CONTAINS

Sun 331-340 Audio Series 

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Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"YOU TELL ME" - B.M.I. - 1:17
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 378 - Master
Recorded: - May 15, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 331-A mono
YOU TELL ME / GOODBYE LITTLE DARLIN'
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
J ohnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

Possibly Dubbed on May 27, 1958

With no bottom in sight, Sam Phillips continued to mine the Johnny Cash tape vault at Sun a year after his artist had departed for greener pastures. This outing couples an old Gene Autry ballad (featuring a fairly adventurous Jerry Lee Lewis on piano), and on enigmatic mini-opus from the pen of Roy Orbison.

It is likewise hard to tell what sort of intensions surrounded ''You Tell Me'' when it was recorded in May 1958, shortly before Cash's departure. The track is quite engaging, but its brief running time made it a poor contender for airplay or sales. (HD)(MH)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"GOODBYE LITTLE DARLING" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:12
Composer: - Gene Autry-Johnny Marvin
Publisher: - Chappell & Company Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 379 - Overdubbed with a vocal chorus before release.
Recorded: - December 13, 1956
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 331-B mono
GOODBYE LITTLE DARLING / YOU TELL ME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
Unknown - Drums
Jerry Lee Lewis – Piano

''Goodbye Little Darling'' was first recorded by Gene Autry in 1940 as ''Goodbye Little Darlin', Goodbye'' for his ''South Of The Border'' movie. Cash's version was recorded in 1956, when Jerry Lee was still paying the rent as a session pianist. His work here ranges from barrelhouse rolling chords to some gentle boogie. In truth, if Cash had stayed at Sun, material like this stood little chance of being released at all, much less as a single. As it was, the track made its way to number 22 on the country charts. (HD)(MH)

 
Jimmy Isle
"WHAT A LIFE" - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Kenny Marlow Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 380
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 332-A mono
WHAT A LIFE / TOGETHER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Isle - Vocal
Bill Riley - Guitar
Pat O'Neill - Bass
Tommy Ross - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Sax
Unknown Vocal Chorus

This is the last of Jimmy Isle's three Sun singles. By virtually any measure, it is the least effective of the lot. Once again, Isle hangs his hope on a rhythmic riff but softens the impact of the disk with some sweet girlish voices. The truth is, not many Sun fans ever made it through the first couplet of ''What A Life''. It's hard to image Warren Smith or Billy Riley with growings pains shooting through their veins. If there ever had them, it's a cinch they never whined about them like this. And be assured you're listening to the only Sun record featuring repeated use of the word ''strife''. (HD)(MH)

 
Jimmy Isle
"TOGETHER" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Wonder Music - Kenny Marlow Music
Matrix number: - U 381
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 332-B mono
TOGETHER/ WHAT A LIFE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Isle - Vocal
Bill Riley - Guitar
Pat O'Neill - Bass
Tommy Ross - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Sax
Unknown Vocal Chorus

Things don't improve much on this flipside. ''Together'' is Isle's entry into the Frankie Avalon sweepstakes, wich probably wasn't a bad idea in the fall of 1959 when this record was released. In any case, Sun 332 stiffed big time, thereby ending Isle's one year association with the label. (HD)(MH)

 
Ray B. Anthony
"ALICE BLUE GOWN" - A.S.C.A.P. - 1:56
Composer: - Tierney-McCarthy
Publisher: - Leo Feist Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 382
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 333-A mono
ALICE BLUE GOWN / ST. LOUIS BLUES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ray B. Anthony - Vocal and Guitar
Carl Mann - Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatswell - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums
 

The connection may not have been as obvious in 1960, but this was essentially one more attempt to cash in the success of Carl Mann's unexpected hit record "Mona Lisa". In fact, Mann's record was still on the charts when this release went out to the disc jockey's.

