If ''High School Confidential'' proved hard to pin down, the story behind two subsequent pitches at regaining a place in the pop charts, an ambition now seriously compromised by events in Lewis' private ''life'', is no less convoluted. The first of these, ''Break Up'', forged the first links between the performing talents of Lewis and the writing skills of Charlie Rich. The development of this song over several weeks again raises the question as to whether we are dealing with ''different takes'' or ''different versions'' of a denominated title. Certainly there are several distinctive approaches taken insofar as the opening bars of the song are concerned, including one in which Jerry Lee's intro is lifted cheekily from a contemporary instrumental hit, The Champs' ''Tequila''. Even within the recognisable ''sub-groups'' there is little consistency; Jerry Lee Lewis clearly had difficulty in coming to terms with how best to open proceedings.(*)
The evolution of ''Break Up'' also invites a close examination and re-appraisal of the story of a so-called ''solo session'' in which Jerry Lee Lewis ostensibly performs with no accompaniment, previously identified as having taken place in May 1958, shortly before his departure for England. It is now being argued that several takes of ''Break Up'' had, in fact, already been taped before the song was performed four times during what has hitherto been defined as an isolated session involving Jerry Lee alone. This assertion does, of course, run contrary to the notion, put forward in earlier discographies, that the ''solo'' takes of ''Break Up'' predate all the other alternates of this song. The established chronology id, however, considered highly improbable, certainly if one accepts as valid the dates of July 16, 17, 1958 for the session at which the master of ''Break Up'' was produced, dates which for once were logged in Sun's accounts in accordance with union procedures and which tie-in with the mid-August release date of the record.(*)
As the ensemble first tries to get to grips with ''Break Up'', Jerry Lee at times struggles with fitting the lyrics to the differing tempos applied to the song. However, by the time of the ''solo session'' Lewis is no stranger to ''Break Up''; at this stage in the proceedings he's well versed in the lyrics and he performs the song with great confidence, realising its potential as a medium to show off his pumping piano technique. Moreover, there's also some discussion about the style of the intro itself and apparent approval of a pattern which proves to be close to the arrangement heard on the finished article, as released on Sun 303. In light of this, it's hard to avoid the realisation that the ''solo session'', at least insofar as the recording of ''Break Up'' is concerned, did not take place in May, but was an interregnum during which Jerry Lee was let loose to innovate between sessions involving other musicians.(*)
It's entirely possible that the solo recordings do not, in fact, represent the outcome of one session; much of the evidence points to them being the products of separate engagements when Lewis was alone or was simply rehearsing in advance of the other musicians assembling in the studio. Moreover, several of these tapes, conspicuously those of ''That Lucky Old Sun'', ''Crazy Arms'' and ''Live And Let Live'', testify to the presence of a drummer who is providing some metronomic brushwork to help keep time; they aren't, in the strictest sense, ''solo'' performances as usually credited anyway. The bona fide piano only works do, however, appear to include ''Come What May'' and ''Memory Of You'' and several run-throughs of ''Break Up'', albeit a drummer may still have been present and simply further ''off mike''.(*)
The ensuing three attempts, embracing one extended false start, feature the ''Tequila'' intro. It's an imaginative experiment, but destined to fail; Jerry Lee's frustration with the arrangement is made all too obvious as he applies this atypical figure for a third and final time.(*)
It's hoped that the foregoing will help listeners at least to distinguish between groups, or pairs, of takes; the work of further subdividing the recordings shouldn't be too taxing given the various twists in phrasing, both vocally and on the piano, that Jerry Lee employs. It all else fails, simply fast forward to the solos in each performance, generally to be found at around the 1.20 mark.(*)
It is believed that this is the juncture at which we would review Lewis' unaccompanied studio work on ''Break Up''. In all four solo takes, Jerry Lee again starts by repeating the five chord cascade, falling at first then rising on the final two beats, followed by hammering eight beats on the same chord. This time, however, the second sequence of falling and rising chords is in a lower key. The idea seems to win approval.(*)
At this juncture we also encounter another change of some significance, which helps us understand the progress of these sessions. The starting point, in trying to determine the correct order of seventeen complete alternates, culminating in the master, is the opening line in the vocal. Listeners will be accustomed to the way in which, on the master itself, Jerry Lee starts proceedings with ''well, who's that guy''. While this phrase is a defining characteristic both of the 'solo session'' takes and the four takes that have been placed immediately ahead of the master, it is not heard in any of the recordings which anticipate the solo work. All these earlier takes start with ''(well), that little guy'', the form of words that Ray Smith used in his March 19, 1958 demo and which Charlie Rich himself sang when he recorded his own song. This factor alone sets apart the early takes from the ''solo session'' and the several takes recorded subsequently which came before the finished master.(*)
This song recorded here by Jerry Lee Lewis is certainly the most important "forgotten" songs. Written by Franklin Tableporter, the original was recorded by Clyde McPhatter (Atlantic 1185), who had scored a minor hit with it in 1958. McPhatter's recording reached number 43 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and number 20 on the rhythm and blues chart. The full title of the song is "Come What May (You Are Mine)". Elvis Presley recorded ''Come What May'' on May 28, 1966 at the RCA Studio B. in Nashville, Tennessee, and was the B-side of "Love Letters". Elvis single release never made the charts, but it was listed as "Bubbling Under" at number 109. The song has not yet appeared on an RCA album during Elvis' lifetime. The original master tapes for Elvis' "Come What May" have been lost.
