Tommy Blake
"I DIG YOU BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Jerry Ross
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 312
Recorded: - March 16, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 300-A mono
I DIG YOU BABY /SWEETIE PIE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tommy Blake - Vocal and Guitar
Carl Bailey Adams - Guitar
William Edwin Bruce - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

This effort, which included the cream of Sun's studio musicians. Everyone is here, from Roland Janes to Stan Kesler to Jimmy Van Eaton. Yet the results still seem a bit forced. Its hard to blame the band for what goes wrong here. So why aren't the results more engaging? It comes down to Blake's performance. Unlike the best of Sun's rockabilly, Blake sounds like he's posturing here; almost like an old man trying to sing young folks' music.

"I Dig You Baby" featured on Tommy Blake's second and last single for Sun. Neither enjoyed much commercial success. In fact, a harsh verdict might be that both are deservedly rare. Blake's efforts have been minimized even by most collectors who lionize every minute of music that ever appeared on a yellow Sun label, or every note ever played in the tiny studio on the corner of Union and Marshall Avenues in Memphis.

The puzzle is even more pronounced on "I Dig You Baby". The band is superb. From the first four bars, this record sizzles instrumentally. How could anyone or anything dilute its effectiveness? A Tennessee hound dog howling against this backing track might have produced a classic Sun record, but Blake isn't up to the challenge. His lyrics are strained ("At the drug store we did meet"). And, once again, vocally he manages to drag the proceedings to the level of mediocrity. At best, this is an almost great record. You won't hear better, more powerful instrumental work anywhere in Sun's release schedule in the 300 series. But you're going to hear lots of vocals that'll make you wish Blake had stayed in Shreveport, Louisiana. (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 300-A 45rpm



Tommy Blake
"SWEETIE PIE" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Jerry Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Tristan Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 313
Recorded: - March 15, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 300-B mono
SWEETIE PIE / I DIG YOU BABY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tommy Blake - Vocal & Guitar
Carl Bailey Adams - Guitar
Edward "Eddie Hall" Dettenheim - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

On "Sweetie Pie", drummer Van Eaton lays down a really fine track, emphasizing the cowbell. The band trades two bar phrases with Blake, working a slowed down Bo Diddley rhythm.

Shane Hughes asserts that Dale Hawkins and Carl Adams (who worked for Hawkins by this point) wrote the song, but it became a moot point because Blake's version wasn't a hit and Hawkins' version wasn't released for decades. Jerry Ross incidentally, left a demo at Sun as Gene Ross and later recorded "Everybody's Tryin" (the song he'd demo'd at Sun) for Murco Records in Shreveport. Blake was credited as the co-writer under the name Thomas Givens, probably to sidestep the Sun publishing contract.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 300-B 45rpm



Narration by George & Louis
"RETURN OF JERRY LEE" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Jack Clement-Barbara Pittman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - By Authority Respective Publishers
Matrix number: - U 314
Recorded: - May 30, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 301-A mono
THE RETURN OF JERRY LEE / LEWIS BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
George Klein - Narration
Jack Clement – Narration

Narration by George Patrick Klein and Jack Clement, including extracts from previously recorded titles, ''Great Balls Of Fire'', ''You Win Again'', ''I'm Feeling Sorry'', High School Confidential'', ''Mean Woman Blues'', ''Don't Be Cruel'', ''Breatless'' and ''Crazy Arms''.

There's no need to recount the details of Jerry Lee's disastrous UK tour once again. We all know that the British sent him and his 13 year old bride packing, and that the reaction wasn't such warmer when he returned home. faced with an ugly situation, Sun tried to deal with it humorously by issuing this record. The idea of using clips of recorded performances within a narrative was hardly a Sun original. Buchanan and Goodman had already hit paydirt with their "Flying Saucer" series of record (1956-1958). The idea for this narrative (by local disc jockey George Klein) was conceived by the unlike tandem of Jack Clement and Barbara Pittman.

The top side was issued as George And Lewis. For some reason, the top side was also issued under the name George And Louis. (HD)
 

Sun 301-A 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis
"LEWIS BOOGIE" – B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 315
Recorded: - June 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 301-B mono
LEWIS BOOGIE / THE RETURN OF JERRY LEE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums

"Lewis Boogie" (Sun 301) is written by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1956 and released as a single in June 1958 on   Sun Records and backed with "The Return of Jerry". The recording was reissued in 1979 as a 7" 45   single as Sun 29 as part of the Sun Golden Treasure Series. The song was also released in the United  Kingdom and Canada as a single. The first edition of the single listed "The Return of Jerry" on both   sides and was credited to "Louis" rather than "Lewis". The editing and recording of "The Return of Jerry   Lee" was done by Jack Clement and George Klein on May 30, 1958. The single of "Lewis Boogie" was also  released in the United Kingdom as a 45 single in 1964 on London Records as London HLS 9867 backed with   "Bonnie B". The song was also released in Canada in 1958 as a 45 single on Quality Records.

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a live version of the song with the British band The Nashville Teens on the   landmark 1964 live album ''Live At the Star Club, Hamburg'', regarded critically as one of the greatest live   albums in rock and roll history.

The track appeared on the 1984 Rhino Records collection 18 Original Sun Greatest Hits which featured the   most successful recordings by Jerry Lee Lewis on the Sun label. The song appeared in a new recording by   Jerry Lee Lewis in the 1989 Orion Pictures biopic ''Great Balls of Fire''! during the closing credits.  "Lewis Boogie" is featured in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic ''Walk The Line''. It was performed by Waylon   Payne in the film and its soundtrack. In 2007, the song was featured on the live album ''Last Man Standing   Live'', recorded in 2006 in collaboration with other musicians.

Robert Palmer writes that the song "was a mixture of local black influences, the hillbilly boogie and rhythm   and blues that were so popular on Southern jukeboxes when he was growing up, and--the most crucial   inregidient--the Killer's individual musical genius''. Charlie Gillett writes that at "his best-as in..."Lewis   Boogie (1958)"-Lewis epitomized the careless confidence that some people liked rock and roll for."

For this flipside (SUN 301), Sun resurrected one of Jerry Lee's throwaway studio jams from this summer. In retrospect, it is the unpretentious "Lewis Boogie" that has endeared the record to collector over the years.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 301-B 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Charlie Rich-Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 316
Recorded: - July 10, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus (The Confederates)**
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 302-A mono
THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE - YOU'RE THE NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

** - Overdubbed session probably July 9, 1958,  Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

The Confederates
were a barbershop quartet that performed in the 1950s and 1960s. The group formed in September 1953 at a SPEBSQSA chapter meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. 
They consisted of
George Evans - Tenor
Dave LaBonte - Lead
Bill "Bus" Busby – Baritone
Wally Singleton - Bass

The Confederates took first place in the 1956 SPEBSQSA International Quartet Championship after finishing second the year before. They were notable not only for their championship-caliber harmonies, but also for performing in Confederate officer uniforms. The group stopped performing in 1969. 


From a strictly technical point of view, the release of SUN 302 by Johnny Cash contained two of the strongest songs he ever recorded. It was also his last single as a contracted Sun artist, although far from his last Sun single. Lyrically and musically, these are highly competent examples of country music craftsmanship. That's the good news. The more realistic picture is that in keeping with the need to sweeten releases for the lucrative crossover market, the results were embalmed with choral overdubs that all but sank the proceedings.

"The Ways Of A Woman In Love" comes closer to the mark, but even here, something has gone wrong. For one thing, Luther's guitar lines need vocal enhancing like a fish needs a bicycle. For another, Jimmy Wilson's piano removes whatever edge this song might have had. It wasn't until later when composer Charlie Rich included this song on his first RCA album that we got an insight into how bluesy and powerful the material could be. (HD)
 
 

Sun 302-A 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"YOU'RE THE NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Johnny Cash-Hoyt Johnson-Jimmy Atkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 317
Recorded: - May 15, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus (The Confederates)**
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 302-B mono
YOU'RE THE NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN / THE WAYS OF A WOMAN IN LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

** - Overdubbed session probably July 9, 1958,  Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

The Confederates
were a barbershop quartet that performed in the 1950s and 1960s. The group formed in September 1953 at a SPEBSQSA chapter meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. 
They consisted of
George Evans - Tenor
Dave LaBonte - Lead
Bill "Bus" Busby – Baritone
Wally Singleton - Bass

The Confederates took first place in the 1956 SPEBSQSA International Quartet Championship after finishing second the year before. They were notable not only for their championship-caliber harmonies, but also for performing in Confederate officer uniforms. The group stopped performing in 1969. 

Its hard to listen to "You're The Nearest Thing To Heaven" and not come away with the impression that this is poetry. Someone, actually three someones, sweated over these lyrics. The images are sharp and fully expressed, but the song is perhaps too romantic, too positive for Johnny Cash. His best work for Sun remains in the stark, moody, melancholy mold. There's no longing here, no pain. This is a deeply romantic love song. It is not an ideal vehicle for Johnny Cash or his instrumental sound. (HD)
 

Sun 302-B 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
''BREAK UP" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 318
Recorded: - July 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 303-A mono
BREAK UP / I'LL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-25 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Billy Riley - Guitar or Bass
Jack Clement - Guitar and Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

The effect of the scandal on Lewis' record sales was devastating. The virtual airplay backout ensured that records already out in the marketplace would come back by the truckload, and that new ones would be hard to move. After "Break Up" fell stillborn from the presses, Jud Phillips tried to spark some action on the next single, a revival of Moon Mullican's "I'll Sail My Ship Alone", by offering the first 100,000 at the royaltyfree price of 16c, but there were few takers.

"Break Up" was a particularly potent item for the back-to-school crowd; without explicitly pandering to teenage problems, it managed to deal with the fate of many summer romances. Billboard of September 1, 1958 liked both sides "Break Up" and "I'll Make It All Up To You", calling "Break Up" "a rocker that Lewis sells with great drive and spirit". The ballad side was described as "a strong contender and a likely tri-market click". That either side of this disc might have nestled on the Rhythm and Blues charts tells us how far music culture has changed since the fall of 1958.  (HD)(MH)
 
 

Sun 303-A 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"I'LL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU" - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 319
Recorded: - July 9, 1958 – Overdub July 21, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 303-B mono
I'LL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU / BREAK UP
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-2-26 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano on "I'll Make It All Up To You"
Otis Jett - Drums

 
Charlie Rich took over the helm on "Break Up" and "I'll Make It All Up To You", both sides of Jerry Lee's make-or-break single (SUN 303) which appeared in August, 1958. There is no selfconscious gimmickry here or leftover studio jam boogies. These are both solid outings geared for the marketplace Jerry had been establishing before personal disaster overtook his fortunes.

