe the only person Jerry Lee Lewis ever really trusted''.

His nephew, Knox Phillips said: "In a time before there was a definition for a promotion man,  Jud was the person that people patterned themselves after. I never met a single person that  didn't like him, from industry people to the artists. He was the consummate charismatic  communicator. The techniques that he developed in the fifties are still being used. Maybe  refined a little, but I doubt it''.

But those techniques involved money: Jud Phillips was a stylish dresser, and an epic  wheeler-dealer - a man with an eye for the main chance. He once joked to Sun recording  artist Billy Riley, ''when I'm gone, it'll take every accountant in Tennessee to straighten out  all my deals."

Jud told in 1973, some fifteen years after the event: ''The Judd label came about when Sam  and I had a real separation of the ways, based on Jerry Lee Lewis. And, then, the payola  investigations were just under way at that time, and a lot of people thought that I had paid  disc jockeys and different people to help us promote artists and so forth, haven't been an  angel - but I don't think I've ever done anything wrong in the industry, because t don't see  that I've promoted anybody that's been bad for the industry''.

"How the Judd label came about - there were a bunch of moneyed people, people that had a  lot of money They wanted me to divorce myself from the shackles of Sam and to get into it  myself and they put up all the money I think they put up. I believe it was a million dollars,  and they gave me one third of it to produce and to merchandise and all. Al McLendon, he  was a doctor - there were three doctors in it, Dr McLendon, Dr Maxwell, and Dr Wright. I  can't think of all the people. Anyhow, they put the money up and gave me no questions at  all. Sun had nothing whatsoever to do with Judd Records. At that time, Sun was Sam, and  he's never had a hit since I left the Sun company. He's never got in the charts. We cut 11 -  no, we cut 14 masters on the Judd label and we had 11 pick hits in 'Billboard' - he was  insanely jealous''.

The reality was similar to Jud's exposition, but not quite as well funded or as successful as  Jud remembered it. He ran the label out of his home in Alabama at first, although his  records carried the impressive strapline "Judd Records - New York, Muscle Shoals,  Hollywood''. It seems that somehow the label designer got their wires crossed with Jud and  the result was a record label called Judd and not Jud. Charlie Terrell said "Jud's brother,  Tom Phillips, set up the distribution for the Judd label and he was very much involved with  that''. The label had issued at least seven and possibly fifteen singles - none of them earth  shattering - before Ray Smith turned upon Judd 1016 in August 1959. The first was Judd  1001 by Bobby Denton, a recent high school graduate from Cherokee, just outside Florence,  later a local politician and businessman but then singing about going  ''Back To School'' and ''Sweet And Innocent'', the very song that Roy Orbison would cover within a matter of weeks in his RCA debut, it was reviewed in the trade press on August 25, 1958.

Other Jud discs included ''The Creels'' with ''Do You Wanna Jump'', Mark Taylor with Linda  Lou, and Morris Simmons, a protege of bandleader Pee Wee Maddux with ''Sharlene''. In May  1959 came a rare solo outing by Sun's session guitarist extraordinaire, Roland Janes,  ''Guitarville'', underlining the fact that Bill Justis was now involved with production work for  Judd Records. Justis was known for slanguage that tended to put "ville"at the end of  everything. There were other discs by Bobby Denton among Jud Phillips' roster of Alabama,  Memphis, and Nashville artists. There was also the strange case of Judd 1007, Curley Money  singing ''Gonna Rock'', because that disc gave the label's address as 812 161 Ave South  Nashville.


It took a little time for Ray Smith to enter the Judd Records story. Charlie Terrell eventually  secured his release from his contract with Sun and, according to Terrell: ''There was a song  called ''Rockin' Little Angel'' that Jud heard by a band of four black boys from Mobile,  Alabama. They had it on a little disc down there, called ''Rock And Roll Angel''. Jud told me  about it and soon after when it was in Mobile I heard it too. So we decided it was right for  Ray to record, but my wife, Joanne Terrell, changed the song to ''Rockin' Little Angel''. The  idea was to soften it a little, as we all thought that the harder rock and roll wouldn't last.  Jud paid $600 to hire RCA studio B in Nashville and we had Chet Atkins and Grady Martin,  Bob Moore, Floyd Cramer, all the top players, and the Jordanaires singing back-up. Bill Justis  was the engineer - I was the one who loaned him the money to move to Nashville from  Memphis. We recorded ''Rockin' Little Angel'' and ''That's All Right'' and after we'd done it  Chet Atkins liked the songs so much he called Steve Sholes at RCA head office and they  wanted to buy the tapes. Jud wouldn't let them go. though. He had faith in Ray Smith''.

According to Jud's son, also named Jud, "Chet Atkins called Steve Sholes and said he had a  talent in the studio on a rental session that was worth looking at for RCA. Sholes reportedly  called my father and offered $10, 000 advance to Smith and that RCA would take over the  sessions from that point. Apparently my father turned down the offer''.

However, Jud Phillips did go for an alternative deal involving Bill Lowery's National  Recording Corporation out of Atlanta, Georgia. Jud issued an initial pressing of Judd 1016,  ''Rockin' Little Angel'' and ''That's All Right'' at his own expense, and it was reviewed in the  trade press in August 1959. When the record started to hit, all subsequent copies bore the  legend -'Subsidiary of National Recording Corp Atlanta'. Charlie Terrell remembered it this  way: ''I instigated the deal where NRC became involved with Judd Records. I knew Bill  Lowery pretty good, and told him about Ray Smiths abilities and the great new record he had  on Judd. So Bill called Jud and wanted to get involved. Lowery and NRC paid for all Ray's  Judd sessions after the first one, and they were all made at RCA in Nashville''.

Bill Lowery had just started in the record business having emerged from the radio and  publishing businesses and he was on his way to building a real music empire in Atlanta. By  1970, the Lowery group of music publishing companies was the second largest measured in  'Billboard' chart hits. Lowery's catalog included ''Young Love''. ''Games People Play'', ''Dizzy'',  ''Walk On By'', and many others by his stable of artists and writers including Joe South,  Tommy Roe, Jerry Reed. Ray Stevens, The Tams, Ric Cartey, Kenny Hayes, Billy Joe Royal,  and a host of others. Even Lowery's vice president was named Mary Tallent! In 1970,  'Billboard' reported: "The Bill Lowery complex is about as complex as a complex can be'', and  described Lowery as "the unquestioned head of commercial music in Atlanta... and a man  who simply doesn't know how to slow down''.

Lowery was from Leesburg. Louisiana, born in 1924, and he had lived and worked in radio  variously in California, then Shreveport, Hot Springs, Arkansas, Oklahoma City, Wichita Falls,  and Elizabethton, Tennessee by the time he was 23 years old. In Elizabethton at WBET he  became the youngest radio station manager in the country in 1947. In 1949 he helped set up  the programming format of a new station. WQXI in Atlanta, and in 1951 he was on the much  bigger Atlanta station, WGST where one of his many roles was as Uncle Ebeneezer Brown, a  country character and disc jockey. While doing this he began developing and booking talent,  and from there he got into publishing with his musician partner Dennis 'Boots' Woodall,  starting with a gospel song by Joseph 'Cotton' Carrier. Lowery soon developed a link with  Capitol Records producer Ken Nelson. In 1956, he picked up the publishing on Gene  Vincent's ''Be-Bop-A-Lula'', and didn't look back.

In 1957 Lowery started to dabble in recording with the Fox label and the Stars label,  recording at WGST. In March 1958, he set up National Recording Corp. and started issuing  discs on the NRC label. 'Billboard' reported: "A new label N.R.C. (which stands for National  Recording Corporation) has been setup in Atlanta, Georgia. by Bill Lowery. Latter is the  publisher of such recent hits as ''Be-Bop-A-Lula'', ''First Date, First Kiss'', and ''Young Love''.  Lowery has already cut his firms first release with youngster Paul Peek, formerly of Gene  Vincent's Blue Caps''. Lowery had a recording studio in Atlanta in a former school building.  He soon set up the Scottie and Jax labels, and diversified his operations, setting up a  publishing office in Nashville (1958 to 1961), a distribution operation in Birmingham (from  April 1959), and a record pressing plant in Atlanta. It was at this time that he started taking  on other record labels for pressing and distribution.

On October 5, 1959, 'Billboard' announced'. "The NRC record company here (Atlanta) has  just purchased Jud Phillips' Jud label, which currently has a promising single in Ray Smith's  ''That's All Right''. Phillips is joining NRC's offices here and will work on promotion for both  Judd and NRC labels."

It seems that Jud did a pretty good job of promoting Ray Smith. By January 22, 1960,  ''Rockin' Little Angel'' was at number 22 in the national popular sales charts. On the back of  the hit, Smith's band was renamed the Rockin' Little Angels and Jud was again able to get  him some good TV exposure and prestigious show dates. Ray Smith appeared on 'American  Bandstand' and a number of one-nighter tours for Dick Clark, Charlie Terrell described Jud at  work: "When he was promoting Ray Smith to TV producers or show promoters, Jud Phillips  used to say if you think Jackie Wilson's a talent, then you ought to see Ray Smith''. Smith  himself said, on a live recording made in 1962, '"Rockin' Little Angel'' did pretty good for me,  due to payola".

Jud Phillips recycled a big tour bus that he had bought for Jerry Lee Lewis at the height of  his initial success. Jud's son felt that "Jud - my father b- conceived and built the first  customised rock and roll tour bus which he used to promote Ray Smith. It was fully equipped  with shower stereo system throughout. TV. telephone. comfortably slept eight: this was  unheard of in 1959". Ray Smith certainly appreciated the bus. In later years he described it  as 'having running hot maids and water, "while his wife looked back on it as "a whorehouse  on wheels".

How appropriate, then that the next release on Judd Records was Ray Smith's version of  ''Put Your Arms Around Me Honey'', Judd 1017, issued in the spring of 1960 and reviewed in  Billboard' that April. It was recorded on February 23, 1960 at the first of three sessions  funded by NRC for Judd. Charlie Terrell remembered them well: "I attended all Ray's  recording sessions in those early years. Never missed a one. I was a bit older than Ray, but  we were very friendly from the start and I treated him like he was my son. Our families were  real close, and for years, everything he did, I was there. They called us the 'Missouri Mafia''.

''Put Your Arms Around Me Honey'' was backed by a ballad, ''Maria Elena'', and it made its  way slowly to just number 71 on the popular charts by May 1960. According to the recording  logs of bass player Bob Moore, demo sessions had been held on February 1, for three hours,  for which Moore was paid $30, and on February 9, for one hour. The master sessions were on  Tuesday February 23 at 7.00 pm followed by another at 11:30, both of which ran over the  allotted three hour timeslots. The session included a number of other songs including the  ones chosen for Ray Smith's third Judd single, Judd 1019 issued in June 1960, which  coupled One Wonderful Love with It Makes Me Feel Good. This one was a good pop-rock  record but it failed to make the charts at all.

Smith was still in demand for live performances though, based on his own talent and the  promotional work of Jud Phillips. Charlie Terrell confirmed: ''In the days when he was with  Judd and Sun. Ray was on some rock 'n roll package shows, but he was a showman in his own  right. He could carry a show himself. He was playing some very big and very nice night clubs,  and we took him out to Vegas. He played the Golden Nugget and so on''.


In October 1960 came Ray's fourth and final single, Judd 1021, ''Blonde Hair Blue Eyes'' and   ''You Don't Trust Me'', and an LP called ''Travelin With Ray'', Judd LP 701. This single and   some of the album tracks were made on Tuesday March 15, 1960 in two sessions at RCA, one   at 8:00pm and another night session at 11:00pm. Once again, these sessions were produced   by Bill Justis.

The LP collected most of Ray's singles alongside some unissued songs. Overall, it reveals a   man working within the parameters of rock and roll and the softening sounds of 1960   popular music, but who was nevertheless capable of a wide range of good music. Rockers   like ''That's All Right'', and Charlie Rich's ''Rebound'' sit well alongside catchy and classy soft   rockers and Dean Martin-inspired ballads that included ''You Don't Want Me, You Make Me   Feel Good'' and ''I'll Be Coming Home''. Smith benefitted at this time from the contacts Bill  Justis and Bill Lowery had with a number of good young songwriters, including Marijohn   Wilkin and Ray Stevens.

There were to be no more Ray Smith discs on Judd, however. Despite Smith's hits and two   successful discs by Tommy Roe in 1960, including the big hit ''Sheila'' (spelled ''Shiela'' on the   record label), Bill Lowery's NRC operation went bankrupt. It was caught in the well-known   trap of being unable to collect funds from distributors fast enough to keep up with the   outgoings. Lowery ran other small labels later, and guitarist Stanley Walker recorded a single   on the Lowery Records label, but in the main Bill Lowery decided to focus on publishing as   his main business, Jud Phillips decided to stick to artist promotion and other acivities   outside music, and Charlie Terrell was left looking for another deal for Ray Smith.

He found a potentially big deal in March 1961 with Infinity Records, based in California and   part of the Howard Hughes empire. Bill Justis produced two Nashville sessions for the label   but the promises of a big promotional push for Ray never came to fruition and soon Terrell   was again looking fora new deal.

He found one in the summer of 1961 - Ray Smith was back at Sun Records for a second time.   Probably he was not displeased to have a crack at being on Sun in its new Nashville phase.   When asked once what he remembered most about being on Sun, he replied, simply,   "Happiness, parties, etc'. On October 24, 1961 at ten in the evening he went into Sam   Phillips' Nashville studio and worked all night, recording four songs that appeared on his last   two Sun singles. Charlie Terrell remembered it well. "When Ray went back to Sun Records   after Judd, we used the new studio in Nashville. Sam owned and built the studio, and Sam   was there at the session, though we still had Bill Justis producing and engineering. He had   Billy Sherrill as his electrician and helper. It was a good session with a lot of fine musicians.   Pig Robbins was the pianist, and Bob Moore was the bass player''.

Sun 372 was issued on November 21, 1961, and teamed the catchy mid-tempo tale about the   exploits of the ''Travlin' Salesman'' with the sincere and measured ballad ''I Won't Miss You Til   You Go''. Less than three months later, on February 9, 1962, came Sun 375 which contained   two more good contenders for pop success in Candy Doll and Hey Boss Man. Neither of Ray's  last two Sun discs fared very well in the marketplace and Charlie Terrell was soon back out   there looking for another deal. He found a small one, with Roland Janes Rita Records in   Memphis, and a potentially bigger one with Vee-Jay in Chicago.

Neither worked out well, and Ray next did the rounds, to Warner Bros., Smash, Tollie,   Celebrity Circle, and Diamond. Around 1966 the options dried up and Smith made three   singles for BC, a label owned by Charlie Terrell himself, By now, Smith had long since lost his   guitarist, Stanley Walker, who went to work for singer Jean Shepard appearing on the Grand   Ole Opry and the 'Hee Haw' TV show.

In 1967, Ray Smith decided to move his family to Burlington, Ontario to play the club circuit   in southeastern Canada. He was disillusioned with recording and found Ontario a better base   for touring in the northern part of the USA. He said that it gave him better media exposure   too: "I had TV shows all over Canada. on Channel 9. Toronto. Channel 11 Hamilton and   Ottawa Channel 12''.

His music was now moving back towards country. He recorded into the 1970s on another   string of labels, from Caravan to Corona, and on to Zirkon and Celebrity Circle. In 1972 he   had a small hit on Nashville's hot label, Cinnamon, but it was then that his long association   with Charlie Terrell ended. According to Terrell: "Ray was making good money playing good   clubs and venues, and he was driving Cadillacs - but his biggest fault was that he didn't want   to get out and do any promotional work, I continued to manage him even after he moved  borne to Canada but I was unable to get him to follow up on the good opportunities we had. I   was busy with other things and couldn't chase him all round the country and we just had to   drop out of that arrangement. Ray was always a drinker - but it got more and more as time   went on''. Ray's step brother, Don Hindman, said: "Ray had talent, but he just wouldn't leave   the booze alone''.

Ray Smith ended his recording career several years later on small Canadian labels like Wix   and Boot. By then, he was recording for the rock and roll revival market and combining his   own songs with interpretations of songs by Presley, Lewis, and the other big leaguers.   Originally a rhythm guitarist on stage, Ray had always played piano too, though not on   records, and he now started to make the piano more of a feature in his act. Reviewing an   album on Wix, writer Bill Millar found. 'Smith pounds the piano with a ferociousness fit to   upset the Richter Scale, and his under-developed sense of accuracy - on a par with Esquerita   - simply adds to the fun''.

In 1978 and 1979, Smith toured the revival scene in England and other countries in Europe.   It was to mixed reviews. In London, too much beer consumed before a show found Bill Millar   among an audience suffering "fluffed words, unexpected screams and general ineptness.., he   tried to kick the piano stool and missed.... a unique theatrical experience''. Yet other shows   from the period were a resounding success and, on his more sober days, it was still easy in   the late 1970s to see through the years and back to the real Ray Smith - the man who had so   impressed Charlie Terrell and Sam and Jud Phillips. The man with one of the best and most   adept voices in popular music, the man with the ability to sell a song both on record and on   stage, the showman who was at home with the piano or the guitar, and with the music of the   million dollar quartet or the ratpack. The man with a line in witty or sarcastic quips, and  with a desire to succeed.

Success in Ray Smith's personal life came and went the same way it did in his career. On   November 29, 1979, he went to visit his estranged wife, Lillie, apparently to talk about him   coming back home. The conversation didn't go well. According to Charlie Terrell: "After he   was in Canada, Ray was popping pills as well as drinking. He committed suicide after he   came back from a tour. He'd been on prozac from a doctor, and he had these personal   problems. He'd been messing around with a secretary near Hamilton, Ontario and he came   off tour to see his wife to get her back. She took him back many times before, but this time   she wouldn't do it. He was depressed - he couldn't stand any kind of rejection. He took a gun   from the drawer and shot himself. Their son was right there in the house''. Terrell was one of   the pallbearers at Ray Smith's funeral on December 2, 1979.

The Phillips brothers survived Ray Smith by over one and two decades respectively. Jud   Phillips died on July 20, 1992 in Memphis, from throat cancer. He had continued in some   aspects of artist promotion for many years after giving up Judd Records as well as running a   number of other businesses including a bottling plant in his home town of Florence,   Alabama. Sam Phillips died in July 2003 in Memphis. Bill Lowery died in Atlanta in 2004.

The last link to Ray Smith and the Rock & Roll Boys is manager Charlie Terrell, and the last   active member was Stanley Walker, whose band was still advertised in the 'Paducah Sun in   2006, playing local fairs and old peoples tea dances. Not a fate that Ray Smith would have   aspired to, and not one the highly talented, highly strung, and intermittently focused singer   was ever likely to have achieved.


JANUARY 1958

Toward the middle of the week, Sun secretary Barbara Barnes was beginning to feel frustrated. Still no Sam.   Almost every day musicians would be in the studio playing sometimes rehearsing tunes with our unofficial  house band, other times, Jack Clement might be having a session with musicians she didn’t recognize. Back  in her office, she could hear and almost feel through the walls the bass going ''thump, thump'', a sound that  got integrated into her nervous system through her years at Sun. There wasn't much drinking during the daytime, but often she could tell from the wastebaskets in the morning that there were some festive night  sessions going on.

It was after one of these that Regina Reese and Barbara Barnes came in one morning to find Jack Clement   looking disheveled and obviously drunk, having spent the entire night with the musicians in the studio. The  other guys had left, but Jack was sitting at Sally Wilbourn desk and in the mood to talk. He and Regina had  dated before Barbara came to Sun, so their relationship was sometimes a little edgy. She looked at him  warily as he talked of one thing and another, occasionally pausing to sing s phrase of a song. He had a tic that  made one of his eyes blink off and on. Then he addressed Barbara. ''Barbara Barnes'', he said. He said again.  ''B.B. That's your name, I'm going to call you B.B.'', and then he started to muse about what he wanted to do  that day. The girls were paying half-attention until he said what he wanted to do was have sex. But he hated  to get all cleaned up, call a girl, take her out, and go through all that routine. He just wanted to have sex.  Barbara hadn't heard a guy speak his thoughts quite so bluntly before, but Regina and Barbara both just  nodded. Then Jack looked to Barbara and said, ''Do you ever wake up horny? Wait, let me give you my  phone number''. He tore a little pink slip from Sally's phone pad and wrote down his phone number. ''You cab  call me any morning. Just call that number. Barbara said, ''Thank you, Jack''.

Then Jack got up and left. The girls didn't hear of any accidents or arrests, so the girls assumed he made it   home to sleep it off. By late afternoon Jack was back, refreshed, ready to get back at the task of finding  songs and talent, making recordings like a good A&R man.

JANUARY 13, 1958 MONDAY

After three months on the air, ''The Guy Mitchell Show'' is telecast for the final time on ABC. The theme is a song associated with Marty Robbin's ''Singing The Blues''.

JANUARY 14, 1958 TUESDAY

''Don't Fence Me In'' songwriter Cole Porter enters New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital with an infection in his leg bones.

JANUARY 15, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''Hard Headed Woman'' for the movie ''King Creole'' at Radio Recorders,  7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.

Keyboard player Kurt Howell is born in Winter Haven, Florida. He joins breezy West Coast band Southern Pacific, which hits the top 10 four times during the late-1980s, reaching number 2 with ''New Shade Of Blue''.


JANUARY 17, 1958 FRIDAY

On a dark and gloomy Friday morning at the end of January 1958, the front door crashed open, a  booted foot kicked in before the whole person could be seen, and there appeared Jerry Lee Lewis in  the flesh. Barbara Barnes had anticipated this moment, and now, she was finally getting to meet the  singer she had been praising in print and conversation since last summer. She wasn't surprised by  his swagger, that redneck stride that announced ''better not get in my way'', but Barbara was  unprepared to see how young he looked, and how tall.

Receptionist and office assistand  for Sun Records, Regina Reese. ^

Maybe he looked shorter in pictures because  he was usually seated at a piano. The famous mop of hair was quite noticeable, long only on top and  wavy, and he had barely gotten inside the door when he whipped out a comb from his back pocket  and ran it through the peroxided golden locks.

Perhaps ''immature'' is the better word, not ''young'', but Barbara wouldn't have guessed she were  about the same age. Maybe he seemed young because his father had come up with him from  Ferriday, Louisiana. Elmo was even taller than Jerry Lee by a few inches, maybe six feet four, rail  thin, with long arms that hung limply from stooped shoulders. His complexion was gray, and he  wore a suspicious expression that made me shrink a little (maybe a hint of violence?). It was very  clear that he was possessive and proud of his son and had come to defend him from whatever  threats might exist at 706 Union. Barbara had seen people like this walking the streets of South End  in Corinth, but a person not from the South might say he looked like those photos of Okies on their  trek to California during the Depression or Kentucky moonshiners the way the movies showed them  to be.

Receptionist Regina Reese called Jack Clement to the front to greet the visitors. Jack and Jerry Lee got along  well because it was Jack who had discovered him for Sun Records, and they probably wanted to  talk about the session that was scheduled for the next day. Off they went to Taylor's cafe for some  lunch.


JANUARY 18, 1958 SATURDAY

The next afternoon when Barbara Barnes again saw Jerry Lee Lewis, he was in full character. The person she   saw this time, singing and playing the piano, was not a kid but a man, a roiling, explosive package of energy   and sound. Normally, she didn't work on Saturday, but Sam Phillips had asked her to entertain Jerry Shifrin,   a Roulette Records promotion man who from New York was in town. Jerry would doubtless have preferred   to be with Sam, but Sam was hard to pin down. Shifrin had said on the phone he was headed our way on a   sales tour through the South, but he might have been scouting talent in the way the Atlantic and Imperial   guys, among others, had been doing for a long time.

