CONTAINS

PI 3541-3550 Audio Series 

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

 
Ernie Barton
"OPEN THE DOOR RICHARD" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jack McVea-Dusty Fletcher-John Mason-Dan Howell
Publisher: - MCA Music Ltd
Matrix number: - P 347
Recorded: - February 25, 1959 - Issued under Ernie Barton's name
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - (Unissued)
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - 2nd Vocal & Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Regina Reese - Vocal
 
"Open The Door Richard" was a slice of black vaudeville, and on immense hit record in the 1940s, crossing over into the pop marketplace. Interestingly, many of the competing versions were quite different. Black music hall star Dusty Fletcher popularized the number, which dated back to a much earlier routine by John "Pider Bruce" Mason. Jack McVea's record became the biggest hit, though, and it was McVea's record that was generally copied, albeit with more variations, by the likes of Count Basie. All versions returned to the same chorus, which provided instant recognition, and the selling point.
 
The tale of this record by Ernie Barton could keep a team of archaeologists in business. Among out most recent discoveries. First, the wonderful free spirit that you hear on this release did not emerge spontaneously off the floor; rather, it was layered together piece by piece - first the band track, then Barton's vocal, and finally the chorus.  Second, many knowledgeable Sun collectors will recognize "Open The Door Richard", credited to Ernie Barton, has previously been released on several occasions as a Billy Riley title. The mistake is understandable. For one thing, Barton sounds a lot like Riley - two southern white boys talking and singing in jivey black style.  For another, according to the Sun Records Discography by Escott and Hawkins, Billy Riley recorded a version of this title on November 25, 1957, over a year before the Barton session. It didn't help the confusion when the Barton version was stored on a Riley reel in the Sun vault. 
 
It now appears that if Billy Riley ever recorded a version of "Open The Door Richard" at Sun, the tapes haven't survived. As if this puzzle needed more complications, consider the fact that Barton's record has never been seen by Sun collectors. It may have simply been assigned a number and never released for reasons that have been lost to time. Interviewed by Colin Escott in 1987, Ernie Barton insisted that "Richard" had indeed been released, but the fact that not one copy has surfaced doesn't seem to bear this out. To confuse matters yet more, Riley has never once suggested that the version issued under his name was not his.  (HD)
 
PI 3541-A Unissued

 
Ernie Barton
"SHUT YOUR MOUTH" - B.M.I. - 1:43
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Barton Limited
Matrix number: - P 348
Recorded: - February 25, 1959 - Issued under Ernie Barton's name.
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - (Unissued)
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - 2nd Vocal & Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Regina Reese - Vocal
 
This side, "Shut Your Mouth", is, if nothing else, a very politically incorrect song in this day and age. The grating whiney female part played by Sun's secretary Regina Reese, and Barton's abusive male might have been stock figures in 1959 culture but 40 years later they don't do much to enhance anyone's reputation. Joe Turner sent a similar message with his "Honey Hush" in a far more engaging way, both lyrically and musically. (HD)
 
PI 3541-B Unissued

 
Charlie Rich
"REBOUND" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Charlie Rich-W.E. Bill Justis
Publisher: - Justis Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 349
Recorded: - February 25, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3542-A mono
REBOUND / BIG MAN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rom BCD 15806 DI-1-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
Billy Riley - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Unidentified - Trumpet
 
Charlie Rich's second Phillips International session revealed once again that the label had more than a session pianist and composer on its hand. "Rebound" was the nearest Charlie Rich came to assimilating a pure rock and roll performance in all the time he was cut at Sun. A product of Arkansas turf, his love of jazz and blues spawned an intimate style that was fine-tuned during a spell with the US Airforce. However it was undoubtedly Jerry Lee Lewis whom he was trying to emulate when he committed this rattling little exercise to tape. The song was also cut by ex-labelmates, Conway Twitty for MGM and Ray Smith for Judd  respectively. (HD)

