CONTAINS 1955 SUN SESSIONS 2

Studio Session for Eddie Bond, 1955 / Ekko Records
Studio Session for The Marigolds (Prisonaires), June/July 1955 / Excello Records
Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, June 24, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, June or July 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Miller Sisters, July 1, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl Perkins, July 11, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Eddie Snow, Mid July 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, July 30, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Haggett, August 23, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Smokey Joe Baugh, August 25, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jack Earls, October 15, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Emerson, November 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, November 1, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, Late 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Evans, Unknown Date 1955/1956 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Bernero &
Thurman Ted Enlow, November 4, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Emerson, November 22, 1955 / Vee-Jay Records
Studio Session for Carl Perkins, December 19, 1955 (1) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl Perkins, December 19, 1955 (2) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, Probably 1955 or 1956 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Dotty Abbott, Late 1955 or Early 1956 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Sterling Sisters, Probably Mid 1950s / Sun Records
Live Broadcast Recording for Johnny Cash, December 1955 / KWEM Radio
Studio Session for Roy Orbison, 1955 / Columbia Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, Late 1955 or Early 1956 / KWEM Radio
Demo Session for Barbara Pittman, Probably End 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, 1955 / Meladee Records
Studio Session for Doctor Ross, Probably 1955/1958 / Dir Records

Biography of Artists (See: The Sun Biographies)


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Country and rockabilly singer, disc-jockey, promotor, radio and television station impresario, song-writer, charity worker and law enforcement officer, all parts of the multi-faceted person that is Eddie Bond. For over forty years now he had been completely immersed in the southern musical culture that spawned the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison et all. Whether he is performing in Memphis, Tennessee, Drew, Mississippi or Prudhoe, Tyne and Wear, England, Eddie Bond continues to be a living embodiment of the traditional sounds of country and authentic rockabilly music.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR EDDIE BOND
FOR EKKO RECORDS 1955 

MURRAY NASH ASSOCIATES STUDIO
CUMBERLAND LODGE BUILDING, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
EKKO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – RED MATTHEWS

Following failed auditions at Sun and Meteor Records in Memphis, Eddie Bond secured a recording deal with Ekko Records which, although an Los Angeles company had a Memphis office which was located at 36 North Cleveland in Memphis. Although not certain, Eddie now believe the Ekko session was held at Murray Nash Studio in Nashville. Celebrated pickers were brought in by artist and repertoire man Red Matthews, who supervised the session, resulting in two singles releases at the tail-end of 1955. ''Double Duty Lovin''' was coupled with ''Talking Off The Wall'', ''Love Makes A Fool (Every Day)'' being paired with ''Your Eyes''. No fabulous sales were achieved but they formed the basis for the next session which saw Eddie move further towards the big-time and a major label deal, Mercury Records.

01 – ''DOUBLE DUTY LOVIN''' – B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - V. Claude
Publisher: - Jari Music
Matrix number: - 1015BB
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - August 1955
First appearance: - Ekko Records (S) 45rpm Ekko 1015-B mono
DOUBLE DUTY LOVIN' / TALKING OFF THE WALL
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-1 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

02 – ''TALKING OFF THE WALL''' – B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - E. Brooks
Publisher: - Jerl Music
Matrix number: - 1015AA
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - August 1955
First appearance: - Ekko Records (S) 45rpm Ekko 1015-A mono
TALKING OFF THE WALL / DOUBLE DUTY LOVIN'
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-2 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

03 – ''LOVE MAKES A FOOL (EVERY DAY)''' – B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Hews-Kuchie
Publisher: - Jerl Music
Matrix number: - 1016A
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - September 1955
First appearance: - Ekko Records (S) 45rpm Ekko 1016-A mono
LOVE MAKES A FOOL (EVERY DAY) / YOUR EYES
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-3 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

04 – ''YOUR EYES''' – B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Hews-Carver
Publisher: - Jerl Music
Matrix number: - 1016B
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - September 1955
First appearance: - Ekko Records (S) 45rpm Ekko 1016-B mono
YOUR EYES / LOVE MAKES A FOOL (EVERY DAY)
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-3 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Bond – Vocal
Walter Hank Garland – Guitar
Edward Eddie Hill – Rhythm Guitar
Jerry Byrd – Steel Guitar
Floyd T. Chance – Bass
Murray M. Buddy Harmon – Drums
Marvin Hughes - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JUNE 1955

Sometime in late June 1955 the Marigolds (Prisonaires) took their first trip to the recording  studio Ernie Young had set up in his record warehouse on Nashville's Third Avenue North.  They recorded four songs: ''Two Strangers'', ''Love You, Love You, Love You'', ''Pork And  Beans'', and ''Front Page Blues''. The group's members had changed again because William  Stewart and Ed Thurman were released in April 1955. All of the original Prisonaires had now  been released except Johnny Bragg, although Junior Drue was temporally back in the fold.  On this session Bragg and Drue were joined by Hal Hebb, Willy Wilson and the new member,  Alfred Brooks, who had been given life at age 17 for killing a schoolteacher. And it was only  the singers who were different. This time the singers were backed by one of Ernie Young's  house bands, people Bragg described to Bill Millar as being ''from the free world''. The band  was the Freddy Young combo with Young on alto saxophone, pianist Skippy Brooks, bassist  Clifford McCray, and drummer Kid King.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE MARIGOLDS/SOLOTONES
FOR EXCELLO RECORDS 1955

NASHBORO RECORDING STUDIO
177 THIRD AVENUE NORTH, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
EXCELLO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JUNE/JULY 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – ERNIE YOUNG

By the end of July all four of the songs from this session were on the marked. The Marigolds's second disc appeared as Excello 2061 and featured ''Two Strangers'', a slow ballad that Bragg reads off in a conversational voice with understated support from the group and the band. Freddy Young took a plaintive, distracted-sounding solo and Bragg finished the song with his trademark falsetto.

''Love You, Love You, Love You'' starts as a solid mid-paced ballad sung strongly by Bragg with the group building up the intensity of the vocal riffs behind him until Freddy Young leaps out with an exciting sax solo. This was an impressive record, given a spotlight review in Billboard on August 13 as: ''An unusual coupling by a versatile group. ''Two Strangers'' is a quiet, intimate and completely absorbing ballad, while the flip is an exuberant shout. The first is quite original while the flip rides on a great performance''. The record was issued in the same batch of discs with Excello 2060 which the company's trade paper ads of August described as ''introducing a new group, the Solotones, singing ''Pork And Beans'' and ''Front Page Blues''. Despite the relative success of ''Rollin' Stone'', Ernie Young had evidently decided that the Marigolds were not necessarily the best vehicle for Johnny Bragg's talents and he put two of Bragg's eggs into a different basket, the Solotones name capturing quite well the notion that this was a group but with one very strong lead voice. Why he did not just use Bragg's name is unclear. Whatever, it was a wonderful record, introduced by Skippy Brooks's piano notes, kicked on by a solid rhythm section and with horns careering around in the background, ''Pork And Beans'' was a jokey homage to the singer's idea of the perfect food song. ''Front Page Blues'' was just that, a blues about the gloom brought to the singer when he sees a photo of his girl marrying someone else. Freddy Young takes another expansive alto sax solo and the band of Excello musicians is on fine form. The Marigolds play a larger part on this side, with specific parts for the group and the bass voice.

01 - ''PORK AND BEAMS'' - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Johnny Bragg
Publisher: - Excellorec Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date June/July 1955
Released: - July 1955
First appearance: - Excello Records (S) 45rpm Excello 2060-A mono
PORK AND BEANS / FRONT PAGE BLUES
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-18 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

02 – ''FRONT PAGE BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Robert Riley-Leon Luallen
Publisher: - Excellorec Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date June/July 1955
Released: - July 1955
First appearance: - Excello Records (S) 45rpm Excello 2060-B mono
FRONT PAGE BLUES / PORK AND BEANS
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-17 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

03 – ''TWO STRANGERS'' - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Robert Riley
Publisher: - Excellorec Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date June/July 1955
Released: - July 1955
First appearance: - Excello Records (S) 45rpm Excello 2061-A mono
TWO STRANGERS / LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-19 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

04 – ''LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU'' - B.M.I. - 2:53
Composer: - Johnny Bragg
Publisher: - Excellorec Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date June/July 1955
Released: - July 1955
First appearance: - Excello Records (S) 45rpm Excello 2061-B mono
LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU / TWO STRANGERS
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-20 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Bragg - Lead Tenor Vocal
John Drue - Tenor Vocal
Harold Hebb - Tenor Vocal
Alfred Brooks - Tenor Vocal
Willy Wilson - Bass Vocal
Freddy Young - Saxophone
Skippy Brooks - Piano
Kid King - Drums
Clifford McCray - Bass
Unknown - Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE FEATHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
 706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY JUNE 24, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

4 uknown titles were recorded at this session
Session details unknown

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal & Guitar
Quinton Claunch - Guitar
Bill Cantrell - Fiddle
Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar
Bill Diehl - Bass

On this date, there was a follow-up session for Charlie feathers, but unfortunately, his prolificacy coincided with near bankruptcy at Sun Records Sam Phillips completely recorded over the session tapes. All the unissued titles from this session have been lost.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Both of these girls were worked at the telephone company and were in of Charlie Feathers fan club. The name of the girl on the left is not identified but the one on the right of the photo is Shirley Richardson, she was the president of the fan club and this was at her house where several of these girls all lived and shared paying the rent. Charlie Feathers, Jerry Huffman and Jody Chastain would sometimes practice there songs and music there. >

1979 CHARLIE FEATHERS SPEAKS
In Charlie's Words 1:

I was seventeen years old when I first came to Sun Records. Sam Phillips was just  recording black artists. He was selling ten or fifteen thousand of some of the records. He  didn't have no idea then about findin' a white man who could sing like a black man. I met  Elvis way before he came to Sun. He was livin' on Alabama Street. A lot a poor people was  livin' on Alabama at that time.

Elvis and I had this sorta fan club who were telephone operators. In the picture where I'm  holding the guitar, Elvis was sitting right beyond the girl dancing on my left. It's funny  there ain't no pictures of him there because he spent a lot of time there. But I bet you  sure could find out from those telephone operators that he was there.

Elvis dyed his hair black and kept it black. He did it 'cause Tony Curtis' hair's black, and  Tony Curtis was Elvis' idol. I seen him in a movie last night; had his hair just like Tony  Curtis. You know the RCA Elvis wasn't the Elvis I knew. They didn't know what they got  when they got 'im. They didn't believe he was being recorded with just three pieces, so  they send Webb Pierce down to see him, and he blew 'em right off the stage with them  three pieces. They had to sign him.

Johnny Cash is from Diaz, Arkansas. Carl Perkins come from Jackson, Tennessee. Johnny  Burnette might've originally been from Arkansas or Mississippi, but he had lots a kin folks  in Memphis. Of course Elvis come from Tupelo, about 40 miles down the road in Mississippi  where I'm from. Warren Smith's from Greenwood, Mississippi. Sonny Burgess is from  Newport, Arkansas, Conway Twitty is from Helena, Arkansas which is practically right  across the bridge. As the label (Sun) got more popular, one or two came from Louisiana.  Jerry Lee come from Louisiana.

Buddy Holly came to Memphis and never could get himself recorded. He used to come out  to the club where I was singing, and I used to sing a song I got on this album called "Done  gone." Buddy Holly heard me singing it that way, and he went back to New Mexico and cut  a thing called "Peggy Sue." Oh! it's mighty fine - it's rockabilly. Elvis was the King of  Rockabilly, but now, well Chuck Berry was the King of Rock and Roll. Fats Domino was pop,  he wasn't really rock, 'cause anytime you cut a pianist up in there you're doin' pop. Now  Little Richard - now I'm gonna tell ya - him, with that high singing - hitting stuff up there is  kin to opera. Little Richard came from the opera!

Rockabilly is the only thing that ever really came outta Memphis. These guys here just  happened 'cause it was great. What they were doing was so different that it was the turn  of the century in music. The first rockabilly that was ever recorded was in 1949. It was  called "Tongue-Tied Jill." There was a store on Chelsea Street that had a recorder in the  back room. I cut the song there as a demo. Later, something like 1955, the guy asked me if  I minded if he released it on his label which was called Meteor. I said alright, and the  bootleggers have had it ever since.

In 1956 I cut eight songs for king Records in Cincinnati. I recorded four of those at their  studio in Cincinnati. ("Bottle to the Baby." "One Hand Loose," "I Can't Hardly Stand it," and  "Everybody's Loving My Baby.") I cut the other four songs for King at the RCA Victor studio  in Nashville. Since Elvis was using the Jordanaires as a back-up group, I used a group that  had put out a big seller on Sun called "Just Walkin' in The Rain. They were called the  Prisonaires, and they were one of the finest groups to work with I have ever known. The  tunes we recorded were; "When You Decide," "Nobody's Woman," "Too Much Alike," and  "When You Comin' Around?"

The bootleg records are the things I did on Sun and King. I still got contracts, but the man  at King is dead, and I don't know who owns it. You call and catch up with 'em and ask'em  something about it, and they always tell you it's another label or something like that. I  don't draw anything from 'em. I don't know how many there are. I have no idea. The Sun  Museum's a fake. I mean the studio was there, but the recording equipment isn't what  Elvis cut on. Sam didn't think the stuff was no good so he gave it to some friends, guys who  had played on a lotta tunes for him, and he got new stuff. Now maybe some of the stuff,  but not Elvis or myself, 'cause we left there and never did come back.

They got all kind of pictures on the wall - even Hank Williams and he never did record  there. My picture isn't on the wall. Though I never did have a big record outta there. I did  write "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" which was Elvis' first million seller. Now, no one  would admit that it was a million seller in those days cause RCA wanted to have the first  million seller on him. So Sam went along. He didn't mind not having to pay people as  much. So "Heartbreak Hotel" is supposed to be Elvis' first million seller. "I Forgot To  Remember To Forget" was at the top of the charts for 43 weeks! You mean to tell me that  ain't a million seller?

You know, in the later years I didn't keep up with Elvis and them people. I think there's a  lot of people that did not know Elvis, but they know him now! There's some boogie-woogie  people out there making up a lotta stuff. You have to be a fan to buy something, but you  do not have to be a fan to sell it. Now they got people over in front of Elvis' house trying  to tell you they got a leaf that fell off a tree in his yard and he kissed it!

Part of the idea of all this is not to get bootlegged. The people that buy 'em, they are good  people, but it's a rip-off the way the people is doing the selling. I've had people mail me a  dollar bill and said, "I know the record was a bootleg record, but I wanna see you get your  part Charlie."


Charlie Feathers with his daughter Wanda at home, 1955. >

In Charlie's Words 2:

I was fiddlin' with a guitar when I was nine years old. I seen Bill Monroe play once, and I  really liked what I heard, but I couldn't play that type of music, cause I wasn't around that  type a music. I was around the colored guys workin' on a farm. Weekends they'd play the  cottonpatch blues.  The churches had an influence on my music. I used to go to colored people's, or black  people's - man we called 'em colored people. . . . I'm colored, I'm white.

They's black, we'  colored - The churches'd have picnics on the weekends, and doin' all kinds a things;  shootin' dice and one thing an' another and getting to rappin' on guitars....the cottonpatch  blues. I loved what I heard. 

The cottonpatch blues never did make it, nobody knows what it is. They might think its  somebody jammin' on a guitar . But if you learn it....OH! it's got a message and you  get ....OH MAN! It's a Damned Disease! You don't wanna get into it, it hurts you. You can't  go no further in music, the other damned music jus' .... this music'll kill you. When the  music hits you man, it'll do somethin' to your mind, you won't wanna hear nothing else.

Obie Patterson wouldn't even pick a guitar now. He asked God to take it away from 'im,  cause he said he'd play a tune so hard he knew it was gonna wreck a person's mind when  they heard it. He hasn't picked up a guitar since. Now I've played all over the world man,  and the best guitar player in the world is an old black man down in Mississippi called  Junior Kimball. They tried to record him here in Memphis over at Stax, but they wasn't  able. The session men said it was them! They couldn't keep up with him! Do you play  guitar? I guarantee you it came from Junior Kimball. Hey you got a have a teacher  somewhere.

Playin' music is usin' whatever you can remember in your mind. When I'm playing I  remember these old guys from where I grew up. The real basic things came from them.  Some times the old black man used to come up to visit, and I'd let some of it rub off on  bubba too. Man I can show my kids what to do and they understand it. They help me. I've  tried to pick up other guys, and they might be better pickers, but these kids got what I  can't get nowhere else....the feeling.

Now, I liked bluegrass, ya know Bill Monroe, and Hank Williams, but bein' raised up on the  farm like I was, I couldn't pick bluegrass, but I added what I could, and started doing these  licks, and it was my type a music. Rockabilly is got a blues about it. It's got some black in  it, you can rear back an' holler WELL. It's like someone sittin' around talkin' to theirselves  their minds so occupied.

I always thought that when you're recording something, you wanted to get exactly what  the man is doing out there....breathing, slapping his leg, patting his feet, clapping his  hands, and that you sometimes got to mic a guy in more than one place. That is true  sound. That is the sound of this man. It seems awful to me you can't record someone  sweatin'....if you don't get the sounds of a man's body, hell! That's why Elvis was the best  rockabilly singer, because he was the first one that ever done that.

Elvis wasn't satisfied with "Heartbreak Hotel." He hated it. I mean hey man how do you  change a singer? Most studios cut in a certain way, an' so some people get cut off that way.  Knowing how to set the mics is one thing, but sometimes a singer might be doin' something  he is not even aware of, and its with the rhythm, and it causes some action back in the  control room and make some people wonder how in hell one man can be makin' that much  sound. "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog," and "One Night With You" are the only things Elvis  done on RCA that I liked. The rest of 'em you can have 'em. Those was  natural....something we would have done at Sun.

I'm recording now, after all these years, cause there is some things that I feel, and I've  always felt 'em so that they are down in a deep part a me man, and if you get the chance  to do them kind of things you will do them. I think one track recording had more sound to  offer than they have today with all these separate tracks. You had to play, and just be  yourself. You couldn't just reach back later and pull something out or turn something  down. You had to feel and know it so well that you got to capture it while it's there. You  won't get the perfection you'd get if you were reading music, but they don't get the  feeling, and that's what rockabilly is all about....feeling. MUSIC.... I play it. If I'm not  recordin' I play it. If I'm not playin' out nowhere I play it. I've enjoyed myself more sittin'  in my livin' room at home playing, than I have any day.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE FEATHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
 706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: POSSIBLY JUNE OR JULY 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Stan Kesler first joined the Snearly Ranch Boys as a steel guitarist but the band quickly realised that he could play bass and guitar too and also write songs. He penned several impressive songs at Sun, recorded by Smokey Joe, Warren Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. But one of his first was the best and most lucrative, ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'', recorded in the summer of 1955 by Elvis Presley.   Maybe the clincher for those inclined to give Charlie Feathers the nod is one inescapable fact: it was "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" (Sun 223), a song Charlie Feathers fashioned with Stan Kesler, which really put Presley on the map when it topped the country chart in September 1955 and stayed in the listing for a phenomenal forty weeks.


Charles Arthur Feathers >


Taking the theme of a clever contradiction as a formula Kesler could use, he also came up with the notion of ''We're Getting Closer To Being Apart''. Perhaps this was also destined to go to Elvis, but first Stan needed a demo of the song. He had a go at singing it himself but quickly decided that he would have a better tape if he gave part of the song to Charlie Feathers if Charlie would sing it. Charlie's version may be on this session. What we hear here is Stan's original demo.


With just his own rhythm guitar for company he steps hesitantly into his title lyric and proceeds to sing just one verse, twice. There is something of the Feathers style on lines like ''closer to be-hing apart'' and ''if there's someone else''. Perhaps it was destined for Charlie and not Elvis after all?. Either way, it wasn't released on Sun by anybody.

01(1)- "I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" - B.M.I.- 2:23
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June or July 1955 / Songwriters Demo
Released: - 2005
First appearance: - 2005 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SNAP 230-17 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS - GONE, GONE, GONE
Reissued:   - 2008 Norton Records (CD) 500/200rpm CED 332-14 mono 
CHARLIE FEATHERS - THE WILD SIDE OF LIFE

02(1) - "WE'RE GETTING CLOSER TO BEING APART"* - B.M.I. - 1:20
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June or July 1955 / Songwriters Demo
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-5-5 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950-1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013, Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-31 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

It seems as though the Sun vaults never ceased yielding up treasures. This sat for over thirty years on a quarter track tape marked Stan Kesler that featured, among other things, Stan's own attempts at singing. Stan realised that if he was to stand a chance of selling his material, he needed to have a good demo, so he enlisted the help of Charlie Feathers and gave him 50% of both this song and ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' in exchange for singing the demo. Feathers certainly earned his cut on this song. It is a beautiful hillbilly lament, despite the contrived title, and Feathers handless it to perfection. His phrasing on ''please tell me...'' during the chorus is wonderfully bizarre. The chorus is followed by Stan Kesler's hesitant attempts at playing the fiddle. Little gems such as this help to compensate to a small degree for the many Feathers cuts that were recorded-over during 1954 and 1955. Interestingly, Feathers remembered the song and recorded it for Vetco twenty years later. As similar as it was to ''I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'' it's entirely possible that this was designed for Elvis Presley's ears.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal** and Guitar**
Stanley Kesler - Vocal*, Guitar* & Fiddle**
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR THE MILLER SISTERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
 706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY JULY 1, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

This is the first record by The Millers Sisters to appear on the Sun label (their earlier coupling appeared on Flip 504). For a brief moment in Sun history (Sun 229, Sun 230) Sam Phillips had released back to back records by female artists. Maggie Sue Wimberley followed by the Miller Sisters. You might have thought Sam and Sun were changing direction. But then it was back to reality.

Sun 230 is the first record by the Miller Sisters to appear on the Sun label. (their earlier coupling appeared on Flip 504). It was a source of continuing frustration and amazement to Sam Phillips that he was unable to produce a hit record by Elsie Jo and Millie. The Millers (sister-in-law, actually, rather than sisters) had an unerring and intuitive vocal blend that epitomized the best of pure country harmony. Somehow their artistic success was never matched commercially, and by the late 1950s the Miller Sisters were separated by miles and circumstances, never to record again.

01 - "THERE'S NO RIGHT WAY TO DO ME WRONG" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:21
Composer: - Ted Meyne
Publisher: - Southern Music
Matrix number: - U 168 - Master
Recorded: - July 1, 1955
Released: - January 15, 1956
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 230-A mono
THERE'S NO RIGHT WAY TO DO ME WRONG / YOU CAN TELL ME
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Billboard incorrectly described ''There's No Right Way To Do Me Wrong'' in January 1956 as an effective weeper, which suggest that they had not even listen to it, or, if that had. they’d listened to the wrong version. Despite its theme, the track moves along at a sprightly pace that belies its subject matter. As he did on all the girls releases, Phillips coupled a true weeper with some uptempo material and he must have thought very highly of this song because it was one of the very few non Hi-Lo copyrights released by Sun in 1956. The song was originally recorded at half tempo in December 1953 by Rose Maddox. Although Phillips credits Gabe Tucker and Smokey Stover, Rose's record credits west coast songwriter Ted Meyne.


This balled side, "You Can Tell Me", was contributed by a novice songwriter named Homer Eddleman, Jr., who submitted a tape postmarked Route 1, Marianna, Arkansas. Unlike the thousands of wannabees who sent tapes to Sun during the 1950s, Eddleman's dream came true: his name appeared as a composer credit on a yellow Sun record. The first four notes of his song are identical to "Tennessee Waltz", but from there Eddleman and the Millers are on their own. The storyline is clever and unusual, and packs a pretty good punchline. Too bad more folks didn't get it.

About ten years later, blues singer Bobby Bland recorded an interesting variant on this theme called ''Your Friends''. Separate by years, miles, race, and audience Bland's record shows that some themes are timeless and can be reworked into and style.

02 - "YOU CAN TELL ME" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:37
Composer: - Homer Edelman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 169 - Master
Recorded: - July 1, 1955
Released: - January 15, 1956
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 230-B mono
YOU CAN TELL ME / THERE'S NO RIGHT WAY TO DO ME WRONG
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

03 – "STUDIO CHATTER" - B.M.I. - 0:23
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably July 1, 1955
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-3-18 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Millie and Jo offer solid chanting on a weeper destined for rural juke action. Had this been issued, it wasn't, Billboard might have said, ''May not break out of the hinterlands but waltz tempo adds to back country feel. Strong cleffing and usual Sun back shack sound make this disking a winner''.

04 - "LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO MY HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Roy Estes Miller
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - July 1, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-6-3 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3-34 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

This is one of the few extant takes of ''Woody'' without Woody Woodpecker sound effects grafted onto it. There are at least ten takes of this tune in the vaults although it is ironic that, after all the work on Roy's novelty song, nothing was released. Despite the trite and dated lyric, the girls turn in a really spendid vocal, considerably better than the material deserved.

05 - "WOODY" - B.M.I. - 1:48
Composer: - Roy Ester Miller
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 1, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-6-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-2 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

06 - "I KNOW I CAN'T FORGET YOU, BUT I'LL TRY" - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Roy Estes Miller
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 1, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-6-4 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3-35 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959
The first time Colin Escott and Hank Davis heard this track was on an acetate played by Marion Keisker in Memphis. They were struck by its pure country charm and lamented the fact that music like this was unlikely to find its way into commercial release. Fortunately, that problem has been solved and this wonderful track takes its place in the legacy left behind at Sun by the Miller Sisters.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elsie Jo Miller - Duet Vocal
Mildred Wages - Duet Vocal
Buddy Holobaugh or Roy Miller - Guitar
Stanley Kesler - Steel Guitar
Jan Ledbetter or William Diehl - Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums
Ace Cannon - Tenor Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JULY 1, 1955 FRIDAY

Keith Whitley is born in Sandy Hook, Kentucky. Married to Lorroe Morgan in 1986, his rich vocals done some of the most expressive singles of the late-1980s, although his career is shortened when he dies from alcohol poisoning in 1989.

Ernest Tubb introduces Patsy Cline in her Grand Ole Opry debut, as she performs ''A Church, A Courtroom and Then Goodbye''.

JULY 2, 1955 SATURDAY

''The Lawrence Welk Show'' debuts on ABC-TV, providing a launching pad for the career of Lynn Anderson, who joins the cast for one season in September 1967.

