Little Milton
"IF YOU LOVE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - James Cambell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 108
Recorded: - March 30, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 15, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 200-A mono
IF YOU LOVE ME / ALONE AND BLUE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Milton Campbell - Vocal and Guitar
Ike Turner - Piano
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Alto Saxophone
Cleophus Johnson - Bass
Lonnie Haynes – Drums

Milton display his gift for imitating bordering on plagiarism. This time it barely matters that he was plowing someone else's furrow. He borrowed the irresistible intro from Elmore James' ''Dust My Broom'' which, in turn, was the inspiration for B.B. King's 1953 hit, ''Please Love Me''. And, like B.B., Milton didn't play slide but approximated it with perpendicular-to-the-neck vibrato. Milton turns in a strong vocal, ably assisted by Ike Turner's piano and some persuasive percussion. B.B. King remembered Turner as one of the finest pianists he had heard and these tracks by Milton bear him out. (HD)(CE)
 

Sun 200-A 45rpm



Little Milton
"ALONE AND BLUE" - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - James Campbell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 109
Recorded: - March 30, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 15, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 200-B mono
ALONE AND BLUE / IF YOU LOVE ME
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Milton Campbell - Vocal and Guitar
Ike Turner - Piano
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Alto Saxophone
Cleophus Johnson - Bass
Lonnie Haynes – Drums

So who was Little Milton channelling this time? Percy Mayfield's lugubrious ballads, most likely. Sam Phillips certainly saw promise in Milton's sharp-tip rhythm and blues, but it's hard to know why Ike Turner, who functioned as Milton's mentor-producer-session pianist didn't inject some of his fabled commercial logic into Milton's anonymous songs. Milton was tantalizingly close to success in commercial rhythm and blues. Just one great song was all he needed, but ''Alone And Blue'' wasn't it, and he wouldn't find it until ''We're Gonna Make It'' eleven years later. (CE)
 

Sun 200-B 45rpm



Hardrock Gunter
"GONNA DANCE ALL NIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Hardrock Gunter
Publisher: - Tannen Music
Matrix number: - U 113
Recorded: - January 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 201-A mono
GONNA DANCE ALL NIGHT / FALLEN ANGEL
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sidney Gunter - Vocal and Guitar
Ted Crabtree - Steel Guitar
Linda Lane - Bass
Bob Summer - Drums
Alvin Tunkle - Piano
Tony Duke - Sax

''Gonna Dance All Night'', sold to Sun in January 1954, is a fusion of rhythm and blues and country music, yet very different from the fusion that Phillips achieved later that same year with Elvis Presley. The reason are clear: Presley was drawing from hillbilly music and country blues; Gunter was drawing from uptown rhythm and blues and western swing. This uptempo side was very close to the sound that Bill Haley was peddling with increasing success on Essex Records but, despite the fact that the group had a nice feel for the rhythm. Gunters' vocal is unmistakably white. Gunter had recorded earlier versions of this song in 1950 for Bama Records, and, ironically, both the Sun and Bama records were numbered 201. Phillips' cheque register shows a series of cheques made payable to Gunter's then current band and the song was copyrighted with Tannen Music on June 24, 1954. (MH)
 

Sun 201-A 45rpm



Hardrock Gunter
"FALLEN ANGEL" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Hardrock Gunter
Publisher: - Sheldon Music
Matrix number: - U 112
Recorded: - January 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 201-B mono
FALLEN ANGEL / GONNA DANCE ALL NIGHT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sidney Gunter - Vocal and Guitar
Ted Crabtree - Steel Guitar
Linda Lane - Bass
Bob Summer - Drums
Alvin Tunkle - Piano
Tony Duke - Sax

Sidney Hardrock Gunter made his name in and around Birmingham, Alabama, but in 1952 he moved to WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia. In July the following year he quit WWVA to return to Birmingham to resume his TV career. At the same time, he landed a disc jockey gig on an rhythm and blues station, WJLD, where the program director was Sam Phillips' brother in law, Jim Connally. Told by Connally that Gunter would record for Sun. Phillips asked Gunter to come to Memphis, but Gunter demurred. Instead he cut two songs at a Birmingham radio station.  Only the sax break distinguishes ''Fallen Angel'' from the country mainstream of 1954, but the sax was very much in keeping with Birmingham's uptown blend of country music and swing (the same blend heard in Cuck Murphy's music). The theme is familiar (in fact, Bob Wills issued an unrelated ''Fallen Angel'' in March 1964) and Gunter's vocal owes a heavy debt to western swing balladry. This is a very straight performance with none of the off-the-wall character of Phillips' best work. It actually stood a fair chance of garnering some action in the country market of that far-off year. Gunter was a known quantity and the single was a strong double-sided contender by the standards of the time. It was probably Phillips' lack of promotional capital and his unfamiliarity with the market that doomed it. (MH)
 

Sun 201-B 45rpm



Doug Poindexter & The Starlite Wranglers
"NOW SHE CARES NO MORE" - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Scotty Moore-Doug Poindexter
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 110
Recorded: - April 25, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 202-A mono
NOW SHE CARES NO MORE / MY KIND OF CARRYING ON
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-25 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Doug Poindexter - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Millard Yeow - Steel Guitar
Clyde Rush - Rhythm Guitar
Tommy Seals – Fiddle

This recording features such a determinedly backwoods vocal that it makes Poindexter's hero, Hank Williams, sound uptown by comparison. The melody bears a similarity to Williams ''I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'', but no matter, this is pure country soul with some real pain in the vocal. To underscore the Williams connection, steel guitarist, Milard Yow, even has some of Don Helms' directness and bluesy tone. The cowriter, Bud Deckelman, soon put Memphis country music on the map with ''Daydreamin''', a hit that Phillips missed. Hit or not, Poindexter's record was fiercely unafraid of its raw edges. (HD)(MH)(CE)
 

Sun 202-A 45rpm



Doug Poindexter & The Starlite Wranglers
"MY KIND OF CARRYING ON" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Scotty Moore-Doug Winston Poindexter
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 111
Recorded: - April 25, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 202-B mono
MY KIND OF CARRYING ON / NOW SHE CARES NO MORE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-26 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Doug Poindexter - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Millard Yeow - Steel Guitar
Clyde Rush - Rhythm Guitar
Tommy Seals – Fiddle

Scotty Moore kicking off with some striking notes and settling into a persistent bass-string figure. Doug Poindexter telling the risque story in his hillbilly tenor with a hard-edged echoed sound. "My Kind Of Carryin' On" was supported by a more conventional hillbilly performance on "Now She Cares No More For Me", written by Doug's friend, country singer Bud Deckelman. However, Sun's accounts show that the record sold only 330 copies in the first year.

The song itself was an important record. It was honky tonk shading toward rockabilly. Listen, for instance, to the dirty-toned electric guitar up in the mix. There is a lot of fire in this recording, perhaps due less to Poindexter's vocal than to the backing group led by Scotty Moore and Bill Black. From the evidence afforded by this song, they were already marching to the beat of a different drummer. Moore says that he wrote both sides of the record, but gave a share to his brother, Carney, for writing the lead sheet and a share to Poindexter because he was the singer, but that would be easier to swallow if he'd written more songs that sounded like this. It would have been good to say that this record deserved to be a massive hit but, of course, it did not stand a prayer. Billboard identified the major problem: ''Okay chanting from nasal voiced Poindexter. Big city buyers might not go big this but it should do well in the back country''. (HD)(MH)(CE)
 

Sun 202-B 45rpm



Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson
03 - "THE WOODCHUCK" - B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 115
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 203-A mono
THE WOODCHUCK / I'M NOT GOING HOME
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-28 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Robert Emerson - Vocal and Guitar
Ike Turner – Guitar
Jesse Knight – Bass
Robert Prindell – Drums
Bobby Fields – Tenor Saxophone
Raymond Hill – Tenor Saxophone

This was the second of five Sun singles Billy Emerson had released under his name. Sam Phillips was obviously impressed with this artist and was continuing to spend time in the studio with him, as well as invest in pressing.