''I'll Make It All Up To You" worked the adult country and western style Jerry Lee Lewis was progressively carving as his niche. The ballad featured some unusual modulations that are now recognizable as the trademark composer style of Charlie Rich. The piano work here was provided by Charlie Rich himself, thus allowing Jerry Lee to concentrate on his impassioned ballad style.  (HD)(MH)
 
 

Sun 303-B 45rpm



Sonny Burgess
"ITCHY" - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 321
Recorded: - July 22, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 304-A mono
ITCHY / THUNDERBIRD
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Guitar
Billy Riley - Harmonica
Johnny Hubbard or Jack Clement - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson or Charlie Rich - Piano
J.C. Caughron - Guitar

Billy Riley is featured on what is probably his strongest instrument, harmonica. On "Itchy" he exhibits a fair amount of Little Walter's influence while Burgess' guitar work on sections of the more laid back "Thunderbird" (named after the wine that flowed during the sessions) is somewhat reminiscent of Link Wray's "Rumble".

"Every session we got drunk", asserted Riley to Bill Millar. "It was fun getting in there and getting drunk. Sam usually got tight with us. We had respect for each other, but we never did get along too well. I didn't appreciate the lack of promotion, but I appreciated his talent. He knew I had the band that could work with anybody, and he needed us".

Things sound pretty spontaneous and chaotic here, except for the fact that two sessions were actually held during the summer of '58, about a month apart. The master versions of "Itchy" and "Thunderbird" were recorded during July. Billboard was pretty impressed with both sides of this outing by "the Burgess combo" and cautioned to "Watch this one. Either side can click". It was wonderful advice but, unfortunately, a poor prophecy.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 304-A 45rpm



Sonny Burgess
"THUNDERBIRD" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 320
Recorded: - July 22, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 10, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 304-B mono
THUNDERBIRD / ITCHY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Guitar
Billy Riley - Harmonica
Johnny Hubbard or Jack Clement - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson or Charlie Rich - Piano
J.C. Caughron - Guitar

Jack Clement, Billy Riley, and Sonny Burgess were sitting around the Sun studio and the wine was flowing. We can only surmise from the title that it wasn't an important Chardonnay. (Thunderbird was available in supermarkets in quart bottles for under a dollar in 1958). Jimmy Van Eaton and Charlie Rich, rarely an abstainer in those bygone days, joined them for the session. Riley provided the harp; Clement the bass, and Burgess the stinging guitar solos.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 304-B 45rpm



Rosco Gordon
"TORRO" – A.S.C.A.P. - 2:40
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Freddie Tavares
Publisher: - Jerry Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 323
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 305-A mono
TORRO / SALLY JO
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Freddie Tavraes - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

The arrangement on "Torro" is quite strange and might not have been talked through too carefully. In fact, if Rosco Gordon had anything to do with this recording, it is unclear what he might have contributed.

Sam Phillips has already begun his fadeout during the last four bars when Freddy Tavares ends cold. Billboard described the sides as "background music for a bullfight", which isn't a bad call. Tavares' brief vocal describes just that ("El amigo de la tarde... / The friend of the afternoon").

"Torro" is a strong contender in the strangest Sun record ever released sweepstakes. Even without Rosco Gordon's name on the label, this tune just has no business on a Sun label. Years later, Gordon revealed that "Torro" was the creation of his guitar player, Freddy Tavares. Sam Phillips was intrigued by the whole idea, and figured he had little to lose by throwing the concoction out on the flipside of "Sally Jo".  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 305-A 45rpm



Rosco Gordon
"SALLY JO" – B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 322
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 305-B mono
SALLY JO / TORRO
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal and Piano
Freddie Tavares - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

If you listen closely to the sound of the guitar on "Torro", you'll hear the same musicians who drove the batterly bizarre and delightful "Sally Jo". Here, Rosco's contribution is obvious. No wonder Phillips was willing to issue yet another record by Rosco after all this time. Seven years on, and Sam Phillips was still recording him. What did Phillips visualize as the fate of this record? Was this his or anybody's idea of rhythm and blues, circa 1958?

"Sally Jo" has been called an example, maybe even the first example of black rockabilly. Rosco, of course, never saw it that way. He was just making music, which is as it should be. The genres and categories were somebody else's problem. Billboard, for its part never even realized they had an oddity on their hands. Perhaps no one knew that they were describing a black singer, much less one with an impressive list of rhythm and blues credits, when they observed "The artist uses a listenable shoutin' approach on this vigorous rockabilly. Typical Sun string sound is prominent in support". Some typical rockabilly! A black vocalist and a Latino guitar player. One more example of hybrid vigor at 706 Union.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 305-B 45rpm



Jimmy Isle
"DIAMOND RING" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Kenny Mark Music
Matrix number: - U 325
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Demo Studio, Fidelity Recording
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 306-A mono
DIAMOND RING / I'VE BEEN WAITIN'
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Isle - Vocal and Guitar
Ronnie Isle - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Jimmy Isle and his brother Ronnie were from Nashville, Tennessee, and, at some point in 1957 or 1958 Jimmy recorded these compositions at a demo session at Fidelity Recording in Nashville. Fidelity was owned by Gary Walker, a songwriter from the Springfield, Missouri area, who had come to Nashville in the  wake of his biggest hit, Jim Reeves' "According To My Heart". He later ripped Lowery Music, and later still started Nashville famous used record stores, the Great Escape. (HD)
 

Sun 306-A 45rpm



Jimmy Isle
"I'VE BEEN WAITIN'" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 324
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Demo Studio, Fidelity Recording
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 306-B mono
I'VE BEEN WAITIN' / DIAMOND RING
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Isle - Vocal and Guitar
Ronnie Isle - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Gary Walker leased these masters to Sun Records in October 1958, and Sun picked up Isle's contract. If these sides ever contained any bite or trace of southern music, they were obscured by the hovering presence of the chorus. Isle's music is essentially geared for the white teenage market. Its most obvious selling feature, here as on his other releases, was a rhythmic hook.

Isle is still in Nashville, and a person less interested in his past life as a Sun recording artist would be hard to find. A wannabe teenage idol fourty-five years on is not always a pretty sight. His brother, Ronnie, later died in a car wreck. (HD)(CE)
 

Sun 306-B 45rpm



Ernie Chaffin
"BORN TO LOSE" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Frankie Brown
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - U 327
Recorded: - June 9, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 307-A mono
BORN TO LOSE / (NOTHING CAN CHANGE) MY LOVE FOR YOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Probably Ernie Harvey – Steel Guitar
More Details Unknown

After Sun 275, it took over eighteen months for Sun to release another singel on Ernie. Unfortunately, the product was not worth the wait. granted, ''I'm Lonesome'' was a tough act to follow but this represents an artistic lowpoint in Chaffin's Sun career. There was certainly nothing wrong with the song. Ted Daffan had composed it during the early years of the Second World War and later copyrighted it under his mother's maiden name. ''I always loved the song'', recalled Ernie. ''Even when I was a young kid I used to sing it in clubs around Gulfport and I thought it would be a good time to bring it back. But as soon as we released it Johnny Cash came out with it and so Ray Charles and Dean Martin. Ray Charles' record was copied almost to a 'T' from mine. I felt he heard my version, recorded it and knocked me out of the saddle''. It is just conceivable that Charles heard Ernie's version but it strains credibility a little to suggest that he stole the thunder. Sun 307 was issued in October 1958 and Ray Charles did not have a hit with ''Born To Lose'' until the late months of 1962.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 307-A 45rpm



Ernie Chaffin
''(NOTHING CAN CHANGE) MY LOVE FOR YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Helen Hall
Publisher: - Glendell Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 326
Recorded: - June 9, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 15, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 307-B mono
(NOTHING CAN CHANGE) MY LOVE FOR YOU / BORN TO LOSE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Probably Ernie Harvey – Steel Guitar
More Details Unknown

This was another maudlin excursion that probably said a lot about the way Jack Clement perceived the country market in 1958. Unfortunately, it has not survived the years nearly as well as the stark underproduced recordings that still retain their elemental charm, regardless of season. Ernie recalled, ''I understand that Helen Hall was from Texas. We were recording and I think Bill Justis asked me to listen to this song and I loved it. He asked me if I would record it and I said 'yes'. So, he called Texas and got permission from Helen Hall to use the song. She had heard some of my records and she said she'd be thrilled. I think we could have done a better job on it than we did. I was disappointed. I had so many people trying to tell me how to sing it and you know that if you don't sing it from your heart, it doesn't work''. Hall was a performer on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas who recorded briefly for Coral Records in 1955, but she'd been dropped. And it wasn't permission to record the song that Justis was after so much as permission to copublish it.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 307-B 45rpm



Ray Smith
"WHY WHY WHY" - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 328
Recorded: - September 13, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 308-A mono
WHY WHY WHY / YOU MADE A HIT
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ray Smith - Vocal
Dean Perkins - Guitar
Stanley Walker - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Gary Diamond - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Ray Smith's second Sun record was enough to restore some of the faith of Sun fans who had been traumatized by the last two releases. Smith delivers on both sides (SUN 308). "Why, Why, Why" confirms that the word 'ballad' does not spell disaster. Nor does the addition of a chorus necessarily undercut a recording's power. Billboard had it right when they described this track as a "deeply felt ballad effort by Smith. A soulful delivery in a slow tempo. Worth spins". Like Elvis Presley, whose ballad style has plainly influenced these proceedings, Ray Smith was also influenced by Dean Martin. It seems a curious observation, but after his move to Ontario, Canada, Smith got plenty of work in local clubs alternating his Presley repertoire with "Dean Martin impersonations", as the local media called them.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 308-A 45rpm



Ray Smith
"YOU MADE A HIT" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Walt Maynard
Publisher: - Buna Music - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 329
Recorded: - May 13, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 25, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 308-B mono
YOU MADE A HIT / WHY WHY WHY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Ray Smith – Vocal
Dean Perkins – Guitar
Stanley Walker – Guitar
James Webb – Bass
Gary Diamond – Drums
Charlie Rich – Piano

 
Ray Smith had two stints at Sun; the first consisting of a series of sessions at 706 Union during 1958 and the other, three years later, in Nashville. The assertively-titled "You Made A Hit" resulted from one of the earlier Memphis sessions and was supplied by Walt Maynard, a jobbing songsmith from the Claunch/Cantrell writing camp - a team who regularly supplied material to Memphis-based recording artists. The session itself combined Smith's own guitarist, Stanley Walker and Dean Perkins with Sun's house rhythm section.