JULY 3, 1955 SUNDAY

The ''Denton Record-Chronicle'' reports, ''Two NTSC students will be special guests on Sunday night's Starlight Concerts show in Fair Park Bandshell in Dallas. Dick Pender (sic) and Wade Moore, rhythm and blues exponents, will present ''The Wallflower'', ''Hey, Miss Fanney'', ''Ooby Dooby'', ''When Will You Love Me'' and ''You And Me''. Pender and Moore, who have performed on stage shows at NTSC and the Campus Theater here, are seen on Dallas Big D Jamboree and are featured performers on Magazine, a weekday show seen at 1:15 p.m. on WFAA-TV''.

JULY 4, 1955 MONDAY

Future Sun recording star Dean Beard reconnected with Elvis Presley in Brownwood on a day when Elvis was slated to perform a triple-header (i.e. three concerts in three locations) for the only time in his career. The Stephenville concert was an early morning gospel event where he sang nothing but sacred music. Scotty Moore gave Beard a copy of Presley's first 78rpm, ''That's All Right'', and Beard later framed it and returned it to Scotty. Late in life, Beard would retrieve a box from under his bed reportedly containing letters from Elvis.

Pop singer John Waite is born in Lancaster, England. A frontman for The Baby's and Bad English, he scores his biggest solo hit with 1984's ''Missing You'', remade 15 years later as a minor country hit by Brooks and Dunn.

Capitol released The Louvin Brothers' ''When I Stop Dreaming''.

Steel guitarist Buddy Emmons moves to Nashville as a member of Little Jimmy Dickens band. Emmons becomes a premier session musician on hits by George Strait, Jim Reeves, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Mark Chesnutt, and of course Elvis Presley in 1969 for his Memphis sessions, produced by Chips Moman.

CBS introduces the summer replacement sitcom ''Those Whiting Girls'', featuring Margaret Whiting, who landed nine duets with Jimmy Wakely in the Top 10 of the Billboard country single chart.

JULY 6, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Webb Pierce recorded ''Love, Love'' and ''If You Were Me (And I Were You)'' at Nashville's Bradley Recording Studio.

JULY 9, 1955 SATURDAY

Patti Page appears on the cover of TV Guide.

''Rock Around The Clock'' by Bill Haley & The Comets reaches number one in Billboard   magazine's US charts, replacing Perez Prado's version of ''Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom   White'', which had been top for 10 weeks. Quaintly described on Decca's label as 'fox trot', it   stays at the top for nine weeks until 3 September, when it is replaced by Mitch Miller's   Yellow Rose of Texas.

JULY 10, 1955 SUNDAY

Songwriter Stan Munsey is born in Eaton, Pennsylvania. He authors the Tim McGraw hit ''All I Want Is A Life''.

JULY 11, 1955 MONDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''Mystery Train'' and ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' (Sun 223) at Memphis' Sun Recording Studio on 706 Union Avenue.

Jenny Peer files for divorce in Charleston, West Virginia, from bandleader Bill Peer, accusing him of adultery with his protege, Patsy Cline.

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''Don't Tease Me''.

JULY 1955

In July of 1955, Jake Earls stopped by the studio to watch Presley cut ''Mystery Train'',  Phillips originally released the song on Sun by blues singer Junior Parker (SUN 192). Phillips  owned the song publishing rights, so he was very interested in seeing Presley record it.  When Presley couldn't remember the lyrics, Earls went home to retrieve his copy of Parker's  record. ''Mystery Train'' appeared as one side of Presley's last single for Sun and on his first  single for RCA Victor. The flip side, ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'', was Presley's first  number one hit on Country & Western charts across the country.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SESSION FILED AS MONDAY JULY 11, 1955
PROBABLY MORE THAN ONE SESSION
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Probably more than one session


Quinton Claunch >

Carl Perkins began to work with Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell on a second single, this one to be brought out on the Sun label. The formula of coupling a slow country ballad with an uptempo rhythm novelty remained unchanged: "Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing" saw the ghost of Hank Williams looming large again. But the flip side, "Gone, Gone, Gone" owed an obvious debt to no one, and was an entire dimension beyond the uptempo hillbilly flipside of his first record.



The steel guitar sat out the song, the fiddle ghosted far back in the mix, leaving Perkins front and center. It gave the first indication of Perkins' amazing rapport with himself, as he scatted phrases vocally, completing them on guitar. In delivery and feel, it was pure rhythm and blues.

''LET THE JUKEBOX KEEP ON PLAYING''

Fans of Carl's back in the 1950s who decided to check out some of his releases before ''Blue Suede Shoes'', hoping to find some unknown early rockers, were in for a shock when they found this. Same label, about six months earlier than ''Shoes'', the word ''Jukebox'' in the title, all the omens were there How could this happen?

We know today that Carl worshiped as the throne of Hank Williams before he caught the boppen' fever. This record was what billboards used to call a ''dolorous chant''. It's gram, humorless, sad and mournful, and it's great. For many fans who got in at rockabilly's ground floor, this record was a learning experience. You got the whole deal here: sawing fiddle, soaring pedal steel. This is as fine an example of mid-1950s Memphis country music as you're likely to. And let's make one thing absolutely clean; Carl was very good at this stuffboth writing it and performing it. There were thousands of Hank Williams wannabees, well after has death In 1953 Carl was one of them and he was on his game here.

The one surviving outtake of ''Jukebox'' reveals one obvious lyrical difference from issued version, and it's not clear whether it was an intentional deference or a lyrical fluff Carl sings, ''Let the jukebox keep on playing / Let my record go around''. Is that ''my'' as in the one I've selected for my nickel, or ''my'' as in the one I've recorded, maybe even this one?

Other than that it's not clear why this take was held back in favor of the issued one. This performance has a considerably more stylized vocal than the original single. Whether that entered into Sam's decision is anybody's guess at this point.

01(1) - "LET THE JUKEBOX KEEP ON PLAYING"* - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-8 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Contains a selection of lesser-known Sun cuts and alternate takes
Reissued: - April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-18 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES


The trick is to follow Carl Perkins recording career in a forward direction, hearing this single first and then "Blue Suede Shoes". Unfortunately. Most Sun fans did it in reverse order. Although the hillbilly roots of Carl Perkins music are now well documented, it was a bit of a stunner going from "Blue Suede Shoes" to the first four bars of "Jukebox". Beyond the culture shock, this is a fine back -country hillbilly record, circa 1955: competent, but not ground breaking. It is lovable, frankly, because its Carl, and we all know what came next.

Surprisingly, W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland was barely audible on either of the two uptempo numbers Perkins had released to that point. He was playing with brushes and Sam Phillips mixed him as far back as he could manage in the cramped studio. It seems as though Sam Phillips shared the prevailing aversion to using drums on country records. "Sam said, 'What do you need 'em for?" recalled Perkins to Dave Booth. "I said, 'W.S. just plays, he don't play loud'. Sam came to agree. He said, 'He don't sounds like drums, he sounds like clickin'. Sounds good".

01(2) - "LET THE JUKEBOX KEEP ON PLAYING"* - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 94 - Master Take 2
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - August 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 224-A mono
LET THE JUKEBOX KEEP ON PLAYING / GONE, GONE, GONE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-11 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

02(1) - "WHAT YOU DOIN' WHEN YOU'RE CRYING"* - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - 1974
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 6467 028-4 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 3
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-9 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

02(2) - "WHAT YOU DOIN' WHEN YOU'RE CRYING"* - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance:  - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-20 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

''WHAT YOU DOIN' WHEN YOU'RE CRYIN''

This ls another one of those enigmatic early Carl Perkins recordings that never saw light of day on Sun. It's styles owes an obvious to Hank Williams, and truth be told, it's a damn fine song. The title is tied to an eight-note melody that becomes a powerful hook with repeated listening. In fact, that enticing and familiar melody line (C - D - F - E – D - C - E - E in key of C) has inspired several of us' to search through our memories of pop/country songs released in the 1950s just before and after Carl's song was recorded. 

We know of no precursor to this melody (i e, Carl did not ''steal'' it from anywhere we can tell). The reason it sounds maddeningly familiar to us is that it (or at least the first six notes, anyway) shows up on several slightly later records of the era. The earliest we know of is Jimmy Willlams' MGM record of Leslie Lyle's  song, ''Go Ahead And Make Me Cry'' (MGM K12150), released in November 1955. (This is a different Jimmy Williams than the one who recorded for Sun in 1957, by the way) A better known version of this catchy melody appears on Patsy Cline's ''Poor Man's Roses'' (written by this non-hillbilly tunesmiths Milton Deluck & Bob Hilliard) that charted in February, 1957, as did Patti Page's cover version. Most successful with the melody was Jimmy Clanton's Top 10 1958 hit recording of his own composition ''Just A Dream''. But none of these pre-dates Carl's recorded. If there ls a predecessor to his use of the tune, we haven't been able to fin it.

However, the pedal steel intro on Carl's record does have traceable ancestry. It goes back to Little Roy Wiggens' steel intro to Eddy Arnold's 1954 mega-hit ''How's The World Treating You''. Stan Kesler's 4-bar intro (and outro) to Carl's recording is virtually identical to what Wiggins played.

Two versions of the song by Carl survive, with virtually identical instrumental work and arrangements, but decidedly different words. Once again, Carl has shown his facility for improvising lyrics on the spot. The next time you hear somebody praise Jerry Lee for being the King of Lyrical Improvisation, think about what you've heard by Carl on this collection.

The first outtake offers the more confident and effective vocal, although either of them would have been a credible single had Carl not enjoyed sudden, unexpected success in another domain altogether. ''Blue Suede Shoes'' spelled the end of Carl's hillbilly career at Sun and caused worthy recordings like this to be shelved. Over half a century later, we can give them the attention and respect they deserve.


From left: Lloyd Clayton Perkins (bass),  W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland (drums), Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), and James Buck Perkins (guitar). >

''YOU CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO SOMEBODY''

This song should make every Carl Perkins fan sit up and take notice. By digging deep into the vault, we have found five versions of the title (plus a false start) stemming from at least two different sessions. None of these appeared as a single or an LP track on the original Sun label.


Maybe the subject matter was considered a tad too risque for the time. Whatever the reason, both Carl and Sam took this song quite seriously, before abandoning it and moving on. You'll hear range of styles here, from a more traditional hillbilly approach to a drum-centered version as rock and roll began to dominate the charts barely a year later.

More than anything, these recordings show us that Carl was really inventing or refiring a new kind of music that was accurately referred to as ''hillbilly bop''. Make no mistake about it: this was hillbilly music, but Carl was literally bopping all over the stage or studio when he performed. His phrasing free and spontaneous – something for which hillbilly singers have rarely been noted. You can hear the spirit of Hank Williams looming over some these takes, but when Carl breaks into wordless scat singing, you know he had left Hank Williams behind.


Just listen to these five-plus outtakes and feel the energy Carl brings to the performances. Carl (and his band) are truly giving birth to this music as they perform it. You're never entirely sure which lyrics Carl will sing or how he'll accent a vocal line or play his guitar.

Throwaway couplets like ''Listen boy, ain't no joy, being lonely'' reveal the ease and brilliance with which he composed songs. In truth, ''composed'' is probably too heady a term for what Carl did. His guitar offers counterpoint to the vocal. He's not simply strumming or playing in rhythm. 

When Carl played like this, he and his brother Clayton (slap bass) were an entire band unto themselves. Both drums or acoustic rhythm guitar were unnecessary. Remind yourself that those stellar guitar breaks you hear are coming from Carl. Elvis had Scotty. Carl had Carl.

There's a strong similarity between Carls' vocalizing and guitar playing on this title and ''Gone, Gone, Gone'' which might base been a reason this title was set aside Once Sam decided to release ''Gone'' on Carl s second record (and on his LP), this song might have seemed redundan. Both reveal that free, even jazzy approach Carl brought to his performances. The composition, itself, may have been fairly straight. but once Carl got his teeth into it, it was anybody's guess where it was headed.

The truth is that kind of jivey freedom is not a quality of rockabilly any more than it is of hillbilly music. Carl eventually became associated with rockabilly (Blue Suede Shoes was the turning point), but this song that predates ''Shoes'' by perhaps six months, is written and performed in a different style altogether. It resembles, in melody and feel, Elvis' 1955 Sun recording of ''Just Because'', a song that dated back to nearly the turn of the century.

03(1) - "YOU CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO SOMEBODY" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-11 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-10 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

03(2) - "YOU CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO SOMEBODY" - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - False Start 1 - Take 2 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1018-11 mono
RABBIT ACTION
Reissued: -  April 27, 2012  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-11 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

03(3) - "YOU CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO SOMEBODY" - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-29 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: - April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD)  500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-12 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

03(4) - "YOU CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO SOMEBODY" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 4
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

04(1) - "GONE, GONE, GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:54
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-10 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-14 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

04(2) - "GONE, GONE, GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-16 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

04(3) - "GONE, GONE, GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-167 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES


Carl Perkins with his 1952/1953 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top Guitar >  

''GONE, GONE, GONE''

Rockabilly music at its beginning was basically country musicians taking a high-energy country-music approach to songs with blues structure. And ''Gone, Gone, Gone'' is the first Sum release with a country singer performing a 12-bar blues that he wrote. (EarI Petersen's record of ''Boogie Blues'', Sun 197, has blues structure verses but the refrain is straight country music).

Considering what happened at Sun in the years after, that alone would make this a landmark record.  We have three outtakes of the song, and they reveal a nice progression toward the released version - from country music to sometime more closely resembling rock and roll. Most of that is due to Carl's guitar playing during his vocals.

Going from the first to the third of these outtakes, he restricts himself to doing almost nothing but playing a percussive backbeat, foregoing the occasional melodic or harmonic fills. Meanwhile, Clayton Perkins' slap bass drives the song along. W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland's drums have little to do with that do with that drive. By his own reckoning, W.S. could barely play the drums at this point, and in W.S's clear memory, Sam was none too thrilled about having drums cluttering up the mix. In one of his few concessions to the status quo, Sam stood shoulder to shoulder with the folks at the Opry. Drums had no place in country music. Whatever you hear of W.S. Drums on that early records is bleed through from the bass mike. There was no separate microphone on the drums. Obviously, all that would change very soon at 706 Union Avenue.

Carl's vocal are about unrestrained as you can get. He whoops it up, scat sings, shouts encouragement himself in the solos and gives an exciting stage show right there in the studio. And, as he did so often he rewrites the lyrics on the spot. So we go from ''It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that'' to ''That must be my gal yours don't look like that''. Sometimes, ''I'm gone, gone, gone'' and sometimes ''She's gone, gone, gone''. It hardly matter.

Occasionally, particularly in the second of our three tracks, you can hear Bill Cantrell's fiddle squeaking high above the rest. Clearly, Sam tried to keep it hidden. He didn't intend this to be a pure country record.

Overall, these takes are a snapshot of the peculiar progress from country music played with abandon to rock and roll. Carl and the boys are pretty close to the finish line. 

"Gone, Gone, Gone" is a different story, however. Here we can see the bouncy, hillbilly bop that was already in the process of evolving into rockabilly. Make no mistake, this is still rural music. Carl is singing about, "going round to the square dance", an activity that might have left them a tad cold north of the Mason-Dixon. But lyrics are really not very important here. Sam Phillips has mixed Perkins' vocal back behind the bass and the lead guitar, establishing what is really important. In fact, he's mixed Bill Cantrell's fiddle (yes, there really is a fiddle on "Gone, Gone, Gone"!) even further into the next country. Billboard got the message, proclaiming "The rhythm sound is unusual and contagious... a bouncy blues in flavoursome combined country and rhythm and blues idiom". Indeed it was.

"Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing" b/w "Gone, Gone, Gone" was released on August 1, 1955, the same days as Elvis Presley's last Sun single. By the time Perkins went back into the studio, Presley had departed and Sam Phillips had a little money to throw behind a new song that Perkins had written.

04(4) - "GONE, GONE, GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 95 - Master Take 4
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - August 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 224-B mono
GONE, GONE, GONE / LET THE JUKEBOX KEEP ON PLAYING
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-12 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

05(1) - "DIXIE BOP / PERKINS WIGGLE" - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 028 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 4 - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-14 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''PERKINS WIGGLE''

This song is an anomaly. Its one that Carl had played in the clubs for some years, calling it the ''Perkins Boogie''. But it's not a boogie, it's a pop song. Craig Morrison pointed out in ''Go Cat Go'' that it's obviously adapted from ''Tuxedo Junction'', Erskine Hawkins' 1940 hit memorializing a Birmingham dance hall which became an even bigger hit for Glenn Miller and was featured in the 1953 movie, ''The Glenn Miller Story''.

The song ls about ''a red hot rhythm they don't understand,a brand new boogie they don't understand'', ''everybody's doin''' it with a rock rock rock'', and ''doin' the boogie-woogie with the Dixie bop''. Dixie bop might have been a nice name for what we came to call rockabllly, but this ain't it. Despite the high-energy promise of the lyric, the record is altogether subdued. The nearest thing to boogie happens on the last of the three outtakes in Carl's guitar work behind the last verse. This is a nice easygoing song in the spirit of an earlier era, and a good record, even if atypical for Carl. What plans Sam Phillips might have had for it we'll never know, but he expended some tape and studio time in getting three versions recorded.

With the benefit of hindsight, this song's most interesting aspects are the ways that Carl relied on it in his later records. One that it fed was ''All Mama's Children''. First, and most obvious, both have a vocal line sung over a stop by the band. Here. it's ''doin' the Perkins Wiggle with the Dixie Bop '', later it ' would be ''alla mama's children are a ''doin' the bop''. A second connection is the guitar solo. Carl's second solo in the first of our outtakes here is a direct forerunner of his first solo in ''All Mama's Children''.

05(2) - "DIXIE BOP / PERKINS WIGGLE" - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-22 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

05(3) - "DIXIE BOP / PERKINS WIGGLE" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 -Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-23 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Quinton Claunch - Electric Guitar
Stanley Kesler - Steel Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland - Drums
William E. Cantrell - Fiddle, is ghosting on one take
of "Gone, Gone, Gone"* and "Dixie Bop'' / ''Perkins Wiggle"*

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JULY 13, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Faron Young recorded ''It's A Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)'' and ''For The Love Of A Woman'' in Nashville.

JULY 14, 1955 THURSDAY

Ernest Tubb recorded ''The Yellow Rose Of Texas'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

JULY 15, 1955 FRIDAY

Record producer Chuck Howard is born. Howard produces such hits as Billy Dean's ''Somewhere In My Broken Heart'', LeAnn Rimes' ''One Way Ticket (Because I Can)'' and John Berry's ''Your Love Amazes Me''. 

JULY 16, 1955 SATURDAY

''The First Badman'' opens, with Tex Ritter narrating. The cartoon depics Texas a million years ago, a cross between western movies and ''The Flintstones''.

JULY 17, 1955 SUNDAY

Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California. The Disney corporation later founds the country label Lyric Street Records, earning hits with Shedaisy, Rascal Flatt, Love And Theft and Aaron Tippin.

JULY 18, 1955 MONDAY

Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''Most Of All''. 

Walt Disney opens the 74-acre Disneyland theme park at Anaheim, California.

Walt Disney studios in Hollywood, sponsored by Eastman Kodak, demonstrates its cinema-in-the- round system, Circarama, later shown at the Brussels International Exposition in 1958.   (The system is installed at Disneyland this year).


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR EDDIE SNOW
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY JULY 19, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Although Eddie Snow enjoyed only one release of the Sun label, he was no stranger to 706 Union. Back in 1952, singer and pianist Snow had recorded nearly a dozen titles at Sun as part of guitarist Elven Parr's In The Groove Boys from Osceola, Arkansas. Most of these tracks were superior small combo rhythm and blues that have since made their belated way into release on various Sun compilations. 



Eddie Snow (left) with C.W. Tate (right) >

When Snow returned to Sun in 1955, he recorded with a house band that included Floyd Murphy on guitar and saxman Bennie Moore. Both sides of Sun 226 featured above average material that Billboard called "Two strong sides by a sizable talent". The A-side "Ain't That Right" contains some humorous and funky philosophy delivered by Snow in a talk'sing style that owes much a bluesman Willie Mabon. The debt to Mabon's "I Don't Know" is particularly apparent.


There is a strong Chicago sound to this record, so it should be no surprise that Snow moved there. Truth be told, the vocal instrumental balance is not among Sam Phillips best work. This is particularly unfortunate since Snow's clever lyric bears listening to.

01 - "AIN'T THAT RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 160 - Master
Recorded: - July 19, 1955
Released: - August 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 226-A mono
AIN'T THAT RIGHT / BRING YOUR LOVE BACK HOME
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-15 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

This side of Snow's single was a misogynistic masterpiece that today's police would have pounced on, howling. Nothing that a "no good woman" 24 can affect a good man's health, he goes on "I tried to get it through/you men (are) hard- headed/dog that bite your hand/don't give her no credit". Two more rueful verses follow before a brief alto sax solo and Snow's last acerbic observations: "When you talk about good women, I ain't got no faith/the women nowadays tryin' to take man's place/if a woman comes to your house and her face looks like a man/bet your last dollar your old lady gonna start to raise some sands". Perhaps it was more than bad distribution that prevented this record from succeeding. When Billboard got around to reviewing it in October 1955, it said, ''Snow walls some sally philosophy in this potent talking and refrain effort. Should do well in many sectors. Good down-to-earth stuff''. Indeed.

Eddie Snow first appeared on the doorstep at 706 Union as the pianist with Elven Parr's In The Groove Boys in 1952, after they'd journeyed from Osceola, Arkansas to cut a demo for Chess Records. Snow reappeared in 1955 with Benny Moore, another Parr alumnus, to cut a single for Sun records. The results are this rolling   blues with a catchy tune that might have done quite well but for Sam Phillips' lack of promotional capital - and the fact that by this stage Sun was already ostentatiously touting itself in the trades as "America's number 1 Country Label".

The flipside ''Bring Your Love Back Home'' shows Snow in a less articulate, but highly pleasing mode. The harmony riffing saxes behind him are very effective. The alto sax solo is probably by Benny Moore, who'd obviously spent long nights listening to Charlie Parker's 78rpm's. The other player might be Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, who later joined Count Basie, but who'd begun his career honking in rhythm and blues bands.

02 - "BRING YOUR LOVE BACK HOME" - B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 161 - Master
Recorded: - July 19, 1955
Released: - August 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 226-B mono
BRING YOUR LOVE BACK HOME / AIN'T THAT RIGHT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

03 - "WHO'S BEEN DRINKING MY WINE'' - B.M.I. - 3:09
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 19, 1955
Released: - June 25, 2006
First appearance: Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly MP3 mono
BLUES CLASSICS - BLUE GUITAR
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-7-23 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

''Who's Been Drinking My Wine'' this song is drawn from the ''Mama Don't Allow'' style book. The core theme is stated (in this case, the mysterious disappearance of Eddie Snow's wine) and everyone in the band comes forward for his moment of suspicion. This kind of performance can be fun, but generally works betters at a live gig than on record. The track features riffing horns and some stop rhythms, as well as an incessant beat not unlike an uptempo version of Smokey Joe's ''The Signifying Monkey''. Snow reveals yet again that he ain't much of a vocalist. Curiously, he alternates between being off-mic and pushing the needle into the red zone. The end is a raggedy mess, suggesting this was simply a warm-up track that managed to get taped and preserved, with no serious thought given to release at any time.

04 - "SORRY LITTLE BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 19, 1955
Released: - June 25, 2006
First appearance: Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly MP3 mono
BLUES CLASSICS - BLUE GUITAR
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-7-24 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

The first 12 bars really lay down a fine instrumental groove and Eddie's vocal just slides right in and takes full advantage. During the 120bar break things are turned over to Eddie's piano. Unfortunately he doesn't have very much to say. Stay tuned: that problem is about to be addressed in the next take.

05 - "I GOT TO PUT YOU DOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 19, 1955
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126-A-6 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 11 - MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-7-25 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Despite the different title, you've probably figured it out. This is an alternate take of the same song (''Sorry Little Baby''). One law of songwriting is that you can't copyright a title. As you can see here, a brand new title didn't change anything. But there are important musical changes as you're about to hear. Take a listen to just how important the balance between vocal and band can be. Sam had adjusted the dials et voila! This is what mixing is all about. Another change worth noting: gone is Snow's pointless noodling on the piano, replaced this time by a lovely fluid sax solo. This is an appealing combination of grit and class. The player was very much more than just another honker, lending credence to the belief that it's future hard bop star Eddie ''Lockjaw'' Davis. Once things get going, Snow uses the rolling rhythm to show off his limited vocal chops. He also brings in some unusual vocal lines (''my nose is on the ground'' is a highlight). So is that final verse about ''like a baby loves his milk''? Just where is Eddie going with that? What's going to rhyme with milk? There aren't that many options and Snow chooses a rather strange one: something about how a silkworm feels about his silk. The only other songwriter to come close to invoking this image was W.C. Handy in ''Loveless Love'' (''From milkless milk and silkless silk/We are growing used to soul-less souls''). Just how does a silkworm feel about his (or her) silk? Is it a close relationship? One thing for sure: of the thousands of recording done at 706 Union Avenue, it's the only one that has ever invoked images of silkworms.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Snow - Vocal and Piano
Floyd Murphy - Guitar
Eddie Davis - Tenor Saxophone
Bennie Moore - Alto Saxophone
Jeff Greyer – Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JULY 20, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Coral Records released Patsy Cline's first single, ''A Church, A Courtroom And Than Goodbye'' and ''Honky Tonk Merry Go Round''.

JULY 21, 1955 THURSDAY

Bass player Howie Epstein is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A member of Tom Petty's band, The Heartbreakers, for 20 years, he produces three hits for girlfriend Carlene Carter, ''Come On Back'', ''Every Little Thing'' and ''I Fell In Love''.

JULY 23, 1955 SATURDAY

Chess Records released Chuck Berry's rhythm and blues classic ''Maybellene'', hailed in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number'' among the 500 greatest country singles ever made.

JULY 25, 1955 MONDAY

Columbia signs The Collins Kids to a recording contract. It never amounts to any hits, but it's an important step in the career of California songwriter Larry Collins, who writes such hits as ''Delta Dawn'' and ''You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma''.