''The Woodchuck'' gives us the first clear glimpse of Emerson's penchant for novelty. He had the ability to take popular expressions or nonsense rhymes and convert them into saleable songs. Although Emerson was not usually one to string together a series of blues cliches and hope for the best, ''The Woodchuck'' contains as incoherent a story line as one night imagine. Only the chorus is memorably, which is precisely what Emerson intended. The whole recording exudes such a good natured spirit that all is forgiven. As a bonus, rockabilly fans will notice that Ike Turner contributes some stinging licks here that would have been welcome several years hence at a Warren Smith session. (HD)
 

Sun 203-A 45rpm



Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson
"I'M NOT GOING HOME" - B.M.I. - 3:10
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 114
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 203-B mono
I'M NOT GOING HOME / THE WOODCHUCK
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-2-27 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Robert Emerson - Vocal and Guitar
Ike Turner – Guitar
Jesse Knight – Bass
Robert Prindell – Drums
Bobby Fields – Tenor Saxophone
Raymond Hill – Tenor Saxophone

''I'm Not Going Home'' is, as Billboard used to say, ''minor key opus''. It is also one of Emerson's lesser efforts. Which is precisely why B-sides were created: not to interfere with attention garnered by the A-side. The ending is further evidence that Sam Phillips, for all his genius in the studio, could or would not master the art of the fade-out. Here, the echo rises as the volume fades. And we still manage to hear the instruments quit before the fade is complete. (HD)
 

Sun 203-B 45rpm



Raymond Hill
"BOURBON STREET JUMP" - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 117
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 204-A mono
BOURBON STREET JUMP / THE SNUGGLE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Raymond Hill - Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Fields - Tenor Saxophone
Billy Emerson - Piano
Ike Turner - Guitar
Jesse Knight - Bass Guitar
Robert Prindell – Drums

In the late 1940s, there was a vogue for muscular sax instrumentals, and Savoy Records cornered the market with Wild Bill Moore, Big Jay McNeely, Hal ''Cornbread'' Singer, Paul Williams, and Sam ''The Man'' Taylor. The honkers' hey-day earned a swift reprise here. It's possible that Phillips saw ''Bourbon Street Jump's'' simple riff as a radio theme tune, and hoped that he would make back in BMI radio airplay money what he lost in session and pressing costs. And perhaps that's why he uncharacteristically grabbed fifty percent of the composer's share. (CE)
 

Sun 204-A 45rpm



Raymond Hill
"THE SNUGGLE" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 116
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 204-B mono
THE SNUGGLE / BOURBON STREET JUMP
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Raymond Hill - Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Fields - Tenor Saxophone
Billy Emerson - Piano
Ike Turner - Guitar
Jesse Knight - Bass Guitar
Robert Prindell – Drums

On April 12, 1954, Ike Turner A&R'd a Billy Emerson session at Sun that yielded ''The Woodchuck'' b/w ''I'm Not Going Home''. Before or after Emerson took the vocal mic, Turner persuaded Sam Phillips to let his longtime saxophonist, Raymond Hill, cut a couple of instrumentals. When Hill had recorded earlier at Sun he was a vocalist as well as a reed man, and the result can best be described as mixed. As a saxophonist, he's on safer turf, and so keen to show off his chops that he hardly lets anyone else squeeze in. This, the slow and greasy side, was probably the flip. The session costs, $112.50, were split between Emerson and Hill. For some reason, Phillips took fifty percent of the composer's share of both sides of this single. He did the same thing when Billy Love recorded a few weeks earlier; otherwise, he rarely cut himself in. (CE)
 

Sun 204-B 45rpm



Harmonica Frank
"THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 124
Recorded: - July 1, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 205-A mono
THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST / ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harmonica Frank Floyd - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica

What is a medical menagerist? Most of us long ago stopped wondering. Frank apparently wrote this song about his days in the Happy Phillipson Medical Show although parts of the song seem to derive from Chris Bouchillon's ''Born In Hard Luck/The Medicine Show'', which apparently sold 90,000 copies in 1927, one of them quite possibly to Frank Floyd. Frank runs through his schtick, throwing a few humorous couplets to get the folks gathered around. Just a few years before Frank recorded this tune, Hank Williams and a galaxy of stars were participating in the Hadacol Caravan and the blackface duo of Jamup & Honey was still on the Opry, so perhaps it is not quite as anachronistic as it seems. In any event, this is a fascinating little glimpse back into a past that none of us will ever experience. The blues may have timeless relevance but ''The Great Medical Menagerist'' is charmingly trapped in a lost world of salves, balms, notions, purgatives, tonics, and cure-alls. (HD)
 

Sun 205-A 45rpm



Harmonica Frank
"ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY" - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 125
Recorded: - July 1, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 205-B mono
ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY / THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harmonica Frank Floyd - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica

If Sam Phillips was after a fusion of black and white music, he'd found it. The problem was that it was the black and white music of the 1920s, if not the 1890s. Sun 205 was delightfully at variance with everything that was selling in 1954, but so, it must be said, was Elvis Presley who trailed Frank by just a few months. Frank used to say this was the first rock and roll record, which, of course, it wasn't, but there's a wonderful drive and contagious energy here that has survived the years well. Sam Phillips maintained that he recorded these titles in 1954 and not 1951 as had once been supposed. Certainly, aural evidence would bear out that Frank returned for another session. The sound quality is markedly improved and Phillips obviously used two tape machines to achieve the slapback effect. A mighty thank-you to Sam Phillips from posterity for preserving Harmonica Frank for us. (HD)
 

Sun 205-B 45rpm



James Cotton
"COTTON CROP BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - James Cotton
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 120
Recorded: - May 14, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 206-A mono
COTTON CROP BLUES / HOLD ME IN YOUR HANDS
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
James Cotton - Vocal possibly Percussion
Pat Hare - Guitar
Mose Vinson - Piano
John Bowers - Drums

By any criterion, this is one of the finest blues records ever made, easily transcending its origin as a barely disguised rewrite of Roosevelt Sykes' ''Cotton Seed Blues''. Here, country and city merge. The words are so deeply rooted in the Delta and the sharecropper's grimly predictable life, it's surprising that ''Cotton Crop Blues'' even got as far as Memphis, but Pat Hare's vituperative guitar seems born and bred of the city. hare plays the intro and under the vocal, he plays fills between the vocal lines, taken the solo, and has the last word. He's so omnipresent, ''Cotton Crop Blues'' is almost a guitar solo with guest vocal. Cotton replicated Sykes' lyrics, throwing in brooding asides like ''so dark and muddy on this farm''. It's Hare, though, who elevates the record to greatness. The Ominously pounding drums and piano underscore the mood. The solo was obviously preconceived (parts of it are reproduced note for note on other Hare recordings) but the fact that Cotton gave Hare the solo and allowed him to play under his vocal suggest that Cotton knew he was hearing something special. (CE)(HD)
 