Barbara picked him up at his hotel in a rental car and showed him the Mississippi River Bridge, drove him   through Overton Park and Zoo, and took him to lunch before facing the inevitable. She had to take him to the   studio, which she knew would compare poorly with what she imagined to be a sophisticated Roulette studio   in New York. The Sun studio was about twenty by thirty-five feet, had five mikes, a few metal folding chairs,   a piano, and the usual debris the musicians generated.

On the way to the studio, Barbara told Jerry Shifrin the story of how Jerry Lee Lewis had first come to Sun   in the fall of 1956. Sam was out of town, but Jerry insisted that somebody hear him. Sally Wilbourn buzzed   Jack Clement in the control room and repeated to him what Jerry Lee had told her, that he played piano like   Chet Atkins played the guitar. Jerry Lee sat down at the piano and proved it by plating ''Wildwood Flower''.   That sounded pretty good to Jack, so he asked him what else he had. Billy Riley was there, too, with his bass   tuned up to accompany the audition if need be. Jerry elected to do ''Crazy Arms'', and Jack rolled the tape.

When Sam returned and Jack played the tape for him, Sam exclaimed, ''I can sell that''. So ''Crazy Arms'',   paired with ''End Of The Road'', was duly issued, and it was only a year later that Jerry's big hit, ''Whole Lot   Of Shakin' Going On'', electrified the country. Barbara told him the story of how she came to be with Sun,   about answering Jerry Lee's fan mail, but now Kay Martin and Elaine Berman Orlando, who had formed the   Jerry Lee Lewis fan club, had taken over that task.

When the two arrived at the studio, they took the chance to walk to the control room during a break in taping   and Barbara introduced Jerry Shifrin to Jack Clement. Jack and the musicians went right ahead rehearsing   numbers were possible for the B-side of Jerry's next release. Since ''Great Balls Of Fire'' was approaching a   million in sales, they had again called on the noted songwriter Otis Blackwell for a follow-up for Jerry Lee,   who didn't usually write his own material. They had been working on that number, ''Breathless'', before we   arrived, Jack said, and it was coming along.. Now they were considering several songs, including Roy   Orbison's ''Down The Line'', which was eventually picked for the flip side. Sam would like the fact that Sun   was to have in-house publishing for that one.

Jerry Lee was sitting at the piano bare-chested. It was wintertime, but the studio was fairly warm, and Jerry   he'd worked up a good sweat with his muscular piano playing. Barbara had heard he gave it his all, whether   for 10 people or 10,000, and the evidence was right before her eyes, this was a show. His pants were riding   well below his waistline, exposing hid ''outie''. The studio was smokey and littered with beer cans, and Jerry   Lee was talking back and forth to Jack Clement in the control room between takes or whenever Jack   interrupted to start a new take.

Barbara was standing behind Jack in the control room and Jerry Shifrin was at her side. She would have   liked it to be a prettier scene, and Barbara must have shaken her head just imagining what the visitor must   think. After Barbara left, Jerry Shifrin told her how impressed he was with the sound they hearing in the  control room, the famous ''Sun Sound''. As a person in sales, Jerry was more concerned with Sun's track   record than an untidy studio or even Jerry's unkempt appearance. Barbara knew the industry and the fans had   great respect for the success of the label. She just wished we could have greater pride in the appearance.


Jerry Lee Lewis' early 1958 sessions involved the recording of numerous other items of substantial merit that were initially laid aside, amongst them covers of songs associated with Elvis Presley (''Jailhouse Rock'', ''Hound Dog'', ''Good Rockin' Tonight'', and ''Don't Be Cruel'') and Hank Williams (Your Cheatin' Heart), together with a straight blues, ''Hello Hello Baby''. In a brave move on Sam's part, the lattermost would find a place on Jerry Lee Lewis' second album some three years after its taping but the release of the Presley related material had to await a rather longer passage of time.(*)

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY JANUARY 16 TO   SATURDAY JANUARY 18, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

This 1958 version of ''I Love You Because'' is performed at a very slow and plodding tempo, though it's not without its charm and features some nice piano. This remained unissued until the 1983 ''The Sun Years'' boxset. Far better is the faster 1961 version (though the backing singers are a bit annoying), first released on ''Original Golden Hits Volume Three'' in 1971. Lastly is the beautiful 1969 version, released on ''Country Music Hall Of Fame Hits Volume 1''.

1(1) - ''I LOVE YOU BECAUSE'' - B.M.I. - 3:02
Composer: - Leon Payne
Publisher: - Bourne Music - Acuff Rose Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-A3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-19 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"I Love You Because" is a 1949 song written and originally recorded by Leon Payne. The single went to number four on the Billboard Country & Western Best Seller lists and spent two weeks at number one on the Country & Western Disk Jockey List, spending a total of thirty-two weeks on the chart. "I Love You Because" was Payne's only song to make the country charts. "I Love You Because" has been covered by several artists throughout the years like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Locklin and many more.

In 1950, Ernest Tubb a number 2 and Clyde Moody each recorded their own version both making the Top 10 on the Country & Western charts. In 1963, Al Martino recorded the most successful version of the song peaking at number three on the Hot 100 and number one on the Middle-Road (or Easy Listening) chart for two weeks in May that year.

In 1964, Jim Reeves took the song to number five in the United Kingdom. In 1976, the song was the title track of a posthumous Jim Reeves album, which peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Country chart. The single version reached to number 54 in the United States that year. In 1983, Roger Whittaker got the song "into the lower reaches of the country chart''.

The 1956/1957 version of ''I Love You Because'' is performed at a very slow and plodding tempo, though it’s not without its charm and features some nice piano. This remained unissued until the 1983 ''The Sun Years'' box-set. Far better is this faster June 1961 version (though the backing singers are a bit annoying), first released on ''Original Golden Hits Volume Three'' in 1971. Lastly is the beautiful 1969 version, released on ''Country Music Hall Of Fame Hits Vollume 1''.

2 - "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH IT HURTS" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Floyd Tilman
Publisher: - Lane Publications
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: -   January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1970
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm LP 114-A2 mono
A TASTE OF COUNTRY
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-7 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"I Love You So Much It Hurts" is a song written and recorded by Floyd Tillman in 1948. His version reached number 6 on the Folk Best Seller charts and spent a total of nineteen weeks on the chart. In 1948, Jimmy Wakely had his second number one on the Folk Best Seller chart with his version of the song. Wakely's version spent a total of twenty-eight weeks on the chart and four non-consecutive weeks at the top. In 1949, the Mills Brothers recorded a version of the song which reached number eight on the Race Records chart and number eight on the pop chart.

Other sigificant recordings included, Charlie Gracie in 1957; Jerry Lee Lewis on the album ''A Taste Of Country (Sun International LP 114) released on April 1970; Patsy Ann Noble in 1960; Bob Luman in 1960, on the album ''Let's Think About Livin'''; Tennessee Ernie Ford in 1961, on the album ''Tennessee Ernie Ford Looks At Love''; Patsy Cline in 1961, on the album ''Patsy Cline Showcase''.; Ray Charles in 1962, on the album ''Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music''; George Morgan with Marion Worth in 1964, on the album ''Slippin' Around''; Don Gibson in 1968; Andy Williams in 1974 on his album, ''You Lay So Easy On My Mind; and John Prine in 1995, on the album ''Lost Dogs And Mixed Blessings'' respectively.


3 - "I'M SORRY, I'M NOT SORRY" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Wanda Ballman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-B7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-8 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

This recording by Jerry Lee Lewis was for the first time recorded by Carl Perkins for Sun on March 1956 that  featured material admittedly composed by somebody else. The song had been written by Wanda Bellman, an aspiring, singer/songwriter from Jonesboro, Arkansas. She submitted the song via demo to Sam and went from being an unknown to a professional almost overnight when her copyright appeared on one side of a Carl Perkins record (Sun 249) and released on August 3, 1956. Pretty impressive stuff. We do know that Wanda engaged in an extended correspondence with Sam Phillips throughout this period. He stoked Wanda's fires even higher when he had her come to Memphis in 1957 and record five sides. None were released at the time although they continue to be resurrected on Sun reissues internationally. It is possible that Sam, being Sam, made the most of Wanda Ballman's enthusiasm when he acted as her a new found benefactor and champion. In later years, Wanda persevered and had her material recorded by main stream artists like Loretta Lynn and Charley Pride.


4(1) - "SEXY WAYS" - B.M.I. - 0:30
Composer: - Hank Ballard
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start – Breakdown
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-B4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-10 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Although Jerry attempted the song at two different sessions during this 1958 session, he never actually sung “Sexy Ways”, during his first attempt in January he changed the lyrics to “Cool Cool Ways”, and then in April this became “Carrying On”. Both are impressive, but none of them were released until a couple of compilations in 1974. By 1965 the world had changed a little and he finally felt brave enough to record the proper lyrics: with a superb drums and cymbals intro (probably by Buddy Harmon) this inspired performance was one of the many highlights of ''The Return Of Rock'' later that year.  

4(2) - "COOL, COOL WAYS (SEXY WAYS)" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Hank Ballard
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1974
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 300002-B5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AND HIS PUMPING PIANO
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-11 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

5(1) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-4-27 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

On Jerry Lee Lewis' return to the Sun studio in mid-January 1958, Sam Phillips also persuaded Jerry Lee to redefine Roy Orbison's ''Go, Go, Go'' as the moody rocker ''Down The Line'' for the flip of the planned release, Sun 288, to ensure that fifty percent of the publishing credits from the new 45 would accrue to Sun itself, whatever was on the A-side. Whereas ''Breathless'' won the day for Blackwell and proved to be Lewis's third gold disc, Hammer's ''Milkshake Mademoiselle'' was destined to remain unheard for some fifteen years, although neither song was to be blessed with an easy gestation in the studio.(*)

In spite of that, all concerned arrived at a suitable arrangement for ''Down The Line'' without any obvious angst, with Jerry Lee once again employing the by now familiar riff to open proceedings. The impression is gained that during the course of taping the first four takes something of a party atmosphere prevailed, but a change in attitude is discernible in the fifth take, maybe a day or two later, where the pace is stepped up a couple of gears and everyone appears to be much more focussed on the job in hand. Jerry Lee experiments a little more with the lyrics on the first couple of attempts, losing concentration during the solos, and at this stage no-one seems certain as to how to wrap things up with conviction. By take 7, however, that problem has been ironed out and they're ready to move on and what proves to be the master.(*)


5(2)(3) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - 2 False Starts - Complete Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-B6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-7 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963


5(4) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (EP) 45rpm JLL EP 001-B2 mono
THE FABULOUS JERRY LEE LEWIS
 Reissued: - October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-4-30 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5(5) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - April 1993
First a ppearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-11-6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-4-31 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5(6) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-B8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-4-32 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5(7) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-6 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-4-33 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5(8) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-11-7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
 Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-4-34 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5(9) - "GO! GO! GO! (DOWN THE LINE)" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 290 - Master
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1957
Released: - February 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 288-B mono
DOWN THE LINE / BREATHLESS
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

More serious rockabilly fans were instantly enamored with "Down The Line", of course a reworking of Roy Orbison's timeless "Go Go Go", which had adorned the flipside of Orbison's 1956 hit "Ooby Dooby". True to his edict, Sam Phillips selected this take that was long on feeling, if a bit short on technical perfection. From the first eight bars, you know this is a good one. Jerry's tight little combo cooks beautifully with the bass and guitar complementing his piano boogie. But then the seams start to show. Jerry Lee demonstrates his well known flair for blowing lyrics and ends up mumbling his way through the chorus. Worse yet, by the fourth bar of the solo, it has become painfully obvious that the guitarist has gone rather woefully out of tune. If you don't look too closely, this record is very exciting, especially if you don't mind your excitement tinged with sloppiness.

''Down The Line'' although only released as a B-side (of ‘Breathless’), the song gained legendary status amongst fans during the early 1960s due to the fact that Jerry more often than not opened his shows with the song (I’ve only listed the studio versions here but for the ultimate rock and roll experience check out the 1964 ‘Live At The Star Club, Hamburg’ version (actually not included on the original album though it’s on the Bear Family CD re-issue). The 1963 ''Golden Hits'' re-cut has a very different arrangement from the mid-tempo Sun cut, performed at a much faster tempo that’s closer to the Roy Orbison original. The 1973 version from  ''The Session'' would be a strong contender for the ultimate studio cut if it wasn’t for the way Jerry’s voice “goes” at one point.

6 – "JAMBALAYA (ON THE BAYOU)" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Hank Williams-Moon Mullican
Publisher: - Acuff-Rose Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - EP Master
Recorded: -    January 16-18, 1958
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 109-B1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-28 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

The recorded version here by Jerry Lee Lewis' "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" is a song written and first recorded by American country music singer Hank Williams that was released in July 1952. Named for a Creole and Cajun dish, jambalaya, it spawned numerous cover versions and has since achieved popularity in several different music genres.

With a melody based on the Cajun song "Grand Texas", some sources, including Allmusic, claim that the song was co-written by Hank Williams and Moon Mullican, with Williams credited as sole author and Mullican receiving ongoing royalties. Williams' biographer Colin Escott speculates that it is likely Mullican wrote at least some of the song and Hank's music publisher Fred Rose paid him surreptitiously so that he wouldn't have to split the publishing with Moon's label King Records. Williams' song resembles "Grand Texas" in melody only.

"Grand Texas" is a song about a lost love, a woman who left the singer to go with another man to "Big Texas"; "Jambalaya", while maintaining a Cajun theme, is about life, parties and stereotypical food of Cajun cuisine. The narrator leaves to pole a pirogue down the shallow water of the bayou, to attend a party with his girlfriend Yvonne and her family. At the feast they have Cajun cuisine, notably Jambalaya, crawfish pie and filé gumbo, and drink liquor from fruit jars. The second line in the verse has had various interpretations. Yvonne is his "ma chaz ami-o", which is Cajun French for "my good girlfriend" (ma chère amie). Williams uses "ma chaz ami" as one word, thus the "my" in front of it. The "o" at the end of "ami" is a poetic/lyrical device making the line match the phrasing of the previous line and rhyme with it. If you listen closely, Hank Williams is singing "I'm gonna see mamma chers amio." referring to seeing the mother he loves and the first line refers to the home cooked food he is used to. This avoids the awkward "my" with "ma cher", which doesn't make sense to someone who is bi-lingual. Mamma in this context can mean either his real mother or can be an affectionate term for his wife/girlfriend.

Williams recorded the song on June 13, 1952, his first recording session in six months, at Castle Studio in Nashville with backing provided by Jerry Rivers (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Chet Atkins (lead guitar), Chuck Wright (bass) and probably Ernie Newton (bass). Interestingly, the recording Williams made differs significantly from Mullican's. Since the original melody of the song was from "Grand Texas", the song is a staple of Cajun culture. However, although Williams kept a Louisiana theme, the song is not a true cajun song, and it is precisely because of this that song gained such widespread popularity: "Ethnic music is usually unpalatable for a mass market unless it is diluted in some way (Harry Belafonte's calypsos, Paul Simon's Graceland...the list is endless). The broader audience related to 'Jambalaya' in a way that it could never relate to a true cajun two-step led by an asthmatic accordian and sung in patois''.

The song, it reached number one on the United States country charts for fourteen non-consecutive weeks. After Williams released his version, Cajuns recorded the song again using Cajun instruments. However, they used Williams' lyrics translated into the Cajun French language. "Jambalaya" remains one of Hank Williams' most popular songs today. International, translated or derived versions do exist at least in Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Polish German, Spanish and Estonian.

A demo version of Williams singing "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" with just his guitar, likely recorded in 1951, is also available. Williams composed a sequel to the song from the female perspective, "I'm Yvonne (Of the Bayou)", with Jimmy Rule, recorded by Goldie Hill. It was not as popular. As with "Jambalaya" there is speculation that Williams may have purchased this song from Mullican. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song for his EP ''Jerry Lee Lewis'' (Sun EPA 109) at Sun Records on January 16, 18, 1958, and again released for the 1969 album ''Sings The Country Music Hall of Fame Hits, Volume 1''.


7(1) - "MILKSHAKE MADEMOISELLE" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Jack Hammer
Publisher: - Northern Song
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-B5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-12 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

The first recordings of ''Milkshake Mademoiselle'' carries a strong residual imprint of ''Down The Line'' and it almost comes as a surprise, once past the intro, to hear Jerry Lee sing the words ''down to the drugstore'' instead of ''you can't be my loving baby''. The rather curt opening of the ensuing readings, devoid of an intro worthy of the name, is a little too brusque for comfort. In contrast, by the time of the third complete take, Jerry Lee's more animated intro enlightens the song but it's clear that he's having trouble performing it to his own high standards. The similarities between the two complete takes in this phase of the song's development end with the onset of each piano solo; in the first, Lewis's right hand runs up and down the keyboard whereas in the next it stays in the same octave throughout.(*)


7(2) - "MILKSHAKE MADEMOISELLE" - B.M.I. - 0:32
Composer: - Jack Hammer
Publisher: - Northern Song
Matrix number: - None - 2 False Starts
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-A1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -  October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

7(3) - "MILKSHAKE MADEMOISELLE" - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Jack Hammer
Publisher: - Northern Song
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-A1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-14 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

7(4)(5) - "MILKSHAKE MADEMOISELLE" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Jack Hammer
Publisher: - Northern Song
Matrix number: - None - 2 False Starts - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-15 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-5(6) mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

7(6) - "MILKSHAKE MADEMOISELLE" - B.M.I. - 1:17
Composer: - Jack Hammer
Publisher: - Northern Song
Matrix number: - None - Fragment
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

7(7) - "MILKSHAKE MADEMOISELLE" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Jack Hammer
Publisher: - Northern Song
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-A2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

In the final take, which may well be from a later date, given that a second guitarist features prominently, Jerry Lee initiates proceedings by mimicking the role of a telegraph operator, deliberately or otherwise. It's doubtless too fanciful to imply that he was using Morse code to spell out ''wow, o, wow'' with the opening twenty-one strikes of a single note, but who knows; pop music has always been full of hidden messages. In ant event, this was the recording of the song officially released in 1973, becoming the first new Lewis track to be unearthed from the vaults by Martin Hawkins and Colin Escott, to add to those which had been included on Sun International LPs at the whim of Shelby Singleton. Its release aroused huge interest amongst European fans, and it proved to be the taster for many of the delights which followed over the ensuing decade.(*)

7(8) - "MILKSHAKE MADEMOISELLE" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Jack Hammer
Publisher: - Northern Song
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take -   Unknown Second Guitar
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - May 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 025-B2 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-9 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Earl Solomon Burroughs, born on September 16, 1925, in Fulton County, Georgia, is a songwriter, singer, dancer, and Master of ceremonies. Better known as Jack Hammer is probably best known as the co-writer of one of the immortal classics of rock and roll, "Great Balls Of Fire", a Jerry Lee Lewis' number 2 hit from 1957. Born in New Orleans, he moved to California as a youngster and then, probably in the mid-1950s, to New York City, where he became the M.C. at the Baby Grand Theatre.

Earl Solomon Burroughs, (his real name) started writing songs in the 1950s. One of his earliest compositions, credited to Earl Burrows, was the spectacular "Fujiyama Mama". It was recorded by Annisteen Allen in late 1954, covered by Eileen Barton soon afterward and is probably best known in the version of Wanda Jackson from 1957, though none of these versions charted. Probably in 1955 he changed his name from Earl Burroughs to Jack Hammer, as "Rock 'N' Roll Call" by the Treniers (recorded on December 15, 1955) shows the writers as Jack Hammer and Rudolph Toombs. This song was also recorded by Louis Jordan in 1956. In April of that year, Hammer's composition "Knock Kneed Nellie From Knoxville" was recorded by the Jumping Jaguars (Decca 29938), a side-project of Franny Beecher of Bill Haley's Comets. It is possible that Hammer was a member of this group. "Football Rock"/ "So What" (Decca 30109, released October 1956) was the first release under his own name. His next appearance on record was "Girl, Girl, Girl" (Roulette 4046, 1958), a good rocker, followed by two singles on Kapp in 1959.

Hammer is probably more important as a songwriter than as a singer. The story behind "Great Balls Of Fire" (as revealed by Stuart Colman) is as follows. Hammer wrote a song of that name and submitted it to New York songwriter Paul Case, who at that time also happened to be musical consultant for the forthcoming movie "Jamboree". Case was unimpressed with the contents but loved the title. He subsequently called Otis Blackwell, who had never met Jack, and commissioned him to write a new song around the title, to be used in "Jamboree". Hammer was in full agreement to this arrangement as the deal was to be split right down the middle. In 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis recorded "Milkshake Mademoiselle" (unreleased at the time), Big Danny Oliver cut the exuberant rocker "Sapphire" and the Cadillacs scored a number 28 hit with "Peek-A-Boo", all penned by Hammer. "Croc-O-Doll" was written for the Impacts (RCA 7583), in 1959. In that year, a record was released "Black Widow Spider Woman"/"Doggone That Moon", credited to Jack Hammer and the Pacers on the Milestone label, but this was in fact a pseudonym for rockabilly/country singer Werly Fairburn. In 1960, Hammer recorded a strange LP for the Warwick label, "Rebellion - Jack Hammer Sings and Reads Songs and Poems of the Beat Generation".

The next year Hammer moved to Europe. First to Paris where he appeared in cabaret doing Sammy Davis and Chuck Berry impersonations. But he stayed much longer in Belgium, where he was discovered by Albert Van Hoogten, who had founded the Ronnex label in 1951. Jack recorded a whole bunch of twist ditties for Ronnex, which were also released in other European countries on a variety of labels (Oriole in the UK). The most successful of these was "Kissin' Twist", which sold especially well in Belgium (number 3), Germany, France and Sweden. Jack was an excellent dancer and in Belgium he became known as "The Twistin' King", which was also the title of an LP (the only LP that Ronnex ever released). The album had a different title in every country where it came out; in the UK it was called "Hammer + Beat = Twist" (Oriole PS 40020, 1963). Some of the more successful twist recordings were also recorded in German and/or Spanish for the local markets. By 1971 he was living in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he played the U.S. military bases. Apart from "Swim"/"Color Combination", there were no new releases in the 1970s. Hammer moved back to New York in order to play the part of Jimi Hendrix in a proposed film, but the plans for this movie foundered in the early to mid-1980s. At present (2010) he is living in Hollywood. A BMI search tells us that he has written 144 songs registered with BMI, including those credited to Earl Burroughs and Earl Burrows.


8(1) - "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-13 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-10 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Here five unreleased takes of ''Breathless'' but the original classic 4th single, this was Jerry’s 3rd biggest U.S. hit, and in the U.K. it tied with ''Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On'' as his 2nd biggest hit (the biggest being ''Great Balls Of Fire'' of course). Despite, this he’s rarely performed the song ‘live’ even during the 1960s (he’s said on more than one occasion that he hates the song). The 1963 re-cut (for ‘Golden Hits’) has far more drive & enthusiasm, and is superior despite having too many musicians and backing singers behind him. He re-recorded several of his early hits again in late 1988 for the ‘Great Balls Of Fire!’ movie & soundtrack album the following year, & did a surprisingly good job on most songs including this.