Capitol released Tommy Collins' two-sided hit, ''I Guess I'm Crazy'' backed with ''You Oughta See Pickles Now''.

JULY 30, 1955 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash recorded the first version of ''Folsom Prisom Blues'', plus ''Luther Played The Boogie'', Mean Eyed Cat'' and ''So Doggone Lonesome'' at the Sun Recording Studio on 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.


Luther Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Marshall Grant, 1956. >

"Folsom Prison Blues" was not only a moderate country hit for Johnny Cash in early 1956, but also a song which would later help to resurrect his career when he recorded it live in Folsom Prison. Cash was quickly establishing himself as an exceptional country tunesmith. When he claimed "I wrote Folsom Prison Blues in August (1955). I had seen a movie called 'Inside The Walls Of Folsom Prison' which  inspired the song", there was little reason to doubt him. It not appears that more than a Hollywood movie inspirit Cash.


In 1953, Gordon Jenkins recorded one of his 'concept albums' called "Seven Dreams". It held a track sung by Beverly Mahr called "Crescent City Blues". The lyrics included: "When I was just a baby. My mama told me, Sue (a boy named Sue?).  When you're grown up I want that you. Should go and see and do. But I'm stuck in Crescent City. Just watching life mosey by. When I hear whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry". It ended. "If I owned that lonesome whistle. If that railroad train were mine. I bet I'd find a man. A little farther down the line. Far from Crescent City is where I'd like to stay. And I'd let that lonesome whistle. Blow my blues away".

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JULY 30, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "FOLSOM PRISON BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 173 - Master
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - December 15, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 232-B mono
FOLSOM PRISON BLUES / SO DOGGONE LONESOME
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-7 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Sound familiar? Gordon Jenkins thought so when he finally heard "Folsom Prisom Blues". Although he  waited until Cash's tenure at Sun was over to sue, Cash suffered a major blow to the ego as well as  pocketbook. Regardless of authorship, the original version of "Folsom Prisom Blues" is a fine record, featuring one of Luther Perkins' most memorable solos.

Luther, Sam had long since come to realize, could barely pick one string at a time, and then with very little sense of certainty. It almost defied belief to watch him try to find his way to the simplest statement of melody, while Johnny Cash, whom Sam otherwise considered as patient and even-tempered a man as he had ever met, would grow increasingly choleric at Luther's seeming inability to stumble through a single phrase. Sam Phillips took Luther aside. ''I had him pick to me, you know, just by himself, we'd go through it and get that take, that feel, that essence, till, everybody knew, 'This is it'''. Then they would try another take, and at just about the point that it seemed they might actually get through it, Luther would hit a note that had never been heard before. ''I mean, you would utter a little prayer'', Sam said, ''sometimes even close your eyes and not move a meter, and you'd want to stuff cotton in your ears and say, 'Let him get through it, let me just wake up, and find out, that he made it''. But he never did. And yet when Johnny Cash expressed his embarrassment and displeasure, to Sam, not to Luther, and even suggested replacing his lead guitarist just so they could get the cut, Sam held firm and said, ''Look, John, you can take your ass out the front door, but leave me Luther''. Because Luther was one of the key elements to the absolute distinctiveness of their sound.

"So Doggone Lonesome", a true Cash original (as far as we know), actually received more of the chart action  at the time of its release, a fact often obscured by the enduring popularity of "Folsom". ''So Doggone Lonesome'' from his point of view was the best song Cash had ever written, but, he noted with self-conscious sarcasm to an Air Force buddy just days after the session, it probably wouldn't sell more than three or four copies, ''because I don't have a steel guitar in the band. Heck, people don't want anything different... Shoot, those teenage girls don't care about catchy rhythm. They want to hear a pretty steel guitar. 'Cause everybody has a steel guitar. Guess I'm just wasting my time. My music is so shallow and simple''.

02(1) - "SO DOGGONE LONESOME" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

02(2) - "SO DOGGONE LONESOME" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

02(3) - "SO DOGGONE LONESOME" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 172 - Master Take 3
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - December 15, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 232-A mono
SO DOGGONE LONESOME / FOLSOM PRISON BLUES
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-8 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2


"Mean Eyed Cat" was a delight to rockabilly fans everywhere as they witnessed Cash's closest flirtation with their favoured craft. This track had a backwoods charm and energy that went beyond commercial concerns. In fact, the song lacked even a rudimentary 'hook', that simple device aimed at keeping a song in memory. Even the title seemed to have been pasted on after the fact. In place of such commercial artifice were some of the sweetest rural images this side of the Appalachians. Line like "He spit his tobacco, said I'll be dad blamed, I believe I 'did' see her leaving on a East bound train".

03(1) - "MEAN EYED CAT" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

03(2) - "MEAN EYED CAT" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 385 - Master
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - October 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 347-B mono
MEAN EYED CAT / PORT OF LONELY HEARTS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-2-12 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

No one was going to make much money on this tune, and it was unlikely to be covered by other acts, but for Cash's diehard fans, it was just what the doctor ordered. For his part, Cash maintained that "Mean Eyed Cat" was an unfinished song, and in 1996 he wrote another verse before recording it for his "Unchained" album.


On this side, Phillips dug deep into Cash's Sun catalogue and came up with a little autobiographical gem on  this session. "Luther Played The Boogie" had been deemed unworthy of release for over three years. Now it  was just what the doctor ordered: an original Sun copyright that would be unlikely to interfere with  disc jockey attention to the "hit side" of Sun 316. Surprisingly, this little bit of vintage whimsy drew more  than its share of attention at the time and has been enjoyed by collectors ever since for both its sound and  content.

04(1) - "LUTHER PLAYED THE BOOGIE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

04(2) - "LUTHER PLAYED THE BOOGIE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

04(3) - "LUTHER PLAYED THE BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 350 - Take 3 - Master
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 316-B mono
LUTHER PLAYED THE BOOGIE / THANKS A LOT
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-1 mono
THE MAN IN BLACK 1954-1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant – Bass

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JULY 31, 1955 SUNDAY

Seventeen years after The Monroe Brothers split, Bill and Charlie Monroe deliver their first full-fledged reunion concert at the New River Ranch in Rising Sun, Maryland. Bill Monroe appears in a sling, having broken his collarbone in a bathtub accident.

Elvis Presley performs at the Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida. A photo from the show is used the following year as the cover for Elvis Presley's first album for RCA Victor titled ''Elvis Presley'' (LPM-1254).

AUGUST 1955
In August 1955, Columbia Records picked up their option on Sun future recording artist, Onie Wheeler's  contract, renewing it at three percent. Onie returned to the studio next year in April 1956, with rock and roll  looming large in his thoughts.

AUGUST 1, 1955 MONDAY

The singles, Sun 223 ''Mystery Train'' b/w ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' by Elvis Presley; Sun 224 ''Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing'' b/w ''Gone, Gone, Gone'' by Carl Perkins;  Sun 225, ''House Of Sin'' b/w ''Are You Ashamed Of Me'' by Slim Rhodes;  Sun 226 ''Ain't That Right'' b/w ''Bring Your Love Back Home To Me'' by Eddie Snow are issued.

Johnny Cash plays the first major concert of his career, opening for Webb Pierce, Wanda Jackson and Elvis Presley at the Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds in Tupelo, Mississippi. They work four more cities over the next four days.

The Burt Lancaster western ''The Kentuckian'' debuts in movie theaters. Eddy Arnold's version of the theme, ''The Kentuckian Song'', is already a hit on radio.

AUGUST 2, 1955 THUESDAY

Drummer Jimmy Lowe, from Pirates Of The Mississippi, is born in Atlanta. He plays on the band's lone hit, 1991s ''Feed Jake''.

AUGUST 3, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley's parents are expected to sign a deal in Little Rock making Colonel Tom Parker an advisor to their son, but Presley's mother, Gladys, delays the decision.

AUGUST 4, 1955 THURSDAY

Overton Park Shell ''Country Music Jamboree'' Advertisement by Texas Bill Strength aired on this day.

AUGUST 6, 1955 SATURDAY

Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzell, Eddie Dean, Freddie Hart and The Collins Kids perform the first-ever country concert at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The evening is emceed by Songwriter Joe Nixon.

AUGUST 8, 1955 MONDAY

Drummer Dominic Joseph Fontana appears for the first time as a regular member of Elvis Presley's band at a show at the Mayfair Building in Tyler, Texas.

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ''The Yellow Rose Of Texas''.

AUGUST 9, 1955 TUESDAY

Marty Robbins recorded a version of Chuck Berry's ''Maybelline'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

AUGUST 12, 1955 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley performs a concert at Driller Park in Kilgore, Texas. In the audience is Bob Luman, who is so om-spired that he forsakes traditional country for a future path in rockabilly-tinged country.

AUGUST 13, 1955 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley's ''Baby Let's Play House'' holding steady on the national charts and gaining airplay all over the country and it was number 5 on Billboard's ''Most Played by Jokeys'' country and western list.

MID-AUGUST 1955

It was mid-August before Sam Phillips decided on the format he wanted to establish for the new radio station, but then it was an idea as revolutionary as the original concept for the studio had been, as defiant in its own way of established tradition and something in which he believed just as strongly. Sam was going to establish the first All-Girl radio station in the nation.

Sam could advance any number of good reasons for pursuing this course, and he continued to go over them with his brother-in-law, even though Jimmy Connolly at this point had no formal role in the new venture. Number one, women, Like Negroes, were an underutilized resource, a vast pool of unappreciated talent in a highly competitive world. 

Sam wife Becky, took it as a tribute. It was just what they had always talked about, it would serve as a true partnership, it represented a mutual love for the very thing that had first drawn them together. She immediately started making plans for the kind of shows that she would do, for the way she would have to train the other girls. Sam Phillips had never known a better announcer than Becky, from the time he first met her when she was just a seventeen-year-old high school student.

Marion Keisker was just as excited. She took it almost as much as a tribute to her. She would quit her job as assistant program director at WREC, she told Sam, as soon as he was ready to go on the air. ''Don't do that'', he tried to tell her because he needed her at the recording studio, and besides, it would be a mistake to put all her eggs in one basket before the station proved itself. But she was not to be gainsaid. Marion didn't think she'd ever been as excited about anything in her life, even if it meant giving up a guaranteed salary. And besides, she didn't tell Sam this, she was barely able to admit it to herself, she was not going to be left behind.

Sam Phillips applied to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for the station's new call letters at the end of August. To match its new identity he had come up with the acronym WHER. At the same time Sam placed a classified ad in Broadcasting Telecasting magazine: ''Wanted: Fresh, friendly, female voice for metropolitan station. Must be versatile, experienced, good looking. Unparalleled opportunity for girl who can quality''.

The underlying pretext was that there was a single position open, and all responses were to be referred to Radio Station WSLC, Tri-State Broadcasting Service, at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. One of the first responses came from a woman named Margie ''Dotty'' Abbott, a former Memphian with an extensive background in radio, music, and theater who was presently assistant station manager at KONI in Phoenix, Arizona.

''Dear Margie'', Sam Phillips wrote back on September 8: ''I received your audition tape and letter this morning. I have given all the material close attention and am very, very well pleased with your qualifications. I believe we have a job here that you would enjoy tremendous and which you could handle capably''.

''We mean to have a falicity that we, and the community, will be proud of. WE are going to handpick our personnel, being as sure as is humanly possible that each person is suited to the job and is extremely versatile and flexible. The job we have in mind for you will be one of responsibility and importance, and you will be called on to do a variety of things, all of which you are apparently well trained and qualified to do. It will also mean that you will have to work hard. As we all intend to do, but believe me, the work will pay off''.

The salary would only be $80 a week to start off with, Sam Phillips wrote, nothing like what she was worth, but they were a new operation, who ''must of necessity proceed with caution insofar as salaries and all expenses are concerned''. But Sam was confident both of her success and the success of the operation, and once they all had their feet on the ground, she could certainly expect more. ''I realize that all the information I am giving you about the new station is somewhat clouded'', Sam continued, ''and I am sorry that this is necessary, but we are keeping our plans a closely guarded secret, as the immediate success of the station will depend to an unusually large degree on the surprise element''. Margie wrote back to accept the job, appending the news that she was going to go back to being ''Dotty'' when she returned to Memphis. The construction on the new station at South Third began almost immediately.

AUGUST 15, 1955 MONDAY

Elvis Presley signs a deal making Colonel Tom Parker a special advisor to Presley and his manager, Bob Neal.

Columbia released Marty Robbins' version of Chuck Berry's ''Maybelline''.

Pete Seeger refuses to name other members of left-wing groups while testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee on Communism in Washington, D.C. Two years later, Seeger's ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine'' becomes a country hit for Jimmie Rodgers.

AUGUST 16, 1955 TUESDAY

Faron and Hilda Young have a son, Damion Ray Young.

AUGUST 17, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Singer/songwriter Kevin Welch is born in Los Angeles. He pens such hits as Gary Morris' ''Velvet Chains'', Moe Bandy's ''Till I'm Too Old To Die Young'', Don Williams '''Desperately'' and Ricky Skaggs ''Let It Be You''.

AUGUST 18, 1955 THURSDAY

Steve Wilkinson, of The Wilkinsons, is born in Belleville, Ontario. The Canadian family trio, which includes son Tyler and daughter Amanda, enters the national arena with its sentimental 1998 single ''26 Cents''.

AUGUST 20, 1955 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash's "Cry Cry Cry" (Sun 221) is on the Memphis country charts, eventually reaching number one  on September 3, beating out such local favorites as Elvis Presley and The Louvins. It even reached the  national country charts for one week in November 1955. On the Memphis charts, it is covered the following  month by Texas Bill Strenght.

AUGUST 22, 1955 MONDAY

Songwriter/guitarist Tim Buckley is born. He co-writes the Doug Supernaw hit ''Reno''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY HAGGETT (JAMES CLECY)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY AUGUST 23, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

James Clecy Haggett had always been a shadowy figure from the dawn of Sun's golden era. From the scant evident available, it appeared as though Haggett worked on the periphery of the Memphis scene, dropping out of sight as the rockabilly revolution swept everything before it. However, it transpired that Haggett had coped with the new music better than anyone had previously thought.

Any Sun collector can tell you that Sun 236 is one of the label's most elusive singles. In the absence of any information on the artist (not even a Billboard review), collectors hoped and speculated for years that these sides would turn out to be nascent rockabilly treasures. Their hopes were dashed when it was ultimately revealed that Sun 236 was, as they say, a hillbilly weeper. And a fairly conventional one at that.


Disc jockey Jimmy Haggett on WSM Radio, Nashville, February 1955, talks to Onie Wheeler. >

Jimmy Haggett drew his inspiration from different wellsprings than those that fed most of his contemporaries at Sun Records. His major influence was Jim Reeves and this is apparent in his phrasing. However, the backing on ''No More'' is pure, unadulterated hillbilly.  The guitarist J.L. ''Speedy'' Moody contributes some tasty fills and there is some very pleasant interplay between the steel guitar of Billy Springer and the fiddle of Bernie Gwatney.


The long nights of working together obviously paid dividends here. The real mystery surrounding the song is its origin.  Haggett freely admitted that the song was not an original but denied all knowledge of a previous version by Luke McDaniel, recorded for Trumpet Records in 1952. The McDaniel version has some different lyrics and it would be easy to say that whoever gave Haggett this song simply ripped it off from McDaniel. However there is another wrinkle in the story provided by yet another out-take box where an unidentified artist sings McDaniel's lyrics to ''No More''. It is possible that this third version is indeed by McDaniel who may have auditioned at Sun earlier than had been thought.

01 - "NO MORE, NO MORE" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 180  - Master
Recorded: - August 23, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 236-A mono
NO MORE, NO MORE / THEY CALL OUR LOVE A SIN
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-15 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"When "No More" and "They Call Our Love A Sin'" were recorded", recalled Haggett, "Sam Phillips was also recording Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins. Their records took off like wildfire. Sam had high hopes for my record when it was released but things changed considerably and very fast. I was left behind and those boys took off. Good for them. But, as an entertainer, I had to come up with something and we went back to Sun for another session and I recorded four songs in the new style".



Charlie Feathers and disc jockey Jimmy Haggett. >

Ironically, the collectors' faith in Jimmy Haggett wasn't misplaced - just premature. Haggett did turn in some steaming rockabilly for Sun, although it didn't see release until the reissue era, and then wrongly attributed at first to Junior Thompson on the Charly Sun compilation called "Rabbit Action" (Sun 1018). Those sides confirm that the artist on Sun 236 was capable of much more than what we have here.


Both this next song and ''No More'' were reportedly given to Haggett by a musician in his band. ''I can't remember his name now'', recalled Haggett.  ''I changed a few words and the melody and he said that all he wanted was to get his songs on record. He told me that they were unpublished and he released them to me''. As it happened, these were not especially valuable copyrights. Sun 236 had sold 448 copies a year after release. It was the rockabilly sound of Carl Perkins that pointed the way into the future for Sun Record, and for Jimmy Haggett.

02 - "THEY CALL OUR LOVE A SIN" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 181  - Master
Recorded: - August 23, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 236-B mono
THEY CALL OUR LOVE A SIN / NO MORE, NO MORE
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

03 - "UNTITLED RELIGIOUS NARRATION''
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 23, 1955

04 - "LIQUOR TO BLAME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissied - Tapes Not Found
Recorded: - August 23, 1955

05 - "FRUITS OF A BROKEN HOME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissied - Tapes Not Found
Recorded: - August 23, 1955

"Jimmy Haggett had a real feel for country music", recalled Sam Phillips, "he was a very smart person, very quick to read and feel a good lyric. I don't think I ever really touched his potential as an artist. He was also a disc jockey on KLCN, Blytheville, Arkansas and KBOA in Kennett, Missouri".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Haggett - Vocal and Acoustic Guitar
J.L. "Speed" Moody - Guitar
Billy Springer - Steel Guitar
J.G. "Gabby" McKinn - Bass
Bernie Gwatney - Fiddle
Euwin "Red" Mansfield – Drums

Jimmy Haggett later recorded for Meteor Records and Vaden Records.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Clyde Leoppard's Snearly Ranch Boys. From left: Stan Kesler (steel guitar); Hank Bowers (lead guitar); Buddy Holobaugh (guitar); Johnny Bernero (drums); Clyde Leoppard (bass); and Smokey Joe Baugh (piano). >

Sam Phillips was a regular visitor at the Cotton Club in West Memphis, Arkansas, primarily because he was entertained by the songs and style of Smokey Joe Baugh. Arriving in Memphis in 1949 from Helena, Arkansas, Joe brought with him a gravelly voice, an unexpurgated approach to lyricism and a liking for the blues.


Sam recorded Joe on at least two occasions as a solo artist, issuing just one single, "The Signifying Monkey", which sold quite well. The problem for Sam Phillips was that Joe was too unreliable for consideration as an artist who could be groomed for stardom. The next time Sam came across anybody like Joe, it would by Jerry Lee Lewis.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SMOKEY JOE BAUGH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY AUGUST 25, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

"Originally Clyde Leoppard had Smokey Joe Baugh with him and, Joe had a good sound. Vocally he sounded almost black, he had an individual style. We cut an interesting thing on him, the "Signifying Monkey". Surprisingly, though we didn't get rich off it, we did sell a hell of a lot of records. When I say a lot, I mean fifty to sixty thousand, and that was something", recalled Sam Phillips, "Joe also had another novelty thing, "Split Personality". Joe was really the first one that I thought was really going in the direction of the black type feel. Intuitively, I had a great interest in Smokey Joe and Frank Floyd and people like that. This was before Elvis came on the scene".

01(1) - "HULA BOP" - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Bill Taylor
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1021-1 mono
ROCK BOP BOOGIE
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-6 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

Smokey Joe version of Stanley Kesler and Bill Taylor's "Hula Bop" was the first Hawaiian bop record, predating Buddy Knox by a couple of years. Sam Phillips didn't like "Hula Bop" enough to issue it, but a year later Jimmy Knight (who, like Smokey Joe), recorded it on Crystal Records.

Surprisingly, this was deemed superfluous to needs when Smokey Joe waxed his maiden recordings at Sun. The idea drew heavely on the song that co-writer Bill Taylor had come up with earlier in the year (which Smokey Joe had played on), "Split Personality" by Clyde Leoppard And The Snearly Ranch Boys. Stan Kesler, the other half of the writing team, realised the moment and cut a version for his own Crystal label by Jimmy Knight, a vocalist who had also worked with the Snearly outfit.

01(2) - "HULA BOP" - B.M.I. - 2:54
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Bill Taylor
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-5 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-26 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

In African-American culture, the tale of "The Signifying Monkey" can be traced back to Yoruba mythology in Nigeria. Basically, the primate in the story is the bad guy whose rumour mongering eventually gets the better of him. Joseph Baugh, from Helena, Arkansas, played piano alongside guitarist Paul Burlison in the Shelby Follin band, before bedding in at Sun as a house musician. He used his Rufus Thomas-voice when relating this sometimes bawdy parable for a Sun single, which was also on Flip.


Smokey Joe Baugh was truly a free spirit. Stories about his wild and wooled ways still abound in the Memphis underground. Sam Phillips enjoyed Baugh's gravely voice, which was the result of a natural condition, rather than a conscious attempt to sound black. This was Baugh's second release, his first was on Flip 502.  "The Signifying Monkey" has a long history in black music and is part of the 'dozens', a tradition of trading good natured (and not-so-good-natured) insults. With Johnny Bernero on drums, the record was assured of a fine shuffle rhythm, and it enjoyed some local chart action in 1955 as well.


Smokey Joe Baugh ^

The story about ''Monkey'', of course Smokey Joe, Stan Kesler, and Bill Taylor can no more take credit for writing this song than anyone else. Its origins are embedded deep in African American myth, as far back as Yoruba folklore according to some sources. One of America's preeminent African American scholars, Henry Louis Gates, wrote a book about literary signifying within black culture titled ''The Signifying Monkey - A Theory Of African American Literary Criticism''. The question to which we don't have a good answer is where Smokey Joe became acquainted with the potty-mouthed primate. His contribution was to clear it up, although Johnny Bernero remembered that Joe would sing the unexpurgated version from time to time. Once again, the backing is disarmingly simple. Bernero sustains the show with some rock-solid drumming while Buddy Holobaugh works a repeated boogie riff. There had been other attempts to get the ''Monkey'' on record, most recently by the Big Three Trio (featuring Willie Dixon) back in 1946. Cab Calloway and Count Basie covered Dixon song. Joe's version appears to have sold quite well in late 1955, certainly in excess of 25,000 copies, and the song reportedly gained him an invitation to play at the Apollo Theatre in New York, where his white face and blonde hair would have created a stir. Stan Kesler remembered the ''Monkey'', and prevailed upon Sam the Sham to record it for a label he co-owned, XL Records. It was the record before ''Woolly Bully'', but probably sold sufficiently well to incentivise Phillips to re-release this one in 1964.

02 - "THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY" - B.M.I. - 3:15
Composer: - Bill Taylor-Stanley Kesler-Joseph Bauch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 170   - Master  September 1955
Matrix number: - U 349  - Master  May 1964
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - SUN 228 September 15, 1955 / SUN 393 May 1, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 228-A/393-A mono
THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY / LISTEN TO ME BABY
Reissued: - Flip Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Flip 228-A mono
THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY / LISTEN TO ME BABY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

"I remember that "Signifying Monkey" Joe put out", recalled Johnny Bernero. "We got a regular date out at the Millington Naval Base at the time that came out. One night Joe was singing that song during rehearsal and the Chief heard us. Joe was using terrible words but the Chief was half tight and told us that we had to use that song on the bandstand. Smokey said, 'No, man. I can't use that!', but the Chief insisted. Anyway, two weeks later I got a letter from the Commander at the base saying that we were banned because people had complained. I called for a hearing and made a long explanation and, as it ended up, we were banned for three months and Smokey was banned for good. Eventually we brought him back in, though".

Nine years after it was recorded, the old "Signifying Monkey" jumped out in 1964 of his coconut tree one more time. Two factors might have led Sun to dust this of. First, Sam The Sham had recorded it (Sam's record was the one preceding "Woolly Bully", but it was a major local hit); second, it had a prototypical ska beat, and ska was the flavor of the month in the Summer of 1964 thanks to Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop". So, someone at Sun figured it was worth hoisting SUN 228 up the flagpole to see if anyone would salute. As it turns out, few did.


As Sun strove to establish a recognisable identity, Smokey Joe Baugh offered a crucible that was one-part Bill Haley on the into, one-part Elvis in the phrasing department and one-part Bob Wills at the close.

His wide-span octaves on the higher register of the studio Spinet were a key factor too, offering a duplication of what Ike Turner had played on Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" some four years earlier. Unfortunately, his tardiness eventually cost him the gig as Sun's session pianist.

Smokey Joe Baugh & Barbara Pittman >

"Listen To Me" is a solid outing in the jump blues mode that did little to dispel the notion that Smokey Joe was black. To underscore the record's appeal in the rhythm and blues market, Sam also issued it on Flip which he briefly reinvented as a rhythm and blues label in 1955 and '56. It eventually appeared again in 1964 when Sam Phillips thought once again that its hour might have come.

There is a wonderful drive to ''Listen To Me''. The little combo works the off-beat for all it's worth, overlaying it with a steady boogie woogie. There are some early Jamaican rhythm and blues and ska records that sound kinda like this. Johnny Bernero and Buddy Holobaugh power the record, and Stan Kesler contributes some tasty work on steel. Bill Taylor can be heard on trumpet from time to time. The lyrics are hardly groundbreaking but, once again, The Snearly Ranch gang reveals a genuine feeling for this type of music. It is a matter for conjecture whether the patrons of the Bel Air lounge or the VFW club knew what a treat were getting when this combo climbed on to the stage. Overlooked in the rush to deify the rockabilly musicians who leaped out of Memphis the following year, this group combined black and white styles with as much verve and enthusiasm as the rockabillies. In many ways, they comprised the best that Memphis had to offer at that point.