Sun 206-A 45rpm



James Cotton
"HOLD ME IN YOUR ARMS" - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - James Cotton
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 121
Recorded: - May 14, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 206-B mono
HOLD ME IN YOUR ARMS / COTTON CROP BLUES
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
James Cotton - Vocal possibly Percussion
Pat Hare - Guitar
Mose Vinson - Piano
John Bowers - Drums

Every note of this song, from Pat Hare's intro to the simulated fadeout, is borrowed from Little Junior's ''Love My Baby'' although Cotton claims that he had guitarist Floyd Murphy first conceived ''Love Me Baby'' and played it over radio KWEM. In truth, if one had to plagiarize this is as good a place to start as any. In an interview, Cotton vividly recalled this session down to the fact that he had contributed to the rhythm section by playing ''drums'' on a cardboard box. Billboard picked it as the A-side, calling it ''listenable wax for the southern market''. (HD)(CE)
 

Sun 206-B 45rpm



The Prisonaires
"WHAT'LL YOU DO NEXT" - B.M.I. - 1:28
Composer: - Johnny Bragg-William Stewart
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 123
Recorded: - May 8, 1954
Tennessee State Penitentiary, Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - July 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm single SUN 207-A mono
WHAT'LL YOU DO NEXT / THERE IS LOVE IN YOU
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Bragg - Lead Tenor Vocal
John Drue - 2nd Tenor Vocal
William Steward - Baritone, Vocal and Guitar
Marcell Sanders - Bass Vocal
Ed Thurman - Tenor Vocal
Probably Hubbard Brown – Bongoes

In the 50 or so years since its original release, no fewer than half-a-dozen versions of both sides of this single by the Prisonaires have surfaced on various compilations. Both sides are compelling records, worthy of attention regardless of the group's novel status.

''What'll You Do Next'' has appeared both with and without percussion on different anthologies. Phillips expended considerable time recording it and rightly so. It is a fine song, worthy of his effort. The final released version is superb, if a bit thin on the bottom end. With the addition for a string bass to drive it, this record would have been a classic. As it is, the recording features fine interplay between the bass singer and harmony vocals. The arrangement builds considerable tension going into the final release (''Don't tell me you're not giving...''). Sam Phillips picket the correct take for release; virtually every element meshes in this effective and minimalist recording. (HD)
 

Sun 207-A 45rpm



The Prisonaires
"THERE IS LOVE IN YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Johnny Bragg-William Steward
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 122
Recorded: - May 8, 1954
Tennessee State Penitentiary, Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - July 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm single SUN 207-B mono
THERE IS LOVE IN YOU / WHAT'LL YOU DO NEXT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Bragg - Lead Tenor Vocal
John Drue - 2nd Tenor Vocal
William Steward - Baritone, Vocal and Guitar
Marcell Sanders - Bass Vocal
Ed Thurman - Tenor Vocal
Probably Hubbard Brown – Bongoes

''There Is Love In You'' is worth a long second listen. The big question is simply. Is this a secular or a religious recording? To whom is Bragg singing? His girlfriend or God? While artists like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke or Aretha Franklin have made careers of blending gospel and secular music, it has never been done like this. Initially, it seems a safe bet that Bragg is singing about God. There is joy, there is peace, there is hope, and there is rest in the object of his affection. These are not usually qualities associated with one's girlfriend, at least in popular music. The idea that he follows in the footsteps of this adored being, further suggests a religious theme. But then, suddenly, the other shoe falls. ''There is rest in you/When you're in my arms''. Hardly the place one expects to find the Big Guy: in Johnny Bragg's arms.

What has happened here? Perhaps the most reasonable account is that somewhere in his lonely cell, Johnny Bragg thought about those things most missing in his life and wrote a simple love song to them. A devotional, if you will. Peace and Love are simple things, rendered that much more desirable by their absence. Both and women are ways to achieve them, and the distinction between these sources was of secondary importance in Bragg's lonely soul. And so the lyric stands, in all its unorthodox ambiguity and honesty. Just the way Sam Phillips would have liked it. (HD)
 

Sun 207-B 45rpm



Buddy Cunningham & Cliff Parman's Orchestra
"RIGHT OR WRONG" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:46
Composer: - Lew Douglas-L. Laney-Clif Parman
Publisher: - Midway Music - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 127
Recorded: - Probably end May 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 15, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 208-A mono
RIGHT OR WRONG / WHY DO I CRY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Buddy Cunningham - Vocal
Cliff Parman Orchestra

Many, probably most, Sun collectors have never heard this single, which gives new meaning to the notion that ignorance is bliss. The earliest Sun catalogs, those simple one page sheets that were replete with typing errors, ominously listed Buddy Cunningham's record under the category ''Popular''. Now you know why. Hearing either side of this single for the first time may be the cruelest part of being a completist. (HD)
 

Sun 208-A 45rpm



Buddy Cunningham & Cliff Parman's Orchestra
"WHY DO I CRY" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Eddy-Hubbs
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 126
Recorded: - Probably end May 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 15, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 208-B mono
WHY DO I CRY / RIGHT OR WRONG
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Buddy Cunningham - Vocal
Cliff Parman Orchestra

Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Buddy Cunningham had given up a career as a minor league pitcher to concentrate on singing. In July 1954 he was living in Memphis very close to Sam Phillips, and he was the closest thing to a star on the Sun roster that month too. His Valley recording of ''Angel In The Sky'', which, like this record, was also directed by Cliff Parman had been a good regional seller earlier in 1954.

Did Sam hear something special here he thought he could sell? God knows what might have happened to the fledgling Sun label if this record had sold. Still, Sam gave Buddy a second kick at the can on Phillips International in 1957, and Buddy's son, B.B., went on to become a luminary in the local scene as a member of the Hombres. Buddy himself went on to start a collection agency which may have repo'd the automobiles of several members of the Sun roster. (HD)(CE)
 

Sun 208-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"THAT'S ALL RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Arthur Crudup
Publisher: - Wabash Music Corporation- Crudup Music
Matrix number: - U-128 - Master Take 4
Recorded: - July 5, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The lyrics "my mama she done told me, papa done told me too" came from
Arthur Crudup's old blues song "Mean Old Frisco Blues", recorded April 15, 1942.
Released: - July 19, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 209-A mono
THAT'S ALL RIGHT / BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

This is it. Rock and roll may not start here, but this is undeniably Elvis' first record. True, there were other Elvis recordings before Sun 209, but this is the first time Sam Phillips (or any record company owner) decided the sound of fledgling Elvis Presley was worth duplicating and unleashing on an unsuspecting world. (HD)

Note: Very scarce first 45rpm pressing with ''209'' upside-down in the left portion of the label (U-129). The second edition had this corrected and also had the full ''Wasbash Music'' (side one) printed. Third pressings had ''209'' in the bottom, center position. It seems all authentic Sun editions have pushmarks. (HD)
 

Sun 209-A 45rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"THAT'S ALL RIGHT" - A.S.C.A.P. - 1:55
Composer: - Arthur Crudup
Publisher: - Wabash Music Corporation
Matrix number: - F2WB-8040 - Unknown Take
Recorded: - July 5, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The lyrics "my mama she done told me, papa done told me too" came from
Arthur Crudup's old blues song "Mean Old Frisco Blues", recorded April 15, 1942.
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6380-A mono
THAT'S ALL RIGHT / BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Reissued of Sun 209
 

RCA Victor 20-6380-A 78rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - William Smith "Bill" Monroe
Publisher: - Peer International Music
Matrix number: - U-129 - Take 4
Recorded: - July 6, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 19, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single releases SUN 209-B mono
BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY / THAT'S ALL RIGHT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Through extensive archaeology, most Sun fans have by now heard the preliminary recordings surrounding ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky''; the sound of an excited Sam Phillips bursting into the studio after a preliminary take, exclaiming, ''Hell, that's different. That's a pop song now''! Pop it wasn't - at least not the kind of pop typified by Buddy Cunningham, but it sure wasn't country anymore - at least not in the way intended by its composer, Bill Monroe. what Sam Phillips had finally produced here after months, maybe years of experimenting, was hybrid music.