 
Charlie Rich
"BIG MAN" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Dale Fox
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 350
Recorded: - February 25, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3542-B mono
BIG MAN / REBOUND
Reissued: - 1998 Bear family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
Billy Riley - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Unidentified - Trumpet
Unidentified Vocal 
 
The story behind "Big Man" has only recently come to light. Drummer J.M. Van Eaton recalls that the song's composer, Dale Fox, had booked the studio and Sun house band to record his tune. Things were going from bad to worse and Sam Phillips finally suggested that pianist Charlie Rich take a shot at the vocal.  The results were highly impressive and a restrained chorus was overdubbed for release as a single. van Eaton recalls taking the unusual step of separately miking his bass drum, which became one of the arrangement's most distinctive features. "Big Man" is a wonderful record. Charlie's soulful vocal is at least five years ahead of its time.  Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and Solomon Burke sounded like this in the mid-1960s, but this was early 1959 and, as this and several outtakes, Charlie was totally comfortable with the melisma and cadences of the black church long before they had been drawn into the musical mainstream. 
 
Interestingly, the deity is never mentioned by name here. The "Big man" is a clever way of keeping things fairly secular despite the song's underlying message. The result are deeply southern more than deeply religious. Charlie's line "I holler  on the Big man" market this record as simultaneously enchanting and native to only one region of the country. Sales of the record were relatively flat but Sam Phillips was mightily impressed. "Write me a song that keeps this feeling, but doesn't have all that religious crap and we've got us a hit record", he told Charlie after the session. Rich heard him and went home rolling ideas over in his mind. Four months later he was back in the studio to work on his next single. It would make Sam look like a prophet.  (HD)

 
Bobbie & The Boys
"TO TELL THE TRUTH" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 351
Recorded: - February 1, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3543-A mono
TO TELL THE TRUTH / THESE SILLY BLUES
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Barbara Thomas - Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
"To Tell The Truth" is make-out music. It borrows liberally from the anthem of such efforts, "Earth Angel" by the Penguins. The kind of vocal unison singing at the top was still being taken to the bank as recently as 1958 by Little Anthony and the Imperials with "Tears On My Pillow". With the exception of a not so strong release (the middle part of the song), this one had what it look to be a major hit in 1959. The verses are powerful and there are vocal hooks galore. its any body's guess why this didn't make it big. Perhaps Sun/Phillips International were simply not in a position to capitalize on music like this. Certainly, few would have mistaken it for Memphis product. It could have come just as easily as from New York or California.  (HD)

 
Bobbie & The Boys
"THESE SILLY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 1:36
Composer:- Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 352
Recorded: - February 1, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3543-B mono
THESE SILLY BLUES / TO TELL THE TRUTH
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Barbara Thomas - Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
Cliff, Ed and Barbara Thomas were frequent visitors to the Sun studio during 1958. Their efforts resulted in three singles issued under the trio's name, and this, their final effort, issued by sister Barbara.  It almost every case, the group laid down very competent and surprisingly commercial white pop music, with considerably more bite than most owing to Ed's bluesy piano and J.M. Van Eaton's drumming.
 