What, you might be wondering, was an Alice Blue Gown? Apparently, light blue had come into vogue after being introduced by Alice Longworth, daughter of ex- president Theodore Roosevelt. An "Alice Blue Gown", therefore, was a light blue gown that Mrs. Longworth might well have worn. Written in 1919 for the musical "Irere", "Alice Blue Gown" became a much-loved waltz in the inter-war years and got another lease on life when "Irene" was adapted for the screen in 1940 with Anna Neagle and Ray Milland. (HD)(CE)

 
Ray B. Anthony
"ST. LOUIS BLUES" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:15
Composer: - W.C. Handy
Publisher: - Handy Bross. Music
Matrix number: - U 383
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 333-B mono
ST. LOUIS BLUES / ALICE BLUE GOWN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ray B. Anthony - Vocal and Guitar
Carl Mann - Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatswell - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums

True, Mann's rather thin teenage voice was replaced here by Rayburn Anthony's rich baritone, but other than that, the formula was similar: Take a standard, put it to a gently rocking beat, and then dazzle the audience with a powerful guitar solo. In this case, more than the formula was borrowed. Mann's guitarist, Eddie Bush, came along for the ride. In fact, Anthony got the benefit of Mann's entire rhythm section!  The irony is that the whole approach works better here on "St. Louis Blues" than it ever did on a Carl Mann record. Anthony's painfully restricted baritone is part of the success. His voice has the endearing quality of cracking with every effort to stretch it. The intense, if tuneless vocal, is matched perfectly by the electric bass/hi hat-driven rhythm section. Together they create a surprising amount of tension which is deftly relieved by Bush's maniacal guitar solo, during which all hell breaks loose. About the only weak link in these proceedings is the poor studio quality of the recording. Sun had just moved into their new digs at 639 Madison Avenue and no one had a clue about harnessing the studio echo. Where was 706 Union when you needed it? In any case, Anthony, and his Jackson, Tennessee connection would be back for two more singles before his gig at Sun was complete. (HD)(CE)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"STRAIGHT AS IN LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Johnny Cash Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 386 - Take 1
Recorded: - December 13, 1956
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 31, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 334-A mono
STRAIGHT AS IN LOVE / I LOVE YOU BECAUSE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
Unknown - Drums
Jerry Lee Lewis – Piano

"Straight As In Love" is as close to rock and roll as Johnny Cash would come during his association with Sun Records. It is also as close as he would come to writing a bad song. It showed, in no uncertain terms, that for all his artistry, Cash was no poet of teenage angst. Better to leave adolescent hi-jinx to their natural spokesmen like Chuck Berry, and get on with songs about trains and Big Rivers. The basic premise is fine: most folks can identify with horniness interfering with their studies, but phrases like "a swinging mate" and "a snook at books" aren't going to help your case. The track sat in the can for just over three years before slipping out at the start of 1960. Surprisingly, it reached number 16 on the country charts and, more amazingly, number 84 in pop before deservedly sinking into obscurity. (HD)(MH)

 
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
with The Gene Lowery Singers
"I LOVE YOU BECAUSE" - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Leon Payne
Publisher: - Bourne Music - Acuff Rose Music Publishing
Matrix number: - U 387 - Take 1
Recorded: - December 13, 1956
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 31, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 334-B mono
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE / STRAIGHT AS IN LOVE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
Unknown - Drums
Jerry Lee Lewis - Piano

Overdubbed
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus

The Leon Payne composition ''I Love You Because'' had been recorded by Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis and it seemed inevitable that Cash would also turn his attention to the song. Like the previous session this only resulted in one song being recorded. On its release it was subjected to an overdubbed chorus that added nothing to the track and is possibly the worst overdub of any of cash's recordings from this period. On this undubbed master you can hear more clearly the piano work which is credited to Jerry Lee Lewis although this cannot be confirmed.

As subsequent archaeology has shown, the original bed track of "I Love You Because" lies within the credible range. The problem lies in the shrill, insensitive choral work that was grafted on to this exercise. If there ever was a market for music that sounds like this, it mercifully died with Lawrence Welk. (HD)(MH)

 
Tracy Pendarvis
"A THOUSAND GUITARS" - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Tracy Pendarvis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 388
Recorded: - Early 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 335-A mono
A THOUSAND GUITARS / IS IT TO LATE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tracy Pendarvis - Vocal and Guitar
Johnny Gibson - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar or Bass
Merrill "Punk" Williams - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

Had this record been recorded and released three or four years earlier, it might rank among Sun's best work. Certainly, it retains touches of what drives Sun Records collectors to the heights of ecstasy. To begin with, Tracy Pendarvis is a name that belongs on a Sun record. Then there's that guitar solo on "A Thousand Guitars". Yes, its true that the song is relatively romantic, even sappy, but it still has an edge. And that edge is nowhere clearer than during those brief four bar interludes when the backbeat sharpens and the guitar comes to the fore. (HD)(MH)