What Sun 209 exuded on both ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' and ''That's All Right'', was, to borrow a perfect phrase from Darwin, hybrid vigor. The power of that vigor might not have surprised Darwin, but it sure took Sam Phillips and most of the music world by suprise. Within several moths of its release, both sides of Sun 209 were on the Memphis charts, ''That's All Right'' landing at number 7, and ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' edging out Hank Snow to grab the number 1 position. (HD)
 

Sun 209-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - William Smith "Bill" Monroe
Publisher: - Peer International Music
Matrix number: - F2WB-8041 - Take 4
Recorded: - July 6, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6380-B mono
BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY / THAT'S ALL RIGHT

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Reissued of Sun 209
 

RCA Victor 20-6380-B 78rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Roy Brown
Publisher: - Blue Ridge
Matrix number: - U-131
Reeltape With Alternate Takes Complete Destroyed
Recorded: - September 10, 11, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 22, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 210-A mono
GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT / I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

This time, Sam Phillips was not going to lose momentum. two Presley records in a row. Never before again in Sun's history were there consecutive releases by the same artist (Sun 234 and 235 might have been an exception, had 235 not been withdrawn from release). The message was clear: Phillips was concentrating all attention and resources on the new phenom - this alternately shy and outrageous truck driver from Crown Electric.

This time Phillips paired a pop song, ''I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine'', with another rhythm and blues tune, Roy Brown's ''Good Rockin' Tonight''. Even after just two records, it was becoming clear that conventional musical categories had little meaning in Elvis Presley's hands. (HD)
 

Sun 210-A 45rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Roy Brown
Publisher: - Blue Ridge
Matrix number: - F2WB-8043
Reeltape With Alternate Takes Complete Destroyed
Recorded: - September 10, 11, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6381-A mono
GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT / I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Reissued of Sun 210
 

RCA Victor 20-6381-A 78rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:27
Composer: - Mack David
Publisher: - Famous Chappell Limited
Matrix number: - U-130 Take 3
Recorded: - September 10, 11, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 25, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 210-B mono
I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE / GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

 A Presley record, whether it originated with a Patti Page single he heard on the radio, or an old King 78, sounded essentially the same: supercharged, emotional, sexy music. Dean Martin meets Billy Ward, as filtered through the Spirit of Memphis Quartet. A hybrid of disparate and passionate elements.

No one knew what to make of this young man or his music. These records were beginning to sell. Presley was attracting attention. People stopped and listed when his songs were played on the radio, and they pressed closer to the stage when he performed. If you were an established country star, it was no fun having this gyrating upstart performing before you as an opening act. Likely as not, by the time you got to go on, the audience was already spent. A revolution was quietly brewing after just several months and two releases. (HD)
 

Sun 210-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley - Scotty & Bill
"I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:27
Composer: - Mack David
Publisher: - Famous Chappell Limited
Matrix number: - F2WB-80-42 Take 3
Recorded: - September 10, 11, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6381-B mono
I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE / GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scott Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Reissued of Sun 210
 

RCA Victor 20-6381-B 78rpm



Malcolm Yelvington – Star Rhythm Boys
"DRINKIN' WINE SPODEE-O-DEE" - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Stick McGhee-J. Mayo Williams
Publisher: - Leeds Music Incorporated - Universal-MCA Music Ltd
Matrix number: - U 134
Recorded: - October 10, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 211-A mono
DRINKIN' WINE SPODEE-O-DEE / JUST ROLLING ALONG
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Malcolm Yelvington - Vocal and Guitar
Gordon Mashburn - Guitar
Jake Ryles - Bass
Reece Fleming - Piano
Miles "Bubba" Winn - Steel Guitar

Issued on Sun in November 1954, this was the first disc to appear on the label after the two-record debut of Elvis Presley that summer. This song and Yelvington's treatment of it was certainly consistent with Sam Phillips' approach to country music at the point. However, Yelvington was some ten years older than Elvis Presley and he had learned his music in a different are. The Star Rhythm Boys were essentially a western swing-honky tonk outfit, no matter how hard Sam tried to disguise the fact. As it turned out, the western swing treatment suited from an unprintable tune that McGhee had learned in the Navy, ''Drink' Wine Motherfucker''. He had first recorded it for Mayo Williams' Harlem label in 1947 and subsequently sold half of the copyright to Williams for $10. McGhee recorded the song for Atlantic in 1949 and it became one of the first hits on that label. Yelvington and the boys whoop it up in fine style with the help of a chorus that Phillips had literally brought in off the street. Yelvington sound a little uncomfortable at this tempo although his bullfrog baritone gets a chance to shine on the ''wine wine wine'' refrain. The group shows a little more affinity for the material. The guitarist was obviously proud of his solo because he used it twice, for the intro and the first break. However, he had listed some of the most memorable licks from Brownie McGhee's solo on his brother's original version. Reece Fleming's piano solo is rooted in the ''Your Red Wagon'' theme that became the base of ''Rock Around The Clock'' and countless other boogie tunes. Nevertheless, it is not hard to see why Phillips gravitated towards this song. It captured a proto-rockabilly feel and was a very natural blend of black and white styles. (HD)(MH)(CE)
 

Sun 211-A 45rpm



Malcolm Yelvington - Star Rhythm Boys
"JUST ROLLING ALONG" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Lavern Fleming
Publisher: - Leeds Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 135
Recorded: - October 10, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 211-B mono
JUST ROLLING ALONG / DRINKIN' WINE SPODEE-O-DEE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Malcolm Yelvington - Vocal and Guitar
Gordon Mashburn - Guitar
Jake Ryles - Bass
Miles "Bubba" Winn - Steel Guitar
Lavern Fleming – Piano

After honky tonk and western swing, the Star Rhythm Boys now veer closer to western music. It's delivered  in unison by Malcolm and Reece Fleming and another unidentified Star Rhythm Boy in an approximation of  the Sons of the Pioneers. As a member of Fleming & Townsend back in the 1930s, Reece Fleming was not  new to recording and he and Yelvington had gathered a more than competent band let by fine steel and  electric guitar players. There was little chance of ''Just Rolling Along'' becoming a hit, but ''Wine'' sold quite  well and Yelvington was perhaps unlucky that Sam Phillips was able to compare his sales figures with those  of Presley. It would be a year and a half before Sam found time to put another Yelvington disc. (HD)(MH)(CE)
 

Sun 211-B 45rpm



Doctor Ross
"THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Doctor Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 136 - Take 4
Recorded: - Late October 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 212-A mono
THE BOOGIE DISEASE / JUKE BOX BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
Tom Troy - Guitar
Bobby Parker - Drums