"These Silly Blues" is driving and catchy, yet tame enough to sell to white teens. There's a bit of bite here, although its teeth have all been capped. The parents of those same white teens would have been quite comfortable as this 45 spun around. This is basically a Cliff Thomas record with Barbara taking over the lead vocal. Although not usually prized by record collectors, there is source for much pride in the four Phillips International singles made by the Thomas family, who continued to combine musical activities with running the family garment business in Jackson, Mississippi.  Fortunately, this record did not mark the end of recording activities for the Thomasses. They are known by collectors for a   superior outing on Ace 613, titled "Do You No Wrong", billed as "Cliff and Ed Thomas featuring Fats on piano".  Cliff and Ed Thomas worked for Huey Meaux's publishing company and wrote "Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries" and "Lover's Holiday", both major soul and pop hits for Peggy Scott and Jo-Jo Benson on Shelby Singleton's SSS International Records in Nashville. (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"FLEA CIRCUS" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Steve Cropper-Bill Justis
Publisher: - Justis Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 353
Recorded: - Probably April 30, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3544-A mono digital
FLEA CIRCUS / CLOUD NINE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Sid Lapworth or Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Piano
Sid Manker - Guitar
Probably Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
''Flea Circus" must have been a lot of fun to record. The spirit is quite contagious. The first three verses repeat the simple riff, adding one note to the harmony each time. Its only with Justis' sax solo and the truly awful guitar break (whether by Roland Janes or Sid Manker) that things start to unravel. The hand clapping percussive verse at the end almost redeems the side . This is the final record issued under Justis' name. By the time it appeared in July, 1959, Justis had left Sun to pursue an independent music career. (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"CLOUD NINE" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Justis Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 354
Recorded: - Probably April 30, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3544-B mono
CLOUD NINE / FLEA CIRCUS
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Sid Lapworth or Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Piano
Sid Manker - Guitar
Probably Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
"Cloud Nine" might have been subtitled "Billy Vaughn meets Charlie Rich". Its really a beautiful tune featuring Rich's soaring piano and Justis altoish harmonies. An interesting solo piano version of this tune by composer Rich is worth comparing to the arrangement issued under Justis' name. The spirit of pianist Eddie Heywood ("Canadian Sunset") looms large over the session, although Rich's chord changes during the release are both original and truly heave nly. (HD)

 
Brad Suggs
"706 UNION" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 355
Recorded: - July 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International 45rpm standard single PI 3545-A mono
706 UNION / LOW OUTSIDE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
 
Brad Suggs you say. First there were those three country ballads issued with the Slim Rhodes band back in 1955. Then between 1959 and 1961 Suggs had five singles issued on Phillips International. Virtually all of them were instrumentals with some novelty aspect to them. This two sides, issued in September 1959, were his first shot at the marketplace.
 
"706 Union" raises an interesting question. If you were asked to compose a brief instrumental to commemorate the birthplace of Sun Records, would this be it? Consider everything that had happened at 706 prior to this date: Elvis Presley, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Carl Perkins, The Ripley Cotton Choppers. Would your music be in a minor key? Of the approximately 200 singles issued on Sun/Phillips International and Flip prior to this date, not to mention those sides issued on Chess, RPM, and other labels to which Sam Phillips licensed his recordings, no more than a handful of them were performed in a minor key. So why choose one for the tribute?  Compounding the problem, Martin Willis' sax break sounds like it was lifted from a rock bar mitzvah, and Charlie Rich's piano solo sounds like something drifting out of a lounge in Havana in the early 1950s. Only Van Eaton's echoey drumming sounds remotely Sun-like. All this might have been a lot more acceptable if it weren't titled "706 Union". (HD)

 
Brad Suggs
"LOW OUTSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Edwin Bruce-Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 356
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3545-B mono
LOW OUTSIDE / 706 UNION
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
 
According to Brad Suggs, "Low Outside" was a phrase borrowed from baseball ("the pitch was low and outside"). He recalls that the idea for the title came directly from Sam Phillips, a man rarely associated with baseball. Perhaps, unknown to historians, Sam Phillips spent some August nights at the ballpark when the Memphis Chicks were playing in town.  Although the record label credits the song to Suggs and Bruse (presumably Edwin, who was still making records at Sun as late as summer, 1959), Suggs recalls no involvement by anyone else in the composition. "The song was 100% mine", he maintains. The 1-6-minor-4-5 progression is certainly familiar enough, and Willis' sax solo is deftly borrowed from the Del Vikings' "Whispering Bells". There are three key modulations here, suggesting that these pickers knew their chops, especially Suggs on guitar. The fade on a sustained high note is a subtle reminder of the final bars of "Raunchy".  (HD)

 
Carl Mann
"ROCKIN' LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Carl Mann
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 357
Recorded: - August 24, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3546-A mono
ROCKIN' LOVE / PRETEND
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal and Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatsvall - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums
 