03 - "LISTEN TO ME BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Joe Bauch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 171  - Master  September 1955
Matrix number: - U 348  - Master  May 1964
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - SUN 228 September 15, 1955 / SUN 393 May 1, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 228-B/393-B mono
LISTEN TO ME BABY / THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY
Reissued: - Flip Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Flip 228-B mono
LISTEN TO ME BABY / THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Not surprisingly, times had changed since the Monkey was young. When Baugh's record first hit the stores in September 1955, it was probably sitting next to Elvis Presley's version of "Mystery Train", which had been released the previous month. Carl Perkins was still singing hillbilly music, and copies of Johnny Cash's first record were still around. "Folsom Prison Blues" was months away from release. In fact, Sun was just beginning to take its first halting steps towards rockabilly. Sun releases by black artists like Rosco Gordon, Eddie Snow, Billy Emerson and Little Milton were still available all up and down Beale Street. And despite his blond hair, Smokey Joe's gruff-voiced music fit comfortably within Sun's blues catalogue.

04(1) - "SHE'S A WOMAN"* - B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1021-8 mono
ROCK BOP BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318-4 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL VOLUME 2

Joe recorded at least three different version of ''She's A Woman'', a slow and bluesy version, a fast version, and a jazzier version. Take 1 is the bluesy variant and it shows that Joe not only had a blues singer's voice but also had a feeling for the music. Again, Buddy Holobaugh shines in his solo space.

04(2) - "SHE'S A WOMAN"* - B.M.I. 2:06
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - October 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30116-A3 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 9 - MORE REBEL ROCKABILLY
Reissued: November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-6 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-27 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

04(3) - "SHE'S A WOMAN"* - B.M.I.
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

''The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere'' is a really funny reworking of the old Paul Revere legend. The tag line ''listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere'' derived from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem. The rest seems to be a Stan and Bill original. Their church mouse verse is especially funny. It's similar in spirit, if not content, to the storytelling style of ''The Signifying Monkey''. Joe unfurls his Louis Armstrong growl, the result, some people say, of a throat injury. There is a very full sound here considering the backing only consists of Johnny Bernero on drums and Buddy Holobaugh on guitar with someone drumming their fingernails on something to simulate hoof beats.

05 - "THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF PAUL REVERE"* - B.M.I. - 3:37
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm SUN 1021-7 mono
ROCK BOP BOOGIE
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-287 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

06 - "ONLY YOU''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955

07 - "TELL IT LIKE IT IS (TO GET ALONG WITH ME)''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Smokey Joe Baugh - Vocal and Piano
Johnny Bernero - Drums
Buddy Holobaugh - Guitar
Jan Ledbetter - Bass*
Clyde Leoppard - Drums
Bill Taylor - Trumpet
Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar


Drummer Johnny Bernero has given an indication of Joe Baugh's character in a conversation with Colin Escott: "Smokey was the type of fella that would give you the shirt off his back but he was totally undependable. I remember that Stanley Kesler, Buddy Holobaugh and me had a job in Mississippi one Saturday.  We all met out on Lamar Avenue so that we could ride together. Anyway, Smokey didn't show. We waited until the last minute, then we left. It turned out that Smokey had gone to the Cotton Carnival and had gotten so intrigued by the snake show that he'd hired on with them as a snake handler".


Smokey Joe Baugh and Johnny Bernero ^

"Smokey and I also had a regular gig at the Nightlight Club. Just the two of us. He had that natural sounding gravelly voice so I bought these Louis Armstrong albums and got him to learn some of the songs. We went over real well and our gig got extended and eventually we bought in a sax man, Johnny Cannon. Sooner or later, though, it was inevitable that Joe wouldn't show and one night he just wasn't there and that was when Ted Enlow came back to town and he joined us that night and stayed with us".

"I heard that Smokey was dead but then in August two or three years back I found that he was back in town. He was looking for work and he was staying with a lady called Dottie Rush. Dottie's mother was an invalid and she needed a car to take her mother to the hospital. Anyway, Smokey got a gig one Saturday night and the next Sunday morning Dottie called me and said, 'John, have you see Smokey"'. He played last night, came in at 2 o'clock, I heard him fumbling around in the kitchen then I heard the door slam and he hasn't come back'. He'd just taken her car and gone. He's just that kind of guy but when he comes back it seems as though you just can't get mad at him".

"I remember one time that Sam Phillips said to him, 'Smokey, if you'd just settle down be rational and dependable, you'd go places. And I'll help you'. Smokey tried but then he'd take some pills or something and be out of it for a while. He's always been that way".

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


AUGUST 26, 1955 FRIDAY

Songwriter Bob Miller dies in Nyack, New York. He authored Ernest Tubb's ''Driftwood On The River''.

The western picture ''Apache Ambush'' opens, with Tex Ritter in a minor role. The movie is banned in Finland.

AUGUST 27, 1955 SATURDAY

George Jones recorded ''Why Baby Why'' and ''What Am I Worth'' at the Goldstar Recording Studio in Houston.

Webb Pierce introduces ''Love, Love, Love'' during performance on The Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.

AUGUST 29, 1955 MONDAY

Capitol released Jean Shepard's two-sided single, ''Beautiful Lies'' and the flip side ''I Thought Of You''.

Judy Garland, with an orchestra conducted by Jack Cathcart, records the track "Carolina In The Morning", for her Capitol Records album "Miss Show Business", at Capitol Records' Melrose Avenue Studios in Hollywood, California.


From left: Scotty Moore, Jack Cardwell, Roy Parker, Jimmy Swan, Ernie Chaffin, Mrs. Jimmie Rogers,  Al Terry, Jim Reeves, Jeff Bidderson, Lawton Williams, Luke McDaniel, Joe Clay, Elvis Presley. In  front: Ann Raye with Red Smith. >


SEPTEMBER 1955

Sun 227/Flip 227 ''Just Love Me Baby'' b/w ''Weeping Blues'' by Rosco Gordon are released.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1955 THURSDAY

Luke McDaniel started in 1954 working regular guest shots on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana and it was on this date that he met Elvis Presley. Luke was photographed in New Orleans with a Hayride touring show. In a group shot, McDaniel stood beside Elvis Presley with Joe Clay popping up behind him. Ernie Chaffin, Jim Reeves, Jimmy Swan, and Jimmie Rodgers' widow, Carry, were there, too.

Carl Perkins is transferred from Flip to the Sun label with the release of SUN 224 "Gone,   Gone, Gone".

Red Hadley, having failed to secure a Sun release, has "Brother That's All"   issued on Meteor 5017. Billboard mistakenly reviews it in their rhythm and blues section.

SEPTEMBER 2, 1955 FRIDAY

Dobro player Josh Graves recorded with Flatt and Scruggs for the first time.

Elvis Presley wrecks a Cadillac on the way from New Orleans to a show in Texarkana. Presley's able to play the date, along with Johnny Cash.

SEPTEMBER 3, 1955 SATURDAY

Jim Reeves moves to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville after first starring on The Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana.

SEPTEMBER 5, 1955 MONDAY

Tennessee Ernie Ford sings ''Sixteen Tons'' on his daytime variety show. Fan mail pours in, and Ford recorded it two weeks later.

''The Pee Wee King Show'', broadcast from WEWS-TV in Cleveland, concludes a four-month run in ABC's prime-time lineup.

SEPTEMBER 6, 1955 TUESDAY

After Johnny Cash tells him a story about a former Air Force buddy with distinctive footwear, Carl Perkins writes ''Blue Suede Shoes'' backstage before a show in Bono, Arkansas. Perkins plays it live for the first time that night. Cash told Carl a story about a black serviceman named C.V. White, a cool operator with whom he had served in Germany. He and his buddies were all standing in the chow line one night when somebody stepped on C.V.'s toes. ''Hey, man'', said C.V. drily, who like everyone else was wearing regulation black Air Force-issue shoes, ''I don't care what you do with my fraulein, just don't step on my blue suede shoes''. Just a few nights later, after getting home late from a hometown gig, the song came to Carl. His wife and two little kids were asleep, so Carl sat out on the steps of the public housing project where he lived and sang the lyrics softly to himself, attaching a nursery rhyme introduction he remembered from playing hide and seek as a kid (''One for the money, two for the show...'') and then writing it all out on a brown paper bag that he had to first empty of potatoes.

SEPTEMBER 10, 1955 SATURDAY

Justin Tubb joins the Grand Ole Opry,  at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jim Reeves makes his final appearance on The Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.

''Gunsmoke'' make his debuts is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television. When aired in the UK, the television series was initially titled Gun Law, later reverting to Gunsmoke.

The radio series ran from 1952 to 1961. John Dunning wrote that among radio drama enthusiasts, "Gunsmoke is routinely placed among the best shows of any kind and any time''. The TV series ran from September 10, 1955, to March 31, 1975, on CBS, with 635 total episodes. It was the second Western television series written for adults, premiering on September 10, 1955, four days after  ''The Life And Legend of Watt Earp. The first 12 seasons aired Saturdays at 10 pm, seasons 13 through 16 aired Mondays at 7:30 pm, and the last four seasons aired Mondays at 8 pm. During its second season in 1956, the program joined the list of the top ten television programs broadcast in the United States. It quickly moved to number one and stayed there until 1961. It remained among the top 20 programs until 1964.

SEPTEMBER 11, 1955 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley performs the first of two shows on a Hank Snow package tour with Cowboy Copas and The Louvin Brothers at the City Auditorium in Norfolk, Virginia. In the audience, Gene Vincent.

SEPTEMBER 12, 1955 MONDAY

Don Gibson recorded his first hit, ''Sweet Dreams'' in an evening session in Nashville.

Decca released a double-sided Webb Pierce hit, ''Love, Love, Love'' backed with ''If You Were Me''.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1955 TUESDAY

Rhythm and blues singer Little Richard recorded ''Tutti Frutti'' in the J&M Studio in New Orleans. The song will be referenced in the lyrics of The Statler Brothers' 1972 country single ''Do You Remember These''.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Sax player Steve Berlin is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He joins the East Los Angeles band Los Lobos in the early-1980s, producing ''Will The Wolf Survive'', hailed among country's 500 greatest singles in a Country Music Foundation book.

MID-SEPTEMBER 1955

''Mystery Train'' hit the national charts, the week after ''Baby Let's Play House'' had its highest combined showing number 7, ''Most Played by Jockeys'', number 15, ''Best Sellers in Stores''. But even as the earlier single continued to hold its respectable position as a store best seller, ''Mystery Train'' forged ahead of it by one place in the first week, while ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' was number 10 on the radio airplay list. From that point on, the new single continued to rise precipitously, while ''Baby Let's Play House'' effectively dropped off the charts.

SEPTEMBER 15, 1955 THURSDAY

Grandpa Jones and Ramona have a son, Mark.

Roy Hall recorded the original version of ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On''. It becomes a hit for Jerry Lee Lewis in 1957.

"The Signifying Monkey" b/w ''Listen To Me Baby'' (Sun 228/Flip 228) by Smokey Joe Baugh is released at about this time.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1955 FRIDAY

Bill Monroe holds a recording session in Nashville using three fiddlers, Vassar Clements, Bobby Hicks and Gordon Terry. It marks the first of 31 sessions in which he employs his mistress, Bessie Lee Mauldin, on bass.

SEPTEMBER 20, 1955 TUESDAY

Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded the Merle Travis-written ''Sixteen Tons'' at the Capitol Recording Studio on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.

''The Phil Silvers Show'', originally titled ''You'll Never Get Rich'', is a sitcom which ran on CBS from September 20, 1955 – September 11, 1959. A pilot called "Audition Show" was made in 1955, but never broadcast. 143 other episodes were broadcast - all half-an-hour long except for a 1959 one-hour live special. The series starred Phil Silvers as Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko of the United States Army.

The series was created and largely written by Nat Hiken, and won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Series. The show is sometimes titled''Sergeant Bilko'' or simply ''Bilko'' in reruns, and is very often referred to by these names, both on-screen and by viewers. The show's success transformed Silvers from a journeyman comedian into a star, and writer-producer Hiken from a highly regarded behind-the-scenes comedy writer into a publicly recognized creator.

SEPTEMBER 21, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Carl Smith recorded ''I Feel Like Cryin''' and ''You're Free To Go'' in a late-night session at Nashville's Bradley Studio.

SEPTEMBER 22, 1955 THURSDAY

Jenny Peer is granted a divorce from bandleader Bill Peer, whom she alleges had an adulterous affair with his protege, Patsy Cline. Cline refuses to marry him, and leaves his band less than 10 days later.

SEPTEMBER 23, 1955 FRIDAY

Drummer Mel Taylor has a son, Melvin ''Leon'' Taylor, in Johnson City, Tennessee. After a move to California, Dad plays on a pair of Buck Owen hits and becomes a member of The Ventures. Son will replace him in The Ventures after his death.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1955 SATURDAY

Lynne Connie Voorlas is born in Oak Park, Illinois. As Lane Brody, she shares a number 1 hit with Johnny Lee in 1984 after recording ''The Yellow Rose Of Texas''. She also sing the Oscar-nomination ''Over You'' in the Robert Duvall movie ''Tender Mercies''.

Wanda Jackson joins host Red Foley on the ABC-TV series ''Ozark Jubilee''.

SEPTEMBER 26, 1955 MONDAY

Carlene Carter is born in Nashville. The daughter of Carl Smith and June carter, she develops an edgy brand of country that flirts with rockabilly, debuting in 1977. She attains her biggest commercial success in the early 1990s.

''Those Whiting Girls'', a summer replacement series for ''I Love Lucy'' that features pop-and-country singer Margaret Whiting, ends its three-months run on CBS-TV.

SEPTEMBER 28, 1955 WEDNESDAY

George Jones convinces Louisiana Hayride producer Horage Logan to let him open a Hayride road show in Conroe, Texas. Jones sings ''Why Baby Why'', opening for Elvis Presley, David Houston, Johnny Horton and The Browns.

SEPTEMBER 29, 1955 THURSDAY

Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys recorded ''My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You'' in Nashville. The song becomes a hit for Ray Price two years later.

SEPTEMBER 30, 1955 FRIDAY

''The Adventures Of Champion'' debuts on CBS-TV. Gene Autry's company produced the series, starring his Wonder Horse. 

James Dean died in a car crash when his Porsche Spyder crashed. Dean, twenty-four, had   completed only three movies during his career, including "East Of Eden" and "Giant". But it   was his portrayal of a rebellious teenager in "Rebel Without A Cause" - released four days   after his death - that made Dean an icon for the growing youth culture. Dean is referenced in the Bellamy Brothers' ''Rebels Without A Clue'', The Statler Brothers' ''Do You Remember These'' and Keith Urban's ''John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16''.

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

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


OCTOBER 1955

Sally Wilbourn begins working for Sam Phillips, later as his secretary, bookkeeper and  office manager:  she will remain his personal and professional  companion until his death.  The eighteen-year-old Sally Wilbourn's first day of work. A brand-new high school graduate from Coffeeville, Mississippi, a town of less than a thousand, out in the country between Water Valley and Grenada, she had been sent over from Miller-Hawkins Business School, where she was learning typing and shorthand.

Sally Wilbourn >

Sally had never heard of Sun Records, had no idea who Elvis Presley was, and Marion Keisker had left her with instructions to answer the phone, but with no idea of what to say when she did.

''My first impression of Sam was a nice-looking man'', said Sally, ''he was extremely polite to everybody that came in that studio, never rude to anybody. It didn't matter what they wanted or how they talked or what they said, he was just always nice to them, and that just had to register with you, and it did. But yet you could hear him on the phone talking business with somebody, there was nowhere to go, really, to hide from anybody, we all were right there together, you know, and he made a great impression with everybody that met him''.

OCTOBER 1955

Malcolm Yelvington has "Yakety Yak"/"A Gal Named Jo" issued on Meteor 5022. It is released   under the pseudonym Mac Sales and the Esquire Trio since Yelvington was still under   contract to Sun Records.

Sam Phillips sells Elvis Presley's recording contract to RCA Victor Records. He then buys out Jud Phillips's share of Sun Records and becomes sole owner again.  Jud Phillips might have promoted the sale of Elvis Presley's management contract to Jud's former boss, Tom Parker, so that he can recoup his investment.

Ekko 1015 "Talkin' Off The Wall" is released by Eddie Bond, who had already auditioned, and  been turned down, by Sun Records.

Johnny Cash's ''Cry Cry Cry'' enters the national country top fifteen for one week only.

OCTOBER 1955

''My father wrote me a letter'', Roy Orbison remember later. ''He said he had seen a concert with Elvis Presley and it was terrible. He said this greasy haired kid came out and stole the show. Anyway, Elvis came to town and about four hundred of us showed up. It had to be late summer because everyone had gotten on trains and gone to Abilene to see a football game. Elvis came out and I thought I saw him spit onto the stage. As he walked out, he just went Puhhh. It was him, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, Floyd Cramer, and my old drummer. The show was pretty good. He sang a lof of other people's song''. Elvis was in Odessa in October 1955 with Cramer... and October was football season, so perhaps that's the date Roy was talking about.

OCTOBER 1955

The original Mickey Mouse Club television program made its debut on ABC. The show was billed as a variety show for children and would feature cartoons, educational segments and serials like “The Hardy Boys” and “Spin and Marty.” The show also featured child actors as “Mouseketeers” who would perform in musical and dance numbers as well as the other segments. The original run of the Mickey Mouse Club lasted four seasons until it was canceled in 1959 and would feature a rotation of 39 different “Mouseketeers''.


OCTOBER 1, 1955 SATURDAY

George Jones makes his debut on The Louisiana Hayride.

Patsy Cline makes her final appearance with Bill Peer and His Melody Boys at the Brunswick Moose Hall in Winchester, Virginia, ending a three-year relationship. During that time Peer gave the former Virginia Hensley her stage name.

''The Honeymooners'' debuts as a weekly show on CBS-TV. The lead role of Brooklyn bus driver Ralph Kramden belongs to Jackie Gleason, who goes on to write Jimmy Dean's 1962 country recitation, ''To A Sleeping Beauty''.

Res Allen is a featured guest as Red Foley hosts ABC's ''Ozark Jubilee''.

OCTOBER 3, 1955 MONDAY

Earl Scruggs suffers a fractured hip in an early-morning automobile accident 15 miles east of Knoxville, Tennessee. Also injured in the crash are his wife, Louise, and sons Gary and Randy Scruggs.

The children's show ''Captain Kangaroo'', starring Bob Keeshan, makes its debut on CBS-TV. It's referenced a decade later in The Statler Brothers' first hit single, ''Flowers On The Wall''.

OCTOBER 7, 1955 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley attends a Bob Wills concert at Cook's Hoedown Club in Houston, Texas.

OCTOBER 8, 1955 SATURDAY

Sonny James joins the ''Ozark Jubilee'' radio show in Springfield, Missouri.

Future country hitmaker George Burns shares the cover of TV Guide with wife and comedic partner Gracie Allen.

Eddy Arnold registers a number 1 country hit in Billboard with ''The Cattle Call''.

OCTOBER 10, 1955 MONDAY

Hank Penny and Sue Thompson have a son, Greg Penny, in Los Angeles.

Capitol released Faron Young's double-sided hit, ''It's A Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)'' and ''For The Love Of A Woman Like You''.

OCTOBER 11, 1955 TUESDAY

Sun labelmates Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins begin an 11-day concert tour at the Fair Park Auditorium in Abilene, Texas.

OCTOBER 15, 1955 SATURDAY

One day after opening for Bill Haley and The Comets, Buddy Holly performing with future record producer Bob Montgomery, opens an Elvis Presley show in Lubbock, Texas. In the audience is the 13-year old Mac Davis.

ABC-TV premieres ''Grand Ole Opry'', which runs every fourth Saturday night. Special guests on the first show, Les Paul and Mary Fold.

Chess Records released Chuck Berry's rhythm and blues single, ''Thirty Days (To Come Back Home)''. Just 11 days later, Ernest Tubb recorded a country version.

Jim Reeves joins host Webb Pierce on ABC-TV's ''Ozark Jubilee''.


With a voice so barbed and rural that Carl Perkins sounds uptown, Jack Earls recorded timeless rockabilly   during his two years hanging around Sun Records. Unlike most of his Sun contemporaries, he was originally   from east Tennessee, so he knew the secrets of true hillbilly music. Only one record was released and the  reasons are pretty clear. Earls was not onto too countrified for the market that Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins   had found, he lacked dedication to music. With a wife and a young family, he was unable or unwilling to   tour. He couldn't take a shot at the Top 40 from his weekend gig at Memphis's Palm Club, but by never  letting the Top 40 cross his mind, his music kept its untutored country soul intact.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACK EARLS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR FOR SUN RECORDS 1955
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY OCTOBER 15, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Jack Earls was an eccentric figure who ran off briefly with the carnival in his early teens and was exhibited in a cage as The Wild Bot. He arrived in Memphis in 1959, at the age of seventeen, and went to work driving a delivery truck for a bakery. Elvis turned his mind around. He had heard that Elvis had been discovered by just walking in and cutting a demo at Sun, so, sometime in early 1955, he hot together the guys he had been playing with, ''about six or eight guitars'', paid his money, and cut a record himself. One of the guys in the band said, ''You know, when we get this demo made, they're gonna be hammering on your door''. Nobody ever hammered, said Earls, but Sam called me back. He liked my voice, and he told me, 'We're gonna have a hit record. But you gotta get a band. Your band ain't worth a shit''. So Sam helped Jack put together a band and told him, ''When you get something going, come back and we'll have an audition''.



Jack Earls and The Jimbos at the Palms Club, Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1957. From left: Frenchy, Johnny Black, Jack Earls. >

Jack Earls appearances in England in 1996 confirmed that his raw mountain tenor was engagingly intact. The many years out of the music business had kept him healthy and kept his voice from the burn-out that afflicted so many of his peers. Jack was born in Woodbuty, Tennessee on August 23, 1932, and moved to Memphis in 1949.


He formed a country band and Jack Earls made his debut as a unit at the Sun studio just as Elvis Presley was preparing to make his exodus from Sun. In fact on that precise day Elvis Presley was performing at the Cotton Club in Lubbock, Texas, where the opening act was Buddy and Bob. 

Although Earl's song "A Fool For Lovin' You" had met with Sam Phillips approval, by the time the boys came to the studio, Jack had worked up a new repertoire. "I'd sit up all night writing songs. I'd sit in my car a '52 Buick Roadmaster, pick away and write. That's how I wrote "Hey Jim".

This was one of the songs that was recorded at the session, and it so impressed Sam Phillips that he promptly named backing group "The Jimbos". They recorded the number several times and on one take Jack slipped up and sang "Hey Slim".

01(1) - "THEY CAN'T KEEP ME FROM YOU" - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Nor Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15273 mono
LET'S BOP
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-15 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

01(2) - "THEY CAN'T KEEP ME FROM YOU" - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15273 mono
LET'S BOP
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-2 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

It would appear that the group recorded the "Hey Slim" on a number of different occasions, but only one "Hey Jim" and "Hey Slim" taken and they donated all proceeds to relief-work charities.

02 - "WHEN I DREAM" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15273 mono
LET'S BOP
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-5 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

03(1) - "HEY JIM" - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CPCD 8161 mono
SUN ROCKABILLIES VOLUME 3
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-1 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

03(2) - "HEY JIM" - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 2010
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-1 mono
JACK EARLS – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03(3) - "HEY SLIM" - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30128-A-8 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 13 - ROCKABILLY SUNDOWN
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-22 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS


Johnny Black, brother of Bill Black >

Sam Phillips targeted a couple of songs from this session for a future release. As he had done for Presley and Perkins, he planned to pair a rocking song, ''Hey Jim'', with a country number, ''A Fool For Loving You''. With the band's approval, Phillips dubbed them the Jimbos.

However, in October 1955 Phillips was running Sun Records on a shoestring budget while negotiating a deal orchestrated by Colonel Tom Parker who wanted RCA Victor Records to buy out Presleys Sun contract.

This, combined with several more Sun issues and recording sessions kept Phillips very busy through the end of November. Parker's deal was finalized.


04(1) - "A FOOL FOR LOVING YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 185
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - April 1956
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 240-B mono
A FOOL FOR LOVING YOU / SLOW DOWN
Reissued: - 1987 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN 8 mono
THE SUN CD COLLECTION - COUNTRY MUSIC ORIGINALS - VOLUME 3

04(2) - "A FOOL FOR LOVING YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15273 mono
LET'S BOP
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-23 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

05(1) - "CRAWDAD HOLE" - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1975
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita 110-10 mono
SHELBY COUNTY COUNTRY 1948-1964
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-4 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDING

05(2) - "CRAWDAD HOLE" - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 15, 1955
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-6 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Earls - Vocal & Guitar
Warren Gregory - Guitar
Johnny Black - Bass
Danny Rehnquist - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


OCTOBER 17, 1955 MONDAY

Capitol released Tennessee Ernie Ford's ''Sixteen Tons''.

Jerry Reed holds his first recording session for capitol Records at the Castle Recording Studio in Nashville.

Decca released Bill Monroe's ''Wheel Hoss''. Ricky Skaggs turns the song into a Grammy-winner in the 1980s.

Columbia released Carl Smith's double-sided hit, ''You're Free To Go'' backed with ''I Feel Like Cryin'''.

OCTOBER 19, 1955 WEDNESDAY

The Ames Brothers recorded ''It Only Hurts For A Little While'' at the RCA Recording Studio in New York City. Margo Smith has a country hit with the song in 1978.

OCTOBER 21, 1955 FRIDAY

Mary Louise Smith (18) was arrested for violating Alabama bus segregation laws in Montgomery, Alabama. Colvin, Browder, and Smith were all arrested for refusing to give up their seats to white passengers.

OCTOBER 22, 1955 SATURDAY

Jim Reeves joins the Grand Ole Opry,  at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Former ''National Barn Dance'' star George Gobel is on the cover of TV Guide.

Sonny James and Jim and Maxine Brown appear on the ABC series ''Ozark Jubilee', hosted by Red Foley.



Band members were (from left) C. L. Coyle, Coot Brown and Bishop Horten, Punky Caldwell.  They were together in the late 1950's and played at "The Silver Moon" outside of Searcy, Arkansas.

The Silver Moon is famous for having been a started place for Elvis Presley, Sonny Burgess, and other singers who became great. >


OCTOBER 24, 1955 MONDAY

Elvis Presley, billed as "The King of Western Bop", appeared as the headliner at the Silver   Moon Club on Highway 67, north of Newport, Arkansas. The 9:00 p.m. show cost $1.50 and   the only other act on the bill was Sonny Burgess and his band the Moonlighters from   Memphis, who later also recorded for Sun Records.