"You Made A Hit" is a fine, energetic rockabilly performance. The vocal bristles with energy and the instrumental work is especially memorable. Because Smith often used his touring group on sessions, it has become difficult to identify musicians on his record. Whether the lead guitar here is by Stanley Walker or Dean Perkins, the style gets rave reviews from the rockabilly cognoscenti. There sure is a lot of energy and interplay, whichever it is.
 
One final curio: if you want to hear what this song sounded like in its original version, check out Hi 2005 by Joe Fuller. We'll save you the suspemse. You won't find a more insipid piece of pop drive. Kudos to Smith, Walker and company for turning it into a rockabilly showcase. (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 308-B 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"IT'S JUST ABOUT TIME" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 331
Recorded: - July 17, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus before release
Released: - November 12, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 309-A mono
IT'S JUST ABOUT TIME / I JUST THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rom BCD 15803 DI-3-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich – Piano

Jack Clement's "It's Just About Time" is dominated by piano and on the released version features an overdubbed chorus which added little to the recording. The various undubbed version show how well crafted the song was. It was considered good enough to release, along with "I Just Thought You'd Like To Know", as a single and just scraped into the top thirty on the country charts.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 309-A 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"I JUST THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 330
Recorded: - July 17, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus before release
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 12, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 309-B mono
I JUST THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW / IT'S JUST ABOUT TIME
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

At this point in his career with Sun, Johnny Cash's sessions were in the hands of producers Jack Clement and Charlie Rich. Each has contributed a song here and, in Rich's case, the piano work as well. In fact, Charlie Rich's piano is the dominant force on "I Just Thought You'd Like To Know". Luther's guitar is barely audibly, and what there is of it has been co opted by the bass singer in the chorus. Thankfully, the choral overdub is restrained here, and the bleating soprano seems to have stayed home. (HD)
 

Sun 309-B 45rpm



Vernon Taylor
"BREEZE" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:05
Composer: - MacDonald-Joe Goodwin-James Hanley
Publisher: - Shapiro Berhstein and Company
Matrix number: - U 332
Recorded: - October 27, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 12, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 310-A mono
BREEZE / TODAY IS A BLUE DAY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Jack Clement - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

But all is not lost. This side is unexpectedly good. Given that Clement's tune was the focus of most promotional effort, it is curious that Sam Phillips would allow a song he did not own, "Breeze", to be used in a supporting role. It was Taylor's choice, he had first heard "Breeze" on Cowboy Copas' 1948 hit recording, although it was a pop song principally authored by James (Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart) Hanley and Joe (When You're Smiling) Goodwin. Taylor made in the centerpiece of a wonderfully understated arrangement.

There is a marvellous bluesy tension to this side. the 1-4 chord shuttling between verses creates a fine groove and Taylor's vocal is just right, avoiding all the pitfalls for over-emoting. The guitar work during the chorus ("It's an ill wind...") is striking and moody.

Billboard got on the case in short order, giving this record a Pick Hit in November, 1958. They said that Taylor had a "refreshingly distinctive style" and predicted that "with exposure, the lad could have himself a two sided winner". Those are strong words, but the marketplace turned a deaf ear, and so have Sun fans. It may by time to reassess. True, this is no "Miss Froggie", and Taylor's isn't Warren Smith, but "Breeze" is a damn fine record in its own right.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 310-A 45rpm



Vernon Taylor
"TODAY IS A BLUE DAY" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 333
Recorded: - October 27, 1958 - Vocal Chorus Overdub
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 12, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 310-B mono
TODAY IS A BLUE DAY / BREEZE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums
Jack Clement - Guitar
Unknown Musicians

Perhaps more than anything else, these recordings by Vernon Taylor help define the kind of music Sun was contributing to the pantheon of rock and roll in late 1958. Sam Phillips had seen Taylor, then based in Washington, D.C., on American Bandstand and brought him to Sun records, and that in itself was an indication of changing times at Sun. Gone is the frenetic energy pf previous years. In its place is a more controlled kind of enthusiasm. There is something about Taylor's voice to suggest he might have been a wildman under different circumstances, but there was nothing about this October, 1958 date organized by Jack Clement that would coax any wildness from Taylor.

On "Today Is A Blue Day", Jack Clement has written his own entry in the Don Gibson sweepstakes, emulating such hits as "Blue Blue Day". You can hear the quirky edge to Jimmy Van Eaton's drumming and wish it were more prominent, but its too deep in the mix to offset the effects of Clement's high string guitar (another bow to Don Gibson's record), and the choral overdub. This is just going to be a pop record, no matter how much you wish it would cut through and rock.  (HD)(MH)
 
 

Sun 310-B 45rpm



Jack Clement
"THE BLACK HAIRED MAN" - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 334
Recorded: - October 30, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 311-A mono
THE BLACK HAIRED MAN / WRONG
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Clement – Vocal & Drums
Billy Riley – Guitar & Harmonica
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
Unknown Vocal Chorus

''In spite of a lot of good natured kidding from his co0workers, jack has delved seriously into a study of traditional folk ballads as a background for his efforts at creating new stories to be told in updated folk style''.

Thus wrote Sun's promotion staffer Barbara Barnes in an attempt to sell Jack Clement as part of the great continuum of folk balladry. He was obviously straddling two stools - country music and the ersatz folk revivalism of the Kinston Trio and their ilk. As a story-song this does not have a great deal of merit and hardly justifies the hours of research that Ms. Barness seemed to think Clement had devoted to it. Quite simply, it sounds as though Clement had concocted the tune for Johnny Cash and then decided to record it himself. He kept the chorus under control and there is an undeniable drive to the song but its prettiness was very markedly different from the country music that Phillips had recorded in the same studio a few years earlier.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 311-A 45rpm



Jack Clement
"WRONG" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 335
Recorded: - October 30, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 311-B mono
WRONG / THE BLACK HAIRED MAN
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Clement – Vocal & Drums
Billy Riley - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
Unknown Vocal Chorus

This must have stood a fair chance of success in the pop sweepstake. The prominently mic'd brushwork provides a fine drive to the record in much the same way that the deadened acoustic guitar underpinned many of Johnny Cash's best recordings with a similar sound.

"Wrong" might have been an ideal follow-up to "Guess Things Happen That Way", and, in Cash's hands, it might have been a hit. Clement seemed obsessed with the idea to tall dark strangers moving into town and threatening to take his baby away. The man had obviously seen lots of movies or lived in a really bad neighbourhood.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 311-B 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Mann-Burns-Bernard-Thurston
Publisher: - Lois Music
Matrix number: - U 337
Recorded: - November 5, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 312-A mono
I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE / IT HURT ME SO
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis - Saxophone

Overdub Vocal Chorus Unknown
added at an overdub session in November 1958.

It was at Jerry Lee's insistence that this record (SUN 312) was cut and released on Sun. If nothing else, it should put to rest any doubts about the influence Moon Mullican had on the Killer's style. Resurrechting "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" may have been a fine tribute to Mullican, bit it did little to energize Jerry Lee's career.

In truth, it is not a particularly good record. The appearance of Martin Willis' sax is a first for Jerry Lee, although it is hardly here are Jerry himself, and the guitar player, who sounds more like Billy Riley than Roland Janes. Jerry turns in one of the most distracted sounding vocals of his recorded career. The pitch wavers, the intonation is sloppy; in short, it sounds like Jerry was paying too much attention to his piano work and let the singing go to hell. Unfortunately, the guitar work is strident and unfocussed. During the instrumental break, it sounds as if the guitar player assumed the second eight bars were his, only to find Jerry Lee still ticklin' them ivories. From the brief taste we get of what that solo would have sounded like, its a mercy the guitar stays submerged.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 312-A 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"IT HURT ME SO" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Charlie Rich-Bill Justis
Publisher: - Justis Music
Matrix number: - U 336 - Overdub Master
Recorded: - November 5, 1958 – Vocal Chorus Overdub for Master
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 20, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 312-B mono
IT HURT ME SO / I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willis - Saxophone

Overdub Vocal Chorus Unknown
added at an overdub session in November 1958.

On this side, the label credited "Jerry Lee Lewis and his Pumping Piano". the label lied. The not-very pumping piano was played by Charlie Rich, who also co-composed this song with Bill Justis. The material is very heavy into self pity, and engages the more maudlin side of Jerry's vocal stylings. This would not be the last time Jerry Lee's flair for the melodramatic surfaced in his recorded work. (HD)
 

Sun 312-B 45rpm



Billy Riley
"DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 340
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 1, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 313-A mono
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE / NO NAME GIRL
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal & Guitar
Pat O'Neil - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Charlie Rich or Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Unknown Vocal Chorus

The original idea for a rocked-up version of "Down By The Riverside" came from Memphis Press Scimitar reporter Edwin Howard who had recorded one single for Sam Phillips in order to document the process of recording. In the first flush of enthusiasm after its release, Howard re-wrote the lyrics to "Down By The Riverside" and was given 50% of the song after Riley subsequently copped the idea. Bill Justis overdubbed a chorus and a second sax part over the bed track which went some distance towards disguising Riley's somewhat lackluster vocal.