The good doctor is in fine form on his second Sun single. ''The Boogie Disease'' features a humorous and spirited vocal from Ross. Some of his lyrics are truly memorable. The man was not just spinning out cliches. (''Gonna boogie for the doctor/Gonna boogie for the nurse/Gonna keep on boogieing/Till they throw me in the hearse''). Ross claims that he can only get better; he can't get well. In truth, it is hard to imagine him getting better than this. This is post-war country blues at its finest. Ross's guitar work, especially during the main riff and solos has an undeniable rockabilly edge to it, a feature that has not gone unnoticed by collectors over the years. As usual, the ending cries out for a studio fade, and Sam Phillips refuses to oblige. He forces this tight little combo to end cold, which yields exactly the kind of chaos one might expect. No matter; this is a splendid entry in Sun's blues years. (HD)
 

Sun 212-A 45rpm



Doctor Ross
"JUKE BOX BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Doctor Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 137 - Take 3
Recorded: - Late October 1954
Title is misspelled on Sun label.
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 212-B mono
JUKE BOX BOOGIE / THE BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
Tom Troy - Guitar
Bobby Parker - Drums

The title of this flipside suggests a throwaway instrumental jam. While technically true, ''Juke Box Boogie'' also managed to be a rather melodic and engaging outing. Lots of reverb keeps things tense and involving despite obvious limitations in both format and number of musicians. (HD)
 

Sun 212-B 45rpm



The Jones Brothers
"LOOK TO JESUS" - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Eddy Hollins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 107 - 78rpm Only
Recorded: - Early January 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 8, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single SUN 213-A mono
LOOK TO JESUS / EVERY NIGHT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Jones Brother consisting of
William Gresham - Vocal
Jake McIntosh - Vocal
Charles Jones - Vocal
Eddie Hollins - Vocal
Johnny Pryke - Vocal
James Rayford - Vocal
Charles Bishop – Guitar

The Jones Brothers hold a rare honor among the black quartets recorded by Sam Phillips, their was the only release that appeared on Sun. Ironically, its dismal sales may have helped to doom any future prospects for gospel qyartets. as if the emergence of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins weren't already doing that. Curiously, this track was recorded and released over two years after Phillips' work with the more classic styles of the Bresteraires and Southern Jubilees. Perhaps he felt that the addition of an electric guitar and more blues-tinged gospel vocal made the Jones Brothers a better bet for commercial success. He was wrong, ''Look To Jesus'' is not a particularly memorable recording. Among gospel collectors it is typically viewed as very rare, but not particularly distinguished. Little fault can be placed with the lead vocal, which is certainly expressive and has an arresting, almost country quality. The arrangements is rooted in call an response, which may be the root of the problem. The background vocals are not particularly strong. Despite the number of singers involved, there is no strong bass and the overall choral sound is very similar to the range of the lead singer. The guitar does not help things and, arguably, dissipates some of the occasional vocal tension the group manages to build. (HD)
 

Sun 213-A 78rpm



The Jones Brothers
"EVERY NIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Jake McIntosh
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 106 - 78rpm Only
Recorded: - Early January 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 8, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single SUN 213-B mono
EVERY NIGHT / LOOK TO JESUS
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Jones Brothers consisting of
William Gresham - Vocal
Jake McIntosh - Vocal
Charles Jones - Vocal
Eddie Hollins - Vocal
Johnny Pryke - Vocal
James Rayford - Vocal
Charles Bishop – Guitar

Although the rich gospel tradition in Memphis was a wellspring of deep harmony a cappella singing, Sam Phillips never released any examples of it. True, he did record the Bresteraires and Southern Jubilees, but those sides were ultimately slotted for release on other labels, not Sun. The Jones Brothers, authors of Sun's only release by a black gospel quartet, features a very different approach to sacred music. These sides are performed in a soulish/shouting style that emerged after gospel music's Golden Era had passed. Perhaps Phillips saw it as more modern, or saleable to an audience who had their ears full of rhythm and blues. In any case, ''Every Night'' has many of the features of gospel music that continue to dominate the field. But surprisingly, despite a passionate lead vocal, the background singing is rather tepid. The entire outing is unfocussed and lacks the fire it might have conveyed. There's almost no tension here, although appeared to Phillips, and assuaged his frequently expressed commercial doubts, but the truth is, the guitar often clashes with or undercuts the power of the vocal. At the end of the day, many of the guitar lines might have been sung to greater effect. (HD)
 

Sun 213-B 78rpm



Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson
"MOVE BABY MOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - William R. Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 138
Recorded: - October 27, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 8, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 214-A mono
MOVE BABY MOVE / WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Billy Emerson - Vocal and Piano
Bennie Moore - Tenor Saxophone
Luther Taylor - Trumpet
Charles Smith - Alto Saxophone
Elven Parr - Guitar
Robert Prindell - Drums

Emerson himself admitted that this song owed more than a passing nod to the influence of Big Joe Turner (how could he seriously claim otherwise?). In fact, the melody is a note for note copy of Big Joe's hit of the day, ''Shake, Rattle And Roll'', and would surely have earned Phillips another lawsuit if it had been successful. For all its lack of originally, ''Move Baby Move'' is irresistibly rhythmic. Once again, Emerson sets up Bennie Moore for a fine sax solo. It's just as well that the rhythm was abetted by hand clapping because this is not one of Phillips' better efforts in the art of crisply recorded drums. Upon release in January 1955, Billboard picked ''Move Baby Move'' over ''When It Rains It Pours'', saying, ''This hand-clapping, foot-stomping opus is tailor made for the current trend... solid, irresistible beat sells this side. (CE)(HD)
 

Sun 214-A 45rpm



Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson
"WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - William R. Emerson
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 139
Recorded: - October 27, 1954 (Or September 18, 1954)
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 8, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 214-B mono
WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS / MOVE BABY MOVE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Billy Emerson - Vocal and Piano
Bennie Moore - Tenor Saxophone
Luther Taylor - Trumpet
Charles Smith - Alto Saxophone
Elven Parr - Guitar
Robert Prindell - Drums

Marion Keisker remembered Elvis Presley coming into the Sun studio asking if he could cover versions of the day's top hits. Sam Phillips had two good reasons for refusing: he didn't own the publishing and there were already enough versions competing for airplay. Thus, Phillips led Presley copyrights form his Hi Lo Music catalog whenever possible. Among these was Billy Emerson's ''When It Rains It Pours'', recorded by Emerson three months after Presley's first session. Presley duly recorded it for Sun in November 1955, although it wasn't finished. During the Million Dollar Quartet session in December 1956 Presley sung a couple of lines of ''When It Rains It Pours''. As the tape ran, he said he'd put it on an album if he could get a good enough cut. When Phillips asked if he had the record, Elvis asked for one. Phillips said he'd go look, and you can bet he did. Elvis cut it in February 1957, but Phillips wouldn't gave up a piece of the music publishing so Elvis publishers, Hill & Range, prevailed upon RCA to sit on the master until 1965. Presley unfinished Sun recording wasn't issued until 1983.