"Rockin' Love", was a remake of the lone Carl Mann single on Jaxon Records, recorded prior to his pilgrimage to Memphis. The first half is a tight, tough little record that builds quite a bit of tension. And then it happens: the band speeds up and just when things should soar into the stratosphere, the sheer incompetence of one band member threatens to destroy the whole gig. Bass player Robert Oatsvall simply goes to piece. He can barely keep up with the changes awn manages to hit a few clams of near mythic proportion. In truth, it is a wonder that this take was released. Sam Phillips has often told of releasing records with technical imperfections because the feeling was right. "Down The Line" by Jerry Lee Lewis was one such case (listen to the guitar go out of tune).
 
Here is another. Oatsvall sounds like he studied bass at the Luther Perkins school of fretboard mastery. These aren't exactly complex chord changes but Oatsvall manages to turn finding the 1-chord (the tonic, the key in which the song is being performed) into an adventure as Carl sings the little phrase. Oatsvall stuck around for a few more sessions but by 1960 he had been given his walking papers . (HD)

 
Carl Mann
"PRETEND" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:36
Composer: - Douglas-Parman-LaVere
Publisher: - Brandon Music
Matrix number: - P 358
Recorded: - August 24, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3546-B mono
PRETEND / ROCKIN' LOVE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal and Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatsvall - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums
 
Finding a follow-up to ''Mona Lisa'' was no small task. One of sam Phillips' major frustration centered on his inability to sustain the momentum of those occasional hit records. In the case of carl Mann, he played all the angles. The verdict was to keep the formula (rock up another standard) and dig into the Nat Cole songbook if possible. And so ''Pretend'', a 1953 hit for Cole, was chosen. EWverything else stayed pretty much the same as last time, which was of course part of the problem. The element of surprise was totally missing here, even if this was a pretty terrific record. Guitarist Eddie Bush and drummer W.S. Holland generate a prodigious amount of energy together and the contrast between them and Mann is again striking: Bush and Holland are on fire, and Mann is on Valium. (HD)(MH)

 
Memphis Bells featuring Bettye Hodges
"THE MIDNITE WHISTLE" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Bettye Hodges
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 361
Recorded: - October 14, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3547-A mono
THE MIDNITE WHISTLE / SNOW JOB
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bettye Jean Hodges - Organ
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley or Bill Black - Bass
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
The ladies actually offer a touch of blues to go with the skating rink feel. Both melodies were by Bettye  Jean, although its Shirley playing the organ on "Snow Job" and Bettye Jean on "Midnite Whistle" (a tune  that Bettye Jean says was meant to be called "The Midnight Whistler). "Midnite Whistle" features a very  catchy melody. This track truly could have been a left field hit back in 1959. There's a fine piano break by  Charlie Rich, and Roland Janes uses his vibrato bar to good effect.(HD)

 
Memphis Bells featuring Shirley Siske
"SNOW JOB" - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Bettye Hodges
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 362
Recorded: - October 14, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3547-B mono
SNOW JOB / THE MIDNITE WHISTLE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Shirley Ruth Sisk - Organ
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley or Bill Black - Bass
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
The Memphis Bells, cleverly named after the Mississippi paddlewheel boat, sound like an allgirl band, but in fact the group consisting of two organists, Shirley Sisk and her friend Bettye Jean Hodges, backed by the usual suspects. The ever- unreliable log sheets filed with the Union suggest that its Roland Janes, Billy Riley, Brad Suggs, Charlie Rich, J.M. Van Eaton, and Marty Willis. Bettye Jean, though, remembers that Bill Black was present, and as Smokey had yet to break, she might well be right.
 
Bettye Jean had written many, many tunes, but the limit of her performing experience was playing in church and at organ recitals downtown during the holidays. She was, she says, pushed into recording by her husband and her mother. "Snow Job" wasn't really my style of music", she says, "but I was trying to go with what was selling. I hate to say it, but I had no perseverance, and that's what it takes". As a result, this is the one and only time that Bettye Jean appeared inside a recording studio. Shirley remembers that "Snow Job" got played quite often around Memphis, and even remembered hearing is as she was driving to California with her husband, but it wasn't the wintertime smash that it might have been.
 