8(2) - "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-11-8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-11 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

8(3) - "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:  - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-A3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEAR
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-12 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

8(4) - "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:   - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-11-9 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
 Reissued: - October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-13 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

8(5) - "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 16-18, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-14 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 18, 1958 SATURDAY

Later the day, Jerry Shifrin and Barbara Barnes went to dinner at Justine's, a wonderful French restaurant in   an old house in Memphis, located at 19 Coward Place, eating artichokes and a tender, juicy steak with   Bearnaise sauce. (Most Memphians know it as the Old Justine's Restaurant - the New Orleans-style French   restaurant owned by Justine Smith for 37 years, starting in 1958. The stark-looking light pink stucco house   with white marble front steps survived a Civil War skirmish on the property, the worst of the Yellow Fever   epidemics in the late 1800's, and the volatility of the 20th century restaurant business. In the 60's and 70's,   Justine's was perhaps the main upscale restaurant in Memphis. See: www.historic-memphis.com). Afterwards they wound up at the  Sharecropper, semi-private club to which Barbara had a key. Because of Memphis's strange liquor laws,   mixed drinks couldn't be served by bars. But at a club such as this one, you could either bring a bottle with   you for the bartender to use in making drinks, or you could even rent a locker, stock it, and have your booze   at hand whenever you dropped by.

A singer with a sprinkle of gray in his hair was sitting at the piano accompanying himself. Mostly he played   without singing, lost in his music. He seemed to be making love, not entertaining. He played dreamy   standards like ''Laura'' and ''Misty'', and like so many lounge singers everywhere, was playing more for   himself than for the people all around, who were so engrossed in their own conversation that they barely   heard the music. Then, later we knowing that the musician was Charlie Rich, one of the artists at the Sun  record company.

There was repercussions to the visits of Jerry Shifrin and Barbara Barnes to Jerry Lee Lewis's session, which   went on for some time after they left. Sam Phillips had come in, and Jerry Lee was quick to corner him. He   had said, ''Mr. Phillips, you've got some bad women working for your company''. Sam asked him what he   meant and Jerry said, ''That Barnes woman. She came in here today and while I was recording, she was   standing in the control room, just shaking her head''. ''Now hold on, Jerry, you took it all wrong. She's a big   fan of yours. She was shaking her head because she just couldn't believe any one person could have so much   talent''! Sam reassured him. Jerry was satisfied with Sam's explanation.

JANUARY 19, 1958 SUNDAY

Stephanie Davis is born in Bridge, Montana. She co-writes the Garth Brooks hits ''We Shall Be Free;; and ''Learning To Live Again''.

Hank Locklin recorded ''It's A Little More Like Heaven'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

JANUARY 20, 1958 MONDAY

Elvis Presley begins shooting for ''King Creole'', his last movie before the start of his two-year Army hitch.

Columbia released Ray Price's ''Curtain In The Window''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR GLENN HONEYCUTT
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY JANUARY 20, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

01 - "ON MOBILE BAY" - B.M.I. - 1:36
Composer: - Glenn Honeycutt
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 20, 1958
Released: - February 9, 2009
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SNAJ 743 mono
SUN ROCKABILLY MELTDOWN

02 - "SKYLARK BABY" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Glenn Honeycutt
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 20, 1958
Released: - 1979
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat 700 mono
ROCK AROUND THE TOWN

03 - "CAMPUS LOVE " - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Glenn Honeycutt
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 20, 1958
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS
Reissued: - 1999 Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD9 mono
FERNWOOD ROCK 'N' ROLL

04- "RIGHT GAL RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Glenn Honeycutt
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 20, 1958
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat 400-9 mono
GOIN' BACK TO MEMPHIS

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 1958

Jack Clement hadn't called a session, and only Regina Reese, Kay Keisker, and Barbara Barnes were in the   studio. But some musicians Barbara was beginning to recognize as regulars came in about noon to practice.   With Jack not there, they weren't too focused and they had some beer and Thunderbird wine. The music was   getting louder and happier as the afternoon wore on.

According to Barbara Barnes, ''The drummer was J.M. Van Eaton, the youngest of the group, a short,   innocent-faced young man with a blond crewcut. He had started at Sun when he was too young to drive, and   Billy Riley had to pick him up for sessions. J.M. was sort of hazing me, playing a marching-band beat when  I walked through the studio. Martin Willis, the sax player, would laugh when J.M. did that, but I would   march on pretending not to notice. Roland Janes, who played guitar and bass, had taken a dislike to me at   first glance and wasn't friendly. During my second day at work he was sitting on the loveseat when he looked   up and said defiantly, ''You don't need to look at me like that. I bet I've got more money than you have''. I   must have been in another world, because I hadn't been thinking of him or even aware I was looking at him. I   was too stunned to say anything, but Regina gave a little laugh and exclaimed, ''Roland''! He was right,   though. He no doubt had more money than I did''.

''Billy Riley was there as usual'', Barbara said. ''I had been struck by the way he jutted out his chin on the   beat, like a cobra about to strike. Most musicians nodded or patted their feet. That day, however, he decided   to forsake the group to visit my little office to inform me that he was just the special one who was going to   take out this new chick. He was obviously happy drunk when he came bouncing acrobatically into my office.   He had the beautiful high cheekbones, dark complexion, and gleaming black hair of one of the Cherokee  ancestors. In fact, that day I could see in him a wild Indian, muscular, compact, and untamed'' says Barbara.

''You are going out with me tonight'' Billy announced. ''You are going to say, 'I never had as good a time as I   did when I went out with Billy Riley'''. ''I don't think that's such a good idea, Billy'', Barbara said. He was   charming and funny as he kept elaborating on how he really knew how to show a girl a good time. After a   while, the thought dawned on him that Barbara really wasn't going to accept and he left, but he didn't seem   crushed. The last hour before five went slowly, but Barbara had found enough work to do setting up some   artist files, and at closing time she walked to the front just minutes before Kay Keisker, who had to share her   shipping space in the studio with the musicians, came through the door crying. She said that one of the guys   had molested her. Regina and Barbara tried to soothe her and find out what had happened, but she was   incoherent. She told Kay to go sit down next door and than go home. With the musicians, Barbara had   enough.   She opened the door to the studio in her most authoritative voice, ''Everybody out. I'm closing the studio''.   The musicians looked at her, and J.M. Hit a lick on the snare and then the cymbal. ''I mean it, leave'', she   commanded. They looked from one to the other and then back to Barbara. ''You have to get out'', she said.   ''Right now''.

They actually got up and left. When the last one was gone, Regina got out her key to lock up, and she said,   ''B.B, you were magnificent''. After these initial incidents, Barbara was accepted as one of the gang, and she   began to become friends with the musicians and to enjoy seeing, hearing, and talking with them.

JANUARY 21, 1958 TUESDAY

Jim Reeves recorded ''Blue Boy'' and ''Overnight'' during an evening session at RCA Studio B. in Nashville.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY JANUARY 21, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

When you're hot, you're hot. Jerry Lee managed to follow his mega-hit "Great Balls Of Fire" with yet another blockbuster from the pen of Otis Blackwell. "Breathless" is another wild performance, complete with a heavy breathing hook that grabbed more than its share of disposablee teenage income. The song's structure is less than typical, and far from the blues and country music on which Jerry Lee cut his teeth. Although Jerry's piano plays a less central role here than ever before, the artist still manages to make this performance his own. Jerry's Louisiana pronunciation of "You know I 'doin' like a wood in flame" is a delight.

1(6) – "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Homefolks Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 21, 1958
Released:   - July 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (EP) 45rpm JLL EP 001-A2 mono
THE FABULOUS JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-15 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

''Breathless'' provides an example, to be observed on at least two further occasions when hit-making was the order of the day, of Lewis persisting with an opening arrangement that doesn't produce the desired outcome, before simply giving up and trying something else which almost immediately proves beneficial. The first five takes (session January 16-18, 1958) repeat an opening cascade that one feels ought to serve as a leitmotif throughout the song, but which subsequently fails to reoccur. Yet each attempt leaves something to be desired.(*)

Conversely, when Jerry Lee simplifies matters with the relatively unsophisticated hammering of a single chord, things begin to sound more organised. Despite that, it remains something of an ordeal for all involved in coming to terms with the broken-beat shuffle rhythm of the song, while at times Jerry Lee has difficulty in stretching elements of the lyric to complement the music adequately. The most consistently uncomfortable passage occurs in each take around the 1.15 mark, immediately following the gloomy weather forecast of ''wind, rain, sleet or snow''. Lewis repeatedly struggles with the declaration ''I will be wherever you go'', variously trying, without success, to make two syllables out of either or both of the words ''I-will-be'' with deliberation but a lack of conviction. Eventually, in take 8, (session January 21, 1958) he achieves the right balance by effectively adding the words ''am'' and ''to'', delivering the line as ''I'm gonna be wherever you go'' and the die is cast. One more take and it all falls into place.(*)


1(7) – "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Homefolks Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 21, 1958
Released:   - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-9-8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-16 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(8) – "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Homefolks Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - January 21, 1958
Released:   - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-4-18 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: -   October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-17 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(9) – "BREATHLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Homefolks Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 291 - Master
Recorded: - January 21, 1958
Released: - February 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 288-A mono
BREATHLESS / DOWN THE LINE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

This song was a calculated shot at the pubescent market, with Jerry's breathy delivery of the title as its hook. "Breathless" moved up the charts with the help of a ploy devised by Jud Phillips and Dick Clark. Beechnut chewing gum had sponsored the networking of Dick Clark's "Bandstand" show, but initial response was unfavorable until Jud and Dick Clark figured out how to kill two birds with one stone with a cross-promotion deal. Jerry Lee Lewis sang "Breathless" on "The Dick Clark Show''.

''Breathless'' spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 7 in April 1958. The song also reached number 4 on the country chart, number 3 on the Rhythm And Blues chart, and number 8 in the UK. The B-side, "Down the Line", also charted in 1958, reaching number 51 on the Billboard pop singles chart.

The song was re-released in 1979 as part of the Sun Records Golden Treasure Series as Sun 25 and on the Quality label in Canada in 1958. The song was also featured in the 1983 film Breathless starring Richard Gere and Valerie Kaprisky as well as the Jerry Lee Lewis song "High School Confidential". The song has been covered several times, including versions by Tom Jones, Mickey Gilley, Wanda Jackson, X, Cliff Richard, Albert Lee, Mike Berry, Hal Munro, The Paramounts, Chas and Dave, and Otis Blackwell.


2(1) - ''COLD COLD HEART'' - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Hiriam Music
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
May have been recorded during the previous session
Recorded: - January 21, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-C5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-1-21 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Note: ''Cold Cold Heart'' may have been recorded at the previous session.

"Cold Cold Heart" recorded here by Jerry Lee Lewis' on this session, is a country song, written by Hank Williams. This blues ballad is both a classic of honky-tonk and an entry in the Great American Songbook.

Williams adapted the melody for the song from T. Texas Tyler's 1945 recording of "You'll Still Be In My Heart," written by Ted West in 1943. The song achingly and artfully describes frustration that the singer's love and trust is unreciprocated due to a prior bad experience in the other's past. Stories of the song's origins vary. In the Williams episode of American Masters, country music historian Colin Escott states that Williams was moved to write the song after visiting his wife Audrey in the hospital, who was suffering from an infection brought on by an abortion she had carried out at their home unbeknownst to Hank. Escott also speculates that Audrey, who carried on extramarital affairs as Hank did on the road, may have suspected the baby was not her husband's. Florida bandleader Pappy Neil McCormick claims to have witnessed the encounter: "According to McCormick, Hank went to the hospital and bent down to kiss Audrey, but she wouldn't let him. 'You sorry son of a bitch,' she is supposed to have said, 'it was you that caused me to suffer like this'. Hank went home and told the children's governess, Miss Ragland, that Audrey had a 'cold, cold heart,' and then, as so often in the past, realized the bitterness in his heart held commercial promise''.

The first draft of the song is dated November 23, 1950 and was recorded with an unknown band on May 5, 1951. Like his earlier masterpiece "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'', it was released as the B-side (MGM10904B) to "Dear John" (MGM-10904A), since it was an unwritten rule in the country music industry that the faster numbers sold best. "Dear John" peaked at number 8 after only a brief four-week run on Billboard magazine's country music charts, but "Cold Cold Heart" proved to be a favorite of disc jockeys and jukebox listeners, whose enthusiasm for the song catapulted it to number 1 on the country music charts. Williams featured the song on his Mother's Best radio shows at the time of its release and performed the song on the Kate Smith Evening Hour on April 23, 1952, which ran from September 1951 to June 1952; the appearance remains one of the few existing film clips of the singer performing live. He is introduced by his idol Roy Acuff. Although a notorious binge drinker, Williams appears remarkably at ease on front of the cameras, with one critic noting, "He stared at the camera during his performance of ''Cold Cold Heart'' with a cockiness and self-confidence that bordered on arrogance''.

The song would become a pop hit for Tony Bennett, paving the way for country songs to make inroads into the lucrative pop market. In the liner notes to the 1990 Polygram compilation Hank Williams: The Original Single Collection, Fred Rose's son Wesley states, "Hank earned two major distinctions as a songwriter: he was the first writer on a regular basis to make country music national music; and he was the first country songwriter accepted by pop artists, and pop A&R men''.

That same year, it was recorded in a pop version by Tony Bennett with a light orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. This recording was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39449. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on July 20, 1951 and lasted 27 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 1. The popularity of Bennett's version has been credited with helping to expose both Williams and country music to a wider national audience. Allmusic writer Bill Janovitz discusses this unlikely combination: "That a young Italian singing waiter from Queens could find common ground with a country singer from Alabama's backwoods is testament both to Williams' skills as a writer and to Bennett's imagination and artist's ear''.

Williams subsequently telephoned Bennett to say, "Tony, why did you ruin my song''? But that was a prank,  in fact, Williams liked Bennett's version and played it on jukeboxes whenever he could. In his autobiography ''The Good Life'', Bennett described playing "Cold Cold Heart" at the Grand Ole Opry later in the 1950s. He had brought his usual arrangement charts to give to the house musicians who would be backing him, but their instrumentation was different and they declined the charts. "You sing and we'll follow you'', they said, and Bennett says they did so beautifully, once again recreating an unlikely artistic merger.

The story of the Williams-Bennett telephone conversation is often related with mirth by Bennett in interviews and on stage; he still performs the song in concert. In 1997, the first installment of A&E's Live By Request featuring Bennett (who was also the show's creator), special guest Clint Black performed the song, after which Bennett recounted it. A Google Doodle featured Bennett's recording of the song on its Valentine's Day doodle in February 2012.

Other siginificant recordings there are including Louis Armstrong recorded "Cold Cold Heart" on September 17, 1951, and released it on Decca Records; Donald Peers recorded it on October 5, 1951, released EMI via His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10158; Dinah Washington recorded it in 1951; Petula Clark and Gene Autry sang the song in the 1952 movie Apache Country; Jerry Lee Lewis released the song as a single on Sun Records in 1961 and included another version on the 1969 LP ''Sings the Country Music Hall of Fame Hits, Volume 2''; Jazz singer Norah Jones included a sultry swing version on her 2002 album ''Come Away With Me'', which was seen as "reintroducing" modern audiences to the song.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)

Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Jay W. Brown - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Eddie Bond, flanked by Ronald Smith (left) and Johnny Fine at the Rooftop, Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Spring 1954. >

Eddie Bond returned to Sun. There were three sessions between November 28, 1957 and May 5, 1958, but no singles. The band is reckoned to be Bond's Stompers with the addition of John ''Ace'' Cannon on saxophone.  Following his Mercury deal, Eddie Bond began label-shopping through the South, particularly around Memphis, Tennessee. First stop was 706 Union Avenue, where Jack Clement produced three titles, in a more-country-than-rockabilly mould.


None were issued at the time having to wait for the rockabilly revival and subsequent glut of compilations released in the 1970s and 1980s.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR EDDIE BOND
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JANUARY 25, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

01 - "BROKE MY GUITAR" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Eddie Bond-Jack Clement
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 25, 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1035-9 mono
SUNSET SPECIAL
Reissued: - 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-20 mono
EDDIE BOND - ROCKIN' DADDY

The most curious element of his somewhat odd "Broke My Guitar" is a total lack of verses. Such an omission defies the basic logic of song structure; choruses that butt up against each and every middle eight further complicate the issue.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Bond - Vocal and Rhythm Guitar
Reggie Young - Lead Guitar
Johnny Fine - Drums
Jimmy Smith - Piano
Vocal Chorus

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR EDWIN BRUCE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: JANUARY 26, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS,
JACK CLEMENT AND /OR STAN KESLER

01(1) - "SWEET WOMAN" - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 298   - Master
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 292-A mono
SWEET WOMAN / PART OF MY LIFE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

"Sweet Woman" was enough to rekindle the faith of Sun fans in early 1958. From the first 4 bars, it was clear we were in the presence of greatness. Everything works here. This is an edgy, tense record with not the slightest concession to pop sensibilities. Its hard to imagine two guitars, a bass and drums put to better use. Bruce's vocal is a standout. He was barely 18 when he recorded these sides, which more than fulfilled the promise of his first Sun outing (See SUN 276).

01(2) - "SWEET WOMAN" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-9 mono
EDWIN BRUCE - ROCK BOPPIN' BABY

02 - "PART OF MY LIFE" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Heath-Heath
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 299   - Master
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 292-B mono
PART OF MY LIFE / SWEET WOMAN
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

As he had previously, Bruce uses the flipside to demonstrate his interest in ballad singing. Curiously, the style here owes more to northern doo wop than it does the Memphis churchy moaning popularized by Elvis Presley. Edwin Bruce went on to record for Sun until mid-1956, although he never again saw his name on a yellow label from Memphis. In 1959 Edwin Bruce extended his talent into acting and made his television debut in the police drama, The Naked City on ABC TV. In 1962 he found success as a songwriter with "Save Your Kisses" (the B-side of Tommy Roe's "Sheila"), ahead of enjoying hits of his own for RCA and Monument.

03 - "ALONE WITH A BROKEN HEART" - B.M.I. 1:40
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-7 mono
EDWIN BRUCE - ROCK BOPPIN' BABY

04 - "BABY THAT'S GOOD" - B.M.I. 2:31
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1978
Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1010-11 mono
SUN ROCKABILLIES - VOLUME 1
Reissued: - 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-10 mono
EDWIN BRUCE - ROCK BOPPIN' BABY

05 - "BALLAD OF RINGO" - B.M.I. 3:07
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-4 mono
EDWIN BRUCE - ROCK BOPPIN' BABY

06 - "JUST BEING WITH YOU" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-6 mono
ROCK BOPPIN' BABY

07(1) - "KING OF FOOLS" - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-5 mono
ROCK BOPPIN' BABY
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-6-28 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

Edwin Bruce demo'd his song ''King Of Fools'' in a Johnny Cash-like style and played his own Luther Perkins guitar part. That song and some others might have been intended for the ears of Johnny Cash. The log books suggest that Bruce played guitar or sang back-up on one of Cash's last sessions, although Bruce has no recollection of it. A lot of tape was expended on ''King Of Fools'suggesting that it was seen as a potential third Sun single.

07(2) - "KING OF FOOLS" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-14 mono
ROCK BOPPIN' BABY

08 - "YOU COME TO ME" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Edwin Bruce
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15194-8 mono
ROCK BOPPIN' BABY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Edwin Bruce - Vocal and Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson – Piano

By 1986, when Edwin Bruce talked to David Booth, Bruce felt charitable toward Sun Records and Sam Phillips. ''Genius is an overused word, but Sam Phillips was probably a genius. He had an exceptional ear for talent, of course. In my case, he was 25 years early. Sun Records has a significant role in the heritage of the music industry but, as a 17 or 17 year old, I had no concept of being part of developing history. It was the only game in town. Sam Phillips had a two track board and two mics in the studio. You achieved a balance by turning the volume up on the singer's mike and moving the group further or closer to the band mike. There was no such as sound baffling although the studio doubled as a warehouse so there were boxes of records everywhere. Accidentally, those boxes served as bafflers but there was a lot of leakage. I didn't know a great deal about the intricacies of the industry. My parents were guiding my career at that time, not knowing a lot about it either. I certainly didn't realize that I was part of something people would be talking about three decades later''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR RED WILLIAMS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY JANUARY 26, 1958
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS

No Details

01 - ''I'M LOSING YOU'' – B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Red Williams
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita RLP 125 mono
ROCK AND ROLL FEVER
Reissued: - January 1, 1997 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8277 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL - VOLUME 1

02 - ''MY TRUE LOVE SAID GOODBYE'' – B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Red Williams
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 26, 1958
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8181 mono
SUN HILLBILLY

Name (No. Or. Of Instruments)
Red Williams – Vocal
Roland Janes – Guitar
Billy Riley – Bass
Sid Manker – Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JANUARY 24, 1958 FRIDAY

The Hank Snow Music center, an instrument shop, opens at 810 Church Street in Nashville. On hand for the festivities, Ernest Tubb and Wilburn Brothers.

Elvis Presley's ''Jailhouse Rock'' becomes the first single ever to enter the United Kingdom's charts at number 1.

JANUARY 26, 1958 SUNDAY

Guitarist B. James Lowry is born in Pensacola, Florida. A member of the 1980s pop group The Boys Band, he goes on to play on sessions behind Luke Bryan, Jo Dee Messina, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw and Reba McEntire, among others.

Jimmie Rodgers sings ''Oh-Oh, I'm Falling In Love Again'' on ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. Buddy Holly also appears on the CBS program, with Holly's producer, Norman Petty, watching from the audience.

JANUARY 27, 1958 MONDAY

Despite a protest by ''Heartbreak Hotel'' writer Mae Boren Axton, who questions his ''moral character'', Canadian Hank Snow becomes an American citizen during a ceremony in Nashville.

Rhythm and blues singer Little Richard enters a theological seminary in Huntsville, Alabama, on his way to becoming an ordained minister. His song ''Lucille (You Won't Do Your Daddy's Will)'' becomes a country hit 25 years later for Waylon Jennings.

Decca released Kitty Wells' remake of ''I Can't Stop Loving You''.

Jerry Lee Lewis to appear two shows with Buddy Holly, Paul Anka and Jody Sands at the Civic Auditorium, Honolulu, Hawaii.

JANUARY 28, 1958 TUESDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis and Ronald Hargrave secure copyright for ''High School Confidential''.

JANUARY 30, 1958 THURSDAY

Merle Haggard is imprisoned at San Quentin for a botched burglary attempt.

Ferlin Husky appears on NBC's ''The Lux Show'' featuring Rosemary Clooney.

JANUARY 1958

Grease and mud. That's what Bill Justis called the fare at the next door hang-out, Taylor's Restaurant. Among   the questions Barbara Barnes Sun's secretary, raised when Sam was talking about hiring her concerned the lack of places to  eat in the neighborhood. As time went on, she found out that Mrs. Taylor's was it for food, and the Sun   clientele could have kept it in business. Modest though it was with its Formica-topped booths, bare tables,   and Naugahyde seating, it was like an adjunct office where staff could socialize and Sam Phillips could talk   business. Bill Justis sat there alone to write lead sheets. Mrs. Del Taylor, who somehow brought to mind the   worldly wise pub keepers in British movies, was happy for everybody to stay as long as cared to.