When Elvis Presley came to the Silver Moon Club, Sonny Burgess organised the supporting   act, and put together Newport's version of a supergroup combining some of Punky's men and  the Moonlighters.

According to Sonny Burgess, Elvis Presley tried to hire Punky and Kern  Kennedy that night to flesh out the meagre sound of Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Also,   according to Sonny Burgess, Elvis Presley got the idea to record "One Night" from the Pacers,   who often performed it as much as five times a night. For his part, Elvis Presley's   contribution to Sonny's career was to implant the idea of going to record at Sun.

The newspaper advertisement promises: "If you like GOOD Western Music (and who doesn't)   You'll enjoy Elvis Presley and the Moonlighters singing and playing your favorite western   tunes." Show time is "9 til''?  According to Alfred McCullar, manager of the Silver Moon, ''They called me about two weeks earlier and said they had an open date on the way back from a show, if I could fit them it. That night, they had even more people, than the night they had Louis Armstrong there''.

A few weeks after the Silver Moon gig, Sonny and the Moonlighters drove to Sun Records in Memphis for an audition. Sam Phillips told them that they needed a fuller sound to Sonny recruited Jack Nance and Joe Lewis from another local band. It was Lewis who came up with the name Pacers for the group from Pacer airplanes. Both Smith and Lewis played drums so Nance (who had been a music major in college) switched to his other instrument, trumpet. Sonny had wanted a saxophonist like Punky Coldwell, but figured that the trumpet gave the Pacers a little different sound.


OCTOBER 26, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Ernest Tubb recorded Chuck Berry's ''Thirty Days (To Come Back Home)'' during an evening session at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

OCTOBER 27, 1955 THURSDAY

Red Sovine and Webb Pierce recorded ''Why Baby Why'' in Nashville at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio.

The iconic teen movie ''Rebel Without A Cause'' debuts in theaters, with James Dean in the starring role. The picture's title is borrowed by a Bellamy Brothers country hit, ''Rebels Without A Clue''.

OCTOBER 28, 1955 FRIDAY

Colonel Tom Parker receives a telegram from RCA saying the label will pay no more than $25,000 to buy out Elvis Presley's contract from Sun Records. Sun owner Sam Phillips holds out for $35,000.

Ray Price recorded ''Run Boy'' during an evening session at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

OCTOBER 29, 1955 SATURDAY

Slim Whitman joins the Grand Ole Opry,  at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Louvin Brothers recorded ''I Don't Believe Met My Baby'' at the Castle Studio downtown Nashville.

Mac Wiseman and Speedy West are featured in the Red Foley-hosted ABC music series ''Ozark Jubilee''.


The ''First All-Girl'' WHER Radio Staff The Brainchild of Sam Phillips. Front (left to right) Teresa Kilgore, Becky Phillips. Back row (left to right) Margie ''Dotty'' Abbott, Marion Keisker, Dot Fisher, Pat McGee, Denise Howard, Barbara Gurley, Laura Yeargain, Memphis, Tennessee, March 1956. >

OCTOBER 29, 1955 SATURDAY

Sam Phillips opens WHER radio, The World's First All-Girl Radio Station in Memphis with lawyer Roy Scott and  Clarence Camp, president of Southern Amusement together with Kemmons Wilson, president of Holiday Inn.

The station has an easy-listening format and an all-female staff.  "When I started WHER…people thought I had rocks in my head. A girl could do a cooking show, but no one  thought girls could handle hour-to-hour programs and commercials. I felt differently. I had always wanted a  radio station, but Memphis already had nine. I had to do something different. An all-girl crew, and pleasant,  light music, was the answer'', recalled Sam Phillips in 1960.

WHER ALL-GIRL RADIO - Record producer and label owner Sam Phillips is probably best known for signing Elvis  Presley to his first record contract and introducing him to the world. But he also founded and owned the  country’s first ''All Girl Radio Station''.


WHER radio discjockey Marge Thrasher, ''Host of Open Mike'' with Mayor Henry Loeb of Memphis, circa 1968. >

Living in Memphis, Sam Phillips had long wanted to own a radio station. In 1955, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) awarded him the rights   to 1430 AM. Phillips put together a group of investors to assemble the station, including Kemmon Wilson, who at  the time had just begun his ''Holiday Inn'' hotel chain. The station was based in a Holiday Inn on South Third Street in Memphis. Phillips   wife Becky had worked as an announcer on a local station and suggested the ''all-girl'' gimmick.


At the time, most   stations had a single female voice that might give the time or station identification and read some commercials.   Phillips decided that women listeners might relate better to a station where all you heard were women’s voices:   All the on-air personalities were women, women read the news and programmed the records. The station even   employed all female salespersons and management.


WHER radio discjockey Becky Phillips >

Phillips promoted the angle relentlessly and he never missed a chance to point out the differences between his   ''All-girl'' radio and the other male-dominated stations. Media coverage at the time reported that the disc jockeys   were renamed ''jockettes'', the studio was called ''the doll's den'', the WHER stationary was perfumed and exit   signs were replaced with ''Bye bye till next time''! While these affectations seem dated and downright   condescending today, at the time they were seen as innovative and drove home the fact that this station was by,   for and about women.

Programming was a mix of talk, jazz and easy listening. Women program directors screened new releases for inappropriate lyrics or suggestive content.  The station proved popular with female listeners and  advertisers alike, lasting for 11 years and spawning a handful of copy-cats, most of which duplicated the on-air   female voices but didn’t follow through and employ women behind the scenes as producers, copywriters   and salespeople, as WHER did.

Today (1966), radio is still seen primary as a man’s business, with few women on air and even less behind the scenes,   but for a brief period, women ran the show in Memphis. As Assistant Manager and Program Director Dorothy   Abbott ( a.k.a ''Dot Holiday'') was quoted saying, ''We are not trying to prove that we can get along in a world   without men. We are simply trying to prove that when a group of women make up their collective minds that   they are going to do something successfully, no force on earth can keep them from it''. 

As of 2008, the 1430 kHz frequency is occupied by WOWW, a radio Disney affiliate.



An AFM contract for a Charlie Feathers Sun Session >


OCTOBER 30, 1955 SUNDAY

Sam Phillips set off for Houston, Texas, with Marion Keisker for a preliminary injunction  hearing in federal court on his lawsuit against Duke Records. In order to be in U.S District Court the next morning for his long-awaited hearing (it had been more than eighteen months now) of the Little Junior Parker theft-of-personal services case.

For all practical purposes, of course, the outcome had been long since established, Little Junior was at this point a recognized star on Don Robey's Duke label. But even though many might have, and had, been deterred by Robey's reputation and associations (as one of his short-term associates put it, ''he wasn't scared of the forked-tongued devil himself''), Sam Phillips was not going to be deflected or scared off. He was determined to have his day in court.

The regular judge, Ben C. Connally, was clearly more sympathetic to the case than his superannuated substitute back in April of 1954 and, after several days of court testimony by Sam Phillips, Marion Keisker, Don Robey, and others awarded unspecified damages to Sun Records for what he found to be a clear case of contractual interference. Eventually cumulative damages, including punitive, were set at $17,500, and after lengthy appeals, which wound their way all the way to the Supreme Court in what was deemed an historic case, Sam Phillips finally got his $17,500, plus interest.

OCTOBER 31, 1955 MONDAY

Charlie Feathers signed an AFM (American Federation of Musicians) contract for a Charlie  Feathers session for his engagement at Sun Records.

The Wilburn Brothers recorded ''You've Not Play Love''.

Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''Don't Take It Out On Me''.


NOVEMBER 1955

Sam Phillips was on the point of going bankrupt. The banks would not lend him money  against the dubious assets he had accumulated. The pressing plants were screaming for  money and he owed publishing royalties, artist royalties, an unrecouped advance to Chess  Records, unrepaid funds from the buyout deal with his brother Jud... and probably more.  Exactly six months later Phillips was flush with money. The slim profit he made on every  single hadn't made him a millionaire, but it enabled him to buy a new house and lay the  foundation of a sizable fortune.

The experience of hard times, together with Phillips' innate frugality, meant this his  overhead was very low. His rent on the property at 706 Union was still less than two  hundred dollars a month. He paid Marion Keisker and his new assistant Sally Wilbourn less  than twenty-five dollars a week, and the rest of his overhead was minimal. Most of his  warehousing and shipping was done by the pressing plants. His only challenge was to collect  from his distributors, and that was hardly a problem with ''Blue Suede Shoes'' and ''I Walk  The Line'' in the charts. Phillips was approaching the volume of a major label, with the  overhead of the smallest independent.

Phillips also owned the publishing rights to ''Blue Suede Shoes'', although meant that every  record company who pushed a version onto the market owed Phillips two cents for every  copy sold. The success of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' also enabled Phillips to assemble the nucleus  of his foreign deals, which saw Sun product go to British Decca's London subsidiary for most  of the world.

NOVEMBER 1955

During the first week of November 1955, RCA quietly finalized arrangements with Colonel  Tom Parker and Sam Phillips to purchase Elvis Presley's Sun recording contract. RCA then set  its publicity machinery in motion to make Elvis Presley into a superstar. On top of all the  other factors influencing RCA's decision to sign Elvis Presley, there was finally a corporate  consensus that he could be a moneymaking act. This may have funded a settlement between Sam Phillips and Jud Phillips. Jud's stock in Sun had been assigned to bankers, who had been threatening to foreclose.

It was becoming clear that rock and roll music was bursting onto the scene with such vitality  and intensity that the profits from a standout exponent of this new musical form were  potentially enormous. All the major record labels were aware of this trend, and were  eagerly seeking out new rock and roll tunes.

NOVEMBER 1955

Started building studio of Fernwood Records, a Memphis record label located on 158 Fernwood Drive, founded  by Truck driver Slim Wallace (who previously fronted a hillbilly band in Memphis called Slim  Wallace's Dixie Rambles). Scotty Moore was production chief, with the studio located in the  Wall garage. Some of the most sought after honky-tonk and rockabilly recordings of the  1950s were cut in this garage in Memphis. It was Scotty Moore who selected the song  "Tragedy" for Thomas Wayne to record. The tape was brought over to Sun Records, where  Scotty Moore added an echo on Sun's tape recorder. Jack Clement also produced some  records at Fernwood.

WHBQ disc jockey Dewey Phillips even recorded for Fernwood Records, cutting "Beg Your  Pardon"/"If It Had To Be You" (Fernwood 115).


NOVEMBER 1955

In 1955, at around the same time that Jerry Lee Lewis failed an audition to perform at the  Grand Ole Opry, he was told by unimpressed Nashville record company execs that he should  switch to the guitar. As usual, he didn’t listen. Instead, impressed by the output of the tiny  Memphis Recording Service that was owned and operated by Sam Phillips, Lewis decided to  see if he, too, could benefit from the production skills and career guidance of the Sun  Records label owner.

The Killer and Sam Phillips >

As luck would have it, Phillips wasn’t in town when Jerry Lee and his  father, Elmo, travelled to Memphis in November 1956, yet the story surrounding their trip  has become part of rock and roll folklore.  ''I took possibly the first vacation that I’d ever had in my life when I, my wife and our two  young sons went to Daytona, Florida, for a week'', Sam Phillips recalled. ''Jerry Lee Lewis  had been trying to see me, and while I was away, he and his father had apparently sold eggs  to buy gasoline to come up here. You might think, Man, was anybody that poor in the  '1950s?’ Well, they were''. Indeed, the Lewises funded their Memphis visit by selling 13  dozen eggs to Nelson’s supermarket in Ferriday.

''At that time, to earn a living, Jerry Lee was performing in a nightclub and playing the piano  with his right hand and the drums with his left'', confirms Phillips' then-assistant Jack  Clement who, after Lewis first walked into the building at 706 Union Avenue, was informed  by office assistant Sally Wilbourn. She said, ''There’s a guy here who says he plays the piano  like Chet Atkins''. This was quite a boast, since Atkins claim to fame was on the guitar. ''I  said, 'Really?''', Clement recalls. ''I’ve got to hear that'. So Jerry Lee came into the studio  and played ''Wildwood Flower'' on this little spinet, and he sounded like Chet Atkins playing  the piano! When I asked him, 'Do you sing?' he said, 'Yeah', so I said, ''Well, sing something',  and as soon as he did, I made a tape of it. He was singing these country songs by George  Jones, ''Seasons Of My Heart'' and ''Window Up Above'', and I really liked what he was doing.  The tape I made had four or five songs, and there wasn’t any rock and roll, so I told him,  ''We don’t do much country around here. We're in the rock and roll business. You ought to go  home and work up some rock and roll numbers'''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE NOVEMBER 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS



William Billy Emerson >

In November 1955, Emerson returned to Memphis to make what turned out to be his last session at Sun Records. The band was the same Newborn combo used at the previous session. Emerson's opinion was that, "my last record in Memphis, ''Something For Nothing'', 'that was the best, man, that was when I really found my style. You listen to that and to ''Little Fine Healthy Thing'' and you're listening to the real Billy Emerson. That was Phineas' band again''.


Billy Emerson's final release on Sun shows yet again why Sam Phillips continued to record this artist, even when Sun had virtually abanded the blues.  Quite simply, Emerson was a potential crossover artist whose material had greater appeal than the rhythm and blues market to which it was confined. Sam Phillips must have shared that view, although he was up against the proverbial brick wall trying to implement such plans.

For this track, his concluding release, he called upon the talents of Phineas Newborn senior along with his younger son Calvin, to play drums and lead guitar. Also fleshing out the line-up was Billy "Red" Love, one of Sun's growing band of workaday sidemen, who took over the piano stool leaving The Kid plenty of room to conjure up the wolfish howls that introduce each chorus.


''Little Fine Healthy Thing", is perhaps the least perfect of Emerson's singles. The material is strong, containing a fine and healthy hook, but neither the arrangement nor the recording keep pace. For example, Emerson goes noticeably off mike during the first "I said oooo-weeee" and his voice breaks during the second, causing it to end abruptly. The band work behind him is rather unfocussed and does little to drive the recording. When the record ends following the second chorus, we are left with a sense of "Is that all there is?". No sax break? No resolution? As he showed on some of his later Vee-Jay work, Emerson was capable of bringing some fine ideas into the studio, but occasionally needed someone to pull the pieces together and take things to fruition. Sam Phillips wasn't that kind of producer. He was a master at bringing out the best in someone, but he wasn't about to construct sax lines and structural changes in the music. Emerson may have needed an arranger more than a producer, as this side reveals.

01(1) - "LITTLE FINE HEALTHY THING" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 174  - Master
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - January 15, 1956
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 233-A mono
LITTLE FINE HEALTY THING / SOMETHING FOR NOTHING
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-9 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

In any case, Billy The Kid's fate at 706 Union was sealed with the release of the very next single in Sun's catalogue, which all but ended Phillips' dwindling commitment to recording the blues.

01(2) - "LITTLE FINE HEALTHY THING" 2 - B.M.I.
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - August 4, 2006
First appearance: - Titanic Records (CD) 500/200rpm TCR 6006 mono
RED HOT ABOUT THE BLUES - UNRELEASED SUN RECORDINGS

Emerson rates his work on this side extremely highly indeed - and with very good cause, as the record is a tight, jumping blues with more than a nod towards the urgency of nascent rock and roll. Emerson brought Phineas Newborn Sr's band in for this session, which meant that they had to work up the arrangement from scratch. Despite this there is a gloriously infections spontaneity to the performance.


Here, Billy Emerson has once again taken something from popular culture, an idiom or common expression, and built a catchy song around it. "Something For Nothing" featured an engaging mid-tempo that must have been welcome on the dance floor as well as the jukebox. His indictment of this woman and her one sided idea of a relationship is potent and clever stuff, the edge of which is masked by a happy, rolling tempo.

''Something For Nothing'' is certainly a wonderful record that works as a city blues, as a juke box favourite, and as a potential cross-over hit. It was well-ritten, confidently sung, and tightly played with just the right guitar and sax interventions.

02(1) - "SOMETHING FOR NOTHING" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 175  - Master
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - January 15, 1956
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 233-B mono
SOMETHING FOR NOTHING / LITTLE FINE HEALTY THING
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-10 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

''Little Fine Healthy Thing'' is also a fine song and concept, introduced in a low key anner by some jazzy  piano and developing into a stop-time tale with unusual vocal effects and the memorable line - ''you must be  an angel because women don't look that fine''. It didn't quite have the commanding presence and tightness of  ''Something'' though. It was chosen for release over the session's other product, the rollicking if slightly  chaotic ''Cherry Pie'', which returned to the theme of being satisfied -this time, so satisfied that Billy will call  his girl ''Cherry Pie'' for ever. Once again, Emerson throws in all his favoured elements, including handclaps,  time shifts, hook lines and riffs. Probably neither the theme nor the music was quite tight enough to make a  single release.

02(2) - "SOMETHING FOR NOTHING" - B.M.I.
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - August 4, 2006
First appearance: - Titanic Records (CD) 500/200rpm TCR 6006 mono
RED HOT ABOUT THE BLUES - UNRELEASED SUN RECORDINGS

03(1) - "CHERRY PIE" - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - 2009
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937 mono
BILLY THE KID EMERSON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03(2) - "CHERRY PIE" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Billy Emerson - Vocal
Billy Love - Piano
Jewell Briscoe - Tenor Saxophone
Moses Reed - Tenor Saxophone
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Kenneth Banks - Bass
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums

Billy described to Jim O'Neal how the memorable hook and title of his song was taken from one of his oldest influences in music, a duo he had heard on records years before, "That song, ''Something For Nothing'', came from a Butterbeans and Susie routine - 'Now look here Sue, you sure is tight. You ain't never gonna treat your papa Butter right'. She made a reply and then he would sing 'Somethin for nothing seem to be your plan, you ought to get yourself a monkey cause you sure don't need no man''. Joe and Susie Edwards had recorded these lines years before in a recording career that stretched back to 1924.

By November 1955, the time of the last Sun session, Sam Phillips had noted in his logs that Emerson had left his Cairo address, and he listed instead three Chicago addresses as contact points, first one on Prairie, then on 55th Place, and finally Ellis Street. He may or may not have known that on November 22, that same  month, while he was still under contract to Sun. Billy had already made a session in Chicago for Vee-Jay Records. This was to be the start of some pretty convoluted recording wrangles surrounding Emerson over the coming years.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE FEATHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1, 1955
SESSION HOURS: 8:00-11:00 PM
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS


Charlie Feathers had been working with composers like Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell on "Defrost Your Heart" (Sun 231) from late in 1954. Owing more than a little to the tune of Hank Williams' "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow" and sharing some of its bleak intensity, it must have struck Phillips as ideal when it was finished in 1955.

In way Feathers was odd from the outset and he had an old soul. His two singles for Phillips, one on Sun, the other on its Flip subsidiary, taken with all the material he stockpiled at that time, do not come from the parallel universes mentioned earlier but from some third anterior dimension.

"Wedding Gown Of White" would sit quite easily on Harry Smith's antiguarian Anthology Of American Folk Music alongside Clarence Ashley's curious "The Coo Coo Bird" while "I've Been Deceived" could rub shoulders with the Reverend Gates' "Oh Death".



Charlie Feathers and his band live on stage, Mount Pleasant School, Mount Pleasant, Mississippi, circa 1955. >

Sun 231 remained a highly elusive item for Charlie Feathers collectors. The longer these titles remained on numerous wants lists, the stronger the legend surrounding them grew. And then one day it happened. Someone actually found one of the nine hundred or so copies of "Defrost Your Heart" that had been sold, which dashed all hope of an undiscovered rockabilly classic.


By now, the truth is known. Charlie Feathers was first and foremost a hillbilly singer. Although he later developed an arsenal of hiccups and glottal shrieks, his recorded work for Sun Records reveals the true roots of all those King and Meteor singles.

In fact, it is an unmistakeable irony that Charlie Feathers - the prototypical rockabilly singer, recorded for Sun - the world famous rockabilly label, and all that was ever released was country music. Excellent country music, though.

The melody of ''Defrost Your Heart'' owes some debt to Hank Williams 1951 hit ''I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow'' but if all plagiarism were as sweet as this, it would no longer be a crime. Sam Phillips could never understand why this single was not a hit, and it's a mystery still. Phillips also insisted that Charlie could have been as big as George Jones if he'd stuck with country music, and, on the evidence of this record, it's flattering George Jones to say that he was as good as Charlie Feathers. Once again, Stan Kesler shows why the steel guitar found a place in country music. Its wordless cry precisely echoes the sentiments of so many country songs, none more so than this. Claunch's deadened bass strings provide all the pulse that these two sides need. After Elvis Presley was signed to RCA, Sam Phillips concluded a deal that saw songs he published go to Presley's new publisher, Hill & Range, for exploitation. The Aberbachs, who owned Hill & Range, sent ''Defrost Your Heart'' to Canadian country artist Bob King.

01(1) - "DEFROST YOUR HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - William "Bill" Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 164  - Master
Recorded: - November 1, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 231-A mono
DEFROST YOUR HEART / A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-5 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Seen for what it was, another example of Memphis hillbilly circa 1955, this record is an unadulterated success. The classic band sound of Cantrell, Kesler and Claunch is in all its glory on these side, and Feathers' vocal is... well, its impossible to parody. This is backporch adenoidal country singing so achingly pure and embarrassingly direct that it really does transcend parody. Billboard gave the sides relatively low ratings, while nothing that "A Wedding Gown Of White" had "quiet, simple appeal".

"Wedding Gown Of White", coupled with "Defrost Your Heart", it trickled out in January 1956 and sold less than a thousand copies. Listen to either side and they could just as easily have been recorded in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1927, which would hardly recommend them to the chrome dreams of post-war America. That said, they remain stunning artifacts and a ringing endorsement of Sam Phillips' aesthetic judgment at least when he said that Feathers was a hugely talented country singer. "Wedding Gown Of White" was an especially cunning celebration of something which hadn't happened yet and typical of the quirkiness which would define Feathers' life. His singing is purest sound, some miraculous instrument ringing changes, and yet he never loses sight of meaning!

02(1) - "A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE" - B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - William "Bill" Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 165  - Master
Recorded: - November 1, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 231-B mono
A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE / DEFROST YOUR HEART
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-6 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

In a sense, ''A Wedding Gown Of White'' was more a follow-up to ''Daydreamin''' than to ''Peepin' Eyes''. This time, our hero has moved on to daydreamin' about his forthcoming marriage. You won't find a less cluttered storyline in country music: ''I love you, I'm going to marry you; Oh boy. Claunch and Cantrell certainly thought that this was a vein they could mine indefinitely. The dismal sales ( a shade over 900 copies) obviously proved them wrong. Feathers provides a wonderfully hard-edged vocal in a style that could strip paint off the wall, while full of earnest love. In fact, it goes beyond love to the point of adoration. Kesler's steel guitar is also outstanding, bracketed by the signature phrase from Wagner's ''Wedding March''. The bass player is either Bill Black, augmenting his meagre earnings with Presley, or his brother Johnny. Bill Black's name was filed with the AFM but Johnny recalls playing the session and was not a member of the AFM, which would have necessitated substituting his name with an AFM member on the session log.

02(2) - "A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE" - B.M.I. - 3:11
Composer: - William "Bill" Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - November 1, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (CD) 500/200rpm ZCD 2011-9 mono
THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF RARE AND UNISSUED RECORDINGS 1954 - 1973
Reissued: 1991 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 278-4 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS - GONE, GONE, GONE


Charlie Feather at Sun studio, circa 1955/1956. >

"Charlie Feathers made some fine, fine records" recalled Sam Phillips. "That "Wedding Gown Of White", what a song that was. I never felt we quite got the cut on it I wanted but it was still a hell of a record. But of course Charlie was always a little difficult to get along with, and that was how we never managed to work closely and get the very best out of him.  He always felt he knew more than everyone else - Charlie has always got in his own way. He had also many stories he got to believe them himself''.


''It got where he became a pathological liar, which is too bad because Charlie was a damn talent. I don't care who gets the accolades if they're due, but all that bullshit about Charlie inventing rockabilly''. '' No way. No, Charlie's talent was in country music, in the blues feeling he put into a hillbilly song. Charlie should have been just a superb top country artist. Charlie could have been the George Jones of his day - he's a superb stylist".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal and Guitar
Bill Cantrell - Fiddle
Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar
Quinton Claunch - Guitar
Bill Black or Johnny Black - Bass

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Mack Self was always a stone country singer at heart and the songs on his sessions are as good as any country music you will hear. Mack also tried a variety of other styles at Sun varying degrees of success, but he always retained a country purity in his vocal and his band was never going to let anyone knock off too many rough edges. The take-off lead guitar of Therlow Brown is a delight and combines with the slap bass playing of Jimmy Evans to support Mack in giving us all that was best in 1950s hillbilly music, Memphis style.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS LATE 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: LATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS


"Easy To Love" is the crown jewel in Mack Self's recording and songwriting career. This song retains its considerable power more than 50 years after it was conceived. Sam Phillips didn't need much convincing. It was Mack's ticket to appear on the Sun label and one of Sam's few dalliances with pure country music as late as June, 1957.  Although the later released version was pure country. Sam made the right choice in allowing the arrangement to evolve as it did. Bill Cantrell's fiddle was not the best way to showcase the song. In fact, everything that is most powerfull about the released version happened only after the fiddle and more rural vocal were shelved.

Mack's vocalizing on the released single version is powerfull, suggesting but not overwhelming us with country mannerisms. Stan Kesler's steel adds a wonderfull 2-minor chord (B-minor in the key of A), and the dramatic ending we have all come to know and love only saw daylight after Cantrell's paked up his fiddle. Thurlow Brown's lead guitar part is pretty well set regardless of who or what was going on around him. This is for the best. Brown's part offers counterpart both to Mack's vocal and the other instruments. Sam may only have known that the original session was too rural to sell. But by edging the later session uptown just a little bit, he assured its status as one of the most beautiful and enduring recordings in Sun's country legacy.

01(1) - "EASY TO LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearances: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-9-1 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE COUNTRY YEARS
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5-19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

01(2) - "EASY TO LOVE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955

"Goin' Crazy", its surprising that this song never saw release on the original Sun label. If the amount of tape remaining in the vault is any indication. "Goin' Crazy" received more attention any of the songs Mack recorded at Sun Records. There are at least a dozen full takes of Goin' Crazy" and half that many false starts stored on various session reels. Somebody must have seen some merit in the material. This was a candidate for release Day 1, yet somehow never made the cut. Unfortunately, by the time Mack and Sun parted company, the style of songs like this had simply faded too deeply into Hillbilly Heaven to warrant release.