Of Course, "Johnny B. Goode" is a 1958 rock and roll song written and originally first performed by Chuck Berry. The song was a major hit among both black and white audiences peaking at number 2 on Billboard magazine's Hot Rhythm And Blues chart and number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is one of Berry's most famous recordings, has been covered by many artists, and has received several honors and accolades. It is also considered to be one of the most recognizable songs in music history. The song is ranked as number seven on Rolling Stone's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Written by Berry in 1955, the song is about a poor country boy who plays a guitar "just like ringing a bell'', and who might one day have his "name in lights''. Berry has acknowledged that the song is partly autobiographical, and originally had "colored boy" in the lyrics, but he changed it to "country boy" to ensure radio play. As well as suggesting that the guitar player is good, the title hints at autobiographic elements because Berry was born at 2520 Goode Avenue in St. Louis. The song was initially inspired by Berry's piano player, Johnnie Johnson, though developed into a song mainly about Berry himself. Though Johnnie Johnson played on many other Chuck Berry songs, it was Lafayette Leake who played piano on this song. The opening guitar riff on "Johnny B. Goode" is essentially a note-for-note copy of the opening single-note solo on Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like A Woman" (1946), played by guitarist Carl Hogan. Neither the guitar intro nor the solo are played at once. Chuck Berry played the introducing parts together with the rhythm guitar and overdubbed later the missing solo runs. Berry has written three more songs involving the character Johnny B. Goode, "Bye Bye Johnny", "Go Go Go", and "Johnny B. Blues"; and titled an album, and the nearly 19 min instrumental title track from it, as "Concerto In B. Goode".
Berry's recording of the song was included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft as representing rock and roll, one of four American songs included among many cultural achievements of humanity. When Chuck Berry was inducted into the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23, 1986, he performed "Johnny B. Goode" and "Rock And Roll Music", backed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The Hall of Fame included these songs and "Maybellene" in their list of the 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, for its influence as a rock and roll single.
In the 1984 film ''Threads'', the song is heard three times. The first time is when core characters Ruth Beckett and Jimmy Kemp discuss the future of their relationship before the outbreak of nuclear war, in his car overlooking Sheffield. The second time is when Jimmy is at a pub, drinking with his mate. The last time is fourteen years after the nuclear holocaust, as Ruth and Jimmy's daughter Jane, heavily pregnant, struggles to find a hospital in which to give birth. The song seems to be emanating from a nightclub, pub or brothel within the devastated post-apocalyptic town.
In the 1985 film ''Back To The Future'', Marty McFly performs the song with the fictional band Marvin Berry and the Starlighters during the "Enchantment Under the Sea" high school dance, set in November 1955. Mark Campbell (of Jack Mack and the Heart Attack fame) sang the vocals and Tim May played the guitar, with Michael J. Fox shown miming to both. This scene was revisited in Back to the Future Part II (1989). During Marty's rendition of the song, Marvin telephones his cousin Chuck, to have him hear what might be the "new sound" Chuck is looking for. During his time in World Championship Wrestling, Marc Mero wrestled under the ring name Johnny B. Badd, an homage to the song. This song plays whenever Calgary Flames player Johnny Gaudreau scores, as well as Tampa Bay Lightning's Tyler Johnson.