Most everyone just had coffee there in the morning, but Jack Clement, Sam, and Sally Wilbourn ate breakfast there   almost every day. Fresh eggs cooked over easy in bacon grease sat proudly on the white plates beside a   generous serving of bacon or sausage patties. Buttered toast could be spread with jam from the jars on the
tables. Rosemary, Mrs. Taylor's daughter, came around with refills for the coffee and was cheerful and   friendly, especially with the musicians.

Lunchtime the tables filled up with mechanics and salesmen from nearby automobile row, while the little   Sun crowd claimed the booths by the window. At noon, the place buzzed with talk, drowning out the   jukebox, and the air grew hazy with cigarette smoke. The employees of Sun lunch there most days, usually
ordering vegetable soup or the sirloin strip. Soup was less than a dollar and the steak about two dollars. Mrs.   Taylor kept some tabs in a box under the counter. Every so often would ask her to see how much there   owed .

JANUARY 30/FEBRUARY 5, 1958

Jerry Lee Lewis on an Australian tour with Buddy Holly, Paul Anka, Jody Sands and Johnny O'Keefe.

JANUARY 31, 1958 THURSDAY

The United States puts it's first satellite into space the Explorer 1.

FEBRUARY 1958

If there had been no Jerry Lee, then the three demos his cousin Mickey Gilley offered might have   grabbed Sam Phillips' attention. As it was, these demos, probably mailed-in, were fired away   apparently without ceremony. Gilley was always destined to be Jerry Lee Lite. The rest of the post-  Lewis hopefuls were recorded at 706 Union and they represent a rich variety of sound and  influences.



For most of his career, Gilley lived in the shadow of his cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis. They both   learned to play the same old Starck upright piano in Ferriday, Louisiana, where Mickey grew   up. But in 1952, at the age of 16, he left his family and his music in Ferriday, moved to   Houston and became a construction worker. It wasn't until Lewis had a monster hit with   "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" in 1957 that Mickey thought he could do that too, and  decided that he wanted to pursue a musical career.

Mickey Gilley >

In August 1957 he went to Houston's Gold Star studio and cut "Tell Me Why"/"Ooh Wee Baby"   for the aptly named Minor label. Undeterred by its poor sales, Gilley tried his luck at the Sun   studio in Memphis, where he sang four songs at an audition (eventually released in the   1980s).

Sam Phillips didn't need a Jerry Lee Lewis imitator when he had the real thing under   contract. Early in 1958, Mickey hooked up with Charles 'Red' Matthews, writer of the hit   song "White Silver Sands". Matthews produced the single "Call Me Shorty"/"Come On Baby"   (two exuberant rockers), which was placed with Dot and sold well regionally.

Over the next few years, Gilley recorded for a wide variety of independent labels: Khoury   (1959), Rex (1959), Potomac (1960), Lynn, Paula, Sabra, Princess, Supreme, San, Astro (his   own label) and many more. Most of these recordings were rock and roll in Jerry Lee's style,   with an occasional country number thrown in for good measure, for instance "Is It Wrong"   and "Lonely Wine", both of which sold well in the South in 1964-1965. Meanwhile Mickey  played a never-ending series of bars and clubs. Throughout the 1960s Gilley had his dreams,   but little else.

In February 1958 Mickey Gilley appeared on the larger label, Dot, with ''Call Me Shorty'', a session that may have been recorded at Sun. The publishing on the Dot recordings was through Memphis record man Chuck Matthews who ran OJ Records and may have facilitated the Sun and Dot sessions.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MICKEY GILLEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS PROBABLY 1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE FEBRUARY 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

The three songs heard here on this session are piano and vocal tours de force in the Lewis manner, with nothing but a few bass notes in support. Technically, the piano is stormingly good but it lacks the commanding left hand of Lewis and Gilley's vocals lack Lewis's ''presence'', his confidence, his charisma. The first two songs are good rockers and would have been contenders if Lewis hadn't got there first. The third, a version of Lewis's calling card, ''Whole Lotta Shakin''', just shows up the similarities, and the differences in their styles. Gilley comes off second best.

01- ''C'MON BABY/HAVE A LITTLE PARTY'' – B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Mickey Gilley
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: Unknown Date February 1958
Released: November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-11-10 mono
 SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - YOUR LOVIN' MAN
Reissued: - 1997 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8277- 24 mono
SUN ROCK & ROLL

02 - ''THINKIN' OF ME'' – B.M.I. - 1:41
Composer: - Mickey Gilley
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: Unknown Date February 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-11-9 mono
 SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - YOUR LOVIN' MAN
Reissued: - 1995 Sparkleton Records (CD) 500/200rpm SP-CD 99006-4 mono
MICKEY GILLEY'S ROCKIN' ROLLIN' PIANO


03 – ''WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOIN' ON'' – B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Dave Williams-Sunny David
Publisher: - Marlyn Music
Matrix number: None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: Unknown Date February 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-11-11 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKIN' YEARS - YOUR LOVIN' MAN
Reissued: 1995 Sparkleton Records (CD) 500/200rpm SP-CD 99006-3 mono
MICKEY GILLEY'S ROCKIN' ROLLIN' PIANO

04 – ''WHOLE LOT OF TWISTIN' GOIN' ON'' – B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Dave Williams-Sunny David-Mickey Gilley
Publisher: - Marlyn Music
Matrix number: None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: Unknown Date February 1958
Sometimes reissued as ''Shake It For Mickey Gilley''
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8263-17 mono
ESSENTIAL SUN ROCKABILLIES – VOLUME 4

05 – ''CALL ME SHORTY'' - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Matthews
Publisher: - Follows Music
Matrix number: - MW 10588
Recorded: Unknown Date February 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Dot Records (S) 45rpm standard single Dot 15706 mono
CALL ME SHORTY / COME ON BABY
Reissued: - June 24, 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15711 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT - VOLUME 5

06 – ''COME ON BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Mick Gilley
Publisher: - Mellows Music
Matrix number: - MW 10589
Recorded: Unknown Date February 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Dot Records (S) 45rpm standard single Dot 15706 mono
COME ON BABY / CALL ME SHORTY
Reissued: - June 24, 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15711 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT - VOLUME 5

07 – ''WOLFHOUND''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: Unknown Date February 1958

Probably more  songs recorded. The tapes were leased to Dot Records.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mickey Gilley – Vocal and Piano
More Details Unknown

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 1, 1958 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash tops the country charts with "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" while also making the pop top 20.

The singles "Breathless" b/w ''Down The Line'' (Sun 288) by Jerry Lee Lewis and ''Baby Please Don't Go''   b/w ''Wouldn't You Know'' (Sun 289) by Billy Riley are released.

PI 3522 ''College Man'' b/w ''The Stranger'' by Bill Justis and His Orchestra issued.

Elvis Presley recorded ''Wear My Ring Around Your Neck'' at Radio Recorders,  7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.   It's Elvis final session to feature his original bass player Bill Black.

''Over The rainbow'' songwriter Harold Arlen and his wife, Anya, have a son, Samuel Arlen. ''Over The Rainbow'' is destined to become a country hit for Jerry Lee Lewis in 1980, and a concert favorite for Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride.

FEBRUARY 3, 1958 MONDAY

Decca released Bobby Helms ''Just A Little Lonesome''.

Jerry Lee Lewis's ''Great Balls Of Fire'' had been riding high on all the charts and staying at number 1 on the   country charts for weeks. On this day, Johnny Cash's Sun single "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" entered the   Billboard Hot 100 at number 83, eventually peaking at number 16. It also gave Johnny Cash his first number   1 country record. The record sold over 180,000 copies during January alone and another 280,000 before   June 1958. ''Ballad Of A Teenage Queen'' was composed by artist and repertoire man, Jack Clement. This   development was not surprising, given that in 1957 he had been the third-selling country artist in the country,   just behind Marty Robbins and Ray Price.

Jack was musically versatile, having played country, Hawaiian, and polka bands in Boston, Washington, and   elsewhere on the East Coast and around the Memphis area for several years. Country was his love. He said   when he was a little boy and didn't have a good radio, he would put a coat hanger on his big toe and prop his   leg up on the bed to get better reception for the Grand Ole Opry. He liked the old-fashioned sound of   Kentucky bluegrass, as well as traditional ballads. The tunes he wrote showed all these influences at time.

Johnny Cash had recorded ''Ballad Of A Teenage Queen'' in late 1957 and was pushing it on his many   appearances, live and on TV and radio lucrative that he had given up a regular spot on the Grand Ole Opry.   Sam Phillips had initially been the one to record Johnny, producing his two previous hits, ''Folsom Prison   Blues'' and ''I Walk The Line'', and most of those on the album for which Barbara Barnes written the liner   notes. He had gradually been turning over the studio to Jack Clement and Bill Justis, and Jack was Johnny   Cash's producer.

Jack was not inclined to continue in Sam's rhythm and blues groove, instead looking toward Nashville for   inspiration. In a nod to the Anita Kerr Singers of RCA, Jack brought in the Gene Lowery Singers to back   Johnny Cash on ''Ballad Of A Teenage Queen''. In the title and story of young romance, he made an appeal to   the teenage record-buying public. This record did not have the stark quality of Cash's earlier releases, and the   softer sound was largely responsible for the record's making it to the twenty of the pop charts for the first   time. Clearly, Cash was picking up that target audience of teenagers with this record, while still maintaining   his popularity with the country fans. But, according to Barbara Barnes, she felt pretty sure that the teenagers   were buying it for the B-side, ''Big River'', a Cash composition which was a much more arrested record.   Somewhat folk-sounded with Jack Clement’s nice acoustic guitar playing, it had an insistent rhythm that   flowed through the story of a man chasing an elusive woman all the way down the Mississippi River from St.   Paul, Minnesota, to New Orleans. Humor shines through on some Cash's rhymes in the tune, as in ''cavorting   in Davenport''. The title ''Big River'' had been suggested by Carl Perkins, who thereby repaid the debt he   owed Johnny for suggesting the title of his smash hit, ''Blue Suede Shoes''. Carl also came up with the title of   ''I Walk The Line''.

FEBRUARY 6, 1958 THUESDAY

The Munich Air Disaster took place when a British European Airways flight crashed at the Munich Airport. The flight was carrying 44 people when it crashed soon after take-off. Many of those on board were sports journalists and members of the Manchester United football team who were on their way home after having qualified for the semifinals in the European Cup. A total of 23 people died as a result of the crash, 8 of them were members of the Manchester United team. The pilot of the flight survived and was later charged with negligence as it was originally believe that a build-up of ice on the planes wings had caused the crash. While there was some ice found on the wings it was determined that a build-up of slush on the runway was the major contributing factor in the crash as it stopped the plane from gaining enough speed for a proper take-off. The crash was a tragedy, especially for sports fans, as the loss of several very young and talented players was devastating. It took Manchester United nearly 10 years to rebuild the team and in 1968 they went on to win the European Cup.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DUSTY & DOT RHODES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FEBRUARY 4, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

Under the competition of a newer generation of rockabilly combos, Slim Rhodes soon found himself dropped from the Sun label. Although he did make several other recordings for labels like Cotton Town Jubilee, including an interesting promotional disc for Hart's bread on the Hart's label, Slim mainly concentrated on radio and TV work. New generations of the family came through, from sister Dot, who also recorded as Dottie Moore on King, to Slim's niece Sandra Rhodes who at one time pursued a solo career with Fantasy Records, and sang as a backup singer on countless sessions at Hi Records in Memphis.

Today, Speck Rhodes is still in the music business in Nashville, Dusty Rhodes lives in a small town in West Tennessee, and Brad Suggs has moved to Florida, where he works for Sears. The full story of the Rhodes band would take more space than is available here, and much work remains to be done in interviewing members of the Rhodes band and fleshing out the contribution they made to country music in the Mid-South.

01(1) - "I'VE NEVER BEEN SO BLUE" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Slim Rhodes
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 4, 1958
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charlie Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-1-19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311 FK-1-18 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

In a never-ending attempt to keep up with changing musical styles, the Rhodes aggregation held on this final session.    The sound of "I've Never Been So Blue" is remarkably similar to latter-day Johnny Cash records cut at Sun, owing in no small way to the style of pianist Jimmy Wilson. The lead vocal is taken by Dot Rhodes but it is not clear whether she is supported by the other members of the Rhodes clan or whether she has recorded a double-tracked vocal in the manner of Skeeter Davis. It could almost be the Miller Sisters who had left Sun some months before this was recorded. This marked the Rhodes band's swansong at 706. A comparison with the very earliest of their recordings shows the distance that country music had come in eight years.

01(2) - "I'VE NEVER BEEN SO BLUE" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Slim Rhodes
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 4, 1958
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-3-21 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ethmer Cletus ''Slim'' Rhodes - Guitar
Dorothy ''Dot'' Rhodes Moore - Vocal

Probably:
Perry Hillburn '' Dusty'' Rhodes - Vocal & Fiddle
Luther Bradley ''Pee Wee'' Suggs - Guitar
Gilbert Ray ''Speck'' Rhodes - Bass
Unknown - Drums
Jimmy Wilson – Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 7, 1958 FRIDAY

SLIM RHODES NEWS-LINE - That read:
Dear Etta,

Just a note to let you know about the news Radio and TV, shows we have coming up.  Beginning next Saturday morning, February 8th, 11:30 a.m. on WMC Radio, which will  originate live from the show room floor of Hoehn Chevrolet at 367 Union Avenue in down  town Memphis.

Our new TV show will begin the following Tuesday night, February 11th, on channel 5,  WMCT, from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m, and we will be on every Tuesday night thereafter. The  sponsor of both radio and TV shows will be Hoehn Chevrolet, the South's largest Chevrolet  Dealer.

We would appreciate it very much if you would write at least one card a week to our radio  program, and one to our TV program, as it is important that we get a lot of mail, so please  have your friends write too.

You are invited to attend our radio and TV shows anytime you are able. Tell your friends  they are invited too. We are going to have guests on our radio and TV programs, big name  stars like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bill Justis among others.

If you or any of your friends are interested in buying a new or used car, be sure and to to  Hoehn. Tell the Hoehn salesman Slim sent you.

We are happy to have you as one of our fans, write often, and come when you can to our  show.

We love you. Your friend, Slim Rhodes.

FEBRUARY 7, 1958 FRIDAY

Studio session with Bill Pinkney at Sun Records, Memphis, Tennessee, for Phillips  International label. It was always a mystery how Bill Pinkney of the Drifters ended up on Phillips International for a single. The answer comes from Roland Janes' scrapbook. Early in 1958, Janes went out on a Bill Justis tour and asked the artist to sign a program for his wife, Betty Jo. Don Briggs (who later managed Edwin Starr) signed, as did guitarist Sid Manker, who wrote, ''Like Help''! below Justis's signature. At the top of the page in florid script Bill Pinkney wrote, ''Luck to you from Bill Pinkney, formerly of the Drifters''. In a recent conversation, and got along well with Justis, who brought him to Memphis during or after the tour.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILL PINKY (PINKNEY) & THE TURKS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY FEBRUARY 7, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL JUSTIS

On second thought, maybe PI was going to specialize in artists whose last name started with "P". Pittman, Powers and now Pinky. Actually, that's Pinkney, although his handle was surgically shortened to Pinky. In any case, Pinky was the first black artist who had graced a Sun microphone in quite a while. In fact, other than Rosco Gordon (who would enjoy another Sun release later in 1958), the place was starting to look as lillywhite as a Klan meeting. But Pinky changed all that.

Once there Bill Pinkney conceived this knee jerk response to "At The Hop" with producer Bill Justis for a one-off 45 on Phillips International.

01 - "AFTER THE HOP" - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Bill Justis-Bill Pinkney
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - P 317   - Master
Recorded: - February 7, 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3524-A mono
AFTER THE HOP / SALLY'S GOT A SISTER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5



Bill Pinkney >

"After The Hop" is one of those Larry Williams teen records that manages to work in names like Short Fat Fanny while creating images of dancing away the night. In many ways this is mindless teen fluff from 40 years ago, yet its instrumental track has an undeniable energy starting with those strangled sax notes by Bill Justis. The longer the track goes on, the more Sun fans will recognize it as a reprise of Roy Orbison's "Chicken Hearted", recorded just months earlier.


"Sally's Got A Sister" is a slightly different matter. Although it doesn't quite know what it wants to be or, more aptly, how to get there, there is a very interesting record buried in here.

The verses (more references to "Long Tall Sally" and company) are trite enough to make you sit back and pay attention when the release (containing the title) finally arrives. This songs works! Then there's the business of the instrumental break: not one, but two. After Bill Justis has his way say and we're expecting Pinkney and the Turks to come back in with the hook-aden release again, we're treated to 12 more bars of jamming, this time by Roland Janes. A strange record indeed.

02 – ''SALLY'S GOT A SISTER'' - B.M.I. - 3:12
Composer: - Bill Pinkney
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 318  - Master
Recorded: - February 7, 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3524-B mono
SALLY'S GOT A SISTER / AFTER THE HOP
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

03 – ''HIGH SCHOOL ROCK'' - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Bill Pinkney
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - February 7, 1958
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - Flower Foot Music Internet iTunes MP3-11 mono
DO I HAVE TO GO... BACK SCHOOL - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Pinkney - Vocal / Bill Justis - Saxophone
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar / Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums / Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Chorus The Turks consisting of Willie Peppers,
Gerald Hendrix, Tom Abston and James Curry

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©



The Original Bill Pinkney - born 15 August 1925 in Dalzell, Sumter County,  South Carolina, and died 4 July 2007 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Pinkney was singing alongside Brook Benton in the Jerusalem Stars when Clyde McPhatter  drafted him into the Drifters in 1953.

After McPhatter left, Pinkney sang lead on a few songs,  including "Steamboat" before the Drifters' manager (and owner), George Treadwell, fired him  in 1957.



Then headed to Memphis and did a tour with Bill Justis and Roland Janes, which  probably accounts for this one-off single. In all likelihood, it was recorded shortly before  Pinkney put together a group called the Flyers with Bobby Hendricks that made one record  for Atco Records.

Pinkney meanwhile was still recording occasionally with the Drifters until  Treadwell fired the lot in 1958. He then formed a group called The Original Drifters that  lasted well into the 1970s.

Bill Pinkney’s death on 4 July 2007 marks the end of a significant era in Drifters history. He  was found dead at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. Pinkney was scheduled to  perform with the Original Drifters for Fourth of July festivities there. Bill Pinkney was 81  years old.

When he returned from World War II Bill was decorated with four bronze stars for action in  France and Germany. He had his own Army gospel quintet in Europe, the US Friendly Five,  then after his return home Bill formed the Singing Cousins and also sang with the Wandering  Four. A move to New York provided Pinkney with an opportunity to play in the Negro  Baseball League for the New York Blue Sox and he also sang with the Jerusalem Stars (with  Benjamin Franklin Peay - a.k.a Brook Benton) then moved on to the Southern Knights before  crossing the secular divide to the Drifters.


Though Bill was not present in the first line up of Clyde McPhatter’s Drifters in June 1953  when they recorded their first Atlantic session (who were in fact Clyde (lead), William  Anderson, David Baughan (tenors), David Baldwin (baritone), James Johnson (bass)), he was  present on the next famous session in August 1953 when the iconic ''Money Honey'' was  recorded. This time the line up was Clyde (lead), Gerhart Thrasher, Bill Pinkney (tenors),  Andrew Thrasher (baritone) and Willie Ferbee (bass) and by the third session Ferbee was  gone and Pinkney had taken over his more familiar role as bassman.


Bill’s biggest claim to  fame came in February 1954 when he recorded a shared lead with Clyde on the Drifters  sensational version of ''White Christmas''. The group remained unchanged until McPhatter  was drafted into the US Army in October 1954.

At that time Pinkney became ‘leader’ of the  group, handling their organisation and finances when they were out on tour. As spokesman  for the group he went to the Drifters manager George Treadwell in mid 1956 on their behalf  to try to negotiate a better wage deal for them. Treadwell owned the Drifters name-mark  under ‘Drifters Incorporated’ and paid them each a low weekly wage. A row broke out,  Pinkney was sacked and Andrew Thrasher quit. New members were recruited and they  continued to tour. Pinkney formed a new group the Flyers with ex Swallow and McPhatter  sound-alike Bobby Hendricks but their Atco single didn’t chart and when Treadwell needed a  new lead for a Drifters session in April 1958, Hendricks was in place. The money troubles  rumbled on and Treadwell sacked the Drifters in May giving their name to the Crowns,  another group he had under contract. This was the group that cut ''There Goes My Baby''  which took the ‘new’ Drifters to the top of the pop charts in June 1959.

Meanwhile Bill had cut the single ''After the Hop'' in Memphis on Sam Phillips ‘Phillips  International’ label as Bill Pinky & the Turks. He then formed the first group of Original  Drifters but they couldn’t get a recording deal in New York under that name and Treadwell  brought actions against them at venues when they performed. They made two singles for  End in 1959 as the Harmony Grits, though neither sold well but by 1964 Pinkney had  managed to get legal recognition for the Original Drifters. James Brown produced ''Don’t Call  Me'' / ''I Do The Jerk'' (featuring Jimmy Lewis and Bobby Hollis) for Fontana. The Original  Drifters first came to the UK in 1966 and they returned here several times with various lineups.  They cut a series of one shot singles for Veep, Game, Southern Charisma, S&J and  Christopher, over the following 20 years, then in 1988 they signed to Marion Carter’s Ripete  Records who issue several singles and two albums (''Christmas With The Drifters'' and ''The  Anthology''). For almost 50 years Bill performed with the Original Drifters as they toured the  world. Many fine singers passed through their ranks including David Baughan, Gerhart  Thrasher, Chuck Cockerham, Benny Anderson, Ali/ Oli Woodson, (who Joined the  Temptations) and more recently Richard ‘Knight’ Dunbar, Vernon Young (died February  2005), and Ron McPhatter, Clyde’s son.


The Drifters, from left: Bill Pinkney, Willie Ferbie, Clyde McPhatter, Andrew Thrasher, Gerhart Thrasher. >

For many years it was a struggle but more recently Bill Pinkney had begun to gain some  recognition for his many years of pioneering and tireless performing. 

In the past few years  he was represented by Maxine Porter and Superstar Unlimited, who run a website  (www.originaldrifters.com) that lists the group’s upcoming gigs, photos and many salient  facts about this extraordinary man. 


Pinkney has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of  Fame in 1988, Vocal Group Hall Of Fame in 2000 and the Beach Music Hall Of Fame. In  February 1999, he was honoured by the Rhythm And Blues Foundation as a Pioneer. 

South  Carolina awarded Bill its highest civilian honour 'Ambassador Of Entertainment' and  established a state park in birthplace of Dalzell, Sumter County, SC. Pinkney was also  awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by Coastal Carolina University in May 2001. He  even received a letter of recognition from Nelson Mandela and the Rock and Roll Hall Of  Fame for its ‘Legends’ series has filmed an oral history of his life for archival inclusion. In  addition to those mentioned above there are other Original Drifters CDs available and a DVD  ‘Doo Wop 51’ (US format) which features Bill and Bobby Hendricks. In 2003 he published his  autobiography ''Drifters 1: Bill Pinkney'' himself. In recent years Pinkney ran the Original  Drifters on a rotational basis to cover the countrywide appearances. Like the Drifters  themselves BPO had there copyists and spin off groups. No doubt the Original Drifters will  continue without Bill, but he was the man that made it all happen. He was the last of the  ''Money Honey'' line up to die and only Bobby Hendricks remains from that first Drifters  incarnation.