Billy Riley reworked the traditional anti-war song into a suitably rocking style for the 1959 marketplace.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 313-A 45rpm



Billy Riley
"NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 341
Recorded: - January 19, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 1, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 313-B mono
NO NAME GIRL / DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal & Guitar
Pat O'Neil - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Charlie Rich or Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Unknown Vocal Chorus

Even though "No Name Girl" portrays a spirited and carefree atmosphere, the record required considerable thought and energy to get right. True, it was a simple formula, alternating eight bar verses with sax breaks, while modulating keys up and down. However, the released version came from the third session devoted to getting it right. Things finally clicked on January 19, 1959. A session held twelve days earlier on the same two titles had produced nothing releasable. Neither had a December 16 date the previous year, "No Name Girl" was attempted for the first time. The final work, a "driving countryish effort with blues and hoedown overtones", to quote Billboard, was the brainchild of Riley and Jack Clement . (HD)
 

Sun 313-B 45rpm



Warren Smith
"SWEET, SWEET GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Don Gibson
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 342
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 314-A mono
SWEET, SWEET GIRL / GOODBYE MR. LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Warren Smith - Vocal and Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Overdubbed Session
Lee Holt - Vocals
Bill Abott - Vocals
Charlie Rich - Vocals
Gerald Nelson Singers - Vocals

"Sweet Sweet Girl", shows how powerful a force Don Gibson was at this point in his career. This title was a throwaway track on a Gibson album, yet it was deemed strong enough material for a Warren Smith release on Sun Records. The lyrics contain a rare sentiment in country music: I ain't gonna talk about you when you're gone. You were good to me and that's good enough for me. I was the jerk, not you. How many times have you heard that message expressed in country music? Billboard failed to pick up on this one. They gave the side a mediocre two-star review, missing the Don Gibson connection altogether. Instead they called it "a wild rocker". Given Smith's past flirtation with "Miss Froggie" and trip to "Ubangi" country, this hardly quality as "wild". What it was, sadly, was Warren Smith's last release on Sun Records before starting a successful career on Libert as a mainstream country vocalist. (HD)
 

Sun 314-A 45rpm



Warren Smith
"GOODBY MR. LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Warren Smith-Billy Byrd
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 343
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 314-B mono
GOODBY MR. LOVE / SWEET, SWEET GIRL
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16803 DI-3-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Warren Smith - Vocal and Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Overdubbed Session
Lee Holt - Vocals
Bill Abott - Vocals
Charlie Rich - Vocals
Gerald Nelson Singers - Vocals

''Goodbye Mr. Love'' proves the truth in Jack Clement's assertion that Smith was the ''closest approximation of a mainstream 'Nashville' singer ever to enter 706 Union''. It also disproves Smith's assertion that he could not record country music at Sun. The overall sound on this recording is very close to the product coming out of Nashville in 1959, particularly in view of the chorus. All of this makes Smith's lack of success on Sun after 1957 double incomprehensible. In retrospect, this was far from Smith's best work but, coupled with ''Sweet Sweet Girl'', it was an exceptionally strong double sided contender. Billboard called this single ''ultra commercial'', speculating that ''Smith'll have the top money making coupling of his career''. On the day that Billboard published that review, Sun prepared a royalty statement showing that Smith was unrecouped to the tune of $634.00, which probably represented un-repaid loans. At roughly the same time, Smith's three year term with Sun was up. A change was gonna come.  (HD)(MH)
 
 

Sun 314-B 45rpm



Onie Wheeler
"JUMP RIGHT OUT OF THIS JUKEBOX" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Onie Wheeler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 344
Recorded: - November 22 or December 6, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 315-A mono
JUMP RIGHT OUT OF THIS JUKEBOX / TELL 'EM OFF
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Onie Wheeler – Vocal & Harmonica (Overdub)
Roland Janes - Guitar
Stan Kesler – Bass & Harmonica
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

The master of ''Jump Right Out Of This Jukebox'' was held back for almost one and a half years before it finally saw the light of day. perhaps it had been considered to be too countrified for 1957. Despite his misgivings about the unprofessional atmosphere at Sun, this recording really showcases Onie's idiosyncratic style. The March 2, 1959 issue of Billboard rated the song with two stars and said that it had ''fair prospects''. Their review may have been commercially astute but failed to notice the distinctive and charmingly hybrid sound produced by Onie and Sun.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 315-A 45rpm



Onie Wheeler
"TELL 'EM OFF" - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Onie Wheeler
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 345
Recorded: - November 11, or December 6, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 315-B mono
TELL 'EM OFF / JUMP RIGHT OUT OF THIS JUKEBOX
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

His one Sun outing, "Tell 'Em Off" was held back to over a year, by which time the veteran singer was working at a shoe factory in his home state of Missouri. Fortunately the respite turned out to be temporary, proving that you couldn't keep a man down who had a voice like s spilled barrell of tar. His distinctive vocal is enhanced by the slapback echo which also fattens up the echoey low string guitar figure.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 315-B 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"THANKS A LOT" - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 350
Recorded: - July 10, 1958 - Overdubbed with chorus (The Confederates)
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 316-A mono
THANKS A LOT / LUTHER PLAYED THE BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-25 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Overdubbed session probably July 9, 1958
Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

Overdub The Confederates
George Evans -Tenor
Dave LaBonte - Lead
Bill "Bus" Busby – Baritone
Wally Singleton - Bass

Charlie Rich responded to the call with "Thanks A Lot", a well constructed self-piying weeper. Cash turned in a solid reading of Rich's material and even the choral overdub was respectable. About the only laughable thing associated with this side is Charlie Rich's original demo of the song. Obviously, some serious attention was directed to Rich's original lyrics, which were worked over before the session. Otherwise, Cash might have following Rich's lead and sung, "You went to see the lawyer / told him I was oh so mean / You told him I was the most no good thing / you had ever seen / He's suing me for everything I've got / Thanks a lot, thanks a lot". (HD)
 

Sun 316-A 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"LUTHER PLAYED THE BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 350 - Take 3
Recorded: - July 30, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 316-B mono
LUTHER PLAYED THE BOOGIE / THANKS A LOT
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-3-26 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

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

Sun 316-B 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
''LOVIN' UP A STORM" - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Allyson Khent-Luther Dixon
Publisher: - Figure Music
Matrix number: - U 346
Recorded: - December 1958/January 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 317-A mono
LOVIN' UP A STRORM / BIG BLON' BABY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

Jimmy M. Van Eaton recalls, ''A lot of stuff, some of which you've probably discovered going through the tapes, was never intended to be released. With Jerry Lee, that was how we did 80%, maybe more of the sessions. You'd just start jamming and Sam has the tape running. That's why with Jerry Lee there were often no arrangements, no beginnings, no endings.

Instead, Sam Phillips went outside his stable of composers and copyrights in search of potent material for his erstwhile moneymaker. The problem is, most top songwriters were reluctant to submit their best work to an artist who was being blacklisted by disc jockey's all over North America

On "Lovin' Up A Storm", the writers have taken meteorological rock to its pinnacle and Jerry's vocal and piano are duly frenzied. The rhythmic hook gives the song some powerful appeal, but the result are a bit too studied to be among Jerry's best work. Even so, the record deserved more of a response than it got.
 
It's interesting that while many Sun sessions were calming down considerably by January 1959 and sweetening the result with strings and voices. Jerry Lee, Roland Janes and Jimmy van Eaton were still pounding away as if the calendar on the wall said 1957. ''Lovin' Up A Storm'' is a particular showcase for Jimmy M. Van Eaton. The powerful stop-rhythm drum into and those two-bar single-stroke rolls into the chorus mark this record as special.
 
Everything else become secondary, from Jerry Lee's dramatic vocal to the lyrics. Speaking of which, can anybody figure out what they are? For a while we thought we had the opening lines figured out: ''When kisses fly like oak leaves / Caught in a gust of wind''. But then we listened to some of the outtakes on Bear Family's ultimate Jerry Lee Box (BCD 17254) alongside the single and we came away knowing less than we did going in. The good news is, it doesn't matter. Jerry might as well be spewing gibberish or talking trash. Who cares? Just listen to those drums! (HD)(MH)(SP)
 

Sun 317-A 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"BIG BLON' BABY" - B.M.I. - 1:38
Composer:- Roberts-Jacobson
Publisher: - Alamo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 347
Recorded: - December 1958/January 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 317-B mono
BIG BLON' BABY / LOVIN' UP A STORM
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
J Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

"Big Blon' Baby" had been recorded previously by Ronnie Self, whose version stiffed as badly as Jerry Lee's. The exclamation "Jumpin' Jehosaphat, Big blon' baby!" was obviously intended to rekindle memories of "Goodness gracious, great balls of fire". It didn't. Musically, the record has its pros and cons. Roland (if indeed its him) takes one of his least memorable recorded solos, although Jimmy Van Eaton's final single stoke drum roll is a moment to be reckoned with. In 1979 Jerry Lee Lewis re-cut (the only real rocker on (the ''Would You Take Another Chance On Me'' album) is hotter, faster and wilder, but also somehow lacks the charm of the earlier cut.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 317-B 45rpm



SUN 317

This was the last Sun single issued on both 78/45rpm speeds
 


Jimmy Isle
"WITHOUT A LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Kenny Marlow Music - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 353
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 23, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 318-A mono
WITHOUT A LOVE / TIME WILL TELL
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

After being signed to Sun Records, Jimmy Isle was brought to Memphis to record one session (from which two singles were drawn) with Jack Clement at the helm. The rather empty Jimmy Isle session file contains five names: Billy Riley, bassist Pat O'Neill, drummer Tommy Ross, as well as Charlie Rich and Martin Willis, so that's probably who we're hearing on this session. (HD)
 

Sun 318-A 45rpm



Jimmy Isle
"TIME WILL TELL" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Jimmy Isle-Ronnie Isle
Publisher: - Kenny Marlow Music - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 352
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 23, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 318-B mono
TIME WILL TELL / WITHOUT A LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

Once again, Isle's music is geared to the white teenager marketplace. Its biggest selling point remains the rhythmic hook Isle and company have borrowed from Bo Diddley.   Again Billboard was cautiously impressed, assigning both sides (SUN 318) a three star rating. They credited Isle with singing "with spirit and style" and said the sides "should be watched". it is likely that more people watched them than listened to them. (HD)
 

Sun 318-B 45rpm



Ray Smith
"ROCKIN' BANDIT" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Ira Jay Lichterman
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 354
Recorded: - February 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 23, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 319-A mono
ROCKIN' BANDIT / SAIL AWAY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Ray Smith - Vocal
Stanley Walker - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Gary Diamonds - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Ray Smith confirmed what a powerful vocalist he was on both of his March 1959 release (SUN 319). Given the novelty value of "Rockin' Bandit", it is really surprising that the disc met with little success. The very same gunshot effects had appeared on the pop charts the previous year in the Olympics' record of Western Movies. Maybe teenagers were tired of being shot at. "Rockin' Bandit" was composed by a local teenager named Ira Lichterman, who emerged as a Sun artist in his own right in November, 1960.