Country musician Buck Owens' version of "Johnny B. Goode" topped Billboard magazine's Hot Country Sides chart in 1969. Jimi Hendrix had a posthumous hit with "Johnny B. Goode" peaking at number 35 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart in 1972 and number 13 on the New Zealand Top 50 in 1986. Peter Tosh's version of the song peaked at number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 48 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart, number 10 in the Netherlands, and number 29 in New Zealand. Judas Priest's version reached number 64 on the UK Singles Chart in 1988.
Jerry Lee Lewis' version of "That Lucky Old Sun" is a 1949 popular song with music by Beasley Smith and words by Haven Gillespie. Like "Ol' Man River", its lyrics contrast the toil and intense hardship of the singer's life with the obliviousness of the natural world.
The biggest hit version of the song was by Frankie Laine. This recording was released by Mercury Records as catalog number 5316. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on August 19, 1949 and lasted 22 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 1. The recording by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3531 on 78 rpm and 47-3018 on 45 rpm in the USA and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 9836. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on September 16, 1949 and lasted 14 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 9. The recording by Louis Armstrong was released by Decca Records as catalog number 24752. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on October 14, 1949 and lasted 3 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 24. Frank Sinatra released his competing version of the song on the Columbia label catalog number 38608. It reached the best sellers chart on October 29, 1949 and peaked at number 16. Included on his ''The Best of The Columbia Years 1943-1952'' album.
Other significant recordings are; Pat Boone on the album ''Howdy''! In 1957; The Buffalo Bills, a barbershop quartet, recorded it as a solo for their tenor, Vern Reed; The rhythm and blues singer LaVern Baker released a version of the song in 1955 as the "A" side of a release on Atlantic Records; Jerry Lee Lewis recorded an unreleased solo version at Sun Studios in July 1959; A version by Sam Cooke appeared on his debut LP ''Sam Cooke'' in 1957; The Velvets released their doo wop version of the song on Monument records around 1960-1961; A version by Ray Charles appeared on his 1963 album ''Ingredients In A Recipe For Soul''. (This recording is also included as a bonus track on post-1988 CD reissues of Charles' landmark 1962 album ''Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music''; Aretha Franklin recorded the song for her album "The Electrifying Aretha Franklin" in 1962; George Benson recorded the song for his album ''Goodies'' in 1969; Paul Williams recorded a version of the song for his 1972 album ''Life Goes On''; Willie Nelson recorded a version on the 1976 album ''The Sound In Your Mind'' which was also released as an extra track on the reissued Stardust, ''30th Anniversary Legacy Edition'''; The Jerry Garcia Band performed a version on the ''Jerry Garcia Band'' live album in 1991; American rhythm and blues and boogie-woogie pianist and singer Little Willie Littlefield recorded a version for his 1994 album ''Yellow Boogie And Blues''; Johnny Cash covered it on the album ''American III: Solitary Man in 2000''; Brian Wilson premiered a song cycle inspired by the song entitled That Lucky Old Sun (A Narrative) at the Royal Festival Hall, London, England on September 10, 2007; A duet with Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson is included on Chesney's 2008 album ''Lucky Old Sun''. This version reached number 56 on the Hot Country Songs chart, based on unsolicited airplay; Dick Haymes covered an version for his album ''Once In A Lifetime''; Chris Isaak recorded a cover version of the song for his 2011 album ''Beyond The Sun'', and Bob Dylan recorded a version for his 2015 Frank Sinatra covers album ''Shadows In The Night''.
"Settin' The Woods On Fire" is the name of a single and the A-side song by Hank Williams released in 1952. Although it sounds remarkably like a Hank Williams composition, "Settin' the Woods on Fire" was written by Hank's song publisher and producer Fred Rose with an elderly New Yorker, Ed G. Nelson Sr. Williams recorded it with Rose producing at Castle Studio on June 13, 1952 in Nashville with Jerry Rivers (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), and Harold Bradley (rhythm guitar), while it is speculated that Chet Atkins played lead guitar and Ernie Newton played bass.
