CONTAINS

PI 3516-3586 Audio Series 

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 
Buddy Blake
"YOU PASS ME BY" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Hank Snow-E. Nesbit
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 301
Recorded: - March 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3516-A mono
YOU PASS ME BY / PLEASE CONVINCE ME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Buddy Blake - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

If Blake's vocal style is hard to measure on this side, you need only turn the record over to understand what he, Sam Phillips and Jack Clement had in mind. "Please Convince Me" is a pop record by any standard relevant to 1957. From the piano triples and "doo doo wah" chorus, this is white pop music, and a pretty trite example at that. The last eight bars tell you everything you need to know about Blake and his roots. When evaluating the gentle acoustic feel of these sides, it's important to remember that Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin'" and Warren Smith's "Miss Froggie" were recorded during exactly the same time period.

For whatever reason, Blake's style held considerable appeal for Sam Phillips, who worked overtime with the local singer, scheduling sessions at 706 Union in March, April, May and June 1957. Blake left more that a dozen unissued sides from these dates which a quarter of a century of Sun archaeologists have never deemed worthy of resurrection. "Right Or Wrongly", Buddy Blake has never been the poster boy for Sun record collectors.  (HD)(MH)

 
Buddy Blake
"PLEASE CONVINCE ME" – B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Bettye Maddox
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - P 302
Recorded: - March 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3516-B mono
PLEASE CONVINCE ME / YOU PASS ME BY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Buddy Blake - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

The first Phillips International release extended the Sun career of Buddy Blake Cunningham. Blake had been last heard from three years earlier on SUN 208, a record most collectors remember with a shudder. The deservedly rare "Right Or Wrong"/"Why Do I Cry" makes most short lists for the least favorite and most anomalous early Sun release.

This time, Blake left his big band, night club crooner roots behind in favor of a gentle pop/country approach. "You Pass Me By", recorded and co-written by Hank Snow in 1950, is a curious piece of material structurally. It retains an odd tension and manages to violate most rules of traditional country songwriting. Cunningham's arrangement features strong yet subtle interplay between Roland Janes' electric guitar and Jack Clement's acoustic picking. There is a clippity-clop western rhythm that almost suggests a horse loping across the prairie. (HD)

 
Hayden Thompson
"LOVE ME BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Herman Parker-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 305 Master
Recorded: - December 11,1956
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3517-A mono
LOVE ME BABY / ONE BROKEN HEART
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Hayden Thompson - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jerry Lee Lewis - Piano
Marvin Pepper - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

The second Phillips International release was all the reassurance Sun collectors needed that this new label  would not specialize in tepid white pop music. This two-sided gen by Hayden Thompson put joy in the  hearts of rockabilly lovers and Sun fans everywhere and told an apprehensive world that the wildman,  unrepentant rockabilly antics at 706 Union had found a second home. There were now two Memphis labels  to watch and collect.

Hayden Thompson hung around the Sun studio for nearly a year beginning in late 1956, and everything he  committed to tape during this period has since been reissued. As Elvis Presley did on "Mystery Train",  Thompson and company borrow "Love Me Baby" from Sun bluesman Little Junior Parker and turn it into a  first rate rockabilly rave-up. In truth, Presley's theft was far more impressive. Parker's original of this tune,  especially its guitar figure, was considerable closer to the spirit and sound of rockabilly than was "Mystery  Train". In any case, as Sam Phillips was fond of explaining to all assembled guests, there was nothing  sweeter than recycling your own copyrights. (HD)

 
Hayden Thompson
"ONE BROKEN HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Hayden Thompson
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporation
Matrix number: - P 306 Master
Recorded: - December 20, 1956
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3517-B mono
ONE BROKEN HEART / LOVE ME BABY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Hayden Thompson - Vocal & Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Marvin Pepper - Bass
J.M. Van Eaton - Drums

On this flip-side, Thompson provided Knox Music with some original material of his own. Starting with a deceptive Latin rhythm. Thompson soon breaks free into 4/4 rhythm, much as his hero Elvis had done in this same studio just two years earlier on "Milkcow Blues Boogie". (HD)

 
Barbara Pittman
"TWO YOUNG FOOLS IN LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Universal Music Publishing Limited
Matrix number: - P 303
Recorded: - June 5, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3518-A mono
TWO YOUNG FOOLS IN LOVE / I'M GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal & Vocal Harmony
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Jack Clement - Acoustic Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Stan Kesler - Bass

Curiously, Barbara Pittman's lone Sun single, issued in September 1956 never had a follow-up, despite respectable sales and media attention. For some reason, Sun never saw fit to follow through on her "female Elvis" image, by billing her as a tough competitor to Janis Martin. Pittman was no stranger to the Sun studio in late 1956 and early 1957, but no further titles were issued until these sides, both of which are relatively gentle compared to the steaming "I Need A Man" on Sun Records.
 