Bill Pinky (Pinkney) died on July 4, 2007 at the Daytona Beach Hilton, preparing for yet another gig. He had moved back home, basing himself in Sumter, South Carolina, where he was buried, and where the Willie (Bill) Pinkney Community Park is named in his memory.

Peter Burns, July 2007

SPRING 1958

By 1958 all black artists and associates from the early days of the Memphis Recording   Service and Sun Records had been firmly consigned to the past. The surviving tapes had   been tied together with elastic bands and stored away as mementos of less prosperous days.   The blues singers who remained in Memphis did not have the marketability of those who had   departed, and Phillips' head had been turned around by the gold he found in an unexpected   quarter. Still, his success with rock and roll should not obscure the insight that Sam Phillips  brought to recording the blues. He worked hard to get the best from his artists. He usually   knew when they were thing to play something to please the white guy behind the glass. He   wouldn't yell at them if they arrived late, and when other labels might do one or two takes   and call it a night, Phillips would sit behind his tape deck until sunup if he thought the   musicians on the studio floor might capture the sound that he heard in his head.

Despite his perfectionism, the hits he had enjoyed in 1953 showed Phillips that the   demographic base he was servicing was simply too narrow. ''Keep in mind there were a   number of very good rhythm and blues'', he said in 1982. ''The base wasn't broad enough   because of racial prejudice. It won't broad enough to get the amount of commercial play and   general acceptance overall, not just in the South. When you're on the road, sixty-five or   seventy thousand miles a year, as I was in those days, you get a lot of input from the ground.   On Mondays and Wednesdays, when the jukebox operators would come by the distributor for   their weekly supply of records, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the smaller retail   outlets would come by, I'd be there. They'd tell me, 'These people (the blacks) are ruining   our children'. Now these were basically good people, but conceptually they did not   understand the kinship between the black and white people in the South. So I knew what I   had to do to broaden the base of acceptance''.

The path toward commercial salvation was made clear by the success of one young singer   who, like Phillips, intuitively understood black music and quickly synthesized both a musical   style and an image that would enable Phillips to take yellow Sun records into places where   the had never been before.


''(I Know) You Don't Love'' Cobra Records' Artistic imprint in 1959. >

Unknown date 1958, Sam Phillips takes six songs recorded in St. Louis by Ike Turner, with vocalist Tommy Hodge, but they are not released. Note: Three of these songs were previously issued with incorrect titles. By 1958 Sam Phillips had almost given up on recording black music. Billy Emerson and Rosco Gordon apart, there hadn't been any releases by black artists during 1957, and only "Sally Jo" by Rosco Gordon would appear during this year.


Nevertheless, Sam Phillips bought six titles from Ike Turner, perhaps at Ike's insistence - or perhaps as a token of the business that they'd done, to the profit of both, in the frantic years at the beginning of the decade.

Ike was now a major force in the St. Louis black music industry, which was active but intensely parochial, and he was having trouble getting product onto a major label. This batch of songs sound like demos and perhaps their sale paid of Ike's studio bills: for very shortly after wards, Ike went to Chicago and recorded a bunch of sessions for Eli Toscano's Cobra and Artists labels, including this song, which he retitled ("I Known") "You Don't Love Me" from its opening line. Tommy Hodge's congested vocal is very low in the mix, although his performance is strong enough. Carlson Oliver takes two choruses of a fairly basic tenor sax solo, and the song is soon over.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR IKE TURNER & TOMMY HODGE
FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1958
RECORDED IN EAST ST. LOUIS, ILLINIOS
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – UNKNOWN

01 - "(I KNOW) YOU DON'T LOVE ME (GET IT OVER BABY)" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-A-1 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-8-23 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

Singer Hodge was a large, placid man, but Billboard detected hints of Little Richard and Sceamin' Jay Hawkins in him, concluding its review of this song ''Good close to the soil was''.

02 - "DOWN AND OUT (HOW LONG WILL IT LAST)" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-A-2 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-8-24 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

Ike had begun to experiment with the vibrato arm, later dubbed not entirely with affection a "twang bar", on his Fender guitar during the Federal sessions he'd cut the previous year. These agitated wailing notes would achieve their greatest significance on Otis Rush's Cobra singles, "Double Trouble" and "All Your Love". Here, they pump up the anxiety gauge admirably as Tommy Hodge frets his way through a typically angst-ridden piece, teenage or otherwise. This song was re-recorded for Artists as "Down And Out".



03 - "I'M GONNA FORGET ABOUT YOU (MATCHBOX)" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-A-5 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 8-7-25 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958


Tommy Hodge >

Once again Ike shows the whammy bar no mercy. He tried to find a good home for ''I'm Gonna Forget About You (Matchbox)'', this song, recording it for Eli Toscano's Cobra/Artistic labels in Chicago in 1958 with Tommy Hodge singing. He recorded another version for Cobra with Jackie Brenston and yet another with Otis Rush, but none of them was released at the time.  Only on the tape mailed to Sun was it titled ''I'm Gonna Forget About You'', on all other versions, it bore the more succinct title ''Matchbox''.


And in those pre-Beatle days, ''Matchbox'' was a title known only to the handful of fans who'd bought Carl Perkins' Sun single, and an even smaller number of pre-War blues and hillbilly fans.

It would answer a few questions if we could have been the letter that accompanied this tape. Tuner seemed to be between contracts, not that being under contract ever impeded him from recording for another company. Phillips, though, had his attention diverted by Johnny Cash's defection to Columbia and Jerry Lee Lewis's career implosion. Ike Turner's tape, if not the blues as a whole, must have seemed like a missive from a forgotten planet.

04 - "YOU AIN'T THE ONE" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-A-6 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS
Other Sun releases: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-8-26 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

As we've seen from his own and Little Milton's sessions, Ike Turner had a strong affection for New Orleans rhythm. On ''You Ain't The One'', the song also suits Tommy Hodge's unique vocal chords, as well as Carlson Oliver's tenor sax, which here he wields in the manner of King Curtis to some extent. It shows that Ike was still thinking about the hit parade. It would be a little while before he distilled the right ingredients, but he wasn't far off the mark here. Sam Phillips kept the tapes but, as far from the blues as some may think these titles are, he was no longer interested in the market to which they spoke.

05 - "WHY SHOULD I KEEP TRYING" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-A-7 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS
Reissued: - 2010 Mastercorp Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE ROOTS OF ROCK

Name (Or. NO. Of Instruments)
Tommy Hodge - Vocal
Ike Turner - Guitar
Carlson Oliver - Tenor Saxophone
Fred Sample - Piano
Jesse Knight - Bass Guitar
Unknown – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 8, 1958 SATURDAY

Earl Scruggs' third son, Steve Scruggs, is born in Nashville. He goes on to play piano for several years in his father's band, The Earl Scruggs Revue.

FEBRUARY 12, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Brunswick released Buddy Holly's pop hit ''Maybe Baby''. Twenty years later, the song becomes a country hit for Susie Allanson.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILL JUSTIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

Bill Justis was in effect the Artist & Repertoire man at Sun during his tenure, and many familiar names recur in his line-ups such as Roland Janes, James M. Van Eaton, Billy Riley, and Jimmy Wilson. Just to whet the appetite there here two unissued tracks recorded by Justis, a good rocking instrumental "Scrougieville" and "Laura" with Sid Manker on guitar. In effect it was unusually whatever studio musicians were around.

01 – "SCROUGIEVILLE" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - William Everette Justis
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably February 13, 1958
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8302-24 mono
706 UNION INSTRUMENTALS

02 – "LAURA" - B.M.I.
Composer: - William Everette Justis
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - February 13, 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone
Sid Manker - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Nelson Grill - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Riding high on the success of his biggest two hits in early 1958, Jerry went into the studio with his road band Jay W. Brown on bass and Russell Smith on drums (there was no guitarist) and cut a session of mostly Elvis Presley hits. They all remained in the vaults until at least the late 1960s with the exception of this song, which was the opening track on his first album ''Jerry Lee Lewis'' the following year. The 1972 cut from ''The Killer Rocks On'' (coincidentally also the opening song) is faster with some great piano and a much bigger band, including a string section (recorded live in the studio!).


Russell ''Russ'' Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jay W. Brown. ^ 


Unusually recorded with his road drummer at the time Russell Smith instead of the usual Jimmy Van Eaton (also with his father-in-law Jay W. Brown on bass), this wasn’t released until Charly’s ''Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumpin’ Piano'' album in 1974, the first of three 16-song albums they released that year. It’s not bad, but Jerry’s more mature vocals on the 1971 cut blows it away. Recorded during the ''Would You Take Another Chance On Me'' sessions, it wasn’t released at the time (despite being the equal or better than anything else on the album), instead being issued on the Dutch ''The Mercury Sessions'' album in 1985. Jerry Lee Lewis at his vocal peak.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY FEBRUARY 14, 1958 (1)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

1 – "SOMEDAY (YOU'LL WANT ME TO YOU)" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Jimmy Hodges
Publisher: - Duchess Music
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1974
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 300002-B7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AND HIS PUMPING PIANO
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-27 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You)" is a popular song written by Jimmie Hodges and was published in 1944. The song has become a standard, recorded by many pop and country music singers included by Elton Britt's 1946 version peaked at number 2 on the country charts.

The recording by Vaughn Monroe was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3510 (78rpm) and 47-2986. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on July 29, 1949 and lasted eighteen weeks on the chart, spending two weeks at number 1. The recording by The Mills Brothers was released by Decca Records as catalog number 24694. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on August 12, 1949 and lasted 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 8. A version by Jodie Sands barely made the Top 100 chart in 1958, reaching number 95, but did better in the United Kingdom, where it spent 10 weeks on the charts, peaking at number 14. Singer Della Reese released a rendition of the song in 1960, and it peaked at number number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 31 on Cash Box's best-selling chart. American country artist Patsy Cline posthumously released a single version of the song, which reached at number 23 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart in 1964. The recorded version by Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded on February 14, 1958, released on November 1974 for his Charly LP compilation ''Jerry Lee Lewis And His Pumping Piano'' (CR 300002).


2 - "DON'T BE CRUEL" - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Otis Blackwell-Elvis Presley
Publisher: - Elvis Presley Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - EP Master
Recorded: - February 14, 958
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 108-A1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-26 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Note: "Don't Be Cruel" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley and written by Otis Blackwell in 1956. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004, it was listed number 197 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is currently ranked as the 173th greatest song of all time, as well as the sixth best song of 1956, by Acclaimed Music.

"Don't Be Cruel was the first song that Presley's song publishers, Hill and Range, brought to him to record. Blackwell was more than happy to give up 50% of the royalties and a co-writing credit to Presley to ensure that the "hottest new singer around covered it".

Freddy Bienstock, Elvis' Music Publisher, gave the following explanation for why Elvis received co-writing credit for songs like Don't Be Cruel. "In the early days Elvis would show dissatisfaction with some lines and he would make alterations, so it wasn't just what is known as a ''cut-in''. His name did not appear after the first year. But if Elvis liked the song, the writers would be offered a guarantee of a million records and they would surrender a third of their royalties to Elvis'''.

Elvis Presley recorded the song on July 2, 1956 during an exhaustive recording session at RCA studios in New York City. During this session he also recorded "Hound Dog", and "Any Way You Want Me". The song featured Presley's regular band of Scotty Moore on lead guitar (with Presley usually providing rhythm guitar), Bill Black on bass, D.J. Fontana on drums, and backing vocals from the Jordanaires. The producing credit was given to RCA's Steve Sholes, although the studio recordings reveal that Presley produced the songs in this session by selecting the song, reworking the arrangement on piano, and insisting on 28 takes before he was satisfied with it. He also ran through 31 takes of "Hound Dog. All studio tapes lost.

The single was released on July 13, 1956 backed with "Hound Dog". Within a few weeks "Hound Dog" had risen to number 2 on the Pop charts with sales of over one million. Soon after it was overtaken by "Don't Be Cruel" which took number 1 on all three main charts; Pop, Country, and Rhythm And Blues. Between them, both songs remained at number 1 on the Pop chart for a run of 11 weeks tying it with the 1950 Anton Karas hit "The Third Man Theme" and the 1951/1952 Johnnie Ray hit "Cry" for the longest stay at number one by a single record from late 1950 onward until 1992's smash "End Of The Road" by Boyz II Men. By the end of 1956 it had sold in excess of four million copies. Billboard ranked it as the number 2 song for 1956. Presley performed "Don't Be Cruel" during all three of his appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1956 and January 1957.

"Don't Be Cruel" went on to become Presley's biggest selling single recorded in 1956, with sales over six million by 1961. It became a regular feature of his live sets until his death in 1977, and was often coupled with "Jailhouse Rock" or "Teddy Bear" during performances from 1969.

According to author Mark Lewisohn in "The Complete Beatles Chronicles" (p. 362) The Beatles performed it live from at least 1959 till 1961 if not later. They finally recorded a laid-back version during the massive Get Back (1969) sessions which has never been released. However ex-Beatles John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, and Lennon's former bandmembers The Quarrymen as well as Tony Sheridan (who was asked to join The Beatles) all recorded versions of it.

Many other artists including Connie Francis (1959, Rock 'N' Roll Million Sellers), Annette Peacock, Barbara Lynn (1963, Jamie 1244 45rpm, number 93 on the Hot 100), Bill Black's Combo, Billy Swan, Devo, Cheap Trick, Daffy Duck, Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun with a very good version of the song (EPA 108) in 1958, Neil Diamond, and Jackie Wilson have recorded the song. Presley was said to be so impressed with Wilson's version that he would later incorporate many of Wilson's mannerisms into future performances. Debbie Harry recorded the song for the Otis Blackwell tribute album Brace Yourself! A Tribute to Otis Blackwell. A cover by American country music duo The Judds peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1987. Cheap Trick's version of this song reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988. Jonathan Rhys Meyers lip-synched the original version of the song in a scene from Elvis, where it shows him performing at the Jacksonville Theater. Suzi Quatro was inspired by Presley singing "Don't Be Cruel". She is the first female bass player to become a major rock star. This broke a barrier to women's participation in rock music. Quatro had her "Elvis moment" on January 6, 1957, when she was six years old. With her older sister Arlene, she was watching.

Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show. Arlene was screaming as Elvis sang "Don't Be Cruel". When he sang "Mmmmmm", Quatro had her first sexual thrill (but did not know what it was). Then their father (Art) entered the room, said "That's disgusting", and switched off the television. At this point Quatro decided that she wanted to be Elvis. (Art later brought home a copy of Elvis singing "Love Me Tender" and conceded "OK, dammit - so the kid can sing!").


3 - "PINK PEDAL PUSHERS" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Carlin Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally
Recorded: - February 14, 1958
Released: - April 1971
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm LP 124-A4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - MONSTERS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-23 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Jerry Lee Lewis' rendition here, although it is tempting to categorize ''Pink Pedal Pushers'' with ''Blue Suede Shoes'' and ''Put Your Cat Clothes On'' as Carl Perkins' apparel-oriented songs, we think it doesn't along with those other two. ''Blue Suede Shoes'' is abut someone's devotion to his own shoes and ''Cat Clothes'' consists of Carl's getting his woman dressed up fancy 'causes they;re going out dancing. ''Pink Pedal Pushers'', on the other hand, is actually about fashion. In the right clothes, it says, you'll be good-looking, desirable, and popular. Mark Twain said, ''clothes make the man''. We can safely extend that to women and high school is where that becomes about as important an idea as it's ever likely to. So this song belongs with Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones' ''Black Slacks'' (BCD 15972) a top 20 hit in 1957 and the following year's ''Short Shorts'' by the Royal Teens (which reached number 3) and ''Tight Capris'' by Jody Reynolds (flip side of the big hit, ''Endless Sleep''. Pedal pushers and capris, by tie way, were much alike - tight calf- length pants that were popular with the younger set.

Maybe the most obvious lyrical connection to ''Pink Pedal Pushers'' occurs in Gene Vinent's classic track ''Be Bop A Lula''. Admiring Ms. Lula's clothing, Vincent sings ''She's the girl in the red blue jeans/ She's the queen of all the teens''. In Perkins' case, he too is ready to extend the crown to his well-dressed girl. ''Her pink pedal pushers made her the queen of them all'' Royalty was quite easy to come by in Teen Land in the 1950s.


This next attempt 1958 and the later recorded 1962 version at the Roy Brown (via Elvis Presley) classic were recorded for Sun, and both were deemed not worthy of release at the time. The 1958 cut here is the wildest, and even features a snatch of ''Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On'', but wasn’t issued until 1983 on ''The Sun Years'' box-set. The 1962 cut is much slower  and more laid-back, but features a tremendous vocal performance from Jerry (one of his best). This first saw the light of day via the 1969 ''Rockin’, Rhythm & Blues'' LP.

4(1) - "GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Roy James Brown
Publisher: - Blue Ridge
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 14, 1958
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-B1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-22 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Good Rocking Tonight" was originally a jump blues song released in 1947 by its writer, Roy Brown and was covered by many other recording artists. The song includes the memorable refrain, "Well I heard the news, there's good rocking tonight!".

Brown had first offered his song to Wynonie Harris, who turned it down. Only after the Brown's record gained traction in New Orleans did Harris decide to cover it. Harris's version was even more energetic than Brown's original version, featuring black gospel style handclapping. This may have contributed to the composition's greater success on the national rhythm and blues chart. Brown's original recording hit number 13 of the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart, but Harris' record became a number one rhythm and blues hit and remained on the chart for half a year. Brown's single would re-enter the chart in 1949, peaking at number 11. Harris had a reputation for carousing, and sometimes forgot lyrics. His "Good Rockin'" recording session largely followed Brown's original lyrics, but by the end, he replaced the last section with a series of raucous "hoy hoy hoy!" interjections, a commonly used expression in jump blues tunes of the time, going back to 1945's "The Honeydripper" by Joe Liggins.

The song is a primer of sorts on the popular black music of the era, making lyrical reference to Sweet Lorraine, Sioux City Sue, Sweet Georgia Brown, Caldonia, Elder Brown, and Deacon Jones. All of these characters had figured prominently in previous hit songs. While Brown missed out on the biggest hit version of his song, its success kicked off his own career, which included two number 1 rhythm and blues hits. In 1949, he released "Rockin' at Midnight", a sequel to "Good Rockin' Tonight", which might be thought of as "Good Rockin' Tonight Part II" because it included updates on the same characters as the original. It reached number 2 on the Rhythm & Blues chart, where it remained for a month.

In 1954, "Good Rockin' Tonight" was the second Sun Records release by Elvis Presley, along with "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine" on the flip side. Elvis Presley and his bandmates hewed closer to the original Roy Brown version, but omitted the lyrics' by-then-dated roster of names in favor of a simpler, more energetic "We're gonna rock, rock, rock!" Described as "a flat-out rocker" country radio programmers blanched, and older audiences were somewhat mystified.

A live show broadcast from Houston disc jockey Bill Collie's club documented that the crowd "barely responded" to the song. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky", the uptempo version of the Bill Monroe classic, has "the fans go stark raving nuts with joy". Both sides of this second record featuring "Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill" "stiffed".  

The song was used for the Elvis Presley biopic Elvis which starred Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Presley; it was used for a scene where he is performing at the Louisiana Hayride in 1956. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded an unreleased version the song for Sun Records. Ronnie Montrose recorded a hard rock cover of the song on his band's debut album with Sammy Hagar on vocals. The Honeydrippers with Robert Plant & Jeff Beck, recorded the song under the name "Rockin at Midnight". Paul McCartney recorded the song for the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album.

Bruce Springsteen performed the song during his 1978 Darkness Tour, usually as the opening number. He also occasionally performed the song on The River Tour in 1980-81. Springsteen performed the song for the first time in 27 years in 2008 on the Magic Tour. A Gene Summers cover version of "Good Rocking Tonight" was included on a French compilation album The Big Beat Show issued by Big Beat Records (BBR1000) in 1981. Contraband, an all-star hard rock group recorded their version of the song for their debut self-titled album in 1991. Ricky Nelson recorded the song for his 1958 album Ricky Nelson. Lonnie Lee recorded the song for his 1993 album Don't Look Back; his version is a more guitar-based rock 'n' roll version.  

Other cover versions of the song include the Treniers', Pat Boone's, James Brown's, Dread Zeppelin's (on their Hot & Spicy Beanburger album), Montrose's (whose version was covered by NWOBHM band Diamond Head), Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen and Kevin DuBrow's. Robert Plant and the Honeydrippers had a successful cover of "Rockin' at Midnight". Early 60s Mexican band Los Teen Tops recorded a Spanish and successful version: "Buen rock esta noche". Wes Paul Gerrard features this song heavily in his live performances, often opening up with it in his second set. He will record the song in his new Manchester to Memphis album which he is recording at Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee in May 2010.


Jerry recorded ''Hound Dog'' this Leiber and Stoller composition twice for Sun, both of which remained in the can for many years (like far too many other Sun recordings). This session of mostly Elvis covers, though this one doesn’t work quite as well as ''Don’t Be Cruel'' or ''Jailhouse Rock''. It was first issued on ''Rockin’ And Free'' in 1974. The 1960 cut is far more bluesy, and owes as much to Big Mama Thornton’s original as it does to Elvis Presley’s more famous cover. Despite it’s quality, this had to wait until the ''Don’t Drop It'' album in 1988 for a release (the song is also on both of Jerry’s 1964 ‘live’ albums).

5(1) - "HOUND DOG" - B.M.I. - 1:24
Composer: - Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller
Publisher: - Jerry Leiber Music - Mike Stoller Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 14, 1958
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-B2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-25 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Hound Dog" is a twelve-bar blues song by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton on August 13, 1952 in Los Angeles and released by Peacock Records in March 1953. "Hound Dog" was Thornton's only hit record, spending 14 weeks in the Rhythm and Blues charts, including seven weeks at number 1. Thornton's recording of "Hound Dog" is listed as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll", and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in February 2013.

"Hound Dog" has been recorded more than 250 times. The best-known version of "Hound Dog" is the July 2, 1956 recording by Elvis Presley, which is ranked number 19 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the ''500 Greatest Songs of All Time''; it is also one of the best-selling singles of all time. Presley's version, which sold about more than 10 million copies globally, was his best-selling song and "an emblem of the rock and roll revolution. It was simultaneously number 1 on the United States pop, country, and Rrhythm and Blues charts in 1956, and it topped the pop chart for 11 weeks - a record that stood for 36 years. Presley's 1956 (RCA 20/47-6604) recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988.

"Hound Dog" has been at the center of many lawsuits, including disputes over authorship, royalties, and copyright infringement by the many answer songs released by such artists as Rufus Thomas and Roy Brown. From the 1970s onward, the song has been featured in numerous films, in ''Grease'', ''Forrest Gump'', ''Lilo and Stitch'', ''A Few Good Men'', ''Hounddog'', ''Indiana Jones'', ''The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'', and ''Nowhere Boy''.