The song peaked at number 2 on United States Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, while the B-side, "You Win Again," climbed to number 10 on the chart. Author Colin Escott offers that the song "pointed unerringly toward rockabilly''.
Other significant recordings, Jerry Lee Lewis recorded an unissued version of the song for Sun Records in 1958; Johnny Burnette recorded and released a version in 1958; George Jones covered the song for his 1960 album ''George Jones Salutes Hank Williams''; Porter Wagoner recorded the song for his 1963 LP ''A Satisfied Mind''; and The Tractors recorded the song for their 1994 eponymous debut album.
There are a couple more issues worthy of examination in the story of ''Break Up''. First, several tapes in the Sun vaults reveal an assortment of overdubs applied to one of the four solo renditions of the song. Additionally, take 8 was subjected to an experimental overdub, with a male chorus providing a ''shoo-shoowop-bop'' refrain, although the pre-penultimate attempt was embellished not only with a vocal chorus but, in a separate exercise, with supplementary drums, bass and guitar; the latter has found its way into the public domain courtesy of Rhino and Sun Entertainment on random compilations in recent years and is presented on BCD 17254-18-22-23-24. These overdubs may have been no more than trials to prove the integrity of the arrangement ultimately chosen for the production of the release master, before studio time was then booked with all in attendance to complete the recording. Consideration may even have been given to fabricating a master out of the ''solo session'' work by applying an overdub track before a last attempt was made to cut the definitive version in a conventional manner. Conceivably, the master itself may be an example of the overdubbing of bass and/or guitar, with the original tape having been discarded; while thought unlikely, the proposition can't be ruled out.(*)
The final matter is the intriguing possibility that the surviving fragments of ''Break Up'', i.e. the ''incomplete takes'', may have been left aside in anticipation of their possible use in forging saleable merchandise from component parts of two or more alternates. It had proved successful in the case of ''High School Confidential'' and the practice may have been still been in mind when it came to ''Break Up'', although it must be conceded that no hard evident has been found in this instance.(*)
Other significant recordings are by Ray Price cut the song on Columbia in 1957; Ricky Nelson recorded a version for Imperial in 1958; Kitty Wells recorded it for Decca; Marty Robbins covered the song for Columbia in 1961; Tennessee Ernie Ford cut the song in 1961; George Jones included the song on his 1960 album ''George Jones Salutes Hank Williams''. In his autobiography, Jones printed the first six lines of the song and stated, "Its lyrics couldn't be more simple, or profound''; Sun Records released an recording version by Johnny Cash for his 1960 album ''Sings Hank Williams''; Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a version for Sun Records, with characteristic bravado, he changed it to "You Can't Help It (If You're Still In Love With Me)''; Patsy Cline cut the song for Decca; Burl Ives recorded the tune for Decca, and Ferlin Husky recorded it in 1961.
In 1962, Connie Stevens recorded ''I Can't Help It'' for the 1962 album ''The Hank Williams Songbook'', and the son of Williams Sr., Hank Williams Jr. recorded it for his 1963 album LP ''Sings The Songs Ff Hank Williams''; Charlie Rich covered the song in 1963; Dean Martin cut the song for Reprise; Eddy Arnold recorded the song in 1964; Marty Robbins included it on his 1968 LP ''I Walk Alone''; Ernest Tubb covered the song in 1968; Stonewall Jackson recorded the song for Columbia in 1969; ''I Can't Help It'' appears on Roy Orbison's 1970 LP ''Hank Williams The Roy Orbison Way''; Glen Campbell recorded it for his 1973 album ''I Remember Hank Williams''; Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris covered the song in 1974, and the song is featured on the reissue of Willie Nelson's 1975 LP ''Red Headed Stranger'' album as a bonus track. Charlie McCoy recorded it as an instrumental in 1977; Charlie Pride recorded it on his 1980 tribute ''There's A Little Bit Of Hank In Me'' with Loretta in a duet. Conway Twitty recorded ''I Can't Help It'' and was released as flip-side of the 1993 single "Divine Hammer''.
MGM Records released "Lovesick Blues" in February 1949, and it became an overnight success, quickly reaching number one on Billboard's Top Country & Western singles and number 24 on the Most Played in Jukeboxes list. The publication named it the top country and western record of the year, while Cash Box named it "Best Hillbilly Record of the Year". Several cover versions of the song have been recorded. The most popular, Frank Ifield's 1962 version, topped the UK Singles Chart. In 2004, Hank Williams' version was added to the National Recording Registry.