This side was supplied by a thirteen year old younster named Ivor Jay Lichterman* who worked in a leather factory in Memphis and had sent in a demo of the song on which he accompanied himself by slapping his thights. It was not a song that Ray was keen to do, but Bill Justis insisted and so they did it. (HD)
 

Sun 319-A 45rpm



Ray Smith
"SAIL AWAY" - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 355 - Take 2
Recorded: - February 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 23, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 319-B mono
SAIL AWAY / ROCKIN' BANDIT
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Ray Smith - Vocal
Stanley Walker - Guitar and Duet Vocals
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Gary Diamonds - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

"Sail Away" is a less gimmicky and highly effective outing for Smith. Here, the vocalist duets with his regular guitarist, Stanley Walker, in a Charlie Rich tune. Rich's influence can be heard in some powerful lyrical images ("I may find joy in some green valley / be a bum, live in an alley") as well as his omnipresent piano. No matter how you slice it, this is an anti love song. The feeling may be fairly universal, but the marketplace has rarely opened its arms to a lament saying "whatever it takes to get away from you, I'm all for it".

When visited an abandoned 706 Union Avenue in June, 1960, there were few signs of life at the old Sun studio. The floor was littered with returned 45s in piles nearly 3 feet deep.  On the day everyone moved to the new quarters on Madison Avenue, nobody had bothered to erase the chalkboard in the studio. It still contained the latest sales figures for the last batch of Sun releases. The very last entry on the list was SUN 319. Only five thousands units had been shipped as of moving today. Presumably, sales of this release eventually broke into five figures, before Sam Phillips realized that all the gunshot overdubs had been in vain. (HD)
 

Sun 319-B 45rpm



Ernie Chaffin
"DON'T EVER LEAVE ME" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Pee Wee Maddux
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Singing River Music
Matrix number: - U 356 - Master
Recorded: - June 9, 1958 - Probably Recorded August 1958
Gulfport, Mississippi
Released: - April 27, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 320-A mono
PLEASE DON'T EVER LEAVE ME / MIRACLE OF YOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Pee Wee Maddux - Guitar
More Details Unknown

What a joyous surprise to have Ernie depart from Sun in a style every bit as memorable as his arrival - perhaps even more countrified? After the pop experiments and excesses, ''Please Don't Ever Leave Me'' was a blessed return to fundamentals. Ernie's vocal is unadorned country and Ernie Harvey's work is mainstream country steel guitar. Interestingly, this final offering, by virtue of being so uncompromisingly country, lacks some of the brooding intensity of Chaffin's earlier work but makes up for it in pure country charm.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 320-A 45rpm



Ernie Chaffin
"MIRACLE OF YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Pee Wee Maddux
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Singing River Music
Matrix number: - U 357
Recorded: - June 9, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 27, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 320-B mono
MIRACLE OF YOU / PLEASE DON'T EVER LEAVE ME
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Other Details Unknown

This side is a credible entry into the country crossover sweepstakes. Chaffin's vocal is powerful, and the song itself is well crafted, although the dirge-like tempo doesn't help matters. The piano triplets make it clear that the pop market was in everybody's sights. Most notably, the chorus does not overwhelm the proceedings. Their sweetening is tasteful and minimal. Perhaps had either side of this outing showed some sign of commercial success, Sun would have extended its commitment to Ernie Chaffin. Sadly, he returned to Mississippi, where he continues to record Christian music in Gulfport, backed by his wife and children. (HD)
 

Sun 320-B 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"KATY TOO" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Jack Clement-Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 359 - Take 5
Recorded: - May 28, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 321-A mono
KATY TOO / I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

"Katy Too" stems from one of this marathon sessions Johnny Cash held at the end of his tenure at Sun in May, 1958. The song is co-credited to Jack Clement and has his stamp all over it. Most obviously, it is cute and clever, and, as much, diametrically opposite to the more brooding opuses normally associated with Cash. In truth, it is a fine piece of material, full of whimsy and downhome charm. Cash turns in a strong reading and the track is mercifully free of overproduction. (HD)
 

Sun 321-A 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 358
Recorded: - July 17, 1958 - Overdubbed with Chorus before
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 321-B mono
I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET / KATY TOO
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

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

Overdubbed
Billy Riley - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Unknown Vocal Chorus

About the most interesting thing one can observe is that "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" is the last song Johnny Cash recorded at Sun Records. It appears that the search for material had come up dry. When in doubt, resurrect an old Hi-Lo copyright. Economically, this made sense, but artistically, it was not a happy moment. Cash virtually sleepwalks through the take. Instrumentally, it is Charlie Rich's piano and the Gene Lowery Singers that come to the fore. If nothing else, this undistinguished bit of saccharin was enough to keep disc jockey's spinning "Katy Too". (HD)
 

Sun 321-B 45rpm



Bill Riley
"GOT THE WATER BOILING" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Bert Russel-Aaron Cornelius
Publisher: - Progressive Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 361
Recorded: - June 4, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 322-A mono
GOT THE WATER BOILIN' BABY / ONE MORE TIME
Reissued: - 1996 Bear family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal and Guitar Possible Bass Overdub
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Possible Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

"Got The Water Boilin'" was a cover version of a record by the Regals on Atlantic and features Riley in his Little Richard mode. As was the case with most Riley sessions, the material was not rehearsed prior to entering the studio. Consequently, both "One More Time" and "Got The Water Boilin'" were tried a number of different ways during the session.

This was Riley's final Sun single and it is also the first time he appears on a Sun label billed as "Bill". The man was a chameleon in both name and musical style. On this disc, he attacks two pieces of potent (and derivative) rhythm and blues material, one a rocker and one a deep blues. On "Got The Water Boilin'", Riley offers his version of a highly obscure Atlantic single by the Regals. The issued version has Riley in his Little Richard incarnation, shouting above Martin Willis' tenor sax. Jimmy Van Eaton's drumming is the highlight here. The man can barely contain his energy.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun322-A 45rpm



Bill Riley
"ONE MORE TIME" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Paul Howard
Publisher: - Jay-Gee Music
Matrix number: - U 360
Recorded: - June 4, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 2, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 322-B mono
ONE MORE TIME / GOT THE WATER BOILIN' BABY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal and Guitar Possible Bass Overdub
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Possible Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

This title is a jewel in the crown of Riley's Sun titles - a judgement shared by fans, Sun studio musicians, and the singer, himself. The song's origins are a bit obscure. Its composer / singer was Carolina Slim a.k.a Country Paul a.k.a Edward P Harris. The version that found its way to Riley was recorded in New York either on July 24, 1950 or December is, 1951 (or both). One version appeared on Acorn 319 - a label not at the fingertips of many collectors. The 1951 version was released on King 4532. A side-by-side comparison of the two versions is not available to us. In any case, Riley described the recording as rough and out of meter. A sort of 'John Lee Hooker thing' in Riley s words. How it got to Riley or was transformed into this beautiful piece of decidedly in-meter performance is anybody's guess.

Billy Riley had first heard "One More Time" on an old blues record: "I listened to that thing and it was real raw", he recalled. "It was like John Lee Hooker, out of meter and everything. It just sounded so good to me I wanted to do it. It happened. Its a great song, man". Quite where or how Riley came to hear "One More Time" is something of a mystery. It was a wholly obscure single by Country Paul (a.k.a. Carolinea Slim and Eddie Harris) issued on King in 1952 and owing, as Riley said, a considerable debt to John Lee Hooker. Riley's performance truly is a masterful. He turns in a plaintive reading of the lyric complemented by responses on both the guitar and sax. The record is capped by a beautiful understated sax solo by Martin Willis. Riley's chameleon-like ability to alter his voice has been evident throughout his career, and has been as much of an impedance as it has been an advantage. "It was the mood of the song", counters Riley. "To me a song like "Red Hot" was screaming but then "One More Time" was a laid back saxophone song. I thought I was a saxophone on it. I don't think I really had control over it. It just happened. That's the only way I could sing "One More Day". I just did it natural. The way the song told me to do it. It goes back to what Sam and Judd both said about me: 'I'm not a voice, I'm a saxophone".  (HD)(MH)
 
 

Sun 322-B 45rpm



Alton & Jimmy
"NO MORE CRYING THE BLUES" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Jimmy Harrell-Alton Lott
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Cajun Publisher
Matrix number: - U 363
Recorded: - April 5, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 323-A mono
NO MORE CRYING THE BLUES / HAVE FAITH IN MY LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Harrell - Vocal
Alton Lott - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

If someone told you that "No More Crying The Blues" was cut bu a garage band in 1991, you might not bat an eye. In some ways, Alton and Jimmy were ahead of their time. Certainly, this is not the kind of rockabilly Sun is famous for. Yet, by 1959, this was all that was left of the vintage Sun sound. Assisted by Billy Riley (bass) and Jimmy Van Eaton, this was as close to the old days as anybody was likely to get in a changing marketplace. Truly, what we have here is a countryside vocal duet over intense guitar-driven rock and roll. (HD)  
 

Sun 323-A 45rpm



Alton & Jimmy
"HAVE FAITH IN MY LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Alton Harrell-Jimmy Lott
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Cajun Publisher
Matrix number: - U 362
Recorded: - April 5, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 323-B mono
HAVE FAITH IN MY LOVE / NO MORE CRYING THE BLUES
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Harrell - Vocal
Alton Lott - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

On this side, "Have Faith In My Love", is an almost uncanny cross between Mack Self's glorious "Easy To Love" and Riley's "One More Time", recorded just 24 hours earlier at 706 Union!. This hybrid is obsoletely clear during the solo guitar intro.