On August 12, 1952, rhythm and blues bandleader Johnny Otis asked 19-year-old songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller to his home to meet blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton. Thornton had been signed by Don Robey's Houston-based Peacock Records the year before, and after two failed singles, Robey had enlisted Otis to reverse her fortunes. After hearing Thornton rehearse several songs, Leiber and Stoller "forged a tune to suit her personality, brusque and badass". In an interview in Rolling Stone in April 1990, Stoller said: "She was a wonderful blues singer, with a great moaning style. But it was as much her appearance as her blues style that influenced the writing of  ''Hound Dog'' and the idea that we wanted her to growl it''. Leiber recalled: "We saw Big Mama and she knocked me cold. She looked like the biggest, baddest, saltiest chick you would ever see. And she was mean, a ''lady bear'', as they used to call 'em. She must have been 350 pounds, and she had all these scars all over her face" conveying words which could not be sung. "But how to do it without actually saying it? And how to do it telling a story? I couldn't just have a song full of expletives''. In 1999, Leiber said, "I was trying to get something like the Furry Lewis phrase 'Dirty Mother Furya'. I was looking for something closer to that but I couldn't find it, because everything I went for was too coarse and would not have been playable on the air''. Using a "black slang expression referring to a man who sought a woman to take care of him", the song's opening line, "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog", was a euphemism, said Leiber. The song, a Southern blues lament, is "the tale of a woman throwing a gigolo out of her house and her life".

The song was written for a woman to sing in which she berates "her selfish, exploitative man", and in it she "expresses a woman's rejection of a man, the metaphorical dog in the title". According to Iain Thomas, "'Hound Dog' embodies the Thornton persona she had crafted as a comedienne prior to entering the music business" by parading "the classic puns, extended metaphors, and sexual double entendres so popular with the bawdy genre''. Rhythm and blues expert George A. Moonoogian concurs, calling it "a biting and scathing satire in the double-entendre genre" of 1950s rhythm and blues.

Leiber and Stoller wrote the song "Hound Dog" in 12 to 15 minutes, with Leiber scribbling the lyrics in pencil on ordinary paper and without musical notation in the car on the way to Stoller's apartment. Said Leiber, "Hound Dog'' took like twelve minutes. That's not a complicated piece of work. But the rhyme scheme was difficult. Also the metric structure of the music was not easy''. According to Leiber, as soon as they reached the parking lot and Stoller's 1937 Plymouth, "I was beating out a rhythm we called the 'buck dance' on the roof of the car. We got to Johnny Otis's house and Mike went right to the piano…didn't even bother to sit down. He had a cigarette in his mouth that was burning his left eye, and he started to play the song''.

Elvis Presley's 1956 version Larry Birnbaum described "Hound Dog" as "an emblem of the rock 'n' roll revolution". George Plasketes argues that Elvis Presley's version of "Hound Dog" should not be considered a cover "since, most listeners, were innocent of Willie Mae Thornton's original 1953 release". Michael Coyle asserts that "Hound Dog", like almost all of Presley's "covers were all of material whose brief moment in the limelight was over, without the songs having become standards''. While, because of its popularity, Presley's recording "arguably usurped the original", Plasketes concludes: "anyone who's ever heard the Big Mama Thornton original would probably argue otherwise''.

Presley was aware of and appreciated Big Mama Thornton's original recording of "Hound Dog". Ron Smith, a schoolfriend of Presley's, says he remembers Elvis singing along to a version by Tommy Duncan (lead singer for the classic lineup of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys). According to another schoolmate, Elvis' favorite rhythm and blues song was "Bear Cat (the Answer to Hound Dog)" by Rufus Thomas, a hero of Presley's. Nevertheless, it was Freddie Bell and the Bellboys' performance of the song, with Bell's amended lyrics, that influenced Presley's decision to perform, and later record and release, his own version: "Elvis's version of  ''Hound Dog'' (1956) came about, not as an attempt to cover Thornton's record, but as an imitation of a parody of her record performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. ..The words, the tempo, and the arrangement of Elvis' ''Hound Dog'' come not from Thornton's version of the song, but from the Bellboys'''.

According to Rick Coleman, the Bellboys' version "featured Dave Bartholomew's three-beat Latin riff, which had been heard in Bill Haley's ''Shake, Rattle and Roll'''. Just as Haley had borrowed the riff from Bartholomew, Presley borrowed it from Bell and the Bellboys. The Latin riff form that was used in Presley's "Hound Dog" was known as "Habanera rhythm'', which is a Spanish and African-American musical beat form. After the release of "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley, the Habanera rhythm gained much popularity in American popular music.

Presley's first appearance in Las Vegas, as an "extra added attraction", was in the Venus Room of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino from April 23 through May 6, 1956, but was reduced to one week "because of audience dissatisfaction, low attendance, and unsavory behavior by underage fans''. At that time, Freddie Bell and the Bellboys, who had been performing as a resident act in the Silver Queen Bar and Cocktail Lounge in the Sands Casino since 1952, were one of the hottest acts in town. Presley and his band decided to take in their show, and not only enjoyed the show, but also loved their reworking of "Hound Dog", which was a comedy-burlesque with show-stopping va-va-voom choreography. According to Paul W. Papa: "From the first time Elvis heard this song he was hooked. He went back over and over again until he learned the chords and lyrics''. Presley's guitarist Scotty Moore recalled: "When we heard them perform that night, we thought the song would be a good one for us to do as comic relief when we were on stage. We loved the way they did it''. When asked about "Hound Dog", Presley's drummer D. J. Fontana admitted: "We took that from a band we saw in Vegas, Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. They were doing the song kinda like that. We went out there every night to watch them. He'd say: 'Let's go watch that band. It's a good band!' That's where he heard 'Hound Dog,' and shortly thereafter he said: 'Let's try that song'''.

When asked if Bell had any objections to Presley recording his own version, Bell gave Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's manager, a copy of his 1955 Teen Records' recording, hoping that if Presley recorded it, "he might reap some benefit when his own version was released on an album''. According to Bell, "Parker promised me that if I gave him the song, the next time Elvis went on tour, I would be the opening act for him - which never happened''. In May 1956, two months before Presley's release, Bell re-recorded the song in a more frantic version for the Mercury label, however it was not released as a single until 1957. It was later included on Bell's 1957 album, ''Rock & Roll…All Flavors'' (Mercury Records MG 20289). By summer 1956, after Presley's recording of the song was a million-seller, Bell told an interviewer: "I didn't feel bad about that at all. In fact, I encouraged him to record it''. After the success of Presley's recording, "Bell sued to get some of the composer royalties because he had changed the words and indeed the song, and he would have made millions as the songwriter of Elvis’s version: but he lost because he did not ask Leiber and Stoller for permission to make the changes and thereby add his name as songwriter''.

Soon after, Elvis Presley added "Hound Dog" to his live performances, performing it as comic relief. "Hound Dog" became Elvis and Scotty and Bill's closing number for the first time on May 15, 1956 at Ellis Auditorium in Memphis, during the Memphis Cotton Festival before an audience of 7,000. Presley's performance, including the lyrics (which he sometimes changed) and "gyrations", were influenced by what  he had seen at the sands. As the song always got a big reaction, it became the standard closer until the late 1960s.

By 1964, Elvis Presley's version of "Hound Dog" had been covered over 26 times, and by 1984, there were at least 85 different cover versions of the song, making it "the best-known and most often recorded rock and roll song". In July 2013 the official Leiber and Stoller website listed 266 different versions of "Hound Dog", but acknowledged that its list is incomplete. Among the notable artists who have covered Presley's version of "Hound Dog" are: Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps; Jerry Lee Lewis in July 1974 for his Sun International LP ''Rockin' And Free'' and in November 1988 for the Zu-Zazz LP ''Jerry Lee Lewis - Doný Drop It''; Chubby Checker; Pat Boone; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Betty Everett; Little Richard; The Surfaris; The Everly Brothers; Junior Wells; The Mothers of Invention; Jimi Hendrix; Vanilla Fudge; Van Morrison; Conway Twitty; Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard; John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band; John Entwistle; Carl Perkins; Eric Clapton; James Taylor; and (in 1993) Tiny Tim (in his full baritone voice). In 1999 David Grisman, John Hartford, and Mike Seeger included "Hound Dawg" on their 1999 album Retrograss, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Traditional Folk Album category in 2000.


''Jailhouse Rock'' recorded with several other Presley titles, this would’ve made an ideal track for Jerry’s first album but had to wait until the 1971 Sun International ''Monsters'' album for release instead. The 1986 re-cut (released on ''Rocket'' 2 years later) isn’t bad, but The Jordanaires water things down considerable (even Elvis had the sense not to use them on this song!).

6 - "JAILHOUSE ROCK" - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller
Publisher: - Jerry Leiber Music - Mike Stoller Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 14, 1958
Released: - April 1971
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm LP 124-B2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - MONSTERS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-24 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Jailhouse Rock" is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller that first became a hit for Elvis Presley. The song was released as a 45rpm single on September 24, 1957, to coincide with the release of Presley's motion picture, ''Jailhouse Rock''.

The song as recorded by Presley is number number 67 on Rolling Stone's list of  ''The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time'' and was named one of ''The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll''. In 2004, it finished at number 21 on AFI's ''100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema''. Presley's performance of the song in the film, choreographed as a dance routine involving himself and a large group of male prisoners, was featured among other classic MGM musical numbers in the 1994 documentary ''That's Entertainment! III''. The film version differs from the single version of the song, featuring backing instrumentation and vocals not heard on the record.

Some of the characters named in the song are real people. Shifty Henry was a well-known LA musician, not a criminal. The Purple Gang was a real mob. "Sad Sack" was a U.S. Army nickname in World War II for a loser, which also became the name of a popular comic strip and comic book character. According to Rolling Stone, Leiber and Stoller's "theme song for Presley's third movie was decidedly silly, the kind of tongue-incheek goof they had come up with for The Coasters. The King, however, sang it as straight rock and roll, overlooking the jokes in the lyrics (like the suggestion of gay romance when inmate number 47 tells Number 3, 'You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see') and then introducing Scotty Moore's guitar solo with a cry so intense that the take almost collapses''. Gender studies scholars cite the song for "its famous reference to homo-erotics behind bars'', while music critic Garry Mulholland writes, "'Jailhouse Rock'' was always a queer lyric, in both senses''. Douglas Brode writes of the filmed production number that it's "amazing that the sequence passed by the censors".

The single, with its B-side "Treat Me Nice" (another song from the film's soundtrack) was a US number 1 hit for seven weeks in the fall of 1957, and a UK number 1 hit for three weeks early in 1958. It was the first record to enter the UK charts at number 1. In addition, "Jailhouse Rock" spent one week at the top of the US country charts, and reached the number 2 position on the Rhythm and Blues chart. Also in 1957, "Jailhouse Rock" was the lead song in an EP (extended play), together with other songs from the film, namely "Young and Beautiful'', "I Want To Be Free'', "Don't Leave Me Now'' and "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care" (but with "Treat Me Nice" omitted). It topped the Billboard EP charts, eventually selling two million copies and earning a double-platinum RIAA certification. In 2005, the song was re-released in the UK and reached number 1 for a single week, when it became the lowest-selling number 1 in United Kingdom history, and the first to enter at number 1 twice.

Other significant recordings by Jerry Lee Lewis for Sun Records, recorded February 14, 1958 for the Sun International LP release ''Monsters'' (LP 124 April 1971); The Beatles regularly performed "Jailhouse Rock" starting in 1958 (as The Quarrymen) and continuing all the way through 1960. "Jailhouse Rock" was performed regularly in a medley along with many old rock and roll hits by Queen as early as 1970 and was the opening song on Queen's 1979 Crazy Tour and the 1980 North American tour for The Game. It is the last song in the motion picture The Blues Brothers. The song is featured in the 1995 film ''Casper'' and the 2006 direct-to-video animated film ''Leroy and Stitch''. American Idol Season 5 contestant Taylor Hicks performed it on May 9, 2006, and Season 7 contestant Danny Noriega performed it on February 20, 2008. In an episode of Full House, Jesse and Becky sing this song at their wedding reception. The song was used on Dancing with the Stars for four different jives by Lisa Rinna, Lil' Kim, Tommy Chong and Alek Skarlatos. The song is included in the musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe. Scenes from the music video of the One Direction single "Kiss You" are based on the "Jailhouse Rock" production number from the Elvis film.


Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Probably Ray W. Brown - Bass
Probably Russell Smith – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY FEBRUARY 14, 1958 (2)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

There's no little uncertainty about the timeline for the recording of ''High School Confidential''. Although most, if not all, performances are believed to date from mid-February 1958 to the end of March 1958, quite how many sessions during this period were required to amass two dozen takes remains difficult to assess. The dates of April 20 and 21, formerly attached to the recording of the more polished takes of the song, including those which led to the production of the master, conflict with published accounts of an intense touring schedule that saw Lewis fulfill thirty-nine engagements in as many days commencing on March 28, 1958. What is apparent is that the earliest recordings of the song, released here for the first time fifty-seven years after the event, predate much of the work involved in preparing for the first album and originate from sessions devoted primarily to securing a recording of ''High School Confidential'' suitable for the soundtrack of the movie of the same name. All that is known for sure is that Jerry Lee Lewis went to Hollywood to film his contribution to the MGM drama at the end of February and it would appear that he had already expended a fair amount of effort on the song in the Sun studio.(*)


1(1) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-26 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

As now revealed for the first time, the earliest takes of ''High School Confidential'' were based on an arrangement that is in stark contrast to the one with which we are familiar courtesy of Lewis's fourth millionselling disc. In the first three takes the band is set on replicating the broken-beat rhythm of ''Breathless'', while Roland Janes' guitar solo centres on a completely different hook. In some respects it's almost as though we have a new tune to savour. Having said that, these early takes at times sound a mite ragged and they lack some of the barnstorming energy of the issued master and the associated takes. Initially, there's not too much evidence of the extensive ad-libbing in the lyric that characterised later takes; the first three are all in broad conformity but they do feature the memorable couplet, sadly abandoned by the time we get to the master take, ''we're gonna burn off our shoes; we've got a lotta leather to lose''. In take 4, things begin to sound more recognisable; the drummer sticks to a steady beat and Roland Janes likewise changes gear. Having taken his eye off the lead sheet, Jerry Lee switches the ''lotta leather'' and ''burn off our shoes'' lines around. In take 5, these lines are again delivered to order while, ahead of his second solo, at 1 minute 57 seconds, Jerry Lee tells us ''everybody's doing something at the high school hop''. The terms loosely indicative of dancing, be they ''shakin', rockin', boppin' or hoppin''', become increasingly random. The opening verse of take 11, in an unparalleled departure from the norm, promotes the claim that everybody is ''boppin' to'', as opposed to ''boppin' at'', the high school hop.(*)

Somewhere along the way the ''movie-take'' and a comparable alternate were recorded. It has been argued by some that these originated not at the Sun studio itself but rather on a sound stage in Hollywood. However, the fact that the ''sister'' take to the cut used in the film was found in the Sun archive suggests that, notwithstanding the peculiarities which set them apart from the other versions, not least the absence of a guitar, these are indeed genuine Memphis recordings. It seems plausible that the procedure applied in respect of Warner Brothers and ''Jamboree'' some months earlier was again engaged to oblige the producers of ''High School Confidential''. Unfortunately, the original tape to which Jerry Lee mimed from the back of a moving truck during the opening credits has not been found at Sun, so what is heard here, on BCD 17254-18-29, is a reconstruction using clips taken from the soundtrack. The limitations of the source in no way detract from the sheer exuberance of Lewis' singing and plating and this representation of the song is amongst the finest. Both the lyrics and the production schedule of the motion picture point to the supposition that these two takes were amongst the earliest to be recorded.(*)


1(2) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-27 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(3) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-28 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(4) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-29 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(5) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-18 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-30 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(6) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-31 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

In the next phase of the song's development we're treated to several other ''lost lines'' that had been discarded or forgotten by the time the master was cut. For example, at 0:58 in take 6 we're informed that ''everything is shocking''; the same take draws to a close with a unique couplet ''all the kids are jumpin'', they really think it's something''; in take 10 there's both ''a little jukin''' and some ''movin' and groovin'''. Ad-libbing is by now the order of the day although it's not without a cost, as confusion abounds on occasions; note in take 9 how Jerry Lee sings across the guitar solo.(*)


1(7) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-A6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-19 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

1(8) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released:  - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-8-3 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS - WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN'
 Reissued: - October 2015  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-5-33 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(9) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-A7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-20 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

1(10) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 3:06
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - August 1986
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm LP 1044-A8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE WILD ONE - ROCKIN' AND A-BOPPIN'
AT THE HIGH SCHOOL HOP!!
Reissued: -   October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-6-1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(11) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-6-2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(12) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-6-3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(13) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First a ppearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-11-12 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
 Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-6-4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(14)(15) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - 2 False Starts - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-5-A8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-3-17 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

The final few seconds of each take often reveal some useful clues to help distinguish one from another. Notice how in take 4 Jerry Lee wraps up his vocal with an aggressive flourish; at the close of take 8 there's a groan of frustration at what seems to be regarded as a below par finish; towards the end of take 10, one of the comparatively less frenzied run-throughs, in which they're ''gonna blow away all these blues'', he appears to be a little distracted. Not so in the much more energetic take 11, which harks back to ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'' with the respite of ab ''easy now'' section and a ''don't stop me now'' plea, foreshadowing a storming finish.(*) (see also: Mid-March 1958 Sessions).  

1(16) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February 14, 1958
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-6-7 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Note: The above track, without guitar, and the next movie track, may have been recorded during either of the two series of recordings identified with the February 14 session. The original tape of the movie version has not been found, but a copy has been reconstructed from different elements of the film soundtrack.

1(17) - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Movie Take - Tape Lost
Recorded: - February 14, 1958

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Disc jockey and promotor Alan Freed hands a pen to rock and roller Jerry Lee Lewis as Milt Shaw and Freed's business manager Jack Hook look to Jerry signing a tour contract on February 16, 1958, New York City, NY. >

FEBRUARY 14, 1958 FRIDAY

Carl Smith recorded ''The Best Years Of Your Life'' during the afternoon at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

FEBRUARY 15, 1958 SATURDAY

On her daily talks with Jud Phillips, Barbara Barnes continued to be a saga of his adventures, not all  connected with selling records. One day Jud reported meeting Christine Jorgensen at a party.


She was the  first person the public knew of being transformed from a man into a woman through surgical, hormonal, and  other mysterious means. Late-night TV host Jack Paar was having a field day at her expense, but Jud said  when he met her at a party she was pleasant and right attractive.

Another time he told of being propositioned by a reputed Mafia man in buffalo who offered Jud $1,000 to  sleep with his wife. She'd been looking him over in a restaurant, and Jud said it took all his diplomacy to  convey to this man that his wife was certainly a desirable woman but that he just had to say ''no'' to this  suggestion in respect for the marital vows of himself and the lady.

Jud spent more time in New York than anywhere else. On this day in February he was there to witness the  kickoff of the Dick Clark Saturday night ''Beechnut Show''. Lark’s afternoon ''American Bandstand'' was  popular, and now he was making the big leap. Jud had placed several of Sun's artists on the weekday show  and had developed a good relationship with Tonny Mamarella, Dick Clark's producer, and other staff.

Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the featured performers on this premiere, along with Pat Boone, Connie Francis,  Johnnie Ray, and Chuck Willis. Jerry Lee was doing his monster-hit, ''Great Balls Of Fire'', as well as his  brand new release, ''Breathless''. Jerry Lee was the hottest act on the show, having sold a million copies of  ''Great Balls Of Fire'' in December and reaching number 2 on the pop charts, number 3 in rhythm and blues,  and number 1 in the United Kingdom charts. The single would stay on the charts for a total of 21 weeks,  what the trade papers termed ''a smash''.

According to Myra Lewis Williams, reported in the book ''Great Balls Of Fire'', ''Jerry opened the television premiere of the Dick Clark Saturday Night Show on February 15. From its new home at the Little Theatre on Broadway, Clark launched his network experiment with fingers crossed, hoping five hundred warm bodies would brave a blizzard to watch Pat Boone, Connie Francis, Johnny Ray and others lip-synch a favourite song. He was surprised to find fifteen hundreds kids standing behind police barricades knee-deep in winterbourne gutter wash one hour before rehearsal were to begin. Inside, a heated debate warmed the hall as Clark's crew were having a difficult time explaining to Mr Lewis, replete  in black tux with leopard lapels and two-tone shoes, that it would not be necessary for him to rehearse in the traditional manner.

''I know it ain't necessary, I jus' wanna try out the place'' Jerry said, sitting down at a bright white baby grand. ''No, you don't understand'', the technician tried again. You won't be playing. You'll be mouthing the words to your recording''. ''I'll be dammed. I ain't sittin' up here like a damn dummy and...''. Jerry finished his refusal to lip-synch by silently opening and closing his mouth like a goldfish. ''But, Mr Lewis, we're not set up for live performance. Everybody will be doing pantomime''. ''I don't give a damn what everybody else does. I ain't no puppet, and I didn't come all the way up here to play charades''.

That night, Pat Boone mimed ''Everybody's Gonna Have A Wonderful Time Up There'' and Connie Francis convincingly faked ''Who's Sorry Now'', but Jerry Lee Lewis played and sang exactly as he always had, straight from the heart and his own vocal cords. He was introduced by Kay and Elaine, co-presidents of his fan club, which had grown to more than five thousand followers.

According to Elaine Orlando, ''I was living with my parents at the time. The phone rang and my Mother said, ''The Dick Clark Show wants to speak to you about Jerry Lee Lewis. A female associate of Dick's asked me if I would be willing to come to the studio to be interviewed regarding the idea of introducing Jerry singing ''Great Balls Of Fire''. I said sure, and they gave me the information regarding The Little Theater''.

''In my meeting with Dick I told him there were two -co-presidents of the fan club, myself and Kay. Dick said Kay would be in the audience, but I would be the one to introduce Jerry singing ''Great Balls Of Fire''. Jerry was surprised to see me there, but we didn't speak prior to the broadcast or after''. 

Bluegrass vocalist and guitarist Jimmy Martin joins ''The Louisiana Hayride''.

FEBRUARY 17, 1958 MONDAY

Review in Billboard magazine says ''The vigorous renditions by Jerry Lee Lewis on these two rockabilly blues ''Breathless'' backed ''Down The Line'' (Sun 288) are potent follow-up to ''Great Balls Of Fire''. The artist is at his energetic best on both sides, and both appear strong bets to make it''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACK CLEMENT
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE FEBRUARY 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

01 - "IT'L BE ME'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Jack Henderson Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued - Tape Lost
Recorded:- Unknown Date February1958

02 - "BALLAD OF A TEENAGE QUEEN" - B.M.I. 2:15
Composer: - Jack Henderson Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded:- Unknown Date February1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-10-5 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-5 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Presumably, this is the original version of Jack Clement's folk ballad for the ''Bandstand'' crowd. It contained a few couplets that didn't make it to the final version. These include ''She was queen of the senior prom/she could cook just like her mom''. Did Jack Clement have his tongue firmly implanted in his cheek when he concocted this sugary little epic? We may delay gives all of Clement's a sibilant quality that is probably a little overdone. Phillips allowed Clement to pitch the song to Cash, but he didn't like the song at the outset and hated it by the time Clement had finished his overdubs. ''Dear god'', Clement remembers him saying, ''tell me it hasn't come to this''.

"Ballad of a Teenage Queen" the song written by Jack Clement was first recorded by Johnny Cash for his Sun single (Sun 283) and released in December 1957, and for his 1958 album ''Sings The Songs That Made Him Famous''. The song hit number one on the United States Country charts and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song tells the story of a "small town girl" (the prettiest they've ever seen) who loved the boy next door (who worked at the candy store). She was taken to Hollywood by a movie scout where she became famous, leaving the boy. Eventually she sold all her fame to go back to the boy from the candy store because amid it all she was unhappy without him.