On "Two Young Fools In Love", Pittman offers a fine multitracked performance of a melodic tune that told us as much about producer and composer Jack Clement as it did Ms. Pittman. Clement's acoustic guitar added a strong folkie feel to this venture that stood a real chance with the teenage marketplace in the fall of 1957. Granted, it was a very different segment of the record buying public than Barbara had appealed to with Sun 253, but things were beginning to chance. Clement's lyric and its references to high school dances and wearing rings on chains are pointedly teen-oriented in contrast to most Sun fare, but they were commercial shrewd.  In an 1989 conversation, Barbara recalled "Roland Janes engineered the session and forget to use echo. At first Jack was very mad at him, but then he listened to it and decided he liked it better without the echo. That's the way they released it". (HD) 

 
Barbara Pittman
"I'M GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME" - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 304
Recorded: - June 5, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International 78/45rpm standard single PI 3518-B mono
I'M GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME / TWO YOUNG FOOLS IN LOVE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
Elsie Sappington - Vocal
Hank Byers - Vocal
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Jack Clement - Acoustic Guitar
Jerry Lee Lewis - Piano
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Stan Kesler - Bass

On the flip-side, written by Sun alumnus Stan Kesler, comes far closer to the sound and feel of vintage rockabilly, yet it too is muted by comparison. Gone is the maniacal energy and slap bass of Sun 253, replaced by a more subdued, neo-huffle rhythm and bopping chorus (which probably includes Barbara's voice overdubbed). Roland Janes takes a wonderfully melodic 16 bar solo and shows off a style rarely in evidence on his more famous work with Jerry Lee. Barbara has a really distinctive voice, with a smoky edge and undeniably sexy quality. It is well suited to the theme of this surprisingly risque work. "I may not be the best lover in the world, honey, but if we keep doing it, I'm going to get better and better". What good ole boy couldn't smile at a deal like that? (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"RAUNCHY" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - William Everette Justis-Sid Manker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 309 Master
Recorded: - June 5, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard singles PI 3519-A mono
RAUNCHY / MIDNIGHT MAN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 150805 DI-3-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Alt Saxophone
Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Lapworth - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Otis Jett - Drums

Here it is, the record that put the fledging Phillips International label on the map.   So popular was this disc in 1957 that it inspired cover versions by a host of artists including Ernie Freeman and Billy Vaughn. At one point, Sam Phillips bought space in the trade papers beseeching the industry to listen to all versions and decide which was the original. Sam was on quite a roll in his defense of "Raunchy".   He described counterclaims against Bill Justis' version as "uncouth" and went on to talk about the need for originality. He underlined the importance of never becoming "stereotyped and parasitic". Big words for a guy in the record business but he was right about one thing: PI 3519 was neither of those things.

In truth, the artist, Bill Justin, was far too hip (and technically skilled) for Sun. His hilarious between-takes exhortations to his fellow musicians are thankfully preserved on tape ("Come on, girls, let's get really bad now so we can sell some records:). In countless interviews, Justis maintained that his technically flawed sax work on this record (which only adds to its zany charm) stemmed from being out of practice.   It may have been a mild musical embarrassment to him, but it kept Sam 'n Sun on center stage in the music business. It was surely one of the first instrumentals with a rock and roll sensibility, and as such it led inexorably to the Champs and Duane Eddy and a host of others who perfected the form.

Just what was "Raunchy"?   Was it an uneasy truce between big band music and rockabilly? You know in the first four bars that you're in the presence of something. Sax man Vernon Drane recalled to Colin Escott, "I managed the Bill Justis band for nine years. We had a great band right after the war. We modelled ourselves on Count Basie and Shortly Rogers. After Bill went to Sun, I came with him. I actually named 'Raunchy''.  ''I said, 'That's the raunchiest damn thing you've ever done. If you don't record it, you'll miss a million seller'. He gave me a hundred dollar bonus for naming it. The guitarist Sid Manker was really the guy that worked up that riff though. He was a crazy man, high on everything. Hell of nice guy, though". Whatever its title, the overall concoction didn't have much precedent in 1950s popular music. Another hybrid is born at 706 Union. (HD)
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"MIDNIGHT MAN" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Bill Justis-Sid Manker
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 310 Master - Vocal Roger Fakes and The Spinners
Recorded: - June 5, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1957
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3519-B mono
MIDNIGHT MAN / RAUNCHY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Roger Fakes - Vocal and Guitar
Bill Justis - Alt Saxophone
Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Lapworth - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Otis Jett - Drums
Band Vocals

There's not much to be said about the flip-side, "Midnite Man". Roger Fakes and the Spinners offer a vocal that no one in the industry seemed to take very seriously. By the time Sam Phillips saw fit to issue a Bill Justis LP (the first on the PI label), this track was conspicuously omitted. What is frightening, though, is that early disc jockeys copies of the disc were mailed with "Midnite Man" marked as the hit side. What were they thinking? (HD)