Alton and Jimmy were clearly among the few keepers of the flame that had burned so brightly in the mid-1950s and drawn aspiring Elvises to the label. (HD)
 

Sun 323-B 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"LET'S TALK ABOUT US" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - U 364 - Overdubbed Master
Recorded: - June 25,26, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 324-A mono
LET'S TALK ABOUT US / BALLAD OF BILLY JOE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Russel Smith - Drums

Overdubbed
Gene Lowery Singer

 
Still attempting to revive his career, Jerry Lee Lewis went back to the source of two of his biggest hits: composer Otis Blackwell. Everyone hoped that the magic that had struck on "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Breathless" would again on "Let's Talk About Us". This is a powerful piece of material that went beyond the teen market. Blackwell has created a lot of tension by holding the verses in one chord for 12 bars. Jerry, Roland and Jimmy Van Eaton worked long and hard on the arrangement (numerous outtakes remain in the vaults). Even a discreet female chorus was added to sweeten the arrangement. Neither Jack Clement nor Bill Justis were involved with the overdub session (both had recently been fired by Sam Phillips), and Ernie Barton had persuaded Sam Phillips that he was a producer. Clearly, there was indecision about how or whether to sweeten this pie. Some of the discarded outtakes include a male chorus. (HD)
 

Sun 324-A 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"BALLAD OF BILLY JOE" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 365
Recorded: - June 25,26, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 324-B mono
BALLAD OF BILLY JOE / LET'S TALK ABOUT US
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Russel Smith - Drums

Charlie Rich took control of this side as both pianist and composer. Jerry's reading is fine, but Rich has contributed a very strange piece of material, attempting to 'Cash in' on the success of "Don't Take Your Guns To Town". Johnny Cash's gunfighter ballad had a poignant, almost mythical quality: a wannabe tough kid rides off into town, takes on some anonymous cowpoke and, it turns out, fools with the wrong guy. He is pointlessly gunned down in an event that never should have happened. It would have made a fine, almost metaphysical western. Charlie Rich, speaking through Jerry Lee, says, "No, wait. It wasn't like that. It turns out that the young cowpoke really 'knew' the cowboy who shot him.  It was all over a girl named Mary Ann. It wasn't a senseless shootout in a tavern. It was pre meditated murder; or at least would have been if the young cowboy had been a faster draw".  So Cash's fine piece of existential mythology is turned into a third rate crime of passion. It isn't Jerry Lee's fault that this doesn't work. He's given some pretty stilted dialogue to read, including one memorable howler of a line. After reviewing all the wrong this cowpoke has done him, Jerry concludes he had "to kill that little rat". It may rhyme with "Get away with that", but the line is better suited to James Cagney in a 1930s gangster movie, not a ballad of the old west.

Billboard gave SUN 324 a "pick Hit" but Jerry Lee's name was still poison in the marketplace. It would be a while before he enjoyed his next hit record. (HD)
 

Sun 324-B 45rpm



Vernon Taylor
"MYSTERY TRAIN" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Herman Parker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 367
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 16, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 325-A mono
MYSTERY TRAIN / SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 157803 DI-4-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Sax
Charlie Rick - Piano
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums

One of Sam Phillip's favorite copyrights was trotted out yet again on Vernon Taylor's second Sun release. One more time, Taylor shows off a fine voice, ideally suited to the kind of rockabilly Sun is famous for. One can only wish he had been in town during the golden era. Unfortunately, Taylor also reveals that his sense of timing was a tad less than stellar. He tacitly recognized as much by given up the music business after this single.

Although there is nothing technically wrong with his playing, Martin Willis' saxophone was becoming in 1959 what the Gene Lowery Singers had been two years earlier. Ironically, we had temporarily dispensed with annoying choral overdubs only to find ourselves surrounded by omnipresent sax licks. At its best, as on "One More Time", Willis' playing made some restrained and meaningful contributions. But too often, the obligatory appearance of Willi's madly hopping sax suggests that whoever was twiddling the knobs at Sun had listened to too many Coasters' records. They assumed that King Curtis spelled a one way ticket to sales. They were wrong. If you can listen through all the manic sax intrusions, the instrumental bed track to "Mystery Train" is damn fine. (HD)
 

Sun 325-A 45rpm



Vernon Taylor
"SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 366
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 16, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 325-B mono
SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE / MYSTERY TRAIN
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Sax
Charlie Rick - Piano
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums

The world is still awaiting a definitive version of "Sweet And Easy To Love". Gone is the obnoxious barbershop-quartet that marred Orbison's original version (one almost hears a distant "do de wada wada wah" during Taylor's version). Also, the chord structure has been changed here, providing some pleasant 6- minor/2- minor chords in place of Orbison's original conception. But once again, the sax riffing all but sinks this outing. The attempted guitar-sax harmony during the solo is particularly dire. Even the redoubtable Charlie Rich seems curiously lost. (HD)
 

Sun 325-B 45rpm



Jerry McGill & The Topcoats
"LOVESTRUCK" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 369
Recorded: - January 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 326-A mono
LOVESTRUCK / I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry McGill - Vocal
Jim King - Lead Guitar
Bobby Scott - Rhythm Guitar
Frank Thomas - Bass and Keyboard
Ronnie Rich - Drums
Dwayne Fowler - Tenor Saxophone

Or Sun Studio Musicians
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Bill Black - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

Vocal Chorus:
Opal Green, Twila Taylor, 
Nanci Drake, Carolyn Marharrey

On this side, "Lovestruck", McGill seems to be more enamored of teen idols like Bobby Rydell than Elvis Presley. Our best guess as to the identity of the label- billed "Topcoats" seems to be the little girl-sounding chorus on this side. One thing is for sure: this wasn't Gene Lowery.

According to Colin Escott's bio-notes in Charly SUNBOX 109, McGill was a wannabe rockstar 'cum' ganster. He appears to have had more success at the latter than the former. Even by Southern good ole boy standards, Jerry McGill still carries a somewhat inglorious reputation. Brandishing pistols, passing bad cheques and experiencing all kinds of run-ins with the law came naturally to this onetime road manager Waylon Jennings. (HD)
 

Sun 326-A 45rpm



Jerry McGill & The Topcoats
"I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Branson-Burt-Klein-McGill
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 368
Recorded: - January 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 326-B mono
I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE / LOVESTRUCK
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry McGill - Vocal
Jim King - Lead Guitar
Bobby Scott - Rhythm Guitar
Frank Thomas - Bass and Keyboard
Ronnie Rich - Drums
Dwayne Fowler - Tenor Saxophone

Or Sun Studio Musicians
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Bill Black - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

There is a whole generation of Sun performers who seems to be well versed in the atmospherics of rockabilly rather than the music. Even Elvis Presley began to imitate himself later years. It is not clear whether Jerry McGill's ambitions in recording "I Wanna Make Sweet Love" were fueled by listening to Elvis records or looking at Ersel Hickey's publicity photo. In any case, he seems to have learned his lessons. And, unlike most, he has a Sun release to show for it: a perfectly pedestrian one, but nothing to be ashamed of. (HD)
 

Sun 326-B 45rpm



Johnny Powers
"WITH YOUR LOVE, WITH YOUR KISS" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Johnny Pevlik
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 370
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 327-A mono
WITH YOUR LOVE, WITH YOUR KISS / BE MINE, ALL MINE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Powers - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Tenor Saxophone

Johnny Pavlik from Detroit City turned in a real two-sided barn burner on his sole Sun single. Powers is a highly energetic vocalist, to say the least. The highlights on the bluesy "With Your Love, With Your Kiss" include the rather unorthodox use of a 3-chord during the verse, and the kick-ass drumming of session stalwart Jimmy M. Van Eaton. Martin Willis, who seemed to be spending more time at 706 Union than at home, reprises his sax solo from "One More Time". It was beautiful the first time, so why not repeat it?.  No one has ever discovered what happened at the end of this recording. The original 45 was released with the final note awkwardly cut off.  Subsequent reissues have sounded as if attempts were made to edit the ending to sound intentional, or fade it altogether. At this point, no tape with a clean ending exists. (HD)
 

Sun 327-A 45rpm



Johnny Powers
"BE MINE, ALL MINE" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Johnny Pevlik-T. Moers
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 371
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 327-B mono
BE MINE, ALL MINE / WITH YOUR LOVE, WITH YOUR KISS
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Powers - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Tenor Saxophone

Powers shifts gears on "Be Mine, All Mine", using a sneering talk/sing approach that just drips with good natured menace. The song rests on a gimmicky yodel during the release, under which Jimmy Van Eaton inserts some fine bass drum work. In fact, it is Van Eaton's assertive accenting on the snare, and lively right foot on the bass drum that propel this record. Powers seems to have borrowed a line of melody from his hero Elvis' "Too Much". Happily, Martin Willis' sax solo sounds like it actually belongs here. (HD)
 

Sun 327-B 45rpm



Sherry Crane
"WINNIE THE PARAKEET" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - John Smith-Bonnie Smith
Publisher: - Zest Music Company
Matrix number: - U 373
Recorded: - Unknown Date June 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 328-A mono
WINNIE THE PARAKEET / WILLIE WILLIE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803 DI-4-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sherry Crane - Vocal
More Details Unknown
 
 
This is it. The moment we've all been dreading. Let's try to stay calm. Nobody quite knows why this happened, but we've got to deal with it. Up until now, the youngest woman to record for Sun was 13 year old Maggie Sue Wimberly. But Maggie Sue sang some pretty credible country music that didn't upset anybody's ideas about Memphis music or Sun Records. This time, we've added an eleven year old vocalist to the Sun rooster: the aptly named Sherry Crane singing about "Winnie The Parakeet". Most Sun fans are very upset about this. Mercifully, this is Sun's only entry into 'cagin' music. Despite all the bird content, Charlie Feathers was now where around when we needed him most. (HD)
 

Sun 328-A 45rpm



Sherry Crane
"WILLIE WILLIE" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - John Smith-Bonnie Smith
Publisher: - Zest Music Company
Matrix number: - U 372
Recorded: - Unknown Date June 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 328-B mono
WILLIE WILLIE / WINNIE THE PARAKEET
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rom BCD 15803 DI-4-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sherry Crane - Vocal
More Details Unknown

Trivia freaks may care to know that this was recorded in stereo. Sun was no more capable of recording in stereo in mid-1959 than in 48-track digital, so its possible the recording was made elsewhere. There is, however a photo of Sam and Sherry appearing to be mid-session at 706 Union. (HD)
 

Sun 328-B 45rpm



Will Mercer
"YOU'RE JUST MY KIND" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Smith-Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 374
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 329-A mono
YOU'RE JUST MY KIND / BALLAD OF ST. MARKS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Will Mercer - Vocal
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Unknown Musicians


Most Sun fans will agree that this record by Will Mercer is a vast improvement over its immediate predecessor, "Winnie The Parakeet". On the other hand, Mercer's solo release on Sun is not about to overshadow the best of Sonny Burgess.

Mercer offers serviceable readings of music from two entirely different genres. "You're Just My Kind" is a routine up tempo piece of teen fluff, the highlight of which is probably Martin Willis' raspy sax work. (HD)(CE)
 
 

Sun 329-A 45rpm



Will Mercer
"BALLAD OF ST. MARKS" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 375
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 329-B mono
BALLAD OF ST. MARKS / YOU'RE JUST MY KIND
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Will Mercer - Vocal
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Unknown Musicians

On this side, Mercer provides some grist for the folk/country crossover mill. There was a big market for story songs with a folkie feel and this one, awash in tragedy and untimely death, had what it took for contention in the far-off Fall of 1959.