Emerson's record is by no means overshadowed by Presley's. Talking to Stuart Colman in 1980, he recalled the song's origin. ''We came all the way down from Chicago to record this record. We brought some fellas, some musicians, all the way down, car broke down, rain storm - It rained like water pouring out of a barrel, never seen it rain that hard... And you're talking about when it rains it pours, I sang that song from my heart that day''. Emerson went to describe how the car broke down and they stopped at a club they knew in Arkansas. The owner drove them to Memphis the next day to make the session. By then, Emerson had the song written. The instrumental break is a beautiful moment in Sun rhythm and blues history. Emerson's cry of ''All right''! sets up Bennie Moore's powerful solo, beginning with a tense sustained note. Moore was angry with Phillips for having to do so many takes and his frustration was vented here. Elven Parr's guitar had a fine dirty tone and his incessant chording ramped up the tension behind Moore. Emerson recorded the song again in 1959 for Chess (although the tape was lost) and for Mad Records in 1960. On the latter occasion, he changed the slightly bizarre line ''You really opened up my nose'' to ''You really opened my door'', and wrote a very appealing bridge. (CE)(HD)
 

Sun 214-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Charles "Jack" Alvin Sallee
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-141
Recorded: - December 20, 1954 - Sales 20,600 copy's
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 28, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 215-A mono
YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER / MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Unlike most artists who recorded for Sun, Elvis Presley did not turn up on the doorstep of 706 Union with a guitar case full of original songs. Presley was more likely to have heard a tune on the radio or jukebox, become obsessed with it, and to have worked up a novel arrangement with Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Although this gave music journalists something to write about, it was a costly procedure for Sam Phillips. Every Presley record pressed on Sun provided income for a music publisher. That income out of Phillips' pocket. By the third record Presley recorded for Sun, Phillips was determined to get at least one of his copyrights on the disk. This resulted in ''You're A Heartbreaker'', one of the weakest, least reissued tunes in the Presley/Sun archives. (HD)
 

Sun 215-A 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Charles "Jack" Alvin Sallee
Publisher: - Hill and Range Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - F2WB-8045
Recorded: - December 20, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6382-A mono
YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER / MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Reissued of Sun 215
 

RCA Victor 20-6382-A 78rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:38
Composer: - James "Kokomo" Arnold
Publisher: - Leeds Music
Matrix number: - U-140
Recorded: - December 20, 1954 - Sales 20,600 copy's
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 28, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 215-B mono
MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE / YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

The flipside of Sun 215 featured a re-working of the old Kokomo Arnold tune, ''Milkcow Blues''. Rather than simply rock up a slow blues, the gang decided to let you hear the whole process - from the turgid, almost free rhythm intro, to a verbal statement of dissatisfaction, ''Hold it fellas, that don't move me'', to a statement of intention: ''Let's get real real gonne for a change''. In truth, neither side of this record did much to solidify Presley's position or adds to his momentum. Almost as soon as Phillips saw the somewhat flat response to this single, he went back to the well and within three months had another single out that raised more than a few eyebrows. (HD)
 

Sun 215-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:38
Composer: - James "Kokomo" Arnold
Publisher: - Leeds Music
Matrix number: - F2WB-8044
Recorded: - December 20, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6382-B mono
MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE / YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass

Reissued of Sun 215
 

RCA Victor 20-6382-B 78rpm



Slim Rhodes
"DON'T BELIEVE" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Brad Suggs-Slim Rhodes
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 144
Recorded: - February 23, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 216-A mono
DON'T BELIEVE / UNCERTAIN LOVE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-25 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1


Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Vocal and Guitar
Dusty Rhodes - Fiddle
Dottie Rhodes Moore - Vocal
Slim Rhodes - Guitar
John Hughey - Steel Guitar
Spec Rhodes – Bass

Returning to the Sun studio after a four-year absence, Slim Rhodes rejoined Sam Phillips in 1955 with a sound based on hillbilly music more than the stripped-down western-swing sound of earlier years. His musicians were essentially the same, apart from steel guitarist John Hughey who had been working with Conway Twitty (or Harold Jenkins as he was then) in Helena, Arkansas.   ''Slim's steel guitar player, Rocky Caple, had gotten called into the Army in 1953'', recalled Hughey. ''Harold and I always watched their TV show every week. After Rocky left for the Army, Slim started advertising on TV for a steel player. Harold started in on me trying to get me to go and audition for the job, and I kept saying, 'I'm not good enough to play with those guys'. After about two months he talked me into it. Harold called Slim and made an appointment to go up and do an audition. Harold carried me to Memphis, and I played a few instrumentals and Harold sang a couple of songs. That was on a Monday night, and the following Thursday they called and told me to pack my suitcase and guitar and meet them at some little town in Mississippi. I forgot the name of the town. That was March the 12th in 1953''. Brad Suggs takes the vocal on ''Don't Believe'', which is a fairly ordinary country song. Billboard reviewed the disc in May 1955 describing it as ''a routine plea for proper understanding''. (CE)(HD)(MH)
 

Sun 216-A 45rpm



Slim Rhodes
"UNCERTAIN LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Dusty Rhodes-Dottie Rhodes
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - U 145
Recorded: - February 23, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 216-B mono
UNCERTAIN LOVE / DON'T BELIEVE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-26 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Dusty Rhodes - Vocal
Dottie Rhodes Moore - Vocal
Slim Rhodes - Guitar
John Hughey - Steel Guitar
Spec Rhodes – Bass

On "Uncertain Love" for the first time, Dusty Rhodes combined with his wife, Dot, to deliver this very pleasant hillbilly vocal. Dot had taken over from Bea Rhodes who had been the original girl member of the group through the early 1940s. Dot was featured in surviving radio air-shots from 1948. The theme of ''Uncertain Love'' was nothing new and the composition itself was almost a paint-by-numbers Hank Williams soundlike. However, the years that Dusty and Dot had sung together obviously bore fruit here in their unerring harmonies. The new boy on the block, John Hughey, contributed some lovely work on the steel guitar. Billboard showed the disc in the Memphis country Top 5 that May along with Webb Pierce, Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold and Charlie Feathers, and decided that the group had ''strong talent''. (CE)(HD)(MH)
 

Sun 216-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"I'M LEFT, YOU'RE RIGHT, SHE'S GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Chuck "Bill" Taylor
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 142 - Take 5 
Recorded: - March 6, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 217-A mono
I'M LEFT, YOU'RE RIGHT, SHE'S GONE / BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-27 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums
Probably Doug Poindexter - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Elvis Presley's fourth Sun single was the first to appear on a national chart. This single, more than any before it, established the fact that Presley was not just a regional artist.