 
Tracy Pendarvis
"IS IT TO LATE" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Tracy Pendarvis
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 389
Recorded: - Early 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 335-B mono
IS IT TO LATE / A THOUSAND GUITARS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tracy Pendarvis - Vocal and Guitar
Johnny Gibson - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar or Bass
Merrill "Pu nk" Williams - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

This bluesy side also has its moments. Its hard not to get drawn into that simple device of emphasizing the title phrase with a booming 1-2-3-4- on the drums. Once again, the biggest drawback to this record went beyond anything under Pendarvis' control. Not even his sidemen or engineer could help. The overdubbs at 839 Madison Avenue was simply out of control and what could have been a tight, tense and focussed record simply swam out of control in an emasculating sea of echo. (HD)(MH)

 
Mack Owen
"WALKIN' AND TALKIN'" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Mack Owen
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 390
Recorded: - November 20, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 336-A mono
WALKIN' AND TALKIN' / SOMEBODY JUST LIKE YOU
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Recorded (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Owen - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Mack Owen's only record was a master purchase signed and sealed on November 20, 1959. The music seemed to suggest that Owen needed special material to thrive. To be blunt, uptempo numbers were not his forte. Owen is one of the shadowier figures in Sun history. The little we know is this: he was born in Athens, Alabama on July 27, 1936, and worked in Chicago on Chicago Bandstand. Someone from Sun Records heard him there, making it almost certain that this was recorded in Chicago. Owen never recorded again, and became a preacher in the early 1960s. He quit the ministry to work for the International Union of Glassworkers, and was living in Indianapolis when he died on October 10, 1991.  (HD)(MH)

 
Mack Owen
"SOMEBODY JUST LIKE YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Mack Owen
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 391
Recorded: - November 20, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 336-B mono
SOMEBODY JUST LIKE YOU / WALKIN' AND TALKIN'
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Owen - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

On "Walkin' And Talkin'", he Mack Owen seems ill at ease, and even resorts to coarsening his voice for emphasis. Its not a pretty sound. In contrast, everything comes together on "Somebody Just Like You", a tune that seems custom crafted for Owens' quirky vocal style. This is a mighty fine record. It may not have been what Sun fans were seeking in January 1960, but it had everything it needed to dent the charts in a serious way, without embarrassing any of the participants. The chorus provides smooth and restrained harmony, the brishwork is tasty and minimalist, and the piano supports Owen's vocal admirably. Its anyone's guess why this record didn't garner wider exposure. A hit like this on Sun at the start of the 1960s might have altered Sun's direction considerably. (HD)(MH)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"OLD BLACK JOE'" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 392
Recorded: - January 21-25, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 337-A mono
OLD BLACK JOE / BABY BABY BYE BYE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Recorded (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
W.S. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

Overdubbed Unknown Date
*- Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Old Black Joe" is a parlor song by Stephen Foster (1826-1864). It was published by Firth, Pond & Co. of New York in 1853. Ken Emerson, author of Doo-Dah!, indicates that Foster's fictional Joe was inspired by a servant in the home of his father-in-law, Dr. McDowell of Pittsburgh. The song is not written in dialect, Emerson writes, "yet the bluntness of Joe's blackness and his docility reduce Old Black Joe to the status of Old Dog Tray rather than its owner, to simply another white man's possession prized solely for its loyalty''. He believes the song "epitomizes Foster's racial condescension" but W. E. B. Dubois points to the song as a piece standing apart from the debasing minstrel and "coon" songs of the era. Emerson believes that the song's "soft melancholy" and its "elusive undertone" (rather than anything musical), brings the song closest to the traditional African American spiritual. Harold Vincent Milligan describes the song as "one of the best of the Ethiopian songs ... its mood is one of gentle melancholy, of sorrow without bitterness. There is a wistful tenderness in the music''.

Jim Kweskin covered the song on his 1971 album Jim Kweskin's America. Roy Harris made a choral adaptation of the song, Old Black Joe, A Free Paraphrase for full chorus of mixed voices a capella (1938).