Mercer himself remains something of a shadowy figure. His contract was mailed to Jubilee USA, the Springfield, Missouri television show that had started as The Ozark Jubilee and was about to pas into history. Then in June 1960 - some nine months after this record was released, Billboard reported that Mercer was doing promotional work for the Sheraton Hotel chain in French Lick, Indiana, and had just performed a showdate for the Shriners in Cincinnati and another at the National Folk Music Festival in Washington. Very few performers were doing shows for Shriners and folkies on successive weekends, and sandwiching a week of promotional activities for a hotel chain in-between, so that brief news item raises many intriguing questions about Will Mercer, all so far unanswered. (HD)(CE)
 
 
 
 

Sun 329-B 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"LITTLE QUEENIE" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Chuck Berry
Publisher: - Arc Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 376 - Master
Recorded: - Probably May 28, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 330-A mono
LITTLE QUEENIE / I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Leo Lodner - Bass

There were some monumental battles of ego whenever Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry appeared on the  same bill during the 1950s. Their nightly dispute usually centered on who was the "real" headliner and who  would get to close the show. On those nights when the nod went to Chuck, Jerry Lee would do his damndest  to wear out the audience before turning them over.

Chuck Berry's version of "Little Queenie"" had just risen to its rather lowly peak of 80 when Jerry Lee  scheduled a session especially to record it. A few weeks earlier, Jerry's wife Myra, had written to the fan club  secretary, Kay Martin, asking her to find a copy of Chuck's record for Jerry's mother, Mamie. "I suppose you  know", Myra wrote, "that next to Jerry, Chuck Berry is her very favorite". On May 25, three days before  Jerry's session, Myra wrote back to Kay, Thanks loads for "Little Queenie". Mrs Lewis is just mad about  Chuck Berry... (but) ever since he tried to beat up Jerry I haven't liked him a bit. If I'm not mistaken, Jerry  wrapped a chair around his head... Don't get me wrong, I think Chuck is a very talented Negro. Have you  ever seen him put on a live show? That is one Negro that can flat put on a show!. Apparently, "Little  Queenie" was heard so often around the Lewis household that Jerry decided to record it so that his mother  would play something by a very talented white boy.

Egotism is one thing, but commercial exigencies are another, and its hard to fathom the reason for releasing a record that had already failed within recent weeks. One can only assume that if it had succeeded it would have been a big metaphorical finger in the face of a certain very talented negro. And if there had been any justice, it would have succeeded. Jerry hits a fine groove, and resurrects the voice-over narrative technique ("Meanwhile, I's still thinkin'") he had used to great effect on "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". And how ironic that girls who weren't "a minute over seventeen" would prove the undoing of both Jerry and Chuck.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 330-A 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
"I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 377 - Master
Recorded: - December 1958/January 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 330-B mono
I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU / LITTLE QUEENIE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

On this side, Jerry Lee Lewis dips into the Hank Williams songbook for a powerful reading of the country classic. All things considered, this is a pretty stripped down version, with Jerry's piano handling all the solo chores and Roland Janes' guitar buried deep in the mix. Ironically, Jerry has taken such liberties with the lyrics that he's   managed to soften, if not alter the impact of Williams' original intent. There's a hell of a different between singing "Makes no difference what you used to do" and "Makes no difference what they say or do". Given the well-known litany of sexual accusations Jerry put childbride Myra through, its not surprising his version of the lyric seems a lot more forgiving of his buddies than his girlfriend. (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 330-B 45rpm



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

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

Possibly Dubbed on May 27, 1958

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

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

Sun 331-A 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 331-B 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 332-A 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 332-B 45rpm



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

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


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

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

Sun 333-A 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 333-B 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 334-A 45rpm



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

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

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

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

Sun 334-B 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 335-A 45rpm


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

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

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

Sun 335-B 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 336-A 45rpm



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

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

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

Sun 336-B 45rpm



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

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

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

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

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

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

Sun 337-A 45rpm



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

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

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

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

Sun 337-B 45rpm



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

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

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

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

Sun 338-A 45rpm



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

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


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

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

Sun 338-B 45rpm



Rayburn Anthony
''WHOSE GONNA SHOE YOUR PRETTY LITTLE FEET'' – B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - Rayburn Anthony
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 396
Recorded: - Probably January 6, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 30, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 339-A mono
WHOSE GONNA SHOE YOUR PRETTY LIITLE FEET / THERE'S NO TOMORROW
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

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

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

Sun 339-A 45rpm



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

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

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


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

Sun 339-B 45rpm



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

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

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

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

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

Sun 340-A 45rpm



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

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

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

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

Sun 340-B 45rpm



Sonny Wilson
''THE GREAT PRETENDER'' – A.S.C.A.P. - 2:51
Composer: - Buck Ram
Publisher: - Panther Music
Matrix number: - U 400
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 341-A mono
THE GREAT PRETENDER / I'M GONNA TAKE A WALK
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-25 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Wilson – Vocal & Guitar

Probably The Following Musicians
Billy Robley – Guitar
Doc McQueen – Piano
Glenn Allen - Drums
Bill Black – Bass
Charlie Rich - Piano

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

Absolutely nothing is known about Sonny Wilson or the session that produced this surprising rockabilly treatment of the old Platters hit. Perhaps there were death threats from desperate rockabilly collectors, and this recordings was offered up as a sacrifice to keep their loyalty. In any case, there was much to treasure here in the pale Sun summer of 1960.

From the outset, it's hard to know if Wilson is serious about his opening ''Wel..heh..heh..heh..heh..hell'' or whether he's torn a page from Elvis self-parody book.  Regardless, the artist tried his damndest to keep things on track here. There are a couple of timing fluffs, like the extra beat before the second release, but they're deftly wallpapered over.  Somebody takes a fine 16 bar guitar solo, which deserved to be retained despite that one muted clam in the 12th bar. The electric bass work when Wilson sings the release (''Too real is that feeling...'') is quite a delight. All things considered, the Gene Lowery Singers are less annoying here that usual because they're pretty much confined to imitating the Platters. (HD)
 

Sun 341-A 45rpm



Sonny Wilson
''I'M GONNA TAKE A WALK'' – B.M.I. -2:08
Composer: - Dalahite
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 401
Recorded: Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 341-B mono
I'M GONNA TAKE A WALK / THE GREAT PRETENDER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-1-26 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Wilson – Vocal & Guitar

Probably The Following Musicians
Billy Robley – Guitar
Doc McQueen – Piano
Glenn Allen - Drums
Bill Black – Bass
Charlie Rich - Piano

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

This bluesy side, is highly similar to Billy Riley's work on ''One More Time; or, more recently, Tracy Pendarvis's effort on ''Is It Too Late''. There's nothing particularly striking or original here, and about the only insight we get into Wilson's vocal style is that he had obviously done a lot of listening to Conway Twitty. (HD)
 

Sun 341-B 45rpm



Bobbie Jean
''YOU BURNED THE BRIDGES'' - S.E.S.A.C. - 2:08
Composer: - Walter Scott
Publisher: - Sage and Sand
Matrix number: - U 402
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 7, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 342-A mono
YOU BURNED THE BRIDGES / CHEATERS NEVER WIN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bobbie Jean Barton - Vocal
Ernie Barton Orchestra
Ernie Barton - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Vinnie Trauth's String Arrangements
Other Musicians Unknown

Bobbie Jean was actually the wife of Ernie Barton, who had become a jack of all trades in the new Sun operation. Barton was involved in everything from sales to production, and even appeared as a vocalist (on Phillips International), and as a session picker. His wife, Bobbie Jean Farrabee, was a Little Rock lawyer and there are letters from her in the Sun files demanding that Sam issue an album by Ernie. Obviously, she didn't know that Sun disdn't issue many albums by anyone whose first name wasn't Johnny and last name wasn't Cash.

This side of this commercial venture was an answer record (a practice that has all but died) to Jack Scott's 1960 megahit ''Burning Bridges''. String sections weren't the usual fare at Sun and this production raised a few eyebrows among Sun's distributors and faithful disc jockeys. (HD)
 

Sun 342-A 45rpm



Bobbie Jean
''CHEATERS NEVER WIN'' - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 403
Recorded: Unknown Date 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 7, 1960
First appearance: Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 342-B mono
CHEATERS NEVER WIN / YOU BURNED THE BRIDGES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bobbie Jean Barton - Vocal
Ernie Barton Orchestra
Ernie Barton - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Vinnie Trauth's String Arrangements
Other Musicians Unknown

It is this side, ''Cheaters Never Win'', that warrants special attention, though. The song, itself is pretty, if undistinguished, but Vinnie Trauth's string arrangement is another matter. Rather than write a chart around Bobbie Jean's vocal line, this arranger has written a violin fantasy to the song's chord changes. It might as well have been released as a solo recording by strings, so irrelevant is Ms. Barton's smokey vocal. In fact, the violins kick off their own melody before Bobbie Jean has a chance to utter a single word. Taken on its own terms, this side works better that it has right to and serves its own little niche in Sun record history.

This side was written by Sun session guitarist Brad Suggs. ''I originally wrote it for Nat Cole'', Brad Suggs recalls. ''It had a kind of Frank Sinatra-ish feel. The singer got to sing behind the beat and do some fancy phrasing''. (HD)
 

Sun 342-B 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"THE STORY OF A BROKEN HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 404
Recorded: - May 15, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 343-A mono
THE STORY OF A BROKEN HEART / DOWN THE STREET TO 301
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

Possibly Overdubbed on May 27, 1958
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus

Tommy Blake (who recorded two singles for Sun and a plethora of singles for labels great and small - mostly small) wrote "Story Of A Broken Heart" for Johnny Cash. An awful lot of work and numerous takes were attempted but the results seem to have ultimately disappointed Sam Phillips and the project was scrapped. It finally saw release under fairly anonymous conditions, dumped on the marked some two years after Cash's departure. By then, Sam Phillips had bought the copyright from Blake in one of Blake's many moment of need. The delay in issuing "Story Of A Broken Heart" is something of a surprise. The material itself was ideally suited to Cash's style and persona: the long suffering loser, humming his way through simple chord changes. The record buying public had plenty of Cash records to choose from in the summer of 1960, and this one slipped into undeserved obscurity. (HD)
 

Sun 343-A 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"DOWN THE STREET TO 301" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 405
Recorded: - July 17, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 343-B mono
DOWN THE STREET TO 301 / THE STORY OF A BROKEN HEART
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Possibly Overdubbed on May 27, 1958
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt, Vocal Chorus

This contain some vintage Jack Clement material. Its apparent that had things worked out better, this song would have captured the momentum of "Teenage Queen" and taken Cash for a posthumous payday at Sun. But such things were not in the cards. Although the production is classic middle America-friendly Clement, the material just doesn't pack the punch of "Teenage Queen". The record caused barely a stir. Sadly, this title was the last thing Cash recorded for Sun before departing for greener pastures at Columbia Records. (HD)
 

Sun 343-B 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
''JOHN HENRY'' - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 406
Recorded: - Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 344-A mono
JOHN HENRY / HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
J Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Martin Willis or John Ace Cannon - Saxophone

 
''John Henry'' is what they mean by an artist getting into a groove. Admittedly, this particular groove owed a lot to the fact that Don Hosea was generating a lot of local attention with his own version of ''John Henry'' on Roland Janes's Rita label. The folks at Sun figured they's better get on the bandwagon while the pickings were good, and who batter to call upon than Jerry Lee. The groove Jerry found here owed a lot to Ray Charles, but it was a fine one nonetheless. As Jerry, himself observed mis-session, it was ''too good to stop now!''. In fact, Jerry's music would soon result in his first bona fide hit in years.