Many Sun fans profess to like the unissued bluesy version of ''I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'' more than the maracca-driven uptempo take chosen for release. Nevertheless, this is a fine record, whose staying power may have been greater than the more limited and intense unissued alternative. Happily for Sam Phillips, this song had a home in the Sun publishing catalogue and will remain a source of income as long as Presley records are performed or manufactured. (HD)
 

Sun 217-A 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"I'M LEFT, YOU'RE RIGHT, SHE'S GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Chuck "Bill" Taylor
Publisher: - Hill and Range Songs Incorporated
Matrix number: - F2WB-8047 - Take 5 
Recorded: - March 6, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6383-A mono
I'M LEFT, YOU'RE RIGHT, SHE'S GONE / BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums
Probably Doug Poindexter - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Reissued of Sun 217
 

RCA Victor 20-6383-A 78rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:15
Composer: - Arthur Neal Gunter
Publisher: - Excellorec Music
Matrix number: - U-143
Recorded: - February 5, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 217-B mono
BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE / I'M LEFT, YOU'RE RIGHT, SHE'S GONE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-28 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums
Probably Doug Poindexter - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Both sides of Sun 217 remain distinctive records, among Presley's best. ''Baby Let's Play House'' was adapted from Arthur Gunter's Excello single which had received considerable airplay throughout the South. Gunter was a laconic vocalist and his primitive goodnatured recording bore little similarity to Presley's highly charged performance. This single has probably done more than any other to establish the hiccup as an essential rockabilly mannerism. There is an undeniable energy and tension to ''Baby Let's Play House''. It stems not just from Presley's confident vocal, also from Scotty and Bill's minimalist instrumental virtuosity. What follows Elvis's cry of ''Hit it''! is the stuff of rockabilly guitarist's wet dreams. (HD)
 

Sun 217-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:15
Composer: - Arthur Neal Gunter
Publisher: - Excellorec Music
Matrix number: - F2WB-8046
Recorded: - February 5, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6383-B mono
BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE / I'M LEFT, YOU'RE RIGHT, SHE'S GONE

 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums
Probably Doug Poindexter - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Reissued of Sun 217
 

RCA Victor 20-6383-B 78rpm



Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo
"I FEEL SO WORRIED" - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Sammy Lewis-Willie Johnson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 146 - Take 3
Recorded: - March 28, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 25, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 218-A mono
I FEEL SO WORRIED / SO LONG BABY GOODBYE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-29 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sammy Lewis - Vocal and Harmonica
Willie Johnson - Guitar
L.C. Hubert - Piano
Joe Nathan – Drums

Sam Phillips tried yet again in recapture the success he had found with Little Junior Parker's ''Feelin' Good''. His most obvious attempt was with Little Junior himself, but Phillips never deemed ''Feelin' Bad'', worthy of release. Although ''Feelin' Bad'' was by no means a weak record, this track is truly the ultimate sequel. In fact, in many ways, it eclipses the original. ''I Feel So Worried'' differs in some ways from Parker's original; the tempo is a touch slower and ''Worried'' is performed in a minor key, or at least comes close to being in a minor key. More on that below. The song also retains the vocal effect (the cry for a flatted-7 note to 8: for example, from B-flat to C) that made ''Feelin' Good'' so memorable, and it captivates the listener once again. Like many of Sun's best blues recordings, this track announces itself and demands attention within the first two bars. Sammy Lewis talk/sing style engaging throughout, and the brief and sudden appearance of a second harmonica at the end of the guitar solo is quite a strong tough.

Not knowing whether this record is in a minor key adds much to its appeal. Without getting too technical, the song is laced with blues notes (flatted-thirds). It's hard to know whether the song is actually written in a major key and features more than its share of blue notes, or whether those flatted thirds are actually part of a minor scale. There's no real way to be sure and whether you're a musician or not, that confusion creates a lot of appealing tension. A fairly well-known example is Dale Hawkins ''Susie Q''. The verdict is no clearer there than it is here. Lewis' vocal, like Parker's before it, is strikingly Southern. In this case, its back country ways may have restricted the disc's urban potential, although it is surprisingly that ''Worried'' didn't grab more attention even in rural venues. Nevertheless, the track is a gem deservedly regarded as one of Sun's best blues records. (HD)
 

Sun 218-A 45rpm



Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo
"SO LONG BABY GOODBYE" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Sammy Lewis
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Fort Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 147
Recorded: - March 28, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 25, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 218-B mono
SO LONG BABY GOODBYE / I FEEL SO WORRIED
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-30 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sammy Lewis - Harmonica
Willie Johnson - Vocal and Guitar
L.C. Hubert - Piano
Joe Nathan – Drums

This well played blues tune might have had a better fate had it not been buried as the flipside of one of the best records released on Sun. it's not as exceptional as the flip, to be sure, but there is plenty to like here. It's a rock solid 12-bar blues with a fine groove, but unexpectedly there's more than that. The line that has probably remained ingrained in those of us who heard this record as impressionable youths is Willie's immortal entreaty, ''Well all right Sammy, blow the back off it''. It's truly hard to get that image (or those words) out of one's consciousness. (HD)
 

Sun 218-B 45rpm



Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson
"RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 154
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 219-A mono
RED HOT / NO GREATER LOVE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-1-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

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

Emerson derived this song from a cheerleader chant ''Our team is red hot...'' and recorded it with a band put together by Phineas Newborn, Sr. Rock and roll was clearly the coming thing when Emerson and Newborn settled down to record this in May 1955. A Little over eighteen months later, Sam Phillips pitched the song to one of his rockabilly singers, Billy Riley, who stripped down the lyrics and goosed up the tempo while retaining Emerson's classic retort ''Your girl ain't doodley squat''. Bob Luman covered Riley's record, but from that point the song remained untouched until Sam the Sham recorded it in 1966 in Phillips' new studio at Madison Avenue. Ten years later Robert Gordon turned in a sizzling rockabilly, rather than rhythm and blues classic. (HD)(CE)
 

Sun 219-A 45rpm



Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson
"NO GREATER LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 155
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 219-B mono
NO GREATER LOVE / RED HOT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

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

Overlooked in the fanfare about ''Red Hot'' is the flipside, ''There Is No Greater Love''. Emerson offers a powerful vocal here, showing a more soulful style than appears on any of his other Sun releases. The entire recording has tremendous tension; you can feel it in Emerson's vocal, but it also runs through Calvin Newborn's guitar work. It would not be inappropriate to include this track on a ''Roots Of Soul Music'' anthology. The last four bars provide a marvellously sweet release from the tension and are similar to the ending of Guitar Slim's classic ''The Things I Used To Do''. (HD)
 

Sun 219-B 45rpm



Little Milton
"HOMESICK FOR MY BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - James Campbell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 153 - Take 1
Recorded: - March 30, 1954
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 220-A mono
HOMESICK FOR MY BABY / LOOKIN' FOR MY BABY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Milton Campbell - Vocal and Guitar
Ike Turner - Piano
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Alto Saxophone
Cleophus Johnson - Bass
Lonnie Haynes – Drums

A straightforward blues outing. Distinguised by yet another superlative guitar solo - once again demonstrating Milton's flair for aggressive phrasing - the saxes (Lawrence Taylor and C.W. Tate) weigh in with some rather soulful notes, whilst Ike Turner really shines in his somewhat limited supporting role on piano. (HD)
 

Sun 220-A 45rpm



Little Milton
"LOOKIN' FOR MY BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - James Campbell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 152 - Take 1
Recorded: - March 30, 1954
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 220-B mono
LOOKIN' FOR MY BABY / HOMESICK FOR MY BABY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Milton Campbell - Vocal and Guitar
Ike Turner - Piano
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Alto Saxophone
Cleophus Johnson - Bass
Lonnie Haynes – Drums

There is not a level on which this track does not succeed, except that the title wasn't hammered home sufficiently often for jukebox and radio play (in fact, the title was more an abstraction from the lyrics). Perhaps more than any other song in Milton's Sun catalog it emphasises what a terrific guitarist he was: his sense of timing and drama shine. This is a working definition of stinging guitar. There are other delights, notably Milton's spoken intro (''...see can't I find her'') and aside (''conductor, what state is this''?). Additionally, the whole group supplies a rhythmic hook by accenting the first beat in key measures. (HD)(CE)
 

Sun 220-B 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"CRY, CRY, CRY" - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 151 - Take 4
Recorded: - Probably May 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 221-A mono
CRY! CRY! CRY! / HEY! PORTER
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Reached at number 14 on the Billboard's Country and Western charts.