02 - "GOIN' CRAZY" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-9-2 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5-20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959



Mack Self >

Like "Easy To Love", "Goin' Crazy" began life as a pure country tune driven by Bill Cantrell's fiddle. Jimmy Evans slap bass is also prominently miked. The arrangement gradually evolved in the direction of pop/rock and roll and ended life with a prominent drum part that owes a substantial debt to Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue". You can almost hear the arrangement shedding its pure country roots and moving further toward the mainstream.


The fiddle is packed away, the drums become hotter and the steel is mixed further and further away. Mack simply goes on singing about "skinning saplings", "eating paw paws" (a small, sweet fruit that grows wild in Arkansas) and "rooting like a hog", seemingly unaffected by changes in arrangement. You can bring in all the hot guitars you want to; he's still proud to be a country boy.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Thurlow Brown - Lead Guitar
Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar
Jimmy Evens - Bass & Second Vocal
Bill Cantrell – Fiddle
Johnny Bernero - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - © 


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

PROBABLY AT SUN
STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY EVANS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955/1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1955/1956
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS

Many musicians from Arkansas came across the river to Memphis in order to try their luck in the lively  music scene, hoping to get as famous as the young boy named Elvis Presley, who found success at Sun  Records and rose to stardom at RCA Victor from 1956 on. When Jimmy Evans came to Sun, he was in good  company. Billy Lee Riley was on Sun as well as Sonny Burgess, Johnny Cash, and others such as Charlie  Rich would follow.

01 - ''THE JOINT'S REALLY JUMPIN''' - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Jimmy Evans
Publisher: - E&M Beatnic
Matrix number: C-492 B
Recorded: Unknown Date 1955/1956
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Clearmont Records (S) 45rpm Clearmont C 502 mono
THE JOINT'S REALLY JUMPIN' / I JUST DON'T LOVE YOU
Reissued: - July 24, 2012  Rolled Gold Classics (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROCKABILLY ON A SUMMER'S DAY

02 - ''NO MORE''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: Unknown Date 1955/1956

03 - ''HAWAIIAN WEDDING DAY
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: Unknown Date 1955/1956

Probably more tracks recorded.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Evans – Vocal & Bass
James Ray ''Jimmy'' Paulman - Guitar
Robert ''Bob'' Wilhite - Steel Guitar
George Paulman - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
James ''Jimmy'' Wilson - Piano

Born on November 23, 1938 in Mariana, Arkansas, Evans began to sing at an early age. He first auditioned at   Sun in 1954 when his aunt arranged a meeting with Sam Phillips but Evans was turned down, because he   was too young and his voice was too high. Evans then returned to Arkansas and formed a band, which had a   radio show on local KXJK in Forrest City, Arkansas. When he finished high school, Evans came back and   Phillips hired him as a studio musician because of his ability to play lead guitar, bass, piano, drums, and steel   guitar. He became friends with another Sun musician, piano player Jimmy Wilson, and moved with him into   an apartment over the Sun Cafe, not far from the Sun Studio on Union Avenue.



Jimmy Evans >

Evans was mostly used as a session musician for singers who stepped into the studio to cut audition tapes.   Evans was hoping to get a record release on Sun on his own but at that time, he was still singing country   music and Phillips concentrated on rockabilly. He also played bass in Mack Self's band and in Harold   Jenkins' Houserockers.  When Jenkins moved to MGM and became Conway Twitty, Evans went with him on   the road and stayed with his band until 1958.


Evans then joined Ronnie Hawkins' background group, the   Hawks and toured with them for another two years.  Finally, Evans issued his own record in 1962. At the advice of singer Gene Simmons, who had also recorded   for Sun, Evans took his song "The Joint's Really Jumpin'" to Clearmont Records, a small label in Memphis,   and cut it along with "I Just Don't Love You." 

On the recordings, Evans was backed by Gene Simmons'   brother Carl on lead guitar, Jimmy Wilson on piano, Jesse Carter on bass and an unknown drummer.  Actually, there are some inconsistences about the single. Jimmy Wilson left Memphis for California in 1958   and nobody knows what happened to him and nobody ever claimed he came back to Memphis in the 1960s.   Also, Evans cut the record before he joined the Hawks, thus around 1958. But the record was released in   1962, which is confirmed by a Billboard review on November 17, 1962.

Between 1965 and 1980, Jimmy released a few country singles, sometimes using the name Jimmy Dale   Evans, and for the single "Nashville Woman"/"45 Until" (Rivertown 103) the pseudonym Lattie Lane. In   1982, Jimmy wrote and recorded the extraordinary 1950's throwback "Pink Cadillac" (Twin TR 11982). An   amazing record for its time. It is currently available on the CD "Memphis Rockabillies, Hillbillies & Honky   Tonkers, Vol. 5" (Stomper Time STCD 21), which came out in 2006. The CD also includes - along with   seven other tracks by Jimmy - an alternative version of "Pink Cadillac", featuring harmony vocals by two   members of the Beach Boys, who happened to be in the studio at the time Jimmy recorded his masterpiece.   Evans plays all instruments on "Pink Cadillac", except drums.

In 1994, Bert Rookhuizen of Rockhouse Records in the Netherlands, released a 16-track CD by Jimmy,   called "The Joint's Really Jumpin'" (Rockhouse 9409). The 1960s recordings were complemented by "Pink   Cadillac" and titles recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis in 1994. A CD with new country and   rockabilly material, "Arkansas' Been Rockin'" appeared in 2004 (JAG Records 009). The title track relates   his experiences at Sun in the fifties. In 2000, Evans was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and sadly   Jimmy Evans died on August 3, 2011 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


NOVEMBER 3, 1955 THURSDAY

Marty Robbins recorded ''Singing The Blues'' and ''I Can't Quit (I've Gone Too Far)'' during a late-night session at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

NOVEMBER 4, 1955 FRIDAY

Broadway hosts a country show for the first time, as Roy Acuff, Kitty Wells and Johnny and Jack begin a one-week run at the Palace Theater.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY BERNERO & THURMAN TED ENLOW
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Until comparatively recently, Johnny Bernero was a virtuel unknown in the history of Sun Records. His own recordings were not known to have existed and his standout drumming on records by Elvis Presley, Warren Smith, Smokey Joe, The Miller Sisters, and several others was usually attributed to someone else. The real misfortune was that Bernero's preferred style of music became overlooked in the rush to record rockabilly.


Thurman Enlow >

Toward the end of Bernero's affiliation with Sun, Sam Phillips allowed him to bring his own band, featuring singer-pianist Thurman ''Ted'' Enlow. If categorized, those tapes would be filed under western swing, and, for that reason, they sat in a session reel box marked ''Bernero's Band'' for upwards of thirty years. If Bernero had shown up at Sun a year or two when Phillips was finding his way in the business, he might have seen his name on a Sun record, but he arrived a little to late.


Both Bernero and Enlow left town for extended periods in the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually returned home. Enlow had just undergone cancer surgery when Colin Escott spoke to them both in Bernero's modest house in the north end of Memphis. Bernero was selling insurance, traditionally the musician's nightmare, but a career that Bernero insisted suited him just fine.

01 - "IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE NOW" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Floyd Tillman
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - November 4, 1956
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-14 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-2-3 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

The song, "It Makes No Difference Now", composed by Floyd Tillman in 1938, has one of the finest pedigrees in country music. In Billboard magazine's first-ever country hit parade listing in 1939, this tune was number 1. Later versions by Jimmie Davis (who added his name to the composer credit) and Eddy Arnold hit the charts as well, and it was even crossed over into pop music with Bing Crosby and rhythm and blues with Ray Charles.

Music sleuths will notice that the first line here is the melodic inspiration for the first line of Harlan Howard's "Heartaches By The Number" - a megahit in 1959. This kind of unconscious plagiarism is the essence of country songwriting.   Fortunately for Howard (and Ray Price and Guy Mitchell), the fleeting memory of "It Makes No Difference Now" evaporated after only one line.

"One time I was sitting in the 81 Club restaurant waiting for Smokey Joe", recalled Johnny Bernero. "I looked at the jukebox and there were maybe five or six Sun records on it and I'd played on them all. Those guys were driving Cadillacs and I was getting $15 a session. So I'd gotten to be real good friends with Sam  and I talked him into letting me bring my own group in".

The Johnny Bernero band cut at least two sessions at Sun which were rooted in a different style from the music that was selling for Sam Phillips at that point in time. As a result, they sat on the shelf for thirty years.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Thurman Enlow - Vocal and Piano
Buddy Holobauch - Guitar
Bill Tarrance - Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums
Dick Horton – Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Elvis Presley receives his ''Most Promising Country & Western Artist Award'' from Billboard magazine, Andrew Jackson Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, November 10, 1955. >

NOVEMBER 1955

New York City now has seven television stations: the four networks - WABC (ABC, 7 West  66th Street), WABD (DuMont, 205 East 67th Street), WCBS (CBS, 485 Madison Avenue), WRCA  (NBC, 30 Rockefeller Plaza) - and three independents - WATV (Empire State Building), WOR    (1440 Broadway) and WPIX (220 East 42nd Street).

NOVEMBER 7, 1955 MONDAY

Songwriter/producer Rafe VanHoy is born. Among the songs he write, Patty Loveless' ''Hurt Me Bad (In A Real Good Way)'', Michael Martin Murphey's ''What's Forever For'' and George Jones and Tammy Wynette's ''Golden Ring''.

NOVEMBER 8, 1955 TUESDAY

The Everly Brothers sign their first recording contract with Columbia. In their inaugural session, conducted the following day, they recorded four songs in 22 minutes.

Hank Locklin recorded the George Jones-penned ''Why Baby Why'' at the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission in Nashville.

NOVEMBER 9, 1955 WEDNESDAY

The Everly Brothers recorded ''Keep A Lovin' Me'', their first single, with Carl Smith's backing band at the Castle Studio in Nashville's Tulane Hotel.

NOVEMBER 10, 1955 THURSDAY

Elvis Presley left Memphis with Bob Neal and drove to Nashville for  the Annual Country And Western Music Disc Jockey Convention at the Andrew Jackson Hotel, 231 6th Avenue North.

From Florida, Mae Boren Axton drove to Nashville with a new song in  hand, "Heartbreak Hotel", a tune co-written with Tom Durden after he had read a poignant  newspaper article in the Miami Herald. Under with a headline: "Do You Know This Man?" was  a story describing the suicide of a man who had scrawled a one-line note before his death: "I  walk a lonely street". The line became the lyrical focal point for "Heartbreak Hotel", and it  was not long before the song was a crucial part of Elvis Presley's contract talks with RCA.

A friend of Mae Boren Axton, Colonel Tom Parker had hired her as a publicist during a  number of Hank Snow's tours. She had also been responsible for booking Elvis Presley in  Jacksonville, Florida, a number of times. "Mae was a well-known and respected figure in the  music business", Johnny Tillotson remarked, "it was only natural for her to approach Elvis  Presley with "Heartbreak Hotel".

Axton had witnessed the reaction to Elvis' music, and  realized that Elvis Presley held the ticket to great wealth. Johnny Tillotson remembers how excited Axton was over the prospect of Presley recording her song. "She realized early on",  Tillotson remarked, "that Presley was going to be a huge act".

By the time Axton brought "Heartbreak Hotel" to Nashville, a demo of the song had already    been turned down by the Wilburn Brothers. They thought it was weird. After listening to  country singer Glenn Reeves'(1) demo tape of the tune, Elvis Presley told Axton that he    loved it. As Elvis Presley practised it, Tom Durden noticed that Presley was copying the demo  singer's style exactly. "Elvis was even breathing in the same places that Glenn did on the  dub", Durden remarked. "Heartbreak Hotel" was an important song for Elvis Presley; he  needed original songs, and it definitely fit his style".

To make sure that this song was right for Elvis Presley, however, Colonel Tom Parker played  the demo for a number of music people. They all agreed it was excellent. The Colonel wasn't  convinced, and Mae Axton and Tom Durden were about to take the song elsewhere when Glenn Reeves convinced Parker that the song had enormous commercial potential. The Colonel believed that Reeves had an ear for hit songs and the deal was consummated. To sweeten the deal, Axton and Durden agreed to give Elvis Presley a share of the songwriting credits, a common practice in the music industry in the 1950s. Although Elvis Presley didn't pen one word of this tune, the fact that Mae Axton went so far as to offer Elvis Presley a third of the songwriting credits if he would record it helped increase Colonel Tom Parker's enthusiasm for the song.

For his part, the deal made Elvis Presley nervous because he prided himself on his artistic    integrity. Colonel Parker was proving to be too manipulative even at this early point in  Presley's career, pressing Elvis Presley to record songs that would add to his royalties. To  woo his singer, Colonel Parker expressed confidence that "Heartbreak Hotel" had a special  quality, musically speaking; the real reason behind his interest in the song was the extra  royalty money that Elvis Presley would collect. In the end, Elvis Presley accepted the Colonel's plea that they had to work with songwriters who would allow them to share in the    royalties.

As significant as the drama surrounding the acquisition of "Heartbreak Hotel" for Elvis  Presley was, the RCA deal overshadowed the events of the day. As negotiations over the song  went on quietly and without fanfare, there were rumours everywhere at the Andrew  Jackson Hotel that Elvis Presley was about to sign the most lucrative recording contract in  history, rumours which would obscure the fact that the deal Colonel Tom Parker negotiated  for his young protege was really rather average.

"Hot dog, Mae, play it again", recalled Bob Neal, "and she played "Heartbreak Hotel" it over  and over, it was really different, a little like Roy Brown's "Hard Luck Blues", only this was  about a hotel, a heartbreak hotel, where the bellhop's tears kept flowing and the desk clerk  was dressed in black. He knew the whole song before he left the room. 'That's gonna be my    next record", he said.

NOVEMBER 10, 1955 THURSDAY

Roy Drusky signs with Columbia Records, his second stint with a label. He has four sessions over the next two years but fails to connect commercially.

NOVEMBER 11, 1955 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley's second one-year contract with The Louisiana Hayride takes effect. He receives $200 weekly, the same amount paid to Hank Williams three years earlier.

Songwriter and guitarist Dave Alvin, of The Blasters, is born in Downey, California. The roots-rock band influences the alternate country movement. The band's 1985 song ''Little Honey'' is covered by Kelly Willis for the soundtrack to ''Thelma and Louise''.

Broadway composer Jerry Ross dies of a lung infection in New York. His credits include ''Hernando's Hideaway'', a song from the musical ''The Pajama Game'' that became a country hit the previous year when parodied by Homer and Jethro.

NOVEMBER 12, 1955 SATURDAY

Songwriter Walt Aldridge is born in Florence, Alabama. Among his songs, Heartland's ''I Loved Her First'', Earl Thomas Conley's ''Holding Her And Loving You'', Ricky Van Shelton's ''I Am A Simple Man'' and Ronnie Milsap's ''(There's) No Gettin' Over Me''.

NOVEMBER 13, 1955 SUNDAY

Al Hibbler performs ''Unchained Melody'' on the CBS variety show ''Toast Of The Town''. The song will become a country hit twice, for Elvis Presley in 1978, and for LeAnn Rimes in 1997.

NOVEMBER 14, 1955 MONDAY

Decca released Kitty Well's double-sided hit ''Lonely Side Of Town'' and ''I've Kissed You My Last Time''.

NOVEMBER 15, 1955 TUESDAY

This day was the last day of the option, Sam Phillips got a midmorning call from Colonel Tom Parker notifying Sam that RCA had come up with the money for the sale of Elvis. Parker asked Sam if he wanted the money wired to him, in order to conform strictly to the terms of the deal, but Sam said no, just send it special delivery for arrival by midnight the following night, and sent a telegram to that effect. They would have to get together in the next week or so to finalize all the arrangements, and that would, naturally, take place in Memphis.

NOVEMBER 16, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Guitarist Jack Pruett joins the American Federation of Musicians in Nashville. He goes on to play on such Marty Robbins hits as ''Knee Deep In The Blues'', ''Devil Woman'' and ''El Paso''.

"The white people of Memphis have never understood just what Beale Street really meant    and means to my people". W.C. Handy in an interview at his home in New York in the    Memphis Press-Scimitar.

NOVEMBER 17, 1955 THURSDAY

Ray Charles is busted backstage in Philadelphia for the use of narcotics. The rhythm and blues singer later makes wave in country with his 1962 album ''Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music'' and his 1985 duet with Willie Nelson, ''Seven Spanish Angels''.

NOVEMBER 18, 1955 FRIDAY

Seven months after the first attempted it, Webb Pierce recorded the single version of ''Yes, I Know Why'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

With $5,000 in hand, Sam Phillips put in a rush order at all three of his pressing plants for the new Johnny Cash and Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson singles.. Sam also planned Sun releases for Charlie Feathers and Maggie Sue Wimberly, a fourteen-year-old from Florence, Alabama, whom Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell had discovered, through fellow former Blue Seal Pal Dexter Johnson, singing with a family group in church, his first in six months, but this time, with Elvis no longer in the picture, with an eye toward finally capturing Carl's contagiously upbeat, shimmering ''bop'' style.

NOVEMBER 19, 1955 SATURDAY

Ivory Joe Hunter recorded ''A Tear Fell'' in New York. In 1977, Billy ''Crash'' Craddock re-recorded the song as a country hit.

Johnny Cash writes ''I Walk The Line'' in Gladewater, Texas, in 20 minutes prior to a remote broadcast of The Louisiana Hayride. Also appearing on the bill, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins.

NOVEMBER 20, 1955 SUNDAY

Having promised to perform the current country hit ''Sixteen Tons'', rhythm and blues act Bo Diddley instead does ''Bo Diddley'' on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' from New York. The CBS host never invites Diddley to sing on the program again.


RCA acquires Elvis' Sun contract. From left: Bob Neal, Sam Phillips, Coleman Tily, Elvis Presley, Tom Parker, Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee. >

NOVEMBER 20, 21, 1955 SUNDAY/MONDAY

Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records in Sam Phillips' office at Sun studio. Colonel  Parker negotiates the sale of Elvis’ Sun contract to RCA, which includes his five Sun singles  and his unreleased Sun material. The price is an unprecedented $35,000, with a $5,000  bonus for Elvis. RCA soon re-releases the five Sun singles on the RCA label.

At the same time,  Elvis signs a contract with Hill and Range Publishing Company, which is to set up a separate  firm called Elvis Presley Music, Inc. Elvis will share with Hill and Range the publishing  ownership of songs bought by Hill and Range for him to record. Elvis is the hottest new star  in the music business.

Colonel Tom Parker, Hank Snow, and Elvis Presley all came over to radio station WHER at South Third Street in Memphis, after the signing for RCA. For the first and only time in its existence WHER played an Elvis Presley record, ''Mystery Train'' ans Marion Keisker introduced Hank Snow, whom she considered a vainglorious little popinjay, and put him on the air, almost wincing when Snow claimed credit for discovering Elvis Presley, when, as she recalled, he couldn't even remember Elvis' name when he introduced him on his segment of the Opry little more than a year earlier.

NOVEMBER 21, 1955 MONDAY

Flip Records is phased out at the end of the year due to pressure from Max Feirtag's west  coast label of the same name.

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ;;Thirty Days (To Come Back Home)''.

Columbia released Ray Price's ''Run Boy''.

NOVEMBER 22, 1955 TUESDAY

Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded ''That's All'' in the Capitol Recording Studios on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
FOR VEE JAY RECORDS 1955

UNIVERSAL RECORDING STUDIO
46 EAST WALTON STREET, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
VEE JAY SESSION : TUESDAY NOVEMBER 22, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CALVIN CARTER

According to Billy Emerson, he had been in Chicago in the early summer of 1955, working at a club at 55th and Prairie, owned by Frank Taylor, and ''When It Rains'' had been out for some time. He said: ''I went by VJ which was on 48th and Cottage at that time, and I asked Calvin Carter there 'Can I look at some of your Billboards' to check what it was doing? He saw ''When It Rains'' listed in Dallas and New Orleans and so on. 'Say, there's a reward out for Billy The Kid''. Emerson went out on tour for the summer but remembered this exchange after his last, apparently acrimonious, dealings with Sam Phillips in November. ''By December 1955 my contract with Sam was out. I called up Ewart Abner at Vee-Jay and said 'If you give me $1000 I'll sign with you'. So they brought me in and recorded me''.


The first Vee-Jay session produced four songs, both sides of the first two Emerson discs issued the label. For the first time, Emerson was working in an environment where there was a studio band and people other than himself producing the session. While he had worked out his own arrangements at Sun, now he had Hobart Dotson and Bill Harvey to work with at Vee-Jay.

He remembered, ''It was the VJ studio band. I used to use two guitars on sessions or I'd have the guitar double with the bass to catch the bass sound better for the radio. I never wanted to be exactly like everybody else. Calvin carter at VJ often used to say ''that's a wonderful record you cut for us. It's ten years ahead of its time'. He'd always say that''.

In January 1957, Vee-Jay took out ads for five new discs, including Vee-Jay 219 ''Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout Automobiles)'' and ''Tomorrow Never Comes''. These were the other two titles from this November session and arguably they were a much stronger coupling. ''Tomorrow Never Comes'' is based on the same tune as ''When It Rains'', but it has a memorable lyric about grabbing the moment. It has a fine sax solo and an altogether more produced feel than the Sun sides.

01 – ''TOMORROW NEVER COMES'' – B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-370
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: - January 1957
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 219 mono
TOMORROW NEVER COMES / EVERY WOMAN I KNOW
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-19 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

''Don't Start Me To Lyin''' sounds like a Chicago blues club favourite, a song about taking his woman back if he could. It's a vehicle for Emerson to slow things down then cut loose, his voice soaring above a steady riffing beat. ''If You Won't Stay Home'' is a wilder song with a memorable sax solo by Red Holloway. These two songs were issued as Vee-Jay 175 in June 1956, and featured in a block ad the label took in Billboard that month. It seems that Emerson was not able to undertake much promotional work or to benefit from any interest in him the disc might have generated because that same month, Billboard also reported in its Chi Town Chatter section: ''Billy The Kid Emerson recuperating in the hospital, is expected back on his feet about November''. This proved an accurate estimate because in December, it was reported that ''blues chanter Billy the kid Emerson has just been signed by the Evelyn Johnson Agency''.

02 – ''DON'T START ME TO LYIN''' – B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-371
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: June 1956
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 175 mono
DON'T START ME TO LYIN' / IF YOU WON'T STAY HOME
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-16 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03 – ''IF YOU WON'T STAY HOME''' – B.M.I. - 1:37
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-372
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: June 1956
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 175 mono
IF YOU WON'T STAY HOME / DON'T START ME TO LYIN'
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-17 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Musically, ''Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout Automobiles)'' is also a familiar Emerson-type tune, with a very deliberate beat, stop-timing, and a soaring but classy sax solo. As such, it is firmly within the rhythm and blues world of the mid-1950s, but it is also one of the classic songs of rock and roll. A potential cross-over song for the white drive-in movie market. This was the era when walking women home was a thing of the past, and riding and loving just can't be beat. Billy's problem is that he's standing here with nothing but rubber heels. The iconic words of ''Every Woman I Know'' proved durable over the years; in the 1960s, Sam The Sham recorded the song as an uptempo shouter, and then Ry Cooder made it a slower bluesy shuffle. On the strength of his new disc, Billy Emerson spent much of February touring through Florida and Georgia with the groups that included the The Orioles.

04 – ''EVERY WOMAN I KNOW (CRAZY 'BOUT AUTOMOBILES)''' – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-373
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: - January 1957
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 219 mono
EVERY WOMAN I KNOW / TOMORROW NEVER COMES
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-18 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Robert Emerson – Vocal & Piano
William ''Lefty'' Bates – Guitar
Milton Rector – Bass Guitar
Quin Wilson – Bass
Vernell Fournier – Drums
Horace Palm – Piano
McKinley Easton – Baritone Saxophone
James ''Red'' Holloway – Tenor Saxophone

Emerson worked on the road with bands that included those of Dave Bartholomew, Bill Harvey, and Pluma Davis, and when he was back in Chicago he had a series of regular gigs as such clubs as the 708 club, Peppers, McKie's and ''Spruce's Lounge, which was basically a jazz club. ''I came in there and I had good  musi8cians with me. We played a little jazz, we just mixed it up. I had a very good saxophone player, George Coleman''. Then he went to the Trocadero Club, where he worked off and on for four years.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


NOVEMBER 23, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Bruce Hornsby is born in Williamsburg, Virginia. The singer and piano player mixes jazz and pop in a lengthy career, but also contributes to The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's million-selling country project, ''Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II'' and recorded bluegrass with Ricky Skaggs. 

NOVEMBER 26, 1955 SATURDAY

Jean Shepard joins the Grand Ole Opry, singing ''A Satisfied Mind'' and ''Beautiful Lies'' at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

NOVEMBER 28, 1955 MONDAY

Kristine Oliver is born in Manhattan Beach, California. Along with older sister Janis Gill, Oliver, who becomes Kristine Arnold after she's married, forms Sweethearts Of The Rodeo, securing a string of rockabilly-tinged hits in the 1980s.

''I Love Lucy'' characters Fred and Ethel Mertz audition for a rodeo show at Madison Square Garden with Darby and Tarton's ''Birmingham Jail''. The CBS episode also features a rendition of ''Home On The Range''. Also appearing, Dove O'Dell.

Decca released The Wilburn Brothers' ''You're Not Play Love''.

Capitol released The Louvin Brothers' ''I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby''.

NOVEMBER 30, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Ray Charles recorded ''Hallelujah, I Love Her So'' at the Capitol Studios in New York. Years later, the song becomes a country hit for George Jones and Brenda Lee.


FALL 1955

By the fall of 1955, Roy Hall's status as Webb Pierce's road manager and confidante translated into another shot at the recording business. ''It was Webb Pierce who got me onto Decca. He got me that contract there. Paul Cohen was the head of Decca and he had a strong link into Nashville. He used the Bradley brothers to arrange his sessions and musicians, and they knew everyone in town, in music. Of course, Owen Bradley knew that I liked to drink a little too, so he was never on my side really. But Webb Pierce wanted to have support acts who were on records to boost up his road show, and Paul Cohen, he was always willing to take a chance with you if you were a little different. I told him I had something he didn't have. Then I had to figure out real quick what that was''.