 
"Snow Job" was a shuffle rhythm, and its odd to hear Ms. Sisk play organ glissandi a la Jerry Lee behind Roland's guitar break. Listen to those chords during the last two bars! Where'd that come from? (HD)

 
Mack Self
"WILLIE BROWN" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 360
Recorded: - August 15, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3548-A mono
WILLIE BROWN / MAD AT YOU
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Evans - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Ace Cannon - Tenor Saxophone
W.S. Holland – Drums
 
This was somebody's idea of a commercial record in 1959. It might have been subtitled "Tom Dooley Meets The Battle Of New Orleans". Ironically, this is the least interesting record Mack Self left in the Sun vaults, an ersatz folk concoction full of dramatic drum rolls and a wholly out-of-place sax. At least it gave them an excuse to resurrect and release "Mad At You" (1957), for which we should be deeply beholden to the hung down "Mr. Brown".
 
The song seems to be written from the point of view of the dead man. It's not immediately clear who's saying "Hang down, Willie Brown, hang down and die" until you consider the next few words: "My loved ones, they cry". That pretty much identities the murdered man as the speaker. In any case, "Willie Brown" was  worked up over at least two different sessions and underwent some personnel changes in the process. Both Ace Cannon and Martin Willis took a hand at the sax part and both W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland and J.M. Van Eaton played drums. One of those stalwart session drummers (we're not sure which) had a little bit of trouble mastering the military drum roll that appears prominently in "Willie Brown". This becomes painfully clear on a number of takes that had to be aborted when the drummer goofed his attempt at the drum roll. Some alternate takes feature a heavier backbeat than the version issued in October, 1959. The major difference on the alternate take here can be heard in the sax work behind Self's vocal; it seems more adventurous on this unissued take. (HD)

 
Mack Self
"MAD AT YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - P 359
Recorded: - Probably March 28, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3548-B mono
MAD AT YOU / WILLIE BROWN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Therlow Brown - Lead Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Rhythm Guitar
Jimmy Evens - Bass and 2nd Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
"Mad At You", this delightful slice of rural life dates from Mack's earliest session at Sun and continued appearing on the session logs almost until the end. Dueting with bass player Jimmy Evans, Mack gives us a comic version of his troubles. He's mad at everything in sight - including both his girl and the world. His cow's gone dry, the hens won't lay, his tires are flat and he's got a hole in his Sunday hat. Those last two lines, by the way, came to Mack courtesy of Jack Clement. Clement had a listen to what Mack was working on, jotted the "ties are flat/Sunday hat" couplet down on a piece of paper and handed it to Mack in the studio. Two great minds worked together. All the complaining is quite good- natured and the song is wonderfully picked and sung.
 
"Mad At You" offers a vivid glimpse at the identity of the elusive Mack Self. The verdict comes in Country. Country to the core. And back country at that. This record is a delight. Listen to those verses during the "mad at the world" segment. Cows, chickens, and a Sunday hat. How much further back into the country can you get? Self seems lost in another time zone. In fact, he kept making music that truly belonged in another decade (both this track and "Easy To Love", issued on SUN 273, are fine examples) and Sam Phillips, bless his heart, kept putting it out. Note that this track sat in the can for over two years before being released in October, 1959. The master was recorded in March 1957 and there are demos of "Mad At You" dating from February 1956, if not earlier.
 
"On my first sessions at Sun, I had Therlow Brown playing hot guitar", recalled Mack Self, "and Jimmy Evans on upright bass. That was our band. Sam Phillips added Stan Kesler on steel and Carl Perkins' drummer W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland. Around that time, we cut "Goin' Crazy" and "Mad At You" but they were not released then. Around 1956 we cut some other songs, "Vibrate" was one. It was several years before Sam Phillips put out another record, which was "Willie Brown" and "Mad At You" on Phillips International".
 