"Lovesick Blues" was originally entitled "I've Got the Lovesick Blues" and published by Jack Mills, Inc. in 1922; Irving Mills authored the lyrics and Cliff Friend composed the music. It was first performed by Anna Chandler in the Tin Pan Alley musical Oh! Ernest and first recorded by Elsie Clark on March 21, 1922 with Okeh Records. Following the recording, Cliff and Friend copyrighted the song on April 3, 1922. It was featured in a show at the Boardwalk Club in New York City in June 1922 and also recorded by Jack Shea on Vocalion Records later that summer.
On September 1, 1925, OKeh Records sent scout Ralph Peer and a recording crew to Asheville, North Carolina. Among the aspiring artists recorded by Peer was Emmett Miller. Accompanied by Walter Rothrock on the piano, Miller cut four sides for the label, including "Lovesick Blues". The single was paired with "Big Bad Bill (is Sweet William Now)" and released in November 1925. On June 12, 1928 accompanied by the Georgia Crackers (Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Eddie Lang, and Leo McConville), Miller re-recorded the song, which was subsequently released to weak sales. Miller's version was covered by country music singer Rex Griffin in December 1939 on Decca Records. Griffin rearranged the song by using the original chorus - "I got a feeling called the blues", as a verse and turning the verse "I'm in love, I'm in love, with a beautiful gal" into the new chorus.
Hank Williams, who heard both the Miller and Griffin versions, started performing the song on the Louisiana Hayride shortly after joining in August 1948. Horace Logan, the show's producer and programming director for KWKH, reported that the audience "went crazy" the first time Williams performed the song on the show. In light of the live audience's strong positive reaction, Williams decided to record the song. His decision was questioned by his musicians and also his producer, Fred Rose, who felt that the song did not merit a recording. Williams, mindful of the reaction he received live, persisted, and the recording took place during the final half hour of a session recorded at Herzog Studio in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 22, 1948. For this recording, Williams replaced the jazz musicians with a modern country music band, using a rhythm guitar, mandolin, string bass, drums and a steel guitar. Williams' session band was composed of Clyde Baum (mandolin), Zeke Turner (electric guitar), Jerry Byrd (steel guitar), Louis Innis (rhythm guitar), Tommy Jackson (fiddle) and Willie Thawl (bass). With little time left, Byrd and Turner replicated the musical arrangement they previously used on an Ernest Tubb session for a cover of Jimmie Rodgers' "Waiting For A Train". In the episode of American Masters about Williams, Drifting Cowboy Don Helms recalls, "When they recorded ''Lovesick Blues'', Fred told Hank, 'That song's out of meter! Got too many bars in it. And you hold that note too long'. And Hank said, 'Well, when I find a note I like, I wanna hold on to it as long as I can,' you know, just tryin' to be funny. And Fred said, 'Well, I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. That thing is so much out of meter, I'm gonna get me a cup of coffee and when I get back maybe ya'll have that thing cut.' And they did, but it was still out of meter. So Fred lived with that the rest of his life''. Williams combined Griffin's lyrical arrangement with a two-beat honky-tonk track, borrowing the yodeling and beat drops from Miller's recording. "Lovesick Blues" was recorded in two takes.
MGM released "Lovesick Blues" on February 11, 1949, coupling it with "Never Again (Will I Knock On Your Door)". The single sold 50,000 copies in the first two weeks. On its February 26, 1949 review, Billboard: "Hank's razz-mah-tazz approach and ear-catching yodeling should keep this side spinning". Based on votes sent to Billboard, the record was rated with 85 points by disc jockeys, 82 by record dealers and 85 by jukebox operators. Between the three, the track scored an overall of 84. In reference to its 100-point scale, Billboard regarded the record as "Excellent". It reached number one on Billboard's Top Country & Western singles, where it remained for sixteen weeks and reached number twenty-four on Most Played in Jukeboxes. The magazine listed it as the "number one country and western record of 1949" while Cash Box named it "Best Hillbilly record of the year". In March 1949, Wesley Rose requested Williams to send him the records by Griffin and Miller to prove that the song was in the public domain. Irving Mills, the original lyricist, sued Acuff-Rose. The suit was settled on November 1, 1949 and it was agreed that Mills and Acuff-Rose would share the publishing of Williams' recording. Mills retained the rest of rights to the song as he had also purchased Friend's rights during the Great Depression.