DECEMBER 1955

"How Long" b/w ''Daydreams Come True'' (Sun 229) by Maggie Sue Wimberly and gets a Billboard   review spotlite. 

EARLY DECEMBER 1955

Perkins and his brothers have worked up the new song to the point where they feel   comfortable auditioning it for Sam Phillips. For his part, Phillips is unsure about the future of   "hillbilly bop" music, but now that Presley has departed, he is willing to let Perkins   experiment in the new style.

Perkins runs through the song for Phillips in the studio. Phillips commits three cuts to   tape. On the first take, Perkins sings " . . . three to get ready, now go boy go!" Phillips   suggests that Perkins change it to "go cat go!" They also change "drink my corn" to drink   my liquor" as the song is gradually eased uptown.

Three other songs are recorded at the same time: "Sure To Fall" (with Jay taking the lead),   "Tennessee" (with Jay joining Carl on the chorus), and "Honey, Don't."

After the sale of Presley's contract, Phillips was free to pay off business debts and devote   time and money to production and promotion. In December of 1955, Carl Perkins recorded   his ''Blue Suede Shoes'' and Phillips released it in January.

DECEMBER 1, 1955 THURSDAY

Roy Hall was back in the Owen Bradley studios with the same A-list musicians and another three songs he and Cohen were convinced could make it. It is likely that ''Christine'' was Hall's signature tune from this session although in fact it was not issued at the time. It may well have been autobiographical because Hall mentioned the name Christine in an interview to  Martin Hawkins at one point when talking about his wife. It is his account of a night in the Davidson County Jail, on Sixth and Main in Nashville, and his pleas for Christine to come back to him.

Hall may have argued with Decca about the song not coming out because he apparently arranged, produced, and paid for a different recording of the song to be issued the following year on the small Rhythm & Range label. The recording was by saxophonist Hank Crawford, recording under the name Little Hank and the Rhythm Kings. Crawford was leading a band at the Subway Lounge in the centre of Nashville and it may be that Hall had been impressed with his band if he saw them plating there. Crawford went on to lead Ray Charles' band a few years later.

Eddy Arnold recorded ''You Don't Know Me'' at New York's Webster Hall.

African-American Rosa Parks (42) refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger on December 1, 1955. Parks is arrested for violation Alabama segregation laws by refusing to follow orders from the bus driver. Parks becomes a figurehead for the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Civil Rights Movement due to her image as a respected member of the community and her involvement with the NAACP. The Montgomery Bus Boycott by African-American citizens began in December of 1955 after Parks is convicted. The boycott is led by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.  A landmark moment in the civil rights movement, the act is referenced in Brad Paisley's 2009 country hit ''Welcome To The Future''.

DECEMBER 4, 1955 SUNDAY

Drummer Brian Prout is born in Troy, New York. He joins Diamond Rio, whose ace musicianship and strong harmonies lead to numerous Vocal Group of the Year awards and a bevy of hits during the 1990s and early 2000s.

DECEMBER 5, 1955 MONDAY

Decca released Red Sovine and Webb Pierce's duet version of George Jones' song ''Why Baby Why''.

DECEMBER 6, 1955 TUESDAY

Bill Lloyd is born in Fort Hood, Texas. Teamed with Rodney Foster, the duo Foster and Lloyd becomes a major proponent in the late 1980s of rockabilly-tinged country, netting hits with ''Sure Thing'' and ''Crazy Over You'' before their 1991 split.

DECEMBER 7, 1955 WEDNESDAY

The Victor Mature movie ''The Last Frontier'' premieres in New York City, with Rusty Draper singing picture's title song.

DECEMBER 8, 1955 THURSDAY

Bass player Nathan East is born in Philadelphia. He appears on pop and rhythm and blues hits by the likes of Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Whitney Houston, as well as the Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton country hit, ''We've Got Tonight''.

DECEMBER 10, 1955 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash makes his debut on The Louisiana Hayride, singing ''Hey Porter'' and ''Luther Played The Boogie''.

DECEMBER 12, 1955 MONDAY

Decca released Charlie Walker's first charted hit, ''Only You, Only You''.

''See You Later Alligator'' is recorded by Bill Haley and the Comets at Decca Records studios,   New York.

United Artists withdraws from membership of the Motion Picture Association of America   (MPAA) is protest at the refusal of a classification certificate for Otto Preminger’s film The   Man With the Golden Arm.

ABC Television, newly awarded an ITV franchise, buys Teddington Studios for its film and   live television drama productions.

RCA tests its fixed-head videotape recorder at NBC. Tape speed is reduced from 360 ips to   240 ips to give a longer recording time.

Les Paul makes a disc of ''How High The Moon''/''The World Is Waiting'' for the Sunrise with   each song on a separate concentric spiral groove on the same side of the record, reviving   an idea first used in 1898 and which had also been employed for Puzzle Records in the   early 1930s.

DECEMBER 13, 1955 TUESDAY

Hank Snow recorded ''These Hands''.

Johnny Cash joins Carl Perkins for a show in Amory, Mississippi. He suggests that Carl write a   song based on a saying he had heard in the chow line while he was in the service, "Don't step   on my blue suede shoes''.

A few nights later Perkins is playing in Jackson, Tennessee, when he sees a dancer in the   crowd trying to keep his girlfriend away from his new blue suede shoes. It connects with   the idea that Cash had given him. At three o'clock the following morning, Perkins awakens   with the genesis of the song in his head. He goes downstairs and writes out the lyrics in   pencil on an empty potato bag. Suede is spelled swaed.

DECEMBER 14, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Frank Sinatra sends a telegram to Tennessee Ernie Ford. congratulation him on ''Sixteen Tons'', ''It's a gasser''.

DECEMBER 15, 1955 THURSDAY

Johnny Cash's (Sun 232) ''Folsom Prison Blues'' b/w ''So Doggone Lonesome'' is issued, and Phillips places   trade paper advertisements billing Sun as ''America's No. 1 Country Label''.

Randy Parton is born in Sevierville, Tennessee. The younger brother of Dolly and Stella Parton, he performs one song on the 1984 soundtrack to ''Rhinestone''.

Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins play the Catholic Club in Helena, Arkansas. In the audience is Levon Helm, destined to play drums with The Band.

DECEMBER 16, 1955 FRIDAY

Webb Pierce recorded ''Cause I Love You'' and a duet with Red Sovine, ''Little Rosa'' in Nashville's Bradley Recording Studio.

DECEMBER 17, 1955 SATURDAY

Kitty Wells recorded ''Searching (For Someone Like You)'', plus a duet with daughter Carol Sue, ''How Far Is Heaven'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

Tennessee Ernie Ford's ''Sixteen Tons'' works its way up to number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.

Carl Perkins called Sam Phillips at the studio. He told Sam he had just written a song called ''Blue Suede Shoes''. Was it anything like the old spiritual ''O Dem Golden Slippers''? Sam said jokingly, but then Carl sang him the song, and he knew right away. It was somewhere between a novelty number and a lighthearted declaration of independence, with the lyrics suggesting in nursery-song rhymes that the unnamed object of desire, the world, in fact, could inflict any humiliation that it wanted on the singer (''You can burn my house / Steal my car / Drink my liquor from an old fruit jar'') just so long as you, singular or plural (and this was the exuberant refrain of the song), ''Don't step on my blue suede shoes''. Sam didn't hesitate for even a second. If the boy could put it across with that much flair on the telephone, they needed set up a session right away.

DECEMBER 19, 1955 MONDAY

Carl Perkins recorded his first million-seller ''Blue Suede Shoes'' at the Sun Recording Studio on 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Stanley Brothers recorded ''Angel Band'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville. The performance is ranked among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY DECEMBER 19, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Session filed and mastered December 19, 1955



From left: Lloyd Clayton Perkins, bass; Carl Perkins, guitar; W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland, drums; James ''Buck'' Perkins, rhythm guitar. >

Carl Perkins and his brothers have worked up new songs to the point where they feel comfortable auditioned it for Sam Phillips. For his part, Phillips is unsure about the future of "hillbilly bop" music, but now that Elvis Presley has departed, he is willing to let Carl Perkins experiment in the new style. Carl Perkins runs through the songs for Phillips in the studio.


"Blue Suede Shoes" was the first true rock and roll hit in the sense of an 'all market' hit. Some rhythm and blues hits had sold well in the pop market (most notably Chuck Berry's "Maybelline", which had even outsold the white cover versions); some country records had crossed over into the pop market, but there had never been a record that had sold well in all three markets.


Carl Perkins' ''Blue Suede Shoes'' handwritten lyrics, October 21, 1955. >

It may be difficult to pinpoint where rock and roll began because of the inherent difficulty in pinpointing rock and roll itself. However, everyone is agreed that it incorporated elements of blues, country and pop music. "Blue Suede Shoes" was the first record to borrow from all three categories and become a hit in all three categories. That is Carl Perkins' achievement and it is worth a detailed look at exactly how it happened.


Sam Phillips commits three cuts ''Blue Suede Shoes'' to tape. On the first take on "Blue Suede Shoes", Perkins sings "... three to get ready, now go boy go!". Sam Phillips suggests that Perkins change it to "to cat go!".  They also change "drink my corn" to "drink my liquor" as the song is gradually eased uptown. The second take is chosen for release.

01(1) - "BLUE SUEDE SHOES" - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-15 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

Without a doubt, this single record has done more than any other to spread the gospel of rockabilly and draw the wave of collectors to Sam and Sun. Subtract "Blue Suede Shoes" from the Sun catalogue, and there is no tellin how fundamental the changes might be. When this record hit, shock waves were felt all over.

Billboard reported "Difficults as the country field is for a newcomer to crack these days, Perkins has come up with some wax here that has hit the national retail chart in almost record time... Interestingly enough, the disk has a large measure of appeal for pop and rhythm and blues customers as well".

"Blue Suede Shoes" deserves its notoriety. Its impact is as direct today, nearly 40 years and millions of plays later. Perkins' vocal and guitar work are as energetic and full of goodnatured menace as the day they were conceived. To understand the importance of slap bass to rockabilly, try to imagine this record mixed differently, driven by drums and not the clicking of bass strings. It is entirely possibly the results and fortunes of "Blue Suede Shoes" would have been radically different.

01(2) - "BLUE SUEDE SHOES" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 176 - Master Take 2
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 234-A mono
BLUE SUEDE SHOES / HONEY DON'T!
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-11 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2 


Sheet Music ''Blue Suede Shoes'' >

''BLUE SUEDE SHOES''

Try to imagine what Carl's career would have been like without this song. It was only his third record and nobody expected anything this big. How could they? Sam had sold some records on Elvis, and on ''Bear Cat'' (Sun 181 ) but never like this.  W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland reports, ''I've read lots of versions of how this song got written but I still has haven't seen the whole story''.


''Here's what happened Our band, Elvis band, Cash's band, all of us were touring together back 1955. It was through that agency Sam and Bob Neal had created called Stars Incorporated. We had two releases by then and we and the Cash band had become real close friends''.

''We were driving around, must have been around Fall of 1955, and Luther (Cash's guitar player), got into my car and I got into Cash's car with John and Marshall Grant, who's driving. Cash is sitting in the back seat behind me and Perkins is next to him. John stretches his legs out and puts them on the back of the front seat where I'm sitting. John had gotten out of the Air Force about a year ago and for some reasons he's thinking about shoes. So he looks at his own feet and says, Carl, we ought to write a song about some shoes. A few minutes later he repeats it, only this time he says, 'some Blue Suede Shoes''.

''That's all there was to it. Now the trip's over and we're back home and playing in a little club out there called Tommy's Drive-In. There's no sound system or nothing like that. No stage, we're just in the corner. And this boy and girl dance by and the boy says to her, 'Don't step on my new shoes. He doesn't say nothin' about 'blue suede'. Just 'new'. I guess he had him some new shoes on when he said that. And Carl went home that night and the rest of the story is probably true, about Carl written the words on an empty potato sack''.

Surprisingly, there are only three takes of ''Blue Suede Shoes''. Most of us know one of them by heart. Here are the other two. As you listen, bear in mint that, once again, Sam picked the correct one for release. On the first outtake, which was also the first take of the song, Carl begins with ''Go boy, go'', which Phillips quickly suggested Carl change to ''Go cat, go''. Surprisingly, Carl's guitar solos are pretty much as on the issued version. The lyrics, too, are pretty similar. Both of these things are unusual for Carl Perkins outtakes where change was often the byword. The general mix and recorded sound are also similar to the released version. The biggest difference appears at the closing – what we don't have here is the extended ending with Carl singing ''Blue, blue, blue suede shoes...'', under his guitar boogie. Without this feature, the ending is abrupt, or at least it seems that way after we've spent half a century with the released version. And note that the song ends on a 1-7 chord, instead of the 1-6 of the original release. That's not just technical talk for musicians, those chords feel very different.

The second outtake (which was actually the third take in the studio, Sam released the middle one) features ''Go cat, go'' on both the start and ending. This time Carl sings the more rural phrase, ''Drink my corn'' rather than ''Drink my liquor'', which is what we've grown accustomed to hearing.

Compared to the single, the vocal performance here seems more exaggerated or stagey. These are the kind of vocal inflections you might expect to hear as Carl winds up for the final verse, yet they appear at the start here. On this version Carl again uses the extended ending that we know from the single. But this time he's singing too much. There are too many lyrics here instead of simple repetition of the little phrase, as happens on the single. The effect seems contrived like the issued version, the song ends on a 1-6 chord here.

01(3) - "BLUE SUEDE SHOES" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-17 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

01(4) - "BLUE SUEDE SHOES" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Test Acetate - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Unidentified one-word overdub on this test acetate.
Released: - May 29, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-1-6 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

02(1) - "HONEY DON'T" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-18 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-30 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

02(2) - "HONEY DON'T" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-1-19 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS


Clayton Perkins, W.S. "Fluke" Holland, Carl Perkins and Jay Perkins on stage at the Big D Jamboree in  Dallas, Texas, June 1956. >

''HONEY DON'T''

Thought it came to be the flip side of ''Blue Suede Shoes'', ''Honey Don't'' was the side getting the major airplay in Jackson and Memphis when Sun 234 was released. That didn't last of course, because when ''Blue Suede Shoes'' quickly became a smash in Cleveland the future was clear.


But it does remind us that it's a terrific record in its own right and the people closest to this style us of music recognized that immediately.  One of its distinctive qualities is the chord sequence in the verses - shuttling back and forth between E and C before going into the boogie-style refrain. As Carl recalls in his biography, he made the song up on the spot in a club in Jackson and he got into a dispute with Jay who didn't understand what the chords were at first and then didn't approve of them. Carl said, ''Just do it'' It worked out all right.

The two outtakes here differ considerably from the released version. The lyrics are different from Sun 234 - for example the repeated ''please, please, please''. The verses in the second outtake are almost incoherent. (How come you will you say when you don’t/ Tell me baby don't you know you won't''). And the long-mysterious - for-many-of-us line in the release about ''you got that sand all over your feet'' (a mystery solved by listening to ''Honky Tonk Babe/Gal'' and discovering that the sand came from a dance floor) doesn't appear in either of these outtakes.

The arrangement evolves toward the final released version too. In the first outtake, W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland plays his drums through what was supposed to be band silence behind Carl's vocal. At the time, it was a mistake though for the released version they decided it had been a good idea. W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland remembers, the episode quite clearly. ''I played through the stops because I didn't know any better. When we listened to the playback I said to Sam, 'Well that doesn't sound too bad and what does it hurt?'. And Sam said It doesn't hurt anything and that's what makes it different. 'So we just decided to leave it in. Things like that happened at Sun all the time. It wasn't anything anybody planned, but it worked out just fine''. The beginning of the guitar solo in the first outtake is very different from the one on the released version; by to second outtake, the solo we all know is taking shape.

But all of that matters little. Both of these outtakes are wonderful in just the way that the released version is. One key to it all is the energetic and a remarkably fluent boogie guitar figures that Carl plays during the verses and in the second halves of the solos. The other is Carl's enthusiastic vocals, they're so good that the words fade into unimportance.

We can wonder how different popular culture would have been if Cleveland had shared Tennessee's preference for this side of Sun 234.


Three other songs are recorded at the same time: "Sure To Fall" (with Jay taking the lead), "Tennessee" (with Jay joining Carl on the chorus), and "Honey Don't".

None of the trade papers knew what to call Carl's Shoes or its flipside "Honey Don't" when it was released in December 1955. Terms like "rhythm ditty" or country boogie were tossed around, but it wasn't until the fall of 1956 that the world would begin hearing the phrase rockabilly to describe what had been born at Sun.

02(3) - "HONEY DON'T" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 77 - Master Take 3
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 234-B mono
HONEY DON'T! / BLUE SUEDE SHOES
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-12 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2 

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

Carl Perkins played a 1952/53 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top with two P-9- Pickups and a ''trapeze tailpiece through a small Fender Amp when he recorded on this session. Some source suggested that ''Honey Don't'' is recorded several weeks prior the ''Blue Suede Shoes'' session. Than. the guitar that Carl Perkins on ''Blue Suede Shoes'' is also a Les Paul Gold Top, but with a 1955 Bigsby. After ''Blue Suede Shoes'' became a hit, Carl painted the guitar blue and later his youngest son Greg Perkins, painted it black. It's currently in Stan Perkins vault in Jackson, Tennessee.

Sam Phillips was so excited about the ''Blue Suede Shoes'' session that rather than ship them off to Chicago to have them mastered by Bill Putnam, Sam cut the masters in the studio himself and by the end of the workday had sent them off by air express to have stampers made, the first step in the manufacturing process. This was a ''rush'' job'', he wrote to Jack Rosen, who was making the stampers. ''We are waiting to run this number now''. In the meantime, he cut dubs for the local disc jockeys, and Dewey Phillips played the hell out of the song over the next two weeks, before it was officially released on January 5, 1956.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY DECEMBER 19, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

''SURE TO FALL''

This song is the only one to give the lead vocals duties over to Carl's brother Jay. It was an idea that never got repeated. Sam had already told Carl, that he, Carl, should be the singer - the world already had one Ernest Tubb. Carl sings harmony in the verses and the lead in the release. Carl is by far the better singer, although the song is pitched so that the highest notes he has to reach in the release are not comfortably within his range.


The Perkins Brothers Band, circa 1951, before Clayton or W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland joined Carl and Jay. Informal performance at Hardware store in Jackson, Tennessee. From left: Ramsey Kearney, Carl (with pre-solid body electric guitar), Clayton Perkins (standing behind Carl), Jay Perkins, Benny Coley, and Lindsey Patterson. >

The song itself is a conventional country ballads written by Carl with a whole lot of input from Claunch and Cantrell, and it's a good one. Despite its obscurity, it aspired remakes by the next generation of musicians.


It's one of the many Perkins songs that the Beatles performed in the early 1960s, Ringo Starr recorded it solo in 1981. NRBQ (New Rhythm And Blues Quartet) recorded it in 1969, months before doing their album with Carl, and played it at their shows at least into 1980s.

There here three outrages. They an quite solar to each other and to the released version. Carl's approach to the guitar solo is interesting – fast strummed chords that convey much of the melody. His control over the volume of the instruments in doing that is a nice dramatic touch. It's the sort of thing that bluegrass mandolinists often do, but not so common for guitar players He takes a new tack m the last part of the solo in the third of our outtakes, going to single-note melody. The second outtakes is noticeably slower than the first and the drums are more prominent. Those seem like wise decisions. In that second Carl's guitar adds a flatted 7th to the IV chord to make it a little bluesier in the first occurrence of the release but he does not repeat It.

These three only slightly different takes on this song led directly to the version that ultimately appeared on Sun. Obviously, the boys thought they had it about right when they started taping, but a few new ideas got tried out along the way.

01(1) - "SURE TO FALL" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Carl Perkins-William E. Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-12 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-16 mono
THE SUN YEARS BOX 1950 - 1959

01(2) - "SURE TO FALL" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Carl Perkins-William E. Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-26 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

01(3) - "SURE TO FALL" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Carl Perkins-William E. Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: -  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-27 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

01(4) - "SURE TO FALL" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Carl Perkins-William E. Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Master Take 4
With Jay Perkins taking the Lead
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
SUN 235 unissued. May have been scheduled as Carl and Jay Perkins
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - 1955 Sun Records (EP) 45rpm standard single SUN EPA 115 mono
BLUE SUEDE SHOES
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-13 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Sure To Fall" is a lovely country song, according to Cantrell, it was originally scheduled as the flipside of SUN 234. As Cantrell remembers it, he did little to further his own cause, persuading Phillips that the two rockers belonged together. In the cold light of history, there is no telling how much that touch of humility cost Cantrell.

"Tennessee", is a glorious piece of hokum with a barrelhouse chorus capable of raising the patriotic hairs on a great many necks. Sam Phillips briefly envisioned the track as a single credited to Carl and Jay Perkins.

02(1) – "TENNESSEE" - B.M.I. - 0:33
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - None - Fragment 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-24 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

''TENNESSEE''

Another casualty of ''Blue Suede Shoes''. ''Tennessee'' was to have been one side of the mysteriously lost Sun 235. As is now known, a record consisting of it and ''Sure To Fall'' credited to the Perkins Brothers Band was scheduled for release but pulled at the last second when ''Blue Suede Shoes'' started to chart at a level nobody had anticipated. In order to put all of Sun's meager resources behind the likely winner, the Perkins Brothers were withdrawn favor of Carl, himself. The world had to wait until Carl's first and only Sun LP (1225) to hear this (and ''Sure To Fall'').

The closest we come to an outtake is the final 32 seconds of one. We exhausted the vault, looking for a complete outtake and this is all that remains. ''Tennessee'' is a clever song, once again showing Carl's lyrical flair. He proudly gives his home state credit for such diverse treasures as Eddy Arnold and atomic bombs.

02(2) – "TENNESSEE" - B.M.I. - 3:02
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - None -  Master
With Jay Perkins joining Carl on the chorus
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
SUN 235 unissued. May have been scheduled as Carl and Jay Perkins
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm SLP 1225 mono
DANCE - THE BEST OF CARL PERKINS
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-14 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2



Carl Perkins' first album (Sun SLP 1225)

"Tennessee", another uptempo country song is a brag song by Carl about his home state, taking credit for everything from Eddy Arnold to nuclear waste. "Sure To Fall"/"Tennessee" is the famous missing single. The mystery wasn't that great. On the master log, the artist entry is left blank, and SUN 235 was probably to be issued under the name of the Perkins Brothers Band, but the success of "Blue Suede Shoes" put those plans on hold.


Both sides of what would have been SUN 235 are familiar to most Perkins fans. They appeared on Carl's first Sun album. Both relegate Carl to the role of backup singer and lead guitarist.

Nevertheless, his presence is still strong here, so much so that most listeners never thought it odd when these sides appeared without special billing on Carl's album. The reason is quite simple, at this point, the name Carl Perkins really did mean the Perkins Brothers Band. It wasn't until the success of "Blue Suede Shoes" and the death of Jay that Carl became a solo act. Even then, his familiar vocals and driving guitar sound retained the illusion that nothing had changed.

02(3) - "TENNESSEE" - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 19, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-13 mono
SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-17 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959


Sam Phillips listens to the tapes and decides to master two singles from this session. He assigns master numbers as follows: U-176 "Blue Suede Shoes"; U-177 "Honey Don't"; U-178 "Sure To Fall"; U-179 "Tennessee". There is some talk immediately after the session of keeping the old formula of coupling a rockabilly tune with a country weeper, but Sam Phillips decides to go with one rockabilly single to be released under Carl's name and one country single, coupling "Sure To Fall" and "Tennessee" under the name of the Perkins Brothers Band or, possibly, Carl and Jay Perkins. Sam Phillips cuts masters on both singles and ships acetates via Air Express to Jack Rosen at Superior Records in Los Angeles.

An order for 20,000 copies of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' (SUN 234) ^

He instructs Rosen to process the acetate masters and ship sets of 45rpm and 78rpm stampers (the metal parts used to press records) to Plastic Products in Memphis. "Make all shipments by air", adds Phillips, "and we surely will appreciate your doing a rush job on these - especially 176 and 177".

In late December 1955, Sam Phillips circulates dubs (acetates run from the tapes) to local radio stations and confirms that his hunch is correct; "Blue Suede Shoes" is the side to watch. Plastic Products has the first commercial copies ready by the last week in December.

"Blue Suede Shoes" finally tops most charts. Although it spends almost five months on Billboard's country and pop charts, it is excluded from the number 1 position by "Heartbreak Hotel". By early May both Perkins and Sun Records have logged their first million-seller.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


DECEMBER 22, 1955 THURSDAY

Sonny James recorded ''For Rent (One Empty Heart)''.

DECEMBER 24, 1955 SATURDAY

Waylon Jennings marries Maxine Carroll Lawrence in Clovis, New Mexico.

Otis Blackwell gives up on becoming a star and decides to concentrate on songwriting, selling six songs to Shalimar Music Publishing for $150. One of them becomes a major Elvis Presley hit the following year, ''Don't Be Cruel''.

After being blacklisted during the McCarthy era, the folk group The Weavers makes a comeback with a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. The group performs ''Goodnight Irene'' and the soon-to-be country hit ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine''.

DECEMBER 25, 1955 SUNDAY

Thirteen-year-old Tammy Wynette joins Auzella Moore, sister-in-law of Elvis guitarist Scotty Moore, in taking Christmas presents to Elvis Presley to Elvis Presley's house in Memphis.

Rock singer Alannah Myles is born in Toronto, Ontario. Her 1990 pop hit ''Black Velvet'' is quickly remade as a country single by Robin Lee.

DECEMBER 26, 1955 MONDAY

Banjo player Alan O'Bryant is born in Reidsville, North Carolina. A member of The Nashville Bluegrass Band, he writes ''Those Memories Of You'', a 1987 hit for Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

Theresa Lee Herron, the grandmother of Jerry Lee Lewis dies.