"Mad At You" was recorded back in 1956 or 1957 with some other tunes. We tried it on several occasions right from my first session. The record had myself and Jimmy Evans singing. Jimmy played upright bass too. Roland Janes and Therlow Brown played guitar and Billy Riley too I think. But that was the flipside, an old recording pulled out to back up "Willie Brown" was made in 1959. That had Roland Janes on hot guitar, me on rhythm, Martin Willis on sax, Jim Wilson on piano and either Carl Perkins' or Warren Smith's drummer. We just cut the song that time. Sam Phillips and Ernie Barton Artist and Repertoire’s that one". (HD)

 
Brad Suggs
"I WALK THE LINE" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 363
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3549-A mono
I WALK THE LINE / OOH WEE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony
 
Brad Suggs is back for his second shot at immortality, this time complete with orchestra and chorus. Sam Phillips' thinking was probably if he was going to spring for a French horn, he was going to level them an "Orchestra". Might as well get some class out of it. What we really have here is an attempt to garner some revenue for the Sun publishing catalogue. Suggs recalls that an instrumental version of "I Walk The Line" was presently showing up at the low end of the pop charts. "I just can't remember who it was. I'm pretty sure he was a west coast musician who also did some movie soundtracks". In any case, Sam wanted to get his own version of the tune out there to help stimulate sales and radio plays because he owned the copyright to the Johnny Cash tune. The aforementioned French horn played the bass part, and a baritone sax and guitar (Suggs) play the melody line in unison. Its a long way from the version J.C., Luther and Marshall left in the can at 706 Union just three years earlier. (HD)

 
Brad Suggs
"OOH WEE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 364
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3549-B mono
OOH WEE / I WALK THE LINE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony 
 
"Ooh Wee" is actually a much better record than it deserves to be. The lyric is strictly cornball, but the piano/guitar/drums play beautifully together and the whole thing finds a totally enjoyable groove. Its a cinch that the piano player on this track is the same guy (playing the same riffs) as the pianist on Billy Riley's "Wouldn't You Know". The session file lists that man as James Paulman, but nobody, including Brad Suggs, seems to recall a piano player named Paulman. More to the point, its hard to imagine that those rolling chords don't belong to Charlie Rich. (HD)

 
Carl Mann
"SOME ENCHANTED EVENING" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:04
Composer: - Oscar Hammerstein-Richard Rogers
Publisher: - Williamson Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 365
Recorded: - October 12, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3550-A mono
SOME ENCHANTED EVENING / I CAN'T FORGET YOU
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal and Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatsvall - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums
 
This was Carl Mann's second follow-up to "Mona Lisa" and already the formula was wearing thin. This session showed Carl and the boys were still taking previously melodic standards, removing most of their distinctive features, and rocking them up. Its hard to know whether the butchered melodies and stripped down chord changes occurred by design or default. You'd think somebody would know better. in any case, Carl continued his trademark vocal lick here when he sang the line about a "crowded roo - oo - oo-oom". The audience didn't need to be reminded; they remembered all too and they turned out clutching those dollar bills in ever decreasing droves.  (HD)

 
Carl Mann
"I CAN'T FORGET YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Carl Belew-W.S. Stevenson
Publisher: - Four Star
Matrix number: - P 366
Recorded: - October 12, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3550-B mono
I CAN'T FORGET YOU / SOME ENCHANTED EVENING
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal and Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatsvall - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums
 
Overdub Session
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt,
chorus and percussion effects
 
The undubbed version of "I Can't Forget You" suggests that Carl Mann had turned in a pretty decent and tight reading of a sweet country ballad. But then the tapes were taken from their 706 Union Avenue home to their new residence at 639 Madison Avenue where a choral overdub and spacey echo were added. These gratuitous overdubs took the results so far over the top that it is virtually impossible to take them seriously or regard them as a reflection on Carl's artistry. (HD

 

 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©