Following the success of the song, Williams was invited to appear as a guest on the Grand Ole Opry, on June 11, 1949. After the performance, Williams received a standing ovation. "Lovesick Blues" became his signature song, which he used to close his shows. It was also his first number one hit, and garnered Williams the stage nickname of "The Lovesick Blues Boy". In 1949, the singer received second billing behind Eddy Arnold on the list of the "Year's Top Selling Folk Artists". Williams' version of the song was featured in the films The Last Picture Show (1971), Forrest Gump (1994) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994). In 2004, "Lovesick Blues" was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
The years have been kind of Roger Fakes. He didn't
belon g among the tortured souls who made so many of the recordings at Sun. He didn't see music as his one chance for deliverance from a bleakly predictable future on the farm or in the factory. He wasn't
prone to crippling bouts of alcoholism or depression. Life held more.
Elvis Presley and Roger Fakes on stage at Russwood Park, Memphis, Tennessee, July 4, 1956, and Roger Fakes today >
Beginning in 1963, Kraft Music Hall specials hosted by Como were presented about once a month, through 1967. During the 1963-1964 and 1964-1965 television seasons, Kraft Suspense Theatre (co-produced by Como's "Roncom Films") was broadcast in the same time slot during the remaining weeks.
In the fall of 1967, the Kraft Music Hall returned as a weekly series, but without Perry Como who abruptly ended his association with Kraft Foods after the 1966-67 season. A policy of guest hosts was implemented, employing some of the leading figures in the U.S. entertainment industry at the time, including Rock Hudson, Lorne Green, George Burns, Dinah Shore and Woody Allen. In 1968, the practice of regular hosts was reinstated, with programs starring, in succession, country singer Eddy Arnold, John Davidson (again) and Ed McMahon. Arnold's programs all featured an appearance by comedian/impressionist John Byner.
Other leading performers who appeared on the Kraft Music Hall on a reasonably frequent basis were Don Rickles, Alan King, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Mitzi Gaynor, Bobby darin, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Wayne Newton, Johnny Cash and Simon and Garfunkel.
''77 Sunset Strip'' make his debut, is an American television private detective series created byRoy Huggins and starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith and Edd Byrnes. Each episode was one hour long.
The show was the subject of an ownership battle between Roy Huggins andWarner Brothers, which was the proximate cause of Huggins' departure from the studio. The series was based on novels and short stories written by Huggins prior to his arrival at Warner, but, as a matter of legal record, derived from a brief Caribbean theatrical release of its pilot, ''Girl On The Run''. The show ran from October 10, 1958 – February 7, 1964.
Granville ''Stick'' McGhee, in the military, Granville often played his guitar and one of the songs, that McGhee was best known for his co-written song "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee". The original lyrics of the song were as follows: ''Drinkin’ that mess is our delight, and when we get drunk, start fightin’ all night. Knockin’ out windows and tearin’ down doors, drinkin’ half-gallons and callin’ for more. Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine! Goddam! Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine! Goddam! Drinkin’ wine motherfucker, drinkin’ wine! Goddam! Pass that bottle to me''! This song was one of the earliest prototypical rock and roll songs and was covered by Jerry Lee Lewis for his Sun International LP ''Monsters'' (Sun 124, April 1971) and Mike Bloomfield's Electric Flag (as "Wine"). The song lent its name to the alcoholic fruit drink, spodi.
In 1946, Granville and Brownie McGhee collaborated and modified the song into a clean cut version for Harlem Records. The song was released a year later in January 1947 at the price of 49 cents. The song did not get much airplay time until two years later, when Granville recreated the song for Atlantic Records. As a result, it rose to number 2 on the Billboard Rhythm And Blues chart, where it stayed for 4 weeks, spending almost half a year on the charts overall.