It's also clear that Jerry had been doing some hard partying prior to this session, and was singing his heart out during the date. His vocals have rarely sounded more hoarse. There was probably some discussion about whether Jerry's performance was over the line here. Plainly, it was on the cusp, but fortunately, the decision was made to release the track as is. Nearly four decades later, Jerry's vocal state seems to add to the authenticity of the disc.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 344-A 45rpm



Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano
''HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES'' - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Chuck Willis
Publisher: - Rush Music
Matrix number: - U 407
Recorded: - Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 344-B mono
HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES / JOHN HENRY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Leo Lodner - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Martin Willis or John Ace Cannon - Saxophone

''John Henry'' was the strongest release by Jerry Lee in quite a while. To his credit, the man never failed to surprise. He's turn his hand to a maudlin pop ballad, a vintage hillbilly weeper, or – as he does here – to decidedly bluesy material. ''Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes'' features Jerry's attempt at Chuck Willis's swan song. To add authenticity, Jerry is joined by a honking sax, played either by Ace Cannon or Martin Willis. (HD)
 

Sun 344-B 45rpm



Tracy Pendarvis
''SOUTH BOUND LINE'' - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Tracy Pendarvis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 409
Recorded: - Early Summer 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 15, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 345-A mono
SOUTH BOUND LINE / IS IT ME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

This release by Tracy Pendarvis is about as raw as anything that appeared on the Sun label in 1960. It was a   rare when we heard a vocalist accompanied only by bass, drums and guitar, which is what ''South Bound   Line'' is all about. It's also about a guy with a mighty shaky sense of time, as Perdarvis extends verses and  vocal lines almost arbitrarily. The song is borrowed quite liberally from Jimmie Skinner's ''Doin' My Time'',   which Johnny Cash recorded for Sun two years earlier for his first LP. Cash, too, struggled with the song's   meter.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 345-A 45rpm



Tracy Pendarvis
''IS IT ME'' - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Tracy Pendarvis
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 408
Recorded: - Early Summer 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 15, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 345-B mono
IS IT ME / SOUTH BOUND LINE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

''Is It Me'' has a lot to recommend it. Yes, it's a teen pop outing with more than its share of 6-minor chords,   but the record might have been released awash in choral overdubs. To its credit, Sun let things stand and   there's nothing here but the simple rolling sound of Pendarvis's band. The title provides a marvellous vocal   'hook', compressed into a single beat at the end of each verse. Very catchy stuff that deserved a serious look   in the pop marketplace. When Tracy voice breaks, probably unintentionally, in the first line, the record  becomes all the more endearing.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 345-B 45rpm



Bill Strength with The Gene Lowery Singers
''SENORITA'' - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Don & Gladys Scaife
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 411
Recorded: - July 19, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 12, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 346-A mono
SENORITA / GUESS I'D BETTER GO
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Strength – Vocal & Guitar
Scotty Moore – Guitar
R.W. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson – Bass
D.J. Fontana – Drums
Larry Mohoberac – Piano

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

Sun 346-A 45rpm



Bill Strength with The Gene Lowery Singers
''GUESS I'D BETTER GO'' - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Cecil Scaife-Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Up Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 410
Recorded: - July 19, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 12, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 346-B mono
GUESS I'D BETTER GO / SENORITA
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Strength – Vocal & Guitar
Scotty Moore – Guitar
R.W. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson – Bass
D.J. Fontana – Drums
Larry Mohoberac – Piano

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

Strength had a strong singing voice rooted in the mainstream of country music styles and his ''Guess I'd Better Go'' was a strong contender on Sun in 1960 although ultimately his association with the label went nowhere. He recorded one or two interesting songs that were not issued at the time, particularly Stan Kesler's ''Call Of The Wild'' which Warren Smith turned into a hit on Liberty Records on become a Top 30 country hit.

Sam Phillips has often stated his reluctance to record artists whose careers and styles were already established. It was obviously more rewarding to find a piece of raw granite and shape an Elvis Presley or a Johnny cash or Jerry Lee Lewis. In such a context, it is hard to imagine what Texas Bill Strength was doing at 639 Madison Avenue on the afternoon. The result, especially ''Guess I'd Better Go'', represented credible country/pop ,material circa 1960, but in the cold light of nearly four decades it is clear that these efforts did nothing to elevate the fortunes of Strengths sagging career or the legacy of Sun Records.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 346-B 45rpm



Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
"PORT OF LONELY HEARTS" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 412 - Take 2
Second vocal and harmony overdubbed by Johnny Cash
Recorded: - Mid 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 347-A mono
PORT OF LONELY HEARTS / MEAN EYED CAT
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

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

Cash was represented by a two-sided gem. Even Billboard got on "Port Of Lonely Hearts", calling it, in essence, a diamond in the rough and extolling its singalong qualities. Sam Phillips had to dig deep for this; it was a 1955 demo, and the fact that it was issued at all spoke volumes about Sun's dependence upon Cash and about the timelessness of his music. Somehow the marketplace failed to grasp the song's subtle charms. Sam Phillips must have been wondering whether the jocks and distributors were conspiring to stay off Cash's old product, even when it stacked up well against his more recent work on Columbia in the early 1960s.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 347-A 45rpm



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

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

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

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

Sun 347-B 45rpm



Lance Roberts
''THE GOOD GUY ALWAYS WINS'' - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Bill Husky
Publisher: - Rise Music – Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 413
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Service
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 348-A mono
THE GOOD GUY ALWAYS WINS / THE TIME IS RIGHT
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lance Roberts – Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano
More Details Unknown

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

Things don't improve much on the uptempo side. In fact, if you can get through the first four bars of ''The Good Guy Always Wins'' without losing your cookies, you're made of sterner stuff than most Sun fans. Again, blame the chorus who must have thought they were accompanying a Wagnerian opera.

Roberts himself is another of the unknown artists who seemed to populate Sun's 300 series. His contracts were mailed to a town called Norman Park, Georgia on May 12, 1960, but beyond that little is known.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 348-A 45rpm



Lance Roberts
''THE TIME IS RIGHT'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Charlie Feathers-Jerry Huffman
Publisher: - JEG Music Publishers - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 414
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably June 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 348-B mono
THE TIME IS RIGHT / THE GOOD GUY ALWAYS WINS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lance Roberts – Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano
More Details Unknown

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

Let's start out with a simple point. ''The Time Is Right'' is almost a great song, a perfect example of that gospel-tinged Elvisy ballad that Memphis labels cranked out effortlessly in their heyday. Indeed, Lance Roberts seems to have had a knack for the genre and turns in a hell of a performance.

Moreover, Charlie Rich, although uncredited in the session logs, seems to have a dominant force at this session. Still, something keeps this from being one of Sun's latterday masterpiece. The most obvious problem is the chorus. Not their presence per se, because this arrangement surly needed some vocal support, but rather ''this'' chorus.
 
 
It is possible for a vocal group to take itself and its lines too seriously. These folks bring just a bit too much fervor to their reading, and the result is overblown, even comic, which is hardly the effect they were after. Wa ha ha hoo, indeed.  (HD)(MH)
 

Sun 348-B 45rpm



Tony Rossine
''I GOTTA KNOW (WHERE I STAND)'' – B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Dan Padgett
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 415
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 349-A mono
I GOTTA KNOW / IS IT TOO LATE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tony Rossine – Vocal
More Details Unknown

''I Gotta Know'' (not to be confused with the Elvis hit from 1960) is in the grand tradition of Jealousy-song, the biggest selling example of which is ''Suspicion''. Sun didn't really have the experience or connections necessary to break an artist in this style. ''That first release got played pretty strong around Memphis'', says Tony. ''I was doing shows with Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison, but I was like the added attraction because I didn't have any hits''. (HD)
 

Sun 349-A 45rpm



Tony Rossine
''IS IT TOO LATE (TO SAY I'M SORRY)'' – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Dan Padgett
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 416
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 14, 1960
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 349-B mono
I GOTTA KNOW / IS IT TOO LATE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804 DI-2-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tony Rossine – Vocal
More Details Unknown

Like it or not, Tony Rossini made as many Sun singles as Elvis Presley, Billy Riley, Warren Smith and Sonny Burgess. One listen to this record tells you that Tony was a schoolkid; he was in fact just barely thirteen. His father, who was a schoolteacher in Memphis when Tony recorded for Sun, had once played in orchestras. It wasn't his father who led him to Sun, though; it was a blue collar worker at Memphis's Firestone plant, Dan Padgett, who fancied himself as a songwriter. Padgett had seen Tony at high school hops and asked him to demo some songs. He ten took the demo's to Scotty Moore, newly installed as the studio manager at Sam Phillips' Madison Avenue studio, and Scotty came to see Tony at a junior high school hop and signed him.
 
 
''Scotty produced the first session, and Sam helped'', is the way Tony remembers it. ''I don't really know what Sam was shooting for when he signed me. It was out of character in terms of what motivated and excited him. I was just thirteen, going to Colonial Junior High. Brenda Lee was big then, and so was Eddie Hodges, so maybe Sam thought it was a trend''. Sam was right; it was a trent, but one he should have left alone. (HD)
 

Sun 349-B 45rpm


 
 
 
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