During his brief stint with Mercury Records, Johnny Cash re-recorded the song in 1987 featuring guest vocals by his daughter, Rosanne Cash and The Everly Brothers. This version was first released on the 1988 duets album ''Water From The Wells Of Home'' and is one of only a handful of recordings of Cash performing with his daughter to be released.


03 - "QUENCH MY THIRST" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Jack Henderson Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date February 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-10-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Clement was writing a lot of songs during 1957, many of which appeared on Sun discs. This one didn't quite make it although it is virtually certain that Johnny Cash was invited to render it in his gentle baritone. There is an undeniable musically laying beneath Clement's work but the visceral quality that Sam Phillips cherished, and which sets apart the music he recorded, is nowhere in sight.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Clement - Vocal and Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

In the wake of Sun going global, Sam Phillips became snowed under with his daily production and engineering chores. He sorely needed an extra pair of hands and Jack Henderson Clement, from Whitehaven, Tennessee, came on board to oversee these task in the spring of 1956.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACK CLEMENT
AT THE RCA STUDIO FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

RCA STUDIO B.
30 MUSIC SQUARE WEST, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY FEBRUARY 17, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - JACK CLEMENT
AND/OR CHET ATKINS

In February 1958, Jack Clement and pianist Jimmy Wilson, plus coon, took off for the RCA Studios in Nashville. They hired bass player Bob Moore and recorded four songs. This is not quite the rockin' boppin' opus we were looking for, but by now most Sun fans knew what to expect from Jack Clement. He was the man who 'commercialized' our gyrating heroes; sweetened their recordings with choruses and got them to sing about teenage queens. So this record (Sun 291) was not altogether unexpected. In fact, these sides were not even recorded at Sun. Clement made a small side-trip to Nashville and cut these little forays into the country crossover market.

01 - "TEN YEARS" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 296 - Master
Recorded: - February 17, 1958
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 291-A mono
TEN YEARS / YOUR LOVER BOY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

"Ten Years" was the major contender on this session, a light pleasant country ballad with an epic story song feel to it. Its the Jack Clement style, and it was repeated in October when Jack Clement recreated the sound at Sun on "Black Haired Man".

"Teen Years", like the aforementioned "Teenage Queen", tells a tale of love lost through disuse. In "Teenage Queen", there's a last minute happy ending for the kiddies. This is the adult version: there's no such luck here. Perhaps the only highlight for Sun fans is Clement's I-IV acoustic guitar fills between verses. They're a nice touch, but it would take a miracle to overcome the effects of the chorus, whose lines are mixed up far too prominently, even by 1958 pop music standards.

2(01) - "YOUR LOVER BOY" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 297  - Master
Recorded: - February 17, 1958
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 291-B mono
YOUR LOVER BOY / TEN YEARS
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

"Your Lover Boy" comes closer to the mark. There's some really fine gospel piano here and an engaging folky feel to the proceedings. But once again, the choral sound swamps everything in sight. Some of the chorus' replies to Clement's vocal lines are utterly bizarre ("Save those trees for your lover boy"). For a taste of how this track sounded before sweetening the undubbed version is available on Bear Family BFX 15211. Not a bad record!

2(2) - "YOUR LOVER BOY" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Master - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 17, 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-10-9 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-9 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959



Jack Clement and Sam Phillips, 
Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, circa 1998-1999. >

This undubbed track of ''Your Lover Boy'' shows that Clement and his buddies had cranked up a rocking opus from a slender premise. If you listen to the lyrics, you can see that they are almost totally nonsensical, full of non-sequiturs, etc. However, the undubbed master gives us a clearer view of the innate drive and simplicity that was diluted by the overpowering chorus. 


Clement obviously intended to overdub a chorus because there are gaping holes in the arrangement, but, with almost sixty years perspective, the song probably sounds better in its nakedness.

The next two sides sat in the can for over a year before finally appearing in February 1959. If anyone wonders just how much creative control producer Jack Clement had achieved in the Sun studio, one needs look no further than this record. Clearly, Clement had his eye on a bigger segment of the pop marketplace   than crossover country. What goes on here is a far sight beyond sweetening some Johnny Cash tracks.

03 - "THE MINSTREL SHOW" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Bill Justis-Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 338  - Master
Recorded: - February 1958
Released: - February 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3536-A mono
THE MINSTREL SHOW / THREE LITTLE GUITARS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

On "The Minstrel Show", Clement has attempted to recreate the noisy, good time feeling of turn of the century entertainment. In truth, he hasn't done a bad job; its just that this form of music will hold little pleasure for most Sun collectors.

The real inspiration here comes from a more recent icon of popular culture, and Clement has followed obediently in his shoes. This track is a spot-on imitation of something Mitch Miller might have created with his "sing-along" music for the brain-dead. What an awful role model Clement has chosen.

04 - "THREE LITTLE GUITARS" - B.M.I. - 1:34
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 339  - Master
Recorded: - February 1958
Released: - February 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3536-B mono
THREE LITTLE GUITARS / THE MINSTREL SHOW
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

On this side will be more tolerable to most Sun fans simply because the voices and trite lyrica are gone. However, this style of melodic construction owes nothing to contemporary country or rockabilly. Instead, it is rooted firmly in the early 1900s. It is just what you might have heard at one of those minstrel shows or, if you really want to push the time machine, on a backporch in somebody's southern plantation. You can almost imagine Stephen Foster hiding in the bushes taking notes.

05 - "TONGUE TIED SMITH''
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - February 1958

06 - "EDGE OF TOWN'' - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Jack Clement-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Publishing
Matrix number: - K2WW-1409
Recorded: - February 1958
Released: - 1959
First appearance: RCA Victor (S) 45rpm standard single 47-7602-A mono
EDGE OF TOWN / WHOLE LOTTA LOOKIN'
Reissued: - 2013 Railroad Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
STAY BY MY SIDE

07 - "WHOLE LOTTA LOOKIN''' - 1:55
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: -  Acuff Rose Music Publishing
Matrix number: - K2WW-1410
Recorded: - February 1958
Released: - 1959
First appearance: RCA Victor (S) 45rpm standard single 47-7602-B mono
WHOLE LOTTA LOOKIN' / EDGE OF TOWN
Reissued: - September 18, 2012 Cherished Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
HIGH SCHOOL HOP - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Clement - Vocal and Guitar
Bob L. Moore - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Chorus The Anita Kerr Singers

The Jack Clement sound was country, but it was not the Sun sound. It was acoustic, with a ringing tones instead of the muddy cash bass sounds. It was worked out with the help of Clement's buddy, Jimmy C. Wilson, Jack says, "Wilson was nearly as crazy as me. He was a bit of a nut. He lived in rooms above Taylor's Restaurant and he was a great player if he was in the mood. He had a pet coon which he used to bring in and chain to the piano. He used to dismantle and re-build old guns up in his room and he set fire to the place one time. After that he loosed off a rocket, a home-made thing, up there and they threw him out. He went to California and married Nudie the tailor's daughter".

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


From left: Jimmy Velvet, Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Everly, Buddy Holly, February 1958 >

FEBRUARY 17, 1958 MONDAY

''Ballad Of A Teenage Queen'' brings Johnny Cash to number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.

Ricky Nelson performs ''I'm Confessin''' and ''Boppin' The Blues'', during the week's episode of the ABC sitcom ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.

Jimmy Martin recorded ''Rock Hearts''.

FEBRUARY 20, 1958 THURSDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis performs as part of the ''Big Gold Record Tour'' with Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Bill Haley and others in Florida. The  local newspaper in Florida reports, ''Even on vacation, some people find it difficult to evaporate completely from the rock and roll scene. Last week, this writer was enjoying the mild temperature of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when along came a package of rock and rollers under the collective tag of ''The Big Gold Record Stars''.

''The troupe, consisting of the Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, the Royal Teens and Bill Haley and the Comets, played the War Memorial Auditorium there in the wind-up date of a Southern tour and thru the good offices of local promoter Hatty Smythe, we got a first hand look at the show''.

An other article says, ''A prediction we have made in the past in print just about came true during the session. Jerry Lee Lewis with the craziest vest you ever saw (trimmed with leopard skin) and combing his hair frantically between numbers, was particularly rough on the piano. We've long expected to see a piano crack up under his special kind of pounding. Sure enough, the tired looking instrument couldn't take it. Interrupting his act, Lewis informed the audience, ''Well man, I guess this piano had it'', while assistants rushed on stage to try to repair the damaged strings. Lewis got a solid reception for his wild act, but top scores with the nearly 3,000 fans at the second show, were the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly and the Crickets''.

An article in the Daytona Beach newspaper reported that, Harry Smythe, operator of Buck Lake Ranch, Angola, Ind., one of the nation's top summer hillbilly locations, has a rockabilly package featuring the Everly Brothers, Bill Haley and His Comets, Jimmie Rodgers, Buddy Holly and the Cricketts, and Jerry Lee Lewis set for a string of Florida dates, opening with two performances at Peabody Auditorium here February 20.

Unit follows with the Fort Hesterly Armory, Tamps, February 21; The National Guard Armory, Jacksonville, February 22; Connie Mack Field, West Palm Beach, February 23; Dade County Auditorium, February 24 and War Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, February 25. Two performances are skedded for each spot.

FEBRUARY 21, 1958 FRIDAY

Mary Chapin Carpenter is born in Princeton, New Jersey. Her folk-tinged brand of country makes her one of the most thoughtful artists of the 1990s while she garners hits with ''Down At The Twist And Shout'', ''I Feel Lucky'' and ''Shut Up And Kiss Me''.

Patsy Cline guests on ABC's Country Music Jubilee'', formerly called ''Ozak Jubilee''.

FEBRUARY 22, 1958 SATURDAY

This night, brought an event to remembered. Jud Phillips had arranged for tickets for himself and for Sun  employee Barbara Barnes for the dress rehearsal for the Dick Clark show at the Little Theatre on West Forty- Fourth Street at Broadway. They had access to the production floor, and it was a thrill to Barbara, the radio- TV college major, to see how the cameras and the set were arranged and how the crew was working. Unlike  his weekday show from Philadelphia, this thirty-minute production had no dancing. They sat with the rest of  the audience in the theater seats, and Barbara didn't meet Dick Clark or any of the guests.

Chuck Berry's ''Sweet Little Sixteen'' stole the show for her. Though she was past the age of identifying with  his clever lyrics of teenage love, car races, and school hassles, she found this performer a sight to behold.  Chuck was very dark, with pleasant chiseled features, and a body as flexible as a sapling. His little duckwalk  across the entire stage was humorous.

Chuck was similar to Elvis and the other current rock and rollers in that he played the guitar, sang to and for  teenagers, and produced hits one after the other, yet he wasn't reviled by the puritanical critics the way Elvis  and the other white players were. There wasn't as much to criticize, maybe. In contrast to Jerry Lee Lewis, he  didn't deal much in suggestive lyrics, and he had shaken off the lowdown images of the rhythm and blues  that went before rock and roll. You could understand his lyrics, some said Elvis and others mumbled, and  they sounded more playful than sexy. Finally, he was black, not a white man sounding black. A convoluted  prejudice made it worse for a white man to sound black.

Still, Chuck Berry was a bridge between black and white cultures, for he had cultivated a big white following  in his native St. Louis, just as Fats Domino had done in New Orleans. At one time Berry had played rhythm  and blues and country music, but now he was strictly writing songs for teens to dance to.

Dick Clark interviewed all his guests, including a rising ABC-TV performer, Johnny Carson, and the  president of Jerry Lee Lewis's fan club, Elaine Berman. But the music was of course the main attraction,  even though it was lip-synced. After the broadcast, The Sun employees Jud Phillips and Barbara Barnes went  out with a couple of young women from the ABC network. They had drinks with them and with Bill Justis,  who had also come up to appear on the show. His tunes ''Raunchy'' and ''College Man'' were featured, and  Bill had looked cute in his little college beanie. Before ''College Man'', he had worn a toupee, or as he called  it, a ''rug'', to cover his bald pate. He was flying back to Memphis early the next day, and went he said he had  to leave, the party broke up. Concluded he was getting back to his wife, Yvonne, and his work on the brick  barbeque pit and fence he was building in his backyard. As he put it, he was ''queer for bricks'', and brick  masonry was his safety valve for the pressures of suddenly being a recording star.

Even though Bill Justis had performed ''College Man'' on the Dick Clark show, there hand't shipped it yet, and Barbara Barnes asked Bill about this when she next met in the Sun studio office. He said, ''Sam is holding off so won't interfere with the sales of ''Raunchy''. It's not a good idea to have two singles out at the same time.

But soon after the trip to New York, the follow-up record was sent to the sampling list and the orders started pouring in. Even so, ''Raunchy'' remained the hit, staying on the charts for 23 weeks, and went far beyond the million-seller it had been in 1957. But the phenomenal this was, two other artists also made the charts with their cover records of ''Raunchy''. Lew Chudd of Imperial Records on the West Coast put it out with Ernie Freeman, and it stayed on the charts, especially the rhythm and blues charts where Imperial was so strong, for several weeks. Randy Wood's Dot Records cover with the Billy Vaughn Orchestra was even more successful.

During one of Barbara daily phone conversations, Jud Phillips had told her about the flip side of Billy Vaughn's single. It was a sentimental ballad, ''Sail Along Silvery Moon'', and when he heard it and subsequently ran into Randy Wood on his travels, Jud said, ''Man, you are pushing the wrong side of that record''. Randy Wood took Jud's advice and laid ''Sail Along'', with the result that it went to number 5 on the Billboard pop chart and became one of the biggest sellers Dot Records had that year. In addition, Vaughn's ''Raunchy'' also made the charts for a double-sided hit. ''College Man'' sold a respectable number of records, but never made it into the top ten.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR WARREN SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY FEBRUARY 23, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

''Uranium Rock'' now this is a mystery that will probably remain unsolved. Warren Smith recorded ''Uranium Rock'' in 1958, but it wasn't released until 1973, when it appeared on the first ''Sun Rockabilly's'' LP. How then can we account for the appearance of a very similar song, ''Sing Real Loud'', by Lloyd George, recorded on March 18, 1962 for Imperial Records and released later that year? The songs are so close that the similarity cannot be accidental. Lloyd George (his real name) aka Ken Marvin aka Lonzo of Lonzo & Oscar recorded between 1947 and 1962, scoring just one hit (''I'm My Own Grandpa'' in 1948). He was based in Nashville when Smith recorded ''Uranium Rock'' and was still there when he recorded for west coast-based Imperial Records. After Imperial dropped him, he eased performing and booked Bill Monroe. Most of Marvin/George's songs were novelties (''Cornbread And Lasses'', ''Tickle The Tom Cat's  Tail'', ''There's A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea'', etc.), and ''Uranium Rock'' is consistent with those. There's even a tape in the Sun vaults of him singing ''You Spurned A Love'' and ''Little Red Wagon'', so it's just possible that Marvin/George submitted ''Uranium Rock'' to Sun and that Warren Smith recorded it. Anyone who might remember anything about what happened is now dead, so the mystery will probably remain such. ''Uranium Rock'' is a nuclear age gold rush song. Buy a Geiger counter and head for the hills. Return to town with a truckload of radioactive uranium ore, cash out, and go visit the Cadillac dealer. Clearly Ken Marvin/Lloyd George or whoever wrote this song thought 'uranium rock' was a pretty good pun. Guitarist Al Hopson keeps the show together with a Bo Diddley lick that almost functions as the song's hook. In fact, the session could have used another guitarist to take a solo over the riff.

01 - "URANIUM ROCK" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Lloyd George
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 23, 1958
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-8-1 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5-1 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Warren Smith - Vocal and Guitar
Al Hopson - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BARBARA PITTMAN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY FEBRUARY 24, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY STAN KESLER
MUSICAL DIRECTOR - BILL JUSTIS

01 - "COLD COLD HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 321  - Master
Recorded: - February 24, 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3527-B mono
COLD COLD HEARET / EVERLASTING LOVE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Barbara, remains her favorite to this day: "I think "Cold Cold Heart" is the best record I ever did. I think its my best singing, but its also the best arrangement. The Gene Lowery Singers sang on it, but just the guys. They were more restrained without the soprano. That one guy, Cowboy Vernon Drane, had a beautiful bass voice. And Bill Justis was so pleased with the session. It was the only time I've ever seen an engineer come out of the control room crying. It really touched him. He loved it and I loved it, too. I also like the flip side, "Everlasting Love". I particularly like the ending of it. That was Bill Justis' band with Sid Manker on lead guitar".

"Cold Cold Heart" recorded here by Barbara Pittman on this session, is a country song, written by Hank Williams. This blues ballad is both a classic of honky-tonk and an entry in the Great American Songbook.

Williams adapted the melody for the song from T. Texas Tyler's 1945 recording of "You'll Still Be In My Heart," written by Ted West in 1943. The song achingly and artfully describes frustration that the singer's love and trust is unreciprocated due to a prior bad experience in the other's past. Stories of the song's origins vary. In the Williams episode of American Masters, country music historian Colin Escott states that Williams was moved to write the song after visiting his wife Audrey in the hospital, who was suffering from an infection brought on by an abortion she had carried out at their home unbeknownst to Hank. Escott also speculates that Audrey, who carried on extramarital affairs as Hank did on the road, may have suspected the baby was not her husband's. Florida bandleader Pappy Neil McCormick claims to have witnessed the encounter: "According to McCormick, Hank went to the hospital and bent down to kiss Audrey, but she wouldn't let him. 'You sorry son of a bitch,' she is supposed to have said, 'it was you that caused me to suffer like this'. Hank went home and told the children's governess, Miss Ragland, that Audrey had a 'cold, cold heart,' and then, as so often in the past, realized the bitterness in his heart held commercial promise''.

The first draft of the song is dated November 23, 1950 and was recorded with an unknown band on May 5, 1951. Like his earlier masterpiece "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'', it was released as the B-side (MGM10904B) to "Dear John" (MGM-10904A), since it was an unwritten rule in the country music industry that the faster numbers sold best. "Dear John" peaked at number 8 after only a brief four-week run on Billboard magazine's country music charts, but "Cold Cold Heart" proved to be a favorite of disc jockeys and jukebox listeners, whose enthusiasm for the song catapulted it to number 1 on the country music charts. Williams featured the song on his Mother's Best radio shows at the time of its release and performed the song on the Kate Smith Evening Hour on April 23, 1952, which ran from September 1951 to June 1952; the appearance remains one of the few existing film clips of the singer performing live. He is introduced by his idol Roy Acuff. Although a notorious binge drinker, Williams appears remarkably at ease on front of the cameras, with one critic noting, "He stared at the camera during his performance of ''Cold Cold Heart'' with a cockiness and self-confidence that bordered on arrogance''.

The song would become a pop hit for Tony Bennett, paving the way for country songs to make inroads into the lucrative pop market. In the liner notes to the 1990 Polygram compilation Hank Williams: The Original Single Collection, Fred Rose's son Wesley states, "Hank earned two major distinctions as a songwriter: he was the first writer on a regular basis to make country music national music; and he was the first country songwriter accepted by pop artists, and pop A&R men''.

That same year, it was recorded in a pop version by Tony Bennett with a light orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. This recording was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39449. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on July 20, 1951 and lasted 27 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 1. The popularity of Bennett's version has been credited with helping to expose both Williams and country music to a wider national audience. Allmusic writer Bill Janovitz discusses this unlikely combination: "That a young Italian singing waiter from Queens could find common ground with a country singer from Alabama's backwoods is testament both to Williams' skills as a writer and to Bennett's imagination and artist's ear''.

Williams subsequently telephoned Bennett to say, "Tony, why did you ruin my song''? But that was a prank,  in fact, Williams liked Bennett's version and played it on jukeboxes whenever he could. In his autobiography ''The Good Life'', Bennett described playing "Cold Cold Heart" at the Grand Ole Opry later in the 1950s. He had brought his usual arrangement charts to give to the house musicians who would be backing him, but their instrumentation was different and they declined the charts. "You sing and we'll follow you'', they said, and Bennett says they did so beautifully, once again recreating an unlikely artistic merger.

The story of the Williams-Bennett telephone conversation is often related with mirth by Bennett in interviews and on stage; he still performs the song in concert. In 1997, the first installment of A&E's Live By Request featuring Bennett (who was also the show's creator), special guest Clint Black performed the song, after which Bennett recounted it. A Google Doodle featured Bennett's recording of the song on its Valentine's Day doodle in February 2012.

Other siginificant recordings there are including Louis Armstrong recorded "Cold Cold Heart" on September 17, 1951, and released it on Decca Records; Donald Peers recorded it on October 5, 1951, released EMI via His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10158; Dinah Washington recorded it in 1951; Petula Clark and Gene Autry sang the song in the 1952 movie Apache Country; Jerry Lee Lewis released the song as a single on Sun Records in 1961 and included another version on the 1969 LP ''Sings the Country Music Hall of Fame Hits, Volume 2''; Jazz singer Norah Jones included a sultry swing version on her 2002 album ''Come Away With Me'', which was seen as "reintroducing" modern audiences to the song.


02(1) - "EVERLASTING LOVE" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Crystal Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - P 322  - Master
Recorded: - February 24, 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3527-A mono
EVERLASTING LOVE / COLD COLD HEART
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Sun's house-bass player Stan Kesler, became Barbara Pittman's representative knowing full well that the company had yet to launch a successful female act. After his artist's debut single was released, he set about reorganising her status with the result that Barbara signed to the Phillips International imprint simply because "the label looked pretty". "Everlasting Love" the second of her three fine singles, was a cover of Don Hosea's original on the Kesler-owned Crystal label.

02(2) - "EVERLASTING LOVE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Crystal Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 24, 1958
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8319-17 mono
BARBARA PITTMAN - GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME

03 - "HIDE MY TEARS''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - February 24, 1958

04 - "I WANNA BE LOVED''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - February 24, 1958

05 - "JUST ONE DAY'' - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 24, 1958
Released: - 1983
First appearance: Rockhouse Records (LP) 33rpm Rockhouse 8307 mono
THE ORIGINAL SUN SIDES - BARBARA PITTMAN
Reissued: 1989 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15359 mono
I NEED A MAN - BARBARA PITTMAN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar and Bass
James M. Van Eaton
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone

Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus

Note: Drummer Billy Weir says that he played on this session with Stan Kesler on bass.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 24, 1958 MONDAY

Sammy Kershaw is born in Kaplan, Louisiana. A resonance similar to George Jones brings him into prominence during the 1990s behind such hits as ''Cadillac Style'', ''She Don't Know She's Beautiful'' and ''National Working Woman's Holiday''.

FEBRUARY 26, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Marty Robbins recorded ''Stairway Of Love'' and ''Just Married'' at the Columbia Recording Studio in New York City.

FEBRUARY 27, 1958 THURSDAY

Don Gibson recorded ''Look Who's Blue'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY FEBRUARY/MARCH 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

This session previously dated September 5, 1957, with Otis Jett and Sidney Manker. This seems highly unlikely because of similarities with early 1958 sessions featuring a more regular line up.

His classic 5th single, and the title track from the movie of the same name which features Jerry and his band performing the song over the opening and closing credits. Although it was 25 years before we knew it, Sam Phillips spliced the ending from a different take onto the original release (the unspliced take was finally issued on ''The Sun Years'' box-set in 1983). Like several of his hits, this song was re-cut both for 1963’s ''Golden Hits'' and the 1989 (recorded 1988) ''Great Balls Of Fire''! movie soundtrack album. Incidentally there’s also an instrumental version of the song on ''The Session'' from 1973, but this does NOT feature Jerry Lee Lewis.