His songs attracted countless covers over the years. The first cover was by Lionel Hampton featuring Sonny Parker, then Wynonie Harris, and lastly, Loy Gordon and His Pleasant Valley Boys with their hillbilly-bop rendition. His song "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee" maintained its popularity throughout the 1950s by various artists, including Malcolm Yelvington, recorded on October 10, 1954 for Sun Records (Sun 211), and Johnny Burnette (Coral 9-61869) in 1957.
Jerry Lee Lewis also sounded very much at ease in November 1958 when recording Moon Mullican's 1950 hit ''I'll Sail My Ship Alone'', a song which he is said to have determined to release as a single even though no-one else at Sun much faith in the idea. The first of the seven takes stands alone on the basis of relatively sparse instrumentation; the saxophone player wasn't involved at this early stage. On the next they're still experimenting with the arrangement; the last twenty seconds or so of this take has a definite ''swing'' feel. Each one of the succeeding five takes features an unplanned vocal nuance somewhere in the second half of the first verse which sets it apart from the others.
In take 3 it's a ''but'' at 0:25, allowing for the false start, ahead of ''I guess''; in take 4 the superfluous ''but'' precedes ''I have built'' at 0:26; in take 5 Jerry Lee puts the ''love we shared'' in the past tense with ''was'' in place of ''is''; in take 6, the recording selected for original release, there's an inadvertent stutter on the word ''guess'' at 0:25; in take 7, rather than having ''planned'' all his dreams, exceptionally he sings ''to plan'' at 0:28. It is to be hoped that the listener can be persuaded at an early stage that these are all distinct recordings and may then simply revel in what follows rather than having to count the glissandi, or note the lack of them, in the solos.(*)
Of course, "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" is a 1950 song written by Moon Mullican (sometimes credited as "Morry Burns"), Henry Bernard (sometimes credited as "Henry Glover"), Lois Mann (sometimes credited as "Sydney Nathan") and Henry Thurston. The song was Mullican's most successful release, reaching number one on the Country and Western chart for a single week, and spending a total of nine months on the chart. "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" crossed over to the pop chart, reaching number seventeen. Patsy Cline also recorded this song on her last recording session, before she died in a plane crash. It was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1958 and by many others since such as Hank Williams, Skeets McDonald, Patsy Cline, Tiny Hill, Ferlin Husky, George Jones, Slim Whitman, Patrick Wall, Mickey Gilley and Leon Russell.
"I'll Sail My Ship Alone" is also an album title for several Moon Mullican original albums and more recent compilations. Irish blues singer Patrick Wall also called his 2011 CD "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" too. 1990s band Beautiful South released a song called "I'll Sail This Ship Alone". However, this song is lyrically and melodically unrelated although the title may have been inspired by "I'll Sail My Ship Alone".
''I'll Sail My Ship Alone'' was paired on Sun 312 with a Bill Justis and Charlie Rich composition ''It Hurt Me So'', upon which Sam, mindful of the difficulties encountered with ''I'll Make It All Up To You'', again asked Rich himself to take over the piano, thereby investing the song with an untypical sound for a Lewis title. The early experiments involved trying out a change of key but once things settled down, the ensemble produced four very similar sounding takes. With Charlie adhering closely to his own score these can best be distinguished by examining Jerry Lee's delivery, at around 0:25, of the line ''to see you with another boy'' which invariably involves a shift in the emphasis on one word or another in successive takes. A male vocal chorus was overdubbed onto the last of the four to produce a master for a release which, given Rich's influence, was barely recognisable as a Jerry Lee Lewis' record.(*)
''It Hurt Me So'' was recorded by Charlie Rich's as demo of the song that Jerry Lee Lewis recorded for his seventh Sun single. Actually Charlie contributed both the song and the piano work to Jerry Lee's release, leaving the Killer free to concentrate on his singing. Listening to their versions side by side is quite revealing. Without question, Charlie mines a stronger blues vein than here Jerry - which is doubly impressive considering that Charlie was not offering a finished performance for release, but merely a look at the song for another artist to evaluate and learn.
On this session, Jerry Lee Lewis turned his attention to ''Lovin' Up A Storm'' which, despite the continuing fulmination against his marital status, achieved a reasonable measure of eminence, briefly making the top ten in the UK. The hitherto unreleased first take of the song might just have served the purpose quite well had Jerry Lee not persisted in having another five attempts; everyone involved has got into a feisty groove for this classic rocker right from the off.(*)