DECEMBER 28, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley had toured together briefly. After Presley's  departure, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash they played a date in Texarkana supporting George  Jones, who was riding his first hit, "Why Baby Why?". ''None of use had ever been that far  away before'' recalled Perkins to Cash Box magazine. ''It was the big break. I met John in  West Memphis and we wrote songs together. The next day we were in Tyler, Texas and the  promotor promised us $100 each. Up to then, out biggest pay had been in Parsons, Arkansas,  when Bob Neal stood at the door with a cigar box and charged everyone who came in a  dollar unless they were under 12. We split the take and got $18 for every guy''.

As 1955 ended, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two were still holding down days jobs. In  fact, Cash's only colour television sale was to Marion Keisker at Sun. Within the next few  weeks, Cash would sell his last domestic appliance. Good things started to come to Johnny  Cash early in the new year. In December 1955 he had played a guest shot on the Louisiana  Hayride.

DECEMBER 30, 1955 FRIDAY

Songwriter Troy Jones is born in Port saint Joe, Florida. Nicknamed the ''Forklift Philosopher'' while working at a paper mill, the authors Kenny Chesney and George Strait's ''Shiftwork'' and Billy Currington's ''People Are Crazy''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE FEATHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955/1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY END 1955/EARLY 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01(1) - "BOTTLE TO THE BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Jody Chastain-Jerry Huffman
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Demo Version 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably End 1955/Early 1956
Released: - 2005
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SNAP 230-2-10 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS - GONE, GONE, GONE

01(2) - "BOTTLE TO THE BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Jody Chastain-Jerry Huffman
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo Version 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably End 1955/Early 1956
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-5-8 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3-19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

This is a very different version of the song that Feathers recorded for King in August 1956. All the verses are different and the tag line is ''...if you want me to stay with you'' rather than ''if you want me to baby you''. This is an authentic slice of Southern lowlife with a lot of humour and some genuinely bizarre images:

Back in those days at the sorghum mill
We'd get our juice from the foot of the hill
Well things have done changed, I'm tellin' y'all
When you squeeze your woman you can hear her squall. (chorus)
My little woman and the little kitchy-koo
We're in apartment East 42
When we get sluiced we get a little loud
The landlady up and she throw us out (chorus)
Me and my woman, she's as sweet as two
And when we got a family, we'll know just what to do
I'll sit right down and feed 'em candy too
And when one hollers, I'll know just what to do.

It is entirely possible that Jody Chastain and Jerry Huffman's contribution to this song was to remove those lovely folksy images and replace them on King with something that better belonged in a rock and roll song. If Sam Phillips witnessed the taping of this demo it is surprising that he did not appreciate Feathers' potential for the new music. He let Feathers contract lapse at the time this was recorded although it is possible that the problem of dealing with Feathers outweighed the potential upside.

01(3) - "BOTTLE TO THE BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Jody Chastain-Jerry Huffman
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - 2 cuts spliced - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably End 1955/Early 1956
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (CD) 500/200rpm ZCD 2011-11 mono
THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF RARE AND UNISSUED RECORDINGS 1954 - 1973
Reissued: 2005 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SN AP 230 CD-16 mono
GONE, GONE, GONE

2 cuts spliced and 1 version complete.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal and Guitar
Probably Jody Chastain - Steel Guitar
Probably Jerry Huffman - Guitar
Unknown - Piano
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


Dotty Abbott disc jockey for WHER ''the Nation's first All Girl radio Station''. >

Dotty Abbott's name may be unknown to Sun collectors and historians, but if you lived in Memphis during the 1950s she might have been a household name in your neighborhood. When Sam Phillips opened WHER, "the Nation's first All Girl Radio Station" in October, 1955, Ms. Abbott was one of the original on-air personalities. Abbott's smooth voice helped blanket the area with "1000 beautiful watts".



Apparently, Abbott had some interest in broadening her career to include performing on as well as playing records. Having already hired her, how could record company owner Sam Phillips say no?

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DOTTY ABBOTT
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955-1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE LATE 1955 OR EARLY 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

01 - "HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LONELY" - B.M.I. - 1:01
Composer: - DeRose-Brown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955 or Early 1956
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609 FK-5-3 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

02 - "DIAMOND MINE/STUDIO TALK" - B.M.I. 0:41
Composer: - Dotty Abbott
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955 or Early 1956
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-1-16 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Abbott recorded multiple takes of six titles, including cover versions of well known pop hits like "Have You Ever Been Lonely" and "Let Me Go Lover". Her style was a curious blend of 1940s pop or society music struggling to come to terms with the emerging sound of rock and roll. It was an uneasy alliance to say the least. After listening to 25 takes of various titles by Dotty Abbott, one comes to the unavoidable conclusion that as a singer she was a pretty good disc jockey.

Dotty Abbott continued her career in radio for many years, syndicated all over the United States as late-night disc jockey Dollie Holiday, in a program of mood music sponsored by Memphis-based Holiday Inns.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Margie ''Dotty'' Abbott - Vocal
Unknown – Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE STERLING SISTERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955-1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY MID 1950'S
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

About the only thing we know for sure are their names: Rose, Peggy and Joyce. Beyond that, its anybody's guess. Two tapes were submitted to Sun in the mid-1950's. One, presumably containing a radio appearance, is lost. The other contains four tracks, from which we sample here. Their arrangements include acoustic guitar accompaniment, piano, and a a cappela vocal. If nothing else, the Sisters were versatile. They had pretty voices and a lovely ability to blend. In that sense they were like The Miller Sisters, but the comparison stops well short of the Millers. The most obvious deficit surrounding The Sterling Sisters was their almost unbelievable lack of timing.

Its one thing for a singer to have a lousy sense of meter. It happens more often than you'd expect. Good voice, good feel, lousy timing. But when three singers manage to sing out of meter in unison, you've got something really special on your hands. Welcome to The Sterling Sisters. Unlike The Kirby Sisters, this demo did not result in an invitation from Sam to visit Memphis.

01 - "NO LETTER TODAY" - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Frankie Brown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Mid 1950's
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-3-22 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

02 - "I SAW A MAN" - B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Arthur Smith
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Mid 1950's
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-3-26 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

03 - "ST. LOUIS BLUES" - B.M.I. - 3:10
Composer: - W.C. Handy
Publisher: - Pace & Handy Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None – Demo - Not Originally
Recorded: - Probably Mid 1950's
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - August 2002 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-4-23 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Sterling Sisters - Vocals
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FALL 1955

Orbison enrolled at Odessa Junior College in the fall of 1955 wanting to major in Geology but  then changed to History and English. Soon, the band moved in together to a duplex in Walnut  Street in Odessa. With a couple of new members they renamed themselves "The Teen Kings"  as they were playing more and more Rock and Roll. They got a second weekly local TV show  on Saturdays from 4:30 to 5 PM on KOSA-TV, Odessa, Channel 7, which was part of the  national CBS network.

Johnny Cash and also Elvis Presley came in town to perform around this time and  appeared on Roy's TV show. Roy asked Johnny for advice on how to get a record released  and Cash gave him Sam Phillips telephone number in Memphis. He called Mr. Phillips who  hung up the phone saying, "Johnny Cash doesn't run my record company''.

DECEMBER 1955

Dick Stuart takes over from Bill Strength as morning disc jockey on KWEM radio, West  Memphis, Arkansas. Stuart is later to manage Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins.

Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash head a Sun package tour of Texas. On December 28, they join  George Jones for a show in Texarkana, Texas.


DECEMBER 1955

"Cry, Cry, Cry" was still doing good business, and Sam Phillips held off releasing for Johnny  Cash's new single until December. A few weeks earlier, Phillips had acquired a little venture  capital from RCA, and he pumped it behind Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. He placed an  advertisement in the trade papers touting "handsome and young" Johnny Cash.


DECEMBER 1955

Then, in 1955, while Jack Clement attending Memphis State University, he  performed a  Christmas Eve gig at a friend’s club in Arkansas. That same friend, Slim  Wallace, drove him  home, accompanied by Mrs Wallace and another woman who, deemed to be  drunk and  disorderly during a stop at a diner, ended up being arrested and thrown in  jail, along with  her sober defender, Mr Clement. Still, this would have a fortunate outcome.

''Slim and I wanted to form our own label, Fernwood Records, and during my  spare time I  was building a studio in his garage'', Clement recalls. ''Anyway, he hung  around to get me out  of jail on Christmas Day, and since there wasn’t much public transportation  we decided to  hitchhike. Out on the highway, we were picked up by this guy named Billy  Lee Riley. He was  a rockabilly artist, and after I told him that Slim and I were getting into the  record business,  we rehearsed some of Billy’s songs in Slim’s garage. It didn’t have good  enough equipment to  make a proper record, so I wound up producing ''Trouble Bound'' and ''Think  Before You Go''  at the studio of the WMPS radio station''.

Clement subsequently took the tape of this session to the Memphis Recording  Service for  mastering, and when he returned a few days later, he ran into Sam Phillips  who, impressed  by what he had heard, told him he’d like to release Riley’s tracks on Sun  Records and that  he’d also like to offer Clement a job. Hardly enamoured with his current parttime  work at a  local hardware store, Clement accepted, and on June 15th, 1956, he became  Sam Phillips’  assistant. ''If the Arkansas cops hadn't put me in jail on Christmas Eve, I  would have never  met Billy Riley and landed a job with Sun Records'', says Clement, while  adding,''Fate  sometimes has a wonderful way of intervening''.


DECEMBER 1955

Sam Phillips owned the publishing rights to Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes", although the  song was represented by Hill and Range as part of the Presley deal. This meant that every  record company who pushed a version onto the market owed Sam Phillips two cents for  every copy sold. The success of "Blue Suede Shoes" also enabled Sam Phillips to assemble the  nucleus of his foreign deals which saw Sun product go to Decca/London for most of the world  and to Quality Records and subsequently London Records in Canada.

The reel of tape, the bottles of bourbon and the night's work that Sam Phillips invested in  "Blue Suede Shoes" on December evening paid a dividend more handsome than anything he  dared dream as he locked up the studio and walked to his car that night. The record  business is a lottery and Phillips had hit the jackpot. More than that, he was a success on his  own terms. He had recorded music that no-one else believed in. He recorded it his way. He  released it on his own label. And he reaped the colossal rewards.

Carl Perkins too had been vindicated. However, for Perkins the struggle was just beginning.  Although he wrote songs that were, in some respects, better than "Blue Suede Shoes", he  could never recapture the commerciality of the muse that came to him at 3 o'clock on the  morning when he went downstairs and scratched his anthem on a potato bag.


DECEMBER 1955

"Defrost Your Heart" b/w Wedding Gown Of White'' (Sun 231) by Charlie Feathers is released.

Sun 234, ''Blue Suede Shoes'' b/w ''Honey Don't'' by Carl Perkins is released. This becomes a hit on the  national popular, country and rhythm and blues charts, heralding an era of success for Sun with rockabilly  music. On the very first day of the release, Music Sales, Sam Phillips' Memphis distributor, put in an initial order for four hundred, then ordered six hundred more by the end of the day. In Dallas, Alta Hayes of Big State, who had been the first to give Sam hope that his experiment might actually catch on, moved twenty-five hundred copies out the door. By the end of the month it had passed one hundred thousand sales, and Phillips was advertising it as a bona fide three-way smash, pop, country, and rhythm and blues. After gross sales of $45,000 in the last quarter of 1955, a new high for Sun, the label suddenly rocketed to nearly six times that amount in the first quarter of 1956, and then to an almost unimaginable $350,000 in the second quarter, representing sales of something like $865,000 records.

The impact on Sun's tiny three-person storefront operation was almost impossible to imagine. For Sally Wilbourn, who had gone to work at the end of November and just turned nineteen the week that ''Blue Suede Shoes'' came out, it was as if her whole world had turned upside down.

''It just seemed like everything burst wide open. You have to remember what we didn't have'', said Sally Wilbourn, ''You didn't have electric typewriters. You didn't have photostat machines. You didn't have calculators. Everything was carbon copy. Every sample that went to a radio station had to be packaged individually with a label typed and put on them, and then you had to weigh them and put postage on them. Records wore out. Juke boxes would just wear them out. I was packaging records, going to radio stations every day, you know, and answering the phone. I didn't know a lot but I was capable of learning. I got to the point where Marion Keisker and I were working every night. Then I started working Sundays, doing invoices, because there was nobody else to do it except Marion and me. Just doing the billing was the biggest job. We would have to get in the studio on Sunday afternoon and spread all of those invoices from every distributor out in the middle of the floor. We had no other place to do it, and some of them were so thick because we were selling so many records''.

"No More" b/w ''They call Our Love A Sin'' (Sun 236) by Jimmy Hagget is released at about this time "Sure  To Fall" b/w ''Tennessee'' (SUN 235) by Carl and Jay Perkins is scheduled but never officially issued.

Sun 237/Flip 237 ''The Chicken (Dance With You)'' b/w ''Love For You, Baby'' by Rosco Gordon is released.


END DECEMBER 1955

Johnny Cash's musician Marshall Grant, was convinced that they would see better times. "On  a lot of early shows we were openers", he told David Booth, "but I could see the momentum  already there. Johnny Cash was becoming popular with that little different sound we had.  His big gigantic voice was cutting through something fierce. You could see it grow day by  day".

As 1955 ended, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two were still holding down day jobs. In  fact, the only colour television set Johnny Cash would ever sell was to Marion Keisker at  Sun. Whitin the next few weeks, though, Johnny Cash would sell his last domestic appliance.  In December 1955, Johnny Cash played a guest shot on the Louisiana Hayride.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

LIVE BROADCAST RECORDINGS FOR JOHNNY CASH
FOR KWKH'S LOUISIANA HAYRIDE, SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, 1954

MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, 705 GRAND AVENUE AND
MILAM STREET, SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
DECEMBER 1955 - VIEWING TIME TV-STATION KWKH
SESSION HOURS: SATURDAY 8:00 PM
PRODUCER - HORACE LOGAN

01 – ''HEY PORTER'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny R. Cash
Published: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 1955
Released:
First appearance: - Louisiana Hayride (LP) 33rpm LH-973-1 mono
LOUISIANA HAYRIDE SATURDAY NITE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FALL 1955

Roy Orbison returned from North Texas State in Denton with an original song, ''Ooby Dooby'', learned from two fellow students, Wade Moore and Dick Penner. They'd copyrighted it as ''The Ooby Dooby'' on May 2, 1955, and Roy had seen them perform it on-stage at a free concert. ''They sang it and the people went crazy'', he remembered. Roy first recorded it at Jim Beck's studio in Dallas, Texas in late 1955.


Jim Beck Studio, 1914 Forest Avenue, Dallas, Texas. >

Wade Lee Moore and Dick Penner where two college friends of Roy's at Denton and they had written "The Ooby Dooby". Dick Penner arranged for them to record his song at Jim Beck's studio in the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, which is South-East of Denton. Beck had been instrumental in the discovery of Lefty Frizzell and Marty Robbins for Columbia Records, so the band headed for Dallas to record "Ooby Dooby" and "Hey, Miss Fannie" which appears to be a duet of Roy Orbison and James Morrow.


The session took place at some point during the summer of 1955 before the boys returned to West Texas. Roy was convinced that they would be signed to Columbia Records, which never happened.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROY ORBISON
FOR COLUMBIA RECORDS 1955

JIM BECK RECORDING STUDIO
1914 FOREST AVENUE, DALLAS, TEXAS
COLUMBIA SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE LATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
This was an audition session for Columbia Records. The session is published on the Sun vaults priority has been given to historic content.

01 - "OOBY DOOBY" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Wade Moore-Dick Penner
Publisher: - Barbara Orbison Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 2001
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-2-18 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

02 - "HEY! MISS FANNIE''* - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Ahmet Ertegun
Publisher: - Barbara Orbison Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 2001
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-2 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Wink Westerners consisting of
Roy Orbison - Vocal, Guitar and Duet Vocal*
Charles Evans - Bass
James Morrow - Electric Mandolin and Duet Vocal*
Billy Pat Ellis - Drums

The band was noted as the Wink Westerners on the acetate, so it's possible that the name change didn't come until very late 1955 or early 1956. Roy's name was spelled ''Ordasun''. Columbia's Don Law saw no merit in Orbison but gave the acetate to one of his contracted artists, Sid King, who recorded ''Ooby Dooby'' on March 1956.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

LIVE PERFORMANCE FOR JOHNNY CASH

KWEM STUDIO
231 BROADWAY STREET, WEST MEMPHIS, ARKANSAS
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY LATE 1955 OR EARLY 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - CLYDE LEOPPARD

By this point, Johnny Cash was playing a regular fifteen minute show on KWEM, West Memphis and he had started playing local gigs arranged by Bob Neal. Despite denials at various stages of his career, Cash was playing lowlife honky tonks. Marshall Grant remembered, "more guns and knives than fans at most of those early gigs". Cash became the hit of Bob Neal's eighth Anniversary show, just as Presley had been the surprise hit a year earlier. Dick Stuart, who worked as a disc jockey on KWEM as "Poor Richard" reported to Billboard that "this year Johnny Cash broke through as the outstanding new act in Memphis". Stuart promptly signed him to a management deal.

01- "ROCK AND ROLL RUBY" - B.M.I. - 1:40
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Late 1955 or early 1956
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 103 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-1-19 mono
JOHNNY CASH THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

"Rock And Roll Ruby" is the only track featured that was not taped at Sun Studios. Recorded at KWEM Radio it was preserved on an acetate and demonstrates that Cash was not really suited to rock and roll although it is far more confident performance than "Youre My Baby". Back in mid-1955 they had appeared on KWEM on a programme entitled Mid-South Country Frolics and performed "Wide Open Road", "One More Ride", "Luther's Boogie" and "Belshazzar", all tracks that he would go on to record for Sun. Warren Smith later recorded ''Rock And Roll Ruby'' for Sun Records on February 5, 1956 (SUN 239).

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Marshall Grant - Second Vocal and Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


There there were others for whom Sam Phillips had great hope as well. One was ''sultry feline redhead'' Barbara Pittman, the new Snearly Ranch Boys vocalist, applauded by Billboard for ''the back shack sound, female style of her Sun debut. Pittman had run away with cowboy star and bullwhip performer Lash LaRue's traveling show in her mid-teens and was told by Sam Phillips ''to go out and learn how to sing'' the first time she presented herself at the studio here in the end of 1955.

Barbara Pittman's career was the proverbial press agent's dream. As a kid, she spent time behind the scenes at her uncle's pawn shop on Beale Street, where she listened to jam sessions with legendary blues men like B.B. King. Barely into her teens, Barbara appeared along with her schoolmate Elvis Presley at the Eagles Nest, a Memphis nightclub, until she was fired for being underage. ''I was making $5 a night. Big money at the time''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

DEMO SESSION FOR BARBARA PITTMAN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY END 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

01 - ''I'LL NEVER LET YOU GO'' – B.M.I.
More details unknown
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Magnum Force (LP) 33rpm MFLP 056 mono
RED HOT ROCKABILLY - VOLUME 4
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX-15359 mono
I NEED A MAN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
More Details Unknown

Barbara offered some fascinating recollections of Elvis in the earliest days of his Sun affiliation. ''I remember we were playing at a Catholic school on Jackson Avenue one evening. This was back in 1955 before Elvis had dyed his hair black. It was still blond. He had his dad's old ''pushmobile'' we used to call it. You used to have to push it to get it started. It was pouring down rain when we came out of the show. Elvis had this black shoe polish in his hair. This was before he could afford to dye it properly. It was raining and the shoe polish was running down his face and all over his clothes. All these little screaming girls were after him and here's Elvis looking like Al Johnson in make up. It was awful. The King standing there with a black dye running all down his face''.

Barbara recalled time spent at 706 Union Avenue, ''Elvis and I sometimes went down to the Sun studio in the afternoon after he got off from work. Sam was hardly ever there and Elvis used to answer the phone. There was really nothing going on there in the afternoon at that time. Everything was done at night. So Elvis and I were taking care of the studio. A lot of people were talking to Elvis on the phone at that time and never even knew it''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
FOR MELADEE RECORDS 1955

J&M RECORDING STUDIO
838-40 RAMPART STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
MELADEE SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - MEL MALLORY
RECORDING ENGINEER - COSIMO MATASSA

Luke McDaniels recorded as Jeff Daniels. According to Luke, ''I figured Jeff Daniels sounded more like a star''.

During 1953-1954, Luke recorded twelve songs in three sessions for King Records to a consistently high standard,  
but nothing broke away in the country charts and Luke, always irritated by poor royalty accounting, finally broke  
with King Records and moved to Mel-a-Dee Records, based in New Orleans and owned by Mel Mallory. The result  
was a stunning "One-Off" session, which produced the staggeringly good double-sider "Daddy-O-Rock"/"Hey  
Woman", both sides featuring the wonderful Lee Allen on tenorsax. Luke had met and working a show with Elvis  
Presley and Carl Perkins in October 1954 at the Louisiana Hayride and became strongly influenced by this new  
rocking music, as can be heard on the transition from his King recordings.

The Mel-A-Dee single was released in 1955 and during the same year, Luke submitted a song had written called  
"Midnight Shift" to Buddy Killen. Being contracted already as a writer to Acuff-Rose, meant that Luke made in the  
Tree Office and succeeded in persuading the just emerging Buddy Holly to record it for Decca. Apparently it was  
eight years before Luke discovered that Buddy had recorded his song. With the Mel-A-Dee single not exactly  
overheating the charts, Luke carried on playing the usual round of clubs plus TV and radio appearances.  
Sometime in 1956, Luke he took Elvis' advice and went to Sun Records, he began making overtures to Sam  
Phillips in Memphis, which cultinated in a musically wonderful session at Sun on September 4-5, 1956, but
financially not so!

01 – ''DADDY-O-ROCK'' - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Mallory Music
Matrix number: - G8OW-5208
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meladee Records (S) 45rpm standard single Meladee 117-A mono
DADDY-O-ROCK / HEY WOMAN
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-2 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

02 – ''HEY WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Mallory Music
Matrix number: - G8OW-5209
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meladee Records (S) 45rpm standard single Meladee 117-B mono
HEY WOMAN / DADDY-O-ROCK
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-6 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke McDaniel as Jeff Daniels - Vocal & Guitar
Lee Allen – Tenor Saxophone
More Details Unknown

Around this time, Luke McDaniel co-wrote ''Midnight Shift'' under the pseudonym Earl Lee. His purported co-writer, Jimmie Ainsworth was actually distant kin to yodelin' Jimmie Rodgers. (Years later, Rogers produced a Sun single by the Teenangels). ''Midnight Shift'' was registered on February 14, 1956, a few days after Buddy Holly recorded it, though it's unclear how Rogers and McDaniel got it to Tree Music in Nashville. Presumably, the song was written pseudonymously because McDaniel and Rogers were under contract to Mel Mallory.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


1955/1956

By 1954, Honeycutt was playing and singing around Memphis and in late 1955 or early 1956 Honeycutt   auditioned for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, a balladeer by inclination, Honeycutt came in with a few   country-style songs, but was rejected on that basis. ''Sam said he wasn't interested in country music. That   Nashville had it all sewed up. Why butt heads with those guys'? Glenn began talking to Slim Wallage, who   was on the point of starting Fernwood Records. ''I was trying to book some schools, stuff like that'', he said  later. ''Then I hooked up with Ronald Slim Wallace. Jack Clement was in the band for a time with me and we   played around Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. Jack played drums mostly, and when he would want to   sing I knew just enough at the drums that I could sit down with a snare drum while he took the guitar and   could sing''. Wallace and Clement converted Wallace's garage on Fernwood Avenue into a makeshift   recording studio and recorded Billy Riley. Sam Phillips heard their work when he mastered Riley's   recordings, and offered Clement a job. Clement played Phillips some recordings he'd made with Honeycutt,   earning Honeycutt a shot on Sun.


Once it was clear that Sam Phillips did not intend to release any more of his boogies on Sun Records, Ross set about finding an alternative way to get his music out. It is not clear whether he tried out for Chess, Vee-Jay or other Illinois companies or went straight to the self-help option but, however it evolved, his next release was on his own DIR label (standing for Doctor Isaiah Ross). It is probably that the two sides issued on DIR 1101/2, ''Industrial Boogie'' and ''Thirty-Two Twenty'', were recorded at the same time or shortly after the tape submitted unsuccessfully to Sun in 1955, but the issue date is uncertain. Ross told some interviewers that he issued the record soon after he moved to Flint and he told others that he waited out his 5 year contract with Sun before starting DIR late 1955. The latter scenario is unlikely because Sam Phillips usually only issued contracts for one or two years. At any rate, the record came out on both 78rpm pressing and 45rpm.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR DOCTOR ROSS
FOR DIR RECORDS 1955/1958

PROBABLY BRISTOW BRYANT STUDIO, FLINT, MICHIGAN
DIR SESSION: PROBABLY 1955/1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - ISAIAH ROSS

01 - "INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - D 1001
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1955/1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Dir Records (S) 45rpm Dir A-101/2 mono
INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE / THIRTY-TWO TWENTY
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-23 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

''Industrial Boogie'' is basically ''Boogie Chillen'' and ''Feelin' Good'' with the action moved from Detroit or Memphis to Flint and found various music venues on Industrial Avenue and the black residential streets of St John (razed to the ground in the 1970s for the expansion of the Buick plants). Where John Lee Hooker's boogie took us to Henry's Swing Club on Detroit's Hastings Street and Similar songs cited Johnny Curry's Tropicana club on Memphis's Thomas Street. Doctor Ross sets the action in a Flint dive called The Old Beer Bottle. There he found a fine little baby looking for some fun. He told her, ''yes, yes, yes, let's jump awhile'', and boogied on in time-honoured Ross style.

There was apparently only one disc on DIR. it was unlikely that Ross would made a success paying to press and promote his own discs, but he talked about another factor too: ''I was doing all right, my own label, but then my wife acted up. I dropped it because my wife put a suit in the courts. You took a woman out of the South, take her north and you know she can destroy you in no time, bring your pup tent down''.

02 - "THIRTY-TWO TWENTY'' - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - D 1002
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1955/1958
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Dir Records (S) 45rpm Dir A-101/2 mono
THIRTY-TWO TWENTY / INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-24 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03 - ''FEEL SO SAD'' - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1955/1958
Released: - 1992
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-20 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
Reissued: - 2013  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-27 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956


Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charles Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica, Drums


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©