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

This is, of course, a landmark recording: Johnny Cash's first record for Sun, issued in June, 1955. If nothing else, it reveals that the essential of Cash's style were fixed by the time he set foot in Sam Phillips' tiny studio. It also shows that Phillips had a clear idea of how to record Cash from the first - a spartan style that would remain virtually unchanged through Cash's first half a dozen singles.

''Cry Cry Cry'' was based on a signature line used by Memphis disc jockey Eddie Hill: ''We're gonna bawl, squall and climb the wall''. In Cash's hands, this became ''You're gonna bawl, bawl, bawl''. Before it was recorded, however, the song took a more somber tone, as bawling evolved into crying.

''Cry Cry Cry'' charted locally and spent one week on the national country charts in November 1955. That was message enough for Sam Phillips. cash was clearly an artist worth investing in. Within two months, he would join the Louisiana Hayride and see the release of his second Sun single. (HD)
 

Sun 221-A 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"HEY PORTER" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 150 - Take 4
Recorded: - March 22, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 221-B mono
HEY PORTER / CRY! CRY! CRY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

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

Johnny Cash wrote the song while on his way home from a four year stint in the United States Air Force. He  was stationed in Landsberg, Germany, and as such felt elated to be returning to his native South. The song is  available on many compilations, such as ''The Complete Sun Singles Collection'', ''The Essential Johnny  Cash'', ''Ring Of Fire: The Legend of Johnny Cash Volume Two'', ''The Legend''. The song "Hey Porter" was  covered by Ry Cooder in 1972 on his second album ''Into the Purple Valley''. (HD)
 

Sun 221-B 45rpm



The Five Tinos
"DON'T DO THAT" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 148
Recorded: - May 26, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 222-A mono
DON'T DO THAT / SITTIN' BY THE WINDOW
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Five Tinos consisting of
Luchrie Jordan - Vocal
Melvin Walker - Vocal
Marvin Walker - Vocal
Haywood Hebron - Vocal
Melvin Jones - Vocal

Phineas "Calvin" Newborn Jr. - Guitar
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums
Jewell Briscoe - Tenor Sax
Moses Reed - Tenor Sax
Robert Garner - Piano
Kenneth Banks – Drums

The Tinos recorded a total of eight tracks for Sun, two of which were released on Sun 222. ''Don't Do That'' features a cutesy, ersatz sexy vocal, mambo rhythm and double length honking sax solo. If this record had been issued at the follow-up to the Turbans' ''When You Dance'', on the Herald label from New York. not on eyebrow would have been raised. In short, this was neither typical Memphis nor typical Sun fare. Its appearance in the fall of 1955 in the same batch of releases that included Elvis's ''Mystery Train'', came at a transitional time in Sun Records' history. The blues were on the wane evolving and the presence of sideburned hybrid music was becoming a greater factor with each passing day. (HD)
 

Sun 222-A 45rpm



The Five Tinos
"SITTING BY MY WINDOW" - B.M.I. - 3:24
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 149
Recorded: - May 26, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 222-B mono
SITTIN' BY MY WINDOW / DON'T DO THAT
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Five Tinos consisting of
Luchrie Jordan - Vocal
Melvin Walker - Vocal
Marvin Walker - Vocal
Haywood Hebron - Vocal
Melvin Jones - Vocal

Phineas "Calvin" Newborn Jr. - Guitar
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums
Jewell Briscoe - Tenor Sax
Moses Reed - Tenor Sax
Robert Garner - Piano
Kenneth Banks – Drums

The Tinos' weaknesses come into sharper focus on the slower tempo. The lead vocal isn't sufficiently commanding and the harmonies aren't as seamless as the idiom demands. In its depiction of idealized love, ''Sitting By My Window'' was conventional doo-wop, but if it had been on a conventional doo-wop label, it would be viewed as a lesser entry. On Sun, it's an anomaly. The backing group was led by the father-and-son team of Phineas and Calvin Newborn. By 1955, Phinea, Jr. was making a name for himself in New York; replacing him on piano was another Memphis legend, Honeymoon Garner. At that time, Garner was a disc jockey on WDIA, but in later years led a sax-organ combo with Fred Ford. (CE)
 

Sun 222-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"MYSTERY TRAIN" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Herman "Little Junior" Parker Jr.-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Memphis Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-156 - Take 2
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 223-A mono
MYSTERY TRAIN / I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums

If Elvis Presley (or anyone) ever made a better two sided record than this, it has yet to be found. On ''Mystery Train'', all you have is quintessential rockabilly: a confident, virile vocal, stacatto reverb lead guitar, audible rhythmic guitar strumming by Elvis, and driving percussive bass. If anyone ever asks you what a slap bass sounds like, just play them this record. There is not much room for improvement here. Even the abortive fadeout, during which Elvis's ''wooooo'' disintegrates into unselfconscious laughter, seems part of the magic. The distance between this track and Little Junior Parker's original (Sun 192) is immense, from the telling lyrical change (Parker's ''It's gonna do it again'' is transformed by Presley into ''It never will again'') to the tempo change from a sluggish freight to a runaway locomotive. (HD)
 

Sun 223-A 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"MYSTERY TRAIN" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Herman "Little Junior" Parker Jr.-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Memphis Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - F2WB-8001 - Take 2
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6357-A mono
MYSTERY TRAIN / I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums

Reissued of Sun 223
 

RCA Victor 20-6357-A 78rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-157
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: August 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 223-B mono
I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET / MYSTERY TRAIN
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-4-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums

The flipside, ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'', is no less powerful in its own right. For once, Sam Phillips commissioned a first rate piece of original material for his new star. Again, everything works here to perfection: the lyric, the melody, Presley's sexy crooning, Scotty Moore's memorable solo. Perhaps the strongest element is Johnny Bernero's drumming which, more than anything else, defines this recording. Shifting effortlessly from his trademark shuffle to a heavy backbeat during the guitar solo, Bernero elevates this record to greatness.

Finally, Sam Phillips had his dream: a two-sided masterpiece by his great white hope, and with both sides owned by his publishing company, Phillips was ready to do battle. This single, Presley's last for Sun, eventually became his first number 1 country hit. (HD)
 

Sun 223-B 45rpm



Elvis Presley – Scotty & Bill
"I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - F2WB-8000
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Memphis Recording  Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: December 20, 1955
First appearance: - RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6357-B mono
I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET / MYSTERY TRAIN

 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums

Reissued of Sun 223
 

RCA Victor 20-6357-B 78rpm



Carl Perkins
"LET THE JUKEBOX KEEP ON PLAYING" - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 94 - Take 2
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
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 DI-4-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

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. Holland - Drums

The trick is to follow Carl Perkins recording career in a forward direction, hearing this single 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 it's Carl, and we all know what came next. (HD)
 

Sun 224-A 45rpm



Carl Perkins
"GONE, GONE, GONE" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 95
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
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 DI-4-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Quinton Claunch - Electric Guitar
Bill Cantrell - Fiddle
Stanley Kesler - Steel Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums

The flipside, ''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 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 county. Billboard got the message, proclaiming ''The rhythm sound is unusual and contagious... a bouncy blues in flavorsome combined country and rhythm and blues idioms''. Indeed it was. (HD)
 

Sun 224-B 45rpm


 
 
 
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