The devastation to Jerry's career was far from over when he recorded this side effort in January 1960. He was reduced to playing the sort of low rent gig he would have laughed at just two years earlier. During this otherwise bleak period, he played his share of southern fraternity puke-outs and duke-outs. ''Old Black Joe'' probably went down well at those gigs. It was a Stephen Foster song, in fact Foster's only ''drakie'' song not in patois, and it was a servant in his wife-to-be's household. Jerry recorded it exactly one hundred years after Foster had written it, and it came out just as many in the South were wondering where the Old Black Joes had gone. Southern sales were probably quite respectable, but it utterly stiffed in the North. Sam Phillips' consolation lay in the fact that the song was in the public domain, allowing him to copyright Jerry Lee's arrangement. (HD)(CE)

 
Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"BABY BABY BYE BYE'' - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Lewis ''Piano'' Smith
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated – Crystal Music
Matrix number: - U 393
Recorded: - January 21-25, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 337-B mono
BABY BABY BYE BYE / OLD BLACK JOE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
W.S. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

Overdubbed Unknown Date
*- Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

''Baby, Baby Bye Bye'', musically are from high points in Jerry's recorded career for Sun. Aside from the embalming job by the omnipresent Gene Lowery Chorus, swamp echo from the new studio again cut a swath through most everything. Even Jerry's performance seems lackluster on ''Baby, Baby Bye Bye'', a fairly catchy tune that might have caught some attention had Jerry's name not still been box office poison. Ironically, the one place in the world it charted was England, where it reached number 48 for one week. The song got its last shot in October 1960 when Wanda Jackson recorded it for an album . (HD)(CE)

 
Paul Richy
"THE LEGEND OF THE BIG STEEPLE" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Jack Music
Matrix number: - U 394
Recorded: - Probably March 11, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 8, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 338-A mono
THE LEGEND OF THE BIG STEEPLE / BROKEN HEARTED WILLIE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Paul Richy - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus

Writer and producer Charles Underwood, composer of the superb "Bonnie B", spent a fair bit of time hanging around Sun end of 1959 and early 1960 and was actually entrusted with several productions. Be thankful he never had the producer's chair turned completely over to him. There might have been a lot more Sun records sounding like this. How can one calculate the distance, in miles or years, from "We Wanna Boogie" to "good simple people praying for a sleeple?".

Despite the presence of Roland Janes, Jimmy Van Eaton, and Charlie Rich, this slice of sentimental dreck was pretty tame, even if it was not out of touch with the pop market in early 1960. These sides were probably among the earliest tracks recorded at 639 Madison Avenue. Its doubtful they could have fit the church bells through the door at 706 Union Avenue. (HD)

 
Paul Richy
"BROKEN HEARTED WILLIE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Up Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 395
Recorded: - Probably March 11, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 8, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 338-B mono
BROKEN HEARTED WILLIE / THE LEGEND OF THE BIG STEEPLE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Paul Richy - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus
 

On this side, Richy chronicles the trials and tribulations of Willie. Again, this is pretty dire stuff, although Jimmy Van Eaton's surprising kickass drumming shines like a beacon. It turns out that Willie was really a stand-in for Job, and the Lord bails out ole Willie for hanging in with him through all the rotten dates and trials of his teenage years. In its own quiet way, SUN 338 seems to have been a spiritual.

Charles Underwood didn't give up without a fight. The same session that produced these sides also yielded two unreleased titles. One was a tear jerker penned by Underwood called "Flight 303". It (mercifully) never appeared on Sun, but when label alumnus Edwin Bruce visited Nashville for his first RCA session in 1960, he had Underwood's composition in his little hands. It appeared as one side of Bruce's rare first single on RCA. The RCA connection extends deeper, too. Some six or eight weeks before Richy recorded "Big Steeple", Porter Wagoner recorded it for RCA, but it was one of the few Wagoner singles from this era not to chart. Paul Richy, incidentally, is the brother of George Richy, one-time musical director of "Hee-Haw" and sixth husband of Tammy Wynette. (HD)

 
Rayburn Anthony
''WHOSE GONNA SHOE YOUR PRETTY LITTLE FEET'' – B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - Rayburn Anthony
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 396
Recorded: - Probably January 6, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 30, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 339-A mono
WHOSE GONNA SHOE YOUR PRETTY LIITLE FEET / THERE'S NO TOMORROW
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rayburn Anthony – Vocal -Guitar
Eddie Bush – Guitar
Carl Mann - Piano
Probably Brad Suggs – Guitar
Probably R.W. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson – Bass
Probably Tony Austin - Drums

Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Curiously, the stronger side of Anthony's release is the one we should all love to hate. Despite the predictable sea of echo and heavy glucose treatment from Gene Lowery and friends, ''Who's Gonna Shoe'' actually works! The arrangement (what we can hear of it, anyway) is gentle, and Anthony's cracking baritone is just what the song needs to float its way through an enchanting series of key changes. The song, based on a Scottish air, ''The Lass Of Loch Royal'', had been recorded steadily since the 1920s. It might have been Patti Page's version that Rayburn remembered. (HD)

 
Rayburn Anthony
THERE'S NO TOMORROW'' - A.S.C.A.P. - 1:45
Composer: - Hoffman-Carr-Corday
Publisher: - Paxton Music
Matrix number: - U 397
Recorded: Probably January 6, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 30, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 339-B mono
THERE'S NO TOMORROW / WHOSE GONNA SHOE YOUR PRETTY LIITLE FEET
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rayburn Anthony – Vocal -Guitar
Eddie Bush – Guitar
Carl Mann - Piano
Probably Brad Suggs – Guitar
Probably R.W. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson – Bass
Probably Tony Austin - Drums

Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony
 

Rayburn Anthony weighs in for his second Sun single in just a few months. Once again, there's a passing nod to the Carl Mann formula with a bouncy treatment of ''There's No Tomorrow''. Elvis Presley loved this song. It had been recorded in 1949 by Tony Martin, and Elvis told his music publisher that he wanted to record it at his first post Army session. The publisher astutely realized that it featured English words to a Neapolitan folk song, ''O Sole Mio'', that was in the public domain, so he hired two songwriters to put new words to it. The result was ''It's Now Or Never'', recorded on April 3, 1960 at RCA Studio B., 30 Music Square West, Nashville, Tennessee and just weeks after this. No one in Memphis was that smart, and Sam Phillips was left to pay publishing royalties on a song he could have paid someone fifty bucks to rewrite. (HD)

 
Bill Johnson
''BOBALOO'' – B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Johnny Lee Hamilton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 398
Recorded: - Unknown Date January 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 30, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 340-A mono
BOBALOO / BAD TIMES AHEAD
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Johnson - Vocal
John Winfield - Guitar
Hubert Perry – Bass
St. Clair Pinckney – Tenor Saxophone
Albrister Cook Clark – Baritone Saxophone
More Details Unknown

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Bill Johnson and The Four Steps Of Rhythm first recorded ''You Better Dig It'' during the summer of 1959 for Talos Records, a one-shot label owned by Bob Ritter and Carl Sanders in Augusta, Georgia. Some six months later, accompanied by the future James Brown band, the rampant blues shouter, Bill Johnson, re-cut the song with producer Charles Underwood. Two more Loyd Price-styled sides from this four track session found their way into a solitary Sun 45.

Bill Johnson (a.k.a. Johnny Lee Hamilton) was, for a brief moment, Sun's answer to Lloyd Price. ''Bobaloo'' isn't a half bad effort, although the recorded sound is far too echoes and unfocussed to showcase Johnson as he deserved. The song picks up the Bobaloo sage which seems to have begun in 1941 with Xavier Cugat's  hit, ''Babalu''. Desi Arnaz brought the song into the fifties, and in 1959 The Eternals had a minor hit with ''Babalu's Wedding Day''. As far as we can tell, the story ends here. (HD)

 
Bill Johnson
''BAD TIMES AHEAD'' – B.M.I. -2:25
Composer: - Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Up Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 399
Recorded: Unknown Date January 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 30, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 340-B mono
BAD TIMES AHEAD / BOBALOO
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Johnson - Vocal
John Winfield - Guitar
Hubert Perry – Bass
St. Clair Pinckney – Tenor Saxophone
Albrister Cook Clark – Baritone Saxophone
More Details Unknown

Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

The ballad side, as they used to call it, is a fine example of early 1960s black music for white folks. There's enough sweetening here in the form of strings, echo and a soprano-driven chorus to support a Memphis industry in insulin supplements.
  
Johnson brought in his own band for the session, and within the year bassist Hubert Perry and Saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney would be in James Brown's Famous Flames. It's also possible that Albrister Cook who plays baritone Saxophone here could be the Al 'Brisco' Clark who later played with James Brown. Johnson himself went on to record for Shelby Singleton as Big John Hamilton soon after Singleton bought Sun. (HD)

 
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