1 - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Penron Music
Matrix number: - U 306 - Master
Recorded: - February/March 1958
Released: - May 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 296-A mono
HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL / FOOLS LIKE ME
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-11 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

SUN 296 reached at number 21 on the Billboard's Pop charts; at number 5 on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues chart, and number 9 on the Billboard's Country and Western charts. The single reached number 13 on the Canadian charts. The single was also certified Gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a live version of the song with the British band The Nashville Teens on the landmark 1964 live album ''Live At the Star Club, Hamburg'', regarded critically as one of the greatest live albums in rock and roll history. The song was performed by Jerry Lee Lewis in the 1972 concert at Wembley Stadium in the United Kingdom and appeared in the 1973 documentary of the concert entitled ''The London Rock And Roll Show''. The song is featured in the 1983 film Breathless starring Richard Gere and Valerie Kaprisky. "High School Confidential" was performed live on a 1983 Dick Clark TV special featuring Jerry Lee Lewis on piano and vocals, Keith Richards on guitar, Mick Fleetwood on drums, and Gary Busey on vocals. The song appeared in the 1989 Orion Pictures biopic ''Great Balls of Fire!'' in a new recording by Jerry Lee Lewis. The song also appeared on the motion picture soundtrack album on Polydor Records.

The Beatles performed and recorded the song live at the Get Back/Let It Be sessions in Twickenham Film studios on January 6 and 26, 1969. Both Adam Faith and Cliff Richard recorded the song in 1958. The Refreshments recorded the song in 2008. The song was also recorded by Johnny Worth, Mike Berry, Marty Wilde, The Blasters, Johnny Hallyday, Brian Setzer, Sha Na Na, Fairport Convention on the album Moat on the Ledge: Live at Broughton Castle, August '81, Mike Smith, Alan Mills, and Siggi Fassl in 2011.


Until the ill-fated bioflick "Great Balls Of Fire" hit the big screen in the early 1990s, this was Jerry Lee's closest flirtation with Hollywood. In retrospect, all it did was saddle him with a contrived piece of material and an association with a slapdash exploitation film that did about as much for his career as for Mamie Van Doren's. "High School Confidential" was written by Ron Hargrave, with Jerry Lee cut in for half by his manager, but neither of them could manage the trick of actually including the title in the song.

2 - "JERRY LEE LEWIS TALKS ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - 2:17
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1958
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-27 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

As a bonus, we've included the contents of a promo disc that Jerry Lee did for the movie. No one at Sun had got this kind of treatment before - and no one would again. A lot of hopes were being pinned on Jerry Lee Lewis, which makes the famous debacle - now only a few weeks distant - that much more tragic.

1 - "HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Movie Version - Undubbed recording not found
Recorded: - February/March 1958
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-18-29 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

This take without guitar, may have been recorded during either session January 21 or February 15, 1958. Various overdubs onto unknown Take for movie ''High School Confidential'' Restored from two different parts in the movie.

2(1) - "KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF IT" - B.M.I. - 0:14
Composer: - Jay McShann
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - None – False Start - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February/March 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-3-B4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-19 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

''Keep Your Hands Off It'' was originally written as  "Hands Off'', later known as "Keeps Your Hands Off Her", is a 1955 song written and recorded by Jay McShann. The single, on the Vee-Jay label, was the most successful Jay McShann release on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart. "Hands Off", with vocals performed by Priscilla Bowman, was number one on the rhythm and blues best seller chart for three weeks. The single is notable because this was the last single to hit number one on the rhythm and blues chart without making the Billboard Hot 100 until 1976: For the next twenty-one years, all singles which made the top spot on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart would make the Hot 100.

In 1961, Damita Jo DeBlance recorded her version of "Keeps Your Hands Off Her" for Mercury Records (Mercury 71760). Elvis Presley recorded and worked in a jam with "Got My Mojo Working", but not before Elvis interpolated "Keep Your Hands Off Her" during his sessions in June 1970 at RCA Studio B. in Nashville, Tennessee. ''We grew up on this mediocre shit man'', Elvis declared enthusiastically. ''It's the type of material that's not good or bad, it's just mediocre shit, you know''. But it was ''mediocre shit'' with which he was totally comfortable, for which he had great respect, and that he would always love.


3 - "ROCKIN' WITH RED" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Willie Lee Perryman (aka Piano Red)
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – False Start - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February/March 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-3-B4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-19 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

William "Willie" Lee Perryman, usually known professionally as Piano Red and later in life as Dr. Feelgood, was an American blues musician, the first to hit the pop music charts. He was a self-taught pianist who played in the barrelhouse blues style (a loud percussive type of blues piano suitable for noisy bars or taverns). His performing and recording careers emerged during the period of transition from completely segregated "race music", to "rhythm and blues", which was marketed to white audiences. Some music historians credit Perryman's 1950 recording "Rockin' With Red" for the popularization of the term rock and roll in Atlanta. His simple, hard-pounding left hand and his percussive right hand, coupled with his cheerful shout, brought him considerable success over three decades like Jerry Lee Lewis pumping piano style.

Perryman was born October 19, 1911 on a farm near Hampton, Georgia, where his parents Ada and Henry Perryman sharecropped. He was part of a large family, though sources differ on exactly how many brothers and sisters he had. Perryman was an albino African American, as was his older brother Rufus, who also had a blues piano career as "Speckled Red".

When Perryman was six years old, his father gave up farming and moved the family to Atlanta to work in a factory. Not much is known about Perryman's education or early life, but he recalled that his mother bought a piano for her two albino sons. Both brothers had very poor vision, an effect of their albinism, so neither took formal music lessons, but they developed their barrelhouse style through playing by ear. Perryman sometimes recalled imitating Rufus's style after watching him play, but it is doubtful that his brother was a major influence. Rufus, nineteen years older than Perryman, left Georgia in 1925 and did not return until a 1960 visit. Another influence that Perryman cited in interviews was Fats Waller, whose records his mother brought home. Other influences were likely the local blues pianists playing at "house" or "rent" parties, which were common community fund-raisers of that era.

By the early 1930s, Perryman was playing at house parties, juke joints, and barrelhouses in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. He developed his percussive playing style and harsh singing style to compensate for the lack of sound systems and to overcome the noise of people talking in venues. He worked these circuits with other Georgia bluesmen, including Barbecue Bob, Charlie Hicks, Curley Weaver, and "Blind Willie" McTell.

Perryman married in the early 1930s, and he and his wife Flora had two daughters. He obtained seasonal employment performing in Brevard, North Carolina, a mountain resort town, and commuted back and forth between there and Atlanta. The Brevard job brought him before white audiences; by 1934 he had also begun to play at white clubs in Atlanta. In Atlanta he would play at a white club until midnight and then head over to an African American club, where he would play until 4 am. Perryman developed a repertoire of pop standards, which were more popular among the white audiences, while continuing his blues sets in the African American clubs.

Around 1936 he began to be billed as 'Piano Red', and made his first recordings with McTell in Augusta for Vocalion Records, although these were never released. He also began working as an upholsterer, a trade which he occasionally maintained through later years.

In 1950, after spending the previous 14 years upholstering and playing music on weekends, Perryman recorded "Rockin' With Red" and "Red's Boogie" at the WGST radio studios in Atlanta for RCA Victor. Both songs became national hits, reaching numbers five and three respectively on the Billboard Rhythm And Blues chart, and "Rockin' With Red" has since been covered many times under many titles. This success, along with further hits "The Wrong Yo Yo" (allegedly written by Speckled Red), "Laying The Boogie" and "Just Right Bounce", allowed him to resume an active performing schedule. He also recorded sessions in New York City and Nashville during the early 1950s.

Red played for white teenagers' high school parties in peoples homes in Atlanta. You would arrange for him to be picked up at his home and returned and providing a "bottle" of booze for him as well as a very nominal fee. During the mid-1950s Perryman also worked as a disc jockey on radio stations WGST and WAOK in Atlanta, broadcasting 'The Piano Red Show' (later 'The Dr. Feelgood Show') directly from a small shack in his back yard. A young James Brown made an appearance on his show in the late 1950s. Perryman's involvement had him appearing on a flatbed truck in many parades, which led to his song "Peachtree Parade".

From the mid-1950s until the late 1960s, he recorded for several record labels, including Columbia, for whom he made several records, Checker, for whom he recorded eight sides with Willie Dixon on bass, and Groove Records, a subsidiary of RCA Victor, producing the first hit for that label.

Signed to Okeh Records in 1961, Perryman began using the name Dr. Feelgood and the Interns, releasing several hits, including the much-covered "Doctor Feelgood". The persona was one he had initially adopted on his radio shows. The new career was short-lived, though, and Piano Red was never able to regain his former stature. In 1963, The Merseybeats recorded a cover of the b-side of "Doctor Feelgood'', titled "Mr. Moonlight" (written by Roy Lee Johnson) as the B-side of their United Kindom top 5 hit ''I Think of You''. It was also recorded by the Beatles and appeared on the album ''Beatles For Sale'' in the United Kingdom and on the ''Beatles '65'' album in the United States. In 1966, The Lovin' Spoonful recorded his song "Bald Headed Lena" on their second album, Daydream.

Perryman continued to be a popular performer in Underground Atlanta, and had several European tours late in his career, including appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's inauguration, and on BBC Radio. During this time, he was befriended by Bill Wyman, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, and Paul McCartney, and Pete Ham of Badfinger wrote a song in his honor.

Muhlenbrink's Saloon closed in 1979 and Perryman found himself without a regular job. That lasted until 1981, when he was hired to perform five nights a week at The Excelsior Mill in Atlanta. In 1984, he asked co-owner Michael Reeves to arrange a live recording and Reeves arranged for a mobile recording in October of that year.

In 1985, Red charted the song "Yo Yo", a duet with Danny Shirley, who would later become lead singer of Confederate Railroad. Perryman was diagnosed with cancer that same year and died on July 25, 1985 at Dekalb General Hospital in Decatur, Georgia. Among those who attended his funeral were the Governor of Georgia and the Mayor of Atlanta. The tapes from the Excelsior Mill remained in Michael Reeves's possession for twenty-five years. In April 2010, he formed a partnership with author and producer David Fulmer to release a CD of the recording under the title The Lost Atlanta Tapes. The CD was released by Landslide Records on August 17, 2010.


4(1) - "MATCHBOX" - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Undubbed Master
Recorded: - February/March 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-3-B5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-20 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

4(1) - "MATCHBOX" - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Overubbed LP Master
Recorded: - February/March 1958
Released: -  May  1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm SLP  1230-B5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-20 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Note: vocal chorus overdubbed Master (Ed Bruce, Vernon Drane, Charlie Rich, Lee Holt, Bobby Thompson, Ben Strong and Alice Rumple) added at an overdub session on April 4 or 8, 1958.

4(2) - "MATCHBOX" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February/March 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-3-B6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-21 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Matchbox" is a rockabilly song written and recorded by Carl Perkins in December 1956. It shares some lyrics with 1920s blues songs by Ma Rainey and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Sam Phillips and Sun Records released the song as the B-side to "Your True Love". Although only the A-side became a record chart hit in 1957, "Matchbox" is one of Perkins' best-known recordings. A variety of musicians have recorded the song, including the Beatles.

Ma Rainey recorded "Lost Wandering Blues" in Chicago in March 1924. Paramount Records issued it on the standard ten-inch 78rpm single (12098). Her lyrics include the matchbox as a suitcase reference. Subsequently, the song was recorded by several blues and country swing musicians, such as Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, the Shelton Brothers, and Roy Newman and His Boys.

After recording "Your True Love" at Sun Records studio, Carl Perkins's father Buck suggested that he write a song based on snatches of lyrics that he remembered. Buck knew only a few lines from the song from the recordings by Blind Lemon Jefferson or the Shelton Brothers. As Perkins sang the few words his father had suggested, Jerry Lee Lewis, who was at that time the session piano player at Sun Studios, began a restrained boogie-woogie riff. Carl began picking out a melody on the guitar and improvised lyrics.

Perkins maintained that he had never heard Jefferson's song when he recorded "Matchbox". The songs are musically, thematically, and lyrically totally different. Jefferson's song is about a mean spirited woman; Perkins' is about a lovelorn "poor boy" with limited prospects. The "Matchbox" recording session is historically significant as a milestone in rock and roll history because later that day, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Lewis were all in the Sun Studio with Sam Phillips with Carl Perkins and his band. The impromptu group formed at this jam session became known as the Million Dollar Quartet.

Carl Perkins performed the song on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee on February 2, 1957. Perkins and his band also performed the song on the syndicated TV show Ranch Party hosted by Tex Ritter in 1957. There was also a promo ad for the release of the Sun single in Billboard magazine.

"Matchbox" is covered by Robert Britton Lyons portraying Carl Perkins in the Broadway production Million Dollar Quartet and on the original Broadway cast recording. Lee Ferris also covers the song and portrays Carl Perkins in the First National Touring Production of Million Dollar Quartet. The song is also included in the Paul McCartney live album ''Tripping The Live Fantastic'' as a soundcheck tune between concert songs; it has been performed by McCartney in every tour as a soundcheck song. McCartney also released a live soundcheck recording of the song as a bonus Back in the U.S. DVD release in 2002.

In 1985 it was played at the ''Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session'' made-for-TV concert in London, with Carl Perkins, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton alternating the lead vocal. McCartney also performed the song during his ''Unplugged'' concert for MTV in 1991 (although the song does not appear on the album). Jerry Lee Lewis released his version of the song on his 1958 eponymous Sun LP, SLP 1230, and as a Sun EP, EPA-110. The recording also appears on the 1984 Rhino Records greatest hits compilation ''Jerry Lee Lewis: 18 Original Sun Greatest Hits''. Jerry Lee Lewis also recorded a live version in 1964 on the landmark ''Live At The Star Club, Hamburg'' album, regarded critically as one of the greatest live albums ever released.

Ronnie Hawkins recorded the song in 1970 with Duane Allman on slide guitar and released it as a 45 single, "Matchbox" backed with "Little Bird" on Hawk, IT 301, in Canada. The song was originally released on the eponymous 1970 Ronnie Hawkins LP, Cotillion SD 9019. Johnny Rivers recorded the song in 1998. Bob Dylan has recorded several versions of the song which have not been released officially and has performed the song live in concert. Derek and the Dominos featuring Eric Clapton performed and recorded the song with Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash on The Johnny Cash Show on ABC-TV on November 5, 1970. The performance by Derek and the Dominos, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash appears on the 40th anniversary edition of the Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, which won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound. Carl Perkins performed the song live at the 1990 Farm Aid benefit concert. Ringo Starr performed the song on the 2014 CBS TV special ''The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles''. Paul McCartney's publishing company MPL Communications administers the rights to the song, which was originally published by Knox Music, Inc., BMI.


5 - "UBANGI STOMP" - B.M.I. - 1:45
Composer: - Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - EP Master
Recorded: - February/March 1958
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 109-A1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-22 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

At one of Jerry's many "you ain't hear nothin' yet" sessions, the pumpin' piano man rubbed maximum salt in the wound by reworking Warren Smith's two recognised calling cards, "Rock And Ruby" and "Ubangi Stomp". The "Stomp" title (which surfaced on both an extended player and as part of the Jerry Lee Lewis album) achieves supremacy thanks to the "engine-room drive" of the rhythm section, fortifying the artist in the manner to which he's accustomed.

"Ubangi Stomp" is an American rockabilly song written by Sun producer Charles Underwood and first recorded and released on record (Sun 250) by Warren Smith in September 1956, the song did not chart, but went on to become a rockabilly standard, covered by many artists. ''Ubangi Stomp'', usually Smith's recording, appears on many compilation albums, including ''The Sun Records Collection'' and ''The Best of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour''.

''Ubangi Stomp'' is a straighforward uptempo rock and roll song; the lyrics, of no great literary depth "Ubangi stomp ubangi style / When the beat just drives a cool cat wild", tell in first person the story of a sailor who goes to Africa ("I rocked through Africa and... Seen them cats doin' the Ubangi stomp") and, enamored of the local music and dance, jumps ship to go native ("Then the captain said son, we gotta go / I said that's alright, you go right ahead / I'm gonna Ubangi-stomp 'till I roll over dead"). Some mixing of cultural stereotypes is seen when supposed Native American terms ("heap big", tom-tom) are mixed into the ostensibly African setting.

The Ubangi Stomp Festival, an annual international exposition of America roots and rockabilly music, takes its name from the song, as does the Ubangi Stomp Club, a Dublin organization that organizes and promotes roots concerts and gigs. Saxophonist Earl Bostic released an instrumental piece titled "Ubangi Stomp" in 1954, but this has no relation to Underwood's song beyond the title.

The song has been covered by many other artists, including the Juke Joints (on their album 20 years), the Top Cats, on their album ''Full Throttle Rockabilly''; The Slippers on their album ''Ubangi Stomp''; The Sundowners on the B-side of their 1959 single "Snake Eyed Woman"; The Velaires on the B-side of their 1961 single "It's Almost Tomorrow",; Bobby Taylor on the B-side of his 1962 single "Seven Steps To An Angel"; and many others. Rory Storm and the Hurricanes recorded the song at Abbey Road Studios in 1964, but this version was never released.


6 - ROCK AND ROLL RUBY" - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Johnny R. Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February/March 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-B3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-23 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

The provenance of "Rock And Roll Ruby" is in some doubt. It is credited to Johnny Cash but Warren Smith asserted that George Jones had written the song and sold it to Cash for $40.00. Johnny Cash cut a primitive demo in the breathless baritone he reserved for uptempo numbers at some point in late 1955 or early 1956. The acetate ended up in the hands of Clyde Leoppard, probably in order that he could rehearse the band. By the time Smith and the Snearly Ranch Boys (with Johnny Bernero replacing the barely proficient Leoppard on drums) wrapped up "Rock And Roll Ruby", it was obvious that Sam Phillips had, as Billboard put it, "another contender in the Rock-a-Billy sweepstakes".


7 - "SO LONG I'M GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Fragment Unissued - Unknown Take
Recorded: - February/March 1958 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-B11 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-24 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

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".

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 meager 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".


Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes and/or Billy Riley - Guitar
Jay W. Brown - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


MARCH 1958

Bob Neal offered Roy Orbison a spot on an Everly Brothers show in Hammond, Indiana in  March 1958. The Everly's needed a song for their new single and they asked Roy if he had  anything. He sang his new composition "Claudette" and they asked him to write the words  down. So he did, on the top of a shoebox. Later, Wesley Rose, from Acuff-Rose Music  Publishing in Nashville, signed Roy Orbison with his Nashville publishing company. He also  gave Roy a contract with RCA Victor where he briefly worked with Chet Atkins.


Russell ''Russ'' Smith (drums) and Jay W. Brown (bass) ^

The Everly's "Claudette" was released on late March 1958 as the B-side of "All I Have To Do Is  Dream". The A side went to number 1 and "Claudette" peaked at number 30. At this point,  his songs had been recorded by Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Warren Smith,  Johnny Cash and many others.

Wesley Rose rapidly got Orbison another contract with the new independent Monument  Records when his RCA deal ran out in Mid-1959.

PI 3523 ''My Love Song'' b/w ''Point Of View'' by Wayne Powers issued.

PI 3524 ''After The Hop'' b/w ''Sally's Got A Sister'', by Bill Pinkney is released, the first on the Phillips label by a black artist, and credited on the label as Bill Pinky and the Turks.

PI 3525 ''Wild Rice'' b/w ''Scrougle'' by Bill Justis and His Orchestra issued.

MARCH 1, 1958 SATURDAY

Following his criticism of management at WSM Radio, Marty Robbins is fired by the Grand Ole Opry, which refers to him as a ''prima donna'' in an official statement, after his performance on the Saturday evening show.

Buddy Holli arrives in London for a 25-day tour of Britain which will be witnessed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Keith Richard, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash and Elton John. Within months, Holly produces Waylon Jenning's first recording session.

New Orleans proclaims Elvis Presley Day while Elvis is in the city, ready to do location shooting for the movie ''King Creole''.

Bob Dylan is paid to perform for the first time when his group, The Golden Chords, appears at the Armory in Hibbing, Minnesota. He goes on to write the Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman hit ''You Ain't Going Nowhere''.

MARCH 2, 1958 SUNDAY

The Everly Brothers perform on CBS-TV's weekly variety series ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' from New York City.

MARCH 5, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Pop singer Andy Gibb is born in Manchester, England. He's established in the summer of 1977 with ''I Just Want To Be Your Everything'', covered as a country hit several months later by Connie Smith.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ERNIE BARTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY MARCH 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

By all account, Ernie Barton virtually lived in the Sun studio between 1957 and 1960. He recorded as vocalist and session guitarist and even took over management of the studio for a while. He was, to put it mildly, a fixture. There were actually plans for a Barton LP - a step that now seems fanciful given the fact that (1) Sam Phillips was uncomfortable with long playing records at the best of times (Cash, Perkins and Lewis being the best of times), and (2) Ernie Barton never had anything resembling a hit single on Sun Records. All of his studio activity resulted in the grand total of two releases on Phillips International. This atmospheric composition formed the topside of his first single and came from songwriter Allen Wingate, who was recording at the time as Allen Page for the local Moon label.

01 - "RAINING THE BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Alan Wingate-Jo Ann Wingate
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - P 324  - Master
Recorded: - Possible March 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3528-B mono
RAINING THE BLUES / STAIRWAY TO NOWHERE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

"Raining The Blues" is, likewise, a fine production that works best when you just close your eyes and listen. Although it has a little more lyrical substance than "Stairway", close analysis won't bring you much. Barton is clearly striving for a "mood" here and succeeds. He also has some timing problems with his vocal right after the line "I thought you always knew". Amazingly, the chorus and band manage to follow him through this moment of ragged timing, thus suggesting that the entire performance was recorded live off the floor with everyone's eyes and ears fixed on the singer.

02 - "STAIRWAY TO NOWHERE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Alan Wingate-Jo Ann Wingate
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 323  - Master
Recorded: - Possible March 1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International 78/45rpm standard single PI 3528-A mono
STAIRWAY TO NOWHERE / RAINING THE BLUES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

And the truth is, it is quite a likeable record. It also went a long way to assuage the doubts of Sun fans who thought they'd rarely hear anything like a vintage Sun record on the PI label. At the least, there's enough echo here - on both Barton's vocal and Roland Janes' guitar work - to satisfy any Sun purist. "Stairway To Nowhere" (a great title) borrows heavily from the gospel tradition and manages to work in a guitar figure that would have been at home in "Sittin' In The Balcony". In truth, the most important part of this song (other than Roland's guitar work) is the "doodley wop" riffing by the male chorus. The lyrics were probably knocked off in less time than it took to write the choral figure and make just as much sense. Like many such spontaneous compositions, this one works just fine.

03 - "THE MAN WITH THE HEART OF GOLD'' - B.M.I. - 1:51
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - H 301 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Possible March 1958
Released: - 1975
First appearances: - Bop Cat Records (LP) 33rpm Bob Cat 300 mono
I'M MOVING ON
Reissued: - 1987 White Label (LP) 33rpm WLP 8918 mono
MEMPHIS, ROCK AND ROLL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD - VOLUME 5

04 - "STEPPING ASIDE''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Possible March 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Bob Hadaway - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Vocal Chorus
Vernon Drane, Allen Page, Billy Riley